Chapters 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9
10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17 - 18
Bernard's Note: I have found the text on the Net, but there were many typos or missing passages or even pages. I have all verified, corrected or completed, word after word, with the help of the printed edition in my possession. The following text is therefore the only one correct on the Net at publishing's date (December 17, 2000).
Publisher's Note: The translation of the Gita presented here was compiled mainly from Sri Aurobindo's "Essays on the Gita". It first appeared in "The Message of the Gita", edited by Anilbaran Roy, in 1938. Sri Aurobindo approved this book for publication; however, he made it clear in one of his letters that the translations in the Essays were "more explanatory than textually precise or cast in a literary style". Many of them are paraphrases rather than strict translations.
Sri Aurobindo also wrote that he did not wish extracts from the Essays "to go out as my translation of the Gita". This should be borne in mind by the reader as he makes use of this translation, which has been provided as a bridge between the Gita and Sri Aurobindo's Essays.
THE DEJECTION OF ARJUNA
1. Dhritarashtra said: On the field of Kurukshetra, the field of the working out of the Dharma, gathered together, eager for battle, what did they, O Sanjaya, my people and the Pandavas?
2. Sanjaya said: Then the prince Duryodhana, having seen the army of the Pandayas arrayed in battle order, approached his teacher and spoke these words:
3. "Behold this mighty host of the sons of Pandu, O Acharya, arrayed by Drupada's son, thy intelligent disciple.
4-6. Here in this mighty army are heroes and great bowmen who are equal in battle to Bhima and Arjuna: Yuyudhana, Virata and Drupada of the great car, Dhrishlaketu, Chekitana and the valiant prince of Kashi, Purujit and Kuntibhoja, and Shaibya, foremost among men; Yudhamanyu, the strong, and Uttamauja, the victorious; Subhadra's son (Abhimanyu) and the sons of Draupadi; all of them of great prowess.
7. On our side also know those who are the most distinguished. O best of the twice-born, the leaders of my army; these I name to thee for thy special notice.
8-9. Thyself and Bhishma and Kama and Kripa, the victorious in battle, Ashvatthama, Vikarna, and Saumadatti also; and many other heroes have renounced their life for my sake, they are all armed with diverse weapons and missiles and all well-skilled in war.
10. Unlimited is this army of ours and it is marshalled by Bhishma, while the army of theirs is limited, and they depend on Bhima.
11. Therefore all ye standing in your respective divisions in the different fronts of the battle, guard Bhishma."
12. Cheering the heart of Duryodhana. the mighty grandsire (Bhishma). the Ancient of the Kurus, resounding the battlefield with a lion's roar, blew his conch.
13. Then conchs and kettledrums, tabors and drums and horns, suddenly blared forth, and the clamour became tremendous.
14. Then, seated in their great chariot, yoked to white horses. Madhava (Sri Krishna) and the son of Pandu (Arjuna) blew their divine conchs.
15-16. Hrishikesha (Krishna) blew his Panchajanya and Dhananjaya (Arjuna) his Devadatta (god-given); Vrikodara of terrific deeds blew his mighty conch, Paundra; the King Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, blew Anantavijaya, Nakula and Sahadeva, Sughosha and Manipushpaka.
17-18. And Kashya of the great bow, and Shikhandi of the great chariot, Dhrishtadyumna and Virata and Satyaki, the unconquered, Drupada, and the sons of Draupadi, O Lord of earth, and Saubhadra, the mighty-armed, on all sides their several conchs blew.
19. That tumultuous uproar resounding through earth and sky tore the hearts of the sons of Dhritarashtra.
20. Then, beholding the sons of Dhritarashtra standing in battle order, - and the flight of missiles having begun, the son of Pandu (Arjuna), whose emblem is an ape, took up his bow and spoke this word to Hrishikesha, O Lord of earth:
21-23. Arjuna said: O Achyuta (the faultless, the immovable), stay my chariot between the two armies, so that I may view these myriads standing, longing for battle, whom I have to meet in this holiday of fight, and look upon those who have come here to champion the cause of the evil-minded son of Dhritarashtra.
24-25. Sanjaya said: Thus addressed by Gudakesha (one that has overcome sleep. Arjuna), Hrishikesha, O Bharata, having stayed that best of chariots between the two armies, in front of Bhishma, Drona and all the princes of earth, said: "O Partha, behold these Kurus gathered together."
26-27. Then saw Partha standing upon opposite sides, uncles and grandsires, teachers, mother's brothers, cousins, sons and grandsons, comrades, fathers-in-law, benefactors.
27-28. Seeing all these kinsmen thus standing arrayed, Kaunteya, invaded by great pity, uttered this in sadness and dejection:
28-30. Arjuna said: Seeing these my own people, O Krishna, arrayed for battle, my limbs collapse and my mouth is parched, my body shakes and my hair stands on end; Gandiva (Arjuna's bow) slips from my hand, and all my skin seems to be burning.
30-31. I am not able to stand and my mind seems to be whirling; also I see evil omens, O Keshava.
31-32. Nor do I see any good in slaying my own people in battle; O Krishna, I desire not victory, nor kingdom, nor pleasures.
32-36. What is kingdom to us, O Govinda, what enjoyment, what even life? Those for whose sake we desire kingdom, enjoyments and pleasures, they stand here in battle, abandoning life and riches - teachers, fathers, sons, as well as grandsires, mother's brothers, fathers-in-law, grandsons, brothers-in-law, and other kith and kin; these I would not consent to slay, though myself slain, O Madhusudana, even for the kingdom of the three worlds; how then for earth? What pleasures can be ours after killing the sons of Dhritarashtra. O Janardana?
36-37. Sin will take hold of us in slaying them, though they are the aggressors. So it is not fit that we kill the sons of Dhritarashtra, our kinsmen; indeed how may we be happy, O Madhava, killing our own people?
38-39. Although these, with a consciousness clouded with greed, see no guilt in the destruction of the family, no crime in hostility to friends, why should not we have the wisdom to draw hack from such a sin, O Janardana, we who see the evil in the destruction of the family?
40. In the annihilation of the family the eternal traditions of the family are destroyed; in the collapse of traditions, lawlessness overcomes the whole family,
41. Owing to predominance of lawlessness, O Krishna, the women of the family become corrupt; women corrupted, O Varshneya, the confusion of the Varnas arises.
42. This confusion leads to hell the ruiners of the family, and the family; for their ancestors fall, deprived of pinda (rice offering) and libations.
43. By these misdeeds of the ruiners of the family leading to the confusion of the orders, the eternal laws of the race and moral law of the family are destroyed.
44. And men whose family morals are corrupted, O Janardana, live for ever in hell. Thus have we heard.
45. Alas! we were engaged in committing a great sin, we who were endeavouring to kill our own people through greed of the pleasures of kingship.
46. It is more for my welfare that the sons of Dhritarashtra armed should slay me unarmed and unresisting. (I will not fight.)
47. Sanjaya said: Having thus spoken on the battlefield, Arjuna sank down on the seat of the chariot, casting down the divine bow and the inexhaustible quiver (given to him by the gods for that tremendous hour), his spirit overwhelmed with sorrow.
1. Sanjaya said: To him thus invaded by pity, his eyes full and distressed with tears, his heart overcome by depression and discouragement, Madhusudana spoke these words.
2. The Blessed Lord said: Whence has come to thee this dejection, this stain and darkness of the soul in the hour of difficulty and peril, O Arjuna? This is not the way cherished by the Aryan man: this mood came not from heaven nor can it lead to heaven, and on earth it is the forfeiting of glory.
3. Fall not from the virility of the fighter and the hero, O Partha! it is not fitting in thee. Shake off this paltry faintheartedness and arise, O scourge of thine enemy!
4. Arjuna said: How, O Madhusudana, shall I strike Bhishma and Drona with weapons in battle, they who are worthy of worship?
5. Better to live in this world even on alms than to slay these high-souled Gurus. Slaying these Gurus, I should taste of blood-stained enjoyments even in this world.
6. Nor do I know which for us is better, that we should conquer them or they conquer us, - before us stand the Dhritarashtrians, whom having slain we should not care to live.
7. It is poorness of spirit that has smitten away from me my (true heroic) nature, my whole consciousness is bewildered in its view of right and wrong. I ask thee which may be the better - that tell me decisively. I take refuge as a disciple with thee, enlighten me.
8. I see not what shall thrust from me the sorrow that dries up the senses, even if I should attain rich and unrivalled kingdom on earth or even the sovereignty of the gods.
9. Sanjaya said: Gudakesha, terror of his foes, having thus spoken to Hrishikesha, and said to him, "I will not fight!" became silent.
10. To him thus depressed and discouraged, Hrishikesha, smiling as it were, O Bharata, spoke these words between the two armies.
11. The Blessed Lord said: Thou grievest for those that should not be grieved for. yet speakest words of wisdom. The enlightened man does not mourn either for the living or for the dead.
12. It is not true that at any time I was not, nor thou, nor these kings of men; nor is it true that any of us shall ever cease to be hereafter.
13. As the soul passes physically through childhood and youth and age, so it passes on to the changing of the body. The self-composed man does not allow himself to be disturbed and blinded by this.
14. The material touches, O son of Kunti, giving cold and heat, pleasure and pain, things transient which come and go, these learn to endure, O Bharata.
15. The man whom these do not trouble nor pain O lion-hearted among men, the firm and wise who is equal in pleasure and suffering, makes himself apt for immortality.
16. That which really is, cannot go out of existence, just as that which is non-existent cannot come into being. The end of this opposition of 'is' and 'is not' has been perceived by the seers of essential truths.
17. Know that to be imperishable by which all this is extended. Who can slay the immortal spirit?
18. Finite bodies have an end, but that which possesses and uses the body is infinite, illimitable, eternal, indestructible. Therefore fight, O Bharata.
19. He who regards this (the soul) as a slayer, and he who thinks it is slain, both of them fail to perceive the truth. It does not slay, nor is it slain.
20. This is not born, nor does it die, nor is it a thing that comes into being once and passing away will never come into being again. It is unborn, ancient, sempiternal; it is not slain with the slaying of the body.
21. Who knows it as immortal eternal imperishable spiritual existence, how can that man slay, O Partha, or cause to be slain?
22. The embodied soul casts away old and takes up new bodies as a man changes worn-out raiment for new.
23. Weapons cannot cleave it, nor the fire burn, nor do the waters drench it, nor the wind dry.
24. It is uncleavable, it is incombustible, it can neither be drenched nor dried. Eternally stable, immobile, all-pervading, it is for ever and for ever.
25. It is unmanifest, it is unthinkable, it is immutable, so it is described (by the Srutis); therefore knowing it as such, thou shouldst not grieve.
26. Even if thou thinkest of it (the self) as being constantly subject to birth and death, still, O mighty-armed, thou shouldst not grieve.
27. For certain is death for the born, and certain is birth for the dead, therefore what is inevitable ought not to be a cause of thy sorrow.
28. Beings are unmanifest in the beginning, manifest in the middle, O Bharata, unmanifest likewise are they in disintegration. What is there to be grieved at?
29. One sees it as a mystery or one speaks of it or hears of it as a mystery, but none knows it. That (the Self, the One, the Divine) we look on and speak and hear of as the wonderful beyond our comprehension, for after all our learning from those who have knowledge, no human mind has ever known this Absolute.
30. This dweller in the body of everyone is eternal and indestructible. O Bharata: therefore thou shouldst not grieve for any creature.
31. Further, looking to thine own law of action thou shouldst not tremble; there is no greater good for the Kshatriya than righteous battle.
32. When such a battle comes to them of itself like the open gate of heaven, happy are the Kshatriyas then.
33. But if thou dost not this battle for the right, then hast thou abandoned thy duty and virtue and thy glory, and sin shall be thy portion.
34. Besides, men will recount thy perpetual disgrace, and to one in noble station, dishonour is worse than death.
35. The mighty men will think thee fled from the battle through fear, and thou, that wast highly esteemed by them, will allow a smirch to fall on thy honour.
36. Many unseemly words will bespoken by thy enemies, slandering thy strength; what is worse grief than that?
37. Slain thou shalt win Heaven, victorious thou shalt enjoy the earth; therefore arise, O son of Kunti, resolved upon battle.
38. Make grief and happiness, loss and gain, victory and defeat equal to thy soul and then turn to battle; so thou shalt not incur sin.
39. Such is the intelligence (the intelligent knowledge of things and will) declared to thee in the Sankhya, hear now this in the Yoga, for if thou art in Yoga by this intelligence, O son of Pritha, thou shalt cast away the bondage of works.
40. On this path no effort is lost, no obstacle prevails; even a little of this dharma delivers from the great fear.
41. The fixed and resolute intelligence is one and homogeneous, O joy of the Kurus; many-branching and multifarious is the intelligence of the irresolute.
42-43. This flowery word which they declare who have not clear discernment, devoted to the creed of the Veda, whose creed is that there is nothing else, souls of desire, seekers of Paradise, - it gives the fruits of the works of birth, it is multifarious with specialities of rites, it is directed to enjoyment and lordship as its goal.
44. The intelligence of those who are misled by that (flowery word), and cling to enjoyment and lordship, is not established in the self with concentrated fixity.
