The Bhagavad-Gita






Contents

Action - We cannot escape the need to act
Action - Therefore, act according to the Yoga of Action
Action - Dedicate all action to God
Anger - Results
Aspirants – The destiny of the seeker
Avatars - Why they come - To promulgate dharma
Avatars – They are masters of Maya
Avatars - Full Avatars - Sri Krishna
Avatars - Those who fully recognize them are liberated
Change
Craving and Aversion – See the Gunas – The two faces of Rajas – Craving and Aversion
Death - Importance of the moment of death
Death - Reincarnation
Desire – How desire works
Desire - Its effects - God will not accept us as long as we have desires
Detachment from the unreal - What is renunciation?
Detachment from the unreal - What should not be renounced?
Detachment from the unreal - Control the senses
Detachment from the unreal - Master the self and the mind
Detachment from the unreal - Be even-minded, tranquil, serene
Detachment from the unreal - Be content with what comes unsought
Determination - Types
Devotion to the Real – To love is to know God and to enter at once into His Being
Devotion to the Real - God is all that can be lawfully desired
Devotion to the Real - Devotion leads to enlightenment
Devotion to the Real - Surrender to God
Devotion to the Real – Devotion to the formless is difficult
Dharma - Follow your own duty
Discrimination between the Real and the Unreal
Discrimination between the Real and the Unreal - Use the sword of discrimination to slash delusion
Discrimination between the Real and the Unreal – What does successful discrimination result in?
Discrimination between the Real and the Unreal - Without discrimination, what is our situation
Discrimination between the Real and the Unreal - How shall we develop discrimination? - Let the scriptures be your guide
Discrimination between the Real and the Unreal - However, not by studying the scriptures only do we see God
Discrimination between the Real and the Unreal -The character of the seeker of discrimination
The Ego – The individual man is characterized by ego
The Ego - Renounce it and desire to receive the grace of God
Enlightenment – All are destined to attain it
Enlightenment - It is the reward for all life's trials and tribulations
Enlightenment – To escape rebirth, we must realize God
Enlightenment - Few seek it
Enlightenment - Fewer attain it
Enlightenment – How should we be to attain enlightenment?
Enlightenment – How do we know when it is perfect?
Enlightenment - The journey epitomized
Enlightenment - God-Realization purifies
Enlightenment - - What happens if we fail to know God in this lifetime?
The Father - God alone is real; He alone exists
The Father - He stands behind Her - See also The Mother
The Father - He remains hidden by Her mysterious veil of matter
The Father - He is the first and the last, the source, refuge, and goal in life
The Father – Know only Him
The Father – He alone is the doer
The Father - “Attributes” of the Attributeless
The Gunas - All creatures, of whatever order, are affected by the gunas
The Gunas - They are the chief obstacles to Self-knowledge
The Gunas - The Father is the ultimate source of them
The Gunas – They are the doers of every action
The Gunas - Transcend them and be enlightened
The Gunas - How Tamas manifests
The Gunas - Under the influence of Tamas, we cannot apprehend the light of our true nature
The Gunas - How Rajas manifests
The Gunas - The two faces of Rajas: craving and aversion
The Gunas - How Sattwa manifests.
The Gunas - What is the state of mind of the truly sattwic?
The Guru
Heart - The Father "dwells" in the spiritual heart (hridayam)
Meditation – Be absorbed in Him
Meditation – How to meditate
The Mind - To know the Self, still the mind
Moderation
The Mother - Also known as Prakriti/Procreatrix, Aum/Amen, the Word of God, Logos, Sphota, Sound-Brahman, Shakti, Prana, Primordial Energy, Creative Universal Vibration, the Holy Spirit, Comforter Spirit, Spirit of Truth, and Wisdom – She rests in the Father
The Mother – She is Aum, the Word of God, one with the father
The Mother – She is Prakriti, one with the Father
The Mother - Maya is named as creator
The Mother - Shakti is named as creator
The Mother - She is the source of the gunas, which are the active agents in creation
Mysteries - The existence of mysteries acknowledged
Natural Law - The Law of Change
Natural Law - The Law of Karma - It only relates to the unenlightened
Natural Law - The Law of Karma - Liberation turns all karma to ashes
Non-Duality - When we see unitively, enlightenment comes
Paths to God - All sincere paths are mine; all paths are valid
Paths - Ways to purify
Paths - Wisdom (Jnana) and action (Karma)
Paths - Behind all paths is the "Perennial Philosophy" (ancient wisdom, sanathana dharma)
Reality - Its nature
The Sage – Ordinary people imitate the sage
The Scriptures – When can we stop studying them?
The Self
The Self - The individual Self
The Self - The Self and the Father are one
The Self - The Self is in the heart of everything that lives
The Self - It is eternal, undying, changeless
The Self - It is imperceptible
The Self - It animates and experiences everything
The Self - Everything lies within It
The Third Eye
The Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Ghost in Christianity; Brahman, Atman and Shakti in Hinduism; God the Father, God the Mother and God the Self
Truth -The Highest Truth
Turn inward
Universe - Is rooted in God
Universe - Is ultimately illusion, unreal
Universe - Its dissolution
Vision of the Myriad Forms of God
Bibliography


Action - We cannot escape the need to act

Activity is better than inertia. Act, but with self-control. If you are lazy, you cannot even sustain your own body. (Sri Krishna in BG, 45.)

Freedom from activity is never achieved by abstaining from action. Nobody van become perfect by merely ceasing to act. In fact, nobody can ever rest from activity even for a moment. All are helplessly forced to act, by the gunas. (Sri Krishna in BG, 44.)

The illumined soul must not create confusion in the minds of the ignorant by refraining from work. The ignorant, in their delusion, identify Atman with the gunas. They become tied to the senses and the action of the senses.

Action rightly renounced brings freedom:
Action rightly performed brings freedom:
Both are better
Than mere shunning of action.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 56.)

He who does the task
Dictated by duty,
Caring nothing
For fruit of the action,
He is a yogi,
A true sannyasin.
But he who follows
His vow to the letter
By mere refraining:
Lighting no fire
At the ritual offering,
Making excuse
For avoidance of labour,
He is no yogi,
No true sannyasin.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 62-3.)

No human being can give up action altogether, but he who gives up the fruits of action is said to be non-attached. (Sri Krishna in BG, 120.)

Action - Therefore, act according to the Yoga of Action

It is hard to renounce action
Without following the yoga of action.
This yoga purifies
The man of meditation,
Bringing him soon to Brahman.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 57.)

Let him who would climb
In meditation
To heights of the highest
Union with Brahman
Take for his path
The yoga of action:
Then when he nears
That height of oneness
His acts will fall from him,
His path will be tranquil.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 63.)

If you can understand and follow [the method of karma yoga], you will be able to break the chains of desire which bind you to your actions.

But when a man has found delight and satisfaction and peace in the Atman, then he is no longer obliged to perform any kind of action. He has nothing to gain in this world by action, and nothing to lose by refraining from action. He is independent of everybody and everything. (Sri Krishna in BG, 46.)

In this yoga, even the abortive attempt is not wasted. Nor can it produce a contrary result. Even a little practice of this yoga will save you from the terrible wheel of rebirth and death.

In this yoga, the will is directed singly toward one ideal. When a man lacks this discrimination, his will wanders in all directions, after innumerable aims. (Sri Krishna in BG, 39.)

To the follower of the yoga of action,
The body and the mind,
The sense-organs and the intellect
Are instruments only:
He knows himself other than the instrument
And thus his heart grows pure.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 58.)

Action - Dedicate all action to God

The ignorant work
For the fruit of their action:
The wise work also
Without desire
Pointing man's feet
To the path of his duty.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 47.)

Work is holy
When the heart of the worker
Is fixed on the Highest.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 47.)

The world is imprisoned in its own activity, except when actions are performed as worship of God. Therefore you must perform every action sacramentally, and be free from all attachment to results. (Sri Krishna in BG, 45.)

Whatever your action,
Food or worship,
Whatever the gift
That you give to another;
Whatever you vow
To the work of the spirit:
O son of Kunti,
Lay these also
As offerings before me.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 84.)

He puts aside desire,
Offering the act to Brahman.
The lotus leaf rests unwetted on water:
He rests on action, untouched by action.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 58.)

Shake off this fever of ignorance. Stop hoping for worldly rewards. Fix your mind on the Atman. Be free from the sense of ego. Dedicate all your actions to me. (Sri Krishna in BG, 48.)

Those who have renounced ego and desire will reap no fruit at all, either in this world or in the next. (Sri Krishna in BG, 121.)

Anger – Results

Thinking about sense-objects
Will attach you to sense-objects;
Grow attached, and you become addicted;
Thwart your addiction, it turns to anger;
Be angry, and you confuse your mind;
Confuse your mind, you forget the lesson of experience;
Forget experience, you lose discrimination;
Lose discrimination, and you miss life's only purpose.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 41.)

