THE GEETA: AS A CHAITANYITE READS IT
BY TRIDANDI SWAMI B.H. BON
By Tridandi Swami B.H. Bon
Chapter One : Arjuna Inspects the Army
Chapter Two : Thread of the Book
Chapter Three : Selfless Karma
Chapter Four : Empiricism and Knowledge of Transcendence
Chapter Five : Non-Attachment to Matter
Chapter Six : Concentration
Chapter Seven : God's Grace and Beauty
Chapter Eight : The Word - The Saviour
Chapter Nine : Esoteric Love Divine
Chapter Ten : Superhuman Powers
Chapter Eleven : Sree Krishna's Lordly Grandeur
Chapter Twelve : Unalloyed Devotion
Chapter Thirteen : Creation
Chapter Fourteen : The Triple Qualities
Chapter Fifteen : The Supreme Personality of God
Chapter Sixteen : The Divine and the Demoniac
Chapter Seventeen : Faith
Chapter Eighteen : Recapitulation
INTRODUCTION BY TRIDANDI SWAMI B.H. BON
Vedic Literature is vast. It has more than
often been difficult for the short-lived and blunt
intellect of the self-forgetful fettered jivas of this
Kali age to assimilate and digest the hidden
meaning and purposes of human life, implicitily
described therein. The Vedas are like a beautiful
flower-garland-the flowers of Karma, Jnana, Yoga,
and Bhakti being strung together with the thread of
a progressive thought that ultimately binds the two
ends at the Absolute. But what is this implicit
thread, readers of the Vedas have often missed to
catch. Some accepted Karma, some Jnana, some
Yoga and some Bhakti, wrongly believing that each
of these paths would lead them to the ultimate End.
The truth was that these were gradual steps, and
should be followed according to one's normal incli-
nation in a particular station in life.
There came a time in India when the country
was under a heat-wave of ambitious Karmins,
wrangling Jnanins, austere Yogins and ardent
Bhaktas, who all based their messages on the Vedas.
The result was that laity did not know what
was the right interpretation of the Scriptures.
Owing to the misidentification of these readers of
their real selves, they failed to grasp the Trans-
cendental Undivided Knowledge of the Vedas, and
their reading was like one's indigestion of food
which is swallowed without proper mastication.
It was, therefore, towards the end of Dwapara
and in the beginning of the Kali Age that the
Supreme Lord Sree Krishna was graciously pleased
to address His Own friend Arjuna, in order to teach
and save the fallen, on the only Path to the realisa-
tion of the Highest Bliss in life, independent for
ever of all unwholesomeness of the relativities of
mundane time and space. The Lord showed a
way how to get from the phenomenal world to the
Transcendental Realm. Thus this Address of
Sree Krishna to Arjuna in the Geeta became the
sum and substance of all the Four Vedas, the
Sruties, the Smrities and the Puranas.
It is divided into Eighteen chapters, which are,
in fact, from the Twenty-fifth to the Forty-second
chapters of the Bhishma-Canto of the Mahabharata.
The Geeta opens with a question by the old
politician and wordly-wise king Dhritarastra, who
was also blind. Sanjaya answers him in the follow-
ing seven hundred verses, but strangely enough, the
name of King Dhritarastra is never again mentioned
in the whole of the Geeta. When Dharma or
Absolute Duty is challenged by Karma or relative
duties, the result cannor possibly be conceived by
the physical and intellectual capacities of empiricists
who are blinded by self forgetfulness. The solu-
tion is given by Sree Krishna. The Pandavas from
the plane of Dharma (Dharmakshetra) , being
instructed by Sree Krishna, received the challenge
of the sons of Dhritarastra on the field of Karma
(Kurukshetra) and defeated them-the relative
duties in human life were subordinated to the
absolute duty of all souls.
The Geeta has shown a clear-cut way as to
how one should follow the gradual steps in one's
oneward march to the Destination of all human life,
according to the particular inclination and aptitude
of individuals in their abnormal existence of self-
forgetfulness, which should all harmoniously and
favourably be subservient to Unalloyed Devotion or
Bhakti, which is the normal nature of a freed soul.
The Summum bonum of life is the loving service
of the Godhead. Loving service of the Superme
Personality of God lies in self-dedication, which
is positive; selfishness is hellish, selflessness is
nagative, while unconditional self-surrendering is
positive and divine.
There are books which have laid stress on
Karma or Jnana, and have even gone to the extent
of holding the view that Karma and Jnana are the
highest paths to follow. But on a close analysis
we can understand their significance. Karma and
Jnana have been prescribed for those whose normal
tendencies in their abnormal existences are so
inclined on the relative physical and mental planes
respectively; while the Sruties and Smrities as
well as the Geeta have definitely established the
supremacy and positiveness of Unalloyed Devotion
or Bhakti to be the final Means to the Ultimate
End on the Plane of Transcendence, Where the
Means and the Ends are identical. Prema-Bhakti
is not tinged by the baseness of the rind of fruitive
Karma and the seed of dry Jnana. Prema-Bhakti
is like a sweet ripe fruit which has no rind and
Readers of the Geeta may be divided into two
groups : The exoteric and the esoteric. The former
are busy with the merits of the Book, while the latter
are earnestly desirous of entering into the depth of
the intended Teachings of Sree Krishna. It is for
this reason that the superficial readers of the Geeta
hold that Karma, enjoined by the Shastras and pre-
scribed for Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas and
Sudras as well as for Brahmacarins, Grihastas,
Vanaprasthas and Sannyasins, is eternal ; that
Arjuna followed the Varna-dharma of a Kshatriya
by giving battle to his enemies, and that therefore
Karma was the object-lesson of Sree Krishna. But
to the serious readers of the Geeta, this view is
untenable, and they consider it to be too gross and
superficial an approach to the great Geeta. They
hold either Brahma-Jnana-Knowledge of the
Absolute, or Para-Bhakti-Unalloyed Devotion, to
be the real purpose of the Geeta. According to the
esoteric reading of the Geeta, Arjuna's acceptance
of fighting as a Kshatriya was only an example of
one's adherence to the relative duties in a particular
station of life; but Sree Krishna's ultimate teaching
was to adjust all the relative duties to the absolute duty
of unconditionally surrendering to the Wishes
of the Supreme Lord.
In this world it is but wisdom to act according
to one's normal tendencies in the abnormal state of
existence ; otherwise life would be unbearable and
unprogressive. The innate function of an individual
soul in its normal realisation of its eternal aptitudes
should not be misidentified with the normal inclina-
tions of a fettered entity in its abnormal state of
being engrossed in the physical body of flesh and
blood and the subtle body of mind, intelligence and
perverted ego. Karma is, therefore, essential in
order to have a smooth living. Karma, when rightly
directed and its fruits dedicated to the Supreme
Receiver of every object, helps true understanding
and right perspective of the phenomenal objects, as
well as further enkindles in the individual the fire
of pure Knowledge of the Transcendental World ;
this Jnana wakens the dormant nature of the pure
soul, which is Bhakti or loving service to the
Transcendental Personality of the Godhead.
Karma and the relative duties with reference to
the body and the mind have distant relation to
Undivided Knowledge. Bhakti is the direct function
of the soul. So long as individual entities are not
freed from the shackles of worldly affinities, Karma
and Varna-dharma are unavoidable. The duty of
giving battle to his enemies was incumbent on
Arjuna as a Kshatriya by birth, which he per-
formed ; but Arjuna as an individual soul surrender-
ed himself unconditionally to the Wishes of Sree
Krishna, the Supreme Lord. The one was his
absolute duty, while the other was his relative duty.
His relative duty of Karma was subordinated to his
absolute duty of Bhakti or self-dedication.
The real teaching of the Geeta therefore is that
one should follow Karma according to one's rights
and abilities in a particular station and stage of
life in which he is placed in his state of bondage,
while his ulterior aim of life should be to realise his
reciprocal relationship with, and the eternal function
towards, the Supreme Lord Who is ever beyond the
reach of man's physical and mental senses as well as
objects of phenomena.
Our present engrossed state of existence within
the four walls of the limitations of mundane time
and space is not palatable indeed. It is certainly
wise to aspire after a life eternal in an atmosphere
of divine bliss in the kingdom of God, Which is a
perfect system, instead of being enchained by the
ties of worldliness and changebilities. This eternal
and ever progressive blissful life should be the End
in view. To achieve an eternal End, the Means
need necessarily be eternal-a changable Means
leads one to an uncertain End.
Various means have been laid down by various
teachers with the aim of attaining to the eternal
flow of felicity in the heart of the soul. Some have
described sacrificial rites, some have prescribed
Yoga and concentration of the mental faculties and
physical senses, some have eulogised logical wrang-
lings, some have stressed upon piety, austerities,
abnegation, others have given importance to
the worship of and prayers to God, performance of
one's duties, self-dedication etc.-as the Means to
the same End. But on close examination, we can
divide all these various paths mainly into three prin-
ciples of Karma, Jnana and Bhakti. All these
different paths as means to an end, though profes-
sing to attain the same end, do not really lead one to
the same conclusion-in fact, every path has its
particular end to reach, quite distinct from the rest.
Ends which are apparently similar in nature need
not be identical-a glow worm and a spark
are similar in appearance, but they are not the
All souls are animate eternal beings with no
beginning and no end, like the Godhead. Souls
can neither be created nor can they be destroyed.
They are identical in nature, in essence with God,
and at the same time distinct from Him. Like the
rays of the Sun, the souls are many and God is One;
they are infinitesimal separated parts of the
Godhead and therefore liable to be overpowered
by the influence of Maya, while God is always the
Lord of Maya. The birth of an individual soul is
nothing else but being imprisoned within the four
walls of time and space, the prisoner's dress being
the physical and mental bodies and the fetters the
chains of worldly affinities. How and why these
transcendental entities come in contact with
mundane existence is beyond human conception-
the way to explain this anomaly is to ascribe
it to the inscrutible Will and Wishes of God.
These souls are either freed or engrossed.
Those who are not shackled to the chains of Maya
are the freed, while those who misidentify their
eternal selves with the physical body and subtle
mind are the engrossed.
The freed souls are of two kinds-those who are
eternally free from mundane bondage, and those
fettered souls who have attained to the stage of
self-realisation. Both these self-realised souls are
beyond the scope of the Scriptures. The scriptural
injunctions on the distinctive conceptions of Karma,
Jnana and Bhakti are synthesised and harmonised
on the plane of transcendence of the Mukta-the
freed. But they have their special application to
the particular stage of life of the fettered jivas or
souls. Karma, Jnana and Bhakti merge into the
stream of Divine Love or Prema with the Muktas,
while Karma and Jnana are gradual steps in life to
the fettered which lead them to Bhakti. In the
engrossed stage of individuals when Karma and
Jnana attempt to challenge Bhakti and try to take
an independent stand, they are soon diagnosed to
be delirious symptoms of the self-forgetful
unhealthy souls ; Bhakti is the sign of their normal
In the Geeta there are eighteen chapters.
Karma is described in the first six chapters, Bhakti
in the middle six chapters, and Jnana is explained
in the last six chapters. Having described them
separately, Bhakti has again been finally established
to be the Highest Means to the Highest End.
Karma and Jnana are like two bye-lanes which
meet the Main Road of Bhakti from either side.
Bhakti is therefore described in the middle
six chapters. Bhakti is the life, Karma and Jnana are,
as it were, its gross and subtle bodies respectively.
The final teaching of Sri Krishna to Arjuna is
given towards the end of the eighteenth chapter
when the Lord says :
"Forsake all socio-religious systems
Of caste and stations in earthly life,
Renunciation of Karma or action.
Abandonment of the fruitive Karma,
Rigid austerities in order to control the inner
and outer senses,
Meditation, concentration of attention,
Obdience to the grandeur and lordliness of
And all such things that have been told before
In order to gain knowldge of Brahman and
Shun them all,
Take absolute refuge in Me, Who am the
The Supreme Lord of all gods.
Then I shall deliver thee
From all the bondage of this world
As well as from offences and all sins and
That may arise from thy abandonment of all
That are enjoined the by the Scriptures."
This is the most secret teaching of the Geeta.
This great truth cannot be understood by those who
are blinded by the vanities of high lineage, immense
opulence, vast erudition and beauties of youth.
In this volume I have made an attempt to put
in English an explanatory translation of the Geeta
on the basis of the philosophy and teachings of
Sri Krishna-Chaitanya, Who was born at Sri
Mayapur in the district of Nadia in Bengal in 1486
A.C. There are, no doubt, other translations of the
Geeta, but they are based on the monistic com-
mentary of Sri Sankara, whereas I have tried to
give a running explanation of the important verses,
or otherwise giving an English rendering of the
ordinary verses, according to the commentaries of
Sri Viswanatha Chakravartty, Valadeva Vidya-
bhusan and Srila Thakur Bhakti Vinode, the pioneer
of the revival of the Bhakti-cult in Bengal in the
present century. There has not been a single
attempt till now to put in English an explanation
of the Geeta as a Vishnuvite in general and a
Chaitanyite in particular read it. In presenting
this English explanatory translation of the Geeta
according to the interpretations of Vaisnava
teachers to the English reading public, my only
motive is to serve the wishes of my Master
Paramahansa Srila Saraswati Goswami, who is no
more in this world.
There are several Sanskrit commentaries on
the Geeta, the oldest available is that of Sree
Hanuman. The more commonly read commenta-
ries are those of Sri Sankara, Sri Ramanuja,
and Sri Madhwa and Sri Valadeva. We hear of
the "Geeta-tatparya" of Yamunacharya before the
time of Sri Ramanuja. The commentaries of
Sridhara Swami known as "Subodhini tika", and the
"Gitarth-Vivarana" of Sri Vallabha and the "Geeta-
tatparya" of his son Sri Vitthala are also famous
amongst scholars. The "Amrita-tarangini" of Sri
Pursottama is also widely read. "Tattva-prakasika"
of Keshava Kashmiri belongs to the Nimbarka
School. The "Geeta-bhasya-vivechana" of Sri
Ananda Giri and the commentary of Sri Madhu-
sudana Saraswati belong to the pantheistic school.
Besides these, the names of the following commen-
tators of the Geeta are also fairly well known :
Arjuna Misra, Chaturbhuja, Janardana Bhatta,
Devabodh, Devaswami, Nandakishore, Narayana-
Sarbajna, Nilakantha, Chaturdhara, Paramananda
Bhattacharya, Jajnanarayana, Ratnagarbha, Laksh-
mana Bhatta, Bimalbodh, Vaisampayana, Srinivas-
acharya, Madhyamandir, Varadraj, Vyasatirtha,
Satyabhinava Yati, Angesvarapal, Krishnacharya,
Keshava Bhatta, Jayatirtha, Jayarama, Raghaven-
dra, Ramananda Tirtha, Vidyadhiraj, and others.
But amongst this galaxy of commentators on
the Geeta, the commentary of Sri Viswanatha
Chakravartty is most lucid and soul-stirring as
well as greatly valued by the Vaishnava Schools.
To the readers of Bhagavatam, the name of
Viswanatha is well-known, because of his simple
and yet forceful commentaries on these great works.
All his commentaries are overflowed with the
nectar of Divine Love for the Supreme Lord. Sri
Viswanatha Chakravartty comes in the preceptorial
order of the Gaudiya School, whose disciple was
Valadeva Vidyabhusan, who wrote "Govinda-
Bhasyam" of the Brahma Sutras. Viswanatha
was born in a Brahmin family in the Nadia district,
sometimes towards the close of the 16th century.
There are few in the Gaudiya School who wrote so
many volumes of Sanskrit Books as Sri Viswanatha
-he left a vast Vaisnava literature behind him.
In this volume I have based my explanation mainly
on his commentary.
It is hoped that this new explanation of the
Geeta in English, based on the Chaitanya philosophy
and unalloyed devotion and transcendental Love
or Prema to the Supreme Personality of Sri
Krishna, will throw light on the Vaishnava outlook
of approach to the teachings of Lord Krishna to
Arjuna in the great book of the Hindus.
A Chaitanyite reads the Geeta with the eyes
of unalloyed devotion, beautified with the collirium
of Divine Love. If this volume will help to waken
a love for God in the heart of the readers, I shall
feel that I have been able to render some service to
I beg to take the opportunity to express my
sincere gratitude to Miss Sara de Laredo who
revised and polished my English rendering. I am
thankful to my friend Swami B.P. Tirtha who
helped me in understanding some of the verses.
I have also the pleasure of acknowledging the
kindness of Mr. E.G. Schulze and Sri Pyarimohan
Brahmachari, Bhakti-Shastri, Karukovid, who took
great pains in typing the manuscript copy.
Morvi State Guest House,
The 15th March, 1938
ARJUNA INSPECTS THE ARMY
"SAID Dhritarastra, "O Sanjaya!
What did Duryodhana
And my other sons and the Pandavas,
Led by Yudhisthira, do
When, intent on giving battle they assembled
On the sacred field of Kurukshetra?"
Sanjaya answered, "Majesty!
When this king Duryodhana saw
The troops of the Pandavas
Marshalled in military array,
Approached he Dronacharya saying,
"MASTER ! See the force great
Of the Pandavas,
Who are massed in close formation
By your talented disciple,
Dhristadyumna the son of Drupada.
In that army are matchless archers,
Bhima and Arjuna, and
other heroes of equal prowess
as the warrior Satyaki and Virata,
Drupada the mighty charioteer,
Dhristaketu and Purujit,
Famous Savya, the mighty Yudhamanyu,
The great king of Benares, and Kuntibhoja,
Abhimanyu son of great Subhadra,
And Draupadi's five sons -
All are expert charioteers.
"PRECEPTOR ! now I name
All the commanders of our forces.
Besides the conquerors invincible like you,
Bhisma, Karna, Kripa, Aswatthama,
Vikarna and Bhurishrava, son of Somadatta,
Jayadratha and countless other heroes
Who are adroit in fighting and well equipped
With various offensive and defensive weapons
Are ready to sacrifice their lives for me.
Our forces marshalled by
Great Bhisma are enormous
While the forces of the Pandavas
Led by Bhima are but limited.*
(* In the sense of encouraging Drona: Our force though small
will yet come out victorious under the skilful and exceptional
command of Bhisma, and therefore seem enormous, against the
huge army of the Pandavas under the command of the less
intelligent an inefficient charioteer Bhima, which thereby
Our forces marshalled by great Bhisma
Are not sufficient to cope
With the Pandavas' huge, strong force
Under the command of Bhima.+
(+ In the sense of the power of foresight of Duryodhana:
though our forces under the command of Bhisma are far greater
than the limited troops of Pandavas under the lead of Bhima
and though Bhisma far excels Bhima in keen intelligence,
experience and knowledge of warfare, yet our huge army is
not sufficiently competent to fight against the limited force of
the Pandavas owing to the fact that Bhisma is favorably
disposed to the Pandavas, and therefore our force is limited
while the Pandavas have a stronger army.)
Now it behoves you, Bhisma, to defend
From your respective phalanxes."
"THEN the mighty, venerable Bhisma,
Aged grand-sire of the Kurus,
Sounded the war-cry on his conch-shell
To encourage Duryodhana.
Simultaneously with loud blasts on the conch-shell,
Trumpets, tabors and the beating of the drums,
Came the vigorous martial music.
On the other side, Sree Krishna, the Lord of the senses,
And Arjuna riding in a splendid chariot
Drawn by a pair of horses white,
Placed the lordly bugles to Their lips
And sounded a noble fan-fare.
THE bugle-calls of Krishna and Arjuna then
Were played respectively on "Panchajanya"
and on "Devadatta";
Loud was the clarion-call from Bhisma's "Paundra".
The clarions of the son of Kunti,
Yudhisthira, Nakula and Sahadeva
Respectively were "Ananta-Vijaya", "Sugosha" and
The dexterous archer King of Benares,
The great charioteer Sikhandi,
Dhristadyumna, Virata and invincible Satyaki,
And "Ruler of the Earth, O Dhritarastra!" said Sanjaya,
"Drupada, the five sons of Draupadi,
And Abhimanyu Subhadra's mighty son -
All these sent out their clarion-calls.
The mighty trumpets sounded o'er the earth
Echoing across the far horizon,
Cleaving the hearts of Dhristarastra's sons
With terror of heart-breaking.
"Your Majesty!" said Sanjaya to Dhritarastra,
"Seated in his monkey-crested chariot,
Beholding the soldiers of your offspring's
Faction ready to give battle,
Setting his arrow to his bow,
Thus said Arjuna to Sree Krishna:
Place Thou my chariot between the army
That I may see the army that I am to fight,
And discern those who have espoused the cause,
And assembled here as partisans
Of the evil-minded Duryodhana."
Sanjaya said, "Bharata!
When thus besought by Gudakesha* Arjuna,
Sree Krishna Who knew well the heart of him,
Placed the majestic chariot amidst the army, saying
"O Partha! behold thou Bhisma,
Drona and other Kauravas
Assembled here to fight."
(* The word "Gudakesha"means: One who has conquered
sleep owing to his constant remembrance of the friendly affection
and divine fascinating beauties of the Supreme Personality of
Sree Krishna. Or, One being beloved of Sree Krishna is loved
by Brahma, Vishnu and Siva.)
Arjuna beheld amidst the armies of both factions,
His paternal uncle, brothers, grand-sire and preceptor,
Maternal uncle, father-in-law, and many other friends.
Thus seeing his friends and kinsmen
Ready to give battle in the field,
Arjuna, son of Kunti, was greatly moved to pity,
And cried out in grief:
"OH Krishna! Seeing these my friends and
Awaiting the signal to begin the fight,
My limbs droop and my lips are parched,
My body trembles, my hair doth stand on end,
My hand relaxes upon Gandiva, my bow,
And my skin is scorched.
I am failing in strength,
My mind is utterly bewildered;
Keshava! I discern signs ominous which auger ill.
I find no good resulting from the killing
Of friends and relatives in battle.
O Krishna! I no longer crave for victory
Nor have I any more ambition to enjoy kingdom.
"O Govinda!* what further need have we now
of a kingdom ?
(* Govinda - One Who satisfies the functions of all senses
and therefore knows the feelings of the heart.)
What need for happiness and pleasure?
What good is there in saving life?
For, all those for whom kingdom and wealth are worth having
Are now all present here to fight.
If Thou dost argue that even at the cost of my own life,
I should fight to gain kingdom,
Wealth and happiness for my own friends,
In the present circumstance there is no certainty
If all these for whom I am to seek
Such happiness will but survive
As they are all assembled here to fight.
"IF Thou holdest, my Lord!
That I should exterminate all foes
For the safety and prosperity of the kingdom,
Even then I do decline
To adopt such jealous process of brutal slaughter.
If the argument be that I must kill
But sons of Dhritarastra and not others
Who put us to countless tribulations and afflictions,
What peace can the Pandavas hope to have hereafter
When the first rush of glorious victory be over,
And they writhe in torture at the recollection
That they had killed their brothers?
Should anyone be killed, that must be done
By Thee alone, O Lord!
For Thou art the Creator,
Preserver and Destroyer of this world -
Nor sin nor piety can touch Thee.
And therefore the taking
Of lives of all these here assembled to fight
Does not befit me at all.
"WHEN I see, Madhusudana !
That teacher, father, son, grand-sire,
Maternal uncle, father-in-law, and grand-son,
Brothers-in-law, friends and relatives -
All have resolved to sacrifice their lives and treasure
And are ready now to fight upon this field of battle,
I do not wish by any means to kill them
Even though they rob us of our lives.
O Janardana! what pleasure can we derive
From the slaying of the sons of Dhritarastra
Albeit that result
In the lordship of the triple world?
"THOUGH statutory law approves
The killing of those criminals
Who perpetrate the crime arson,
Poisoning and robbery,
Yet will it be a sin against the laws of Scripture
To take the life of the superiors and elders,
Though they do prove to be such kind of enemies.
I therefore feel myself not entitled
To kill the sons of Dhritarastra
With their friends and kith and kin.
Madhava, Lord of real knowledge!
What joy can ever come of killing kith and kin?
Duryodhana and his friends are stupified by grief
And disregard the faults accruing to families effete,
And sin by treachery to friends;
Why should we not desist from sinful acts like these
When they are so apparent to us?
When once traditional religious rites
End with the passing of a family,
Degeneration and unrighteousness do speedily
corrupt the rest.
"O Krishna !-Jewel of the race of Brisni !
When irreligion thus prevails, even noble
maidens go astray,
An inter-marriage among the castes
Disturbs the purity of blood.
The origin of mixed blood leads
A family and its polluter into hell;
The forebears of such family
Are liable to sink to hell
When they are deprived of funeral cakes and water.
Age-old customs, rites, traditions
And duties of pure caste
Will be thus annulled by vices that promoted hybrid
I am told, O Janardana!
That the families thus ruined
Are perforce all doomed to hell.
ALAS ! What tragedy !
Intoxicated by the greed
Of lording o'er a kingdom,
We now resolve to sin outrageously
By dealing death to friends and relatives alike.
When I, unarmed, refrain from retribution,
If Dhritarastra's sons should kill me in the fray,
Then even that would I prefer as better far for me."
This said, Arjuna cast aside his bow and arrow
And sat on his chariot with a melancholy heart.
THREAD OF THE BOOK
"SANJAYA said, "Then seeing the dejection of
Whose eyes were dim and moist with unshed tears,
Madhusudana Who slays all mental anguish by His
Did with compassion then address the Prince Arjuna.
The blessed Lord Sree Krishna said, "Arjuna !
Why art thou at this great trial overpowered by illusion:
Unmerited, disgraceful, a reproach to heaven, -
Unworthy of an Aryan?
Son of Pritha! Succumb not to such cowardice
And be not destitute of all verility;
It ill becomes thee.
Being My friend thou dost not lack in valour;
Thou canst be conqueror of all thy worldly foes.
But this despondency is due to thy religious conscience
Concerning thy revered elders, Bhisma and the like.
Tormentor thou of enemies!
Out with this pretty weaknes of thy heart
And rise up thou to fight".
ARJUNA thus replied, "Madhusudana-Slaugh-
terer of foes !
How can I feel inclined to fight against my master Drona,
Or aim an evil arrow at great Bhisma the revered ?
'T were better far to live on alms
Than kill great souls who are my own superiors.
If Thou wilt say that how can these be deemed 'great
When they are mercenary teachers and therefore
should be killed,
Even in such case destruction may bring forth
Prosperity in this poor world alone,
But can afford no peace or true felicity
In life alotted in the worlds to come.
If I should kill preceptors who are my superiors
And therefore held in high esteem,
I would perforce enjoy a world but stained with blood.
"I know not whether begging is to be preferred
For, vanquished or victorious
We do not wish survival at the death
Of Dhritarastra's sons who are now ready for the
A beggar's life though free from jealousy
And all those pangs of separation after death,
Which are concomitants of war,
Is far beneath the dignity of a Kshatriya,
A ruling race whose duty and religion is
To breast the arrows of his foes.
Conversely if we stood victorious in the fight,
'T would be past bearing to endure
The pangs of separation from our kith and kin
And from the sons of Dhritarastra,
Who are brothers all to us,
And the remembrance of the killing of the elders
And the jealousy arising out of love for worldly
Would torture us in consequence throughout an after-life.
So entering upon a war
Whether we vanquish or be vanquished,
We shall be losers, and shall suffer in the end.
Thus placed upon the horns of a dilemma,
I dare not make a selection now of either course of action.
I fall a victim to the stigma of rank cowardice
Owing to vacillation of my nature.
I cannot ascertain my duty at the present hour.
I therefore the emplore, O Krishna !
To inform me what is good for me.
I am Thy true disciple.
Surrender I entirely to Thee,
And take Thee as my refuge.
Were I to attain the sovereignty of all the world,
Free from impediments e'enthe lordship over all
the gods in heaven
Yet would I find no remedy against this grief
That would absorb the vigour of my mind,
And would torment my sense."
SANJAYA said, "Then the tormentor of enemies
And conqueror of sleep became taciturn ;
Addressing the Lord of Senses Sri Krishna, he said,
"Govinda ! I shall fight no more !"
Then, O Dhritarastra ! smilingly
Did the Lord of all senses speak to Arjuna
Dejected in the midst of the belligerent."
Now it is beseemed the Lord Sree Krishna to reveal
That a temporary abnegation
That arose from griefs and earthly miseries
Leads not to the renunciation of the world
Or to the life of a recluse.
THE Lord said to Arjuna,
"Though thou speakest like the wise,
Yet art thy mourning ; but the truly wise
Do not lament nor for the living nor for the dead."
To demonstrate the difference in Spirit and in Matter,
Sree Krishna here explaned that soul is everlasting
And not bound by the laws of bodily mortality
Being identical in nature with the Over-soul
And therefore there is no cause to grieve.
"Two kinds of souls there are" said He, -
"Paramatma the Over-soul, and Jivatma the indivi-
I am the Over-soul - Paramatma.
Thou and these Princes
Are individual souls - Jivatmas.
There was no time in the ages past,
When I and thou and all these Princes
Did not live before;
Nor shall We cease to live in countless aeons yet to come;
In other words, We now exist,
And did exist, and shall, for all eternity."
NEXT He referred to the embodied souls, saying :
"Just as this fleshy body passes on
From childhood into youth, which in its turn
Becomes metamorphosed into maturity
And yet the corporeal self remains identical the
So does the soul not cease to be
Throughout its age-long cycle of births and deaths.
Thus it is that the intelligent
Do not deplore the loss by way of death
Of the soul's gross mortal tenement.
"O son of Kunti ! sense-perceptions
Must be pleasant or be fraught with pain;
That which is pleasant in one instance
May be a pang when new conditions rule.
Welfare and woe, heat and the bitterness of the
And all the appetites of earth,
Have their existence but in the transient world of sense.
It is a duty, commanded by the Scriptures
That thou endure them patiently.
Fighting, then, is no more or less
Than a relgious duty of a Kshatriya,
Default of which involves grave penalty.
GREAT soul !
The temperate one who is not ruffled by the
heat or cold,
The pleasure or the pain of this material world,
May gain a blissful comprehension
Of the true nature of the self.
That body formed of flesh and blood is hardly real,
Hence changeable and thus ephemeral;
But, investing subtle mind and grosser body
The Jivatma, individual soul, is real,
Unchangeable and thus eternal;
The soul is indestructable.
Grief and infatuation are the properties of the nonsoul;
Springing from the affinities of earth
They exist not in the transcendental plane of soul -
Eternal and immortal.
They who have learnt the purest Truth
Have made this great division :
Reality apart from non-reality,
Substance as distinct from shadow.
Hence the souls of Bhisma, Drona and others
Are immortal, though their bodies are destructable.
JIVA, the deathless soul, pervades man's body.
Though but a fraction of the Over-soul's
His potency sustains the body's life;
He cannot perish or be killed; he is eternal.
The gross and subtle bodies of the soul -
The physical and astral - but fetter its existence;
The soul though circumscribed
By time and space in earthly life
Is free, eternal, beyond measure
And can never be destroyed.
So Bharata !
Rather than grieve at physical existence,
Fight as a dutiful Kshatriya should,
According to the Scriptures.
He who imagines that the soul
Could possibly destroy another
Or itself be killed by another soul,
Knows naught of truth.
A soul does not kill any one, nor suffers death itself.
MY dear Arjuna ! being a soul thyself
None can destroy thee or be destroyed by thee.
The Jiva-soul was never born;
He is eternal, existing in all time,
Before the past and far beyond the future.
No births and deaths for him
Nor process of decay or growth;
He is the ancient of all ancients,
Yet ever fresh and new;
Births and deaths associated with the body
Do not affect the soul;
There is no essential relation
Between him and his present body.
O Partha !
Can he who truly knows the soul to be immortal,
Unborn eternal and unchangeable,
Kill anyone or cause another to be killed ?
Just as a person dons new clothes
Casting aside his old and worn-out ones,
So the soul sheds, in regular succession,
His dying body entering upon a fresh life-span
In newer fleshy garb.
NO weapon can destroy him,
Nor water soil, nor air dry,
Nor fire burn him.
The soul can ne'er be cleft asunder :
He is beyond burning; nothing can soil him ;
Nor can he e'er be absorbed;
He is omnivagous, serene, immutable, existing ever.
He is beyond description-
More subtle than the subtlest thing in the material
Beyond perception of the mortal eyes.
He is beyond conception, too.
Pervading all the body,
Surpassing human reasoning and thought
But realisable through transcendental sound.
He is immutable,
Not subject to the attributes that handicap the flesh,
Birth, hunger, thirst, disease, decrepitude and death;
Nor is he prone to lust, infatuation, fear,
Or anger, avarice, or grief or vanity
Or malice of the mind.
KNOWING the nature of the soul
Thou shouldst abandon all thy melancholy
O Mighty-armed ! if thou believest the soul
To be inseparably bound up with the body,
And that it shares its births and deaths
Within the cycle of fruitive action,
Or if thou holdst the view of the Vaibhasika
That soul and body and consciousness are one,
Ending in complete annihilation ;
Or once again if thou shouldst think
The soul to be subject to eternal birth and death,
Even then hast thou no reason to be sorrowful :
Grief will debase thee to a still more heinous level
Than the worst of atheists.
CONSIDER next the arguments of the logicians.
If at the expiry of either joy or pain
As the result of thy fruitive acts,
Death be inevitable after birth,
And if rebirth is certain after death
To suffer or enjoy the actions of this life,
Then does it not befit thee to lament
Over inevitable consequence.
If thou be led away by grief,
Thou wilt degrade thyself thereby
Far lower than the worst polemic.
O Bharata ! those elements which manifest
Between the periods of birth and death
Become unmanifest again when they decay ;
There is no use in wailing.
Though this belief is non-acceptable
By them who know the real nature of such
Yet for the sake of argument if it be so admitted,
Then shouldst thou fight in order to fulfil
The duties of a Kshatriya.
SOME view the soul as marvellous;
Describe him in rich and wondrous terms,
And others, knowing him to be extra-ordinary,
Listen to his real nature;
Besides these, there are others
Who, despite their hearing, cannot understand him;
Out of such ignorance of the true nature of the Jiva-soul
Arise the misconceptions of materialism,
Cessation of animation and monism.
In fact, corporeal souls continue to exist as entities
Eternally imperishable, even after death.
Therefore it does not befit thee
Thus to mourn for them.
If thou wilt but consider
The meet responsibilities of thy class in society,
Thou canst not be afraid of giving battle in this way,
For there is no more worthy act for a Kshatriya
Than to fight on for a cause that's right,
And such an act protects the subjects,
Rules righteously the kingdom
And helps subdue the foe.
THE duties in society are twofold
In accordance with the freed
And bound state of the souls.
The duties of a soul unfettered
Transcend all gross and subtle references,
Whereas the duties of all souls engrossed
In certain sections of society
Are more or less attributed to mundane relativities.
In their conditioned and diversified existences,
The duties of such souls accordingly do vary.
When a conditioned soul is born into the human
His duties at that stage will then be appropriate
If they be classified into four parts and orders
Ruling life according to his qualities and actions
As laid down by the Scriptures.
Such stipulated duties then, are normally incumbent
Upon conditioned souls in this society.
What other course is therefore meet
For a Kshatriya, but to fight ?
O Partha ! Happy those Kshatriya brave,
To whom this battle comes
Like unto an unexpected open door, direct to heaven.
If thou leadest not this battle in a righteous cause,
And sin by shirking now thy licit duties,
Thou wilt be forcibly diverted
From thy present path and fame.
Then will the world cry shame on thee for long.
For infamy in men of high repute
Is worse than death.
Great charioteers who hold thee in such high esteem
Will think but lightly of thee.
They will assume that thou hast turned
Thy back upon thine enemies in fear.
They will cry shame on thee and will deride thy
What more regettable for thee
Than thou hear thine enemies revile thee?
O son of Kunti ! if thou be killed in battle
Thou shalt enter heaven;
If thou emerge victorious, thou shalt enjoy the world.
Rise up, then, O Arjuna !
With a firm determination now to fight.
Sin will not touch thee if thou fight
With aim at final liberation,
Steadfast in indifference to weal and woe,
To gain or loss, defeat or victory.
THUS far the diverse forms of Jnana
And social religious dutis are described ;
Now listen to the deeper concepts of Bhakti,
Loving service to the Personality of God,
That links the Karma-Yoga, elevation,
With that of Jnana-Yoga, which for salvation
Partha ! If thou wilt cultivate the Yoga of devotion
Thine is the undying bliss
Of loosening the bonds that bind the world.
Karma which is action and Jnana - intuitional perception,
Are two paths on the fleeting planes
Of mundane relativities,
And therefore limited, imperfect ;
Whereas Bhakti, service of souls to God's Divinity,
Is wholly of the transcendental Plane.
WHEN both karma and jnana yield to Bhakti,
They blend into devotion, perfect path.
That which is Karma-Yoga
Aims at the limit of fruitive acts,
While Jnana seeks to extend this aim
To abstract Knowledge or Sankhya-Yoga.
That which transcends the bounds of both
And rise to the plane of true devotion,
Which is the normal service of devout pure souls,
Is known as Bhakti, or the perfect dedication
Of all intelligence towards eternal kinship.
Bhakti is the deathless link
Connecting all pure souls with God.
