I. THE DESPONDENCY OF ARJUNA
1. What did Pandu’s sons and mine do when they assembled together on the
sacred plain of Kurukshetra, eager for battle, O Samjaya ?
2. Having seen the army of the Pandavas drawn up in battle-array, prince
Duryodhana then approached his teacher and spoke (these) words:
3. “O teacher, look at this grand army of the sons of Pandu, marshalled
by thy talented pupil, the son of Drupada.
4. “Here are heroes, mighty archers, equal in battle to Bhima and Arjuna;
Yuyudhana Virata, and Drupada, the master of a great car (maharatha).
5. “Dhrishtaketu, Chekitana, and the valiant king of Kasi, Purujit and
Kunti Bhoja, and that eminent man Saibya;
6. “The heroic Yudhamanyu and the brave Uttamaujas; the son of Subhadra
and the sons of Draupadi, all masters of great cars (maharathas).
7. “But know, O best of the twice-born, who are the most distinguished
among us, the leaders of my army; these I name to thee by way of
8. “Thyself and Bhishma, and Karna, and also Kripa, the victor in war,
Asvathaman and Vikarna, and also Jayadratha, the son of Samadatta.
9. “And many other heroes who have given up their lives for my sake,
fighting with various weapons, all well-skilled in battle.
10. “This army of ours protected by Bhisma is inadequate, whereas that
army of theirs which is under the protection of Bhima is adequate.
11. “And therefore do ye all, occupying your respective positions in the
several divisions of the army, support Bhisma only.”
12. His mighty grandsire, (Bhisma), the oldest of the Kauravas, in order
to cheer him, sounded on high a lion’s roar and blew his conch.
13. Then, all at once, conches and kettle-drums, cymbols, drums and
horns were played upon, and the sound was a tumultuous uproar.
14. Then, too, Madhava and the son of Pandu, seated in a grand chariot
yoked to white horses, blew their celestial conches.
15. Hrishikesa blew the Panchajanya; and Arjuna blew the Devadatta.
Bhima, (the doer) of terrible deeds, blew his great conch Paundra.
16. Prince Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, blew the Anantavijaya, while
Nakula and Sahadeva blew the Sughosha and the Manipushpaka.
17. The King of Kasi, an excellent archer, Sikhandin, the master of a
great car, Dhrishtadyumna and Virata, and the unconquered Satyaki;
18. Drupada and the sons of Draupadi, O Lord of earth, and the son of
Subhadra, of mighty arms, all together blew their respective conches.
19. That tumultuous sound rent the hearts of (the people) of
Dhritarashtra’s party, making both heaven and earth resound.
20-22. Then seeing the people of Dhritarashtra’s party regularly
marshalled, while the discharge of weapons began, Arjuna, the son of
Pandu, whose ensign was a monkey, O King of earth, took up his bow and
said thus to Krishna:
O Achyuta (Immortal), place my chariot between the two armies, that I
may just see those who stand here desirous to fight, and know with whom
I must fight in this strife of battle.
23. “I will observe those who are assembled here and are about to engage
in battle desirous to do service in war to the evil-minded son of
24-25. O descendant of Bharata, Hrishikesa (Krishna) thus addressed by
Gudakesa (Arjuna) stationed that excellent car between the two armies in
front of Bhisma and Drona and all the rulers of earth, and said: “O son
of Pritha, look at these assembled Kauravas.”
26-27. Then the son of Pritha saw arrayed there in both the armies
fathers and grandfathers, teachers, maternal uncles, brothers, sons,
grandsons and comrades, father-in-law and friends.
27-28. When the son of Kunti saw all the kinsmen standing, he was
overcome with deepest pity and said thus in sorrow:
28-29. Seeing these kinsmen, O Krishna, arrayed and desirous to fight,
my limbs droop down, and my mouth is dried up. A tremor comes on my body
and my hairs stand on end.
30. The Gandiva slips from my hand, and my skin is intensely burning. I
am also unable to stand and my mind is whirling round, as it were.
31. And, O Kesava, I see omens foreboding evil. Nor do I see any good
from killing my kinsmen in battle.
32. I desire not victory, O Krishna, nor kingdom, nor pleasures. Of what
avail is dominion to us, O Govinda ? Of what avail are pleasures and
even life ?
33-34. They for whose sake dominion, enjoyments and pleasures are sought
by us are here standing, having staked their life and wealth; teachers,
fathers, sons as well as grandfathers; maternal uncles, father-in-law
grandsons, brothers-in-law as also (other) relatives.
35. These, O slayer of Madhu, I do not wish to kill, though they kill
me, even for the sake of dominion over the three worlds; how much less,
for the sake of the earth!
36. O Janardana, what delight shall be ours after killing the sons of
Dhritarashtra ? On killing these felons, sin only will take hold of us.
37. We had then better not slay our own kinsmen, the sons of
Dhritarashtra; for, how can we be happy, O Madhava, after slaying our
own people ?
38-39. Though these, whose intelligence is stricken by greed, perceive
no evil in the extinction of families and no sin in treachery to
friends, yet, O Janardana, should not we, who clearly see evil in the
extinction of a family, learn to refrain from this sinful deed ?
40. On the extinction of a family, the immemorial dharmas of that family
disappear. When the dharmas disappear, impiety (adharma) overtakes the
41. By the prevalence of impiety, O Krishna, the women of the family
become corrupt. Women corrupted, there will be intermingling of castes (varna-samkara),
O descendent of Vrishnis.
42. Confusion of castes leads the family of these destroyers of families
also to hell; for, their forefathers fall (down to hell), deprived of
the offerings of pinda (rice-ball) and water.
43. By these evil deeds of the destroyers of families, which cause the
intermingling of castes, the eternal dharmas of castes and families are
44. We have heard, O Janardana, that necessary is the dwelling in hell
of the men whose family dharmas are subverted.
45. Alas! We have resolved to commit a great sin, inasmuch as we are
endeavouring to slay our kinsmen out of a craving for the pleasures of
46. It would be better for me, if the sons of Dhritarashtra, with arms
in hand, should slay me unarmed and unresisting in the battle.
47. Having said thus, Arjuna, sorrow-stricken in mind, cast aside his
bow and arrows in the midst of the battle and sat down in the chariot.
II. SANKHYA YOGA
1. To him who was thus overcome with pity and afflicted and whose eyes
were full of tears and agitated, the destroyer of Madhu spoke as
THE LORD SAID:
2. Whence in (this) perilous strait has come upon thee this weakness
cherished by the unworthy, debarring from heaven and causing disgrace, O
3. Yield not to unmanliness, O son of Pritha. It does not become thee.
Cast off this base weakness of heart and arise, O tormentor of foes.
4. O slayer of Madhu, how shall I assail in battle with arrows Bhishma
and Drona, who are worthy of worship, O slayer of enemies.
5. Better indeed in this world to live even upon alms than to slay the
teachers of high honor. But, were I to slay these teachers, I should
only in this world enjoy the pleasures of wealth, delights stained with
6. And we know not which is the better alternative for us; nor do we
know whether we shall conquer them or they will conquer us. Even the
sons of Dhritarashtra, after killing whom we do not wish to live, stand
arrayed against us.
7. My heart contaminated by the taint of helplessness, my mind
confounded about Dharma, I ask Thee: tell me what is absolutely good. I
am Thy pupil. Instruct me, who have sought Thy grace.
8. I do not indeed see what can dispel the grief which burns up my
senses, even after attaining unrivalled and prosperous dominion on earth
or even lordship over gods.
9. Having spoken thus to Hrishikesa, Gudakesa, the tormenter of foes,
said to Govinda, ‘I will not fight’ and verily remained silent
10. To him who was grieving in the midst of the two armies, O descendant
of Bharata, Hrishikesa as if smiling, spoke these words:
THE LORD SAID:
11. For those who deserve no grief thou hast grieved and words of wisdom
thou speakest. For the living and for the dead the wise grieve not.
12. Never did I not exist, nor thou, nor these rulers of men; and no one
of us will ever hereafter cease to exist.
13. Just as in this body the embodied (Self) passes into childhood and
youth and old age, so does He pass into another body. There the wise man
is not distressed.
14. The sense-contacts it is, O son of Kunti, which causes heat and
cold; pleasure and pain; they come and go, they are impermanent. Them
endure bravely, O descendant of Bharata.
15. That wise man whom, verily, these afflict not, O chief of men, to
whom pleasure and pain are same, he for immortality is fit.
16. Of the unreal no being there is; there is no non-being of the real.
Of both these is the truth seen by the seers of the Essence.
17. But know that to be imperishable by which all this is pervaded. None
can cause the destruction of That, the Inexhaustible.
18. These bodies of the embodied (Self) who is eternal, indestructible
and unknowable, are said to have an end. Do fight, therefore, O
descendant of Bharata.
19. Whoever looks upon Him as the slayer and whoever looks upon Him as
the slain, both these know not aright. He slays not, nor is He slain.
20. He is not born, nor does He ever die; after having been, He again
ceases not to be; nor the reverse. Unborn, eternal, unchangeable and
primeval, He is not slain when the body is slain.
21. Whoso knows Him as indestructible, eternal, unborn and inexhaustible
– How, O son of Pritha, and whom does such a man cause to slay and whom
does he slay?
22. Just as a man casts off worn-out clothes and puts on others which
are new, so the embodied (self) casts off worn-out bodies and enters
others which are new.
23. Him weapons cut not, Him fire burns not and Him water wets not; Him
wind dries not.
24. He cannot be cut, nor burnt, nor wetted, nor dried up. He is
everlasting, all-pervading stable, firm and eternal.
25. He, it is said, is unmanifest, unthinkable and unchangeable.
Wherefore, knowing Him to be such, thou hadst better grieve not.
26. But even if thou thinkest of Him as ever being born and ever dying,
even then, O mighty-armed, thou oughtst not to grieve thus.
27. To that which is born, death is indeed certain; and to that which is
dead, birth is certain. Therefore, about the unavoidable thing, thou
oughtst not to grieve.
28. Beings have their beginning unseen, their middle seen, and their end
unseen again. Why any lamentation regarding them ?
29. One sees Him as a wonder; and so also another speaks of Him as a
wonder; and as a wonder another hears of Him; and though hearing, none
understands Him at all.
30. He, the embodied (Self) in every one’s body, can never be killed, O
descendant of Bharata. Wherefore thou oughtst not to grieve about any
31. Having regard to thine own duty also, thou oughtst not to waver.
For, to a Kshatriya, there is nothing more wholesome than a lawful
32. Happy Kshatriya, O son of Pritha, find such a battle as this, come
of itself, an open door to heaven.
33. Now if thou wouldst not fight this lawful battle, then having
abandoned thine own duty and fame, thou shalt incur sin.
34. People, too, will recount thy everlasting infamy; and to one who has
been esteemed, infamy is more than death.
35. The great car-warriors will think thou hast withdrawn from the
battle through fear; and having been hitherto highly esteemed by them,
thou wilt incur their contempt.
36. Thy enemies, too, scorning thy power, will take many abusive words.
What is more painful than that ?
37. Killed, thou wilt reach heaven; victorious, thou wilt enjoy the
earth. Wherefore, O son of Kunti, arise, resolved to fight.
38. Then, treating alike pleasure and pain, gain and loss, success and
defeat, prepare for the battle and thus wilt thou not incur sin.
39. This, which has been taught to thee is wisdom concerning Sankhya.
Now listen to wisdom concerning Yoga, which possessing thou shalt cast
off the bond of action.
40. There is no loss effort here, there is no harm. Even a little of
this devotion delivers one from great fear.
41. Here, O son of Kuru, there is one thought of a resolute nature.
Many-branched and endless are the thoughts of the irresolute.
