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CHAPTER I: Arjuna Vishada Yoga

         The Yoga of Arjuna’s Conflict


1)         Dhritarashtra said:

         In the field of righteousness, the field of the Kurus, gathered together, intent on battle, what did my people and also the sons of Pandu do, O Sanjaya?


2)         Sanjaya said:

         On seeing the army of the Pandavas in battle array, Prince Duryodhana, having approached his teacher, then gave utterance to the following speech:


3)     O Teacher, look at this grand army of the Sons of Pandu, marshalled by your talented pupil, the Son of Drupada.


4)     Here are heroes, mighty archers, equal in battle to Bhima and Arjuna, Yuyudhana, Virata, and Drupada, of the great chariot.


5)         Dhrishtaketu, Chekitana, and the valiant King of Kasi, Purujit and Kuntibhoja, and that bull among men, Saibya.


6)     The heroic Yudhamanyu, and the brave Uttamaujas, the Son of Subhadra, and the Sons of Draupadi, all of great chariots.


7)     But know who are the most distinguished among us, O Best of the Twice-born, the leaders of my army; these I tell you, for you to recognize by name:


8)     You and Bhishma, and Karna, and also Kripa, the victor in war, Asvatthama and Vikarna, and also the Son of Somadatta,


9)     and many other heroes who are willing to die for me, who have various missiles and weapons, all skilled in warfare.


10)   That army of ours which is under the care of Bhishma is insufficient, but this army of theirs which is under the care of Bhima is adequate.


11)   And so let all of you, standing in your respective positions at the entrance to every formation, keep guard on Bhishma.


12)   So as to cheer him, the mighty old Kuru patriarch roared loudly like a lion and blew a conch.


13)         Then conches and drums and gongs, (other) drums, and horns, were played together suddenly, and that sound made a confused clang.


14)         Then standing in their great chariot, to which white horses were yoked, Madhava and the Son of Pandu together blew their divine conches.


15)         Krishna blew Panchajanya, and Arjuna blew Devadatta. He of wolf-like appetite and deeds of enormity blew his great conch, Paundra.


16)         Prince Yudhishthira, Son of Kunti, blew Anantavijaya, and Nakula and Sahadeva (blew together) the Sughosha and Manipushpaka.


17)   And the King of Kashi, excellent bowman, Sikhandin, great charioteer, Dhrishtadyumna and Virata and the unconquered Satyaki,


18)         Drupada, and the Sons of Draupadi, O Lord of the Earth, and the Son of Subhadra, of mighty arms—from all sides each blew his conch separately.


19)   That loud blast, filling earth and sky with sound, pierced the hearts of Dhritarashtra’s Sons.


20)         Then, beholding the Sons of Dhritarashtra standing marshalled in order, while the flight of arrows was beginning, Arjuna, the Son of Pandu, of monkey ensign, took up his bow;


21)   and, O King, he spoke thus to Krishna: O Acyuta! Stop my chariot right in the middle between the two armies,


22)   so that I may behold these standing eager to fight by my side in the present battle-undertaking,


23)   and might observe those here gathered together who desire to please in war the evil-minded Son of Dhritarashtra.


24)         Sanjaya said:

         Thus addressed by Arjuna, Krishna, having stationed that excellent chariot right in the middle between the two armies,


25)         facing Bhishma and Drona and all the rulers of the earth, Krishna said: O Arjuna! Behold these Kurus gathered here.


26)         Then Arjuna saw standing fathers as well as grandfathers, teachers, maternal uncles, brothers, sons, grandsons, and companions too.


27)   And upon seeing these relatives, fathers-in-law, and friends, all standing, in both armies,


28)         Filled with a supreme pity, in mental distress, said: Beholding my own people, O Krishna, standing together, wanting to fight,


29)   my limbs fail and my mouth dries up, my body trembles and my hair stands on end.,


30)   (the bow) Gandiva slips from my hand, my skin feels as if burning all over, I am unable to stand, and my mind is whirling round.


31)   and I see conflicting portents, O Krishna, nor do I foresee good from killing one’s own people in battle.


32)   I do not wish for victory, O Krishna, nor kingdom, nor pleasures; what is kingdom to us, what enjoyment, or even life?


33 & 34) They for whose sake kingdom, enjoyments, and pleasures are desired by us, are standing here in battle, having renounced their interests in life and wealth—teachers, fathers, sons, and also grandfathers, maternal uncles, fathers-in-law, grandsons, brothers-in-law, as well as other kinsman,


35)         These I do not want to kill, though they kill me, O Krishna, not even for the sake of dominion over the three worlds—how then for the sake of the earth?


36)         Having killed the sons of Dhritarashtra, what delight can there be for us? Only sin would come to us after killing this marauding rabble.


37)   And so we ought not to kill the Sons of Dhritarashtra, our relations; for how indeed can we be happy after killing our own people, O Krishna?


38)   Even if they, whose minds are overpowered by greed, see no wrong in the destruction of family, and no crime in treachery to friends,


39)   yet why should we not learn to turn away from this sin—we who do see wrong in the destruction of family?


40)   In the destruction of family, the immemorial clan traditions perish, and on the loss of tradition the whole clan comes under the sway of lawlessness.


41)         When wrong ways prevail, O Krishna, the women of the family become corrupt, and when women become corrupt, mixing of clans arises.


42)   This mixing leads (both the) family and the destroyers of the family to hell, for their ancestors fall when deprived of their offering of rice balls and water rites.


43)   By these misdeeds of the destroyers of families, causing intermixture of clans, the immemorial traditions of clan and family are destroyed.


44)   Men of families whose clan traditions are destroyed are destined to live in hell—thus we have heard.


45)   Alas! A great sin are we engaged in committing in endeavoring to kill our own people through greed for the pleasures of kingdom!


46)   It would be better for me if the Sons of Dhritarashtra, arms in hand, should kill me, unarmed and unresisting, in the battle.


47)         Sanjaya said:

         Thus having spoken in the midst of the battle, Arjuna sat down in his chariot seat, casting away his bow and arrow, his mind overwhelmed with sorrow.


CHAPTER II: Samkhya Yoga

       Unitive Reasoning


1)         Sanjaya said:

         To him who was thus filled with tenderness, whose eyes were filled with tears, and agitated, and who was in distress, Krishna spoke these words:


2)         Krishna said:

         In the midst of this difficulty, whence comes to you this dejection typical of non-Aryans, heaven-barring and disreputable, O Arjuna?


3)     Give yourself not to impotence, O Arjuna, it does not befit you. Cast off this base faint-heartedness. Arise, O Terror of Foes!


4)         Arjuna said:

         How could I encounter with arrows in battle Bhishma and Drona, who are worthy of worship, O Krishna?


5)         Desisting from the killing of the Gurus, who are highly honorable, it would be more meritorious in this world even to have to eat of a beggar’s pittance. Choosing, on the other hand, to kill these Gurus as fortune-seekers, I should be feasting even here on blood-stained benefits of life.


6)         Neither is it clear which would be of greater advantage to us: that we win or that they win over us. Those very persons are standing ranged before us, the Sons of Dhritarashtra, killing whom we would no longer wish to live.


7)         Struck down by the evil of a tender disposition, with a mind confounded in regard to what is right to do, I ask you: that which is definitely more meritorious do indicate to me. I am your disciple; do discipline me coming thus for refuge to you.


8)     I cannot visualize what could rid me of this distress which dries up the senses in this way—even should (it transpire that) I obtain unrivalled dominion of the earth’s plenty or overlordship of the gods in heaven too.


9)         Sanjaya said:

         Having spoken thus to Krishna, Arjuna, the Terror of the Foe, saying “I will not fight,” lapsed finally into silence.


10)   On this, Krishna, with a semblance of smiling, spoke these words to him who was in grief between the two armies:


11)         Krishna said:

         You are sorry for those for whom sorrow is unreasonable. You speak in terms of reason too. Veritable philosophers are not affected in regard to those whose breath has gone and those whose breath has not gone.


12)         Further, never was I nonexistent, nor you, nor these chiefs of men; neither shall we, all of us, ever cease becoming hereafter.


13)   As there is here in the body, for the embodied, childhood, youth, and old age, so also the passing on to another body in the same manner; those firm in mind are not thereby bewildered.


14)         Momentary sense contacts, on the other hand, yielding cold-warmth, joy-pain, alternately coming and going, are transitory. Do you endure them, O Arjuna.


15)   That human indeed of firm mind who is unaffected by these, equal-minded in joy as well as pain—he is destined for immortality.


16)         What is unreal cannot have being, and non-being cannot be real; the conclusion in regard to both these has been known to philosophers.


17)         Know That to be indestructible by which all this is pervaded. None can bring about the destruction of This that knows no decrease.


18)         These bodies (however) of the everlasting indestructible and undefinable embodied One are spoken of as having an end. Therefore go on with the battle, O Arjuna.


19)   He who thinks of This as the killer, and he who thinks of This as killed—both these know not. This does not kill, is not killed.


20)   This is neither born nor does This die, nor, having once come into being, cease to become any more: unborn, perpetual, eternal is This Ancient One. It is not killed on the killing of the body.


21)         About him who knows This as the indestructible, the everlasting, the unborn, never-decreasing one—of such a person how could the questions arise “whose death he causes,” “whom he kills,” O Arjuna?


22)   As a man casting off his worn-out garments assumes others that are new, likewise casting off bodies that are worn-out, the embodied One takes to others that are new.


23)         Weapons do not cut This, fire does not burn This, and water does not wet This; wind does not dry This:


24)         Indeed it is uncleavable; It is non-inflammable; It is unwettable and non-dryable also—everlasting, all-pervading, stable, immobile; It is eternal.


25)   It is undefined, unthinkable is It, as non-subject to change is It spoken of: therefore, knowing It as such, there is no reason for you to feel sorry for It.


26)   Or again if you should hold This to be constantly ever-born or as constantly ever-dying, even then you have no reason to regret it.


27)   In respect of anyone born, death is certain, and certain is birth for anyone dead; therefore, regarding something inevitable, you have no reason to feel any regret.


28)         Beings have an unmanifested origin and manifested middle states, and again unmanifested terminations. Where is room for plaint herein?


29)   A certain person sees This as a wonder, likewise another speaks about This as a wonder. Another hears of It even as a wonder, but even hearing no one understands This at all.


30)   This embodied One within the bodies of all is ever immune to killing, Arjuna. Therefore in respect of any being you have no reason for regretting.


31)   Further, having regard also for the pattern of behavior natural to you there is no reason for vacillation, for there could be nothing more meritorious than a war that is right for a true fighter.


32)   True warriors have reason to be happy, Arjuna, to have the chance of such a war presenting itself unsought before them as an open door to heaven.


33)   If, on the other hand, you will not take to this battle which conforms to the requirements of righteousness, then thwarting what is consistent with your own nature and your good repute you will become involved in evil.


34)   Living beings will also pronounce a never-ending verdict of calumny on you, and to one used to honor, dishonor is worse than death.


35)   The great car-generals will look upon you as quitting the battle from fear, and having been honorably looked upon by them you will be held in derision.


36)   Those against you will speak of you in unspeakable terms, scorning your ability; what pain could there be keener than this?


37)   Dying you will attain heaven or winning you will have the enjoyment of the earth. Therefore arise, O Arjuna, making up your mind to fight.


38)         Equalizing both pleasure and pain, both gain and loss, both victory and defeat, enter wholly into the battle. Thus you will avoid sin.


39)   What has just been taught is reasoning according to Samkhya, but hear now of the same according to Yoga, attaining to the unity of which reasoning you will be able to throw off the bondage of works.


40)   Here there is no forfeiture of any merit, nor is there involved any demerit by transgression. Even a little of such a way of life saves one from great apprehension.


41)   Here, O Prize of the Kurus (Arjuna), the well-founded reasoning is unitive, but many branched and endless are the reasonings of them in whom reason is ill-founded.


42-44) Such flowery speech as uttered by the foolish, adhering to the doctrine of the Veda, negating any other (transcendental) verity, the self of which is nothing but desire-made, holding heaven to be the highest goal, offering only birth as the result of works abounding in many special observances, which aim at enjoyment and domination; in the case of those whose minds are under the sway of such teachings, who are attached to enjoyment and domination, a well-founded reason does not come under the sway of the peace of contemplation.


