Bhagwat gita

Bhagwat Gita

Selective Verses Bhagwat gita

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Viṣhād Yog

Chapter 1 Viṣhād Yog

The first chapter ends with the title of Arjuna’s vishadyoga. The closest English word to vishad is despair. Depression and crisis come close too. Can vishad be yoga? If you really look at the situation at the end of chapter I, it is quite dismal. There is a crisis inside of a crisis. War is a crisis itself. The Pandavas and the Kauravas are at the beginning of a war. The formalities have been completed. The war has been declared by blowing of the concshells. And, Arjuna goes numb. He does not want to fight. He has put down his bow and is prepared to die if that comes of it. How bad can it get? And the Bhagvadgita says it is a yoga. Managing a crisis is a yoga, every crisis has a hidden oppurtunity.
Arjuna is in a state of being as low as it can get for him. He is shaking, he can’t hold on to his bow, but his receptivity is heightened. His awareness is razor sharp. And above all, all this is happening in the presence of Krishna’s divine presence. Arjuna has the choice of giving up or prepares himself for the battle. He is in a dilemma.


Vishad can lead to yoga, it can become the path to wards the center. Crisis is a situation. Crisis is easy to find and it can bring kranti in ones life.
.....Dr. Krishna Bhatta (egita.org)

But whatever it is, you see in your life, don’t get stuck in Vishada Yoga. You should move from there to Sankhya Yoga. Most people in the planet, they are in the regret state. They are stuck in Vishad Yoga but somewhere you have to reach the twelfth chapter, Bhakti Yoga!
.... Sri Sri Ravishankar

वसुदॆव सुतं दॆवं कंस चाणूर मर्दनम् । दॆवकी परमानन्दं कृष्णं वन्दॆ जगद्गुरुम् ॥१॥

vasudeva sutaṁ -- son of Vasudeva; devaṁ -- the divine; kaṁsa cāṇūramardanam -- killer of kaṁsa and cāṇūra; devakī paramānandaṁ -- one who gives great joy to Devakī; kṛṣṇaṁ -- to Kṛṣṇa; vande – praise, salutations; jagadgurum -- to the guru of the universe;


I offer my obeisance’s to Lord Kṛṣṇa, the beloved son of Vasudeva, who killed the great demons Kaṁsa and Cāṇūra, who is the source of great joy to Mother Devakī; and who is indeed a world teacher and spiritual master of the universe. (1)


Chapter 1, Verse 26


तत्रापश्यत्स्थितान् पार्थ: पितृ नथ पितामहान् | आचार्यान्मातुलान्भ्रातृ न्पुत्रान्पौत्रान्सखींस्तथा || 26|| श्वशुरान्सुहृदश्चैव सेनयोरुभयोरपि |

tatra—there; apaśhyat—saw; sthitān—stationed; pārthaḥ—Arjun; pitṝīn—fathers; atha—thereafter; pitāmahān—grandfathers; āchāryān—teachers; mātulān—maternal uncles; bhrātṝīn—brothers; putrān—sons; pautrān—grandsons; sakhīn—friends; tathā—also; śhvaśhurān—fathers-in-law; suhṛidaḥ—well-wishers; cha—and; eva—indeed; senayoḥ—armies; ubhayoḥ—in both armies; api—also


There, Arjun could see stationed in both armies, his fathers, grandfathers, teachers, maternal uncles, brothers, cousins, sons, nephews, grand-nephews, friends, fathers-in-law, and well-wishers.

Chapter 1, Verse 28


अर्जुन उवाच | दृष्ट्वेमं स्वजनं कृष्ण युयुत्सुं समुपस्थितम् || 28|| सीदन्ति मम गात्राणि मुखं च परिशुष्यति |

arjunaḥ uvācha—Arjun said; dṛiṣhṭvā—on seeing; imam—these; sva-janam—kinsmen; kṛiṣhṇa—Krishna; yuyutsum—eager to fight; samupasthitam—present; sīdanti—quivering; mama—my; gātrāṇi—limbs; mukham—mouth; cha—and; pariśhuṣhyati—is drying up


Arjun said: O Krishna, seeing my own kinsmen arrayed for battle here and intent on killing each other, my limbs are giving way and my mouth is drying up.

Chapter 1, Verse 29,30,31


वेपथुश्च शरीरे मे रोमहर्षश्च जायते || 29|| गाण्डीवं स्रंसते हस्तात्वक्चै व परिदह्यते | न च शक्नोम्यवस्थातुं भ्रमतीव च मे मन: || 30|| निमित्तानि च पश्यामि विपरीतानि केशव | न च श्रेयोऽनुपश्यामि हत्वा स्वजनमाहवे || 31||

vepathuḥ—shuddering; cha—and; śharīre—on the body; me—my; roma-harṣhaḥ—standing of bodily hair on end; cha—also; jāyate—is happening; gāṇḍīvam—Arjun’s bow; sraṁsate—is slipping; hastāt—from (my) hand; tvak—skin; cha—and; eva—indeed; paridahyate—is burning all over; na—not; cha—and; śhaknomi—am able; avasthātum—remain steady; bhramati iva—whirling like; cha—and; me—my; manaḥ—mind; nimittāni—omens; cha—and; paśhyāmi—I see; viparītāni—misfortune; keśhava—Shree Krishna, killer of the Keshi demon; na—not; cha—also; śhreyaḥ—good; anupaśhyāmi—I foresee; hatvā—from killing; sva-janam—kinsmen; āhave—in battle


My whole body shudders; my hair is standing on end. My bow, the Gāṇḍīv, is slipping from my hand, and my skin is burning all over. My mind is in quandary and whirling in confusion; I am unable to hold myself steady any longer. O Krishna, killer of the Keshi demon, I only see omens of misfortune. I do not foresee how any good can come from killing my own kinsmen in this battle.

Chapter 1, Verse 32,33


न काङ्क्षे विजयं कृष्ण न च राज्यं सुखानि च | किं नो राज्येन गोविन्द किं भोगैर्जीवितेन वा || 32|| येषामर्थे काङ्क्षितं नो राज्यं भोगा: सुखानि च | त इमेऽवस्थिता युद्धे प्राणांस्त्यक्त्वा धनानि च || 33||

na—nor; kāṅkṣhe—do I desire; vijayam—victory; kṛiṣhṇa—Krishna; na—nor; cha—as well; rājyam—kingdom; sukhāni—happiness; cha—also; kim—what; naḥ—to us; rājyena—by kingdom; govinda—Krishna, he who gives pleasure to the senses, he who is fond of cows; kim—what?; bhogaiḥ—pleasures; jīvitena—life; vā—or; yeṣhām—for whose; arthe—sake; kāṅkṣhitam—coveted for; naḥ—by us; rājyam—kingdom; bhogāḥ—pleasures; sukhāni—happiness; cha—also; te—they; ime—these; avasthitāḥ—situated; yuddhe—for battle; prāṇān—lives; tyaktvā—giving up; dhanāni—wealth; cha—also


O Krishna, I do not desire the victory, kingdom, or the happiness accruing it. Of what avail will be a kingdom, pleasures, or even life itself, when the very persons for whom we covet them, are standing before us for battle?

Chapter 1, Verse 34,35


आचार्या: पितर: पुत्रास्तथैव च पितामहा: | मातुला: श्वशुरा: पौत्रा: श्याला: सम्बन्धिनस्तथा || 34|| एतान्न हन्तुमिच्छामि घ्नतोऽपि मधुसूदन | अपि त्रैलोक्यराज्यस्य हेतो: किं नु महीकृते || 35||

āchāryāḥ—teachers; pitaraḥ—fathers; putrāḥ—sons; tathā—as well; eva—indeed; cha—also; pitāmahāḥ—grandfathers; mātulāḥ—maternal uncles; śhvaśhurāḥ—fathers-in-law; pautrāḥ—grandsons; śhyālāḥ—brothers-in-law; sambandhinaḥ—kinsmen; tathā—as well; etān—these; na—not; hantum—to slay; ichchhāmi—I wish; ghnataḥ—killed; api—even though; madhusūdana—Shree Krishna, killer of the demon Madhu; api—even though; trai-lokya-rājyasya—dominion over three worlds; hetoḥ—for the sake of; kim nu—what to speak of; mahī-kṛite—for the earth


Teachers, fathers, sons, grandfathers, maternal uncles, grandsons, fathers-in-law, grand-nephews, brothers-in-law, and other kinsmen are present here, staking their lives and riches. O Madhusudan, I do not wish to slay them, even if they attack me. If we kill the sons of Dhritarashtra, what satisfaction will we derive from the dominion over the three worlds, what to speak of this Earth?

Chapter 1, Verse 45,46


अहो बत महत्पापं कर्तुं व्यवसिता वयम् | यद्राज्यसुखलोभेन हन्तुं स्वजनमुद्यता: || 45|| यदि मामप्रतीकारमशस्त्रं शस्त्रपाणय: | धार्तराष्ट्रा रणे हन्युस्तन्मे क्षेमतरं भवेत् || 46||

aho—alas; bata—how; mahat—great; pāpam—sins; kartum—to perform; vyavasitāḥ—have decided; vayam—we; yat—because; rājya-sukha-lobhena—driven by the desire for kingly pleasure; hantum—to kill; sva-janam—kinsmen; udyatāḥ—intending; yadi—if; mām—me; apratīkāram—unresisting; aśhastram—unarmed; śhastra-pāṇayaḥ—those with weapons in hand; dhārtarāṣhṭrāḥ—the sons of Dhritarashtra; raṇe—on the battlefield; hanyuḥ—shall kill; tat—that; me—to me; kṣhema-taram—better; bhavet—would be


Alas! How strange it is that we have set our mind to perform this great sin. Driven by the desire for kingly pleasures, we are intent on killing our own kinsmen. It will be better if, with weapons in hand, the sons of Dhritarashtra kill me unarmed and unresisting on the battlefield.

Sānkhya Yog

Sānkhya Yog - Analytical knowledge


There are six Sastras, or writings of authority, and sometimes called the six Darsanas, views or expositions of doctrine.


1. The Nyaya, founded by Gautama.
2. The Vaiseshika, by Kanada.
3. The Sankhya, by Kapila.
4. The Yoga, by Patanjali.
5. The Mlmansa, by Jaimini.
6. The Vedanta, by Badarayana, sometimes called Vyasa, or Veda Vyasa.

Sānkhya Yog – Analytical knowledge regarding nature of soul, buddhi yog – Yog of intellect


It’s an interplay when pure consciousness, the self, the purusha or soul merges with prakriti or nature and the play begins. Where soul is eternal, permanent, imperishable and ancient enters matter or prkriti which is finite, perishable with various attributes and tattvas and gunas. The interplay bonds the soul to take birth after birth till it realizes it’s eternal and permanent nature. The prakriti binds purusha to this mortal world, here is the breakdown…..

Tattvas of Bhagvadgita


God – Isvara (Isvar tattava)
Soul (Atma tattava)
Body, Senses, mind, ego and intelligence
God and Soul are pure (Suddha) and eternal realities (nitya tattava)
Body, senses, mind, ego and intelligence are impure (assuda) and finite (anitya)
Basic philosophy is that matter, (prakriti) or Nature can only move if pure consciousness (Soul) enters it. Soul is unattached and different from Prakriti. The dance of Prakriti occurs when Purusha (Soul) rides it. God – Isvara tattva is ruling, controlling, and manifesting absolute reality. God is unbound, distinct and separate from nature (Prakriti). In classical Sānkhya Yog it is not mentioned as tattva.
In Gita God is the center and source of everything, He is the subject, object, the source, the purpose and teaching itself. An imperishable eternal reality. Soul can only reach God by reaching highest state of Brahman, completely free from delusion and attains absorption into Brahman (Brahma-nirvanam)
The Soul (Atman)
Eternal and resides in body- indestructible and immeasurable, like Brahman. Self is pure eternal and infinite reality. But is subject to the cycles of birth and death in mortal world. Self in itself is unborn, eternal and most ancient. Indweller (dehi) impenetrable, incombustible, insoluble moves from one birth to another changing bodies without undergoing any change.
The Body (Sariram) Body is composite of several tattvas, it is a field of prakriti (khestra) subject to modifications. City of nine doors, where Soul resides as its lord and controller. Body is impure, destructible subject to change, aging, sickness and death. Lord Krishna compares it to cloth worn by Soul at the time of each birth and discarded at the end of it. Moral – Body is perishable and Soul is imperishable, one should neither fear death nor grieve for those who die.
Intelligence – Buddhi
In Samkhya Kapila recognizes buddhi as the highest tattva of prakriti (Still part of prakriti), manifests as Mahat and in individual body of being as buddhi or discriminating intelligence. Intelligence is said to be closest to Self in the realm of prakriti, it’s in intelligence that the light of Soul shines. Lord Krishna teaches Arjuna how to use intelligence to stabilize mind to see things clearly, to overcome delusion, sorrow, duality and do his duty with equanimity.
The Ego (aham), Self sense, “I am this or that”, “I have this or that”. Self has no attributes, ego arises from self as projection and acquired attributes as name and form. Self-consciousness is pure, Ego-consciousness is filled with delusion, desire and attachment.
Classical Samkhya yoga identifies ego as part of internal organs along with mind and intelligence, it constitutes higher tattva next to intelligence.

The Mind
Source of disturbance and instability, as lord of senses, responsible for the activities of senses. The central purpose of Gita is; how to stabilize mind and engage in spiritual liberation. Classical Samkhya yoga – Mind (manas) repository of thoughts, impressions and memories. Rationality belong to higher mind or intelligence, Mind is the third highest tattva in the body. Yogasutra defines the purpose of yoga as the suppression of the modifications of the mind. Mind can be stabilized and freed from modifications by cultivating the discerning wisdom to distinguish the Soul from the body by overcoming desires and attachments.

The Senses
Senses are part of body, reside as divinities senses mean the five organs of action, the five organs of perception and the five subtle senses. In the verse 14, Lord Krishna says that contact with the sense-objects result in feelings of cold and heat, pleasure and pain, which are impermanent and fleeting. Hence, one should bear with them. Verses 62-63 describe how the senses lead to one’s downfall. By dwelling upon sense-objects one develops attachment. From attachment arises desire, and from desire anger. From anger develops delusion, from delusion the confusion of memory, and from the confusion of memory arises loss of intelligence (buddhi). When buddhi is lost, life becomes lost. Hence, in verse 58 Krishna suggests that to control the mind one should withdraw the senses from the sense objects, just as a tortoise withdraws its limbs, and stabilize the mind. When the mind is free from attraction and aversion, it remains tranquil even when the senses wander among sense objects (verse 64).

The elements
According to the original Samkhya, the elements (mahabhutas) are five namely the earth, fire, water, air, and space. They provide the materiality to the objects in the world. The human body is made up of them. They are part of the 23 tattvas of Prakriti which are identified by the school. Indeed, the human body is said to be combination of five sheaths or bodies namely the food body, the air body, the mental body, the intelligence body and the bliss body. Each of them is made up of one predominant element. In the second chapter of the Bhagavadgita the elements are mentioned only once in the verse 24 in reference to the indestructibility of the Self, which is impenetrable by earth objects, incombustible by fire, insoluble by water, and cannot be dried by air. All these can destroy the body, but not the Self

The gunas
The gunas are three, sattva, rajas and tamas. They are not tattvas, but aspects of Prakriti which are responsible for desires and desire-ridden actions. Our attitude, thinking, actions, likes and dislikes arise from them. The second chapter does not speak much about the triple gunas, but makes a passing reference to them in a few verses. Verse 45 suggests that the Vedas contain the knowledge of the gunas. Such knowledge is not very helpful to stabilize the mind or overcome desires and attachments. Therefore, through discernment one should transcend them to overcome duality and cultivate equanimity.

Buddhi yoga as adjunct of Krishna’s Samkhya
The purpose of Buddhi Yoga is to attain absorption in Brahman (brahma nirvana) by cultivating stable intelligence (sthitha prajna or samatva buddhi), whereby a person remains untouched by the dualities of life such as cold and heat or pleasure and pain, and becomes stable and self-absorbed. Such a state of stability is achieved by withdrawing the senses from the sense-objects, controlling desires and cultivating detachment and dispassion. When a person remains satisfied by himself and in himself only, then he is said to be a person of stable intelligence. In the verse 50 Krishna suggests that with the help of stable intelligence one should engage desireless actions and defines yoga as skill (kausalam) in action. Thus, we can see that the Samkhya Yoga of the Bhagavadgita has many parallels with the original Samkhya philosophy of Kapila. In the subsequent chapter, we will also find that with regard to the practice of detachment, dispassion, sameness, concentration, cultivation of sattva, self-purification, meditation, stabilizing the mind in the Self, and self-absorption, etc., the Yoga philosophy of Krishna bears close resemblance to similar ideas that are present in Patanjali’s Yogasutras. Although the second chapter of the Bhagavadgita is rather erroneously titled as the Yoga of Knowledge by many scholars, it is but a theistic version of the classical Samkhya Yoga only in its essential doctrine, practice and purpose. Truly, it is not the yoga of knowledge. Rather, it is the yoga of the mind and body, the battlefield where a war is continuously waged between the stabilizing and destabilizing forces of Nature and God.

Chapter 2, Verse 11


श्रीभगवानुवाच | अशोच्यानन्वशोचस्त्वं प्रज्ञावादांश्च भाषसे | गतासूनगतासूंश्च नानुशोचन्ति पण्डिता: || 11||


śhrī-bhagavān uvācha—the Supreme Lord said; aśhochyān—not worthy of grief; anvaśhochaḥ—are mourning; tvam—you; prajñā-vādān—words of wisdom; cha—and; bhāṣhase—speaking; gata āsūn—the dead; agata asūn—the living; cha—and; na—never; anuśhochanti—lament; paṇḍitāḥ—the wise


The Supreme Lord said: While you speak words of wisdom, you are mourning for that which is not worthy of grief. The wise lament neither for the living nor for the dead.


Chapter 2, Verse 12


न त्वेवाहं जातु नासं न त्वं नेमे जनाधिपा | न चैव न भविष्याम: सर्वे वयमत: परम् || 12||


na—never; tu—however; eva—certainly; aham—I; jātu—at any time; na—nor; āsam—exist; na—nor; tvam—you; na—nor; ime—these; jana-adhipāḥ—kings; na—never; cha—also; eva—indeed; na bhaviṣhyāmaḥ—shall not exist; sarve vayam—all of us; ataḥ—from now; param—after


Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be.


Chapter 2, Verse 13


देहिनोऽस्मिन्यथा देहे कौमारं यौवनं जरा | तथा देहान्तरप्राप्तिर्धीरस्तत्र न मुह्यति || 13||


dehinaḥ—of the embodied; asmin—in this; yathā—as; dehe—in the body; kaumāram—childhood; yauvanam—youth; jarā—old age; tathā—similarly; deha-antara—another body; prāptiḥ—achieves; dhīraḥ—the wise; tatra—thereupon; na muhyati—are not deluded


Just as the embodied soul continuously passes from childhood to youth to old age, similarly, at the time of death, the soul passes into another body. The wise are not deluded by this.


Chapter 2, Verse 14


मात्रास्पर्शास्तु कौन्तेय शीतोष्णसुखदु: खदा: | आगमापायिनोऽनित्यास्तांस्तितिक्षस्व भारत || 14||


mātrā-sparśhāḥ—contact of the senses with the sense objects; tu—indeed; kaunteya—Arjun, the son of Kunti; śhīta—winter; uṣhṇa—summer; sukha—happiness; duḥkha—distress; dāḥ—give; āgama—come; apāyinaḥ—go; anityāḥ—non-permanent; tān—them; titikṣhasva—tolerate; bhārata—descendant of the Bharat


O son of Kunti, the contact between the senses and the sense objects gives rise to fleeting perceptions of happiness and distress. These are non-permanent, and come and go like the winter and summer seasons. O descendent of Bharat, one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed.


Chapter 2, Verse 15


यं हि न व्यथयन्त्येते पुरुषं पुरुषर्षभ | समदु:खसुखं धीरं सोऽमृतत्वाय कल्पते || 15||


yam—whom; hi—verily; na—not; vyathayanti—distressed; ete—these; puruṣham—person; puruṣha-ṛiṣhabha—the noblest amongst men, Arjun; sama—equipoised; duḥkha—distress; sukham—happiness; dhīram—steady; saḥ—that person; amṛitatvāya—for liberation; kalpate—becomes eligible


O Arjun, noblest amongst men, that person who is not affected by happiness and distress, and remains steady in both, becomes eligible for liberation.


Chapter 2, Verse 16


नासतो विद्यते भावो नाभावो विद्यते सत: | उभयोरपि दृष्टोऽन्तस्त्वनयोस्तत्वदर्शिभि: || 16||


na—no; asataḥ—of the temporary; vidyate—there is; bhāvaḥ—is; na—no; abhāvaḥ—cessation; vidyate—is; sataḥ—of the eternal; ubhayoḥ—of the two; api—also; dṛiṣhṭaḥ—observed; antaḥ—conclusion; tu—verily; anayoḥ—of these; tattva—of the truth; darśhibhiḥ—by the seers


Of the transient there is no endurance, and of the eternal there is no cessation. This has verily been observed by the seers of the truth, after studying the nature of both.


Chapter 2, Verse 17


अविनाशि तु तद्विद्धि येन सर्वमिदं ततम् | विनाशमव्ययस्यास्य न कश्चित्कर्तुमर्हति || 17||


avināśhi—indestructible; tu—indeed; tat—that; viddhi—know; yena—by whom; sarvam—entire; idam—this; tatam—pervaded; vināśham—destruction; avyayasya—of the imperishable; asya—of it; na kaśhchit—no one; kartum—to cause; arhati—is able


That which pervades the entire body, know it to be indestructible. No one can cause the destruction of the imperishable soul.


Chapter 2, Verse 18


अन्तवन्त इमे देहा नित्यस्योक्ता: शरीरिण: | अनाशिनोऽप्रमेयस्य तस्माद्युध्यस्व भारत || 18||


anta-vantaḥ—having an end; ime—these; dehāḥ—material bodies; nityasya—eternally; uktāḥ—are said; śharīriṇaḥ—of the embodied soul; anāśhinaḥ—indestructible; aprameyasya—immeasurable; tasmāt—therefore; yudhyasva—fight; bhārata—descendant of Bharat, Arjun


Only the material body is perishable; the embodied soul within is indestructible, immeasurable, and eternal. Therefore, fight, O descendent of Bharat.


Chapter 2, Verse 19


य एनं वेत्ति हन्तारं यश्चैनं मन्यते हतम् | उभौ तौ न विजानीतो नायं हन्ति न हन्यते || 19||


yaḥ—one who; enam—this; vetti—knows; hantāram—the slayer; yaḥ—one who; cha—and; enam—this; manyate—thinks; hatam—slain; ubhau—both; tau—they; na—not; vijānītaḥ—in knowledge; na—neither; ayam—this; hanti—slays; na—nor; hanyate—is killed


Neither of them is in knowledge—the one who thinks the soul can slay and the one who thinks the soul can be slain. For truly, the soul neither kills nor can it be killed.


Chapter 2, Verse 20


न जायते म्रियते वा कदाचि नायं भूत्वा भविता वा न भूय: | अजो नित्य: शाश्वतोऽयं पुराणो न हन्यते हन्यमाने शरीरे || 20||


na jāyate—is not born; mriyate—dies; vā—or; kadāchit—at any time; na—not; ayam—this; bhūtvā—having once existed; bhavitā—will be; vā—or; na—not; bhūyaḥ—further; ajaḥ—unborn; nityaḥ—eternal; śhāśhvataḥ—immortal; ayam—this; purāṇaḥ—the ancient; na hanyate—is not destroyed; hanyamāne—is destroyed; śharīre—when the body


The soul is neither born, nor does it ever die; nor having once existed, does it ever cease to be. The soul is without birth, eternal, immortal, and ageless. It is not destroyed when the body is destroyed.


