A DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY PUBLICATION
Life is very complex in these days. The struggle for
existence is very keen. Man finds no time to study big
philosophical and religious books, or the whole of the Gita.
Here is an abridged edition of the Gita which contains its
quintessence for the use of students, doctors, advocates and
That man who merely studies daily even a few Slokas is
not stained by Karma. He obtains perfect wisdom, Supreme
Peace and eternal Bliss and Immortality. Then what to speak
of him who lives and acts according to the spirit of the
teachings of the Gita?
He who reads even a quarter of a Sloka is freed from
great sins and fear of death.
The Gita is your benefactor and constant companion. The
Gita is your Teacher and Guru. The Gita is your real Father
and Mother. The Gita is your solace, support and prop. The
Gita is an embodiment of nectar. Drink this nectar daily and
attain Immortality. May the Gita guide you!
THE DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY
The Despondency of Arjuna
(Arjuna Vishada Yoga)
This is the Yoga of the despondency of Arjuna. Arjuna saw
all his kinsmen, sons, brothers-in-law, cousins, teachers (Bhishma,
Drona and others) standing arrayed in battle and said to
Lord Krishna (26): “My limbs fail and my mouth is parched,
my body quivers and my hairs stand on end; Gandiva slips
from my hand (29). I do not wish to kill them even for the
sake of the Kingship of the three worlds (35). It is a great
sin to kill my teachers and relatives. If I kill them,
family traditions will perish. There will be lawlessness
(40). Women will become corrupt. There will be
caste-confusion. The slayer of the families will go to hell
for, their ancestors will fall, deprived of rice-balls and
oblations (42). Caste-customs and family-customs will
vanish”(43). Arjuna was overwhelmed with grief. He threw
away his bow and arrows and sank down on the seat of the
This is Jnana Yoga or Vedanta which bespeaks of the
Immortality of the Soul. Lord Krishna said to Arjuna: “Wake
up from the slumber of ignorance. This body and the world
are indwelt by the Imperishable Atman, Brahman or the Soul.
None can cause the destruction of That—the Imperishable.
This Atman is not born nor does It ever die. It is unborn,
eternal, changeless, ancient and inexhaustible. It is not
killed when the body is killed (20). It slays not, nor is It
slain. Just as a man casts off worn out clothes and puts on
new ones, so also the embodied Self casts off worn out
bodies and enters others which are new (22). Weapons cut It
not, fire burns It not, water wets It not, wind dries It not
(23). This Self is unmanifested, unthinkable and
“O Arjuna! do your duty. It is the duty of a Kshatriya to
fight. There is nothing higher for a Kshatriya than a
righteous war (31). Develop a balanced mind. Having made
pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat the
same, engage thou in battle, thus thou shalt not incur sin;
thou shalt cast off the bonds of action (38).
“Thy right is to work only but never with its fruits. Let
not the fruit of action be thy motive, nor let thy
attachment be for inaction (47). Perform action, being
steadfast in Yoga abandoning attachment and balanced in
success and failure. Evenness of mind is Yoga” (48). Arjuna
says, “O Lord Krishna! What is the state of a Sthithaprajna?
How does he speak? How does he sit, how does he walk?” (54).
Lord Krishna replies, “A Jivanmukta is free from desires,
longings, mine-ness, I-ness, attachment and fear. He is
satisfied in his own Self. He is indifferent amidst sensual
pleasures. He is not elated by getting desirable objects. He
has a poised mind at all times and under all conditions. He
has perfect control over his mind and senses. He lives in
Brahman. He is centred in his own Self. He is dead to the
sensual world” (55 to 57).
The Yoga of Action
Arjuna said, “If it be thought by Thee that knowledge is
superior to action, why then O Krishna, does Thou engagest
me in this terrible action (1)? Thou confusest my
understanding. Tell me that one way for certain by which I
may attain eternal bliss” (2). Lord Krishna replies, “In
this world there is a twofold path, the path of knowledge of
the Sankhyas and the path of action of the Yogins (3). Man
cannot remain even for a moment without performing some kind
of action. Everyone is helplessly driven to action by the
qualities born of nature (5). That fool, who merely controls
the organs of action but continually thinks of the objects
of senses is called a Mithyachara or hypocrite (6).
“Do sacrifice to the Devatas. They will in turn give you
plenty of food and cattle (11). Constantly perform your duty
without attachment. You will attain the Supreme (19). Janaka
attained perfection by action (20). The great man should set
an example to the world (21). I perform action though there
is nothing in the three worlds that should be done by Me
“The egoistic man thinks ‘I am the doer’. In reality
Prakriti does everything (27). A Jnani who remains as a
silent witness and who knows the essence of the division of
the quality and functions is not bound (28).
“Control Raga-dvesha, obstructors of the spiritual path.
Do your own duty well. Control desire and anger—the enemies
of wisdom. Master first the senses. Kill this enemy-desire
by restraining the self by the Self and by knowing Him who
is superior to intellect” (37-43).
