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The Bhagavad Gîtâ of Order
The Original text as close to the Sanskrit of the Mahâbhârata Bhîshma Parva chapter 23-40, as possible
KARMA YOGA, THE YOGA OF PERFECT ACTION:
The individual soul realizes itself the Original Soul through action.
Chapter 1: The Yoga of Dejection:
On the confrontation with the necessity to fight.
Chapter 2a (2.1-2.38): The Yoga of Analytic Knowledge
On the knowledge of the soul.
Chapter 2b (2.39-2.72): The Yoga of Analytic Knowledge
On the results of labor.
Chapter 3: The Yoga of Action
On mastering the intelligence.
Chapter 4: The Yoga of Knowledge
Chapter 5: The Yoga of Work in Detachment
About the reality of detachment.
Chapter 6: The Yoga of Meditation
About the nature of yoga and reincarnation
BHAKTI YOGA, THE YOGA OF DEVOTION:
The individual soul realizes itself the Original Soul through devotion.
Chapter 7: The Yoga of Wisdom
About knowing and realizing oneself
Chapter 8: The Yoga of the Imperishable Spirit
Chapter 9: The Yoga of Confidentiality
On the confidential of knowledge
Chapter 10: The Yoga of His Opulence
On His Identity
Chapter 11: The Yoga of the Universal Form
On the confrontation with the complete of His reality
Chapter 12: The Yoga of Devotion
On fixing oneself on the ultimate of perfection
JÑÂNA YOGA, DE YOGA OF SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE:
The individual soul realizes itself the Original Soul through knowledge.
Chapter 13: De Yoga of Discrimination
On the difference between the knower and the known
Chapter 14: The Yoga of the Three Modes of nature
On the inherent qualities of material nature
Chapter 15: The Yoga of the Supreme Person
About the realization of the characteristics, virtue and glory of God
Chapter 16: The Yoga of discriminating the qualities of the enlightened and the unenlightened
About the qualities of the divine and the godless
Chapter 17: De Yoga of the Threefold Division of Faith
About the nature of each type of food intake, austerity and sacrifice.
Chapter 18a: The Yoga of liberation through Renunciation
About renunciation and its threefold nature.
Chapter 18b: The Yoga of liberation through Renunciation
About renunciation (its threefold nature) and its service with the divisions of society as the ultimate of liberation.
Dear reader, who am I to present to you this great Song of God? I can give you my name, but this book is exactly about answering this question properly. It is about Lord Krishna explaining to His friend Arjuna who he and He Himself really is. That knowledge would give Arjuna the strength and the resolve to know and to defeat his enemies. The crisis of Arjuna is that of identity: Who am I, what am I to do, how am I to see things, what is my nature, what is the right attitude? How to attain peace ànd the victory? We as readers are that Arjuna, and I as a translator/interpreter/concatenator was in the same position. I was faced with many Bhagavad Gîtâs that I, honestly, truly couldn't read all properly. First of all it is a heavy piece of philosophy actually, with which it is difficult to identify oneself. Second of all were most Gîtâs available cut into an enormous heap of philosophical fragments in studies of detail, from which the original course of reasoning became completely obscure. It was not difficult to understand what the preaching was all about, but what did the book say itself? How could I listen to the original speaker and pick it up from the heart as one usually does, following the reasoning in a book? In a book I normally want to listen to what the speaker has to say, anything in the way between me and the speaker is a hindrance. Thus can all the culture of belief and interpretation be experienced as a hindrance, or a problem of the purity of the medium between oneself and the Lord of Wisdom. I could ask myself: Am I listening to Vyâsadeva, the writer, to Sañjaya, the reporter of this discussion Vyâsa introduces as a speaker, or to Krishna, the one that is speaking to us actually? Am I listening to the spiritual teacher introducing me into this knowledge, interpreting and translating it to me and his understanding and to me and his social and personal ego-interest, to the religion of social convention keeping up the good attitude or am I just studying a medium on itself, like a material book or a modern internetpage that depends on its own material conditions managed by a publisher or webmaster?
Thus this presentation of the Gîtâ is an effort to reconstruct what actually was said by Lord Krishna. I kept, translating, as close to the Sanskrit as possible trying not to add, nor to omit a single word, so that the words Vyâsadeva, the original author, used, can be appreciated as from him. On the battlefield of Kurukshetra just before the great war of the Mahâbhârata Krishna spoke these to Arjuna at the end of an era of Vedic culture that left us with the nature of what we now know as modern time and by Hindus is called Kali-Yuga, the Iron age of Quarrel. I have called this Gîtâ, the Gîtâ of Order because that was what I longed for and that was what my original purpose and belief in God was: To get everything, everyone, the world and myself in order. So, I studied what the tradition said, I remembered what I learned from modern science, philosophy and the spiritual teachings and last but not least I wanted to see my own modern/postmodern experience reflected too without falling into the selfhood of ego. From the tradition itself I learned that its approach of proper reference does not really differ from the method of modern natural science also founded on proper reference. Sañjaya could be a pure medium for the words of Krishna, because he was a loyal pupil of Vyâsadeva. So I too could be a pure medium if I would follow the same method. Thus this Gîtâ does not stand on itself but is directly born from a previous version, a line of disciplic succession, the tradition; nay it also originated from all the versions and the whole discussion entertained at the present time. I understood I had to cope with the whole confusion in this field. I had to choose: There are so many Gîtâs and thus so many traditions of learning to respect. There is the Gîtâ of S'ankarâcârya, the Gîtâ of Maharishi yogî, the Gîtâ of S'rî Yukteswar, the Gîtâ of the American Gîtâ Society, the Gîtâ of W.Q. Judge of Theosophy, the Gîtâ of the internet-site for it, the Gîtâ of the Hare Krishnas and even a Gîtâ presented on television.
I concluded, remembering of what I had understood thus far, that if one is not of sacrifice, that one hasn't really understood the purport of what the Lord tries to tell us. Therefore I could skip all Gîtâs that were not offered on the internet. Gîtâs not shared with the world cannot be considered as to be of good will towards the world, I could maintain as a new norm to a new medium. The knowledge of God is the property of God and not of a bookseller or institute of learning. So all claims of proprietorship or slackness in offering, were disqualified. That left me with the only recently available Gîtâ of Theosophy, the always available Gîtâ of the American Gîtâ Society, a recently from the Internet withdrawn version of the Gîtâ from Vaishnavas in India (at the end of this translation not mentioned in the reference-links at the bottom of the page anymore), the Internet-site www.bhagavad-gita.org from another branch of western Vaishnavas for it and the original Hare Krishna Gîtâ of Swami Prabhupâda's western ISKCON-math school of Vaishnavism. The last two Gîtâs became my stronghold of study as they were the only ones meeting the scientific demand of proper reference to the original Sanskrit, word for word. From them I could, together with the Sanskrit dictionary and a basic course in Sanskrit, reconstruct the original course of reasoning as it is offered here. As such I am a follower of this Vaishnav' culture and a pupil (of a pupil of) the âcârya (teacher, guru, by example) that introduced this method of respect for the tradition in our Western Culture. The other Gîtâs so became just a second opinion to find out what the discussions of translation in the world were really all about, while I meanwhile kept to the siddhânta, or end-conclusion of Vedic study of the leading acâryâs.
This end-conclusion was devised by S'rî Krishna-Caitanya (born 1486), a great devotee and âcârya of Lord Krishna who was recognized as Bhagavân, an original incarnation of the Supreme Lord. His descend in the sixteenth century meant a reform of the Vedic culture that declared an end to the false authorities of religion and the caste-system. The siddhânta was formulated as acinthya-bheda-abheda-tattva, meaning: The Lord is the inscrutable unity in diversity. With this conclusion all differences of age and vocation were subjected to ones individual devotion to the Lord as the binding force, as expressed in ones level of transcendence, of spiritual yogic control and stability of selfrealization over the material conditioning, and ones mode of commitment, or experience with the culture of devotion. In other words: one needs to be above the material motive and one needs a certain experience in Yoga and devotional service before one can reliably speak of and live with the contents of e.g. this book. To be merely an expert in Sanskrit or to be a religious authority from an institute of learning is thus not enough. One also has to realize oneself independently relating to the Lord, what the story of God, His story, with this yoga is all about.
So what is the story about? It is taken from the epic the Mahâbhârata that is about the great war that ended the so-called Dvâpara Yuga or era of Vedic culture. The Kurudynasty (see family tree) in conflict meets on the battlefield. The main-characters speaking, Krishna and Arjuna, are nephews in a long line of Vedic succession in dynasties of nobility that ruled Bhârata-varsha, India, with the knowledge of Bhagavân, the Supreme Lord who takes different forms in different incarnations (called avatâras) throughout history. Christian readers also should see Lord Jesus Christ as a type of such an incarnation of the Original Personality of Godhead that is the Supreme Lord, be it that Lord Jesus does not represent a Vedic descent of the Supreme Lord, but is an incarnation to the specifics of the Jewish culture of God. Krishna's father Vasudeva was the brother of Queen Kuntî also called aunt Prithâ often mentioned in this Gîtâ. Arjuna, with his four brothers called the Pândavas, was born from King Pându and Queen Kuntî in the Kurudynasty. Pându had a blind brother called Dhritarâshthra who himself had a hundred sons called the Kauravas. Pându died young and the sons of Pându were raised by their uncle together with their nephews the Kauravas. This family bond ran into a terrible fugue over a game of dice with which the Kauravas denied the Pândavas the right to their piece of the common heritage. Especially seeing how well they did before the fugue gave rise to all kinds of bad character. Because of the -prepared- game of dice they were banned for the wilderness for a thirteen years. When after that period they were told that they hadn't perfectly performed according to the rules and thus had their exile extended, the limit was reached: Never would Yudhishthhira, Arjuna, Bhîma, Nakula and Sahadeva, the Pândavas, get their kingdom back this way. Because of this injustice they then met at Kurukshetra, a holy place of pilgrimage, for battle. Arjuna seeing all his nephews, uncles and other family members on the battlefield collapses: He doesn't want to fight anymore and calls for his friend and nephew Krishna, who assists him as his charioteer, for help. Then Krishna manifests His true nature before Arjuna. He tells him that it is according to his nature as a ruler that he must fight and then explains to him how to attain to the transcendental position of selfrealization that is needed to be in control over the modes of material nature and all the character of man belonging to it and thus be assured of the victory. Krishna identifies Himself as Vishnu, the Maintainer, the one of goodness and explains to Arjuna that he should see Him as the Sun and the Moon; the order of nature, as the taste of water, the divinities and the Time itself. He also tells him that this type of knowledge is personal and confidential. This cannot be told to people adverse to the science of yoga of Him which Krishna explains in the underlying eighteen chapters of the Gîtâ.
The yoga of Krishna is divided in three main portions in this book: Karma- bhakti- and jñânayoga. First of all there is the karmic point of view: Through proper action and analysis one realizes ones connectedness, realigning oneself (through religion, re-ligare, realigning, called dharma or proper action) with the original person that is the Lord and the true self as well as with the objective of the Absolute of the Truth of the manifest complete of the material universe. This unwinding of the illusioned state achieved by abandoning profitmotivated labor or karma is attained by detachment and meditation. Next, in the second section on Bhakti-yoga, Krishna explains what it means to attain to the transcendental position: Without developing fortitude in devotional service or bhakti-yoga one can be enlightened - for a while, but one is not liberated, one does not attain to the stability of wisdom in good habits of respect that one is seeking. Krishna then explains Arjuna about His personal nature and how he should recognize Himself in His different identities. Arjuna's gates of perception are then, on his own request, broken open by Krishna who shows him His Universal Form, the complete of His personal nature. From then on Arjuna does no longer doubt the divinity of his friend and does he excuse himself for having treated Him as a normal mortal being in the past. In the last six chapters on the Yoga of Spiritual knowledge or jñâna yoga Krishna explains how, with the difference between the knower and the known, the divisions of nature in three modes lead to different kinds of sacrificing and personal duty. Explaining the difference between the divine and the godless nature He then tells Arjuna finally how through renunciation, its threefold nature and its service with the divisions of society, one attains to the ultimate of liberation under the condition of respecting Him as the ultimate order and nature of the Absolute Truth of the soul.
More about the antecedents of the culture of devotion and spiritual knowledge, Krishna's life and the reality of our modern lives, is explained in the S'rîmad Bhâgavatam, also offered by me on the internet at srimadbhagavatam.org, which can be considered the Krishna-Bible on the life and times of the Lord and His devotees, to which this sermon of the Lord on the battlefield is the abstract or introduction.
In delight of service to the Lord and His devotees, I wish you and all of your relatives a sound progress on the spiritual path and all the happiness and glory of selfrealization that is possible within this human life.
With all respects, Anand Aadhar Prabhu, March 2001
THE YOGA OF DEJECTION
On the confrontation with the necessity to fight(1) [Time: 3102 B.C.] Dhritarâshthra [the blind uncle of the Pândavas, the sons of king Pându] said: "At Kurukshetra, a place of pilgrimage, my party and the sons of Pându assembled desiring t0 fight. What did they do, oh Sañjaya?"
(2) Sañjaya said: "After seeing the formation of the soldiers of the Pândavas, king Duryodhana [the chief of the sons of Dhritarâshthra, the Kurus] at that time approached his teacher [Dronâcârya] and said: (3) ' Just see the sons of Pându [a brother of Dhritarâshthra and the father of the Pândavas], oh teacher, arranged as a great military force by the son of Drupada [the father in law of Arjuna wh0 leads the Pândavas], your intelligent disciple [Dhrishthadyumna]. (4) There are heroes and mighty bowmen equal in the fight t0 Bhîma and Arjuna [tw0 of the five sons of Pându] like Yuyudhâna and Virâtha as als0 Drupada himself, wh0 is als0 a great warrior. (5) Dhrishthâketu, Cekitâna, Kâs'irâja, and als0 the very powerful Purujit, Kuntibhoja and S'aibya are there, wh0 are all great heroes in human society. (6) Yudhâmanyu, the mighty Uttamaujâ, the very powerful son of Subhadrâ [sister of Krishna, a wife of Arjuna] and the sons of Draupadî are centainly all great chariot fighters. (7) But t0 your information, oh best of the twice-born, let me tell you als0 about the specially powerful captains of our soldiers. (8) Of your good self there are grandfather Bhîshma and als Karna, Kripa, and As'vatthâmâ, Vikarna and the son of Somadatta [Bhuris'ravâ], who are certainly also always victorious in battle. (9) There are as well a great number of other heroes equipped with many weapons having combat experience, that are willing to risk their lives for my sake. (10) Our strength is immeasurable being perfectly protected by Grandfather Bhîshma, but limited is all of this strength with the Pândavas carefully protected by Bhîma. (11) Those everywhere strategically arranged to support Bhîshma certainly all respectively will give you their support.
