Sanjay, tell me what my sons
and the sons of Pandu did when they met
wanting to battle on the field of Kuru,
on the field of sacred duty?
Your son Duryodhan, the king,
seeing the Pandav forces arrayed,
approached his teacher Dron
and spoke in command.
" My teacher, see
the great Pandav army arrayed
by Drupad's son,
your pupil, intent on revenge.
Here are heroes, mighty archers
equal to Bhim and Arjun in warfare,
Yuyudhan, Virat, and Dhrupad,
your sworn foe on this great chariot.
Here too are Dhrishtaketu, Cekitana,
and the brave king of Banares;
and the manly king of the Shibis.
Yudhamanyu is bold,
and Uttamaujas is brave;
the sons of Subhadra and Draupadi,
all command great chariots.
Now, honored priest, mark
the superb men on our side
as I tell you the names
of my army's leaders.
They are you and Bhishm,
Karn and Krip, a victor in battles,
your own son Ashvatthama,
Vikarna, and the son of Somadatta.
Many other heroes also risk
their lives for my sake,
bearing varied weapons
and skilled in the ways of war.
Guarded by Bhishm, the strength
of our army is without limit;
but the strength of their army,
guarded by Bhim, is limited.
In all their movements of battle
you and your men,
stationed according to plan,
must guard Bhishm well!"
Bhishm, fiery elder of the Kurus,
roared his lion's roar
and blew his conch horn,
exciting Duryodhan's delight.
Conches and kettledrums,
cymbals, tabors and trumpets
were sounded at once
and the din of tumult arose.
Standing on their great chariot,
yoked with white stallions,
Krishn and Arjun, Pandu's son,
sounded their divine conches.
Krishn blew Panchajanya, won from a demon,
Arjun blew Devadatta, a gift of the gods;
fierce wolf-bellied Bhim blew Paundra,
his great conch of the east.
Yudhistir, Kunti's son, the king,
blew Anantvijay, conch of boundless victory,
his twin brothers Nakul and Sahadev
blew conches resonant and jewel toned.
The king of Benares, a superb archer,
and Shikhandin on his great chariot,
Dhrishtadyumn, Virat and indomitable Satyaki,
all blew their conches.
Drupad, with all his five grandsons,
and Subhadra's strong armed son,
each in turn blew
their conches, O King!
The noise tore the hearts
of Dhritarashtr's sons assembled
and tumult echoes
through heaven and earth.
Arjun, his war flag a rampant monkey (Hanuman),
saw Dhritarashtr's son assembled
as weapons were ready to clash,
and lifted his bow.
He told his charioteer:
halt my chariot
between the armies!
Far enough for me to see
these men who lust for war,
ready to fight with me
in the strain of battle.
I see men gathered here,
eager to fight,
bent on serving the folly
of Dhritarashtr's son."
When Arjun had spoken,
their splendid chariot
between the armies.
Facing Bhishm and Dron,
and all the great kings,
he said, "Arjun, see
the Kuru men assembled here!"
Arjun saw them standing there:
fathers, grandfathers, teachers,
uncles, brothers, sons,
grandsons, and friends.
He surveyed his elders
and companions in both armies,
all his kinsmen
Dejected, filled with strange pity,
he said this:
"Krishn, I see my kinsmen
gathered here, wanting war.
My limbs sink,
my mouth is parched,
my body trembles,
the hair bristles on my flesh.
The magic bow slips
from my hands, my skin burns,
I cannot stand still,
my mind reels.
I see omens of chaos,
Krishn I see no good
in killing my kinsmen
Krishn, I seek no victory,
or kingship or pleasures.
What use to us are kingship,
delights, or life itself?
We sought kingship, delights,
and pleasures for the sake of those
assembled to abandon their lives
and fortunes in battle.
They are teachers, fathers, sons,
and grandfathers, uncles, grandsons,
fathers and brothers of wives
and other men of our family.
I do not want to kill them
even if I am killed, Krishna;
not for kingship of all three worlds,
much less for the earth!
What joy is there for us, Krishn,
in killing Dhritarashtr's sons?
Evil will haunt us if we kill them,
though their bows are drawn to kill.
Honor forbids us to kill
our cousins, Dhritarashtr's sons;
how can we know happiness
if we kill our own kinsmen?
The greed that distorts their reason
blinds them to the sin they commit
in ruining the family, blinds them
to crime of betraying friends.
How can we ignore the wisdom
of turning from this evil
when we see the sin
of family destruction, Krishn?
When the family is ruined,
the timeless laws of family duty
perish; and when duty is lost,
chaos overwhelms the family.
In overwhelming chaos, Krishn,
women of the family are corrupted;
and when women are corrupted,
disorder is born in society.
This discord drags the violators
and the family itself to hell;
for ancestors fall when rites
of offering rice and water lapse.
The sins of men who violate
the family create disorder in society
that undermines the constant laws
of caste and family duty.
Krishn, we have heard
that a place in hell
is reserved for men
who undermine family duties.
I lament the great sin
we commit when our greed
for kingship and pleasures
drives us to kill our kinsmen.
If Dhritarashtr's armed sons
kill me in battle when I am unarmed
and offer no resistance,
it will be my reward."
Saying this in the time of war,
Arjun slumped into the chariot
and laid down his bow and arrows,
his mind tormented by grief.
Arjun sat dejected,
filled with pity,
his sad eyes blurred by tears,
Krishn gave him counsel.
Lord Krishn :
Why this cowardice
in this time of crisis, Arjun?
The coward is ignoble, shameful,
foreign to the ways of heaven.
Donít yield to impotence!
It is unnatural in you!
Banish this petty weakness from your heart,
Rise to the fight, Arjun!
Krishna, how can I fight
against Bhishm and Dron
when they deserve my worship?
It is better in this world
to beg for scraps of food
than to eat means
smeared with the blood
of elders I killed
at the height of their power
while their goals
were still desires.
We don't know which weight
is worse to bear ---
our conquering them
or their conquering us.
We will not want to live
if we kill
the sons of Dhritarashtr
assembled before us.
The flaw of pity
blights my very being;
conflicting sacred duties
confound my reason.
I ask you to tell me
decisively -- Which is better?
I am your pupil.
Teach me what I seek!
I see nothing
that could drive away
that withers my senses;
even if I won kingdoms
of unrivaled wealth
and sovereignty over gods.
Arjun told this
to Krishn --- then saying,
" I shall not fight, "
he fell silent.
Mocking him gently,
Krishn gave this counsel
as Arjun sat dejected,
between the two armies.
You grieve for those beyond grief,
and you speak words of insight;
but learned men do not grieve
for the dead or the living.
Never have I not existed,
nor you, nor these kings;
and never in the future
shall we cease to exist.
Just as the embodied self
enters childhood, youth, and old age,
so does it enter another body;
this does not confound a steadfast man.
Contacts with matter make us feel
heat and cold, pleasure and pain.
Arjun, you must learn to endure
fleeting things -- they come and go!
When these cannot torment a man,
when suffering and joy are equal
for him and he has courage,
he is fit for immortality.
Nothing of nonbeing comes to be,
nor does being cease to exist;
the boundary between these two
is seen by men who see reality.
Indestructible is the presence
that pervades all this;
no one can destroy
this unchanging reality.
Our bodies are known to end,
but the embodied self is enduring,
indestructible, and immeasurable;
therefore, Arjun, fight the battle!
He who thinks this self a killer
and he who thinks it killed,
both fail to understand;
it does not kill, nor is it killed.
It is not born,
it does not die;
it will never not be;
constant, and primordial,
it is not killed
when the body is killed.
Arjun, when a man knows the self
t be indestructible, enduring, unborn,
unchanging, how does he kill
or cause anyone to kill?
As a man discards
to put on new
and different ones,
so the embodied self
its worn-out bodies
to take on other new ones.
Weapons do not cut it,
fire does not burn it,
waters do not wet it,
wind does not wither it.
It cannot be cut or burned;
it cannot be wet or withered;
it is enduring, all pervasive,
fixed, immovable, and timeless.
It is called unmanifest,
inconceivable, and immutable;
since you know that to be so,
you should not grieve!
If you think of its birth
and death as ever-recurring,
then too, Great Warrior,
you have no cause to grieve!
Death is certain for anyone born,
and birth is certain for the dead;
since the cycle is inevitable,
you have no cause to grieve!
Creatures are unmanifest in origin,
manifest in the midst of life,
and unmanifest again in the end.
Since this is so, why do you lament?
hears it --
even hearing it,
no one really knows it.
The self embodied in the body
of every being indestructible;
you have no cause to grieve
for all these creatures, Arjun!
Look to your own duty;
do not tremble before it;
nothing is better for a warrior
than a battle of sacred duty.
The doors of heaven open
for warriors who rejoice
to have a battle like this
thrust on them by chance.
If you fail to wage this war
of sacred duty,
you will abandon your own duty
and fame only to gain evil.
People will tell
of your undying shame,
and for a man of honor
shame is worse than death.
The great chariot warriors will think
you deserted in fear of battle;
you will be despised
by those who held you in high esteem.
Your enemies will slander you,
scorning your skill
in so many unspeakable ways --
could an suffering be worse?
If you are killed, you win heaven;
gain and loss, victory and defeat,
arm yourself for the battle,
lest you fall into evil.
Understanding is defined in terms of philosophy;
now hear it in spiritual discipline.
Armed with this understanding, Arjun
you will escape the bondage of action.
No effort in this world
is lost or wasted;
a fragment of sacred duty
saves you from great fear.
This understanding is unique
in its inner core of resolve;
diffuse and pointless are the ways
irresolute men understand.
Undiscerning men who delight
in the tenets of ritual lore
utter florid speech, proclaiming,
" There is nothing else!"
