Bhagwad Geeta ~ The Song Divine

Summary

  • Ch. 1: Arjuna feels despondent on seeing his family and friends ranged in battle against each other
  • Ch. 2: When he seeks Krishna's advice, Arjuna is told that only the physical self perishes, whereas the Spirit is immortal. Krishna exhorts Arjuna to do his duty as a warrior.
  • Ch. 3: Karmayoga. Arjuna asks, if knowledge is suprior to action, why he should engage in battle. Krishna stresses to Arjuna that performing his duties for the greater good, but without attachment to results is the appropriate course of action.
  • Ch. 4: Krishna reveals that He has lived through many births, always teaching Yoga for the protection of the pious and the destruction of the impious and stresses the importance of accepting a teacher.
  • Ch. 5: Arjuna asks Krishna if it is better to forgo action or to act. Krishna answers that both ways may be beneficent, but that acting in dispassionate and detached manner is superior.
  • Ch. 6: Krishna describes the correct method of meditation and self-control for achieving that special state of consciousness which allows self-control and helps to reach the Supreme Being.
  • Ch. 7: Krishna speaks to Arjuna about the path of knowledge.
  • Ch. 8: Krishna defines the terms Supreme Spirit, the philosophy of duty, the spirit of the Imperishable and the Unmanifest and explains how one can remember him at the time of death and attain His supreme abode.
  • Ch. 9: Krishna explains panentheism, "all beings are in Me" as a way of remembering Him in all circumstances. He posits that He exists and interpenetrates every part of nature, and timelessly extends beyond as well.
  • Ch. 10: Krishna describes his various manifestations and how He is the ultimate source of all material and spiritual worlds.
  • Ch. 11: On Arjuna's request, Krishna displays his "universal form", a theophany of a being emitting the radiance of a thousand suns, containing all other beings and material in existence.
  • Ch. 12: Krishna describes the process of devotional service .
  • Ch. 13: Krishna describes nature (prakrti), the enjoyer (purusha) and consciousness.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Spirit and Matter

Arjuna asked: 'My Lord, who is God and what is Nature; what is Matter and what is the Self; what is it that they call Wisdom and what is it that is worth knowing?'

Lord Sri Krishna replied: 'Arjuna, the body of man is the playground of the Self; and that which knows the activities of Matter, the sages call the Self.

'I am the Omniscient Self that abides in the playground of Matter; knowledge of Matter and of the all-knowing Self is wisdom.

'What is called Matter, of what is it composed, whence it came, and why it changes, what the Self is, and what is its power - I will now briefly set forth.

'Seers have sung of it in various ways, in many hymns and sacred Vedic songs, weighty in thought and convincing in argument.

'The five great fundamentals (earth, fire, air, water and aether), personality, intellect, the mysterious life-force, the ten organs of perception and action, the mind and the five domains of sensation;

'Desire, aversion, pleasure, pain, sympathy, vitality, and persistent clinging to life, these are the constituents of changing Matter.

'Humility, sincerity, harmlessness, forgiveness, rectitude, service of the Master, purity, steadfastness, self-control;

'Renunciation of the delights of the senses, absence of pride, right understanding of the problems of birth and death, of age and sickness;

'Indifference and non-attachment to sex, progeny or home, equanimity in good fortune and bad;

'Unwavering devotion to me, concentration on me and me alone, a love of solitude and indifference to social life;

'Constant yearning for the knowledge of the Self, and pondering over the lessons of the great Truth - this is Wisdom, all else is ignorance.

'I will now speak to you of that great Truth that man ought to know, since by its means he will win immortal bliss; that which is without beginning, the Eternal Spirit which dwells in me, neither with form, now without it.

'Everywhere are its hands and feet, everywhere it has eyes that see, heads that think, and mouths that speak; everywhere it listens; it dwells in all the worlds; it envelops them all.

'Beyond all senses, it yet shines through every sense-perception. Bound to nothing, it yet sustains everything. Unaffected by the Qualities (the gunaas), it still enjoys them all.

'It is within all beings, yet outside; motionless yet moving; too subtle to be perceived; far way yet always near.

'In all being undivided, yet living in division, it is the upholder of all, Creator and Destroyer alike;

'It is the Light of lights, beyond the reach of darkness; the Wisdom, the only thing or that wisdom can teach; the Presence in the hearts of all.

'Thus have I told you what Matter is, and the Self worth realising and what is Wisdom. He who is devoted to me knows; and will certainly enter into me.

