Read and listen: English translation of the Bhagavad Gita
Posted on: 07:16 PM IST Dec 21, 2011
Sir Edwin Arnold was an English poet and journalist best known for his 1879 book The Light of Asia that describes the life and times of Gautama Buddha.
The book opened the world of Buddhism to Western readers.Arnold arrived in India in 1856 as principal of the Government Sanskrit College at Poona and returned to England in 1861, where he worked with the Daily Telegraph and ater became its editor-in-chief. Much of his literary works focused on interpreting Eastern philosophy into English verse. His 1900 translation of the Bhagavad-Gita is now in the public domain. (For the audio book version click here.)The Song Celestial or Bhagavad-Gita (From the Mahabharata)Being a Discourse Between Arjuna, Prince of India, and the Supreme Being Under the Form of KrishnaTranslated from the Sanskrit Text by Sir Edwin Arnold, M.A., K.C.I.E., C.S.I.New York, Truslove, Hanson & Comba, Ltd., 67 Fifth Avenue1900Dedication TO INDIASo have I read this wonderful and spirit-thrilling speech,By Krishna and Prince Arjun held, discoursing each with each;So have I writ its wisdom here,its hidden mystery,For England; O our India! as dear to me as She!EDWIN ARNOLDPREFACEThis famous and marvellous Sanskrit poem occurs as an episode of the Mahabharata, in the sixthor "Bhishma"Parva of the great Hindoo epic. It enjoys immense popularity and authority in India, where it is reckoned as one of the "Five Jewels,"pancharatnaniof Devanagiri literature. In plain but noble language it unfolds a philosophical system which remains to this day the prevailing Brahmanic belief, blending as it does the doctrines of Kapila, Patanjali, and the Vedas. So lofty are many of its declarations, so sublime its aspirations, so pure and tender its piety, that Schlegel, after his study of the poem, breaks forth into this outburst of delight and praise towards its unknown author: "Magistrorum reverentia a Brachmanis inter sanctissima pietatis officia refertur. Ergo te primum, Vates sanctissime, Numinisque hypopheta! quisquis tandem inter mortales dictus tu fueris, carminis bujus auctor,, cujus oraculis mens ad excelsa quaeque,quaeque,, aeterna atque divina, cum inenarraoih quddam delectatione rapitur-te primum, inquam, salvere jubeo, et vestigia tua semper adore." Lassen re-echoes this splendid tribute; and indeed, so striking are some of the moralities here inculcated, and so close the parallelismofttimes actually verbal between its teachings and those of the New Testament, that a controversy has arisen between Pandits and Missionaries on the point whether the author borrowed from Christian sources, or the Evangelists and Apostles from him.This raises the question of its date, which cannot be positively settled. It must have been inlaid into the ancient epic at a period later than that of the original Mahabharata, but Mr Kasinath Telang has offered some fair arguments to prove it anterior to the Christian era. The weight of evidence, however, tends to place its composition at about the third century after Christ; and perhaps there are really echoes in this Brahmanic poem of the lessons of Galilee, and of the Syrian incarnation.Its scene is the level country between the Jumna and the Sarsooti rivers-now Kurnul and Jheend. Its simple plot consists of a dialogue held by Prince Arjuna, the brother of King Yudhisthira, with Krishna, the Supreme Deity, wearing the disguise of a charioteer. A great battle is impending between the armies of the Kauravas and Pandavas, and this conversation is maintained in a war-chariot drawn up between the opposing hosts.The poem has been turned into French by Burnouf, into Latin by Lassen, into Italian by Stanislav Gatti, into Greek by Galanos, and into English by Mr. Thomson and Mr Davies, the prose transcript of the last-named being truly beyond praise for its fidelity and clearness. Mr Telang has also published at Bombay a version in colloquial rhythm, eminently learned and intelligent, but not conveying the dignity or grace of the original. If I venture to offer a translation of the wonderful poem after so many superior scholars, it is in grateful recognition of the help derived from their labours, and because English literature would certainly be incomplete without possessing in popular form a poetical and philosophical work so dear to India.There is little else to say which the "Song Celestial" does not explain for itself. The Sanskrit original is written in the Anushtubh metre, which cannot be successfully reproduced for Western ears. I have therefore cast it into our flexible blank verse, changing into lyrical measures where the text itself similarly breaks. For the most part, I believe the sense to be faithfully preserved in the following pages; but Schlegel himself had to say: "In reconditioribus me semper poetafoster mentem recte divinasse affirmare non ausim." Those who would read more upon the philosophy of the poem may find an admirable introduction in the volume of Mr Davies, printed by Messrs Trubner & Co.EDWIN ARNOLD, C.S.I.CONTENTSI. THE DISTRESS OF ARJUNAII. THE BOOK OF DOCTRINES III. VIRTUE IN WORK IV. THE RELIGION OF KNOWLEDGE V. RELIGION OF RENOUNCING WORKS VI. RELIGION BY SELF-RESTRAINT VII. RELIGION BY DISCERNMENT VIII. RELIGION BY SERVICE OF THE SUPREME IX. RELIGION BY THE KINGLY KNOWLEDGE AND THE KINGLY MYSTERY X. RELIGION BY THE HEAVENLY PERFECTIONS XI. THE MANIFESTING OF THE ONE AND MANIFOLD XII. RELIGION OF FAITH XIII. RELIGION BY SEPARATION OF MATTER AND SPIRIT XIV. RELIGION BY SEPARATION FROM THE QUALITIES XV. RELIGION BY ATTAINING THE SUPREME XVI. THE SEPARATENESS OF THE DIVINE AND UNDIVINE XVII. RELIGION BY THE THREEFOLD FAITH XVIII. RELIGION BY DELIVERANCE AND RENUNCIATIONCHAPTER IDhritirashtra:Ranged thus for battle on the sacred plainOn Kurukshetrasay, Sanjaya! sayWhat wrought my people, and the Pandavas?Sanjaya:When he beheld the host of Pandavas,Raja Duryodhana to Drona drew,And spake these words: "Ah, Guru! see this line,How vast it is of Pandu fighting-men,Embattled by the son of Drupada,Thy scholar in the war! Therein stand rankedChiefs like Arjuna, like to Bhima chiefs,Benders of bows; Virata, Yuyudhan,Drupada, eminent upon his car,Dhrishtaket, Chekitan, Kasi's stout lord,Purujit, Kuntibhoj, and Saivya,With Yudhamanyu, and UttamaujSubhadra's child; and Drupadi's;-all famed!All mounted on their shining chariots!On our side, too,thou best of Brahmans! seeExcellent chiefs, commanders of my line,Whose names I joy to count: thyself the first,Then Bhishma, Karna, Kripa fierce in fight,Vikarna, Aswatthaman; next to theseStrong Saumadatti, with full many moreValiant and tried, ready this day to dieFor me their king, each with his weapon grasped,Each skilful in the field. Weakest-meseems-Our battle shows where Bhishma holds command,And Bhima, fronting him, something too strong!Have care our captains nigh to Bhishma's ranksPrepare what help they may! Now, blow my shell!"Then, at the signal of the aged king,With blare to wake the blood, rolling aroundLike to a lion's roar, the trumpeterBlew the great Conch; and, at the noise of it,Trumpets and drums, cymbals and gongs and hornsBurst into sudden clamour; as the blastsOf loosened tempest, such the tumult seemed!Then might be seen, upon their car of goldYoked with white steeds, blowing their battle-shells,Krishna the God, Arjuna at his side:Krishna, with knotted locks, blew his great conchCarved of the "Giant's bone;" Arjuna blewIndra's loud gift; Bhima the terribleWolf-bellied Bhima-blew a long reed-conch;And Yudhisthira, Kunti's blameless son,Winded a mighty shell, "Victory's Voice;"And Nakula blew shrill upon his conchNamed the "Sweet-sounding," Sahadev on hisCalled"Gem-bedecked," and Kasi's Prince on his.Sikhandi on his car, Dhrishtadyumn,Virata, Satyaki the Unsubdued,Drupada, with his sons, (O Lord of Earth!)Long-armed Subhadra's children, all blew loud,So that the clangour shook their foemen's hearts,With quaking earth and thundering heav'n.Then 'twas-Beholding Dhritirashtra's battle set,Weapons unsheathing, bows drawn forth, the warInstant to break-Arjun, whose ensign-badgeWas Hanuman the monkey, spake this thingTo Krishna the Divine, his charioteer:"Drive, Dauntless One! to yonder open groundBetwixt the armies; I would see more nighThese who will fight with us, those we must slayTo-day, in war's arbitrament; for, sure,On bloodshed all are bent who throng this plain,Obeying Dhritirashtra's sinful son."Thus, by Arjuna prayed, (O Bharata!)Between the hosts that heavenly CharioteerDrove the bright car, reining its milk-white steedsWhere Bhishma led,and Drona,and their Lords."See!" spake he to Arjuna, "where they stand,Thy kindred of the Kurus:" and the PrinceMarked on each hand the kinsmen of his house,Grandsires and sires, uncles and brothers and sons,Cousins and sons-in-law and nephews, mixedWith friends and honoured elders; some this side,Some that side ranged: and, seeing those opposed,Such kith grown enemies-Arjuna's heartMelted with pity, while he uttered this:Arjuna.Krishna! as I behold, come here to shedTheir common blood, yon concourse of our kin,My members fail, my tongue dries in my mouth,A shudder thrills my body, and my hairBristles with horror; from my weak hand slipsGandiv, the goodly bow; a fever burnsMy skin to parching; hardly may I stand;The life within me seems to swim and faint;Nothing do I foresee save woe and wail!It is not good, O Keshav! nought of goodCan spring from mutual slaughter! Lo, I hateTriumph and domination, wealth and ease,Thus sadly won! Aho! what victoryCan bring delight, Govinda! what rich spoilsCould profit; what rule recompense; what spanOf life itself seem sweet, bought with such blood?Seeing that these stand here, ready to die,For whose sake life was fair, and pleasure pleased,And power grew precious:-grandsires, sires, and sons,Brothers, and fathers-in-law, and sons-in-law,Elders and friends! Shall I deal death on theseEven though they seek to slay us? Not one blow,O Madhusudan! will I strike to gainThe rule of all Three Worlds; then, how much lessTo seize an earthly kingdom! Killing theseMust breed but anguish, Krishna! If they beGuilty, we shall grow guilty by their deaths;Their sins will light on us, if we shall slayThose sons of Dhritirashtra, and our kin;What peace could come of that, O Madhava?For if indeed, blinded by lust and wrath,These cannot see, or will not see, the sinOf kingly lines o'erthrown and kinsmen slain,How should not we, who see, shun such a crimeWe who perceive the guilt and feel the shameO thou Delight of Men, Janardana?By overthrow of houses perishethTheir sweet continuous household piety,And-rites neglected, piety extinctEnters impiety upon that home;Its women grow unwomaned, whence there springMad passions, and the mingling-up of castes,Sending a Hell-ward road that family,And whoso wrought its doom by wicked wrath.Nay, and the souls of honoured ancestorsFall from their place of peace, being bereftOf funeral-cakes and the wan death-water.[FN#1]So teach our holy hymns. Thus, if we slayKinsfolk and friends for love of earthly power,Ahovat! what an evil fault it were!Better I deem it, if my kinsmen strike,To face them weaponless, and bare my breastTo shaft and spear, than answer blow with blow.So speaking, in the face of those two hosts,Arjuna sank upon his chariot-seat,And let fall bow and arrows, sick at heart.HERE ENDETH CHAPTER I. OF THE BHAGAVAD-GITA,Entitled "Arjun-Vishad,"Or "The Book of the Distress of Arjuna."CHAPTER IISanjaya.Him, filled with such compassion and such grief,With eyes tear-dimmed, despondent, in stern wordsThe Driver, Madhusudan, thus addressed:Krishna.How hath this weakness taken thee? Whence springsThe inglorious trouble, shameful to the brave,Barring the path of virtue? Nay, Arjun!Forbid thyself to feebleness! it marsThy warrior-name! cast off the coward-fit!Wake! Be thyself! Arise, Scourge of thy Foes!Arjuna.How can I, in the battle, shoot with shaftsOn Bhishma, or on Drona-O thou Chief!Both worshipful, both honourable men?Better to live on beggar's bread With those we love alive,Than taste their blood in rich feasts spread, And guiltily survive!Ah! were it worse-who knows?to be Victor or vanquished here,When those confront us angrily Whose death leaves living drear?In pity lost, by doubtings tossed, My thoughts-distracted-turnTo Thee, the Guide I reverence most, That I may counsel learn:I know not what would heal the grief Burned into soul and sense,If I were earth's unchallenged chief A godand these gone thence!Sanjaya.So spake Arjuna to the Lord of Hearts,And sighing,"I will not fight!" held silence then.To whom, with tender smile, (O Bharata! )While the Prince wept despairing 'twixt those hosts,Krishna made answer in divinest verse:Krishna.Thou grievest where no grief should be! thou speak'stWords lacking wisdom! for the wise in heartMourn not for those that live, nor those that die.Nor I, nor thou, nor any one of these,Ever was not, nor ever will not be,For ever and for ever afterwards.All, that doth live, lives always! To man's frameAs there come infancy and youth and age,So come there raisings-up and layings-downOf other and of other life-abodes,Which the wise know, and fear not. This that irksThy sense-life, thrilling to the elementsBringing thee heat and cold, sorrows and joys,'Tis brief and mutable! Bear with it, Prince!As the wise bear. The soul which is not moved,The soul that with a strong and constant calmTakes sorrow and takes joy indifferently,Lives in the life undying! That which isCan never cease to be; that which is notWill not exist. To see this truth of bothIs theirs who part essence from accident,Substance from shadow. Indestructible,Learn thou! the Life is, spreading life through all;It cannot anywhere, by any means,Be anywise diminished, stayed, or changed.But for these fleeting frames which it informsWith spirit deathless, endless, infinite,They perish. Let them perish, Prince! and fight!He who shall say, "Lo! I have slain a man!"He who shall think, "Lo! I am slain!" those bothKnow naught! Life cannot slay. Life is not slain!Never the spirit was born; the spirit shall cease to be never;Never was time it was not; End and Beginning are dreams!Birthless and deathless and changeless remaineth the spirit for ever;Death hath not touched it at all, dead though the