Driven by desire, they strive after heaven
and contrive to win powers and delights,
but their intricate ritual language
bears only the fruit of action in rebirth.
Obsessed with powers and delights,
their reason lost in words,
they do not find in contemplation
this understanding of inner resolve.
Arjun, the realm of sacred lore
is nature -- beyond its triad of qualities,
dualities, and mundane rewards,
be forever lucid, alive to your self.
For the discerning priest,
all of sacred lore
has no more value than a well
when water flows everywhere.
Be intent on action,
not on the fruits of action;
avoid attraction to the fruits
and attachment to inaction!
Perform actions, firm in discipline,
be impartial to failure and success --
this equanimity is called discipline.
Arjun, action is far inferior
to the discipline of understanding;
so seek refuge in understanding -- pitiful
are men drawn by fruits of action.
Disciplined by understanding,
one abandons both good and evil deeds;
so arm yourself for discipline --
discipline is skill in actions.
Wise men disciplined by understanding
relinquish the fruit born of action,
freed from these bonds of rebirth,
they reach a place beyond decay.
When your understanding passes beyond
the swamp of delusion,
you will be indifferent to all
that is heard in sacred lore.
When your understanding turns
from sacred lore to stand fixed,
immovable in contemplation,
then you will reach discipline.
Krishn, what defines a man
deep in contemplation whose insight
and thought are sure? How would he speak?
how would he sit? How would he move?
Lord Krishn :
When he gives up desires in his mind,
is content with the self within himself,
then he is said to be a man
whose insight is sure, Arjun.
When suffering does not disturb his mind,
when his craving for pleasures has vanished,
when attraction, fear , and anger are gone,
he is called a sage whose thought is sure.
When he shows no preference
in fortune or misfortune
and neither exults nor hates,
his insight is sure.
When, like a tortoise retracting
its limbs, he withdraws his senses
completely from sensuous objects,
his insight is sure.
Sensuous objects fade
when the embodied self abstains from food;
the taste lingers, but it too fades
in the vision of higher truth.
Even when a man of wisdom
tries to control them, Arjun,
the bewildering senses
attack his mind with violence.
Controlling them all,
with discipline he should focus on me;
when his senses are under control,
his insight is sure.
Brooding about sensuous objects
makes attachment to them grow;
from attachment desire arises,
from desire anger is born.
From anger comes confusion;
from confusion memory lapses;
from broken memory understanding is lost;
from loss of understanding, he is ruined.
But a man of inner strength
whose senses experience objects
without attraction or hatred,
in self-control, finds serenity.
In serenity, all his sorrows
his reason becomes serene,
his understanding sure.
he has no understanding or inner power;
without inner power, he has no peace;
and without peace where is joy?
If his mind submits to the play
of his senses,
they drive away insight,
as wind drives a ship on water.
So, Great Warrior, when withdrawal
of the senses,
from sense objects is complete,
discernment is firm.
When it is night for all creatures,
a master of restraint is awake;
when they are awake, it is night
for the sage who sees reality.
As the mountainous depths
of the ocean
are unmoved when waters
rush into it,
so the man unmoved
when desires enter him
attains a peace that eludes
the man of many desires.
When he renounces all desires
and acts without craving,
or individuality, he finds peace.
This is the place of the infinite spirit;
achieving it, one is freed from delusion;
abiding in it even at the time of death,
one finds the pure calm of infinity.
If you think understanding
is more powerful than action,
why, Krishn, do you urge me
to this horrific act?
You confuse my understanding
with a maze of words;
speak one certain truth
so I may achieve what is good.
Lord Krishn :
Earlier I taught the twofold
basis of good in the world --
for philosophers, disciplined knowledge;
for men of discipline, action.
A man cannot escape the force
of action by abstaining from actions;
he does not attain success
just by renunciation.
No one exists for even an instant
without performing action;
however unwilling, every being is forced
to act by the qualities of nature.
When senses are controlled
but he keeps recalling
sense objects with his mind,
he is a self-deluded hypocrite.
When he control his senses
with his mind and engages in the discipline
of action with his faculties of action,
detachment sets him apart.
Perform necessary action;
it is more powerful than inaction;
without action you even fail
to sustain your own body.
Action imprisons the world
unless it is done as sacrifice;
freed from attachment, Arjun,
perform actions as sacrifice!
When creating living beings and sacrifice,
Prajapati, the primordial creator, said :
"By sacrifice will you procreate!
Let it be your wish-granting cow!
Foster the gods with this,
and may they foster you,
by enriching one another,
you will achieve a higher good.
Enriched by sacrifice, the gods
will give you the delights you desire;
he is a thief who enjoys their gifts
without giving them in return. "
Good men eating the remnants
of sacrifice are free of any guilt,
but evil men who cook for themselves
eat the food in vain.
Creatures depend on food,
food comes from rain,
rain depends on sacrifice,
and sacrifice comes from action.
Action comes from the spirit of prayer,
whose source is OM, sound of the imperishable;
so the pervading infinite spirit
is ever present in the rites of sacrifice.
He who fails to keep turning
the wheel here set in motion
wastes his life in sin,
addicted to the senses, Arjun.
But when a man finds delight
within himself and feels inner joy
and pure contentment in himself,
there is nothing more to be done.
He has no stake here
in deeds done or undone,
nor does his purpose
depend on other creatures.
Always perform with detachment
any action you must do;
performing action with detachment,
one achieves supreme good.
Janak and other ancient kings
attained perfection by actions alone;
seeing the way to preserve
the world, you should act.
Whatever a leader does,
the ordinary people also do.
He sets the standard
for the world to follow.
In the three worlds,
there is nothing I must do,
nothing unattained to be attained,
yet I engage in action.
What if I did not engage
relentlessly in action?
Men retrace my path
at every turn, Arjun.
These worlds would collapse
if I did not perform action;
I would create disorder in society,
living beings would be destroyed.
As the ignorant act with attachment
to actions, Arjun,
so wise men should act with detachment
to preserve the world.
No wise man disturbs the understanding
of ignorant men attached to action;
he should inspire them,
performing all actions with discipline.
Actions are all effected
by the qualities of nature;
but deluded by individuality,
the self thinks, " I am the actor."
When he can discriminate
the actions of nature's qualities
and think, " The qualities depend
on other qualities," he is detached.
Those deluded by the qualities of nature
are attached to their actions;
a man who knows this should not upset
these dull men of partial knowledge.
Surrender all actions to me,
and fix your reason on your inner self;
without hope or possessiveness,
your fever subdued, fight the battle!
Men who always follow my thought,
trusting it without finding fault,
even by their actions.
But those who find fault
and fail to follow my thought,
know that they are lost fools,
deluded by every bit of knowledge.
Even a man of knowledge
behaves in accord with his own nature;
creatures all conform to nature;
what can one do to restrain them?
Attraction and hatred are poised
in the object of every sense experience;
a man must not fall prey
to these two brigands lurking on his path!
Your own duty done imperfectly,
is better than another man's done well.
It is better to die in one's own duty;
another man's duty is perilous.
Krishn, what makes a person
against his own will,
as if compelled by force?
Lord Krishn :
It is desire and anger arising
from nature's quality of passion;
know it here as the enemy,
voracious and very evil.
As fire is obscured by smoke
and a mirror by dirt,
as an embryo is veiled by its caul,
so is knowledge obscured by this.
Knowledge is obscured
by the wise man's eternal enemy,
which takes form as desire,
an insatiable fire, Arjun.
The senses, mind, and understanding
are said to harbor desire;
with these desire obscures knowledge
and confounds the embodied self.
Therefore, first restrain
your senses, Arjun,
then kill this evil
that ruins knowledge and judgment.
Men say that the senses are superior
to their objects, the mind is superior to the senses,
understanding superior to the mind;
higher than understanding is the self.
Knowing the self beyond understanding,
sustain the self with the self.
Great Warrior, kill the enemy
menacing you in the form of desire!
Lord Krishn :
I taught this undying discipline
to the shining sun, first of mortals,
who told it to Manu, the progenitor of man;
Manu told it to the solar king Ikshvaku.
Royal sages knew this discipline,
which tradition handed down;
but over the course of time
it has decayed, Arjun.
This is the ancient discipline
that I have taught to you today;
you are my devotee and my friend,
and this is the deepest mystery.
Your birth followed the birth
of the sun;
how can I comprehend that you taught it
in the beginning?
Lord Krishn :
I have passed though many births
and so have you;
I know them all,
but you do not, Arjun.
Though myself unborn, undying,
the lord of creatures, I fashion nature,
which is mine, and I come into being
through my own magic.
Whenever sacred duty decays
and chaos prevails,
then, I create
To protect men of virtue
and destroy men of evil,
to set the standard of sacred duty,
I appear in age after age.
He who knows my divine
birth and my actions, escapes rebirth
when he abandons the body --
and he comes to me, Arjun.
Free from attraction, fear, and anger,
filled with me, dependant on me,
purified by the fire of knowledge,
many come into my presence.
As they seek refuge in me,
I devote myself to them;
Arjun, men retrace
my path in every way.
Desiring success in their actions,
men sacrifice here to the gods;
in the world of man
success comes quickly from action.
I created mankind into four classes,
different in their qualities and actions;
though unchanging, I am the agent of this,
the actor who never acts!
I desire no fruit of actions,
and actions do not defile me;
one who knows this about me
is not bound by actions.
Knowing this, even ancient seekers
of freedom performed action --
do as these seers
did in ancient times.
What is action? What is inaction?
Even poets were confused --
what I shall teach you of action
will free you from misfortune.
One should understand action,
understand wrong action,
and understand inaction too;
the way to action is obscure.
A man who sees inaction in action
and action in inaction
has understanding among men,
disciplined in all action he performs.