45)   The Vedas treat of matters related to the three gunas; you should be free from these three modalities, Arjuna, free from (relative) pairs of opposites, established ever in pure being, without alternately striving and resting, (unitively) Self-possessed.


46)   There would be as much use for all the Vedas to a Brahmin of wisdom as there could be for a pool of water when a full flood prevails all over.


47)   Your concern should be with action (as such) alone, not for any benefits ever. Do not become benefit motivated; be not attached to inaction either.


48)   Engage in activity, Arjuna, taking your stand on the unitive way, discarding attachments, and capable of regarding both attainment and nonattainment as the same: in sameness consists the unitive way.


49)   Far inferior is the way of action to the unitive way of reason, Arjuna, resort to reason for final refuge; pitiful indeed are they who are benefit motivated.


50)   Affiliated to reason one leaves behind here both meritorious and unmeritorious deeds. Therefore affiliate yourself to the unitive way; yoga is reason in action.


51)   By affiliation to unitive reason the wise, transcending birth bondage, renouncing benefit interest, go onward to a state beyond all pain.


52)   When your reason has transcended the dross of vagueness, then you attain to that neutral attitude, both in respect of what is to be learnt and what has already been heard.


53)   When, disillusioned respecting the (contradictory injunctions of the) scriptures, your reason stands unshaken and steady in samadhi, then you shall have reached yoga.


54)   Arjuna said:

         What is the way of one whose reason is well founded, who is established in samadhi, O Krishna? How does he discourse, what is his state of being, how does he move about?


55)   Krishna said:

         When one banishes all desires that enter the mind, Arjuna, satisfied in the Self by the Self alone, then he is said to be one of well founded reason.


56)   He whose mind is unaffected by mishaps, who on happy occasions too evinces no interest, rising above attachment, anxiety or anger—such a sage-recluse is said to be of well founded reason.


57)   He who remains in all cases unattached on gaining such or such desirable-undesirable end, who neither welcomes anything nor rejects in anger—his reason is well founded.


58)   Again, when, as a tortoise retracts its limbs from all sides, the senses are withdrawn from objects of sense interest—his reason is well founded.


59)   Objective interests revert without the relish for them on starving the embodied of them. Even the residual relish reverts on the One Beyond being sighted.


60)   Even with a man of wisdom, Arjuna, in spite of his effort, excited sense interests can forcibly distract the mind.


61)         Restraining every one of them, he should rest unitively established, having Me for his Supreme ideal. He in whom sense interests are subdued—his reason is well founded.


62)         Meditating on objects of sense-interest there is born in man an attachment for them; from attachment rises passion; in the face of passion (frustrated) arises rage.


63)         From rage is produced distortion of values, from distortion of values memory-lapse, from memory-lapse comes loss of reason, and from loss of reason he perishes.


64)   But he whose Self is subdued, whose attachment and aversion are both within the sway of the Self, although his senses still move amidst sense-interests, he wends toward a state of spiritual clarity.


65)   By spiritual clarity there takes place the effacement for him of all sufferings, and for one whose spirit has become lucid, very soon reason becomes properly founded.


66)   For one unbalanced there can be no reason, nor is there any creative intuition for the unbalanced, and for one incapable of creative intuition there could be no peace, and for the unpeaceful where could there be happiness?


67)   Still moving amid sense interests, that item to which the mind submits draws away the reasoning as the wind does a ship on the waters.


68)         Therefore, Arjuna, he whose senses have been in every way withdrawn from sense interests—his reason is well founded.


69)         What is night for all creatures, the one of self-control keeps awake therein; wherein all creatures are wakeful, that is night for the sage-recluse who sees.


70)   Still getting filled, while fixed firm in immobility, the ocean remains; so, too, he in whom all interests enter—he attains to peace, not the craver of desires.


71)   That man who, giving up all attachments, moves about desirelessly, without owning anything, and without egoism—he goes to peace.


72)   This is the state of being in the Absolute, Arjuna, on reaching which one suffers from delusion no more. Established in this at the very last moments of life, one reaches that final state of pure being in the Absolute.




         The Unitive Way of Action


1)         Arjuna said:

         If you are of the opinion, O Krishna, that reason is superior to action, why then in an action that is ghastly do you enjoin me?


2)     By words that appear to be mixed up you seem to confound my reasoning. Tell me, after taking a decision, of that one (way) by which I may obtain merit.


3)         Krishna said:

         There are two kinds of discipline in this world, as declared in ancient times by Me, O sinless One—the unitive way of wisdom of the samkhyas and the unitive way of action of the yogis.


4)     By refraining from initiating activities a person does not come to have the attainment of transcending action, nor can one by renunciation alone come to perfection.


5)     Not even for a single instant can one ever remain engaged in no action at all. By virtue of modalities born from nature, all are made to engage in action helplessly.


6)     He who sits controlling the organs of activity while ruminating mentally over items of sensuous interest—such a lost soul is said to be one of spurious conduct.


7)     He, on the other hand, who keeps the senses under control by means of the mind, then commences unitive activity while still unattached—he excels.


8)     Do engage yourself in action that is necessary; activity is indeed better than non-activity, and even the bodily life of yours would not progress satisfactorily through non-action.


9)         Outside of activity with a sacrificial purpose, this world is bound by action. Even with such a purpose, do engage in work, O Arjuna, freed of all attachments.


10)   In ancient times, having created the peoples with sacrifice as pertaining to them (necessarily), Prajapati said: “By this shall you grow and multiply; let this be to you the milch-cow of all desires.


11)         “With this do you gratify the gods, and the gods gratify you; thus gratifying reciprocally you shall reach to supreme merit.


12)         “Those gods shall bestow on you all the gratifications you desire; one who eats what is given by them without giving in turn to them—he is a thief indeed.


13)   “The good man who eats of the remnants of a sacrifice is absolved of all faults; however, those sinners eat of evil itself who cook with themselves alone for motive.


14)         “Food is the cause of beings, and from rain food is produced; sacrifice has its effect in rain, and sacrifice has its origin in action.


15)         “Know that action arises from Brahma, and that Brahma traces his being to the Imperishable. Therefore the all-pervasive Absolute is eternally bound up with sacrifice.”


16)   He who leads a life hereunder that does not conform to the rotation of such a wheel—such a man of vicious lifetimes lives in vain indeed.


17)   But for him who happens to be attached to the Self alone, who finds full satisfaction in the Self—for such a man who is happy in the Self as such, there is nothing that he should do.


18)         Neither is there anything indeed for him resulting from work done, nor anything from work omitted here, nor is there either for him any dependence in respect of anything derivable from any being whatsoever.


19)         Therefore always remain detached, engage yourself in actions that are necessary; indeed, performing actions with detachment man attains to the Supreme.


20)         Janaka and such others reached perfection even performing acts. Again, having due regard for the integration of the world too, you have to act.


21)         Whichever may be the way of life that a superior man adopts—that very one is (followed) by other people. What he makes his guiding principle, the world behaves even according to the same.


22)         There is nothing in the three worlds that I am obliged to do, nor anything unaccomplished to be accomplished, while still I remain active (in principle).


23)   If I should not remain active (in principle), never relaxing, men in every walk of life would take to my (inactive) way.


24)         These (various) worlds would fall into ruin should I refrain from activity, and I would become the agent of (evolutive) confusion, killing in effect the peoples.


25)   In the same manner as uninstructed people would take to activity with attachment to work, the instructed man likewise should act without attachment, interested (merely) in world order.


26)   The person who is wise should not give room for disruption in the way of thinking of those who have not attained wisdom, but by behaving unitively should render every kind of action enjoyable.


27)         Irrespective of the occasion, it is nature that through the gunas accomplishes every act. One possessed of egoism, however, thinks of himself as the actor.


28)   On the other hand, the one who knows the principle underlying guna as distinct from karma, holding the view that (subjective) modes inhere in (their corresponding objective) modes, is not affected.


29)         Those confounded by the modalities of nature become attached to objective modalities existing in works. Such men who are not all-wise, and are dull, should not be unsettled by those who are all-wise.


30)         Renouncing in Me all works, coming to be without expectation or possessiveness, with a full awareness about the Self, do fight with fever gone.


31)         They, too, who ever adhere to this doctrine of mine, men full of faith and free from any mistrust in respect of it—they gain release from (obligatory) works.


32)   On the other hand, those soulless ones who look upon this my doctrine with mistrust and adhere not to it—know them as shut away from all knowledge and as lost.


33)   Even a man of wisdom behaves in conformity with his own nature. All creation goes on subject to nature. Of what avail is control?


34)         Attraction-repulsion abide mutually, between the senses and their sense-objects. One should never come under their double sway. They are indeed one’s twin path-hindering factors.


35)         Better is activity rightly conforming to one’s own nature, though lacking in superior quality, than activity foreign to one’s own nature, although it may be well done (otherwise). (Even) death by the performance of what fits one properly has merit. Activity foreign to oneself is fraught with danger.


36)         Arjuna said:

         Then impelled by what does man lead such a life of sin even against his will, as if forcibly enjoined?


37)         Krishna said:

         Such is desire, such is anger, born out of the modality called rajas, all-devouring, all-vitiating; know this to be the enemy here.


38)   As smoke shrouds fire, as a mirror (is beclouded) by dirt, as the fetus is enclosed in the amnion, likewise by such is This surrounded.


39)         Wisdom is enveloped by this which is the eternal enemy of the wise, remaining in the form of desire, Arjuna, which is a fire that is difficult to satiate.


40)   This is said to be lodged in the senses, mind and reason. By means of these, this (desire) bewilders the embodied one by veiling his wisdom.


41)         Therefore, mastering first the senses, slay this which is of sin, which can destroy both pure and practical wisdom.


42)   It is taught that the senses are great; beyond the senses is the mind, beyond the mind is reason, and beyond reason is That.


43)         Thus knowing That to be beyond reason, stabilizing the self by the Self, kill that enemy in the form of desire, so difficult to overcome.


CHAPTER IV: Jnana Yoga

         Unitive Wisdom


1)         Krishna said:

         This perennial unitive wisdom did I declare to Vivasvan, Vivasvan taught it to Manu, and Manu taught it to Ikshvaku.


2)         Thus handed down the line in succession, this (wisdom) the king-sages understood; by great lapse of time here (however) this unitive wisdom came to be lost, O Arjuna.


3)     That very same ancient secret is being today declared to you by Me, seeing that you are both my devotee and friend.


4)         Arjuna said:

         Your birth was posterior and the birth of Vivasvan was anterior; how then have I to understand it that You declared it in the beginning?


5)         Krishna said:

         Many are the lives that have gone past for me, as also for you, Arjuna; I am conscious of them all; you are not conscious of them.


6)         Although I remain ever unborn as the never-diminishing Self, while I am the Lord of Creation too, grounded in my own nature I assume being through the negative principle of my own Self.


7)         Whenever there comes to be laxity in regard to right life, O Arjuna, and wrong coming to assert itself, then I bring about the creation of myself.


8)     To protect those who are good and to destroy evildoers, for establishing righteousness, I assume being, age by age.


9)     He who understands this divine nature of my birth and work as consistent with basic principles, on leaving this body does not attain to repeated birth, but (only) comes to Me.


10)   Rid of attachment, fear and anger, wholly filled by Me alone, and surrendering to Me, many who have been purified by the discipline of wisdom have entered into My (very) being.


11)   As each chooses to approach Me, even accordingly do I have regard for him. My very path it is, O Arjuna, that all men do tread from every (possible) approach.


12)         Desiring the benefits coming from actions and thus sacrificing to the gods, quick indeed are the results born of works in this world of men.


13)   The fourfold color grades were created by myself on the basis of innate disposition and vocation that accorded with each; know Me to be the maker of such as also to be its undoer, unexpended.


14)   I am not affected by works, nor have I any interest in the benefit of works; he who understands Me in this manner comes no more under the bondage of works.


15)   The ancients performed work after knowing in this manner, therefore do that kind of work also, as was performed by the ancients, desiring emancipation in times more ancient.


16)   On what is action and what is inaction even intelligent men here are confused. I shall indicate to you that action on knowing which you will be emancipated from evil.


17)   One has to understand about action and understand also what is wrong action; again, one has to have a proper notion of non-action; the way of action is elusively subtle indeed.