house of it seems!Who knoweth it exhaustless, self-sustained,Immortal, indestructible,shall suchSay, "I have killed a man, or caused to kill?"Nay, but as when one layeth His worn-out robes away,And taking new ones, sayeth, "These will I wear to-day!"So putteth by the spirit Lightly its garb of flesh,And passeth to inherit A residence afresh.I say to thee weapons reach not the Life;Flame burns it not, waters cannot o'erwhelm,Nor dry winds wither it. Impenetrable,Unentered, unassailed, unharmed, untouched,Immortal, all-arriving, stable, sure,Invisible, ineffable, by wordAnd thought uncompassed, ever all itself,Thus is the Soul declared! How wilt thou, then,Knowing it so,grieve when thou shouldst not grieve?How, if thou hearest that the man new-deadIs, like the man new-born, still living manOne same, existent Spiritwilt thou weep?The end of birth is death; the end of deathIs birth: this is ordained! and mournest thou,Chief of the stalwart arm! for what befallsWhich could not otherwise befall? The birthOf living things comes unperceived; the deathComes unperceived; between them, beings perceive:What is there sorrowful herein, dear Prince?Wonderful, wistful, to contemplate! Difficult, doubtful, to speak upon!Strange and great for tongue to relate, Mystical hearing for every one!Nor wotteth man this, what a marvel it is, When seeing, and saying, and hearing are done!This Life within all living things, my Prince!Hides beyond harm; scorn thou to suffer, then,For that which cannot suffer. Do thy part!Be mindful of thy name, and tremble not!Nought better can betide a martial soulThan lawful war; happy the warriorTo whom comes joy of battlecomes, as now,Glorious and fair, unsought; opening for himA gateway unto Heav'n. But, if thou shunn'stThis honourable fielda KshattriyaIf, knowing thy duty and thy task, thou bidd'stDuty and task go bythat shall be sin!And those to come shall speak thee infamyFrom age to age; but infamy is worseFor men of noble blood to bear than death!The chiefs upon their battle-chariotsWill deem 'twas fear that drove thee from the fray.Of those who held thee mighty-souled the scornThou must abide, while all thine enemiesWill scatter bitter speech of thee, to mockThe valour which thou hadst; what fate could fallMore grievously than this? Eitherbeing killedThou wilt win Swarga's safety, oraliveAnd victorthou wilt reign an earthly king.Therefore, arise, thou Son of Kunti! braceThine arm for conflict, nerve thy heart to meetAs things alike to theepleasure or pain,Profit or ruin, victory or defeat:So minded, gird thee to the fight, for soThou shalt not sin!Thus far I speak to theeAs from the "Sankhya"unspirituallyHear now the deeper teaching of the Yog,Which holding, understanding, thou shalt burstThy Karmabandh, the bondage of wrought deeds.Here shall no end be hindered, no hope marred,No loss be feared: faithyea, a little faithShall save thee from the anguish of thy dread.Here, Glory of the Kurus! shines one ruleOne steadfast rulewhile shifting souls have lawsMany and hard. Specious, but wrongful deemThe speech of those ill-taught ones who extolThe letter of their Vedas, saying, "ThisIs all we have, or need;" being weak at heartWith wants, seekers of Heaven: which comesthey sayAs "fruit of good deeds done;" promising menMuch profit in new births for works of faith;In various rites abounding; following whereonLarge merit shall accrue towards wealth and power;Albeit, who wealth and power do most desireLeast fixity of soul have such, least holdOn heavenly meditation. Much these teach,From Veds, concerning the "three qualities;"But thou, be free of the "three qualities,"Free of the "pairs of opposites,"[FN#2] and freeFrom that sad righteousness which calculates;Self-ruled, Arjuna! simple, satisfied![FN#3]Look! like as when a tank pours water forthTo suit all needs, so do these Brahmans drawText for all wants from tank of Holy Writ.But thou, want not! ask not! Find full rewardOf doing right in right! Let right deeds beThy motive, not the fruit which comes from them.And live in action! Labour! Make thine actsThy piety, casting all self aside,Contemning gain and merit; equableIn good or evil: equabilityIs Yog, is piety!Yet, the right actIs less, far less, than the right-thinking mind.Seek refuge in thy soul; have there thy heaven!Scorn them that follow virtue for her gifts!The mind of pure devotioneven hereCasts equally aside good deeds and bad,Passing above them. Unto pure devotionDevote thyself: with perfect meditationComes perfect act, and the right-hearted riseMore certainly because they seek no gainForth from the bands of body, step by step,To highest seats of bliss. When thy firm soulHath shaken off those tangled oraclesWhich ignorantly guide, then shall it soarTo high neglect of what's denied or said,This way or that way, in doctrinal writ.Troubled no longer by the priestly lore,Safe shall it live, and sure; steadfastly bentOn meditation. This is Yogand Peace!Arjuna.What is his mark who hath that steadfast heart,Confirmed in holy meditation? HowKnow we his speech, Kesava? Sits he, moves heLike other men?Krishna.When one, O Pritha's Son!Abandoning desires which shake the mindFinds in his soul full comfort for his soul,He hath attained the Yogthat man is such!In sorrows not dejected, and in joysNot overjoyed; dwelling outside the stressOf passion, fear, and anger; fixed in calmsOf lofty contemplation;such an oneIs Muni, is the Sage, the true Recluse!He who to none and nowhere overboundBy ties of flesh, takes evil things and goodNeither desponding nor exulting, suchBears wisdom's plainest mark! He who shall drawAs the wise tortoise draws its four feet safeUnder its shield, his five frail senses backUnder the spirit's buckler from the worldWhich else assails them, such an one, my Prince!Hath wisdom's mark! Things that solicit senseHold off from the self-governed; nay, it comes,The appetites of him who lives beyondDepart,aroused no more. Yet may it chance,O Son of Kunti! that a governed mindShall some time feel the sense-storms sweep, and wrestStrong self-control by the roots. Let him regainHis kingdom! let him conquer this, and sitOn Me intent. That man alone is wiseWho keeps the mastery of himself! If onePonders on objects of the sense, there springsAttraction; from attraction grows desire,Desire flames to fierce passion, passion breedsRecklessness; then the memoryall betrayedLets noble purpose go, and saps the mind,Till purpose, mind, and man are all undone.But, if one deals with objects of the senseNot loving and not hating, making themServe his free soul, which rests serenely lord,Lo! such a man comes to tranquillity;And out of that tranquillity shall riseThe end and healing of his earthly pains,Since the will governed sets the soul at peace.The soul of the ungoverned is not his,Nor hath he knowledge of himself; which lacked,How grows serenity? and, wanting that,Whence shall he hope for happiness?The mindThat gives itself to follow shows of senseSeeth its helm of wisdom rent away,And, like a ship in waves of whirlwind, drivesTo wreck and death. Only with him, great Prince!Whose senses are not swayed by things of senseOnly with him who holds his mastery,Shows wisdom perfect. What is midnight-gloomTo unenlightened souls shines wakeful dayTo his clear gaze; what seems as wakeful dayIs known for night, thick night of ignorance,To his true-seeing eyes. Such is the Saint!And like the ocean, day by day receiving Floods from all lands, which never overflowsIts boundary-line not leaping, and not leaving, Fed by the rivers, but unswelled by those;So is the perfect one! to his soul's ocean The world of sense pours streams of witchery;They leave him as they find, without commotion, Taking their tribute, but remaining sea.Yea! whoso, shaking off the yoke of fleshLives lord, not servant, of his lusts; set freeFrom pride, from passion, from the sin of "Self,"Toucheth tranquillity! O Pritha's Son!That is the state of Brahm! There rests no dreadWhen that last step is reached! Live where he will,Die when he may, such passeth from all 'plaining,To blest Nirvana, with the Gods, attaining.HERE ENDETH CHAPTER II. OF THE BHAGAVAD-GITA,Entitled "Sankhya-Yog,"Or "The Book of Doctrines."CHAPTER IIIArjuna.Thou whom all mortals praise, Janardana!If meditation be a nobler thingThan action, wherefore, then, great Kesava!Dost thou impel me to this dreadful fight?Now am I by thy doubtful speech disturbed!Tell me one thing, and tell me certainly;By what road shall I find the better end?Krishna.I told thee, blameless Lord! there be two pathsShown to this world; two schools of wisdom.FirstThe Sankhya's, which doth save in way of worksPrescribed[FN#4] by reason; next, the Yog, which bidsAttain by meditation, spiritually:Yet these are one! No man shall 'scape from actBy shunning action; nay, and none shall comeBy mere renouncements unto perfectness.Nay, and no jot of time, at any time,Rests any actionless; his nature's lawCompels him, even unwilling, into act;[For thought is act in fancy]. He who sitsSuppressing all the instruments of flesh,Yet in his idle heart thinking on them,Plays the inept and guilty hypocrite:But he who, with strong body serving mind,Gives up his mortal powers to worthy work,Not seeking gain, Arjuna! such an oneIs honourable. Do thine allotted task!Work is more excellent than idleness;The body's life proceeds not, lacking work.There is a task of holiness to do,Unlike world-binding toil, which bindeth notThe faithful soul; such earthly duty doFree from desire, and thou shalt well performThy heavenly purpose. Spake PrajapatiIn the beginning, when all men were made,And, with mankind, the sacrifice "Do this!Work! sacrifice! Increase and multiplyWith sacrifice! This shall be Kamaduk,Your 'Cow of Plenty,' giving back her milkOf all abundance. Worship the gods thereby;The gods shall yield thee grace. Those meats ye craveThe gods will grant to Labour, when it paysTithes in the altar-flame. But if one eatsFruits of the earth, rendering to kindly HeavenNo gift of toil, that thief steals from his world."Who eat of food after their sacrificeAre quit of fault, but they that spread a feastAll for themselves, eat sin and drink of sin.By food the living live; food comes of rain,And rain comes by the pious sacrifice,And sacrifice is paid with tithes of toil;Thus action is of Brahma, who is One,The Only, All-pervading; at all timesPresent in sacrifice. He that abstainsTo help the rolling wheels of this great world,Glutting his idle sense, lives a lost life,Shameful and vain. Existing for himself,Self-concentrated, serving self alone,No part hath he in aught; nothing achieved,Nought wrought or unwrought toucheth him; no hopeOf help for all the living things of earthDepends from him.[FN#5] Therefore, thy task prescribedWith spirit unattached gladly perform,Since in performance of plain duty manMounts to his highest bliss. By works aloneJanak and ancient saints reached blessedness!Moreover, for the upholding of thy kind,Action thou should'st embrace. What the wise chooseThe unwise people take; what best men doThe multitude will follow. Look on me,Thou Son of Pritha! in the three wide worldsI am not bound to any toil, no heightAwaits to scale, no gift remains to gain,Yet I act here! and, if I acted notEarnest and watchfulthose that look to meFor guidance, sinking back to sloth againBecause I slumbered, would decline from good,And I should break earth's order and commitHer offspring unto ruin, Bharata!Even as the unknowing toil, wedded to sense,So let the enlightened toil, sense-freed, but setTo bring the world deliverance, and its bliss;Not sowing in those simple, busy heartsSeed of despair. Yea! let each play his partIn all he finds to do, with unyoked soul.All things are everywhere by Nature wroughtIn interaction of the qualities.The fool, cheated by self, thinks, "This I did"And "That I wrought; "butah, thou strong-armed Prince!A better-lessoned mind, knowing the playOf visible things within the world of sense,And how the qualities must qualify,Standeth aloof even from his acts. Th' untaughtLive mixed with them, knowing not Nature's way,Of highest aims unwitting, slow and dull.Those make thou not to stumble, having the light;But all thy dues discharging, for My sake,With meditation centred inwardly,Seeking no profit, satisfied, serene,Heedless of issuefight! They who shall keepMy ordinance thus, the wise and willing hearts,Have quittance from all issue of their acts;But those who disregard My ordinance,Thinking they know, know nought, and fall to loss,Confused and foolish. 