Chapter 2, Verse 21


वेदाविनाशिनं नित्यं य एनमजमव्ययम् | कथं स पुरुष: पार्थ कं घातयति हन्ति कम् || 21||


veda—knows; avināśhinam—imperishable; nityam—eternal; yaḥ—who; enam—this; ajam—unborn; avyayam—immutable; katham—how; saḥ—that; puruṣhaḥ—person; pārtha—Parth; kam—whom; ghātayati—causes to be killed; hanti—kills; kam—whom


O Parth, how can one who knows the soul to be imperishable, eternal, unborn, and immutable kill anyone or cause anyone to kill?


Chapter 2, Verse 22


वासांसि जीर्णानि यथा विहाय नवानि गृह्णाति नरोऽपराणि | तथा शरीराणि विहाय जीर्णा न्यन्यानि संयाति नवानि देही || 22||

vāsānsi—garments; jīrṇāni—worn-out; yathā—as; vihāya—sheds; navāni—new; gṛihṇāti—accepts; naraḥ—a person; aparāṇi—others; tathā—likewise; śharīrāṇi—bodies; vihāya—casting off; jirṇāni—worn-out; anyāni—other; sanyāti—enters; navāni—new; dehī—the embodied soul


As a person sheds worn-out garments and wears new ones, likewise, at the time of death, the soul casts off its worn-out body and enters a new one.


Chapter 2, Verse 23


नैनं छिन्दन्ति शस्त्राणि नैनं दहति पावक: | न चैनं क्लेदयन्त्यापो न शोषयति मारुत: || 23||


na—not; enam—this soul; chhindanti—shred; śhastrāṇi—weapons; na—nor; enam—this soul; dahati—burns; pāvakaḥ—fire; na—not; cha—and; enam—this soul; kledayanti—moisten; āpaḥ—water; na—nor; śhoṣhayati—dry; mārutaḥ—wind


Weapons cannot shred the soul, nor can fire burn it. Water cannot wet it, nor can the wind dry it.


Chapter 2, Verse 24


अच्छेद्योऽयमदाह्योऽयमक्लेद्योऽशोष्य एव च | न ित्य: सर्वगत: स्थाणुरचलोऽयं सनातन: || 24||


achchhedyaḥ—unbreakable; ayam—this soul; adāhyaḥ—incombustible; ayam—this soul; akledyaḥ—cannot be dampened; aśhoṣhyaḥ—cannot be dried; eva—indeed; cha—and; nityaḥ—everlasting; sarva-gataḥ—all-pervading; sthāṇuḥ—unalterable; achalaḥ—immutable; ayam—this soul; sanātanaḥ—primordial


The soul is unbreakable and incombustible; it can neither be dampened nor dried. It is everlasting, in all places, unalterable, immutable, and primordial.


Chapter 2, Verse 26


अथ चैनं नित्यजातं नित्यं वा मन्यसे मृतम् | तथापि त्वं महाबाहो नैवं शोचितुमर्हसि || 26||


yaḥ—one who; enam—this; vetti—knows; hantāram—the slayer; yaḥ—one who; cha—and; enam—this; manyate—thinks; hatam—slain; ubhau—both; tau—they; na—not; vijānītaḥ—in knowledge; na—neither; ayam—this; hanti—slays; na—nor; hanyate—is killed


Neither of them is in knowledge—the one who thinks the soul can slay and the one who thinks the soul can be slain. For truly, the soul neither kills nor can it be killed.


Chapter 2, Verse 27


जातस्य हि ध्रुवो मृत्युर्ध्रुवं जन्म मृतस्य च | तस्मादपरिहार्येऽर्थे न त्वं शोचितुमर्हसि || 27||


jātasya—for one who has been born; hi—for; dhruvaḥ—certain; mṛityuḥ—death; dhruvam—certain; janma—birth; mṛitasya—for the dead; cha—and; tasmāt—therefore; aparihārye arthe—in this inevitable situation; na—not; tvam—you; śhochitum—lament; arhasi—befitting


Death is certain for one who has been born, and rebirth is inevitable for one who has died. Therefore, you should not lament over the inevitable.


Chapter 2, Verse 38


सुखदु:खे समे कृत्वा लाभालाभौ जयाजयौ | ततो युद्धाय युज्यस्व नैवं पापमवाप्स्यसि || 38||


sukha—happiness; duḥkhe—in distress; same kṛitvā—treating alike; lābha-alābhau—gain and loss; jaya-ajayau—victory and defeat; tataḥ—thereafter; yuddhāya—for fighting; yujyasva—engage; na—never; evam—thus; pāpam—sin; avāpsyasi—shall incur


Fight for the sake of duty, treating alike happiness and distress, loss and gain, victory and defeat. Fulfilling your responsibility in this way, you will never incur sin.


Chapter 2, Verse 39


एषा तेऽभिहिता साङ्ख्ये बुद्धिर्योगे त्विमां शृणु | बुद्ध्या युक्तो यया पार्थ कर्मबन्धं प्रहास्यसि || 39||


eṣhā—hitherto; te—to you; abhihitā—explained; sānkhye—by analytical knowledge; buddhiḥ yoge—by the yog of intellect; tu—indeed; imām—this; śhṛiṇu—listen; buddhyā—by understanding; yuktaḥ—united; yayā—by which; pārtha—Arjun, the son of Pritha; karma-bandham—bondage of karma; prahāsyasi—you shall be released from


Hitherto, I have explained to you Sānkhya Yog, or analytic knowledge regarding the nature of the soul. Now listen, O Parth, as I reveal Buddhi Yog, or the Yog of Intellect. When you work with such understanding, you will be freed from the bondage of karma.


Chapter 2, Verse 40


नेहाभिक्रमनाशोऽस्ति प्रत्यवायो न विद्यते | स्वल्पमप्यस्य धर्मस्य त्रायते महतो भयात् || 40||


na—not; iha—in this; abhikrama—efforts; nāśhaḥ—loss; asti—there is; pratyavāyaḥ—adverse result; na—not; vidyate—is; su-alpam—a little; api—even; asya—of this; dharmasya—occupation; trāyate—saves; mahataḥ—from great; bhayāt—danger


Working in this state of consciousness, there is no loss or adverse result, and even a little effort saves one from great danger.


Chapter 2, Verse 19


व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिरेकेह कुरुनन्दन | बहुशाखा ह्यनन्ताश्च बुद्धयोऽव्यवसायिनाम् || 41||


vyavasāya-ātmikā—resolute; buddhiḥ—intellect; ekā—single; iha—on this path; kuru-nandana—descendent of the Kurus; bahu-śhākhāḥ—many-branched; hi—indeed; anantāḥ—endless; cha—also; buddhayaḥ—intellect; avyavasāyinām—of the irresolute


O descendent of the Kurus, the intellect of those who are on this path is resolute, and their aim is one-pointed. But the intellect of those who are irresolute is many-branched.


Chapter 2, Verse 47


कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन | मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि || 47 ||


karmaṇi—in prescribed duties; eva—only; adhikāraḥ—right; te—your; mā—not; phaleṣhu—in the fruits; kadāchana—at any time; mā—never; karma-phala—results of the activities; hetuḥ—cause; bhūḥ—be; mā—not; te—your; saṅgaḥ—attachment; astu—must be; akarmaṇi—in inaction


You have a right to perform your prescribed duties, but you are not entitled to the fruits of your actions. Never consider yourself to be the cause of the results of your activities, nor be attached to inaction.


Chapter 2, Verse 48


योगस्थ: कुरु कर्माणि सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा धनञ्जय | सिद्ध्यसिद्ध्यो: समो भूत्वा समत्वं योग उच्यते || 48||


yoga-sthaḥ—being steadfast in yog; kuru—perform; karmāṇi—duties; saṅgam—attachment; tyaktvā—having abandoned; dhanañjaya—Arjun; siddhi-asiddhyoḥ—in success and failure; samaḥ—equipoised; bhūtvā—becoming; samatvam—equanimity; yogaḥ—Yog; uchyate—is called


Be steadfast in the performance of your duty, O Arjun, abandoning attachment to success and failure. Such equanimity is called Yog.


Chapter 2, Verse 49


दूरेण ह्यवरं कर्म बुद्धियोगाद्धनञ्जय | बुद्धौ शरणमन्विच्छ कृपणा: फलहेतव: || 49||


dūreṇa—(discrad) from far away; hi—certainly; avaram—inferior; karma—reward-seeking actions; buddhi-yogāt—with the intellect established in Divine knowledge; dhanañjaya—Arjun; buddhau—divine knowledge and insight; śharaṇam—refuge; anvichchha—seek; kṛipaṇāḥ—miserly; phala-hetavaḥ—those seeking fruits of their work


Seek refuge in divine knowledge and insight, O Arjun, and discard reward-seeking actions that are certainly inferior to works performed with the intellect established in Divine knowledge. Miserly are those who seek to enjoy the fruits of their works.


Chapter 2, Verse 50


बुद्धियुक्तो जहातीह उभे सुकृतदुष्कृते | तस्माद्योगाय युज्यस्व योग: कर्मसु कौशलम् || 50||


buddhi-yuktaḥ—endowed with wisdom; jahāti—get rid of; iha—in this life; ubhe—both; sukṛita-duṣhkṛite—good and bad deeds; tasmāt—therefore; yogāya—for Yog; yujyasva—strive for; yogaḥ—yog is; karmasu kauśhalam—the art of working skillfully


One who prudently practices the science of work without attachment can get rid of both good and bad reactions in this life itself. Therefore, strive for Yog, which is the art of working skillfully (in proper consciousness).


Chapter 2, Verse 51


कर्मजं बुद्धियुक्ता हि फलं त्यक्त्वा मनीषिण: | जन्मबन्धविनिर्मुक्ता: पदं गच्छन्त्यनामयम् || 51||


karma-jam—born of fruitive actions; buddhi-yuktāḥ—endowed with equanimity of intellect; hi—as; phalam—fruits; tyaktvā—abandoning; manīṣhiṇaḥ—the wise; janma-bandha-vinirmuktāḥ—freedom from the bondage of life and death; padam—state; gachchhanti—attain; anāmayam—devoid of sufferings


The wise endowed with equanimity of intellect, abandon attachment to the fruits of actions, which bind one to the cycle of life and death. By working in such consciousness, they attain the state beyond all suffering.


Chapter 2, Verse 52


यदा ते मोहकलिलं बुद्धिर्व्यतितरिष्यति | तदा गन्तासि निर्वेदं श्रोतव्यस्य श्रुतस्य च || 52||


yadā—when; te—your; moha—delusion; kalilam—quagmire; buddhiḥ—intellect; vyatitariṣhyati—crosses; tadā—then; gantāsi—you shall acquire; nirvedam—indifferent; śhrotavyasya—to what is yet to be heard; śhrutasya—to what has been heard; cha—and


When your intellect crosses the quagmire of delusion, you will then acquire indifference to what has been heard and what is yet to be heard (about enjoyments in this world and the next).


Chapter 2, Verse 55


श्रीभगवानुवाच | प्रजहाति यदा कामान्सर्वान्पार्थ मनोगतान् | आत्मन्येवात्मना तुष्ट: स्थितप्रज्ञस्तदोच्यते || 55||


duḥkheṣhu—amidst miseries; anudvigna-manāḥ—one whose mind is undisturbed; sukheṣhu—in pleasure; vigata-spṛihaḥ—without craving; vīta—free from; rāga—attachment; bhaya—fear; krodhaḥ—anger; sthita-dhīḥ—enlightened person; muniḥ—a sage; uchyate—is called


One whose mind remains undisturbed amidst misery, who does not crave for pleasure, and who is free from attachment, fear, and anger, is called a sage of steady wisdom.


Chapter 2, Verse 56


दु:खेष्वनुद्विग्नमना: सुखेषु विगतस्पृह: | वीतरागभयक्रोध: स्थितधीर्मुनिरुच्यते || 56||


yaḥ—one who; enam—this; vetti—knows; hantāram—the slayer; yaḥ—one who; cha—and; enam—this; manyate—thinks; hatam—slain; ubhau—both; tau—they; na—not; vijānītaḥ—in knowledge; na—neither; ayam—this; hanti—slays; na—nor; hanyate—is killed


Neither of them is in knowledge—the one who thinks the soul can slay and the one who thinks the soul can be slain. For truly, the soul neither kills nor can it be killed.


Chapter 2, Verse 57


य: सर्वत्रानभिस्नेहस्तत्तत्प्राप्य शुभाशुभम् | नाभिनन्दति न द्वेष्टि तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता || 57||


yaḥ—who; sarvatra—in all conditions; anabhisnehaḥ—unattached; tat—that; tat—that; prāpya—attaining; śhubha—good; aśhubham—evil; na—neither; abhinandati—delight in; na—nor; dveṣhṭi—dejected by; tasya—his; prajñā—knowledge; pratiṣhṭhitā—is fixed


One who remains unattached under all conditions, and is neither delighted by good fortune nor dejected by tribulation, he is a sage with perfect knowledge.


Chapter 2, Verse 58


यदा संहरते चायं कूर्मोऽङ्गानीव सर्वश: | इन्द्रियाणीन्द्रियार्थेभ्यस्तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता || 58||


yadā—when; sanharate—withdraw; cha—and; ayam—this; kūrmaḥ—tortoise; aṅgāni—limbs; iva—as; sarvaśhaḥ—fully; indriyāṇi—senses; indriya-arthebhyaḥ—from the sense objects; tasya—his; prajñā—divine wisdom; pratiṣhṭhitā—fixed in


One who is able to withdraw the senses from their objects, just as a tortoise withdraws its limbs into its shell, is established in divine wisdom.


Chapter 2, Verse 59


विषया विनिवर्तन्ते निराहारस्य देहिन: | रसवर्जं रसोऽप्यस्य परं दृष्ट्वा निवर्तते || 59||


viṣhayāḥ—objects for senses; vinivartante—restrain; nirāhārasya—practicing self restraint; dehinaḥ—for the embodied; rasa-varjam—cessation of taste; rasaḥ—taste; api—however; asya—person’s; param—the Supreme; dṛiṣhṭvā—on realization; nivartate—ceases to be


Aspirants may restrain the senses from their objects of enjoyment, but the taste for the sense objects remains. However, even this taste ceases for those who realizes the Supreme.


Chapter 2, Verse 60


यततो ह्यपि कौन्तेय पुरुषस्य विपश्चित: | इन्द्रियाणि प्रमाथीनि हरन्ति प्रसभं मन: || 60||


yatataḥ—while practicing self-control; hi—for; api—even; kaunteya—Arjun, the son of Kunti; puruṣhasya—of a person; vipaśhchitaḥ—one endowed with discrimination; indriyāṇi—the senses; pramāthīni—turbulent; haranti—carry away; prasabham—forcibly; manaḥ—the mind


The senses are so strong and turbulent, O son of Kunti, that they can forcibly carry away the mind even of a person endowed with discrimination and practicing self-control.


Chapter 2, Verse 61


तानि सर्वाणि संयम्य युक्त आसीत मत्पर: | वशे हि यस्येन्द्रियाणि तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता || 61||


tāni—them; sarvāṇi—all; sanyamya—subduing; yuktaḥ—united; āsīta—seated; mat-paraḥ—toward me (Shree Krishna); vaśhe—control; hi—certainly; yasya—whose; indriyāṇi—senses; tasya—their; prajñā—perfect knowledge; pratiṣhṭhitā—is fixed;


They are established in perfect knowledge, who subdue their senses and keep their minds ever absorbed in me.


Chapter 2, Verse 62


ध्यायतो विषयान्पुंस: सङ्गस्तेषूपजायते | सङ्गात्सञ्जायते काम: कामात्क्रोधोऽभिजायते || 62||


dhyāyataḥ—contemplating; viṣhayān—sense objects; puṁsaḥ—of a person; saṅgaḥ—attachment; teṣhu—to them (sense objects); upajāyate—arises; saṅgāt—from attachment; sañjāyate—develops; kāmaḥ—desire; kāmāt—from desire; krodhaḥ—anger; abhijāyate—arises


While contemplating on the objects of the senses, one develops attachment to them. Attachment leads to desire, and from desire arises anger.


Chapter 2, Verse 63


क्रोधाद्भवति सम्मोह: सम्मोहात्स्मृतिविभ्रम: | स्मृतिभ्रंशाद् बुद्धिनाशो बुद्धिनाशात्प्रणश्यति || 63||


krodhāt—from anger; bhavati—comes; sammohaḥ—clouding of judgement; sammohāt—from clouding of judgement; smṛiti—memory; vibhramaḥ—bewilderment; smṛiti-bhranśhāt—from bewilderment of memory; buddhi-nāśhaḥ—destruction of intellect; buddhi-nāśhāt—from destruction of intellect; praṇaśhyati—one is ruined


Anger leads to clouding of judgment, which results in bewilderment of the memory. When the memory is bewildered, the intellect gets destroyed; and when the intellect is destroyed, one is ruined.


Chapter 2, Verse 64


रागद्वेषवियुक्तैस्तु विषयानिन्द्रियैश्चरन् | आत्मवश्यैर्विधेयात्मा प्रसादमधिगच्छति || 64||


rāga—attachment; dveṣha—aversion; viyuktaiḥ—free; tu—but; viṣhayān—objects of the senses; indriyaiḥ—by the senses; charan—while using; ātma-vaśhyaiḥ—controlling one’s mind; vidheya-ātmā—one who controls the mind; prasādam—the Grace of God; adhigachchhati—attains


But one who controls the mind, and is free from attachment and aversion, even while using the objects of the senses, attains the Grace of God.


Chapter 2, Verse 65


प्रसादे सर्वदु:खानां हानिरस्योपजायते | प्रसन्नचेतसो ह्याशु बुद्धि: पर्यवतिष्ठते || 65||


prasāde—by divine grace; sarva—all; duḥkhānām—of sorrows; hāniḥ—destruction; asya—his; upajāyate—comes; prasanna-chetasaḥ—with a tranquil mind; hi—indeed; āśhu—soon; buddhiḥ—intellect; paryavatiṣhṭhate—becomes firmly established


By divine grace comes the peace in which all sorrows end, and the intellect of such a person of tranquil mind soon becomes firmly established in God.


Chapter 2, Verse 66


नास्ति बुद्धिरयुक्तस्य न चायुक्तस्य भावना | न चाभावयत: शान्तिरशान्तस्य कुत: सुखम् || 66||


na—not; asti—is; buddhiḥ—intellect; ayuktasya—not united; na—not; cha—and; ayuktasya—not united; bhāvanā—contemplation; na—nor; cha—and; abhāvayataḥ—for those not united; śhāntiḥ—peace; aśhāntasya—of the unpeaceful; kutaḥ—where; sukham—happiness


But an undisciplined person, who has not controlled the mind and senses, can neither have a resolute intellect nor steady contemplation on God. For one who never unites the mind with God there is no peace; and how can one who lacks peace be happy?


Chapter 2, Verse 67


इन्द्रियाणां हि चरतां यन्मनोऽनुविधीयते | तदस्य हरति प्रज्ञां वायुर्नावमिवाम्भसि || 67||


indriyāṇām—of the senses; hi—indeed; charatām—roaming; yat—which; manaḥ—the mind; anuvidhīyate—becomes constantly engaged; tat—that; asya—of that; harati—carries away; prajñām—intellect; vāyuḥ—wind; nāvam—boat; iva—as; ambhasi—on the water


Just as a strong wind sweeps a boat off its chartered course on the water, even one of the senses on which the mind focuses can lead the intellect astray.


Chapter 2, Verse 69


या निशा सर्वभूतानां तस्यां जागर्ति संयमी | यस्यां जाग्रति भूतानि सा निशा पश्यतो मुने: || 69||


yā—which; niśhā—night; sarva-bhūtānām—of all living beings; tasyām—in that; jāgarti—is awake; sanyamī—self-controlled; yasyām—in which; jāgrati—are awake; bhūtāni—creatures; sā—that; niśhā—night; paśhyataḥ—see; muneḥ—sage


What all beings consider as day is the night of ignorance for the wise, and what all creatures see as night is the day for the introspective sage.


Those who are in mundane consciousness look to material enjoyment as the real purpose of life. They consider the opportunity for worldly pleasures as the success of life, or “day,” and deprivation from sense pleasures as darkness, or “night.” On the other hand, those who have become wise with divine knowledge, see sense enjoyment as harmful for the soul, and hence view it as “night.” They consider refraining from the objects of the senses as elevating to the soul, and hence look on it as “day.” Using those connotations of the words, Shree Krishna states that what is night for the sage is day for the worldly-minded people, and vice versa.

Chapter 2, Verse 72


एषा ब्राह्मी स्थिति: पार्थ नैनां प्राप्य विमुह्यति | स्थित्वास्यामन्तकालेऽपि ब्रह्मनिर्वाणमृच्छति || 72||


eṣhā—such; brāhmī sthitiḥ—state of God-realization; pārtha—Arjun, the son of Pritha; na—never; enām—this; prāpya—having attained; vimuhyati—is deluded; sthitvā—being established; asyām—in this; anta-kāle—at the hour of death; api—even; brahma-nirvāṇam—liberation from Maya; ṛichchhati—attains


O Parth, such is the state of an enlightened soul that having attained it, one is never again deluded. Being established in this consciousness even at the hour of death, one is liberated from the cycle of life and death and reaches the Supreme Abode of God.


Karm Yog

Karm Yog PATH OF SERVICE


Arjuna asked: "If You consider that acquiring transcendental knowledge is better than working, then why do You want me to engage in this horrible war, O Krishna?"
Lord Krishna said: "I have stated a twofold path of spiritual discipline in the past. The path of Self-knowledge for the contemplative ones, and the path of unselfish work for all others. (3.03) One does not attain freedom from bondage of Karma by merely abstaining from work. No one attains perfection by merely giving up work, because no one can remain inactive even for a moment. The forces of Nature drive everyone to action." (3.04-05)
"People get confused and think that leading a life devoted to scriptural study, contemplation, and acquiring transcendental knowledge may be better for spiritual progress than doing one's worldly duty. A God-realized person does not consider oneself the doer of any action, but only an instrument in the hands of the Divine for His use. Both metaphysical knowledge and selfless service are means to attain the Supreme Being. These two paths are not separate, but complimentary. O Arjuna, do your duty to the best of your ability as a service to God." (3.09)
Lord Krishna said: "There is nothing unattained that I should obtain, yet I engage in action. (3.22) For, if I do not engage in action relentlessly, O Arjuna, people would follow My path (example), in every way. These worlds would perish if I do not work, and I shall be the cause of confusion and destruction of all these people. (3.23-24) Do your duty and dedicate all work to God in a spiritual frame of mind; become free from ego, mental grief and the compulsion to satisfy all desires. (3.30) Likes and dislikes are two major stumbling blocks, on the path to Self-realization." (3.34) Control over attachment, and aversion, is needed to attain peace of mind and tranquility.
Arjuna said: "O Krishna, what impels one to commit sin as if forced against one's will?" (3.36)
Lord Krishna said: "It is lust born of passion that becomes anger when unfulfilled. Lust is insatiable and is a great devil. Know it as an enemy. (3.37) The senses, the mind, and the intellect are said to be the abode of lust; with these it deludes a person by veiling Self-knowledge. (3.40) Therefore, O Arjuna, by controlling the senses first, control this devil of material desire that destroys Self-knowledge and Self-realization." (3.41)
"The senses are said to be superior to the body, the mind is superior to the senses, the intellect is superior to the mind, transcendental knowledge is superior to the intellect, and the Self is superior to transcendental knowledge. (3.42) Thus, knowing the Self to be superior to the intellect, and controlling the mind by the intellect that is purified by spiritual practice, one must kill this mighty enemy, lust, O Arjuna." (3.43)

Chapter 3, Verse 4


न कर्मणामनारम्भान्नैष्कर्म्यं पुरुषोऽश्नुते | न च संन्यसनादेव सिद्धिं समधिगच्छति || 4||


na—not; karmaṇām—of actions; anārambhāt—by abstaining from; naiṣhkarmyam—freedom from karmic reactions; puruṣhaḥ—a person; aśhnute—attains; na—not; cha—and; sannyasanāt—by renunciation; eva—only; siddhim—perfection; samadhigachchhati—attains


One cannot achieve freedom from karmic reactions by merely abstaining from work, nor can one attain perfection of knowledge by mere physical renunciation.


