UpasanaYoga.org Śrīmad-Bhagavad-Gītā Translation English translation by A.K. Aruna
Format by A.K. Aruna, 2019 ver.4.1:
UpasanaYoga. Reformatted to emphasize the English translation. If downloaded, is best rendered with the Devanāgarī Siddhanta1.ttf font, downloadable from UpasanaYoga. If run from UpasanaYoga website, it alternatively can use online Web Font. Any Devanāgarī in parentheses () is an alternate reading of text in Red. Top button "Collapse all panels" contracts the view in which individual items can be re-expanded, or again the top button "Restore all panels" reloads page to original view.
Bhagavad-Gītā is a part of the Mahā-Bhārata, attributed to Śrī Veda-Vyāsa. It is a report of a dialogue between Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Śrī Arjuna.
by A.K. Aruna
First Print Mar 2013 (ISBN 978-0-9818640-6-8)
First Update to HTML Jan 2018 with Creative Commons International License:
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/, or click the following logo:
ओं, स॒ ह ना॑व् अवतु… (कृष्ण-यजुर्-वेदः — कठोपनिषद् ६.१९)
🔗 ओं, स॒ ह ना॑व् अवतु। स॒ ह नौ॑ भुनक्तु। स॒ह वी॒र्यं॑ करवावहै। ते॒ज॒स्विना॒व् अधी॑तम् अस्तु॒ मा वि॑द्विषा॒वहै᳚। ओं शान्तिः॒ शान्तिः॒ शान्तिः॑॥
oṃ, sa ha nāv avatu. sa ha nau bhunaktu. saha vīryaṃ karavāvahai. tejasvināv adhītam astu mā vidviṣāvahai. oṃ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ.
Bhagavad Gītā is a report of a dialogue between Arjuna, the greatest warrior of his time, and Kṛṣṇa his friend and mentor. It is set at the start of a huge war, involving millions of soldiers, over the right of succession for a kingdom in north-central India, five thousand years ago. Two groups of cousins (all in the Kuru clan) laid claim to the kingdom. On one side was Prince Arjuna and his brothers, the five sons of the deceased King Pāṇḍu. On the other side was King Duryodhana and his brothers, the ninety-nine sons of King Dhṛta-rāṣṭra, the brother of King Pāṇḍu. The Bhagavad Gītā is centrally located in the much larger story, now called the Mahā-bhārata, attributed to the near-mythical Vyāsa, the greatest ever Indian writer and editor.
The antecedents that led to this war and the account of the war and its aftermath are covered in the rest of the Mahā-bhārata. The Bhagavad Gītā starts with an introduction to the scene of the dialogue. In the first chapter, Sañjaya, the minister to King Dhṛta-rāṣṭra, brings the king up to date on what had happened at the war front. Sañjaya’s narration forms the text of the Bhagavad Gītā. Sañjaya doesn’t require war correspondents and spies. He is endowed with a magical ability to not only see and hear what is going on at the distant battlefield, but also to know the thoughts in the warriors’ minds. The Mahā-bhārata is, as teacher Swami Dayananda Saraswati says (2004, The Context of the Gītā Vol. 1 pg. 59), a historical poem, an imaginative weaving of drama around certain historical events and people.
Kṛṣṇa was the most attractive divinity, the Lord incarnate, during Arjuna’s time and became the most celebrated focus of all Indian arts. Arjuna was the leader of his time. He fought against unjust aggression and is the greatest mortal martial artist in all of Indian history and mythology. In the middle of the first chapter, Sañjaya finally speaks of these two main characters: Arjuna commands Kṛṣṇa to drive his chariot between the two armies so that he can get a close look at whom he would have to fight. Kṛṣṇa drives the chariot into position and says, “Behold these assembled Kurus.”
Arjuna does not objectively see those lined up against him as warriors, but instead only sees his relatives, teachers, and friends. He subjectively sees only “my people.” At this, Arjuna loses his ability to remain the warrior and leader of his side. He questions the previously clear justifications for the war that he and his brothers had discussed with respected counselors – and with Kṛṣṇa himself. A stream of emotionally grounded arguments against the war springs up in Arjuna. Finally, he collapses on the chariot seat, unable to proceed and wondering if the unthinkable – retreat – is the wisest course.
In the second chapter, knowing full well that the reasons for this war are sound, Kṛṣṇa prods Arjuna to regain his composure and proceed. But the crisis in Arjuna’s heart is not just about the war. It is deeply centered on the purpose of life itself. Arjuna feels a basic sorrow about the endless limitations of life – even of being a king of a huge empire or the king of heaven. He sees no purpose in a life that makes one struggle against others to gain fleeting moments of enjoyment, which are tainted by their costs. Arjuna begins to believe that his born duty as a prince and warrior is contrary to his goal. He wonders if he should drop everything and take to a life of renunciation. In fact, he loses sight of what his goal in life is – if it is enjoyment, then it is no longer worth it; if it is duty and justice, he doubts they are worth their cost. Still, Arjuna knows that Kṛṣṇa is more than a friend. He looks upon Kṛṣṇa as divine and knows that Kṛṣṇa has the wisdom to teach him what the ultimate good is, which Arjuna believes will solve his predicament. In the eleventh verse of chapter 2, the teaching, the reason for the Bhagavad Gītā, begins with a discussion – not of war, but of reality and how to live accordingly.
This vision of reality is initially presented in chapter 2 of the Bhagavad Gītā, from verse 11 to verse 30, and is elaborated throughout the other chapters, especially in chapter 13. This reality is referred to by the terms brahman, ātmā, or Bhagavān, depending on whether the term is in reference, respectively, to itself, to oneself, or to the universe. This reality is presented in the Bhagavad Gītā as timeless and locationless. It is the very fabric of the warp-and-woof of time and space, and is the very center of oneself, the observer of this entire universe.
The divisions of time and space of the universe – of before and after, inside and outside, up and down – that we each know, are the result of our limited views of the universe from our tiny perspectives. From the perspective of the total, of the infinite whose center is everywhere, there is only one uniform, timeless, and locationless reality. This is the truly objective vision of the world, free of limited perspective, free of subjectivity. It is seeing reality as it is. This is the vision of the Lord, of Bhagavān. It is the ultimate good, the ultimate goal of everyone. The life lived toward and within this goal is without sorrow, is conflict free, meritorious, and filled with complete satisfaction with oneself and the world. It is this vision that is taught in the Bhagavad Gītā.
Indeed, it is upon this clear vision of reality, taught in the Bhagavad Gītā and in the core tradition of ancient India literature, that the culture of universal justice ( dharma) is based. Dharma is the natural application of the life of one who has this clear vision of reality. How the person who has this vision of reality would behave in various situations is the guiding principle for determining what dharma is.
A life of dharma, which is meant for gaining this vision of reality, is given the title of yoga (a means) in the Bhagavad Gītā. Today’s popular meaning of “ yoga” is not the “eight limbs of yoga”, defined by the teacher Patanjali over two thousand years ago in his Patanjali Yoga Sutras (Aruna 2012). Today’s yoga is narrowly confined to just one or two of the eight limbs; specifically, āsana (posture) and breath control ( prāṇāyāma) (see Patanjali Yoga Sutras 2.46–53) now promoted by contemporary yoga teachers. The original meaning of “ yoga” in the Bhagavad Gītā can easily be drawn from the text itself. It refers to a way of living that helps the mind to mature so that one can fully appreciate this vision of timeless and locationless reality. It is, then, this vision of reality that fulfills one’s life. It is the ultimate good, the ultimate goal of everyone. That is how yoga is presented in the Bhagavad Gītā and how it has been taught for told and untold thousands of years, of which the Bhagavad Gītā is but a recent illumination, though it was composed well over two (or perhaps five) thousand years ago. This vision of reality has been preserved throughout the cycles of manifestation and destruction of the universe. It is a timeless vision of the timeless reality that forms the basis of this universe of time and space.
This timeless reality cannot be known as a this or that, cannot be arrived at by deduction or induction, cannot be a limited object of any mentation or meditation. You can only be it. To appreciate this reality, you need only remove the wrong notions you have about yourself, this reality. To do this, you need not remove the limitations, but only understand the nature of these limitations – and why they cannot limit the reality in which they shine as its glories.
This is the teaching that removes the basic, but unexamined, sorrow centered on the countless limitations of a human life and replaces it with a fulfillment centered on the limitless nature of oneself. It is a teaching that does not view itself as Indian, but as belonging to all humankind from time immemorial. It is a teaching that is faithfully preserved by the people of India, not created by them. It is the teaching of the Lord. Not a Lord amongst or against other Lords, but rather there is only this Lord. Every thing; every being; you, yourself are but this Lord – this limitless reality. All this is one – oneself.
God does not look over you. Rather, you look over your body, your mind, and your life. You look over the universe as it presents itself to your senses and your mind, which are also part of this universe. The universe is ordered by the natural laws that are also called dharma, the laws of cause and effect. These laws govern not only the physical but also the mental, the subtle. While you overlook all this before you, you remain the same ( sama) while the entire universe continually changes. This continually changing time–space intersection of your experience, this physical and subtle universe before you, has you as its basis, as its very existence.
All this that your senses can perceive, all this that your mind can conceive or imagine, all the laws of the world and of the mind that you are able to appreciate, all that your languages can describe, and even the basic building block of everything (whatever it is currently calculated to be by science) – all are limited in time and space, including time and space itself. All this observed universe has you as its observer and as its basis in reality (sat-cit, reality-awareness). This observer (you) cannot be limited as an object of the senses or the mind, since it is (you are) ever the subject, alone factually free of the perceived and conceived limitations of time and space and all within time and space. This is the basis of your undoubted and unchanging self-existence throughout your life – despite your changing body, mind, and environment.
Such an unchanging basis of reality, which you are, alone can be the background, the substratum and surface, within which this ever-changing universe plays itself out. Such a basis of reality alone is the ultimate you seek. The seeker is but you, the limitless observer – the seeker seeking itself. Only ignorance can be the cause of this estrangement and subsequent seeking.
This teaching, in the Bhagavad Gītā in the form of a dialogue, removes that ignorance. In the Bhagavad Gītā, the divinity ( Kṛṣṇa) is teaching the student in you ( Arjuna is oneself). This is the divine teaching of your self-identity with all, with the total. It is also the teaching of independence, of freedom from all this before you. You are the being of this universe. This being is at once both the beloved ( priya) and the love ( prema) itself. It is a total turnaround in the understanding of oneself and of the universe.
I am not limited; I am limitless. And this current universe within time and space is completely within my self. My self is complete fulfillment.
As the doubts subside, the freedom and joy that is one’s nature become fully appreciated. This understanding is the grandest vision, the ultimate knowledge to gain, the ultimate good. Then life truly becomes fun and sport, just as Kṛṣṇa’s life was lived with fun and sport – like a song ( gītā). It is a life free of guilt, free of hurt, and free of fear.
Let us begin the Songs of the Glorious Lord ( Bhagavad Gītā). ( Jump to 1st Ch. Intro)
Go to Top ('Home' key on many Windows browsers)
Om atha prathamo'dhyāyaḥ (1.1-47)
First Chapter Introduction
Jump to Bhagavad Gita initial Intro
The Topic of
The first chapter of the Bhagavad Gītā introduces both the scene of the narration and the scene of the dialogue. The dialogue consists of the teaching of and by the Lord, Kṛṣṇa, to the student, Arjuna. In the first scene, the scene of the narration, the king’s minister, Sañjaya, is narrating for King Dhṛta-rāṣṭra. Sañjaya tells what happened on the field of battle just prior to start of the war. He describes how the king’s son approached his teacher in martial arts to whip up his teacher’s desire for revenge against Drupada on the opposing side of the battlefield; for fear that the teacher (a brāhmaṇa) did not have the heart of a warrior ( kṣatriya) in battle.
Sañjaya then narrates the second scene, the scene of dialogue, which is just before the battle. In this scene, Arjuna commands Kṛṣṇa to drive his chariot between the two armies so that he can get a close look at whom he will fight. Kṛṣṇa drives the chariot and says, “Behold these assembled Kurus.” Arjuna does not see those lined up against him as warriors, but instead only sees his relatives, teachers, and friends. He only sees “my people” (verse 31). At this, Arjuna loses the ability to remain the warrior and leader. A stream of emotionally grounded arguments against this war wells up in him. His mind becomes stressed and overwhelmed by pity to such an extent that he is physically incapacitated. Finally, Arjuna collapses on the chariot seat, unable to proceed and wondering if the unthinkable – retreat – would be the wisest course.
In this chapter, Arjuna argues that war based on greed and desire for power is never justified. However, such a war is not what Arjuna faces. Rather, this war, clearly narrated in the Mahā-bhārata as a war of justice ( dharma) against injustice ( a-dharma), is for the survival and reestablishment of justice over injustice. But, even in a just war, an individual on either side of battle may have mixed motivations. The individual may be for or against the war and yet be overwhelmed by desire for power and pleasures. A question for the individual is whether the mind’s likes and dislikes override one’s own sense of justice or one’s duty to uphold justice. The answer to this question may hinge on the individual’s understanding of life and death. If the fear of death trumps all, or if justice is thought not worth dying for, then one may succumb to the persuasion of the mind’s likes and dislikes.
We can look at Arjuna’s struggle in this crisis as a metaphor for our own lives. Each of us is in a life-and-death struggle, having to make decisions on a daily and hourly basis that make life a series of heavens and hells – for ourselves and for others. The Bhagavad Gītā presents this daily struggle – not the struggle of war or the justification for war, but the struggle of what is life and what is death (metaphysically and morally) – in a deeply philosophical and personal manner. It is not a theoretical discussion, but a methodical presentation of an indisputable reality and the assimilation of this vision of reality in one’s life. Arjuna’s situational crisis mirrors each person’s existential crisis regarding the meaning of life and the fear of death. Arjuna’s crisis is the catalyst for presenting a clear vision of life and death that solves the felt crisis in every human heart, and for revealing the way to open the heart to this vision and allow it to firmly remain there. ( Jump to 2nd Ch. Intro)
BhG-T.1.1 Dhṛta-rāṣṭra said: What indeed did my people and the Pāṇḍavas do, assembled at Kuru-kṣetra, the field of dharma, desiring to fight, O Sañjaya?
dhṛta-rāṣṭra uvāca: dharma-kṣetre kuru-kṣetre samavetā yuyutsavaḥ, māmakāḥ pāṇḍavāś caiva kim akurvata sañjaya.
धर्म-क्षेत्रे कुरु-क्षेत्रे समवेता युयुत्सवः। मामकाः पाण्डवाश् चैव किम् अकुर्वत सञ्जय॥
BhG-T.1.2 Sañjaya said: Then, seeing the army of the sons of Pāṇḍu in battle formation, King Duryodhana, approaching his teacher Droṇa, spoke these words.
sañjaya uvāca: dṛṣṭvā tu pāṇḍavānīkaṃ vyūḍhaṃ dur-yodhanas tadā, ācāryam upasaṅgamya rājā vacanam abravīt.
दृष्ट्वा तु पाण्डवानीकं व्यूढं दुर्-योधनस् तदा। आचार्यम् उपसङ्गम्य राजा वचनम् अब्रवीत्॥
BhG-T.1.3 O Teacher, please look at this great army of the sons of Pāṇḍu, formed and led by your brilliant disciple, the son of Drupada.
paśyaitāṃ pāṇḍu-putrāṇām ācārya mahatīṃ camūm, vyūḍhāṃ dru-pada-putreṇa tava śiṣyeṇa dhīmatā.
पश्यैतां पाण्डु-पुत्राणाम् आचार्य महतीं चमूम्।
व्यूढां द्रु-पद-पुत्रेण तव शिष्येण धीमता॥
BhG-T.1.4–6 Here are the heroes, great archers, equal in battle to Bhīma and Arjuna – Yuyudhāna ( Sātyaki), Virāṭa, the great warrior Drupada, Dhṛṣṭa-ketu, Cekitāna, the valiant king of Kāśi, Purujit, Kunti-bhoja, the best of men Śaibya, the powerful Yudhāmanyu, the valiant Uttamaujas, the son of Subhadrā ( Abhimanyu), and the five sons of Draupatī – every one a great warrior.
atra śūrā maheṣvāsā bhīmārjuna-samā yudhi, yuyudhāno virāṭaś ca dru-padaś ca mahā-rathaḥ. dhṛṣṭa-ketuś cekitānaḥ kāśī-rājaś ca vīryavān, puru-jit kunti-bhojaś ca śaibyaś ca nara-puṅgavaḥ. yudhā-manyuś ca vikrānta uttamaujāś ca vīryavān, sau-bhadro drau-padeyāś ca sarva eva mahā-rathāḥ.
अत्र शूरा महेष्वासा भीमार्जुन-समा युधि।
युयुधानो विराटश् च द्रु-पदश् च महा-रथः॥ धृष्ट-केतुश् चेकितानः काशि-राजश् च वीर्यवान्। पुरु-जित् कुन्ति-भोजश् च शैब्यश् च नर-पुङ्गवः॥ युधा-मन्युश् च विक्रान्त उत्तमौजाश् च वीर्यवान्। सौ-भद्रो द्रौ-पदेयाश् च सर्व एव महा-रथाः॥
BhG-T.1.7 Whereas, O Best of brāhmaṇas, please know those leaders of my army who are distinguished among us. I mention them for your recognition.
asmākaṃ tu viśiṣṭā ye tān nibodha dvijottama, nāyakā mama sainyasya saṃjñārthaṃ tān bravīmi te.
अस्माकं तु विशिष्टा ये तान् निबोध द्विजोत्तम।
नायका मम सैन्यस्य सञ्ज्ञार्थं तान् ब्रवीमि ते॥
BhG-T.1.8 There are: Your Honor ( Droṇa), Bhīṣma, Karṇa, the victorious in battle Kṛpa, Aśvatthāman, Vikarṇa, and the son of Soma-datta.
bhavān bhīṣmaś ca karṇaś ca kṛpaś ca samitiñ-jayaḥ, aśva-tthāmā vikarṇaś ca sauma-dattis tathaiva ca.
भवान् भीष्मश् च कर्णश् च कृपश् च समितिञ्-जयः।
अश्व-त्थामा विकर्णश् च सौम-दत्तिस् तथैव च॥
BhG-T.1.9 And many other heroes who have given up their lives for me, all armed with many kinds of hand-held weapons and missiles, experts in warfare.
anye ca bahavaḥ śūrā mad-arthe tyakta-jīvitāḥ, nānā-śastra-praharaṇāḥ sarve yuddha-viśāradāḥ.
अन्ये च बहवः शूरा मद्-अर्थे त्यक्त-जीविताः।
नाना-शस्त्र-प्रहरणाः सर्वे युद्ध-विशारदाः॥
BhG-T.1.10 That army of ours, protected by Bhīṣma, is not overwhelmed; whereas this army of theirs, protected by Bhīma, is overwhelmed.
aparyāptaṃ tad asmākaṃ balaṃ bhīṣmābhirakṣitam, paryāptaṃ tv idam eteṣāṃ balaṃ bhīmābhirakṣitam.
अपर्याप्तं तद् अस्माकं बलं भीष्माभिरक्षितम्।
पर्याप्तं त्व् इदम् एतेषां बलं भीमाभिरक्षितम्॥
BhG-T.1.11 All of you stationed in your respective positions, in all the lanes of attack against your formations, protect Bhīṣma.
ayaneṣu ca sarveṣu yathā-bhāgam avasthitāḥ, bhīṣmam evābhirakṣantu bhavantaḥ sarva eva hi.
अयनेषु च सर्वेषु यथा-भागम् अवस्थिताः।
भीष्मम् एवाभिरक्षन्तु भवन्तः सर्व एव हि॥
BhG-T.1.12 Grandfather Bhīṣma, the powerful elder of the Kurus, loudly let out a lion’s roar and blew his conch, elating him, Duryodhana.
tasya sañjanayan harṣaṃ kuru-vṛddhaḥ pitā-mahaḥ, siṃha-nādaṃ vinadyoccaiḥ śaṅkhaṃ dadhmau pratāpavān.
तस्य सञ्जनयन् हर्षं कुरु-वृद्धः पिता-महः।
सिंह-नादं विनद्योच्चैः शङ्खं दध्मौ प्रतापवान्॥
BhG-T.1.13 Then, all at once (on Duryodhana’s side), conches, kettle drums, various small and large drums and horns were sounded. The noise was tumultuous.
tataḥ śaṅkhāś ca bheryaś ca paṇavānaka-go-mukhāḥ, sahasaivābhyahanyanta sa śabdas tumulo'bhavat.
ततः शङ्खाश् च भेर्यश् च पणवानक-गो-मुखाः।
सहसैवाभ्यहन्यन्त स शब्दस् तुमुलोऽभवत्॥
BhG-T.1.14 Then Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna, standing in the great chariot yoked with white horses, blew their divine conches.
tataḥ śvetair hayair yukte mahati syandane sthitau, mādhavaḥ pāṇḍavaś caiva divyau śaṅkhau pradadhmatuḥ.
ततः श्वेतैर् हयैर् युक्ते महति स्यन्दने स्थितौ।
माधवः पाण्डवश् चैव दिव्यौ शङ्खौ प्रदध्मतुः॥
BhG-T.1.15 Kṛṣṇa blew His conch called Pāñca-janya; Arjuna blew his conch called Deva-datta. Bhīma, the Wolf-Bellied, blew his huge conch called Pauṇḍra.
pāñca-janyaṃ hṛṣīkeśo deva-dattaṃ dhanañ-jayaḥ, pauṇḍraṃ dadhmau mahā-śaṅkhaṃ bhīma-karmā vṛkodaraḥ.
पाञ्च-जन्यं हृषीकेशो देव-दत्तं धनञ्-जयः।
पौण्ड्रं दध्मौ महा-शङ्खं भीम-कर्मा वृकोदरः॥
BhG-T.1.16 King Yudhi-ṣṭhira, the son of Kuntī, blew his conch called An-anta-vijaya. Nakula and Saha-deva blew their conches called Su-ghoṣa and Maṇi-puṣpaka.
ananta-vijayaṃ rājā kuntī-putro yudhi-ṣṭhiraḥ, nakulaḥ saha-devaś ca su-ghoṣa-maṇi-puṣpakau.
अनन्त-विजयं राजा कुन्ती-पुत्रो युधि-ष्ठिरः।
नकुलः सह-देवश् च सु-घोष-मणि-पुष्पकौ॥
BhG-T.1.17–18 The expert archer king of Kāśi, the great warrior Śikhaṇḍin, Dhṛṣṭa-dyumna, Virāṭa, and the unsurpassed Sātyaki, Drupada, the five sons of Draupadī, and the mighty-armed son of Su-bhadrā ( Abhimanyu) – O King Dhṛta-rāṣṭra, all on the Pāṇḍava side blew their individual conches.
kāśyaś ca parameṣvāsaḥ śikhaṇḍī ca mahā-rathaḥ, dhṛṣṭa-dyumno virāṭaś ca sātyakiś cāparā-jitaḥ. dru-pado drau-padeyāś ca sarvaśaḥ pṛthivī-pate, sau-bhadraś ca mahā-bāhuḥ śaṅkhān dadhmuḥ pṛthak pṛthak.
काश्यश् च परमेष्वासः शिखण्डी च महा-रथः।
धृष्ट-द्युम्नो विराटश् च सात्यकिश् चापरा-जितः॥ द्रु-पदो द्रौ-पदेयाश् च सर्वशः पृथिवी-पते। सौ-भद्रश् च महा-बाहुः शङ्खान् दध्मुः पृथक् पृथक्॥
BhG-T.1.19 Reverberating between heaven and earth, that tumultuous sound pierced the hearts of the allies of Dhṛta-rāṣṭra.
sa ghoṣo dhārta-rāṣṭrāṇāṃ hṛdayāni vyadārayat, nabhaś ca pṛthivīṃ caiva tumulo vyanunādayan.
स घोषो धार्त-राष्ट्राणां हृदयानि व्यदारयत्।
नभश् च पृथिवीं चैव तुमुलो व्यनुनादयन्॥
BhG-T.1.20–22 O King Dhṛta-rāṣṭra, then as the clash of swords was about to begin, Arjuna, with Lord Hanumān as his banner, seeing the allies of Dhṛta-rāṣṭra assembled, raised his bow and then said these words to Kṛṣṇa. Arjuna said: O Kṛṣṇa, place my chariot between both armies so that I can examine these assembled wishing to do battle, and with whom I should fight at the outset of this war.
atha vyavasthitān dṛṣṭvā dhārta-rāṣṭrān kapi-dhvajaḥ, pravṛtte śastra-sampāte dhanur udyamya pāṇḍavaḥ. hṛṣīkeśaṃ tadā vākyam idam āha mahī-pate. arjuna uvāca: senayor ubhayor madhye rathaṃ sthāpaya me'cyuta. yāvad etān nirīkṣe'haṃ yoddhu-kāmān avasthitān, kair mayā saha yoddhavyam asmin raṇa-samudyame.
अथ व्यवस्थितान् दृष्ट्वा धार्त-राष्ट्रान् कपि-ध्वजः।
प्रवृत्ते शस्त्र-सम्पाते धनुर् उद्यम्य पाण्डवः॥ हृषीकेशं तदा वाक्यम् इदम् आह मही-पते। अर्जुन उवाच। सेनयोर् उभयोर् मध्ये रथं स्थापय मेऽच्युत॥ यावद् एतान् निरीक्षेऽहं योद्धु-कामान् अवस्थितान्। कैर् मया सह योद्धव्यम् अस्मिन् रण-समुद्यमे॥
BhG-T.1.23 So I can see those about to fight who have assembled here, wishing to please in war the distorted-thinking Duryodhana.
yotsyamānān avekṣe'haṃ ya ete'tra samāgatāḥ, dhārta-rāṣṭrasya dur-buddher yuddhe priya-cikīrṣavaḥ.
योत्स्यमानान् अवेक्षेऽहं य एतेऽत्र समागताः।
धार्त-राष्ट्रस्य दुर्-बुद्धेर् युद्धे प्रिय-चिकीर्षवः॥
BhG-T.1.24–25 Sañjaya said: O Dhṛta-rāṣṭra, having thus been ordered by Arjuna, Lord Kṛṣṇa placed the great chariot between both armies, right in front of Bhīṣma and Droṇa and all these kings, and then said, ‘ Arjuna, behold these assembled Kurus.’
sañjaya uvāca: evam ukto hṛṣīkeśo guḍākeśena bhārata, senayor ubhayor madhye sthāpayitvā rathottamam. bhīṣma-droṇa-pramukhataḥ sarveṣāṃ ca mahī-kṣitām, uvāca pārtha paśyaitān samavetān kurūn iti.
एवम् उक्तो हृषीकेशो गुडाकेशेन भारत। सेनयोर् उभयोर् मध्ये स्थापयित्वा रथोत्तमम्॥ भीष्म-द्रोण-प्रमुखतः सर्वेषां च मही-क्षिताम्। उवाच पार्थ पश्यैतान् समवेतान् कुरून् इति॥
BhG-T.1.26–27 There Arjuna saw stationed in both armies fathers, grandfathers, teachers, uncles, brothers, sons, grandsons, comrades, fathers-in-law, and friends. That Arjuna, seeing all those assembled relatives and being overwhelmed with great pity, became sad and said this.
tatrāpaśyat sthitān pārthaḥ pitṝn atha pitā-mahān, ācāryān mātulān bhrātṝn putrān pautrān sakhīṃs tathā. śvaśurān su-hṛdaś caiva senayor ubhayor api, tān samīkṣya sa kaunteyaḥ sarvān bandhūn avasthitān. kṛpayā parayāviṣṭo viṣīdann idam abravīt.
तत्रापश्यत् स्थितान् पार्थः पितॄन् अथ पिता-महान्।
आचार्यान् मातुलान् भ्रातॄन् पुत्रान् पौत्रान् सखींस् तथा॥ श्वशुरान् सु-हृदश् चैव सेनयोर् उभयोर् अपि। तान् समीक्ष्य स कौन्तेयः सर्वान् बन्धून् अवस्थितान्॥ कृपया परयाविष्टो विषीदन्न् इदम् अब्रवीत्।
BhG-T.1.28–29 Arjuna said: O Kṛṣṇa, seeing these, my people (on both sides), who have come ready to fight, my limbs are limp, my mouth is dry, my body is trembling, and my hairs are on end.
arjuna uvāca: dṛṣṭvemaṃ sva-janaṃ kṛṣṇa yuyutsuṃ samupasthitam. sīdanti mama gātrāṇi mukhaṃ ca pariśuṣyati, vepathuś ca śarīre me roma-harṣaś ca jāyate.
दृष्ट्वेमं स्व-जनं कृष्ण युयुत्सुं समुपस्थितम्॥ सीदन्ति मम गात्राणि मुखं च परिशुष्यति। वेपथुश् च शरीरे मे रोम-हर्षश् च जायते॥
BhG-T.1.30 My bow Gāṇḍīva slips from my hand, and my skin burns. My mind seems to spin, and I am unable to stand.
gāṇḍīvaṃ sraṃsate hastāt tvak caiva paridahyate, na ca śaknomy avasthātuṃ bhramatīva ca me manaḥ.
गाण्डीवं स्रंसते हस्तात् त्वक् चैव परिदह्यते।
न च शक्नोम्य् अवस्थातुं भ्रमतीव च मे मनः॥
BhG-T.1.31 O Kṛṣṇa, I see bad omens (such as a twitching eye), and I see no good by killing my people in this war.
nimittāni ca paśyāmi viparītāni keśava, na ca śreyo'nupaśyāmi hatvā sva-janam āhave.
निमित्तानि च पश्यामि विपरीतानि केशव।
न च श्रेयोऽनुपश्यामि हत्वा स्व-जनम् आहवे॥
BhG-T.1.32 O Kṛṣṇa, I do not desire for myself victory, nor kingdom, nor pleasures. O Kṛṣṇa, what is the use of a kingdom to us? What is the use of pleasures or living?
na kāṅkṣe vijayaṃ kṛṣṇa na ca rājyaṃ sukhāni ca, kiṃ no rājyena go-vinda kiṃ bhogair jīvitena vā.
न काङ्क्षे विजयं कृष्ण न च राज्यं सुखानि च।
किं नो राज्येन गो-विन्द किं भोगैर् जीवितेन वा॥
BhG-T.1.33–34 For whose sake we have desired kingdom, experiences, and pleasures – those same are assembled here in battle, giving up their lives and wealth: teachers, fathers, sons, grandfathers, uncles, fathers-in-law, grandsons, brothers-in-law, and other relations.
yeṣām arthe kāṅkṣitaṃ no rājyaṃ bhogāḥ sukhāni ca, ta ime'vasthitā yuddhe prāṇāṃs tyaktvā dhanāni ca. ācāryāḥ pitaraḥ putrās tathaiva ca pitā-mahāḥ, mātulāḥ śvaśurāḥ pautrāḥ syālāḥ sambandhinas tathā.
येषाम् अर्थे काङ्क्षितं नो राज्यं भोगाः सुखानि च।
त इमेऽवस्थिता युद्धे प्राणांस् त्यक्त्वा धनानि च॥ आचार्याः पितरः पुत्रास् तथैव च पिता-महाः। मातुलाः श्वशुराः पौत्राः श्यालाः सम्बन्धिनस् तथा॥
BhG-T.1.35 O Kṛṣṇa, though they are about to kill me, I do not wish to kill them – even for dominion over the three worlds (earth, sky, and heaven), much less for a kingdom on this earth.
etān na hantum icchāmi ghnato'pi madhu-sūdana, api trai-lokya-rājyasya hetoḥ kiṃ nu mahī-kṛte.
एतान् न हन्तुम् इच्छामि घ्नतोऽपि मधु-सूदन।
अपि त्रै-लोक्य-राज्यस्य हेतोः किं नु मही-कृते॥
BhG-T.1.36 What satisfaction would we have by killing the sons of Dhṛta-rāṣṭra, O Kṛṣṇa? By killing these felons, only sin would befall us.
nihatya dhārta-rāṣṭrān naḥ kā prītiḥ syāj janārdana, pāpam evāśrayed asmān hatvaitān ātatāyinaḥ.
निहत्य धार्त-राष्ट्रान् नः का प्रीतिः स्याज् जनार्दन।
पापम् एवाश्रयेद् अस्मान् हत्वैतान् आततायिनः॥
BhG-T.1.37 Therefore, we ought not to kill our own relatives, the sons of Dhṛta-rāṣṭra. By killing our own relations, how would we be happy, O Kṛṣṇa?
tasmān nārhā vayaṃ hantuṃ dhārta-rāṣṭrān sva-bāndhavān, sva-janaṃ hi kathaṃ hatvā sukhinaḥ syāma mādhava.
तस्मान् नार्हा वयं हन्तुं धार्त-राष्ट्रान् स्व-बान्धवान्।
स्व-जनं हि कथं हत्वा सुखिनः स्याम माधव॥
BhG-T.1.38–39 Even if these – whose minds are overwhelmed by greed – do not see the problem wrought by destroying the family or the crime in betraying friends, how can we – who clearly see the problem wrought by destroying the family – not know to withdraw from this sin, O Kṛṣṇa?
yady apy ete na paśyanti lobhopahata-cetasaḥ, kula-kṣaya-kṛtaṃ doṣaṃ mitra-drohe ca pātakam. kathaṃ na jñeyam asmābhiḥ pāpād asmān nivartitum, kula-kṣaya-kṛtaṃ doṣaṃ prapaśyadbhir janārdana.
यद्य् अप्य् एते न पश्यन्ति लोभोपहत-चेतसः।
कुल-क्षय-कृतं दोषं मित्र-द्रोहे च पातकम्॥ कथं न ज्ञेयम् अस्माभिः पापाद् अस्मान् निवर्तितुम्। कुल-क्षय-कृतं दोषं प्रपश्यद्भिर् जनार्दन॥
BhG-T.1.40 When the family is destroyed (by this killing of the men, the protectors of the family), the ancient traditions ( dharmas) of the family are destroyed. When tradition is destroyed, corruption ( a-dharma) indeed overwhelms the entire family.
kula-kṣaye praṇaśyanti kula-dharmāḥ sanā-tanāḥ, dharme naṣṭe kulaṃ kṛtsnam adharmo'bhibhavaty uta.
कुल-क्षये प्रणश्यन्ति कुल-धर्माः सना-तनाः।
धर्मे नष्टे कुलं कृत्स्नम् अधर्मोऽभिभवत्य् उत॥
BhG-T.1.41 O Kṛṣṇa, due to the family being overpowered by corruption, the women of the family (can become) debased (kept from maintaining their traditions). O Kṛṣṇa, when the women are debased, there arises confusion of the social groups.
adharmābhibhavāt kṛṣṇa praduṣyanti kula-striyaḥ, strīṣu duṣṭāsu vārṣṇeya jāyate varṇa-saṅkaraḥ.
अधर्माभिभवात् कृष्ण प्रदुष्यन्ति कुल-स्त्रियः।
स्त्रीषु दुष्टासु वार्ष्णेय जायते वर्ण-सङ्करः॥
BhG-T.1.42 Confusion leads to hell for the destroyers of the family, as well as for the family. Their ancestors, being deprived of the post-death rituals of offerings of rice balls, water, etcetera, indeed fall (to a lower status).
saṅkaro narakāyaiva kula-ghnānāṃ kulasya ca, patanti pitaro hy eṣāṃ lupta-piṇḍodaka-kriyāḥ
सङ्करो नरकायैव कुल-घ्नानां कुलस्य च।
पतन्ति पितरो ह्य् एषां लुप्त-पिण्डोदक-क्रियाः॥
BhG-T.1.43 Because of these crimes of the destroyers of the family, bringing about the confusion of the social groups, the ancient community traditions – as well as the family traditions – are destroyed.
doṣair etaiḥ kula-ghnānāṃ varṇa-saṅkara-kārakaiḥ, utsādyante jāti-dharmāḥ kula-dharmāś ca śāśvatāḥ.
दोषैर् एतैः कुल-घ्नानां वर्ण-सङ्कर-कारकैः।
उत्साद्यन्ते जाति-धर्माः कुल-धर्माश् च शाश्वताः॥
BhG-T.1.44 O Kṛṣṇa, we have heard that the people who destroy the family tradition ( dharma) surely have a stay in hell.
utsanna-kula-dharmāṇāṃ manuṣyāṇāṃ janārdana, narake niyataṃ vāso bhavatīty anuśuśruma.
उत्सन्न-कुल-धर्माणां मनुष्याणां जनार्दन।
नरके नियतं वासो भवतीत्य् अनुशुश्रुम॥
BhG-T.1.45 Oh! We are fixed to perpetrate a great sin, if, out of greed for kingdom and its pleasures, we are prepared to kill our own people.
aho bata mahat pāpaṃ kartuṃ vyavasitā vayam, yad rājya-sukha-lobhena hantuṃ sva-janam udyatāḥ.
अहो बत महत् पापं कर्तुं व्यवसिता वयम्।
यद् राज्य-सुख-लोभेन हन्तुं स्व-जनम् उद्यताः॥
BhG-T.1.46 If the armed sons of Dhṛta-rāṣṭra were in battle to kill me, unresisting and unarmed, that would be better for me (than this sin).
yadi mām apratīkāram aśastraṃ śastra-pāṇayaḥ, dhārta-rāṣṭrā raṇe hanyus tan me kṣemataraṃ bhavet.
यदि माम् अप्रतीकारम् अशस्त्रं शस्त्र-पाणयः।
धार्त-राष्ट्रा रणे हन्युस् तन् मे क्षेमतरं भवेत्॥
BhG-T.1.47 Sañjaya said: Speaking thus, Arjuna, giving up his bow and arrows in the middle of the battle-field, sat down on the chariot seat, his mind overcome with sorrow (in the form of guilt and hurt).
sañjaya uvāca: evam uktvārjunaḥ saṃkhye rathopastha upāviśat, visṛjya sa-śaraṃ cāpaṃ śoka-saṃvigna-mānasaḥ.
एवम् उक्त्वार्जुनः सङ्ख्ये रथोपस्थ उपाविशत्। विसृज्य स-शरं चापं शोक-संविग्न-मानसः॥
BhG-T.1. Om ( brahman, the witness of all) is that (only) reality ( sat). Thus ends the first chapter, called ‘The Topic of Arjuna’s Sorrow,’ of the (eighteen chapters of) Songs of the Glorious Lord, which is (looked upon as) sacred teaching ( Upaniṣad) and (whose teaching is) in (the form of) a dialogue between Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna, (the subject matter being) knowledge of brahman and yoga.
oṃ tat sat. iti śrīmad-bhagavad-gītāsūpaniṣatsu brahma-vidyāyāṃ yoga-śāstre śrī-kṛṣṇārjuna-saṃvāde'rjuna-viṣāda-yogo nāma prathamo'dhyāyaḥ.
ओं तत् सत्। इति श्रीमद्-भगवद्-गीतासूपनिषत्सु ब्रह्म-विद्यायां योग-शास्त्रे श्री-कृष्णार्जुन-संवादेऽर्जुन-विषाद-योगो नाम प्रथमोऽध्यायः॥
Go to Top ('Home' key on many Windows browsers)
Atha dvitīyo'dhyāyaḥ (2.1-72)
Second Chapter Introduction
The Topic of Knowledge
Kṛṣṇa is being asked to be a guru, a teacher. He himself has been a young student under the sage Sāndīpani, so, in addition to being the Lord incarnate, Kṛṣṇa clearly is equipped with the methodology of teaching presented in the Upaniṣads. He shows this by fluently quoting and paraphrasing verses of several Upaniṣads and by wholesale borrowing topics from several more to weave a complete vision.
The Advaita Vedānta teaching is then not new. It is completely within the ancient tradition of the Upaniṣad scriptures and elaborates the preparation required to assimilate the direct knowledge of the teaching. It is not a “secret” teaching for the initiated only. Rather, it is presented in the middle of the Mahā-bhārata, the most popular storybook in Indian literature.
In chapter 2, Kṛṣṇa teaches Arjuna that the people Arjuna is grieving are, in fact, the being that is timeless and unchanging, and none other than the self of Arjuna. So, being changeless, Arjuna, from the true perspective of himself, whether he knows it or not, is not the doer of action – not the slayer of these people or even of these bodies before him.
This is called viveka, discernment of the real from the unreal, the self from the nonself. This teaching is quite shocking ( āścaryavat), and not easily understood when first heard. Therefore, Kṛṣṇa further explains. He speaks from the perspective of the relative reality of living and explains that impermanent entities obviously have an end and that their lot after their end is both unknown and unknowable to others. So, even relatively then, there is no basis for grieving, he tells Arjuna. Moreover, Kṛṣṇa says, if Arjuna deserts the battlefield, he is deserting his duty, and this will bring unwanted repercussions in this life and later.
Kṛṣṇa then proceeds to teach the prerequisite understanding that a student needs in order to assimilate this profound teaching. This understanding involves committing to doing one’s duty with the intent of gaining in this life the knowledge that liberates. This preparation is presented in the Upaniṣads by the description of the qualifications of the student and by various upāsanas, meditations on life and the universe that instill a cosmic perspective to living. This preparation is here called karma-yoga. It is a dispassion ( vairāgya) for material and even spiritual results that are time bound. Then, with this dispassion, doing action as a participation in the cosmic cycle simply because it is a duty-to-be-done and is the proper thing to be done that matures the mind. The mature mind then has the discipline and clarity to assimilate the self-knowledge that liberates – that brings one to an appreciation of brahman, the ultimate reality, as one’s self. ( Jump to 3rd Ch. Intro)
BhG-T.2.1 Sañjaya said: Kṛṣṇa spoke these words to him, Arjuna, who in that way was overwhelmed by pity, with eyes stressed and full of tears and was sad.
sañjaya uvāca: taṃ tathā kṛpayāviṣṭam aśru-pūrṇākulekṣaṇam, viṣīdantam idaṃ vākyam uvāca madhu-sūdanaḥ.
तं तथा कृपयाविष्टम् अश्रु-पूर्णाकुलेक्षणम्। विषीदन्तम् इदं वाक्यम् उवाच मधु-सूदनः॥
BhG-T.2.2 The Lord said: In such a crisis, at the outset of this war, from where came to you this despair, unacceptable for a person of the Veda culture, not leading to heaven, and engendering dishonor, O Arjuna?
śrī-bhagavān uvāca: kutas tvā kaśmalam idaṃ viṣame samupasthitam, anārya-juṣṭam asvargyam akīrti-karam arjuna.
कुतस् त्वा कश्मलम् इदं वि-षमे समुपस्थितम्। अनार्य-जुष्टम् अस्वर्ग्यम् अकीर्ति-करम् अर्जुन॥
BhG-T.2.3 Do not yield to impotency, O Arjuna. It does not befit you. Give up this lowly weakness of heart and get up, O Arjuna (Vexer of Foes)!
klaibyaṃ mā sma gamaḥ pārtha naitat tvayy upapadyate, kṣudraṃ hṛdaya-daur-balyaṃ tyaktvottiṣṭha paran-tapa.
क्लैब्यं मा स्म गमः पार्थ नैतत् त्वय्य् उपपद्यते।
क्षुद्रं हृदय-दौर्-बल्यं त्यक्त्वोत्तिष्ठ परन्-तप॥
BhG-T.2.4 Arjuna said: O Kṛṣṇa (Destroyer of Demons and Foes), how will I fight in battle with arrows against Bhīṣma and Droṇa, who are worthy of my worship, thus becoming a destroyer of my gurus?
arjuna uvāca: kathaṃ bhīṣmam ahaṃ saṃkhye droṇaṃ ca madhu-sūdana, iṣubhiḥ pratiyotsyāmi pūjārhāv ari-sūdana.
कथं भीष्मम् अहं सङ्ख्ये द्रोणं च मधु-सूदन। इषुभिः प्रतियोत्स्यामि पूजार्हाव् अरि-सूदन॥
BhG-T.2.5 It would be better I not kill these highly honored gurus and even beg alms here in the world, become a renunciate, than kill these gurus seeking their own ends and then indulge here in pleasures, drenched with their blood.
gurūn ahatvā hi mahānubhāvāñ chreyo bhoktuṃ bhaikṣam apīha loke, hatvārtha-kāmāṃs tu gurūn ihaiva bhuñjīya bhogān rudhira-pradigdhān.
गुरून् अहत्वा हि महानुभावाञ् छ्रेयो भोक्तुं भैक्ष्यम् अपीह लोके।
हत्वार्थ-कामांस् तु गुरून् इहैव भुञ्जीय भोगान् रुधिर-प्रदिग्धान्॥
BhG-T.2.6 We, I, do not know which one of the two is better for us – whether by my fighting we should conquer or by my withdrawal they should conquer us. Those allies of Dhṛta-rāṣṭra, after slaying whom we would not want to live, stand facing us.
na caitad vidmaḥ kataran no garīyo yad vā jayema yadi vā no jayeyuḥ, yān eva hatvā na jijīviṣāmas te'vasthitāḥ pramukhe dhārta-rāṣṭrāḥ.
न चैतद् विद्मः कतरन् नो गरीयो यद् वा जयेम यदि वा नो जयेयुः।
यान् एव हत्वा न जिजीविषामस् तेऽवस्थिताः प्रमुखे धार्त-राष्ट्राः॥
BhG-T.2.7 With my mind overcome by miserliness, yet to be spent seeking the ultimate good ( śreyas), and confused about dharma, I ask You – what is definitely śreyas? That, please tell me. I am Your student. Having surrendered to You, please teach me.
kārpaṇya-doṣopahata-sva-bhāvaḥ pṛcchāmi tvāṃ dharma-saṃmūḍha-cetāḥ, yac chreyaḥ syān niścitaṃ brūhi tan me śiṣyas te'haṃ śādhi māṃ tvāṃ prapannam.
कार्पण्य-दोषोपहत-स्व-भावः पृच्छामि त्वां धर्म-सम्मूढ-चेताः।
यच् छ्रेयः स्यान् निश्चितं ब्रूहि तन् मे शिष्यस् तेऽहं शाधि मां त्वां प्रपन्नम्॥
BhG-T.2.8 Because, though gaining an unrivalled and prosperous kingdom on earth and even lordship over the heavenly deities, I do not see on my own what would remove the sorrow, the guilt and hurt, drying up my senses.
na hi prapaśyāmi mamāpanudyād yac chokam ucchoṣaṇam indriyāṇām, avāpya bhūmāv asapatnam ṛddhaṃ rājyaṃ surāṇām api cādhipatyam.
न हि प्रपश्यामि ममापनुद्याद् यच् छोकम् उच्छोषणम् इन्द्रियाणाम्।
अवाप्य भूमाव् असपत्नम् ऋद्धं राज्यं सुराणाम् अपि चाधिपत्यम्॥
BhG-T.2.9 Sañjaya said: Having thus spoken to Kṛṣṇa, Arjuna, the Vexer of Foes, told Kṛṣṇa ‘I will not fight’ and became silent.
sañjaya uvāca: evam uktvā hṛṣīkeśaṃ guḍākeśaḥ paran-tapaḥ (paran-tapa), na yotsya iti go-vindam uktvā tūṣṇīṃ babhūva ha.
एवम् उक्त्वा हृषीकेशं गुडाकेशः परन्-तपः। (परन्-तप) न योत्स्य इति गो-विन्दम् उक्त्वा तूष्णीं बभूव ह॥
BhG-T.2.10 O Dhṛta-rāṣṭra, with a smile at the new-found student in Arjuna and at the bold request to teach Arjuna between two armies at the outset of war, Kṛṣṇa said these words to him, Arjuna, who was sad in the midst of both armies.
tam uvāca hṛṣīkeśaḥ prahasann iva bhārata, senayor ubhayor madhye viṣīdantam idaṃ vacaḥ.
तम् उवाच हृषीकेशः प्रहसन्न् इव भारत।
सेनयोर् उभयोर् मध्ये विषीदन्तम् इदं वचः॥
BhG-T.2.11 The Lord said: You have grieved for those not to be grieved, yet proclaim words of wisdom. The wise do not grieve for those whose life’s breath is gone or not yet gone.
śrī-bhagavān uvāca: aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṃ prajñā-vādāṃś ca bhāṣase, gatāsūn agatāsūṃś ca nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ.
अशोच्यान् अन्वशोचस् त्वं प्रज्ञा-वादांश् च भाषसे। गतासून् अगतासूंश् च नानुशोचन्ति पण्डिताः॥
BhG-T.2.12 Never was there a time that I was not, nor you, nor these kings. Nor will any of us cease to exist hereafter.
na tv evāhaṃ jātu nāsaṃ na tvaṃ neme janādhipāḥ, na caiva na bhaviṣyāmaḥ sarve vayam ataḥ param.
न त्व् एवाहं जातु नासं न त्वं नेमे जनाधिपाः।
न चैव न भविष्यामः सर्वे वयम् अतः परम्॥
BhG-T.2.13 For the one with a body (the dehī), like passing through childhood, maturity, and old age in this body, so too for the dehī who remains the same there is the gain of another body after this body dies. Concerning this, the wise person is not confused.
dehino'smin yathā dehe kaumāraṃ yauvanaṃ jarā, tathā dehāntara-prāptir dhīras tatra na muhyati.
देहिनोऽस्मिन् यथा देहे कौमारं यौवनं जरा।
तथा देहान्तर-प्राप्तिर् धीरस् तत्र न मुह्यति॥
BhG-T.2.14 O Arjuna, the contacts of the senses, or rather, the sense objects – from a distance or in contact, which give cold/hot and pleasure/pain, the natural pairs of opposites, have a beginning and an end and therefore are time bound. Endure them, accept them objectively as they are, O Arjuna.
mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya śītoṣṇa-sukha-duḥkha-dāḥ, āgamāpāyino'nityās tāṃs titikṣasva bhārata.
मात्रा-स्पर्शास् तु कौन्तेय शीतोष्ण-सुख-दुःख-दाः।
आगमापायिनोऽनित्यास् तांस् तितिक्षस्व भारत॥
BhG-T.2.15 O Arjuna, the person whom these unavoidable contacts or sense objects do not afflict, who is the same in pleasure and pain, and who is discerning – that one is fit for freedom.
yaṃ hi na vyathayanty ete puruṣaṃ puruṣa-rṣabha, sama-duḥkha-sukhaṃ dhīraṃ so'mṛtatvāya kalpate.
यं हि न व्यथयन्त्य् एते पुरुषं पुरुष-र्षभ।
सम-दुःख-सुखं धीरं सोऽमृतत्वाय कल्पते॥
BhG-T.2.16 A-sat (the unreal, the time-bound form) has no being of its own, and sat (the real, existence) has no nonbeing. This conclusion, regarding both these, is discerned by the seers of the truth. (In ‘this form exists,’ ‘that form exists,’ existence is constant. But the unreal, time-bound forms constantly change.)
nāsato vidyate bhāvo nābhāvo vidyate sataḥ, ubhayor api dṛṣṭo'ntas tv anayos tattva-darśibhiḥ.
नासतो विद्यते भावो नाभावो विद्यते सतः।
उभयोर् अपि दृष्टोऽन्तस् त्व् अनयोस् तत्त्व-दर्शिभिः॥
BhG-T.2.17 By which sat (existence/reality) all this, the a-sat (the ‘this and that’ time-bound world, including this body-mind complex), is pervaded, know that, the timeless and real, to be indestructible. Nothing is able to bring about the destruction of this that does not change.
avināśi tu tad viddhi yena sarvam idaṃ tatam, vināśam avyayasyāsya na kaścit kartum arhati.
अविनाशि तु तद् विद्धि येन सर्वम् इदं ततम्।
विनाशम् अव्ययस्यास्य न कश्चित् कर्तुम् अर्हति॥
BhG-T.2.18 These bodies of the timeless, indestructible, non-objectifiable as the self-evident subject embodied one who obtains as the being/reality of these body-mind complexes are said to be subject to unavoidable death. Therefore fight, O Arjuna.
antavanta ime dehā nityasyoktāḥ śarīriṇaḥ, anāśino'prameyasya tasmād yudhyasva bhārata.
अन्तवन्त इमे देहा नित्यस्योक्ताः शरीरिणः।
अनाशिनोऽप्रमेयस्य तस्माद् युध्यस्व भारत॥
BhG-T.2.19 The one who thinks this (the embodied one, the real, the self-evident subject) is the agent of destruction, change, etcetera, and the one who thinks this (the embodied one, the real) is the object of destruction – both do not know. This neither destroys nor is destroyed.
ya enaṃ vetti hantāraṃ yaś cainaṃ manyate hatam, ubhau tau na vijānīto nāyaṃ hanti na hanyate.
य एनं वेत्ति हन्तारं यश् चैनं मन्यते हतम्।
उभौ तौ न विजानीतो नायं हन्ति न हन्यते॥
BhG-T.2.20 This, the embodied one, the real, is never born, nor dies. It is not that, coming to be, it again comes not to be, nor the opposite – becoming nonexistent, it again comes to be. This – which is unborn, permanent, ever the same, and always there – is not destroyed, not changed, when the body is being destroyed, changed.
na jāyate mriyate vā kadācin nāyaṃ bhūtvābhavitā vā na bhūyaḥ, ajo nityaḥ śāśvato'yaṃ purāṇo na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre.
न जायते म्रियते वा कदाचिन् नायं भूत्वाभविता वा न भूयः।
अजो नित्यः शाश्वतोऽयं पुराणो न हन्यते हन्यमाने शरीरे॥
BhG-T.2.21 O Arjuna, when one knows this, the dehī (oneself, the embodied one, the real), to be indestructible, permanent, unborn, and unchanging, then how does that person cause the death of whom, or kill whom?
vedāvināśinaṃ nityaṃ ya enam ajam avyayam, kathaṃ sa puruṣaḥ pārtha kaṃ ghātayati hanti kam.
वेदाविनाशिनं नित्यं य एनम् अजम् अव्ययम्।
कथं स पुरुषः पार्थ कं घातयति हन्ति कम्॥
BhG-T.2.22 Just as a person discarding worn-out clothes takes other new ones; similarly, the embodied one, discarding worn-out bodies, takes on other new ones.
vāsāṃsi jīrṇāni yathā vihāya navāni gṛhṇāti naro'parāṇi, tathā śarīrāṇi vihāya jīrṇāny anyāni saṃyāti navāni dehī.
वासांसि जीर्णानि यथा विहाय नवानि गृह्णाति नरोऽपराणि।
तथा शरीराणि विहाय जीर्णान्य् अन्यानि संयाति नवानि देही॥
BhG-T.2.23 Weapons made from the element earth do not cut it, nor does the element fire burn it, nor does the element water soak it, nor does the element wind wither it.
nainaṃ chindanti śastrāṇi nainaṃ dahati pāvakaḥ, na cainaṃ kledayanty āpo na śoṣayati mārutaḥ.
नैनं छिन्दन्ति शस्त्राणि नैनं दहति पावकः।
न चैनं क्लेदयन्त्य् आपो न शोषयति मारुतः॥
BhG-T.2.24 This is uncutable. This is unburnable, unwetable, and unwitherable. This is timeless, locationless, stable, unmoving, and always existing.
acchedyo'yam adāhyo'yam akledyo'śoṣya eva ca, nityaḥ sarva-gataḥ sthāṇur acalo'yaṃ sanā-tanaḥ.
अच्छेद्योऽयम् अदाह्योऽयम् अक्लेद्योऽशोष्य एव च।
नित्यः सर्व-गतः स्थाणुर् अचलोऽयं सना-तनः॥
BhG-T.2.25 This is said to be not manifest to the senses, not an object of thought since it is the conscious being that is aware of all thoughts, and not subject to change. Therefore, since there is no basis for grief regarding the self, knowing this as such, you cannot grieve.
avyakto'yam acintyo'yam avikāryo'yam ucyate, tasmād evaṃ viditvainaṃ nānuśocitum arhasi.
अव्यक्तोऽयम् अचिन्त्योऽयम् अविकार्योऽयम् उच्यते।
तस्माद् एवं विदित्वैनं नानुशोचितुम् अर्हसि॥
BhG-T.2.26 O Arjuna, now if you consider this, the self – as the body or as an individual soul, to continually be born and die – even in that way, you should not in this way grieve.
atha cainaṃ nitya-jātaṃ nityaṃ vā manyase mṛtam, tathāpi tvaṃ mahā-bāho naivaṃ śocitum arhasi.
अथ चैनं नित्य-जातं नित्यं वा मन्यसे मृतम्।
तथापि त्वं महा-बाहो नैवं शोचितुम् अर्हसि॥
BhG-T.2.27 Because, for what is born, death is certain, and for what is dead, birth in another form is certain, then you should not grieve over a situation that cannot be avoided.
jātasya hi dhruvo mṛtyur dhruvaṃ janma mṛtasya ca, tasmād aparihārye'rthe na tvaṃ śocitum arhasi.
जातस्य हि ध्रुवो मृत्युर् ध्रुवं जन्म मृतस्य च।
तस्माद् अपरिहार्येऽर्थे न त्वं शोचितुम् अर्हसि॥
BhG-T.2.28 O Arjuna, all beings are unseen before their beginning, unknown as to whom or what they were before their birth; are seen in between; and are unseen after their end, unknown as to their lot after death. Regarding that, why grieve?
avyaktādīni bhūtāni vyakta-madhyāni bhārata, avyakta-nidhanāny eva tatra kā paridevanā.
अव्यक्तादीनि भूतानि व्यक्त-मध्यानि भारत।
अव्यक्त-निधनान्य् एव तत्र का परिदेवना॥
BhG-T.2.29 As a wonder, someone sees, knows, this timeless, locationless, embodied one – the real! Similarly, as a wonder, another, the teacher, speaks of this and, as a wonder, another listens about this! Even after listening, another still does not know this which is oneself!
āścaryavat paśyati kaścid enam āścaryavad vadati tathaiva cānyaḥ, āścaryavac cainam anyaḥ śṛṇoti śrutvāpy enaṃ veda na caiva kaścit.
आश्चर्यवत् पश्यति कश्चिद् एनम् आश्चर्यवद् वदति तथैव चान्यः।
आश्चर्यवच् चैनम् अन्यः शृणोति श्रुत्वाप्य् एनं वेद न चैव कश्चित्॥
BhG-T.2.30 O Arjuna, this embodied one in every body is ever indestructible; therefore, you should not grieve over all these beings.
dehī nityam avadhyo'yaṃ dehe sarvasya bhārata, tasmāt sarvāṇi bhūtāni na tvaṃ śocitum arhasi.
देही नित्यम् अवध्योऽयं देहे सर्वस्य भारत।
तस्मात् सर्वाणि भूतानि न त्वं शोचितुम् अर्हसि॥
BhG-T.2.31 Even in regard to your own dharma (nature and duty), you should not waver. Because, for a warrior such as you – by nature and duty, there is no greater good than a battle on the side of dharma, a battle for the protection of what supports people through their maturation to wisdom.
sva-dharmam api cāvekṣya na vikampitum arhasi, dharmyād dhi yuddhāc chreyo'nyat kṣattriyasya na vidyate.
स्व-धर्मम् अपि चावेक्ष्य न विकम्पितुम् अर्हसि।
धर्म्याद् धि युद्धाच् छ्रेयोऽन्यत् क्षत्रियस्य न विद्यते॥
BhG-T.2.32 By happenstance an open door to heaven has come. O Arjuna, fortunate are warriors who get such a battle.
yad-ṛcchayā copapannaṃ svar-ga-dvāram apāvṛtam, sukhinaḥ kṣatriyāḥ pārtha labhante yuddham īdṛśam.
यद्-ऋच्छया चोपपन्नं स्वर्-ग-द्वारम् अपावृतम्।
सुखिनः क्षत्रियाः पार्थ लभन्ते युद्धम् ईदृशम्॥
BhG-T.2.33 Now if you will not undertake this battle on the side of dharma, then forfeiting your dharma (nature and duty) and honor, you will incur karma demerit ( pāpa).
atha cet tvam imaṃ dharmyaṃ saṅgrāmaṃ na kariṣyasi, tataḥ sva-dharmaṃ kīrtiṃ ca hitvā pāpam avāpsyasi.
अथ चेत् त्वम् इमं धर्म्यं सङ्ग्रामं न करिष्यसि।
ततः स्व-धर्मं कीर्तिं च हित्वा पापम् अवाप्स्यसि॥
BhG-T.2.34 These creatures, even yesterday’s recruits, will also recount your unfading infamy. Dishonor for one who had been honored is worse than death.
akīrtiṃ cāpi bhūtāni kathayiṣyanti te'vyayām, sambhāvitasya cākīrtir maraṇād atiricyate.
अकीर्तिं चापि भूतानि कथयिष्यन्ति तेऽव्ययाम्।
सम्भावितस्य चाकीर्तिर् मरणाद् अतिरिच्यते॥
BhG-T.2.35 The great warriors will think you withdrew from battle out of fear. Among whom, having been highly honored, you will become insignificant.
bhayād raṇād uparataṃ maṃsyante tvāṃ mahā-rathāḥ, yeṣāṃ ca tvaṃ bahu-mato bhūtvā yāsyasi lāghavam.
भयाद् रणाद् उपरतं मंस्यन्ते त्वां महा-रथाः।
येषां च त्वं बहु-मतो भूत्वा यास्यसि लाघवम्॥
BhG-T.2.36 Moreover, your enemies, belittling your prowess, will speak many unutterable words about you. What is more painful than that?
avācya-vādāṃś ca bahūn vadiṣyanti tavāhitāḥ, nindantas tava sāmarthyaṃ tato duḥkhataraṃ nu kim.