'Sooth, the instructed oneDoth of his kind, following what fits him most:And lower creatures of their kind; in vainContending 'gainst the law. Needs must it beThe objects of the sense will stir the senseTo like and dislike, yet th' enlightened manYields not to these, knowing them enemies.Finally, this is better, that one doHis own task as he may, even though he fail,Than take tasks not his own, though they seem good.To die performing duty is no ill;But who seeks other roads shall wander still.Arjuna.Yet tell me, Teacher! by what force doth manGo to his ill, unwilling; as if onePushed him that evil path?Krishna.Kama it is!Passion it is! born of the Darknesses,Which pusheth him. Mighty of appetite,Sinful, and strong is this!man's enemy!As smoke blots the white fire, as clinging rustMars the bright mirror, as the womb surroundsThe babe unborn, so is the world of thingsFoiled, soiled, enclosed in this desire of flesh.The wise fall, caught in it; the unresting foeIt is of wisdom, wearing countless forms,Fair but deceitful, subtle as a flame.Sense, mind, and reasonthese, O Kunti's Son!Are booty for it; in its play with theseIt maddens man, beguiling, blinding him.Therefore, thou noblest child of Bharata!Govern thy heart! Constrain th' entangled sense!Resist the false, soft sinfulness which sapsKnowledge and judgment! Yea, the world is strong,But what discerns it stronger, and the mindStrongest; and high o'er all the ruling Soul.Wherefore, perceiving Him who reigns supreme,Put forth full force of Soul in thy own soul!Fight! vanquish foes and doubts, dear Hero! slayWhat haunts thee in fond shapes, and would betray!HERE ENDETH CHAPTER III. OF THE BHAGAVAD-GITA,Entitled "Karma-Yog,"Or "The Book of Virtue in Work."CHAPTER IVKrishna.This deathless Yoga, this deep union,I taught Vivaswata,[FN#6] the Lord of Light;Vivaswata to Manu gave it; heTo Ikshwaku; so passed it down the lineOf all my royal Rishis. Then, with years,The truth grew dim and perished, noble Prince!Now once again to thee it is declaredThis ancient lore, this mystery supremeSeeing I find thee votary and friend.Arjuna.Thy birth, dear Lord, was in these later days,And bright Vivaswata's preceded time!How shall I comprehend this thing thou sayest,"From the beginning it was I who taught?"Krishna.Manifold the renewals of my birthHave been, Arjuna! and of thy births, too!But mine I know, and thine thou knowest not,O Slayer of thy Foes! Albeit I beUnborn, undying, indestructible,The Lord of all things living; not the lessBy Maya, by my magic which I stampOn floating Nature-forms, the primal vastI come, and go, and come. When RighteousnessDeclines, O Bharata! when WickednessIs strong, I rise, from age to age, and takeVisible shape, and move a man with men,Succouring the good, thrusting the evil back,And setting Virtue on her seat again.Who knows the truth touching my births on earthAnd my divine work, when he quits the fleshPuts on its load no more, falls no more downTo earthly birth: to Me he comes, dear Prince!Many there be who come! from fear set free,From anger, from desire; keeping their heartsFixed upon memy FaithfulpurifiedBy sacred flame of Knowledge. Such as theseMix with my being. Whoso worship me,Them I exalt; but all men everywhereShall fall into my path; albeit, those soulsWhich seek reward for works, make sacrificeNow, to the lower gods. I say to theeHere have they their reward. But I am HeMade the Four Castes, and portioned them a placeAfter their qualities and gifts. Yea, ICreated, the Reposeful; I that liveImmortally, made all those mortal births:For works soil not my essence, being worksWrought uninvolved.[FN#7] Who knows me acting thusUnchained by action, action binds not him;And, so perceiving, all those saints of oldWorked, seeking for deliverance. Work thouAs, in the days gone by, thy fathers did.Thou sayst, perplexed, It hath been asked beforeBy singers and by sages, "What is act,And what inaction? "I will teach thee this,And, knowing, thou shalt learn which work doth saveNeeds must one rightly meditate those threeDoing,not doing,and undoing. HereThorny and dark the path is! He who seesHow action may be rest, rest actionheIs wisest 'mid his kind; he hath the truth!He doeth well, acting or resting. FreedIn all his works from prickings of desire,Burned clean in act by the white fire of truth,The wise call that man wise; and such an one,Renouncing fruit of deeds, always content.Always self-satisfying, if he works,Doth nothing that shall stain his separate soul,Whichquit of fear and hopesubduing selfRejecting outward impulseyielding upTo body's need nothing save body, dwellsSinless amid all sin, with equal calmTaking what may befall, by grief unmoved,Unmoved by joy, unenvyingly; the sameIn good and evil fortunes; nowise boundBy bond of deeds. Nay, but of such an one,Whose crave is gone, whose soul is liberate,Whose heart is set on truthof such an oneWhat work he does is work of sacrifice,Which passeth purely into ash and smokeConsumed upon the altar! All's then God!The sacrifice is Brahm, the ghee and grainAre Brahm, the fire is Brahm, the flesh it eatsIs Brahm, and unto Brahm attaineth heWho, in such office, meditates on Brahm.Some votaries there be who serve the godsWith flesh and altar-smoke; but other someWho, lighting subtler fires, make purer riteWith will of worship. Of the which be theyWho, in white flame of continence, consumeJoys of the sense, delights of eye and ear,Forgoing tender speech and sound of song:And they who, kindling fires with torch of Truth,Burn on a hidden altar-stone the blissOf youth and love, renouncing happiness:And they who lay for offering there their wealth,Their penance, meditation, piety,Their steadfast reading of the scrolls, their lorePainfully gained with long austerities:And they who, making silent sacrifice,Draw in their breath to feed the flame of thought,And breathe it forth to waft the heart on high,Governing the ventage of each entering airLest one sigh pass which helpeth not the soul:And they who, day by day denying needs,Lay life itself upon the altar-flame,Burning the body wan. Lo! all these keepThe rite of offering, as if they slewVictims; and all thereby efface much sin.Yea! and who feed on the immortal foodLeft of such sacrifice, to Brahma pass,To The Unending. But for him that makesNo sacrifice, he hath nor part nor lotEven in the present world. How should he shareAnother, O thou Glory of thy Line?In sight of Brahma all these offeringsAre spread and are accepted! ComprehendThat all proceed by act; for knowing this,Thou shalt be quit of doubt. The sacrificeWhich Knowledge pays is better than great giftsOffered by wealth, since gifts' worthO my Prince!Lies in the mind which gives, the will that serves:And these are gained by reverence, by strong search,By humble heed of those who see the TruthAnd teach it. Knowing Truth, thy heart no moreWill ache with error, for the Truth shall showAll things subdued to thee, as thou to Me.Moreover, Son of Pandu! wert thou worstOf all wrong-doers, this fair ship of TruthShould bear thee safe and dry across the seaOf thy transgressions. As the kindled flameFeeds on the fuel till it sinks to ash,So unto ash, Arjuna! unto noughtThe flame of Knowledge wastes works' dross away!There is no purifier like theretoIn all this world, and he who seeketh itShall find itbeing grown perfectin himself.Believing, he receives it when the soulMasters itself, and cleaves to Truth, and comesPossessing knowledgeto the higher peace,The uttermost repose. But those untaught,And those without full faith, and those who fearAre shent; no peace is here or other where,No hope, nor happiness for whoso doubts.He that, being self-contained, hath vanquished doubt,Disparting self from service, soul from works,Enlightened and emancipate, my Prince!Works fetter him no more! Cut then atwainWith sword of wisdom, Son of Bharata!This doubt that binds thy heart-beats! cleave the bondBorn of thy ignorance! Be bold and wise!Give thyself to the field with me! Arise!HERE ENDETH CHAPTER IV. OF THE BHAGAVAD-GITA,Entitled "Jnana Yog,"Or "The Book of the Religion of Knowledge,"CHAPTER V Arjuna. Yet, Krishna! at the one time thou dost laud Surcease of works, and, at another time, Service through work. Of these twain plainly tell Which is the better way?Krishna.To cease from worksIs well, and to do works in holinessIs well; and both conduct to bliss supreme;But of these twain the better way is hisWho working piously refraineth not.That is the true Renouncer, firm and fixed,Whoseeking nought, rejecting noughtdwells proofAgainst the "opposites."[FN#8] O valiant Prince!In doing, such breaks lightly from all deed:'Tis the new scholar talks as they were two,This Sankhya and this Yoga: wise men knowWho husbands one plucks golden fruit of both!The region of high rest which Sankhyans reachYogins attain. Who sees these twain as oneSees with clear eyes! Yet such abstraction, Chief!Is hard to win without much holiness.Whoso is fixed in holiness, self-ruled,Pure-hearted, lord of senses and of self,Lost in the common life of all which livesA "Yogayukt"he is a Saint who wendsStraightway to Brahm. Such an one is not touchedBy taint of deeds. "Nought of myself I do!"Thus will he think-who holds the truth of truthsIn seeing, hearing, touching, smelling; whenHe eats, or goes, or breathes; slumbers or talks,Holds fast or loosens, opes his eyes or shuts;Always assured "This is the sense-world playsWith senses."He that acts in thought of Brahm,Detaching end from act, with act content,The world of sense can no more stain his soulThan waters mar th' enamelled lotus-leaf.With life, with heart, with mind,-nay, with the helpOf all five sensesletting selfhood goYogins toil ever towards their souls' release.Such votaries, renouncing fruit of deeds,Gain endless peace: the unvowed, the passion-bound,Seeking a fruit from works, are fastened down.The embodied sage, withdrawn within his soul,At every act sits godlike in "the townWhich hath nine gateways,"[FN#9] neither doing aughtNor causing any deed. This world's Lord makesNeither the work, nor passion for the work,Nor lust for fruit of work; the man's own selfPushes to these! The Master of this WorldTakes on himself the good or evil deedsOf no mandwelling beyond! Mankind errs hereBy folly, darkening knowledge. But, for whomThat darkness of the soul is chased by light,Splendid and clear shines manifest the TruthAs if a Sun of Wisdom sprang to shedIts beams of dawn. Him meditating still,Him seeking, with Him blended, stayed on Him,The souls illuminated take that roadWhich hath no turning backtheir sins flung offBy strength of faith. [Who will may have this Light;Who hath it sees.] To him who wisely sees,The Brahman with his scrolls and sanctities,The cow, the elephant, the unclean dog,The Outcast gorging dog's meat, are all one.The world is overcomeaye! even here!By such as fix their faith on Unity.The sinless Brahma dwells in Unity,And they in Brahma. Be not over-gladAttaining joy, and be not over-sadEncountering grief, but, stayed on Brahma, stillConstant let each abide! The sage whose souHolds off from outer contacts, in himselfFinds bliss; to Brahma joined by piety,His spirit tastes eternal peace. The joysSpringing from sense-life are but quickening wombsWhich breed sure griefs: those joys begin and end!The wise mind takes no pleasure, Kunti's Son!In such as those! But if a man shall learn,Even while he lives and bears his body's chain,To master lust and anger, he is blest!He is the Yukta; he hath happiness,Contentment, light, within: his life is mergedIn Brahma's life; he doth Nirvana touch!Thus go the Rishis unto rest, who dwellWith sins effaced, with doubts at end, with heartsGoverned and calm. Glad in all good they live,Nigh to the peace of God; and all those liveWho pass their days exempt from greed and wrath,Subduing self and senses, knowing the Soul!The Saint who shuts outside his placid soulAll touch of sense, letting no contact through;Whose quiet eyes gaze straight from fixed brows,Whose outward breath and inward breath are drawnEqual and slow through nostrils still and close;That one-with organs, heart, and mind constrained,Bent on deliverance, having put awayPassion, and fear, and rage;hath, even now,Obtained deliverance, ever and ever freed.Yea! for he knows Me Who am He that heedsThe sacrifice and worship, God revealed;And He who heeds not, being Lord of Worlds,Lover of all that lives, God unrevealed,Wherein who will shall find surety and shield!HERE ENDS CHAPTER V. OF THE BHAGAVAD-GITA,Entitled "Karmasanyasayog,"Or "The Book of Religion by Renouncing Fruit of Works."CHAPTER VIKrishna.Therefore, who doeth work rightful to do,Not seeking gain from work, that man, O Prince!Is Sanyasi and Yogiboth in oneAnd he is neither who lights not the flameOf sacrifice, nor setteth hand to task.Regard as true Renouncer him that makesWorship by work, for who renounceth notWorks not as Yogin. So is that well said:"By works the votary doth rise to faith,And saintship is the ceasing from all works;Because the perfect Yogin actsbut actsUnmoved by passions and unbound by deeds,Setting result aside.Let each man raiseThe Self by Soul, not trample down his Self,Since Soul that is Self's friend may grow Self's foe.Soul is Self's friend when Self doth rule o'er Self,But Self turns enemy if Soul's own selfHates Self as not itself.[FN#10]The sovereign soulOf him who lives self-governed and at peaceIs centred in itself, taking alikePleasure and pain; heat, cold; glory and shame.He is the Yogi, he is Yukta, gladWith joy of light and truth; dwelling apartUpon a peak, with senses subjugateWhereto the clod, the rock, the glistering goldShow all as one. By this sign is he knownBeing of equal grace to comrades, friends,Chance-comers, strangers, lovers, enemies,Aliens and kinsmen; loving all alike,Evil or good.Sequestered should he sit,Steadfastly meditating, solitary,His thoughts controlled, his passions laid away,Quit of belongings. In a fair, still spotHaving his fixed abode,not too much raised,Nor yet too low,let him abide, his goodsA cloth, a deerskin, and the Kusa-grass.There, setting hard his mind upon The One,Restraining heart and senses, silent, calm,Let him accomplish Yoga, and achievePureness of soul, holding immovableBody and neck and head, his gaze absorbedUpon his nose-end,[FN#11] rapt from all around,Tranquil in spirit, free of fear, intentUpon his Brahmacharya vow, devout,Musing on Me, lost in the thought of Me.That Yojin, so devoted, so controlled,Comes to the peace beyond,My peace, the peaceOf high Nirvana!But for earthly needsReligion is not his who too much fastsOr too much feasts, nor his who sleeps awayAn idle mind; nor his who wears to wasteHis strength in vigils. Nay, Arjuna! callThat the true piety which most removesEarth-aches and ills, where one is moderateIn eating and in resting, and in sport;Measured in wish and act; sleeping betimes,Waking betimes for duty.When the man,So living, centres on his soul the thoughtStraitly restraineduntouched internallyBy stress of sensethen is he Yukta. See!Steadfast a lamp burns sheltered from the wind;Such is the likeness of the Yogi's mindShut from sense-storms and burning bright to Heaven.When mind broods placid, soothed with holy wont;When Self contemplates self, and in itselfHath comfort; when it knows the nameless joyBeyond all scope of sense, revealed to soulOnly to soul! and, knowing, wavers not,True to the farther Truth; when, holding this,It deems no other treasure comparable,But, harboured there, cannot be stirred or shookBy any gravest grief, call that state "peace,"That happy severance Yoga; call that manThe perfect Yogin!Steadfastly the willMust toil thereto, till efforts end in ease,And thought has passed from thinking. Shaking offAll longings bred by dreams of fame and gain,Shutting the doorways of the senses closeWith watchful ward; so, step by step, it comesTo gift of peace assured and heart assuaged,When the mind dwells self-wrapped, and the soul broodsCumberless. But, as often as the heartBreakswild and waveringfrom control, so oftLet him re-curb it, let him rein it backTo the soul's governance; for perfect blissGrows only