Aspirants – The destiny of the seeker

No one who seeks Brahman (1) ever comes to an evil end.

Even if a man falls away from the practice of yoga, he will still win the heaven of the doers of good deeds, and dwell there many long years. After that, he will be reborn into the home of pure and prosperous parents. He may even be born into a family of illumined yogis. But such a birth in this world is more difficult to obtain.

He will then regain that spiritual discernment which he acquired in his former body; and so will strive harder than ever for perfection. Because of his practices in the previous life, he will be driven on toward union with Brahman, even in spite of himself. For the man who has once asked the way to Brahman goes further than the mere fulfiller of the Vedic rituals. By struggling hard, that yogi will move gradually toward perfection through many births, and reach the highest goal at last. (Sri Krishna in BG, 69.)

(1) What Jesus meant by God the Father.

Avatars - Why they come - To promulgate dharma

When goodness grows weak,
When evil increases,
I make myself a body,
In every age I come back
To deliver the holy,
To destroy the sin of the sinner,
To establish righteousness.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 50.)

Avatars – They are masters of Maya

Thus think the ignorant: that I, the unmanifest,
Am become man. They do not know my nature
That is one with Brahman, changeless, superhuman.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 73.)

I seem to be born:
It is only seeming,
Only my Maya. (1)
I am still master
Of my Prakriti, (2)
The power that makes me.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 50.)

(1) My illusion: Krishna speaks here as Brahman incarnate, what Jesus meant by God the Father.
(2) Prakriti (“Procreatrix” in Latin) is one of the names of the Divine Mother or Holy Spirit.

Avatars - Full Avatars - Sri Krishna

I am Brahman
Within this body,
Life immortal
That shall not perish:
I am the Truth
And the Joy for ever.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 110.)

Veiled in my Maya, I am not shown to many. How shall this world, bewildered by delusion, Recognize me, who am not born and change not? (Sri Krishna in BG, 73.)

This entire universe is pervaded by me, in that eternal form of mine which is not manifest to the senses. Although I am not within any creature, all creatures exist within me. I do not mean that they exist within me physically. That is my divine mystery. You must try to understand its nature. My Being sustains all creatures and brings them to birth, but has no physical contact with them. (Sri Krishna in BG, 80.)

I am the cosmos revealed, (1) and its germ (2) that lies hidden. (Sri Krishna in BG, 82.)

(1) In the specific sense of Nature, but also in the more general sense of God the Mother, who created Nature by the Father's Will.
(2) Since everything is Him alone, He is the the parent of the Mother. He is this world's sire (the Mother) and its grandsire (the Father).

I am the birthless, the deathless,
Lord of all that breathes.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 50.)

I am the divine seed of all that lives. In this world, nothing animate or inanimate exists without me. (Sri Krishna in BG, 90.)

I am where all things began, the issuing-forth of the creatures, Known to the wise in their love when they worship with hearts overflowing. (Sri Krishna in BG, 87.)

I am the birth of this cosmos;
Its dissolution also.
I am He who causes:
No other besides me.
Upon me these worlds are held
Like pearls strung on a thread.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 71.)

I am the essence of the waters,
The shining of the sun and the moon:
OM in all the Vedas,
The word that is God.
It is I who resound in the ether
And am potent in man.
I am the sacred smell of the earth,
The light of the fire,
Life of all lives.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 71.)

Avatars - Those who fully recognize them are liberated

Thus think the ignorant: that I, the unmanifest,
Am become man. They do not know my nature
That is one with Brahman, changeless, superhuman.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 73.)

He who knows the nature
Of my task and my holy birth
Is not reborn.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 51.)

Change

The nature of the relative world is mutability. (Sri Krishna in BG, 74.)

That Reality which pervades the universe is indestructible. No one has the power to change the Changeless. (Sri Krishna in BG, 36.)

Craving and Aversion – See the Gunas – The two faces of Rajas – Craving and Aversion

Death - Importance of the moment of death

On Him let man meditate
Always, for then at the last hour
Of going hence from his body he will be strong
In the strength of this yoga, faithfully followed:
The mind is firm, and the heart
So full, it hardly holds its love.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 75-6.)

When a man leaves his body and departs, he must close all the doors of his senses. Let him hold the mind firmly within the shrine of the heart, and fix the life-force between the eye-brows. Then let him take refuge in steady concentration, uttering the sacred syllable OM and meditating upon me. Such a man reaches the highest goal. When a yogi has meditated upon me unceasingly for many years, with an undistracted mind, I am easy of access to him, because he is always absorbed in me. (Sri Krishna in BG, 76.)

At the hour of death, when a man leaves his body, he must depart with his consciousness absorbed in me. Then he will be united with me. Be certain of that. Whatever a man remembers at the last, when he is leaving the body, will be realized by him in the hereafter; because that will be what his mind has most constantly dwelt on, during this life. (Sri Krishna in BG, 75.)

Death – Reincarnation

You and I, Arjuna,
Have lived many lives.
I remember them all.
You do not remember.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 50.)

Your words are wise, Arjuna, but your sorrow is for nothing. The truly wise mourn neither for the living nor for the dead.

There never was a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor any of these kings. Nor is there any future in which we shall cease to be.

Just as the dweller in this body passes through childhood, youth and old age, so at death he merely passes into another kind of body. The wise are not deceived by that.

... That Reality which pervades the universe is indestructible. No one has the power to change the Changeless.

Bodies are said to die, but That which possesses the body is eternal. It cannot be limited, or destroyed. (Sri Krishna in BG, 36.)

Helpless all, for Maya is their master,
And I, their Lord, the master of this Maya:
Ever and again, I send these multitudes
Forth from my Being.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 80.)

This Atman cannot be manifested to the senses, or thought about by the mind. It is not subject to modification. Since you know this, you should not grieve.

But if you should suppose this Atman to be subject to constant birth and death, even then you ought not to be sorry.

Death is certain for the born. Rebirth is certain for the dead. You should not grieve for what is unavoidable.

Before birth, beings are not manifest to our human senses. In the interim between birth and death, they are manifest. At death they return to the unmanifest again. What is there in all this to grieve over? (Sri Krishna in BG, 38.)

Desire – How desire works

The man who stirs up his own lusts
Can never know peace.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 43-4.)

Even a mind that knows the path
Can be dragged from the path:
The senses are so unruly.
But he controls the senses
And recollects the mind
And fixes it on me.
I call him illumined.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 42.)

The wind turns a ship
From its course upon the waters:
The wandering winds of the senses
Cast man's mind adrift
And turn his better judgment from its course.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 43.)

Smoke hides fire,
Dust hides a mirror,
The womb hides the embryo:
By lust (1) the Atman (2) is hidden.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 49.)

(1) The lust Krishna refers to is not simply sexually passion, but all forms of craving and attachment.
(2) The Self.

Lust hides the Atman in its hungry flames,
The wise man's faithful foe.
Intellect, senses and mind
Are fuel to its fire:
Thus it deludes
The dweller in the body,
Bewildering his judgment.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 49.)

Thinking about sense-objects
Will attach you to sense-objects;
Grow attached, and you become addicted;
Thwart your addiction, it turns to anger;
Be angry, and you confuse the mind;
Confuse your mind, you forget the lesson of experience;
Forget experience, you lose discrimination;
Lose discrimination, and you miss life's only purpose.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 42.)

'I wanted this and to-day I got it. I want that: I shall get it to-morrow. All these riches are now mine: soon I shall have more. I have killed this enemy. I will kill all the rest. I am a ruler of men. I enjoy the things of this world. I am successful, strong and happy. Who is my equal? I am so wealthy and so nobly born. I will sacrifice to the gods. I will give alms. I will make merry.' That is what they say to themselves, in the blindness of their ignorance. (Sri Krishna in BG, 115.)

They are addicts of sensual pleasure, made restless by their many desires, and caught in the net of delusion. They fall into the filthy hell of their own evil minds. Conceited, haughty, foolishly proud, and intoxicated by their wealth, they offer sacrifice to God in name only, for outward show, without following the sacred rituals. These malignant creatures are full of egoism, vanity, lust, wrath, and consciousness of power. They loathe me, and deny my presence both in themselves and in others. They are enemies of all men and of myself; cruel, despicable and vile. I cast them back again and again, into the wombs of degraded parents, subjecting them to the wheel of birth and death. And so they are constantly reborn, in degradation and delusion. They do not reach me, but sink down to the lowest possible condition of the soul. (Sri Krishna in BG, 115-6.)

Desire – When the bonds of desire are broken, we realize God

Renunciation brings instant peace to the spirit. (Sri Krishna in BG, 99.)

A man who renounces certain physical actions but still lets his mind dwell on the objects of his sensual desire is deceiving himself. He can only be called a hypocrite. The truly admirable man controls his senses by the power of his will. All his actions are disinterested. All are directed along the path to union with Brahman. (Sri Krishna in BG, 44-5.)

