Published December 3, 2009 by anny1with1life



Translation by Shri Purohit Swami.


Shri Purohit Swami was born into a religious and wealthy family in Badners, India, in

1882. He studied philosophy and law, received his LL.B. from Decan College, Poona,

married and had three children. However, he did not practice law, and instead spent

his entire life in spiritual devotion. He wrote in his native Marathi, in Hindi, Sanskrit

and English – poems, songs, a play, a novel, a commentary on

autobiography. He left India in 1930 at the suggestion of his Master to interpret the

religious life of India for the West, and made his new home in England. It was here that

he produced beautiful translations of

The Bhagavad Gita and anThe Bhagavad Gita, Patanjali’s

Aphorisms of Yogaand – in collaboration with his great friend, the Irish poet W.B. Yeats –


The Ten Principal. He died in 1946.CONTENTS

ONE: THE DESPONDENCY OF ARJUNA ……………………………………………………………………….. 1


THREE: KARMA-YOGA – THE PATH OF ACTION…………………………………………………………. 9

FOUR: DNYANA-YOGA – THE PATH OF WISDOM………………………………………………………. 12

FIVE: THE RENUNCIATION OF ACTION…………………………………………………………………….. 15

SIX: SELF-CONTROL…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 17

SEVEN: KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE………………………………………………………………….. 20

EIGHT: LIFE EVERLASTING………………………………………………………………………………………… 22


THE MYSTERY OF MYSTERIES………………………………………………………………………… 24

TEN: THE DIVINE MANIFESTATIONS ………………………………………………………………………… 27

ELEVEN: THE COSMIC VISION……………………………………………………………………………………. 30

TWELVE: BHAKTI-YOGA – THE PATH OF LOVE………………………………………………………… 34

THIRTEEN: SPIRIT AND MATTER……………………………………………………………………………….. 36

FOURTEEN: THE THREE QUALITIES …………………………………………………………………………. 39

FIFTEEN: THE LORD-GOD…………………………………………………………………………………………… 41


SEVENTEEN: THE THREEFOLD FAITH……………………………………………………………………… 45

EIGHTEEN: THE SPIRIT OF RENUNCIATION…………………………………………………………….. 47


The Bhagavad Gita

as one of the world’s spiritual classics and a guide to all on the path of Truth. It is

sometimes known as the Song of the Lord or the Gospel of the Lord Shri Krishna.

According to Western scholarship, it was composed later than the Vedas and the

Upanishads – probably between the fifth and second centuries before Christ. It is a

fragment, part of the sixth book of the epic poem

, the greatest devotional book of Hinduism, has long been recognizedThe Mahabaratha.

The Mahabaratha

in north India at the court of their uncle, the blind King Dhritarashtra, after the death of

their father, the previous ruler. There is always great rivalry between the Pandavas or sons

of Pandu and the Kauravas, the one hundred sons of Dhritarashtra. Eventually the old

king gives his nephews some land of their own but his eldest son, Duryodhana, defeats

Yudhisthira, the eldest Pandava, by cheating at dice, and forces him and his brothers to

surrender their land and go into exile for thirteen years. On their return, the old king is

unable to persuade his son Duryodhana to restore their heritage and, in spite of efforts at

reconciliation by Sanjaya, Dhritarashtra’s charioteer; by Bheeshma, his wise counsellor;

and even by the Lord Krishna himself, war cannot be averted. The rival hosts face each

other on the field of Kurukshetra. It is at this point that

When Prince Arjuna surveys the battlefield, he is overwhelmed with sorrow at the

futility of war. The teachings of

who is acting as the prince’s charioteer. They are overheard by Sanjaya and reported back

to King Dhritarashtra. When Krishna has finished speaking to Arjuna, the two armies

engage. The battle lasts eighteen days and by the end of it nearly all of the warriors on

both sides are dead save Krishna and the five sons of Pandu.

tells of the Pandavas, Prince Arjuna and his four brothers, growing upThe Bhagavad Gita begins.

The Bhagavad Gita are spoken by the divine Lord Krishna,1



The King Dhritarashtra asked: “O Sanjaya! What happened on the sacred battlefield of

Kurukshetra, when my people gathered against the Pandavas?”

Sanjaya replied: “The Prince Duryodhana, when he saw the army of the Pandavas paraded,

approached his preceptor Guru Drona and spoke as follows:

Revered Father! Behold this mighty host of the Pandavas, paraded by the son of King

Drupada, thy wise disciple.

In it are heroes and great bowmen; the equals in battle of Arjuna and Bheema,

Yuyudhana, Virata and Drupada, great soldiers all;

Dhrishtaketu, Chekitan, the valiant King of Benares, Purujit, Kuntibhoja, Shaibya – a

master over many;

Yudhamanyu, Uttamouja, Soubhadra and the sons of Droupadi, famous men.

Further, take note of all those captains who have ranged themselves on our side, O best of

Spiritual Guides! The leaders of my army. I will name them for you.

You come first; then Bheeshma, Karna, Kripa, great soldiers; Ashwaththama, Vikarna and

the son of Somadhatta;

And many others, all ready to die for my sake; all armed, all skilled in war.

Yet our army seems the weaker, though commanded by Bheeshma; their army seems the

stronger, though commanded by Bheema.

Therefore in the rank and file, let stand firm in their posts, according to battalions; and all

you generals about Bheeshma.

Then to enliven his spirits, the brave Grandfather Bheeshma, eldest of the Kuru-clan, blew his

conch, till it sounded like a lion’s roar.

And immediately all the conches and drums, the trumpets and horns, blared forth in tumultuous


Then seated in their spacious war chariot, yoked with white horses, Lord Shri Krishna and Arjuna

sounded their divine shells.

Lord Shri Krishna blew his Panchajanya and Arjuna his Devadatta, brave Bheema his renowned

shell, Poundra.

The King Dharmaraja, the son of Kunti, blew the Anantavijaya, Nakalu and Sahadeo, the Sugosh

and Manipushpaka, respectively.

And the Maharaja of Benares, the great archer, Shikhandi, the great soldier, Dhrishtayumna, Virata

and Satyaki, the invincible,

And O King! Drupada, the sons of Droupadi and Soubhadra, the great soldier, blew their conches.



The tumult rent the hearts of the sons of Dhritarashtra, and violently shook heaven and earth with

its echo.

Then beholding the sons of Dhritarashtra, drawn up on the battle- field, ready to fight, Arjuna,

whose flag bore the Hanuman,

Raising his bow, spoke this to the Lord Shri Krishna:

draw up my chariot betwixt the two armies,

So that I may observe those who must fight on my side, those who must fight against me;

And gaze over this array of soldiers, eager to please the sinful sons of Dhritarashtra.”

O Infallible! Lord of the earth! Please

Sanjaya said: “Having listened to the request of Arjuna, Lord Shri Krishna drew up His bright

chariot exactly in the midst between the two armies,

Whither Bheeshma and Drona had led all the rulers of the earth, and spoke thus:

these members of the family of Kuru assembled.

O Arjuna! Behold

There Arjuna noticed fathers, grandfathers, uncles, cousins, sons, grandsons, teachers, friends;

Fathers-in-law and benefactors, arrayed on both sides. Arjuna then gazed at all those kinsmen before


And his heart melted with pity and sadly he spoke:

people, thirsting for battle,

My limbs fail me and my throat is parched, my body trembles and my hair stands on end.

The bow Gandeeva slips from my hand, and my skin burns. I cannot keep quiet, for my

mind is in tumult.

The omens are adverse; what good can come from the slaughter of my people on this


Ah my Lord! I crave not for victory, nor for the kingdom, nor for any pleasure. What were

a kingdom or happiness or life to me,

When those for whose sake I desire these things stand here about to sacrifice their

property and their lives:

Teachers, fathers and grandfathers, sons and grandsons, uncles, father-in-law, brothers-inlaw

and other relatives.

I would not kill them, even for three worlds; why then for this poor earth? It matters not if

I myself am killed.

My Lord! What happiness can come from the death of these sons of Dhritarashtra? We

shall sin if we kill these desperate men.

We are worthy of a nobler feat than to slaughter our relatives – the sons of Dhritarashtra;

for, my Lord, how can we be happy of we kill our kinsmen?

Although these men, blinded by greed, see no guilt in destroying their kin, or fighting

against their friends,

O my Lord! When I see all these, my own



Should not we, whose eyes are open, who consider it to be wrong to annihilate our house,

turn away from so great a crime?

The destruction of our kindred means the destruction of the traditions of our ancient

lineage, and when these are lost, irreligion will overrun our homes.

When irreligion spreads, the women of the house begin to stray; when they lose their

purity, adulteration of the stock follows.

Promiscuity ruins both the family and those who defile it; while the souls of our ancestors

droop, through lack of the funeral cakes and ablutions.

By the destruction of our lineage and the pollution of blood, ancient class traditions and

family purity alike perish.

The wise say, my Lord, that they are forever lost, whose ancient traditions are lost.

Alas, it is strange that we should be willing to kill our own countrymen and commit a

great sin, in order to enjoy the pleasures of a kingdom.

If, on the contrary, the sons of Dhritarashtra, with weapons in their hand, should slay me,

unarmed and unresisting, surely that would be better for my welfare!”

Sanjaya said: “Having spoken thus, in the midst of the armies, Arjuna sank on the seat of the

chariot, casting away his bow and arrow; heartbroken with grief.”

Thus, in the Holy Book the Bhagavad Gita, one of the Upanishads, in the Science of the Supreme

Spirit, in the Art of Self-Knowledge, in the colloquy between the Divine Lord Shri Krishna and the

Prince Arjuna, stands the first chapter, entitled: The Despondency of Arjuna.




Sanjaya then told how the Lord Shri Krishna, seeing Arjuna overwhelmed with compassion, his

eyes dimmed with flowing tears and full of despondency, consoled him:

which does no credit to those who call themselves Aryans, and only brings them infamy

and bars against them the gates of heaven?

O Arjuna! Why give way to unmanliness? O thou who art the terror of thine enemies!

Shake off such shameful effeminacy, make ready to act!

The Lord said: My beloved friend! Why yield, just on the eve of battle, to this weakness

Arjuna argued:

Bheeshma and Drona, who should receive my reverence?

Rather would I content myself with a beggar’s crust that kill these teachers of mine, these

precious noble souls! To slay these masters who are my benefactors would be to stain the

sweetness of life’s pleasures with their blood.

Nor can I say whether it were better that they conquer me or for me to conquer them, since

I would no longer care to live if I killed these sons of Dhritarashtra, now preparing for


My heart is oppressed with pity; and my mind confused as to what my duty is. Therefore,

my Lord, tell me what is best for my spiritual welfare, for I am Thy disciple. Please direct

me, I pray.

For should I attain the monarchy of the visible world, or over the invisible world, it would

not drive away the anguish which is now paralysing my senses.”

My Lord! How can I, when the battle rages, send an arrow through

Sanjaya continued: “Arjuna, the conqueror of all enemies, then told the Lord of All-Hearts that he

would no fight, and became silent, O King!

Thereupon the Lord, with a gracious smile, addressed him who was so much depressed in the midst

of the two armies.

Lord Shri Krishna said:

wisdom? The wise grieve neither for the dead nor the living.

There was never a time when I was not, nor thou, nor these princes were not; there will

never be a time when we shall cease to be.

As the soul experiences in this body infancy, youth and old age, so finally it passes into

another. The wise have no delusion about this.

Those external relations which bring cold and heat, pain and happiness, they come and

go; they are not permanent. Endure them bravely, O Prince!

The hero whose soul is unmoved by circumstance, who accepts pleasure and pain with

equanimity, only he is fit for immortality.

Why grieve for those for whom no grief is due, and yet profess



That which is not, shall never be; that which is, shall never cease to be. To the wise, these

truths are self-evident.

The Spirit, which pervades all that we see, is imperishable. Nothing can destroy the Spirit.

The material bodies which this Eternal, Indestructible, Immeasurable Spirit inhabits are all

finite. Therefore fight, O Valiant Man!

He who thinks that the Spirit kills, and he who thinks of It as killed, are both ignorant. The

Spirit kills not, nor is It killed.

It was not born; It will never die, nor once having been, can It cease to be. Unborn, Eternal,

Ever-enduring, yet Most Ancient, the Spirit dies not when the body is dead.

He who knows the Spirit as Indestructible, Immortal, Unborn, Always-the-Same, how

should he kill or cause to be killed?