Sankhya-Yoga gives the explanation
Most clearly of the diverse principles involved*
(*The slokas from 12 to 30 deal with the conception of the pure soul, and from
31 to 38 explain the nature of non-souls and their relative duties. The relation
between soul and non-soul is described ahead.)
NO effort to perform these services devotional
Will ever be in vain ;
Slight though this service be,
It will deliver the devotee
From all horrors of the world.
When Jnanins do energise all their activities
To that objective only, keeping in view
The nature of the purest self
This is called "one definite unmixed intelligence",
While the attention of the shifting embodied souls
Aims at inclinations without limit.
Here apprehension enters
Lest actions be destroyed and duties be infringed.
O Son of Kunti !
Bhakti-Yoga is of two fundamental kinds :
The first the primary devotional practices
As chanting, listening and meditation;
The secondary Bhakti does in absolutely
offering to Me
All the results of thy fruitive acts.
I am the sole Acme and the Aim
Of spiritual loving services.
Mind that is dedicated unto Me alone
Is based on firm conviction.
Devotees such as these are stable in their purpose.
But those who are indifferent to Me
Or no steadfast attachment have for Me
Do cultivate an inclination unawares
For multifarious fruitive acts.
As their attention wanders over manifold objectives,
So are their yearnings also endless.
OF all processes Bhakti-Yoga is explained
As of the highest wisdom,
Being steadfastly concentrated in the One,
Sree Krishna the Supreme;
Whereas all other methods of progression
Direct to innumerable ends,
Are ineffective and uncertain.
A genuine devotee thinks:
'The means becomes the end itself,
Meditating on the glories,
Of my Blessed Lord Sree Krishna and His Host
Is the very essence of my life
As taught me by my Master :
The means and the end are one :
The only covetable aim in life-
No other wish have I but this.
Be there pain or pleasure
When I sleep or wake,
Whether the world continues or it be destroyed,
What matters aught to me?
My sole existence is the loving service of my Lord !'
Sincere devotees only give unflinching love like this.
But in Karma-Yoga yearnings know no limit
And attention is dispersed as in Jnana o'er many
THOSE who are vacillating e'er are ignorant ;
Extol the Vedas knowing not their inner
And misinterpret them;
They desire the paltry fruits of action;
They are the seekers of a lowly heaven
Beneath the transcendental Realm of God;
They satisfy their ears with honeyed words,
Agreeable at first but poisined at the end,
For they are led astray by the alluring taste
Of their fruitive acts and abstract wisdom
To render certain duties
Resulting in the cycle of new births and deaths
And an insatiable longing
To enjoy an earthly happiness
With wealth and power o'er others.
Those foolish ones who are addicted
To voluptuous enjoyment of their grandeur,
Cannot attain the higher scales of wisdom
Nor are they steadfastly attached to Me.
THE Scriptures have a two-fold object-
The ultimate intent and the object indicated.
The one straightly aimed at, the other pointed out.
That which is aimed at in a given Scripture
Is the acme of that Scripture ;
And that which points out the acme
Is the end that's indicated.
Now, when the Pole-star is intended,
The brightest nearest star to it is pointed out,
Which is not in itself the end.
The Vedas' final aim is Truth-
The Absolute Who's inconceivable to human minds.
The Vedas also therefore use in the beginning
Qualified principles to indicate the end intended.
That is why Maya or Deluding Energy
With her three qualities of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas
Appears superficially to be the subject matter of
O Arjuna ! be not attracted to that indicated end,
But free thyself from the triple qualities
By realising the Supreme Being
Who is beyond all mundane attributes
And Who is the intended subject of the Vedas.
IN the same Vedas there is often mention
Of Karma, actuated by the principles of
Which is an active and an opiate quality combined.
Sometimes the Vedas tell of Jnana,
The abstract knowledge, promoted by the principle
Now Sattva is the first principle of relative bene-
Which is one of the inherent traits of Maya, the
And only on occasion is pure Bhakti mentioned and enjoined.
Let Me, Arjuna, here remind thee
That pure Bhakti is the loving service of a soul
No longer misidentified with mind and body,
Dedicated to the Personality of God.
Absolve thyself, Arjuna, from such qualitative
Of honour and dishonour;
Associate thou ever with eternal entities-
These are My devotees.
Desist thou from the quest of Yoga,
For, this search after objects unattained
Is aimed at by salvationists;
And free thyself of Kshema,
The earthly care that thou dost lavish
In preserving such results attained.
Apply thy pure intelligence to all
The highest aims, and reach thy goal
Of unalloyed existence
Without these qualities that cloy.
SMALL pools and larger sheets of water such as
Both serve the self-same purposes
For bathing and for quenching thirst.
So also the Brahmanas who have solved
The mysteries of the Vedas and their parts
Like the Upanishads,
Essentially declare Me to be Lord,
Ultimate, Supreme and that all things
Are fully served by serving Me.
ACTION has been divided into Karma proper,
Then Akarma and lastly Vikarma.
Of these, both Vikarma or sin
Comitted by the violation of thy duties
And Akarma, the negligence of duties,
Do occasion great calamities.
Incline not to Akarma,
Do thy duty and adopt the Karma very carefully,
Leaving aside Akarma,
There are three basic kinds of Karma, namely :
Daily duties which are Nitya-Karma;
Those which are causal and occasional
And take the name of Naimittika-Karma,
And those which are gift-desired or interested,
And known as Kamya-Karma.
Of these, the last,
The act performed with motive of some gain
Is deeply ominous. Those who act thus
Perforce must suffer or enjoy
The fruits of all their actions.
Therefore I tell thee for thy good :
Refrain from all fruitive acts.
Perform such duties as devolve upon thee
By the socio-religios laws od Scriptures,
But bear in mind that these do not entitle thee
To claim the fruits.
Those who follow this "Yoga"- method are allowed
To do their duty day by day
To earn their livelyhood.
O Dhananjaya ! Cast aside all longing for results
Of good or evil, and occupy thyself
In the performance of thy socio-religious duties.
Face the succes or failure of fruitive acts
With calm and equability, for this is Yoga.
Cultivate, Dhananjaya, an aptitude devotional,
Applying pure intelligence,
Pursue disinterestedly the Karma proper;
For 'tis contemptible to follow virtue for her gifts.
They who do Kamya-Karma with some gain in view
Drift back into the streams of births and deaths
As a result of their fruitive acts,
And they are low and mean.
Right thinking in discharging selfless deeds
Shows adroit performance of all acts.
Apply thyself disinterestedly to work,
Casting aside good deeds and evil in this world.
Rise thou above such worldly relativities.
The truly wise giveup by perfect understanding
All thought of either joy or suffering
Accruing from the discharge of their duties,
And thus they are released from further bondage of
Attaining to the highest bliss
Which liberates from limitations and all strife-
That End which devotees attain.
WHEN by the practice of such selfless deed
Dedication to the Lord-for I am He
Thy own free will forsakes the quicksands of
Thou wilt incline to cultivate a pure devotion,
Holding impartial views of all the Scriptures
That are yet to be, and those that have been heard.
When thou hast ceased to be bewildered
By diverse expositions of the Vedas and the Srutis,
Steadfast shall be thy meditation
On the inner meaning of the text
And thou shalt attain true "Yoga" :
Clearest conception of the harmony
Between a dedicated action,
Devotion and knowledge freed from misconception.
ARJUNA said, "Tell me, O Keshava !
The traits of such a person
Who with steadfast mind and heart
Maintains such deep serenity.
What does he think of honour and disgrace,
Or praise and blame, or love and hatred ?
Sore is my anxiety to know."
The Lord replied : "O Partha !
When an individual renounces
All the glamour of the mind
And revels in the bliss and calm security
Of self-realisation, he can be said
To have achieved serenity.
He is free from any sort of perturbation ;
His mind remains unruffled
In the midst of weal and woe.
He does not hanker after physical or mental
Or the enjoyments of society ;
He is indifferent to pleasure and pain ;
Free from the fear of peril or of apprehension as to
Firm controlled intelligence becomes the sign
Of this exalted soul.
BOUND not by the ties of flesh,
His wisdom is well founded,
For he is not exultant nor despondent
In either good or evil circumstance.
So long as human body must exist,
Questions of worldly gain and loss are wonted
Yet he who will need them not,
Attain to sweet tranquility of mind.
The senses are by nature unrestrained
Prone to exploit the full range of phenomena,
Yet with the truly wise they rest subservient
To a controlled mind, for as the tortoise
Draws its feet beneath the shelter of its shell
And uses them when needs arise,
So does the wise one with firm determined mind
Bring full control to bear upon his senses
Which for a right cause may be exercised at will
And subsequently kept in check.
THE practices of abstinence from food and self-
Are only for the ignorant.
Thus can they best control the senses of the body
With eight processes for the concentration of the
Such as forbearance and special regulations,
Even to their ways of sitting, breathing,
Meditation and practices of abnegation.
These ways do not hold good for the wise ones
Who are self-controlled.
For them alnoe is the Divine Beauty of Eternal
I am the Eternal Truth.
No longer do they feel the need for worldly joys.
Though rules of fasting to control
The senses are prescribed for many,
Such paths lead not to everlasting good,
Unless the principle of Love
Ecstatic and Divine be present too.
Attachment to Divinity
Causes a corresponding detachment
From the lower inclinations.
When once Divine Love is awakened
And self's relation to the Lord is understood,
Worldly enjoyment ceases to entice.
O Son of Kunti ! even the self-controlled
Who master their senses on the path of
Are sometimes swept away by sense-storms:
For the allurement of the senses is often very great.
Only the path of unalloyed devotion
And Divine Love, frees man from such danger.
He who, by following the course
Of disciplined detachment from all mundane things
And cleaving unto My Divinity,
Allotting to his senses just their proper place
And rightful functions, otherwise keeping them controlled,
Follows the path of Karma-Yoga,
With a view to render loving service unto Me,
He is in very truth a person self-controlled.
The human mind forever seeks enjoyment from
Using the senses, as a vehicle,
But there is no permanence in this.
I am the Lord of senses and phenomena
Made manifest on earth.
Thus he who worships Me with pure devotion
Is indeed self-disciplined-
Perfect in his abnegation.
SEE the ill effects of mock-ascetism.
To meditate on worldly things
And ponder overmuch about renouncing them,
Begets undue attachment and desire for them;
Attachment then gives rise to lust and passion;
Lust, when repressed, arouses anger;
Anger leads to infatuation;
This, again, the memory betrays;
Loss of memoray wipes out all knowledge
And conception of Reality,
And this loss of wisdom, in destruction ends.
Even in mechanical asceticism
Which is divorced from pure devotion,
There is no escape from mundane contemplation
Which gradually engenders thirst for earthly joys
Either in a gross or subtle form,
Ultimately leading the ascetic
To the vortex of an earthly sojourn.
Such are the evil consequences of pseudo-asceticism
As laid down in the Yoga-system.
A self-controlled well-balanced soul.
Can know a perfect bliss within
Though he applies his ordered mind to the pheno-
mena of earth
By being free from love or hatred of them.
A Yogi true has neither sympathy nor antipathy
For any worldly thing.
He has supreme command of all his senses,
And in the service of the Lord
Lies their power and proper use.
Out of that tranquility of mind
Follows the end and healing of all earthly pains.
The heart of such a peaceful soul soon
Becomes intent upon his object of devotion.
Bliss is attainable only by devotion.
Self-content attends the cultivation of devotion
And services like this alone can banish grief and pain.
The truest devotee does dedicate his efforts
To fulfilling the desires of the Lord.
HE who is not bound close to the Divine
By the internal tie of transcendental Love
Cannot conceive of Mellowness Divine;
Unless there be knowledge and the thought of Love-
None can escape from wordly lust
In either gross or subtle form.
He therefore lacks serenity and any means
Of cultivating lasting bliss.
Those souls which are ungoverned
Have no knowledge of their true and pure existence
They cannot thus conceive
The transcendental Personality of God.
Those who cannot meditate on God
Because they lack a true conception of Divinity
Cannot have peace of mind,
And being without peace,
How can bliss attain upon God-realisation ?
Just as a ship is tossed and shaken
To and fro by an unfavoured wind
And ultimately doomed to wreck and ruin,
So also the mind of an uncotrolled soul
Is at the mercy of the senses
Devoid of all discrimination
And thereby led astray.
SO, great Prince ! he whose serenity of mind
Is not disturbed by objects of the senses,
Is veritably equipoised.
This can only be obtained
By adoption of a balanced abnegation.
Such is true asceticism,
Which is, in other words, devotion.
ARJUNA ! intelligence is two-fold-
One bent upon self-consciousness,
The other upon selfish gross enjoyment
Either by acceptance of material things
Or subtle things through mechanical renunciation.
The state of self-realisation is
As the screen of night for worldly minded people.
Just as the sleepers know not what takes place at
So those of the world are ignorant
Of what self-conscious beings know.
He who is self-conscious is awakened
In that sphere of night, and enjoying everlasting bliss
From steadfast comprehension
Of his own self and the Supreme Soul.
They are awake who welter
In the sink of worldliness,
Conscious of selfish joys
And grief, fear and delusion,
For their sphere is like the night to the self-conscious
Who are therefore unaware of this.
Thus the self-conscious people sleep
In that sphere where the worldly-minded wake.
That which is night for one is day for others.
Where the self-conscious are awakened
And when it is like day to them,
That is to say, when they enjoy
Eternal bliss in the realisation of the Over-soul,
They of the world do sleep,
Ignorant of all bliss that passes through their night.
Indifferent to pain and pleasure
Which entangle worldly men in meshes of illusion,
They who are divinely conscious
Accept the things of earthly life with nonchalance.
THOSE who have inordinate desires
Can never know true happiness.
Just as rivers entering the Ocean
Cannot create disturbance there,
So the desires embosomed
In the hearts of all the self-controlled
Cannot ruffle their tranquility of mind and senses;
They alone are happy.
Whosoever slips the yoke of egotism
Does not desire enjoyment or renunciation;
He is indifferent to all phenomena;
Lives in an unattached and very humble manner,
He ever-lasting bliss and peace attains.
O Son of Pritha ! such firmness and stability
Lead one to know Brahman.
He who reaches that stage even at the hour of death,
Like King Khattanga, realises
Spiritual identity with Brahman,
That which is salvation
And free from worldly bondage.
Casting off the yoke of time and space,
The soul attaining to the realm of Brahman,
Tastes of all-conscious bliss for ever-
This is true Nirvana.
Brahman is disctinct from Matter.
He who is settled in that sphere,
Savours the mellowness of Transcendental Love."
ARJUNA questioned :
"O Janardana ! Thou Final Goal-
Solicited by those who seek the Highest End !
If thou deemst that disciplined intelligence,
Free from the threefold attributes
Within the bounds of time and space,
Is loftier than Karma-action,
Why then dost Thou, Keshava !
Controller of Creator Brahma and Destroyer Rudra !
Prompts me to engage in this terrific war ?
The advice Thou hast given me
Seems misleading and ambiguous,
Not because Thou, my Lord and Friend, doth mean
But to my limited intelligence it appears so.
Tell Thou me therefore finally
What path is good for me.
Somewhere Karma-Yoga is the choice,
Socio-religious duties or fruitive acts ;
Again Thou hast advised me
On the selfless discharge of my duties
Or Niskama Karma-Yoga :
Thou hast also told me of the concentration
Of the mind and meditation, Yoga,
And how intelligence may be applied
And aimed at Brahman, Jnana-Yoga.
Above all Thou hast pointed out to me
How the relationship of loving service
Is awakened when we realise the true
Nature of the pure soul and the Supreme Soul
By following the path of pure devotion.
BEWILDERED, what I understood is this :
Sattwika-duty ranks above the Rajas-duty,
Yet is inferior in wisdom;
But Bhakti which transcends the attributes
Of limited phenomena, to all these is superior.
If I am as yet unfit for this,
How may I follow Sattwika-Jnana,
And discard the yoke of worldly bondage ?
Those who are intent on action
Limited by mundane time and space
Are best advised to follow Karma;
They who seek emancipation from such bondage,
Should Jnana-Yoga choose ;
While Bhakti-Yoga is the only path
For those who earnestly desire
Eternal union with Divinity
In loving service to the Personality of God,
Which service is the innate and normal function
Of every pure soul.
Tell me, therefore, Krishna,
What course is best for me."
THE Blessed Lord replied :
"What I have said before
Does not imply that either Karma or Sankhya-Yoga
Can of itself lead to salvation or self-realisation.
There is no second path but Bhakti to that end.
In this pursuit of Bhakti,
Aspirants of two kinds appear.
The wise are known as "Sankhyas"
And those whose hearts are purified
Ascend the path of abstract knowledge
And steadfastly adhere to Jnana-Yoga.
But those whose hearts are not so purified
And are incapable of rising above empiric knowledge,
Are known as Karma-Yogins,
Their tendency is normally directed
To the path of selfless actions,
The fruits of which they dedicate
To Me, the Sole Divine Recipient.
THE path of selfless action
Which they consecrate to God
Leads to attainment of pure knowledge
Which, when cherished in a sinless heart
Helps them to realise the nature
Of the unalloyed soul and Over-soul,
And ultimately reach the Realm
Of unalloyed Devotion.
Verily the process is but one,
Varying according to aspirants' aptitudes
At diverse stages of advancement
Towards the Final Goal.
Karmins do purify their hearts by selfless Karma-
And, thus purified, ascend the plane of Jnana.
Jnana can unfetter from the bonds
Of time and space, when pure devotion
Leads them to the final aim :
Endless, ageless bond that binds
All individuals to the Supreme-
The Fountain-head of all things sentient and
"This", said Krishna to Arjuna,
"The essence of My Speech".
THAT stage of perfect selflessness,
When all life's fruits and actions become
offerings to God,
Can be attained by faithfull discharge of thy duties
As laid down in the Scriptures.
Neglect of spiritual Ordinace
Swiftly defiles the heart,
And a heart impure is, from the perfect goal,
Setting at naught the codified injunctions of the
They who perform the wordly duties
Forced upon them by the qualities of Maya,
Are men of impure heart.
They should observe most faithfully
The duties which the Scriptures have ordained,
That they may cleanse their hearts of all impurity.
Of what avail for him whose heart is thus impure
To try to curb his fleshy senses ?
He who controls his fleshy organs,
Mentally enjoys phenomena by means of spurious
And such an one is but a hypocrite.
He whose senses have been controlled
And has engaged his fleshy senses in conformity
With the duties of domestic life,
Without attachment to it,
Stands far superior to such a hypocrite.
An undeserving novice should accept
The course of action, rather than become
Inactive by neglect of duties.
As the soul and body cannot be preserved
Except by action, how can relief from Karma then
be possible ?
Therefore, leaving aside all the fruitive acts,
Purify thy mind by doing daily duties
Such as fighting, governing and prayer.
Thus wilt thou reach the plane of pure intelligence
Whence thou shalt finally attain
The path of true devotion that will lead thee
To an understanding of thine innermost self.
CONSECRATING all the fruits
Resulting from thy selfless Karma
To Godhead Hari, is called Yajna.
All forms of Karma done
With motives other than Yajna
Are only ties of bonfage in this world,
Proceeding fruitive acts.
Thus, for the satisfaction of Hari,
The Lord of all sacrificial rites,
Act, thou, son of Kunti ! nor desire thou
To enjoy thine action's fruits.
Deeds that are shackled with desires
Even when offered to the Lord, God of all,
Are but a source of bondage.
Disinterested acts are helpfull to the progress
And smooth the path that ultimately leads
To real devotion.
HE of the impure heart
Must still perform unselfish actions ;
He must not cease to act,
For such cessation has no inherent virtue.
If selfless actions be impossible to him,
He may yet offer his action's fruits to God
Expecting the fulfilment of his hearts desires.
But let him beware of welcoming Akarma and
Denying the injuctions of the Scriptures.
In the Adi-Sarga or the Primitive Creation
After creating mankind as his progeny
Brahma said unto them :
Thrive ye step by step by means of this same
May this Yajna give ye your desired end !
May your hearts be purified
And your bodies nourished by this Yajna.
It shall lead you to eternal liberation.
MAY you please the gods with this same Yajna
And they being pleased with thee
Bless thee with thy desired boons
And give thee happiness thereby.
May this mutual satisfaction bring thee
To a knowledge of thy real self.
He who enjoys his food and drink,
Produced and given by the gods
And does not offer them
By way Yajna, sacrificial rites,
To them, is reckoned as a thief.
Learn ye the sacrificial rites due to the gods,
The Yanjna; they are five :
Brahma-Yajna-performed by studying the Vedas;
Priti-Yajna-oblations of sesame and water to
ancestors who are dead ;
Daiva-Yajna-offering butter to the gods by burning
it in holy fire ;
Bhuta-Yajna-offering of food to needy beings ;
And lastly Nri-Yajna-offering hospitality to guests.
They who solely accept
The residue of offerings as food
Can free themselves from all sin,
But those who eat and drink for selfish pleasure,
Suffer from those very sins,
Such are the sins of Pancha-suna,
Committed by taking lives in sundry diverse ways :
Kandanee-in the pestle and the mortar ;
Peshanee-with the grinding stones as means ;
Chullee-the method in the furnace ;
Under a water-jar-Udakumbhee ;
Marjanee-by the agency of a broom.
Ye may destroy the sins committed
In gaining sustenance
By the performance faithful
Of the sacrificial rites.
BEINGS are brought into existence by food,
Food is produced by rain ;
Rain pours as a result of Yajna
And Yajna arises out of Karma ;
Karma follows from Brahma or the Vedas,
The Vedas originated from
The Transcendental Name "Achuta", the Unborn.
Therefore the All-Pervading Brahman
Is present in all Yajna.
People of this stage of evolution
Should thus adhere to Yajna,
The causal factor of the cycle of the universe.
O Partha ! he who refrains
From performing this sacrament,
The stimulator of the Universe,
Lives a lascivious life in vain
Among the selfish doers of fruitive acts.
Selfless Karma-duties done for God
Are free from all tinge of virtue or of vice,
For that is the right way to reach Nirguna-Bhakti.
This is the loving service
To the Personality of God
Free from the limited atmosphere
Of worldly time and space,
As laid down in the Scriptures.
BY following this path
Man can easily purify his heart.
But they who have eschewed it,
Are swayed by sinful appetites :
Their very life is desicration.
Yet they may curb profanity
By pious deeds and deep atonement.
Prescribed Yajna is Dharma or pious acts.
Piety is the performance of such deeds
As bring about the good of the majority,
Ensuring the continuance of the cosmic cycles.
Such piety redeems inevitable sins,
Born of Pancha-Suna, the five-fold sins, described
Personal joy, promoting universal good,
Can count as pious deeds and Yajna.
They who enact unseen
The universal good, are known as 'gods',
Born of the cosmic potency of God.
Sins can be washed away
By gaining the contentment of these gods
And satisfying them.
This is called Karma-chakra,
The mighty "Wheel of action".
Acceptance of thy Karma by worshipping these gods
Is known as "consecrated action to the Lord".
They who advocate mere ethics
Think these scriptural injunctions only mundane,
And so act accordingly.
Even with duties well performed,
They offer not the fruits to Vishnu,
He Who preserves the universe entire.
Better for such in their peculiar station
To offer to God the fruits of their own Karma.
THEY who revolve mechanically
With the wheel of Karma
Perform their duties under harsh compulsion,
But he who finds delight in the truest self,
Who can distinguish between this and the non-self,
Content therewith, has no Karma to perform under
He moves within the plane of pure intelligence
By virtue of his own true self.
Though he may work to keep together soul and body
Yet he does naught that can be claimed
As daily duties-Nitya-Karma,
Causal or occasional-Naimittika-Karma-
Of gift-desired Karma-Kamya-Karma.
For him no irksome toiling with the wheel of action
But all the bliss and dignity
Of work without attachment.
Hence do his deeds not fall within the Karma's
But in their own condition,
Are either Jnana-Yoga, purely intellectual,
Or loving devout as Bhakti-Yoga,
Loving service to the Personality of God.
WHO has discerned the blameless soul's felicity,
Is not responsible for vice or virtue
Due to the performance or neglect of duties.
Depends he not on any entity alive
Or man or god,
For the fulfilment of his ends,
For he has attained perfection
What he does or fails to do
Results in bliss and eternal good,
For he transcends the limitations
Of all mundane relativities.
Even in this stage, none the less
He must attend to the performance or neglect of
Perform thy duties ever, then,
Without attachment to their fruits,
For by degrees the engrossed soul
May come to know its real nature,
Free from the coverings of mind and body,
By the detached performance of its Karma.
Salvation is but the knowledge
Of the soul's eternal function
Of single-minded service to the Lord,
Which is the climax of all duties,
Commanded by the Scriptures.
JNANINS like Janaka only realised their nature
After their hearts are purified by fulfilling Karma.
Be thou a teacher of mankind.
Thou deem'st thyself a Jnani or knower of the
Then must thou work for the world's enlightenment
By adopting Karma likewise.
Howe'er the great behave in life,
The masses follow them accordlngly;
That which is held to be authentic
As a standard of the great
Is accepted by the mass as truth.
See thou, Partha ! in this triple world
I have naught incumbent on Me as a duty.
I am the Lord Supreme,
No object is beyond My reach,
Yet have I had recourse to Karma.
Where I to cease performing duties,
Others by following Me would also shirk their debt.
THOUGH I am Lord of all, I manifest
In the family of Yadavas who are rulers,
And were I to fail to show them now
By example of My personal life
The duties that devolve on them,
They, too, would fail and thereby would be ruined.
Thus though I am beyond all regulations
Yet must I set an example to others.
Thou also art My friend
And therefore beyond all human duties,
Yet thou must teach the others
Who are juniors, by thine example.
Condescend thou to a lower plane
For the good of those who occupy it
Though thou be not bound by Karma's dictates.
If I were to cease to work,
People would go to wreck and ruin
By neglecting their respective duties,
And if a rupture were created
In the regulated life by Me,
That would contaminate the people's minds
By striking at the roots of pure and gradual growth.
O BHARATA !
As the ignorant become attached to Karma,
So should the wise adopt it, but without attachment
For the good of the people.
The difference of the Karma of the two
Lies not in the mode, but in the motive:
Whether it be selfishness or otherwise.
An ignoramus understands not that the aim of
Is to wake the dormant nature of the soul,
And he who in his unintelligent heart
Cherishes attachment for his Karma
Is called a Karmasangi or fruit-seeker.
Such ignoramuses have no avidity for knowledge
Even when it is explained to them.
The wise, therefore, should teach them selfless
That it may purify their hearts
Setting a fine example for them
By following a Karma aloof from worldly interest.
PREMATURE attempt to prove the difference
That lies between Karma and pure intelligence
Would but distract the mind.
No good results would e'er accrue
From forcing knowledge ere its time.
Remember this My dictum
To them who teach the Jnana-Yoga.
But these directions are not meant
For preachers of a pure devotion unto Me.
Because such knowledge is dependent
On the purging of the heart,
Which is again contingent
Upon unselfish Karma,
But Bhakti, loving service rendered unto Me
Depends on the heart's purification,
For, that occurs in just degree to the devotion.
Now let me tell wherein the wise
And ignorant differ.
PRAKRITI, the cosmic Energy or Maya-Nescience,
And he who identifies himself with the perverted
May think he is the arbiter of every act,
Which, as a matter of fact, is performed
Beneath the influence of Maya,-
For, God is the Essential Cause,
As Maya is the material cause
Of every action limited by time and space.
That is the sign of ignorance.
But O thou Mighty-armed !
The sage who knows the truth
Knows that the soul is self
Apart from mundane qualities and actions,
Knows himself a sentient being
Of concentrated bliss
With the everlasting faculty of serving God
And that as fortune wills
He is enveloped in the gross and subtle bodies
Which are the outcome of external Maya-potency
And must not dominate him,
Though they have forced him in the present state
To yould to the dictates of Maya
In the material world.
NO perfect independence ever signalizes his
For he alone is not the doer of all that he is known
And thus thinking, he stands detached from them.
Every material act is guided
By the vanity of Maya-glamoured souls.
The Cosmic Energy
And the Indwelling Lord of all-
All three together.
A truly wise man is not guided
By his body or his mind,
With which an ignoramus identifies himself,
But on the contrary he guides them
To his destination of Eternal Bliss.
There is a distinction between qualities and action.
The qualities are three: Sattva, Rajas and Tamas:
The actions form three groups respectively
According to which quality prevails.
Sattwika refers to the duties of the gods,
Rajasika the acts of the eleven senses,
And Tamasika, action directed towards to objects
of the senses.
Yet the soul is neither guna-nor guna-karya,
Which means objects of the senses,
Nor has it any true relation to them.
Therefore he who is truly wise is unconcerned with
THE ignorant who are infatuated
By the triple qualities of Maya
Think they are born of matter
And identify themselves
With qualities of Prakriti-the cosmic energy.
Let not the wise bewilder these unfortunates.
Rather should they be advised to follow
A gradual process to the higher knowledge
Beginning with strict adherence to Karma-Yoga.
Just as a person obsessed by evil spirits
Identifies himself with all that evil,
So does he who is overshadowed by the qualities of
Think himself born of Maya.
As exorcising by the act of invocation
Is the remedy of one posessed of evil spirits,
So also practical selfless Karma
Is advised by sages to the ignorant
As the remedy to rid them
Of the influence of actions.
The wise should not attempt an explanation
Of the self and non-self and their functions
But should mention only selfless action,
Just as a scorcerer applies his incantations
Rather than try to convince a man posessed
That he is not a ghost, in order to affect acure.
Thus realising, Arjuna,
The nature of true wisdom and thy real self,
Dedicate thy Karma unto Me,
Forsaking all the egotism of the world
And earthly consequences.
Absolve thyself from all thoughts of results
Thinking thou: "I do this as desired by my Lord."
Forget anxieties and lamentation
O'er loss of friends and relatives
That may result from war,
And fight out this battle
As is thy bounden duty being a Kshatriya.
THOSE who perform Niskama-Karma or unselfish
Offering the fruits of their activities to Me,
Are freed forever from the bondage of all Karma ;
And those who are unable to perform this Karma
But yet have faith and confidence insuch
Bereft of any spite or malice,
Also attain that end,
Acquiring freedom from Karma's bondage.
Know thou for certain that they
Who not follow this My principle
Of selfless Karma-Yoga, out of malice,
Deprive themselves of all true knowledge
And their intellect is blunted.
BELIEVE not thou,
That if a wise man turns ascetic
Suddenly denying mundane qualities and acts
After adjudging of the self and the non-self,
This will do him any good.
Those who are slaves to senses,
Though intelligent and wise,
Are aften all but fallen souls ;
And near to follow out the course of long accustom-
They have become entangled
By the mighty laws that govern
To rid themselves of long accustomed inclinations,
They should with watchful eyes upon the goal
Perform such Karmic deeds as are prescribed
For that special status and condition
In which they find themselves within the bounds of
time and space.
Unselfish Karma with its fruits
Presented unto Me, should be
The only beneficial path
For one whose heart is not awake,
Yet longing to perform unselfish services to Me,
Albeit genuine and balanced in spirit ;
For, observance and amelioration of socio-religious
Are simultaneously served by practising Niskama-
The non-performance of these duties
Leads man astray upon immoral paths.
But when true and loving Bhakti
Is enkindled in the heart by both My Grace
And that of My Associates,
No need is there further for happy souls like these
To tread the path of selfless Karma
In order to fulfill the duties of society
Since they have realised a far
Superior path, the Bhakti-Yoga,
Linking them in close touch with Me.
IF thou shouldst argue that association
With the senses and their objects
Will make thee more attached to them,
Then listen thou to Me :
Sense perceptions of themselves
Are never detrimental to the soul,
But love and hatred for them are the greatest foes.
The love which is forbidden for another's wife,
Arrests the progress of the soul
As much as an aspirant's weak reluctance
For worship at the Feet of the Preceptor.
So, love and hatred e'er must be controlled
Whilst coming into contact with the sense-
For thereby thou wilt not be shackled
By these object of the senses
Even when they meet with thee.
MAN has to grapple with phenomena while
fleshy bodies last;
Yet diminishing his love and hate of objects born
He may achieve a certain non-attachment
Though he associates with them.
This firm control of love and hate for objects
Is essential that man not be enslaved by them,
Whereas a vastly different aim is comprehended
When speaking of My service ;
Thus temporal significance does not apply
To objects that assist the spirit's progress;
In other words, love for those things and deeds
Which stimulate devotion,
Must be supported by aversion,
To those things that hinder deeds to me
Cherish the wish to serve me lovingly;
Banish the sense-perceptions that engender self-
FOUR castes there are in which embodied souls
Discharge their duty to society :
The teachers, warriors, peasants and the servants.
Swa-Dharma or the duty of a Brahmana
Is to expound the Vedas,
Living on the charity of men,
Controlling all his senses.
That of a Kshatriya, to fight his enemies,
Protect his kingdom and collect his revenues.
That of a Vaisya is to till the land,
To trade and deal with agriculture.
Swa-Dharma of a Sudra is to serve the other three
Duties outside one's rightful status in society are
So that the duties of a Brahmana or Vaisya or a
Would be Para-Dharma for Kshatriyas.
Both Swa-Dharma and Para-Dharma are socio-
Allotted to the person of a fallen soul.
That which is different from these is Atma-Dhama,
Endless function of the soul.
Hence, in assessing fruits of Karma dedicated unto
Swa-Dharma though imperfectly discharged
Is more acceptible than perfect Para-Dharma.
If thou shouldst meet with death performing thy
Ere thou canst reach a higher plane,
That were acceptible,
For, Para-Dharma is unstable always.
NOW, when the dormant nature of the soul is
For the normal function of the soul is Bhakti
Untrammelled by all mundane attributes,
Then there remains no further need
To do the duties ordered by Swa-Dharma,
For, Swa is Atman and Dharma, function ;
And the eternal function of the pure soul
Is as Swa-Dharma then revealed.
Thus of this stage, the past Swa-Dharma of a fallen
Concerning mind and body
In his own place in society
Becomes the Para-Dharma to the awakend soul."
ARJUNA spoke: "O Barshneya !
Thou Scion of the family of Brishni !
Who prompts a Jiva-soul to sin though it be quite
against his will ?
Since Thou hast told me that a soul
Is an ever-pure, self-conscious entity
Free from the yoke of mundane relativities
And that to sin is foreign to its nature,
Pray tell me plainly, who does incite to wicked acts
The souls of this world that revel in foul sin?"
Bhagavan replied: "Arjuna ! know thou that Kama,
The devouring fierce desire,
And flaming anger born of Rajas,
Tempt souls to sin and therefore are
The greatest enemy of mankind in this world.
Kama is desire to lord it over earth's phenomena
According to the hankerings of former births.
Kama it is that takes another form
As anger, when conditions differ.
Rajas principle gives birth to Kama,
Which, when redressed in its fulfilment
Is profaned by Tamas and manifests as anger.
Kama is very fierce and insatiable.
All that the world contains of wealth and woman
Fails to content the lust of a voluptuous man;
Hence it is the greatest foe.
As a fire is withheld from sight by smoke
And a mirror obscured by dust
And the womb is enveleped by the uterus,
So fallen souls are engulfed by this Kama.
Kama has sceened the world with ignorance-
Sometimes but lightly, at other times more deeply
And sometimes with extreme density.
JUST as the flame of fires lurking behind the
May readily be seen,
So also a fallen human being
Can meditate on God
Even though the normal function of his pure self
Be influenced by Kama;
At this stage the fallen soul
Like a blossom still in bud
Engages in a selfless Karma-Yoga.
A worse condition is as dust upon a mirror,
Obscuring the reflection upon it;
At this stage a soul is deeply involved in Kama
Nor can he remember God nor think of Him,
Even though born in human form,
And lead a moral but atheistic life;
This shrinking condition of the innate function of
the human soul
May be compared with that of birds and beasts.
The worst and last state of existence of the soul
Is spent beneath the influence complete of Kama
As the womb enveloped by the uterus,
And lives with consciousness enshrouded
Like the trees and other vegetation.
O Son of Kunti ! this Kama
Is man's eternal enemy, which in the form of
Saps his wisdom in discerning self and non-self.
Lust cannot satisfy the fire of Kama (desire)
Any more than grease can extinguish blazing fire.
Kama is nescience, man's greatest enemy
And, like a burning fire, consumes
The soul's own consciousness of its real nature.
God, the Over-soul, and individual Jiva-souls are
both self-conscious ;
God is the Omnipotent Entire Being,
While the individual soul is an atomic spirit,
Self-conscious and possessing faculties
Cognitional, of will and emotion.
All these are in relation to the potency of the
THE Jiva's function is eternal service to the Lord
Which is known as Love Divine.
Spirit or sentient being has free will
In contrast to insentient matter.
Souls may make a proper use of free will or abuse it.
Kama or nescience is the misuse of free will
And a base perversion of the holy principle of Love.
Those who abuse their free will and forget
Their nature of eternal service to the Lord,
Do welcome Kama.
The more they are attracted by the lure of Kama,
Thicker grows the screen of their illusion.
This is the worldly bondage of the soul
Which throws man on the rolling wheel of births
Souls fettered by the bondage of their gross and
Are deluded by this Kama;
Their pure intelligence held fast within its fortress
of the senses.
