GITA ( from SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM, CANTO 10, CHAPTER 87)
hymn by the Vedas Personified addressed to
the Nirguna Brahman. The
transalations in English are by the disciples of His Divine Grace A.C.
Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada as given in the “Srimad Bhagavatam” published by
the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust]
describe the Supreme Absolute Truth which cannot be described in words? The
Vedas are limited to describing the qualities of material nature, but the
Supreme is devoid of these qualities, being transcendental to all material
manifestations and their causes.
said: The Supreme Lord manifested the
material intelligence, senses, mind and vital air of the living entities so
that they could indulge their desires for sense gratification, take repeated
births to engage in fruitive activities, become elevated in future lives and
ultimately attain liberation.
same confidential knowledge of the Absolute Truth. Indeed, any one who faithfully concentrates on this
knowledge will become free from material attachments and attain the final goal
concerning the Supreme Lord Narayana. It
is about a conversation that once occurred between Sri Narayana Rishi and
universe, the Lord’s beloved devotee
Narada went to visit the primeval sage Narayana at His ashrama.
of Brahma’s day Lord Narayana Rishi has been undergoing austere penances in
this land of Bharata while perfectly performing religious duties and exemplifying
spiritual knowledge and self-control – all for the benefit of human beings in
both this world and the next
Lord Narayana Rishi, who was sitting amidst sages of the village of
Kalapa. After bowing down to the Lord, O
hero of the Kurus, Narada asked Him the very same question you hava asked me.
Narada an ancient discussion about the Absolute Truth that took place among the
residents of Janaloka.
Brahma! Once long ago in Janaloka, wise sages who resided there performed a
great sacrifice to the Absolute Truth( Brahman) by vibrating
transcendental sounds (chanting Vedic mantras). These sages, mental sons of Brahma, were all
– that Supreme Lord in whom the Vedas
lie down to rest during the period of universal annihilation. A
lively discussion arose among the sages on Janaloka as to the nature of
the Supreme Absolute Truth. Indeed, the
same question arose then that you are asking Me now
terms of Vedic study and austerity, and although they all saw friends, enemies
and neutral parties equally, they chose one among them to be the speaker, and
the rest became eager listeners.
After the Supreme Lord withdrew the universe He had previously created, He lay
for sometime as if asleep, and all His energies rested dormant within Him. When
the time came for the next creation, the personified Vedas awakened Him
by chanting his glories, just as the poets serving a king approach him at dawn
and awaken him by reciting his heroic deeds.
Victory, Victory to You, O Unconquerable one! By your very nature You are
perfectly full in all opulences; therefore please defeat the eternal power of
illusion, who assumes control over the modes of nature to create difficulties
for conditioned souls. O You who awaken
all the energies of the moving and non-moving embodied beings, sometimes the
Vedas can recognize You as You sport with Your material and spiritual
identified with the Supreme because the Supreme Brahman is the ultimate
foundation of all existence, remaining unchanged as all created things are
generated from it and at last dissolved into it, just as clay remains unchanged
by the products made from it and again merged with it. Thus it is toward You alone that the Vedic sages
direct all their thoughts words and deeds.
After all, how can the footsteps of men fail to touch the earth on which
wise get rid of all misery by diving deep into the nectarine ocean of topics
about You, which washes away all the contamination of the universe. Then what
to speak of those who, having by spiritual strength rid their minds of bad
habits and freed themselves from time, are able to worship Your true nature, O
Supreme one, finding within it uninterrupted bliss?
इव श्वसन्त्यसुभृतो यदि तेऽनुविधा
actually alive only if they are your faithful followers, otherwise their
breathing is like that of bellows. It is
by your mercy alone that the elements, beginning with the mahat-tattwa
and false ego, created the egg of this universe. Among the manifestations known as annamaya
and so forth, You are the ultimate one, entering within the material coverings
along with the living entity and assuming the same forms as those he takes.
