Song of Bhagavan Daniel Clark © 1997 Dedication I dedicate this book to my mothers and fathers: to my mothers, Helen Cooper

Clark, Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati, the Earth, and Shrimati Radharani; to my fathers, Rodney Upham Clark, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Sun, and Shri Krishna. Preface The Song of Bhagavan was originally spoken ca. 3000 BC by Dhritarashtra, Sanjaya, Duryodhana, Arjuna, and Krishna (Shri Bhagavan). Not long after that, Vyas compiled it as part of the Mahabharata, which he dictated to Ganesh, who wrote it down. Traditionally the scripture is known as the Bhagavad-gita, or sometimes, the Gitopanishad. It has been recited, discussed, analyzed, praised, commented on, and translated more than any other Sanskrit work. In the 1960s, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada translated it under the title Bhagavad-gita As It Is, adding his commentaries to the verses. He remarked to his disciples that they could reword the verses. But, he said, "Do not change my purports. They are my ecstasies." In attempting a new translation of the verses alone, I of course have respected his wish. But his purports have guided me throughout. Without being shown the way by the realization of a pure devotee of God, I would be lost in a forest of speculation, making arbitrary choices about which path to take. In 1967, Swami Bhaktivedanta initiated me as one of his many students. I served him until his passing away in 1977. Since then I've lived apart from the religious organization he founded. But I still try to serve him. Talking with people about the Gita is one way to do that. To be certain of my understanding, I've decided to study all the words carefully and translate them as best I can in my own vernacular -- though the Gita demands a degree of formality. The result depends mostly on my guru's Gita, but also on the English versions of other scholars and poets. I've retained many of the original Sanskrit terms. They've become customary to me -- part of my daily terminology. There's a glossary at the end. "Write according to your realization," Prabhupad once advised us. I pray to God and Guru to give me the strength to serve them with self-awareness, and with devotion to their purpose.

Song of Bhagavan 1.1 Dhritarashtra: Sanjaya, my sons and the sons of my brother Pandu are intending to wage war against each other! They and their allies have gathered on the Kuru dynasty ceremonial field! What are they doing now? 1.2 Sanjaya: Your son Duryodhana has been observing the ranks of your nephews' army. He's going to his teacher Drona to talk with him. 1.3 Duryodhana: My teacher, look at the mighty military force of the Pandavas. Your student, the son of Drupada, has arranged their divisions so intelligently! 1.4 They have their heroes -- the powerful archers Bhima and Arjuna, and others, equal to them in battle -- and stupendous warriors like Yuyudhana, Virata, and Drupada. 1.5 There are Dhrishtaketu, Chekitana, Kashiraj, Purujit, Kuntibhoja, and Shaibya. The people adore them for their immense strength. 1.6 Yudhamanyu, who's so powerful -- Uttamauja, so strong -- the sons of Subhadra and the sons of Draupadi -- certainly, they're all great chariot fighters.

1.7 But, Best of the Brahmans, please be advised that the leaders of my soldiers are especially well qualified. Allow me to tell you about them.

1.8 You, Bhishma, Karna, and Kripa are always victorious in battle. Ashvatthama, Vikarna, and the son of Somadatta are too, definitely. 1.9 A multitude of other heroes are also prepared to risk their lives for my sake. They are all well supplied with weaponry. All of them are expert in military science and tested in battle. 1.10 Our strength has no limits! Bhishma protects us perfectly. But the others, though well protected by Bhima, have only limited strength. 1.11 Now, all of you! From every point in the ranks! From every division in the phalanx! Give your full support to Bhishma! Everyone! 1.12 Sanjaya: Bhishma, the great valiant grandsire of the Kurus, increases Duryodhana's happiness by blowing his conchshell loudly, until the vibration sounds like the roaring of a lion. 1.13 Following him, more conchshells, and bugles, and trumpets, are blowing -- drums are beating -- all the instruments are combining together to make a tumultuous sound! 1.14 Following that, stationed on their magnificent chariot drawn by white horses, Madhava and Pandava sound their divine conchshells. 1.15 Hrishikesh sounds Panchajanya. Dhananjaya sounds Devadatta. Bhima, the doer of great deeds, the voracious eater, blows his huge conch Paundram. 1.16 King Yudhishtir, the son of Kunti, blows his conch Ananta-Vijay. Nakula and Sahadev sound Sugosha and Manipushpaka.

1.17 That great archer the King of Kashi -- Sikhandi the Maha-Ratha -- Dhrishtadyumna, Virata, and Satyaki, who have never been conquered -1.18 Drupada and the sons of Draupadi -- the mighty-armed son of Subhadra -- each of them, my King, is blowing his conchshell. 1.19 The tumult of that uproar is resounding through the sky and the land. It's shattering the hearts of the sons of Dhritarashtra. 1.20 In his chariot with its monkey flag, Pandava looks at the sons of Dhritarashtra. He picks up his bow and prepares his arrows for shooting. Now, my King, he speaks these words to Hrishikesh. 1.21 Arjuna: Between the two armies -- I ask you to drive my chariot there, Achyuta. 1.22 Place it far enough so I can see everyone, as they stand in place in their desire to make war. I want to see the ones I will attempt to contend with in this conflict. 1.23 They've come here dedicated to fight in service to the madness of the son of Dhritarashtra. Let me look at them. 1.24 Sanjaya: Descendant of Bharata, Hrishikesh is positioning the superb chariot midway between the two armies in response to Gudakeshana's request.

1.25 He faces Bhishma, Drona, and the other great leaders of many kingdoms. "Look, Partha," he says, "here they are before you: the Kurus." 1.26 Partha can see the warriors in both armies standing there. Among them are fathers, grandfathers, teachers, maternal uncles, brothers, sons, grandsons, friends, fathers-inlaw, and people who always wished him well. 1.27 Kaunteya is overwhelmed by a deep sense of compassion after contemplating those relations of every sort. He's lamenting. 1.28 Arjuna: Krishna, now that I've seen my own people all here before me, ready to fight, my arms and legs are shaking. My mouth is drying up. 1.29 My whole body is trembling! My hair is standing on end! My bow Gandiva is slipping from my hand. My skin is burning. 1.30 No -- I can't stay here any longer! I can't remember -- anything. I've lost my mind! I foresee only evil coming from our actions, Keshava. 1.31 I foresee no good coming from killing our own people here. Nor do I long for victory, Krishna. And not for monarchy and its pleasures. 1.32 Govinda, what use is a kingdom, or enjoyment, or even life itself, when the very people we want to share these things with 1.33 are all located on this battlefield about to give up their prana and dhana -- teachers, fathers, sons, yes, and grandfathers,

1.34 maternal uncles, fathers in law, grandsons, brothers in law, and other relatives. I don't want them to be killed -- even if I am killed, Madhusudana! 1.35 Even in exchange for the three worlds! Let alone for the earth. Janardana, what happiness will we get from killing the sons of Dhritarashtra? 1.36 We will take on great sin by slaying these aggressors. So we have no right to kill Dhritarashtra's sons and our friends. How could we become happy by killing our people, Madhava? 1.37 Greed has taken over in their hearts. They can't see the fault in quarrelling with friends or killing a family. 1.38 But we know about these things. We can see the sinfulness, the criminality, in the destruction of a family. So why shouldn't we desist from taking part in it, Janardana? 1.39 When the family is broken, the family's eternal dharma is broken too. When the dharma is ruined, then everyone in the family turns to adharma. 1.40 When adharma is on the rise, Krishna, the family's women become corrupted. Corrupted women give birth to society's rejects, Varshneya. 1.41 Those social outcasts make it hellish both for the family and for those who wrecked the family. Even the family's ancestors fall down when the offerings of rice and water are stopped.

1.42 The faults of the family's destroyers cause the outcasts to devastate the dharma of both the family and the community for all time. 1.43 Janardana, I've heard from those who carry on the ancient teachings that whoever spoils the family dharma goes to live in hell. 1.44 Alas! How strange it is! We have decided to commit a great sin. We will attempt to kill our kinsmen -- out of our greed for a kingdom and its pleasures. 1.45 Rather than fight, it would be better for me to carry no weapons, and offer no resistance, and let myself be killed by Dhritarashtra's sons. 1.46 Sanjaya: Arjuna finishes speaking. He sits down on his chariot on the battlefield. He lays down his bow and arrows. His mind is tormented by grief. 2.1 He's overcome by compassion and bereavement. His sad eyes are filled with tears. While he's in this state, Madhusudana speaks to him. 2.2 Shri Bhagavan: This is contamination! Why has it settled in you now, in a time of crisis? Crude people, ignoble people, this is how they act! It won't lead you to heaven, but to dishonor, Arjuna.

2.3 Don't allow this impotence to enter into you. It doesn't suit you, Partha. This petty weakness in your heart -get rid of it! Rise up, Parantapa! 2.4 Arjuna: Madhusudana, if Bhishma and Drona attack, how can I wage war and send my arrows against them? I worship them, Arisudana! 2.5 They're my gurus! Rather than kill those great beings, I should spend my life in the world begging for bhoga. They may be hoping that their aggression will bring them worldly profits. But they are my gurus. Could I enjoy bhoga tainted with their blood? 2.6 Should we conquer them, or be conquered by them? There's no way for us to know which is better. There they stand, facing us -- the sons of Dhritarashtra. If we take their lives, we won't want to live! 2.7 Yes, yes, there's a flaw in me. My consciousness is -- afflicted! Is my pity -misdirected? Is my awareness -- of my dharma -- confused? I ask you, tell me definitely. What is right? I am your shishya. Instruct me. I surrender to you. 2.8 This grief is parching my senses. I can't see any way to dispel it, even if I win unrivaled prosperity on earth, or supremacy in the kingdoms of the gods! 2.9 Sanjaya: Having spoken those words, Gudakesha Parantapa says to Hrishikesh, "I shall not fight, Govinda." And he falls silent.

2.10 Hrishikesh smiles at him, Bharata. Between the two armies, he speaks to the bereaved one. 2.11 Shri Bhagavan: What you're grieving for isn't worthy of grief. You speak wisely. But pandits don't grieve -not for those who have lost their life, and not for those who haven't. 2.12 I have never been nonexistent. Neither have you. Nor have any of the leaders here. And never in the future shall any of us be nonexistent. 2.13 Just as the embodied endures through the body's childhood, youth, and seniority, it also endures through the body's demise. A stoic is not bewildered by that. 2.14 Kaunteya, it's only sense perception that creates our happiness and pain, our winters and summers. These impermanent things appear and disappear. So learn to tolerate them, Bharata.

2.15 Yes, the best person is the stoic -the one who's never distressed by them. For the stoic, misery and joy are the same. That person is eligible for immortality. 2.16 Death is temporary. Life is eternal. The seers of reality have observed both, and have come to this conclusion. 2.17 Understand the undying. It pervades everything here. No one is capable of killing the unchangeable. 2.18 These material bodies come to an end. But it's said that the embodied is endless. It is undying and immeasurable. So fight, Bharata! 2.19 Anyone who thinks that this entity is a killer, or who considers it to be killed, is without knowledge in both respects. It never kills or is killed. 2.20 It doesn't take birth. It doesn't die. It has being, but it never came into being, and it will never stop being. It's unborn, eternal, ever-existing, and primeval. It isn't killed when the material body is killed.

2.21 When one knows that this is undying and eternal, unborn and unchangeable -Partha, how can that person hurt anyone, or cause anyone else to kill? 2.22 People get rid of old worn-out clothing and put on new clothes. In the same way the embodied gets rid of old material bodies and accepts new ones. 2.23 Weapons can't cut it. Fire can't burn it. Water can't wet it. The wind can't dry it up. 2.24 It can't be broken or burned or dissolved or dried up. It's everlasting, all-pervading, constant, immoveable, and eternal. 2.25 They say it's unmanifest, inconceivable, and immutable. You know this very well. So don't give in to grief. 2.26 And even if you do consider that this is always being born and always dying, Mahabaho, still you needn't give in to grief.

2.27 Those who are born will surely die. Those who die will surely be born. So don't give in to grieving for the inevitable. 2.28 Bharata, all creatures start out unmanifest, have a middle period of manifestation, and then are unmanifest again when they are annihilated. So why lament? 2.29 Some have seen this entity, and to them it is amazing. Others talk about it -it is amazing to them, too. And it's amazing to those who hear about it from the wise. But even having heard what it is, does anyone know what it is? 2.30 The embodied, this eternal entity, is in everyone's body, Bharata, and can't be killed. So don't give in to grief for any creature. 2.31 Look closely at your svadharma. Don't hesitate to take it up. There's nothing better for a kshatriya than fighting for dharma.

2.32 Kshatriyas are very happy when a war like this comes to them of its own accord, Partha. It opens wide the doors of heaven. 2.33 If you don't engage in this fight for dharma, you will abandon your svadharma. You'll abandon your honor. You'll take on sin. 2.34 People will always talk about your dishonor. For one who has been respected, dishonor is worse than death. 2.35 The maha-rathas who now hold you in great esteem will discredit you. They'll think you've quit the battlefield out of fear. 2.36 Your enemies will slander you with many unkind words. They'll scorn your ability. What could be more painful for you? 2.37 Either you'll be killed and attain heaven, or you'll triumph and enjoy the earth. So stand up, Kaunteya! Be determined! Fight!

2.38 Be the same in happiness or distress, in loss or gain, in victory or defeat. Fight for the sake of fighting. That is how to avoid sin. 2.39 I've been talking to you about sankhya. Now hear about buddhi-yoga. When you're yoked to buddhi, Partha, you can release yourself from the harness of karma. 2.40 No effort here is lost or wasted. Just a little dharma saves you from the greatest danger. 2.41 Kurunandana, the buddhi of the resolute has only one purpose. The buddhi of the irresolute has many branches without end. 2.42 Those with no discrimination cling to the rituals and the flowery language of the Vedas. They claim that nothing else has any value. 2.43 Filled with desires, they endeavor to live with the gods. They make plans to get a good birth, with its powers, profits, and good deeds. Their various elaborate ceremonies are gateways to opulence and sensual enjoyment.

