Bhagavad Gita

Bhagavad Gita
Translated by Alladi Mahadeva Sastry
Published by Samata Books, Chennai [with commentary of Adi Shankara in English]


1. What did Pandu's sons and mine do when they assembled together on the sacred plain of Kurukshetra, eager for battle, O Samjaya?

2. Having seen the army of the Pandavas drawn up in battle-array, prince Duryodhana then approached his teacher and spoke (these) words:

3. O teacher, look at this grand army of the sons of Pandu, marshaled by thy talented pupil, the son of Drupada.

4. Here are heroes, mighty archers, equal in battle to Bhima and Arjuna; Yuyudhana Virata, and Drupada, the master of a great car (maharatha).

5. Dhrishtaketu, Chekitana, and the valiant king of Kasi, Purujit and Kunti Bhoja, and that eminent man Saibya;

6. The heroic Yudhamanyu and the brave Uttamaujas; the son of Subhadraand the sons of Draupadi, all masters of great cars (maharathas).

7. But know, O best of the twice-born, who are the most distinguished among us, the leaders of my army; these I name to thee by way of example.

8. Thyself and Bhishma, and Karna, and also Kripa, the victor in war, Asvathaman and Vikarna, and also Jayadratha, the son of Samadatta.

9. And many other heroes who have given up their lives for my sake, fighting with various weapons, all well-skilled in battle.

10. This army of ours protected by Bhisma is inadequate, whereas that army of theirs which is under the protection of Bhima is adequate.

11. And therefore do ye all, occupying your respective positions in the several divisions of the army, support Bhisma only.

12. His mighty grandsire, (Bhisma), the oldest of the Kauravas, in order to cheer him, sounded on high a lion's roar and blew his conch.

13. Then, all at once, conches and kettle-drums, cymbals, drums and horns were played upon, and the sound was a tumultuous uproar.

14. Then, too, Madhava and the son of Pandu, seated in a grand chariot yoked to white horses, blew their celestial conches.

15. Hrishikesa blew the Panchajanya; and Arjuna blew the Devadatta. Bhima, (the doer) of terrible deeds, blew his great conch Paundra.

16. Prince Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, blew the Anantavijaya, while Nakula and Sahadeva blew the Sughosha and the Manipushpaka.

17. The King of Kasi, an excellent archer, Sikhandin, the master of a great car, Dhrishtadyumna and Virata, and the unconquered Satyaki;

18. Drupada and the sons of Draupadi, O Lord of earth, and the son of Subhadra, of mighty arms, all together blew their respective conches.

19. That tumultuous sound rent the hearts of (the people) of Dhritarashtra's party, making both heaven and earth resound.

20-22. Then seeing the people of Dhritarashtra's party regularly marshaled, while the discharge of weapons began, Arjuna, the son of Pandu, whose ensign was a monkey, O King of earth, took up his bow and said thus to Krishna:
O Achyuta (Immortal), place my chariot between the two armies that I may just see those who stand here desirous to fight, and know with whom I must fight in this strife of battle.

23. I will observe those who are assembled here and are about to engage in battle desirous to do service in war to the evil-minded son of Dhritarashtra.

24-25. O descendant of Bharata, Hrishikesa (Krishna) thus addressed by Gudakesa (Arjuna) stationed that excellent car between the two armies in front of Bhisma and Drona and all the rulers of earth, and said: O son of Pritha, look at these assembled Kauravas.

26-27. Then the son of Pritha saw arrayed there in both the armies fathers and grandfathers, teachers, maternal uncles, brothers, sons, grandsons and comrades, father-in-law and friends.

27-28. When the son of Kunti saw all the kinsmen standing, he was overcome with deepest pity and said thus in sorrow:

28-29. Seeing these kinsmen, O Krishna, arrayed and desirous to fight, my limbs droop down, and my mouth is dried up. A tremor comes on my body and my hairs stand on end.

30. The Gandiva slips from my hand and my skin is intensely burning. I am also unable to stand and my mind is whirling round, as it were.

31. And, O Kesava, I see omens foreboding evil. Nor do I see any good from killing my kinsmen in battle.

32. I desire not victory, O Krishna, nor kingdom, nor pleasures. Of what avail is dominion to us, O Govinda? Of what avail are pleasures and even life?

33-34. They for whose sake dominion, enjoyments and pleasures are sought by us are here standing, having staked their life and wealth; teachers, fathers, sons as well as grandfathers; maternal uncles, father-in-law grandsons, brothers-in-law as also (other) relatives.

35. These, O slayer of Madhu, I do not wish to kill, though they kill me, even for the sake of dominion over the three worlds; how much less, for the sake of the earth!

36. O Janardana, what delight shall be ours after killing the sons of Dhritarashtra? On killing these felons, sin only will take hold of us.

37. We had then better not slay our own kinsmen, the sons of Dhritarashtra; for, how can we be happy, O Madhava, after slaying our own people?

38-39. Though these, whose intelligence is stricken by greed, perceive no evil in the extinction of families and no sin in treachery to friends, yet, O Janardana, should not we, who clearly see evil in the extinction of a family, learn to refrain from this sinful deed?

40. On the extinction of a family, the immemorial dharmas of that family disappear. When the dharmas disappear, impiety (adharma) overtakes the whole family.

41. By the prevalence of impiety, O Krishna, the women of the family become corrupt. Women corrupted, there will be intermingling of castes (varna-samkara), O descendent of Vrishnis.

42. Confusion of castes leads the family of these destroyers of families also to hell; for, their forefathers fall (down to hell), deprived of the offerings of pinda (rice-ball) and water.

43. By these evil deeds of the destroyers of families, which cause the intermingling of castes, the eternal dharmas of castes and families are subverted.

44. We have heard, O Janardana, that necessary is the dwelling in hell of the men whose family dharmas are subverted.

45. Alas! We have resolved to commit a great sin, in as much as we are endeavoring to slay our kinsmen out of a craving for the pleasures of dominion.

46. It would be better for me, if the sons of Dhritarashtra, with arms in hand, should slay me unarmed and unresisting in the battle.

47. Having said thus, Arjuna, sorrow-stricken in mind, cast aside his bow and arrows in the midst of the battle and sat down in the chariot.


1. To him who was thus overcome with pity and afflicted and whose eyes were full of tears and agitated, the destroyer of Madhu spoke as follows:

2. Whence in (this) perilous strait has come upon thee this weakness cherished by the unworthy, debarring from heaven and causing disgrace, O Arjuna?

3. Yield not to unmanliness, O son of Pritha. It does not become thee. Cast off this base weakness of heart and arise, O tormentor of foes.

4. O slayer of Madhu, how shall I assail in battle with arrows Bhishma and Drona, who are worthy of worship, O slayer of enemies.

5. Better indeed in this world to live even upon alms than to slay the teachers of high honor. But, were I to slay these teachers, I should only in this world enjoy the pleasures of wealth, delights stained with blood.

6. And we know not which is the better alternative for us; nor do we know whether we shall conquer them or they will conquer us. Even the sons of Dhritarashtra, after killing whom we do not wish to live, stand arrayed against us.

7. My heart contaminated by the taint of helplessness, my mind confounded about Dharma, I ask Thee: tell me what is absolutely good. I am Thy pupil. Instruct me, who have sought Thy grace.

8. I do not indeed see what can dispel the grief which burns up my senses, even after attaining unrivalled and prosperous dominion on earth or even lordship over gods.

9. Having spoken thus to Hrishikesa, Gudakesa, the tormenter of foes, said to Govinda, 'I will not fight' and verily remained silent

10. To him who was grieving in the midst of the two armies, O descendant of Bharata, Hrishikesa as if smiling, spoke these words:

11. For those who deserve no grief thou hast grieved and words of wisdom thou speak. For the living and for the dead the wise grieve not.

12. Never did I not exist, nor thou, nor these rulers of men; and no one of us will ever hereafter cease to exist.

13. Just as in this body the embodied (Self) passes into childhood and youth and old age, so does He pass into another body. There the wise man is not distressed.

14. The sense-contacts it is, O son of Kunti, which causes heat and cold; pleasure and pain; they come and go, they are impermanent. Endure them bravely, O descendant of Bharata.

15. That wise man whom, verily, these afflict not, O chief of men, to whom pleasure and pain are same, he for immortality is fit.

16. Of the unreal no being there is; there is no non-being of the real. Of both these is the truth seen by the seers of the Essence.

17. But know that to be imperishable by which all this is pervaded. None can cause the destruction of That, the Inexhaustible.

18. These bodies of the embodied (Self) who is eternal, indestructible and unknowable are said to have an end. Do fight, therefore, O descendant of Bharata.

19. Whoever looks upon Him as the slayer and whoever looks upon Him as the slain, both these know not a right. He slays not, nor is He slain.

20. He is not born, nor does He ever die; after having been, He again ceases not to be; nor the reverse. Unborn, eternal, unchangeable and primeval, He is not slain when the body is slain.

21. Whoso knows Him as indestructible, eternal, unborn and inexhaustible - How, O son of Pritha, and whom does such a man cause to slay and whom does he slay?

22. Just as a man casts off worn-out clothes and puts on others which are new, so the embodied (self) casts off worn-out bodies and enters others which are new.

23. Him weapons cut not, Him fire burns not and Him water wets not; Him wind dries not.

24. He cannot be cut, nor burnt, nor wetted, nor dried up. He is everlasting, all-pervading stable, firm and eternal.

25. He, it is said, is un-manifest, unthinkable and unchangeable. Wherefore, knowing Him to be such, thou hast better grieve not.

26. But even if thou thinks of Him as ever being born and ever dying, even then, O mighty-armed, thou ought not to grieve thus.

27. To that which is born, death is indeed certain; and to that which is dead, birth is certain. Therefore, about the unavoidable thing, thou ought not to grieve.

28. Beings have their beginning unseen, their middle seen, and their end unseen again. Why any lamentation regarding them?

29. One sees Him as a wonder; and so also another speaks of Him as a wonder; and as a wonder another hears of Him; and though hearing, none understands Him at all.

30. He, the embodied (Self) in every one's body, can never be killed, O descendant of Bharata. Wherefore thou ought not to grieve about any creature.

31. Having regard to thy own duty also, thou ought not to waver. For, to a Kshatriya, there is nothing more wholesome than a lawful battle.

32. Happy Kshatriya, O son of Pritha, find such a battle as this, come of itself, an open door to heaven.

33. Now if thou wouldst not fight this lawful battle, then having abandoned thy own duty and fame, thou shall incur sin.

34. People, too, will recount thy everlasting infamy; and to one who has been esteemed, infamy is more than death.

35. The great car-warriors will think thou hast withdrawn from the battle through fear; and having been hitherto highly esteemed by them, thou wilt incur their contempt.

36. Thy enemies, too, scorning thy power, will take many abusive words. What is more painful than that?

37. Killed, thou wilt reach heaven; victorious, thou wilt enjoy the earth. Wherefore, O son of Kunti, arise, resolved to fight.

38. Then, treating alike pleasure and pain, gain and loss, success and defeat, prepare for the battle and thus wilt thou not incur sin.

39. This, which has been taught to thee is wisdom concerning Sankhya. Now listen to wisdom concerning Yoga, which possessing thou shall cast off the bond of action.

40. There is no loss of effort here, there is no harm. Even a little of this devotion delivers one from great fear.

41. Here, O son of Kuru, there is one thought of a resolute nature. Many-branched and endless are the thoughts of the irresolute.

