This image is presented courtesy of http://www.artiststudiosonline.com/krishna_chariot.html

                                      It shows Krishna as the charioteer and Arjuna, standing behind him, is drawing an arrow from his quill

Bhagavad Gita is the Hindu Religion's Sacred Scripture.  Embedded within the Mahabharata, which is one of two epics of the religion; the other epic is Ramayana. Written by the Sage Vyasa entirely in verse, Mahabharata is about ten times the size of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, combined.  Mahabharata narrates the story of the conflicts between the princely cousins the Kauravas  and the Pandyas.  The former are depicted as the villains, one hundred siblings strong, and the latter, the Pandyas represented the virtuous Princes.  Ultimately the two groups clash in an epic battle between the evil and the virtuous.  Arjuna, the most accomplished warrior of the five Pandya brothers, is shown in the above painting being led to the battle by Lord Krishna, his charioteer.  Many of Arjuna’s respected elders and even his own teacher, Drona were in the Kauravas’ camp.  Thus despondency gripped Arjuna upon seeing them, and he sat down in his seat, pleading to Krishna that he would rather die than participate in a war that could compel him to kill his beloved and respected elders and seniors.  The following pages take the reader through a very abridged version of the actual dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna, where the former implores the latter that dharma ( proper conduct of people) calls for action.  Contrary to all other Scriptures, here Lord Krishna is exhorting fighting as the rightful duty of all noble beings, when it is done to combat the evil.  


Upon realizing how many of his family members, teachers, elders and other kinsmen on his (Pandyas’) side were lined up on the opposing (Kauravas’) side, Arjuna observed:

“Seeing these beloved people, my mouth is drying up, my body is shaking, and my hair is standing on end. The Candida (the bow) is slipping from my hands and my skin is burning all over. I am unable to stand steady and my mind is reeling”

He continued: “I see bad omens Kesava (Krishna). I foresee no good in slaying my own people. I desire neither victory, nor kingdom, nor pleasures. Of what benefit is kingdom or pleasures or even life itself when they, for whose sake we desire sovereignty, are going to lose their lives?”

“O Madhusudana (Krishna), I do not want to kill our teachers, fathers, sons, grandsires, uncles, fathers-in-law, grandsons and other kinsmen even if they kill me; not even for the sovereignty over the three worlds let alone over this earth”


To a distressed Arjuna who, refusing to fight, sat down in the chariot, casting away his bow, eyes filled with tears, mind filled with grief, Krishna spoke thus:

“From where has come to you Arjuna, despair in this hour of trial? It is unbecoming of a noble mind. It will not lead to heaven and it will bring disgrace on earth”

To this Arjuna replied: “How O Madhusudana can I attack Bhisma and Drona, with arrows? These men are worthy of my worship. It will be far better to live as a destitute than to kill these great people and live a life of luxury. By killing them our pleasures will be stained with the blood of these noble elders.”

Krishna smiled and said: “O Bharata”. “In consideration of your own duty you should not hesitate. There exists nothing greater for a soldier than fighting a war for defending Virtue.”

“If you do not fight this righteous war, then you will fail in your dharma (duty) and glory and you will be committing sin.”

“If slain in battle you will be glorious in heaven; and if alive you will inherit the earth. Arise, therefore, Arjuna, ready to engage in battle”.

“Arjuna, you will not incur sin if you get ready to battle, treating pleasure or pain, gain or loss, and victory or defeat alike”.

“The minds of those who do not attend to action waver in all directions. On the other hand, the mind of a karmayogin (“doer”) remains focused.”

“You have control over action but not over the results of your action. Your action should never be determined by what personal benefit you will receive. Arjuna, do not ever be inclined to inaction.”

“Absorbed in the union (of mind to duty) do your work giving up attachment, maintaining the balance of mind regardless of success or failure. Achieving evenness of mind (regardless of result) is yoga”.

“Pitiable are those whose goal is only self-reward. Their actions

Arjuna asked “Tell me Kesava, the distinguishing marks of a stable-minded person or a person who is deeply committed to virtue. How does he talk, walk and live his life?

To this the Lord gave a series of explanations thus:

“When a person casts away all selfish desires O Partha, and has his soul at peace, then one calls him a person of stable mind”

“He whose mind is serene in the midst of set-backs and who is free from eager longing for pleasures; he from whom passion, fear and anger have vanished is called a sage of stable mind”

“A person who is not attached, who accepts good outcome without excitement and bad outcome without remorse is a person who is firmly founded in wisdom”.

“A person whose senses are under control is a person steadfast in wisdom. Having brought his senses under control, the wise person would remain in union with me”

“Attachment to selfish pleasures is produced when a person’s mind dwells on sources of such pleasures. This attachment gives rise to selfish desires. From (unfulfilled) desire comes anger. Anger clouds judgement and hence from anger comes bewilderment. Bewilderment leads to loss of memory and the latter leads to a failure to discriminate between the right and the wrong. When that happens the person is lost”

“A person who enjoys life’s pleasures with his mind under his control and without aversion or attachment to pleasures, has attained the purity of the soul”

“As a result (of achieving the purity of mind) all grief of the person is gone. This person becomes serene, happy and stable”.

“Just as water enters a sea without affecting the calmness of the sea, if desires enter the mind of a person without taking away his calmness the person has attained peace”.

“He who abandons all selfish desires and has his actions free of selfish yearnings, he who abandons the selfish sense of “me” and “mine” attains peace”.

“This (peace) is the divine state, O Partha. Having achieved it you are not bewildered again. Remaining in this state up to the end of your life you attain the ultimate bliss- the eternal life in God. 

Krishna then went on to explain the cycle of birth as follows: “Arjuna, as a person passes through the stages of childhood, youth and old age; in the same way he passes on to a new body after death. Wise people are not perturbed by these successions.”

‘Just as a person casts off old garments and puts on new ones, so does the soul cast off the worn body and take on a new one”

“There was never a time when you and I did not exist; nor will the other persons. There will never be a time when any one of us will cease to exist."

There is no existence for the unreal, and the Real never ceases to be. Thus, the knowers of Truth have ascertained the nature of what is real and what is unreal.”

“The soul is never born, nor does it ever die. No one can bring about the destruction of the soul. Weapons do not cleave the soul, fire cannot burn it, and water does not wet it. The wind cannot parch it. You should know that the soul is eternal and blameless.”


Arjuna, far from being clear about his course of action, asked: “If you consider that being steadfast in wisdom is superior to performing action, O Janardana, then why are you urging me to perform the savage act of war?”

The Lord said: “O blameless one, for the men of contemplation I have prescribed jnana-yoga, the path of knowledge. For the men of action, I have prescribed karma-yoga, the path of action.”

“You must perform the work meant for you. Doing is better than non-doing. Even the maintenance of a healthy body is not possible without activity on your part.”