When such a soul of pure intelligence and
Is held within the form of flesh and blood,
It is called Dehi ;
Intelligence, called Buddhi,
Is the heart's discriminating faculty ;
Manas, the inclination, that wavers from doubt to
CONSIDER now the veils of ignorance
With which the Cosmic Energy, Avidya,
Tends to clothe the soul.
The first which is the subtlest form of Kama
Offered to the spiritual ego
Is a perverted and circumscribing egotism.
This is the outer wall of Kama's fortress,
Known as perverted Buddhi or intelligence.
Once it matures, it forms the second barrier
That which is mind or Manas, linking with it
Faculties of will, cognition and emotion.
Mind then constructs the third enclosure,
That of the senses, when it attunes itself
To objects of phenomena.
Into the vortex of the world,
Strengthened by this triple fortress,
Kama immerses souls.
This egotism, child of Kama,
Causes aversion to the service of the lord.
Kama is therefore known as nescience or ignorance.
When such a fallen soul abandons Maya
Turning his face to God with wish to serve Him,
Rightly exerts he his free will,
By choosing Vidya or true intelligence,
Whereas the misuse of free will
Is called Avidya or delusion.
THEREFORE Bharatashava !
Thou must triumph over Kama
The great sin and destroyer,
Spoiler of Jnana, pure intelligence
And Vijnana, the love of Me.
Regulating thy mind and senses,
Kama that dominated thee and thy self-consciousness
Must be destroyed.
Attune thyself to the love and basic harmony.
The broad path for a fallen soul to follow
Is that of Karma-Yoga.
Practise the duties of Swa-Dharma
Incumbent on thy status in society,
Then offer the results of these to Me,
Keeping in view a genuine asceticism,
That is, acceptance of the objects of phenomena
When they promote My service
Rejecting them when detrimental to My cause.
Be thou detached from them in either case,
Then shalt thou follow by degrees
The path of loving service rendered to My satisfaction
Which is beyond the scope of mind and body,
Only attainable by My Grace and that of My
KNOW thyself to be a soul,
Whose real nature is divine,
Though still identified with senses,
Manas which is mind and Buddhi, thine intelli-
All this is due to thy delusion
Caused by Avidya, the Cosmic Energy of the
The grossest principle is Matter ;
More subtle are the senses, hence a state superior ;
Mind is more subtle and superior still,
Yet infinitely far above the mind, is Buddhi.
But thine immortal soul is infinitely subtler than
And therefore worlds above it.
THUS, O Mighty-armed ! equipped now
With the transcendental truth anent thy self,
Kill the destroying enemy, called Kama.
Pure self is the eternal servant of the Lord and I am
Cast off all thoughts of mundane relativety
Remember thou art spirit in thy liberated state
And My eternal servant ;
Sustain thyself by this conception of thine inmost
And by the grace of My Indwelling Spirit
Shalt thou follow, step by step, the Way Devout
And slay this fierce Kama which hinders now
The consummation of thy greater Self."
EMPRICISM AND KNOWLEDGE OF TRANSCENDENCE
BHAGAVAN-He Who is possessed
Of All-Majesty, All-Might,
All-Beauty and All-Wisdom-said,
"I first taught this eternal Jnana-Yoga,
By which selfless Karma may best be performed,
To the Sun-God ; the Sun-God taught the same to
And Manu in his turn gave it to Ikshwaku.
And thus it passed down the succession apostolic of
the Royal Sages;
But, Parantapa-thou slayer of the foes !
The ruthless hands of time
Have nigh erased this Yoga from the world.
Once more do I declare to thee today
This eternal, blissful, confidential Yoga
For thou art My friend,
The tenderness of thy heart has been directed unto
And thou art My devotee for submitting thou to
"The Sun-God came before Thee
Who art born to this world now,
How can I comprehend
That Thou didst teach this Yoga unto him?"
Sree Bhagavan said: "O Arjuna !
Manifold births had you and I;
As the Supreme Lord I remember,
But thou, O slayer of thy foes !
Being a fragment of My Self, thou hast forgot.
Albeit thou and I do come into this world
And go and come again,
Yet there is all the world of difference in thy births
and My Descents.
I am the Supreme Lord of all life;
I am Unborn, Eternal ; and manifest Myself in My
Out of My gracious kindness for all fallen souls
Through the agency of My Indwelling Ecstacy.
BUT Jiva-souls are born of My external Maya-
Obscuring recollection of their former births.
By Karma-law the fallen soul is carried
In its subtle form of mind, from one birth to another.
Only by My Free Will do I descend at times
Among the gods or lower forms.
Unlike the fallen souls My transcendental Form
Is not enveloped by a subtle or a grosser body.
By My Divine prerogative I manifest
My transcendental Form, out of Mine Own positive
From far beyond the boundary of earthly time and
Came I into this Cosmic world.
If thou wouldst know how My Transcendence
May be brought within the range
Of this universe of limits-then listen :
My Potency is inconceivable by human mind :
Beyond all mundane reasoning,
And the outcome of its activities
Cannot be known to human understanding's limits.
Even thine empiricism should allow
That the All-Powerful Lord Supreme with all
His inconceivable and mighty Potencies
Does not submit to earth's experiences.
His Kingdom by His Will can manifest in this world
as It is.
HE can accommodate Himself and all Entourage
In the minutest particle of matter
And all the worlds can He accomodate
In the hair-end of His Divine Form-
For this is His Divinity.
Therefore, what wonder that My transcendental
Are beyond the scope of mundane hence limited
What doubt, then, can there be about the possibility
Of My Descent in Mine Own Form Eternal
Without recourse to human attributes, into this
The Potency, deluding fallen souls,
Is My External Potency.
She is by name the Maya-Shakti or Deluding Potency,
Whereas the Internal Potency that dwells within
And is the Counter-Whole Predominated Aspect of
My Own Self,
Unites with Me forever.
My potency indeed is one,
Though She assists Me in My transcendental
Guiding My true devotees and all their loving service
While in other aspects She deludes the fallen
Who are fastened by the chain of Karma.
BHARATA ! In every age when irreligion doth
I manifest Myself.
In My Divine Form Eternal
Descend I unto earth, meeting the deluded people
As if I were born like them
That I may save the soul-surrendering devotees
And by a method indirect,
Replace upon the path of righteousness the wicked,
And re-establish for all souls their own eternal
I am Self-willed and Self-effulgent;
I descend upon the world whenever I desire.
Thus when the Vedas are distorted,
Love stigmatized, or duties disregarded,
When irreligious principles, or sins predominate,
I, by prerogative divine, reveal Myself.
Eternal are My cosmic laws;
Yet when the stream of time produces forms
Perverted, due to some unknown causes,
And spreads corruption, owing to the
Failings of inconstant time,
None but I can end that chaos or disorder.
COME I to purge the world of all perversion
From religion proper,
I manifest not only in this India
But also in celestial and material realms
According to their needs.
Do not believe My Revelations are denied to hethens
When among these appear debased conceptions of
This I protect through One of My Saktabeshavataras,
This means Divine Descent, when I endow a soul
Freed for eternity, with godly powers
To fulfil a special mission in the world.
The relative socio-religious duties
Of the four divisions in society,
Formed on the basis of qualities and actions,
Are best performed in India.
This land I favour especially as God Supreme.
I remove the foreign elemements that tend them to
It is for this reason that all
My soul-attracting Yugavataras
And Amsavataras do manifest in India.
KRISHNA is the Fountain-Source of all Divine
Who hold an equal power with Him,
As diverse lights of equal power
May be enkindled from one master light.
Krishna is known as Svayam-Rupa-
Lord in His Own Eternal Form,
His first Manifestation being Svayam-Prakash
His Name is also Valadeva,
Who in one Aspect serves the Lord in half a score of
And in another Aspect is explained
He the Primeval Power is,
Who fertilizes all the hearts
In which the seed of love Divine
And worship of the Lord, can grow
Into sublime devotion.
The next Manifestation Maha-Samkarsana is
Comprising Vasudeva, Samkarsana and Two more
Pradyumna, Aniruddha-all Four Aspects of the One.
From Mahasamkarsana manifets Karanavasayee
And from Him proceeds the one known as
Again, from this come the four Divine Descents.
These manifest in India in four Ages and are called
The Yugavataras which number, therefore, also
FAR back in Satya-Yuga, which is called the Gold-
Hari the fair-complexioned, is the first Divine
The next appears in Treta-Yuga or the Silver Age
And the Divine Descent is Hayagriva-red of skin.
The third great Age, Dwapara-Yuga,
Produces dark Syama's Form
And in Kali-Yuga-fourth and present Age of
The Avatara is Krishna, fair like the burning gold.
Original Krishna is the Ultimate Svayam-Rupa
Revealing not Himself on earth
In every third great Age.
From Mahasamkarsana, as explained to thee above,
The Partial Revelations or the Amsavataras
Of Krishna the Primeval, are manifest on earth
In every third great Age.
From Mahasamkarsana, as explained to thee above,
The Partial Revelations or Amsavataras
Of Krishna the Primeval, are manifest on earth.
WHEN duties in society are never classified
According to the qualities and actions of the
No selfless Karma-Yoga can result,
Nor Jnana either, nor Bhakti-Yoga,
The ultimate and highest goal of man.
That attitude devout among the lower grades of men
Is due to all My devotees and their special grace.
The duties of the castes are re-established not by Me
But by the Royal Sages, and the like, empowered
Yet as a benediction to Mine own who long to see,
I come in Person to this world;
No lesser Incarnation can content the great devout.
When I, as Svayam-Rupa, make descent into this
My Avataras of every grade are also manifest,
For they are all in Me.
I spare My devotees the pangs
Of separation from Myself.
As Yugavatara I kill the non-religious who rebel
Like Ravana and Kamsa and the others of that kind
And thereby indirectly bless them.
Two basic forms of service
Call Swa-Dharma I ordain
By preaching, hearing, chanting and by other ways
Of unallyed devotion
I found Swa-Dharma the eternal service
Which refers to fleash and blood of body
And the subtle form of mind.
IN other Ages I destroy the atheists who strive
Against Me or My devotees;
But in the present Age, Kali-Yuga
Or the Age of discord and strife,
I do not even try to slay even the wickedest of these.
Their demon spirit I destroy
Embracing one and all, distributing
The fruits Divine of Transcendental Love
To right and left where ever they fall,
For they may be conveyed to all the world
By chanting first My Transcendental Name.
Hearken, Arjuna, to this truth :
I and My Name are One.
HE who conceives by true perspective
That I accept My birth
And I accept My deeds divine through My Indwel-
He is not chained from birth and death
Fettered no more to life.
Attains he for ever My service true
Under My Power Ecstatic.
He, on the other hand, who thinks
My Birth and Deeds and Self Divine
Thuswise revealed on earth,
Impermanent and temporal,
Suffers the chain of births and deaths,
Results of his ignorance.
Denses-minded folk are long confined to this material
Purest intelligence is not aroused in them, save by
the grace of devotees.
Three motives lead the ignorant astray
From concept true of My Divine Birth, Actions,
Transcendental Form and Purity :
These are attachments to those things
That are not Me or Mine, and fear and anger.
For those men whose minds are blunted by material
Cannot conceive that such a principle
As Transcendence e'er can be.
HOLDING Nature to be the highest truth,
Some of these thinkers oft propound,
That matter is the cause of spirit.
Again, though some concede eternity
To transcendental Facts,
They realise them not, for they attach
Too much importance to empirical attempts.
Empiricists eliminate all atributes and matter
And postulate a negative and attributeless God,
Being the antithesis of Matter,
And call it Brahman.
This Neuter-God is only the negation of My Self
As Positive Eternal Transcendental Lord of Love.
Brahman not being My Eternal Form,
Lest a material concept should prevailupon their
And meditations of Me, they, the empiricists,
Desist from meditating, out of fear,
On My Personality Divine
And Transcendental Occupations,
And thereby are deprived of Me.
OTHERS again, unable to transcend
Beyond the bounds of time and space
Decide, in anger, on : Nirvana or the Void, as the
Many there are most truly wise who,
Free of these mental exploitations, fear and anger,
And purified by true intelligence
And having perfectly conceived My Form Divine,
Take refuge in Me and behold
My Real Existence in all things,
Attaining to highest love for me.
To such I offer all their fruits of worship
According to the faith reposed in Me.
O Partha ! all men follow more or less
My track in diverse ways.
Those who tread the path of service pure
And love for me, attain an everlasting haven
In my Abode of Bliss.
THOSE who are pantheists and worship Me
As attributeless negative Brahman,
Are offered full absorption in My negative existence
By way of their salvation.
Through not acknowledging My Everlasting Beauteous
They are deprived of the conception of their own
Those who advocate Nirvana or cessation of
Annihilate their consciousness, observing Me as
Those who are Nature-worshippers,
I place in the material world and they
Receive Me as the Universal Nature.
The elevationists do know Me
As the Giver of the fruits
Resulting from their action.
To the Yogins I am Self Supreme
And offer superhuman, mystic power
As fruits of their austerities.
IN this way, being Immanent,
Men move along the diverse paths,
Attaining Me according to the one they choose to
But I, as Lord Sree Krishna, am the Ultimate
And Highest Goal of every soul's endeavour.
The worship of the Self Supreme,
The path of meditating on the soul's Indweller,
The knowledge of the Great Brahman-
All these paths must lead to Me,
In microcosm and in macrocosm.
Their End but differs in accordance with their motive
And degree of their surrender unto Me.
The truly wise acknowledge all these paths
As divers "means", and not an "end".
My Personality Divine of Love,
All-Majesties and Beauty
Is the final End of all.
Those who employ the 'means', described above,
And are attached to the specific ends associated with
Cannot progress to the Supreme and final End in Me.
THE sensuous who tread the path
Of Karma, for immediate results,
Forsake the path of love and service to Me.
I have already told thee, O Arjuna,
To understand the principle of Karma
Is to rid thee of its bondage.
Shun thou Vikarma and Akarma.
Better than these is gift-desired Karma.
For the succes of their action
And to gain desired ends without delay
Such folks are blended by a joyous mood
And thus become polytheists.
TO soothe the mental and physical conditions
Of this impermanent material world,
The work done by the men who seek reward
Gives satisfaction to the fruit-giving gods
Who grant them their desires with ease.
Who these gods are will be announced in later words.
I am the Founder of the respected duties
Of the four castes, according to their qualities and
I am the only Agent and the Author
Of the system of the caste.
Know Me howe'er to be Non-director, Indeclinable,
For I am not identified with earth's affairs.
My Maya Energy is the directing cause
Of this caste system, owing to the fate
And negligence of fallen souls.
I am in reality the Lord of My Indwelling Power.
I am concerned with Her in Realm of pure transcen-
It matters not to Me to form
The path of Karma through My Maya-potency.
The Soul's abuse of free will
Is responsible for it.
The castes have thus been classified
To indicate man's work.
TO the Brahmanas, the priestly caste,
Whose mundane normal tendency
Is Sattvika or good
Are assigned the duties of Sama and Dama,
Practice in controlling all senses,
Both the internal and the external.
For them alone the study of the Vedas is ordained,
Teaching the Scriptures to the rest of mankind day
Theirs is the noble duty of the sacrificial rites,
Performed in person and as priests,
As donors and recipients.
The second is warrior caste who govern
The State, and fight courageously in war
As brave Kshatriyas.
They, too, protect society,
Collecting revenues from tenants and householders,
Passion and goodness interblent their tendency
And Rajas-Sattvika is the keynote of their kind.
The third caste are Vaisyas who are
Normally inclined to Tamas-Rajas-
All the grossest feelings fired by passion.
These are assigned the duties
Of the agriculturists, and every grade
Of Commerce passes through their earthly hands.
The Sudras prone to Tamas are
To serve the other castes
And thus perform the humblest menial duties known
This system being mundane,
Its prime material cause
Is my External Potency.
Myself as Lord of all
Become of every happening
The first Efficient Cause.
THOU art a warrior born, and must
Unflinchingly perform thy duty in this life
As benefits a schion of Kshatriya Caste.
But I am not involved in Karma's system,
Introduced by My External Potency
Nor do I cherish e'er the least desire
To enjoy the fruits that Karma yields.
One who does know Me in this way
Is never bound by chains of Karma
They that fetter souls to earth.
I am the Lord Supreme
Possessed of All-majesty, All-glory,
All-supremacy and All-might,
All-beauty and All-wisdom;
Thus the wothless fruits of Karma
Which My External Deluding Potency creates
Due to the Jiva-souls' abuse of free will,
Have no attraction for Me.
I am All-bliss. Perform I duties
But to set example to the souls
Who are within the walls of Karma.
He who understands My Freedom
And the worldly bondage of the fallen,
Never gets enmeshed in Karma;
He is unconcerned with it
Attaining Me by following the path
Of pure devotion
Of service and love for Me.
Knowing Me as such, dost thou thy duty
Without hope of loss or gain
Following in the wake of blessed
Jnanins, saints of yore,
Who worked for human good.
They realised My unconcern
With all mundane affairs,
These wiser saints who in the past
Gave up fruitive acts,
Performed selfless Karma
And they offered the results to Me alone
Thou also, therefore, follow now
The great souls like Janaka
And all the saints of olden times;
Adopt thou selfless Karma.
EVEN the wise are at loss
To ascertain what Karma is
And what is Akarma.
Now I shall tell thee wwhich is which,
And knowing that, thou shalt be free
From all their earthly bondage.
It is imperative to understand
The ends distinctive of these three ;
Karma, Vikarma and Akarma.
Inscrutable are Karma's ways.
Duty fulfilled is Karma;
Selfless Karma-Yoga is a higher step beyond it.
Performance of forbidden deeds is known as Vikrama;
Thus gift-desired Kamya-Karma
Comes within this sphere
And misery is consequent upon it.
Akarma is omission of the duties.
Thou shouldst beware of that which is attained
They who desist from every action;
And know what evil consequence befalls
Those who incline to Karma but follow Akarma.
HE is wise, and therefore fit
For perfect Karma among men
Who understands non-Karma within Karma
And Karma in non-Karma.
The meaning is that one adopting
Selfless Karma-Yoga who offers God
The result of all his actions,
Approaches perfect comprehension
Of his true self, and is not whirled
Upon the wheel of Karma.
His heart is purified with the awakening
Of gradual sublime intelligence
And cannot therefore be a Karmin pure and simple.
For he sees Karma as non-Karma,
Because his every act is perfectly unselfish.
Where as a Karma-sannyasin,
One who refrains from action,
Must suffer through his impure heart,
Inspite of being versed in all the Scriptures,
Because he shirked performance of his duty.
HE who has adopted perfect selfless Karma
Is called a "Pandit"by the wise-
One whose intelligence is hightened
By his knowledge of the Vedas,
Because his primal tendency to mere Karma
Is burnt up by the fire of Jnana
Which is pure intelligence;
His Karma-Yoga changes then to Jnana-Yoga.
He who is self-content and yet
Indifferent to Yoga-that is :
Searches after objects unattained
Aimed at by the salvationists
And takes care to preserve such when obtained
By being non-attached to fruits of Karma,
Will not be yoked to it, although
He apparently engages in Karma-Yoga.
HE adopts Karma as a means of livelihood
Guiding mind and body by intelligence
Nor hankers after fruits of any action
With no attachments for results;
Therefore he frees himself from vice
Or virtue associated with his Karma.
He is content with what he gets with ease ;
He is not prone to pleasure or to pain,
To love or hatred ;
He is above malice, beyond jealousy ;
Equitable in failure or succes.
Whatsoe'er he does, can never fetter him.
No more is he attached to any object;
His is the glorious freedom,
Wquipoised in pure intelligence.
Whate'er he does for Yajna's sake
Completely ends with it :
The fruits of his Karma he offers
To the Lord of Yajna, and therefore
He is himself unbound from chains of Karma.
LIST now to how the sacrificial Karma
Does beget intelligence :
All transcendental truths are utterly distinct
From transcendental phenomena.
It is a truth that fallen souls
Are bound to work to keep
Their body and soul together.
By means of Yajna they may faithfully
Discharge their duties, actuated
By the consciousness of their true selves.
When the cognition that transcends
Is manifest in Matter,
This is called Brahman.
This Brahman is the outmost Effulgence
Of My Transcendental Self.
Offering, sacrificial ghee or ceremonial Oil,
Fire, sacrificial priesthood and the fruits of action-
These five do form constituents of Yajna;
And as these are presided o'er by Brahman,
We call it perfect Yajna.
One who directs his Karma to Brahman
By firmly concentrating on profoundest meditation,
May thus perform all Karma as Yajna.
His offerings, his sacrificial ghee,
The fire, the priesthood of his self-existence
And the results of Yajna
Are all addressed to Brahman-
The Outward Effulgence of My Personality Supreme.
HE who is initiated
In such Yajna, is a Yogin.
There are as many Yajnas as there are groups of
Yet are thet classified into but two main divisions :
The Karma-Yogins and the Jnana-Yogins.
The ones do make their sacrificial offerings to
Who are but scarce a step above the average,
Being empowered by My Maya
With particular and special capabilities,
And thereby attain to selfless Karma gradually;
The others offer their own selves as ghee
To Brahman Fire,
Uttering the lofty Vedic Dictum;
"Thou art He."
THE life-long celibates, called Brahmacharins,
Offer their senses as sacrificial ghee
To the fire of self-control,
Whereas the house-holders offer their sense-
Such as sound, taste, smell, touch, beauty
To the fire of senses.
The seekers of the individual soul, like Patanjali,
Offer the activities of their ten senses
Of their eyes, ears, nose, tongue, touch,
Voice, hands, legs, anus and penis and of
The half-score vital airs : Pran, Apan,
Saman, Udan, Vyan, Naga, Kurma,
Krikara and Devadatta and
Dhananjaya as sacrificial ghee
To the fire of the pure individual soul.
The Kaivalya Philosophy of Patanjali
Holds that there is no such thing as mind.
The soul or atma is the only
Existing entity, according to this School,
And when the soul inclines towards phenomena,
And turns towards its own sublime existence
It is called Pratyag-atma.
THE Yajnas may be classified into four sections :
Yoga-Yajna anb Swadyaya (Jnana)-Yajna;
Those who perform these fourfold Yajnas
Are ascetics of severe vows.
When the five sacrifices as explained above,
Are actually offered in the fire of Yajna,
It is called Dravya-Yajna ;
Severe austeries like Chandrayana or Chaturmasya
Are practised in the Tapa-Yajna;
The eight processes of mental concentration
Form the Yoga-Yajna;
Discussions on the Spirit and on Matter
That are based upon an interpretation of the Vedas,
Mark the character of Jnana-Yajna.
BESIDES, mention is also made of Hatha-Yoga
And sundry other austerities in the Tantras
According to the time and circumstance.
The acvocates of Hatha-Yoga practise Pranayama
Which is the act of witholding the breath
As an accessory to meditation
And stop the flow of Prana the first vital air, in
And then suspend Apana in the Prana,
And gradually stay both motions in Kumbhaka,
Which signifies witholding all the breath
By closing the nostrils and the mouth.
Some, willing to control their senses,
Take to moderation in their food and drink,
And offer Pranas to the fire of Pranas only :
They draw all the ten varieties of Pranas
From diverse parts to one place at the navel,
And then direct them all towards the crown of the
These men are all well versed in the principle of
And thereby become sinless and finally attain
By accepting the residuary sweets of Yajna :
Wealth, supremacy and grandeur and all psychic
O Thou Glory of the Line !
What canst thou say about the next world,
When even this world is debarred to those
Who do not here conform to Yajna ?
Yajna is bounden duty.
The caste rules, as observed by henotheists,
Astanga-Yoga, and the Vedic sacrifices
All come within the scope of Yajna.
There can be no true Karma in this world without
Anything else but this is either Akarma or Vikarma.
SUCH Yajnas are mentioned in the Vedas
Or in the Shastras alluding to the Vedas.
Their practices refer to the body, mind and speech,
And therefore they are born of Karma.
Discrimination in such principles of Karma
Rids men of all its bondage.
Though the performance of these Yajnas
Lead man from gradual knowledge unto peace
And from peace unto My devotion,
There is yet a graduation in them
According to the aptitude of each.
Jnana-Yajna is by far superior to Dravya-Yajna.
O Parantapa ! all Karmas culminate in Jnana
Which is transcendental Knowledge.
Yajnas that lack spirituality
Become Dravya-Yajna or mere Karma-Yajna,
Otherwise Karma-Kanda or the ceremonial acts and
When they are suffused with glowing spirit,
They become philosophy in practice.
IN order to aquire the knowledge
That will enable thee to difrerentiate between
Approach with honest purpose thy preceptor,
Who is well qualified to teach, and realizes all these
He will instruct thee in that lore.
O Pandava ! thou art prepared at present
To abandon all thy normal duty as a warrior
Out of infatuation, which thou wilt shun
As soon as knowledge true enlightens thee.
Then thou shalt know that all beings
Are essentially spiritual entities,
Possessing diverse forms and attributes and actions in this world
Due to their ignorance,
And that they all exist in Me
Who am the Fountain-head of all the potencies
And that they derive all from My Deluding Energy.
THOUGH thou wert the worst of sinners
Killing thy friends and relatives in battle,
Yet shalt thou traverse this sea of sorrow
Upon the ship of wisdom which is Jnana.
Just as blazing fire reduces fuel to ashes,
So does this flame of knowledge, O Arjuna !
Burn away offences born of Karma.
Naught in the world is near so pure
As transcendental knowledge
As result of selfless Karma-Yoga.
By this is meant that "Bliss Eternal"
Is the end of transcendental knowledge.
Knowledge is not the end,
But bliss divine is the highest good,
Love of Godhead is Real Bliss.
He who possesses firm faith and attachment
To selfless Karma-Yoga, and who is self-controlled,
Acquires perfect knowledge.
He who has no confidence in selfless Karma-Yoga
Cannot attain to this knowledge.
But by gaining all such knowledge,
Ere long he does attain eternal and highest Bliss.
HE who is ignorant and sceptical is ruined !
He can realise no happiness or peace in this
world or the next,
For his affliction in the form of doubt and disbelief
Eats into his very heart.
He is ignorant because he is devoid of wisdom
Like the lower animals;
He is a disbeliever
For his partial knowledge of the Scriptures
Thwarts him regarding the divergent views
Anent the ethics of the world.
He is dubious or sceptical because he wonders
If the principle he has adopted will lead him to its,
He, therefore, finds peace nowhere.
So, Dhanajaya, conqueror of wealth immense-
By killing thy host of enemies,
Conquer now that wealth of concentration
By controlling well thy mind.
One who abstains from fruitive actions
By adopting selfless Karma-Yoga,
And who destorys his scepticism
With the perfect concept of his true and normal self,
Is free for ever from the bondage of all Karma.
Thy doubt as to the principle of selfless Karma
Is due to thy own ignorance.
Slay thou that doubt within thy mind
With thine own sword of knowledge
And pursue thou selfless Karma-Yoga.
Rise, therefore, O Bharata ! and fight the battle.
NON-ATTACHMENT TO MATTER
ARJUNA said : "O Krishna ! at one time
Thou praised the Karma-sannyasa-
Cessation of fruitive acts by following
Selfless Karma-Yoga, - and another time
Thou hast asked me to adopt
Selfless Karma-Yoga, by destroying all doubt and
With the sword of knowledge.
Tell me plainly which of these two is better now for
I understand that Karma-Sannyasa means to cease
Furitive acts while Karma-Yoga means
That I must follow every act
And dedicate the fruits to Thee, O Lord Supreme !"
Said Bhagavan : "Both Karma-sannyasa and
Are beneficial and conduct to bliss;
But of the two, the Karma-Yoga is the better.
Renouncing all attachment for Karma
Is what Karma-Sannyasa means,
And not a literal cessation from all actions.
Karma-Yoga also is selfless performance of thy
But with more explicit comprehension of the act
Of consecrating the results to God
Which would ensure for thee the heart's purification
By that pure knowledge which destroys all doubt ;
So that in point of fact,
Karma-Sannyasa and Karma-Yoga mean very much
O Mighty-armed ! he who is not malicious
Nor desirous of the fruits of Karma
And who is firm and steady when confronted
By earth's relative temptations,
Is truly a Karma-sannyasin, renouncer of fruitive
He is easily released from bonds of action.
Salvation may not be attained by disregarding
A Karmin, who has no attachment for Karma
But whose heart is purified in fires of knowledge,
Is a valiant sannyasin, competent to conquer in the
Realm of Freedom.
IT is the ignorant discerner-not the wise-
Who draws distinctions.
He it is who differentiates between Sankhya-Yoga
Which is Karma-Sannyasa and the Karma-Yoga.
Either of these, when rightly followed,
Will husband the fruits of both.
Both principles of Karma-Sannyasa and of
Are essentially the same,
Though there be differences of degree
In thine adherence to attachment or to non-attach-
What is attained by Karma-sannyasa in pursuing
Is also attainable by Karma-Yoga : the name alone
He who identifies the one fact with the other is
O Mighty-armed ! renouncement of thy Karma as
Without selfless Karma-Yoga is by itself a misery.
He who accomplishes his selfless Karma-Yoga
And dedicates the fruits thereof to Me
Attains Brahman more speedily by his adoption
Of the Karma-sannyasa.
Jnanins who devote themselves to selfless Karma-
Are classified into four groups
According to their purity of mind, of heart and
Each is respectively superior to the other.
Being objects of universal love and adoration,
They are not involved in actions,
Though they perform them all.
A selfless Karma-Yogin, who has purified his mind
And heart , with fires of knowledge
And understands the principles of Karma-Yoga
And of Karma-Sannyasa,
Though he performs the functions of his senses,
Namely : seeing, touching, smelling,
Eating, moving, sleeping, breathing,
Thinks in his pure intelligence like this :
"I have done nothing."
While in the act of taking part in talks,
Accepting and rejecting certain things,
In the opening and closing of his eyes,
"Now I am schackled in material bodies.
Not I the true, but my constricted ego does all this.
That ego only is engaging the attention
Of the senses and their objects.
In my freed and pure self,
I have no concern with earth's phenomena."
AS the leaf of a lotus, though in water,
Is not submerged by water,
So also one who resorts to Karma,
Offering its fruits to God,
Is not entangled in the vice or virtue
That accrue from Karma.
That they may purify their minds,
The Karma-Yogins do their duties,
Abandoning attachment to results,
With body, mind, intelligence and with their senses
By giving up desire for fruition,
A balanced Yogin does attain undeviated peace,
A freedom from the hamperings of Karma,
While the non-balanced seeker after fruits
Becomes entangled in his Karma,
Through his lustful hankerings.
Although this individual
Apparently accomplishes his duties,
He is essentially non-attached to what he does
By following the mental process just explained.
He may live happily at home
Within his fleshy body,
Consisting of nine doors or vents or outlets,
But truly speaking, neither he himself does aught
Nor can he make another do a thing.
THE soul, who is the master of his body and
Takes no initiative in doing aught
Or confusing actions to be done
And thus does not connect himself with the results.
When it is said that souls proper
Have no prerogative anent their actions,
It does not mean that such prerogative should be
ascribed to God,
For then Divinity might be accused of grave
Man's egotism, Karma and its fruits
Are not of God's creation, but of man's,
Whose nescient nature is responsible for such;
For ignorance induces him to egotism.
If neither good, or evil are caused by God,
He cannot be responsible for their results.
He does not enjoy the vices or virtues of mankind.
Pure knowledge is the normal nature of all souls,
But is now in a conditioned state
Enveloped by the Maya Potency of God,
For they forget their real nature
And misidentify themselves with body and with mind,
And this has given rise to egotism.
KNOWLEDGE is two-fold-of the world and
Knowledge that has been garnered from the world
By application of the human senses and experience
Is in its essence the unwisdom of the fallen souls;
Whereas transcendental knowledge is the wisdom
of the pure souls.
To those whose ignorance is dissipated by the
Of transcendental knowledge of their nature,
The Lord Supreme reveals Himself
As the diffusing radiance of the rising sun
Dispels the darkness of the previous night.
Just as the sun's effulgence does reveal
The sun itself and everything around,
So the true knowledge of the Lord and of man's self
Removes the ignorance of a conditionate state,
Revealing the eternal nature of the freed soul
And of the godly Fountain-head of all intelligence.
But when this innate self-realisation
Is shrouded by the mist of ignorance,
An individual is chained to all the consequences of
Maya, the Deluding Potency of the Supreme,
Causes the material bondage of a soul,
While the Efficient Cause is the Indwelling Master
Who wakens such a soul from worldly stupor.
THE dormant nature of a fallen soul or atma
Is wakened by a knowledge of his real self,
But a true conception of the Soul Supreme, the
Is not conceded save to the devout.
Thus devotional activities are indispensible for
Those who have dedicated their devotion,
Intelligence and mind and body
To the service of the Lord, and I am He,
Attain eternal freedom from their ignorance
By garnering Truth Immortal.
Those who are attached to Me alone,
Are free for ever from lust and earthly hankerings.
Then they rejoice in chanting forth My Name
And in discoursing on My Form and Attributes,
My Occupations and Entourage.
Only by attachment and devotedness to Me
Can any soul attain a true conception of My Self.
Then he may enter My Abode of Bliss
And render everlasting service to My Glory.
IN this world, things are classified into three
According to the triple qualities of Maya.
But those imbued with qualities transcendent,
Are not concerned with thoughts disturbing,
Which are concomitants of earthly attributes.
The Pandit regards all forms of life with glance
Equally he gazes on a Brahmana possessed of
wisdom and tranquility,
Or upon a cow or elephant or dog,
Or one who lives on dogs flesh.
Knowest thou the Brahmana and the cow belong to
the superior class
In whom the quality of Sattva is all-prominant;
The elephant belongs to where the Rajas dominates:
the second group,
While dogs and out-castes come within the lowest
Possessing the mentality of Tamas.
But one in whom true knowledge is awakened,
Looks far beyond these cosmic relativities
And realises the existance of the Lord,
Who doth transcend all earthly relations, in every
THOSE who are endowed with the tranquility
And equanimity of mind,
Can conquer all the world.
They grow unblemished as they incorporate the
nature of Brahman,
Whorefore their very life is in the life of Brahman.
A knower of Brahman has his existence in Brahman
And is not adicted to mundane sense-perceptions
But is firm of purpose.
He is not elated or dejected by the world's events,
Whether they be pleasant or unpleasant.
The knower of Brahman does not confine his joys
to earth's phenomena.
He savours transcendental joy
In the knowledge of his own true self
And gains eternal bliss
By steadfast consecration on Brahman,
So that in course of time he feels
A natural aversion to all sensual pleasures.
Such an one whose truest nature is awakened
Never yields to sensuality
Which does beget but misery;
These joys are born of relative associations
And have their beginning and their end;
They are not therefore everlasting.
O Son of Kunti ! such a sane man
Feels no liking for these transient pleasures.
He accepts his selfless Karma in relation to them
For the bare necessities of life
Though he is not attached to them.
HAPPY is he in reality
And equanimity he has attained,
Who can withstand with patience until death
The impulse of desire and anger
By following the selfless Karma-Yoga
Whilst knowing that he has to mingle with objects
of the world.
This dealing with phenomena is indispensible
So long as there is life in mortal man;
But fortunate is he who deals with them
Without becoming in the least involved.
HE who is not addicted to the pleasures
And instructions and the comforts of this
But honestly aspires to inner happiness and comfort
And enlightenment in touch with Brahman,
Is a real Yogin gaining spiritual liberation.
Brahma-Nirvana, the Transcendental Bliss
Or spiritual liberation, may be attained
By sages who are free from sin and doubt,
Who are intent on the eternal welfare of all souls
And have achieved a perfect self-control.
Those sages now bereft of all desires and anger,
Well versed in all the lore of the soul and Oversoul
Ere long attain the transcendental Bliss in all
A selfless Karma-Yogin in this world,
After distinguishing between the truth and
Realises that Brahman is beyond
The scope of earthly time and space ;
And thus realising this,
He finds his own existence is in Him;
Thus is extinguished the burning fire of earthly
weal and woe,
By what is called Brahma-Nirvana.
The heart is purified by Karma-Yoga
The fruits of which are offered unto God;
Purification of the heart begets true self-determina-
And this pure knowledge which is all untinged by
Reveals a true conception of Brahman ;
This leads man to steadfast dedication to Brahman's
From this attachment is awakened active loving
service unto Him;
And this is what we know as Bhakti.
NOW the process of Asatnga-Yoga,
Which is control of the eight limbs, is described.
Drive out all contact with external sense-perceptions
Of sound, sight, touch, taste, smell, and others, from
Withdrawing all these senses and retracting them
The gaze should be fixed upon the tip of the nose
With glance cast through the space between the eye-
It should be done so that the eyes be neither fully
Lest they should lull thee to sleep,
Nor fully open, lest outward objects should distract;
The breathing through the nostrils should be so
That the in-going air or Prana and the out-going air
Should be equalised, and finally their upward and
Should be witheld at equilibrium at the navel.
Thus seated, the sage who has complete control
Over his senses, mind, intelligence
Being free from anger and from fear
Practises his realisation of Brahman.
And with the aim of final liberation
He can attain immunity from earthly attributes.
There this Astanga-Yoga can be said to be
A part and parcel of selfless Karma-Yoga.
Such Karma-Yogins know Me to be
The presiding Deity of all sacrificial rites-
The Lord Supreme of all the worlds-
The Friend of every entity.