Renounce all your desires forever. They spring from wilfulness. Use your discrimination to restrain the whole pack of the scattering senses. (Sri Krishna in BG, 66.)

When a man lacks lust and hatred,
His renunciation does not waver.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 56.)

Devotees enter into Him when the bonds of their desires are broken. To reach this goal, they practice control of the passions. (Sri Krishna in BG, 76.)

When the bonds [of desire] are broken
His illumined heart
Beats in Brahman.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 53.)

When he has no lust, no hatred,
A man walks safely among the things of lust and hatred.
To obey the Atman
Is his peaceful joy;
Sorrow melts into that clear peace:
His quiet mind
Is soon established in peace.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 43.)

For when a man loses attachment to sense-objects and to action, when he renounces lustful anxiety and anxious lust, then he is said to have climbed to the height of union with Brahman. (Sri Krishna in BG, 63.)

When a man has achieved non-attachment, self-mastery and freedom from desire through renunciation, he reaches union with Brahman, who is beyond all action. (Sri Krishna in BG, 127.)

Let man be the master
Of every impulse
Lust-begotten
Or fathered by anger:
Thus he finds Brahman,
Thus he is happy.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 60.)

Utterly quiet,
Made clean of passion,
The mind of the yogi
Knows that Brahman,
His bliss is highest.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 67.)

Self-controlled,
Cut free from desire,
Curbing the heart
And knowing the Atman,
Man finds Nirvana
That is in Brahman,
Here and hereafter.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 61.)

Holding the intellect,
Holding the mind fast,
He who seeks freedom.
Thrusts fear aside,
Thrusts aside anger
And puts off desire:
Truly that man
Is made free for ever.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 62.)

The seer knows peace...
He lives without craving:
Free from ego, free from pride.

This is the state of enlightenment in Brahman:
A man does not fall back from it
Into delusion.
Even at the moment of death
He is alive in that enlightenment:
Brahman and he are one.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 43-4.)

Detachment from the unreal - What is renunciation?

Renunciation is said to be of three kinds. If a man, in his ignorance, renounces those actions which the scriptures ordain, his renunciation is inspired by tamas. (1) If he abstains from any action merely because it is disagreeable, or because he fears it will cause him bodily pain, his renunciation is inspired by rajas. (2) He will not obtain any spiritual benefit from such renunciation. But when a man performs an action which is sanctioned by the scriptures, and does it for duty's sake only, renouncing all attachment and desire for its fruits, then his renunciation is inspired by sattwa. (3) (Sri Krishna in BG, 120.)

(1) The guna or quality of ignorance.
(2) That of craving and aversion.
(3) That of purity.

Detachment from the unreal - What should not be renounced?

The sages tell us that renunciation means the complete giving-up of all actions which are motivated by desire. And they say that non-attachment means abandonment of the fruits of action.

Some philosophers declare that all kinds of action should be given up because action always contains a certain measure of evil. Others say that acts of sacrifice, almsgiving and austerity should not be given up. Now you shall hear the truth of this matter.

Acts of sacrifice, almsgiving and austerity should not be given up: their performance is necessary. For sacrifice, almsgiving and austerity are means of purification to those who rightly understand them. But even these acts must be performed without attachment or regard for their fruits. Such is my final and considered judgment. (Sri Krishna in BG, 120.)

Detachment from the unreal - Control the senses

The ignorant, in their delusion, identify Atman with the gunas. They become tied to the senses and the action of the senses. (Sri Krishna in BG, 56.)

The attraction and aversion which the senses feel for different objects are natural. But you must not give way to such feelings; they are obstacles. (Sri Krishna in BG, 48.)

You must first control your senses, then kill this evil thing (1) which obstructs discriminative knowledge and realization of the Atman. (Sri Krishna in BG, 49.)

(1) Lust

The tortoise can draw in his legs:
The seer can draw in his senses.
I call him illumined.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 42.)

When a man can still the senses
I call him illumined.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 43.)

Detachment from the unreal - Master the self and the mind

Man's will is the only
Friend of the Atman:
His will is also
The Atman's enemy.

For when a man is self-controlled, his will is the Atman's friend. But the will of an uncontrolled man is hostile to the Atman, like an enemy. (Sri Krishna in BG, 64.)

Patiently, little by little, a man must free himself from all mental distractions, with the aid of the intelligent will. He must fix his mind upon the Atman, and never think of anything else. No matter where the restless mind wanders, it must be drawn back and made to submit to the Atman only. (Sri Krishna in BG, 66.)

Get control of the mind through spiritual discrimination. Then destroy your elusive enemy, who wears the form of lust. (Sri Krishna in BG, 49.)

If a yogi has perfect control over his mind, and struggles continually in this way to unite himself with Brahman, he will come at last to the crowning peace of Nirvana, the peace that is in me. (Sri Krishna in BG, 65.)

Detachment from the unreal - Be even-minded, tranquil, serene

The enlightened, the Brahman-abiding,
Calm-hearted, unbewildered,
Is neither elated by the pleasant
Nor saddened by the unpleasant.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 60.)

Poise your mind in tranquillity. (Sri Krishna in BG, 40.)

That serene one
Absorbed in the Atman
Masters his will,
He knows no disquiet
In heat or in cold,
In pain or in pleasure,
In honour, dishonour.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 64.)

Be even-tempered in success and failure; for it is this evenness of temper which is meant by yoga. (Sri Krishna in BG, 40.)

A serene spirit accepts pleasure and pain with an even mind, and is unmoved by either. He alone is worthy of immortality. (Sri Krishna in BG, 36.)

[The] attitude [of the dispassionate one] is the same toward friend and foe. He is indifferent to honour and insult, heat and cold, pleasure and pain. He is free from attachment. He values praise and blame equally. He can control his speech. He is content with whatever he gets. His home is everywhere and nowhere. His mind is fixed upon me, and his heart is full of devotion. He is dear to me. (Sri Krishna in BG, 99.)

Feelings of heat and cold, pleasure and pain, are caused by the contact of the senses with their objects. They come and they go, never lasting long. You must accept them. (Sri Krishna in BG, 36.)

When a man's heart has reached fulfilment through knowledge and personal experience of the truth of Brahman, he is never again moved by the things of the senses. Earth, stone and gold seem all alike to one who has mastered his senses. (Sri Krishna in BG, 64.)

With his heart serene and fearless,
Firm in his vow of renunciation,
Holding the mind from its restless roaming,
Now let [the aspirant] struggle to reach my oneness,
Ever-absorbed, his eyes on me always,
His prize, his purpose.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 65.)

His mind is dead
To the touch of the external:
It is alive
To the bliss of the Atman.
Because his heart knows Brahman
His happiness is for ever.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 60.)

Detachment from the unreal - Be content with what comes unsought

What God's Will gives
He takes and is contented.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 52.)

Determination – Types

Determination inspired by sattwa never wavers. It is strengthened by the practice of yoga. A man who has this kind of determination gains absolute control over his mind, vital energy and senses. Rajas, on the other hand, inspires that kind of determination with which a man follows the object of his desire, or seeks wealth, or does a duty, looking for reward of personal advantage. As for the determination inspired by tamas, it is nothing but obstinacy. It makes a man stubbornly refuse to shake off his dullness, fear, grief, low spirits or vanity. (Sri Krishna in BG, 124.)

Devotion to the Real – To love is to know God and to enter at once into His Being

To love is to know me,
My innermost nature,
The truth that I am:
Through this knowledge he enters
At once to my Being.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 128.)

Devotion to the Real - God is all that can be lawfully desired

I am all that a man may desire
Without transgressing
The law of his nature. (1)
(Sri Krishna in BG, 71.)

(1) The natural law.

Devotion to the Real - Devotion leads to enlightenment

Be established in the consciousness of the Atman, always. (Sri Krishna in BG, 40.)

You find yourself in this transient, joyless world. Turn from it, and take your delight in me. Fill your heart and mind with me, bow down to me in self-surrender. If you set your heart upon me thus, and take me for your ideal above all others, you will come into my Being. (Sri Krishna in BG, 85.)

Mentally resign all your action to me. Regard me as your dearest loved one. Know me to be your only refuge. Be united always in heart and consciousness with me. (Sri Krishna in BG, 128.)

His mind is fixed upon me, and his heart is full of devotion. He is dear to me. (Sri Krishna in BG, 99.)

Flying from fear,
From lust and anger,
He hides in me
His refuge, his safety:
Burnt clean in the blaze of my being,
In me many find home.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 51.)

If your heart is united with me, you will be set free from karma even in this life, and come to me at the last. (Sri Krishna in BG, 84.)

Whosoever works for me alone, makes me his only goal and is devoted to me, free from attachment, and without hatred toward any creature -- that man, O Prince, shall enter into me. (Sri Krishna in BG, 97.)