“Pious work or work done towards duty, without attachment to reward, does not lead to bondage. Hence, O Kaunteya, do your duty and do it without expectation of reward.”

“By your actions please the Devas and the Devas will please you. Thus pleasing each other, you will attain the highest good. Pleased with performance of duty, the Devas will take care of your needs. He who enjoys the gifts given to him by God without giving gifts to God is a thief.”

“A person who does not turn the wheels of action set in motion by God is a sinner and his life has no meaning. Such a person is a slave of his senses.”

“Therefore, always do the work to be done; of course without attachment. This is the path to reaching the highest goal”

“There is not for me, O Arjuna anything to be obtained in the three worlds; and yet I am engaged in work. If I should cease to work diligently, O Partha, men in every walk of life will follow my example. If I cease to work, the worlds will fall into decay and the people will be subjected to confusion and disorder.”

“Even acts of knowledgeable men are often driven by natural urges. People follow their nature. What can (imposed) suppression accomplish?”

“For every sense organ (in human body) likes and dislikes are fixed. Let these likes and dislikes not dominate you because they will take you into wrong directions.”

“Giving up attachment to results, ego and mental agony go to war, dedicating all action to Me. Men who constantly practice My teaching, in full faith and without quibbling, are liberated. Those who show disrespect or indifference to my teachings and decide not to follow them know them Arjuna, to be blind to wisdom and to be lost.”

“It is superior to carry out your own duty even if it is less rewarding than to try to perform actions which belong to others. Do your duty even if it brings loss and deprivation. It is dangerous to perform actions that belong to others.”

Arjuna asked: “Tell me O Varsneya, what propels a person to commit sin as if against this own will as though he is involuntarily dragged into it?”

To this Krishna replied: “Selfish desire and anger are born from the passionate nature of man. Know that the insatiable desire for selfish goals is a great enemy of man.”

“Just as smoke envelopes fire, dust covers the mirror and the membrane covers the embryo, so does selfish desire cover up the wisdom of a man.”

“Just as fire grows when fuel is added, so does selfish desire grow as it is satisfied." Selfish desire is the eternal enemy of wisdom. It envelops wisdom (to make it ineffective). The origin of selfish desire is in the mind and the senses. Such desires by veiling wisdom, delude human beings.”

“Therefore, O great Bharata, control your sense-urges and destroy selfish desire which is the destroyer of wisdom and discrimination.”

“The power of the senses is admittedly great. Yet greater than the senses is the heart. Greater than heart is the reasoning power of the intellect. Finally, your soul, the God within your heart, is the greatest of all.”


Krishna said: “I taught eternal yoga to Vivasvan. He in turn taught it to his son Manu and Manu taught it to his son Iksvaku. It was then handed down from one generation to the next. The royal sages knew it, until yoga was lost to the world through long lapse of time. I am revealing the deep and ancient (eternal) knowledge to you this day since you are my friend and devotee.”

Arjuna asked: “You were born in times much later than Vivasvan. How am I to understand that you taught the yoga to Vivasvan?”

The Lord replied: “I have been born many times and many times have you been born. I remember my past lives and you do not, O scorcher of the enemy.”

‘To protect the Saints and Sages, to destroy the evil-doers and to establish Dharma, I am born from age to age. O Arjuna, My birth and My actions are divine. Whoever knows this truly will not be born again after shedding this physical body. He will come to Me.”

“Purified by wisdom and devotion, many men have completely surrendered unto me and I have delivered them from attachment, fear and anger. In consequence they have reached my state of being.”

“Arjuna! In whatever form or name people worship me, I accept them. From all paths, they come to me. Those who desire the fruits of their action on earth pray to God (in their chosen form) and receive quick rewards.”

“For him, who realizes God in his actions, the act of offering is God, the oblation is God, the offering to the fire is done as though by God and fire to him represents God. God is the goal for him to be achieved.”

“Some devotees offer to God their senses of hearing into the fires of restraint, others offer their sense of speaking into the fire of restraint. Some devotees are able to offer all of their senses and their life-force into the fire of discipline and restraint. They are able to do so because of their wisdom.”

“ Others offer their worship to God by means of performing the discipline of pranayama which involves the control of both incoming and outgoing breath. Some others impose upon themselves the discipline of diet-restriction and pranayama (breath-control). Yet, all of the above devotees know what it means to give up for God’s sake. Through these various measures of self-discipline they clean themselves of sins.”

“Thus, there are many kinds of sacrifices that can be offered to God. Know that all of these are born of work and so knowing, Arjuna, act and you will be freed.”

“Out of all the yajnas, the yajna of wisdom (obtaining and sharing) is superior. And (yet) O scorcher of enemies, (you should know that) actions, without exception, are the source of (experience and) wisdom. O Pandava (Arjuna)! when you have attained wisdom, you will not fall into confusion. By means of knowledge, you will be able to see yourself in all persons and all persons in me.”

“Actions do not bind that realized person who having removed all doubt by wisdom, dedicates all actions to God.”

“O Bharata (Arjuna)! Destroy the doubts that lie in your mind, born of ignorance, with the sword of wisdom, come to union (with me) and rise for battle.”


Arjuna asked: “Krishna, you have praised karma-yoga, the path of action as well as samnyasa, the path of renunciation. Tell me, in no uncertain terms, which one is superior?”

Krishna replied: “Karma-yoga and samnyasa both lead to the liberation of the soul, Arjuna. Yet, karma-yoga is better than samnyasa. Samnyasa brings pain to a person unless he has first practiced karma-yoga. A person immersed in karma-yoga does not take long to come close to God.”

“Persons of karma-yoga perform actions involving their body, heart and mind for the purification of their soul, abandoning attachment and rewards.”

“The devoted soul attains peace by giving up attachment to the rewards of action. Yet, he whose soul is not in union with the Divine, is impelled by (selfish) desire. Such a person is attached to the fruit of action and is in bondage.”

“The self-controlled person gives up selfish action and lives joyfully in his human body which is the castle of nine gates. He neither engages in (selfish) acts nor prompts others to engage in such acts.”

“The Lord (of the Universe) does not make them the doer or tell them to engage in this action or that. It is their own nature that leads them to actions and their results.”

Krishna continued: “God is flawless and even-minded towards all. Those whose minds are established in justice and fairness towards all are therefore established in God.”

“The person who has come to know God and who is established in God, has mental poise and can see things clearly as they are, are not highly elated by getting what is pleasant, nor does he feel torn apart on receiving what is unpleasant.”

“The countenance of Sri Rama showed no sign of elation at the news of his father’s decision to hand over the kingdom to him nor of dejection on complete reversal ordering his banishment to the forest and to its attendant hardships. May this gracious countenance of Sri Rama be a blessing to me.”