Distinct from the gross and subtle material manifestations, You are the reality
underlying them all.
the methods set forth by great sages, those with less refined vision worship
the Supreme as present in the region of the abdomen, while the Arunis worship Him as present in the
heart, in the subtle center from which all the pranic channels emanate. From there, O unlimited Lord, these
worshipers raise their consciousness upward to the top of the head toward the
supreme destination, they reach that place from which they will never again
fall to this world, into the mouth of death.
तव धाम समं
the variegated species of living beings You have created, You inspire them to
act, manifesting Yourself according to their higher and lower positions, just
as fire manifests differently according to the shape of what is burns. Therefore those of spotless intelligence, who
are altogether free from material attachments, realize Your undifferentiated ,
unchanging Self to be the permanent reality among all these impermanent life
उपासतेऽङ्घ्रिमभवं भुवि विश्वसिताः ॥२०॥
entity, while inhabiting the material bodies he has created for himself by his karma,
actually remains uncovered by either gross or subtle matter. This is so because, as the Vedas describe,
he is part and parcel of You, the possessor of all potencies. Having determined this to be the status of
the living entity, learned sages become imbued with faith and worship Your
lotus feet, to which all Vedic sacrifices in this world are offered, and which
are the source of liberation.
souls have gotten relief from the fatigue of material by diving into the vast
nectar ocean of Your pastimes (leela), which you enact when you manifest
Your personal forms to propagate the unfathomable science of the self. These rare souls, indifferent even to
liberation, renounce the happiness of home and family because of their
association with devotees who are like flocks of swans enjoying at the lotus of
used for Your devotional service, it acts as one’s self, friend and beloved. But unfortunately, although You always show
mercy to the conditioned souls and affectionately help them in every way, and
although you are their true Self, people in general fail to delight in you. Instead they commit spiritual suicide by
worshipping illusion. Alas, because they
persistently hope for the success in their devotion to the unreal, they
continue to wander about this great fearful world, assuming various degraded
उपासते तदरयोऽपि ययुः स्मरणात्।
ते समाः समदृशोऽङ्घ्रिसरोजसुधाः॥२३॥
thinking of Him, the enemies of the Lord attained the same Supreme Truth whom sages fixed in yoga worship controlling
their breath, mind and senses.
Similarly, we Srutis, who generally see You as all-pervading,
will achieve the same nectar from Your lotus feet that Your consorts are able
to relish because of their loving attraction to Your mighty, serpentine arms,
for you look upon us and Your consorts in the same way.
उदगादृषिर्यमनु देवगणा उभये।
न च कालजवः
शयीत यदा ॥२४॥
has recently been born and will soondie.
So how can anyone here know him who existed prior to everything else and
who gave rise to the first learned sage, Brahma, and all subsequent demigods,
both lesser and greater? When He lies down and withdraws everything within
himself, nothing else remains – no gross or subtle matter or bodies composed of
these, no force of time or revealed scripture.
स्मरन्त्युपदिशन्ति त आरुपितैः।
न ततः परत्र स भवेदवबोधरसे॥२५॥
declare that matter is the origin of existence, that the permanent qualities of
the soul can be destroyed, that the self is compounded of separate aspects of
spirit and matter, or that material transactions constitute reality –- all such
authorities base their teachings on mistaken ideas that hide the Truth. The dualistic conception that the living entity
is produced from the three modes of nature is simply a product of ignorance.
Such a conception has no real basis in You, for You are transcendental to all
illusion and always enjoy perfect, total awareness.
material nature comprise everything in this world from the simplest phenomena
to the complex human body. Although
these phenomena appear real, they are only a false reflection of the spiritual
reality, being a superimposition of the mind upon You. Still, those who know the Supreme Self
consider the entire material creation to be real inasmuch as it is
non-different from the Self. Just as
things made of gold are indeed not to be rejected, since their substance is
actual gold, so this world is undoubtedly nondifferent from the Lord who
created it and then entered within it.
