Filognostic* understanding of the Bhagavad Gîtâ of Order
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 spoke it to Ikshvâku [founder of the dynasty where Râma descended in].
The fortunate one said: 'This oldest science of uniting within is my original instruction to the divinity of the sun, an instruction which has inspired the very lead of creation, called the Creator, who on his turn inspired the first among the rulers to the order of the sun. (Sanskrit & tradition)
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.
The rulers of virtue in the past all in succession understanding it learned to manage, but in the long run this great way of connecting oneself got divided in so many branches of knowledge, oh winner of them all. (Sanskrit & tradition)
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.
This very old science of uniting consciousness, also called yoga, I now explain to you today because you are devoted to the cause and my friend, and thus you may know about the mystery of the decisive top position, the position in the beyond, the transcendence.' (Sanskrit & tradition)
Arjuna said: 'Your birth came after the one before of Vivasvân. How must I understand Your instructing in the beginning thus?'
Arjuna said: 'If I get you right your instruction was there before you were there, you were born after that ancient rule and instruction, how can that be?' (Sanskrit & tradition)
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.
The fortunate one said: 'There were many births of my character before, just as there are of you, dear Arjuna, I know and identify myself with all of them, but you apparently do not, oh victor of the battle! (Sanskrit & tradition)
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.
I may be transcendent, of an unborn nature, an imperishable soul who is the Lord over all, nevertheless I appear, from my top position, in the flesh as a covering of my own self. (Sanskrit & tradition)
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.
Whenever and wherever there is a decline of righteousness and a predominance of injustice, oh descendant of Bharata, I manifest myself. (Sanskrit & tradition)
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.
To give the ones aching for the truth a life, and to put an end to the miscreants, I appear, generation after generation, in order to re-establish the way of the human principles of truth, purity, penance and nonviolent compassion.3 (Sanskrit & tradition)
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.
Anyone who knows of this taking birth of mine and what I stand for, will, turning away from the body as being the true self, not get entangled again, but rejoice in my love, dear Arjuna. (Sanskrit & tradition)
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.
Fully aware of what I am, many have attained my loving nature who freed from attachment and anger found purification in the knowledge of penance. (Sanskrit & tradition)
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.
All who are of this surrender to me, I award the basis, the foundation on which everyone is building, oh son of Prithâ, in every possible way. (Sanskrit & tradition)
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.
Anxious for the perfect profit one is in this world of sacrifice for different types of divinity. That is a karmic desire which soon brings success in the human world. (Sanskrit & tradition)
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.
The four classes or divisions of labor, together with the four age-groups that I settle for in relation to the three material qualities, is the way the cookie crumbles with me, but don't see me, the imperishable soul, as the one who did the crumbling. (Sanskrit & tradition)
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.
On me as the soul all this karma has no effect, nor am I part of its ambitions; and thus no aware person, as far as I am concerned, will ever be entangled because of his karma. (Sanskrit & tradition)
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.
Following in the footsteps of your ancestors you should , in the same way of keeping to your duty as they did, find liberation. (Sanskrit & tradition)
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.
Many wonder what this karma and the contrary actually would be. Let me explain it to you, so that you'll be freed from all bad luck. (Sanskrit & tradition)
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.
Weighing it carefully I must say there is work, crime and devotional service, and it's difficult to understand what it all leads to. (Sanskrit & tradition)
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.
If you consider working for a result as unemployment and devotional activities as employment, you may consider yourself intelligent in human affairs; it is then that you, with all the sorts of activities you're engaged in, are connected. (Sanskrit & tradition)
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.
The learned who know this declare that he who is free from any intention to endeavor unregulated in lust, is someone whose profit-minded labor, his karma, burned up in the fire of spiritual knowledge. (Sanskrit & tradition)
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.
Having given up the attachment to the fruits of labor as also to the comfort and control of a fixed residence - one's private kingdom - there is a lasting satisfaction; even though fully engaged in activities one is not really doing anything then. (Sanskrit & tradition)
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.
Free from ulterior motives with his mind and intelligence under control, he does his job to which no guilt accrues then; for all he does actually is maintain the body in forsaking all acquisition. (Sanskrit & tradition)
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.
Satisfied with whatever comes his way he has, free from envy, surpassed the material duality and he is, steady in success and failure, never troubled, whatever he does. (Sanskrit & tradition)
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.
With his mind firmly established in spiritual wisdom, and with the attachment gone acting for the sake of sacrifice, there remains nothing of his motivation for results, of his karma thus. (Sanskrit & tradition)
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.
Offering for the spirit the spirit becomes the offering and the offerer belongs to the spiritual fire; most certainly he will attain the spirit of the absolute who is fully dedicated to serving that spirit. (Sanskrit & tradition)
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.
