• 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.

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.'


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

不願彎腰撿拾一根針的人,永遠不值得一塊錢。 ....................................................

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.

Blog Archive

You were here:

Networked blogs