Chapter 3, Verse 5


न हि कश्चित्क्षणमपि जातु तिष्ठत्यकर्मकृत् | कार्यते ह्यवश: कर्म सर्व: प्रकृतिजैर्गुणै: || 5||


na—not; hi—certainly; kaśhchit—anyone; kṣhaṇam—a moment; api—even; jātu—ever; tiṣhṭhati—can remain; akarma-kṛit—without action; kāryate—are performed; hi—certainly; avaśhaḥ—helpless; karma—work; sarvaḥ—all; prakṛiti-jaiḥ—born of material nature; guṇaiḥ—by the qualities


There is no one who can remain without action even for a moment. Indeed, all beings are compelled to act by their qualities born of material nature (the three guṇas).


Chapter 3, Verse 6


देकर्मेन्द्रियाणि संयम्य य आस्ते मनसा स्मरन् | इन्द्रियार्थान्विमूढात्मा मिथ्याचार: स उच्यते || 6||


karma-indriyāṇi—the organs of action; sanyamya—restrain; yaḥ—who; āste—remain; manasā—in the mind; smaran—to remember; indriya-arthān—sense objects; vimūḍha-ātmā—the deluded; mithyā-āchāraḥ—hypocrite; saḥ—they; uchyate—are called


Those who restrain the external organs of action, while continuing to dwell on sense objects in the mind, certainly delude themselves and are to be called hypocrites.


Chapter 3, Verse 7


मयस्त्विन्द्रियाणि मनसा नियम्यारभतेऽर्जुन | कर्मेन्द्रियै: कर्मयोगमसक्त: स विशिष्यते || 7||


yaḥ—who; tu—but; indriyāṇi—the senses; manasā—by the mind; niyamya—control; ārabhate—begins; arjuna—Arjun; karma-indriyaiḥ—by the working senses; karma-yogam—karm yog; asaktaḥ—without attachment; saḥ—they; viśhiṣhyate—are superior


But those karm yogis who control their knowledge senses with the mind, O Arjun, and engage the working senses in working without attachment, are certainly superior.


Chapter 3, Verse 8


यंनियतं कुरु कर्म त्वं कर्म ज्यायो ह्यकर्मण: | शरीरयात्रापि च ते न प्रसिद्ध्येदकर्मण: || 8||


niyatam—constantly; kuru—perform; karma—Vedic duties; tvam—you; karma—action; jyāyaḥ—superior; hi—certainly; akarmaṇaḥ—than inaction; śharīra—bodily; yātrā—maintenance; api—even; cha—and; te—your; na prasiddhyet—would not be possible; akarmaṇaḥ—inaction


You should thus perform your prescribed Vedic duties, since action is superior to inaction. By ceasing activity, even your bodily maintenance will not be possible.


Chapter 3, Verse 9


नयज्ञार्थात्कर्मणोऽन्यत्र लोकोऽयं कर्मबन्धन: | तदर्थं कर्म कौन्तेय मुक्तसङ्ग: समाचर || 9||


yajña-arthāt—for the sake of sacrifice; karmaṇaḥ—than action; anyatra—else; lokaḥ—material world; ayam—this; karma-bandhanaḥ—bondage through one’s work; tat—that; artham—for the sake of; karma—action; kaunteya—Arjun, the son of Kunti; mukta-saṅgaḥ—free from attachment; samāchara—perform properly


Work must be done as a yajña (sacrifice) to the Supreme Lord; otherwise, work causes bondage in this material world. Therefore, O son of Kunti, perform your prescribed duties, without being attached to the results, for the satisfaction of God.


Chapter , Verse 13


यज्ञशिष्टाशिन: सन्तो मुच्यन्ते सर्वकिल्बिषै: | भुञ्जते ते त्वघं पापा ये पचन्त्यात्मकारणात् || 13||


yajña-śhiṣhṭa—of remnants of food offered in sacrifice; aśhinaḥ—eaters; santaḥ—saintly persons; muchyante—are released; sarva—all kinds of; kilbiṣhaiḥ—from sins; bhuñjate—enjoy; te—they; tu—but; agham—sins; pāpāḥ—sinners; ye—who; pachanti—cook (food); ātma-kāraṇāt—for their own sake


The spiritually-minded, who eat food that is first offered in sacrifice, are released from all kinds of sin. Others, who cook food for their own enjoyment, verily eat only sin.


Chapter 3, Verse 16


एवं प्रवर्तितं चक्रं नानुवर्तयतीह य: | अघायुरिन्द्रियारामो मोघं पार्थ स जीवति || 16||


evam—thus; pravartitam—set into motion; chakram—cycle; na—not; anuvartayati—follow; iha—in this life; yaḥ—who; agha-āyuḥ—sinful living; indriya-ārāmaḥ—for the delight of their senses; mogham—vainly; pārtha—Arjun, the son of Pritha; saḥ—they; jīvati—live


O Parth, those who do not accept their responsibility in the cycle of sacrifice established by the Vedas are sinful. They live only for the delight of their senses; indeed their lives are in vain.


Chapter 3, Verse 19


तस्मादसक्त: सततं कार्यं कर्म समाचर | असक्तो ह्याचरन्कर्म परमाप्नोति पूरुष: || 19||


tasmāt—therefore; asaktaḥ—without attachment; satatam—constantly; kāryam—duty; karma—action; samāchara—perform; asaktaḥ—unattached; hi—certainly; ācharan—performing; karma—work; param—the Supreme; āpnoti—attains; pūruṣhaḥ—a person


Therefore, giving up attachment, perform actions as a matter of duty, for by working without being attached to the fruits, one attains the Supreme.


Chapter 3, Verse 27


प्रकृते: क्रियमाणानि गुणै: कर्माणि सर्वश: | अहङ्कारविमूढात्मा कर्ताहमिति मन्यते || 27||


prakṛiteḥ—of material nature; kriyamāṇāni—carried out; guṇaiḥ—by the three modes; karmāṇi—activities; sarvaśhaḥ—all kinds of; ahankāra-vimūḍha-ātmā—those who are bewildered by the ego and misidentify themselves with the body; kartā—the doer; aham—I; iti—thus; manyate—thinks


All activities are carried out by the three modes of material nature. But in ignorance, the soul, deluded by false identification with the body, thinks itself to be the doer.


Chapter , Verse 33


सदृशं चेष्टते स्वस्या: प्रकृतेर्ज्ञानवानपि | प्रकृतिं यान्ति भूतानि निग्रह: किं करिष्यति || 33||


sadṛiśham—accordingly; cheṣhṭate—act; svasyāḥ—by their own; prakṛiteḥ—modes of nature; jñāna-vān—the wise; api—even; prakṛitim—nature; yānti—follow; bhūtāni—all living beings; nigrahaḥ—repression; kim—what; kariṣhyati—will do


Even wise people act according to their natures, for all living beings are propelled by their natural tendencies. What will one gain by repression?


Chapter 3, Verse 34


इन्द्रियस्येन्द्रियस्यार्थे रागद्वेषौ व्यवस्थितौ | तयोर्न वशमागच्छेत्तौ ह्यस्य परिपन्थिनौ || 34||

indriyasya—of the senses; indriyasya arthe—in the sense objects; rāga—attachment; dveṣhau—aversion; vyavasthitau—situated; tayoḥ—of them; na—never; vaśham—be controlled; āgachchhet—should become; tau—those; hi—certainly; asya—for him; paripanthinau—foes


The senses naturally experience attachment and aversion to the sense objects, but do not be controlled by them, for they are way-layers and foes.


Chapter 3, Verse 35


श्रेयान्स्वधर्मो विगुण: परधर्मात्स्वनुष्ठितात् | स्वधर्मे निधनं श्रेय: परधर्मो भयावह: || 35||


śhreyān—better; swa-dharmaḥ—personal duty; viguṇaḥ—tinged with faults; para-dharmāt—than another’s prescribed duties; su-anuṣhṭhitāt—perfectly done; swa-dharme—in one’s personal duties; nidhanam—death; śhreyaḥ—better; para-dharmaḥ—duties prescribed for others; bhaya-āvahaḥ—fraught with fear


It is far better to perform one’s natural prescribed duty, though tinged with faults, than to perform another’s prescribed duty, though perfectly. In fact, it is preferable to die in the discharge of one’s duty, than to follow the path of another, which is fraught with danger.


Chapter 3, Verse 37


श्रीभगवानुवाच | काम एष क्रोध एष रजोगुणसमुद्भव: || महाशनो महापाप्मा विद्ध्येनमिह वैरिणम् || 37||


śhri-bhagavān uvācha—the Supreme Lord said; kāmaḥ—desire; eṣhaḥ—this; krodhaḥ—wrath; eṣhaḥ—this; rajaḥ-guṇa—the mode of passion; samudbhavaḥ—born of; mahā-aśhanaḥ—all-devouring; mahā-pāpmā—greatly sinful; viddhi—know; enam—this; iha—in the material world; vairiṇam—the enemy


The Supreme Lord said: It is lust alone, which is born of contact with the mode of passion, and later transformed into anger. Know this as the sinful, all-devouring enemy in the world.


Chapter 3, Verse 38


धूमेनाव्रियते वह्निर्यथादर्शो मलेन च | यथोल्बेनावृतो गर्भस्तथा तेनेदमावृतम् || 38||


dhūmena—by smoke; āvriyate—is covered; vahniḥ—fire; yathā—just as; ādarśhaḥ—mirror; malena—by dust; cha—also; yathā—just as; ulbena—by the womb; āvṛitaḥ—is covered; garbhaḥ—embryo; tathā—similarly; tena—by that (desire); idam—this; āvṛitam—is covered


Just as a fire is covered by smoke, a mirror is masked by dust, and an embryo is concealed by the womb, similarly one’s knowledge gets shrouded by desire.


Chapter 3, Verse 39


आवृतं ज्ञानमेतेन ज्ञानिनो नित्यवैरिणा | कामरूपेण कौन्तेय दुष्पूरेणानलेन च || 39||


āvṛitam—covered; jñānam—knowledge; etena—by this; jñāninaḥ—of the wise; nitya-vairiṇā—by the perpetual enemy; kāma-rūpeṇa—in the form of desires; kaunteya—Arjun the son of Kunti; duṣhpūreṇa—insatiable; analena—like fire; cha—and


The knowledge of even the most discerning gets covered by this perpetual enemy in the form of insatiable desire, which is never satisfied and burns like fire, O son of Kunti.


Chapter 3, Verse 40


इन्द्रियाणि मनो बुद्धिरस्याधिष्ठानमुच्यते | एतैर्विमोहयत्येष ज्ञानमावृत्य देहिनम् || 40||


indriyāṇi—the senses; manaḥ—the mind; buddhiḥ—the intellect; asya—of this; adhiṣhṭhānam—dwelling place; uchyate—are said to be; etaiḥ—by these; vimohayati—deludes; eṣhaḥ—this; jñānam—knowledge; āvṛitya—clouds; dehinam—the embodied soul


The senses, mind, and intellect are said to be breeding grounds of desire. Through them, it clouds one’s knowledge and deludes the embodied soul.


Chapter 3, Verse 41


तस्मात्त्वमिन्द्रियाण्यादौ नियम्य भरतर्षभ | पाप्मानं प्रजहि ह्येनं ज्ञानविज्ञाननाशनम् || 41||


tasmāt—therefore; tvam—you; indriyāṇi—senses; ādau—in the very beginning; niyamya—having controlled; bharata-ṛiṣhabha—Arjun, the best of the Bharatas; pāpmānam—the sinful; prajahi—slay; hi—certainly; enam—this; jñāna—knowledge; vijñāna—realization; nāśhanam—the destroyer


Therefore, O best of the Bharatas, in the very beginning bring the senses under control and slay this enemy called desire, which is the embodiment of sin and destroys knowledge and realization.


Chapter , Verse 42


इन्द्रियाणि पराण्याहुरिन्द्रियेभ्य: परं मन: | मनसस्तु परा बुद्धिर्यो बुद्धे: परतस्तु स: || 42||


indriyāṇi—senses; parāṇi—superior; āhuḥ—are said; indriyebhyaḥ—than the senses; param—superior; manaḥ—the mind; manasaḥ—than the mind; tu—but; parā—superior; buddhiḥ—intellect; yaḥ—who; buddheḥ—than the intellect; parataḥ—more superior; tu—but; saḥ—that (soul)


The senses are superior to the gross body, and superior to the senses is the mind. Beyond the mind is the intellect, and even beyond the intellect is the soul.


Chapter 3, Verse 43


एवं बुद्धे: परं बुद्ध्वा संस्तभ्यात्मानमात्मना | जहि शत्रुं महाबाहो कामरूपं दुरासदम् || 43||


evam—thus; buddheḥ—than the intellect; param—superior; buddhvā—knowing; sanstabhya—subdue; ātmānam—the lower self (senses, mind, and intellect); ātmanā—by higher self (soul); jahi—kill; śhatrum—the enemy; mahā-bāho—mighty-armed one; kāma-rūpam—in the form of desire; durāsadam—formidable


Thus knowing the soul to be superior to the material intellect, O mighty armed Arjun, subdue the self (senses, mind, and intellect) by the self (strength of the soul), and kill this formidable enemy called lust.


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Jñāna Karm Sanyās Yog

PATH OF RENUNCIATION WITH KNOWLEDGE


Lord Krishna said: "Both you and I have taken many births. I remember them all, O Arjuna, but you do not. (4.05) Though I am eternal, immutable, and the Lord of all beings, yet I manifest Myself by controlling Material Nature using My own divine potential energy."

"Whenever there is decline of Dharma (Righteousness) and predominance of Adharma (Unrighteousness), O Arjuna, then I manifest Myself. I appear from time to time for protecting the good, for transforming the wicked, and for reestablishing world order (Dharma)." (4.07-08)

"With whatever motive people worship Me, I fulfill their desires accordingly. People worship Me with different motives. (4.11) The one whose mind and senses are under control, and who understands that he cannot control the outcome of his actions, does not incur sin (Karmic reaction) by doing bodily action. (4.21) A renunciant who is content with whatever gain comes naturally by His will, who is unaffected by pairs of opposites, like victory and defeat, free from envy, equanimous in success and failure is not bound by Karma." (4.22)

"People perform sacrifice in many different ways. The one, who considers everything as a manifestation, or an act of God, shall realize God. (4.24) Those who perform selfless service obtain the nectar of Self-knowledge as a result of their sacrifice and attain the Supreme Being. Acquiring transcendental knowledge is superior to any material sacrifice such as giving charity. Purification of mind and intellect eventually leads to the dawn of transcendental knowledge and Self-realization, which is the sole purpose of any spiritual practice." (4.33)

"After knowing the transcendental science, O Arjuna, you shall not again become deluded like this. With this knowledge you shall see the entire creation within your own higher Self, and thus within Me. (4.35) Even if one is the most sinful of all sinners, one shall yet cross over the ocean of sin by the raft of Self-knowledge alone. (4.36) There is no purifier in this world like the true knowledge of the Supreme Being. One discovers this knowledge from within in due course, when one's mind is cleansed of selfishness by selfless service. (4.38) The one who has faith in God, is sincere in selfless practice, and has control over the mind and senses, gains this transcendental knowledge. Having gained this knowledge, one quickly attains supreme peace and liberation." (4.39)



Chapter 4, Verse 7


यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य ग्लानिर्भवति भारत | अभ्युत्थानमधर्मस्य तदात्मानं सृजाम्यहम् || 7||

yadā yadā—whenever; hi—certainly; dharmasya—of righteousness; glāniḥ—decline; bhavati—is; bhārata—Arjun, descendant of Bharat; abhyutthānam—increase; adharmasya—of unrighteousness; tadā—at that time; ātmānam—self; sṛijāmi—manifest; aham—I

Whenever there is a decline in righteousness and an increase in unrighteousness, O Arjun, at that time I manifest myself on earth.


Chapter 4, Verse 8


परित्राणाय साधूनां विनाशाय च दुष्कृताम् | धर्मसंस्थापनार्थाय सम्भवामि युगे युगे || 8||

paritrāṇāya—to protect; sādhūnām—the righteous; vināśhāya—to annihilate; cha—and; duṣhkṛitām—the wicked; dharma—the eternal religion; sansthāpana-arthāya—to reestablish; sambhavāmi—I appear; yuge yuge—age after age

To protect the righteous, to annihilate the wicked, and to reestablish the principles of dharma I appear on this earth, age after age.


Chapter 4, Verse 9


जन्म कर्म च मे दिव्यमेवं यो वेत्ति तत्त्वत: | त्यक्त्वा देहं पुनर्जन्म नैति मामेति सोऽर्जुन || 9||

janma—birth; karma—activities; cha—and; me—of mine; divyam—divine; evam—thus; yaḥ—who; vetti—know; tattvataḥ—in truth; tyaktvā—having abandoned; deham—the body; punaḥ—again; janma—birth; na—never; eti—takes; mām—to me; eti—comes; saḥ—he; arjuna—Arjun

Those who understand the divine nature of my birth and activities, O Arjun, upon leaving the body, do not have to take birth again, but come to my eternal abode.


Chapter 4, Verse 17


कर्मणो ह्यपि बोद्धव्यं बोद्धव्यं च विकर्मण: | अकर्मणश्च बोद्धव्यं गहना कर्मणो गति: || 17||

karmaṇaḥ—recommended action; hi—certainly; api—also; boddhavyam—should be known; boddhavyam—must understand; cha—and; vikarmaṇaḥ—forbidden action; akarmaṇaḥ—inaction; cha—and; boddhavyam—must understand; gahanā—profound; karmaṇaḥ—of action; gatiḥ—the true path

You must understand the nature of all three—recommended action, wrong action, and inaction. The truth about these is profound and difficult to understand.


Chapter 4, Verse 18


कर्मण्यकर्म य: पश्येदकर्मणि च कर्म य: | स बुद्धिमान्मनुष्येषु स युक्त: कृत्स्नकर्मकृत् || 18||

karmaṇi—action; akarma—in inaction; yaḥ—who; paśhyet—see; akarmaṇi—inaction; cha—also; karma—action; yaḥ—who; saḥ—they; buddhi-mān—wise; manuṣhyeṣhu—amongst humans; saḥ—they; yuktaḥ—yogis; kṛitsna-karma-kṛit—performers all kinds of actions

Those who see action in inaction and inaction in action are truly wise amongst humans. Although performing all kinds of actions, they are yogis and masters of all their actions.


Chapter 4, Verse 19


यस्य सर्वे समारम्भा: कामसङ्कल्पवर्जिता: | ज्ञानाग्निदग्धकर्माणं तमाहु: पण्डितं बुधा: || 19||

yasya—whose; sarve—every; samārambhāḥ—undertakings; kāma—desire for material pleasures; saṅkalpa—resolve; varjitāḥ—devoid of; jñāna—divine knowledge; agni—in the fire; dagdha—burnt; karmāṇam—actions; tam—him; āhuḥ—address; paṇḍitam—a sage; budhāḥ—the wise

The enlightened sages call those persons wise, whose every action is free from the desire for material pleasures and who have burnt the reactions of work in the fire of divine knowledge.


Chapter 4, Verse 20


त्यक्त्वा कर्मफलासङ्गं नित्यतृप्तो निराश्रय: | कर्मण्यभिप्रवृत्तोऽपि नैव किञ्चित्करोति स: || 20||

tyaktvā—having given up; karma-phala-āsaṅgam—attachment to the fruits of action; nitya—always; tṛiptaḥ—satisfied; nirāśhrayaḥ—without dependence; karmaṇi—in activities; abhipravṛittaḥ—engaged; api—despite; na—not; eva—certainly; kiñchit—anything; karoti—do; saḥ—that person

Such people, having given up attachment to the fruits of their actions, are always satisfied and not dependent on external things. Despite engaging in activities, they do not do anything at all.


Chapter 4, Verse 22


यदृच्छालाभसन्तुष्टो द्वन्द्वातीतो विमत्सर: | सम: सिद्धावसिद्धौ च कृत्वापि न निबध्यते || 22||

yadṛichchhā—which comes of its own accord; lābha—gain; santuṣhṭaḥ—contented; dvandva—duality; atītaḥ—surpassed; vimatsaraḥ—free from envy; samaḥ—equipoised; siddhau—in success; asiddhau—failure; cha—and; kṛitvā—performing; api—even; na—never; nibadhyate—is bound

Content with whatever gain comes of its own accord, and free from envy, they are beyond the dualities of life. Being equipoised in success and failure, they are not bound by their actions, even while performing all kinds of activities.


Chapter 4, Verse 23


गतसङ्गस्य मुक्तस्य ज्ञानावस्थितचेतस: | यज्ञायाचरत: कर्म समग्रं प्रविलीयते || 23||

gata-saṅgasya—free from material attachments; muktasya—of the liberated; jñāna-avasthita—established in divine knowledge; chetasaḥ—whose intellect; yajñāya—as a sacrifice (to God); ācharataḥ—performing; karma—action; samagram—completely; pravilīyate—are freed

They are released from the bondage of material attachments and their intellect is established in divine knowledge. Since they perform all actions as a sacrifice (to God), they are freed from all karmic reactions.


Chapter 4, Verse 24


ब्रह्मार्पणं ब्रह्म हविर्ब्रह्माग्नौ ब्रह्मणा हुतम् | ब्रह्मैव तेन गन्तव्यं ब्रह्मकर्मसमाधिना || 24||

brahma—Brahman; arpaṇam—the ladle and other offerings; brahma—Brahman; haviḥ—the oblation; brahma—Brahman; agnau—in the sacrificial fire; brahmaṇā—by that person; hutam—offered; brahma—Brahman; eva—certainly; tena—by that; gantavyam—to be attained; brahma—Brahman; karma—offering; samādhinā—those completely absorbed in God-consciousness

For those who are completely absorbed in God-consciousness, the oblation is Brahman, the ladle with which it is offered is Brahman, the act of offering is Brahman, and the sacrificial fire is also Brahman. Such persons, who view everything as God, easily attain him.


Chapter 4, Verse 29,30


अपाने जुह्वति प्राणं प्राणेऽपानं तथापरे | प्राणापानगती रुद्ध्वा प्राणायामपरायणा: || 29|| अपरे नियताहारा: प्राणान्प्राणेषु जुह्वति | सर्वेऽप्येते यज्ञविदो यज्ञक्षपितकल्मषा: || 30||

apāne—the incoming breath; juhvati—offer; prāṇam—the outgoing breath; prāṇe—in the outgoing breath; apānam—incoming breath; tathā—also; apare—others; prāṇa—of the outgoing breath; apāna—and the incoming breath; gatī—movement; ruddhvā—blocking; prāṇa-āyāma—control of breath; parāyaṇāḥ—wholly devoted; apare—others; niyata—having controlled; āhārāḥ—food intake; prāṇān—life-breaths; prāṇeṣhu—life-energy; juhvati—sacrifice; sarve—all; api—also; ete—these; yajña-vidaḥ—knowers of sacrifices; yajña-kṣhapita—being cleansed by performances of sacrifices; kalmaṣhāḥ—of impurities

Still others offer as sacrifice the outgoing breath in the incoming breath, while some offer the incoming breath into the outgoing breath. Some arduously practice prāṇāyām and restrain the incoming and outgoing breaths, purely absorbed in the regulation of the life-energy. Yet others curtail their food intake and offer the breath into the life-energy as sacrifice. All these knowers of sacrifice are cleansed of their impurities as a result of such performances.


Chapter 4, Verse 31


यज्ञशिष्टामृतभुजो यान्ति ब्रह्म सनातनम् | नायं लोकोऽस्त्ययज्ञस्य कुतोऽन्य: कुरुसत्तम || 31||

yajña-śhiṣhṭa amṛita-bhujaḥ—they partake of the nectarean remnants of sacrifice; yānti—go; brahma—the Absolute Truth; sanātanam—eternal; na—never; ayam—this; lokaḥ—planet; asti—is; ayajñasya—for one who performs no sacrifice; kutaḥ—how; anyaḥ—other (world); kuru-sat-tama—best of the Kurus, Arjun

Those who know the secret of sacrifice, and engaging in it, partake of its remnants that are like nectar, advance toward the Absolute Truth. O best of the Kurus, those who perform no sacrifice find no happiness either in this world or the next.