अवाच्य-वादांश् च बहून् वदिष्यन्ति तवाहिताः।
निन्दन्तस् तव सामर्थ्यं ततो दुःखतरं नु किम्॥
BhG-T.2.37 Killed, you will gain heaven; conquer and you will enjoy the world. Therefore, O Arjuna, resolve to fight, and get up!
hato vā prāpsyasi svar-gaṃ jitvā vā bhokṣyase mahīm, tasmād uttiṣṭha kaunteya yuddhāya kṛta-niścayaḥ.
हतो वा प्राप्स्यसि स्वर्-गं जित्वा वा भोक्ष्यसे महीम्।
तस्माद् उत्तिष्ठ कौन्तेय युद्धाय कृत-निश्चयः॥
BhG-T.2.38 Being the same in pleasure/pain, gain/loss, or victory/defeat, thus prepare for battle, for your duty ( sva-dharma), whatever it is, as it presents itself throughout life’s changes. In this way you will incur no karma demerit ( pāpa).
sukha-duḥkhe same kṛtvā lābhālābhau jayājayau, tato yuddhāya yujyasva naivaṃ pāpam avāpsyasi.
सुख-दुःखे समे कृत्वा लाभालाभौ जयाजयौ।
ततो युद्धाय युज्यस्व नैवं पापम् अवाप्स्यसि॥
BhG-T.2.39 This wisdom regarding sāṅkhya (the knowledge of reality), the ultimate good ( śreyas) that you asked for, has been told to you. On the other hand, O Arjuna, listen to this wisdom regarding yoga (the means for preparing for this knowledge); endowed with which, you will be free from the bondage that is karma.
eṣā te'bhihitā sāṅkhye buddhir yoge tv imāṃ śṛṇu, buddhyā yukto yayā pārtha karma-bandhaṃ prahāsyasi.
एषा तेऽभिहिता साङ्ख्ये बुद्धिर् योगे त्व् इमां शृणु।
बुद्ध्या युक्तो यया पार्थ कर्म-बन्धं प्रहास्यसि॥
BhG-T.2.40 In this, the means for complete freedom ( śreyas), there is no loss of progress, nor adverse result. Even a little of this yoga, this means – which is also dharma (one’s nature and duty, which will support one through the maturation process) – protects from great fear.
nehābhikrama-nāśo'sti pratyavāyo na vidyate, sv-alpam apy asya dharmasya trāyate mahato bhayāt.
नेहाभिक्रम-नाशोऽस्ति प्रत्यवायो न विद्यते।
स्व्-अल्पम् अप्य् अस्य धर्मस्य त्रायते महतो भयात्॥
BhG-T.2.41 Regarding this, the means for śreyas, the well-discerned knowledge is but one, O Arjuna. However, for those with no discernment of this fact, the notions regarding the means for śreyas are indeed many-branched and endless.
vyavasāyātmikā buddhir ekeha kuru-nandana, bahu-śākhā hy anantāś ca buddhayo'vyavasāyinām.
व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिर् एकेह कुरु-नन्दन।
बहु-शाखा ह्य् अनन्ताश् च बुद्धयोऽव्यवसायिनाम्॥
BhG-T.2.42–43 O Arjuna, the unwise – who remain engrossed in the bulk of the words of the Vedas (scriptures) that deal with heaven-going and gaining power, wealth, and progeny; arguing that there is nothing more; who are full of desires, requirements/anticipations; and who hold heaven as primary – they spout flowery discourse full of special rituals directed toward gaining power and objects of consumption, but yield further birth as a result of their actions.
yām imāṃ puṣpitāṃ vācaṃ pravadanty avipaścitaḥ, veda-vāda-ratāḥ pārtha nānyad astīti vādinaḥ. kāmātmānaḥ svar-ga-parā janma-karma-phala-pradām, kriyā-viśeṣa-bahulāṃ bhogaiśvarya-gatiṃ prati.
याम् इमां पुष्पितां वाचं प्रवदन्त्य् अविपश्चितः।
वेद-वाद-रताः पार्थ नान्यद् अस्तीति वादिनः॥ कामात्मानः स्वर्-ग-परा जन्म-कर्म-फल-प्रदाम्। क्रिया-विशेष-बहुलां भोगैश्वर्य-गतिं प्रति॥
BhG-T.2.44 For those whose minds are carried away by that flowery talk and who are attached to consumption and power, a well-discerned knowledge is not formed in their mind ( samādhi).
bhogaiśvarya-prasaktānāṃ tayāpahṛta-cetasām, vyavasāyātmikā buddhiḥ samādhau na vidhīyate.
व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिः समाधौ न विधीयते॥
BhG-T.2.45 For them, the Vedas are only about the three-fold universe ( traiguṇya). O Arjuna, be [more and more] free from traiguṇya, free from the pairs of opposites, ever established in a contemplative disposition ( sattva), free from acquiring and protecting, and be attentive.
trai-guṇya-viṣayā vedā nis-trai-guṇyo bhavārjuna, nir-dvandvo nitya-sattva-stho nir-yoga-kṣema ātmavān.
त्रै-गुण्य-विषया वेदा निस्-त्रै-गुण्यो भवार्जुन।
निर्-द्वन्द्वो नित्य-सत्त्व-स्थो निर्-योग-क्षेम आत्मवान्॥
BhG-T.2.46 For a contemplative person (a brāhmaṇa) who knows sat (the all pervading reality), there is as much usefulness in all the Veda rituals as there is in a small watering hole in a once-dry river bed, when the river is in flood everywhere. Seeing the truth everywhere, one is no longer dependent on the Veda rituals.
yāvān artha uda-pāne sarvataḥ samplutodake, tāvān sarveṣu vedeṣu brāhmaṇasya vijānataḥ.
यावान् अर्थ उद-पाने सर्वतः सम्प्लुतोदके।
तावान् सर्वेषु वेदेषु ब्राह्मणस्य विजानतः॥
BhG-T.2.47 You, as a human, have control only in doing action, never in its results. Do not think yourself to be the cause of the results of action, that cause being but the Lord as embodied in the universal laws of karma (action and its result). Nor should you have attachment to inaction. Or – You, Arjuna, are entitled only in doing your duty, never claiming the results. Do not promote further results of action as rebirths, nor be inclined toward inaction.
karmaṇy evādhikāras te mā phaleṣu kadācana, mā karma-phala-hetur bhūr mā te saṅgo'stv akarmaṇi.
कर्मण्य् एवाधिकारस् ते मा फलेषु कदाचन।
मा कर्म-फल-हेतुर् भूर् मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्व् अकर्मणि॥
BhG-T.2.48 O Arjuna, being free from attachment toward anticipated results, being the same ( sama) toward success or failure, established in yoga, in this attitude, then perform action. Sameness of attitude ( buddhi) toward results – whatever they are is called yoga.
yoga-sthaḥ kuru karmāṇi saṅgaṃ tyaktvā dhanañ-jaya, siddhy-asiddhyoḥ samo bhūtvā samatvaṃ yoga ucyate.
योग-स्थः कुरु कर्माणि सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा धनञ्-जय।
सिद्ध्य्-असिद्ध्योः समो भूत्वा समत्वं योग उच्यते॥
BhG-T.2.49 Action or ritual, by itself, is indeed far inferior to the means which is this attitude ( buddhi-yoga), O Arjuna. Seek refuge in this attitude. Those whose motives are only for the results of action are misers, are yet to spend their intellect in motivation for śreyas.
dūreṇa hy avaraṃ karma buddhi-yogād dhanañ-jaya, buddhau śaraṇam anviccha kṛpaṇāḥ phala-hetavaḥ.
दूरेण ह्य् अवरं कर्म बुद्धि-योगाद् धनञ्-जय।
बुद्धौ शरणम् अन्विच्छ कृपणाः फल-हेतवः॥
BhG-T.2.50 Endowed with this attitude, one sheds in this world both karma merit and demerit. Therefore, commit to this yoga. Propriety in actions, acting within dharma (your natural duty) where the means are as important as the end, is called yoga.
buddhi-yukto jahātīha ubhe su-kṛta-duṣ-kṛte, tasmād yogāya yujyasva yogaḥ karmasu kauśalam.
बुद्धि-युक्तो जहातीह उभे सु-कृत-दुष्-कृते।
तस्माद् योगाय युज्यस्व योगः कर्मसु कौशलम्॥
BhG-T.2.51 Because the wise, endowed with this attitude – after discarding the pressure for result born of action, appreciating dharma as ‘to be done,’ accepting the results gracefully, freed by knowledge from the bondage that is birth – they reach the attainment that is free from affliction.
karma-jaṃ buddhi-yuktā hi phalaṃ tyaktvā manīṣiṇaḥ, janma-bandha-vinirmuktāḥ padaṃ gacchanty anāmayam.
कर्म-जं बुद्धि-युक्ता हि फलं त्यक्त्वा मनीषिणः।
जन्म-बन्ध-विनिर्मुक्ताः पदं गच्छन्त्य् अनामयम्॥
BhG-T.2.52 When your intellect crosses over the confusion that is delusion, then you will gain a dispassion for what has been heard and is yet to be heard from the secular and spiritual marketers.
yadā te moha-kalilaṃ buddhir vyatitariṣyati, tadā gantāsi nirvedaṃ śrotavyasya śrutasya ca.
यदा ते मोह-कलिलं बुद्धिर् व्यतितरिष्यति।
तदा गन्तासि निर्वेदं श्रोतव्यस्य श्रुतस्य च॥
BhG-T.2.53 When your intellect – previously distracted by the śruti, the bulk of the Vedas concerned with providing means for gaining heaven, power, wealth, and progeny – becomes steady and centered on your self ( samādhi), then you will attain yoga.
śruti-vipratipannā te yadā sthāsyati niścalā, samādhāv acalā buddhis tadā yogam avāpsyasi.
श्रुति-विप्रतिपन्ना ते यदा स्थास्यति निश्चला।
समाधाव् अचला बुद्धिस् तदा योगम् अवाप्स्यसि॥
BhG-T.2.54 Arjuna said: What is the description of the one whose wisdom is firm ( sthita-prajña), who is established within the self ( samādhi), O Kṛṣṇa? What would the one whose wisdom is firm speak? How would that one sit? How would that one wander about?
arjuna uvāca: sthita-prajñasya kā bhāṣā samādhi-sthasya keśava, sthita-dhīḥ kiṃ pṛbhāṣeta kim āsīta vrajeta kim.
स्थित-प्रज्ञस्य का भाषा समाधि-स्थस्य केशव। स्थित-धीः किं प्रभाषेत किम् आसीत व्रजेत किम्॥
BhG-T.2.55 The Lord said: O Arjuna, when one abandons all desires, notional requirements in order to become happy, as they arise in the mind and is happy by oneself, by an informed intellect, in one’s self alone, then that one is called one whose wisdom is firm ( sthita-prajña).
śrī-bhagavān uvāca: prajahāti yadā kāmān sarvān pārtha mano-gatān, ātmany evātmanā tuṣṭaḥ sthita-prajñas tadocyate.
प्रजहाति यदा कामान् सर्वान् पार्थ मनो-गतान्। आत्मन्य् एवात्मना तुष्टः स्थित-प्रज्ञस् तदोच्यते॥
BhG-T.2.56 The one whose mind is not afflicted in adversities, who has no longing in pleasures, and who is free from attraction ( rāga), fear, and anger, that wise person is called one whose wisdom is firm.
duḥkheṣv anudvigna-manāḥ sukheṣu vigata-spṛhaḥ, vīta-rāga-bhaya-krodhaḥ sthita-dhīr munir ucyate.
दुःखेष्व् अनुद्विग्न-मनाः सुखेषु विगत-स्पृहः।
वीत-राग-भय-क्रोधः स्थित-धीर् मुनिर् उच्यते॥
BhG-T.2.57 The one who is unattached in all situations, who neither rejoices on getting anything pleasant, nor hates getting anything unpleasant – that one’s wisdom is firm.
yaḥ sarvatrānabhisnehas tat tat prāpya śubhāśubham, nābhinandati na dveṣṭi tasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā.
यः सर्वत्रानभिस्नेहस् तत् तत् प्राप्य शुभाशुभम्।
नाभिनन्दति न द्वेष्टि तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता॥
BhG-T.2.58 When, like a turtle and its limbs, one is at will able to completely withdraw the senses from their sense pursuits and again extend them out at will – that one’s wisdom is firm.
yadā saṃharate cāyaṃ kūrmo'ṅgānīva sarvaśaḥ, indriyāṇīndriyārthebhyas tasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā.
यदा संहरते चायं कूर्मोऽङ्गानीव सर्वशः।
इन्द्रियाणीन्द्रियार्थेभ्यस् तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता॥
BhG-T.2.59 For the embodied one who does not feed, does not indulge the senses, the objects turn back, are not pursued, but the longing remains. Knowing the ultimate ( para, brahman reality), even one’s longing ceases.
viṣayā vinivartante nir-āhārasya dehinaḥ, rasa-varjaṃ raso'py asya paraṃ dṛṣṭvā nivartate.
विषया विनिवर्तन्ते निर्-आहारस्य देहिनः।
रस-वर्जं रसोऽप्य् अस्य परं दृष्ट्वा निवर्तते॥
BhG-T.2.60 Because, O Arjuna, even though a discerning person puts forth effort, the distracting senses forcefully take away the mind.
yatato hy api kaunteya puruṣasya vipaścitaḥ, indriyāṇi pramāthīni haranti prasabhaṃ manaḥ.
यततो ह्य् अपि कौन्तेय पुरुषस्य विपश्चितः।
इन्द्रियाणि प्रमाथीनि हरन्ति प्रसभं मनः॥
BhG-T.2.61 Mastering all those senses, the one who is disciplined should remain with Me, the Lord, reality, as the para (highest, the limitless). For the one whose senses are indeed under authority of an informed intellect, wisdom is firm.
tāni sarvāṇi saṃyamya yukta āsīta mat-paraḥ, vaśe hi yasyendriyāṇi tasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā.
तानि सर्वाणि संयम्य युक्त आसीत मत्-परः।
वशे हि यस्येन्द्रियाणि तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता॥
BhG-T.2.62–63 For a person who mentally dwells on objects, attachment to them arises; from attachment allowed to flame up by one’s value structure arises binding desire, requirements in order to be happy and anticipations of their fruition; from thwarted anticipations arises anger; from anger is delusion, error in judgment; from delusion is lapse of memory, what has been taught; from lapse of memory is lapse of intellect, wisdom; from lapse of intellect, what distinguishes the human condition, the person is destroyed. [The unique human opportunity to attain the ultimate good ( śreyas) is wasted, and the person remains in the life of unbecoming becoming (in saṃsāra).]
dhyāyato viṣayān puṃsaḥ saṅgas teṣūpajāyate, saṅgāt sañjāyate kāmaḥ kāmāt krodho'bhijāyate. krodhād bhavati saṃmohaḥ saṃmohāt smṛti-vibhramaḥ, smṛti-bhraṃśād buddhi-nāśo buddhi-nāśāt praṇaśyati.
ध्यायतो विषयान् पुंसः सङ्गस् तेषूपजायते।
सङ्गात् सञ्जायते कामः कामात् क्रोधोऽभिजायते॥ क्रोधाद् भवति सम्मोहः सम्मोहात् स्मृति-विभ्रमः। स्मृति-भ्रंशाद् बुद्धि-नाशो बुद्धि-नाशात् प्रणश्यति॥
BhG-T.2.64 Whereas, moving among the objects with the senses under authority of the intellect and freed from being overpowered by attraction and repulsion ( rāga-dveṣa – see 3.34), the one whose mind is disciplined attains clarity.
rāga-dveṣa-viyuktais tu viṣayān indriyaiś caran, ātma-vaśyair vidheyātmā prasādam adhigacchati.
राग-द्वेष-वियुक्तैस् तु विषयान् इन्द्रियैश् चरन्।
आत्म-वश्यैर् विधेयात्मा प्रसादम् अधिगच्छति॥
BhG-T.2.65 When there is clarity, there comes the destruction of all one’s sorrows in the form of guilt and hurt, because, for the one whose mind is clear, the self-knowledge which destroys the sorrow quickly becomes firm.
prasāde sarva-duḥkhānāṃ hānir asyopajāyate, prasanna-cetaso hy āśu buddhiḥ paryavatiṣṭhate.
प्रसादे सर्व-दुःखानां हानिर् अस्योपजायते।
प्रसन्न-चेतसो ह्य् आशु बुद्धिः पर्यवतिष्ठते॥
BhG-T.2.66 For the one who is not disciplined, knowledge is not there, nor contemplation. For the noncontemplative, there is no clarity. For the nonclear, how can there be the appreciation of the sukha (fulfillment that is the nature of the limitless self, known as I)?
nāsti buddhir ayuktasya na cāyuktasya bhāvanā, na cābhāvayataḥ śāntir aśāntasya kutaḥ sukham.
नास्ति बुद्धिर् अयुक्तस्य न चायुक्तस्य भावना।
न चाभावयतः शान्तिर् अशान्तस्य कुतः सुखम्॥
BhG-T.2.67 Because, that very mind, which follows after the roaming senses, takes away one’s wisdom, like a small boat on the water, which follows after the wind.
indriyāṇāṃ hi caratāṃ yan mano'nuvidhīyate, tad asya harati prajñāṃ vāyur nāvam ivāmbhasi.
इन्द्रियाणां हि चरतां यन् मनोऽनुविधीयते।
तद् अस्य हरति प्रज्ञां वायुर् नावम् इवाम्भसि॥
BhG-T.2.68 Therefore, O Arjuna, the one whose senses under authority of the intellect are, or rather, are capable of being, completely withdrawn from the sense pursuits – that one has wisdom that is firm.
tasmād yasya mahā-bāho nigṛhītāni sarvaśaḥ, indriyāṇīndriyārthebhyas tasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā.
तस्माद् यस्य महा-बाहो निगृहीतानि सर्वशः।
इन्द्रियाणीन्द्रियार्थेभ्यस् तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता॥
BhG-T.2.69 What is like night for all beings – in that, the wise who is disciplined is awake. In what it is that beings are awake to, that is like night for the wise one who sees clearly. [The wise are awake to reality ( sat), and others are only awake to what they believe is reality, but is unreal ( a-sat).]
yā niśā sarva-bhūtānāṃ tasyāṃ jāgarti saṃyamī, yasyāṃ jāgrati bhūtāni sā niśā paśyato muneḥ.
या निशा सर्व-भूतानां तस्यां जागर्ति संयमी।
यस्यां जाग्रति भूतानि सा निशा पश्यतो मुनेः॥
BhG-T.2.70 Like the full and unmoved ocean into which the waters enter, their source being the ocean, yet its nature being unaffected by their variations, the one whom all objects of desire enter yet remains the same in nature – that one attains peace. Not so the one who requires/anticipates these objects, like a small pond requires its streams.
āpūryamāṇam acala-pratiṣṭhaṃ samudram āpaḥ praviśanti yadvat, tadvat kāmā yaṃ praviśanti sarve sa śāntim āpnoti na kāma-kāmī.
आपूर्यमाणम् अचल-प्रतिष्ठं समुद्रम् आपः प्रविशन्ति यद्वत्।
तद्वत् कामा यं प्रविशन्ति सर्वे स शान्तिम् आप्नोति न काम-कामी॥
BhG-T.2.71 Giving up all binding desires, requirements/anticipations, the person who moves about free from longing, free from the judgment “this is mine” and free from the judgment “I am only this much” – that person attains peace.
vihāya kāmān yaḥ sarvān pumāṃś carati niḥ-spṛhaḥ, nir-mamo nir-ahaṅkāraḥ sa śāntim adhigacchati.
विहाय कामान् यः सर्वान् पुमांश् चरति निः-स्पृहः।
निर्-ममो निर्-अहङ्कारः स शान्तिम् अधिगच्छति॥
BhG-T.2.72 This is being firm in/as reality ( brahman, sat), O Arjuna. Attaining this, one is not any longer deluded. Being firm in this, even just at the moment of death, one attains liberation in/as brahman.
eṣā brāhmī sthitiḥ pārtha naināṃ prāpya vimuhyati, sthitvāsyām anta-kāle'pi brahma-nirvāṇam ṛcchati.
एषा ब्राह्मी स्थितिः पार्थ नैनां प्राप्य विमुह्यति।
स्थित्वास्याम् अन्त-कालेऽपि ब्रह्म-निर्वाणम् ऋच्छति॥
BhG-T.2. Om ( brahman, the witness of all) is that (only) reality ( sat). Thus ends the second chapter, called ‘The Topic of Knowledge,’ of the (eighteen chapters of) Songs of the Glorious Lord, which is (looked upon as) sacred teaching ( Upaniṣad) and (whose teaching is) in (the form of) a dialogue between Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna, (the subject matter being) knowledge of brahman and yoga.
oṃ tat sat. śrīmad-bhagavad-gītāsūpaniṣatsu brahma-vidyāyāṃ yoga-śāstre śrī-kṛṣṇārjuna-saṃvāde sāṅkhya-yogo nāma dvitīyo'dhyāyaḥ.
ओं तत् सत्। इति श्रीमद्-भगवद्-गीतासूपनिषत्सु ब्रह्म-विद्यायां योग-शास्त्रे श्री-कृष्णार्जुन-संवादे साङ्ख्य-योगो नाम द्वितीयोऽध्यायः॥
Go to Top ('Home' key on many Windows browsers)
Atha tṛtīyo'dhyāyaḥ (3.1-43)
Third Chapter Introduction
The Topic of Action
In chapter 3, Arjuna has a doubt: The Upaniṣad teachings say that the self does not do action, so, even if it is Arjuna’s duty, why and how should he undertake the action of this battle? Isn’t renunciation ( sannyāsa) alone the lifestyle extolled in the Upaniṣads? Arjuna wonders: Even if karma-yoga (the means that is duty) is an alternate lifestyle, Kṛṣṇa has not said that it leads by itself to the ultimate good ( śreyas). Arjuna questions why Kṛṣṇa is compelling him into gruesome action and wants to know, between the two lifestyles, which leads to śreyas.
Kṛṣṇa replies that, indeed, in the Upaniṣads, He taught that the two lifestyles lead to śreyas, absolute freedom. But simply adopting either of these two lifestyles does not give freedom ( mokṣa). Kṛṣṇa will clearly explain later, in chapter 4 (4.33–39), that it is knowledge that gives mokṣa. In chapter 3, Kṛṣṇa points out that both lifestyles are conducive to gaining and assimilating this knowledge. One cannot really be said to have gained this knowledge without having also assimilated it, because this knowledge is not information about some remote object, but instead is self-knowledge. However, if one is not mentally prepared for a life of renunciation, then it may prove to be useless. Karma-yoga is meant for preparing the mind for a life of renunciation, as well as for gaining and assimilating the knowledge. This is the order of the four stages of life: student, householder, retiree, renunciate. Kṛṣṇa does not think Arjuna, who had to this point dedicated his life to gaining the warrior’s skills and weapons needed to take back the kingdom, is prepared for the quiet life of renunciation (sannyāsa). So, between the two lifestyles, Kṛṣṇa recommends karma-yoga to Arjuna.
Even in the lifestyle of sannyāsa, for one who does not have self-knowledge and thinks he or she is a doer, there is action. Therefore, one needs to understand why and how one should perform action. Kṛṣṇa explains that the entire cosmos is interconnected. Helping one another, all beings thrive. The one who fights against this great cosmic wheel lives life in vain; whereas the one who follows this cosmic ecological system – with the goal of attaining the limitless – eventually attains the limitless. Action done with this understanding is thus converted into a spiritual act ( yajña), which makes it karma-yoga. In particular for Arjuna, because he is looked upon as a leader, he ought to enthusiastically perform his own duty as a yajña, thus encouraging others to do the same – for the benefit of all. Even in renunciation ( sannyāsa), action is done with the attitude of karma-yoga.
But if the self does not do action, then what sense does it make to say one should perform action? Kṛṣṇa answers this concern by explaining that, indeed, the self does not do physical or mental action. Rather, action is done by the body and mind. Action, along with the body and mind, belong to the sphere of nature, not to ātmā, the self. This body and mind is not one’s personal creation. One must then renounce the ego’s imagined ownership of actions, as well as the actions of the body and mind, relinquishing them to where they belong – unto the Lord’s cosmic nature and order – and choose to perform duty as an offering to the whole. Such action alone will not bind one to disappointment, sorrow, and death. This is karma-yoga, which develops one’s discernment ( viveka) and dispassion ( vairāgya). ( Jump to 4th Ch. Intro)
BhG-T.3.1 Arjuna said: O Kṛṣṇa, if it is Your contention that knowledge is better than action, then why do You compel me into this gruesome action, O Kṛṣṇa?
arjuna uvāca: jyāyasī cet karmaṇas te matā buddhir janārdana, tat kiṃ karmaṇi ghore māṃ niyojayasi keśava.
ज्यायसी चेत् कर्मणस् ते मता बुद्धिर् जनार्दन। तत् किं कर्मणि घोरे मां नियोजयसि केशव॥
BhG-T.3.2 With apparently contradictory words, You seem to confuse my mind. Please decide on just one and tell me that one by which I may gain complete freedom ( śreyas).
vyāmiśreṇeva vākyena buddhiṃ mohayasīva me, tad ekaṃ vada niścitya yena śreyo'ham āpnuyām.
व्यामिश्रेणेव वाक्येन बुद्धिं मोहयसीव मे।
तद् एकं वद निश्चित्य येन श्रेयोऽहम् आप्नुयाम्॥
BhG-T.3.3 The Lord said: O Arjuna, long ago in this world I taught (in the Upaniṣads) two different lifestyles – one through the means that is knowledge ( jñāna-yoga) for those dedicated to knowledge, and the other through the means that is duty ( karma-yoga) for yogīs, (those dedicated to duty as a means).
śrī-bhagavān uvāca: loke'smin dvi-vidhā niṣṭhā purā proktā mayānagha, jñāna-yogena sāṅkhyānāṃ karma-yogena yoginām.
लोकेऽस्मिन् द्वि-विधा निष्ठा पुरा प्रोक्ता मयानघ। ज्ञान-योगेन साङ्ख्यानां कर्म-योगेन योगिनाम्॥
BhG-T.3.4 A person does not gain actionlessness, (complete freedom), by not undertaking action, nor does one gain this success, complete freedom, merely by (taking the vow of) renunciation ( sannyāsa).
na karmaṇām anārambhān naiṣ-karmyaṃ puruṣo'śnute, na ca sannyasanād eva siddhiṃ samadhigacchati.
न कर्मणाम् अनारम्भान् नैष्-कर्म्यं पुरुषोऽश्नुते।
न च सन्न्यसनाद् एव सिद्धिं समधिगच्छति॥
BhG-T.3.5 Because nobody ever remains, even for a second, without performing action. Because everybody, being helpless, is made to perform action by the modifications of the three constituent principles of the universe ( guṇas) born of nature ( prakṛti).
na hi kaścit kṣaṇam api jātu tiṣṭhaty akarma-kṛt, kāryate hy avaśaḥ karma sarvaḥ prakṛti-jair guṇaiḥ.
न हि कश्चित् क्षणम् अपि जातु तिष्ठत्य् अकर्म-कृत्।
कार्यते ह्य् अवशः कर्म सर्वः प्रकृति-जैर् गुणैः॥
BhG-T.3.6 The one who sits, restraining the organs of action, yet contemplating the sense objects with the mind – that one is called one whose mind is deluded and whose conduct is useless. (Such is the predicament of a renunciate not prepared for a contemplative lifestyle.)
karmendriyāṇi saṃyamya ya āste manasā smaran, indriyārthān vimūḍhātmā mithyācāraḥ sa ucyate.
कर्मेन्द्रियाणि संयम्य य आस्ते मनसा स्मरन्।
इन्द्रियार्थान् विमूढात्मा मिथ्याचारः स उच्यते॥
BhG-T.3.7 However, O Arjuna, the one who rules the senses with the mind, is unattached, (not anticipating results), who through the organs of action undertakes action as a yajña, (means for preparing for knowledge) – that one is better (than the deluded of useless conduct).
yas tv indriyāṇi manasā niyamyārabhate'rjuna, karmendriyaiḥ karma-yogam asaktaḥ sa viśiṣyate.
यस् त्व् इन्द्रियाणि मनसा नियम्यारभतेऽर्जुन।
कर्मेन्द्रियैः कर्म-योगम् असक्तः स विशिष्यते॥
BhG-T.3.8 You Arjuna, (personally), should do your enjoined duty (rather than do nothing or try to take to a contemplative life of sannyāsa), since duty is superior to inaction and, through inaction, even the maintenance of your body would be impossible.
niyataṃ kuru karma tvaṃ karma jyāyo hy akarmaṇaḥ, śarīra-yātrāpi ca te na prasidhyed akarmaṇaḥ.
नियतं कुरु कर्म त्वं कर्म ज्यायो ह्य् अकर्मणः।
शरीर-यात्रापि च ते न प्रसिद्ध्येद् अकर्मणः॥
BhG-T.3.9 A person is one whose actions bind, apart from duty/action performed as a yajña (act of worship). O Arjuna, free from attachment (to the results of action), perform action for the sake of that yajña.
yajñārthāt karmaṇo'nyatra loko'yaṃ karma-bandhanaḥ, tad-arthaṃ karma kaunteya mukta-saṅgaḥ samācara.
यज्ञार्थात् कर्मणोऽन्यत्र लोकोऽयं कर्म-बन्धनः।
तद्-अर्थं कर्म कौन्तेय मुक्त-सङ्गः समाचर॥
BhG-T.3.10 In the beginning, the Lord of the universe manifested the people along with yajña and said (through the Vedas), ‘With this yajña may all of you multiply. Let this yajña be what yields all your desired results.’
saha-yajñāḥ prajāḥ sṛṣṭvā purovāca prajā-patiḥ, anena prasaviṣyadhvam eṣa vo'stv iṣṭa-kāma-dhuk.
सह-यज्ञाः प्रजाः सृष्ट्वा पुरोवाच प्रजा-पतिः।
अनेन प्रसविष्यध्वम् एष वोऽस्त्व् इष्ट-काम-धुक्॥
BhG-T.3.11 Support the deities, (the Lord viewed through all the various aspects of nature), with this yajña. May those deities support all of you. Supporting one another, all of you will attain limitless śreyas (complete freedom), (or heaven if this is your ultimate goal).
devān bhāvayatānena te devā bhāvayantu vaḥ, paras-paraṃ bhāvayantaḥ śreyaḥ param avāpsyatha.
देवान् भावयतानेन ते देवा भावयन्तु वः।
परस्-परं भावयन्तः श्रेयः परम् अवाप्स्यथ॥
BhG-T.3.12 Supported through yajña, the deities will give to all of you desired objects indeed. One who consumes the objects given by those deities, (the forces of nature), without offering to these deities is but a thief.
iṣṭān bhogān hi vo devā dāsyante yajña-bhāvitāḥ, tair dattān apradāyaibhyo yo bhuṅkte stena eva saḥ.
इष्टान् भोगान् हि वो देवा दास्यन्ते यज्ञ-भाविताः।
तैर् दत्तान् अप्रदायैभ्यो यो भुङ्क्ते स्तेन एव सः॥
BhG-T.3.13 Those who eat the food left after first offering to the Lord are freed from all transgressions; whereas those who cook only for themselves, those sinners, eat sin ( karma demerit).
yajña-śiṣṭāśinaḥ santo mucyante sarva-kilbiṣaiḥ, bhuñjate te tv aghaṃ pāpā ye pacanty ātma-kāraṇāt.
यज्ञ-शिष्टाशिनः सन्तो मुच्यन्ते सर्व-किल्बिषैः।
भुञ्जते ते त्व् अघं पापा ये पचन्त्य् आत्म-कारणात्॥
BhG-T.3.14 All creatures are born from food. Food is born from rain. Rain is born from (the cyclic karma results of) ritual ( yajña). That yajña is born from karma (action – ritual, prayer, duty, etcetera).
annād bhavanti bhūtāni parjanyād anna-sambhavaḥ, yajñād bhavati parjanyo yajñaḥ karma-samudbhavaḥ.
अन्नाद् भवन्ति भूतानि पर्जन्याद् अन्न-सम्भवः।
यज्ञाद् भवति पर्जन्यो यज्ञः कर्म-समुद्भवः॥
BhG-T.3.15 Know that karma is born from the Brahman (the Veda, the scriptures), and the Veda comes from the imperishable Lord. Therefore, (being given by the all-knowing Lord for all humankind), the Veda is all encompassing and is ever established in yajña (ritual and duty).
karma brahmodbhavaṃ viddhi brahmākṣara-samudbhavam, tasmāt sarva-gataṃ brahma nityaṃ yajñe pratiṣṭhitam.
कर्म ब्रह्मोद्भवं विद्धि ब्रह्माक्षर-समुद्भवम्।
तस्मात् सर्व-गतं ब्रह्म नित्यं यज्ञे प्रतिष्ठितम्॥
BhG-T.3.16 O Arjuna, the one who does not cause oneself to follow in this life the cosmic wheel thus set in motion, whose life is (thus mostly of) karma demerit, and whose pleasure is through the senses – that one lives in vain.
evaṃ pravartitaṃ cakraṃ nānuvartayatīha yaḥ, aghāyur indriyārāmo moghaṃ pārtha sa jīvati.
एवं प्रवर्तितं चक्रं नानुवर्तयतीह यः।
अघायुर् इन्द्रियारामो मोघं पार्थ स जीवति॥
BhG-T.3.17 Whereas, the person who would find pleasure within the self alone, be satisfied with the self, and be contented in the self alone – that one has nothing yet to be done.
yas tv ātma-ratir eva syād ātma-tṛptaś ca mānavaḥ, ātmany eva ca santuṣṭas tasya kāryaṃ na vidyate.
यस् त्व् आत्म-रतिर् एव स्याद् आत्म-तृप्तश् च मानवः।
आत्मन्य् एव च सन्तुष्टस् तस्य कार्यं न विद्यते॥
BhG-T.3.18 For that one in this world, there is, indeed, no goal by doing, nor by not doing. Nor for that one is there any dependence for any-thing toward any being.
naiva tasya kṛtenārtho nākṛteneha kaścana, na cāsya sarva-bhūteṣu kaścid artha-vyapāśrayaḥ.
नैव तस्य कृतेनार्थो नाकृतेनेह कश्चन।
न चास्य सर्व-भूतेषु कश्चिद् अर्थ-व्यपाश्रयः॥
BhG-T.3.19 Therefore, unattached, please always perform action that is to be done, because the person who is unattached (in attitude, then eventually in knowledge, while) performing action attains the limitless.
tasmād asaktaḥ sa-tataṃ kāryaṃ karma samācara, asakto hy ācaran karma param āpnoti pūruṣaḥ.
तस्माद् असक्तः स-ततं कार्यं कर्म समाचर।
असक्तो ह्य् आचरन् कर्म परम् आप्नोति पूरुषः॥
BhG-T.3.20 Indeed, along with performing their duties, King Janaka and others attained complete freedom. Even considering just the rallying of the people (to the path of dharma, i.e., not leading others astray), you ought to act (approriately).
karmaṇaiva hi saṃsiddhim āsthitā janakādayaḥ, loka-saṅgraham evāpi sampaśyan kartum arhasi.
कर्मणैव हि संसिद्धिम् आस्थिता जनकादयः।
लोक-सङ्ग्रहम् एवापि सम्पश्यन् कर्तुम् अर्हसि॥
BhG-T.3.21 Whatever an important person does, that alone the other people do. The authority which this one accepts, that the people follow.
yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas tat tad evetaro janaḥ, sa yat pramāṇaṃ kurute lokas tad anuvartate.
यद् यद् आचरति श्रेष्ठस् तत् तद् एवेतरो जनः।
स यत् प्रमाणं कुरुते लोकस् तद् अनुवर्तते॥
BhG-T.3.22 O Arjuna, for me (as an individual who has this knowledge) there is nothing in the three worlds (earth, sky, and heaven) that must be done, nothing to be attained that has not been attained; yet I indeed engage in action.
na me pārthāsti kartavyaṃ triṣu lokeṣu kiñcana, nānavāptam avāptavyaṃ varta eva ca karmaṇi.
न मे पार्थास्ति कर्तव्यं त्रिषु लोकेषु किञ्चन।
नानवाप्तम् अवाप्तव्यं वर्त एव च कर्मणि॥
BhG-T.3.23 O Arjuna, if indeed I (as Kṛṣṇa, as an incarnation of the Lord and as leader of the province of Dvārakā, thus an important person,) were ever to not engage in action unwearied, then the people would follow my path in every way (including into lazy inaction).
yadi hy ahaṃ na varteya jātu karmaṇy atandritaḥ, mama vartmānuvartante manuṣyāḥ pārtha sarvaśaḥ.
यदि ह्य् अहं न वर्तेयं जातु कर्मण्य् अतन्द्रितः।
मम वर्त्मानुवर्तन्ते मनुष्याः पार्थ सर्वशः॥
BhG-T.3.24 If I were not to perform action, these people would perish. I would become the author of social confusion, and I would thus destroy these people.
utsīdeyur ime lokā na kuryāṃ karma ced aham, saṅkarasya ca kartā syām upahanyām imāḥ prajāḥ.
उत्सीदेयुर् इमे लोका न कुर्यां कर्म चेद् अहम्।
सङ्करस्य च कर्ता स्याम् उपहन्याम् इमाः प्रजाः॥
BhG-T.3.25 O Arjuna, as (dedicatedly as) the unwise, who are bound (to the results of) action, engage in action, so the wise – unattached, (not requiring/anticipating results), and desirous for rallying the people (to dharma) – would likewise engage in action.
saktāḥ karmaṇy avidvāṃso yathā kurvanti bhārata, kuryād vidvāṃs tathāsaktaś cikīrṣur loka-saṅgraham.
सक्ताः कर्मण्य् अविद्वांसो यथा कुर्वन्ति भारत।
कुर्याद् विद्वांस् तथासक्तश् चिकीर्षुर् लोक-सङ्ग्रहम्॥
BhG-T.3.26 One should not sow dissension in the understanding of the unwise who are bound to (the results of) action. The wise one, who is committed (to dharma) and to performing all duties (appropriate to one’s status), should encourage (the others).
na buddhi-bhedaṃ janayed ajñānāṃ karma-saṅginām, joṣayet sarva-karmāṇi vidvān yuktaḥ samācaran.
न बुद्धि-भेदं जनयेद् अज्ञानां कर्म-सङ्गिनाम्।
जोषयेत् सर्व-कर्माणि विद्वान् युक्तः समाचरन्॥
BhG-T.3.27 Actions are in all ways done by the constituent principles ( guṇas, i.e., products) of nature ( prakṛti). But one whose mind is confused – (in many and various ways) by a notion about ‘I’ – thinks ‘I am the doer.’
prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ, ahaṅkāra-vimūḍhātmā kartāham iti manyate.
प्रकृतेः क्रियमाणानि गुणैः कर्माणि सर्वशः।
अहङ्कार-विमूढात्मा कर्ताहम् इति मन्यते॥
BhG-T.3.28 Whereas, O Arjuna, the one who knows the truth of the distinction of the guṇas (from ‘I’) and of their actions (from ‘I’), thinking, ‘the guṇas (as the body and mind) engage amongst the guṇas (as the objects: physical and mental),’ that one is not bound.
tattva-vit tu mahā-bāho guṇa-karma-vibhāgayoḥ, guṇā guṇeṣu vartanta iti matvā na sajjate.
तत्त्व-वित् तु महा-बाहो गुण-कर्म-विभागयोः।
गुणा गुणेषु वर्तन्त इति मत्वा न सज्जते॥
BhG-T.3.29 Those who confuse themselves with the guṇas of nature are bound in the guṇas and their actions (or the actions of the guṇas). Lacking this discernment and of incomplete knowledge, they are the ones that one who has complete knowledge should not disturb.
prakṛter guṇa-saṃmūḍhāḥ sajjante guṇa-karmasu, tān akṛtsna-vido mandān kṛtsna-vin na vicālayet.
प्रकृतेर् गुण-सम्मूढाः सज्जन्ते गुण-कर्मसु।
तान् अकृत्स्न-विदो मन्दान् कृत्स्न-विन् न विचालयेत्॥
BhG-T.3.30 With a mind centered on oneself (in relation to the Lord, to reality), offering all action in Me, (the Lord – as prakṛti, nature, the cosmic order, the wielder of this order), being free from anticipations, free from the judgment ‘this is mine,’ and without anguish, O Arjuna, fight.
mayi sarvāṇi karmāṇi sannyasyādhyātma-cetasā, nir-āśīr nir-mamo bhūtvā yudhyasva vigata-jvaraḥ.
मयि सर्वाणि कर्माणि सन्न्यस्याध्यात्म-चेतसा।
निर्-आशीर् निर्-ममो भूत्वा युध्यस्व विगत-ज्वरः॥
BhG-T.3.31 Those people who have trust (in My teaching), who are not cynical and who constantly follow this, My teaching – they also, (whether karma-yogīs or sannyāsīs – who pursue this teaching while engaged in duties or as renunciates) are freed from (the bond that is) karma.
ye me matam idaṃ nityam anutiṣṭhanti mānavāḥ, śrad-dhāvanto'nasūyanto mucyante te'pi karmabhiḥ.
ये मे मतम् इदं नित्यम् अनुतिष्ठन्ति मानवाः।
श्रद्-धावन्तोऽनसूयन्तो मुच्यन्ते तेऽपि कर्मभिः॥
BhG-T.3.32 Whereas, those who are cynical, who do not follow this, My teaching, know them – who are thus variously confused in all other areas of knowledge (because they do not know who the ‘I’ is) and lacking discernment – as lost.
ye tv etad abhyasūyanto nānutiṣṭhanti me matam, sarva-jñāna-vimūḍhāṃs tān viddhi naṣṭān acetasaḥ.
ये त्व् एतद् अभ्यसूयन्तो नानुतिष्ठन्ति मे मतम्।
सर्व-ज्ञान-विमूढांस् तान् विद्धि नष्टान् अचेतसः॥
BhG-T.3.33 Even a wise person acts in keeping with his or her own nature. Creatures go (with their own) nature. What will (external behavioral) restraint accomplish?
sa-dṛśaṃ ceṣṭate svasyāḥ prakṛter jñānavān api, prakṛtiṃ yānti bhūtāni nigrahaḥ kiṃ kariṣyati.
स-दृशं चेष्टते स्वस्याः प्रकृतेर् ज्ञानवान् अपि।
प्रकृतिं यान्ति भूतानि निग्रहः किं करिष्यति॥
BhG-T.3.34 Attraction and repulsion ( rāga and dveṣa) are (naturally) there toward the object of each of the senses. One should not come under their control, because those two are one’s enemies, (not the object, nor the resulting, natural behavior).
indriyasyendriyasyārthe rāga-dveṣau vyavasthitau, tayor na vaśam āgacchet tau hy asya paripanthinau.
इन्द्रियस्येन्द्रियस्यार्थे राग-द्वेषौ व्यवस्थितौ।
तयोर् न वशम् आगच्छेत् तौ ह्य् अस्य परिपन्थिनौ॥
BhG-T.3.35 One’s own duty, (though sometimes) lacking virtue, is better than a different duty, (even though) well performed (or more enjoyable). Death in one’s own duty is better; as a different duty brings fear (in the forms of conflict, regret, and retribution).
śreyān sva-dharmo vi-guṇaḥ para-dharmāt sv-anuṣṭhitāt, sva-dharme nidhanaṃ śreyaḥ para-dharmo bhayāvahaḥ.
श्रेयान् स्व-धर्मो वि-गुणः पर-धर्मात् स्व्-अनुष्ठितात्।
स्व-धर्मे निधनं श्रेयः पर-धर्मो भयावहः॥
BhG-T.3.36 Arjuna said: O Kṛṣṇa, now what compels a person – even though not choosing – to commit prohibited acts, as if pushed by force?
arjuna uvāca: atha kena prayukto'yaṃ pāpaṃ carati pūruṣaḥ, anicchann api vārṣṇeya balād iva niyojitaḥ.
अथ केन प्रयुक्तोऽयं पापं चरति पूरुषः। अनिच्छन्न् अपि वार्ष्णेय बलाद् इव नियोजितः॥
BhG-T.3.37 The Lord said: (That seeming force is) this binding desire ( kāma – whether positive or negative, empowered attraction or repulsion) (and when thwarted) this anger. It, kāma, is born of the agitation principle ( rajas guṇa), is a glutton, and accumulates a lot of karma demerit. Know it to be the enemy here.
śrī-bhagavān uvāca: kāma eṣa krodha eṣa rajo-guṇa-samudbhavaḥ, mahāśano mahā-pāpmā viddhy enam iha vairiṇam.
काम एष क्रोध एष रजो-गुण-समुद्भवः। महाशनो महा-पाप्मा विद्ध्य् एनम् इह वैरिणम्॥
BhG-T.3.38 Like fire is covered by smoke, like a mirror covered by dirt, and like a fetus covered by the womb, similarly, by that ( kāma) this (knowledge) is covered. (And that covering is removed by the breath of teaching, by the action of dharma (duty and justice), and by time, respectively).
dhūmenāvriyate vahnir yathādarśo malena ca, yatholbenāvṛto garbhas tathā tenedam āvṛtam.
धूमेनाव्रियते वह्निर् यथादर्शो मलेन च।
यथोल्बेनावृतो गर्भस् तथा तेनेदम् आवृतम्॥
BhG-T.3.39 O Arjuna, by this constant enemy in the form of binding desire, insatiable like fire, the knowledge of the (one who is yet to be) wise is covered.
āvṛtaṃ jñānam etena jñānino nitya-vairiṇā, kāma-rūpeṇa kaunteya duṣ-pūreṇānalena ca.
आवृतं ज्ञानम् एतेन ज्ञानिनो नित्य-वैरिणा।
काम-रूपेण कौन्तेय दुष्-पूरेणानलेन च॥
BhG-T.3.40 Its, (desire’s), abode is said to be the senses, the mind, and the intellect. Covering knowledge through (misdirecting) these, it variously deludes the individual, (the one identified with one’s body).
indriyāṇi mano buddhir asyādhiṣṭhānam ucyate, etair vimohayaty eṣa jñānam āvṛtya dehinam.
इन्द्रियाणि मनो बुद्धिर् अस्याधिष्ठानम् उच्यते।
एतैर् विमोहयत्य् एष ज्ञानम् आवृत्य देहिनम्॥
BhG-T.3.41 Therefore, O Arjuna, exercising authority over the senses at their source, please indeed destroy this sinful destroyer of knowledge and of the assimilation (of that knowledge).
tasmāt tvam indriyāṇy ādau niyamya bharata-rṣabha, pāpmānaṃ prajahihy enaṃ jñāna-vijñāna-nāśanam (prajahi hy).
तस्मात् त्वम् इन्द्रियाण्य् आदौ नियम्य भरत-र्षभ।
पाप्मानं प्रजहिह्य् एनं ज्ञान-विज्ञान-नाशनम्॥ (प्रजहि ह्य्)
BhG-T.3.42 They say that the senses are superior (to the body and all other objects), the mind is superior to the senses, the intellect is superior to the mind; whereas the one who is superior to the intellect is that (limitless self).
indriyāṇi parāṇy āhur indriyebhyaḥ paraṃ manaḥ, manasas tu parā buddhir yo buddheḥ paratas tu saḥ.
इन्द्रियाणि पराण्य् आहुर् इन्द्रियेभ्यः परं मनः।
मनसस् तु परा बुद्धिर् यो बुद्धेः परतस् तु सः॥
BhG-T.3.43 O Arjuna, in this way knowing (oneself) as superior to the intellect, steadying the one by the other one, (steadying the senses by the mind, the mind by the intellect, and the intellect by self-knowledge), destroy the enemy in the form of kāma, (otherwise so) difficult to get a fix on.
evaṃ buddheḥ paraṃ buddhvā saṃstabhyātmānam ātmanā, jahi śatruṃ mahā-bāho kāma-rūpaṃ dur-āsadam.
एवं बुद्धेः परं बुद्ध्वा संस्तभ्यात्मानम् आत्मना।
जहि शत्रुं महा-बाहो काम-रूपं दुर्-आसदम्॥
BhG-T.3. Om ( brahman, the witness of all) is that (only) reality. Thus ends the third chapter, called ‘The Topic of Action,’ of the (eighteen chapters of) Songs of the Glorious Lord, which is (looked upon as) sacred teaching ( Upaniṣad) and (whose teaching is) in (the form of) a dialogue between Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna, (the subject matter being) knowledge of brahman and yoga.
oṃ tat sat. śrīmad-bhagavad-gītāsūpaniṣatsu brahma-vidyāyāṃ yoga-śāstre śrī-kṛṣṇārjuna-saṃvāde karma-yogo nāma tṛtīyo'dhyāyaḥ.
ओं तत् सत्। इति श्रीमद्-भगवद्-गीतासूपनिषत्सु ब्रह्म-विद्यायां योग-शास्त्रे श्री-कृष्णार्जुन-संवादे कर्म-योगो नाम तृतीयोऽध्यायः॥
Go to Top ('Home' key on many Windows browsers)
Atha caturtho'dhyāyaḥ (4.1-42)
Forth Chapter Introduction
The Topic of Knowledge and the Renunciation of Action
At the end of the third chapter, the Lord discloses the secret to overcoming binding desire ( kāma), which binds one helplessly to a life of unending need for becoming, called saṃsāra. The secret, an elaboration of 2.58–68, is to control the intellect by self-knowledge – this is viveka, discernment of the real from the unreal, the self from the nonself. With this informed intellect, one steadies the previously rudderless mind, which in turn controls the senses – this is vairāgya, dispassion toward the present memories of the past, the present imaginations of the future, and the appearances in the present that one calls “me,” “mine,” and “not me,” “not mine.” By vairāgya (dispassion), the mind becomes free of its imagined entanglement in saṃsāra, its imagined world of me/mine and not me/not mine, of likes and dislikes, aspirations and fears. Then the mind sees a natural world free of these projections. This relative freedom allows the mind to become clear. In this clear mind, the self-knowledge that resolves the life of unbecoming becoming ( saṃsāra) quickly becomes firm (2.64–65).
At the beginning of chapter 4, Kṛṣṇa concludes by extolling the lineage of the Vedānta teaching, starting from Himself. But Arjuna does not let Kṛṣṇa’s teaching end there. Arjuna asks how Kṛṣṇa can say He taught this knowledge at the beginning of humankind. Kṛṣṇa replies that He is speaking from the standpoint of the Lord. This embodiment, seated before Arjuna, is a divine form acquired due to the natural need to rebalance dharma (tradition and justice) and a-dharma (disorder and injustice) in this world. Kṛṣṇa says that His actions do not bind Him, nor is He the doer of these actions. Kṛṣṇa explains that those who similarly perform action not backed by binding desire, and who know themselves as the actionless self, attain His nature. He explains that action is to be undertaken as a yajña (3.9–30), a spiritual act for the benefit of the whole, as indeed Kṛṣṇa’s action is. Kṛṣṇa then lists various types of yajñas (spiritual acts) that have been given in the Vedas, saying that these actions, though considered spiritual, are produced by nature’s body and mind alone. The one who knows one’s self as not limited by the body and mind, which perform these actions, is thus free from their binding nature. By this knowledge, one will see all of nature’s beings in Him and even in oneself (4.35). This is called being the reality of all ( sarvātma-bhāva), appreciating oneself as the whole, free of divisions and their limitations. The Lord describes sarvātma-bhāva as taking refuge in Him by being Him alone, attaining His nature (4.10, 2.72). This is nonduality ( a-dvaita).
Gaining this knowledge is the goal of performing these yajñas for purity of mind. Knowledge is attained by surrender to a teacher within this teaching lineage who will teach you. Kṛṣṇa then proceeds to praise this knowledge as the ultimate purifier. But it requires trust in this teaching as a valid means of knowledge. What blocks this teaching from blessing is not discerning the self from the nonself (a lack of viveka, discernment); due to a doubtful (cynical) mind that does not trust the teaching. This is important for every student to understand, so it is repeated throughout the Lord’s teaching (3.31–32; 4.39–42; 5.25; 6.47; 7.1; 9.1, 9.3; 12.2, 12.20; and 18.10, 18.67, 18.71). ( Jump to 5th Ch. Intro)
BhG-T.4.1 I taught this unchanging yoga (both jñāna-yoga and karma-yoga) to Vivasvān (the sun deity – considered the progenitor of the solar-clan of rulers on earth). Vivasvān taught it to Manu (the first human and first of the solar kings on earth in this age, kalpa). Manu taught it to (his son) Ikṣvāku.
śrī-bhagavān uvāca: imaṃ vivasvate yogaṃ proktavān aham avyayam, vivasvān manave prāha manur ikṣvākave'bravīt.
इमं विवस्वते योगं प्रोक्तवान् अहम् अव्ययम्। विवस्वान् मनवे प्राह मनुर् इक्ष्वाकवेऽब्रवीत्॥
BhG-T.4.2 In this way, being handed down from one to another, the kings who were sages (or the kings and sages) knew this yoga. After a long time, here (today, among these kings), that yoga has been lost, O Arjuna.
evaṃ param-parāprāptam imaṃ rāja-rṣayo viduḥ, sa kāleneha mahatā yogo naṣṭaḥ paran-tapa.
एवं परम्-पराप्राप्तम् इमं राज-र्षयो विदुः।
स कालेनेह महता योगो नष्टः परन्-तप॥
BhG-T.4.3 I just taught to you that very same ancient yoga because you are My devotee and friend. This secret (teaching of yoga) is the most profound indeed.
sa evāyaṃ mayā te'dya yogaḥ proktaḥ purā-tanaḥ, bbhakto'si me sakhā ceti rahasyaṃ hy etad uttamam.
स एवायं मया तेऽद्य योगः प्रोक्तः पुरा-तनः।
भक्तोऽसि मे सखा चेति रहस्यं ह्य् एतद् उत्तमम्॥
BhG-T.4.4 Arjuna said: Your birth was not long ago. Vivasvān’s birth was long ago. How should I understand that You “taught” Vivasvān in the beginning?
arjuna uvāca: aparaṃ bhavato janma paraṃ janma vivasvataḥ, katham etad vijānīyāṃ tvam ādau proktavān iti.
अपरं भवतो जन्म परं जन्म विवस्वतः। कथम् एतद् विजानीयां त्वम् आदौ प्रोक्तवान् इति॥
BhG-T.4.5 The Lord said: Many births have passed for Me and for you, O Arjuna. I know them all; you do not, O Arjuna.
śrī-bhagavān uvāca: bahūni me vyatītāni janmāni tava cārjuna, tāny ahaṃ veda sarvāṇi na tvaṃ vettha paran-tapa.
बहूनि मे व्यतीतानि जन्मानि तव चार्जुन। तान्य् अहं वेद सर्वाणि न त्वं वेत्थ परन्-तप॥
BhG-T.4.6 Though unborn, undiminished, and the Lord of all beings, wielding My prakṛti (the projecting power of the Lord, which manifests as all of nature), I (as an incarnate form) am (as though) born by My own māyā (projecting power, My prakṛti).
ajo'pi sann avyayātmā bhūtānām īśvaro'pi san, prakṛtiṃ svām adhiṣṭhāya sambhavāmy ātma-māyayā.
अजोऽपि सन्न् अव्ययात्मा भूतानाम् ईश्वरोऽपि सन्।
प्रकृतिं स्वाम् अधिष्ठाय सम्भवाम्य् आत्म-मायया॥
BhG-T.4.7 O Arjuna, whenever indeed there is a wane of dharma (tradition and justice) and an ascendancy of a-dharma (disorder and injustice), then I manifest Myself (appropriate to the situation).
yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati bhārata, abhyutthānam adharmasya tadātmānaṃ sṛjāmy aham.
यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य ग्लानिर् भवति भारत।
अभ्युत्थानम् अधर्मस्य तदात्मानं सृजाम्य् अहम्॥
BhG-T.4.8 I appear in various yugas (the various ages within the cycles of the universe) for the protection of those committed to dharma, for the destruction of those committed to a-dharma (what is opposed to dharma), and for the reestablishment of dharma.
paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṃ vināśāya ca duṣ-kṛtām, dharma-saṃsthāpanārthāya sambhavāmi yuge yuge.
परित्राणाय साधूनां विनाशाय च दुष्-कृताम्।
धर्म-संस्थापनार्थाय सम्भवामि युगे युगे॥
BhG-T.4.9 The one who thus knows in reality My divine birth and action (knows the nature of Me and prakṛti) – that one, upon giving up the body, is not reborn. That one attains Me, O Arjuna.
janma karma ca me divyam evaṃ yo vetti tattvataḥ, tyaktvā dehaṃ punar-janma naiti mām eti so'rjuna.
जन्म कर्म च मे दिव्यम् एवं यो वेत्ति तत्त्वतः।
त्यक्त्वा देहं पुनर्-जन्म नैति माम् एति सोऽर्जुन॥
BhG-T.4.10 Freed from longing, fear, and anger, having taken refuge in Me by being Me alone, and purified by the discipline that is knowledge – many have attained My nature (complete freedom).
vīta-rāga-bhaya-krodhā manmayā mām upāśritāḥ, bahavo jñāna-tapasā pūtā mad-bhāvam āgatāḥ.
वीत-राग-भय-क्रोधा मन्मया माम् उपाश्रिताः।
बहवो ज्ञान-तपसा पूता मद्-भावम् आगताः॥
BhG-T.4.11 In which-ever way the people worship to Me, in that very same way I bless them. O Arjuna, people follow My path in every way.
ye yathā māṃ prapadyante tāṃs tathaiva bhajāmy aham, mama vartmānuvartante manuṣyāḥ pārtha sarvaśaḥ.
ये यथा मां प्रपद्यन्ते तांस् तथैव भजाम्य् अहम्।
मम वर्त्मानुवर्तन्ते मनुष्याः पार्थ सर्वशः॥
BhG-T.4.12 Desiring a result of action here, many worship the deities – because in the human world a result born of action comes quickly.
kāṅkṣantaḥ karmaṇāṃ siddhiṃ yajanta iha devatāḥ, kṣipraṃ hi mānuṣe loke siddhir bhavati karma-jā.
काङ्क्षन्तः कर्मणां सिद्धिं यजन्त इह देवताः।
क्षिप्रं हि मानुषे लोके सिद्धिर् भवति कर्म-जा॥
BhG-T.4.13 I manifested the four-fold varṇa (grouping within society – educators, administrators, entrepreneurs, and laborers) according to the divisions of guṇa (mental disposition) and karma (duty). Though its author, know Me to be changeless and not a doer.
cātur-varṇyaṃ mayā sṛṣṭaṃ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ, tasya kartāram api māṃ viddhy akartāram avyayam.
चातुर्-वर्ण्यं मया सृष्टं गुण-कर्म-विभागशः।
तस्य कर्तारम् अपि मां विद्ध्य् अकर्तारम् अव्ययम्॥
BhG-T.4.14 Actions do not affect Me, nor do I have longing toward the result of action. The one who knows Me thus, that one is not bound by actions.
na māṃ karmāṇi limpanti na me karma-phale spṛhā, iti māṃ yo'bhijānāti karmabhir na sa badhyate.
न मां कर्माणि लिम्पन्ति न मे कर्म-फले स्पृहा।
इति मां योऽभिजानाति कर्मभिर् न स बध्यते॥
BhG-T.4.15 Knowing (Me) in this way, even previous desirers of complete freedom performed their duty. Therefore, you also perform your duty, as the previous ones did before.
evaṃ jñātvā kṛtaṃ karma pūrvair api mumukṣubhiḥ, kuru karmaiva tasmāt tvaṃ pūrvaiḥ pūrvataraṃ kṛtam.
एवं ज्ञात्वा कृतं कर्म पूर्वैर् अपि मुमुक्षुभिः।
कुरु कर्मैव तस्मात् त्वं पूर्वैः पूर्वतरं कृतम्॥
BhG-T.4.16 What is action? What is inaction? Regarding this, even the (so-called) wise are confused. Thus, I will teach you about action, knowing which you will be free from the unpleasant (life of unbecoming becoming, from saṃsāra).
kiṃ karma kim akarmeti kavayo'py atra mohitāḥ, tat te karma pravakṣyāmi yaj jñātvā mokṣyase'śubhāt.
किं कर्म किम् अकर्मेति कवयोऽप्य् अत्र मोहिताः।
तत् ते कर्म प्रवक्ष्यामि यज् ज्ञात्वा मोक्ष्यसेऽशुभात्॥
BhG-T.4.17 Because what is to be known is also about (enjoined) action, about prohibited action, and about inaction. The nature of action is difficult to know.
karmaṇo hyapi boddhavyaṃ boddhavyaṃ ca vi-karmaṇaḥ, akarmaṇaś ca boddhavyaṃ gahanā karmaṇo gatiḥ.
कर्मणो ह्य् अपि बोद्धव्यं बोद्धव्यं च वि-कर्मणः।
अकर्मणश् च बोद्धव्यं गहना कर्मणो गतिः॥
BhG-T.4.18 The one who can see inaction (actionlessness) in action, and (withdrawal) action in inaction (in not doing one’s duty) – that one is wise among people. That one is a yogī and has accomplished everything that is (essential) to be done.
karmaṇy akarma yaḥ paśyed akarmaṇi ca karma yaḥ, sa buddhimān manuṣyeṣu sa yuktaḥ kṛtsna-karma-kṛt.
