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THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ

(The Lord's Song)

Translated By

Annie Besant


London:
Theosophical Publishing House
1904
Reprinted 1906, 1909, 1912, 1916, 1917, 1918

DEDICATED

TO ALL

ASPIRANTS IΝ EAST AND WEST.


Contents
Discourse Titles

Discourse 1      THE DESPONDENCY OF ARJUNA
Discourse 2      YOGA BY THE SĀNKHYA
Discourse 3      THE YOGA OF ACTION.
Discourse 4      THE YOGA OF WISDOM.
Discourse 5      THE YOGA OF THE RENUNCIATION OF ACTION.
Discourse 6      THE YOGA OF SELF-SUBDUAL.

——Δ——

Discourse 7       THE YOGA OF DISCRIMINATIVE KNOWLEDGE.
Discourse 8       THE YOGA OF THE INDESTRUCTIBLE SUPREME ETERNAL.
Discourse 9       THE YOGA OF THE KINGLY SCIENCE AND THE KINGLY SECRET.
Discourse 10      THE YOGA OF SOVEREIGNTY.
Discourse 11      THE YOGA OF THE VISION OF THE UNIVERSAL FORM.
Discourse 12      THE YOGA OF DEVOTION.

——Δ——

Discourse 13      THE YOGA OF ΤΗΕ DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE FIELD AND THE KNOWER OF THE FIELD.
Discourse 14      ΤΗΕ YOGA OF SEPARATION FROM THE THREE QUALITIES.
Discourse 15      THE YOGA OF ATTAINING THE SUPREME SPIRIT.
Discourse 16      THE YΟGΑ OF DIVISION BETWEEN THE DIVINE AND THE DEMONIACAL.
Discourse 17      THE YOGA OF THE DIVISION OF THREEFOLD FAITH.
Discourse 18      THE YOGA OF LIBERATION BY RENUNCIATION.

——Δ——

PREFACE.

AMONG the priceless teachings that may be found in the great Hindu poem of the Mahabharata, there is none so rare and precious as this, "The Lord's Song." Since it fell from the divine lips of Shri Krishna on the field of battle, and stilled the surging emotions of his disciple and friend, how many troubled hearts has it quieted and strengthened, how many weary souls has it led to Him! It is meant to lift the aspirant from the lower levels of renunciation, where objects are renounced, to the loftier heights where desires are dead, and where the Yogī dwells in calm and ceaseless contemplation,

6PREFACE.

while his body and mind are actively employed in discharging the duties that fall to his lot in life. That the spiritual man need not be a recluse, that union with the divine Life may be achieved and maintained in the midst of worldly affairs, that the obstacles to that union lie not outside us but within us—such is the central lesson of the Bhagavad-Gītā.

It is a scripture of Yoga: now Yoga is literally union, and it means harmony with the divine Law, the becoming one with the divine Life, by the subdual of all outward-going energies. To reach this, balance must be gained-, equilibrium, so that the self, joined to the Self, shall not be affected by pleasure or pain, desire or aversion, or any of the "pairs of opposites" between which untrained selves swing

PREFACE. 7

backwards and forwards. Moderation is therefore the key-note of the GĪTĀ, and the harmonising of all the constituents of man, till they vibrate in perfect attunement with the One, the supreme Self. This is the aim the disciple is to set before him. He must learn not to be attracted by the attractive, nor repelled by the repellent, but must see both as manifestations of the one Lord, so that they may be lessons for his guidance, not fetters for his bondage. In the midst of turmoil he must rest in the Lord of Peace, discharging every duty to the fullest, not because he seeks the results of his actions, but because it is his duty to perform them. His heart is an altar, love to his Lord the flame burning upon it; all his acts, physical and mental, are sacrifices offered on the

8 PREFACE.

altar; and once offered, he has with them no further concern.

As though to make the lesson more impressive, it was given on a field of battle. Arjuna, the warrior-prince, was to vindicate his brother's title, to destroy a usurper who was oppressing the land; it was his duty as prince, as warrior, to fight for the deliverance of his nation and to restore order and peace. To make the contest more bitter, loved comrades and friends stood on both sides, wringing his heart with personal anguish, and making a conflict of duties as well as physical strife. Could he slay those to whom he owed love and duty, and trample on ties of kindred? To break family ties was a sin; to leave the people in cruel bondage was a sin; where was the right way? Justice must be done, else law

PREFACE. 9

would be disregarded; but how slay without sin? The answer is the burden of the book: Have no personal interest in the event; carry out the duty imposed by the position in life; realise that Īshvara, at once Lord and Law, is the doer, working out the mighty evolution that ends in bliss and peace; be identified with Him by devotion, and then perform duty as duty, fighting without passion or desire, without anger or hatred; thus activity forges no bonds, Yoga is accomplished, and the soul is free.

Such is the obvious teaching of this sacred book. But as all the acts of an Avatāra are symbolical, we may pass from the outer to the inner planes, and see in the fight of Kurukshetra the battlefield of the soul, and in the sons of Dhritarāshtra enemies it meets in its

10PREFACE.

progress; Arjuna becomes the type of the struggling soul of the disciple, and Shri Krishna is the Logos of the soul. Thus the teaching of the ancient battle field gives guidance in all later days, and trains the aspiring soul in treading the steep and thorny path that leads to peace. To all such souls in East and West come these divine lessons, for the path is one, though it has many names, and all souls seek the same goal, though they may not realise their unity.

In order to preserve the precision of the Samskrit, a few technical terms have been given in the original in footnotes; Manah is the mind, both in the lower mental processes in which it is swayed by the senses, by passions and emotions, and in the higher processes of reasoning; Buddhi is the faculty

PREFACE. 11

above the ratiocinating mind, and is the Pure Reason, exercising the discriminative faculty of intuition, of spiritual discernment; if these original words are not known to the reader, the BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ loses much of its practical value as a -treatise on Yoga, and the would-be learner becomes confused.

The epithets applied to Shri Krishna and Arjuna—the variety of which is so characteristic of Samskrit conversation — are for the most part left untranslated, as being musical they thus add to the literary charm, whereas the genius of English is so different from that of Samskrit, that the many footed epithets become sometimes almost grotesque in translation. Names derived from that of an ancestor, as Pārtha, meaning the son of Prithā,

12PREFACE.

Kaunteya, meaning the son of Kuntī, are used in one form or the other, according to the rhythm of the sentence. One other trifling matter, which is yet not trifling if it aids the student: when Αtmā means the One Self, the SELF of all, it is printed in small capitals; where it means the lower, the personal self, it is printed in ordinary type; this is done because there is sometimes a play on the word, and it is difficult for an untrained reader to follow the meaning without some such assistance. The word Brahman, the ONE, the Supreme, is throughout translated "the ETERNAL." The word "Deva," literally "Shining One" is thus translated throughout. The use of the western word "God" alike for "Brahman" and for the "Devas" is most misleading; the Hindu never uses the one for the

PREFACE.13

other, and never blurs the unity of the Supreme by the multiplicity of ministering Intelligences.

My wish, in adding this translation to those already before the public, was to preserve the spirit of the original, especially in its deeply devotional tone, while at the same time giving an accurate translation, reflecting the strength and the terseness of the Samskrit. In order that mistakes, due to my imperfect knowledge, might be corrected, the first and second editions of this translation passed through the hands of one or other of the following gentlemen—friends of mine at Benares—to whom I here tender my grateful acknowledgments: Bābus Pramada Dās Mitra, Gangānath Jhā, Kāli Charan Mitra, and Upendranath Basu. Α few of the notes are also due to them. In

14PREFACE.

the third and fourth editions I have also been much helped by Bābu Bhagavān Dās, to whom I add my cordial thanks.

Αnnie Besant.

Aum.

The Bhagavad-Gītā.

Τhe Lord's Song.

 

FIRST DISCOURSE. 15

Go to Contents

FIRST DISCOURSE.

Dhritarāshtra said:

On the holy plain, on the field of Kuru, [1] gathered together, eager for battle, what did they, O Sanjaya, my people and the Pāndavas? (1)

Sanjaya said:

Having seen arrayed the army of the Pāndavas, the Prince Duryodhana approached his teacher, [2] and spake these words: (2)


[1] The common ancestor of the contending parties the Kurus and Pāndavas, in the impending battle.
[2] Drona, the son of Bharadvāja.

16THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

"Behold this mighty host of the sons of Pāndu, Ο teacher, arrayed by the son of Drupada, thy wise disciple.     (3)

Heroes are these, mighty bowmen, to Bhīma and Arjuna equal in battle; Yuyudhāna, Virāta, and Drupada of the great car: [1] (4)

Drishtaketu, Chekitāna and the valiant King of Kāshi, Purujit and Kuntībhoja, and Shaivya, bull [2] among men; (5)

Yudhāmanyu the strong, and Uttamaujā the brave; Saubhadra and the Draupadeyas, [3] all of great cars. (6)

Know further all those who are our chiefs, Ο best of the twice-born, the leaders of my army; these I name to thee for thy information: (7)

Thou, Lord, and Bhīshma, and Karna


[1] One able to fight alone ten thousand bowmen.
[2] The bull, as the emblem of manly strength and vigour, is often used as an epithet of honour.
[3] Abhimanyu, the son of Subhadrā and Arjuna, and the sons and grandsons of Drupada.

FIRST DISCOURSE. 17

and Kripa, conquering in battle; Ashvatthāmā, Vikarna, and Saumadatti [1] also; (8)

And many others, heroes, for my sake renouncing their lives, with divers weapons and missiles, and all well-skilled in war. (9)

Yet insufficient seems this army of ours, though marshalled by Bhīshma, while that army of theirs seems sufficient, though marshalled by Bhīma; [2] (10)

Therefore in the rank and file let all, standing firmly in their respective divisions, guard Bhīshma, even all ye Generals." (11)

To enhearten him, the Ancient of the Kurus, the Grandsire, [3] the glorious,


[1] The son of Somadatti.
[2] The commentators differ in their interpretation of this verse; Anandagiri takes it to mean just the reverse of Shridhata Svāmi, "aparyāptam" being taken by the one as "insufficient," by the other as "unlimited.''
[3] Bhīshma.

18THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

blew his conch, sounding on high a lion's roar.     (12)

Then conches and kettledrums, tabors and drums and cowhorns, suddenly blared forth, and the sound was tumultuous. (13)

Then, stationed in their great war chariot, yoked to white horses, Mādhava [1] and the son of Pāndu [2] blew their divine conches, (14)

Pānchajanya by Hrishikesha, and Devadatta by Dhananjaya. [3] Vrikodara [4] of terrible deeds, blew his mighty conch, Paundra; (1)

The King Yudhishthira, the son of Kuntī, blew Anantavijaya; Nakula and


[1]i Shri Krishna.
[2] Arjuna.
[3] Pānchajanya, Shri Krishna's conch, was made from the bones of the giant Panchajana, slain by him. The title Hrishikesha is "Lord of the senses." Dhananjaya, the "conqueror of wealth," is a title often given to Arjuna, whose conch is the "God given."
[4] Bhīma; the meaning of the name of his conch is doubtful.

FIRST DISCOURSE. 19

Sahadeva, Sughosha and Manipushpaka [1] (16)

And Kāshya, [2] of the great bow, and Shikhandī, the mighty car-warrior, Drishtadyumna and Virāta and Sātyaki, the unconquered. (17)

Drupada and the Draupadeyas, O Lord of earth, and Saubhadra, the mighty-armed, on all sides their several conches blew. (18)

That tumultuous uproar rent the hearts of the sons of Dhritarāshtra, filling the earth and sky with sound. (19)

Then, beholding the sons of Dhritarâshtra standing arrayed, and the flight of missiles about to begin, he whose crest is an ape, the son of Pāndu, took up his bow, (20)


[1] The conches of the remaining three brothers were named respectively, "endless victory," "honey tone," and "jewel-blossom.
[2] The King of Kāshi, the modern Benares.

20THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

And spake this word to Hrishikesha, Ο Lord of earth:

Arjuna said:

In the midst, between the two armies, stay my chariot, Ο Achyuta, [1] (21)

That I may behold these standing, longing for battle, with whom I must strive in this outbreaking war. (22)

And gaze on those here gathered together, ready to fight, desirous of pleasing in battle the evil-minded son of Dhritarāshtra. (23)

Sanjaya said:

Thus addressed by Gudākesha, [2] Hrishikesha, Ο Bhārata, having stayed that best of chariots in the midst, between the two armies, (24)

Over against Bhīshma, Drona and all the rulers of the world, said: "Ο


[1] The changeless, the immovable.
[2] The lord of sleep, Arjuna.

FIRST DISCOURSE. 21

Pârtha, behold these Kurus gathered together."        (25)

Then saw Pārtha standing there, uncles and grandfathers, teachers, mother's brothers, cousins, sons and grandsons, comrades, (26)

Fathers-in-law and benefactors also in both armies; seeing all these kinsmen thus standing arrayed, Kaunteya, [1] (27)

Deeply moved to pity, this uttered in sadness:

Arjuna said:

Seeing these my kinsmen, Ο Krishna, arrayed, eager to fight, (28)

My limbs fail and my mouth is parched, my body quivers, and my hair stands on end, (29)

Gāndīva slips from my hand, and my skin burns all over, I am not able to stand, my mind is whirling, (30)


[1] The son of Kuntī, Arjuna.

22THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

And I see adverse omens, Ο Keshava. [1] Nor do I foresee any advantage from slaying kinsmen in battle. (31)

For I desire not victory, Ο Krishna, nor kingdom, nor pleasures; what is kingdom to us, Ο Govinda, what enjoyment, or even life? (32)

Those for whose sake we desire kingdom, enjoyments and pleasures, they stand here in battle, abandoning life and riches— (33)

Teachers, fathers, sons, as well as grandfathers, mother's brothers, fathers-in-law, grandsons, brothers-in-law, and other relatives. (34)

These I do not wish to kill, though myself slain, Ο Madhusūdana, [2] even for the sake of the kingship of the three worlds; how then for earth? (35)

Slaying these sons of Dhritarāshtra,


[1] "He who has luxurious hair," or, °' He who sleeps on the waters."
[2] The slayer of Madhu, a demon.

FIRST DISCOURSE. 23

what pleasure can be ours, Ο Janārdana? [1] killing these desperadoes, sin will but take hold of us. (36)

Therefore we should not kill the sons of Dhritarāshtra, our relatives; for how, killing our kinsmen, may we be happy, Ο Mādhava? (37)

Although these, with intelligence overpowered by greed, see no guilt in the destruction of a family, no crime in hostility to friends. (38)

Why should not we learn to turn away from such a sin, Ο Janārdana, who see the evils in the destruction of a family? (39)

In the destruction of a family the immemorial family traditions [2] perish;


[1] "Destroyer of the people." Shri Krishna as the warrior conquering all forms of evil.
[2] Dharma; this is a wide word, primarily meaning the essential nature of a thing, that which makes it to be what it is externally: hence, the Iaws of its being, its duty: and it includes religious rites, appropriate to those laws, customs, also righteousness.

24THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

in the perishing of tradition, lawlessness overcomes the whole family; (40)

Owing to predominance of lawlessness, Ο Krishna, the women of the family become corrupt; women corrupted, Ο Vārshneya, [1] there ariseth caste-confusion; (41)

This confusion draggeth to hell the slayers of the family, and the family; for their ancestors fall, deprived of rice-balls and libations. (42)

By these caste-confusing misdeeds of the slayers of the family, the everlasting caste customs [2] and family customs [2] are abolished. (43)

The abode of the men whose family customs [2] are extinguished, Ο Janārdana, is everlastingly in hell. Thus have we heard. (44)

Alas! in committing a great sin are we engaged, we who are endeavouring


[1] Belonging to the family of Vrishni.
[2] Dharma.

FIRST DISCOURSE. 25

to kill our kindred from greed of the pleasures of kingship. (45)

If the sons of Dhritarāshtra, weapon-in-hand; should slay me, unresisting, unarmed, in the battle, that would for me be the better. (46)

Sanjaya said:

Having thus spoken on the battle field, Arjuna sank down on the seat of the chariot, casting away his bow and arrow, his mind overborne by grief. (47)

Thus in the glorious Upanishats of the BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ, the science of the ETERNAL, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Shri Krishna and Arjuna, the first discourse, entitled:

THE DESPONDENCY OF ARJUNA.


26THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

Go to Contents

SECOND DISCOURSE.

Sanjaya said:

To him thus with pity overcome, with smarting brimming eyes, despondent, Madhusūdana spake these words: (1)

The Blessed Lord said:

Whence hath this dejection befallen thee in this perilous strait, ignoble, [1] heaven-closing, [2] infamous, Ο Arjuna? (2)

Yield not to impotence, Ο Pārtha! it doth not befit thee. Shake off this paltry faint-heartedness!   Stand up, Parantapa! (3)


[1] Literally, an-āryan.
[2] Literally, non-svargan: cowardice in the warrior closed on him the door of Svarga, heaven.
[3] Conqueror of foes.

SECOND DISCOURSE.27

Arjuna said:

How, Ο Madhusūdana, shall I attack Bhīshma and Drona with arrows in battle, they who are worthy of reverence, Ο slayer of foes? (4)

Better in this world to eat even the beggar's crust than to slay these most noble Gurus. Slaying these Gurus, our well-wishers, [1] I should taste of blood besprinkled feasts. (5)

Nor know I which for us be the better, that we conquer them or they conquer us—these, whom having slain we should not care to live, even these arrayed against us, the sons of Dhritarāshtra. (6)

My heart is weighed down with the vice of faintness; my mind is confused as to duty. [2] I ask thee which may be the better—that tell me decisively. I


[1] More often translated, "desirous of wealth," but the word is used elsewhere for well-wisher, "desirous of good," and the term is more in accordance with the tone of Arjuna's remarks.
[2] Dharma.

28THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

am thy disciple, suppliant to Thee; teach me. (7)

For I see not that it would drive away this anguish that withers up my senses, if I should attain unrivalled monarchy on earth, or even the sovereignty of the Shining Ones. (8)

Sanjaya said:

Gudākesha, conqueror of his foes, having thus addressed Hrishikesha, and said to Govinda, "I will not fight!" became silent. (9)

Then Hrishikesha, smiling, as it were, O Bhārata, spake these words to him, despondent, in the midst of the two armies: (10)

The Blessed Lord said:

Thou grievest for those that should not be grieved for, yet speakest words of wisdom. [1] The wise grieve neither for the living nor for the dead. (11)


[1] Words that sound wise, but miss the deeper sense of wisdom.

SECOND DISCOURSE.29

Nor at any time verily was I not, nor thou, nor these princes of men, nor verily shall we ever cease to be, hereafter. (12)

As the dweller in the body experienceth in the body childhood, youth, old age, so passeth he on to another body; the steadfast one grieveth not thereat. (13)

The contacts of matter, Ο son of Kuntī, giving cold and heat, pleasure and pain, they come and go, impermanent; endure them bravely, Ο Bhārata. (14)

The man whom these torment not, Ο chief of men, balanced in pain and pleasure, steadfast, he is fitted for immortality. (15)

The unreal hath no being; the real never ceaseth to be; the truth about both hath been perceived by the seers of the Essence of things. [1] (16)


[1] Tattva.

30THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

Know THAT to be indestructible by whom all this is pervaded. Nor can any work the destruction of that imperishable One. (17)

These bodies of the embodied One, who is eternal, indestructible and immeasurable, are known as finite. Therefore fight, Ο Bhārata. (18)

He who regardeth this [1] as a slayer, and he who thinketh he is slain, both of them are ignorant. He slayeth not, nor is he slain. (19)

He is not born, nor doth he die; nor having been, ceaseth he any more to be; unborn, perpetual, eternal and ancient, he is not slain when the body is slaughtered. (20)

Who knoweth him indestructible, perpetual, unborn, undiminishing, how can that man slay, O Pārtha, or cause to be slain? (21)

As a man, casting off worn-out garments,


[1] The dweller in the body.

SECOND DISCOURSE.31

taketh new ones, so the dweller in the body, casting off worn-out bodies, entereth into others that are new. (22)

Weapons cleave him not, nor fire burneth him, nor waters wet him, nor wind drieth him away. (23)

Uncleavable he, incombustible he, and indeed neither to be wetted nor dried away; perpetual, all-pervasive, stable, immovable, ancient. (24)

Unmanifest, unthinkable, immutable, he is called; therefore knowing him as such, thou shouldst not grieve. (25)

Or if thou thinkest of him as being constantly born and constantly dying, even then, O mighty-armed, thou shouldst not grieve. (26)

For certain is death for the born, and certain is birth for the dead; therefore over the inevitable thou shouldst not grieve. (27)

Beings are unmanifest in their origin, manifest in their midmost state, O

32THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

Bhārata, unmanifest likewise are they in dissolution. What room then for lamentation?   (28)

As marvellous one regardeth him; as marvellous another speaketh thereof; as marvellous another heareth thereof; yet having heard, none indeed under standeth. (29)

This dweller in the body of everyone is ever invulnerable, Ο Bhārata; therefore thou shouldst not grieve for any creature. (30)

Further, looking to thine own duty [1] thou shouldst not tremble; for there is nothing more welcome to a Kshattriya [2] than righteous war. (31)

Happy the Kshattriyas, Ο Pārtha, who obtain such a fight, offered unsought as an open door to heaven. (32)


[1] Dharma.
[2] Α person of the second, the warrior, caste.

SECOND DISCOURSE.33

But if thou wilt not carry on this righteous warfare, then casting away thine own duty [1] arid thine honour, thou wilt incur sin. (33)

Men will recount thy perpetual dishonour, and, to one highly esteemed, dishonour exceedeth death. (34)

The great car-warriors [2] will think thee fled from the battle from fear, and thou, that wast highly thought of by them, wilt be lightly held. (35)

Many unseemly words will be spoken by thine enemies, slandering thy strength; what more painful than that? (36)

Slain, thou wilt obtain heaven; victorious, thou wilt enjoy the earth; therefore stand up, Ο son of Kuntī, resolute to fight. (37)

Taking as equal pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat, gird


[1] Dharma.
[2] The generals.

34THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

thee for the battle; thus thou shalt not incur sin.       (38)

This teaching set forth to thee is in accordance with the Sānkhya; [1] hear it now according to the Yoga, [2] imbued with which teaching, Ο Pārtha, thou shalt cast away the bonds of action. (39)

In this there is no loss of effort, nor is there transgression. Even a little of this knowledge [3] protects from great fear. (40)

The determinate Reason [4] is but one pointed, Ο joy of the Kurus; many branched and endless are the thoughts of the irresolute. (41)

Flowery speech is uttered by the foolish, rejoicing in the letter of the Vedas, [5] Ο Pārtha, saying: "There is naught but this"; (42)


[1] One of the six systems of Indian philosophy, dealing with evolution.
[2] Another of the same systems, dealing with meditation.
[3] Dharma.
[4] Buddhi.
[5] The Hindu Scriptures.

SECOND DISCOURSE.35

With desire for self, [1] with heaven for goal, they offer birth as the fruit of action, and prescribe many and various ceremonies for the attainment of pleasure and lordship. (43)

For them who cling to pleasure and lordship, whose minds are captivated by such teaching, is not designed this determinate Reason, [2] on contemplation [3] steadily bent. [4] (44)


[1] Those whose very self is desire, Kāma, and who therefore act with a view to win heaven and also rebirth to wealth and rank.
[2] Buddhi.
[3] Samādhi, the third state of consciousness in meditation.
[4] The following alternative translation of Shlokas 42, 43, and 44 is offered:

"The flowery speech that the unwise utter, Ο Pārtha, clinging to the word of the Veda, saying there is nothing else, ensouled by desire and longing after heaven, (the speech) that offereth only rebirth as the (ultimate) fruit of action, that is full of (recommendations to) various rites for the sake of (gaining) enjoyments and sovereignty—the thought of those misled by that (speech), cleaving to pleasures and lordship, not being inspired with resolution, is not engaged in contemplation."

This is closer to the original, which is all in one sentence,

36THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

The Vedas deal with the three attributes; [1] be thou above these three attributes, Ο Arjuna; beyond the pairs of opposites, ever steadfast in purity, [2] careless of possessions, full of the SELF. (45)

All the Vedas are as useful to an enlightened Brāhmana [3] as is a tank in a place covered all over with water. (46)

Thy business is with the action only, never with its fruits; so let not the fruit of action be thy motive, nor be thou to inaction attached. (47)

Perform action, Ο Dhananjaya, dwelling in union with the divine, [4] renouncing attachments, and balanced evenly in success and failure: equilibrium is called yoga. (48)


[1] Gunas = attributes, or forms of energy. They are Sattva, rhythm, harmony, or purity; Rajas, motion, activity, or passion; Tamas, inertia, darkness, or stupidity.
[2] Sattva.
[3] Α person of the highest, the priestly and teaching, caste.
[4] Dwelling in yoga, union.

SECOND DISCOURSE.37

Far lower than the Yoga of Discrimination [1] is action, Ο Dhananjaya. Take thou refuge in the Pure Reason; [2] pitiable are they who work for fruit. (49)

United to the Pure Reason [2] one abandoneth here both good and evil deeds; therefore cleave thou to yoga; yoga is skill in action. (50)

The Sages, united to the Pure Reason, [2] renounce the fruit which action yieldeth, and, liberated from the bonds of birth, they go to the blissful seat. (51)

When thy mind [2] shall escape from this tangle of delusion, then thou shalt rise to indifference as to what has been heard and shall be heard. (52)

When thy mind, [2] bewildered by the Scriptures, [3] shall stand immovable, fixed in contemplation, then shalt thou attain unto yoga. [4] (53)


[1] Union with Buddhi, the innermost sheath (or vehicle) of Ātmā.
[2] Buddhi.
[3] Shruti.
[4] To union with Ātmā, the SELF; yoga implies harmony with the divine will. The word translated contemplation is, as before, Samādhi.

38THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

Arjuna said:

What is the mark of him who is stable of mind, [1] steadfast in contemplation, Ο Keshava? how doth the stable-minded [2] talk, how doth he sit, how walk? (54)

The Blessed Lord said:

When a man abandoneth, Ο Pārtha, all the desires of the heart, [3] and is satisfied in the SELF by the SELF, then is he called stable in mind. [1] (55)

He whose mind [3] is free from anxiety amid pains, indifferent amid pleasures, loosed from passion, fear and anger, he is called a sage [4] of stable mind. [2] (56)

He who on every side is without attachments, whatever hap of fair and foul, who neither likes nor dislikes, of such a one the understanding [1] is well poised. (57)


[1] Prajnā.
[2] Dhī.
[3] Manah.
[4] Α Muni, i.e., a saint or ascetic: in its original meaning one who observed the vow of silence.

SECOND DISCOURSE.39

When, again, as a tortoise draws in on all sides its limbs, he withdraws his senses from the objects of sense, then is his understanding [1] well-poised. (58)

The objects of sense, but not the relish for them, [2] turn away from an abstemious dweller in the body; and even relish turneth away from him after the Supreme is seen. (59)

Ο son of Kuntī, the excited senses of even a wise man, though he be striving, impetuously carry away his mind. [3] (6ο)

Having restrained them all, he should sit harmonised, I his supreme goal; for whose senses are mastered, of him the understanding [1] is well-poised. (61)

Man, musing on the objects of sense, conceiveth an attachment to these; from attachment ariseth desire; from desire anger [4] cometh forth; (62)


[1] Prajnā.
[2] The objects turn away when rejected, but still desire for them remains; even desire is lost when the Supreme is seen.
[3] Manah.
[4] Krodha.

40       THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

From anger proceedeth delusion; from delusion confused memory; from confused memory the destruction of Reason; [1] from destruction of Reason he perishes. (63)

But the disciplined self, moving among sense-objects with senses free from attraction and repulsion, mastered by the SELF, goeth to Peace. (64)

In that Peace the extinction of all pains ariseth for him, for of him whose heart [2] is peaceful the Reason [3] soon attaineth equilibrium. (65)

There is no Pure Reason [3] for the non-harmonised, nor for the non-harmonised is there concentration; [4] for him without concentration there is no peace, and for the unpeaceful how can there be happiness? (66)

Such of the roving senses as the


[1] Buddhi, here implying specially Discrimination.
[2] Chetah.
[3] Buddhi.
[4] Bhāvāna.

SECOND DISCOURSE.41

Mind [1] yieldeth to, that hurries away the understanding, [2] just as the gale hurries away a ship upon the waters. (67)

Therefore, O mighty-armed, whose senses are all completely restrained from the objects of sense, of him the understanding [2] is well-poised. (68)

That which is the night of all beings, for the disciplined man is the time of waking, when other beings are waking, then is it night for the sage who seeth. [3] (69)

He attaineth Peace, into whom all desires flow as rivers flow into the ocean, which is filled with water, but remaineth unmoved—not he who desireth desires. (70)

Whoso forsaketh all desires and


[1] Manah.
[2] Prajnā.
[3] The Sage is awake to things over which the ordinary man sleeps, and the eyes of the Sage are open to truths shut out from the common vision, while vice versá that which is real for the masses is illusion for the Sage.

42THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

goeth onwards free from yearnings, self

less and without egoism—he goeth to

Peace. (71)

This is the ETERNAL state, Ο son of Prithā. Having attained thereto none is bewildered. Who, even at the death hour, is established therein, he goeth to the Nirvāna of the ETERNAL. (72)

Thus in the glorious Upanishats of the BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ, the science of the ETERNAL, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Shri Krishna and Arjuna, the second discourse, entitled

YOGA BY THE SĀNKHYA


THIRD DISCOURSE. 43

Go to Contents

THIRD DISCOURSE.

Arjuna said:

If it be thought by Thee that knowledge is superior to action, Ο Janārdana, why dost Thou, Ο Keshava, enjoin on me this terrible action? (1)

With these perplexing words Thou only confusest my understanding; [1] therefore tell me with certainty the one way by which I may reach bliss. (2)

The Blessed Lord said:

In this world there is a twofold path, as I before said, Ο sinless one: that of yoga by knowledge, of the Sānkhyas; and that of yoga by action, of the Yogīs. (3)


[1] Buddhi.

44THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

Man winneth not freedom from action by abstaining from activity, nor by mere renunciation doth he rise to perfection. (4)

Nor can anyone, even for an instant, remain really actionless; for helplessly is everyone driven to action by the qualities [1] born of nature. [2] (5)

Who sitteth, controlling the organs of action, but dwelling in his mind [3] on the objects of the senses, that bewildered man is called a hypocrite. (6)

But who, controlling the senses by the mind, [3] Ο Arjuna, with the organs of action without attachment, performeth yoga by action, [4] he is worthy. (7)

Perform thou right [5] action, for action is superior to inaction, and, inactive,


[1] Gunas.    [2] Prakriti.    [3] Manah.
[4] Karma-Yoga is the consecration of physical energy on the divine Altar; i.e., the using of one's organs of action simply in service, in obedience to Law and Duty.
[5] Regulated, prescribed as a duty; or, regularly.

THIRD DISCOURSE. 45

even the maintenance of thy body would not be possible. (8)

The world is bound by action, unless performed for the sake of sacrifice; for that sake, free from attachment, Ο son of Kuntī, perform thou action. (9)

Having in ancient times emanated mankind together with sacrifice, the Lord of emanation [1] said: "By this shall ye propagate; be this to you the giver of desires; [2] (10)

"With this nourish ye the Shining Ones, and may the Shining Ones nourish you; thus nourishing one another, ye shall reap the supremest good. (11)

"For nourished by sacrifice, the Shining Ones shall bestow on you the enjoyments you desire." Α thief verily is he who enjoyeth what is given by Them without returning Them aught. (12)


[1] Prajāpati.
[2] Kāmadhuk, the cow of India, from which each could milk what he wished for; hence the giver of desired objects.

46THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

The righteous, who eat the remains of the sacrifice, are freed from all sins; but the impious, who dress food for their own sakes, they verily eat sin. (13)

From food creatures become; from rain is the production of food; rain proceedeth from sacrifice; sacrifice ariseth out of action. (14)

Know thou that from Brahma [1] action groweth, and Brahma from the Imperishable cometh. Therefore the ETERNAL, the all-permeating, is ever present in sacrifice. (15)

He who on earth doth not follow the wheel thus revolving, sinful of life and rejoicing in the senses, he, Ο son of Prithā, liveth in vain. (16)

But the man who rejoiceth in the SELF with the SELF is satisfied, and is content in the SELF, for him verily there is nothing to do; (17)


[1] An Indian of much knowledge translates Brahma here as the "the Vedas."