2.44 The consciousness of those who are so attached to opulence and sensual enjoyment is beset with confusion. They don't experience the samadhi of those resolute in buddhi. 2.45 The subject of the Vedas is the three gunas. Be free from the three gunas, Arjuna. Be free from the dualities. Always be situated in sattva. Be free from thoughts of profits and security. Be fixed in the self. 2.46 You can get something from a pond. But a big reservoir will give you everything. You can get something from the Vedas. But a knowledgeable brahman will give you everything. 2.47 You have the right to karma -but never to its fruits. Never be the cause of the fruits of karma -but never be attached to akarma. 2.48 Stand firm in yoga, Dhananjaya. Perform your karma while giving up attachment. Be the same in perfection and imperfection. That equanimity is called yoga.

2.49 Dhananjaya, with buddhi-yoga you can rid yourself of inferior karma. Develop a desire to surrender to buddhi. It's the misers who are drawn to the fruits. 2.50 Yoked to buddhi, in a single lifetime one can abandon both good and bad karma. Therefore, take up yoga. Yoga is the craft of karma. 2.51 Yoked to buddhi, thoughtful people relinquish the fruits of karma. Liberated from bondage to birth, they attain a state beyond putrefaction. 2.52 When your buddhi passes beyond the jungle of illusion, then you'll come to pay no attention to anything that's been heard from the Vedas -or to anything that will be heard. 2.53 When your buddhi remains unmoved, in unflinching samadhi, uninfluenced by the Vedas, at that time you will have achieved yoga. 2.54 Arjuna: Keshava, those who are steady in stoicism, wisdom, and samadhi -- what language do they speak? How do they talk -- and walk, and sit?

2.55 Shri Bhagavan: They stand firmly in wisdom, Partha, when they let go of all the desires that the mind creates. Then the atman is satisfied by the atman. So it is said. 2.56 They are called munis. For them, the mind is not upset by suffering or delighted by pleasure. They are free from attraction, fear, and anger. They stand firmly in stoicism. 2.57 Always and everywhere, they don't care if they meet with happiness or unhappiness. They don't glorify or hate anything. They stand very firmly in wisdom. 2.58 They withdraw their senses from the objects of the senses, as a tortoise retracts all its limbs, and stand very firmly in wisdom. 2.59 The embodied entity can refrain from sensuous things by obeying prohibitions. The act of tasting can be denied. But the urge to taste goes away when one experiences superior things.

2.60 The senses are strong, impetuous, and bewildering, Kaunteya. They forcibly attack the mind -- yes, even when a purusha of discrimination attempts to control them. 2.61 Restrain and subdue all the senses -while steadily connected to me. Stand very firmly in wisdom. 2.62 A person's contemplation of sense objects produces attachment. Attachment creates desire. Desire gives birth to anger. 2.63 From anger comes confusion. From confusion, the distortion of memory. From distortion of memory, loss of buddhi. From loss of buddhi, ruination. 2.64 Prasadam can be attained by the atman who is controlled and regulated -and who is free from attraction and contempt even while the senses are in contact with the sense objects. 2.65 Prasadam causes the dissolution of all miseries. Very soon, one who is prasadam-conscious is firmly fixed in buddhi.

2.66 Within those who are not yoked, there is no buddhi. Nor within the unyoked is there any power. The powerless have no peace -lacking peace, where is their happiness? 2.67 Yes, the senses can ride herd over a mind focused on them. Like winds pushing a boat, they can carry away your wisdom. 2.68 Therefore, Mahabaho, in every case restrain your senses from the sense objects, and stand very firmly in wisdom. 2.69 When it's nighttime for the world, the self-controlled are awake. When the world is awake, it's nighttime for the perceptive munis. 2.70 If you desire desires, you will have no peace. Let all desires flow through you. Be like the ocean -always steady, and never moved by the waters flowing through it. 2.71 Achieve peacefulness. Set aside all desires. Live without craving, without possessiveness, and without egotism.

2.72 That state is Brahman. You never get bewildered there. When you're there, Partha, at the end of your days, you attain Brahman Nirvana. 3.1 Arjuna: Janardana, you say you prefer buddhi to karma. Then why do you want me to take part in this horrible karma, Keshava? 3.2 Your ambiguous words are confusing my buddhi! For my benefit, please divulge at least one certainty to me. 3.3 Shri Bhagavan: Anagha, I've already stated it. In this world, there are two kinds of faith -the jnana-yoga of the sankhyas and the karma-yoga of the yogis. 3.4 The purusha cannot be freed from karma by abstaining from karma. No. Perfection can't be achieved by sannyas alone. 3.5 Anyway, no one can exist for a moment without doing some karma. It's clear that whether they want to or not, everyone does karma. They're forced to do so by the gunas of Prakriti.

3.6 Anyone who restrains the five karmic senses, but whose mind recalls the objects of the senses, is known as a self-deceiving hypocrite. 3.7 Far superior to that, Arjuna, is a person who's detached from the sense objects, who uses the mind to regulate the senses, and who engages the five karmic senses in karma-yoga. 3.8 Do the karma that is proper for you. Yes, karma is better than akarma. You can't even manage to keep your body going without karma. 3.9 Do karma for the sake of yajna. Otherwise karma binds you to the material world. Act for that reason, Kaunteya. Do it well, and it will liberate you from material association. 3.10 In ancient times, when Prajapati populated the universe, he told the people how to conduct yajnas and said, "By doing this you will grow ever more prosperous. It will be like the Kamadhuk cow who fulfills all desires.

3.11 "This will enliven the devas. And the devas will enliven you. Everyone will be enlivened and will receive the supreme benediction. 3.12 "When the devas are enlivened by the yajnas, they'll reward you with all the bhoga you want. But you will certainly be thieves if you enjoy what is given without first making an offering." 3.13 Spiritualists eat food after offering it, and get relief from every sin. But materialists, who prepare food for their own sake, are eaters of sin. 3.14 Creatures live by eating food. Food is produced by rain. Rain is generated by yajna. Yajna is born from karma. 3.15 Karma comes from Brahman -- understand that. And Brahman is born from the Imperishable. Therefore the all-pervading Brahman is always situated in yajna. 3.16 Whoever does not enter into that well-established cycle leads a useless life of sin, Partha, finding pleasure only in the senses.

3.17 But no duties obligate people who are stimulated by atman, illuminated by atman, and content in atman. 3.18 They have no reason to do anything, or not to do it. They depend on no one. They have no reason to. 3.19 As for you, perform karma as a duty, while being detached. The purusha who discharges karma with detachment reaches the Supreme. 3.20 Yes, even Janaka and other kings stayed perfect by executing karma. Consider it your duty to teach the world. 3.21 Anything and everything a respected leader does, the general public does -- they'll do it too. Whatever standard is set, the world follows. 3.22 There's no duty prescribed for me in all the three worlds, Partha. I lack nothing that can be gained. Still, I engage in karma.

3.23 If I don't scrupulously engage in karma, the whole population will follow along every step of the way. 3.24 The world would be wrecked if I didn't perform my karma. I'd be the cause of misdeeds. I'd destroy all the people. 3.25 Bharata, the uneducated do their karma with attachment to the results. The educated must act similarly, but without attachment, in their desire to protect the world. 3.26 Without disrupting the buddhi of the ignorant people attached to karma, the educated people spiritualize all that karma by showing the others how to yoke it. 3.27 "I'm the one who's doing this," thinks the ego-bewildered atman, all of whose activities are done by the gunas of Prakriti. 3.28 But Mahabaho, someone who knows what's real can discriminate and see that guna-karma is just the gunas relating with the gunas. With that in mind, you're never attached.

3.29 People who are fooled by the gunas of Prakriti are attached to guna-karma. They don't know how to behave properly, and they're lazy. Those who do know how to behave properly shouldn't agitate them. 3.30 Relinquish all your karma to me. Be conscious of yourself as atman. Be free from profiteering and possessiveness. In that state, fight off weakness and fight the battle! 3.31 Those persons who constantly obey my instructions, faithfully and without envy, are indeed released from karma. 3.32 But those envious persons who disobey my instructions are unconscious, ignorant fools. They're ruined. 3.33 Creatures proceed according to their own prakriti. Even the knowledgeable act out their prakriti. What's the use of repression? 3.34 As you walk along your path, attraction and repulsion await you in the senses and the sense objects. Don't let those deterrents attack you!

3.35 Better a svadharma in the gunas than somebody else's high-standing dharma. Better a svadharma that destroys you than the perils of following another's dharma. 3.36 Arjuna: Varshneya, what is it that tightly yokes the purusha to sinful activities, even unwillingly, as if engaged by force? 3.37 Shri Bhagavan: It's desire. It's anger. It's born from raja-guna, the big eater, the big sinner! Recognize that to be the enemy of the world. 3.38 Like a fire obscured by smoke, or a mirror by dust, or an embryo by the womb, this purusha is obscured by that. 3.39 Knowledge is obscured by that, Kaunteya. The knower has a constant enemy in the form of desire, the insatiable flame. 3.40 It stands firmly in the senses, in the mind, and in the buddhi. It obscures knowledge and it confounds the embodied entity.

3.41 So first regulate the senses, best of the Bharatas. Slay the sinfulness that destroys knowledge and realization. 3.42 The senses are superior to their objects. Mind is superior to the senses. Buddhi is superior to mind. But the entity is superior to buddhi. 3.43a Realizing this superiority to buddhi, the atman is steadied by the atman. 3.43b Desire is the form of your insatiable enemy. Conquer it, Mahabaho! 4.1 I taught this changeless yoga to Vivashvan. Vivashvan told it to Manu. Manu spoke it to Ikshvaku. 4.2 In that way, Parantapa -disciples receiving it from masters -it was learned by the raja-rishis. But as time went by in the world, the great yoga fell into disuse. 4.3 You are my bhakta. You are my friend. Today I am teaching you that same ancient yoga. It is certainly the highest of mysteries.

4.4 Arjuna: Vivashvan's birth was long ago. Yours was more recent. How am I to comprehend that you were the first instructor? 4.5 Shri Bhagavan: Many births of mine, and yours, have passed by. I know about all of them -you're not aware of them, Parantapa. 4.6 I am an unborn and undying atman. I am the Ishvara of the created beings. I'm situated in my own prakriti. Nevertheless, I advent myself in the world through my personal energy. 4.7 Yes, whenever and wherever dharma declines and adharma is on the rise, Bharata, then and there I manifest myself. 4.8 To protect the sadhus, to annihilate the miscreants, to establish the standards of dharma, I advent myself from yuga to yuga. 4.9 When those who know the divine reality of my birth and activities give up the body, they don't have another birth. They have me.

4.10 Free from attraction, fear, and anger, fully in me, depending on me, purified by the knowledge from their penances, many have attained my being. 4.11 However they surrender to me, I serve them so. Partha, all people proceed along my path. 4.12 Yearning for success in their karma, people make offerings to the devas. Yes, such worldly karma quickly produces success. 4.13 I created the four varnas according to the gunas of karma. However, understand that even though I did it, I never do anything. I never change. 4.14 No karma affects me. I don't aspire for the fruits of karma. Whoever knows that about me is never bound by karmic reaction. 4.15 With this knowledge, the ancients performed karma and achieved liberation. So do your karma, as those ancients did in ancient times.

4.16 What is karma? What is akarma? Even the scholars are confused about it. I'll explain to you what karma is, and when you know, you'll be liberated from iniquity. 4.17 to realize what karma is to realize what akarma is to realize what vikarma is -- yes, the entrance to karma is obscure 4.18 the realized human being proficient in practicing karma sees karma in akarma and akarma in karma -- and is yoked 4.19 pursuit of desire absent from all plans karma burned up by the fire of knowledge -- the realized ones declare, "that is a pandit" 4.20 giving up attachment to the fruits of karma ever satisfied, independent busily engaged in karma -- yet really doing nothing at all 4.21 when there's no yearning when atman and consciousness are controlled when all proprietorship is cast off when karma is only for the body's sake --such activity takes on no harmful reactions

4.22 satisfied with random profits beyond duality, free from envy the same in success and failure -- although active, never bound 4.23 liberated and free from attachments consciousness fixed in knowledge being active for the purpose of yajna -- that karma is wholly suffused 4.24 The person who makes an offering is Brahman. The thing offered is Brahman. The fire is Brahman, the butter is Brahman. The goal is Brahman -when one's karma is absorbed in Brahman. 4.25 Some yogis, with excellent worship, make offerings to the devas. Some worshippers, with superb sacrifices, make offerings to the fire of Brahman. 4.26 Others offer their senses, such as their hearing, to the fire of restraint. Others offer sense objects, such as sounds, to the fire of the senses. 4.27 Some, striving for knowledge, offer all the actions of their senses and the actions of their prana to the fire of the yoga that steadies the atman.

4.28 Some are enlightened by taking strict vows in this way -they sacrifice their possessions, they do penance as a sacrifice, they perform yoga as a sacrifice, and they gain knowledge by the study of scripture as a sacrifice. 4.29 Some, who practice pranayama, stop their breathing by offering the downward breath to the upward, and the upward breath to the downward. Some limit their eating and offer the upward breath to itself. 4.30 Although seemingly different, all these practitioners of sacrifice know the meaning of yajna. Yajna cleanses them of their sins. By performing yajna, they taste its nectar and go to the eternal Brahman. 4.31 What use is this world or the other without yajna, Kurusattama? 4.32 The many varieties of yajna pervade the face of Brahman. Understand -- they're all born from karma. When you know that, you're liberated. 4.33 It's better to offer knowledge than to offer material things, Parantapa. All karma of every kind, Partha, reaches its conclusion in knowledge.