42-44. No conviction of a resolute nature is formed in the mind of those who are attached to pleasures and power and whose minds are drawn away by that flowery speech which the unwise - enamored of Vedic utterances, declaring there is nothing else, full of desire, having svarga as their goal - utter, (a speech) which promises birth as there ward of actions and which abounds in specific acts for the attainment of pleasure and power, O son of Pritha.

45. The Vedas treat of the triad of the gunas. Be, O Arjuna, free from the triad of the gunas, free from pairs, free from acquisition and preservation, ever remaining in the Sattva and self-possessed.

46. What utility there is in a reservoir by the side of an all-spreading flood of water, the same(utility) there is in all Vedas for an enlightened Brahmana.

47. Thy concern is with action alone, never with results. Let the fruit of action be not thy motive, nor let thy attachment be for inaction.

48. Steadfast in devotion do thy works, O Dhananjaya, casting off attachment, being the same in success and failure. Evenness is called Yoga.

49. Verily action is far inferior to devotion in wisdom (buddhi-yoga), O Dhananjaya. In wisdom (buddhi) seek thou shelter. Wretched are they whose motive is the fruit.

50. He who is endued with wisdom casts off here both good deeds and bad deeds. Wherefore apply thyself to devotion. In regard to actions devotion is a power.

51. For, men of wisdom cast off the fruit of action; possessed of knowledge (and) released from the bond of birth, they go to the place where there is no evil.

52. When thy mind shall cross beyond the mire of delusion, then wilt thou attain to a disgust of what is yet to be heard and what has been heard.

53. When thy mind, perplexed by what thou hast heard, shall stand firm and steady in the Self, then wilt thou attain Yoga.

54. What, O Kesava! Is the description of one of steady knowledge, who is constant in contemplation? How does one of steady knowledge speak, how sit, how move?

55. The Lord said: When a man, satisfied in the Self alone by himself, completely casts off all the desires of the mind, then is he said to be one of steady knowledge.

56. He whose heart is not distressed in calamities, from whom all longing for pleasures has departed, who is free from attachment, fear and wrath, he is called a sage, a man of steady knowledge.

57. Whoso, without attachment anywhere, on meeting with anything good or bad, neither exults nor hates, his knowledge becomes steady.

58. When he completely withdraws the senses from sense-objects, as the tortoise (withdraws) its limbs from all sides, his knowledge is steady.

59. Objects withdraw from an abstinent man, but not the taste. On seeing the Supreme, his taste, too, ceases.

60. The dangerous senses, O son of Kunti, forcibly carry away the mind of a wise man, even while striving (to control them).

61. Restraining them all, a man should remain steadfast, intent on Me. His knowledge is steady whose senses are under control.

62. When a man thinks of objects, attachment for them arises. From attachment arises desire; from desire arises wrath.

63. From wrath arises delusion; from delusion, failure of memory; from failure of memory, loss of conscience; from loss of conscience he is utterly ruined.

64. He attains peace, who, self-controlled, approaches objects with the senses devoid of love and hatred and brought under his own-control.

65. In peace there is an end of all his miseries; for, the reason of the tranquil-minded soon becomes steady.

66. There is no wisdom to the unsteady, and no meditation to the unsteady, and to the un-meditative no peace; to the peace-less, how can there be happiness?

67. For, the mind which yields to the roving senses carries away his knowledge, as the wind (carries away) a ship on water.

68. Therefore, O mighty-armed, his knowledge is steady whose senses have been entirely restrained from sense-objects.

69. What is night to all beings, therein the self controlled one is awake. Where all beings are awake, that is the night of the sage who sees.

70. He attains peace, into whom all desires enter as waters enter the ocean, which, filled from all sides, remains unaltered; but not he who desires objects.

71. That man attains peace, who, abandoning all desires, moves about without attachment, without selfishness, without vanity.

72. This is the Brahmic state, O son of Pritha. Attaining to this, none is deluded. Remaining in this state even at the last period of life, one attains to the felicity of Brahman.


1. If it be thought by Thee that knowledge is superior to action, O Janardana, why then dost Thou, O Kesava, direct me to this terrible action?

2. With an apparently perplexing speech, Thou confuses as it were my understanding. Tell me with certainty that one (way) by which I may attain bliss.

3. In this world a two fold path was taught by Me at first, O sinless one: that of Sankhyas by devotion to knowledge and that of Yogins by devotion to action.

4. Not by abstaining from action does man win action-less-ness, nor by mere renunciation does he attain perfection.

5. None, verily, even for an instant, ever remains doing no action; for every one is driven helpless to action by the energies born of Nature.

6. He who, restraining the organs of action, sits thinking in his mind of the objects of the senses, self-deluded, he is said to be one of false conduct.

7. But whoso, restraining the senses by mind O Arjuna, engages in Karma-Yoga, unattached, with organs of action, he is esteemed.

8. Do thou perform (thy) bounden duty; for action is superior to inaction. And even the maintenance of the body would not be possible for thee by inaction.

9. Except in the case of action for Sacrifice's sake, this world is action-bound. Action for the sake there of, do thou, O son of Kunti, perform, free from attachment.

10. Having first created mankind together with sacrifices, the Prajapati said, By this shall ye propagate; let this be to you the cow of plenty.

11. With this do ye nourish the Gods and the Gods shall nourish you; thus nourishing one another, ye shall attain the supreme good.

12. Nourished by the sacrifice, the Gods shall indeed bestow on you the enjoyments ye desire. Whoso enjoys - without offering to Them - Their gifts, he is verily a thief.

13. The righteous, who eat the remnant of the sacrifice, are freed from all sins; but sin do the impious eat who cook for their own sakes.

14. From food creatures come forth; the production of food is from rain; rain comes forth from sacrifice; sacrifice is born of action;

15. Know thou that action comes from Brahman and that Brahman comes from the Imperishable. Therefore, the all-pervading Brahman ever rests in sacrifice.

16. He who follows not here the wheel thus set in motion, who is of sinful life, indulging in senses, he lives in vain, O son of Pritha.

17. That man, verily, who rejoices only in the self, who is satisfied with the Self, who is content in the Self alone - for him there is nothing to do.

18. For him, there is here no interest what ever in what is done or what is not done. Nor is there in all beings any one he should resort to for any object.

19. Therefore, without attachment, constantly perform the action which should be done; for, performing action without attachment, man reaches the Supreme.

20. By action only, indeed, did Janaka and others try to attain perfection. Even with a view to the protection of the masses thou should perform (action).

21. Whatsoever a great man does, that alone the other men do; whatever he sets up as the standard, that the world follows.

22. I have nothing whatsoever to achieve in the three worlds, O son of Pritha, nor is there anything unattained that should be attained; yet I engage in action.

23. For, should I not ever engage in action, unwearied, men would in all matters follow My path, O son of Pritha.

24. These worlds would be ruined if I should not perform action; I should be the cause of confusion of castes and should destroy these creatures.

25. As ignorant men act attached to work, O Bharata, so should the wise man act, unattached from a wish to protect the masses.

26. Let no wise man cause unsettlement in the minds of the ignorant who are attached to action; he should make them do all actions, himself fulfilling them with devotion.

27. Actions are wrought in all cases by the energies of Nature. He whose mind is deluded by egoism thinks 'I am the doer'.

28. But he who knows the truth, O mighty-armed, about the divisions of the energies and (their) functions, is not attached, thinking that the energies act upon the energies.

29. Those deluded by the energies of Nature are attached to the functions of the energies. He who knows the All should not unsettle the unwise who know not the All.

30. Renouncing all action in Me, with thy thought resting on the Self, being free from hope, free from selfishness, devoid of fever, do thou fight.

31. Men who constantly practice this teaching of Mine with faith and without caviling, they too are liberated from actions.

32. But those who, carping at this, My teaching, practice it not - know them as deluded in all knowledge, as senseless men doomed to destruction.

33. Even the man of knowledge acts in conformity with his own nature; (all) beings follow (their) nature; what shall coercion avail?

34. Love and hate lie towards the object of each sense; let none become subject to these two; for, they are his enemies.

35. Better one's own duty, though devoid of merit, than the duty of another well discharged. Better is death in one's own duty; the duty of another is productive of danger.

36. But by what dragged on, O Varshneya, does a man, though reluctant, commit sin, as if constrained by force?

37. It is desire, it is wrath, born of the energy of Rajas, all-devouring, all sinful; that, know thou, is the foe here.

38. As fire is surrounded by smoke, as a mirror by rust, as the foetus is enclosed in the womb, so is this covered by it.

39. Covered, O son of Kunti, is wisdom by this constant enemy of the wise, in the form of desire, which is greedy and insatiable.

40. The senses, mind and reason are said to be its seat; veiling wisdom through these, it deludes the embodied.

41. Therefore, O lord of the Bharatas, restrain the senses first, do thou cast off this sinful thing which is destructive of knowledge and wisdom.

42. They say that the senses are superior; superior to the senses is mind; superior to mind is reason; one who is even superior to reason is He.

43. Then knowing Him who is superior to reason, subduing the self by the self, slay thou, O mighty-armed, the enemy in the form of desire, hard to conquer.


1. I taught this imperishable Yoga to Vivasvat (Sun); Vivasvat taught it to Manu; Manu taught to Ikshvaku.

2. This, handed down thus in succession, the King-sages learnt. This yoga, by long lapse of time, has been lost here, O harasser of foes.

3. That same ancient Yoga has been to-day taught to thee by Me, seeing that thou art My devotee and friend; for, this is the Supreme Secret.

4. Later is Thy birth and prior the birth of Vivasvat; how am I to understand that Thou taught this Yoga in the beginning?

5. Many births of Mine have passed, as well as of thine, O Arjuna; all these I know, thou knows not, O harasser of foes.

6. Though I am unborn, of imperishable nature, and though I am the Lord of all beings, yet ruling over My own nature, I am born by My own Maya.

7. Whenever there is a decay of religion, O Bharata and an ascendancy of irreligion, then I manifest Myself.

8. For the protection of the good, for the destruction of evil-doers, for the firm establishment of religion, I am born in every age.

9. Whoso knows thus My divine birth and action in truth is not born again on leaving this body; he comes to Me, O Arjuna.

10. Free from passion, fear and anger, absorbed in Me, taking refuge in Me, purified by the fire (tapas) of wisdom, many have reached My being.

11. Howsoever men approach Me, even so do I reward them; My path do men follow in all things O son of Pritha.

12. They who long after success in actions sacrifice here to the Gods; for, soon in this world of man accrues success from action.

13. The fourfold caste has been created by me according to the distribution of energies and actions; though I am the author thereof, know Me as non-agent and immutable.

14. Actions pollute Me not, nor have I a desire for the fruit of actions. He who knows Me thus is not bound by actions.

15. Thus knowing, men of old performed action in the hope of liberation: therefore do thou also perform action as did the ancients in the olden time.

16. What is action? What is inaction - As to this, even the wise are deluded. I shall teach thee such action, by knowing which thou shall be liberated from evil.

17. For, thou hast to know something even of action, something to know of unlawful action, and something to know of inaction; hard to understand is the nature of action.

18. He who can see inaction in action, who can also see action in inaction, he is wise among men, he is devout, he is the performer of all action.

19. He whose engagements are all devoid of desires and purposes and whose actions have been burnt by the fire of wisdom, him the wise call a sage.

20. Having abandoned attachment for the fruits of action, ever content, dependent on none, though engaged in actions, nothing at all does he do.

21. Free from desire, with the mind and the self controlled, having relinquished all possessions doing mere bodily action, he incurs no sin.