'Nature and God have no beginning and that the differences of character and quality have their origin in Nature alone.

'Nature is the Law which generates cause and effect; God is the source of the enjoyment of all pleasure and pain.

'God dwelling in the heart of Nature experiences the Qualities which Nature brings forth; and His affinity towards the Qualities is the reason for His living in a good or evil body.

'Thus in the body of man dwells the Supreme God; He who sees and permits, upholds and enjoys; the Highest God and the Highest Self.

'He who understands God and Nature along with her Qualities, whatever be his condition in life, he does not come again to earth.

'Some realise the Supreme by meditating, by its aid, on the Self within, others by pure reason, still others by right action.

'Others again, having no direct knowledge but only hearing from others, nevertheless worship , and they too if true to its teachings, cross the sea of death.

'Wherever life is seen in things movable or immovable, it is the joint product of Matter and Spirit.

'He who can see the Supreme Lord in all beings, the Imperishable amidst the perishable, he it is who really sees.

'Beholding the Lord in all things equally, his actions do not mar his spiritual life but lead him to the height of bliss.

'He who understands that it is only the law of Nature that brings action to fruition, and that the Self never acts, alone knows the Truth.

'He who sees the diverse forms of life all rooted in the One, and growing forth from Him, he shall indeed find the Absolute.

'The supreme Spirit, o Prince! is without beginning, without Qualities and Imperishable, and though it be within the body, yet it does not act, nor is it affected by action.

'As space, though present everywhere, remains by reason of its subtlety unaffected, so the Self, though present in all forms, retains its purity unalloyed.

'As the one Sun illuminates the whole earth, so the Lord illumines the whole Universe.

'Those who with the eyes of wisdom thus see the difference between Matter and Spirit, and know how to liberate Life from the Law of Nature, they attain the Supreme.'

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Path Of Love

Arjuna asked: 'My Lord, which are the better devotees who worship You, those who try to understand You as a Personal God, or those who worship You as Impersonal and Indestructible?'

Lord Sri Krishna replied: 'Those who keep their minds fixed on me, who worship me always with unwavering faith and concentration; these are the very best.

'Those who worship me as the
Indestructible, the Undefinable, the Unmanifest, the Primeval, the Immutable, the Eternal;

'Subduing their senses, viewing all conditions of life with the same eye, and working for the welfare of all beings, assuredly they come to me.

'But they who thus fix their attention on the Absolute and Impersonal encounter greater hardships; for it is difficult for those who exist in the corporeal sense to realise me as being Intangible.

'Those who surrender their actions to me, who muse on me, worship me, meditate on me, with no thought save of me,

'Arjuna, I rescue them quickly from the ocean of life and death, for their minds are fixed on me.

'Then, let your mind cling only to me, let your intellect abide in me; and without doubt, you will live hereafter in me alone.

'But if you cannot fix your mind firmly on me, then try to do so by constant practice.

'And if you are not strong enough to practise concentration, then devote yourself to my service, perform all your actions for my sake, and you will attain your goal.

'And if you are too weak even for this, then seek refuge in union with me, and renounce the fruit of all your actions with perfect self-control.

'Knowledge is superior to blind action, meditation to mere knowledge, renunciation of the fruit of action to meditation, and where there is renunciation, peace will follow.

'He who is incapable of hatred towards any being, who is kind and compassionate, free from selfishness, without pride, equable in pleasure and in pain, and forgiving,

'Always content, self-centred, self-controlled, resolute, with mind and reason dedicated to me, such a devotee of mine is my beloved.

'He who does not harm the world, and whom the world cannot harm, who is not carried away by any impulse of joy, anger or fear, such an one is my beloved.

'He who expects nothing, who is pure, watchful, dispassionate, unruffled, who renounces all imitative, such an one is my beloved.

'He who is beyond joy and hate, who neither repines nor desires, to whom all good and evil fortunes are the same,
such an one is my beloved.

'He who treats friend and foe alike, who welcomes equally honour and dishonour, heat and cold, pleasure and pain, who is enamoured of nothing,

'Who is indifferent to praise and censure
, who enjoys silence, who is contented with every fate, who has no fixed abode, who is steadfast in mind, and filled with devotion, such an one is my beloved.

'Those who love the spiritual wisdom as I have taught, whose faith never fails, and who concentrate their whole nature on me, they indeed are my most beloved.'




Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Cosmic Vision

Arjuna said: 'My Lord! Your words concerning the Supreme Secret of Self, given for my blessing, have dispelled the illusions around me.

"O Lord! Whose eyes are petal of a lotus! You have described in detail the origin and dissolution of being, and your own eternal majesty.

"I believe all as you have declared it to be. I long now to have a vision of your divine form, o You Most High!

'If you think that this can be made possible for me to see it, show me, o' Lord of Lords, your own Eternal Self.'

Lord Sri Krishna replied: 'Behold, Arjuna, my celestial forms, by hundreds and thousands varied in kind, in coulour and in shape.

'Observe the Powers of Nature: fire, earth, wind and sky; the sun, the heavens, the moon, the stars; all the forces of vitality and of healing; the roving winds. See the myriad wonders revealed only to you.

'Here, in Me living as one, Arjuna, perceive the whole universe, movable and immovable, and anything else that you would want to see.

'Yet since you cannot see Me with mortal eyes, I give you the Divine Light. See now the glory of My Supremacy.'

Sanjay continued: Having spoken thu, Lord Sri Krishna, the almighty Prince of Wisdom, showed Arjuna the Supreme Form of the Great God.

There were countless eyes and mouths, and mystic forms innumerable, with shining ornaments and flaming celestial weapons.

Crowned with heavenly garlands, clothes in shining attire, anointed with holy unctions, He showed Himself as the Resplendent One, Marvellous, Boundless, Omnipresent.

Even if a thousand suns had blazed forth together they would have been only a faint reflection of the radiance of the Lord-God.

In that vision Arjuna saw the universe, with its manifold shapes, all embraced in One, its Supreme Lord.

Then, Arjuna, awe-struck, his head bowed, his hands clasped in salutation, addressed the Lord:

'O almighty God, I see in You the powers of Nature, the various creatures of the world, the Progenitor on his lotus-throne, the Sages, the shining angels.

'I see You , infinite in form, with it as it were, eyes and limbs everywhere; no beginning, no middle, no end; O Lord of the Universe, whose form is universal!

'I see you with the crown, the sceptre and the discus; a blaze of splendour. I can hardly look at you, so radiant are you, glowing like a blazing fire, brilliant as the sun, immeasurable.

'You are imperishable, the Sole One worthy of being aware of, the priceless Treaure-house of the universe, the immortal guardian of eternal life, the everlasting spirit.

'Without beginning, without middle and without end, infinite in power, Your arms are all-embracing, the sun and moon are Your eyes, Your face beams with the fire of sacrifice, flooding the whole universe with light.

'Alone you fill all the quarters of the sky, earth and heaven, and the regions in between. O Almighty Lord, seeing Your marvellous and awe-inspiring form, the spheres tremble with fear.

'Troops of celsial beings enter You, some invoking You in fear, with folded palms; the Great Sages and Adepts singing hymns to Your glory, saying "All hail".

'The Vital Forces, the major stars, Fire, Earth, Air, Sky, Sun, Heaven, Moon and the Planets; the Angels, the Guardians of the Universe, the divine Healers, the Winds, the Fathers, the Heavenly Singers; and hosts of Mammon-worshippers, demons as well as saints, are amazed.

'Seeing your stupendous form, o Most Mighty, with its myriad faces, its innumerable eyes and limbs and terrible jaws, all the worlds and indeed, I myself are overwhelmed.

'When I see You, (your form) touching the Heavens, glowing with colour, mouth open, eyes fiery, I am terrified. O my Lord, my courage and my peace of mind, desert me.

'When I see Your multiple mouths with their fearful jaws like blazing fires at the dissolution of creation, I lose all sense of space; I find no rest. Be merciful, O Lord, in whom this universe abides.

'All these sons of Dhritarashtra , with the hosts of princes, Bheeshma, Drona and Karna, as well as other warrior chiefs belonging to our side;

'I see them all rushing headlong into Your mouths, with (its) terrible tusks, horrible to behold. Some are mangled between Your Jaws, their heads crushed to smithereens.

'As rivers in flood surge furiously to the ocean, so these warriors, the greatest among men, fling themselves into Your flaming mouths.

'As moths fly impetuously to the flame
only to be killed, so these men rush into Your mouth to court their own destruction.

'You seem to swallow up the worlds, to lap them in flame. Your glory fills the universe. Your fierce rays beat down upon it irresistibly.

'Tell me then who You are, that wear this dreadful Form? I bow before You, o' Mighty One! Have mercy, I pray, and let me see You are You were at first. I do not know what You intend.