4.34 learn about it by humbling yourself in service and polite inquiry -those who know, who see reality will initiate you into knowledge 4.35 knowing it, there's no more illusion wherever you go, Pandava -you'll see every one of the creatures in atman, that is, in me 4.36 even if, of all the sinners you're the biggest sinner -the boat of knowledge will carry you across all that evil 4.37 as blazing fire makes ashes of wood, Arjuna -so the fire of knowledge makes ashes of all karma 4.38 yes, nothing existing in this world compares with holy knowledge -perfect yourself with yoga and in time you'll discover it in atman 4.39 intently controlling the senses the faithful attain knowledge -having attained knowledge they quickly achieve supreme peace

4.40 without knowledge, without faith the doubting atman loses its way -not in this world, not in the next is there joy for the doubting atman 4.41 yoga gets rid of karma knowledge slashes doubts -be self-possessed and don't let karma bind you, Dhananjaya 4.42 the origin of ignorance is in the heart but knowledge is atman's sword -so cut away your doubts, stand up and be firm in yoga, Bharata 5.1 Arjuna: You praise the renouncing of karma. And then you praise yoga. Which one of these two is better, Krishna? Tell me definitely. 5.2 Shri Bhagavan: Renunciation and karma-yoga both result in betterment of the best kind. But of the two, karma-yoga surpasses the renouncing of karma. 5.3 Mahabaho, the constant sannyasi can be recognized as the one without dualities, who never detests or hankers. Yes, the one who easily escapes from captivity. So it is said.

5.4 Sankhya and yoga are separate for the stupid. But the pandits don't say that. When you're deeply involved in either one, you receive the results of both. 5.5 The position you reach through sankhya you can also attain through yoga. Sankhya and yoga are the same thing. A seer is one who sees that. 5.6 But without yoga, sannyas is afflicted with distress. The muni yoked to yoga achieves Brahman without delay. 5.7 Yoked to yoga, the purified atman controls atman and controls the senses. That atman is one with the atman of every creature. Despite being active, it is never polluted. 5.8 "In fact, I never do anything," thinks the person who's yoked and who knows what reality is. "The senses are seeing, smelling, eating, traveling, dreaming, breathing,

5.9 talking, giving, taking. The eyes are opening and closing. Despite that, in my estimation it's just something between the senses and the sense objects. It's their business." 5.10 working without attachment surrendering karma to Brahman never stained by sinfulness like a lotus leaf above the water 5.11 the yogi shuns attachments doing work to purify atman with body, mind, and buddhi and even with the senses 5.12 yoked, you abandon karmic fruits winning unadulterated peace unyoked, you work by desire attached to the fruits, in bondage 5.13 When using the mind to renounce all karma, the embodied entity joyfully inhabits the city of nine gates. It does nothing and causes nothing. 5.14a The prabhu doesn't act, and creates no karma in the world, being disconnected from the fruits of karma.

5.14b Action has a source, though -in the material nature itself. 5.15a The pervading entity doesn't take part in anyone's sin or piety. 5.15b People are bewildered when their knowledge is covered by ignorance. 5.16 But when knowledge destroys your ignorance of atman, that sun-like knowledge casts its light on the Supreme. 5.17 In the Supreme -- with buddhi there, atman there, your striving there, your purpose there, you travel to a state beyond return. Your transgressions are washed away by knowledge. 5.18 A pandit sees the same thing in a dog, a cow, an elephant, an outcaste scavenger, and in a brahman of learning and good manners. 5.19 Those who've overcome birth in this world possess minds fixed in sameness. Yes, they're fixed in flawless Brahman -since Brahman is constant sameness.

5.20 When they get something pleasant, they don't rejoice. When they get something unpleasant, they're not upset. Steady in buddhi, not confused, they know Brahman and are fixed in Brahman. 5.21 The atman with no attraction for external contact finds happiness in atman. That atman, yoked in yoga to Brahman, enjoys unlimited happiness. 5.22 Enjoyments derived from contact give birth to pain. They begin and they end, Kaunteya. Those who are realized never take delight in them. 5.23 In this world, who is yoked, who is happy? The person who resists desire, anger, and the material urges -even before casting off the body. 5.24 The yogi whose happiness is within, whose pleasure is within, whose illumination is within, achieves the Brahman nature, Brahman Nirvana. 5.25 Banishing sinfulness, excising doubt, mastering atman, inspired to give assistance to all creatures, the rishis attain Brahman Nirvana.

5.26 Released from desire and anger, the ascetics control their consciousness and confront atman. They soon will have Brahman Nirvana. 5.27 Shutting out all external contact, the munis focus their eyes between their brows and equalize the breaths that move upward and downward in their nostrils. 5.28 Intent on deliverance, they control their senses, mind, and buddhi, and dispel their longing, fear, and anger. Always in this state, they are truly liberated. 5.29 I am the consumer of all offerings and penances. I am the great Ishvara of all the worlds. I am the dear friend of all creatures. To know this is to achieve peace. 6.1 Who's a sannyasi? Who's a yogi? Not the one who burns no sacrifical fire or does no work, but the one who does the karma that's to be done, without concern for karma's fruits. 6.2 Understand this, Pandava -what they call sannyas, that is yoga. Yes, without renouncing willfulness no one becomes a yogi.

6.3 It's said that karma is the thing to do for a muni just growing up in yoga. And for one who has grown up, the thing to do is be still. So it is said. 6.4 Yes, to become mature in yoga one must be disengaged from sense objects and from karma, renouncing all willfulness. So it is said. 6.5 let atman raise up atman let it not degrade atman atman is atman's friend atman is atman's enemy 6.6 atman is friend to atman for one whose atman subdues atman but atman is an enemy an enemy indeed for one without atman 6.7 with atman conquered the supreme atman is tranquil in perfect concentration whether in cold or heat happiness or misery whether honored or dishonored

6.8 A yogi is a yoked atman, satisfied by knowledge and realization, with senses under control -above it all. Clay, stone, and gold are the same for the yogi. So it is said. 6.9 It takes a special person to realize the sameness of comrades, close friends, and enemies -of those who are indifferent and those who negotiate -of the envious and the pious -of saints and sinners. 6.10 A yogi stays isolated in seclusion, always concentrating on atman, restraining the consciousness, without possessiveness or hope. 6.11 In a clean place, one prepares for oneself a firm seat, not too high, not too low, covered with cloth, deerskin, and kusha grass. 6.12 In that place, one makes the mind single-pointed -controlling consciousness, senses, and activities. Sitting on that seat, one performs yoga to purify atman.

6.13 The body and head are held in a straight line, kept steady and still. One gazes at the tip of the nose without letting the eyes wander. 6.14 The tranquil atman -yoked, rid of fear, firm in the brahmachari vow, in control of the mind, in concentration on me -makes me the ultimate goal. 6.15 The yogi practices in that way -atman constant, mind controlled -and attains the peace of the Supreme Nirvana existing within me. 6.16 Yoga is not for those who eat or fast excessively, or for those who like to sleep or stay awake too much. 6.17 Yoga becomes the destroyer of misery when eating and play are yoked, when body and work are yoked, when sleep and waking are yoked. 6.18 When the controlled consciousness rests in atman with no interest in the entreaties of desire, then one is yoked. So it is said.

6.19 Remember the saying, "A lamp in a windless place does not waver." So it is with the yogi of controlled consciousness, the atman performing yoga. 6.20 When thought is held in check and becomes still through the discipline of yoga, when atman sees atman and finds contentment in atman, 6.21 there is a boundless transcendental joy which only buddhi can grasp. When one has this understanding, one stands firmly in it, never straying from reality. 6.22 When you gain it you think there's no greater gain. When you stand there you're never shaken, even by the worst suffering. 6.23 The yoga connection means the disconnection of the connection with suffering. When you know that, you practice yoga resolutely, with no despairing thoughts. 6.24 Completely giving up all desire born of willfulness, the mind disciplines the busy senses in every way.

6.25 Little by little, one comes to rest. The buddhi is firmly convinced. The mind is placed within atman, so one doesn't even think of anything. 6.26 Wherever the restless mind wanders, wherever it is, discipline it. Bring it back from there. Put it under atman's control. 6.27 Yes, when the mind is at peace, passion is pacified. The spotless yogi, a creature of Brahman, feels the highest happiness. 6.28 Constantly working on atman, beyond contamination, the yogi achieves boundless joy, the happiness of always being in touch with Brahman. 6.29 Atman is in all creatures. All creatures are in atman. The atman yoked to yoga sees this everywhere. 6.30 Those who see me everywhere, and see everything in me, won't be lost to me. And I won't be lost to them.

6.31 The yogis stand firm in that unity and worship me as the one in all creatures. No matter where they live, they live in me. 6.32 They say the supreme yogi is the one who sees the equality of all things -both the pleasurable and the painful -by seeing their similarity to atman. 6.33 Arjuna: Equanimity -- you use that word to describe this yoga, Madhusudana. But in my restlessness I see no solid standing for it. 6.34 The mind is restless, Krishna -- turbulent, strong, and stubborn. Yes, it's as difficult to curb as the wind, I think. 6.35 Shri Bhagavan: Undoubtedly, Mahabaho, the mind is restless and difficult to curb. But it can be curbed -through constant practice and detachment. 6.36 In my opinion, yoga is difficult to grasp if atman isn't restrained. But by working hard to control atman, using the right method, one succeeds. 6.37 Arjuna: What happens if you have faith, but your mind is unsteady, your attempts in yoga are all in vain, and you fail to reach perfection in yoga? What is your destination?

6.38 Mahabaho, when you're confused on the path to Brahman, having failed in both respects, don't you get ripped apart, like a low-moving cloud, with no standing at all? 6.39 That's my doubt, Krishna. No one except you can dispel it completely. Unless you dispel my doubt, there'll be nobody else to do it! 6.40 Shri Bhagavan: Such a person is never destroyed, not in this world or the next. That's right, Partha -a person of honorable behavior does not travel the crooked road. Not at all. 6.41 After going to the worlds of the righteous and living there for many years, the fallen yogi is born into a clean house blessed with fortune, 6.42 or else is born among yogis, in a family blessed with insight. A birth like that in this world is very hard to get. 6.43 Then one regains the connection with the buddhi of one's former body, and once again labors for perfection, Kurunandana -6.44a yes, attracted to it without even trying, because of those previous efforts.

6.44b Whoever wants to know about yoga has gone beyond the Brahman that's expressed in words. 6.45 The yogi labors with determination through many births, is washed clean of sin, and is perfected -and then discovers the supreme goal. 6.46 Above a penitent, above a philosopher, and above a karmi -that's the position a yogi is considered to hold. Therefore, be a yogi, Arjuna. 6.47 And I consider that among all yogis, the most yoked is the atman inwardly absorbed in me who worships me with faith. 7.1 Partha, attach your mind to me. Practice yoga and trust in me. Listen -- here's how you can know me, completely, without any doubts. 7.2 I'll leave out nothing. I'll tell you about knowledge and realization. Once you know it, there's no need for any further knowing.

7.3 Out of thousands of people, there may be one who tries to be perfect. And of those who try for perfection, there may be one who knows me as I really am. 7.4 My prakriti has eight divisions -earth, water, fire, air, space, mind, buddhi, and self-identification. 7.5 This is not supreme. Understand -in addition to this I have another, supreme prakriti. It's the living soul of each creature, and it sustains this world. 7.6a Be certain of it -this is the womb of all creatures. 7.6b I am the origin and the dissolution of each and every world. 7.7 There isn't anything superior to me. Like pearls on a thread, Dhananjaya, everything here is strung on me. 7.8 Kaunteya, I am the taste of water. I'm the light of the sun and the moon. In all the Vedas, I'm the syllable Om. I am the sound of space and the virility of men.

7.9 I am the pure fragrance of the earth, the heat of fire. I am the life of all creatures and the penance of penitents. 7.10 Understand, Partha -I am the eternal seed of all creatures. I'm the insight of the insightful. I'm the glory of the glorious. 7.11 Best of the Bharatas, in the strong I am the strength that's devoid of desire and passion. In the world's creatures I am the desire that doesn't conflict with dharma. 7.12 And those states of being -goodness, passion, and darkness -certainly come from me. They are in me. But, understand -I am not in them. 7.13 Deluded by those states of being -the three gunas -the whole world is confused, and doesn't comprehend that I am beyond, I am supreme, I am without any change. 7.14 Yes, that's divine -my Maya, made of the gunas. It's hard to get away from. Those who surrender to me -they can make it across that Maya.

7.15 Maya carries away the knowledge of the criminals, of the fools, of the uncultured who don't surrender to me -those who take on an ungodly state of being. 7.16 Arjuna, best of the Bharatas, four kinds of godly people love and serve me -those who weep for me, who inquire about me, who petition me, and who know me. 7.17 Among those, the knower is permanently yoked, with devotion for only one. The knower is the best. Yes, I am dear to those in knowledge, and they are dear to me. 7.18 The others are very exalted. But I consider the knower to be my special atman. Yes, that atman is steadily yoked to me as the very highest destination. 7.19 At the end of many births, a person of knowledge says "Vasudeva is everything," and surrenders to me. That mahatma is hard to find.

7.20 When people are dominated by their own prakriti, their knowledge gets carried away by this desire or that desire. They surrender to other devas, and observe this regulation or that regulation. 7.21 In their faithfulness, people of devotion may glorify one or another form. Whichever or whatever form it is, no matter who or what, I'm the one who grants them their unwavering faith. 7.22a Yoked by that faith, they seek the favor of their deity and fulfill their desires. 7.22b Who bestows those benefits? No one but me. 7.23a But those fruits have their limits. They're for the dimwits! 7.23b Praise the devas, and you'll go to the devas. My devotees go to me. That's certain. 7.24 When the unrealized consider me, they think, "the unmanifest has become manifest." They don't know about my highest state of being. I am changeless and supreme.

7.25 I'm concealed by Yoga-Maya. I'm not revealed to everyone. The deluded world is not aware of me. I am changeless and unborn. 7.26 I know all the created beings. I know those in the past, those in the present, and those in the future. But, Arjuna, nobody knows me. 7.27 Bharata, from the moment they're born, all creatures are bewildered. They're confused by the dualities that are spawned by longing and hatred, Parantapa. 7.28 But people of virtuous karma, whose sins have come to an end, are free from duality's delusions. They are firm in their vows. They worship me. 7.29 Those who try hard to be liberated from old age and death by taking shelter of me -they know Brahman in its fullness, in its relation to atman and to every aspect of karma.