The Yoga of Wisdom
Lord Krishna said, “O Bharata! Whenever righteousness
declines and unrighteousness becomes powerful, then I Myself
come to birth (7). For the protection of the good, for the
destruction of evil-doers, for the sake of firmly
establishing righteousness I am born from age to age (8). In
whatever way men approach Me, so do I reward them: men
follow in every way My path, O son of Pritha (11). He who
sees inaction in action and action in inaction, he is wise
among men, he is a Yogi, even while performing all actions
(18). Whose undertakings are all destitute of desires and
purposes and whose actions have been burnt by the fire of
knowledge him the wise have called a Sage (19).
“Without hope, with the mind self-controlled, having
abandoned attachment to the fruit of actions, all greed and
envy, always content with whatsoever he obtains without
effort, free from the pairs of opposites, balanced in
success and failure, with his thoughts established in
Brahman, he is not doing anything, although doing actions;
he is not bound, though acting (20-23).
“Brahman is the oblation; Brahman is the clarified
butter; by Brahman is the oblation poured into the fire of
Brahman; Brahman verily shall be reached by him who always
sees Brahman in action (24).
“Some Yogins perform sacrifice to Devas; while the
Jivanmuktas offer the Self in the fire Brahman. Some again
offer hearing and other senses in the fire of restraint.
Others again sacrifice all the functions of the senses and
the breath in the fire of Yoga of self-restraint kindled by
knowledge. Others again offer wealth, austerity, study of
scriptures and knowledge as sacrifice. Others offer as
sacrifice the outgoing breath in the incoming and the
incoming in the outgoing (25-29).
“Superior is knowledge-sacrifice to the sacrifice of
objects. All actions in their entirety, O Partha, culminate
in knowledge (33).
“Know that by long prostration, by question and service;
the wise who have realised the Truth will instruct thee in
that knowledge (34). Even if thou art the most sinful of all
sinners, yet thou shalt verily cross all sins by the raft of
knowledge (39). Just as the blazing fire reduces fuel to
ashes, O Arjuna, so does the fire of knowledge reduce all
actions to ashes (37).
“The man who is full of faith, who is devoted to it, and
who has subdued the senses and obtains this knowledge and
having obtained knowledge he goes at once to the Supreme
Peace (39). The ignorant, the faithless, the doubting self
goes to destruction; there is neither this world, nor the
other, nor happiness for the doubting (40).
“Therefore, with the sword of knowledge cut asunder the
doubt of the Self born of ignorance, residing in the heart
and take refuge in Yoga. Arise, O Bharata” (42).
The Yoga of Renunciation of Action
Arjuna said, “Renunciation of actions, O Krishna, Thou
praisest, and then also Yoga. Tell me conclusively that
which is the better of the two” (1).
The Blessed Lord said, “Renunciation and Yoga of action
both lead to the highest bliss; but out of the two, Yoga of
action is superior to the renunciation of action (2).
Children, not the wise, speak of Sankhya (knowledge) and
Yoga (Yoga of action) as distinct; he who is truly
established in one obtains the fruits of both (4). That
place which is reached by the Sankhyas (Jnanis) is reached
by the Yogis (Karma Yogis). He sees, who sees Sankhya and
Yoga are one (5).
“’I do nothing at all’, thus would the knower of Truth
think—seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, going,
sleeping, breathing, speaking, letting go, seizing, opening
and closing the eyes—convinced that the senses move among
the sense-objects (8-9). Neither agency nor action does the
Lord create for the world, nor union with the fruits of
actions. But it is Nature that acts (14).
“Thinking of That, merged in That, established in That,
solely devoted to That, they go whence there is no return,
their sins dispelled by knowledge (17).
“Sages look with an equal eye in a Brahmin endowed with
learning and humility, in a cow, in an elephant, and even in
a dog and in an outcaste (13). With the self unattached to
external contacts he finds bliss in the Self: with the self
engaged in the meditation of Brahman he attains endless
bliss (21). The enjoyments that are born of contacts are
only generators of pain, for they have a beginning and an
end, O son of Kunti (O Kaunteya); the wise do not rejoice in
“He who is able, while still in the world, to withstand
before the liberation from the body the impulse born out of
desire and anger, he is a Yogi, he is a happy man (23).
“Eternal peace lies near to those controlled ascetics who
are free from desire and anger, who have controlled their
thoughts and who have realised the Self (26).
“Shutting out all external contacts and fixing the gaze
between the eyebrows, equalising the outgoing and incoming
breaths moving within the nostrils, with senses, mind and
intellect ever controlled, having liberation as his supreme
goal, free from desire, fear and anger—the sage is verily
liberated for ever” (27-28).
The Yoga of Meditation
Lord Krishna said, “He who performs his bounden duty
without depending on the fruits of action—he is a Sannyasin
and a Yogi; not he who is without fire and without action
(1). For a Muni or a sage who wishes to attain to Yoga,
action is said to be the means; for the same sage who has
attained to Yoga, inaction or quiescence is said to be the
“Let a man lift himself by his own Self alone, let him
not lower himself; for the Self alone is the friend of
oneself and this Self alone is the enemy of oneself (5). The
Self is the friend of the self for him who has conquered
himself by the Self, but to the unconquered self, this self
stands in the position of an enemy like the external foe
“Having in a clear spot established a firm seat of his
own, neither too high nor too low, made of a cloth, a skin
and Kusa grass one over the other, let him firmly hold his
body, head and neck erect and still, gazing at the tip of
his nose, without looking around, serene-minded fearless,
firm in the vow of a Brahmachari, having controlled the
mind, thinking on Me, and balanced, let him sit, having Me
as the Supreme Goal (11-14).