(12) To his greater joy, the valiant grandsire of the Kuru dynasty, the grandfather, blew his conchshell very loudly, vibrating like a roaring lion. (13) Other conchshells as also large and small drums and horns all of a sudden were sounded together thereafter, which culminated into a tumultuous uproar. (14) Thereupon Mâdhava [Krishna as the husband of the goddess of fortune] with Arjuna standing in a great chariot drawn by white horses, both confidently sounded their divine conchshells. (15) Hrishîkes'a [Krishna as the Lord of the Senses] blew the Pâñcajanya, Arjuna the Devadatta and the herculean Bhîma, the voracious eater, blew the Paundra. (16-17-18) The king, the son of Kuntî [Yudhishthhira, the eldest Pândava] blew Ananta-vijaya while Nakula and Sahadeva [the twin brother Pândava's] blew the Sughosha and Manipushpaka. So also the king of Kâs'î [Varanasi], the great archerer Sikhandî and the great warrior Dhrishthadyumna, Virâtha [who gave the Pândavas shelter], Sâtyaki [Yuyudhâna, the charioteer of Krishna] who was never defeated and, oh King, Drupada together with all the sons of the Pândavas, and the mighty armed Abhimanyu [son of Subhadrâ], each blew their respective conchshells. (19) That vibration tore the hearts of the sons of Dhritarâshthra as it resounded tumultuous in the sky and the earth. (20) Then the son of Pându, whose flag was marked with Hanumân and who was looking from his chariot upon the sons of Dhritarâshthra in preparing to take up his bow and shoot his arrows, oh King, at that time spoke the following words to Hrishîkes'a.
(21-22) Arjuna said: 'Please drive my chariot between both the armies, oh Infallible One, for the time that I may look upon those desiring to fight arrayed on the battlefield with whom together I have to contend in this trial of arms. (23) Let me see those who will be fighting and are assembled here wishing to please the evil minded son of Dhritarâshthra.' "
(24) Sañjaya said: "Oh son of Bharata, thus being addressed by Arjuna, Hrishîkes'a placed the mighty fine chariot in the midst of the two armies. (25) In front of Bhîshma, Drona and all the military leaders of the world the Lord said: 'oh son of Prithâ, just see how all the members of the Kuru-dynasty are assembled here'. (26) There he indeed could see standing both parties of the armies: his fathers, grandfathers, teachers, maternal uncles, brothers, sons, grandsons, friends and also his fathers-in-law and well-wishers. (27) Seeing all kinds of relatives he, the son of Kuntî got overwhelmed by a high degree of compassion and lamenting he thus spoke.
(28) Arjuna said: 'The sight of all these kinsmen, oh Krishna, all present in a fighting spirit, makes the limbs of my body quiver and my mouth dry up. (29) My body trembles and my hair stands on end, my Gândîva [his bow] is slipping from my hand and my skin certainly is burning. (30) Nor am I able to keep standing, my mind goes and I see just the opposite, oh Kes'ava [Krishna as the killer of the the mad horse Kes'î]. (31) Nor do I foresee any good in killing my own kinsmen in the fight, and I do not desire the victory either, oh Krishna, nor do I expect a happy kingdom thereof. (32-35) What use is the kingdom to us, Govinda? What joy or life is there either if the kingdom is desired by us for the sake of those who want that material pleasure and happiness also, while they have all taken positions on the battlefield and are willing to give up their lives: our teachers, fathers, sons as well as certainly also our grandfathers. All these maternal uncles, fathers-in-law, grandsons, brothers and other relatives I never wish to kill nor get killed, oh Madhusûdana [Krishna who defeated Madhu]. Not even in exchange for the three worlds I want the kingdom not to speak about having it for the sake of the earth - what pleasure will there be in killing the sons of Dhritarâshthra, oh Janârdana [Krishna as maintainer of the three worlds]? (36) For sure sin will come upon us by killing all these aggressors and therefore we should never kill the sons of Dhritarâshthra along with the friends and kinsmen. How can we become happy by killing others, oh Mâdhava?
(37-38) Even if they do not see with their hearts overpowered by greed the fault to kill one's family, the quarreling with friends and having to suffer the reactions - why should we, who see the crime of destroying a dynasty, not turn us away from such sins, oh Janârdana? (39) Destroying the family, its eternal traditions of religion will vanish as a consequence of which the whole family will lose its sense of duty, it is said. (40) With the prominence of this lack of responsibility, oh Krishna, the women of the family will become spoiled and from that corruption of womanhood there will be a confusion of identity in society. (41) Such a confusion will certainly turn the life of the family members of those who killed their family to hell, as with the fall of their forefathers they also will have stopped with the offerings of food and water. (42) Such faults of all those who destroyed the family and became confused in their identity, will devastate the continuation of the righteousness of status orientations and family traditions in society. (43) Of those men who spoiled the family traditions, oh Janârdana, one will always turn out to reside in hell, thus I heard from the learned. (44) Alas, oddly we have decided to perform great sins in trying to kill kinsmen in our being driven by greed for royal happiness. (45) It would rather be better for me to give up my resistance and arms and have me killed by the weapons in the hands of the sons of Dhritarâshthra on the battlefield'."
(46) Sañjaya said: "Thus having spoken on the battlefield, Arjuna sat down on the seat of his chariot putting aside his bow and arrows, in distress with a mind full of lamentation."
THE YOGA OF ANALYTIC KNOWLEDGE
On the knowledge of the soul (2.1-2.38)(1) Sañjaya said: "Unto him [Arjuna], who was thus overwhelmed by compassion, having his eyes full of tears and lamenting, Madhusûdana [Krishna as the killer of Madhu] spoke the following words:
(2) The Supreme Lord said: 'Wherefrom came this impurity of lamentation at this hour of crisis? This practice of the uncivilized that does not lead to a better world, is the cause of infamy, oh Arjuna. (3) Do not take to this impotence, oh son of Prithâ, this pettiness and weakness of the heart does not befit you - give it up and stand up, oh chastiser of the enemy!'
(4) Arjuna said: 'How can I counterattack Bhîshma and Drona with arrows in the fight, oh Madhusûdana. They are worthy of worship, oh killer of the enemies! (5) Even begging in this life on the planet is certainly better than to kill those superior great souls, even though those teachers desire worldly gain - surely our enjoying the pleasures of life will be tainted with blood! (6) Nor do we know what would be better for us: that we may conquer them or they may conquer us - certainly of those who do so by killing we would never want to live, all of us as we are positioned in front of the sons of Dritharâshthra. (7) Being afflicted by the characteristics of miserliness and weakness, I ask You, confused in the heart about my duty, what would be all-good - please tell me that in confidence; instruct me as I am surrendered to You as Your disciple. (8) I do not clearly see what would dispel the sadness drying up my senses in achieving [this way the] unrivaled prosperity of a kingdom on earth or even the supremacy of the godly.'
(9) Sañjaya said: "Thus addressing Hrisîkes'a, Gudâkes'a [Arjuna as the master of curbing ignorance], the chastiser of the enemies said: 'I shall not fight.' After saying this to Govinda he then fell silent. (10) Oh descendant of Bharata, there between the armies of both parties Hrisîkes'a spoke smiling to the lamenting one the following words.
(11) The Supreme Lord said: 'You are lamenting about what is not worth the lamenting and you speak learned words as well - whether lives are lost or not, the wise never lament. (12) I never really did not exist whenever, nor did you; you nor any of all these kings - never shall also surely all of us not exist hereafter. (13) Of being embodied one knows the physical of boyhood, youth and old age - similarly does attaining to the beyond of the body never delude the sober ones. (14) It is only sense perception, oh son of Kuntî, like summer and winter, happiness and pain given, appear and disappear; none of them are permanent, just try to tolerate it, oh descendant of the Bharata dynasty. (15) The person who is then never upset by all of this, oh best among men, and is equal to and steady in distress and happiness, is considered fit for liberation.
(16) Never is there of falsehood [asat, the temporal form] any durability nor can one expect of the eternal [sat, the true, the soul] any cessation, thus stress the seers who concluded to the study of both. (17) Know that that by which the whole body is pervaded is imperishable and that no one is able to destroy it. (18) All these material bodies are perishable while of the embodied soul it is said that it is never destroyed and immeasurable, therefore fight oh descendant of Bharata. (19) Anyone who supposes that this [soul] is the killer and also anyone who thinks that it can be killed, will of either of both positions never be in knowledge; never does it kill or can it be killed. (20) It is never born, nor does it ever die; never it came into existence nor will it cease to be - it will not take rebirth, it is unborn, eternal and permanent; it is the oldest and is never killed when the body is killed. (21) One who knows that this [soul] is the indestructible, always existing, which is unborn and immutable - how can that person, oh Pârtha, be the cause of killing or be killed? (22) Just like giving up worn out garments and accepting new ones, does the embodied [soul] the same way give up old bodies and verily accept different new ones. (23) Never can this soul be cut to pieces, be burnt by fire; nor can it drown in water or wither in the wind. (24) This unbreakable soul that cannot be burned, dissolve in water or dry up, is surely everlasting, all-pervading, unchangeable, unmovable and primordial.
(25) As one speaks like this of it as being invisible, inconceivable and stable, you should know very well that this soul never deserves lamentation. (26) If, however, you think of it as always taking birth or finding death, still, oh mighty armed one, it never deserves lamentation. (27) Death is a certain fact for the one who is born and also is birth certain for the ones who died; they are matters unavoidable that therefore do not deserve your lamentation. (28) In the beginning all are unmanifest, they are manifest in the middle, and in the end, oh descendant of Bharata, they are all gone, therefore why complain when it is all like that? (29) Some see it as amazing, some speak of it as amazing and others surely come to know about it as being amazing, while still others, even having heard about this soul, certainly never come to understand it. (30) This soul, the eternal owner of the body of everyone, cannot be killed and therefore, oh descendant of Bharata, you should not grieve for any living being.
(31) Also, indeed in considering your own duties you should not hesitate to fight for the sake of the religion, as for a ruler truly there is no better engagement than that. (32) Oh son of Prithâ, happy are the rulers who do achieve to the war that came on its own accord, as to them the gates of heaven are opened wide. (33) Therefore you should do this fighting as a religious duty - not acting according to your own nature, you will lose your reputation and fall in sin. (34) About your infamy people will always be speaking as for a respectable man infamy is worse than death. (35) Ceasing out of fear leaving the battlefield, the great generals who are also holding you in great estimation, will consider you as someone lower in value. (36) Many of your enemies will speak unkind words of you deriding your ability. What of course, is there more painful than that? (37) Either, being killed, you will attain the heavenly kingdom, or, conquering, you will enjoy the world; therefore get up, oh son of Kuntî, and fight with the certainty of determination. (38) Equanimous in happiness and distress, gain and loss, victory and defeat; thereafter engaging for the sake of fighting, this way you will never incur any sin.'
THE YOGA OF ANALYTIC KNOWLEDGE
On the results of labor (2.39-2.72)
(39) 'All this I described to you was about the analytical study of the intelligence in yoga, but listen now how dovetailed with that intelligence, oh son of Prithâ, you can be released from the bondage of fruitive labor [karma]. (40) Endeavoring in it, there will never be loss or diminution and a little effort with it frees one from the greatest danger. (41) Those with a strong resolve to the soul are one in intelligence, oh child of the Kurus, while those who are not of that determination have an intelligence which indeed is endlessly branched. (42-43) All these flowery words are [also] used by men with little knowledge who are followers of the Vedas and, ohson of Prithâ, proclaim that there is nothing else to it. With their hearts full of desire they aim at higher spheres, a good birth and the grace of results by various pompous ceremonies to please their senses and to progress towards opulence. (44) Those who by such things are too attached to material pleasure and opulence are bewildered in their mind and never arrive at the determination of a mind controlled with intelligence. (45) The Vedic literatures dealing with the modes of nature [goodness, passion and ignorance] tell you to transcend them Arjuna, as outside the duality, fixed in the eternal of goodness, the soul is attained that is unconcerned about possessing and acquiring. (46) All good of water found in a single well is in all respects found in a great reservoir - similarly all that is found in the Vedas can be appreciated in a spiritual man complete in knowledge.
(47) You certainly have the right to do your duty but not the claim over the fruits whenever; never see yourself as the cause of the results as you should never let attachment accompany a religious duty. (48) Do your work staying connected thus in giving up that association oh Dhanañjaya [Arjuna as the one conquering the wealth] and stay balanced in success and failure as the realization of this equanimity is what is called yoga. (49) Keep yourself for sure far away from abominable acts with that intelligence of yoga, Dhanañjaya, in the full surrender of such consciousness - as it are the misers who try for the sake of the result. (50) One aligned in this intelligence can in this life get rid of both a good and a bad outcome, therefore, for the sake of yoga, engage being connected; that is the art in all activities. (51) Being immersed in working for this, aligned in the intelligence of giving up the results, liberated the great sages and devotees from the bondage of birth and death as they reached a position of being free from miseries. (52) When your intelligence surpasses the confusion of illusion, at that time you shall be indifferent about all this you are about to hear and have already heard of. (53) When, without being confused about results with these revelations, you remain unmoved in transcendence with a fixed intelligence, you will achieve selfrealization.'
(54) Arjuna said: 'What are the signs of one fixed in consciousness, in transcendence - and what does one who is fixed in wisdom say, how does he keep still and how does he move?'
