O Thou supreme world-teacher! I cannot bear any longer, even for a second, the miseries of this physical body, this life and this worldly existence.
Bhagavad Gita for Modern Times: Secrets to Attaining Inner Peace and Harmony
Meet me quickly, O Prabhu! I am pining, I am melting. Listen, listen, listen to my fervent, innermost prayer. Do not be cruel, my Lord. Thou art the friend of the afflicted. Thou art one who raises the downtrodden. Thou art the purifier of the fallen. O magnificent Lord of love and compassion!
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O fountain-head of bliss and knowledge! Thou art the eye of our eye, the ear of our ear, the breath of our breath, the mind of our mind, the soul of our soul. Thou art the unseen seer, the unthought thinker, the unheard hearer, the unknown knower. Pray, deliver us from temptation. Give us light, knowledge and purity. O Lord of my breath!
O all-pervading Lord of the universe, accept my humble prayer! Guide me. Lift me from the mire of worldliness. Enlighten me. Protect me. O Bhagavan, the Supreme Lord! How can unflinching devotion arise in him who is immersed in his Prarabdha Karmas worldly life , O Lord? Though engaged in the performance of worldly duties, one who is regular in the study of the Gita becomes free. He is the happy man in this world. He is not bound by Karma. Just as the water stains not the lotus leaf, even so sins do not taint him who is regular in the recitation of the Gita.
All the sacred centres of pilgrimage, like Prayag and other places, dwell in that place where the Gita is kept, and where the Gita is read. All the gods, sages, Yogins, divine serpents, Gopalas, Gopikas friends and devotees of Lord Krishna , Narada, Uddhava and others dwell here. Help comes quickly where the Gita is recited and, O Earth, I ever dwell where it is read, heard, taught and contemplated upon! I take refuge in the Gita, and the Gita is My best abode. I protect the three worlds with the knowledge of the Gita.
The Gita is My highest science, which is doubtless of the form of Brahman, the Eternal, the Ardhamatra of the Pranava Om , the ineffable splendour of the Self. It was spoken by the blessed Lord Krishna, the all-knowing, through His own mouth, to Arjuna. It contains the essence of the Vedas —the knowledge of the Reality.
It is full of supreme bliss. Hence it is a universal scripture suited for people of all temperaments and for all ages. He who recites the eighteen chapters of the Bhagavad Gita daily, with a pure and unshaken mind, attains perfection in knowledge, and reaches the highest state or supreme goal. If a complete reading is not possible, even if only half is read, he attains the benefit of giving a cow as a gift. There is no doubt about this.
He who recites one-third part of it achieves the merit of a bath in the sacred river Ganges; and who recites one-sixth of it attains the merit of performing a Soma sacrifice a kind of ritual. That person who reads one discourse with supreme faith and devotion attains to the world of Rudra and, having become a Gana an attendant of Lord Shiva , lives there for many years. If one reads a discourse or even a part of a verse daily he, O Earth, retains a human body till the end of a Manvantara 71 Mahayugas or ,, years.
He who repeats ten, seven, five, four, three, two verses or even one or half of it, attains the region of the moon and lives there for 10, years. Accustomed to the daily study of the Gita, a dying man comes back to life again as a human being. By repeated study of the Gita, he attains liberation. Uttering the word Gita at the time of death, a person attains liberation.
Though full of sins, one who is ever intent on hearing the meaning of the Gita, goes to the kingdom of God and rejoices with Lord Vishnu. He who meditates on the meaning of the Gita, having performed many virtuous actions, attains the supreme goal after death. Such an individual should be considered a true Jivanmukta. In this world, taking refuge in the Gita, many kings like Janaka and others reached the highest state or goal, purified of all sins. O Bhagavad Gita, with which Partha was illumined by Lord Narayana Himself, and which was composed within the Mahabharata by the ancient sage, Vyasa, O Divine Mother, the destroyer of rebirth, the showerer of the nectar of Advaita, and consisting of eighteen discourses—upon Thee, O Gita, O affectionate Mother, I meditate!