42-44. No conviction of a resolute nature is formed in the mind of those
who are attached to pleasures and power and whose minds are drawn away
by that flowery speech which the unwise – enamoured of Vedic utterances,
declaring there is nothing else, full of desire, having svarga as their
goal – utter, (a speech) which promises birth as the reward of actions
and which abounds in specific acts for the attainment of pleasure and
power, O son of Pritha.
45. The Vedas treat of the triad of the gunas. Be, O Arjuna, free from
the triad of the gunas, free from pairs, free from acquisition and
preservation, ever remaining in the Sattva and self-possessed.
46. What utility there is in a reservoir by the side of an all-spreading
flood of water, the same (utility) there is in all Vedas for an
47. Thy concern is with action alone, never with results. Let not the
fruit of action be thy motive, nor let thy attachment be for inaction.
48. Steadfast in devotion do thy works, O Dhananjaya, casting off
attachment, being the same in success and failure. Evenness is called
49. Verily action is far inferior to devotion in wisdom (buddhi-yoga), O
Dhananjaya. In wisdom (buddhi) seek thou shelter. Wretched are they
whose motive is the fruit.
50. He who is endued with wisdom casts off here both good deeds and bad
deeds. Wherefore apply thyself to devotion. In regard to actions
devotion is a power.
51. For, men of wisdom cast off the fruit of action; possessed of
knowledge (and) released from the bond of birth, they go to the place
where there is no evil.
52. When thy mind shall cross beyond the mire of delusion, then wilt
thou attain to a disgust of what is yet to be heard and what has been
53. When thy mind, perplexed by what thou hast heard, shall stand firm
and steady in the Self, then wilt thou attain Yoga.
54. What, O Kesava! Is the description of one of steady knowledge, who
is constant in contemplation ? How does one of steady knowledge speak,
how sit, how move ?
THE LORD SAID:
55. The Lord said: When a man, satisfied in the Self alone by himself,
completely casts off all the desires of the mind, then is he said to be
one of steady knowledge.
56. He whose heart is not distressed in calamities, from whom all
longing for pleasures has departed, who is free from attachment, fear
and wrath, he is called a sage, a man of steady knowledge.
57. Whoso, without attachment anywhere, on meeting with anything good or
bad, neither exults nor hates, his knowledge becomes steady.
58. When he completely withdraws the senses from sense-objects, as the
tortoise (withdraws) its limbs from all sides, his knowledge is steady.
59. Objects withdraw from an abstinent man, but not the taste. On seeing
the Supreme, his taste, too, ceases.
60. The dangerous senses, O son of Kunti, forcibly carry away the mind
of a wise man, even while striving (to control them).
61. Restraining them all, a man should remain steadfast, intent on Me.
His knowledge is steady whose senses are under control.
62. When a man thinks of objects, attachment for them arises. From
attachment arises desire; from desire arises wrath.
63. From wrath arises delusion; from delusion, failure of memory; from
failure of memory, loss of conscience; from loss of conscience he is
64. He attains peace, who, self-controlled, approaches objects with the
senses devoid of love and hatred and brought under his own-control.
65. In peace there is an end of all his miseries; for, the reason of the
tranquil-minded soon becomes steady.
66. There is no wisdom to the unsteady, and no meditation to the
unsteady, and to the un-meditative no peace; to the peaceless, how can
there be happiness ?
67. For, the mind which yields to the roving senses carries away his
knowledge, as the wind (carries away) a ship on water.
68. Therefore, O mighty-armed, his knowledge is steady whose senses have
been entirely restrained from sense-objects.
69. What is night to all beings, therein the self controlled one is
awake. Where all beings are awake, that is the night of the sage who
70. He attains peace, into whom all desires enter as waters enter the
ocean, which, filled from all sides, remains unaltered; but not he who
71. That man attains peace, who, abandoning all desires, moves about
without attachment, without selfishness, without vanity.
72. This is the Brahmic state, O son of Pritha. Attaining to this, none
is deluded. Remaining in this state even at the last period of life, one
attains to the felicity of Brahman.
III. KARMA YOGA
1. If it be thought by Thee that knowledge is superior to action, O
Janardana, why then dost Thou, O Kesava, direct me to this terrible
2. With an apparently perplexing speech, Thou confusest as it were my
understanding. Tell me with certainty that one (way) by which I may
THE BLESSED LORD SAID:
3. In this world a twofold path was taught by Me at first, O sinless
one: that of Sankhyas by devotion to knowledge and that of Yogins by
devotion to action.
4. Not by abstaining from action does man win actionlessness, nor by
mere renunciation does he attain perfection.
5. None, verily, even for an instant, ever remains doing no action; for
every one is driven helpless to action by the energies born of Nature.
6. He who, restraining the organs of action, sits thinking in his mind
of the objects of the senses, self-deluded, he is said to be one of
7. But whoso, restraining the senses by mind O Arjuna, engages in
Karma-Yoga, unattached, with organs of action, he is esteemed.
8. Do thou perform (thy) bounden duty; for action is superior to
inaction. And even the maintenance of the body would not be possible for
thee by inaction.
9. Except in the case of action for Sacrifice’s sake, this world is
action-bound. Action for the sake Thereof, do thou, O son of Kunti,
perform, free from attachment.
10. Having first created mankind together with sacrifices, the Prajapati
said, “By this shall ye propagate; let this be to you the cow of plenty.
11. With this do ye nourish the Gods and the Gods shall nourish you;
thus nourishing one another, ye shall attain the supreme good.
12. Nourished by the sacrifice, the Gods shall indeed bestow on you the
enjoyments ye desire.” Whoso enjoys – without offering to Them – Their
gifts, he is verily a thief.
13. The righteous, who eat the remnant of the sacrifice, are freed from
all sins; but sin do the impious eat who cook for their own sakes.
14. From food creatures come forth; the production of food is from rain;
rain comes forth from sacrifice; sacrifice is born of action;
15. Know thou that action comes from Brahman and that Brahman comes from
the Imperishable. Therefore, the all-pervading Brahman ever rests in
16. He who follows not here the wheel thus set in motion, who is of
sinful life, indulging in senses, he lives in vain, O son of Pritha.
17. That man, verily, who rejoices only in the self, who is satisfied
with the Self, who is content in the Self alone – for him there is
nothing to do.
18. For him, there is here no interest whatever in what is done or what
is not done. Nor is there in all beings any one he should resort to for
19. Therefore, without attachment, constantly perform the action which
should be done; for, performing action without attachment, man reaches
20. By action only, indeed, did Janaka and others try to attain
perfection. Even with a view to the protection of the masses thou
shouldst perform (action).
21. Whatsoever a great man does, that alone the other men do; whatever
he sets up as the standard, that the world follows.
22. I have nothing whatsoever to achieve in the three worlds, O son of
Pritha, nor is there anything unattained that should be attained; yet I
engage in action.
23. For, should I not ever engage in action, unwearied, men would in all
matters follow My path, O son of Pritha.
24. These worlds would be ruined if I should not perform action; I
should be the cause of confusion of castes and should destroy these
25. As ignorant men act attached to work, O Bharata, so should the wise
man act, unattached from a wish to protect the masses.
26. Let no wise man cause unsettlement in the minds of the ignorant who
are attached to action; he should make them do all actions, himself
fulfilling them with devotion.
27. Actions are wrought in all cases by the energies of Nature. He whose
mind is deluded by egoism thinks ‘I am the doer’.
28. But he who knows the truth, O mighty-armed, about the divisions of
the energies and (their) functions, is not attached, thinking that the
energies act upon the energies.
29. Those deluded by the energies of Nature are attached to the
functions of the energies. He who knows the All should not unsettle the
unwise who know not the All.
30. Renouncing all action in Me, with thy thought resting on the Self,
being free from hope, free from selfishness, devoid of fever, do thou
31. Men who constantly practise this teaching of Mine with faith and
without cavilling, they too are liberated from actions.
32. But those who, carping at this, My teaching, practise it not – know
them as deluded in all knowledge, as senseless men doomed to
33. Even the man of knowledge acts in conformity with his own nature;
(all) beings follow (their) nature; what shall coercion avail ?
34. Love and hate lie towards the object of each sense; let none become
subject to these two; for, they are his enemies.
35. Better one’s own duty, though devoid of merit, than the duty of
another well discharged. Better is death in one’s own duty; the duty of
another is productive of danger.
36. But by what dragged on, O Varshneya, does a man, though reluctant,
commit sin, as if constrained by force ?
THE BLESSED LORD SAID:
37. It is desire, it is wrath, born of the energy of Rajas,
all-devouring, all sinful; that, know thou, is the foe here.
38. As fire is surrounded by smoke, as a mirror by rust, as the foetus
is enclosed in the womb, so is this covered by it.
39. Covered, O son of Kunti, is wisdom by this constant enemy of the
wise, in the form of desire, which is greedy and insatiable.
40. The senses, mind and reason are said to be its seat; veiling wisdom
through these, it deludes the embodied.
41. Therefore, O lord of the Bharatas, restrain the senses first, do
thou cast off this sinful thing which is destructive of knowledge and
42. They say that the senses are superior; superior to the senses is
mind; superior to mind is reason; one who is even superior to reason is
43. Then knowing Him who is superior to reason, subduing the self by the
self, slay thou, O mighty-armed, the enemy in the form of desire, hard
IV. JNANA YOGA
THE BLESSED LORD SAID:
1. I taught this imperishable Yoga to Vivasvat (Sun); Vivasvat taught it
to Manu; Manu taught to Ikshvaku.
2. This, handed down thus in succession, the King-sages learnt. This
yoga, by long lapse of time, has been lost here, O harasser of foes.
3. That same ancient Yoga has been to-day taught to thee by Me, seeing
that thou art My devotee and friend; for, this is the Supreme Secret.
4. Later is Thy birth and prior the birth of Vivasvat; how am I to
understand that Thou taughtest this Yoga in the beginning?
THE BLESSED LORD SAID:
5. Many births of Mine have passed, as well as of thine, O Arjuna; all
these I know, thou knowest not, O harasser of foes.
6. Though I am unborn, of imperishable nature, and though I am the Lord
of all beings, yet ruling over My own nature, I am born by My own Maya.
7. Whenever there is a decay of religion, O Bharata and an ascendency of
irreligion, then I manifest Myself.
8. For the protection of the good, for the destruction of evil-doers,
for the firm establishment of religion, I am born in every age.
9. Whoso knows thus My divine birth and action in truth is not born
again on leaving this body; he comes to Me, O Arjuna.
10. Free from passion, fear and anger, absorbed in Me, taking refuge in
Me, purified by the fire (tapas) of wisdom, many have reached My being.
11. Howsoever men approach Me, even so do I reward them; My path do men
follow in all things O son of Pritha.
12. They who long after success in actions sacrifice here to the Gods:
for, soon in this world of man accrues success from action.
13. The fourfold caste has been created by me according to the
distribution of energies and actions; though I am the author thereof,
know Me as non-agent and immutable.
14. Actions pollute Me not, nor have I a desire for the fruit of
actions. He who knows Me thus is not bound by actions.
15. Thus knowing, men of old performed action in the hope of liberation:
therefore do thou also perform action as did the ancients in the olden
16. What is action ? What is inaction – As to this, even the wise are
deluded. I shall teach thee such action, by knowing which thou shalt be
liberated from evil.
17. For, thou hast to know something even of action, something to know
of unlawful action, and something to know of inaction; hard to
understand is the nature of action.
18. He who can see inaction in action, who can also see action in
action, he is wise among men, he is devout, he is the performer of all
19. He whose engagements are all devoid of desires and purposes and
whose actions have been burnt by the fire of wisdom, him the wise call a
20. Having abandoned attachment for the fruits of action, ever content,
dependent on none, though engaged in actions, nothing at all does he do.
21. Free from desire, with the mind and the self controlled, having
relinquished all possessions doing mere bodily action, he incurs no sin.
22. Satisfied with what comes to him by chance, rising above the pairs
of opposites, free from envy, equanimous in success and failure, though
acting he is not bound.
