The Wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita
Better indeed is knowledge than mechanical practice. Better than knowledge is meditation. But better still is surrender of attachment to results, because there follows immediate peace.
Neither in this world nor elsewhere is there any happiness in store for him who always doubts.
Delusion arises from anger. The mind is bewildered by delusion. Reasoning is destroyed when the mind is bewildered. One falls down when reasoning is destroyed.
Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.
The mind is restless and difficult to restrain, but it is subdued by practice.
There has never been a time when you and I have not existed, nor will there be a time when we will cease to exist. As the same person inhabits the body through childhood, youth, and old age, so too at the time of death he attains another body. The wise are not deluded by these changes.
Those who eat too much or eat too little, who sleep too much or sleep too little, will not succeed in meditation. But those who are temperate in eating and sleeping, work and recreation, will come to the end of sorrow through meditation.
Still your mind in me, still yourself in me, and without a doubt you shall be united with me, Lord of Love, dwelling in your heart.
The soul who meditates on the Self is content to serve the Self and rests satisfied within the Self; there remains nothing more for him to accomplish.
Fear Not. What is not real, never was and never will be. What is real, always was and cannot be destroyed.
Not by refraining from action does man attain freedom from action. Not by mere renunciation does he attain supreme perfection.
Action is greater than inaction. Perform therefore thy task in life. Even the life of the body could not be if there were no action.
When the sage climbs the heights of Yoga, he follows the path of work; but when he reaches the heights of Yoga, he is in the land of peace.
Whenever the mind unsteady and restless strays away from the spirit, let him ever and for ever lead it again to the spirit.
No work stains a man who is pure, who is in harmony, who is master of his life, whose soul is one with the soul of all.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for unto them is given the knowledge of God.
Blessed is human birth; even the dwellers in heaven desire this birth; for true knowledge and pure love may be attained only by a human being.
As the rising sun dispels the darkness of the night, so the knowledge of the Atman (self), drives away all delusion.
Acquire that knowledge through prostration, inquiry and service. The wise who are knowers of the Truth will instruct you in wisdom.
As the fire kindled reduces fuel to ashes, so, O Arjuna, does the fire of knowledge reduce all karma to ashes.
Verily, there exists no purifier on earth, equal to knowledge. A man who becomes perfect in yoga finds it within himself in course of time.
He who is full of faith and zeal and has subdued his senses attains knowledge; having attained knowledge, he soon attains the supreme peace.
I shall tell you the supreme knowledge - the best of all knowledge, knowing which all the sages have attained supreme felicity.
And know the Kshetranja (embodied self) in all the bodies (Kshetras) to be Myself, O Bharata. The knowledge of Kshetra and the Kshetrajna (i.e, matter and spirit) is, true Knowledge.
Humility, unostentatiousness, harmlessness, forbearance, uprightness, service to the Guru, purity, steadiness and self-control - all this is called knowledge.
Just to bless them, I resideing in their intellect, destroy the darkness born of ignorance by the resplendent light of knowledge.
Unswering devotion to Me , through the yoga of non-separation, restoring to solitude and aversion for company, always being devoted to spiritual knowledge, perception of the aim of the knowledge of Truth - all this is declared to be knowledge and all that is contrary to this is ignorance.
If a meditative man constantly worships Me through the path of devotion, all the desires of his heart are destroyed, for I reside in his heart.
Whatever is acquired through work, austerities, knowledge, dispassion, yoga, or charity, or any other well-being, My devotee easily attains to it all through devotion to Me , ay, even heaven, or liberation or My abode, should he care to have it.
Even those devotees who, endowed with faith, worship other gods, worship Me alone, O son of kunti (Arjuna), though in an unauthorized way.
As fire kindled into a blaze burns the faggots to ashes, so, O Arjuna, devotion to Me completely consumes all evil.
I, the self, dear to devotees, am attainable by love and devotion. Devotion to Me purifies even the lowliest of the low.
O Arjuna, neither yoga, nor knowledge, nor piety, nor study, nor austerity, nor renunciation captivates Me so much as a heightened devotion to Me .
As gold smelted by fire gives up its dross and gets back its real state, so the mind by means of a systematic devotion to Me winnows off its desire for work and attains to Me .