45. The action of the three gunas is the subject-matter of the Veda; but do thou become free from the triple guna, O Arjuna; without the dualities, ever based in the true being, without getting or having, possessed of the self.
46. As much use as there is in a well with water in flood on every side, so much is there in all the Vedas for the Brahmin who has the knowledge.
47. Thou hast a right to action, but only to action, never to its fruits; let not the fruits of thy works be thy motive, neither let there be in thee any attachment to inactivity.
48. Fixed in Yoga do thy actions, having abandoned attachment, having become equal in failure and success; for it is equality that is meant by Yoga.
49. Works are far inferior to Yoga of the intelligence, O Dhananjaya; desire rather refuge in the intelligence; poor and wretched souls are they who make the fruit of their works the object of their thoughts and activities.
50. One whose intelligence has attained to unity, casts away - even here in this world of dualities - both good doing and evil doing. Therefore strive to be in Yoga; Yoga is skill in works.
51. The sages who have united their reason and will with the Divine renounce the fruit which action yields and, liberated from the bondage of birth, they reach the status beyond misery.
52. When thy intelligence shall cross beyond the whirl of delusion, then shalt thou become indifferent to Scripture heard or that which thou hast yet to hear.
53. When thy intelligence which is bewildered by the Sruti, shall stand unmoving and stable in Samadhi, then shalt thou attain to Yoga.
54. Arjuna said: What is the sign of the man in Samadhi whose intelligence is firmly fixed in wisdom? How does the sage of settled understanding speak, how sit, how walk?
55. The Blessed Lord said: When a man expels, O Partha, all desires from the mind, and is satisfied in the self by the self, then is he called stable in intelligence.
56. He whose mind is undisturbed in the midst of sorrows and amid pleasures is free from desire, from whom liking and fear and wrath have passed away, is the sage of settled understanding.
57. Who in all things is without affection though visited by this good or that evil and neither hates nor rejoices, his intelligence sits firmly founded in wisdom.
58. Who draws away the senses from the objects of sense, as the tortoise draws in his limbs into the shell, his intelligence sits firmly founded in wisdom.
59. If one abstains from food, the objects of sense cease to affect, but the affection itself of the sense, the rasa, remains; the rasa also ceases when the Supreme is seen.
60. Even the mind of the wise man who labours for perfection is carried away by the vehement insistence of the senses, O son of Kunti.
61. Having brought all the senses under control, he must sit firm in Yoga, wholly given up to Me; for whose senses are mastered, of him the intelligence is firmly established (in its proper seat).
62. In him whose mind dwells on the objects of sense with absorbing interest, attachment to them is formed; from attachment arises desire; from desire anger comes forth.
63. Anger leads to bewilderment, from bewilderment comes loss of memory; and by that the intelligence is destroyed; from destruction of intelligence he perishes.
64-65. It is by ranging over the objects with the senses, but with senses subject to the self, freed from liking and disliking, that one gets into a large and sweet clearness of soul and temperament in which passion and grief find no place; the intelligence of such a man is rapidly established (in its proper seat).
66. For one who is not in Yoga, there is no intelligence, no concentration of thought; for him without concentration there is no peace, and for the unpeaceful how can there be happiness?
67. Such of the roving senses as the mind follows, that carries away the understanding, just as the winds carry away a ship on the sea.
68. Therefore, O mighty-armed, one who has utterly restrained the excitement of the senses by their objects, his intelligence sits firmly founded in calm self-knowledge.
69. That (higher being) which is to all creatures a night, is to the self-mastering sage his waking (his luminous day of true being, knowledge and power); the life of the dualities which is to them their waking (their day, their consciousness, their bright condition of activity) is a night (a troubled sleep and darkness of the soul) to the sage who sees.
70. He attains peace, into whom all desires enter as waters into the sea (an ocean of wide being and consciousness) which is ever being filled, yet ever motionless - not he who (like troubled and muddy waters) is disturbed by every little inrush of desire.
71. Who abandons all desires and lives and acts free from longing, who has no "I" or "mine" (who has extinguished his individual ego in the One and lives in that unity), he attains to the great peace.
72. This is brahmi sthiti (firm standing in the Brahman), O son of Pritha. Having attained thereto one is not bewildered; fixed in that status at his end, one can attain to extinction in the Brahman.
1. Arjuna said: If thou boldest the intelligence to be greater than works, O Janardana, why then dost thou, O Keshava, appoint me to a terrible work?
2. Thou seemest to bewilder my intelligence with a confused and mingled speech; tell me then decisively that one thing by which I may attain to my soul's weal.
3. The Blessed Lord said: In this world twofold is the self-application of the soul (by which it enters into the Brahmic condition), as I before said, O sinless one: that of the Sankhyas by the Yoga of knowledge, that of the Yogins by the Yoga of works.
4. Not by abstention from works does a man enjoy actionlessness, nor by mere renunciation (of works) does he attain to his perfection (to siddhi, the accomplishment of the aims of his self-discipline by Yoga).
5. For none stands even for a moment not doing work, everyone is made to do action helplessly by the modes born of Prakriti.
6. Who controls the organs of action, but continues in his mind to remember and dwell upon the objects of sense, such a man has bewildered himself with false notions of self-discipline.
7. He who controlling the senses by the mind, O Arjuna, without attachment engages with the organs of action in Yoga of action, he excels.
8. Do thou do controlled action. For action is greater than inaction; even the maintenance of thy physical life cannot be effected without action.
9. By doing works otherwise than for sacrifice, this world of men is in bondage to works; for sacrifice practise works, O son of Kunti, becoming free from all attachment.
10. With sacrifice the Lord of creatures of old created creatures and said: By this shall you bring forth (fruits or offspring), let this be your milker of desires.
11. Foster by this the gods and let the gods foster you; fostering each other, you shall attain to the supreme good.
12. Fostered by sacrifice the gods shall give you desired enjoyments: who enjoys their given enjoyments and has not given to them, he is a thief.
13. The good who eat what is left from the sacrifice, are released from all sin; but evil are they and enjoy sin who cook (the food) for their own sake.
14-15. From food creatures come into being, from rain is the birth of food, from sacrifice comes into being the rain, sacrifice is born of work; work know to be born of Brahman, Brahman is born of the Immutable; therefore is the all-pervading Brahman established in the sacrifice.
16. He who follows not here the wheel thus set in movement, evil is his being, sensual is his delight, in vain, O Partha, that man lives.
17. But the man whose delight is in the Self and who is satisfied with the enjoyment of the Self and in the Self he is content, for him there exists no work that needs to be done.
18. He has no object here to be gained by action done and none to be gained by action undone; he has no dependence on all these existences for any object to be gained.
19. Therefore without attachment perform ever the work that is to be done (done for the sake of the world, lokasangraha, as is made clear immediately afterward); for by doing work without attachment man attains to the highest.
20. It was even by works that Janaka and the rest attained to perfection. Thou shouldst do works regarding also the holding together of the peoples.
21. Whatsoever the Best doeth, that the lower kind of man puts into practice; the standard he creates, the people follow.
22. O Son of Pritha, I have no work that I need to do in all the three worlds, I have nothing that I have not gained and have yet to gain, and I abide verily in the paths of action (varta eva cha karmani, - eva implying, I abide in it and do not leave it as the sannyasin thinks himself bound to abandon works).
23-24. For if I did not abide sleeplessly in the paths of action, men follow in every way my path, these peoples would sink to destruction if I did not work and I should be the creator of confusion and slay these creatures.
25. As those who know not act with attachment to the action, he who knows should act without attachment, having for his motive to hold together the peoples.
26. He should not create a division of their understanding in the ignorant who are attached to their works, he should set them to all actions, doing them himself with knowledge and in Yoga.
27. While the actions are being entirely done by the modes of Nature, he whose self is bewildered by egoism thinks that it is his "I" which is doing them.
28. But one, O mighty-armed, who knows the true principles of the divisions of the modes and of works, realises that it is the modes which are acting and reacting on each other and is not caught in them by attachment.
29. Those who are bewildered by the modes, not knowers of the whole, let not the knower of the whole disturb in their mental standpoint.
30. Giving up thy works to Me, with thy consciousness founded in the Self, free from desire and egoism, fight delivered from the fever of thy soul.
31-32. Who, having faith and not trusting to the critical intelligence, constantly follow this teaching of mine, they too are released from (the bondage of) works. But those who find fault with my teaching and act not thereon, know them to be of unripe mind, bewildered in all knowledge and fated to be destroyed.
33. All existences follow their nature and what shall coercing it avail? Even the man of knowledge acts according to his own nature.
34. In the object of this or that sense, liking and disliking are set in ambush; fall not into their power, for they are the besetters of the soul in its path.
35. Better is one's own law of works, swadharma, though in itself faulty than an alien law well wrought out; death in one's own law of being is better, perilous is it to follow an alien law.
36. Arjuna said: But (if there is no fault in following our Nature) what is this in us that drives a man to sin, as if by force, even against his own struggling will, O Varshneya?
37. The Lord said: This is desire and its companion wrath, children of rajas, all-devouring, all-polluting, know thou this as the soul's great enemy (which has to be slain).
38. As a fire is covered over by smoke, as a mirror by dust, as an embryo is wrapped by the amnion, so this (knowledge) is enveloped by it.
39. Enveloped is knowledge, O Kaunteya, by this eternal enemy of knowledge in the form of desire which is an insatiable fire.
40. The senses, mind and intellect are its seat; enveloping knowledge by these it bewilders the embodied soul.
41. Therefore, O Best of the Bharatas, controlling first the senses, do thou slay this thing of sin destructive of knowledge (in order to live in the calm, clear, luminous truth of the Spirit).
42. Supreme, they say, (beyond their objects) are the senses, supreme over the senses the mind, supreme over the mind the intelligent will: that which is supreme over the intelligent will, is he (the Purusha).
43. Thus awakening by the understandings to the Highest which is beyond even the discerning mind, putting force on the self by the self to make it firm and still, slay thou, O mighty-armed, this enemy in the form of desire, who is so hard to assail.
TOWARDS THE YOGA OF KNOWLEDGE
1. The Blessed Lord said: This imperishable Yoga I gave to Vivasvan (the Sun-God), Vivasvan gave it to Manu (the father of men), Manu gave it to Ikshvaku (head of the Solar line).
2. And so it came down from royal sage to royal sage till it was lost in the great lapse of Time, O Parantapa.
3. This same ancient and original Yoga has been today declared to thee by Me, for thou art My devotee and My friend; this is the highest secret.
4. Arjuna said: The Sun-God was one of the firstborn of beings (ancestor of the solar dynasty) and Thou art only now born into the world; how am I to comprehend that Thou declaredst it to him in the beginning?
5. The Blessed Lord said: Many are my lives that are past, and thine also, O Arjuna; all of them I know, but thou knowest not, O scourge of the foe.
6. Though I am the unborn, though I am imperishable in my self-existence, though I am the Lord of all existences, yet I stand upon my own Nature and I come into birth by my self-Maya.
7. Whensoever there is the fading of the Dharma and the uprising of unrighteousness, then I loose myself forth into birth.
8. For the deliverance of the good, for the destruction of the evil-doers, for the enthroning of the Right, I am born from age to age.
9. He who knoweth thus in its right principles my divine birth and my divine work, when he abandons his body, comes not to rebirth, he comes to Me, O Arjuna.
10. Delivered from liking and fear and wrath, full of me, taking refuge in me, many purified by austerity of knowledge have arrived at my nature of being (madbhavam, the divine nature of the Purushottama).
11. As men approach Me, so I accept them to My love (bhajami); men follow in every way my path, O son of Pritha.
12. They who desire the fulfilment of their works on earth sacrifice to the gods (various forms and personalities of the one Godhead); because the fulfilment that is born of works (of works without knowledge) is very swift and easy in the human world.
13. The fourfold order was created by Me according to the divisions of quality and active function. Know Me for the doer of this (the fourfold law of human workings) who am yet the imperishable non-doer.
14. Works fix not themselves on Me, nor have I desire for the fruits of action; he who thus knoweth Me is not bound by works.
15. So knowing was work done by the men of old who sought liberation; do therefore, thou also, work of that more ancient kind done by the ancients.
16. What is action and what is inaction, as to this even the sages are perplexed and deluded. I will declare to thee that action by the knowledge of which thou shalt be released from all ills.
17. One has to understand about action as well as to understand about wrong action and about inaction one has to understand; thick and tangled is the way of works.
18. He who in action can see inaction and can see action still continuing in cessation from works, is the man of true reason and discernment among men; he is in Yoga and a many-sided universal worker (for the good of the world, for God in the world).
19. Whose inceptions and undertakings are all free from the will of desire, whose works are burned up by the fire of knowledge, him the wise have called a sage.
20. Having abandoned all attachment to the fruits of his works, ever satisfied without any kind of dependence, he does nothing though (through his nature) he engages in action.
21. He has no personal hopes, does not seize on things as his personal possessions; his heart and self are under perfect control; performing action by the body alone, he does not commit sin.
22. He who is satisfied with whatever gain comes to him, who has passed beyond the dualities, is jealous of none, is equal in failure and success, he is not bound even when he acts.
23. When a man liberated, free from attachment, with his mind, heart and spirit firmly founded in self-knowledge, does works as sacrifice, all his work is dissolved.