As a man discards his threadbare robes and puts on new, so the Spirit throws off Its wornout

bodies and takes fresh ones.

Weapons cleave It not, fire burns It not, water drenches It not, and wind dries It not.

It is impenetrable; It can be neither drowned nor scorched nor dried. It is Eternal, Allpervading,

Unchanging, Immovable and Most Ancient.

It is named the Unmanifest, the Unthinkable, the immutable. Wherefore, knowing the

Spirit as such, thou hast no cause to grieve.

Even if thou thinkest of It as constantly being born, constantly dying, even then, O Mighty

Man, thou still hast no cause to grieve.

For death is as sure for that which is born, as birth is for that which is dead. Therefore

grieve not for what is inevitable.

The end and the beginning of beings are unknown. We see only the intervening

formations. Then what cause is there for grief?

One hears of the Spirit with surprise, another thinks It marvellous, the third listens

without comprehending. Thus, though many are told about It, scarcely is there one who

knows It.

Be not anxious about these armies. The Spirit in man is imperishable.

Thou must look at thy duty. Nothing can be more welcome to a soldier than a righteous

war. Therefore to waver in this resolve is unworthy, O Arjuna!

Blessed are the soldiers who find their opportunity. This opportunity has opened for thee

the gates of heaven.

Refuse to fight in this righteous cause, and thou wilt be a traitor, lost to fame, incurring

only sin.

Men will talk forever of thy disgrace; and to the noble, dishonour is worse than death.



Great generals will think that thou hast fled from the battlefield through cowardice;

though once honoured thou wilt seem despicable.

Thine enemies will spread scandal and mock at thy courage. Can anything be more


If killed, thou shalt attain Heaven; if victorious, enjoy the kingdom of earth. Therefore

arise, O Son of Kunti, and fight!

Look upon pleasure and pain, victory and defeat, with an equal eye. Make ready for the

combat, and thou shalt commit no sin.

I have told thee the philosophy of Knowledge. Now listen and I will explain the

philosophy of Action, by means of which, O Arjuna, thou shalt break through the bondage

of all action.

On this Path, endeavour is never wasted, nor can it ever be repressed. Even a very little of

its practice protects one from great danger.

By its means, the straying intellect becomes steadied in the contemplation of one object

only; whereas the minds of the irresolute stray into bypaths innumerable.

Only the ignorant speak in figurative language. It is they who extol the letter of the

scriptures, saying, `There is nothing deeper than this.’

Consulting only their own desires, they construct their own heaven, devising arduous and

complex rites to secure their own pleasure and their own power; and the only result is


While their minds are absorbed with ideas of power and personal enjoyment, they cannot

concentrate their discrimination on one point.

The Vedic Scriptures tell of the three constituents of life – the Qualities. Rise above all of

them, O Arjuna, above all the pairs of opposing sensations; be steady in truth, free from

worldly anxieties and centered in the Self.

As a man can drink water from any side of a full tank, so the skilled theologian can wrest

from any scripture that which will serve his purpose.

But thou hast only the right to work, but none to the fruit thereof. Let not then the fruit of

thy action be thy motive; nor yet be thou enamored of inaction.

Perform all thy actions with mind concentrated on the Divine, renouncing attachment and

looking upon success and failure with an equal eye. Spirituality implies equanimity.

Physical action is far inferior to an intellect concentrated on the Divine. Have recourse then

to Pure Intelligence. It is only the petty-minded who work for reward.

When a man attains to Pure Reason, he renounces in this world the results of good and

evil alike. Cling thou to Right Action. Spirituality is the real art of living.

The sages guided by Pure Intellect renounce the fruit of action; and, freed from the chains

of rebirth, they reach the highest bliss.



When thy reason has crossed the entanglements of illusion, then shalt thou become

indifferent both to the philosophies thou hast heard and to those thou mayest yet hear.

When the intellect, bewildered by the multiplicity of holy scripts, stands unperturbed in

blissful contemplation of the Infinite, then hast thou attained Spirituality.

Arjuna asked:

who has reached this state of Bliss, and whose mind is steady? how does he talk, how does

he live, and how does he act?

My Lord! How can we recognise the saint who has attained Pure Intellect,

Lord Shri Krishna replied:

with the Self alone, be sure that he has reached the highest state.

The sage, whose mind is unruffled in suffering, whose desire is not roused by enjoyment,

who is without attachment, anger or fear – take him to be one who stands at that lofty


He who wherever he goes is attached to no person and to no place by ties of flesh; who

accepts good and evil alike, neither welcoming the one nor shrinking from the other – take

him to be one who is merged in the Infinite.

He who can withdraw his senses from the attraction of their objects, as the tortoise draws

his limbs within its shell – take it that such a one has attained Perfection.

The objects of sense turn from him who is abstemious. Even the relish for them is lost in

him who has seen the Truth.

O Arjuna! The mind of him, who is trying to conquer it, is forcibly carried away in spite of

his efforts, by his tumultuous senses.

Restraining them all, let him meditate steadfastly on Me; for who thus conquers his senses

achieves perfection.

When a man dwells on the objects of sense, he creates an attraction for them; attraction

develops into desire, and desire breeds anger.

Anger induces delusion; delusion, loss of memory; through loss of memory, reason is

shattered; and loss of reason leads to destruction.

But the self-controlled soul, who moves amongst sense objects, free from either attachment

or repulsion, he wins eternal Peace.

Having attained Peace, he becomes free from misery; for when the mind gains peace, right

discrimination follows.

Right discrimination is not for him who cannot concentrate. Without concentration, there

cannot be meditation; he who cannot meditate must not expect peace; and without peace,

how can anyone expect happiness?

As a ship at sea is tossed by the tempest, so the reason is carried away by the mind when

preyed upon by straying senses.

When a man has given up the desires of his heart and is satisfied



Therefore, O Might-in-Arms, he who keeps his senses detached from their objects – take it

that his reason is purified.

The saint is awake when the world sleeps, and he ignores that for which the world lives.

He attains Peace, into whom desires flow as rivers into the ocean, which though brimming

with water remains ever the same; not he whom desire carries away.

He attains Peace who, giving up desire, moves through the world without aspiration,

possessing nothing which he can call his own, and free from pride.

O Arjuna! This is the state of the Self, the Supreme Spirit, to which if a man once attain, it

shall never be taken from him. Even at the time of leaving the body, he will remain firmly

enthroned there, and will become one with the Eternal.”

Thus, in the Holy Book the Bhagavad Gita, one of the Upanishads, in the Science of the Supreme

Spirit, in the Art of Self-Knowledge, in the colloquy between the Divine Lord Shri Krishna and the

Prince Arjuna, stands the second chapter, entitled: The Philosophy of Discrimination.




engage in this terrible fight?

Thy language perplexes me and confuses my reason. Therefore please tell me the only

way by which I may, without doubt, secure my spiritual welfare.

Arjuna questioned: My Lord! If Wisdom is above action, why dost Thou advise me to

Lord Shri Krishna replied:

One! There is the Path of Wisdom for those who meditate, and the Path of Action for those

who work.

No man can attain freedom from activity by refraining from action; nor can he reach

perfection by merely refusing to act.

He cannot even for a moment remain really inactive, for the Qualities of Nature will

compel him to act whether he will or no.

He who remains motionless, refusing to act, but all the while brooding over sensuous

object, that deluded soul is simply a hypocrite.

But, O Arjuna! All honour to him whose mind controls his senses, for he is thereby

beginning to practise Karma-Yoga, the Path of Right Action, keeping himself always


Do thy duty as prescribed, for action for duty’s sake is superior to inaction. Even the

maintenance of the body would be impossible if man remained inactive.

In this world people are fettered by action, unless it is performed as a sacrifice. Therefore,

O Arjuna, let thy acts be done without attachment, as sacrifice only.

In the beginning, when God created all beings by the sacrifice of Himself, He said unto

them: `Through sacrifice you can procreate, and it shall satisfy all your desires.

Worship the Powers of Nature thereby, and let them nourish you in return; thus

supporting each other, you shall attain your highest welfare.

For, fed, on sacrifice, nature will give you all the enjoyment you can desire. But he who

enjoys what she gives without returning is, indeed, a robber.’

The sages who enjoy the food that remains after the sacrifice is made are freed from all sin;

but the selfish who spread their feast only for themselves feed on sin only.

All creatures are the product of food, food is the product of rain, rain comes by sacrifice,

and sacrifice is the noblest form of action.

All action originates in the Supreme Spirit, which is Imperishable, and in sacrificial action

the all-pervading Spirit is consciously present.

Thus he who does not help the revolving wheel of sacrifice, but instead leads a sinful life,

rejoicing in the gratification of his senses, O Arjuna, he breathes in vain.

In this world, as I have said, there is a twofold path, O Sinless



On the other hand, the soul who meditates on the Self is content to serve the Self and rests

satisfied within the Self; there remains nothing more for him to accomplish.

He has nothing to gain by the performance or non-performance of action. His welfare

depends not on any contribution that an earthly creature can make.

Therefore do thy duty perfectly, without care for the results, for he who does his duty

disinterestedly attains the Supreme.

King Janaka and others attained perfection through action alone. Even for the sake of

enlightening the world, it is thy duty to act;

For whatever a great man does, others imitate. People conform to the standard which he

has set.

There is nothing in this universe, O Arjuna, that I am compelled to do, nor anything for

Me to attain; yet I am persistently active.

For were I not to act without ceasing, O prince, people would be glad to do likewise.

And if I were to refrain from action, the human race would be ruined; I should lead the

world to chaos, and destruction would follow.

As the ignorant act, because of their fondness for action, so should the wise act without

such attachment, fixing their eyes, O Arjuna, only on the welfare of the world.

But a wise man should not perturb the minds of the ignorant, who are attached to action;

let him perform his own actions in the right spirit, with concentration on Me, thus

inspiring all to do the same.

Action is the product of the Qualities inherent in Nature. It is only the ignorant man who,

misled by personal egotism, says: `I am the doer.’

But he, O Mighty One, who understands correctly the relation of the Qualities to action, is

not attached to the act for he perceives that it is merely the action and reaction of the

Qualities among themselves.

Those who do not understand the Qualities are interested in the act. Still, the wise man

who knows the truth should not disturb the mind of him who does not.

Therefore, surrendering thy actions unto Me, thy thoughts concentrated on the Absolute,

free from selfishness and without anticipation of reward, with mind devoid of excitement,

begin thou to fight.

Those who always act in accordance with My precepts, firm in faith and without cavilling,

they too are freed from the bondage of action.

But they who ridicule My word and do not keep it, are ignorant, devoid of wisdom and

blind. They seek but their own destruction.

Even the wise man acts in character with his nature; indeed, all creatures act according to

their natures. What is the use of compulsion then?



The love and hate which are aroused by the objects of sense arise from Nature; do not

yield to them. They only obstruct the path.

It is better to do thine own duty, however lacking in merit, than to do that of another, even

though efficiently. It is better to die doing one’s own duty, for to do the duty of another is

fraught with danger.

Arjuna asked:

and as if by compulsion?

My Lord! Tell me, what is it that drives a man to sin, even against his will

Lord Shri Krishna:

everything. It is man’s greatest enemy.

As fire is shrouded in smoke, a mirror by dust and a child by the womb, so is the universe

enveloped in desire.

It is the wise man’s constant enemy; it tarnishes the face of wisdom. It is as insatiable as a

flame of fire.

It works through the senses, the mind and the reason; and with their help destroys

wisdom and confounds the soul.

Therefore, O Arjuna, first control thy senses and then slay desire, for it is full of sin, and is

the destroyer of knowledge and of wisdom.

It is said that the senses are powerful. But beyond the senses is the mind, beyond the mind

is the intellect, and beyond and greater than intellect is He.

Thus, O Mighty-in-Arms, knowing Him to be beyond the intellect and, by His help,

subduing thy personal egotism, kill thine enemy, Desire, extremely difficult though it be.”

It is desire, it is aversion, born of passion. Desire consumes and corrupts

Thus, in the Holy Book the Bhagavad Gita, one of the Upanishads, in the Science of the Supreme

Spirit, in the Art of Self-Knowledge, in the colloquy between the Divine Lord Shri Krishna and the

Prince Arjuna, stands the third chapter entitled: Karma-Yoga or the Path of Action.




of the Sun dynasty, Viwaswana gave it to Manu the lawgiver, and Manu to King


The Divine Kings knew it, for it was their tradition. Then, after a long time, at last it was


It is the same ancient Path that I have now revealed to thee, since thou are My devotee and

My friend. It is the supreme Secret.