AND ultimately they attain the final liberation
In blissful comprehension of My Form Divine
By cultivating unalloyed devotion
In association with My devotees.
I am the Recipient of the Yajna performed by
all the Karmins;
I am the Protector of the Jnanins who practise these
I am the best Friend of all souls
For I alone assist them for their good
Through the advice of My devotees;
I am the Paramatma-the Indweller
Whom the Yogins meditate upon ;
I in My own true Nature
Am the only Object of love and service
To be attained by pure devition only ;
I am the Lord Supreme of the the worlds ;
Final beatitude awaits the Yogin who realises Me
SAID Bhagavan: "By merely refraining
From the performance of Karma like
Man does not become a Sannyasin;
The merely sitting with the eyes half-opened,
Neglecting all the physical activities
Does not make man one whit a true Yogin
But he is both a sannyasin and a Yogin
Who performs his duties selflessly without desiring
According to the Scriptures,
An ordinary sannyasin, who does refrain from
Is known as 'niragni', he who must no longer
Or perform religious rites
In which a light perpetual must be maintained.
Again, a Yogi is supposed to stay all physical
And undergo severe austerities
While steadying his glance
At the tip of the nose with half-closed eyes.
But to the Supreme Lord all these are but exterior
And no essential sign of true renunciation
Or of genuine self-restraint.
Conversely one who performs unselfish Karma-
Is both a sannyasin and a Yogi.
O Pandava ! that which is called sannyasa is
also known as Yoga.
Verily he is not a Yogi
Who does not abandon his desires for fruits of
I have already taught thee to identify
Sankhya-Yoga with Karma-Yoga, and now I shall
explain to thee
How Karma-Yoga and Astanga-Yoga are really one.
Indeed, in all these three Yogas : Sankhya, Karma
Are not distinctive principles;
The ignorant imagine them to be so.
YOGA is like a flight of steps.
Many are the steps or means,
Beginning with the lowest rung of abject worldliness
To the highest realisation of the pure state.
Each of these rising steps possesses a distinctive
But Yoga is the name in common
For the whole flight of steps.
There are two main divisions of the Yogins ;
Those who have just begun to mount the steps-
Karma or selfless action
Is their only aim, to purify the heart ;
Secondly come those who have already reached the
top rung of the ladder-
Tranquility, complete restraint of passions is their
When man has outlived his attachment
For every sensual joy, and has renounced
Avowals to perform religious rites,
Yogaruddha he is called-
One who has reached the topmost step of Yoga's
A soul that falls into the sink of abject worldliness
May be redeemed but by a mind which is
Completely from the senses pleasures.
The soul must never be submerged by worldly
Mind is both a friend and foe
To the soul, according to the circumstances.
Mind is a friend to that soul
Who has full control of it,
And is a foe to him when uncontrolled.
These are the characteristics of a Yogaruddha :
He has controlled his mind,
Is unperturbed by worldly love and hate,
Or heat and cold, pleasures and pains, honour and
Steadfast is he in deep meditation;
Satisfied with the knowledge that he has acquired
From the preceptors and the Scriptures, and the
Transcendental knowledge which he has achieved.
He is always steadily unshaken
In the normal nature of his true self;
He is self-controlled and is conversant with the
That mundane objects, such as earth
And stone and gold are all of equal values ;
That is, they are diverse forms of Matter,
And therefore must they perish.
He has acquired equanimity,
Freedom from love and hate
Regarding all those who are either friends or foes
Or relatives or those who are indifferent to him,
Or wish him well, or those who are detestable or
neutral, pious or vicious.
A Yogaruddha is engaged in deepest meditation in
Whatever he may do for maintenance of body
Should be entirely free from wicked or profane
As well as from all selfishness.
Learn thou the rules set forth for Yoga-practice:
The Yogi must select a spotless place
That neither is too high nor yet too low,
On Kusha-grass spread with a dearskin and a cloth
And seated there, he should begin
To practise Yoga for the heart's purification,
By concentrating all his mind
And regulating his attention, senses and his actions.
Holding his body, head and neck erect and still,
And fixing his gaze upon the tip of his nose
In order to avoid deflection,
And being serene and fearless,
Firm in the vow of chastity
And holding his mind away from earthly matters,
He meditates upon My Personality Divine
Being attached to Me.
BY such practices his mind is steadied,
And if he be not lacking in devotion
Gradually attains to peace in Me,
Blissful Nirvana which is freedom from his worldly
And understanding of his own true self.
O Arjuna ! Yoga is not possible to him
Who either eats or fasts too much,
Nor is it possible to him who sleeps too much or
Yoga by degrees destroys all worldly miseries
For him who is moderate in food and recreation,
Regulated in activities, in sleeping and in waking.
When the attention of an individual mind is
Or when the heart is free from worldly shackles
And is well established in transcendence,
Then man escapes all hankering after worldly aims
And is said to be Yukta or well-balanced.
As a lamp that glows within a closed room does not
So the thoughts of a Yogin, centered in the Atman,
Are not disturbed by outside objects.
By such practices of Yoga,
The mind can concentrate its powers,
Restrain its senses from their corresponding sense-
And gradually reach the stage of samadhi.
In that stage, he enjoys unmeasured spiritual bliss
By realising Paramatma in his pure self
On the transcendental plane.
Failing to realise the true significance of Patanjali's
His critics thus explain it to the world.
They say that the attainment of immortal bliss
In Moksha or the human soul's salvation
By its union with the Over-soul-
As explained by the Vedanta-school-is inconsistent;
For, if such blissful comprehension be accepted,
Then the dual existence of perceiver and perception
Would be a contradiction
Of the very contention of Kaivalya
Or the oneness of the Over-soul with the jiva-souls.
But Patanjali does not hold this view as stated by
He has explained it in his last aphorism thus:
When man is freed from all the four
Earthly qualitative objects of human life-
Virtue, wealth, desire, moksha or salvation,
His pure self is then released from the fluctuating
And is installed in his true nature,
Identical with Over-Self.
This is called Chit-Shakti.
KAIVALYA denotes this unity of qualitative
Free from the mundane attributes that co-exist
Between a human soul and the Divine Self.
By scrutinizing Patanjali's Yoga Philosophy,
It will be seen he did not mean to nullify
The attributes of self in the Kaivalya stage.
He signified an ultimate beatitude of self
Which is deovid of earthly qualities.
The real nature of self is wakened
When it is completely free from Maya's triple-
With which the fallen self has come in contact.
Patanjali did not say that with release from the
The normal nature of the self, which is Ananda,
Is also liberated.
He holds, that perfect bliss which is Ananda,
Is eternal and transcendental
And realisable when freed from mundane qualities.
Ananda is true bliss: the summum bonum of Yoga.
That Bhakti is the Highest end of Yoga
Will afterwards be shown.
SAMADHI is of two kinds: the first is Samprajnata
And the next, Asamprajnata.
In the first are manifold distinctions
Drawn according to their argument and inference,
The second standing by itself.
In this state of Samadhi, intensest ecstasy
Which is beyond all physical and mental senses
Is apprehended by the Buddhi
Or pure intelligence of the emancipated soul ;
Once it is realised in its true aspect,
The mind does not deflect from it.
If this intensely blissful state be not attained,
Astanga-Yoga is of no lasting use to man ;
For if the Yogi be allured by supernatural results
That are associated with it,
His mind will be diverted from the final aim of Yoga,
Which is the understanding of eternal and ecstatic
Such obstacles can easily dissuade a Yogin from the
During the stage of practice.
Such dangers do not stand howe'er in the way of
NO other bliss considers he superior
To what he realises in Samadhi.
Secure in bliss, never again can troubles sway him.
He finds Sumadhi free from all additions and
subtractions of miseries.
With patience, presverance and certitude
He vigorously clings to Yoga.
All pleasures personal are insignificant
To a Yogin who enjoys bliss in Samadhi,
Which he does not like to part with
Even at the sacrifice of life,
Not to speak of worldly sufferings.
Relinquishing all objects of enjoyment,
He regulates his senses by his bridled mind
And gradually learns cessation of enjoyment
By pure intelligence, and ultimately realises
The real nature of his own true self
By regulating mind with meditation,
Steady abstraction and retraction.
He does not loose his steadfastness in practice
Even when gravest obstacles are met with face to
Nor does he grow impatient at delay in his succes.
He is resolute, forbearing and persevering
Untill he reaches Yoga's goal.
The first thing for a neophyte in Yoga
Is fully to regulate his senses by the mind,
After dismissing all material desires.
This he can do by practising control
Over his sensual appetites,
Observing special vows for mind-restraint,
And various ways of squating whilst in contem-
Witholding breath as a religious penance
And extirpating all desires for powers supernatural.
NEXT is Dhyana or concentration of the mental
Then comes Dharana or steady abstration of the
Next to it is Pratyahara or withdrawal,
And lastly follows atmasamadhi,
Resulting from this gradual regulation of the mind.
At this stage, mundane thoughts and such affinities
The mind is naturally fickle and unsteady;
When it vacillates, it should be curbed
And brought beneath the domination of the soul.
Verily the bliss described comes to that Yogin
Who by such practices as these,
Has overcome all obstacles;
And whose mind is tranquil, undisturbed by love
And is in touch which Brahman, the Supreme;
Whose passions born of Maya's triple qualities
Are quited, and is without tinge of sin.
Such a Yogin when devoid of sin, enjoys great bliss
From being in contact with Brahman, the Great.
That is to say, he realises transcendental ecstacy
In cultivating truth anent the Lord Supreme.
This is Bhakti.
NOW the nature of that bliss
In realising Brahman, the Great,
Is here described.
A Yogi in his state of Samadhi has now two
His feeling and his action.*
(* The following two slokas explain further the 'feelings',
and the next sloka explains the 'actions' of a Yogi.)
In the mood of feeling, his state of mind is thus :
He senses the existence of the Over-soul in every-
This is his microscopic vision.
He realises that it is the Over-soul's prerogative
To enter into the minutest atom.
He also realises that all beings must exist in Him.
This is the macroscopic vision,
When the Over-soul is seen as Brahman, the
Secondly his action is that when his mind becomes
steadfast in Yoga,
He sees the same eternal, knowing, blissfull nature
in all beings.
HE who sees Me everywhere and all objects
I do not forsake: he becomes Mine and I become
(*In the previous sloka, the vision of a Yogi ie confined to
the realisation of the All-pervading Brahman and no relationship
is felt. But when he crosses the treshold of Shanta-rati, he
feels an eternal loving kinship between him and the Lord, i.e. he
eels like this; 'I am His and He is mine.'
When his kinship of eternal and reciprocated love
is wakened in him,
No more do I deceive him
With dry Nirvana or self-annihilation,
But I bless him with instinctive love
By which he serves Me in the Blissful Realm of
When a Yogi transcends Brahman,
He realises an eternal link of My loving service
Which is called Bhakti.
THE meditation on the Four-armed Vishnu
In the beginning of the Yoga-practice,
Culminates in the identification of Vishnu
With the Normal-sized, Two-armed
And Most Perfectly Beautiful Person
Of Sree Krishna, at a stage of Samadhi
When the Yogi no longer sees any difference
Of time and distinction between
Sadhana or practice of the means,
And Siddhi or realisation of the end.
The Yogi who serves Sree Krishna
Who exists in all things,
By means of listening to and chanting His Name,
Form, Attributes and Entourage,
Ever lives in His Association
Though he may perform Karma in his active life
Or cultivate Jnana while developing discrimination
Or, be in deep Samadhi, absorbed meditation, in Yoga.
By lovingly clinging to the contemplation of the
Of Sree Krishna Who is e'er beyond earthly time
Ecstatic bliss is felt from being in touch with Para-
The All-pervading Aspect of Sree Krishna.
Devotion or Bhakti to Krishna is the acme of
NOW listen, Arjuna ! said Sree Krishna,
"While I describe the nature of a Yogi's action.
A Yogi great is he who has calm and tranquil vision
And looks upon all beings on an equal level.
All beings are as dear to him as his own self,
Who knows and feels another's happiness and sorrow
as his own.
Always does he wish their happiness,
And acts accordingly."
"I see not, Madhusudana ! said Arjuna,
"How such perfect equilibrium
As Thou hast just instructed me, can be maintained,
Owing to the fickleness of the mind.*
(* The mind is characterised as :
CHANCHALAM : shaky, unsteady, fickle and ever-changing
in its views.
PRAMATHI : can disturb even the discriminating intelligence.
VALAWAT : just as disease sometimes defies even the
powerful specific, similarly, mind defies even the steady
intellignce which is its own specific.
DRIDDHAM : so stern and unbending is mind that it is almost
impossible for even the subtlest intelligence to curb it as though
a needle were to attempt to break an iron rod.
SUDUSKARAM : just as it is very difficult to suspend air in
the sky by inhaling by an Astanga-Yogi in his practice of
Kumbhaka, so also is mind difficult completely to subdue.)
This may be possible for some few days
Irrespective of enemies and allies.
But that it is feasible in life, I cannot understand.
O Krishna ! Thou hast said the fickle mind
Is to be bridled by a discriminating wisdom ;
But I notice that the mind,
Being normally unsteady,
Though powerful and unbending,
Is strong enough to shake even that intelligence.
Hence, to restrain that fickle mind
Is as difficult to me as to control the air.
The body may be compared with a chariot
Drawn by mind, the mighty horse
And bridle in the hands of keen intelligence, the
But the charioteer is too weak to control the running
And the chariot is therefore at the mercy of the
SREE Bhagavan replied:
"All that thou hast said, O Mighty-armed !
Is no doubt true ;
But the Yoga-system lays special stress upon the fact
That this invisible but fickle mind can be,
O Son of Kunti ! well subdued by practice and
By practice is meant the cultivation of incessant
Of Vishnu, the Lord of all,
In obedience to directions given by the Spiritual
Asceticism lies more in detachment from the world's
Than in acceptance or abnegation regarding worldly
BY addressing Arjuna as 'Mighty - armed',
Sree Krishna means to say :
"Arjuna ! thou hast propitiated the great Yogi,
What wonder then, that thou wilt succeed
Easily in mastering the fickle mind ?
What doubt is there that thou wilt conquer
Even the bravest warriors in this battle
When thou wert powerful enough to overcome
Great Mahadeva in a contest with him !"
By addressing him as 'Son of Kunti'
Sree Krishna assures Arjuna of His help.
Arjuna is the son of the sister of Krishna's father;
And therefore even if he himself is not strong
enough to fight
His enemy 'mind', in one sense, the Kauravas in
He will come out victorious in either case
Through Krishna's Divine help
As a friend and relative.
The Yoga-system is of no avail to him,
Whose mind is not controlled
By practices and asceticism.
But adherence to the right path
Leads to succes in mind-control.
He who practices selfless Karma-Yoga,
The fruits of which he dedicates to God,
And meditation as directed in Astanga-Yoga
In order to control the mind,
And at the same time keeps the body and the soul
By genuine asceticism, that is, acceptance
Of just the requisite necessities of life
Favourable to the service of God
And negotiation of all objects undevout
Gradually gains perfection in Yoga practice.
ARJUNA said: "O Krishna! Thou hast explained
That succes in Yoga is attained
By strenuous and faithful practice and asceticism;
But those who have faith
In Thine instruction on this Yoga-system
And can make little progress on the path
And yet cannot attain to its perfection
Being not whole-hearted Yogins, owing to their
Are apt to be entangled in matters of the world-
Their mind being uncontrolled for want of steadfast
And genuine asceticism. Tell me please, what will
become of them ?
Yoga is not possible without relinquishihg fruitive
Fruitive actions are best suited to the ignorant,
Performing which they can attain to happines
In this world and the next.
Being engaged in practices of Yoga,
These other people are deprived of such fruitive
And hence cannot enjoy in this world or the next;
While on the other hand, they fail to reach the goal
Owing to the reasons given here.
Their condition thus is like a cloud,
Severed from one mass
And disolved half-way before it merges in another.
In this world, what a miserable plight a neophyte in
When being indifferent to fruitive acts
As he intends to practice Yoga, wherein he subse-
He receives a set-back for want of genuine asceticism.
In the next world, his hope for heavenly enjoyment
is at stake,
Due to his unskilful Karma-sannyasa;
Salvation he may not attain, as is incompetent to
Which is a means to it.
Thus bewildered and insecure in both the worlds,
Is he doomed, O Mighty-armed! then to destruction ?
The authors of the scriptures are not all-wise.
But thou art the Lord Supreme and therefore art
None else but Thee, O Krishna !
Can sunder the very root of this my doubt."
SREE Bhagavan then replied:
"Partha ! no genuine adherent of Yoga,
Incurs damnation either in this world or in the next;
No misery attends the fate of one
Whose aims are good in practising his Yoga.
The thruth is this : Mankind is divided into classes-
The non-regulated and the regulated.
Those who are sensuous and do not conform
To social or religious laws
Are the non-regulated and unrighteous.
Civilized or savage, learned or ignorant,
Strong or weak-
Their conduct is no better than that of beasts.
No good result can be expected from their activities.
Those who abide by the injunctions of the Scriptures
Are the regulated righteous ones
And these are chiefly classified into three groups:
The Karmins, Jnanins and the Bhaktas.
The Karmins are again divided into Sakama the
And Niskama the selfless.
The Sakama are seekers after transient and very
They strive for worldly benefits and heavenly
Which, even when attained, are transitory and
And thus the real end of human life is far beyond
Freedom from psycho-mental bondage
And realisation of eternal, perfect bliss
Is the real end of an individwal soul.
Any field of life which is bereft
Of this final and eternal bliss
Is not worth any thing.
WHEN Karma aims at this eternal bliss,
It is called Karma-Yoga.
Karma-Yoga purifies the heart
Then leads to Jnana or knowledge true.
The next stage is Dhyana-Yoga,
Which is to meditate and concentrate;
And the highest end is Bhakti-Yoga.
If a Sakama Karmin will deny himself
All personal enjoyments, and endure all obstacles
In the performance of his Karma
Then he may be designated an "ascetic".
However sever asceticism or its penances may be,
Its end is nothing else but sensual enjoyment
Either in a gross or in a subtle form.
The demons and atheists also perform
Austerities, receiving sensual enjoyment as their
Beyond the boundaries of sensual enjoyments,
There is Niskama or selfless Karma
Which purposes the real aim of life.
Dhyana-Yoga or Jnana-Yoga,
Based on this selfless Karma-Yoga
Is superior to Karma proper
Inasmuch as this approaches closer to the final
Results accruing from Astanga-Yoga
Are better far in any circumstance than Sakama
THE defaulters in Astanga-Yoga
Belong to groups, according to their length of
He who has fallen off this path of Yoga
After short practice,
First of all enjoys for long celestial pleasures
Merited by virtues of Sakama-Karma,
And then is either born into the house
Of prosperous and wealthy merchants,
Or of Princes or of Kings.
He who left the path of Yoga
Even after lengthy practice
Is born again into the family of a Jnana-Yogin.
Know thou such birth in this world to be rare
And covetable, for this holy connection
Accelerates more highly his development from
O Son of Kunti !
Born in such a family of Jnana-Yogin,
He swiftly recollects his Yoga,
Regains the knowledge which he had required in
And, out of inate aptitude,
Again strives to attain the end of Yoga.
NATURALLY, therefore, on the score of former
practices in Yoga,
He, with his renewed endeavour, soon surpasses
All the fruits of Sakama-Karma-Yoga, as mentioned
In the Vedas;
He attains superior results to those deserved
By the performance of fruit-seeking Karma-Yoga.
Then he continues to practice Yoga
With greater assiduity and fervour-
The nearer he approaces to perfection
The greater the elimination of offence and guilt.
He practices his Yoga constantly for many births
Untill he reaches ultimate beatitude. free from all
O Arjuna ! consider thoroughly and understand:
A selfless Karma-Yogin is better than a
Even though the latter practices severe austerities;
A jnana-Yogin, striving to realise the Absotute,
The attributeless Brahman-the Great-
The Negative Aspect of Lord Supreme-
Is better than a selfless Karma-Yogin,
But superior to all, is he who worships Paramatma
The Lord Supreme Himself.
A Yogin is superior in every way
To a Karmin seeking for reward.
Among the various grades of Yogins,
The one who practices the cult of pure devotion
Stands foremost in My sight. He who serves Me
With all faith and pure attachment,
I consider the devoutest Yogin.
Of those who practice rituals-
The fruit-seeker or Sakama-Karmin, cannot be
called a Yogin.
The selfless Karmins, Jnanins,
Astanga-Yogins and Bhakti-Yogins are all Yogins.
Yoga is only one. It is a ladder
Consisting of graded steps,
Leading an individual soul to God.
Selfless Karma-Yoga is the ladder's lowest step;
When knowledge and non-attachment to worldly
Are added to selfless action,
It is called Jnana-Yoga-the second higher step;
When concentration of the mind
And contemplation of God are further added,
It becomes Astanga-Yoga-the third superior step;
And when service to, and love of God, are further
It becomes Bhakti-Yoga-the fourth stage of
Yoga is, then, nothing but a great celestial staircase
Composed of steps in which are mentioned various
For the clearer understanding of the Yoga proper.
THOSE who aim at real and eternal good
Do practice Yoga; but in the gradual progress,
Man must first practise one stage of Yoga with firm
And, having reached its end, must no longer cling
But make a forward march towards a higher Yoga
And lose attachment for the former.
He who clings to a particular step,
Can make no progress in his spiritual march.
And then is known according to the name
Of that step in the scale of Yoga.
On this account, some are designated Karma-Yogins,
Others Jnana-Yogins, Astanga-Yogins or Bhakti-
Hence, Partha ! he whose final aim it is to be
Most lovingly attached to Me, and to My reverential
With all energy of body, mind and soul,
Is far above the other three,
Who may be classed as Yogins.
Be thou a Bhakti-Yogin, above all.
GOD'S GRACE AND BEAUTY
SREE Bhagavan said : "I have told thee
About Jnana and Yoga leading to salvation
Which depends on the practice of selfless Karma-
That purifies thy heart.
Now I shal deal with Bhakti.
Hearken to Me, Partha ! thou shalt acquire
Full knowledge concerning Me, My Attributes and
I shall leave thee no room for doubt
That I am the Most Supreme,
Being exclusively attached to Me
Within the deepest core of thy heart
Or thy mind profoundly revelling on My thoughts
Due to exclusive attachment to Me,
After thou takest refuse in Me.
THE knowledge of Brahman is not complete
As it is devoid of the positive attributes of the
The conception of Brahman is but the sum of the
Of all earthly bounded qualities
And thus is the negative aspect of the Positive
Who is possessed of all transcendental qualities
As distinct from the triple qualities of Maya.
But this negative description of Brahman is not
It is Sattvik-Jnana,
Irrespective of comprehension by mind or body.
Bhakti is beyond all physical and mental qualities
And is a purely spiritual attribute of the pure soul.
God's Form Divine can only be seen
With the eyes of transcendental love.
Just as sweetmeats are tasted by the tongue,
And not by ears or eyes,
So the supreme Being Sree Krishna may be seen
Only with the eyes of pure devotion,
Which is the normal and eternal function of the
And not by any sattvika Jnana or Yoga,
However extra-mundane it may be.
A tongue which is embittered by the bile of ignorance
Tastes not the sweetness in the chanting of the
While there the bile of Karma, Jnana or of Yoga
A person finds no relish in the service of Sree
Which is Bhakti.
THE knowledge," the Lord said,
"Which My devotees acquire about Myself
Before they grow devoted unto Me,
Is that related to My lordliness and splendour.
Now I shall give thee knowledge
Regarding My supernatural Grace and Beauty,
That which cannot be realised until
A firm devotion and loving attachment is extended
When thou dost know this, thy thirst for any other
And nothing else remains for thee to know."
The Jnanins and the Yogins mentioned
May easily attain to Brahma-Jnana-
By their empiric line of thought;
But transcendental knowledge of the Lord Supreme
Which is distinct from knowledge about Brahman,
Lies yet beyond their ken.
"Man is scarce among the sentient being beings;
Very few among their countless thousands
Strive for their eternal welfare,
And infinitely few among the perfect souls
Do know Me as the Lord Supreme,
Who am the Acme of All-beauty
Possessed of an All-loving and Two-armed Eternal
In very truth, there is a rarity among My devotees
Who grasp the super-excellence of My most blissful
Distinct from the Impersonal Brahman
Who is only a Negative Manifestation of My Own
KNOWLEDGE concerning the Supreme and His
Is called transcendental knowledge.
Sree Krishna says here: "I have an eternal Form.
I and My Form are one.
I am endowed with potencies;
Brahman is but an attributeless aspect
Of a particular potentiality of My Form.
Brahman has no form Himself
Existing only in a negative relation
To worldly attributes and things.
Paramatman is the Aspect of Mine Immanence
That manifests upon the earthly plane,
THAT which I call the External Potency
Is known as My Deluding Energy or Maya,
From which arises all this ever-changing chain of
She is also called Apara or Inferior Prakriti
In her relation to the Universe consisting of five
The earth, water, fire air and ether
And their five corresponding properties-
Smell, taste, sight, touch and sound.
Besides these, there are three more subtle principles:
Perverted ego and intelligence and mind.
The perverted ego works with the assistance of
Intelligence and mind, though diverse in their subtle
Are in their broader aspect much the same.
"Intelligence" refers to Mahat,
And mind doth signify Pradhan.
All these eight principles and their concomitants-
An aggregate of twenty-four-
Arise from My External Potency, Maya.
BESIDES this Inferior Potency-
She is inferior through her concern with
There is another Potency known as Tatastha
Or the Boarder-line Potency.
The superiority of this Para or Tatastha Potency
Lies in the fact that she is spiritual
And from this Potency all beings emanate.
Thus emanated, the countless jivas or souls
Have, O mighty-armed ! accepted this material
As their objective for enjoyment.
The transcendental Realm is ever manifest from My
And the material Universe is a result of My External
Whereas the Jiva-potency can well be influenced
From either side, for she is in bewteen.
Hence she is called Tatastha-potency.
She is superior to the External or Apara-potency
As she may exercise initaitive
And utilise phenomena for her own service.
BOTH the sentient and insentient worlds
Have come into existence through these
Know thou, Arjuna, then, that these two Potencies
Are the material causes of all things-
Animate and inanimate.
I am the Lord of all these potencies
And they belong to Me.
Therefore I am the Efficient Cause of all creation
And of the destruction of these many worlds.
O Dhananjaya !
I am the Primal Cause of every object.
Pervade I every atom.
Without Mine Own Existence nothing could exist.
Thus I am the fluid sap in water;
I am the light of the sun and moon;
I am the Pranab or trancendental Sound within the
And I am the virility in man.
O Son of Kunti ! none else is superior to Me.
I am the Cause of all causes.
The whole universe exists within Me
Interwoven as the pearls upon a garland string.
I am the fragrance in the earth;
I am the heat and brilliance in the fire,
Capable of burning objects and illuminating darkness
I am the life in all things living;
And the endurance in austere ascetics.
Know Me, O Partha ! the eternal seed of every
I am the discerning light of the intelligent,
The noble prowess of the brave.
I am the strength of the energetic,
Devoid of passion and of anger;
I am the desire in all male beings
For procreating children, O lord of the Bharatas !
Unopposed to sacrament religious.
ALL manifestations of Sattva, Rajas and of Tamas
Are the qualities and actions of My Cosmic
I am independent of such attributes and actions
Which are all subordinate,
Dependent on My Potency.
Sattva, Rajas and Tamas are the qualities of cosmic
By which the whole wold is infatuated.
People, therefore, in their ignorance can never
As immutable and distinct from them.
The Maya or Deluding Potency belongs to Me alone;
She is therefore normally insuperable by weak and
Those who sincerely shelter in Me,
Alone may cross the ocean of Maya.
Not by any other means-
Either by following the path of Karma
Or adhering to empiric path of Jnana,
Or submitting to the minor gods-
Or any suchlike means can any individual
Surmount the barriers of Maya.
It is by unconditional submission and surrender
To the service of My transcendental blissful and
loving Self alone,
That man is capable of being free from Maya's
By which the fallen souls are tied to transitory
And rendered thus averse to Me,
The Lord Supreme of all.
OWING to their demoniacal or non-religious
'The wretched', 'the deluded', 'the worst among
And 'those who are deprived of knowledge of Me
by My Maya',
The Deluding Energy, do not take refuge in Me.
The 'wretched' are the moral lepers or immoral
The 'deluded', they who are too much attached to
And strive for earth's amelioration.
They cannot conceive of Absolute Reality
And therefore are devoted to the fleeting realism
Of earthly relativities,
They may be classified as moral atheists;
They cannot realise that I am the Lord of all the Ethics
And not bound Myself by any law whatever.
THE worst among mankind' are those who flaunt
The vanities of lineage, vast erudition,
Wealth and youthful beauties.
Too blunt they are to understand the higher
principles of life.
'Deprived by Maya of the knowledge of Me'
Are the agnostics, pantheists and atheists
And others, who, though they believe in a spiritual
Accept not the ideal of Bhakti
Or pure loving service unto Me,
Being allured to the danger of salvation or
By the temptations of deluding Maya.
Even though these pedants study the Vedanta,
They remain benighted as to the pure conception
Of My Form Divine, akin to human form,
About the eternal spiritual life of individual souls;
That their relation to material objects
Like the mind and body, and associated objects
Is but transitory;
And that their services unto Me
Form their eternal kindredship to Me.
Those who remain intoxicated
By the sensual enjoyments of the world,
Steeped in the depth of vanities and selfishness
And who regard My devotees as though inferior,
Are people of character demoniac.
Briefly are all wretched,
Who live not in association with My honest devotees.
THOSE pedants who are steeped in ignorance
About My Nature, do not resort to Me.
They may be classified into four groups:
First, the Karmins who are hedonistic in life;
Secondly, those who accept devotion as a means in
But finally abandon it from egotism;
Thirdly, those scholars who, though well versed in
Heed not My Divine Descents
And fancy My eternal Form that is akin to human,
To be but mortal, owing to their own infatuation
With My deluding potency or Maya;
And lastly, those who, demoniacal or atheistic in
Cast aspersions on My Transcendental Form,
Which, though akin to human form,
Is not of this world but is spiritual.
They even would advance in adverse criticism
Of My eternal Form Divine in My Own Spiritual
Distorting the Scriptures' real meaning
Through their contentious nature
Born of egotism misidentified.
O Arjuna ! the distressed. the enquirers after
The seekers of favours and the wise:
When these four groups of people, O Bharatarsabha,
By My Grace or through the grace of My devotees
Are blessed with godly fortune,
Freed from the distressing, pleasure-seeking,
Wisdom hankering inquisitive defects
Of their condition, they follow in My service.
Very rarely do the evil-doers serve Me
For they attain a meagre minimum of spiritual
Only by a stroke of fortune have they realised Me
and My service.
The four classes of the spiritually blessed
Conforming to a regulated life as ordained by the
Are fit to worship and to serve Me.
THOSE who are engaged in selfish Karma
Desirous of the fruits of actions
Suffer from the frustration of material desires;
But thus afflicted, their hearts are subsequently
By fires of sorrow, and they remember Me:
These are the distressed.
The atheists aforesaid, who, ethical yet ignorant,
Begin to search for real truth and feel the need
Of God's existence, begin to think of Me.
Again the wretched pendants who,
Dissatisfied with limited conceptions of Me
As Lord Supreme of all ethics and religion,
Turn out to be My ritualistic devotees
And keep Me in Memory by such performances.
When the Jnanins, who have the macroscopic
knowledge of Brahman, the Great,
And the Yogins who possess the microscopic
Knowledge of the Paramatma,
The Indwelling Over-soul, realise that such is only
And when they take recourse to perfect knowledge
Of My transcendental Loving Self,
The veil of ignorance brought into being by Maya
Then only they resort to refuge in Me,
Conceiving of themselves as My eternal servants.
INDEED, 'tis only when the desires of the distressed
And the distorted notion of a God of Ethics
Presented by enquires after truth,
And when the stain of interested heavenly enjoy-
Of the pleasure-seekers ; and when the slur of
Anent My transcendental Personality
And the untenable theory as to at-oneness-with-
Brahman, of the Jnanins-
When all these are removed, the diverse classes
Lead a life of true devotion.
Devotion is not pure so long as it is sullied
By any motives other than the love of God;
While if the slightest tinge of either Karma or
Jnana does exist
Or desires other than the service of the Godhead,
Devotion is alloyed with either Karma or the Jnana.
But when it is absolutely free from such admixture,
It is known as Kevala, Akinchana or Uttama
THOSE who strictly adhere to their particular
And to their station in life
According to their individual qualification
And their actions, worship Me.
They are classified into four groups:
The distressed, who are most anxious for relief
From their impending troubles, such as poverty and
Secondly, enquirers after truth,
That is knowledge of self
Or of secular religious Scriptures.
Thirdly, the seekers after worldly joy,
Such as wealth, fame, women and celestial
These three being fruit-desiring Karmi citizens
Resort to mixed devotion, in which Karma pre-
Lastly, the Jnanins, who are the sannyasins
Who have renounced all worldly pleasures.
Free are they from selfish Karma,
But their devotion is also mixed,
And hence the Jnana does predominate.
DEVOTION in which there is a spirit of Karma,
Jnana or Yoga, cannot be pure devotion.
When that devotion in which fruit-seeking Karma
plays a foremost part,
Becomes at length free from interested motives,
It can be said to be devotion alloyed with Jnana,
But when Bhakti or devotion is absolutely free
From Karma, Jnana or Yoga,
It is known as Unalloyed Devotion
Expressed as Serventhood and Friendship,
Parenthood and Consortship
In relation to the Lord Supreme, Sree Krishna.
WHEN the distressed, the enquirers after truth,
The seekers of wealth, and the wise-
Become unsullied by any worldly motives and
incline to Me alone,
They turn out to be devotees.
Among them, when the Jnanins, the wise,
Relinquish all things of base contamination
And material knowledge, and acquire a perfect
knowledge as to Me,
They stand above the other three divisions of My
The purer conception of the real nature of an
Which can be cultivated by meditating on the inner
Cannot equally be realised by a Karmin,
However perfect his duties be performed.
In the association of true devotees,
All are entitled to have real knowledge of them-
In the nascent stage of their devotion
The wise who are more steadfast and devoted to My
Are dearer to Me, and I am also very dear to them.*
(* The awakening of divine knowledge in Sukadeva Goswami is
an example of this class. In the incipient stage, the devotees
who render pure service to the Lord do so from divine knowledge
untouched by world-contacts.)
WHEN the above four classes of My devotees
Resort to one devotion only,
Munificent they grow;
No longer do they hanker after any of the objects of
But the Jnana-bhaktas, having more steadfast
To the conscious self, do realise Me
As the summum bonum of all pure and setient
They are very dear to Me,
For I am greatly influenced by their love for Me.
The jivas attain true knowledge of their pure self
Only after many births of spiritual practices.
With this awakening
Of the qualitative aspect of their real nature,
They understand themselves to be distinct
From earthly entities, and prone to indentify them-
At this stage with the Neuter-God, Brahman,
Due to the qualitative affinities
Between themselves and Brahman,
The quantitative difference being immaterial.
Indifference to these diversities may run to the
Thereby causing them to disregard
The transcendental Manifestations of the Spiritual
Form and Attributes
And Occupations and Entourage of the Lord
BUT, when they are established for a while
Upon the plane of transcendental knowledge,
They realise divine diversities,
Distinct from gross or subtle mundane variegated
In My transcendental Self,
And thus become attached to Me and shelter in Me.
Then they think: these phenomena
Are not dissociated from the Lord
But do result from the reflection of the Potency-
Called Chit-of Vasudeva;
The Universe has multifarious contact with
Vasudeva, the Pervading.
The devotees who have such a mentality
Are very rare and wondrous souls.
A Jnani-bhakta sees Me, Vasudeva,
In all things, and everything in Me.
Only after many births does he take refuge absolute
Such a devotee is rare;
But an Aikantika-single-minded devotee is the
rarest of all.
THE interested devotees unblemished,
Since they worship Me
Are also blessed to take the way of pure devotion.
As long as their devotion be corrupted by desires,
They hesitate to worship Me.
Yet those who, though they seek rewards,
Resort to Me with heart and soul,
Within a short time I relieve them
From all their earthly moods and lusts.
Wretched are they who worship Me reluctantly,
For they deprive themselves of all true knowledge
of the Absolute.
Steeped in worldly ignorance,
Their wisdom encrusted by the dross of earthly joys,
They worship the different presiding gods
According to various desires.
They do not love me,
And have no confidence in My Divine Form.
They are led astray by their respective
Rajasika and Tamasika natures
To submit to other pleasure-giving gods
And thus are thrown into the vortex
Of unsatiated, endless yearnings.
They think that they can easily and quickly please
Those minor gods by practising the ordinary rituals.
Cripples are their propensities
And thus enslaved,
They are reluctant to abide with Me.
AS the Indweller of the hearts
Of all the Gods and individual souls,
I give them faith unshaken in the minor gods
That they may choose to worship
According to their temporary predilection.
These gods are not the Lord Indweller;
They are but superior souls with delegated special
powers from Me.
The fallen souls repose great faith in them
For their own selfish ends.
The oftener their lusts are satisfied,
The more their confidence in them increases.
