BHAGAVAD GITA FOR BUSY PEOPLE

By

SRI SWAMI SIVANANDA

Sri Swami Sivananda Founder of The Divine Life Society

6(59(/29(*,9( 385,)<0(',7$7( 5($/,=( So Says Sri Swami Sivananda

A DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY PUBLICATION

First Edition: 1996 (61,000 Copies) World Wide Web (WWW) Edition : 1998 WWW site: http://www.rsl.ukans.edu/~pkanagar/divine/

This WWW reprint is for free distribution

© The Divine Life Trust Society

Published By THE DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY P.O. SHIVANANDANAGAR—249 192 Distt. Tehri-Garhwal, Uttar Pradesh, Himalayas, India.

Here is an abridged edition of the Gita which contains its quintessence for the use of students. advocates and busy people. The Gita is your Teacher and Guru. support and prop. Man finds no time to study big philosophical and religious books. The Gita is your benefactor and constant companion. May the Gita guide you! THE DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY iii . The Gita is your solace. or the whole of the Gita. The struggle for existence is very keen. He obtains perfect wisdom. The Gita is your real Father and Mother. That man who merely studies daily even a few Slokas is not stained by Karma. The Gita is an embodiment of nectar.FOREWORD Life is very complex in these days. doctors. Drink this nectar daily and attain 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. Supreme Peace and eternal Bliss and Immortality.

5 The Yoga of Imperishable Brahman. . . . . . . 2 The Yoga of Wisdom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 The Yoga of the vision of the Cosmic Form . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 The Yoga of Divine Glories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 The Yoga of Devotion . . . . . . . . . . . . . iii The Despondency of Arjuna . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 The Yoga of Action . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 iv . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 The Yoga of Meditation . . . . . 6 The Yoga of Kingly Science and Kingly Secret . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 The Yoga of Distinction Between the Field and Knower of the Field . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Sankhya Yoga . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 The Yoga of Renunciation of Action . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 The Yoga of Division Between the Divine and the Demoniacal. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 The Yoga of Wisdom . . . . . . . . . . 11 The Yoga of the Division of the Three Gunas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .CONTENTS FOREWORD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 The Yoga of Liberation by Renunciation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 The Yoga of Supreme Purusha . . . . . 14 The Yoga of the Threefold Faith . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Lord Krishna replies. 1 . eternal. It is not killed when the body is killed (20). Weapons cut It not. teachers (Bhishma. water wets It not. Lord Krishna said to Arjuna: “Wake up from the slumber of ignorance. attachment and fear. “A Jivanmukta is free from desires. brothers-in-law. nor let thy attachment be for inaction (47). He is satisfied in his own Self. “Thy right is to work only but never with its fruits. Arjuna saw all his kinsmen. mine-ness. Brahman or the Soul. thou shalt cast off the bonds of action (38). He is indifferent amidst sensual pleasures. He has a poised mind at all times and under all conditions. This Atman is not born nor does It ever die. thus thou shalt not incur sin. This Self is unmanifested. He is dead to the sensual world” (55 to 57). ancient and inexhaustible. changeless. unthinkable and unchangeable (24). Evenness of mind is Yoga” (48). There is nothing higher for a Kshatriya than a righteous war (31). longings. so also the embodied Self casts off worn out bodies and enters others which are new (22). There will be caste-confusion. Let not the fruit of action be thy motive. nor is It slain. He is centred in his own Self. fire burns It not. It is the duty of a Kshatriya to fight. I-ness. The slayer of the families will go to hell for. None can cause the destruction of That—the Imperishable. wind dries It not (23). It is a great sin to kill my teachers and relatives.BHAGAVAD GITA FOR BUSY PEOPLE Chapter I THE DESPONDENCY OF ARJUNA (Arjuna Vishada Yoga) This is the Yoga of the despondency of Arjuna. If I kill them. Arjuna was overwhelmed with grief. my body quivers and my hairs stand on end. Chapter II SANKHYA YOGA This is Jnana Yoga or Vedanta which bespeaks of the Immortality of the Soul. “O Arjuna! do your duty. Women will become corrupt. their ancestors will fall. He is not elated by getting desirable objects. There will be lawlessness (40). He has perfect control over his mind and senses. It is unborn. sons. how does he walk?” (54). being steadfast in Yoga abandoning attachment and balanced in success and failure. Develop a balanced mind. engage thou in battle. Just as a man casts off worn out clothes and puts on new ones. He threw away his bow and arrows and sank down on the seat of the chariot (47). This body and the world are indwelt by the Imperishable Atman. Drona and others) standing arrayed in battle and said to Lord Krishna (26): “My limbs fail and my mouth is parched. Gandiva slips from my hand (29). “O Lord Krishna! What is the state of a Sthithaprajna? How does he speak? How does he sit. victory and defeat the same. deprived of rice-balls and oblations (42). Caste-customs and family-customs will vanish”(43). family traditions will perish. Having made pleasure and pain. gain and loss. cousins. I do not wish to kill them even for the sake of the Kingship of the three worlds (35). It slays not. He lives in Brahman. Perform action. Arjuna says.

