The Bhagavad Gita

Translated by Ramanand Prasad

Chapter 13:
and the Creator
Chapter 14:
Three Gunas
of Nature
Chapter 15:
Supreme Spirit
Chapter 16:
Divine and
Demonic Qualities
Chapter 17:
Threefold Faith
Chapter 18:
Nirvana through
go to Chapters 1-6
go to Chapters 7-12
Bach to the Church Within
Spiritual Ed. Page

Chapter 13: Creation and the Creator

      The Supreme Lord said: O Arjuna, this body (the miniature universe) may be called the field or creation. One who knows the creation is called the creator by the seers of truth. (13.01)
      Know Me to be the creator of all creation, O Arjuna. The true understanding of both the creator and the creation is considered by Me to be the transcendental or metaphysical knowledge. (13.02)
      What the creation is, what it is like, what its transformations are, where the source is, who that creator is, and what His powers are, hear all these from Me in brief. (13.03)
      The sages have described Him in many ways, in various Vedic hymns, and also in the conclusive and convincing verses of the Brahmasutra. (13.04)
      The five basic elements, the "I" consciousness or ego, the intellect, the unmanifest Prakriti, the ten senses, the mind, and the five sense objects; (See also 7.04) (13.05)
      Desire, hatred, pleasure, pain, the physical body, consciousness, and resolve. Thus the field (the creation or body) has been briefly described with its transformations. (13.06)
      Humility, modesty, nonviolence, forbearance, honesty, service to guru, purity (of thought, word, and deed), steadfastness, self-control; and (13.07)
      Aversion towards sense objects, absence of ego, constant reflection on the agony and suffering inherent in birth, old age, disease, and death. (13.08)
      Detachment, non-fondness with son, wife, and home; unfailing equanimity upon attainment of the desirable and the undesirable; and (13.09)
      Unswerving devotion to Me by the yoga of exclusivity, love for solitude, distaste for social gossips; and (13.10)
      Steadfastness in knowledge of the Supreme Spirit, and the perception of (the omnipresent God as) the object of true knowledge is called knowledge; what is contrary to this is ignorance. (13.11)
      I shall fully describe the object of knowledge, knowing which one attains immortality. The beginningless Supreme Brahman is said to be neither Sat nor Asat. (See also 9.19) (13.12)
      Having hands and feet everywhere; having eyes, head, and face everywhere; having ears everywhere; the creator exists in the creation by pervading everything. (13.13)
      He is the perceiver of all sense objects without the senses; unattached, yet the sustainer of all; devoid of the Gunas, yet the enjoyer of the Gunas. (13.14)
      He is inside as well as outside all beings, animate and inanimate. He is incomprehensible because of His subtlety. He is very near as well as far away. (13.15)
      Undivided, yet appears as if divided in beings; He, the object of knowledge, is the creator, sustainer, and destroyer of (all) beings. (13.16)
      The light of all lights, He is said to be beyond darkness. He is the knowledge, the object of knowledge, and seated in the hearts of all beings, He is to be realized by the knowledge. (13.17)
      Thus the creation as well as the knowledge and the object of knowledge have been briefly described. Understanding this, My devotee attains Me. (13.18)
      Know that Prakriti and Purusha are both beginningless; and also know that all manifestations and Gunas arise from the Prakriti. (13.19)
      The Prakriti is said to be the cause of production of physical body and organs (of perception and action). The Purusha (or the consciousness) is said to be the cause of experiencing pleasures and pains. (13.20)
      The Purusha associating with Prakriti (or matter), enjoys the Gunas of Prakriti. Attachment to the Gunas (due to ignorance caused by previous Karma) is the cause of the birth of Jeevaatma in good and evil wombs. (13.21) (Jeevaatma or Jeeva is defined as Atma accompanied by the subtle (or astral) body consisting of the six sensory faculties and vital forces; the living entity; the individual soul enshrined in the physical body. )
      The Supreme Spirit in the body is also called the witness, the guide, the supporter, the enjoyer, and the great Lord or Paramaatma. (13.22)
      They who truly understand Purusha and Prakriti with its Gunas are not born again regardless of their mode of life. (13.23)
      Some perceive God in the heart by the intellect through meditation; others by the yoga of knowledge; and others by the yoga of work (or Karma-yoga). (13.24)
      Some, however, do not understand Brahman, but having heard (of it) from others, take to worship. They also transcend death by their firm faith to what they have heard. (13.25)
      Whatever is born, animate or inanimate, know them to be (born) from the union of the field (or Prakriti) and the field knower (or Purusha), O Arjuna. (See also 7.06) (13.26)
      The one who sees the imperishable Supreme Lord dwelling equally within all perishable beings truly sees. (13.27)
      Seeing the same Lord existing in everybeing, one does not injure the other self and thereupon attains the Supreme goal. (13.28)
      Those who perceive that all works are done by the (Gunas of) Prakriti alone, and thus they are not the doer, they truly understand. (See also 3.27, 5.09, and 14.19) (13.29)
      When one perceives diverse variety of beings resting in One and spreading out from That alone, then one attains Brahman. (13.30)
      The imperishable Supreme Self, being beginningless and without Gunas, though dwelling in the body (as Atma) neither does anything nor gets tainted, O Arjuna. (13.31)
      As the all-pervading ether is not tainted because of its subtlety, similarly the Self, seated in everybody, is not tainted. (13.32)
      O Arjuna, just as one sun illuminates this entire world, similarly the creator illumines (or gives life to) the entire creation. (13.33)
      They, who understand the difference between the creation (or the body) and the creator (or the Atma) and know the technique of liberation (of Jeeva) from the trap of Maya with the help of knowledge, attain the Supreme. (13.34)