Salutations unto thee, O Vyasa, of broad intellect and with eyes like the petals of a full-blown lotus, by whom the lamp of knowledge, filled with the oil of the Mahabharata, has been lighted! Salutations to Lord Krishna, the Parijata or the Kalpataru or the bestower of all desires for those who take refuge in Him, the holder of the whip in one hand, the holder of the symbol of divine knowledge and the milker of the divine nectar of the Bhagavad Gita!
All the Upanishads are the cows; the milker is Krishna; the cowherd boy, Partha Arjuna , is the calf; men of purified intellect are the drinkers; the milk is the great nectar of the Gita. I salute Sri Krishna, the world-teacher, son of Vasudeva, the destroyer of Kamsa and Chanura, the supreme bliss of Devaki!
With Kesava as the helmsman, verily was crossed by the Pandavas the battle-river, whose banks were Bhishma and Drona, whose water was Jayadratha, whose blue lotus was the king of Gandhara, whose crocodile was Salya, whose current was Kripa, whose billow was Karna, whose terrible alligators were Vikarna and Asvatthama, whose whirlpool was Duryodhana. May this lotus of the Mahabharata, born in the lake of the words of Vyasa, sweet with the fragrance of the meaning of the Gita, with many stories as its stamens, fully opened by the discourses of Hari, the destroyer of the sins of Kali, and drunk joyously by the bees of good men in the world, become day by day the bestower of good to us!
I salute that Madhava, the source of supreme bliss, whose Grace makes the dumb eloquent and the cripple cross mountains! Salutations to that God whom Brahma, Indra, Varuna, Rudra and the Maruts praise with divine hymns, of whom the Sama-chanters sing by the Vedas and their Angas in the Pada and Krama methods , and by the Upanishads; whom the Yogis see with their minds absorbed in Him through meditation, and whose ends the hosts of Devas and Asuras know not!
The great Mahabharata war between the Pandavas and the Kauravas took place on the holy plain of Kurukshetra. All the famous warriors from both sides had assembled on the battlefield. Tents and wagons, weapons and machines, chariots and animals covered the vast plain. Lord Krishna arrived on the scene in a magnificent chariot yoked by white horses. He was to act as the charioteer of Arjuna, one of the Pandava princes. The din of hundreds of conches, blaring forth suddenly, announced the commencement of the battle.
All the other great warriors blew their respective conches. As the two armies were arrayed, ready for battle, Arjuna requested Krishna to place his chariot between them so that he might survey his opponents. He was bewildered by the scene before him, for he beheld on both sides, fathers and grandfathers, teachers and uncles, fathers-in-law, grandsons, relatives and comrades. Should he participate in this terrible carnage? Would it not be much better for him to surrender everything in favour of his enemies and retire in peace?
As these thoughts rushed into his mind, a feeling of despondency overtook Arjuna. He had no enthusiasm to engage in this battle. Letting his bow slip from his hands, Arjuna could do nothing but turn to Lord Krishna for guidance and enlightenment. What did the sons of Pandu and also my people do when they had assembled together, eager for battle on the holy plain of Kurukshetra, O Sanjaya?
Having seen the army of the Pandavas drawn up in battle array, King Duryodhana then approached his teacher Drona and spoke these words:. These I name to thee for thy information. His glorious grandsire Bhishma , the eldest of the Kauravas, in order to cheer Duryodhana, now roared like a lion and blew his conch. Then following Bhishma , conches and kettle-drums, tabors, drums and cow-horns blared forth quite suddenly from the side of the Kauravas ; and the sound was tremendous. Then also, Madhava Krishna , and the son of Pandu Arjuna , seated in their magnificent chariot yoked with white horses, blew their divine conches.