“Verily Yoga is not possible for him who eats too much,
nor for him who does not eat at all, nor for him who sleeps
too much nor for him who is always wakeful, O Arjuna (16).
“Yoga becomes the destroyer of pain for him who is
moderate in eating and recreation, who is moderate in
exertion in actions, who is moderate in sleep and
wakefulness (17). Little by little let him attain quietude
by intellect held in firmness; having made the mind
established in the Self, let him not think of anything (25).
From whatever cause the restless and unsteady mind wanders
away, from that let him restrain it and bring it under the
control of the self alone (26).
“With the mind harmonised by Yoga he sees the Self,
abiding in all beings, and all beings in the Self, he sees
the same everywhere (29). He who sees Me everywhere and sees
everything in Me, he never becomes separated from Me, nor do
I become separated from him” (30).
Arjuna said, “The mind verily, O Krishna, restless,
turbulent, strong and unyielding, I deem it quite as
difficult to control it as that of the wind” (34).
Lord Krishna said, “Undoubtedly, O mighty-armed, the mind
is difficult to control and restless, but by practice, O
Kaunteya and by dispassion, it can be restrained” (35).
Arjuna said, “He who is unable to control himself though
he is possessed of faith, whose mind wanders away from Yoga,
what end does he, having failed to attain perfection in Yoga
meet, O Krishna?” (37).
The blessed Lord said, “Having attained to the worlds of
the righteous and having dwelt there for everlasting years,
he who fell from Yoga is reborn in a house of the pure and
wealthy (41). Or he is born in a family of wise Yogins only;
verily a birth like this is very difficult to obtain in this
world (42). Then he comes in touch with the knowledge
acquired in his former body and strives more than before for
perfection, O son of the Kurus (43). By that very former
practice he is born on in spite of himself. Even he who
merely wishes to know Yoga goes beyond the Brahmic world
“The Yogi is thought to be superior to the ascetics and
even superior to men of knowledge (obtained through study of
Sastras); he is also superior to men of action; therefore,
be thou a Yogi, O Arjuna! (46). And among all Yogins, he
who, full of faith with his inner self merged in Me,
worships Me, he is deemed by Me to be the most devout (47).
The Yoga of Wisdom
The Blessed Lord said, “I shall declare to thee in full
this knowledge combined with realisation, which being known,
nothing here remains to be known (2). Among thousands of
men, one perchance strives for perfection; even among those
successful strivers, only one perchance knows Me in essence
“Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intellect,
egoism—thus is My Prakriti divided eightfold (4). This is
the inferior Prakriti, but different from it, know thou, O
mighty-armed, My higher Prakriti, the very life-element, by
which this world is upheld (5).
“I am the sapidity in waters, O son of Kunti. I am the
light in the moon, and the sun; I am the syllable OM in all
the Vedas, sound in ether and virility in men (8).
“Verily, this divine illusion of Mine, caused by the
qualities is difficult to cross over; those who take refuge
in Me alone cross over this illusion (14).
“Four kinds of virtuous men worship Me O Arjuna, and they
are the distressed, the seeker of knowledge, the seeker of
wealth and the wise, O lord of Bharatas (16). Of these, the
wise, ever steadfast and devoted to the One excels; for I am
exceedingly dear to the wise, and he is dear to Me (17).
Noble indeed are all these; but the wise man, I deem as My
very Self; for, steadfast in mind he is established in Me
alone, as the Supreme Goal (18). At the end of many births
the wise man comes to Me, realising that all this is
Vasudeva, the innermost Self, such a great soul is very hard
to find (19).
“By the delusion of the pairs of opposites, arising from
desire and aversion (likes and dislikes) O Bharata, all
beings are subject to illusion, O Parantapa (scorcher of
foes) (27). But those men of pure deeds, whose sin has come
to an end, who are freed from the delusion of the pairs of
opposites, worship Me, steadfast in vows (23).
“Those who know Me in the Adhibhuta (pertaining to the
elements) in the Adhidaiva (pertaining to the gods) and in
the Adhiyajna (pertaining to the sacrifice), know Me even at
the time of death, steadfast in mind” (30).
The Yoga of Imperishable Brahman
(Akshara Brahma Yoga)
Arjuna asked: “What is that Brahman? What is
Self-knowledge? What is action, O Purushottama? What is
declared to be the knowledge of the elements? And, what is
Adhidaiva? (1). Who and how is Adhiyajna here in this body,
O Madhusudana (destroyer of Madhu)? And how at the time of
death, art Thou to be known by the self-controlled?” (2).
The Blessed Lord said: “Brahman is the Imperishable, the
Supreme; His essential nature is called self-knowledge; the
offering to gods which causes the origin, existence and
manifestation of beings and also sustains them is called
action (3). Adhibhuta or knowledge of the elements pertains
to My perishable nature and the Purusha or the Soul is
Adhidaivata; I alone am the Adhiyajna here in this body, O
best of the embodied (4).
“Whosoever, leaving the body, goes forth remembering Me
alone at the time of death, he attains My Being; there is no
doubt about this (5). Whosoever at the end leaves the body,
thinking upon any being, to that being alone he goes, O
Kaunteya (O son of Kunti), because of his constant thought
of that being (6).