in the bosom tranquillised,The spirit passionless, purged from offence,Vowed to the Infinite. He who thus vowsHis soul to the Supreme Soul, quitting sin,Passes unhindered to the endless blissOf unity with Brahma. He so vowed,So blended, sees the Life-Soul residentIn all things living, and all living thingsIn that Life-Soul contained. And whoso thusDiscerneth Me in all, and all in Me,I never let him go; nor looseneth heHold upon Me; but, dwell he where he may,Whate'er his life, in Me he dwells and lives,Because he knows and worships Me, Who dwellIn all which lives, and cleaves to Me in all.Arjuna! if a man sees everywhereTaught by his own similitudeone Life,One Essence in the Evil and the Good,Hold him a Yogi, yea! well-perfected!Arjuna.Slayer of Madhu! yet again, this Yog,This Peace, derived from equanimity,Made known by theeI see no fixityTherein, no rest, because the heart of menIs unfixed, Krishna! rash, tumultuous,Wilful and strong. It were all one, I think,To hold the wayward wind, as tame man's heart.Krishna.Hero long-armed! beyond denial, hardMan's heart is to restrain, and wavering;Yet may it grow restrained by habit, Prince!By wont of self-command. This Yog, I say,Cometh not lightly to th' ungoverned ones;But he who will be master of himselfShall win it, if he stoutly strive thereto.Arjuna.And what road goeth he who, having faith,Fails, Krishna! in the striving; falling backFrom holiness, missing the perfect rule?Is he not lost, straying from Brahma's light,Like the vain cloud, which floats 'twixt earth and heavenWhen lightning splits it, and it vanisheth?Fain would I hear thee answer me herein,Since, Krishna! none save thou can clear the doubt.Krishna.He is not lost, thou Son of Pritha! No!Nor earth, nor heaven is forfeit, even for him,Because no heart that holds one right desireTreadeth the road of loss! He who should fail,Desiring righteousness, cometh at deathUnto the Region of the Just; dwells thereMeasureless years, and being born anew,Beginneth life again in some fair homeAmid the mild and happy. It may chanceHe doth descend into a Yogin houseOn Virtue's breast; but that is rare! Such birthIs hard to be obtained on this earth, Chief!So hath he back again what heights of heartHe did achieve, and so he strives anewTo perfectness, with better hope, dear Prince!For by the old desire he is drawn onUnwittingly; and only to desireThe purity of Yog is to passBeyond the Sabdabrahm, the spoken Ved.But, being Yogi, striving strong and long,Purged from transgressions, perfected by birthsFollowing on births, he plants his feet at lastUpon the farther path. Such as one ranksAbove ascetics, higher than the wise,Beyond achievers of vast deeds! Be thouYogi Arjuna! And of such believe,Truest and best is he who worships MeWith inmost soul, stayed on My Mystery!HERE ENDETH CHAPTER VI. OF THE BHAGAVAD-GITA,Entitled "Atmasanyamayog,"Or "The Book of Religion by Self-Restraint."CHAPTER VIIKrishna.Learn now, dear Prince! how, if thy soul be setEver on Mestill exercising Yog,Still making Me thy Refugethou shalt comeMost surely unto perfect hold of Me.I will declare to thee that utmost lore,Whole and particular, which, when thou knowest,Leaveth no more to know here in this world.Of many thousand mortals, one, perchance,Striveth for Truth; and of those few that striveNay, and rise highone onlyhere and thereKnoweth Me, as I am, the very Truth.Earth, water, flame, air, ether, life, and mind,And individualitythose eightMake up the showing of Me, Manifest.These be my lower Nature; learn the higher,Whereby, thou Valiant One! this UniverseIs, by its principle of life, produced;Whereby the worlds of visible things are bornAs from a Yoni. Know! I am that womb:I make and I unmake this Universe:Than me there is no other Master, Prince!No other Maker! All these hang on meAs hangs a row of pearls upon its string.I am the fresh taste of the water; IThe silver of the moon, the gold o' the sun,The word of worship in the Veds, the thrillThat passeth in the ether, and the strengthOf man's shed seed. I am the good sweet smellOf the moistened earth, I am the fire's red light,The vital air moving in all which moves,The holiness of hallowed souls, the rootUndying, whence hath sprung whatever is;The wisdom of the wise, the intellectOf the informed, the greatness of the great.The splendour of the splendid. Kunti's Son!These am I, free from passion and desire;Yet am I right desire in all who yearn,Chief of the Bharatas! for all those moods,Soothfast, or passionate, or ignorant,Which Nature frames, deduce from me; but allAre merged in menot I in them! The worldDeceived by those three qualities of beingWotteth not Me Who am outside them all,Above them all, Eternal! Hard it isTo pierce that veil divine of various showsWhich hideth Me; yet they who worship MePierce it and pass beyond.I am not knownTo evil-doers, nor to foolish ones,Nor to the base and churlish; nor to thoseWhose mind is cheated by the show of things,Nor those that take the way of Asuras.[FN#12]Four sorts of mortals know me: he who weeps,Arjuna! and the man who yearns to know;And he who toils to help; and he who sitsCertain of me, enlightened.Of these four,O Prince of India! highest, nearest, bestThat last is, the devout soul, wise, intentUpon "The One." Dear, above all, am ITo him; and he is dearest unto me!All four are good, and seek me; but mine own,The true of heart, the faithfulstayed on me,Taking me as their utmost blessedness,They are not "mine,"but Ieven I myself!At end of many births to Me they come!Yet hard the wise Mahatma is to find,That man who sayeth, "All is Vasudev!"[FN#13]There be those, too, whose knowledge, turned asideBy this desire or that, gives them to serveSome lower gods, with various rites, constrainedBy that which mouldeth them. Unto all suchWorship what shrine they will, what shapes, in faith'Tis I who give them faith! I am content!The heart thus asking favour from its God,Darkened but ardent, hath the end it craves,The lesser blessingbut 'tis I who give!Yet soon is withered what small fruit they reap:Those men of little minds, who worship so,Go where they worship, passing with their gods.But Mine come unto me! Blind are the eyesWhich deem th' Unmanifested manifest,Not comprehending Me in my true Self!Imperishable, viewless, undeclared,Hidden behind my magic veil of shows,I am not seen by all; I am not knownUnborn and changelessto the idle world.But I, Arjuna! know all things which were,And all which are, and all which are to be,Albeit not one among them knoweth Me!By passion for the "pairs of opposites,"By those twain snares of Like and Dislike, Prince!All creatures live bewildered, save some fewWho, quit of sins, holy in act, informed,Freed from the "opposites,"and fixed in faith,Cleave unto Me.Who cleave, who seek in MeRefuge from birth [FN#14] and death, those have the Truth!Those know Me BRAHMA; know Me Soul of Souls,The ADHYATMAN; know KARMA, my work;Know I am ADHIBHUTA, Lord of Life,And ADHIDAIVA, Lord of all the Gods,And ADHIYAJNA, Lord of Sacrifice;Worship Me well, with hearts of love and faith,And find and hold me in the hour of death.HERE ENDETH CHAPTER VII. OF THE BHAGAVAD-GITA,Entitled "Vijnanayog,"Or "The Book of Religion by Discernment."CHAPTER VIIIArjuna.Who is that BRAHMA? What that Soul of Souls,The ADHYATMAN? What, Thou Best of All!Thy work, the KARMA? Tell me what it isThou namest ADHIBHUTA? What againMeans ADHIDAIVA? Yea, and how it comesThou canst be ADHIYAJNA in thy flesh?Slayer of Madhu! Further, make me knowHow good men find thee in the hour of death?Krishna.I BRAHMA am! the One Eternal GOD,And ADHYATMAN is My Being's name,The Soul of Souls! What goeth forth from Me,Causing all life to live, is KARMA called:And, Manifested in divided forms,I am the ADHIBHUTA, Lord of Lives;And ADHIDAIVA, Lord of all the Gods,Because I am PURUSHA, who begets.And ADHIYAJNA, Lord of Sacrifice,Ispeaking with thee in this body hereAm, thou embodied one! (for all the shrinesFlame unto Me!) And, at the hour of death,He that hath meditated Me alone,In putting off his flesh, comes forth to Me,Enters into My Beingdoubt thou not!But, if he meditated otherwiseAt hour of death, in putting off the flesh,He goes to what he looked for, Kunti's Son!Because the Soul is fashioned to its like.Have Me, then, in thy heart always! and fight!Thou too, when heart and mind are fixed on Me,Shalt surely come to Me! All come who cleaveWith never-wavering will of firmest faith,Owning none other Gods: all come to Me,The Uttermost, Purusha, Holiest!Whoso hath known Me, Lord of sage and singer, Ancient of days; of all the Three Worlds Stay,Boundless,but unto every atom Bringer Of that which quickens it: whoso, I say,Hath known My form, which passeth mortal knowing; Seen my effulgencewhich no eye hath seenThan the sun's burning gold more brightly glowing, Dispersing darkness,unto him hath beenRight life! And, in the hour when life is ending, With mind set fast and trustful piety,Drawing still breath beneath calm brows unbending, In happy peace that faithful one doth die,In glad peace passeth to Purusha's heaven. The place which they who read the Vedas nameAKSHARAM, "Ultimate;" whereto have striven Saints and asceticstheir road is the same.That waythe highest waygoes he who shutsThe gates of all his senses, locks desireSafe in his heart, centres the vital airsUpon his parting thought, steadfastly set;And, murmuring OM, the sacred syllableEmblem of BRAHMdies, meditating Me.For who, none other Gods regarding, looksEver to Me, easily am I gainedBy such a Yogi; and, attaining Me,They fall notthose Mahatmasback to birth,To life, which is the place of pain, which ends,But take the way of utmost blessedness.The worlds, Arjuna!even Brahma's worldRoll back again from Death to Life's unrest;But they, O Kunti's Son! that reach to Me,Taste birth no more. If ye know Brahma's DayWhich is a thousand Yugas; if ye knowThe thousand Yugas making Brahma's Night,Then know ye Day and Night as He doth know!When that vast Dawn doth break, th' InvisibleIs brought anew into the Visible;When that deep Night doth darken, all which isFades back again to Him Who sent it forth;Yea! this vast company of living thingsAgain and yet again producedexpiresAt Brahma's Nightfall; and, at Brahma's Dawn,Riseth, without its will, to life new-born.Buthigher, deeper, innermostabidesAnother Life, not like the life of sense,Escaping sight, unchanging. This enduresWhen all created things have passed away:This is that Life named the Unmanifest,The Infinite! the All! the Uttermost.Thither arriving none return. That LifeIs Mine, and I am there! And, Prince! by faithWhich wanders not, there is a way to comeThither. I, the PURUSHA, I Who spreadThe Universe around mein Whom dwellAll living Thingsmay so be reached and seen!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . [FN#15]Richer than holy fruit on Vedas growing, Greater than gifts, better than prayer or fast,Such wisdom is! The Yogi, this way knowing, Comes to the Utmost Perfect Peace at last.HERE ENDETH CHAPTER VIII. OF THE BHAGAVAD-GITA,Entitled "Aksharaparabrahmayog,"Or "The book of Religion by Devotion to the One Supreme God."CHAPTER IX Krishna.Now will I open unto theewhose heartRejects notthat last lore, deepest-concealed,That farthest secret of My Heavens and Earths,Which but to know shall set thee free from ills,A royal lore! a Kingly mystery!Yea! for the soul such light as purgeth itFrom every sin; a light of holinessWith inmost splendour shining; plain to see;Easy to walk by, inexhaustible!They that receive not this, failing in faithTo grasp the greater wisdom, reach not Me,Destroyer of thy foes! They sink anewInto the realm of Flesh, where all things change!By Me the whole vast Universe of thingsIs spread abroad;by Me, the Unmanifest!In Me are all existences contained;Not I in them!Yet they are not contained,Those visible things! Receive and strive to embraceThe mystery majestical! My BeingCreating all, sustaining allstill dwellsOutside of all!See! as the shoreless airsMove in the measureless space, but are not space,[And space were space without the moving airs];So all things are in Me, but are not I.At closing of each Kalpa, Indian Prince!All things which be back to My Being come:At the beginning of each Kalpa, allIssue new-born from Me.By EnergyAnd help of Prakriti my outer Self,Again, and yet again, I make go forthThe realms of visible thingswithout their willAll of themby the power of Prakriti.Yet these great makings, Prince! involve Me notEnchain Me not! I sit apart from them,Other, and Higher, and Free; nowise attached!Thus doth the stuff of worlds, moulded by Me,Bring forth all that which is, moving or still,Living or lifeless! Thus the worlds go on!The minds untaught mistake Me, veiled in form;Naught see they of My secret Presence, noughtOf My hid Nature, ruling all which lives.Vain hopes pursuing, vain deeds doing; fedOn vainest knowledge, senselessly they seekAn evil way, the way of brutes and fiends.But My Mahatmas, those of noble soulWho tread the path celestial, worship MeWith hearts unwandering,knowing Me the Source,Th' Eternal Source, of Life. UnendinglyThey glorify Me; seek Me; keep their vowsOf reverence and love, with changeless faithAdoring Me. Yea, and those too adore,Who, offering sacrifice of wakened hearts,Have sense of one pervading Spirit's stress,One Force in every place, though manifold!I am the Sacrifice! I am the Prayer!I am the Funeral-Cake set for the dead!I am the healing herb! I am the ghee,The Mantra, and the flame, and that which burns!I am-of all this boundless Universe-The Father, Mother, Ancestor, and Guard!The end of Learning! That which purifiesIn lustral water! I am OM! I amRig-Veda, Sama-Veda, Yajur-Ved;The Way, the Fosterer, the Lord, the Judge,The Witness; the Abode, the Refuge-House,The Friend, the Fountain and the Sea of LifeWhich sends, and swallows up; Treasure of WorldsAnd Treasure-Chamber! Seed and Seed-Sower,Whence endless harvests spring! Sun's heat is mine;Heaven's rain is mine to grant or to withhold;Death am I, and Immortal Life I am,Arjuna! SAT and ASAT, Visible Life,And Life Invisible!Yea! those who learn The threefold Veds, who drink the Soma-wine,Purge sins, pay sacrificefrom Me they earn Passage to Swarga; where the meats divineOf great gods feed them in high Indra's heaven. Yet they, when that prodigious joy is