Lord Sri Krishna replied: 'I have shown myself to you as the Destroyer who lays waste the world, and whose purpose now is destruction. In spite of your efforts, all these warriors gathered here for battle, will not escape death.

'Then gird your loins, and conquer. Subdue your foes and enjoy the kingdom in prosperity. I have already slain them. Be my instrument, Arjuna!

'Drona and Bheeshma, Jayadratha and Karna, and other brave warriors -- I have condemned them all. Destroy them; fight and fear not. Your foes will be crushed.'

Sanjay continued: Having heard these words from Lord Krishna, Prince Arjuna, with folded hand, trembling, prostrated himself and with a choked voice, bowed down again and again, and addressed the Lord once again.

Arjuna said: 'My Lord! It is natural that the world rejoices when it praises Your glory; demons flee in fear and Sages offer You salutations.

'How should they do otherwise? You are Supreme, greater than all Powers of Creation, the First Cause, Infinite, Lord of the Lords, the Home of the universe, Imperishable, Being and Not-Being, yet transcending both.

'You are the Pirmal God, the Ancient, the Supreme Abode of the universe, the Knower, the Knowledge and the Final Home. You fill everything. Your form is infinite.

'You are the Wind, You are Death, You are Fire, Water, Mon, Father and all Ancestors, Honour and Glory to You a thousand times!

'Salutations to You from all sides, You who encompass me. Your power is infinite; Your majesty immeasurable; You uphold all things; yea, You Yourself are All.

'Whatever I have said to You in rashnes, taking You as a friend and addressing You as "O Krishna! O Yadava! O Friend!" in thoughtless familiarity, not understanding your greatness;

'Whatever insult I have offered You in jest, in sport, or in repose, in conversation or at a banquet, alone or in a crowd, I ask Your forgiveness for them all, o' You who are without equal.

'For You are the Father of all things movable and immovable, the Worshipful, the Master of Masters. In all the Worlds, You have no equal, You stand alone.

'I prostrate myself before You. I salute You and ask for Your blessings. Only You can be trusted to bear with me, as father to son, as friend to friend, as lover to beloved.

'I rejoice that I have seen what no man ever saw before, yet, I am overwhelmed wit hfear. Please assume the form I know. Be merciful O Lord, who are the home of all universe.

'I long to see You are You were before, with the crown and the sceptre and the discus in Your hands, in Your other form, You whose forms are Infinite.

Lord Sri Krishna replied: 'My beloved friend! It is only through My grce abd power that you have been able to see this vision of splendour, the Universal, the Infinite, the Original. Never has it been seen by anyone except you.

'Not by study of the scriptures, not by sacrifice or gifts, not by rituals or rigorous austerity, is it possible for man to see what you have seen, o' you, the foremost hero of the Kuru clan.

'Do not be afraid, or bewildered, by the terrible vision. Put away your fears and with joyful mind, see me once again in my usual form.'

Sanjay continued: Having thus spoken to Arjuna, Lord Sri Krishna showed Himself again in His usual form; and in gentle tones consoled Arjuna who lately trembled with fear.

Arjuna said: 'Seeing You in Your gentle human form, my Lord, I am myself again, calm once more.

Lord Sri Krishna replied: 'It is hard to see this vision of Me that you have seen. Even the most powerful have longed for it in vain.

'Not by study of scriptures, or by austerities, not by gifts or sacrifices, is it possible to see me as you have done.

'Only by tireless devotion can I be seen and known; only thus can a person become one with me.
'He whose every action is performed for my sake, to whom I am the final goal, who loves me only and hates no one -- o my dearest son, only he can realise me.'

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Divine Manifestations

Lord Krishna said: 'Now, Prince, listen to my advice, which I give you for the sake of your welfare, for you are my beloved.

'Neither the professors of divinity, nor the great ascetics know my origin, for I am the source of them all.

'He knows me as unborn, without beginning, the Lord of all universe, he, stripped of all delusions, becomes free from all conceivable sin.

'Intelligence, wisdom, non-illusion, forgiveness, truth, self-control, calmness, pleasure, pain, birth, death, fear and fearlessness;

'Harmlessness, equanimity, contentment, austerity, beneficence, fame and failure; all these, the characteristics of living beings, spring from me only.

'The Seven Great Seers (Mareechi, Atri, Angiras, Pulah, Kratu, Pulastya & Vashishtha), the Progenitors of mankind, the Ancient Four Masters (Sanak, Sanandan, Sanatan and SanatKumar), and the Law-Givers were all born of my will and came forth direct from me. The race of mankind has sprung from them.