“Having closed all the gates, having confined mind in the
heart, having fixed the life-breath in the head, engaged in
the practice of concentration, uttering the one-syllabled Om,
the Brahman, and remembering Me, he who departs, leaving the
body, attains the Supreme Soul (12-13).
“I am easily attainable by that ever-steadfast Yogi who
constantly remembers Me, daily, not thinking of another
(with a single mind) O Partha! (14). What is called the
unmanifested and Imperishable, That, they say is the highest
goal (path). They who reach It return not. That is My
highest abode (place or state) (20).
“That Highest Purusha, O Partha, is attainable by
unswerving devotion to Him alone, within Whom all beings
dwell, by Whom all this is pervaded (22).
“Fire, light, daytime, the bright fortnight, the six
months of the northern path of the sun (the northern
solstice)—then departing men who know Brahman go to Brahman
(24). This is the path of Devayana or the path of light.
“Smoke, night time, the dark fortnight also, the six
months of the southern path of the sun (the southern
solstice)—attaining by these to the lunar light, the Yogi
returns (29). This is the path of Pitriyana or the path of
“Whatever fruit of merit is declared in the scriptures to
accrue from the study of the Vedas, the performance of
sacrifices, practice of austerities and gift beyond all this
goes the Yogi, having known this, and attains to the Supreme
Primeval or first Abode” (28).
The Yoga of Kingly Science and Kingly
(Raja Vidya Raja Guhya Yoga)
Lord Krishna said, “Kingly Science, Kingly Secret, the
Supreme Purifier is this realisable by direct intuitional
knowledge, according to righteousness, very easy to perform,
“All this world is pervaded by Me in My unmanifested form
(aspect); all beings exist in Me, but I do not dwell in them
(4). I am the father of this world, the mother, the
dispenser of fruits of action, and grandfather; the one
thing to be known, the Purifier, the syllable Om, and also
the Rik, the Sama and the Yajus also (17). I am the goal,
the supporter, the Lord, the witness, the Abode, the
shelter, the friend, the origin, dissolution, the
foundation, the treasure-house and the seed imperishable
“To those men who worship Me alone, thinking of no other,
to those ever united, I secure what is not already possessed
(Yoga) and preserve what they already possess (Kshema) (22).
Whoever offers Me with devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit,
water, that I accept, offered with devotion by the
pure-minded (26). Whatever thou doest, whatever thou eatest,
whatever thou offerest in sacrifice, whatsoever givest,
whatsoever practiseth as austerity, O Kaunteya, do it as an
offering unto Me (27).
“Even if the most sinful worship Me, with devotion to
none else, he too should indeed be regarded as righteous,
for he has rightly resolved (30). Soon he becomes righteous
and attains eternal peace, O Kaunteya; know thou for certain
that My devotee is never destroyed” (31).
The Yoga of Divine Glories
The Blessed Lord said, “With their minds wholly in Me,
with their life absorbed in Me, enlightening each other and
ever speaking of Me, the wise are satisfied and delighted
(9). To them ever steadfast, worshipping Me with love, I
give the Yoga of discrimination by which they come to Me
(10). Out of mere compassion for them, I, dwelling within
their self, destroy the darkness born of ignorance by the
luminous lamp of knowledge” (11).
Arjuna said, “O Lord! Thou shouldst indeed tell, without
reserve of Thy divine glories by which Thou existeth
pervading all these worlds” (16).
The Blessed Lord said, “I am the Self, O Gudakesa, seated
in the hearts of all beings; I am the beginning, the middle,
and also the end of all beings (20). Among the twelve
Adityas, I am Vishnu; among luminous objects, the radiant
Sun; I am Marichi among the forty-nine Maruts; among the
stars the Moon am I (21). Among the Vedas I am the Sama
Veda; I am Vasava (Indra) among the gods; among the senses I
am the mind; and I am the intelligence among living beings
(22). And among the Rudras, I am Sankara; among the Yakshas
and Rakshasas, the Lord of wealth (Kubera); among the Vasus
I am Pavaka (Agni); and among the (seven) mountains I am the
Meru (23). Among the household priests (of kings) O Partha,
know Me to be the chief, Brihaspati; among generals I am
Skanda; among lakes, I am the ocean (24). Among the great
Rishis I am Bhrigu; among words I am the one syllable OM;
among sacrifices I am the sacrifice of silent repetition (Japa
Yajna); among immovable things, the Himalayas (25). Among
the trees I am the Asvattha; among divine Rishis Narada;
among Gandharvas Chitraratha; among the perfected ones the
Muni Kapila (26).
“Of purifiers I am the wind; Rama of warriors am I; among
fishes I am the shark; among streams I am the Ganga (31).
Among letters the letter ‘A’ I am; and the dual among all
compounds; I am, verily the inexhaustible or everlasting
Time; I am the dispenser of fruits of actions having faces
in all directions (33). I am the gambling of cheat; I am the
splendour of the splendid; I am victory, I am determination
of those who are determined; I am the goodness of the good
(36). There is no end of My Divine Glories, O Parantapa; but
this is a brief statement of My divine attributes” (40).