18)   One who is able to see action in inaction and inaction in action—he among men is intelligent; he is one of unitive attitude, while still engaged in every (possible) kind of work.


19)   The one whose works are all devoid of desire and willful motive, whose (impulse of) action has been reduced to nothing in the fire of wisdom, is recognized as a knowing person by the wise.


20)         Relinquishing attachment for the benefit of works, ever happy and independent, though such a man be engaged in work, (in principle) he does nothing at all.


21)   One free of all expectancy and of subjugated relational self-consciousness, who has given up all possessiveness, and is engaged merely bodily in actions—he does not acquire evil.


22)         Satisfied with chance gains, unaffected by conflicting pairs (of interests), non-competitive, remaining the same in gain or no gain, he remains unbound in spite of having been active.


23)   In the case of one whose attachments are gone, who has gained freedom, whose spiritual being has been founded on wisdom, his works, having a sacrificial character only, become wholly dissolved.


24)   For him the Absolute is the act of offering, the Absolute is the substance offered into the Absolute which is the fire, offered by (him), the Absolute, the end to be reached by him being even the Absolute, by means of his peace supreme of absolutist action.


25)   As referring to the gods is (the nature of) sacrifice of some yogis; others offer sacrifice into the fire of the Absolute by sacrifice itself.


26)         Some offer as sacrifice the ear and other such sense organs into the fire of restraint; others offer the sacrifice of sound and other sense interests into the fire of the senses.


27)   All the functions of the senses, as also the vital functions, others make as an offering into the fire of unitive discipline, consisting of self-restraint.


28)         Likewise there are others of object-sacrifice, those of austerity-sacrifice, those who sacrifice unitive discipline, and those of self-study and wisdom sacrifice, who are (all) men of self-control and fully accomplished vows.


29)   Into the downward (inward) vital tendencies others sacrifice the upward (outward) one, and in the outward one the inward likewise; thus countering the tendencies, they remain ever as those (who resort to the way) of vital breath control.


30)         Others, abstemious in food, make an offering of vital breaths into vital breaths. All these are connoisseurs of sacrifice who have gotten rid of evil through sacrifice.


31)         Those who partake of the immortal nectar of sacrificial remains go to the eternal Absolute. This world is not for one of no sacrifice. How can he have the next?


32)         Thus, many and varied are the sacrifices spread in front of the Absolute. Know them all as originating in action. Thus understanding them, you shall gain release.


33)         Superior to any sacrifice with (valuable) objects is the wisdom sacrifice; all actions have their culmination in wisdom, Arjuna.


34)         Learn this by prostration, by searching questioning, and by service; they will instruct you (duly) in wisdom—those wise ones who can see the basic principles.


35)         Having known this, Arjuna, you will not give way to delusion thus any more; by this all beings without exception will be seen by you in the Self and thus in Me.


36)   Even if you should happen to be among evil-doers the most evil-doing man, by the very raft of wisdom you will be able to cross over all sin.


37)   Just as fire when kindled reduces to ashes the fuel, likewise the fire of wisdom reduces all works to ashes.


38)         There is nothing indeed here so purificatory as wisdom, which same the man of perfection through unitive discipline discovers in himself in due course.


39)   A man of faith comes to wisdom being intent on That, with the senses subjugated. On obtaining wisdom he reaches without delay (the state of) supreme peace.


40)   The man who is unwise and without faith, with the Self held in (the conflict of) doubt, is destroyed; neither is there this world, nor the world beyond, nor can there be any happiness for a man (caught) in doubt.


41)   One of unitively renounced action, who by wisdom has sundered doubt and come to full self-possession, cannot be bound by works.


42)         Therefore, sundering with the sword of Self-knowledge this ignorance-born doubt residing in the heart, stand firm in the unitive way, and stand up, Arjuna.



CHAPTER V: Karma Sannyasa Yoga

         Unitive Action and Renunciation (Renouncing the benefits of action through yoga)


1)         Arjuna said:

         You recommend the renunciation of action, Krishna, and again yoga also; tell me, duly determined, which of these two is spiritually better.


2)         Krishna said:

         Both renunciation and unitive action have emancipation as their common effect; of the two, however, unitive action is superior to (mere) renunciation of action.


3)     That man should be recognized as a perennial renouncer who neither hates nor desires; free indeed from conflicting pairs (of interests) O Arjuna, he is happily released from the bondage (of necessity).


4)     That rationalism and yogic self-discipline are distinct, only children say, not the well-informed; one well-established in either one of them obtains the result of both.


5)     That status attained by rationalists is reached also by yogis; he who thus sees rationality and yoga as one—he (alone) sees.


6)     But non-unitive renunciation is full of pain to achieve; one unitively harmonized, of subdued ways, without any delay attains the Absolute.


7)     One affiliated to the unitive way of life, attained to lucidity of Self, of Self-conquest, who has gained a victory over the senses, whose Self-existence has become the same as the Self-existence of all, though active, is unaffected (thereby).


8 & 9) “I do nothing at all”—saying thus, he of unitive ways, who is a philosopher, should think, (while) seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, going, sleeping, breathing,

speaking, excreting, grasping, opening and closing the eyes—treating the senses as (merely) related to their (corresponding) sense objects.


10)   He who acts, placing all actions in the Absolute, having given up attachment, is not affected by sin, like a lotus leaf by water.


11)   By the body, by the mind, by intelligence, and even by the senses alone, yogis engage in action, abandoning attachment, for (purposes of) purity of Self.


12)   The one of unitive discipline, discarding benefit-motive, attains to ultimate peace; the one of non-unitive discipline, being desire-motivated, attached to results, is bound.


13)         Relinquishing by means of the mind all activities, the embodied One sits happily, a victor, in the nine-gated city, neither acting nor causing to act.


14)   The Supreme does not generate either the idea of agency or activity in regard to the world, nor the union of action and benefit; the innate urge in beings, however, exerts itself.


15)   The all-pervading One takes cognizance neither of the sinful nor the meritorious actions of anyone; wisdom is veiled by unwisdom; beings are deluded thereby.


16)   To those, however, in whom that unwisdom in the Self has been destroyed, wisdom shines sunlike as the Ultimate.


17)         Thus having That for reasoning, That for the Self, That for finalized discipline, That for supreme goal, they go to a state of final non-return, all their (relativistic) dross being canceled out by wisdom.


18)   In regard to a Brahmin endowed with learning or humility, a cow, an elephant, and even a dog, as also one who cooks the dog (for food), the well-informed ones see the same (differenceless reality).


19)   Even here creative urges are conquered by those whose minds are balanced in sameness; free from blemish and unitively balanced is indeed the Absolute; therefore such persons become grounded in the Absolute.


20)   He should not rejoice on good befalling him nor be disturbed by a mishap; stabilized in reason, delusion-free, as knower of the Absolute, firmly established is he in the Absolute.


21)   That (same) joy which is felt by one in his own Self when he is unattached to outer contacts (such as touch), he whose Self has established unity with the Absolute experiences never-decreasingly.


22)         Those contact-born pleasures indeed are the sources of pain, having a beginning and an end, Arjuna; the wise man does not take pleasure in them.


23)   He who is able to experience undisturbed here itself before liberation from the body, that impulse arising out of desire and hatred—he is the unified and happy man.


24)   He of inward happiness, whose inner life is free and easy, and likewise of inward brilliance—he of unitive understanding, having become the Absolute, enters the self-effacement of the Absolute.


25)         Seers, their evils weakened, cutting themselves away from conflicting pairs of interests, who are self-controlled, who are ever kindly disposed to all beings, attain to self-effacement in the Absolute.


26)   To those disjoined from desire and anger, those self-controlled ones whose vital consciousness is subdued, (who are also) knowers of the Self, self-effacement in the Absolute lies near at hand.


27 & 28) Having peripherally discarded outward factors (such as touch), and also with eyes fixed between the eyebrows, equalizing the positive and negative vital tendencies moving within the nasal orifice,

with the senses, mind and reason controlled, the silent recluse, wholly intent on liberation, with desire, fear and anger gone, is ever himself, the liberated one.


29)         Having known Me as the Enjoyer of ritual sacrifices, the Acceptor of austerities, the great Lord of all worlds, and the Friend of all beings, one reaches peace.



CHAPTER VI: Dhyana Yoga

         Unitive Contemplation


1)         Krishna said:

         Without depending on the results of action, he who does necessary action is a renouncer and also a contemplative, not he who has (merely) given up the sacrificial fire, or who (merely) abstains from ritualist (or other) action.


2)     That which people call renunciation—know that to be yoga, O Arjuna; one who has not given up his willful desires for particularized ends never indeed becomes a yogi.


3)     The yoga of a man of self-control who is still an aspirant, is said to have action as its motive principle; for the same person, when he has ascended to the unitive state, tranquility is said to be its motive principle.


4)         When, however, one finds attachment neither in the objects of the senses nor in actions—such a man, who has renounced all willful desires for particularized ends, is said to be one who has ascended to yoga.


5)     By the Self the Self must be upheld; the Self should not be let down; the Self indeed is its own dear relative; the Self indeed is the enemy of the Self.


6)     The Self is dear to one (possessed) of Self, by whom even the Self by the Self has been won; for one not (possessed) of Self, the Self would be in conflict with the very Self, as if an enemy.


7)     To one of conquered Self, who rests in peace, the Supreme is in a state of neutral balance in heat-cold, happiness-suffering, honor-disgrace.


8)     That yogi whose Self is satisfied by (synthetic) wisdom and (analytic) knowledge, established in unchanging immobility, who has gained full control over sense-attachments, is said to be unified—one to whom a lump of earth, a stone, and gold are the same.


9)     As between dear well-wishers, friends, enemies, those indifferent, those in-between, haters, relations, and also as between good people and sinners, he who can maintain an equal attitude, excels.


10)   The yogi should constantly gather his own Self unitively, established in a place where he can be by himself, alone, with relational mind and Self under control, without expectations and without possessive intentions.


11 & 12) Having established firmly in a clean place a seat for himself, one neither too high or too low, and covered respectively with cloth, skin and grass,

there having made the mind one-pointed, and with relational mind and sense-functions subdued, (duly) taking his place on his seat, let him unitively engage in yoga for transparent Self-consciousness.


13 & 14) With body, head and neck held evenly and in immobile poise, looking at one’s nose tip and not perceiving the (actual) directions (of space),

with tranquil Self, with fear gone, established in the vow of a brahmachari, having mind subdued, related to Me through contemplative thought, he may sit, united, having Me for his supreme goal.


15)         Thus, ever unitively joining the Self, the yogi whose mind is subdued enters into that peace which abides in Me, which has as its ultimate phase total effacement.


16)   To be sure, there is no yoga for a glutton nor for one who fasts, nor is it either for one who oversleeps or is (over) wakeful.


17)   To one of proper food (habits) and recreation, who engages in activities in proper moderation, who sleeps and wakes in a well-regulated way, yoga takes its course painlessly.


18)         When the subdued relational mind stays in the Self itself, desireless of all desires, then it is said to be united.


19)   As a lamp set in a windless place does not flicker—such a simile is thought of in regard to a yogi who has brought under restraint his (relational) mind, (ever) uniting thus in the union of the Self.


20)         (That state) where the (relational) mind attains tranquility, restrained through continued cultivation of a yogic attitude, and where also the Self by the Self in the Self enjoys happiness,


21)   that in which one cognizes the ultimate limit of happiness which can be grasped by reason and goes beyond the senses, and established wherein there is no more swerving from the true principle,


22)   and which, having obtained, there is no other gain thought of which could be greater (in value), in which, when established, there is no swerving even by heavy suffering


23)         —that should be known by the name of yoga: disaffiliation from the context of suffering. Such a yoga should be adhered to with determination, free from spiritual regret.


24)         Abandoning completely all desires originating in the will for particularized ends, curbing the collection of sense-functionings on every side


25)         —slowly, slowly, activities should be brought to a standstill by reason steadily applied, establishing the mind reflexively in the Self, without thinking of anything whatever.


26)         Whatever causes the changeful, unsteady mind to go out (again and again), from each such, restraining it (again and again), it should ever be led to the side of the Self.


27)         Such a yogi, verily, of calmed mind, of pacified passion, who has become the Absolute, free from all dross, comes to supreme happiness.


28)   Ever uniting thus the Self, that yogi, rid of dross, having contact with the Absolute, enjoys easily happiness that is ultimate.