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). he is wise among men. who merely controls the organs of action but continually thinks of the objects of senses is called a Mithyachara or hypocrite (6). O son of Pritha (11). Man cannot remain even for a moment without performing some kind of action. He who sees inaction in action and action in inaction. “Without hope. free from the 2 . “Control Raga-dvesha. then I Myself come to birth (7). In whatever way men approach Me. Chapter IV THE YOGA OF WISDOM (Jnana-Vibhaga Yoga) Lord Krishna said. for the destruction of evil-doers. “If it be thought by Thee that knowledge is superior to action. You will attain the Supreme (19). Tell me that one way for certain by which I may attain eternal bliss” (2). even while performing all actions (18). Kill this enemy-desire by restraining the self by the Self and by knowing Him who is superior to intellect” (37-43). Constantly perform your duty without attachment. They will in turn give you plenty of food and cattle (11). for the sake of firmly establishing righteousness I am born from age to age (8). Do your own duty well. I perform action though there is nothing in the three worlds that should be done by Me (22). In reality Prakriti does everything (27). Lord Krishna replies. does Thou engagest me in this terrible action (1)? Thou confusest my understanding. with the mind self-controlled. The great man should set an example to the world (21). 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). having abandoned attachment to the fruit of actions. Master first the senses. “In this world there is a twofold path. obstructors of the spiritual path. all greed and envy.BHAGAVAD GITA FOR BUSY PEOPLE Chapter III THE YOGA OF ACTION (Karma Yoga) Arjuna said. why then O Krishna. “O Bharata! Whenever righteousness declines and unrighteousness becomes powerful. always content with whatsoever he obtains without effort. “Do sacrifice to the Devatas. “The egoistic man thinks ‘I am the doer’. so do I reward them: men follow in every way My path. Everyone is helplessly driven to action by the qualities born of nature (5). Control desire and anger—the enemies of wisdom. Janaka attained perfection by action (20). That fool. the path of knowledge of the Sankhyas and the path of action of the Yogins (3). he is a Yogi. For the protection of the good.

balanced in success and failure. who is devoted to it. Just as the blazing fire reduces fuel to ashes. “Know that by long prostration. He sees. and then also Yoga. The ignorant. Tell me conclusively that which is the better of the two” (1). That place which is reached by the Sankhyas (Jnanis) is reached by the Yogis (Karma Yogis). “Renunciation and Yoga of action both lead to the highest bliss. study of scriptures and knowledge as sacrifice. Brahman verily shall be reached by him who always sees Brahman in action (24).BHAGAVAD GITA FOR BUSY PEOPLE pairs of opposites. O Krishna. he who is truly established in one obtains the fruits of both (4). Others again offer wealth. All actions in their entirety. he is not bound. not the wise. “Brahman is the oblation. “Renunciation of actions. with the sword of knowledge cut asunder the doubt of the Self born of ignorance. “Therefore. who sees Sankhya and Yoga are one (5). Others again sacrifice all the functions of the senses and the breath in the fire of Yoga of self-restraint kindled by knowledge. nor the other. the faithless. by question and service. Brahman is the clarified butter. 3 . so does the fire of knowledge reduce all actions to ashes (37). yet thou shalt verily cross all sins by the raft of knowledge (39). The Blessed Lord said. O Bharata” (42). residing in the heart and take refuge in Yoga. “The man who is full of faith. Thou praisest. Others offer as sacrifice the outgoing breath in the incoming and the incoming in the outgoing (25-29). with his thoughts established in Brahman. “Superior is knowledge-sacrifice to the sacrifice of objects. “Some Yogins perform sacrifice to Devas. O Partha. O Arjuna. by Brahman is the oblation poured into the fire of Brahman. Children. while the Jivanmuktas offer the Self in the fire Brahman. and who has subdued the senses and obtains this knowledge and having obtained knowledge he goes at once to the Supreme Peace (39). austerity. the doubting self goes to destruction. nor happiness for the doubting (40). speak of Sankhya (knowledge) and Yoga (Yoga of action) as distinct. Arise. Even if thou art the most sinful of all sinners. the wise who have realised the Truth will instruct thee in that knowledge (34). although doing actions. Yoga of action is superior to the renunciation of action (2). culminate in knowledge (33). though acting (20-23). there is neither this world. he is not doing anything. Chapter V THE YOGA OF RENUNCIATION OF ACTION (Karma-Sannyasa Yoga) Arjuna said. but out of the two. Some again offer hearing and other senses in the fire of restraint.

going. Chapter VI THE YOGA OF MEDITATION (Adhyatma Yoga) Lord Krishna said. equalising the outgoing and incoming breaths moving within the nostrils. smelling. having liberation as his supreme goal. neither too high nor too low. this self stands in the position of an enemy like the external foe (6). nor union with the fruits of actions. without looking around. “Having in a clear spot established a firm seat of his own. Neither agency nor action does the Lord create for the world. he is a Yogi. thus would the knower of Truth think—seeing. “He who performs his bounden duty without depending on the fruits of action—he is a Sannyasin and a Yogi. For a Muni or a sage who wishes to attain to Yoga. “Shutting out all external contacts and fixing the gaze between the eyebrows. the wise do not rejoice in them (22). The Self is the friend of the self for him who has conquered himself by the Self. action is said to be the means. made of a cloth. letting go. and even in a dog and in an outcaste (13). breathing. he is a happy man (23). The enjoyments that are born of contacts are only generators of pain. “Sages look with an equal eye in a Brahmin endowed with learning and humility. “Eternal peace lies near to those controlled ascetics who are free from desire and anger. “He who is able. “Let a man lift himself by his own Self alone. but to the unconquered self. seizing. O son of Kunti (O Kaunteya). with senses. opening and closing the eyes—convinced that the senses move among the sense-objects (8-9). solely devoted to That. serene-minded fearless. eating. fear and anger—the sage is verily liberated for ever” (27-28). speaking. not he who is without fire and without action (1). for the same sage who has attained to Yoga. head and neck erect and still. for they have a beginning and an end. their sins dispelled by knowledge (17). let him firmly hold his body. they go whence there is no return. while still in the world. “Thinking of That. let him not lower himself.BHAGAVAD GITA FOR BUSY PEOPLE “’I do nothing at all’. established in That. sleeping. But it is Nature that acts (14). free from desire. who have controlled their thoughts and who have realised the Self (26). to withstand before the liberation from the body the impulse born out of desire and anger. touching. for the Self alone is the friend of oneself and this Self alone is the enemy of oneself (5). in an elephant. merged in That. inaction or quiescence is said to be the means (3). a skin and Kusa grass one over the other. hearing. gazing at the tip of his nose. in a cow. 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). firm in 4 . mind and intellect ever controlled.