Chapter 4, Verse 33


श्रेयान्द्रव्यमयाद्यज्ञाज्ज्ञानयज्ञ: परन्तप | सर्वं कर्माखिलं पार्थ ज्ञाने परिसमाप्यते || 33||

śhreyān—superior; dravya-mayāt—of material possessions; yajñāt—than the sacrifice; jñāna-yajñaḥ—sacrifice performed in knowledge; parantapa—subduer of enemies, Arjun; sarvam—all; karma—works; akhilam—all; pārtha—Arjun, the son of Pritha; jñāne—in knowledge; parisamāpyate—culminate

O subduer of enemies, sacrifice performed in knowledge is superior to any mechanical material sacrifice. After all, O Parth, all sacrifices of work culminate in knowledge.


Chapter 4, Verse 37


यथैधांसि समिद्धोऽग्निर्भस्मसात्कुरुतेऽर्जुन | ज्ञानाग्नि: सर्वकर्माणि भस्मसात्कुरुते तथा || 37||

yathā—as; edhānsi—firewood; samiddhaḥ—blazing; agniḥ—fire; bhasma-sāt—to ashes; kurute—turns; arjuna—Arjun; jñāna-agniḥ—the fire of knowledge; sarva-karmāṇi—all reactions from material activities; bhasma-sāt—to ashes; kurute—it turns; tathā—similarly

As a kindled fire reduces wood to ashes, O Arjun, so does the fire of knowledge burn to ashes all reactions from material activities.


Chapter 4, Verse 38


न हि ज्ञानेन सदृशं पवित्रमिह विद्यते | तत्स्वयं योगसंसिद्ध: कालेनात्मनि विन्दति || 38||

na—not; hi—certainly; jñānena—with divine knowledge; sadṛiśham—like; pavitram—pure; iha—in this world; vidyate—exists; tat—that; svayam—oneself; yoga—practice of yog; sansiddhaḥ—he who has attained perfection; kālena—in course of time; ātmani—wihtin the heart; vindati—finds

In this world, there is nothing as purifying as divine knowledge. One who has attained purity of mind through prolonged practice of Yog, receives such knowledge within the heart, in due course of time.


Chapter 4, Verse 40


अज्ञश्चाश्रद्दधानश्च संशयात्मा विनश्यति | नायं लोकोऽस्ति न परो न सुखं संशयात्मन: || 40||

ajñaḥ—the ignorant; cha—and; aśhraddadhānaḥ—without faith; cha—and; sanśhaya—skeptical; ātmā—a person; vinaśhyati—falls down; na—never; ayam—in this; lokaḥ—world; asti—is; na—not; paraḥ—in the next; na—not; sukham—happiness; sanśhaya-ātmanaḥ—for the skeptical soul

But persons who possess neither faith nor knowledge, and who are of a doubting nature, suffer a downfall. For the skeptical souls, there is no happiness either in this world or the next.


Karm Sanyās Yog

PATH OF RENUNCIATION

Arjuna asked: "O Krishna, You praise the path of transcendental knowledge, and also the path of selfless service, which is better of the two?" (5.01)

Lord Krishna said: "The path of Self-knowledge and the path of selfless service both lead to the supreme goal. But, of the two, the path of selfless service is superior to the path of Self-knowledge, because it is easier to practice. (5.02) The wise see no difference between the renunciation of selfish activities, and the performance of one's worldly duty without attachment to the result. Renunciation does not mean becoming a hermit. (5.04) Selfless service is the goal, and renunciation is the means."

One is a true renunciant and enlightened who:

Does all work as an offering to God abandoning attachment to the results;

Enjoys sensual pleasures with mind and senses under control;

Sees one and the same Spirit in all beings. Looks at a learned person, an outcast, even an animal with equal eye, and can feel the pain and pleasure of others as one's own;

Neither rejoices on obtaining what is pleasant, nor grieves on obtaining the unpleasant and is tranquil in pleasure and disappointment, in honor and disgrace;

Finds happiness with the Supreme Being, who rejoices the Supreme Being within, who is illuminated by Self-knowledge and remains ever steadfast with the Supreme Self;

Acts beyond personal selfish motives has neither attachment nor aversion for anything.

Has discovered the joy of spiritual knowledge, and whose mind is in union with God.

Such a person is not bound by Karma though engaged in work, and attains eternal bliss.

"The Lord neither creates the urge for action, nor the feeling of doership, nor the attachment to the result of action in people. The power of Material Nature does all this." (5.14)

Chapter 5, Verse 2


श्रीभगवानुवाच | संन्यास: कर्मयोगश्च नि:श्रेयसकरावुभौ | तयोस्तु कर्मसंन्यासात्कर्मयोगो विशिष्यते || 2||

śhrī-bhagavān uvācha—the Supreme Lord said; sanyāsaḥ—renunciation; karma-yogaḥ—working in devotion; cha—and; niḥśhreyasa-karau—lead to the supreme goal; ubhau—both; tayoḥ—of the two; tu—but; karma-sanyāsāt—renunciation of actions; karma-yogaḥ—working in devotion; viśhiṣhyate—is superior

he Supreme Lord said: Both the path of karm sanyās (renunciation of actions) and karm yog (working in devotion) lead to the supreme goal. But karm yog is superior to karm sanyās.


Chapter 5, Verse 3


ज्ञेय: स नित्यसंन्यासी यो न द्वेष्टि न काङ् क्षति | निर्द्वन्द्वो हि महाबाहो सुखं बन्धात्प्रमुच्यते || 3||

jñeyaḥ—should be considered; saḥ—that person; nitya—always; sanyāsī—practising renunciation; yaḥ—who; na—never; dveṣhṭi—hate; na—nor; kāṅkṣhati—desire; nirdvandvaḥ—free from all dualities; hi—certainly; mahā-bāho—mighty-armed one; sukham—easily; bandhāt—from bondage; pramuchyate—is liberated


The karm yogis, who neither desire nor hate anything, should be considered always renounced. Free from all dualities, they are easily liberated from the bonds of material energy.


Chapter 5, Verse 4


साङ्ख्ययोगौ पृथग्बाला: प्रवदन्ति न पण्डिता: | एकमप्यास्थित: सम्यगुभयोर्विन्दते फलम् || 4||

sānkhya—renunciation of actions; yogau—karm yog; pṛithak—different; bālāḥ—the ignorant; pravadanti—say; na—never; paṇḍitāḥ—the learned; ekam—in one; api—even; āsthitaḥ—being situated; samyak—completely; ubhayoḥ—of both; vindate—achieve; phalam—the result


Only the ignorant speak of sānkhya (renunciation of actions, or karm sanyās) and karm yog (work in devotion) as different. Those who are truly learned say that by applying ourselves to any one of these paths, we can achieve the results of both.


Chapter 5, Verse 5


यत्साङ्ख्यै: प्राप्यते स्थानं तद्योगैरपि गम्यते | एकं साङ्ख्यं च योगं च य: पश्यति स पश्यति || 5||

yat—what; sānkhyaiḥ—by means of karm sanyās; prāpyate—is attained; sthānam—place; tat—that; yogaiḥ—by working in devotion; api—also; gamyate—is attained; ekam—one; sānkhyam—renunciation of actions; cha—and; yogam—karm yog; cha—and; yaḥ—who; paśhyati—sees; saḥ—that person; paśhyati—actually sees


The supreme state that is attained by means of karm sanyās is also attained by working in devotion. Hence, those who see karm sanyās and karm yog to be identical, truly see things as they are.


Chapter 5, Verse 6


संन्यासस्तु महाबाहो दु:खमाप्तुमयोगत: | योगयुक्तो मुनिर्ब्रह्म नचिरेणाधिगच्छति || 6||

sanyāsaḥ—renunciation; tu—but; mahā-bāho—mighty-armed one; duḥkham—distress; āptum—attains; ayogataḥ—without karm-yog; yoga-yuktaḥ—one who is adept in karm-yog; muniḥ—a sage; brahma—Brahman; na chireṇa—quickly; adhigachchhati—goes


Perfect renunciation (karm sanyās) is difficult to attain without performing work in devotion (karm yog), O mighty-armed Arjun, but the sage who is adept in karm yog quickly attains the Supreme.


Chapter 5, Verse 7


योगयुक्तो विशुद्धात्मा विजितात्मा जितेन्द्रिय: | सर्वभूतात्मभूतात्मा कुर्वन्नपि न लिप्यते || 7||

yoga-yuktaḥ—united in consciousness with God; viśhuddha-ātmā—one with purified intellect; vijita-ātmā—one who has conquered the mind; jita-indriyaḥ—having conquered the senses; sarva-bhūta-ātma-bhūta-ātmā—one who sees the Soul of all souls in every living being; kurvan—performing; api—although; na—never; lipyate—entangled


The karm yogis, who are of purified intellect, and who control the mind and senses, see the Soul of all souls in every living being. Though performing all kinds of actions, they are never entangled.


Chapter 5, Verse 8,9


नैव किञ्चित्करोमीति युक्तो मन्येत तत्ववित् | पश्यञ्शृण्वन्स्पृशञ्जिघ्रन्नश्नन्गच्छन्स्वपञ्श्वसन् || 8|| प्रलपन्विसृजन्गृह्ण्न्नुन्मिषन्निमिषन्नपि | इन्द्रियाणीन्द्रियार्थेषु वर्तन्त इति धारयन् || 9||

na—not; eva—certainly; kiñchit—anything; karomi—I do; iti—thus; yuktaḥ—steadfast in karm yog; manyeta—thinks; tattva-vit—one who knows the truth; paśhyan—seeing; śhṛiṇvan—hearing; spṛiśhan—touching; jighran—smelling; aśhnan—eating; gachchhan—moving; svapan—sleeping; śhvasan—breathing; pralapan—talking; visṛijan—giving up; gṛihṇan—accepting; unmiṣhan—opening (the eyes); nimiṣhan—closing (the eyes); api—although; indriyāṇi—the senses; indriya-artheṣhu—in sense-objects; vartante—moving; iti—thus; dhārayan—convinced


Those steadfast in this karm yog, always think, “I am not the doer,” even while engaged in seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, moving, sleeping, breathing, speaking, excreting, and grasping, and opening or closing the eyes. With the light of divine knowledge, they see that it is only the material senses that are moving amongst their

Chapter 5, Verse 10


ब्रह्मण्याधाय कर्माणि सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा करोति य: | लिप्यते न स पापेन पद्मपत्रमिवाम्भसा || 10||10

blbrahmaṇi—to God; ādhāya—dedicating; karmāṇi—all actions; saṅgam—attachment; tyaktvā—abandoning; karoti—performs; yaḥ—who; lipyate—is affected; na—never; saḥ—that person; pāpena—by sin; padma-patram—a lotus leaf; iva—like; ambhasā—by waterockquote


Those who dedicate their actions to God, abandoning all attachment, remain untouched by sin, just as a lotus leaf is untouched by water.


Chapter 5, Verse 11


कायेन मनसा बुद्ध्या केवलैरिन्द्रियैरपि | योगिन: कर्म कुर्वन्ति सङ्गं त्यक्त्वात्मशुद्धये || 11||

kāyena—with the body; manasā—with the mind; buddhyā—with the intellect; kevalaiḥ—only; indriyaiḥ—with the senses; api—even; yoginaḥ—the yogis; karma—actions; kurvanti—perform; saṅgam—attachment; tyaktvā—giving up; ātma—of the self; śhuddhaye—for the purificationdiv>


The yogis, while giving up attachment, perform actions with their body, senses, mind, and intellect, only for the purpose of self-purification.


Chapter 5, Verse 12


युक्त: कर्मफलं त्यक्त्वा शान्तिमाप्नोति नैष्ठिकीम् | अयुक्त: कामकारेण फले सक्तो निबध्यते || 12||

yuktaḥ—one who is united in consciousness with God; karma-phalam—the results of all activities; tyaktvā—giving up; śhāntim—peace; āpnoti—attains; naiṣhṭhikīm—everlasting; ayuktaḥ—one who is not united with God in consciousness; kāma-kāreṇa—impelled by desires; phale—in the result; saktaḥ—attached; nibadhyate—becomes entangled


Offering the results of all activities to God, the karm yogis attain everlasting peace. Whereas those who, being impelled by their desires, work with a selfish motive become entangled because they are attached to the fruits of their actions.

Chapter 5, Verse 13


सर्वकर्माणि मनसा संन्यस्यास्ते सुखं वशी | नवद्वारे पुरे देही नैव कुर्वन्न कारयन् || 13||

sarva—all; karmāṇi—activities; manasā—by the mind; sannyasya—having renounced; āste—remains; sukham—happily; vaśhī—the self-controlled; nava-dvāre—of nine gates; pure—in the city; dehī—the embodied being; na—never; eva—certainly; kurvan—doing anything; na—not; kārayan—causing to be done>


The embodied beings who are self-controlled and detached reside happily in the city of nine gates, free from thinking they are the doers or the cause of anything.


Commentary

Shree Krishna compares the body with its openings to a city of nine gates. The soul is like the king of the city, whose administration is carried out by the ministry of the ego, intellect, mind, senses, and life-energy. The reign over the body continues until time, in the form of death, snatches away the corporeal frame. However, even while the reign continues, the enlightened yogis do not see themselves as the body nor do they consider themselves as the lord of the body. Rather, they hold the body and all activities performed by it as belonging to God. Renouncing all actions through the mind, such enlightened souls remain happily situated in their body. This is also called sākṣhī bhāv, or the attitude of being the detached observer of all that is happening around.
The analogy in this verse is also given in the Śhwetāśhvatar Upaniṣhad:

navadwāre pure dehī hanso lelāyate bahiḥ vaśhī sarvasya lokasya sthāvarasya charasya cha (3.18)

“The body consists of nine gates—two ears, one mouth, two nostrils, two eyes, anus, and genitals. In material consciousness, the soul residing with the body identifies itself with this city of nine gates. Within this body also sits the Supreme Lord, who is the controller of all living beings in the world. When the soul establishes its connection with the Lord, it becomes free like Him, even while residing in the body.” In the preceding verse, Shree Krishna declared that the embodied soul is neither the doer nor the cause of anything. Then the question arises whether God is the actual cause of actions in the world? This is answered in the next verse.

Chapter 5, Verse 14

न कर्तृत्वं न कर्माणि लोकस्य सृजति प्रभु: | न कर्मफलसंयोगं स्वभावस्तु प्रवर्तते || 14||

na—neither; kartṛitvam—sense of doership; na—nor; karmāṇi—actions; lokasya—of the people; sṛijati—creates; prabhuḥ—God; na—nor; karma-phala—fruits of actions; sanyogam—connection; svabhāvaḥ—one’s nature; tu—but; pravartate—is enacted

Neither the sense of doership nor the nature of actions comes from God; nor does He create the fruits of actions. All this is enacted by the modes of material nature (guṇas).

Chapter 5, Verse 16


ज्ञानेन तु तदज्ञानं येषां नाशितमात्मन: | तेषामादित्यवज्ज्ञानं प्रकाशयति तत्परम् || 16||

jñānena—by divine knowledge; tu—but; tat—that; ajñānam—ignorance; yeṣhām—whose; nāśhitam—has been destroyed; ātmanaḥ—of the self; teṣhām—their; āditya-vat—like the sun; jñānam—knowledge; prakāśhayati—illumines; tat—that; param—Supreme Entity

But for those, in whom this ignorance of the self is destroyed by divine knowledge, that knowledge reveals the Supreme Entity, just as the sun illumines everything in daytime.

Chapter 5, Verse 17


तद्बुद्धयस्तदात्मानस्तन्निष्ठास्तत्परायणा: | गच्छन्त्यपुनरावृत्तिं ज्ञाननिर्धूतकल्मषा: || 17||

tat-buddhayaḥ—those whose intellect is directed toward God; tat-ātmānaḥ—those whose heart (mind and intellect) is solely absorbed in God; tat-niṣhṭhāḥ—those whose intellect has firm faith in God; tat-parāyaṇāḥ—those who strive after God as the supreme goal and refuge; gachchhanti—go; apunaḥ-āvṛittim—not returning; jñāna—by knowledge; nirdhūta—dispelled; kalmaṣhāḥ—sinsdiv


Those whose intellect is fixed in God, who are wholly absorbed in God, with firm faith in Him as the supreme goal, such persons quickly reach the state from which there is no return, their sins having been dispelled by the light of knowledge.


Chapter 5, Verse 18


विद्याविनयसम्पन्ने ब्राह्मणे गवि हस्तिनि | शुनि चैव श्वपाके च पण्डिता: समदर्शिन: || 18||

blvidyā—divine knowledge; vinaya—humbleness; sampanne—equipped with; brāhmaṇe—a Brahmin; gavi—a cow; hastini—an elephant; śhuni—a dog; cha—and; eva—certainly; śhva-pāke—a dog-eater; cha—and; paṇḍitāḥ—the learned; sama-darśhinaḥ—see with equal visionockquote


The truly learned, with the eyes of divine knowledge, see with equal vision a Brahmin, a cow, an elephant, a dog, and a dog-eater.


Commentary

When we perceive things through the perspective of knowledge, it is called prajñā chakṣhu, which means “with the eyes of knowledge.” Shree Krishna uses the words vidyā sampanne to the same effect, but He also adds vinaya, meaning “humbleness.” The sign of divine knowledge is that it is accompanied by a sense of humility, while shallow bookish knowledge is accompanied with the pride of scholarship.

Shree Krishna reveals in this verse how divine knowledge bestows a vision so different from physical sight. Endowed with knowledge, devotees see all living beings as souls who are fragments of God, and are therefore divine in nature. The examples given by Shree Krishna are of diametrically contrasting species and life forms. A Vedic Brahmin who conducts worship ceremonies is respected, while a dog-eater is usually looked down upon as an outcaste; a cow is milked for human consumption, but not a dog; an elephant is used for ceremonial parades, while neither the cow or the dog are. From the physical perspective, these species are sharp contrasts in the spectrum of life on our planet. However, a truly learned person endowed with spiritual knowledge sees them all as eternal souls, and hence views them with an equal eye.

The Vedas do not support the view that the Brahmins (priestly class) are of higher caste, while the Shudras (labor class) are of lower caste. The perspective of knowledge is that even though the Brahmins conduct worship ceremonies, the Kṣhatriyas administer society, the Vaiśhyas conduct business, and the Shudras engage in labor, yet they are all eternal souls, who are tiny parts of God, and hence alike.

Chapter 5, Verse 19


इहैव तैर्जित: सर्गो येषां साम्ये स्थितं मन: | निर्दोषं हि समं ब्रह्म तस्माद् ब्रह्मणि ते स्थिता: || 19||

iha eva—in this very life; taiḥ—by them; jitaḥ—conquer; sargaḥ—the creation; yeṣhām—whose; sāmye—in equanimity; sthitam—situated; manaḥ—mind; nirdoṣham—flawless; hi—certainly; samam—in equality; brahma—God; tasmāt—therefore; brahmaṇi—in the Absolute Truth; te—they; sthitāḥ—are seateddiv


Those whose minds are established in equality of vision conquer the cycle of birth and death in this very life. They possess the flawless qualities of God, and are therefore seated in the Absolute Truth.


Chapter 5, Verse 20


न प्रहृष्येत्प्रियं प्राप्य नोद्विजेत्प्राप्य चाप्रियम् | स्थिरबुद्धिरसम्मूढो ब्रह्मविद् ब्रह्मणि स्थित: || 20||

na—neither; prahṛiṣhyet—rejoice; priyam—the pleasant; prāpya—obtaining; na—nor; udvijet—become disturbed; prāpya—attaining; cha—also; apriyam—the unpleasant; sthira-buddhiḥ—steady intellect; asammūḍhaḥ—firmly situated; brahma-vit—having a firm understanding of divine knowledge; brahmaṇi—established in God; sthitaḥ—situated


Established in God, having a firm understanding of divine knowledge and not hampered by delusion, they neither rejoice in getting something pleasant nor grieve on experiencing the unpleasant.


Chapter 5, Verse 21


बाह्यस्पर्शेष्वसक्तात्मा विन्दत्यात्मनि यत्सुखम् | स ब्रह्मयोगयुक्तात्मा सुखमक्षयमश्नुते || 21||

bāhya-sparśheṣhu—external sense pleasure; asakta-ātmā—those who are unattached; vindati—find; ātmani—in the self; yat—which; sukham—bliss; saḥ—that person; brahma-yoga yukta-ātmā—those who are united with God through yog; sukham—happiness; akṣhayam—unlimited; aśhnute—experiences


Those who are not attached to external sense pleasures realize divine bliss in the self. Being united with God through Yog, they experience unending happiness.


Chapter 5, Verse22


ये हि संस्पर्शजा भोगा दु:खयोनय एव ते | आद्यन्तवन्त: कौन्तेय न तेषु रमते बुध: || 22||

blye—which; hi—verily; sansparśha-jāḥ—born of contact with the sense objects; bhogāḥ—pleasures; duḥkha—misery; yonayaḥ—source of; eva—verily; te—they are; ādya-antavantaḥ—having beginning and end; kaunteya—Arjun, the son of Kunti; na—never; teṣhu—in those; ramate—takes delight; budhaḥ—the wiseockquote


The pleasures that arise from contact with the sense objects, though appearing as enjoyable to worldly-minded people, are verily a source of misery. O son of Kunti, such pleasures have a beginning and an end, and so the wise do not delight in them.


Chapter 5, Verse, 23


शक्नोतीहैव य: सोढुं प्राक्शरीरविमोक्षणात् | कामक्रोधोद्भवं वेगं स युक्त: स सुखी नर: || 23||

śhaknoti—is able; iha eva—in the present body; yaḥ—who; soḍhum—to withstand; prāk—before; śharīra—the body; vimokṣhaṇāt—giving up; kāma—desire; krodha—anger; udbhavam—generated from; vegam—forces; saḥ—that person; yuktaḥ—yogi; saḥ—that person; sukhī—happy; naraḥ—person

Those persons are yogis, who before giving up the body are able to check the forces of desire and anger; and they alone are happy.


Chapter 5 Verse, 24


योऽन्त:सुखोऽन्तरारामस्तथान्तज्र्योतिरेव य: । स योगी ब्रह्मनिर्वाणं ब्रह्मभूतोऽधिगच्छति ।। 24।।

yaḥ—who; antaḥ-sukhaḥ—happy within the self; antaḥ-ārāmaḥ—enjoying within the self; ; tathā—as well as; antaḥ-jyotiḥ—illumined by the inner light; eva—certainly; yaḥ—who; ; saḥ—he; yogī—yogi; brahma-nirvāṇam—liberation from material existence; brahmabhūtaḥ— united with the Lord; adhigachchhati—attains


Those who are happy within themselves, enjoying the delight of God within, and are illumined by the inner light, such yogis are united with the Lord and are liberated from material existence.


Chapter 5, Verse 25


लभन्ते ब्रह्मनिर्वाणमृषय: क्षीणकल्मषा: | छिन्नद्वैधा यतात्मान: सर्वभूतहिते रता: || 25||

labhante—achieve; brahma-nirvāṇam—liberation from material existence; ṛiṣhayaḥ—holy persons; kṣhīṇa-kalmaṣhāḥ—whose sins have been purged; chhinna—annihilated; dvaidhāḥ—doubts; yata-ātmānaḥ—whose minds are disciplined; sarva-bhūta—for all living entities; hite—in welfare work; ratāḥ—rejoice


Those holy persons, whose sins have been purged, whose doubts are annihilated, whose minds are disciplined, and who are devoted to the welfare of all beings, attain God and are liberated from material existence.