24. Brahman is the giving, Brahman is the food-offering, by Brahman it is offered into the Brahman fire, Brahman is that which is to be attained by samadhi in Brahman-action.
25. Some Yogins follow after the sacrifice which is of the gods; others offer the sacrifice by the sacrifice itself into the Brahman-fire.
26. Some offer hearing and the other senses into the fires of control, others offer sound and the other objects of sense into the fires of sense.
27. And others offer all the actions of the sense and all the actions of the vital force into the fire of the Yoga of self-control kindled by knowledge.
28. The offering of the striver after perfection may be material and physical (dravyayajna, like that consecrated in worship by the devotee to his deity), or it may be the austerity of his self-discipline and energy of his soul directed to some high aim, tapo-yajna, or it may be some form of Yoga (like the Pranayama of the Raja-yogins and Hatha-yogins, or any other yoga-yajna), or it may be the offering of reading and knowledge.
29. Others again who are devoted to controlling the breath, having restrained the Prana (the incoming breath) and Apana (the outgoing breath) pour as sacrifice Prana into Apana and Apana into Prana.
30. Others having regulated the food pour as sacrifice their life breaths into life-breaths. All these are knowers of sacrifice and by sacrifice have destroyed their sins.
31. They who enjoy the nectar of immortality left over from the sacrifice attain to the eternal Brahman; this world is not for him who doeth not sacrifice, how then any other world?
32.Therefore all these and many other forms of sacrifice have been extended in the mouth of the Brahman (the mouth of that Fire which receives all offerings). Know thou that all these are born of work and so knowing thou shalt be free.
33. The sacrifice of knowledge, O Parantapa, is greater than any material sacrifice. Knowledge is that in which all this action culminates (not any lower knowledge, but the highest self-knowledge and God-knowledge), O Partha!
34. Learn that by worshipping the feet of the teacher, by questioning and by service; the men of knowledge who have seen (not those who know merely by the intellect) the true principles of things, will instruct thee in knowledge.
35. Possessing that knowledge thou shalt not fall again into the mind's ignorance, O Pandava; for by this, thou shalt see all existences without exception in the Self, then in Me.
36. Even if thou art the greatest doer of sin beyond all sinners, thou shalt cross over all the crookedness of evil in the ship of knowledge.
37. As a fire kindled turns to ashes its fuel, O Arjuna, so the fire of knowledge turns all works to ashes.
38. There is nothing in the world equal in purity to knowledge, the man who is perfected by Yoga, finds it of himself in the self by the course of Time.
39. Who has faith, who has conquered and controlled the mind and senses, who has fixed his whole conscious being on the supreme Reality, he attains knowledge; and having attained knowledge he goes swiftly to the supreme Peace.
40. The ignorant who has not faith, the soul of doubt, goeth to perdition; neither this world, nor the supreme world nor any happiness is for the soul full of doubts.
41. He who has destroyed all doubt by knowledge and has by Yoga given up all works and is in possession of the Self is not bound by his works, O Dhananjaya.
42. Therefore arise, O Bharata, and resort constantly to Yoga, having cut away with the sword of knowledge this perplexity born of ignorance.
THE YOGA OF RENUNCIATION
1. Arjuna said: Thou declarest to me the renunciation of works, O Krishna, and again thou declarest to me Yoga; which one of these is the better way, that tell me with a clear decisiveness.
2. The Blessed Lord said: Renunciation and Yoga of works both bring about the soul's salvation, but of the two the Yoga of works is distinguished above the renunciation of works.
3. He should be known as always a Sannyasin (even when he is doing action) who neither dislikes nor desires; for free from the dualities he is released easily and happily from the bondage.
4. Children speak of Sankhya and Yoga apart from each other, not the wise; if a man applies himself integrally to one, he gets the fruit of both.
5. The status which is attained by the Sankhya, to that the men of the Yoga also arrive; who sees Sankhya and Yoga as one, he sees.
6. But renunciation, O mighty-armed, is difficult to attain without Yoga; the sage who has Yoga attains soon to the Brahman.
7. He who is in Yoga, the pure soul, master of his self, who has conquered the senses, whose self becomes the self of all existences (of all things that have become), even though he does works, he is not involved in them.
8-9. The man who knows the principles of things thinks, his mind in Yoga (with the inactive Impersonal), "I am doing nothing"; when he sees, hears, tastes, smells, eats, moves, sleeps, breathes, speaks, takes, ejects, opens his eyes or closes them, he holds that it is only the senses acting upon the objects of the senses.
10. He who, having abandoned attachment, acts reposing (or founding) his works on the Brahman, is not stained by sin even as water clings not to the lotus-leaf.
11. Therefore the Yogins do works with the body, mind, understanding, or even merely with the organs of action, abandoning attachment, for self-purification.
12. By abandoning attachment to the fruits of works, the soul in union with Brahman attains to peace of rapt foundation in Brahman, but the soul not in union is attached to the fruit and bound by the action of desire.
13. The embodied soul perfectly controlling its nature, having renounced all its actions by the mind (inwardly, not outwardly), sits serenely in its nine-gated city neither doing nor causing to be done.
14. The Lord neither creates the works of the world nor the state of the doer nor the joining of the works to the fruit; nature works out these things.
15. The all-pervading Impersonal accepts neither the sin nor the virtue of any, knowledge is enveloped by ignorance; thereby creatures are bewildered.
16. Verily, in whom ignorance is destroyed by self-knowledge, in them knowledge lights up like a sun the supreme Self (within them).
17. Turning their discerning mind to That, directing their whole conscious being to That, making That their whole aim and the sole object of their devotion, they go whence there is no return, their sins washed by the waters of knowledge.
18. Sages see with an equal eye the learned and cultured Brahmin, the cow, the elephant, the dog, the outcaste.
19. Even here on earth they have conquered the creation whose mind is established in equality; the equal Brahman is faultless, therefore they live in the Brahman.
20. With intelligence stable, unbewildered, the knower of Brahman, living in the Brahman, neither rejoices on obtaining what is pleasant, nor sorrows on obtaining what is unpleasant.
21. When the soul is no longer attached to the touches of outward things, then one finds the happiness that exists in the Self; such a one enjoys an imperishable happiness, because his self is in Yoga, yukta, by Yoga with the Brahman.
22. The enjoyments born of the touches of things are causes of sorrow, they have a beginning and an end; therefore the sage, the man of awakened understanding, budhah, does not place his delight in these.
23. He who can bear here in the body the velocity of wrath and desire, is the Yogin, the happy man.
24. He who has the inner happiness and the inner ease and repose and the inner light, that Yogin becomes the Brahman and reaches self-extinction in the Brahman, brahmanirvanam.
25. Sages win Nirvana in the Brahman, they in whom the stains of sin are effaced and the knot of doubt is cut asunder, masters of their selves, who are occupied in doing good to all creatures.
26. Yatis (those who practise self-mastery by Yoga and austerity) who are delivered from desire and wrath and have gained self-mastery, for them Nirvana in the Brahman exists all about them, encompasses them, they already live in it because they have knowledge of the Self.
27-28. Having put outside of himself all outward touches and concentrated the vision between the eyebrows and made equal the prana and the apana moving within the nostrils, having controlled the senses, the mind and the understanding, the sage devoted to liberation, from whom desire and wrath and fear have passed away, is ever free.
29. When a man has known Me as the Enjoyer of sacrifice of all the worlds, the friend of all creatures, he comes by the peace.
THE YOGA OF THE SUPREME SPIRIT
1. The Blessed Lord said: Whoever does the work to be done without resort to its fruits, he is the Sannyasin and the Yogin, not the man who lights not the sacrificial fire and does not the works.
2. What they have called renunciation (Sannyasa), know to be in truth Yoga, O Pandava; for none becomes a Yogin who has not renounced the desire-will in the mind.
3. For a sage who is ascending the hill of Yoga, action is the cause; for the same sage when he has got to the top of Yoga self-mastery is the cause.
4. When one does not get attached to the objects of sense or to works and has renounced all will of desire in the mind. then is he said to have ascended to the top of Yoga.
5. By the self thou shouldst deliver the self, thou shouldst not depress and cast down the self (whether by self-indulgence or suppression); for the self is the friend of the self and the self is the enemy.
6. To the man is his self a friend in whom the (lower) self has been conquered by the (higher) self, but to him who is not in possession of his (higher) self, the (lower) self is as if an enemy and it acts as an enemy.
7. When one has conquered one's self and attained to the calm of a perfect self-mastery and self-possession, then is the supreme self in a man founded and poised (even in his outwardly conscious human being) in cold and heat, pleasure and pain as well as in honour and dishonour.
8. The Yogin, who is satisfied with self-knowledge, tranquil and self-poised, master of his senses, regarding alike clod and stone and gold, is said to be in Yoga.
9. He who is equal in soul to friend and enemy and to neutral and indifferent, also to sinner and saint, he excels.
10. Let the Yogin practise continually union with the Self (so that that may become his normal consciousness) sitting apart and alone, with all desire and idea of possession banished from his mind, self-controlled in his whole being and consciousness.
11-12. He should set in a pure spot his firm seat, neither too high, nor yet too low, covered with a cloth, with a deer skin, with sacred grass, and there seated with a concentrated mind and with the workings of the mental consciousness and the senses under control, he should practise Yoga for self-purification.
13-14. Holding the body, head and neck erect, motionless (the posture proper to the practice of Rajayoga), the vision drawn in and fixed between the eyebrows, not regarding the regions, the mind kept calm and free from fear and the vow of Brahmacharya observed, the whole controlled mentality turned to Me (the Divine), he must sit firm in Yoga, wholly given up to Me (so that the lower action of the consciousness shall be merged in the higher peace).
15. Thus always putting himself in Yoga by control of his mind, the Yogin attains to the supreme peace of Nirvana which has its foundation in Me.
16. Verily this Yoga is not for him who eats too much or sleeps too much, even as it is not for him who gives up sleep and food, O Arjuna.
17. Yoga destroys all sorrow for him in whom the sleep and waking, the food, the play, the putting forth of effort in works are all yukta.
18. When all the mental consciousness is perfectly controlled and liberated from desire and remains still in the self, then it is said, "he is in Yoga."
19. Motionless like the light of a lamp in a windless place is the controlled consciousness (free from its restless action, shut in from its outward motion) of the Yogin who practises union with the Self.
20. That in which the mind becomes silent and still by the practice of Yoga: that in which the Self is seen within in the Self by the Self (seen, not as it is mistranslated falsely or partially by the mind and represented to us through the ego, but self-perceived by the Self, swaprakasha), and the soul is satisfied.
21. That in which the soul knows its own true and exceeding bliss, which is perceived by the intelligence and is beyond the senses, wherein established, it can no longer fall away from the spiritual truth of its being.
22. That is the greatest of all gains and the treasure beside which all lose their value, wherein established he is not disturbed by the fieriest assault of mental grief.
23. It is the putting away of the contact with pain, the divorce of the mind's marriage with grief. The firm winning of this inalienable spiritual bliss is Yoga; it is the divine union. This Yoga is to be resolutely practised without yielding to any discouragement by difficulty or failure (until the release, until the bliss of Nirvana is secured as an eternal possession).
24-25. Abandoning without any exception or residue all the desires born of the desire-will and holding the senses by the mind so that they shall not run to all sides (after their usual disorderly and restless habit), one should slowly cease from mental action by a buddhi held in the grasp of fixity, and having fixed the mind in the higher Self one should not think of anything at all.
26. Whenever the restless and unquiet mind goes forth, it should be controlled and brought into subjection in the Self.
27. When the mind is thoroughly quieted, then there comes upon the Yogin stainless, passionless, the highest bliss of the soul that has become the Brahman.
28. Thus freed from stain of passion and putting himself constantly into Yoga, the Yogin easily and happily enjoys the touch of the Brahman which is an exceeding bliss.
29. The man whose self is in Yoga, sees the self in all beings and all beings in the self, he is equal-visioned everywhere.
30. He who sees Me everywhere and sees all in Me, to him I do not get lost, nor does he get lost to Me.
31. The Yogin who has taken his stand upon oneness and loves Me in all beings, however and in all ways he lives and acts, lives and acts in Me.
32. He, O Arjuna, who sees with equality everything in the image of the self whether it be grief or it be happiness, him I hold to be the supreme Yogin.
33. Arjuna said: This Yoga of the nature of equality which has been described by Thee, O Madhusudana, I see no stable foundation for it, owing to restlessness.
34. Restless indeed is the mind, O Krishna; it is vehement, strong and unconquerable; I deem it as hard to control as the wind.
35. The Blessed Lord said: Without doubt, O mighty-armed, the mind is restless and very difficult to restrain; but, O Kaunteya, it may be controlled by constant practice and non-attachment.
36. By one who is not self-controlled, this Yoga is difficult to attain; but by the self-controlled, it is attainable by properly directed efforts.
37. Arjuna said: He who takes up Yoga with faith, but cannot control himself with the mind wandering away from Yoga, failing to attain perfection in Yoga, what is his end, O Krishna?
38. Does he not, O mighty-armed, lose both this life (of human activity and thought and emotion which it has left behind) and the Brahmic consciousness to which it aspires and falling from both perish like a dissolving cloud?
39. This my doubt, O Krishna, please dispel completely without leaving any residue; for there is none else than Thyself who can destroy this doubt.