I deem it quite as difficult to control it as that of the wind” (34). be thou a Yogi. “Yoga becomes the destroyer of pain for him who is moderate in eating and recreation. O Arjuna (16). “With the mind harmonised by Yoga he sees the Self. thinking on Me. O Krishna. “Verily Yoga is not possible for him who eats too much. having failed to attain perfection in Yoga meet. From whatever cause the restless and unsteady mind wanders away. worships Me. he never becomes separated from Me. O Arjuna! (46). who is moderate in sleep and wakefulness (17). he is deemed by Me to be the most devout (47). Arjuna said. who is moderate in exertion in actions. Little by little let him attain quietude by intellect held in firmness. “Having attained to the worlds of the righteous and having dwelt there for everlasting years. nor for him who sleeps too much nor for him who is always wakeful. He who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me. Lord Krishna said. having Me as the Supreme Goal (11-14). The blessed Lord said. strong and unyielding. “He who is unable to control himself though he is possessed of faith. it can be restrained” (35). he who fell from Yoga is reborn in a house of the pure and wealthy (41). from that let him restrain it and bring it under the control of the self alone (26). let him not think of anything (25). Or he is born in a family of wise Yogins only. “Undoubtedly. having controlled the mind. O son of the Kurus (43). O Krishna?” (37). let him sit. And among all Yogins. By that very former practice he is born on in spite of himself. 5 . and balanced. restless. he sees the same everywhere (29). he is also superior to men of action. he who. “The Yogi is thought to be superior to the ascetics and even superior to men of knowledge (obtained through study of Sastras). abiding in all beings. Arjuna said. full of faith with his inner self merged in Me. nor do I become separated from him” (30). Even he who merely wishes to know Yoga goes beyond the Brahmic world (44). O Kaunteya and by dispassion. what end does he. Then he comes in touch with the knowledge acquired in his former body and strives more than before for perfection. verily a birth like this is very difficult to obtain in this world (42). nor for him who does not eat at all. and all beings in the Self. having made the mind established in the Self.BHAGAVAD GITA FOR BUSY PEOPLE the vow of a Brahmachari. turbulent. whose mind wanders away from Yoga. therefore. “The mind verily. the mind is difficult to control and restless. O mighty-armed. but by practice.

worship Me. Among thousands of men. as the Supreme Goal (18). for I am exceedingly dear to the wise. the very life-element. My higher Prakriti. arising from desire and aversion (likes and dislikes) O Bharata. and he is dear to Me (17). O lord of Bharatas (16). whose sin has come to an end. O mighty-armed. nothing here remains to be known (2). the innermost Self. “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). such a great soul is very hard to find (19). “Verily. even among those successful strivers. ever steadfast and devoted to the One excels. Noble indeed are all these. those who take refuge in Me alone cross over this illusion (14). Of these. only one perchance knows Me in essence (3). 6 . the wise. mind. O son of Kunti. steadfast in mind” (30). At the end of many births the wise man comes to Me.BHAGAVAD GITA FOR BUSY PEOPLE Chapter VII THE YOGA OF WISDOM (Jnana Yoga) The Blessed Lord said. “Four kinds of virtuous men worship Me O Arjuna. know Me even at the time of death. fire. the seeker of knowledge. who are freed from the delusion of the pairs of opposites. and they are the distressed. the seeker of wealth and the wise. I am the syllable OM in all the Vedas. “I am the sapidity in waters. realising that all this is Vasudeva. know thou. all beings are subject to illusion. sound in ether and virility in men (8). by which this world is upheld (5). steadfast in vows (23). steadfast in mind he is established in Me alone. this divine illusion of Mine. water. and the sun. intellect. “By the delusion of the pairs of opposites. which being known. for. one perchance strives for perfection. This is the inferior Prakriti. ether. air. I am the light in the moon. “I shall declare to thee in full this knowledge combined with realisation. caused by the qualities is difficult to cross over. egoism—thus is My Prakriti divided eightfold (4). but different from it. but the wise man. “Earth. I deem as My very Self. But those men of pure deeds. O Parantapa (scorcher of foes) (27).