The king of Kasi, an excellent archer, Sikhandi, the mighty car-warrior, Dhristadyumna and Virata and Satyaki, the unconquered,. Drupada and the sons of Draupadi, O Lord of the Earth, and the son of Subhadra, the mighty-armed, all blew their respective conches! In the middle of the two armies, place my chariot, O Krishna, so that I may behold those who stand here, desirous to fight, and know with whom I must fight when the battle begins.
For I desire to observe those who are assembled here to fight, wishing to please in battle Duryodhana, the evil-minded. Being thus addressed by Arjuna, Lord Krishna, having stationed that best of chariots, O Dhritarashtra, in the midst of the two armies,. Then Arjuna beheld there stationed, grandfathers and fathers, teachers, maternal uncles, brothers, sons, grandsons and friends, too. He saw fathers-in-law and friends also in both armies. The son of Kunti—Arjuna—seeing all these kinsmen standing arrayed, spoke thus sorrowfully, filled with deep pity.
For I desire neither victory, O Krishna, nor pleasures nor kingdoms! Of what avail is a dominion to us, O Krishna, or pleasures or even life? Those for whose sake we desire kingdoms, enjoyments and pleasures, stand here in battle, having renounced life and wealth. Teachers, fathers, sons and also grandfathers, grandsons, fathers-in-law, maternal uncles, brothers-in-law and relatives,—.
These I do not wish to kill, though they kill me, O Krishna, even for the sake of dominion over the three worlds, leave alone killing them for the sake of the earth! By killing these sons of Dhritarashtra, what pleasure can be ours, O Janardana? Only sin will accrue by killing these felons. Therefore, we should not kill the sons of Dhritarashtra, our relatives; for, how can we be happy by killing our own people, O Madhava Krishna? Though they, with intelligence overpowered by greed, see no evil in the destruction of families, and no sin in hostility to friends,.
Why should not we, who clearly see evil in the destruction of a family, learn to turn away from this sin, O Janardana Krishna? In the destruction of a family, the immemorial religious rites of that family perish; on the destruction of spirituality, impiety overcomes the whole family. By prevalence of impiety, O Krishna, the women of the family become corrupt and, women becoming corrupted, O Varsneya descendant of Vrishni , there arises intermingling of castes! Confusion of castes leads to hell the slayers of the family, for their forefathers fall, deprived of the offerings of rice-ball and water.
By these evil deeds of the destroyers of the family, which cause confusion of castes, the eternal religious rites of the caste and the family are destroyed. We have heard, O Janardana, that inevitable is the dwelling for an unknown period in hell for those men in whose families the religious practices have been destroyed! We are involved in a great sin in that we are prepared to kill our kinsmen through greed for the pleasures of a kingdom.
If the sons of Dhritarashtra, with weapons in hand, should slay me in battle, unresisting and unarmed, that would be better for me. Having thus spoken in the midst of the battlefield, Arjuna, casting away his bow and arrow, sat down on the seat of the chariot with his mind overwhelmed with sorrow. Thus in the Upanishads of the glorious Bhagavad Gita, the science of the Eternal, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna, ends the first discourse entitled:. Lord Krishna rebukes him for his dejection, which was due to Moha or attachment, and exhorts him to fight.
After failing to convince Sri Krishna through his seemingly wise thoughts, Arjuna realises his helplessness and surrenders himself completely to the Lord, seeking His guidance to get over the conflict of his mind. The Lord takes pity on him and proceeds to enlighten him by various means. He explains to Arjuna the imperishable nature of the Atman, for which there is no past, present and future. The Atman never dies, therefore Arjuna should not grieve.
As It transcends the five elements, namely, earth, water, fire, air and ether, It cannot be cut, burnt or dried. It is unchanging and eternal. Everyone experiences conditions like pleasure and pain, heat and cold, due to contact of objects with the senses. The senses carry the sensations through the nerves to the mind. One should be able to withdraw the senses from objects, like the tortoise which withdraws all its limbs within. Krishna asserts that only one who has the capacity to be balanced in pleasure and pain alike is fit for immortality.