“Pleasures that come from contact with objects begin and end. (Often) they are the cause of sorrow. Wise persons do not consider them a source of bliss. He who is able to resist, in his life, the impulses of selfish desire and anger is a yogin. He is a happy man.”

“The person who finds his happiness within, his joy within, and his light within, is divine and attains nirvana (“the state of union with God”).”

“Men whose sins are destroyed, whose doubts are removed, whose minds are under their control and who spend time doing good to others attain absorption in God.”

“There is no duty towards me higher than doing good to fellow human beings; and there is nothing more sinful than hurting fellow human beings. Service of God lies in doing good to others while sin lies in giving pain to others. This, in essence is the teaching of 18 Puranas.”

“Blessed and liberated are those souls who are free of selfish desire and anger; those who have controlled their thoughts and who have realized the presence of God in their own souls.”

“Fix your vision between the two eyes, control the outgoing and incoming breath and shut out thoughts of everything external. By means of this practice while controlling your senses and your mind, you may get rid of selfish desire, fear and anger and become free.”

“By knowing the supreme Lord of the Universe, the One to whom all actions and disciplines are directed and who is the friend of all living beings, you attain peace.”


Lord Krishna now dwells on the merits of embracing yoga as one’s goal.

“He who does what his duty requires him to do without focusing on its reward is the samnayasi; he is a yogi. A person who is not fired up for noble work and who does not perform noble work is neither a samnyasi nor a yogi.”

“Know samnyasa to be a life of disciplined activity, O Pandava. Yet no one becomes a yogi without renouncing selfish desires.”

“Work is the means to become a karma-yogi. When a person has become a karma-yogi serenity becomes his means (to further raise himself).”

“He who lets God conquer his mind has acquired his best friend-God. He who does not let God take control will find that he is his own enemy.”

“When you have controlled yourself and have thereby achieved peace, then God is reached; in consequence you have recognized the Supreme Soul abiding within you. Reaching this realization you remain tranquil in heat and cold, pleasure and pain, honor and dishonor.”

“He who looks equally of a well-wisher, a friend, an enemy, a neutral, arbiter, a person full of hate, a relative, a saint and a sinner, is the one who excels (in My eyes).”

Now Krishna gives some instructions on the method of practicing yoga:

“Freeing your mind of the greed for possessions, meditate on the Supreme Being in solitude and with full discipline. Sit in a clean and firm place which is neither too high nor too low. The seat may be selected on a patch of grass covered with deerskin and a piece of cloth on top of it. Taking your place on the seat, concentrate your mind on the Lord and practice yoga for self-purification. Hold the body, head and neck straight and without motion. Look steadily at the tip of your nose. Do not look around. Serene and without fear, with mind under control, with a vow of self-discipline (brahmacharya) harmonize your mind with Me and Me alone.”

And two prayers to chant:

“O Lord! Lead me away from what is evil and untrue, to what is good and true;
“O Lord! Lead me away from the darkness of ignorance to the light of wisdom;
“O Lord! Lead me away from death to immortality.”

“Fallen am I. Lord raise me by Thy power. I have neither the purity of heart nor a faith firmly set at Thy feet. I am void of understanding. I cannot steady my mind. I cannot control my wayward senses. Peace is far from me. I can only look to Thee, O Krishna! I trust in Thee. Lord! Be merciful to me, a sinner.”

Krishna continues:

“The yogi who meditates in this way, keeping himself harmonized, attains peace and abides in Me. This is how he attains liberation. Yoga is not attained by one who eats too much or abstains too much from eating. It is not attained by him, Arjuna, who sleeps too much or too little.”

“Poise yourself for meditation with the goal of attaining yoga when you are all concentrated on the Supreme Soul and are not yearning for things to be obtained.”

“A candle does not flicker in a place where there is no wind. In the same way the mind of a yogi in meditation does not flicker because it is insulated from outside disturbances. Let your mind become peaceful as a result of the practice of meditation. With the help of this pure and peaceful mind you can realize the presence of God in your own soul.”

“When you have achieved yoga, the union of your soul with the Supreme, you will have happiness which is beyond the reach of the senses. Also, once you are established in yoga, you will not waiver from truth.”

“Upon achieving the union of your soul with the Supreme Soul, you will know that there is no gain greater than it. Thus established in the bliss you will not be shaken by the heaviest sorrow. Let this disconnection from worldly sorrow be known by the name of yoga. Practice yoga with determination and a happy heart.”

“The person whose mind is absorbed through yoga sees his own spirit abiding in other human beings and the spirit of all human beings in God. This person realizes the oneness of all.”

“He who sees Me in every person and sees every person in Me, does not lose (sight of) Me nor do I lose (sight of) Him.”

“The yogi who recognizes the oneness (of all human beings) and worships Me knowing that I abide in all human beings, lives in me regardless of whatever he is busy in.”

“He who sees everyone in the image of his own self and therefore feels the pleasure and pain of fellow human beings is a perfect yogi.”

Arjuna, confused, asked “This yoga described by you, requiring the evenness of mind sounds to me impractical. Mind (by its very nature) is unstable, turbulent, unyielding and given to temptations. Keeping it under control seems about as difficult as keeping the wind from blowing.”

Krishna responded this way: “No doubt, O mighty armed! The mind is difficult to control. It is vulnerable to temptations, yet by constant practice of non-attachment it can be held in check, O son of Kunti.”

“The yoga (of identity with other human beings) is hard to achieve for those who are not disciplined. Yet, persons who are disciplined can gain it by means of proper endeavor.”

Arjuna asked: “What happens to a person, Krishna, who has sincere faith and yet whose mind keeps wandering away from yoga and hence he falls to attain perfection. Fallen from both (from this life and the life beyond) wandering in the winds, does he perish, like a detached cloud, bewildered on the path that leads to God?”

“Be a light to guide my path Krishna, for it is not possible for anyone else but you to remove my doubts.”

Krishna replied: “O Partha (Arjuna)! Neither in this life nor in the next is there destruction for him. The destiny of one who does good deeds, dear friend, is never bad.”

“Having attained the world of righteous and having been there for many years, the person who has drifted from yoga is born again in the next life in the home of the pure and the prosperous. Or, he is reborn in the family of yogis who have obtained wisdom. Such a birth is difficult to obtain in any other way.”

“When a doer of good deeds is reborn, he retains the progress he made (towards achieving yoga) in his previous life and starting from there he continues to strive for perfection, O Kurunandana (Arjuna). His achievement in the previous life prepares him to propel himself relentlessly on the road to perfection. This seeker of yoga goes beyond the written scriptures.”

“The yogi is greater than the ascetic, greater than the man of knowledge and is greater than the man performing rituals faithfully. Therefore, become a yogi, O Arjuna.”