(55) The Supreme Lord said: 'Giving up the various desires and their ruminations to the self, oh son of Prithâ, at that time, one says, satisfied by that purified mind, one becomes steady in ones consciousness. (56) Those who without worrying face the miseries and without interest face happiness and who are free from attachment, fear and anger, are called sages [munis] whose meditation is steady. (57) He who, whether achieving good or evil with it, is unaffected with it wherever and neither prefers or hates, is fixed in perfect knowledge. (58) When his consciousness is fixed he withdraws like a tortoise does with its limbs, all his senses from the sense objects. (59) By restrictions one may refrain from the sense objects, but for the embodied soul giving up the taste the relation remains that he, experiencing the higher, ceases from. (60) While endeavoring surely, in spite of, oh son of Kuntî, a man's full discrimination, the senses forcibly take away the mind agitating it. (61) Keeping all those senses engaged under control, one should be situated in the relationship with the beyond, as the one who has his senses fully subjugated is surely established in wisdom. (62) Facing sense objects a person develops attachment for those objects. From that attachment desire develops and from that desire anger [the drift of passion] arises. (63) From anger [losing one's order] one gets illusioned and from illusion the memory gets bewildered. With the memory disturbed one loses one's intelligence and from that loss of intelligence one falls down. (64) But one who has become free from attachment and aversion, having the senses acting upon the sense objects under control, will, regulating himself thus, attain the clarity. (65) From that tranquility all misery will find its end and of such a happy mind soon the intuition will become sufficiently established. (66) There cannot be intelligence if one is not aligned to this and without that connectedness one will not be steady in one's respect; missing that peace how can one of such discontent be happy? (67) The mind by roaming with the senses surely becomes preoccupied [by the material interest] as the intelligence is taken away the way the wind takes a boat away on the water. (68) Therefore, oh mighty armed one, one who tied his senses down from their objects is of steady intelligence. (69) To what is night to all living beings the selfcontrolled are wakeful and to what all these beings are wakeful is as night to the introspective wise. (70) Like the ocean that is steady in always being filled by the waters entering it, so also a person of peace is steady with the desires entering and not the one who is desiring. (71) A person who has given up all desires living free from longing, without striving for possessions and identifying with the body, attains peace. (72) This spiritual condition, oh son of Prithâ, will never achieving it bewilder you. Being situated in it, even at the end of one's life the kingdom of God is attained with it.'
THE YOGA OF ACTION
On mastering the intelligence(1) Arjuna said: 'If being intelligent is considered better than doing fruitive work, as You said oh Janârdana, then why are You engaging me in this ghastly action Kes'ava? (2) Surely You are confusing my intelligence with Your equivocal words, therefore please make sure You tell me of one only so that I may really benefit from it.'
(3) The Supreme Lord said: 'In this world there are two kinds of faith, as I told you before oh sinless one, it is the linking of oneself in the knowledge of the analytic mind [to attain stability of intelligence] and the connectedness in action [forsaking the desire for the fruits] as practiced by the devoted [the volition of yoga]. (4) Nor by forsaking work does a man attain liberation nor does he attain success by simply renouncing [the fruits]. (5) Surely no one is but for a moment without action and certainly everyone is irresistibly drawn to fruitive work [undergo karma] according to the qualities born from the modes of nature. (6) Anyone who, controlling the senses, in his mind keeps thinking of the sense objects is a foolish soul called a pretender. (7) But one who, regulating the senses with his mind, oh Arjuna, makes a beginning with connecting his senses in working without the attachment of desiring the fruits [karma-yoga] - he is by far the better. (8) Do your prescribed duties, as working for certain is better than not to work - even your bodily maintenance is never without the effect of work. (9) Work for the purpose of sacrifice, otherwise work in this world will bind you. Work done for that sake, oh son of Kuntî, will liberate you perfectly from that [material] association.
(10) In the coming about in the beginning of the generations along with the sacrifices, the Lord of mankind [Brahmâ, the Creator] said to this: 'Be more and more prosperous; may this [sacrifice] bestow upon you all that you desire.' (11) Having pleased the godly by sacrifices, the godly will please you and thus mutually pleasing one another you will achieve the Supreme. (12) The gods satisfied by sacrifice will surely award you with the necessities of life, but he who enjoys the things given without offering is certainly a thief. (13) Eating of the sacrifices the devoted find relief of all kinds of sin, but the impious who consider just to please their senses only eat of trouble. (14) From grains material bodies grow, from rains there is the production of grains while rains become possible with the [watering by] sacrifices that are performed out of duty. (15) One's duty is realized through the culture of knowledge while the regulation of that knowledge is of the Supreme, therefore in sacrifice one will always find the all-pervading spirit.
(16) Thus it is so that one who in his life does not adopt this regular [cakra*] order as established in the Vedas, will lead a useless life full of sin and sense gratification. (17) But one who takes pleasure in the soul surely remains a self-realized man contented in himself only and freed from obligations. (18) Certainly never his doing or not doing in this world will be for a material purpose and never will he see any advantage in taking to the shelter of other living beings. (19) Therefore, do your work constantly without attachment as a duty, because performing labor unattached certainly one will achieve the Original Person.
(20) For sure even kings like Janaka [father of Sîtâ, the wife of Râma] and others attained to perfection through this work and also in consideration of what the world needs you should act. (21) Whatever a respectable leader does is surely and solely done for other people and whatever the example he gives the whole world will do in following. (22) For Me there is no obligation of service in the three worlds [heaven, hell and purgatory] yet, indeed without wanting or desire to obtain, I am engaged in activities also. (23) Surely if I ever fail thus to be engaged with great care, that path of Mine all men would follow, oh son of Prithâ, in every respect. (24) All these worlds would run into chaos if I would not do My work; I would create confusion and would destroy all these living entities. (25) As the ignorant do their work in attachment, oh descendant of Bharata, so the learned must act without attachment in desiring to be the example for the common people. (26) He should not disturb the minds of the ignorant attached to the fruits of labor; a wise man should, engaged in his duty, fit all in with his work.
(27) From all kinds of activities performed by the modes of material nature, the self, bewildered by the identification with the physical, thinks itself from that the doer. (28) But knowing the principal reality [tattva] with the operating modes, oh mighty armed one, he will, who thinks that way about the difference between the senses and their engagement, never become attached. (29) Bewildered by the modes of nature those persons who have little knowledge and who are lax in selfrealization, become entangled in material activities; they should not be agitated by the ones who know. (30) Therefore dedicate all sorts of work to Me, giving up in the full knowledge of your soul, with a consciousness free from desiring profit and property and being thus: fight without hesitation!
(31) Those who follow these directions about the eternal in a regulated manner are human beings with faith and devotion not looking at others; all of them will become free from even the bond of fruitive labor. (32) But those however who do not regularly follow My instructions out of envy are confused about all knowledge and know them well as being lost without that servitude. (33) The learned one tries according to his own way [to relate to] the modes of nature, nevertheless all living beings are subjected to it [the creation, maintenance and destruction ] - what [then] can one expect from defeat and destruction? (34) The attachment and aversion of the senses to their objects needs to be regulated as one certainly should never come under the control of those stumbling blocks. (35) It is better [to that] to follow one's own nature making mistakes than to be perfect in following an estranged course of action; to find destruction with following one's own duty is [thus] better than to run into danger with an estranged sense of duty.'
(36) Arjuna said: 'Then by what is a man impelled to sin even if he does not want to, oh descendant of Vrishni [Krishna's family name], as if engaged by force?'
(37) The Supreme Lord said: 'It is lust, it is anger born from the mode of passion which is the all-devouring greatly sinful; know this here to be your greatest enemy. (38) Just like smoke covering a fire, a mirror covered with dust and a womb enclosing an embryo, so similarly by this lust this [knowing] is covered. (39) The knowing of the knower, covered by this eternal enemy in the form of [the unregulated] desire, oh son of Kuntî, is just like fire never satisfied. (40) The senses, the mind and the intelligence are called the stronghold of this lust which by all these clouds the knowledge in covering the embodied [soul]. (41) Therefore you must, regulating the senses from the beginning, oh best among the Bhâratas, curb this drive of sin that is the destroyer of knowledge and wisdom. (42) The senses are above things one says and more than the senses is the superior [directing] mind. Also above that is the [planning] intelligence - but more than the intelligence is He who is the [controlling transcendent soul] beyond. (43) Thus, superior to the intelligence, knowing from the steadying of the mind, deliberately conquer this enemy which, oh mighty armed one, is so formidable in the form of lust.'
* Cakra: relates to the S'is'umâra Cakra (S.B. 2.2: 24 -25), the celestial sky, the ' navel of Vishnu' as the perceptible Vâsudeva and the division of time as given in the Srîmad Bhâgavatam Canto 3 chapter 11. See also The Order of Time: science.
THE YOGA OF KNOWLEDGEAbout sacrificing and the importance of knowledge
(1) The Supreme Lord said: 'This imperishable yoga I instructed to the sun-god [Vivasvân] who told it to the father of mankind [Vaivasvata Manu] who in his turn said it to Ikshvâku [founder of the dynasty where Râma descended in]. (2) Thus one following the other, the saintly kings received this science understanding it that way but in the course of time in this world this great way of connecting oneself was scattered, oh subduer of the enemies. (3) This very same very old science of yoga today is spoken by Me to you as you are My devotee and friend as well and thus factually [you can come to understand] the mystery of this transcendence.'
(4) Arjuna said: 'Your birth came after the one before of Vivasvân. How must I understand Your instructing in the beginning thus?'
(5) The Supreme Lord said: 'Many births of Mine and also of you have passed, oh Arjuna, I know them all but you do not, oh subduer of the enemy. (6) Despite of being unborn by nature, the imperishable soul and the Lord of all living beings, I, although situated in transcendence, out of My own do incarnate as the [deluding] covering of My own Self. (7) Whenever and wherever it is sure that one weakens in righteousness and a predominance of injustice does manifest, oh descendant of Bharata, at that time I do manifest Myself. (8) To liberate the seekers of truth, to take the power away from the wicked ones and to re-establish the way of the human principles, I do appear age after age. (9) Anyone who knows as such of My divine birth(s) and activities will never, after leaving his body, take birth again, but will attain Me, oh Arjuna.
(10) Freed from attachment, fear and anger in the full awareness of Me, many who were purified in the knowledge of penance, have attained My transcendental love. (11) All who surrender themselves to Me I surely award My path [of glory] that is followed by all men, oh son of Prithâ, in all respects. (12) Desiring the perfect of the profit they worship the gods here and certainly in the worldly society success will quickly ensue of that fruitive labor. (13) Of the four vocations [of labor, trading, ruling and guiding] accomplished by Me according to the qualities [of goodness, passion and slowness] and the divisions of labor [according to the status of youngsters, married, withdrawn and retired people and their level of transcendence] I am the Father, although you may know Me as the nondoer and unchangeable. (14) Doing work does not affect Me as I do not aspire the fruits thereof. Therefore one who knows Me will, of labor, never become entangled. (15) Knowing this the ancients who attained liberation surely knew to keep to their duty and therefore you should act the way your predecessors did in the past.
(16) What is action and what is inaction? Even the intelligent are in illusion about this matter. That I will now explain to you and knowing it you will be liberated from ill fortune. (17) Working in desiring the fruits [karma], unwanted work [vikarma] and work as a sacrifice [akarma] should each be considered intelligently as it is difficult to understand the goal of karma. (18) One who sees labor for profit as inactivity and who sees work as a sacrifice as labor is intelligent in human affairs; he, although engaged in all sorts of action is of the transcendental. (19) The karma of him who of determination tries with everything without desiring, is burned up by the fire of knowledge, the learned declare who know about this. (20) He who has given up to work for the attachment to the fruits, is always satisfied and free from clinging to his home. He does, although fully active, not really do anything. (21) Not desiring, controlled in his conscious self and giving up all claims of property he keeps himself together by doing work only, without ever running into the reactions of sin. (22) Satisfied with gain coming on its own accord, free from the duality and envy and steady in success and failure, he, although of action, never becomes entangled. (23) With the attachment gone, being liberated and with the mind to the transcendent in the wisdom of acting in sacrifice, the complete of karma dissolves.
(24) The sacrifice itself, that which is offered in the fire of sacrifice and he who is of sacrifice are of the same spiritual nature; he will certainly attain the spirit of the Absolute [Brahman] who is completely absorbed in working for the spiritual. (25) Some worship the godly in this while other followers of the path of yoga perfectly offer in sacrifice to the fire of the spiritual itself. (26) Some sacrifice by the hearing process to the senses in contemplating sound vibrations [like mantras] in the fire, while others offer their sense gratification relating to material objects [like food] in the fire. (27) Still others in need of self-realization too, offer in the fire of sacrifice of all functions of the senses, their unregulated breath in the self-restraint of yoga. (28) Some sacrifice their possessions, in austerity and yoga thus while even others as ascetics having taken to strict vows, sacrifice their knowledge in also studying the Vedas. (29) Offering the inward breath to the one going outward and the outward breath to the one going inward also others are in effort to attain to cessation by [merely] following the inward and outward going air while still others sacrifice the inhaled air into itself in controlling their eating. (30) Although differing, all the ones knowing of sacrifice are purified from the reactions of their darkness and having tasted the nectar as a result of those sacrifices, they reach the spirit of the eternal. (31) When this world is not for the one without sacrifice, then what [to expect] of the next, oh best of the Kurus? (32) Thus the different types of sacrifices are defended by mouth of the Vedas. You must see them all as the result of karma and knowing thus you will find liberation.
(33) Greater than the sacrifice of material things is the sacrifice of knowledge, oh chastiser of the enemy; all this karma in sum, oh son of Prithâ, finds its end in knowledge. (34) Try to understand that by exercising respect, inquiring submissively and rendering service to the ones who know, as they will initiate you into the truth of the seers. (35) Knowing it so you will never fall victim to illusion again as from this you will, oh son of Prithâ, go for the vision of the soul of all living beings, that is in Me. (36) Even if you are the greatest of all sinners you will, with this boat of transcendental knowledge, cross the ocean of all this misery. (37) Like firewood ablaze with fire turns to ashes, oh Arjuna, so the fire of knowledge turns all of your karma to ashes. (38) Surely there exists nothing of knowledge in this world that can compare to this purification and he who is mature in his own yoga will enjoy that in due course of time within himself. (39) A man of faith can attain keeping close to the knowledge in the control of his senses as of that knowledge having achieved the transcendental abode he very soon attains to peace. (40) But not knowing and also without belief a person of doubts has no taste for it; never in this world nor in the beyond there will be happiness for such a doubtful soul. (41) One who by yoga renounced materially motivated work and by means of knowledge broke with the doubt is situated in the soul and will never be bound by his work, oh conqueror of riches. (42) Therefore this doubt that out of ignorance was born in your heart, must be cut by means of the weapon of the knowledge of the soul; be situated in that yoga and rise to fight, oh descendant of Bharata!'
THE YOGA OF WORK IN DETACHMENTAbout the reality of detachment.
(1) Arjuna said: 'Krishna, You praise the renunciation of fruitive labor as well as the practice of yoga. Please tell me which one is definitely more beneficial of the two.'