Non-envious, friendly and compassionate towards all beings, free from ideas of passion and ego-consciousness, sympathetic in pain and pleasure, forgiving, always contented, contemplative, self-controlled, of firm conviction, with his mind and intellect dedicated to Me - such a devotee is dear to Me .
Endowed with wisdom, giving up the fruits resulting from actions, attaining self-realization and freed from the bondage of birth, verily they go to that abode which is free from evil.
Established in yoga, O Dhananjaya (Arjuna), perform actions, giving up attachment, and unconcerned as to the success or failure.
To work alone you have the right, but never claim its results. Let not the result of actions be your motive, nor be attached to inaction.
Not by mere abstaining from action does a man reach the state of actionlessness, nor by mere renunciation does he arrive at perfection.
The wise man should not unsettle the faith of the ignorant who are attached to work. He should make them devoted to all work, performing action himself intently.
He whose actions are free from the hankering for desires, whose actions have been burnt by the fire of knowledge, him the wise call a sage.
Verily no one becomes a yogi without renouncing desire for the fruit of action.
Arjuna asked: O ! Kesava, please tell me how and in what aspect a seeker after liberation should meditate upon Thee.
Sri Krishna replied: In a clean spot fixing his seat, firm, neither too high nor too low, made of kusa grass, deer skin and cloth, one on top of another, he should practice meditation.
He should sit firm, holding his body, neck and head erect and still, and gaze steadily at the tip of his nose without looking around.
One should purify the passage of Prana (breath) by means of inhalation, retention, and exhalation practice slowly in the inverse order, with the senses under control.
Raising the syllable OM to the heart by means of Pranayama (breath-control), one should add to it the vowel. The OM is like the continuous peal of a bell, and extending in a thin line like a thread in a lotus stalk.
Thus One should practice the Pranayama coupled with OM, ten times, thrice daily; Then within a month one will control Prana.
If the yogi, being deluded, makes mistake in life, he should burn away his/her sins and impurities by prayer and meditation. This yoga of prayer and meditation is the only way of atonement.
Serene and fearless, steadfast in Brahmachari vow (practising continence), and ever thinking on Me , he should sit in yoga, regarding Me as the supreme goal.
For him, who is temperate in food and recreation, temperate in his exertion at work, temperate in sleep and waking, yoga puts an end to all sorrows.
This yoga should be practised with perseverance, undisturbed by depression of heart.
A yogi, striving diligently, is purified of all sins, and becoming perfect through many births, reaches the supreme Goal.
Supreme Bliss comes to the yogi whose mind is completely tranquil and whose passions are quieted, who is free from strain and who has identified himself with Brahman.
Among all the yogis, he who, full of faith, with his inner-self merged in Me , worship is most devout to Me .
The Gunas - sattva, Rajas and Tamas - which are born of Prakriti (Nature) bind fast in the body the immortal embodied Soul, O mighty Arjuna!
From Sattva results knowledge, from Rajas only greed and from Tamas nothing but inadvertence, delusion and ignorance.
Poise, self-control, forbearance, discrimination, performance of one's duty, truthfulness, compassion, contentment, generosity, dispassion, faith and reverence, charity, besides delight in the contemplation of the divine self - these are the characteristics of Sattva.
Desire, lust, strife, pride, haughtiness, prayer for selfish ends, self-aggrandizement, love of fame, display of power, and aggressive enterprise - these are the characteristics of Rajas.
Anger, greed, lying, cruelty, begging, false piety, sloth, quarrelling, grief, infatuation, dejection, misery, excessive sleep, fear, and inertia - these are the characteristics of Tamas.
The gunas, - belong to the Jiva, the individual soul, and affect not Me, the Supreme Brahman. The Gunas arise from the mind and the individuals attached to them become bound to this world.
Higher intellectual knowledge is sattvika; knowledge of physical science is Rajas; and the knowledge common to the child and the ignorant is Tamasa. Complete knowledge of Me, is beyond the Gunas.
He who is the same in honour and dishonour, the same to a friend and a foe, meditate upon Me, without attachment to anything else - such a man is said to have risen above the Gunas.
Those who follow My teachings leading to the attainment of My being, dwell in My blissful state is no longer subject to distractions and is one with Brahman.