Krishna goes on to tell Arjuna that if he refuses to fight and flees from the battle, people will be justified in condemning such action as unworthy of a warrior. Having taught Arjuna the immortal nature of the Atman, Lord Krishna turns to the performance of action without expectation of fruit. A man should not concern himself about the fruit of the action, like gain and loss, victory and defeat. These are in the hands of the Lord.
He should perform all action with a balanced mind, calmly enduring the pairs of opposites like heat and cold, pleasure and pain, that inevitably manifest during action. Krishna advises Arjuna to fight, free from desire for acquisition of kingdom or preservation of it. Arjuna is eager to know the characteristics of a man who has a stable mind. Such a person, Krishna tells him, will have no desires at all.
Since he is content within, having realised the Self, he is entirely free from desires. The consciousness of the Atman and abandonment of desires are simultaneous experiences. The various qualities of a Sthitaprajna a stable-minded person are described by the Lord. He will not be affected by adversity and will have no fear or anger. He will take things as they come, and will not have any likes and dislikes.
He will neither hug the world nor hate it. The man of stable mind will have perfect control of the senses. The senses are powerful and draw the mind outwards. The Yogi, having achieved a stable mind, remains steadfast even though all sense-objects come to him. He is unmoved and lives a life of eternal peace. Krishna concludes that the eternal Brahmic state frees one from delusion forever. To him who was thus overcome with pity and who was despondent, with eyes full of tears and agitated, Krishna or Madhusudana the destroyer of Madhu , spoke these words.
Whence is this perilous strait come upon thee, this dejection which is unworthy of thee, disgraceful, and which will close the gates of heaven upon thee, O Arjuna? Yield not to impotence, O Arjuna, son of Pritha! It does not befit thee. Cast off this mean weakness of the heart. Stand up, O scorcher of foes!
How, O Madhusudana, shall I fight in battle with arrows against Bhishma and Drona, who are fit to be worshipped, O destroyer of enemies? Better it is, indeed, in this world to accept alms than to slay the most noble teachers. But if I kill them, even in this world all my enjoyments of wealth and desires will be stained with their blood. I can hardly tell which will be better: that we should conquer them or they should conquer us. Even the sons of Dhritarashtra, after slaying whom we do not wish to live, stand facing us.
My heart is overpowered by the taint of pity, my mind is confused as to duty. I ask Thee: tell me decisively what is good for me. I am Thy disciple. Instruct me who has taken refuge in Thee. I do not see that it would remove this sorrow that burns up my senses even if I should attain prosperous and unrivalled dominion on earth or lordship over the gods.
To him who was despondent in the midst of the two armies, Sri Krishna, as if smiling, O Bharata, spoke these words! Thou hast grieved for those that should not be grieved for, yet thou speakest words of wisdom. The wise grieve neither for the living nor for the dead. Nor at any time indeed was I not, nor these rulers of men, nor verily shall we ever cease to be hereafter.
Just as in this body the embodied soul passes into childhood, youth and old age, so also does he pass into another body; the firm man does not grieve thereat. The contacts of the senses with the objects, O son of Kunti, which cause heat and cold and pleasure and pain, have a beginning and an end; they are impermanent; endure them bravely, O Arjuna!
That firm man whom surely these afflict not, O chief among men, to whom pleasure and pain are the same, is fit for attaining immortality! The unreal hath no being; there is no non-being of the Real; the truth about both has been seen by the knowers of the Truth or the seers of the Essence. What is constant or permanent must always be real. The Atman or the eternal, all-pervading Self ever exists. It is the only Reality.
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This phenomenal world of names and forms is ever changing. Names and forms are subject to decay and death. Hence they are unreal or impermanent. Know That to be indestructible, by whom all this is pervaded. None can cause the destruction of That, the Imperishable. Even if the pot is broken, the ether that is within and without it cannot be destroyed. Similarly, if the bodies and all other objects perish, the eternal Self that pervades them cannot be destroyed; It is the living Truth.