7.30 They know me in my relation to the created beings, to the gods, and to yajna. And right at the time of death, with yoked consciousness, they know me. 8.1 Arjuna: What is karma, Purushottam? Tell me what Brahman is said to be. Tell me how it relates to atman, to the created beings, and to the gods. 8.2 Who is it here in this body, Madhusudan, who is related to yajna? And how can the self-controlled know you at the time of passing away? 8.3 Shri Bhagavan: Brahman is the supreme, the imperishable. Its character is said to be related to atman. Karma is known as the generating force that produces the creatures' various states of being. 8.4 Things relating to the creatures have a perishable nature. Things relating to the gods have the nature of the purusha. The one related to yajna, who's in the body -- O Best of the Embodied -is none other than me. 8.5 And at the final hour, whoever gives up the body while remembering just me, passes into and achieves my state of being. There's no doubt about it.

8.6 When you give up your body at the end, whatever state of being you might be remembering -this one or that one -you will then become this one or that one. Every time without fail, that's what you'll get, Kaunteya. 8.7 Therefore, at all times remember me. And fight. Fix your mind and buddhi on me. And, without doubting, you'll come to me. 8.8 Practice and meditate, Partha. Yoke your consciousness in yoga without deviation. That's how you go to the Supreme Divine Purusha. 8.9 Keep on remembering the Sage, the Ancient One, the Great Controller who is smaller than the smallest, the Maintainer of Everything whose form is beyond the darkness, bright as the sun, and inconceivable. 8.10 At the time of their passing away, those who are yoked by devotion and the power of yoga keep the mind from wavering. They direct the prana precisely between the eyebrows. And they approach the Supreme Divine Purusha.

8.11 Imperishability -- the Vedic scholars talk about it. The passionless adepts enter into it. The rigorous brahmacharies desire it. I'll briefly describe that condition to you. 8.12 All the doors of the body are closed. The mind is held in the heart. The atman's prana is kept in the head. One is situated in yogic contemplation. 8.13 OM is the one imperishable Brahman. Remember me while sounding it as you pass away and discard the body. You will go to the supreme destination. 8.14 Partha, I'm easily won by the yogi who's constantly yoked, who remembers me constantly with undeviating consciousness. 8.15 Having reached me, the mahatmas never again take birth in this place of suffering where nothing lasts. They attain the perfect, supreme goal. 8.16 Arjuna, relentless returning takes place in these worlds, up to Brahma's planet. But, Kaunteya, whoever comes to me never returns to take birth again.

8.17 When people understand that a thousand yugas makes up a day of Brahma, and that his night ends in another thousand yugas -then they understand day and night. 8.18 When the day dawns, all the manifest come into being from the unmanifest. When night falls, they're dissolved into that known as the unmanifest. 8.19 Indeed, this host of creatures is created, and created again. When night falls, they're destroyed. When the day dawns, Partha, they take birth. 8.20 Yet there is another state of being superior to that unmanifest -an eternal unmanifest. When all the creatures are annihilated, that is not annihilated. 8.21 That unmanifest is called the Imperishable. It is known to be the supreme destination. Once you achieve it you never come back. It is my supreme home. 8.22 But that Supreme Purusha -within whom all creatures are standing -by whom all this is permeated -is won by undeviating devotion, Partha.

8.23 Best of the Bharatas, I'll describe precisely the times when departing yogis pass on -either to return or never return, according to the time they leave. 8.24 People who know Brahman achieve Brahman when they pass away in fire, light, daytime, the brighter moon, and the six months of the sun's northern journey. 8.25 Yogis return here -after reaching the light of the moon -when they pass away in smoke, nighttime, the darker moon, and the six months of the sun's southern journey. 8.26 Yes, the white road and the black -they're considered fundamentals of the world. With one, you go and don't return. With the other, you come back again. 8.27 None of the yogis who know these paths is confused -- not any of them, Partha. Therefore, at all times become yoked in yoga, Arjuna. 8.28 Studying the Vedas, conducting offerings, performing austerities, getting auspicious fruits from the pursuit of charitable works -they are surpassed, all of them, by the yogi of knowledge who approaches the supreme and primal place.

9.1 Because you aren't envious, I'm going to tell you about the deepest secret. Learning this with knowledge and realization, you'll be liberated from misfortune. 9.2 The king of knowledge -the king of secrets -this is the purest and the highest dharma, understood through experience, joyfully performed, and never changing. 9.3 People without faith in this dharma do not reach me, Parantapa. They return to the road of death and samsara. 9.4 All this world is permeated by me, in my form as the Unmanifest. All creatures stand in me. I do not stand in them. 9.5 And, the creatures don't stand in me. See how my yoga rules! My atman creates the creatures, sustains the creatures, but doesn't stand in the creatures. 9.6 Understand -- just as the wind blows everywhere while always situated within space, so all the creatures are situated within me.

9.7 Kaunteya, at the end of a kalpa all the creatures flow into my prakriti. Then, at the beginning of a kalpa, I manifest them again. 9.8 Again and again I push into my own prakriti and manifest them. Under prakriti's power, this whole multitude of creatures is powerless. 9.9 Dhananjaya, none of those actitivities bind me. I sit among them, detached -as if I'm indifferent to them. 9.10 I supervise prakriti's bringing forth the moving and the non-moving, Kaunteya. That's what makes the world go around. 9.11 Fools deride me when I assume a human form. They don't know about my supreme being -I am the great controller of all creation. 9.12 They've given themselves over to the charms of the prakriti of rakshashas and asuras. Their hopes are in vain, their deeds are in vain, their knowledge is in vain -wasted and useless.

9.13 But Partha, the mahatmas give themselves over to the divine prakriti. With undeviating minds they serve me and love me in the knowledge that I am the changeless origin of the created beings. 9.14 They're always praising me. They work hard, firm in their vows. They bow down to me in loving devotion. They're permanently yoked to me in worship. 9.15 Other people, by offering their knowledge, offer their worship to me as the unity in multiplicity, or as the many aspects of the face of the universe. 9.16 I am the ritual. I am the offering. The libation for the dead is me, and I am the healing herb. The mantra is me. I am even the butter and the fire, and I am the oblation. 9.17 I am the father of this world, and its mother, its supporter, and its grandfather. I am all there is to be known, the purifier, the Om, and even the Rik, Sama, and Yajur Vedas.

9.18 I am the goal, the sustainer, the prabhu, the witness, home, refuge, and dear friend. I am the creation, destruction, and solid ground, the storehouse, the changeless seed. 9.19 Arjuna, all heat is radiated from me. I'm the one who holds back and sends forth the rain. Indeed, immortality and death, existence and nonexistence -- I am them, too. 9.20 The followers of the three Vedas -the soma drinkers who are cleansed of sin -they offer worship to me while yearning for a destination in paradise. Their virtue wins them a taste of Indra's godly world. In that place of divinity they enjoy the divine pleasures of the devas. 9.21 Having enjoyed immensely in that heavenly world, they use up the winnings of their virtue and enter the mortal world. In this way the followers of the threefold dharma, desiring desires, achieve something that only comes and goes. 9.22 Those people who worship me, who meditate only on me, constantly yoked to me -I bring them whatever they need, and preserve whatever they have.

9.23 Kaunteya, those too who are devotees of other devas, who make their offerings faithfully, they too are making their offerings to me -in ignorance of the correct rituals. 9.24a Yes, I am the enjoyer and the only lord of all offerings. 9.24b But they have no knowledge about my reality. So they fall down. 9.25 deva-worshippers go to the devas ancestor-worshippers go to the ancestors those who propitiate the ghosts go to the ghosts -- and my devotees go to me 9.26 a leaf, a flower, some fruit, some water whatever it is that is offered to me through the bhakti of a steadfast atman -- that offering made with bhakti I accept 9.27 what you do, what you eat what you give in sacrifice or charity what penances you perform -- do as an offering to me, Kaunteya

9.28 freed from fruits both good and bad liberated from the bondage of karma your atman yoked to the yoga of sannyas -- liberated, you come to me 9.29 I am equal to all creatures no one is despicable or dear to me but those who serve me with bhakti -- they're in me and I'm in them 9.30 by serving me without deviation even the worst criminal must indeed be considered a sadhu -- yes, properly situated 9.31 that atman quickly becomes righteous and attains eternal peace know it and teach it, Kaunteya -- my bhakta is never lost to me 9.32 anyone who earnestly seeks shelter in me even those born among the unclean or women, or vaishyas, or shudras -- even they go to the supreme destination 9.33 then all the more so for the brahmans for the virtuous, the bhaktas, the rajarishis who serve and give their love to me -- in this transient, sorrowful world

9.34 think of me and become my bhakta offer to me, bow down to me with atman yoked, strive for me -- and indeed, you will come to me 10.1 Mahabaho, listen once again to my supreme word. I'm speaking it to you in my desire to benefit you, and to give you joyfulness. 10.2 Neither the multitudes of gods nor the maharishis know where I come from. Yes -- I am the origin of the devas and the maharishis! 10.3 I am the unborn and beginningless Great Ishvara. Whoever among the mortals knows this is without confusion and is set free from all sin. 10.4 Buddhi, knowledge, freedom from delusion, forgiveness, honesty, and restraint, equanimity, happiness, distress, being, nonbeing, fear and fearlessness, 10.5 nondisturbance, contentment, penance, charity, also fame and infamy -the characters of creatures are created by me, in all their wide variety.

10.6 The seven maharishis of ancient times, and the four, and the Manus, are born from my mind. Now the worlds are filled with their progeny. 10.7 Whoever knows about the reality of my glory and my yoga, is yoked, unbroken, to yoga. Of that there is no doubt. 10.8 I am the source of everything. Everything proceeds from me. Knowing this, those who are realized are filled with deep affection, and they serve me with love. 10.9 Conscious of me, their lives dedicated to me, they enlighten each other and constantly talk about me, feeling satisfaction and bliss. 10.10 I give to those who are always yoked to me in service, and worship, and love, the buddhi-yoga by which they can come to me. 10.11 Out of compassion for them, standing in the being of the atman with the shining lamp of knowledge, I dispel the darkness born of ignorance. 10.12 Arjuna: Supreme Brahman, Supreme Abode, Supreme Purifier! You are the Eternal Divine Purusha, the Primal Deva, the Unborn, the Omnipresent Glory!

10.13 All the rishis -- Narada the Deva-Rishi, Asita, Devala, Vyas -- have said this about you, and now you yourself are declaring it to me. 10.14 Keshava, I accept these truths you've told me. Yes, Bhagavan, neither the devas nor the demons understand your manifestation. 10.15 Indeed, Purushottama, you yourself know yourself -- Creator and Lord of the Creatures, Deva of the Devas, Master of the Universe! 10.16 Leaving out nothing, tell me, please, about the divine glory of your Self, how you stand here and spread your glory through the worlds! 10.17 Yogi, how can I understand you while I meditate on you? Bhagavan, what forms and what varieties of your being should I meditate on? 10.18 Janardana, recount to me again in detail about the yoga and the glory of your Self. Yes, no matter how many times I hear your deathless words, I'm never satisfied. 10.19 Shri Bhagavan: Listen to me as I recount to you about the divine glories of my Self -the basics, since there's no end to my extent. 10.20 Gudakesha, I am the Atman standing within all creatures -in fact I am the creatures' beginning, middle, and end

10.21 of the Adityas I am Vishnu -of lights, the shining Sun -Marichi of the Maruts is me -in the Nakshatras I'm the Moon 10.22 of the Vedas, the Sama Veda is me -of the Devas, I am Vasava -of the senses, the mind is me -in the creatures I am consciousness 10.23 of the Rudras, Shankara is me -Vittesha, of the Yakshas and Rakshasas -of the Vasus, Pavaka is me -I am Meru among the mountains 10.24 Partha, know me as Brihaspati who is the head of the priests -of commanders I am Skanda -of water-bodies I am the ocean 10.25 of the maharishis, Bhrigu is the one I am -of spoken sounds I am the one imperishable OM -of offerings, the offering of japa is me -of the immovable things, the Himalayas 10.26 the banyan, among all trees -of the deva-rishis, Narada -of the Gandharvas, Chitraratha -of the perfect beings, Kapila

10.27 Know me among the horses as Ucchaihshrava, born from nectar -Airavata among the elephants -and among humans the king 10.28 of weapons I am the lightning bolt -of cows I am the Kamadhuk -of progenitors I am Kandarpa -of snakes I am Vasuki 10.29 Ananta is me, among the Nagas -I am Varuna among the water-dwellers -of the ancestors, Aryama is me -Yama, among the subduers 10.30 Prahlad is me, among the Daityas -I am time among those who measure -of beasts I am the king of beasts -and Garuda of the birds 10.31 the wind, of purifiers, is me -I am Rama of the weapon-wielders -of water monsters the Makara is me -of rivers I am the Jahnava 10.32 Arjuna, of creations I am the beginning, end, and middle -of sciences, the science of the self -I am the propositions of proponents

10.33 Of the alphabet's letters I am A -and the dvandva among the compounds -Indeed, I am imperishable time -I am the ordainer who face turns everywhere 10.34 and I am death, consuming everything -and the origin of things yet to be -of feminine nouns I am fame, fortune, speech -memory, intelligence, resolve, and patience 10.35 the Brihat Sama of the Sama Veda -I am the Gayatri among poems -of months, November-December is me -of the seasons, I am Spring 10.36 the dice-playing of tricksters is me -I am the splendor of the splendid -victory is me, resoluteness is me -I am the strength of the strong 10.37 of the Vrishnis, Vasudeva is me -of the Pandavas, Dhananjaya -of the munis I am Vyas -of poets, the poet Ushana 10.38 of things that punish, the stick is me -the diplomacy of the ambitious is me -of secret things, silence is me -I am the knowledge of the knowledgeable

10.39 and whatever may be among all creatures I am the seed of that, Arjuna -nothing moving or unmoving can exist without being created by me 10.40 Parantapa, there's no end to my divine glory. What I've described to you are just examples of my glory in its vastness. 10.41 Whatever is glorious and strong, whatever is beautiful, or invulnerable -that is born from a fragment of my splendor. Of that you can be sure. 10.42 Arjuna, what's the use of knowing so many of these things? With one fragment I support -in its entirety -this world in which I stand. 11.1 Arjuna: The words you've spoken have dispelled my confusion. You've showed me your favor. You've revealed the supreme secret about Atman. 11.2 Yes, Kamala Patraksha, I've heard from you in detail about the coming to be and the passing away of the creatures, and about the Great Unchanging Atman too. 11.3 Parameshvara, what you've described is you -- as you are. I want to see you, Purushottama -- in that form as the Ishvara!