40. The Blessed Lord said: O son of Pritha, neither in this life nor hereafter is there destruction for him; never does anyone who practises good, O beloved, come to woe.
41. Having attained to the world of the righteous and having dwelt there for immemorial years, he who fell from Yoga is again born in the house of such as are pure and glorious.
42. Or he may be born in the family of the wise Yogin; indeed such a birth is rare to obtain in this world.
43. There he recovers the mental state of union (with the Divine) which he had formed in his previous life: and with this he again endeavours for perfection, O joy of the Kurus.
44. By that former practice he is irresistibly carried on. Even the seeker after the knowledge of Yoga goes beyond the range of the Vedas and Upanishads.
45. But the Yogin, endeavouring with assiduity, purified from sin, perfecting himself through many lives attains to the highest goal.
46. The Yogin is greater than the doers of askesis, greater than the men of knowledge, greater than the men of works; become then the Yogin, O Arjuna.
47. Of all Yogins he who with all his inner self given up to me, for me has love and faith, him I hold to be the most united with me in Yoga.
THE YOGA OF KNOWLEDGE
1. The Blessed Lord said: Hear, O Partha, how by practising Yoga with a mind attached to me and with me as ashraya (the whole basis, lodgement, point of resort of the conscious being and action) thou shalt know me without any remainder of doubt, integrally.
2. I will speak to thee without omission or remainder the essential knowledge, attended with all the comprehensive knowledge, by knowing which there shall be no other thing here left to be known.
3. Among thousands of men one here and there strives after perfection, and of those who strive and attain to perfection one here and there knows me in all the principles of my existence.
4. The five elements (conditions of material being), mind (with its various senses and organs), reason, ego, this is my eightfold divided Nature.
5. This the lower. But know my other Nature different from this, O mighty-armed, the supreme which becomes the Jiva and by which this world is upheld.
6. Know this to be the womb of all beings. I am the birth of the whole world and so too its dissolution.
7. There is nothing else supreme beyond Me, O Dhananjaya. On Me all that is here is strung like pearls upon a thread.
8. I am taste in the waters, O son of Kunti, I am the light of sun and moon, I am pranava (the syllable OM) in all the Vedas, sound in ether and manhood in men.
9. I am pure scent in earth and energy of light in fire; I am life in all existences, I am the ascetic force of those who do askesis.
10. Know me to be the eternal seed of all existences, O son of Pritha. I am the intelligence of the intelligent, the energy of the energetic.
11. I am the strength of the strong devoid of desire and liking. I am in beings the desire which is not contrary to dharma, O Lord of the Bharatas.
12. And as for the secondary subjective becomings of Nature, bhavah (states of mind, affections of desire, movements of passion, the reactions of the senses, the limited and dual play of reason, the turns of the feeling and moral sense), which are sattwic, rajasic and tamasic, they are verily from me, but I am not in them, it is they that are in me.
13. By these three kinds of becoming which are of the nature of the gunas, this whole world is bewildered and does not recognise Me supreme beyond them and imperishable.
14. This is my divine Maya of the gunas and it is hard to overcome; those cross beyond it who approach Me.
15. The evil-doers attain not to Me, souls bewildered, low in the human scale; for their knowledge is left away from them by Maya and they resort to the nature of being of the Asura.
16. Among the virtuous ones who turn towards Me (the Divine) with devotion, O Arjuna, there are four kinds of bhaktas, the suffering, the seeker for good in the world, the seeker for knowledge, and those who adore Me with knowledge, O Lord of the Bharatas.
17. Of those the knower, who is ever in constant union with the Divine, whose bhakti is all concentrated on Him, is the best, he loves Me perfectly and is My beloved.
18. Noble are all these without exception, but the knower is verily my self: for as his highest goal he accepts Me, the Purushottama with whom he is in union.
19. At the end of many births the man of knowledge attains to Me. Very rare is the great soul who knows that Vasudeva, the omnipresent Being, is all that is.
20. Men are led away by various outer desires which take from them the working of the inner knowledge, they resort to other godheads and they set up this or that rule, which satisfies the need of their nature.
21. Whatever form of Me any devotee with faith desires to worship, I make that faith of his firm and undeviating.
22. He endowed with that faith worships that form; and when by the force of that faith in his cult and worship he gets his desires, it is I myself who (in that form) give these fruits.
23. But these fruits are temporary, sought after by those who are of petty intelligence and unformed reason. To the gods go the worshippers of the gods, but my devotees come to Me.
24. Petty minds think of Me, the unmanifest, as being limited by manifestation, because they know not my supreme nature of being, imperishable, most perfect.
25. Nor am I revealed to all, enveloped in My Yoga-maya; this bewildered world knows Me not, the unborn, the imperishable.
26. I know all past and all present and future existences, O Arjuna, but Me none yet knows.
27. By the delusion of the dualities which arises from wish and disliking, O Bharata, all existences in the creation are led into bewilderment.
28. But those men of virtuous deeds, in whom sin is come to an end, they, freed from the delusion of the dualities, worship Me, steadfast in the vow of self-consecration.
29. Those who have resort to Me as their refuge, those who turn to Me in their spiritual effort towards release from age and death (from the mortal being and its limitations), come to know that Brahman and all the integrality of the spiritual nature and the entirety of Karma.
30. Because they know Me and know at the same time the material and the divine nature of being and the truth of the Master of sacrifice, they keep knowledge of Me also in the critical moment of their departure from physical existence and have at that moment their whole consciousness in union with Me (the Purushottama).
THE IMMUTABLE BRAHMAN
1. Arjuna said: What is tad brahma, what adhyatma, what karma, O Purushottama? And what is declared to be adhibhuta, what is called adhidaiva?
1. What is adhiyajna in this body, O Madhusudana? And how, in the critical moment of departure from physical existence, art Thou to be known by the self-controlled?
3. The Blessed Lord said: The Akshara is the supreme Brahman: swabhava is called adhyatma; Karma is the name given to the creative movement, visarga, which brings into existence all beings and their subjective and objective states.
4. Adhibhuta is ksharobhava, adhidaiva is the Purusha; I myself am the Lord of sacrifice, adhiyajna here in the body, O best of embodied beings.
5. Whoever leaves his body and departs remembering Me at his time of end, comes to my bhava (that of the Purushottama, my status of being); there is no doubt of that.
6. Whosoever at the end abandons the body, thinking upon any form of being, to that form he attains, O Kaunteya, into which the soul was at each moment growing inwardly during the physical life.
7. Therefore at all times remember me and fight; for if thy mind and thy understanding are always fixed on and given up to Me, to Me thou shalt surely come.
8. For it is by thinking always of him with a consciousness united with him in an undeviating Yoga of constant practice that one comes to the divine and supreme Purusha, O Partha.
9-10. This supreme Self is the Seer, the Ancient of Days, subtler than the subtle and (in his eternal self-vision and wisdom) the Master and Ruler of all existence who sets in their place in his being all things that are; his form is unthinkable, he is refulgent as the sun beyond the darkness; he who thinketh upon this Purusha in the time of departure, with motionless mind, a soul armed with the strength of Yoga, a union with God in bhakti and the life-force entirely drawn up and set between the brows in the seat of mystic vision, he attains to this supreme divine Purusha.
11. This supreme Soul is the immutable self-existent Brahman of whom the Veda-knowers speak, and this is that into which the doers of askesis enter when they have passed beyond the affections of the mind of mortality and for the desire of which they practise the control of the bodily passions; that status I will declare to thee with brevity.
12-13. All the doors of the senses closed, the mind shut in into the heart, the life-force taken up out of its diffused movement into the head, the intelligence concentrated in the utterance of the sacred syllable OM and its conceptive thought in the remembrance of the supreme Godhead, he who goes forth, abandoning the body, he attains to the highest status.
14. He who continually remembers Me, thinking of none else, the Yogin, O Partha, who is in constant union with Me, finds Me easy to attain.
15. Having come to me, these great souls come not again to birth, this transient and painful condition of our mortal being; they reach the highest perfection.
16. The highest heavens of the cosmic plan are subject to a return to rebirth, but, O Kaunteya, there is no rebirth imposed on the soul that comes to Me (the Purushottama).
17. Those who know the day of Brahma, a thousand ages (Yugas) in duration, and the night, a thousand ages in ending, they are the knowers of day and night.
18. At the coming of the Day all manifestations are born into being out of the unmanifest, at the coming of the Night all vanish or are dissolved into it.
19. This multitude of existences helplessly comes into the becoming again and again, is dissolved at the coming of the Night, O Partha, and is born into being at the coming of the Day.
20. But this unmanifest is not the original divinity of the Being; there is another status of his existence, a supracosmic unmanifest beyond this cosmic non-manifestation (which is eternally self-seated, is not an opposite of this cosmic status of manifestation but far above and unlike it, changeless, eternal), not forced to perish with the perishing of all these existences.
21. He is called the unmanifest immutable, him they speak of as the supreme soul and status, and those who attain to him return not; that is my supreme place of being.
22. But that supreme Purusha has to be won by a bhakti which turns to him alone in whom all beings exist and by whom all this world has been extended in space.
23. That time wherein departing Yogins do not return, and also that wherein departing they return, that time shall I declare to thee, O foremost of the Bharatas.
24-25. Fire and light and smoke or mist, the day and the night, the bright fortnight of the lunar month and the dark, the northern solstice and the southern, these are the opposites. By the first in each pair the knowers of the Brahman go to the Brahman; but by the second the Yogin reaches the "lunar light" and returns subsequently to human birth.
26. These are the bright and the dark paths (called the path of the gods and the path of the fathers in the Upanishads); by the one he departs who does not return, by the other he who returns again.
27. The Yogin who knows them is not misled into any error, therefore at all times be in Yoga, O Arjuna.
28. The fruit of meritorious deeds declared in the Vedas, sacrifices, austerities and charitable gifts, the Yogin passes all these by having known this and attains to the supreme and sempiternal status.
THE KING-KNOWLEDGE or THE KING-SECRET
1. The Blessed Lord said: What I am going to tell thee, the uncarping, is the most secret thing of all, the essential knowledge attended with all the comprehensive knowledge, by knowing which thou shalt be released from evil.
2. This is the king-knowledge, the king-secret (the wisdom of all wisdoms, the secret of all secrets), it is a pure and supreme light which one can verify by direct spiritual experience, it is the right and just knowledge, the very law of being. It is easy to practise and imperishable.
3. (But faith is necessary). The soul that fails to get faith in the higher truth and law, O Parantapa, not attaining to Me, must return into the path of ordinary mortal living (subject to death and error and evil.)
4. By Me, all this universe has been extended in the ineffable mystery of My being; all existences are situated in Me, not I in them.
5. And yet all existences are not situated in Me, behold My divine Yoga; Myself is that which supports all being and constitutes their existence.
6. It is as the great, the all-pervading aerial principle dwells in the etheric that all existences dwell in Me, that is how you have to conceive of it.
7. All existences, O Kaunteya, return into My divine Nature (out of her action into her immobility and silence) in the lapse of the cycle; at the beginning of the cycle again I loose them forth.
8. Leaning - pressing down upon my own Nature (Prakriti) I create (loose forth into various being) all this multitude of existences, all helplessly subject to the control of Nature.
9. Nor do these works bind me, O Dhananjaya, for I am seated as if indifferent above, unattached to those actions.
10. I am the presiding control of my own action of Nature, (not a spirit born in her, but) the creative spirit who causes her to produce all that appears in the manifestation. Because of this, O Kaunteya, the world proceeds in cycles.
11. Deluded minds despise me lodged in the human body because they know not my supreme nature of being, Lord of all existences.
12. All their hope, action, knowledge are vain things (when judged by the Divine and eternal standard); they dwell in the Rakshasic and Asuric nature which deludes the will and the intelligence.
13. The great-souled, O Partha, who dwell in the divine nature know Me (the Godhead lodged in human body) as the Imperishable from whom all existences originate and so knowing they turn to Me with a sole and entire love.
14. Always adoring Me, steadfast in spiritual endeavour, bowing down to Me with devotion, they worship Me ever in Yoga.
15. Others also seek Me out by the sacrifice of knowledge and worship Me in My oneness and in every separate being and in all My million universal faces (fronting them in the world and its creatures).
16. I the ritual action, I the sacrifice, I the food-oblation, I the fire-giving herb, the mantra I, I also the butter, I the flame, the offering I.
17. I the Father of this world, the Mother, the Ordainer, the first Creator, the object of Knowledge, the sacred syllable OM and also the Rik, Sama and Yajur (Vedas).
18. I the path and goal, the upholder, the master, the witness, the house and country, the refuge, the benignant friend; I the birth and status and destruction of apparent existence, I the imperishable seed of all and their eternal resting-place.
19. I give heat, I withhold and send forth the rain; immortality and also death, existent and non-existent am I, O Arjuna.
20. The Knowers of the triple Veda, who drink the soma-wine, purify themselves from sin, worshipping Me with sacrifice, pray of Me the way to heaven: they ascending to the heavenly worlds by their righteousness enjoy in paradise the divine feasts of the gods.
21. They, having enjoyed heavenly worlds of larger felicities, the reward of their good deeds exhausted, return to mortal existence. Resorting to the virtues enjoined by the three Vedas, seeking the satisfaction of desire, they follow the cycle of birth and death.