(2) The Supreme Lord replied: 'Renouncing [the fruits] and also action in yoga both lead to the path of liberation, but compared to the renunciation of fruitive labor, the action in yoga is the better of the two. (3) He should always be known as a renouncing one who never likes or dislikes and who is free from the duality, as certainly, oh mighty armed one, he is happy who is liberated from being bound that way. (4) The less intelligent see the analytic and the work of yoga as different, but not so the learned ones. Situated in either one of them one will enjoy the complete of the result of both. (5) He who places what one achieves by analysis at the same level as what one achieves by work done in yoga and thus sees study and selfless action as one, actually sees it as it is.
(6) But, renunciation, oh mighty armed one, will afflict distress if one is without devotion, while a thinker united in selfless action reaches the Supreme without delay. (7) Connected in yoga a purified soul, who is self-controlled and has mastered his senses, is in compassion with all living beings and although engaged in action he is never affected. (8-9) 'In divine consciousness I certainly never do anything' thus thinks one who knows the truth in his seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, going, dreaming and breathing. Despite of his talking, forsaking, accepting, opening and closing his eyes he considers it as [merely] an engagement of the senses. (10) He who dedicates all his works to the spiritual forsaking of his attachments is never affected by sin like a lotusleaf is in the water. (11) With their body, mind and intelligence purified yogis even with their senses are acting in giving up the attachments for the sake of the soul. (12) United in giving up the fruits they unflinching attain perfect peace while the ones unconnected in the desire to enjoy the results are entrapped in attachment.
(13) By his thinking giving up all activities and remaining in happiness, the one who is controlled resides in the city of nine gates [the body] and thus the embodied soul for sure never does anything nor does he cause anything. (14) Never is he the one engaging in action nor does the master [of that city] induce others to act, nor is he identified with the results, as all is done by nature. (15) Never is the one of power responsible for the sins or pious activities of anyone; it is the spiritual knowledge that is covered by ignorance because of which the living beings are bewildered.
(16) But to the living entity whose nescience is destroyed by knowledge, that knowledge discloses the Supreme Reality like the rising sun. (17) With one's intelligence to that, self to that, faith to that and refuge in that, one will, being cleansed from all misgivings by that knowledge, not return again. (18) In a gentle brahmin fully educated, in a cow, in an elephant and surely also in an outcast, see those who are wise [the soul] with equal vision. (19) In this life certainly those have conquered birth and death who in sameness have a fixed mind flawless in the equanimity of the Supreme Spirit of which they are situated in the Supreme. (20) Never rejoicing on achieving the pleasant nor getting agitated arriving at the unpleasant, intelligent of his own and unbewildered, he who knows the spiritual is situated in transcendence.
(21) The one who is not attached to superficial pleasures finds, by concentrating on the spiritual of being connected in the soul, in the self the happiness which is enjoyed as being unlimited. (22) In that which certainly by the contact with the senses is a source of misery, the intelligent never take delight, as that certainly is subjected to having a beginning and an end, oh son of Kuntî. (23) He who in this material body is able to tolerate the lust and anger generated from the urges, before the body is forsaken, is a composed and happy human being. (24) Surely anyone who happy from within takes pleasure in the self and dwells on the inner light is a yogi who selfrealized attains liberation in the Supreme. (25) Those achieve that spiritual liberation who live the inner life and are spotless; they are beyond the duality in selfrealization and are engaged in work for the welfare of all living beings. (26) The mind of renounced persons who are liberated from lust and anger is under full control and for them who learned from the soul there is in the near future the guarantee of spiritual enlightenment. (27-28) Turned away from the unnecessary in the outer world not looking for it and concentrated between the eyebrows in suspending the in- and outgoing breath keeping the air with it in his nose, are the senses, mind and intelligence of the transcendentalist set to liberation as one who has discarded all wishes, fear and anger is surely always of that liberation. (29) One who knows Me as the beneficiary of sacrifices, penances and austerities, as the Supreme Lord of all the worlds and as the benefactor of all living beings, thus attains peace.'
THE YOGA OF MEDITATIONAbout the nature of yoga and reincarnation
(1) The Supreme Lord said: 'One who is not taking to the fruits and does his work dutifully is of the renounced order and a yogi, but not he who is without [sacrifice to] the fire and does not do his duty. (2) Know that what is called sannyâs [the renounced order] is what links one to the Supreme, oh son of Pându; surely never will anyone become [such] a transcendentalist who does not give up the selfish motive. (3) Of the sage who has just begun one says it is by means of work that one links up while of the ones who attained it, it is said that it is surely the sameness that is the means of yoga. (4) When surely he is never for the good of the senses engaged in the necessary fruitive labor, at that time he is a renouncer of selfhood elevated in yoga, one says. (5) One must free oneself by mindfulness and never put oneself down, as surely that selfinterest is indeed as well the friend of the soul as the self its enemy. (6) The mindful is the best friend of that living soul who by himself conquered himself, but to those who are soulless the same mindfulness stays as an enemy. (7) Those who conquered mindfully and thus attained peace have reached the Supersoul its sameness in cold and heat, happiness and distress as well as honor and dishonor. (8) The soul satisfied by knowledge and wisdom is in the spiritual and in the control over his senses united, and thus one says, the yogi is indifferent about a clod of dirt, a stone or gold. (9) And to have an equal intelligence towards well-wishers, friends and enemies, neutrals and arbiters, hating ones and good-willing relatives as well as to the pious as the sinners, is [even] more advanced.
(10) The spiritual person [or yogi] must always remember himself being alone in a secluded position, in controlled consciousness, without distraction and concerns about possessions. (11-12) At a sanctified spot he should put a seat not too high nor too low, covering a filling ['kus'a grass'] with soft cloth ['deerskin'] and then clear his busy mind to be one-pointed of heart with his senses and activities in assuming postures of yoga. (13-14) Keeping the body, head and neck straight, not moving, he should gaze at the tip of his nose without looking elsewhere. With a calm self, without fear and loyal to the celibate, the one connecting should sit to subdue the mind concentrating on Me as the ultimate goal. (15) Constantly practicing the soulfulness as mentioned, the meditator with a regulated mind attains the peace and heavenly abode of spiritual union. (16) But nor is there yoga eating too much or fasting excessively, and also not with one who sleeps too much, or with one who stays awake, oh Arjuna. (17) With the regulation of eating and recreating, the duties of maintenance and sleep and wakefulness, the yoga practice will put an end to the misery. (18) When disciplined this way consciousness for sure has become situated in transcendence without hankering after sense-gratification, then one is thus said to be united [or employed]. (19) The comparison to a lamp out of the wind that is not wavering is what one is reminded of with a yogi whose balanced consciousness is connected in constantly being engaged in the soul. (20-23) In that state wherein consciousness stills by doing yoga, the self, that realizes its position in the mindfulness of the soul, becomes satisfied. The supreme happiness, of which one knows that by intelligence it can be accessed in the transcendence, will surely him who is situated in it never remove from the truth. And anything else which by the attainment is also gained is never considered to be more than that, as in that position no miseries, however difficult they are, can put one out of balance. Know that the miseries resulting from contacting matter dissolve in this unification of yoga. (24) That yoga one must practice with firm determination without deviating in mental speculations that are born from lust; all this total forsaking by the mind is sure to be from the settling of the whole sensory apparatus in all respects.
(25) Gradually step by step one should intelligently withdraw the mind by means of ones conviction, putting it to the transcendent, not even thinking of making it any other way. (26) From wherever the agitated mind flickering and unsteady wanders one must certainly bring it back under the control of the regulating self. (27) This yogi, whose mind is pacified, attains with his passions quieted the spiritual liberation of being freed from all reactions to sin. (28) Thus engaging the soul always the yogi is freed from sin in the transcendental joy of spiritual union and thus he attains never ending happiness. (29) The soul in all beings and all beings in the soul - that is how someone in the spiritual union of yoga sees everywhere with equal vision. (30) For whoever sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, I am not lost nor is he lost to Me. (31) He who is devoted to Me as situated in the heart of everyone dwells in oneness and whatever the circumstances of such a transcendentalist, he will always remain in Me. (32) He, oh Arjuna, who, comparing the joy and sorrow everywhere, sees it equally - such a yogi is considered the best.'
(33) Arjuna said: 'Of this system of yoga generally described by you, oh Madhusûdana, I do, because of my restlessness, not see its stability in place. (34) The mind is surely fickle, oh Krishna, agitating, strong and obstinate, to subdue it, I think, is as difficult as controlling the wind.'
(35) The Supreme Lord said: 'Undoubtedly, oh mighty armed one, the restless mind is difficult to curb, but with persistence, oh son of Kuntî, and also by detachment it can be controlled. (36) With a mind ill disciplined selfrealization is difficult in My vision, but endeavoring with a practical mind controlling appropriately one will achieve it.'
(37) Arjuna said: 'What is the destiny, oh Krishna, achieved by the one who fell from his belief and deviates from the path of yoga with such a mind failing the highest perfection? (38) Does such a one who lost both [belief and practice] not perish like a riven cloud without a hold, oh Mighty-armed One, confused on the path of transcendence as he is? (39) This is my doubt oh Krishna, and I ask You to dispel it completely, as besides You, there is certainly no other remover of this doubt to be found.'
(40) The Supreme Lord said: 'Oh son of Prithâ, there is never in this world nor in the next one destruction for the one who is engaged in doing good; surely no one who does good will ever end in trouble. (41-42) After achieving the worlds of those who performed piously and after dwelling there for many years, the one who fell from the path of yoga takes birth again in the house of those prosperous and pure, or he will for sure take birth in the family of experienced yoga adepts, although such a birth is naturally very rare in this world. (43) After that, he will revive consciousness gained in his previous embodiment and then again will strive for perfection, oh son of Kuru. (44) By that previous practice, he certainly of his own will be attracted and even be inquisitive about yoga and transcend the routines of rite and prayer. (45) Endeavoring methodically such a transcendentalist will, seeing all his sins washed off in achieving perfection through many many births, thereafter attain the highest destination [of self-realization]. (46) A yogi is greater than the ascetics and the wise and also the yogi is considered greater than the ones working for profit; therefore oh Arjuna, become a yogi. (47) And of all sorts of yogis, the one who in full faith is always within himself thinking of Me and rendering transcendental service, I consider to be the greatest.'
THE YOGA OF WISDOMAbout knowing and realizing oneself
(1) The Supreme Lord said: 'Try to hear about, how attached to Me in the mind, oh son of Prithâ, practicing unification under My care, you can know that complete of Me without any doubt. (2) I shall now in full explain to you this knowledge together with its wisdom, knowing which leaves one nothing further to be known in this world.
(3) Out of thousands of men but a single one endeavors for perfection and of those endeavoring thus there is indeed but a single one who really knows Me. (4) Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and certainly false ego thus together are My eight separate energies. (5) Try to understand that besides these lower ones there is another energy that is the superior of Me as the soul of the living entities, oh mighty armed one, which is sustaining this material world. (6) All created is rooted in these two; know that of all included in this universe I am as well the source of manifestation as its dissolution.
(7) Beyond the superior of Me, there is nothing else to be found, oh conquerer of wealth; in Me is all that we see strung like pearls on a thread. (8) I am the taste of water, oh son of Kuntî, the light I am of the moon and the sun, the pranava [A.U.M.] in all the Vedas, the sound in the sky and manhood in man. (9) Also the pure fragrance of the earth as well as the heat of fire I am and the life in all living beings and the penance in the repentent I am too. (10) Know, oh son of Prithâ, that I am the seed of all living beings, the original intelligence of the intelligent I am; I am the prowess of the powerful. (11) I am the strength of the strong that is free from desire and attachment and, oh Lord of the Bhâratas, I am the sex life in all living beings that is consistent with its nature [procreation].
(12) And try to understand that of all which is surely in the state of goodness, passion and slowness and thus all that is certainly so of Me, you should not know Me as being in them but that they are in Me. (13) From all these three states consisting of the natural modes the whole world is deluded not knowing Me as being situated above them as the inexhaustible Supreme. (14) This divine energy of Mine [the way it is] consisting of the three modes is very difficult to overcome, but surely they who surrender to Me will overcome this illusory of matter [mâyâ]. (15) The ones who do evil and the foolish do not surrender to Me; the lowest of mankind whose knowledge is stolen by this mâyâ have adopted the atheistic [demoniac] nature.
(16) Of the pious of men there are four kinds that are devoted to Me, oh Arjuna: the distressed, the inquisitive, the ones desiring material gain and the ones who know things as they are as well, oh great one of the Bhâratas. (17) Of these the one, who is always aligned in the sole devotion of knowing things as they are, is specially dear, for certainly as with the person of knowledge I am held high, he is also favored by Me. (18) All these of knowledge are undoubtedly all very noble, but he who in his soul is connected to Me I consider to be alike Myself, as in Me the highest destination is certainly found. (19) After many lives one who knows Me surrenders to My universal reality [Vâsudeva], knowing Me to be all that is - such a great soul is thus very rare.
(20) Because of various desires those deprived of knowledge surrender themselves to the demigods and their corresponding regulations, following them according to their own nature. (21) Whoever is faithfully devoted to whatever form of a demigod in worship as desired, him so I surely give a steady faith. (22) Endowed with that inspiration of that demigod he for that worship obtains what he aspires and certainly is that from his desires arranged by Me only. (23) But perishable are the fruits that become of those who are less intelligent; those who go for the gods attain them, while those who are My devotees as well attain Me. (24) The less intelligent think that I manifested out of the unmanifested without them knowing of My supreme existence that is imperishable and the finest. (25) I am not manifest to everyone, as the foolish are covered by illusory concepts of union; they can not understand Me as being situated in the unborn and inexhaustible. (26) I know all of the past, the present and, oh Arjuna, the future as well as of all living beings, but Me nobody [really] knows. (27) By the illusion of duality that arose from liking and disliking, oh scion of Bhârata, all the living entities are, from the beginning, deluded, oh conqueror of the foes. (28) The sins of those persons have come to an end whose previous activities were pious; they are free from the delusion of duality and engage with determination in the service of Me. (29) For being liberated from birth and death all persons who so endeavor take shelter of Me and are actually of the spiritual; they are fully acquainted with everything about the individual transcendence of material actions. (30) Those who know Me as ruling all as well as the godly and the sacrifices also; they with their minds connected in Me even know Me at the time of their death too.'