Commentary

In the preceding verse, Shree Krishna explained the state of the sages who experience the pleasure of God within themselves. In this verse, He describes the state of the sages who are actively engaged in the welfare of all beings.
The Ramayan states:

upakāra bachana mana kāyā, santa sahaja subhāu khagarāyā

“The trait of compassion is the intrinsic nature of saints. Motivated by it, they use their words, mind, and body for the welfare of others.” Human welfare is a praiseworthy endeavor. However, welfare schemes that are only committed to bodily care only result in temporary welfare. A person is hungry; he is given food, and his hunger is satiated. But after four hours, he is hungry again. Spiritual welfare goes right to the root of all material suffering, and endeavors to revive the God-consciousness of the soul. Hence, the highest welfare activity is to help a person unite his or her consciousness with God. This is the kind of welfare work that elevated souls with purified minds engage in. Such welfare activity further attracts God’s grace, which elevates them even further on the path. Finally, when they have achieved complete purification of the mind and perfected their surrender to God, they are liberated to the spiritual realm and the divine Abode. Thus far in this chapter, Shree Krishna has extolled the path of karm-yog. He now speaks the remaining verses for the karm sanyāsīs, revealing that they too attain the final goal.

Chapter 5, Verse 26


कामक्रोधवियुक्तानां यतीनां यतचेतसाम् | अभितो ब्रह्मनिर्वाणं वर्तते विदितात्मनाम् || 26||

kāma—desires; krodha—anger; vimuktānām—of those who are liberated; yatīnām—of the saintly persons; yata-chetasām—those self-realized persons who have subdued their mind; abhitaḥ—from every side; brahma—spiritual; nirvāṇam—liberation from material existence; vartate—exists; vidita-ātmanām—of those who are self-realized

For those sanyāsīs, who have broken out of anger and lust through constant effort, who have subdued their mind, and are self-realized, liberation from material existence is both here and hereafter.

Chapter 5, Verse 27,28>


स्पर्शान्कृत्वा बहिर्बाह्यांश्चक्षुश्चैवान्तरे भ्रुवो: | प्राणापानौ समौ कृत्वा नासाभ्यन्तरचारिणौ || 27|| यतेन्द्रियमनोबुद्धिर्मुनिर्मोक्षपरायण: | विगतेच्छाभयक्रोधो य: सदा मुक्त एव स: || 28||

sparśhān—contacts (through senses); kṛitvā—keeping; bahiḥ—outside; bāhyān—external; chakṣhuḥ—eyes; cha—and; eva—certainly; antare—between; bhruvoḥ—of the eyebrows; prāṇa-apānau—the outgoing and incoming breaths; samau—equal; kṛitvā—keeping; nāsa-abhyantara—within the nostrils; chāriṇau—moving; yata—controlled; indriya—senses; manaḥ—mind; buddhiḥ—intellect; muniḥ—the sage; mokṣha—liberation; parāyaṇaḥ—dedicated; vigata—free; ichchhā—desires; bhaya—fear; krodhaḥ—anger; yaḥ—who; sadā—always; muktaḥ—liberated; eva—certainly; saḥ—that person


Shutting out all thoughts of external enjoyment, with the gaze fixed on the space between the eye-brows, equalizing the flow of the incoming and outgoing breath in the nostrils, and thus controlling the senses, mind, and intellect, the sage who becomes free from desire and fear, always lives in freedom.

Chapter 5, Verse 29


भोक्तारं यज्ञतपसां सर्वलोकमहेश्वरम् | सुहृदं सर्वभूतानां ज्ञात्वा मां शान्तिमृच्छति || 29||

bhoktāram—the enjoyer; yajña—sacrifices; tapasām—austerities; sarva-loka—of all worlds; mahā-īśhvaram—the Supreme Lord; su-hṛidam—the selfless Friend; sarva—of all; bhūtānām—the living beings; jñātvā—having realized; mām—Me (Lord Krishna); śhāntim—peace; ṛichchhati—attains


Having realized Me as the enjoyer of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all the worlds and the selfless Friend of all living beings, My devotee attains peace.

Commentary

The ascetic sādhanā, explained in the previous two verses, can lead to ātma jñāna (knowledge of the self). But brahma jñāna (knowledge of God) requires the grace of God, which comes through devotion. The words sarva loka maheśhwaram mean “Sovereign Lord of all the worlds,” and suhṛidaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ means “benevolent well-wisher of all living beings.” In this way, He emphasizes that the ascetic path too is consummated in surrender to God, with the knowledge that the Supreme Lord is the enjoyer of all austerities and sacrifices. Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj has put this very nicely:
hari kā viyogī jīva govind rādhe, sañcho yog soī jo hari se milāde
(Rādhā Govind Geet)
“The soul is disconnected from God since eternity. True Yog is that which unites the soul with the Lord.” Hence, no system of Yog is complete without the inclusion of bhakti.
In His “Song of God,” Shree Krishna beautifully includes all the genuine paths of spiritual practice, but each time, at the end He qualifies them by stating that success in these paths also requires bhakti. For example, He uses this system of presentation in verses 6.46-47, 8.22, 11.53-54, 18.54-55, etc. Here too, Shree Krishna ends the topic revealing the necessity of devotion.

Dhyān Yog

PATH OF MEDITATION


Lord Krishna said: "One does not become a renunciant by merely not lighting the fire, or by abstaining from work. (6.01) For the wise, who seek to attain equanimity of mind, selfless service is said to be the means. Equanimity leads to Self-realization. (6.02) One attains perfection by renouncing attachment to the fruit of work, and to selfish desire. (6.04) One can elevate or degrade oneself by one's own mind. The mind becomes a friend to the one who has control over it, and an enemy to the one who is controlled by the mind." (6.05-06)

"Perceive the same Self (or spirit) abiding in every being, and all beings abiding in the Self. (6.29) Those who see Me in everything and see everything in Me, are not separated from Me and I am not separated from them. (6.30) Undoubtedly, O Arjuna, the mind is restless and very difficult to control, but it can be subdued by sincere spiritual practice and by detachment." (6.35)

Arjuna said: "The faithful one who deviates from the path of meditation due to an un-subdued mind --- what is the destination of such a person, O Krishna? (6.37) Does he not perish like a dispersing cloud, O Krishna, having lost both heavenly and worldly pleasures, without support and bewildered on the path of Self-realization?" (6.38)

Lord Krishna said: "There is no destruction, O Arjuna, for the one who tries to attain perfection either here or hereafter. A transcendentalist is never put to grief, My dear friend. (6.40) The less evolved unsuccessful one is reborn in the house of the pious and prosperous after attaining heaven and living there for many years. The highly evolved unsuccessful one does not go to heaven, but is born in a spiritually advanced family. A birth like that is very difficult to obtain in this world. (6.41-2) There, one regains the knowledge acquired in the previous life, and strives again to achieve perfection, O Arjuna. (6.43) The most devoted of all is the one who lovingly remembers Me with faith, and whose mind is ever absorbed in Me." (6.47)



Chapter 6, Verse 2


यं संन्यासमिति प्राहुर्योगं तं विद्धि पाण्डव | न ह्यसंन्यस्तसङ्कल्पो योगी भवति कश्चन || 2||

yam—what; sanyāsam—renunciation; iti—thus; prāhuḥ—they say; yogam—yog; tam—that; viddhi—know; pāṇḍava—Arjun, the son of Pandu; na—not; hi—certainly; asannyasta—without giving up; saṅkalpaḥ—desire; yogī—a yogi; bhavati—becomes; kaśhchana—anyone


What is known as sanyās is non-different from Yog, for none become yogis without renouncing worldly desires.


Chapter 6, Verse 3


आरुरुक्षोर्मुनेर्योगं कर्म कारणमुच्यते | योगारूढस्य तस्यैव शम: कारणमुच्यते || 3||

ārurukṣhoḥ—a beginner; muneḥ—of a sage; yogam—Yog; karma—working without attachment; kāraṇam—the cause; uchyate—is said; yoga ārūḍhasya—of those who are elevated in Yog; tasya—their; eva—certainly; śhamaḥ—meditation; kāraṇam—the cause; uchyate—is said


To the soul who is aspiring for perfection in Yog, work without attachment is said to be the means; to the sage who is already elevated in Yog, tranquility in meditation is said to be the means.


Chapter 6, Verse 5


उद्धरेदात्मनात्मानं नात्मानमवसादयेत् | आत्मैव ह्यात्मनो बन्धुरात्मैव रिपुरात्मन: || 5||

uddharet—elevate; ātmanā—through the mind; ātmānam—the self; na—not; ātmānam—the self; avasādayet—degrade; ātmā—the mind; eva—certainly; hi—indeed; ātmanaḥ—of the self; bandhuḥ—friend; ātmā—the mind; eva—certainly; ripuḥ—enemy; ātmanaḥ—of the self


Elevate yourself through the power of your mind, and not degrade yourself, for the mind can be the friend and also the enemy of the self.


Chapter 6, Verse 6


बन्धुरात्मात्मनस्तस्य येनात्मैवात्मना जित: | अनात्मनस्तु शत्रुत्वे वर्ते तात्मैव शत्रुवत् || 6||

bandhuḥ—friend; ātmā—the mind; ātmanaḥ—for the person; tasya—of him; yena—by whom; ātmā—the mind; eva—certainly; ātmanā—for the person; jitaḥ—conquered; anātmanaḥ—of those with unconquered mind; tu—but; śhatrutve—for an enemy; varteta—remains; ātmā—the mind; eva—as; śhatru-vat—like an enemy


For those who have conquered the mind, it is their friend. For those who have failed to do so, the mind works like an enemy.


Chapter 6, Verse 7


जितात्मन: प्रशान्तस्य परमात्मा समाहित: | शीतोष्णसुखदु:खेषु तथा मानापमानयो: || 7||

jita-ātmanaḥ—one who has conquered one’s mind; praśhāntasya—of the peaceful; parama-ātmā—God; samāhitaḥ—steadfast; śhīta—in cold; uṣhṇa—heat; sukha—happiness; duḥkheṣhu—and distress; tathā—also; māna—in honor; apamānayoḥ—and dishonor


The yogis who have conquered the mind rise above the dualities of cold and heat, joy and sorrow, honor and dishonor. Such yogis remain peaceful and steadfast in their devotion to God.


Chapter 6, Verse 8


ज्ञानविज्ञानतृप्तात्मा कूटस्थो विजितेन्द्रिय: | युक्त इत्युच्यते योगी समलोष्टाश्मकाञ्चन: || 8||

jñāna—knowledge; vijñāna—realized knowledge, wisdom from within; tṛipta ātmā—one fully satisfied; kūṭa-sthaḥ—undisturbed; vijita-indriyaḥ—one who has conquered the senses; yuktaḥ—one who is in constant communion with the Supreme; iti—thus; uchyate—is said; yogī—a yogi; sama—looks equally; loṣhṭra—pebbles; aśhma—stone; kāñchanaḥ—gold


The yogi who are satisfied by knowledge and discrimination, and have conquered their senses, remain undisturbed in all circumstances. They see everything—dirt, stones, and gold—as the same.


Chapter 6, Verse 9


सुहृन्मित्रार्युदासीनमध्यस्थद्वेष्यबन्धुषु | साधुष्वपि च पापेषु समबुद्धिर्विशिष्यते || 9||

su-hṛit—toward the well-wishers; mitra—friends; ari—enemies; udāsīna—neutral persons; madhya-stha—mediators; dveṣhya—the envious; bandhuṣhu—relatives; sādhuṣhu—pious; api—as well as; cha—and; pāpeṣhu—the sinners; sama-buddhiḥ—of impartial intellect; viśhiṣhyate—is distinguished


The yogis look upon all—well-wishers, friends, foes, the pious, and the sinners—with an impartial intellect. The yogi who is of equal intellect toward friend, companion, and foe, neutral among enemies and relatives, and impartial between the righteous and sinful, is considered to be distinguished among humans.


Chapter 6, Verse 10


योगी युञ्जीत सततमात्मानं रहसि स्थित: | एकाकी यतचित्तात्मा निराशीरपरिग्रह: || 10||

yogī—a yogi; yuñjīta—should remain engaged in meditation; satatam—constantly; ātmānam—self; rahasi—in seclusion; sthitaḥ—remaining; ekākī—alone; yata-chitta-ātmā—with a controlled mind and body; nirāśhīḥ—free from desires; aparigrahaḥ—free from desires for possessions for enjoyment


Those who seek the state of Yog should reside in seclusion, constantly engaged in meditation with a controlled mind and body, getting rid of desires and possessions for enjoyment.


Chapter 6, Verse 11


शुचौ देशे प्रतिष्ठाप्य स्थिरमासनमात्मन: | नात्युच्छ्रितं नातिनीचं चैलाजिनकुशोत्तरम् || 11||

śhuchau—in a clean; deśhe—place; pratiṣhṭhāpya—having established; sthiram—steadfast; āsanam—seat; ātmanaḥ—his own; na—not; ati—too; uchchhritam—high; na—not; ati—too; nīcham—low; chaila—cloth; ajina—a deerskin; kuśha—kuśh grass; uttaram—one over the other


To practice Yog, one should make an āsan (seat) in a sanctified place, by placing kuśh grass, deer skin, and a cloth, one over the other. The āsan should be neither too high nor too low.


Shree Krishna explains in this verse the external practice for sādhanā. Śhuchau deśhe means a pure or sanctified place. In the initial stages, the external environment does impact the mind. In later stages of sādhanā, one is able to achieve internal purity even in dirty and unclean places. But for neophytes, clean surroundings help in keeping the mind clean as well. A mat of kuśh grass provides temperature insulation from the ground, akin to the yoga mats of today. The deer skin atop it deters poisonous pests like snakes and scorpions from approaching while one is absorbed in meditation. If the āsan is too high, there is the risk of falling off; if the āsan is too low, there is danger of disturbance from insects on the ground. Some instructions regarding external seating given in this verse may be somewhat anachronous to modern times, in which case the spirit of the instruction is to be absorbed in the thought of God, while the instructions for the internal practice remain the same.

Chapter 6, Verse 12,13


तत्रैकाग्रं मन: कृत्वा यतचित्तेन्द्रियक्रिय: | उपविश्यासने युञ्ज्याद्योगमात्मविशुद्धये || 12|| समं कायशिरोग्रीवं धारयन्नचलं स्थिर: | सम्प्रेक्ष्य नासिकाग्रं स्वं दिशश्चानवलोकयन् || 13||

tatra—there; eka-agram—one-pointed; manaḥ—mind; kṛitvā—having made; yata-chitta—controlling the mind; indriya—senses; kriyaḥ—activities; upaviśhya—being seated; āsane—on the seat; yuñjyāt yogam—should strive to practice yog; ātma viśhuddhaye—for purification of the mind; samam—straight; kāya—body; śhiraḥ—head; grīvam—neck; dhārayan—holding; achalam—unmoving; sthiraḥ—still; samprekṣhya—gazing; nāsika-agram—at the tip of the nose; svam—own; diśhaḥ—directions; cha—and; anavalokayan—not looking


Seated firmly on it, the yogi should strive to purify the mind by focusing it in meditation with one pointed concentration, controlling all thoughts and activities. He must hold the body, neck, and head firmly in a straight line, and gaze at the tip of the nose, without allowing the eyes to wander.


Chapter 6, Verse 14


प्रशान्तात्मा विगतभीर्ब्रह्मचारिव्रते स्थित: | मन: संयम्य मच्चित्तो युक्त आसीत मत्पर: || 14||

praśhānta—serene; ātmā—mind; vigata-bhīḥ—fearless; brahmachāri-vrate—in the vow of celibacy; sthitaḥ—situated; manaḥ—mind; sanyamya—having controlled; mat-chittaḥ—meditate on me (Shree Krishna); yuktaḥ—engaged; āsīta—should sit; mat-paraḥ—having me as the supreme goal


Thus, with a serene, fearless, and unwavering mind, and staunch in the vow of celibacy, the vigilant yogi should meditate on me, having me alone as the supreme goal.


Chapter 6, Verse 16


नात्यश्नतस्तु योगोऽस्ति न चैकान्तमनश्नत: | न चाति स्वप्नशीलस्य जाग्रतो नैव चार्जुन || 16||

na—not; ati—too much; aśhnataḥ—of one who eats; tu—however; yogaḥ—Yog; asti—there is; na—not; cha—and; ekāntam—at all; anaśhnataḥ—abstaining from eating; na—not; cha—and; ati—too much; svapna-śhīlasya—of one who sleeps; jāgrataḥ—of one who does not sleep enough; na—not; eva—certainly; cha—and; arjuna—Arjun


O Arjun, those who eat too much or eat too little, sleep too much or too little, cannot attain success in Yog.


Chapter 6, Verse 17


युक्ताहारविहारस्य युक्तचेष्टस्य कर्मसु | युक्तस्वप्नावबोधस्य योगो भवति दु:खहा || 17||

yukta—moderate; āhāra—eating; vihārasya—recreation; yukta cheṣhṭasya karmasu—balanced in work; yukta—regulated; svapna-avabodhasya—sleep and wakefulness; yogaḥ—Yog; bhavati—becomes; duḥkha-hā—the slayer of sorrows


But those who are temperate in eating and recreation, balanced in work, and regulated in sleep, can mitigate all sorrows by practicing Yog.


Chapter 6, Verse 18


यदा विनियतं चित्तमात्मन्येवावतिष्ठते | नि:स्पृह: सर्वकामेभ्यो युक्त इत्युच्यते तदा || 18||

yadā—when; viniyatam—fully controlled; chittam—the mind; ātmani—of the self; eva—certainly; avatiṣhṭhate—stays; nispṛihaḥ—free from cravings; sarva—all; kāmebhyaḥ—for yearning of the senses; yuktaḥ—situated in perfect Yog; iti—thus; uchyate—is said; tadā—then


With thorough discipline, they learn to withdraw the mind from selfish cravings and rivet it on the unsurpassable good of the self. Such persons are said to be in Yog, and are free from all yearning of the senses.


Chapter 6, Verse 19


यथा दीपो निवातस्थो नेङ्गते सोपमा स्मृता | योगिनो यतचित्तस्य युञ्जतो योगमात्मन: || 19||

yathā—as; dīpaḥ—a lamp; nivāta-sthaḥ—in a windless place; na—does not; iṅgate—flickers; sā—this; upamā—analogy; smṛitā—is considered; yoginaḥ—of a yogi; yata-chittasya—whose mind is disciplined; yuñjataḥ—steadily practicing; yogam—in meditation; ātmanaḥ—on the Supreme


Just as a lamp in a windless place does not flicker, so the disciplined mind of a yogi remains steady in meditation on the self.


Chapter 6, Verse 20


यत्रोपरमते चित्तं निरुद्धं योगसेवया | यत्र चैवात्मनात्मानं पश्यन्नात्मनि तुष्यति || 20||

yatra—when; uparamate—rejoice inner joy; chittam—the mind; niruddham—restrained; yoga-sevayā—by the practice of yog; yatra—when; cha—and; eva—certainly; ātmanā—through the purified mind; ātmānam—the soul; paśhyan—behold; ātmani—in the self; tuṣhyati—is satisfied


When the mind, restrained from material activities, becomes still by the practice of Yog, then the yogi is able to behold the soul through the purified mind, and he rejoices in the inner joy.


Chapter 6, Verse 21


सुखमात्यन्तिकं यत्तद्बुद्धिग्राह्यमतीन्द्रियम् | वेत्ति यत्र न चैवायं स्थितश्चलति तत्वत: || 21||

sukham—happiness; ātyantikam—limitless; yat—which; tat—that; buddhi—by intellect; grāhyam—grasp; atīndriyam—transcending the senses; vetti—knows; yatra—wherein; na—never; cha—and; eva—certainly; ayam—he; sthitaḥ—situated; chalati—deviates; tattvataḥ—from the Eternal Truth


In that joyous state of Yog, called samādhi, one experiences supreme boundless divine bliss, and thus situated, one never deviates from the Eternal Truth.


Chapter 6, Verse 22


यं लब्ध्वा चापरं लाभं मन्यते नाधिकं तत: | यस्मिन्स्थितो न दु:खेन गुरुणापि विचाल्यते || 22||

yam—which; labdhvā—having gained; cha—and; aparam—any other; lābham—gain; manyate—considers; na—not; adhikam—greater; tataḥ—than that; yasmin—in which; sthitaḥ—being situated; na—never; duḥkhena—by sorrow; guruṇā—(by) the greatest; api—even; vichālyate—is shaken


Having gained that state, one does not consider any attainment to be greater. Being thus established, one is not shaken even in the midst of the greatest calamity.


Chapter 6, Verse 23


तं विद्याद् दु:खसंयोगवियोगं योगसञ्ज्ञितम् | स निश्चयेन योक्तव्यो योगोऽनिर्विण्णचेतसा || 23||

tam—that; vidyāt—you should know; duḥkha-sanyoga-viyogam—state of severance from union with misery; yoga-saṁjñitam—is known as yog; saḥ—that; niśhchayena—resolutely; yoktavyaḥ—should be practiced; yogaḥ—yog; anirviṇṇa-chetasā—with an undeviating mind


That state of severance from union with misery is known as Yog. This Yog should be resolutely practiced with determination free from pessimism.


Chapter 6, Verse 24,25


सङ्कल्पप्रभवान्कामांस्त्यक्त्वा सर्वानशेषत: | मनसैवेन्द्रियग्रामं विनियम्य समन्तत: || 24|| शनै: शनैरुपरमेद्बुद्ध्या धृतिगृहीतया | आत्मसंस्थं मन: कृत्वा न किञ्चिदपि चिन्तयेत् || 25||

saṅkalpa—a resolve; prabhavān—born of; kāmān—desires; tyaktvā—having abandoned; sarvān—all; aśheṣhataḥ—completely; manasā—through the mind; eva—certainly; indriya-grāmam—the group of senses; viniyamya—restraining; samantataḥ—from all sides; śhanaiḥ—gradually; śhanaiḥ—gradually; uparamet—attain peace; buddhyā—by intellect; dhṛiti-gṛihītayā—achieved through determination of resolve that is in accordance with scriptures; ātma-sanstham—fixed in God; manaḥ—mind; kṛitvā—having made; na—not; kiñchit—anything; api—even; chintayet—should think of


Completely renouncing all desires arising from thoughts of the world, one should restrain the senses from all sides with the mind. Slowly and steadily, with conviction in the intellect, the mind will become fixed in God alone, and will think of nothing else.


Chapter 6, Verse 26


यतो यतो निश्चरति मनश्चञ्चलमस्थिरम् | ततस्ततो नियम्यैतदात्मन्येव वशं नयेत् || 26||

yataḥ yataḥ—whenever and wherever; niśhcharati—wanders; manaḥ—the mind; chañchalam—restless; asthiram—unsteady; tataḥ tataḥ—from there; niyamya—having restrained; etat—this; ātmani—on God; eva—certainly; vaśham—control; nayet—should bring


Whenever and wherever the restless and unsteady mind wanders, one should bring it back and continually focus it on God.


Chapter 6, Verse 30


यो मां पश्यति सर्वत्र सर्वं च मयि पश्यति | तस्याहं न प्रणश्यामि स च मे न प्रणश्यति || 30||

yaḥ—who; mām—me; paśhyati—see; sarvatra—everywhere; sarvam—everything; cha—and; mayi—in me; paśhyati—see; tasya—for him; aham—I; na—not; praṇaśhyāmi—lost; saḥ—that person; cha—and; me—to me; na—nor; praṇaśhyati—lost


For those who see me everywhere and see all things in me, I am never lost, nor are they ever lost to me.


Chapter 6, Verse 32


आत्मौपम्येन सर्वत्र समं पश्यति योऽर्जुन | सुखं वा यदि वा दु:खं स योगी परमो मत: || 32||

ātma-aupamyena—similar to oneself; sarvatra—everywhere; samam—equally; paśhyati—see; yaḥ—who; arjuna—Arjun; sukham—joy; vā—or; yadi—if; vā—or; duḥkham—sorrow; saḥ—such; yogī—a yogi; paramaḥ—highest; mataḥ—is considered


I regard them to be perfect yogis who see the true equality of all living beings and respond to the joys and sorrows of others as if they were their own.