Lord Shri Krishna said: This imperishable philosophy I taught to Viwaswana, the founder

Arjuna asked:

revealed it to him?

My Lord! Viwaswana was born before Thee; how then canst Thou have

Lord Shri Krishna replied:

O Arjuna! My births are known to Me, but thou knowest not thine.

I have no beginning. Though I am imperishable, as well as Lord of all that exists, yet by

My own will and power do I manifest Myself.

Whenever spirituality decays and materialism is rampant, then, O Arjuna, I reincarnate


To protect the righteous, to destroy the wicked and to establish the kingdom of God, I am

reborn from age to age.

He who realises the divine truth concerning My birth and life is not born again; and when

he leaves his body, he becomes one with Me.

Many have merged their existences in Mine, being freed from desire, fear and anger, filled

always with Me and purified by the illuminating flame of self-abnegation.

Howsoever men try to worship Me, so do I welcome them. By whatever path they travel,

it leads to Me at last.

Those who look for success, worship the Powers; and in this world their actions bear

immediate fruit.

The four divisions of society (the wise, the soldier, the merchant, the labourer) were

created by Me, according to the natural distribution of Qualities and instincts. I am the

author of them, though I Myself do no action, and am changeless.

My actions do not fetter Me, nor do I desire anything that they can bring. He who thus

realises Me is not enslaved by action.

In the light of wisdom, our ancestors, who sought deliverance, performed their acts. Act

thou also, as did our fathers of old.

What is action and what is inaction? It is a question which has bewildered the wise. But

I will declare unto thee the philosophy of action, and knowing it, thou shalt be free from


I have been born again and again, from time to time; thou too,



It is necessary to consider what is right action, what is wrong action, and what is inaction,

for mysterious is the law of action.

He who can see inaction in action, and action in inaction, is the wisest among men. He is a

saint, even though he still acts.

The wise call him a sage, for whatever he undertakes is free from the motive of desire, and

his deeds are purified by the fire of Wisdom.

Having surrendered all claim to the results of his actions, always contented and

independent, in reality he does nothing, even though he is apparently acting.

Expecting nothing, his mind and personality controlled, without greed, doing bodily

actions only; though he acts, yet he remains untainted.

Content with what comes to him without effort of his own, mounting above the pairs of

opposites, free from envy, his mind balanced both in success and failure; though he acts,

yet the consequences do not bind him.

He who is without attachment, free, his mind centered in wisdom, his actions, being done

as a sacrifice, leave no trace behind.

For him, the sacrifice itself is the Spirit; the Spirit and the oblation are one; it is the Spirit

Itself which is sacrificed in Its own fire, and the man even in action is united with God,

since while performing his act, his mind never ceases to be fixed on Him.

Some sages sacrifice to the Powers; others offer themselves on the alter of the Eternal.

Some sacrifice their physical senses in the fire of self-control; others offer up their contact

with external objects in the sacrificial fire of their senses.

Other again sacrifice their activities and their vitality in the Spiritual fire of selfabnegation,

kindled by wisdom.

And yet others offer as their sacrifice wealth, austerities and meditation. Monks wedded

to their vows renounce their scriptural learning and even their spiritual powers.

There are some who practise control of the Vital Energy and govern the subtle forces of

Prana and Apana, thereby sacrificing their Prana unto Apana, or their Apana unto Prana.

Others, controlling their diet, sacrifice their worldly life to the spiritual fire. All understand

the principal of sacrifice, and by its means their sins are washed away.

Tasting the nectar of immortality, as the reward of sacrifice, they reach the Eternal. This

world is not for those who refuse to sacrifice; much less the other world.

In this way other sacrifices too may be undergone for the Spirit’s sake. Know thou that

they all depend on action. Knowing this, thou shalt be free.

The sacrifice of wisdom is superior to any material sacrifice, for, O Arjuna, the climax of

action is always Realisation.



This shalt thou learn by prostrating thyself at the Master’s feet, by questioning Him and by

serving Him. The wise who have realised the Truth will teach thee wisdom.

Having known That, thou shalt never again be confounded; and, O Arjuna, by the power

of that wisdom, thou shalt see all these people as if they were thine own Self, and therefore

as Me.

Be thou the greatest of sinners, yet thou shalt cross over all sin by the ferryboat of wisdom.

As the kindled fire consumes the fuel, so, O Arjuna, in the flame of wisdom the embers of

action are burnt to ashes.

There is nothing in the world so purifying as wisdom; and he who is a perfect saint finds

that at last in his own Self.

He who is full of faith attains wisdom, and he too who can control his senses, having

attained that wisdom, he shall ere long attain Supreme Peace.

But the ignorant man, and he who has no faith, and the sceptic are lost. Neither in this

world nor elsewhere is there any happiness in store for him who always doubts.

But the man who has renounced his action for meditation, who has cleft his doubt in twain

by the sword of wisdom, who remains always enthroned in his Self, is not bound by his


Therefore, cleaving asunder with the sword of wisdom the doubts of the heart, which

thine own ignorance has engendered, follow the Path of Wisdom and arise!”

Thus, in the Holy Book the Bhagavad Gita, one of the Upanishads, in the Science of the Supreme

Spirit, in the Art of Self-Knowledge, in the colloquy between the Divine Lord Shri Krishna and the

Prince Arjuna, stands the fourth chapter entitled: Dnyana-Yoga or the Path of Wisdom.




right action. Tell me truly, I pray, which of these is the more conducive to my highest


Arjuna said: My Lord! At one moment Thou praisest renunciation of action; at another,

Lord Shri Krishna replied:

the highest; of the two, right action is the better.

He is a true ascetic who never desires or dislikes, who is uninfluenced by the opposites

and is easily freed from bondage.

Only the unenlightened speak of wisdom and right action as separate, not the wise. If any

man knows one, he enjoys the fruit of both.

The level which is reached by wisdom is attained through right action as well. He who

perceives that the two are one, knows the truth.

Without concentration, O Mighty Man, renunciation is difficult. But the sage who is

always meditating on the Divine, before long shall attain the Absolute.

He who is spiritual, who is pure, who has overcome his senses and his personal self, who

has realised his highest Self as the Self of all, such a one, even though he acts, is not bound

by his acts.

Though the saint sees, hears, touches, smells, eats, moves, sleeps and breathes, yet he

knows the Truth, and he knows that it is not he who acts.

Though he talks, though he gives and receives, though he opens his eyes and shuts them,

he still knows that his senses are merely disporting themselves among the objects of


He who dedicates his actions to the Spirit, without any personal attachment to them, he is

no more tainted by sin than the water lily is wetted by water.

The sage performs his action dispassionately, using his body, mind and intellect, and even

his senses, always as a means of purification.

Having abandoned the fruit of action, he wins eternal peace. Others unacquainted with

spirituality, led by desire and clinging to the benefit which they think will follow their

actions, become entangled in them.

Mentally renouncing all actions, the self-controlled soul enjoys bliss in this body, the city

of the nine gates, neither doing anything himself nor causing anything to be done.

The Lord of this universe has not ordained activity, or any incentive thereto, or any

relation between an act and its consequences. All this is the work of Nature.

The Lord does not accept responsibility for any man’s sin or merit. Men are deluded

because in them wisdom is submerged in ignorance.

Renunciation of action and the path of right action both lead to



Surely wisdom is like the sun, revealing the supreme truth to those whose ignorance is

dispelled by the wisdom of the Self.

Meditating on the Divine, having faith in the Divine, concentrating on the Divine and

losing themselves in the Divine, their sins dissolved in wisdom, they go whence there is

no return.

Sages look equally upon all, whether he be a minister of learning and humility, or an

infidel, or whether it be a cow, an elephant or a dog.

Even in this world they conquer their earth-life whose minds, fixed on the Supreme,

remain always balanced; for the Supreme has neither blemish nor bias.

He who knows and lives in the Absolute remains unmoved and unperturbed; he is not

elated by pleasure or depressed by pain.

He finds happiness in his own Self, and enjoys eternal bliss, whose heart does not yearn

for the contacts of earth and whose Self is one with the Everlasting.

The joys that spring from external associations bring pain; they have their beginning and

their endings. The wise man does not rejoice in them.

He who, before he leaves his body, learns to surmount the promptings of desire and anger

is a saint and is happy.

He who is happy within his Self and has found Its peace, and in whom the inner light

shines, that sage attains Eternal Bliss and becomes the Spirit Itself.

Sages whose sins have been washed away, whose sense of separateness has vanished,

who have subdued themselves, and seek only the welfare of all, come to the Eternal Spirit.

Saints who know their Selves, who control their minds, and feel neither desire nor anger,

find Eternal Bliss everywhere.

Excluding external objects, his gaze fixed between the eyebrows, the inward and outward

breathings passing equally through his nostrils;

Governing sense, mind and intellect, intent on liberation, free from desire, fear and anger,

the sage is forever free.

Knowing me as Him who gladly receives all offerings of austerity and sacrifice, as the

Might Ruler of all the Worlds and the Friend of all beings, he passes to Eternal Peace.”

Thus, in the Holy Book the Bhagavad Gita, one of the Upanishads, in the Science of the Supreme

Spirit, in the Art of Self-Knowledge, in the colloquy between the Divine Lord Shri Krishna and the

Prince Arjuna, stands the fifth chapter entitled: The Renunciation of Action.




consequences, is really spiritual and a true ascetic; and not he who merely observes rituals

or who shuns all action.

O Arjuna! Renunciation is in fact what is called Right Action. No one can become spiritual

who has not renounced all desire.

For the sage who seeks the heights of spiritual meditation, practice is the only method,

and when he has attained them, he must maintain himself there by continual self-control.

When a man renounces even the thought of initiating action, when he is not interested in

sense objects or any results which may flow from his acts, then in truth he understands


Let him seek liberation by the help of his Highest Self, and let him never disgrace his own

Self. For that Self is his only friend; yet it may also be his enemy.

To him who has conquered his lower nature by Its help, the Self is a friend, but to him

who has not done so, It is an enemy.

The Self of him who is self-controlled, and has attained peace is equally unmoved by heat

or cold, pleasure or pain, honour or dishonour.

He who desires nothing but wisdom and spiritual insight, who has conquered his senses

and who looks with the same eye upon a lump of earth, a stone or fine gold, is a real saint.

He looks impartially on all – lover, friend or foe; indifferent or hostile; alien or relative;

virtuous or sinful.

Let the student of spirituality try unceasingly to concentrate his mind; Let him live in

seclusion, absolutely alone, with mind and personality controlled, free from desire and

without possessions.

Having chosen a holy place, let him sit in a firm posture on a seat, neither too high nor too

low, and covered with a grass mat, a deer skin and a cloth.

Seated thus, his mind concentrated, its functions controlled and his senses governed, let

him practise meditation for the purification of his lower nature.

Let him hold body, head and neck erect, motionless and steady; let him look fixedly at the

tip of his nose, turning neither to the right nor to the left.

With peace in his heart and nor fear, observing the vow of celibacy, with mind controlled

and fixed on Me, let the student lose himself in contemplation of Me.

Thus keeping his mind always in communion with Me, and with his thoughts subdued,

he shall attain that Peace which is mine and which will lead him to liberation at last.

Meditation is not for him who eats too much, not for him who eats not at all; not for him

who is overmuch addicted to sleep, not for him who is always awake.

Lord Shri Krishna said: He who acts because it is his duty, not thinking of the6


But for him who regulates his food and recreation, who is balanced in action, in sleep and

in waking, it shall dispel all unhappiness.

When the mind, completely controlled, is centered in the Self, and free from all earthly

desires, then is the man truly spiritual.

The wise man who has conquered his mind and is absorbed in the Self is as a lamp which

does not flicker, since it stands sheltered from every wind.

There, where the whole nature is seen in the light of the Self, where the man abides within

his Self and is satisfied there, its functions restrained by its union with the Divine, the

mind finds rest.

When he enjoys the Bliss which passes sense, and which only the Pure Intellect can grasp,

when he comes to rest within his own highest Self, never again will he stray from reality.

Finding That, he will realise that there is no possession so precious. And when once

established here, no calamity can disturb him.

This inner severance from the affliction of misery is spirituality. It should be practised

with determination and with a heart which refuses to be depressed.

Renouncing every desire which imagination can conceive, controlling the senses at every

point by the power of mind;

Little by little, by the help of his reason controlled by fortitude, let him attain peace; and,

fixing his mind on the Self, let him not think of any other thing.