These bodies of the embodied Self, which is eternal, indestructible and immeasurable, are said to have an end. Therefore, fight, O Arjuna! He who takes the Self to be the slayer and he who thinks He is slain, neither of them knows; He slays not nor is He slain. He is not born nor does He ever die; after having been, He again ceases not to be. Unborn, eternal, changeless and ancient, He is not killed when the body is killed,.
Whosoever knows Him to be indestructible, eternal, unborn and inexhaustible, how can that man slay, O Arjuna, or cause to be slain? Just as a man casts off worn-out clothes and puts on new ones, so also the embodied Self casts off worn-out bodies and enters others that are new. It is infinite and extremely subtle. So the sword cannot cut It, fire cannot burn It, wind cannot dry It. This Self cannot be cut, burnt, wetted nor dried up. It is eternal, all-pervading, stable, ancient and immovable.
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This Self is said to be unmanifested, unthinkable and unchangeable. Therefore, knowing This to be such, thou shouldst not grieve. But, even if thou thinkest of It as being constantly born and dying, even then, O mighty-armed, thou shouldst not grieve! This is the law of Nature. Therefore, one should not grieve. For, certain is death for the born and certain is birth for the dead; therefore, over the inevitable thou shouldst not grieve.
Beings are unmanifested in their beginning, manifested in their middle state, O Arjuna, and unmanifested again in their end! What is there to grieve about? It is perceived by the physical eye only after the five elements have entered into such combination. After death the body disintegrates and all the five elements return to their source. The body cannot be perceived now. It can be perceived only in the middle state. He who understands the nature of the body and human relationships based upon it will not grieve.
One sees This the Self as a wonder; another speaks of It as a wonder; another hears of It as a wonder; yet, having heard, none understands It at all. Such a man is very rare. He is one among many thousands. Therefore, the Self is very hard to understand. This, the Indweller in the body of everyone, is always indestructible, O Arjuna! Therefore, thou shouldst not grieve for any creature. Further, having regard to thy own duty, thou shouldst not waver, for there is nothing higher for a Kshatriya than a righteous war.
Happy are the Kshatriyas, O Arjuna, who are called upon to fight in such a battle that comes of itself as an open door to heaven! But, if thou wilt not fight in this righteous war, then, having abandoned thine duty and fame, thou shalt incur sin. People, too, will recount thy everlasting dishonour; and to one who has been honoured, dishonour is worse than death.
The great car-warriors will think that thou hast withdrawn from the battle through fear; and thou wilt be lightly held by them who have thought much of thee. Thy enemies also, cavilling at thy power, will speak many abusive words. What is more painful than this! Slain, thou wilt obtain heaven; victorious, thou wilt enjoy the earth; therefore, stand up, O son of Kunti, resolved to fight! Having made pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat the same, engage thou in battle for the sake of battle; thus thou shalt not incur sin.
If a person performs actions with the above mental attitude, he will not reap the fruits of such actions. This which has been taught to thee, is wisdom concerning Sankhya. Now listen to wisdom concerning Yoga, endowed with which, O Arjuna, thou shalt cast off the bonds of action! In this there is no loss of effort, nor is there any harm the production of contrary results or transgression.
Even a little of this knowledge even a little practice of this Yoga protects one from great fear. Purification of the heart leads to fearlessness. Here, O joy of the Kurus, there is a single one-pointed determination! Many-branched and endless are the thoughts of the irresolute. They extol these actions and rewards unduly. For those who are much attached to pleasure and to power, whose minds are drawn away by such teaching, that determinate faculty is not manifest that is steadily bent on meditation and Samadhi the state of Superconsciousness. The Vedas deal with the three attributes of Nature ; be thou above these three attributes, O Arjuna!
Free yourself from the pairs of opposites and ever remain in the quality of Sattwa goodness , freed from the thought of acquisition and preservation, and be established in the Self. It is substance as well as quality. Nature is made up of three Gunas—Sattwa purity, light, harmony , Rajas passion, restlessness, motion , and Tamas inertia, darkness.