o'er,Paradise spent, and wage for merits given, Come to the world of death and change once more.They had their recompense! they stored their treasure, Following the threefold Scripture and its writ;Who seeketh such gaineth the fleeting pleasure Of joy which comes and goes! I grant them it!But to those blessed ones who worship Me,Turning not otherwhere, with minds set fast,I bring assurance of full bliss beyond.Nay, and of hearts which follow other godsIn simple faith, their prayers arise to me,O Kunti's Son! though they pray wrongfully;For I am the Receiver and the LordOf every sacrifice, which these know notRightfully; so they fall to earth again!Who follow gods go to their gods; who vowTheir souls to Pitris go to Pitris; mindsTo evil Bhuts given o'er sink to the Bhuts;And whoso loveth Me cometh to Me.Whoso shall offer Me in faith and loveA leaf, a flower, a fruit, water poured forth,That offering I accept, lovingly madeWith pious will. Whate'er thou doest, Prince!Eating or sacrificing, giving gifts,Praying or fasting, let it all be doneFor Me, as Mine. So shalt thou free thyselfFrom Karmabandh, the chain which holdeth menTo good and evil issue, so shalt comeSafe unto Me-when thou art quit of fleshBy faith and abdication joined to Me!I am alike for all! I know not hate,I know not favour! What is made is Mine!But them that worship Me with love, I love;They are in Me, and I in them!Nay, Prince!If one of evil life turn in his thoughtStraightly to Me, count him amidst the good;He hath the high way chosen; he shall growRighteous ere long; he shall attain that peaceWhich changes not. Thou Prince of India!Be certain none can perish, trusting Me!O Pritha's Son! whoso will turn to Me,Though they be born from the very womb of Sin,Woman or man; sprung of the Vaisya casteOr lowly disregarded Sudra,allPlant foot upon the highest path; how thenThe holy Brahmans and My Royal Saints?Ah! ye who into this ill world are comeFleeting and falseset your faith fast on Me!Fix heart and thought on Me! Adore Me! BringOfferings to Me! Make Me prostrations! MakeMe your supremest joy! and, undivided,Unto My rest your spirits shall be guided.HERE ENDS CHAPTER IX. OF THE BHAGAVAD-GITA,Entitled "Rajavidyarajaguhyayog,"Or "The Book of Religion by the Kingly Knowledge and the KinglyMystery."CHAPTER XKrishna. [FN#l6]Hear farther yet, thou Long-Armed Lord! these latest words I sayUttered to bring thee bliss and peace, who lovest Me alwayNot the great company of gods nor kingly Rishis knowMy Nature, Who have made the gods and Rishis long ago;He only knoweth-only he is free of sin, and wise,Who seeth Me, Lord of the Worlds, with faith-enlightened eyes,Unborn, undying, unbegun. Whatever Natures beTo mortal men distributed, those natures spring from Me!Intellect, skill, enlightenment, endurance, self-control,Truthfulness, equability, and grief or joy of soul,And birth and death, and fearfulness, and fearlessness, and shame,And honour, and sweet harmlessness, [FN#17] and peace which is thesameWhate'er befalls, and mirth, and tears, and piety, and thrift,And wish to give, and will to help,all cometh of My gift!The Seven Chief Saints, the Elders Four, the Lordly Manus setSharing My workto rule the worlds, these too did I beget;And Rishis, Pitris, Manus, all, by one thought of My mind;Thence did arise, to fill this world, the races of mankind;Wherefrom who comprehends My Reign of mystic MajestyThat truth of truthsis thenceforth linked in faultless faith to Me:Yea! knowing Me the source of all, by Me all creatures wrought,The wise in spirit cleave to Me, into My Being brought;Hearts fixed on Me; breaths breathed to Me; praising Me, each to each,So have they happiness and peace, with pious thought and speech;And unto thesethus serving well, thus loving ceaselesslyI give a mind of perfect mood, whereby they draw to Me;And, all for love of them, within their darkened souls I dwell,And, with bright rays of wisdom's lamp, their ignorance dispel.Arjuna.Yes! Thou art Parabrahm! The High Abode!The Great Purification! Thou art GodEternal, All-creating, Holy, First,Without beginning! Lord of Lords and Gods!Declared by all the Saintsby Narada,Vyasa Asita, and Devalas;And here Thyself declaring unto me!What Thou hast said now know I to be truth,O Kesava! that neither gods nor menNor demons comprehend Thy mysteryMade manifest, Divinest! Thou ThyselfThyself alone dost know, Maker Supreme!Master of all the living! Lord of Gods!King of the Universe! To Thee aloneBelongs to tell the heavenly excellenceOf those perfections wherewith Thou dost fillThese worlds of Thine; Pervading, Immanent!How shall I learn, Supremest Mystery!To know Thee, though I muse continually?Under what form of Thine unnumbered formsMayst Thou be grasped? Ah! yet again recount,Clear and complete, Thy great appearances,The secrets of Thy Majesty and Might,Thou High Delight of Men! Never enoughCan mine ears drink the Amrit [FN#18] of such words!Krishna.Hanta! So be it! Kuru Prince! I will to thee unfoldSome portions of My Majesty, whose powers are manifold!I am the Spirit seated deep in every creature's heart;From Me they come; by Me they live; at My word they depart!Vishnu of the Adityas I am, those Lords of Light;Maritchi of the Maruts, the Kings of Storm and Blight;By day I gleam, the golden Sun of burning cloudless Noon;By Night, amid the asterisms I glide, the dappled Moon!Of Vedas I am Sama-Ved, of gods in Indra's HeavenVasava; of the faculties to living beings givenThe mind which apprehends and thinks; of Rudras Sankara;Of Yakshas and of Rakshasas, Vittesh; and PavakaOf Vasus, and of mountain-peaks Meru; VrihaspatiKnow Me 'mid planetary Powers; 'mid Warriors heavenlySkanda; of all the water-floods the Sea which drinketh each,And Bhrigu of the holy Saints, and OM of sacred speech;Of prayers the prayer ye whisper;[FN#19] of hills Himala's snow,And Aswattha, the fig-tree, of all the trees that grow;Of the Devarshis, Narada; and Chitrarath of themThat sing in Heaven, and Kapila of Munis, and the gemOf flying steeds, Uchchaisravas, from Amrit-wave which burst;Of elephants Airavata; of males the Best and First;Of weapons Heav'n's hot thunderbolt; of cows white Kamadhuk,From whose great milky udder-teats all hearts' desires are strook;Vasuki of the serpent-tribes, round Mandara entwined;And thousand-fanged Ananta, on whose broad coils reclinedLeans Vishnu; and of water-things Varuna; AryamOf Pitris, and, of those that judge, Yama the Judge I am;Of Daityas dread Prahlada; of what metes days and years,Time's self I am; of woodland-beasts-buffaloes, deers, and bears-The lordly-painted tiger; of birds the vast Garud,The whirlwind 'mid the winds; 'mid chiefs Rama with blood imbrued,Makar 'mid fishes of the sea, and Ganges 'mid the streams;Yea! First, and Last, and Centre of all which is or seemsI am, Arjuna! Wisdom Supreme of what is wise,Words on the uttering lips I am, and eyesight of the eyes,And "A" of written characters, Dwandwa[FN#20] of knitted speech,And Endless Life, and boundless Love, whose power sustaineth each;And bitter Death which seizes all, and joyous sudden Birth,Which brings to light all beings that are to be on earth;And of the viewless virtues, Fame, Fortune, Song am I,And Memory, and Patience; and Craft, and Constancy:Of Vedic hymns the Vrihatsam, of metres Gayatri,Of months the Margasirsha, of all the seasons threeThe flower-wreathed Spring; in dicer's-play the conqueringDouble-Eight;The splendour of the splendid, and the greatness of the great,Victory I am, and Action! and the goodness of the good,And Vasudev of Vrishni's race, and of this Pandu broodThyself!Yea, my Arjuna! thyself; for thou art Mine!Of poets Usana, of saints Vyasa, sage divine;The policy of conquerors, the potency of kings,The great unbroken silence in learning's secret things;The lore of all the learned, the seed of all which springs.Living or lifeless, still or stirred, whatever beings be,None of them is in all the worlds, but it exists by Me!Nor tongue can tell, Arjuna! nor end of telling comeOf these My boundless glories, whereof I teach thee some;For wheresoe'er is wondrous work, and majesty, and might,From Me hath all proceeded. Receive thou this aright!Yet how shouldst thou receive, O Prince! the vastness of this word?I, who am all, and made it all, abide its separate Lord!HERE ENDETH CHAPTER X. OF THE BHAGAVAD-GITA,Entitled "Vibhuti Yog,"Or "The Book of Religion by the Heavenly Perfections."CHAPTER XIArjuna.This, for my soul's peace, have I heard from Thee,The unfolding of the Mystery SupremeNamed Adhyatman; comprehending which,My darkness is dispelled; for now I knowO Lotus-eyed![FN#21]whence is the birth of men,And whence their death, and what the majestiesOf Thine immortal rule. Fain would I see,As thou Thyself declar'st it, Sovereign Lord!The likeness of that glory of Thy FormWholly revealed. O Thou Divinest One!If this can be, if I may bear the sight,Make Thyself visible, Lord of all prayers!Show me Thy very self, the Eternal God!Krishna.Gaze, then, thou Son of Pritha! I manifest for theeThose hundred thousand thousand shapes that clothe my Mystery:I show thee all my semblances, infinite, rich, divine,My changeful hues, my countless forms. See! in this face of mine,Adityas, Vasus, Rudras, Aswins, and Maruts; seeWonders unnumbered, Indian Prince! revealed to none save thee.Behold! this is the Universe!Look! what is live and deadI gather all in onein Me! Gaze, as thy lips have said,On GOD ETERNAL, VERY GOD! See Me! see what thou prayest!Thou canst not!nor, with human eyes, Arjuna! ever mayest!Therefore I give thee sense divine. Have other eyes, new light!And, look! This is My glory, unveiled to mortal sight!Sanjaya.Then, O King! the God, so saying,Stood, to Pritha's Son displayingAll the splendour, wonder, dreadOf His vast Almighty-head.Out of countless eyes beholding,Out of countless mouths commanding,Countless mystic forms enfoldingIn one Form: supremely standingCountless radiant glories wearing,Countless heavenly weapons bearing,Crowned with garlands of star-clusters,Robed in garb of woven lustres,Breathing from His perfect PresenceBreaths of every subtle essenceOf all heavenly odours; sheddingBlinding brilliance; overspreadingBoundless, beautifulall spacesWith His all-regarding faces;So He showed! If there should riseSuddenly within the skiesSunburst of a thousand sunsFlooding earth with beams undeemed-of,Then might be that Holy One'sMajesty and radiance dreamed of!So did Pandu's Son beholdAll this universe enfoldAll its huge diversityInto one vast shape, and beVisible, and viewed, and blendedIn one Bodysubtle, splendid,Namelessth' All-comprehendingGod of Gods, the Never-EndingDeity!But, sore amazed,Thrilled, o'erfilled, dazzled, and dazed,Arjuna knelt; and bowed his head,And clasped his palms; and cried, and said:Arjuna.Yea! I have seen! I see!Lord! all is wrapped in Thee!The gods are in Thy glorious frame! the creaturesOf earth, and heaven, and hellIn Thy Divine form dwell,And in Thy countenance shine all the featuresOf Brahma, sitting loneUpon His lotus-throne;Of saints and sages, and the serpent racesAnanta, Vasuki;Yea! mightiest Lord! I seeThy thousand thousand arms, and breasts, and faces,And eyes,on every sidePerfect, diversified;And nowhere end of Thee, nowhere beginning,Nowhere a centre! ShiftsWherever soul's gaze liftsThy central Self, all-wielding, and all-winning!Infinite King! I seeThe anadem on Thee,The club, the shell, the discus; see Thee burningIn beams insufferable,Lighting earth, heaven, and hellWith brilliance blazing, glowing, flashing; turningDarkness to dazzling day,Look I whichever way;Ah, Lord! I worship Thee, the Undivided,The Uttermost of thought,The Treasure-Palace wroughtTo hold the wealth of the worlds; the Shield providedTo shelter Virtue's laws;The Fount whence Life's stream drawsAll waters of all rivers of all being:The One Unborn, Unending:Unchanging and Unblending!With might and majesty, past thought, past seeing!Silver of moon and goldOf sun are glories rolledFrom Thy great eyes; Thy visage, beaming tenderThroughout the stars and skies,Doth to warm life surpriseThy Universe. The worlds are filled with wonderOf Thy perfections! SpaceStar-sprinkled, and void placeFrom pole to pole of the Blue, from bound to bound,Hath Thee in every spot,Thee, Thee!Where Thou art not,O Holy, Marvellous Form! is nowhere found!O Mystic, Awful One!At sight of Thee, made known,The Three Worlds quake; the lower gods draw nigh Thee;They fold their palms, and bowBody, and breast, and brow,And, whispering worship, laud and magnify Thee!Rishis and Siddhas cry"Hail! Highest Majesty!"From sage and singer breaks the hymn of gloryIn dulcet harmony,Sounding the praise of Thee;While countless companies take up the story,Rudras, who ride the storms,Th' Adityas' shining forms,Vasus and Sadhyas, Viswas, Ushmapas;Maruts, and those great TwinsThe heavenly, fair, Aswins,Gandharvas, Rakshasas, Siddhas, and Asuras,[FN#22]These see Thee, and revereIn sudden-stricken fear;Yea! the Worlds,seeing Thee with form stupendous,With faces manifold,With eyes which all behold,Unnumbered eyes, vast arms, members tremendous,Flanks, lit with sun and star,Feet planted near and far,Tushes of terror, mouths wrathful and tender;The Three wide Worlds before TheeAdore, as I adore Thee,Quake, as I quake, to witness so much splendour!I mark Thee strike the skiesWith front, in wondrous wiseHuge, rainbow-painted, glittering; and thy mouthOpened, and orbs which seeAll things, whatever beIn all Thy worlds, east, west, and north and south.O Eyes of God! O Head!My strength of soul is fled,Gone is heart's force, rebuked is mind's desire!When I behold Thee so,With awful brows a-glow,With burning glance, and lips lighted by fireFierce as those flames which shallConsume, at close of all,Earth, Heaven! Ah me! I see no Earth and Heaven!Thee, Lord of Lords! I see,Thee only-only Thee!Now let Thy mercy unto me be given,Thou Refuge of the World!Lo! to the cavern hurledOf Thy wide-opened throat, and lips white-tushed,I see our noblest ones,Great Dhritarashtra's sons,Bhishma, Drona, and Karna, caught and crushed!The Kings and Chiefs drawn in,That gaping gorge within;The best of both these armies torn and riven!Between Thy jaws they lieMangled full bloodily,Ground into dust and death! Like streams down-drivenWith helpless haste, which goIn headlong furious flowStraight