कर्मण्य् अकर्म यः पश्येद् अकर्मणि च कर्म यः।
स बुद्धिमान् मनुष्येषु स युक्तः कृत्स्न-कर्म-कृत्॥
BhG-T.4.19 Whose every activity is free from kāma (requiring and anticipating) and (its cause) saṅkalpa (self-purpose), that one – whose (accumulated) karmas are burned up by the fire that is knowledge – the sages call wise.
yasya sarve samārambhāḥ kāma-saṅkalpa-varjitāḥ, jñānāgni-dagdha-karmāṇaṃ tam āhuḥ paṇḍitaṃ budhāḥ.
यस्य सर्वे समारम्भाः काम-सङ्कल्प-वर्जिताः।
ज्ञानाग्नि-दग्ध-कर्माणं तम् आहुः पण्डितं बुधाः॥
BhG-T.4.20 Giving up identification with actions and attachment to results, always contented, without dependence (on anything), that one – though fully engaged in action – does not (in reality) do anything (is truly actionless).
tyaktvā karma-phalāsaṅgaṃ nitya-tṛpto nir-āśrayaḥ, karmaṇy abhipravṛtto'pi naiva kiñcit karoti saḥ.
त्यक्त्वा कर्म-फलासङ्गं नित्य-तृप्तो निर्-आश्रयः।
कर्मण्य् अभिप्रवृत्तोऽपि नैव किञ्चित् करोति सः॥
BhG-T.4.21 Free from fancies (of the future), by whom the body and mind are mastered, who has disowned every possession, doing action only for sustaining the body, that one (a renunciate, sannyāsī) incurs no fault (no binding karma merit or demerit).
nir-āśīr yata-cittātmā tyakta-sarva-parigrahaḥ, śārīraṃ kevalaṃ karma kurvan nāpnoti kilbiṣam.
निर्-आशीर् यत-चित्तात्मा त्यक्त-सर्व-परिग्रहः।
शारीरं केवलं कर्म कुर्वन् नाप्नोति किल्बिषम्॥
BhG-T.4.22 Satisfied with whatever happens (unasked), (whose mind is) unaffected by the natural pairs of opposites, free of jealousy (on account of another’s virtue or prosperity), and equanimous in success or failure, that one – though engaged in action – is not bound.
yad-ṛcchālābha-santuṣṭo dvandvātīto vi-matsaraḥ, samaḥ siddhāv asiddhau ca kṛtvāpi na nibadhyate.
यद्-ऋच्छालाभ-सन्तुष्टो द्वन्द्वातीतो वि-मत्सरः।
समः सिद्धाव् असिद्धौ च कृत्वापि न निबध्यते॥
BhG-T.4.23 For the one who is without attachment, who is free, whose mind is rooted in (self-)knowledge, and who acts for the sake of a sacred act ( yajña), all karma (along with its pending results) dissolves.
gata-saṅgasya muktasya jñānāvasthita-cetasaḥ, yajñāyācarataḥ karma samagraṃ pravilīyate.
गत-सङ्गस्य मुक्तस्य ज्ञानावस्थित-चेतसः।
यज्ञायाचरतः कर्म समग्रं प्रविलीयते॥
BhG-T.4.24 The instrument for offering is brahman (reality, the limitless self). The oblation is brahman, offered by brahman into the fire that is brahman. Brahman indeed is to be attained by the one whose vision of identity is that (every aspect of) action is brahman.
brahmārpaṇaṃ brahma havir brahmāgnau brahmaṇā hutam, brahmaiva tena gantavyaṃ brahma-karma-samādhinā.
ब्रह्मार्पणं ब्रह्म हविर् ब्रह्माग्नौ ब्रह्मणा हुतम्।
ब्रह्मैव तेन गन्तव्यं ब्रह्म-कर्म-समाधिना॥
BhG-T.4.25 Some ( karma-) yogīs perform yajña only for invoking (the Lord in the form of) a deity. Others (who are sannyāsīs, who have given up entitlement to ritual) offer yajña (as themselves) by yajña (as themselves) into the fire (the knowledge) that is brahman.
daivam evāpare yajñaṃ yoginaḥ paryupāsate, brahmāgnāv apare yajñaṃ yajñenaivopajuhvati.
दैवम् एवापरे यज्ञं योगिनः पर्युपासते।
ब्रह्माग्नाव् अपरे यज्ञं यज्ञेनैवोपजुह्वति॥
BhG-T.4.26 Others offer their sense organs – such as hearing, etcetera – into the fires that are the mastery (over each of the senses). Others (deliberately) offer sense objects – such as (only proper) sound, etcetera – into the fires that are the senses (themselves).
śrotrādīnīndriyāṇy anye saṃyamāgniṣu juhvati, śabdādīn viṣayān anya indriyāgniṣu juhvati.
श्रोत्रादीनीन्द्रियाण्य् अन्ये संयमाग्निषु जुह्वति।
शब्दादीन् विषयान् अन्य इन्द्रियाग्निषु जुह्वति॥
BhG-T.4.27 Others offer all activities of the organs and activities of the vital energies into the fire, lit by knowledge, that is the discipline of contemplation on the self.
sarvāṇīndriya-karmāṇi prāṇa-karmāṇi cāpare, ātma-saṃyama-yogāgnau juhvati jñāna-dīpite.
सर्वाणीन्द्रिय-कर्माणि प्राण-कर्माणि चापरे।
आत्म-संयम-योगाग्नौ जुह्वति ज्ञान-दीपिते॥
BhG-T.4.28 So too others of firm vows and efforts are those whose (distribution of) wealth is the yajña, those for whom prayerful discipline is the yajña, those whose very yoga practices are the yajña, and those who recite their Veda as a yajña and those who (later) study the meaning of their Veda as a yajña.
dravya-yajñās tapo-yajñā yoga-yajñās tathāpare, svādhyāya-jñāna-yajñāś ca yatayaḥ saṃśita-vratāḥ.
द्रव्य-यज्ञास् तपो-यज्ञा योग-यज्ञास् तथापरे।
स्वाध्याय-ज्ञान-यज्ञाश् च यतयः संशित-व्रताः॥
BhG-T.4.29 So too, others whose ultimate end is the practice of breath control – they offer (as a discipline) the outgoing breath into the ingoing breath, the ingoing breath into the outgoing breath, and (offer by) stopping the flow of both exhalation and inhalation.
apāne juhvati prāṇaṃ prāṇe'pānaṃ tathāpare, prāṇāpāna-gatī ruddhvā prāṇāyāma-parāyaṇāḥ.
अपाने जुह्वति प्राणं प्राणेऽपानं तथापरे।
प्राणापान-गती रुद्ध्वा प्राणायाम-परायणाः॥
BhG-T.4.30 Others whose food (consumption) is regulated offer (submit for discipline) their (undisciplined) prāṇas into their (disciplined) prāṇas (such as a well-kindled digestive fire). All of those (preceding) who have an attitude of worship (during their activities) have (to that extent) their impurities (that obstruct self-knowledge) destroyed by yajña.
apare niyatāhārāḥ prāṇān prāṇeṣu juhvati, sarve'py ete yajña-vido yajña-kṣapita-kalmaṣāḥ.
अपरे नियताहाराः प्राणान् प्राणेषु जुह्वति।
सर्वेऽप्य् एते यज्ञ-विदो यज्ञ-क्षपित-कल्मषाः॥
BhG-T.4.31 Those who (seek brahman and) partake of the offering (made) immortal after yajña proceed to gaining (in knowledge) the ever existent brahman (reality). This human world is not there for (the benefit of) one without yajña, much less another world (where effort is not available), O Arjuna.
yajña-śiṣṭāmṛta-bhujo yānti brahma sanā-tanam, nāyaṃ loko'sty ayajñasya kuto'nyaḥ kuru-sattama.
यज्ञ-शिष्टामृत-भुजो यान्ति ब्रह्म सना-तनम्।
नायं लोकोऽस्त्य् अयज्ञस्य कुतोऽन्यः कुरु-सत्तम॥
BhG-T.4.32 In this manner, there are many and various yajñas elaborated in the words of the Veda. Know all of them to be produced by ( traiguṇya-) karma (by the action of nature, not by ātmā, oneself). With this understanding, you will be freed (from their otherwise binding nature).
evaṃ bahu-vidhā yajñā vitatā brahmaṇo mukhe, karma-jān viddhi tān sarvān evaṃ jñātvā vimokṣyase.
एवं बहु-विधा यज्ञा वितता ब्रह्मणो मुखे।
कर्म-जान् विद्धि तान् सर्वान् एवं ज्ञात्वा विमोक्ष्यसे॥
BhG-T.4.33 Yajña consisting of knowledge is superior to yajña consisting of materials (and action), O Arjuna. O Arjuna, all action in its entirety is culminated in knowledge.
śreyān dravyamayād yajñāj jñāna-yajñaḥ paran-tapa, sarvaṃ karmākhilaṃ pārtha jñāne parisamāpyate.
श्रेयान् द्रव्यमयाद् यज्ञाज् ज्ञान-यज्ञः परन्-तप।
सर्वं कर्माखिलं पार्थ ज्ञाने परिसमाप्यते॥
BhG-T.4.34 Understand that (knowledge). By surrender (to the feet of the teacher, that is, with an attitude of acceptance of the teacher as a source of knowledge), by inquiry, and by service (to the teacher – as traditionally no tuition is charged during the study) the wise – who have the vision of the truth – will teach you this knowledge.
tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā, upadekṣyanti te jñānaṃ jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ.
तद् विद्धि प्रणिपातेन परिप्रश्नेन सेवया।
उपदेक्ष्यन्ति ते ज्ञानं ज्ञानिनस् तत्त्व-दर्शिनः॥
BhG-T.4.35 Understanding this (knowledge), you will not again in this way become deluded, O Arjuna. By this (knowledge) you will see all beings in Me and even in yourself.
yaj jñātvā na punar moham evaṃ yāsyasi pāṇḍava, yena bhūtāny aśeṣeṇa drakṣyasy ātmany atho mayi.
यज् ज्ञात्वा न पुनर् मोहम् एवं यास्यसि पाण्डव।
येन भूतान्य् अशेषेण द्रक्ष्यस्य् आत्मन्य् अथो मयि॥
BhG-T.4.36 Even if you are one who has done sins worse than any sinner, by the raft that is knowledge alone you will cross over all (forms of) karma demerit.
api ced asi pāpebhyaḥ sarvebhyaḥ pāpa-kṛttamaḥ, sarvaṃ jñāna-plavenaiva vṛjinaṃ santariṣyasi.
अपि चेद् असि पापेभ्यः सर्वेभ्यः पाप-कृत्तमः।
सर्वं ज्ञान-प्लवेनैव वृजिनं सन्तरिष्यसि॥
BhG-T.4.37 O Arjuna, just as a well-ignited fire reduces logs to ashes, so this fire that is knowledge reduces all karmas (all results of karma waiting to fructify in the individual jīva’s karma account) to ashes.
yathaidhāṃsi samiddho'gnir bhasma-sāt kurute'rjuna, jñānāgniḥ sarva-karmāṇi bhasma-sāt kurute tathā.
यथैधांसि समिद्धोऽग्निर् भस्म-सात् कुरुतेऽर्जन।
ज्ञानाग्निः सर्व-कर्माणि भस्म-सात् कुरुते तथा॥
BhG-T.4.38 In this world, indeed, there is no purifier equal to knowledge. In time, the one who is prepared by ( karma-) yoga (and has a proper teacher) gains that (knowledge) easily in one’s (prepared) mind.
na hi jñānena sa-dṛśaṃ pavitram iha vidyate, tat svayaṃ yoga-saṃsiddhaḥ kālenātmani vindati.
न हि ज्ञानेन स-दृशं पवित्रम् इह विद्यते।
तत् स्वयं योग-संसिद्धः कालेनात्मनि विन्दति॥
BhG-T.4.39 One who has trust (in this teaching as a valid means of knowledge), for whom that (knowledge) is the ultimate, and whose senses are mastered (by karma-yoga) – that one attains knowledge. Having gained knowledge, one immediately attains limitless peace.
śrad-dhāvāṃl labhate jñānaṃ tat-paraḥ saṃyatendriyaḥ, jñānaṃ labdhvā parāṃ śāntim acireṇādhigacchati.
श्रद्-धावाल्ँ लभते ज्ञानं तत्-परः संयतेन्द्रियः।
ज्ञानं लब्ध्वा परां शान्तिम् अचिरेणाधिगच्छति॥
BhG-T.4.40 The nondiscerning, having no trust, whose mind is full of doubts – that one perishes (remains in the life of unbecoming becoming, saṃsāra). For the one whose mind is full of doubts, this world is not there, nor the next, nor is there any happiness (because of constant doubts).
ajñaś cāśrad-dadhānaś ca saṃśayātmā vinaśyati, nāyaṃ loko'sti na paro na sukhaṃ saṃśayātmanaḥ.
अज्ञश् चाश्रद्-दधानश् च संशयात्मा विनश्यति।
नायं लोकोऽस्ति न परो न सुखं संशयात्मनः॥
BhG-T.4.41 Actions do not bind the one who has renounced karma through ( jñāna-) yoga (knowledge as the means even though engaged in activity), whose doubt has been completely severed by knowledge, and who is attentive (whose vision of reality is never lost), O Arjuna.
yoga-sannyasta-karmāṇaṃ jñāna-sañchinna-saṃśayam, ātmavantaṃ na karmāṇi nibadhnanti dhanañ-jaya.
आत्मवन्तं न कर्माणि निबध्नन्ति धनञ्-जय॥
BhG-T.4.42 Therefore, severing with the sword that is knowledge this doubt about yourself (initially in regard to one’s duty, later in regard to oneself, ātmā), rooted in the intellect and born of a lack of discernment, commit to ( karma-) yoga and get up, O Arjuna!
tasmād ajñāna-sambhūtaṃ hṛt-sthaṃ jñānāsinātmanaḥ, chittvainaṃ saṃśayaṃ yogam ātiṣṭhottiṣṭha bhārata.
तस्माद् अज्ञान-सम्भूतं हृत्-स्थं ज्ञानासिनात्मनः।
छित्त्वैनं संशयं योगम् आतिष्ठोत्तिष्ठ भारत॥
BhG-T.4. Om ( brahman, the witness of all) is that (only) reality. Thus ends the forth chapter, called “The Topic of Knowledge and the Renunciation of Action,” of the (eighteen chapters of) Songs of the Glorious Lord, which is (looked upon as) sacred teaching ( Upaniṣad) and (whose teaching is) in (the form of) a dialogue between Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna, (the subject matter being) knowledge of brahman and yoga.
oṃ tat sat. śrīmad-bhagavad-gītāsūpaniṣatsu brahma-vidyāyāṃ yoga-śāstre śrī-kṛṣṇārjuna-saṃvāde jñāna-karma-sannyāsa-yogo nāma caturtho'dhyāyaḥ.
ओं तत् सत्। इति श्रीमद्-भगवद्-गीतासूपनिषत्सु ब्रह्म-विद्यायां योग-शास्त्रे श्री-कृष्णार्जुन-संवादे ज्ञान-कर्म-सन्न्यास-योगो नाम चतुर्थोऽध्यायः॥
Go to Top ('Home' key on many Windows browsers)
Atha pañcamo'dhyāyaḥ (5.1-29)
Fifth Chapter Introduction
The Topic of Renunciation of Action
In chapter 5, Arjuna asks Kṛṣṇa to clarify the distinction between the sannyāsa (renunciation) and karma-yoga (seeking while living a life of duties) lifestyles and which one would be better for him. The Lord replies that an essential element of both lifestyles is renunciation. He explains that the candidate for sannyāsa lifestyle already has a certain mastery in renunciation; otherwise that lifestyle would be difficult – just as He said earlier, in the third chapter (3.6), that sannyāsa is useless for one without mental discipline. On the other hand, karma-yoga prepares the mind for the renunciation required in a life of sannyāsa. The distinction between the two lifestyles involves the qualification of the candidate regarding his or her degree of mastery in renunciation. Kṛṣṇa, for this reason, again recommends karma-yoga for Arjuna. The degree of renunciation required for sannyāsa is such that if one has to ask whether one is ready for it, then one is probably not ready for it. However, because the sole purpose of both sannyāsa and karma-yoga is the śreyas (the ultimate good) that is freedom ( mokṣa), in this there is no difference between them. Because knowledge liberates and the pursuit of knowledge is in both lifestyles, both lead to mokṣa. Perfect renunciation is simply the assimilated knowledge that the self does not, in fact, do action. This can be realized within either lifestyle.
Kṛṣṇa then goes on to say that this knowledge culminates in oneself being brahman, the limitless reality. There is no rebirth for such a person because there is no longer a distinct individuality that owns a history burdened with yet-to-fructify karmas, results of action. The one with this culmination of knowledge has attained a fulfillment that does not wane. Until this assimilation of the knowledge – with its appreciation of this fulfillment – is complete, one must make proper efforts to free the mind from requirements, anticipations, and anger. One should make effort to master the mind so that one can gain this knowledge. For this, meditation and contemplation are proper means, within both sannyāsa and karma-yoga lifestyles. At the end of this chapter, Kṛṣṇa introduces the topic of meditation and contemplation, which is taken up in greater detail in chapter 6.
There is a difference between meditation and contemplation. Meditation ( dhyāna) is the employment of techniques for mastering the mind and is mental worship of the Lord, or prayer. Contemplation, also called dhyāna or more specifically called nididhyāsana, is seeing the truth of the teaching in order to remove obstacles to assimilating it. Meditation is preliminary and prepares the mind to remain in contemplation of the teaching. Meditation happens in the seat of meditation; whereas contemplation happens both in the seat of meditation and during the rest of one’s time. We can meditate even before we hear this teaching. Contemplation requires that we have heard and are clear on the teaching being contemplated. Assimilation of this teaching, of this knowledge, requires contemplation – or at least a contemplative mind. ( Jump to 6th Ch. Intro)
BhG-T.5.1 Arjuna said: O Kṛṣṇa, You praise the renunciation ( sannyāsa) of action and also ( karma-) yoga. Of these two, please tell me definitely that one which is better (for me who is not yet wise).
arjuna uvāca: sannyāsaṃ karmaṇāṃ kṛṣṇa punar yogaṃ ca śaṃsasi, yac chreya etayor ekaṃ tan me brūhi suniścitam.
सन्न्यासं कर्मणां कृष्ण पुनर् योगं च शंससि। यच् छ्रेय एतयोर् एकं तन् मे ब्रूहि सुनिश्चितम्॥
BhG-T.5.2 The Lord said: Both (lifestyles of) sannyāsa and karma-yoga lead to complete freedom. But, of the two, karma-yoga is better than renunciation of action (for the unwise you, Arjuna).
śrī-bhagavān uvāca: sannyāsaḥ karma-yogaś ca niḥśreyasa-karāv ubhau, tayos tu karma-sannyāsāt karma-yogo viśiṣyate.
सन्न्यासः कर्म-योगश् च निःश्रेयस-कराव् उभौ। तयोस् तु कर्म-सन्न्यासात् कर्म-योगो विशिष्यते॥
BhG-T.5.3 The ( karma-yogī) who neither hates nor longs (for anything) should be known as always a sannyāsī (renunciate in quality, though not in lifestyle). Because, O Arjuna, being free from the pairs the opposites, one is effortlessly freed from bondage (i.e., easily qualified for knowledge).
jñeyaḥ sa nitya-sannyāsī yo na dveṣṭi na kāṅkṣati, nir-dvandvo hi mahā-bāho sukhaṃ bandhāt pramucyate.
ज्ञेयः स नित्य-सन्न्यासी यो न द्वेष्टि न काङ्क्षति।
निर्-द्वन्द्वो हि महा-बाहो सुखं बन्धात् प्रमुच्यते॥
BhG-T.5.4 Children (that is, the nondiscerning), not the wise, claim that sāṅkhya (renunciation by knowlege) and ( karma-) yoga are different. One who has completely followed just one (of the two) attains the common result of both.
sāṅkhya-yogau pṛthag bālāḥ pravadanti na paṇḍitāḥ, ekam apy āsthitaḥ samyag ubhayor vindate phalam.
साङ्ख्य-योगौ पृथग् बालाः प्रवदन्ति न पण्डिताः।
एकम् अप्य् आस्थितः सम्यग् उभयोर् विन्दते फलम्॥
BhG-T.5.5 The status (complete freedom – mokṣa) that is gained by those who renounce through knowledge is also gained by those who follow ( karma-) yoga. One (really) sees, who sees that renunciation through knowledge ( sāṅkhya) and ( karma-) yoga are one (in result).
yat sāṅkhyaiḥ prāpyate sthānaṃ tad yogair api gamyate, ekaṃ sāṅkhyaṃ ca yogaṃ ca yaḥ paśyati sa paśyati.
यत् साङ्ख्यैः प्राप्यते स्थानं तद् योगैर् अपि गम्यते।
एकं साङ्ख्यं च योगं च यः पश्यति स पश्यति॥
BhG-T.5.6 Whereas, O Arjuna, without (first following karma-) yoga, sannyāsa (as renunciation or as a lifestyle) is difficult to accomplish. The one who is contemplative ( muni) who has been prepared through ( karma-) yoga (in this life and/or prior lives) in no time attains brahman (limitless reality).
sannyāsas tu mahā-bāho duḥkham āptum ayogataḥ, yoga-yukto munir brahma na-cireṇādhigacchati.
सन्न्यासस् तु महा-बाहो दुःखम् आप्तुम् अयोगतः।
योग-युक्तो मुनिर् ब्रह्म न-चिरेणाधिगच्छति॥
BhG-T.5.7 Prepared by ( karma-) yoga, (thus) whose character is without defect, who has discipline over the body, who has mastered the senses, and (finally) whose self is (known as) the self of all beings – though performing action, that one is not affected.
yoga-yukto viśuddhātmā vijitātmā jitendriyaḥ, sarva-bhūtātma-bhūtātmā kurvann api na lipyate.
योग-युक्तो विशुद्धात्मा विजितात्मा जितेन्द्रियः।
सर्व-भूतात्म-भूतात्मा कुर्वन्न् अपि न लिप्यते॥
BhG-T.5.8–9 The contemplative knower of the truth, maintaining that the organs (of sense and action) engage in their objects, would (or should) think “I do not do anything,” even though seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, tasting, moving, reclining, breathing, talking, releasing, grasping, or opening and closing (the eyes).
naiva kiñcit karomīti yukto manyeta tattva-vit, paśyañ śṛṇvan spṛśañ jighrann aśnan gacchan svapañ śvasan. pralapan visṛjan gṛhṇann unmiṣan nimiṣann api, indriyāṇīndriyārtheṣu vartanta iti dhārayan.
नैव किञ्चित् करोमीति युक्तो मन्येत तत्त्व-वित्।
पश्यञ् शृण्वन् स्पृशञ् जिघ्रन्न् अश्नन् गच्छन् स्वपञ् श्वसन्॥ प्रलपन् विसृजन् गृह्णन्न् उन्मिषन् निमिषन्न् अपि। इन्द्रियाणीन्द्रियार्थेषु वर्तन्त इति धारयन्॥
BhG-T.5.10 Giving up attachment (not anticipating results), the one who performs actions, offering (them) unto brahman (the Lord – as prakṛti, nature, the cosmic order) – that one is not affected by karma demerit ( pāpa), like a lotus leaf (is not soaked) by water.
brahmaṇy ādhāya karmāṇi saṅgaṃ tyaktvā karoti yaḥ, lipyate na sa pāpena padma-patram ivāmbhasā.
ब्रह्मण्य् आधाय कर्माणि सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा करोति यः।
लिप्यते न स पापेन पद्म-पत्रम् इवाम्भसा॥
BhG-T.5.11 Giving up attachment, the ( karma-) yogīs perform action with their body, mind, intellect, and senses only (not by “I”), for ātma-śuddhi (transparency/clarity of character/mind).
kāyena manasā buddhyā kevalair indriyair api, yoginaḥ karma kurvanti saṅgaṃ tyaktvātma-śuddhaye.
कायेन मनसा बुद्ध्या केवलैर् इन्द्रियैर् अपि।
योगिनः कर्म कुर्वन्ति सङ्गं त्यक्त्वात्म-शुद्धये॥
BhG-T.5.12 Giving up (the notion of control – adhikāratva) (over) the result of action, the ( karma-) yogī attains a peace born of (the degree of) commitment; (whereas) with no (commitment to) karma-yoga, attached to results by the pressure of requirements, that one is bound.
yuktaḥ karma-phalaṃ tyaktvā śāntim āpnoti naiṣṭhikīm, ayuktaḥ kāma-kāreṇa phale sakto nibadhyate.
युक्तः कर्म-फलं त्यक्त्वा शान्तिम् आप्नोति नैष्ठिकीम्।
अयुक्तः काम-कारेण फले सक्तो निबध्यते॥
BhG-T.5.13 The embodied one who has self-control, renouncing all actions through the mind (by knowledge, not by bodily inaction), remains happy within the nine-gated city (the body with its nine apertures), neither doing nor causing activity.
sarva-karmāṇi manasā sannyasyāste sukhaṃ vaśī, nava-dvāre pure dehī naiva kurvan na kārayan.
सर्व-कर्माणि मनसा सन्न्यस्यास्ते सुखं वशी।
नव-द्वारे पुरे देही नैव कुर्वन् न कारयन्॥
BhG-T.5.14 The master (of the nine-gated city, and who is ātmā) effects neither doership nor actions (or objects) for the person, nor connection with (attainment of) the results of action; whereas the person’s constitution ( aparā prakṛti, the complex of the guṇas) engages in action.
na kartṛtvaṃ na karmāṇi lokasya sṛjati prabhuḥ, na karma-phala-saṃyogaṃ sva-bhāvas tu pravartate.
न कर्तृत्वं न कर्माणि लोकस्य सृजति प्रभुः।
न कर्म-फल-संयोगं स्व-भावस् तु प्रवर्तते॥
BhG-T.5.15 The locationless (self – ātmā) takes on neither the karma demerit nor merit of anyone (whether of a jñānī, a karma-yogī or a non- karma-yogī). Knowledge is covered by ignorance and, because of that, individuals are deluded (thinking, ‘I have merit or demerit’).
nādatte kasyacit pāpaṃ na caiva su-kṛtaṃ vibhuḥ, ajñānenāvṛtaṃ jñānaṃ tena muhyanti jantavaḥ.
नादत्ते कस्यचित् पापं न चैव सु-कृतं विभुः।
अज्ञानेनावृतं ज्ञानं तेन मुह्यन्ति जन्तवः॥
BhG-T.5.16 Whereas, for those whose very ignorance is destroyed by knowledge of the self, this knowledge, like the sun, reveals (the fact that their self-evident self is) the limitless (reality – brahman).
jñānena tu tad ajñānaṃ yeṣāṃ nāśitam ātmanaḥ, teṣām ādityavaj jñānaṃ prakāśayati tat param.
ज्ञानेन तु तद् अज्ञानं येषां नाशितम् आत्मनः।
तेषाम् आदित्यवज् ज्ञानं प्रकाशयति तत् परम्॥
BhG-T.5.17 Those whose intellect (knowledge) has attained that ( brahman), (because) self is (recognized as) that ( brahman), (because) commitment is in that ( brahman), (because) having that ( brahman) as the ultimate end, having had ( karma) impurities shaken off by knowledge they gain no rebirth.
tad-buddhayas tad-ātmānas tan-niṣṭhās tat-parāyaṇāḥ, gacchanty a-punar-āvṛttiṃ jñāna-nirdhūta-kalmaṣāḥ.
तद्-बुद्धयस् तद्-आत्मानस् तन्-निष्ठास् तत्-परायणाः।
गच्छन्त्य् अ-पुनर्-आवृत्तिं ज्ञान-निर्धूत-कल्मषाः॥
BhG-T.5.18 These wise people see sama (the same one – immutable brahman – in all beings): in a brāhmaṇa person endowed with knowledge and discretion, in a cow, an elephant, a dog, and a dog-eater (that is, one who lives outside the cultural norms of Veda society).
vidyā-vinaya-sampanne brāhmaṇe gavi hastini, śuni caiva śvapāke ca paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ.
विद्या-विनय-सम्पन्ने ब्राह्मणे गवि हस्तिनि।
शुनि चैव श्वपाके च पण्डिताः सम-दर्शिनः॥
BhG-T.5.19 Those whose mind is rooted in what is by nature sama (the same) win over birth here itself. Because the defectless ( karma-free) brahman is sama (the same), therefore they abide in brahman (reality) (alone).
ihaiva tair jitaḥ sargo yeṣāṃ sāmye sthitaṃ manaḥ, nir-doṣaṃ hi samaṃ brahma tasmād brahmaṇi te sthitāḥ.
इहैव तैर् जितः सर्गो येषां साम्ये स्थितं मनः।
निर्-दोषं हि समं ब्रह्म तस्माद् ब्रह्मणि ते स्थिताः॥
BhG-T.5.20 The one who knows brahman, who is established in brahman, whose knowledge is without doubts, and who is no longer deluded would not be elated at obtaining what is liked, nor agitated at obtaining what is disliked.
na prahṛṣyet priyaṃ prāpya nodvijet prāpya cāpriyam, sthira-buddhir asaṃmūḍho brahma-vid brahmaṇi sthitaḥ.
न प्रहृष्येत् प्रियं प्राप्य नोद्विजेत् प्राप्य चाप्रियम्।
स्थिर-बुद्धिर् असम्मूढो ब्रह्म-विद् ब्रह्मणि स्थितः॥
BhG-T.5.21 The one whose mind is (relatively or absolutely) not attached to external sense objects finds the (relative or absolute) happiness which is in the self. That one whose mind is endowed with clear knowledge of brahman attains the fulfillment ( sukha) that does not wane, (attains mokṣa).
bāhya-sparśeṣv asaktātmā vindaty ātmani yat sukham, sa brahma-yoga-yuktātmā sukham akṣayam aśnute.
बाह्य-स्पर्शेष्व् असक्तात्मा विन्दत्य् आत्मनि यत् सुखम्।
स ब्रह्म-योग-युक्तात्मा सुखम् अक्षयम् अश्नुते॥
BhG-T.5.22 O Arjuna, because those experiences are born of sense objects, are sources of pain alone (immeasurably less than the sukha, the fulfillment that does not wane) and have a beginning and end – the wise one does not revel in those (experiences).
ye hi saṃsparśa-jā bhogā duḥkha-yonaya eva te, ādy-antavantaḥ kaunteya na teṣu ramate budhaḥ.
ये हि संस्पर्श-जा भोगा दुःख-योनय एव ते।
आद्य्-अन्तवन्तः कौन्तेय न तेषु रमते बुधः॥
BhG-T.5.23 The one who is able to withstand here itself the force born of requiring ( kāma) and anger ( krodha) before release from the body (before death), is a karma-yogī. That one is a happy person.
śaknotīhaiva yaḥ soḍhuṃ prāk charīra-vimokṣaṇāt, kāma-krodhodbhavaṃ vegaṃ sa yuktaḥ sa sukhī naraḥ.
शक्नोतीहैव यः सोढुं प्राक् छरीर-विमोक्षणात्।
काम-क्रोधोद्भवं वेगं स युक्तः स सुखी नरः॥
BhG-T.5.24 Whose fulfillment is within (the self), whose reveling is within (the self), and whose mind is within (centered on the self) only – that one is a yogī who, being brahman, gains liberation in/as brahman, (gains mokṣa, i.e., being free while alive remains free upon death).
yo'ntaḥ-sukho'ntar-ārāmas tathāntar-jyotir eva yaḥ, sa yogī brahma-nirvāṇaṃ brahma-bhūto'dhigacchati.
योऽन्तः-सुखोऽन्तर्-आरामस् तथान्तर्-ज्योतिर् एव यः।
स योगी ब्रह्म-निर्वाणं ब्रह्म-भूतोऽधिगच्छति॥
BhG-T.5.25 Whose impediments have been (sufficiently) destroyed (by karma-yoga), who have (sufficiently) mastered themselves (their body-mind complex, by aṣṭāṅga-yoga and upāsana), who are happily engaged in the good of all beings, whose doubts have been resolved – becoming wise ( ṛṣis) they gain liberation in/as brahman.
labhante brahma-nirvāṇam ṛṣayaḥ kṣīṇa-kalmaṣāḥ, chinna-dvaidhā yatātmānaḥ sarva-bhūta-hite ratāḥ.
लभन्ते ब्रह्म-निर्वाणम् ऋषयः क्षीण-कल्मषाः।
छिन्न-द्वैधा यतात्मानः सर्व-भूत-हिते रताः॥
BhG-T.5.26 For the one who makes (proper) effort – free from requirements/anticipations and anger, whose mind is mastered and whose self is known – there is liberation in/as brahman both (here and hereafter, that is, before and after the death of the body).
kāma-krodha-viyuktānāṃ yatīnāṃ yata-cetasām, abhito brahma-nirvāṇaṃ vartate viditātmanām.
काम-क्रोध-वियुक्तानां यतीनां यत-चेतसाम्।
अभितो ब्रह्म-निर्वाणं वर्तते विदितात्मनाम्॥
BhG-T.5.27–28 Keeping external the external sense objects and the vision within the eyebrows (that is, the eyes shut), keeping (naturally) equal the exhalation and inhalation moving within the nostrils, the one who is contemplative – whose senses, mind, and intellect are mastered (enough to sit in meditation), having complete freedom ( mokṣa) as the ultimate end, from whom are (mostly or completely) gone requiring/anticipating, fear and anger – that one (who sits in meditation, contemplating this teaching) is always liberated indeed.
sparśān kṛtvā bahir bāhyāṃś cakṣuś caivāntare bhruvoḥ, prāṇāpānau samau kṛtvā nāsābhyantara-cāriṇau. yatendriya-mano-buddhir munir mokṣa-parāyaṇaḥ, vigatecchā-bhaya-krodho yaḥ sadā mukta eva saḥ.
स्पर्शान् कृत्वा बहिर् बाह्यांश् चक्षुश् चैवान्तरे भ्रुवोः।
प्राणापानौ समौ कृत्वा नासाभ्यन्तर-चारिणौ॥ यतेन्द्रिय-मनो-बुद्धिर् मुनिर् मोक्ष-परायणः। विगतेच्छा-भय-क्रोधो यः सदा मुक्त एव सः॥
BhG-T.5.29 Knowing (and contemplating oneself, the witness of the thoughts of everyone, as the Lord) Me as (the doer and) the experiencer of sacred acts ( yajña) and prayerful discipline, the limitless Lord of all worlds, and the (natural) friend of all beings, one attains the clarity (called mokṣa).
bhoktāraṃ yajña-tapasāṃ sarva-loka-maheśvaram, su-hṛdaṃ sarva-bhūtānāṃ jñātvā māṃ śāntim ṛcchati.
भोक्तारं यज्ञ-तपसां सर्व-लोक-महेश्वरम्।
सु-हृदं सर्व-भूतानां ज्ञात्वा मां शान्तिम् ऋच्छति॥
BhG-T.5. Om ( brahman, the witness of all) is that (only) reality. Thus ends the fifth chapter, called “The Topic of Renunciation of Action,” of the (eighteen chapters of) Songs of the Glorious Lord, which is (looked upon as) sacred teaching ( Upaniṣad) and (whose teaching is) in (the form of) a dialogue between Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna, (the subject matter being) knowledge of brahman and yoga.
oṃ tat sat. śrīmad-bhagavad-gītāsūpaniṣatsu brahma-vidyāyāṃ yoga-śāstre śrī-kṛṣṇārjuna-saṃvāde karma-sannyāsa-yogo nāma pañcamo'dhyāyaḥ.
ओं तत् सत्। इति श्रीमद्-भगवद्-गीतासूपनिषत्सु ब्रह्म-विद्यायां योग-शास्त्रे श्री-कृष्णार्जुन-संवादे कर्म-सन्न्यास-योगो नाम पञ्चमोऽध्यायः॥
Go to Top ('Home' key on many Windows browsers)
Atha ṣaṣṭho'dhyāyaḥ (6.1-47)
Sixth Chapter Introduction
The Topic of Contemplation
In this chapter, Kṛṣṇa again states that renunciation is at the core of karma-yoga. Renunciation is essentially mental. It is the mind that needs to be freed from the hold of its likes and dislikes. Whether that renunciation gets translated into the renunciation of material comforts is a lifestyle choice that is secondary to mental renunciation of likes and dislikes, although it is a natural progression for the one who has the understanding necessary to be free from one’s likes and dislikes. But unless one is, in fact, able to give up material comforts, then one’s supposed mental power of renunciation is more an imagination. Renunciation means knowledge, not denial; it is the knowledge that the self is not a doer or an enjoyer.
The assimilation of this knowledge is assisted by the outward discipline of the lifestyles of karma-yoga and jñāna-yoga (knowledge as a means), and by the inward discipline of meditation and contemplation. These inward disciplines are available for both lifestyles, but the sannyāsa lifestyle and the student and retired stages of a karma-yoga life provide more opportunity for continual practice of these inward disciplines. Śama means the cessation of duties, and the sannyāsa lifestyle within the Indian culture best affords the opportunity for śama. With śama, one can focus on meditation and contemplation. But śama is just an opportunity; one has to choose inner disciplines in order to assimilate the teaching. A sannyāsī (renunciate) who is not in contemplation of the teaching is one who has fallen from the yoga.
This chapter introduces meditation and contemplation as a discipline, a yoga, within but not exclusive to jñāna-yoga. It is a solitary pursuit, once learned, meant for removing any remaining obstacles to knowledge. Meditation techniques are for gaining a steadiness of mind with the purpose of contemplating the teaching, helping one assimilate the teaching. Some details are provided in this chapter on meditation techniques; more can be gained, if needed, from the Upaniṣads (for example, Śvetāśvatara 1.10–16, Joshi 2007) and from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras (1.12–51 and 2.46–3.3).
Those meditation techniques meant for gaining siddhis (special powers over nature or over others) are contrary to the teaching given here by Lord Kṛṣṇa (see 2.41–45). Patanjali said these siddhis are impediments to progress in contemplative absorption ( Yoga Sutras 3.37). So the contemplation is only on the teaching given here by Lord Kṛṣṇa. The danger in focusing elsewhere is that we may become lost in pursuits outside of the teaching of the Lord and fall from the yoga. Many people have been waylaid in popular yoga power trips. If, instead, we follow the Lord’s teaching, it will show us how to progress in contemplative absorption for gaining knowledge.
Some think that they cannot meditate because the mind wanders when they sit in meditation. Incorrect! This is exactly meditation. Meditation is continually bringing the naturally mobile mind back to its intended focus. If it does not wander away, then it is samādhi (absorption in the topic); in which case, the meditation has more than succeeded. As soon as the mind has gained a certain degree of steadiness, it should be turned to contemplation of the teaching. Such a steady mind can then remain with the teaching both in and out of the seat of meditation. This is the ideal pursuit of every seeker, whether one is in karma-yoga or sannyāsa. ( Jump to 7th Ch. Intro)
BhG-T.6.1 The Lord said: One who does action to be done without depending on the result of action is (also) a sannyāsī (renunciate, in terms of one’s binding likes and dislikes) and yogī (meditator, in terms of a having a composed mind), not (just) one who (formally) gives up fire rituals (for dedicated listening to and reflecting on this teaching) and (all other) practices.
śrī-bhagavān uvāca: anāśritaḥ karma-phalaṃ kāryaṃ karma karoti yaḥ, sa sannyāsī ca yogī ca na nir-agnir na cākriyaḥ.
अनाश्रितः कर्म-फलं कार्यं कर्म करोति यः। स सन्न्यासी च योगी च न निर्-अग्निर् न चाक्रियः॥
BhG-T.6.2 What they call sannyāsa (renunciation) – know that to be (the defining core of karma-) yoga, O Arjuna. Because anyone who has not renounced (given up) requirements/anticipations (regarding the result of action) is not a ( karma-) yogī.
yaṃ sannyāsam iti prāhur yogaṃ taṃ viddhi pāṇḍava, na hy asannyasta-saṅkalpo yogī bhavati kaścana.
यं सन्न्यासम् इति प्राहुर् योगं तं विद्धि पाण्डव।
न ह्य् असन्न्यस्त-सङ्कल्पो योगी भवति कश्चन॥
BhG-T.6.3 For the (relatively) contemplative one who desires to attain yoga (the contemplation presented herein), karma(- yoga) is said to be the means. Only for that one who has attained yoga (contemplation), śama (cessation of duties, a sannyāsa lifestyle of jñāna-yoga) is said to be the means.
ārurukṣor muner yogaṃ karma kāraṇam ucyate, yogārūḍhasya tasyaiva śamaḥ kāraṇam ucyate.
आरुरुक्षोर् मुनेर् योगं कर्म कारणम् उच्यते।
योगारूढस्य तस्यैव शमः कारणम् उच्यते॥
BhG-T.6.4 When, indeed, one is attached neither to the sense objects nor to the actions (themselves), then this renunciate of all fancies is said to be yogārūḍha (one who has attained contemplation) (and, hence, is qualified for sannyāsa lifestyle of only contemplation).
yadā hi nendriyārtheṣu na karmasv anuṣajjate, sarva-saṅkalpa-sannyāsī yogārūḍhas tadocyate.
यदा हि नेन्द्रियार्थेषु न कर्मस्व् अनुषज्जते।
सर्व-सङ्कल्प-सन्न्यासी योगारूढस् तदोच्यते॥
BhG-T.6.5 (This is a solitary pursuit, because) one should lift oneself (the body-sense-mind complex) up (to yoga) by oneself (the body-sense-mind complex). One should not lower oneself, because oneself alone (not anyone else) is the friend of oneself, and oneself alone (not anyone else) is the enemy of oneself.
uddhared ātmanātmānaṃ nātmānam avasādayet, ātmaiva hy ātmano bandhur ātmaiva ripur ātmanaḥ.
उद्धरेद् आत्मनात्मानं नात्मानम् अवसादयेत्।
आत्मैव ह्य् आत्मनो बन्धुर् आत्मैव रिपुर् आत्मनः॥
BhG-T.6.6 By whom oneself (the body-sense-mind complex) is mastered by oneself (the body-sense-mind complex) – for that one, oneself is the friend of oneself; whereas, for the one who has not (mastered) oneself, oneself alone remains as an enemy, like an (external) enemy.
bandhur ātmātmanas tasya yenātmaivātmanā jitaḥ, anātmanas tu śatrutve vartetātmaiva śatruvat.
बन्धुर् आत्मात्मनस् तस्य येनात्मैवात्मना जितः।
अनात्मनस् तु शत्रुत्वे वर्तेतात्मैव शत्रुवत्॥
BhG-T.6.7 In (the natural situations of) cold/hot, pleasure/pain, and in respect and disrespect – for the one whose body-sense-mind complex is mastered and who is clear, the mind is completely composed.
jitātmanaḥ praśāntasya parama-ātmā (param ātmā) samāhitaḥ, śītoṣṇa-sukha-duḥkheṣu tathā mānāpamānayoḥ.
जितात्मनः प्रशान्तस्य परमात्मा समाहितः।
शीतोष्ण-सुख-दुःखेषु तथा मानापमानयोः॥
BhG-T.6.8 Whose mind is content with one’s knowledge and its assimilation; who remains unchanged ( kūṭa-stha); whose senses are mastered; for whom a lump of clay, a stone, and gold are (transcended as the reality, sat, that is) the same ( sama) (otherwise, they are all seen as an-artha, nothing to do for my security) – that yogī is called composed ( yukta).
jñāna-vijñāna-tṛptātmā kūṭa-stho vijitendriyaḥ, yukta ity ucyate yogī sama-loṣṭāśma-kāñcanaḥ.
ज्ञान-विज्ञान-तृप्तात्मा कूट-स्थो विजितेन्द्रियः।
युक्त इत्य् उच्यते योगी सम-लोष्टाश्म-काञ्चनः॥
BhG-T.6.9 That one is exalted whose vision is the same ( sama) toward the kind-hearted, friends, enemies, acquaintances, mediators, the hateful, kin, the virtuous, and even sinners.
su-hṛn-mitrāry-udāsīna-madhya-stha-dveṣya-bandhuṣu, sādhuṣv api ca pāpeṣu sama-buddhir viśiṣyate.
साधुष्व् अपि च पापेषु सम-बुद्धिर् विशिष्यते॥
BhG-T.6.10 Remaining in seclusion, alone, with a mind and body that is mastered, without fancies (of the future), without possessions, may the yogī (the sannyāsī) constantly unite the mind (contemplate).
yogī yuñjīta sa-tatam ātmānaṃ rahasi sthitaḥ, ekākī yata-cittātmā nir-āśīr aparigrahaḥ.
योगी युञ्जीत स-ततम् आत्मानं रहसि स्थितः।
एकाकी यत-चित्तात्मा निर्-आशीर् अपरिग्रहः॥
BhG-T.6.11–12 Arranging one’s seat in a clean place, firm, not too high nor too low, on which the cover is (from top to bottom): a (soft) cloth, a hide (for padding), and kuśa grass (for insulation from cold and dampness, or whatever else provides the same). Then sitting upon that seat (or its equivalent) – making the mind single-pointed (having just one object) – may the one whose activities of the mind and senses are mastered contemplate (the teaching) for clarity of mind (for removing obstacles to abiding in this knowledge).
śucau deśe pratiṣṭhāpya sthiram āsanam ātmanaḥ, nātyucchritaṃ nātinīcaṃ cailājina-kuśottaram. tatraikāgraṃ manaḥ kṛtvā yata-cittendriya-kriyaḥ, upaviśyāsane yuñjyād yogam ātma-viśuddhaye.
शुचौ देशे प्रतिष्ठाप्य स्थिरम् आसनम् आत्मनः।
नात्युच्छ्रितं नातिनीचं चैलाजिन-कुशोत्तरम्॥ तत्रैकाग्रं मनः कृत्वा यत-चित्तेन्द्रिय-क्रियः। उपविश्यासने युञ्ज्याद् योगम् आत्म-विशुद्धये॥
BhG-T.6.13–14 Holding the body, head, and neck in line and still; being steady (having a wide base); (as though) looking at the tip of one’s nose (relaxing the shut eyes, whose open gaze otherwise would be along the tip of the nose); not looking (nor listening, etcetera) in all directions; being of clear mind, without fear, and firm in one’s vow of seeking brahman ( brahma-carya – listening to the teacher, then continually contemplating and teaching others); mastering the mind – may the yogī sit, thinking of Me (through My teaching), having Me as the ultimate.
samaṃ kāya-śiro-grīvaṃ dhārayann acalaṃ sthiraḥ, samprekṣya nāsikāgraṃ svaṃ diśaś cānavalokayan. praśāntātmā vigata-bhīr brahma-cāri-vrate sthitaḥ, manaḥ saṃyamya mac-citto yukta āsīta mat-paraḥ.
समं काय-शिरो-ग्रीवं धारयन्न् अचलं स्थिरः।
सम्प्रेक्ष्य नासिकाग्रं स्वं दिशश् चानवलोकयन्॥ प्रशान्तात्मा विगत-भीर् ब्रह्म-चारि-व्रते स्थितः। मनः संयम्य मच्-चित्तो युक्त आसीत मत्-परः॥
BhG-T.6.15 Always uniting the mind (contemplating) in this way, having mastered the mind, the yogī attains the clarity ( śānti) whose culmination is complete freedom, centered on Me (the Lord, Parameśvara).
yuñjann evaṃ sadātmānaṃ yogī niyata-mānasaḥ, śāntiṃ nirvāṇa-paramāṃ mat-saṃsthām adhigacchati.
युञ्जन्न् एवं सदात्मानं योगी नियत-मानसः।
शान्तिं निर्वाण-परमां मत्-संस्थाम् अधिगच्छति॥
BhG-T.6.16 Whereas, ( jñāna-) yoga (contemplation of the teaching) is not there for one who eats too much, nor for one who does not eat adequately, nor for one who habitually sleeps too much, nor for one who is (habitually always) awake, O Arjuna.
nātyaśnatas tu yogo'sti na caikāntam anaśnataḥ, na cātisvapna-śīlasya jāgrato naiva cārjuna.
नात्यश्नतस् तु योगोऽस्ति न चैकान्तम् अनश्नतः।
न चातिस्वप्न-शीलस्य जाग्रतो नैव चार्जुन॥
BhG-T.6.17 For one whose food and activity are moderated – whose bodily movement is regulated during activities (without meaningless, wasted bodily movement), whose sleeping and waking hours are moderated – ( jñāna-) yoga is the destroyer of all sorrows.
yuktāhāra-vihārasya yukta-ceṣṭasya karmasu, yukta-svapnāvabodhasya yogo bhavati duḥkha-hā.
युक्ताहार-विहारस्य युक्त-चेष्टस्य कर्मसु।
युक्त-स्वप्नावबोधस्य योगो भवति दुःख-हा॥
BhG-T.6.18 When the mind that is mastered abides in ātmā (oneself) alone, then – being free from attraction toward all (objects of) desire – one is said to be composed ( yukta).
yadā viniyataṃ cittam ātmany evāvatiṣṭhate, niḥ-spṛhaḥ sarva-kāmebhyo yukta ity ucyate tadā.
यदा विनियतं चित्तम् आत्मन्य् एवावतिष्ठते।
निः-स्पृहः सर्व-कामेभ्यो युक्त इत्य् उच्यते तदा॥
BhG-T.6.19 “Like the (flame of an) oil lamp in a windless place does not flicker.” This is the example cited for the mastered mind of the yogī who is uniting in yoga (who is in contemplation) of ātmā.
yadā dīpo nivāta-stho neṅgate sopamā smṛtā, yogino yata-cittasya yuñjato yogam ātmanaḥ.
यथा दीपो निवात-स्थो नेङ्गते सोपमा स्मृता।
योगिनो यत-चित्तस्य युञ्जतो योगम् आत्मनः॥
BhG-T.6.20 When the mind – mastered by following yoga (contemplation) – abides (in ātmā), and when one sees the ātmā (oneself) by the ātmā (the mind), then one is satisfied in oneself alone.
yatroparamate cittaṃ niruddhaṃ yoga-sevayā, yatra caivātmanātmānaṃ paśyann ātmani tuṣyati.
यत्रोपरमते चित्तं निरुद्धं योग-सेवया।
यत्र चैवात्मनात्मानं पश्यन्न् आत्मनि तुष्यति॥
BhG-T.6.21–23 When one knows that same limitless sukha (fulfillment that is the nature of ātmā) – which is to be grasped by the intellect, yet is not within the scope of the senses – and, abiding (there in the sukha), never moving away from this truth (this reality), having gained that which one knows is not bettered by another gain, and abiding in which (reality) one would not be affected – even by great pain – know that disassociation ( vi-yoga) from association ( saṃ-yoga) with sorrow to be what is called yoga (essentially an undoing of one’s natural, but unanalyzed, attachment to/identity with the body-mind complex through inquiry into reality and continued contemplation). That ( jñāna)- yoga should be pursued with firm resolve by a mind that is not indifferent (since the natural identifications are very strong).
sukham ātyantikaṃ yat tad buddhi-grāhyam atīndriyam, vetti yatra na caivāyaṃ sthitaś calati tattvataḥ. yaṃ labdhvā cāparaṃ lābhaṃ manyate nādhikaṃ tataḥ, yasmin sthito na duḥkhena guruṇāpi vicālyate. taṃ vidyād duḥkha-saṃyoga-viyogaṃ yoga-saṃjñitam, sa niścayena yoktavyo yogo'nirviṇṇa-cetasā.
सुखम् आत्यन्तिकं यत् तद् बुद्धि-ग्राह्यम् अतीन्द्रियम्।
वेत्ति यत्र न चैवायं स्थितश् चलति तत्त्वतः॥ यं लब्ध्वा चापरं लाभं मन्यते नाधिकं ततः। यस्मिन् स्थितो न दुःखेन गुरुणापि विचाल्यते॥ तं विद्याद् दुःख-संयोग-वियोगं योग-सञ्ज्ञितम्। स निश्चयेन योक्तव्यो योगोऽनिर्विण्ण-चेतसा॥
BhG-T.6.24–25 Totally giving up all anticipations born of scheming ( saṅkalpa about one’s goals in meditation), exercising complete authority by the mind alone (in meditation) over all the organs (of sense and action), one should slowly (and gently) – with the intellect endowed with resolve (prior to sitting in meditation) – bring (the mind) to abide (in ātmā). Making the mind abide in ātmā ( Paramātmā, the Lord as one’s self), may one contemplate nothing else.
saṅkalpa-prabhavān kāmāṃs tyaktvā sarvān aśeṣataḥ, manasaivendriya-grāmaṃ viniyamya samantataḥ. śanaiḥ śanair uparamed buddhyā dhṛti-gṛhītayā, ātma-saṃsthaṃ manaḥ kṛtvā na kiñcid api cintayet.
सङ्कल्प-प्रभवान् कामांस् त्यक्त्वा सर्वान् अशेषतः।
मनसैवेन्द्रिय-ग्रामं विनियम्य समन्ततः॥ शनैः शनैर् उपरमेद् बुद्ध्या धृति-गृहीतया। आत्म-संस्थं मनः कृत्वा न किञ्चिद् अपि चिन्तयेत्॥
BhG-T.6.26 Bringing it (the mind) back from whichever (distracting object) the (naturally) mobile, unsteady mind goes to – (by understanding that object also as) within ( para, limitless) ātmā alone – may one bring (the mind) under control.
yato yato niścarati manaś cañcalam asthiram, tatas tato niyamyaitad ātmany eva vaśaṃ nayet.
यतो यतो निश्चरति मनश् चञ्चलम् अस्थिरम्।
ततस् ततो नियम्यैतद् आत्मन्य् एव वशं नयेत्॥
BhG-T.6.27 Limitless fulfillment (as though) reaches (since it is already the nature of) this ( jñāna-) yogī who has a mind that is clear, that is, whose cloud (of delusion) has subsided, who (recognizes one’s self) is free from impurities, and who has attained brahman.
praśānta-manasaṃ hy enaṃ yoginaṃ sukham uttamam, upaiti śānta-rajasaṃ brahma-bhūtam akalmaṣam.
प्रशान्त-मनसं ह्य् एनं योगिनं सुखम् उत्तमम्।
उपैति शान्त-रजसं ब्रह्म-भूतम् अकल्मषम्॥
BhG-T.6.28 Always uniting the mind (contemplating) in this way, free from impurities, the ( jñāna-) yogī easily gains limitless fulfillment that is (revealed) by the contact with (the knowledge of) brahman (revealed as one’s nature, upon removal of ignorance).
yuñjann evaṃ sadātmānaṃ yogī vigata-kalmaṣaḥ, sukhena brahma-saṃsparśam atyantaṃ sukham aśnute.
युञ्जन्न् एवं सदात्मानं योगी विगत-कल्मषः।
सुखेन ब्रह्म-संस्पर्शम् अत्यन्तं सुखम् अश्नुते॥
BhG-T.6.29 Whose mind is absorbed in this contemplation, who sees sama (the same, that is, brahman) everywhere – sees one’s self abiding in all beings and all beings in one’s self (assimilates the knowledge of oneself as being Paramātmā, the Lord as one’s self).
sarva-bhūta-stham ātmānaṃ sarva-bhūtāni cātmani, īkṣate yoga-yuktātmā sarvatra sama-darśanaḥ.
सर्व-भूत-स्थम् आत्मानं सर्व-भूतानि चात्मनि।
ईक्षते योग-युक्तात्मा सर्वत्र सम-दर्शनः॥
BhG-T.6.30 The one who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me – I am not lost (remote) to that one, nor is that one lost (remote) to Me.
yo māṃ paśyati sarvatra sarvaṃ ca mayi paśyati, tasyāhaṃ na praṇaśyāmi sa ca me na praṇaśyati.
यो मां पश्यति सर्वत्र सर्वं च मयि पश्यति।
तस्याहं न प्रणश्यामि स च मे न प्रणश्यति॥
BhG-T.6.31 Having attained (this vision/knowledge of) oneness, the one who thus gains Me as abiding in all beings, that ( jñāna-) yogī, though engaging in all types (of action), abides in Me (abides not just when in the seat of meditation – because knowledge is continuous, in and out of meditation).
sarva-bhūta-sthitaṃ yo māṃ bhajaty ekatvam āsthitaḥ, sarvathā vartamāno'pi sa yogī mayi vartate.
सर्व-भूत-स्थितं यो मां भजत्य् एकत्वम् आस्थितः।
सर्वथा वर्तमानोऽपि स योगी मयि वर्तते॥
BhG-T.6.32 O Arjuna, the one who sees (that life is) the same everywhere, whether pleasant or unpleasant, with oneself as the basis of comparison (since ātmā is one) – that ( jñāna-) yogī is regarded as the most exalted.
ātmaupamyena sarvatra samaṃ paśyati yo'rjuna, śukhaṃ vā yadi vā duḥkhaṃ sa yogī paramo mataḥ.
आत्मौपम्येन सर्वत्र समं पश्यति योऽर्जुन।
सुखं वा यदि वा दुःखं स योगी परमो मतः॥
BhG-T.6.33 Arjuna said: O Kṛṣṇa, this ( jñāna-) yoga that you have talked about as (the vision of) sameness, I do not see its steady continuance due to the very fleeting nature (of the mind).
arjuna uvāca: yo'yaṃ yogas tvayā proktaḥ sāmyena madhu-sūdana, etasyāhaṃ na paśyāmi cañcalatvāt sthitiṃ sthirām.
योऽयं योगस् त्वया प्रोक्तः साम्येन मधु-सूदन। एतस्याहं न पश्यामि चञ्चलत्वात् स्थितिं स्थिराम्॥
BhG-T.6.34 O Kṛṣṇa, since the mind is very fleeting, distracting, strong, and well rooted, I think that its control is quite as difficult as that of the wind.
cañcalaṃ hi manaḥ kṛṣṇa pramāthi balavad dṛḍham, tasyāhaṃ nigrahaṃ manye vāyor iva su-duṣ-karam.
चञ्चलं हि मनः कृष्ण प्रमाथि बलवद् दृढम्।
तस्याहं निग्रहं मन्ये वायोर् इव सु-दुष्-करम्॥
BhG-T.6.35 The Lord said: O Arjuna, without a doubt, the mind is fleeting and difficult to master. But, O Arjuna, with repetition (in prayerful meditation and eventually in contemplation) and with dispassion (by objective inquiry into the distracting objects and their valuation) it is mastered.
śrī-bhagavān uvāca: asaṃśayaṃ mahā-bāho mano dur-nigrahaṃ calam, abhyāsena tu kaunteya vairāgyeṇa ca gṛhyate.
असंशयं महा-बाहो मनो दुर्-निग्रहं चलम्। अभ्यासेन तु कौन्तेय वैराग्येण च गृह्यते॥
BhG-T.6.36 By one whose mind is not mastered, this ( jñāna-) yoga is difficult to gain, whereas by one whose mind is mastered and who makes effort through (proper) means (through the contemplation presented in this teaching), it is possible to gain. This is My vision.
asaṃyatātmanā yogo duṣ-prāpa iti me matiḥ, vaśyātmanā tu yatatā śakyo'vāptum upāyataḥ.
असंयतात्मना योगो दुष्-प्राप इति मे मतिः।
वश्यात्मना तु यतता शक्योऽवाप्तुम् उपायतः॥
BhG-T.6.37 Arjuna said: O Kṛṣṇa, (the sannyāsī talked about in this teaching) endowed with trust (in this Your teaching), but who does not make (adequate) effort, whose mind wanders away from yoga, not gaining success in yoga – what is that one’s lot?
arjuna uvāca: ayatiḥ śraddhayopeto yogāc calita-mānasaḥ, aprāpya yoga-saṃsiddhiṃ kāṃ gatiṃ kṛṣṇa gacchati.
अयतिः श्रद्धयोपेतो योगाच् चलित-मानसः। अप्राप्य योग-संसिद्धिं कां गतिं कृष्ण गच्छति॥
BhG-T.6.38 O Kṛṣṇa, deluded in the path (in the means for the knowledge) of brahman, fallen from both ( karma-yoga and jñāna-yoga), and thus without a basis, I hope that that one does not fizzle out, like a cloudlet (split off from a cloud bank)?
kaccin nobhaya-vibhraṣṭaś chinnābhram iva naśyati, apratiṣṭho mahā-bāho vimūḍho brahmaṇaḥ pathi.
कच्चिन् नोभय-विभ्रष्टश् छिन्नाभ्रम् इव नश्यति।
अप्रतिष्ठो महा-बाहो विमूढो ब्रह्मणः पथि॥
BhG-T.6.39 Now, O Kṛṣṇa, You ought to completely remove my doubt, since – other than You (the Lord, Īśvara) – there is no remover of this (particular) doubt.
etan me saṃśayaṃ kṛṣṇa chettum arhasy aśeṣataḥ, tvad-anyaḥ saṃśayasyāsya chettā na hy upapadyate.
एतन् मे संशयं कृष्ण छेत्तुम् अर्हस्य् अशेषतः।
त्वद्-अन्यः संशयस्यास्य छेत्ता न ह्य् उपपद्यते॥
BhG-T.6.40 The Lord said: O Arjuna, neither here itself (due to the positive attitude of trust, śraddhā) nor hereafter (according to karma) is there loss for that one. Because, O Dear One, (to the extent) anyone performs adaptive action (in keeping with dharma), (to that extent) that one does not get a bad lot.
