The Bhagavad Gita 4.37 directly and explicitly says that jnAna or knowledge destroys all karmas.

मूल श्लोकः - यथैधांसि समिद्धोऽग्निर्भस्मसात्कुरुतेऽर्जुन। ज्ञानाग्निः सर्वकर्माणि भस्मसात्कुरुते तथा।।4.37।।

yathaidhāṅsi samiddhō.gnirbhasmasātkurutē.rjuna. jñānāgniḥ sarvakarmāṇi bhasmasātkurutē tathā৷৷4.37৷৷

English Translation By Swami Sivananda: 4.37 As the blazing fire reduces fuel to ashes, O Arjuna, so does the fire of knowledge reduce all actions to ashes.

Is there any similar statement for bhakti, anywhere in scriptures, which explicitly says that bhakti destroys karmas/actions? I am looking for a statement which is as direct and explicit as the statement given above. Please dont bother posting references which are vague or can be interpreted in multiple ways. Thanks for your understanding.

Edit: I am not looking for statements like "bhakti destroys all sins". Sins are only bad deeds. Where as karmas include good, neutral and bad deeds.

  • Bhakti isnt seperate. Even a Jnani has bhakti.! Nov 30, 2019 at 5:29
  • 1
    To get the Jnana itself you need bhakti. Karma Jnana and Bhakti are one. ! Nov 30, 2019 at 5:30
  • What is knowledge? What do u mean by knowledge?
    – Shashaank
    May 4, 2022 at 11:09

1 Answer 1


Here are some verses:

Bhagavata 1.2.15

yad-anudhyāsinā yuktāḥ karma-granthi-nibandhanam | chindanti kovidās tasya ko na kuryāt kathā-ratim ||

Who will not develop attraction for topics of the Lord, remembrance of whom, like a sword, will cut the knots of karma?

Bhagavata 1.2.21-22:

bhidyate hṛdaya-granthiś chidyante sarva-saṁśayāḥ | kṣīyante cāsya karmāṇi dṛṣṭa evātmanīśvare ||

Ignorance is cut and all doubts are destroyed. On seeing the Lord in the mind and with the eyes, all karmas are diminished.

ato vai kavayo nityaṁ bhaktiṁ paramayā mudā | vāsudeve bhagavati kurvanty ātma-prasādanīm ||

Thus the wise constantly perform bhakti - which purifies the mind - to Lord Kṛṣṇa with great joy.

Bhagavata 4.22.39-40:

yat-pāda-paṅkaja-palāśa-vilāsa-bhaktyā karmāśayaṁ grathitam udgrathayanti santaḥ tadvan na rikta-matayo yatayo ’pi ruddha- sroto-gaṇās tam araṇaṁ bhaja vāsudevam

kṛcchro mahān iha bhavārṇavam aplaveśāṁ ṣaḍ-varga-nakram asukhena titīrṣanti tat tvaṁ harer bhagavato bhajanīyam aṅghriṁ kṛtvoḍupaṁ vyasanam uttara dustarārṇam

(39) Be unto Him, Vâsudeva, of devotion. Just like the devotees who find Him, the One whose lotus toes bring joy, worthy to take shelter of. By devotional service the hard knot of karmic desire is uprooted, but that is never so with people missing that respect, however hard they try to stop the waves of sense enjoyment. (40) Great is the hardship of the non-devotees with the sharks of the six senses in this material ocean. Being unhappy it is very difficult to cross that ocean full of misfortune, that danger of an existence in separation, and therefore you should make the worshipable lotus feet of the Supreme Lord your boat.'

Bhagavata 11.20.29-30: 

proktena bhakti-yogena bhajato māsakṛn muneḥ kāmā hṛdayyā naśyanti sarve mayi hṛdi sthite bhidyate hṛdaya-granthiś chidyante sarva-saṁśayāḥ kṣīyante cāsya karmāṇi mayidṛṣṭe ’khilātmani .

 (29) All the lustsa sage has in his heart are destroyed when his heart is firmly established inMe by constantly worshiping Me in the bhakti-yoga as described  

(30) The knots inthe heart are cut, all misgivings are in shreds and the chain of fruitive actions ends when one sees Me as the Supreme Soul of All.

 Bhagavata 7.10.14

ya etat kīrtayen mahyaṁ tvayā gītam idaṁ naraḥtvāṁ ca māṁ ca smaran kale karma-bandhāt pramucyate 

And the person who always remembers your activities and my activities,and who chants the prayers you have offered to please me,becomes from the bondage of karma in due course of time.

Bhagavata 12.3.43-44

yan-nāmadheyaṁ mriyamāṇa āturaḥpatan skhalan vā vivaśo gṛṇan pumānvimukta-karmārgala uttamāṁ gatiṁprāpnoti yakṣyanti na taṁ kalau janāḥ 

Terrified, about to die, collapsing, with falteringvoice, if a person utters theholy name of the Supreme Lord, he can be freed from the chains of karma and achieve the supreme destination. But still people in the age of Kali will not worship the Supreme Lord.

Padma Purana

aprārabdha-phalaṃ pāpaṃ kūṭaṃ bījaṃ phalonmukham | krameṇaiva pralīyeta viṣṇu-bhakti-ratātmanām

“For those engaged in bhakti to Viṣṇu, the aprārabdha, kūṭa, bīja and prārabdha-karmas are destroyed step-by-step.”

  • The first four references talk of destroying sins. However, my question is about destroying karmas. Karmas include good, neutral and bad deeds. Sins are only bad deeds. As for the last reference, can you tell me what exactly the Brahma samhita is? Is it a pancharatra scripture or a scripture accepted by everyone? Please clarify.
    – user16581
    Nov 30, 2019 at 5:44
  • @Iwillcloseyourquestion I added one more reference. Brahma Samhita is pancaratra text only accepted by Gaudiya Vaishnavas. Nov 30, 2019 at 5:45
  • Thanks for clarifying about Brahma samhita. I am looking for scriptures that are accepted by most traditions, if not all.
    – user16581
    Nov 30, 2019 at 5:47
  • @Iwillcloseyourquestion I removed other references which doesn't suit your question. Nov 30, 2019 at 6:00
  • 1
    @Iwillcloseyourquestion Krishna says in BG that he himself swiftly delivers those who are devoted to him. "Why bhakti would destory karmas" Since, Lord is pleased, he destroys their karmas. Nov 30, 2019 at 19:09

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