to the gulfing deeps of th' unfilled ocean,So to that flaming caveThose heroes great and bravePour, in unending streams, with helpless motion!Like moths which in the nightFlutter towards a light,Drawn to their fiery doom, flying and dying,So to their death still throng,Blind, dazzled, borne alongCeaselessly, all those multitudes, wild flying!Thou, that hast fashioned men,Devourest them again,One with another, great and small, alike!The creatures whom Thou mak'st,With flaming jaws Thou tak'st,Lapping them up! Lord God! Thy terrors strikeFrom end to end of earth,Filling life full, from birthTo death, with deadly, burning, lurid dread!Ah, Vishnu! make me knowWhy is Thy visage so?Who art Thou, feasting thus upon Thy dead?Who? awful Deity!I bow myself to Thee,Namostu Te, Devavara! Prasid![FN#23]O Mightiest Lord! rehearseWhy hast Thou face so fierce?Whence doth this aspect horrible proceed?Krishna.Thou seest Me as Time who kills,Time who brings all to doom,The Slayer Time, Ancient of Days, come hither to consume;Excepting thee, of all these hosts of hostile chiefs arrayed,There stands not one shall leave alive the battlefield! DismayedNo longer be! Arise! obtain renown! destroy thy foes!Fight for the kingdom waiting thee when thou hast vanquished those.By Me they fallnot thee! the stroke of death is dealt them now,Even as they show thus gallantly; My instrument art thou!Strike, strong-armed Prince, at Drona! at Bhishma strike! deal deathOn Karna, Jyadratha; stay all their warlike breath!'Tis I who bid them perish! Thou wilt but slay the slain;Fight! they must fall, and thou must live, victor upon this plain!Sanjaya.Hearing mighty Keshav's word,Tremblingly that helmed LordClasped his lifted palms, andprayingGrace of Krishnastood there, saying,With bowed brow and accents broken,These words, timorously spoken:Arjuna.Worthily, Lord of Might!The whole world hath delightIn Thy surpassing power, obeying Thee;The Rakshasas, in dreadAt sight of Thee, are spedTo all four quarters; and the companyOf Siddhas sound Thy name.How should they not proclaimThy Majesties, Divinest, Mightiest?Thou Brahm, than Brahma greater!Thou Infinite Creator!Thou God of gods, Life's Dwelling-place and Rest!Thou, of all souls the Soul!The Comprehending Whole!Of being formed, and formless being the Framer;O Utmost One! O Lord!Older than eld, Who storedThe worlds with wealth of life! O Treasure-Claimer,Who wottest all, and artWisdom Thyself! O PartIn all, and All; for all from Thee have risenNumberless now I seeThe aspects are of Thee!Vayu[FN#24] Thou art, and He who keeps the prisonOf Narak, Yama dark;And Agni's shining spark;Varuna's waves are Thy waves. Moon and starlightAre Thine! PrajapatiArt Thou, and 'tis to TheeThey knelt in worshipping the old world's far light,The first of mortal men.Again, Thou God! againA thousand thousand times be magnified!Honour and worship beGlory and praise,to TheeNamo, Namaste, cried on every side;Cried here, above, below,Uttered when Thou dost go,Uttered where Thou dost come! Namo! we call;Namostu! God adored!Namostu! Nameless Lord!Hail to Thee! Praise to Thee! Thou One in all;For Thou art All! Yea, Thou!Ah! if in anger nowThou shouldst remember I did think Thee Friend,Speaking with easy speech,As men use each to each;Did call Thee "Krishna," "Prince," nor comprehendThy hidden majesty,The might, the awe of Thee;Did, in my heedlessness, or in my love,On journey, or in jest,Or when we lay at rest,Sitting at council, straying in the grove,Alone, or in the throng,Do Thee, most Holy! wrong,Be Thy grace granted for that witless sin!For Thou art, now I know,Father of all below,Of all above, of all the worlds withinGuru of Gurus; moreTo reverence and adoreThan all which is adorable and high!How, in the wide worlds threeShould any equal be?Should any other share Thy Majesty?Therefore, with body bentAnd reverent intent,I praise, and serve, and seek Thee, asking grace.As father to a son,As friend to friend, as oneWho loveth to his lover, turn Thy faceIn gentleness on me!Good is it I did seeThis unknown marvel of Thy Form! But fearMingles with joy! Retake,Dear Lord! for pity's sakeThine earthly shape, which earthly eyes may bear!Be merciful, and showThe visage that I know;Let me regard Thee, as of yore, arrayedWith disc and forehead-gem,With mace and anadem,Thou that sustainest all things! UndismayedLet me once more beholdThe form I loved of old,Thou of the thousand arms and countless eyes!This frightened heart is fainTo see restored againMy Charioteer, in Krishna's kind disguise.Krishna.Yea! thou hast seen, Arjuna! because I loved thee well,The secret countenance of Me, revealed by mystic spell,Shining, and wonderful, and vast, majestic, manifold,Which none save thou in all the years had favour to behold;For not by Vedas cometh this, nor sacrifice, nor alms,Nor works well-done, nor penance long, nor prayers, nor chauntedpsalms,That mortal eyes should bear to view the Immortal Soul unclad,Prince of the Kurus! This was kept for thee alone! Be glad!Let no more trouble shake thy heart, because thine eyes have seenMy terror with My glory. As I before have beenSo will I be again for thee; with lightened heart behold!Once more I am thy Krishna, the form thou knew'st of old!Sanjaya.These words to Arjuna spakeVasudev, and straight did takeBack again the semblance dearOf the well-loved charioteer;Peace and joy it did restoreWhen the Prince beheld once moreMighty BRAHMA's form and faceClothed in Krishna's gentle grace.Arjuna.Now that I see come back, Janardana!This friendly human frame, my mind can thinkCalm thoughts once more; my heart beats still again!Krishna.Yea! it was wonderful and terribleTo view me as thou didst, dear Prince! The godsDread and desire continually to view!Yet not by Vedas, nor from sacrifice,Nor penance, nor gift-giving, nor with prayerShall any so behold, as thou hast seen!Only by fullest service, perfect faith,And uttermost surrender am I knownAnd seen, and entered into, Indian Prince!Who doeth all for Me; who findeth MeIn all; adoreth always; loveth allWhich I have made, and Me, for Love's sole endThat man, Arjuna! unto Me doth wend.HERE ENDETH CHAPTER XI. OF THE BHAGAVAD-GITA,Entitled "Viswarupadarsanam,"Or "The Book of the Manifesting of the One and Manifold."CHAPTER XIIArjuna.Lord! of the men who serve Theetrue in heartAs God revealed; and of the men who serve,Worshipping Thee Unrevealed, Unbodied, Far,Which take the better way of faith and life?Krishna.Whoever serve Meas I show MyselfConstantly true, in full devotion fixed,Those hold I very holy. But who serveWorshipping Me The One, The Invisible,The Unrevealed, Unnamed, Unthinkable,Uttermost, All-pervading, Highest, SureWho thus adore Me, mastering their sense,Of one set mind to all, glad in all good,These blessed souls come unto Me.Yet, hardThe travail is for such as bend their mindsTo reach th' Unmanifest That viewless pathShall scarce be trod by man bearing the flesh!But whereso any doeth all his deedsRenouncing self for Me, full of Me, fixedTo serve only the Highest, night and dayMusing on Mehim will I swiftly liftForth from life's ocean of distress and death,Whose soul clings fast to Me. Cling thou to Me!Clasp Me with heart and mind! so shalt thou dwellSurely with Me on high. But if thy thoughtDroops from such height; if thou be'st weak to setBody and soul upon Me constantly,Despair not! give Me lower service! seekTo reach Me, worshipping with steadfast will;And, if thou canst not worship steadfastly,Work for Me, toil in works pleasing to Me!For he that laboureth right for love of MeShall finally attain! But, if in thisThy faint heart fails, bring Me thy failure! findRefuge in Me! let fruits of labour go,Renouncing hope for Me, with lowliest heart,So shalt thou come; for, though to know is moreThan diligence, yet worship better isThan knowing, and renouncing better still.Near to renunciationvery nearDwelleth Eternal Peace!Who hateth noughtOf all which lives, living himself benign,Compassionate, from arrogance exempt,Exempt from love of self, unchangeableBy good or ill; patient, contented, firmIn faith, mastering himself, true to his word,Seeking Me, heart and soul; vowed unto Me,That man I love! Who troubleth not his kind,And is not troubled by them; clear of wrath,Living too high for gladness, grief, or fear,That man I love! Who, dwelling quiet-eyed,[FN#25]Stainless, serene, well-balanced, unperplexed,Working with Me, yet from all works detached,That man I love! Who, fixed in faith on Me,Dotes upon none, scorns none; rejoices not,And grieves not, letting good or evil hapLight when it will, and when it will depart,That man I love! Who, unto friend and foeKeeping an equal heart, with equal mindBears shame and glory; with an equal peaceTakes heat and cold, pleasure and pain; abidesQuit of desires, hears praise or calumnyIn passionless restraint, unmoved by each;Linked by no ties to earth, steadfast in Me,That man I love! But most of all I loveThose happy ones to whom 'tis life to liveIn single fervid faith and love unseeing,Drinking the blessed Amrit of my Being!HERE ENDETH CHAPTER XII. OF THE BHAGAVAD-GITA,Entitled "Bhaktiyog,"Or"The Book of the Religion of Faith."CHAPTER XIIIArjuna.Now would I hear, O gracious Kesava![FN#26]Of Life which seems, and Soul beyond, which sees,And what it is we know-or think to know.Krishna.Yea! Son of Kunti! for this flesh ye seeIs Kshetra, is the field where Life disports;And that which views and knows it is the Soul,Kshetrajna. In all "fields," thou Indian prince!I am Kshetrajna. I am what surveys!Only that knowledge knows which knows the knownBy the knower![FN#27] What it is, that "field" of life,What qualities it hath, and whence it is,And why it changeth, and the facultyThat wotteth it, the mightiness of this,And how it wotteth-hear these things from Me!. . . . . . . . . . . .[FN#28]The elements, the conscious life, the mind,The unseen vital force, the nine strange gatesOf the body, and the five domains of sense;Desire, dislike, pleasure and pain, and thoughtDeep-woven, and persistency of being;These all are wrought on Matter by the Soul!Humbleness, truthfulness, and harmlessness,Patience and honour, reverence for the wise.Purity, constancy, control of self,Contempt of sense-delights, self-sacrifice,Perception of the certitude of illIn birth, death, age, disease, suffering, and sin;Detachment, lightly holding unto home,Children, and wife, and all that bindeth men;An ever-tranquil heart in fortunes goodAnd fortunes evil, with a will set firmTo worship MeMe only! ceasing not;Loving all solitudes, and shunning noiseOf foolish crowds; endeavours resoluteTo reach perception of the Utmost Soul,And grace to understand what gain it wereSo to attain,this is true Wisdom, Prince!And what is otherwise is ignorance!Now will I speak of knowledge best to know-That Truth which giveth man Amrit to drink,The Truth of HIM, the Para-Brahm, the All,The Uncreated;; not Asat, not Sat,Not Form, nor the Unformed; yet both, and more;Whose hands are everywhere, and everywherePlanted His feet, and everywhere His eyesBeholding, and His ears in every placeHearing, and all His faces everywhereEnlightening and encompassing His worlds.Glorified in the senses He hath given,Yet beyond sense He is; sustaining all,Yet dwells He unattached: of forms and modesMaster, yet neither form nor mode hath He;He is within all beingsand withoutMotionless, yet still moving; not discernedFor subtlety of instant presence; closeTo all, to each; yet measurelessly far!Not manifold, and yet subsisting stillIn all which lives; for ever to be knownAs the Sustainer, yet, at the End of Times,He maketh all to endand re-creates.The Light of Lights He is, in the heart of the DarkShining eternally. Wisdom He isAnd Wisdom's way, and Guide of all the wise,Planted in every heart.So have I toldOf Life's stuff, and the moulding, and the loreTo comprehend. Whoso, adoring Me,Perceiveth this, shall surely come to Me!Know thou that Nature and the Spirit bothHave no beginning! Know that qualitiesAnd changes of them are by Nature wrought;That Nature puts to work the acting frame,But Spirit doth inform it, and so causeFeeling of pain and pleasure. Spirit, linkedTo moulded matter, entereth into bondWith qualities by Nature framed, and, thusMarried to matter, breeds the birth againIn good or evil yonis.