When the volatile and wavering mind would wander, let him restrain it and bring it again

to its allegiance to the Self.

Supreme Bliss is the lot of the sage, whose mind attains Peace, whose passions subside,

who is without sin, and who becomes one with the Absolute.

Thus, free from sin, abiding always in the Eternal, the saint enjoys without effort the Bliss

which flows from realisation of the Infinite.

He who experiences the unity of life sees his own Self in all beings, and all beings in his

own Self, and looks on everything with an impartial eye;

He who sees Me in everything and everything in Me, him shall I never forsake, nor shall

he lose Me.

The sage who realises the unity of life and who worships Me in all beings, lives in Me,

whatever may be his lot.

O Arjuna! He is the perfect saint who, taught by the likeness within himself, sees the same

Self everywhere, whether the outer form be pleasurable or painful.

Arjuna said:

owing to the restlessness of my mind.

I do not see how I can attain this state of equanimity which Thou has revealed,



My Lord! Verily, the mind is fickle and turbulent, obstinate and strong, yea extremely

difficult as the wind to control.

Lord Shri Krishna replied:

difficult to restrain, but, O Son of Kunti, with practice and renunciation it can be done.

It is not possible to attain Self-Realisation if a man does not know how to control himself;

but for him who, striving by proper means, learns such control, it is possible.

Doubtless, O Mighty One, the mind is fickle and exceedingly

Arjuna asked:

contemplation, who attains not perfection but retains his faith, what of him, my Lord?

Having failed in both, my Lord, is he without hope, like a riven cloud having no support,

lost on the spiritual road?

My Lord! Thou art worthy to solve this doubt once and for all; save Thyself there is no one

competent to do so.

He who fails to control himself, whose mind falls from spiritual

Lord Shri Krishna replied:

world or in the next. No evil fate awaits him who treads the path of righteousness.

Having reached the worlds where the righteous dwell, and having remained there for

many years, he who has slipped from the path of spirituality will be born again in the

family of the pure, benevolent and prosperous.

Or, he may be born in the family of the wise sages, though a birth like this is, indeed, very

difficult to obtain.

Then the experience acquired in his former life will revive, and with its help he will strive

for perfection more eagerly than before.

Unconsciously he will return to the practices of his old life; so that he who tries to realise

spiritual consciousness is certainly superior to one who only talks of it.

Then after many lives, the student of spirituality, who earnestly strives, and whose sins

are absolved, attains perfection and reaches the Supreme.

The wise man is superior to the ascetic and to the scholar and to the man of action;

therefore be thou a wise man, O Arjuna!

I look upon him as the best of mystics who, full of faith, worshippeth Me and abideth in


My beloved child! There is no destruction for him, either in this

Thus, in the Holy Book the Bhagavad Gita, one of the Upanishads, in the Science of the Supreme

Spirit, in the Art of Self-Knowledge, in the colloquy between the Divine Lord Shri Krishna and the

Prince Arjuna, stands the sixth chapter entitled: Self-Control.




my Full perfection, practising meditation with thy mind devoted to Me, and having Me

for thy refuge.

I will reveal to this knowledge unto thee, and how it may be realised; which, once

accomplished, there remains nothing else worth having in this life.

Among thousands of men scarcely one strives for perfection, and even amongst those who

gain occult powers, perchance but one knows me in truth.

Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intellect and personality; this is the eightfold division of

My Manifested Nature.

This is My inferior Nature; but distinct from this, O Valiant One, know thou that my

Superior Nature is the very Life which sustains the universe.

It is the womb of all being; for I am He by Whom the worlds were created and shall be


O Arjuna! There is nothing higher than Me; all is strung upon Me as rows of pearls upon a


O Arjuna! I am the Fluidity in water, the Light in the sun and in the moon. I am the mystic

syllable Om in the Vedic scriptures, the Sound in ether, the Virility in man.

I am the Fragrance of earth, the Brilliance of fire. I am the Life Force in all beings, and I am

the Austerity of the ascetics.

Know, O Arjuna, that I am the eternal Seed of being; I am the Intelligence of the intelligent,

the Splendour of the resplendent.

I am the Strength of the strong, of them who are free from attachment and desire; and,

O Arjuna, I am the Desire for righteousness.

Whatever be the nature of their life, whether it be pure or passionate or ignorant, they are

all derived from Me. They are in Me, but I am not in them.

The inhabitants of the world, misled by those natures which the Qualities have

engendered, know not that I am higher than them all, and that I do not change.

Verily, this Divine Illusion of Phenomenon manifesting itself in the Qualities is difficult to

surmount. Only they who devote themselves to Me and to Me alone can accomplish it.

The sinner, the ignorant, the vile, deprived of spiritual perception by the glamour of

Illusion, and he who pursues a godless life – none of them shall find Me.

O Arjuna! The righteous who worship Me are grouped by stages: first, they who suffer,

next they who desire knowledge, then they who thirst after truth, and lastly they who

attain wisdom.

Lord Shri Krishna said: Listen, O Arjuna! And I will tell thee how thou shalt know Me in7


Of all of these, he who has gained wisdom, who meditates on Me without ceasing,

devoting himself only to Me, he is the best; for by the wise man I am exceedingly beloved

and the wise man, too, is beloved by Me.

Noble-minded are they all, but the wise man I hold as my own Self; for he, remaining

always at peace with Me, makes me his final goal.

After many lives, at last the wise man realises Me as I am. A man so enlightened that he

sees God everywhere is very difficult to find.

They in whom wisdom is obscured by one desire or the other, worship the lesser Powers,

practising many rites which vary according to their temperaments.

But whatever the form of worship, if the devotee have faith, then upon his faith in that

worship do I set My own seal.

If he worships one form alone with real faith, then shall his desires be fulfilled through

that only; for thus have I ordained.

The fruit that comes to men of limited insight is, after all, finite. They who worship the

Lower Powers attain them; but those who worship Me come unto Me alone.

The ignorant think of Me, who am the Unmanifested Spirit, as if I were really in human

form. They do not understand that My Superior Nature is changeless and most excellent.

I am not visible to all, for I am enveloped by the illusion of Phenomenon. This deluded

world does not know Me as the Unborn and the Imperishable.

I know, O Arjuna, all beings in the past, the present and the future; but they do not know


O brave Arjuna! Man lives in a fairy world, deceived by the glamour of opposite

sensations, infatuated by desire and aversion.

But those who act righteously, in whom sin has been destroyed, who are free from the

infatuation of the conflicting emotions, they worship Me with firm resolution.

Those who make Me their refuge, who strive for liberation from decay and Death, they

realise the Supreme Spirit, which is their own real Self, and in which all action finds its


Those who see Me in the life of the world, in the universal sacrifice, and as pure Divinity,

keeping their minds steady, they live in Me, even in the crucial hour of death.”

Thus, in the Holy Book the Bhagavad Gita, one of the Upanishads, in the Science of the Supreme

Spirit, in the Art of Self-Knowledge, in the Colloquy between the Divine Lord Shri Krishna and the

Prince Arjuna, stand the seventh chapter, entitled: Knowledge and Experience.




man’s Spiritual Nature, and what is the Law? What is Matter and what is Divinity?

Who is it who rules the spirit sacrifice in many; and at the time of death how may those

who have learned self-control come to the knowledge of Thee?

Arjuna asked: O Lord of Lords! What is that which men call the Supreme Spirit, what is

The Lord Shri Krishna replied:

Nature is spiritual consciousness. The worlds have been created and are supported by an

emanation from the Spirit which is called the Law.

Matter consists of the forms that perish; Divinity is the Supreme Self; and He who inspires

the spirit of sacrifice in man, O noblest of thy race, is I Myself, Who now stand in human

form before thee.

Whosoever at the time of death thinks only of Me, and thinking thus leaves the body and

goes forth, assuredly he will know Me.

On whatever sphere of being the mind of a man may be intent at the time of death, thither

he will go.

Therefore meditate always on Me, and fight; if thy mind and thy reason be fixed on Me, to

Me shalt thou surely come.

He whose mind does not wander, and who is engaged in constant meditation, attains the

Supreme Spirit.

Whoso meditates on the Omniscient, the Ancient, more minute than the atom, yet the

Ruler and Upholder of all, Unimaginable, Brilliant like the Sun, Beyond the reach of


He who leaves the body with mind unmoved and filled with devotion, by the power of

his meditation gathering between his eyebrows his whole vital energy, attains the


Now I will speak briefly of the imperishable goal, proclaimed by those versed in the

scriptures, which the mystic attains when free from passion, and for which he is content to

undergo the vow of continence.

Closing the gates of the body, drawing the forces of his mind into the heart and by the

power of meditation concentrating his vital energy in the brain;

Repeating Om, the Symbol of Eternity, holding Me always in remembrance, he who thus

leaves his body and goes forth reaches the Spirit Supreme.

To him who thinks constantly of Me, and of nothing else, to such an ever-faithful devotee,

O Arjuna, am I ever accessible.

Coming thus unto Me, these great souls go no more to the misery and death of earthly life,

for they have gained perfection.

The Supreme Spirit is the Highest Imperishable Self, and Its



The worlds, with the whole realm of creation, come and go; but, O Arjuna, whoso comes

to Me, for him there is nor rebirth.

Those who understand the cosmic day and cosmic night know that one day of creation is a

thousand cycles, and that the night is of equal length.

At the dawning of that day all objects in manifestation stream forth from the Unmanifest,

and when evening falls they are dissolved into It again.

The same multitude of beings, which have lived on earth so often, all are dissolved as the

night of the universe approaches, to issue forth anew when morning breaks. Thus is it


In truth, therefore, there is the Eternal Unmanifest, which is beyond and above the

Unmanifest Spirit of Creation, which is never destroyed when all these being perish.

The wise say that the Unmanifest and Indestructible is the highest goal of all; when once

That is reached, there is no return. That is My Blessed Home.

O Arjuna! That Highest God, in Whom all beings abide, and Who pervades the entire

universe, is reached only by wholehearted devotion.

[The following material (between the asterisks) is an example of what may be a `doctored’ inclusion.

It does not jibe with the rest of the material because it is not presented as metaphor and clearly

implies that worldly phenomena are spiritually determining. Maybe it was added by an individual

or individuals who were less cognizant than the originating author. Or maybe was ‘craftily’

inserted to function as a sort of litmus test – those who get `taken in’ by it may be recognized as not

having `spiritual discernment’.]

*Now I will tell thee, O Arjuna, of the times at which, if the mystics go forth, they do not

return, and at which they go forth only to return.

If knowing the Supreme Spirit the sage goes forth with fire and light, in the daytime, in the

fortnight of the waxing moon and in the six months before the Northern summer solstice,

he will attain the Supreme.

But if he departs in gloom, at night, during the fortnight of the waning moon and in the six

months before the Southern solstice, then he reaches but lunar light and he will be born


These bright and dark paths out of the world have always existed. Whoso takes the

former, returns not; he who chooses the latter, returns.*

O Arjuna! The saint knowing these paths is not confused. Therefore meditate perpetually.

The sage who knows this passes beyond all merit that comes from the study of the

scriptures, from sacrifice, from austerities and charity, and reaches the Supreme Primeval


Thus, in the Holy Book the Bhagavad Gita, one of the Upanishads, in the Science of the Supreme

Spirit, in the Art of Self-Knowledge, in the Colloquy between the Divine Lord Shri Krishna and the

Prince Arjuna, stand the eight chapter, entitled: The Life Everlasting.





mysticism, which when followed by experience, shall liberate thee from sin.

This is the Premier Science, the Sovereign Secret, the Purest and Best; intuitional,

righteous; and to him who practiseth it pleasant beyond measure.

They who have no faith in this teaching cannot find Me, but remain lost in the purlieus of

this perishable world.

The whole world is pervaded by Me, yet My form is not seen. All living things have their

being in Me, yet I am not limited by them.

Nevertheless, they do not consciously abide in Me. Such is My Divine Sovereignty that

though I, the Supreme Self, am the cause and upholder of all, yet I remain outside.

As the mighty wind, though moving everywhere, has no resting place but space, so have

all these beings no home but Me.

All beings, O Arjuna, return at the close of every cosmic cycle into the realm of Nature,

which is a part of Me, and at the beginning of the next I send them forth again.

With the help of Nature, again and again I pour forth the whole multitude of beings,

whether they will or no, for they are ruled by My Will.

But these acts of mine do not bind Me. I remain outside and unattached.

Under my guidance, Nature produces all things movable and immovable. Thus it is,

O Arjuna, that this universe revolves.