THIRD DISCOURSE. 47

For him there is no interest in things done in this world, nor any in things not done, nor doth any object of his depend on any being. (18)

Therefore, without attachment, constantly perform action which is duty, for, by performing action without attachment, man verily reacheth the Supreme. (19)

Janaka and others indeed attained to perfection by action; then having an eye to the welfare of the world also, thou shouldst perform action. (20)

Whatsoever a great man doeth, that other men also do; the standard he setteth up, by that the people go. (21)

There is nothing in the three worlds, Ο Pārtha, that should be done by Me, nor anything unattained that might be attained; yet I mingle in action. (22)

For if I mingled not ever in action unwearied,

48THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

men all around would follow My path, Ο son of Prithā. (23)

These worlds would fall into ruin, if I did not perform action; I should be the author of confusion of castes, and should destroy these creatures. (24)

As the ignorant act from attachment to action, Ο Bhārata, so should the wise act without attachment, desiring the welfare of the world. (25)

Let no wise man unsettle the mind of ignorant people attached to action; but acting in harmony with Me let him render all action attractive. (26)

All actions are wrought by the qualities [1] of nature only. The self, deluded by egoism, [2] thinketh:"I am the doer." (27)

But he, Ο mighty-armed, who knoweth the essence of the divisions of the qualities and functions, holding that "the


[1] Gunas.
[2] Ahamkāra, the separate "I am."

THIRD DISCOURSE. 49

qualities move amid the qualities," [1] is not attached. (28)

Those deluded by the qualities of nature are attached to the functions of the qualities. The man of perfect knowledge should not unsettle the foolish whose knowledge is imperfect. (29)

Surrendering all actions to Me, with thy thoughts resting on the supreme SELF, from hope and egoism freed, and of mental fever cured, engage in battle. (30)

Who abide ever in this teaching of Mine, full of faith and free from cavilling, they too are released from actions, (30)

Who carp at My teaching and act not thereon, senseless, deluded in all


[1] The Gunas, qualities, as sense-organs move amid the Gunas, qualities, as sense-objects. Α suggested reading is "The functions dwell in the propensities."
[2] Shankarāchārya says, "of the class of qualities and the class of actions;" or the arrangement, or relations, of qualities and actions.

50THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

knowledge, know thou these mindless ones as fated to be destroyed. (32)

Even the man of knowledge behaves in conformity with his own nature; beings follow nature; what shall restraint avail? (33)

Affection and aversion for the objects of sense abide in the senses; let none come under the dominion of these two; they are obstructors of the path. (34)

Better one's own duty [1] though destitute of merit, than the duty [1] of another, well-discharged. Better death in the discharge of one's own duty; [1] the duty [1] of another is full of danger. (35)

Arjuna said:

But dragged on by what does a man commit sin, reluctantly indeed, Ο Vārshneya, as it were by force constrained? (36


[1] Dharma.

THIRD DISCOURSE. 51

The Blessed Lord said:

It is desire, it is wrath, begotten by the quality of motion; [1] all-consuming, all-polluting, know thou this as our foe here on earth. (37)

As a flame is enveloped by smoke, as a mirror by dust, as an embryo is wrapped by the amnion, so This [2] is enveloped by it. (38)

Enveloped is wisdom by this constant enemy of the wise in the form of desire, which is insatiable as a flame. (39)

The senses, the mind [3] and the Reason [4] are said to be its seat; by these enveloping wisdom it bewilders the dweller in the body. (40)

Therefore, Ο best of the Bhāratas, mastering first the senses, do thou slay this thing of sin, destructive of wisdom and knowledge. (41)


[1] Rajah.
[2] The universe: "This" as opposed to "ΤΗΑΤ," the ETERNAL. Some say "This" stands for "knowledge."
[3] Manah.    [4] Buddhi.

52THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

It is said that the senses are great; greater than the senses is the mind: [1] greater than the mind [1] is the Reason; [2] but what is greater than the Reason, [2] is HE. [3] (42)

Thus understanding Him as greater than the Reason, [2] restraining the self by the SELF, slay thou, Ο mighty armed, the enemy in the form of desire, difficult to overcome. (42)

Thus in the glorious Upanishats of the BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ the science of the ΕTERNAL, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Shri Krishna and Arjuna, the third discourse, entitled

THE YOGA OF ACTION.


[1] Μanah.
[2] Buddhi.    [3] The Supreme.


FOURTH DISCOURSE.53

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FOURTH DISCOURSE.

The Blessed Lord said:

This imperishable yoga I declared to Vivasvān; Vivasvān taught it to Manu; Manu to Ikshvāku told it. (1)

This, handed on down the line, the King-Sages knew. This yoga by great efflux of time decayed in the world, Ο Parantapa. (2)

This same ancient yoga hath been to-day declared to thee by Me, for thou art My devotee and My friend; it is the supreme Secret. (3)

Arjuna said:

Later was Thy birth, earlier the birth of Vivasvān; how then am I to understand that Thou declaredst it in the beginning? (4)

54THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

The Blessed Lord said:

Many births have been left behind by Me and by thee, Ο Arjuna. I know them all, but thou Knowest not thine, Ο Parantapa. (5)

Though unborn, the imperishable SELF, and also the Lord of all beings, brooding over nature, which is Mine own, yet I am born through My own Power. [1] (6)

Whenever there is decay of righteousness, [2] Ο Bhārata, and there is exaltation of unrighteousness, [3] then I Myself come forth; (7)

For the protection of the good, for the destruction of evil-doers, for the sake of firmly establishing righteousness, [2] I am born from age to age. (8)


[1] Māyā, the power of thought that produces form, which is transient and therefore unreal compared with the eternal Reality; hence Māyā comes to be taken as the power of producing illusion.
[2] Dharma.
[3] Αdharma, the opposite of dharma, all that is disorderly, against the nature of things.

FOURTH DISCOURSE.55

He who thus knoweth My divine birth and action, in its essence, having abandoned the body, cometh not to birth again, but cometh unto Me, Ο Arjuna. (9)

Freed from passion, fear and anger, filled with Me, taking refuge in Me, purified in the fire [1] of wisdom, many have entered into My Being. (10)

However men approach Me, even so do I welcome them, for the path men take from every side is Mine, Ο Pārtha. (11)

They who long after success in action on earth worship the Shining Ones; for in brief space verily, in this world of men, success is born of action. (12)

The four castes were emanated by Me, by the different distribution of qualities [2] and actions; know Me to be the author of them, though the actionless and inexhaustible. (13)


[1] Tapas, from tap, blazing like fire.
[2] Gunas.

56THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

Nor do actions affect Me, nor is the fruit of action desired by Me. He who thus knoweth Me is not bound by actions. (14)

Having thus known, our forefathers, ever seeking liberation, performed action; therefore do thou also perform action, as did our forefathers in the olden time. (15)

"What is action, what inaction?" Even the wise are herein perplexed. Therefore I will declare to thee the action by knowing which thou shalt be loosed from evil. (16)

It is needful to discriminate action, to discriminate unlawful action, and to discriminate inaction; mysterious is the path of action. (17)

He who seeth inaction in action, and action in inaction, he is wise among men, he is harmonious, even while performing all action. (18)

Whose works are all free from the

FOURTH DISCOURSE.57

moulding of desire, whose actions are burned up by the fire of wisdom, him the wise have called a Sage. (19)

Having abandoned attachment to the fruit of action, always content, nowhere seeking refuge, he is not doing anything, although doing actions. (20)

Hoping for naught, his mind and self controlled, having abandoned all greed, performing action by the body alone, he doth not commit sin. (21)

Content with whatsoever he obtaineth without effort, free from the pairs of opposites, without envy, balanced in success and failure, though acting he is not bound. (22)

Of one with attachment dead, harmonious, with his thoughts established in wisdom, his works sacrifices, all action melts away. (23)

The ETERNAL the oblation, the ETERNAL the clarified butter, are

58THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

offered in the ETERNAL the fire by the ETERNAL; unto the ETERNAL verily shall he go who in his action meditateth wholly upon the ETERNAL. [1] (24)

Some Yogīs offer up sacrifice to the Shining Ones; [2] others sacrifice only by pouring sacrifice into the fire of the ETERNAL; (25)

Some pour as sacrifice hearing and the other senses into the fires of restraint; some pour sound and the other objects of sense into the fires of the senses as sacrifice; (26)

Others again into the wisdom-kindled fire of union attained by self-control, pour as sacrifice all the functions of the senses and the functions of life; (27)

Yet others the sacrifice of wealth, the sacrifice of austerity, the sacrifice


[1] He who sees the ETERNAL beneath the transitory alone goes to the ETERNAL; all others remain bound in the world of forms.
[2] Literally divine sacrifice.

FOURTH DISCOURSE.59

of yoga, the sacrifice of silent reading and wisdom, men concentrated and of effectual vows; (28)

Yet others pour as sacrifice the out-going breath in the incoming, and the incoming in the outgoing, restraining the flow of the outgoing and incoming breaths, solely absorbed in the control of breathing; [1] (29)

Others, regular in food, pour as sacrifice their life-breaths in life-breaths. All these are knowers of sacrifice, and by sacrifice have destroyed their sins. (30)

The eaters of the life-giving [2] remains of sacrifice go to the changeless ETERNAL. This world is not for the non-sacrificer, much less the other, Ο best of the Kurus. (31)


[1] Prānāyāma, restraint of breath, a technical name for this practice.
[2] Amrita; it is the elixir of immortality, and the amrita-remains, therefore, are foods that give immortality.

60THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

Many and various sacrifices are thus spread out before the ETERNAL. [1] Know thou that all these are born of action, and thus knowing thou shalt be free. (32)

Better than the sacrifice of any objects is the sacrifice of wisdom, Ο Parantapa. All actions in their entirety, Ο Pārtha, culminate in wisdom. (33)

Learn thou this by discipleship, [2] by investigation, and by service. The wise, the seers of the Essence of things, will instruct thee in wisdom. (34)

And having known this, thou shalt not again fall into this confusion, Ο Pāndava; for by this thou wilt see all beings without exception in the SELF, and thus in Me. (35)

Even if thou art the most sinful of all


[1] "In the Vedas" is another interpretation.
[2] Literally, falling at the feet, i.e., the feet of the teacher.

FOURTH DISCOURSE.61

sinners, yet shalt thou cross over all sin by the raft of wisdom. (36)

As the burning fire reduces fuel to ashes, Ο Arjuna, so doth the fire of wisdom reduce all actions to ashes. (37)

Verily there is no purifier in this world like wisdom; he that is perfected in yoga finds it in the SELF in due season. (38)

The man who is full of faith [1] obtaineth wisdom, and he also who hath mastery over his senses; and, having obtained wisdom, he goeth swiftly to the supreme Peace. (39)

But the ignorant, faithless, doubting self goeth to destruction; nor this world, nor that beyond, nor happiness, is there for the doubting self. (40)

He who bath renounced actions by yoga, who hath cloven asunder doubt


[1]Who is intent upon faith.

62THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

by wisdom, who is ruled by the SELF, [1] actions do not bind him, Ο Dhananjaya. (41)

Therefore, with the sword of the wisdom of the SELF cleaving asunder this ignorance-born doubt, dwelling in thy heart, be established in yoga. Stand up, Ο Bhārata. (42)

Thus in the glorious Upanishats of the BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ the science of the ΕTERNAL, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Shri Krishna and Arjuna, the fourth discourse, entitled:

THE YOGA OF WISDOM.


[1] Madhusūdana explains ātmavantam as "always watchful."


FIFTH DISCOURSE. 63

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FIFTH DISCOURSE.

Arjuna said:

Renunciation of actions Thou praisest, Ο Krishna, and then also yoga. Of the two which one is the better? That tell me conclusively. (1)

The Blessed Lord said:

Renunciation and yoga by action both lead to the highest bliss; of the two, yoga by action is verily better than renunciation of action. (2)

He should be known as a perpetual ascetic, [1] who neither hateth nor desireth; free from the pairs of opposites, Ο mighty-armed, he is easily set free from bondage. (3)


[1] Sannyāsī; one who renounces all,

64THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ

Children, not Sages, speak of the Sānkhya [1] and the Yoga [2] as different; he who is duly established in one obtaineth the fruits of both. (4)

That place which is gained by the Sānkhyas is reached by the Yogīs also. He seeth, who seeth that the Sānkhya and the Yoga are one. (5)

But without yoga, Ο mighty-armed, renunciation is hard to attain to; the yoga-harmonised Muni swiftly goeth to the ETERNAL. (6)

He who is harmonised by yoga, the self-purified, SELF-ruled, the senses subdued, whose SELF is the SELF of all beings, although acting he is not affected. (7)

"I do not anything," should think the harmonised one, who knoweth the Essence of things; seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, moving, sleeping, breathing, (8)


[1] See footnote page 34.
[2] Ibid.

FIFTH DISCOURSE. 65

speaking, giving, grasping, opening and closing the eyes, he holdeth: "The senses move among the objects of the senses." (9)

He who acteth, placing all actions in the ETERNAL, abandoning attachment, is unaffected by sin as a lotus leaf by the waters. (10)

Yogīs, having abandoned attachment, perform action only by the body, by the mind, [1] by the Reason, [2] and even by the senses, for the purification of the self. (11)

The harmonised man, having abandoned the fruit of action, attaineth to the eternal Peace; the non-harmonised, impelled by desire, attached to fruit, are bound. (12)

Mentally renouncing all actions, the sovereign dweller in the body resteth


[1] Manah.
[2] Buddhi.

66THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

serenely in the nine-gated city, [1] neither acting nor causing to act. (13)

The Lord of the world produceth not the idea of agency, nor actions, nor the union together of action and its fruit; nature, however, manifesteth. (14)

The Lord accepteth neither the evil doing nor yet the well-doing of any. Wisdom is enveloped by unwisdom; therewith mortals are deluded. (15)

Verily, in whom unwisdom is destroyed by the wisdom of the SELF, in them wisdom, shining as the sun, reveals the Supreme. (16)

Thinking on THAT, merged in THAT, established in THAT, solely devoted to THAT, they go whence there is no return, their sins dispelled by wisdom. (17)

Sages look equally on a Brāhmana adorned with learning and humility, a


[1] The body, often called the city of the ΕTERNAL.

FIFTH DISCOURSE. 67

cow, an elephant, and even a dog and an outcaste. [1] (18)

Even here on earth everything is overcome by those whose mind [2] remains balanced; the ETERNAL is incorruptible and balanced; therefore they are established in the ETERNAL. (19)

With Reason [3] firm, unperplexed, the knower of the ETERNAL established in the ETERNAL, neither rejoiceth on obtaining what is pleasant, nor sorroweth on obtaining what is unpleasant. (20)

He, whose self is unattached to external contacts and findeth joy in the SELF, having the self harmonised with the ETERNAL by yoga, enjoys imperishable bliss. (21)

The delights that are contact-born, they are verily wombs of pain, for they have beginning and ending, Ο Kaunteya;


[1] A Shvapāka, the lowest class of outcastes.
[2] Manah.    [3] Buddhi,

68THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

not in them may rejoice the wise. (22)

He who is able to endure here on earth, ere he be liberated from the body, the force born from desire and passion, he is harmonised, he is a happy man. (2]3)

He who is happy within, who rejoiceth within, who is illuminated within, that Yogī, becoming the ETERNAL, goeth to the Peace [1] of the ETERNAL. (24)

Rishis, their sins destroyed, their duality removed, their selves controlled, intent upon the welfare of all beings, obtain the Peace [1] of the ETERNAL. (25)

The Peace [1] of the ETERNAL lies near to those who know themselves, who are disjoined from desire and passion, subdued in nature, of subdued thoughts. (26)

Having external contacts excluded, and with gaze fixed between the eyebrows;


[1] Nirvāna.