11.4 If you consider me capable of seeing it, Prabhu, then, Yogeshvara, display the Unchanging Atman to me! 11.5 Shri Bhagavan Partha, look upon my hundreds and thousands of forms, in their many divine varieties, and many colors and shapes. 11.6 Bharata, look! The Adityas, the Vasus, the Rudras, the Ashvins, and the Maruts! So many wonders, never seen before! Look at them! 11.7 Gudakesha, in this one body of mine, now look at the whole universe, what is moving and what is not -and anything else you want to see! 11.8 But you'll never be able to see me with your own eyes. I'll give you divine eyes to look upon my Ishvara Yoga. 11.9 Sanjaya: My King, having spoken thus, Hari the Great Yogeshvara displays to Partha his supreme form as the Ishvara. 11.10 So many mouths, so many eyes! What a marvelous sight! There are many divine ornaments, and many divine weapons raised up high!

11.11 Wearing divine garlands and robes, anointed with divine perfume -- everything is so wonderful! This Deva is limitless -- his face is everywhere in the cosmos! 11.12 If a thousand suns were to rise all at once in the heavens, perhaps their light might compare to this effulgence of this Great Atman. 11.13 Now Pandava sees the entire universe, with its many kinds and categories of things, unified there in the body of the Deva of Devas! 11.14 Dhananjaya's hair is standing on end. He's filled with amazement. He bows his head to the Deva. With palms pressed together, he speaks. 11.15 Arjuna: Deva, I see the devas and all the multitudes of various creatures in your body! Lord Brahma, sitting on his lotus throne! And rishis, and divine serpents! 11.16 So many arms, bellies, mouths, and eyes! I see your boundless form everywhere. Lord of the Universe, Form of the Universe, I see no end to you, no middle, no beginning. 11.17 Helmets, clubs, and discs are blazing everywhere in a mass of radiant energy! I see -but it's hard to see you. You're surrounded by shining fire, and by suns and light beyond estimation! 11.18 You are the Imperishable -- the supreme object of knowledge. You are the supreme foundation of this universe. You are the Unchanging -- the guardian of the primeval dharma. You are the eternal Purusha. I'm sure of it.

11.19 No beginning, no middle, no end! Unlimited power! Unlimited arms! The moon and the sun are your eyes! I see your mouth, a blazing fire -- your power, burning up the universe! 11.20 Yes, you are the one who permeates heaven and earth and all the space between in all directions. Mahatma, the three worlds are trembling as they look upon this astonishing, terrifying form of yours! 11.21 Yes, all the assemblies of the gods are entering into you. Some of them are fearful -with prayerful hands, they're offering invocations. The peaceful assemblies of maharishis and perfected beings are declaiming and singing prayers and hymns to you. 11.22 All of them -- the Rudras, the Adityas, the Vasus and the Sadhyas -- the Vishvas, the Ashvins, the Maruts and the ancestors -- the assemblies of Gandharvas, Yakshas, the ungodly and the perfect -- they all gaze at you in amazement. 11.23 Your mighty form! So many faces and eyes! So many, many arms, thighs, feet, Mahabaho! Many stomachs! Many horrifying teeth! The worlds are shaking as they see you, and so am I! 11.24 Multi-colored, flaming, touching the sky -- mouths opened wide, huge flaming eyes! Yes, even my inner self is shaken by seeing you. I've lost my bearing and my perspective, Vishnu! 11.25 And your faces' jagged teeth look to me like the blazing flames of time! I don't know where to go, or where to find protection. Have mercy -- Lord of the Devas, Shelter of the Universe.

11.26 All of them -- Dhritarashtra's sons and all the kings gathered with them -- Bhishma, Drona, and Karna too -- and the warrior chieftains on our side -11.27 they're entering into those fearsome mouths -- those terrifying, hideous teeth! I see some of them caught between your teeth, their heads ground to pieces! 11.28 As the tossing waves of many rivers flow into the ocean, so all those powerful people enter into your blazing mouths. 11.29 As moths enter into a blazing flame, full speed to their destruction, so the worlds are entering with full speed into your mouths to their destruction. 11.30 Vishnu! You lick up, you swallow, every world everywhere with your burning mouths! The shining, scorching force of your horrible rays fills the entire universe! 11.31 Tell me who you are in this fierce form. I bow down to you, Best of the Devas. Have mercy! I want to know your original being. I don't understand what your purpose is. 11.32 Shri Bhagavan: I am time -the cause of the world's destruction! My purpose is to obliterate the world! That is my purpose here. Even without you, all these soldiers standing against each other will cease to exist.

11.33 So, get up! Win your fame! Conquer your enemies! Enjoy your prosperous kingdom! It's definite -all of them have long since been killed -- by me! You merely have to be an instrument, Savyasachin. 11.34 Drona and Bhishma and Jayadratha and Karna and the other powerful warriors -I have killed them. You slay them! Don't waver. Fight this battle! Conquer the enemy! 11.35 Sanjaya: Having heard Keshava's words, Kiriti trembles, and presses his hands together in reverence. He bows down, fearfully paying his obeisances, and, falteringly, again speaks to Krishna. 11.36 Arjuna: Hrishikesha, it is right that the universe feels joy and rapture while praising you, and that the terrified rakshas run away in every direction, and that all the assembled perfected beings are bowing in respect. 11.37 And why shouldn't they pay their respects to you, Great Atman? You are the First Cause, even more than Brahma or Brahman. Unlimited Lord of the Devas, Shelter of the Universe, you are imperishable existence and nonexistence, and even superior to that. 11.38 You are the Primal Deva, the Ancient Purusha. You are the supreme refuge of the cosmos, the one who knows and the object of knowledge, the supreme abode. Your unlimited form fills the cosmos!

11.39 You are Vayu, Yama, Agni, Varuna, and the moon. You are Prajapati and the primal ancestor. Glory to you! Glory to you a thousand times! Again and again, glory, glory to you! 11.40 Glory to you from the front, and from behind! Glory to you from everywhere. You are everything! With unlimited power and endless force you bring everything to its completion, so you are everything! 11.41 I've been rash, thinking of you as just a friend -- calling to you with "Hey, Krishna," "Hey, Yadava," "Hey, my friend." In my derangement -- or because of my love -- I didn't know about this majesty of yours. 11.42 And Achyuta, if I joked with you, showing you disrespect as we relaxed or played or rested or ate together, by ourselves or with others, please forgive my offenses, unfathomable one. 11.43 You are the father of the world -- the worshipable and venerable guru of everything that moves and doesn't move. No one is equal to you. How could anyone be greater? In the three worlds, your potency is incomparable. 11.44 So I bow down to you and prostrate my body before you. I beg your mercy, Lord I love! Deva! Tolerate me -- as a father to a son, or a friend to a friend, or a lover to a beloved. 11.45 I've seen something never seen before, and I'm thrilled! But my mind is disturbed by fear. Deva, please show me your form. Be merciful, Lord of the Devas, Shelter of the Universe. 11.46 I want to see you with your helmet, with your club and disc in your hands -- like that. O Cosmic Murti with a thousand arms, please become that four-handed form. 11.47

Shri Bhagavan: By my mercy, Arjuna, through my yoga, I have shown you this supreme form of mine -effulgent, universal, unlimited, primal. No one but you has ever seen it before. 11.48 Indeed, no one but you within this world can see me in this form -not by the Vedas, not by offerings or scholarship, not by charity, not by pious rituals, and not by severe penances. 11.49 You don't have to tremble. And your being doesn't have to be confused by seeing this terrifying form of mine. Banish your fear. Let your mind be happy. Once again look at that form of mine that you want. 11.50 Sanjaya: Having said that to Arjuna, Vasudeva again reveals his own form. The Great Atman comforts him in his fear by again generating a body of pleasing appearance. 11.51 Arjuna: Janardan, now that I see this -- your pleasant human form -- my consciousness is steady. My prakriti is back.


Shri Bhagavan: That form of mine that you have seen is very difficult to see. The devas are constantly trying to see that form. 11.53 Not by the Vedas, not by penances, not by charity, and not by rituals can one see me in the form in which you saw me. 11.54 But Arjuna, I can be known, seen, and entered into -as I am in reality, Parantapa -by undiluted bhakti. 11.55 Do your karma for me. Make me the supreme. Give me your bhakti. Free yourself from material association. Have no enemies among all creatures. A person like that comes to me, Pandava. 12.1 Arjuna: The bhaktas who are always yoked to you in worship -- do they know yoga better than those of the imperishable unmanifest?


Shri Bhagavan: I consider those who are constantly yoked by fixing their minds on me, worshiping me, and serving me with true faith, to be the most yoked. 12.3 But those who worship the imperishable, the ineffable, the unmanifest, the omnipresent, the inconceivable, the beyond, the unmoving, the firm, 12.4 while restraining the vast array of the senses, while staying in buddhi everywhere, while taking pleasure in the welfare of all creatures -they definitely reach me. 12.5 It is very troublesome when the consciousness clings to the unmanifest. Yes, the unmanifest is a goal difficult to attain for the embodied ones. 12.6 But those who are intent on me and give up all karma to me, who meditate on me and worship me in undeviating yoga, 12.7 whose consciousness is fixed on me -Partha, I quickly appear to them, and deliver them from the ocean of death and rebirth. 12.8

Place your mind on me. Let your buddhi enter into me. From then on you will live in me, without a doubt. 12.9 If you can't concentrate your consciousness steadily on me, then try to reach me by practicing yoga, Dhananjaya. 12.10 If you're not capable of that practice, then become active and work for me. Do it for my sake. You can gain success by performing activities. 12.11 If you can't do those activities either, then take shelter of my yoga, giving up the results of all karma, working as one who is atman. 12.12 Yes, better than practice is knowledge. Better than knowledge is meditation. Better than meditation is renunciation of the fruits of karma. From that renunciation comes unlimited peace. 12.13 Not envious of any creature, but friendly and merciful to all-free from egotism and the sense of me-and-mine -forgiving, and the same whether in happiness or distress --


content, satisfied in yoga, self-controlled and firm in purpose, fixing mind and buddhi on me -these are my bhaktas, and they are dear to me. 12.15 Those who are never a source of disturbance in the world -and never disturbed by the world -who are liberated from jubilation, fearfulness, impatience, and excitement -they are dear to me. 12.16 They have no expectations. They're clean, and skillful. They have no cares, and they're renounced in all their activities. They are my bhaktas. They're dear to me. 12.17 Neither despising nor coveting, neither hankering or lamenting, they let go of both the good and the bad. Those bhaktas are dear to me. 12.18 They're detached -the same to friends and enemies, the same in honor and dishonor, cold and heat, happiness and distress,


and whether praised or blamed. They are silent. Satisifed with whatever comes their way, they don't need a roof over their heads. They're of steady mind. The people who are bhaktas are dear to me. 12.20 But even more dear to me are the bhaktas who revere the eternal dharma I am speaking, and who make me the supreme object of their faith. 13.1 Arjuna: Keshava, I want to know about prakriti and purusha, the field and the knower of the field, knowledge and the object of knowledge. 13.2 Shri Bhagavan: Kaunteya, this body is called the field. One who knows about this is the knower of the field. So it is declared by those who know these things. 13.3a Understand -- I am also the knower of the field. I am within all fields, Bharata. 13.3b In my opinion, knowledge means to know the field and the knower of the field. 13.4 Listen -- I'll give a summary of what the field is like -its character, its changes and which change comes from which, and the powers of the knower. 13.5

The rishis have sung about it in many ways with conclusive reasoning about causes and effects -this way and that in a variety of hymns, and of course in the verses of the Brahma Sutra. 13.6 The gross elements, the ego, the buddhi, the unmanifest, the eleven senses, the five sense objects, 13.7 longing, hatred, happiness, suffering, the whole bodily system, consciousness, conviction -this summarizes the field and its changes. 13.8 Don't be conceited or clever or cruel. Be tolerant and truthful. Honor your teacher. Be clean, steady, and self- restrained. 13.9 Give up the objects of the senses and have no material ego. See the flaws -- birth, death, old age, disease, and pain. 13.10 Be detached -don't associate with sons, with wives, and with other affairs of the household. Constantly keep your consciousness unchanged by either the pleasant or the unpleasant.


Give me unalloyed bhakti with undeviating yoga. Without any urge for people's company, retreat to solitary places. 13.12 Constantly gain knowledge of everything about atman. See the object of the knowledge of reality. I declare that is knowledge. Anything else is ignorance. 13.13 I'll tell you what is to be known knowing it, you'll attain immortality it's the beginingless Supreme Brahman -- they say it neither is nor is not 13.14 everywhere its hands and feet everywhere its eyes, heads, faces everywhere it hears, and abides -- embracing all the world 13.15 shining in the gunas of the senses and without any senses at all detached, and supporting everything -- without gunas and enjoying gunas 13.16 inside and outside all creatures those that move and those that don't it's too subtle to be understood -- close, and placed so far away 13.17

undivided, standing in all creatures also divided, or so it seems understood as the creatures' maintainer -- and devourer, and creator 13.18 it's also the light in all lights it's beyond the darkness, they say it's knowing, the known, and known by knowing -- it stands in the hearts of us all 13.19 I've given you a summary of the field, and of knowledge and the known. My bhaktas enter into my mode of being when they realize this. 13.20 Understand that prakriti and purusha are both beginningless. Understand that changes and the gunas are born from prakriti. 13.21 Cause, effect, and agency are caused by prakriti. Thus it is said. Purusha is the cause of the experiences of joy and misery. Thus it is said. 13.22 Yes, purusha stands in prakriti, enjoying the gunas born of prakriti. Choosing to associate with the gunas, it is born from good and bad wombs.