The Yoga of the vision of the Cosmic Form
(Visva Rupa Darsana Yoga)
Arjuna said, “Now O Supreme Lord, as Thou hast thus
described Thyself in that way O Purushottama (Purusha
Supreme), I wish to see actually Thy divine form” (3).
The Blessed Lord said, “Behold O Partha forms of Me by
hundreds and thousands of different sorts, divine, of
various colours and shapes (5). Behold the Adityas, the
Vasus, the Rudras, the two Asvins and also the forty-nine
Maruts: behold many wonders never seen before, O Bharata
(6). Now behold O Gudakesa in this My body the whole
universe centred in one—including the moving and the
unmoving—and whatever else thou desirest to see (7). But
thou art not able to behold Me with these thine eyes alone;
I give thee divine eye; behold My lordly Yoga” (8).
Lord Kdshna showed to Partha His Supreme Form with
numerous mouths and eyes with numerous wonderful sights,
with numerous divine ornaments, with numerous divine weapons
Arjuna said, “I see all the gods, O God, in Thy body and
also hosts of various classes of beings, Brahma the Lord
seated on the lotus, all the Rishis and celestial serpents
(15). I see Thee Without beginning, middle or end, infinite
in power of endless arms, the sun and the moon being Thy
eyes, the burning fire Thy mouth heating the whole universe
with the radiance (19). Into Thy mouths terrible with teeth
and fearful to behold all the sons of Dhritarashtra, Bhishma,
Drona, Karna, etc, hurriedly enter; some are found sticking
in the gaps between the teeth with their heads crushed to
The Blessed Lord said, “Therefore, stand up and obtain
fame. Conquer the enemies and enjoy the unrivalled kingdom.
Verily by Myself they, have been already slain; be thou a
mere instrument, O Savyasachi (Arjuna)” (33).
Arjuna said, “Thou art the Primeval God, the Ancient
Purusha; Thou art the supreme refuge of this universe. Thou
art the knower, the knowable and the supreme abode. By Thee
is this universe pervaded, O Being of infinite form (38). I
am delighted, having seen what was never seen before and yet
my mind is distressed with fear. Show me that form only with
four hands, O God; have mercy, O God of gods, O Abode of the
The Blessed Lord assumed His gentle form with four hands
and showed this form to Arjuna and consoled him who was
The Blessed Lord said, “Neither by the Vedas nor by
austerity, nor by gifts, nor by sacrifice can I be seen in
this form, as thou hast seen Me so easily. But by the
single-minded devotion, can I of this form be known and seen
in reality and also entered into, O Parantapa. He who does
actions for Me, who looks on Me as, the Supreme, who is
devoted to Me, who is free from attachment, who bears enmity
towards no creature, he comes to Me, Pandava” (53-55).
The Yoga of Devotion
Arjuna said, “Those devotees, who ever steadfast, thus
worship Thee, and those also who worship the Imperishable,
the Unmanifested—which of these are better-versed in Yoga?”
The Blessed Lord said, “Those who, fixing their mind on
Me, worship Me, ever-steadfast and endowed with supreme
faith, in My opinion are the best in Yoga (2). Greater is
their trouble whose minds are set on the unmanifested; for
the goal, the unmanifested, is very hard for the embodied to
reach (5). Fix thy mind on Me only, place Thy intellect in
Me; then thou shalt no doubt live in Me alone hereafter (8).
If thou art not able to fix thy mind steadily on Me, then by
Yoga of constant practice (Abhyasa Yoga) do thou seek to
reach Me, O Dhananjaya (9). If thou art unable to practise
even this Abhyasa Yoga, be thou intent on doing actions for
My sake; even by doing actions for My sake, thou shalt
attain perfection (10). If thou art unable to do even this
then taking refuge in union with Me, renounce the fruits of
all actions, with the self controlled (11). Better indeed is
knowledge than practice; than knowledge meditation is
better; than meditation renunciation of the fruits of
actions; peace immediately follows renunciation (12).
“He who hates no creature, who is friendly and
compassionate to all, who is free from attachment and
egoism, balanced in pleasure and pain, and forgiving; ever
content, steady in meditation, self-controlled, possessed of
firm conviction, with mind and intellect dedicated to Me,
he, My devotee, is dear to Me (13-14). He who is free from
envy, fear and anxiety, who is free from wants, pure,
expert, unconcerned, untroubled, who has renounced all
undertakings or commencements, who neither rejoices nor
hates, neither grieves nor desires, who has renounced good
and evil, who is full of devotion, he is dear to Me (16-17).
“He who is the same to a foe and friend, and also in
honour and dishonour, who is the same in cold and heat, and
in pleasure and pain, who is free from attachment, who is
balanced in censure and praise, pain and pleasure, who is
silent, content with anything, homeless, steady-minded, full
of devotion—that man is dear to Me (18-19).
“They verily, who follow this Immortal Dharma (law or
doctrine) as described above endowed with faith, regarding
Me as their supreme goal, devotees, they are exceedingly
dear to Me” (20).
The Yoga of Distinction Between the Field
and Knower of the Field
Arjuna said: “Prakriti (matter) and Purusha (spirit),
also the field (Kshetra) and the knower of the field (Kshetrajna),
knowledge and which ought to be known—these I desire to
learn, O Kesava.”