Chapter 14: Three Gunas of Nature

      The Supreme Lord said: I shall further explain to you that supreme knowledge, the best of all knowledge, knowing that all the sages have attained supreme perfection after this life. (14.01)
      Those who have taken refuge in this knowledge attain unity with Me, and are neither born at the time of creation nor afflicted at the time of dissolution. (14.02)
      O Arjuna, My Prakriti (or the material nature) is the womb wherein I place the seed (of spirit or Purusha) from which all beings are born. (See also 9.10) (14.03)
      Whatever forms are produced in all different wombs, O Arjuna, the great Prakriti is their (body-giving) mother, and the Purusha is the (seed or life-giving) father. (14.04)
      Sattva or goodness, Rajas or activity, and Tamas or inertia; these three Gunas (or states) of mind (or Prakriti) bind the imperishable soul to the body, O Arjuna. (14.05)
      Of these, Sattva, being calm, is illuminating and ethical. It fetters the embodied being, the Jeevaatma or Purusha, by attachment to happiness and knowledge, O Arjuna. (14.06)
      O Arjuna, know that Rajas is characterized by intense (selfish) activity and is born of desire and attachment. It binds the Jeeva by attachment to the fruits of work. (14.07)
      Know, O Arjuna, that Tamas, the deluder of Jeeva, is born of inertia. It binds by ignorance, laziness, and (excessive) sleep. (14.08)
      O Arjuna, Sattva attaches one to happiness, Rajas to action, and Tamas to ignorance by covering the knowledge. (14.09)
      Sattva dominates by suppressing Rajas and Tamas; Rajas dominates by suppressing Sattva and Tamas; and Tamas dominates by suppressing Sattva and Rajas, O Arjuna. (14.10)
      When the lamp of knowledge shines through all the (nine) gates of the body, then it should be known that Sattva is predominant. (14.11)
      Greed, activity, restlessness, passion, and undertaking of (selfish) works arise when Rajas is predominant, O Arjuna. (14.12)
      Ignorance, inactivity, carelessness, and delusion arise when Tamas is predominant, O Arjuna. (14.13)
      One who dies during the dominance of Sattva goes to heaven, the pure world of the knowers of Supreme. (14.14)
      When one dies during the dominance of Rajas, one is reborn as attached to action (or the utilitarian type); and dying in Tamas, one is reborn as ignorant (or lower creatures). (14.15)
      The fruit of good action is said to be Saattvika and pure, the fruit of Raajasika action is pain, and the fruit of Taamasika action is ignorance. (14.16)
      Knowledge arises from Sattva; desires arise from Rajas; and negligence, delusion, and ignorance arise from Tamas. (14.17)
      Those who are established in Sattva go to heaven; Raajasika persons are reborn in the mortal world; and the Taamasika persons, abiding in the lowest Guna, go to hell (or born as lower creatures). (14.18)
      When visionaries perceive no doer other than the Gunas (or the power of Brahman), and know That which is above and beyond the Gunas; then they attain nirvana. (See also 3.27, 5.09, and 13.29) (14.19)
      When one transcends (or rises above) the three Gunas that originate in the mind; one is freed from birth, old age, disease, and death; and attains nirvana. (14.20)