The wise say a man is learned
when his plans lack constructs of desire,
when his actions are burned
by the fire of knowledge.
Abandoning attachment to fruits
of action, always content, independent,
he does nothing at all
when he engages in action.
He incurs no guilt if he has no hope,
restrains his thought and himself,
and performs actions with his body only.
Content with whatever comes by chance,
beyond dualities, free from envy,
impartial to failure and success,
he is not bound even when he acts.
When a man is unattached and free,
his reason deep in knowledge,
action only in sacrifice,
his action is wholly dissolved.
The infinite spirit is the offering,
the oblation it pours into infinite fire,
and the infinite spirit can be reached
by contemplating its infinite action.
Some men of discipline offer
sacrifice only to the gods;
other sacrifice with oblation
in the fire of infinite spirit.
Some offer senses such as hearing
in the fires of restraint;
others offer sound and other objects
in the fires of the senses.
Others offer all actions of the senses
and all actions of breath
in the fire of discipline kindled
by knowledge -- the mastery of one's self.
Ascetics who keep strict vows
sacrifice with material objects,
through penance, discipline,
study of sacred lore, and knowledge.
Others sacrifice by suspending
the cycle of vital breath,
the flow of inhaling and exhaling,
as they practice breath control.
Others restricting their food
offer breaths in vital breaths;
all these understand sacrifice
and in sacrifice exhaust their sins.
Men who eat remnants of sacrifice
attain the timeless infinite spirit;
what is the world or the next
for a man without sacrifice, Arjun?
Many forms of sacrifice
expand toward the infinite spirit;
know that the source of them all
is action, and you will be free.
Sacrifice in knowledge is better
than sacrifice with material objects;
the totality of all action
culminates in knowledge, Arjun.
Know it by humble submission,
by asking questions, and by service,
wise men who see reality
will give you knowledge.
Arjun, when you have realized this,
you will not descend into delusion again,
knowledge will let you see creatures
within yourself and so in me.
Even if you are the most evil
of all sinners,
you will cross over all evil
on the raft of knowledge.
Just as a flaming fire reduces
wood to ashes, Arjun,
so the fire of knowledge
reduces all actions to ashes.
No purifier equals knowledge,
and in time
the man of perfect discipline
discovers this in his own spirit.
Faithful, intent, his senses
subdued, he gains knowledge;
he soon finds perfect peace.
As ignorant man is lost, faithless,
and filled with self-doubt;
a soul that harbors doubt has no joy,
not in this world or the next.
Arjun, actions do not bind
a man in possession of himself,
who renounces action through discipline
and severs doubt with knowledge.
So sever the ignorant doubt
in your heart with the sword
of self-knowledge, Arjun!
Observe your discipline! Arise!
Krishn, you praise renunciation
of actions and then discipline;
tell me with certainty
which is better of these two.
Lord Krishn :
Renunciation and discipline of action
both effect good beyond measure;
but of these two, discipline in action
surpasses renunciation of action.
The man of eternal renunciation
is one who neither hates nor desires;
he is easily freed from bondage.
Simpletons separate philosophy
and discipline, but the learned do not;
applying one correctly, a man
finds the fruit in both.
Men of discipline reach the same place
that philosophers attain;
he really sees who sees philosophy
and discipline to be one.
Renunciation is difficult to attain
a sage armed with discipline
soon reaches the infinite spirit.
Armed with discipline, he purifies
and subdues the self, masters his senses,
unites himself with the self of all creatures;
even when he acts, he is not defiled.
Seeing, hearing, touching, smelling,
eating, walking, sleeping, breathing,
the disciplined man who knows reality
should think, "I do nothing at all."
When taking, giving, taking,
opening and closing his eyes,
he keeps thinking, "It is the senses
that engage in sense objects."
A man who relinquishes attachment
and dedicates actions to the infinite spirit
is not stained by evil,
like lotus leaf unstained by water.
men of discipline perform action
with body, mind, understanding, and senses
for purification of the self.
Relinquishing the fruit of action,
the disciplined man attains perfect peace;
the undisciplined man is in bondage,
attached to the fruits of his desire.
Renouncing all actions with the mind,
the masterful embodied self
dwells at ease in its nine-gated fortress --
it neither acts nor causes action.
The lord of the world
does not create agency or actions,
or a union of fruits with actions;
but his being unfolds into existence.
The lord does not partake
of anyone's evil or good conduct;
knowledge is obscured by ignorance,
so people are deluded.
When ignorance is destroyed
by knowledge of the self,
then, like the sun, knowledge
illumines ultimate reality.
That becomes their understanding,
their self, their basis, and their goal,
and they reach a state beyond return,
their sin dispelled by knowledge.
Learned men see with an equal eye
a scholarly and dignified priest,
a cow, an elephant, a dog,
and even an outcaste scavenger.
Men who master the worldly world
have equanimity --
they exist in the infinite spirit,
in its flawless equilibrium.
He should not rejoice in what he loves
nor recoil from what disgusts him;
secure in understanding, undeluded, knowing
the infinite spirit, he abides in it.
Detached from external contact,
he discovers joy in himself;
joined by discipline to the infinite spirit,
the self attains inexhaustible joy.
Delights from external objects
are wombs of suffering;
in their beginning is their end,
and no wise man delights from them.
A man able to endure
the force of desire and anger
before giving up his body
is disciplined and joyful.
The man of discipline has joy,
delight, and light within;
becoming the infinite spirit,
he finds the pure calm of infinity.
The pure calm of infinity
exists for the ascetic
who disarms desire and anger
controls reason, and knows the self.
He shuns external objects,
fixes his gaze between his brows,
and regulates his vital breaths
as they pass through his nostrils.
Truly free is the sage who controls
his senses, mind and understanding,
who focuses on freedom
and dispels desire, fear, and anger.
Knowing me as the enjoyer
of sacrifice and penances, lord of all worlds,
and friends of all creatures
he finds peace.
Lord Krishn :
One who does what must be done
without concern for the fruits
is a man of renunciation and discipline
not one who shuns ritual fire and rites.
Know that discipline, Arjun,
is what men call renunciation
no man is disciplined
without renouncing willful intent.
Action is the means for a sage
who seeks to mature in discipline;
tranquility is the means
for one who is mature in discipline.
He is said to be mature in discipline
when he has renounced all intention
and is detached
from sense objects and actions.
He should elevate himself by the self,
not degrade himself;
for the self is its own friend
and its own worst foe.
The self is the friend of a man
who masters himself through the self,
but for a man without self-mastery,
the self is like an enemy at war.
The higher self of a tranquil man
whose self is mastered
is perfectly poised in cold or heat
joy or suffering, honor or contempt.
Self-contented in knowledge and judgment
his senses subdued, on the summit of existence,
impartial to clay, stone, or gold,
the man of discipline is disciplined.
He is set apart by his disinterest
toward comrades, allies, enemies,
neutrals, nonpartisans, foes, friends,
good and even evil men.
A man of discipline should always
discipline himself, remain in seclusion,
isolated, his thought and self well controlled,
without possessions or hope.
He should fix for himself
a firm seat in a pure place,
neither too high nor too low,
covered in cloth, deerskin, or grass.
He should focus his mind and restrain
the activity of his thought and senses;
sitting on that seat, he should practice
discipline for purification of the self.
He should keep his body, head,
and neck aligned, immobile, steady;
he should gaze at the tip of his nose
and not let his glance wander.
The self tranquil, his fear dispelled,
firm in the vow of celibacy, his mind restrained,
let him sit with discipline,
his thought fixed on me, intent on me.
his mind controlled,
a man of discipline finds peace,
the pure calm that exists in me.
Gluttons have no discipline,
nor the man who starves himself,
nor he who sleeps excessively
or suffers wakefulness.
When a man disciplines his diet
and diversions, his physical actions,
his sleeping and waking,
discipline destroys his sorrow.
When his controlled thought
rests within the self alone,
without craving objects of desire,
he is said to be disciplined.
"He does not waver, like a lamp sheltered
from the wind" is the simile recalled
for a man of discipline, restrained in thought
and practicing self-discipline.
When his thought ceases,
checked by exercise of discipline,
he is content within the self,
seeing the self through himself.
Absolute joy beyond his senses
can only be grasped by understanding;
when one knows it, he abides there
and never wanders from reality.
Obtaining it, he thinks
there is no greater gain;
abiding there, he is unmoved,
even by deep suffering.
Since he knows that discipline
means unbinding the bonds of suffering,
he should practice discipline resolutely,
without despair dulling his reason.
He should entirely relinquish
desires aroused by willful intent;
he should entirely control
his senses with his mind.
He should gradually become tranquil,
firmly controlling his understanding;
focusing his mind on the self
he should think nothing.
Wherever his faltering mind
he should restrain it
and bring it under self-control.
When his mind is tranquil, perfect joy
comes to the man of discipline;
his passion is calmed, he is without sin,
being one with the infinite spirit.
Constantly disciplining himself,
free from sin, the man of discipline
easily achieves perfect joy
in harmony with the infinite spirit.
Arming himself with discipline,
seeing everything with an equal eye,
he sees the self in all creatures
and all creatures in the self.
He who sees me everywhere
and sees everything in me
will not be lost to me,
and I will not be lost to him.
I exist in all creatures,
so the disciplined man devoted to me
grasps the oneness of life;
wherever he is, he is in me.
When he sees identity in everything,
whether joy or suffering,
through analogy with the self,
he is deemed a man of pure discipline.
You define this discipline
by equanimity, Krishn;
but in my faltering condition
I see no ground for it.
Krishn, the mind is faltering,
violent, strong, and stubborn;
I find it as difficult
to hold as the wind.
Lord Krishn :
Without doubt, the mind
is unsteady and hard to hold,
but practice and dispassion
can restrain it, Arjun.