29)   One whose Self is united by yoga sees the Self as abiding in all beings and all beings as abiding in the Self, everywhere seeing the same.


30)   He who sees Me everywhere, and sees everything in Me, to him I am not lost and he is not lost to Me.


31)   That yogi who honors Me as abiding in all beings, established in unity, remaining as he may in every possible way—he abides in Me.


32)   By establishing an analogy with the Self, he who sees equality everywhere, whether in pleasant or painful situations—he is considered a perfect yogi.


33)         Arjuna said:

         That yoga you have outlined as consisting of sameness, O Krishna, I do not see for this any stable foundation, owing to changefulness.


34)   The mind is changeful indeed; it is agitated, forceful, and imperative (in character); like the wind, I consider its control difficult.


35)         Krishna said:

         Doubtless the mind is difficult to control and changeful. By practice and by dispassion it can be held together.


36)   By a Self uncontrolled yoga is hard to attain; such is my opinion; but by a Self which is its own support, endeavoring, it is possible to reach through the means (indicated).


37 & 38) Arjuna said:

         He who is unsubdued (but) endowed with faith, whose mind has deviated from yoga, not reaching to yogic attainments—what path does he take?

Is he not fallen from both like a riven cloud, destroyed without a mainstay, confounded regarding the path of the Absolute?


39)   My doubt, O Krishna, you should dispel completely. Other than you there is none to be found to dispel this doubt.


40)         Krishna said:

         Arjuna, neither here nor hereafter is there destruction for him, for none of good deeds ever goes to perdition.


41)         Having attained to the worlds of the righteous, and having dwelt there for eternal years, he who deviated from the path of yoga is reborn in a house of the pure and well to do.


42)   Else he is born in a family of wise yogis only. A birth like this is very rare to obtain in this world.


43)         There he obtains that union with reason, pertaining to a previous body, and strives thence again for perfection.


44)   By the former practice itself he is drawn on, though disabled; as one merely desiring to know of yoga, he transcends the Absolute of sound.


45)   But the yogi who strives with perseverance, purified from evils, and perfected by many births, then reaches the supreme path.


46)   The yogi is greater than men of austerity, and he is thought to be greater than men of wisdom, and greater than men of works; therefore become a yogi, Arjuna.


47)   Of all yogis, he who with inner Self is merged in me, full of faith, devoted to Me, is considered by Me the most unitive.


CHAPTER VII: Jnana-Vijnana Yoga

       The Unitive Way of Wisdom Synthesis


1)         Krishna said:

         Having a mind attached to Me, Arjuna, joining unitively through yoga, and having Me as refuge, how you will know Me without any doubt, comprehensively, that do hear.


2)     I shall teach you the (pure) wisdom together with this (applied) knowledge, without any omission, knowing which there will be nothing more here left over that should be known.


3)         Among thousands of men, one perchance strives for perfection. Even among the striving who have attained, one perchance knows Me according to proper principles.


4)         Earth, water, fire, air, sky, mind, reason, and also consciousness of individuality—thus, here is divided My eightfold nature.


5)     This is the non-transcendental. Know the other to be My nature, which is transcendental, constituting life, by which the phenomenal world is sustained.


6)         Know that all beings have this as their common source. I am the becoming as also the dissolution of all this (phenomenal) world.


7)         Nothing else is higher than Me. In Me all this is strung as a classified series of precious beads on a string.


8)     I am the taste in waters, I am the light in the moon and the sun, I am Aum in all the Vedas, sound in the sky, and the human quality in men.


9)     I am the holy fragrance of the earth, and also the brilliance of the luminary (presence), the vital principle in all beings, and the (essence of) austerity in all ascetics.


10)         Know Me to be the perennial seed of all beings; I am the reason of the intelligent, and I the brightness of (those who are) the brilliant.


11)   I am the strength of the strong, devoid of desire and passion. In beings I am desire which is not contrary to righteousness.


12)   Even sattva, rajas and tamas—know those manifestations to be My own. I am not in them, but they are in Me.


13)         Deluded by these three manifestations of value, this whole world is unable to know Me, who am beyond them and unexpended.


14)         Verily this divine illusion of Mine, made up of the manifestations of value (gunas), is hard to surmount. Those who seek Me alone pass over this illusion.


15)         Foolish evildoers, lowest among men, do not attain Me, their wisdom being distracted by illusion, affiliated as they are to the demonic (or non-intelligent) aspect of nature.


16)         Among doers of the good, four kinds are intent on Me: the distressed, the seeker of knowledge, the seeker of the goods of life, and the wise.


17)   Of these, the wise man, forever united and unitively affiliated with the Absolute, excels, for dear to the utmost limit am I to the wise one, and he is dear to Me.


18)         Honorable are all these, but My firm opinion is that the wise one is the Self itself. He of unitively established Self indeed remains in My path, which has nothing higher.


19)         After many births the wise man attains Me. Such a Great Self, thinking Vasudeva to be all, is rare indeed to find.


20)         Their wisdom distracted by such or such (other) desire counterparts, they attain to other divinities, committed to various obligations belonging to each, prompted by their own particular nature (in each case).


21)   By whichever particular form such and such a devotee with faith wishes to worship, each to his own faith I confirm.


22)   He, endowed with that faith, seeks the worship of such a one, and from him obtains his desires, the benefits being decreed by Me.


23)         Terminable indeed is the benefit accruing to these of small intelligence; sacrificers of the divinities go to the divinities, but My devotees surely come to Me.


24)         Unreasoning persons consider Me as the unmanifest come to manifestation, not knowing My supreme existence (value), unexpended, with no superior.


25)   I am not revealed brightly to all; shrouded as I am by the illusive effect of negative reality, this deluded world does not know Me, unborn, unexpended.


26)   I know the beings that are past, present, and to come, Arjuna, but no one knows Me.


27)         From the delusion of the pairs of opposites arising from attraction and repulsion, all beings, on being created, are subject to confusion (of values).


28)   But those persons of pure deeds, whose sin has come to an end, freed from the conflict of pairs of opposites, adore me with a firm resolve.


29)         Those who, resorting to Me, strive for liberation from decay and death—they know That, the Absolute, all that constitutes Self-knowledge, and everything pertaining to (ritualistic) action.


30)         Those who know Me, taking together what refers to existential, hypostatic, and sacrificial aspects—they know Me in a unitive spirit, even at the time of their departure.


CHAPTER VIII: Akshara Brahma Yoga

       The Unitive Way in Spiritual Progress


1)         Arjuna said:

         What is that Absolute? What is the principle of the Self? What is action, Krishna? What is said to be the principle of existence, and what is spoken as the principle of divinity?


2)     Here in this body, what and how is (to be understood) the principle of sacrifice? Again, how are You to be known by self-controlled persons at the time of going forth from the body?


3)         Krishna said:

         The Absolute, perennial, supreme—(its) own nature is called the principle of Self. The creative urge, the cause of the origin of existent beings, is designated action.


4)     The principle of existence is the transient aspect, and the spirit is the principle of divinity; what pertains to sacrifice is Myself here in the body, Arjuna.


5)     And he who, at the time of death, thinking of Me alone leaves the body and goes forth, reaches My being; herein there is no room for doubt.


6)         Whatever manifested aspect a man might think of at death, when he leaves the body—that he reaches, whose thoughts always conform to that particular life-expression.


7)         Therefore, at all times remember Me and fight; when your mind and intelligence are surrendered to Me, you shall come to Me; have no doubt.


8)         Meditating, with the mind engaged in the yoga involving positive effort, undistracted by anything else, he goes to the supreme divine Person.


9 & 10) He who meditates on the Poet-seer, the Ancient, the Ordainer, minuter than the atom, the Dispenser of all, of unthinkable nature, sun-colored, beyond the darkness,

who meditates at the time of departure with a steady mind possessed of devotion, as also of the strength that comes from yoga, well-fixing the life-breath between the eyebrows—he reaches that supreme divine Person.


11)   That imperishable (value) which the knowers of the Vedas speak of, which the self-controlled and passion free enter, desiring which they lead the life of the disciplined student—that state I shall succinctly describe.


12 & 13) Inhibiting all exits, holding the mind-factors convergent in the heart, vitality-functionings operating centered between the eyebrows, well-established in sustained unitive contemplation,

uttering the one-syllable word AUM, which is the Absolute, while constantly remembering Me, he who departs, abandoning the body, treads the highest path.


14)   One without extraneous relational mental interests, remembering Me day in and day out—to such an ever unitively affiliated man of contemplation I am easy of attainment.


15)         Having attained to Me, they do not return to this transitory abode of suffering, having reached the highest attainment.


16)   All worlds, beginning from here to the world of Brahma, are subject to phenomenal repetition, but on reaching Me, Arjuna, there is not another birth.


17)         Those who know that the day of Brahma is a thousand unit periods in the cosmic cycle, and the night a thousand such units—they are knowers of the day and night (principle).


18)         From the unmanifested all the manifested proceed at the coming of day; at the coming of night they merge in that same, named the unmanifest.


19)   This very same aggregate of beings, coming into existence again and again, merges, subject to necessity, at the onset of night, and comes into being at the coming of day.


20)   But beyond this unmanifested there is yet another unmanifested perennial existence, which among perishables itself does not perish.


21)   That unmanifested is called the imperishable. That they speak of as the highest path, attaining which they return not. Such is My supreme abode.


22)   This is the supreme Spirit, within whom all existences abide and by whom all this is pervaded, who is attainable, however, by devotion exclusive of all extraneous factors.


23)   That (cosmological) occasion in which yogis go forth (causes them) to return or not return (as the case may be)—that temporal circumstance I am going to tell you, Arjuna.


24)   Fire, light, daytime, the bright fortnight, the six months of the northern solstice (summer)—going forth on that (cosmological) occasion, those people who can understand the Absolute reach the Absolute.


25)         Smoke, night, the dark fortnight, the six months of the southern solstice (winter)—on that (cosmological) occasion, the yogi, attaining the lunar (relativist) light, returns.


26)         These, the white and the black, are known to be in this world the twin perennial paths; by one of them one attains non-return, while by the other one comes back.


27)         Understanding (the basic nature of) these two paths, one of contemplation is not confounded at all; therefore at all times, Arjuna, be unitively established in yoga.


28)         Whatever meritorious result is found implied in the Vedas, in sacrifices, austerities and in gifts, the contemplative who is unitively established, having understood this (teaching), transcends all these and attains to the supreme primal state.



CHAPTER IX: Raja Vidya Raja Guhya Yoga

       Unitive Contemplation as a Royal Science and Crowning Secret


1)         Krishna said:

         To you indeed who do not mistrust I shall declare this profound secret of wisdom together with its applied aspects, by knowing which you shall be freed from what savors of evil.


2)         Royal science, crowning secret, purificatory is this, superior, objectively verifiable, conforming to right living, very easy to live, and subject to no decrease.


3)     Men without wholehearted faith-affiliation to this way of right living, not attaining to Me, return to the paths of mortality and cyclic repetition of existence.


4)     By Me all this world is pervaded, My form unmanifested; all beings have existence in Me and I do not have existence in them.


5)     And further, beings do not exist in Me; behold My status as a divine mystery; further, Myself remaining that urge behind beings, I bear them but do not exist in them either.


6)     As the great (expanse of) air filling all space has its basis in pure extension, thus you should understand all existences as having their basis in Me.


7)     All beings pass into My nature at the end of a unit of cosmic duration, and at the beginning of the same unit I emanate them.


8       By virtue of My nature, I emanate again and again the whole aggregate of beings, subject as they are to the necessary compulsion of nature.


9)         Further, these works do not bind Me, Arjuna, for I am seated, seemingly indifferent, unattached to those actions.


10)   With Me presiding, nature gives birth to both the movable and the unmovable entities; because of this the world revolves.


11)   The foolish misunderstand Me because of My adopting the human form, ignorant as they are of My being that is beyond, as Lord of all beings,


12)   of frustrated hope, of frustrated deeds, empty of wisdom, non-discriminating, (they are) like malignant titans and demons, submitting themselves to a nature of confounding values.


13)   But those of Great Self, affiliated to My divine nature, adore Me with mind exclusive of all extraneous interests, having known Me as the unexpended primal Source of all beings.


