Srimad-Bhagavad-Gita, English translation and commentary by Swami Swarupananda, , at sacred-texts.com
Salutation to Sri Ganesha!
Salutation to Sri Râdhâramana! *
Dharâ (the Earth) said:
1. O Blessed Lord, O Supreme Ruler, how may one, who is held back by his Prârabdha Karma, obtain unswerving devotion? 1
The Lord Vishnu said:
2. If one be devoted to the constant practice of the Gita, even though he be restrained by Prârabdha Karma, yet is he Mukta, happy, in this very world. lie is not tainted by (new) Karma.
3. No evil, however great, can affect him who meditates on the Gita. He is like the lotus leaf untouched by the water.
4-5. Where there is the book of the Gita, where its study is proceeded with, there are present all the holy places, there verily, are Prayâga and the rest. There also are all the Devas, Rishis, Yogins, and Pannagas, so also the Gopâlas and Gopikâs, with Nârada, Uddhava and their whole train of comrades.
6. Where the Gita is read, forthwith comes help. Where the Gita is discussed, recited, taught, or heard, there, O Earth, beyond a doubt, do I Myself unfailingly reside.
7. In the refuge of the Gita I abide; the Gita is My chief abode. Standing on the wisdom of the Gita, I maintain the three worlds.
8-9. The Gita is My Supreme Knowledge; it is undoubtedly inseparable from Brahman, this Knowledge is absolute, imperishable, eternal, of the essence of My inexpressible State, the Knowledge comprising the whole of the three Vedas, supremely blissful and consisting of the realisation of the true nature of the Self,—declared by the All-knowing and Blessed Krishna, through his own lips, to Arjuna. 8
10. That man who with steady mind recites the eighteen chapters daily, attains the perfection of knowledge and thus reaches the highest plane.
11. If the whole cannot be recited, then half of it may be read; and he who
does this acquires merit, equal to that of the gift of a cow. There is no doubt about. this.
12. By the recitation of a third part,. he gains the same merit as by bathing in the Ganges. By the repetition of a. sixth part, he obtains the fruit of the Soma-sacrifice.
13. He who reads, full of devotion, even one chapter daily, attains to the Rudraloka, and lives there for a long time, having become one of those who wait on Shiva. 13
14. The man who daily reads a quarter of a chapter, or of a Sloka, O Earth, attains to human birth throughout the duration of a Manu. 11
15-16. The man who recites ten, seven, five, four, three or two Slokas, or even one or half a Sloka of the Gita, certainly lives in Chandraloka for ten thousand years. He who leaves the body while reading the Gita, obtains the world of Man.
17. Again practising the Gita, he attains Supreme Mukti. The dying man uttering the word "Gita" will attain the goal.
18. One who loves to hear the meaning of the Gita, even though he has committed heinous sins, attains to heaven, and lives in beatitude with Vishnu.
19. He who constantly meditates on the meaning of the Gita, even though he performs Karma incessantly, he is to be regarded as a Jivanmukta, and after the destruction of his body he attains to the highest plane of knowledge.
20. By the help of this Gita, many kings like Janaka became free from their impurities and attained to the highest goal. It is so sung.
21. He who having finished the reading of the Gita, does not read its Mâhâtmyam as declared here, his reading is in vain, it is all labour wasted.
22. He who studies the Gita, accompanied with this discourse on its Mâhâtmyam,
obtains the fruit stated herein, and reaches that goal which is difficult to attain.
23. He who will read this eternal greatness of the Gita, declared by me, after having finished the reading of the Gita itself, will obtain the fruit described herein. 23
Thus ends in the Vârâha Purâna the discourse designated: The Greatness of the Gita.
406:* Ganesha is the god of wisdom and remover of obstacles; hence he is invoked and worshipped at the commencement of every important undertaking. Râdhâramana—the Lover of Râdhâ,—Sri Krishna.
406:1 Prârabdha Karma—There are three kinds of Karma: (1) Sanchita or accumulated and stored up in past lives; (2) Agâmi or that which is yet to be done; (3) Prârabdha or that which is already bearing fruit. This last is that part of the accumulated actions (Sanchita) which has brought about the p. 407 present life and will influence it until its close. The knowledge of Brahman destroys all accumulated Karma and makes the current work abortive. But the Prârabdha Karma must run out its course, though the balanced mind of a liberated man is not affected by it.
409:8 Ardhamâtrâ—lit. the half-syllable, and refers to the dot on the ; symbolically, it stands for the Turiya state, hence the Absolute.
410:13 Become &c.—lit., attained to Ganahood.
410:11 Attains to Manhood: is born every time in a man-body.
413:23 These declarations will, no doubt, seem to be mere flights of extravagant fancy, if they are taken in their literal sense. They may be explained either (1) as mere Arthavâda or a statement of glorification meant to stimulate a strong desire for the study of the Gita, which being performed from day to day, may, by the force of the truth and grandeur of one or other of its teachings, strike an inner chord of the heart some time, so much so as to change the whole nature of the man for good; (2) or, the "reading" and "reciting" and so forth, of the whole or a part, may not perhaps be taken in their ordinary sense, as meaning lip-utterance and the like, but in view of the great results indicated, they may be reasonably construed to mean the assimilation of p. 414 the essence of the Gita teachings into the practical daily life of the individual. What wonder, then, that such a one who is the embodiment of the Gita would be a true Jnânin, or a Jivanmukta, or that he would, in proportion to his success of being so, attain the intermediate spheres of evolution and finally obtain Mukti?