No individual can claim to be attached to Me,
Who am the Lord Supreme of all the gods and
Until their hearts are absolutely free from all
AS the god is, so the worshipper
And the results of all such worship are but
The worship of these transitory gods
Is mainly due to indulgence
In mental speculation by the worshippers,
Who, after receiving their desired ends
Ultimately realise their transitory nature.
My devotees remember Me as the Eternal End.
APART from the worshippers of minor gods,
Those who are well versed in the Vedas
Are often ignorant of My true nature.
For, says Brahma in the Bhagavatam:
'He who is blessed with the best of favours fom
Thy Lotus-feet, O Lord !
Alone knows of Thy glorious Deeds and none else,
Though he may try to elucidate the truth about Thee
By means of his empiric lore.'
Hence those who hold that I am Brahman,
The Attributeless and Impersonal,
And that I manifest in a specific Form,
For a special purpose,
That I become Impersonal again when I withdraw
From all this manifested world,
Are foolish to imagine this,
However erudite they may be in the Vedanta.
They are benighted as to My super-excellent
Eternal, transcendental Form and Person.
They who are called impersonalists
Think that the eternal and extra-human Form of
Is the impersonal and attributeless Brahman
Which manifests Itself upon the worldly plane of
They think this to be some illusion,
And when this is dispelled,
The Neutre-God or Brahman, then remains !
They do not realise that they themselves are the
And cannot thus conceive the Ever-lasting He-God,
Whose transcendental Form Eternal
Is unlike any form of matter, and Who can,
Out of His Divine prerogative,
Appear upon this earth ; and can withdraw Himself
whenever He elects.
THE illusioned know not My Shyama-sundara
Eternal Beauteous Form.
Do not believe that I was formerly non-manifest
And now have manifested in this Form Shyama-
For, this My Form,
Whose Beauty is beyond conception,
Existed ever like the self-effulgent sun,
Within the Realm of Spirit
And I am ever hidden from material eyes
By screens of My Internal Potency, known as the
For that this is, the unwise cannot know
That My Shyama-sundara eternal Form
Is e'er devoid of earthly form, birth, attributes and
Just as the sun is never visible to human sight
Through being intercepted by the heights of Sumeru,
So am I too, unseen by people of the world
Who have been screened by Yoga-Maya.
He who submits entirely to Me in Yoga-Maya
May know My real Nature by Her grace.
The ignorant does not submit, through his fallacious
MY Yoga-Maya or Internal Potency
And My External Potency-Maha-Maya-
Belong to Me and I am Lord of Both and of all
Thus neither overpowers Me.
I am the Lord Supreme, All-existent,
All-knowing, and All-blissful.
I know the past, the present and the future.
But even those, Arjuna, who know Brahman and
As My Negative and Partial aspects,
Do not know My Eternal Exquisite Shyama-sundara
In Aryan theology are three notions of the Absolute:
The Negative Brahman, The Great One of the
The All-pervading Paramatma of the Yoga-school;
And Bhagavan, the Beauteous, of the true Theistic
WHEN jivas realise their innate nature
Through unalloyed devotion,
I then reveal My Form All-beautlful
Unto their spiritual sight.
But when Bharata ! they are hurled into this round
of births and deaths
Owing to their disregard of their eternal functions,
They are infatuated by the mundane relativities
Of love and hatred, pleasure and pain,
Happiness and sorrow, cold and heat,
Honour and disgrace, male and female.
All this is caused by My Deluding Potency, the
Thus their pure knowledge is enshrouded by their
Yet through the agency of My Chit-Potency, the
I have made this My Divine Descent in My
Into the plane of all this cosmic region
Giving the fallen an opportunity to see Me
Manifest before their eyes.
But they, infatuated by illusion,
Are steeped in ignorance and thus do foolishly
My Eternal Beauteous Form to be material and
Those who are either much attached to cold
asceticism and renunciation,
Under the wrong impression
That the things of this world
Are not associated with the Lord,
Deprive themselves of treading on the path of pure
LISTEN how thou may'st attain a knowledge
Of My transcendental Personality.
The sinful and demoniac in character have no
insight into My nature.
Those whose sins are finally atoned for a pious life
Lived in obedience to the Scripural injunctions,
Follow the selfless Karma-Yoga,
Jnana-Yoga of pure intelligence,
Dhyana-Yoga of meditation,
And then become they conscious of their real self.
Only when this stage has been reached,
Do they engage in My eternal service
And thus they are enabled through the grace of
To understand My transcendental beauteous Form
Thou must discern between the worldy gross or
And that which is transcendental.
Those who are blessed with this discernment
Become released from change and relativities and
And then devote themselves to Me with firm
THE fleshy form is subject to decrepitude and
But not the everlasting spirit-body of the soul.
'Tis never for the soul to suffer births and deaths.
Moksha or liberation is the attainment of Eternal
Which is naught but My eternal loving service
With the soul's undying spirit-body.
But those who, sense-controlled and following the
path of mixed devotion
Where Yoga does predominate,
Seek only to liberate themselves from pangs of
Birth and death
And care not for My service,
Which is the end and aim of Moksha,
Acquire a knowledge of Brahman,
The ontology of Adhyatma and Karma in all its
THEY who can realise My Self
In their own unalloyed existence
As Lord of Adhibhuta, Adhidaiva and of Adhiyajna,
Are privileged to know Me
On the eve of their departure from this world.
The devotees alone are fully cognisant
Of My eternal beauteous Form and by My grace
Can cross the Ocean of the World with perfect ease,
For Maya has no hold upon them.
THE WORD-THE SAVIOUR
In order to grasp the meaning of the seven ideas
Implicitly conveyed by Lord Shree Krishna
In the previous chapter, Arjuna said:
"O Purushottama ! Thou art the Being Most
And therefore perfectly aware of everything.
Tell me now, what dost Thou mean by Brahman,
Adhyatma, Karma, Adhibhuta, Adhidaiva?
Whom dost Thou refer to by Brahman?
Is He the Para-Brahman?
Dost Thou by Adhyatma mean the Oversoul or
BY Karma, am I to understand the Scriptural rites
or social duties?
Is the gross fleshy body meant by Adhibhuta?
Whom shall I consider Adhidaiva-
The gods or the Aggregate Great Being?
Tell me, I pray, what dost Thou really mean by
Who is the Adhiyajna in this body?
Is he Indra or Vishnu?
And in what form does he exist?
How do the self-restrained ones come to know Thee
at the time of death?
Tell me, O Madhusudhana ! explicitly about these
SREE Bhagavan then replied :
"The principle of the Divine Word
Is beyond all limited distinction.
It is unchangeable and attributeless.
It is not Para-Brahman, but Brahman.
By Para-Brahman thou art to understand Myself
Who am eternally Supreme and Absolute
Existing with My Transcendental Name, Form,
Attributes, Occupations and Equipment.
Para-Brahman should be differentiated
From the Non-designated Negative Brahman.
By Adhyatma thou must not conceive of the
ontology of conscious entities,
But soul, released from earth's associations.
From Karma, the chain that binds the individual
to the world,
Arises the worldly bondage of the soul
And all its gross and subtle bodies,
Composed of all the elements.
ADHIBHUTA refers to perishable objects
Or the principle of change.
By Adhidaiva, thou must understand Virata-Purusa
Who is the Aggregate of all the minor gods,
That is the Presiding Deity of all empiric knowledge.
Adiyajna is non other than Myself
Who am the Knower and Indweller of the hearts
The souls engaged in gross and subtle bodies.
From deep within their hearts,
I urge them to perform their sacrifice.
HE who forsaking mortal clay,
Remembers Me alone at the last moment of
Becomes imbued with My divine emotions.
One who recalls My memory when facing death
Is blessed with devotional aptitude towards Me in
the next world.
There is no doubt of this.
It should be noted here
That his remembrance of the Lord
At the last moment of death, is not meant to imply
Merely a mental image of a fanciful man-created
This remembrance must come to mind
According to the true transcendental knowledge
And conception of the Godhead
As prescribed by the unchallengeable Scriptures
Corroborated by a genuine spiritual master.
THOSE who remember Me at death,
Come to Me then
Or are reborn with My divine thoughts and ideas.
On the other hand, he who leaves the body,
Son of Kunti !
Thinking of other objects at the hour of death
Reaches those objects and ideas,
Which he did meditate upon.
Remember Me, Arjuna ! constantly under every
And fight the battle as a duty
Laid upon you by life as a Kshatriya.
Dedicate all thy mentality and perseverence unto Me
And thou shalt find Me at the end.
By contemplation and remembrance of the Lord,
With a determined will and practice and unflinching
constancy of heart,
Thou shalt attain the Lord Divine
And ne'er revert to perishable elements.
I am Omniscient, Eternal, the Regulator,
Providence of all,
Most subtle, inconceivable to human reasoning and
I am the quintessential Principle of human beauty
Forever adolescent; self-effulgent like the sun,
Luminous of complexion and beyond all earthly ken.
He who by dint of previous practices in Yoga
Fixes the Prana or breath between the eye-brows
at the time of death
With an unshaken mind and true devotion
Can yet attain Me the Most Divine.
This Yoga is mentioned to thee
So that thou mayst retain thine equanimity when
NOW I shall tell thee about Akshara,
Object Supreme and most deserving End,
Whom the dispassionate auster ascetics enter,
And for whose sake the Brahmacharins observe
their life-long chastity.
In practising Yoga, he who controls all senses
By non-attachment to his sense-perceptions,
Confines the mind within the heart
By dint of his reluctance to indulge in sensual
Fixes the vital life-death in the centre of the head
And, while constantly recalling Me,
Utters the Vedic Word "OM",
Which is Brahman, and passes out,
Leaving the body behind,
Attains the End Supreme
By realising Mine Own Realm
Which is identical with Me in Natrue.
This is unmixed devotion
In which Yoga is the predominant factor.
SO far as I have told thee of that Bhakti
In which either Karma or Jnana predominates,
While dilating on the arguments on the distressed,
The seekers after wealth and truth
And the Jnanins, until decrepitude is reached,
Then death and liberation;
And I have also dealt with Bhakti in which Yoga
plays a part
Hinting at intervals on the conception of unalloyed
Now I shall explain to thee what steadfast, pure
I am accessible to My devotees, O Partha !
Who are ever attached to Me alone,
And who unceasingly yet lovingly remember Me.
With single-minded aptitude for serving Me.
They are the highest devotees and greatest Yogins.
My purest devotees do not resort to any Yoga system
Which is not conducive to My service.
Their only Yoga or connection is with Me,
Supremest Lord of all.
The Bhakti-Yogins, having realised Me,
No longer pass through birth and death upon this
They reach the culmination of their goal.
Steadfast attention and constant thought of Me
Is the criterion of Kevala-Bhakti.
Leaving aside alluring practices and tempting fruits
And of Jnana, he who practices pure devotion
With unswerving love, has followed Kevala-Bhakti
Which alone can lead thee to complete realisation
of My Self.
ALL the worlds, from the Brahma-Loka
To the seven lower regions, are but transitory.
Inhabitants of these worlds are apt,
O Arjuna, to be reborn,
But he who follows Me upon the path
Of pure devotion, meets not with rebirth.
That they are not reborn who follow Karma-
Jnana-, and Astanga-Yoga
In practising their Bhakti-Yoga is true,
In so far as they follow these
And gradually turn exclusively to Bhakti-Yoga.
IN a scale of human time,
A thousand Four Ages make a day of Brahma,
The Creator of the Universe;
Another thousand Four Ages make one night of
Three hundred and sixty such days and nights
complete his year;
A hundred such years compose the span of his
At the close of which time Brahma, the Creator,
has his fall.
The Brahma, who is devoted to the service of the
Is liberated; when such is the fate of Brahma himself
What wonder that the Sannyasins
Who live within his range,
Are liable to rebirths?
THERE are Four Ages:
Satya, Treta, Dwapara and Kali.
The current Age is the Kali-
The Age of discord, difference, and warfare.
The Satya Age equals 17,28,000 years.
The Treta Age equals 12,96,000 years.
The Dwapara Age equals 8,64,000 years.
The Kali Age equals 4,32,000 years.
The Four Ages therefore are equivalent to
1000 times 43,20,000 years is 432,00,00,000.
Which equal one day of Brahma.
432,00,00,000 years also equal one night of
Therefore 864,00,00,000, years
Equal one day and one night of Brahma.
360 times of 864,00,00,000 years =
Which equal one long year of Brahma,
The Creator of the Universe.
100 years is his life time,
Which means 31,10,40,000,00,00,000 years.
ONE thousand series of Four Ages equal 14
So that one Manwantara equals 71 series of Four
That is, in each Manwantara, the 4 Ages revolve
The present Kali Age is in its 28th revolution
In the 7th Manwantara, called the Vaivaswata
Of the Sveta-Varaha-Kalpa.
One Kalpa is one day of Brahma;
Creation takes place when a Kalpa begins
At the beginning of a day of Brahma
And cataclysm occurs when
The Kalpa ends at the end of a night of Brahma.
The Jivas are destined to briths and deaths in each
Until their final liberation.
The present year of the Kali Age is 5038,
Corresponding to A.D. 1937-1938, 1343-1344
1858-1859 of Saka Era, 1993-94 of the Sambat
And 452 of the Chaitanya Era.
THE gods, human beings, birds and beasts
In the three worlds are still more precarious,
And their rebirths are more frequent than those
Of the inhabitants of the region of Brahma,
When a new Brahmic Day begins,
That the created Universe comes into existence
Out of the Unmanifested;
And again with the approach af a Night of Brahma
When a Kalpa ends,
Worldly manifestation is dissolved and cataclysm
The 'Unmanifested' is not to be confused here with
As it only implies Brahma's state of sleep.
SENTIENT and insentient beings are born,
Again and yet again, O Partha ! during the Days
While mighty cataclysms do occur
At the approach of Brahma's Nights.
There is a eternal Unmanifested Principle,
Existing irrespective of the night Brahma sleeps
And far superior to Brahmic Night.
This Principle prevails irrespective of all else
Even after every creature shall have been destroyed
At the time of universal dissolution.
That eternal Unmanifested Principle is called
This is the ultimate and highest End of all;
Know this eternal unbounded Ocean
Of Unmanifested Existence, to be My Spiritual Realm,
From union with Which no soul returns.
The Supreme Immortal person
Who is Autocratic Lord of all that Realm
Is to be attained by single-minded and unswerving
O Partha ! all sentient and insentient beings exist in
And I am that Being Supreme
Who enters into every object as the Indwelling
MY truests devotees can with facility approach My
But those who offer not exclusive loyalty to Me
And count upon their Karma and their Jnana for
Have to encounter great obstacles upon the way to
Their progress and path are limited by time and
Let Me now tell thee, O Chief of the Bharatas !
About the time when Jnana-Yogins die,
Never to return,
And of the time when the ignorant depart to be
THOSE conversant with the knowledge of
Attain Brahman and have no return unto this
If they die at a time when favourably influenced
by Agni and Jyoti-
The presiding deities of light;
Ahah-the god of day;
Sukla-the presiding deity of the bright fortnight;
Uttarayana-the summer solstice
When the sun moves to the north of the equator.
A Jnana-Yogin attains Brahman at death
When his mind and senses are in a pleasing mood
Under the influence of the aforesaid time.
The Karma-Yogins who die when their senses
Are influenced by the presiding deities of smoke,
night, the dark fortnight
Or the six months of the southern solstice,
Go to the lunar region and therefore are reborn
When their heavenly joys have run their course.
VERILY are these two bright and dark
Paths of the world deemed to be eternal.
When a Jiva follows the bright path,
He returns not to the world of death,
But rebirth is the fate of him
Who treads the sombre path.
The path of devotion transcends these other two.
Conceiving the difference in principle,
Between these courses of Karma-Yoga and Jnana-
Those who follow with great avidity the pure path,
Are never entagled or illusioned by sinister ways,
And adhere more devoutly to their Yoga
Realising the evil consequence of both the others.
Follow this Bhakti-Yoga, O Arjuna ! hence for all
THOU shalt not be deprived of any fruits
If thou pursuest with devotion thy Bhakti-Yoga.
Thou shalt know and gain not only all the possible
Of Jnana and karma, that may accrue from studying
Performing sacrifices, observances, harsh austerities
And offering of largesse, but thou wilt pass beyond
And come at last to My Most Blissful Transcendental
Which ne'er began and never ends.
ESOTERIC LOVE DIVINE
SREE Bhagavan said;
"Now I shall tell thee who art free from malice
The most secret truth about My Transendental
Knowledge and Love Divine.
Listen to this, Arjuna ! and rid thyself of every ill.
The knowledge pertaining to the soul
And its elevation is naturally secret;
But the devotional conception of My Sovereignty
Is infinitely higher and more esoteric,
While the knowledge of Kevala-Bhakti,
Which I shall tell thee now
Is the most secret and esoteric.
He who knows this is freed for ever from the evils
Of the triple qualities
Which are impediment to pure devotion.
THIS knowledge is called Raja-Vidya, the Prince
It is the most secret of all secret truths;
Most holy is this in character;
It leads to the veritable understanding
Of thine own true self as well as the Self Supreme.
By the performance of this Raja-Vidya
All other rites are fully practised;
It is the climax of all religions;
Easily accessible; free from the troubles due to
Karma and to Jnana;
And it transcendes the triple qualities of Maya.
Faith is the fundamental basis of this knowledge;
Because the love and pure devotion which is
essentially this knowledge,
First awakens in the heart of fallen souls as faith
O thou destroyer of thine enemies !
Those whose faith and confidence in Me-
Which is the first step in the ladder of religious life,
Has not begun to spread,
Are unable to acquire this knowledge
And therefore are deprived of true attachment for
And subsequently enter the whirlpool of this world.
I have no mundane form.
My Reality is Transcendental and Eternal
Beyond the comprehension of the human mind.
Thus in My Unmanifest Existence I do pervade
And all sentient and insentient beings exist in
I dwell not in them as the clay lives in the pots
Or gold in golden bracelets.
It is not true that this world is a transformation of
I am the Absolute Whole-
I am the Divinity possessed of all the potencies.
The world has emanated from Mine Own External
Potency which is its working agent;
Thus I am not concerned directly with phenomena
Though I am the Efficient Cause of all existences,
I, as the Absolute. am independent of My world's
Albeit My universal Love and My Divine Compas-
sion encompass all My creatures.
When I say: "All beings exist in Me"
I do not mean they dwell within My Real Self,
But they exist in My External Cosmic Potency.
This is incomprehensible to human understanding.
Know then it as My super-human godly Power
Know also that the work of this My Potency is
after all My work
For I am the background of all Potencies,
Through whose agency I work.
Know Me hence as the Supporter, Indweller and
Preserver of all entities.
My real Self and My true Form are one
And therefore dissociated from worldly things
WORLDLY analogy is far below the level of an
explanation of such relativities.
They are beyond the present comprehension of all
But to allow thee a clearer conception approaching
I tell thee here for thine own understanding.
The sky or ether is all-pervading;
In it the air, the minutest atoms and electrons are in motion.
Though the sky is the receptacle of every element
It is yet detached from all.
Likewise, though phenomena have all been caused
I am independent of them all,
As the sky is independent of the elements that
move in it.
O son of Kunti ! when a Kalpa expires,
All beings enter into My External Potency of triple
And yet again when a new Kalpa dawns,
I bring them into being through the agency of that
THIS universe is subject to My External Potency.
Under the influence of this, all beings are
On the law of Karma, and therefore are subject to
rebirths and deaths.
I am the Self-willed, and through My Mayic Potency
Create them again and yet again.
But, O Dhanajaya ! those actions bind Me not.
I am detached from them and non-chalant.
Though unattached to earth's affairs
I am ever attached to spiritual bliss.
My Maya-the External Potency
And the Jiva-Potency-the Marginal Potency,
Help Me in My blissful attachments
And to cause the creation of material phenomena
and individual souls.
My Own Self is never thereby affected.
My Real Entity is transcendental.
Whatever is done within the sentient and insen-
By Marginal and Maya Potencies,
They therefore only help Me indirectly in My Spiri-
My personal aloofness from the world's affairs is
O son of Kunti ! the Cosmic Energy belongs to
Acts under My direction;
Palpable is My predominance o'er her and all her
When I desire to manifest, My wishes I express
By glancing at her, and in response
She does create all mobile and immobile objects in
For this reason, there are births and rebirths,
And repeated cosmic changes,
My desires are carried out by my External Potency
While My Spiritual Occupations are conducted
By My Internal Ecstatic Energy.
Between the two, exists My Marginal or Jiva
From whom all individual souls do emanate.
FROM all that I have said, thou must conclude
That My Real Self is the complete embodiment
Of Sat-Chit-Ananda-All-Existence, All-Knowledge
And that My Potencies work through My grace,
While I am independent of such action.
That I am manifest and seen by people in the
Is also possible only by My Grace and My prerogative.
I am transcendental, hence above all mundane laws
Which do compel created beings.
I am by divine prerogative free to manifest My
Before the eyes of all the universe.
My coming thus unto the world
Would never make of Me an object of the cosmic
I can and do maintain My Form Eternal and Divine
Both in the transcendental and the worldly planes.
It is but through Mine Own Exclusive Grace
That people of the world can see My Spiritual Form
Even in the worldly atmosphere
In special circumstances of Divine Descent.
To ascribe to Me that which is infinitesimal
Or the vastness of the non-manifest, is but confusion
Due to crippled understanding of the fallen souls,
Bound by Maya to the limitations of time and space.
My Nature Most Supreme is not in either of them.
On the other hand, My Real Form is transcendental
And for ever adolescent.
I am simultaneously greater than the greatest
In My All-comprising macroscopic Aspect,
And smaller than the smallest atom
In My All-pervading microscopic Aspect.
Comprehension of this My Real and Eternal Adoles-
Is only possible by grace of My Ecstatic Potency,
Which otherwise is inconceivable to human minds.
The deluded ignorant can never understand how this
My godly Eternal Adolescent Figure can be mani-
fested in the world
Without being born like any human being
Influenced by the cosmic laws.
And they fallaciously imagine that I must accept
A human body in order to reveal Myself
In this world before the eyes of all.
They do not realise that I am the Supreme
Lord of all the macrocosm and the microcosm.
Thus infatuated by deceptive and empiric knowledge,
They impute a narrow view to My divine capacities
Which the enlightened devotees regard and realise
to be Sat-Chit-Ananda.
IF thou wouldst know whence originates
This wrong and perverted perception,
Listen then to what I say.
Allured by a demoniac nature and lust and malice,
The ignorant and fallen are frustrated in their high
hopes of salvation;
And their penances of Karma and laborious studies
of the Scriptures
In quest of Jnana, bring them naught.
Their mind is then diverted into Karma in expecta-
tion of the fruits of pleasure's region;
They are thus debarred from purest knowledge
Owing to their fruitive acts.
When they are in search of knowledge,
The purity of knowledge is over-clouded
By mistaken theories of at-one-ness with Brahman,
They then at this stage often think
That this My Transcendental Form is born of Maya
That I am but Iswara, a god, and therefore inferior
to Brahman !-
And when the heart is purified by worship,
An individual attains to Brahman, the End Supreme !
The result of such delusion is that their mentality,
So lustful and malicious,
Intensifies the darkness of their ignorance.
O Partha ! Blessed are those, who are possessed
of transcendental knowledge.
Resort they to My Potency Divine,
And being indifferent to fruitive actions' rind
And to the seed of dry wisdom which aims at union
with the Absolute,
They serve with all attention My All-blisful Form,
In which I now appear before thee,
And know Me to be primordial and everlasting.
Those great souls who possess this transcendental
Ever chant the glories of My Name, My Form, My
My Entourage and My Activities
Which are identical with one another.
They do observe the nine methods of practices
By way of hearing, chanting, meditating,
Serving the Divine Feet, worshipping and praying,
Acting as a servant, friend and being self-dedicating.
In order to gain the blessed privilege of rendering
Or unalloyed devotion to My Transcendental
Perform they all their physical and mental,
Social and moral obligations
With steadfast dedication unto Me.
That their mind may not be alienated
From Me while performing these their worldly
Surrender they themselves to Me by following the
path of Bhakti-Yoga.
Just as a pauper calls at the doors of the opulent
Begging for the wherewithal to live
So My devotees keep constant company
With saints forever freed for practices devotional.
They learn from them with genuine intention
The process of the chanting of My Name,
How to surrender to Me and to read the
Scriptures in their truest light.
Strictly do they adhere to spiritual practices,
Vows and devotional worship.
They love to chant My Name incessantly
With yearnings for My endless loving service.
SO far in diverse ways I have explained to thee
The greatness and superiority of truest devotees
Over those four classes who do worship Me when
Or for want of wealth or out of intellectual Jnana-
Now I shall tell thee of three other classes
Who are inferior to the above.
The sages have designated them as Ahangrahopasaka,
Pratikopasaka and Viswarupopasaka.
Of these, the first group is superior to the other two.
In this, man rates himself as Godhead;
This is also a sort of Yajna,
In which I am but indirectly worshipped as in the
Next come the Pratikopasaka,
Who realising they are different from Godhead,
Worship the minor gods Indra, Sun and others,
Knowing them to be superior entities
Qualified with glorious capacities from Me.
Worse than the Pratikopasaka are the wretched
Who worship the Aggregate Universe,
Fancying it to be the Body of the Godhead.
Such are the three classes who worship Me in
Either as Brahman, with Whom they misidentify
Or as one among the minor gods,
Or as the Aggregate Universe.
I am the Kratu-the Vedic sacrifices
Such as Agnistoma
Which are offered to the Fire-god;
I am the Yajna-the sacrificial rites
Such as Vaiswadeva of the henotheists;
I am the Scriptural Word-Swadha,
Uttered in offering oblations to the departed forbears;
I am the Medicinal Alleviation of all Sacrifices;
I am Myself the sacrificial butter poured in the holy
fire of Yajna;
I Myself the Holy Fire of Yajna and likewise the
I am the Father of both the unit and of the aggre-
I am the Mother of the Universe for holding it
within My bosom;
I am the Supporter of the Universe providing it
I am the Grandsire, being the Originator
Of the Brahma, Creator of the Universe;
I am the knowable Subject;
I am the sacred "OM" and the Vedas three :
Rik, Sama and Yajus;
I am the Highest End of all;
I am the Lord, Controller and Observer of all good
The Abode, the Saviour from all danger, the
I am the Origin, the Maintenance and Dissolution;
I am the Primal Cause eternal;
I am the Heat in summer and the Showers in the
I hold back water and send forth rain;
I am the Nectar of salvation, and I am the Death;
Arjuna, I am the gross and the subtle.
Knowing thou that all these and many more are My
Forms and My Names,
The third class of these worshippers yet worship Me
As the Viswa-Rupa-the Godhead
Whose Form is the Universe !
IF these three forms of worship are intinged with
true devotion unto Me,
Then those same worshippers by coming unto Me
as the Supreme Lord,
Can gradually grow more eligible for salvation
In the form of pure devotion,
Casting aside all stigma of their former impious
One who worships himself as the Godhead in
May rid himself of this grave wrong
And merit blessing by cultivating unalloyed devotion.
Though the henotheists and the polytheists
misidentify the other gods with Me,
These errors may be rectified to understanding true
of My Supreme
And Transcendental Personality,
By their association with My truest devotees.
That woeful early misconception of the Immanent
God in Viswarupa-worship
May finally develop into a realisation
Of My Eternal Adolescent Transcendental Form
With their soul's awakening.
But if on the contrary these worshippers are more
inclind to Karma or to Jnana,
They are deprived of pure devotion-
The limpid spring of human well-being.
THE monists become entangled in the net of dry
Of an illusory theory, owing to their errantry from
The Pratika-worshippers become enmeshed within
the bonds of Karma,
Enjoined by the afore-said Vedas-
Rik, Sama and Yajus,
And having aquired the knowledge of the Vedas,
Are cleansed of sin
By drinking the Soma as the residue of their offer-
ings to diverse gods,
Thinking them to be My only different forms;
They worship Me thus inditrectly by making
And pray for the celestial pleasures
Which they enjoy in Heaven after death-
The realm of the gods,
Attainable by dint of pious acts.
AFTER enjoying the wide range of celestial
In the Kingdom of the gods, as a result of piety
They must again return to this poor mortal world
When Heaven's term expires.
The seekers of reward of Karma,
Enraptured by the nectar of the Vedas,
Are hurled into the vortex of births and deaths
time after time.
DO not believe, Arjuna ! that the followers of the
Vedas enjoy the pleasures,
And that My devotees do suffer pains.
My devotees think ever of Me alone with firm
Accepting all those objects
Which are not detrimental to their love of Me.
Absolutely selfless these worshippers are,
And offer all they have to Me alone.
I therefore send them all that they may need
And foster them with tender care.
Though there is a similarity in the phenomenal
acceptances of things
Between My devotees and lesser Karmins,
Yet a great gulf exists
Between the fundamental objects of their aim in
My devotees surrender all to Me,
And since they do not ask for anything from Me,
I grant them all without request and I maintain them.
Despite their temporal enjoyments,
My devotees are ultimately blessed with Bliss
The pious Karmins. on the contrary, though they
experience celestial joys
Must come again into this world of sorrow
And have to move within the cycle of their Karma.
They have no lasting happiness.
Though I am aloof from all things,
Yet I feel a great delight
In helping devotees out of My tender love for them.
In thus accepting My relief
They are not guilty of offence
For they ask naught of Me.
I am indeed the Lord Supreme of All-Being,
All-Intelligence, and All-Bliss.
There is none else superior or equal to Me-
No god is independent of Me.
I am the Reality Eternal beyond the bounds of time
Some worship the Sun and other gods ;
In this cosmic region the fallen souls
Worship My various forms of diverse and specific
Which reflected in Maya,
Are thought to be forms of independent gods.
But on deliberation it is found
That those gods are distant indirect manifesta-
Of My different powers, reflected through the Maya
And are thus entirely dependent upon Me.
Those who worship them as such
With clear conception of their real nature
As well as of My Transcendental and Supreme
Are on the right path, and are eligible
To make great progress in their spiritual march;
But those who worship these gods ardently
Thinking them to be eternal and as independent of
Worship them without authority.
They are thus deprived of the eternal and the
I am the sole Enjoyer and Lord of all the sacrifices,
Those who worship other gods as independent of
Are called polytheists or henotheists;
They ignore the truth about Me.
Therefore they degrade themselves, departing from
If the Sun and other gods they worship as emana-
tions of My power,
They may attain to bliss at last.
Those who worship any other god as Godhead,
Attain the non-reality of that especial god
Which is the object of their adoration.
The votaries of the deceased ancestors go to their
But those who worship Me the Ever-living Reality,
Realise Me on the great Plane of Transcendence
With increasing perfect bliss.
I am impartial in bestowing fruits on men
According to their deeds-
My law inviolable is dispensation of reward
Resulting from man's actions.
WHATEVER My devotees of loving heart and
cleanly body offer Me
Out of a naturally loving attitude towards Me-
Be it a leaf, or a flower or a fruit or water-
I accept with great affection,
Poor though the offering may seem to be;
But I refuse the richest offerings
When these are made to Me with importunity
And not with faith and love.
O son of Kunti ! I have explained to thee
How four classes of people gradually qualify
For the life devotional :
The sore distressed, enquirers after truth,
The seekers of favour and the wise;
Before they step into the Realm of Bhakti,
Their worship takes three different forms :
Monism, henotheism and pantheism.
I have likewise explained to thee
How at the threshold of Bhakti or practices
An individual resorts to four preliminary stages:
Fruitive Karma, selfless Karma-Yoga, Jnana-Yoga
And Astanga-Yoga in relation to the world.
Having said all that,
I have at last informed thee of the nature of pure
Now, O Arjuna ! determine thou accordingly thine
THOU art a hero of righteousness
And hast come into the world along with Me
To add harmonious development to My
Thou canst not therefore be regarded
As one among the neutral or fruit-seeking devotees.
Devotion mixed with selfless Karma and Jnana
Should therefore be observed by thee.
The duty thus incumbent on thee is:
Whatever thou seest, whatever thou mayst enjoy,
Whatever sacrifice or penance and austerities thou
Consecrate them one and all to Me.
Worldly minded men perform their work with other
When their purpose has been served,
They finally and formally present their actions
All that I rate as nothing.
Thou, on the other hand, dedicating thine actions
From the beginning, perform them as a matter of
Thou shalt thereby free thyself from bondage of all
good and evil
Resulting from thy Karma, and from fighting in
Equipped thou with the spirit of renunciation
By relinqishing thine actions unto Me,
Thou shalt be blessed with loving service to My
ONE mystery with Me is that I treat all equally-
None is an object of hatred of or special love
This is the general law with Me.
I am beyond all mundane relativities.
But it is My special feature
That I love and am attached to those
Who are attached to Me and
Serve Me lovingly and devotedly.
He who worships Me with single-minded faith, and
Should be regarded as a saint or sadhu,
Because his resolution is a perfect one,
Even though he pursues 'undesirable habits.'
"UNDESIRABLE habits" must be rightly
The manners and demeanour of a fallen soul
Are twofold-relative and truly personal.
All conduct of life such as cleanliness and piety
And all those habits respecting healthy and
And activities providing wants-
All things that are conducive
To the furtherance of mental, physical and social
growth, are relative;
While habits of the function of loving service to Me,
Which is innate in every pure soul, is personal.
This is known as one-pointed unalloyed devotion.
In the engrossed state of existence,
The Kevala-Bhakti of an individual maintains a link
With the relative conduct of his life.
Even when undeviated true and single-minded love
Be awakened in a fallen soul, his habits relative
Will still continue while he inhabits the mortal coil.
But with the flash of pure devotion,
The wrong propensities are soon dispelled.
Worldly attachment will relax in just proportion to
increasing love for Me.
As long as worldly predelictions be not burnt out to
Mundane appetites may sometimes force the bounds
of decency in life.
But such profanities are curbed ere long
By loving devotion shown to Me.
THE effort of those who have climbed the steps
Of pure devotion are wholesome and praise-
If mortal turpitude should creep into the life of such
It would soon be rectified by cultivating the attitude
Which cannot be contaminated or destroyed by
Because of his past immoral habits,
A genuine devotee, should not be classified with
the non-devotees ;
With the awakening of unflinching love for Me
Transgressions of the past shall be obliterated by My
Such a person should not then be scorned as a great
But be revered as a saint.
O Son of Kunti !
Be thou assured then of My promise
That My devotee possessing steadfast love for Me
Shall never know perdition.
The natural shortcomings due to birth
As well as elements ungodly in his character
Will be dispelled by fires of his immaculate
Ere long he will attain most perfect and abiding bliss
By following the path of unalloyed devotion
And practising the normal ways
That are the innate functions of the pure soul,
Carefully avoiding those of either pious or the sinful
Or the abnegations of the Jnanins.
Promise Me, therefore, O Arjuna ! that My devotee
is not to be destroyed;
Thy promises shall be observed more strictly even
than Mine Own,
For I may break My promes for the sake of devotees,
But the promises by them are never unredeemed.
O Son of Pritha ! Even the wild barbarians,
The fallen women, the Vaishya-Sudras and
other lower castes
May soon attain the highest bliss when they
And unflinchingly resort to Me with firm devotion.
Restrictions of caste and creed, colour or community
Are no barrier on the Path of Bhakti.
When the savage and the low-born are thus entitled
To lead a life of pure devotion
And all their evil habits and sinful life
Do not prevent their spiritual progress,
What wonder then, that obstacles of piety
Following from worldly noble actions,
Of the higher castes,
The pious Brahmins and the holy royal sages,
May soon be overcome,
By wakening the innate normal conduct of the soul?
BOTH sin and piety are undesirable,
But they submit to true devotion.
Hence practise, O Arjuna ! unstinted loyalty to Me,
The Lord Supreme, whilst thou as pilgrim
Passest through this transitory and blissless world.
Engage thy body in thoughts of Me ;
Employ thy body in devoutest service unto Me ;
Offer thine obeisances to Me ;
Thus being absorbed in meditation and most
constantly attached to Me,
Thou shalt attain Me, the Lord Supreme,
Even after all thy present duties
Such as fighting are performed."
SREE Bhagavan said:
"O Mighty-armed ! Thou art My Beloved
And so, desiring thy well-being,
I shall now tell thee truths
Of greater weight than e'er before;listen to Me again.
I am the Primordial Cause of all the gods and sages;
Therefore can they not perceive the Suprehuman
Of My Descent and Deeds
Upon the mundane plane in My Own Human Form.
The gods and sages all endeavour the truth to know
About Me, only through attempts empirical ;
Thereby, despite their strenous efforts to under-
Fail to go beyond the scope of time and space,
And therefore partially arrive at the Negative
Of the antepodes of all earthly qualities and actions.
THIS principle is, in their belief, non-manifest
Formless and void of action.
They think this earthly wisdom to be the highest
But the Highest Transcendental Truth is not
I am Ultimate Reality of all transcendence :
Ever Self-effulgent, and My Transcendental Poten-
cies are inconceivable by human minds;
I am possessed of all the perfect qualities;
My Form Divine transcends all limited conceptions;
I am the All-Existence, All-Knowledge and All-
WHEN My External Cosmic Energy reflects Me,
I am recognisable as Paramatma, or Iswara
Who is a partial manifestation of My Primordial
Brahman is only My indistinct, effulgent Aspect,
Inconceivable by human intellect
Owing to the influence of My Deluding Cosmic
So both these, My partial Aspects-
Paramatma and Brahman-
Are My analytical and synthetical manifestations
on the worldly plane.