THE YOGA OF THE IMPERISHABLE SPIRITOn salvation
(1) Arjuna said: 'What is that Spirit, what about the soul of oneself and what are fruitive activities; what about, oh Supreme One, the material manifestation and what to say about what one calls the godly [or demigods]? (2) Who is the Lord of sacrifice and how does He live within the body, oh slayer of Madhu and how, when ones time has come, can You be known by the self-controlled?'
(3) The Supreme Lord said: 'The indestructible Spirit is the transcendental eternal of nature that is called ones own soul [or true self], it produces the material bodies of the living entities and creation is what is called fruitive activity. (4) The constantly changing material nature is the [body of the] original person of the godly spoken about and the Lord of sacrifice for sure I am in this body of the embodied, oh best one. (5) At the end of ones time it is also surely in the remembrance of Me that he, who goes to quit the body, will achieve My nature. Of that there is no doubt. (6) The nature of whatever one is all remembering, giving this vehicle of time up in the end, similar surely always will lead, oh son of Bhârata, to the state which is essential to it. (7) Therefore go on remembering Me at all times and fighting with your mind and intelligence surrendered to Me, you will attain Me without doubt. (8) Persistently uniting the mind and intelligence in the connectedness of yoga without deviating one achieves the Supreme Original Person of transcendence, oh son of Prithâ, whom one is constantly thinking of.
(9) He is the one who knows all, who is the oldest, the controller, smaller than an atom and is always thinking of everything; He is the inconceivable maintainer whose form is luminous like the sun and who is transcendental to all darkness. (10) One who, at the end of his time fixes his mind in devotion connected by the strength of yoga and as well for sure establishes the life-air [the attention] between the eyebrows, achieves that transcendental Original Person of the divine.
(11) I will now explain in short to you the practice of the celibate desired by those who enter the renounced order of life as sages conversant with the Vedas in exercising the pranava [AUM, the primal mantra]. (12) Controlling the [nine] gates [of the senses], confining the mind to the heart and also fixing the soul's life-air in the head one is situated in the yogic position. (13) Vibrating AUM, the one syllable of the spirit, anyone who remembers Me leaving behind this body achieves the supreme goal. (14) For the one who is always fixing his mind in remembering Me regularly, I am easy to attain, o son of Prithâ, for he is regularly engaged in the unification. (15) Born again, achieving Me, the great souls who attain the ultimate perfection never reach where the temporary and miserable is found. (16) [From reaching] up to the highest place one returns again to the world, oh Arjuna, but having found Me, oh son of Kuntî, one is never born again.
(17) A thousand ages are included in a day to those who know of the Absolute, while the night, that similarly takes a thousand ages, is there to the people understanding by day ànd night [see also 2.69]. (18) All living beings [thus] manifest themselves from the unmanifest at the beginning of that day, but at the fall of the night they are surely [also] all taken in to that which is called the unseen. (19) The totality of all beings that repeatedly take this birth is annihilated on the arrival of the night and out of their own, oh son of Prithâ, they reappear on the arrival of the day. (20) But transcendental to that there is another unseen nature to the unmanifest that upon the annihilation of all manifestation is never annihilated. (21) It is said that that unseen [the spiritual] is infallible and it is known as the ultimate destination from which, gaining it, one never returns - that is My supreme abode. (22) The original person is He in the beyond, oh son of Prithâ, who can only be achieved by unalloyed devotion, within whom all of manifestation exists and by whom everything we can see is pervaded.
(23) I shall now describe, oh best of the Bhâratas, that time at which different kinds of mystics having departed attain and for sure to that time do or do not return. (24) Those persons who know the Absolute and leave during the fire of daylight with a waxing moon during the six months when the sun passes the north, reach the Supreme Spirit. (25) The mystic who achieves to the light of the moon during the smoke of the night as also with a waning moon and the six months of the sun passing through the south, comes back. (26) According to the Vedas there are these two ways of [the spiritual] light and darkness [of ignorance] in passing from this world by which one either does not return or does return again. (27) Of knowing any of these different paths, oh son of Prithâ, the yogi is never bewildered; therefore always get unified in yoga, oh Arjuna. (28) The yogis who know all of this surpass the fruit of pious work as won by Vedic study, through sacrifices, austerities and also surely by giving in charity and achieve the original, supreme abode.'
THE YOGA OF CONFIDENTIALITYOn the confidential of knowledge
(1) The Supreme Lord said: 'What I am telling now is the most confidential knowledge of selfrealization [reserved] for those who are not envious. With the knowing of it you will be released from worldly miseries. (2) It is the King of knowledge and the confidential, it is the purest, transcendental and understood by direct experience, it is of the righteous, very happy in its practice and everlasting.
(3) Persons without faith in the path of righteousness, oh killer of the enemies, do not attain Me and will upon dying return to the path of material motivation. (4) [As said:] By the unmanifest of Me this entire cosmic manifestation is pervaded, all living entities are in Me and I am not [completely] in them. (5) Never either is all creation [as such] fixed in Me; behold My mystic union: sustaining all and not being in them also, is My Self the source of all. (6) Try to understand that, like the mighty wind that is always in the sky blowing everywhere, I likewise [exist with] all created beings that are within Me. (7) All beings, oh son of Kuntî, merge at the end of an era in My original form [material nature] and at the beginning of an era all those I create again. (8) Descending into My material nature I again and again create all of the cosmic manifestation of which the sum total is delivered to My compelling force. (9) And to those activities I am never bound, oh conqueror of wealth, as I am in the neutral without being attracted to the fruitive action. (10) By my superintendence the material of nature manifests both the moving and the unmoving and for this reason, [for the sake of My being], oh son of Kuntî, is the cosmic manifestation working.
(11) The foolish look down upon My having assumed the human form, not knowing of My transcendental nature and that I am the Great Lord of all. (12) Baffled in their hopes, fruitive actions and knowledge, those who are bewildered take to demoniac and atheistic views and also surely to the delusional of material nature [materialism]. (13) But the great souls, oh son of Prithâ, who have taken to the shelter of My divine nature, render service without their minds deviating and know of the inexhaustible origin of creation. (14) Always singing about Me and also endeavoring with determination they offer Me their obeisances, perpetually engaged in the worship of their devotion. (15) Also cultivating knowledge others sacrificing worship Me as the oneness in the diversity of the universal form. (16) I am the ritual, the sacrifice, the oblation and I am the medicinal herb, the mantra and also for sure the clarified butter, the fire and the offering. (17) Of this universe I am the father, the mother, the supporter, the grandfather, that what is to be known, that what purifies, the pranava AUM and surely the Rig-, Sâma- and the Yayur-Veda. (18) The goal, the sustainer, the master, the witness, the refuge, the most intimate friend, the origin, the dissolution, the ground of being, the resting place and the imperishable seed [I am]. (19) I give heat, I bring and withhold the rain and I am immortality and surely death and both the subtle [the true] and the gross [the untrue], Arjuna.
(20) The knowers of the three Vedas, these Soma [mixed with clarified butter and fermented acid of a climbing plant used by the brahmins]-drinkers who are freed from sins, worship Me with sacrifices and pray for their passage to heaven - they attain the world of Indra [the king of heaven] and enjoy the celestial pleasures of the gods there. (21) After they, taking pleasure in that vast heaven, have exhausted the merit of their good deeds, they fall back into the mortal world again and thus do those who desire sense-enjoyment in following the doctrines of the three Vedas attain birth and death. (22) But of those persons who concentrate on nothing else but Me and who are fixed in devotion in proper worship, I protect the union and to them I carry what they need. (23) Even though those who are the devotees of other gods with faith also worship Me only, oh son of Kuntî, they worship Me the wrong way. (24) I am certainly of all sacrifices the enjoyer and the controller as well; they who do not know Me in reality fall down therefore. (25) [As said:] worshippers of the godly go to the gods, worshipers of the ancestors go to the forefathers, they who worship spirits go to them and My devotees come to Me. (26) Whoever offers Me a leaf, a flower, a fruit, and water with devotion, that offer brought from the heart by a soul of good habits I accept. (27) Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer, whatever you give away or whatever austerity you are in, oh son of Kuntî, do that as an offering towards Me. (28) Thus you will be freed from the auspicious and inauspicious consequences of being bound by karma and liberated in having your mind set on the renunciation in this yoga, you will attain Me.
(29) I am equal to all living entities, no one is disliked or favored by Me, but those persons who render transcendental service to Me in devotion are in Me and I also certainly am [partially] in them. (30) Even if one committing the most abominable action is engaged in devotional service unto Me without deviation, he is to be considered a saint as he is complete in his determination. (31) Very soon he becomes righteous and attains lasting peace, oh son of Kuntî; do proclaim that my devotee never perishes! (32) And also in particularly those who take shelter from Me, oh son of Prithâ, who are born from sin, who are women, of the trading business and also the laborers; even they will attain the supreme destination. (33) What then again [would be true] for righteous brahmins, devotees and saintly rulers who also gained this temporary world full of miseries - be in loving service towards Me. (34) Always thinking of Me, become My devotee, My worshiper and thus devoted to Me, offering Me obeisances, your soul will become fully aligned.'
THE YOGA OF HIS OPULENCEOn His Identity
(1) The Supreme Lord said: 'Again indeed, oh mighty armed one, just hear My supreme instruction about that which to you, who are so dear to Me, I say to your benefit.
(2) Nor the number of theists, nor the great wise know My origin; I am certainly the source of the godly and the great sages in all respect. (3) He who knows Me as the Unborn One without a beginning and also knows Me as the great Lord of the world, is not deluded among mortals and is delivered from all reactions to sin. (4-5) Intelligence, knowledge, composure, forgiveness, truthfulness, control over the senses and the mind, happiness, sorrow, birth, death, fear and fearlessness also, nonviolence, equilibrium, contentment, austerity, charity, fame and infamy are the different aspects to the living being that are arranged by Me. (6) From the mind of the seven great sages [Marîci, Atri, Angirâ, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu and Vasishthha] before and the four Manus [the progenitors Svâyambhuva, Svârocisha, Raivata and Uttama] who also stem from Me, all of the population born in this world has originated. (7) Anyone who factually knows that all this opulence and unification of consciousness is also of Me, will be undivided in his engagement of devotional service, of that there is no doubt. (8) I am the source of all, from Me everything emanates, thus knowing the intelligent ones with love in their hearts become devoted to Me. (9) With the full of their minds and lives set on Me, they enlighten one another talking about Me constantly and derive contentment and delight therefrom. (10) To those who are always engaged in the loving ecstasy of devotional service I give that oneness of intelligence by which they come to Me. (11) For them surely, to show special mercy, I, situated in their hearts, dispel the darkness born from ignorance with the shining light of knowledge.'
(12-13) Arjuna said: 'The supreme spirit, the supreme abode, the purest of the supreme You are, the original personality, the transcendental Lord, the unborn One and the greatest. Of You all the great sages among the godly like Nârada and Asita, Devala and Vyâsa are speaking and indeed You are now explaining it to me. (14) All this that You have told me, oh Krish na, I accept as the truth; surely is this revelation of Your Supreme Lordship not known by the godly nor by the godless. (15) Surely You know Yourself personally by Yourself, oh greatest One and origin of all, Lord of all beings, God of the gods and master of the Universe. (16) For You are the One to tell in detail about the Divine of Your opulences by which, pervading all these worlds, You remain. (17) How can I know You, oh Yoga, always think of You and in what and what form are You to be remembered by me, oh Supreme Lord? (18) Oh killer of the atheists, what again is the opulence of Your Yoga as I surely cannot hear enough of the description of the nectar.'
(19) The Supreme Personality said: 'Yes, I will surely tell you about the divine of My personal splendor the principal, oh best of the Kurus, as there is no limit to My extent. (20) I am, oh Arjuna, the soul in the heart of all living beings; I am the origin also, the middle and as well indeed the end of all existing. (21) Of the Âdityas [Diti was the daughter of Daksha and wife of Kas'yapa], I am Vishnu, of all the luminaries I am the radiant sun, Marîci [a Prajâpati, a father of mankind, and father of Kas'yapa] of the Maruts [the flashing gods] I am and of the divisions of the year [the constellations or of what is fixed] I am the Moon. (22) Of all the Vedas I am the Sâma-veda [the songs], of the godly I am Indra [or Vâsava], the king of heaven, of the senses I am the mind and I am also the living force of all creatures. (23) Of all the Rudras [the dreadful ones] I am S'iva [or S'ankara]; also I am Vittes'a [the treasurer] of the Yakshas [attendants of Kuvera, the heavenly treasurer] and Râkshasas [the demons], of the Vasus [the deities of nature] I am fire and of all the mountains I am mount Meru [the one central to all] as well. (24) Know Me as the chief of all priests, Brihaspati [the priest of Indra], oh son of Prithâ, of all military commanders I am Kârtikeya [Skanda, the god of war and son of S'iva and Pârvatî] and of all bodies of water I am the ocean. (25) Of the great wise I am Bhrigu [one of the ten Mahârishis to the first Manu], of the spoken I am the Pranava, of sacrifices I am japa [mantra-meditation with beads] and of the things immovable I am the Himalayas. (26) Of the trees I am the As'vattha [Banyan or one with no specific property], of all seers among the godly I am Nârada, of the celestial beings [Gandharvas] I am Cittaratha [the best singer] and of the perfected ones I am Kapila Muni [a Vishnu avatâr, son of Devahûti].
(27) Know Me as Uccaihs'ravâ among the horses who came forth from the churning of the ocean to get the nectar and as Airâvata among the elephants; among men I am the one at the top [the king]. (28) Of all weapons I am the thunderbolt, of the cows I am the Surabhi [the plentiful one] and I am Cupid, the cause of begetting children; of the serpents I am Vâsuki [with whom the ocean was churned]. (29) Of the Nâgas [the snakelike] I am Ananta [supporting Vishnu], of all aquatics I am [the demigod] Varuna, of the ancestors I am Aryamâ [an Âditya] and of all the regulators I am also Yama, the controller of death. (30) Of the Daityas [non-theist sons of Diti who churned the ocean] I am Prahlâda, of what rules I am the Time, of the animals the lion and of the birds I am Garuda [Vainateya]. (31) Of all that purifies I am the wind, I am Râma [a Vishnu avatâr] of the armed ones, of all fish I am the shark, and also I am of the flowing rivers the Ganges ['the daughter of Jahnu'].