'He who rightly understands my manifested glory and my Creative Power, beyond doubt, attains perfect peace.

'I am the source of all; from me everything flows. Therefore, the wise worship me with unchanging devotion.

'With minds concentrated on me, with lives absorbed in me, and enlightening each other, they ever feel content and happy.

'To those who are always devout and who worship me with love, I give the power of discrimination, which leads them to me.

'By my grace, I live in their hearts; and I dispel the darkness of ignorance by the shining light of wisdom.'

Arjuna asked: 'You are the Supreme Spirit, the Eternal Home, the Holiest of the Holy, the Eternal Divine Self, the Primal God, the Unborn, the Omnipresent.

'So have said the seers and the divine sage, Narada,; as well as Asita, Devala and Vyaasa; and you yourself say so too.

'I believe in what you have said, my lord; for neither the godly nor the godless comprehend your manifestation.

'You alone know yourself, by the power of your self; you, the Supreme Spirit, the Source and Master of all being, the Lord of Lords, the Master of the Universe.

'Please tell me about your glorious manifestations, by means of which you pervade the world.

'O Master, how shall I, by constant meditation, know you? My Lord, what are your various incarnations through which I am to meditate on you?

'Tell me again, I pray, about the fullness of your power, and your glory; for I feel that I am never satisfied when I listen to your immortal words.'

Lord Krishna replied: 'So be it, my beloved friend, I will unfold for you some of the chief aspects of my splendour. Of its fullest extent, there is no end.

'O Arjuna, I am the Self, seated in the hearts of all beings; I am the beginning and the life, and I am the end of them all.

'Of all creative powers, I am the Creator, of luminaries, the Sun; the whirlwind among the winds, and the Moon among planets.

'Of the Vedas, I am the hymns, I am the electric force in the Powers of Nature; of the senses, I am the Mind; and I am the Intelligence in all lives.

'Among the forces of Vitality, I am the Life, I am Mammon for the heathen and the godless, I am the energy in fire, earth, wind sky, heaven, sun, moon and planets; and among mountains, I am Meru.

'Know, o Arjuna, that among priests, I am the Apostle Brihaspati, of generals, I am Skanda, the Commander-in-Chief, and of waters, I am the Ocean.

'Of the great Seers, I am Bhrigu, of words, I am Om, of offerings I am the silent prayer, among things immovable, I am the Himalaya.

'Of trees, I am the sacred fig tree, of the Divine Seers, Narada, of heavenly singers, Chitrartha, their leader, and of sages, I am Kapila.

'Know that among horses, I am Pegasus, the heaven-born; among the lordly elephants, I am the White One, and I am the Ruler among men.

'I am the Thunderbolt among weapons, of cows, I am Kamadhenu (the Cow of Plenty), I am Passion in those who procreate, and I am Cobra among serpents.

'I am the King Python among snakes, I am the Aqueous Principle among those that live in water, I am the Father of fathers, and among rulers, I am Death.

'I am devotee Prahlad among the heathen; of Time, I am the Eternal Present; I am the Lion among beasts, and the Eagle among birds.

'I am the Wind among purifiers, King Rama among warriors, I am the Crocodile among fish, and I am the Ganges among rivers.

'I am the Beginning, the Middle and the End in creation; among sciences, I am the Science of Spirituality; I am the Discussion among disputants.

'Of letters, I am A; I am the copulative in compound words; I am Time inexhaustible; and I am the all-pervading Preserver.

'I am all-devouring Death; I am the Origin of all that shall happen; I am Fame, Fortune, Speech, Memory, Intellect, Constancy and Forgiveness.

'Of hymns, I am Brihastama, of metres, I am Gayatri, among months, I am Margasheersha (December), and I am Vasanta (Spring) among seasons.

'I am the Gambling of the cheat, and the splendour of the splendid; I am Victory; I am Effort, and I am the Purity of the Pure.

'I am Sri Krishna of the Vrishni clan, and Arjuna among the Pandavas; of the saints, I am Vyaasa, and I am Shukracharya among the sages.

'I am Sceptre of the rulers, the Strategy of the conquerors, the Silence of mystery, the Wisdom of the wise.

'I am the Seed of all being, o Arjuna, no creature moving or unmoving can live without me.