In my view, discipline eludes
the unrestrained self,
but if he strives to master himself,
a man has the means to reach it.
When a man has faith, but no ascetic will,
and his mind deviates from discipline
before its perfection is achieved,
what way is there for him, Krishn?
Doomed by this double failure,
is he not like a cloud split apart,
unsettled, deluded on the path
of the infinite spirit?
Krishn, only you can dispel
this doubt of mine completely;
there is no one but you
to dispel this doubt.
Lord Krishn :
Arjun, he does not suffer
doom in this world or the next;
any man who acts with honor
cannot go the wrong way, my friend.
Fallen in discipline, he reaches
worlds made by his virtue, wherein he dwells
for endless years, until he is reborn
in the house of upright and noble men.
Or he is born in a family
of disciplined men;
the kind of birth in the world
that is very hard to win.
There he regains a depth
of understanding from his former life
and strives further
to perfection, Arjun.
Carried by the force of his previous practice,
a man who seeks to learn discipline
passes beyond sacred lore
that expresses the infinite spirit in words.
The man of discipline, striving
with effort, purified of his sins,
perfected through many births,
finds a higher way.
He is deemed superior
to men of penance,
men of knowledge, men of action;
be a man of discipline, Arjun!
Of all the men of discipline,
the faithful man devoted to me,
with his inner self deep in mine,
I deem most disciplined.
Lord Krishn :
Practice discipline in my protection,
with your mind focused on me;
Arjun, hear how you can know me
completely, without doubt.
I will teach you the totality
of knowledge, of judgment;
this known, nothing else
in the world need be known.
One man among thousands
strives for success,
and of the few who are successful,
a rare one knows my reality.
My nature has eight aspects:
earth, water, fire, wind, space,
This is my lower nature;
know my higher nature too,
that sustains this universe.
Learn that this is the womb
of all creatures;
I am the source of all the universe,
just as I am its dissolution.
Nothing is higher than I am;
Arjun, all that exists
is woven on me,
like a web of pearls of thread.
I am the taste in water, Arjun,
the light in the moon and sun,
OM resonant in all sacred lore,
the sound in space, valor in men.
I am the pure fragrance
in earth, the brilliance in fire,
the life in all creatures,
the penance in ascetics.
Know me, Arjun,
as every creature's timeless seed,
the understanding of intelligent men,
the brilliance of fiery horses.
Of strong men, I am strength,
without the emotion of desire;
in creatures I am the desire
that does not impede sacred duty.
Know that nature's qualities
come from me -- lucidity,
passion, and dark inertia;
I am not in them, they are in me.
All this universe, deluded
by the qualities inherent in nature,
fails to know that I am
beyond them and unchanging.
Composed of nature's qualities,
my divine magic is hard to escape;
but those who seek refuge in me
cross over this magic.
Vile, deluded sinners are the men
who fail to take refuge in me;
their knowledge ruined by magic,
they fall prey to demonic power.
Arjun, four types of virtuous men
are devoted me:
the tormented man, the seeker of wisdom,
the suppliant, and the sage.
Of these, the disciplined man of knowledge
is set apart by his singular devotion;
I am dear to the man of knowledge,
and he is dear to me.
They are all noble, but I regard
the man of knowledge to be my very self;
self-disciplined, he holds me
to be the highest way.
At the end of many births,
the man of knowledge finds refuge in me;
he is the rare great spirit who sees
"Krishn is all that is."
Robbed of knowledge by stray desires,
men take refuge in their desires;
observing varied rites,
they are limited by their own nature.
I grant unwavering faith
to any devoted man who wants
to worship any form
Disciplined by that faith,
he seeks the deityís favor;
this secured, he gains desires
that I myself grant.
But finite is the reward
that comes to men of little wit;
men who sacrifice to gods reach the gods;
those devoted to me reach me.
Men without understanding, think that I am
unmanifest nature become manifest;
they are ignorant of my higher existence,
my pure, unchanging absolute being.
Veiled in the magic of my discipline,
I elude most men;
this deluded world is not aware
that I am unborn and immutable.
I know all creatures
that have been, that now exist,
and that are yet to me;
but, Arjun, no one knows me.
All creatures are bewildered
at birth by the delusion
of opposing dualities
that arise from desire and hatred.
But when they cease from evil
and act with virtue, they devote
themselves to me, firm in their vows,
freed from the delusion of duality.
Trusting me, men strive
for freedom from old age and death;
they know the infinite spirit,
its inner self and all its actions.
Men who know me as its inner being,
inner divinity, and inner sacrifice
have disciplined their reason;
they know me at the time of death.
What is the infinite spirit, Krishn?
What is its inner self, its action?
What is its inner being called?
What is its inner divinity?
Who is within sacrifice, Krishn?
How is he here in the body?
And how are men of self-control
to know you at the time of death?
Lord Krishn :
Eternal and supreme is the infinite spirit;
its inner self is called inherent being;
its creative force, known as action,
is the source of creatures' existence.
Its inner being is perishable existence;
its inner divinity is man's spirit;
I am the inner sacrifice
here in your body, O Best of Mortals.
A man who dies remembering me
at the time of death enters my being
when he is freed from his body;
of this there is no doubt.
Whatever being he remembers
when he abandons the body at death,
he enters, Arjun,
always existing in that being.
Therefore, at all times remember me
mind and understanding fixed on me,
free from doubt, you will come to me.
Disciplined through practice,
his reason never straying,
meditating, one reaches
the supreme divine spirit of man.
One should remember
man's spirit as the guide,
the primordial poet,
smaller than an atom,
granter of all things,
in form inconceivable,
the color of the sun
At the time of death,
with the mind immovable,
armed with devotion
and strength of discipline,
focusing vital breath
between the brows,
one attains the supreme
divine spirit of man.
I shall teach you,
about the state
that scholars of sacred lore
the state ascetics enter,
freed from passion,
which some men seek
in the celibate life.
Controlling the body's gates,
keeping the mind in the heart,
holding his own breath in his head,
one is in disciplined concentration.
Invoking the infinite spirit
as the one eternal syllable OM,
remembering me as he abandons the body,
he reaches the absolute way.
When he constantly remembers me,
focusing his reason on me,
I am easy to reach, Arjun,
for a man of discipline.
Reaching me, men of great spirit
do not undergo rebirth,
the ephemeral realm of suffering;
they attain absolute perfection.
Even in Brahma's cosmic realm
worlds evolve in incessant cycles,
but a man who reaches me
suffers no rebirth, Arjun.
When they know that a day of Bramha
stretches over a thousand eons,
and his night ends in a thousand eons,
men understand day and night.
At break of Brahma's day
all things emerge from unmanifest nature;
when night falls, all sink
into unmanifest darkness.
Arjun, the throng of creatures
that comes to exist dissolves
unwillingly at nightfall
to emerge again at daybreak.
Beyond this unmanifest nature
is another unmanifest existence,
a timeless being that does not perish
when all creatures perish.
It is called eternal unmanifest nature,
what men call the highest way,
the goal from which they do not return;
the highest realm is mine.
It is man's highest spirit,
won by singular devotion, Arjun,
in whom creatures rest
and the whole universe extends.
Arjun, I shall tell you precisely
the time when men of discipline
who have died
suffer rebirth or escape it.
Men who know the infinite spirit
reach its infinity if they die
in fire, light, day, bright lunar night,
the sun's six-month northward course.
In smoke, night, dark lunar night,
the sun's six-month southward course,
a man of discipline
reaches the moon's light and returns.
These bright and dark pathways
are deemed constant for the universe;
by one, a man escapes rebirth;
by the other, he is born again.
No man of discipline is deluded
when he knows these two paths.
Therefore, Arjun, be armed
in all times with discipline.
Knowing the fruit of virtue
assigned to knowledge of sacred lore,
to sacrifices, to penances,
and to act in charity,
the man of discipline
transcends all this
and ascends to the place
of pure beginning.
Lord Krishn :
I will teach the deepest mystery
to you since you find no fault;
realizing it with knowledge and judgment,
you will be free from misfortune.
This science and mystery of kings
is the supreme purifier,
intuitive, true to duty,
joyous to perform, unchanging.
Without faith in sacred duty,
men fail to reach me, Arjun;
they return to the cycle
of death and rebirth.
The whole universe is pervaded
by my unmanifest form;
all creatures exist in me,
but I do not exist in them.
Behold the power of my discipline;
these creatures are really not in me;
my self quickens creatures,
sustaining them without being in them.
Just as the wide-moving wind
is constantly present in space,
so all creatures exist in me;
understand it to be so!
As an eon ends, all creatures
fold into my nature, Arjun;
and I create them again
as a new eon begins.
Gathering in my own nature,
again and again I freely create
the whole throng of creatures,
helpless in the force of my nature.
These actions do not bind me,
since I remain detached
in all my actions, Arjun,
as if I stood apart from them.
Nature, with me as her inner eye,
bears animate and unanimate beings;
and by reason of this, Arjun,
the universe continues to turn.
Deluded men despise me
in the human form I have assumed,
ignorant of my higher existence
as the great lord of creatures.
Reason warped, hope, action,
and knowledge wasted,
they fall prey to a seductive
fiendish, demonic nature.
In single-minded dedication, great souls
devote themselves to my divine nature,
knowing me as unchanging,
the origin of creatures.
Always glorifying me,
striving, firm in their vows,
paying me homage with devotion,
they worship me, always disciplined.
Sacrificing through knowledge,
others worship my universal presence
in its unity
and in itís many different aspects.
I am the rite, the sacrifice,
the libation for the dead, the healing herb,
the sacred hymn, the clarified butter,
the fire, the oblation.