(32) Of the multitude I am [as said] the beginning, the end and the middle and also I am surely, oh Arjuna, the spiritual knowledge of all education and the dialectic of all argumentation. (33) Of the letters I am the first one [the A], of the compound words I am the dual one and certainly I am the eternal of Time and the Creator facing all directions [Brahmâ]. (34) I am as well the all-devouring death and generation to that what is predestined and fame, beauty and fine speech I am of women as also memory, intelligence, firmness and patience. (35) Of the Sâma-veda-hymns I am the Brihat-sâma [the metrical], of all poetry I am the Gâyatrî [a purification mantra], of the months I am the one in Sagittarius and of all seasons I am the spring. (36) Of the fallacious I am the gambling, I am the splendor of everything splendid, I am the victory of all adventure and the strength of the strong I am. (37) Of the Vrishnis I am Vâsudeva [Krishna], of the Pândavas I am Arjuna, of the sages I am Vyâsa [the compiler of the Vedas] and of all great thinkers I am Usanâ [the teacher of the atheists]. (38) Of the means of suppression I am the clout, I am the morality of those who seek victory, the silence I am of all secrets, and of those concerned with knowing I am the knowledge.
(39) Of whatever that of all the beings may exist I am the source, oh Arjuna; nothing of the moving and unmoving exists without Me. (40) There is no limit to My divine opulences, oh conqueror of the enemies, all this I spoke of is but an example of the expanse of My wealth. (41) Whatever of power that has existence and is of beauty and glory indeed, all those you must certainly know as being born as a part of My splendor. (42) But what of your knowing the many of this, oh Arjuna, by one part I am in the position of pervading the entirety of this universe.'
THE YOGA OF THE UNIVERSAL FORMOn the confrontation with the complete of His reality
(1) Arjuna said: 'The words that You spoke in Your favoring me concerning the confidential subject of the spiritual supreme - through them my illusion is removed. (2) I heard from You in detail about the appearance and disappearance of all living entities, oh lotus eyed one, and also about Your inexhaustible glories. (3) Even when You have spoken about this of Yours as it is, oh Supreme Lord, I wish to see Your divine form, oh Highest Personality. (4) If You think that it as such can be seen by me oh master, Lord of Yoga, then You show me Your universal Self.'
(5) The Supreme Lord said: 'Oh son of Prithâ, behold the hundreds and thousands of the variegated divine of My diverse forms and colors. (6) Just see the [twelve] Âdityas, [eight] Vasus, [eleven] Rudras, [two] As'vins [demigods for the longevity], [fourty-nine] Maruts as also the many of all the wonders you did not see before, oh best of the Bhâratas. (7) See here and now the universe completely, all at the same time, with all that moves and not moves, in this body of Mine, oh conqueror of sleep, and also whatever else you wish to see. (8) But surely you will never be able to see Me with your normal eyes; divine eyes I give you to perceive My Divine Union.'
(9) Sañjaya said: "Oh King, after having spoken thus, the Great Lord of Yoga, the Supreme Personality, showed Arjuna the beyond of the Universal Form. (10-11) Many mouths, eyes and many diverse wonderful sights, many divine ornaments, and a variety of uplifted weapons, heavenly garlands and the wear of dresses with divine fragrances and ointments, were all wonderful and shining, extending to all sides. (12) If there were the light of the simultaneous presence of many thousands of suns in the sky, such might resemble the effulgence of Him, the Greatness of the Soul. (13) There Arjuna then could, in the universal form of the God of Gods, see in one the complete universe divided in many. (14) Thereafter, being overwhelmed with wonder and his hair standing on end, the conqueror of wealth offered the God with folded hands his obeisances, bowing his head and began to speak.
(15) Arjuna said: 'I see all the gods and all living entities assembled in Your body, oh Lord; Lord Brahmâ seated on the lotus and Lord S'iva, and also the great sages and all serpents. (16) Many arms, trunks, mouths and eyes I see, on all sides I see an unlimited form with no end, no middle nor again Your beginning, oh Lord of the Universe, oh Universal Form. (17) With crowns, maces and discs and an effulgence on all sides I have difficulty seeing You glowing everywhere as the immeasurable blazing fire of the radiating sun. (18) You are to be understood as the Infallible Supreme of this universe, You are the basis of the beyond, You are the inexhaustible maintainer of all religion and the eternal Original Personality You are - that is what I think. (19) Without a beginning, middle or end, of unlimited glories, with countless arms and with the sun and moon for eyes, I see that by Your radiance out of Your mouth a blazing fire comes that heats this universe. (20) For sure all that is between heaven and earth is pervaded by You alone and by seeing all this of Your wonderful form in all directions, the three worlds are trembling, oh Great Soul. (21) The host of theists for certain enter You while some of them out of fear are offering prayers with folded hands. The great sages in that exclaim 'all Hail' and the perfected groupwise pray to You by singing hymns. (22) The terrifying ones (Rudras), the godly (Âdityas), the rulers of the elements (Vasus), all those and the refined (Sâdhyas), the virtuous (Vis'vadevas), the elderly (of the As'vins), the flashing ones (Maruts), the forefathers and the celestial beings (Gandharvas); the spirits (Yakshas), atheists (Asuras) and the whole gathering of perfected devotees (Siddhas) are certainly beholding You all in awe and wonder. (23) Seeing this unimaginably great form of You with its many faces and eyes, oh mighty armed one; its many arms, thighs and legs; its many bellies and many dreadful teeth, all the worlds are perturbed, just as I am. (24) Seeing this way You touching the sky glowing with many colors, open mouths and wide open shining eyes, I am unsettled within and unable to keep my composure and peace of mind, oh Vishnu. (25) Seeing thus Your terrifying teeth and faces like the fire at the end of time, I lose my sense of direction and find myself nailed to the ground; oh Lord of Lords, refuge of the worlds, have mercy! (26-27) In this of You I also see Dhritarâshthra with all his sons and the scores of warrior kings and Bhîshmadeva, Dronâcârya and Karna together with also our chief warriors rushing into Your mouth where some of them I see with crushed skulls caught between the frightening, dreadful teeth. (28) As the multitude of streams that inevitably glide towards the waves of the sea, similarly all these human heroes of this world enter into the mouths fiery. (29) As moths heading full speed for destruction into a blazing fire, the same way all people also full speed enter your mouths to find destruction. (30) Licking, You devour the people from all directions with Your flaming mouths covering the universe with all the terribly scorching rays of Your effulgence, oh Vishnu. (31) Please explain me who You, in this fearsome form, are. I offer You, oh great God, my obeisances, be so good to me; I wish to know the original of You as I surely do not comprehend Your mission.'
(32) The Supreme Lord said: 'Time I am the great destroyer of the worlds engaged here in destroying all people, except for you [brothers] only, all the soldiers who are situated on both sides, will find their end. (33) Therefore you must get up and gain fame conquering the enemies and enjoy the kingdom flourishing by Me; for sure all these were destined to be killed, be merely the instrument of that, oh left-handed one. (34) Drona, Bhîshma and Jayadratha, Karna and others - these great warriors surely have been killed by Me already; destroy and do not worry, just fight and so doing you will conquer your enemies.' "
(35) Sañjaya said: "Thus hearing the speech of Kes'ava, with folded hands and trembling, the crowned one [Arjuna] offered prayers again and spoke to Krishna with a faltering voice bowing before Him. (36) Arjuna said: 'Rightly, oh master of the senses, by Your glories the entire world rejoices and gets attached: the demoniac out of fear flee in all directions, while the chores of the perfected offer their respects. (37) And why should they not respect You, oh great Soul better than Brahmâ, isn't it because as the Original Creator, oh unlimited God of gods and refuge of the universe, You are imperishable and transcendental to cause and effect? (38) You are the original God and person, the oldest of this universe, the transcendental refuge and the knower; You are the knowable, the beyond and the abode, by You the universe is pervaded oh infinite form! (39) You are the controller of the air, the fire, the water and the moon, You are the Brahmâ and the great grandfather, again and again I offer You my respects; a thousand times over and over I offer You My obeisances. (40) Heil to the front and to the back of You, unto You I offer my respects indeed from all sides because You are everything, the infinite power and the boundless might; everything is covered by You and therefore You are everything. (41-42) Presumptuously thinking as a friend I said: "Oh Krishna, oh Yâdava [descendant from the Yadu-dynasty], oh dear friend" and so; nor of my foolishness nor of my love, did I know of these glories of You. For whatever I also said joking dishonoring You, relaxing, lying down and sitting, while eating together and being alone with You, oh Infallible One, as also in the company of others, I ask forgiveness, oh Immeasurable One. (43) The father You are of all the worlds moving and nonmoving, of all this You are the venerable one and the teacher, never there is anyone equally glorious to You; how can others be greater than You in the three worlds, oh Incomparable Power? (44) Therefore prostrating my body, I pay You who I know as the venerable Supreme One my respect to beg Your mercy and tolerate me like a father should with his son, like a friend should with a friend and a lover should with his dearmost, my Lord. (45) I am glad to have seen what was never seen before, but my mind is also unsettled; be so gracious to show me Your form [again] oh God, Lord of Lords and refuge of the universe. (46) I wish to see You in the position with helmet, club and disc in Your hand; just take the four-handed form [also holding the conch and lotus], oh thousand-handed One, oh Universal Form.'
(47) The Supreme Lord said: 'From My grace for you Arjuna, this transcendental form of the oneness of My Self was shown; besides you no one saw this unlimited original form of Me, of the full effulgence of the entire universe, before. (48) Oh best of the Kuru-warriors, in this material world in this form no other than you could see this nor by Vedic sacrifice or study nor by charity and pious deeds or severe penances. (49) Don't be troubled, don't be bewildered seeing this horrible form, just see My form without fear and thus with a happy mind again as It is'."
(50) Sañjaya said: "Vâsudeva speaking that way of His own form showed Himself once more [as four armed] and became the great soul of His own beautiful [two armed] form again reassuring thus the fearful Arjuna. (51) Arjuna said: 'Seeing this very beautiful human form of You, oh chastiser of the enemies, I am now composed in mind and myself again.'
(52) The Supreme Lord said: 'This form of Mine as you have seen it is very difficult to see, even the demigods eternally aspire to see this form. (53) Never can I [as said] be seen by studying the Vedas, penances, by charity or worship, the way you saw Me. (54) Only through devotional service free from ulterior motives it is possible to know and see Me like this Arjuna, and factually get access, oh mighty armed one. (55) The one who is engaged in working for Me, with Me as the Supreme, in my devotional service free from materialistic association and enmity among the living beings, reaches Me, oh son of Pându.'
THE YOGA OF DEVOTION
On fixing oneself on the ultimate of perfection(1) Arjuna said: 'Thus, of those who as Your devotees are always engaged in proper worship and of those who go beyond the senses for the unmanifested - who of them are the best in the knowledge of yoga?'
(2) The Supreme Lord said: 'Those who fix their mind on Me and who always are engaged in worship, endowed by Me with faith in the transcendental, are considered to be of the strongest bond. (3-4) But those who, of the indefinite and unmanifest that is beyond the senses, are completely of worship and fixed on the all-pervading, inconceivable, unchanging and immovable, controlling all the senses and equipoised towards all whenever; they for certain engaged for the welfare of all attain Me. (5) The trouble for those who are attached to the unmanifested is very great; for those minds set to the unseen the progress of the embodied is achieved with difficulty. (6-7) But to those whose activities are all directed to Me and who give up in the attachment to Me, undivided and sure by the practice of yoga of meditating and worshiping Me; of those whose minds are fixed on Me I become the swift deliverer of death in material existence, oh son of Prithâ.
(8) Be sure to fix your mind on Me and to apply your intelligence for Me and you will live in Me for certain and never suffer any doubt thereafter. (9) If you are not able to fix your mind on Me, then be steadfast holding on to the rules of yoga and develop a desire to get to Me, oh conqueror of wealth. (10) If you are even unable to practice that, then become dedicated in working for My sake, as even by doing work you will achieve perfection. (11) And if you are even unable to do this in the yoga unto Me, then take your refuge in the renunciation of the results of all action and then remain with yourself. (12) Better than [mere] practice is knowledge and better than [mere] knowledge is meditation considered to be. Renouncing the fruits of labor is better than [mere] meditation as of such renunciation peace will ensue.
(13-14) With no dislike towards anyone and surely friendly and kind, nonpossessive, and not identified, equal in distress and happiness, forgiving, peaceful and always devoted, selfcontrolled and with determination in mind and intelligence always fixed on Me - such a devotee of Mine is very dear to Me. (15) Anyone of whom the people are never disturbed and who is also not disturbed by the people; he who is free from ups and downs, fears and anxieties is very dear to Me. (16) Anyone prepared for alternatives [neutral], who is pure, capable, unworried, untroubled and does not consider mundane endeavoring, such a devotee of Mine is very dear to Me. (17) One who never rejoices nor hates, never grieves nor craves and remains detached for better or for worse - one who is such a devotee is dear to Me. (18-19) Equal to foe and friend, in honor and dishonor, in heat and cold and in happiness and distress and the same in absence of company; not different in infamy and repute, quiet and satisfied with anything, free from his home and fixed in his determination as a devotee a man is very dear to Me. (20) Those who but cherish the nectar of this nature and as said fully engage themselves with faith in the sublime of Me - those devotees are most dear to Me.'
THE YOGA OF DISCRIMINATIONOn the difference between the knower and the known.
(1) Arjuna said: 'Of nature and the original person and indeed also of the field of action and its knower I for sure wish to know all the knowledge and that what is known, oh Kes'ava.'
(2) The Supreme Lord said: 'This body, oh son of Kuntî, is so called the field of action and he who knows this is by those who know thus called the knower of the field. (3) Certainly you should understand Me as the knower of the field in all fields, oh son of Bharata; that which is of the field as well as of the knower of the field is true knowledge in My vision. (4) What that field of action actually is and what its changes are, where it is from and about him [the knower] as also what his influence is, you may now in short hear from Me.
(5-7) In many ways it is in the Vedic hymns glorified by the sages and in different ways by the various aphorisms of the holy scriptures affirmed in logic and reason: in summary do the basic elements, the false ego, the intelligence and the unmanifest as surely also the eleven of the senses [the five senses of knowing and the working ones of the voice, hands, legs, anus and genitals and the mind], the five sense objects [as sound to the ear e.g.], like and dislike, happiness and distress, the combinations of them, the consciousness and the determination, form the field of action with its [six] transformations [birth, youth, maturity, retreat, old age and death]. (8-12) Humble, modest and nonviolent; peaceful, simple and loyal to the teacher of example; clean, steadfast, and self-controlled; detached and unidentified with the sensory and surely aware of the defects and miseries of birth, death, old age and disease; without preference or clinging to son, wife and home and being constant and balanced in the realization of the wanted and unwanted; of an unalloyed unbroken devotion unto Me also and going for secluded places without being attached to people in general; of self-knowledge and stable in the realization of truth for the good of the divine encounter - all this is declared to be of true knowledge and that which deviates from it is nescience.