22. Satisfied with what comes to him by chance, rising above the pairs of opposites, free from envy, equanimous in success and failure, though acting he is not bound.

23. Of the man whose attachment is gone, who is liberated, whose mind is established in knowledge, who acts for the sake of sacrifice - his whole action melts away.

24. Brahman is the offering, Brahman the oblation; by Brahman is the oblation poured into the fire of Brahman; Brahman verily shall be reached by him who always sees Brahman in action.

25. Other Yogins resort to sacrifices to Gods; In the fire of Brahman others offer the self by the self.

26. Others offer hearing and other senses in the fires of restraint; others offer sound and other objects in the fires of the senses.

27. And others sacrifice all the functions of the senses and the functions of the vitality in the wisdom-kindled fire of the Yoga of Self-restraint.

28. Others are sacrificers by their wealth, sacrificers by austerity, sacrificers by yogas, sacrificers by reading and knowledge, ascetics of rigid vows.

29. Others offer prana (outgoing breath) in apana (incoming breath) and apana in prana, restraining the passages of prana and apana, absorbed in Pranayama (restraint of breath).

30. Others, with regulated food, offer life-breaths in life-breaths. All these are knowers of sacrifice, whose sins are destroyed by sacrifice.

31. Eating of ambrosia, the remnant of the sacrifice, they go to Eternal Brahman. This world is not for the non-sacrificer; whence the other? - O best of Kurus.

32. Thus manifold sacrifices are spread at the mouth of Brahman. Know them all as born of action. Thus knowing, thou shall be liberated.

33. Superior is wisdom-sacrifice to the sacrifice with objects, O harasser of thy foes. All action, without exception, O son of Pritha, is comprehended in wisdom.

34. Know this: by long prostration, by enquiry, by service, those men of wisdom who have realized the truth will teach thee wisdom.

35. Knowing which, thou shall not again thus fall into error, O Pandava; and by which, thou wilt see all beings in thy Self and also in Me.

36. Even should thou be the most sinful of all the sinful, thou shall verily cross all sin by the bark of wisdom.

37. As kindled fire reduces fuel to ashes, O Arjuna, so does wisdom-fire reduce all actions to ashes.

38. Verily, there exists here no purifier equal to wisdom. He who is perfected by Yoga finds it in time in himself by himself.

39. He obtains wisdom who is full of faith, who is devoted to it and who has subdued the senses. Having obtained wisdom, he before long attains to the Supreme Peace.

40. The ignorant, the faithless and one of doubting self, is ruined. There is neither this world, nor the other, nor happiness, for one of doubting self.

41. Him who has renounced actions by Yoga, whose doubts have been cloven as under by wisdom, who is self-possessed, actions bind not, O Dhananjaya.

42. Therefore with the sword of wisdom cleave asunder this doubt of the Self lying in the heart and born of ignorance and resort to Yoga. Arise, O Bharata.


1. Renunciation of actions, O Krishna, Thou praisest and again Yoga. Tell me conclusively that which is the better of the two.

2. Renunciation and yoga through action both lead to the highest bliss; but, of the two, Yoga through action is esteemed more than renunciation of action.

3. He should be known as a perpetual renouncer who neither hates nor desires: for, free from the pairs of opposites, O mighty-armed, he is easily set free from bondage.

4. Children, not the wise, speak of Sankhya and Yoga as distinct. He who is rightly devoted to even one obtains the fruits of both.

5. That state which is reached by Sankhyas is reached by Yogins also. He sees, who sees Sankhya and Yoga as one.

6. But renunciation, O mighty-armed, is hard to attain except by Yoga; a sage equipped with Yoga before long reaches Brahman.

7. He who is equipped with Yoga, whose mind is quite pure, by whom the self has been conquered, whose senses have been subdued, whose Self has become the Self of all beings - though doing, he is not tainted.

8-9. 'I do nothing at all' - thus would the truth-knower think, steadfast - though seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, going, sleeping, breathing, speaking, letting go, seizing, opening and closing the eyes - remembering that the senses move among sense-objects.

10. He who does actions, offering them to Brahman, abandoning attachment, is not tainted by sin, as a lotus leaf by water.

11. By the body, by the mind, by the intellect, by mere senses also, Yogins perform action, without attachment, for the purification of the self.

12. The steady-minded one, abandoning the fruit of action, attains the peace born of devotion. The unsteady one, attached to the fruit through the action of desire, is firmly bound.

13. Renouncing all actions by thought and Self-controlled, the embodied one rests happily in the nine-gated city, neither at all acting nor causing to act.

14. Neither agency nor objects does the Lord create for the world, nor union with the fruits of actions. But it is the nature that acts.

15. The Lord takes neither the evil nor even the good deed of any; wisdom is enveloped by un-wisdom; thereby mortals are deluded.

16. But to those whose un-wisdom is destroyed by wisdom of the Self, like the sun wisdom illuminates that Supreme.

17. With their consciousness in That, their Self being That, intent on That, with That for their supreme goal, they go never again to return, their sins shaken off by means of wisdom.

18. In a Brahmana endued with wisdom and humility, in a cow, in an elephant, as also in a dog and in a dog-eater, the wise see the same.

19. Even here birth is overcome by them whose mind rests on equality. Spotless, indeed and equal is Brahman; wherefore in Brahman they rest.

20. He who knows Brahman can neither rejoice on obtaining the pleasant, nor grieve on obtaining the unpleasant - steady-minded, un-deluded, resting in Brahman.

21. With the self unattached to external contacts, he finds the joy which is in the Self; with the Self engaged in the contemplation of Brahman he attains the endless joy.

22. For, those delights which are born of contacts are only generators of pain, having a beginning and an end, O son of Kunti; a wise man rejoices not in them.

23. He that is able, while still here, to with-stand, before liberation from the body, the impulse of desire and anger, he is a Yogin, he is a happy man.

24. Whoso has his joy within and his pastime within and whoso has his light within only, that Yogin attains Brahman's bliss, himself becoming Brahman.

25. The sages attain Brahman's bliss - they whose sins have been destroyed and doubts removed, who are self-controlled and intent on the welfare of all beings.

26. To the devotees who are free from desire and anger, who have controlled their thought and who have known the self, Brahman's bliss exists everywhere.

27-28. Shutting out all external contracts and fixing the sight between the eye-brows, equalizing the out-going and the in-going breaths which pass through the nostrils, controlling the senses, mind and intellect, having moksha as his highest goal, free from desire, fear and anger - the sage who ever (remains thus) is verily liberated.

29. On knowing Me - the Lord of all sacrifices and austerities, the Great Lord of all Worlds, the Friend of all beings - he goes to Peace.

VI. DHYANA YOGA (Atma-Samyama Yoga)


1. He who, without depending on the fruits of action, performs his bounden duty, he is a Samnyasin and a Yogin; not he who is without fire and without action.

2. Do thou, O Pandava, know Yoga to be that which they call renunciation; no one, verily, becomes a Yogin who has not renounced thoughts.

3. For a devotee who wishes to attain to Yoga, action is said to be the means. For the same (devotee), when he has attained to Yoga, quiescence (Sama) is said to be the means.

4. When a man, renouncing all thoughts, is not attached to sense-objects and actions, then he is said to have attained to Yoga.

5. Let a man raise himself by himself, let him not lower himself; for he alone is the friend of himself, he alone is the enemy of himself.

6. To him who has conquered himself by himself, his own self is the friend of himself, but to him who has not (conquered) himself, his own self stands in the place of an enemy like the (external) foe.

7. The self-controlled and serene man's Supreme Self is steadfast in cold and heat, in pleasure and pain, as also in honor and disgrace.

8.The Yogin whose self is satisfied with knowledge and wisdom, who remains unshaken, who has conquered the senses, he is said to be a saint - for whom a lump of earth, a stone and gold are equal.

9. He is esteemed, who is of the same mind to the good-hearted, friends, foes, the indifferent, the neutral, the hateful, relatives, the righteous and the un-righteous.

10. Let the Yogin try constantly to keep the mind steady, remaining in seclusion, alone, with the mind and body controlled, free from desire and having no possessions.

11. Having in a cleanly spot established a firm seat, neither too high nor too low, with cloth, skin and Kusa grass thereon.

12. Making the mind one-pointed, with the actions of the mind and the senses controlled, let him, seated there on the seat, practice Yoga for the purification of the self.

13. Holding erect and still the body, the head and the neck, firm, gazing on the tip of his nose, without looking around;

14. Serene-minded, fearless, firm in the vow of godly life, having restrained the mind, thinking on Me and balanced let him sit, looking up to Me as the Supreme.

15. Thus always keeping the mind balanced, the Yogin, with the mind controlled, attains to the Peace abiding in Me, which culminates in Nirvana (moksha).

16. Yoga is not possible for him who eats too much, nor for him who does not eat at all, nor for him who is addicted to too much sleep, nor for him who is (ever) wakeful, O Arjuna.

17. To him whose food and recreation are moderate, whose exertion in actions is moderate, whose sleep and waking are moderate, to him accrues Yoga which is destructive of pain.

18. When the well-restrained thought is established in the Self only, without longing for any of the objects of desire, then he is said to be a Saint.

19. 'As a lamp in a sheltered spot does not flicker' - this has been thought as the simile of a Yogin of subdued thought, practicing Yoga in the Self.

20. When thought is quiescent, restrained by the practice of Yoga; when, seeing the Self by the self, he is satisfied in his own Self;

21. When he knows that Infinite Joy which, transcending the senses, can be grasped by reason; when, steady (in the Self), he moves never from the Reality;

22. When, having obtained it, he thinks no other acquisition superior to it; when, therein established, he is not moved even by a great pain;

23. This severance from union with pain, be it known, is called union (Yoga). That Yoga must be practiced with determination and with un-depressed heart.

24. Abandoning without reserve all fancy-born desire, well-restraining all the senses from all quarters by the mind;

25. Little by little let him withdraw, by reason (buddhi) held in firmness; keeping the mind established in the Self, let him not think of anything.

26. By whatever cause the wavering and unsteady mind wanders away, from that let him restrain it and bring it back direct under the control of the Self.

27. Supreme Bliss verily comes to this Yogin, whose mind is quite tranquil, whose passion is quieted, who has become Brahman, who is blemish-less.

28. Thus always keeping the self steadfast, the Yogin, freed from sins, attains with ease to the infinite bliss of contact with the (Supreme) Brahman.

29. The Self abiding in all beings and all beings (abiding) in the Self, sees he whose self has been made steadfast by Yoga, who everywhere sees the same.

30. He who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, to him I vanish not, nor to me does he vanish.

31. Whoso, intent on unity, worships Me who abide in all beings, that Yogin dwells in Me, whatever his mode of life.

32. Whoso, by comparison with himself, sees the same everywhere, O Arjuna, be it pleasure or pain, he is deemed the highest Yogin.

33. This Yoga in equanimity, taught by Thee, O Destroyer of Madhu - I see not its steady continuance, because of the restlessness (of the mind).

34. The mind verily, is, O Krishna, restless, turbulent, strong and obstinate. Thereof the restraint I deem quite as difficult as that of the wind.

35. Doubtless, O mighty-armed, the mind is hard to restrain and restless; but by practice, O son of Kunti and by indifference it may be restrained.

36. Yoga, me thinks is hard to attain for a man of uncontrolled self; but by him who (often) strives, self-controlled, it can be acquired by (proper) means.

37. He who strives not, but who is possessed of faith, whose mind wanders away from Yoga - having failed to attain perfection in Yoga, what end, O Krishna, does he meet?