I am the universal father,
mother, granter of all, grandfather,
object of knowledge, purifier,
holy syllable OM, threefold sacred lore.
I am the way, sustainer, lord,
witness, shelter, refuge, friend,
source, dissolution, stability,
treasure, and unchanging seed.
I am the heat that withholds
and sends down the rains;
I am immortality and death;
both being and non-being am I.
Men learned in sacred lore,
Soma drinkers, their sins absolved,
worship me with sacrifices,
seeking to win heaven.
Reaching the holy world of Indra,
king of the gods,
they savor the heavenly delights
of the gods in the celestial sphere.
When they have long enjoyed
the world of heaven
and their merit is exhausted,
they enter the mortal world;
following the duties
ordained by sacred lore,
they obtain what is transient.
Men who worship me,
thinking solely of me,
win the reward I secure.
When devoted men sacrifice
to other deities with faith,
they sacrifice to me, Arjun,
however aberrant the rites.
I am the enjoyer
and the lord of all sacrifices;
they do not know me in reality,
and so they fail.
Votaries of the gods go to the gods,
ancestor-worshippers go to the ancestors,
those who propitiate ghosts go to them,
and my worshippers go to me.
The leaf or flower or fruit or water
that he offers with devotion,
I take from the man of self-restraint
in response to his devotion.
Whatever you do -- what you take,
what you offer, what you give,
what penances you perform --
do as an offering to me, Arjun!
You will be freed from the bonds of action,
from the fruit of fortune and misfortune;
armed with the discipline of renunciation,
your self liberated, you will join me.
I am impartial to all creatures,
and no one is hateful or dear to me,
but men devoted to me are in me,
and I am within them.
If he is devoted solely to me,
even a violent criminal
must be deemed a man of virtue,
for his resolve is right.
His spirit quickens to sacred duty,
and he finds eternal peace;
Arjun, know that no one
devoted to me is lost.
If they rely on me, Arjun,
women, commoners, men of low rank,
even men born in the womb of evil,
reach the highest way.
How easy it is then for holy priests
and devoted royal sages --
in this transient world of sorrow,
devote yourself to me!
Keep me in your mind and devotion,
sacrifice to me, bow to me,
discipline your self toward me,
and you will reach me!
Lord Krishn :
Great Warrior, again hear
my word in its supreme form;
desiring your good,
I speak to deepen your love.
Neither the multitude of gods
nor great sages know my origin,
for I am the source of all
the gods and great sages.
A mortal who knows me
as the unborn, beginningless
great lord of all worlds
is freed from delusion and all evils.
Understanding, knowledge, nondelusion,
patience, truth, control, tranquility,
joy, suffering, being, nonbeing,
fear, and fearlessness...
Nonviolence, equanimity, contentment,
penance, charity, glory, disgrace,
these diverse attitudes
of creatures' arise from me.
The seven ancient great sages
and the four ancestors of man
are mind-born aspects of me;
their progeny fills the world.
The man who in reality knows
my power and my discipline
is armed with unwavering discipline;
in this there is no doubt.
I am the source of everything,
and everything proceeds from me;
filled with my existence, wise men
realizing this are devoted to me.
Thinking and living deep in me,
they enlighten one another
by constantly telling me
for their own joy and delight.
To men of enduring discipline,
devoted to me with affection,
I give the discipline of understanding
by which they come to me.
deep in the self,
I dispel darkness born of ignorance
with the radiant light of knowledge.
You are supreme, the infinite spirit,
the highest abode, sublime purifier,
man's spirit, eternal, divine,
the primordial god, unborn, omnipotent.
So the ancient seers spoke of you,
as did the epic poet Vyasa and the bards
who sang for gods, ancestors, and men;
and now you tell me yourself.
Lord Krishn, I realize the truth
of all you tell me;
neither gods nor demons
know your manifest nature.
You know yourself through the self,
Krishna; supreme among Men,
Sustainer and Lord of Creatures,
God of Gods, Master of the Universe!
Tell me without reserve
the divine powers of your self,
powers by which you pervade
Lord of Discipline,
how can I know you as I meditate
on you -- in what diverse aspects
can I think of you, Krishn?
Recount in full extent
the discipline and power of your self;
Krishna, I can never hear enough
of your immortal speech.
Lord Krishn :
Listen, Arjun, as I recount
for you in essence
the divine powers of my self;
endless is my extent.
I am the self abiding
in the heart of all creatures;
I am their beginning,
their middle, and their end.
I am Vishnu striding among sun gods,
the radiant sun among lights;
I am the lightening among wind gods,
the moon among the stars.
I am the song in sacred lore;
I am Indr, king of the gods;
I am the mind of the senses,
the consciousness of creatures.
I am the gracious Shiv among hauling storm gods,
the lord of wealth among demigods and demons,
fire blazing among the bright gods;
I am the golden Meru towering over the mountains.
Arjun, know me as the gods' teacher,
chief of the household priests;
I am the god of war among generals;
I am the ocean of lakes.
I am Bhrigu, priest of the great seers;
of words, I am the eternal syllable OM,
the prayer of sacrifices;
I am the Himalaya, the measure of what endures.
Among trees, I am the sacred fig-tree;
I am the chief of the divine sages,
leader of celestial musicians,
the recluse philosopher among saints.
Among horses, know me as the immortal stallion
born from the sea of elixir;
among elephants, the divine king's mount;
among men, the king.
I am the thunderbolt among weapons,
among cattle, the magical wish-granting cow;
I am the procreative god of love,
the king of the snakes.
I am the endless cosmic serpent,
the lord of all creatures;
I am the chief of all ancestral fathers;
of restraints, I am death.
I am the pious son of demons;
of measures, I am time;
I am the lion among wild animals,
the eagle among birds.
I am the purifying wind,
the warrior Ram bearing arms,
the sea-monster crocodile,
the flowing river Ganges.
I am the beginning, the middle,
and the end of creations, Arjun;
of sciences, I am the science of the self;
I am the dispute of orators.
I am the vowel 'a' of the syllabary,
the pairing words in a compound;
I am the indestructible time,
the creator facing everywhere at once.
I am death the destroyer of all,
the source of what will be,
the feminine powers: fame, fortune, speech,
memory, intelligence, resolve, patience.
I am the great ritual chant,
the meter of sacred song,
the most sacred month in the year,
the spring blooming with flowers.
I am the dice game of gamblers,
the brilliance of fiery heroes,
I am victory and resolve,
the lucidity of lucid men.
I am Krishn among my might kinsmen;
I am Arjun among the Pandav princes;
I am the epic poet Vyas among sages,
the inspired singer among bards.
I am the specter of rulers,
the morality of ambitious men;
I am the silence of mysteries,
what men of knowledge know.
Arjun, I am the seed
of all creatures;
nothing animate or inanimate
could exist without me.
Fiery Hero, endless
are my divine powers --
of my power's extent
I have barely hinted.
Whatever is powerful, lucid,
splendid, or invulnerable
has its source in a fragment
of my brilliance.
What use is so much knowledge
to you, Arjun?
I stand sustaining this entire world
with a fragment of my being.
To favor me you revealed
the deepest mystery of the self,
and by your words
my delusion is dispelled.
I heard from you in detail
how creatures come to be and die,
Krishn, and about the self
in its immutable greatness.
Just as you have described
yourself, I wish to see your form
in all its majesty,
Krishn, Supreme among Men.
If you think I can see it,
reveal to me
your immutable self,
Krishn, Lord of Discipline.
Lord Krishn :
Arjun, see my forms
in hundreds and thousands;
of many colors and shapes.
See the sun gods, gods of light,
howling storm gods, twin gods of dawn,
and gods of wind, Arjun,
wondrous forms not seen before.
Arjun, see all the universe,
animate and inanimate,
and whatever else you wish to see;
all stands here as one in my body.
But you cannot see me
with your own eye;
I will give you a divine eye to see
the majesty of my discipline.
O King, saying this, Krishn,
the great lord of discipline,
revealed to Arjun,
the true majesty of his form.
It was a multiform, wondrous vision,
with countless mouths and eyes
and celestial ornaments,
brandishing many divine weapons.
Everywhere was boundless divinity
containing all astonishing things,
wearing divine garlands and garments,
anointed with divine perfume.
If the light of a thousand suns
were to rise in the sky at once,
it would be like the light
of that great spirit.
Arjun saw all the universe
in its many ways and parts,
standing as one in the body
of the god of gods.
Then filled with amazement,
his hair bristling on his flesh,
Arjun bowed his head to the god,
joined his hands in homage, and spoke.
I see the gods
in your body, O God,
of varied creatures;
Brahm, the cosmic creator,
on his lotus throne,
all the seers,
and celestial serpents.
I see your boundless form
the countless arms,
bellies, mouths, and eyes;
Lord of All,
I see no end,
or middle or beginning
to your totality.
I see you blazing
through the fiery rays
of your crown, mace, and discus,
hard to behold
in the burning light
of fire and sun
your measureless presence.
You are to be known
as supreme eternity,
the deepest treasure
of all that is,
the immutable guardian
of enduring sacred duty;
I think you are
man's timeless spirit.
I see no beginning
or middle or end to you;
only boundless strength
in your endless arms,
the moon and the sun in your eyes,
your mouths of consuming flames,
your own brilliance
scorching this universe.
fill the space
between heaven and earth
and all the directions;
seeing this awesome,
terrible form of yours,
the three worlds
Throngs of gods enter you,
some in their terror
make gestures of homage
to invoke you;
throngs of great sages
hail you and praise you
in resounding hymns.
Howling storm gods, sun gods,
bright gods, and gods of ritual,
gods of the universe,
twin gods of dawn, wind gods,
throngs of celestial musicians,
demigods, demons, and saints,
all gaze at you amazed.