      Arjuna said: What are the characteristics of those who have transcended the three Gunas, and what is their conduct? How does one transcend these three Gunas, O Lord Krishna? (14.21)

      The Supreme Lord said: One who neither hates the presence of enlightenment, activity, and delusion nor desires for them when they are absent; and (14.22)
      The one who remains like a witness; who is not moved by the Gunas, thinking that the Gunas only are operating; who stands firm and does not waver; and (14.23)
      The one who depends on the Lord and is indifferent to pain and pleasure; to whom a clod, a stone, and gold are alike; to whom the dear and the unfriendly are alike; who is of firm mind; who is calm in censure and in praise; and (14.24)
      The one who is indifferent to honor and disgrace; who is the same to friend and foe; who has renounced the sense of doership; is said to have transcended the Gunas. (14.25)
      The one who offers service to Me with love and unswerving devotion transcends Gunas, and becomes fit for realizing Brahman. (See also 7.14 and 15.19) (14.26)
      Because, I am the abode of the immortal and eternal Brahman, of everlasting Dharma, and of the absolute bliss. (14.27)

Chapter 15:Supreme Spirit

      The Supreme Lord said: They (or the wise) speak of the eternal Ashvattha tree having its origin above (in unmanifest Brahman) and its branches below (in the cosmos) whose leaves are the (Vedic) hymns. One who understands this is a knower of the Vedas. (15.01)
      The branches (of this world tree of Maya) spread below and above (or all over the cosmos). The tree is nourished by the Gunas; sense pleasures are its sprouts; and its roots (of ego and desires) stretch below in the human world causing Karmic bondage. (15.02)
      Neither its (real) form nor its beginning, neither its end nor its existence is perceptible here on the earth. Having cut these firm roots of the Ashvattha tree by the mighty ax of (Jnana and) Vairaagya or detachment; (15.03)
      The goal (of nirvana) should be sought reaching which one does not come back; thus thinking: In that very primal spirit I take refuge from which this primal manifestation comes forth. (15.04)
      Those who are free from pride and delusion, who have conquered the evil of attachment, who are constantly dwelling in the Supreme Self with all Kaama completely stilled, who are free from the dualities known as pleasure and pain; such undeluded persons reach the eternal goal. (15.05)
      The sun does not illumine there, nor the moon, nor the fire. That is My supreme abode. Having reached there they do not come back. (15.06)
      Atma in the body is My eternal indivisible fragment indeed. Atma gets bound (or attached, and is called Jeevaatma) due to superimposition or association with the six sensory faculties, including the mind, of perception. (15.07)
      As the air takes away the aroma from the source (or flower), similarly Atma takes the six sensory faculties from the physical body it casts off (during death) to the (new physical) body it acquires (in reincarnation by the power of Karma). (See also 2.13) (15.08)
      The Jeevaatma enjoys sense pleasures with the help of six sensory faculties: hearing, touch, sight, taste, smell, and mind. (15.09)
      The ignorant do not perceive Jeeva departing from the body, or remaining in the body and enjoying sense pleasures by associating with the Gunas. Those with the eye of knowledge can see. (15.10)
      The yogis striving (for perfection) behold Atma abiding in their heart; but the ignorant, whose intellect is not pure, do not perceive Him even though striving. (15.11)
      The light that coming from the sun illumines the whole world; and which is in the moon, and in the fire; know that light to be Mine. (See also 13.17 and 15.06) (15.12).
      Entering the earth I support all beings with My energy; becoming the sap-giving moon I nourish all the plants. (15.13)
      Becoming the digestive fire, I remain in the body of all living beings; uniting with vital breaths, the Prana and Apana, I digest all four varieties of food; and (15.14)
      I am seated in the hearts of all beings. The memory, knowledge, and the removal of doubts and wrong notions (about the Self) by reasoning or in Samadhi come from Me. I am verily that which is to be known by (the study of) all the Vedas. I am, indeed, the author of the Vedanta and the knower of the Vedas. (See also 6.39) (15.15)
      There are two entities in this world: the perishable and the imperishable. (The bodies of) all beings are perishable, and the Atma is imperishable. (15.16)
      There is another supreme spirit called Ishvara or Paramaatma, the indestructible Lord who pervades the three worlds and sustains them. (15.17)
      I am beyond the perishable body, and higher than the imperishable Atma; therefore, I am known in this world and in the Vedas as Purushottama, or the Supreme Spirit. (15.18)
      The wise one, who truly knows Me as the Purushottama, knows everything and worships (or surrenders unto) Me wholeheartedly, O Arjuna. (See also 7.14, 14.26, and 18.66) (15.19)
      Thus this most secret science has been explained by Me, O sinless Arjuna. Having understood this, one becomes enlightened and one's all duties are accomplished. (15.20)