14)         Always singing praises of Me, ever striving, firm in vows, and saluting Me devotedly, they are ever united in worshipful attendance;


15)         Others also, sacrificing with the wisdom sacrifice, unitively, dualistically, as also in many ways facing universally everywhere, worshipfully attend on Me.


16)   I the ritual action, I the sacrifice, I the ancestral oblation, I the potent medicinal herb, I the holy formula, I also the melted butter, I the fire, I the offering.


17)   I the Father of this world, the Mother, the Supporter, and the Grandsire, the Holy One who is to be known, the Purifier, the syllable AUM, as also the Vedas called Rik, Sama and Yajus.


18)   I am the Goal, the Supporter, the Lord, the Witness, the Abode, the Refuge, the Friend, the Becoming, the Dissolution, and Ground of Being, ontological Basis, and never-expended Seed.


19)   I radiate heat and I rain, I withhold and I send forth, I am immortality and death, as also being and nonbeing, Arjuna.


20)         Knowers of the three Vedas, soma drinkers, purified from sin, worshiping by sacrifices, pray of Me the way to heaven; they, attaining the holy world of Indra, enjoy divine feasts in heaven.


21)         They, having enjoyed that expansive heaven-world, their merit exhausted, enter the world of mortality, thus conforming to the righteous notions implied in the three Vedas: desiring desirable objects they obtain values which come and go.


22)   To those persons who, meditating on Me to the exclusion of all else, worship Me, ever established unitively, I bring that solace of the unitive way of Yoga.


23)   Even those who, devoted to other gods, worship them with faith, they in fact worship Myself, though not conforming to orthodox rules.


24)   I am indeed the Enjoyer, as also the Lord of all sacrifices; but they fall indeed who do not understand Me according to first principles.


25)         Votaries of the divinities go to the divinities, votaries of the ancestors go to the ancestors, sacrificers to elemental existences go to the elemental existences, and so too My worshippers attain to Me.


26)   He who offers to Me with devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit, or water, that do I accept as being offered with devotion by one who makes the right effort.


27)         What you do, what you eat, what you offer, what you give, what austerity you practice—let that be done as an offering to Me.


28)         Thus you will be liberated from the bonds of action, whether its results are good or evil. With self affiliated to unitive self-denial, as one thus emancipated you will attain to Me.


29)   I regard all beings equally. To Me there is none hateful or dear. They, however, who worship with devotion—they are in Me and I too am in them.


30)   Even if one of very evil actions should worship Me with a devotion exclusive of all else, he should be accounted to be good all the same, merely by the fact that he has a properly settled determination.


31)         Instantaneously he becomes established in his own right nature and enters into eternal peace. Believe Me in all confidence, Arjuna, that one affiliated to Me with fidelity knows no destruction.


32)         They too who resort to Me for refuge, whoever they might be, (whether) women, workers, as well as farmer-merchants, all of sinful origin—they too attain to the supreme goal.


33)   How much more then the pure brahmanas, as also the devoted royal sages! Having reached this transient joyless world do you worship Me.


34)         Become one with Me; be devoted to Me; sacrifice to Me; bow down to Me; unifying thus yourself, you shall surely come to Me, your supreme Goal none other than Me.


CHAPTER X: Vibhuti Yoga

       The Unitive Recognition of Positive Values


1)     Krishna said:

         Again, Arjuna, listen to My supreme word, which I, desiring your well-being, shall tell you, so dear (and favorably disposed).


2)     Neither the hosts of the gods, nor the great sages know My origin; for I am indeed in every way the source of the gods and the great sages.


3)     He who understands Me as unborn and beginningless, as the great Lord of the world—that man, undeluded among mortals, is absolved from all sins.


4 & 5) Reason, wisdom, non-delusion, patience, truth, self-restraint, calmness, pleasure-pain, becoming and non-becoming, sense of danger and security,

non-hurting, balance, contentment, austerity, benevolence, fame-shame, are the various distinct attitudes arising from Me alone.


6)     The seven great sages of old, as also the four law-givers, are born from My own process of becoming and mind, and from these all progeny in the world.


7)     He who understands according to fundamental principles My unique value together with its unitive balance, by non-wavering contemplation attains union. In this there is no room for doubt.


8)     I am the Source of all; from Me everything moves outward; understanding thus, the wise adore Me, endowed with the intuition of pure becoming.


9)     With their relational minds affiliated to Me, their life tendencies penetrating in Me, enlightening each other and ever conversing about Me, they are content and rejoice.


10)   To such (wise ones) established in unbroken unity with affectionate adoration, I grant that kind of unitive understanding by which they attain to Me.


11)         Specifically because of compassion for them I, abiding as what has become the Self, destroy the ignorance born of darkness by the shining lamp of wisdom.


12 & 13) Arjuna said:

         You are the supreme Absolute, the supreme Abode, the supreme Purifier, the eternal divine Person, the primal Divinity, the Unborn, the All-pervading—

all the sages say this of You, the divine sage Narada, so too Asita, Devala, Vyasa, and you yourself confirm it to Me.


14)   I believe that all this that You say is valid, O Krishna; neither the divinities nor the demons know your unique nature.


15)   You Yourself indeed know Yourself by Yourself, most high Godhead, presiding Principle of elemental expression and of becoming, Light of Shining Ones, Lord of the universe.


16)   Be pleased to tell me without omission of the divine perfections of Your own Self, by which specific expressions You pervade these worlds, while remaining apart.


17)   How shall I, constantly meditating on You, know You, O Mystic Yogi? In what particular expressions are you to be cognized by Me?


18)   Tell me again in detail of your balanced perfections and specific expressions, for I am never tired of hearing Your words of ambrosial immortality.


19)   Krishna said:

         Ah! I shall recount to you the bright, glorious values that pertain to Myself, (graded) according to their importance, for there is no end to the elaboration of items pertaining to Me.


20)   I am the soul seated in the heart of all beings; and I am the beginning and the middle and even the end of beings.


21)   Of the Adityas I am Vishnu; of luminaries the radiant Sun; I am Marici of the Maruts; among the stars I am the Moon.


22)   Of the Vedas I am the Sama Veda; of the divinities I am Indra; in respect of the senses I am the mind; and of life-expressions I am pure Intelligence.


23)   Of the Rudras I am Shiva; of the Yakshas and the Rakshasas, Vittesa; of the Vasus I am Pavaka; and among heights I am Meru.


24)   Even in the case of the household priests, know Me to be the chief, Brihaspati; of the generals I am Skanda; in respect of lakes I correspond to the ocean.


25)   Of the great hermit-sages I am Bhrigu; of articulated words I am the one-syllable (AUM); of sacrifices I am the sacrifice of silent repetition; of immovables I am the Himalaya.


26)   Of trees I am Asvattha, and of divine sages, Narada; of Gandharvas, Citraratha, and of those of psychophysical attainments, Kapila the recluse.


27)   Know Me among horses to be Ucchaihsravas, born of the ambrosia of immortality; of noble elephants, Airavata, and of men the king.


28)   Of weapons I am the thunderbolt; of cows I am the milk-yielder of all desires; of progenitors I am the god of erotics; of serpents I am Vasuki.


29)   And I am Ananta of Nagas; I am Varuna of the denizens of the deep, and Aryama of the ancestors; I am Yama of controllers.


30)   And I am Prahalada of the Daityas; among bases of measurement I am time; of beasts I am the lord of beasts, and Vainateya of birds.


31)   Of purifiers I am the wind; I am Rama of bowmen; of fishes I am the makara; of streams I am the Ganges.


32)   (In the structure) of cantos (or chapters) I am the beginning, end, and also the middle; of the sciences I am the Science of the Self; I am the dialectic of preeminent dialecticians.


33)   Among syllabic letters I am the A, of compounds I am the paired-compound; I am also unexpended time; I am the maintainer, universally facing.


34)   I am all-engulfing death, and the Source of all things that are to be; and of womanly values, fame, grace, speech, memory, will power, firmness and endurance.


35)   Likewise, of hymns I am the brihasama; of meters I am the gayatri, of months I am margasirsha, and of seasons the flower-abounding.


36)   I am the chance-risk of (irresponsible) gamblers; I am the brilliance of the brilliant people; I am victory; I am decisiveness; I am the goodness of those established in the real.


37)   Of the Vrishnis I am Vasudeva; of the Pandavas, Dhanamjaya; of the recluses I am Vyasa; of the poets, the poet Usana.


38)   Of rulers I am the scepter; of those who seek victory I am the statesmanship; in esoterics I am silence; and of knowers I am knowledge.


39)   And further, what is the seed of all beings, that I am, Arjuna; nor is there anything moving or unmoving that can exist without Me.


40)   There is no end to My divine unique values, Arjuna. What has been said of these unique values is but indicatory of their possible extensive elaboration.


41)   Whatever entity is unique in perfected values, in grace, or in radical strength, understand that to have manifested itself from a mere fractional spark of My brilliance.


42)   But what use is there for you, Arjuna, in this pluralistic knowledge? Supporting this whole world by a single fraction of Myself, I remain still as ever.



CHAPTER XI: Visvarupa Darsana Yoga

       The Unitive Vision of the Absolute


1)     Arjuna said:

         By that speech which has been spoken by You out of favor for me—the highest secret known as pertaining to the Self—this, my confusion, has vanished.


2)     The origin and dissolution of beings have also been heard by me in elaboration from You, O Krishna, as also Your unexpended greatness.


3)     So it is as You have said Yourself, Supreme Lord; I desire to see Your divine Form, O Supreme Person.


4)     If You think that it is possible for me to see it, then do You, O Master of Yoga, show me Your never-decreasing Self.


5)     Krishna said:

         Behold, Arjuna, My forms, by hundreds and thousands, various in kind, divine, and of varied colors and shapes.


6)     Behold the Adityas, the Vasus, the Rudras, the two Asvins, and also the Maruts; behold many marvels never seen before.


7)     Now behold here in My body the whole world, including the static and the dynamic, unitively established, and whatever else you desire to see.


8)     But if you are unable to see Me with this your (human) eye, I give you a divine eye; behold My sovereign Yoga.


9)     Sanjaya said:

         Having thus spoken then O King the great Master of Yoga showed Arjuna the supreme Godly Form.


10)   With many faces and eyes, with many marvelous aspects, with many divine ornaments, with many divine weapons held aloft,


11)   wearing divine garlands and vestures, anointed with divine perfumes and unguents, a God representing sheer marvel, without end, universally facing.


12)   If the splendor of a thousand suns were to rise together in the sky, that might resemble the splendor of that great Soul.


13)   There Arjuna then beheld the whole world, divided into many kinds, unitively established in the body of the God of gods.


14)   Then Arjuna, struck with amazement, with his hair standing on end, reverently bowing his head to the God, and with joined palms, spoke.


15)   Arjuna said:

         I see the gods, O God, in Your body, and all specific groups of beings, Brahma, the Lord, established on his lotus seat, and all seers and divine serpents.


16)   I see You on every side, of boundless form, with multitudinous arms, stomachs, faces and eyes; neither Your end nor Your middle nor Your beginning do I see, O Lord of the Universe, O Universal Form!


17)   I behold You with diadem, mace and discus, glowing everywhere as a mass of light, hard to look at, everywhere blazing like fire and sun, immeasurable.


18)   You are the Imperishable, the Supreme that is to be known; You are the ultimate Basis of this universe; You are the unexpended and everlasting Custodian of (natural) law; You are the immemorial Person, I believe.


19)   I see You without beginning, middle or end, of never ending force, of numberless arms, having moon and sun for eyes, Your face like a lit fire of sacrifice burning this universe with Your own radiance.


20)   The space between heaven, earth, and the intermediate realm is pervaded by You alone, as also the quarters; having seen this wonderful, terrible form of Yours, the three worlds are in distress, O Great Self.


21)   Into You enter those hosts of the Suras, some in fear of You mutter with joined palms, bands of great rishis and Perfected Ones hail You with the cry “May it be well!” and praise You with resounding hymns.


22)   The Rudras, Adityas, Vasus and Sadhyas, Visvas and the two Asvins, Maruts and Ushmapas, hosts of Gandharvas, Yashas, Asuras and Siddhas, all gaze at You, wonderstruck.


23)   Seeing Your great form, with many faces and eyes, of many arms, thighs and feet, with many stomachs, with many terrible teeth, the worlds are distressed, as also myself.