Fools disregard Me, seeing Me clad in human form. They know not that in My higher

nature I am the Lord-God of all.

Their hopes are vain, their actions worthless, their knowledge futile; they are without

sense, deceitful, barbarous and godless.

But the Great Souls, O Arjuna! Filled with My Divine Spirit, they worship Me, they fix

their minds on Me and on Me alone, for they know that I am the imperishable Source of


Always extolling Me, strenuous, firm in their vows, prostrating themselves before Me,

they worship Me continually with concentrated devotion.

Others worship Me with full consciousness as the One, the Manifold, the Omnipresent,

the Universal.

I am the Oblation, the Sacrifice and the Worship; I am the Fuel and the Chant, I am the

Butter offered to the fire, I am the Fire itself, and I am the Act of offering.

Lord Shri Krishna said: I will now reveal to thee, since thou doubtest not, that profound9


I am the Father of the universe and its Mother; I am its Nourisher and its Grandfather;

I am the Knowable and the Pure; I am Om; and I am the Sacred Scriptures.

I am the Goal, the Sustainer, the Lord, the Witness, the Home, the Shelter, the Lover and

the Origin; I am Life and Death; I am the Fountain and the Seed Imperishable.

I am the Heat of the Sun, I release and hold back the Rains. I am Death and Immortality;

I am Being and Not-Being.

Those who are versed in the scriptures, who drink the mystic Soma-juice and are purified

from sin, but who while worshipping Me with sacrifices pray that I will lead them to

heaven; they reach the holy world where lives the Controller of the Powers of Nature, and

they enjoy the feasts of Paradise.

Yet although they enjoy the spacious glories of Paradise, nevertheless, when their merit is

exhausted, they are born again into this world of mortals. They have followed the letter of

the scriptures, yet because they have sought but to fulfill their own desires, they must

depart and return again and again.

But if a man will meditate on Me and Me alone, and will worship Me always and

everywhere, I will take upon Myself the fulfillment of his aspiration, and I will safeguard

whatsoever he shall attain.

Even those who worship the lesser Powers, if they do so with faith, they thereby worship

Me, though not in the right way.

I am the willing recipient of sacrifice, and I am its true Lord. But these do not know me in

truth, and so they sink back.

The votaries of the lesser Powers go to them; the devotees of spirits go to them; they who

worship the Powers of Darkness, to such Powers shall they go; and so, too, those who

worship Me shall come to Me.

Whatever a man offers to Me, whether it be a leaf, or a flower, of fruit, or water, I accept it,

for it is offered with devotion and purity of mind.

Whatever thou doest, whatever thou dost eat, whatever thou dost sacrifice and give,

whatever austerities thou practisest, do all as an offering to Me.

So shall thy action be attended by no result, either good or bad; but through the spirit of

renunciation thou shalt come to Me and be free.

I am the same to all beings. I favour none, and I hate none. But those who worship Me

devotedly, they live in Me, and I in them.

Even the most sinful, if he worship Me with his whole heart, shalt be considered

righteous, for he is treading the right path.

He shall attain spirituality ere long, and Eternal Peace shall be his. O Arjuna! Believe me,

My devotee is never lost.



For even the children of sinful parents, and those miscalled the weaker sex, and

merchants, and labourers, if only they will make Me their refuge, they shall attain the


What need then to mention the holy Ministers of God, the devotees and the saintly rulers?

Do thou, therefore, born in this changing and miserable world, do thou too worship Me.

Fix thy mind on Me, devote thyself to Me, sacrifice for Me, surrender to Me, make Me the

object of thy aspirations, and thou shalt assuredly become one with Me, Who am thine

own Self.”

Thus, in the Holy Book the Bhagavad Gita, one of the Upanishads, in the Science of the Supreme

Spirit, in the Art of Self-Knowledge, in the colloquy between the Divine Lord Shri Krishna and the

Prince Arjuna, stands the ninth chapter, entitled: The Science of Sciences and the Mystery of





the sake of thy welfare, for thou art My beloved.

Neither the professors of divinity nor the great ascetics know My origin, for I am the

source of them all.

He who knows Me as the unborn, without beginning, the Lord of the universe, he,

stripped of his delusion, becomes free from all conceivable sin.

Intelligence, wisdom, non-illusion, forgiveness, truth, self-control, calmness, pleasure,

pain, birth, death, fear and fearlessness;

Harmlessness, equanimity, contentment, austerity, beneficence, fame and failure, all these,

the characteristics of beings, spring from Me only.

The seven Great Seers,* the Progenitors of mankind, the Ancient Four,** and the

Lawgivers were born of My Will and come forth direct from Me. The race of mankind has

sprung from them.

Lord Shri Krishna said: Now, O Prince! Listen to My supreme advice, which I give thee for

[* Mareechi, Atri, Angira, Pulah, Kratu, Pulastya, Vahishta.

** The Masters: Sanak, Sanandan, Sanatan, Sanatkumar.]

He who rightly understands My manifested glory and My Creative Power, beyond doubt

attains perfect peace.

I am the source of all; from Me everything flows. Therefore the wise worship Me with

unchanging devotion.

With minds concentrated on Me, with lives absorbed in Me, and enlightening each other,

they ever feel content and happy.

To those who are always devout and who worship Me with love, I give the power of

discrimination, which leads them to Me.

By My grace, I live in their hearts; and I dispel the darkness of ignorance by the shining

light of wisdom.

Arjuna asked:

Eternal Divine Self, the Primal God, the Unborn and the Omnipresent.

So have said the seers and the divine sage Narada; as well as Asita, Devala and Vyasa; and

Thou Thyself also sayest it.

I believe in what Thou hast said, my Lord! For neither the godly not the godless

comprehend Thy manifestation.

Thou alone knowest Thyself, by the power of Thy Self; Thou the Supreme Spirit, the

Source and Master of all being, the Lord of Lords, the Ruler of the Universe.

Thou art the Supreme Spirit, the Eternal Home, the Holiest of the Holy, the



Please tell me all about Thy glorious manifestations, by means of which Thou pervadest

the world.

O Master! How shall I, by constant meditation, know Thee? My Lord! What are Thy

various manifestations through which I am to mediate on Thee?

Tell me again, I pray, about the fullness of Thy power and Thy glory; for I feel that I am

never satisfied when I listen to Thy immortal words.

Lord Shri Krishna replied:

aspects of My glory. Of its full extent there is no end.

O Arjuna! I am the Self, seated in the hearts of all beings; I am the beginning and the life,

and I am the end of them all.

Of all the creative Powers I am the Creator, of luminaries the Sun; the Whirlwind among

the winds, and the Moon among planets.

Of the Vedas I am the Hymns, I am the Electric Force in the Powers of Nature; of the

senses I am the Mind; and I am the Intelligence in all that lives.

Among Forces of Vitality I am the life, I am Mammon to the heathen and the godless; I am

the Energy in fire, earth, wind, sky, heaven, sun, moon and planets; and among mountains

I am the Mount Meru.

Among the priests, know, O Arjuna, that I am the Apostle Brihaspati; of generals I am

Skanda, the Commander-in-Chief, and of waters I am the Ocean.

Of the great seers I am Bhrigu, of words I am Om, of offerings I am the silent prayer,

among things immovable I am the Himalayas.

Of trees I am the sacred Fig-tree, of the Divine Seers Narada, of the heavenly singers I am

Chitraratha, their Leader, and of sages I am Kapila.

Know that among horses I am Pegasus, the heaven-born; among the lordly elephants I am

the White one, and I am the Ruler among men.

I am the Thunderbolt among weapons; of cows I am the Cow of Plenty, I am Passion in

those who procreate, and I am the Cobra among serpents.

I am the King-python among snakes, I am the Aqueous Principle among those that live in

water, I am the Father of fathers, and among rulers I am Death.

And I am the devotee Prahlad among the heathen; of Time I am the Eternal Present; I am

the Lion among beasts and the Eagle among birds.

I am the Wind among purifiers, the King Rama among warriors; I am the Crocodile

among the fishes, and I am the Ganges among rivers.

I am the Beginning, the Middle and the End in creation; among sciences, I am the science

of Spirituality; I am the Discussion among disputants.

So be it, My beloved fried! I will unfold to thee some of the chief



Of letters I am A; I am the copulative in compound words; I am Time inexhaustible; and

I am the all-pervading Preserver.

I am all-devouring Death; I am the Origin of all that shall happen; I am Fame, Fortune,

Speech, Memory, Intellect, Constancy and Forgiveness.

Of hymns I am Brihatsama, of metres I am Garatri, among the months I am

Margasheersha (December), and I am the Spring among seasons.

I am the Gambling of the cheat and the Splendour of the splendid; I am Victory; I am

Effort; and I am the Purity of the pure.

I am Shri Krishna among the Vishnu-clan and Arjuna among the Pandavas; of the saints

I am Vyasa, and I am Shukracharya among the sages.

I am the Sceptre of rulers, the Strategy of the conquerors, the Silence of mystery, the

Wisdom of the wise.

I am the Seed of all being, O Arjuna! No creature moving or unmoving can live without


O Arjuna! The aspects of My divine life are endless. I have mentioned but a few by way of


Whatever is glorious, excellent, beautiful and mighty, be assured that it comes from a

fragment of My splendour.

But what is the use of all these details to thee? O Arjuna! I sustain this universe with only

small part of Myself.”

Thus, in the Holy Book the Bhagavad Gita, one of the Upanishads, in the Science of the Supreme

Spirit, in the Art of Self-Knowledge, in the colloquy between the Divine Lord Shri Krishna and the

Prince Arjuna, stands the tenth chapter, entitled: The Divine Manifestations.




blessing, have dispelled the illusions which surrounded me.

O Lord, whose eyes are like the lotus petal! Thou hast described in detail the origin and

the dissolution of being, and Thine own Eternal Majesty.

I believe all as Thou hast declared it. I long now to have a vision of thy Divine Form,

O Thou Most High!

If Thou thinkest that it can be made possible for me to see it, show me, O Lord of Lords,

Thine own Eternal Self.

Arjuna said: My Lord! Thy words concerning the Supreme Secret of Self, given for my

Lord Shri Krishna replied:

various in kind, in colour and in shape.

Behold thou the Powers of Nature: fire, earth, wind and sky; the sun, the heavens, the

moon, the stars; all forces of vitality and of healing; and the roving winds. See the myriad

wonders revealed to none but thee.

Here in Me living as one, O Arjuna, behold the whole universe, movable and immovable,

and anything else that thou wouldst see!

Yet since with mortal eyes thou canst not see Me, lo! I give thee the Divine Sight. See now

the glory of My Sovereignty.”

Behold, O Arjuna! My celestial forms, by hundred and thousands,

Sanjaya continued: “Having thus spoken, O King, the Lord Shri Krishna, the Almighty Prince of

Wisdom, showed to Arjuna the Supreme Form of the Great God.

There were countless eyes and mouths, and mystic forms innumerable, with shining ornaments and

flaming celestial weapons.

Crowned with heavenly garlands, clothed in shining garments, anointed with divine unctions, He

showed Himself as the Resplendent One, Marvellous, Boundless, Omnipresent.

Could a thousand suns blaze forth together it would be but a faint reflection of the radiance of the

Lord God.

In that vision Arjuna saw the universe, with its manifold shapes, all embraced in One, its Supreme


Thereupon Arjuna, dumb with awe, his hair on end, his head bowed, his hands clasped in

salutation, addressed the Lord thus:

Arjuna said:

the world, the Progenitor on his lotus throne, the Sages and the shining angels.

I see Thee, infinite in form, with, as it were, faces, eyes and limbs everywhere; no

beginning, no middle, no end; O Thou Lord of the Universe, Whose Form is universal!

O almighty God! I see in Thee the powers of Nature, the various creatures of



I see thee with the crown, the sceptre and the discus; a blaze of splendour. Scarce can

I gaze on thee, so radiant thou art, glowing like the blazing fire, brilliant as the sun,


Imperishable art Thou, the Sole One worthy to be known, the priceless Treasure-house of

the universe, the immortal Guardian of the Life Eternal, the Spirit Everlasting.

Without beginning, without middle and without end, infinite in power, Thine arms allembracing,

the sun and moon Thine eyes, Thy face beaming with the fire of sacrifice,

flooding the whole universe with light.

Alone thou fillest all the quarters of the sky, earth and heaven, and the regions between.

O Almighty Lord! Seeing Thy marvellous and awe-inspiring Form, the spheres tremble

with fear.