FIFTH DISCOURSE. 69

having made equal the outgoing and ingoing breaths moving within the nostrils; (27)

With senses, mind, [1] and Reason [2] ever controlled, solely pursuing liberation, the Sage, having forever cast away desire, fear and passion, verily is liberated. (28)

Having known Me, as the Enjoyer of sacrifice and of austerity, the mighty Ruler of all the worlds, and the Lover of all beings, he goeth to Peace. (29)

Thus in the glorious Upanishats of the BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ the science of the ΕTERNAL, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Shri Krishna and Arjuna, the fifth discourse, entitled:

THE YOGA OF THE RENUNCIATION OF ACTION.


[1] Manah.
[2] Buddhi.


70THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

Go to Contents

SIXTH DISCOURSE.

The Blessed Lord said

He that performeth such action as is duty, independently of the fruit of action, he is an ascetic, [1] he is a Yogī, not he that is without fire, and without rites. (1)

That which is called renunciation know thou that as yoga, Ο Pāndava; nor doth any one become a Yogī with the formative will [2] unrenounced. (2)

For a Sage who is seeking Yoga, action is called the means; for the


[1] The ascetic, the Sannyāsī, lights no sacrificial fire, and performs no sacrifices nor ceremonies; but merely to omit these, without true renunciation, is not to be a real ascetic.
[2] Sankalpa, the imaginative faculty that makes plans for the future

SIXTH DISCOURSE. 71

same Sage, when he is enthroned in yoga, serenity is called the means. (3)

When a man feeleth no attachment either for the objects of sense or for actions, renouncing the formative will, [1] then, he is said to be enthroned in yoga. (4)

Let him raise the self by the SELF and not let the self become depressed; for verily is the SELF the friend of the self, and also the SELF the self's enemy; (5)

The SELF is the friend of the self of him in whom the self by the SELF is vanquished; but to the unsubdued self [2] the SELF verily becometh hostile as an enemy. (6)

The higher Self of him who is SELF-controlled and peaceful is uniform in cold and heat, pleasure and pain, as well as in honour and dishonour. (7)


[1] Sankalpa.

[2] Literally, the non-self.

72THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

The Yogī [1] who is satisfied with wisdom and knowledge, unwavering, [2] whose senses are subdued, to whom a lump of earth, a stone and gold are the same, is said to be harmonised. (8)

He who regards impartially lovers, friends, and foes, strangers, neutrals, foreigners and relatives, also the righteous and unrighteous, he excelleth. (9)

Let the Yogī constantly engage himself in yoga, remaining in a secret place by himself, with thought and self subdued, free from hope and greed. (10)

In a pure place, established on a fixed seat of his own, neither very much raised nor very low, made of a cloth, a black antelope skin, and kusha grass, one over the other, (11)


[1] The word Yogī is used for anyone who is practising yoga, as well as for the man who has attained union.

[2] Literally, rock-seated.

SIXTH DISCOURSE. 73

there, having made the mind [1]one-pointed, with thought and the functions of the senses subdued, steady on his seat, he should practise yoga for the purification of the self. (12)

Holding the body, head, and neck erect, immovably steady, looking fixedly at the point of the nose, with unseeing gaze, (13)

The self serene, fearless, firm in the vow of the Brahmachārī, [2] the mind [1] controlled, thinking on Me, harmonised, let him sit aspiring after Me. (14)

The Yogī, ever united thus with the SELF, with the mind [1] controlled, goeth to Peace, to the supreme Bliss [3] that abideth in Me. (15)

Verily yoga is not for him who eateth too much, nor who abstaineth


[1] Manah.
[2] Α Brahmachārī is a man who is keeping the vow of continence, a celibate.
[3] Nirvāna.

74THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

to excess, nor who is too much addicted to sleep, nor even to wakefulness, Ο Arjuna. (16)

Yoga killeth out all pain for him who is regulated in eating and amusement, regulated in performing actions, regulated in sleeping and waking. (17)

When his subdued thought is fixed on the SELF, free from longing after all desirable things, then it is said, "he is harmonised." (18)

As a lamp in a windless place flickereth not, to such is likened the Yogī of subdued thought, absorbed in the yoga of the SELF. (19)

That in which the mind finds rest, quieted by the practice of yoga; that in which he, seeing the SELF by the SELF, in the SELF is satisfied; (20)

That in which he findeth the supreme delight which the Reason [1] can grasp beyond the senses, wherein


[1] Buddhi.

SIXTH DISCOURSE, 75

established he moveth not from the Reality; (21)

Which, having obtained, he thinketh there is no greater gain beyond it; wherein established, he is not shaken even by heavy sorrow; (22)

That should be known by the name of yoga, this disconnection from the union with pain. This yoga must be clung to with a firm conviction and with undesponding mind. [1] (23)

Abandoning without reserve all desires born of the imagination, [2] by the mind [3] curbing in the aggregate of the senses on every side, (24)

Little by little let him gain tranquillity, by means of Reason [4] controlled by steadiness; having made the mind [3] abide in the SELF, let him not think of anything. (25)

As often as the wavering and unsteady mind [3] goeth forth, so often


[1] Chetah.    [2] Sankalpa.
[3] Manah.    [4] Buddhi.

76THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

reining it in, let him bring it under the control of the SELF. (26)

Supreme joy is for this Yogī whose mind [1] is peaceful, whose passion-nature is calmed, who is sinless and of the nature of the ETERNAL. (27)

The Yogī who thus, ever harmonising the self, hath put away sin, he easily enjoyeth the infinite bliss of contact with the ETERNAL. (28)

The self, harmonised by yoga, seeth the SELF abiding in all beings, all beings in the SELF; everywhere he seeth the same. (29)

He who seeth Me everywhere, and seeth everything in Me, of him will I never lose hold, and he shall never lose hold of Me. (30)

He who, established in unity, worshippeth Me, abiding in all beings, that Yogī liveth in Me, whatever his mode of living. (31)


[1] Manah.

SIXTH DISCOURSE. 77

He who, through the likeness of the SELF, [1] Ο Arjuna, seeth equality in everything, whether pleasant or painful, he is considered a perfect Yogī. (32)

Arjuna said:

This yoga which Thou hast declared to be by equanimity, Ο Madhusūdana. I see not a stable foundation for it, owing to restlessness; (33)

For the mind [2] is verily restless, Ο Krishna; it is impetuous, strong and difficult to bend. I deem it as hard to curb as the wind. (34)

The Blessed Lord said:

Without doubt, Ο mighty-armed, the mind [2] is hard to curb and restless; but it may be curbed by constant practice and by dispassion. (35)

Yoga is hard to attain, methinks, by a self that is uncontrolled; but by


[1] The same SELF shining in the heart of each.
[2] Manah.

78THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

the SELF-controlled it is attainable by properly directed energy. (36)

Arjuna said

He who is unsubdued but who possesseth faith, with the mind [1] wandering away from yoga, failing to attain perfection in yoga, what path doth he tread, Ο Krishna? (37)

Fallen from both, is he destroyed like a rent cloud, unsteadfast, Ο mighty-armed, deluded in the path of the ETERNAL? (38)

Deign, Ο Krishna, to completely dispel this doubt of mine; for there is none to be found save Thyself able to destroy this doubt. (39)

The Blessed Lord said:

Ο son of Prithā, neither in this world nor in the life to come is there destruction for him; never doth any who worketh righteousness, Ο beloved, tread the path of woe. (40)


[1] Manah.

SIXTH DISCOURSE. 79

Having attained to the worlds of the pure-doing, and having dwelt there for immemorial years, he who fell from yoga is reborn in a pure and blessed house; (41)

Or he may even be born into a family of wise Yogīs; but such a birth as that is most difficult to obtain in this world. (42)

There he recovereth the characteristics belonging to his former body, and with these he again laboureth for perfection, O joy of the Kurus. (43)

By that former practice he is irresistibly swept away. Only wishing to know yoga, even the seeker after yoga goeth beyond the Brāhmic word; [1] (44)

But the Yogī, labouring with assiduity, purified from sin, fully perfected through manifold births, he reacheth the supreme goal. (45)


[1] The Vedas.

80THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

The Yogī is greater than the ascetics; he is thought to be greater than even the wise; the Yogī is greater than the men of action; therefore become thou a Yogī, Ο Arjuna! (46)

And among all Yogīs, he who full of faith, with the inner SELF abiding in Me, adoreth Me, he is considered by Me to be the most completely harmonised. (47)

Thus in the glorious Upanishats of the BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ the science of the ΕTERNAL, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Shri Krishna and Arjuna, the sixth discourse, entitled:

THE YOGA OF SELF-SUBDUAL.


SEVENTH DISCOUKSE.81

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SEVENTH DISCOURSE.

The Blessed Lord said:

With the mind [1] clinging to me, Ο Pārtha, performing yoga, refuged in Me, how thou shalt without doubt know Me to the uttermost, that hear thou. (1)

I will declare to thee this knowledge and wisdom in its completeness, which, having known, there is nothing more here needeth to be known. (2)

Among thousands of men scarce one striveth for perfection; of the successful strivers scarce one knoweth Me in essence. (3)

Earth, water, fire, air, ether, Mind, [1] and Reason [2] also and Egoism [3]—these


[1] Manah.    [2] Buddhi.
[3] Ahankāra (Ahamkāra).

82THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

are the eightfold division of My nature. [1] (4)

This the inferior. Know My other nature, [1] the higher, the life-element, Ο mighty-armed, by which the universe is upheld. (5)

Know this to be the womb of all beings. I am the source of the forthgoing of the whole universe and likewise the place of its dissolving. (6)

There is naught whatsoever higher than I, Ο Dhananjaya. All this is threaded on Me, as rows of pearls on a string. (7)

I the rapidity in waters, Ο son of Kuntī, I the radiance in moon and sun; the Word of Power [2] in all the Vedas, sound in ether, and virility in men; (8)


[1] Prakriti, matter in the widest sense of the term, including all that has extension. The "Higher Prakriti," of the next verse, is sometimes called Daiviprakriti, the Light of the Logos.
[2] The Pranava, the Aum.

SEVENTH DISCOURSE.83

The pure fragrance of earths and the brilliance in fire am I; the life in all beings am I, and the austerity in ascetics. (9)

Know Me, Ο Pārtha! as the eternal seed of all beings. I am the Reason [1] of the Reason [1]-endowed, the splendour of splendid things am I. (10)

And I the strength of the strong, devoid of desire and passion. In beings I am desire not contrary to duty, [2] Ο Lord of the Bhāratas. (11)

The natures that are harmonious, active, slothful, [3] these know as from Me; not I in them, but they in Me. (12)

All this world, deluded by these natures made by the three qualities, [4]


[1] Buddhi.    [2] Dharma.
[3] Sāttvic, rājasic, tāmasic, that is, those in whom one of the three qualities, Sattva, Rajah, Tamah predominates.
[4] Gunas.

84THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

knoweth not Me, above these, imperishable. (13)

This divine illusion [1] of Mine, caused by the qualities, [2] is hard to pierce; they who come to Me, they cross over this illusion. [1] (14)

The evil-doing, the deluded, the vilest men, they come not to Me, they whose wisdom is destroyed by illusion, [1] who have embraced the nature of demons. [3] (15)

Fourfold in division are the righteous ones who worship me, Ο Arjuna: the suffering, the seeker for knowledge, the self-interested and the wise, Ο Lord of the Bhāratas. (16)

Of these the wise constantly harmonised, worshipping the One, is the best; I am supremely dear to the wise, and he is dear to Me. (17)

Noble are all these, but I hold the


[1] Μāγā.    [2] Gunas.
[3] Asuras, the opponents of the Suras, or angels.

SEVENTH DISCOURSE.85

wise as verily Myself; he, SELF-united is fixed on Me, the highest Path. (18)

At the close of many births the man full of wisdom cometh unto Me; "Vāsudeva [1] is all," saith he, the Mahātmā, very difficult to find. (19)

They whose wisdom hath been rent away by desires go forth to other Shining Ones, resorting to various external observances, according to their own natures. (20)

Any devotee who seeketh to worship with faith any such aspect, I verily bestow the unswerving faith of that man. (21)

He, endowed with that faith, seeketh the worship of such a one, and from him he obtaineth his desires, I verily decreeing the benefits; (22)

Finite indeed the fruit; that belongeth to those who are of small intelligence. To the Shining Ones go


[1] Α name for Shri Krishna, as the son of Vasudeva.

86THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

the worshippers of the Shining Ones, but my devotees come unto Me. (23)

Those devoid of Reason [1] think of Me, the unmanifest, as having manifestation, knowing not My supreme nature, imperishable, most excellent. (24)

Nor am I of all discovered, enveloped in My creation-illusion. [2] This deluded world knoweth Me not, the unborn, the imperishable. (25)

I know the beings that are past, that are present, that are to come, Ο Arjuna, but no one knoweth Me. (26)

By the delusion of the pairs of opposites, sprung from attraction and repulsion, Ο Bhārata, all beings walk this universe wholly deluded, Ο Parantapa. (27)

But those men of pure deeds, in


[1] Buddhi.
[2] Yoga-Māyā, the creative power of Yoga, all things being the thought-forms of the One.

SEVENTH DISCOURSE.87

whom sin is come to an end, they, freed from the delusive pairs of opposites, worship Me, steadfast in vows. (28)

They who refuged in Me strive for liberation from birth and death, they know the ETERNAL, the whole SELF-knowledge, and all action. (29)

They who know Me as the knowledge of the elements, as that of the Shining Ones, and as that of the Sacrifice, [1] they, harmonised in mind, know Me verily even in the time of forthgoing. [2] (30)

Thus in the glorious Upanishats of the BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ the science of the ΕTERNAL, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Shri Krishna and Arjuna, the seventh discourse, entitled:

THE YOGA OF DISCRIMINATIVE KNOWLEDGE.


[1] These six terms are: Brahman, Adhyātmā, Karma, Adhibhūta, Adhidaiva, Adhiyajna.
[2] Death—going forth from the body.


88THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

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EIGHTH DISCOURSE.

Arjuna said:

What is that ETERNAL, [1] what SELF knowledge, [2] what Action, [3] Ο Purushottama? And what is declared to be the knowledge of the Elements, [4] what is called the knowledge of the Shining Ones? [5] (1)

What is the knowledge of Sacrifice [6] in this body, and how, Ο Madhusūdana? And how, at the time of forthgoing art Thou known by the SELF-controlled? (2)

The Blessed Lord said:

The indestructible, the supreme is the ETERNAL; [1] His essential nature is called SELF-knowledge; [2] the emanation


[1] Brahman.    [2] Adhyātmā.
[3]Karma.    [4] Adhibhūta.
[5] Adhidaiva.    [6] Adhiyajna.

EIGHTH DISCOURSE. 89

that causes the birth of beings is named Action; [1] (3)

Knowledge of the Elements [2] concerns My perishable nature, and knowledge of the Shining Ones [3] concerns the life-giving energy; [4] the knowledge of Sacrifice [5] tells of Me, as wearing the body, Ο best of living beings. (4)

And he who, casting off the body, goeth forth thinking upon Me only at the time of the end, he entereth into My being: there is no doubt of that. (5)

Whosoever at the end abandoneth the body, thinking upon any being, to that being only he goeth, Ο Kaunteya, ever to that conformed in nature. (6)

Therefore at all times think upon Me only, and fight. With mind [6] and Reason [7] set on Me, without doubt thou shalt come to Me. (7)


[1] Karma.    [2] Adhibhūta.    [3] Adhidaiva.
[4] Purusha, the male creative energy. The supreme Purusha is the Divine Man, the manifested God.
[5] Adhiyajna.    [6] Manah.    [7] Buddhi.

90THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

With the mind [1] not wandering after aught else, harmonised by continual practice, constantly meditating, Ο Pārtha, one goeth to the Spirit supreme, divine. (8)

He who thinketh upon the Ancient, the Omniscient, the All-Ruler, minuter than the minute, the supporter of all, of form unimaginable, refulgent as the sun beyond the darkness, (9)

In the time of forthgoing, with unshaken mind, [2] fixed in devotion, by the power of yoga drawing together his life-breath in the centre of the two eye brows, he goeth to this Spirit, supreme, divine. (10)

That which is declared indestructible by the Veda-knowers, that which the controlled and passion-free enter, that desiring which Brahmachārya [3] is performed, that path I will declare to thee with brevity. (11)


[1] Chetah.
[2] Manah.
[3] The vow of continence.