38. Having failed in both, does he not perish like a raven cloud, supportless, O mighty-armed and perplexed in the path to Brahman?

39. This doubt of mine, O Krishna, do Thou dispel completely; for none other than Thyself can possibly destroy this doubt.

40. O Partha, neither in this world nor in the next is there destruction for him; none, verily, who does good, My son, ever comes to grief.

41. Having attained to the worlds of the righteous and having dwelt there for eternal years, he who failed in Yoga is reborn in a house of the pure and wealthy.

42. Else, he is born in family of wise Yogins only. This, verily, a birth like this, is very hard to obtain in this world.

43. There he gains touch with the knowledge that was acquired in the former body and strives more than before for perfection, O son of the Kurus.

44. By that very former practice is he borne on, though unwilling. Even he who merely wishes to know of Yoga raises superior to the Word-Brahman.

45. Verily, a Yogin who strives with assiduity, purified from sins and perfected in the course of many births, then reaches the Supreme Goal.

46. A Yogin is deemed superior to men of austerity and superior to even men of knowledge; he is also superior to men of action; therefore be thou a Yogin, O Arjuna.

47. Of all Yogins, whoso, full of faith, worships Me with his inner self abiding in Me, he is deemed by Me as most devout.


1. With the mind intent on me, O Partha, practicing Yoga and finding refuge in Me, how in full without doubt thou shall know Me, that do thou hear.

2. I shall fully teach thee this knowledge combined with experience, which being known, nothing more besides here remains to be known.

3. Among thousands of men, one per chance strives for perfection; even among those who strive and are perfect, only one per chance knows me in truth.

4. Earth, water, fire, air, ether, thought (Manas) and reason (Buddhi), egoism (Ahamkara) - thus is My Prakriti divided eight-fold.

5. This is the inferior (Prakriti); but distinct from this know thou My superior Prakriti, the very life, O mighty-armed, by which this universe is upheld.

6. Know that all beings have their birth in these. So, I am the source and dissolution of the whole universe.

7. There is naught else higher than I, O Dhananjaya; in Me all this is woven as clusters of gems on a string.

8. I am the rapidity in water, O son of Kunti. I am the light in the moon and the sun. I am the syllable Om in all the Vedas, sound in ether, humanity in men.

9. And I am the agreeable odour in the earth and the brilliance in the fire, the vitality in all beings and I am the austerity in ascetics.

10. Know Me, O Partha, as the eternal seed of all beings; I am the intelligence of the intelligent, the bravery of the brave.

11. And of the energetic I am the energy devoid of passion and attachment; and in (all) beings I am the desire unopposed to Dharma, O lord of the Bharatas.

12. And whatever beings are of Sattva or of Rajas or of Tamas, know them to proceed from Me; still, I am not in them, they are in me.

13. Deluded by these three (sorts of) things composed of gunas, this entire world knows not Me as distinct from them and immutable.

14. Verily this Divine Illusion of Mine, made up of gunas, is hard to surmount. Whoever seeks Me alone, they cross over this Illusion.

15. Not Me do the evil-doers seek, the deluded, the vilest of men, deprived of wisdom by Illusion, following the ways of the Demons.

16. Four kinds of virtuous men worship Me, O Arjuna - the distressed, the seeker of knowledge, the seeker of wealth and the wise man, O lord of the Bharatas.

17. Of them the wise man, ever steadfast and devoted to the One, excels; for, excessively dear am I to the wise and he is dear to Me.

18. Noble indeed are all these; but the wise man, I deem, is the very Self; for, steadfast in mind, he resorts to Me alone as the unsurpassed goal.

19. At the end of many births, the man of wisdom comes to me, (realizing) that Vasudeva is the all: he is the noble-soul (Mahatman), very hard to find.

20. Those whose wisdom has been led away by this or that desire resort to other Gods, engaged in this or that rite, constrained by their own nature.

21. Whatever devotee seeks to worship with faith what form so ever, that same faith of his I make unflinching.

22. Possessed of that faith he engages in the worship of that (form); thence he obtains his desires, these being indeed ordained by me.

23. That result indeed is finite, (which accrues) to those men of small intellect. Worshippers of Gods (Devatas) go to Gods (Devatas); My devotees come unto Me.

24. The foolish regard me as the un-manifested coming in manifestation, knowing not My higher, immutable, unsurpassed nature.

25. I am not manifest to all, veiled (as I am) by Yoga-Maya. This deluded world knows not Me, unborn and imperishable.

26. I know, O Arjuna, the past and the present and the future beings, but Me nobody knows.

27. From the delusion of pairs caused by desires and aversion, O Bharata, all beings are subject to illusion at birth, O harasser of thy foes.

28. Those mortals of pure deeds whose sin has come to an end, who are freed from the delusion of pairs, they worship Me with a firm resolve.

29. Whoever resorting to Me strive for liberation from decay and death, they realise in full that Brahman, the individual Self and all action.

30. Those who realize Me in the Adhibhuta (physical region), in the Adhidaiva (the divine region) and in the Adhiyajna (region of Sacrifice), realize Me even at the time of departure, steadfast in mind.


1-2. What is that Brahman? What about the Individual Self (Adhyatma)? What is action (Karma), O Purushottama? And what is declared to be the physical region (Adhibhuta)? And what is the divine region (Adhidaiva) said to be? And how and who is Adhiyajna (the Entity concerned with Sacrifice) here in this body, O Madhusudana, and how at the time of death art Thou to be known by the self-controlled?

3. Brahman is the Imperishable (Akshara), the Supreme. The Ego is said to be the Individual Self (Adhyatma, He who dwells in the body). The offering which causes the origin of physical beings is called action (Karma).

4. The physical region (Adhibhuta) is the perishable existence and Purusha or the Soul is the divine region (Adhidaivata). The Adhiyajna (Entity concerned with Sacrifice) is Myself, here in the body, O best of the embodied.

5. And whoso, at the time of death, thinking of Me alone, leaves the body and goes forth, he reaches My being; there is no doubt in this.

6. Of whatever Being thinking at the end a man leaves the body, Him alone, O son of Kunti, reaches he by whom the thought of that Being has been constantly dwelt upon.

7. Therefore at all times do thou meditate on Me and fight; with mind and reason fixed on Me thou shall doubtless come to Me alone.

8. Meditating with the mind engaged in the Yoga of constant practice, not passing over to any thing else, one goes to the Supreme Purusha, the Resplendent, O son of Pritha.

9-10. Whoso meditates on the Sage, the Ancient, the Ruler, smaller than an atom, the Dispenser of all, of unthinkable nature, glorious like the Sun, beyond the darkness, (whoso meditates on such a Being) at the time of death, with a steady mind endued with devotion and strength of Yoga, well fixing the life-breath betwixt the eye-brows, he reaches that Supreme Purusha Resplendent.

11. That Imperishable Goal which the knowers of the Veda declare, which the self-controlled and the passion-free enter, which desiring they lead the godly life - That Goal will I declare to thee with brevity.

12-13. Having closed all the gates, having confined mind in the heart, having fixed his life-breath in the head, engaged in firm Yoga, uttering Brahman, the one-syllable 'Om', thinking of Me, whoso departs, leaving the body, he reaches the Supreme Goal.

14. Whoso constantly thinks of me and long, to him I am easily accessible, O son of Pritha, to the ever-devout Yogin.

15. Having attained to Me, they do not again attain birth, which is the seat of pain and is not eternal, they having reached highest perfection.

16. (All) worlds including the world of Brahma are subject to returning again, O Arjuna; but, on reaching Me, O son of Kunti, there is no rebirth.

17. They - those people who know day and night - know that the day of Brahma is a thousand yugas long and the night is a thousand yugas long.

18. From the Un-manifested all the manifestations proceed at the coming on of day; at the coming on of night they dissolve there only, in what is called the Un-manifested.

19. This same multitude of beings having come into being again and again, is dissolved at the coming on of night, not of their will, O son of Pritha and comes forth at the coming on of day.

20. But that other eternal Un-manifested Being, distinct from this Un-manifested (Avyakta) - He does not perish when all creatures perish.

21. What is called the Un-manifested and the Imperishable, That, they say, is the highest goal; which having reached none return. That is My highest place.

22. Now, that Highest Purusha, O son of Pritha, within Whom all beings dwell, by Whom all this is pervaded, is attainable by exclusive devotion.

23. Now, in what time departing, Yogins go to return not, as also to return, that time will I tell thee, O chief of the Bharatas.
24. Fire, light, day-time, the bright fortnight, the six months of the northern solstice - then departing, men who know Brahman reach Brahman.

25. Smoke, night-time and the dark fortnight, the six months of the southern solstice - attaining by these to the lunar light, the Yogin returns.

26. These bright and dark Paths of the world are verily deemed eternal; by the one a man goes to return not, by the other he returns again.

27. Knowing these paths, O son of Pritha, no Yogin is deluded; wherefore at all times be steadfast in Yoga, O Arjuna.

28. Whatever fruit of merit is declared to accrue from the Vedas, sacrifices, austerities and gifts - beyond all this goes the Yogin on knowing this; and he attains to the Supreme Primeval Abode.


1. To thee who dost not cavil, I shall now declare this, the greatest secret, knowledge combined with experience, which having known thou shall be liberated from evil.

2. The Sovereign Science, the Sovereign Secret, the Supreme Purifier is this; immediately comprehensible, unopposed to Dharma, very easy to perform, imperishable.

3. Persons having no faith in this Dharma, O harasser of thy foes, without reaching Me, remain verily in the path of the mortal world.

4. By Me all this world is pervaded, My form un-manifested. All beings dwell in Me; and I do not dwell in them.

5. Nor do those beings dwell in Me; behold My Divine Yoga! Sustaining all the beings, but not dwelling in them, is My Self, the cause of beings.

6. As the mighty wind moving everywhere rests ever in the Akasa, so, know thou, do all beings, rest in Me.

7. All beings, O son of Kunti, go into My Prakriti at the end of a kalpa. I send them forth again at the beginning of (the next) kalpa.

8. Resorting to My Prakriti, I again and again send forth the whole multitude of beings, powerless under the control of the Prakriti.

9. Nor do these acts, O Dhananjaya, bind Me, remaining like one unconcerned, unattached to those acts.

10. By Me presiding, Prakriti produces the moving and the unmoving; because of this, O son of Kunti, the world revolves.

11. Fools disregard Me clad in human form, not knowing My higher being as the Great Lord of beings.

12. Of vain hopes, of vain actions, of vain knowledge, devoid of discrimination, partaking only of the delusive nature of Rakshasas and Asuras.

13. The Mahatmas, O son of Pritha, partaking of the nature of the Devas, worship Me with mind turned to no other, knowing (Me) as the imperishable source of all beings.

14. Always talking of me, strenuous, firm in vows and reverent, they worship Me with love, always devout.

15. Worshipping by the wisdom-sacrifice, others adore Me, the All-faced, in various ways, as One, as different.

16. I am kratu, I am yajna, I am svadha, I am aushadha, I am mantra, Myself the butter, I am fire, I the act of offering.

17. I am the father of this world, the mother, the dispenser and grandshire; I am the knowable, the purifier, the syllable 'Om' and also the Rik, the Saman and the Yajus also.

18. I am the Goal, the Sustainer, the Lord, the Witness, the Abode, the Shelter and the Friend, the Origin, Dissolution and Stay, the Treasure-house, the Seed imperishable.

19. I give heat, I hold back and send forth rain, I am the immortality as well as death, existence and non-existence, O Arjuna.