The troops of celestial beings enter into Thee, some invoking Thee in fear, with folded

palms; the Great Seers and Adepts sing hymns to Thy Glory, saying `All Hail.’

The Vital Forces, the Major stars, Fire, Earth, Air, Sky, Sun, Heaven, Moon and Planets; the

Angels, the Guardians of the Universe, the divine Healers, the Winds, the Fathers, the

Heavenly Singers; and hosts of Mammon-worshippers, demons as well as saints, are


Seeing Thy stupendous Form, O Most Mighty, with its myriad faces, its innumerable eyes

and limbs and terrible jaws, I myself and all the worlds are overwhelmed with awe.

When I see Thee, touching the Heavens, glowing with colour, with open mouth and wide

open fiery eyes, I am terrified. O My Lord! My courage and peace of mind desert me.

When I see Thy mouths with their fearful jaws like glowing fires at the dissolution of

creation, I lose all sense of place; I find no rest. Be merciful, O Lord in whom this universe


All these sons of Dhritarashtra, with the hosts of princes, Bheeshma, Drona and Karna, as

well as the other warrior chiefs belonging to our side;

I see them all rushing headlong into Thy mouths, with terrible tusks, horrible to behold.

Some are mangled between thy jaws, with their heads crushed to atoms.

As rivers in flood surge furiously to the ocean, so these heroes, the greatest among men,

fling themselves into Thy flaming mouths.

As moths fly impetuously to the flame only to be killed, so these men rush into Thy

mouths to court their own destruction.

Thou seemest to swallow up the worlds, to lap them in flame. Thy glory fills the universe.

Thy fierce rays beat down upon it irresistibly.

Tell me then who Thou art, that wearest this dreadful Form? I bow before Thee, O Mighty

One! Have mercy, I pray, and let me see Thee as Thou wert at first. I do not know what

Thou intendest.



Lord Shri Krishna replied:

world and whose purpose is destruction. In spite of thy efforts, all these warriors gathered

for battle shall not escape death.

Then gird up thy loins and conquer. Subdue thy foes and enjoy the kingdom in prosperity.

I have already doomed them. Be thou my instrument, Arjuna!

Drona and Bheeshma, Jayadratha and Karna, and other brave warriors – I have

condemned them all. Destroy them; fight and fear not. Thy foes shall be crushed.”

I have shown myself to thee as the Destroyer who lays waste the

Sanjaya continued: “Having heard these words from the Lord Shri Krishna, the Prince Arjuna,

with folded hands trembling, prostrated himself and with choking voice, bowing down again and

again, and overwhelmed with awe, once more addressed the Lord.

Arjuna said:

praises of Thy glory; the demons fly in fear and the saints offer Thee their salutations.

How should they do otherwise? O Thou Supremest Self, greater than the Powers of

creation, the First Cause, Infinite, the Lord of Lords, the Home of the universe,

Imperishable, Being and Not-Being, yet transcending both.

Thou art the Primal God, the Ancient, the Supreme Abode of this universe, the Knower,

the Knowledge and the Final Home. Thou fillest everything. Thy form is infinite.

Thou art the Wind, Thou art Death, Thou art the Fire, the Water, the Moon, the Father and

the Grandfather. Honour and glory to Thee a thousand and a thousand times! Again and

again, salutation be to Thee, O my Lord!

Salutations to Thee in front and on every side, Thou who encompasseth me round about.

Thy power is infinite; Thy majesty immeasurable; thou upholdest all things; yea,Thou

Thyself art All.

Whatever I have said unto Thee in rashness, taking Thee only for a friend and addressing

Thee as `O Krishna! O Yadava! O Friend!’ in thoughtless familiarity, no understanding

Thy greatness;

Whatever insult I have offered to Thee in jest, in sport or in repose, in conversation or at

the banquet, alone or in a multitude, I ask Thy forgiveness for them all, O Thou Who

art without an equal!

For Thou art the Father of all things movable and immovable, the Worshipful, the Master

of Masters! In all the worlds there is none equal to Thee, how then superior, O Thou who

standeth alone, Supreme.

Therefore I prostrate myself before Thee, O Lord! Most Adorable! I salute Thee, I ask Thy

blessing. Only Thou canst be trusted to bear with me, as father to son, as friend to friend,

as lover to his beloved.

I rejoice that I have seen what never man saw before; yet, O Lord! I am overwhelmed with

fear. Please take again the Form I know. Be merciful, O Lord! thou Who are the Home of

the whole universe.

My Lord! It is natural that the world revels and rejoices when it sings the



I long to see Thee as thou wert before, with the crown, the sceptre and the discus in Thy

hands; in Thy other Form, with Thy four hands, O Thou Whose arms are countless and

Whose forms are infinite.

Lord Shri Krishna replied:

thou hast been able to see this vision of splendour, the Universal, the Infinite, the Original.

Never has it been seen by any but thee.

Not by study of the scriptures, not by sacrifice or gift, not by ritual or rigorous austerity, is

it possible for man on earth to see what thou hast seen, O thou foremost hero of the Kuruclan!

Be not afraid or bewildered by the terrible vision. Put away thy fear and, with joyful mind,

see Me once again in My usual Form.”

My beloved friend! It is only through My grace and power that

Sanjaya continued: “Having thus spoken to Arjuna, Lord Shri Krishna showed Himself again in

His accustomed form; and the Mighty Lord, in gentle tones, softly consoled him who lately trembled

with fear.

Arjuna said:

once more.

Seeing Thee in Thy gentle human form, my Lord, I am myself again, calm

Lord Shri Krishna replied:

most powerful have longed for it in vain.

Not by study of the scriptures, or by austerities, not by gifts or sacrifices, is it possible to

see Me as thou hast done.

Only by tireless devotion can I be seen and known; only thus can a man become one with

Me, O Arjuna!

He whose every action is done for My sake, to whom I am the final goal, who loves Me

only and hates no one – O My dearest son, only he can realize Me!”

It is hard to see this vision of Me that thou hast seen. Even the

Thus, in the Holy Book the Bhagavad Gita, one of the Upanishads, in the Science of the Supreme

Spirit, in the Art of Self-Knowledge, in the colloquy between the Divine Lord Shri Krishna and the

Prince Arjuna, stands the eleventh chapter, entitled: The Cosmic Vision.




to know Thee as a Personal God, or those who worship Thee as Impersonal and


Arjuna asked: My Lord! Which are the better devotees who worship Thee, those who try

Lord Shri Krishna replied:

always with unwavering faith and concentration; these are the very best.

Those who worship Me as the Indestructible, the Undefinable, the Omnipresent, the

Unthinkable, the Primeval, the Immutable and the Eternal;

Subduing their senses, viewing all conditions of life with the same eye, and working for

the welfare of all beings, assuredly they come to Me.

But they who thus fix their attention on the Absolute and Impersonal encounter greater

hardships, for it is difficult for those who possess a body to realise Me as without one.

Verily, those who surrender their actions to Me, who muse on Me, worship Me and

meditate on Me alone, with no thought save of Me,

O Arjuna! I rescue them from the ocean of life and death, for their minds are fixed on Me.

Then let thy mind cling only to Me, let thy intellect abide in Me; and without doubt thou

shalt live hereafter in Me alone.

But if thou canst not fix thy mind firmly on Me, then, My beloved friend, try to do so by

constant practice.

And if thou are not strong enough to practise concentration, then devote thyself to My

service, do all thine acts for My sake, and thou shalt still attain the goal.

And if thou art too weak even for this, then seek refuge in union with Me, and with perfect

self-control renounce the fruit of thy action.

Knowledge is superior to blind action, meditation to mere knowledge, renunciation of the

fruit of action to meditation, and where there is renunciation peace will follow.

He who is incapable of hatred towards any being, who is kind and compassionate, free

from selfishness, without pride, equable in pleasure and in pain, and forgiving,

Always contented, self-centred, self-controlled, resolute, with mind and reason dedicated

to Me, such a devotee of Mine is My beloved.

He who does not harm the world, and whom the world cannot harm, who is not carried

away by any impulse of joy, anger or fear, such a one is My beloved.

He who expects nothing, who is pure, watchful, indifferent, unruffled, and who renounces

all initiative, such a one is My beloved.

He who is beyond joy and hate, who neither laments nor desires, to whom good and evil

fortunes are the same, such a one is My beloved.

Those who keep their minds fixed on Me, who worship Me



He to whom friend and foe are alike, who welcomes equally honour and dishonour, heat

and cold, pleasure and pain, who is enamoured of nothing,

Who is indifferent to praise and censure, who enjoys silence, who is contented with every

fate, who has no fixed abode, who is steadfast in mind, and filled with devotion, such a

one is My beloved.

Verily those who love the spiritual wisdom as I have taught, whose faith never fails, and

who concentrate their whole nature on Me, they indeed are My most beloved.”

Thus, in the Holy Book the Bhagavad Gita, one of the Upanishads, in the Science of the Supreme

Spirit, in the Art of Self-Knowledge, in the colloquy between the Divine Lord Shri Krishna and the

Prince Arjuna, stands the twelfth chapter, entitled: Bhakti-Yoga or the Path of Love.




Self; what is that they call Wisdom, and what is it that is worth knowing? I wish to have

this explained.

Arjuna asked: My Lord! Who is God and what is Nature; what is Matter and what is the

Lord Shri Krishna replied:

That which knows the activities of Matter, sages call the Self.

I am the Omniscient self that abides in the playground of Matter; knowledge of Matter

and of the all-knowing Self is wisdom.

What is called Matter, of what it is composed, whence it came, and why it changes, what

the Self is, and what Its power – this I will now briefly set forth.

Seers have sung of It in various ways, in many hymns and sacred Vedic songs, weighty in

thought and convincing in argument.

The five great fundamentals (earth, fire, air, water and ether), personality, intellect, the

mysterious life force, the ten organs of perception and action, the mind and the five

domains of sensation;

Desire, aversion, pleasure, pain, sympathy, vitality and the persistent clinging to life, these

are in brief the constituents of changing Matter.

Humility, sincerity, harmlessness, forgiveness, rectitude, service of the Master, purity,

steadfastness, self-control;

Renunciation of the delights of sense, absence of pride, right understanding of the painful

problem of birth and death, of age and sickness;

Indifference, non-attachment to sex, progeny or home, equanimity in good fortune and in


Unswerving devotion to Me, by concentration on Me and Me alone, a love for solitude,

indifference to social life;

Constant yearning for the knowledge of Self, and pondering over the lessons of the great

Truth – this is Wisdom, all else ignorance.

I will speak to thee now of that great Truth which man ought to know, since by its means

he will win immortal bliss – that which is without beginning, the Eternal Spirit which

dwells in Me, neither with form, nor yet without it.

Everywhere are Its hands and Its feet; everywhere It has eyes that see, heads that think

and mouths that speak; everywhere It listens; It dwells in all the worlds; It envelops them


Beyond the senses, It yet shines through every sense perception. Bound to nothing, It yet

sustains everything. Unaffected by the Qualities, It still enjoys them all.

O Arjuna! The body of man is the playground of the Self; and



It is within all beings, yet outside; motionless yet moving; too subtle to be perceived; far

away yet always near.

In all beings undivided, yet living in division, It is the upholder of all, Creator and

Destroyer alike;

It is the Light of lights, beyond the reach of darkness; the Wisdom, the only thing that is

worth knowing or that wisdom can teach; the Presence in the hearts of all.

Thus I have told thee in brief what Matter is, and the Self worth realising and what is

Wisdom. He who is devoted to Me knows; and assuredly he will enter into Me.

Know thou further that Nature and God have no beginning; and that differences of

character and quality have their origin in Nature only.

Nature is the Law which generates cause and effect; God is the source of the enjoyment of

all pleasure and pain.

God dwelling in the heart of Nature experiences the Qualities which nature brings forth;

and His affinity towards the Qualities is the reason for His living in a good or evil body.

Thus in the body of man dwells the Supreme God; He who sees and permits, upholds and

enjoys, the Highest God and the Highest Self.

He who understands God and Nature along with her qualities, whatever be his condition

in life, he comes not again to earth.

Some realise the Supreme by meditating, by its aid, on the Self within, others by pure

reason, others by right action.

Others again, having no direct knowledge but only hearing from others, nevertheless

worship, and they, too, if true to the teachings, cross the sea of death.

Wherever life is seen in things movable or immovable, it is the joint product of Matter and


He who can see the Supreme Lord in all beings, the Imperishable amidst the perishable, he

it is who really sees.