Only on rare occasions, out of My Prerogative and
Do I descend into this world.
Failing to realise the capacities of My inconceivable
Through the poor vehicle of their inductive reasoning,
Those gods and sages who are intellectually
And whom the mighty force of Maya threw into the
depths of ignorance,
Think this My Full Descent into the worldly plane
To be "Iswara" or "Paramatma",
And imagining that Brahman is greater than
They try to merge within that attributeless Neutre-
But My true dovotees,
Who realise the pettiness of human intellect, and
And that all their attempts by mere induction
Are insufficient to comprehend My Transcendental
Cultivate a pure devotion towards Me.
Thus moved by My compassion at their dedication
I make Myself and My Most Beauteous Form
Apparent to their pure intelligence.
HE who knows Me, through My Grace,
To be the Lord Supreme of Lords of all the
And the First Source of all manifestations,
Is granted absolution from his sins
Arising from earthly experiences.
The knowers of the Scriptures fail to understand Me
Inspite of their penetrating intellect.
The reason is that Buddhi-the introspective
Which can discern the inner meaning,
Discriminating intelligence that can distinguish
between self and non-self,
Forgiveness, truthfulness. pleasure and pain,
Control of internal and external senses,
Calmness, birth, death, courage, non-malice,
Contentment, austerity, gifts, fame and shame-
All these are mental qualities of individuals.
Though I am the Primal Cause of all these qualities,
Yet I am distinct from all.
Nothing remains unknown when the Doctrine is
Of "inconceivable simultaneous existence of
difference and non-difference",
Otherwise known as Achintya Bhedabheda,
The Philosophy preached by Sree Krishna-Chai-
As the substance and its properties like fire and heat
Are distinct yet non-distinct from one another,
So also I, the Lord Supreme,
And objects, qualities, and feelings of the universe,
Born of My Potency, though eternally inseparable,
Are yet distinct from Me.
MARICHI and seven other sages great,
Sanaka and his brothers,
The four sons of Brahma who were born before the
And Svayambhuva and the others-the fourteen
All these were born of Hiranyagarbha
Who was empowered by Me.
This world was populated by their progeny and their
He who is rightly acquainted with the knowledge
That My Transcendental Personality is the Highest
End of all
The Principles of Absolute Reality
And that I manifest My Aspects Supernatural
Through the vehicle of all My Potencies
That are as yet beyond conception,
And he who futher understands that Bhakti-Yoga
Is the summum bonum of all practices of all Yogas,
Does surely perform the greatest steadfast Yoga
Which leads him unto Me.
KNOW Me to be the Fountain Source of all
things spiritually and earthly;
Everything evolves from Me;
Thus knowing, those who worship Me with unalloy-
ed devotion, are the wise.
They are truly versed in Transcendental Knowledge
The rest are ignorant.
The character of such unshaken devotees is this :
They have surrendered heart and soul to Me;
Exchanging mutual thoughts about their spiritual
And they discourse about Me.
All devotees who meet together,
Enlighten one another as to My Nature,
Heighten each other's spiritual progress
And delight in ever-blissful talks about My Trans-
In their nascent stage of Bhakti and its practices,
They hear and chant My Holy Name
Knowing the bliss of true devotion;
And in their highest stage of spiritual illumination
And Love Divine, when their innate nature is fully
They are entitled a blissful intercourse with Me
As Consort in My Love-Games
By following the Path spontaneous of Love Divine
That leads to Braja.
Those who worship Me most lovingly by following
I bless with transcendental knowledge
That helps them tread the way of Love Ecstatic
Which can alone conduct them unto Me
In Mine Own Realm of Perfect Bliss.
That helps them thread the way of Love Ecstatic
Which can alone conduct them unto Me
In Mine Own Realm of Perfect Bliss.
THE followers of Bhakti-Yoga
Cannot continue in ignorance.
Some people think that those who seek the Truth
By following the process of negation
In the manner: "This is not That, This is not That"
Are truly wise.
They think that rarest knowledge is not attainable
In which emotion is predominant !
Arjuna ! the truth is that knowledge of the Great
Can never be acquired by the very limited mentality
of poor individual souls
However highly trained their intellect may be.
With all their utmost striving
They will fail to realise the Highest Knowledge.
But if I be compassionate with them,
Then only by My Grace and by My Potency
My devotees who have endeared Me to their self
Are blessed with knowledge of My Transcendence.
My boundless mercy for them prompts Me to
Within the shrine most holy of their hearts,
And to dispel the gloom of ignorance
That clouds their minds,
Caused by their contact with the worldly relativities.
Transcendental knowledge is to be attained
Only by practising devotion to Me
And not by disputations or pedantic arguments."
ARJUNA said: "O Lord ! the saints and holy sages
Narada and Ashita, Devala and Vyasa
Have said, and so hast thou
That Thine Own Form Divine is beautiful beyond
Thou art the Endless Knowledge Absolute:
Thou art the Highest Shelter of all objects;
Thou art supremely Holy
Since all sinners become forever purified by Thy
Thou art the Godhead, Primal Lord,
Unborn and All-Pervading, Eternal and Divine.
I believe all this that Thou hast told me, O Keshava
To be unchallengable truth.
Neither the gods nor demons know
Thine inconceivable Identity, my Lord Divine !
O Thou Supremest Lord of Lords !
Progenitor of all the Lords !
Protector of all sentient and insentient beings !
Godhead of all the gods !
O Ruler of the Universe !
Thou knowest Thyself by Thine Own Internal
By no heavenly or human reasoning can one
perceive the truth
Of how Thou dost Thy Transcendental Beautiful
Primordial Form reveal
Upon the earthly plane,
Without submitting to apotheotic falsities,
Or laws of earth's phenomena.
He alone whom Thou dost favour
Can know Thee and perceive Thy Ways.
BY Thy Grace alone I now see Thy True Nature
in my heart
And can observe Thee in appearance before mine
I am blessed, O My Lord !
Tell me now without reserve
About Thy Superhuman and Divinest Glories
Which permeate the worlds.
O Mighty Lord of Yoga !
By what meditation shall I know Thee in Thine
Own True Form?
And what especial Form of Thine am I to meditate
Tell me again in detail, Janardan !
About Thy Yoga and Thy Superhuman Powers.
The more I drink the nectar of Thy discourse
On these transcendental truths,
The more my thirst for hearing them increases."
SREE Bhagavan said: "Thou noblest of the
There is no end to My Divine and Superhuman
I shall, however, tell thee now
About some prominent among them :
O Conqueror of sleep ! O Gudakesha !
I have already told thee of My Real Person.
I shall now tell thee of My relative existence.
I am the life of all the universe;
I alone am the beginning, the centre and the end
of all things;
I am Vishnu among the twelve Aditya who are
Mitra, Arjama, Rudra, Varuna, Surya, Bhaga,
Vivaswana, Pusha, Savita, Twatsa and Vishnu;
Of the luminaries I am the Sun;
I am the Marichi among the deities of the wind;
Among the stars I am the Moon.
AMONG the Vedas I am the Sama-Veda;
I am Indra among the gods;
The Mind among the senses
The spiritual Cognitive Faculty in all living beings;
I am Sankara among the eleven Rudras
Who are: Aja, Ekapada, Ahibradhna,
Virupaksha, Sureswara, Jayanta, Vahurupa,
Trambaka, Aparajita, Vaivakshata and Sankara;
Among Yakshas- demi gods, attending on Kuvera,
I am the Lord of wealth and Rakshas, the demons,
I am Kuvera;
I am Pavaka, fire-god Agni, among the eight Vasus
Who are Apa, Dhruba, Soma, Dhara,
Anila, Pavaka, Pratyusa, Pravasha;
And among the mountains I am the Sumeru.
O Son of Pritha ! Know Me to be Brihaspati
Who is the chief among the house-hold priests;
I am Skanda among the generals,
Among the great sages I am Bhrigu
And the "OM" among the words;
Among the Yajnas I am the Japa-Yajna-
The chanting of the Name of Godhead and telling
of the beads;
I am the Himalayas among the immobile objects;
Of all the trees I am Aswattha;
And of the saints divine I am Narada;
Chitraratha am I among the Gandharvas, the chorus
I am St. Kapila among the saints
Performing austerities for a purposed end.
Know me to be Uchchaihsrava among the horses,
Born of nectar on the churning of the ocean ;
I am Airavata among the powerful elephants
And emperor among men.
AMONG the weapons I am the Thunderbolt,
The Kamadhenu among the cows;
I am Kandarpa the Progenitor;
Among the serpents I am Vasuki.
I am Ananta among the Nagas-
Demi-gods with human faces and serpent's tails;
Among the aquatics I am Varuna;
Aryama among the manes;
Among the dispensers of justice I am Yama.
Prahlada I am among the demons,
Kala among the controllers,
Lion among the beasts and among the birds I am
I am Pavana, the wind, among the swiftest objects;
Among the warriors I am Parasurama;
Makara-shark, I among the fishes,
And I am the Ganges among the streams.
OF the created objects I am, Arjuna !
Beginning, Centre and End.
Of learning I am the the Spiritual Knowledge
Of the individual souls and of the Over-soul.
I am the Determining factor among the passages
That seek to establish the prima facie proposition
on the one side
And refute it on the other.
Of the alphabets I am the "A",
The Dwandwa among all compounds,
The Mahakala Rudra among the destroyers;
And I am Brahma among creators;
I am the all-seizing Death.
Among the future events I come into existence.
Among the women I am Glory, Beauty, Speech
As well as Memory, Intellect, Patience, Forgiveness
And others-the consorts of Dharma.
I am the Great Sama in the Sama-Veda;
Among the metres I am the Gayatri ;
The Agrahayana (November - December) am I
among the months,
And of seasons I am the Spring.
I am the Hazard of the gamblers,
The Valour of the chivalrous;
I am Victory and Effort among the persevering;
And I am the Strength of the strong.
Among the children of the family of Brishni,
I am Vasudeva or Valarama;
Dhananjaya am I of the Pandavas.
Among the Saints I am Veda-Vyasa,
And I am Sukracharya among the poets.
I am the Sceptre among the punishers;
Among those who seek victory I am Polity.
Of the secrets I am Silence ;
And I am the Wisdom of the wise,
I am that Seed from which all beings spring.
Arjuna ! no sentient or insentient object can ever
have existence without Me.
O Parantapa ! there is no end to My Divine
Supernatural Powers, of which I only mention
but a few to thee.
Whatever be endowed with majesty and might,
Excellence and splendour,
Know that to be part of My Superhuman grandeur
Born of the splendour of My External Power.
O Arjuna ! what value is this to thee to know about
By My Cosmic Energy which exercises influence
o'er all phenomena,
I permeate the universe as Paramatma Immanent.
My Potency possesses all capacities.
It is only with a particle of these capacities
That I enter every atom of the universe.
I have My relative existence in the world;
I exist as the all-Pervading Paramatma
Through the Agency of Cosmic Energy;
And in the Jiva-world, I am the Monitor Indwelling."
SREE KRISHNA'S LORDLY GRANDEUR
"My veil of ignorance is now withdrawn
By listening to these most secret truths
From Thine Own Holy Lips,
About Thy Transcendental Form.
In my abysmal ignorance I could conceive not of Thy
Now I have begun to understand Thou art for ever
Self-Revealed and that the highest Ideal of the
As yet unseen, uncomprehended by the mind of man,
Is Thy Most Beauteous Spiritual Krishna-Form
And He is Thy Real Self;
The Viswarupa is but one of many cloaks or Partial
Lord ! all objects exist in Thee,
And Thou dost exist in every object,
But Thou art not everything
Not every object is Thyself.
O Lotus-eyed ! I am acquainted now minutely
with Thine Aspects
Of creation and destruction
And of the excellence of Thine Own Way
The magnitude of which is boundless
Beyond the realm of human intellect.
O Lord Supreme ! I beg Thee, Purushottama !
To show me now Thy Lordly Form of Viswarupa,
In which Form Thou art Immanent.
I am an individual soul within this universe,
Albeit with identity
And cannot fully comprehend the actions of the
Which are beyond my human understanding.
Though I am insignificant, I have been, by Thy
To understand a fragment of the truth
Anent Thy Real Self as Ever-Adolescent, Ever-
Beautiful Sree Krishna ;
But I am not yet fit to realise
Thy Lordly Aspect or Thy Majesty,
Both of which pass the comprehension of the
Thou art my Lord and Lord of all the Yogas.
Thus if Thou deemest I should see,
Show me Thou, out of Thy super-worldly powers,
This Lordly Form of Thine."
SREE Bhagavan said: "O Son of Pritha !
Observe My Forms Majestic innumerable and
Of variegated colours in their thousands.
Behold, Bharata ! the Adityas and the Vasus,
The Rudras, the Marutas and the twin Aswinis;
Behold My many wonders;
None such have seen before.
Whatever sentient and insentient objects thou
may'st wish to see,
All are to be found in this My Lordly Grandeur.
Know, therefore, O Gudaklesha !
That all that and whatever more thou dost long to
Is only part of My Eternal Krishna-Form.
THOU art My devotee, and therefore thou canst
My Beautiful, Eternal and Divinest Krishna-Form
Apart from any mundane relativities with thy pure
eyes of soul,
Divine Love and devotion,
Free from the limits of all attributes.
But this My Lordly Form is not so independent
And it exists in harmony with Cosmic and the
Therefore, Arjuna ! the pure eyes of Divine Love
Do not see this My Lordly Form;
Eyes that behold material forms are also rendered
To see My Super-mundane Form.
The eye which has a certain colouring
Of quality intuitive yet not gross and material
Is called the eye divine;
I give thee that eye to behold My Lordly Viswarupa
SANJAYA said to Dhritarastra: "O King ! Thus
saying, Sree Hari,
Lord Supreme of all Yogas,
Showed to Arjuna the Superhuman Form,
Which was unique,
Unprecedented, and very strange,
Possessing many mouths, and eyes and many
With many ornaments divine and superhuman
Wearing divine garlands and gorgeous clothes,
Anointed with divine perfumes,
All wonderful, most brilliant, and infinite;
And everywhere innumerable forms appeared.
If the blazing splendour of a thousand suns
Were suddenly to rise up together in the sky,
Even that would scarce compare
With the effulgent glory of that Viswarupa.
Then Arjuna saw innumerable worlds
Both as a unit and in their separate existences
Within the Body of the Lord.
Thus filled with wonder and mazement, and
bowing down his head,
Arjuna thus adderssed the Lord with folded hands."
ARJUNA said: "Lord I behold within Thy Body
All the gods, all hosts of individuals,
Brahma seated on the Lotus-seat,
Mahadeva, all the sages and the heavenly serpents.
Lord of the Universe ! O Viswarupa !
I see within Thee manifold arms and bodies,
Mouths, eyes and the all-pervading Ananta-rupa;
I see no beginning and no end of Thee.
Thy Form can hardly be beheld for its resplendence
Scintillating like a mass of brilliant lustre,
Of fire and sun, immeasurable
I behold Thee, head bedecked with crown and disk
in Thy hands-
Splendour suffused with a celestial glow.
THOU art Imperishable Truth That should be
Thou art the Great Receptacleof this Universe;
Thou art Undying;
Protector of Sanatana Dharma-
Religion universal and eternal;
And Thou art the Ancient Personage.
Thou hast no beginning and no end;
Thy powers are infinite;
Thy two eyes are like shining suns;
Thy Face is all resplendency;
The universe Thou dost illuminate with Thine Own
Thou alone pervadest all existence betwixt the earth
I see Thine awe-inspiring Form;
O Great Soul ! all three worlds are trembling.
LOOK ! Those gods are encompassed by Thy Body;
Awe-struck people are extolling Thee
With hands joined palm to palm;
Great sages utter the Vedic Amen "Swasti",
Beholding Thee while chanting thoughtful hymns.
The Rudras, Adityas, Vasus, Sadhyayas, Viswadevas,
The twin Aswinis, Marutas, the manes, celestial
Yakshas, the gods and the Siddhas-
All are beholding Thee with great amazement.
O Mighty-Armed ! at this Thy awesome multiform,
The people of the worlds are trembling and so am I.
O Vishnu ! Who pervadest the universe !
Terror strikes my heart to see Thy wondrous Form
Touching the sky and shining with iridescent
And I cannot hold My peace and patience.
I am bewildered to see Thee like the universal
At the break-up of the world.
I know not where lies my well-being,
O Lord ! Thou Shelter of the Universe !
Be Thou gracious unto Me.
ALL those sons of Dhritarastra with their allied
With Bhisma, Drona, Karna and the warriors of
Are entering headlong into Thine avenging Mouth ;
Some of their heads are crushed between Thy fear-
Just as the flowing currents of the river
Sweep down towards the sea to be swallowed by it,
So also are these heroes entering Thy flaming
Mouth to be exterminated.
Just as the moths flicker round the glowing flame to
merge with death,
So are the worlds fast entering into Thy Mouth to
O Vishnu ! Thou art putting all the worlds into Thy
Devouring them completely.
Thou hast dazzled the whole universe entire
With Thy brilliant splendour,
And art shining bright in all Thy glories.
Tell me, Deva ! why art Thou so terrifying !
I greet Thee; be Thou propitious !
I know not Thy ways ; I beg to know them all."
SREE Bhagavan said : "I am revealed now as the
Of these multitudes of men ;
I shall destroy all warriors, except you the Pandavas,
Arrayed in hostile armies.
In this destruction, the sole Agent am I, not thou.
When thou art not responsible for this destruction.
Thou must be ready to give battle
And enjoy an ever-lasting glory
And a prosperous kingdom as the result of victory.
By Me have they been slain already ;
Be thou but an intermediary of My Action,
O Savyasachi-shooter of arrows with both hands !
Already have I destroyed great Drona,
Bhisma. Jayadratha. Karna and the other heroes ;
Cast off thy fear, arise and fight ;
Thou wilt conquer thine enemies and come out
SANJAYA said to Dhritarastra: "O King !
Having heard these words of the Divine Lord
Arjuna, trembling with fear,
Saluting Sree Krishna again and again with folded
And in a faltering voice began to say:"
ARJUNA said : "O Lord of all the senses !
Hearing about Thy glorious deeds,
The world becomes attached to Thee,
The demons fly in fear to every corner,
The saints make their obeisance unto Thee.
Great Soul ! Why should they not greet Thee,
Who art the Lord Supreme, the Primal Cause?
Thou art superior to Brahma, O Ananta !
O God of gods ! O Thou Abode of all the universe !
Thou art the Word Divine, Thou art Infallible-
Thou dost transcend all sentient and insentient
things in Nature.
Thou art the Primordial Eternal Being ;
Thou art the only Shelter of this Universe ;
Thou art the Knower and the Known ;
Thou art identical with Thine Transcendental
Which is beyond all qualities of Maya.
O Lord of Boundless Form !
By Thee everything is pervaded.
Thou art Vayu, Yama, Fire, Varuna,
Moon and the Creator Brahma;
Therefore do I bow to Thee a million times,
And hail Thee again and yet again.
HAIL to Thee on all sides ! O Lord of Power
Thou alone art Master of immeasurable strength-
All potencies pervadest Thou, O Lord !
Thou art the All in all.
Whatever I might have said from inadvertance
Or from love, addressing Thee in such familiar terms
As "Krishna !" "O Yadava !" "O Friend!"
Being ignorant of this Thy Greatness
And of Thy Glory, and merely looking on Thee as
my most loving Friend
Or in whatever way I might have shown some
disregard for Thee
In fun, at play, in sleep, at meals,
Before an assembly or while alone,
I crave Thee, O Achchyuta ! to forgive me all.
THOU art the Father, the Object of reverence
And the greatest Guru, Spiritual Master, of
this Universe ;
Far from superior, there is none equal unto Thee
In all three worlds. Thy greatness is unrivalled.
Thou art the Lord and Object of all worship.
I offer my humble obeisance to Thee
Imploring Thy forgiveness.
Thou and the normal soul have an inseprabale rela-
Of confidential love, as between Master and man,
Or parents and Child, or between the lover and the
Thou dost accept such confidential services
And loving homage from Thy servants, friends,
Parents ans consorts, and graciously forgive
The intimate expressions used towards Thee.
I am filled with wonder;
My curiosity is satisfied to see Thy Universal
Of Viswarupa, Which was not seen before;
But this Form does not please the eyes and mind of
My mind is sore afflicted at this fearsome Form, O
O God of gods ! Abode of the Universe !
Have mercy on Me and show me Thy All-Majestic
Four-armed Form of Vasudeva,
The son of Vasudeva-the Ocean of all grace.
Let me now see Thy Four-armed Form
With golden crown on head
And disk-conch-mace-lotus in Thy hands.
From that Form dost Thou manifest this Thousand-
And Universal Form within the Cosmic world.
O Krishna ! now I have understood without a doubt
That Thy Sachchidananda Two-armed Krishna
Eternally exists as the Loving Lord.
The Majestic Four-armed Form as Narayana
Is the Manifestation of Delight Supereral
Of Thy All-loving Two-armed Krishna-Form:
And when the universe is created,
Then from Thy Four-armed All-Majestic Narayana
This All-Pervading Virata or Great Universal Form
My curiosity has been aroused a thousandfold
By virtue of this transcendental knowledge.
SREE Bhagavan said: "I have been pleased to show
My Form Supreme belonging to the Cosmic Plane.
To none but thee have I before revealed
This boundless Primordial Lustrous Form.
O greatest hero among the Kurus !
None but thou alone in this world hast seen My
Either by virtue of study of the Vedas or sacrifices,
Or largesses, or rituals, or practising severe auste-
Those who have reached the celestial region
And attained a godly life
Behold and meditate on My Viswarupa Form
By means of their godly eyes and godly mind;
Those who are ignorant and fettered worldlings
Can never see this Form;
But My devotees can pierce these gross and subtle
walls of ignorance and godliness
Of the mundane and celestial worlds by virtue of
They may transcend to My Eternal Realm
And be established in that spiritual plane.
Hence, they, like thyself, are not content
With My Universal Viswarupa Form,
Which is but a distant manifestation
Of My Majestic Aspect in the Cosmic Universe,
But yearn for the sight of My Eternal
All-Loving, All-Beautiful and Adolecsent Krishna
ONLY the ignorant think highly of My Viswarupa
But be thou not bewildered or afflicted by this
My devotees love peace and are affectionately fond
Of My All-beauteous Ever-adolescent Krishna-Form:
Thet therefore are aggrieved to see this terror-
I bless thee now, that thou mayst not be frightened
of My Viswarupa Presence;
My devotees have naught to do with Viswarupa on
the cosmic plane.
But thou art My friend, who came into the world
As an accessory to My Divine Deeds-
Thou shalt be an adjuct to My wishes and
It does not hence befit thee to be so affected.
Give up all fear and with a cheerful heart
Behold again My transcendental blissful Form."
SANJAYA said to Dhritarastra: "So saying, the
Vasudeva withdrew His fearful Viswarupa Form
And showed Arjuna His Four-armed Narayana
And then His Gentle, Loving, Two-armed Form of
Human in appearance, encouraging Arjuna with
sweet and hopeful words".
Seeing the Beauteous Loving Human Form of
Krishna Arjuna said,
"O Janardana ! I am now restored to peace of mind
And have regained devotion for Thee,
The normal function of my self,
In seeing Thy evergraceful Huma-Form."
SREE Bhagavan said: "Arjuna ! My Form which
thou didst see
Is not accessible to many;
Even the gods like Brahma, Rudra and the others
Are ever anxious to have a glimpse of My All-
beautiful, Magnetic Form.
If thou shouldst argue that how can this Form be
When I am seen apparently by many here on earth,
Then listen to the truth:
The relation between the observer and observed is
Which may be classified into three groups
According to the angle occupied by the observer.
The first is based on pure and complete conception
Of this transcendental knowledge;
The second but proceeds from ignorance;
The third reposes on empiricism and human logic
Drawn from inference within the bounds of time,
space and the three dimensions.
People who are infatuated by utter ignorance
Consider My eternal transcendental Human Form
To have been born of Maya and transitory;
They thereby are deprived of realising My true
The pedants and the gods all falsely reason
This transcendental Form which is identical with
And is the Form Eternal Which I use
When I make My Divine Descent into this worldly
From My divine power and prerogative
Without submitting to the laws of Nature ;
Thus they are prone to think My All-pervading
That manifests within the cosmic plane,
Or the negative and extra-cosmic, non-differentiated
To be My eternal Self! and regard My Human Form
As but a means of worship at the start.
But true devotees whose spiritual eyes are opened
By the genuine Preceptor with the spark of
Know and see My Krishna-Form as the Supreme,
All-beautiful, and Transcendental, Ever-adolescent.
Therefore I say, Arjuna! that this spiritual complete
Of My Krishna-Form is not within the reach of
Among the gods, Brahma and Siva are My devotees
And they aspire to this All-gentle Form.
Thou art My friend and devotee, and through My
Thou hast been made to realise the great supremacy
Of My eternal Form,
After having seen My Viswarupa Aspect.
NEITHER by the reading of the Vedas,
Nor by austerities nor by charities nor by sacrifice
Can I be seen in My eternal Human Form
As seen and realised by thee.
Arjuna ! it is by single-minded, undistracted devotion
That I can in this Form be seen and realised
For that devotion, Parantapa !
Leads such a pure devotee into My perfect Realm
He who does serve Me with integrity of heart,
Refrains from all fruitive Karma and dry Jnana
And cultivates a truly loving attitude towards Me,
And renders eternal good to all
By helping them in the awakening of their pure
Which I deem unselfish service unto Me,
Attains Me as Sree Krishna in My Abode of Bliss.
ARJUNA said, "O Krishna ! from all that Thou
hast told me until now,
I gather there are two ranks of Yogins:
The ones who worship Thee with an unflinching
Engaging harmoniously in Thy service
All their mind and body and social activities;
The second who adopt a selfless Karma-Yoga,
Accepting physical and social functions
So far as they are in accordance with their Yoga
And worship by means of intuition
Thy non-manifested Negative Imperishable Aspect.
Now, tell me, pray, which of these are the better
SREE Bhagavan replied: "Those who engage
their full attention
Upon Me with faith absolute and an unflinching
And pour their life into the perfect mould of un-
And everlasting service, are the best among the Yogins.
Bhakti beyond the triple qualities
Is thus superior to Karma, Jnana and Yoga.
These devotees are the highest Yogins.
Those who are self-controlled, tranquil and calm
Altruistic, and prone to worship My Eternal,
Indefinable, Unmanifested, Uniform, Non-differen-
Indefinite and Attributeless Negative Aspect-
Find rest at last in Me
After experiencing a series of obstacles.
As there is no other One to worship but My Self,
In whatever form thou strivest to attain the
Thou shalt at last come unto Me,
If thou be sincere in thy endeavours.
THE difference between a Jnana-Yogin and a
Is that the means adopted by the Bhakta
In the cultivation of devotion unto Me
Is realised to be identical
With the End, which is Love Divine,
While Jnana-Yogin's method negative
Leads him to the end of Jnana's path,
Which is the Non-distinct and Attributeless
My Negative Aspect; I am the Lord of Love Divine.
To a Bhakta, means and end are one,
While with a Jnanin they are two.
When the means is eternal,
The end attained by it is also eternal,
And therefore in devotion the Means and End are
But when the means that leads man to the end,
Ceases when the end is realised,
As in the case of the Jnana-Yogins,
Then the end reached by such temporary means
Must also be ephemeral.
THE path of Jnana, then, is ultimately proved
Te be a source of troubles.
Those who dedicate devout and patient labour
With dry wisdom as their goal,
Find their endeavours end in the fruitless troubles
Like the toil of those who try to get substance out
Without devotion to the Godhead,
The striving after unity with Brahman
Ends in trouble and distress.
The principle of all negotiation
Is the antithesis of normal function,
For every conscious entity must ultimately forge a
With God, by means of service and of godly love.
The negative attempt places no reliance upon God
And therefore is best at every spot with dangers.
Intelligence cannot be pure without devotion unto
The Centre of all beings;
Those who with their imperfect mind
Pretend to think that they are free from limitations
of the world,
Are hurled down from the last step approaching
Back to this world of relativities.
JIVAS are eternal and sentient beings;
If they could merge into the attributeless
It would be self-annihilation.
Even when they realise their normal functions,
They find it difficult to rid themselves
Of the supremely false impression
That they themselves are none else but the Godhead.
For such a Jiva in the fleshy body
To meditate upon the Non-distinct Brahman
Brings him but misery both as to means and end.
A Jiva is a conscious and eternal entity
And has a spiritual form of its own.
The principle of non-differentiated Monism
Is therefore full of miseries.
Bhakti is the normal function of all souls.
Jnana, independent of it, is the root of the greatest evil.
Hence, the principle of an impersonal, inert and
Based on inductive reasoning, is not at all acceptible.
THE truest devotees perform their physical and
Completely in obedience to My devotion
And meditate upon My transcendental and eternal
Form with single-minded faith.
I soon deliver those, O Partha !
Whose hearts are absolutely true to Me,
From the ocean of chagrin which is this world, and
By My grace do they attain to perfect freedom
From the bondage of the great illusion,
And when thus freed, I shield them
From the Non-distinct Monism which is really death
The helpless, hopeless. egotistic view of merging
Is the cause of ruin to all Jnanins.
CONCENTRATE thy mind upon My transcenden-
And most lovely Form, and meditate on Me alone ;
Engage thy pure intelligence in My service ;
Establish thyself in the devotion of My Self
Thou shalt thereby without doubt attain to Prema,
The Divine Love, which is as pure as molten gold.
This is the highest end of all devotion.
If thou canst not concentrate the whole attention
Out of a natural and deep attachment to Me,
Then attempt, O Dahanjaya ! to follow the regular
way of practices
According to the Scriptures by curbing thy mind
From meddling with matter, in order to reach Me.
THERE are two ways to the attainment
Of the highest end of Prema, Love Divine :
One is the path of a normal, natural attachment for
Without any forced attempt upon the seeker's part ;
The second is the path of regulated course of
According to the dictates of the Scriptures.
The former is called Raga, the latter is known as
Raganuga-Bhakti is the spontaneous and profound
That arises from a strong desire to love and serve
While Bhakti that is practised on the basis of a
Regulated by the Scriptures, is called Vidhi.
It is desirable for an ordinary individual,
Whose heart is not afire with a spontaneous love
To follow the path of Vidhi-Bhakti.
IF thou art unfit even for Vidhi or the other
grades of Bhakti,
Regulated by the Scriptures
Dedicate thou, then, all thine activities to Me.
Thou shouldst hear, chant, worship, make obeisan-
ces to Me,
Cleanse the Temple, cul flowers for My adoration.
In this way, thou shalt succeed
In gaining My affectionate eternal comradeship.
Thy mind will cling for ever to My transcendental
As the Sree Krishna of All-love
Instead of giving its attention to phenomena of
If thou still fail to concentrate thine actions all to
Be self-possessed, give the results of all fruitive acts
By following the path of selfless Karma-Yoga, as
indicated in the Vedas.
SUCH a devotee is naturally free from malice ;
He does not envy even those who are deemed
And he is a friend to all;
His heart is tender to those brothers who have gone
He tries to render them a permanent and real good ;
He is indifferent to worldly matters
And is not proud of physical associations;
He looks on pleasure and pain alike without
Despite strong cause of provocation, he forbears.
Always content is he with whatever meagre
Comes to him for his maintenance of body;
He is a devotee with firm determination
To achieve the Final End that he desires
And therefore is a steady Yogin;
He has a steadfast faith in Me
And is alert to gain My Prema or Love Divine.
A devotee who offers such a mind and heart to Me
is dear to Me.
A Shanta-devotee neither causes uneasiness
Nor suffers any caused by others;
He is not elated with attainments nor is he jealous
of another's gains;
He is free from wrath or fear, of any of the world's
Such a devotee is dear to Me.
My devotee remaining unaffected by the world's
Pure inwardly and out, active and alert;
Indifferent to all conflicting happenings,
Calm and tranquil in his judgement, and in mind,
Who does not seek the fruits of his devotion
Relying on My dispensation-
Such a devotee is dear to Me.
The devotee who never feels elated
By promises of worldly gain, or does not mourn at
Who does not hanker after earth's achievements,
Who casts aside all benefits derived from good and
Virtue and vice, sin and piety-
Such a devotee is dear to Me.
He looks with kindly eye on friend and foe alike,
Not over-joyed is he when eulogised,
Nor sore distressed with disrespect.
He is indifferent to heat and cold, pleasure and pain;
Calm and tranquil is he in observation.
He is unmindful of praise and of abuse;
He is controlled in what he says, cool and collected
He is content with little food and bare necessities;
Not anxious for a homely life and therefore not
attached to such affinities;
Such a devotee is also dear to me.
Those who, with firm faith and sincere devotion
Relish the nectar of these truths, related by Me,
From the beginning to the end of this discourse,
Are My true devotees and are exeedingly dear to
NOTE :-In the first three Chapters, selfless
Karma-Yoga is described as the means to salvation.
In the second six Chapters, Bhakti-Yoga is explained
to be the only means to the realisation of the Supreme
Lord. Bhakti is two-fold; esoteric and exoteric. In-
ward performance of Bhakti is done by remembrance
and meditation; and in the case of a neophyte's inabili-
ty to give undivided remembrance, he should attempt
earnest practices, and follow those who can. These
three inward practices of Bhakti are difficult for the
worldly to follow, while the spiritually intelligent and
those who are free from all offences are eligible to
practise them. The external practices of Bhakti by
way of hearing and chanting the Name of the
Godhead are easily open to all. The superitority of
these devotees who follow either or both of these in-
ward and outward practices of Bhakti-Yoga, is shown
in the second six Chapters. But when a neophyte is
not fit to control his mind and senses and worship the
Supreme Lord with a steadfast spontaneous attach-
ment or firm faith in Him, selfless Karma-Yoga, con-
secrated to the Godhead, is mentioned in the first six
Chapters, as inferior to unalloyed devotion.
In the absence of a spontaneous attachment and
the awakening of the soul's normal loving service to
the Lord Supreme, the practice of the regulated
Vidhi-Bhakti, as prescribed by the Scriptures is to be
followed, failing which the neophyte should then
strive after knowledge-Jnana-that leads him to the
realisation of his true self. When this is not possible,
he should meditate on such thoughts as "Thou art
That" "I am Brahman", as a means of acquiring
Jnana or wisdom relating to the pure self; and for
those who are unfit even for such meditation, Karma-
Yoga is preseribed. The fruit-seeking Karmins attain
peace by relinquishing all results of their actions. There
are two ways to the attainment of pure devotion; the
one is a direct way, the other is a gradual process.
Listening, chanting, meditating, service, worship,
adoration, self-surrendering to the Name, Form, Attri-
butes, the Transcendental Retinues or Hosts and
Deeds of the Lord Supreme, based on a spontaneous
and firm faith, is the direct method; while the gradual
course of general progress begins with the renunciation
of all fruitive acts; at the second stage the consecra-
tion of results of actions to the Godhead; at the third
stage, meditation and concentration following the
process of Astanga-yoga; fourthly, knowledge or Jnana
of one's true self; and lastly, the Vidhi-Bhakti or the
perfect knowledge of the eternal and transcendenta
Name, Form, Attributes and Activities of the Lord
Sadhana Bhakti is the only means to the attain-
ment of perfect and divine Love, This Bhakti-Yoga
has two phases; the inward one lies in the absolute
attachment to God; the external process is practised
by listening to and chanting the Name of God. The
inward practices of Bhakti-Yoga are either remem-
brance or concentration or inward attempts at such
concentration So, concentration of the mind in the
remembrance of the Lord is better knowledge or Jnana
and superior to practice. In the stage of practice, care
is taken to achieve meditation; but when concentration
of the mind and constancy of remembrance, which are
desired ends of practice, are attained, then meditation
naturally follows. Meditation is therefore superior to
mere Jnana. When meditation becomes steady, then
all hankering after celestial pleasures and salvation
are purged out of the heart. When the heart is thus
cleansed, all the senses find their real and perfect rest
in being wholly engaed in the service of Sree Krishna,
Who is the Lord of all senses, and Bhakti is awakened
to engage an individual soul in the loving service of
God. When formidable desires for either elevation or
Karma, salvation or Moksha, are finally alienated
from the heart of an individual soul, he attains a state
of mental peace, called Shanti.
This gradual course of Bhakti, when sincerely
followed, leads one to Krishna-Prema or Divine Love
-the summum bonum of all spiritual practices. Pure
Bhakti, devotion, is ever blissful and is the only positive
means to the realisation of the Highest End of spiritual
existence. This is the gist of the Chapter and of the
ARJUNA said: "O Keshava ! I beg Thee to explain
Prakriti, the Female Principle of creation;
Kshetra-the body as the spirit's habitation;
Kshetrajna-the soul and Over-soul;
Jnana-the Knowledge; and Jneya-the knowable."
Sree Bhagavan said ; Arjuna ! to make thee under-
The esoteric principle of Bhakti,
I have explained the real nature of the soul
As well as the various actions of the soul conditioned.
I have told thee explicitly about pure Bhakti.
The triple paths of Karma, Jnana ann Bhakti have
also been explained.