śrī-bhagavān uvāca: pārtha naiveha nāmutra vināśas tasya vidyate, na hi kalyāṇa-kṛt kaścid dur-gatiṃ tāta gacchati.
पार्थ नैवेह नामुत्र विनाशस् तस्य विद्यते। न हि कल्याण-कृत् कश्चिद् दुर्-गतिं तात गच्छति॥
BhG-T.6.41 The one who has “fallen” from this yoga gains the (same) worlds (heavens) of those who do adaptive actions, lives there for countless years, then is (re-)born in the home of a virtuous (following dharma) and fortunate family.
prāpya puṇya-kṛtāṃ lokān uṣitvā śāśvatīḥ samāḥ, śucīnāṃ śrīmatāṃ gehe yoga-bhraṣṭo'bhijāyate.
प्राप्य पुण्य-कृतां लोकान् उषित्वा शाश्वतीः समाः।
शुचीनां श्रीमतां गेहे योग-भ्रष्टोऽभिजायते॥
BhG-T.6.42 Or (even better) that one is born in the family of wise yogīs. Such a birth as this is indeed more difficult to attain in this world.
athavā yoginām eva kule bhavati dhīmatām, etad dhi dur-labhataraṃ loke janma yad īdṛśam.
अथवा योगिनाम् एव कुले भवति धीमताम्।
एतद् धि दुर्-लभतरं लोके जन्म यद् ईदृशम्॥
BhG-T.6.43 There, one gains connection with (quickly matures to) an intellect (like the one) that existed while in the previous body and then strives further than that, toward success (complete freedom), O Arjuna.
tatra taṃ buddhi-saṃyogaṃ labhate paurva-dehikam, yatate ca tato bhūyaḥ saṃsiddhau kuru-nandana.
तत्र तं बुद्धि-संयोगं लभते पौर्व-देहिकम्।
यतते च ततो भूयः संसिद्धौ कुरु-नन्दन॥
BhG-T.6.44 By that previous (life’s) practice (its karma-phala, the result of its karma) alone, even without will, one is indeed swept along. Just desiring to know about this ( jñāna-) yoga one (quickly) goes beyond the Veda text (its bulky heaven-going section).
pūrvābhyāsena tenaiva hriyate hy avaśo'pi saḥ, jijñāsur api yogasya śabda-brahmātivartate.
पूर्वाभ्यासेन तेनैव ह्रियते ह्य् अवशोऽपि सः।
जिज्ञासुर् अपि योगस्य शब्द-ब्रह्मातिवर्तते॥
BhG-T.6.45 The ( jñāna-) yogī who indeed strives with resolve (until) free from faults, accomplished (by accumulated effort) after many (prior) births (wherein all obstacles to knowledge are overcome) – that one thereupon gains the limitless end.
prayatnād yatamānas tu yogī saṃśuddha-kilbiṣaḥ, aneka-janma-saṃsiddhas tato yāti parāṃ gatim.
प्रयत्नाद् यतमानस् तु योगी संशुद्ध-किल्बिषः।
अनेक-जन्म-संसिद्धस् ततो याति परां गतिम्॥
BhG-T.6.46 This yogī is superior to tapasvīs (who perform prayerful disciplines) and is also considered superior to jñānīs (that is, scholars who treat this teaching as just theory rather than as about themselves). This yogī is also superior to those who perform rituals. Therefore, be a yogī (through karma-yoga become a jñāna-yogī), O Arjuna.
tapasvibhyo'dhiko yogī jñānibhyo'pi mato'dhikaḥ, karmibhyaś cādhiko yogī tasmād yogī bhavārjuna.
तपस्विभ्योऽधिको योगी ज्ञानिभ्योऽपि मतोऽधिकः।
कर्मिभ्यश् चाधिको योगी तस्माद् योगी भवार्जुन॥
BhG-T.6.47 One who has trust ( śraddhā) with the mind absorbed in Me seeks Me (through this contemplation). That one is considered by Me the most exalted among all yogīs.
yoginām api sarveṣāṃ mad-gatenāntar-ātmanā, śrad-dhāvān bhajate yo māṃ sa me yuktatamo mataḥ.
योगिनाम् अपि सर्वेषां मद्-गतेनान्तर्-आत्मना।
श्रद्-धावान् भजते यो मां स मे युक्ततमो मतः॥
BhG-T.6. Om ( brahman, the witness of all) is that (only) reality. Thus ends the sixth chapter, called “The Topic of Contemplation,” of the (eighteen chapters of) Songs of the Glorious Lord, which is (looked upon as) sacred teaching ( Upaniṣad) and (whose teaching is) in (the form of) a dialogue between Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna, (the subject matter being) knowledge of brahman and yoga.
oṃ tat sat. śrīmad-bhagavad-gītāsūpaniṣatsu brahma-vidyāyāṃ yoga-śāstre śrī-kṛṣṇārjuna-saṃvāde dhyāna-yogo nāma ṣaṣṭho'dhyāyaḥ.
ओं तत् सत्। इति श्रीमद्-भगवद्-गीतासूपनिषत्सु ब्रह्म-विद्यायां योग-शास्त्रे श्री-कृष्णार्जुन-संवादे
ध्यान-योगो नाम षष्ठोऽध्यायः॥ (आत्म-संयम-योगो)
Go to Top ('Home' key on many Windows browsers)
Atha saptamo'dhyāyaḥ (7.1-30)
Seventh Chapter Introduction
Knowledge and Its Assimilation
When this teaching uses the word knowledge by itself, it indicates the completion of the knowledge that yields complete freedom. When it uses the two words knowledge ( jñāna) and assimilation ( vijñāna), it is distinguishing simple understanding about the teaching from its fulfillment in complete freedom. It is the difference between saying “The teaching and the teacher say I am (the self is) completely free” and saying “I am completely free.” The first speaker may simply be a scholar; the later is a master. In the preceding chapter, a life of contemplation is encouraged for the assimilation of the teaching about the nature of the limitless self.
This chapter marks a shift in emphasis from the nature of the individual (and the pursuit and assimilation of the knowledge of the nature of the individual) to the nature of the Lord (and the pursuit and assimilation of the knowledge of the nature of the Lord). This shift in emphasis lasts through chapter 12. Chapter 13 then gives a marvelous presentation of the identity of the Lord and the individual – of the Lord who is both the field and the knower of the field, and the individual who is this same knower of the field. The great Upaniṣad statement “ Tat tvam asi (That [Lord] you are)” is the basis for these shifts in emphasis from the individual (“you”) to the Lord (“that”) and then to their identity (“are”). Whether one fully knows the microcosm or fully knows the macrocosm, either one amounts to complete knowledge – as the truth of one is the truth of the other. That is the very nature of truth. Truth is without division and infinite. If it is limited in any way, then it is only a concept that is subject to correction and negation.
The knowledge of the Lord starts with the macrocosm. The macrocosm is all the objects of your five senses and the concepts that make up your mind. This is the entirety of the universe, the field, before you. Even what you don’t know falls within the concept of what you know you do not know. We have to pause to appreciate how complete this ancient description of the macrocosm is. Even our vaunted modern-day physics is not as complete. Physics has only recently come to accept that the observer needs to be taken into account in order to correctly understand even a single event in the universe. But the knowledge of the Lord does not stop at that, as there is also the being that is aware of the observations and concepts in the mind.
When a scientist observes a person, the scientist can never observe that person’s awareness. Hence, psychology and the other sciences – because of the scientific method to which they are wed – are forever shut off from arriving at an understanding of the nature of this awareness, which awareness is in fact self-evident to everyone. Psychology cannot even directly study the mind. Psychologists rely on clients’ subjective responses to determine what is happening in the mind. For example, if you were the client, you would have to tell the psychologist whether stimulating a particular part of your brain evoked a particular thought in your mind. If a set of neurons firing was exactly the same as a thought, then why would a psychologist need to ask you?
Before anyone knew there were such neurons, everyone was clear what thoughts they entertained. Indeed, scientists don’t even see these neurons firing in their lab; they see only spikes on a graph, once or twice removed from what they are claiming is the fact of thought. At best, scientific theories about awareness and the mind are suppositions and inferences – to be corrected and negated by the next generation. Scientists cannot directly study your mind any more than they can read your mind. However, you alone can contemplate all this before you (including your mind) with this teaching, within self-evident awareness, and as the Lord – because the Lord is none other than yourself. ( Jump to 8th Ch. Intro)
BhG-T.7.1 The Lord said: O Arjuna, please listen to that ( jñānaṃ sa-vijñānam, knowledge and its assimilation) by which – having your mind committed to Me, having Me as your foundation, and taking to (My two-fold) yoga – you will know Me ( Parameśvara, paraṃ brahma) complete, without doubt.
śrī-bhagavān uvāca: mayy āsakta-manāḥ pārtha yogaṃ yuñjan mad-āśrayaḥ, asaṃśayaṃ samagraṃ māṃ yathā jñāsyasi tac chṛṇu.
मय्य् आसक्त-मनाः पार्थ योगं युञ्जन् मद्-आश्रयः। असंशयं समग्रं मां यथा ज्ञास्यसि तच् छृणु॥
BhG-T.7.2 This knowledge ( jñāna), along with its assimilation ( vijñāna), I will tell you completely, knowing which nothing more remains here to be known.
jñānaṃ te'haṃ sa-vijñānam idaṃ vakṣyāmy aśeṣataḥ, yaj jñātvā neha bhūyo'nyaj jñātavyam avaśiṣyate.
ज्ञानं तेऽहं स-विज्ञानम् इदं वक्ष्याम्य् अशेषतः।
यज् ज्ञात्वा नेह भूयोऽन्यज् ज्ञातव्यम् अवशिष्यते॥
BhG-T.7.3 Among thousands of people, a rare one makes an effort for this accomplishment. Even of those who make an effort and are prepared, a rare one knows Me in reality.
manuṣyāṇāṃ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye, yatatām api siddhānāṃ kaścin māṃ vetti tattvataḥ.
मनुष्याणां सहस्रेषु कश्चिद् यतति सिद्धये।
यतताम् अपि सिद्धानां कश्चिन् मां वेत्ति तत्त्वतः॥
BhG-T.7.4 Earth (solidity), water (liquidity), fire (heat/light), wind (movement), space (dimension), mind, intellect, and the “I” notion (– the universe divided into five sensible elements and the means to sense them) – this is My nature ( prakṛti) divided in eight ways.
bhūmir āpo'nalo vāyuḥ khaṃ mano buddhir eva ca, ahaṅkāra itīyaṃ me bhinnā prakṛtir aṣṭadhā.
भूमिर् आपोऽनलो वायुः खं मनो बुद्धिर् एव च।
अहङ्कार इतीयं मे भिन्ना प्रकृतिर् अष्टधा॥
BhG-T.7.5 This is not My ultimate (nature – it is a lower level of reality within Me, as a-sat is to sat, the unreal is to the real). Whereas, O Arjuna, different from this, please know My ultimate nature, ultimate prakṛti – being the basis of the jīva (individual) and by which this universe is sustained.
apareyam itas tvanyāṃ prakṛtiṃ viddhi me parām, jīva-bhūtāṃ mahā-bāho yayedaṃ dhāryate jagat.
अपरेयम् इतस् त्व् अन्यां प्रकृतिं विद्धि मे पराम्।
जीव-भूतां महा-बाहो ययेदं धार्यते जगत्॥
BhG-T.7.6 Please bear in mind that all beings have these two ( prakṛtis, the universe of forms and its reality) as their source. I am the source of the entire universe, as well as its resolution.
etad-yonīni bhūtāni sarvāṇīty upadhāraya, ahaṃ kṛtsnasya jagataḥ prabhavaḥ pralayaḥ tathā.
एतद्-योनीनि भूतानि सर्वाणीत्य् उपधारय।
अहं कृत्स्नस्य जगतः प्रभवः प्रलयः तथा॥
BhG-T.7.7 There is no other (cause) superior to Me, O Arjuna. Like collections of gems (so many glories) on a thread, all this is strung in Me.
mattaḥ parataraṃ nānyat kiñcid asti dhanañ-jaya, mayi sarvam idaṃ protaṃ sūtre maṇi-gaṇā iva.
मत्तः परतरं नान्यत् किञ्चिद् अस्ति धनञ्-जय।
मयि सर्वम् इदं प्रोतं सूत्रे मणि-गणा इव॥
BhG-T.7.8 O Arjuna, I am (to name a few) the taste in (the essence of) water, the light of the moon and sun, the sound symbol Om in all the Vedas, the sound in (the essence of) space, and the humanness (the unique capacity of self-judgment) in humans.
raso'ham apsu kaunteya prabhāsmi śaśi-sūryayoḥ, praṇavaḥ sarva-vedeṣu śabdaḥ khe pauruṣaṃ nṛṣu.
रसोऽहम् अप्सु कौन्तेय प्रभास्मि शशि-सूर्ययोः।
प्रणवः सर्व-वेदेषु शब्दः खे पौरुषं नृषु॥
BhG-T.7.9 I am the sweet fragrance in earth and the tejas (heat and light) in (the essence of) fire. I am the life in living beings, and the prayerful discipline in ascetics.
puṇyo gandhaḥ pṛthivyāṃ ca tejaś cāsmi vibhāvasau, jīvanaṃ sarva-bhūteṣu tapaś cāsmi tapasviṣu.
पुण्यो गन्धः पृथिव्यां च तेजश् चास्मि विभावसौ।
जीवनं सर्व-भूतेषु तपश् चास्मि तपस्विषु॥
BhG-T.7.10 O Arjuna, please understand the ever-existing Me as the seed of all beings. I am the intellect of all who have an intellect, and the brilliance of all that have brilliance.
bījaṃ māṃ sarva-bhūtānāṃ viddhi pārtha sanā-tanam, buddhir buddhimatām asmi tejas tejasvinām aham.
बीजं मां सर्व-भूतानां विद्धि पार्थ सना-तनम्।
बुद्धिर् बुद्धिमताम् अस्मि तेजस् तेजस्विनाम् अहम्॥
BhG-T.7.11 In all that have strength, I am the strength that is free from kāma (requirement/anticipation – toward the unattained) and rāga (attachment – toward the attained), and in all beings (I am nonbinding) desire not opposed to dharma (My universal order), O Arjuna.
balaṃ balavatāṃ cāhaṃ kāma-rāga-vivarjitam, dharmāviruddho bhūteṣu kāmo'smi bharata-rṣabha.
बलं बलवतां चाहं काम-राग-विवर्जितम्।
धर्माविरुद्धो भूतेषु कामोऽस्मि भरत-र्षभ॥
BhG-T.7.12 Those things born from sattva (clear energy) and those from rajas (agitation) and tamas (mass, dullness) ( guṇas), know them to be from Me only. They (the a-sat – all impermanent things) are in Me ( sat – permanent existence, that is, their existence depends on Me), but I am not in them (that is, My existence does not depend on them).
ye caiva sāttvikā bhāvā rājasās tamasāś ca ye, matta eveti tān viddhi na tv ahaṃ teṣu te mayi.
ये चैव सात्त्विका भावा राजसास् तामसाश् च ये।
मत्त एवेति तान् विद्धि न त्व् अहं तेषु ते मयि॥
BhG-T.7.13 This entire world (of humans) is deluded by these things that are modifications of the three guṇas. This (populace) does not know Me, who is distinct (a separate order of reality, as a-sat is to sat, the unreal is to the real) from them (from what they think they are), and is changeless (not modified into them).
tribhir guṇamayair bhāvair ebhiḥ sarvam idaṃ jagat, mohitaṃ nābhijānāti mām ebhyaḥ param avyayam.
त्रिभिर् गुणमयैर् भावैर् एभिः सर्वम् इदं जगत्।
मोहितं नाभिजानाति माम् एभ्यः परम् अव्ययम्॥
BhG-T.7.14 Because, this, My māyā ( prakṛti, this captivating world of appearances, mere names and forms) – in the form of the three guṇas and coming from Me the Lord – is difficult to cross. (Therefore, giving up all else in māyā) those who seek only Me (as themselves) cross this māyā.
daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā dur-atyayā, mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṃ taranti te.
दैवी ह्य् एषा गुणमयी मम माया दुर्-अत्यया।
माम् एव ये प्रपद्यन्ते मायाम् एतां तरन्ति ते॥
BhG-T.7.15 Those who do maladaptive action, who are deluded and the lowest among people, do not seek (the ultimate) Me. Robbed of discerning capacity by (this enchanting) māyā (this captivating world of appearances), they have resorted to the condition of an asura (one who fights against the Lord’s order, against the cosmic cycle).
na māṃ duṣ-kṛtino mūḍhāḥ prapadyante narādhamāḥ, māyayāpahṛta-jñānā āsuraṃ bhāvam āśritāḥ.
न मां दुष्-कृतिनो मूढाः प्रपद्यन्ते नराधमाः।
माययापहृत-ज्ञाना आसुरं भावम् आश्रिताः॥
BhG-T.7.16 Fourfold are the people who do adaptive action and who seek Me, O Arjuna. (These four kinds of devotees, bhaktas, are) the one who is seized by trouble, the one who requires security, the one who wants to know (Me), and the jñānī (one who knows Me), O Arjuna.
catur-vidhā bhajante māṃ janāḥ su-kṛtino'rjuna, ārto jijñāsur arthārthī jñānī ca bharata-rṣabha.
चतुर्-विधा भजन्ते मां जनाः सु-कृतिनोऽर्जुन।
आर्तो जिज्ञासुर् अर्थार्थी ज्ञानी च भरत-र्षभ॥
BhG-T.7.17 Among them, the jñānī (who knows Me) – who is always united (in Me) and whose worship is of the one (Lord as everything) – is distinguished, because I ( ātmā) am totally beloved to that jñānī and that one is (totally) beloved to Me (as ātmā alone is the beloved, priya – see Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad 2.4.5).
teṣāṃ jñānī nitya-yukta eka-bhaktir viśiṣyate, priyo hi jñānino'tyartham ahaṃ sa ca mama priyaḥ.
तेषां ज्ञानी नित्य-युक्त एक-भक्तिर् विशिष्यते।
प्रियो हि ज्ञानिनोऽत्यर्थम् अहं स च मम प्रियः॥
BhG-T.7.18 All (four) indeed are exalted, but the jñānī is ātmā (My self) alone. That is My vision. Because that one, whose mind is absorbed (in Me), has attained the goal that is but Me, beyond which there is none.
udārāḥ sarva evaite jñānī tv ātmaiva me matam, āsthitaḥ sa hi yuktātmā mām evānuttamāṃ gatim.
उदाराः सर्व एवैते ज्ञानी त्व् आत्मैव मे मतम्।
आस्थितः स हि युक्तात्मा माम् एवानुत्तमां गतिम्॥
BhG-T.7.19 At the end of many births, the one who (finally) has the knowledge that “the Lord ( Vāsu-deva, the conscious being in which everything exists) is all (– the Lord is all this, including oneself),” attains Me. That wise person is very rare.
bahūnāṃ janmanām ante jñānavān māṃ prapadyate, vāsu-devaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā su-dur-labhaḥ.
बहूनां जन्मनाम् अन्ते ज्ञानवान् मां प्रपद्यते।
वासु-देवः सर्वम् इति स महात्मा सु-दुर्-लभः॥
BhG-T.7.20 Those whose discrimination has been robbed by various requirements and are ruled by their own disposition worship various deities as other (than Me and themselves), following various stipulations (per the appropriate deity to fulfill each particular requirement).
kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñānāḥ prapadyante'nya-devatāḥ, taṃ taṃ niyamam āsthāya prakṛtyā niyatāḥ svayā.
कामैस् तैस् तैर् हृत-ज्ञानाः प्रपद्यन्तेऽन्य-देवताः।
तं तं नियमम् आस्थाय प्रकृत्या नियताः स्वया॥
BhG-T.7.21 Whoever be the devotee and to whichever (limited) form (of Mine) one wishes to worship with faith – for that one, the very same faith I make firm (by giving the result of the devotee’s action).
yo yo yāṃ yāṃ tanuṃ bhaktaḥ śrad-dhayārcitum icchati, tasya tasyācalāṃ śrad-dhāṃ tām eva vidadhāmy aham.
यो यो यां यां तनुं भक्तः श्रद्-धयार्चितुम् इच्छति।
तस्य तस्याचलां श्रद्-धां ताम् एव विदधाम्य् अहम्॥
BhG-T.7.22 That one, endowed with that faith, engages in the worship of that (deity, a limited form of Me) and obtains from that (deity) those desired objects – because those are ordained by Me alone (in the form of the laws of karma).
sa tayā śrad-dhayā yuktas tasyā rādhanam īhate, labhate ca tataḥ kāmān mayaiva vihitān hi tān.
स तया श्रद्-धया युक्तस् तस्या राधनम् ईहते।
लभते च ततः कामान् मयैव विहितान् हि तान्॥
BhG-T.7.23 But for those of limited discernment (hence, of limited goals and of limited capacity for appreciation) that result is limited (in time, in value, etcetera). Those who worship the deities go to the (limited world of the) deities, and those who worship (the limitless) Me go to Me (as their self).
antavat tu phalaṃ teṣāṃ tad bhavaty alpa-medhasām, devān deva-yajo yānti mad-bhaktā yānti mām api.
अन्तवत् तु फलं तेषां तद् भवत्य् अल्प-मेधसाम्।
देवान् देव-यजो यान्ति मद्-भक्ता यान्ति माम् अपि॥
BhG-T.7.24 Those who lack discernment, not knowing My limitless nature – changeless and beyond which there is none – think of Me, who is formless, as having attained a form.
avyaktaṃ vyaktim āpannaṃ manyante mām abuddhayaḥ, paraṃ bhāvam ajānanto mamāvyayam anuttamam.
अव्यक्तं व्यक्तिम् आपन्नं मन्यन्ते माम् अबुद्धयः।
परं भावम् अजानन्तो ममाव्ययम् अनुत्तमम्॥
BhG-T.7.25 (Seemingly) veiled (embodied in names and forms) by māyā, which is the union (of the three guṇas), I am not evident to everyone. This person (the general populace) who is deluded does not (properly) know Me, the unborn and changeless ( ātmā, the self, their self).
nāhaṃ prakāśaḥ sarvasya yoga-māyā-samāvṛtaḥ, mūḍho'yaṃ nābhijānāti loko mām ajam avyayam.
नाहं प्रकाशः सर्वस्य योग-माया-समावृतः।
मूढोऽयं नाभिजानाति लोको माम् अजम् अव्ययम्॥
BhG-T.7.26 O Arjuna, I know (all) things past, present, and future. But no one (except the jñānī who knows himself or herself as Me) knows Me.
vedāhaṃ samatītāni vartamānāni cārjuna, bhaviṣyāṇi ca bhūtāni māṃ tu veda na kaścana.
वेदाहं समतीतानि वर्तमानानि चार्जुन।
भविष्याणि च भूतानि मां तु वेद न कश्चन॥
BhG-T.7.27 O Arjuna, Scorcher of Foes, all beings at birth – because of the delusion occasioned by the natural pairs of opposites, (which delusion is) born of requiring and aversion – become completely deluded.
icchā-dveṣa-samutthena dvandva-mohena bhārata, sarva-bhūtāni saṃmohaṃ sarge yānti paran-tapa.
इच्छा-द्वेष-समुत्थेन द्वन्द्व-मोहेन भारत।
सर्व-भूतानि सम्मोहं सर्गे यान्ति परन्-तप॥
BhG-T.7.28 But those people of adaptive action whose karma demerit (and merit) has come to an end – being freed from the delusion occasioned by the (natural) pairs of opposites – and whose commitment is firm, they worship Me (as themselves).
yeṣāṃ tv anta-gataṃ pāpaṃ janānāṃ puṇya-karmaṇām, te dvandva-moha-nirmuktā bhajante māṃ dṛḍha-vratāḥ.
येषां त्व् अन्त-गतं पापं जनानां पुण्य-कर्मणाम्।
ते द्वन्द्व-मोह-निर्मुक्ता भजन्ते मां दृढ-व्रताः॥
BhG-T.7.29 Those who make effort for freedom from old age and death – taking refuge in Me – they know that brahman (reality, Me) in entirety as adhyātma (centered on/existing in the body – as pratyag-ātmā, themselves) and (they know) all about karma.
jarā-maraṇa-mokṣāya mām āśritya yatanti ye, te brahma tad viduḥ kṛtsnam adhy-ātmaṃ karma cākhilam.
जरा-मरण-मोक्षाय माम् आश्रित्य यतन्ति ये।
ते ब्रह्म तद् विदुः कृत्स्नम् अध्य्-आत्मं कर्म चाखिलम्॥
BhG-T.7.30 Those who know Me as adhibhūta (centered on/existing in beings) and adhidaiva (centered on/existing in deities) and as adhiyajña (centered on/existing in rituals), whose minds are absorbed in Me even at the moment of death – they know Me.
sādhi-bhūtādhi-daivaṃ māṃ sādhi-yajñaṃ ca ye viduḥ, prayāṇa-kāle'pi ca māṃ te vidur yukta-cetasaḥ.
साधि-भूताधि-दैवं मां साधि-यज्ञं च ये विदुः।
प्रयाण-कालेऽपि च मां ते विदुर् युक्त-चेतसः॥
BhG-T.7. Om ( brahman, the witness of all) is that (only) reality. Thus ends the seventh chapter, called “The Topic of Knowledge and Its Assimilation,” of the (eighteen chapters of) Songs of the Glorious Lord, which is (looked upon as) sacred teaching ( Upaniṣad) and (whose teaching is) in (the form of) a dialogue between Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna, (the subject matter being) knowledge of brahman and yoga.
oṃ tat sat. śrīmad-bhagavad-gītāsūpaniṣatsu brahma-vidyāyāṃ yoga-śāstre śrī-kṛṣṇārjuna-saṃvāde jñāna-vijñāna-yogo nāma saptamo'dhyāyaḥ.
ओं तत् सत्। इति श्रीमद्-भगवद्-गीतासूपनिषत्सु ब्रह्म-विद्यायां योग-शास्त्रे श्री-कृष्णार्जुन-संवादे ज्ञान-विज्ञान-योगो नाम सप्तमोऽध्यायः॥
Go to Top ('Home' key on many Windows browsers)
Atha aṣṭamo'dhyāyaḥ (8.1-28)
Eight Chapter Introduction
The Topic of the Imperishable Reality
The entirety of this universe has been presented in the previous chapter, as only the Advaita Vedānta teaching can present it. Modern sciences are limited in their scope and therefore can neither confirm nor disaffirm this teaching, nor are they required to confirm it. The sciences have their own relative scope in which they provide solutions pending further study. Because only you can know your own mind and because a complete teaching must include yourself (the witness of all, including the mind), self-examination is required – in the light of this teaching – to confirm the teaching. No future science or new savior (whether in the future or the past) can do that for you.
This teaching – which examines the nature of the entire universe and the very nature of you, its witness – was given, Lord Kṛṣṇa says, at the beginning of humankind (4.1); it comes with each manifestation of the universe. It was not first given only this century, this millennium, two- or two-thousand-five-hundred or five thousand years ago – condemning previous generations to so-called “barbaric” ignorance or to lesser realms (or even torturous realms) just because they weren’t exposed to the products of the various world religions, cults, or sciences. The Vedānta teaching indicates that all possible subtle heavens or hells exist for everyone, of all generations, in keeping with their will-based deeds (7.22–23) – regardless of the era, culture, or religion in which they live. The Vedānta teaching alone reflects the eternal, universal justice to all living beings of all generations.
This teaching also indicates that there can be a transcendence of this universe, both physical and subtle – a final release from the revolutions through universal realms of existence. This release is by knowledge alone and is available during this lifetime – not supposedly after you die. This freedom, in fact, is already our nature, hidden from us by our ill-conceived notions of ourselves. This freedom is not some new knowledge given by a savior or liberator, but is the self-knowledge within each of us that blossoms once the ignorant notions have been removed and the heart is sufficiently purified of its guilts and hurts. Attaining this freedom is attaining the self of all, attaining the very being of the Lord, reality as-it-is. For this reason, Kṛṣṇa says that the greatest devotee ( bhakta) to the All, to the Lord which is all, is the jñānī, the one who knows this (7.16–19, 8.22).
In chapter 8, Lord Kṛṣṇa again states that reality is unchanging and limitless and is the very nature of oneself. The Lord, this reality, alone is the embodied one in all bodies. The one who knows and thus remembers the Lord – without a doubt, as one’s self – attains that unchanging and limitless reality (8.3–10). But the one who is mistakenly identified with the changing and limited – whether that be as tiny as this body-mind complex or as grand as the manifestation of this universe (yet excluding one’s self) – will, upon the failure of the body to retain the subtle mind, move on to subtle realms. That is, one’s subtle mind with the identified ego reflecting within it will move to subtle realms. These realms will be in keeping with the grandeur of what one had continually identified with in this life. Then that subtle mind, with its ego, will be born again – with an appropriate material body to exhaust more of one’s accumulated store of karmas. Therefore, the Lord says “know Me” (13.2) and “remember Me” (8.7). ( Jump to 9th Ch. Intro)
BhG-T.8.1–2 Arjuna said: O Kṛṣṇa, what is that brahman (reality)? What is adhyātma (centered on the body)? What is karma (action and its result)? What is called adhibhūta (centered on beings)? And what is called adhidaiva (centered on the deities)? Here, in this body, what and how is (attained) adhiyajña (the one centered on ritual), O Kṛṣṇa? And, at the moment of death, how are those who have mastered the mind to know You?
arjuna uvāca: kiṃ tad brahma kim adhy-ātmaṃ kiṃ karma puruṣottama, adhi-bhūtaṃ ca kiṃ proktam adhi-daivaṃ kim ucyate. adhi-yajñaḥ kathaṃ ko'tra dehe'smin madhu-sūdana, prayāṇa-kāle ca kathaṃ jñeyo'si niyatātmabhiḥ.
किं तद् ब्रह्म किम् अध्य्-आत्मं किं कर्म पुरुषोत्तम। अधि-भूतं च किं प्रोक्तम् अधि-दैवं किम् उच्यते॥ अधि-यज्ञः कथं कोऽत्र देहेऽस्मिन् मधु-सूदन। प्रयाण-काले च कथं ज्ञेयोऽसि नियतात्मभिः॥
BhG-T.8.3 The Lord said: Brahman (reality) is changeless and limitless. Adhyātma (the self – centered on the body) is said to be of its ( brahman’s) nature. What is called karma is (an act of) offering (in what should be a sacred act, yajña, and its result, phala) that causes the arising of existence (embodiment) of beings.
śrī-bhagavān uvāca: akṣaraṃ brahma paramaṃ sva-bhāvo'dhy-ātmam ucyate, bhūta-bhāvodbhava-karo visargaḥ karma-saṃjñitaḥ.
अक्षरं ब्रह्म परमं स्व-भावोऽध्य्-आत्मम् उच्यते। भूत-भावोद्भव-करो विसर्गः कर्म-सञ्ज्ञितः॥
BhG-T.8.4 Adhibhūta (the world – centered on beings/things) is perishable existence. And adhidaivata ( adhidaiva, the chief deity – centered on deities) is puruṣa (the cosmic person, called Hiraṇya-garbha). Adhiyajña (centered on yajña, ritual) here, in the body, is Me alone, O Exalted Among the Embodied Ones.
adhi-bhūtaṃ kṣaro bhāvaḥ puruṣaś cādhi-daivatam, adhi-yajño'ham evātra dehe deha-bhṛtāṃ vara.
अधि-भूतं क्षरो भावः पुरुषश् चाधि-दैवतम्।
अधि-यज्ञोऽहम् एवात्र देहे देह-भृतां वर॥
BhG-T.8.5 Remembering Me alone at the moment of death, having given up the body, the one who (as though) departs (from the standpoint of the wise person’s, jñānī’s, subtle mind dissipating upon leaving the physical body) – that one attains My nature (complete freedom, called mokṣa). In this there is no doubt.
anta-kāle ca mām eva smaran muktvā kalebaram, yaḥ prayāti sa mad-bhāvaṃ yāti nāsty atra saṃśayaḥ.
अन्त-काले च माम् एव स्मरन् मुक्त्वा कलेवरम्।
यः प्रयाति स मद्-भावं याति नास्त्य् अत्र संशयः॥
BhG-T.8.6 O Arjuna, (when) in the end one gives up the body, whatever thing one (naturally) remembers – always having been made in that state (of obsession through constant contemplation of whatever is ultimate to one) – that alone one reaches (as a positive or negative result, depending on whether one acted upon the obsessions in keeping with dharma or not).
yaṃ yaṃ vāpi smaran bhāvaṃ tyajaty ante kalebaram, taṃ tam evaiti kaunteya sadā tad-bhāva-bhāvitaḥ.
यं यं वापि स्मरन् भावं त्यजत्य् अन्ते कलेवरम्।
तं तम् एवैति कौन्तेय सदा तद्-भाव-भावितः॥
BhG-T.8.7 Therefore, please remember Me (as presented in this teaching) at all times and fight (O Arjuna). Being one whose mind and intellect are both offered unto Me (the Lord – as nature, prakṛti, the cosmic order), without a doubt you will reach Me (as reality, brahman) alone.
tasmāt sarveṣu kāleṣu mām anusmara yudhya ca, mayy arpita-mano-buddhir mām evaiṣyasy asaṃśayaḥ.
तस्मात् सर्वेषु कालेषु माम् अनुस्मर युध्य च।
मय्य् अर्पित-मनो-बुद्धिर् माम् एवैष्यस्य् असंशयम्॥
BhG-T.8.8–9 O Arjuna, accordingly (with My teaching), reflecting with a mind endowed with the yoga consisting of continued practice (study and contemplation) and not inclined to go elsewhere (to anything as not-Me), the one who would contemplate (continuously and at the moment of death) the all-knowing Lord (the kavi) – the one who is always there, the one who accordingly (through dharma) rules, subtler than the subtle (dimensionless), the dispenser of all (results of action), whose form cannot be comprehended, whose appearance is (illuminating) like the sun, and is beyond darkness (ignorance) – that one attains the limitless, effulgent person ( puruṣa), Me.
abhyāsa-yoga-yuktena cetasā nānya-gāminā, paramaṃ puruṣaṃ divyaṃ yāti pārthānucintayan. kaviṃ purāṇam anuśāsitāram aṇor aṇīyāṃsam anusmaredyaḥ, sarvasya dhātāram acintya-rūpam āditya-varṇaṃ tamasaḥ parastāt.
अभ्यास-योग-युक्तेन चेतसा नान्य-गामिना।
परमं पुरुषं दिव्यं याति पार्थानुचिन्तयन्॥ कविं पुराणम् अनुशासितारम् अणोर् अणीयांसम् अनुस्मरेद्यः। सर्वस्य धातारम् अचिन्त्य-रूपम् आदित्य-वर्णं तमसः परस्तात्॥
BhG-T.8.10 At the moment of death, with a steady mind endowed with devotion and, indeed, with (mental) strength through yoga (continued practice of contemplation), properly placing (as a visualization) the (last) breath between the eye-brows, one attains (by being, not by movement) that limitless, effulgent person ( puruṣa), Me.
prayāṇa-kāle manasācalena bhaktyā yukto yoga-balena caiva, bhruvor madhye prāṇam āveśya samyak sa taṃ paraṃ puruṣam upaiti divyam.
प्रयाण-काले मनसाचलेन भक्त्या युक्तो योग-बलेन चैव।
भ्रुवोर् मध्ये प्राणम् आवेश्य सम्यक् स तं परं पुरुषम् उपैति दिव्यम्॥
BhG-T.8.11 I will briefly tell you about that end – which is imperishable, which the knowers of the Veda declare, which renunciates ( yatis) who are free from longing enter, and desiring which they take to brahma-carya (living for only attaining brahman).
yad akṣaraṃ veda-vido vadanti viśanti yad yatayo vīta-rāgāḥ, yad icchanto brahma-caryaṃ caranti tat te padaṃ saṅgraheṇa pravakṣye.
यद् अक्षरं वेद-विदो वदन्ति विशन्ति यद् यतयो वीत-रागाः।
यद् इच्छन्तो ब्रह्म-चर्यं चरन्ति तत् ते पदं सङ्ग्रहेण प्रवक्ष्ये॥
BhG-T.8.12–13 Closing all the gates (the sense organs) and (as a visualization) withdrawing the mind into the heart; placing one’s breath at (the top of) the head and remaining there holding (the last breath) by (the strength of) yoga; chanting the single syllable “ Om,” which is brahman; remembering Me accordingly (through My teaching), (while) giving up the body – the one ( yogī who is not yet a sthita-prajña, of firm wisdom) who departs (by movement, as it were) – that one reaches the most exalted end (within saṃsāra, the universe of becoming, that is, reaches Brahma-loka, the seventh heaven, where one may be taught the knowledge of brahman and thus freed.
sarva-dvārāṇi saṃyamya mano hṛdi nirudhya ca, mūrdhny ādhāyātmanaḥ prāṇam āsthito yoga-dhāraṇām. om ity ekākṣaraṃ brahma vyāharan mām anusmaran, yaḥ prayāti tyajan dehaṃ sa yāti paramāṃ gatim.
सर्व-द्वाराणि संयम्य मनो हृदि निरुध्य च।
मूर्ध्न्य् आधायात्मनः प्राणम् आस्थितो योग-धारणाम्॥ ओम् इत्य् एकाक्षरं ब्रह्म व्याहरन् माम् अनुस्मरन्। यः प्रयाति त्यजन् देहं स याति परमां गतिम्॥
BhG-T.8.14 (Whereas, the one with firm wisdom, sthita-prajña,) O Arjuna, the one whose mind (sees) no other (than Me everywhere), remembering Me continually and for a long time – for that yogī who is always (even while living) united (in Me), I am (more) easily gained.
ananya-cetāḥ sa-tataṃ yo māṃ smarati nityaśaḥ, tasyāhaṃ su-labhaḥ pārtha nitya-yuktasya yoginaḥ.
अनन्य-चेताः स-ततं यो मां स्मरति नित्यशः।
तस्याहं सु-लभः पार्थ नित्य-युक्तस्य योगिनः॥
BhG-T.8.15 The people who are wise (the mahātmās), attaining Me, do not gain another birth (do not go to another world, loka), which is the abode of misery and is ever changing (and therefore finite). They instead have gained (while living) the limitless success (called freedom, mokṣa).
mām upetya punar-janma duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam, nāpnuvanti mahātmānaḥ saṃsiddhiṃ paramāṃ gatāḥ.
माम् उपेत्य पुनर्-जन्म दुःखालयम् अशाश्वतम्।
नाप्नुवन्ति महात्मानः संसिद्धिं परमां गताः॥
BhG-T.8.16 O Arjuna, (all) worlds, including Lord Brahmā’s world (the highest abode in saṃsāra, the heaven called Brahma-loka), are that from which there is a return (a rebirth, unless taught the knowledge of reality, brahma-vidyā, in Brahma-loka by Lord Brahmā); whereas, O Arjuna, attaining Me, there is no rebirth.
ā brahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ punar-āvartino'rjuna, mām upetya tu kaunteya punar-janma na vidyate.
आ ब्रह्म-भुवनाल् लोकाः पुनर्-आवर्तिनोऽर्जुन।
माम् उपेत्य तु कौन्तेय पुनर्-जन्म न विद्यते॥
BhG-T.8.17 Those people who are knowers of day and night know that a day of Lord Brahmā is that lasting thousands of ages ( yugas) (four thousand yugas equal a thousand mahā-yugas which equal 4.32 billion human years), and (His) night is that (also) lasting thousands of yugas (four thousand yugas).
sahasra-yuga-paryantam aharyad brahmaṇo viduḥ, rātriṃ yuga-sahasrāntāṃ te'ho-rātra-vido janāḥ.
सहस्र-युग-पर्यन्तम् अहर्यद् ब्रह्मणो विदुः।
रात्रिं युग-सहस्रान्तां तेऽहो-रात्र-विदो जनाः॥
BhG-T.8.18 At the coming of the day (for Lord Brahmā), all individuals/things ( vyaktas) (by force of past karma) manifest (in due time) from the unmanifest. At the coming of the night (they, unless freed by knowledge, will have) resolved back into that called the unmanifest ( a-vyakta) itself.
avyaktād vyaktayaḥ sarvāḥ prabhavanty ahar-āgame, rātry-āgame pralīyante tatraivāvyakta-saṃjñake.
अव्यक्ताद् व्यक्तयः सर्वाः प्रभवन्त्य् अहर्-आगमे।
रात्र्य्-आगमे प्रलीयन्ते तत्रैवाव्यक्त-सञ्ज्ञके॥
BhG-T.8.19 O Arjuna, that very same group of beings (of individuals, jīvas) – born again and again (within countless cosmic cycles) without (their or My) will (due to their karma) – resolves at the coming of the night and manifests at the coming of the day.
bhūta-grāmaḥ sa evāyaṃ bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate, rātry-āgame'vaśaḥ pārtha prabhavaty ahar-āgame.
भूत-ग्रामः स एवायं भूत्वा भूत्वा प्रलीयते।
रात्र्य्-आगमेऽवशः पार्थ प्रभवत्य् अहर्-आगमे॥
BhG-T.8.20 Whereas, different from that unmanifest (Lord Brahmā’s nighttime within saṃsāra) is another unmanifest (the a-kṣaraḥ puruṣaḥ, imperishable fullness – not manifest to the senses, being one’s self), which always exists. That is not destroyed when all things are destroyed.
paras tasmāt tu bhāvo'nyo'vyakto'vyaktāt sanā-tanaḥ, yaḥ sa sarveṣu bhūteṣu naśyatsu na vinaśyati.
परस् तस्मात् तु भावोऽन्योऽव्यक्तोऽव्यक्तात् सना-तनः।
यः स सर्वेषु भूतेषु नश्यत्सु न विनश्यति॥
BhG-T.8.21 This unmanifest (Me) is said to be imperishable ( a-kṣara). That (and not Brahma-loka), they say, is the ultimate end. Gaining which, they do not return – that is My limitless abode.
avyakto'kṣara ity uktas tam āhuḥ paramāṃ gatim, yaṃ prāpya na nivartante tad dhāma paramaṃ mama.
अव्यक्तोऽक्षर इत्य् उक्तस् तम् आहुः परमां गतिम्।
यं प्राप्य न निवर्तन्ते तद् धाम परमं मम॥
BhG-T.8.22 O Arjuna, that which has all beings within it and by which all this is pervaded – that puruṣa (the one who fills this universe) is limitless, yet can be attained by devotion in which there is no other (considered apart from Me, the a-kṣaraḥ puruṣaḥ, imperishable fullness).
puruṣaḥ sa paraḥ pārtha bhaktyā labhyas tv ananyayā, yasyāntaḥ-sthāni bhūtāni yena sarvam idaṃ tatam.
पुरुषः स परः पार्थ भक्त्या लभ्यस् त्व् अनन्यया।
यस्यान्तः-स्थानि भूतानि येन सर्वम् इदं ततम्॥
BhG-T.8.23 Now, on which time (that is, route) the yogīs depart – (where) they attain either no return (at least in this kalpa, cycle of manifestation) or a return (a rebirth) – that time (that route) I will tell (to you), O Arjuna.
yatra kāle tv anāvṛttim āvṛttiṃ caiva yoginaḥ, prayātā yānti taṃ kālaṃ vakṣyāmi bharata-rṣabha.
यत्र काले त्व् अनावृत्तिम् आवृत्तिं चैव योगिनः।
प्रयाता यान्ति तं कालं वक्ष्यामि भरत-र्षभ॥
BhG-T.8.24 (Where) there are (the deities) Fire, Light, Day, the Bright (fortnight of the moon), and the Six-Month Northern Coursing (of the sun to guide) – there, the people who meditate on (the qualified) brahman (on a manifestation of brahman in the world), having departed, (eventually) attain brahman (via being taught this knowledge, vidyā, in Brahma-loka.
agnir jyotir ahaḥ śuklaḥ ṣaṇ-māsā uttarāyaṇam, tatra prayātā gacchanti brahma brahma-vido janāḥ.
अग्निर् ज्योतिर् अहः शुक्लः षण्-मासा उत्तरायणम्।
तत्र प्रयाता गच्छन्ति ब्रह्म ब्रह्म-विदो जनाः॥
BhG-T.8.25 (Where) there are (the deities) Smoke, Night, the Dark (fortnight of the moon), and the Six-month Southern Coursing (of the sun to guide) – there, gaining (a stay in) a lunar (lesser) heaven, the yogī returns (is reborn).
dhūmo rātris tathā kṛṣṇaḥ ṣaṇ-māsā dakṣiṇāyanam, tatra cāndramasaṃ jyotir yogī prāpya nivartate.
धूमो रात्रिस् तथा कृष्णः षण्-मासा दक्षिणायनम्।
तत्र चान्द्रमसं ज्योतिर् योगी प्राप्य निवर्तते॥
BhG-T.8.26 These two paths of the world, the bright and the dark, indeed are considered eternal. By one (path), one gains no return (having lots of time to be taught this knowledge of reality, brahma-vidyā, by Lord Brahmā, or at least no return in this cycle, kalpa). By the other (path), one returns again.
śukla-kṛṣṇe gatī hy ete jagataḥ śāśvate mate, ekayā yāty anāvṛttim anyayāvartate punaḥ.
शुक्ल-कृष्णे गती ह्य् एते जगतः शाश्वते मते।
एकया यात्य् अनावृत्तिम् अन्ययावर्तते पुनः॥
BhG-T.8.27 O Arjuna, knowing these two paths, a yogī is not deluded. Therefore, at all times, be committed to (a life of seeking Me through karma-) yoga, O Arjuna.
naite sṛtī pārtha jānan yogī muhyati kaścana, tasmāt sarveṣu kāleṣu yoga-yukto bhavārjuna.
नैते सृती पार्थ जानन् योगी मुह्यति कश्चन।
तस्मात् सर्वेषु कालेषु योग-युक्तो भवार्जुन॥
BhG-T.8.28 Knowing this (My answers to your seven questions), a yogī goes beyond all that karma merit (spent for heaven-going) that is revealed (to accrue) in (reciting) the scriptures ( Vedas), in rituals, in prayerful disciplines, and in charity. And that one (immediately) attains the ultimate abode (which is Me), the origin.
vedeṣu yajñeṣu tapaḥsu caiva dāneṣu yat puṇya-phalaṃ pradiṣṭam, atyeti tat sarvam idaṃ viditvā yogī paraṃ sthānam upaiti cādyam.
वेदेषु यज्ञेषु तपःसु चैव दानेषु यत् पुण्य-फलं प्रदिष्टम्।
अत्येति तत् सर्वम् इदं विदित्वा योगी परं स्थानम् उपैति चाद्यम्॥
BhG-T.8. Om ( brahman, the witness of all) is that (only) reality. Thus ends the eighth chapter, called “The Topic of the Imperishable Reality,” of the (eighteen chapters of) Songs of the Glorious Lord, which is (looked upon as) sacred teaching ( Upaniṣad) and (whose teaching is) in (the form of) a dialogue between Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna, (the subject matter being) knowledge of brahman and yoga.
oṃ tat sat. śrīmad-bhagavad-gītāsūpaniṣatsu brahma-vidyāyāṃ yoga-śāstre śrī-kṛṣṇārjuna-saṃvāde jñāna-vijñāna-yogo nāmāṣṭamo'dhyāyaḥ.
ओं तत् सत्। इति श्रीमद्-भगवद्-गीतासूपनिषत्सु ब्रह्म-विद्यायां योग-शास्त्रे श्री-कृष्णार्जुन-संवादे अक्षर-ब्रह्म-योगो नामाष्टमोऽध्यायः॥
Go to Top ('Home' key on many Windows browsers)
Atha navamo'dhyāyaḥ (9.1-34)
Ninth Chapter Introduction
The Topic of King of All Knowledge, King of All Secrets
Chapter 9 explains the relationship between this manifest universe and the Lord. This “relationship” is peculiar: The Lord is timeless and spaceless, yet manifests to us as time and space and as all within time and space. The Lord describes it thus: “All beings exist in Me, but I am not in them. Beings do not exist in Me… My ātmā (self) produces things, sustains things, but does not exist in things” (see 9.4–5). This peculiar “relationship,” like a secret (4.2–3, 9.1–2, 11.1, 15.20, and 18.63–64, 18.68, and 18.75), needs to be revealed by one who knows.
There are various analogies to understand this “relationship.” The analogy that the Lord gives in this chapter (9.6) is that of air within space. This analogy requires some understanding of Upaniṣad cosmogony. Space means dimension and air means movement. Movement arises from there being dimension; without dimension there is no movement. The understanding of movement must include dimension, but dimension does not require movement, nor is it changed in any way by this movement. Movement comes and goes within dimension, but, from the standpoint of movement, dimension always exists. Yet, dimension does not exist as a separate, limited entity within or outside movement.
Other analogies can also help us understand this “relationship” between this manifest universe and the Lord. The manifest within the Lord can be likened to clay pots within the world of clay. All clay pots are nothing but clay. You cannot take away clay and still have a clay pot. Before, during, and after the existence of a clay pot, there is only clay. Clay is the material cause ( upādāna-kāraṇa) of a clay pot, but a clay pot is not a separate entity from clay. Pot is just a name we give to clay in a particular form. Being simply a name and form we attribute to clay, a pot itself does not have within its nature clay – because it could just as well be a metal or glass pot. Pot or plate is just an adjective we give to clay. Similarly, this universe of entities is simply the various names we give to forms appearing in existence-awareness (in the Lord).
Another analogy is a dream within you, the dreamer. The dream and the entities within the dream exist in you. But as real, separate entities, they do not exist in you. The dream is you, but you are not the dream. You alone are the permanent, unaffected existence within which the dream world comes and goes, cycles in and out of manifestation. Once you wake up, the particular problems of the dream disappear; you are “freed,” as it were, from the dream problems. The dream is not a modification of you, the dreamer. Even while within the dream, you are – to the extent you identify yourself with the dream – only notionally, not actually, affected by the problems in the dream. Like the dream world in relation to you, the dreamer, this universe is a lower level of reality within the real you, like the unreal to the real ( a-sat to sat).
As has already been taught, the real you is nothing but the Lord. The universe is “related” to the real you, ātmā (the self), in the same way as it is to the Lord. Yet, out of ignorance, we think we are born into and die from this world and that we travel to heavenly or hellish realms within this universe. ( Jump to 10th Ch. Intro)
BhG-T.9.1 The Lord said: Whereas (apart from that traveling to heavens, such as Brahma-loka (8.16)), I will tell to you, who are not cynical, this most secret knowledge – along with its assimilation – knowing which (in this life), you will be freed from the unpleasant (life of unbecoming becoming, from saṃsāra).
śrī-bhagavān uvāca: idaṃ tu te guhyatamaṃ pravakṣyāmy anasūyave, jñānaṃ vijñāna-sahitaṃ yaj jñātvā mokṣyase'śubhāt.
इदं तु ते गुह्यतमं प्रवक्ष्याम्य् अनसूयवे। ज्ञानं विज्ञान-सहितं यज् ज्ञात्वा मोक्ष्यसेऽशुभात्॥
BhG-T.9.2 This (knowledge) is the king (final authority) of (all) knowledge, the king of (all) secrets, the greatest purifier, directly known (once ignorance is removed), in keeping with dharma, very easy to attain, and imperishable (because it is one’s self and so never lost).
rāja-vidyā rāja-guhyaṃ pavitram idam uttamam, pratyakṣāvagamaṃ dharmyaṃ su-sukhaṃ kartum avyayam.
राज-विद्या राज-गुह्यं पवित्रम् इदम् उत्तमम्।
प्रत्यक्षावगमं धर्म्यं सु-सुखं कर्तुम् अव्ययम्॥
BhG-T.9.3 O Arjuna, people having no trust for this dharma (this knowledge, jñāna, which is in keeping with dharma) do not attain Me and return (remain) on the path of saṃsāra (life of unbecoming becoming) (filled) with death.
aśrad-dadhānāḥ puruṣā dharmasyāsya paran-tapa, aprāpya māṃ nivartante mṛtyu-saṃsāra-vartmani.
अश्रद्-दधानाः पुरुषा धर्मस्यास्य परन्-तप।
अप्राप्य मां निवर्तन्ते मृत्यु-संसार-वर्त्मनि॥
BhG-T.9.4 This entire universe is pervaded by Me as a form not manifest (to the senses). All beings exist in (are because of) Me, but I am not in (because of) them, (like clay pots subsist in/are because of clay, but the world of clay does not subsist in/is not because of pots).
mayā tatam idaṃ sarvaṃ jagad avyakta-mūrtinā, mat-sthāni sarva-bhūtāni na cāhaṃ teṣv avasthitaḥ.
मया ततम् इदं सर्वं जगद् अव्यक्त-मूर्तिना।
मत्-स्थानि सर्व-भूतानि न चाहं तेष्व् अवस्थितः॥
BhG-T.9.5 (Yet as separate) beings (like pots from clay, they) do not exist in Me. Look at My Lordly yoga (connection to/attainment in the world)! My ātmā (self, the self of all) produces (all) things (all names and forms), sustains (all) things, but does not exist in (is not dependent on) these things.
na ca mat-sthāni bhūtāni paśya me yogam aiśvaram, bhūta-bhṛn na ca bhūta-stho mamātmā bhūta-bhāvanaḥ.
न च मत्-स्थानि भूतानि पश्य मे योगम् ऐश्वरम्।
भूत-भृन् न च भूत-स्थो ममात्मा भूत-भावनः॥
BhG-T.9.6 Just as the vast air, which moves everywhere, always exists within space; similarly, please understand that all beings (all names and forms) exist within Me, (are always within – yet are not polluting, are not separate from, are not other than Me).
yathākāśa-sthito nityaṃ vāyuḥ sarvatra-go mahān, tathā sarvāṇi bhūtāni mat-sthānīty upadhāraya.
यथाकाश-स्थितो नित्यं वायुः सर्वत्र-गो महान्।
तथा सर्वाणि भूतानि मत्-स्थानीत्य् उपधारय॥
BhG-T.9.7 O Arjuna, at the end of the kalpa (manifestation cycle, the start of night for Lord Brahmā), all beings go into My unmanifest nature ( prakṛti, māyā) (they become unmanifest). Again, at the beginning of the manifestation cycle, I project (remanifest) them (their bodies and minds, from My māyā).
sarva-bhūtāni kaunteya prakṛtiṃ yānti māmikām, kalpa-kṣaye punas tāni kalpādau visṛjāmy aham.
सर्व-भूतानि कौन्तेय प्रकृतिं यान्ति मामिकाम्।
कल्प-क्षये पुनस् तानि कल्पादौ विसृजाम्य् अहम्॥
BhG-T.9.8 Having control over (not deluded by) My prakṛti, again and again (each kalpa) I project this entire group of beings without (their or My) will, by the force (in the form of all the karmas of all the jīvas) of prakṛti (of māyā).
prakṛtiṃ svām avaṣṭabhya visṛjāmi punaḥ punaḥ, bhūta-grāmam imaṃ kṛtsnam avaśaṃ prakṛter vaśāt.
प्रकृतिं स्वाम् अवष्टभ्य विसृजामि पुनः पुनः।
भूत-ग्रामम् इमं कृत्स्नम् अवशं प्रकृतेर् वशात्॥
BhG-T.9.9 O Arjuna, these karmas (actions and their results) do not bind Me, who is seated (here as the basis of prakṛti), seemingly indifferent (being its mere conscious witness), and unattached toward these karmas.
na ca māṃ tāni karmāṇi nibadhnanti dhanañ-jaya, udāsīnavad āsīnam asaktaṃ teṣu karmasu.
न च मां तानि कर्माणि निबध्नन्ति धनञ्-जय।
उदासीनवद् आसीनम् असक्तं तेषु कर्मसु॥
BhG-T.9.10 Because of Me, the overseer, prakṛti begets (all) that moves and does not move (or is sentient and insentient). For this reason (because of Me), O Arjuna, the universe revolves (in and out of manifestation).
mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ sūyate sa-carācaram, hetunānena kaunteya jagad viparivartate.
मयाध्यक्षेण प्रकृतिः सूयते स-चराचरम्।
हेतुनानेन कौन्तेय जगद् विपरिवर्तते॥
BhG-T.9.11 Not knowing My limitless nature, as the Lord of (all) beings, the deluded disregard Me, who obtains (as the self, as I) in (this and every) human body.
avajānanti māṃ mūḍhā mānuṣīṃ tanum āśritam, paraṃ bhāvam ajānanto mama bhūta-maheśvaram.
अवजानन्ति मां मूढा मानुषीं तनुम् आश्रितम्।
परं भावम् अजानन्तो मम भूत-महेश्वरम्॥
BhG-T.9.12 Those whose hopes are in vain (are still unhappy), whose actions are in vain (are still incomplete), whose knowledge is in vain (are still ignorant of Me/reality), and who lack discernment – they tend toward a deluding disposition that is criminal ( rākṣasī) or barbaric ( āsurī).
moghāśā mogha-karmāṇo mogha-jñānā vi-cetasaḥ, rākṣasīm āsurīṃ caiva prakṛtiṃ mohinīṃ śritāḥ.
मोघाशा मोघ-कर्माणो मोघ-ज्ञाना वि-चेतसः।
राक्षसीम् आसुरीं चैव प्रकृतिं मोहिनीं श्रिताः॥
BhG-T.9.13 Whereas, O Arjuna, the wise (the discerning) – who tend toward a disposition that is uplifting ( daivī), whose mind (seeks) no other (than Me), knowing (of) Me as the changeless source of beings – they seek Me.
mahātmānas tu māṃ pārtha daivīṃ prakṛtim āśritāḥ, bhajanty ananya-manaso jñātvā bhūtādim avyayam.
महात्मानस् तु मां पार्थ दैवीं प्रकृतिम् आश्रिताः।
भजन्त्य् अनन्य-मनसो ज्ञात्वा भूतादिम् अव्ययम्॥
BhG-T.9.14 Always acknowledging Me and making (proper) effort (to gain Me, those) whose commitment is firm, surrendering (to Me), always united to Me with devotion – they (the karma-yogīs) seek (Me).
sa-tataṃ kīrtayanto māṃ yatantaś ca dṛḍha-vratāḥ, namasyantaś ca māṃ bhaktyā nitya-yuktā upāsate.
स-ततं कीर्तयन्तो मां यतन्तश् च दृढ-व्रताः।
नमस्यन्तश् च मां भक्त्या नित्य-युक्ता उपासते॥
BhG-T.9.15 And still others ( jñāna-yogīs, sannyāsīs) worshipping (Me) through the sacred act ( yajña) that is knowledge, seek Me – whose face is everywhere, in many ways – as being one (“(Separate) beings do not exist in Me” ) and as being distinct, (“(All) beings exist in Me” BhG-T.9.5 ). BhG-T.9.4
jñāna-yajñena cāpy anye yajanto mām upāsate, ekatvena pṛthaktvena bahudhā viśvato-mukham.
ज्ञान-यज्ञेन चाप्य् अन्ये यजन्तो माम् उपासते।
एकत्वेन पृथक्त्वेन बहुधा विश्वतो-मुखम्॥
BhG-T.9.16 The Veda ritual is Me, the act of worship is Me, the food (offered to the ancestors) is Me, the food offered to the Lord is Me, the chant is Me, the clarified butter (warmed by the sun and offered into the fire) is Me, the (sacrificial) fire is Me, and the oblation is Me.
ahaṃ kratur ahaṃ yajñaḥ svadhāham aham auṣadham, mantro'ham aham evājyam aham agnir ahaṃ hutam.
अहं क्रतुर् अहं यज्ञः स्वधाहम् अहम् औषधम्।
मन्त्रोऽहम् अहम् एवाज्यम् अहम् अग्निर् अहं हुतम्॥
BhG-T.9.17 The father (efficient cause), mother (material cause), (My own) grandfather (the uncaused cause), and the sustainer of this universe are Me. The (only) one to be known, the purifier, “ Om” (My name), the Ṛg mantra, the Sāma mantra; and the Yajur mantra (are Me).
pitāhamasya jagato mātā dhātā pitā-mahaḥ, vedyaṃ pavitram oṅkāra ṛk sāma yajur eva ca.
पिताहमस्य जगतो माता धाता पिता-महः।
वेद्यं पवित्रम् ओङ्कार ऋक् साम यजुर् एव च॥
BhG-T.9.18 The goal, the nourisher, the Lord, the (only) witness (of everything), the abode, the shelter, and the friend (are Me). The origin, the dissolution, the continued existence, the receptacle, and the imperishable seed (the continual cause of everything, are Me).
gatir bhartā prabhuḥ sākṣī nivāsaḥ śaraṇaṃ su-hṛt, prabhavaḥ pralayaḥ sthānaṃ nidhānaṃ bījam avyayam.
गतिर् भर्ता प्रभुः साक्षी निवासः शरणं सु-हृत्।
प्रभवः प्रलयः स्थानं निधानं बीजम् अव्ययम्॥
BhG-T.9.19 I heat. I hold back and give forth the rain. The immortality (of the gods) and also the death (of mortals are Me). Both reality (the sustaining cause) and unreality (the time-bound effects) are Me, O Arjuna.
tapāmy aham ahaṃ varṣaṃ nigṛhṇāmy utsṛjāmi ca, amṛtaṃ caiva mṛtyuś ca sad asac cāham arjuna.