23. Of the man whose attachment is gone, who is liberated, whose mind is
established in knowledge, who acts for the sake of sacrifice – his whole
action melts away.
24. Brahman is the offering, Brahman the oblation; by Brahman is the
oblation poured into the fire of Brahman; Brahman verily shall be
reached by him who always sees Brahman in action.
25. Other Yogins resort to sacrifices to Gods; In the fire of Brahman
others offer the self by the self.
26. Others offer hearing and other senses in the fires of restraint;
others offer sound and other objects in the fires of the senses.
27. And others sacrifice all the functions of the senses and the
functions of the vitality in the wisdom-kindled fire of the Yoga of
28. Others are sacrificers by their wealth, sacrificers by austerity,
sacrificers by yogas, sacrificers by reading and knowledge, ascetics of
29. Others offer prana (outgoing breath) in apana (incoming breath) and
apana in prana, restraining the passages of prana and apana, absorbed in
Pranayama (restraint of breath).
30. Others, with regulated food, offer life-breaths in life-breaths. All
these are knowers of sacrifice, whose sins are destroyed by sacrifice.
31. Eating of ambrosia, the remnant of the sacrifice, they go to Eternal
Brahman. This world is not for the non-sacrificer; whence the other? — O
best of Kurus.
32. Thus manifold sacrifices are spread at the mouth of Brahman. Know
them all as born of action. Thus knowing, thou shalt be liberated.
33. Superior is wisdom-sacrifice to the sacrifice with objects, O
harasser of thy foes. All action, without exception, O son of Pritha, is
comprehended in wisdom.
34. Know this: by long prostration, by enquiry, by service, those men of
wisdom who have realised the truth will teach thee wisdom.
35. Knowing which, thou shalt not again thus fall into error, O Pandava;
and by which, thou wilt see all beings in thy Self and also in Me.
36. Even shouldst thou be the most sinful of all the sinful, thou shalt
verily cross all sin by the bark of wisdom.
37. As kindled fire reduces fuel to ashes, O Arjuna, so does wisdom-fire
reduce all actions to ashes.
38. Verily, there exists here no purifier equal to wisdom. He who is
perfected by Yoga finds it in time in himself by himself.
39. He obtains wisdom who is full of faith, who is devoted to it and who
has subdued the senses. Having obtained wisdom, he before long attains
to the Supreme Peace.
40. The ignorant, the faithless and one of doubting self, is ruined.
There is neither this world, nor the other, nor happiness, for one of
41. Him who has renounced actions by Yoga, whose doubts have been cloven
asunder by wisdom, who is self-possessed, actions bind not, O Dhananjaya.
42. Therefore with the sword of wisdom cleave asunder this doubt of the
Self lying in the heart and born of ignorance and resort to Yoga. Arise,
V. SAMNYASA YOGA
1. Renunciation of actions, O Krishna, Thou praisest and again Yoga.
Tell me conclusively that which is the better of the two.
THE BLESSED LORD SAID:
2. Renunciation and yoga through action both lead to the highest bliss:
but, of the two, Yoga through action is esteemed more than renunciation
3. He should be known as a perpetual renouncer who neither hates nor
desires: for, free from the pairs of opposites, O mighty-armed, he is
easily set free from bondage.
4. Children, not the wise, speak of Sankhya and Yoga as distinct. He who
is rightly devoted to even one obtains the fruits of both.
5. That state which is reached by Sankhyas is reached by Yogins also. He
sees, who sees Sankhya and Yoga as one.
6. But renunciation, O mighty-armed, is hard to attain except by Yoga; a
sage equipped with Yoga before long reaches Brahman.
7. He who is equipped with Yoga, whose mind is quite pure, by whom the
self has been conquered, whose senses have been subdued, whose Self has
become the Self of all beings – though doing, he is not tainted.
8-9. ‘I do nothing at all’ - thus would the truth-knower think,
steadfast – though seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, going,
sleeping, breathing, speaking, letting go, seizing, opening and closing
the eyes – remembering that the senses move among sense-objects.
10. He who does actions, offering them to Brahman, abandoning
attachment, is not tainted by sin, as a lotus leaf by water.
11. By the body, by the mind, by the intellect, by mere senses also,
Yogins perform action, without attachment, for the purification of the
12. The steady-minded one, abandoning the fruit of action, attains the
peace born of devotion. The unsteady one, attached to the fruit through
the action of desire, is firmly bound.
13. Renouncing all actions by thought and Self-controlled, the embodied
one rests happily in the nine-gated city, neither at all acting nor
causing to act.
14. Neither agency nor objects does the Lord create for the world, nor
union with the fruits of actions. But it is the nature that acts.
15. The Lord takes neither the evil nor even the good deed of any;
wisdom is enveloped by un-wisdom; thereby mortals are deluded.
16. But to those whose un-wisdom is destroyed by wisdom of the Self,
like the sun wisdom illuminates that Supreme.
17. With their consciousness in That, their Self being That, intent on
That, with That for their supreme goal, they go never again to return,
their sins shaken off by means of wisdom.
18. In a Brahmana endued with wisdom and humility, in a cow, in an
elephant, as also in a dog and in a dog-eater, the wise see the same.
19. Even here birth is overcome by them whose mind rests on equality.
Spotless, indeed and equal is Brahman; wherefore in Brahman they rest.
20. He who knows Brahman can neither rejoice on obtaining the pleasant,
nor grieve on obtaining the unpleasant – steady-minded, un-deluded,
resting in Brahman.
21. With the self unattached to external contacts, he finds the joy
which is in the Self; with the Self engaged in the contemplation of
Brahman he attains the endless joy.
22. For, those delights which are born of contacts are only generators
of pain, having a beginning and an end, O son of Kunti; a wise man
rejoices not in them.
23. He that is able, while still here, to with-stand, before liberation
from the body, the impulse of desire and anger, he is a Yogin, he is a
24. Whoso has his joy within and his pastime within and whoso has his
light within only, that Yogin attains Brahman’s bliss, himself becoming
25. The sages attain Brahman’s bliss – they whose sins have been
destroyed and doubts removed, who are self-controlled and intent on the
welfare of all beings.
26. To the devotees who are free from desire and anger, who have
controlled their thought and who have known the self, Brahman’s bliss
27-28. Shutting out all external contracts and fixing the sight between
the eye-brows, equalising the out-going and the in-going breaths which
pass through the nostrils, controlling the senses, mind and intellect,
having moksha as his highest goal, free from desire, fear and anger –
the sage who ever (remains thus) is verily liberated.
29. On knowing Me – the Lord of all sacrifices and austerities, the
Great Lord of all Worlds, the Friend of all beings – he goes to Peace.
VI. DHYANA YOGA (Atma-samyama Yoga)
THE BLESSED LORD SAID:
1. He who, without depending on the fruits of action, performs his
bounden duty, he is a Samnyasin and a Yogin: not he who is without fire
and without action.
2. Do thou, O Pandava, know Yoga to be that which they call
renunciation; no one, verily, becomes a Yogin who has not renounced
3. For a devotee who wishes to attain to Yoga, action is said to be the
means. For the same (devotee), when he has attained to Yoga, quiescence
(Sama) is said to be the means.
4. When a man, renouncing all thoughts, is not attached to sense-objects
and actions, then he is said to have attained to Yoga.
5. Let a man raise himself by himself, let him not lower himself; for he
alone is the friend of himself, he alone is the enemy of himself.
6. To him who has conquered himself by himself, his own self is the
friend of himself, but to him who has not (conquered) himself, his own
self stands in the place of an enemy like the (external) foe.
7. The self-controlled and serene man’s Supreme Self is steadfast in
cold and heat, in pleasure and pain, as also in honour and disgrace.
8. The Yogin whose self is satisfied with knowledge and wisdom, who
remains unshaken, who has conquered the senses, he is said to be a saint
– for whom a lump of earth, a stone and gold are equal.
9. He is esteemed, who is of the same mind to the good-hearted, friends,
foes, the indifferent, the neutral, the hateful, relatives, the
righteous and the un-righteous.
10. Let the Yogin try constantly to keep the mind steady, remaining in
seclusion, alone, with the mind and body controlled, free from desire
and having no possessions.
11. Having in a cleanly spot established a firm seat, neither too high
nor too low, with cloth, skin and Kusa grass thereon.
12. Making the mind one-pointed, with the actions of the mind and the
senses controlled, let him, seated there on the seat, practise Yoga for
the purification of the self.
13. Holding erect and still the body, the head and the neck, firm,
gazing on the tip of his nose, without looking around;
14. Serene-minded, fearless, firm in the vow of godly life, having
restrained the mind, thinking on Me and balanced let him sit, looking up
to Me as the Supreme.
15. Thus always keeping the mind balanced, the Yogin, with the mind
controlled, attains to the Peace abiding in Me, which culminates in
16. Yoga is not possible for him who eats too much, nor for him who does
not eat at all, nor for him who is addicted to too much sleep, nor for
him who is (ever) wakeful, O Arjuna.
17. To him whose food and recreation are moderate, whose exertion in
actions is moderate, whose sleep and waking are moderate, to him accrues
Yoga which is destructive of pain.
18. When the well-restrained thought is established in the Self only,
without longing for any of the objects of desire, then he is said to be
19. ‘As a lamp in a sheltered spot does not flicker’ – this has been
thought as the simile of a Yogin of subdued thought, practising Yoga in
20. When thought is quiescent, restrained by the practice of Yoga; when,
seeing the Self by the self, he is satisfied in his own Self;
21. When he knows that Infinite Joy which, transcending the senses, can
be grasped by reason; when, steady (in the Self), he moves never from
22. When, having obtained it, he thinks no other acquisition superior to
it; when, therein established, he is not moved even by a great pain;
23. This severance from union with pain, be it known, is called union
(Yoga). That Yoga must be practised with determination and with
24. Abandoning without reserve all fancy-born desire, well-restraining
all the senses from all quarters by the mind;
25. Little by little let him withdraw, by reason (buddhi) held in
firmness; keeping the mind established in the Self, let him not think of
26. By whatever cause the wavering and unsteady mind wanders away, from
that let him restrain it and bring it back direct under the control of
27. Supreme Bliss verily comes to this Yogin, whose mind is quite
tranquil, whose passion is quieted, who has become Brahman, who is
28. Thus always keeping the self steadfast, the Yogin, freed from sins,
attains with ease to the infinite bliss of contact with the (Supreme)
29. The Self abiding in all beings and all beings (abiding) in the Self,
sees he whose self has been made steadfast by Yoga, who everywhere sees
30. He who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, to him I vanish
not, nor to me does he vanish.
31. Whoso, intent on unity, worships Me who abide in all beings, that
Yogin dwells in Me, whatever his mode of life.
32. Whoso, by comparison with himself, sees the same everywhere, O
Arjuna, be it pleasure or pain, he is deemed the highest Yogin.
33. This Yoga in equanimity, taught by Thee, O Destroyer of Madhu – I
see not its steady continuance, because of the restlessness (of the
34. The mind verily, is, O Krishna, restless, turbulent, strong and
obstinate. Thereof the restraint I deem quite as difficult as that of
THE BLESSED LORD SAID:
35. Doubtless, O mighty-armed, the mind is hard to restrain and
restless; but by practice, O son of Kunti and by indifference it may be
36. Yoga, me thinks is hard to attain for a man of uncontrolled self;
but by him who (often) strives, self-controlled, it can be acquired by
37. He who strives not, but who is possessed of faith, whose mind
wanders away from Yoga – having failed to attain perfection in Yoga,
what end, O Krishna, does he meet ?
38. Having failed in both, does he not perish like a riven cloud,
supportless, O mighty-armed and perplexed in the path to Brahman ?
39. This doubt of mine, O Krishna, do Thou dispel completely; for none
other than Thyself can possibly destroy this doubt.