Chapter 16: Divine and Demonic Qualities

      The Supreme Lord said: Fearlessness, purity of heart, perseverance in the yoga of knowledge, charity, sense restraint, sacrifice, study of the scriptures, austerity, honesty; (16.01)
      Nonviolence, truthfulness, absence of anger, renunciation, equanimity, abstaining from malicious talk, compassion for all creatures, freedom from greed, gentleness, modesty, absence of fickleness; (16.02)
      Splendor, forgiveness, fortitude, cleanliness, absence of malice, and absence of pride; these are the qualities of those endowed with divine virtues, O Arjuna. (16.03)
      Hypocrisy, arrogance, pride, anger, harshness, and ignorance; these are the marks of those who are born with demonic qualities, O Arjuna. (16.04)
      Divine qualities lead to nirvana, the demonic (qualities) are said to be for bondage. Do not grieve, O Arjuna, you are born with divine qualities. (16.05)
      There are two types of human beings in this world: the divine, and the demonic. The divine has been described at length, now hear from Me about the demonic, O Arjuna. (16.06)
      Persons of demonic nature do not know what to do and what not to do. They neither have purity nor good conduct nor truthfulness. (16.07)
      They say that the world is unreal, without a substratum, without a God, and without an order. The world is caused by lust (or Kaama) alone and nothing else. (16.08)
      Adhering to this view these lost souls, with small intellect and cruel deeds, are born as enemies for the destruction of the world. (16.09)
      Filled with insatiable desires, hypocrisy, pride, and arrogance; holding wrong views due to delusion; they act with impure motives. (16.10)
      Obsessed with great anxiety until death, considering sense gratification as their highest aim, convinced that this (sense pleasure) is everything, (16.11)
      Bound by hundreds of ties of desire and enslaved by lust and anger; they strive to obtain wealth by unlawful means for the fulfillment of desires. They think: (16.12)
      This has been gained by me today, I shall fulfill this desire, this is mine and this wealth also shall be mine in the future; (16.13)
      That enemy has been slain by me, and I shall slay others also. I am the Lord. I am the enjoyer. I am successful, powerful, and happy; (16.14)
      I am rich and born in a noble family. I am the greatest. I shall perform sacrifice, I shall give charity, and I shall rejoice. Thus deluded by ignorance; (16.15)
      Bewildered by many fancies; entangled in the net of delusion; addicted to the enjoyment of sensual pleasures; they fall into a foul hell. (16.16)
      Self-conceited, stubborn, filled with pride and intoxication of wealth; they perform Yajna only in name, for show, and not according to scriptural injunction. (16.17)
      Clinging to egoism, power, arrogance, lust, and anger; these malicious people hate Me (who dwells) in their own body and others' bodies. (16.18)
      I hurl these haters, cruel, sinful, and mean people of the world, into the wombs of demons again and again. (16.19)
      O Arjuna, entering the wombs of demons birth after birth, the deluded ones sink to the lowest hell without ever attaining Me. (16.20)
      Lust, anger, and greed are the three gates of hell leading to the downfall (or bondage) of Jeeva. Therefore, one must (learn to) give up these three. (16.21)
      One who is liberated from these three gates of hell, O Arjuna, does what is best, and attains the supreme goal. (16.22)
      One who acts under the influence of their desires, disobeying scriptural injunctions, neither attains perfection nor happiness nor the supreme goal. (16.23)
      Therefore, let the scripture be your authority in determining what should be done and what should not be done. You should perform your duty following the scriptural injunction. (16.24)