The pairs of opposites are pleasure and pain, heat and cold, gain and loss, victory and defeat, honour and dishonour, praise and censure. To the Brahmana who has known the Self, all the Vedas are of as much use as is a reservoir of water in a place where there is a flood. This does not, however, mean that the Vedas are useless. They are useful for neophytes or aspirants who have just started on the spiritual path.
Thy right is to work only, but never with its fruits; let not the fruits of actions be thy motive, nor let thy attachment be to inaction. If you do not thirst for them, you get purification of heart and ultimately knowledge of the Self. Perform action, O Arjuna, being steadfast in Yoga, abandoning attachment and balanced in success and failure! Evenness of mind is called Yoga. Far lower than the Yoga of wisdom is action, O Arjuna!
Seek thou refuge in wisdom; wretched are they whose motive is the fruit. Actions performed by one who expects their fruits are far inferior to the Yoga of wisdom wherein the seeker does not seek the fruits. The former leads to bondage, and is the cause of birth and death. Endowed with wisdom evenness of mind , one casts off in this life both good and evil deeds; therefore, devote thyself to Yoga; Yoga is skill in action. The wise, possessed of knowledge, having abandoned the fruits of their actions, and being freed from the fetters of birth, go to the place which is beyond all evil.
Man has to take a body to enjoy them. If actions are done for the sake of God, without desire for the fruits, one is released from the bonds of birth and death and attains to immortal bliss. When thy intellect crosses beyond the mire of delusion, then thou shalt attain to indifference as to what has been heard and what has yet to be heard. When thy intellect, perplexed by what thou hast heard, shall stand immovable and steady in the Self, then thou shalt attain Self-realisation.
What, O Krishna, is the description of him who has steady wisdom and is merged in the Superconscious State? How does one of steady wisdom speak? How does he sit? How does he walk? When a man completely casts off, O Arjuna, all the desires of the mind and is satisfied in the Self by the Self, then is he said to be one of steady wisdom! He whose mind is not shaken by adversity, who does not hanker after pleasures, and who is free from attachment, fear and anger, is called a sage of steady wisdom.
He who is everywhere without attachment, on meeting with anything good or bad, who neither rejoices nor hates, his wisdom is fixed. When, like the tortoise which withdraws its limbs on all sides, he withdraws his senses from the sense-objects, then his wisdom becomes steady. The objects of the senses turn away from the abstinent man, leaving the longing behind ; but his longing also turns away on seeing the Supreme. The turbulent senses, O Arjuna, do violently carry away the mind of a wise man though he be striving to control them!
Having restrained them all he should sit steadfast, intent on Me; his wisdom is steady whose senses are under control. When a man thinks of the objects, attachment to them arises; from attachment desire is born; from desire anger arises. From anger comes delusion; from delusion the loss of memory; from loss of memory the destruction of discrimination; from the destruction of discrimination he perishes. But the self-controlled man, moving amongst objects with the senses under restraint, and free from attraction and repulsion, attains to peace.
In that peace all pains are destroyed, for the intellect of the tranquil-minded soon becomes steady. There is no knowledge of the Self to the unsteady, and to the unsteady no meditation is possible; and to the un-meditative there can be no peace; and to the man who has no peace, how can there be happiness? For the mind which follows in the wake of the wandering senses, carries away his discrimination as the wind carries away a boat on the waters.
Therefore, O mighty-armed Arjuna, his knowledge is steady whose senses are completely restrained from sense-objects! That which is night to all beings, then the self-controlled man is awake; when all beings are awake, that is night for the sage who sees.
He is unconscious of worldly phenomena; this is like night to him. The ordinary man is unconscious of his real nature. So life in the Self is like night to him. He experiences sense-objects; this is day to him. He attains peace into whom all desires enter as waters enter the ocean, which, filled from all sides, remains unmoved; but not the man who is full of desires. The man attains peace, who, abandoning all desires, moves about without longing, without the sense of mine and without egoism. This is the Brahmic seat eternal state , O son of Pritha! Attaining to this, none is deluded. Being established therein, even at the end of life one attains to oneness with Brahman.