THE BLESSED LORD SAID:
40. O Partha, neither in this world nor in the next is there destruction
for him; none, verily, who does good, My son, ever comes to grief.
41. Having attained to the worlds of the righteous and having dwelt
there for eternal years, he who failed in Yoga is reborn in a house of
the pure and wealthy.
42. Else, he is born in family of wise Yogins only. This, verily, a
birth like this, is very hard to obtain in this world.
43. There he gains touch with the knowledge that was acquired in the
former body and strives more than before for perfection, O son of the
44. By that very former practice is he borne on, though unwilling. Even
he who merely wishes to know of Yoga rises superior to the Word-Brahman.
45. Verily, a Yogin who strives with assiduity, purified from sins and
perfected in the course of many births, then reaches the Supreme Goal.
46. A Yogin is deemed superior to men of austerity and superior to even
men of knowledge; he is also superior to men of action; therefore be
thou a Yogin, O Arjuna.
47. Of all Yogins, whoso, full of faith, worships Me with his inner self
abiding in Me, he is deemed by Me as most devout.
VII. VIJNANA YOGA
THE BLESSED LORD SAID:
1. With the mind intent on me, O Partha, practising Yoga and finding
refuge in Me, how in full without doubt thou shalt know Me, that do thou
2. I shall fully teach thee this knowledge combined with experience,
which being known, nothing more besides here remains to be known.
3. Among thousands of men, one perchance strives for perfection; even
among those who strive and are perfect, only one perchance knows me in
4. Earth, water, fire, air, ether, thought (Manas) and reason (Buddhi),
egoism (Ahamkara) – thus is My Prakriti divided eight-fold.
5. This is the inferior (Prakriti); but distinct from this know thou My
superior Prakriti, the very life, O mighty-armed, by which this universe
6. Know that all beings have their birth in these. So, I am the source
and dissolution of the whole universe.
7. There is naught else higher than I, O Dhananjaya; in Me all this is
woven as clusters of gems on a string.
8. I am the sapidity in water, O son of Kunti. I am the light in the
moon and the sun. I am the syllable Om in all the Vedas, sound in ether,
humanity in men.
9. And I am the agreeable odour in the earth and the brilliance in the
fire, the vitality in all beings and I am the austerity in ascetics.
10. Know Me, O Partha, as the eternal seed of all beings; I am the
intelligence of the intelligent , the bravery of the brave.
11. And of the energetic am I the energy devoid of passion and
attachment; and in (all) beings I am the desire unopposed to Dharma, O
lord of the Bharatas.
12. And whatever beings are of Sattva or of Rajas or of Tamas, know them
to proceed from Me; still, I am not in them, they are in me.
13. Deluded by these three (sorts of) things composed of gunas, all this
world knows not Me as distinct from them and immutable.
14. Verily this Divine Illusion of Mine, made up of gunas, is hard to
surmount. Whoever seek Me alone, they cross over this Illusion.
15. Not Me do the evil-doers seek, the deluded, the vilest of men,
deprived of wisdom by Illusion, following the ways of the Demons.
16. Four kinds of virtuous men worship Me, O Arjuna – the distressed,
the seeker of knowledge, the seeker of wealth and the wise man, O lord
of the Bharatas.
17. Of them the wise man, ever steadfast and devoted to the One, excels;
for, excessively dear am I to the wise and he is dear to Me.
18. Noble indeed are all these; but the wise man, I deem, is the very
Self; for, steadfast in mind, he resorts to Me alone as the unsurpassed
19. At the end of many births, the man of wisdom comes to me, (realising)
that Vasudeva is the all: he is the noble-souled (Mahatman), very hard
20. Those whose wisdom has been led away by this or that desire resort
to other Gods, engaged in this or that rite, constrained by their own
21. Whatever devotee seeks to worship with faith what form so ever, that
same faith of his I make unflinching.
22. Possessed of that faith he engages in the worship of that (form);
thence he obtains his desires, these being indeed ordained by me.
23. That result indeed is finite, (which accrues) to those men of small
intellect. Worshippers of Gods (Devatas) go to Gods (Devatas); My
devotees come unto Me.
24. The foolish regard me as the unmanifested coming in manifestation,
knowing not My higher, immutable, unsurpassed nature.
25. I am not manifest to all, veiled (as I am) by Yoga-Maya. This
deluded world knows not Me, unborn and imperishable.
26. I know, O Arjuna, the past and the present and the future beings,
but Me nobody knows.
27. From the delusion of pairs caused by desires and aversion, O Bharata,
all beings are subject to illusion at birth, O harasser of thy foes.
28. Those mortals of pure deeds whose sin has come to an end, who are
freed from the delusion of pairs, they worship Me with a firm resolve.
29. Whoever resorting to Me strive for liberation from decay and death,
they realise in full that Brahman, the individual Self and all action.
30. Those who realise Me in the Adhibhuta (physical region), in the
Adhidaiva (the divine region) and in the Adhiyajna (region of
Sacrifice), realise Me even at the time of departure, steadfast in mind.
VIII. ABHYASA YOGA
1-2. What is that Brahman ? What about the Individual Self (Adhyatma) ?
What is action (Karma), O Purushottama ? And what is declared to be the
physical region (Adhibhuta) ? And what is the divine region (Adhidaiva)
said to be ? And how and who is Adhiyajna (the Entity concerned with
Sacrifice) here in this body, O Madhusudana, and how at the time of
death art Thou to be known by the self-controlled ?
THE BLESSED LORD SAID:
3. Brahman is the Imperishable (Akshara), the Supreme. The Ego is said
to be the Individual Self (Adhyatma, He who dwells in the body). The
offering which causes the origin of physical beings is called action
4. The physical region (Adhibhuta) is the perishable existence and
Purusha or the Soul is the divine region (Adhidaivata). The Adhiyajna
(Entity concerned with Sacrifice) is Myself, here in the body, O best of
5. And whoso, at the time of death, thinking of Me alone, leaves the
body and goes forth, he reaches My being; there is no doubt in this.
6. Of whatever Being thinking at the end a man leaves the body, Him
alone, O son of Kunti, reaches he by whom the thought of that Being has
been constantly dwelt upon.
7. Therefore at all times do thou meditate on Me and fight; with mind
and reason fixed on Me thou shalt doubtless come to Me alone.
8. Meditating with the mind engaged in the Yoga of constant practice,
not passing over to any thing else, one goes to the Supreme Purusha, the
Resplendent, O son of Pritha.
9-10. Whose meditates on the Sage, the Ancient, the Ruler, smaller than
an atom, the Dispenser of all, of unthinkable nature, glorious like the
Sun, beyond the darkness, (whoso meditates on such a Being) at the time
of death, with a steady mind endued with devotion and strength of Yoga,
well fixing the life-breath betwixt the eye-brows, he reaches that
Supreme Purusha Resplendent.
11. That Imperishable Goal which the knowers of the Veda declare, which
the self-controlled and the passion-free enter, which desiring they lead
the godly life – That Goal will I declare to thee with brevity.
12-13. Having closed all the gates, having confined mind in the heart,
having fixed his life-breath in the head, engaged in firm Yoga, uttering
Brahman, the one-syllabled ‘Om’, thinking of Me, whoso departs, leaving
the body, he reaches the Supreme Goal.
14. Whoso constantly thinks of me and long, to him I am easily
accessible, O son of Pritha, to the ever-devout Yogin.
15. Having attained to Me, they do not again attain birth, which is the
seat of pain and is not eternal, they having reached highest perfection.
16. (All) worlds including the world of Brahma are subject to returning
again, O Arjuna; but, on reaching Me, O son of Kunti, there is no
17. They – those people who know day and night – know that the day of
Brahma is a thousand yugas long and the night is a thousand yugas long.
18. From the Unmanifested all the manifestations proceed at the coming
on of day; at the coming on of night they dissolve there only, in what
is called the Unmanifested.
19. This same multitude of beings having come into being again and
again, is dissolved at the coming on of night, not of their will, O son
of Pritha and comes forth at the coming on of day.
20. But that other eternal Unmanifested Being, distinct from this
Unmanifested (Avyakta) – He does not perish when all creatures perish.
21. What is called the Unmanifested and the Imperishable, That, they
say, is the highest goal; which having reached none return. That is My
22. Now, that Highest Purusha, O son of Pritha, within Whom all beings
dwell, by Whom all this is pervaded, is attainable by exclusive
23. Now, in what time departing, Yogins go to return not, as also to
return, that time will I tell thee, O chief of the Bharatas.
24. Fire, light, day-time, the bright fortnight, the six months of the
northern solstice – then departing, men who know Brahman reach Brahman.
25. Smoke, night-time and the dark fortnight, the six months of the
southern solstice – attaining by these to the lunar light, the Yogin
26. These bright and dark Paths of the world are verily deemed eternal;
by the one a man goes to return not, by the other he returns again.
27. Knowing these paths, O son of Pritha, no Yogin is deluded; wherefore
at all times be steadfast in Yoga, O Arjuna.
28. Whatever fruit of merit is declared to accrue from the Vedas,
sacrifices, austerities and gifts – beyond all this goes the Yogin on
knowing this; and he attains to the Supreme Primeval Abode.
IX. SOVEREIGN WISDOM AND SECRET (Raja-vidya Raja-guhya Yoga)
THE BLESSED LORD SAID:
1. To thee who dost not cavil, I shall now declare this, the greatest
secret, knowledge combined with experience, which having known thou
shalt be liberated from evil.
2. The Sovereign Science, the Sovereign Secret, the Supreme Purifier is
this; immediately comprehensible, unopposed to Dharma, very easy to
3. Persons having no faith in this Dharma, O harasser of thy foes,
without reaching Me, remain verily in the path of the mortal world.
4. By Me all this world is pervaded, My form unmanifested. All beings
dwell in Me; and I do not dwell in them.
5. Nor do those beings dwell in Me; behold My Divine Yoga! Sustaining
all the beings, but not dwelling in them, is My Self, the cause of
6. As the mighty wind moving everywhere rests ever in the Akasa, so,
know thou, do all beings, rest in Me.
7. All beings, O son of Kunti, go into My Prakriti at the end of a kalpa.
I send them forth again at the beginning of (the next) kalpa.
8. Resorting to My Prakriti, I again and again send forth the whole
multitude of beings, powerless under the control of the Prakriti.
9. Nor do these acts, O Dhananjaya, bind Me, remaining like one
unconcerned, unattached to those acts.
10. By Me presiding, Prakriti produces the moving and the unmoving;
because of this, O son of Kunti, the world revolves.
11. Fools disregard Me clad in human form, not knowing My higher being
as the Great Lord of beings.
12. Of vain hopes, of vain actions, of vain knowledge, devoid of
discrimination, partaking only of the delusive nature of Rakshasas and
13. The Mahatmas, O son of Pritha, partaking of the nature of the Devas,
worship Me with mind turned to no other, knowing (Me) as the
imperishable source of all beings.
14. Always talking of me, strenuous, firm in vows and reverent, they
worship Me with love, always devout.
15. Worshipping by the wisdom-sacrifice, others adore Me, the All-faced,
in various ways, as One, as different.
16. I am kratu, I am yajna, I am svadha, I am aushadha, I am mantra,
Myself the butter, I am fire, I the act of offering.
17. I am the father of this world, the mother, the dispenser and
grandshire; I am the knowable, the purifier, the syllable ‘Om’ and also
the Rik, the Saman and the Yajus also.
18. I am the Goal, the Sustainer, the Lord, the Witness, the Abode, the
Shelter and the Friend, the Origin, Dissolution and Stay, the
Treasure-house, the Seed imperishable.
19. I give heat, I hold back and send forth rain, I am the immortality
as well as death, existence and non-existence, O Arjuna.
20. Men of the three Vedas, the soma-drinkers, purified from sin,
worshipping Me by sacrifices, pray for the goal of heaven; they reach
the holy world of the Lord of the Gods and enjoy in heaven the heavenly
pleasures of the Gods.