uttering the one-syllabled Om. what is Adhidaiva? (1). engaged in the practice of concentration. to that being alone he goes. Who and how is Adhiyajna here in this body. O Kaunteya (O son of Kunti). leaving the body. the six months of the northern path of the sun (the northern solstice)—then departing men who know Brahman go to Brahman (24). What is called the unmanifested and Imperishable. art Thou to be known by the self-controlled?” (2). because of his constant thought of that being (6). O Purushottama? What is declared to be the knowledge of the elements? And. the Yogi returns (29). the bright fortnight. not thinking of another (with a single mind) O Partha! (14). the Brahman. the Supreme. 7 . I alone am the Adhiyajna here in this body. They who reach It return not. O Madhusudana (destroyer of Madhu)? And how at the time of death. he who departs. the dark fortnight also. the performance of sacrifices. That is My highest abode (place or state) (20). having confined mind in the heart. That. is attainable by unswerving devotion to Him alone. His essential nature is called self-knowledge. O best of the embodied (4).BHAGAVAD GITA FOR BUSY PEOPLE Chapter VIII THE YOGA OF IMPERISHABLE BRAHMAN (Akshara Brahma Yoga) Arjuna asked: “What is that Brahman? What is Self-knowledge? What is action. Whosoever at the end leaves the body. “Smoke. within Whom all beings dwell. “Whosoever. “That Highest Purusha. Adhibhuta or knowledge of the elements pertains to My perishable nature and the Purusha or the Soul is Adhidaivata. thinking upon any being. by Whom all this is pervaded (22). attains the Supreme Soul (12-13). existence and manifestation of beings and also sustains them is called action (3). and remembering Me. “Having closed all the gates. practice of austerities and gift beyond all this goes the Yogi. he attains My Being. This is the path of Pitriyana or the path of darkness. having known this. O Partha. having fixed the life-breath in the head. goes forth remembering Me alone at the time of death. there is no doubt about this (5). “Whatever fruit of merit is declared in the scriptures to accrue from the study of the Vedas. light. daily. “Fire. This is the path of Devayana or the path of light. the six months of the southern path of the sun (the southern solstice)—attaining by these to the lunar light. and attains to the Supreme Primeval or first Abode” (28). they say is the highest goal (path). night time. the offering to gods which causes the origin. “I am easily attainable by that ever-steadfast Yogi who constantly remembers Me. leaving the body. The Blessed Lord said: “Brahman is the Imperishable. daytime.

all beings exist in Me. he too should indeed be regarded as righteous. worshipping Me with love. whatsoever practiseth as austerity. that I accept. and grandfather. do it as an offering unto Me (27). the shelter. the one thing to be known. the Supreme Purifier is this realisable by direct intuitional knowledge. the witness. O Kaunteya. water. O Gudakesa. among luminous objects. according to righteousness. I give the Yoga of discrimination by which they come to Me (10). “Even if the most sinful worship Me. the origin. Whatever thou doest. the radiant Sun. Among the twelve Adityas. destroy the darkness born of ignorance by the luminous lamp of knowledge” (11). a fruit. seated in the hearts of all beings. “With their minds wholly in Me. the Abode. Kingly Secret. “All this world is pervaded by Me in My unmanifested form (aspect). the Lord. Whoever offers Me with devotion a leaf. imperishable (2). 8 . the foundation. the mother. a flower. dissolution. for he has rightly resolved (30). Chapter X THE YOGA OF DIVINE GLORIES (Vibhuti Yoga) The Blessed Lord said. To them ever steadfast. but I do not dwell in them (4). with their life absorbed in Me. “Kingly Science. “I am the Self. I am Vishnu. I am the goal. The Blessed Lord said. the treasure-house and the seed imperishable (18). and also the end of all beings (20). enlightening each other and ever speaking of Me. very easy to perform. Arjuna said. dwelling within their self. without reserve of Thy divine glories by which Thou existeth pervading all these worlds” (16). I am the beginning. “O Lord! Thou shouldst indeed tell. Soon he becomes righteous and attains eternal peace. Out of mere compassion for them. and also the Rik. I am the father of this world. the wise are satisfied and delighted (9). the dispenser of fruits of action. whatever thou eatest. whatsoever givest. the Sama and the Yajus also (17). I am Marichi among the forty-nine Maruts. offered with devotion by the pure-minded (26). thinking of no other. O Kaunteya. the middle. I secure what is not already possessed (Yoga) and preserve what they already possess (Kshema) (22).BHAGAVAD GITA FOR BUSY PEOPLE Chapter IX THE YOGA OF KINGLY SCIENCE AND KINGLY SECRET (Raja Vidya Raja Guhya Yoga) Lord Krishna said. the syllable Om. I. with devotion to none else. the Purifier. to those ever united. know thou for certain that My devotee is never destroyed” (31). the supporter. whatever thou offerest in sacrifice. the friend. “To those men who worship Me alone.

