Krishna Says The Tao of Devotion in the Bhagavad-gita

Daniel Clark © 1998 Dedication To my eternal guide, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Preface This small offering consists of 81 verses. They are found among the 700 verses of the Bhagavad-gita. One day, while reading the Tao Te Ching, which consists of 81 entries, I wanted there to be a short version of the Gita. The Chinese work is a constant inspiration. But in it I miss the devotional emphasis of the Sanskrit scripture. So I plunged in without a plan, went through the Gita's old familiar shlokas, and chose the ones that felt right. The result is only about 12 percent of the complete text. You can read it aloud without rushing through in 15 minutes. It's hardly a definitive digest! But I trust that it presents the heart of the Gita -- Krishna himself, and devotional service to Krishna. May it please the devotees, who live to hear all that Krishna says. For a complete translation, read Bhagavad-gita As It Is by Prabhupada. This present version is adapted from my Song of Bhagavan. In the original, Krishna is speaking to his friend Arjuna. He addresses Arjuna with many Sanskrit names (Pandava, Dhananjaya, Bharata, etc.). To simplify this condensed version, I've left them out. Sanskrit words that have gained currency in English usage (pandit, brahmin, Vedas, Om, etc.) I haven't translated. The word "yoga" as Krishna intends it has many meanings. Generally it's similar to the English word "yoke," that is, to make a connection. The connection in this case is between us and God. In the 47th entry, Krishna uses the word to indicate his vast powers. "My yoga rules," Krishna says. May our yoga serve the possessor of that yoga!

Krishna Says 1 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 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. 3 2.14 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. 4 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. 5 2.16 Death is temporary. Life is eternal. The seers of reality have observed both, and have come to this conclusion.

6 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. 7 2.47 You have the right to action -but never to its fruits. Never be the cause of the fruits of action -but never be attached to nonaction. 8 2.48 Stand firm in yoga. Perform your activities while giving up attachment. Be the same in perfection and imperfection. That equanimity is called yoga. 9 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. 10 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.

11 2.68 Therefore, in every case restrain your senses from the sense objects, and stand very firmly in wisdom. 12 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 sages. 13 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. 14 3.27 "I'm the one who's doing this," thinks the ego-bewildered self, all of whose activities are done by the ropes of Nature. 15 3.28 But someone who knows what's real can discriminate and see that the ropes' action is just the ropes relating with the ropes. With that in mind, you're never attached.

16 3.33 Creatures proceed according to their own nature. Even the knowledgeable act out their nature. What's the use of repression? 17 3.42 The senses are superior to their objects. Mind is superior to the senses. Realized intuition is superior to mind. But the entity is superior to intuition. 18 3.43 Realizing this superiority to realization, the self is steadied by the self. Desire is the form of your insatiable enemy. Conquer it! 19 4.6 I am an unborn and undying self. I am the controller of the created beings. I'm situated in my own nature. Nevertheless, I advent myself in the world through my personal energy. 20 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.

21 4.11 However they surrender to me, I serve them so. All people proceed along my path. 22 4.33 It's better to offer knowledge than to offer material things. All action of every kind reaches its conclusion in knowledge. 23 4.34 Learn about it by humbling yourself in service and polite inquiry -those who know, who see reality will initiate you into knowledge. 24 4.37 As blazing fire makes ashes of wood, so the fire of knowledge makes ashes of all actions' reactions. 25 5.10 Working without attachment, surrendering activities to the spirit, never stained by sinfulness, like a lotus leaf above the water, 26 5.11 the yogi shuns attachments, doing work to purify the self with body, mind, and intuition, and even with the senses.

27 5.18 A pandit sees the same thing in a dog, a cow, an elephant, an outcaste scavenger, and in a brahmin of learning and good manners. 28 5.24 The yogi whose happiness is within, whose pleasure is within, whose illumination is within, achieves the unqualified spiritual nature. 29 5.29 I am the consumer of all offerings and penances. I am the great controller of all the worlds. I am the dear friend of all creatures. To know this is to achieve peace. 30 6.1 Who's a renunciate? Who's a yogi? Not the one who burns no sacrifical fire or does no work, but the one who does the work that's to be done, without concern for the fruits of work. 31 6.5 Let the self raise up the self. Let it not degrade the self. The self is the self's friend. The self is the self's enemy.