21. They, having enjoyed that spacious world of Svarga, their merit (punya)
exhausted, enter the world of the mortals; thus following the Dharma of
the Triad, desiring (objects of) desires, they attain to the state of
going and returning.
22. Those men who, meditating on Me as non-separate, worship Me all
around – to them who are ever devout, I secure gain and safety.
23. Even those who, devoted to other Gods, worship Them with faith,
worship Myself, O son of Kunti, in ignorance.
24. I am indeed the Enjoyer, as also the Lord, of all sacrifices; but
they do not know Me in truth; whence they fail.
25. Votaries of the Gods go to the Gods; to the Pitris go the votaries
of the Pitris; to the Bhutas go the worshippers of the Bhutas; My
worshippers come to Myself.
26. When one offers to Me with devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit, water
– that I eat, offered with devotion by the pure-minded.
27. Whatever thou doest, whatever thou eatest, whatever thou sacrificest,
whatever thou givest, in whatever austerity thou engagest, do it as an
offering to Me.
28. Thus shalt thou be liberated from the bonds of actions which are
productive of good and evil results; equipped in mind with the Yoga of
renunciation and liberated, thou shalt come to Me.
29. The same I am to all beings; to Me there is none hateful or dear;
but whoso worship Me with devotion, they are in Me and I am also in
30. If one of even very evil life worships Me, resorting to none else,
he must indeed be deemed righteous, for he is rightly resolved.
31. Soon he becomes righteous and attains eternal peace; do thou, O son
of Kunti, proclaim that my devotee never perishes.
32. For, finding refuge in Me, they also who, O son of Pritha, may be of
a sinful birth – women, vaisyas as well as sudras – even they attain to
the Supreme Goal.
33. How mush more then the holy Brahmanas and devoted royal saints!
Having reached this transient joyless world, do thou worship Me.
34. Fix thy mind on Me, be devoted to Me, sacrifice to Me, bow down to
Me. Thus steadied, with Me as thy Supreme Goal, thou shalt reach Myself,
X. DIVINE MANIFESTATIONS (Vibhuti Yoga)
THE BLESSED LORD SAID:
1. Again, O mighty-armed, listen to My Supreme word, which I, from a
desire for thy well-being, shall speak to thee who art delighted.
2. Neither the hosts of the Gods nor the Great Rishis know my origin;
for I am the source of all the Gods and the Great Rishis.
3. He who knows Me as unborn and beginningless, as the great Lord of the
worlds, he among mortals is un-deluded, he is liberated from all sins.
4-5. Intelligence, wisdom, non-illusion, patience, truth,
self-restraint, calmness, pleasure, pain, birth, death, fear and
security; innocence, equanimity, contentment, austerity, beneficence,
fame, shame, (these) different kinds dispositions of beings arise from
6. The seven Great Rishis as well as the four ancient Manus, with their
being in Me, were born of mind; and theirs are these creatures in the
7. He who knows in truth this glory and power of Mine is endowed with
unshaken Yoga; there is no doubt of it.
8. I am the source of all; from Me everything evolves; thus thinking the
wise worship Me, endowed with contemplation.
9. With their thought on me, with their life absorbed in Me, instructing
each other and ever speaking of Me, they are content and delighted.
10. To these, ever devout, worshipping Me with love, I give that
devotion of knowledge by which they come to me.
11. Out of mere compassion for them, I abiding in their self, destroy
the darkness born of ignorance, by the luminous lamp of wisdom.
12-13. The Supreme Brahman, the Supreme Light, the Supreme Purifier art
Thou. All the Rishis declare Thee as Eternal, Divine Purusha, the Primal
God, Unborn, Omnipresent; so said the divine sage Narada, as also Asita,
Devala and Vyasa; and Thou Thyself also sayest (so) to me.
14. I believe to be true all this which Thou sayest to me; for neither
the Gods nor the Danavas, O Lord, know Thy manifestation.
15. Thou Thyself knowest Thyself as the Self, O Purusha Supreme, O
Source of beings, O Lord of beings, O God of Gods, O Ruler of the world.
16. Thou shouldst indeed tell, without reserve, of Thy divine Glories,
by which Glories Thou remainest pervading all these worlds.
17. How shall I, ever meditating, know Thee, O Yogin; in what several
things, O Lord, art Thou to be thought of by Me ?
18. Tell me again in detail, O Janardana, of Thy power and Glory, for
there is no satiety for me in hearing the immortal.
THE BLESSED LORD SAID:
19. Now will I tell thee of My heavenly Glories, in their prominence, O
best of the Kurus; there is no limit to My extent.
20. I am the Self, O Gudakesa, seated in the heart of all beings; I am
the beginning and the middle, as also the end, of all beings.
21. Of the Adityas I am Vishnu; of the radiances, the resplendent Sun; I
am Marichi of the Maruts; of the asterisms, the Moon.
22. Of the Vedas I am the Sama-Veda, I am Vasava of the Gods and of the
senses I am the mind, I am the intelligence in living beings.
23. And of the Rudras I am Sankara, of the Yakshas and Rakshasas the
Lord of wealth and of the Vasus I am Agni, of the mountains I am the
24. And of the household priests of Kings, O son of Pritha, know Me the
chief one, Brihaspati; of generals I am Skanda, of lakes I am the Ocean.
25. Of the Great Rishis I am Bhrigu; of words I am the one syllable
‘Om’; of offerings I am the offering of Japa (silent repetition), of
unmoving things the Himalaya.
26. Of all trees (I am) the Asvattha and Narada of divine Rishis,
Chitraratha of Gandharvas, the sage Kapila of the saints (Siddhas).
27. Know Me among horses as Uchchaisravas, born of Amrita, of lordly
elephants the Airavata and of men the king.
28. Of weapons I am the thunderbolt, of cows I am the Kamadhuk, I am the
progenitor Kandarpa, of serpents I am Vasuki.
29. And Ananta of snakes I am, I am Varuna of water-being and Aryaman of
Pitris I am, I am Yama of controllers.
30. And Prahlada am I of Diti’s progeny, of reckoners I am Time and of
beasts I am the lord of beasts and Vainateya of birds.
31. Of purifiers I am the wind, Rama of warriors am I, of fishes I am
the shark, of streams I am the Ganges.
32. Of creations I am the beginning and the middle and also the end; of
all knowledges I am the knowledge of the Self and Vada of disputants.
33. Of letters the letter ‘A’ am I and dvandva of all compounds; I am,
verily, the inexhaustible Time; I am the All-faced Dispenser.
34. And I am all-seizing Death and the prosperity of those who are to be
prosperous; of the feminine (I am) Fame, Fortune and Speech, Memory,
Intelligence, Constancy, Endurance.
35. Of Samans also I am the Brihat-Saman of metres Gayatri am I, of
months I am Margasirsha, of seasons the flowery season.
36. I am the gambling of the fraudulent, I am the splendour of the
splendid, I am victory, I am effort, I am the goodness of the good.
37. Of the Vrishnis I am Vasudeva, of the Pandavas I am Dhananjaya and
of the saints I am Vyasa, of the sages I am Usanas the sage.
38. Of punishers I am the scepter, of those who seek to conquer I am the
polity and of things secret I am also silence, the knowledge of knowers
39. And what is the seed of all being, that also am I, O Arjuna. There
is no being, whether moving or unmoving, that can exist without me.
40. There is no end of My heavenly Glories, O harasser of thy foes; but
the details of My Glory have been declared only by way of instance.
41. Whatever being is glorious, prosperous, or strong, that know thou to
be a manifestation of a part of My Splendour.
42. But, of what avail to thee is this vast things being known, O Arjuna
? I stand sustaining this whole world by one part (of Myself).
XI. THE UNIVERSAL FORM (Visvarupa-sandarsana Yoga)
1. By that speech which has been delivered by Thee for my benefit – that
highest secret which is called Adhyatma – this, my delusion, is gone.
2. The origin and the dissolution of beings, verily, have been heard by
me in detail from thee, O Lotus-eyed, as also Thy inexhaustible
3. So it is, as Thou, Supreme Lord, hast declared Thyself to be. (Still)
I desire to see Thy form as Isvara, O Purusha Supreme.
4. If Thou, O Lord, thinkest it possible for me to see it, do Thou,
then, O Lord of Yogins, show me Thy Eternal Self.
THE BLESSED LORD SAID:
5. See, O son of Pritha, My heavenly forms, by hundreds and thousands,
of different sorts and of various colours and shapes.
6. Behold the Adityas, the Vasus, the Rudras, the Asvins and also the
Maruts; behold many marvels never seen before, O Bharata.
7. Now behold here in My body, Gudakesa, the whole world established in
one – including the moving and the unmoving – and whatever else thou
desirest to see.
8. Thou art not indeed able to see Me with this thy eye alone; I give
thee a divine eye; behold My lordly Yoga.
9. Having thus spoken, O King, then, hari, the great Lord of Yogins,
showed to the son of Pritha the Supreme Form as Isvara.
10. Containing many mouths and eyes, possessed of many wondrous sights,
of many heavenly ornaments, of many heavenly weapons held up. Such a
form He showed.
11. Wearing heavenly garlands and vestures, anointed with heavenly
unguents, all-wonderful, resplendent, boundless, with faces on all
12. If the splendour of a thousand suns were ever to present itself at
once in the sky, that would be like the splendour of that Mighty Being.
13. There, in the body of the God of Gods, the son of Pandu then beheld
the whole world established in one and separated into many groups.
14. Then he, Dhananjaya, filled with amazement, with his hair standing
on end; bowed down with his head and with joined palms, thus addressed
15. I see all the gods, O God, in thy body, as also hosts of various
classes of beings; Brahma, the Lord, seated on the lotus-seat and all
Rishis and heavenly serpents.
16. I see Thee of boundless form on every side with multitudinous arms,
stomachs, mouths and eyes; neither Thy end nor the middle nor the
beginning do I see, O Lord of the Universe, O Universal Form.
17. I see Thee with diadem, club and discus; a mass of splendour shining
everywhere, very hard to look at, all around blazing like burning fire
and sun and immeasurable.
18. Thou art the Imperishable, the Supreme Being worthy to be known.
Thou art the great Abode of this Universe; Thou art the undying Guardian
of the Eternal Dharma, Thou art the ancient Purusha, I deem.
19. I see Thee without beginning, middle or end, infinite power, of
manifold arms; the sun and the moon being Thy eyes, the burning fire Thy
face; heating the whole Universe with Thy radiance.
20. This space betwixt heaven and earth and all the quarters are filled
by Thee alone. Having seen This, Thy marvellous and awful form, the
three worlds are trembling, O High-souled Being.
21. Into Thee, indeed, enter these hosts of Suras; some extol Thee in
fear with joined palms; “May it be well!” thus saying, bands of great
Rishis and Siddhas praise Thee with hymns complete.
22. The Rudras, Adityas, Vasus and Sadhyas, Visvas and Asvins, Maruts
and Ushmapas, hosts of Gandharvas, Yakshas, Asuras and Siddhas – they
are all looking at Thee, all quite astonished.
23. Having seen Thy immeasurable Form, possessed, O Mighty-armed, of
many mouths and eyes, of many arms and thighs and feet, and of many
stomachs and fearful with many tusks, the worlds are terrified and I
24. On seeing Thee (Thy Form) touching the sky, blazing in many colours,
with mouths wide open, with large fiery eyes, I am terrified at heart
and find no courage nor peace, O Vishnu.
25. Having seen Thy mouths which are fearful with tusks and resemble
Time’s Fires, I know not the four quarters, nor do I find peace; do Thou
gracious, O Lord of Gods and Abode of the Universe!