Into Thy mouths terrible with teeth and fearful to behold all the sons of Dhritarashtra. among streams I am the Ganga (31). with numerous divine weapons uplifted (10). among lakes. Karna. “Behold O Partha forms of Me by hundreds and thousands of different sorts. I am the dispenser of fruits of actions having faces in all directions (33). divine. as Thou hast thus described Thyself in that way O Purushottama (Purusha Supreme). I wish to see actually Thy divine form” (3). Brahma the Lord seated on the lotus. Behold the Adityas. Drona. among generals I am Skanda. among fishes I am the shark. the Himalayas (25). The Blessed Lord said. the two Asvins and also the forty-nine Maruts: behold many wonders never seen before. Among the household priests (of kings) O Partha. and I am the intelligence among living beings (22). I am the splendour of the splendid. behold My lordly Yoga” (8). I am Vasava (Indra) among the gods. among the perfected ones the Muni Kapila (26). the burning fire Thy mouth heating the whole universe with the radiance (19). etc. There is no end of My Divine Glories. Rama of warriors am I. but this is a brief statement of My divine attributes” (40). I am determination of those who are determined. Among the great Rishis I am Bhrigu. 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). I am Sankara. of various colours and shapes (5). Arjuna said. “I see all the gods. I am the goodness of the good (36). know Me to be the chief. the Rudras. 9 . O Parantapa. among the Yakshas and Rakshasas. among divine Rishis Narada. with numerous divine ornaments. middle or end. among sacrifices I am the sacrifice of silent repetition (Japa Yajna). “Of purifiers I am the wind. I see Thee Without beginning. O Bharata (6). in Thy body and also hosts of various classes of beings. And among the Rudras. I give thee divine eye. I am. the Lord of wealth (Kubera). Among letters the letter ‘A’ I am. Lord Kdshna showed to Partha His Supreme Form with numerous mouths and eyes with numerous wonderful sights. among Gandharvas Chitraratha. among words I am the one syllable OM. among immovable things. O God. verily the inexhaustible or everlasting Time. “Now O Supreme Lord. hurriedly enter. all the Rishis and celestial serpents (15). I am the ocean (24). some are found sticking in the gaps between the teeth with their heads crushed to powder” (26-27). Among the trees I am the Asvattha. I am victory. Bhishma. the sun and the moon being Thy eyes. Brihaspati. the Vasus. But thou art not able to behold Me with these thine eyes alone. I am the gambling of cheat. among the Vasus I am Pavaka (Agni). Chapter XI THE YOGA OF THE VISION OF THE COSMIC FORM (Visva Rupa Darsana Yoga) Arjuna said. infinite in power of endless arms.BHAGAVAD GITA FOR BUSY PEOPLE among the stars the Moon am I (21). Among the Vedas I am the Sama Veda. and the dual among all compounds. among the senses I am the mind. and among the (seven) mountains I am the Meru (23).

“Thou art the Primeval God. the Unmanifested—which of these are better-versed in Yoga?” (1) The Blessed Lord said. who bears enmity towards no creature. untroubled. Fix thy mind on Me only. “Therefore. and forgiving. pure. nor by gifts. who has renounced all undertakings or 10 . is very hard for the embodied to reach (5). having seen what was never seen before and yet my mind is distressed with fear. O Dhananjaya (9). steady in meditation. ever content. Thou art the knower. the Ancient Purusha. ever-steadfast and endowed with supreme faith. Conquer the enemies and enjoy the unrivalled kingdom. Verily by Myself they. thus worship Thee. self-controlled. If thou art not able to fix thy mind steadily on Me. unconcerned. then by Yoga of constant practice (Abhyasa Yoga) do thou seek to reach Me. But by the single-minded devotion. He who does actions for Me. who looks on Me as.BHAGAVAD GITA FOR BUSY PEOPLE The Blessed Lord said. O Being of infinite form (38). he comes to Me. Pandava” (53-55). O Savyasachi (Arjuna)” (33). than meditation renunciation of the fruits of actions. Chapter XII THE YOGA OF DEVOTION (Bhakti Yoga) Arjuna said. “He who hates no creature. Arjuna said. Show me that form only with four hands. possessed of firm conviction. My devotee. If thou art unable to do even this then taking refuge in union with Me. I am delighted. fear and anxiety. be thou intent on doing actions for My sake. place Thy intellect in Me. renounce the fruits of all actions. than knowledge meditation is better. The Blessed Lord said. for the goal. By Thee is this universe pervaded. with the self controlled (11). worship Me. who is free from attachment and egoism. thou shalt attain perfection (10). O God of gods. is dear to Me (13-14). “Those devotees. the Supreme. balanced in pleasure and pain. can I of this form be known and seen in reality and also entered into. have been already slain. nor by sacrifice can I be seen in this form. who is devoted to Me. as thou hast seen Me so easily. the unmanifested. in My opinion are the best in Yoga (2). He who is free from envy. then thou shalt no doubt live in Me alone hereafter (8). O God. The Blessed Lord assumed His gentle form with four hands and showed this form to Arjuna and consoled him who was terrified (50). even by doing actions for My sake. O Parantapa. have mercy. If thou art unable to practise even this Abhyasa Yoga. “Neither by the Vedas nor by austerity. who is free from wants. he. who ever steadfast. fixing their mind on Me. the knowable and the supreme abode. who is friendly and compassionate to all. who is free from attachment. “Those who. expert. stand up and obtain fame. Greater is their trouble whose minds are set on the unmanifested. and those also who worship the Imperishable. peace immediately follows renunciation (12). Thou art the supreme refuge of this universe. O Abode of the Universe (45-46). Better indeed is knowledge than practice. be thou a mere instrument. with mind and intellect dedicated to Me.