24)   On seeing You touching the sky, shining in many a color, with mouths wide open, with large fiery eyes, my inmost self, intensely distressed, I find neither courage nor control, O All-Pervading One.


25)   Having seen Your mouths fearful with teeth, like time’s devouring flames, I lose my spatial bearings and find no joy; be gracious, O Lord of Gods, Container of the world!


26 & 27) All these sons of Dhritarastra, with hosts of rulers, Bhisma, Drona, and that son of a charioteer, with our warrior chiefs,

are rushing into Your fearful mouths, terrible with teeth; some are found sticking in the gaps between the teeth with their heads crushed to powder.


28)   As many rushing torrents of rivers race toward the ocean, so do these heroes in the world of men enter Your flaming mouths.


29)   As moths speed into a blazing fire to be destroyed, just so do these worlds also speed into Your mouths unto their destruction.


30)   You lick up all worlds, devouring on every side with Your flaming mouths, filling the whole world with glory. Your fierce rays are blazing forth, O All-Pervading One.


31)   Tell me who You are, so fierce in form! I bow to You, O Superior God. Be gracious! I want to understand You, O Primal One, nor do I know Your positive continued becoming.


32-34) Krishna said:

         I am world-destroying Time, grown into hardened maturity, operating here continuously, desolating the worlds. Even without you, none of the warriors standing in the opposing armies shall continue to exist.

Therefore, arise and gain fame! Conquering your foes, enjoy the realm of abundance. By Me they have already been slain. Be the incidental cause only, Arjuna.

Drona and Bhishma, Jayadratha, Karna, and the other great battle heroes, are all slain by Me. Do not be distressed. Fight on, you shall conquer in battle your rival co-warriors.


35)   Sanjaya said:

         Having heard that speech, Arjuna, stuttering emotionally and trembling with fear, with palms joined worshipfully, bowed down before Krishna and spoke these words:


36)   Arjuna said:

         O Krishna, it is but right that the world is delighted in praising You, that demons fly in fear to every quarter, and that all hosts of perfected ones bow in adoration to You.


37)   And why should they not bow to You, O Great Self, more venerable even than Brahma, the first maker, O Endless God of Gods, Basis of the Universe! You are the Imperishable One, existence and nonexistence, and what is beyond even that.


38)   You are the First of the Gods, and the Ancient Spirit; You are the Supreme Basis of the Universe; You are both the Knower and the Knowable; You are the (transcendent) Beyond and the (immanent) Receptacle (here); the universe is pervaded by You, O One of Limitless Form!


39)   You are the God of Wind, Death, Fire, Ocean, the Moon, first of Progenitors and the Great-Grandsire. Hail! Hail to You! A thousand times and again, hail! Hail to You!


40)         Prostrations to You before and after; prostrations to You on every side; O All, of endless potency and immeasurable strength, You terminate all, then You become All!


41 & 42) Whatever I have said rashly, from carelessness or fondness, addressing You as “O Krishna, O Yadava, O Comrade,” thinking of You as an intimate and ignorant of Your greatness,

and for whatever jesting irreverence I may have shown You, whether at play, reposing or seated, or at meals, either when remaining by myself or when You were present, that I ask you to forgive, O Unpredicable One!


43)   You are the Father of the world, of the moving and unmoving; You are to be reverenced by this world, and are the Supreme Guru; none is Your equal; how then could there be one greater than You, even in the three worlds, O One of Incomparable Greatness!


44)         Therefore bowing down and prostrating my body, I seek Your grace, O Adorable Lord; (it is but proper that) You should bear with me, as father to son, as friend to friend, as lover to beloved.


45 & 46) I am glad having seen what has never been seen by anyone before, and my mind is troubled with fear; O God, be pleased to show me that very form, O God of gods, O Abode of the Universe;

I want to see You even so, diademmed, with mace and discus in Your hand; assume that very form with four arms, O Thousand–Armed, O One of Universal Form!


47)   Krishna said,

         By My favor, Arjuna, this supreme form has been shown, by union with          the Self, made up of light, universal, endless, primal, never before seen by any other than yourself.


48)   Neither by the Vedas, sacrifices, nor by study, nor by gifts, nor by ritual, nor by severe austerities, can I possibly be seen in such a form in the human world, by anyone other than you.


49)   Be not distressed, do not be confused, having seen such a terrible form of Mine; free from fear, mentally comforted, again behold that very form of Mine (presently) here.


50)   Sanjaya said:

         Having thus spoken to Arjuna, Krishna again showed His own form, and the Great Self, becoming mild in form, consoled him who was terrified.


51)   Arjuna said:

         Beholding again this Your mild human form, I am now calm, with my mind restored to its natural state.


52)         Krishna said:

         This form of Mine which you have seen is very hard to see indeed; even the gods ever aspire to behold this form.


53)   Not by worship, nor by austerity, nor by gifts, nor by sacrifice, can I be seen in this form as you have seen Me.


54)   But by devotion that excludes all else I can be known, seen, and in principle entered into.


55)   He who does actions that are Mine, whose supreme is Myself, whose devotion is to Me, devoid of attachment, free from enmity to all beings—he reaches Me, Arjuna.


CHAPTER XII: Bhakti Yoga

       Unitive Devotion


1)         Arjuna said:

         Those devotees who worship You ever unitively, and those again who meditate on the Imperishable and the Unmanifested—of them which excels in yoga knowledge?


2)         Krishna said:

         Those with minds entered into Me, who unitively meditate on Me, with a fervor pertaining to the Supreme—those according to Me are the most unitively attuned in yoga.


3 & 4) But those who meditate upon the Imperishable, the Undefinable, the Unmanifested, the All-Pervasive, and the Thought-transcending, the Firmly-Established, the Immobile, the Constant,

having restrained all sense-aggregates, regarding all with equalizing understanding, interested in the well-being of all creatures—they reach Me too.


5)     The difficulty of those whose relational minds are set on the Unmanifested is greater, for the way of the Unmanifested is very hard for the embodied to reach.


6 & 7) But those who worship Me, renouncing all actions in Me, regarding Me supreme, meditating on Me by that yoga exclusive of all else,

for them whose minds have entered into Me, I become ere long the savior out of the ocean of death and repeated cyclic existences.


8)         Place your mind in Me only, let your higher reason enter into Me; you shall without doubt thereafter live in Me.


9)     If you are unable to fix your thoughts steadily on Me, then by means of unitive ascent seek to reach Me.


10)   If you happen to be incapable even of practice, then become one whose every action belongs to Me, the Supreme; even doing work for My sake you shall attain to perfection.


11)   If you are unable to do even this, then seek refuge (for your individuality) in My unitive Being, renouncing the benefits of all actions, as one of controlled self.


12)         Better indeed is knowledge than practice; than knowledge, meditation is superior; than meditation, renunciation of the benefit of action; after renunciation—peace.


13 & 14) He who has no hatred toward all creatures, who is also friendly and compassionate, who is free from possessiveness, and egoism, who is equalized in pain and pleasure, and forgiving,

such a unitively disciplined one, who is always contented, self-controlled, firmly resolved, whose mind and reason are dedicated to Me—he, My devotee, is dear to Me.


15)   He who does not disturb (the peace of) the world and (whose peace) is not disturbed by the world, and who is free from exaggerations of joy, hate and fear—he too is dear to Me.


16)   He who expects no favors, who is clean, expert, who sits unconcerned, carefree, who has relinquished all undertakings—he, My devotee, is dear to Me.


17)   He who neither rejoices nor hates, nor grieves nor desires, and who has relinquished both the beneficial and the harmful—such a one, endowed with devotion, is dear to Me.


18)   He who is the same to foe and friend, and also in honor and dishonor, who is the same in cold and heat, in pleasure and pain, and who is free from attachment,


19)   to whom censure and praise are equal, who is silent (in manner), content with whatever happens to come, having no fixed abode, mentally constant—such a man of devotion is dear to Me.


20)   But they who cherish devotedly this righteous immortal value, as stated, endowed with faith, with Me for the Supreme—these devotees are exceedingly dear to Me.

CHAPTER XIII: Kshetra-Kshetrajna Yoga

       The Unitive Understanding of the Distinction Between the Actual and the Perceptual


         Arjuna said:

         Nature and spirit, the field and the knower of the field, knowledge and what is to be known—these I should like to know, Krishna.


1)         Krishna said:

         This body is called the field, and he who knows this, thus they call, who know, the knower of the field.


2)     And also know Me as the knower of the field in all fields. That knowledge which refers to the knowledge of the field and the knower of the field, is, in My opinion, the knowledge.


3)     That hear in brief from Me: what the field is, what it is like, of what it is the modification, and whence and which it is; also what the knower of the field is, and what is his specialized resulting expression.


4)         Sung by rishis in many ways, severally and distinctly, in different meters, and also in the aphoristic words of the Brahma Sutras, replete with critical reasonings and positively determined.


5 & 6) The great elements, ego sense, reason, and also the Unmanifest, the ten senses, the one (mind), and the five conceptual aspects of the senses,

wish-dislike, pleasure-pain, the organic aggregation, vital intelligence, firmness—this, in brief, is the field, with modifications named.


7)         Freedom from conventional pride, unpretentiousness, non-hurting, non-retaliating forbearance, straightforwardness, loyal support of the teacher, purity, steadfastness, state of self-withdrawal,


8)         detachment in respect of sense interests, absence of egoism, insight regarding the pain and evil of birth, death, old age, and disease,


9)         without clinging to, and without intensely involved attachment to (relations such as) sons, wives, (and property such as) houses, and having a constant neutral mental attitude in respect of desirable and undesirable happenings,


10)         devotion to Me to the exclusion of everything extraneous, and never straying from the direct path, preference to dwell in a place apart, distaste for crowded living,


11)         everlasting affiliation to the wisdom pertaining to the Self, insight into the content of philosophical wisdom—this is declared to be wisdom; whatever is other than this is ignorance.


12)   I shall declare that which is to be known, knowing which one gains immortality: the beginningless, having Me as its supreme culminating factor, the Absolute, which is said to be neither existence nor non-existence.


13)   With hands and feet everywhere, with eyes and heads and mouths and hearing everywhere—in the world, That remains, enveloping all.


14)         Shining by the specific characters of the senses, devoid of all sense attributes, unattached, supporting all, without qualities yet perceiving qualities,


15)         without and within beings, immobile and mobile too—because subtle, That is unknowable; That stands far and near also.


16)   And undivided, yet remaining divided, as it were, in beings, supporter of existence, and That which is to be known, holding back and releasing for expansive becoming,


17)   the Light even of lights—That is said to be beyond darkness; knowledge, the knowable, and what is to be reached through knowledge, particularly located in the hearts of everyone.


18)         Thus, the field, and wisdom, and what has to be known, have been briefly told; My devotee, having known this, attains to My state of being.


19)         Know that nature and spirit are both beginningless; and know also that modifications and their intrinsic modalities are born of nature.


20)   In what concerns the agency of cause and effect the motivating factor is called nature; in the matter of the experiencer of pleasure and pain the motivating factor is called spirit.


21)   The spirit, seated in nature, appreciates the modalities born of nature; association with the modalities is the cause of births in good or evil wombs.


22)         Supervisor, and Permitter, Supporter, Experiencer, the Great Lord, also called the Supreme Self, is the supreme spirit in the body.


23)   He who thus knows spirit and nature, together with the intrinsic modalities, though he may happen to be leading any kind of life, is not born again.


24)   By meditation some behold the Self in the Self by the Self, others by samkhya yoga, and others by karma yoga.


25)   But others, not knowing in this way, worship, having heard from others; they also cross beyond death, depending on hearsay.


26)         Whatever is produced, the unmoving or the moving, know that to be from the union of the field and the knower of the field.


27)   He who sees the supreme Lord abiding in a state of equality in all beings, within the perishing as the non-perishing—he sees.


28)   He who sees the Lord seated equally everywhere, destroys not the Self by the Self; and so he attains the supreme goal.


29)   He who sees that all actions are done by nature alone, and likewise that the Self is actionless—he truly sees.


30)         When he perceives the disjunct existence of beings established in the One, and from whence also their expansion, then he becomes the Absolute.


31)         Having no beginning, having no attributes, this supreme Self suffers no decrease, though dwelling in the body, Arjuna. It neither acts nor is it tainted.