Give me your whole heart,
Love and adore me,
Worship me always,
Bow to me only,
And you shall find me:
This is my promise
Who love you dearly.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 129.)

The devoted dwell with Him,
They know Him always
There in the heart,
Where action is not.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 59.)

Though you were the foulest of sinners,
This knowledge (1) alone would carry you
Like a raft, over all your sin.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 55.)

Though a man be soiled
With the sins of a lifetime,
Let him but love me,
Rightly resolved,
In utter devotion:
I see no sinner,
That man is holy.
Holiness soon
Shall refashion his nature
To peace eternal;
O son of Kunti,
Of this be certain:
The man that loves me,
He shall not perish. (1)
(Sri Krishna in BG, 84-5.)

(1) He shall win liberation from the wheel of birth and death.

But behind the manifest and the unmanifest, there is another Existence, which is eternal and changeless. This is not dissolved in the general cosmic dissolution. It been called ... the imperishable. To reach it is said to be the greatest of all achievements. It is my highest state of being. Those who reach it are not reborn. That highest state of being can only be achieved through devotion to Him in whom all creatures exist, and by whom this universe if pervaded. (Sri Krishna in BG, 77.)

Devotion to the Real - Surrender to God

In the calm of self-surrender you can free yourself from the bondage of virtue and vice during this very life. Devote yourself, therefore, to reaching union with Brahman. (Sri Krishna in BG, 41.)

All that he does
Is offered before me
In utter surrender:
My grace is upon him,
He finds the eternal,
The place unchanging.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 128.)

Devotion to the Real – Devotion to the formless is difficult

The devotees of the unmanifest have a harder task, because the unmanifest is very difficult for embodied souls to realize. (Sri Krishna in BG, 98.)

Dharma - Follow your own duty

Do your duty, always; but without attachment. That is how a man reaches the ultimate Truth: by working without anxiety about results. (BG, 46-7.)

A man will reach perfection if he does his duty as an act of worship to the Lord, who is the source of the universe, prompting all action, everywhere present.

A man's own natural duty, even if it seems imperfectly done, is better than work not naturally his own even if this is well performed. When a man acts according to the law of his nature, he cannot be sinning. Therefore, no one should give up his natural work, even though he does it imperfectly. For all action is involved in imperfection, like fire in smoke. (Sri Krishna in BG, 127.)

Discrimination between the Real and the Unreal

Who thus perceives
With the eye of wisdom (1)
In what manner the Field (2)
Is distinct from its Knower, (3)
How men are made free from the toils of Prakriti: (4)
His aim is accomplished,
He enters the Highest.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 105.)

(1) The Third Eye.
(2) Mother.
(3) The Self, Atman, or soul. The Self of course is unchanging, indestructible, modificationless.
(4)How men are released from the Mother's bondage.

Recognize me as the Knower of the Field in every body. I regard discrimination between Field and Knower as the highest kind of knowledge. (Sri Krishna in BG, 100.)

Discrimination between the Real and the Unreal - Use the sword of discrimination to slash delusion

Where is your sword
Discrimination?
Draw it and slash
Delusion to pieces.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 56.)

Discrimination between the Real and the Unreal – What does successful discrimination result in?

When the bonds [of ignorance] are broken
His illumined heart
Beats in Brahman.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 53.)

When your intellect has cleared itself of its delusions, you will become indifferent to the results of all action, present or future. ... When it can rest, steady and undisturbed, in contemplation of the Atman, then you will reach union with the Atman. (Sri Krishna in BG, 41.)

Discrimination between the Real and the Unreal - Without discrimination, what is our situation?

Those who lack discrimination may quote the letter of the scripture, but they are really denying its inner truth. They are full of worldly desires, and hungry for the rewards of heaven. They use beautiful figures of speech. They teach elaborate rituals which are supposed to obtain pleasure and power for those who perform them. But, actually, they understand nothing except the law of Karma, that chains men to rebirth. (Sri Krishna in BG, 40.)

Discrimination between the Real and the Unreal - How shall we develop discrimination? - Let the scriptures be your guide

Let the scriptures be your guide ... in deciding what you must do, and what you must abstain from. First learn the path of action, as the scriptures teach it. Then act accordingly. (Sri Krishna in BG, 116.)

Discrimination between the Real and the Unreal - However, not by studying the scriptures only do we see God

Neither by study of the Vedas, nor by austerities, nor by alms-giving, nor by rituals can I be seen as you have seen me [Arjuna]. But by single-minded and intense devotion, that Form of mine may be completely known, and seen, and entered into. (Sri Krishna in BG, 97.)

Discrimination between the Real and the Unreal - The character of the seeker of discrimination

Among those who are purified by their good deeds, there are four kinds of men who worship me: the world-weary, the seeker for knowledge, the seeker for happiness and the man of spiritual discrimination. The man of discrimination is the highest of these. He is continually united with me. He devotes himself to me always, and to no other. For I am very dear to that man, and he is dear to me.

Certainly, all these are noble:
But the man of discrimination
I see as my very Self.
For he alone loves me
Because I am myself:
The last and only goal
Of his devoted heart.
Through many a long life
His discrimination ripens:
He makes me his refuge,
Knows that Brahman is all.
How rare are such great ones!
(Sri Krishna in BG, 72-3.)

The Ego – The individual man is characterized by ego

The nature of the individual man is his consciousness of ego. (Sri Krishna in BG, 74-5.)

The Ego - Renounce it and desire to receive the grace of God

Those who have renounced ego and desire will reap no fruit at all, either in this world or in the next. (Sri Krishna in BG, 121.)

Enlightenment – All are destined to attain it

All mankind
Is born for perfection
And each shall attain it
Will he but follow
His nature's duty.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 126.)

Enlightenment - It is the reward for all life's trials and tribulations

The reward of all action is to found in enlightenment. (Sri Krishna in BG, 54.)

Enlightenment - To escape rebirth, we must realize God

All the worlds ... are subject to the laws of rebirth. But, for the man who comes to me, (1) there is no returning. (Sri Krishna in BG, 76.)

(1) Who realizes God (or Brahman) in the state of sahaja or permanent nirvikalpa samadhi.

Those who reach [my highest state of being] are not reborn. (Sri Krishna in BG, 77.)

Enlightenment - Few seek it

Who cares to seek
For that perfect freedom?
One man, perhaps,
In many thousands.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 70.)

Enlightenment - Fewer attain it

Then tell me how many
Of those who seek freedom
Shall know the total
Truth of my being?
Perhaps one only.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 70.)

Fools pass blindly by the place of my dwelling
Here in the human form, and of my majesty
They know nothing at all,
Who am the Lord, their soul. (1)
(Sri Krishna in BG, 81.)

(1) The foolish fail to seek Me in the spiritual heart (or hridayam), where I dwell as the immortal soul of all.

Enlightenment – How should we be to attain enlightenment?

Yoga is not for the man who overeats, or for him who fasts excessively, or for the keeper of excessive vigils. Let a man be moderate in his eating and his recreation, moderately active, moderate in sleep and in wakefulness. (Sri Krishna in BG, 65.)

A man who is born with tendencies toward the Divine is fearless and pure in heart. He perseveres in that path to union with Brahman which the scriptures and his teacher have taught him. He is charitable. He can control his passions. He studies the scriptures regularly, and obeys their directions. He practises spiritual disciplines. He is straightforward, truthful, and of an even temper. He harms no one. He renounces the things of the world. He has a tranquil mind and an unmalicious tongue. He is compassionate toward all. He is not greedy. He is gentle and modest. He abstains from useless activity. He has faith in the strength of his higher nature. (Sri Krishna in BG, 114.)

A man should not hate any living creature. Let him be friendly and compassionate to all. He must free himself from the delusion of 'I' and 'mine.' He must accept pleasure and pain with equal tranquillity. He must be forgiving, ever-contented, self-controlled, united constantly with me in his meditation. His resolve must be unshakable. He must be dedicated to me in intellect and in mind. Such a devotee is dear to me. (Sri Krishna in BG, 99.)

Learn from me now,
O son of Kunti,
How man made perfect
Is one with Brahman,
The goal of wisdom.
When the mind and the heart
Are freed from delusion,
United with Brahman,
When steady will
Has subdued the senses,
When sight and taste
And sound are abandoned
Without regretting,
Without aversion;
When man seeks solitude,
Eats but little,
Curbing his speech,
His mind and his body
Ever engaged
In his meditation
In Brahman the truth,
And full of compassion;
When he casts from him
Vanity, violence,
Pride, lust, anger
And all his possessions,
Totally free
From the sense of ego
And tranquil of heart:
That man is ready
For oneness with Brahman.
And he who dwells
United with Brahman,
Calm in mind,
Not grieving, not craving,
Regarding all men
With equal acceptance:
He loves me most dearly.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 127-8.)