'O Arjuna, the aspects of my divine life are endless. I have mentioned but a few by way of illustration.

'Whatever is glorious, excellent, beautiful and mighty, be assured that it comes from a fragment of my splendour.

'But what is the use of all these details to you. O Arjuna, I sustain this Universe with only a small part of myself.'

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Science of Sciences and the Mystery of Mysteries

Lord Krishna said: 'I will now reveal to you, since you do not doubt, that profound mysticism, which when followed by experience, will liberate you from sin.

'This is the Premier Science, the Sovereign Secret, the Purest and the Best; intuitional, righteous; and to him who practises it - pleasant beyond measure.

'They who have no faith in this teaching cannot find me, but remain lost in the purlieus of this perishable world.

'The whole world is pervaded by me, yet my form is not seen. All living things have their being in me, yet I am not limited by them.

'Nevertheless, they do not consciously abide in me. Such is my Divine Sovereignty that though I, the Supreme Self, am the cause and upholder of all, yet I remain outside.

'As the mighty wind, though moving everywhere, has no resting place but space, so have all these beings no home but me.

'All beings, o Arjuna, return at the close of every cosmic cycle into the realm of Nature, which is a part of me, and at the beginning of the next, I send them forth again.

'With the help of Nature, again and again I pour forth the whole multitude of beings, whether they will or no, for they are rules by my Will.

'But these acts of mine do not bind me. I remain outside and unattached.

'Under my guidance, Nature produces all things movable and immovable. Thus it is, o Arjuna, that this universe revolves.

'Fools disregard me, seeing me clad in human form. They know not that in my higher nature I am the Lord-God of all.

'Their hopes are vain, their actions worthless, their knowledge futile, they are without sense, deceitful, barbarous and godless.

'But the Great Souls, Arjuna, are filled with my Divine Spirit, they worship me, they fix their minds on me and me alone, for they know that I am the imperishable Source of Being.

'Always extolling me, intrepid, firm in their vows, prostrating themselves before me, they worship me continually with concentrated devotion.

'Others worship me with full consciousness, as the One, the Manifold, the Omnipresent, the Universal.

'I am the Oblation, the Sacrifice, the Worship; I am the Fuel and the Chant, I am the Butter offered to the fire, I am the Fire itself; and I am the act of offering.

'I am the Father of the universe and its Mother; I am its Nourisher and its Ancestor; I am the Knowable and the Pure; I am Om; and I am the sacred Scriptures.

'I am the Goal, the Sustainer, the Lord, the witness, the Home, the Shelter, the Lover and the Origin; I am Life and Death; I am the Fountain and the Seed Imperishable.

'I am the Heat of the Sun. I release and hold back the Rains. I am Death and Immortality; I am Being and Not-Being.

'Those who are versed in the scriptures, who drink the mystic Soma wine and are purified from sin, but who while worshipping me with sacrifices pray that I will lead them to heaven; they reach the holy world where the Controller of Powers lives, and they enjoy the feasts of paradise.

'Yet although they enjoy the glories of Paradise, nevertheless when their merit is exhausted, they are born again into this world of mortals. They have followed the letter of the scriptures, yet because they have sought but to fulfil their own desires, they must depart and return, again and again.

'But if a man will meditate on me and me alone, and will worship me always and everywhere, I will take upon myself the fulfillment of his aspiration, and I will safeguard whatsoever he attains.

'Even those who worship lesser powers, if they do so with faith, they thereby worship me, though not in the right way.

'I am the willing recipient of sacrifice, and I am its true lord. But these do not know me in truth, and so they sink back.

'The votaries of lesser Powers go to them; the devotees of spirits go to them; they who worship the powers of darkness, to such Powers they shall go; and so too, those who worship me, shall come to me alone.

'Whatever a man offers me, whether it is a leaf, a flower, or fruit or water, I accept it, for it is offered with devotion and purity of mind.

'Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you sacrifice and give, whatever austerities you practise, do all as an offering to me.

'So shall your action be attended by no result, either good or bad; but through the spirit of renunciation you will come to me and be free.

'I am the same to all beings. I favour none, and I hate none. But those who worship me devotedly, they live in me, and I in them.

'Even the most sinful, if he worships me with his whole heart, shall be considered righteous, for he is treading the right path.

'He shall attain spirituality before long, and Eternal Peace shall be his. Arjuna, believe me, my devotee is never lost.

'For even the children of sinful parents, and those mis-called the weaker sex, and merchants and labourers, if only they make me their refuge, they shall attain the Highest.