22. To those men who worship Me making Me alone the whole object of their thought, to those constantly in Yoga with Me, I spontaneously bring every good.
23. Even those who sacrifice to other godheads with devotion and faith, they also sacrifice to Me, O son of Kunti, though not according to the true law.
24. It is I myself who am the enjoyer and the Lord of all sacrifices, but they do not know Me in the true principles and hence they fall.
25. They who worship the gods go to the gods, to the (divinised) Ancestors go the Ancestor-worshippers, to elemental spirits go those who sacrifice to elemental spirits; but My worshippers come to Me.
26. He who offers to Me with devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit, a cup of water, that offering of love from the striving soul, is acceptable to Me.
27. Whatever thou doest, whatever thou enjoyest, whatever thou sacrificest, whatever thou givest, whatever energy of tapasya, of the soul's will or effort, thou puttest forth, make it an offering unto Me.
28. Thus shall thou be liberated from good and evil results which constitute the bonds of action; with thy soul in union with the Divine through renunciation, thou shall become free and attain to Me.
29. I (the Eternal Inhabitant) am equal in all existences, none is dear to Me, none hated; yet those who turn to Me with love and devotion, they are in Me and I also in them.
30. If even a man of very evil conduct turns to Me with a sole and entire love, he must be regarded as a saint, for the settled will of endeavour in him is a right and complete will.
31. Swiftly he becomes a soul of righteousness and obtains eternal peace. This is my word of promise, O Arjuna, that he who loves me shall not perish.
32. Those who takes refuge with Me, O Partha, though outcastes, born from a womb of sin, women, Vaishyas, even Shudras, they also attain to the highest goal.
33. How much rather then holy Brahmins and devoted king-sages; thou who hast come to this transient and unhappy world, love and turn to Me.
34. Become my minded, my lover and adorer, a sacrificer to me, bow thyself to me, thus united with me in the Self thou shalt come to me, having me as thy supreme goal.
GOD IN POWER OF BECOMING
1. The Blessed Lord said: Again, O mighty-armed, hearken to my supreme word, that I will speak to thee from my will for thy soul's good, now that thy heart is taking delight in me.
2. Neither the gods nor the great Rishis know any birth of Me, for I am altogether and in every way the origin of the gods and the great Rishis.
3. Whosoever knows Me as the Unborn, without origin, mighty Lord of the worlds and peoples, lives unbewildered among mortals and is delivered from all sin and evil.
4-5. Understanding and knowledge and freedom from the bewilderment of the Ignorance, forgiveness and truth and self-government and calm of inner control, grief and pleasure, coming into being and destruction, fear and fearlessness, glory and ingloriousness, non-injuring and equality, contentment and austerity and giving, all here in their separate diversities are subjective becomings of existences, and they all proceed from Me.
6. The great Rishis, the seven Ancients of the world, and also the four Manus, are my mental becomings; from them are all these living creatures in the world.
7. Whosoever knows in its right principles this my pervading lordship and this my Yoga, unites himself to me by an untrembling Yoga; of this there is no doubt.
8. I am the birth of everything and from Me all proceeds into development of action and movement; understanding thus, the wise adore Me in rapt emotion.
9. Their consciousness full of Me, their life wholly given up to Me, illumining each other, mutually talking about Me, they are ever contented and joyful.
10. To these who are thus in a constant union with Me, and adore Me with an intense delight of love, I give the Yoga of understanding by which they come to Me.
11. Out of compassion for them, I, lodged in their self, lift the blazing lamp of knowledge and destroy the darkness which is born of the ignorance.
12. Arjuna said: Thou art the supreme Brahman, the supreme Abode, the supreme Purity, the one Permanent, the divine Purusha, the original Godhead, the Unborn, the all-pervading Lord.
13. All the Rishis say this of Thee and the divine seer Narada, Asita, Devala, Vyasa; and Thou Thyself sayest it to me.
14. All this that Thou sayest, my mind holds for the truth, O Keshava. Neither the Gods nor the Titans, O blessed Lord, know Thy manifestation.
15. Thou alone knowest Thyself by Thyself, O Purushottama: Source of beings, Lord of beings, God of gods, Master of the world!
16. Thou shouldst tell me of Thy divine self-manifestations, all without exception. Thy Vibhutis by which Thou standest pervading these worlds.
17. How shall I know Thee, O Yogin, by thinking of Thee everywhere at all moments and in what pre-eminent becomings should I think of Thee, O Blessed Lord?
18. In detail tell me of Thy Yoga and Vibhuti, O Janardana; and tell me ever more of it; it is nectar of immortality to me, and however much of it I hear, I am not satiated.
19. The Blessed Lord said: Yes, I will tell thee of my divine Vibhutis, but only in some of My principal pre-eminences, O best of the Kurus; for there is no end to the detail of My self-extension in the universe.
20. I, O Gudakesha, am the Self, which abides within all beings. I am the beginning and middle and end of all beings.
21. Among the Adityas I am Vishnu; among lights and splendours I am the radiant Sun; I am Marichi among the Maruts; among the stars the Moon am I.
22. Among the Vedas I am the Sama-Veda; among the gods I am Vasava; I am mind among the senses; in living beings I am consciousness.
23. I am Shiva among the Rudras, the lord of wealth among the Yakshas and Rakshasas, Agni among the Vasus; Meru among the peaks of the world am I.
24. And know Me, O Partha, of the high priests of the world the chief, Brihaspati; I am Skanda, the war-god, leader of the leaders of battle; among the flowing waters I am the ocean.
25. I am Bhrigu among the great Rishis; I am the sacred syllable OM among words; among acts of worship I am the worship called Japa (silent repetitions of sacred names etc.); among the mountain-ranges I am Himalaya.
26. I am the Ashwattha among all plants and trees; and I am Narada among the divine sages, Chitraratha among the Gandharvas, the Muni Kapila among the Siddhas.
27. Uchchaisravas among horses know me, nectar-born; Airavata among lordly elephants; and among men the king of men.
28. Among weapons I am the divine thunderbolt; I am Kamadhenu the cow of plenty among cattle; I am Kandarpa the love-god among the progenitors; among the serpents Vasuki am I.
29. And I am Ananta among the Nagas, Varuna among the peoples of the sea, Aryaman among the Fathers, Yama (lord of the Law) among those who maintain rule and law.
30. And I am Prahlada among the Titans; I am Time the head of all reckoning to those who reckon and measure; and among the beasts of the forest I am the king of the beasts, and Vainateya among birds.
31. I am the wind among purifiers; I am Rama among warriors; and I am the alligator among fishes; among the rivers Ganges am I.
32. Of creation I am the beginning and the end and also the middle, O Arjuna. I am spiritual knowledge among the many philosophies, arts and sciences; I am the logic of those who debate.
33. I am the letter A among letters, the dual among compounds. I am imperishable Time; I am the Master and Ruler (of all existences), whose faces are everywhere.
34. And I am all-snatching Death, and I am too the birth of all that shall come into being. Among feminine qualities I am glory and beauty and speech and memory and intelligence and steadfastness and forgiveness.
35. I am also the great Sama among mantras, the Gayatri among metres; among the months I am Marga-sirsha, first of the months; I am spring, the fairest of seasons.
36. I am the gambling of the cunning, and the strength of the mighty; I am resolution and perseverance and victory; I am the sattwic quality of the good.
37. I am Krishna among the Vrishnis, Arjuna among the Pandavas; I am Vyasa among the sages; I am Ushanas among the seer-poets.
38. I am the mastery and power of all who rule and tame and vanquish and the policy of all who succeed and conquer; I am the silence of things secret and the knowledge of the knower.
39. And whatsoever is the seed of all existences, that am I, O Arjuna; nothing moving or unmoving, animate or inanimate in the world can be without me.
40. There is no numbering or limit to My divine Vibhutis, O Parantapa; what I have spoken, is nothing more than a summary development and I have given only the light of a few leading indications.
41. Whatever beautiful and glorious creature thou seest in the world, whatever being is mighty and forceful (among men and above man and below him), know to be a very splendour, light, and energy of Me and born of a potent portion and intense power of my existence.
42. But what need is there of a multitude of details for this knowledge, O Arjuna? Take it thus, that I am here in this world and everywhere. I support this entire universe with an infinitesimal portion of Myself.
THE VISION OF THE WORLD-SPIRIT
1. Arjuna said: This word of the highest spiritual secret of existence. Thou hast spoken out of compassion for me; by this my delusion is dispelled.
2. The birth and passing away of existences have been heard by me in detail from Thee, O Lotus-eyed, and also the imperishable greatness of the divine conscious Soul.
3. So it is, as Thou hast declared Thyself, O Supreme Lord; I desire to see Thy divine form and body, O Purushottama.
4. If Thou thinkest that it can be seen by me, O Lord, O Master of Yoga, then show me Thy imperishable Self.
5. The Blessed Lord said: Behold, O Partha, my hundreds and thousands of divine forms, various in kind, various in shape and hue.
6. Behold the Adityas, the Vasus, the Rudras, the two Aswins and also the Maruts; behold many wonders that none has beheld, O Bharata.
7. Here, to-day, behold the whole world, with all that is moving and unmoving, unified in my body, O Gudakesha, and whatever else thou wiliest to see.
8. What thou hast to see, this thy human eye cannot grasp; but there is a divine eye (an inmost seeing) and that eye I now give to thee. Behold Me in My divine Yoga.
9-14. Sanjaya said: Having thus spoken, O King, the Master of the great Yoga. Hari, showed to Partha His supreme Form. It is that of the infinite Godhead whose faces are everywhere and in whom are all the wonders of existence, who multiplies unendingly all the many marvellous revelations of His being, a world-wide Divinity seeing with innumerable eyes, speaking from innumerable mouths, armed for battle with numberless divine uplifted weapons, glorious with divine ornaments of beauty, robed in heavenly raiment of deity, lovely with garlands of divine flowers, fragrant with divine perfumes. Such is the light of this body of God as if a thousand suns had risen at once in heaven. The whole world multitudinously divided and yet unified is visible in the body of the God of Gods. Arjuna sees him (God magnificent and beautiful and terrible, the Lord of souls who has manifested in the glory and greatness of his spirit this wild and monstrous and orderly and wonderful and sweet and terrible world) and overcome with marvel and joy and fear he bows down and adores with words of awe and with clasped hands the tremendous vision.
15. Arjuna said: I see all the gods in Thy body, O God, and different companies of beings, Brahma the creating Lord seated in the Lotus, and the Rishis and the race of the divine Serpents.
16. I see numberless arms and bellies and eyes and faces, I see Thy infinite forms on every side, but I see not Thy end nor Thy middle nor Thy beginning, O Lord of the universe, O Form universal.
17. I see Thee crowned and with Thy mace and Thy discus, hard to discern because Thou art a luminous mass of energy on all sides of me, an encompassing blaze, a sun-bright fire-bright Immeasurable.
18. Thou art the supreme Immutable whom we have to know, Thou art the high foundation and abode of the universe, Thou art the imperishable guardian of the eternal laws, Thou art the sempiternal soul of existence.
19. I behold Thee without end or middle or beginning, of infinite force, of numberless arms, Thy eyes are suns and moons, Thou hast a face of blazing fire and Thou art ever burning up the whole universe with the flame of Thy energy.
20. The whole space between earth and heaven is occupied by Thee alone, when is seen this Thy fierce and astounding form, the three worlds are all in pain and suffer, O Thou mighty Spirit.
21. The companies of the gods enter Thee, afraid, adoring; the Rishis and the Siddhas crying, "May there be peace and weal", praise Thee with many praises.
22. The Rudras, Adityas, Vasus, Sadhyas, Vishvas, the two Aswins and the Maruts and the Ushmapas, the Gandharvas, Yakshas, Asuras, Siddhas, all have their eyes fixed on Thee in amazement.
23. Seeing Thy great form of many mouths and eyes, O Mighty-armed, of many arms, thighs and feet and bellies, terrible with many teeth, the world and its nations are shaken and in anguish, as also am I.
24. I see Thee, touching heaven, blazing, of many hues, with opened mouths and enormous burning eyes, troubled and in pain is the soul within me and I find no peace or gladness.
25. As I look upon Thy mouths terrible with many tusks of destruction. Thy faces like the fires of Death and Time, I lose sense of the directions and find no peace. Turn Thy heart to grace, O God of gods! refuge of all the worlds!
26-27. The sons of Dhritarashtra, all with the multitude of kings and heroes, Bhishma and Drona and Kama along with the foremost warriors on our side too, are hastening into Thy tusked and terrible jaws and some are seen with crushed and bleeding heads caught between Thy teeth of power.
28. As is the speed of many rushing waters racing towards the ocean, so all these heroes of the world of men are entering into Thy many mouths of flame.
29. As a swarm of moths with ever-increasing speed fall to their destruction into a fire that some one has kindled, so now the nations with ever-increasing speed are entering into Thy jaws of doom.
30. Thou lickest the regions all around with Thy tongues and Thou art swallowing up all the nations in Thy mouths of burning; all the world is filled with the blaze of Thy energies; fierce and terrible are Thy lustres and they burn us, O Vishnu.