Therefore I tell you:
Be humble, be harmless,
Have no pretension,
Be upright, forbearing,
Serve your teacher
In true obedience,
Keeping the mind
And the body in cleanness,
Tranquil, steadfast,
Master of ego,
Standing apart
From the things of the senses,
Free from self;
Aware of the weakness
In mortal nature,
In bondage to birth,
Age, suffering, dying;
To nothing be slave,
Nor desire possession
Of man-child or wife,
Of home or of household;
Calmly encounter
The painful, the pleasant;
Adore me only
With heart undistracted;
Turn all your thought
Toward solitude, spurning
The noise of the crowd,
Its fruitless commotion;
Strive without ceasing
To know the Atman.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 101-2.)

With his heart serene and fearless,
Firm in his vow of renunciation,
Holding the mind from its restless roaming,
Now let him struggle to reach my oneness,
Ever-absorbed, his eyes on me always,
His prize, his purpose.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 65.)

Self-controlled,
Cut free from desire,
Curbing the heart
And knowing the Atman,
Man finds Nirvana
That is in Brahman,
Here and hereafter.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 61.)

Reverence for the devas, the seers, the teachers and the sages; straightforwardness, harmlessness, physical cleanliness and sexual purity; these are the virtues whose practice is called austerity of the body. To speak without ever causing pain to another, to be truthful, to say always what is kind and beneficial, and to study the scriptures regularly: this practice is called austerity of speech. The practice of serenity, sympathy, meditation upon the Atman, withdrawal of the mind from sense-objects, and integrity of motive, is called austerity of the mind. When men practise this threefold austerity devotedly, with enlightened faith and no desire for reward, it is said to have the nature of sattwa. (1) (Sri Krishna in BG, 118.)

(1) Purity.

Enlightenment – How do we know when it is perfect?

When a man is made perfect in yoga,
He knows its truth within his heart.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 55.)

Enlightenment - The journey epitomized

He who sees the inaction that is in action, (1) and the action that is in inaction, (2) is wise indeed. Even when he is engaged in action he remains poised in the tranquillity of the Atman. (Sri Krishna in BG, 52.)

(1) The Self or Atman, enveloped in Maya, is the inaction that is in the action of the primal creative vibration, the Mother.
(2)The Mother is the action that is in the inaction of the Father. To have distinguished the Mother's action from the Father's inaction implies knowing the Father; hence, God-realization.

Enlightenment - God-Realization purifies

I make all things clean. (BG, 82.)

On earth there is no purifier
As great as this knowledge.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 55.)

The blazing fire turns wood to ashes:
The fire of knowledge (1) turns all karmas to ashes. (2)
(Sri Krishna in BG, 55.)

(1) God-realization.
(2) Permanent God-realization or sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi will erase our karmic debts and release us from further need for action or rebirth.

Enlightenment - What happens if we fail to know God in this lifetime?

No one who seeks Brahman ever comes to an evil end. Even if a man falls away from the practice of yoga, he will still win the heaven of the doers of good deeds, and dwell there many long years. After that, he will be reborn into the home of pure and prosperous parents. He may even be born into a family of illumined yogis. But such a birth in this world is more difficult to obtain.

He will then regain that spiritual discernment which he acquired in his former body; and so will strive harder than ever for perfection. Because of his practices in the previous life, he will be driven on toward union with Brahman, even in spite of himself. For the man who has once asked the way to Brahman (1) goes farther than any mere fulfiller of the Vedic rituals. By struggling hard, and cleansing himself of all impurities, that yogi will move gradually toward perfection through many births, and reach the highest goal at last. (Sri Krishna in BG, 69.)

(1) In my view, Sri Krishna does not mean the man who asked the way to Brahman in a casual way, but one who has asked a guru, been told, and has practised sadhana sincerely but has not the purity or determination needed to reach the final goal in this lifetime.

The Father - God alone is real; He alone exists

[There is] no other beside me.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 71.)

Behind the manifest and the unmanifest, there is another Existence, which is eternal and changeless. This is not dissolved in the general cosmic dissolution. It has been called the unmanifest, the imperishable. (Sri Krishna in BG, 77.)

The Father - He stands behind the Mother - See also The Mother

Behind [my Prakriti], (1) and distinct from it, is That which is the principle of consciousness in all beings, and the source of life in all. It sustains the universe. (Sri Krishna in BG, 70.)

(1) Prakriti is the Divine Mother, the primal, creative, manifested energy. In Latin, Prakriti is Procreatrix; cf. Swami Ramakrishnananda, God and Divine Incarnations. Madras: Sri Ramakrishna Math, 1986, 1.

This entire universe is pervaded by me, in that eternal form of mine which is not manifest to the senses. Although I am not within any creature, all creatures exist within me. I do not mean that they exist within me physically. That is my divine mystery. You must try to understand its nature. My Being sustains all creatures and brings them to birth, but has no physical contact with them. (Sri Krishna in BG, 80.)

The Father - He remains hidden by Her mysterious veil of matter

Veiled in my Maya, (1) I am not shown to many.
How shall this world, bewildered by delusion,
Recognize me, who am not born and change not?
(Sri Krishna in BG, 73.)

(1) Matter, mater, Mother.

The Father - He is the first and the last, the source, refuge, and goal in life

I am the beginning, the middle, and the end in creation. (Sri Krishna in BG, 89-90.)

I am the divine seed of all that lives. In this world, nothing animate or inanimate exists without me. (Sri Krishna in BG, 90.)

I am where all things began, the issuing-forth of the creatures,
Known to the wise in their love when they worship with hearts overflowing. (Sri Krishna in BG, 87.)

Brahman is one,
Changeless, untouched by evil:
What home have we but him?
(Sri Krishna in BG, 60.)

The Lord lives in the heart of every creature. (1) He turns them round and round upon the wheel of his Maya. (2) Take refuge utterly in him. By his grace you will find supreme peace, and the state which is beyond all change. (Sri Krishna in BG, 129.)

(1) As the Atman or individual Self.
(2) Here used to mean the illusion produced by the Divine Mother.

Flying from fear,
From lust and anger,
He hides in me
His refuge, his safety:
Burnt clean in the blaze of my being
In me many find home.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 51.)

Men take refuge in me, to escape from their fear of old age and death. Thus they come to know Brahman, and the entire nature of the Atman, and the creative energy (1) which is in Brahman. Knowing me, they understand the nature of the relative world (2) and the individual man, and of God who presides over all action. Even at the hour of death, they continue to know me thus. In that hour, their whole consciousness is made one with mine. (Sri Krishna in BG, 74.)

(1) The Mother.
(2) The domain of the Mother.

The Father – Know only Him

But what need have you, Arjuna, to know this huge variety? Know only that I exist, and that one atom of myself (1) sustains the universe. (Sri Krishna in BG, 90.)

(1) Could this one atom be the Atman?

The Father – He alone is the doer

The illumined soul
Whose heart is Brahman's heart
Thinks always: 'I am doing nothing,'
No matter what he sees,
Hears, touches, smells, eats.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 57.)

The Father - “Attributes” of the Attributeless

He is supreme

You are all we know, supreme, beyond man's measure. (Arjuna in BG, 92.)

Author of this world, the unmoved and the moving,
You alone are fit for worship, you the highest.
Where in the three worlds shall any find your equal?
(Arjuna in BG, 95.)

He is omnipresent

My face is equal
To all creation.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 84.)

He is omniscient

I am absolute knowledge. (Sri Krishna in BG, 82.)

He is unfathomable, unknowable

I know all beings, Arjuna: past, present and to come. But no one knows me. (Sri Krishna in BG, 73.)

He is the author of all that is good

Whatever in this world is powerful, beautiful or glorious, that you may know to have come forth from a fraction of my power and glory. (Sri Krishna in BG, 90.)

The Gunas - All creatures, of whatever order, are affected by the gunas

There is no creature, either on earth or among the devas in heaven, who is free from these three gunas which come forth from Prakriti. (1) (Sri Krishna in BG, 125.)

(1) Prakriti = The Procreatrix; i.e., the Mother.

All living creatures are led astray as soon as they are born, by the delusion (1) that this relative world is real. This delusion arises from their own desire and hatred. (2) (Sri Krishna in BG, 73-4.)

(1) Delusion = Tamas.
(2) Desire and hatred = Rajas.

The Gunas - They are the chief obstacles to Self-knowledge

Veiled in my Maya, (1) I am not shown to many.
How shall this world, bewildered by delusion,
Recognize me, who am not born and change not?
(Sri Krishna in BG, 73.)

(1) The gunas.

The Gunas - The Father is the ultimate source of them

You must know that whatever belongs to the states of sattwa, rajas and tamas, proceeds from me. They are contained in me, but I am not in them. The entire world is deluded by the moods and mental states which are the expression of these three gunas. That is why the world fails to recognize me as I really am. I stand apart from them all, supreme and deathless. (Sri Krishna in BG, 71.)