“Of all yogis, the one who full of faith, worships me with his mind focused on me, I hold to be in closest union with Me.”


“I will unravel to you without reserve the wisdom (jnana) together with the logic. After receiving this, there will remain no more knowledge to obtain.”

Krishna continued: “Arjuna, the earth, water, air, fire, ether, mind, understanding and self-sense represent the eight-fold division of my lower nature. In addition to the products of my lower nature, Arjuna, you should know that the individual soul which upholds human beings is created from my higher nature.”

“I am the creator of the entire universe and also its destroyer. There is nothing higher than Myself. In Me, all pieces of the universe are strung like beads in a rosary.”

“I am the taste in water, O son of Kunti. I am the radiance of the moon and the sun. I am the (sacred) syllable “OM” in all the scriptures. I am the sound in space and vigor in men.”

“Know me Partha, to be the eternal seed of all life. I am the intelligence of the intelligent and the glory of the glorious.”

“I am the power of the strong when the power is free of passion and selfishness. I am that unselfish desire (Kama) in human beings which is not in conflict with dharma.”

“Know that I endow human beings with three natural tendencies: tamasika (unspiritedness), rajasika (passionate involvement) and sattvika (serenity). Yet, I am not involved in them. Engulfed by the three tendencies, the whole world fails to recognize Me- the one who is above these tendencies and who is imperishable.”

“The divine creation (maya) of mine, based on the three tendencies is hard to overcome. Yet those who take refuge in Me can reach beyond these tendencies.”

The Lord said: “ The people who worship Me are of four kinds:1) People in distress 2) People desirous of knowing Me 3) Seekers of worldly possessions and 4) People o f wisdom. Of these, the person of wisdom who is in constant union with me, who has single-minded devotion, I consider the best. I am supremely dear to him, and he is supremely dear to me.”

“It is alright for people (to come to me for various reasons). Yet, the man of wisdom considers me as his supreme goal. Him I regard as my very own self. After a succession of many lives, the man of perfect wisdom attains me, knowing that Vasudeva (God) is all that is. Such a realized person, though is a rarity.”

“Men of limited understanding think of Me, Krishna, the manifest as a human being not knowing that I am the unmanifest, changeless, Supreme Soul. “

“I am not revealed to all. Immersed in worldly things many are bewildered and do not know me-the unborn and the imperishable.”

“Those who strive for freedom from death, that is, those who strive for eternal life, take refuge in Me and come to know all that is to be known, about Brahma and the effects of karma.”

“Those who know Me, as the one who governs the material and the spiritual universe and the one who accepts all the devotional services, fix their minds on Me and remember Me even at the time of leaving their body. These people are in union with Me.”


Arjuna asked “ Krishna , O Supreme Soul! Enlighten me by explaining to me who is Brahma.,who is adhyatma, what is adhibuta, who is adhidaiva and what is the nature of karma.”

Krishna replied: “Brahma is the supreme, imperishable God. Adhyatma is the individual soul of a person, which is an expression of the higher nature of God. Karma is the accumulation of deeds which causes a person to be reborn. Ahdibhuta is the perishable body of living beings. Adhidaiva is the Supreme Soul. “

“When I take on human incarnation, such as Krishna, this incarnation is adhidyajna because I am the goal of all noble deeds (yajnas).”

“You should remember me at all times and never desert your duty. Fight your battles. If you set your mind and understanding on me, to me alone shall you come.”

immortality, they lead a life of self-imposed discipline.”

“The person who regularly utters the sacred syllable “Om” which represents God, with all the organs of his body under control, confining his mind in his heart, fixing the life-force in the head through yoga, in meditation and puts his mind in Me when he departs from his body, receives eternal life with me.”

“Birth and life in this world can be a source of misery and are non-eternal. The great souls having attained Me achieve perfection and hence do not have to suffer misery because they receive eternal life with me.”

“ Arjuna! All life is subject to death and rebirth but those who attain me, I release from the cycle of birth and death.”

“Beyond this cycle of unmanifest and manifest material and living beings, there is the unmanifest Being who does not perish when all else perishes. This unmanifest is called the imperishable and is called the Supreme. Those who attain Him do not have to return from the abode where I live, O Arjuna.”


(In this chapter Krishna concentrates on imparting “deep knowledge”. He explains it this way:)

“This knowledge is supreme. It is the secret to the kingdom (of heaven). It is holy. It is directly experienced and is righteous. It is easy to practice and is eternal.”

“Persons lacking in faith and devotion return to mortal living without attaining Me.”

“Know that this entire universe is pervaded by me through my unmanifest form. All beings are contained in me but I am not contained in them.”

“Even though I am present inside every human being as his spirit (soul and conscience), their minds do not dwell on Me. Behold my divine mystery. I am the source, the sustainer and the protector of all beings, but my spirit is not active in many of them.”

“Just as all the air moving everywhere ever abides in space, know that in the same manner all beings are contained in me.”

“I send forth (into the world) again and again all those beings who remain bound and under the control of natural inclinations (gunas). My acts of creation do not bind me, O Arjuna, for I am not attached to these actions.”

“Persons who are ungodly and demonic will find that their actions are not going to benefit them; their hopes will not come true; and their learning will go to waste. Yet the wise persons, who are driven by my divine nature worship Me with single-minded devotion knowing Me to be the imperishable source of all beings.”

“I am the ritual, I am the yajna, I am the oblation, I am the mantra, I am the fire and I am the offering. I am the father and the mother of the entire world’s beings. I am the grandsire and creator. I am the holy word ‘Om’. I am the purifier and I am also the Rig Veda, Sama Veda and Yajur Veda.”

“I am the eternal seed and the source of birth. I am the sustainer, the friend and the witness. I am the cause of dissolution, I am the goal, the refuge, the abode and the repository of all beings. I am the Lord.”

“I give warmth, I withhold and send forth rain. I give immortality and also death. I am unmanifest and yet I can be manifest.”

“The knowers of scriptures, who have removed themselves from sin and have thus purified themselves; who worship me asking for my kingdom, the kingdom of heaven, reach it and enjoy it.”

“I look after those who worship Me with undivided devotion. To them I bring the security of what they have and the attainment of what they need and do not have. Yet, those who devotedly worship various god-forms, in actuality worship me though in a mistaken manner.”

“He who offers me with love, a leaf, a flower, a fruit, or even water, that offering of love and devotion of a pure heart, I accept.”

“I am the same to all beings. I do not hate anyone nor am I partial to anyone. Yet I am in the minds of those who serve Me with devotion and they are in my mind.”

“Even a person with the most vile conduct, who surrenders to Me with singular devotion, will become a righteous person thereafter because of his resolve to move in the right direction. Arjuna, know that my devotees soon becomes virtuous and obtains lasting peace. The one who surrenders to Me in devotion never perishes.”