Thus in the Upanishads of the glorious Bhagavad Gita, the science of the Eternal, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna, ends the second discourse entitled:. Sri Krishna clears this doubt by telling him that although one has realised oneness with the Eternal, one has to perform action through the force of Prakriti or Nature.
He emphasises that perfection is attained not by ceasing to engage in action but by doing all actions as a divine offering, imbued with a spirit of non-attachment and sacrifice. The man of God-vision, Sri Krishna explains to Arjuna, need not engage in action, as he has attained everything that has to be attained. He can be ever absorbed in the calm and immutable Self. But to perform action for the good of the world and for the education of the masses is no doubt superior. Therefore, action is necessary not only for one who has attained perfection but also for one who is striving for perfection.
Sri Krishna quotes the example of Janaka, the great sage-king of India, who continued to rule his kingdom even after attaining God-realisation. Prakriti or Nature is made up of the three qualities—Rajas, Tamas and Sattwa. The Atman is beyond these three qualities and their functions. Only when knowledge of this fact dawns in man does he attain perfection. Arjuna raises the question as to why man commits such actions that cloud his mind and drag him downwards, by force, as it were.
Sri Krishna answers that it is desire that impels man to lose his discrimination and understanding, and thus commit wrong actions. Desire is the root cause of all evil actions. If desire is removed, then the divine power manifests in its full glory and one enjoys peace, bliss, light and freedom.
If it be thought by Thee that knowledge is superior to action, O Krishna, why then, O Kesava, dost Thou ask me to engage in this terrible action? With these apparently perplexing words Thou confusest, as it were, my understanding; therefore, tell me that one way for certain by which I may attain bliss.
In this world there is a twofold path, as I said before, O sinless one,—the path of knowledge of the Sankhyas and the path of action of the Yogis! Not by the non-performance of actions does man reach actionlessness, nor by mere renunciation does he attain to perfection. One cannot reach perfection or freedom from action or knowledge of the Self, merely by renouncing action. He must possess knowledge of the Self. Verily none can ever remain for even a moment without performing action; for, everyone is made to act helplessly indeed by the qualities born of Nature.
He who, restraining the organs of action, sits thinking of the sense-objects in mind, he, of deluded understanding, is called a hypocrite. But whosoever, controlling the senses by the mind, O Arjuna, engages himself in Karma Yoga with the organs of action, without attachment, he excels! Do thou perform thy bounden duty, for action is superior to inaction and even the maintenance of the body would not be possible for thee by inaction.
The world is bound by actions other than those performed for the sake of sacrifice; do thou, therefore, O son of Kunti, perform action for that sake for sacrifice alone, free from attachment! His heart is purified by performing actions for the sake of the Lord. Where this spirit of unselfishness does not govern the action, such actions bind one to worldliness, however good or glorious they may be. With this do ye nourish the gods, and may the gods nourish you; thus nourishing one another, ye shall attain to the highest good.
The gods, nourished by the sacrifice, will give you the desired objects. So, he who enjoys the objects given by the gods without offering in return to them, is verily a thief. The righteous, who eat of the remnants of the sacrifice, are freed from all sins; but those sinful ones who cook food only for their own sake, verily eat sin. From food come forth beings, and from rain food is produced; from sacrifice arises rain, and sacrifice is born of action.
Know thou that action comes from Brahma, and Brahma proceeds from the Imperishable. Therefore, the all-pervading Brahma ever rests in sacrifice. He who does not follow the wheel thus set revolving, who is of sinful life, rejoicing in the senses, he lives in vain, O Arjuna! He wastes his life. But for that man who rejoices only in the Self, who is satisfied in the Self, who is content in the Self alone, verily there is nothing to do. For him there is no interest whatsoever in what is done or what is not done; nor does he depend on any being for any object.