The Gunas – They are the doers of every action

The gunas ... are the doers of all actions. (Sri Krishna in BG, 109.)

Every action is really performed by the gunas. Man, deluded by his egoism, thinks: 'I am the doer.' But he who has the true insight into the operations of the gunas and their various functions, knows that when senses attach themselves to objects, gunas are merely attaching themselves to gunas. Knowing this, he does not become attached to his actions. (Sri Krishna in BG, 47-8.)

Let the wise man know
These gunas alone as the doers
Of every action;
Let him learn to know That
Which is beyond them, also:
Thus he will reach my oneness.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 109.)

The Gunas - Transcend them and be enlightened

When the dweller in the body
Has overcome the gunas
That cause this body,
Then he is made free
From birth and death,
From pain and decay:
He becomes immortal.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 109.)

The Vedas teach us about the three gunas, and their functions. You, Arjuna, must overcome the three gunas. You must be free from the pairs of opposites. Poise your mind in tranquillity. Take care neither to acquire nor to hoard. Be established in the consciousness of the Atman, always. (Sri Krishna in BG, 40.)

A man is said to have transcended the gunas when he does not hate the light of sattwa, or the activity of rajas, or even the delusion of tamas, while these prevail; and yet does not long for them after they have ceased. He is like one who sits unconcerned, and is not disturbed by the gunas. He knows that they are the doers of all actions, and never loses this power of discrimination. ... He who worships me with unfaltering love transcends these gunas. He becomes fit to reach union with Brahman. (Sri Krishna in BG, 109-10.)

How hard to break through
Is this, my Maya,
Made of the gunas!
But he who takes refuge
Within me only
Shall pass through Maya:
He, and no other.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 72.)

He who seeks freedom,
Thrusts fear aside,
Thrusts aside anger
And puts off desire:
Truly that man
Is made free for ever.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 62.)

The Gunas - How Tamas manifests

When the conscience is so thickly wrapped in ignorance that it mistakes wrong for right and sees everything distorted, then it has the nature of tamas. (Sri Krishna in BG, 124.)

When the mind is dark,
Bewildered, slothful
And lost in delusion:
Know tamas prevailing.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 108.)

Bred of tamas
Is brutish contentment
In stupor and sloth
And obstinate error:
Its end, its beginning
Alike are delusion.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 125.)

The power of tamas
Enslaves the deluded
And darkens their judgment.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 107.)

Tamas the ignorant
Bewilders all men:
Tamas will bind you
With bonds of delusion,
Sluggishness, stupor.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 107.)

The act undertaken
In the hour of delusion
Without count of cost,
Squandering strength and treasure,
Heedless of harm to another,
By him who does not question
His power to perform it:
That act is of tamas.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 123.)

The indifferent doer
Whose heart is not in his deed,
Stupid and stubborn,
A cheat, and malicious,
The idle lover of delay,
Easily dejected:
He is a man of tamas.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 124.)

Men of tamas take a perverse pleasure in foods which are stale, tasteless, rotten and impure. They like to eat the leavings of others. (Sri Krishna in BG, 117.)

If a man, in his ignorance, renounces those actions which the scriptures ordain, his renunciation is inspired by tamas. (Sri Krishna in BG, 120.)

When the givers of the sacrifice are inspired by tamas, they disregard the scriptural injunctions: there is no food-offering, no prayer of dedication, no gift to the chief priest, and no faith at all. (Sri Krishna in BG, 118.)

Men of tamas ... worship the spirits of the dead, and make gods of the ghosts of their ancestors. (Sri Krishna in BG, 117.)

Truly, ignorance is all
The fruit of tamas.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 108.)

As for the determination inspired by tamas, it is nothing but obstinacy. It makes a man stubbornly refuse to shake off his dullness, fear, grief, low spirits or vanity. (Sri Krishna in BG, 124.)

Sunk in tamas,
His lowest nature,
He sinks to the underworld.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 109.)

He who dies in tamas will return
To the womb of a dullard.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 108.)

The Gunas - Under the influence of Tamas, we cannot apprehend the light of our true nature

The Atman (1) is the light:
The light is covered by darkness:
This darkness is delusion: (2)
That is why we dream. (3)
(Sri Krishna in BG, 59.)

(1) The Child of God, Christ, or Soul.
(2) Tamas.
(3) Remain deluded.

The Gunas - How Rajas manifests

Senses ...
Have joy in their marriage
With things of the senses,
Sweet at first
But at last how bitter:
Steeped in rajas,
That pleasure is poison.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 125.)

The act of weary toil
Done in despite of nature
Under the whip of lust
And the will of the ego:
That act is of rajas.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 123.)

Of rajas, greed [is born]. (Sri Krishna in BG, 108.)

In greed, in the heat of action.
In eager enterprise,
In restlessness, in all desire,
Know rajas the ruler.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 108.)

The doer with desire,
Hot for the prize of vainglory.
Brutal, greedy and foul,
In triumph too quick to rejoice,
In failure despairing:
He is a man of rajas.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 123.)

Rajas ... inspires that kind of determination with which a man follows the object of his desire, or seeks wealth, or does a duty, looking for reward of personal advantage. (Sri Krishna in BG, 124.)

When the conscience cannot distinguish between right and wrong, or know what should and what should not be done, then it has the nature of rajas. (Sri Krishna in BG, 124.)

Men of rajas worship power and wealth. (Sri Krishna in BG, 117.)

If [a man] abstains from any action merely because it is disagreeable, or because he fears it will cause him bodily pain, his renunciation is inspired by rajas. He will not obtain any spiritual benefit from such renunciation. (Sri Krishna in BG, 120.)

Men of rajas prefer foods which are violently bitter, sour, salty, hot, pungent, acid and burning. These cause ill-health, and distemper of the mind and body. (Sri Krishna in BG, 117.)

You may be sure that the performance of sacrifice for outward show, and in the hope of divine reward, is inspired by rajas. (Sri Krishna in BG, 118.)

The power of rajas
Enslaves the doers.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 107.)

Rajas the passionate
Will make you thirsty
For pleasure and possession:
Rajas will bind you
To hunger for action.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 107.)

As for the deeds of rajas,
Pain is their fruit.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 108.)

Remaining in rajas,
In this world he remains.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 109.)

He who dies in rajas
Will be reborn
Among those whose bondage is action.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 108.)

The Gunas - The two faces of Rajas: craving and aversion

The rajo-guna has two faces,
Rage and lust: the ravenous, the deadly:
Recognize these: they are your enemies.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 48-9.)

The attraction and aversion which the senses feel for different objects are natural. But you must not give way to such feelings; they are obstacles. (Sri Krishna in BG, 48.)

The Gunas - How Sattwa manifests...

When understanding
Shines in through the senses,
The doors of the body:
Know sattva is present.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 108.)

The act of sacred duty,
Done without attachment,
Not as pleasure desired,
Not as hated compulsion,
By him who has no care
For the fruit of his action:
That act is of sattwa.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 123.)

The doer without desire,
Who does not boast of his deed,
Who is ardent, enduring,
Untouched by triumph,
In failure untroubled:
He is a man of sattwa.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 123.)

Men of sattwa like foods which increase their vital force, energy, strength and health. Such foods add to the pleasure of physical and mental life. They are juicy, soothing, fresh and agreeable. (Sri Krishna in BG, 117.)

Who knows the Atman
Knows that happiness
Born of pure knowledge:
The joy of sattwa.
Deep his delight
After strict self-schooling:
Sour toil at first
But at last what sweetness,
The end of sorrow.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 125.)

A man's conscience has the nature of sattwa when it can distinguish between the paths of renunciation and worldly desire. Then it knows what actions are right or wrong, what is safe and what is dangerous, what binds the embodied spirit and what sets it free. (Sri Krishna in BG, 124.)

When a man performs an action which is sanctioned by the scriptures, and does it for duty's sake only, renouncing all attachment and desire for its fruits, then his renunciation is inspired by sattwa. (Sri Krishna in BG, 120.)

When men offer sacrifice in accordance with scriptural injunctions, and do not desire any advantage for themselves, they are inspired by sattwa. Their hearts are set upon the sacrifice, for its own sake. An inner sense of duty impels them. (Sri Krishna in BG, 117-8) Determination inspired by sattwa never wavers. It is strengthened by the practice of yoga. A man who has this kind of determination gains absolute control over his mind, vital energy and senses. (Sri Krishna in BG, 124.)

Men whose temperament is dominated by sattwa, worship God, in His various aspects. (Sri Krishna in BG, 117.)

Of sattwa, knowledge is born. (Sri Krishna in BG, 108.)

The man who meets death
In the hour of sattwa
Goes to a sinless home
Among the saints of God.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 108.)

Abiding in sattwa,
Man goes to higher realms.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 109.)

The Gunas - What is the state of mind of the truly sattwic?