Now I shall tell thee of Jnana and Vairagya
Or abnegation from the angle of transcendental
Which will all the more confirm thy faith in
THE esoteric truth anent conception of the God-
Which I explained to Brahma in the Bhagavatam,
Is that the knowledge about Me and My most secret
Together with My transcendental Love and the
Means of realising them
Can only be acquired through My Grace.
Thereby I explained the fourfold truths regarding
Jnana or true knowledge,
Vijnana or transcendental esoteric knowledge,
Rahasya or the mystery of Love Divine
And Tadanga, the means of realising it.
If these four principles are not completely under-
The mystery of Love Divine is not unravelled.
I shall endow thee with such discernment
That thou shalt realise what My Divine Love is.
ONCE pure devotion is awakened in the heart,
A transcendental knowledge and a genuine
To objects that are adverse to My service,
And a spontaneous acceptance of all
That does support My cause, will follow soon ;
For pure devotion, transcendental knowledge
And genuine asceticism go hand in hand.
Know therefore these two latter principles
By practicisng a pure devotion.
O Son of Kunti ! this body is called Kshetra,
And he who is well versed in its faculties
Is known as Kshetrajna.
This body is called Kshetra, because it is the
Of that development which is the world-tree-
The field of carnal pleasure.
He who knows the nature of this body
Both in its conditioned and its freed state
Is a Kshetrajna or a Jiva-soul.
Conditioned, it identifies itself with the fallacious
And vainly thinks itself enjoyer and possessor of
the world's phenomena;
Freed, it is no longer proud of worldly relativities.
IN considering Kshetra and Kshetrajna,
Thou must understand, Bharata ! these three
The Over-soul, the individual soul and Matter.
As every form enshrines an individual soul
As its Kshetrajna, so I am Iswara-
The Lord and the Supreme Knower or Kshetrajna
of the Universe.
I am Paramatma, the Primordial Knower of all
Of the various Kshetras as well as all the worlds.
Those who conceive of these three Principles-
God, soul and Matter,
By understanding Kshetra and Kshetrajna and the
Are blessed with knowledge true,
And this knowledge is Vijnana.
THOU hearest now from Me, what Kshetra is,
What is its nature, its changes, whence it
Who is Kshetrajna, who and what are the powers
and functions of the Kshetrajna-
Jivatma or the soul, and Paramatma
Or the Over-soul.
TRUE conceptions of Kshetra and Kshetrajna
Have been described in many ways by sages
Like Vasistha in the Yoga-Scriptures;
And the Vedas by Vyasa;
And in the Smritis by the saints.
They have explaned them separately
And in distinctly different way;
The Brahma-sutras, aphorisms of the Vedanta,
Established them by reasoning as truths exact.
From those aphorisms of the sages and the saints,
The Vedas and the Vedanta, it is established that
Is composed of twenty-four material principles.
These are the five great elements
Earth, water, fire, air and ether;
Ahankara or perverted ego, Buddhi or discrimi-
Avyakta or Pradhana-the Prakriti of triple qualities
Which is the cause of Mahattattwa, the female
principle in Nature;
The ten external organs of sense and action-
The eyes, ears, nose, tongue, touch,
Voice, hands, legs, anus and penis;
The mind or the internal organ of both sense and
And sight, sound, smell, taste, touch-
The five faculties of these five senses.
Knowing these twenty-four material principles,
Man can understand what is Kshetra and what its
Note that Prakriti begets Mahattattwa,
Mahattattwa begets Ahankara,
And Ahankara begets Mahabhutas.
Desire, hatred, pleasures, pains
Are the effects of the five great elements or
And with the body are concerned ;
The perverted self or mind, patience and suchlike
Are vitiations of the Kshetra,
Followed by birth, death, fear and hunger,
And therefore by Kshetra both the body and the
mind are meant.
NOW I will tell thee of twenty qualities of
Which the unwise think are twenty vitiations of
the Kshetra :
Defiance of arrogance and inoffensiveness,
Forbearance, coveting no honour, uprightness,
Services to the Preceptor, inward and outward
Steadfastness and self-control and absence of
Aversion to objects of a sensual pleasure ,
Insight into the transcience and evils
Of birth, death, decrepitude, disease and sorrow,
Non-attachment to offspring, wife, home and
Aloofness from the pleasures and the penalties of
Equanimity at the approach of both desirable and
Unflinching pure devotion unto Me,
Resorting to solitude and sacred places,
Avoiding places where the evil-minded live,
Constancy in morals and searching for salvations as
the desired end-
The unwise think these twenty traits
To be vitiations of the body and the mind.
But they are not corruptions of the Kshetra ;
They tend towards the knowledge Absolute.
They are antidotes to such corruption of these
Single-minded pure devotion unto Me alone
Stands foremost and must be adhered to;
The nineteen that remain contribute to devotion,
And purify the blemishes of earthly mind and body
And ultimately waken from its dream
The pure eternal heart within the soul,
Which is the seat of pure devotion.
Knowest thou these nineteen to be the throne of yet
Bhakti or devotion, as the Queen.
This is all true and transcendental knowledge,
The rest is ignorance.
I have thus told thee of Kshetra
With its nature, pervertions and their antidotes,
And I have told thee of Kshetrajna,
Which is compounded of Jivatma and Paramatma,
And constitutes the secret Knower of the body.
I have explained to thee that knowledge
Of the Kshetra and Kshetrajna is called Vijnana.
Let Me now tell thee about the Knowable
That may be known by means of that Vijnana.
That Knowable without beginning,
Is a subordinate Principle to Me;
It is beyond the scope of gross and subtle sustances,
Beyond cause and effect,
And it is known as "Brahman".
When its true nature is perceived,
It leads man to the everlasting nectar of devotion
JUST as the sun's rays emanate from the sun,
So also Brahman, the Great,
Is but a reflection of My Glowing aspect.
Brahman* is the Receptacle of all beings,
In infinity from Brahma* to the smallest ant.
(* Brahman is the Negative Aspect of the Absolute Whole,
the Supreme Lord ; Brahma is only an individual soul with
deligated power to create the fourteen worlds or the Universe in
which we live-He is supposed to have four heads, having the
capacity to gauge the fourth dimension and is superior to ordi-
nary entities. Brahman is the highest of the four castes in
Hinduism ; Brahma is a follower of a Pantheistic sect in
Hinduism, started by Raja Rammohan Roy.)
That Being Infinite possesses an infinity of hands
Of eyes and mouth, of heads and ears.
Thus does the Neuter-God Brahman exist,
Accomodating every entity within It.
Though that Great Principle, the Neuter-God,
Does manifest all mundane senses, it is Itself devoid
Ever detached from earthly relativities ;
Preserver of the world as Vishnu.
It is devoid of all worldly qualities,
Yet does posses six thousand qualities.*
(* Cf. Svetasvatara Upanishad 19)
That distinguish Him as Bhagavan.
THAT Great Principle. The Neuter-God exists as
Containing every object in Itself ;
And It lives as Paramatma in each atom.
Thus the He-God does exist both in and out of
All the sentient and insentient worlds have emanated
Inconceivable is He to human senses
For He is greater than the greatest,
And infinitely smaller than the smallest ;
He is simultaneously both near and far away.*
(* Cf. Isha Upanishad-"Tatdure tadwantike")
Undivided He remains though He may seem divided
In the diverse beings He exists within.
Though He exists in every individual Jiva
As the Unit-Purusha, Vishnu,
Yet He retains His Undivided Life
As the Great Aggregate-Parameswara-
The Lord Supreme of all the entities of all the
He is the Sustainer within sustenance,
Destroyer in destruction, and the Creator in creation
HE is the Master-Light of lights ;*
(* Cf. Katha Upanishad.)
He is beyond all darkness and is ever radiant ;
He is the Knowledge and the Knowable
In His Manifestive Form Divine
And He is the Object of that Khowledge ;
He lives as the Great Indweller of the hearts of all
Thus I have briefly told thee about Kshetra,
Jnana and Jneya or the Object of all knowledge,
Full understanding of these principles is called the
My devotees possessing Transcendental Knowledge
Attain the purest Prema-Bhakti.
Non-devotees deprive themselves of this Knowledge
Owing to their pointless wrangling
Over sect and the false notion of their oneness with
This Jnana is no less than solid rock on which the
Having realised his purest self and functions,
Builds up the shrine of his devout activities.
This will be more explicitly explained with
I shall now tell thee the results
Of understanding Kshetra and Kshetrajna.
Three principles are noticed in the shackled lives
of Jiva-entities :
Prakriti, Purusha and Paramatma.
The Kshetra-that is the fleshy body composed of
all five elements,
The subtle form of mind, the perverted ego and the
The Jiva is Purusha
Due to his enjoying mood in his conditioned state;
And Paramatma is My Immanent Manifestation
between these two.
Prakriti and Purusha are both eternal;
They existed even before the dawn of worldly time
Born of My Potencies which co-exist with My
Within the spacious undivided spirit-time that is
The Cosmic Power was dormant in Me ;
I made it manifest in worldly time
When to create the universe I willed.
The Jivas also are among My Potencies Eternal
For they have stepped into the realm of Cosmic
By turning their back upon Me,
On account of the misuse of their free will,
Submitting to the slavery of an enjoying mood,
Of mastering phenomena within the bounds of time
Albeit the Jivas are essentially all spiritual in their
It was My Inward Potency that gave the Jivas
Their own Tatastha-Nature, or the oscillating
Upon the margin which offered them a free choice
To come to Me and be most lovingly attached to Me
and My service,
Or cast themselves within the bounds of earthly
To offer adulation unto Maya.
How an eternal spiritual entity could be enthralled
Can never be determined by the human reason.
My inconceivable capacities transcend
The understanding of the human senses.
Know thou this however:
That the pervertions and the qualities of the conditioned Jivas
Are born of Matter coming into contact with Prakriti,
Those qualities and actions belong not to the Jivas
in their unalloyed existence.
MATERIAL causes and effects,
That is the bodies and enjoying mood of all
Are of Prakriti.
Out of their perverted egotism,
Jivas derive their moods of pleasure and of pains
According to their vacillating tendency
Between the transcendental and the mundane.
The pure souls have no lording or enjoying mood,
But only when they misidentify themselves
With gross and subtle bodies born of Matter or
In their fettered state of life,
Do they adopt this attitude of mastering phenomena.
KARYA refers to the material body ;
Karana signifies the senses;
And Kartrittva the presiding deities of senses.
All these concern Prakriti, the Material Cause
Of these three factors, due to her contact with
Who, as a fallen soul, enjoys the pleasures and the
Which are the consequent effects.
Prakriti is the root of all effects and causes
And their agency, as well as of enjoyment.
She dominates the first three by her influence on
While Purusha, being spiritual, causes his enjoying
mood, in his perverted state.
Prakriti is the cause of all material effects
Within the changing Universe.
Purusha or Jiva misapprehending his identity
Causes the enjoyment or the suffering of these
While Purushottama is the Efficient, Final Cause
Of all the causes and effects.
WHEN Jiva misidentifies with physical and
Born of Prakriti-caused by his ignorance
Arising from his choice of lower worlds
When on the border-line of the ephemeral and the
He deems himself appreciator of effects oaused] by
Jiva emanates from the Tatastha-Potency of the
Tatastha-shakti is that potency existing on the
Between the Esoteric and the Exoteric Potencies,
Partaking of the influence of both.
A Jiva can thus make the right use of his free will
By following the trend of the Internal Potency
Leading to progressive service of the Lord,
Or by misusing the same will
He may be overpowered by Maya,
And thus forget his real nature.
He is thence ousted from his normal place within
the Transcendental Realm
And lodged within his tenement of clay;
Thenceforth does he enjoy or suffer on the wheel of
Rising and falling.
He then becomes attached to gross and subtle forms,
Born of Prakriti, forgetting that his preference
Is only possible while his true nature sleeps.
He therefore undergoes a round of births and deaths
by force of Karma.
His pious deeds afford him righteous birth,
His sinful acts ensure his birth of evil womb.
Nor piety nor sin can help such fallen Jiva
Out of the relativities of earth.
JIVA is My companion ever ;
When he directs his mind and heart to Me,
He comes in closer contact with Me.
By nature, he is free to choose his inclination,
Of proceeding this way or that way from the border-
By turning towards Me, he achieves the acme of
Endowed with My pure Love.
But when by adverse choice he enters the material
I, as his Eternal Comrade, accompany him as
Within the person of the Jiva,
I am the Observer of his actions,
Existing nearest to him, yet apart from him.
I am his Approver and Preserver;
His sole Appreciator and his Saviour ;
To him I am forever Paramatma.
I am the Lord Supreme and the Supreme Purusha
of his person.
I am the Bestower of rewards
According to the actions done by him in his
He who is conversant with these principles of the
Jivatma and Paramatma-which are beyond the
And of Prakriti or the Cosmic Energy and her own
Shall never undergo rebirths again
Though he may be in the material universe.
By My Grace, he turns his face towards Me
And reaches My Eternal Realm of Transcendental
THE fallen Jivas are divided into two groups
According to their spiritual endeavours-
Those who are averse to Me
And those who are addicted to My Love Divine.
Eccentric are they who are materialists, atheists
and sceptics ;
Agnostics and cold moralists-they do not turn
The selfless Karma-Yogins trust the Spiritual
And being honest seekers after Truth, they and My
Have their inward vision turned towards Me.
Of these, the devotees stand foremost,
For they behold and meditate upon the Paramatma
On the transcendental plane beyond the limits of
the worldly plane
And reaching to the plane of pure self.
The Sankhya-Yogins, belonging to the second class,
seek the Godhead.
Knowing Prakriti and her twenty-four elements and
They recognise the twenty-fifth, the Jiva proper, to
be all spiritual,
And by degrees devote themselves to worship of
The twenty-sixth Substance.
Even inferior to them are selfless Karma-Yogins,
Who dedicate the fruits of all their actions unto Me.
They thereby have the chance of being blessed
With inclination to My worship.
Sankhya, Astanga and selfless Karma-Yoga are
indirect and qualitative means
Resorted to by those respective Yogins, for realising
The Jnana-Yogins realise the Godhead when the
goal of all their knowledge
Is the Transcendental Personality of God
And not emancipation from their worldly bondage.
Purest devotion alone leads man directly to
Of the God of All-Love and His Prema.
STILL lower in the scale than selfless Karma-
Are those who, trusting on the next world,
Seek reality and gather knowledge of the Truth,
They hear from others.
They also attain to pure devotion
By being in the company of Sadhus or true devotees,
And listening to what they say of God.
Know thou, O best of the Bharatas !
All that is born among the mobile and immobile
To be the product of union of Kshetra and Purusha.
EVEN though the Lord Supreme exists as
Equally in every being-sentient and insentient,
He does not yield to changeability
Albeit those whom He pervades are mortal.
He who knows Paramatma thus,
Is rightly conversant with His Truth.
Submission to the lure of Maya or Prakriti
Has placed the fallen souls in diverse circumstances
Amongst them, he who knows Me, by pure intuition
As Paramatma equally pervading every object,
Does not degrade his real self to depths of worldliness
Or yield to a corrupted mind.
He who beholds this can see his true self to be
In every action of his life and thus can say:
"It is Prakriti in the form of senses and body,
Who does all this and I, the pure self, do not
perform such Karma."
WHEN the truly wise, by spiritual vision
Perceives that differences in shape and
colour, size and form
Of mobile and immobile objects and their diversities
Merge into the same Prakriti only at the time of
And that all manifest phenomena
Spring from the same and sole Prakriti at creation,
Then all his notions of material differences vanish.
He is then established in transcendence
And recognises that his spiritual nature
Is one with that of Brahman.
How such a Jiva, as observer, observes Paramatma,
The Observed, is told thee later on.
THUS permeated with the vision of Brahman,
Such Jiva then beholds that Paramatma is
Eternal and Primordial, and far beyond all Mayik
Though He is the Monitor Indweller of the body,
Existing along with Jivatma, He is, unlike the
Not implicated in the nature and the influence of
A Brahman-realised Jiva then is not involved
In earth's affinities though he has knowledge o
Just as ether is accesible to all parts owing to its
Yet is not involved in any object,
So also Jiva, who has realised his nature
To be identical with that of Brahman,
Is not entangled by affections and influences of the
Though he permeates the body, following the
O Bharata ! as the single sun illumines all this
So does the knower of the Kshetra-
Body and Prakriti-reaveal the Kshetra.
The knower of the body as Kshetra is the Jivatma,
While the Knower of Prakriti as Kshetra is
All the actions and effects of Cosmic Energy are
Both spiritual entities-Jivatma and the Paramatma,
Are known as Kshetrajna.
He who perceives the difference between Kshetrajna
And Kshetra, with eyes of spiritual knowledge,
And knows the way to the emancipation from
Realises Bhagavan, Who is superior to both
Jivatma and Paramatma.
THE TRIPLE QUALITIES
SREE Bhagavan said: "I have told thee
All about the transcendental knowledge.
I shall now tell again how by pure wisdom
The Suprema Knowledge anent the Godhead may
With which the sages like Sanaka and the others,
who were Jnanins,
Attained to high perfection in devotion.
Knowledge is generally qualitative;
But non-qualified Jnana may be said to be the
When a Jiva resorts to this knowledge
Free from the triple qualities of this world pheno-
He attains My very Nature, in the sense
That he can realise identity in quality,
And not the quantitative difference
Between his pure nature and My Self.
The ignorant believe that when the worldly form
And attributes and relative conditions are eliminated,
The Jiva becomes formless, without attributes and
They know not that, as in the cosmic universe,
'Distinctness' marks the difference amongst all
So beyond material limits in the Transcendental
Does every entity possess distinctive character,
For there the name, form, attributes and function
And character of every entity are spiritual and eternal.
Thou must first transcend the bounds of Maya's
Of triple qualities, by means of attributeless
Which leads thee to union with the Attributeless
And after, in the Realm of the Divinity,
Bereft of earthly relativities,
Only the transcendental qualities are fully wakened
When this stage has been gained,
Jivas are neither born within creation
Nor do they suffere self-annihilation at the dissolution.
THAT fundamental principle of Cosmic Power
Is the womb of all the Universe.
I impregnate the Jiva-seed within the womb of
And Lo ! innumerable beings, O Bharata ! thus come
Brahma-Prakriti is the material pervertion
Of My Inward Chit-Potency
And the impregnation of the Jiva-seed
From Marginal Potency to Brahma-Prakriti
Brings forth innumerable Jivas.
The womb in which the Jiva-seed is impregnated
by the Lord Supreme
Is called "Brahma-Prakriti" owing to her "Greatness"
And growing capacity for giving birth to these
WHATEVER form of gods, or human beings,
Birds, beasts or insects are produced,
Great Brahma-Prakriti, O Son of Kunti ! is the
Mother of them all.
I, as the Cause, am the Divine Father-
The Impregnator of all seed.
The triple qualities-Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas-
Are born of that Prakriti, and they bind fast,
O Mighty-armed ! the spiritual, imperishable Jivas
Who from the Marginal Potency,
Are born of the womb of the Cosmic Potency,
In gross and subtle material bodies.
O Sinless One ! of the triple qualities of Prakriti,
Sattwa is the most lustrous, stainless and
It is the sattwa-quality that binds the spiritual soul,
Fettered in the body, by vanities of wisdom and
Which make him wise and happy.
Know thou Rajas to be of the nature of passion.
It makes man thirsty for the passion yet unsatisfied,
And eager for objects of passion when attained.
This Rajas-quality causes, Son of Kunti ! the
To be trapped by their attachment and desire for
O Bharata ! the Tamas-quality begets
But ignorance and inebriety of all embodied Jivas.
By lethargy, infatuation, sloth
And dull depression it binds them fast.
SATTWA binds the Jivas with allurements of
Rajas entangles them in the net of Karma;
While, enshrouding wisdom, Tamas drowns them
O Bharata ! where Sattwa predominates,
There the Rajas-Tamas qualities subside.
When Rajas is stronger, the Sattwa-Tamas then
And when Tamas rises high,
There the Sattwa-Rajas qualities are overshadowed.
Thou must know the qualities
As well as their mutual relationship.
Sattwa enhances true knowledge of the sense-
O Bharatarshaba ! indulgence in Rajas
Increases avarice, desire of enterprise,
The undertaking of material work, unrest,
And a desire for association.
Descendant of Kuru ! predominance of Tamas
Begets inertness, ignorance, inebriation,
Pervertion of intelligence, delusion.
WHEN a person in whom Sattwa did predominates,
Goes the way of all flesh, he attains the
Coveted by worshippers of Hiranyagarbha.
When a person of Rajas-temper dies,
He is born again into the family of those
Who are attached to Karma or to action ;
So also a person of Tamas mentality and action
Is born after death amongst the foolish and
The fruits of Sattwik Karma
Performed by Sattwik persons, are said to be pure
And free from uneasiness and troubles;
Verily the fruits of Rajasik performances
Beget great pain and tribulations,
While ignorance and forgetfulness
Of self's true nature follow Tamasik Karma.
From Sattwa arises knowledge;
And avarice from Rajas,
While Tamas begets ignorance, infatuation and
Those who live a life of Sattwa-quality
Arise to heaven after death, as far as 'Satyaloka"
Which is the highest region of the fourteen worlds.
The Rajasik have their heaven with the middle-
born in mankind;
While the Tamasik, abiding in the lowest gunas,
Descend to the seven lower regions down to Hell.
IT is the gunas that prompt people to action.
When with the pure intelligence a seer beholds
No other agent of Karma than the gunas
And realises that devotion to Me
Is far beyond the influence of triple qualities,
He takes the path of unalloyed devotion or Bhakti.
A conditioned soul can transcend the triple qualities
Of Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas, by dint of his
To such attributeless love
And thereby be freed from birth, death, decrepitude,
The physical and mental threefold miseries,
And can eventually taste the nectar of Divinest
Love for Me."
ARJUNA said : "By what sign is he known,
O Lord !
Who has crossed beyond those triple Gunas ?
How does he behave in this world ?
And by what means is he free to go
Beyond the influence of those triple qualities ?"
Sree Bhagavan then replied : "The chief trait of one
Who has crossed beyond the triple qualities
Is that he is not influenced by hatred or desire
For either the wisdom-light of sense-perceptions,
Or action and enterprise
Or ignorance and infatuation.
He longs for nothing.
A fallen soul is deep engrossed in this world
By these triple qualities of Maya;
And can but loose the fetters when he has reached
Of true salvation in realising his pure self.
So long as man falls short of self-realisation
By the Grace of God,
He must relinquish hatred, malice and desires,
That he may reach the stage
Where Gunas influence him no more.
The inluence of Maya's qualities
Must rest to some extent in every individual;
But he should neither cherish them from sheer
Nor out of malice abandon them.
One in whome these two signs are noticeable,
Has crossed beyond the triple qualities;
But those who are strongly attached to the world
Acting from selfish motives
Or those who indulge in abnegation
Under the false impression that this world is all
Are not true nirgunas-
They have not overcome the forces of the triple
HOW does he behave in the world ?
The Maya-qualities work out their respective
On his body, mind and manners and demeanour;
He lets the gunas go their way
Though realising his true self to be distinct from any
He is aloof from all influence
Observing them as an indifferent neutral.
His physical activities give rise to pain and pleasure,
Agreeable and disagreeable circumstances,
Praise and blame, fame and censure,
But he regards them all with equal calm.
In his behaviour in this world,
He knows full well that honour and dishonour,
Friends and foes are only mundane relativities
And have no true concern with self
Which is all-spiritual.
He relinquishes all things
Concerning mundane relativities and abnegations.
His conduct is neither worldly nor abnegatory,
But conduces to a realisation of transcendence.
HOW does he transcend the Gunas ?
He who renders unto Me alone a qualified
And single-minded and unfailing love,
Adopting the Jnana and Karma favourable to
And ever is occupied in serving Me,
Transcends the limits of the Gunas-
Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas.
Thereby he ultimately realises My True Self
Of the Divine Shyama-Sundara, the Ever-adolescent
After perceiving the identity in the essential nature
Of his pure self and Mine, on reaching My Brahma-
IF thou thinkest that absorption in the Great
Is the highest goal of all spiritual practice,
And if thy question be-how then can such person
My further Prema or Ecstatic Love Divine
Which is beyond the range of Maya's triple qualities,
Then listen to Me, Arjuna !
I am the Bhagavan, the Most Supreme Lord,
In My Original Reality in the Realm of pure
The First Manifestation that the Cosmic Potency
When the all-spiritual Jiva-seed is impregnated
Through the agency of My Tatastha-shakti, the
Is My Brahma-Aspect.
BY following the path of Jnana
And cultivating its development, the fettered
To the state of Brahman by gradual degrees,
Attaining first the treshold of Nirguna-
That stage of pure transcendence
That is free from Maya's attributes.
Before he can attain to that stage of relationship
He is possessed by an impersonal non-differentiated
This attitude is due to his enthusiasm
In decrying the diversities in manifest phenomena.
When he is steadily set in this, and only then,
Is he enabled to conceive of the Realities and
As well as the harmonious diversities
Within the Unity in the Transcendental Realm.
SOME Jnanins, like Sanaka and others,
Have also at long tasted
The Blissful Ambrosia of Purest Attributeless Love,
After toiling up laborious gradations on the path of
And gaining an impersonal conception of Divinity.
Those who persist in cherishing a misconception
as to the Brahman,
Due to their fallacious hankering after union with
Are finally deprived of this Nirguna-Bhakti.
For know thou, I am the Positive Reality
Beyond all qualities of Maya;
And I am the Absolute Source of Brahman,
Which is the goal of all the Jnanins.
The Bliss Ecstatic, Immortality, Immutability,
Eternal Dharma of Love Divine
And Ever-present Mellow-sweetness
Are the character and sign
Of My Most Transcendental Personality."
THE SUPREME PERSONALITY OF GOD
SREE Bhagavan said : "Arjuna ! Dear !
If thou thinkest that it is desirable
To enter the world in strict obedience to the
Then listen thou to Me :
This world of action had been compared with an
To the Karmins it seems to have no end;
The Vedic words relating to fruitive actions are all
This tree stands with roots upwards
And the branches spreading down.
In other words, this tree-the world-
Originates in Me, Who am the Highest Fountain-
And is extended down, for the emjoyment
Of the fruits of Karma, by the fallen souls.
He who knows the fluctuating nature of this world
Has been initiated in the Vedic principles.
THE world is represented as a wondrous tree,
Of which the highest branch is the Satyaloka.
Mahat-tattva is its primal sprout,
Born of the seed infused by Me within Prakriti.
Prakriti begets Mahat;
Mahat-tattva begets Ahankara;
And Ahankara begets Mahabhutas.
Its lower regions are represented by the earth, ether
Its branches represent celestial denizens, human
beings and animals
Including the reptiles and the insects.
NON-DEVOTEES consider this to be the ideal
Of fruit-bearing trees, judged by the standards
of their life,
Pursuing dharma, wealth, desire and Moksha;
To them it is imperishable.
But devotees know it to be changeable and
Fruitive actions, as directed by the Vedas,
Are comely leaves that clothe the tree,
By reason of their power of multiplying.
A knower of these truths know the Vedas
SOME of its branches droop with fruits of Tamas-
Some neither languish nor ascend but outwardly
Nourished by the Rajas quality;
All branches are thus nourished by Prakriti's triple
Worldly phenomena and objects of sense
Represent the leaves upon the branches.
As in the Banyan tree, long tendrils of this
Spread downwards in search of fruits of Karma.
Both the upward and the downward branches of
Represent the denizens of the celestial and the
And develop into leaves innumerable
Of joys of sound, sight, taste, smell, touch,
Being watered by the springs of Sattva, Rajas and
Beneath this tree is a precious treasure-hidden !
Long stems are spreading down to it with grasping
FROM the highest to the lowest regions of the
Confined within the bounds of time and space,
All are entagled in Karma at the root,
For their desires are the cause
Of all their pious or their sinful acts.
The real nature of this tree
Is very difficult to ascertain in this world.
There are divergent views about is:
Some say that it is real and eternal;
Others opine that it is real but changeable in
Be that as it may, do thou Arjuna !
Cut at the very root of this Aswattha
With the mighty axe of genuine asceticism
By shunning the evil-the worldly and the atheistic
And associating with true devotees.
Then search for blissful Treasure that is hid beyond
For once established in the Truth, the Jivas return
The blissful Treasure is none other
Than the Being Most Supreme-
The Highest Root of all.
From that Primeval Fountainhead Purusha
Has streamed this worldly inclination for ages
If thou wouldst free thyself from this entangling
Seek refuge in that personage Primordial
And worship Him in pure devotion.
THOSE who have conquered arrogance,
And attachment to evil associations,
Who discriminate between eternal and transitory
Who with passions quelled, are liberated
From conflicting tendencies of pain and pleasure.
Love and hatred, of the worldly relativities,
Such disillusioned souls attain that highest eternal
No sun or moon or arc of flaming planets
Can e'er reveal My blissful and eternal Realm,
From where no Jiva does return, when once
JIVAS have a dual state of existence-
The freed and the conditioned.
In the conditioned state,
He tends to associate with objects of phenomena
Due to his pereverted egotism;
In the feed stage, a pure soul
Is ever tasting My blissful realisation.
To attain this, the conditioned soul must sever the
Of the Aswattha-tree of worldliness
With the sharp weapon of dissociation from the
Attachment to worldly objects is association.
Dissociated from such earthly relativities,
Man can attain a life which is no longer influenced
By Maya-qualities, and be engaged in pure
The society of true devotees
May also be said to be 'association'.
Thus a worldly minded person must shun worldly
And be in the company of devotees.
Those who renounce the world and take to pseudo-
Do not get rid of the baseness of the world.
He who resorts to loving devotion to the Godhead
Attains redemption from this world.
Devotional instruction is therefore indispensable to
IF thy question be, how can a jiva
Acquire this twofold condition, then listen
I am the Whole-the Supreme Lord of All-being,
All-intelligence and All-bliss.
I have two groups of Being : the Associated Group,
Which are separated and infinitesimal.
I manifest Myself as Rama, Nrisimha, and other
Who are all My Associated Parts;
My separated parts emanate from Me
In the form of innumerable Jivas,
Who are My eternal servants.
In the Associated Manifestations,
I exist in all My Fulness;
But in the separated individual entities
My 'I', as the Supreme Lord,
Does not predominate,
But the Jiva's 'I' exists within.
THOSE jivas or separated parts
Are either free or are conditioned,
And in either case they are eternal entities.
In the freed state, the jiva is entirely under My
And fully dissociated from Prakriti;
In the fallen state, he draws on and calls his own,
The mask of the six senses of Prakriti-
The mind and the five physical senses,
Like a prisoner dragging his chains
By which he is fettered hand and foot.
It is not that this bondage ends with death.
A jiva is born in his physical body
According to the Law of Karma,
And has to leave it when the time arrives.
After discarding one body and entering his new
He carries with him the impressions and desires of
his previous body.
As air imports sweet perfume from a flower
And exports it to some other place,
So also a jiva passes from his body to a later one,
Carrying with it its subtle senses and sense-
HAVING taken to himself a newer fleshy body,
Only the mind again begins to savour
The phenomenal and sensual properties
Such as sound, sight, touch, smell
And hearing, with the help of the physical senses.
The infatuated and the ignorant
Do not perceive this law of reincarnation
Of a jiva's passing from this body
And dwelling at a later period in another body of
For a certain span of time
With its enjoying mood towards the phenomenal
His senses conjoined with the gunas.
But those who are truly wise
Do realise this change in fallen souls
And come to the conclusion after due deliberation
That the fallen state of jivas is essentially deplo-
THE Yogins who strive to attain the Ultimate
Observe such births and rebirths
To be dependent on the knowledge of the self,
While the Yatis, monks, of impure heart
Fail to understand the true position of the jiva
Owing to their want of spiritual culture;
And the scolars, despite their erudition in the
Cannot conceive the real nature of the jiva-soul.
Scriptural knowledge of itself is not at all sufficient
To enable man to understand the functions of the
If thou ask how it is possible
For a jiva in his fallen state
To cultivate pure knowledge of the transcendence
When he is closely bound to Matter
And debarred from any access to self-consciousness,
Then listen to what I say :
Even in the world phenomenal, exists the Spiritual
By resorting to it, the normal function of the pure
May be gradually wakened from its dormant
And the material associations may be removed.
The glowing light within the sun, the moon and the
Which illuminates the world entire,
Belongs to Me alone, and not to any other.
ENTERING the earth, all beings I support by My
And it is I alone Who, through the nature of the
Augment the growth of all vegetation.
Abiding in the body of all beings,
It is only I Who, as the 'digestive fire' or gastric
Digest, with the help of Prana and Apana,
The four-fold food,
That which is masticated, sucked, licked and drunk
I enter in and I exist as the Iswara
In the hearts of all.
From Me alone proceed their memory,
Knowledge and its loss
According to the award of Karma
Performed in this or their previous births.
I am hence not only the All-pervading Brahman,
But am also the fruit-giving Paramatman,
Dwelling in the heart of every entity.
I am further not only the object of the jiva's worship
As Brahman and Paramatman,
But I am Sree Bhagavan-the Great Teacher
Dispensing eternal good unto the jivas-
The All-powerful Supreme Knowledge of the Vedas.
I am, indeed, the Author and Greatest Exponent
Of the Vedanta, as well as the Knower of the
Therefore for the eternal bliss of all jivas,
I am the Great Brahman in all cosmic Universe;
I am the Paramatman in the hearts of the jivas as
And I am Sree Bhagavan, the Bestower of spiritual
comprehension to the devotees.
In these three Aspects I redeem the fallen souls.
IF thou canst understand Prakriti as One External
And canst discover the meaning
Of there being more than one Purusha,
Then mark the following :
Purushas are two in all-They are Kshara, the
And Akshara, the Unchangeable.
My separated all-spiritual part-the jiva-
Is known as the Kshara-Purusha,
Becasue he in his original existence
Stands on the border line
Between the transcendental and the mundane
And therefore is by constitution oscillating,
Being influenced by both Internal and External
Thus it is that owing to the possibility
Of swaying him from his position
And imprisoning the mind and body by bonds of
The jiva is known as the Kshara or changeable
While My Associated Entity Divine
Is Known as Akshara-Purusha,
The eternal and imperishable.
MY Associated Part, is also designated Kutastha-
Characterised by His Trine Manifestations:
(1) The All-pervading Neuter God in the manifestive
Otherwise knows as Akshara-Purusha,
Is the Brahman-the Great,
Sum of all negotiations in manifestation ;
This Neuter-God Brahman is therefore but a Rela-
And not the Absolute Whole.
(2) My Partial Aspect, that is manifested in the
As Refuge and Indwelling Monitor of all souls
And partially reveals transcendence to their hearts,
Is known as Paramatman,
Who is again a Relative Manifestation
And not the Absolute.
That Paramatman, as the Second Akshara-Purusha,
Is superior to Brahman.
This Paramatman is Iswara, the Lord,
And entering into the three worlds
Exists as their Sustainer.
(3) The Third and Highest and the Most Supreme
Akshara-Purusha, is known as Sree Bhagavan,
And I am that Supreme Sree Bhagavan.
I transcend immeasurably the Kshara-Purusha, jiva.
I am far superior to the Akshara-Purushas
Brahman and Paramatman.
Therefore I am known in the world
And in the Vedas, as Purushottama-
The Most High and Supreme Purusha.
Kshara-Purusha is thus the jiva;
Akshara-Purusha is the Lord of jivas,
Who has Three Aspects-
Brahman, Paramatman and Sree Bhagavan or
Just as the sun is superior
To all other luminaries and fire combined,
So Sree Krishna is the Supreme Lord
Unequalled by any of His Manifestations.
HE who is not deluded by the various
Conflicting theories and doctrines of the
But knows Me as Purushottama
All-blissful, All-intelligent, All-knowing,
Most-beautiful, Magnetic and All-loving-
The Supremest Lord of all-
Is aware of all the esoteric truths
The Scriptures ever mentioned.
He knows everything aright, Bharata !
Devoted to Me in every way.
Others, who offer worship in every other way,
Do not worship Me aright
Owing to their ignorance
And wrong conception of My Nature.
SINLESS ! this Purushottama-Yoga is most secret.
Blessed is that soul who understands it.
O Bharata ! the knowledge of this
Removes all stains and obstacles that hinder
The progress of a devotee upon the way of true
Bhakti is a transcendental principle.
That it may blossom in all bliss-
The purity of the subjective jiva,
The Bhakta in his unalloyed existence,
The fullest appearance of the Objective Lord Sree
Are all essential.
Devotion is the link between the devotee subjective
And the Objective Beloved.
Pure and unalloyed Bhakti or devotion
Does not function whilst conceptions
Of Brahman and Paramatman are confused
With the conception of the Godhead,
But only when Sree Bhagavan is identified
With Purushottama-the Absolute.
THE DIVINE AND THE DEMONIAC
SREE Bhagavan said: "The wold-tree has two
kinds of fruits-
One engenders firm attachment of the jiva to the
The other fosters his freedom from such bondage.
The jiva is essentially a pure all-spiritual entity,
But in his conditioned state
He is fastened by the ties of Maya's triple qualities.