Some dedicate themselves to the representatives of this or that divine interest, while others, wishing to unify in consciousness, are of sacrifice for being perfectly connected in the fire of the spirit of the Absolute. (Sanskrit & tradition)
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.
Some relate to this fire by means of mantras with which they dedicate their ears and such senses, while others sacrifice that what their senses are after in the fire. (Sanskrit & tradition)
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.
Still others, who illumined in spiritual knowledge concentrate their minds in yoga, offer their breathing to all the activity of their senses in the fire. (Sanskrit & tradition)
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.
Some, being austere, so give up their possessions in the uniting, while even others, ascetically taking to vows, devote all their talents of understanding to the study of the scriptures. (Sanskrit & tradition)
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 air while still others sacrifice the inhaled air into itself in controlling their eating .
Others furthermore, who try to become silent inside with their essence, do so by following their in- and outgoing breath in which they connect the inward with the outward going air, while even others give up on the entire endeavor of breathing it all out by restricting their food intake. (Sanskrit & tradition)
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.
Whatever the practice, all who know to sacrifice, find relief that way of the inner turmoil of being stained by the material affair, and reach, having acquired the taste of that nectar of sacrifice, the eternal spirit. (Sanskrit & tradition)
When this world is not for the one without sacrifice, then what [to expect] of the next, oh best of the Kurus?
How can we ever have a better world, if we're not of sacrifice in this world, oh best of the Kuru rule? (Sanskrit & tradition)
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.
This is how the different types of sacrifice are defended in relation to the Vedas. They're all the result of being dutifully engaged; and loving the knowledge of this, being of the âtmatattva4 in this, you'll find liberation. (Sanskrit & tradition)
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.
If you, oh son of Prithâ, are determined to dedicate your knowledge to the âtmatattva of this, that is a greater sacrifice than offering your possessions, oh defeat of your opponents, because your duty will be perfectly served and fully heartened by it. (Sanskrit & tradition)
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.
Remember that when you are of respect for those who know this, and you, with the wish to serve them, ask them questions, that these âtmatattva people of self-realization will initiate you into the truth of the seers. (Sanskrit & tradition)
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.
Being of the âtmatattva you'll never fall victim to illusion again, oh son of aunt Prithâ, because you, with this love of knowledge, will regard all living beings as being part of the soul - or differently stated, that all are in me. (Sanskrit & tradition)
Even if you are the greatest of all sinners you will, with this boat of transcendental knowledge, cross the ocean of all this misery.
Even being the most wretched and lowest of all, you will, with this boat of spiritual knowledge, cross the ocean of all materialistic misery. (Sanskrit & tradition)
Like firewood ablaze with fire turns to ashes, oh Arjuna, so the fire of knowledge turns all of your karma to ashes.
Just like a blazing fire turning firewood to ashes, dear Arjuna, the fire of this higher knowing will turn all your karma to ashes. (Sanskrit & tradition)
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.
Nothing that you know of in this world compares to this purification, and he who is truly experienced in this unification will conclude to this himself. (Sanskrit & tradition)
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.
He who believes this will, keeping close to the âtmatattva, manage to subdue his senses, because from this faithfulness to the principles one, very quickly reaching the transcendental abode, finds peace. (Sanskrit & tradition)
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.
An ignoramus of doubt without any faith has no taste for it, there will never in this world, nor in the next, be happiness for such a soul full of doubts. (Sanskrit & tradition)
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.
The man who, unified in consciousness, gave up the profit-minded type of labor, and, with the âtmatattva of faithfully knowing the absolute, broke with the doubts, lives in the soul and will never be bound in whatever he does, oh winner of the wealth. (Sanskrit & tradition)
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!'
And so, oh descendant of Bharata, by means of the weapon of the knowledge of the soul cutting with the doubt that out of ignorance rose in your heart, be of the unification and rise to your feet!' (Sanskrit & tradition)
Versions consulted:- A Song of Fortune One - A modern Gîtâ - the modern version of filognosy (also in mp3-audio).
- A Song of Fortune - A Classical Gîtâ - the classical version of filognosy.
- The Bhagavad Gîta-as-it-is by Swami Bhaktivedânta Prabhupâda (PDF-download).
- The Bhagavad Gîtâ-as-it-is: online (version 1.0).
- The Bhagavad Gita As It Is By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (pdf-download).
- The Bhagavad Gita by the Bhagavad Gita Trust.
- Bhagavad Gita by Sanderson Beck.
- Bhagavad Gita by Ramanad Prasad (American Gita society).
- Srimad Bhagavad-gita - The Hidden Treasure of the Sweet Absolute (from the Vaishnav' S'rî Caitanya Saraswath math).
Sanskrit dictionary: (Monier-Williams' 'Sanskrit-English Dictionary').
The filognostic translations are of the same author.