20. Men of the three Vedas, the soma-drinkers, purified from sin, worshipping Me by sacrifices, pray for the goal of heaven; they reach the holy world of the Lord of the Gods and enjoy in heaven the heavenly pleasures of the Gods.

21. They, having enjoyed that spacious world of Svarga, their merit (punya) exhausted, enter the world of the mortals; thus following the Dharma of the Triad, desiring (objects of) desires, they attain to the state of going and returning.

22. Those men who, meditating on Me as non-separate, worship Me all around - to them who are ever devout, I secure gain and safety.

23. Even those who, devoted to other Gods, worship Them with faith, worship Myself, O son of Kunti, in ignorance.

24. I am indeed the Enjoyer, as also the Lord, of all sacrifices; but they do not know Me in truth; whence they fail.

25. Votaries of the Gods go to the Gods; to the Pitris go the votaries of the Pitris; to the Bhutas go the worshippers of the Bhutas; My worshippers come to Myself.

26. When one offers to Me with devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit, water - that I eat, offered with devotion by the pure-minded.

27. Whatever thou doest, whatever thou eatest, whatever thou sacrificest, whatever thou givest, in whatever austerity thou engagest, do it as an offering to Me.

28. Thus shalt thou be liberated from the bonds of actions which are productive of good and evil results; equipped in mind with the Yoga of renunciation and liberated, thou shall come to Me.

29. The same I am to all beings; to Me there is none hateful or dear; but whoso worship Me with devotion, they are in Me and I am also in them.

30. If one of even very evil life worships Me, resorting to none else, he must indeed be deemed righteous, for he is rightly resolved.

31. Soon he becomes righteous and attains eternal peace; do thou, O son of Kunti, proclaim that my devotee never perishes.

32. For, finding refuge in Me, they also who, O son of Pritha, may be of a sinful birth - women, vaisyas as well as sudras - even they attain to the Supreme Goal.

33. How mush more then the holy Brahmanas and devoted royal saints! Having reached this transient joyless world, do thou worship Me.

34. Fix thy mind on Me, be devoted to Me, sacrifice to Me, bow down to Me. Thus steadied, with Me as thy Supreme Goal, thou shall reach Myself, the Self.


1. Again, O mighty-armed, listen to My Supreme word, which I, from a desire for thy well-being, shall speak to thee who art delighted.

2. Neither the hosts of the Gods nor the Great Rishis know my origin; for I am the source of all the Gods and the Great Rishis.

3. He who knows Me as unborn and beginning-less, as the great Lord of the worlds, he among mortals is un-deluded, he is liberated from all sins.

4-5. Intelligence, wisdom, non-illusion, patience, truth, self-restraint, calmness, pleasure, pain, birth, death, fear and security; innocence, equanimity, contentment, austerity, beneficence, fame, shame, (these) different kinds dispositions of beings arise from Me alone.

6. The seven Great Rishis as well as the four ancient Manus, with their being in Me, were born of mind; and theirs are these creatures in the world.

7. He who knows in truth this glory and power of Mine is endowed with unshaken Yoga; there is no doubt of it.

8. I am the source of all; from Me everything evolves; thus thinking the wise worship Me, endowed with contemplation.

9. With their thought on me, with their life absorbed in Me, instructing each other and ever speaking of Me, they are content and delighted.

10. To these, ever devout, worshipping Me with love, I give that devotion of knowledge by which they come to me.

11. Out of mere compassion for them, I abiding in their self, destroy the darkness born of ignorance, by the luminous lamp of wisdom.

12-13. The Supreme Brahman, the Supreme Light, the Supreme Purifier art Thou. All the Rishis declare Thee as Eternal, Divine Purusha, the Primal God, Unborn, Omnipresent; so said the divine sage Narada, as also Asita, Devala and Vyasa; and Thou Thyself also sayest (so) to me.

14. I believe to be true all this which Thou says to me; for neither the Gods nor the Danavas, O Lord, know Thy manifestation.

15. Thou Thyself knows Thyself as the Self, O Purusha Supreme, O Source of beings, O Lord of beings, O God of Gods, O Ruler of the world.

16. Thou should indeed tell, without reserve, of Thy divine Glories, by which Glories Thou remain pervading all these worlds.

17. How shall I, ever meditating, know Thee, O Yogin; in what several things, O Lord, art Thou to be thought of by Me?

18. Tell me again in detail, O Janardana, of Thy power and Glory, for there is no satiety for me in hearing the immortal.

19. Now will I tell thee of My heavenly Glories, in their prominence, O best of the Kurus; there is no limit to My extent.

20. I am the Self, O Gudakesa, seated in the heart of all beings; I am the beginning and the middle, as also the end, of all beings.

21. Of the Adityas I am Vishnu; of the radiances, the resplendent Sun; I am Marichi of the Maruts; of the asterisms, the Moon.

22. Of the Vedas I am the Sama-Veda, I am Vasava of the Gods and of the senses I am the mind, I am the intelligence in living beings.

23. And of the Rudras I am Sankara, of the Yakshas and Rakshasas the Lord of wealth and of the Vasus I am Agni, of the mountains I am the Meru.

24. And of the household priests of Kings, O son of Pritha, know Me the chief one, Brihaspati; of generals I am Skanda, of lakes I am the Ocean.

25. Of the Great Rishis I am Bhrigu; of words I am the one syllable 'Om'; of offerings I am the offering of Japa (silent repetition), of unmoving things the Himalaya.

26. Of all trees (I am) the Asvattha and Narada of divine Rishis, Chitraratha of Gandharvas, the sage Kapila of the saints (Siddhas).

27. Know Me among horses as Uchchaisravas, born of Amrita, of lordly elephants the Airavata and of men the king.

28. Of weapons I am the thunderbolt, of cows I am the Kamadhuk, I am the progenitor Kandarpa, of serpents I am Vasuki.

29. And Ananta of snakes I am, I am Varuna of water-being and Aryaman of Pitris I am, I am Yama of controllers.

30. And Prahlada am I of Diti's progeny, of reckoners I am Time and of beasts I am the lord of beasts and Vainateya of birds.

31. Of purifiers I am the wind, Rama of warriors am I, of fishes I am the shark, of streams I am the Ganges.

32. Of creations I am the beginning and the middle and also the end; of all knowledges I am the knowledge of the Self and Vada of disputants.

33. Of letters the letter 'A' am I and dvandva of all compounds; I am, verily, the inexhaustible Time; I am the All-faced Dispenser.

34. And I am all-seizing Death and the prosperity of those who are to be prosperous; of the feminine (I am) Fame, Fortune and Speech, Memory, Intelligence, Constancy, Endurance.

35. Of Samans also I am the Brihat-Saman of metres Gayatri am I, of months I am Margasirsha, of seasons the flowery season.

36. I am the gambling of the fraudulent, I am the splendor of the splendid, I am victory, I am effort, I am the goodness of the good.

37. Of the Vrishnis I am Vasudeva, of the Pandavas I am Dhananjaya and of the saints I am Vyasa, of the sages I am Usanas the sage.

38. Of punishers I am the scepter, of those who seek to conquer I am the polity and of things secret I am also silence, the knowledge of knowers am I.

39. And what is the seed of all being, that also am I, O Arjuna. There is no being, whether moving or unmoving, that can exist without me.

40. There is no end of My heavenly Glories, O harasser of thy foes; but the details of My Glory have been declared only by way of instance.

41. Whatever being is glorious, prosperous, or strong, that know thou to be a manifestation of a part of My Splendor.

42. But, of what avail to thee is this vast things being known, O Arjuna? I stand sustaining this whole world by one part (of Myself).

XI. THE UNIVERSAL FORM (Visvarupa-Sandarsana Yoga)

1. By that speech which has been delivered by Thee for my benefit - that highest secret which is called Adhyatma - this, my delusion, is gone.

2. The origin and the dissolution of beings, verily, have been heard by me in detail from thee, O Lotus-eyed, as also Thy inexhaustible greatness.

3. So it is, as Thou, Supreme Lord, hast declared Thyself to be. (Still) I desire to see Thy form as Isvara, O Purusha Supreme.

4. If Thou, O Lord, think it possible for me to see it, do Thou, then, O Lord of Yogins, show me Thy Eternal Self.

5. See, O son of Pritha, My heavenly forms, by hundreds and thousands, of different sorts and of various colors and shapes.

6. Behold the Adityas, the Vasus, the Rudras, the Asvins and also the Maruts; behold many marvels never seen before, O Bharata.

7. Now behold here in My body, Gudakesa, the whole world established in one - including the moving and the unmoving - and whatever else thou desire to see.

8. Thou art not indeed able to see Me with this thy eye alone; I give thee a divine eye; behold My lordly Yoga.

9. Having thus spoken, O King, then, Hari, the great Lord of Yogins, showed to the son of Pritha the Supreme Form as Isvara.

10. Containing many mouths and eyes, possessed of many wondrous sights, of many heavenly ornaments, of many heavenly weapons held up. Such a form He showed.

11. Wearing heavenly garlands and vestures, anointed with heavenly unguents, all-wonderful, resplendent, boundless, with faces on all sides.

12. If the splendor of a thousand suns were ever to present itself at once in the sky that would be like the splendor of that Mighty Being.

13. There, in the body of the God of Gods, the son of Pandu then beheld the whole world established in one and separated into many groups.

14. Then he, Dhananjaya, filled with amazement, with his hair standing on end; bowed down with his head and with joined palms, thus addressed the God.

15. I see all the gods, O God, in thy body, as also hosts of various classes of beings; Brahma, the Lord, seated on the lotus-seat and all Rishis and heavenly serpents.

16. I see Thee of boundless form on every side with multitudinous arms, stomachs, mouths and eyes; neither Thy end nor the middle nor the beginning do I see, O Lord of the Universe, O Universal Form.

17. I see Thee with diadem, club and discus; a mass of splendor shining everywhere, very hard to look at, all around blazing like burning fire and sun and immeasurable.

18. Thou art the Imperishable, the Supreme Being worthy to be known. Thou art the great Abode of this Universe; Thou art the undying Guardian of the Eternal Dharma, Thou art the ancient Purusha, I deem.

19. I see Thee without beginning, middle or end, infinite power, of manifold arms; the sun and the moon being Thy eyes, the burning fire Thy face; heating the whole Universe with Thy radiance.

20. This space betwixt heaven and earth and all the quarters are filled by Thee alone. Having seen This, Thy marvelous and awful form, the three worlds are trembling, O High-soul Being.

21. In to Thee, indeed, enter these hosts of Suras; some extol Thee in fear with joined palms; May it be well! Thus saying, bands of great Rishis and Siddhas praise Thee with hymns complete.

22. The Rudras, Adityas, Vasus and Sadhyas, Visvas and Asvins, Maruts and Ushmapas, hosts of Gandharvas, Yakshas, Asuras and Siddhas - they are all looking at Thee, all quite astonished.

23. Having seen Thy immeasurable Form, possessed, O Mighty-armed, of many mouths and eyes, of many arms and thighs and feet, and of many stomachs and fearful with many tusks, the worlds are terrified and I also.

24. On seeing Thee (Thy Form) touching the sky, blazing in many colors, with mouths wide open, with large fiery eyes, I am terrified at heart and find no courage nor peace, O Vishnu.

25. Having seen Thy mouths which are fearful with tusks and resemble Time's Fires, I know not the four quarters, nor do I find peace; do Thou gracious, O Lord of Gods and Abode of the Universe!