Chapter 17: Threefold Faith

      Arjuna said: What is the state of devotion of those who perform spiritual practices with faith but without following the scriptural injunctions, O Krishna? Is it Saattvika, Raajasika, or Taamasika? (17.01)

      The Supreme Lord said: The natural faith of embodied beings is of three types: Saattvika, Raajasika, and Taamasika. Hear that from Me. (17.02)
      O Arjuna, the faith of each is in accordance with one's own nature or Sanskaara. A person is known by the faith. One can become whatever one wants to be (if one constantly contemplates on the object of desire with faith). (17.03)
      The Saattvika persons worship Devas, the Raajasika people worship demigods and demons, and the Taamasika persons worship ghosts and spirits. (17.04)
      Those who practice severe austerities without following the scriptures, with hypocrisy and egotism, impelled by lust, and attachment; (17.05)
      Senselessly torturing the elements in their body and also Me who dwell within the body; know these ignorant persons to be of demonic nature. (17.06)
      The food preferred by all is also of three types. So are the sacrifice, austerity, and charity. Now hear the distinction between them. (17.07)
      The foods that promote longevity, virtue, strength, health, happiness, and joy; are juicy, smooth, substantial, and agreeable to the stomach. Such foods are dear to the Saattvika persons. (17.08)
      Foods that are bitter, sour, salty, very hot, pungent, dry, and burning; and cause pain, grief, and disease; are liked by Raajasika persons. (17.09)
      The foods liked by Taamasika persons are half-cooked, tasteless, rotten, stale, refuses, and impure (such as meat and alcohol). (17.10)
      Yajna enjoined by the scriptures, performed with a firm belief that it is a duty, and without the desire for the fruit, is Saattvika Yajna. (17.11)
      Yajna which is performed only for show, or aiming for fruit, know that to be Raajasika Yajna, O Arjuna. (17.12)
      Yajna that is performed without following the scripture, in which no food is distributed, which is devoid of mantra, faith, and gift, is said to be Taamasika Yajna. (17.13)
      The worship of Devas, Braahmana, guru, and the wise; purity, honesty, celibacy, and nonviolence; these are said to be the austerity of deed. (17.14)
      Speech that is not offensive, truthful, pleasant, beneficial, and is used for the regular reading of scriptures is called the austerity of word. (17.15)
      The serenity of mind, gentleness, silence, self-restraint, and the purity of mind are called the austerity of thought. (17.16)
      Threefold austerity (of thought, word, and deed) practiced by yogis with supreme faith, without a desire for the fruit, is said to be Saattvika austerity. (17.17)
      Austerity that is done for gaining respect, honor, reverence, and for show, is said to be Raajasika, unsteady, and impermanent. (17.18)
      Austerity performed without proper understanding, or with self-torture, or for harming others, is declared as Taamasika austerity. (17.19)
      Charity that is given as a matter of duty, to a deserving candidate who does nothing in return, at the right place and time, is called a Saattvika charity. (17.20)
      Charity that is given unwillingly, or to get something in return, or looking for some fruit, is called Raajasika charity. (17.21)
      Charity that is given at a wrong place and time, to unworthy persons, without paying respect or with contempt, is said to be Taamasika charity. (17.22)
      "OM TAT SAT" is said to be the threefold name of Brahman. The Braahmana, the Vedas, and the Yajna were created from this in the ancient time. (17.23)
      Therefore, acts of sacrifice, charity, and austerity prescribed in the scriptures are always commenced by uttering "OM" by the knowers of Brahman. (17.24)
      Various types of sacrifice, charity, and austerity are performed by the seekers of nirvana by uttering "TAT" (or He is all) without seeking a reward. (17.25)
      SAT is used in the sense of reality and goodness. The word "SAT" is also used for an auspicious act, O Arjuna. (17.26)
      Faith in sacrifice, charity, and austerity is also called SAT. The action for the sake of the Supreme is verily termed as SAT. (17.27)
      Whatever is done without faith; whether it is sacrifice, charity, austerity, or any other act; is called Asat. It has no value here or hereafter, O Arjuna. (17.28)