'What need then to mention the holy Ministers of God, the devotees and the saintly rulers? Therefore, you who are born in this changing and miserable world, you too must worship me.

'Fix your mind on me, devote yourself to me, sacrifice for me, surrender to me, make me the object of your aspirations and assuredly you will become one with me, who ma your own self.'


Monday, September 22, 2008

Life Everlasting

Arjuna asked: "O Lord of Lords, what is that which men call the Supreme Spirit, what is man's Spiritual Nature, and what is the Law? What is Matter, and what is Divinity?

'Who is it who rules the spirit of sacrifice in man; and at the time of death how many of those who have learnt self-control come to know you?'

Lord Krishna replied: 'The Supreme Spirit is the highest Imperishable Self, and Its Nature is spiritual consciousness. The worlds have been created and are supported by an emanation from the Spirit which is called the Law.

'Matter consists of forms that perish; Divinity is the Supreme Self; and he who inspires the spirit of sacrifice in man, o noblest of your race, is I myself, who now stand in human form before you.

'Whosoever at the time of death thinks only of me, and thinking thus, leaves the body and goes forth, assuredly he will know me.

'A man will go to that sphere of being where his mind was focussed at the time of death.

'Therefore, always meditate on me, and fight; if your mind and your reason are fixed on me, to me you will surely come.

'He whose mind does not wander, and who is engaged in constant meditation, attains the Supreme Spirit.

'He who meditates on the Omniscient, the Ancient, more minute than an atom, yet the Ruler and Upholder of all Unimaginable, Brilliant like the Sun, Beyond the reach of darkness;

'He who leaves the body with mind unmoved and filled with devotion, by the power of his meditation, gathering between his eyebrows his whole vital energy, attains the Supreme.

'Now I will speak briefly of the imperishable goal, proclaimed by those versed in scriptures, which the mystic attains when free from passion, and for which he is willing to undergo the vow of continence.

'Repeating Om, the symbol of Eternity, holding me in remembrance always, he who thus leaves his body and goes forth reaches the Spirit Supreme.

'To him who thinks constantly of me, and of nothing else, to such an ever-faithful devotee, o Arjuna, am I ever accessible.

'Coming thus unto me, these great souls go no more to the misery and death of earthly life, for they have gained perfection.

'The worlds, with the whole realm of creation, come and go; but, o Arjuna, the man who comes to me, for him there is no rebirth.

'Those who understand the cosmic day and cosmic night know that one day of creation is a thousand cycles, and that the night is of equal length.

'At the dawn of that day all objects in manifestation stream forth from the Unmanifest, when dusk falls, they are dissolved into It again.

'The same multitude of beings, which have lived on earth so often, all are dissolved as the night of the universe approaches, to issue forth anew when morning break. This is it ordained.

'In truth, therefore, there is the Eternal Unmanifest, which is beyond and above the Unmanifest Spirit of Creation, which is never destroyed when all these beings perish.

'The wise say that the Unmanifest and the Indestructible is the highest goal of all; when once that is reached there is no return. That is my Blessed Home.

'O Arjuna, That Highest God, in whom all beings abide, and who pervades the entire universe, is reached only by whole-hearted devotion.

'Now I will tell you, Arjuna, of the times at which, if the mystics go forth, they do not return, and at which they go forth, only to return.

'If knowing the Supreme Spirit the sage goes forth with fire and light, in the daytime, in the fortnight of the waxing moon, and in the six months before the Northern summer Solstice, he will attain the Supreme.

'But if he departs in gloom, at night, during the fortnight of the waning moon, and in the six months before the Southern Solstice, then he reaches but lunar light and he will be born again.

'These bright and dark paths out of the world have always existed. Whoever takes the former, does not return; he who chooses the latter, returns.

'O Arjuna, the saint knowing these paths is not confused; therefore, meditate perpetually.

'The sage who knows this passes beyond all merit that comes from the study of the scriptures, from austerities and charity, and reaches the Supreme Primeval Abode.'

Monday, September 15, 2008

Knowledge and Experience

Lord Krishna said: 'Listen, o Arjuna. And I will tell you how you shall know me in my full perfection, practising meditation with your mind devoted to me, and having me for your refuge.

'I will reveal this knowledge to you, and how it may be realised; which, once accomplished, there remains nothing else worth having in this life.

'Among thousands of men, scarcely one strives for perfection, and even amongst those who gain occult powers, perchance but one knows me in truth.

'Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intellect and personality; this is the eight-fold division of my manifested nature.

'This is my inferior nature; but distinct from this, o valiant one, know that my superior nature is the very life which sustains the universe.

'It is the womb of all being; for I am he by whom the worlds were created and shall be dissolved.

'O Arjuna, there is nothing higher than me; all is strung upon me as rows of pearls upon a thread.

'O Arjuna, I am the fluidity in water, the light in the sun and the in the moon. I am the mystic syllable Om in the Vedic scriptures, the sound in the ether, the vigour in man.

'I am the fragrance of earth, the brilliance of fire. I am the life-force in all beings, and I am the austerity of the ascetics.

'Know, o Arjuna, that I am the eternal seed of being; I am the Intelligence of the intelligent, the splendour of the resplendent.

'I am the strength of the strong, of them who are free from attachment and desire; and o Arjuna, I am the desire for righteousness.

'Whatever be the nature of their life, whether it be pure or passionate or ignorant, they are all derived from me. They are in me, but I am not in them.

'The inhabitants of this world, misled by those natures which the Qualities have engendered , do not know that I am higher than them all, and that I do not change.

'Verily, this Divine Illusion of Phenomenon manifesting itself in the Qualities is difficult to surmount. Only they who have devoted themselves to me and me alone can accomplish it.

'The sinner, the ignorant, the vile, deprived of spiritual perception by the glamour of illusion, and he who pursues a godless life - none of them shall find me.

'O Arjuna, the righteous who worship me are grouped by stages: first, they who suffer; next, they who desire knowledge; and then, they who thirst after truth; and lastly, they who attain wisdom.

'Of all these, he who has gained wisdom, who meditates on me without ceasing, devoting himself only to me, he is the best; for by the wise man I am exceedingly beloved and the wise man too is beloved by me.

'Noble-minded are they all, but the wise man I hold as my own self; for he, remaining always at peace with me, makes me his final goal.

'After many lives, at last the wise man realises me as I am. A man so enlightened that he sees God everywhere is difficult to find.

'They in whom wisdom is obscured by one desire or the other, worship the lesser powers, practising many rites which vary according to their temperaments.

'But whatever is the form of worship, if the devotee have faith, then upon his faith in that worship do I set my own seal.

'If he worships one form alone with real faith, then shall his desires be fulfilled through that only; for thus have I ordained.

'The fruit that comes to men of limited insight is, after all, finite. They who worship the Lower Powers attain them; but those worship me come unto me alone.

'The ignorant think of me, who ma the Unmanifested Spirit, as if I were really in human form. They do not understand that my Supreme Nature is changeless and most excellent.

'I am not visible to all, for I am enveloped by the illusion of wonder. This deluded world does not know me, as the Unborn and the Unperishable.

'I know, o Arjuna, all beings in the past, the present and the future; but they do not know m.

'O brave Arjuna, man lives in a fairy world, deceived by the lure of opposing sensations, infatuated by desire and aversion.

'But those who act righteously, in whom sin has been destroyed, who are free from the infatuation of conflicting emotions, they worship me with firm resolution.

'Those who make me their refuge, who strive for liberation from decay and death; they realise the Supreme Spirit, which is their own real Self, and in which all action finds its consummation.

'Those who see me in the life of the world, in the universal sacrifice, as Pure Divinity, keeping their minds unwavering, they live in me, even in the hour of death.'




Why The Geeta? Why now?

I took to reading the Geeta seriously in 2007. The idea of putting it on the WWW is not original. But I am doing it anyway as a labour of love. Just another excuse to read over and over again the wonderful words of this song divine which are a source of inspiration and of solace.
The context is a scene of battle, but that is only a metaphor for the greater battle that goes on within each one of us: the battle between our higher and lower selves, between desires and detachment, between our material and spiritual selves, between our physical senses and cosmic intuition.
There are five basic concepts: the Supreme Being, the Soul, Matter, Action and Time. In a sense, the entire divine symphony contains variations on these five basic themes.
The Geeta's greatest quality is its non-sectarian and non-dogmatic world-view. Exhorting action above mindless worship, it offers to its reader a whole new way of life; one that is free of fatuous rituals. What needs to be remembered while reading the Geeta is its emphasis on action and self-discipline.

Caveat emptor

This blog contains only a simple translation of the Geeta. I do not offer any commentary on the text (as yet). However, you are more than welcome to leave a comment on your understanding of a particular verse or chapter.

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