To him no real purpose is served by engaging in any action. No evil can touch him as a result of inaction. He does not lose anything by being inactive. Therefore, without attachment, do thou always perform action which should be done; for, by performing action without attachment man reaches the Supreme.
Janaka and others attained perfection verily by action only; even with a view to the protection of the masses thou shouldst perform action. Whatsoever a great man does, that other men also do; whatever he sets up as the standard, that the world follows. There is nothing in the three worlds, O Arjuna, that should be done by Me, nor is there anything unattained that should be attained; yet I engage Myself in action!
For, should I not ever engage Myself in action, unwearied, men would in every way follow My path, O Arjuna! These worlds would perish if I did not perform action; I should be the author of confusion of castes and destruction of these beings. As the ignorant men act from attachment to action, O Bharata Arjuna , so should the wise act without attachment, wishing the welfare of the world! Let no wise man unsettle the minds of ignorant people who are attached to action; he should engage them in all actions, himself fulfilling them with devotion. All actions are wrought in all cases by the qualities of Nature only.
When this equilibrium is disturbed, creation begins and the body, senses and mind are formed.
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The man who is deluded by egoism identifies the Self with the body, mind, the life-force and the senses, and ascribes to the Self all the attributes of the body and the senses. In reality the Gunas of nature perform all actions.
But he who knows the truth, O mighty-armed Arjuna, about the divisions of the qualities and their functions, knowing that the Gunas as senses move amidst the Gunas as the sense-objects, is not attached. Those deluded by the qualities of Nature are attached to the functions of the qualities. A man of perfect knowledge should not unsettle the foolish one of imperfect knowledge.
Renouncing all actions in Me, with the mind centred in the Self, free from hope and egoism, and from mental fever, do thou fight. Those men who constantly practise this teaching of Mine with faith and without cavilling, they too are freed from actions. But those who carp at My teaching and do not practise it, deluded in all knowledge and devoid of discrimination, know them to be doomed to destruction.
Even a wise man acts in accordance with his own nature; beings will follow nature; what can restraint do? Attachment and aversion for the objects of the senses abide in the senses; let none come under their sway, for they are his foes. But impelled by what does man commit sin, though against his wishes, O Varshneya Krishna , constrained, as it were, by force? What the world needs is more conscious movement, more action. The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind, and the harmony of the soul creates the symphony of life.
The better your practice, the brighter the flame. Quotes by T. Desikachar If these tendencies are not curtailed, we may reach a point of no return. This is not the case. More quotes from the Bhagavad Gita 2. Quotes from Patanjali Yoga Sutra 7. Whether it is like or dislike and such, or deep sleep, weakness, dissoluteness or loftiness — no matter what type — all rise out of ignorance.
They will definitely create more karma if used recklessly. Quotes by Swami Satchidananda 4. Quotes from Hatha Yoga Pradipika 3. But when the breath is calmed the mind too will be still, and the yogi achieves long life. Therefore, one should learn to control the breath. Constant practice alone is the secret of success. Quotes from Spiritual Masters The mind is everything. What we think we become. Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom.
You will feel its rhythm. Go with this flow. Happiness lies ahead. Meditation is key. The more you see the good in them, the more you will establish good in yourself. The entire universe is inside you. You are the universe in ecstatic motion. Quotes by Swami Sivananda Saraswati 4. This world is a great school. This world is your silent teacher. This is the secret of success. Self-realization demands very great struggle. Be selfless. Mentally remove everything and be free.
This is divine life. This is the direct way to Moksha or salvation. Quotes on Yoga by Swami Vivekananda 4. The mind is universal. That posture which is the easiest for one should be the one chosen. Quotes on Yoga by Osho 5. You will have to become One. If you are still hoping that you can gain something through your mind, yoga is not for you. Please wait Miller Spencer Johnson Travis Bradberry.
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