His safety lies in the purity of his all-spiritual
For which the Scriptures have prescribed the process
of Jnana-Yoga ;
The different actions of Karma, that tend to bring
about that end
Are called 'divine',
While all those actions that are detrimental
To the cause of spiritual realisation
Are held to be 'demoniac'.
CHARITY, self-control of the senses, sacrifices,
Study of the Vedas, austerities, simplicity,
Non-malice, truth, absence of anger,
Non-attachment to mundane relations,
Tranquility, absence of calumny, compassion to
Uncovetousness, mildness, modesty, fidelity,
Vigour, forgiveness, forbearance, purity,
Absence of hatred, cruelty, and pride-
These qualities are regarded as 'divine'.
O Bharata ! one born in an auspicious hour
Is qualified with these divine properties.
Ostentation by making a pretence of one's religious
Pride of high lineage, or opulence,
Vast erudition and youthful beauties,
Egotism, anger or wrath,
Insolence and ignorance of one's own true self-
These six are the 'demoniac.'
O Partha ! one born in an ominus moment is
influenced by them.
WHILE adhering to the qualities 'divine',
It is possible to man to strive after salvation;
But the 'demoniac' qualities
Entangle jivas in all worldliness.
Purity of existence is attained by Jnana-Yoga
In pursuance of the Varnashrama-dharma-
The duties incumbent on man
According to his station and caste in life.
O Pandava ! thou hast attained
The godly qualities of a Kshatriya-
A ruler and a fighter.
Fighting by a Kshatriya for a righteous cause
And killing friends and relatives thus
With bow-and arrow in accordance with the laws
Is not reckoned as 'demoniac'.
Hearing this, cast of thy dejection,
O Arjuna ! and mourn no more.
THERE are two kinds of created beings
In this world-divine and demoniac.
I have told thee at great length of the divine;
Hear from Me now, O Partha ! about the ungodly.
Ungodly people of demoniac disposition
Know not the difference between
The inclination to a life religious
And disinclination for religion ;
They observe not a purity of body or of mind ;
Neither is adherence to good conduct
According to the rules of life, found in them,
Nor do they follow truth, avoiding all falsehood.
The demoniacal consider this world to be unreal,
Unsupported and godless.
They hold the view that a mutual union of cause
Is no cause of the creation of the Universe,
And therefore there is no need to believe
That there is One Lord
Who is the Efficient Cause of all creation,
That sexual pleasure alone is the cause of all living
And if there be a God at all,
He must also have produced the world
Out of His control of carnal satisfaction,
And as such, is not worthy of worship.
BASING this argument on such atheistic
The demoniacal, utterely ignorant
Of their essential spiritual nature and existence,
Who are of blunt intellect and violent temper and
Rise to power as enemies of all the world, for its
Actuated by insatiable lust,
These arrogant, vain and boastful persons
Work with very low and unholy resolution
Under the influence of unwholesome and shameful
Due to their delusion and infatuation.
Beset with life-long, endless cares,
They think that sensual enjoyment
Is the be-all and the end-all of human existence.
BOUND by innumerable ties of hopes
And overpowered by lust and anger
These wretched persons amass by illicit means
Hoards of wealth for their carnal satisfaction.
They think: 'I have this sum of money today-
This is success-this is mine-
In future I shall earn more profit.
I have killed this enemy
And others also shall soon destroy-
I am the lord-I am the enjoyer-
I am succesful-I am the most happy man in all
I alone am rich and well-born-
I have a large following.
Who is there so great as I or equal to me ?
I shall perform sacrifices-
I shall enjoy and be happy'-
Such are their ravings
Being intoxicated by ignorance and infatuation.
Thus being bewildered by many a fancy,
Entangled in the snares of infatuation
And allured by the glorification of lust,
They are doomed to perdition.
SELF-glorified, and insolent,
Intoxicated by the vanities of wealth,
Name, fame and learning,
They do pompously perform the sacrifices only in
Without conforming to the spirit of the ordinance.
Self-arrogant, proud of their abilities and strength
Enslaved by lust and anger,
These people are malicious against Me
Who am the Lord Supreme
And dwell as Paramatma in their hearts
As well as in those of others.
And out of jealousy they would calumniate the
I hurl those envious, cruel hypocrites,
Who are the worst of men,
Into the most ominious, abject births for ever in the
THEIR nature demoniacal ever grows from bad to
By reason of their devilish activities.
Born of ignominious wombs,
Birth after birth they are unable to attain Me ;
Those ignoramuses, O Son of Kunti !
Are destined from the low to reach the lowest
Until at last they take shelter within Me,
Through the grace of noble devotees
Who them reclaim from all those hellish births.
Lust, anger and avarice
Are the triple fatal gates to hell-
Destructive of the self.
Those who are therefore desirous of eternal welfare
Shun them by every means.
O Son of Kunti ! stand clear
Of these three dark doors of hell;
For man should reach for his eternal good,
And thereby attain to bliss,
The highest end of human life.
BY leading an orderly religious life
As laid down by the Shastras
For the purpose of realising his pure self,
Man gradually gains the final goal
In Sree Krishna-bhakti
Or loving service to Sree Krishna.
The true significance of the means and end
Of Karma and Jnana Yoga
That have been mentioned in the Scriptures
Is that a clear and true conception
Of the relation of Karma proper and Jnana
Leads man to self-realisation,
Which is like a handmaid to Bhakti ;
Because devotion or eternal function of the pure
Has its part to play progressively for ever
Only after reaching the stage of salvation.
THE Scriptural laws are twofold ;
He who over-rules those ordinances of the
And follows the impulse of desire and lust,
Never attains perfection or happines
Or the Ultimate Beauitude.
Inspite of the faculties of understanding,
Will and emotion of the mind,
If man does not resort to a strictly moral life,
He is the worst among mankind ;
While even if he be endowed
With all the faculties of the mind and body
And is ethical in living
But disinclined to submit to the supremacy of God,
He nullifies the virtue of those good qualities.
AGAIN, even if he fears God,
But does not follow the practices devotional
Or acquire transcendental knowledge of the principles
He is not entitled to attain the highest bliss,
The goal of spiritual existence.
Bhakti is therefore the object of all Scriptures
And truly the Ultimate Good of all souls.
The Scriptures are therefore the criteria
Of what is duty and what is not duty.
Thus knowing Bhakti to be the purport of the
Be thou fit and ready to perform thy present Karma,
Fighting for a righteous cause as the duty of a
ARJUNA said : "O Krishna ! having listened to
Thee so far,
I have now another doubt.
Thou hast said ,'Only those who have faith attain
And again Thou hast shown
That those who over-rule the Scriptural Ordinances
And follow the impulse of desires and lust,
Never attain to happines or perfection or final
Now the question is : What happens, if faith be
Whilst setting aside the injunctions of the
Will such a person with anti-scriptural faith
Attain the purification of his heart
And be established in self-realisation
Which is attainable by the practice of Jnana ?
Tell me therefore clearly, O Krishna !
Whether scrupulous observance of the scriptural
Is either Sattvik, Rajasik or Tamasik ?"
SREE Bhagavan said: "The natural faith
Of the engrossed jiva is threefold
According to his individual character-
Sattvik, Rajasik and Tamasik.
First listen to Me about the faith
Of those who do not infringe the scriptural laws,
And then I shall tell thee about that
Of those who violate them.
O Bharata ! to every heart belongs its faith
Fashioned according to its nature.
Every man's habit varies
According to his faith.
A sattvik heart has a sattvik faith,
A rajasik heart is endowed with rajasik faith
While the tamasik heart is possessed of tamasik
JIVA is essentially My separated and infini-
And hence its normal tendency lies beyond
The triple qualities of Maya.
He began to be influenced by these triple qualities
When he forgot his relationship with Me.
From the beginning of his fallen state
When his soul eternal fell asleep,
He cultivated saguna temperament ;
And from the temperament, modified by one of
His heart must accordingly be shaped.
This heart is called sattva.
Purification of such a heart is necessary;
The faith of a heart thus purified
Is the seed of Bhakti.
The faith of a non-purified heart is qualitative-
Influenced by the triple qualities.
While faith remains unpurged of Maya's qualities,
Or does not aim a stage beyond them,
It is known as lust.
MEN of sattvik faith worship the gods and
The rajasika worship the Yakshas and Rakshas,
While those of tamasik faith
Worship the Pretas and Bhutas.
Those who transgress the scriptural laws have a
The severe austerities not enjoined by Shastras
Are full of lust and anger and power.
The self-assertive, egotistic and the vain
Adopt them in their life.
Those who enervate or enfeeble the bodily elements
By such severe austerities
And thus torment the inner self,
Which is My separated part,
Have demoniac faith.
Know them to be of asuric character.
THE food of man is also divided into three groups
According to the sattva-rajas-tamas qualities.
And so are also classified sacrifice, austerity and
Hear thou about their differences.
The sattvik foods, which are delicious to the people
of sattvik nature,
Enhance longevity and enterprise,
Energy and strength, health, felicity and cheerful-
They are succulent and oleaginous, substantial and agreeable.
Food that is excessively bitter or sour,
Too saline, too hot or very pungent,
Very dry, and burning, is favoured by the rajasika.
Such foods bring forth but pain, grief and disease.
The tamasik people are fond of such food
As has been cooked some hours previously,
Which they do partake of when it has grown stale
Which is the refuse of other's meals
Excepting that of the spiritual preceptor and
As well as foods which are impure
Like fish, flesh or meat, eggs and intoxicating
And are addicted to smoking opium and tobacco.
CONSIDERING all this, those who desire their
Should partake of sattvik food.
But the case of devotees is very different.
They decline to eat tamasik, rajasik and even
Nothing is acceptible to them
Which has not first been offered to the Lord.
Foods which are not influenced by any of the triple
May be offered to God,
And after such offering the devotees accept them
As the Grace of the Supreme.
Purity of food does purify the heart;
And when the heart is purified,
Perennial contemplation is possible.
Foods have their internal and external impurities;
The external are causal,
Being contaminated by dirt, hair, sweat or saliva.
The internal impurities are twofold-
By nature and from the source.
By nature such foods as meat, flesh, fish,
Eggs, onion and wine which create passion
Are not offerable to God;
Foods are also reckoned as impure
According to the source from where or whom they
Namely, food received from the unholy
Or the miserly or those of demoniac character
Or hideous diseases
Or cooked or served by any such people.
A sattvik Yajna is that which performed
In accordance with injunctions of the Laws
By men with fixed resolve who desire no reward in
O thou best of the Bharatas !
Know thou that a rajasik sacrifice
Is made pompously with a fruitive motive
And for the sake of ostentation.
That is said to be a tamasik Yajna
Which does not follow the scriptural Laws,
In which no food is distributed,
Without any mantras or holy incantations and
In which no sacrificial fee or gift is offered
And which is bereft of any faith whatever.
In this case, this tamasik faith
Is not regarded as any faith at all,
Inasmuch as it greatly diverges
From the centre of conception of the true self.
REGARDING the differences in austerities :
The bodily austerities comprise the worship of
Brahmins and preceptors and the wise ;
Purity, simplicity, chastity and inoffensiveness,
The austerities that cause no pain.
Truthful, pleasant, yet beneficial words and conduct
As well as the study and practice of the Vedas,
Are called the austerities of speech.
Cheerfulness, serenity of heart,
Sincerity, silence, self-control
The purification of mind and a guileless demeanour
Appertain to the mental austerities.
When a person devout,
Keeping in view the faith and with no selfish
Performs these three austerities,
His practice is known as sattvik.
That is said to be rajasik tapas
Or austerity which is performed with vanities and
With the intention of gaining honour,
Self-glory and eulogy.
This rajasik austerity is transitory and unstable.
From foolish ignorance and at the risk of man's own
The austerity that is performed
With a view to bringing destruction upon others,
Is known as tamasik austerity.
THE differences in charity are these:
Out of a sense of duty,
Charity that is offered to a righteous person
At the right time and in the right place
With the will to do good service unto him,
Expecting nothing in return,
Is known as sattvik.
When a man reluctantly bestows charity upon
With expectatian of reward for what he gives
Or with a view to attaining the celestial region,
It is called rajasik.
Charity that is bestowed in such a place
And at a time when there is no need for it,
And when it brings no good to any one,
Or when it is bestowed upon a wrong and undeserving
Is tamasik charity.
If charity be handed out disdainfully
Even to a deserving holy person,
Such charity should also be considered tamasik.
AUSTERITY, Yajna or sacrifice, charity and food-
Each of these is classified into three groups
According to the sattva-rajas-tamas qualities of
The faith that is inherent
In the performance of these practices
In the conditioned state,
Though classified as good, bad and worse,
Is, after all, saguna-influenced by the Maya-
Hence trifling. But again when all these are
With strong and singleminded faith
That aims at devotion pure,
The tend to purify the heart,
Which alone is fit to be the shrine of God.
All the Scriptures are at one
In prescribing duties and Karma
With a selfless and pure faith
That leads man to devotion.
THE Vedas have used the three words-
'OM, TAT' and SAT-
To designate Brahman, the Neuter-God;
The Brahmanas, the Vedas and the Yajnas are
referred to also.
The faith that discards the injunctions of the
Is influenced by Maya and is defective.
It does not seek out the Brahman
But is the mother of desire.
Pure faith is therefore the key-note of all Scriptures.
Ignorance is the cause of doubt in faith and
For this reason, Brahmanas perform their sacrifices
And austerities, and offer gifts, and take food
With the utterance of 'OM' in the beginning-
Indicating that they aim at the Brahman in all they
Keeping in view the TAT-'That is',
Which is beyond the ATAT-'That is not that',
In other words, aiming at the Positive Reality
Beyond the Negative Changeability,
Perform thou without desire for their fruits,
The sacrifices and austerities,
Charities and other duties,
In order to release thyself from worldly bondage,
THE Word 'SAT' refers to Brahman
And those who aim at identification with
The Word is also used, O Partha ! during the auspi-
Such as the 'Sacred-thread' and marriage.
The Word 'SAT' also signifies
The external existence of God
And the devotees of God, as well as the devotional
The Word 'SAT' has its significance
With reference to sacrifice,
Austerities and charities
As well as steadiness in their performance
To the satisfaction of the Brahman;
Otherwise, they are regarded as ASAT or changeable.
Sat means eternal, Asat means transitory.
ALL mundane activities are antithetical
To the normal function of the pure soul;
But when they are centred in Brahman
In order to waken the aptitude devotional,
Then those activities help to purify the heart,
So that the jiva is fit to proffer
Eternal loving service to the Lord Sree Krishna.
Transcendental faith is thus the only source of pure
Whatever is sacrificed or given or done,
Or austerities performed without that nirguna faith,
Is called 'asat', ephemeral.
Such practices are beneficial neither in this nor in
the next world.
The Scriptures therefore do encourage man to
Which is the seat of Bhakti, devotion and love
(* The first Six Chapters of the Geeta deal with Bhakti as the
highest aim and end of action; the second six explicitly
with the nature and functions of pure Bhakti which transcend
the influence of the triple qualities of Maya; and the last six
Chapters have established the most exalted results from Bhakti
after considering and cotrasting Jnana, renunciation, discrimina-
ting intelligence and the mundane attributes, and those that are
beyond them. The sages of yore have thus explained the
esoteric meaning of the Geeta. All these have already been
discussed in the foregoing seventeen chapters, and the eighteenth
chapter is more or less a recapitulation of all that has been said.)
ARJUNA said : "O Mighty-armed !
O Hrishikesa-the Lord of the senses !
I wish to know, Keshi-sudana-Slayer of Keshi !
The difference between sannyasa-selfless Karma-
And Tyaga-non-attachment to fruitive actions.
Sree Bhagavan said: "Renunciation of fruitive
And performance of the causal actions
With reference to the mind and body
Is said by the sages to be sannyasa;
While the wise call Tyaga the renunciation of all
Though performing all daily and causal duties."
A class of scholars like the Samkhyas maintain that,
In view of their defective nature,
All actions should wholly be abandoned,
Whereas the philosophers like the Mimansakas
Hold that Karma such as sacrifices, charity, auste-
Must not be given up.
"O best of the Bharatas ! O Chieftain of men !
Know then for certain that there are three kinds of
THE performance of sacrifices, charity,
Austerities should not be evaded-
They are indeed to be performed by fallen souls.
They should be followed for the purification of the
O Partha ! My convinction and advice concerning
Is that those actions should be performed
As duties without thy being attached to them
Nor hankering after their results.
Truly speaking, the abandonment of such daily
duties is improper;
Such abandonment proceeding from a lack of
Is tamasik tyaga.
The sannyasins might as well ignore fruitive actions
If they do not feel the need of Karma.
But if for want of knowledge of the Scriptures
There be any negligence in the performance
Of the daily duties, it is called a tamasik tyaga;
The result is that it leads man but to ignorance
And not to the desired end.
It is therefore evident that both sannyasa
And tyaga purport to be identical
When they aim at the relinquishment
Of fruitive action and subjective egotism.
THE abandonment of daily duties
For fear of pain and other earthly troubles
Is rajasik tyaga;
Such a person never gets the fruits of his tyaga
Which is pure knowledge.
O Arjuna ! the performance of daily duties for duty's
After forsaking the subjective egotism
As well as relinquishment of all attachment
And of all fruits, is sattvik tyaga.
The wise sattvik tyagin neither hates evil actions
Nor is attached to the good and pleasant ones;
His doubts are cut asunder.
It is not possible for a conditioned soul
To give up action altogether;
He is therefore really a tyagin
Who has abandoned all fruits of action.
Those who have not abandoned the fruits of action
Have to encounter the triple results
Of heavenly enjoyment, hellish pain and mixed
pleasure and pain.
But the true sannyasins are immune from those
O mighty-armed ! listen to Me.
According to the Vedanta, the five causes
Of the process of Karma have been arrived at.
Adhisthana or the body, Karta or the subjective
Karan or the five senses,
Chesta or the various activities and attempts,
And Daiva or the Indwelling Regulator of all actions:
No Karma or action is possible without these
Whatever man does by his body, mind and speech,
Whether it be right or wrong,
He does with the help of these five causes.
He who thinks his own self
To be the only subjective agent of all his actions
Possesses an uncultured understanding
And hence is evil-intentioned,
Ignorant and too blind to see the truth.
O Arjuna ! the infatuation with which thou wert
With reference to the fight
Was due to thy subjective egotism.
If thou hadst known the foretold five causes
To be the source of all actions,
Thou wouldst not have then been thus infatuated.
Hence, he whose intellect does not kill anybody
Though he may seem to kill a number
And therefore does not reap the consequences of the
act of killing,
Since he has no intention of killing or of saving.
KNOWLEDGE, knower and the known-
These three are the stimuli to actions;
Senses, deed and the doer are the three factors of
All possible actions on the surface of the world
Are guided by these two principles-
The stimuli to action and the subject-matter of
The principle that is adopted
Before an action is performed, is the stimulus;
The impetus to action is the subtle conception
That exists first in the mind
Which is afterwards translated into physical
Every act in its incipient stage
Is characterised by its knowledge, the known and
When the action is permormed,
It has its three concommitant factors :
The instruments or the senses,
The subject and the object of the action.
NOW listen to the three kinds of knowledge,
Action and the agent, divided according
To the triple qualities of sattva-rajas-tamas.
The same jiva moves on from one discarded body
To a new one in a later birth
In order to enjoy or suffer
The fruits of his actions in this or in previous births.
The jiva is immortal
Though temporarily existing in the mortal coil.
All jivas though they have their individual
Are identical in their spiritual nature.
Such knowledge is sattvik.
The knowledge that jivas in different bodies,
Whether celestial, human or animal,
Are different from one another,
That their normal nature is different,
That they have their quantitative
And qualitative differences, is rajasik.
He who is attached to eating and other gross physical
Thinking these physical exploits of sensual
To be the be-all and end-all of life,
Possesses a tamasik jnana.
Such knowledge is derogatory,
Insignificant, ephemeral, irrational.
This knowlegde is untenable and worthless
As it is conducive of no real wisdom.
The purport is that knowledge of the real unalloyed
self is sattvik,
That of Nyaya-philosophy and other such scriptures
Teeming with divergent theories, is rajasik,
While secular knowledge dealing mostly
With physical and mental amelioration, is tamasik.
AN action which is ordained free from any
And is performed with neither love nor hatred
By one who is not desirous of any fruit from it
Is said to be sattvik Karma.
A rajas-Karma is that abounding in desire
And carried out with egotistic vanities and great
That is said to be tamasik Karma
Which is blindly followed by the worldly-minded
As a duty, without due consideration
For future troubles, infringment of socio-religious
And abject malice tending to self-annihilation.
A sattvik agent is he who is free
From all relative associations,
Void of vanities, full of patience and enthusiasm,
And unconcerned with failure or success.
He is said to be a rajas agent
Who is addicted to actions,
Ardent as to their results,
Wordly-minded and injurious ,
Impure and subject to pleasure and to pain.
He who is fond of unrighteousness,
Prone to inordinate materialism,
Whimsical, fraudulent, accustomed to disparage
Indolent, always sulky and sullen
And dilatory in his habits, is a tamasik agent.
O Dhananjaya ! let Me now tell thee fully and
About the three kinds of discrimination
As well as fortitude
According to their triple qualities.
O Partha ! that buddhi or intelligence is sattvik
Which makes a nice distinction between inclination
And disinclination; that which is ought to be done
And what ought not to be done ;
Between fear and safety, bondage and freedom
A rajas intelligence is one which, O Partha !
Can but imperfectly distinguish
Between virtue and vice, duty and non-duty.
O Partha ! the tamas intelligence is that
Which is shrouded in ignorance;
Confounds falsehood, shadow or irreligion
With truth, substance or religion,
And accepts every thing pervertedly.
THE fortitude that is upheld, O Partha ! by a
And by which the functions of the mind,
The life-breaths, senses and actions are held fast,
O Partha ! the rajasik fortitude is that
With which man holds fast virtue,
Wealth and desire, together with their fruits.
A tamasik fortitude is one which is foolish
In not abandoning excessive sleep,
Dreams, fear, grief, sadness and inebriation.
O Bharatarshabha ! now listen to the three
The fallen souls, due to their repeated practices
Enjoy them in some cases as a habit,
While in certain other cases
The cessation of that enjoying mood
Brings to an end their worldly miseries.
A sattvik felicity is that which is
Painful in the beginning, like poison
But wholesome like nectar in the end,
Arising out of approbation for self-realisation.
The happiness which arising
Out of union between the senses and phenomena,
Appears to be ambrosial at the start
But poisonous at last,
Is called a rajasik pleasure.
A tamasik pleasure is one which,
From the beginning to the end
Is delusive of the self proper,
Owing to its sleepy, indolent and inebriating nature.
THERE is no human being in the world
Nor is there any god in heaven
Who is really free from the triple attributes of
The followers of Jnana and Karma are bound by
The spiritually intelligent devotees
Alone accept them in so far as they do help
The transcendental services to the Lord Supreme
So long as they remain in this world.
Though apparently they seem to be engrossed by
They are not essentially so overpowered.
The conditioned souls, though fettered by the triple
May gradually attain to freedom from them
By worshipping the Lord Supreme
According to their class and status
Assigned to them by Scripture.
THE qualities of sattva, rajas and tamas
Are inherent in the nature of the fallen souls.
O Parantapa ! the respective duties
Of the Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas and Sudras
Have been determined according to the qualities
innate in them.
The duties of a Brahmin are of a sattvik nature.
The control of the inward and outward senses,
Austerities, purity, forgiveness, simplicity,
Knowledge of the self, and the true conception of
As interpreted in sacred Scripture
Are the characteristic qualities and actions of a
The duties and qualities of a Kshatriya
Are of a sattva-rajas nature.
Heroism, pomp and boldness,
Patience, dexterity and charity,
Bravely to face his enemies in the battle-field,
And governance, are the normal qualities and
duties of a Kshatriya.
The duties and qualities of a Vaisya
Are of a rajas-tamas nature.
Cultivation of the soil, keeping herds of cattle,
And carrying on trade, are natural duties of a
While to serve the three superior classes
Is the duty of him who is a Sudra by nature,
Classification of the three castes is thus based
On the natural qualities and actions
And formed not on the basis of birth-right.
NOW listen to how a person whose duties
Have thus been assigned to him,
According to his natural qualities and character
Can attain succes in life
By the performance of such duties.
Man attains succes by dedicating
All his natural and innate actions
Together with their fruits
To the Lord Supreme Who pervades the universe
Both as the Unit-Soul, the Indweller of every
And the Aggregate-Over-Soul,
Who is the Bestower of fruits of man's actions
Which stimulate him in accordance with his
BY swa-dharma is meant man's own duty
According to his nature and qualifications.
Incomplete performance of swa-dharma
Is better than para-dharma nicely done
Or duty that is not innate and natural to man's own
Though imperfectly performed,
Universal good accrues from swa-dharma,
And there is hardly any chance of incurring sin
By the performance of such duty ordained by his
O Son of Kunti ! duties assigned
According to the nature and quality of the man,
Should even when faulty, by no means be shunned ;
Action is ever defective in the beginning.
Just as fire is not free from smoke,
So also human enterprises are more or less blemi-
shed by shortcomings.
Leaving aside the darker view.
The bright aspect of the Karma born of man's own
Should be resorted to, for the purification of the
IN the first stage of sannyasa or renunciation,
A Jnanin should relinquish his subjective egotism
As well as any hankering after fruitive action.
In the maturer state of Yoga,
Sannyasa's second stage,
Abandonment of all fruits of action is the thing
The final success in selfless Karma
Is achieved by a Jnanin when he wholly abandons
All idea of a sense of duty,
His discriminating intelligence being free
From all worldly attachments,
When his self is conquered,
And his heart is fully unconcerned with earth's
And thus essentially renounces all his Karma.
NEXT listen to how a jiva attains to Brahman,
The crowning point of Jnana.
After attaining success in selfless Karma.
What is meant by the realisation of Brahman ?
The first stage in realisation is to attain
True knowledge, by performance of selfless Karma,
Then follow this attainment
By devotional service unto Me,
Having acquired a true conception of My Real
A person, who does not misidentify
His body with his own true self,
And has realised the difference between the two,
Has no more affinities with worldly relativities;
He has complete cessation from sensual enjoyment
Of sound, sight and touch
And has attained a pure intelligence;
He has controlled his mind by fortitude
And is beyond all mundane likes and dislikes;
Love and hatred;
He has a tendency towards solitude;
Temperate is he in diet, restrained in body, mind
He has taken to meditation and a genuine
He is completely absolved from egotism,
Might, pride, lust and anger;
He is kind, unselfish and very mild.
One who is thus qualified, is able to realise
THE characteristic feature of a Brahman-realised
Is that he is freed from physical and mental
A soul realises Brahman only in his unalloyed
Such a person is happy in himself;
Possesses a calm and equitable vision;
He neither grieves, nor longs for any mundane
Established in Brahman,
He gradually attains pure Bhakti in Me
Which transcends all qualities of Maya
And truly begins after that stage when Brahman is
IT is only by means of pure Bhakti
That an individual unalloyed soul
Can truly realise essentially Who I am
And what is My Real Nature-
My Transcendental Qualities and Deeds.
A soul can 'enter in Me' with the help
Of true knowledge or Jnana concerning My Subjective
This is one of My confidential teachings to thee ;
This is called the attainment of the stage of
By the performance of selfless Karma-Yoga ;
The climax of this realisation is non-qualified Bhakti
or Prema-Divine Love.
'Enters in Me' does not mean that folly of dry
Which leads man to contemplate self-annihilation.
It really means the freedom of a true self or soul
From his earthly bondage
And the attainment of his transcendental nature
Which is akin to My Real Self.
This realisation also is akin to pure Love Divine.
SELFLESS Karma-Yoga leads man to Jnana ;
Jnana-Yoga advances him to Bhakti.
This is the Vedic Path.
Of the three processes that I have mentioned to
This one is the first.
Now I shall tell thee about the second means of
He who takes shelter in Me even with a selfish
Dedicating all his daily, causal
And secular duties to Me,
Who am the Supreme Lord,
And thereby becomes single-minded in his devotion,
Attains non-qualified devotion by My Grace
As his highest, eternal and transcendental End.
I have already told thee that Brahman, Paramatman
Are My threefold Manifestations.
As thou art not yet a pure devotee
Neither art thou selfish,
Thou mayst now take the middle course
By dedicating all thy duties and actions,
Assigned to thy class and station as a Kshatriya,
Unto Me as Paramatma,
And with a steadfast application of thine intelligence,
Turn thy full attention and thy heart
Towards Me, in all thine activities.
IF thou dost turn thus unto Me
In all thy doing in this world,
Thou wilt, by My Grace, surmount all obstacles
Standing in thy way to a life devotional.
If on the contrary, thou dost misidentify thyself
With thy body and thy mind, and cling to thy
Thinking thyself to be the doer or master of the
happenings of the world,
Then thou wilt be drawn away
From the Fountain-source of divine nectar
And wilt bring ruin upon thyself
By turning out to be a worldling.
If tou thinkest, 'I will not fight'
Under the fatal influence of that false egotism,
Vain will be thy resolve ;
Because the nature of a Kshatriya will give thee an
impetus to fight.
Out of infatuation thou art unwilling now to fight,
O Son of Kunti ! but thou shalt do so against thy
Being ovepowered by the natutal instincts of the
I alone as Paramataman,
Am the indwelling Monitor of all hearts:
Paramatman is the Regulator of all jiva-souls.
As are the actions of a jiva
So are the fruits bestowed on him by Paramatman
Just as a wire-puller manipulates the puppets
From behind the screen by wires,
So the jivas imprisoned in gross bodies
Are driven in this world
By His deluding Potency Maya
To act in conformity with her dictation.
Propelled by the Inner Monitor
Thy natural proclivity will stimulate thee to fight
As a result of thy former deeds."
Here Paramatman is the Efficient Cause
And Maya is the material cause
Of jiva's action in bondage.
"O Bharata ! take absolute shelter
In That All-pervading Paramatman.
Thou wilt then attain perfect peace
Or complete freedom from empiric knowledge and
And will ultimately attain My Spiritual Realm by
THE knowledge of the realisation of Brahman
That I have previously told thee
The knowledge about Paramatman
That I have just described to thee
Is more secret still.
Think seriously about them,
And adopt thou what thou likest best.
If thou shouldst desire to attain Brahman
As a result of Jnana derived from selfless Karma-
And if thou wilt for gradual attainment
Of non-qualified Bhakti for me,
Fight thou without any selfish aim.
Or if thou shouldst take refuge in Paramatman,
Then in that case also thou shalt have to fight
Consecrating the results to Him,
Being prompted by Him from within
To be guided by thy natural Kshatriya aptitude for
Then only My indwelling Spirit as Paramatman
Will gradually endow thee with My unalloyed
So, whichever principle thou mayst adopt,
Fighting is beneficial to thee under all circumstances.
I have told thee about the secret and more secret
Principles regarding Brahman and Paramatman ;
Now I shall impart to thee
The most secret knowledge of Bhagavan.
Listen to the supreme thing I have to say.
This is the most essential of all My instructions.
Because thou art very dear to Me, I tell thee for
thine eternal good.
Be devoted to Me Who am Bhagavan,
And offer thy heart unto Me;
Think not of Me in the same way as a Karma-
Or a Jnana-Yogi or a Dhyana-Yogi.
In all thine activities,
Worship My Transcendental Form Supreme of
Decrying all personal pride.
I promise thee that in that case
Thou shalt attain to My eternal service.
Thou art very dear to Me,
And that is why I tell thee about this pure Bhakti.
FORSAKE all socio-religious systems
Of caste and stations in earthly life,
Renunciation of Karma or action,
Abandonment of the fruits of Karma,
Rigid austerities in order to control the inner and
Meditation, concentration of attention,
Obedience to the grandeur and lordliness of Iswara
And all such things that have been told before
In ordr to gain knowledge of Brahman and
Shun them all;
Take absolute refuge in Me, Who am the Highest
The Supreme Lord of all gods.
Then I shall deliver thee
From all the bondage of this world
As well as from offences and all sins and penalties
That may arise from thy abandonment of all those
That are enjoined thee by the Scriptures.
Mourn not for omitting these thy relative duties.
WHEN unalloyed devotion is directed unto Me,
Then the true soul's normal health is easily
There is then no further need
Of practising religious duties, or austerities,
Or of cultivating Jnana, Yoga or Dhyana.
In thy fallen state, thou must conform
To all thy physical, mental and moral duties;
But while performing all those actions,
Incline not overmuch to My Negative Aspect in
But think, dream and meditate on the Eternal
And the Supreme Sweetness of My Bhagavan-Form.
Shelter thou in the Beauty and Sweetness of My
WHEN the engrossed jiva performs any action for
He does it in view of the threefold lofty aims
Of Brahman, Paramatman and Bhagavan
Or for the sake of his own sensual enjoyment.
When the sensual enjoyment is in view,
He takes to Akarma and Vikarma-sources of great
Whereas, all that he performs in relation to caste
And socio-religious duties
Assume a particular form in pursuance of Brahman,
Paramatman or Bhagavan.
When he aims at Paramatman,
His actions take the form of Karma and Jnana ;
When he aims at Paramatman,
His conduct assumes the nature
Of consecrated selfless Karma-Yoga or Dnyana-
While, when his aim is centred in Bhagavan,
His actions become pure services devotional.
This Bhakti is therefore the most esoteric principle,
And Prema or Divine Love
Is the most confidential final aim
Within the sacred Temple of the inner heart of all
THIS is the highest and the most fundamental
In the Teachings of the Geeta.
Though there is a semblance in the external life
Of a Karmin,Jnanin,Yogin and a Bhakta or devotee,
Yet their distinctive predilection
And their goal, constitute a wide gulf of difference
The Teachings of the Geeta are not meant
For those who are devoid of self-control,
Lacking in devotional aptitude, or those who are
To serve the Supreme Lord and any of His devotees,
Or those who are envious of the All-Blissful
Transcendental Form of Krishna,
That is, those who regard as a product of Nature
His Eternal and All-loving Form
Ever-resplendant in all its glory
Transcending all earthly conceptions of human
HE who will impart these confidential
To My dovotees, will without doubt
Attain Me through his pure devotion unto Me
None is there among the men of this world
So dear to Me as he;
No better loving service to Me, than such preaching.
He who will study these sacred discourses of ours,
Shall worship Me with Jnana-Yajna;
This is My assurance.
He who, though not My devotee,
Yet faithful is, and free from malice,
Studies these teachings,
Shall gain the region
Of the pious, relieved of all his sins.
O Partha ! hast thou listened to this with rapt
Hast thou expelled thine ignorance, O Dhananjaya ?"
Arjuna said : "O Achuta ! by Thy Grace,
The veil of my illusion is removed.
I have recovered my lost memory
And now remember that a jiva is Thy eternal
O Krishna ! my doubts are gone.
At Thy Holy Feet-
For complete surrender is the essential function of
I shall ever follow Thy Divine Injunctions."
SANJAYA said : "O Majesty ! thus did I hear
This solemn discourse between Vasudeva and
A discourse that makes one tremble with awe and
Through the grace of Vyasa have I heard
The secrets of this most secret Yoga system,
Delineated by Sree Krishna Himself,
Who is the Supreme Lord of all Yogas.
O Majesty ! remembering this wonderful and sacred
Between Kesava and Arjuna
For ever more shall I rejoice.
O Majesty ! I am astounded at the recollection
Of that most wondrous Form, Sree Hari;
And with remembrance comes joy
Increased at every moment.
Wherever is Shree Krishna, the Supremest Lord of
Wherever is Arjuna the noble archer,
There are the fortunes of victory, and superhuman
Success and polity;
Such is my firm conviction."
- Life Sketch of Swami Bon
- My First Year in England
- Second Year of the Gaudiya Mission in Europe
- Gedanken uber den Hinduismus
- The Geeta as a Chaitanyite reads it
- Sree Chaitanya
- On the Way to Vaikuntha (ORDER ONLINE)
- The Search
- My Lectures in England and Germany
- Indian Books
Pranam to Swami Bon
"I make my obeisances with deep and loving devotion for ever and ever to my Gurudev, who is known by the name of Srimad Bhakti Hriday Bon, who being attracted by the lotus-feet of Radha-Madhab is for ever and ever immersed in the perennial stream of supramundane joy emanating therefrom.
I bow down again and again with loving devotion to my Gurudev who is a wandering Tridandi mendicant and erudite Vaishnava (who) is always following in the wake of Sri Rupa; I make my obeisances in all humility, at all times with sincere loving devotion to my Gurudev who resides happily in the Kunja (bower) allotted to him by Shrimati Radhika, the dearest Divine Consort of the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna who is Rasa epitomized, who has taken to the way of Bhakti in consonace with the teachings of Sri Chaitanya - nay, whose whole pattern of life is moulded on the teachings and precepts of Sri Chaitanya."
I bow down again and again with loving devotion to my Gurudev who is a wandering Tridandi mendicant and erudite Vaishnava (who) is always following in the wake of Sri Rupa; I make my obeisances in all humility, at all times with sincere loving devotion to my Gurudev who resides happily in the Kunja (bower) allotted to him by Shrimati Radhika, the dearest Divine Consort of the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna who is Rasa epitomized, who has taken to the way of Bhakti in consonace with the teachings of Sri Chaitanya - nay, whose whole pattern of life is moulded on the teachings and precepts of Sri Chaitanya."