“Let yourself feel daily repentant reflecting over the misdeeds committed. Practice austerity and keep a close watch over yourself. By this you will free yourself of sin.”

“Om Namo Narayana! Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya!, Om Namah Shivaya!”


“Listen O Arjuna! I am the origin of the angels and the great sages and yet the angels and the sages do not know my origin.”

“He who knows me as the birthless and beginningless Lord of all creation is undeluded and keeps himself free of all sin.”

“There is no doubt that he who really understands Me to be the source of attributes with Me in unfaltering harmony. I am the origin of it all. Everything and every being proceeds from Me. Knowing this, the wise worship Me with loving devotion.”

“To those who are ever devoted to Me and serve Me with love. I grant the yoga of understanding by which they come unto Me.”

“To bless them, I reside in their minds and hearts, destroying the darkness of ignorance by the resplendent light of wisdom.”

Arjuna declared “O Kesava! I put complete trust in what You have told me. Not the demons and not even the angels can grasp the infinite glory of Your manifestation. O Supreme Person: O Creator of beings, O God of gods, O Lord of the Universe, You alone know yourself.” “Kindly fully explain to me Your divine expressions through which, pervading all these worlds, You exist. How am I to meditate upon You, to gain constant awareness of You? How may I be constantly reminded of Your varied presence?”

The Lord replied: “O Kurusrestha (Arjuna)! I will relate to you only some of the expressions of my divinity out of my unlimited expressions.”

“I am the spirit residing in all persons. I am the beginning, the middle and the end of all beings. Of the Adityas I am Vishnu. Of the sources of radiance I am the Sun. Of the Maruts, I am Marici. And among the constellations of earth I am the moon.”

“Of the Vedas, I am the Sama. Of the gods, I am Indra. Of the senses, I am the mind in human beings. In living beings, I am the consciousness. Of the Rudras, I am Shiva. Of the Yaksas and Raksasas, I am Kubera. Of the Vasus, I am Agni. Of the mountain peaks, I am Meru. Of the great sages, I am Bhrgu. Of immovable objects, I am Himalaya mountains. Of sounds, I am the sacred sound “Om”. And of worship, I am Japa (silent repetition) of the holy name.”

“Of the trees, I am the asvatta (pipala). Of divine sages, I am Narada. Among gandharvas (celestial singers), I am Citraratha. And of the perfected souls, I am sage Kapila.”

“Of philosophies, I am metaphysics. And of discussion, I am the constructive reasoning.”

“Of the letters of the alphabet, I am the vowel A. And of compound words, I am the dual. I am the eternal time and I am the support of all, watching everything happening in every direction.”

“I am the person of wisdom, Usanas. Behold Me.” “In those desirous of victory, I am the wise policy. In things secret, I am the silence. And in wise persons, I am the wisdom.”

“Whatever is good, know that it is a fragment of Me. Whosoever has grace, power and glory, know that his is a fragment of my grace, power and glory.”

“It is enough for wise people to know that I support this entire universe, pervading it by a fraction of myself.”

“He who meditates on the Supreme Person, with his mind not wandering elsewhere, made possible by constant practice, O Arjuna, reaches Him, the Supreme Person.”

“He is the creator, all-knower, and the ruler of the universe. He is the shining light, subtler than subtle and He is the support of all beings.”

“At the time of departure the person whose mind can remain steady and full of devotion will reach the Lord. The ascetics freed from passion, enter what those learned in Vedas call eternal life.


Arjuna asked: You have declared to me the truth about who You are, O Supreme Lord. Yet, I do desire to see Your divine form. O Lord, If you think Your divine majesty can be seen by me, then reveal your eternal form to me.”

To this the Lord said:” Get ready to behold my divine forms, O Partha; of various hues and shapes, by the hundreds and thousands. See this day the entire universe, with all that is moving and stationary. O Arjuna, and anything else that you yearn to see, all unified in my body.”

“You will not be able to see Me with your physical eyes. For this reason I am bestowing you with divine vision. Behold my sovereign glory.”

So saying, Lord Krishna revealed to Arjuna His Supreme form. Arjuna saw the form having many eyes, numerous faces, with divine ornaments and holding divine weapons. The Pandava (Arjuna) saw the entire universe with its manifold divisions united in the body of the God of gods.

Arjuna could barely utter: “O Mighty Armed One, seeing Your great form consisting of many mouths, many eyes, many arms, feet and bellies, the worlds are awe-stricken, and so am I.”

“I see the sons of Dhrtarastra along with hosts of kings, Bhimsa, Drona, Karna and hordes of soldiers fighting on both sides, rushing into Your fearful jaws; and I see some caught between your teeth with heads crushed. As moths rush into the blazing fire only to perish, so are these men rushing into Your mouth to be destroyed.”

Krishna said in agreement: They are already destined by me to die. Therefore, rise O Arjuna; conquer your enemies; attain good name; and enjoy a prosperous kingdom. By me alone are these people going to be slain, O Arjuna. You are merely an instrument.”

Arjuna exclaimed:” O All! Salutations to You who are in front of me, behind me and all sides of me. You have infinite might. You hold all there is and You are the all.”

By now Arjuna is consumed by fear and apprehension as he saw the awe-inspiring form of the Lord. He said: “Not having known all this time who You are, my lord, I addressed You as Krishna, Yadava, or comrade, regarding You as my human friend and companion. I may have said things on different occasions or different situations considering You to be of my equal. I pray, O invincible and boundless one, for Your forgiveness.”

“You are the father of the universe, both of the moving and the non-moving. You are the one to be worshipped. You are our teacher. There is no one equal to You. You are the greatest in the three worlds, O Lord of incomparable reach.”

“Prostrating before You, I seek Your grace. O adorable lord, forgive me just as a father forgives his son, a friend his friend, and a lover his beloved.”

Arjuna then asked to see Krishna’s “Vishnu” form (four-armed) and then back to his usual, human form. 

To this, Krishna said “I am pleased with you O Arjuna. I have introduced you to my divine power by showing you my supreme, luminous, universal, infinite and primal form, which no one else has seen before.” “The exalted form that you saw is to be seen only by the noblest of souls. Even the angels remain anxious to see this form.”

In showing the destruction of the warriors and sons of Dhrtarashtra rushing into the mouth of the Lord, Arjuna was shown a glimpse of the future and he realizes he is merely an instrument of what God had already willed and planned. Thus, all pain and anxiety of war were erased.


Arjuna asked: “ Between devotees who worship You, the manifest and those who worship the impersonal, the unmanifest, which ones are better yogis, O Lord?”

Krishna replied: “Those who worship Me (my manifest form), fixing their mind on Me, ever devoted and possessed of supreme faith, them I consider as the best yogis.”