26-27. And all the sons of Dhritarashtra, with hosts of princess, Bhisma,
Drona and that son (Karna) of a charioteer, with the warrior chiefs of
ours, enter hurrying into Thy mouth, terrible with tusks and fearful to
behold. Some are found sticking in the gaps betwixt the teeth with their
heads crushed to powder.
28. As many torrents of rivers flow direct towards the sea, so do these
heroes in the world of men enter Thy flaming mouths.
29. As moths hurriedly rush into a blazing fire for destruction, just so
do these creatures also hurriedly rush into Thy mouths for destruction.
30. Thou lickest up devouring all worlds on every side with Thy flaming
mouths, filling the whole world with flames. Thy fierce rays are blazing
forth, O Vishnu.
31. Tell me who thou art, so fierce in form. I bow to Thee, O God
Supreme; have mercy. O desire to know Thee, the original Being. I know
not indeed Thy doing.
THE BLESSED LORD SAID:
32. I am the mighty world-destroying Time, now engaged in destroying the
worlds. Even without thee, none of the warriors arrayed in hostile
armies shalt live.
33. Therefore do thou arise and obtain fame. Conquer the enemies and
enjoy the unrivalled dominion. By Myself have they been already slain;
be thou a mere instrument, O Savyasachin.
34. Drona and Bhisma, Jayadratha, Karna and other brave warriors –
these, killed by Me, do thou kill; fear not, fight, thou shalt conquer
35. Having heard that speech of Kesava, the crowned one (Arjuna), with
joined palms, trembling, prostrating himself, again addressed Krishna,
stammering, bowing down, overwhelmed with fear.
36. It is meet, O Hrishikesa, that the world is delighted and rejoices
by Thy praise; Rakshasas fly in fear to all quarters and all hosts of
Siddhas bow to Thee.
37. And how should they not, O Mighty Being, bow to Thee, Greater (than
all else), the Primal Cause even of Brahma, O Infinite Being, O Lord of
Gods, O Abode of the Universe; Thou art the Imperishable, the Being and
the non-Being, That which is the Supreme.
38. Thou art the Primal God, the Ancient Purusha; Thou art the Supreme
Abode of all this, Thou art the Knower and the Knowable and the Supreme
Abode. By Thee is all pervaded, O Being of infinite forms.
39. Thou art Vayu, Yama, Agni, Varuna, the Moon, Prajapati and the Great
Grand-Father. Hail! Hail to Thee! a thousand times and again and again
hail! Hail to Thee!
40. Hail to thee before and behind! Hail to Thee on every side! O All!
Thou, infinite in power and infinite in daring, pervadest all, wherefore
Thou art All.
41-42. Whatever was rashly said by me from carelessness or love,
addressing Thee as “O Krishna, O Yadava, O friend”, looking on Thee
merely as a friend, ignorant of this Thy greatness – in whatever way I
may have insulted Thee for fun while at play, on bed, in an assembly, or
at meals, when alone, O Achyuta, or in company – that I implore Thee,
Immeasureable, to forgive.
43. Thou art the Father of this world, moving and unmoving. Thou art to
be adored by this (world), Thou the Greatest Guru; (for) Thy equal
exists not; whence another, superior to Thee, in the three worlds, O
Being of un-equaled greatness ?
44. Therefore, bowing down, prostrating my body, I implore Thee,
adorable Lord, to forgive. It is meet Thou shouldst bear with me as the
father with the son, as friend with friend, as the lover with the
45. I am delighted, having seen what was unseen before; and (yet) my
mind is confounded with fear. Show me that form only, O God; have mercy,
O God of Gods, O Abode of the Universe.
46. I wish to see Thee as before, crowned, possessed of the club, with
the discuss in the hand, in Thy former form only, having four arms, O
Thousand-armed, O Universal Form.
THE BLESSED LORD SAID:
47. By Me, gracious to thee, O Arjuna, this Supreme Form has been shown
– by my sovereign power – full of splendour, the all, the Boundless, the
Original Form of Mine, never before seen by any other than thyself.
48. Not by study of the Vedas and of the sacrifices, nor by gifts, nor
by rituals, nor by severe austerities, can I be seen in this Form in the
world of man by any other than thyself, O hero of the Kurus.
49. Be not afraid nor bewildered on seeing such a terrible form of Mine
as this; free from fear and cheerful at heart, do thou again see this My
50. Having thus spoken to Arjuna, Vasudeva again showed His own form;
and the Mighty Being, becoming gentle in form, consoled him who was
51. Having seen Thy gentle human form, O Janardana, now I have grown
serene and returned to my nature.
THE BLESSED LORD SAID:
52. Very hard to see is this Form of Mine which thou hast seen; even the
Devas ever long to behold this Form.
53. Not by Vedas, nor by austerity, nor by gifts, nor by sacrifice, can
I be seen in this Form as thou hast seen Me.
54. But by un-distracted devotion can I, of this Form, be known and seen
in reality and entered into, O harasser of thy foes.
55. He who does works for Me, who looks on Me as the supreme, who is
devoted to Me, who is free from attachment, who is without hatred for
any being, he comes to Me, O Pandava.
XII. BHAKTI YOGA
1. Those devotees who, always devout, thus contemplate Thee and those
also who (contemplate) the Imperishable, the Unmanifest – which of them
are better versed in Yoga?
THE BLESSED LORD SAID:
2. Those who, fixing their thought on Me, contemplate Me, always devout,
endued with supreme faith, those in my opinion are the best Yogins.
3-4. Those who ever contemplate the Imperishable, the Indefinable, the
Unmanifest, the Omnipresent and the Unthinkable, the Unchangeable, the
Immutable, the Eternal – having restrained all the senses, always
equanimous, intent on the welfare of all beings – they reach Myself.
5. Greater is their trouble whose thoughts are set on the Unmanifest;
for, the Goal, the Unmanifest, is very hard for the embodied to reach.
6-7. But those who worship Me, renouncing all actions in Me, regarding
Me Supreme, meditating on Me with exclusive devotion (Yoga); for them
whose thought is fixed on Me, I become ere long, O son of Pritha, the
deliverer out of the ocean of the mortal samsara.
8. Fix thy mind in Me exclusively, apply thy reason to Me. Thou shalt no
doubt live in Me alone hereafter.
9. If thou art unable to fix thy thought steadily on Me, then by yoga of
constant practice do thou seek to reach Me, O Dhananjaya.
10. (If) thou art not equal to practise either, then be thou intent on
(doing) actions for My sake. Even doing actions for My sake, thou shalt
11. If thou art unable to do even this, then refuged in devotion to Me,
do thou abandon the fruits of all actions, self controlled.
12. Better indeed is knowledge than practice; than knowledge is
meditation more esteemed; than meditation the abandonment of the fruits
of actions; on abandonment, peace follows immediately.
13-14. He who hates no single being, who is friendly and compassionate
to all, who is free from attachment and egoism, to whom pain and
pleasure are equal, who is enduring, ever content and balanced in mind,
self-controlled and possessed of firm conviction, whose thought and
reason are directed to Me, he who is (thus) devoted to Me is dear to Me.
15. He by whom the world is not afflicted and who is not afflicted by
the world, who is free from joy, envy, fear and sorrow, he is dear to
16. He who is free from wants, who is pure, clever, unconcerned,
untroubled, renouncing all undertakings, he who is (thus) devoted to Me
is dear to Me.
17. He who neither rejoices, nor hates, nor grieves, nor desires,
renouncing good and evil, he who is full of devotion is dear to Me.
18-19. He who is the same to foe and friend and also in honour and
dishonour; who is the same in cold and heat, in pleasure and pain; who
is free from attachment; to whom censure and praise are equal; who is
silent, content with anything, homeless, steady-minded, full of
devotion; that man is dear to me.
20. They, verily, who follow this immortal Law described above, endued
with faith, looking up to me as the Supreme and devoted, they are
exceedingly dear to Me.
XIII. MATTER AND SPIRIT (Kshetra Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga)
THE BLESSED LORD SAID:
1. This, the body, O son of Kunti, is called Kshetra; him who knows it,
they who know of them call Kshetrajna.
2. And do thou also know Me as Kshetrajna in all Kshetras, O Bharata.
The knowledge of Kshetra and Kshetrajna is deemed by Me as the
3. And what that Kshetra is and of what nature and what its changes; and
whence is what; and who He is and what His powers; this hear thou
briefly from Me.
4. Sung by sages, in many ways and distinctly, in various hymns, as also
in the suggestive words about Brahman, full of reasoning and decisive.
5. The Great Elements, Egoism, Reason, as also the Unmanifested, the ten
senses and one and the five objects of the senses.
6. Desire, hatred, pleasure, pain, the aggregate, intelligence, courage
– the Kshetra has been thus briefly described with its modifications.
7. Humility, modesty, innocence, patience, uprightness, service of the
teacher, purity, stead-fastness, self-control;
8. Absence of attachment for objects of the senses and also absence of
egoism; perception of evil in birth, death and old age, in sickness and
9. Un-attachment, absence of affection for son, wife, home and the like
and constant equanimity on the attainment of the desirable and the
10. Unflinching devotion to Me in Yoga of non-separation, resort to
solitary places, distaste for the society of men;
11. Constancy in Self-knowledge, perception of the end of the knowledge
of truth. This is declared to be knowledge and what is opposed to it is
12. That which has to be known I shall describe; knowing which one
attains the Immortal. Beginningless is the Supreme Brahman. It is not
said to be ‘sat’ or ‘asat’.
13. With hands and feet everywhere, with eyes and heads and mouths
everywhere, with hearing everywhere, That exists enveloping all.
14. Shining by the function of all the senses, (yet) without the senses;
unattached, yet supporting all; devoid of qualities.
15. Without and within (all) beings; the unmoving as also the moving.
Because subtle, That is incomprehensible; and near and far away is That.
16. And undivided, yet remaining divided as it were in beings; supporter
of beings, too is That, the Knowable; devouring, yet generating.
17. The Light even of lights, That is said to be beyond darkness.
Knowledge, the Knowable, the Goal of knowledge, (It) is implanted in the
heart of every one.
18. Thus the Kshetra, as well as knowledge and the Knowable, have been
briefly set forth. My devotee, on knowing this, is fitted for My state.
19. Know thou that Prakriti as well as Purusha are both beginningless;
and know thou also that all forms and qualities are born of Prakriti.
20. As the producer of the effect and the instruments, Prakriti is said
to be the cause; as experiencing pleasure and pain, Purusha is said to
be the cause.
21. Purusha, when seated in Prakriti, experiences the qualities born of
Prakriti. Attachment to the qualities is the cause of his birth in good
and evil wombs.
22. Spectator and Permitter, Supporter, Enjoyer, the Great Lord and also
spoken of as the Supreme Self, (is) the Purusha Supreme in this body.
23. He who thus knows Purusha and Prakriti together with qualities,
whatever his conduct, he is not born again.
24. By meditation some behold the Self in the self by the self others by
Sankhya Yoga and others by Karma Yoga.
25. Yet others, not knowing thus, worship, having heard from others;
they, too, cross beyond death, adhering to what they heard.
26. Whatever being is born, the unmoving or the moving, know thou, O
best of the Bharatas, that to be owing to the union of Kshetra and
27. He sees who sees the Supreme Lord, remaining the same in all beings,
the undying in the dying.
28. Because he who sees the Lord, seated the same everywhere, destroys
not the self by the self, therefore he reaches the Supreme Goal.
29. He sees, who sees all actions performed by Prakriti alone and the
Self not acting.
30. When a man realises the whole variety of beings as resting in the
One and is an evolution from that (One) alone, then he becomes Brahman.
31. Having no beginning, having no qualities, this Supreme Self,
imperishable, though dwelling in the Body, O son of Kunti, neither acts
nor is tainted.
32. As the all-pervading Akasa is, from its subtlety, never soiled, so
the Self seated in the body everywhere is not soiled.
33. As the one sun illumines all this world, so does the embodied One, O
Bharata, illumines all bodies.