13.23 The Supreme Atman is also in the body, the Supreme Purusha, Observer, Permitter, Sustainer, Enjoyer, the Great Ishvara. 13.24 Those who know what the purusha is, and prakriti, and the gunas -no matter what their position, they never take birth any more. 13.25 One atman sees Atman by atman meditation, another by sankhya-yoga, and others by karma-yoga. 13.26 But others without this knowledge hear from others, and worship. Just by their decision to hear, even they overcome death. 13.27 Best of the Bharatas, understand this -whatever happens, everything that exists, that which moves, that which doesn't, is the joining of the field and its knower. 13.28 The Supreme Ishvara resides equally in all creatures, the permanent in the fragile. The one who sees this, sees.


Yes, when you see the Ishvara equally the same everywhere, atman doesn't hurt atman. You go to the supreme goal. 13.30 In every way, all actions are performed by Prakriti. Atman does nothing at all. Whoever sees this, sees. 13.31 When the follower sees oneness in creatures' separate beings and then expanding outward, at that time Brahman is attained. 13.32 This changeless Supreme Ishvara, beginningless and beyond the gunas, though residing in the body, Kaunteya, neither acts nor gets polluted. 13.33 Just as the akasha is everyplace but so subtle it's never polluted, so the Atman, though inside bodies, is everywhere and not polluted. 13.34 Just as one sun lights this entire world, so the field's owner lights the entire field, Bharata.


The eye of knowledge can distinguish between the field and the knower of the field, and can perceive what is liberation from creation's prakriti. The ones who know this -they go to the Supreme. 14.1 Again I'll proclaim it -the supreme knowledge, the highest knowledge. When they know it, all the munis leaving this place attain the supreme perfection. 14.2 They take shelter of this knowledge and attain my dharma's state of existence. At the creation, they're not reborn. At the destruction, they're not disturbed. 14.3 The great Brahman is my womb, and I fertilize its egg. Then comes the birth of all the creatures, Bharata. 14.4 Kaunteya, great Brahman is the womb and I am the seed-giving father of all the forms of all the wombs that take birth. 14.5 Goodness, passion, and darkness are the gunas born of Prakriti. They bind the changeless embodied one to the body, Maha-Baho. 14.6

Of these, goodness is the purest -it illuminates and never decays. It binds you to attachment to knowledge and attachment to happiness, Anagha. 14.7 Understand -- passion is instinctual desire. It's born out of attachment and craving. It binds the embodied one to be attached to karma, Kaunteya. 14.8 Understand -- darkness is born from ignorance. It deludes all those who are embodied. It binds you to irresponsibility, laziness, and sleep, Bharata. 14.9 Goodness makes you addicted to happiness -passion, to karma, Bharata. But darkness stifles knowledge and addicts you to irresponsibility. So it is said. 14.10 Bharata, goodness flourishes when it dominates passion and darkness -or passion when it's over goodness and darkness, or darkness when it's over goodness and passion. 14.11 When knowledge brings illumination to all the body's senses, understand that goodness has increased. So it is said. 14.12

Best of the Bharatas, an increase in passion gives rise to greed, hyperactivity, involvement in karma, agitation, and ambition. 14.13 Son of Kuru, an increase in darkness gives rise to a lack of illumination, to inactivity, irresponsiblity, and delusion. 14.14 When goodness is on the increase as the demise of the body takes place, the embodied then attains the worlds of those who know the highest. 14.15a Going to that demise while in passion, one takes birth among the associates of karma. 14.15b With a demise in darkness, one takes birth in the wombs of foolish beings. 14.16 Purity is the fruit of actions nicely performed in goodness -but pain is the fruit of passion, and ignorance is the fruit of darkness. 14.17 Knowledge arises from goodness, greed from passion. Irresponsibility, delusion, and ignorance are born from darkness. 14.18

Those who dwell in goodness travel upward. Dwellers in passion are in the middle. Those stuck in the disgusting guna of darkness travel downward. 14.19 There's no agent of activity other than the gunas. When you can look and see that, and know what is superior to the gunas, then you can attain my state of being. 14.20 These three gunas give birth to the body. The embodied transcends them, wins immortality, and is freed from the sufferings of birth, death, and old age. 14.21 Arjuna: Lord, what signs characterize those who transcend the three modes? How do they behave? How do they pass beyond the three gunas? 14.22 Shri Bhagavan: They don't hate illumination or activity or delusion when they arise, Pandava. And they don't long for them when they're gone. 14.23 They sit unconcerned and undisturbed by the gunas. They never waver. "The gunas are in motion" -that's how they see it. 14.24

For the self-assured, pain and pleasure are the same -clay, stone, and gold are the same. They are steady, equally disposed to friend and foe and to blame or praise of themselves, 14.25 equal in honor or dishonor, equal to allies and enemies. They abandon all business activities. They transcend the gunas. So it is said. 14.26 One who serves me in undeviating bhakti-yoga passes beyond the gunas and is considered to have become Brahman. 14.27 I am the foundation of Brahman the immmortal, Brahman the changeless, the primordial dharma of absolute, ultimate joy. 15.1 They say the roots of the changeless Ashvatta tree are above, and its branches are below. Its leaves are the Vedic hymns. Whoever know this knows the Vedas.


The branches stretch below and above, nourished by the gunas. The twigs are the sense objects. The roots reach out below too, bound tight to the karma of the world of human beings. 15.3a Its form cannot be perceived here -not the end, not the beginning, not the foundation. The roots of this Ashvattha tree are strong and deep. 15.3b Chop it up -with the sturdy weapon of detachment. 15.4 Afterwards, you must search for the place you never return from once you've gone there, saying, "Yes, I surrender to the original Purusha, from whom creativity has surged forth since the most ancient times." 15.5 Those who aren't foolish reach that changeless place. They have no pride, no delusion. They've defeated the fault of attachment. They constantly relate to atman. They've extinguished lust and are liberated from the dualities known as pleasure and pain.


No sun, no moon, no fire illuminates that place. When you go there, you never come back here. That is my supreme abode. 15.7 The eternal living creatures in the worlds of life are particles of me. They're grabbing onto the prakriti-based senses -the six senses, including the mind. 15.8 Like aromas taken from their home by the wind, these six are taken by the body's ishvara as it leaves one body and goes to another 15.9 to take up hearing, seeing, touching, tasting, smelling, and thinking, savoring the objects of the senses. 15.10 What is it that's leaving, or staying, or enjoying contact with the gunas? The fools can't see it. The eyes of knowledge can see it. 15.11 The hard-working yogis steady in atman can see it. But without developing atman, the unconscious can't see it, no matter how hard they try.


that splendor centered in the sun -lighting up the entire world -that in the moon, and in fire -understand that splendor is mine 15.13 and I penetrate the earth and its creatures -sustaining them with my strength -and I nourish all the vital plants -becoming the moon, supplying them juice 15.14 I become the universal fire -located in breathing bodies -yoking the in and out breaths -to digest the four kinds of food 15.15 and I reside in everyone's heart -memory, knowledge, and their loss come from me -and in the Vedas, the subject is me -I created Vedanta -- I know what the Veda is 15.16 There are two purushas here. They are the perishable and the imperishable. The perishable ones are all the creatures. The imperishable ones are liberated into the essence. So it is said. 15.17 But there is another, The Highest Purusha, whose name is The Paramatma. That changeless Ishvara enters into and sustains the three worlds. 15.18

Because I transcend the perishable and I'm even higher than the imperishable, therefore I am celebrated in the world and in the Vedas as The Highest Purusha. 15.19 Those who know that I am The Highest Purusha -they know everything. They're no fools. They worship me with all their being and all their love, Bharata. 15.20 So, Anagha, I have revealed it -this, the most secret of doctrines. Whoever realizes it becomes realized, Bharata, and has done what is to be done. 16.1 Fearlessness, purity of heart, determination in jnana-yoga, charity, control, sacrifice, study of scriptures, austerity, straightforwardness, 16.2 nondisturbance, truthfulness, absence of anger, renunciation, peacefulness, freedom from fault-finding, mercy for all creatures, lack of greed, gentleness, modesty, steadiness, 16.3 splendor, forgiveness, fortitude, cleanliness, no envy, no pride -these qualities come with a divine birth, Bharata. 16.4

Hypocrisy, arrogance, vanity, anger, harshness, ignorance -these are the qualities of an ungodly birth, Partha. 16.5 The divine qualities lead to liberation -the ungodly, they say, to bondage. Don't worry, Pandava. You were born with divine qualities. 16.6 Two kinds of creatures are created in this world -the divine and the ungodly. I've spoken at length about the divine. Listen to what I say about the ungodly. 16.7 Ungodly people don't know what to do, or what not to do. There's no cleanliness, no morality, no truth in them. 16.8 "The world has no truth," they say, "no foundation, and no Ishvara. It's born from material mutuality -caused by desire -- and nothing else." 16.9 These lost souls with meager realization clutch their views and contrive horrible, malignant deeds meant to destroy the world. 16.10 Insatiable desire is their shelter. They're frenzied by pride, conceit, and hypocrisy. In their delusion they cling to illusory things. They dedicate themselves to unclean acts. 16.11

Convinced that the enjoyment of desires is supreme, they're subjected to immeasureable anxiety that ends only with their death. 16.12 Bound up by hope's hundreds of chains, locked into desire and anger, they accumulate funds illegally because they want to savor their desires. 16.13 "This is my profit today. That I shall gain tomorrow. Here is my wealth -it will grow, more and more! 16.14 "I have killed that enemy. I'll kill others too! I am the Ishvara! I am the enjoyer. I'm perfect, powerful, and happy. 16.15 "Wealthy and well born -- that's me. Who else is there like me? I'll make offerings and donate to charities and enjoy life!" That's what the ignorant, the deluded say. 16.16 Perplexed by various ideas, caught in a net of delusions, obsessively enjoying their desires, they fall down into the filth of hell.


Self-aggrandizing, stubborn, maddened by pride and wealth -the offerings they make are offerings in name only, hypocritical and in violation of the rules. 16.18 Taking their shelter in egotism, power, pride, desire, and anger, they envy me and blaspheme me in themselves and in others. 16.19 They are hateful and cruel -the lowest of humanity. As they die and take birth again, I place them into ungodly wombs, one after another. 16.20 Caught in ungodly wombs birth after birth, these fools don't reach me, Kaunteya -they go to the lowest destination. 16.21 Hell's three gates are desire, anger, and greed. Reject those three -they are atman's destroyers. 16.22 Kaunteya, a person freed from the three gates of darkness works for the betterment of atman -and travels to the supreme goal.

16.23 But in shunning the scriptural law and living at the whims of desire, one doesn't achieve perfection -or joy, or the supreme goal. 16.24 So let scripture be your guide in determining right and wrong. Learn the scriptural injunctions -do your duty in this world. 17.1 Arjuna: Krishna, what is the position of those who forsake the scriptural laws but make offerings in full faith -- are they in goodness, passion, or darkness? 17.2 Shri Bhagavan: Whether in goodness, in passion, or in darkness, the three kinds of faith born in the embodied are born of their own state of being. Listen. 17.3 According to the form of their existence, Bharata, everyone creates a faith. Faith is inherent in purushas -as their faith is, so they must be. 17.4 People who offer to the devas are in goodness -to the elementals and the giants, in passion -to the dead and the ghosts, in darkness.


(People who perform horrible penances against the scriptural directions are yoked to hypocrisy and egotism and impelled by the forces of desire and attachment. 17.6 In their lack of consciousness, they torment the creatures within their bodies -and me too, within their bodies! Understand how ungodly their intentions are.) 17.7 Foods, offerings, penances, and charity are of three kinds too, so they can be pleasing to everyone. Listen to the differences between them. 17.8 Pleasing to those in goodness are juicy, oily, sweet, and hearty foods that promote long life, vitality, strength, health, happiness, and satisfaction. 17.9 Craved by those in passion are bitter, sour, salty, very hot, pungent, dry, and burning foods that cause pain, grief, and sickness. 17.10 Pleasing to those in darkness are foods left sitting -they enjoy tasteless, putrid, spoiled and unofferable foods, and others' leftovers.


Whoever makes an offering in accordance with the rules, thinking only of the duty of the act with no longing for its fruits -that person is in goodness. 17.12 Best of the Bharatas, understand -passionate offerings are made with their fruits in mind -pridefully, just for profit. 17.13 They say that offerings in darkness are made against the rules, with no distribution of food, no chanting of mantras, no payments to the priests, and without any faith. 17.14 Penances of the body are: showing reverence to God, guru, and brahmans, worshiping at the altar, cleanliness, simplicity, celibacy, and non-disturbance. So it is said. 17.15 Penances of speech are: using words that are inoffensive, truthful, pleasing, and helpful, and regularly reciting the scriptures. So it is said. 17.16 Penances of the mind are: mental serenity, kindness, silence, self control, and purifying one's being. So it is said.