31. Declare to me who Thou art that wearest this form of fierceness. Salutation to Thee, O Thou great Godhead, turn Thy heart to grace. I would know who Thou art who wast from the beginning, for I know not the will of Thy workings.
32. The Blessed Lord said: I am the Time-Spirit, destroyer of the world, arisen huge-statured for the destruction of the nations. Even without thee all these warriors shall be not, who are ranked in the opposing armies.
33. Therefore arise, get thee glory, conquer thy enemies and enjoy an opulent kingdom. By me and none other already even are they slain, do thou become the occasion only, O Savyasachin.
34. Slay, by me who are slain, Drona, Bhishma, Jayad-ratha, Kama and other heroic fighters; be not pained and troubled. Fight, thou shalt conquer the adversary in the battle.
35. Sanjaya said: Having heard these words of Keshava, Kiriti (Arjuna), with clasped hands and trembling, saluted again and spoke to Krishna in a faltering voice very much terrified and bowing down.
36. Arjuna said: Rightly and in good place, O Krishna, does the world rejoice and take pleasure in Thy name; the Rakshasas are fleeing from Thee in terror to all the quarters and the companies of the Siddhias bow down before Thee in adoration.
37. How should they not do Thee homage, O great Spirit? For Thou art the original Creator and Doer of works and greater even than creative Brahma. O Thou Infinite, O Thou Lord of the gods, O Thou abode of the universe, Thou art the Immutable and Thou art what in and is not, and Thou art that which is the Supreme.
38. Thou art the ancient Soul and the first and original Godhead and the supreme resting-place of this All; Thou art the knower and that which is to be known and the highest status; O infinite in form, by Thee was extended the universe.
39-40. Thou art Yama and Vayu and Agni and Soma and Varuna and Prajapati, father of creatures, and the great-grandsire. Salutation to Thee a thousand times over and again and yet again salutation, in front and behind and from every side, for Thou art each and all that is. Infinite in might and immeasurable in strength of action Thou pervadest all and art everyone.
41-42. For whatsoever I have spoken to Thee in rash vehemence, thinking of Thee only as my human friend and companion, 'O Krishna, O Yadava, O Comrade,' not knowing this Thy greatness, in negligent error or in love, and for whatsoever disrespect was shown by me to Thee in jest, at play, on the couch and the seat and in the banquet, alone or in Thy presence, O faultless One, I pray forgiveness from Thee, the immeasurable.
43. Thou art the father of all this world of the moving and unmoving; Thou art one to be worshipped and the most solemn object of veneration. None is equal to Thee, how then another greater in all the three worlds, O incomparable in might?
44. Therefore I bow down before Thee and prostrate my body and I demand grace of Thee the adorable Lord. As a father to his son, as a friend to his friend and comrade, as one dear with him he loves, so shouldst Thou, O Godhead, bear with me.
45. I have seen what never was seen before and I rejoice, but my mind is troubled with fear. O Godhead, show me that other form of Thine; turn Thy heart to grace, O Thou Lord of the gods, O Thou abode of this universe.
46. I would see Thee even as before crowned and with Thy mace and discus. Assume Thy four-armed shape, O thousand-armed, O Form universal.
47. The Blessed Lord said: This that thou now seest by my favour, O Arjuna, is my supreme shape, my form of luminous energy, the universal, the infinite, the original which none but thou amongst men has yet seen. I have shown it by my self-Yoga.
48. Neither by the study of Vedas and sacrifices, nor by gifts or ceremonial rites or severe austerities, this form of mine can be seen by any other than thyself, O foremost of Kurus.
49. Thou shouldst envisage this tremendous vision without pain, without confusion of mind, without any sinking of the members. Cast away fear and let thy heart rejoice, behold again this other form of mine.
50. Sanjaya said: Vasudeva, having thus spoken to Arjuna, again manifested his normal (Narayana) image; the Mahatman again assuming the desired form of grace and love and sweetness consoled the terrified one.
51. Arjuna said: Beholding again Thy gentle human form, O Janardana, my heart is filled with delight and I am restored to my own nature.
52-54. The Blessed Lord said: The greater Form that thou hast seen is only for the rare highest souls. The gods themselves ever desire to look upon it. Nor can I be seen as thou hast seen Me by Veda or austerities or gifts or sacrifice, it can be seen, known, entered into only by that bhakti which regards, adores and loves Me alone in all things.
55. Be a doer of my works, accept Me as the supreme being and object, become my bhakta, be free from attachment and without enmity to all existences; for such a man comes to Me, O Pandava.
1. Arjuna said: Those devotees who thus by a constant union seek after Thee, and those who seek after the unmanifest Immutable, which of these have the greater knowledge of Yoga?
2. The Lord said: Those who found their mind in Me and by constant union, possessed of a supreme faith, seek after Me, I hold to be the most perfectly in union of Yoga.
3-4. But those who seek after the indefinable unmanifest Immutable omnipresent, unthinkable, self-poised, immobile, constant, they also by restraining all their senses, by the equality of their understanding and by their seeing of one self in all things and by their tranquil benignancy of silent will for the good of all existences, arrive to Me.
5. The difficulty of those who devote themselves to the search of the unmanifest Brahman is greater; it is a thing to which embodied souls can only arrive by a constant mortification, a suffering of all the repressed members, a stern difficulty and anguish of the nature.
6-7. But those who giving up all their actions to Me, and wholly devoted to Me, worship meditating on Me with an unswerving Yoga, those who fix on Me all their consciousness, O Partha, speedily I deliver them out of the sea of death-bound existence.
8. On Me repose all thy mind and lodge all thy understanding in Me; doubt not that thou shalt dwell in Me above this mortal existence.
9. And if thou art not able to keep the consciousness fixed steadily in Me, then by the Yoga of practice seek after Me, O Dhananjaya.
10. If thou art unable even to seek by practice, then be it thy supreme aim to do My work; doing all actions for My sake, thou shalt attain perfection.
11. But if even this constant remembering of Me and lifting up of your works to Me is felt beyond your power, then renounce all fruit of action with the self controlled.
12. Better indeed is knowledge than practice, than knowledge, meditation is better; than meditation, renunciation of the fruit of action, on renunciation follows peace.
13-14. He who has no egoism, no I-ness and my-ness, who has friendship and pity for all beings and hate for no living thing, who has a tranquil equality to pleasure and pain, and is patient and forgiving, he who has a desireless content, the steadfast control of self and the firm unshakable will and resolution of the Yogin and a love and devotion which gives up the whole mind and reason to Me, he is dear to Me.
15. He by whom the world is not afflicted or troubled, who also is not afflicted or troubled by the world, who is freed from the troubled agitated lower nature and from its waves of joy and fear and anxiety and resentment, he is dear to Me.
16. He who desires nothing, is pure, skilful in all actions, indifferent to whatever comes, not pained or afflicted by any result or happening, who has given up all initiative of action, he, My devotee, is dear to Me.
17. He who neither desires the pleasant and rejoices at its touch nor abhors the unpleasant and sorrows at its touch, who has abolished the distinction between fortunate and unfortunate happenings (because his devotion receives all things equally as good from the hands of his eternal Lover and Master), he is dear to Me.
18-19. Equal to friend and enemy, equal to honour and insult, pleasure and pain, praise and blame, grief and happiness, heat and cold (to all that troubles with opposite affections the normal nature), silent, content and well-satisfied with anything and everything, not attached to person or thing, place or home, firm in mind (because it is constantly seated in the highest self and fixed for ever on the one divine object of his love and adoration), that man is dear to Me.
20. But exceedingly dear to Me are those devotees who make Me (the Purushottama) their one supreme aim and follow out with a perfect faith and exactitude the immortalising Dharma described in this teaching.
THE FIELD AND ITS KNOWER
1. Arjuna said: Prakriti and Purusha, the Field and the Knower of the Field. Knowledge and the object of Knowledge, these I fain would learn, O Keshava.
2. The Blessed Lord said: This body, O son of Kunti, is called the Field; that which takes cognisance of the Field is called the Knower of the Field by the sages.
3. Understand Me as the Knower of the Field in all Fields, O Bharata; it is the knowledge at once of the Field and its Knower which is the real illumination and only wisdom.
4. What that Field is and what are its character, nature, source, deformations, and what He is and what His Powers, hear that now briefly from Me.
5. It has been sung by the Rishis in manifold ways in various inspired verses; and also by the Brahma Sutras which give us the rational and philosophic analysis.
6. The indiscriminate unmanifest Energy; the five elemental states of matter; the ten senses and the one (mind), intelligence and ego; the five objects of the senses. (This is the constitution of the kshetra.)
7. Liking and disliking, pleasure and pain (these are the principal deformations of the kshetra): consciousness, collocation, persistence; these, briefly described, constitute the Field and its deformations.
8. A total absence of worldly pride and arrogance, harmlessness, a candid soul, a tolerant, long-suffering and benignant heart, purity of mind and body, tranquil firmness and steadfastness, self-control and a masterful government of the lower nature and the heart's worship given to the Teacher.
9-10. A firm removal of the natural being's attraction to the objects of the senses, a radical freedom from egoism. absence of clinging to the attachment and absorption of family and home, a keen perception of the defective nature of the ordinary life of physical man with its aimless and painful subjection to birth and death and disease and age, a constant equalness to all pleasant or unpleasant happenings.
11-12. A meditative mind turned towards solitude and away from the vain noise of crowds and the assemblies of men, a philosophic perception of the true sense and large principles of existence, a tranquil continuity of inner spiritual knowledge and light, the Yoga of an unswerving devotion, love of God, the heart's deep and constant adoration of the universal and eternal Presence; that is declared to be the knowledge; all against it is ignorance.
13. I will declare the one object to which the mind of spiritual knowledge must be turned, by fixity in which the soul clouded here recovers and enjoys its nature and original consciousness of immortality, the eternal supreme Brahman called neither Sat (existence) nor Asat (non-existence).
14. His hands and feet are on every side of us, his heads and eyes and faces are those innumerable visages which we see wherever we turn, his ear is everywhere, he immeasurably fills and surrounds all this world with himself, he is the universal Being in whose embrace we live.
15. All the senses and their qualities reflect him but he is without any senses; he is unattached, yet all-supporting; he is enjoyer of the gunas, though not limited by them.
16. That which is in us is he and all that we experience outside ourselves is he. The inward and the outward, the far and the near, the moving and the unmoving, all this he is at once. He is the subtlety of the subtle which is beyond our knowledge.
17. He is indivisible and the One, but seems to divide himself in forms and creatures and appears as all the separate existences. All things are eternally born from him, upborne in his eternity, taken eternally back into his oneness.
18. He is the light of all lights and luminous beyond all the darkness of our ignorance. He is knowledge and the object of knowledge. He is seated in the hearts of all.
19. Thus the Field, Knowledge and the Object of Knowledge, have been briefly told. My devotee, thus knowing, attains to My bhava (the divine being and divine nature).
20. Know thou that Purusha (the Soul) and Prakriti (Nature) are both without origin and eternal; but the modes of Nature and the lower forms she assumes to our conscious experience have an origin in Prakriti (in the transactions of these two entities).
21. The chain of cause and effect and the state of being the doer are created by Prakriti; Purusha enjoys pleasure and pain.
22. Purusha involved in Prakriti enjoys the qualities born of Prakriti; attachment to the qualities is the cause of his birth in good and evil wombs.
23. Witness, source of the consent, upholder of the work of Nature, her enjoyer, almighty Lord and supreme Self is the Supreme Soul seated in this body.
24. He who thus knows Purusha and Prakriti with her qualities, howsoever he lives and acts, he shall not be born again.
25. This knowledge comes by an inner meditation through which the eternal Self becomes apparent to us in our self-existence. Or it comes by the Yoga of the Sankhyas (the separation of the soul from nature). Or it comes by the Yoga of works.
26. Others, who are ignorant of these paths of Yoga, may hear of the truth from others and mould the mind into the sense of that to which it listens with faith and concentration. But however arrived at, it carries us beyond death to immortality.
27. Whatever being, moving or unmoving, is born, know thou, O best of the Bharatas, that it is from the union between the Field and the Knower of the Field.
28. Seated equally in all beings, the supreme Lord, unperishing within the perishing - he who thus sees, he sees.
29. Perceiving the equal Lord as the spiritual inhabitant in all forces, in all things and in all beings, he does not injure himself (by casting his being into the hands of desire and passions), and thus he attains to the supreme status.
30. He who sees that all action is verily done by Prakriti, and that the Self is the inactive witness, he sees.
31. When he perceives the diversified existence of beings abiding in the one eternal Being, and spreading forth from it, then he attains to Brahman.
32. Because it is without origin and eternal, not limited by the qualities, the imperishable supreme Self, though seated in the body, O Kaunteya, does not act, nor is affected.
33. As the all-pervading ether is not affected by reason of its subtlety, so seated everywhere in the body, the Self is not affected.
34. As the one sun illumines the entire earth, so the Lord of the Field illumines the entire Field, O Bharata.
35. They who with the eye of knowledge perceive this difference between the Field and the Knower of the Field and the liberation of beings from Prakriti, they attain to the Supreme.
THE THREE GUNAS
1. The Blessed Lord said: I will again declare the supreme Knowledge, the highest of all knowings, which having known, all the sages have gone hence to the highest perfection.