intelligence. distaste for the society of men. constant application to spiritual knowledge of Truth—this is declared to be knowledge. Chapter XIII THE YOGA OF DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE FIELD AND KNOWER OF THE FIELD (Kshetra-Kshetrajna-Vibhaga Yoga) Arjuna said: “Prakriti (matter) and Purusha (spirit). Do thou also know Me as the knower of the field in all fields. perception of evil in birth. who is free from attachment. service of the teacher. purity. he who knows it (body) is called (Kshetrajna) (the knower of the field) by the sages (1). non-identification of self with son. he is dear to Me (16-17). unswerving devotion to Me by Yoga. heads and mouths everywhere. intellect. “With hands and feet everywhere. egoism. “He who is the same to a foe and friend. Without and within all beings. who is the same in cold and heat. pleasure and pain. O Kesava. Knowledge of both the field and the knower of the field is considered by Me to be the knowledge (2). desire. wife. “Humility. and in pleasure and pain. indifference to the objects of the senses and also absence of egoism. without other object. “The great elements. and near and far 11 . non-attachment. enveloping all (13). content with anything. with ears everywhere He exists in the world. O son of Kunti. self-control. who has renounced good and evil. who is full of devotion. forbearance. and what is opposed to it is ignorance (7-11). old age. non-injury. devotees. and also the unmanifested (Mula-Prakriti or Avyaktam). they are exceedingly dear to Me” (20). hatred. with eyes. courage—the Kshetra has been thus described briefly with its modifications (5-6). steadfastness. unpretentiousness. home and the like and constant balance of mind in the occurrence of the desirable and the undesirable. also the field (Kshetra) and the knower of the field (Kshetrajna). uprightness. pain and pleasure. in sickness and pain. homeless. the immovable and also the moveable. regarding Me as their supreme goal. neither grieves nor desires. the ten senses and the one (mind) and the five objects of the senses. death. who neither rejoices nor hates. who is silent. and also in honour and dishonour. full of devotion—that man is dear to Me (18-19).BHAGAVAD GITA FOR BUSY PEOPLE commencements.” The Blessed Lord said: “This body. O Arjuna. because of His subtlety incomprehensible. steady-minded. knowledge and which ought to be known—these I desire to learn. resort to solitary places. the aggregate. who is balanced in censure and praise. “They verily. is called the field (Kshetra). who follow this Immortal Dharma (law or doctrine) as described above endowed with faith.

it binds fast. “When the seer beholds not an agent other than the Gunas and knows that which is higher than the Gunas. O mighty-armed. That the Light of all lights. O sinless one! (6). O descendant of the Kuru (13). verily the fruit of Rajas is pain and the fruit of Tamas is ignorance (16). having crossed beyond these three Gunas out of which the body is evolved is freed from birth. now Tamas. Those who are seated in Sattva rise upwards. activity. knowledge. But know thou Tamas (inertia) born of ignorance is the deluder of all embodied beings. “He sees. old age and pain and attains the immortal” (20). “If the embodied one dies when Sattva is predominant. is Sattvic and pure. the goal of knowledge. the source of thirst for life and objects and attachment. that all actions are performed by Prakriti alone and that the Self is actionless (30). the undertaking of actions. then it should be known that Sattva is increasing (11). indolence and sloth (8). he attains to My being (19). The embodied one. O Bharata. he is born among those attached to action. Rajas and Tamas (purity. then he goes to the spotless worlds of the Highest (14).BHAGAVAD GITA FOR BUSY PEOPLE away is That (15). the knowable. they say. is said to be beyond darkness. if he dies when Tamas is predominant he is born in the wombs of the senseless (15). Darkness. heedlessness. “Now Sattva (purity) prevails. and the Tamasic who follow in the course of the lowest Guna. The fruit of good action. Of these Sattva (purity) which from its stainlessness is luminous and healthy. bind fast in the body the indestructible embodied one (5). and also delusion—these are born of the increase Of Tamas. O best of the Bharatas (12). by heedlessness. having overpowered Rajas and Tamas. Know thou Rajas to be of the nature of passion. “When the wisdom-light shines at every gate (sense) in this body. inertness. passion and inertia)—these Gunas. seated in the hearts of all (17). having overpowered Sattva and Tamas. If he dies when Rajas is predominant. death. binds by attachment to happiness and by attachment to knowledge. 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). Greed. now Rajas. 12 . born of Prakriti. the Rajasic remain in the middle. O Bharata. O son of Kunti. Chapter XIV THE YOGA OF THE DIVISION OF THE THREE GUNAS (Guna-Traya-Vibhaga-Yoga) The Blessed Lord said: “Sattva. desire—these are born of increase of Rajas. having overpowered Sattva and Rajas (10). it binds fast. the embodied one by attachment to action (7). restlessness. go downwards (18). who sees.