तपाम्य् अहम् अहं वर्षं निगृह्णाम्य् उत्सृजामि च।
अमृतं चैव मृत्युश् च सद् असच् चाहम् अर्जुन॥
BhG-T.9.20 Those versed in the three Vedas, who drink (who participate in) the soma (ritual) (and thus are relatively) cleansed of karma demerit, propitiating Me with rituals – they pray for going to heaven. Attaining the world of Lord Indra as (a result of their) karma merit ( puṇya), they enjoy heavenly experiences of the celestials in heaven.
trai-vidyā māṃ soma-pāḥ pūta-pāpā yajñair iṣṭvā svar-gatiṃ prārthayante, te puṇyam āsādya surendra-lokam aśnanti divyān divi deva-bhogān.
त्रै-विद्या मां सोम-पाः पूत-पापा यज्ञैर् इष्ट्वा स्वर्-गतिं प्रार्थयन्ते।
ते पुण्यम् आसाद्य सुरेन्द्र-लोकम् अश्नन्ति दिव्यान् दिवि देव-भोगान्॥
BhG-T.9.21 Having enjoyed that vast (subtle) world (called) heaven, when their puṇya is spent, they (re-)enter the world of mortals. In this manner, following ritual (enjoined) by the three (scriptures, śrutis, the three forms of the Veda mantras), those who require objects of desire take to going and coming (remain in saṃsāra).
te taṃ bhuktvā svar-ga-lokaṃ viśālaṃ kṣīṇe puṇye martya-lokaṃ viśanti, evaṃ trayī-dharmam anuprapannā gatāgataṃ kāma-kāmā labhante.
ते तं भुक्त्वा स्वर्-ग-लोकं विशालं क्षीणे पुण्ये मर्त्य-लोकं विशन्ति।
एवं त्रयी-धर्मम् अनुप्रपन्ना गतागतं काम-कामा लभन्ते॥
BhG-T.9.22 (But) for those people who are not separate (from Me), who contemplate Me and gain (Me), being always one (with Me), I procure what they want to acquire and protect; (I, the Lord, take care of the bodily and mental needs of these renunciates, sannyāsīs).
ananyāś cintayanto māṃ ye janāḥ paryupāsate, teṣāṃ nityābhiyuktānāṃ yoga-kṣemaṃ vahāmy aham.
अनन्याश् चिन्तयन्तो मां ये जनाः पर्युपासते।
तेषां नित्याभियुक्तानां योग-क्षेमं वहाम्य् अहम्॥
BhG-T.9.23 O Arjuna, even those who are devoted to deities as different (from Me and themselves) – who, filled with faith, perform (various) acts of worship – they also worship only Me, (but) without a proper understanding (of Me in the yajña) .
ye'py anya-devatā-bhaktā yajante śrad-dhayānvitāḥ, te'pi mām eva kaunteya yajanty avidhi-pūrvakam.
येऽप्य् अन्य-देवता-भक्ता यजन्ते श्रद्-धयान्विताः।
तेऽपि माम् एव कौन्तेय यजन्त्य् अविधि-पूर्वकम्॥
BhG-T.9.24 I am indeed the experiencer (recipient) of all yajñas (acts of worship) and the only Lord, but they do not know Me in reality. Therefore, they fall away (they lose Me out of ignorance).
ahaṃ hi sarva-yajñānāṃ bhoktā ca prabhur eva ca, na tu mām abhijānanti tattvenātaś cyavanti te.
अहं हि सर्व-यज्ञानां भोक्ता च प्रभुर् एव च।
न तु माम् अभिजानन्ति तत्त्वेनातश् च्यवन्ति ते॥
BhG-T.9.25 Those who have commitment to the deities reach the (world of) deities. Those who have commitment to the ancestors reach the (world of) ancestors. Those who worship spirits reach the (world of) spirits. And those who are disposed to worship Me reach Me.
yānti deva-vratā devān pitṝn yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ, bhūtāni yānti bhūtejyā yānti mad-yājino'pi mām.
यान्ति देव-व्रता देवान् पितॄन् यान्ति पितृ-व्रताः।
भूतानि यान्ति भूतेज्या यान्ति मद्-याजिनोऽपि माम्॥
BhG-T.9.26 The one who offers to Me with devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit, water – I receive that as offered out of the devotion of one whose mind is mastered (to that extent – to the extent that one acknowledges Me, the Lord, and can act on that acknowledgment).
patraṃ puṣpaṃ phalaṃ toyaṃ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati, tad ahaṃ bhakty-upahṛtam aśnāmi prayatātmanaḥ.
पत्रं पुष्पं फलं तोयं यो मे भक्त्या प्रयच्छति।
तद् अहं भक्त्य्-उपहृतम् अश्नामि प्रयतात्मनः॥
BhG-T.9.27 O Arjuna, whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever worship you perform, whatever you give, whatever discipline you undertake – that may you do as an offering to Me (as a karma-yoga meant for gaining a mind that can know Me, not to get some small result).
yat karoṣi yad aśnāsi yaj juhoṣi dadāsi yat, yat tapasyasi kaunteya tat kuruṣva mad-arpaṇam.
यत् करोषि यद् अश्नासि यज् जुहोषि ददासि यत्।
यत् तपस्यसि कौन्तेय तत् कुरुष्व मद्-अर्पणम्॥
BhG-T.9.28 In this manner you will be freed from the bondage that is karma, which has (or is in the form of) pleasant and unpleasant results. (Being) one whose mind is endowed with (such) renunciation and with ( karma-) yoga and (to that extent) freed, you will attain Me.
śubhāśubha-phalair evaṃ mokṣyase karma-bandhanaiḥ, sannyāsa-yoga-yuktātmā vimukto mām upaiṣyasi.
शुभाशुभ-फलैर् एवं मोक्ष्यसे कर्म-बन्धनैः।
सन्न्यास-योग-युक्तात्मा विमुक्तो माम् उपैष्यसि॥
BhG-T.9.29 I am the same ( sama) in all beings. For Me, no one is disfavored or favored. Rather, those who seek Me with devotion – they are in Me and I am also in them.
samo'haṃ sarva-bhūteṣu na me dveṣyo'sti na priyaḥ, ye bhajanti tu māṃ bhaktyā mayi te teṣu cāpy aham.
समोऽहं सर्व-भूतेषु न मे द्वेष्योऽस्ति न प्रियः।
ये भजन्ति तु मां भक्त्या मयि ते तेषु चाप्य् अहम्॥
BhG-T.9.30 Even if one whose conduct was highly maladaptive seeks Me – being one who seeks Me as not separate (from oneself) – that one is to be considered an accomplished person (a sādhu), because that one is of clear understanding.
api cet su-dur-ācāro bhajate mām ananya-bhāk, sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ samyag vyavasito hi saḥ.
अपि चेत् सु-दुर्-आचारो भजते माम् अनन्य-भाक्।
साधुर् एव स मन्तव्यः सम्यग् व्यवसितो हि सः॥
BhG-T.9.31 Quickly that (person of maladaptive conduct) becomes one whose mind conforms to dharma and gains the peace that is ever the same (being the peace that is the nature of oneself). O Arjuna, please know that My devotee is never lost.
kṣipraṃ bhavati dharmātmā śaśvac chāntiṃ nigacchati, kaunteya pratijānīhi na me bhaktaḥ praṇaśyati.
क्षिप्रं भवति धर्मात्मा शश्वच् छान्तिं निगच्छति।
कौन्तेय प्रतिजानीहि न मे भक्तः प्रणश्यति॥
BhG-T.9.32 O Arjuna, even those whose births would be unwanted (born into a criminal or barbaric family) – also women, merchants, and laborers (that is, whatever environment, sex or profession) – they, too, because they take refuge in Me, gain the ultimate end.
māṃ hi pārtha vyapāśritya ye'pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ, striyo vaiśyās tathā śūdrās te'pi yānti parāṃ gatim.
मां हि पार्थ व्यपाश्रित्य येऽपि स्युः पाप-योनयः।
स्त्रियो वैश्यास् तथा शूद्रास् तेऽपि यान्ति परां गतिम्॥
BhG-T.9.33 What again (to speak of) brāhmaṇas (considered to have) virtuous (births) who are devoted, similarly, kings who are also sages (like King Janaka, taught by seer/sage Yājña-valkya). Having attained this impermanent and unpleasant loka (this human embodiment), may you seek Me.
kiṃ punar brāhmaṇāḥ puṇyā bhaktā rāja-rṣayas tathā, anityam asukhaṃ lokam imaṃ prāpya bhajasva mām.
किं पुनर् ब्राह्मणाः पुण्या भक्ता राज-र्षयस् तथा।
अनित्यम् असुखं लोकम् इमं प्राप्य भजस्व माम्॥
BhG-T.9.34 May you be one whose mind (remains) in Me, devoted to Me, and who performs (all actions as) rituals to Me. Surrender to Me. Having prepared your mind in this way, having Me as the ultimate end, you will attain Me alone.
man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṃ namas-kuru, mām evaiṣyasi yuktvaivam ātmānaṃ mat-parāyaṇaḥ.
मन्-मना भव मद्-भक्तो मद्-याजी मां नमस्-कुरु।
माम् एवैष्यसि युक्त्वैवम् आत्मानं मत्-परायणः॥
BhG-T.9. Om ( brahman, the witness of all) is that (only) reality. Thus ends the ninth chapter, called “The Topic of the King of All Knowledge, the King of All Secrets,” of the (eighteen chapters of) Songs of the Glorious Lord, which is (looked upon as) sacred teaching ( Upaniṣad) and (whose teaching is) in (the form of) a dialogue between Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna, (the subject matter being) knowledge of brahman and yoga.
oṃ tat sat. śrīmad-bhagavad-gītāsūpaniṣatsu brahma-vidyāyāṃ yoga-śāstre śrī-kṛṣṇārjuna-saṃvāde rāja-vidyā-rāja-guhya-yogo nāma navamo'dhyāyaḥ.
ओं तत् सत्। इति श्रीमद्-भगवद्-गीतासूपनिषत्सु ब्रह्म-विद्यायां योग-शास्त्रे श्री-कृष्णार्जुन-संवादे राज-विद्या-राज-गुह्य-योगो नाम नवमोऽध्यायः॥
Go to Top ('Home' key on many Windows browsers)
Atha daśamo'dhyāyaḥ (10.1-42)
Tenth Chapter Introduction
The Topic of Glories
Literature is also part of our universe. For Arjuna, literature includes the mythologies ( purāṇas) and the Vedas. Many of the purāṇas were written after the major Upaniṣads and the Rāmāyaṇa epic, but before the Mahā-bhārata epic, of which the Bhagavad Gītā is part. Prior to the purāṇas, the deities in the Vedas, including the Upaniṣads, were barely personified forces of nature, such as Agni (Fire), Vāyu (Wind), and Indra (Mind and king of the deities). The purāṇas introduced personified deities, such as Viṣṇu (Sustainer), Śiva (Destroyer), Lakṣmī (Abundance), and Sarasvatī (Culture). The deities of the purāṇas married, had families and adventures, and got in and out of trouble.
Similar to the shift in literature of natural forces to personified ones is the shift of human characters to deities. In Vālmīki’s original Rāmāyaṇa epic (the story has undergone many retellings), Rāma is a man of virtue ( dharma). In the later, poetic retellings of the Rāmāyaṇa story, Rāma is a deity, an incarnation of Lord Viṣṇu. The personification of the divine aspects of nature and the divination of human characters have benefits – such as inspiring imaginative minds – but if we overlook the earlier literature, we may fail to appreciate the wonder and glory of the forces of nature and the majesty of life in a purely scientific spirit. We may also lose the culture-free unity inspired by nonpersonified nature deities. For example, a lack of attention to the earlier literature may contribute to one thinking that Kṛṣṇa is superior to Rāma, or Śiva to Viṣṇu (which is equivalent to a schoolyard argument that “my dad is better than your dad”). The Advaita Vedānta teaching has survived nonetheless, and the blend of the purāṇas and earlier literatures has indeed blessed us – despite the fractured appearances of Hinduism today.
The Mahā-bhārata epic and the Bhagavad Gītā present Kṛṣṇa as Lord Kṛṣṇa, an incarnation of Lord Viṣṇu. However, this teaching would be just as powerful and true if Kṛṣṇa was presented as a man of knowledge who had completely assimilated the knowledge of the identity of himself with the total. If this were the case, then we would understand that, when He talks about Himself, Kṛṣṇa legitimately talks from the perspective of the Lord (compare Taittirīya Upaniṣad 3.10.5–6). This teaching, after all, unfolds the fact that we all are already free and are already the Lord, but we don’t know it until we are taught. If we take Kṛṣṇa as a person, a genius who was born already wise, and understand that Kṛṣṇa would have been exposed from childhood to the wonderful literature and culture that confirms the wisdom that one is the self of all, then we would understand these statements He makes about Himself in the light of the purāṇa literature. Kṛṣṇa is a special incarnation of the Lord – not born of ignorance.
In this chapter, Kṛṣṇa presents Himself as all the glories (which are described in both sets of literature – the Vedas and the purāṇas), since nothing is apart from the Lord. All we see and all we hear and think are but the Lord. This is a powerful acknowledgment of the real basis of this universe and, when that clear vision includes one’s self, it is the limitless freedom called mokṣa. The inclusion of oneself in the vision of the Lord is the difficult step indicated in the beginning and the end of Kṛṣṇa’s description of His glories (10.20, 10.42). This complete vision is the same as the culmination of the contemplation described earlier (6.10–26) that helps us assimilate this teaching. Meditation or prayer helps us mature into this complete vision until one’s self is included inseparably in this vision of the Lord. ( Jump to 11th Ch. Intro)
BhG-T.10.1 The Lord said: O Arjuna, listen again to My words (revealing) the limitless. To you who are pleased at this (which is limitless) I will, with a desire for (your) benefit, (again) expound.
śrī-bhagavān uvāca: bhūya eva mahā-bāho śṛṇu me paramaṃ vacaḥ, yat te'haṃ prīyamāṇāya vakṣyāmi hita-kāmyayā.
भूय एव महा-बाहो शृणु मे परमं वचः। यत् तेऽहं प्रीयमाणाय वक्ष्यामि हित-काम्यया॥
BhG-T.10.2 Neither the hosts of deities nor the great seers/sages know (in detail) My glory, since I am the cause of each and every one of (the embodiments of) the deities and sages.
na me viduḥ sura-gaṇāḥ prabhavaṃ na maha-rṣayaḥ, aham ādir hi devānāṃ maha-rṣīṇāṃ ca sarvaśaḥ.
न मे विदुः सुर-गणाः प्रभवं न मह-र्षयः।
अहम् आदिर् हि देवानां मह-र्षीणां च सर्वशः॥
BhG-T.10.3 The one who knows Me, the limitless Lord of the universe, as unborn (not an effect) and beginningless (having no cause) – that one, being no longer deluded among mortals, is freed from all pāpas (everything unwanted).
yo mām ajam anādiṃ ca vetti loka-maheśvaram, asaṃmūḍhaḥ sa martyeṣu sarva-pāpaiḥ pramucyate.
यो माम् अजम् अनादिं च वेत्ति लोक-महेश्वरम्।
असम्मूढः स मर्त्येषु सर्व-पापैः प्रमुच्यते॥
BhG-T.10.4–5 From Me alone are (all these) different kinds of things belonging to (living beings): the capacity to know, knowledge, freedom from delusion, accommodation (patience and understanding), truthfulness, mastery over (ways of) behavior, mastery over (ways of) thinking, pleasure, pain, birth (including the becoming within change), death (including the un-becoming within change), fear and also fearlessness, harmlessness, equanimity (toward any result), contentment, prayerful discipline, charity, and fame and ill fame.
buddhir jñānam asaṃmohaḥ kṣamā satyaṃ damaḥ śamaḥ, sukhaṃ duḥkhaṃ bhavo'bhāvo bhayaṃ cābhayam eva ca. ahiṃsā samatā tuṣṭis tapo dānaṃ yaśo'yaśaḥ, bhavanti bhāvā bhūtānāṃ matta eva pṛthag-vidhāḥ.
बुद्धिर् ज्ञानम् असम्मोहः क्षमा सत्यं दमः शमः।
सुखं दुःखं भवोऽभावो भयं चाभयम् एव च॥ अहिंसा समता तुष्टिस् तपो दानं यशोऽयशः। भवन्ति भावा भूतानां मत्त एव पृथग्-विधाः॥
BhG-T.10.6 The ancient, seven seers and four Manus (progenitors of the four social lineages) whose minds were (resolved) in Me, were born from (My) mind (via the total subtle body of the universe, Hiraṇya-garbha). Of them, (all) these people in the world were (born).
maha-rṣayaḥ sapta pūrve catvāro manavas tathā, mad-bhāvā mānasā jātā yeṣāṃ loka imāḥ prajāḥ.
मह-र्षयः सप्त पूर्वे चत्वारो मनवस् तथा।
मद्-भावा मानसा जाता येषां लोक इमाः प्रजाः॥
BhG-T.10.7 The one who knows in truth this glory and My (Lordly, aiśvarya) yoga (connection to/attainment) (in the world) – that one is endowed with an unshakable yoga (vision of sameness). In this there is no doubt.
etāṃ vibhūtiṃ yogaṃ ca mama yo vetti tattvataḥ, so'vikampena yogena yujyate nātra saṃśayaḥ.
एतां विभूतिं योगं च मम यो वेत्ति तत्त्वतः।
सोऽविकम्पेन योगेन युज्यते नात्र संशयः॥
BhG-T.10.8 I am the source of everything and because of Me everything continues. Knowing this, the wise, endowed with (this) bhāva (vision – initially an attitude giving relative freedom, then a clear knowledge giving complete freedom) (thus) attain Me.
ahaṃ sarvasya prabhavo mattaḥ sarvaṃ pravartate, iti matvā bhajante māṃ budhā bhāva-samanvitāḥ.
अहं सर्वस्य प्रभवो मत्तः सर्वं प्रवर्तते।
इति मत्वा भजन्ते मां बुधा भाव-समन्विताः॥
BhG-T.10.9 Those whose mind is centered on Me, whose powers (of sensing and action) are resolved in Me, teaching one another (maintaining this teaching tradition), and always telling about Me – they are satisfied (not needing anything else) and happy (in Me).
mac-cittā mad-gata-prāṇā bodhayantaḥ paras-param, kathayantaś ca māṃ nityaṃ tuṣyanti ca ramanti ca.
मच्-चित्ता मद्-गत-प्राणा बोधयन्तः परस्-परम्।
कथयन्तश् च मां नित्यं तुष्यन्ति च रमन्ति च॥
BhG-T.10.10 For those who are always committed and worship (Me) with love, I give the attainment through knowledge by which they gain Me.
teṣāṃ sa-tata-yuktānāṃ bhajatāṃ prīti-pūrvakam, dadāmi buddhi-yogaṃ taṃ yena mām upayānti te.
तेषां स-तत-युक्तानां भजतां प्रीति-पूर्वकम्।
ददामि बुद्धि-योगं तं येन माम् उपयान्ति ते॥
BhG-T.10.11 Out of compassion for them alone, I, attaining in (every) thought in the mind (as the conscious I itself), destroy the darkness (the delusion) born of ignorance – with the shining oil lamp that is knowledge.
teṣām evānukampārtham aham ajñāna-jaṃ tamaḥ, nāśayāmy ātma-bhāva-stho jñāna-dīpena bhāsvatā.
तेषाम् एवानुकम्पार्थम् अहम् अज्ञान-जं तमः।
नाशयाम्य् आत्म-भाव-स्थो ज्ञान-दीपेन भास्वता॥
BhG-T.10.12–13 Arjuna said: You are paraṃ brahman (limitless reality), limitless light (or the ultimate abode), the most purifying. All the sages, the divine sage Nārada, similarly (the seers) Asita, Devala and Vyāsa call You “the timeless one who fills everything,” the “celestial (not of this ordinary world) Lord who was there at the beginning – unborn and all pervasive.” And You, Yourself, say to me (the same thing).
arjuna uvāca: paraṃ brahma paraṃ dhāma pavitraṃ paramaṃ bhavān, puruṣaṃ śāśvataṃ divyam ādi-devam ajaṃ vibhum. āhus tvām ṛṣayaḥ sarve deva-rṣir nāra-das tathā, asito devalo vyāsaḥ svayaṃ caiva bravīṣi me.
परं ब्रह्म परं धाम पवित्रं परमं भवान्। पुरुषं शाश्वतं दिव्यम् आदि-देवम् अजं विभुम्॥ आहुस् त्वाम् ऋषयः सर्वे देव-र्षिर् नार-दस् तथा। असितो देवलो व्यासः स्वयं चैव ब्रवीषि मे॥
BhG-T.10.14 All this that You tell me, I consider true, O Kṛṣṇa. O Lord, indeed neither the deities nor demons know Your (full) manifestation.
sarvam etad ṛtaṃ manye yan māṃ vadasi keśava, na hi te bhagavan vyaktiṃ vidur devā na dānavāḥ.
सर्वम् एतद् ऋतं मन्ये यन् मां वदसि केशव।
न हि ते भगवन् व्यक्तिं विदुर् देवा न दानवाः॥
BhG-T.10.15 O Being Who Transcends, Producer of Beings, Lord of Beings, Lord of the Gods, and Lord of the Universe – You, Yourself alone, know Yourself with Your mind.
svayam evātmanātmānaṃ vettha tvaṃ puruṣottama, bhūta-bhāvana bhūteśa deva-deva jagat-pate.
स्वयम् एवात्मनात्मानं वेत्थ त्वं पुरुषोत्तम।
भूत-भावन भूतेश देव-देव जगत्-पते॥
BhG-T.10.16 The glories by which You remain, pervading these worlds – the extraordinary glories of ātmā (Yourself, the self of all) – indeed, You (alone) are able to describe completely.
vaktum arhasy aśeṣeṇa divyā hy ātma-vibhūtayaḥ, yābhir vibhūtibhir lokān imāṃs tvaṃ vyāpya tiṣṭhasi.
वक्तुम् अर्हस्य् अशेषेण दिव्या ह्य् आत्म-विभूतयः।
याभिर् विभूतिभिर् लोकान् इमांस् त्वं व्याप्य तिष्ठसि॥
BhG-T.10.17 O Yogī (of yogīs), (while) always contemplating (You) everywhere, how should I know You? And, O Lord, in which things are You to be meditated on by me?
kathaṃ vidyām ahaṃ yogiṃs tvāṃ sadā paricintayan, keṣu keṣu ca bhāveṣu cintyo'si bhagavan mayā.
कथं विद्याम् अहं योगिंस् त्वां सदा परिचिन्तयन्।
केषु केषु च भावेषु चिन्त्योऽसि भगवन् मया॥
BhG-T.10.18 O Kṛṣṇa, please tell again in detail the connection/attainment ( yoga) of ātmā (Yourself, the self of all) and (of Your) glory (in the world), because in listening to (this) immortal nectar (the words from the Lord’s mouth) I have no satiation; I cannot get enough.
vistareṇātmano yogaṃ vibhūtiṃ ca janārdana, bhūyaḥ kathaya tṛptir hi śṛṇvato nāsti me'mṛtam.
विस्तरेणात्मनो योगं विभूतिं च जनार्दन।
भूयः कथय तृप्तिर् हि शृण्वतो नास्ति मेऽमृतम्॥
BhG-T.10.19 The Lord said: Well now, O Arjuna, I will tell to you the extraordinary glories of My self (the self of all), wherever there is importance, since there is no end to My detailed description.
śrī-bhagavān uvāca: hanta te kathayiṣyāmi divyā hy ātma-vibhūtayaḥ, prādhānyataḥ kuru-śreṣṭha nāsty anto vistarasya me.
हन्त ते कथयिष्यामि दिव्या ह्य् आत्म-विभूतयः। प्राधान्यतः कुरु-श्रेष्ठ नास्त्य् अन्तो विस्तरस्य मे॥
BhG-T.10.20 O Arjuna, the self (yourself, the I) residing in the mind (in the seat of thoughts wherein reality is to be acknowledged) of all beings is Me (“ tat tvam asi, that [Lord] you are” – contemplate on that, O Arjuna). The source, the center, and the resolution of (all) beings is Me.
aham ātmā guḍākeśa sarva-bhūtāśaya-sthitaḥ, aham ādiś ca madhyaṃ ca bhūtānām anta eva ca.
अहम् आत्मा गुडाकेश सर्व-भूताशय-स्थितः।
अहम् आदिश् च मध्यं च भूतानाम् अन्त एव च॥
BhG-T.10.21 I am, among the twelve sun deities (for the twelve months) (the one called) Viṣṇu (who pervades), among luminaries the sun with its rays, and among the storm deities (the progenitor of the people, Prajā-pati, called) Marīci. Among the (nightly) luminous bodies the moon is Me.
ādityānām ahaṃ viṣṇur jyotiṣāṃ ravir aṃśumān, marīcir marutām asmi nakṣatrāṇām ahaṃ śaśī.
आदित्यानाम् अहं विष्णुर् ज्योतिषां रविर् अंशुमान्।
मरीचिर् मरुताम् अस्मि नक्षत्राणाम् अहं शशी॥
BhG-T.10.22 I am (the melodious) Sāma-Veda among the Vedas. I am Lord Indra among the ( vasus class of) deities. And I am the mind ( manas) among the powers (of perception and action). I am the faculty of cognition (the intellect, buddhi) among (all created) things (as the apex of evolution).
vedānāṃ sāma-vedo'smi devānām asmi vāsavaḥ, indriyāṇāṃ manaś cāsmi bhūtānām asmi cetanā.
वेदानां साम-वेदोऽस्मि देवानाम् अस्मि वासवः।
इन्द्रियाणां मनश् चास्मि भूतानाम् अस्मि चेतना॥
BhG-T.10.23 And among the deities of destruction I am (their source called) Śaṅkara (the one who blesses – by removing obstructions). I am, among protectors and stealers of wealth Kubera (the Lord of wealth), and Lord Agni among the eight ( vasus). I am Mount Meru among peaks.
rudrāṇāṃ śaṅkaraś cāsmi vitteśo yakṣa-rakṣasām, vasūnāṃ pāvakaś cāsmi meruḥ śikhariṇām aham.
रुद्राणां शङ्करश् चास्मि वित्तेशो यक्ष-रक्षसाम्।
वसूनां पावकश् चास्मि मेरुः शिखरिणाम् अहम्॥
BhG-T.10.24 And, O Arjuna, know (Lord Indra’s priest) Bṛhas-pati – the chief among priests in charge – to be Me. I am Skanda (the leader of the divine army, also called Lord Subrahmaṇya) among army commanders, and the ocean among natural bodies of water.
puro-dhasāṃ ca mukhyaṃ māṃ viddhi pārtha bṛhas-patim, senānīnām ahaṃ skandaḥ sarasām asmi sāgaraḥ.
पुरो-धसां च मुख्यं मां विद्धि पार्थ बृहस्-पतिम्।
सेनानीनाम् अहं स्कन्दः सरसाम् अस्मि सागरः॥
BhG-T.10.25 I am (the seer/sage and Prajā-pati called) Bṛgu (son of Lord Varuṇa) among divine sages, and the single syllable ( Om) among words. I am, among yajñas (rituals) the yajña that is (the simple, harmless) japa (mental repetition of the Lord’s name). And, among mountain ranges the Himālaya.
maha-rṣīṇāṃ bhṛgur ahaṃ girām asmy ekam akṣaram, yajñānāṃ japa-yajño'smi sthāvarāṇāṃ himālayaḥ.
मह-र्षीणां भृगुर् अहं गिराम् अस्म्य् एकम् अक्षरम्।
यज्ञानां जप-यज्ञोऽस्मि स्थावराणां हिमालयः॥
BhG-T.10.26 The sacred fig tree (depicted as the tree of saṃsāra) among trees, (the popular, trickster sage) Nārada among the celestial sages, Citra-ratha (the king) among divine musicians, and the seer/sage Kapila among siddhas (a class of sages born already wise from deities) are Me.
aśva-tthaḥ sarva-vṛkṣāṇāṃ deva-rṣīṇāṃ ca nāra-daḥ, gandharvāṇāṃ citra-rathaḥ siddhānāṃ kapilo muniḥ.
अश्व-त्थः सर्व-वृक्षाणां देव-र्षीणां च नार-दः।
गन्धर्वाणां चित्र-रथः सिद्धानां कपिलो मुनिः॥
BhG-T.10.27 Know among horses (Lord Indra’s white steed called) Uccaiḥ-śravas born from (the gods and demons churning the primordial milky ocean for) the immortal nectar, (Lord Indra’s white) Airāvata among noble elephants, and among people the king – (know all) to be Me.
uccaiḥ-śravasam aśvānāṃ viddhi mām amṛtodbhavam, airāvataṃ gajendrāṇāṃ narāṇāṃ ca narādhipam.
उच्चैः-श्रवसम् अश्वानां विद्धि माम् अमृतोद्भवम्।
ऐरावतं गजेन्द्राणां नराणां च नराधिपम्॥
BhG-T.10.28 I am (Lord Indra’s) lightning bolt among weapons and Kāma-dhenu (the wish-fulfilling cow) among cows. I am Kan-darpa (the deity that is desire, for immortality) who causes progeny. I am (the divine, poisonous king of snakes used to churn the primordial milky ocean) Vāsuki among snakes.
āyudhānām ahaṃ vajraṃ dhenūnām asmi kāma-dhuk, prajanaś cāsmi kan-darpaḥ sarpāṇām asmi vāsukiḥ.
आयुधानाम् अहं वज्रं धेनूनाम् अस्मि काम-धुक्।
प्रजनश् चास्मि कन्-दर्पः सर्पाणाम् अस्मि वासुकिः॥
BhG-T.10.29 And I am An-anta (on whom Lord Viṣṇu reclines) among (many-headed) snakes. I am (the Lord of water) Varuṇa among creatures (and deities) of water. I am (the king of the ancestors called) Aryaman among the ancestors. I am (the feared) Yama (Lord Death) among discipliners.
anantaś cāsmi nāgānāṃ varuṇo yādasām aham, pitṝṇām aryamā cāsmi yamaḥ saṃyamatām aham.
अनन्तश् चास्मि नागानां वरुणो यादसाम् अहम्।
पितॄणाम् अर्यमा चास्मि यमः संयमताम् अहम्॥
BhG-T.10.30 And I am (the demon, yet Nārāyaṇa devotee called) Prahlāda among the demons (born of Diti). I am time (itself) among those who calculate (time). I am (the fearless king of beasts) the lion among wild animals, and ( Viṣṇu’s high-flying devotee) Garuḍa among birds.
prahlādaś cāsmi daityānāṃ kālaḥ kalayatām aham, mṛgāṇāṃ ca mṛgendro'haṃ vainateyaś ca pakṣiṇām.
प्रह्लादश् चास्मि दैत्यानां कालः कलयताम् अहम्।
मृगाणां च मृगेन्द्रोऽहं वैनतेयश् च पक्षिणाम्॥
BhG-T.10.31 I am the wind among those that purify. I am (one of My incarnations, avatāras, the embodiment of dharma) Lord Rāma among those who wield weapons. I am (a type of dangerous water beast called) Makara among aquatic creatures. I am (the sacred river) Gaṅgā among rivers.
pavanaḥ pavatām asmi rāmaḥ śastra-bhṛtām aham, jhaṣāṇāṃ makaraś cāsmi srotasām asmi jāhnavī.
पवनः पवताम् अस्मि रामः शस्त्र-भृताम् अहम्।
झषाणां मकरश् चास्मि स्रोतसाम् अस्मि जाह्नवी॥
BhG-T.10.32 I am the source, the center, and the resolution of the cycles of manifestation (of the universe), O Arjuna. I am knowledge centered on the self (amounting to freedom, mokṣa) among (all forms of) knowledge, and the discussion (that leads to truth) among those who discuss.
sargāṇām ādir antaś ca madhyaṃ caivāham arjuna, adhy-ātma-vidyā vidyānāṃ vādaḥ pravadatām aham.
सर्गाणाम् आदिर् अन्तश् च मध्यं चैवाहम् अर्जुन।
अध्य्-आत्म-विद्या विद्यानां वादः प्रवदताम् अहम्॥
BhG-T.10.33 I am (the initial) letter (or simplest and most common sound) “ a” among the letters (or sounds) of the (Sanskrit) alphabet; and the list compound ( dvandva, where importance is the same, sama, in each member) among compounds. Ceaseless time is Me. The all-pervasive giver (of results of action, karma-phalas) is Me.
akṣarāṇām akāro'smi dvandvaḥ sāmāsikasya ca, aham evākṣayaḥ kālo dhātāhaṃ viśvato-mukhaḥ.
अक्षराणाम् अकारोऽस्मि द्वन्द्वः सामासिकस्य च।
अहम् एवाक्षयः कालो धाताहं विश्वतो-मुखः॥
BhG-T.10.34 And I am Mṛtyu (Lord Death) (as) the one who takes away everything (your life), and prosperity among what will be. Among feminine (Sanskrit words, I am) “fame”, “wealth”, “speech”, “memory”, “the capacity to retain” (what is learned), “resolve”, and “accommodation”.
mṛtyuḥ sarva-haraś cāham udbhavaś ca bhaviṣyatām, kīrtiḥ śrīr vāk ca nārīṇāṃ smṛtir medhā dhṛtiḥ kṣamā.
मृत्युः सर्व-हरश् चाहम् उद्भवश् च भविष्यताम्।
कीर्तिः श्रीर् वाक् च नारीणां स्मृतिर् मेधा धृतिः क्षमा॥
BhG-T.10.35 Similarly I am the (prominent) Sāma-Veda verses (sung) in the Bṛhatī (meter) among Sāma-Veda verses, and the (most famous verse called) Gāyatrī among (all) verses of the Veda. I am (the cool) November/December among lunar months, and the flowering spring among seasons.
bṛhat-sāma tathā sāmnāṃ gāyatrī chandasām aham, māsānāṃ mārga-śīrṣo'ham ṛtūnāṃ kusumākaraḥ.
बृहत्-साम तथा साम्नां गायत्री छन्दसाम् अहम्।
मासानां मार्ग-शीर्षोऽहम् ऋतूनां कुसुमाकरः॥
BhG-T.10.36 I am the (royal) game of dice among those that deceive. I am the brilliance of the brilliant. I am victory. I am clarity in thinking. I am the contemplative disposition ( sattva) among the contemplative.
dyūtaṃ chalayatām asmi tejas tejasvinām aham, jayo'smi vyavasāyo'smi sattvaṃ sattvavatām aham.
द्यूतं छलयताम् अस्मि तेजस् तेजस्विनाम् अहम्।
जयोऽस्मि व्यवसायोऽस्मि सत्त्वं सत्त्ववताम् अहम्॥
BhG-T.10.37 Among the Vṛṣṇi clan I am Vāsu-deva ( Kṛṣṇa), among Pāṇḍu’s sons (you, the award-winning) Arjuna. Among sages, also, Veda-Vyāsa (another name or title for Vyāsa who is composing this epic), and among seers the seer Śukrācārya (the wise but unheeded counselor to the demons) are Me.
vṛṣṇīnāṃ vāsu-devo'smi pāṇḍavānāṃ dhanañ-jayaḥ, munīnām apy ahaṃ vyāsaḥ kavīnām uśanā kaviḥ.
वृष्णीनां वासु-देवोऽस्मि पाण्डवानां धनञ्-जयः।
मुनीनाम् अप्य् अहं व्यासः कवीनाम् उशना कविः॥
BhG-T.10.38 I am the rod among those that tame. I am the process of justice among those who desire victory. I am silence among secrets. I am the knowledge among those who have knowledge.
daṇḍo damayatām asmi nītir asmi jigīṣatām, maunaṃ caivāsmi guhyānāṃ jñānaṃ jñānavatām aham.
दण्डो दमयताम् अस्मि नीतिर् अस्मि जिगीषताम्।
मौनं चैवास्मि गुह्यानां ज्ञानं ज्ञानवताम् अहम्॥
BhG-T.10.39 Moreover, what is the bīja (seed, or efficient cause – nimitta-kāraṇa, intelligent cause) of all things, that also I am, O Arjuna. There is no moveable or immovable (sentient or insentient) being that can exist without Me (as both the efficient cause and material cause of the universe).
yac cāpi sarva-bhūtānāṃ bījaṃ tad aham arjuna, na tad asti vinā yat syān mayā bhūtaṃ carācaram.
यच् चापि सर्व-भूतानां बीजं तद् अहम् अर्जुन।
न तद् अस्ति विना यत् स्यान् मया भूतं चराचरम्॥
BhG-T.10.40 There is no end to My divine glories, O Arjuna. Rather, I have told (only) in part this detailed description of (My) glory.
nānto'sti mama divyānāṃ vibhūtīnāṃ paran-tapa, eṣa tūddeśataḥ prokto vibhūter vistaro mayā.
नान्तोऽस्ति मम दिव्यानां विभूतीनां परन्-तप।
एष तूद्देशतः प्रोक्तो विभूतेर् विस्तरो मया॥
BhG-T.10.41 Whatever entity has glory, has wealth, or is indeed powerful – that itself, may you know, is born of a fraction of My power. (No one is the author of any glory, so arrogance or jealousy regarding these glories is baseless. Knowing this brings relative freedom.)
yad yad vibhūtimat sattvaṃ śrīmad ūrjitam eva vā, tat tad evāvagaccha tvaṃ mama tejo-'ṃśa-sambhavam.
यद् यद् विभूतिमत् सत्त्वं श्रीमद् ऊर्जितम् एव वा।
तद् तद् एवावगच्छ त्वं मम तेजो-ंऽश-सम्भवम्॥
BhG-T.10.42 But, rather, what (is gained) by your knowing (just) this much (about Me), O Arjuna? I remain sustaining this entire universe with (just) a fraction (of My self). (The whole, infinite Me includes everything, including you. Knowing this brings complete freedom.)
athavā bahunaitena kiṃ jñātena tavārjuna, viṣṭabhyāham idaṃ kṛtsnam ekāṃśena sthito jagat.
अथवा बहुनैतेन किं ज्ञातेन तवार्जुन।
विष्टभ्याहम् इदं कृत्स्नम् एकांशेन स्थितो जगत्॥
BhG-T.10. Om ( brahman, the witness of all) is that (only) reality. Thus ends the tenth chapter, called “The Topic of Glories,” of the (eighteen chapters of) Songs of the Glorious Lord, which is (looked upon as) sacred teaching ( Upaniṣad) and (whose teaching is) in (the form of) a dialogue between Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna, (the subject matter being) knowledge of brahman and yoga.
oṃ tat sat. śrīmad-bhagavad-gītāsūpaniṣatsu brahma-vidyāyāṃ yoga-śāstre śrī-kṛṣṇārjuna-saṃvāde vibhūti-yogo nāma daśamo'dhyāyaḥ.
ओं तत् सत्। इति श्रीमद्-भगवद्-गीतासूपनिषत्सु ब्रह्म-विद्यायां योग-शास्त्रे श्री-कृष्णार्जुन-संवादे विभूति-योगो नाम दशमोऽध्यायः॥
Go to Top ('Home' key on many Windows browsers)
Eleventh Chapter Introduction
The Topic of the Vision of the Cosmic Form
Now Arjuna makes a bold claim that is common among new students to this teaching. He says, “OK, I get it!” But what Arjuna “gets” is a particular concept; he has not fully assimilated the teaching. We know this because his next request is to especially experience the vision of this teaching. And the vision of this teaching is not a special experience.
The culmination of this teaching is a complete vision, a complete knowledge, of the all – including, inseparably, oneself – so every single experience, no matter how mundane, is immediately assimilated within this complete vision. This complete vision cannot be lost – because it is not an experience; it is simply knowledge. Once gained, it cannot be forgotten. Just as one cannot forget that one exists, one cannot forget – once clearly known – that one exists free of limitations.
If we think that there is some special enlightenment experience in the future to be reached, then we simply are not yet clear in this knowledge and what the complete vision is. It is often confused with a kind of samādhi in meditation, wherein the experiential subject/object separation disappears for a time. That is just what it is: a temporary experience that can be produced with a lot of practice. We all naturally have a very similar experience when we have a good night’s sleep. Like when we wake from sleep, when we get up from meditation we aren’t wiser. We simply get up with new information that such a nice experience happens and thus is possible. Like with sleep, we only know we had that special experience when it is over. How that experience could ever be confused with enlightenment is a wonder. A temporary mokṣa (liberation) is hardly a mokṣa. It is like a prisoner getting out of jail for a few minutes every other day. At first it is something to look forward to, but eventually it becomes just another frustration; the person remains a prisoner.
That said; the mind is capable of such epiphanies. These are natural and may be triggered by a breakthrough at some level in understanding oneself or the world, or even mechanically by certain physical or mental practices. These epiphanies can occur, but they are not the permanent, assimilated vision – the knowledge – that is unfolded by the Lord in the Bhagavad Gītā. In the Lord’s teaching, the real knowledge is of what is, always has been, and always will be (2.16–25). It is knowledge of the timeless reality as one’s self right now. It is not knowledge of what will be for a certain time and remembered later. It is a vision that, once gained, is never lost. This is especially indicated in verses 6.27–31 and 9.1–2.
Yet, in chapter 11, Arjuna naively asks Kṛṣṇa for a special perception of the Lord. Lord Kṛṣṇa indulges him, as only Kṛṣṇa can – as a friend and also as a teacher – to tamp down Arjuna’s boastful claim. He temporarily gives Arjuna a special sight of the infinite Lord. But though the vision starts wonderfully, Arjuna soon becomes fearful – because he has not assimilated his self in his understanding of the Lord. He feels overwhelmingly limited by what he sees as “out there” in this infinite sight, and this exacerbates the already existing fear in his heart. This fear, naturally occurring in the human heart, is due to the sense of limitation that arises from our perception of all the “others.” Arjuna’s fear indicates that he has not yet acquired clarity, much less maturity, in the vision of oneness. Maturity in this knowledge first requires clarity, then assimilation in the heart. Habitual doubts and their connected emotions based on our prior ignorance are gradually rendered more and more impotent as we mature in this vision. So this chapter, although seeming to be simply a praise of the Lord, importantly conveys a warning that this teaching is not meant to be additional information about God and life. Rather, it is a transformative, liberating teaching that is to be completely assimilated. ( Jump to 12th Ch. Intro)
BhG-T.11.1 Arjuna said: This delusion of mine (lack of discernment about the nature of myself) is gone (more or less, as questions follow) because of those words, the greatest secret – called the ( jñāna, knowledge) centered on the ātmā (self) – which You told for my blessing.
arjuna uvāca: mad-anugrahāya paramaṃ guhyam adhy-ātma-saṃjñitam, yat tvayoktaṃ vacas tena moho'yaṃ vigato mama.
मद्-अनुग्रहाय परमं गुह्यम् अध्य्-आत्म-सञ्ज्ञितम्। यत् त्वयोक्तं वचस् तेन मोहोऽयं विगतो मम॥
BhG-T.11.2 O Lotus-Petal Eyes, I have indeed heard from You in detail about the manifestation and dissolution of (all) beings, and also about (Your) imperishable glory.
bhavāpyayau hi bhūtānāṃ śrutau vistaraśo mayā, tvattaḥ kamala-patrākṣa māhātmyam api cāvyayam.
भवाप्ययौ हि भूतानां श्रुतौ विस्तरशो मया।
त्वत्तः कमल-पत्राक्ष माहात्म्यम् अपि चाव्ययम्॥
BhG-T.11.3 Just as You have here described Yourself, O Lord – in that way I wish to see Your divine form, O Being Who Transcends.
evam etad yathāttha tvam ātmānaṃ parameśvara, draṣṭum icchāmi te rūpam aiśvaraṃ puruṣottama.
एवम् एतद् यथात्थ त्वम् आत्मानं परमेश्वर।
द्रष्टुम् इच्छामि ते रूपम् ऐश्वरं पुरुषोत्तम॥
BhG-T.11.4 If You think that I am able to see that, O Lord, then – O Lord of the Pursuits of yogīs – please show to me (Your) imperishable form.
manyase yadi tac chakyaṃ mayā draṣṭum iti prabho, yogeśvara tato me tvaṃ darśayātmānam avyayam.
मन्यसे यदि तच् छक्यं मया द्रष्टुम् इति प्रभो।
योगेश्वर ततो मे त्वं दर्शयात्मानम् अव्ययम्॥
BhG-T.11.5 The Lord said: Behold, O Arjuna, My forms by the hundreds and by the thousands – effulgent, of many varieties, and of many colors and forms.
śrī-bhagavān uvāca: paśya me pārtha rūpāṇi śataśo'tha sahasraśaḥ, nānā-vidhāni divyāni nānā-varṇākṛtīni ca.
पश्य मे पार्थ रूपाणि शतशोऽथ सहस्रशः। नाना-विधानि दिव्यानि नाना-वर्णाकृतीनि च॥
BhG-T.11.6 Behold the (twelve) ādityas (sun deities), the (eight) vasus (attendant deities to Lord Indra), the (eleven) rudras (deities of destruction), the (two) aśvins (charioteers of the sun), and the maruts (storm deities). Behold (My) many unseen-before wonders, O Arjuna.
paśyādityān vasūn rudrān aśvinau marutas tathā, bahūny adṛṣṭa-pūrvāṇi paśyāścaryāṇi bhārata.
पश्यादित्यान् वसून् रुद्रान् अश्विनौ मरुतस् तथा।
बहून्य् अदृष्ट-पूर्वाणि पश्याश्चर्याणि भारत॥
BhG-T.11.7 Behold, O Arjuna – now, here in My body, in one place – the entire universe consisting of both the moving and the nonmoving, and whatever else you wish to see.
ihaika-sthaṃ jagat kṛtsnaṃ paśyādya sa-carācaram, mama dehe guḍākeśa yac cānyad draṣṭum icchasi.
इहैक-स्थं जगत् कृत्स्नं पश्याद्य स-चराचरम्।
मम देहे गुडाकेश यच् चान्यद् द्रष्टुम् इच्छसि॥
BhG-T.11.8 But with just this, your own vision, you cannot see (all of) Me. I give to you an extraordinary (magical) vision (a capacity to see everything, including the entire subtle universe, and to see into the future). Behold My Lordly power.
na tu māṃ śakyase draṣṭum anenaiva sva-cakṣuṣā, divyaṃ dadāmi te cakṣuḥ paśya me yogam aiśvaram.
न तु मां शक्यसे द्रष्टुम् अनेनैव स्व-चक्षुषा।
दिव्यं ददामि ते चक्षुः पश्य मे योगम् ऐश्वरम्॥
BhG-T.11.9 Sañjaya said: O King ( Dhṛta-rāṣṭra), having spoken thus, then Lord Hari (Lord Kṛṣṇa as the destroyer of all pāpas), the limitless Lord of pursuits of the yogīs, showed to Arjuna the limitless form of the Lord.
sañjaya uvāca: evam uktvā tato rājan mahā-yogeśvaro hariḥ, darśayām-āsa pārthāya paramaṃ rūpam aiśvaram.
एवम् उक्त्वा ततो राजन् महा-योगेश्वरो हरिः। दर्शयाम्-आस पार्थाय परमं रूपम् ऐश्वरम्॥
BhG-T.11.10 That form consisted of countless mouths and eyes, countless amazing sights, countless celestial ornaments, and countless extraordinary, upraised weapons.
aneka-vaktra-nayanam anekādbhuta-darśanam, aneka-divyābharaṇaṃ divyānekodyatāyudham.
BhG-T.11.11 (That form also) wore celestial garlands and attire, (was anointed) with celestial, fragrant ointment, mostly all a wonder – effulgent, boundless, and in all directions.
divya-mālyāmbara-dharaṃ divya-gandhānulepanam, sarvāścaryamayaṃ devam anantaṃ viśvato-mukham.
सर्वाश्चर्यमयं देवम् अनन्तं विश्वतो-मुखम्॥
BhG-T.11.12 If the brilliance of a thousand suns were to simultaneously arise in the sky, that would be akin to the brilliance of that magnificent form.
divi sūrya-sahasrasya bhaved yuga-pad utthitā, yadi bhāḥ sa-dṛśī sā syād bhāsas tasya mahātmanaḥ.
दिवि सूर्य-सहस्रस्य भवेद् युग-पद् उत्थिता।
यदि भाः स-दृशी सा स्याद् भासस् तस्य महात्मनः॥
BhG-T.11.13 Then Arjuna saw in that body of the Lord of deities the entire universe in one place (but) distinctly divided in manifold ways.
tatraika-sthaṃ jagat kṛtsnaṃ pravibhaktam anekadhā, apaśyad deva-devasya śarīre pāṇḍavas tadā.
तत्रैक-स्थं जगत् कृत्स्नं प्रविभक्तम् अनेकधा।
अपश्यद् देव-देवस्य शरीरे पाण्डवस् तदा॥
BhG-T.11.14 Thereupon, that Arjuna – overwhelmed with awe and with body hairs on end, bowing his head to the Lord, with hands folded (in supplication) – spoke.
tataḥ sa vismayāviṣṭo hṛṣṭa-romā dhanañ-jayaḥ, praṇamya śirasā devaṃ kṛtāñjalir abhāṣata.
ततः स विस्मयाविष्टो हृष्ट-रोमा धनञ्-जयः।
प्रणम्य शिरसा देवं कृताञ्जलिर् अभाषत॥
BhG-T.11.15 Arjuna said: O Lord, I see in Your body all the deities and hosts of different types of beings, Lord Brahmā seated in the lotus (in Brahma-loka within the lotus-like universe), and all the sages and celestial serpents.
arjuna uvāca: paśyāmi devāṃs tava deva dehe sarvāṃs tathā bhūta-viśeṣa-saṅghān, brahmāṇam īśaṃ kamalāsana-stham ṛṣīṃś ca sarvān ura-gāṃś ca divyān.
पश्यामि देवांस् तव देव देहे सर्वांस् तथा भूत-विशेष-सङ्घान्। ब्रह्माणम् ईशं कमलासन-स्थम् ऋषींश् च सर्वान् उर-गांश् च दिव्यान्॥
BhG-T.11.16 I see You as having countless (bodies with) arms, bellies, mouths, and eyes – whose forms are endless in all directions. And I see not Your end, nor middle, nor beginning, O Lord of the Universe whose form is the universe.
aneka-bāhūdara-vaktra-netraṃ paśyāmi tvā sarvato'nanta-rūpam, nāntaṃ na madhyaṃ na punas tavādiṃ paśyāmi viśveśvara viśva-rūpa.
अनेक-बाहूदर-वक्त्र-नेत्रं पश्यामि त्वां सर्वतोऽनन्त-रूपम्।
नान्तं न मध्यं न पुनस् तवादिं पश्यामि विश्वेश्वर विश्व-रूप॥
BhG-T.11.17 I see You (that is, Arjuna sees the Lord as he would have imagined Him from reading the purāṇas, and so it was shown by the Lord) with crown, mace, and discus (the popular Lord Viṣṇu form) – a mass of brilliance lit up on all sides, whose brilliance on all sides is like blazing fire or the sun, difficult to see and incomprehensible (to the senses).
kirīṭinaṃ gadinaṃ cakriṇaṃ ca tejo-rāśiṃ sarvato-dīptimantam, paśyāmi tvāṃ dur-nirīkṣyaṃ samantād dīptānalārka-dyutim aprameyam.
किरीटिनं गदिनं चक्रिणं च तेजो-राशिं सर्वतो-दीप्तिमन्तम्।
पश्यामि त्वां दुर्-निरीक्ष्यं समन्ताद् दीप्तानलार्क-द्युतिम् अप्रमेयम्॥
BhG-T.11.18 You are the imperishable, limitless ( brahman that is) to be known. You are the ultimate basis of this universe. You are the imperishable protector of the perennially eternal laws ( dharma) (remanifesting during each creation cycle). You are thought by me to be the eternal puruṣa (being who fills everything).
tvam akṣaraṃ paramaṃ veditavyaṃ tvam asya viśvasya paraṃ nidhānam, tvam avyayaḥ śāśvata-dharma-goptā sanā-tanas tvaṃ puruṣo mato me.
त्वम् अक्षरं परमं वेदितव्यं त्वम् अस्य विश्वस्य परं निधानम्।
त्वम् अव्ययः शाश्वत-धर्म-गोप्ता सना-तनस् त्वं पुरुषो मतो मे॥
BhG-T.11.19 I see You as having no beginning, middle, or end, (as One) whose power is limitless, whose arms are countless, for whom the moon and the sun are eyes, whose mouths are like blazing hutāśas (fires, literally “oblation eaters”), and heating this universe with Your radiance.
anādi-madhyāntam ananta-vīryam ananta-bāhuṃ śaśi-sūrya-netram, paśyāmi tvāṃ dīpta-hutāśa-vaktraṃ sva-tejasā viśvam idaṃ tapantam.
अनादि-मध्यान्तम् अनन्त-वीर्यम् अनन्त-बाहुं शशि-सूर्य-नेत्रम्।
पश्यामि त्वां दीप्त-हुताश-वक्त्रं स्व-तेजसा विश्वम् इदं तपन्तम्॥
BhG-T.11.20 You alone indeed pervade this (space) between heaven and earth (the subtle to the physical universe), and all the directions. Seeing this, Your form (as separate from themselves) – wondrous and violent – the (beings of the) three worlds are shaken with fear, O Lord.
dyāvā-pṛthivyor idam antaraṃ hi vyāptaṃ tvayaikena diśaś ca sarvāḥ, dṛṣṭvādbhutaṃ rūpam ugraṃ tavograṃ loka-trayaṃ pravyathitaṃ mahātman.
द्यावा-पृथिव्योर् इदम् अन्तरं हि व्याप्तं त्वयैकेन दिशश् च सर्वाः।
दृष्ट्वाद्भुतं रूपम् उग्रं तवेदं लोक-त्रयं प्रव्यथितं महात्मन्॥
BhG-T.11.21 Those hosts of deities (who have incarnated in the form of the good warriors about to do battle on the field) indeed enter into You (into Death). Some, frightened, pray with hands folded (in supplication). The hosts of great sages and divine sages, saying “let there be well-being,” worship You with eloquent praise.
amī hi tvā sura-saṅghā viśanti kecid bhītāḥ prāñjalayo gṛṇanti, sv-astīty uktvā maha-rṣi-siddha-saṅghāḥ stuvanti tvāṃ stutibhiḥ puṣkalābhiḥ.
अमी हि त्वां सुर-सङ्घा विशन्ति केचिद् भीताः प्राञ्जलयो गृणन्ति।
स्व्-अस्तीत्य् उक्त्वा मह-र्षि-सिद्ध-सङ्घाः स्तुवन्ति त्वां स्तुतिभिः पुष्कलाभिः॥
BhG-T.11.22 The (eleven) rudras and the (twelve) ādityas, the (eight) vasus and these (twelve) sādhya (deities), the (ten) viśvas, the twin aśvin deities, the maruts, certain of the ancestors, and the hosts of celestial musicians, yakṣas, asuras, and siddhas – all are indeed struck with wonder and gaze upon You.
rudrādityā vasavo ye ca sādhyā viśve'śvinau marutaś coṣma-pāś ca, gandharva-yakṣāsura-siddha-saṅghā vīkṣante tvāṃ vismitāś caiva sarve.
रुद्रादित्या वसवो ये च साध्या विश्वेऽश्विनौ मरुतश् चोष्म-पाश् च।
गन्धर्व-यक्षासुर-सिद्ध-सङ्घा वीक्षन्ते त्वां विस्मिताश् चैव सर्वे॥
BhG-T.11.23 O Mighty Armed, seeing Your immense form – with countless mouths and eyes; with countless arms, thighs, and feet; with countless bellies; and horrible with countless fangs – the people are shaken with fear, and so am I (not understanding my identity with You).
rūpaṃ mahat te bahu-vaktra-netraṃ mahā-bāho bahu-bāhūru-pādam, bahūdaraṃ bahu-daṃṣṭrā-karālaṃ dṛṣṭvā lokāḥ pravyathitās tathāham.
रूपं महत् ते बहु-वक्त्र-नेत्रं महा-बाहो बहु-बाहूरु-पादम्।
बहूदरं बहु-दंष्ट्रा-करालं दृष्ट्वा लोकाः प्रव्यथितास् तथाहम्॥
BhG-T.11.24 Indeed, seeing You reaching the sky, blazing with countless appearances, with gaping mouths and brilliant, large eyes – (my) mind shaken with fear – I find no resolve or composure, O Lord Viṣṇu.
nabhaḥ-spṛśaṃ dīptam aneka-varṇaṃ vyāttānanaṃ dīpta-viśāla-netram, dṛṣṭvā hi tvāṃ pravyathitāntar-ātmā dhṛtiṃ na vindāmi śamaṃ ca viṣṇo.
नभः-स्पृशं दीप्तम् अनेक-वर्णं व्यात्ताननं दीप्त-विशाल-नेत्रम्।
दृष्ट्वा हि त्वां प्रव्यथितान्तर्-आत्मा धृतिं न विन्दामि शमं च विष्णो॥
BhG-T.11.25 Indeed, seeing Your mouths – horrible with fangs and like the fire (at the end) of time (itself) (at the end of each cycle of the universe) – I know not (have lost) my bearings and have no joy. Be gracious, O Lord of the Deities, Abode of the Universe.
daṃṣṭrā-karālāni ca te mukhāni dṛṣṭvaiva kālānala-sannibhāni, diśo na jāne na labhe ca śarma prasīda deveśa jagan-nivāsa.
दंष्ट्रा-करालानि च ते मुखानि दृष्ट्वैव कालानल-सन्निभानि।
दिशो न जाने न लभे च शर्म प्रसीद देवेश जगन्-निवास॥
BhG-T.11.26 Indeed, along with the host of world rulers all those sons of Dhṛta-rāṣṭra, similarly, Bhīṣma, Droṇa, and the charioteer’s son ( Karṇa), along with our prominent warriors also – (all) enter into You (into Death).
amī ca tvāṃ dhṛta-rāṣṭrasya putrāḥ sarve sahaivāvani-pāla-saṅghaiḥ, bhīṣmo droṇaḥ sūta-putras tathāsau sahāsmadīyair api yodha-mukhyaiḥ.
अमी च त्वां धृत-राष्ट्रस्य पुत्राः सर्वे सहैवावनि-पाल-सङ्घैः।
भीष्मो द्रोणः सूत-पुत्रस् तथासौ सहास्मदीयैर् अपि योध-मुख्यैः॥
BhG-T.11.27 Hurrying, they enter into Your frightening mouths (that are) horrible with fangs. Some are clearly seen stuck between (Your) teeth, with (their) heads crushed.
vaktrāṇi te tvaramāṇā viśanti daṃṣṭrā-karālāni bhayānakāni, kecid vilagnā daśanāntareṣu sandṛśyante cūrṇitair uttamāṅgaiḥ.
वक्त्राणि ते त्वरमाणा विशन्ति दंष्ट्रा-करालानि भयानकानि।
केचिद् विलग्ना दशनान्तरेषु सन्दृश्यन्ते चूर्णितैर् उत्तमाङ्गैः॥
BhG-T.11.28 Like the many, converging streams of rivers flow only to the ocean, so those heroes of the world of humans enter into Your flaming mouths.
yathā nadīnāṃ bahavo'mbu-vegāḥ samudram evābhimukhā dravanti, tathā tavāmī nara-loka-vīrā viśanti vaktrāṇy abhivijvalanti.
यथा नदीनां बहवोऽम्बु-वेगाः समुद्रम् एवाभिमुखा द्रवन्ति।
तथा तवामी नर-लोक-वीरा विशन्ति वक्त्राण्य् अभिविज्वलन्ति॥
BhG-T.11.29 Like moths at full speed enter a burning flame to their death, in the very same way those people also, at full speed, enter Your mouths to their death.
yathā pradīptaṃ jvalanaṃ pataṅ-gā viśanti nāśāya samṛddha-vegāḥ, tathaiva nāśāya viśanti lokās tavāpi vaktrāṇi samṛddha-vegāḥ.
यथा प्रदीप्तं ज्वलनं पतङ्-गा विशन्ति नाशाय समृद्ध-वेगाः।
तथैव नाशाय विशन्ति लोकास् तवापि वक्त्राणि समृद्ध-वेगाः॥
BhG-T.11.30 Completely swallowing all the people with (Your) burning mouths, You repeatedly lick (Your lips as if enjoying this). Filling the entire universe with (Your) brilliance, Your violent flames burn, O Lord Viṣṇu.
lelihyase grasamānaḥ samantāl lokān samagrān vadanair jvaladbhiḥ, tejobhir āpūrya jagat samagraṃ bhāsas tavogrāḥ pratapanti viṣṇo.
लेलिह्यसे ग्रसमानः समन्ताल् लोकान् समग्रान् वदनैर् ज्वलद्भिः।
तेजोभिर् आपूर्य जगत् समग्रं भासस् तवोग्राः प्रतपन्ति विष्णो॥
BhG-T.11.31 Who are You with (such) a violent form? Please tell me. Let (my) salutation be unto You, O Exalted Among Deities; please be gracious. I wish to clearly know You, the cause (of everything), because Your action I do not understand.
ākhyāhi me ko bhavān ugra-rūpo namo'stu te deva-vara prasīda, vijñātum icchāmi bhavantam ādyaṃ na hi prajānāmi tava pravṛttim.