32 6.6 The self is a friend to the self for one whose self subdues the self. But the self is an enemy, an enemy indeed, for one without self. 33 6.7 With the self conquered, the supreme self is tranquil in perfect concentration, whether in cold or heat, happiness or misery, whether honored or dishonored. 34 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. 35 6.26 Wherever the restless mind wanders, wherever it is, discipline it. Bring it back from there. Put it under the self's control. 36 6.29 Self is in all creatures. All creatures are in self. The self yoked to yoga sees this everywhere.

37 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. 38 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. 39 6.47 And I consider that among all yogis, the most yoked is the self inwardly absorbed in me who worships me with faith. 40 7.7 There isn't anything superior to me. Like pearls on a thread, everything here is strung on me. 41 7.8 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.

42 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. 43 7.19 At the end of many births, a person of knowledge says "Krishna is everything," and surrenders to me. That great soul is hard to find. 44 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. 45 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. 46 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.

47 9.5 And, the creatures don't stand in me. See how my yoga rules! My self creates the creatures, sustains the creatures, but doesn't stand in the creatures. 48 9.6 Think -- just as the wind blows everywhere while always situated within space, so all the creatures are situated within me. 49 9.18 I am the goal, the sustainer, the lord, the witness, home, refuge, and dear friend. I am the creation, destruction, and solid ground, the storehouse, the changeless seed. 50 9.19 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. 51 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.

52 9.25 Demigod-worshippers go to the demigods. Ancestor-worshippers go to the ancestors. Those who propitiate the ghosts, go to the ghosts. And my devotees go to me. 53 9.26 A leaf, a flower, some fruit, some water -whatever it is that is offered to me through the devotion of a steadfast soul -that offering made with devotion I accept. 54 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. 55 9.29 I am equal to all creatures. No one is despicable or dear to me. But those who serve me with devotion -they're in me and I'm in them. 56 9.34 Think of me and become my devotee. Offer to me, bow down to me. With self yoked, strive for me -and indeed, you will come to me.

57 10.3 I am the unborn and beginningless Great Controller. Whoever among the mortals knows this is without confusion and is set free from all sin. 58 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. 59 10.9 Conscious of me, their lives dedicated to me, they enlighten each other and constantly talk about me, feeling satisfaction and bliss. 60 10.10 I give to those who are always yoked to me in service, and worship, and love, the realized yoga by which they can come to me. 61 10.11 Out of compassion for them, standing in the being of the self with the shining lamp of knowledge, I dispel the darkness born of ignorance.

62 11.55 Do your work for me. Make me the supreme. Give me your devotion. Free yourself from material association. Have no enemies among all creatures. A person like that comes to me. 63 12.2 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. 64 12.3 But those who worship the imperishable, the ineffable, the unmanifest, the omnipresent, the inconceivable, the beyond, the unmoving, the firm, 65 12.4 while restraining the vast array of the senses, while staying in realization everywhere, while taking pleasure in the welfare of all creatures -they definitely reach me. 66 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.

67 12.6 But those who are intent on me and give up all activities to me, who meditate on me and worship me in undeviating yoga, 68 12.7 whose consciousness is fixed on me -I quickly appear to them, and deliver them from the ocean of death and rebirth. 69 14.27 I am the foundation of the immmortal Spirit, the changeless, the primordial religion of absolute, ultimate joy. 70 15.6 No sun, no moon, no fire illuminates the place that is my supreme abode. When you go there, you never come back here. 71 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 Person.

72 15.19 Those who know that I am The Highest Person -they know everything. They're no fools. They worship me with all their being and all their love. 73 18.51 Yoked by a purified intuition, controlled by a steadfast self, shunning sounds and sense objects, tossing out attraction and hatred, 74 18.52 living alone and eating little, regulating thoughts, words, and deeds, always practising the yoga of meditation, sheltered by dispassionate detachment, 75 18.53 peaceful and free from me-and-mine, from selfishness, power, pride, desire, anger, and possessiveness -that's the standard of becoming spirit. 76 18.54 Becoming spirit, the serene self considers all creatures equally, does not grieve, does not crave, and gains supreme devotion to me.

77 18.55 Of my greatness and my reality, through devotion you become aware. Then once you know my reality, afterwards you enter there. 78 18.56 Trusting in my protection, you will attain, by my grace, in everything you always do, the eternal, changeless place. 79 18.57 Consciously giving up every act to me, making me your goal, taking shelter of realized yoga, always be conscious of me in your soul. 80 18.65 Think about me. Be a devotee 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.

81 18.66 Give up all your obligations. Make me your only sanctuary. I'll free you from all sins. Don't be afraid.