17.17 When people yoked to God in superlative faith practice these three kinds of penances with no longing for the fruits, they are considered to be in goodness. 17.18 Penances are said to be in passion when they're wavering, unsteady, and performed hypocritically to gain respect, honor, and profit. 17.19 Foolishly conceived penances that torture one's self or cause the destruction of others are felt to be in darkness. 17.20 Remember this -- charity given as a duty, without wanting anything in return, and with proper regard for place, time, and recipient -that charity is in goodness. 17.21 Remember -- that charity given for the sake of some present gain or subsequent fruition, or given reluctantly, is in passion. 17.22 And charity given at the wrong place and time to the wrong recipient, with no respect or affection, is considered to be in darkness. 17.23

Remember that the term used to indicate Brahman has three parts: Om, Tat, Sat. Since ancient times the brahmins have used them to sanctify their offerings and their recitations of the Vedas. 17.24 Om is always pronounced by the Brahmavadis, in accordance with tradition, as they begin their performances of offerings, charity, and penances. 17.25 Tat is pronounced by those who want liberation as they perform the various acts of offerings, penances, and charity for the sake of "That," with no concern for the fruits. 17.26 Sat means "it is," and "it is good," too. Partha, the word Sat is pronounced to indicate praiseworthy deeds. 17.27 Sat is said to indicate steadiness in offerings, penances, and charity. Activities with that purposefulness are termed Sat. 17.28 Faithless offerings, penances, and charity -or any other actions -are called Asat, Partha. They are not Tat, in this life or the next. 18.1

Arjuna: Renunciation as sannyas, Mahabaho -- what is it, really? I want to know, Hrishikesh. How does it differ from renunciation as tyaga, Keshini-Shudana? 18.2 Shri Bhagavan: Scholars consider sannyas to be the giving up of karma that is impelled by desire. The renunciation of all the fruits of karma is what the analysts call tyaga. 18.3 Some philosophers proclaim that karma itself is bad and should be renounced. For others, the karma of offering, penance, and charity should not be renounced. 18.4 Best of the Bharatas, listen to my conclusions on the subject of renunciation. Tiger of the Purushas, it is widely declared that renunciation is of three kinds. 18.5 The karma of offerings, penances, and charity should not be renounced. They must be performed. The philosophers are made pure by offerings, penances, and charity.


But even in this karma, you must renounce attachment to it and to its fruits. Do it as a duty, Partha. That is my conclusion -my highest opinion. 18.7 It's not appropriate, though, to renounce prescribed karma. That renunciation is deluded and is declared to be in darkness. 18.8 When painful karma is given up out of fear that it may be troublesome to the body, that renunciation is done in passion. It gains none of the fruits of renunciation. 18.9 Doing what must be done -- prescribed karma -while renouncing attachment and the fruits -I consider that renunciation to be in goodness, Arjuna. 18.10 Doubts cut away, neither hating unproductive karma nor clinging to the productive, the intelligent renunciate is absorbed in goodness. 18.11 Yes, for someone still in the body it isn't possible to renounce all karma whatsoever. Those who renounce the fruits of karma -call them the renunciates.


Karma's fruits are of three kinds -the desireable heavenly kind, the undesireable hellish kind, and the mixed kind. They come at death to those who aren't renunciates, but never to those who are. 18.13 Mahabaho, learn from me about the five causes that, according to the Sankhya, bring success to all karma. 18.14 They are the locus, the agent, the many senses, the various aspects of the action itself -and the fifth is The Divine. 18.15 Whatever karma a person may initiate, whether in thought, word, or deed, and whether right or wrong, is caused by these five. 18.16 This being the case, to see atman as the only agent is not seeing anything -it is wrongheaded and lacking in buddhi. 18.17 Those in an egoless state, with unpolluted buddhi -even if they kill the whole world, they're not killing. They are not bound. 18.18

Knowledge, the object of knowledge, and the knower are the three kinds of motivations for karma. The senses, the action, and the agent are the three kinds of ingredients of karma. 18.19 Knowledge, karma, and the agent are of three kinds, distinguished by the gunas. Listen to how the gunas work. Sankhya proclaims this about them. 18.20 Understand -knowledge in goodness sees one changeless state of being in all creatures, undivided in the divided. 18.21 But knowledge in passion perceives various separate states of being distinctly different in all creatures. Understand this. 18.22 However, it's in darkness when without any reason it adheres to one thing as if that were all things, and rejects Reality as pointless and finite. So it is said. 18.23 Karma is said to be in goodness when it is prescribed, free of attachments, and is performed without any attraction or repulsion by one who doesn't long for its fruits. 18.24

But karma is said to be in passion when, with great effort, one egotistically pursues the satisfaction of desires. 18.25 And karma is said to be in darkness and delusion when it's initiated without concern for the future bondage it may bring because of the pain and distress it causes people. 18.26 A person liberated from attachment and egotism, who is both enthusiastic and steadfast, who's unchanged by either success or failure, is said to be an agent in goodness. 18.27 One who lustily pursues karma's fruits and is greedy, violent, unclean, and subjected to elation and sorrow, is declarad to be an agent in passion. 18.28 Disconnected, materialistic, obstinate, deceitful, insulting, lazy, depressed, procrastinating -that person is said to be an agent in darkness. 18.29 Listen, Dhananjaya, as I tell you about the varied details of the three different kinds of buddhi and steadiness, according to the gunas.


Activity and inactivity, what is to be done and what is not, fear and fearlessness, bondage and liberation -the buddhi that knows about these things is in goodness, Partha. 18.31 Dharma and adharma, what is to be done and what is not -the buddhi that understands these things incorrectly is in passion, Partha. 18.32 The buddhi that considers dharma and adharma and all things to be their opposite -is in darkness, covered by darkness, Partha. 18.33 Partha, steadiness in goodness is the steadiness that restricts mind, prana, senses, and actions by means of uninterrupted yoga. 18.34 But Partha, steadiness in passion is the steadiness that grabs onto the fruits of dharma, desire, and dollars. 18.35 And Partha, steadiness in darkness is the steadiness of a fool who doesn't let go of sleep, fear, grief, depression, and intoxication. 18.36a

Also, there are three kinds of happiness. Hear from me about them now, Best of the Bharatas. 18.36b Enjoyment resulting from effort, that brings an end to misery, 18.37 that starts off like poison and finishes up like nectar -that happiness is proclaimed to be in goodness. It is born from the mercy of realization of atman. 18.38 When the senses connect to the sense objects, it starts off like nectar and finishes up like poison. That happiness is considered to be in passion. 18.39 The happiness derived from sleep, laziness, and negligence is bound up in self-deception from start to finish. It's declared to be in darkness. 18.40 There's no one existing on earth or even among the devas in the divine regions who is or ever will be liberated from the three gunas born of prakriti. 18.41 The activities of brahmans, kshatriyas, vaishyas, and shudras spring from their own states of being and are categorized according to the gunas. 18.42

The brahmans' karma, born from their own state of being, is tranquil, controlled, austere, clean, tolerant, straightforward, learned, realized, and religious. 18.43 The kshatriyas' karma, born from their own state of being, is courageous, zesty, determined, skillful, and charitable. They refuse to retreat in battle and they are lordly in temperament. 18.44a The vaishyas' karma, born from their own state of being, is to plow, to herd cattle, and to do business. 18.44b The shudras' karma is also born from their own state of being, and service to others is its soul. 18.45 Follow your own karma! Follow your own karma! That's how a person achieves success. Listen to how you attain perfection by following your own karma. 18.46 By dedicating their own karma to the one who's the source of all creatures and who pervades everything here, human beings attain perfection.


Better to do your own dharma badly than do another's dharma well. Follow your karma, your own being. That behavior will never pollute you. 18.48 The karma of your birth, Kaunteya -despite its faults, don't give it up. Yes, every endeavour has its faults, just as fire is clouded with smoke. 18.49 In renunciation, going past karma, one finds the supreme perfection -with buddhi detached from everything, atman subdued, and desires disregarded. 18.50 Learn this from me as I summarize it, Kaunteya, how when perfection's found one then attains Brahman, which is the supreme level of knowledge. 18.51 Yoked by a purified buddhi, controlled by a steadfast atman, shunning sounds and sense objects, tossing out attraction and hatred, 18.52 living alone and eating little, regulating thoughts, words, and deeds, always practising dhyana-yoga, sheltered by dispassionate detachment,


peaceful and free from me-and-mine, from selfishness, power, pride, desire, anger, and possessiveness -that's the standard of becoming Brahman. 18.54 Becoming Brahman, the serene atman considers all creatures equally, does not grieve, does not crave, and gains supreme bhakti to me. 18.55 Of my greatness and my reality, through bhakti you become aware. Then once you know my reality, afterwards you enter there. 18.56 Trusting in my protection, you will attain, by my grace, in everything you always do, the eternal, changeless place. 18.57 Consciously giving up every act to me, making me your goal, taking shelter of buddhi-yoga, always be conscious of me in your soul. 18.58 When you're conscious of me, by my mercy you'll overcome every danger. But if you're selfish and don't listen, you'll be finished.


If, with egotism as your shelter, you think, "I won't fight," your determination will be misguided, because prakriti will force you to. 18.60 If in your delusion you decide not to do it, you will do it anyway in spite of that. Based on one's own state of being, Kaunteya, one is bound to one's own karma. 18.61 Housed in all creatures in the region of the heart, Ishvara uses Maya to spin all the creatures around -as if they're mounted on a machine, Arjuna. 18.62 You must take refuge in him, Bharata, with all your being and all your love. Through his mercy you will attain supreme peace, standing in eternity. 18.63 The most secret of all secrets -this is the knowledge I've taught you. Deliberate on it rigorously. Then do what you will. 18.64 Listen to me again. I'll tell you the most supreme secret of all. I love you dearly. So I'm telling you this for your benefit.

18.65 Think about me. Be a bhakta for me. Make offerings to me. Bow down to me. It's true, you will come to me. I promise, for you are dear to me. 18.66 Give up all dharmas. Make me your only sanctuary. I'll free you from all sins. Don't be afraid. 18.67 Don't ever tell this to anyone who isn't penitent or devoted, or who disobeys or envies me. 18.68 There's no doubt -whoever discusses this supreme secret with my bhaktas is performing supreme bhakti to me and certainly will come to me. 18.69 That person is the dearest of all people to me. There's no one more dear. There never will be. Nobody in the world is more dear to me! 18.70 And whoever studies our dialogue on dharma is worshiping me by an offering of knowledge. That's my opinion. 18.71

And a person who listens to it faithfully and without fault-finding surely attains liberation to the wonderful worlds of the virtuous. 18.72 Partha, have you heard this with single-minded attention? Have your ignorance and delusion been dispelled, Dhananjaya? 18.73 Arjuna: By your mercy, Achyuta, my delusion is dispelled. I have regained my memory. My doubts have disappeared. I stand here ready to do what you say. 18.74 Sanjaya: With my hair standing on end, I have thus heard the marvelous dialogue of the great souls Vasudeva and Partha. 18.75 By the mercy of Vyas I have heard the supreme secret of yoga spoken directly by the Yogeshvara himself -- Krishna! 18.76 My King, as I recall and remember this marvelous, virtuous dialogue between Keshava and Arjuna I'm thrilled -- again and again! 18.77 And my King, as I recall and remember the marvelous form of Hari, in my great wonder I'm thrilled more and more! 18.78 Wherever Krishna the Yogeshvara is -- wherever Partha the Dhananjaya is -- there is fortune, victory, glory -- there is morality, I do believe!

END Jai Shri Guru Publications Consulted Arnold, Edwin, The Song Celestial, or Bhagavad-Gita, London, 1885 (from Besant, Annie, The Bhagavad Gita or The Lord's Song, (London, 1895), Adyar, The Theosophical Publishing House, 1953. Deutsch, Eliot, The Bhagavad Gita, New York, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1968. Easwaran, Eknath, The Bhagavad Gita, Berkeley, Blue Mountain Center of Meditation (Petaluma, Calif., Nilgiri Press), 1985. Edgerton, Franklin, The Bhagavad Gita, Cambridge, The Harvard University Press, 1944, 1972. Feuerstein, Georg, The Bhagavad-Gita : Yoga of Contemplation and Action, Atlantic Highlands N.J., Humanities Press, 1981. Ghai, O. P., The Bhagavad Gita, New Delhi, Sterling Publishers, 1992. Gotshalk, Richard, Bhagavad Gita, Delhi, Motilal Banarsidass, 1985. Herman, A. L., The Bhagavad Gita : A Translation and Critical Commentary, Springfield, Ill., Charles C. Thomas, 1973. Johnson, W. J., The Bhagavad Gita, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1994. Judge, William Quan, Bhagavad-Gita, (1890), Pasadena, Theosophical University Press, 1969. Leggett, Trevor, Realiazation of the Supreme Self : The Bhagavad Gita Yogas, Lodon, Kegan Paul, 1995. Maheshwar, ed., Bhagavad Gita In the Light of Sri Aurobindo, Pondicherry, India, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, 1978. Majumdar, Sachindra Kumar, The Bhagavad Gita : A Scripture for the Future, Berkeley, Asian Humanities Press, 1991. Mascaro, Juan, The Bhagavad Gita, New York, Penguin Books, 1962. Miller, Barbara Stoller, The Bhagavad-Gita : Krishna's Counsel in Time of War, New York, Bantam Books, 1986. Minor, Robert N., Bhagavad-Gita : An Exegetical Commentary, New Delhi, Heritage Publishers, 1982. Nikhilananda, Swami, The Bhagavad Gita, Ramakrishna Vedanta Center, New York, 1944. Nitya Chaitanya Yati, The Bhagavad Gita, New Delhi, 1981. Parrinder, Geoffrey, The Bhagavad Gita : A Verse Translation, New York, E. P. Dutton, 1975. Prabhavananda, Swami, and Christopher Isherwood, The Song of God : BhagavadGita, Los Angeles, Vedanta Society of Southern California, 1944, New York, New American Library (Penguin Books), 1972.