EIGHTH DISCOURSE. 91

All the gates [1] closed, the mind confined in the heart, the life-breath fixed in his own head, concentrated by yoga. (12)

"Aum!" the one-syllabled ETERNAL, reciting, thinking upon Me, he who goeth forth, abandoning the body, he goeth on the highest path. (13)

He who constantly thinketh upon Me, not thinking ever of another, of him I am easily reached, Ο Pārtha, of this ever-harmonised Yogī. (14)

Having come to Me, these Mahātmās come not again to birth, the place of pain, non-eternal; they have gone to the highest bliss. (15)

The worlds, beginning with the world of Brahmā, they come and go, Ο Arjuna; but he who cometh unto me, Ο Kaunteya, he knoweth birth no more. (16)

The people who know the day of

[1] The gates of the body, i.e., the sense-organs.

92THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

Brahmā, a thousand ages [1] in duration, and the night, a thousand ages in ending, they know day and night, (17)

From the unmanifested all the manifested stream forth at the coming of day; at the coming of night they dissolve, even in That called the unmanifested. (18)

This multitude of beings, going forth repeatedly, is dissolved at the coming of night: by ordination, Ο Pārtha, it streams forth at the coming of day. (19)

Therefore verily there existeth, higher than that unmanifested, another unmanifested, eternal, which, in the destroying of all beings, is not destroyed. (20)

That unmanifested, "the Indestructible," It is called; It is named the highest Path. They who reach It return not. That is My supreme abode. (21)


[1] Yugas.

EIGHTH DISCOURSE. 93

He, the highest Spirit, [1] Ο Pārtha, may be reached by unswerving devotion to Him alone, in whom all beings abide, by whom all This [2] is pervaded. (22)

That time wherein going forth Yogīs return not, and also that wherein going forth they return, that time shall I declare to thee, Ο prince of the Bhāratas. (23)

Fire, light, day-time, the bright fortnight, the six months of the northern path [3]—then, going forth, the men who know the ETERNAL go to the ETERNAL. (24)

Smoke, night-time, the dark fortnight also, the six months of the southern path [3]—then the Yogī, obtaining the moonlight, [4] returneth. (25)


[1] Purusha.
[2] This, the universe, in opposition to THAT, the source of all.
[3] Of the sun.
[4] The lunar, or astral body. Until this is slain the soul returns to birth.

94THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

Light and darkness, these are thought to be the world's everlasting paths; by the one he goeth who returneth not, by the other he who returneth again. (26)

Knowing these paths, Ο Pārtha, the Yogī is nowise perplexed. Therefore in all times be firm in yoga, Ο Arjuna. (27)

The fruit of meritorious deeds, attached in the Vedas to sacrifices, to austerities, and also to almsgiving, the Yogī passeth all these by having known this, and goeth to the supreme and ancient Seat. (28)

Thus in the glorious Upanishats of the BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ the science of the ΕTERNAL, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Shri Krishna and Arjuna, the eighth discourse, entitled:

THE YOGA OF THE INDESTRUCTIBLE SUPREME ETERNAL.


NINTH DISCOURSE. 93

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NINTH DISCOURSE.

The Blessed Lord said:

To thee, the uncarping, verily shall I declare this profoundest Secret, wisdom with knowledge combined, which, having known, thou shalt be freed from evil. (1)

Kingly Science, kingly Secret, supreme Purifier, this; intuitional, according to righteousness, [1] very easy to perform, imperishable. (2)

Men without faith in this knowledge, [1] O Parantapa, not reaching Me, return to the paths of this world of death. (3)

By Me all this world is pervaded in My unmanifested aspect; all beings have root in Me, I am not rooted in them. (4)


[1] Dharma.

96THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

Nor have beings root in Me; behold my sovereign Yoga! The support of beings yet not rooted in beings, My SELF their efficient cause. (5)

As the mighty air everywhere moving is rooted in the ether, [1] so all beings rest rooted in Me—thus know thou. (6)

All beings, Ο Kaunteya, enter my lower nature [2] at the end of a world age; [3] at the beginning of a world-age [3] again I emanate them. (7)

Hidden in Nature, [2] which is mine own, I emanate again and again all this multitude of beings, helpless, by the force of Nature. [2] (8)

Nor do these works bind me, Ο Dhananjaya, enthroned on high, unattached to actions. (9)

Under Me as supervisor Nature [2] sends forth the moving and unmoving:


[1] Ākāsha.    [2] Prakriti.
[3] Kalpa, a period of activity, of manifestation.

NINTH DISCOURSE..97

because of this, Ο Kaunteya, the universe revolves. (10)

The foolish disregard Me when clad in human semblance, ignorant of My supreme nature, the great Lord of beings; (11)

Empty of hope, empty of deeds, empty of wisdom, senseless, partaking of the deceitful, brutal and demoniacal nature. [1] (12)

Verily the Mahātmās, Ο Pārtha, partaking of My divine nature, [1] worship with unwavering mind, [2] having known Me, the imperishable source of beings. (13)

Always magnifying Me, strenuous, firm in vows, prostrating themselves before Me,


[1] Prakriti. The tāmasic Guna, or the dark quality of Prakriti, characterises the beings here spoken of as rākshasic and āsuric. Rākshasas were semi-human beings, brutal and bloodthirsty; Asuras were the opponents of the Devas.
[2] Manah.

98THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

they worship Me with devotion, ever harmonised. (14)

Others also, sacrificing with the sacrifice of wisdom, worship Me as the One and the Manifold everywhere present. (15)

I the oblation; I the sacrifice; I the ancestral offering; I the fire-giving herb; the mantram I; I also the butter; I the fire; the burnt-offering I; (16)

I the Father of this universe, the Mother, the Supporter, the Grandsire, the Holy One to be known, the Word of Power, [1] and also the Rik, Sāma, and Yajur, [2] (17)

The Path, Husband, Lord, Witness, Abode, Shelter, Lover, Origin, Dissolution, Foundation, Treasure-house, Seed imperishable. (18)

I give heat; I hold back and send forth the rain;


[1] Aumkāra, the sacred Word, Aum.
[2] The three Vedas.

NINTH DISCOURSE. 99

immortality and also death, being and non-being [1] am I, Arjuna. (19)

The knowers of the three, [2] the Soma drinkers, the purified from sin, worshipping Me with sacrifice, pray of Me the way to heaven; they, ascending to the holy world of the Ruler of the Shining Ones, eat in heaven the divine feasts of the Shining Ones. (20)

They, having enjoyed the spacious heaven-world, their holiness withered, [3] come back to this world of death. Following the virtues enjoined by the three, [4] desiring desires, they obtain the transitory. (21)

To those men who worship Me alone, thinking of no other, to those ever harmonious, I bring full security. (22)


[1] Sat and Asat, the final pair of opposites, beyond which is only the One.
[2] The three Vedas.
[3] The fruit of their good deeds finished, their reward exhausted.
[4] Vedas.

100THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

Even the devotees of other Shining Ones, who worship full of faith, they also worship Me, Ο son of Kuntī, though contrary to the ancient rule. (23)

I am indeed the enjoyer of all sacrifices, and also the Lord, but they know Me not in Essence, and hence they fall. (24)

They who worship the Shining Ones go to the Shining Ones; to the Ancestors [1] go the Ancestor-worshippers; to the Elementals [2] go those who sacrifice to Elementals; but My worshippers come unto Me. (25)

He who offereth to Me with devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit, water, that I accept from the striving self, offered as it is with devotion. (26)

Whatsoever thou doest, whatsoever thou eatest, whatsoever thou offerest, whatsoever thou givest, whatsoever thou doest of austerity, Ο Kaunteya, do thou that as an offering unto Me. (27)


[1] Pitris.
[2] Bhūtas, Elementals or nature-spirits.

NINTH DISCOURSE. 101

Thus shalt thou be liberated from the bonds of action, yielding good and evil fruits; thyself harmonised by the yoga of renunciation, thou shalt come unto Me when set free. (28)

The same am I to all beings; there is none hateful to me nor dear. They verily who worship Me with devotion, they are in me, and I also in them. (29)

Even if the most sinful worship Me, with undivided heart, he too must be accounted righteous, for he hath rightly resolved; (30)

Speedily he becometh dutiful and goeth to eternal peace, Ο Kaunteya, know thou for certain that My devotee perisheth never. (31)

They who take refuge with Me, Ο Pārtha, though of the womb of sin, women, Vaishyas, [1] even Shūdras, [2] they also tread the highest Path. (32)


[1] The third, the merchant, caste.
[2] The fourth, the manual labouring class.

102THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

How much rather then holy Brāhmanas and devoted royal saints; having obtained this transient joyless world, worship thou Me. (33)

On Me fix thy mind; [1] be devoted to Me; sacrifice to Me; prostrate thy self before Me; harmonised thus in the SELF, thou shalt come unto Me, having Me as thy supreme goal. (34)

Thus in the glorious Upanishats of the BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ the science of the ΕTERNAL, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Shri Krishna and Arjuna, the ninth discourse, entitled:

THE YOGA OF THE KINGLY SCIENCE AND THE KINGLY SECRET.


[1] Manah.


TENTH DISCOURSE. 103

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TENTH DISCOURSE.

The Blessed Lord said:

Again, Ο mighty-armed, hear thou My supreme word, that, desiring thy welfare, I will declare to thee who art beloved. (1)

The multitude of the Shining Ones, or the great Rishis, [1] know not My forthcoming, for I am the beginning of all the Shining Ones and the great Rishis. (2)

He who knoweth Me, unborn, beginningless, the great Lord of the world, he, among mortals without delusion, is liberated from all sin. (3)

Reason, [2] wisdom, non-illusion, forgiveness,


[1] Α Rishi is a man who has completed his human evolution, but who remains in the super-physical regions in touch with the earth, in order to help humanity.
[2] Buddhi.

104THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

truth, self-restraint, calmness, pleasure, pain, existence, non-existence, fear, and also courage, (4)

Harmlessness, equanimity, content, austerity, almsgiving, fame and obloquy are the various characteristics of beings issuing from Me. (5)

The seven great Rishis, the ancient Four, [1] and also the Manus, [2] were born of My nature and mind; of them this race was generated. (6)

He who knows in essence that sovereignty and yoga of Mine, he is harmonised by unfaltering yoga; there is no doubt thereof. (7)

I am the Generator of all; all evolves from Me; understanding thus, the wise adore Me in rapt emotion. (8)

Mindful of Me, their life hidden in Me, illumining each other, ever conversing about Me, they are content and joyful. (9)


[1] The four Kumāras, or Virgin Youths, the highest in the occult Hierarchy of this earth.
[2] The heads and legislators of a race.

TENTH DISCOURSE. 105

To these, ever harmonious, worshipping in love, I give the yoga of discrimination [1] by which they come unto Me. (10)

Out of pure compassion for them, dwelling within their SELF, I destroy the ignorance-born darkness by the shining lamp of wisdom. (11)

Arjuna said:

Thou art the supreme ETERNAL, the supreme Abode, the supreme Purity, eternal, divine man, primeval Deity, unborn, the Lord! (12)

All the Rishis have thus acclaimed Thee, as also the divine Rishi, Nārada; so Asita, Devala, and Vyāsa; and now Thou Thyself tellest it me. (13)

All this I believe true that Thou sayest to me, O Keshava. Thy manifestation,


[1] Buddhi-Yoga.

106THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

O Blessed Lord, neither Shining Ones nor Dānavas [1] comprehend. (14)

Thyself indeed Knowest Thyself by Thyself, O Purushottama! Source of beings, Lord of beings, Shining One of Shining Ones, Ruler of the world! (15)

Deign to tell without reserve of Thine own divine glories, by which glories Thou remainest, pervading these worlds. (16)

How may I know thee, O Yogī, by constant meditation? In what, in what aspects art Thou to be thought of by me, O blessed Lord? (17)

In detail tell me again of Thy yoga and glory, O Janārdana; for me there is never satiety in hearing thy life-giving words. (18)

The Blessed Lord said:

Blessed be thou! I will declare to thee My divine glory by its chief characteristics,


[1] Demigods, in the Greek sense.

TENTH DISCOURSE. 107

O best of the Kurus; there is no end to details of Me. (19)

I, O Gudākesha, am the SELF, seated in the heart of all beings; I am the beginning, the middle, and also the end of all beings. (20)

Of the Ādityas I am Vishnu; of radiances the glorious sun; I am Marīchi of the Maruts; of the asterisms the Moon am I. (21)

Of the Vedas I am the Sāma-Veda; I am Vāsava of the Shining Ones; and of the senses I am the mind; [1] I am of living beings the intelligence. [2] (22)

And of the Rudras [3] Shankara am I; Vittesha of the Yakshas and Rākshasas; [4] and of the Vasus [3] I am Pāvaka; Meru of high mountains am I. (23)

And know Me, Ο Pārtha, of household priests the chief, Brihaspati; of generals I am Skanda; of lakes I am the ocean. (24)


[1] Manah.    [2] Chetanā.
[3] Celestial Beings.    [4] Semi-human beings.

108THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

Of the great Rishis Bhrigu; of speech I am the one syllable; [1] of sacrifices I am the sacrifice of silent repetitions; [2] of immovable things the Himālaya. (25)

Asvattha of all trees; and of divine Rishis Nārada; of Gandharvas [3] Chitraratha; of the perfected the Muni Kapila. (26)

Uchchaishravas of horses know me, nectar-born; [4] Airāvata of lordly elephants, and of men the Monarch. (27)

Of weapons I am the thunderbolt; of cows I am Kāmadhuk; I am Kandarpa of the progenitors; of serpents Vāsuki am I. (28)

And I am Ananta of Nāgas, [5] Varuna o£ sea-dwellers I; and of ancestors Aryamān; Yama of governors am I. (29)

And I am Prahlāda of Daityas; [6] of calculators Time am I;


[1] Om.    [2] Japa.    [3] Celestial singers.
[4] Amrita, the nectar of immortality.
[5] Serpents, who were Teachers of Wisdom.
[6] Semi-human beings.

TENTH DISCOURSE. 109

and of wild beasts I the imperial beast; [1] and Vainateya of birds. (30)

Of purifiers I am the wind; Rāma of warriors I; and I am Makara of fishes; of streams the Gangā am I. (31)

Of creations the beginning and the ending, and also the middle am I, O Arjuna. Of sciences the science concerning the SELF; the speech of orators I. (32)

Of letters the letter A I am, and the duality of a compound; [2] I also everlasting Time; I the Supporter, whose face turns everywhere. (33)

And all-devouring Death am I, and the origin of all to come; and of feminine qualities, fame, prosperity, speech, memory, intelligence, constancy, forgiveness. (34)

Of hymns also Brihatsāman; Gāyatri of metres am I;


[1] Lion.    [2] Dvandva.

110THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

of months I am Mārgashīrsha; of seasons the flowery. (35)

I am the gambling of the cheat, and the splendour of splendid things I; I am victory, I am determination, and the truth of the truthful I. (36)

Of the Vrishnis [1] Vāsudeva am I; of the Pāndavas [1] Dhananjaya; of the Sages [2] also I am Vyāsa; of poets Ushanā the Bard. (37)

Of rulers I am the sceptre; of those that seek victory I am statesmanship; and of secrets I am also silence; the knowledge of knowers am I. (38)

And whatsoever is the seed of all beings, that am I, O Arjuna; nor is there aught, moving or unmoving, that may exist bereft of Me. (39)

There is no end of My divine powers, O Parantapa. What has been declared is illustrative of My infinite glory. (40)


[1] Α family, or clan, among the Hindus.
[2] Munis.

TENTH DISCOURSE. 111

Whatsoever is glorious, good, beautiful, and mighty, understand thou that to go forth from a fragment of My splendour. (41)

But what is the knowledge of all these details to thee, Ο Arjuna? Having pervaded this whole universe with one fragment of Myself, I remain. (42)

Thus in the glorious Upanishats of the BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ the science of the ΕTERNAL, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Shri Krishna and Arjuna, the tenth discourse, entitled:

THE YOGA OF SOVEREIGNTY.


112THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

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ELEVENTH DISCOURSE.