आख्याहि मे को भवान् उग्र-रूपो नमोऽस्तु ते देव-वर प्रसीद।
विज्ञातुम् इच्छामि भवन्तम् आद्यं न हि प्रजानामि तव प्रवृत्तिम्॥
BhG-T.11.32 The Lord said: I am time who destroys people, expanded (to fill this cosmic form). Here (now, in this form) I undertake to destroy the people. Even without you, all these warriors stationed (here) in the opposing armies will not survive (it being their lot, karma-phala, to perish).
śrī-bhagavān uvāca: kālo'smi loka-kṣaya-kṛt pravṛddho lokān samāhartum iha pravṛttaḥ, ṛte'pi tvā na bhaviṣyanti sarve ye'vasthitāḥ praty-anīkeṣu yodhāḥ.
कालोऽस्मि लोक-क्षय-कृत् प्रवृद्धो लोकान् समाहर्तुम् इह प्रवृत्तः। ऋतेऽपि त्वां न भविष्यन्ति सर्वे येऽवस्थिताः प्रत्य्-अनीकेषु योधाः॥
BhG-T.11.33 Therefore, get up and gain fame. Conquering the enemies, may you enjoy the prosperous kingdom. By Me alone these (warriors) have already indeed been destroyed. May you (your actions) be merely (My) instrument, O Arjuna (Skilled with the Left Hand).
tasmāt tvam uttiṣṭha yaśo labhasva jitvā śatrūn bhuṅkṣva rājyaṃ samṛddham, mayaivaite nihatāḥ pūrvam eva nimittamātraṃ bhava savya-sācin.
तस्मात् त्वम् उत्तिष्ठ यशो लभस्व जित्वा शत्रून् भुङ्क्ष्व राज्यं समृद्धम्।
मयैवैते निहताः पूर्वम् एव निमित्तमात्रं भव सव्य-साचिन्॥
BhG-T.11.34 Please kill Droṇa, Bhīṣma, Jayad-ratha, and Karṇa, and similarly the other leaders among the warriors also – who (already) have been destroyed by Me (as the giver of their result of action, karma-phala). Do not be afraid (that what you are doing is not dharma, is a-dharma, it is not). In battle you will conquer the enemies, (O Arjuna,) fight.
droṇaṃ ca bhīṣmaṃ ca jayad-rathaṃ ca karṇaṃ tathānyān api yodha-vīrān, mayā hatāṃs tvaṃ jahi mā vyathiṣṭhā yudhyasva jetāsi raṇe sa-patnān.
द्रोणं च भीष्मं च जयद्-रथं च कर्णं तथान्यान् अपि योध-वीरान्।
मया हतांस् त्वं जहि मा व्यथिष्ठा युध्यस्व जेतासि रणे स-पत्नान्॥
BhG-T.11.35 Sañjaya said: Hearing these words of Kṛṣṇa, the trembling Arjuna (the Crowned One) – with hands folded, bowing, and very frightened, bowing again – spoke with a faltering voice to Kṛṣṇa.
sañjaya uvāca: etac chrutvā vacanaṃ keśavasya kṛtāñjalir vepamānaḥ kirīṭī, namas-kṛtvā bhūya evāha kṛṣṇaṃ sa-gadgadaṃ bhīta-bhītaḥ praṇamya.
एतच् छ्रुत्वा वचनं केशवस्य कृताञ्जलिर् वेपमानः किरीटी। नमस्-कृत्वा भूय एवाह कृष्णं स-गद्गदं भीत-भीतः प्रणम्य॥
BhG-T.11.36 Arjuna said: O Kṛṣṇa, it is proper that by the praise of You the world rejoices and is attracted (to You), (while) the frightened demons run in (all) directions, and all the hosts of divine sages surrender (to You).
arjuna uvāca: sthāne hṛṣīkeśa tava prakīrtyā jagat prahṛṣyaty anurajyate ca, rakṣāṃsi bhītāni diśo dravanti sarve namasyanti ca siddha-saṅghāḥ.
स्थाने हृषीकेश तव प्रकीर्त्या जगत् प्रहृष्यत्य् अनुरज्यते च। रक्षांसि भीतानि दिशो द्रवन्ति सर्वे नमस्यन्ति च सिद्ध-सङ्घाः॥
BhG-T.11.37 O Lord, why would they not surrender to You, being greater than Lord Brahmā and being the primal cause? O Limitless, Lord of the Deities, and Abode of the Universe, You are that imperishable, ultimate ( param) (reality, brahman), which is both reality and unreality (both cause and effect, as well as beyond both these concepts, sat-a-sat-param).
kasmāc ca te na nameran mahātman garīyase brahmaṇo'py ādi-kartre, ananta deveśa jagan-nivāsa tvam akṣaraṃ sad-asat tat paraṃ yat.
कस्माच् च ते न नमेरन् महात्मन् गरीयसे ब्रह्मणोऽप्य् आदि-कर्त्रे।
अनन्त देवेश जगन्-निवास त्वम् अक्षरं सद्-असत् तत् परं यत्॥
BhG-T.11.38 You are (the one existing before) the beginning of the deities, the puruṣa (the being who fills this universe) that is always there. You are the ultimate place of resolution of this universe. You are both the (only) knower and what is to be known, and the ultimate abode. You pervade the universe, O You of Endless Forms.
tvam ādi-devaḥ puruṣaḥ purāṇas tvam asya viśvasya paraṃ nidhānam, vettāsi vedyaṃ ca paraṃ ca dhāma tvayā tataṃ viśvam ananta-rūpa.
त्वम् आदि-देवः पुरुषः पुराणस् त्वम् अस्य विश्वस्य परं निधानम्।
वेत्तासि वेद्यं च परं च धाम त्वया ततं विश्वम् अनन्त-रूप॥
BhG-T.11.39 You are (the deities and the entities) Wind, Death, Fire, Water, and Moon, as well as Lord of the Universe and Great-Grandfather (the uncaused cause of the cause of the universe). Let there be repeated salutations to You – again and again, a thousand times, repeated salutations to You.
vāyur yamo'gnir varuṇaḥ śaśāṅkaḥ prajā-patis tvaṃ pra-pitā-mahaś ca, namo namas te'stu sahasra-kṛtvaḥ punaś ca bhūyo'pi namo namas te.
वायुर् यमोऽग्निर् वरुणः शशाङ्कः प्रजा-पतिस् त्वं प्र-पिता-महश् च।
नमो नमस् तेऽस्तु सहस्र-कृत्वः पुनश् च भूयोऽपि नमो नमस् ते॥
BhG-T.11.40 Salutation to You in front (of me) and behind (me). Let there be salutation to You, indeed, in all directions, O Everything. You of infinite power and infinite prowess completely pervade all. Therefore, You are all.
namaḥ purastād atha pṛṣṭhatas te namo'stu te sarvata eva sarva, ananta-vīryāmita-vikramas tvaṃ sarvaṃ samāpnoṣi tato'si sarvaḥ.
नमः पुरस्ताद् अथ पृष्ठतस् ते नमोऽस्तु ते सर्वत एव सर्व।
अनन्त-वीर्यामित-विक्रमस् त्वं सर्वं समाप्नोषि ततोऽसि सर्वः॥
BhG-T.11.41–42 O Changeless, if, not knowing this (form), Your glory – whether out of carelessness or even out of friendship – thinking (You a mere) “friend,” I impulsively called out “O (Mr.) Kṛṣṇa,” “O Yādava (Clansman),” “O Buddy,” and if – while walking, lying down, sitting, or eating, alone or even there in public – You have, out of jest, been slighted (treated as if not there), then I beg the patience and understanding of You who cannot be (separately) known.
sakheti matvā prasabhaṃ yad uktaṃ he kṛṣṇa he yādava he sakheti, ajānatā mahimānaṃ tavedaṃ mayā pramādāt praṇayena vāpi. yac cāvahāsārtham asat-kṛto'si vihāra-śayyāsana-bhojaneṣu, eko'thavāpy acyuta tat samakṣaṃ tat kṣāmaye tvām aham aprameyam.
सखेति मत्वा प्रसभं यद् उक्तं हे कृष्ण हे यादव हे सखेति।
अजानता महिमानं तवेदं मया प्रमादात् प्रणयेन वापि॥ यच् चावहासार्थम् असत्-कृतोऽसि विहार-शय्यासन-भोजनेषु। एकोऽथवाप्य् अच्युत तत् समक्षं तत् क्षामये त्वाम् अहम् अप्रमेयम्॥
BhG-T.11.43 You are the father of the mobile and immobile world, (alone) to be worshipped, and its venerable teacher. There is no equal to You in even the three worlds (the earth, sky, and heaven), (so) how (could there be) another who is superior, O You of Incomparable Glory?
pitāsi lokasya carācarasya tvam asya pūjyaś ca gurur garīyān, na tvat-samo'sty abhyadhikaḥ kuto'nyo loka-traye'py apratima-prabhāva.
पितासि लोकस्य चराचरस्य त्वम् अस्य पूज्यश् च गुरुर् गरीयान्।
न त्वत्-समोऽस्त्य् अभ्यधिकः कुतोऽन्यो लोक-त्रयेऽप्य् अप्रतिम-प्रभाव॥
BhG-T.11.44 Therefore, bowing and properly prostrating (my) body, I propitiate You who are the worshipful Lord. Like a father toward his son; a friend toward his friend; and a beloved toward his lover (as my creator, comrade, and the focus of my devotion) you ought to be patient and understanding (toward my mistakes), O Lord.
tasmāt praṇamya praṇidhāya kāyaṃ prasādaye tvām aham īśam īḍyam, piteva putrasya sakheva sakhyuḥ priyaḥ priyāyārhasi deva soḍhum.
तस्मात् प्रणम्य प्रणिधाय कायं प्रसादये त्वाम् अहम् ईशम् ईड्यम्।
पितेव पुत्रस्य सखेव सख्युः प्रियः प्रियायाऽर्हसि देव सोढुम्॥
BhG-T.11.45 Having seen what was not seen before, I am pleased – and (yet) my mind is shaken with fear. O Lord, please show me that form (as my friend) alone. Be gracious, O Lord of the Deities, the Abode of the Universe.
adṛṣṭa-pūrvaṃ hṛṣito'smi dṛṣṭvā bhayena ca pravyathitaṃ mano me, tad eva me darśaya deva rūpaṃ prasīda deveśa jagan-nivāsa.
अदृष्ट-पूर्वं हृषितोऽस्मि दृष्ट्वा भयेन च प्रव्यथितं मनो मे।
तद् एव मे दर्शय देव रूपं प्रसीद देवेश जगन्-निवास॥
BhG-T.11.46 (But first) so too, I wish to (again) see You (as before (Bh.G.11.17)) with crown, mace, and discus in hand (within the cosmic form). Please be with just that same four-armed form (as Lord Viṣṇu that I worship as my personal deity, iṣṭa-devatā), O Thousand-Armed Whose Form Is the Universe.
kirīṭinaṃ gadinaṃ cakra-hastam icchāmi tvāṃ draṣṭum ahaṃ tathaiva, tenaiva rūpeṇa catur-bhujena sahasra-bāho bhava viśva-mūrte.
किरीटिनं गदिनं चक्र-हस्तम् इच्छामि त्वां द्रष्टुम् अहं तथैव।
तेनैव रूपेण चतुर्-भुजेन सहस्र-बाहो भव विश्व-मूर्ते॥
BhG-T.11.47 [Having again taken the popular Lord Viṣṇu form] The Lord said: O Arjuna, being pleased, I showed to you through My power this limitless form, which – brilliant, universal, endless, and primal (form) of Me – has not been seen by anyone (other) than you.
mayā prasannena tavārjunedaṃ rūpaṃ paraṃ darśitam ātma-yogāt, tejomayaṃ viśvam anantam ādyaṃ yan me tvad-anyena na dṛṣṭa-pūrvam.
मया प्रसन्नेन तवार्जुनेदं रूपं परं दर्शितम् आत्म-योगात्। तेजोमयं विश्वम् अनन्तम् आद्यं यन् मे त्वद्-अन्येन न दृष्ट-पूर्वम्॥
BhG-T.11.48 Not by study of the Vedas or of rituals ( yajñas), nor by charity, nor by (performing) rituals, nor by vigorous prayerful disciplines can I be seen in such a form in the world of humans by anyone (other) than you, O Arjuna.
na veda-yajñādhyayanair na dānair na ca kriyābhir na tapobhir ugraiḥ, evaṃ-rūpaḥ śakya ahaṃ nṛ-loke draṣṭuṃ tvad-anyena kuru-pravīra.
न वेद-यज्ञाध्ययनैर् न दानैर् न च क्रियाभिर् न तपोभिर् उग्रैः।
एवं-रूपः शक्य अहं नृ-लोके द्रष्टुं त्वद्-अन्येन कुरु-प्रवीर॥
BhG-T.11.49 Seeing such a gruesome form as this of Mine, may you have no fear, nor (may your) mind (be) confused. Being without fear and of pleased mind again, may you see now that same form of Me (as your friend).
mā te vyathā mā ca vimūḍha-bhāvo dṛṣṭvā rūpaṃ ghoram īdṛṅ mamedam, vyapeta-bhīḥ prīta-manāḥ punas tvaṃ tad eva me rūpam idaṃ prapaśya.
मा ते व्यथा मा च विमूढ-भावो दृष्ट्वा रूपं घोरम् ईदृङ् ममेदम्।
व्यपेत-भीः प्रीत-मनाः पुनस् त्वं तद् एव मे रूपम् इदं प्रपश्य॥
BhG-T.11.50 Sañjaya said: Thus having spoken to Arjuna, Kṛṣṇa showed again his own (human) form. And, having become again the Lord with a pleasing form, soothed him who was frightened.
sañjaya uvāca: ity arjunaṃ vāsu-devas tathoktvā svakaṃ rūpaṃ darśayām-āsa bhūyaḥ, āśvāsayām-āsa ca bhītam enaṃ bhūtvā punaḥ saumya-vapur mahātmā.
इत्य् अर्जुनं वासु-देवस् तथोक्त्वा स्वकं रूपं दर्शयाम्-आस भूयः। आश्वासयाम्-आस च भीतम् एनं भूत्वा पुनः सौम्य-वपुर् महात्मा॥
BhG-T.11.51 Arjuna said: O Kṛṣṇa, seeing this, Your pleasing human form, now I have recovered (my) mind and have returned to (my) original disposition.
arjuna uvāca: dṛṣṭvedaṃ mānuṣaṃ rūpaṃ tava saumyaṃ janārdana, idānīm asmi saṃvṛttaḥ sa-cetāḥ prakṛtiṃ gataḥ.
दृष्ट्वेदं मानुषं रूपं तव सौम्यं जनार्दन। इदानीम् अस्मि संवृत्तः स-चेताः प्रकृतिं गतः॥
BhG-T.11.52 The Lord said: This form of Mine that you have seen, which is very difficult to see – even the gods are always desirous of seeing this form.
śrī-bhagavān uvāca: su-dur-darśam idaṃ rūpaṃ dṛṣṭavān asi yan mama, devā apy asya rūpasya nityaṃ darśana-kāṅkṣiṇaḥ.
सु-दुर्-दर्शम् इदं रूपं दृष्टवान् असि यन् मम। देवा अप्य् अस्य रूपस्य नित्यं दर्शन-काङ्क्षिणः॥
BhG-T.11.53 In which way you have seen Me, in such a form, I can be seen not by (study of) the Vedas, nor by prayerful discipline, nor by charity, nor by ritual.
nāhaṃ vedair na tapasā na dānena na cejyayā, śakya evaṃ-vidho draṣṭuṃ dṛṣṭavān asi māṃ yathā.
नाहं वेदैर् न तपसा न दानेन न चेज्यया।
शक्य एवं-विधो द्रष्टुं दृष्टवान् असि मां यथा॥
BhG-T.11.54 Whereas, O Arjuna, Vexer of Foes, (only) by a devotion in which there is no other (outside of Me) am I – in such a form – possible, in truth, to know; to see (not with a magical eye, but with the wise person’s, jñānī’s, eye that sees only Me), and to enter into (to include oneself as Me).
bhaktyā tv ananyayā śakya aham evaṃ-vidho'rjuna, jñātuṃ draṣṭuṃ ca tattvena praveṣṭuṃ ca paran-tapa.
भक्त्या त्व् अनन्यया शक्य अहम् एवं-विधोऽर्जुन।
ज्ञातुं द्रष्टुं च तत्त्वेन प्रवेष्टुं च परन्-तप॥
BhG-T.11.55 The mat-karma-kṛt (one who performs one’s duty for the sake of attaining Me), for whom the paramount (achievement) is Me, who is devoted to Me, free from attachment (as there is only Me), and without hostility toward any being (all of them being Me) – that one attains Me, O Arjuna.
mat-karma-kṛn mat-paramo mad-bhaktaḥ saṅga-varjitaḥ, nir-vairaḥ sarva-bhūteṣu yaḥ sa mām eti pāṇḍava.
मत्-कर्म-कृन् मत्-परमो मद्-भक्तः सङ्ग-वर्जितः।
निर्-वैरः सर्व-भूतेषु यः स माम् एति पाण्डव॥
BhG-T.11. Om ( brahman, the witness of all) is that (only) reality. Thus ends the eleventh chapter, called “The Topic of Vision of the Cosmic Form,” of the (eighteen chapters of) Songs of the Glorious Lord, which is (looked upon as) sacred teaching ( Upaniṣad) and (whose teaching is) in (the form of) a dialogue between Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna, (the subject matter being) knowledge of brahman and yoga.
oṃ tat sat. śrīmad-bhagavad-gītāsūpaniṣatsu brahma-vidyāyāṃ yoga-śāstre śrī-kṛṣṇārjuna-saṃvāde viśva-rūpa-darśana-yogo nāmaikā-daśo'dhyāyaḥ.
ओं तत् सत्। इति श्रीमद्-भगवद्-गीतासूपनिषत्सु ब्रह्म-विद्यायां योग-शास्त्रे श्री-कृष्णार्जुन-संवादे विश्व-रूप-दर्शन-योगो नामैका-दशोऽध्यायः॥
Go to Top ('Home' key on many Windows browsers)
Atha dvā-daśo'dhyāyaḥ (12.1-20)
Twelfth Chapter Introduction
The Topic of Devotion
The majesty and power of the physical and subtle universe was presented in the preceding chapter. The individual – who takes himself or herself as trapped within that universe, as a victim of the devouring jaws of time – is naturally afraid of the crushing immensity of everything “out there.” But, if one understands that this universe is a single manifestation of the reality that one calls the Lord; that one’s body-mind complex, along with its action, is naturally within the order that manifests as this universe; and that the physical and subtle laws that inform this universe are outside of one’s control but are certain and just – then one can start to objectively reconcile one’s life within the universe.
The results in life are outside of one’s control, but the results are always in keeping with one’s attitude and effort – because all results are within the cosmic order, which takes all factors into account. Every result is acceptable because every result is naturally in keeping with the entirety of the cosmic order. There is no pseudoscientific “randomness” in nature; there is only order and probability everywhere. Only possibilities exist.
The obvious intelligent design that is inherent in nature is evident as its discoverable laws. All is a manifestation of an order that only intelligence can appreciate. This is the starting point of devotion – appreciating and accepting the Lord, the reality, manifesting as the intelligent order within this cosmic wheel. In this chapter, we can understand devotion as the commitment to gaining this appreciation and acceptance. Devotion is not emotional and it is not intellectual. It is the whole person committing the body and mind to the understanding that this universe is an expression of the Lord as the cosmic order and to living this understanding appropriately.
But the Lord is more than this universe. The universe cycles in and out of manifestation within this reality that is the Lord. This Lord is the untainted reality in which the universe appears, plays itself out, and disappears. At the unchanging core of all beings is reality, the Lord’s reality. This reality can be appreciated as having all the glories we see in the universe – this is one appropriate vision. This reality can also be appreciated as being completely free of and untainted by this universe – this is the other appropriate vision.
In the first verse of chapter 12, Arjuna has a question as to which of these two visions is most efficacious in one’s means ( sādhana) of seeking the ultimate goal ( śreyas). The Lord has sanctioned both lifestyles – pravṛtti (pursuit in) and nivṛtti (withdrawal from) the world, both karma-yoga and sannyāsa. Kṛṣṇa again explains in this chapter that both lifestyles and their respective visions given above – appreciating the glories and acting within them, and appreciating being totally free from the glorious universe – are efficacious. But if one is not prepared – if one is still highly identified with the body and mind and is full of desires – then sannyāsa, the lifestyle wherein one renounces duties in the world and takes only to study and contemplation of the ultimate reality, is a more difficult path. Therefore, Kṛṣṇa recommends karma-yoga as a better starting point for such a person. This is obvious, but still it has to be explained because there are many people, like Arjuna, who fancy taking to sannyāsa – not out of a mature understanding of reality, but as a way to run away from the world and their duties. This seems to have been as common a problem in Kṛṣṇa’s time as it is today. ( Jump to 13th Ch. Intro)
BhG-T.12.1 Arjuna said: Between those devotees who in this same way (see 11.55) are always committed (to You) (those mat-karma-kṛts) and who seek You (as the form of the universe, viśva-rūpa), and those who (seek You) as the not objectified imperishable ( a-kṣara) (formless reality, brahman) – who are the best knowers of yoga?
arjuna uvāca: evaṃ sa-tata-yuktā ye bhaktās tvāṃ paryupāsate, ye cāpy akṣaram avyaktaṃ teṣāṃ ke yoga-vittamāḥ.
एवं स-तत-युक्ता ये भक्तास् त्वां पर्युपासते। ये चाप्य् अक्षरम् अव्यक्तं तेषां के योग-वित्तमाः॥
BhG-T.12.2 The Lord said: Those who, placing their mind in Me, being always committed ( karma-yogīs who are mat-karma-kṛt), and being endowed with ultimate trust (in My teaching and thus) seek Me – they are considered by Me to be (among) the best knowers of yoga (the means to attain Me).
śrī-bhagavān uvāca: mayy āveśya mano ye māṃ nitya-yuktā upāsate, śrad-dhayā parayopetās te me yuktatamā matāḥ.
मय्य् आवेश्य मनो ये मां नित्य-युक्ता उपासते। श्रद्-धया परयोपेतास् ते मे युक्ततमा मताः॥
BhG-T.12.3–4 Whereas those who seek (know Me as) a-kṣara (imperishable brahman) which cannot be described (delimited by words), not objectified (by the senses), is locationless, which cannot be an object of the mind, which remains (true) in the apparent (as the basis and witness of māyā, the manifestation of the Lord as the universe), is immovable and permanent (in time); and those who completely master their organs (of sense and action), whose vision remains the same toward everything, and who are dedicated to the welfare of all beings – they attain only Me.
ye tv akṣaram anirdeśyam avyaktaṃ paryupāsate, sarvatra-gam acintyaṃ ca kūṭa-stham acalaṃ dhruvam. sanniyamyendriya grāmaṃ sarvatra sama-buddhayaḥ, te prāpnuvanti mām eva sarva-bhūta-hite ratāḥ.
ये त्व् अक्षरम् अनिर्देश्यम् अव्यक्तं पर्युपासते।
सर्वत्र-गम् अचिन्त्यं च कूट-स्थम् अचलं ध्रुवम्॥ सन्नियम्येन्द्रिय-ग्रामं सर्वत्र सम-बुद्धयः। ते प्राप्नुवन्ति माम् एव सर्व-भूत-हिते रताः॥
BhG-T.12.5 Among those whose mind is committed to what is not objectified, affliction is (or can be) greater, because an end that cannot be objectified is reached with difficulty by those who (instead of being jñānīs, wise) are ( sannyāsīs who are still) dehavat (identified with their body).
kleśo'dhikataras teṣām avyaktāsakta-cetasām, avyaktā hi gatir duḥkhaṃ dehavadbhir avāpyate.
क्लेशोऽधिकतरस् तेषाम् अव्यक्तासक्त-चेतसाम्।
अव्यक्ता हि गतिर् दुःखं देहवद्भिर् अवाप्यते॥
BhG-T.12.6–7 Whereas, O Arjuna, those ( karma-yogīs) who seek Me – giving up all action unto Me, having Me as their ultimate, and meditating on Me with undivided discipline – for them whose mind is absorbed in Me, I become before long their liberator from the ocean that is saṃsāra (a life of unbecoming becoming) which is filled with death.
ye tu sarvāṇi karmāṇi mayi sannyasya mat-parāḥ, ananyenaiva yogena māṃ dhyāyanta upāsate. teṣām ahaṃ samuddhartā mṛtyu-saṃsāra-sāgarāt, bhavāmi na-cirāt pārtha mayy āveśita-cetasām.
ये तु सर्वाणि कर्माणि मयि सन्न्यस्य मत्-पराः।
अनन्येनैव योगेन मां ध्यायन्त उपासते॥ तेषाम् अहं समुद्धर्ता मृत्यु-संसार-सागरात्। भवामि न-चिरात् पार्थ मय्य् आवेशित-चेतसाम्॥
BhG-T.12.8 Place your mind (the vacillating mind) only in Me (gain a steadiness contemplating Me). Place your buddhi (intellect/knowledge) in Me (gain clear knowledge of Me). Thereupon, you will abide in (attain) Me alone. (In this) there is no doubt.
mayy eva mana ādhatsva mayi buddhiṃ niveśaya, nivasiṣyasi mayy eva ata ūrdhvaṃ na saṃśayaḥ.
मय्य् एव मन आधत्स्व मयि बुद्धिं निवेशय।
निवसिष्यसि मय्य् एव अत ऊर्ध्वं न संशयः॥
BhG-T.12.9 If you are not able to place your mind steadily in Me, then seek to attain Me by a yoga consisting of continual practice (study and contemplation – repeatedly bringing the mind back to these two), O Arjuna.
atha cittaṃ samādhātuṃ na śaknoṣi mayi sthiram, abhyāsa-yogena tato mām icchāptuṃ dhanañ-jaya.
अथ चित्तं समाधातुं न शक्नोषि मयि स्थिरम्।
अभ्यास-योगेन ततो माम् इच्छाप्तुं धनञ्-जय॥
BhG-T.12.10 (If) you are incapable in even this continual practice, (then as a karma-yogī) be one for whom action dedicated to (attaining) Me is paramount. Even doing actions (at their outset) for the sake of (attaining) Me, you will attain success (in terms, initially, of maturity and peace of mind).
abhyāse'py asamartho'si mat-karma-paramo bhava, mad-artham api karmāṇi kurvan siddhim avāpsyasi.
अभ्यासेऽप्य् असमर्थोऽसि मत्-कर्म-परमो भव।
मद्-अर्थम् अपि कर्माणि कुर्वन् सिद्धिम् अवाप्स्यसि॥
BhG-T.12.11 If, being committed to My yoga, you are not able to do even this, then – being one whose mind is disciplined – please give up (the false notion of being the author of) the results of all actions (see 2.47 and 18.11).
athaitad apy aśakto'si kartuṃ mad-yogam āśritaḥ, sarva-karma-phala-tyāgaṃ tataḥ kuru yatātmavān.
अथैतद् अप्य् अशक्तोऽसि कर्तुं मद्-योगम् आश्रितः।
सर्व-कर्म-फल-त्यागं ततः कुरु यतात्मवान्॥
BhG-T.12.12 Than abhyāsa (continued practice), understanding (with practice) is better indeed. Than understanding, contemplation (with understanding) is better. Than contemplation, giving up (the false notion of being the author of the) results of action ( karma-phala-tyāga) (is initially better). Out of this renunciation, peace (of mind) immediately follows.
śreyo hi jñānam abhyāsāj jñānād dhyānaṃ viśiṣyate, dhyānāt karma-phala-tyāgastyāgāc chāntir anantaram.
श्रेयो हि ज्ञानम् अभ्यासाज् ज्ञानाद् ध्यानं विशिष्यते।
ध्यानात् कर्म-फल-त्यागस् त्यागाच् छान्तिर् अनन्तरम्॥
BhG-T.12.13–14 (The jñānī, wise person) who is not displeased toward any being, is friendly and compassionate, free from the judgment “this is mine,” free from the judgment (that) “I (am only this body-mind),” the same in pleasure or pain (not elated nor saddened), accommodative (patient and understanding), always contented and contemplative, disciplined, of firm resolve,with mind and intellect resolved in Me, who is (in this way) devoted to Me – that one is dear to Me (as dear as Myself, because that one is Myself and that one knows this fact).
adveṣṭā sarva-bhūtānāṃ maitraḥ karuṇa eva ca, nir-mamo nir-ahaṅkāraḥ sama-duḥkha-sukhaḥ kṣamī. santuṣṭaḥ sa-tataṃ yogī yatātmā dṛḍha-niścayaḥ, mayy arpita-mano-buddhir yo mad-bhaktaḥ sa me priyaḥ.
अद्वेष्टा सर्व-भूतानां मैत्रः करुण एव च।
निर्-ममो निर्-अहङ्कारः सम-दुःख-सुखः क्षमी॥ सन्तुष्टः स-ततं योगी यतात्मा दृढ-निश्चयः। मय्य् अर्पित-मनो-बुद्धिर् यो मद्-भक्तः स मे प्रियः॥
BhG-T.12.15 Of whom the world (living beings and the environment) is not afraid (or need not protect itself against) and who is not afraid of the world, and the one who is freed from elation, intolerance, fear, and anxiety – that one is dear to Me.
yasmān nodvijate loko lokān nodvijate ca yaḥ, harṣāmarṣa-bhayodvegair mukto yaḥ sa ca me priyaḥ.
यस्मान् नोद्विजते लोको लोकान् नोद्विजते च यः।
हर्षामर्ष-भयोद्वेगैर् मुक्तो यः स च मे प्रियः॥
BhG-T.12.16 Without dependence (on anything for happiness), clean (externally and mentally), adept (wise in all situations), neutral (the same, sama, towards all), not shaken with fear, completely renounced all (doership in) activities – who is (in this way) devoted to Me, that one is dear to Me.
anapekṣaḥ śucir dakṣa udāsīno gata-vyathaḥ, sarvārambha-parityāgī yo mad-bhaktaḥ sa me priyaḥ.
अनपेक्षः शुचिर् दक्ष उदासीनो गत-व्यथः।
सर्वारम्भ-परित्यागी यो मद्-भक्तः स मे प्रियः॥
BhG-T.12.17 Does not become elated, does not become displeased, does not grieve, does not require/anticipate, who (naturally and) completely renounces (the status of being the doer and experiencer in) pleasant and unpleasant activity – who (thus) has devotion, that one is dear to Me.
yo na hṛṣyati na dveṣṭi na śocati na kāṅkṣati, śubhāśubha-parityāgī bhaktimān yaḥ sa me priyaḥ.
यो न हृष्यति न द्वेष्टि न शोचति न काङ्क्षति।
शुभाशुभ-परित्यागी भक्तिमान् यः स मे प्रियः॥
BhG-T.12.18–19 The same toward (another who takes himself or herself as) an enemy or a friend and toward respect or disrespect, the same toward (the opposites) cold/hot and pleasure/pain, free from attachment, for whom censure and praise are alike (addressing only this body or mind, but not one’s self), disciplined in speech, satisfied with whatever (happens), homeless (a sannyāsī or one who has no ownership toward a house he or she may own), and whose knowledge is firm – who (in this way) has devotion, that person is dear to Me.
samaḥ śatrau ca mitre ca tathā mānāpamānayoḥ, śītoṣṇa-sukha-duḥkheṣu samaḥ saṅga-vivarjitaḥ. tulya-nindā-stutir maunī santuṣṭo yena kenacit, aniketaḥ sthira-matir bhaktimān me priyo naraḥ.
समः शत्रौ च मित्रे च तथा मानापमानयोः।
शीतोष्ण-सुख-दुःखेषु समः सङ्ग-विवर्जितः॥ तुल्य-निन्दा-स्तुतिर् मौनी सन्तुष्टो येन केनचित्। अनिकेतः स्थिर-मतिर् भक्तिमान् मे प्रियो नरः॥
BhG-T.12.20 Those indeed who follow this, as was told, that is in keeping with dharma and (is an expression of and therefore leading to) complete freedom, who are endowed with trust (in My teaching), for whom I am paramount – such devotees as those are very dear to Me.
ye tu dharmyāmṛtam idaṃ yathoktaṃ paryupāsate, śrad-dadhānā mat-paramā bhaktās te'tīva me priyāḥ.
ये तु धर्म्यामृतम् इदं यथोक्तं पर्युपासते।
श्रद्-दधाना मत्-परमा भक्तास् तेऽतीव मे प्रियाः॥
BhG-T.12. Om ( brahman, the witness of all) is that (only) reality. Thus ends the twelfth chapter, called “The Topic of Devotion,” of the (eighteen chapters of) Songs of the Glorious Lord, which is (looked upon as) sacred teaching ( Upaniṣad) and (whose teaching is) in (the form of) a dialogue between Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna, (the subject matter being) knowledge of brahman and yoga.
oṃ tat sat. śrīmad-bhagavad-gītāsūpaniṣatsu brahma-vidyāyāṃ yoga-śāstre śrī-kṛṣṇārjuna-saṃvāde bhakti-yogo nāma dvā-daśo'dhyāyaḥ.
ओं तत् सत्। इति श्रीमद्-भगवद्-गीतासूपनिषत्सु ब्रह्म-विद्यायां योग-शास्त्रे श्री-कृष्णार्जुन-संवादे भक्ति-योगो नाम द्वा-दशोऽध्यायः॥
Go to Top ('Home' key on many Windows browsers)
Om atha trayo-daśo'dhyāyaḥ (13.1-34)
Thirteenth Chapter Introduction
The Topic of the Distinction of the Field and the Knower of the Field
Knowledge is the direct means of freeing oneself from saṃsāra (the life of unending need for becoming) because the bondage of saṃsāra is one of ignorance – ignorance of the fact that one’s self is none other than the reality of this universe and yet is free of this universe. Through ignorance alone one is bound (yoked) to “otherness,” to the limitations that appear in one’s body and mind in relation to the vast universe. Knowledge does not create freedom since, by one’s very nature, one is already free. Rather, knowledge removes the ignorance that veils the oneness of reality from our understanding.
The reality and freedom of the self is predominately taught in the first six chapters of the Bhagavad Gītā, and the reality and glories of the universe as the Lord is predominately taught in chapters 7–12. Clear statements of the identity of the self and the Lord have been given. In the next six chapters, the oneness of reality is emphasized and methodically unfolded. Through every chapter of the Bhagavad Gītā, the means to assimilate the teaching is continually taught. This means, called yoga, is essentially an enlightened attitude with appropriate values – an attitude one takes to all aspects of the relationship between oneself and the whole. This enlightened attitude is one of a devotee ( bhakta) – one who intelligently appreciates and participates in the great cosmic wheel. The bhakta’s attitude yields a clarity that allows the knowledge to be completely assimilated and, hence, made firm.
This teaching of oneness – and of the way to assimilate it – is a means within saṃsāra to get out of saṃsāra. It is the key to release from limitation. In each cycle of the universe, this teaching is handed to the beings who are intelligent and mentally mature enough to make use of it. The yoga (literally, “uniting,” “yoking”) taught in the Bhagavad Gītā is the “uniting” of oneself with this teaching of the oneness of reality. It is the yoga, the commitment to the teaching, that frees us from the “yoke” that otherwise keeps us seemingly limited. In chapter 13, the Lord distinguishes (or “unyokes”) kṣetra – the field, that is, the universe including one’s body-mind complex – from kṣetra-jña, the knower of the field, who is the Lord that is oneself.
Until the reality, brahman – which is to be known as oneself, as the basis of the universe, and as the Lord – is known, making the effort of yoga and attending to the teaching is valid and required. This knowledge is not just a physical, emotional, or intellectual pursuit; nor is it an inactive or overly energetic ( tāmasa or rājasa) pursuit. The whole person has to commit to this pursuit of knowledge.
There are two possible lifestyles in this pursuit – sannyāsa and yoga, or in other words nivṛtti and pravṛtti mārgas (disengaging from competitive society and engaging in competitive society) – but the means is one: Knowledge alone is the means. Yoga, as taught in the Bhagavad Gītā, is the preparation for its assimilation. It is purely cognitive ( sāttvika) – all the way. Both the one who knows this knowledge and the one who wants to know this knowledge are devotees ( bhaktas, see 7.16–18). The belief that there are many yogas (depending on one’s personality) that separately lead to the ultimate goal ( śreyas) is not grounded in this teaching here, though elsewhere – outside the Upaniṣads, Bhagavad Gītā, and Brahma-sūtras – such divisions are expressed by those who don’t yet understand this teaching. Kṛṣṇa warned us of such distractions early on (see 2.41). Instead of creating unnecessary divisions among sincere bhaktas, Kṛṣṇa brings the traditional teaching all together in this chapter. ( Jump to 14th Ch. Intro)
BhG-T.13.0 Arjuna said: What I wish to know, O Kṛṣṇa, is this: prakṛti and puruṣa (nature and the one who fills nature), kṣetra and kṣetra-jña (the field and the knower of the field), and jñāna and jñeya (knowledge and what is to be known).
arjuna uvāca: prakṛtiṃ puruṣaṃ caiva kṣetraṃ kṣetra-jñam eva ca, etad veditum icchāmi jñānaṃ jñeyaṃ ca keśava.
प्रकृतिं पुरुषं चैव क्षेत्रं क्षेत्र-ज्ञम् एव च। एतद् वेदितुम् इच्छामि ज्ञानं ज्ञेयं च केशव॥
BhG-T.13.1 The Lord said: O Arjuna, this body (where one reaps the fruits – good and bad, puṇya and pāpa – initially presented as this human body and later expanded to the entire body of the universe, to prakṛti) is called the field ( kṣetra). Those who know both of these (the kṣetra and kṣetra-jña) call the one who knows this ( kṣetra) as the kṣetra-jña (the knower of the field).
śrī-bhagavān uvāca: idaṃ śarīraṃ kaunteya kṣetram ity abhidhīyate, etad yo vetti taṃ prāhuḥ kṣetra-jña iti tad-vidaḥ.
इदं शरीरं कौन्तेय क्षेत्रम् इत्य् अभिधीयते। एतद् यो वेत्ति तं प्राहुः क्षेत्र-ज्ञ इति तद्-विदः॥
BhG-T.13.2 In all the kṣetras (bodies), know Me (who is not subject to saṃsāra) to be the (only) kṣetra-jña (knower) (know Me, the Lord, as the only I, the only knower), O Arjuna. Knowledge which is of this kṣetra and kṣetra-jña – that (alone) is considered by Me to be knowledge ( jñāna) (as it alone is final and it alone releases one from saṃsāra).
kṣetra-jñaṃ cāpi māṃ viddhi sarva-kṣetreṣu bhārata, kṣetra-kṣetra-jñayor jñānaṃ yat taj jñānaṃ mataṃ mama.
क्षेत्र-ज्ञं चापि मां विद्धि सर्व-क्षेत्रेषु भारत।
क्षेत्र-क्षेत्र-ज्ञयोर् ज्ञानं यत् तज् ज्ञानं मतं मम॥
BhG-T.13.3 What is that kṣetra. (What is) its appearance, having which modifications. From what (source does) it (arise). And what is that (source, the kṣetra-jña, which is Me), and what glories is (that source) having. About that, in brief, listen to Me.
tat kṣetraṃ yac ca yā-dṛk ca yad-vikāri yataś ca yat, sa ca yo yat-prabhāvaś ca tat samāsena me śṛṇu.
तत् क्षेत्रं यच् च या-दृक् च यद्-विकारि यतश् च यत्।
स च यो यत्-प्रभावश् च तत् समासेन मे शृणु॥
BhG-T.13.4 (Each, the kṣetra and its source) has been sung as distinct (from each other) in many ways by the seers/sages – in various Veda mantras and through concise statements that reveal brahman (reality) with (supporting) logic and which are well ascertained (without doubt).
ṛṣibhir bahudhā gītaṃ chandobhir vividhaiḥ pṛthak, brahma-sūtra-padaiś caiva hetumadbhir viniścitaiḥ
ऋषिभिर् बहुधा गीतं छन्दोभिर् विविधैः पृथक्।
ब्रह्म-सूत्र-पदैश् चैव हेतुमद्भिर् विनिश्चितैः॥
BhG-T.13.5–6 The (five distinct) pervasive (subtle) elements, ahaṅkāra (the I) (the universe’s ahaṅkāra as Lord Brahmā, the author, kartā, of the universe), buddhi (the intellect) (the universe’s intellect as the saṅkalpa, intension, of the Lord at the time of manifestation, wherein the laws are determined by which everything is manifest), and a-vyakta (unmanifest cause, Iśvara-śakti, māyā) (– all eight aforementioned constitute prakṛti), (and then prakṛti’s modifications, including) the ten organs, the one (mind including the intellect), the five (gross) sense objects (as the physical universe), desire, aversion, pleasure, pain, this physical body, cognition, and resolve – (all) this is in brief called the kṣetra (field) along with its modifications.
mahā-bhūtāny ahaṅkāro buddhir avyaktam eva ca, indriyāṇi daśaikaṃ ca pañca cendriya-go-carāḥ. icchā dveṣaḥ sukhaṃ duḥkhaṃ saṅghātaś cetanā dhṛtiḥ, etat kṣetraṃ samāsena sa-vikāram udāhṛtam.
महा-भूतान्य् अहङ्कारो बुद्धिर् अव्यक्तम् एव च।
इन्द्रियाणि दशैकं च पञ्च चेन्द्रिय-गो-चराः॥ इच्छा द्वेषः सुखं दुःखं सङ्घातश् चेतना धृतिः। एतत् क्षेत्रं समासेन स-विकारम् उदाहृतम्॥
BhG-T.13.7–8 (What is also jñāna, knowledge, is) absence of conceit (not demanding that others know one’s virtues), absence of hypocrisy (not demanding that others recognize virtues that one does not have), harmlessness, accommodation (as patience and understanding), straightforwardness, reverence for (and attendance to) the teacher, cleanliness, steadfastness, self-discipline, dispassion toward sense objects, absence of arrogance (not presenting oneself in the reflection of some glory in one’s possession), and seeing the problem of sorrow (which is guilt and hurt) in birth, death, ageing, and diseases.
amānitvam adambhitvam ahiṃsā kṣāntir ārjavam, ācāryopāsanaṃ śaucaṃ sthairyam ātma-vinigrahaḥ. indriyārtheṣu vairāgyam anahaṅkāra eva ca, janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam.
अमानित्वम् अदम्भित्वम् अहिंसा क्षान्तिर् आर्जवम्।
आचार्योपासनं शौचं स्थैर्यम् आत्म-विनिग्रहः॥ इन्द्रियार्थेषु वैराग्यम् अनहङ्कार एव च। जन्म-मृत्यु-जरा-व्याधि-दुःख-दोषानुदर्शनम्॥
BhG-T.13.9–11 (Also) absence of ownership; lack of identification toward son (offspring), wife (spouse), house, etcetera; continual equanimity of mind toward occurrences of the desirable and the undesirable; unswerving devotion in Me through a yoga (vision of identity, samādhi) in which there is no other; the disposition to (or a value to) repair to a quiet place (where I do not have to fear, do not feel I have to change, and do not have to escape from); not longing for the company of people (not needing to escape from myself through others); being always centered on the knowledge of the I; and seeing the goal of the knowledge of truth (that goal being complete freedom) – (all) this is also called jñāna (an expression of knowledge and, thus, a means of gaining knowledge). What is other than this is an obstacle to knowledge ( a-jñāna).
asaktir anabhiṣvaṅgaḥ putra-dāra-gṛhādiṣu, nityaṃ ca sama-cittatvam iṣṭāniṣṭopapattiṣu. mayi cānanya-yogena bhaktir avyabhicāriṇī, vivikta-deśa-sevitvam aratir jana-saṃsadi. adhy-ātma-jñāna-nityatvaṃ tattva-jñānārtha-darśanam, etaj jñānam iti proktam ajñānaṃ yad ato'nyathā.
असक्तिर् अनभिष्वङ्गः पुत्र-दार-गृहादिषु।
नित्यं च सम-चित्तत्वम् इष्टानिष्टोपपत्तिषु॥ मयि चानन्य-योगेन भक्तिर् अव्यभिचारिणी। विविक्त-देश-सेवित्वम् अरतिर् जन-संसदि॥ अध्य्-आत्म-ज्ञान-नित्यत्वं तत्त्व-ज्ञानार्थ-दर्शनम्। एतज् ज्ञानम् इति प्रोक्तम् अज्ञानं यद् अतोऽन्यथा॥
BhG-T.13.12 What is jñeya (to be known), that I (will) tell (you). Knowing which one gains immortality (called mokṣa, freedom, the reason it is to be known) – that ( jñeya) is beginningless and limitless brahman (reality, My nature), said to be neither (an object) that is, nor is not.
jñeyaṃ yat tat pravakṣyāmi yaj jñātvāmṛtam aśnute, anādimat paraṃ brahma na sat tan nāsad ucyate.
ज्ञेयं यत् तत् प्रवक्ष्यामि यज् ज्ञात्वामृतम् अश्नुते।
अनादिमत् परं ब्रह्म न सत् तन् नासद् उच्यते॥
BhG-T.13.13 (Not that it is not, since) that (reality to be known, jñeyaṃ brahman) remains (motionless, yet) pervading all in the loka (universe) (as each being’s reality) – with (all beings’) hands and feet everywhere; with their eyes, heads, and mouths everywhere; and with their ears everywhere.
sarvataḥ-pāṇi-pādaṃ tat sarvatokṣi-śiro-mukham, sarvataḥ-śrutimal loke sarvam āvṛtya tiṣṭhati.
सर्वतः-पाणि-पादं तत् सर्वतोऽक्षि-शिरो-मुखम्।
सर्वतः-श्रुतिमल् लोके सर्वम् आवृत्य तिष्ठति॥
BhG-T.13.14 (Not that it is, since that reality to be known, jñeyaṃ brahman, merely) appears as the attributes (the functioning – seeing, etcetera) of all the organs (in these bodies, yet) is free from all the organs, is unattached (yet) sustains all, and is free from the guṇas (constituents of nature) (yet) is the experiencer of the guṇas.
sarvendriya-guṇābhāsaṃ sarvendriya-vivarjitam, asaktaṃ sarva-bhṛc caiva nir-guṇaṃ guṇa-bhoktṛ ca.
असक्तं सर्व-भृच् चैव निर्-गुणं गुण-भोक्तृ च॥
BhG-T.13.15 It is (with reference to these bodies) outside and inside of (all) beings, and is whatever does and does not move (in the universe). Since it is subtle (innermost, as “I”), it is not knowable (as a “this or that,” an object). It is (as) far (as the farthest, imagined object) and (as) near (as “I”).
bahir antaś ca bhūtānām acaraṃ caram eva ca, sūkṣmatvāt tad avijñeyaṃ dūra-sthaṃ cāntike ca tat.
बहिर् अन्तश् च भूतानाम् अचरं चरम् एव च।
सूक्ष्मत्वात् तद् अविज्ञेयं दूर-स्थं चान्तिके च तत्॥
BhG-T.13.16 That jñeya (the to-be-known) remains undivided (as one only) yet is seemingly divided (as many) in all beings, (this one and only) is the one who sustains (all these) beings (the embodiments and objects), and is their devourer and creator.
avibhaktaṃ ca bhūteṣu vibhaktam iva ca sthitam, bhūta-bhartṛ ca taj jñeyaṃ grasiṣṇu prabhaviṣṇu ca.
अविभक्तं च भूतेषु विभक्तम् इव च स्थितम्।
भूत-भर्तृ च तज् ज्ञेयं ग्रसिष्णु प्रभविष्णु च॥
BhG-T.13.17 It is the light of lights (the solely self-revealing conscious-being by which even the sun is revealed) and is said to be beyond darkness (or ignorance, as it reveals both). It is jñāna (see 13.2 and 13.7–11), jñeya, and the result to be attained by jñāna. It abides in the center of everything (and is to be known in this intellect).
jyotiṣām api taj jyotis tamasaḥ param ucyate, jñānaṃ jñeyaṃ jñāna-gamyaṃ hṛdi sarvasya viṣṭhitam.
ज्योतिषाम् अपि तज् ज्योतिस् तमसः परम् उच्यते।
ज्ञानं ज्ञेयं ज्ञान-गम्यं हृदि सर्वस्य विष्ठितम्॥
BhG-T.13.18 Thus the field, the knowledge, and the to-be-known (the kṣetra-jña, the jñāna, and the jñeya) have been briefly told. Clearly knowing this, one who is devoted to Me (who is this jñeya) is fit for My nature (called mokṣa, complete freedom).
iti kṣetraṃ tathā jñānaṃ jñeyaṃ coktaṃ samāsataḥ, mad-bhakta etad vijñāya mad-bhāvāyopapadyate.
इति क्षेत्रं तथा ज्ञानं ज्ञेयं चोक्तं समासतः।
मद्-भक्त एतद् विज्ञाय मद्-भावायोपपद्यते॥
BhG-T.13.19 May you know that both nature and the person ( prakṛti and puruṣa) are beginningless. And may you know that the guṇas (the mental dispositions – not the three unmodified guṇas, the constituents of prakṛti) and other modifications (from intellects to all physical bodies) are born of prakṛti.
prakṛtiṃ puruṣaṃ caiva viddhy anādī ubhāv api, vikārāṃś ca guṇāṃś caiva viddhi prakṛti-sambhavān.
प्रकृतिं पुरुषं चैव विद्ध्य् अनादी उभाव् अपि।
विकारांश् च गुणांश् चैव विद्धि प्रकृति-सम्भवान्॥
BhG-T.13.20 Prakṛti (nature) is said to be the cause of the origination of the physical body and its instruments (the mind, senses, etcetera). The puruṣa (the knower of the field, the kṣetra-jña or, in this case, the individual jīva, living entity) is said to be the cause of being the experiencer of pleasant and unpleasant situations.
kārya-karaṇa-kartṛtve hetuḥ prakṛtir ucyate, puruṣaḥ sukha-duḥkhānāṃ bhoktṛtve hetur ucyate.
कार्य-करण-कर्तृत्वे हेतुः प्रकृतिर् उच्यते।
पुरुषः सुख-दुःखानां भोक्तृत्वे हेतुर् उच्यते॥
BhG-T.13.21 Because the puruṣa (the person) abides in prakṛti, it experiences (the modifications of) the guṇas born of prakṛti. In regard to births in virtuous and nonvirtuous wombs (in saṃsāra), one’s (the ignorant jīva’s) attachment to (the modifications of) the guṇas is the cause.
puruṣaḥ prakṛti-stho hi bhuṅkte prakṛti-jān guṇān, kāraṇaṃ guṇa-saṅgo'sya sad-asad-yoni-janmasu.
पुरुषः प्रकृति-स्थो हि भुङ्क्ते प्रकृति-जान् गुणान्।
कारणं गुण-सङ्गोऽस्य सद्-असद्-योनि-जन्मसु॥
BhG-T.13.22 (But in fact) the puruṣa even while in this body is limitless, the immediate witness, the permitter, the sustainer, the (unattached) experiencer, the (very) Lord (Myself), and is indeed called the Paramātmā (the limitless I).
upadraṣṭānumantā ca bhartā bhoktā maheśvaraḥ, paramātmeti cāpy ukto dehe'smin puruṣaḥ paraḥ.
उपद्रष्टानुमन्ता च भर्ता भोक्ता महेश्वरः।
परमात्मेति चाप्य् उक्तो देहेऽस्मिन् पुरुषः परः॥
BhG-T.13.23 The one who in this way knows puruṣa and prakṛti with its guṇas – that one, even though performing action in all ways (whether as a student, householder, retiree, or sannyāsī) is not born again.
ya evaṃ vetti puruṣaṃ prakṛtiṃ ca guṇaiḥ saha, sarvathā vartamāno'pi na sa bhūyo'bhijāyate.
य एवं वेत्ति पुरुषं प्रकृतिं च गुणैः सह।
सर्वथा वर्तमानोऽपि न स भूयोऽभिजायते॥
BhG-T.13.24 Some (wise people, jñānīs) see the self – in the mind, by the mind – along with contemplation (after study to remove obstacles to assimilation of knowledge), (a rare few) others (simply) by inquiry (simply by study of the teaching), and some others (by this teaching) while engaged in their duties.
dhyānenātmani paśyanti kecid ātmānam ātmanā, anye sāṅkhyena yogena karma-yogena cāpare.
ध्यानेनात्मनि पश्यन्ति केचिद् आत्मानम् आत्मना।
अन्ये साङ्ख्येन योगेन कर्म-योगेन चापरे॥
BhG-T.13.25 Whereas others, not (yet) accordingly knowing (this teaching), worship (Me) in keeping with what they have heard from others (from gurus who tell them to initially do prayers, pūjyā, mental chanting, japa, etcetera). They also, being ones for whom listening (to the teaching) is the ultimate end, (eventually) cross over death.
anye tv evam ajānantaḥ śrutvānyebhya upāsate, te'pi cātitaranty eva mṛtyuṃ śruti-parāyaṇāḥ.
अन्ये त्व् एवम् अजानन्तः श्रुत्वान्येभ्य उपासते।
तेऽपि चातितरन्त्य् एव मृत्युं श्रुति-परायणाः॥
BhG-T.13.26 As long as anyone (a jīva, continues to) be (re-)born as an immobile or mobile being – know that to be due to the saṃyoga (association – due to a lack of viveka, knowing the difference) between the kṣetra and the kṣetra-jña, O Arjuna.
yāvat sañjāyate kiñcit sattvaṃ sthāvara-jaṅgamam, kṣetra-kṣetra-jña-saṃyogāt tad viddhi bharata-rṣabha.
यावत् सञ्जायते किञ्चित् सत्त्वं स्थावर-जङ्गमम्।
क्षेत्र-क्षेत्र-ज्ञ-संयोगात् तद् विद्धि भरत-र्षभ॥
BhG-T.13.27 The one who sees the Lord (Me) as remaining the same in all beings and as not being destroyed among those (bodies) being destroyed – that one (alone) sees.
samaṃ sarveṣu bhūteṣu tiṣṭhantaṃ parameśvaram, vinaśyatsv avinaśyantaṃ yaḥ paśyati sa paśyati.
समं सर्वेषु भूतेषु तिष्ठन्तं परमेश्वरम्।
विनश्यत्स्व् अविनश्यन्तं यः पश्यति स पश्यति॥
BhG-T.13.28 Because seeing (Me) the Lord as remaining the same ( sama) everywhere (as the self of all), one does not by oneself (through the mind) destroy (lose sight of) the self (since that self is the all-pervasive Me) and, hence, attains the ultimate end (the end of saṃsāra, unbecoming becoming).
samaṃ paśyan hi sarvatra samavasthitam īśvaram, na hinasty ātmanātmānaṃ tato yāti parāṃ gatim.
समं पश्यन् हि सर्वत्र समवस्थितम् ईश्वरम्।
न हिनस्त्य् आत्मनात्मानं ततो याति परां गतिम्॥
BhG-T.13.29 And the one who sees actions being done in every way by nature ( prakṛti) alone and, in that way, (sees) that the self is not a doer – that one alone correctly sees.
prakṛtyaiva ca karmāṇi kriyamāṇāni sarvaśaḥ, yaḥ paśyati tathātmānam akartāraṃ sa paśyati.
प्रकृत्यैव च कर्माणि क्रियमाणानि सर्वशः।
यः पश्यति तथात्मानम् अकर्तारं स पश्यति॥
BhG-T.13.30 When one according (to the teaching) sees that the (apparent) separateness of beings resolves into one (and that all these apparently separate beings) are a projection (a manifestation) from that (one) alone – then he (or she) attains (that same) brahman (as himself or herself).
yadā bhūta-pṛthag-bhāvam eka-stham anupaśyati, tata eva ca vistāraṃ brahma sampadyate tadā.
यदा भूत-पृथग्-भावम् एक-स्थम् अनुपश्यति।
तत एव च विस्तारं ब्रह्म सम्पद्यते तदा॥
BhG-T.13.31 O Arjuna, since it is beginningless (uncaused/un-effected) and since it is without attributes, this changeless Paramātmā (limitless I) does not do action – even though obtaining in the body – nor is it affected (by the results of action).
anāditvān nir-guṇatvāt paramātmāyam avyayaḥ, śarīra-stho'pi kaunteya na karoti na lipyate.
अनादित्वान् निर्-गुणत्वात् परमात्मायम् अव्ययः।
शरीर-स्थोऽपि कौन्तेय न करोति न लिप्यते॥
BhG-T.13.32 Just as the all-pervasive (element called) space is not affected (by movements of objects within space) because it is subtle (it is innermost/pervasive, in and through and outside of objects, without itself moving), similarly, the self ( ātmā, puruṣa), obtaining in (each) body everywhere, is not affected.
yathā sarva-gataṃ saukṣmyād ākāśaṃ nopalipyate, sarvatrāvasthito dehe tathātmā nopalipyate.
यथा सर्व-गतं सौक्ष्म्याद् आकाशं नोपलिप्यते।
सर्वत्रावस्थितो देहे तथात्मा नोपलिप्यते॥
BhG-T.13.33 Just as the one sun (by itself alone) illumines this entire world, similarly, this one obtaining in every kṣetra illumines (lights up, as the conscious being, all thoughts in all minds, which thoughts alone reflect) the entire (known and inferred) kṣetra (field of the universe), O Arjuna.
yathā prakāśayaty ekaḥ kṛtsnaṃ lokam imaṃ raviḥ, kṣetraṃ kṣetrī tathā kṛtsnaṃ prakāśayati bhārata.
यथा प्रकाशयत्य् एकः कृत्स्नं लोकम् इमं रविः।
क्षेत्रं क्षेत्री तथा कृत्स्नं प्रकाशयति भारत॥
BhG-T.13.34 Those who thus know, through the eye of wisdom, the distinction between the kṣetra and the kṣetra-jña (the object and the subject – the subject being the substance of all objects, of all names and forms), and (their inherent) freedom from prakṛti (the cause) of (all) beings – they attain the ultimate.
kṣetra-kṣetra-jñayor evam antaraṃ jñāna-cakṣuṣā, bhūta-prakṛti-mokṣaṃ ca ye vidur yānti te param.
क्षेत्र-क्षेत्र-ज्ञयोर् एवम् अन्तरं ज्ञान-चक्षुषा।
भूत-प्रकृति-मोक्षं च ये विदुर् यान्ति ते परम्॥
BhG-T.13. Om ( brahman, the witness of all) is that (only) reality. Thus ends the thirteenth chapter, called “The Topic of the Distinction between the Field and the Knower of the Field,” of the (eighteen chapters of) Songs of the Glorious Lord, which is (looked upon as) sacred teaching ( Upaniṣad) and (whose teaching is) in (the form of) a dialogue between Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna, (the subject matter being) knowledge of brahman and yoga.
oṃ tat sat. śrīmad-bhagavad-gītāsūpaniṣatsu brahma-vidyāyāṃ yoga-śāstre śrī-kṛṣṇārjuna-saṃvāde kṣetra-kṣetra-jña-vibhāga-yogo nāma trayo-daśo'dhyāyaḥ.
ओं तत् सत्। इति श्रीमद्-भगवद्-गीतासूपनिषत्सु ब्रह्म-विद्यायां योग-शास्त्रे श्री-कृष्णार्जुन-संवादे क्षेत्र-क्षेत्र-ज्ञ-विभाग-योगो नाम त्रयो-दशोऽध्यायः॥
Go to Top ('Home' key on many Windows browsers)
Atha catur-daśo'dhyāyaḥ (14.1-27)
Fourteenth Chapter Introduction
The Topic of the Division of the Three
Chapter 14 marks the start of the elaboration of the three guṇas (qualities in, or constituents of, nature): sattva (related to knowledge); rajas (related to activity); and tamas (related to inactivity). The universal categorization of the guṇas is used to encompass the total universe, such as the traiguṇya (see 2.45 and 3.27–28), or to encompass just the subtle world of thoughts (see 10.36, 13.19, and 17.2).
The elaboration of the guṇas that begins in this chapter distinguishes appropriate and inappropriate attitudes as they relate to karma-yoga – and ultimately brings us to the transcendence of these guṇas. Universal categorizations, such as the three guṇas, the five elements linked to the five human sense-organs, or the three worlds (earth/sky/heaven), are employed throughout the Upaniṣads to help us apply the teaching to the entire universe. The method of using universal categorization, of covering everything with a few categories, is self-acknowledged in Chāndogya Upaniṣad 6.4.5:
“Because they knew [everything] through these [three categories – the red/white/black, relating to the three visible elements fire/water/earth], they said, ‘None of us will speak of anything as unheard, unthought, or unknown.’”
The universal categorization method is also used in the Bhagavad Gītā to help us understand how the three-fold structure of the universe is reflected in the mind and how the mind should then relate objectively to the universe. Just as Kṛṣṇa used the concept of yoga from Kaṭha Upaniṣad and elaborated on it in previous chapters, in chapter 14 He uses the universal categorization of the guṇas, given in Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad – which borrows heavily from Kaṭha Upaniṣad and employs the terms sāṅkhya (knowledge) and yoga together (see 2.39) – to explain karma-yoga.
Although a predominately sāttvika (uplifting) attitude is the most appropriate attitude within various behaviors, the goal is to appreciate oneself as guṇātīta – one who transcends all three guṇas – as well as one who thus transcends all actions. Among all possible attitudes we can take toward life’s basic activities, the chapters that follow (chapters 14, 17, and 18) indicate that the attitudes that can be categorized as sāttvika are preferred and that the others are to be avoided.