“Yet those who worship the imperishable, indescribable, unmanifest, all pervading, inconceivable, changeless, immovable and eternal also come to Me and Me alone. Remember that those who want to reach Me must control their senses, be even-minded in all situations, love fellow human beings and remain engrossed in their service.”

A conversation between a father and son is narrated. The father, Hiranyakasipu asked his son Prahlada. “What is the best lesson you have learned from your teacher?” To this Prahlada replied:

“These are the ways a devotee may worship God: 
1) “Sravana”: Listen to divine stories
2) “Kirtana, Japa”: Chant the Lord’s name
3) “Smarana, dhyana, upasana”: Meditate on the Lord
4) “Seva, tapas, yajna:” Devote time in His service
5) “Archana”: Return the gifts 
6) “Vandana, bhajana”: Sing His glory
7) “Dasyam”: Obey His commandments
8) “Sakhyam”: Put his trust in God to be his best friend
9) “Atma-nevedana”: Make total dedication to God

“Embodied beings find it hard to set their goal for the unmanifest Supreme. They have difficulty concentrating on the unmanifest God. An easier path for the lovers to reach God is to come to me, Krishna, the manifest God.”

“Those who dedicate all actions to Me, who worship Me with unswerving devotion through meditating on Me, I deliver from the ocean of death-bound existence, O Arjuna. If you are not able to seek Me through meditation then be the one whose supreme aim is my service. By performing actions for Me you will attain perfection.”

“Meditation is a good way to achieve peace of mind. Better still is to obtain wisdom and the better yet is to relinquish the craving for reward.”

“He who harbors no ill-will against anyone, who is compassionate and friendly, who is free of ego and conceit, who accepts both pain and pleasure with an even mind, who is always content, who has self-control, who is unshaken in resolve, and who has surrendered himself mentally to me, is dear to me.”

“He who is alike to friend and foe, who is alike to honor and dishonor, heat and cold, pleasure and pain, blame and praise, who is consistent, restrained in speech, free of hankering and unattached to property is dear to Me.”

“The nectar of dharma has been offered by Me. The devotees who drink this nectar with faith holding Me as their supreme goal are very dear to Me.”


(Arjuna now wants to know the relationship between the human body, the human soul andGod). Krishna offered the following explanation):

“The body of a person is the field (kshetra). The soul (in the human body) is the knower of the field (kshetrajna). Know again, that the individual soul who is the knower of the field in all bodies is none other than Me. The knowledge of the body and soul is the true knowledge.”

“Desire, aversion, pleasure, pain, intelligence, patience, self-sense, understanding and mind as expressed through ten organs, are all parts of the field (the body).”

“True enlightenment is knowing that you need the following virtues:

1) Amanitvam: humility and absence of arrogance
2) Adambhitvam: absence of hypocrisy
3) Ahimsa: absence of cruelty
4) Ksantih: forbearance and forgiveness
5) Arjavam: integrity and honesty
6) Acaryopasanam: reverence to the spiritual leader
7) Saucam: internal and external purity
8) Sthairyam: steadfastness
9) Atmavinigrahah: self-control
10) Indriyarthesu vairagyam: non-attachment to pleasures
11) Anahamkara: absence of conceit
12) Janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi-duhkha-dosanudarsanam: perception of the inevitable problems of life and the temporal nature of life itself
13) Asaktir anabhisvanga: Absence of a blinding attachment to spouse, children, property etc
14) Samacittatvam: even-mindedness towards all
15) Ananyayogena bhakti: unswerving devotion to God
16) Vivikta desa sevitvam: seeking of solitude in order to meditate and know your soul
17) Tattva jnana: pursuit of truth

All of the above is true knowledge. All that is contrary to the above is ignorance.”

Krishna went on to describe the qualities of God: “Arjuna, I will give you the knowledge that you should receive about God, the Supreme knower. By knowing the Supreme knower one attains immortality. Know that the Supreme knower is beginningless. He is both being and non-being.”

“He has the qualities of all the senses and yet is without physical sense organs. He is unattached and yet sustains every being and thing. He is without gunas (attributes) and yet makes the enjoyment of attributes in men possible. He is inside and outside of all beings. He is unmoving and yet He moves. He is too small to be perceived. He is far away and yet He is close by.”

“He is indivisible and yet divides Himself among His beings. He is the one who creates, protects and destroys and creates again. He is the light of all lights. He is at once the wisdom and the object of wisdom. He is reachable through enlightenment. He dwells in the heart of all persons.”

“Know that matter and spirit (soul) are both beginningless and that matter takes various forms. Human body (a form of matter) and its sense organs feel pleasure and pain. The soul is the cause in body’s experience of pleasure and pain.”

“The individual spirit (soul) present in the body is the witness, the permitter, the supporter, the experiencer and also the representative of the Supreme Soul. He who really knows the soul (purusa) and the body (prakriti) and recognizes the presence of natural urges, becomes immortal.”

“Some discover the presence of God inside their own body by meditation, others by the path of knowledge and yet others by the path of unselfish action. Some, listening to others, take the path of worship. They too cross beyond death by their devotion to what they have heard.”

“He who sees the Supreme Lord present in all human beings (as their soul) never perishing though living in a perishable body, sees.”

“He who realizes that all actions are done by the prakrti (body) and that the soul is not the doer, really understands. When a person sees that all human beings are centered in God and from God they emanate, then he is on the path to attain God.”


The Lord said: “Arjuna, I will once again impart to you the supreme knowledge. Through such acquisition the sages have risen from the worldly level to the highest state of perception-the divine nature, My nature. They are no longer a part of the phenomenon of birth and death of a human body. They know that their spirit is beyond birth and death. It is imperishable and infinite. This knowledge makes them realize eternal life.”

(He then explains the three tendencies): 

1) The sattvika tendency represents purity and stability of mind. It brings spiritual enlightenment to a being. A person with the sattvika tendency is a seeker of happiness and is a seeker of knowledge and wisdom.

2) The rajasika tendency represents a passion for worldly achievement. It creates attachment to what has been attained and a desire for what is yet to be attained. It drives a person to action with the purpose of achieving his worldly ambitions.

3) The tamasika tendency represents a lack of desire for spiritual or worldly attachment. It binds a person to ingnorance, laziness, lack of effort and negligence.

“Any one of the three tendencies can dominate the other two. Sattva could prevail over rajas and tamas or even tams could prevail over sativa and rajas.” “

“When the light of spiritual wisdom shines from the entire body of a person then it can be said that sattva has taken hold. Aggressiveness, restlessness and desire are in evidence in a person when rajas is predominant. Absence of wisdom, error of judgement and lack of effort are present when tamas overpowers, O Arjuna.”