2. Having taken refuge in this knowledge and become of like nature and law of being with Me, they are not born in the creation, nor troubled by the anguish of the universal dissolution.
3. My womb is the Mahat Brahman; into that I cast the seed; thence spring all beings, O Bharata.
4. Whatever forms are produced in whatsoever wombs, O Kaunteya, the Mahat Brahman is their womb, and I am the Father who casts the seed.
5. The three gunas born of Prakriti, Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas bind in the body, O great-armed one, the imperishable dweller in the body.
6. Of these Sattwa is by the purity of its quality a cause of light and illumination, and by virtue of that purity produces no disease or morbidity or suffering in the nature: it binds by attachment to knowledge and attachment to happiness, O sinless one.
7. Rajas, know thou, has for its essence attraction of liking and longing; it is a child of the attachment of the soul to the desire of objects; O Kaunteya, it binds the embodied spirit by attachment to works.
8. But Tamas, know thou, born of ignorance, is the deluded of all embodied beings; it binds by negligence, indolence and sleep, O Bharata.
9. Sattwa attaches to happiness, rajas to action, O Bharata; tamas covers up the knowledge and attaches to negligence of error and inaction.
10. Now sattwa leads, having overpowered rajas and tamas, O Bharata; now rajas, having overpowered sattwa and tamas; and now tamas, having overpowered sattwa and rajas.
11. When into all the doors in the body there comes a flooding of light, a light of understanding, perception and knowledge, one should understand that there has been a great increase and uprising of the sattwic guna in the nature.
12. Greed, seeking impulsions, initiative of actions, unrest, desire - all this mounts in us when rajas increases.
13. Nescience, inertia, negligence and delusion - these are born when tamas predominates, O joy of the Kurus.
14. If sattwa prevails when the embodied goes to dissolution, then he attains to the spotless worlds of the knowers of the highest principles.
15. Going to dissolution when rajas prevails, he is born among those attached to action; if dissolved during the increase of tamas, he is born in the wombs of beings involved in nescience.
16. It is said the fruit of works rightly done is pure and sattwic; pain is the consequence of rajasic works, ignorance is the result of tamasic action.
17. From sattwa knowledge is born, and greed from rajas; negligence and delusion are of tamas, and also ignorance.
18. They rise upwards who are in sattwa; those in rajas remain in the middle; the tamasic, those enveloped in ignorance and inertia, the effect of the lowest quality, go downwards.
19. When the seer perceives that the modes of Nature are the whole agency and cause of works and knows and turns to That which is supreme above the gunas, he attains to mad-bhava (the movement and status of the Divine).
20. When the soul thus rises above the three gunas born of the embodiment in Nature, he is freed from subjection to birth and death and their concomitants, decay, old age and suffering, and enjoys in the end the Immortality of its self-existence.
21. Arjuna said: What are the signs of the man who has risen above the three gunas, O Lord? What is his action and how does he surmount the gunas?
22. The Blessed Lord said: He, O Pandava, who does not abhor or shrink from the operation of enlightenment (the result of rising sattwa) or impulsion to works (the result of rising rajas) or the clouding over of the mental and nervous being (the result of rising tamas), nor longs after them, when they cease.
23. He who, established in a position as of one seated high above, is unshaken by the gunas; who seeing that it is the gunas that are in process of action stands apart immovable.
24-25. He who regards happiness and suffering alike, gold and mud and stone as of equal value, to whom the pleasant and the unpleasant, praise and blame, honour and insult, the faction of his friends and the faction of his enemies are equal things; who is steadfast in a wise imperturbable and immutable inner calm and quietude; who initiates no action (but leaves all works to be done by the gunas of Nature) - he is said to be above the gunas.
26. He also who loves and strives after Me with an undeviating love and adoration, passes beyond the three gunas and he too is prepared for becoming the Brahman.
27. I (the Purushottama) am the foundation of the silent Brahman and of Immortality and imperishable spiritual existence and of the eternal dharma and of an utter bliss of happiness.
THE SUPREME DIVINE
1. The Blessed Lord said: With its original source above (in the Eternal), its branches stretching below, the Ashwattha is said to be eternal and imperishable; the leaves of it are the hymns of the Veda; he who knows it is the Veda-knower.
2. The branches of this cosmic tree extend both below and above (below in the material, above in the supraphysical planes), they grow by the gunas of Nature; the sensible objects are its foliage, downward here into the world of men it plunges its roots of attachment and desire with their consequences of an endlessly developing action.
3-4. The real form of it cannot be perceived by us in this material world of man's embodiment, nor its beginning nor its end, nor its foundation, having cut down this firmly rooted Ashwattha by the strong sword of detachment, one should seek for that highest goal whence, once having reached it. there is no compulsion of return to mortal life; I turn away (says the Vedantic verse) to seek that original Soul alone from whom proceeds the ancient sempiternal urge to action.
5. To be free from the bewilderment of this lower Maya, without egoism, the great fault of attachment conquered, all desires stilled, the duality of joy and grief cast away, always to be fixed in a pure spiritual consciousness, these are the steps of the way to that supreme Infinite.
6. There we find the timeless being which is not illumined by sun or moon or fire (but is itself the light of the presence of the eternal Purusha); having gone thither they return not; that is the highest eternal status of My Being.
7. It is an eternal portion of Me that becomes the Jiva in the world of living creatures and cultivates the subjective powers of Prakriti, mind and the five senses.
8. When the Lord takes up this body (he brings in with him the mind and the senses) and in his going forth too (casting away the body) he goes taking them as the wind takes the perfumes from a vase.
9. The ear, the eye, the touch, the taste and the smell, using these and the mind also, he enjoys the objects of mind and sense as the indwelling and overdwelling Soul.
10. The deluded do not perceive him in his coming in and his going forth or in his staying and enjoying and assumption of quality; they perceive who have the eye of knowledge.
11. The Yogins who strive, see the Lord in themselves; but though they strive to do so, the ignorant perceive Him not, as they are not formed in the spiritual mould.
12. The light of the sun that illumines all this world, that which is in the moon and in fire, that light know as from Me.
13. I have entered into this form of earth (and am the spirit of its material force) and sustain by My might these multitudes. I am the godhead of Soma who by the rasa (the sap in the earth-mother) nourishes all plants and trees.
14. I, having become the flame of life, sustain the physical body of living creatures, and united with Prana and Apana. digest the four kinds of food.
15. I am lodged in the heart of all; from Me are memory and knowledge and their absence. And that which is known by all the Vedas (and by all forms of knowing) am I; and I indeed the knower of Veda and the maker of Vedanta.
16. There are two Purushas (spiritual beings) in this world, the immutable (and impersonal) and the mutable (and personal); the mutable is all these existences, the Kutastha (the high-seated consciousness of the Brahmic status) is called the immutable.
17. But other than these two is that highest spirit called the supreme Self, who enters the three worlds and upbears them, the imperishable Lord.
18. Since I am beyond the mutable and am greater and higher even than the immutable, in the world and the Veda I am proclaimed as the Purushottama (the supreme Self).
19. He who undeluded thus has knowledge of Me as the Purushottama, adores Me (has bhakti for Me) with all-knowledge and in every way of his natural being.
20. Thus by Me the most secret shastra (the supreme teaching and science) has been told, O sinless one. Absolutely to know it is to be perfected in understanding and successful in the supreme sense, O Bharata.
DEVA AND ASURA
1-3. The Blessed Lord said: Fearlessness, purity of temperament, steadfastness in the Yoga of Knowledge, giving, self-control, sacrifice, the study of Scripture, askesis, candour and straightforwardness, harmlessness, truth, absence of wrath, self-denial, calm, absence of fault-finding, compassion to all beings, absence of greed, gentleness, modesty, freedom from restlessness, energy, forgiveness, patience, cleanness, absence of envy and pride - these are the wealth of the man born into the Deva nature.
4. Pride, arrogance, excessive self-esteem, wrath, harshness, ignorance, these, O Partha, are the wealth of the man born into the Asuric nature.
5. The Daivic qualities lead towards liberation, the Asuric towards bondage. Grieve not, thou art born in the Deva-nature, O Pandava.
6. There are two creations of beings in this material world, the Daivic and the Asuric; the Daivic hath been described at length: hear from Me, O Partha, the Asuric.
7. Asuric men have no true knowledge of the way of action or the way of abstention; truth is not in them, nor clean doing, nor faithful observance.
8. "The world is without God," they say, "not true, not founded in truth, brought about by a mutual union, with Desire for its sole cause, a world of Chance."
9. Leaning on that way of seeing life, and by its falsehood ruining their souls and their reason, the Asuric men become the centre or instrument of a fierce, Titanic, violent action, a power of destruction in the world, a fount of injury and evil.
10. Resorting to insatiable desire, arrogant, full of self-esteem and the drunkenness of their pride, these misguided souls delude themselves, persist in false and obstinate aims and pursue the fixed impure resolution of their longings.
11. They imagine that desire and enjoyment are all the aim of life and (in their inordinate and insatiable pursuit of it) they are the prey of a devouring, a measurelessly unceasing care and thought and endeavour and anxiety till the moment of their death.
12-15. Bound by a hundred bonds, devoured by wrath and lust, unweariedly occupied in amassing unjust gains which may serve their enjoyment and the satisfaction of their craving, always they think. "To-day I have gained this object of desire, to-morrow I shall have that other; to-day I have so much wealth, more I will get to-morrow. I have killed this my enemy, the rest too I will kill. I am a lord and king of men, I am perfect, accomplished, strong, happy, fortunate, a privileged enjoyer of the world; I am wealthy, I am of high birth; who is there like unto me? I will sacrifice, I will give, I will enjoy."
16. Thus occupied by many egoistic ideas, deluded, addicted to the gratification of desire (doing works, but doing them wrongly, acting mightily, but for themselves, for desire, for enjoyment, not for God in themselves and God in man), they fall into the unclean hell of their own evil.
17. They sacrifice and give not in the true order, but from a self-regarding ostentation, from vanity and with a stiff and foolish pride.
18. In the egoism of their strength and power, in the violence of their wrath and arrogance they hate, despise and belittle the God hidden in themselves and the God in man.
19. These proud haters (of good and of God), evil, cruel, vilest among men in the world, I cast down continually into more and more Asuric births.
20. Cast into Asuric wombs, deluded birth after birth, they find Me not (as they do not seek Me) and sink down into the lowest status of soul-nature.
21. Threefold are the doors of Hell, destructive of the soul - desire, wrath and greed: therefore let man renounce these three.
22. A man liberated from these doors of darkness, O son of Kunti, follows his own higher good and arrives at the highest soul-status.
23. He who, having cast aside the rules of the Shastra, followeth the promptings of desire, attaineth not to perfection, nor happiness, nor the highest soul-status.
24. Therefore let the Shastra be thy authority in determining what ought to be done or what ought not to be done. Knowing what hath been declared by the rules of the Shastra, thou oughtest to work in this world.
FAITH AND THE THREE GUNAS
1. Arjuna said: When men sacrifice to God or the gods with faith, but abandon the rule of the Shastra. what is that concentrated will of devotion in them, nishtha, which gives them this faith and moves them to this kind of action. O Krishna? Is it sattwa, rajas or tamas?
2. The Blessed Lord said: The faith in embodied beings is of a triple kind like all things in Nature and varies according to the dominating quality of their nature, sattwa. rajas or tamas. Hear thou of these.
3. The faith of each man takes the shape given to it by his stuff of being, O Bharata. This Purusha, this soul in man, is, as it were, made of shraddha, a faith, a will to be a belief in itself and existence, and whatever is that will, faith or constituting belief in him, he is that and that is he.
4. Sattwic men offer sacrifice to the gods, the rajasic to the Yakshas (the keepers of wealth) and the Rakshasic forces, the others, the tamasic, offer their sacrifice to elemental powers and grosser spirits.
5-6. The men who perform violent austerities, contrary to the Shastra, with arrogance and egoism, impelled by the force of their desires and passions, men of unripe minds tormenting the aggregated elements forming the body and troubling Me also, seated in the body, know these to be Asuric in their resolves.
7. The food also which is dear to each is of triple character, as also sacrifice, askesis and giving. Hear thou the distinction of these.
8. The sattwic temperament in the mental and physical body turns naturally to the things that increase the life, increase the inner and outer strength, nourish at once the mental, vital and physical force and increase the pleasure and satisfaction and happy condition of mind and life and body, all that is succulent and soft and firm and satisfying.
9. The rajasic temperament prefers naturally food that is violently sour, pungent, hot, acrid, rough and strong and burning, the aliments that increase ill-health and the distempers of the mind and body.
10. The tamasic temperament takes a perverse pleasure in cold, impure, stale, rotten or tasteless food or even accepts like the animals the remnants half-eaten by others.
11. The sacrifice which is offered by men without desire for the personal fruit, which is executed according to the right principle, and with a mind concentrated on the idea of the thing to be done as a sacrifice, that is sattwic.
12. The sacrifice offered with a view to the personal fruit, and also for ostentation, O best of the Bharatas, know thou that to be of a rajasic nature.
13. The sacrifice not performed according to the right rule of the Shastra, without giving of food, without the mantra, without gifts, empty of faith, is said to be tamasic.