Fruit of the righteous act
Is sattwa, purest joy.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 108.)

The power of sattwa
Enslaves the happy.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 107.)

Sattwa the shining
Can show the Atman
By its pure light:
Yet sattwa will bind you
To search for happiness,
Longing for knowledge.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 107.)

The Guru

Those illumined souls who have realized the Truth will instruct you in the knowledge of Brahman, if you will prostrate yourself before them, question them and serve them as disciple. (Sri Krishna in BG, 54.)

Heart - The Father "dwells" in the spiritual heart (hridayam)

The devoted ... know Him always
There in the heart,
Where action is not.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 59.)

I am in all hearts. (Sri Krishna in BG, 113.)

There in the ignorant heart ... I dwell. (Sri Krishna in BG, 87.)

The Lord lives in the heart of every creature. (Krishna in BG, 129.)

The Atman (1) ... dwells in the heart of every mortal creature. (Sri Krishna in BG, 88.)

(1) One with Brahman, the Father.

Meditation – Be absorbed in Him

Be absorbed in me,
Lodge your mind in me:
Thus you shall dwell in me,
Do not doubt it,
Here and hereafter.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 98.)

Meditation – How to meditate

Shutting off sense
From what is outward,
Fixing the gaze
At the root of the eyebrows,
Checking the breath-stream
In and outgoing
Within the nostrils,
Holding the senses,
Holding the intellect,
Holding the mind fast,
He who seeks freedom,
Thrusts fear aside,
Thrusts aside anger
And puts off desire:
Truly that man
Is made free for ever.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 61-2.)

The yogi should retire into a solitary place, and live alone. He must exercise control over his mind and body. He must free himself from the hopes and possessions of this world. He should meditate on the Atman unceasingly.

The place where he sits should be firm, neither too high nor too low, and situated in a clean spot. He should first cover it with sacred grass, then with a deer skin; then lay a cloth over these. As he sits there, he is to hold the senses and imagination in check, and keep the mind concentrated upon its object. If he practises meditation in this manner, his heart will become pure.

His posture will be motionless, with the body, head and neck held erect, and the vision indrawn, as if gazing at the tip of the nose. He must not look about him.

... If a yogi has perfect control over his mind, and struggles continually in this way to unite himself with Brahman, he will come at last to the crowning peace of Nirvana, the peace that is in me. (Sri Krishna in BG, 65.)

The Mind - To know the Self, still the mind

When, through the practise of yoga, the mind ceases its restless movements, and becomes still, he realizes the Atman. (Sri Krishna in BG, 66.)

The uncontrolled mind
Does not guess that the Atman is present:
How can it meditate?
Without meditation, where is peace?
Without peace, where is happiness?
(Sri Krishna in BG, 43.)

'The light of a lamp does not flicker in a windless place: that is the simile which describes a yogi of one-pointed mind, who meditates upon the Atman. When, through the practice of yoga, the mind ceases its restless movements, and becomes still, he realizes the Atman. It satisfies him entirely. Then he knows that infinite happiness which can be realized by the purified heart but is beyond the grasp of the senses. (Sri Krishna in BG, 66.)

Great in soul are they who become what is godlike:
They alone know me, the origin, the deathless:
They offer me the homage
Of an unwavering mind.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 81.)

Utterly quiet,
Made clean of passion,
The mind of the yogi
Knows that Brahman,
His bliss is highest.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 67.)

[The] quiet mind
Is soon established in peace.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 43.)

Moderation

Yoga is not for the man who overeats, or for him who fasts excessively. It is not for him who sleeps too much, or for the keeper of exaggerated vigils. Let a man be moderate in his eating and his recreation, moderately active, moderate in sleep and in wakefulness. He will find that yoga takes away all his unhappiness. (Sri Krishna in BG, 65.)

The Mother - Also known as Prakriti/Procreatrix, Aum/Amen, the Word of God, Logos, Sphota, Sound-Brahman, Shakti, Prana, Primordial Energy, Creative Universal Vibration, the Holy Spirit, Comforter Spirit, Spirit of Truth, and Wisdom – She rests in the Father

Upon me, these worlds are held
Like pearls strung on a thread. (1)
(Sri Krishna in BG, 71.)

(1) The phenomenal world of the Mother is held like a string of pearls on the formless Father.

... Then [Arjuna] the son of Pandu beheld the entire universe, in all its multitudinous diversity, lodged as one being within the body of the God of gods. (BG, 92.)

It is within you the cosmos rests in safety. (Arjuna, during his penultimate-enlightenment experience to Krishna, the embodied Father, in BG, 95.)

The Mother – She is Aum, the Word of God, one with the Father

I (1) am ... OM in all the Vedas,
The word that is God.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 71.)

(1) Sri Krishna speaks as an embodiment of the Father, Brahman.

The Mother – She is Prakriti, one with the Father

Prakriti, this vast womb,
I (1) quicken into birth.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 106.)

(1) Krishna is speaking as an incarnation of Brahman.

Know this my Prakriti
United with me:
The womb of all beings.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 70.)

Of things created
All are come forth
From the seeming union
Of Field and Knower,
Prakriti (1) and Brahman. (2)
(Sri Krishna in BG, 103.)

(1) Nature or manifestation, to which we have given the names matter, mater, or Mother.
(2) The Father.

8

The Mother - Maya is named as creator

Maya makes all things: what moves, what is unmoving.
O son of Kunti, that is why the world spins,
Turning its wheel through birth
And through destruction.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 80.)

The Mother - Shakti is named as creator

The creative energy of Brahman (1) is that which causes all existences to come into being. (Sri Krishna in BG, 74.)

(1) The creative energy is Shakti, the Divine Mother.

The Mother - She is the source of the gunas, which are the active agents in creation

From Prakriti the gunas come forth,
Sattwa, rajas, tamas.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 106.)

All evolution and all the gunas proceed from Prakriti. ... From Prakriti the evolution of body and senses is said to originate. (Sri Krishna in BG, 103.)

My Maya [is]
Made of the gunas. (1)
(Sri Krishna in BG, 72.)

(1) “The three gunas, which constitute Prakriti, make up the universe of mind and matter. When the gunas are in perfect balance, there is no creation, expression, or manifestation. When the balance is disturbed, creation occurs.” (Brahmacharini Usha. A Ramakrishna-Vedanta Wordbook. Hollywood: Vedanta Press, 1971; c1962, 34.) The three gunas are tamas or inertia, rajas or activity, and sattwa or balance.

Some realize the Atman philosophically, by meditating upon its independence of Prakriti. (Sri Krishna in BG, 104.)

He who has experienced Brahman directly and known it to be other than Prakrikti and the gunas, will not be reborn, no matter how he has lived his life. (Sri Krishna in BG, 103.)

Mysteries - The existence of mysteries acknowledged

This entire universe is pervaded by me, in that eternal form of mine which is not manifest to the senses. Although I am not within any creature, all creatures exist within me. I do not mean that they exist within me physically. That is my divine mystery. You must try to understand its nature. My Being sustains all creatures and brings them to birth, but has no physical contact with them. (Sri Krishna in BG, 80.)

Natural Law - The Law of Change

The nature of the relative world is mutability. (Sri Krishna in BG, 74.)

Natural Law - The Law of Karma - It only relates to the unenlightened

Bound action produces karmic debts. (Sri Krishna in BG, 121.)

To those who have not yet renounced the ego and its desires, action bears three kinds of fruit -- pleasant, unpleasant, and a mixture of both. They will be reaped in due season. (1) (Sri Krishna in BG, 121.)

(1) That is, in another life.

Those who have renounced ego and desire will reap no fruit at all, either in this world or in the next. (Sri Krishna in BG, 121.)

He whose mind dwells
Beyond attachment,
Untainted by ego,
No act shall bind him
With any bond.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 121-2.)

Natural Law - The Law of Karma - Liberation turns all karma to ashes

The fire of knowledge turns all karma to ashes. (Sri Krishna in BG, 55.)

Non-Duality - When we see unitively, enlightenment comes

Who sees the separate
Lives of all creatures
United in Brahman
Brought forth from Brahman,
Himself finds Brahman.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 105.)

Paths to God - All sincere paths are mine; all paths are valid

Whatever path men travel
Is my path: (1)
No matter where they walk
It leads to me.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 51.)

(1) By "my path," Sri Krishna means God the Father's path. God has devised all paths to Him.

Some [yogis] withdraw all their senses from contact with exterior sense-objects. For these, hearing and other senses are the offering, and self-discipline the sacrificial fire. Others allow their minds and senses to wander unchecked, and try to see Brahman within all exterior sense-objects. For these, sound and the other sense-objects are the offering, and sense-enjoyment the sacrificial fire. (Sri Krishna in BG, 53.)

Some see me one with themselves, or separate:
Some bow to the countless gods that are only
My million faces. (Sri Krishna in BG, 81.)