Sometimes the guṇas are used to categorize the predilections (dispositions) toward behaviors, for example, all the categorizations in chapter 14 are of this type. Other times, they are used to categorize the behaviors themselves, for example, most of the categorizations in chapter 17 are of this type – food choices, rituals, religious disciplines, and charities are related to the guṇas. In these cases, predilections or inappropriate behaviors are not to be condemned in others or in one’s self. After all, the things and actions of the world and the thoughts that make up the mind are what they are. They are governed by the universal laws of the total, both physical and psychological, and are affected by the whole universe. They are not meant to be viewed in isolation or out of context. In their context, they cannot be other than what they are – and ought to be accepted as they are.
However, as doers (as long as we take ourselves to be doers), we have a choice in our current action, and the Advaita Vedānta teaching can inform our attitude and our choice in that action. When we make choices informed by the teaching, we live a clean life conducive to assimilating the knowledge unfolded by the teaching. And, by living such a life, we gain this knowledge, which frees us from grief and death. ( Jump to 15th Ch. Intro)
BhG-T.14.1 The Lord said: I will again tell (you) the ultimate knowledge – the most profound of (disciplines of) knowledge – knowing which, all the sages (being released by this knowledge) from this (body) have attained the ultimate accomplishment.
śrī-bhagavān uvāca: paraṃ bhūyaḥ pravakṣyāmi jñānānāṃ jñānam uttamam, yaj jñātvā munayaḥ sarve parāṃ siddhim ito gatāḥ.
परं भूयः प्रवक्ष्यामि ज्ञानानां ज्ञानम् उत्तमम्। यज् ज्ञात्वा मुनयः सर्वे परां सिद्धिम् इतो गताः॥
BhG-T.14.2 Following this knowledge (this teaching), they, having attained My same nature (identity with Me, timeless reality), do not arise even at the manifestation (of a new universe), nor fall at the dissolution (of this or succeeding universes).
idaṃ jñānam upāśritya mama sādharmyam āgatāḥ, sarge'pi nopajāyante pralaye na vyathanti ca.
इदं ज्ञानम् उपाश्रित्य मम साधर्म्यम् आगताः।
सर्गेऽपि नोपजायन्ते प्रलये न व्यथन्ति च॥
BhG-T.14.3 My womb ( prakṛti) (is not different from Me, who) is reality (manifesting) as the vast subtle universe ( mahat brahman) (also called Hiraṇya-garbha). Into that ( mahat brahman, as the womb) I implant the seed [ Iśvara is a masculine word and prakṛti is a feminine word, hence, the impregnation metaphor]. From that is the manifestation of all beings, O Arjuna.
mama yonir mahad brahma tasmin garbhaṃ dadhāmy aham, sambhavaḥ sarva-bhūtānāṃ tato bhavati bhārata.
मम योनिर् महद् ब्रह्म तस्मिन् गर्भं दधाम्य् अहम्।
सम्भवः सर्व-भूतानां ततो भवति भारत॥
BhG-T.14.4 O Arjuna, for those forms which arise in all wombs (of gods, humans, etcetera), the (original) womb is mahat brahman (Me). And I am (also) the father who implants the seed (which seed, being existence and conscious being, satyaṃ jñānam, gives prakṛti, nature-womb, the capacity to create).
sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya mūrtayaḥ sambhavanti yāḥ, tāsāṃ brahma mahad yonir ahaṃ bīja-pradaḥ pitā.
सर्व-योनिषु कौन्तेय मूर्तयः सम्भवन्ति याः।
तासां ब्रह्म महद् योनिर् अहं बीज-प्रदः पिता॥
BhG-T.14.5 O Arjuna, the guṇas, which exist in (constitute) prakṛti, are (called) sattva, rajas, and tamas and (they, apparently, like notional ropes) bind the changeless embodied one (the jīva, the kṣetra-jña) into the body.
sattvaṃ rajas tama iti guṇāḥ prakṛti-sambhavāḥ, nibadhnanti mahā-bāho dehe dehinam avyayam.
सत्त्वं रजस् तम इति गुणाः प्रकृति-सम्भवाः।
निबध्नन्ति महा-बाहो दहे देहिनम् अव्ययम्॥
BhG-T.14.6 Among these, sattva – since it is free from impurity – is illuminating and free from affliction – (yet) binds by (one’s) attachment to pleasure and by (one’s) attachment to knowing (attachment/identity is the problem, not the pleasure or knowledge), O Arjuna.
tatra sattvaṃ nir-malatvāt prakāśakam anāmayam, sukha-saṅgena badhnāti jñāna-saṅgena cānagha.
तत्र सत्त्वं निर्-मलत्वात् प्रकाशकम् अनामयम्।
सुख-सङ्गेन बध्नाति ज्ञान-सङ्गेन चानघ॥
BhG-T.14.7 Know rajas, which is of the nature of attraction (being an impurity to the natural clarity of the sāttvika mind – projecting virtues on things that they don’t have), as born of (increased by) longing and attachment. O Arjuna, it binds the embodied one by attachment to activity.
rajo rāgātmakaṃ viddhi tṛṣṇāsaṅga-samudbhavam, tan nibadhnāti kaunteya karma-saṅgena dehinam.
रजो रागात्मकं विद्धि तृष्णासङ्ग-समुद्भवम्।
तन् निबध्नाति कौन्तेय कर्म-सङ्गेन देहिनम्॥
BhG-T.14.8 Whereas, know tamas – for all those identified with their body – as delusion (as the lack of discerning the difference between oneself and objects of desire) born of (perpetuated by) ignorance. It binds by carelessness, laziness, and sleepiness, O Arjuna.
tamas tv ajñāna-jaṃ viddhi mohanaṃ sarva-dehinām, pramādālasya-nidrābhis tan nibadhnāti bhārata.
तमस् त्व् अज्ञान-जं विद्धि मोहनं सर्व-देहिनाम्।
प्रमादालस्य-निद्राभिस् तन् निबध्नाति भारत॥
BhG-T.14.9 O Arjuna, sattva (as though) binds one into pleasure and rajas (as though binds one) into activity, whereas tamas – covering knowledge (by being an impurity to the natural clarity of the sāttvika mind) – indeed (as though) binds one into carelessness.
sattvaṃ sukhe sañjayati rajaḥ karmaṇi bhārata, jñānam āvṛtya tu tamaḥ pramāde sañjayaty uta.
सत्त्वं सुखे सञ्जयति रजः कर्मणि भारत।
ज्ञानम् आवृत्य तु तमः प्रमादे सञ्जयत्य् उत॥
BhG-T.14.10 O Arjuna, sattva (throughout the day and one’s life) arises by overwhelming rajas and tamas. Rajas arises (by overwhelming) sattva and tamas. Similarly, tamas arises (by overwhelming) sattva and rajas.
rajas tamaś cābhibhūya sattvaṃ bhavati bhārata, rajaḥ sattvaṃ tamaś caiva tamaḥ sattvaṃ rajas tathā.
रजस् तमश् चाभिभूय सत्त्वं भवति भारत।
रजः सत्त्वं तमश् चैव तमः सत्त्वं रजस् तथा॥
BhG-T.14.11 When the brightness, which is knowledge, arises in all the sense organs in this body, then one should know indeed that sattva has increased.
sarva-dvāreṣu dehe'smin prakāśa upajāyate, jñānaṃ yadā tadā vidyād vivṛddhaṃ sattvam ity uta.
सर्व-द्वारेषु देहेऽस्मिन् प्रकाश उपजायते।
ज्ञानं यदा तदा विद्याद् विवृद्धं सत्त्वम् इत्य् उत॥
BhG-T.14.12 Greed, (physical) restlessness, karma (action that binds), (mental) restlessness, attraction – these arise when rajas has increased, O Arjuna.
lobhaḥ pravṛttir ārambhaḥ karmaṇām aśamaḥ spṛhā, rajasy etāni jāyante vivṛddhe bharata-rṣabha.
लोभः प्रवृत्तिर् आरम्भः कर्मणाम् अशमः स्पृहा।
रजस्य् एतानि जायन्ते विवृद्धे भरत-र्षभ॥
BhG-T.14.13 Dullness (here described as a darkness over the mind), absence of (physical) activity, carelessness, and delusion – these arise when tamas has increased, O Arjuna.
aprakāśo'pravṛttiś ca pramādo moha eva ca, tamasy etāni jāyante vivṛddhe kuru-nandana.
अप्रकाशोऽप्रवृत्तिश् च प्रमादो मोह एव च।
तमस्य् एतानि जायन्ते विवृद्धे कुरु-नन्दन॥
BhG-T.14.14 But upon sattva being predominant, when an embodied one dies, that one goes to the virtuous worlds of those who know the most exalted (the heavens).
yadā sattve pravṛddhe tu pralayaṃ yāti deha-bhṛt, tadottama-vidāṃ lokān amalān pratipadyate.
यदा सत्त्वे प्रवृद्धे तु प्रलयं याति देह-भृत्।
तदोत्तम-विदां लोकान् अमलान् प्रतिपद्यते॥
BhG-T.14.15 Upon rajas (being predominant), after dying, one is born among those committed to (the results of) actions (born among humans). Similarly, upon tamas (being predominant), having died, one is born in wombs of those who lack discriminative faculties (born among animals, plants, etcetera).
rajasi pralayaṃ gatvā karma-saṅgiṣu jāyate, tathā pralīnas tamasi mūḍha-yoniṣu jāyate.
रजसि प्रलयं गत्वा कर्म-सङ्गिषु जायते।
तथा प्रलीनस् तमसि मूढ-योनिषु जायते॥
BhG-T.14.16 They say that, for virtuous action, the result connected to sattva is being free from impurity; but for rajas (cutting corners to get results) the result is pain; and for tamas, the result is ignorance (the inability to get out of ignorance – birth as an animal, etcetera).
karmaṇaḥ su-kṛtasyāhuḥ sāttvikaṃ nir-malaṃ phalam, rajasas tu phalaṃ duḥkham ajñānaṃ tamasaḥ phalam.
कर्मणः सु-कृतस्याहुः सात्त्विकं निर्-मलं फलम्।
रजसस् तु फलं दुःखम् अज्ञानं तमसः फलम्॥
BhG-T.14.17 From sattva is born knowledge and from rajas is only greed. From tamas are born carelessness and delusion, and also (continuance) in ignorance.
sattvāt sañjāyate jñānaṃ rajaso lobha eva ca, pramāda-mohau tamaso bhavato'jñānam eva ca.
सत्त्वात् सञ्जायते ज्ञानं रजसो लोभ एव च।
प्रमाद-मोहौ तमसो भवतोऽज्ञानम् एव च॥
BhG-T.14.18 Those who live a life (predominantly) of sattva go up (get birth in heaven). Those predominantly rajas stay in the middle (get human birth). Those predominantly tamas, who are situated in the condition of this bottom guṇa, go down (get a lower birth).
ūrdhvaṃ gacchanti sattva-sthā madhye tiṣṭhanti rājasāḥ, jaghanya-guṇa-vṛtta-sthā adho gacchanti tāmasāḥ.
ऊर्ध्वं गच्छन्ति सत्त्व-स्था मध्ये तिष्ठन्ति राजसाः।
जघन्य-गुण-वृत्त-स्था अधो गच्छन्ति तामसाः॥
BhG-T.14.19 When the seer sees (according to the teaching) that there is not a doer other than the guṇas and knows (the self, the seer) as beyond the guṇas, (then) that one attains My nature (called mokṣa).
nānyaṃ guṇebhyaḥ kartāraṃ yadā draṣṭānupaśyati, guṇebhyaś ca paraṃ vetti mad-bhāvaṃ so'dhigacchati.
नान्यं गुणेभ्यः कर्तारं यदा द्रष्टानुपश्यति।
गुणेभ्यश् च परं वेत्ति मद्-भावं सोऽधिगच्छति॥
BhG-T.14.20 Transcending these three guṇas that give rise to the body – and freed from birth, death, ageing, and sorrow (guilt and hurt) – the embodied one attains immortality.
guṇān etān atītya trīn dehī deha-samudbhavān, janma-mṛtyu-jarā-duḥkhair vimukto'mṛtam aśnute.
गुणान् एतान् अतीत्य त्रीन् देही देह-समुद्भवान्।
जन्म-मृत्यु-जरा-दुःखैर् विमुक्तोऽमृतम् अश्नुते॥
BhG-T.14.21 Arjuna said: By what indications is (it known that) one has transcended these three guṇas, O Lord? What is (that one’s) conduct? And how does one transcend these three guṇas?
arjuna uvāca: kair liṅgais trīn guṇān etān atīto bhavati prabho, kim-ācāraḥ kathaṃ caitāṃs trīn guṇān ativartate.
कैर् लिङ्गैस् त्रीन् गुणान् एतान् अतीतो भवति प्रभो। किम्-आचारः कथं चैतांस् त्रीन् गुणान् अतिवर्तते॥
BhG-T.14.22–25 The Lord said: O Arjuna, brightness, (attachment-based) activity, and, indeed, delusion – the one who is not displeased when they wax, nor longs for them when they wane (throughout the day and one’s life); who, remaining seemingly indifferent, is not disturbed by the guṇas; who abides – (knowing) indeed that the guṇas act – and does not waiver (from this knowledge); who is the same in pleasure and pain and abides in the self; for whom a lump of clay, a stone, and gold (are transcended) as the same; for whom the pleasant and the unpleasant are (objectively viewed) the same (way); who is wise; for whom censure and praise of the self are alike (addressing only the mind or body – as the ātmā cannot be flattered nor damaged by any misconception of it); who is the same in respect and disrespect (which express only the others’ understanding and value structure, unrelated to the self); the same regarding the side of a friend or an enemy (seeing neither as friend nor enemy); and who has completely renounced (doership in) all activities – that one is called guṇātīta (beyond the guṇas).
śrī-bhagavān uvāca: prakāśaṃ ca pravṛttiṃ ca moham eva ca pāṇḍava, na dveṣṭi sampravṛttāni na nivṛttāni kāṅkṣati. udāsīnavad āsīno guṇair yo na vicālyate, guṇā vartanta ity eva yo'vatiṣṭhati neṅgate. sama-duḥkha-sukhaḥ sva-sthaḥ sama-loṣṭāśma-kāñcanaḥ, tulya-priyāpriyo dhīras tulya-nindātma-saṃstutiḥ. mānāpamānayos tulyas tulyo mitrāri-pakṣayoḥ, sarvārambha-parityāgī guṇātītaḥ sa ucyate.
प्रकाशं च प्रवृत्तिं च मोहम् एव च पाण्डव। न द्वेष्टि सम्प्रवृत्तानि न निवृत्तानि काङ्क्षति॥ उदासीनवद् आसीनो गुणैर् यो न विचाल्यते। गुणा वर्तन्त इत्य् एव योऽवतिष्ठति नेङ्गते॥ सम-दुःख-सुखः स्व-स्थः सम-लोष्टाश्म-काञ्चनः। तुल्य-प्रियाप्रियो धीरस् तुल्य-निन्दात्म-संस्तुतिः॥ मानापमानयोस् तुल्यस् तुल्यो मित्रारि-पक्षयोः। सर्वारम्भ-परित्यागी गुणातीतः स उच्यते॥
BhG-T.14.26 The one who seeks Me with unswerving devotion (commitment to attain Me through this teaching) – that one transcends these guṇas, becomes fit for being brahman.
māṃ ca yo'vyabhicāreṇa bhakti-yogena sevate, sa guṇān samatītyaitān brahma-bhūyāya kalpate.
मां च योऽव्यभिचारेण भक्ति-योगेन सेवते।
स गुणान् समतीत्यैतान् ब्रह्म-भूयाय कल्पते॥
BhG-T.14.27 Because I (the “I” who is the knower, kṣetra-jña, and is the Lord, Maheśvara) am the basis ( pratiṣṭhā) of (knowing and, thus, of becoming that) brahman – which is deathless, changeless, and ever the same; is dharma (that which supports); is fulfillment; and is unfailing (not subject to negation).
brahmaṇo hi pratiṣṭhāham amṛtasyāvyayasya ca, śāśvatasya ca dharmasya sukhasyaikāntikasya ca.
ब्रह्मणो हि प्रतिष्ठाहम् अमृतस्याव्ययस्य च।
शाश्वतस्य च धर्मस्य सुखस्यैकान्तिकस्य च॥
BhG-T.14. Om ( brahman, the witness of all) is that (only) reality. Thus ends the fourteenth chapter, called “The Topic of the Distinction of the Three Guṇas,” of the (eighteen chapters of) Songs of the Glorious Lord, which is (looked upon as) sacred teaching ( Upaniṣad) and (whose teaching is) in (the form of) a dialogue between Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna, (the subject matter being) knowledge of brahman and yoga.
oṃ tat sat. śrīmad-bhagavad-gītāsūpaniṣatsu brahma-vidyāyāṃ yoga-śāstre śrī-kṛṣṇārjuna-saṃvāde guṇa-traya-vibhāga-yogo nāma catur-daśo'dhyāyaḥ.
ओं तत् सत्। इति श्रीमद्-भगवद्-गीतासूपनिषत्सु ब्रह्म-विद्यायां योग-शास्त्रे श्री-कृष्णार्जुन-संवादे गुण-त्रय-विभाग-योगो नाम चतुर्-दशोऽध्यायः॥
Go to Top ('Home' key on many Windows browsers)
Atha pañca-daśo'dhyāyaḥ (15.1-20)
Fifteenth Chapter Introduction
The Topic of the Being Who Transcends
The fifteenth chapter of the Bhagavad Gītā is a marvelously complete chapter, like the second, the ninth, and the thirteenth. In each of these chapters, the entire Advaita Vedānta teaching is summarized. In chapter 15, the whole universe is presented through the Upaniṣad imagery of the Tree of Saṃsāra. In the Bhagavad Gītā, as in Kaṭha Upaniṣad (which is the source of this imagery), the Tree of Saṃsāra is not an upside-down tree. This common, but mistaken, notion is due to confusion about the meanings of the Sanskrit words “ ūrdhva” and “ adhas.”
In Sanskrit, ūrdhva can mean “up” or it can mean “superior.” Similarly, adhas can mean “down” or “inferior.” In Kaṭha Upaniṣad 6.1 and in the first verse of this chapter, these two words are used in their valuation and cause-effect sense (that is, as superior and inferior), not in their directional sense (up and down). If the meanings are taken as up and down, then the imagery is self-contradictory – since the “downward” secondary roots (see 15.2), which extend from the taproot, would actually be upward if the tree were upside down. (For more about the meanings of ūrdhva and adhas, see The Bhagavad Gita Dictionary, Aruna 2012.)
The taproot of the Tree of Saṃsāra is the a-vyakta brahman – the unsensed, unmanifest source of the seen universe. This a-vyakta brahman does not mutate into the vyakta (manifest) universe at the beginning of each manifestation cycle. Rather, the a-vyakta brahman continues to be while the manifest universe shimmers in our perception of it, like the unseen taproot continuously supports the visible and ever-changing tree.
Quantum physics assists in understanding this imagery. The a-vyakta (unmanifest), the kūṭa-stha (what remains immutable and in the form of deception), is like the quantum soup out of which each observer fixes what each calls “my reality” due to individual observations. This “my reality” is no more real than the perceptions and mentations that fix it. It is limited, ever-changing, and not the definitive truth. But there is truth; it is reality in and of itself. It is not other than the reality of oneself, the only observer – not other than the reality of the a-vyakta, called a-vyakta brahman. This unchanging reality is not in time or space, which are just ingredients in “my reality.” Identification with this shimmering “my reality” – a mutual imposing of natures between the observed and the observer, who wants and expects “my reality” to be as unchanging and real as myself ( ātmā) yet, at the same time, perceives the observed as limiting and impinging on myself (simply because it is perceived as other than myself) – is the source of grief and death. Therefore, the first step in realizing the inherent freedom that is one’s birthright is cutting attachment to this “my reality,” this Tree of Saṃsāra (15.3–4).
Just as this timeless teaching has no fear of sciences, but rather embraces the sciences for what they are, so also does this teaching have no fear of religion. It embraces religion. This is why, in chapter 15, Kṛṣṇa describes this limitless reality as the Lord, which “in-forms” this universe and the individual – nourishing all. The term Lord is used because this reality is not a dead, insentient thing. It is not the insentient pradhāna (unevolved nature) of the later-day Sāṅkhya philosophy, akin to the evolutionary materialism of the immature Western sciences. Rather, it is the source of the singular intelligent energy that modern string theorists cannot hope to describe. It is the real “soup of everything.” The source of intelligent energy we call “the Lord” is infinitely more than what our minds can grasp; it is beyond all words and thoughts – because it is, indeed, none other than one’s self. The limitless being that we can appreciate is but the self – the observer of all limitations, free of all limitations. It is not theory, not belief. ( Jump to 16th Ch. Intro)
BhG-T.15.1 The Lord said: They say of the imperishable Aśvattha tree (peepul tree, the fig tree ficus religiosa) (depicting saṃsāra as that tree) that its (tap-)root is ūrdhva (superior) (grounded out of sight in the a-vyakta brahman, reality as the unmanifest), its branches are adhas (inferior) (within time–space), and its leaves are the Vedas. The one who knows that is one who is a knower of the Veda.
śrī-bhagavān uvāca: ūrdhva-mūlam adhaḥ-śākham aśva-tthaṃ prāhur avyayam, chandāṃsi yasya parṇāni yastaṃ veda sa vedavit.
ऊर्ध्व-मूलम् अधः-शाखम् अश्व-त्थं प्राहुर् अव्ययम्। छन्दांसि यस्य पर्णानि यस् तं वेद स वेद-वित्॥
BhG-T.15.2 Its branches (the bodies) extending adhas (below) (as humans, etcetera) and ūrdhva (above) (as celestial beings) are nourished by the guṇas, and their buds (for new bodies) are the objects (in the world). The adhas (downward) (connected with humans) (secondary) roots spreading out (from the taproot) connect to (past) karma (inciting new karma) in the world of humans.
adhaś cordhvaṃ prasṛtās tasya śākhā guṇa-pravṛddhā viṣaya-pravālāḥ, adhaś ca mūlāny anusantatāni karmānubandhīni manuṣya-loke.
अधश् चोर्ध्वं प्रसृतास् तस्य शाखा गुण-प्रवृद्धा विषय-प्रवालाः।
अधश् च मूलान्य् अनुसन्ततानि कर्मानुबन्धीनि मनुष्य-लोके॥
BhG-T.15.3–4 As (described) here, its essential nature is not perceived – neither its end, beginning, nor middle (all of its perceived substantiality, upon further questioning, dissolves into ephemeral, contingent forms that “exist” only in name, none of which are its essential nature). With a firm ax that is detachment (first) cut (attachment to) this Aśvattha tree whose roots are well entrenched. Then that attainment is to be sought (inquired into), in which, having attained, they (the seekers) do not return again (by making this commitment:) “I surrender to that very puruṣa who is the origin from which this ancient manifestation is projected.”
na rūpam asyeha tathopalabhyate nānto na cādir na ca sampratiṣṭhā, aśva-ttham enaṃ su-virūḍha-mūlam asaṅga-śastreṇa dṛḍhena chittvā. tataḥ padaṃ tat parimārgitavyaṃ yasmin gatā na nivartanti bhūyaḥ, tam eva cādyaṃ puruṣaṃ prapadye yataḥ pravṛttiḥ prasṛtā purāṇī.
न रूपम् अस्येह तथोपलभ्यते नान्तो न चादिर् न च सम्प्रतिष्ठा।
अश्व-त्थम् एनं सु-विरूढ-मूलम् असङ्ग-शस्त्रेण दृढेन छित्त्वा॥ ततः पदं तत् परिमार्गितव्यं यस्मिन् गता न निवर्तन्ति भूयः। तम् एव चाद्यं पुरुषं प्रपद्ये यतः प्रवृत्तिः प्रसृता पुराणी॥
BhG-T.15.5 Free from demanding respect and from delusion, having conquered the fault of attachment, always focused on the (limitless) I, whose requirements have completely gone, freed from the pairs of opposites known as pleasure and pain – those who are undeluded attain that imperishable attainment.
nir-māna-mohā jita-saṅga-doṣā adhy-ātma-nityā vinivṛtta-kāmāḥ, dvandvair vimuktāḥ sukha-duḥkha-saṃjñair gacchanty amūḍhāḥ padam avyayaṃ tat.
निर्-मान-मोहा जित-सङ्ग-दोषा अध्य्-आत्म-नित्या विनिवृत्त-कामाः।
द्वन्द्वैर् विमुक्ताः सुख-दुःख-सञ्ज्ञैर् गच्छन्त्य् अमूढाः पदम् अव्ययं तत्॥
BhG-T.15.6 Neither the sun, nor moon, nor fire illumines that (because that limitless conscious being instead illumines these sources of light) which, having gained, they (the undeluded) do not return. That is the limitless abode of Me.
na tad bhāsayate sūryo na śaśāṅko na pāvakaḥ, yad gatvā na nivartante tad dhāma paramaṃ mama.
न तद् भासयते सूर्यो न शशाङ्को न पावकः।
यद् गत्वा न निवर्तन्ते तद् धाम परमं मम॥
BhG-T.15.7 An aspect of Me alone, eternal and in the form of an individual ( jīva) – within this world having (many such) jīvas – draws (to itself, as the conscious-being-reflected) the (subtle five) senses, with the mind as the sixth, (all of) which abide in nature ( prakṛti).
mamaivāṃśo jīva-loke jīva-bhūtaḥ sanā-tanaḥ, manaḥ-ṣaṣṭhānīndriyāṇi prakṛti-sthāni karṣati.
ममैवांशो जीव-लोके जीव-भूतः सना-तनः।
मनः-षष्ठानीन्द्रियाणि प्रकृति-स्थानि कर्षति॥
BhG-T.15.8 When the Lord (in the form of a jīva) obtains a (gross) body and indeed when that one departs (the body dies), (then) it gathers these (the subtle senses and mind) and departs, like the wind (having gathered) the (subtle) fragrances from their seat (the flowers).
śarīraṃ yad avāpnoti yac cāpy utkrāmatīśvaraḥ, gṛhītvaitāni saṃyāti vāyur gandhān ivāśayāt.
शरीरं यद् अवाप्नोति यच् चाप्य् उत्क्रामतीश्वरः।
गृहीत्वैतानि संयाति वायुर् गन्धान् इवाशयात्॥
BhG-T.15.9 Presiding over (by giving conscious being, satya-jñāna, to the subtle functions of) hearing, vision, touch, taste, and smelling, and the mind, this (Lord, in the form of the individual) experiences the sense objects.
śrotraṃ cakṣuḥ sparśanaṃ ca rasanaṃ ghrāṇam eva ca, adhiṣṭhāya manaś cāyaṃ viṣayān upasevate.
श्रोत्रं चक्षुः स्पर्शनं च रसनं घ्राणम् एव च।
अधिष्ठाय मनश् चायं विषयान् उपसेवते॥
BhG-T.15.10 The deluded do not see (do not understand according to the teaching, the Lord in the form of the individual) who departs or even remains (in the body), who is experiencing and is endowed with the guṇas. Those who have the vision that is this knowledge do see.
utkrāmantaṃ sthitaṃ vāpi bhuñjānaṃ vā guṇānvitam, vimūḍhā nānupaśyanti paśyanti jñāna-cakṣuṣaḥ.
उत्क्रामन्तं स्थितं वापि भुञ्जानं वा गुणान्वितम्।
विमूढा नानुपश्यन्ति पश्यन्ति ज्ञान-चक्षुषः॥
BhG-T.15.11 Also yogīs who strive (who contemplate to remove obstacles to knowing) see this (limitless) one abiding in themselves (in the intellect as the I). Even though striving, those whose minds are not ready and (thus) without a discerning mind do not see it (the limitless I).
yatanto yoginaś cainaṃ paśyanty ātmany avasthitam, yatanto'py akṛtātmāno nainaṃ paśyanty acetasaḥ.
यतन्तो योगिनश् चैनं पश्यन्त्य् आत्मन्य् अवस्थितम्।
यतन्तोऽप्य् अकृतात्मानो नैनं पश्यन्त्य् अचेतसः॥
BhG-T.15.12 The brilliance which, obtaining in the sun, illumines the entire world. Which is in the moon and which is in fire, know that brilliance as Mine.
yad āditya-gataṃ tejo jagad bhāsayate'khilam, yac candramasi yac cāgnau tat tejo viddhi māmakam.
यद् आदित्य-गतं तेजो जगद् भासयतेऽखिलम्।
यच् चन्द्रमसि यच् चाग्नौ तत् तेजो विद्धि मामकम्॥
BhG-T.15.13 Having entered the earth (as the brilliance from the sun), I sustain with My strength all beings. And being the extracted juice in the form of sap (from the earth), I nourish all plants (hence, I am the food).
gām āviśya ca bhūtāni dhārayāmy aham ojasā, puṣṇāmi cauṣadhīḥ sarvāḥ somo bhūtvā rasātmakaḥ.
गाम् आविश्य च भूतानि धारयाम्य् अहम् ओजसा।
पुष्णामि चौषधीः सर्वाः सोमो भूत्वा रसात्मकः॥
BhG-T.15.14 Being the digestive fire, obtaining in the body of living beings, and united with (stoked by) exhalation and inhalation, I cook (inside the body) the four kinds of food (drunk, chewed, licked or sucked – offered via throat, teeth, tongue or lips).
ahaṃ vaiśvā-naro bhūtvā prāṇināṃ deham āśritaḥ, prāṇāpāna-samāyuktaḥ pacāmy annaṃ catur-vidham.
अहं वैश्वा-नरो भूत्वा प्राणिनां देहम् आश्रितः।
प्राणापान-समायुक्तः पचाम्य् अन्नं चतुर्-विधम्॥
BhG-T.15.15 And I am present (as the conscious being) in everyone’s intellect (energized by Me as the digested food). From Me are memory, knowledge, and forgetting (a necessity for dropping invalid notions). I alone am to be known through all the Vedas. I alone am the author of the Vedas (including their Vedānta), and the one who comes to know the Vedas.
sarvasya cāhaṃ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṃ ca, vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyo vedānta-kṛd veda-vid eva cāham.
सर्वस्य चाहं हृदि सन्निविष्टो मत्तः स्मृतिर् ज्ञानम् अपोहनं च।
वेदैश् च सर्वैर् अहम् एव वेद्यो वेदान्त-कृद् वेद-विद् एव चाहम्॥
BhG-T.15.16 Within the world, there are two puruṣas (two aspects of the puruṣa:) the perishable and the imperishable. All beings (all things) are the perishable, and kūṭa-stha (what remains immutable and in the form of deception) (the a-vyakta or māyā) is called the imperishable.
dvāv imau puruṣau loke kṣaraś cākṣara eva ca, kṣaraḥ sarvāṇi bhūtāni kūṭa-stho'kṣara ucyate.
द्वाव् इमौ पुरुषौ लोके क्षरश् चाक्षर एव च।
क्षरः सर्वाणि भूतानि कूट-स्थोऽक्षर उच्यते॥
BhG-T.15.17 Whereas, there is another uttama (transcendent) puruṣa (that includes the other two) called Paramātmā (the limitless self), who is the changeless Lord that, pervading the three worlds, sustains (all this which is this perishable and imperishable).
uttamaḥ puruṣas tv anyaḥ paramātmety udāhṛtaḥ, yo loka-trayam āviśya bibharty avyaya īśvaraḥ.
उत्तमः पुरुषस् त्व् अन्यः परमात्मेत्य् उदाहृतः।
यो लोक-त्रयम् आविश्य बिभर्त्य् अव्यय ईश्वरः॥
BhG-T.15.18 Because I am beyond the perishable ( puruṣa) and also uttama (transcendent) even to the imperishable ( puruṣa), therefore, among people (in popular literature) and in the Veda, I am renowned as Puruṣottama (the being who transcends).
yasmāt kṣaram atīto'ham akṣarād api cottamaḥ, ato'smi loke vede ca prathitaḥ puruṣottamaḥ.
यस्मात् क्षरम् अतीतोऽहम् अक्षराद् अपि चोत्तमः।
अतोऽस्मि लोके वेदे च प्रथितः पुरुषोत्तमः॥
BhG-T.15.19 Being without delusion (through this teaching), the one who thus knows (the meaning of) Me as Puruṣottama – that one becomes the knower of all (by knowing Me, the reality of all), and (thus) attains Me, because of being (identical to the Lord, to the) all, O Arjuna.
yo mām evam asaṃmūḍho jānāti puruṣottamam, sa sarva-vid bhajati māṃ sarva-bhāvena bhārata.
यो माम् एवम् असम्मूढो जानाति पुरुषोत्तमम्।
स सर्व-विद् भजति मां सर्व-भावेन भारत॥
BhG-T.15.20 Thus, I have told this most secret (in terms of sanctity, value, and by appearing to be difficult to understand) teaching, O Sinless One. Knowing this, one becomes one who has (made best use of one’s) intellect and has done what is to be done, O Arjuna.
iti guhyatamaṃ śāstram idam uktaṃ mayānagha, etad buddhvā buddhimān syāt kṛta-kṛtyaś ca bhārata.
इति गुह्यतमं शास्त्रम् इदम् उक्तं मयानघ।
एतद् बुद्ध्वा बुद्धिमान् स्यात् कृत-कृत्यश् च भारत॥
BhG-T.15. Om ( brahman, the witness of all) is that (only) reality. Thus ends the fifteenth chapter, called “The Topic of the Being Who Transcends,” of the (eighteen chapters of) Songs of the Glorious Lord, which is (looked upon as) sacred teaching ( Upaniṣad) and (whose teaching is) in (the form of) a dialogue between Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna, (the subject matter being) knowledge of brahman and yoga.
oṃ tat sat. iti śrīmad-bhagavad-gītāsūpaniṣatsu brahma-vidyāyāṃ yoga-śāstre śrī-kṛṣārjuna-saṃvāde puruṣottama-yogo nāma pañca-daśo'dhyāyaḥ.
ओं तत् सत्। इति श्रीमद्-भगवद्-गीतासूपनिषत्सु ब्रह्म-विद्यायां योग-शास्त्रे श्री-कृष्णार्जुन-संवादे पुरुषोत्तम-योगो नाम पञ्च-दशोऽध्यायः॥
Go to Top ('Home' key on many Windows browsers)
Atha ṣoḍaśo'dhyāyaḥ (16.1-24)
Sixteenth Chapter Introduction
The Topic of the Distinction Between Worthy and Unworthy Dispositions
In this chapter, Lord Kṛṣṇa returns to distinguishing appropriate and inappropriate attitudes and behaviors, using the two terms daiva and āsura (see 9.12–13), meaning worthy and unworthy, instead of using the three guṇas. This change of categorization terminology brings up an important point: The teaching of Advaita Vedānta, unlike many philosophies and religions, has no interest in simply categorizing attitudes and behaviors, simply assigning names to various forms of thinking, behaving, or being. Rather, the ultimate purpose in categorizing is to direct us to see beyond names and forms, to appreciate the unchanging, underlying reality. If there are attitudes and behaviors that are helpful or not in bringing about this appreciation, they are indicated. It is not to praise or condemn them, but to point to their possible importance in gaining appreciation of the reality of oneself and the world. Once reality is appreciated for what it is, all these categories drop their significance. None of these categories are ultimate or absolute divisions in the final analysis.
The lack of importance in the naming and categorizing of things shows in the various ways for unfolding the vision of reality seen in Vedānta, in the Upaniṣads. For example, the creation or evolution of divisions in the world being not ultimately real, different teachers in the different Upaniṣads describe the apparent creation of the universe variously as coming from sat (reality), from a-sat (the unmanifest), from brahman (another word for reality, and for the Lord), from ātmā (oneself, the limitless self), from prāṇa (subtle being), etcetera. All these creation descriptions are only as if, temporary explanations for the student who believes the world is real to eventually reveal that these are just so many words and words, and that the reality of the student alone is the reality of these words, of this universe of words and their apparent divisions.
This one unchanging reality is also pointed out variously using different terms: as brahman, Īś (meaning Īśvara, the Lord), and ātmā that reference this one reality in terms of itself, the universe, and oneself, respectively. Moreover, the term for reality, brahman, is used interchangeably with Īśvara and ātmā; the term for the Lord, Īśvara, with brahman or ātmā (see 15.8); and the term for the reality of oneself, ātmā, with brahman, Īśvara, deva (shining one, deity), and so on.
Similar is the various categorizations of reality in this teaching, depending on the perspective towards the one reality that one is assuming for the moment. One can temporarily assume two levels of reality: the real and the unreal ( sat and a-sat); or three: the absolute, objective, and imaginary ( pāramārthika, vyāvahārika, and prātibhāsika).
In the Bhagavad Gītā, karma-yoga is taught specifically to move the individual’s identity from predominately prātibhāsika (too much subjectivity and self-importance) to vyāvahārika (more objectivity, more Īśvara in one’s life), and, eventually, to pāramārthika (that one is that Īśvara, the only reality); whereas sāṅkhya (the knowledge of reality introduced in the second chapter, see 2.39) assumes the individual is already reasonably objective and attempts to move the individual’s identity from vyāvahārika to pāramārthika, from the changing a-sat to the unchanging sat.
This switching of terminology and perspective is a method employed in the Advaita Vedānta teaching tradition to clarify one’s understanding of reality from every perspective, deterring just memorization of categories. But, to be effective, the method requires a teacher who knows the whole methodology and who has fully benefited from the teaching. The teaching tradition is for passing on this knowledge fully and faithfully to future teachers: oneself re-teaching oneself during situational backslides into habitual thinking and behaviors, as well as passing on this teaching methodology to future generations. ( Jump to 17th Ch. Intro)
BhG-T.16.1–3 The Lord said: Freedom from fear, purity of mind, steadiness in (commitment to) knowledge and its contemplation, charity, mastery over (the ways of) behavior, performing (daily) yajña (prayers, etcetera), reciting to oneself the Veda texts, prayerful discipline, straightforwardness, harmlessness, truthfulness, resolution of anger, renunciation, clarity, a-paiśuna (not exposing defects of one person to another), compassion toward living beings, a-loluptva (absence of agitation of the senses in the presence of objects), gentleness, modesty, absence of (meaningless) physical agitation,; brilliance (expressed as self-confidence), accommodation (patience and understanding), resolve, cleanliness, absence of malice, and absence of demanding respect from others – these are there for one born to the wealth of a deva (worthy person), O Arjuna.
śrī-bhagavān uvāca: abhayaṃ sattva-saṃśuddhir jñāna-yoga-vyavasthitiḥ, dānaṃ damaś ca yajñaś ca svādhyāyas tapa ārjavam. ahiṃsā satyam akrodhas tyāgaḥ śāntir apaiśunam, dayā bhūteṣv aloluptvaṃ mārdavaṃ hrīr acāpalam. tejaḥ kṣamā dhṛtiḥ śaucam adroho nātimānitā, bhavanti sampadaṃ daivīm abhijātasya bhārata.
अभयं सत्त्व-संशुद्धिर् ज्ञान-योग-व्यवस्थितिः। दानं दमश् च यज्ञश् च स्वाध्यायस् तप आर्जवम्॥ अहिंसा सत्यम् अक्रोधस् त्यागः शान्तिर् अपैशुनम्। दया भूतेष्व् अलोलुप्त्वं मार्दवं ह्रीर् अचापलम्॥ तेजः क्षमा धृतिः शौचम् अद्रोहो नातिमानिता। भवन्ति सम्पदं दैवीम् अभिजातस्य भारत॥
BhG-T.16.4 O Arjuna, hypocrisy, arrogance (not understanding the factors responsible for what one has, thinking “I am responsible for these”), demanding respect from others, anger, harshness, and lack of discernment – these are there for one born to the wealth of an asura (unworthy person).
dambho darpo'timānaś ca krodhaḥ pāruṣyam eva ca, ajñānaṃ cābhijātasya pārtha sampadam āsurīm.
दम्भो दर्पोऽभिमानश् च क्रोधः पारुष्यम् एव च।
अज्ञानं चाभिजातस्य पार्थ सम्पदम् आसुरीम्॥
BhG-T.16.5 The wealth (the disposition) of a deva (worthy person) is considered to lead to freedom and of an asura (unworthy person) to bondage. Do not worry; you are born to the wealth of a deva, O Arjuna.
daivī sampad vimokṣāya nibandhāyāsurī matā, mā śucaḥ sampadaṃ daivīm abhijāto'si pāṇḍava.
दैवी सम्पद् विमोक्षाय निबन्धायासुरी मता।
मा शुचः सम्पदं दैवीम् अभिजातोऽसि पाण्डव॥
BhG-T.16.6 In this world, there are two manifestations of (human) beings – the daiva (the worthy, who go with dharma) and the āsura (the unworthy, who fight against dharma). O Arjuna, the worthy has been told in detail. (Now) listen to Me about the unworthy.
dvau bhūta-sargau loke'smin daiva āsura eva ca, daivo vistaraśaḥ prokta āsuraṃ pārtha me śṛṇu.
द्वौ भूत-सर्गौ लोकेऽस्मिन् दैव आसुर एव च।
दैवो विस्तरशः प्रोक्त आसुरं पार्थ मे शृणु॥
BhG-T.16.7 People who are unworthy do not know (adaptive) pursuit or (adaptive) withdrawal. In them there is no (inner) cleanliness, no (adaptive) conduct nor truth.
pravṛttiṃ ca nivṛttiṃ ca janā na vidur āsurāḥ, na śaucaṃ nāpi cācāro na satyaṃ teṣu vidyate.
प्रवृत्तिं च निवृत्तिं च जना न विदुर् आसुराः।
न शौचं नापि चाचारो न सत्यं तेषु विद्यते॥
BhG-T.16.8 They say that people are untruthful (because they themselves are untruthful), are without (an ethical) basis (because they are without one), are godless (because they are), and are born of mutual union (of male and female) due to lust (not due to their karma-phala, not the reward for their societal and personal duty) and nothing else.
asatyam apratiṣṭhaṃ te jagad āhur anīśvaram, aparas-para-sambhūtaṃ kim anyat kāma-haitukam.
असत्यम् अप्रतिष्ठं ते जगद् आहुर् अनीश्वरम्।
अपरस्-पर-सम्भूतं किम् अन्यत् काम-हैतुकम्॥
BhG-T.16.9 Having recourse to this view (where there is no personal responsibility toward others or for oneself), (thus) whose intellects are lost, (thus) whose minds are limited (to sense pursuits), who are of cruel actions – these enemies are set for destroying the world.
etāṃ dṛṣṭim avaṣṭabhya naṣṭātmāno'lpa-buddhayaḥ, prabhavanty ugra-karmāṇaḥ kṣayāya jagato'hitāḥ.
एतां दृष्टिम् अवष्टभ्य नष्टात्मानोऽल्प-बुद्धयः।
प्रभवन्त्य् उग्र-कर्माणः क्षयाय जगतोऽहिताः॥
BhG-T.16.10 Taking to desire that is insatiable; filled with hypocrisy, demands for respect, and with arrogance; assuming improper understandings due to delusion; and with unworthy vows, they keep going (in saṃsāra).
kāmam āśritya duṣ-pūraṃ dambha-māna-madānvitāḥ, mohād gṛhītvāsad-grāhān pravartante'śuci-vratāḥ.
कामम् आश्रित्य दुष्-पूरं दम्भ-मान-मदान्विताः।
मोहाद् गृहीत्वासद्-ग्राहान् प्रवर्तन्तेऽशुचि-व्रताः॥
BhG-T.16.11–12 Committed to innumerable worries (over their possessions), which last till death; having consumption of objects of desire as the ultimate; having concluded that (life) is “only this much” (having a philosophy that life is only for consumption); bound by hundreds of fetters that are anticipations; having as their goal (more and more exaggerated) requirements and anger (to control others) – they engage in accumulating wealth for the enjoyment of objects of desire through inappropriate means.
cintām aparimeyāṃ ca pralayāntām upāśritāḥ, kāmopabhoga-paramā etāvad iti niścitāḥ. āśā-pāśa-śatair baddhāḥ kāma-krodha-parāyaṇāḥ, īhante kāma-bhogārtham anyāyenārtha-sañcayān.
चिन्ताम् अपरिमेयां च प्रलयान्ताम् उपाश्रिताः।
कामोपभोग-परमा एतावद् इति निश्चिताः॥ आशा-पाश-शतैर् बद्धाः काम-क्रोध-परायणाः। ईहन्ते काम-भोगार्थम् अन्यायेनार्थ-सञ्चयान्॥
BhG-T.16.13 (Boasting) “Today I have gained this, and I will acquire this fanciful object (tomorrow). This (wealth I have) now, and this (other) wealth also will be mine.”
idam adya mayā labdham idaṃ prāpsye mano-ratham, idam astīdam api me bhaviṣyati punar dhanam.
इदम् अद्य मया लब्धम् इदं प्राप्स्ये मनो-रथम्।
इदम् अस्तीदम् अपि मे भविष्यति पुनर् धनम्॥
BhG-T.16.14 “I have destroyed this enemy, and others I will also destroy. I am the ruler. I am the enjoyer. I am successful, powerful, and happy.”
asau mayā hataḥ śatrur haniṣye cāparān api, īśvaro'ham ahaṃ bhogī siddho'haṃ balavān sukhī.
असौ मया हतः शत्रुर् हनिष्ये चापरान् अपि।
ईश्वरोऽहम् अहं भोगी सिद्धोऽहं बलवान् सुखी॥
BhG-T.16.15 “I am wealthy and have an exalted family. Who is there the equal of me! I will perform rituals, I will give, I will enjoy.” Thus those (boast) who are variously lacking in discernment due to ignorance (of dharma and a-dharma, much less of ātmā).
āḍhyo'bhijanavān asmi ko'nyo'sti sa-dṛśo mayā, yakṣye dāsyāmi modiṣya ity ajñāna-vimohitāḥ.
आढ्योऽभिजनवान् अस्मि कोऽन्योऽस्ति स-दृशो मया।
यक्ष्ये दास्यामि मोदिष्य इत्य् अज्ञान-विमोहिताः॥
BhG-T.16.16 Variously deluded by many (such) thoughts, enveloped by a net of delusion, attached to the objects of desire (thus compromising on the means to attain these, they accumulate pāpa, karma demerit), and so they fall into an unworthy hell (until the next bad birth).
aneka-citta-vibhrāntā moha-jāla-samāvṛtāḥ, prasaktāḥ kāma-bhogeṣu patanti narake'śucau.
प्रसक्ताः काम-भोगेषु पतन्ति नरकेऽशुचौ॥
BhG-T.16.17 Honored only by themselves, pompous (unable to bow to anyone), filled with demands for respect, and arrogant because of wealth, they sacrifice with rituals that are in name only (since they are done) out of hypocrisy (not faith, śraddhā), and not in accordance to injunction.
ātma-sambhāvitāḥ stabdhā dhana-māna-madānvitāḥ, yajante nāma-yajñais te dambhenāvidhi-pūrvakam.
आत्म-सम्भाविताः स्तब्धा धन-मान-मदान्विताः।
यजन्ते नाम-यज्ञैस् ते दम्भेनाविधि-पूर्वकम्॥
BhG-T.16.18–19 Those who are given to (an exaggerated) self-opinion, power, arrogance, desirable objects, and anger; despising Me in their own and in others’ bodies; and cynical – those hateful, cruel, lowest among people, who do ugly deeds – I continually toss (according to their karma) into (the many) paths of existence consisting of (only) demonic wombs (births as frightening creatures).
ahaṅkāraṃ balaṃ darpaṃ kāmaṃ krodhaṃ ca saṃśritāḥ, mām ātma-para-deheṣu pradviṣanto'bhyasūyakāḥ. tān ahaṃ dviṣataḥ krūrān saṃsāreṣu narādhamān, kṣipāmy ajasram aśubhān āsurīṣv eva yoniṣu.
अहङ्कारं बलं दर्पं कामं क्रोधं च संश्रिताः।
माम् आत्म-पर-देहेषु प्रद्विषन्तोऽभ्यसूयकाः॥ तान् अहं द्विषतः क्रूरान् संसारेषु नराधमान्। क्षिपाम्य् अजस्रम् अशुभान् आसुरीष्व् एव योनिषु॥
BhG-T.16.20 O Arjuna, those lacking discernment, falling into a demonic womb in birth after birth, of course, having not attained Me – they (may) go from there (all the way) to the lowest end.
āsurīṃ yonim āpannā mūḍhā janmani janmani, mām aprāpyaiva kaunteya tato yānty adhamāṃ gatim
आसुरीं योनिम् आपन्ना मूढा जन्मनि जन्मनि।
माम् अप्राप्यैव कौन्तेय ततो यान्त्य् अधमां गतिम्॥
BhG-T.16.21 Desire (requiring), anger, and greed: This is the threefold gate of hell (of painful experience), which is the loss of oneself (a destruction of a mind able to pursue a worthy existence). Therefore, one should give up this triad (by this teaching).
tri-vidhaṃ narakasyedaṃ dvāraṃ nāśanam ātmanaḥ, kāmaḥ krodhas tathā lobhas tasmād etat trayaṃ tyajet.
त्रि-विधं नरकस्येदं द्वारं नाशनम् आत्मनः।
कामः क्रोधस् तथा लोभस् तस्माद् एतत् त्रयं त्यजेत्॥
BhG-T.16.22 O Arjuna, being freed from these three gates to darkness (to further lack of discernment), one follows what is good for oneself. Thereupon, that one gains a better end (even all the way to complete freedom, mokṣa).
etair vimuktaḥ kaunteya tamo-dvārais tribhir naraḥ, ācaraty ātmanaḥ śreyas tato yāti parāṃ gatim.
एतैर् विमुक्तः कौन्तेय तमो-द्वारैस् त्रिभिर् नरः।
आचरत्य् आत्मनः श्रेयस् ततो याति परां गतिम्॥
BhG-T.16.23 The one who, casting away the scriptural injunctions (regarding what is dharma and a-dharma, appropriate and inappropriate), acts out of the pressure of requiring – that one does not attain success (maturity), nor happiness (in this life), nor a better end.
yaḥ śāstra-vidhim utsṛjya vartate kāma-kārataḥ, na sa siddhim avāpnoti na sukhaṃ na parāṃ gatim.
यः शास्त्र-विधिम् उत्सृज्य वर्तते काम-कारतः।
न स सिद्धिम् अवाप्नोति न सुखं न परां गतिम्॥
BhG-T.16.24 Therefore, in the determination of what is to be done and not to be done, the scripture is your pramāṇa (means of knowledge). Knowing what is said by the scripture as an injunction, you ought to do your duty here (as a human being capable of choice, follow dharma).
tasmāc chāstraṃ pramāṇaṃ te kāryākārya-vyavasthitau, jñātvā śāstra-vidhānoktaṃ karma kartum ihārhasi.
तस्माच् छास्त्रं प्रमाणं ते कार्याकार्य-व्यवस्थितौ।
ज्ञात्वा शास्त्र-विधानोक्तं कर्म कर्तुम् इहार्हसि॥
BhG-T.16. Om ( brahman, the witness of all) is that (only) reality. Thus ends the sixteenth chapter, called “The Topic of the Distinction between Worthy and Unworthy Dispositions,” of the (eighteen chapters of) Songs of the Glorious Lord, which is (looked upon as) sacred teaching ( Upaniṣad) and (whose teaching is) in (the form of) a dialogue between Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna, (the subject matter being) knowledge of brahman and yoga.
oṃ tat sat. śrīmad-bhagavad-gītāsūpaniṣatsu brahma-vidyāyāṃ yoga-śāstre śrī-kṛṣṇārjuna-saṃvāde daiva-asura-sampad-vibhāga-yogo nāma ṣo-ḍaśo'dhyāyaḥ.
ओं तत् सत्। इति श्रीमद्-भगवद्-गीतासूपनिषत्सु ब्रह्म-विद्यायां योग-शास्त्रे श्री-कृष्णार्जुन-संवादे दैवासुर-सम्पद्-विभाग-योगो नाम षो-डशोऽध्यायः॥
Go to Top ('Home' key on many Windows browsers)
Atha sapta-daśo'dhyāyaḥ (17.1-28)
Seventeenth Chapter Introduction
The Topic of the Distinction of the Three
Chapter seventeen is mostly about śraddhā – a positive and receptive ( sāttvika) attitude toward learning and life. It is also about the importance of accepting particular universal concepts and facts of reality that are helpful to the development of spiritual maturity. These universal concepts (such as the existence of karma or of heaven) and facts (such as oneself being none other than the limitless existence, brahman) cannot be established by reason – but they are not against reason. Reason based on perceptions cannot prove or disprove what cannot in anyway be perceived or tested (heaven, brahman). However, reason can help us understand the concepts and facts, introduced by scripture teaching, that are outside of sense perception.
Let us assume a person has trust in the teaching that the individual can exist in some way before and after this life. Reason cannot establish this, but once accepted on trust, it can be seen as reasonable, in that it is not unlike the cycling of heavenly and hellish experiences we all have survived in this life that we know in some small or great way we deserved or could not avoid. This acceptance of a continuance of life, and its assumption based on universal karma (cause and effect, potentials created that can fructify much later), provides an objective basis for understanding how my and other’s life is like it is, instead of basing these on sectarian morality, on simple mechanical causality, or on chaotic blind chance.
This objective, universal basis that spans this one life, as well as before and after this life, allows us to take a long-term approach to understanding and making choices in life. Such a long-term approach provides an objective and healthy balance to our whatever-I-can-get-away-with tendencies in life choices and to the why-me responses we have toward painful episodes.
In this short life it is not possible to perceive, and hence confidently infer, karma, heaven, or the limitless nature of oneself. In order to be as doubtless and confident in these concepts and facts as we are doubtless and confident in our sense perceptions, we must consider that there should be a separate means for knowing these with certainty. That means of knowing is here called scripture ( śruti). Śraddhā (trust) in this śruti allows us to yield the full benefits of its resulting understandings of life and the world – because these understandings are taken as being as valid as sense perceptions. But if we only halfway believe in karma and heaven, then, when in crisis, we might lack confidence and spiritual maturity in the face of these situations.
With full śraddhā, we can remain unshaken during the unavoidable highs and lows of life. But these beliefs, unlike the fact of one’s limitless nature, must be recognized as beliefs, as possibly as much a myth as any other myth (for example, that there definitely are no heavens or hells, no life prior to this life, etcetera). The real value of the beliefs one accepts is in the maturity of their resulting world view that they provide you.
On one hand, we have gathered in our life opinions based on current pop culture. Yet we know they can be contradicted next week, next year, next government, next decade, next century. These opinions may have benefited some people, but on what basis does one assume that they will benefit my life? Or that they will benefit me later on in my life when I know more than I do now?
On the other hand, we have traditional teachings, perhaps as mythical as the opinions from pop culture, yet we know those teachings must have benefited people throughout their life in some way for countless generations to have survived thousands of years. If those teachings have accumulated and developed over thousands of years and are not just an old frozen document, and if those teachings are about the common human condition and are about topics that modern science has no access, then in whom should you trust?
An intelligent seeker of truth ought not to blindly accept what any teacher says. Rather, the seeker asks questions in order to discern the validity and benefit of what is being taught. To whom should I surrender my śraddhā and my life? Are there half-truths, nonsense, or unintended consequences in these beliefs? These are the concerns of an intelligent seeker of truth. Our śraddhā should always be intelligent, always be sāttvika. ( Jump to 18th Ch. Intro)
BhG-T.17.1 Arjuna said: O Kṛṣṇa, those who perform ritual, casting away scriptural injunction yet being endowed with śraddhā (trust in this teaching) – what is their disposition? Sattva, rajas, or tamas?
arjuna uvāca: ye śāstra-vidhim utsṛjya yajante śrad-dhayānvitāḥ, teṣāṃ niṣṭhā tu kā kṛṣṇa sattvam āho rajas tamaḥ.
ये शास्त्र-विधिम् उत्सृज्य यजन्ते श्रद्-धयान्विताः। तेषां निष्ठा तु का कृष्ण सत्त्वम् आहो रजस् तमः॥
BhG-T.17.2 The Lord said: For embodied ones (for humans) that śraddhā (expressed here as value structure and attitude toward life), born of one’s nature (from the mind’s latent tendency), is threefold: predominately sattva, predominately rajas, and predominately tamas. Listen about these.
śrī-bhagavān uvāca: tri-vidhā bhavati śrad-dhā dehināṃ sā sva-bhāva-jā, sāttvikī rājasī caiva tāmasī ceti tāṃ śṛṇu.
त्रि-विधा भवति श्रद्-धा देहिनां सा स्व-भाव-जा। सात्त्विकी राजसी चैव तामसी चेति तां शृणु॥
BhG-T.17.3 Everyone’s śraddhā is in keeping with their mind (with its specific, latent tendencies), O Arjuna. The person (one’s whole life) is permeated by that śraddhā. Whatever is one’s śraddhā (whatever it conforms to) that one is (lives).
sattvānurūpā sarvasya śrad-dhā bhavati bhārata, śrad-dhāmayo'yaṃ puruṣo yo yac-chrad-dhaḥ sa eva saḥ.
सत्त्वानुरूपा सर्वस्य श्रद्-धा भवति भारत।
श्रद्-धामयोऽयं पुरुषो यो यच्-छ्रद्-धः स एव सः॥
BhG-T.17.4 The predominately sattva worship the deities; the predominately rajas worship the yakṣas and rakṣas-es (protectors and stealers of wealth); and other people, who are predominately tamas, worship ghosts and the hosts of (harmful) spirits.
yajante sāttvikā devān yakṣa-rakṣāṃsi rājasāḥ, pretān bhūta-gaṇāṃś cānye yajante tāmasā janāḥ.
यजन्ते सात्त्विका देवान् यक्ष-रक्षांसि राजसाः।
प्रेतान् भूत-गणांश् चान्ये यजन्ते तामसा जनाः॥
BhG-T.17.5–6 Those people (predominately rajas or tamas) who are riddled with hypocrisy and an exaggerated self-opinion, filled with the pressure of requiring/anticipating and attraction, are nondiscerning, who perform gruesome (to themselves and to other creatures) tapas (religious disciplines) not enjoined in the scripture, who emaciate the elements (the organs) of the body and Me also who is attaining in the body (in that they rub against My teaching, My laws) – know them to be ones whose convictions are unworthy.
aśāstra-vihitaṃ ghoraṃ tapyante ye tapo janāḥ, dambhāhaṅkāra-saṃyuktāḥ kāma-rāga-balānvitāḥ. karśayantaḥ śarīra-sthaṃ bhūta-grāmam acetasaḥ, māṃ caivāntaḥ-śarīra-sthaṃ tān viddhy āsura-niścayān.
अशास्त्र-विहितं घोरं तप्यन्ते ये तपो जनाः।
दम्भाहङ्कार-संयुक्ताः काम-राग-बलान्विताः॥ कर्शयन्तः शरीर-स्थं भूत-ग्रामम् अचेतसः। मां चैवान्तः-शरीर-स्थं तान् विद्ध्य् आसुर-निश्चयान्॥
BhG-T.17.7 Food also, for everyone, is favored threefold; similarly is ritual, religious discipline, and charity. Listen to this their difference.
āhāras tv api sarvasya tri-vidho bhavati priyaḥ, yajñas tapas tathā dānaṃ teṣāṃ bhedam imaṃ śṛṇu.
आहारस् त्व् अपि सर्वस्य त्रि-विधो भवति प्रियः।
यज्ञस् तपस् तथा दानं तेषां भेदम् इमं शृणु॥
BhG-T.17.8 Foods that increase longevity, mental clarity, strength, health, pleasure (in taste), and satisfaction (visually or physically); that are tasty, oily, long lasting (in the body), and pleasing to the mind are (said to be) a favorite of one predominately sattva.
āyuḥ-sattva-balārogya-sukha-prīti-vivardhanāḥ, rasyāḥ snigdhāḥ sthirā hṛdyā āhārāḥ sāttvika-priyāḥ.
रस्याः स्निग्धाः स्थिरा हृद्या आहाराः सात्त्विक-प्रियाः॥
BhG-T.17.9 Foods that are (too) pungent, sour, salty, spicy hot, bitter, astringent, or burning and that give pain, sorrow, and disease are (said to be) a favorite of one predominately rajas.
kaṭv-amla-lavaṇātyuṣṇa-tīkṣṇa-rūkṣa-vidāhinaḥ, āhārā rājasasyeṣṭā duḥkha-śokāmaya-pradāḥ.
आहारा राजसस्येष्टा दुःख-शोकामय-प्रदाः॥
BhG-T.17.10 Food whose occasion (to be eaten) has elapsed, that is without taste, stinking (for example, liquor, meat, etcetera), stale, is scrap (from another’s plate), or not fit to be offered (is said to be) a favorite of one predominately tamas.
yāta-yāmaṃ gata-rasaṃ pūti paryuṣitaṃ ca yat, ucchiṣṭam api cāmedhyaṃ bhojanaṃ tāmasa-priyam.
यात-यामं गत-रसं पूति पर्युषितं च यत्।
उच्छिष्टम् अपि चामेध्यं भोजनं तामस-प्रियम्॥
BhG-T.17.11 A ritual ( yajña) known through (followed according to) the scripture, which is performed by those who do not require/anticipate its result with the resolve that it is “simply to be done as a worship” is predominately sattva.
aphalākāṅkṣibhir yajño vidhi-dṛṣṭo ya ijyate, yaṣṭavyam eveti manaḥ samādhāya sa sāttvikaḥ.