Chapter 18: Nirvana through Renunciation

      Arjuna said: I wish to know the nature of Samnyasa and Tyaaga and the difference between the two, O Lord Krishna. (18.01)

      The Supreme Lord said: The sages call Samnyasa the renunciation of selfish work. The wise define Tyaaga as the renunciation of attachment to the fruits of all work. (See also 5.01, 5.05, and 6.01) (18.02)
      Some philosophers say that all work is full of faults and should be given up, while others say that acts of sacrifice, charity, and austerity should not be abandoned. (18.03)
      O Arjuna, listen to My conclusion about Tyaaga. Tyaaga is said to be of three types. (18.04)
      Acts of sacrifice, charity, and austerity should not be abandoned, but should be performed, because sacrifice, charity, and austerity are the purifiers of the wise. (18.05)
      Even these (obligatory) works should be performed without attachment to the fruits. This is My definite supreme advice, O Arjuna. (18.06)
      Renunciation of obligatory work (or duty) is not proper. The abandonment of duty is due to delusion, and is declared to be Taamasika Tyaaga. (18.07)
      One who abandons duty merely because it is difficult, or because of fear of bodily trouble, does not get the benefits of Tyaaga by performing such Raajasika Tyaaga. (18.08)
      Obligatory work performed as duty, renouncing attachment to the fruit, is alone regarded as Saattvika Tyaaga, O Arjuna. (18.09)
      One who neither hates a disagreeable work nor is attached to an agreeable work, is Saattvika, wise, a renunciant, and free from all doubts. (18.10)
      Human beings cannot completely abstain from work. Therefore, the one who completely renounces the attachment to the fruits of all works is considered a Tyaagi (or renunciant). (18.11)
      The threefold fruit of works -- desirable, undesirable, and mixed -- accrues after death to a non-Tyaagi but never to a Tyaagi. (18.12)
      Learn from Me, O Arjuna, the five causes, as described in the Saamkhya doctrine, for the accomplishment of all actions. (18.13)
      The physical body or the seat of Karma, the doer or the Guna, various instruments or the organs (of perception and action), various Pranas or bioimpulses, and the fifth is the presiding deities (or the five basic elements). (18.14)
      Whatever action, whether right or wrong, one performs by thought, word, and deed; these are its five causes. (18.15)
      This being the case; the ignorant person who considers oneself as the sole agent due to imperfect understanding does not understand. (18.16)
      The one who is free from the notion of doership and whose wisdom is not befouled; even after slaying these people, neither slays nor is bound (by the act of killing). (18.17)
      The subject, the object, and the knowledge (of the object) are the threefold impetus to action. The (ten) organs, the Karma, and the Gunas are the threefold factors involved in any action. (18.18)
      The Jnana (or knowledge), the Karma (or action), and the Kartaa (or agent) are said to be of three types according to the Guna theory of Saamkhya doctrine. Hear duly about these also. (18.19)
      Knowledge by which one sees a single imperishable reality in all beings as undivided in the divided; such knowledge is considered to be Saattvika. (18.20)
      Knowledge by which one sees different realities of various types among all beings as separate from one another, consider that knowledge to be Raajasika. (18.21)
      Knowledge by which one clings to one single effect (such as the body) as if it is everything, and which is irrational, baseless, and worthless; such knowledge is declared to be Taamasika. (18.22)
      Obligatory duty performed without likes, dislikes, and attachment by the one who does not desire fruit is said to be Saattvika. (18.23)
      Action performed with ego, with selfish motives, and with too much effort; is declared to be Raajasika. (18.24)
      Action that is undertaken because of delusion; disregarding consequences, loss or injury to others, as well as one's own ability is said to be Taamasika action. (18.25)
      The agent who is free from attachment, is non-egotistic, endowed with resolve and enthusiasm, and unperturbed in success or failure is called Saattvika. (18.26)
      One who is passionate, desires the fruits of work, who is greedy, violent, impure, and is affected by joy and sorrow; such an agent is proclaimed to be Raajasika. (18.27)