26-27. And all the sons of Dhritarashtra, with hosts of princess, Bhisma, Drona and that son (Karna) of a charioteer, with the warrior chiefs of ours, enter hurrying into Thy mouth, terrible with tusks and fearful to behold. Some are found sticking in the gaps betwixt the teeth with their heads crushed to powder.

28. As many torrents of rivers flow direct towards the sea, so do these heroes in the world of men enter Thy flaming mouths.

29. As moths hurriedly rush into a blazing fire for destruction, just so do these creatures also hurriedly rush into Thy mouths for destruction.

30. Thou lick up devouring all worlds on every side with Thy flaming mouths, filling the whole world with flames. Thy fierce rays are blazing forth, O Vishnu.

31. Tell me who thou art, so fierce in form. I bow to Thee, O God Supreme; have mercy. O desire to know Thee, the original Being. I know not indeed Thy doing.

32. I am the mighty world-destroying Time, now engaged in destroying the worlds. Even without thee, none of the warriors arrayed in hostile armies shall live.

33. Therefore do thou arise and obtain fame. Conquer the enemies and enjoy the unrivalled dominion. By Myself have they been already slain; be thou a mere instrument, O Savyasachin.

34. Drona and Bhisma, Jayadratha, Karna and other brave warriors - these, killed by Me, do thou kill; fear not, fight, thou shall conquer the enemies.

35. Having heard that speech of Kesava, the crowned one (Arjuna), with joined palms, trembling, prostrating himself, again addressed Krishna, stammering, bowing down, overwhelmed with fear.

36. It is meet, O Hrishikesa, that the world is delighted and rejoices by Thy praise; Rakshasas fly in fear to all quarters and all hosts of Siddhas bow to Thee.

37. And how should they not, O Mighty Being, bow to Thee, Greater (than all else), the Primal Cause even of Brahma, O Infinite Being, O Lord of Gods, O Abode of the Universe; Thou art the Imperishable, the Being and the non-Being, That which is the Supreme.

38. Thou art the Primal God, the Ancient Purusha; Thou art the Supreme Abode of all this, Thou art the Knower and the Knowable and the Supreme Abode. By Thee is all pervaded, O Being of infinite forms.

39. Thou art Vayu, Yama, Agni, Varuna, the Moon, Prajapati and the Great Grand-Father. Hail! Hail to Thee! a thousand times and again and again hail! Hail to Thee!

40. Hail to thee before and behind! Hail to Thee on every side! O All! Thou, infinite in power and infinite in daring, pervade all, wherefore Thou art All.

41-42. Whatever was rashly said by me from carelessness or love, addressing Thee as O Krishna, O Yadava, O friend, looking on Thee merely as a friend, ignorant of this Thy greatness - in whatever way I may have insulted Thee for fun while at play, on bed, in an assembly, or at meals, when alone, O Achyuta, or in company - that I implore Thee, Immeasurable, to forgive.

43. Thou art the Father of this world, moving and unmoving. Thou art to be adored by this (world), Thou the Greatest Guru; (for) Thy equal exists not; whence another, superior to Thee, in the three worlds, O Being of un-equaled greatness?

44. Therefore, bowing down, prostrating my body, I implore Thee, adorable Lord, to forgive. It is meet Thou should bear with me as the father with the son, as friend with friend, as the lover with the beloved.

45. I am delighted, having seen what was unseen before; and (yet) my mind is confounded with fear. Show me that form only, O God; have mercy, O God of Gods, O Abode of the Universe.

46. I wish to see Thee as before, crowned, possessed of the club, with the discuss in the hand, in Thy former form only, having four arms, O Thousand-armed, O Universal Form.

47. By Me, gracious to thee, O Arjuna, this Supreme Form has been shown- by my sovereign power - full of splendor, the all, the Boundless, the Original Form of Mine, never before seen by any other than thyself.

48. Not by study of the Vedas and of the sacrifices, nor by gifts, nor by rituals, nor by severe austerities, can I be seen in this Form in the world of man by any other than thyself, O hero of the Kurus.

49. Be not afraid nor bewildered on seeing such a terrible form of Mine as this; free from fear and cheerful at heart, do thou again see this My former form.

50. Having thus spoken to Arjuna, Vasudeva again showed His own form; and the Mighty Being, becoming gentle in form, consoled him who was terrified.

51. Having seen Thy gentle human form, O Janardana, now I have grown serene and returned to my nature.

52. Very hard to see is this Form of Mine which thou hast seen; even the Devas ever long to behold this Form.

53. Not by Vedas, nor by austerity, nor by gifts, nor by sacrifice, can I be seen in this Form as thou hast seen Me.

54. But by un-distracted devotion can I, of this Form, be known and seen in reality and entered into, O harasser of thy foes.

55. He who works for Me, who looks on Me as the supreme, who is devoted to Me, who is free from attachment, who is without hatred for any being, he comes to Me, O Pandava.


1. Those devotees who, always devout, thus contemplate Thee and those also who (contemplate) the Imperishable, the Unmanifest - which of them are better versed in Yoga?

2. Those who, fixing their thought on Me, contemplate Me, always devout, endued with supreme faith, those in my opinion are the best Yogins.

3-4. Those who ever contemplate the Imperishable, the Indefinable, the Un-manifest, the Omnipresent and the Unthinkable, the Unchangeable, the Immutable, the Eternal - having restrained all the senses, always equanimous, intent on the welfare of all beings - they reach Myself.

5. Greater is their trouble whose thoughts are set on the Un-manifest; for, the Goal, the Un-manifest, is very hard for the embodied to reach.

6-7. But those who worship Me, renouncing all actions in Me, regarding Me Supreme, meditating on Me with exclusive devotion (Yoga); for them whose thought is fixed on Me, I become before long, O son of Pritha, the deliverer out of the ocean of the mortal samsara.

8. Fix thy mind in Me exclusively, apply thy reason to Me. Thou shall no doubt live in Me alone hereafter.

9. If thou art unable to fix thy thought steadily on Me, then by yoga of constant practice do thou seek to reach Me, O Dhananjaya.

10. (If) thou art not equal to practice either, then be thou intent on (doing) actions for My sake. Even doing actions for My sake, thou shall attain perfection.

11. If thou art unable to do even this, then take refuge in devotion to Me, do thou abandon the fruits of all actions, self controlled.

12. Better indeed is knowledge than practice; than knowledge is meditation more esteemed; than meditation the abandonment of the fruits of actions; on abandonment, peace follows immediately.

13-14. He who hates no single being, who is friendly and compassionate to all, who is free from attachment and egoism, to whom pain and pleasure are equal, who is enduring, ever content and balanced in mind, self-controlled and possessed of firm conviction, whose thought and reason are directed to Me, he who is (thus) devoted to Me is dear to Me.

15. He by whom the world is not afflicted and who is not afflicted by the world, who is free from joy, envy, fear and sorrow, he is dear to Me.

16. He who is free from wants, who is pure, clever, unconcerned, untroubled, renouncing all undertakings, he who is (thus) devoted to Me is dear to Me.

17. He who neither rejoices, nor hates, nor grieves, nor desires, renouncing good and evil, he who is full of devotion is dear to Me.

18-19. He who is the same to foe and friend and also in honor and dishonor; who is the same in cold and heat, in pleasure and pain; who is free from attachment; to whom censure and praise are equal; who is silent, content with anything, homeless, steady-minded, full of devotion; that man is dear to me.

20. They, verily, who follow this immortal Law described above, endued with faith, looking up to me as the Supreme and devoted, they are exceedingly dear to Me.

XIII. MATTER AND SPIRIT (Kshetra Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga)

1. This, the body, O son of Kunti, is called Kshetra; him who knows it, they who know of them call Kshetrajna.

2. And do thou also know Me as Kshetrajna in all Kshetras, O Bharata. The knowledge of Kshetra and Kshetrajna is deemed by Me as the knowledge.

3. And what that Kshetra is and of what nature and what its changes; and whence is what; and who He is and what His powers; this hear thou briefly from Me.

4. Sung by sages, in many ways and distinctly, in various hymns, as also in the suggestive words about Brahman, full of reasoning and decisive.

5. The Great Elements, Egoism, Reason, as also the Un-manifested, the ten senses and one and the five objects of the senses.

6. Desire, hatred, pleasure, pain, the aggregate, intelligence, courage- the Kshetra has been thus briefly described with its modifications.

7. Humility, modesty, innocence, patience, uprightness, service of the teacher, purity, stead-fastness, self-control;

8. Absence of attachment for objects of the senses and also absence of egoism; perception of evil in birth, death and old age, in sickness and pain;

9. Un-attachment, absence of affection for son, wife, home and the like and constant equanimity on the attainment of the desirable and the undesirable;

10. Unflinching devotion to Me in Yoga of non-separation, resort to solitary places, distaste for the society of men;

11. Constancy in Self-knowledge, perception of the end of the knowledge of truth. This is declared to be knowledge and what is opposed to it is ignorance.

12. That which has to be known I shall describe; knowing which one attains the Immortal. Beginning-less is the Supreme Brahman. It is not said to be 'sat' or 'asat'.

13. With hands and feet everywhere, with eyes and heads and mouths everywhere, with hearing everywhere, That exists enveloping all.

14. Shining by the function of all the senses, (yet) without the senses; unattached, yet supporting all; devoid of qualities.

15. Without and within (all) beings; the unmoving as also the moving. Because subtle, That is incomprehensible; and near and far away is That.

16. And undivided, yet remaining divided as it were in beings; supporter of beings, too is That, the Knowable; devouring, yet generating.

17. The Light even of lights, That is said to be beyond darkness. Knowledge, the Knowable, the Goal of knowledge, (It) is implanted in the heart of every one.

18. Thus the Kshetra, as well as knowledge and the Knowable, have been briefly set forth. My devotee, on knowing this, is fitted for My state.

19. Know thou that Prakriti as well as Purusha are both beginning-less; and know thou also that all forms and qualities are born of Prakriti.

20. As the producer of the effect and the instruments, Prakriti is said to be the cause; as experiencing pleasure and pain, Purusha is said to be the cause.

21. Purusha, when seated in Prakriti, experiences the qualities born of Prakriti. Attachment to the qualities is the cause of his birth in good and evil wombs.

22. Spectator and Permitter, Supporter, Enjoyer, the Great Lord and also spoken of as the Supreme Self, (is) the Purusha Supreme in this body.

23. He who thus knows Purusha and Prakriti together with qualities, whatever his conduct, he is not born again.

24. By meditation some behold the Self in the self by the self others by Sankhya Yoga and others by Karma Yoga.

25. Yet others, not knowing thus, worship, having heard from others; they, too, cross beyond death, adhering to what they heard.

26. What ever being is born, the unmoving or the moving, know thou, O best of the Bharatas, that to be owing to the union of Kshetra and Kshetrajna.

27. He sees who sees the Supreme Lord, remaining the same in all beings, the undying in the dying.

28. Because he who sees the Lord, seated the same everywhere, destroys not the self by the self, therefore he reaches the Supreme Goal.

29. He sees, who sees all actions performed by Prakriti alone and the Self not acting.

30. When a man realizes the whole variety of beings as resting in the One and is an evolution from that (One) alone, then he becomes Brahman.

31. Having no beginning, having no qualities, this Supreme Self, imperishable, though dwelling in the Body, O son of Kunti, neither acts nor is tainted.

32. As the all-pervading Akasa is, from its subtlety, never soiled, so the Self seated in the body everywhere is not soiled.

33. As the one sun illumines all this world, so does the embodied One, O Bharata, illumines all bodies.

34. They who by the eye of wisdom perceive the distinction between Kshetra and Kshetrajna and the dissolution of the Cause of beings - they go to the Supreme.