(13) I will now explain that which is to be known and is subordinate to Me and of which is said that it is neither the true nor the untrue; knowing it one will taste the nectar of the beginningless spiritual realm. (14) That which has hands, legs everywhere; eyes, heads and faces all around and ears to the world, pervades everything that exists. (15) Of all the senses and their qualities being the original source it is yet without all those senses and unattached itself, and as the maintainer of each and certainly also being outside the modes of nature, it is yet the master of the modes of matter itself. (16) Inside as well as being outside of the living entities, not moving and moving as well and not known because of being subtle, that being far away is also near as that. (17) Undivided in all living beings it seems to be divided and while situated as the maintainer of all it is also to be understood as devouring and developing all. (18) It is also the source of light of all luminous objects and said to be beyond the darkness as the knowledge, realized as the wisdom of this direct experience situated in the heart of everyone.
(19) Thus the field as also the knowledge and what is to be known has been described in summary. My devotee will, after understanding all of this, attain My nature. (20) Both material nature and the original person you must certainly know as beginningless and the transformations and modes of nature surely as being produced by that material nature. (21) Material nature is said to be the reason of cause and effect in the matter of creation, while the original person is said to be the reason of happiness and distress in the experiencing. (22) Of the original person being situated in the material energy one certainly enjoys by the qualities of that material nature and consequently of the attachment to it one is of the channels of birth in the true and untrue. (23) As the witness and allower, supporter and enjoyer, the Great Lord and Supersoul, is indeed the transcendental original person said to be also present in this body. (24) Anyone who thus understands the original person, material nature and its qualities will, despite of however one is situated, never take birth again.
(25) Some do by meditation see the Supersoul within themselves, others do so by minding exercises of yogic analysis, and still others do so by acting in giving up the fruits of action. (26) But others who do not know of all this begin to worship by hearing from others and as well transcend for sure the path of death in affinity with that process of hearing. (27) Oh chief of the Bhâratas, whatever comes into being, anything existing that is animate or inanimate, you must know as a combination of the knower [called purusha or the original person] and the field [called prakriti or material nature]. (28) He who sees that the imperishable Lord of the beyond is equally present in the perishable of all living beings, truly sees. (29) He who for sure sees the Lord equally in all does not loose his self-respect with the soul and consequently reaches the goal of transcendence. (30) Anyone who sees that all activities certainly in all respects are the result of material conditioning and that one as the soul is not the doer, sees perfectly. (31) When one following that tries to see that the diversity of the living beings is resting in oneness and that it expanded to that reality, at that time one attains the Absolute of the Spirit.
(32) This inexhaustible soul is because of being beginningless and its freedom from the modes of nature of the beyond; although embodied, oh son of Kuntî, it never does anything nor is it entangled. (33) As the ether is all pervading and in its subtlety never mixes with anything, so does the soul within the body never mix. (34) Like one sun illumining the whole world, so does the soul within this body similarly illumine all, oh son of Bharata. (35) Those who, through spiritual insight, thus know of the difference between the field and the knower of the field and know about the liberation of the living being from [suffering] material nature; they reach the Supreme.'
THE YOGA OF THE THREE MODES OF NATURE
On the inherent qualities of material nature(1) The Supreme Lord said: 'Again about the transcendental, I will tell you, of all knowledge the utmost knowledge, knowing which all the sages from this world attained. (2) Taking shelter of this knowledge, having attained My selfsame nature, one is not born at the time of creation, nor is one lost on annihilation.
(3) My channel of birth is the total material existence and of the Supreme in that I impregnate, creating the conditions of all living entities who find thereafter their existence, oh son of Bharata. (4) Of all who are born, oh son of Kuntî, of all the forms that manifest, I am the creator, the source of birth and the seed-giving father. (5) The modes of goodness [sattva], passion [rajas] and ignorance [tamas] are the qualities produced by material nature which condition, oh mighty armed one, this body of the imperishable living being. (6) Of them, the mode of goodness is the purest; it illumines without reactions, and conditions with a sense of happiness the feeling for knowledge, oh sinless one. (7) Know that the mode of passion is characterized by desires, born from attachment and longing, that bind, oh son of Kuntî, the one embodied to the outcome of the deeds in the past. (8) The mode of ignorance is the result of a lack of knowledge; know it as deluding all embodied beings, binding them to carelessness, indolence and [more than six hours of] sleep, oh son of Bharata.
(9) The mode of goodness conditions one to happiness, passion binds one to fruitive activities, oh son of Bharata, but from the ignorance that covers the knowledge one is bound to errors. (10) Then goodness prevails defeating passion and ignorance, then oh son of Bharata, ignorance does so with passion and goodness and then passion overrules goodness as well as the ignorance; this is how the modes of sattva, rajas and tamas are. (11) When to all the gates of the body the enlightenment of knowledge develops, at that time one says the mode of goodness is prevailing. (12) Greed, over-exertion, enterprising and restless desire all develop when the mode of passion predominates, oh chief of the Bhâratas. (13) Darkness, slowness, negligence and surely illusion too, manifest themselves when the mode of ignorance is developed, oh son of Kuru.
(14) When with the development of the mode of goodness the embodied one finds dissolution, then one attains the world of those who are pure and of great wisdom. (15) When one is in passion finding one's end, one takes birth among those who work for material results and similarly when one is in ignorance one takes birth among the ignorant. (16) Of pious activities in the mode of goodness is said that one is purified, the mode of passion results in misery and feeblemindedness is the result of the mode of ignorance. (17) The way from the mode of goodness knowledge develops and greed surely develops from the mode of passion, so do illusion and certainly perplexity develop from the mode of ignorance. (18) Those in the mode of goodness rise up, those in passion stay in between while the ones in ignorance whose occupation is of an abominable quality go down. (19) When a seer properly sees that the doer is no one other than these three qualities to the modes of nature and knows the beyond, he is promoted to My spiritual nature. (20) Transcending all three qualities the embodied one will enjoy the nectar of being freed from the physical result of the distress of birth, death and old age.'
(21) Arjuna said: 'By which symptoms is the one that transcended the qualities recognized, oh master, what is his conduct and how does he rise above these three modes?'
(22-25) The Supreme Lord said: 'He who, despite of their development, does not hate the revelation [from goodness] nor the attachment [of passion] nor the illusion [of ignorance], oh son of Pându, nor desires to stop that development; one who, knowing that the qualities are acting, is never agitated by them staying the witness in continuing self-perception; he who equal in distress and happiness from within is equal about a clod, a stone or gold, who is the same towards what is desirable and what is undesirable and steady and equal under criticism and praise for himself; he who is equal in honor and dishonor and equal towards both sides of friends and enemies and is renounced in all his endeavors - he is said to be transcendental to the modes. (26) A person who unswerving renders service in devotion unto Me - he, transcending all these modes of nature, will rise to the spiritual platform. (27) For certain I am the base of the spiritual, the immortal and the imperishable, the original nature and the ultimate happiness.'
THE YOGA OF THE SUPREME PERSON
About the realization of the characteristics, virtue and glory of God(1) The Supreme Lord said: 'Anyone who knows that the As'vattha is said to be an imperishable [banyan-]tree that has its roots upwards, its branches downwards and of which the leaves are the Vedic hymns, knows the Vedas. (2) Extending downward and upward, its branches by the modes of nature downward developed twigs as the sense objects and to the extending roots [upward] the karma that binds one to the human world. (3-4) The form of this tree which is without a beginning or end cannot be perceived in this world nor can one see how it is maintained; this strongly rooted Banyan must be cut by the weapon of detachment. After doing so one has to find out about that place for which one is going and from where one never returns and then surrender to Him, the Primordial Original Person, from whom everything extended since time immemorial.
(5) Without pride and its illusion, having overcome bad association, understanding the eternal, dissociated from the lust and liberated from identifying with the dualities of happiness and distress, one unbewildered attains that everlasting refuge. (6) Going to that place which is not lit by the sun or the moon, nor by fire, one never returns; that abode is the Supreme of Mine. (7) The embodied soul in its own local existence is certainly an eternal part of Me, with the mind as the sixth of the senses carried in its material position. (8) The body one gets as also is given up takes its Lord to all these [senses] along like the fragrance carried by the air from its source. (9) With the hearing, seeing, touching as also the tasting and smelling, he from within the mind enjoys the objects of the senses. (10) Either leaving the body, staying in the body or enjoying the body associated with the modes of nature are things the ignorant cannot understand, but those who have the spiritual vision can. (11) Those who endeavor and are of yoga perceive from being of the soul, but those endeavoring who do not act in favor of the soul do not see this, however developed their minds are.
(12) The splendor that is found in the light of the sun illumining the entire world and is also seen in the moon and the fire; understand that splendor to be from Me. (13) I permeate the planetary systems and sustain the living beings by My energy and nourish all the plants together with the soul-given juice. (14) Enacting as the fire of digestion in the bodies of all living beings, I keep the balance of the ingoing and outgoing breath and do digest the four kinds of foodstuff [food that one swallows right away, chews, licks and sucks]. (15) Residing in the heart of all beings they have from Me remembrance, knowledge and reasoning; I am certainly knowable by the Vedas, I am its author and the one who knows its meaning surely too.
(16) There are two kinds of being in the world: the perishable and the imperishable state; [of the physical] all the living beings are perishable while of the oneness to the many it is said that one does not perish. (17) The supreme person is but the other soul in the beyond of whom is said that pervading the three worlds He is maintaining [them] as the inexhaustible Lord. (18) Because I am to the fallible transcendental and beyond the fallible the best, therefore I am in the world and in the Vedic literature celebrated as the Supreme Personality. (19) Anyone who without a doubt knows Me thus as the Supreme Personality - he, knowing all, renders devotional service unto Me in all respects, oh son of Bharata.
(20) Understanding this most confidential part of the revealed scripture thus disclosed by Me, oh sinless one, one becomes intelligent and perfected in ones doing, oh son of Bharata.'
THE YOGA DISCRIMINATING THE QUALITIES OF THE ENLIGHTENED AND THE UNENLIGHTENED
About the qualities of the divine and the godless(1-3) The Supreme Lord said: 'Fearless, good of heart, persevering in the knowledge of yoga, compassionate, of restraint, willing to sacrifice, studious, austere and simple; nonviolent, truthful, free from anger, renounced, peaceful, unmalicious, merciful to all, without greed, gentle, modest and determined; arduous, forgiving, steadfast, clean, without envy and not striving for honor, are the qualities of one who is born of the divine. (4) Deceit, pride, conceit and anger and surely violence and ignorance are the qualities that are the consequence of the unenlightened, oh son of Prithâ. (5) The divine characteristics are of liberation while the qualities of the godless result from bondage. Do not worry, oh son of Pându, as your life is the consequence of transcendental wealth.
(6) There are two types of conditioned beings in this world: the godly and indeed the unenlightened. About the divine I spoke at length; just hear about the godless from Me. (7) The disorderly ones do not know how to begin or where to stop, they are unclean, do not know to behave and have no truth in them. (8) They say that the universe does not really have a purpose, that it has no ruler, that it did not come into existence from a certain cause and that there is no other cause than that of lust. (9) Less intelligent, having lost themselves being complacent with this outlook, do the less favorable activities flourish and does their work lead to the unfortunate of destroying the planet. (10) Confiding in lusts that are insatiable, in hypocrisy, arrogance and driven by false pride, one, led by illusion, takes to the non-permanent of material things and thrives in dedication to the impure. (11-12) Their fears and anxieties are endless and to the point of death they trust in sense gratification as the supreme goal of life. Thus in this way they ascertain themselves of being bound to the lust and anger, entangled in a network of expectations and of that mentality they, for the enjoyment of their senses, desire to accumulate wealth by unfair means.
(13-15) 'Today I have won this and that I shall get; this is what Ì want, that is mine and tomorrow I will even have more of it. That enemy I beated today and those I shall destroy too. For sure I am the Lord. I am the enjoyer, the perfection and I am the happy one to be in power. I am the wealthy one of noble company, I am the one and only, who would there be else but me; I shall sacrifice and give in charity, I am the one to be happy'; this is how they are deluded by their ignorance. (16) Thus perplexed by countless worries they are caught in a pool of illusions and addicted to sensual pleasure they slide down into a hell of disarray. (17) Blasé, shameless of their wealth and imagined they in the full of their delusion engage in so-called sacrifices they perform out of pride with no regard for rules and regulations. (18) Materially identified in their pride, strength, lust and anger they enviously fell into mocking Me being situated in themselves and in others.
(19) Those who are envious and mischievous with Me I always cast into the ocean of matter as the lowest of mankind who for sure inauspiciously are born from the wombs of the degenerates. (20) Life after life the foolish, thus attaining to births from the godless, for sure will have to do without Me, oh son of Kuntî, as they head for the worst destinations. (21) In this selfdestruction there are three gates of hell: lust, anger and greed. Therefore one must give up these three. (22) Liberated from these three gates of ignorance, oh son of Kuntî, a person is in respect with the soul and blessed with that does he go for the supreme destination. (23) The one who gives up on the regulations of the scriptures will be acting according to his own whims and never attain perfection, happiness or the goal of transcendence. (24) Therefore it is the scriptural authority that determines what should and should not be done. Knowing the regulations declared by the scripture, you should do your duty here.'
THE YOGA OF THE THREEFOLD DIVISION OF FAITHCHAPTER 17: THE YOGA OF THE THREEFOLD DIVISION OF FAITH
About the nature of each type of food intake, austerity and sacrifice.
(1) Arjuna said: 'Those who give up on the regulations of the scriptures, but do worship having full faith - is their faith, oh Krishna, in goodness, passion or in ignorance?'