[FN#29]Yet is thisYea! in its bodily prison!Spirit pure,Spirit supreme; surveying, governing,Guarding, possessing; Lord and Master stillPURUSHA, Ultimate, One Soul with Me.Whoso thus knows himself, and knows his soulPURUSHA, working through the qualitiesWith Nature's modes, the light hath come for him!Whatever flesh he bears, never againShall he take on its load. Some few there beBy meditation find the Soul in SelfSelf-schooled; and some by long philosophyAnd holy life reach thither; some by works:Some, never so attaining, hear of lightFrom other lips, and seize, and cleave to itWorshipping; yea! and thoseto teaching trueOverpass Death!Wherever, Indian Prince!Life isof moving things, or things unmoved,Plant or still seedknow, what is there hath grownBy bond of Matter and of Spirit: KnowHe sees indeed who sees in all alikeThe living, lordly Soul; the Soul Supreme,Imperishable amid the Perishing:For, whoso thus beholds, in every place,In every form, the same, one, Living Life,Doth no more wrongfulness unto himself,But goes the highest road which brings to bliss.Seeing, he sees, indeed, who sees that worksAre Nature's wont, for Soul to practise byActing, yet not the agent; sees the massOf separate living thingseach of its kindIssue from One, and blend again to One:Then hath he BRAHMA, he attains!O Prince!That Ultimate, High Spirit, Uncreate,Unqualified, even when it entereth fleshTaketh no stain of acts, worketh in nought!Like to th'' ethereal air, pervading all,Which, for sheer subtlety, avoideth taint,The subtle Soul sits everywhere, unstained:Like to the light of the all-piercing sun[Which is not changed by aught it shines upon,]The Soul's light shineth pure in every place;And they who, by such eye of wisdom, seeHow Matter, and what deals with it, divide;And how the Spirit and the flesh have strife,Those wise ones go the way which leads to Life!HERE ENDS CHAPTER XIII. OF THE BHAGAVAD-GITA,Entitled "Kshetrakshetrajnavibhagayog,"Or "The Book of Religion by Separation of Matter and Spirit."CHAPTER XIVKrishna.Yet farther will I open unto theeThis wisdom of all wisdoms, uttermost,The which possessing, all My saints have passedTo perfectness. On such high veritiesReliant, rising into fellowshipWith Me, they are not born again at birthOf Kalpas, nor at Pralyas suffer change!This Universe the womb is where I plantSeed of all lives! Thence, Prince of India, comesBirth to all beings! Whoso, Kunti's Son!Mothers each mortal form, Brahma conceives,And I am He that fathers, sending seed!Sattwan, Rajas, and Tamas, so are namedThe qualities of Nature, "Soothfastness,""Passion," and "Ignorance." These three bind downThe changeless Spirit in the changeful flesh.Whereof sweet "Soothfastness," by purityLiving unsullied and enlightened, bindsThe sinless Soul to happiness and truth;And Passion, being kin to appetite,And breeding impulse and propensity,Binds the embodied Soul, O Kunti's Son!By tie of works. But Ignorance, begotOf Darkness, blinding mortal men, binds downTheir souls to stupor, sloth, and drowsiness.Yea, Prince of India! Soothfastness binds soulsIn pleasant wise to flesh; and Passion bindsBy toilsome strain; but Ignorance, which blotsThe beams of wisdom, binds the soul to sloth.Passion and Ignorance, once overcome,Leave Soothfastness, O Bharata! Where thisWith Ignorance are absent, Passion rules;And Ignorance in hearts not good nor quick.When at all gateways of the Body shinesThe Lamp of Knowledge, then may one see wellSoothfastness settled in that city reigns;Where longing is, and ardour, and unrest,Impulse to strive and gain, and avarice,Those spring from PassionPrince!engrained; and whereDarkness and dulness, sloth and stupor are,'Tis Ignorance hath caused them, Kuru Chief!Moreover, when a soul departeth, fixedIn Soothfastness, it goeth to the placePerfect and pureof those that know all Truth.If it departeth in set habitudeOf Impulse, it shall pass into the worldOf spirits tied to works; and, if it diesIn hardened Ignorance, that blinded soulIs born anew in some unlighted womb.The fruit of Soothfastness is true and sweet;The fruit of lusts is pain and toil; the fruitOf Ignorance is deeper darkness. Yea!For Light brings light, and Passion ache to have;And gloom, bewilderments, and ignoranceGrow forth from Ignorance. Those of the firstRise ever higher; those of the second modeTake a mid place; the darkened souls sink backTo lower deeps, loaded with witlessness!When, watching life, the living man perceivesThe only actors are the Qualities,And knows what rules beyond the Qualities,Then is he come nigh unto Me!The Soul,Thus passing forth from the Three QualitiesWhereby arise all bodiesovercomesBirth, Death, Sorrow, and Age; and drinketh deepThe undying wine of Amrit.Arjuna.Oh, my Lord!Which be the signs to know him that hath gonePast the Three Modes? How liveth he? What wayLeadeth him safe beyond the threefold Modes?Krishna.He who with equanimity surveysLustre of goodness, strife of passion, slothOf ignorance, not angry if they are,Not wishful when they are not: he who sitsA sojourner and stranger in their midstUnruffled, standing off, sayingsereneWhen troubles break, "These be the Qualities!"He unto whomself-centredgrief and joySound as one word; to whose deep-seeing eyesThe clod, the marble, and the gold are one;Whose equal heart holds the same gentlenessFor lovely and unlovely things, firm-set,Well-pleased in praise and dispraise; satisfiedWith honour or dishonour; unto friendsAnd unto foes alike in tolerance;Detached from undertakings,he is namedSurmounter of the Qualities!And suchWith single, fervent faith adoring Me,Passing beyond the Qualities, conformsTo Brahma, and attains Me!For I amThat whereof Brahma is the likeness! MineThe Amrit is; and ImmortalityIs mine; and mine perfect Felicity!HERE ENDS CHAPTER XIV. OF THE BHAGAVAD-GITAEntitled "Gunatrayavibhagayog,"Or "The Book of Religion by Separation from the Qualities."CHAPTER XVKrishna.Men call the Aswattha,the Banyan-tree,Which hath its boughs beneath, its roots above,The ever-holy tree. Yea! for its leavesAre green and waving hymns which whisper Truth!Who knows the Aswattha, knows Veds, and all.Its branches shoot to heaven and sink to earth,[FN#30]Even as the deeds of men, which take their birth From qualities: its silver sprays and blooms,And all the eager verdure of its girth,Leap to quick life at kiss of sun and air,As men's lives quicken to the temptings fair Of wooing sense: its hanging rootlets seekThe soil beneath, helping to hold it there,As actions wrought amid this world of menBind them by ever-tightening bonds again. If ye knew well the teaching of the Tree,What its shape saith; and whence it springs; and, thenHow it must end, and all the ills of it,The axe of sharp Detachment ye would whet, And cleave the clinging snaky roots, and layThis Aswattha of sense-life low,to setNew growths upspringing to that happier sky,Which they who reach shall have no day to die, Nor fade away, nor fallto Him, I mean,FATHER and FIRST, Who made the mysteryOf old Creation; for to Him come theyFrom passion and from dreams who break away; Who part the bonds constraining them to flesh,And,Him, the Highest, worshipping alwayNo longer grow at mercy of what breezeOf summer pleasure stirs the sleeping trees, What blast of tempest tears them, bough and stemTo the eternal world pass such as these!Another Sun gleams there! another Moon!Another Light,not Dusk, nor Dawn, nor Noon Which they who once behold return no more;They have attained My rest, life's Utmost boon!When, in this world of manifested life,The undying Spirit, setting forth from Me,Taketh on form, it draweth to itselfFrom Being's storehouse,which containeth all,Senses and intellect. The Sovereign SoulThus entering the flesh, or quitting it,Gathers these up, as the wind gathers scents,Blowing above the flower-beds. Ear and Eye,And Touch and Taste, and Smelling, these it takes,Yea, and a sentient mind;linking itselfTo sense-things so.The unenlightened onesMark not that Spirit when he goes or comes,Nor when he takes his pleasure in the form,Conjoined with qualities; but those see plainWho have the eyes to see. Holy souls seeWhich strive thereto. Enlightened, they perceiveThat Spirit in themselves; but foolish ones,Even though they strive, discern not, having heartsUnkindled, ill-informed!Know, too, from MeShineth the gathered glory of the sunsWhich lighten all the world: from Me the moonsDraw silvery beams, and fire fierce loveliness.I penetrate the clay, and lend all shapesTheir living force; I glide into the plantRoot, leaf, and bloomto make the woodlands greenWith springing sap. Becoming vital warmth,I glow in glad, respiring frames, and pass,With outward and with inward breath, to feedThe body by all meats.[FN#31]For in this worldBeing is twofold: the Divided, one;The Undivided, one. All things that liveAre "the Divided." That which sits apart,"The Undivided."Higher still is He,The Highest, holding all, whose Name is LORD,The Eternal, Sovereign, First! Who fills all worlds,Sustaining them. Anddwelling thus beyondDivided Being and UndividedIAm called of men and Vedas, Life Supreme,The PURUSHOTTAMA.Who knows Me thus,With mind unclouded, knoweth all, dear Prince!And with his whole soul ever worshippeth Me.Now is the sacred, secret MysteryDeclared to thee! Who comprehendeth thisHath wisdom! He is quit of works in bliss!HERE ENDS CHAPTER XV. OF THE BHAGAVAD-GITAEntitled "Purushottamapraptiyog,"Or "The Book of Religion by attaining the Supreme."CHAPTER XVIKrishna.Fearlessness, singleness of soul, the willAlways to strive for wisdom; opened handAnd governed appetites; and piety,And love of lonely study; humbleness,Uprightness, heed to injure nought which lives,Truthfulness, slowness unto wrath, a mindThat lightly letteth go what others prize;And equanimity, and charityWhich spieth no man's faults; and tendernessTowards all that suffer; a contented heart,Fluttered by no desires; a bearing mild,Modest, and grave, with manhood nobly mixed,With patience, fortitude, and purity;An unrevengeful spirit, never givenTo rate itself too high;such be the signs,O Indian Prince! of him whose feet are setOn that fair path which leads to heavenly birth!Deceitfulness, and arrogance, and pride,Quickness to anger, harsh and evil speech,And ignorance, to its own darkness blind,These be the signs, My Prince! of him whose birthIs fated for the regions of the vile.[FN#32]The Heavenly Birth brings to deliverance,So should'st thou know! The birth with AsurasBrings into bondage. Be thou joyous, Prince!Whose lot is set apart for heavenly Birth.Two stamps there are marked on all living men,Divine and Undivine; I spake to theeBy what marks thou shouldst know the Heavenly Man,Hear from me now of the Unheavenly!They comprehend not, the Unheavenly,How Souls go forth from Me; nor how they comeBack unto Me: nor is there Truth in these,Nor purity, nor rule of Life. "This worldHath not a Law, nor Order, nor a Lord,"So say they: "nor hath risen up by CauseFollowing on Cause, in perfect purposing,But is none other than a House of Lust."And, this thing thinking, all those ruined onesOf little wit, dark-mindedgive themselvesTo evil deeds, the curses of their kind.Surrendered to desires insatiable,Full of deceitfulness, folly, and pride,In blindness cleaving to their errors, caughtInto the sinful course, they trust this lieAs it were truethis lie which leads to deathFinding in Pleasure all the good which is,And crying "Here it finisheth!"EnsnaredIn nooses of a hundred idle hopes,Slaves to their passion and their wrath, they buyWealth with base deeds, to glut hot appetites;"Thus much, to-day," they say, "we gained! therebySuch and such wish of heart shall have its fill;And this is ours! and th' other shall be ours!To-day we slew a foe, and we will slayOur other enemy to-morrow! Look!Are we not lords? Make we not goodly cheer?Is not our fortune famous, brave, and great?Rich are we, proudly born! What other menLive like to us? Kill, then, for sacrifice!Cast largesse, and be merry!" So they speakDarkened by ignorance; and so they fallTossed to and fro with projects, tricked, and boundIn net of black delusion, lost in lustsDown to foul Naraka. Conceited, fond,Stubborn and proud, dead-drunken with the wineOf wealth, and reckless, all their offeringsHave but a show of reverence, being not madeIn piety of ancient faith. Thus vowedTo self-hood, force, insolence, feasting, wrath,These My blasphemers, in the forms they wearAnd in the forms they breed, my foemen are,Hateful and hating; cruel, evil, vile,Lowest and least of men, whom I cast downAgain, and yet again, at end of lives,Into some devilish womb, whencebirth by birthThe devilish wombs re-spawn them, all beguiled;And, till they find and worship Me, sweet Prince!Tread they that Nether Road.The Doors of HellAre threefold, whereby men to ruin pass,The door of Lust, the door of Wrath, the doorOf Avarice. Let a man shun those three!He who shall turn aside from enteringAll those three gates of Narak, wendeth straightTo find his peace, and comes to Swarga's gate.. . . . . . . . . . . .[FN#33]HERE ENDETH CHAPTER XVI. OF THE BHAGAVAD-GITA,Entitled "Daivasarasaupadwibhagayog,"Or "The Book of the Separateness of the Divine and Undivine."CHAPTER XVIIArjuna.If men forsake the holy ordinance,Heedless of Shastras, yet keep faith at heartAnd worship, what shall be the state of those,Great Krishna! Sattwan, Rajas, Tamas? Say!Krishna.Threefold the faith is of mankind and springsFrom those three qualities,becoming "true,"Or "passion-stained," or "dark," as thou shalt hear!The faith of each believer, Indian Prince!Conforms itself to what he truly is.Where thou shalt see a worshipper, that oneTo what he worships lives assimilate,[Such as the shrine, so is the votary,]The "soothfast" souls adore true gods; the soulsObeying Rajas worship Rakshasas[FN#34]Or Yakshas; and the men of Darkness prayTo Pretas and to Bhutas.[FN#35] Yea, and thoseWho practise bitter penance, not enjoinedBy rightful rulepenance which hath its rootIn self-sufficient, proud hypocrisiesThose men, passion-beset, violent, wild,Torturingthe witless onesMy elementsShut in fair company within their flesh,(Nay, Me myself, present within the flesh!)Know them to devils devoted, not to Heaven!For like as foods are threefold for mankindIn nourishing, so is there threefold wayOf worship, abstinence, and almsgiving!Hear this of Me! there is a food which bringsForce, substance, strength, and health, and joy to live,Being well-seasoned, cordial, comforting,The "Soothfast" meat. And there be foods which bringAches and unrests, and burning blood, and grief,Being too biting, heating, salt, and sharp,And therefore craved by too strong appetite.And there is foul foodkept from over-night,[FN#36]Savourless, filthy, which the foul will eat,A feast of rottenness, meet for the lipsOf such as love the "Darkness."Thus with rites;A sacrifice not for rewardment made,Offered in rightful wise, when he who vowsSayeth, with heart devout, "This I should do!"Is "Soothfast" rite. But sacrifice for gain,Offered for good repute, be sure that this,O Best of Bharatas! is Rajas-rite,With stamp of "passion." And a sacrificeOffered against the laws, with no due doleOf food-giving, with no accompanimentOf hallowed hymn, nor largesse to the priests,In faithless celebration, call it vile,The deed of "Darkness!"lost!Worship of godsMeriting worship; lowly reverenceOf Twice-borns, Teachers, Elders; Purity,Rectitude, and the Brahmacharya's vow,And not to injure any helpless thing,These make a true religiousness of Act.Words causing no man woe, words ever true,Gentle and pleasing words, and those ye sayIn murmured reading of a Sacred Writ,These make the true religiousness of Speech.Serenity of soul, benignity,Sway of the silent Spirit, constant stressTo sanctify the Nature,these things makeGood rite, and true religiousness of Mind.Such threefold faith, in highest pietyKept, with no hope of gain, by hearts devote,Is perfect work of Sattwan, true belief.Religion shown in act of proud displayTo win good entertainment, worship, fame,Suchsay Iis of Rajas, rash and vain.Religion followed by a witless willTo torture self, or come at power to hurtAnother,'tis of Tamas, dark and ill.The gift lovingly given, when one shall say"Now must I gladly give!" when he who takesCan render nothing back; made in due place,Due time, and to a meet recipient,Is