“If a person reaches sattva in his life, then when he dies he goes to that pure world where only the wisest are allowed to go. Those who meet with death while still in the rajas are born again in their new life among those attached to action. A person who meets dissolution while in tamas is born in the womb to the deluded—born in ignorance.”

“Put in another way, those abiding in sattva rise upwards, those in rajas dwell in the middle and those in tamas are at the lowest level.”


(Krishna now explains the character of the individual soul and its relationship with the Supreme Soul). “Arjuna, you may imagine life in this world to be like an upside down banyan tree with original roots in heaven and its branches going down and striking roots in the earth. The leaves of this tree are as though the sacred hymns of the Vedas. The flower buds of this tree are the senses. The branches of this tree represent the three tendencies of tamas, rajas and sattva. The roots that strike into the earth represent the growth of worldly involvement.”

“Even though the roots of this human tree originate in heaven, yet, because in due course the stems take roots in earth, man does not perceive where the source was and how the form of the tree has changed. Men of wisdom see that their original roots are in heaven and not in the earth. With the sharp sword of a stable mind a person can cut off the earthly roots and go to the original roots to reach the permanent heavenly abode.”

“The wise is this way seek refuge in Me from whom the tree of life sprang.”

“The individual souls of the living human beings are fragments of me, the Supreme Soul. Each individual soul binds itself to the senses and the mind of that living being.”

“When the soul enters a body it brings with it and when the soul leaves the body it takes with it, the senses just like the wind carries the perfume or odor with it. The soul experiences the use of the senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste and the use of the mind.”

“When the individual soul moves from its present body to its next body, it takes with it the experiences of the present body. These experiences are the result of the three tendencies (“gunas”). The ignorant do not realize this but those who can see with the eyes of wisdom know this.”

(On creating, the Lord explained):

“ The lights in the fire, the moon and the sun which illumine the whole of this earth-all come from me. I support the beings I create on earth and I nourish all the plants and trees providing the vital sap that flows in them, with my own life-giving energy.”

“I live in the heart of all beings. They derive their memory and knowledge from Me and I can take both of these away from them too. I am the Lord worshipped in the Vedas and I am the originator of the Vedanta. I am the repository of all wisdom.”

“There are two expressions of mine in this universe-the perishable and the imperishable. The imperishable is in the souls of all human beings which is my higher expression. The rest of the universe is the perishable expression.”

“I am beyond my perishable and imperishable expressions. That is why I am known in the Vedas as the Supreme Soul (“Purushottama”).


(Krishna now lays down what qualities win His favor and what traits earn His disfavor and wrath).

He said: “Fearlessness, purity of mind, dedication to obtaining knowledge, charity, control of self, performance of yajna (praying together), studying the scriptures, austerity an uprightness. Non-cruelty, truthfulness, abstinence from anger, self-sacrifice, peacefulness, aversion to fault-finding in others, compassion, freedom from greed, gentleness, humility and stability of mind. Vigor, forgiveness, fortitude, purity, absence of malice, freedom from arrogance- these O Pandava are the qualities of him who is endowed with divine nature.”

“And the demonic state is being opposite of the divine state. It is made up of hypocrisy, arrogance, conceit, anger, abrasiveness, lack of love and lack of wisdom.” He goes on to describe many versions of such demonic person and their consequences.

“This has been gained by me today, this I shall obtain; this is mine and this also shall be mine. This enemy has been destroyed by me and others also I will destroy. I am the Lord; I am the enjoyer; I am the successful, powerful and I am pleased.”

“I am rich and of noble birth. Who else can compare with me? I will sacrifice, I shall give, I shall rejoice. Thus they say, deluded by ignorance. Conceited, obstinate, filled with vanity and the arrogance of wealth, they make charities with ostentation, in order to gain recognition and without regard to God’s commandments.”

“The three gates to hell leading to the ruin of a person are: lust, anger and greed. Therefore, these three should be abandoned. The person who avoids these three gates leading to darkness and hell does what is good for his soul and then reaches the highest state.”

“He who disobeys the law laid down by the scripture and acts as his desires prompt him, attains neither happiness nor perfection, nor the supreme goal. Therefore, let the scripture be the authority to determine what you should and should not do. Knowing what is prescribed by the scripture, you should do your duty.”


Arjuna asked: “Lord, there are those who neglect to study and follow scriptures and yet work and worship with faith. What kind of faith is theirs? Is it sattvika, rajasika or tamasika?”

“The faith of a person is based on his nature, O Arjuna. A person’s nature determines his faith. Yet he is molded by his faith. The Sattvika persons worship God, the rajasika worship human beings and the tamasika worship things and spirits.”

Krishna continued: “ Scriptures do not enjoin persons to perform violent austerities, involving torture and neglect of their body. Persons with demonic resolves practice severe austerities driven by conceit, showmanship or desire for some other gain. They foolishly torture their body and along with it Me who is dwelling in their body, O Arjuna.”

“The food they like, the work they do and the control they exercise upon themselves are different for people with sattvika, rajasika and tamasika tendencies. Here are the distinctions between them:

The foods which are savory, mild and agreeable and which augment life, vitality, health and cheerfulness are liked by the sattvika. Foods that are bitter, sour, highly salted, hot and overly spicy are liked by the rajasika. These foods produce depression of spirit and loss of health. Foods that have little or no nutritive value, which could be stale, harmful, left over in unsafe conditions and are unclean and therefore, a health hazard, are accepted by tamasika persons.”

“The work sattvika perform are in accordance with the commandments of the scripture, with mind fixed in the work and not in reward or gain. The work performed with mind engrossed in expected reward or for display are work by rajasika. Tamasika work, on the other hand is contrary to the scriptures, without distribution of food to the hungry or accompanied by charity or along with prayers said without faith.”

On self-discipline: “Physical self-discipline consists of praying to God, respect for the learned teacher, the purity of heart, the straightforwardness in dealings, continence and non-cruelty are sattvika’s self-discipline. Examples of discipline of speaking are speaking that which is pleasant and causes no offense, speaking what is truthful, speaking what is beneficial and regular recitation of the scriptures. Discipline of the mind consists of gentleness, silence, self-control, purity of heart and calmness.”

“The kinds of self-discipline outlined above are practiced by the sattvika. Discipline practiced to gain respect, honor and praise is fleeting and unstable and is rajasika in nature. Discipline practiced to cause injury to others or to torture one self in the foolish belief that such torture pleases God, is tamasika.”

“Charity that is made to one from whom no return is expected, with the knowledge that it is your duty to give and the gift is given to a worthy person or cause, in a proper place, at a proper time is a sattvika gift. A gift that is given with the expectation of a return or with the expectation of future gain or a gift give grudgingly is a rajasika gift. A gift that is given at a wrong place, at a wrong time, to an unworthy person or cause or a gift which is accompanied by disrespect to the receiver is declared by me to be tamasika.”

