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Srimad-Bhagavad-Gita, English translation and commentary by Swami Swarupananda, [1909], at

p. 197


The Blessed Lord said:

1. To thee, who dost not carp, verily shall I now declare this, the most profound knowledge, united with realisation, having known which, thou shalt be free from evil (Samsâra).

p. 198

2. Of sciences, the highest; of profundities, the deepest; of purifiers, the supreme, is this; realisable by direct perception, endowed with (immense) merit, very easy to perform, and of an imperishable nature.

3. Persons without Shraddhâ for this Dharma, return, O scorcher of foes, without attaining Me, to the path of re-birth fraught with death. 3

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4. All this world is pervaded by me in My unmanifested form: all beings exist in Me, but I do not dwell in them. 4

5. Nor do beings exist in Me (in reality), behold My Divine Yoga! Bringing forth and supporting the beings, My Self does not dwell in them. 5

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6. As the mighty wind, moving always everywhere, rests ever in the Akâsha, know thou, that even so do all beings rest in Me. 6

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7. At the end of a Kalpa, O son of Kunti, all beings go back to My Prakriti: at the beginning of (another) Kalpa, I send them forth again. 7

8. Animating My Prakriti, I project again and again this whole multitude of beings, helpless under the sway of Prakriti. 8

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9. These acts do not bind Me, sitting as one neutral, unattached to them, O Dhananjaya. 9

10. By reason of My proximity, Prakriti produces all this, the moving and the unmoving; the world wheels round and round, O son of Kunti, because of this. 10

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11. Unaware of My higher state, as the great Lord of beings, fools disregard Me, dwelling in the human form. 11

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12. Of vain hopes, of vain works, of vain knowledge, and senseless, they verily are possessed of the delusive nature of Râkshasas and Asuras. 12

13. But the great-souled ones, O son

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of Prithâ, possessed of the Divine Prakriti, knowing Me to be the origin of beings, and immutable, worship Me with a single mind. 13

14. Glorifying Me always and striving with firm resolve, bowing down to Me in devotion, always steadfast, they worship Me.

15. Others, too, sacrificing by the Yajna of knowledge (i.e., seeing the Self in all), worship Me the All-Formed, as one, as distinct, as manifold. 15

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16. I am the Kratu, I the Yajna, I the Svadhâ, I the Aushadham, I the Mantra, I the Ajyam, I the fire, and I the oblation. 16

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17. I am the Father of this world, the Mother, the Sustainer, the Grandfather; the Purifier, the (one) thing to be known, (the syllable) Om, and also the Rik, Sâman and Yajus. 17

18. The Goal, the Supporter, the Lord, the Witness, the Abode, the Refuge, the Friend, the Origin, the Dissolution, the Substratum, the Storehouse, the Seed immutable. 18

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19. (As sun) I give heat: I withhold and send forth rain; I am immortality and also death; being and non-being am I, O Arjuna! 19

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20. The knowers of the three Vedas, worshipping Me by Yajna, drinking the Soma, and (thus) being purified from sin, pray for passage to heaven; reaching the holy world of the Lord of the Devas, they enjoy in heaven the divine pleasures of the Devas. 20

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21. Having enjoyed the vast Swarga-world, they enter the mortal world, on the exhaustion of their merit: Thus, abiding by the injunctions of the three (Vedas), desiring desires, they (constantly) come and go. 21

22. Persons who, meditating on Me as non-separate, worship Me in all beings, to them thus ever jealously engaged, I carry what they lack and preserve what they already have. 22

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23. Even those devotees, who endued with Shraddhâ, worship other gods, they too worship Me alone, O son of Kunti, (but) by the wrong method. 23

24. For I alone am the Enjoyer, and Lord of all Yajnas; but because they do not know Me in reality, they return, (to the mortal world). 24

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25. Votaries of the Devas go to the Devas; to the Pitris, go their votaries; to the Bhutas, go the Bhuta worshippers; My votaries too come unto Me. 25

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26. Whoever with devotion offers Me a leaf, a flower, a fruit, or water, that I accept—the devout gift of the pure-minded. 26

27. Whatever thou doest, whatever thou eatest, whatever thou offerest in sacrifice, whatever thou givest away, whatever austerity thou practisest, O son of Kunti, do that as an offering unto Me.

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28. Thus shalt thou be freed from the bondages of actions, bearing good and evil results: with the heart steadfast in the Yoga of renunciation, and liberated, thou shalt come unto Me. 28

29. I am the same to all beings: to Me there is none hateful or dear. But those who worship Me with devotion, are in Me, and I too am in them. 29

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30. If even a very wicked person worships Me, with devotion to none else, he should be regarded as good, for he has rightly resolved. 30

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31. Soon does he become righteous, and attain eternal Peace, O son of Kunti boldly canst thou proclaim, that My devotee is never destroyed.

32. For, taking refuge in Me, they also, O son of Prithâ, who might be of inferior birth,—women, Vaishyas, as well as Sudras,—even they attain to the Supreme Goal. 32

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33. What need to mention holy Brâhmanas, and devoted Râjarshis! Having obtained this transient, joyless world, worship thou Me. 33

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34. Fill thy mind with Me, be My devotee, sacrifice unto Me, bow down to Me; thus having made thy heart steadfast in Me, taking Me as the Supreme Goal, thou shalt come to Me.


The end of the ninth chapter, designated The Way of the Kingly Knowledge and the Kingly Secret.


198:3 Without . . . Dharma: Who have no faith in this knowledge of the Self, regarding the physical body itself as the Self.

199:4 Unmanifested: being invisible to the senses.