The Blessed Lord said: “This body, O son of Kunti, is
called the field (Kshetra), he who knows it (body) is called
(Kshetrajna) (the knower of the field) by the sages (1). Do
thou also know Me as the knower of the field in all fields,
O Arjuna. Knowledge of both the field and the knower of the
field is considered by Me to be the knowledge (2).
“The great elements, egoism, intellect, and also the
unmanifested (Mula-Prakriti or Avyaktam), the ten senses and
the one (mind) and the five objects of the senses, desire,
hatred, pleasure and pain, the aggregate, intelligence,
courage—the Kshetra has been thus described briefly with its
“Humility, unpretentiousness, non-injury, forbearance,
uprightness, service of the teacher, purity, steadfastness,
self-control; indifference to the objects of the senses and
also absence of egoism; perception of evil in birth, death,
old age, in sickness and pain; non-attachment,
non-identification of self with son, wife, home and the like
and constant balance of mind in the occurrence of the
desirable and the undesirable, unswerving devotion to Me by
Yoga, without other object, resort to solitary places,
distaste for the society of men, constant application to
spiritual knowledge of Truth—this is declared to be
knowledge, and what is opposed to it is ignorance (7-11).
“With hands and feet everywhere, with eyes, heads and
mouths everywhere, with ears everywhere He exists in the
world, enveloping all (13). Without and within all beings,
the immovable and also the moveable; because of His subtlety
incomprehensible; and near and far away is That (15). That
the Light of all lights, is said to be beyond darkness,
knowledge, the knowable, the goal of knowledge, seated in
the hearts of all (17).
“He sees, who sees, that all actions are performed by
Prakriti alone and that the Self is actionless (30). They
who by the eye of wisdom perceive the difference between
Kshetra (the field) and the Kshetrajna (the knower of the
field) and the liberation of beings from Matter (Prakriti)—they
go to the Supreme” (34).
The Yoga of the Division of the Three
The Blessed Lord said: “Sattva, Rajas and Tamas (purity,
passion and inertia)—these Gunas, O mighty-armed, born of
Prakriti, bind fast in the body the indestructible embodied
one (5). Of these Sattva (purity) which from its
stainlessness is luminous and healthy, binds by attachment
to happiness and by attachment to knowledge, O sinless one!
(6). Know thou Rajas to be of the nature of passion, the
source of thirst for life and objects and attachment, it
binds fast, O son of Kunti, the embodied one by attachment
to action (7). But know thou Tamas (inertia) born of
ignorance is the deluder of all embodied beings; it binds
fast, O Bharata, by heedlessness, indolence and sloth (8).
“Now Sattva (purity) prevails, having overpowered Rajas
and Tamas, O Bharata; now Rajas, having overpowered Sattva
and Tamas; now Tamas, having overpowered Sattva and Rajas
“When the wisdom-light shines at every gate (sense) in
this body, then it should be known that Sattva is increasing
(11). Greed, activity, the undertaking of actions,
restlessness, desire—these are born of increase of Rajas, O
best of the Bharatas (12). Darkness, inertness,
heedlessness, and also delusion—these are born of the
increase Of Tamas, O descendant of the Kuru (13).
“If the embodied one dies when Sattva is predominant,
then he goes to the spotless worlds of the Highest (14). If
he dies when Rajas is predominant, he is born among those
attached to action; if he dies when Tamas is predominant he
is born in the wombs of the senseless (15). The fruit of
good action, they say, is Sattvic and pure; verily the fruit
of Rajas is pain and the fruit of Tamas is ignorance (16).
Those who are seated in Sattva rise upwards; the Rajasic
remain in the middle; and the Tamasic who follow in the
course of the lowest Guna, go downwards (18).
“When the seer beholds not an agent other than the Gunas
and knows that which is higher than the Gunas, he attains to
My being (19). The embodied one, having crossed beyond these
three Gunas out of which the body is evolved is freed from
birth, death, old age and pain and attains the immortal”
Arjuna said: “What are the marks of him who has crossed
over the three qualities, O Lord? What is his conduct and
how does he pass beyond the three Gunas?” (21)
The Blessed Lord said: “He, O Pandava, who hates not
radiance nor activity, nor even delusion when present, nor
longs for them when absent (22), he who, seated as a
neutral, is not moved by Gunas; who knowing that the Gunas
act, is firm and moves not (23). He to whom pain and
pleasure are alike, who dwells in the Self, to whom a lump
of earth, stone and gold are alike, to whom the dear and the
undear are alike, who is firm, to whom censure and praise
are same; the same in honour and disgrace, the same to
friend and foe, abandoning all undertakings—he is said to
have crossed over the qualities” (24-25).
The Yoga of Supreme Purusha
The Blessed Lord said: “With roots above, branches below,
the Asvattha is said to be indestructible; its leaves are
the hymns; he who knows this knows the Vedas (1). Below and
above spread its branches, nourished by the Gunas;
sense-objects are its buds, and its roots grow downwards in
the world of men ending in action (2). Its form is not
perceived here, neither its end nor its origin nor its
existence; having cut asunder this firm-rooted Asvattha with
the strong axe of non-attachment, that goal should be sought
for, going whither none returns again. I seek refuge in that
Primeval Purusha whence streamed forth the ancient energy
“Free from pride and delusion, with the evil of
attachment conquered, constantly abiding in the Self, their
desires having completely turned away, liberated from the
pairs of opposites known as pleasure and pain, the undeluded
reach that goal Eternal (5).