Of the phrase “Om-tat-sat”: “ The learned men, the scriptures and all spiritual actions are ordained by the three worded phrase “Om-tat-sat”. This phrase represents God. Om means ‘absolutely’, tat means “He is” (which refers to everything , including the universe and the Supreme Soul) and sat means true, good or reality. Om-tat-sat is a good way to greet someone.”

“All acts of sacrifice, charity and austerity should start with the invocation to God, with the utterance of “Om” and be attended by “tat”. The word “sat” is to remind oneself that God is the reality and He is good. To be steadfast in sacrifice, charity and self-discipline is sat and any action for noble purposes is sat.”

“To engage in charity, sacrifice or self-discipline without faith is contrary to sat and is called ‘asat’. 


(In this chapter Krishna concludes his teachings again expounding righteous living, abandoning selfish desires, continuously striving to achieve spiritual growth, without abandoning the world. He indicates that the work of the world, if done rightly, contributes to spiritual fulfillment).

Arjuna wanted Krishna to touch upon the principles of renunciation again. Krishna explained:

““Renunciation” (samnyasa) is giving up of actions prompted by selfish desires. “Relinquishment” (tyaga) is non-attachment to the fruit of action.”

“Good actions, charity and self-discipline should not be relinquished because they are purifiers. Yet these acts should be performed giving up attachment for reward.”

Re-visiting sattvika, rajasika and tamasika actions, Krishna said thus: “Actions which are one’s duty, when performed without attachment or aversion and without the thought of personal gain, are sattvika actions. The doer who is free of attachment and ego, who is full of resolve and enthusiasm and who can calmly face success or failure, is sattvika in nature.”

“Stressful actions undertaken to fulfill selfish desires or to promote ego are rajasika actions. The doer who is swayed to action by passion, greed and impurity of thought, whose acts could harm others and who is subject to childish elation and dejection is rajasika in nature.”

“Actions undertaken through ignorance, without regard to their consequence for injury to others  or to self and actions outside of one’s capability are tamasika. The doer who is unsteady, vulgar, obstinate, deceitful, malicious, lazy and procrastinating is tamasika in nature.”

“Hear now about the three types of understanding, O Arjuna. To understand when to act and when to refrain from action, to discriminate between right and wrong actions, what to get concerned about and what not to do, what keeps you in bondage and what liberates you, is sattvika understanding.”

“A person whose understanding is unclear about what is right or wrong and who is not clear as to what should be done or not done, has rajasika understanding.”

“A person whose understanding is enveloped in ignorance and who conceives as right what is not right and interprets things in a perverted way, has tamasika understanding.”

Of the three types of determination: “The determination that is unwavering in controlling the activities of the mind and the senses is declared by me to be sattvika. The determination that is used to hold fast to work, pleasure and the pursuit of wealth, coupled with attachment to the fruit, is declared by me to be rajasika. The determination with which a fool attaches himself to sleep, fear, grief, depression and ignorance that, O Arjuna, is tamasika determination.”

Of the three kinds of happiness: “ The happiness that comes after long practice, ridding oneself of all sorrow (based on a mind at peace), derived from actions which may seem bitter like poison in the beginning and sweet like nectar at their completion, is sattvika happiness. The happiness that arises from pleasures of contact of senses with their objects and which, like nectar at first but like poison in its results is rajasika in nature. The pleasure that stems from self-delusion and sleep, indulgence and neglect of duty is tamasika in character.”

Next Krishna admits that there are no beings on earth or in heaven completely free of the three tendencies. However, devoted to one’s own duty a person moves towards perfection.

“He from whom all beings arise and by whom the entire universe is pervaded, by worshipping Him through the performance of duty does a person attain perfection.”

“Endowed with a pure understanding, firmly controlling the mind, turning away from objects of sense and casting away attraction and aversion, restoring to a quiet place, eating moderately, controlling speech, body and mind, always devoted to meditation, cultivating the absence of agitation, casting aside self-sense, force, arrogance, selfishness, possessiveness and ego, tranquil in mind, such a person becomes worthy of union with God.”

“Having become one with Me and being tranquil in mind, a person neither grieves nor hankers. Such a person attains supreme devotion to Me. Through devotion he comes to know Me truly- who I am and what my reach is. Having known Me, he reaches Me.”

“Dedicate all actions to Me, regarding Me as the supreme soul, fix your mind constantly on Me to receive my love. Remembering Me, you will by my grace, cross over all obstacles. But if from self-conceit you will not listen to Me, you will perish.”

“Take refuge in God alone with all your heart, O Arjuna. By His grace you will attain supreme blessedness and eternal abode. Purified by wisdom and devotion, many men have surrendered unto Me and I have delivered them from attachment, fear and anger. In consequence, the have reached my state of being.”

“The person who performs actions dedicating them to God, giving up attachment to results, is not touched by sin just as a lotus leaf remains untouched by water.”

“Giving up all previously acquired notions of dharma (right and wrong), leaving all other paths, surrender yourself to Me alone; and do not grieve, for I will make you free from all types of sin.”

“There is no one on earth who does more loving service to Me than he who spreads My message. He who will read this sacred dialog between us will be sacrificing to Me and worshipping Me through the obtaining of wisdom.”

“Have you, O Partha listened to my words with undivided attention? Have your ignorance and delusion been removed” the Lord asked.

To which Arjuna replied: “ Destroyed is my delusion and through your grace O Lord, I have gained self-knowledge. Dispelled of doubt, I will be able to follow Your teachings.”

The Chapter and the text conclude with Sanjaya telling King Dhritarashtra : “Thus have I heard O King, this thrilling dialog between Vasudeva (Krishna) the Great Soul and Partha (Arjuna) the man of noble soul. By the grace of sage Vyasa (who granted me telescopic vision and hearing)< I heard this supreme secret, the yoga taught by Lord Krishna Himself in person.”


The excerpts presented above were taken from the two books given below, from their translation of the verses into English. No new interpretations have been provided by this author. However, for the sake of brevity, repetitious stanzas have been omitted while some others were combined into larger verses as the substance was deemed similar and substantially complimentary. The short introductions indicated by italics within parentheses at the beginning of some Chapters are the author's additions.  

1) The Bhagavad-Gita by The Bhagavan-Mahima, The Hindu Scriptures, Vol III. By Sacred Books Inc. 1999
2) Srimad Bhagavad Gita by Swami Jyotirmaynanda: Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America Publishers 1986



1) www.gitasupersite.iitk.ac.in/

2) www.dailyreadings.com/foreword.htm

3) www.thegitaspace.com/teacher1.htm

4) www.thegitaspace.com/

5) www.gitasupersite.iitk.ac.in/minigita/index.html