XIV. THE THREE GUNAS (Gunatraya Vibhaga Yoga)

1. I shall again declare that sublime knowledge, the best of all knowledges; which having learnt, all the sages have passed to high perfection from here.

2. They who, having resorted to this knowledge, have attained to unity with Me, are neither born in the creation, nor disturbed in the dissolution.

3. My womb is the great Brahman; in that I place the germ; thence, O Bharata, is the birth of all beings.

4. Whatever forms are produced, O son of Kunti, in any wombs whatsoever, the Great Brahman is their womb, I the seed-giving Father.

5. Sattva, Rajas, Tamas - these gunas, O mighty-armed, born of Prakriti, bind fast in the body the embodied, the indestructible.

6. Of these, Sattva, which, from its stainlessness, is lucid and healthy, binds by attachment to happiness and by attachment to knowledge, O sinless one.

7. Know thou Rajas (to be) of the nature of passion, the source of thirst and attachment; it binds fast, O son of Kunti, the embodied one by attachment to action.

8. But, know thou Tamas to be born of un-wisdom, deluding all embodied beings; by headless-ness, indolence and sloth, it binds fast, O Bharata.

9. Sattva attaches to happiness, rajas to action, O Bharata, while Tamas, enshrouding wisdom, attaches, on the contrary, to heedlessness.

10. Sattva arises, O Bharata, predominating over Rajas and Tamas; and Rajas, over Sattva and Tamas; so Tamas, over Sattva and Rajas.

11. When at every gate in this body there shoots up wisdom-light, then it may be known that Sattva is predominant.

12. Greed, activity, the undertaking of works, unrest, desire - these arise when Rajas is predominant, O lord of the Bharatas.

13. Darkness, heedlessness, inertness and error - these arise when Tamas is predominant, O descendant of Kuru.

14. If the embodied one meets death when Sattva is predominant, then he attains to the spotless regions of the knowers of the Highest.

15. Meeting death in Rajas, he is born among those attached to action; and dying in Tamas, he is born in the wombs of the irrational.

16. The fruit of good action, they say, is Sattvic and pure; while the fruit of rajas is pain and ignorance is the fruit of tamas.

17. From Sattva arises wisdom and greed from Rajas; heedlessness and error arise from Tamas and also ignorance.

18. Those who follow Sattva go upwards; the Rajasic remain in the middle; and the Tamasic, who follow in the course of the lowest guna, go downwards.

19. When the seer beholds not an agent other than the gunas and knows Him who is higher than the gunas, he attains to My being.

20. Having crossed beyond these three gunas, which are the source of the body, the embodied one is freed from birth, death, decay and pain and attains the immortal.

21. By what marks, O Lord, is he known who has crossed beyond those three gunas? What is his conduct and how does he pass beyond those three gunas.

22. Light and activity and delusion present, O Pandava, he hates not, nor longs for them absent.

23. He who, seated as a neutral, is not moved by gunas; who, thinking that gunas act, is firm and moves not;

24. He to whom pain and pleasure are alike, who dwells in the Self, to whom a clod of earth and stone and gold are alike, to whom the dear and the un-dear are alike, who is a man of wisdom, to whom censure and praise are same;

25. The same in honor and disgrace, the same towards friends and enemies, abandoning all undertakings - he is said to have crossed beyond the gunas.

26. And he who serves Me with unfailing Devotion of Love, he, crossing beyond those three gunas, is fitted for becoming Brahman.

27. For I am the abode of Brahman, the Immortal and the Immutable, the Eternal Dharma and the unfailing Bliss.

XV. THE SUPREME SPIRIT (Purushotama-prapti Yoga)

1. They speak of the indestructible Asvattha having its root above and branches below, whose leaves are the metres. He who knows it knows the Vedas.

2. Below and above are its branches spread, nourished by the gunas, sense-objects its buds; and below in the world of man stretch forth the roots ending in action.

3. Its form is not perceived as such here, neither its end nor its origin nor its existence. Having cut asunder this firm-rooted Asvattha with the strong sword of dispassion.

4. Then That Goal should be sought for, whither having gone none return again. I seek refuge in that Primeval Purusha whence streamed forth the Ancient Current.

5. Free from pride and delusion, with the evil of attachment conquered, ever dwelling in the Self, their desires having completely turned away, liberated from the pairs of opposites known as pleasure and pain, the un-deluded reach that Goal Eternal.

6. That the sun illumines not, nor the moon, nor fire; That is My Supreme Abode, to which having gone none return.

7. A ray of Myself, the eternal Jiva in the world of Jivas, attracts the senses, with Manas the sixth, abiding in Prakriti.

8. When the Lord acquires a body and when He leaves it, He takes these and goes, as the wind takes scents from their seats.

9. The ear, the eye and the touch, the taste and the smell, using these and the Manas, he enjoys the sense-objects.

10. Him who departs, stays and enjoys, who is conjoined with gunas, the deluded perceive not; they see, who possess the eye of knowledge.

11. Those who strive, endued with Yoga, perceive Him dwelling in the self; though striving, those of unrefined self, devoid of wisdom, perceive Him not.

12. That light which residing in the sun illumines the whole world, that which is in the moon and in the fire, that light do thou know to be Mine.

13. Penetrating the earth I support all beings by (My) Energy; and having become the watery moon I nourish all herbs.

14. Abiding in the body of living beings as Vaisvanara, associated with Prana and Apana, I digest the four fold food.

15. And I am seated in the hearts of all; from Me are memory, knowledge, as well as their loss; it is I who am to be known by all the Vedas, I am indeed the author of the Vedanta as well as the knower of the Vedas.

16. There are these two beings in the world the perishable and the imperishable; the perishable comprises all creatures, the immutable is called the imperishable.

17. But distinct is the Highest Spirit spoken of as the Supreme Self, the indestructible Lord who penetrates and sustains the three worlds.

18. Because I transcend the perishable and am even higher than the imperishable, therefore am I known in the world and in the Veda as 'Purushottama', the Highest Spirit.

19. He who, un-deluded, thus knows Me, the Highest Spirit, he, knowing all, worships Me with his whole being, O Bharata.

20. Thus, this most Secret Science has been taught by Me, O sinless one; on knowing this, (a man) becomes wise, O Bharata and all his duties are accomplished.


1. Fearlessness, purity of heart, steadfastness in knowledge and Yoga; alms-giving, self-restraint and worship, study of one's own (scriptures), austerity, uprightness;

2. Harmlessness, truth, absence of anger, renunciation, serenity, absence of calumny, compassion to creatures, un-covetousness, gentleness, modesty, absence of fickleness;

3. Energy, forgiveness; fortitude, purity, absence of hatred, absence of pride; these belong to one born for a divine lot, O Bharata.

4. Ostentation, arrogance and self-conceit, anger as also insolence and ignorance, belong to one who is born, O Partha, for a demoniac lot.

5. The divine nature is deemed for liberation, the demoniac for bondage. Grieve not, O Pandava; thou art born for a divine lot.

6. There are two creations of beings in this world, the divine and the demoniac. The divine has been described as length; hear from Me, O Partha, of the demoniac.

7. Neither action nor inaction do the demoniac men know; neither purity nor good conduct nor truth is found in them.

8. They say, the universe is unreal, without a basis, without a Lord, born of mutual union, brought about by lust; what else?

9. Holding this view, these ruined souls of small intellect, of fierce deeds, rise as the enemies of the world for its destruction.

10. Filled with insatiable desires, full of hypocrisy, pride and arrogance, holding unwholesome views through delusion, they work with unholy resolve;

11. Beset with immense cares ending only with death, sensual enjoyment their highest aim, assured that that is all;

12. Bound by hundreds of bands of hope, given over to lust and wrath, they strive to secure by unjust means hoards of wealth for sensual enjoyment.

13. This to-day has been gained by me; this desire I shall attain; this is mine and this wealth also shall be mine in future.

14. That enemy has been slain by me and others also shall I slay. I am the Lord. I enjoy, I am successful, strong and healthy.

15. I am rich and well-born. Who else is equal to me? I will sacrifice, I will give, I will rejoice. Thus deluded by un-wisdom.

16. Bewildered by many a fancy, entangled in the snare of delusion, addicted to the gratification of lust, they fall into a foul hell.

17. Self-honored, stubborn, filled with the pride and intoxication of wealth, they perform sacrifices in name with hypocrisy, without regard to ordinance.

18. Given over to egotism, power, haughtiness, lust and anger, these malicious people hate Me in their own and others' bodies.

19. These cruel haters, worst of men, I hurl these evil-doers for ever in the worlds into the wombs of the demons only.

20. Entering into demoniac wombs, the deluded ones, in birth after birth, without ever reaching Me, O son of Kunti, pass into a condition still lower than that.

21. Triple is this, the gate to hell, destructive of the self; LUST, WRATH and GREED. Therefore, these three, one should abandon.

22. A man who is released from these, the three gates to darkness, O son of Kunti, does good to the self and thereby reaches the Supreme Goal.

23. He who, neglecting the scriptural ordinance, acts under the impulse of desire, attains not perfection, nor happiness, nor the Supreme Goal.

24. Therefore, the scripture is thy authority in deciding as to what ought to be done and what ought not to be done. Now, thou ought to know and perform thy duty laid down in the scripture-law.

XVII. THE THREEFOLD FAITH (Shraddhatraya-Vibhaga Yoga)

1. Whoso Worship, setting aside the ordinance of the scripture, endued with faith - what faith is theirs? Is it Sattva, or Rajas, or Tamas?

2. Threefold is that faith born of the individual nature of the embodied - Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic. Do thou hear of it.

3. The faith of each is in accordance with his nature, O Bharata. The man is made up of his faith; as a man's faith is, so is he.

4. Sattvic men worship the Gods; Rajasic the Yakshas and the Rakshasas; the others - Tamasic men - the Pretas and the hosts of Bhutas.

5. Those men who practice terrific austerities not enjoined by the scripture, given to hypocrisy and egotism, endued with the strength of lust and passion;

6. Weakening all the elements in the body - fools they are - and Me who dwell in the body within; know thou these to be of demoniac resolves.

7. The food also which is dear to each is three fold, as also worship, austerity and gift. Do thou hear of this, their distinction.

8. The foods which increase life, energy, strength, health, joy and cheerfulness, which are savory and oleaginous, substantial and agreeable, are dear to the Sattvic.

9. The foods that are bitter, sour, saline, excessively hot, pungent, dry and burning, are liked by the Rajasic, causing pain, grief and disease.

10. The food which is stale, tasteless, putrid and rotten, refuse and impure, is dear to the Tamasic.

11. That worship is Sattvic which is offered by men desiring no fruit, as enjoined in the Law, with a fixed resolve in the mind that they should merely worship.

12. That which is offered, O best of the Bharatas, with a view to reward and for ostentation, know it to be a Rajasic worship.

13. They declare that worship to be Tamasic which is contrary to the ordinances, in which no food is distributed, which is devoid of mantras and gifts and which is devoid of faith.

14. Worshipping the Gods, the twice-born, teachers and wise men - purity, straight forwardness, continence and abstinence from injury are termed the bodily austerity.

15. The speech which causes no excitement and is true, as also pleasant and beneficial and also the practice of sacred recitation, are said to form the austerity of speech.

16. Serenity of mind, good-heartedness, silence, self-control, purity of nature - this is called the mental austerity.

17. This threefold austerity, practiced by devout men with utmost faith, desiring no fruit, they call Sattvic.

18. That austerity which is practiced with the object of gaining good reception, honor and worship and with hypocrisy, is said to be of this world, to be Rajasic, unstable and uncertain.