“There the sun does not shine, nor the moon, nor fire;
having gone thither they return not; that is My Supreme
Abode (7). An eternal portion of My own self having become a
living soul in the world of life, draws to itself the five
senses with mind for the sixth abiding in Prakriti (8).
Abiding in the body of living beings as the fire Vaisvanara,
united with Prana and Apana, I digest the four kinds of food
“I am seated in the hearts of all; from Me are memory,
knowledge and their absence; I am verily that which has to
be known by all the Vedas; I indeed am the author of the
Vedanta and the knower of the Vedas am I (15).
“There are two Purushas in the world—the perishable and
the Imperishable; all beings are perishable and the Kutastha
(immutable, unchanging) is called the Imperishable (16). But
there is another, the supreme Purusha, called the Highest
Self, the indestructible Lord, who pervading all, sustains
the three worlds (17). As I transcend the perishable and am
even higher than the Imperishable, I am known in the world
and in the Veda as ‘Purushottama’ (the Highest Purusha)
“He who, undeluded thus knows Me, the Highest Purusha, he
knowing all worships Me with his whole being O Bharata, this
most profound teaching has been taught by Me, O sinless one.
On knowing thus one becomes illumined, O Bharata and all his
duties are accomplished” (19-20).
The Yoga of Division Between the Divine
and the Demoniacal
The Blessed Lord said: “Fearlessness, purity of heart,
steadfastness in the Yoga of wisdom, alms-giving, control of
the senses (self-restraint) sacrifice, study of one’s own
scriptures, austerity, straightforwardness, non-injury,
absence of anger, renunciation, peacefulness, absence of
crookedness, compassion to living beings, uncovetousness,
gentleness, modesty, absence of fickleness, vigour,
forgiveness, fortitude, purity, absence of hatred, absence
of pride—these belong to one who is born with the divine
properties, O Bharata (1-3).
“Hypocrisy, arrogance, self-conceit, anger, harshness and
ignorance, belong to one who is born, O Partha, with
demoniacal properties (4).
“The divine properties are deemed to make for liberation,
the demoniacal for bondage. Grieve not, thou art born with
divine properties, O Pandava (5).
“Demoniacal men know not what to do and what to refrain
from; neither purity nor good conduct, nor truth is found in
them (7). They say, ‘The universe is without truth, without
a moral basis, without a God, brought about by mutual union,
brought about by lust and nothing else’ (8). Filled with
insatiable desires, full of hypocrisy, pride and arrogance,
holding evil ideas through delusion, they work with impure
resolves (10). Bound by a hundred ties of hope, given over
to lust and anger, they strive to secure by unlawful means
hoards of wealth for sensual enjoyments (12). ‘This today
has been gained by me, this desire I shall obtain; this
wealth is mine already, and also this shall be mine in
future’ (13). ‘I have slain this enemy, and others also I
shall slay. I am lord, I enjoy, I am perfect, powerful and
happy’ (14). ‘I am rich, well-born, who else is equal to me?
I will sacrifice. I will give charity. I will rejoice’ (15).
These malicious; and cruel-doers, worst of men in the world,
I hurl them for ever into the wombs of demons only (19).
“Triple is the gate of this hell, destructive of the
Self, lust, anger and greed; therefore, these three one
should abandon (21). A man who is released from these three
gates to darkness, O son of Kunti, does good to the self and
thus reaches the Supreme Goal (22).
“He who setting aside the ordinances of the scriptures,
acts under the impulse of desire, attains not to perfection,
nor happiness, nor the Supreme Goal (23). Therefore let the
scriptures be thy authority in deciding as what ought to be
done and what ought not to be done. Having known what is
said in the ordinances of the scriptures, thou shouldst work
in this world” (24).
The Yoga of the Threefold Faith
Arjuna said: “Those who setting aside the ordinances of
the scriptures, perform sacrifice with faith—what faith is
theirs? Is it Sattva or Rajas or Tamas (Is it purity or
passion or darkness)?” (1).
The Blessed Lord said: “Threefold is the faith of the
embodied, which is inherent in their nature—Sattvic (pure),
Rajasic (passionate) and Tamasic (darkness). Do thou hear of
these (2). The faith of each is in accordance with his
nature, O Bharata. The man consists of his faith, as a man’s
faith is, so is he (3).
“Those men who perform terrible austerities not enjoined
by the scriptures, given to hypocrisy and egoism, impelled
by the force of their desires and passions, torture,
senseless as they are, the aggregated elements forming the
body, and Me also, who dwells in the body within, know thou
these to be of demoniac resolves (5-6).
“The foods which increase vitality, energy, strength,
health, joy and cheerfulness, which are savoury, oleaginous,
substantial and agreeable, are dear to the Sattvic (8). The
foods like foods that are bitter, sour, saline, excessively
hot, pungent, dry and burning, and which cause pain, grief
and diseases, are dear to the Rajasic (9). That which is
stale, tasteless, putrid, rotten, refused and impure, is
dear to the Tamasic (10).