32)   As the all-pervading, subtle space-principle is untarnished by reason of its subtlety, so the Self, seated everywhere in the body, is untarnished.


33)   As the one sun illumines this whole world, so the Lord of the field illumines all the field.


34)         Those who by the eye of wisdom perceive the difference between the field and the knower of the field, and (its bearing on) elements-nature-emancipation—they go to the Supreme.



CHAPTER XIV: Gunatraya Vibhaga Yoga

       The Unitive Way of Transcending the Three Nature Modalities


1)         Krishna said:

         I shall again declare that superior wisdom, the best of all wisdom, by knowing which all sage-recluses have passed to transcendental perfection from here.


2)         Having resorted to this wisdom, and having attained to conformity in (express) features pertaining to Me, they are neither born at creation nor are they adversely affected at dissolution.


3)     My womb is great Brahma; in that I place the germ; thence is the birth of all beings, Arjuna.


4)         Whatever tangible forms are produced in all the wombs, great Brahma is their (common) womb, and I am the seed-bestowing Father.


5)         Sattva, rajas and tamas—these nature-necessity born modalities bind the imperishable embodied One.


6)     Of these, sattva, from its purity, causing brightness and expressing normal well-being, binds by pleasure conditioning and by knowledge conditioning.


7)         Know you that rajas is of the nature of attachment, conditioned by thirst for life and the adhering tendency; it binds the embodied One fast by action association.


8)     But tamas is born of ignorance, deluding all embodied beings; it binds by delusion, lassitude and somnolence.


9)         Sattva conduces to pleasure and rajas to action, while tamas, shrouding wisdom, conduces to delusion.


10)   Now sattva dominates, overpowering rajas and tamas; and rajas prevails over sattva and tamas; likewise tamas over rajas and sattva.


11)         When light, which is wisdom, streams forth from all the doors of the body, then it may be understood that sattva is predominant.


12)         When rajas dominates there arises greed, activity, initiation of works, impatience and covetousness.


13)         When tamas dominates, dullness, lack of initiative, delusion and infatuation arise.


14)   If the body bearer goes to dissolution when sattva predominates, then it attains to the pure worlds of those who understand the best values.


15)         Meeting with dissolution when rajas predominates, it is born among those attached to action; and likewise if dissolved in a state of tamas, it is born in the wombs of the foolish.


16)   The benefit of good action is said to be sattvic, while the benefit of rajas is pain, and ignorance is the benefit of tamas.


17)         From sattva arises wisdom, as also from rajas, greed; both delusion and infatuation and also ignorance arise from tamas.


18)         Those who abide in sattva go upward, the rajasic dwell in the middle, and the tamasic, abiding in the function of the lowest modality of nature, go downward.


19)         When the seer beholds no other agent than the modalities of nature, and knows that which lies beyond the modalities, he attains My state of being.


20)   The embodied, having transcended these three modalities of nature, originating in the body, is freed from the sufferings of birth, death and old age, and enjoys immortality.


21)         Arjuna said:

         By what marks, O Master, does he who has transcended those three modalities of nature become recognized? What is his conduct, and how does he transcend them?


22)         Krishna said:

         Light and activity and delusion, when present, Arjuna, he is not dissatisfied, nor does he hanker for them when absent.


23-25) He who, seated as a neutral, is not moved by the modalities of nature, realizing that they operate in rotation, who, standing apart, is unmoved,

the same in pain and pleasure, at rest in himself, to whom a clod of earth, a stone and gold are alike, firm in attitude alike to loved and unloved, who regards his being blamed or praised equally,

the same in honor and disgrace, taking no sides as between friends or foes, abandoning all initiation of works—he is said to have transcended the modalities of nature.


26)   He who also serves Me with a yoga of devotion, never deviating from the proper path, transcending these modalities of nature, is considered fit for becoming the Absolute.


27)   For I am the basis of the Absolute, and the unexpended nectar of immortality, and the eternal way of right conduct, and of lonely final happiness.


CHAPTER XV: Purushottama Yoga

       The Unitive Approach to the Paramount Person


1)         Krishna said:

         They speak of an unexpended holy fig tree, with roots above and branches below, whose leaves are sacred verses; he who knows it is a Veda knower.


2)         Below and above spread its branches, nourished by the modalities of nature, sense values its buds, and downward also there are ramified roots which bind to action in the world of men.


3 & 4) Nor is its form here comprehended thus (as stated), nor its end, nor its beginning, nor its foundation. Having sundered this holy fig tree, with strongly fixed roots, with the weapon of decisive nonattachment,

then alone that path is to be sought, treading which they do not return again, thinking: “I seek refuge in that Primordial Man from whom of old streamed forth active relativist manifestation.”


5)         Those who are neither proud nor deluded, who have overcome their selfish attachments, who are ever constant to that value which pertains to the Self, whose passions are withdrawn, who are beyond the opposing dual factors known as pleasure-pain, and who are non-foolish, wend that way of life which knows no decay.


6)     The sun does not illumine That, nor the moon, nor the fire; That is My supreme abode, from which, having reached, they return not.


7)     A qualitative unit of Mine, which is eternal, having become life in the world of life, attracts to itself the senses—of which mind is the sixth—which abide in nature.


8)         When the Lord takes a body, and when He leaves it, He takes these (mind and senses) and goes, even as the wind gathering scents from their retreats.


9)         Presiding over the ear, the eye, touch, taste, smell, and also the mind, this One avails himself of the values relating to the senses.


10)         Whether departing, staying, or experiencing, conditioned as they are by the modalities of nature, the foolish cannot see; the wisdom-eyed can see.


11)   The yogis, striving, also perceive this One established in the Self; though striving, those yogis of imperfected Self, lacking wisdom, do not see this One.


12)   That brilliance which reaches the sun and brightens the whole world, that which is in the moon and the fire too—that brilliance know to be of Me.


13)         Permeating the earth, I sustain all elemental existences by My vitalizing heat principle, and become soma, identical with sap (or taste); I also nourish all herbs.


14)         Having become the fire of life and resorting to the body of living creatures, uniting with the ingoing and outgoing vital energies, I digest the four kinds of food.


15)   And I am seated in the heart of all; from Me are memory and positive wisdom and its negative process; I am that which is to be known by all the Vedas; I am indeed the Vedanta maker and the Veda knower too.


16)         There are two Persons in the world, the Changing and the Changeless; the Changing comprises all beings, and the mysteriously fixed is called the Changeless.


17)   That Paramount Person, however, is another, called the Supreme Self, the eternal Lord, who, pervading the three worlds, sustains them.


18)         Because I transcend the Changing and am even superior to the Changeless, therefore I am celebrated in the world and in the Veda as the Paramount Person.


19)   He who, undeluded, thus knows Me, the Paramount Person—he, the all-knower, adores Me in all aspects, Arjuna.


20)         Thus this most secret doctrine has been taught by Me; understanding this, one becomes wise, and one who has done with all works, O Sinless One.




CHAPTER XVI: Daivasura Sampad Vibhaga Yoga

       The Unitive Way of Discriminating Between higher and Lower Values


1-3)         Krishna said:

         Fearlessness, transparency to truth, proper affiliation to unitive wisdom, attitude of generous sharing, self-restraint, sacrifice, private perusal of sacred books, discipline, rectitude,

non-hurting, truth, non-anger, relinquishment, calmness, self-integrity, compassion to beings, non-interest in sense values, gentleness, modesty, non-fickleness,

alertness, forgiveness, fortitude, cleanliness, absence of malice, absence of excessive respectability—these make up the divine (higher) values of anyone, O Bharata, born for them.


4)         Pretentiousness, arrogance, a sense of self-importance, anger, harshness, and also ignorance—these, O Arjuna, make up the demonic (lower) values of anyone born with them.


5)     The divine values are deemed to be for emancipation, and the demonic for bondage to necessity; do not regret, O Arjuna, you are born for the divine values.


6)         There are two orders of created beings in this world: the divine and the demonic; the divine have been described at length; hear from me now of the demonic.


7)     The demonic men do not know the way of positive action, nor the way of negative withdrawal; in them is found neither cleanliness, nor propriety in conduct, nor veracity.


8)         They say that the world is without true existence, without a basis, without a presiding principle, not resulting from reciprocal factors (lying beyond immediate vision), as if asking, “What else is there other than that caused by lust?”


9)         Willfully holding to this view, these men of lost souls, of little understanding, of harsh deeds, emerge as non-beneficial, effecting the world’s decline.


10)         Holding to insatiable desires, accompanied by pretentiousness, arrogance, and madness, fondly grasping false values deludedly, they act with unclean resolve.


11)         Engrossed with infinite cares lasting till doomsday, for whom desire and enjoyment is the supreme end, cocksure that such is the way,


12)         bound by a hundred cords consisting of expectations, given to lust and anger, they strive unfairly to hoard wealth for sensual enjoyment.


13)         “This today has been gained by me; this particular end I will get; this wealth is mine, and that wealth also will be mine;


14)   that enemy has been killed by me; and others I will also kill; I am the Lord; I am the enjoyer; I have satisfied my ambitions; I am powerful and happy;


15)   I am rich and well-born; who else is like me? I will sacrifice; I will give; I will rejoice”—thus deluded by ignorance


16)         maddened by many thoughts, caught within the snare of confusing values, addicted to lustful gratifications, they fall into an unclean hell.


17)   Self-righteous, perversely immobile, filled with pride and intoxication of wealth, they perform sacrifices ostentatiously, which are only nominal sacrifices, not conforming to scriptural rules.


18)         Resorting to egoism, force, insolence, lust, and anger, these envious ones hate Me [the Absolute] in their own and other’s bodies.


19)         These cruel haters in the world, worst of men, I hurl unceasingly even into the degraded wombs of demons;


20)         attaining a demonic womb, deluded by birth after birth, not reaching Me, O Son of Kunti, they go to the lowest state.


21)         Triple is the infernal gate, destructive of the Self: lust, hate and greed; therefore these three should be avoided.


22)   A man who has abandoned these three gates of darkness observes what conduces to his progress, and thereafter attains to the Supreme Path.


23)   He who, having abandoned the guiding principles of scripture, acts under the promptings of desire—he cannot attain perfection, nor happiness, nor the Supreme Path.


24)         Therefore the scripture is your authority in deciding what should and should not be done. Understanding what is indicated for guidance in scripture, you should do work here.



CHAPTER XVII: Sraddhatraya Vibhaga Yoga

         The Unitive Recognition of the Three Patterns of Faith


1)         Arjuna said:

         What is the status in faith, O Krishna, of those who, discarding scriptural injunctions, sacrifice with faith, sattvic, rajasic or tamasic?


2)         Krishna said:

         The faith of the embodied is of three kinds, according to their predominant nature of sattva, rajas or tamas. About it hear:


3)     The faith of everyone is shaped according to their true nature, Arjuna; man is made of his faith; of what faith a man is, even that he is.


4)         Worshipers of the divinities are sattvic; the rajasic incline toward the gods of eating and wealth and the gods of ferocity and violence; while the rest, the tamasic, worship the spirits of the dead and the hosts of elemental beings.


5&6)         Those men who practice terrible austerities not enjoined by the scripture, given to hypocrisy and egoism, lust, passion and power,

torturing all the organs of the body and harassing Me, seated in the body—know them to be of demonic resolves.


7)     Even the food which is dear to everyone is of three kinds, as also the sacrifices, austerities and gifts. Hear you of the distinction between them.


8)     The foods which promote life, vitality, strength, health, joy and cheerfulness, and which are tasty, rich, substantial and appealing, are dear to sattvic types.


9)         Foods that are strongly flavored, sour, saline, excessively hot, pungent, hardened, and burning are liked by the rajasic, and are producers of pain, unhappiness and indisposition.


10)   That which is left over, which has lost its taste, which is putrid, stale, which is refuse, and unfit for consumption—such alimentary items are welcome to the tamasic types.


11)   That sacrifice is sattvic which is offered by those desiring no gain, having injunctional recognition in the mind, having become tranquil by saying to themselves that sacrifice is necessary.


12)   That sacrifice which is offered with expectation of return, or for egoistic show, know that to be rajasic.


13)   The sacrifice which does not conform to scriptural rules, without food distribution, without sacred chants and token gifts meant for the Guru, and devoid of faith, they declare to be tamasic.