34. They who by the eye of wisdom perceive the distinction between
Kshetra and Kshetrajna and the dissolution of the Cause of beings – they
go to the Supreme.
XIV. THE THREE GUNAS (Gunatraya Vibhaga Yoga)
THE BLESSED LORD SAID:
1. I shall again declare that sublime knowledge, the best of all
knowledges; which having learnt, all the sages have passed to high
perfection from here.
2. They who, having resorted to this knowledge, have attained to unity
with Me, are neither born in the creation, nor disturbed in the
3. My womb is the great Brahman; in that I place the germ; thence, O
Bharata, is the birth of all beings.
4. Whatever forms are produced, O son of Kunti, in any wombs whatsoever,
the Great Brahman is their womb, I the seed-giving Father.
5. Sattva, Rajas, Tamas – these gunas, O mighty-armed, born of Prakriti,
bind fast in the body the embodied, the indestructible.
6. Of these, Sattva, which, from its stainlessness, is lucid and
healthy, binds by attachment to happiness and by attachment to
knowledge, O sinless one.
7. Know thou Rajas (to be) of the nature of passion, the source of
thirst and attachment; it binds fast, O son of Kunti, the embodied one
by attachment to action.
8. But, know thou Tamas to be born of un-wisdom, deluding all embodied
beings; by headlessness, indolence and sloth, it binds fast, O Bharata.
9. Sattva attaches to happiness, rajas to action, O Bharata, while Tamas,
enshrouding wisdom, attaches, on the contrary, to heedlessness.
10. Sattva arises, O Bharata, predominating over Rajas and Tamas; and
Rajas, over Sattva and Tamas; so Tamas, over Sattva and Rajas.
11. When at every gate in this body there shoots up wisdom-light, then
it may be known that Sattva is predominant.
12. Greed, activity, the undertaking of works, unrest, desire – these
arise when Rajas is predominant, O lord of the Bharatas.
13. Darkness, heedlessness, inertness and error – these arise when Tamas
is predominant, O descendant of Kuru.
14. If the embodied one meets death when Sattva is predominant, then he
attains to the spotless regions of the knowers of the Highest.
15. Meeting death in Rajas, he is born among those attached to action;
and dying in Tamas, he is born in the wombs of the irrational.
16. The fruit of good action, they say, is Sattvic and pure; while the
fruit of rajas is pain and ignorance is the fruit of tamas.
17. From Sattva arises wisdom and greed from Rajas; heedlessness and
error arise from Tamas and also ignorance.
18. Those who follow Sattva go upwards; the Rajasic remain in the
middle; and the Tamasic, who follow in the course of the lowest guna, go
19. When the seer beholds not an agent other than the gunas and knows
Him who is higher than the gunas, he attains to My being.
20. Having crossed beyond these three gunas, which are the source of the
body, the embodied one is freed from birth, death, decay and pain and
attains the immortal.
21. By what marks, O Lord, is he known who has crossed beyond those
three gunas ? What is his conduct and how does he pass beyond those
THE BLESSED LORD SAID:
22. Light and activity and delusion present, O Pandava, he hates not,
nor longs for them absent.
23. He who, seated as a neutral, is not moved by gunas; who, thinking
that gunas act, is firm and moves not;
24. He to whom pain and pleasure are alike, who dwells in the Self, to
whom a clod of earth and stone and gold are alike, to whom the dear and
the un-dear are alike, who is a man of wisdom, to whom censure and
praise are same;
25. The same in honour and disgrace, the same towards friends and
enemies, abandoning all undertakings – he is said to have crossed beyond
26. And he who serves Me with unfailing Devotion of Love, he, crossing
beyond those three gunas, is fitted for becoming Brahman.
27. For I am the abode of Brahman, the Immortal and the Immutable, the
Eternal Dharma and the unfailing Bliss.
XV. THE SUPREME SPIRIT (Purushotama-prapti Yoga)
THE BLESSED LORD SAID:
1. They speak of the indestructible Asvattha having its root above and
branches below, whose leaves are the metres. He who knows it knows the
2. Below and above are its branches spread, nourished by the gunas,
sense-objects its buds; and below in the world of man stretch forth the
roots ending in action.
3. Its form is not perceived as such here, neither its end nor its
origin nor its existence. Having cut asunder this firm-rooted Asvattha
with the strong sword of dispassion.
4. Then That Goal should be sought for, whither having gone none return
again. “I seek refuge in that Primeval Purusha whence streamed forth the
5. Free from pride and delusion, with the evil of attachment conquered,
ever dwelling in the Self, their desires having completely turned away,
liberated from the pairs of opposites known as pleasure and pain, the
un-deluded reach that Goal Eternal.
6. That the sun illumines not, nor the moon, nor fire; That is My
Supreme Abode, to which having gone none return.
7. A ray of Myself, the eternal Jiva in the world of Jivas, attracts the
senses, with Manas the sixth, abiding in Prakriti.
8. When the Lord acquires a body and when He leaves it, He takes these
and goes, as the wind takes scents from their seats.
9. The ear, the eye and the touch, the taste and the smell, using these
and the Manas, he enjoys the sense-objects.
10. Him who departs, stays and enjoys, who is conjoined with gunas, the
deluded perceive not; they see, who possess the eye of knowledge.
11. Those who strive, endued with Yoga, perceive Him dwelling in the
self; though striving, those of unrefined self, devoid of wisdom,
perceive Him not.
12. That light which residing in the sun illumines the whole world, that
which is in the moon and in the fire, that light do thou know to be
13. Penetrating the earth I support all beings by (My) Energy; and
having become the watery moon I nourish all herbs.
14. Abiding in the body of living beings as Vaisvanara, associated with
Prana and Apana, I digest the fourfold food.
15. And I am seated in the hearts of all; from Me are memory, knowledge,
as well as their loss; it is I who am to be known by all the Vedas, I am
indeed the author of the Vedanta as well as the knower of the Vedas.
16. There are these two beings in the world the perishable and the
imperishable; the perishable comprises all creatures, the immutable is
called the imperishable.
17. But distinct is the Highest Spirit spoken of as the Supreme Self,
the indestructible Lord who penetrates and sustains the three worlds.
18. Because I transcend the perishable and am even higher than the
imperishable, therefore am I known in the world and in the Veda as ‘Purushottama’,
the Highest Spirit.
19. He who, un-deluded, thus knows Me, the Highest Spirit, he, knowing
all, worships Me with his whole being, O Bharata.
20. Thus, this most Secret Science has been taught by Me, O sinless one;
on knowing this, (a man) becomes wise, O Bharata and all his duties are
XVI. SPIRITUALITY AND MATERIALISM (Daivasura sampat Vibhaga
THE BLESSED LORD SAID:
1. Fearlessness, purity of heart, steadfastness in knowledge and Yoga;
alms-giving, self-restraint and worship, study of one’s own
(scriptures), austerity, uprightness;
2. Harmlessness, truth, absence of anger, renunciation, serenity,
absence of calumny, compassion to creatures, un-covetousness,
gentleness, modesty, absence of fickleness;
3. Energy, forgiveness; fortitude, purity, absence of hatred, absence of
pride; these belong to one born for a divine lot, O Bharata.
4. Ostentation, arrogance and self-conceit, anger as also insolence and
ignorance, belong to one who is born, O Partha, for a demoniac lot.
5. The divine nature is deemed for liberation, the demoniac for bondage.
Grieve not, O Pandava; thou art born for a divine lot.
6. There are two creations of beings in this world, the divine and the
demoniac. The divine has been described as length; hear from Me, O
Partha, of the demoniac.
7. Neither action nor inaction do the demoniac men know; neither purity
nor good conduct nor truth is found in them.
8. They say, “the universe is unreal, without a basis, without a Lord,
born of mutual union, brought about by lust; what else ?”
9. Holding this view, these ruined souls of small intellect, of fierce
deeds, rise as the enemies of the world for its destruction.
10. Filled with insatiable desires, full of hypocrisy, pride and
arrogance, holding unwholesome views through delusion, they work with
11. Beset with immense cares ending only with death, sensual enjoyment
their highest aim, assured that that is all;
12. Bound by hundreds of bands of hope, given over to lust and wrath,
they strive to secure by unjust means hoards of wealth for sensual
13. This to-day has been gained by me; this desire I shall attain; this
is mine and this wealth also shall be mine in future.
14. “That enemy has been slain by me and others also shall I slay. I am
a lord. I enjoy, I am successful, strong and healthy.”
15. “I am rich and well-born. Who else is equal to me ? I will
sacrifice, I will give, I will rejoice.” Thus deluded by un-wisdom.
16. Bewildered by many a fancy, entangled in the snare of delusion,
addicted to the gratification of lust, they fall into a foul hell.
17. Self-honored, stubborn, filled with the pride and intoxication of
wealth, they perform sacrifices in name with hypocrisy, without regard
18. Given over to egotism, power, haughtiness, lust and anger, these
malicious people hate Me in their own and others’ bodies.
19. These cruel haters, worst of men, I hurl these evil-doers for ever
in the worlds into the wombs of the demons only.
20. Entering into demoniac wombs, the deluded ones, in birth after
birth, without ever reaching Me, O son of Kunti, pass into a condition
still lower than that.
21. Triple is this, the gate to hell, destructive of the self; LUST,
WRATH and GREED. Therefore, these three, one should abandon.
22. A man who is released from these, the three gates to darkness, O son
of Kunti, does good to the self and thereby reaches the Supreme Goal.
23. He who, neglecting the scriptural ordinance, acts under the impulse
of desire, attains not perfection, nor happiness, nor the Supreme Goal.
24. Therefore, the scripture is thy authority in deciding as to what
ought to be done and what ought not to be done. Now, thou oughtest to
know and perform thy duty laid down in the scripture-law.
XVII. THE THREEFOLD FAITH (Shraddhatraya-Vibhaga Yoga)
1. Whoso Worship, setting aside the ordinance of the scripture, endued
with faith – what faith is theirs ? Is it Sattva, or Rajas, or Tamas ?
THE BLESSED LORD SAID:
2. Threefold is that faith born of the individual nature of the embodied
– Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic. Do thou hear of it.
3. The faith of each is in accordance with his nature, O Bharata. The
man is made up of his faith; as a man’s faith is, so is he.
4. Sattvic men worship the Gods; Rajasic the Yakshas and the Rakshasas;
the others – Tamasic men – the Pretas and the hosts of Bhutas.
5. Those men who practise terrific austerities not enjoined by the
scripture, given to hypocrisy and egotism, endued with the strength of
lust and passion;
6. Weakening all the elements in the body – fools they are – and Me who
dwell in the body within; know thou these to be of demoniac resolves.
7. The food also which is dear to each is threefold, as also worship,
austerity and gift. Do thou hear of this, their distinction.
8. The foods which increase life, energy, strength, health, joy and
cheerfulness, which are savoury and oleaginous, substantial and
agreeable, are dear to the Sattvic.
9. The foods that are bitter, sour, saline, excessively hot, pungent,
dry and burning, are liked by the Rajasic, causing pain, grief and
10. The food which is stale, tasteless, putrid and rotten, refuse and
impure, is dear to the Tamasic.
11. That worship is Sattvic which is offered by men desiring no fruit,
as enjoined in the Law, with a fixed resolve in the mind that they
should merely worship.
12. That which is offered, O best of the Bharatas, with a view to reward
and for ostentation, know it to be a Rajasic worship.
13. They declare that worship to be Tamasic which is contrary to the
ordinances, in which no food is distributed, which is devoid of mantras
and gifts and which is devoid of faith.
14. Worshipping the Gods, the twice-born, teachers and wise men –
purity, straightforwardness, continence and abstinence from injury are
termed the bodily austerity.
15. The speech which causes no excitement and is true, as also pleasant
and beneficial and also the practice of sacred recitation, are said to
form the austerity of speech.