We consider all the limbs of our body as ours, and are equally concerned if any of them is damaged. We are incontrovertible in the conviction that the harm done to any of our limbs is harm done to ourselves. Similarly, those who see God in all beings consider the joys and sorrows of others as their own. Therefore, such yogis are always the well-wishers of all souls and they strive for the eternal benefit of all. This is the sama-darśhana (equality of vision) of perfected yogis.

Chapter 6, Verse 37


अर्जुन उवाच | अयति: श्रद्धयोपेतो योगाच्चलितमानस: | अप्राप्य योगसंसिद्धिं कां गतिं कृष्ण गच्छति || 37||

arjunaḥ uvācha—Arjun said; ayatiḥ—lax; śhraddhayā—with faith; upetaḥ—possessed; yogāt—from Yog; chalita-mānasaḥ—whose mind becomes deviated; aprāpya—failing to attain; yoga-sansiddhim—the highest perfection in yog; kām—which; gatim—destination; kṛiṣhṇa—Shree Krishna; gachchhati—goes


Arjun said: What is the fate of the unsuccessful yogi who begins the path with faith, but who does not endeavor sufficiently, due to unsteady mind, and is unable to reach the goal of Yog in this life?


Chapter 6, Verse 38


कच्चिन्नोभयविभ्रष्टश्छिन्नाभ्रमिव नश्यति | अप्रतिष्ठो महाबाहो विमूढो ब्रह्मण: पथि || 38||

kachchit—whether; na—not; ubhaya—both; vibhraṣhṭaḥ—deviated from; chhinna—broken; abhram—cloud; iva—like; naśhyati—perishes; apratiṣhṭhaḥ—without any support; mahā-bāho—mighty-armed Krishna; vimūḍhaḥ—bewildered; brahmaṇaḥ—of God-realization; pathi—one on the path


Does not such a person who deviates from Yog get deprived of both material and spiritual success, O mighty-armed Krishna, and perish like a broken cloud with no position in either sphere?


Chapter 6, Verse 40


श्रीभगवानुवाच | पार्थ नैवेह नामुत्र विनाशस्तस्य विद्यते | न हि कल्याणकृत्कश्चिद्दुर्गतिं तात गच्छति || 40||

śhrī-bhagavān uvācha—the Supreme Lord said; pārtha—Arjun, the son of Pritha; na eva—never; iha—in this world; na—never; amutra—in the next world; vināśhaḥ—destruction; tasya—his; vidyate—exists; na—never; hi—certainly; kalyāṇa-kṛit—one who strives for God-realization; kaśhchit—anyone; durgatim—evil destination; tāta—my friend; gachchhati—goes


The Supreme Lord said: O Parth, One who engages on the spiritual path does not meet with destruction either in this world or the world to come. My dear friend, one who strives for God-realization is never overcome by evil.


Chapter 6, Verse 41,42


प्राप्य पुण्यकृतां लोकानुषित्वा शाश्वती: समा: | शुचीनां श्रीमतां गेहे योगभ्रष्टोऽभिजायते || 41|| अथवा योगिनामेव कुले भवति धीमताम् | एतद्धि दुर्लभतरं लोके जन्म यदीदृशम् || 42||

prāpya—attain; puṇya-kṛitām—of the virtuous; lokān—abodes; uṣhitvā—after dwelling; śhāśhvatīḥ—many; samāḥ—ages; śhuchīnām—of the pious; śhrī-matām—of the prosperous; gehe—in the house; yoga-bhraṣhṭaḥ—the unsuccessful yogis; abhijāyate—take birth; atha vā—else; yoginām—of those endowed with divine wisdom; eva—certainly; kule—in the family; bhavati—take birth; dhī-matām—of the wise; etat—this; hi—certainly; durlabha-taram—very rare; loke—in this world; janma—birth; yat—which; īdṛiśham—like this


The unsuccessful yogis, upon death, go to the abodes of the virtuous. After dwelling there for many ages, they are again reborn in the earth plane, into a family of pious and prosperous people. Else, if they had developed dispassion due to long practice of Yog, they are born into a family endowed with divine wisdom. Such a birth is very difficult to attain in this world.


Chapter 6, Verse 43


तत्र तं बुद्धिसंयोगं लभते पौर्वदेहिकम् | यतते च ततो भूय: संसिद्धौ कुरुनन्दन || 43||

tatra—there; tam—that; buddhi-sanyogam—reawaken their wisdom; labhate—obtains; paurva-dehikam—from the previous lives; yatate—strives; cha—and; tataḥ—thereafter; bhūyaḥ—again; sansiddhau—for perfection; kuru-nandana—Arjun, descendant of the Kurus


On taking such a birth, O descendant of Kurus, they reawaken the wisdom of their previous lives, and strive even harder toward perfection in Yog.


Chapter 6, Verse 44


पूर्वाभ्यासेन तेनैव ह्रियते ह्यवशोऽपि स: | जिज्ञासुरपि योगस्य शब्दब्रह्मातिवर्तते || 44||

pūrva—past; abhyāsena—discipline; tena—by that; eva—certainly; hriyate—is attracted; hi—surely; avaśhaḥ—helplessly; api—although; saḥ—that person; jijñāsuḥ—inquisitive; api—even; yogasya—about yog; śhabda-brahma—fruitive portion of the Vedas; ativartate—transcends


Indeed, they feel drawn toward God, even against their will, on the strength of their past discipline. Such seekers naturally rise above the ritualistic principles of the scriptures.


Chapter 6, Verse 45


प्रयत्नाद्यतमानस्तु योगी संशुद्धकिल्बिष: | अनेकजन्मसंसिद्धस्ततो याति परां गतिम् || 45||

prayatnāt—with great effort; yatamānaḥ—endeavoring; tu—and; yogī—a yogi; sanśhuddha—purified; kilbiṣhaḥ—from material desires; aneka—after many, many; janma—births; sansiddhaḥ—attain perfection; tataḥ—then; yāti—attains; parām—the highest; gatim—path


With the accumulated merits of many past births, when these yogis engage in sincere endeavor in making further progress, they become purified from material desires and attain perfection in this life itself.


Chapter 6, Verse 46


तपस्विभ्योऽधिकोयोगी ज्ञानिभ्योऽपिमतोऽधिक:| कर्मिभ्यश्चाधिकोयोगी तस्माद्योगीभवार्जुन|| 46||

tapasvibhyaḥ—than the ascetics; adhikaḥ—superior; yogī—a yogi; jñānibhyaḥ—than the persons of learning; api—even; mataḥ—considered; adhikaḥ—superior; karmibhyaḥ—than the ritualistic performers; cha—and; adhikaḥ—superior; yogī—a yogi; tasmāt—therefore; yogī—a yogi; bhava—just become; arjuna—Arjun


A yogi is superior to the tapasvī (ascetic), superior to the jñānī (a person of learning), and even superior to the karmī (ritualistic performer). Therefore, O Arjun, strive to be a yogi.


Chapter 6, Verse 47


योगिनामपि सर्वेषां मद्गतेनान्तरात्मना | श्रद्धावान्भजते यो मां स मे युक्ततमो मत: || 47||

yoginām—of all yogis; api—however; sarveṣhām—all types of; mat-gatena—absorbed in me (God); antaḥ—inner; ātmanā—with the mind; śhraddhā-vān—with great faith; bhajate—engage in devotion; yaḥ—who; mām—to me; saḥ—he; me—by me; yukta-tamaḥ—the highest yogi; mataḥ—is considered


Of all yogis, those whose minds are always absorbed in me, and who engage in devotion to me with great faith, them I consider to be the highest of all.


SELF-KNOWLEDGE AND ENLIGHTENMENT, Bhakti Yog

Lord Krishna said: "O Arjuna, listen to how you shall know Me fully without any doubt, with your mind absorbed in Me, taking refuge in Me, and trying to reach Me." (7.01)

"Material Nature or matter is My lower energy. My other higher energy is the Spirit by which this entire universe is sustained, O Arjuna. (7.05) Know that all creatures have evolved from this twofold energy; and the Supreme Spirit is the source of origin as well as dissolution of the entire universe. (7.06) There is nothing higher than the Supreme Being, O Arjuna. Everything in the universe is strung on the Supreme Being, like jewels strung on a necklace." (7.07)

"Know that three modes of Material Nature --- goodness, passion, and ignorance --- also emanate from Me. I am not dependent on, or affected by, the modes of Material Nature; but the modes of Material Nature are dependent on Me. (7.12) Human beings are deluded by various aspects of these three modes of Material Nature; therefore, they do not understand Me, I am eternal and above these modes." (7.13)

"This divine power (Maya) of Mine, consisting of three states of mind or matter, is very difficult to overcome. Only those who surrender unto Me easily cross over this Maya. (7.14) Four types of virtuous ones worship or seek Me, O Arjuna. They are:

the distressed, ·the seeker of Self-knowledge,
·the seeker of wealth, and
·the enlightened one who has experienced the Supreme Being. (7.16)

The wise surrender to Me by realizing --- after many births --- that everything in the universe and the world is nothing but My manifestation. Such a great soul is very rare." (7.19)
"Whosoever desires to worship whatever deity --- using whatever name, form, and method --- with faith, I make their faith steady in that deity. Endowed with steady faith they worship that deity, and obtain their wishes through that deity. Those wishes are granted by Me." (7.22)


Chapter 7, Verse 3


मनुष्याणां सहस्रेषु कश्चिद्यतति सिद्धये | यततामपि सिद्धानां कश्चिन्मां वेत्ति तत्वत: || 3||

manuṣhyāṇām—of men; sahasreṣhu—out of many thousands; kaśhchit—someone; yatati—strives; siddhaye—for perfection; yatatām—of those who strive; api—even; siddhānām—of those who have achieved perfection; kaśhchit—someone; mām—me; vetti—knows; tattvataḥ—in truth


Amongst thousands of persons, hardly one strives for perfection; and amongst those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows me in truth.


Chapter 7, Verse 4


भूमिरापोऽनलो वायु: खं मनो बुद्धिरेव च | अहङ्कार इतीयं मे भिन्ना प्रकृतिरष्टधा || 4||

bhūmiḥ—earth; āpaḥ—water; analaḥ—fire; vāyuḥ—air; kham—space; manaḥ—mind; buddhiḥ—intellect; eva—certainly; cha—and; ahankāraḥ—ego; iti—thus; iyam—all these; me—my; bhinnā—divisions; prakṛitiḥ—material energy; aṣhṭadhā—eightfold

Earth, water, fire, air, space, mind, intellect, and ego—these are eight components of my material energy.


Chapter 7, Verse 5


अपरेयमितस्त्वन्यां प्रकृतिं विद्धि मे पराम् | जीवभूतां महाबाहो ययेदं धार्यते जगत् || 5||

aparā—inferior; iyam—this; itaḥ—besides this; tu—but; anyām—another; prakṛitim—energy; viddhi—know; me—my; parām—superior; jīva-bhūtām—living beings; mahā-bāho—mighty-armed one; yayā—by whom; idam—this; dhāryate—the basis; jagat—the material world


Such is my inferior energy. But beyond it, O mighty-armed Arjun, I have a superior energy. This is the jīva śhakti (the soul energy), which comprises the embodied souls who are the basis of life in this world.


Chapter 7, Verse 6


एतद्योनीनि भूतानि सर्वाणीत्युपधारय | अहं कृत्स्नस्य जगत: प्रभव: प्रलयस्तथा || 6||

etat yonīni—these two (energies) are the source of; bhūtāni—living beings; sarvāṇi—all; iti—that; upadhāraya—know; aham—I; kṛitsnasya—entire; jagataḥ—creation; prabhavaḥ—the source; pralayaḥ—dissolution; tathā—and


Know that all living beings are manifested by these two energies of mine. I am the source of the entire creation, and into me it again dissolves.


Chapter 7, Verse 7


मत्त: परतरं नान्यत्किञ्चिदस्ति धनञ्जय | मयि सर्वमिदं प्रोतं सूत्रे मणिगणा इव || 7||

mattaḥ—than me; para-taram—superior; na—not; anyat kiñchit—anything else; asti—there is; dhanañjaya—Arjun, conqueror of wealth; mayi—in me; sarvam—all; idam—which we see; protam—is strung; sūtre—on a thread; maṇi-gaṇāḥ—beads; iva—like


There is nothing higher than myself, O Arjun. Everything rests in me, as beads strung on a thread.


Chapter 7, Verse 8


रसोऽहमप्सु कौन्तेय प्रभास्मि शशिसूर्ययो: | प्रणव: सर्ववेदेषु शब्द: खे पौरुषं नृषु || 8||

rasaḥ—taste; aham—I; apsu—in water; kaunteya—Arjun, the son of Kunti; prabhā—the radiance; asmi—I am; śhaśhi-sūryayoḥ—of the moon and the sun; praṇavaḥ—the sacred syllable Om; sarva—in all; vedeṣhu—Vedas; śhabdaḥ—sound; khe—in ether; pauruṣham—ability; nṛiṣhu—in humans


I am the taste in water, O son of Kunti, and the radiance of the sun and the moon. I am the sacred syllable Om in the Vedic mantras; I am the sound in ether, and the ability in humans.


Chapter 7, Verse 9


पुण्यो गन्ध: पृथिव्यां च तेजश्चास्मि विभावसौ | जीवनं सर्वभूतेषु तपश्चास्मि तपस्विषु || 9||

puṇyaḥ—pure; gandhaḥ—fragrance; pṛithivyām—of the earth; cha—and; tejaḥ—brilliance; cha—and; asmi—I am; vibhāvasau—in the fire; jīvanam—the life-force; sarva—in all; bhūteṣhu—beings; tapaḥ—penance; cha—and; asmi—I am; tapasviṣhu—of the ascetics


I am the pure fragrance of the Earth, and the brilliance in fire. I am the life-force in all beings, and the penance of the ascetics.


Chapter 7, Verse 10


बीजं मां सर्वभूतानां विद्धि पार्थ सनातनम् | बुद्धिर्बुद्धिमतामस्मि तेजस्तेजस्विनामहम् || 10||

bījam—the seed; mām—me; sarva-bhūtānām—of all beings; viddhi—know; pārtha—Arjun, the son of Pritha; sanātanam—the eternal; buddhiḥ—intellect; buddhi-matām—of the intelligent; asmi—(I) am; tejaḥ—splendor; tejasvinām—of the splendid; aham—I


O Arjun, know that I am the eternal seed of all beings. I am the intellect of the intelligent, and the splendor of the glorious.


Chapter 7, Verse 11


बलं बलवतां चाहं कामरागविवर्जितम् | धर्माविरुद्धो भूतेषु कामोऽस्मि भरतर्षभ || 11||

balam—strength; bala-vatām—of the strong; cha—and; aham—I; kāma—desire; rāga—passion; vivarjitam—devoid of; dharma-aviruddhaḥ—not conflicting with dharma; bhūteṣhu—in all beings; kāmaḥ—sexual activity; asmi—(I) am; bharata-ṛiṣhabha—Arjun, the best of the Bharats


O best of the Bharatas, in strong persons, I am their strength devoid of desire and passion. I am sexual activity not conflicting with virtue or scriptural injunctions.


Chapter 7, Verse 12


ये चैव सात्विका भावा राजसास्तामसाश्च ये | मत्त एवेति तान्विद्धि न त्वहं तेषु ते मयि || 12||

ye—whatever; cha—and; eva—certainly; sāttvikāḥ—in the mode of goodness; bhāvāḥ—states of material existence; rājasāḥ—in the mode of passion; tāmasāḥ—in the mode of ignorance; cha—and; ye—whatever; mattaḥ—from me; eva—certainly; iti—thus; tān—those; viddhi—know; na—not; tu—but; aham—I; teṣhu—in them; te—they; mayi—in me


The three states of material existence—goodness, passion, and ignorance—are manifested by my energy. They are in me, but I am beyond them.


Chapter 7, Verse 13


त्रिभिर्गुणमयैर्भावैरेभि: सर्वमिदं जगत् | मोहितं नाभिजानाति मामेभ्य: परमव्ययम् || 13||

tribhiḥ—by three; guṇa-mayaiḥ—consisting of the modes of material nature; bhāvaiḥ—states; ebhiḥ—all these; sarvam—whole; idam—this; jagat—universe; mohitam—deluded; na—not; abhijānāti—know; mām—me; ebhyaḥ—these; param—the supreme; avyayam—imperishable


Deluded by the three modes of Maya, the people in this world are unable to know me, the imperishable and eternal.


Chapter 7, Verse 14


दैवी ह्येषा गुणमयी मम माया दुरत्यया | मामेव ये प्रपद्यन्ते मायामेतां तरन्ति ते || 14||

daivī—divine; hi—certainly; eṣhā—this; guṇa-mayī—consisting of the three modes of nature; mama—my; māyā—one of God’s energies. It that veils God’s true nature from souls who have not yet attained the eligibility for God-realization; duratyayā—very difficult to overcome; mām—unto me; eva—certainly; ye—who; prapadyante—surrender; māyām etām—this Maya; taranti—cross over; te—they


My divine energy Maya, consisting of the three modes of nature, is very difficult to overcome. But those who surrender unto me cross over it easily.


Chapter 7, Verse 15


न मां दुष्कृतिनो मूढा: प्रपद्यन्ते नराधमा: | माययापहृतज्ञाना आसुरं भावमाश्रिता: || 15||

na—not; mām—unto me; duṣhkṛitinaḥ—the evil doers; mūḍhāḥ—the ignorant; prapadyante—surrender; nara-adhamāḥ—one who lazily follows one’s lower nature; māyayā—by God’s material energy; apahṛita jñānāḥ—those with deluded intellect; āsuram—demoniac; bhāvam—nature; āśhritāḥ—surrender


Four kinds of people do not surrender unto me—those ignorant of knowledge, those who lazily follow their lower nature though capable of knowing me, those with deluded intellect, and those with a demoniac nature.


Chapter 7, Verse 16


चतुर्विधा भजन्ते मां जना: सुकृतिनोऽर्जुन | आर्तो जिज्ञासुरर्थार्थी ज्ञानी च भरतर्षभ || 16||

chatuḥ-vidhāḥ—four kinds; bhajante—worship; mām—me; janāḥ—people; su-kṛitinaḥ—those who are pious; arjuna—Arjun; ārtaḥ—the distressed; jijñāsuḥ—the seekers of knowledge; artha-arthī—the seekers of material gain; jñānī—those who are situated in knowledge; cha—and; bharata-ṛiṣhabha—The best amongst the Bharatas, Arjun


O best amongst the Bharatas, four kinds of pious people engage in my devotion—the distressed, the seekers after knowledge, the seekers of worldly possessions, and those who are situated in knowledge.


Chapter 7, Verse 17


तेषां ज्ञानी नित्ययुक्त एकभक्तिर्विशिष्यते | प्रियो हि ज्ञानिनोऽत्यर्थमहं स च मम प्रिय: || 17||

teṣhām—amongst these; jñānī—those who are situated in knowledge; nitya-yuktaḥ—ever steadfast; eka—exclusively; bhaktiḥ—devotion; viśhiṣhyate—highest; priyaḥ—very dear; hi—certainly; jñāninaḥ—to the person in knowledge; atyartham—highly; aham—I; saḥ—he; cha—and; mama—to me; priyaḥ—dear


Amongst these, I consider them to be the highest, who worship me with knowledge, and are steadfastly and exclusively devoted to me. I am very dear to them and they are dear to me.


Chapter 7, Verse 18


उदारा: सर्व एवैते ज्ञानी त्वात्मैव मे मतम् | आस्थित: स हि युक्तात्मा मामेवानुत्तमां गतिम् || 18||

udārāḥ—noble; sarve—all; eva—indeed; ete—these; jñānī—those in knowledge; tu—but; ātmā eva—my very self; me—my; matam—opinion; āsthitaḥ—situated; saḥ—he; hi—certainly; yukta-ātmā—those who are united; mām—in me; eva—certainly; anuttamām—the supreme; gatim—goal


Indeed, all those who are devoted to me are indeed noble. But those in knowledge, who are of steadfast mind, whose intellect is merged in me, and who have made me alone as their supreme goal, I consider as my very self.


Chapter 7, Verse 19


बहूनां जन्मनामन्ते ज्ञानवान्मां प्रपद्यते | वासुदेव: सर्वमिति स महात्मा सुदुर्लभ: || 19||

bahūnām—many; janmanām—births; ante—after; jñāna-vān—one who is endowed with knowledge; mām—unto me; prapadyate—surrenders; vāsudevaḥ—Shree Krishna, the son of Vasudev; sarvam—all; iti—that; saḥ—that; mahā-ātmā—great soul; su-durlabhaḥ—very rare


After many births of spiritual practice, one who is endowed with knowledge surrenders unto me, knowing me to be all that is. Such a great soul is indeed very rare.


Chapter 7, Verse 21


यो यो यां यां तनुं भक्त: श्रद्धयार्चितुमिच्छति | तस्य तस्याचलां श्रद्धां तामेव विदधाम्यहम् || 21||

yaḥ yaḥ—whoever; yām yām—whichever; tanum—form; bhaktaḥ—devotee; śhraddhayā—with faith; architum—to worship; ichchhati—desires; tasya tasya—to him; achalām—steady; śhraddhām—faith; tām—in that; eva—certainly; vidadhāmi—bestow; aham—I


Whatever celestial form a devotee seeks to worship with faith, I steady the faith of such a devotee in that form.


Chapter 7, Verse 22


स तया श्रद्धया युक्तस्तस्याराधनमीहते | लभते च तत: कामान्मयैव विहितान्हि तान् || 22||

saḥ—he; tayā—with that; śhraddhayā—faith; yuktaḥ—endowed with; tasya—of that; ārādhanam—worship; īhate—tries to engange in; labhate—obtains; cha—and; tataḥ—from that; kāmān—desires; mayā—by me; eva—alone; vihitān—granted; hi—certainly; tān—those


Endowed with faith, the devotee worships a particular celestial god and obtains the objects of desire. But in reality I alone arrange these benefits.


Chapter 7, Verse 23


अन्तवत्तु फलं तेषां तद्भवत्यल्पमेधसाम् | देवान्देवयजो यान्ति मद्भक्ता यान्ति मामपि || 23||

anta-vat—perishable; tu—but; phalam—fruit; teṣhām—by them; tat—that; bhavati—is; alpa-medhasām—people of small understanding; devān—to the celestial gods; deva-yajaḥ—the worshipers of the celestial gods; yānti—go; mat—my; bhaktāḥ—devotees; yānti—go; mām—to me; api—whereas


But the fruit gained by these people of small understanding is perishable. Those who worship the celestial gods go to the celestial abodes, while my devotees come to me.


Chapter 7, Verse 24


अव्यक्तं व्यक्तिमापन्नं मन्यन्ते मामबुद्धय: | परं भावमजानन्तो ममाव्ययमनुत्तमम् || 24||

avyaktam—formless; vyaktim—possessing a personality; āpannam—to have assumed; manyante—think; mām—me; abuddhayaḥ—less intelligent; param—Supreme; bhāvam—nature; ajānantaḥ—not understanding; mama—my; avyayam—imperishable; anuttamam—excellent


The less intelligent think that I, the Supreme Lord Shree Krishna, was formless earlier and have now assumed this personality. They do not understand the imperishable exalted nature of my personal form.


Chapter 7, Verse 25


नाहं प्रकाश: सर्वस्य योगमायासमावृत: | मूढोऽयं नाभिजानाति लोको मामजमव्ययम् || 25||

na—not; aham—I; prakāśhaḥ—manifest; sarvasya—to everyone; yoga-māyā—God’s supreme (divine) energy; samāvṛitaḥ—veiled; mūḍhaḥ—deluded; ayam—these; na—not; abhijānāti—know; lokaḥ—persons; mām—me; ajam—unborn; avyayam—immutable


I am not manifest to everyone, being veiled by my divine Yogmaya energy. Hence, those without knowledge do not know that I am without birth and changeless.