अफलाकाङ्क्षिभिर् यज्ञो विधि-दृष्टो य इज्यते।
यष्टव्यम् एवेति मनः समाधाय स सात्त्विकः॥
BhG-T.17.12 Whereas, O Arjuna, whatever (ritual) is performed having as its purpose its result or indeed only out of hypocrisy – know that ritual to be predominately rajas.
abhisandhāya tu phalaṃ dambhārtham api caiva yat, ijyate bharata-śreṣṭha taṃ yajñaṃ viddhi rājasam.
अभिसन्धाय तु फलं दम्भार्थम् अपि चैव यत्।
इज्यते भरत-श्रेष्ठ तं यज्ञं विद्धि राजसम्॥
BhG-T.17.13 A ritual without (or against) scriptural injunction, in which no food is distributed, without mantra ( Veda aphorism) (or defective in its accent or utterance), without (proper) dakṣiṇā (wealth given as appropriate to the person’s function), and without faith – they call predominately tamas.
vidhi-hīnam asṛṣṭānnaṃ mantra-hīnam adakṣiṇam, śrad-dhā-virahitaṃ yajñaṃ tāmasaṃ paricakṣate.
विधि-हीनम् असृष्टान्नं मन्त्र-हीनम् अदक्षिणम्।
श्रद्-धा-विरहितं यज्ञं तामसं परिचक्षते॥
BhG-T.17.14 Tapas (religious discipline) pertaining to the body is said to be the honoring of deities (the intelligent order present in the forces of nature), of those initiated into scriptural study, and of teachers and scholars, cleanliness, straightforwardness (of thought, word, and deed), a life of studentship to the Vedas (for the unwed, it also implies chastity), and harmlessness.
deva-dvija-guru-prājña-pūjanaṃ śaucam ārjavam, brahma-caryam ahiṃsā ca śārīraṃ tapa ucyate.
देव-द्विज-गुरु-प्राज्ञ-पूजनं शौचम् आर्जवम्।
ब्रह्म-चर्यम् अहिंसा च शारीरं तप उच्यते॥
BhG-T.17.15 Tapas in the form of speech is said to be speech that is not agitating, is truthful, and both pleasant (now) and beneficial (later for the other person), as well as reciting to oneself the Veda texts (daily, in the prescribed manner).
anudvega-karaṃ vākyaṃ satyaṃ priya-hitaṃ ca yat, svādhyāyābhyasanaṃ caiva vāṅmayaṃ tapa ucyate.
अनुद्वेग-करं वाक्यं सत्यं प्रिय-हितं च यत्।
स्वाध्यायाभ्यसनं चैव वाङ्मयं तप उच्यते॥
BhG-T.17.16 Tapas pertaining to the mind is said to be this: mental clarity, cheerfulness, discipline over (inner) speech (the non-arising of, or the restraint of expressing, unhelpful thoughts), mastery (in general) over the mind, and clean intentions.
manaḥ-prasādaḥ saumyatvaṃ maunam ātma-vinigrahaḥ, bhāva-saṃśuddhir ity etat tapo mānasam ucyate.
मनः-प्रसादः सौम्यत्वं मौनम् आत्म-विनिग्रहः।
भाव-संशुद्धिर् इत्य् एतत् तपो मानसम् उच्यते॥
BhG-T.17.17 That threefold tapas (pertaining to body, speech, and mind) performed with complete śraddhā (in this teaching) by disciplined people who do not require/anticipate (limited) results (like wealth and puṇya, karma merit, but instead only seek clarity of mind for knowledge) – they say is predominately sattva.
śrad-dhayā parayā taptaṃ tapas tat tri-vidhaṃ naraiḥ, aphalakāṅkṣibhir yuktaiḥ sāttvikaṃ paricakṣate.
श्रद्-धया परया तप्तं तपस् तत् त्रि-विधं नरैः।
अफलाकाङ्क्षिभिर् युक्तैः सात्त्विकं परिचक्षते॥
BhG-T.17.18 Tapas that is performed for the sake (of demanding from others) worship in word, mind, and deed and, indeed, only out of hypocrisy – that (in keeping with its result) here, being unsteady and not long-lasting, is said to be predominately rajas.
sat-kāra-māna-pūjārthaṃ tapo dambhena caiva yat, kriyate tad iha proktaṃ rājasaṃ calam adhruvam.
सत्-कार-मान-पूजार्थं तपो दम्भेन चैव यत्।
क्रियते तद् इह प्रोक्तं राजसं चलम् अध्रुवम्॥
BhG-T.17.19 Tapas that is performed out of a deluded understanding, for inflicting pain on oneself or for destroying another is said to be predominately tamas.
mūḍha-grāheṇātmano yat pīḍayā kriyate tapaḥ, parasyotsādanārthaṃ vā tat tāmasam udāhṛtam.
मूढ-ग्राहेणात्मनो यत् पीडया क्रियते तपः।
परस्योत्सादनार्थं वा तत् तामसम् उदाहृतम्॥
BhG-T.17.20 Charity offered (with the thinking) “this is (simply) to be given,” without regard to (the others’) ability to (return the) favor, at the (proper) place and time, and to a worthy person – that is held to be predominately sattva.
dātavyam iti yad dānaṃ dīyate'nupakāriṇe, deśe kāle ca pātre ca tad dānaṃ sāttvikaṃ smṛtam.
दातव्यम् इति यद् दानं दीयतेऽनुपकारिणे।
देशे काले च पात्रे च तद् दानं सात्त्विकं स्मृतम्॥
BhG-T.17.21 Whereas charity offered for the sake of a return favor or, on the other hand, with a view for a (later) result (for puṇya), and is fraught with pain (a sense of loss at the cost of the charity) is held to be predominately rajas.
yat tu pratyupakārārthaṃ phalam uddiśya vā punaḥ, dīyate ca parikliṣṭaṃ tad dānaṃ rājasaṃ smṛtam.
यत् तु प्रत्युपकारार्थं फलम् उद्दिश्य वा पुनः।
दीयते च परिक्लिष्टं तद् दानं राजसं स्मृतम्॥
BhG-T.17.22 Charity offered at the wrong (or inauspicious) place or time to those who are not worthy (such as, to fools or thieves), that is given improperly (with improper protocol) or with disrespect (to the recipient) is said to be predominately tamas.
adeśa-kāle yad dānam apātrebhyaś ca dīyate, asat-kṛtam avajñātaṃ tat tāmasam udāhṛtam.
अदेश-काले यद् दानम् अपात्रेभ्यश् च दीयते।
असत्-कृतम् अवज्ञातं तत् तामसम् उदाहृतम्॥
BhG-T.17.23 “ Om tad sat” is considered the threefold expression for (revealing) brahman. By that (Lord Brahmā, the first manifestation of the Lord as the total subtle universe) the brāhmaṇas (all people, hence, all creatures, since jīvas require various embodiments), the (four) Vedas, and yajñas (rituals) were formed in the beginning (of each cycle).
oṃ tat sad iti nirdeśo brahmaṇas tri-vidhaḥ smṛtaḥ, brāhmaṇās tena vedāś ca yajñāś ca vihitāḥ purā.
ओं तत् सद् इति निर्देशो ब्रह्मणस् त्रि-विधः स्मृतः।
ब्राह्मणास् तेन वेदाश् च यज्ञाश् च विहिताः पुरा॥
BhG-T.17.24 Therefore, for those who know the Vedas, the activities (such as) rituals, charity, and prayerful disciplines mentioned in (scriptural) injunctions are always begun (by first) uttering “ Om” (considered a purifying sound).
tasmād om ity udāhṛtya yajña-dāna-tapaḥ-kriyāḥ, pravartante vidhānoktāḥ sa-tataṃ brahma-vādinām.
तस्माद् ओम् इत्य् उदाहृत्य यज्ञ-दान-तपः-क्रियाः।
प्रवर्तन्ते विधानोक्ताः स-ततं ब्रह्म-वादिनाम्॥
BhG-T.17.25 (Uttering) ‘ tad’ (“that”) (also purifying when it refers to brahman in expressions such as “ Om tat sat”), those who only desire complete freedom perform various activities (such as) yajña, tapas, and dāna (gifting) without requiring the (particular activity’s limited) result.
tad ity anabhisandhāya phalaṃ yajña-tapaḥ-kriyāḥ, dāna-kriyāś ca vividhāḥ kriyante mokṣa-kāṅkṣibhiḥ.
तद् इत्य् अनभिसन्धाय फलं यज्ञ-तपः-क्रियाः।
दान-क्रियाश् च विविधाः क्रियन्ते मोक्ष-काङ्क्षिभिः॥
BhG-T.17.26 O Arjuna, this (word) ‘ sat’ (also a purifying sound that, in its various forms, from the root ‘ as’, “to exist,” refers to existence, which is but brahman) is used in the sense of “being existent” and “being good.” Similarly, the word ‘ sat’ is used in the sense of “sacred action.”
sad-bhāve sādhu-bhāve ca sad ity etat prayujyate, praśaste karmaṇi tathā sac-chabdaḥ pārtha yujyate.
सद्-भावे साधु-भावे च सद् इत्य् एतत् प्रयुज्यते।
प्रशस्ते कर्मणि तथा सच्-छब्दः पार्थ युज्यते॥
BhG-T.17.27 A sthiti (pursuit or commitment) (with śraddhā) toward yajña, tapas, or dāna is also called ‘ sat’, a “proper” pursuit, and, indeed, any action that is for the sake of ‘ tad’ (“that” Lord, as in the expression “ tat tvam asi,” “That [Lord] you are”) is called ‘ sat’.
yajñe tapasi dāne ca sthitiḥ sad iti cocyate, karma caiva tad-arthīyaṃ sad ity evābhidhīyate.
यज्ञे तपसि दाने च स्थितिः सद् इति चोच्यते।
कर्म चैव तद्-अर्थीयं सद् इत्य् एवाभिधीयते॥
BhG-T.17.28 O Arjuna, whatever offering, charity, or discipline is done without śraddhā is said to be ‘ a-sat’ (as good as not done), (since) after death it (the action in the form of karma-phala) is not, nor (is it) here (in this life) (it only amounts to a loss of effort and cost).
aśrad-dhayā hutaṃ dattaṃ tapas taptaṃ kṛtaṃ ca yat, asad ity ucyate pārtha na ca tat pretya no iha.
अश्रद्-धया हुतं दत्तं तपस् तप्तं कृतं च यत्।
असद् इत्य् उच्यते पार्थ न च तत् प्रेत्य नो इह॥
BhG-T.17. Om ( brahman, the witness of all) is that (only) reality. Thus ends the seventeenth chapter, called “The Topic of the Distinction of the Three Śraddhās,” of the (eighteen chapters of) Songs of the Glorious Lord, which is (looked upon as) sacred teaching ( Upaniṣad) and (whose teaching is) in (the form of) a dialogue between Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna, (the subject matter being) knowledge of brahman and yoga.
oṃ tat sat. śrīmad-bhagavad-gītāsūpaniṣatsu brahma-vidyāyāṃ yoga-śāstre śrī-kṛṣṇārjuna-saṃvāde śrad-dhā-traya-vibhāga-yogo nāma sapta-daśo'dhyāyaḥ.
ओं तत् सत्। इति श्रीमद्-भगवद्-गीतासूपनिषत्सु ब्रह्म-विद्यायां योग-शास्त्रे श्री-कृष्णार्जुन-संवादे श्रद्-धा-त्रय-विभाग-योगो नाम सप्त-दशोऽध्यायः॥
Go to Top ('Home' key on many Windows browsers)
Eighteenth Chapter Introduction
The Topic of the Renunciation That Gives Complete Freedom
This final chapter of the Bhagavad Gītā answers Arjuna’s long-lasting concern about a life of renunciation, completes the unfoldment of other open topics, and covers new ones (for example, the five causes or factors for the accomplishment of all actions in verses 13–16). Chapter eighteen closes with praise of the teaching lineage (18.67–78) and sums up (18.50–66) the Advaita Vedānta teaching with the essentials that Kṛṣṇa wishes Arjuna – and us – to focus on. That focus is, through karma-yoga and jñāna-yoga, to drop identification as a separate body-mind complex. We are to objectively recognize that this time-bound, limited body-mind complex and its actions are not our own but instead belong to the interconnected totality, to the natural order as a temporary manifestation of the Lord. We are to recognize our timeless identity as the limitless Lord, as existence itself.
Kṛṣṇa does not stop teaching until the student, Arjuna, is fully satisfied and acknowledges that he has understood. This is because the teaching is not only for the student, but is also for the teacher inherent in the student, as the student becomes the teacher for himself or herself throughout the rest of life. Every time the unassimilated mind strays into its old, habitual thinking, the student’s now-informed intellect catches the digression and brings the mind back to clarity. The student’s informed intellect is the same as the teacher’s informed intellect, the same as the informed intellect of that teacher’s teacher, and so on, from the beginningless beginning. That student may eventually become the teacher of others also. The Advaita Vedānta teaching prepares us for all this. It is complete in every way.
All of life, then, is a field for us to resolve remaining habitual thinking. Ultimately, human life is for correcting the erroneous sense of limitation we have and the resulting unacceptability of oneself. It is natural that a teaching exists that directly addresses this need in the human heart – just as the human body needs air, so air is provided; needs food, so food is provided. This teaching is universal to all humankind. Ātmā, the essential conscious being, is as universal as it gets. That the ātmā is the limitless reality of this universe is also as universal as it gets. A life of acknowledging the interconnectedness of the entire cosmos is both ancient and modern, religious and scientific. A life of dedication to one’s duty, in recognition of this interconnectedness, is similarly universal and timeless. To the extent that modern cultures do not emphasize this truth, to that extent these cultures have yet to mature. This complete teaching was not created by Indians. It is the teaching of the Lord – the Lord which is everything, including oneself.
Until we become teachers unto ourselves, we stay with these words of the Lord. We listen to a teacher (4.34) who can unfold these words as they have been unfolded for millennia. This will bring us to the fulfillment of human life – a life free of grief, free of guilt, free of hurt, free of fear, and free of death.
BhG-T.18.1 Arjuna said: O Kṛṣṇa, Great Warrior and Slayer of (the Demon) Keśin, I want to know distinctly the truth of (the difference between) sannyāsa and tyāga (both terms mean “renunciation” and are used both separately and seemingly interchangeably by Lord Kṛṣṇa in this teaching).
arjuna uvāca: sannyāsasya mahā-bāho tattvam icchāmi veditum, tyāgasya ca hṛṣīkeśa pṛthak keśini-ṣūdana.
सन्न्यासस्य महा-बाहो तत्त्वम् इच्छामि वेदितुम्। त्यागस्य च हृषीकेश पृथक् केशि-निषूदन॥
BhG-T.18.2 The Lord said: Sages know renunciation of (all) karmas backed by desire to be “ sannyāsa” (the lifestyle and, especially, the knowledge “I am not the doer”). The wise (also) say that renunciation of the phala (the result) of all actions ( karma-yoga as also taught here) is “ tyāga”.
śrī-bhagavān uvāca: kāmyānāṃ karmaṇāṃ nyāsaṃ sannyāsaṃ kavayo viduḥ, sarva-karma-phala-tyāgaṃ prāhus tyāgaṃ vicakṣaṇāḥ.
काम्यानां कर्मणां न्यासं सन्न्यासं कवयो विदुः। सर्व-कर्म-फल-त्यागं प्राहुस् त्यागं विचक्षणाः॥
BhG-T.18.3 (Now,) some learned people say that (all) karmas are defective (and thus) to be renounced (that karma-yoga is not accepted so sannyāsa lifestyle alone is for those desiring mokṣa). But others think that yajña, dāna, and tapas (ritual, gifting, and spiritual discipline) karma are not to be renounced (that karma-yoga is accepted).
tyājyaṃ doṣavad ity eke karma prāhur manīṣiṇaḥ, yajña-dāna-tapaḥ-karma na tyājyam iti cāpare.
त्याज्यं दोषवद् इत्य् एके कर्म प्राहुर् मनीषिणः।
यज्ञ-दान-तपः-कर्म न त्याज्यम् इति चापरे॥
BhG-T.18.4 In regard to tyāga (renunciation), listen to My conclusion, O Arjuna. (Since the preceding two opinions are both right and wrong, more needs to be said) O Fearless amongst Men, tyāga (renunciation) indeed is well said to be threefold.
niścayaṃ śṛṇu me tatra tyāge bharata-sattama, tyāgo hi puruṣa-vyāghra tri-vidhaḥ samprakīrtitaḥ.
निश्चयं शृणु मे तत्र त्यागे भरत-सत्तम।
त्यागो हि पुरुष-व्याघ्र त्रि-विधः सम्प्रकीर्तितः॥
BhG-T.18.5 Yajña, dāna, and tapas karma are not to be renounced (but), indeed, to be done. Yajña, dāna, and tapas are indeed purifying for discerning people (for those who consider themselves doers, subject to injunction and needing purification, karma-yoga is a means to mokṣa).
yajña-dāna-tapaḥ-karma na tyājyaṃ kāryam eva tat, yajño dānaṃ tapaś caiva pāvanāni manīṣiṇām.
यज्ञ-दान-तपः-कर्म न त्याज्यं कार्यम् एव तत्।
यज्ञो दानं तपश् चैव पावनानि मनीषिणाम्॥
BhG-T.18.6 But, O Arjuna, even these (three) karmas are to be done having renounced attachment (to actions) and (their limited) result ( phala) (done without identification with them as “my actions” and with the attitude of karma-yoga). This is My decided and final vision.
etāny api tu karmāṇi saṅgaṃ tyaktvā phalāni ca, kartavyānīti me pārtha niścitaṃ matam uttamam.
एतान्य् अपि तु कर्माणि सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा फलानि च।
कर्तव्यानीति मे पार्थ निश्चितं मतम् उत्तमम्॥
BhG-T.18.7 Whereas sannyāsa (renunciation) of enjoined karma (the lifestyle of sannyāsa for one who is still deluded about the nature of oneself) is not proper, (because) parityāga (renunciation that is simply nondoing) of that ( karma) out of delusion is said to be predominately tamas.
niyatasya tu sannyāsaḥ karmaṇo nopapadyate, mohāt tasya parityāgas tāmasaḥ parikīrtitaḥ.
नियतस्य तु सन्न्यासः कर्मणो नोपपद्यते।
मोहात् तस्य परित्यागस् तामसः परिकीर्तितः॥
BhG-T.18.8 If one were to renounce karma (take sannyāsa) out of fear of affliction to the body and (thinking it to be) painful, after doing this predominately rajas renunciation, that one would indeed not gain (any) result of that renunciation.
duḥkham ity eva yat karma kāya-kleśa-bhayāt tyajet, sa kṛtvā rājasaṃ tyāgaṃ naiva tyāga-phalaṃ labhet.
दुःखम् इत्य् एव यत् कर्म काय-क्लेश-भयात् त्यजेत्।
स कृत्वा राजसं त्यागं नैव त्याग-फलं लभेत्॥
BhG-T.18.9 O Arjuna, if renouncing both attachment (to it) and (its) result (as a karma-yoga) enjoined karma is performed as simply what is to be done, (then) that tyāga (renunciation) is considered predominately sattva.
kāryam ity eva yat karma niyataṃ kriyate'rjuna, saṅgaṃ tyaktvā phalaṃ caiva sa tyāgaḥ sāttviko mataḥ.
कार्यम् इत्य् एव यत् कर्म नियतं क्रियतेऽर्जुन।
सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा फलं चैव स त्यागः सात्त्विको मतः॥
BhG-T.18.10 The renunciate (whether a karma-yogī like King Janaka or a sannyāsī) who is endowed with clarity of mind, (thus) who has gained knowledge, and whose doubts have been resolved is not displeased at inauspicious action, nor attached to auspicious (action).
na dveṣṭy akuśalaṃ karma kuśale nānuṣajjate, tyāgī sattva-samāviṣṭo medhāvī chinna-saṃśayaḥ.
न द्वेष्ट्य् अकुशलं कर्म कुशले नानुषज्जते।
त्यागी सत्त्व-समाविष्टो मेधावी छिन्न-संशयः॥
BhG-T.18.11 Because one who has (the judgment that one is) the body is not able to completely renounce (all) action, (then) that one who indeed renounces (at least) the result of actions (a beginning karma-yogī) is called a tyāgī (renunciate).
na hi deha-bhṛtā śakyaṃ tyaktuṃ karmāṇy aśeṣataḥ, yas tu karma-phala-tyāgī sa tyāgīty abhidhīyate.
न हि देह-भृता शक्यं त्यक्तुं कर्माण्य् अशेषतः।
यस् तु कर्म-फल-त्यागी स त्यागीत्य् अभिधीयते॥
BhG-T.18.12 The one who has not (completely) renounced ( karma), upon passing away, has the threefold results of action – undesirable (hell, etcetera), desirable (heaven, etcetera), and their mixture (directly regaining the human condition). But never for the sannyāsī (the complete renunciate).
aniṣṭam iṣṭaṃ miśraṃ ca tri-vidhaṃ karmaṇaḥ phalam, bhavaty atyāgināṃ pretya na tu sannyāsināṃ kvacit.
अनिष्टम् इष्टं मिश्रं च त्रि-विधं कर्मणः फलम्।
भवत्य् अत्यागिनां प्रेत्य न तु सन्न्यासिनां क्वचित्॥
BhG-T.18.13 O Arjuna, pay heed to Me about these (following) five causes (factors) for the accomplishment of all actions, which factors have been well told in the teaching that brings an end to action (in Vedānta) – and summarized in the second chapter onward.
pañcaitāni mahā-bāho kāraṇāni nibodha me, sāṅkhye kṛtānte proktāni siddhaye sarva-karmaṇām.
पञ्चैतानि महा-बाहो कारणानि निबोध मे।
साङ्ख्ये कृतान्ते प्रोक्तानि सिद्धये सर्व-कर्मणाम्॥
BhG-T.18.14 The locus (the physical body), the agent (the ahaṅkāra, the doer and experiencer), the various organs (of action and knowledge, including the mind), the various kinds of motions (the prāṇas, bodily energies), and indeed, here, the fifth being their presiding deities.
adhiṣṭhānaṃ tathā kartā karaṇaṃ ca pṛthag-vidham, vividhāś ca pṛthak ceṣṭā daivaṃ caivātra pañcamam.
अधिष्ठानं तथा कर्ता करणं च पृथग्-विधम्।
विविधाश् च पृथक् चेष्टा दैवं चैवात्र पञ्चमम्॥
BhG-T.18.15 Whatever action, proper (adaptive) or otherwise, a person undertakes with the body, speech, or mind (physical, verbal, or mental action) – that (action) has these five (instrumental) factors.
śarīra-vāṅ-manobhir yat karma prārabhate naraḥ, nyāyyaṃ vā viparītaṃ vā pañcaite tasya hetavaḥ.
शरीर-वाङ्-मनोभिर् यत् कर्म प्रारभते नरः।
न्याय्यं वा विपरीतं वा पञ्चैते तस्य हेतवः॥
BhG-T.18.16 When that is so (that these five alone cause action), the one who, because of an unprepared mind (that hasn’t accepted or earned this teaching), sees the I – although pure (of action) – as an agent, that distorted thinker does not see (– this fundamental mistake distorts everything else).
tatraivaṃ sati kartāram ātmānaṃ kevalaṃ tu yaḥ, paśyaty akṛta-buddhitvān na sa paśyati dur-matiḥ.
तत्रैवं सति कर्तारम् आत्मानं केवलं तु यः।
पश्यत्य् अकृत-बुद्धित्वान् न स पश्यति दुर्-मतिः॥
BhG-T.18.17 One who has no notion that “I did (this),” whose mind is not affected (who has no guilt or hurt regarding action or inaction) – that one, though (having the duty of) killing these people, does not kill, nor is (that one) bound (by the act, just as a judge passing sentence has no guilt).
yasya nāhaṅ-kṛto bhāvo buddhir yasya na lipyate, hatvāpi sa imāṃl lokān na hanti na nibadhyate.
यस्य नाहङ्-कृतो भावो बुद्धिर् यस्य न लिप्यते।
हत्वापि स इमाल्ँ लोकान् न हन्ति न निबध्यते॥
BhG-T.18.18 The knowing ( jñāna, thought), the object known, and the knower (together) are the threefold instigators of action. The instrument, the object (the desired result), and the doer ( kartā) (together) are the threefold constituents of (factors/requirements for) action.
jñānaṃ jñeyaṃ parijñātā tri-vidhā karma-codanā, karaṇaṃ karma karteti tri-vidhaḥ karma-saṅgrahaḥ.
ज्ञानं ज्ञेयं परिज्ञाता त्रि-विधा कर्म-चोदना।
करणं कर्म कर्तेति त्रि-विधः कर्म-सङ्ग्रहः॥
BhG-T.18.19 In the teaching of the guṇas, the jñāna, karma and kartā are said to be threefold according to the differences (in predominance) of guṇas. Listen accordingly about them.
jñānaṃ karma ca kartā ca tri-dhaiva guṇa-bhedataḥ, procyate guṇa-saṅkhyāne yathāvac chṛṇu tāny api.
ज्ञानं कर्म च कर्ता च त्रि-धैव गुण-भेदतः।
प्रोच्यते गुण-सङ्ख्याने यथावच् छृणु तान्य् अपि॥
BhG-T.18.20 By which one sees (knows) the one changeless, undivided existence ( bhāva) in all divided things – know that jñāna (knowledge) to be predominately sattva. (There is only one undivided existence, ātmā, not many; here bhāva cannot mean prakṛti, unmanifest nature, as prakṛti is not changeless).
sarva-bhūteṣu yenaikaṃ bhāvam avyayam īkṣate, avibhaktaṃ vibhakteṣu taj jñānaṃ viddhi sāttvikam.
सर्व-भूतेषु येनैकं भावम् अव्ययम् ईक्षते।
अविभक्तं विभक्तेषु तज् ज्ञानं विद्धि सात्त्विकम्॥
BhG-T.18.21 Whereas the knowledge (by) which one understands as separate (from each other) the many existences of different kinds, in all things – know that knowledge (all philosophies that hold that there are many ātmās, including the later-day Sāṅkhya philosophy) to be predominately rajas.
pṛthaktvena tu yaj jñānaṃ nānā-bhāvān pṛthag-vidhān, vetti sarveṣu bhūteṣu taj jñānaṃ viddhi rājasam.
पृथक्त्वेन तु यज् ज्ञानं नाना-भावान् पृथग्-विधान्।
वेत्ति सर्वेषु भूतेषु तज् ज्ञानं विद्धि राजसम्॥
BhG-T.18.22 But (the knowledge by) which one is committed to one single effect (in the universe) – as if it is everything – (which knowledge is) without reason, without truth, and limited (the unfortunate position of history- and faith-based cults and pop cultures) – that is said to be predominately tamas.
yat tu kṛtsnavad ekasmin kārye saktam ahaitukam, atattvārthavad alpaṃ ca tat tāmasam udāhṛtam.
यत् तु कृत्स्नवद् एकस्मिन् कार्ये सक्तम् अहैतुकम्।
अतत्त्वार्थवद् अल्पं च तत् तामसम् उदाहृतम्॥
BhG-T.18.23 Karma that is adaptive (in keeping with dharma), that is done without identification (“I did this”), is free of attraction or repulsion, and (done) by one without a requirement to obtain its result (done by one whose mind is predominately sattva) – that ( karma) is said to be predominately sattva.
niyataṃ saṅga-rahitam arāga-dveṣataḥ kṛtam, aphala-prepsunā karma yat tat sāttvikam ucyate.
नियतं सङ्ग-रहितम् अराग-द्वेषतः कृतम्।
अफल-प्रेप्सुना कर्म यत् तत् सात्त्विकम् उच्यते॥
BhG-T.18.24 Whereas, karma that is done with a lot of effort, with a requirement to attain an object of desire or, again, with excessive pride is said to be predominately rajas (it is not the action itself that is rajas, but the mind that motivates the action that is predominately rajas).
yat tu kāmepsunā karma sāhaṅkāreṇa vā punaḥ, kriyate bahulāyāsaṃ tad rājasam udāhṛtam.
यत् तु कामेप्सुना कर्म साहङ्कारेण वा पुनः।
क्रियते बहुलायासं तद् राजसम् उदाहृतम्॥
BhG-T.18.25 Karma that is undertaken out of delusion – without regard to its consequence, loss (to oneself or others), injury (to oneself or others), or one’s personal capacity – that is said to be predominately tamas (the mind that motivates the action is predominately tamas).
anubandhaṃ kṣayaṃ hiṃsām anapekṣya ca pauruṣam, mohād ārabhyate karma yat tat tāmasam ucyate.
अनुबन्धं क्षयं हिंसाम् अनपेक्ष्य च पौरुषम्।
मोहाद् आरभ्यते कर्म यत् तत् तामसम् उच्यते॥
BhG-T.18.26 The kartā (doer, the one with the notion of doership) (striving toward) being free from attachment (not requiring the result), not claiming “I (did this)”, endowed with resolve and effort, and being without change in success or non-success – is said to be predominately sattva.
mukta-saṅgo'nahaṃ-vādī dhṛty-utsāha-samanvitaḥ, siddhy-asiddhyor nir-vikāraḥ kartā sāttvika ucyate.
सिद्ध्य्-असिद्ध्योर् निर्-विकारः कर्ता सात्त्विक उच्यते॥
BhG-T.18.27 The kartā (doer) who has attraction (toward things), who has a requirement to obtain the result of an action, who is miserly, whose nature is to hurt (another or oneself), who is unclean (physically/mentally), and subject to elation and sorrow – is said to be predominately rajas.
rāgī karma-phala-prepsur lubdho hiṃsātmako'śuciḥ, harṣa-śokānvitaḥ kartā rājasaḥ parikīrtitaḥ.
रागी कर्म-फल-प्रेप्सुर् लुब्धो हिंसात्मकोऽशुचिः।
हर्ष-शोकान्वितः कर्ता राजसः परिकीर्तितः॥
BhG-T.18.28 The kartā (doer) who is disturbed, immature, unable to bow (to show respect physically or mentally), who is deceptive, abusive, lazy, depressed, and procrastinating (about addressing any of these and other problems) – is said to be predominately tamas.
ayuktaḥ prākṛtaḥ stabdhaḥ śaṭho naikṛtiko'lasaḥ, viṣādī dīrgha-sūtrī ca kartā tāmasa ucyate.
अयुक्तः प्राकृतः स्तब्धः शठो नैष्कृतिकोऽलसः।
विषादी दीर्घ-सूत्री च कर्ता तामस उच्यते॥
BhG-T.18.29 Listen to what is going to be told separately and completely about the threefold difference according to (predominance of) guṇas (qualities) of the mind and of resolve, O Arjuna.
buddher bhedaṃ dhṛteś caiva guṇatas tri-vidhaṃ śṛṇu, procyamānam aśeṣeṇa pṛthaktvena dhanañ-jaya.
बुद्धेर् भेदं धृतेश् चैव गुणतस् त्रि-विधं शृणु।
प्रोच्यमानम् अशेषेण पृथक्त्वेन धनञ्-जय॥
BhG-T.18.30 O Arjuna, the mind that knows (the nature of) pursuit and renunciation, what is to be done and not to be done, what is dangerous and not dangerous, and what is bondage and complete freedom – that (mind) is predominately sattva.
pravṛttiṃ ca nivṛttiṃ ca kāryākārye bhayābhaye, bandhaṃ mokṣaṃ ca yā vetti buddhiḥ sā pārtha sāttvikī.
प्रवृत्तिं च निवृत्तिं च कार्याकार्ये भयाभये।
बन्धं मोक्षं च या वेत्ति बुद्धिः सा पार्थ सात्त्विकी॥
BhG-T.18.31 O Arjuna, the mind with which one wrongly knows what is dharma and a-dharma (appropriate and inappropriate) and, (also wrongly) indeed, what is to be done and not to be done – that (mind) is predominately rajas.
yayā dharmam adharmaṃ ca kāryaṃ cākāryam eva ca, ayathāvat prajānāti buddhiḥ sā pārtha rājasī.
यया धर्मम् अधर्मं च कार्यं चाकार्यम् एव च।
अयथावत् प्रजानाति बुद्धिः सा पार्थ राजसी॥
BhG-T.18.32 O Arjuna, the mind which, covered with ignorance, considers a-dharma to be dharma and all things as contrary (to what they are) – that (mind) is predominately tamas.
adharmaṃ dharmam iti yā manyate tamasāvṛtā, sarvārthān viparītāṃś ca buddhiḥ sā pārtha tāmasī.
अधर्मं धर्मम् इति या मन्यते तमसावृता।
सर्वार्थान् विपरीतांश् च बुद्धिः सा पार्थ तामसी॥
BhG-T.18.33 O Arjuna, the unswerving resolve with which one sustains activities of the mind, the physiological functions (the prāṇas), and the organs (of action and sensing) – through (unswerving) yoga (a life of discipline) – that resolve is predominately sattva.
dhṛtyā yayā dhārayate manaḥ-prāṇendriya-kriyāḥ, yogenāvyabhicāriṇyā dhṛtiḥ sā pārtha sāttvikī.
धृत्या यया धारयते मनः-प्राणेन्द्रिय-क्रियाः।
योगेनाव्यभिचारिण्या धृतिः सा पार्थ सात्त्विकी॥
BhG-T.18.34 Whereas, O Arjuna, Son of Pṛthā, the resolve with which one, being desirous of results, sustains (activities for) religious merit, pleasure, and security (but not for mokṣa) – according to (every) opportunity – that resolve is predominately rajas.
yayā tu dharma-kāmārthān dhṛtyā dhārayate'rjuna, prasaṅgena phalākāṅkṣī dhṛtiḥ sā pārtha rājasī.
यया तु धर्म-कामार्थान् धृत्या धारयतेऽर्जुन।
प्रसङ्गेन फलाकाङ्क्षी धृतिः सा पार्थ राजसी॥
BhG-T.18.35 O Arjuna, (the resolve) by which one whose thinking is distorted does not give up sleep, fear, sorrow, depression, or intoxication – that resolve (to not change) is predominately tamas.
yayā svapnaṃ bhayaṃ śokaṃ viṣādaṃ madam eva ca, na vimuñcati dur-medhā dhṛtiḥ sā pārtha tāmasī.
यया स्वप्नं भयं शोकं विषादं मदम् एव च।
न विमुञ्चति दुर्-मेधा धृतिः सा पार्थ तामसी॥
BhG-T.18.36–37 But now, O Arjuna, listen to Me about the threefold happiness. That in which one discovers happiness by (daily) repetition (of listening and contemplating the teaching) and gains the end of sorrow, that which in the beginning is like poison (as one is for the first time inquiring into the source of the guilt and hurt which for lifetimes have driven one to seek small gratifications in objects) (but) upon a change (in clarity of mind) is like immortal nectar, born of clarity of self-knowledge – that happiness is said to be predominately sattva.
sukhaṃ tv idānīṃ tri-vidhaṃ śṛṇu me bharata-rṣabha, abhyāsād ramate yatra duḥkhāntaṃ ca nigacchati. yat tad agre viṣam iva pariṇāme'mṛtopamam, tat sukhaṃ sāttvikaṃ proktam ātma-buddhi-prasāda-jam.
सुखं त्व् इदानीं त्रि-विधं शृणु मे भरत-र्षभ।
अभ्यासाद् रमते यत्र दुःखान्तं च निगच्छति॥ यत् तद् अग्रे विषम् इव परिणामेऽमृतोपमम्। तत् सुखं सात्त्विकं प्रोक्तम् आत्म-बुद्धि-प्रसाद-जम्॥
BhG-T.18.38 That which is (born) from the contact of the senses with their objects, which in the beginning seems like nectar (but), upon (any) change (in the object, the capacity to acquire, the senses, or the mind) becomes like poison – that happiness is said to be predominately rajas.
viṣayendriya-saṃyogād yat tad agre'mṛtopamam, pariṇāme viṣam iva tat sukhaṃ rājasaṃ smṛtam.
विषयेन्द्रिय-संयोगाद् यत् तद् अग्रेऽमृतोपमम्।
परिणामे विषम् इव तत् सुखं राजसं स्मृतम्॥
BhG-T.18.39 Happiness (lack of pain or lack of trouble of effort) that arises from sleepiness, laziness, and carelessness, which in the beginning and in the end is self-deluding – that is said to be predominately tamas.
yad agre cānubandhe ca sukhaṃ mohanam ātmanaḥ, nidrālasya-pramādotthaṃ tat tāmasam udāhṛtam.
यद् अग्रे चानुबन्धे च सुखं मोहनम् आत्मनः।
निद्रालस्य-प्रमादोत्थं तत् तामसम् उदाहृतम्॥
BhG-T.18.40 There is no existent thing on earth, in the sky, or even among the gods that can be free from these three guṇas, born as prakṛti (nature). ( Brahman, reality, the self, the eternal subject, the “I” of the Lord and of every being, is alone free of the guṇas; all bodies and minds are not).
na tad asti pṛthivyāṃ vā divi deveṣu vā punaḥ, sattvaṃ prakṛti-jair muktaṃ yad ebhiḥ syāt tribhir guṇaiḥ.
न तद् अस्ति पृथिव्यां वा दिवि देवेषु वा पुनः।
सत्त्वं प्रकृति-जैर् मुक्तं यद् एभिः स्यात् त्रिभिर् गुणैः॥
BhG-T.18.41 O Arjuna, the karmas of brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiśyas, and of śūdras (educators, defenders, entrepreneurs, and workers) are divided by the (predominance of) guṇas arising from their (each person’s) nature. (In India these titles also arise from birth within the family’s profession, as those who completely accept karma understand that one’s birth matches one’s nature and needs).
brāhmaṇa-kṣatriya-viśāṃ śūdrāṇāṃ ca paran-tapa, karmāṇi pravibhaktāni sva-bhāva-prabhavair guṇaiḥ.
ब्राह्मण-क्षत्रिय-विशां शूद्राणां च परन्-तप।
कर्माणि प्रविभक्तानि स्व-भाव-प्रभवैर् गुणैः॥
BhG-T.18.42 The karma (the disposition showing through the activity) of brāhmaṇas – that is born of their nature – is composure, restraint, prayerful discipline, cleanliness, accommodation, straightforwardness, knowledge and its assimilation, and acceptance of the veracity of Veda.
śamo damas tapaḥ śaucaṃ kṣāntir ārjavam eva ca, jñānaṃ vijñānam āstikyaṃ brahma-karma sva-bhāva-jam.
शमो दमस् तपः शौचं क्षान्तिर् आर्जवम् एव च।
ज्ञानं विज्ञानम् आस्तिक्यं ब्रह्म-कर्म स्व-भाव-जम्॥
BhG-T.18.43 The karma (the disposition showing through the activity) of kṣatriyas – that is born of their nature – is valor, self-confidence, resolve, adroitness (ability to act without confusion in sudden situations), not turning away in a conflict, charity, and leadership.
śauryaṃ tejo dhṛtir dākṣyaṃ yuddhe cāpy apalāyanam, dānam īśvara-bhāvaś ca kṣātraṃ karma sva-bhāva-jam.
शौर्यं तेजो धृतिर् दाक्ष्यं युद्धे चाप्य् अपलायनम्।
दानम् ईश्वर-भावश् च क्षात्रं कर्म स्व-भाव-जम्॥
BhG-T.18.44 The karma (the activity, not the disposition) of vaiśyas – that is born of their nature – is agriculture, maintaining animals, or commerce. The karma of śūdras – that is born of their nature – is in the form of service (to others, which is essential in all societies).
kṛṣi-gau-rakṣya-vāṇijyaṃ vaiśya-karma sva-bhāva-jam, paricaryātmakaṃ karma śūdrasyāpi sva-bhāva-jam.
कृषि-गौ-रक्ष्य-वाणिज्यं वैश्य-कर्म स्व-भाव-जम्।
परिचर्यात्मकं कर्म शूद्रस्यापि स्व-भाव-जम्॥
BhG-T.18.45 A person dedicated in his or her own karma (duty) attains success (a satisfaction of having done happily what is to be done and not requiring a change to become happier). In this way, one gains success, being dedicated to one’s duty – to this, please listen.
sve sve karmaṇy abhirataḥ saṃsiddhiṃ labhate naraḥ, sva-karma-nirataḥ siddhiṃ yathā vindati tac chṛṇu.
स्वे स्वे कर्मण्य् अभिरतः संसिद्धिं लभते नरः।
स्व-कर्म-निरतः सिद्धिं यथा विन्दति तच् छृणु॥
BhG-T.18.46 From which is the origin of all beings and by which all this is pervaded – (through) invoking (showing as a worship) that (Lord) with one’s duty (by converting duty into a worship through an appreciation of the Lord as the doer, the action, and the result) a person attains success.
yataḥ pravṛttir bhūtānāṃ yena sarvam idaṃ tatam, sva-karmaṇā tam abhyarcya siddhiṃ vindati mānavaḥ.
यतः प्रवृत्तिर् भूतानां येन सर्वम् इदं ततम्।
स्व-कर्मणा तम् अभ्यर्च्य सिद्धिं विन्दति मानवः॥
BhG-T.18.47 One’s own duty – (even if) devoid of merit (even if it does not create puṇya) – is better than a different duty (even if) well performed (because inner maturity, not social climbing, leads to śreyas, freedom). Doing duty enjoined according to one’s disposition, one incurs no fault (no conflict).
śreyān sva-dharmo vi-guṇaḥ para-dharmāt sv-anuṣṭhitāt, sva-bhāva-niyataṃ karma kurvan nāpnoti kilbiṣam.
श्रेयान् स्व-धर्मो वि-गुणः पर-धर्मात् स्व्-अनुष्ठितात्।
स्व-भाव-नियतं कर्म कुर्वन् नाप्नोति किल्बिषम्॥
BhG-T.18.48 O Arjuna, one should not give up one’s natural duty, even though defective (consisting of the three guṇas and, hence, is part of saṃsāra, compare 18.3–4), because all (other) undertakings are covered with (the same) fault, like (all ritual) fire (is enveloped) by (irritating) smoke.
saha-jaṃ karma kaunteya sa-doṣam api na tyajet, sarvārambhā hi doṣeṇa dhūmenāgnir ivāvṛtāḥ.
सह-जं कर्म कौन्तेय स-दोषम् अपि न त्यजेत्।
सर्वारम्भा हि दोषेण धूमेनाग्निर् इवावृताः॥
BhG-T.18.49 One whose mind is not attached anywhere, who has mastery over the mind, and is free from yearning (all through karma-yoga), (then) by sannyāsa (renunciation, by knowledge of the self as actionless) attains the exalted accomplishment that is actionlessness.
asakta-buddhiḥ sarvatra jitātmā vigata-spṛhaḥ, naiṣ-karmya-siddhiṃ paramāṃ sannyāsenādhigacchati.
असक्त-बुद्धिः सर्वत्र जितात्मा विगत-स्पृहः।
नैष्-कर्म्य-सिद्धिं परमां सन्न्यासेनाधिगच्छति॥
BhG-T.18.50 O Arjuna, in the way one who has attained success (of karma-yoga) attains brahman, which is the final conclusion of knowledge (unlike knowledge of everything else, which can have no final conclusion) – in that way, in brief, pay heed to Me.
siddhiṃ prāpto yathā brahma tathāpnoti nibodha me, samāsenaiva kaunteya niṣṭhā jñānasya yā parā.
सिद्धिं प्राप्तो यथा ब्रह्म तथाप्नोति निबोध मे।
समासेनैव कौन्तेय निष्ठा ज्ञानस्य या परा॥
BhG-T.18.51–53 That one endowed with a clear mind; by resolve gaining mastery over the body-mind complex (so it is not wasted chasing fancies); giving up the (requiring of) sense objects beginning with sound, etcetera; and giving up (being free from the hold of) attraction and repulsion; having the disposition to repair to a quiet place; having the habit of eating lightly (to stay bright in this quiet lifestyle); whose speech, body, and mind are mastered; who is always keeping contemplation and dedication (focuses only on oneself) as the ultimate; who is completely committed to objectivity; who is free from a notional “I,” power, arrogance, desire, anger, and possession(s); who is free from the judgment “(this) is mine” and is clear – that one is fit for being brahman (reality) (for simply being oneself, without mistaken notions of reality).
buddhyā viśuddhayā yukto dhṛtyātmānaṃ niyamya ca, śabdādīn viṣayāṃs tyaktvā rāga-dveṣau vyudasya ca. vivikta-sevī laghv-āśī yata-vāk-kāya-mānasaḥ, dhyāna-yoga-paro nityaṃ vairāgyaṃ samupāśritaḥ. ahaṅkāraṃ balaṃ darpaṃ kāmaṃ krodhaṃ parigraham, vimucya nir-mamaḥ śānto brahma-bhūyāya kalpate.
बुद्ध्या विशुद्धया युक्तो धृत्यात्मानं नियम्य च।
शब्दादीन् विषयांस् त्यक्त्वा राग-द्वेषौ व्युदस्य च॥ विविक्त-सेवी लघ्व्-आशी यत-वाक्-काय-मानसः। ध्यान-योग-परो नित्यं वैराग्यं समुपाश्रितः॥ अहङ्कारं बलं दर्पं कामं क्रोधं परिग्रहम्। विमुच्य निर्-ममः शान्तो ब्रह्म-भूयाय कल्पते॥
BhG-T.18.54 Attaining brahman (by the knowledge that the limitless brahman is, I am, all this including oneself), and (thus) with a cheerful mind, one neither grieves nor requires (anything). (Thus) being the same toward all beings, one attains the ultimate devotion ( bhakti) to Me.
brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati na kāṅkṣati, samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu mad-bhaktiṃ labhate parām.
ब्रह्म-भूतः प्रसन्नात्मा न शोचति न काङ्क्षति।
समः सर्वेषु भूतेषु मद्-भक्तिं लभते पराम्॥
BhG-T.18.55 By that bhakti, one knows Me – who I am in extent (as everything) and in reality (as the only thing, the only reality). Therefore, knowing Me in reality, that one (as though) enters (Me) immediately after that (by knowledge alone one attains Me even while living).
bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ, tato māṃ tattvato jñātvā viśate tad-anantaram.
भक्त्या माम् अभिजानाति यावान् यश् चास्मि तत्त्वतः।
ततो मां तत्त्वतो ज्ञात्वा विशते तद्-अनन्तरम्॥
BhG-T.18.56 The one who – though always performing all karmas – has Me as the basis (of all actions and results) attains by My grace (by the result, the clarity of mind, which is given by the Lord as the teacher and as what is taught) the end which is ever the same and imperishable.
sarva-karmāṇy api sadā kurvāṇo mad-vyapāśrayaḥ, mat-prasādād avāpnoti śāśvataṃ padam avyayam.
सर्व-कर्माण्य् अपि सदा कुर्वाणो मद्-व्यपाश्रयः।
मत्-प्रसादाद् अवाप्नोति शाश्वतं पदम् अव्ययम्॥
BhG-T.18.57 By (this) mind renouncing all actions in Me, having Me as the ultimate, and taking to buddhi-yoga (the means that is evenness of attitude), may you always be one whose mind is centered on Me (always appreciate Me as the basis of yourself, of action, and of its result).
cetasā sarva-karmāṇi mayi sannyasya mat-paraḥ, buddhi-yogam apāśritya mac-cittaḥ sa-tataṃ bhava.
चेतसा सर्व-कर्माणि मयि सन्न्यस्य मत्-परः।
बुद्धि-योगम् उपाश्रित्य मच्-चित्तः स-ततं भव॥
BhG-T.18.58 Being centered on Me, by My grace, you will cross over all difficulties (all the reasons for saṃsāra). Now if, out of an exaggerated self-opinion (that you know better), you do not listen (to Me), (then) you will remain perishing (in saṃsāra).
mac-cittaḥ sarva-dur-gāṇi mat-prasādāt tariṣyasi, atha cet tvam ahaṅkārān na śroṣyasi vinaṅkṣyasi.
मच्-चित्तः सर्व-दुर्-गाणि मत्-प्रसादात् तरिष्यसि।
अथ चेत् त्वम् अहङ्कारान् न श्रोष्यसि विनङ्क्ष्यसि॥
BhG-T.18.59 If, relying on your exaggerated self-opinion, you think “I will not fight,” this resolution (of yours) would be mithyā (false or useless). (Because your) natural disposition (as a kṣatriya, warrior) will impel you (to act as a warrior at some later date).
yad ahaṅkāram āśritya na yotsya iti manyase, mithyaiṣa vyavasāyas te prakṛtis tvāṃ niyokṣyati.
यद् अहङ्कारम् आश्रित्य न योत्स्य इति मन्यसे।
मिथ्यैष व्यवसायस् ते प्रकृतिस् त्वां नियोक्ष्यति॥
BhG-T.18.60 O Arjuna, out of delusion (in this case, in the form of an impulsive decision and misplaced sympathy) what you do not wish to do, you will do (just) that – even despite your will – (as you are) bound by your karma (your warrior, kṣātraṃ, karma) born of your own disposition.
sva-bhāva-jena kaunteya nibaddhaḥ svena karmaṇā, kartuṃ necchasi yan mohāt kariṣyasy avaśo'pi tat.
स्व-भाव-जेन कौन्तेय निबद्धः स्वेन कर्मणा।
कर्तुं नेच्छसि यन् मोहात् करिष्यस्य् अवशोऽपि तत्॥
BhG-T.18.61 O Arjuna, the Lord – causing all beings to spin around, (as if) mounted on a machine (as on a wheel revolving in saṃsāra, now up, now down) by māyā (the Lord’s power of projecting) – remains (unmoved, as the self of all) in the seat of the intellect of all beings.
īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṃ hṛd-deśe'rjuna tiṣṭhati, bhrāmayan sarva-bhūtāni yantrārūḍhāni māyayā.
ईश्वरः सर्व-भूतानां हृद्-देशेऽर्जुन तिष्ठति।
भ्रामयन् सर्व-भूतानि यन्त्रारूढानि मायया॥
BhG-T.18.62 With all your being, surrender to that (Lord) alone (who is the center of your being and is in the form of your natural disposition moving you through life), O Arjuna. By that (Lord’s) grace you will attain the ultimate peace, the timeless abode.
tam eva śaraṇaṃ gaccha sarva-bhāvena bhārata, tat-prasādāt parāṃ śāntiṃ sthānaṃ prāpsyasi śāśvatam.
तम् एव शरणं गच्छ सर्व-भावेन भारत।
तत्-प्रसादात् परां शान्तिं स्थानं प्राप्स्यसि शाश्वतम्॥
BhG-T.18.63 Thus I have told to you the knowledge that is more secret than a secret (being known only through the scripture that reveals it and, even when revealed, which remains unknown to the unprepared). Think this over completely; (then) do as you wish.
iti te jñānam ākhyātaṃ guhyād guhyataraṃ mayā, vimṛśyaitad aśeṣeṇa yathecchasi tathā kuru.
इति ते ज्ञानम् आख्यातं गुह्याद् गुह्यतरं मया।
विमृश्यैतद् अशेषेण यथेच्छसि तथा कुरु॥
BhG-T.18.64 Listen once more to My paramount declaration, the most secret of all. You (as a friend, a devotee, and a student) are definitely beloved to Me, so I will tell what is good for you.
sarva-guhyatamaṃ bhūyaḥ śṛṇu me paramaṃ vacaḥ, iṣṭo'si me dṛḍham iti tato vakṣyāmi te hitam.
सर्व-गुह्यतमं भूयः शृणु मे परमं वचः।
इष्टोऽसि मे दृढम् इति ततो वक्ष्यामि ते हितम्॥
BhG-T.18.65 Become one whose mind is on Me, who is devoted to Me, and who is disposed to the worship of Me (as the universal order). Do salutation to Me. (Being not separate from Me) you will reach Me alone. Yes, I promise you, (as) you are dear to Me.
man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṃ namas-kuru, mām evaiṣyasi satyaṃ te pratijāne priyo'si me.
मन्-मना भव मद्-भक्तो मद्-याजी मां नमस्-कुरु।
माम् एवैष्यसि सत्यं ते प्रतिजाने प्रियोऽसि मे॥
BhG-T.18.66 Giving up all dharma (adaptive action) (and a-dharma, maladaptive action, by giving up doership), surrender to Me alone (as there is nothing other than Me). I will completely free you from all pāpas (all forms of bondage, including pleasant and unpleasant karma-phalas, results of action). Do not grieve.
sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṃ śaraṇaṃ vraja, ahaṃ tvā sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ.
सर्व-धर्मान् परित्यज्य माम् एकं शरणं व्रज।
अहं त्वा सर्व-पापेभ्यो मोक्षयिष्यामि मा शुचः॥
BhG-T.18.67 This (which I have taught) to you is never to be taught to one who has no prayerful discipline, or to one who has no devotion (to the teacher or Me), or to one not willing to listen, or to one who is cynical toward Me (the Lord).
idaṃ te nātapaskāya nābhaktāya kadācana, na cāśuśrūṣave vācyaṃ na ca māṃ yo'bhyasūyati.
इदं ते नातपस्काय नाभक्ताय कदाचन।
न चाशुश्रूषवे वाच्यं न च मां योऽभ्यसूयति॥
BhG-T.18.68 The one who will teach this paramount secret (teaching) to My devotees, (thus) offering the highest devotion unto Me – that one will reach Me alone. There is no doubt.
ya imaṃ paramaṃ guhyaṃ mad-bhakteṣv abhidhāsyati, bhaktiṃ mayi parāṃ kṛtvā mām evaiṣyaty asaṃśayaḥ.
य इमं परमं गुह्यं मद्-भक्तेष्व् अभिधास्यति।
भक्तिं मयि परां कृत्वा माम् एवैष्यत्य् असंशयः॥
BhG-T.18.69 Among people, there is no one dearer to Me than that (teacher), and there will not be another dearer to Me on earth than that (teacher).
na ca tasmān manuṣyeṣu kaścin me priya-kṛttamaḥ, bhavitā na ca me tasmād anyaḥ priyataro bhuvi.
न च तस्मान् मनुष्येषु कश्चिन् मे प्रिय-कृत्तमः।
भविता न च मे तस्माद् अन्यः प्रियतरो भुवि॥
BhG-T.18.70 And the one who studies (or even recites) this dialogue of ours, which is in keeping with dharma – by that ritual, in the form of knowledge, I would be worshipped (without the Veda forms of worship available today, this study itself suffices for worship). This is My vision.
adhyeṣyate ca ya imaṃ dharmyaṃ saṃvādam āvayoḥ, jñāna-yajñena tenāham iṣṭaḥ syām iti me matiḥ.
अध्येष्यते च य इमं धर्म्यं संवादम् आवयोः।
ज्ञान-यज्ञेन तेनाहम् इष्टः स्याम् इति मे मतिः॥
BhG-T.18.71 Even the person who – having trust (in Me, viewing Me as the Lord and not just as Mr. Kṛṣṇa) and not being cynical – would listen (to this teaching), that one also is freed (from much pāpa, unwanted results) and would attain the auspicious worlds of those who do beneficial actions.
śrad-dhāvān anasūyaś ca śṛṇuyād api yo naraḥ, so'pi muktaḥ śubhāṃl lokān prāpnuyāt puṇya-karmaṇām.
श्रद्-धावान् अनसूयश् च शृणुयाद् अपि यो नरः।
सोऽपि मुक्तः शुभाल्ँ लोकान् प्राप्नुयात् पुण्य-कर्मणाम्॥
BhG-T.18.72 O Arjuna, have you heard this with a single-pointed mind? Has your delusion caused by ignorance been completely destroyed, O Arjuna?
kaccid etac chrutaṃ pārtha tvayaikāgreṇa cetasā, kaccid ajñāna-saṃmohaḥ praṇaṣṭas te dhanañ-jaya.
कच्चिद् एतच् छ्रुतं पार्थ त्वयैकाग्रेण चेतसा।
कच्चिद् अज्ञान-सम्मोहः प्रनष्टस् ते धनञ्-जय॥
BhG-T.18.73 Arjuna said: Gone is the delusion. I have gained recognition (without error of myself) by Your grace (by Your teaching), O Kṛṣṇa. I am firm and with doubts gone. I will do what You have said ( loka-saṅgraha, rallying the people to dharma, or karma-yoga to assimilate the teaching).
arjuna uvāca: naṣṭo mohaḥ smṛtir labdhā tvat-prasādān mayācyuta, sthito'smi gata-sandehaḥ kariṣye vacanaṃ tava.
नष्टो मोहः स्मृतिर् लब्धा त्वत्-प्रसादान् मयाच्युत। स्थितोऽस्मि गत-सन्देहः करिष्ये वचनं तव॥
BhG-T.18.74 Sañjaya said: Thus I have heard this extraordinary, thrilling dialogue between the great-minded Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna.
sañjaya uvāca: ity ahaṃ vāsu-devasya pārthasya ca mahātmanaḥ, saṃvādam imam aśrauṣam adbhutaṃ roma-harṣaṇam.
इत्य् अहं वासु-देवस्य पार्थस्य च महात्मनः। संवादम् इमम् अश्रौषम् अद्भुतं रोम-हर्षणम्॥
BhG-T.18.75 I have heard – by the grace of (special perception given by) Vyāsa – this paramount, secret (teaching that is) yoga ( jñāna-yoga and karma-yoga) from Kṛṣṇa, the Lord of Yoga, (as the first teacher and as its subject matter) Himself directly teaching (it).
vyāsa-prasādāc chrutavān etad guhyam ahaṃ param, yogaṃ yogeśvarāt kṛṣṇāt sākṣāt kathayataḥ svayam.
व्यास-प्रसादाच् छ्रुतवान् एतद् गुह्यम् अहं परम्।
योगं योगेश्वरात् कृष्णात् साक्षात् कथयतः स्वयम्॥
BhG-T.18.76 O King ( Dhṛta-rāṣṭra), remembering over and over this extraordinary, auspicious dialogue between Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna, I rejoice again and again.
rājan saṃsmṛtya saṃsmṛtya saṃvādam imam adbhutam, keśavārjunayoḥ puṇyaṃ hṛṣyāmi ca muhur muhuḥ.
राजन् संस्मृत्य संस्मृत्य संवादम् इमम् अद्भुतम्।
केशवार्जुनयोः पुण्यं हृष्यामि च मुहुर् मुहुः॥
BhG-T.18.77 And, O King, remembering over and over that very extraordinary (cosmic) form of Lord Hari (Lord Kṛṣṇa) (in chapter 11), my amazement is great. Again and again I rejoice.
tac ca saṃsmṛtya saṃsmṛtya rūpam atyadbhutaṃ hareḥ, vismayo me mahān rājan hṛṣyāmi ca punaḥ punaḥ.
तच् च संस्मृत्य संस्मृत्य रूपम् अत्यद्भुतं हरेः।
विस्मयो मे महान् राजन् हृष्यामि च पुनः पुनः॥
BhG-T.18.78 Wherever is Kṛṣṇa, the Lord of Yoga, and wherever is the bow-bearing Arjuna (in whoever’s heart is the devoted student prepared for action and also the Lord) there, in my opinion, is śrī (wealth and knowledge), vijaya (victory), prosperity, and certain justice.
yatra yogeśvaraḥ kṛṣṇo yatra pārtho dhanur-dharaḥ, tatra śrīr vijayo bhūtir dhruvā nītir matir mama.
यत्र योगेश्वरः कृष्णो यत्र पार्थो धनुर्-धरः।
तत्र श्रीर् विजयो भूतिर् ध्रुवा नीतिर् मतिर् मम॥
BhG-T.18. Om ( brahman, the witness of all) is that (only) reality. Thus ends the eighteenth chapter, called “The Topic of the Renunciation That Gives Complete Freedom,” of the (eighteen chapters of) Songs of the Glorious Lord, which is (looked upon as) sacred teaching ( Upaniṣad) and (whose teaching is) in (the form of) a dialogue between Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna, (the subject matter being) knowledge of brahman and yoga.
oṃ tat sat. śrīmad-bhagavad-gītāsūpaniṣatsu brahma-vidyāyāṃ yoga-śāstre śrī-kṛṣṇārjuna-saṃvāde mokṣa-sannyāsa-yogo nāmāṣṭā-daśo'dhyāyaḥ.
ओं तत् सत्। इति श्रीमद्-भगवद्-गीतासूपनिषत्सु ब्रह्म-विद्यायां योग-शास्त्रे श्री-कृष्णार्जुन-संवादे मोक्ष-सन्न्यास-योगो नामाष्टा-दशोऽध्यायः॥
Go to Top ('Home' key on many Windows browsers)
पूर्ण॒म् अदः॒ पूर्ण॒म्… (शुक्ल-यजुर्-वेदः — बृहद्-आरण्यकोपनिषद् ५.१.१)
🔗 ओं, पूर्ण॒म् अदः॒ पूर्ण॒म् इदं॒ पूर्णा॒त् पूर्ण॒म् उद॒च्यते।
पूर्ण॒स्य पूर्ण॒म् आदा॒य पूर्ण॒म् एवावशि॒ष्यते। ओं शा॒न्तिः शा॒न्तिः शा॒न्तिः॥ oṃ pūrṇam adaḥ pūrṇam idaṃ pūrṇāt pūrṇam udacyate.
pūrṇasya pūrṇam ādāya pūrṇam evāvaśiṣyate. oṃ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ.
॥इति श्रीमद्-भगवद्-गीता समाप्ता॥