14)         Worship offered to the gods, to wisdom-initiates, to spiritual teachers, and the wise generally, cleanliness, straightforwardness, the chaste ways of a wisdom novice, and non-hurting, are said to constitute discipline of the body.


15)         Inoffensive speech, which is truthful, pleasant and beneficial, and contemplative self-study, are named the discipline of speech.


16)         Mental happiness, gentleness, silence, self-restraint, and an imagination of creative transparency, are named the discipline of the mind.


17)   This threefold discipline, practiced with transcendent faith by unitively balanced yogis, without desire of gain, is named sattvic.


18)   That discipline which is practiced for gaining respect, honor, reverence, and for the sake of show, is named rajasic, changeful and insecure.


19)   That discipline which is practiced out of foolish obstinacy, with self-torture, or for the detriment of another, is named tamasic.


20)   That gift which clearly ought to be made, given to one from whom no return is expected, in the right place and time, and to a deserving person—that gift is sattvic.


21)   And what is given with a view to return benefit, or with gain in view, reluctantly—that gift is held to be rajasic.


22)   The gift that is given at a wrong place or time, disdainfully, and patronizingly, to persons unfit to receive it, is said to be tamasic.


23)   Aum tat sat: this, threefold, has been known in the past as designating the Absolute. The scriptures called Brahmanas, the Vedas, and sacrifices also, by this were prescribed of old.


24)         Therefore, uttering aum, sacrifice, giving, austerity, and action enjoined by scriptural ordinance always begin for those who represent the doctrine of the Absolute.


25)   With tat, excluding all values of gain, various acts of sacrifice and austerity, as also giving, are performed by those who desire liberation.


26)   This term sat is used in the sense of existence, and of goodness; and likewise, Arjuna, to all laudable actions the expression sat is usually applied.


27)         Steady loyalty in sacrifice, austerity and giving is also called sat, and so also action so intended is called sat.


28)         Whatever is sacrificed, given, or done, and whatever austerity is gone through without faith is called asat, Arjuna; it has no value here or hereafter.



CHAPTER XVIII: Sannyasa Yoga

         The Unitive Way in Behavior Patterns (Unitive Renunciation?)


1)         Arjuna said:

         I desire to know, O Krishna, the truth of renunciation as also of relinquishment, each distinctly.


2)         Krishna said:

         Bards of old understood by sannyasa the renunciation of desire-prompted action; the relinquishing of the benefit of all actions those with insight declare to be tyaga.


3)         Action should be given up as an evil, declare some rationalists; others say that acts of sacrifice, giving and austerity should not be abandoned.


4-6)  Hear now from Me the settled conclusion about relinquishment; indeed relinquishment has been well known as of three kinds:

The acts of sacrifice, giving and austerity should not be relinquished, each should indeed be observed; sacrifice, giving and austerity are the purifiers of rational men;

but even these actions should be done leaving out attachment and desire for result; this is My decided and best conviction.


7)         Verily, the renunciation of necessary inevitable action does not arise; the renunciation of such through delusion is said to be tamasic.


8)     He who relinquishes action from fear of bodily trouble, considering it painful, thus willfully (rajasically) relinquishing, does not get the (legitimate) benefit of relinquishment.


9)         When necessary action is done, Arjuna, recognizing its imperative character, relinquishing attachment and benefit, such relinquishment is considered sattvic.


10)   The relinquisher pervaded with purity, of strong intelligence, and of sundered doubts, hates not unpleasant action, nor is he attached to pleasant ones.


11)   Nor indeed is it possible for an embodied one to completely relinquish action; he who relinquishes the benefit of action is verily called a relinquisher.


12)         Pleasant, unpleasant and mixed benefits accrue in the spiritual progress beyond of a non-relinquisher, but none anywhere to renouncers.


13-15) Arjuna, learn from Me these five causes for the accomplishment of all actions, as stated in the Sankhya at the end of the Age called Krita:

The basis and actor, and also the various mental instruments, the several and varied movements, and fifth, the divine factor;

whatever action a man undertakes by the body, speech and mind, justifiable or the opposite—these five are its causes.


16)         Now, such being the case, the man of perverted mind who, because of unfinished intelligence, looks upon himself as the isolated agent of action—he does not see indeed.


17)   He who is free from ego-sense, whose intelligence is unaffected, though he kills these people, he neither kills nor is bound.


18)         Knowledge, the knowable, and the knower are the threefold incentive to action; the mental instrument, the action, and the actor are the threefold aggregate-base of action.


19)   Even knowledge, action and actor are said, according to modality-difference, by way of their enumeration according to the modalities, to be of three kinds; hear you of them as they are actually.


20)   That by which the unexpended Being is seen in all beings, undivided in the divided—know that knowledge to be sattvic.


21)   The knowledge which sees a multiplicity of beings as distinct in the different kinds, because of separateness—know that knowledge to be rajasic.


22)   But that which clings to one single effect as if it were the whole, without reason, without meaning, based on any principle, and insignificant—that is called tamasic.


23)   An action which is obligatory, performed without attachment, without affection or disregard, by one not benefit-motivated—that is called sattvic.


24)   But that action done with great strain, by one desire-prompted, or possessed of egoism, is called rajasic.


25)   The action undertaken from confusion (of values), disregarding consequences, loss or injury, and human limitations—that is called tamasic.


26)   The actor, free from attachment, who avoids references to himself in the first person, endowed with firmness and zeal, unmoved by success or failure, is called sattvic.


27)   The actor, passionate, prompted by desire for benefits, greedy, violent-natured, maladjusted, with moods of exaltation and depression, is called rajasic.


28)   The actor who is a misfit, crude, stubborn, deceitful, malicious, lazy, despondent and procrastinating, is called tamasic.


29)   Hear now the three-fold difference of reason and firmness also, according to the modalities of nature, O Winner of Wealth, to be set forth fully and severally.


30)   The reason that knows the positive way of action and the negative way of inaction, what ought to be done and what ought not to be done, what is to be feared and what is not to be feared, the binding and the liberating actions, O Arjuna, is sattvic.


31)   That reason which takes right and wrong, the permissible and the banned, in a sense incompatible with reality—that O Arjuna, is rajasic.


32)   That reason enveloped in darkness, which regards wrong as right, and sees all values pervertedly, O Arjuna, is tamasic.


33)   The firmness by which the activities of mind, vital functions, and the senses are kept from deflecting (from the true path) by yoga, is sattvic.


34)   But the firmness by which one holds fast to duty, and pleasure, and wealth, desirous of the results of each when the occasion presents itself—that firmness is rajasic.


35)   That by which a stupid man does not give up sleep, fear, grief, despondency and wantonness—that firmness is tamasic.


36-39) And now hear from Me of the three kinds of happiness, in which one by practice rejoices, and in which he reaches the end of pain;

that happiness which is like gall at first, ambrosial at the end, born of lucid self-understanding, is called sattvic;

that happiness arising out of contact of the senses with objects, at first like ambrosia, at the end like gall, is called rajasic;

that happiness which at first and in after-effects is self-confounding, arising from sleep, lassitude and listlessness, is called tamasic.


40)         There is no entity either on earth or in heaven, among the Vedic divinities, that could be free from these three modalities born from nature.


41)   Of brahmins, ksatriyas, vaisyas and sudras, O Arjuna, vocations are separately distributed in conformity with the modalities arising from their own nature.


42)         Calmness, self-restraint, austerity, purity, forgiveness, and straightforwardness, pure wisdom, applied wisdom, belief: these are the items of activity of the brahmin, born of his own nature.


43)         Prowess, brightness, firmness, skill, and also never-absconding, generosity, and dignity of mien, refer to the pattern of activity of the ksatriya, born of his own nature.


44)         Plowing, tending cattle, and trade are the items of vocation of the vaisya, born of his own nature; work of the nature of menial service is likewise born of the sudra’s own nature.


45)         Devoted each to his own occupation, man reaches perfection (in practical yoga); how, devoted to his own occupation he attains such perfection—that do hear.


46)   He from whom all existences come forth, and by whom all this is pervaded—by offering worship to Him with his own occupation, man wins perfection.


47)         Better is one’s own calling, though inferior, than the duty of another well performed. One doing the duty determined by his own nature incurs no sin.


48)         Activity naturally inborn in one, though accompanied by defects, ought not to be abandoned; all undertakings are enveloped by defects, as fire by smoke.


49)   He whose reason is unattached in all situations, whose Self has been won over, from whom desire has gone, by renunciation reaches the supreme perfection of transcending action.


50)   How he who has ascended to perfection thereby obtains the Absolute, that supreme consummation of wisdom—that do you learn from Me, O Arjuna, in brief.


51-53) Endowed with pure reason, restraining the Self with firmness, detaching oneself from sound and other sense objects, and casting out liking and disliking,

dwelling in solitude, frugal in diet, controlling speech, body, and mind, ever in meditative contemplation, resorting to dispassion,

relinquishing egoism, power, arrogance, desire, anger, and possessiveness, free from ownership, and tranquil—he is worthy of becoming the Absolute.


54)         Becoming the Absolute, blissfully serene in the Self, he neither despairs nor hankers; equal-minded toward all beings, he attains a devotion to Me supreme in character.


55)         Through devotion he comes to know Me, how far comprehensible I am and who, in accord with first principles; then, having known Me philosophically, he immediately enters into Me.


56)         Although still continuing to do all actions in life, treating Me as his refuge, by My grace he obtains the everlasting undiminishing status.


57)         Mentally renouncing all actions into Me, regarding Me as the Supreme, resorting to unitive understanding, having Me wholly filling your relational consciousness,


58)         (Thus with) consciousness filled with Me, you will overcome all obstacles by My grace, but if, from egoism, you will not listen, you shall come to ruin.


59)   If, resorting to egoism, you think, “I will not fight,” absurd is this, your resolution. Nature will compel you.


60)   That which, through confusion, you do not like to do—you shall do that very thing, helplessly, bound by your own nature-born action.


61)   The Lord dwells in the heart-region of all beings, O Arjuna, causing all beings to revolve through the principle of appearance, as if mounted on a machine.


62)   Seek refuge in Him alone in all ways, Arjuna; by His grace you shall obtain the peaceful abode, supreme, everlasting.


63)         Thus has wisdom more secret than all that is secret been declared to you by Me; critically scrutinizing all, omitting nothing, do as you like.


64)         Listen again to My supreme word, the most secret of all; because you are greatly beloved of Me, I will tell you what is for your good.


65)         Become one in mind with Me; be devoted to Me; sacrifice to Me; bow down to Me; you shall come to Me alone; I promise you, in truth, you are dear to Me.


66)         Abandoning all duties, come to Me, the One, for refuge; I shall absolve you from all sins; do not despair.


67)   This is never to be spoken about by you to one spiritually undisciplined, nor to one devoid of devotion, nor to one indisposed to listen, nor to one who denies Me.


68)   He who gives this supreme secret to My devotee, thereby doing for Me supreme devotion, shall doubtless come to Me.


69)   Nor is there besides such a one, among men, any who is the highest performer of dear acts, nor shall there be for Me another dearer on earth.


70)   And he who will study this dialogue of ours, conducive to righteousness, by him (in effect) I shall have been worshipped through the wisdom sacrifice; so I hold.


71)   And the man who may merely happen to hear, endowed with faith, and uncarping—even he, liberated, shall attain to the good worlds of those who perform meritorious deeds.


72)   Has it been heard by you, Arjuna, with one-pointed mind? O Winner of Wealth, has your delusion of ignorance been destroyed?


73)         Arjuna said:

         Gone is my delusion, and Self-recognition has been gained by me through Your grace. I am properly established, with doubts gone; I shall carry out Your word.


74)         Sanjaya said:

         Thus have I heard this wonderful dialogue between Krishna and the high-souled Arjuna, causing my hair to stand on end.


75)   By the grace of Vyasa I heard this supreme and most secret yoga, spoken by Krishna Himself, the Lord of Yoga, as immediately given to my senses.


76)   O King, as I remember and remember this marvelous and sacred dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna, I rejoice over and over again.


77)   As I remember and remember that most marvelous form of Hari, great is my astonishment, O King, and I rejoice over and over again.


78)         Where there is Krishna, the Lord of Yoga, where there is Arjuna, the archer, there will be prosperity, victory, progress, and well-established justice: such is my belief.

Scott Teitsworth