Chapter 7, Verse 26


वेदाहं समतीतानि वर्तमानानि चार्जुन | भविष्याणि च भूतानि मां तु वेद न कश्चन || 26||

veda—know; aham—I; samatītāni—the past; vartamānāni—the present; cha—and; arjuna—Arjun; bhaviṣhyāṇi—the future; cha—also; bhūtāni—all living beings; mām—me; tu—but; veda—knows; na kaśhchana—no one


O Arjun, I know of the the past, present, and future, and I also know all living beings; but me no one knows.


Chapter 7, Verse 27


इच्छाद्वेषसमुत्थेन द्वन्द्वमोहेन भारत | सर्वभूतानि सम्मोहं सर्गे यान्ति परन्तप || 27||

ichchhā—desire; dveṣha—aversion; samutthena—arise from; dvandva—of duality; mohena—from the illusion; bhārata—Arjun, descendant of Bharat; sarva—all; bhūtāni—living beings; sammoham—into delusion; sarge—since birth; yānti—enter; parantapa—Arjun, conqueror of enemies


O descendant of Bharat, the dualities of desire and aversion arise from illusion. O conqueror of enemies, all living beings in the material realm are from birth deluded by these.


Chapter 7, Verse 28


येषां त्वन्तगतं पापं जनानां पुण्यकर्मणाम् | ते द्वन्द्वमोहनिर्मुक्ता भजन्ते मां दृढव्रता: || 28||

yeṣhām—whose; tu—but; anta-gatam—completely destroyed; pāpam—sins; janānām—of persons; puṇya—pious; karmaṇām—activities; te—they; dvandva—of dualities; moha—illusion; nirmuktāḥ—free from; bhajante—worship;mām; dṛiḍha-vratāḥ—with determination


But persons, whose sins have been destroyed by engaging in pious activities, become free from the illusion of dualities. Such persons worship me with determination.


Chapter 7, Verse 29


जरामरणमोक्षाय मामाश्रित्य यतन्ति ये | ते ब्रह्म तद्विदु: कृत्स्नमध्यात्मं कर्म चाखिलम् || 29||

jarā—from old age; maraṇa—and death; mokṣhāya—for liberation; mām—me; āśhritya—take shelter in; yatanti—strive; ye—who; te—they; brahma—Brahman; tat—that; viduḥ—know; kṛitsnam—everything; adhyātmam—the individual self; karma—karmic action; cha—and; akhilam—entire


Those who take shelter in me, striving for liberation from old-age and death, come to know Brahman, the individual self, and the entire field of karmic action.


Chapter 7, Verse 30


साधिभूताधिदैवं मां साधियज्ञं च ये विदु: | प्रयाणकालेऽपि च मां ते विदुर्युक्तचेतस: || 30||

sa-adhibhūta—governing principle of the field of matter; adhidaivam—governing principle of the celestial gods; mām—me; sa-adhiyajñam—governing principle of the Lord all sacrificial performances; cha—and; ye—who; viduḥ—know; prayāṇa—of death; kāle—at the time; api—even; cha—and; mām—me; te—they; viduḥ—know; yukta-chetasaḥ—in full consciousness of me


Those who know me as the governing principle of the adhibhūta (field of matter) and the adhidaiva (the celestial gods), and as adhiyajña (the Lord all sacrificial performances), such enlightened souls are in full consciousness of me even at the time of death.


In the next chapter, Shree Krishna will state that those elevated souls who remember him at the time of leaving the body attain his divine abode. However, to remember God at the time of death is exceedingly difficult. The reason is that death is an extremely painful experience. It can be likened to 2,000 scorpions biting one at the same time. This is much beyond the capacity of anyone’s mind and intellect to tolerate. Even before death comes, the mind and intellect stop working and a person becomes unconscious. How then can one remember God at the time of death?

This is only possible for those who are beyond the pleasure and pain of the body. Such persons leave the body with awareness. Shree Krishna states in this verse that those who know him as the governing principle of adhibhūta, adhidaiva, and adhiyajña are in full consciousness of him even at the time of death. This is because true knowledge leads to complete devotion—the mind becomes fully attached to God. Consequently, it becomes detached from the hankering and lamentation at the bodily platform, and such a soul is no longer in bodily consciousness. The words adhibhūta, adhidaiva, and adhiyajña will be explained in the next chapter.

Akṣhar Brahma Yog, The Yog of the Eternal God

This chapter briefly explains several important terms and concepts that are presented more fully in the Upanishads. It also describes what decides the destination of the soul after death. If we can remember God at the time of departing from the body, we will certainly attain Him. Therefore, we must practice to think of Him at all times, alongside with doing our daily works. We can remember Him by thinking of His Qualities, Attributes, and Virtues. We must also practice steadfast yogic concentration upon Him by chanting His Names. When we perfectly absorb our mind in Him through exclusive devotion, we will go beyond this material dimension to the spiritual realm.

The chapter then talks about the various abodes that exist in the material realm. It explains how, in the cycle of creation, these abodes and the multitudes of beings on them come into existence, and are then again absorbed back at the time of dissolution. However, transcendental to this manifest and unmanifest creation is the divine Abode of God. Those who follow the path of light, ultimately reach the divine abode, and never return to this mortal world, while those who follow the path of darkness keep transmigrating in the endless cycle of birth, disease, old age, and death.

Chapter 8, Verse 1,2


अर्जुन उवाच | किं तद्ब्रह्म किमध्यात्मं किं कर्म पुरुषोत्तम | अधिभूतं च किं प्रोक्तमधिदैवं किमुच्यते || 1|| अधियज्ञ: कथं कोऽत्र देहेऽस्मिन्मधुसूदन | प्रयाणकाले च कथं ज्ञेयोऽसि नियतात्मभि: || 2||

arjunaḥ uvācha—Arjun said; kim—what; tat—that; brahma—Brahman; kim—what; adhyātmam—the individual soul; kim—what; karma—the principle of karma; puruṣha-uttama—Shree Krishna, the Supreme Divine Personality; adhibhūtam—the material manifestation; cha—and; kim—what; proktam—is called; adhidaivam—the Lord of the celestial gods; kim—what; uchyate—is called; adhiyajñaḥ—the Lord all sacrificial performances; katham—how; kaḥ—who; atra—here; dehe—in body; asmin—this; madhusūdana—Shree Krishna, the killer of the demon named Madhu; prayāṇa-kāle—at the time of death; cha—and; katham—how; jñeyaḥ—to be known; asi—are (You); niyata-ātmabhiḥ—by those of steadfast mind


Arjun said: O Supreme Lord, what is Brahman (Absolute Reality), what is adhyātma (the individual soul), and what is karma? What is said to be adhibhūta, and who is said to be Adhidaiva? Who is Adhiyajña in the body and how is He the Adhiyajña? O Krishna, how are You to be known at the time of death by those of steadfast mind?


Chapter 8, Verse 3


श्रीभगवानुवाच | अक्षरं ब्रह्म परमं स्वभावोऽध्यात्ममुच्यते | भूतभावोद्भवकरो विसर्ग: कर्मसञ्ज्ञित: || 3||

śhrī-bhagavān uvācha—the Blessed Lord said; akṣharam—indestructible; brahma—Brahman; paramam—the Supreme; svabhāvaḥ—nature; adhyātmam—one’s own self; uchyate—is called; bhūta-bhāva-udbhava-karaḥ—Actions pertaining to the material personality of living beings, and its development; visargaḥ—creation; karma—fruitive activities; sanjñitaḥ—are called


The Blessed Lord said: The Supreme Indestructible Entity is called Brahman; one’s own self is called adhyātma. Actions pertaining to the material personality of living beings, and its development are called karma, or fruitive activities.


Shree Krishna says that the Supreme Entity is called Brahman (in the Vedas, God is referred to by many Names and Brahman is one of them). It is beyond space, time, and the chain of cause and effect. These are the characteristics of the material realm, while Brahman is transcendental to the material plane. It is unaffected by the changes in the universe, and is imperishable. Hence, It is described as akṣharam. In the Bṛihadāraṇyak Upaniṣhad 3.8.8, Brahman has been described in the same manner: “Learned people speak of Brahman as akṣhar (indestructible). It is also designated as Param (Supreme) because It possesses qualities beyond those possessed by Maya and the souls.”
The path of spirituality is called adhyātma, and science of the soul is also called adhyātma. But here the word has been used for one’s own self, which includes the soul, body, mind, and intellect. Karma is actions performed by the self, which forge the individual’s unique conditions of existence from birth to birth. These karmas keep the soul rotating in samsara (the cycle of material existence).


Chapter 8, Verse 4


अधिभूतं क्षरो भाव: पुरुषश्चाधिदैवतम् | अधियज्ञोऽहमेवात्र देहे देहभृतां वर || 4||

adhibhūtam—the ever changing physical manifestation; kṣharaḥ—perishable; bhāvaḥ—nature; puruṣhaḥ—the cosmic personality of God, encompassing the material creation; cha—and; adhidaivatam—the Lord of the celestial gods; adhiyajñaḥ—the Lord of all sacrifices; aham—I; eva—certainly; atra—here; dehe—in the body; deha-bhṛitām—of the embodied; vara—O best


O best of the embodied souls, the physical manifestation that is constantly changing is called adhibhūta; the universal form of God, which presides over the celestial gods in this creation, is called adhidaiva; I, who dwell in the heart of every living being, am called Adhiyajña, or the Lord of all sacrifices.


The kaleidoscope of the universe, consisting of all manifestations of the five elements—earth, water, fire, air, space—is called adhibhūta. The virāṭ puruṣh, which is the complete cosmic personality of God encompassing the entire material creation, is called adhidaiva because He has sovereignty over the devatās (the celestial gods who administer the different departments of the universe). The Supreme Divine Personality, Shree Krishna, who dwells in the heart of all living beings as the Paramātmā (Supreme Soul) is called Adhiyajña. All yajñas (sacrifices) are to be performed for His satisfaction. He is thus the presiding divinity over all the yajñas and the one who bestows rewards for all actions.
This verse and the previous one answer six of Arjun’s seven questions, which are more in regard to terminology. The next few verses answer the question regarding the moment of death.


Chapter 8, Verse 5


अन्तकाले च मामेव स्मरन्मुक्त्वा कलेवरम् | य: प्रयाति स मद्भावं याति नास्त्यत्र संशय: || 5||

anta-kāle—at the time of death; cha—and; mām—Me; eva—alone; smaran—remembering; muktvā—relinquish; kalevaram—the body; yaḥ—who; prayāti—goes; saḥ—he; mat-bhāvam—Godlike nature; yāti—achieves; na—no; asti—there is; atra—here; sanśhayaḥ—doubt


Those who relinquish the body while remembering Me at the moment of death will come to Me. There is certainly no doubt about this.


In the next verse, Shree Krishna will state the principle that one’s next birth is determined by one’s state of consciousness at the time of death and the object of one’s absorption. So if, at the time of death, one is absorbed in the transcendental Names, Forms, Virtues, Pastimes, and Abodes of God, one will attain the cherished goal of God-realization. Shree Krishna uses the words mad bhāvaṁ, which mean “Godlike nature.” Thus, if one’s consciousness is absorbed in God at the moment of death, one attains Him, and becomes God-like in character.


Chapter 8, Verse 6


यं यं वापि स्मरन्भावं त्यजत्यन्ते कलेवरम् | तं तमेवैति कौन्तेय सदा तद्भावभावित: || 6||

yam yam—whatever; vā—or; api—even; smaran—remembering; bhāvam—remembrance; tyajati—gives up; ante—in the end; kalevaram—the body; tam—to that; tam—to that; eva—certainly; eti—gets; kaunteya—Arjun, the son of Kunti; sadā—always; tat—that; bhāva-bhāvitaḥ—absorbed in contemplation


Whatever one remembers upon giving up the body at the time of death, O son of Kunti, one attains that state, being always absorbed in such contemplation.


One’s final thoughts will naturally be determined by what was constantly contemplated and meditated upon during the span of life, as influenced by one's daily habits and associations. The Puranas relate the story of Maharaj Bharat. He was a king, but he renounced his kingdom to live in the forest as an ascetic and pursue God-realization. One day, he saw a pregnant deer jump into the water on hearing a tiger roar. Out of fear, the pregnant deer delivered a baby deer that began floating on the water. Bharat felt pity on the baby deer and rescued it. He took it to his hut and began bringing it up. With great affection, he would watch its frolicking movements. He would gather grass to feed it, and would hug it to keep it warm. Slowly, his mind came away from God and became absorbed in the deer. The absorption became so deep that, practically all day long, his thoughts would wander toward the deer. When he was about to die, he called out to the deer in fond remembrance, concerned about what would happen to him. Consequently, in his next life, Maharaj Bharat became a deer. However, because he had performed spiritual sādhanā, he was aware of the mistake in his previous life, and so even as a deer, he would reside near the āśhrams of saintly persons in the forest. Finally, when he gave up the deer body, he was again given a human birth. This time, he became the great sage Jadabharat, and attained God-realization by completing his sādhanā.

Chapter 8, Verse 7


तस्मात्सर्वेषु कालेषु मामनुस्मर युध्य च | मय्यर्पितमनोबुद्धिर्मामेवैष्यस्यसंशयम् || 7||

tasmāt—therefore; sarveṣhu—in all; kāleṣhu—times; mām—Me; anusmara—remember; yudhya—fight; cha—and; mayi—to Me; arpita—surrender; manaḥ—mind; buddhiḥ—intellect; mām—to Me; eva—surely; eṣhyasi—you shall attain; asanśhayaḥ—without a doubt


Therefore, always remember Me and also do your duty of fighting the war. With mind and intellect surrendered to Me, you will definitely attain Me; of this, there is no doubt.


The condition for karm-yog has been stated very clearly in this verse: The mind must be constantly engaged in thinking of God. The moment the mind forgets God, it comes under the attack of the big generals of Maya’s army—lust, anger, greed, envy, hatred, etc. Thus, it is important to always keep it attached to God. Often people claim to be karm yogis because they say they do both—karm and yog. For the major part of the day, they do karm, and for a few minutes they do yog (meditation on God). But this is not the definition of karm-yog that Shree Krishna has given. He states that 1) even while doing the work, the mind must be engaged in thinking of God, and 2) the remembrance of God must not be intermittent, but constant throughout the day.
Saint Kabir expresses this in his famous couplet:

sumiran kī sudhi yoṅ karo, jyauṅ gāgar panihāra bolat dolat surati meṅ, kahe kabīra vichār

“Remember God just as the village woman remembers the water pot on her head. She speaks with others and walks on the path, but her mind keeps holding onto the pot.”

Chapter 8, Verse 8


अभ्यासयोगयुक्तेन चेतसा नान्यगामिना | परमं पुरुषं दिव्यं याति पार्थानुचिन्तयन् || 8||

abhyāsa-yoga—by practice of yog; yuktena—being constantly engaged in remembrance; chetasā—by the mind; na anya-gāminā—without deviating; paramam puruṣham—the Supreme Divine Personality; divyam—divine; yāti—one attains; pārtha—Arjun, the son of Pritha; anuchintayan—constant remembrance


With practice, O Parth, when you constantly engage the mind in remembering Me, the Supreme Divine Personality, without deviating, you will certainly attain Me.


Chapter 8, Verse 9,10


कविं पुराणमनुशासितार मणोरणीयांसमनुस्मरेद्य: | सर्वस्य धातारमचिन्त्यरूप मादित्यवर्णं तमस: परस्तात् || 9|| प्रयाणकाले मनसाचलेन भक्त्या युक्तो योगबलेन चैव | भ्रुवोर्मध्ये प्राणमावेश्य सम्यक् स तं परं पुरुषमुपैति दिव्यम् || 10||

kavim—poet; purāṇam—ancient; anuśhāsitāram—the controller; aṇoḥ—than the atom; aṇīyānsam—smaller; anusmaret—always remembers; yaḥ—who; sarvasya—of everything; dhātāram—the support; achintya—inconceivable; rūpam—divine form; āditya-varṇam—effulgent like the sun; tamasaḥ—to the darkness of ignorance; parastāt—beyond; prayāṇa-kāle—at the time of death; manasā—mind; achalena—steadily; bhaktyā—remembering with great devotion; yuktaḥ—united; yoga-balena—through the power of yog; cha—and; eva—certainly; bhruvoḥ—the two eyebrows; madhye—between; prāṇam—life airs; āveśhya—fixing; samyak—completely; saḥ—he; tam—him; param puruṣham—the Supreme Divine Lord; upaiti—attains; divyam—divine


God is Omniscient, the most ancient one, the Controller, subtler than the subtlest, the Support of all, and the possessor of an inconceivable divine form; He is brighter than the sun, and beyond all darkness of ignorance. One who at the time of death, with unmoving mind attained by the practice of Yog, fixes the prāṇ (life airs) between the eyebrows, and steadily remembers the Divine Lord with great devotion, certainly attains Him.


Chapter 8, Verse 12


सर्वद्वाराणि संयम्य मनो हृदि निरुध्य च | मूर्ध्न्याधायात्मन: प्राणमास्थितो योगधारणाम् || 12||

sarva-dvārāṇi—all gates; sanyamya—restraining; manaḥ—the mind; hṛidi—in the heart region; nirudhya—confining; cha—and; mūrdhni—in the head; ādhāya—establish; ātmanaḥ—of the self; prāṇam—the life breath; āsthitaḥ—situated (in); yoga-dhāraṇām—the yogic concentration


Restraining all the gates of the body and fixing the mind in the heart region, and then drawing the life-breath to the head, one should get established in steadfast yogic concentration.


The words sarva-dvārāṇi-sanyamya mean “controlling the passages that enter the body.” This implies restricting the senses from their normal outgoing tendencies. The words hṛidi nirudhya mean “locking the mind in the heart.” This denotes directing devotional feelings from the mind to the akṣharam imperishable Supreme Lord enthroned there. The words yoga-dhāraṇām mean “uniting the consciousness with God.” This refers to meditating upon Him with complete attention.


Chapter 8, Verse 13


ओमित्येकाक्षरं ब्रह्म व्याहरन्मामनुस्मरन् | य: प्रयाति त्यजन्देहं स याति परमां गतिम् || 13||

om—sacred syllable representing the formless aspect of God; iti—thus; eka-akṣharam—one syllabled; brahma—the Absolute Truth; vyāharan—chanting; mām—Me (Shree Krishna); anusmaran—remembering; yaḥ—who; prayāti—departs; tyajan—quitting; deham—the body; saḥ—he; yāti—attains; paramām—the supreme; gatim—goal


One who departs from the body while remembering Me, the Supreme Personality, and chanting the syllable Om, will attain the supreme goal.


Chapter 8, Verse 1





Chapter 8, Verse 1





Chapter 8, Verse 1





Chapter 8, Verse 1





Chapter 8, Verse 1





Chapter 8, Verse 1





Rāja Vidyā Yog, SUPREME KNOWLEDGE AND THE BIG MYSTERY

Lord Krishna said: "I shall reveal to you, who do not disbelieve, the most profound secret transcendental knowledge together with transcendental experience. Having known this you will be freed from the miseries of worldly existence. (9.01) This Self-knowledge is the king of all knowledge, is the most secret, is very sacred, it can be perceived by instinct, conforms to righteousness (Dharma), is very easy to practice, and is timeless." (9.02)

"This entire universe is an expansion of Mine. All beings depend on Me. I do not depend on them, and am not affected by them. (9.04) Perceive that all beings remain in Me --- without any contact or without producing any effect --- as the mighty wind moving everywhere, eternally remains in space. (9.06) I create the entire multitude of beings again and again with the help of My Material Nature. These beings are under the control of the modes of Material Nature. (9.08) These acts of creation do not bind Me, O Arjuna, because I remain indifferent and unattached to those acts. (9.09) The divine kinetic energy (Maya) with the help of Material Nature creates all animate and inanimate objects under My supervision, and thus the creation keeps on going, O Arjuna." (9.10)

"I personally take care of both spiritual and material welfare of those ever-steadfast devotees who always remember and adore Me with single-minded contemplation. (9.22) O Arjuna, even those devotees who worship the deities with faith, they also really worship Me. (9.23) Whosoever offers Me a leaf, a flower, fruit, or water with devotion; I accept and eat the offering of devotion by the pure-hearted. (9.26) O Arjuna, whatever you do, eat, give, or sacrifice, do it as an offering to Me." (9.27) A dedicated heart full of devotion is needed to obtain God's grace, not rituals.

"The Self is present equally in all beings. There is no one hateful or dear to Me. But, those who worship Me with love and devotion are very close to Me, and I am also very close to them. (9.29) Even if the most sinful person resolves to worship Me with single-minded loving devotion, such a person must be regarded as a saint because of making the right resolution. (9.30) O Arjuna, My devotee shall never perish or fall down." (9.31) There is no unforgivable sin or sinner.

"Anybody can attain the Supreme Abode by just surrendering unto My will with loving devotion, O Arjuna. (9.32) Always think of Me, be devoted to Me, worship Me, and bow down to Me. Thus uniting yourself with Me by setting Me as the supreme goal and the sole refuge, you shall certainly come to Me." (9.34)



Chapter 9, Verse 1


श्रीभगवानुवाच | इदं तु ते गुह्यतमं प्रवक्ष्याम्यनसूयवे | ज्ञानं विज्ञानसहितं यज्ज्ञात्वा मोक्ष्यसेऽशुभात् || 1||

śhrī-bhagavān uvācha—the Supreme Lord said; idam—this; tu—but; te—to you; guhya-tamam—the most confidential; pravakṣhyāmi—I shall impart; anasūyave—nonenvious; jñānam—knowledge; vijñāna—realized knowledge; sahitam—with; yat—which; jñātvā—knowing; mokṣhyase—you will be released; aśhubhāt—miseries of material existence


The Supreme Lord said: O Arjun, because you are not envious of Me, I shall now impart to you this very confidential knowledge and wisdom, upon knowing which you will be released from the miseries of material existence.


Chapter 9, Verse 2


राजविद्या राजगुह्यं पवित्रमिदमुत्तमम् | प्रत्यक्षावगमं धर्म्यं सुसुखं कर्तुमव्ययम् || 2||

rāja-vidyā—the king of sciences; rāja-guhyam—the most profound secret; pavitram—pure; idam—this; uttamam—highest; pratyakṣha—directly perceptible; avagamam—directly realizable; dharmyam—virtuous; su-sukham—easy; kartum—to practice; avyayam—everlasting


This knowledge is the king of sciences and the most profound of all secrets. It purifies those who hear it. It is directly realizable, in accordance with dharma, easy to practice, and everlasting in effect.


Chapter 9, Verse 3


अश्रद्दधाना: पुरुषा धर्मस्यास्य परन्तप | अप्राप्य मां निवर्तन्ते मृत्युसंसारवर्त्मनि || 3||

aśhraddadhānāḥ—people without faith; puruṣhāḥ—(such) persons; dharmasya—of dharma; asya—this; parantapa—Arjun, conqueror the enemies; aprāpya—without attaining; mām—Me; nivartante—come back; mṛityu—death; samsāra—material existence; vartmani—in the path


People who have no faith in this dharma are unable to attain Me, O conqueror of enemies. They repeatedly come back to this world in the cycle of birth and death.


Chapter 9, Verse 4


मया ततमिदं सर्वं जगदव्यक्तमूर्तिना | मत्स्थानि सर्वभूतानि न चाहं तेष्ववस्थित: || 4||

mayā—by Me; tatam—pervaded; idam—this; sarvam—entire; jagat—cosmic manifestation; avyakta-mūrtinā—the unmanifested form; mat-sthāni—in Me; sarva-bhūtāni—all living beings; na—not; cha—and; aham—I; teṣhu—in them; avasthitaḥ—dwell


This entire cosmic manifestation is pervaded by Me in My unmanifest form. All living beings dwell in Me, but I do not dwell in them.