      Undisciplined, vulgar, stubborn, wicked, malicious, lazy, depressed, and procrastinating; such an agent is called a Taamasika agent. (18.28)
      Now hear the threefold division of Buddhi (or intellect) and resolve, based on Gunas, as explained by Me fully and separately, O Arjuna. (18.29)
      O Arjuna, the Buddhi by which one understands the path of work and the path of renunciation, right and wrong action, fear and fearlessness, bondage and liberation, that Buddhi is Saattvika. (18.30)
      The intellect (or Buddhi) by which one incorrectly distinguishes between Dharma and Adharma, and right and wrong action; that intellect is Raajasika, O Arjuna. (18.31)
      O Arjuna, the intellect which, obscured by ignorance, accepts Adharma as Dharma and thinks everything to be which it is not, that is Taamasika intellect. (18.32)
      The unwavering resolve by which one regulates the activities of mind, Prana (or the bioimpulses), and senses through yoga (of meditation); that resolve is Saattvika, O Arjuna. (18.33)
      The resolve by which a person, craving for the fruits of work, clings to Dharma or righteous deeds, Artha or accumulation of wealth, and Kaama or enjoyment of sensual pleasures with great attachment; that resolve, O Arjuna, is Raajasika. (18.34)
      Resolve by which a dull person does not give up sleep, fear, grief, despair, and arrogance; that resolve is Taamasika, O Arjuna. (18.35)
      And now hear from Me, O Arjuna, about the threefold pleasure. The pleasure one enjoys from (spiritual) practice results in cessation of sorrow. (18.36)
      This pleasure, appears as poison in the beginning but is like nectar in the end, comes by the grace of Self-knowledge; is good or Saattvika. (18.37)
      Sensual pleasures appear as nectars in the beginning, but become poison in the end; such pleasures are called Raajasika pleasures. (See also 5.22) (18.38)
      Pleasure that deludes a person in the beginning and in the end; which comes from sleep, laziness, and confusion; such pleasure is called Taamasika (pleasure). (18.39)
      There is no being, either on the earth or in the heaven or among the Devas, who is free from these three Gunas of Prakriti, the material nature. (18.40)
      The division of labor into the four cate-goies -- Braahmana, Kshatriya, Vaishya, and Shudra -- is also based on the Gunas inherent in peoples' nature (or the natural propensities, and not necessarily as one's birth right), O Arjuna. (See also 4.13) (18.41)
      Those who have serenity, self control, austerity, purity, patience, honesty, knowledge, Self-realization, and belief in God are labeled as Braahmanas, the intellectuals. (18.42)
      Those having the qualities of heroism, vigor, firmness, dexterity, not fleeing from battle, charity, and administrative skills are called Kshatriyas, the protectors. (18.43)
      Those who are good in cultivation, cattle rearing, business, trade, and industry are known as Vaishyas. Those who do service and labor type work are classed as Shudras. (18.44)
      One attains the highest perfection by devotion to one's natural work. Listen to Me how one attains perfection while engaged in natural work. (18.45)
      He from whom all beings originate, and by whom all this universe is pervaded; worshipping Him by performing one's natural duty for Him one attains perfection. (See also 9.27, 12.10) (18.46)
      One's inferior natural work is better than superior unnatural work. One who does the work ordained by one's inherent nature (without selfish motives) incurs no sin (or Karmic reaction). (See also 3.35) (18.47)
      One's natural work, even though defective, should not be abandoned; because all undertakings are enveloped by defects as fire is covered by smoke, O Arjuna. (18.48)
      The person whose mind is always free from attachment, who has subdued the mind and senses, and who is free from desires, attains the supreme perfection of freedom from (the bondage of) Karma through renunciation. (18.49)
      Learn from Me briefly, O Arjuna, how one who has attained such perfection realizes Brahman, the supreme state of knowledge. (18.50)
      Endowed with purified intellect, subduing the mind with resolve, turning away from sound and other objects of the senses, giving up likes and dislikes; and (18.51)