“The sacrifice that is offered by men without desire for
fruit as enjoined by ordinance, with a fixed resolve in the
mind that they should do the sacrifice as duty, is pure
(11). That which is offered with a view to obtain fruit and
for ostentation, O best of the Bharatas, know it to be a
Rajasic Yajna (12). The sacrifice performed contrary to the
ordinances in which no food is distributed, which is
destitute of Mantras, gifts and faith, is said to be Tamasic
“Worship of the gods, the twice-born, the Gurus and the
wise, purity, straightforwardness, continence, and
non-injury are called the austerity of the body (14). Speech
which causes no annoyance and is true, as also pleasant and
beneficial and also study of the scriptures, are called the
austerity of the speech (15). Serenity of the mind,
equanimity, silence, self-control, purity of nature—this is
called the mental austerity (16).
“This threefold austerity, practised by steadfast men
with the utmost faith, without desire for fruit is said to
be Sattvic (pure) (17). That austerity which is practised
with the object of gaining good reception, honour and
worship and with ostentation is here (in this world) said to
be Rajasic, unstable and transitory (18). That austerity
which is practised out of a foolish notion with
self-torture, or for the purpose of ruining another is
declared to be Tamasic (19).
“That alms (gift) which is given—knowing it to be a duty
to give—to one who does no service in return, in a fit place
and time, to a worthy person, that alms is said to be
Sattvic (20). That gift which is given with a view to
receiving in return or looking for the fruit or again
reluctantly that gift is held to be Rajasic (21). That gift
given at a wrong place or time, to unworthy persons, without
respect and with insult, that is declared to be Tamasic”
The Yoga of Liberation by Renunciation
(Moksha Sannyasa Yoga)
Arjuna said: “I desire to know severally, O mighty-armed,
the essence of Sannyasa, O Hrishikesa, as also ‘Tyaga,’ O
Kesinisudana (slayer of Kesi)” (1).
The Blessed Lord said: “Sages understand ‘Sannyasa’ to be
the renouncing of works with desires; the wise declare the
abandonment of the fruits of all works as ‘Tyaga’ (2). Acts
of sacrifice, gift and austerity should not be relinquished,
but should be performed; sacrifice, gift, and also austerity
are the purifiers of the wise (5).
“These five causes, O mighty-armed, know thou from Me as
declared in the Sankhya system for the accomplishment of all
actions (13). The body, the actor, the various organs, the
several functions of various sorts and the presiding deities
also, the fifth (14). He who is free from the notion of
egoism, whose intellect is not affected (by good or evil),
though he kills these people, he kills not, nor is bound by
the action (17).
“An action which is ordained, done without love or hatred
by one not desirous of the fruit and free from attachment,
is declared to be Sattvic (21). But that action which is
done by one longing for desires or again with egoism or with
much effort, is declared to be Rajasic (24).
The action which is undertaken from delusion, without
regarding the consequence, loss of wealth, injury (to
others) and one’s own ability, that is declared to be
“That which knows the paths of action and renunciation,
what ought to be done and what ought not to be done, fear
and fearlessness, bondage and liberation, that intellect, O
Partha, is Sattvic (30). That by which one wrongly
understands right (Dharma) and wrong (Adharma), and also
what ought to be done and what ought not to be done, that
intellect, O partha, is Rajasic (31). That which enveloped
in darkness regards wrong (Adharma) as right (Dharma) and
sees all things in a perverted light, that intellect, O
Partha, is Tamasic (32).
“That which is like poison at first but like nectar in
the end; that happiness is said to be Sattvic, born of the
blissful knowledge of the Self (37). That pleasure which
arises from the contact of the senses with their objects, at
first like nectar but in the end like poison, that is
declared to be Rajasic (38). That pleasure which both at
first and afterwards is delusion of the Self, arising from
sleep; indolence and heedlessness, that is declared to be
“Dwelling in solitude, eating but little, speech, body
and mind controlled, ever engaged in meditation and
concentration, taking refuge in dispassion (52), having
abandoned egoism, violence, arrogance, desire, anger,
covetousness, freed from the notion of ‘mine’ and peaceful,
he is fit for becoming Brahman (53). Becoming Brahman,
tranquil-minded, he neither grieves nor desires the same to
all beings, he attains supreme devotion to Me (54). By
devotion he knows Me in reality, what and who I am; then
having known Me in reality, he forthwith enters into the
“The Lord dwells in the hearts of all beings, O Arjuna,
causing all beings, by His Maya, to revolve as if mounted on
a machine (61). Take refuge in Him with all thy heart, O
Bharata; by His grace thou shalt attain supreme peace and
the eternal abode (62).
“Fix thy mind in Me, be My devotee, sacrifice to Me, bow
down to Me, thou shalt reach Myself; truly do I promise unto
thee, for thou art dear to Me (65). Abandoning all duties
take refuge in Me alone; I will liberate thee from all sins;
grieve not (66).
“Has this been heard by thee, O Partha, with an attentive
mind? Has thy delusion caused by ignorance been destroyed, O
Arjuna said: “My delusion is destroyed, and I have gained
knowledge through Thy grace, O Achyuta (O Immutable One), I
am firm; my doubts have vanished. I will do according to Thy
Wherever is Krishna, the Lord of Yoga, wherever is Partha,
the archer, there are prosperity, victory, happiness and
sound policy, so I think (78).
Hari Om Tat Sat.
Om Santi! Santi! Santi!