16. Serenity of mind, good-heartedness, silence, self-control, purity of
nature – this is called the mental austerity.
17. This threefold austerity, practised by devout men with utmost faith,
desiring no fruit, they call Sattvic.
18. That austerity which is practised with the object of gaining good
reception, honour and worship and with hypocrisy, is said to be of this
world, to be Rajasic, unstable and uncertain.
19. The austerity which is practised out of a foolish notion, with
self-torture, or for the purpose of ruining another, is declared to be
20. That gift which is given – knowing it to be a duty to give – to one
who does no service, in place and in time and to a worthy person, that
gift is held Sattvic.
21. And that gift which is given with a view to a return of the good, or
looking for the fruit, or reluctantly, that gift is held to be Rajasic.
22. The gift that is given at a wrong place or time, to unworthy
persons, without respect or with insult, that is declared to be Tamasic.
23. “OM, TAT, SAT” : this has been taught to be the triple designation
of Brahman. By that were created of old the Brahmanas and the Vedas and
24. Therefore, with the utterance of ‘Om’, are the acts of sacrifice,
gift and austerity, as enjoined in the scriptures, always begun by the
students of Brahman.
25. With ‘Tat’, without aiming at the fruits, are the acts of sacrifice
and austerity and the various acts of gift performed by the seekers of
26. The word ‘Sat’ is used in the sense of reality and of goodness; and
so also, O Partha, the word ‘Sat’ is used in the sense of an auspicious
27. Devotion to sacrifice, austerity and gift is also spoken of as
‘Sat’; and even action in connection with these is called ‘Sat’.
28. Whatever is sacrificed, given, or done and whatever austerity is
practised, without faith, it is called ‘asat’, O Partha; it is naught
here or here-after.
XVIII. CONCLUSION (Moksha-samnyasa Yoga)
1. ‘Of Samnyasa’ O Mighty-armed, I desire to know the truth, O
Hrishikesa, as also of ‘tyaga’, severally, O Slayer of Kesin.
THE BLESSED LORD SAID:
2. Sages understand ‘Samnyasa’ to be the renouncement of interested
works; the abandonment of the fruits of all works, the learned declare,
3. That action should be abandoned as an evil, some philosophers
declare; while others (declare) that acts of sacrifice, gift and
austerity should not be given up.
4. Learn from Me the truth about this abandonment, O best of the
Bharatas; abandonment, verily, O best of men, has been declared to be of
5. Practice of worship, gift and austerity should not be given up; it is
quite necessary; worship, gift and austerity are the purifiers of the
6. But even those actions should be performed, setting aside attachment
and the fruits; this, O son of Pritha, is My firm and highest belief.
7. Verily, the abandonment of an obligatory duty is not proper; the
abandonment thereof from ignorance is declared to be Tamasic.
8. Whatever act one may abandon because it is painful, from fear of
bodily trouble, he practises Rajasic abandonment and he shall obtain no
fruit whatever of abandonment.
9. Whatever obligatory work is done, by Arjuna, merely because it ought
to be done, by abandoning attachment and also the fruit, that
abandonment is deemed to be Sattvic.
10. He hates not evil action, nor is he attached, to a good one – he who
has abandoned, pervaded by Sattva and possessed of wisdom, his doubts
11. Verily, it is not possible for an embodied being to abandon actions
completely; he who abandons the fruits of actions is verily said to be
12. The threefold fruit of action – evil, good and mixed – accrues after
death to non-abandoners, but never to abandoners.
13. These five factors in the accomplishment of all action, know thou
from Me, O mighty-armed, as taught in the Sankhya which is the end of
14. The seat and actor and the various organs and the several functions
of various sorts and the Divinity also, the fifth among these.
15. Whatever action a man does by the body, speech and mind, right or
the opposite, these five are its causes.
16. Now, such being the case, verily, he who as untrained in
understanding, looks on the pure Self as the agent, that man of
perverted intelligence sees not.
17. He who is free from egotistic notion, whose mind is not tainted –
though he kills these creatures, he kills not, he is not bound.
18. Knowledge, the object known, the knower, (form) the threefold
impulse to action; the organ, the end, the agent, from the threefold
basis of action.
19. Knowledge and action and the agent are said in the science of gunas
to be of three kinds only, according to the distinction in gunas. Hear
thou duly of them.
20. That by which a man sees the one Indestructible Reality in all
beings, inseparate in the separated ––hat knowledge know thou as Sattvic.
21. But that knowledge which by differentiation, sees in all the
creatures various entities of distinct kinds, that knowledge know thou
22. But that which clings to one single effect as if it were all,
without reason, having no real object and narrow, that is declared to be
23. An action which is ordained, which is free from attachment, which is
done without love or hatred by one not desirous of the fruit, that
action is declared to be Sattvic.
24. But the action which is done by one longing for pleasures, or done
by the egotistic, costing much trouble, that is declared to be Rajasic.
25. The action which is undertaken from delusion, without regarding the
consequence, loss, injury and ability, that is declared to be Tamasic.
26. Free from attachment, not given to egotism, endued with firmness and
vigour, unaffected in success and failure, an agent is said to be
27. Passionate, desiring to attain the fruit of action, greedy, cruel,
impure, subject to joy and sorrow, such an agent is said to be Rajasic.
28. Unsteady, vulgar, unbending, deceptive, wicked, indolent, desponding
and procrastinating, (such) an agent is said to be Tamasic.
29. The threefold division of intellect and firmness according to
qualities, about to be taught fully and distinctively (by Me), hear
thou, O Dhananjaya.
30. That which knows action and inaction, what ought to be done and what
ought not to be done, fear and absence of fear, bondage and liberation,
that intellect is Sattvic, O Partha.
31. That by which one wrongly understands Dharma and Adharma and also
what ought to be done and what ought not to be done, that intellect, O
Partha, is Rajasic.
32. That which, enveloped in darkness, sees Adharma as Dharma and all
things perverted, that intellect, O Partha, is Tamasic.
33. The firmness which is ever accompanied by Yoga and by which the
activities of thought, of life-breaths and sense-organs, O Partha, are
held fast, such a firmness is Sattvic.
34. But the firmness with which one holds fast to Dharma and pleasures
and wealth, desirous of the fruit of each on its occasion, that
firmness, O Partha, is Rajasic.
35. That with which a stupid man does not give up sleep, fear, grief,
depression and lust, that firmness, O Partha, is Tamasic.
36. And now hear from Me – O lord of the Bharatas – of the threefold
pleasure, in which one delights by practice and surely comes to the end
37. That which is like poison at first, at the end, like nectar that
pleasure is declared to be Sattvic, born of the purity of one’s own
38. That pleasure which arises from the contact of the sense-organ with
the object, at first like nectar, in the end like poison, that is
declared to be Rajasic.
39. The pleasure which at first and in the sequel is delusive of the
self, arising from sleep, indolence and heedlessness, that pleasure is
declared to be Tamasic.
40. There is no being on earth, or again in heaven among the Devas, that
can be free from these three gunas born of Prakriti.
41. Of Brahmanas and Kshatriyas and Vaisyas, as also of Sudras, O
Parantapa, the duties are divided according to the qualities born of
42. Serenity, self-restraint, austerity, purity, forgiveness and also
uprightness, knowledge, wisdom, faith – these are the duties of the
Brahmanas, born of nature.
43. Bravery, boldness, fortitude, promptness, not flying from battle,
generosity and lordliness are the duties of the Kshatriyas, born of
44. Ploughing, cattle-rearing and trade are the duties of the Vaisyas,
born of nature. And of the nature of service is the duty of the Sudra,
born of nature.
45. Devoted each to his own duty, man attains perfection; how one,
devoted to one’s own duty, attains success, that do thou hear.
46. Him from whom is the evolution of (all) beings, by whom all this is
pervaded – by worshipping Him with his proper duty, man attains
47. Better is one’s own duty (though) destitute of merits, than the duty
of another well performed. Doing the duty ordained according to nature
one incurs no sin.
48. The duty born with oneself, O son of Kunti, though faulty, one ought
not to abandon; for, all undertakings are surrounded with evil, as fire
49. He whose reason is not attached anywhere, whose self is subdued,
from whom desire has fled, he by renunciation attains the supreme state
of freedom from action.
50. How he who has attained perfection reaches Brahman, that in brief do
thou learn from Me, O son of Kunti – that supreme consummation of
51. Endued with a pure reason, controlling the self with firmness,
abandoning sound and other objects and laying aside love and hatred;
52. Resorting to a sequestered spot, eating but little, speech and body
and mind subdued, always engaged in meditation and concentration, endued
53. Having abandoned egotism, strength, arrogance, desire, enmity,
property, free from the notion of “mine”, and peaceful, he is fit for
54. Becoming Brahman, of serene self, he neither grieves nor desires,
treating all beings alike; he attains supreme devotion to Me.
55. By Devotion he knows Me in truth, what and who I am; then, knowing
Me in truth, he forthwith enters into Me.
56. Doing continually all actions whatsoever, taking refuge in Me – by
My Grace he reaches the eternal undecaying Abode.
57. Mentally resigning all deeds to Me, regarding Me as the Supreme,
resorting to mental concentration, do thou ever fix thy heart in Me.
58. Fixing thy heart in Me, thou shalt, by My Grace, cross over all
difficulties; but if from egotism thou will not hear (Me), thou shalt
59. If, indulging egotism, thou thinkest ‘I will not fight’, vain is
this, thy resolve; nature will constrain thee.
60. Bound (as thou art), O son of Kunti, by thy own nature-born act,
that which from delusion thou likest not to do, thou shalt do, though
against thy will.
61. The Lord dwells in the hearts of all beings, O Arjuna, whirling by
Maya all beings (as if) mounted on a machine.
62. Fly unto Him for refuge with all thy being. O Bharata; by His Grace
shalt thou obtain supreme peace (and) the eternal resting place.
63. Thus has wisdom, more secret than all that is secret, been declared
to thee by Me; reflect thou over it all and act as thou pleasest.
64. Hear thou again My word supreme, the most secret of all; because
thou art My firm friend, therefore will I tell thee what is good.
65. Fix thy thought on Me, be devoted to Me, worship Me, do homage to
Me. Thou shalt reach Myself. The truth do I declare to thee; (for) thou
art dear to Me.
66. Abandoning all righteous deeds, seek me as thy sole refuge; I will
liberate thee from all sins; do thou not grieve.
67. This (which has been taught) to thee is never to be taught to one
who is devoid of austerities, nor to one who is not devoted, nor to one
who does not do service, nor to one who speaks ill of Me.
68. He who with supreme devotion to Me will teach this Supreme Secret to
My devotees, shall doubtless come to Me.
69. Nor is there any among men who does dearer service to Me than he;
nor shall there be another on earth dearer to Me than he.
70. And he who will study this sacred dialogue of ours, by him I shall
have been worshipped by the sacrifice of wisdom, I deem.
71. And the man also who hears, full of faith and free from malice even
he, liberated, shall attain to the happy worlds of the righteous.
72. Has it been heard by thee, O Partha, with an attentive mind ? Has
the delusion of ignorance been destroyed, O Dhananjaya ?
73. Destroyed is delusion and I have gained recognition through Thy
Grace, O Achyuta. I am firm, with doubts gone. I will do Thy word.
74. Thus have I heard this wonderful dialogue between Vasudeva and the
high-souled Partha, which makes the hair stand on end.
75. Through the grace of Vyasa have I heard this Supreme and most secret
Yoga direct from Krishna, the Lord of Yoga, Himself declaring it.
76. O King, remembering every moment this wonderful and holy dialogue
between Kesava and Arjuna, I rejoice again and again.
77. And remembering every moment the most wonderful Form of Hari, great
is my wonder, O king and I rejoice again and again.
78. Wherever is Krishna, the Lord of Yoga, wherever is Arjuna, the
archer, there fortune, victory, prosperity and polity are established, I