that is My Supreme Abode (7). He to whom pain and pleasure are alike. I am verily that which has to be known by all the Vedas. going whither none returns again. sense-objects are its buds.BHAGAVAD GITA FOR BUSY PEOPLE Arjuna said: “What are the marks of him who has crossed over the three qualities. As I transcend the perishable and am even higher than the Imperishable. having gone thither they return not. 13 . But there is another. nor fire. knowledge and their absence. I seek refuge in that Primeval Purusha whence streamed forth the ancient energy (3-4). who is firm. with the evil of attachment conquered. O Pandava. unchanging) is called the Imperishable (16). “I am seated in the hearts of all. to whom censure and praise are same. he who knows this knows the Vedas (1). the same to friend and foe. O Lord? What is his conduct and how does he pass beyond the three Gunas?” (21) The Blessed Lord said: “He. who hates not radiance nor activity. and its roots grow downwards in the world of men ending in action (2). all beings are perishable and the Kutastha (immutable. to whom a lump of earth. Its form is not perceived here. is not moved by Gunas. is firm and moves not (23). sustains the three worlds (17). its leaves are the hymns. he who. the same in honour and disgrace. who dwells in the Self. I am known in the world and in the Veda as ‘Purushottama’ (the Highest Purusha) (18). the Asvattha is said to be indestructible. “There the sun does not shine. “There are two Purushas in the world—the perishable and the Imperishable. that goal should be sought for. branches below. from Me are memory. “Free from pride and delusion. I indeed am the author of the Vedanta and the knower of the Vedas am I (15). liberated from the pairs of opposites known as pleasure and pain. nor the moon. called the Highest Self. Chapter XV THE YOGA OF SUPREME PURUSHA (Purushottama Yoga) The Blessed Lord said: “With roots above. nor longs for them when absent (22). abandoning all undertakings—he is said to have crossed over the qualities” (24-25). to whom the dear and the undear are alike. nor even delusion when present. constantly abiding in the Self. Below and above spread its branches. stone and gold are alike. An eternal portion of My own self having become a living soul in the world of life. I digest the four kinds of food (14). neither its end nor its origin nor its existence. nourished by the Gunas. draws to itself the five senses with mind for the sixth abiding in Prakriti (8). their desires having completely turned away. who knowing that the Gunas act. seated as a neutral. Abiding in the body of living beings as the fire Vaisvanara. who pervading all. the supreme Purusha. the indestructible Lord. the undeluded reach that goal Eternal (5). united with Prana and Apana. having cut asunder this firm-rooted Asvattha with the strong axe of non-attachment.

I will rejoice’ (15). destructive of the Self. lust. arrogance. brought about by mutual union. modesty. does good to the self and thus reaches the Supreme Goal (22). purity. this wealth is mine already. They say. nor happiness. and others also I shall slay. full of hypocrisy. ‘I have slain this enemy. “Hypocrisy. without a God. this desire I shall obtain. the Highest Purusha. O Partha. well-born. I hurl them for ever into the wombs of demons only (19). they strive to secure by unlawful means hoards of wealth for sensual enjoyments (12). worst of men in the world. belong to one who is born. straightforwardness. anger. given over to lust and anger. holding evil ideas through delusion. “He who setting aside the ordinances of the scriptures. absence of fickleness. and also this shall be mine in future’ (13). O son of Kunti. harshness and ignorance. austerity. O Bharata and all his duties are accomplished” (19-20). alms-giving. control of the senses (self-restraint) sacrifice. A man who is released from these three gates to darkness. “Triple is the gate of this hell. 14 . forgiveness. compassion to living beings. vigour. ‘This today has been gained by me. they work with impure resolves (10). with demoniacal properties (4). peacefulness. I am perfect. absence of crookedness. brought about by lust and nothing else’ (8). non-injury. therefore.BHAGAVAD GITA FOR BUSY PEOPLE “He who. Filled with insatiable desires. gentleness. fortitude. undeluded thus knows Me. ‘The universe is without truth. acts under the impulse of desire. “Demoniacal men know not what to do and what to refrain from. absence of pride—these belong to one who is born with the divine properties. On knowing thus one becomes illumined. steadfastness in the Yoga of wisdom. “The divine properties are deemed to make for liberation. renunciation. nor truth is found in them (7). Chapter XVI THE YOGA OF DIVISION BETWEEN THE DIVINE AND THE DEMONIACAL (Daivasura-Sampad-Vibhaga Yoga) The Blessed Lord said: “Fearlessness. These malicious. neither purity nor good conduct. absence of hatred. absence of anger. I enjoy. thou shouldst work in this world” (24). these three one should abandon (21). attains not to perfection. Therefore let the scriptures be thy authority in deciding as what ought to be done and what ought not to be done. I will give charity. self-conceit. nor the Supreme Goal (23). he knowing all worships Me with his whole being O Bharata. study of one’s own scriptures. thou art born with divine properties. I am lord. and cruel-doers. O Pandava (5). purity of heart. this most profound teaching has been taught by Me. anger and greed. uncovetousness. Grieve not. ‘I am rich. without a moral basis. the demoniacal for bondage. pride and arrogance. powerful and happy’ (14). O sinless one. O Bharata (1-3). Having known what is said in the ordinances of the scriptures. Bound by a hundred ties of hope. who else is equal to me? I will sacrifice.

perform sacrifice with faith—what faith is theirs? Is it Sattva or Rajas or Tamas (Is it purity or passion or darkness)?” (1). self-control. who dwells in the body within. without desire for fruit is said to be Sattvic (pure) (17). That which is offered with a view to obtain fruit and for ostentation. Rajasic (passionate) and Tamasic (darkness). Speech which causes no annoyance and is true. impelled by the force of their desires and passions. and non-injury are called the austerity of the body (14). energy. refused and impure. purity of nature—this is called the mental austerity (16). know it to be a Rajasic Yajna (12). as also pleasant and beneficial and also study of the scriptures. O Bharata. “This threefold austerity. 15 . gifts and faith. are dear to the Rajasic (9). the aggregated elements forming the body. are called the austerity of the speech (15). which are savoury. is dear to the Tamasic (10). as a man’s faith is. so is he (3). putrid. which is inherent in their nature—Sattvic (pure).BHAGAVAD GITA FOR BUSY PEOPLE Chapter XVII THE YOGA OF THE THREEFOLD FAITH (Sraddha-Traya-Vibhaga Yoga) Arjuna said: “Those who setting aside the ordinances of the scriptures. or for the purpose of ruining another is declared to be Tamasic (19). unstable and transitory (18). That which is stale. rotten. That austerity which is practised with the object of gaining good reception. “Those men who perform terrible austerities not enjoined by the scriptures. senseless as they are. Serenity of the mind. oleaginous. and Me also. substantial and agreeable. sour. is pure (11). The sacrifice performed contrary to the ordinances in which no food is distributed. given to hypocrisy and egoism. the Gurus and the wise. know thou these to be of demoniac resolves (5-6). excessively hot. “The foods which increase vitality. “The sacrifice that is offered by men without desire for fruit as enjoined by ordinance. silence. grief and diseases. The man consists of his faith. saline. which is destitute of Mantras. “Worship of the gods. joy and cheerfulness. torture. health. strength. dry and burning. The Blessed Lord said: “Threefold is the faith of the embodied. straightforwardness. purity. pungent. practised by steadfast men with the utmost faith. honour and worship and with ostentation is here (in this world) said to be Rajasic. is said to be Tamasic (13). equanimity. The faith of each is in accordance with his nature. continence. the twice-born. O best of the Bharatas. with a fixed resolve in the mind that they should do the sacrifice as duty. The foods like foods that are bitter. Do thou hear of these (2). That austerity which is practised out of a foolish notion with self-torture. tasteless. are dear to the Sattvic (8). and which cause pain.