19. The austerity which is practiced out of a foolish notion, with self-torture, or for the purpose of ruining another, is declared to be Tamasic.

20. That gift which is given - knowing it to be a duty to give - to one who does no service, in place and in time and to a worthy person, that gift is held Sattvic.

21. And that gift which is given with a view to a return of the good, or looking for the fruit, or reluctantly, that gift is held to be Rajasic.

22. The gift that is given at a wrong place or time, to unworthy persons, without respect or with insult, that is declared to be Tamasic.

23. OM, TAT, SAT : this has been taught to be the triple designation of Brahman. By that were created of old the Brahmanas and the Vedas and the sacrifices.

24. Therefore, with the utterance of 'Om', are the acts of sacrifice, gift and austerity, as enjoined in the scriptures, always begun by the students of Brahman.

25. With 'Tat', without aiming at the fruits, are the acts of sacrifice and austerity and the various acts of gift performed by the seekers of moksha.

26. The word 'Sat' is used in the sense of reality and of goodness; and so also, O Partha, the word 'Sat' is used in the sense of an auspicious act.

27. Devotion to sacrifice, austerity and gift is also spoken of as 'Sat'; and even action in connection with these is called 'Sat'.

28. Whatever is sacrificed, given, or done and whatever austerity is practiced, without faith, it is called 'asat', O Partha; it is naught here or here-after.

XVIII. CONCLUSION (Moksha-Samnyasa Yoga)

1. 'Of Samnyasa' O Mighty-armed, I desire to know the truth, O Hrishikesa, as also of 'tyaga', severally, O Slayer of Kesin.

2. Sages understand 'Samnyasa' to be the renouncement of interested works; the abandonment of the fruits of all works, the learned declare, is 'tyaga'.

3. That action should be abandoned as an evil, some philosophers declare; while others (declare) that acts of sacrifice, gift and austerity should not be given up.

4. Learn from Me the truth about this abandonment, O best of the Bharatas; abandonment, verily, O best of men, has been declared to be of three kinds.

5. Practice of worship, gift and austerity should not be given up; it is quite necessary; worship, gift and austerity are the purifiers of the wise.

6. But even those actions should be performed, setting aside attachment and the fruits; this, O son of Pritha, is My firm and highest belief.

7. Verily, the abandonment of an obligatory duty is not proper; the abandonment thereof from ignorance is declared to be Tamasic.

8. Whatever act one may abandon because it is painful, from fear of bodily trouble, he practices Rajasic abandonment and he shall obtain no fruit whatever of abandonment.

9. Whatever obligatory work is done, by Arjuna, merely because it ought to be done, by abandoning attachment and also the fruit, that abandonment is deemed to be Sattvic.

10. He hates not evil action, nor is he attached, to a good one - he who has abandoned, pervaded by Sattva and possessed of wisdom, his doubts cut asunder.

11. Verily, it is not possible for an embodied being to abandon actions completely; he who abandons the fruits of actions is verily said to be an abandoner.

12. The threefold fruit of action - evil, good and mixed - accrues after death to non-abandoners, but never to abandoners.

13. These five factors in the accomplishment of all action, know thou from Me, O mighty-armed, as taught in the Sankhya which is the end of action.

14. The seat and actor and the various organs and the several functions of various sorts and the Divinity also, the fifth among these.

15. Whatever action a man does by the body, speech and mind, right or the opposite, these five are its causes.

16. Now, such being the case, verily, he who as untrained in understanding, looks on the pure Self as the agent, that man of perverted intelligence sees not.

17. He who is free from egotistic notion, whose mind is not tainted - though he kills these creatures, he kills not, he is not bound.

18. Knowledge, the object known, the knower, (form) the threefold impulse to action; the organ, the end, the agent, from the threefold basis of action.

19. Knowledge and action and the agent are said in the science of gunas to be of three kinds only, according to the distinction in gunas. Hear thou duly of them.

20. That by which a man sees the one Indestructible Reality in all beings, in-separate in the separated - that knowledge know thou as Sattvic.

21. But that knowledge which by differentiation, sees in all the creatures various entities of distinct kinds, that knowledge know thou as Rajasic.

22. But that which clings to one single effect as if it were all, without reason, having no real object and narrow, that is declared to be Tamasic.

23. An action which is ordained, which is free from attachment, which is done without love or hatred by one not desirous of the fruit, that action is declared to be Sattvic.

24. But the action which is done by one longing for pleasures, or done by the egotistic, costing much trouble, that is declared to be Rajasic.

25. The action which is undertaken from delusion, without regarding the consequence, loss, injury and ability, that is declared to be Tamasic.

26. Free from attachment, not given to egotism, endued with firmness and vigor, unaffected in success and failure, an agent is said to be Sattvic.

27. Passionate, desiring to attain the fruit of action, greedy, cruel, impure, subject to joy and sorrow, such an agent is said to be Rajasic.

28. Unsteady, vulgar, unbending, deceptive, wicked, indolent, desponding and procrastinating, (such) an agent is said to be Tamasic.

29. The threefold division of intellect and firmness according to qualities, about to be taught fully and distinctively (by Me), hear thou, O Dhananjaya.

30. That which knows action and inaction, what ought to be done and what ought not to be done, fear and absence of fear, bondage and liberation, that intellect is Sattvic, O Partha.

31. That by which one wrongly understands Dharma and Adharma and also what ought to be done and what ought not to be done, that intellect, O Partha, is Rajasic.

32. That which, enveloped in darkness, sees Adharma as Dharma and all things perverted, that intellect, O Partha, is Tamasic.

33. The firmness which is ever accompanied by Yoga and by which the activities of thought, of life-breaths and sense-organs, O Partha, are held fast, such a firmness is Sattvic.

34. But the firmness with which one holds fast to Dharma and pleasures and wealth, desirous of the fruit of each on its occasion, that firmness, O Partha, is Rajasic.

35. That with which a stupid man does not give up sleep, fear, grief, depression and lust, that firmness, O Partha, is Tamasic.

36. And now hear from Me - O lord of the Bharatas - of the threefold pleasure, in which one delights by practice and surely comes to the end of pain.

37. That which is like poison at first, at the end, like nectar that pleasure is declared to be Sattvic, born of the purity of one's own mind.

38. That pleasure which arises from the contact of the sense-organ with the object, at first like nectar, in the end like poison that is declared to be Rajasic.

39. The pleasure which at first and in the sequel is delusive of the self, arising from sleep, indolence and heedlessness, that pleasure is declared to be Tamasic.

40. There is no being on earth, or again in heaven among the Devas, that can be free from these three gunas born of Prakriti.

41. Of Brahmanas and Kshatriyas and Vaisyas, as also of Sudras, O Parantapa, the duties are divided according to the qualities born of nature.

42. Serenity, self-restraint, austerity, purity, forgiveness and also uprightness, knowledge, wisdom, faith - these are the duties of the Brahmanas, born of nature.

43. Bravery, boldness, fortitude, promptness, not flying from battle, generosity and lordliness are the duties of the Kshatriyas, born of nature.

44. Ploughing, cattle-rearing and trade are the duties of the Vaisyas, born of nature. And of the nature of service is the duty of the Sudra, born of nature.

45. Devoted each to his own duty, man attains perfection; how one, devoted to one's own duty, attains success, that do thou hear.

46. Him from whom is the evolution of (all) beings, by whom all this is pervaded - by worshipping Him with his proper duty, man attains perfection.

47. Better is one's own duty (though) destitute of merits, than the duty of another well performed. Doing the duty ordained according to nature one incurs no sin.

48. The duty born with oneself, O son of Kunti, though faulty, one ought not to abandon; for, all undertakings are surrounded with evil, as fire with smoke.

49. He whose reason is not attached anywhere, whose self is subdued, from whom desire has fled, he by renunciation attains the supreme state of freedom from action.

50. How he who has attained perfection reaches Brahman, that in brief do thou learn from Me, O son of Kunti - that supreme consummation of knowledge.

51. Endued with a pure reason, controlling the self with firmness, abandoning sound and other objects and laying aside love and hatred;

52. Resorting to a sequestered spot, eating but little, speech and body and mind subdued, always engaged in meditation and concentration, endued with dispassion;

53. Having abandoned egotism, strength, arrogance, desire, enmity, property, free from the notion of mine, and peaceful, he is fit for becoming Brahman.

54. Becoming Brahman, of serene self, he neither grieves nor desires, treating all beings alike; he attains supreme devotion to Me.

55. By Devotion he knows Me in truth, what and who I am; then, knowing Me in truth, he forthwith enters into Me.

56. Doing continually all actions whatsoever, taking refuge in Me - by My Grace he reaches the eternal un-decaying Abode.

57. Mentally resigning all deeds to Me, regarding Me as the Supreme, resorting to mental concentration, do thou ever fix thy heart in Me.

58. Fixing thy heart in Me, thou shall, by My Grace, cross over all difficulties; but if from egotism thou will not hear (Me), thou shall perish.

59. If, indulging egotism, thou think 'I will not fight', vain is this, thy resolve; nature will constrain thee.

60. Bound (as thou art), O son of Kunti, by thy own nature-born act, that which from delusion thou likes not to do, thou shall do, though against thy will.

61. The Lord dwells in the hearts of all beings, O Arjuna, whirling by Maya all beings (as if) mounted on a machine.

62. Fly unto Him for refuge with all thy being. O Bharata; by His Grace shalt thou obtain supreme peace (and) the eternal resting place.

63. Thus has wisdom, more secret than all that is secret, been declared to thee by Me; reflect thou over it all and act as thou pleases.

64. Hear thou again My word supreme, the most secret of all; because thou art My firm friend, therefore will I tell thee what is good.

65. Fix thy thought on Me, be devoted to Me, worship Me, do homage to Me. Thou shall reach Myself. The truth do I declare to thee; (for) thou art dear to Me.

66. Abandoning all righteous deeds, seek me as thy sole refuge; I will liberate thee from all sins; do thou not grieve.

67. This (which has been taught) to thee is never to be taught to one who is devoid of austerities, nor to one who is not devoted, nor to one who does not do service, nor to one who speaks ill of Me.

68. He who with supreme devotion to Me will teach this Supreme Secret to My devotees, shall doubtless come to Me.

69. Nor is there any among men who does dearer service to Me than he; nor shall there be another on earth dearer to Me than he.

70. And he who will study this sacred dialogue of ours, by him I shall have been worshipped by the sacrifice of wisdom, I deem.

71. And the man also who hears, full of faith and free from malice even he, liberated, shall attain to the happy worlds of the righteous.

72. Has it been heard by thee, O Partha, with an attentive mind? Has the delusion of ignorance been destroyed, O Dhananjaya?

73. Destroyed is delusion and I have gained recognition through Thy Grace, O Achyuta. I am firm, with doubts gone. I will do Thy word.

74. Thus have I heard this wonderful dialogue between Vasudeva and the high-souled Partha, which makes the hair stand on end.

75. Through the grace of Vyasa have I heard this Supreme and most secret Yoga direct from Krishna, the Lord of Yoga, Himself declaring it.

76. O King, remembering every moment this wonderful and holy dialogue between Kesava and Arjuna, I rejoice again and again.

77. And remembering every moment the most wonderful Form of Hari, great is my wonder, O king and I rejoice again and again.

78. Wherever is Krishna, the Lord of Yoga, wherever is Arjuna, the archer, there fortune, victory, prosperity and polity are established, I deem.