The Vedic philosophy does not accept the concept of God creating the world and then peeping into it from the seventh heaven to check whether His world is running all right. They repeatedly propound the theme of God being all-pervading in the world:

eko devaḥ sarvabhūteṣhu gūḍhaḥ sarvavyāpī (Śhwetāśhvatar Upaniṣhad 6.11) “There is one God; He is seated in everyone’s heart; He is also everywhere in the world.” īśhāvāsyam idam sarvaṁ yat kiñcha jagatyāṁ jagat (Īśhopaniṣhad 1) “God is everywhere in the world.” puruṣha evedaṁ sarvaṁ, yad bhūtaṁ yachcha bhavyam (Puruṣh Sūktam)

“God pervades everything that has existed and all that will exist.”
However, according to verses 7.4 and 7.5, the world is neither pariṇām nor vivarta. It is created from the material energy of God, called Maya śhakti. The souls too are the energy of God, but they are His superior energy, called Jīva śhakti. Therefore, the world and all the souls in it are both God’s energies and are within His personality. However, Shree Krishna also says that He does not dwell in the living beings, i.e. the infinite is not contained by the finite beings. That is because He is far more than the sum total of these two energies. Just as an ocean throws up many waves, and these waves are a part of the ocean, but the ocean is much more than the sum total of the waves, similarly too, the souls and Maya exist within the personality of God, yet He is beyond them.


Chapter 9, Verse 5


न च मत्स्थानि भूतानि पश्य मे योगमैश्वरम् | भूतभृन्न च भूतस्थो ममात्मा भूतभावन: || 5||

na—never; cha—and; mat-sthāni—abide in Me; bhūtāni—all living beings; paśhya—behold; me—My; yogam aiśhwaram—divine energy; bhūta-bhṛit—the sustainer of all living beings; na—never; cha—yet; bhūta-sthaḥ—dwelling in; mama—My; ātmā—Self; bhūta-bhāvanaḥ—the Creator of all beings


And yet, the living beings do not abide in Me. Behold the mystery of My divine energy! Although I am the Creator and Sustainer of all living beings, I am not influenced by them or by material nature.


Beyond the two energies mentioned in the purport to the previous verse—Maya śhakti and Jīva śhakti—there is a third energy of God. This is called Yogmaya śhakti, which He refers to in this verse, as divine energy. Yogmaya is God’s all-powerful energy. It is called kartum-akartum-samarthaḥ, or “that which can make the impossible possible,” and is responsible for many of the amazing things we attribute to His personality. For example, God is seated in our hearts, yet we have no perception of Him. This is because His divine Yogmaya power keeps us aloof from Him.

Similarly, God also keeps Himself aloof from the influence of Maya. In the Bhagavatam, the Vedas praise the Lord:

vilajjamānayā yasya sthātumīkṣhā-pathe ’muyā (2.5.13)

“Maya feels embarrassed to even stand before God.” Isn’t it a wonder that although God pervades Maya, the material energy, yet He is aloof from it? This is again by the mysterious power of Yogmaya.
If the world could influence God, then when it decays or is destroyed, His nature and personality will also deteriorate. But despite all modifications in the world, God remains established in His personality. Accordingly, the Vedas call God by the name Daśhāṅgulī, or “ten fingers.” He is in the world, and yet ten fingers beyond it—untouched by it.


Chapter 9, Verse 6


यथाकाशस्थितो नित्यं वायु: सर्वत्रगो महान् | तथा सर्वाणि भूतानि मत्स्थानीत्युपधारय || 6||

yathā—as; ākāśha-sthitaḥ—rests in the sky; nityam—always; vāyuḥ—the wind; sarvatra-gaḥ—blowing everywhere; mahān—mighty; tathā—likewise; sarvāṇi bhūtāni—all living beings; mat-sthāni—rest in Me; iti—thus; upadhāraya—know


Know that as the mighty wind blowing everywhere rests always in the sky, likewise all living beings rest always in Me.


Chapter 9, Verse 7,8


सर्वभूतानि कौन्तेय प्रकृतिं यान्ति मामिकाम् | कल्पक्षये पुनस्तानि कल्पादौ विसृजाम्यहम् || 7|| प्रकृतिं स्वामवष्टभ्य विसृजामि पुन: पुन: | भूतग्राममिमं कृत्स्नमवशं प्रकृतेर्वशात् || 8||

sarva-bhūtāni—all living beings; kaunteya—Arjun, the son of Kunti; prakṛitim—primordial material energy; yānti—merge; māmikām—My; kalpa-kṣhaye—at the end of a kalpa; punaḥ—again; tāni—them; kalpa-ādau—at the beginning of a kalpa; visṛijāmi—manifest; aham—I; prakṛitim—the material energy; svām—My own; avaṣhṭabhya—presiding over; visṛijāmi—generate; punaḥ punaḥ—again and again; bhūta-grāmam—myriad forms; imam—these; kṛitsnam—all; avaśham—beyond their control; prakṛiteḥ—nature; vaśhāt—force


At the end of one kalp, all living beings merge into My primordial material energy. At the beginning of the next creation, O son of Kunti, I manifest them again. Presiding over My material energy, I generate these myriad forms again and again, in accordance with the force of their natures.


Shree Krishna explained in the last two verses that all living beings dwell in Him. This statement may bring up the following question: “When mahāpralaya (the great annihilation) takes place and the entire world is wound up, then where do all the living beings go?” The answer to this question is being given in this verse.
In the previous chapter, verses 8.16 to 8.19, Shree Krishna explained how creation, maintenance, and annihilation follow a repetitive cycle. Here, the word kalpa-kṣhaya means “the end of Brahma’s lifespan.” On the completion of Brahma’s life of 100 years, which is equal to 311 trillion 40 billion earth years, the entire cosmic manifestation dissolves and goes into an unmanifest state. The pañch mahābhūta merge into the pañch tanmātrās; the pañch tanmātrās merge into ahankār; ahankār merges into mahān; mahān merges into prakṛiti, the primordial form of the material energy; and prakṛiti goes and rests in the divine body of the Supreme Lord, Maha Vishnu.
At that time, all the souls within the material creation also go and rest in the body of God, in a state of suspended animation. Their gross and subtle bodies merge back into the source, Maya. However, the causal body still remains. (The three kinds of bodies have been described in detail in the commentary to verse 2.28) After dissolution, when God creates the world again, the material energy unwinds in the reverse sequence prakṛiti—mahān—ahankār—pañch tanmātrā—pañch mahābhūta. Then, the souls that were lying in a state of suspended animation with only causal bodies are again placed in the world. In accordance with their causal bodies, they again receive subtle and gross bodies, and the various life forms are created in the universe. These life forms vary in nature amongst the different planes of existence. In some planetary systems, fire is the dominant element in the body, just as in the earth plane, the dominant bodily elements are earth and water. Hence, the bodies vary in their subtleness and the functions they can perform. Shree Krishna thus calls them myriad life forms.


Chapter 9, Verse 9


न च मां तानि कर्माणि निबध्नन्ति धनञ्जय | उदासीनवदासीनमसक्तं तेषु कर्मसु || 9||

na—none; cha—as; mām—Me; tāni—those; karmāṇi—actions; nibadhnanti—bind; dhanañjaya—Arjun, conqueror of wealth; udāsīna-vat—as neutral; āsīnam—situated; asaktam—detached; teṣhu—those; karmasu—actions


O conqueror of wealth, none of these actions bind Me. I remain like a neutral observer, ever detached from these actions.


Chapter 9, Verse 10


मयाध्यक्षेण प्रकृति: सूयते सचराचरम् | हेतुनानेन कौन्तेय जगद्विपरिवर्तते || 10||

mayā—by Me; adhyakṣheṇa—direction; prakṛitiḥ—material energy; sūyate—brings into being; sa—both; chara-acharam—the animate and the inanimate; hetunā—reason; anena—this; kaunteya—Arjun, the son of Kunti; jagat—the material world; viparivartate—undergoes the changes


Working under My direction, this material energy brings into being all animate and inanimate forms, O son of Kunti. For this reason, the material world undergoes the changes (of creation, maintenance, and dissolution).


Chapter 9, Verse 11


अवजानन्ति मां मूढा मानुषीं तनुमाश्रितम् | परं भावमजानन्तो मम भूतमहेश्वरम् || 11||

avajānanti—disregard; mām—Me; mūḍhāḥ—dim-witted; mānuṣhīm—human; tanum—form; āśhritam—take on; param—divine; bhāvam—personality; ajānantaḥ—not knowing; mama—My; bhūta—all beings; mahā-īśhvaram—the Supreme Lord


When I descend in My personal form deluded persons are unable to recognize Me. They do not know the divinity of My personality, as the Supreme Lord of all beings.


Chapter 9, Verse 12


मोघाशा मोघकर्माणो मोघज्ञाना विचेतस: | राक्षसीमासुरीं चैव प्रकृतिं मोहिनीं श्रिता: || 12||

mogha-āśhāḥ—of vain hopes; mogha-karmāṇaḥ—of vain actions; mogha-jñānāḥ—of baffled knowledge; vichetasaḥ—deluded; rākṣhasīm—demoniac; āsurīm—atheistic; cha—and; eva—certainly; prakṛitim—material energy; mohinīm—bewildered; śhritāḥ—take shelter


Bewildered by the material energy, such persons embrace demoniac and atheistic views. In that deluded state, their hopes for welfare are in vain, their fruitive actions are wasted, and their culture of knowledge is baffled.


According to this verse, all these theories are incorrect, and the intellects of those who subscribe to them are deluded by the material energy. Shree Krishna goes to the extent of saying that those who embrace such ungodly philosophies possess demoniac natures. Since, they do not harbor divine sentiments toward the personal form of the Supreme Lord, they cannot engage in bhakti toward Him. And since devotion to the formless aspect of God is exceedingly difficult, they cannot do that either. As a result, they remain bereft of the path to eternal welfare. Bewildered by the transient attractions of the material energy, their hopes for eternal well-being are in vain.


Chapter 9, Verse 13


महात्मानस्तु मां पार्थ दैवीं प्रकृतिमाश्रिता: | भजन्त्यनन्यमनसो ज्ञात्वा भूतादिमव्ययम् || 13||

mahā-ātmānaḥ—the great souls; tu—but; mām—Me; pārtha—Arjun, the son of Pritha; daivīm prakṛitim—divine energy; āśhritāḥ—take shelter of; bhajanti—engage in devotion; ananya-manasaḥ—with mind fixed exclusively; jñātvā—knowing; bhūta—all creation; ādim—the origin; avyayam—imperishable


But the great souls, who take shelter of My divine energy, O Parth, know Me, Lord Krishna, as the origin of all creation. They engage in My devotion with their minds fixed exclusively on Me.


Chapter 9, Verse 14


सततं कीर्तयन्तो मां यतन्तश्च दृढव्रता: | नमस्यन्तश्च मां भक्त्या नित्ययुक्ता उपासते || 14||

satatam—always; kīrtayantaḥ—singing divine glories; mām—Me; yatantaḥ—striving; cha—and; dṛiḍha-vratāḥ—with great determination; namasyantaḥ—humbly bowing down; cha—and; mām—Me; bhaktyā—loving devotion; nitya-yuktāḥ—constantly united; upāsate—worship


Always singing My divine glories, striving with great determination, and humbly bowing down before Me, they constantly worship Me in loving devotion.


Often when people practice devotion through japa (chanting of mantra or Name of God on rosary beads) or plain meditation, they find themselves overwhelmed by sleep. However, kīrtan is such an engaging process that it usually drives sleep away. Also, chanting blocks out distracting sounds from the environment. Kīrtan can be practiced in groups which enables mass participation. In addition, the mind desires variety, which it gets through the medium of kīrtan in the form of the Names, Virtues, Pastimes, Abodes, etc. of God. And since kīrtan involves loud chanting, the divine vibrations of the Names of God make the entire environment auspicious and holy.
For all these reasons, kīrtan has been the most popular form of devotion amongst saints in Indian history. All the famous bhakti Saints—Soordas, Tulsidas, Meerabai, Guru Nanak, Kabir, Tukaram, Ekanath, Narsi Mehta, Jayadev, Tyagaraja, and others—were great poets. They composed numerous devotional songs, and through them, they engaged in chanting, hearing, and remembering.
The Vedic scriptures particularly extol kīrtan as the simplest and most powerful process of devotion in the present age of Kali.

kṛite yad dhyāyato viṣhṇuṁ tretāyāṁ yajato makhaiḥ dwāpare paricharyāyāṁ kalau tad dhari-kīrtanāt (Bhagavatam 12.3.52)

“The best process of devotion in the age of Satya was simple meditation upon God. In the age of Tretā, it was the performance of sacrifices for the pleasure of God. In the age of Dwāpar, worship of the deities was the recommended process. In the present age of Kali, it is kīrtan alone.”

avikārī vā vikārī vā sarva doṣhaika bhājanaḥ parameṣha paraṁ yāti rāma nāmānukīrtanāt (Adhyātma Ramayan)

“Whether you are full of desires or free from them, devoid of defects or full of them, if you engage in kīrtan of the names of Lord Ram, you will attain the highest destination.”

sarva dharma bahirbhūtaḥ sarva pāparatasthathā muchyate nātra sandeho viṣhṇornamānukīrtanāt (Vaiśhampāyan Samhitā)

“Even those who are deeply sinful and bereft of religiosity can be saved by the chanting of the names of Lord Vishnu; of this, there is no doubt.”

kalijuga kevala hari guna gāhā, gāvata nara pāvahiṅ bhava thāhā (Ramayan)

“In this age of Kali, there is one means of salvation. By engaging in the chanting of the glories of God, one can cross over this material ocean.”


Chapter 9, Verse 15


ज्ञानयज्ञेन चाप्यन्ये यजन्तो मामुपासते | एकत्वेन पृथक्त्वेन बहुधा विश्वतोमुखम् || 15||

jñāna-yajñena—yajña of cultivating knowledge; cha—and; api—also; anye—others; yajantaḥ—worship; mām—Me; upāsate—worship; ekatvena—undifferentiated oneness; pṛithaktvena—separately; bahudhā—various; viśhwataḥ-mukham—the cosmic form


Others, engaging in the yajña of cultivating knowledge, worship Me by many methods. Some see Me as undifferentiated oneness that is non-different from them, while others see Me as separate from them. Still others worship Me in the infinite manifestations of My cosmic form.


Sādhaks (spiritual practitioners) follow different paths of spirituality to reach the Absolute Truth. Shree Krishna previously described those who are devotees. They surrender themselves with devotion at the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord, in the attitude of being His eternal parts and servants. He now describes some of the other paths that sādhaks follow.
Those who follow the path of jñāna-yog consider themselves to be non-different from God. They contemplate deeply on sūtras such as: so ’haṁ (I am That), śhivo ’haṁ (I am Shiv), etc. Their ultimate goal is to attain realization of the Supreme Entity as the undifferentiated Brahman, which possesses the attributes of eternality, knowledge, and bliss, but is devoid of forms, qualities, virtues, and pastimes. Shree Krishna says that such jñāna yogis also worship Him, but in His formless all-pervading aspect. In contrast, there are varieties of aṣhṭāṅg yogis etc. who see themselves as distinct from God and relate to Him accordingly.
Still others worship the manifest universe as God. In Vedic philosophy, this is called viśhwaroop upāsanā (worship of the cosmic form of God). In western philosophy, it is called “Pantheism” from the Greek words pan (all) and theos (God). The most famous exponent of this philosophy has been Spinoza. Since the world is a part of God, keeping a divine sentiment toward it is not wrong, but it is incomplete. Such devotees do not have knowledge of the other aspects of the Supreme Divine Entity, such as Brahman (God’s undifferentiated all-pervading manifestation), Paramātmā (the Supreme Soul seated in everyone’s hearts), and Bhagavān (the personal form of God).
How can all these divergent approaches worship the same God? Shree Krishna answers this in the following verses.


Chapter 9, Verse 16,17


अहं क्रतुरहं यज्ञ: स्वधाहमहमौषधम् | मन्त्रोऽहमहमेवाज्यमहमग्निरहं हुतम् || 16|| पिताहमस्य जगतो माता धाता पितामह: | वेद्यं पवित्रमोङ्कार ऋक्साम यजुरेव च || 17||

aham—I; kratuḥ—Vedic ritual; aham—I; yajñaḥ—sacrifice; svadhā—oblation; aham—I; aham—I; auṣhadham—medicinal herb; mantraḥ—Vedic mantra; aham—I; aham—I; eva—also; ājyam—clarified butter; aham—I; agniḥ—fire; aham—I; hutam—the act offering; pitā—Father; aham—I; asya—of this; jagataḥ—universe; mātā—Mother; dhātā—Sustainer; pitāmahaḥ—Grandsire; vedyam—the goal of knowledge; pavitram—the purifier; om-kāra—the sacred syllable Om; ṛik—the Rig Veda; sāma—the Sama Veda; yajuḥ—the Yajur Veda; eva—also; cha—and


It is I who am the Vedic ritual, I am the sacrifice, and I am the oblation offered to the ancestors. I am the medicinal herb, and I am the Vedic mantra. I am the clarified butter, I am the fire and the act of offering. Of this universe, I am the Father; I am also the Mother, the Sustainer, and the Grandsire. I am the purifier, the goal of knowledge, the sacred syllable Om. I am the Ṛig Veda, Sāma Veda, and the Yajur Veda.


Chapter 9, Verse 18


गतिर्भर्ता प्रभु: साक्षी निवास: शरणं सुहृत् | प्रभव: प्रलय: स्थानं निधानं बीजमव्ययम् || 18||

gatiḥ—the Supreme Goal; bhartā—Sustainer; prabhuḥ—Master; sākṣhī—Witness; nivāsaḥ—Abode; śharaṇam—Shelter; su-hṛit—Friend; prabhavaḥ—the Origin; pralayaḥ—Dissolution; sthānam—Store House; nidhānam—Resting Place; bījam—Seed; avyayam—Imperishable


I am the Supreme Goal of all living beings, and I am also their Sustainer, Master, Witness, Abode, Shelter, and Friend. I am the Origin, End, and Resting Place of creation; I am the Storehouse and Eternal Seed.


saba kai mamatā tāga baṭorī, mama pada manahi bāñdha bari ḍorī.

“Cut all the strings of worldly attachment of your mind; make a rope of these strings, and tie it at the lotus feet of God.” To help us tie our mind to Him, Shree Krishna here explains to Arjun that the soul’s every relationship is with God alone.


Chapter 9, Verse 19


तपाम्यहमहं वर्षं निगृह्णम्युत्सृजामि च | अमृतं चैव मृत्युश्च सदसच्चाहमर्जुन || 19||

tapāmi—radiate heat; aham—I; aham—I; varṣham—rain; nigṛihṇāmi—withhold; utsṛijāmi—send forth; cha—and; amṛitam—immortality; cha—and; eva—also; mṛityuḥ—death; cha—and; sat—eternal spirit; asat—temporary matter; cha—and; aham—I; arjuna—Arjun


I radiate heat as the sun, and I withhold, as well as send forth rain. I am immortality as well as death personified, O Arjun. I am the spirit as well as matter.


ahamevāsamevāgre nānyadyatsadasat param paśhchādahaṁ yadetachcha yo ’vaśhiṣhyeta so ’smyaham (Bhagavatam 2.9.32)

Shree Krishna tells Brahma: “I am all that is. Prior to creation, I alone existed. Now that creation has come about, whatever is in the form of the manifested world is my very self. After dissolution, I alone will exist. There is nothing apart from Me.”


Chapter 9, Verse 20


त्रैविद्या मां सोमपा: पूतपापा यज्ञैरिष्ट्वा स्वर्गतिं प्रार्थयन्ते | ते पुण्यमासाद्य सुरेन्द्रलोक मश्नन्ति दिव्यान्दिवि देवभोगान् || 20||

trai-vidyāḥ—the science of karm kāṇḍ (Vedic Rituals); mām—Me; soma-pāḥ—drinkers of the Soma juice; pūta—purified; pāpāḥ—sins; yajñaiḥ—through sacrifices; iṣhṭvā—worship; svaḥ-gatim—way to the abode of the king of heaven; prārthayante—seek; te—they; puṇyam—pious; āsādya—attain; sura-indra—of Indra; lokam—abode; aśhnanti—enjoy; divyān—celestial; divi—in heaven; deva-bhogān—the pleasures of the celestial gods


Those who are inclined to the fruitive activity described in the Vedas worship Me through ritualistic sacrifices. Being purified from sin by drinking the Soma juice, which is the remnant of the yajñas, they seek to go to heaven. By virtue of their pious deeds, they go to the abode of Indra, the king of heaven, and enjoy the pleasures of the celestial gods.


People who are fascinated by the science of trai-vidyā worship the celestial gods, such as Indra, through the performance of yajñas (fire sacrifices) and other rituals. They worship the Supreme Lord indirectly because they do not realize that it is He alone who sanctions the gifts that the celestial gods bestow. Ritualistic ceremonies are considered good deeds, but they are not counted as devotion. The performers of ritualistic ceremonies do not get released from the cycle of life and death. They go to the higher planes of existence within the material universe, such as abode of Indra, the king of heaven. There, they enjoy exquisite celestial delights that are thousands of times more pleasurable than the sensual pleasures available on the earth. In the following verse, Shree Krishna points out the defect in celestial pleasures.


Chapter 9, Verse 21


ते तं भुक्त्वा स्वर्गलोकं विशालं क्षीणे पुण्ये मर्त्यलोकं विशन्ति | एवं त्रयीधर्ममनुप्रपन्ना गतागतं कामकामा लभन्ते || 21||

te—they; tam—that; bhuktvā—having enjoyed; swarga-lokam—heaven; viśhālam—vast; kṣhīṇe—at the exhaustion of; puṇye—stock of merits; martya-lokam—to the earthly plane; viśhanti—return; evam—thus; trayī dharmam—the karm-kāṇḍ portion of the three Vedas; anuprapannāḥ—follow; gata-āgatam—repeated coming and going; kāma-kāmāḥ—desiring objects of enjoyments; labhante—attain


When they have enjoyed the vast pleasures of heaven, the stock of their merits being exhausted, they return to the earthly plane. Thus, those who follow the Vedic rituals, desiring objects of enjoyment, repeatedly come and go in this world.


tāvat pramodate swarge yāvat puṇyaṁ samāpyate kṣhīṇa puṇyaḥ patatyarvāganichchhan kāla-chālitaḥ (Bhagavatam 11.10.26)

“Residents of heaven enjoy the celestial delights until their merits have been exhausted. Then they are reluctantly forced to fall back to the lower abodes by the passage of time.”

swargahu swalpa anta dukhadāī (Ramayan)

“The attainment of heaven is temporary, and is followed by miseries.”
Just as a football gets kicked all over the field, Maya is kicking the soul around in forgetfulness of God. Sometimes it goes to the lower abodes, while sometimes to the higher abodes. Amongst these multitudes of forms it receives, across the lower and higher abodes, only the human form offers the facility for God-realization. Hence, the scriptures state that even the celestial gods pray to be given birth as a human being, so that they may rectify their previous mistake of going to heaven, and strive toward God-realization.


durlabhaṁ mānuṣhaṁ janma prārthayate tridaśhairapi (Nārad Purāṇ)

“The human form is exceedingly rare. Even the celestial gods pray to attain it.” Thus, Lord Ram instructed the residents of Ayodhya:

baṛeñ bhāga mānuṣha tanu pāvā, sura durlabha saba granthanhi gāvā (Ramayan)

“O people of Ayodhya, you all are extremely fortunate to have been bestowed a human birth, which is exceedingly rare and is desired even by the residents of heaven.” When the celestial beings long for a human birth, then why should we humans seek promotion to the celestial abodes? Rather, we should aim for God-realization by engaging in devotion to the Supreme Lord.


Chapter 9, Verse 22


अनन्याश्चिन्तयन्तो मां ये जना: पर्युपासते | तेषां नित्याभियुक्तानां योगक्षेमं वहाम्यहम् || 22||

ananyāḥ—always; chintayantaḥ—think of; mām—Me; ye—those who; janāḥ—persons; paryupāsate—worship exclusively; teṣhām—of them; nitya abhiyuktānām—who are always absorbed; yoga—supply spiritual assets; kṣhemam—protect spiritual assets; vahāmi—carry; aham—I


There are those who always think of Me and engage in exclusive devotion to Me. To them, whose minds are always absorbed in Me, I provide what they lack and preserve what they already possess.


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Guṇa Traya Vibhāg Yog

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Puruṣhottam Yog

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