14. Worship given to the godhead, to the twice-born, to the spiritual guide, to the wise, cleanness, candid dealing, sexual purity and avoidance of killing and injury to others, are called the askesis of the body.
15. Speech causing no trouble to others, true, kind and beneficial, the study of Scripture, are called the askesis of speech.
16. A clear and calm gladness of mind, gentleness, silence, self-control, the purifying of the whole temperament - this is called the askesis of the mind.
17. This threefold askesis, done with a highest enlightened faith, with no desire for fruit, harmonised, is said to be sattwic.
18. The askesis which is undertaken to get honour and worship from men, for the sake of outward glory and greatness and for ostentation is said to be rajasic, unstable and fleeting.
19. That askesis which is pursued under a clouded and deluded idea, performed with effort and suffering imposed on oneself or else with a concentration of the energy in a will to do hurt to others, that is said to be tamasic.
20. The sattwic way of giving is to do it for the sake of the giving and the beneficence and to one who does no benefit in return; and it is to bestow in the right conditions of time and place and on the right recipient (who is worthy or to whom the gift can be really helpful).
21. The rajasic kind of giving is that which is done with unwillingness or violence to oneself or with a personal and egoistic object or in the hope of a return of some kind.
22. The tamasic gift is offered with no consideration of the right conditions of time, place and object; it is offered without regard for the feelings of the recipient and despised by him even in the acceptance.
23. The formula OM, Tat, Sat, is the triple definition of the Brahman, by whom the Brahmanas, the Vedas and sacrifices were created of old.
24. Therefore with the pronunciation of OM the acts of sacrifice, giving and askesis as laid down in the rules are always commenced by the knowers of the Brahman.
25. With the pronunciation of Tat and without desire of fruit are performed the various acts of sacrifice, askesis and giving by the seekers of liberation.
26. Sat means good and it means existence; likewise, O Partha, the word Sat is used in the sense of a good work (for all good works prepare the soul for the higher reality of our being).
27. All firm abiding in sacrifice, giving and askesis and all works done with that central view, as sacrifice, as giving, as askesis, are Sat (for they build the basis for the highest truth of our spirit).
28. Whatever is wrought without faith, oblation, giving, askesis or other work, Asat it is called, O Partha; it is nought, here or hereafter.
RENUNCIATION AND MOKSHA
1. Arjuna said: I desire, O mighty-armed, to know the principle of Sannyasa and the principle of Tyaga, O Hrishikesha, and their difference, O Keshinisudana.
2. The Blessed Lord said: Sages have known as Sannyasa the physical depositing (or laying aside) of desirable actions; Tyaga is the name given by the wise to an entire abandonment of all attached clinging to the fruit of works.
3. "All action should be relinquished as an evil", declare some learned men, "acts of sacrifice, giving and askesis ought not to be renounced", say others.
4. Hear my conclusions as to renunciation (Tyaga), O best of the Bharatas; since renunciation of works, O tiger of men, has been explained as threefold.
5. Acts of sacrifice, giving and askesis ought not to be renounced at all, but should be performed, for they purify the wise.
6. Even these actions certainly ought to be done, O Partha, leaving aside attachment and fruit.
7. Verily, renunciation of rightly regulated actions is not proper, to renounce them from ignorance is a tamasic renunciation.
8. He who gives up works because they bring sorrow or are a trouble to the flesh, thus doing rajasic renunciation, obtaineth not the fruit of renunciation.
9. He who performs a rightly regulated action, because it has to be done, without any attachment either to the action or to the fruit of the action, that renunciation is regarded as sattwic.
10. The wise man with doubts cast away, who renounces in the light of the full sattwic mind, has no aversion to unpleasant action, no attachment to pleasant action.
11. Nor indeed can embodied beings renounce all works; verily he who gives up the fruit of action, he is said to be a renouncer.
12. The three kinds of result, pleasant, unpleasant and mixed, in this or other worlds, in this or another life are for the slaves of desire and ego; these things do not cling to the free spirit.
13. These five causes, O mighty-armed, learn of Me as laid down by the Sankhya for the accomplishment of all works.
14. These five are the body, the doer, the various instruments, the many kinds of efforts, and last, the Fate.
15. These five elements make up among them all the efficient causes, karana, that determine the shaping and outcome of whatever work man undertakes with mind and speech and body.
16. That being so, he verily who, owing to ignorant understanding, looketh on the pure Self as the doer, he, of perverted intelligence, seeth not.
17. He who is free from the ego-sense, whose intelligence is not affected, though he slay these peoples, he slayeth not, nor is bound.
18. Knowledge, the object of knowledge and the knower, these three things constitute the mental impulsion to work; there are again three things, the doer, the instrument and the work done, that hold the action together and make it possible.
19. Knowledge, work and doer are of three kinds, says the Sankhya, according to the difference in the Gunas (qualities); hear thou duly these also.
20. That by which one imperishable being is seen in all becoming, one indivisible whole in all these divisions, know thou that knowledge as sattwic.
21. But that knowledge which sees the multiplicity of things only in their separateness and variety of operation in all these existences, that knowledge know thou as rajasic.
22. The tamasic knowledge is a small and narrow way of looking at things which has no eye for the real nature of the word; it clings to one movement or one routine as if it were the whole (without foresight or comprehending intelligence).
23. All action which is rightly regulated, performed without attachment, without liking or disliking (for its spur or its drag), done by one undesirous of fruit, that is called sattwic.
24. But that action which a man undertakes under the dominion of desire, or with an egoistic sense of his own personality in the action, and which is done with inordinate effort (with a great heaving and straining of the personal will to get at the object of desire), that is declared to be rajasic.
25. The action undertaken from delusion (in mechanical obedience to the instincts, impulsions and unseeing ideas), without regarding the strength or capacity, without regarding the consequences, the waste of effort or injury to others, that is declared to be tamasic.
26. Free from attachment, free from egoism, full of a fixed (impersonal) resolution and a calm rectitude of zeal, unelated by success, undepressed by failure, that doer is called sattwic.
27. Eagerly attached to the work, passionately desirous of fruit, greedy, impure, often violent and cruel and brutal in the means he uses, full of joy (in success) and grief (in failure) such a doer is known as rajasic.
28. One who acts with a mechanical mind (who does not put himself really into the work), is stupid, obstinate, cunning, insolent, lazy, easily depressed, procrastinating, that doer is called tamasic.
29. Reason as also persistence are of three kinds according to the qualities; hear them related, unreservedly and severally, O Dhananjaya.
30. That which sees the law of action and the law of abstention from action, the thing that is to be done and the thing that is not to be done, what is to be feared and what is not to be feared, what binds the spirit of man and what sets it free, that understanding is sattwic, O Partha.
31. That by which one knows awry right and wrong and also what should or should not be done, that understanding, O Partha, is rajasic.
32. That which, enveloped in darkness, takes what is not the true law and upholds it as the law and sees all things in a cloud of misconceptions, that understanding, O Partha, is tamasic.
33. That unwavering persistence by which, through Yoga, one controls the mind, the senses and the life, that persistence, O Partha, is sattwic.
34. But that, O Arjuna, by which one holdeth fast right and justice (Dharma), interest (Artha) and Pleasure (Kama), and with great attachment desires for the fruits, persistence, O Partha, is tamasic.
35. That by which one from ignorance doth not abandon sleep, fear, grief, depression, and also pride, that persistence, O Partha, is tamasic.
36-37. And now the threefold kinds of pleasure hear thou from Me, O bull of the Bharatas. That in which one by self-discipline rejoiceth and which putteth an end to pain; which at first is as poison but in the end is as nectar; that pleasure is said to be sattwic, born of the satisfaction of the higher mind and spirit.
38. That which is born from the contact of the senses with their objects, which at first is as nectar, but in the end is like poison, that pleasure is accounted rajasic.
39. That pleasure of which delusion is the beginning and delusion is the consequence, which arises from sleep, indolence and ignorance, that is declared tamasic.
40. There is not an entity, either on the earth or again in heaven among the gods, that is not subject to the workings of these three qualities (Gunas), born of nature.
41. The works of Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras are divided according to the qualities (gunas) born of their own inner nature.
42. Calm, self-control, askesis, purity, long-suffering, candour, knowledge, acceptance of spiritual truth are the work of the Brahmin, born of his swabhava.
43. Heroism, high spirit, resolution, ability, not fleeing in the battle, giving, lordship (ishwara-bhava, the temperament of the ruler and leader) are the natural work of the Kshatriya.
44. Agriculture, cattle-keeping, trade inclusive of the labour of the craftsman and the artisan are the natural work of the Vaishya. All work of the character of service falls within the natural function of the Shudra.
45. A man who is intent on his own natural work attains perfection. Listen thou how perfection is won by him who is intent on his own natural work.
46. He from whom all beings originate, by whom all this universe is pervaded, by worshipping Him by his own work, a man reacheth perfection.
47. Better is one's own law of works, though in itself faulty, than an alien law well wrought out. One does not incur sin when one acts in agreement with the law of one's own nature.
48. The inborn work, O son of Kunti, though defective, ought not to be abandoned. All actions (in the three gunas) indeed are clouded by defects as fire by smoke.
49. An understanding without attachment in all things, a soul self-conquered and empty of desire, man attains by renunciation a supreme perfection of naishkarmya.
50. How, having attained this perfection, one thus attains to the Brahman, hear from me, O son of Kunti, - that which is the supreme concentrated direction of the knowledge.
51-53. Uniting the purified intelligence (with the pure spiritual substance in us), controlling the whole being by firm and steady will, having renounced sound and the other objects of the senses, withdrawing from all liking and disliking, resorting to impersonal solitude, abstemious, speech, body and mind controlled, constantly united with the inmost self by meditation, completely giving up desire and attachment, having put away egoism, violence, arrogance, desire, wrath, the sense and instinct of possession, free from all I-ness and my-ness, calm and luminously impassive - one is fit to become the Brahman.
54. When one has become the Brahman, when one, serene in the Self, neither grieves nor desires, when one is equal to all beings, then one gets the supreme love and devotion to Me.
55. By devotion he comes to know Me, who and how much I am and in all the reality and principles of My being; having thus known Me he entereth into That (Purushottama).
56. And by doing also all actions always lodged in Me he attains by My grace the eternal and imperishable status.
57. Devoting all thyself to Me, giving up in thy conscious mind all thy actions into Me, resorting to Yoga of the will and intelligence be always one in heart and consciousness with Me.
58. If thou art one in heart and consciousness with Me at all times, then by My grace thou shalt pass safe through all difficult and perilous passages; but if from egoism thou hear not, thou shalt fall into perdition.
59. Vain is this thy resolve, that in thy egoism thou thinkest, saying "I will not fight"; thy nature shall appoint thee to thy work.
60. What from delusion thou desirest not to do, O Kaunteya, that helplessly thou shalt do bound by thy own work born of thy swabhava.
61. The Lord, O Arjuna, is seated in the heart of all beings turning all beings mounted upon a machine by his Maya.
62. In him take refuge in every way of thy being and by his grace thou shalt come to the supreme peace and the eternal status.
63. So have I expounded to thee a knowledge more secret than that which is hidden; having reflected on it fully, do as thou wouldst.
64. Further hear the most secret, the supreme word that I shall speak to thee; beloved art thou intimately of Me, therefore will I speak for thy good.
65. Become my-minded, my lover and adorer, a sacrificer to Me, bow thyself to Me, to Me thou shalt come, this is my pledge and promise to thee, for dear art thou to Me.
66. Abandon all dharmas and take refuge in Me alone. I will deliver thee from all sin and evil, do not grieve.
67. Never is this to be spoken by thee to one without askesis, not to one that is not devoted and not to him who does no service; nor yet to him who despises and belittles Me (lodged in the human body).
68. He who with the highest devotion for Me, shall declare this supreme secret among My devotees, without doubt he shall come to Me.
69. And there is none among men that does more than he what is most dear to Me; and there will be none else dearer to Me in the world.
70. And he who shall study this sacred discourse of ours, by him I shall be worshipped with the sacrifice of knowledge.
71. The man also who, full of faith and uncarping, listens to this, even he, being liberated, attains to the happy worlds of the righteous.
72. Hath this been heard by thee, O son of Pritha, with a concentrated mind? Has thy delusion, caused by ignorance, been destroyed, O Dhananjaya?
73. Arjuna said: Destroyed is my delusion, I have regained memory through Thy grace, O Infallible One. I am firm, dispelled are my doubts. I will act according to Thy word.
74. Sanjaya said: I heard this wonderful discourse of Vasudeva and of the great-souled Partha, causing my hair to stand on end.
75. Through the grace of Vyasa I heard this supreme secret, this Yoga directly from Krishna, the divine Master of Yoga, who himself declared it.
76. O King, remembering, remembering this wonderful and sacred discourse of Keshava and Arjuna, I rejoice again and again.
77. Remembering, remembering also that most marvellous form of Hari, great is my wonder. O King, I rejoice, again and again.
78. Wherever is Krishna, the Master of Yoga, wherever is Partha, the archer, assured are there glory, victory and prosperity, and there also is the immutable Law of Right.
in: SABCL, volume 13 "Essays on the Gita, with Sanskrit Text and Translation of the Gita"
published by Sri Aurobindo Ashram - Pondicherry
diffusion by SABDA