Arjuna said:

This word of the supreme Secret concerning the SELF, Thou hast spoken out of compassion; by this my delusion is taken away. (1)

The production and destruction of beings have been heard by me in detail from Thee, Ο Lotus-eyed, and also Thy imperishable greatness. (2)

O supreme Lord, [1] even as Thou describest Thyself, Ο best of beings, I desire to see Thy Form omnipotent. (3)

If Thou thinkest that by me It can be seen, Ο Lord, Lord of Yoga, then show me Thine imperishable SELF. (4)


[1] Īshvara, the Creator and Ruler of a universe.

ELEVENTH DISCOURSE.113

The Blessed Lord said:

Behold, Ο Pārtha, a Form of Me, a hundredfold, a thousandfold, various in kind, divine, various in colours and shapes. (5)

Behold the Ādityas, the Vasus, the Rudras, the two Ashvins and also the Maruts; [1] behold many marvels never seen ere this, Ο Bhārata. (6)

Here, to-day, behold the whole universe, movable and immovable, standing in one in My body, Ο Gudākesha, with aught else thou desirest to see. (7)

But verily thou art not able to behold Me with these thine eyes; the divine eye I give unto thee. Behold My sovereign Yoga. (8)

Sanjaya said:

Having thus spoken, Ο King, the great Lord of Yoga, Hari, showed


[1] Various classes of Celestial Beings.

114THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

to Pārtha His supreme Form as Lord. [1] (9)

With many mouths and eyes, with many visions of marvel, with many divine ornaments, with many upraised divine weapons; (10)

Wearing divine necklaces and vestures, anointed with divine unguents, the God all-marvellous, boundless, with face turned everywhere. (11)

If the splendour of a thousand suns were to blaze out together in the sky, that might resemble the glory of that Mahātmā. (12)

There Pāndava beheld the whole universe, divided into manifold parts, standing in one in the body of the Deity of Deities. (13)

Then he, Dhananjaya, overwhelmed with astonishment, his hair upstanding,


[1] Īshvara.

ELEVENTH DISCOURSE.115

bowed down his head to the Shining One, and with joined palms spake. (14)

Arjuna said:

Within Thy Form, O God, the Gods I see,
All grades of beings with distinctive marks;
Brahmā, the Lord, upon His lotus throne,
The Rishis all, and Serpents, the Divine. (15)

With mouths, eyes, arms, breasts multitudinous,
I see Thee everywhere, unbounded Form.
Beginning, middle, end, nor source of Thee,
Infinite Lord, infinite Form, I find; (16)

Shining, a mass of splendour everywhere,
With discus, mace, tiara, behold;
Blazing as fire, as sun dazzling the gaze,
From all sides in the sky, immeasurable. (17)

116THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

Lofty beyond all thought, unperishing,
Thou treasure-house supreme, all-immanent;
Eternal Dharma's changeless Guardian, Thou;
As immemorial Man I think of Thee. (18)

Nor source, nor midst nor end; infinite force,
Unnumbered arms, the sun and moon Thine eyes.
I see Thy face, as sacrificial fire
Blazing, its splendour burneth up the worlds. (19)

By Thee alone are filled the earth, the heavens,
And all the regions that are stretched between;
The triple worlds sink down, O mighty One,
Before Thine awful manifested Form. (20)

ELEVENTH; DISCOURSE.117

To Thee the troops of Suras enter in,
Some with joined palms in awe invoking Thee;
Banded Maharshis, Siddhas, cry:"All hail!"
Chanting Thy praises with resounding songs. (21)

Rudras, Vasus, Sādhyas and Ādityas,
Vishvas, the Ashvins, Maruts, Ūshmapās,
Gandharvas, Yakshas, Siddhas, Asuras, [1]
In wondering multitudes beholding Thee. (22)

Thy mighty Form, with many mouths and eyes,
Long-armed, with thighs and feet innumerate,
Vast-bosomed, set with many fearful teeth,
The worlds see terror-struck, as also I. (23)


[1] Names of various grades of super-physical beings.

118THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

Radiant, Thou touchest heaven, rainbow hued,
With opened mouths and shining vast-orbed eyes.
My inmost self is quaking, having seen,
My strength is withered, Vishnu, and my peace. (24)

Like Time's destroying flames I see Thy teeth,
Upstanding, spread within expanded jaws;
Nought know I anywhere, no shelter find.
Mercy, Ο God! refuge of all the worlds! (25)

The sons of Dhritarāshtra, and with them
The multitude of all these kings of earth,
Bhīshma, and Drona, Sūta's royal son,
And all the noblest warriors of our hosts, (26)

ELEVENTH DISCOURSE.119

Into Thy gaping mouths they hurrying rush,
Tremendous-toothed and terrible to see;
Some caught within the gaps between Thy teeth
Are seen, their heads to powder crushed and ground. (27)

As river-floods impetuously rush,
Hurling their waters into ocean's lap,
So fling themselves into Thy flaming mouths,
In haste, these mighty men, these lords of earth. (28)

As moths with quickened speed will headlong fly
Into a flaming light, to fall destroyed,
So also these, in haste precipitate,
Enter within Thy mouths destroyed to fall (29)

120THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

On every side, all-swallowing, fiery tongued,
Thou lickest up mankind, devouring all;
Thy glory filleth space: the universe
Is burning, Vishnu, with Thy blazing rays. (30)

Reveal Thy SELF; what awful Form art Thou?
I worship Thee! Have mercy, God supreme!
Thine inner Being I am fain to know;
This Thy forthstreaming Life bewilders me. (31)

The Blessed Lord said:

Time am I, laying desolate the world,
Made manifest on earth to slay man kind!
Not one of all these warriors ranged for strife
Escapeth death; thou shalt alone survive. (32)

Therefore stand up! win for thyself renown,
Conquer thy foes, enjoy the wealth filled realm.
By Me they are already overcome,
Be thou the outward cause, left-handed one. (33)


ELEVENTH DISCOURSE.121

Drona and Bhīshma and Jayadratha,
Karna, and all the other warriors here,
Are slain by Me. Destroy then fearlessly.
Fight! thou shalt crush thy rivals in the field. (34)

Sanjaya said:

Having heard these words of Keshava, he who weareth a diadem, with joined palms, quaking and prostrating himself, spake again to Krishna stammering with fear, casting down his face. (35)

Arjuna said:

Hrishikesha! in Thy magnificence
Rightly the world rejoiceth; hymning Thee;
The Rākshasas to every quarter fly
In fear; the hosts of Siddhas prostrate fall. (36)

122THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

How should they otherwise, Ο loftiest SELF!
First Cause! Brahmā Himself less great than Thou.
Infinite, God of Gods, home of all worlds,
Unperishing, Sat Asat [1] THAT supreme! (37)

First of the Gods, most ancient Man Thou art,
Supreme receptacle of all that lives;
Knower and known, the dwelling-place on high;
In Thy vast Form the universe is spread. (38)

Thou art Vāyu and Yama, Agni, moon,
Varuna, Father, Grandsire of all;
Hail, hail to Thee! a thousand times all hail!
Hail unto Thee! again, again all hail!  (39)


[1] Being, Non-Being.

ELEVENTH DISCOURSE.123

Prostrate in front of Thee, prostrate behind;
Prostrate on every side to Thee, Ο All.
In power boundless, measureless in strength,
Thou holdest all: then Thou Thyself art All. (40)

If, thinking Thee but friend, importunate,
O Krishna! or Ο Yādava! Ο friend!
I cried, unknowing of Thy majesty,
And careless in the fondness of my love; (41)

If jesting, I irreverence showed to Thee,
At play, reposing, sitting or at meals,
Alone, Ο sinless One, or with my friends,
Forgive my error, Ο Thou boundless One. (42)

124THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

Father of worlds, of all that moves and stands,
Worthier of reverence than the Guru's self,
There is none like to Thee. Who passeth Thee?
Pre-eminent Thy power in all the worlds. (43)

Therefore I fall before Thee; with my body
I worship as is fitting; bless Thou me.
As father with the son, as friend with friend,
With the beloved as lover, bear with me. (44)

I have seen that which none hath seen before,
My heart is glad, yet faileth me for fear;
Show me, Ο God, Thine other Form again—
Mercy, Ο God of Gods, home of all worlds— (45)

ELEVENTH DISCOURSE.125

Diademed, mace and discus in Thy hand.
Again I fain would see Thee as before;
Put on again Thy four-armed shape, Ο Lord,
Ο thousand-armed, of forms innumerate. (46)

The Blessed Lord said:

Arjuna, by My favour thou hast seen
This loftiest Form by yoga's self revealed!
Radiant, all-penetrating, endless, first,
That none except thyself hath ever seen. (47)

Nor sacrifice, nor Vedas, alms, nor works,
Nor sharp austerity, nor study deep,
Can win the vision of this Form for man,
Foremost of Kurus, thou alone hast seen. (48)

Be not bewildered, be thou not afraid,
Because thou hast beheld this awful Form;
Cast fear away, and let thy heart rejoice;
Behold again Mine own familiar shape. (49)

126THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

Sanjaya said:

Vāsudeva, having thus spoken to Arjuna, again manifested His own Form, and consoled the terrified one, the Mahātmā again assuming a gentle form. (50)

Arjuna said:

Beholding again Thy gentle human Form, Ο Janārdana, I am now collected, and am restored to my own nature. (51)

The Blessed Lord said:

This Form of Mine beholden by thee is very hard to see. Verily the Shining Ones ever long to behold this Form. (52)

Nor can I be seen as thou hast seen Me by the Vedas, nor by austerities, nor by alms, or by offerings: (53

ELEVENTH DISCOURSE.127

But by devotion to Me alone I may thus be perceived, Arjuna, and known and seen in essence, and entered, Ο Parantapa. (54)

He who doeth actions for Me, whose supreme good I am, My devotee, freed from attachment, without hatred of any being, he cometh unto Me, Ο Pāndava. (55)

Thus in the glorious Upanishats of the BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ the science of the ΕTERNAL, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Shri Krishna and Arjuna, the eleventh discourse, entitled:

THE YOGA OF THE VISION OF THE UNIVERSAL FORM.


128THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

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TWELFTH DISCOURSE.

Arjuna said:

Those devotees who ever harmonised worship Thee, and those also who worship the Indestructible, the Unmanifested, whether of these is the more learned in yoga? (1)

The Blessed Lord said:

They who with mind [1] fixed on Me, ever harmonised worship Me, with faith supreme endowed, these in My opinion, are best in yoga. (2)

They who worship the Indestructible, the Ineffable, the Unmanifested, Omnipresent, and Unthinkable, the Unchanging, Immutable, Eternal, (3)


[1] Manah.

TWELFTH DISCOURSE.129

Restraining and subduing the senses, regarding everything equally, in the welfare of all rejoicing, these also come unto Me. (4)

The difficulty of those whose minds are set on the Unmanifested is greater; for the path of the Unmanifested is hard for the embodied to reach. (5)

Those verily who, renouncing all actions in Me and intent on Me, worship meditating on Me, with whole hearted yoga, (6)

These I speedily lift up from the ocean of death and existence, Ο Pārtha, their minds [1] being fixed on Me. (7)

Place thy mind [2] in me, into Me let thy Reason [3] enter; then without doubt thou shalt abide in Me hereafter. (8)

And if thou art not able firmly to fix thy mind [4] on Me, then by the yoga of practice seek to reach Me, Ο Dhananjaya. (9)


[1] Chetah.    [2] Manah.
[3] Buddhi.    [4] Chitta.

130THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

If also thou art not equal to constant practice, be intent on My service; performing actions for My sake, thou shalt attain perfection. (10)

If even to do this thou hast not strength, then, taking refuge in union with Me, renounce all fruit of action with the self controlled. (11)

Better indeed is wisdom than constant practice; than wisdom, meditation is better; than meditation, renunciation of the fruit of action; on renunciation follows peace. (12)

He who beareth no ill-will to any being, friendly and compassionate, without attachment and egoism, balanced in pleasure and pain, and forgiving, (13)

Ever content, harmonious with the self controlled, resolute, with mind [1] and Reason [2] dedicated to Me, he, My devotee, is dear to Me. (14)


[1] Manah.   [2] Buddhi.

TWELFTH DISCOURSE.131

He from whom the world doth not shrink away, who doth not shrink away from the world, freed from the anxieties of joy, anger, and fear, he is dear to Me. (15)

He who wants nothing, is pure, expert, passionless, untroubled, renouncing every undertaking, he, My devotee, is dear to Me. (16)

He who neither loveth nor hateth, nor grieveth, nor desireth, renouncing good and evil, full of devotion, he is dear to Me. (17)

Alike to foe and friend, and also in fame and ignominy, alike in cold and heat, pleasures and pains, destitute of attachment, (18)

Taking equally praise and reproach, silent, wholly content with what cometh, homeless, firm in mind, full of devotion, that man is dear to Me. (19)

They verily who partake of this life-giving wisdom [1] as taught herein,

132THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

endued with faith, I their supreme Object, devotees, they are surpassingly dear to Me. (20)

Thus in the glorious Upanishats of the BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ the science of the ΕTERNAL, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Shri Krishna and Arjuna, the twelfth discourse, entitled:

THE YOGA OF DEVOTION.


[1] Amrita-Dharma.


THIRTEENTH DISCOURSE.   133

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THIRTEENTH DISCOURSE.

Arjuna said:

Matter and Spirit, [1] even the Field and the Knower of the Field, wisdom and that which ought to be known, these I fain would learn, Ο Keshava.

The Blessed Lord said:

This body, son of Kuntī, is called the Field; that which knoweth it is called the Knower of the Field by the Sages. (1)

Understand Me as the Knower of the Field in all Fields, Ο Bhārata. Wisdom as to the Field and the Knower of the Field, that in My opinion is the Wisdom. (2)

What that Field is and of what


[1] Prakriti and Purusha.

134THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

nature, how modified, and whence it is and what He [1] is and what His powers, hear that now briefly from Me. (3)

Rishis have sung in manifold ways, in many various chants, and in decisive Brahma-sūtra verses, [2] full of reasonings. (4)

The great Elements, Individuality, [3] Reason [4] and also the Unmanifested, the ten senses and the one, and the five pastures of the senses; [5] (5)

Desire, aversion, pleasure, pain, combination, [6] intelligence, firmness; these, briefly described, constitute the Field and its modifications. (6)

Humility, unpretentiousness, harmlessness, forgiveness, rectitude, service of the teacher,


[1] Kshetrajna, the Knower of the Field.
[2] Short terse sayings, concerning the ETERNAL.
[3] Ahankāra (Ahamkāra).    [4] Buddhi.
[5] The five organs of knowledge, or senses, the five organs of action, the mind, and the objects cognised by each of the five senses.
[6] The body.

THIRTEENTH DISCOURSE.   135

purity, steadfastness, self-control, (7)

Dispassion towards the objects of the senses, and also absence of egoism, insight into the pain and evil of birth, death, old age and sickness, (8)

Unattachment, absence of self-identification with son, wife or home, and constant balance of mind in wished-for and unwished-for events, (9)

Unflinching devotion to Me by yoga, without other object, resort to sequestered places, absence of enjoyment in the company of men, (10)

Constancy in the Wisdom of the Self, [1] understanding of the object of essential wisdom; that is declared to be the Wisdom; all against it is ignorance. (11)

I will declare that which ought to be known, that which being known immortality is enjoyed—the beginningless supreme ETERNAL,


[1] Adhyātmā; sec vii., 29.

136THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

called neither being nor non-being. (12)

Everywhere THAT hath hands and feet, everywhere eyes, heads, and mouths; all-hearing, He dwelleth in the world, enveloping all; (13)

Shining with all sense-faculties without any senses; unattached supporting everything: and free from qualities [1] enjoying qualities; [1] (14)

Without and within all beings, immovable and also movable; by reason of His subtlety imperceptible; at hand and far away is THAT. (15)

Not divided amid beings, and yet seated distributively; THAT is to be known as the supporter of beings; He devours and He generates. (16)

THAT, the Light of all lights, is said to be beyond darkness; Wisdom, the Object of Wisdom, by Wisdom to be reached,


[1] Gunas.