(2) The Supreme Lord said: 'The faith of the embodied souls takes three forms according to each his love and experience: to goodness, to passion and to ignorance; so thus hear about this from Me. (3) Faith evolves according to everyone's nature, oh son of Bharata; the person ìs the full of this faith and is, with such a faith endowed, thus certain of himself. (4) Those of goodness are in respect with the godly ones, in the mode of passion one deals with the demoniac, while people in ignorance are in respect with the spirits of the dead and with ghosts. (5-6) Those persons who undergo severe austerities not prescribed in the scriptures and who proudly identified with the body are engaged in tormenting the organs of their bodies in a desire of and attachment to their own prowess, are mistaken about Me; consider those who persistently deal that way with themselves as being of an obscure resolve.
(7) Also the food intake one cherishes is assuredly of three kinds; just like with sacrifice, austerity and charity; hear now about how they differ from one another. (8) Food preferred by the ones in goodness increases the duration of life, purifies one's being, gives strength, health, happiness and satisfaction and is juicy, rich, wholesome and a pleasure to the heart. (9) Bitter, sour, salty, very hot, smelly, dried out and burnt is the food of those in the mode of passion; it makes unhappy, miserable and causes disease. (10) That which is spoiled, lacks taste, smells bad, is decomposed, a left over from a previous meal and has impurities in it, is food dear to the ignorant.
(11) Sacrifice that is performed according to the scripture by those who are free from profit motives and is thus surely of an absorbed mind is of goodness. (12) But that what is done in desire for the result and out of pride, oh chief of the Bhâratas, know that sacrifice as being of the mode of passion. (13) Devoid of the principles [of satya, dayâ, tapas, sauca; truth, compassion, austerity and cleanliness], with no offerings of food, in disrespect of mantras, without gifts and with lacking faith, sacrifice is to be considered as of ignorance.
(14) In deeds austerity is said to be of respect for the divinity, the twice-born ones, the spiritual teacher and the wise in cleanliness, sincerity, celibacy and nonviolence. (15) To the voice for sure austerity is said to be of truthful, pleasing and beneficial, inoffensive words that are of Vedic study and practice. (16) To one's thinking this austerity then is said to be of a considerate mind of good faith, gravity, self-control and self-correction. (17) That threefold austerity [of deeds, the voice and the mind] executed by men with faith in the transcendence without longing for the fruit is said to be of goodness. (18) Austerity performed in this world for the sake of respect, honor, veneration and indeed pride is said to be of passion; it is unstable and temporary. (19) Austerity foolishly performed with the intent to torture oneself or with the purpose of destroying others is said to be in the mode of darkness.
(20) Donations given dutifully, irrespective the return, at the proper time and place and to suitable persons - that giving is considered to be of goodness. (21) But that which again is given desiring a return of some result or with resentment; that giving is understood to be of the mode of passion. (22) That charity which is given at the wrong place, the wrong time and to unworthy persons and as well is given without respect and proper attention - that is said to be in the mode of ignorance.
(23) With Om Tat Sat to that the threefold of the spiritual is indicated which the brahmins till now used for as well sacrifices as the Vedic literature. (24) Therewith does Om indicate the beginning of the sacrifices of the transcendentalists of charity and penance according to the scriptural regulations. (25) Next is Tat, to the ones desiring liberation, used when one is not after the results of sacrifice with the various activities of charity and penance. (26-27) To the nature of the Supreme and its devotion is following the resounding of the word Sat used in the agreed upon activities, oh son of Prithâ. In the case of sacrifice, penance and charity, Sat is thus also for sure uttered to indicate the activities meant and the Absolute of the truth.
(28) That which is offered, given and performed with penance without faith in all this, is said to be false oh son of Prithâ, and that is nor useful here nor in the hereafter.'
THE YOGA OF LIBERATION THROUGH LESSENING
About renunciation, its threefold nature and its service with the divisions of society as the ultimate of liberation.
(1) Arjuna said: 'One by one I wish to know about the reality of the renounced order, o mighty armed one, and to understand what renunciation is, o master of the senses, killer of Kes'î [Kes'î was a mad horse once defeated by Krishna ].
(2) The Supreme Lord said: 'Giving up the desire of [material] activities is what the learned know as the renounced order [sannyâs] while the forsaking of all fruits of action is what the experienced call renunciation [tyâga]. (3) One group of great minds says that fruitive work [karma] is an evil and must thus be given up while others say that the works of sacrifice, charity and penance are never to be given up in this. (4) To be sure about this renunciation, o best of the Bhâratas, it is in fact declared to be of three kinds, o tiger among men: (5) Sacrifice, charity and penance; they are never to be given up and for sure obliged to do those offers, that gifting and that remorse is there even for the great souls purification. (6) But with all these activities must without doubt, performing them out of duty, the association with their results be given up; that, o son of Prithâ, is My last and best word on it.
(7) Renunciation then of activities never implies the forsaking of prescribed duties; a renunciation thus led by illusion is declared to be of ignorance. (8) He who performs renunciation and gives up out of fear, because such a workload might be troublesome or a discomfort to the body, is for sure of passion and never certain of the outcome. (9) Prescribed work so indeed done out of discipline, o Arjuna, and in association with giving up on the result - that renunciation is, in My view, of goodness. (10) The renouncer who never hates disagreeable work nor gets attached to the agreeable is absorbed in goodness and has an intelligence free from doubt. (11) For sure it is not possible for the embodied one to be renounced in all activities together, but the renouncer is said to be anyone who is the renouncer of the fruit of labor. (12) The three kinds of karmic consequence of finding what one didn't want, attaining what was wished for or having a mixture of these, come after the leaving behind of the world for those who did not renounce, but this is never the case for the renounced order.
(13) Understand from Me that it is said that, in the end of Vedic analysis, o mighty armed one, for the perfection of all activities, there are these five agents: (14) The place, the doer, the variety of different means and the separate ways as surely also the divine as the fifth. (15) These are the five that lead to all the karma which one physically takes up, in speech and in mind, doing right or the contrary. (16) So, anyone who sees his soul in this as the only agent is then not led by intelligence; he is of a foolish vision. (17) One whose nature is never falsely identified; one whose intelligence is never blinded; he, even killing in this world, never kills nor does he become entangled.
(18) Knowledge, the known and knower are the three incentives for action; the senses [or sense-organs], the karma and the doer are, as you know, the threefold constituents. (19) One says that knowledge, action and the doer are for certain as well of three kinds in terms of the three modes of nature; hear also how they are all set apart. (20) That knowledge by which one sees the imperishable ground of all living entities as undivided although they are divided in number, you should know to be in goodness. (21) But that knowledge which of division to the diverse situations understands [that ground] as different in all the living beings must be known as being of passion. (22) And that [knowing] which is fixed on one type of work as if that would be all, is unfounded, lacks in reality and is too easy; it is said to be of darkness.
(23) That action which is regulated, without attachment, like or dislike and done without desiring the result is said to be of goodness. (24) That work though which is done in hot pursuit, identified with the material, or again is done with a lot of pressure; is said to be in the mode of passion. (25) But that work which is after attachment, is destructive, causes distress and has no regard for the consequences or is begun being mistaken about ones own capacity; that is said to be of ignorance.
(26) A worker freed from attachment, not to the service of the body, qualified with resolve doing the best he can, unwavering in accomplishment and failure, one says is in the mode of goodness. (27) A worker is declared to be of passion if he is very attached in his desire of working for the result, is avaricious, of a violent nature, impure in his motives and led by joy and sorrow. (28) Unconnected, materialistic, obstinate, deceitful, waging against others, lazy, morose and procrastinating is what one says of the worker in the mode of ignorance.
(29) O winner of wealth, now listen as I describe to you in detail how the individual types of intelligence and conviction are certainly also differing in three kinds to the modes of nature. (30) O son of Prithâ, understanding, which knows how to move onwards and how to refrain from it, what should be done and what not, what is to be feared and not to be feared and what is of bondage and what of liberation; know that to be of goodness. (31) Not precisely knowing of what is to the original nature and what goes against, what would be right and what would be wrong; that intelligence, o son of Prithâ, is in the mode of passion. (32) The intelligence which thus covered by illusion thinks unrighteousness to be true nature and thinks that everything goes the wrong way; that intelligence, o son of Prithâ, is of ignorance.
(33) That bearing which by an unbroken practice of yoga retains the activity of the mind, the life-force and the sense-organs; that resolve, o son of Prithâ, is of the mode of goodness. (34) But the attitude, o Arjuna, by which one holds on to ones righteous duty, enjoyment and material progress out of attachment in desiring the fruits; that determination, o son of Prithâ is in the mode of passion. (35) That will by which one never gives up the sleeping, fearing, lamenting, drooping and surely also the presuming, is of an unintelligent attitude in the mode of ignorance, o son of Prithâ.
(36) But hear from Me now about three kinds of happiness one enjoys by fortitude, o best amongst the Bhâratas and of which one reaches the end of sorrow. (37) That happiness which is in the beginning like poison but in the end compares to nectar, is in the mode of goodness said to be born in the soul from the grace of intelligence. (38) That happiness which results from the contact of the senses with the sense-objects and which in the beginning is just like nectar but in the end is like poison; that happiness is considered to be in the mode of passion. (39) That which from the beginning to the end is happiness produced by self-deception, sloth, laziness and misunderstanding, that is said to be of ignorance. (40) There is no being in existence either on earth or in the higher spheres among the divine, who is freed from the influence of these three modes of material nature.'
THE YOGA OF LIBERATION THROUGH RENUNCIATION
About renunciation (its threefold nature) and its service with the divisions of society as the ultimate of liberation.
(41) 'O chastiser of the enemy, the activities of the intellectuals and priests (brahmins), the rulers and the military (kshatriyas), the traders and farmers (vais'yas) and the servants and laborers (s'ûdras), are divided to their own natures that originate from the material modes. (42) Equable, self-controlled, austere, pure, tolerant, and surely straight and of knowledge, wisdom and belief in God is the activity of a brahmin born from his own nature. (43) Valor, vigor, determination, resourcefulness in opposition and not fleeing, generous and taking the lead is the occupation born from the nature of a kshatriya. (44) Plowing, tending cows and trade is the natural way of a vais'ya while the nature of a s'ûdra's duty consists of being of service.
(45) Each fulfilling his own duty does man gain in perfection. Now listen how doing ones own job that maturity is attained. (46) From whom all living entities emanated, by whom all this is pervaded; doing his own duties in respect of Him, a man achieves perfection. (47) It is better to be unsuccessful with ones own duty than to perform perfect minding another's business as doing work restricted to one's own nature one will never run into offense. (48) Although faults occur working for a result, o son of Kuntî, one should never give it up as for sure all beginning is with faults the way fire is covered by smoke. (49) With an unobstructed intelligence in all respect in control of oneself and with the longing gone, one attains the perfection of freedom from reactions by the renounced order.
(50) Understand from Me how in sum, o son of Kuntî, achieving mastery, without fail the spiritual is achieved; the stage of knowledge which is transcendental. (51-53) With the intelligence completely cleared, connected in ones determination and also regulating oneself with things as sounds, giving up on the obects of the senses and refraining from passion and a negative attitude; living secluded, eating little, with ones speech, mind and body under control, all day in the beyond of meditation having taken to the shelter of detachment; unidentified with the body, physical power, false pride, lust, anger and material accumulation, one, freed from possessiveness in peace qualifies for spiritual realization. (54) Existing spiritually the soul is pleased, one never laments or desires and is one equal to all living beings; one gains the transcendental of My devotional service. (55) Through devotion one can know Me as I really am; knowing Me thus in truth he thereafter reaches. (56) Despite of always performing all kinds of activities, one does, by the mercy of My protection achieve the imperishable eternal abode. (57) Just become aware of Me all day by consciously giving up all kinds of activities under My lead, taking to the shelter of the intelligence of yogîc union. (58) Being conscious of Me you will overcome all impediments by My mercy but if, identifying with the body, you do not hear, you will be lost. (59) If, taking to false ego, you think not to fight, then your resolve is all wrong; from your material position you will have to engage. (60) From your own point of view, o son of Kuntî, caught in your own actions, you prefer not to engage in that which from illusion you will even do involuntarily. (61) The Supreme Master resides in the heart of all living entities, o Arjuna, directing each creature subject to the mechanical of time and matter. (62) Be sure to surrender in all respects unto Him, o son of Bharata; by His grace you will obtain the transcendental abode of eternal peace. (63) Thus the greater secret of confidential knowledge has been explained by Me; in full consideration of this, do that what you wish to do.
(64) Hear once again from Me about this most confidential of supreme instruction; you are very dear to Me and therefore I speak it to your benefit. (65) Thinking of Me becoming My devotee, offering your obeisances unto Me becoming My worshipper; for sure you will come to Me in truth - this I promise you as You are dear to Me. (66) Go, leave the variety of religions behind for surrendering to Me only; I will deliver you from all the consequences of sin, don't worry! (67) This is never to be told by you to someone void of austerity, never at any time to a non-devotee, never to one not willing to listen nor to anyone indignant towards Me. (68) Anyone who explains this most confidential secret of Mine amongst the devotees is doing transcendental devotional service unto Me and will without doubt for sure come to Me. (69) Never is there anyone among men more dear to Me than him nor will also on earth another one become more dear to Me than him. (70) He who will study this sacred conversation of ours; by him I will, by the sacrifice of spiritual knowledge, be worshiped. Thus is My view. (71) A man who with faith listens free from envy; also he being liberated, will attain to the auspicious of the spheres of the pious. (72) O son of Prithâ, have you heard all this with a concentrated mind ? Has now the delusion brought about by your lack of knowledge been dispelled, o conqueror of wealth?'
(73) Arjuna said: 'My being mistaken is overcome, by Your mercy does it all come back to me. With all my doubts removed, o infallible one, I am ready to put Your words into practice.'
(74) Sañjaya said: "Thus I have heard this discussion of Vâsudeva and of the great soul Arjuna, so wonderful, that it makes my hair stand on end. (75) Through the grace of Vyâsadeva I have heard this confidential about the supreme of yoga directly from the personal speaking of the master of yoga Krishna Himself. (76) O King, over and over remembering this wonderful message so Holy of Kes'ava and Arjuna, delights me time and again. (77) And also each time remembering the most wonderful form of the Lord fills me with great wonder, o King, and makes me rejoice again and again. (78) I am convinced that wherever there is the Lord of Yoga Krishna and the son of Prithâ carrying the bow and arrows, that there opulence, victory, great power and morality are assured."
Thus ends the Bhagavad Gîtâ as taken down by Srîla Vyâsadeva in the MahâBhârata; Bhîshma Parva, chapter 23-40, translated, concatenated and put on the internet by Anand Aadhar Prabhu as loyal to the original Sanskrit as possible.
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