O mighty-armed. the several functions of various sorts and the presiding deities also. gift and austerity should not be relinquished. that alms is said to be Sattvic (20). know thou from Me as declared in the Sankhya system for the accomplishment of all actions (13). O Hrishikesa. bondage and liberation. is declared to be Sattvic (21). to unworthy persons. and also austerity are the purifiers of the wise (5). the essence of Sannyasa.’ O Kesinisudana (slayer of Kesi)” (1). gift. he kills not. O Partha. that is declared to be Rajasic (38). 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). is declared to be Rajasic (24). indolence and heedlessness. is Rajasic (31). loss of wealth. The Blessed Lord said: “Sages understand ‘Sannyasa’ to be the renouncing of works with desires. that is declared to be Tamasic (25). injury (to others) and one’s own ability. that intellect. is Sattvic (30). the actor. that intellect. done without love or hatred by one not desirous of the fruit and free from attachment. That by which one wrongly understands right (Dharma) and wrong (Adharma). fear and fearlessness. the wise declare the abandonment of the fruits of all works as ‘Tyaga’ (2). though he kills these people. the various organs. born of the blissful knowledge of the Self (37). that intellect. But that action which is done by one longing for desires or again with egoism or with much effort. That which enveloped in darkness regards wrong (Adharma) as right (Dharma) and sees all things in a perverted light. that is declared to be Tamasic” (22). arising from sleep. He who is free from the notion of egoism. that happiness is said to be Sattvic. is Tamasic (32). the fifth (14). at first like nectar but in the end like poison. in a fit place and time. “These five causes. and also what ought to be done and what ought not to be done. The action which is undertaken from delusion. without respect and with insult. sacrifice. that is declared to be Tamasic (39). O mighty-armed. That pleasure which arises from the contact of the senses with their objects. “That which knows the paths of action and renunciation. whose intellect is not affected (by good or evil). O Partha. O partha. nor is bound by the action (17). without regarding the consequence. as also ‘Tyaga. Acts of sacrifice. to a worthy person. That pleasure which both at first and afterwards is delusion of the Self. what ought to be done and what ought not to be done. Chapter XVIII THE YOGA OF LIBERATION BY RENUNCIATION (Moksha Sannyasa Yoga) Arjuna said: “I desire to know severally. 16 . “An action which is ordained. That gift given at a wrong place or time. but should be performed. The body.BHAGAVAD GITA FOR BUSY PEOPLE “That alms (gift) which is given—knowing it to be a duty to give—to one who does no service in return. “That which is like poison at first but like nectar in the end.

BHAGAVAD GITA FOR BUSY PEOPLE “Dwelling in solitude. violence. there are prosperity. to revolve as if mounted on a machine (61). ever engaged in meditation and concentration. thou shalt reach Myself. by His Maya. Abandoning all duties take refuge in Me alone. so I think (78). he forthwith enters into the Supreme (55). Becoming Brahman. covetousness. desire. by His grace thou shalt attain supreme peace and the eternal abode (62). O Achyuta (O Immutable One). sacrifice to Me. he neither grieves nor desires the same to all beings. I will liberate thee from all sins. freed from the notion of ‘mine’ and peaceful. happiness and sound policy. my doubts have vanished. then having known Me in reality. eating but little. anger. for thou art dear to Me (65). Wherever is Krishna. speech. having abandoned egoism. the archer. the Lord of Yoga. O Partha. I will do according to Thy word” (73). Om Santi! Santi! Santi! 17 . O Dhananjaya?” (72). O Bharata. he is fit for becoming Brahman (53). By devotion he knows Me in reality. Arjuna said: “My delusion is destroyed. Hari Om Tat Sat. wherever is Partha. Take refuge in Him with all thy heart. “The Lord dwells in the hearts of all beings. with an attentive mind? Has thy delusion caused by ignorance been destroyed. taking refuge in dispassion (52). tranquil-minded. arrogance. grieve not (66). what and who I am. “Has this been heard by thee. I am firm. victory. truly do I promise unto thee. be My devotee. O Arjuna. body and mind controlled. he attains supreme devotion to Me (54). “Fix thy mind in Me. causing all beings. and I have gained knowledge through Thy grace. bow down to Me.

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