Seeing the many mouths
of your great form,
its many arms,
bellies, and fangs,
the worlds tremble
and so do I.
Vishnu, seeing you brush
the clouds with flames
of countless colors,
your mouths agape,
your huge eyes blazing,
my inner self quakes
and I find no resolve
Seeing the fangs
from your mouths
like the fires of time,
I lose my bearings
and I find no refuge;
be gracious, Lord of Gods,
Shelter of the Universe.
All those sons
of the blind king
by troops of kings,
by the generals Bhishm,
and by our battle leaders.
some are dangling
between your teeth.
toward the sea,
so do these human
into your blazing
in the frenzy
fly into a blazing flame,
in the frenzy
enter into your mouths.
You lick at the worlds
with flaming mouths;
and your terrible fires
scorch the entire universe,
filling it, Vishnu,
with violent rays.
Tell me --
who are you
in this terrible form?
Homage to you, Best of Gods!
Be gracious! I want to know you
as you are in your beginning.
I do not comprehend
the course of your ways.
Lord Krishn :
I am time grown old,
creating world destruction,
set in motion
to annihilate the worlds;
even without you,
all these warriors
arrayed in hostile ranks
will cease to exist.
and win glory!
Conquer your foes
and fulfill your kingship!
They are already
killed by me.
Be just my instrument,
the archer at my side!
Dron, Bhishm, Jayadrath,
and all the other battle heroes,
are killed by me.
fight, and you will conquer
your foes in battle!
Hearing Krishn's words,
under his crown,
and he joined his hands
in reverent homage;
terrified of his fear,
he bowed to Krishn
and stammered in reply.
Krishn, the universe
with joy and rapture
to your glory,
flee in far directions,
and saints throng
to bow in homage.
Why should they not bow
in homage to you, Great Soul,
more venerable than the creator Brahm?
Boundless Lord of Gods,
Shelter of All That Is,
you are eternity,
being, nonbeing, and beyond.
You are the original god,
the primordial spirit of man,
the deepest treasure
of all that is,
knower and what is to be known,
the supreme abode;
you pervade the universe,
Lord of Boundless Form.
You are the gods of wind,
death, fire, and water;
the moon; the lord of life;
and the great ancestor.
Homage to you,
a thousand time homage!
I bow in homage to you
again and yet again.
I bow in homage
before you and behind you;
I bow everywhere
to your omnipresence!
You have boundless strength
and limitless force;
all that you are.
Thinking you a friend,
I boldly said,
Welcome, cousin, friend!"
or through love,
I failed to know
If in jest
I offended you,
at sport, rest,
sitting, or at meals,
I beg your patience,
You are the father of the world
of animate and inanimate things,
its venerable teacher,
most worthy of worship,
Where in all three worlds
is another to match
your extraordinary power?
I bow to you,
I prostrate my body,
I beg you to be gracious,
Worshipful Lord --
as a father to a son,
a friend to a friend,
a lover to beloved,
O God, bear with me.
I am thrilled,
and yet my mind
trembles with fear
what has not been seen before.
Show me, God, the form I know --
be gracious, Lord of Gods,
Shelter of the World.
I want to see you
with your crown and mace,
and the discus in your hand.
O Thousand-Armed God,
assume the four armed form
embodied in your totality.
Lord Krishn :
To grace you, Arjun,
my higher form,
which no one but you
has ever beheld --
Not through sacred lore
or sacrificial ritual
or study or charity,
or by rites
or by terrible penances
can I be seen in this form
in the world of men
by anyone but you, Great Hero.
Do not tremble
or suffer confusion
my horrific form;
your fear dispelled,
your mind full of love,
see my form again
as it was.
Saying this to Arjun,
Krishn once more
his intimate form;
resuming his gentle body,
the great spirit
let the terrified hero
regain his breath.
Seeing your gentle human form,
Krishn, I recover
my own nature,
and my reason is restored.
Lord Krishn :
This form you have seen
is rarely revealed;
the gods are constantly craving
for a vision of this form.
Not through sacred lore,
penances, charity, or sacrificial rites
can I be seen in the form
that you saw me.
By devotion alone
can I, as I really am,
be known and seen
and entered into, Arjun.
Acting only for me, intent on me,
free from attachment,
hostile to no creature, Arjun,
a man of devotion comes to me.
Who best knows discipline:
men who worship you with devotion,
ever disciplined, or men who worship
the imperishable, unmanifest?
Lord Krishn :
I deem most disciplined
men of enduring discipline
who worship me with true faith,
entrusting their minds to me.
Men reach me too who worship
what is imperishable, ineffable, unmanifest,
immutable at the summit of existence.
Mastering their senses
with equanimity toward everything,
they reach me, rejoicing
in the welfare of all creatures.
It is more arduous when their reason
clings to my unmanifest nature;
for men constrained by bodies,
the unmanifest way is hard to attain.
But men intent on me
renounce all actions to me
and worship me, meditating
with singular discipline.
When they entrust reason to me,
Arjun, I soon arise
to rescue them from the ocean
of death and birth.
Focus your mind on me,
let your understanding enter me;
then you will dwell
in me without doubt.
If you cannot concentrate
your thought on me,
then seek to reach me, Arjun,
by discipline in practice.
Even if your fail to practice,
dedicate yourself to action;
performing actions for my sake,
you will achieve success.
If you are powerless to do
even this, rely on my discipline,
and reject all fruit of action.
Knowledge is better than practice,
meditation better than knowledge,
rejecting fruits of action
is better still -- it brings peace.
One who bears hate for no creature
is friendly, compassionate, unselfish,
free of individuality, patient,
the same in suffering and joy.
Content always, disciplined,
self-controlled, firm in resolve,
his mind and understanding dedicated to me,
devoted to me, he is dear to me.
The world does not flee from him,
nor does he flee from the world;
free of delight, rage, fear,
and disgust, he is dear to me.
Disinterested, pure, skilled,
relinquishing all involvements,
devoted to me, he is dear to me.
He does not rejoice or hate,
grieve or feel desire;
relinquishing fortune and misfortune,
the man of devotion is dear to me.
Impartial to foe and friend,
honor and contempt,
cold and heat, joy and suffering,
he is free from attachment.
Neutral to blame and praise,
silent, content with his fate,
unsheltered, firm in thought,
the man of devotion is dear to me.
Even more dear to me are devotees
who cherish this elixir of sacred duty
as I have taught it,
intent on me in their faith.
Lord Krishn :
The field denotes
this body, and wise men
call one who knows it
Know me as the field-knower
in all fields -- what I deem
to be knowledge is knowledge
of the field and its knower.
Hear from me in summary
what the field is
in its character and changes,
and of the field-knower's power.
Ancient seers have sung of this
in many ways, with varied meters
and with aphorisms on the infinite spirit
laced with logical arguments.
The field contains the great elements,
unmanifest nature, the eleven senses,
and the five sense realms.
Longing, hatred, happiness, suffering,
bodily form, consciousness, resolve,
thus is this field with its changes
defined in summary.
Knowledge means humility,
sincerity, nonviolence, patience,
honesty, reverence for one's teacher,
purity, stability, self-restraint.
Dispassion toward sense objects
and absence of individuality,
seeing the defects in birth, death,
old age, sickness, and suffering.
with sons, wife, and home,
in fulfillment and frustration;
Unwavering devotion to me
with singular discipline;
retreating to a place of solitude,
avoiding worldly affairs;
Persistence in knowing the self,
seeing what knowledge of reality means --
all this is called knowledge
the opposite is ignorance.
I shall teach you what is to be known;
for knowing it, one attains immortality;
it is called the supreme infinite spirit,
beginningless, neither being nor nonbeing.
Its hands and feet reach everywhere;
its head and face see every direction;
hearing everything, it remains
in the world, enveloping all.
Lacking all the sense organs,
it shines in their qualities;
unattached, it supports everything;
without qualities, it enjoys them.
Outside and within all creatures,
inanimate but still animate,
too subtle to be known,
it is far distant, yet near.
Undivided, it seems divided
understood as their sustainer,
it devours and creates them.
The light of lights
beyond darkness it is called;
knowledge attained by knowledge,
fixed in the heart of everyone.
So, in summary I have explained
the field and knowledge of it;
a man devoted to me, knowing this,
enters into my being.
Know that both nature
and man's spirit have no beginning,
that qualities and changes
have their origin in nature.
For its agency in producing effects,
nature is called a cause;
in the experience of joy and suffering,
man's spirit is called a cause.
Man's spirit is set in nature,
experiencing the qualities born in nature;
its attachment to the qualities causes
births in the wombs of good and evil.
Witness, consenter, sustainer,
enjoyer -- the great lord
is called the highest self,
man's true spirit in this body.
Knowing nature and the spirit of man,
as well as the qualities of nature,
one is not born again --
no matter how one now exists.
By meditating on the self, some men
see the self through the self;
others see by philosophical discipline;
others by the discipline of action.
Others, despite their ignorance,
revere what they hear from other men;
they too cross beyond death,
intent on what they hear.
Arjun, know that anything
inanimate or alive in motion
is born from the union
of the field and its knower.
He really sees
who sees the highest lord
standing equal among all creatures,
undecaying amid destruction.
Seeing the lord standing
the same everywhere,
the self cannot injure itself
and goes the highest way.
He really sees who sees
that all actions are performed
by nature alone and that the self
is not an actor.
When he perceives the unity
existing in separate creatures
and how they expand from unity,
he attains the infinite spirit.
Beginningless, without qualities,
the supreme self is unchanging;
even abiding in a body, Arjun,
it does not act, nor is it defiled.
Just as all-pervading space
remains unsullied in its subtlety,
so the self in every body
Just as one sun
illumines this entire world,
so the master of the field
illumines the entire field.