Exist in Me—have an individual existence through Me, the Self, underlying them all.

Do not dwell in them—like corporeal things—in contact with them, or contained as though in a receptacle.

199:5 p. 200 Vide vii. 12.

Nor do &c.—Because of the Self Being unattached to or unconnected with any object. "Devoid of attachment. He is never attached."—Brih. Upa. III—ix-26.

200:6 Rests ever in the Akâsha—without being attached to it.

The idea is that beings rest in the Lord without contact with, and so without producing any effect on Him.

201:7 Prakriti: The inferior one composed of the three Gunas.

Kalpa—a period of cosmic manifestation.

201:8 Animating My Prakriti—invigorating and fertilising the Prakriti dependent on Him, which had gone to sleep at the universal dissolution, at the end of the Kalpa.

202:9 These acts—which involve the unequal creation and dissolution of the universe.

As in the case of Ishvara, so in the case of others also, the absence of the egotistic feeling of agency and attachment for results, is the cause of freedom (from Dharma and Adharma).

202:10 In verses VII to X the Lord defines His position, following the Arundhati Nyâya. When a bride is brought to her husband's house for the first time, he shows her a very tiny star, called Arundhati. To do this, he has to direct her gaze the right way, p. 203 which he does by asking her to look at something near and something big, in the direction of the star, e.g., a branch of a tree. Next, he draws her attention to a large bright star observed beyond this branch, and so on, till by several steps, he succeeds in leading her eyes to the right thing. This method of leading to a subtle object through easy steps, is called Arundhati Nyâya. The Lord begins by stating that He projects all beings at the beginning of evolution: Prakriti is only an instrument in His hands. Next, He says, He is not affected by that act, since He sits by, as one neutral, perfectly unattached. Lastly, He leads up to the final truth that really He does nothing, that it is Prakriti, who animated by His proximity produces all that is. It is His Light that lights up Prakriti, and makes her live and act. That is all the relation between Him and her.

203:11 Great Lord—Supreme Self.

204:12 Vain—because they neglect their own Self. They see no Self beyond the body.

They—refers to those described in the preceding Sloka.

Râkshasas have Râjasika nature, Asuras, Tâmasika.

205:13 Divine: Sâttvika.

205:15 All-Formed: He who has assumed all the manifold forms in the universe.

As one—identifying himself with the All-Formed;—the Advaita view.

As distinct—making a distinction in essence between the Lord and himself:—the Dualistic view.

As manifold—as the various divinities, Brahma, Rudra &c.

206:16 Kratu is a particular Vedic rite.

Yajna: The worship enjoined in the Smriti.

Svadhâ: food offered to the manes (Pitris).

Aushadham: all vegetable food and medicinal herbs.

Mantra: the chant with which oblation is offered. Ajyam: articles of oblation.

The fire—into which the offering is poured.

207:17 Sustainer—by dispensing fruit of action.

207:18 p. 208 Seed: cause of the origin of all things.

Immutable—because it endures so long as the Samsâra endures.

208:19 Being: The manifested world of effects.

Non-being—means, the cause which is unmanifested only, and not non-existence; otherwise we have to conceive existence coming out of nonexistence, which is absurd. The Sruti says, "How can existence come out of non-existence?"—Chhand. Upa. 6.

209:20 Lord of the Devas—Indra, who is called Satakratu, because he had performed a hundred sacrifices.

210:21 Injunctions—Ritualistic, the Karma-Kânda.

210:22 Ananyâh—as non-separate, i.e., looking upon the Supreme Being as not separate from their own self. Or Ananyâh may mean, without any other (thought). Then the translation of the Sloka should be—persons who worship Me in all beings, never harbouring any other thought, to them &c.

I carry &c.—Because while other devotees work for their own gain and safety, those who do not see p. 211 anything as separate from themselves, do not do so; they even do not cherish a desire for life; so the Lord secures to them gain and safety.

211:23 Wrong method—ignorantly, not in the way by which they can get Moksha.

211:24 p. 212 They return—by worshipping other gods they attain no doubt to the spheres of their sacrifice, but after the exhaustion of this merit, they fall from those spheres and return to the mortal world.

212:25 Bhutas—beings lower than the Devas, but higher than human beings.

Me—The Imperishable.

213:26 Not only does the single-minded devotion to the Supreme lead to imperishable result, but it is also so easy and simple to perform,—says Krishna in this Sloka.

214:28 The Yoga of renunciation—This way of purification of the heart by offering everything to the Lord.

Liberated &c.—thou shalt be liberated while in the body, and at its death, become Me.

214:29 I am like fire. As fire gives heat to those who draw near to it, and not to those who move away from it, even so do I. My grace falls upon My p. 215 devotees, but not owing to any attachment on My part. As the sun's light, though pervading everywhere, is reflected in a clean mirror, so also I, the Supreme Lord, present as a matter of course everywhere, manifest Myself in those persons only, from whose minds all the dirt of ignorance has been removed by devotion.

215:30 He has rightly resolved—He is one who has formed a holy resolution, to abandon the evil ways of his life.

216:32 Of inferior birth . . . Sudras—Because by birth, the Vaishyas are engaged only in agriculture &c., and the women and Sudras are debarred from the study of the Vedas.

217:33 Râjarshis—kings who have attained to sainthood (Rishihood).

What need &c.: How much more easily then do the holy Brâhmanas and the devoted royal saints attain that Goal!

Having . . . world—Being born in this human body which is hard to get, one should exert oneself immediately for perfection, without depending on the future, as everything in this world is transient, and without seeking for happiness, as this world is joyless.

Next: Tenth Chapter. Glimpses of the Divine Glory