      Living in solitude, eating lightly, controlling the thought, word, and deed; ever absorbed in yoga of meditation, and taking refuge in detachment; and (18.52)
      Relinquishing egotism, violence, pride, lust, anger, and desire for possession; free from the notion of "my", and peaceful; one becomes fit for attaining oneness with Brahman. (18.53)
      Absorbed in Brahman, the serene one neither grieves nor desires; becoming impartial to all beings, one obtains My supreme devotion. (18.54)
      By devotion one truly understand what and who I am in essence. Having known Me in essence, one immediately merges into Me. (See also 5.19) (18.55)
      One attains the eternal imperishable abode by My grace, even while doing all duties, just by taking refuge in Me. (18.56)
      Mentally offering all actions to Me, be devoted to Me. Resorting to equanimity, always fix your mind on Me. (18.57)
      When your mind becomes fixed on Me, you shall overcome all difficulties by My grace. But, if you do not listen to Me due to ego, you shall perish. (18.58)
      If due to ego you think: I shall not fight; this resolve of yours is vain. Your own nature will compel you (to fight). (18.59)
      What you do not wish to do out of delusion; you shall do even that against your will, bound by your own nature-born Karma, O Arjuna. (18.60)
      The Lord abides in the heart of all beings, O Arjuna, causing all beings to act (or work out their Karma) by His power of Maya as if they are (puppets of Karma) mounted on a machine. (18.61)
      Seek refuge in Him alone with all your heart, O Arjuna. By His grace you shall attain supreme peace and the eternal abode. (18.62)
      Thus the knowledge that is more secret than the secret has been explained to you by Me. After fully reflecting on this, do as you wish. (18.63)
      Hear again My supreme word, the most secret of all. You are very dear to Me, therefore, I shall tell this for your benefit. (18.64)
      Fix your mind on Me, be devoted to Me, offer service to Me, bow down to Me, and you shall certainly reach Me. I promise you because you are very dear to Me. (18.65)
      Setting aside all noble deeds, just surrender completely to the will of God (with firm faith and loving contemplation). I shall liberate you from all sins (or bonds of Karma). Do not grieve. (18.66)
      This (knowledge) should never be spoken by you to one who is devoid of austerity, who is without devotion, who does not desire to listen, or who speaks ill of Me. (18.67)
      The one who shall propagate this supreme secret philosophy (or the transcendental knowledge of the Gita) amongst My devotees, shall be performing the highest devotional service to Me and shall certainly attain (or come to) Me. (18.68)
      No other person shall do a more pleasing service to Me, and no one on the earth shall be more dear to Me. (18.69)
      I shall be worshipped with Jnana-Yajna (or knowledge sacrifice) by those who shall study this sacred dialogue of ours. This is My promise. (18.70)
      Whoever hears this with faith and without cavil becomes free from sin, and attains heaven (or the higher regions for those whose actions are pure). (18.71)
      O Arjuna, did you listen to this with single-minded attention? Has your delusion born of ignorance been destroyed? (18.72)

      Arjuna said: By Your grace my delusion is destroyed, I have gained knowledge, my confusion (with regard to body and Atma) is dispelled and I shall obey Your command. (18.73)

      Sanjaya said: Thus I heard this wonderful dialogue between Lord Krishna and Mahatma Arjuna, causing my hair to stand on end. (18.74)
      By the grace of (guru) sage Vyaasa, I heard this most secret and supreme yoga directly from Krishna, the lord of yoga, Himself speaking before my very eyes. (18.75)
      O King, by repeated remembrance of this marvelous and sacred dialogue between Lord Krishna and Arjuna, I am thrilled at every moment; and (18.76)
      Recollecting again and again, O King, that marvelous form of Krishna I am greatly amazed and I rejoice over and over again. (18.77)
      Wherever is Krishna, the lord of yoga; and wherever is Arjuna, the archer; there will be everlasting prosperity, victory, happiness, and morality. This is my conviction. (18.78)

Copyright 1988 by Dr. Ramanand Prasad - All Rights Reserved
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