Paths - Ways to purify

Reverence for the devas, the seers, the teachers and the sages; straightforwardness, harmlessness, physical cleanliness and sexual purity; these are the virtues whose practice is called austerity of the body. To speak without ever causing pain to another, to be truthful, to say always what is kind and beneficial, and to study the scriptures regularly: this practice is called austerity of speech. The practice of serenity, sympathy, meditation upon the Atman, withdrawal of the mind from sense-objects, and integrity of motive, is called austerity of the mind. When men practise this threefold austerity devotedly, with enlightened faith and no desire for reward, it is said to have the nature of sattwa. (1) (Sri Krishna in BG, 118.)

(1) Purity.

Work done with anxiety about results is far inferior to work done without such anxiety, in the calm of self-surrender. Seek refuge in the knowledge of Brahman. They who work selfishly for results are miserable.

In the calm of self-surrender you can free yourself from the bondage of virtue and vice during this very life. Devote yourself, therefore, to reaching union with Brahman. To unite the heart with Brahman and then to act: that is the secret of non-attached work. In the calm of self-surrender, the seers renounce the fruits of their actions, and so reach enlightenment. Then they are free from the bondage of rebirth, and pass to that state which is beyond all evil. (Sri Krishna in BG, 41.)

Paths - Wisdom (Jnana) and action (Karma)

The wise see knowledge and action as one:
They see truly.
Take either path
And tread it to the end:
The end is the same.
There the followers of action
Meet the seekers after knowledge
In equal freedom.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 57.)

Paths - Behind all paths is the "Perennial Philosophy" (ancient wisdom, sanathana dharma)

In Vedanta and Hebrew prophecy, in the Tao Teh King and the Platonic dialogues, in the Gospel according to St. John and Mahayana theology, in Plotinus and the Areopagite, among the Persian Sufis and the Christian mystics of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance -- the Perennial Philosophy has spoken almost all the languages of Asia and Europe and has made use of the terminology and traditions of every one of the higher religions. ... The records left by those who have known [the pure state described by the Perennial Philosophy] make it abundantly clear that all of them, whether Hindu, Buddhist, Hebrew, Taoist, Christian or Mohammedan, were attempting to describe the same essentially indescribable Fact. (Aldous Huxley, "Introduction" to BG, 11-2.)

Reality - Its nature

That which is non-existent can never come into being, and that which is is can never cease to be. Those who have known the inmost Reality know also the nature of is and is not. (Sri Krishna in BG, 36.)

The Sage – Ordinary people imitate the sage

Whatever a great man does, ordinary people will imitate. (Sri Krishna in BG, 47.)

The Scriptures – When can we stop studying them?

When the whole country is flooded, the reservoir becomes superfluous. So, to the illumined seer, the Vedas are all superfluous. (Sri Krishna in BG, 40.)

The Self

The senses are said to be higher than the sense-objects. The mind is higher than the senses. The intelligent will is higher than the mind. What is higher than the intelligent will? The Atman (1) Itself. (Sri Krishna in BG, 49.)

(1) The Atman is the Self, Christ, or Soul.

The Self - The individual Self

You must understand that both Prakriti (1) and Brahman (2) are without beginning. All evolution and all the gunas proceed from Prakriti. From Prakriti the evolution of body and senses is said to originate. The sense of individuality in us (3) is said to cause our experience of pleasure and pain. The individual self, (4) which is Brahman mistakenly identified with Prakriti, experiences the gunas which proceed from Prakriti. It is born of pure or impure parents, according to that kind of guna to which it is most attached. (Sri Krishna in BG, 103.)

(1) Prakriti, or Procreatrix, is the Mother.
(2) Brahman is the Father.
(3) This individual self is called in Hinduism the "Jivatman."
(4) Again, the jivatman.

The Self - The Self/Atman and the Father/Brahman are one

Brahman is that which is immutable, and independent of any cause but Itself. When we consider Brahman as lodged within the individual being, we call him the Atman. (Sri Krishna in BG, 74.)

When the light of the Atman (1)
Drives out our darkness
That light shines forth from us,
A sun in splendour,
The revealed Brahman. (2)
(Sri Krishna in BG, 59.)

(1) The Self.
(2) The Father.

The Self - The same Atman dwells in all creatures

[Man's] Atman
Is the Atman in all creatures.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 57.)

The Self - It is eternal, undying, changeless

Know this Atman
Unborn, undying,
Never ceasing,
Never beginning,
Deathless, birthless,
Unchanging for ever.
How can it die
The death of the body?

... Worn-out garments
Are shed by the body:
Worn-out bodies
Are shed by the dweller
Within the Body.
New bodies are donned
By the dweller, like garments.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 37.)

The Self - It is imperceptible

This Atman cannot be manifested to the senses, or thought about by the mind. It is not subject to modification. (Sri Krishna in BG, 38.)

That infinite happiness (1) ... can be realized by the purified heart but is beyond the grasp of the senses. (Sri Krishna in BG, 66.)

(1) Union or Self-Knowledge.

The Self - It animates and experiences everything

The supreme Brahman in this body (1) is also known as the Witness. It makes all our actions possible, and, as it were, sanctions them, experiencing all our experiences. (Sri Krishna in BG, 103.)

(1) The Self.

The Self - Everything lies within It

When you have reached enlightenment, ignorance will delude you no longer. In the light of that knowledge you will see the entire creation within your own Atman and in me. (Sri Krishna in BG, 54-5.)

The Third Eye

You cannot see me thus with those human eyes. Therefore, I give you divine sight. (Sri Krishna in BG, 91.)

Dwelling in flesh, or departing, or one with the gunas,
Knowing their moods and motions, he is invisible
Always to the ignorant, but his sages see him
With the eye of wisdom.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 112.)

Who thus perceives
With the eye of wisdom (1)
In what manner the Field (2)
Is distinct from its Knower, (3)
How men are made free from the toils of Prakriti: (4)
His aim is accomplished,
He enters the Highest.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 105.)

(1) The Third Eye.

The Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Ghost in Christianity; Brahman, Atman and Shakti in Hinduism; God the Father, God the Mother and the God the Self.

Part of myself (1) is the God within every creature,(2)
Keeps that nature eternal, yet seems to be separate,
Putting on mind and senses five, the garment
Made of Prakriti. (3) (Sri Krishna in BG, 111.)

(1) God the Father.
(2) God the Self.
(3) God the Mother.

Truth - The Highest Truth

He who is free from delusion, and knows me as the supreme Reality, knows all that can be known. Therefore he adores me with his whole heart.

This is the most sacred of all truths I have taught you. He who has realized it becomes truly wise. The purpose of his life is fulfilled. (Sri Krishna in BG, 113.)

Turn inward

Patiently, little by little, a man must free himself from all mental distractions, with the aid of the intelligent will. He must fix his mind upon the Atman, and never think of anything else. No matter where the restless mind wanders, it must be drawn back and made to submit to the Atman only. (Sri Krishna in BG, 66.)

Only that yogi
Whose joy is inward,
Inward his peace,
And his vision inward
Shall come to know Brahman.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 61.)

You find yourself in this transient, joyless world. Turn from it, and take your delight in me. Fill your heart and mind with me, bow down to me in self-surrender. If you set your heart upon me thus, and take me for your ideal above all others, you will come into my Being. (Sri Krishna in BG, 85.)

Shutting off sense
From what is outward,
Fixing the gaze
At the root of the eye-brows,
Checking the breath-stream
In and outgoing
Within the nostrils,
Holding the senses,

Self-controlled,
Cut free from desire,
Curbing the heart
And knowing the Atman,
Man finds Nirvana
That is in Brahman,
Here and hereafter.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 61.)

Universe - Is ultimately illusion, unreal

When you have reached enlightenment, ignorance will delude you no longer. In the light of that knowledge you will see the entire creation within your own Atman and in me. (Sri Krishna in BG, 54-5.)

That which is non-existent can never come into being, and that which is can never cease to be. Those who have known the inmost Reality know also the nature of is and is not. (Sri Krishna in BG, 36.)

Vision of the Myriad Forms of God

Sri Krishna, Master of all yogis, revealed to Arjuna his transcendent, divine Form, speaking from innumerable mouths, seeing with a myriad eyes, of many marvellous aspects, adorned with countless divine ornaments, brandishing all kinds of heavenly weapons, wearing celestial garlands and the raiment of paradise, anointed with perfumes of heavenly fragrances, full of revelations, resplendent, boundless, of ubiquitous regard.

... Then the son of Pandu beheld the entire universe, in all its multitudinous diversity, lodged as one being within the body of the God of gods. (1) (Sri Krishna in BG, 91-2.)

(1) This is the cosmic vision.

Bibliography

BG: Prabhavananda, Swami and Christopher Isherwood, trans., Bhagavad-Gita. The Song of God. New York and Scarborough: New American Library, 1972; c1944.

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