gift of Sattwan, fair and profitable.The gift selfishly given, where to receiveIs hoped again, or when some end is sought,Or where the gift is proffered with a grudge,This is of Rajas, stained with impulse, ill.The gift churlishly flung, at evil time,In wrongful place, to base recipient,Made in disdain or harsh unkindliness,Is gift of Tamas, dark; it doth not bless![FN#37]HERE ENDETH CHAPTER XVII. OF THE BHAGAVAD-GITA,Entitled "Sraddhatrayavibhagayog,"Or "The Book of Religion by the Threefold Kinds of Faith."CHAPTER XVIIIArjuna.Fain would I better know, Thou Glorious One!The very truthHeart's Lord!of Sannyas,Abstention; and enunciation, Lord!Tyaga; and what separates these twain!Krishna.The poets rightly teach that SannyasIs the foregoing of all acts which springOut of desire; and their wisest sayTyaga is renouncing fruit of acts.There be among the saints some who have heldAll action sinful, and to be renounced;And some who answer, "Nay! the goodly actsAs worship, penance, almsmust be performed!"Hear now My sentence, Best of Bharatas!'Tis well set forth, O Chaser of thy Foes!Renunciation is of threefold form,And Worship, Penance, Alms, not to be stayed;Nay, to be gladly done; for all those threeAre purifying waters for true souls!Yet must be practised even those high works In yielding up attachment, and all fruit Produced by works. This is My judgment, Prince! This My insuperable and fixed decree!Abstaining from a work by right prescribedNever is meet! So to abstain doth springFrom "Darkness," and Delusion teacheth it.Abstaining from a work grievous to flesh,When one saith "'Tisunpleasing!" this is null!Such an one acts from "passion;" nought of gainWins his Renunciation! But, Arjun!Abstaining from attachment to the work,Abstaining from rewardment in the work,While yet one doeth it full faithfully,Saying, "Tis right to do!" that is "true " actAnd abstinence! Who doeth duties so,Unvexed if his work fail, if it succeedUnflattered, in his own heart justified,Quit of debates and doubts, his is "true" act:For, being in the body, none may standWholly aloof from act; yet, who abstainsFrom profit of his acts is abstinent.The fruit of labours, in the lives to come,Is threefold for all men,Desirable,And Undesirable, and mixed of both;But no fruit is at all where no work was.Hear from me, Long-armed Lord! the makings fiveWhich go to every act, in Sankhya taughtAs necessary. First the force; and thenThe agent; next, the various instruments;Fourth, the especial effort; fifth, the God.What work soever any mortal dothOf body, mind, or speech, evil or good,By these five doth he that. Which being thus,Whoso, for lack of knowledge, seeth himselfAs the sole actor, knoweth nought at allAnd seeth nought. Therefore, I say, if oneHolding aloof from selfwith unstained mindShould slay all yonder host, being bid to slay,He doth not slay; he is not bound thereby!Knowledge, the thing known, and the mind which knows,These make the threefold starting-ground of act.The act, the actor, and the instrument,These make the threefold total of the deed.But knowledge, agent, act, are differencedBy three dividing qualities. Hear nowWhich be the qualities dividing them.There is "true" Knowledge. Learn thou it is this:To see one changeless Life in all the Lives,And in the Separate, One Inseparable.There is imperfect Knowledge: that which seesThe separate existences apart,And, being separated, holds them real.There is false Knowledge: that which blindly clingsTo one as if 'twere all, seeking no Cause,Deprived of light, narrow, and dull, and "dark."There is "right" Action: that which being enjoinedIs wrought without attachment, passionlessly,For duty, not for love, nor hate, nor gain.There is "vain" Action: that which men pursueAching to satisfy desires, impelledBy sense of self, with all-absorbing stress:This is of Rajaspassionate and vain.There is "dark" Action: when one doth a thingHeedless of issues, heedless of the hurtOr wrong for others, heedless if he harmHis own soul'tis of Tamas, black and bad!There is the "rightful"doer. He who actsFree from self-seeking, humble, resolute,Steadfast, in good or evil hap the same,Content to do aright-he "truly" acts.There is th' "impassioned" doer. He that worksFrom impulse, seeking profit, rude and boldTo overcome, unchastened; slave by turnsOf sorrow and of joy: of Rajas he!And there be evil doers; loose of heart,Low-minded, stubborn, fraudulent, remiss,Dull, slow, despondentchildren of the "dark."Hear, too, of Intellect and SteadfastnessThe threefold separation, Conqueror-Prince!How these are set apart by Qualities.Good is the Intellect which comprehendsThe coming forth and going back of life,What must be done, and what must not be done,What should be feared, and what should not be feared,What binds and what emancipates the soul:That is of Sattwan, Prince! of "soothfastness."Marred is the Intellect which, knowing rightAnd knowing wrong, and what is well to doAnd what must not be done, yet understandsNought with firm mind, nor as the calm truth is:This is of Rajas, Prince! and "passionate!"Evil is Intellect which, wrapped in gloom,Looks upon wrong as right, and sees all thingsContrariwise of Truth. O Pritha's Son!That is of Tamas, "dark" and desperate!Good is the steadfastness whereby a manMasters his beats of heart, his very breathOf life, the action of his senses; fixedIn never-shaken faith and piety:That is of Sattwan, Prince! "soothfast" and fair!Stained is the steadfastness whereby a manHolds to his duty, purpose, effort, end,For life's sake, and the love of goods to gain,Arjuna! 'tis of Rajas, passion-stamped!Sad is the steadfastness wherewith the foolCleaves to his sloth, his sorrow, and his fears,His folly and despair. ThisPritha's Son!Is born of Tamas, "dark" and miserable!Hear further, Chief of Bharatas! from MeThe threefold kinds of Pleasure which there be.Good Pleasure is the pleasure that endures,Banishing pain for aye; bitter at firstAs poison to the soul, but afterwardSweet as the taste of Amrit. Drink of that!It springeth in the Spirit's deep content.And painful Pleasure springeth from the bondBetween the senses and the sense-world. SweetAs Amrit is its first taste, but its lastBitter as poison. 'Tis of Rajas, Prince!And foul and "dark" the Pleasure is which springsFrom sloth and sin and foolishness; at firstAnd at the last, and all the way of lifeThe soul bewildering. 'Tis of Tamas, Prince!For nothing lives on earth, nor 'midst the godsIn utmost heaven, but hath its being boundWith these three Qualities, by Nature framed.The work of Brahmans, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas,And Sudras, O thou Slayer of thy Foes!Is fixed by reason of the QualitiesPlanted in each:A Brahman's virtues, Prince!Born of his nature, are serenity,Self-mastery, religion, purity,Patience, uprightness, learning, and to knowThe truth of things which be. A Kshatriya's pride,Born of his nature, lives in valour, fire,Constancy, skilfulness, spirit in fight,And open-handedness and noble mien,As of a lord of men. A Vaisya's task,Born with his nature, is to till the ground,Tend cattle, venture trade. A Sudra's state,Suiting his nature, is to minister.Whoso performethdiligent, contentThe work allotted him, whate'er it be,Lays hold of perfectness! Hear how a manFindeth perfection, being so content:He findeth it through worshipwrought by workOf Him that is the Source of all which lives,Of HIM by Whom the universe was stretched.Better thine own work is, though done with fault,Than doing others' work, ev'n excellently.He shall not fall in sin who fronts the taskSet him by Nature's hand! Let no man leaveHis natural duty, Prince! though it bear blame!For every work hath blame, as every flameIs wrapped in smoke! Only that man attainsPerfect surcease of work whose work was wroughtWith mind unfettered, soul wholly subdued,Desires for ever dead, results renounced.Learn from me, Son of Kunti! also this,How one, attaining perfect peace, attainsBRAHM, the supreme, the highest height of all!Devotedwith a heart grown pure, restrainedIn lordly self-control, forgoing wilesOf song and senses, freed from love and hate,Dwelling 'mid solitudes, in diet spare,With body, speech, and will tamed to obey,Ever to holy meditation vowed,From passions liberate, quit of the Self,Of arrogance, impatience, anger, pride;Freed from surroundings, quiet, lacking noughtSuch an one grows to oneness with the BRAHM;Such an one, growing one with BRAHM, serene,Sorrows no more, desires no more; his soul,Equally loving all that lives, loves wellMe, Who have made them, and attains to Me.By this same love and worship doth he knowMe as I am, how high and wonderful,And knowing, straightway enters into Me.And whatsoever deeds he doethfixedIn Me, as in his refugehe hath wonFor ever and for ever by My graceTh' Eternal Rest! So win thou! In thy thoughtsDo all thou dost for Me! Renounce for Me!Sacrifice heart and mind and will to Me!Live in the faith of Me! In faith of MeAll dangers thou shalt vanquish, by My grace;But, trusting to thyself and heeding not,Thou can'st but perish! If this day thou say'st,Relying on thyself, "I will not fight!"Vain will the purpose prove! thy qualitiesWould spur thee to the war. What thou dost shun,Misled by fair illusions, thou wouldst seekAgainst thy will, when the task comes to theeWaking the promptings in thy nature set.There lives a Master in the hearts of menMaketh their deeds, by subtle pullingstrings,Dance to what tune HE will. With all thy soulTrust Him, and take Him for thy succour, Prince!Soonly so, Arjuna!shalt thou gainBy grace of Himthe uttermost repose,The Eternal Place!Thus hath been opened theeThis Truth of Truths, the Mystery more hidThan any secret mystery. Meditate!Andas thou wiltthen act!Nay! but once moreTake My last word, My utmost meaning have!Precious thou art to Me; right well-beloved!Listen! I tell thee for thy comfort this.Give Me thy heart! adore Me! serve Me! clingIn faith and love and reverence to Me!So shalt thou come to Me! I promise true,For thou art sweet to Me!And let go thoseRites and writ duties! Fly to Me alone!Make Me thy single refuge! I will freeThy soul from all its sins! Be of good cheer![Hide, the holy Krishna saith,This from him that hath no faith,Him that worships not, nor seeksWisdom's teaching when she speaks:Hide it from all men who mock;But, wherever, 'mid the flockOf My lovers, one shall teachThis divinest, wisest, speechTeaching in the faith to bringTruth to them, and offeringOf all honour unto MeUnto Brahma cometh he!Nay, and nowhere shall ye findAny man of all mankindDoing dearer deed for Me;Nor shall any dearer beIn My earth. Yea, furthermore,Whoso reads this converse o'er,Held by Us upon the plain,Pondering piously and fain,He hath paid Me sacrifice!(Krishna speaketh in this wise!)Yea, and whoso, full of faith,Heareth wisely what it saith,Heareth meekly,when he dies,Surely shall his spirit riseTo those regions where the Blest,Free of flesh, in joyance rest.]Hath this been heard by thee, O Indian Prince!With mind intent? hath all the ignoranceWhich bred thy troublevanished, My Arjun?Arjuna.Trouble and ignorance are gone! the LightHath come unto me, by Thy favour, Lord!Now am I fixed! my doubt is fled away!According to Thy word, so will I do!Sanjaya.Thus gathered I the gracious speech of Krishna, O my King!Thus have I told, with heart a-thrill, this wise and wondrous thingBy great Vyasa's learning writ, how Krishna's self made knownThe Yoga, being Yoga's Lord. So is the high truth shown!And aye, when I remember, O Lord my King, againArjuna and the God in talk, and all this holy strain,Great is my gladness: when I muse that splendour, passing speech,Of Hari, visible and plain, there is no tongue to reachMy marvel and my love and bliss. O Archer-Prince! all hail!O Krishna, Lord of Yoga! surely there shall not failBlessing, and victory, and power, for Thy most mighty sake,Where this song comes of Arjun, and how with God he spake.HERE ENDS, WITH CHAPTER XVIII.,Entitled "Mokshasanyasayog,"Or "The Book of Religion by Deliverance and Renunciation,"THE BHAGAVAD-GITA.[FN#1] Some repetitionary lines are here omitted.[FN#2] Technical phrases of Vedic religion.[FN#3] The whole of this passage is highly involved and difficult to render.[FN#4] I feel convinced sankhyanan and yoginan must be transposed here in sense.[FN#5] I am doubtful of accuracy here.[FN#6] A name of the sun.[FN#7] Without desire of fruit.[FN#8] That is,"joy and sorrow, success and failure, heat and cold,"&c.[FN#9] i.e., the body.[FN#10] The Sanskrit has this play on the double meaning of Atman.[FN#11] So in original.[FN#12] Beings of low and devilish nature.[FN#13] Krishna.[FN#14] I read here janma, "birth;" not jara,"age"[FN#15] I have discarded ten lines of Sanskrit text here as an undoubted interpolation by some Vedantist[FN#16] The Sanskrit poem here rises to an elevation of style and manner which I have endeavoured to mark by change of metre.[FN#17] Ahinsa.[FN#18] The nectar of immortality.[FN#19] Called "The Jap."[FN#20] The compound form of Sanskrit words.[FN#21] "Kamalapatraksha"[FN#22] These are all divine or deified orders of the Hindoo Pantheon.[FN#23] "Hail to Thee, God of Gods! Be favourable!"[FN#24] The wind.[FN#25] "Not peering about,"anapeksha.[FN#26] The Calcutta edition of the Mahabharata has these three opening lines.[FN#27] This is the nearest possible version of Kshetrakshetrajnayojnanan yat tajnan matan mama.[FN#28] I omit two lines of the Sanskrit here, evidently interpolated by some Vedantist.[FN#29] Wombs.[FN#30] I do not consider the Sanskrit verses here-which are somewhat freely rendered"an attack on the authority of the Vedas," with Mr Davies, but a beautiful lyrical episode, a new "Parable of the fig-tree." [FN#31] I omit a verse here, evidently interpolated.[FN#32] "Of the Asuras,"lit.[FN#33] I omit the ten concluding shlokas, with Mr Davis.[FN#34] Rakshasas and Yakshas are unembodied but capricious beings of great power, gifts, and beauty, same times also of benignity.[FN#35] These are spirits of evil wandering ghosts.[FN#36] Yatayaman, food which has remained after the watches of the night. In India this would probably "go bad."[FN#37] I omit the concluding shlokas, as of very doubtful authenticity.####Listen to the audiobook version of Sir Edwin Arnold’s English translation of the Bhagavad Gita