They reach the highest state
who with the eye of knowledge know
the boundary between the knower and its field,
and the freedom creatures have from nature.
Lord Krishn :
I shall teach you still more
of the farthest knowledge one can know;
knowing it, all the sages
have reached perfection.
Resorting to this knowledge
they follow the ways of my sacred duty;
in creation they are not reborn,
in dissolution they suffer no sorrow.
My womb is the infinite spirit;
in it I place the embryo,
and from this, Arjun,
comes the origin of all creatures.
The infinite spirit is the great womb
of all forms that come to be
in all wombs,
and I am the seed-giving father.
Lucidity, passion, dark inertia --
these qualities inherent in nature
bind the unchanging
embodied self in the body.
Lucidity, being untainted,
is luminous and without decay,
it binds one with attachment
to joy and knowledge, Arjun.
Know that passion is emotional,
born of craving and attachment;
it binds the embodied self
with attachment to action.
Know dark inertia born of ignorance
as the delusion of every embodied self;
it binds one with negligence,
indolence, and sleep, Arjun.
Lucidity addicts one to joy,
and passion to actions,
but dark inertia obscures knowledge
and addicts one to negligence.
When lucidity dominates
passion and inertia, it thrives;
and likewise when passion or inertia
dominates the other two.
When the light of knowledge
shines in all the body's senses,
then one knows
that lucidity prevails.
When passion increases, Arjun,
greed and activity,
involvement in actions,
disquiet, and longing arise.
When dark inertia increases,
obscurity and inactivity,
and delusion, arise.
When lucidity prevails,
the self whose body dies
enters the untainted worlds
of those who know reality.
When he dies in passion,
he is born among lovers of action;
so when he dies in dark inertia,
he is born into wombs of folly.
The fruit of good conduct
is pure and untainted they say,
but suffering is the fruit of passion,
ignorance is the fruit of dark inertia.
From lucidity knowledge is born;
from passion comes greed;
from dark inertia comes negligence,
delusion, and ignorance.
Men who are lucid go upward;
men of passion stay in between;
men of dark inertia,
caught in vile ways, sink low.
When a man of vision sees
nature's qualities as the agent
of action and knows what lies beyond,
he enters into my being.
Transcending the three qualities
that are the body's source, the self
achieves immortality, freed from the sorrows
of birth, death, and old age.
Lord, what signs mark a man
who passes beyond the three qualities?
What does he do to cross
beyond these qualities?
Lord Krishn :
He does not dislike light
or activity or delusion;
when they cease to exist
he does nor desire them.
He remains disinterested,
unmoved by qualities of nature;
he never wavers, knowing
that only qualities are in motion.
Self-reliant, impartial to suffering
and joy, to clay, stone, or gold,
the resolute man is the same
to foe and friend, to blame and praise.
The same honor and disgrace,
to ally and enemy, a man
who abandons involvements
transcends the qualities of nature.
One who serves me faithfully,
with discipline of devotion,
transcends the qualities of nature
and shares in the infinite spirit.
I am the infinite spirit's foundation,
immortal and immutable,
the basis of eternal sacred duty
and of perfect joy.
Lord Krishn :
Roots in the air, branches below,
the tree of life is unchanging,
they say; its leaves are hymns,
and he who knows it knows sacred lore.
stretch below and above,
nourished by nature's qualities,
budding with sense objects;
tangled in actions
into the world of men.
Its form is unknown
here in the world;
unknown are its end ,
its beginning, its extent;
cut down this tree
that has such deep roots
with the sharp axe
Then search to find
that one enters
" I seek refuge
in the original spirit of man,
from which primordial
Without pride or delusion,
the fault of attachment overcome,
intent on the self within,
their desires extinguished,
freed from dualities,
from joy and suffering,
reach that realm beyond change
Neither sun nor moon
nor fire illumines
my highest abode --
once there, they do not return.
A fragment of me in the living world
is the timeless essence of life;
it draws out the senses
and the mind inherent in nature.
When the lord takes on a body
and then leaves it,
he carries these along, like the wind
bearing the scents from earth.
Governing hearing, sight,
touch, taste, smell,
and thought, he savors
objects of the senses.
Deluded men do not perceive him
in departure or presence
or enjoyment of nature's qualities;
but the eyes of knowledge see him.
Men of discipline who strive
see him present within themselves;
but without self-mastery and reason,
even those who strive fail to see.
Know that my brilliance,
flaming in the sun,
in the moon, and in fire,
illumines this whole universe.
I penetrate the earth
and sustain creatures by my strength;
becoming Som, the liquid of moonlight,
I nurture all healing herbs.
I am the universal fire
within the body of living beings;
I work with the flow of vital breath
to digest the foods that men consume.
I dwell deep
in the heart of everyone;
and reasoning come from me;
I am the object to be known
through all sacred lore;
and I am its knower,
and creator of its final truth.
There is a double spirit of man
in the world, transient and eternal --
transient in all creatures,
eternal at the summit of existence.
Other is the supreme spirit of man,
called the supreme self,
the immutable lord who enters
and sustains the three worlds.
Since I transcend what is transient
and I am higher than the eternal,
I am known as the supreme spirit of man
in the world and in sacred lore.
Whoever knows me without delusion
as the supreme spirit of man
knows all there is, Arjun --
he devotes his whole being to me.
Arjun, thus I taught
this most sacred tradition;
realizing it, one has understanding
and his purpose is fulfilled.
Lord Krishn :
Fearlessness, purity, determination
in the discipline of knowledge,
charity, self-control, sacrifice,
study of sacred lore, penance, honesty;
Nonviolence, truth, absence of anger,
disengagement, peace, loyalty,
compassion for creatures, lack of greed,
gentleness, modesty, reliability;
Brilliance, patience, resolve,
clarity, absence of envy and of pride;
these characterize a man
born with divine traits.
Hypocrisy, arrogance, vanity,
anger, harshness, ignorance;
these characterize a man
born with demonic traits.
The divine traits lead to freedom,
the demonic lead to bondage;
do not despair, Arjun;
you were born with the divine.
All creatures in the world
are either divine or demonic;
I described the divine at length;
hear what I say of the demonic.
Demonic men cannot comprehend
activity and rest;
there exists no clarity,
no morality, no truth in them.
They say that the world
has no truth, no basis, no god,
that no power of mutual dependence
is its cause, but only desire.
Subject to insatiable desire,
drunk with hypocrisy and pride,
holding false notions from delusion,
they act with impure vows.
In their certainty that life
consists in sating their desires,
they suffer immeasurable anxiety
that ends only with death.
Bound by a hundred fetters of hope,
obsessed by desire and anger,
they hoard wealth in stealthy ways
to satisfy their desires.
"I have gained this wish today,
and I shall attain that one;
this wealth is mine,
and there will be more.
I have killed that enemy,
and I shall kill others too;
I am the lord, I am the enjoyer,
successful, strong, and happy.
I am wealthy, and wellborn,
I shall sacrifice, give, rejoice. "
So say men deluded by ignorance.
Confused by endless thoughts,
caught in the net of delusion,
given to satisfying their desires,
they fall into hell's foul abyss.
drunk with wealth and pride,
they sacrifice in name only,
in hypocrisy, violating all norms.
Submitting to individuality, power,
arrogance, desire, and anger,
they hate me and revile me
in their own bodies, as in others.
These hateful, cruel, vile
men of misfortune, I cast
into demonic wombs
through cycles of rebirth.
Fallen into a demonic womb,
deluded in birth after birth,
they fail to reach me, Arjun,
and they go the lowest way.
The three gates of hell
that destroy the self
are desire, anger, and greed;
one must relinquish all three.
Released through all these three gates
of darkness, Arjun,
a man elevates the self
and ascends to the highest way.
If he rejects norms of tradition
and lives to fulfill his desires,
he does not reach perfection
or happiness or the highest way.
Let tradition be your standard
in judging what to do or avoid;
knowing the norms of tradition,
perform your action here.
Men who ignore the ways of tradition
but sacrifice in full faith, Krishn,
what quality of nature is basic in them --
lucidity, passion, or dark inertia?
Lord Krishn :
Listen as I explain
the threefold nature of faith
inherent in the embodied self --
lucid, passionate, and darkly inert.
The faith each man has, Arjun,
follows his degree of lucidity;
a man consists of faith,
and as his faith is, so is he.
Men of lucidity sacrifice to the gods;
men of passion, to spirits and demons;
the others, men of dark inertia,
sacrifice to corpses and to ghosts.
Men who practice horrific penances
that go against traditional norms
are trapped by hypocrisy and individuality,
overwhelmed by the emotion of desire.
Without reason, they torment
the elements composing their bodies,
and they torment me within them;
know them to have demonic resolve.
Food is also of three kinds,
to please each type of taste;
sacrifice, penance, and charity
likewise divide in three ways.
Foods that please lucid men
are savory, smooth, firm, and rich;
they promote long life, lucidity,
strength, health, pleasure, and delight.
Passionate men crave foods
that are bitter, sour, salty, hot,
pungent, harsh, and burning,
causing pain, grief, and sickness.
The food that pleases
men of dark inertia is stale,
unsavory, putrid, and spoiled,
leavings unfit for sacrifice.
A sacrifice is offered with lucidity
when the norms are kept and the mind
is focused on the sacrificial act,
without craving for its fruit.
But a sacrifice is offered
with passion, Arjun,
when it is focused on the fruit
and hypocrisy is at play.
A sacrifice is governed by dark inertia
when it violates the norms --
empty of faith, omitting the ritual offering
of food and chants and gifts.
Honoring gods, priests,
teachers, and wise men, being pure,
honest, celibate, and nonviolent
is called bodily penance.
Speaking truth without offense,
and reciting sacred lore
is called verbal penance.