Prabhupada, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, Bhagavad-gita As It Is, New York, The Macmillan Company, 1968, 1972. Prasad, Ramanand, The Bhagavad Gita, Fremont, Calif., American Gita Society, 1988. Purohit, Swami, Bhagavad Gita : the Gospel of the Lord Shri Krishna, New York, Vintage Books, 1977. Radhakrishnan, S., The Bhagavadgita, London, George Allen & Unwin, 1948. Ramacharaka, Yogi, The Bhagavad Gita, or The Message of the Master, Chicago, The Yogi Publication Society, Rev. Ed., 1911. Sargeant, Winthrop, The Bhagavad Gita, Albany, State University of New York Press, 1984. Sinha, Phulgenda, The Gita As It Was : Rediscovering the Original Bhagavadgita, La Salle, Ill., Open Court, 1987. Sri Swami Satchidananda, The Living Gita : The Complete Bhagavad Gita : a commentary for modern readers, New York, Henry Holt, 1990. White, David, The Bhagavad Gita, New York, Peter Lang, 1988. Zaehner, R. C., The Bhagavad-Gita, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1969. Glossary of Sanskrit Terms Achyuta: Krishna -- infallible one Adharma: irreligion, against duty Aditya: son of Aditi -- her sons were devas Agni: the god of fire Airavata: an elephant produced from the ocean during a competition between the devas and the asuras Akarma: inaction, action that accrues no reaction Akasha: space, ether -- produced from sound and the source of all subsequent material elements Anagha: Arjuna -- sinless one Ananta: without end, endless, infinite, a serpent who serves as Vishnu's couch and is also a form of Vishnu Ananta-Vijay: Yudishthira's conch Arisudana: Krishna -- subduer of the enemy Arjuna: Krishna's friend and one of the five Pandava brothers Asat: not real, illusion, nonexistence, temporary (n. or adj.) Ashvatta: fig tree, banyan tree Ashvatthama: a warrior on the Kurus' side Aryama: chief of the ancestors Ashvins: twin gods of the dawn Asita: a sage Asura: an ungodly person -- often translated as "demon" Atman: self, soul, person, mind, body -- primarily the word indicates the spiritual self, but in different contexts it can signify other aspects of a person Bhagavan: opulent one, wealthy one -- in this scripture it indicates Krishna -- the term is also applied to any wealthy, powerful, or important person

Bhakta: devotee Bhakti: devotion, love Bhakti-Yoga: devotion to God, love of God, service of God Bharata: the king who is considered the ancestor of all the Vedic kings, anyone descended from Bharata, the indigenous name for the nation known as India Bhima: one of the five Pandava brothers Bhishma: an elder of the Kuru clan respected as a patriarch by both sides -- though he worshiped Krishna as God, he fought against the Pandavas' army Bhoga: enjoyment, food, food not yet offered to God Bhrigu: a sage and deva associated with the planet Venus Brahma: the deva who populated the universe at its beginning, and who remains the primary god in the cosmic heaven -- in Sanskrit, spelled the same as Brahman Brahma Sutra: see Vedanta Sutra Brahmachari: celibate, a celibate person Brahman: spiritual existence, God, the absolute -- often the term is meant to indicate a non-personal or abstract conception of God, a spiritual energy that also consitutes the "stuff" of the innumerable souls -- sometimes Krishna uses it to mean the cosmos as a whole -- it also signifies a member of the priestly, professorial, and juridical class of society Brihaspati: the guru of the devas Brihat-Sama: a Vedic hymn Buddhi: intuitive power of discrimination between spirit and matter, intuitive power of realizing the presence of God -- usually translated as "intelligence" or "understanding," or sometimes as "soul," the buddhi is that aspect of one's psychology which gives a person the most dignity Buddhi-Yoga: linking the buddhi to God -- it is the most crucial practice on the path to God-realization Chekitana: a warrior on the Pandavas' side Chitraratha: a Gandharva Daitya: son of Diti -- her sons were asuras Deva: God, a god, a demigod, a godly person Devala: a sage Devadatta: Arjuna's conch Deva-Rishi: a title for Narada -- the gods' sage Dhana: wealth Dhananjaya: Arjuna -- winner of wealth Dharma: duty, religion, law Dhrishtadyumna: a warrior on the Pandavas' side Dhrishtaketu: a warrior on the Pandavas' side Dhritarashtra: a blind king -- the father of Duryodhana and his 99 brothers Dhyana: meditation Dhyana-Yoga: the practice of meditation Draupadi: the wife of all five Pandavas -- a rare instance of polyandry Drona: guru of the young Pandavas and Kurus -- when the Kurus exiled the Pandavas, Drona remained at the palace and fought to his death on the Kurus' side Drupada: a king, the father of Draupadi

Duryodhana: son of Dhritarashtra, principal antagonist of the Pandavas, leader of the Kuru army Dvandva: a Sanskrit grammatical construction Gandharva: singer or musician of the gods Gandiva: Arjuna's bow Garuda: the eagle carrier of Vishnu Gayatri: a prayer usually repeated three times a day Govinda: Krishna -- gives pleasure to the cows Gudakeshana: Arjuna -- hair in a topknot Guna: strand, rope, mode of material nature -- the three modes are sattva, rajas, and tamas Guru: teacher -- one other meaning of the word is "heavy" Hanuman: the monkey devotee of Rama Hari: Krishna -- the deliverer, the savior Himalayas: the tallest mountains on Earth -- at the northern boundary of the South Asian subcontinent Hrishikesh: Krishna -- lord of the senses Ikshvaku: son of the current Manu Indra: the executive chief of the devas, King of the Gods Ishvara: controller -- can apply to God or an embodied soul Jahnava: the Ganges River Janaka: a king, the father of Queen Sita Janardana: Krishna -- savior of the people Jayadratha: a warrior on the Kurus' side Jnana: knowledge, understanding Jnana-Yoga: the disciplined study of scripture for the purpose of knowing God Kalpa: four billion, three hundred twenty million years -- the duration of one day in the lifetime of Brahma, whose span of life stretches from the start to the finish of the universe, in 100 Brahma-years of 360 days and 360 nights each Kamadhuk: a desire-fulfilling cow Kamala Patraksha: Krishna -- lotus-eyed Kandarpa: the god of love Kapila: a sage considered an avatar of Vishnu Karma: activity, action, work, deeds, action and reaction, the accumulated reactions to past deeds Karma-Yoga: dedicating one's activities, or their fruits, to God Karna: son of Kunti and brother to the Pandavas, Karna was separated from his family at birth -- only Kunti knew his true identity -- he became a great warrior and a rival to Arjuna Kashiraj: the king of Kashi -- the old city of Kashi is now a district in the city of Benares (Varanasi) Kaunteya: Arjuna -- son of Kunti Keshava: Krishna -- with beautiful hair Keshini-Sudana: Krishna -- the subduer of Keshi Kiriti: Arjuna -- who wears a crown given by Indra Kripa: a warrior on the Pandavas' side

Krishna: black -- this is the simplest literal meaning of the name, but grammarians have found many other meanings by combining the syllables in various ways -Krishna is considered to be the source of everything and the center of all reality by his devotees -- the Song of Bhagavan establishes him as such Kshatriya: warrior, administrator, politician -- one of the four social classes Kunti: Krishna's aunt, the mother of the Pandavas Kuntibhoja: a warrior on the Pandavas' side Kuru: ancestor of the Kuru dynasty, of whom both the Pandavas and the sons of Dhritarashtra are descendants Kurunandana: Arjuna -- son of Kuru Kurusattama: Arjuna -- the highest of the Kurus Kusha: a kind of grass Madhava: Krishna -- the husband of the Goddess of Fortune Madhusudana: Krishna -- the subduer of Madhu Maha-Baho: mighty-armed Maha-Ratha: a great chariot warrior Maharishi: great sage Mahatma: great soul Makara: a half-goat half-fish sea creature Manipushpaka: Sahadev's conch Mantra: prayer, hymn -- a short verse repeated over and over in meditation practice, either silently or vocally Manu: the law-giver -- a cosmic official on the godly level who presides throughout a set duration of time, to be succeeded by the next Manu Marichi: the god of lightning Marut: a wind god Maya: (the first a is long) illusion, material energy, magical power -- since Maya is also a name for The Great Goddess, Maya is generally considered feminine Meru: a huge mountain of gold extending up through the axis of the universe Muni: sage, learned person Murti: form -- it can indicate "form" in general, or it can mean a statue worshiped on an altar Naga: serpent, a large cosmic-scale serpent Nakshatra: often translated as "star," a nakshatra is a 13-degree 20-minute arc of the zodiac belt -- there are 27 nakshatras, each further divided into 4 subparts -- the position of the moon in a nakshatra is important in Vedic astrology Nakula: one of the five Pandava brothers Narada: one of the principal sages Nirvana: no material qualities, a place or state of consciousness that has no material qualities Om: (or Aum) a syllable embodying spiritual energy -- yogis often intone it at length and meditate on the sound -- it's also often placed at the beginning of mantras or hymns to indicate God Panchajanya: Krishna's conch Pandava: son of Pandu Pandit: scholar, learned person

Parameshvara: supreme lord, supreme controller Parantapa: Arjuna -- chastiser of enemies Partha: Arjuna -- son of Pritha (Kunti) Paundram: Bhima's conch Pavaka: a fire god Prabhu: lord, master Prahlad: a devotee who as a boy endured the torments of his ungodly father Prana: air, breath, life air, life force, a category of material energy that mediates between body and mind -- comparable to the Chinese term "chi" or "ki" Pranayama: yogic discipline of breath control as a method for fixing the mind on God Prakriti: nature, material nature, a name of the Great Goddess, an individual person's nature Prasadam: mercy, grace, serenity, something offered to God (usually food) Purujit: a warrior on the Pandavas' side Purusha: person, soul, God, masculine person Purushottam: Krishna, the highest purusha Raja: king Raja-Rishi: wise and saintly king Rajas: passion -- one of the three gunas Rakshasha: a demon who eats humans, a giant Rama: the dutiful king and hero of the Ramayana who is a popularly worshiped avatar of Vishnu Rishi: sage, holy person, saint Rudra: a manifestation of Shiva Sadhu: wise person, teacher Sadhya: a deva Sahadev: one of the five Pandava brothers Samadhi: trance of union with God Samsara: birth-and-death understood as a repeated cycle Sanjaya: Dhritarashtra's secretary -- he is able to see events taking place at a distance through the extra-sensory perception he learned from Vyas, his guru Sankhya: analysis of material nature, a philosophical system that rejects the concept of spiritual reality Sankhya-Yoga: practice of stoicism Sannyas: renunciation, the last of the four stages of life in traditional Vedic society Sannyasi: a renounced person Sat: reality, existence, eternity (n. or adj.) Sattva: goodness, lucidity -- one of the three gunas Satyaki: a warrior on the Pandavas' side Savyasachin: Arjuna -- expert archer Shaibya: a warrior on the Pandavas' side Shankara: Shiva Shisya: disciple Shri: beautiful -- a term of respect placed at the beginning of a person's name, as in Shri Bhagavan -- another name for Lakshmi, the consort of Vishnu Shudra: laborer, servant -- one of the four social classes

Sikhandi: a warrior on the Pandavas' side Skanda: the general of the devas' army, the god of war Soma: the moon, the moon god, a substance that when ingested imbued a person with divinity (the exact identity of the substance and its exact effects have been lost) Somadatta: father of a warrior on the Kurus' side Subhadra: the sister of Krishna and wife of Arjuna Sughosha: Nakula's conch Svadharma: one's own duty based on personal aptitude Tamas: darkness, ignorance -- one of the three gunas Tat: that, the spiritual realm, God Tyaga: renunciation, giving up -- sometimes contrasted with sannyas, in which case it refers to the giving up of the fruits of an activity rather than the act itself Ucchaihshrava: a horse produced out of the ocean during the churning competition between the devas and the asuras Ushana: a poet-philosopher Uttamauja: a warrior on the Pandavas' side Vaishya: merchant, farmer -- one of the four social classes Varna: social class, caste Varshneya: Krishna -- in the Vrishni dynasty Varuna: the sea god Vasava: another name for Indra Vasu: a deva Vasudeva: (the first a is long) Krishna Vasudeva: (the first a is short) Krishna's father Vasuki: king of the snakes Vayu: the god of wind and air Vikarma: improper action Vikarna: a warrior on the Kurus' side Vishnu: Krishna in his four-armed form, the Godhead in a form approached with awe and reverence, the manifestation of God associated with sattva-guna and the maintenance of the cosmos (along with Brahma, raja- guna, creation, and Shiva, tama-guna, destruction) Vivashvan: the sun god Veda: (or Vedas) knowledge, scriptures -- the Vedas are a body of knowledge coming from a distant past when there was one Veda communicated only through speech, then from a more recent past 5,000 years ago when they were first compiled in written form -- when considered as separate books, they are divided into many categories -sometimes the term refers only to the Rik, Sama, Yajur, and Atharva Vedas Vedanta: specifically, the Vedanta-Sutra or Brahma-Sutra, a scripture -- or generally, the philosophy derived from the scripture Virata: a warrior on the Pandavas' side Vishva: a deva Vittesha: another name for Kuvera, the treasurer of the gods Vrishni: a member of the dynasty in which Krishna took his birth as the son of Vasudeva and Devaki Vyas: the compiler of the Vedas -- a sage considered to be especially empowered by

God for literary service Yajna: offering, making offerings, sacrifice Yaksha: a deva Yama: the god of death, lord of the underworld -- Yama is not a demon, but rather one of the principal devas Yoga: in the simplest sense, yoga means practice or discipline -- it can be used as a suffix added to terms to indicate the disciplined practice of something -- but since the root of the word is "yuk," meaning "yoke" or "connect," it specifically points to a joining with God -- it also can signify mystical powers possessed by a person Yoga-Maya: Krishna's material power, or illusory power, and the Goddess who embodies it Yogeshvara: Krishna -- lord of yoga, master of mystics Yogi: one who practices a spiritual discipline Yudhamanya: a warrior on the Pandavas' side Yudishthir: one of the five Pandava brothers, the rightful heir to the throne -- the battle of Kurukshetra is being fought because Duryodhana and the Kurus are denying him his accession Yuga: age, era, epoch -- four yugas make up a yuga-cycle, 1000 cycles make up a kalpa -- the four yugas are named Satya, Dvapara, Treta, and Kali, lasting 1,728,000,000 years, 1,296,000 years, 864,000 years, and 432,000 years respectively Yuyudhana: a warrior on the Pandavas' side