THIRTEENTH DISCOURSE.   137

seated in the hearts of all. (17)

Thus the Field, Wisdom and the Object of Wisdom, have been briefly told. My devotee, thus knowing, enters into My Being. (18)

Know thou that Matter [1] and Spirit [2] are both without beginning; and know thou also that modifications and qualities [3] are all Matter-born. [1] (19)

Matter [1] is called the cause of the generation of causes and effects; Spirit [2] is called the cause of the enjoyment of pleasure and pain. (20)

Spirit [2] seated in Matter [1] useth the qualities [3] born of Matter; [1] attachment to the qualities [3] is the cause of his births in good and evil wombs. (21)

Supervisor and permitter, supporter, enjoyer, the great Lord, and also the supreme SELF; thus is styled in this body the supreme Spirit. [2] (22)


[1] Prakriti.    [2] Purusha.    [3] Gunas.

138THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

He who thus knoweth Spirit [1] and Matter [2] with its qualities, [3] in whatsoever condition he may be, he shall not be born again. (23)

Some by meditation behold the SELF in the self by the SELF; others by the Sānkhya Yoga, and others by the Yoga of Action; (24)

Others also, ignorant of this, having heard of it from others, worship; and these also cross beyond death, adhering to what they had heard. (25)

Whatsoever creature is born, immobile or mobile, know thou, Ο best of the Bhāratas, that it is from the union between the Field and the Knower of the Field. (26)

Seated equally in all beings, the supreme Lord, unperishing within the perishing-he who thus seeth, he seeth. (27)

Seeing indeed everywhere the same Lord equally dwelling,


[1] Purusha.    [2] Prakriti.
[3] Gunas.

THIRTEENTH DISCOURSE.   139

he doth not destroy the SELF by the self, and thus treads the highest Path. (28)

He who seeth that Matter [1] verily performeth all actions, and that the SELF is actionless, he seeth. (29)

When he perceiveth the diversified existence of beings as rooted in One, and spreading forth from it, then he reacheth the ETERNAL. (30)

Being beginningless and without qualities, [2] the imperishable supreme SELF, though seated in the body, Ο Kaunteya, worketh not nor is affected. (31)

As the omnipresent ether is not affected, by reason of its subtlety, so seated everywhere in the body the SELF is not affected. (32)

As the one sun illumineth the whole earth, so the Lord of the Field illumineth the whole Field, Ο Bhārata. (33)


[1] Prakriti.    [2] Gunas.

140THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

They who by the eyes of Wisdom perceive this difference between the Field and the Knower of the Field, and the liberation of beings from Matter, [1] they go to the Supreme. (34)

Thus in the glorious Upanishats of the BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ the science of the ΕTERNAL, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Shri Krishna and Arjuna, the thirteenth discourse, entitled:

THE YOGA OF THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE FIELD AND THE KNOWER OF THE FIELD.


[1] Prakriti.


FOURTEENTH DISCOURSE.  141

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FOURTEENTH DISCOURSE.

The Blessed Lord said:

I will again proclaim that supreme Wisdom, of all wisdom the best, which having known, all the Sages [1] have gone hence to the supreme Perfection. (1)

Having taken refuge in this Wisdom and being assimilated to My own nature, they are not re-born even in the emanation of a universe, nor are disquieted in the dissolution. (2)

My womb is the great ETERNAL; in that I place the germ; thence cometh the birth of all beings, O Bhārata. (3)

In whatsoever wombs mortals are produced, O Kaunteya, the great ETERNAL is their womb, I their generating father. (4)


[1] Munis.

142THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

Harmony, [1] Motion, Inertia, such are the qualities, [2] Matter-born; [3] they bind fast in the body, Ο great-armed one, the indestructible dweller in the body. (5)

Of these Harmony, from its stainlessness, luminous and healthy, bindeth by the attachment to bliss and the attachment to wisdom, Ο sinless one. (6)

Motion, the passion-nature, know thou, is the source of attachment and thirst for life, Ο Kaunteya, that bindeth the dweller in the body by the attachment to action. (7)

But Inertia, know thou, born of unwisdom, is the deluder of all dwellers in the body; that bindeth by heedlessness, indolence and sloth, Ο Bhārata. (8)

Harmony attacheth to bliss, Motion to action, Ο Bhārata. Inertia, verily, having shrouded wisdom, attacheth on the contrary to heedlessness. (9)


[1] More strictly Rhythm.
[2] Gunas.    [3] Prakriti.

FOURTEENTH D1SCOURSE. 143

Now Harmony prevaileth, having overpowered Motion and Inertia, Ο Bhārata. Now Motion, having over powered Harmony and Inertia; and now Inertia, having overpowered Harmony and Motion. (10)

When the wisdom-light streameth forth from all the gates of the body, then it may be known that Harmony is increasing. (11)

Greed, outgoing energy, undertaking of actions, restlessness, desire—these are born of the increase of Motion, Ο best of the Bhāratas. (12)

Darkness, stagnation and heedlessness and also delusion—these are born of the increase of Inertia, Ο joy of the Kurus. (13)

If Harmony verily prevaileth when the embodied goeth to dissolution, then he goeth forth to the spotless worlds of the great Sages. (14)

Having gone to dissolution in Motion,

144THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

he is born among those attached to action; if dissolved in Inertia, he is born in the wombs of the senseless. (15)

It is said the fruit of a good action is harmonious and spotless; verily the fruit of Motion is pain, and the fruit of Inertia unwisdom. (16)

From Harmony wisdom is born, and also greed from Motion; heedlessness and delusion are of Inertia and also unwisdom. (17)

They rise upwards who are settled in Harmony; the Active dwell in the mid-most place; the Inert go downwards, enveloped in the vilest qualities. (18)

When the Seer perceiveth no agent other than the qualities, [1] and knoweth THAT which is higher than the qualities, [1] he entereth into My Nature. (19)

When the dweller in the body hath crossed over these three qualities, [1] whence all bodies have been produced,


[1] Gunas.

FOURTEENTH DISCOURSE.  145

liberated from birth, death, old age and sorrow, he drinketh the nectar of immortality. [1] (20)

Arjuna said:

What are the marks of him who hath crossed over the three qualities, [2] Ο Lord? How acteth he, and how doth he go beyond these three qualities? [2] (21)

The Blessed Lord said:

He, O Pāndava, who hateth not radiance, nor outgoing energy, nor even delusion, when present, nor longeth after them, absent; (22)

He who, seated as a neutral, is unshaken by the qualities; [2] who saying, "The qualities [2] revolve;" standeth apart immovable; (23)

Balanced in pleasure and pain, self-reliant, to whom a lump of earth, a rock and gold are alike,


[1] The Amrita.    [2]  Gunas.

146THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

the same to loved and unloved, firm, the same in censure and in praise.            (24)

The same in honour and ignominy, the same to friend and foe, abandoning all undertakings—he is said to have crossed over the qualities. [1] (25)

And he who serveth Me exclusively by the Yoga of devotion, he, crossing beyond the qualities, [1] he is fit to become the ETERNAL. (26)

For I am the abode of the ETERNAL, and of the indestructible nectar of immortality, of immemorial righteousness, [2] and of unending bliss. (27)

Thus in the glorious Upanishats of the BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ the science of the ΕTERNAL, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Shri Krishna and Arjuna, the fourteenth discourse, entitled:

THE YOGA OF SEPARATION FROM THE THREE QUALITIES.


[1] Gunas.    [2] Dharma.


FIFTEENTH DISCOURSE.147

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FIFTEENTH DISCOURSE.

The Blessed Lord said:

With roots above, branches below, the Asvattha is said to be indestructible; the leaves of it are hymns; he who knoweth it is a Veda-knower. (1)

Downwards and upwards spread the branches of it, nourished by the qualities; [1] the objects of the senses its buds; and its roots grow downwards, the bonds of action in the world of men. (2)

Nor here may be acquired knowledge of its form, nor its end, nor its origin, nor its rooting-place; this strongly rooted Asvattha having been cut down by the unswerving weapon of non-attachment, (3)

That path beyond may be sought, treading which there is no return.


[1] Gunas.

148THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

I go indeed to that Primal Man, [1] whence the ancient energy forthstreamed. (4)

Without pride and delusion, victorious over the vice of attachment, dwelling constantly in the SELF, desire pacified, liberated from the pairs of opposites known as pleasure and pain, they tread, undeluded, that indestructible path. (5)

Nor doth the sun lighten there, nor moon, nor fire; having gone thither they return not; that is My supreme abode. (6)

Α portion of Mine own Self, transformed in the world of life into an immortal Spirit, [2] draweth round itself the senses of which the mind [3] is the sixth, veiled in Matter. [4] (7)

When the Lord acquireth a body and when He abandoneth it, He seizeth these' and goeth with them,


[1] Purusha.
[2] Jīva, a life, individualised from the Universal Spirit.
[3] Manah.    [4] Prakriti.

FIFTEENTH DISCOURSE.149

as the wind takes fragrances from their retreats. (8)

Enshrined in the ear, the eye, the touch, the taste and the smell, and in the mind [2] also, He enjoyeth the objects of the senses. (9)

The deluded do not perceive Him when He departeth or stayeth, or enjoyeth, swayed by the qualities; [3] the wisdom-eyed perceive. (10)

Yogīs also, struggling, perceive Him, established in the SELF; but though struggling, the unintelligent perceive Him not, their selves untrained. (11)

That splendour issuing from the sun that enlighteneth the whole world, that which is in the moon and in fire, that splendour know as from Me. (12)

Permeating the soil, I support beings by my vital energy,


[1] The senses and the mind.    [2] Manah.    [3] Gunas.

150THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

and having become the delicious Soma [1] l nourish all plants. (13)

I, having become the Fire of Life, [2] take possession of the bodies of breathing things, and united with the life-breaths [3] I digest the four kinds of food. (14)

And I am seated in the hearts of all, and from Me memory and wisdom and their absence. And that which is to be known in all the Vedas am I; and I indeed the Veda-knower and the author of the Vedānta. (15)

There are two energies [4] in this world, the destructible and the indestructible; the destructible is all beings, the unchanging is called the indestructible. (16)

The highest Energy [4] is verily Another, declared as the supreme SELF,


[1] "Having become the watery moon" is the accepted translation; Soma is a liquid, drawn from the Soma-plant, "Having become sap" is a probable translation.
[2] Vaishvānara.    [3] Prāna and Αpāna.    [4] Purusha.

FIFTEENTH DISCOURSE.151

He who pervading all sustaineth the three worlds, the indestructible Lord. (17)

Since I excel the destructible, and am more excellent also than the indestructible, in the world and in the Veda I am proclaimed the Supreme Spirit. [1] (18)

He who undeluded knoweth Me thus as the Supreme Spirit, [1] he, all-knowing, worshippeth Me with his whole being, Ο Bhārata. (19)

Thus by Me this most secret teaching hath been told, Ο sinless one. This known, he hath become illuminated, and hath finished his work, Ο Bhārata. (20)

Thus in the glorious Upanishats of the BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ the science of the ΕTERNAL, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Shri Krishna and Arjuna, fifteenth discourse, entitled:

THE YOGA OF ATTAINING THE SUPREME SPIRIT.


[1] Purushottama, the highest Purusha.


152THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

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SIXTEENTH DISCOURSE.

Fearlessness, cleanness of life, steadfastness in the Yoga of wisdom, almsgiving, self-restraint and sacrifice and study of the Scriptures, austerity and straightforwardness, (1)

Harmlessness, truth, absence of wrath, renunciation, peacefulness, absence of crookedness, compassion to living beings, uncovetousness, mildness, modesty, absence of idleness, (2)

Vigour, forgiveness, fortitude, purity, absence of envy and pride—these are his who is born with the divine properties, Ο Bhārata. (3)

Hypocrisy, arrogance and conceit, wrath and also harshness and unwisdom

SIXTEENTH DISCOURSE.153

are his who is born, Ο Pārtha, with demoniacal [1] properties. (4)

The divine properties are deemed to be for liberation, the demoniacal for bondage. Grieve not, thou art born with divine properties, Ο Pāndava. (5)

Twofold is the animal creation in this world, the divine and the demoniacal: the divine hath been described at length: hear from Me, Ο Pārtha, the demoniacal. (6)

Demoniacal men know neither right energy nor right abstinence; nor purity, nor even propriety, nor truth is in them. (7)

"The universe is without truth, without basis," they say, "without a God; [2] brought about by mutual union, and caused by lust and nothing else." (8)

Holding this view, these ruined selves


[1] Asuric; the Asuras were the enemies of the Suras, or Gods.
[2] Īshvara; the ruler of a universe.

154THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

of small understanding, [1] of fierce deeds, come forth as enemies for the destruction of the world. (9)

Surrendering themselves to insatiable desires, possessed with vanity, conceit and arrogance, holding evil ideas through delusion, they engage in action with impure resolves. (10)

Giving themselves over to unmeasured thought whose end is death, regarding the gratification of desires as the highest, feeling sure that this is all, (11)

Held in bondage by a hundred ties of expectation, given over to lust and anger, they strive to obtain by unlawful means hoards of wealth for sensual enjoyments. (12)

"This to-day by me hath been won, that purpose I shall gain; this wealth is mine already, and also this shall be mine in future. (13)

"I have slain this enemy, and others


[1] Buddhi.

SIXTEENTH DISCOURSE.155

also I shall slay. I am the Lord, I am the enjoyer, I am perfect, powerful happy; (14)

"I am wealthy, well-born; what other is there that is like unto me? I will sacrifice, I will give alms, I will rejoice." Thus deluded by unwisdom, (15)

Bewildered by numerous thoughts; enmeshed in the web of delusion; addicted to the gratification of desire, they fall downwards into a foul hell. (16)

Self-glorifying, stubborn, filled with the pride and intoxication of wealth, they perform lip-sacrifices for ostentation, contrary to scriptural ordinance. (17)

Given over to egoism, power, insolence, lust and wrath, these malicious ones hate Me in the bodies of others and in their own.  (18)

These haters, evil, pitiless, vilest among men in the world, I ever throw down into demoniacal wombs. (19)

156THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

Cast into demoniacal wombs, deluded birth after birth, attaining not to Me, Ο Kaunteya, they sink into the lowest depths. (20)

Triple is the gate of this hell, destructive of the self—lust, wrath, and greed therefore let man renounce these three. (21)

Α man liberated from these three gates of darkness, Ο son of Kuntī, accomplisheth his own welfare, and thus reacheth the highest goal. (22)

He who having cast aside the ordinances of the Scriptures, followeth the promptings of desire, attaineth not to perfection, nor happiness, nor the highest goal. (23)

Therefore let the Scriptures be thy authority, in determining what ought to be done, or what ought not to be done. Knowing what hath been declared by the ordinances of the Scriptures,

SIXTEENTH DISCOURSE.157

thou oughtest to work in this world. (24)

Thus in the glorious Upanishats of the BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ the science of the ΕTERNAL, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Shri Krishna and Arjuna, the sixteenth discourse, entitled:

THE YΟGΑ OF DIVISION BETWEEN THE DIVINE AND THE DEMONIACAL.



158THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.


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SEVENTEENTH DISCOURSE.

Arjuna said:

Those that sacrifice full of faith, [1] but casting aside the ordinances of the Scriptures, what is verily their condition, Ο Krishna? Is it one of Purity, Passion, or Darkness? [2] (1)

The Blessed Lord said:

Threefold is by nature the inborn faith of the embodied—pure, passionate, and dark. Hear thou of these. (2)

The faith of each is shaped to his own nature, Ο Bhārata. The man consists of his faith; [3] that which his faith is, he is even that. (3)


[1] Shraddhā.
[2] The three qualities, Sattva, Rajah, Tamas, are here used in their moral correspondences, and are therefore translated as Purity, Passion, and Darkness.
[3] That is, the man's faith shows what is the man's character.

SEVENTEENTH DISCOURSE.159

Pure men worship the Shining Ones; the passionate the gnomes and giants; [1] the others, the dark folk, worship ghosts and troops of nature-spirits. [2] (4)

The men who perform severe austerities, unenjoined by the Scriptures, wedded to vanity and egoism, impelled by the force of their desires and passions, (5)

Unintelligent, tormenting the aggregated elements forming the body, and Me also, seated in the inner body, know these demoniacal in their resolves. (6)

The food also which is dear to each is threefold, as also sacrifice, austerity and almsgiving. Hear thou the distinction of these. (7)

The foods that augment vitality, energy, vigour, health, joy and cheerfulness,


[1] Yakshas, gnomes, are the servants of the Lord of Wealth, i.e., are connected with metals; Rākshasas, giants, or Titans, are the gigantic inhabitants of Atlantis, versed in magic and sorcery.
[2] Pretas, ghosts, are departed men, while Bhūtas, nature-spirits, are of a somewhat goblin-like type.

160THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

delicious, bland, substantial and agreeable, are dear to the pure. (8)

The passionate desire foods that are bitter, sour, saline, over-hot, pungent, dry and burning, and which produce pain, grief and sickness. (9)

That which is stale and flat, putrid and corrupt, leavings also and unclean, is the food dear to the dark. (10)

The sacrifice which is offered by men without desire for fruit, as enjoined by the ordinances, under the firm belief that sacrifice is a duty, that is pure. (11)

The sacrifice offered with a view verily to fruit, and also indeed for self glorification, Ο best of the Bhāratas; know thou that to be of passion. (12)

The sacrifice contrary to the ordinances, without distributing food, devoid of words of power [1] and without gifts, [1] empty of faith, is said to be of darkness. (13)


[1] Mantras.    [2] To the officiating priests.

SEVENTEENTH DISCOURSE.      161

Worship given to the Shining Ones, to the twice-born, to the Teachers [1] and to the wise, purity, straightforwardness, continence and harmlessness, are called the austerity of the body. (14)

Speech causing no annoyance, truthful, pleasant and beneficial, the practice of the study of the Scriptures, are called the austerity of speech. (15)

Mental happiness, equilibrium, silence, self-control, purity of nature—this is called the austerity of the mind. [2] (16)

This threefold austerity, performed by men with the utmost faith, without desire for fruit, harmonised, is said to be pure. (17)

The austerity which is practised with the object of gaining respect, honour and worship, and for ostentation, is said to be of passion, unstable and fleeting. (18)

That austerity done under a deluded understanding, with self-torture, or with the object of destroying another,


[1] Gurus.    [2] Manah.

162THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

that is declared of darkness. (19)

That alms given to one who does nothing in return, believing that a gift ought to be made, in a fit place and time, to a worthy person, that alms is accounted pure. (20)

That given with a view to receiving in return, or looking for fruit again, or grudgingly, that alms is accounted of passion. (21)

That alms given at unfit place and time, and to unworthy persons, disrespectfully and contemptuously, that is declared of darkness. (22)

"Αum Tat Sat," this has been considered to be the threefold designation of the ETERNAL. By that were ordained of old Brāhmanas, Vedas and sacrifices. (23)

Therefore with the pronunciation of "Aum" the acts of sacrifice, gift and austerity as laid down in the ordinances are always commenced by the knowers of the ETERNAL. (24)

SEVENTEENTH DISCOURSE.163

With the pronunciation of "Τat" and without aiming at fruit are performed the various acts of sacrifice, austerity and gift, by those desiring liberation. (25)

"Sat" is used in the sense of reality and goodness; likewise, Ο Pārtha, the word " Sat " is used in the sense of a good work. (26)

Steadfastness in sacrifice, austerity and gift is also called " Sat," and an action for the sake of the Supreme [1] is also named "Sat." (27)

Whatsoever is wrought without faith, oblation, gift, austerity, or other deed, "Asat" it is called, Ο Pārtha; it is nought, here or hereafter. (28)

Thus in the glorious Upanishats of the BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ the science of the ΕTERNAL, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Shri Krishna and Arjuna, the seventeenth discourse, entitled:

THE YOGA OF THE DIVISION OF THREEFOLD FAITH.


[1] THAT.


164THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

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EIGHTEENTH DISCOURSE.

Arjuna said:

I desire, Ο mighty-armed, to know severally the essence of renunciation, [1] O Hrishikesha, and of relinquishment, [2] O Keshinisūdana. [3] (1)

The Blessed Lord said:

Sages have known as renunciation the renouncing of works with desire; the relinquishing of the fruit of all actions is called relinquishment by the wise. (2)

"Action should be relinquished as an evil," [4] declare some thoughtful men; "acts of sacrifice, gift and austerity should not be relinquished," say others. (3)


[1] Sannyāsa.    [2] Tyāga.    [3] Slayer of Keshi, a demon.
[4] Some read:"because it is evil."

EIGHTEENTH DISCOURSE.   165

Hear my conclusions as to that relinquishment, Ο best of the Bhāratas; since relinquishment, Ο tiger of men, has been explained as threefold. (4)

Acts of sacrifice, gift and austerity should not be relinquished, but should be performed; sacrifice, gift and also austerity are the purifiers of the intelligent. (5)

But even these actions should be done leaving aside attachment and fruit, Ο Pārtha; that is my certain and best belief. (6)

Verily renunciation of actions that are prescribed is not proper; the relinquishment thereof from delusion is said to be of darkness. (7)

He who relinquisheth an action from fear of physical suffering, saying "Painful," thus performing a passionate relinquishment, obtaineth not the fruit of relinquishment. (8)

He who performeth a prescribed action,

166THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

saying, "It ought to be done," Ο Arjuna, relinquishing attachment and also fruit, that relinquishment is regarded as pure. (9)

The relinquisher pervaded by purity, intelligent and with doubts cut away, hateth not unpleasurable action nor is attached to pleasurable. (10)

Nor indeed can embodied beings completely relinquish action; verily he who relinquisheth the fruit of action he is said to be a relinquisher. (11)

Good, evil and mixed—threefold is the fruit of action hereafter for the non-relinquisher; but there is none ever for the renouncer. (12)

These five causes, Ο mighty-armed, learn of Me as declared in the Sānkhya system for the accomplishment of all actions: (13)

The body, the actor, the various organs, the divers kinds of energies, and the presiding deities also, the fifth. (14)

EIGHTEENTH DISCOURSE.   167

Whatever action a man performeth by his body, speech and mind, [1] whether right or the reverse, these five are the cause thereof. (15)

That being so, he verily who—owing to untrained Reason [2] —looketh on his SELF, which is isolated, as the actor, he, of perverted intelligence, seeth not. (16)

He who is free from the egoistic notion, whose Reason [2] is not affected, though he slay these peoples, he slayeth not, nor is bound. (17)

Knowledge, the knowable and the knower, the threefold impulse to action; the organ, the action, the actor, the threefold constituents of action. (18)

Knowledge, action and actor in the category of qualities [3] are also said to be severally threefold, from the difference of qualities; [3] hear thou duly these also. (19)


[1] Manah.    [2] Buddhi.    [3] Gunas.

168THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

That by which one indestructible Being is seen in all beings, inseparate in the separated, know thou that knowledge as pure. (20)

But that knowledge which regardeth the several manifold existences in all beings as separate, that knowledge know thou as of passion. (21)

While that which clingeth to each one thing as if it were the whole, without reason, without grasping the reality, narrow, that is declared to be dark. (22)

An action which is ordained, done by one undesirous of fruit, devoid of attachment, without love or hate, that is called pure. (23)

But that action that is done by one longing for desires, or again with egoism, or with much effort, that is declared to be passionate. (24)

The action undertaken from delusion,

EIGHTEENTH DISCOURSE.   169

without regard to capacity and to consequences—loss and injury to others—that is declared to be dark. (2)

Liberated from attachment, not egoistic, endued with firmness and confidence, unchanged by success or failure, that actor is called pure. (26)

Impassioned, desiring to obtain the fruit of actions, greedy, harmful, impure, moved by joy and sorrow, such an actor is pronounced passionate. (27)

Discordant, vulgar, stubborn, cheating, malicious, indolent, despairful, procrastinating, that actor is called dark. (28)

The division of Reason [1] and of firmness also, threefold according to the qualities, [2] hear thou related, unreservedly and severally, Ο Dhananjaya. (29)

That which knoweth energy and abstinence, what ought to be done and what ought not to be done, fear and fearlessness,


[1] Buddhi.    [2] Gunas.

170THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

bondage and liberation, that Reason [1] is pure, Ο Pārtha. (30)

That by which one understandeth awry Right and Wrong [2] and also what ought to be done and what ought not to be done, that Reason, [1] O Pārtha, is passionate. (31)

That which, enwrapped in darkness, thinketh wrong [3] to be right [4] and seeth all things subverted, that Reason, Ο Pārtha is of darkness. (32)

The unwavering firmness by which, through Yoga, one restraineth the activity of the mind, [5] of the life-breaths and of the sense-organs, that firmness, Ο Pārtha, is pure. (33)

But the firmness, Ο Arjuna, by which, from attachment desirous of fruit, one holdeth fast duty, [4] desire and wealth,


[1] Buddhi.
[2] Dharma and Αdharma, Right and Wrong in the widest sense, law and lawlessness.
[3] Αdharma.    [4] Dharma.    [5] Manah.

EIGHTEENTH DISCOURSE.   171

that firmness, Ο Pārtha, is passionate. (34)

That by which one from stupidity doth not abandon sleep, fear, grief, despair, and also vanity, that firmness, Ο Pārtha, is dark. (35)

And now the threefold kinds of pleasure hear thou from Me, Ο bull of the Bhāratas. That in which one by practice rejoiceth, and which putteth an end to pain; (36)

Which at first is as venom but in the end is as nectar; that pleasure is said to be pure, born of the blissful knowledge of the SELF. (37)

That which from the union of the senses with their objects at first is as nectar, but in the end is like venom, that pleasure is accounted passionate. (38)

That pleasure which both at first and afterwards is delusive of the self, arising from sleep, indolence and heedlessness, that is declared dark. (39)

172THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

There is not an entity, either on the earth or again in heaven among the Shining Ones, that is liberated from these three qualities, [1] born of Matter. [2] (40)

Of Brāhmanas, Kshattriyas, Vaishyas and Shūdras, O Parantapa, the duties [3] have been distributed, according to the qualities [1] born of their own natures. (41)

Serenity, self-restraint, austerity, purity, forgiveness and also uprightness, wisdom, knowledge, belief in God, are the Brāhmana duty, [3] born of his own nature. (42)

Prowess, splendour, firmness, dexterity, and also not flying from battle, generosity, the nature of a ruler, are the Kshattriya duty, [3] born of his own nature. (43)

Ploughing, protection of kine, and trade are the Vaishya duty, [3] born of his own nature.


[1] Gunas.    [2] Prakriti.
[3] Karma; it is action arising from the nature fashioned by past thoughts and desires.

EIGHTEENTH DISCOURSE.   173

Action of the nature of service is the Shūdra duty, [1] born of his own nature. (44)

Man reacheth perfection by each being intent on his own duty. [1] Listen thou how perfection is won by him who is intent on his own duty. [1] (45)

He from whom is the emanation of beings, by Whom all This is pervaded, by worshipping Him in his own duty [1] a man winneth perfection. (46)

Better is one's own duty [2] though destitute of merits than the well-executed duty [2] of another. He who doeth the duty [2] laid down by his own nature incurreth not sin. (47)

Congenital duty, [1] Ο son of Kuntī,


[1] Karma.
[2] Dharma. There is a subtle difference in these words, here used almost interchangeably. Karma arises from the past;. Dharma also so arises, but implies also the law by which the next step in evolution is made.

174THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

though defective, ought not to be abandoned. All undertakings indeed are clouded by defects as fire by smoke. (48)

He whose Reason [1] is everywhere unattached, the self subdued, dead to desires, he goeth by renunciation to the supreme perfection of freedom from obligation. [2] (49)

How he who hath attained perfection obtaineth the ETERNAL, that highest state of wisdom, learn thou from Me only succinctly, Ο Kaunteya. (50)

United to the Reason, [1] purified, controlling the self by firmness, having abandoned sound and the other objects of the senses, having laid aside passion and malice, (51)

Dwelling in solitude, abstemious, speech, body and mind [3] subdued, constantly fixed in meditation and yoga, [4] taking refuge in dispassion, (52)


[1] Buddhi.    [2] Karma.    [3] Manah.
[4] Some read "dhyānayoga," "Yoga of meditation."

EIGHTEENTH DISCOURSE.   175

Having cast aside egoism, violence, arrogance, desire, wrath, covetousness, selfless and peaceful—he is fit to be-come the ETERNAL. (53)

Becoming the ETERNAL, serene in the SELF, he neither grieveth nor desireth; the same to all beings, he obtaineth supreme devotion unto Me. (54)

By devotion he knoweth Me in essence, who and what I am; having thus known Me in essence he forthwith entereth into the Supreme. [1] (55)

Though ever performing all actions, taking refuge in Me, by My grace he obtaineth the eternal indestructible abode. (56)

Renouncing mentally all works in Me, intent on Me, resorting to the yoga of discrimination, [2] have thy thought ever on Me. (57)

Thinking on Me, thou shalt overcome all obstacles by My grace: but if from egoism thou wilt not listen, thou shalt be destroyed utterly. (58)


[1] THAT.    [2] Buddhi-yoga.

176THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

Entrenched in egoism, thou thinkest, "I will not fight;" to no purpose thy determination; nature will constrain thee. (59)

Ο son of Kuntī, bound by thine own duty [1] born of thine own nature, that which from delusion thou desirest not to do, even that helplessly thou shalt perform. (60)

The Lord dwelleth in the hearts of all beings, Ο Arjuna, by His illusive Power, [2] causing all beings to revolve, as though mounted on a potter's wheel. (61)

Flee unto Him for shelter with all thy being, Ο Bhārata; by His grace thou shalt obtain supreme peace, the everlasting dwelling-place. (62)

Thus hath wisdom, more secret than secrecy itself, been declared unto thee by Me;


[1] Karma.    [2] Māyā.

EIGHTEENTH DISCOURSE.   177

having reflected on it fully, then act thou as thou listest. (63)

Listen thou again to My supreme word, most secret of all; beloved art thou of Me, and steadfast of heart, therefore will I speak for thy benefit. (64)

Merge thy mind [1] in Me, be My devotee, sacrifice to Me, prostrate thy self before Me, thou shalt come even to Me. I pledge thee My troth; thou art dear to Me. (65)

Abandoning all duties, [2] come unto Me alone for shelter; sorrow not, I will liberate thee from all sins. (66)

Never is this to be spoken by thee to anyone who is without asceticism, nor without devotion, nor to one who desireth not to listen, nor yet to him who speaketh evil of Me. (67)

He who shall declare this supreme secret among My devotees, having shown the highest devotion for Me,


[1] Manah.    [2] Dharmas.

178THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

without doubt he shall come to Me. [1] (68)

Nor is there any among men who performeth dearer service to Me than he, nor any other shall be more beloved by Me on earth than he. (69)

And he who shall study this sacred dialogue of ours, by him I shall be worshipped with the sacrifice of wisdom. Such is My mind. (70)

The man also who, full of faith, merely heareth it unreviling, even he, freed from evil, obtaineth the radiant worlds of the righteous. (71)

Hath this been heard, Ο son of Prithā, with one-pointed mind? Has thy delusion, caused by unwisdom, been destroyed, Ο Dhananjaya? (72)

Arjuna said:

Destroyed is my delusion.


[1] Some read "asanshaya," which would be "being freed from doubts."

EIGHTEENTH DISCOURSE 179

I have gained knowledge [1] through Thy grace, Ο Immutable One. I am firm, my doubts have fled away. I will do according to Thy word. (73)

Sanjaya said:

I heard this marvellous dialogue of Vāsudeva and of the great-souled Pārtha, causing my hair to stand on end; (74)

By the favour of Vyāsa I listened to this secret and supreme yoga from the Lord of Yoga, Krishna Himself speaking before mine eyes. (75)

O King, remembering, remembering this marvellous and holy dialogue between Keshava and Arjuna, I rejoice again and again. (76)

Remembering, remembering, also that most marvellous form of Hari, great is my wonder, Ο King. I rejoice, again and again. (77)

Wherever is Krishna, Yoga's Lord,


[1] Literally "memory."

180THE BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ.

wherever is Pārtha, the archer, assured are there prosperity, victory and happiness. So I think. [1] (78)

Thus in the glorious Upanishats of the BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ the science of the ΕTERNAL, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Shri Krishna and Arjuna, the eighteenth discourse, entitled:

THE YOGA OF LIBERATION BY RENUNCIATION.


[1] Shri Shankarāchārya's reading would run, translated: "there is prosperity, victory, happiness, and firm morality."


Thus the BHAGAVAD-GĪTĀ hath ending.

Peace be to all Worlds.


Image Attribution: Roerich 1929

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