Mental serenity, kindness,
and purity of being
is called mental penance.
This threefold penance
is lucid when men of discipline
perform it with deep faith,
without craving for reward.
Wavering and unstable,
performed with hypocrisy,
to gain respect, honor, and worship,
that penance is called passionate.
Performed with deluded perception,
such penance has dark inertia.
Given its due time and place
to a fit recipient
who can give no advantage,
charity is remembered as lucid.
But charity given reluctantly,
to secure some service in return
or to gain a future reward,
is remembered as passionate.
Charity given out of place and time
to an unfit recipient,
ungraciously and with contempt,
is remembered for its dark inertia.
OM TAT SAT: "That Is the Real" --
this is the triple symbol of the infinite spirit
that gave a primordial sanctity
to priests, sacred lore, and sacrifice.
OM -- knowers of the infinite spirit
chant it as they perform
acts of sacrifice, charity, and penance
prescribed by tradition.
TAT -- men who crave freedom
utter it as they perform
acts of sacrifice, charity, and penance
without concern for reward.
SAT -- it means what is real
and what is good, Arjun,
the word SAT is also used
when action merits praise.
SAT is steadfastness in sacrifice,
in penance, in charity
any action of this order
is denoted by SAT.
But oblation, charity,
and penance offered without faith
are called ASAT, for they have no reality
here or in the world after death.
Krishn, I want to know
the real essence
of both renunciation
Lord Krishn :
Giving up actions based on desire,
the poets know of "renunciation";
relinquishing all fruits of action,
learned men call "relinquishment".
Some wise men say all action
is flawed and must be relinquished;
others say action in sacrifice, charity,
and penance must not be relinquished.
Arjun, hear my decision
its is rightly declared
to be of three kinds.
Action in sacrifice, charity,
and penance is to be performed,
not relinquished -- for wise men,
they are acts of sanctity.
But even these actions
should be done by relinquishing to me
attachment and fruit of action --
this is my decisive idea.
Renunciation of prescribed action
relinquished in delusion,
it becomes the way of dark inertia.
When one passionately relinquishes
difficult action from fear
of bodily harm, he cannot win
the fruit of relinquishment.
But if one performs prescribed action
because it must be done,
relinquishing attachment and the fruit,
his relinquishment is a lucid act.
He does not disdain unskilled action
nor cling to skilled action;
in his lucidity the relinquisher
is wise and his doubts are cut away.
A man burdened by his body
cannot completely relinquish actions,
but a relinquisher is defined
as one who can relinquish the fruits.
The fruit of action haunts men
in death if they fail to relinquish
all forms, unwanted, wanted, and mixed --
but not if men renounce them.
Arjun, learn from me
the five causes
for the success of all actions
as explained in philosophical analysis.
They are the material basis,
the agent, the different instruments,
various kinds of behavior,
and finally fate, the fifth.
Whatever action one initiates
through body, speech, and mind,
be it proper or perverse,
these five causes are present.
This being so, when a man
of poor understanding and misjudgment
sees himself as the only agent,
he cannot be said to see.
When one is free of individuality
and his understanding is untainted,
even if he kills these people,
he does not kill and is not bound.
Knowledge, its object, and its subject
are the triple stimulus of action;
instrument, act, and agent
are the constituents of action.
Knowledge, action, agent are threefold,
differentiated by qualities of nature;
hear how this has been explained
in the philosophical analysis of qualities.
Know that through lucid knowledge
one sees in all creatures
a single, unchanging existence,
undivided within its divisions.
Know passionate knowledge
as one which regards
various distinct existences
separately in all creatures.
But knowledge that clings
to a single thing as if it were the whole,
limited, lacking a sense of reality,
is known for its dark inertia.
Action known for its lucidity
is necessary, free of attachment,
performed without attraction or hatred
by one who seeks no fruit.
Action called passionate
is performed with great effort
by an individualist
who seeks to satisfy his desires.
Action defined by dark inertia
. is undertaken in delusion,
without concern for consequences,
for death or violence, or for manhood.
An agent called pure
has no attachment or individualism,
is resolute and energetic,
unchanged in failure and success.
An agent said to be passionate
is anxious to gain the fruit of action,
greedy, essentially violent, impure,
subject to excitement and grief.
An agent defined by dark inertia
is undisciplined, vulgar, stubborn,
fraudulent, dishonest, lazy,
depressed, and slow to act.
Listen as I tell you without reserve
about understanding and resolve,
each in three aspects,
according to the qualities of nature.
In one who knows activity and rest,
acts of right and wrong,
bravery and fear, bondage and freedom,
understanding is lucid.
When one fails to discern
sacred duty from chaos,
right acts from wrong,
understanding is passionate.
When one thinks in perverse ways,
is covered in darkness,
imagining chaos to be sacred duty,
understanding is darkly inert.
When it sustains acts
of mind, breath, and senses
through discipline without wavering
resolve is lucid.
When it sustains with attachment
duty, desire, and wealth,
craving their fruits,
resolve is passionate.
When a fool cannot escape
dreaming, fear, grief,
depression, and intoxication,
courage is darkly inert.
Arjun, now hear about joy,
the three ways of finding delight
that brings and end to suffering.
The joy of lucidity
at first seems like poison
but is in the end like ambrosia,
from the calm of self-understanding.
The joy that is passionate
at first seems like ambrosia
when senses encounter sense objects,
but in the end it is like poison.
The joy arising from sleep,
laziness, and negligence,
self-deluding from beginning to end,
is said to be darkly inert.
There is no being on earth
or among the gods in heaven
free from the triad of qualities
that are born of nature.
The actions of priests, warriors,
commoners, and servants
are apportioned by qualities
born to their intrinsic being.
Tranquility, control, penance,
purity, patience, and honesty,
knowledge, judgment, and piety
are intrinsic to the action of a priest.
Heroism, fiery energy, resolve,
skill, refusal to retreat in battle,
charity, and majesty in conduct
are intrinsic to the action of a warrior.
Farming, herding cattle, and commerce,
are intrinsic to the action of a commoner;
action that is essentially service
is intrinsic to the servant.
Each one achieves success
by focusing on his own action;
hear how one finds success
by focusing on his own action.
By his own action a man finds success,
worshipping the source
of all creatures' activity,
the presence pervading all that is.
Better to do one's own duty imperfectly
than to do another man's well;
doing action intrinsic to his being,
a man avoids guilt.
Arjun, a man should not relinquish
action he is born to, even if it is flawed;
all undertakings are marred by a flaw,
as fire is obscured by smoke.
His understanding everywhere detached,
the self mastered, longing gone,
one finds through renunciation
the supreme success beyond action.
Understand in summary from me
how when he achieves success
one attains the infinite spirit,
the highest state of knowledge.
Armed with purified understanding,
subduing the self with resolve,
relinquishing sensuous objects,
avoiding attraction and hatred;
Observing solitude, barely eating,
restraining speech, body, and mind;
practicing discipline in meditation,
Freeing himself from individuality, force,
pride, desire, anger, acquisitiveness;
he is at one with the infinite spirit.
Being at one with the infinite spirit,
serene in himself, he does not grieve or crave;
impartial toward all creatures,
he achieves supreme devotion to me.
Through devotion he discerns me,
just who and how vast I really am;
and knowing me in reality,
he enters into my presence.
Always performing all actions,
taking refuge in me,
he attains through my grace
the eternal place beyond change.
Through reason, renounce all works
in me, focus on me;
relying on the discipline of understanding,
always keep me in your thought.
If I am in your thought, by my grace
you will transcend all dangers;
but if you are deafened
by individuality, you will be lost.
Your resolve is futile
if a sense of individuality
makes you think, " I shall not fight" --
nature will compel you to.
You are bound by your own action,
intrinsic to your being, Arjun;
even against your will you must do
what delusion now makes you refuse.
Arjun, the lord resides
in the heart of all creatures,
making them reel magically,
as if a machine moved them.
With your whole being, Arjun,
take refuge in him alone --
from his grace you will attain
the eternal place that is peace.
This knowledge I have taught
is more arcane than any mystery --
consider it completely,
then act as you choose.
Listen to my profound words,
the deepest mystery of all,
for you are precious to me
and I tell you for your own good.
Keep your mind on me,
be my devotee, sacrificing, bow to me --
you will come to me, I promise,
for you are dear to me.
Relinquishing all sacred duties to me,
make me your only refuge;
do not grieve,
for I shall free you from all evils.
You must not speak of this
to one who is without penance and devotion,
or who does not wish to hear,
or who finds fault with me.
When he shares this deepest mystery
with others devoted to me,
giving me his total devotion,
a man will come to me without doubt.
No mortal can perform
service to me that I value more,
and no other man on earth
will be more dear to me than he is.
I judge the man who studies
our dialogue on sacred duty
to offer me sacrifice
through sacrifice in knowledge.
If he listens in faith,
finding no fault, a man is free
and will attain the cherished worlds
of those who act in virtue.
Arjun, have you listened
with your full powers of reason?
Has you delusion of ignorance
now been destroyed?
Krishn, my delusion is destroyed,
and by your grace I have regained memory;
I stand here, my doubt dispelled,
ready to act on your words.
As I heard this wondrous dialogue
between Krishn and Arjun,
the man of great soul,
the hair bristled on my flesh.
By grace of the epic poet Vyas, I heard
the mystery of supreme discipline
recounted by Krishn himself,
the lord of discipline incarnate.
O King, when I keep remembering
this wondrous and holy dialogue
between Krishn and Arjun,
I rejoice again and again.
In my memory I recall again
and again Krishn's wondrous form --
great is my amazement, King;
I rejoice again and again.
Where Krishn is lord of discipline
and Arjun is the archer,
there do fortune, victory, abundance,
and morality exist, so I think.