Beholding the Lord in all things equally, his actions do not mar his spiritual life but lead

him to the height of Bliss.

He who understands that it is only the Law of Nature that brings action to fruition, and

that the Self never acts, alone knows the Truth.

He who sees the diverse forms of life all rooted in One, and growing forth from Him, he

shall indeed find the Absolute.

The Supreme Spirit, O Prince, is without beginning, without Qualities and Imperishable,

and though it be within the body, yet It does not act, nor is It affected by action.

As space, though present everywhere, remains by reason of its subtlety unaffected, so the

Self, though present in all forms, retains its purity unalloyed.



As the one Sun illuminates the whole earth, so the Lord illumines the whole universe.

Those who with the eyes of wisdom thus see the difference between Matter and Spirit, and

know how to liberate Life from the Law of Nature, they attain the Supreme.”

Thus, in the Holy Book the Bhagavad Gita, one of the Upanishads, in the Science of the Supreme

Spirit, in the Art of Self-Knowledge, in the colloquy between the Divine Lord Shri Krishna and the

Prince Arjuna, stands the thirteenth chapter, entitled: Spirit and Matter.




knowledge, by attaining which the sages have reached Perfection.

Dwelling in Wisdom and realising My Divinity, they are not born again when the

universe is re-created at the beginning of every cycle, nor are they affected when it is


The eternal Cosmos is My womb, in which I plant the seed, from which all beings are

born, O Prince!

O illustrious son of Kunti! Through whatever wombs men are born, it is the Spirit Itself

that conceives, and I am their Father.

Purity, Passion and Ignorance are the Qualities which the Law of nature bringeth forth.

They fetter the free Spirit in all beings.

O Sinless One! Of these, Purity, being luminous, strong and invulnerable, binds one by its

yearning for happiness and illumination.

Passion, engendered by thirst for pleasure and attachment, binds the soul through its

fondness for activity.

But Ignorance, the product of darkness, stupefies the senses in all embodied beings,

binding them by chains of folly, indolence and lethargy.

Purity brings happiness, Passion commotion, and Ignorance, which obscures wisdom,

leads to a life of failure.

O Prince! Purity prevails when Passion and Ignorance are overcome; Passion, when Purity

and Ignorance are overcome; and Ignorance when it overcomes Purity and Passion.

When the light of knowledge gleams forth from all the gates of the body, then be sure that

Purity prevails.

O best of Indians! Avarice, the impulse to act and the beginning of action itself are all due

to the dominance of Passion.

Darkness, stagnation, folly and infatuation are the result of the dominance of Ignorance,

O joy of the Kuru-clan!

When Purity prevails, the soul on quitting the body passes on to the pure regions where

live those who know the Highest.

When Passion prevails, the soul is reborn among those who love activity; when Ignorance

rules, it enters the wombs of the ignorant.

They say the fruit of a meritorious action is spotless and full of purity; the outcome of

Passion is misery, and of Ignorance darkness.

Purity engenders Wisdom, Passion avarice, and Ignorance folly, infatuation and darkness.

Lord Shri Krishna continued: Now I will reveal unto the Wisdom which is beyond14


When Purity is in the ascendant, the man evolves; when Passion, he neither evolves nor

degenerates; when Ignorance, he is lost.

As soon as man understands that it is only the Qualities which act and nothing else, and

perceives That which is beyond, he attains My divine nature.

When the soul transcends the Qualities, which are the real cause of physical existence,

then, freed from birth and death, from old age and misery, he quaffs the nectar of


Arjuna asked:

recognized? How does he act? How does he live beyond them?

My Lord! By what signs can he who has transcended the Qualities be

Lord Shri Krishna replied:

longs not for that which is absent;

He who maintains an attitude of indifference, who is not disturbed by the Qualities, who

realises that it is only they who act, and remains calm;

Who accepts pain and pleasure as it comes, is centred in his Self, to whom a piece of clay

or stone or gold are the same, who neither likes nor dislikes, who is steadfast, indifferent

alike to praise or censure;

Who looks equally upon honour and dishonour, loves friends and foes alike, abandons all

initiative, such is he who transcends the Qualities.

And he who serves Me and only Me, with unfaltering devotion, shall overcome the

Qualities, and become One with the Eternal.

For I am the Home of the Spirit, the continual Source of immortality, of eternal

Righteousness and of infinite Joy.”

O Prince! He who shuns not the Quality which is present, and

Thus, in the Holy Book the Bhagavad Gita, one of the Upanishads, in the Science of the Supreme

Spirit, in the Art of Self-Knowledge, in the colloquy between the Divine Lord Shri Krishna and the

Prince Arjuna, stands the fourteenth chapter, entitled: The Three Qualities.




eternal, is like a tree, but having its seed above in the Highest and its ramifications on this

earth below. The scriptures are its leaves, and he who understands this, knows.

Its branches shoot upwards and downwards, deriving their nourishment from the

Qualities; its buds are the objects of sense; and its roots, which follow the Law causing

man’s regeneration and degeneration, pierce downwards into the soil.

In this world its true form is not known, neither its origin nor its end, and its strength is

not understood., until the tree with its roots striking deep into the earth is hewn down by

the sharp axe of non-attachment.

Beyond lies the Path, from which, when found, there is no return. This is the Primal God

from whence this ancient creation has sprung.

The wise attain Eternity when, freed from pride and delusion, they have conquered their

love for the things of sense; when, renouncing desire and fixing their gaze on the Self, they

have ceased to be tossed to and fro by the opposing sensations, like pleasure and pain.

Neither sun, moon, nor fire shines there. Those who go thither never come back. For,

O Arjuna, that is my Celestial Home!

It is only a very small part of My Eternal Self, which is the life of the universe, drawing

round itself the six senses, the mind the last, which have their source in Nature.

When the Supreme Lord enters a body or leaves it, He gathers these senses together and

travels on with them, as the wind gathers perfume while passing through the flowers.

He is the perception of the ear, the eye, the touch, the taste and the smell, yea and of the

mind also; and the enjoyment the things which they perceive is also His.

The ignorant do not see that it is He Who is present in life and Who departs at death or

even that it is He Who enjoys pleasure through the Qualities. Only the eye of wisdom sees.

The saints with great effort find Him within themselves; but not the unintelligent, who in

spite of every effort cannot control their minds.

Remember that the Light which, proceeding from the sun, illumines the whole world, and

the Light which is in the moon, and That which is in the fire also, all are born of Me.

I enter this world and animate all My creatures with My vitality; and by My cool

moonbeams I nourish the plants.

Becoming the fire of life, I pass into their bodies and, uniting with the vital streams of

Prana and Apana, I digest the various kinds of food.

I am enthroned in the hearts of all; memory, wisdom and discrimination owe their origins

to Me. I am He Who is to be realised in the scriptures; I inspire their wisdom and I know

their truth.

Lord Shri Krishna continued: This phenomenal creation, which is both ephemeral and15


There are two aspects in Nature: the perishable and the imperishable. All life in this world

belongs to the former, the unchanging element belongs to the latter.

But higher than all am I, the Supreme God, the Absolute Self, the Eternal Lord, Who

pervades the worlds and upholds them all.

Beyond comparison of the Eternal with the non-eternal am I, Who am called by scriptures

and sages the Supreme Personality, the Highest God.

He who with unclouded vision sees Me as the Lord-God, knows all there is to be known,

and always shall worship Me with his whole heart.

Thus, O Sinless One, I have revealed to thee this most mystic knowledge. He who

understands gains wisdom and attains the consummation of life.”

Thus, in the Holy Book the Bhagavad Gita, one of the Upanishads, in the Science of the Supreme

Spirit, in the Art of Self-Knowledge, in the colloquy between the Divine Lord Shri Krishna and the

Prince Arjuna, stands the fifteenth chapter, entitled: The Lord-God




wisdom, readiness to give, self-control, a spirit of sacrifice, regular study of the scriptures,

austerities, candour,

harmlessness, truth, absence of wrath, renunciation, contentment, straightforwardness,

compassion towards all, uncovetousness, courtesy, modesty, constancy,

Valour, forgiveness, fortitude, purity, freedom from hate and vanity; these are his who

possesses the Godly Qualities, O Arjuna!

Hypocrisy, pride, insolence, cruelty, ignorance belong to him who is born of the godless


Godly qualities lead to liberation; godless to bondage. Do not be anxious, Prince! Thou

hast the Godly qualities.

All beings are of two classes: Godly and godless. The Godly I have described; I will now

describe the other.

The godless do not know how to act or how to renounce. They have neither purity nor

truth. They do not understand the right principles of conduct.

They say the universe is an accident with no purpose and no God. Life is created by sexual

union, a product of lust and nothing else.

Thinking thus, these degraded souls, these enemies of mankind – whose intelligence is

negligible and whose deeds are monstrous – come into the world only to destroy.

Giving themselves up to insatiable passions, hypocritical, self-sufficient and arrogant,

cherishing false conception founded on delusion, they work only to carry out their own

unholy purposes.

Poring anxiously over evil resolutions, which only end in death; seeking only the

gratification of desire as the highest goal; seeing nothing beyond;

Caught in the toils of a hundred vain hopes, the slaves of passion and wrath, they

accumulate hoards of unjust wealth, only to pander to their sensual desire.

This I have gained today; tomorrow I will gratify another desire; this wealth is mine now,

the rest shall be mine ere long;

I have slain one enemy, I will slay the others also; I am worthy to enjoy, I am the

Almighty, I am perfect, powerful and happy;

I am rich, I am well-bred; who is there to compare with me? I will sacrifice, I will give,

I will pay – and I will enjoy. Thus blinded by Ignorance,

Perplexed by discordant thoughts, entangled in the snares of desire, infatuated by passion,

they sink into the horrors of hell.

Lord Shri Krishna continued: Fearlessness, clean living, unceasing concentration on16


Self-conceited, stubborn, rich, proud and insolent, they make a display of their patronage,

disregarding the rules of decency.

Puffed up by power and inordinate conceit, swayed by lust and wrath, these wicked

people hate Me Who am within them, as I am within all.

Those who thus hate Me, who are cruel, the dregs of mankind, I condemn them to a

continuous, miserable and godless rebirth.

So reborn, they spend life after life, enveloped in delusion. And they never reach Me,

O Prince, but degenerate into still lower forms of life.

The gates of hell are three: lust, wrath and avarice. They destroy the Self. Avoid them.

These are the gates which lead to darkness; if a man avoid them he will ensure his own

welfare, and in the end will attain his liberation.

But he who neglects the commands of the scriptures, and follows the promptings of

passion, he does not attain perfection, happiness or the final goal.

Therefore whenever there is doubt whether thou shouldst do a thing or not, let the

scriptures guide thy conduct. In the light of the scriptures shouldst thou labour the whole

of thy life.”

Thus, in the Holy Book the Bhagavad Gita, one of the Upanishads, in the Science of the Supreme

Spirit, in the Art of Self-Knowledge, in the colloquy between the Divine Lord Shri Krishna and the

Prince Arjuna, stands the sixteenth chapter, entitled: Divine and Demonic Civilization




nevertheless with implicit faith, what is their condition? Is it one of Purity, of Passion or of


Arjuna asked: My Lord! Those who do acts of sacrifice, not according to the scriptures but

Lord Shri Krishna replied:

Purity, Passion and Ignorance. Now listen.

The faith of every man conforms to his nature. By nature he is full of faith. He is in fact

what his faith makes him.

The Pure worship the true God; the Passionate, the powers of wealth and magic; the

Ignorant, the spirits of the dead and of the lower orders of nature.

Those who practise austerities not commanded by scripture, who are slaves to hypocrisy

and egotism, who are carried away by the fury of desire and passion,

They are ignorant. They torment the organs of the body; and they harass Me also, Who

lives within. Know that they are devoted to evil.

The food which men enjoy is also threefold, like the ways of sacrifice, austerity and

almsgiving. Listen to the distinction.

The foods that prolong life and increase purity, vigour, health, cheerfulness and happiness

are those that are delicious, soothing, substantial and agreeable. These are loved by the


Those in whom Passion is dominant like foods that are bitter, sour, salty, over-hot,

pungent, dry and burning. These produce unhappiness, repentance and disease.

The Ignorant love food which is stale, not nourishing, putrid and corrupt, the leavings of

others and unclean.

Sacrifice is Pure when it is offered by one who does not covet the fruit thereof, when it is

done according to the commands of scripture, and with implicit faith that the sacrifice is a


Sacrifice which is performed for the sake of its results, or for self-glorification – that, O best

of Aryans, is the product of Passion.

Sacrifice that is contrary to scriptural command, that is unaccompanied by prayers or gifts

of food or money, and is without faith – that is the product of Ignorance.

Worship of God and the Master; respect for the preacher and the philosopher; purity,

rectitude, continence and harmlessness – all this is physical austerity.

Speech that hurts no one, that is true, is pleasant to listen to and beneficial, and the

constant study of the scriptures – this is austerity in speech.

Serenity, kindness, silence, self-control and purity – this is austerity of mind.

Man has an inherent faith in one or another of the Qualities –



These threefold austerities performed with faith, and without thought of reward, may

truly be accounted Pure.

Austerity coupled with hypocrisy or performed for the sake of self-glorification,

popularity or vanity, comes from Passion, and its result is always doubtful and temporary.

Austerity done under delusion, and accompanied with sorcery or torture to oneself or

another, may be assumed to spring from Ignorance.

The gift which is given without thought of recompense, in the belief that it ought to be

made, in a fit place, at an opportune time and to a deserving person – such a gift is Pure.

That which is given for the sake of the results it will produce, or with the hope of

recompense,or grudgingly – that may truly be said to be the outcome of Passion.

And that which is given at an unsuitable place or time or to one who is unworthy, or with

disrespect or contempt – such a gift is the result of Ignorance.

`Om Tat Sat’ is the triple designation of the Eternal Spirit, by which of old the Vedic

Scriptures, the ceremonials and the sacrifices were ordained.

Therefore all acts of sacrifice, gifts and austerities, prescribed by the scriptures, are always

begun by those who understand the Spirit with the word Om.

Those who desire deliverance begin their acts of sacrifice, austerity or gift with the word

`Tat’ (meaning `That’), without thought of reward.

`Sat’ means Reality or the highest Good, and also, O Arjuna, it is used to mean an action of

exceptional merit.

Conviction in sacrifice, in austerity and in giving is also called `Sat.’ So too an action done

only for the Lord’s sake.

Whatsoever is done without faith, whether it be sacrifice, austerity or gift or anything else,

as called `Asat’ (meaning `Unreal’) for it is the negation of `Sat,’ O Arjuna! Such an act has

no significance, here or hereafter.”

Thus, in the Holy Book the Bhagavad Gita, one of the Upanishads, in the Science of the Supreme

Spirit, in the Art of Self-Knowledge, in the colloquy between the Divine Lord Shri Krishna and the

Prince Arjuna, stands the seventeenth chapter, entitled: The Threefold Faith





Arjuna asked: O mighty One! I desire to know how relinquishment is distinguished from

Lord Shri Krishna replied:

springs from desire; and relinquishing means the surrender of its fruit.

Some philosophers say that all action is evil and should be abandoned. Others that acts of

sacrifice, benevolence and austerity should not be given up.

O best of Indians! Listen to my judgment as regards this problem. It has a threefold aspect.

Acts of sacrifice, benevolence and austerity should not be given up but should be

performed, for they purify the aspiring soul.

But they should be done with detachment and without thought of recompense. This is my

final judgment.

It is not right to give up actions which are obligatory; and if they are misunderstood, it is

the result of sheer ignorance.

To avoid an action through fear of physical suffering, because it is likely to be painful, is to

act from passion, and the benefit of renunciation will not follow.

He who performs an obligatory action, because he believes it to be a duty which ought to

be done, without any personal desire to do the act or to receive any return – such

renunciation is Pure.

The wise man who has attained purity, whose doubts are solved, who is filled with the

spirit of self-abnegation, does not shrink from action because it brings pain, nor does he

desire it because it brings pleasure.

But since those still in the body cannot entirely avoid action, in their case abandonment of

the fruit of action is considered as complete renunciation.

For those who cannot renounce all desire, the fruit of action hereafter is threefold – good,

evil, and partly good and partly evil. But for him who has renounced, there is none.

I will tell thee now, O Mighty Man, the five causes which, according to the final decision

of philosophy, must concur before an action can be accomplished.

They are a body, a personality, physical organs, their manifold activity and destiny.

Whatever action a man performs, whether by muscular effort or by speech or by thought,

and whether it be right or wrong, these five are the essential causes.

But the fool who supposes, because of his immature judgment, that it is his own Self alone

that acts, he perverts the truth and does not see rightly.

He who has no pride, and whose intellect is unalloyed by attachment, even though he kill

these people, yet he does not kill them, and his act does not bind him.

The sages say that renunciation means forgoing an action which



Knowledge, the knower and the object of knowledge, these are the three incentives to

action; and the act, the actor and the instrument are the threefold constituents.

The knowledge, the act and the doer differ according to the Qualities. Listen to this too:

That knowledge which sees the One Indestructible in all beings, the One Indivisible in all

separate lives, may be truly called Pure Knowledge.

The knowledge which thinks of the manifold existence in all beings as separate – that

comes from Passion.

But that which clings blindly to one idea as if it were all, without logic, truth or insight,

that has its origin in Darkness.

An obligatory action done by one who is disinterested, who neither likes nor dislikes it,

and gives no thought to the consequences that follow, such an action is Pure.

But even though an action involve the most strenuous endeavour, yet if the doer is seeking

to gratify his desires, and is filled with personal vanity, it may be assumed to originate in


An action undertaken through delusion, and with no regard to the spiritual issues

involved, or the real capacity of the doer, or to the injury which may follow, such an act

may be assumed to be the product of Ignorance.

But when a man has no sentiment and no personal vanity, when he possesses courage and

confidence, cares not whether he succeeds or fails, then his action arises from Purity.

In him who is impulsive, greedy, looking for reward, violent, impure, torn between joy

and sorrow,it may be assumed that in him Passion is predominant.

While he whose purpose is infirm, who is low-minded, stubborn, dishonest, malicious,

indolent, despondent, procrastinating – he may be assumed to be in Darkness.

Reason and conviction are threefold, according to the Quality which is dominant. I will

explain them fully and severally, O Arjuna!

That intellect which understands the creation and dissolution of life, what actions should

be done and what not, which discriminates between fear and fearlessness, bondage and

deliverance, that is Pure.

The intellect which does not understand what is right and what is wrong, and what

should be done and what not, is under the sway of Passion.

And that which, shrouded in Ignorance, thinks wrong right, and sees everything

perversely, O Arjuna, that intellect is ruled by Darkness.

The conviction and steady concentration by which the mind, the vitality and the senses are

controlled – O Arjuna! They are the product of Purity.

The conviction which always holds fast to rituals, to self-interest and wealth, for the sake

of what they may bring forth – that comes from Passion.



And that which clings perversely to false idealism, fear, grief, despair and vanity is the

product of Ignorance.

Hear further the three kinds of pleasure. That which increases day after day delivers one

from misery,

Which at first seems like poison but afterwards acts like nectar – that pleasure is Pure, for

it is born of Wisdom.

That which as first is like nectar, because the senses revel in their objects, but in the end

acts like poison – that pleasure arises from Passion.

While the pleasure which from first to last merely drugs the senses, which springs from

indolence, lethargy and folly – that pleasure flows from Ignorance.

There is nothing anywhere on earth or in the higher worlds which is free from the three

Qualities – for they are born of Nature.

O Arjuna! The duties of spiritual teachers, the soldiers, the traders and the servants have

all been fixed according to the dominant Quality in their nature.

Serenity, self-restraint, austerity, purity, forgiveness, as well as uprightness, knowledge,

wisdom and faith in God – these constitute the duty of a spiritual Teacher.

Valour, glory, firmness, skill, generosity, steadiness in battle and ability to rule – these

constitute the duty of a soldier. They flow from his own nature.

Agriculture, protection of the cow and trade are the duty of a trader, again in accordance

with his nature. The duty of a servant is to serve, and that too agrees with his nature.

Perfection is attained when each attends diligently to his duty. Listen and I will tell you

how it is attained by him who always minds his own duty.

Man reaches perfection by dedicating his actions to God, Who is the source of all being,

and fills everything.

It is better to do one’s own duty, however defective it may be, than to follow the duty of

another, however well one may perform it. He who does his duty as his own nature

reveals it, never sins.

The duty that of itself falls to one’s lot should not be abandoned, though it may have its

defects. All acts are marred by defects, as fire is obscured by smoke.

He whose mind is entirely detached, who has conquered himself, whose desires have

vanished, by his renunciation reaches that stage of perfect freedom where action

completes itself and leaves no seed.

I will now state briefly how he, who has reached perfection, finds the Eternal Spirit, the

state of Supreme Wisdom.

Guided always by pure reason, bravely restraining himself, renouncing the objects of

sense and giving up attachment and hatred;



Enjoying solitude, abstemiousness, his body, mind and speech under perfect control,

absorbed in meditation, he becomes free – always filled with the spirit of renunciation.

Having abandoned selfishness, power, arrogance, anger and desire, possessing nothing of

his own and having attained peace, he is fit to join the Eternal Spirit.

And when he becomes one with the Eternal, and his soul knows the bliss that belongs to

the Self, he feels no desire and no regret, he regards all beings equally and enjoys the

blessing of supreme devotion to Me.

By such devotion, he sees Me, who I am and what I am; and thus realising the Truth, he

enters My Kingdom.

Relying on Me in all his action and doing them for My sake, he attains, by My Grace,

Eternal and Unchangeable Life.

Surrender then thy actions unto Me, live in Me, concentrate thine intellect on Me, and

think always of Me.

Fix but thy mind on Me, and by My grace thou shalt overcome the obstacles in thy path.

But if, misled by pride, thou wilt not listen, then indeed thou shalt be lost.

If thou in thy vanity thinkest of avoiding this fight, thy will shall not be fulfilled, for

Nature herself will compel thee.

O Arjuna! Thy duty binds thee. From thine own nature has it arisen, and that which in thy

delusion thou desire not to do, that very thing thou shalt do. Thou art helpless.

God dwells in the hearts of all beings, O Arjuna! He causes them to revolve as it were on a

wheel by His mystic power.

With all thy strength, fly unto Him and surrender thyself, and by His grace shalt thou

attain Supreme Peace and reach the Eternal Home.

Thus have I revealed to thee the Truth, the Mystery of mysteries. Having thought it over,

thou art free to act as thou wilt.

Only listen once more to My last word, the deepest secret of all; thou art My beloved, thou

are My friend, and I speak for thy welfare.

Dedicate thyself to Me, worship Me, sacrifice all for Me, prostrate thyself before Me, and

to Me thou shalt surely come. Truly do I pledge thee; thou art My own beloved.

Give up then thy earthly duties, surrender thyself to Me only. Do not be anxious; I will

absolve thee from all thy sin.

Speak not this to one who has not practised austerities, or to him who does not love, or

who will not listen, or who mocks.

But he who teaches this great secret to My devotees, his is the highest devotion, and verily

he shall come unto Me.



Nor is there among men any who can perform a service dearer to Me than this, or any

man on earth more beloved by Me than he.

He who will study this spiritual discourse of ours, I assure thee, he shall thereby worship

Me at the altar of Wisdom.

Yea, he who listens to it with faith and without doubt, even he, freed from evil, shalt rise

to the worlds which the virtuous attain through righteous deeds.

O Arjuna! Hast thou listened attentively to My words? Has thy ignorance and thy

delusion gone?

Arjuna replied:

O Changeless One, the light has dawned. My doubts are gone, and I stand before Thee

ready to do Thy will.”

My Lord! O Immutable One! My delusion has fled. By Thy Grace,

Sanjaya told: “Thus have I heard this rare, wonderful and soul-stirring discourse of the Lord Shri

Krishna and the great-souled Arjuna.

Through the blessing of the sage Vyasa, I listened to this secret and noble science from the lips of its

Master, the Lord Shri Krishna.

O King! The more I think of that marvellous and holy discourse, the more I lose myself in joy.

As memory recalls again and again the exceeding beauty of the Lord, I am filled with amazement

and happiness.

Wherever is the Lord Shri Krishna, the Prince of Wisdom, and wherever is Arjuna, the Great

Archer, I am more than convinced that good fortune, victory, happiness and righteousness will


Thus, in the Holy Book the Bhagavad Gita, one of the Upanishads, in the Science of the Supreme

Spirit, in the Art of Self-Knowledge, in the colloquy between the Divine Lord Shri Krishna and the

Prince Arjuna, stands the eighteenth chapter, entitled: The Spirit of Renunciation

May the Lord Shri Krishna bless you!


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