परि ये चरन्त्यखिलसत्त्वनिकेततया
उत पदाक्रमन्त्यविगणय्य शिरो निरृतेः।
पशूनिव गिरा विबुधानपि तां-
कृतसौहृदाः खलु पुनन्ति न ये विमुखाः ॥२७॥
You as the shelter of all beings disregard Death and place their feet on his
head. But with the words of the Vedas
you bind the nondevotees like animals, though they be vastly learned scholars. It is your affectionate devotees who can
purify themselves and others.
यत्र ये त्वधिकृता भवतश्चकिताः ॥२८॥
material senses, you are the self-effulgent sustainer of everyone’s sensory
powers. The demigods and material nature itself offer you tribute, while also
enjoying the tribute offered them by their worshipers, just as subordinate
rulers of various districts in a kingdom offer tribute to their Lord, the
ultimate proprietor of the land, while also enjoying the tribute paid them by
their own subjects. In this way the
universal creators faithfully execute their assigned services out of fear of
उदीक्षया यदि परस्य विमुक्त ततः।
हि परमस्य कश्चिदपरो न परश्च भवेत्
इवापदस्य तव शून्यतुलां दधतः ॥२९॥
transcendental Lord, your material energy causes the various moving and
nonmoving species of life to appear by activating their material desires, but
only when and if You sport with her by briefly glancing at her. You, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, see
no one as an intimate friend and no one as a stranger, just as the ethereal sky
has no connection with perceptible qualities.
In this sense you resemble a void.
ध्रुवास्तनुभृतो यदि सर्वगता-
न शास्यतेति नियमो ध्रुव नेतरथा।
च यन्मयं तदविमुच्य नियन्तृ भवेत्
यदमतं मतदुष्टतया ॥३०॥
entities are all-pervading and possessed forms that never changed, You could
not possibly be their absolute ruler, O Immutable one. But since they are your
localised expansions and their forms are subject to change, You do control
them. Indeed, that which supplies the
ingredients for the generation of something is necessarily its controller
because a product never exists apart from its ingredient cause. It is simply illusion for someone to think
that he knows the Supreme Lord, who is equally present in each of His
expansions, since whatever knowledge one gains by material means must be
घटत उद्भवः प्रकृतिपूरुषयोरजयो-
ते इमे ततो विविधनामगुणैः परमे
इवार्णवे मधुनि लिल्युरशेषरसाः ॥३१॥
nor the soul who tries to enjoy her are ever born, yet living bodies come into
being when these two combine, just as bubbles form where water meets the
air. And just as rivers merge into the
ocean or the nectar from many different flowers blends into honey, so all these
conditioned beings eventually merge back into You, the Supreme, along with
their various names and qualities.
तव मायया भ्रमममीष्ववगत्य भृशं
सुधियोऽभवे दधति भावमनुप्रभवम्।
भवभयं तव यद् भ्रुकुटिः
understand how Your Maya deludes all human beings render potent loving service
to You, who are the source of liberation from birth and death. How, indeed, can fear of material life affect
Your faithful servants? On the other hand, Your furrowing eyebrows- the
triple-rimmed wheel of time- repeatedly terrify those who refuse to take
shelter of you.
इह यतन्ति यन्तुमतिलोलमुपायखिदः।
impetuous horse that even persons who have regulated their senses and breath
cannot control. Those in this world who try to tame the uncontrolled mind, but
who abandon the feet of their spiritual master, encounter hundreds of obstacles
in their cultivation of various distressful practices. O unborn Lord, they are
like merchants on a boat in the ocean who have failed to employ a
स्त्वयि सति किं नृणां श्रयत आत्मनि सर्वरसे।
सदजानतां मिथुनतो रतये चरतां
को न्विह स्वविहते स्वनिरस्तभगे॥३४॥
shelter of You, You reveal Yourself as the Supersoul, the embodiment of all
transcendental pleasure. What further use have such devotees for their
servants, children or bodies, their wives, money or houses, their land, good
health or conveyances? And for those who fail to appreciate the truth about You
and go on pursuing the pleasures of sex, what could there be in this entire
world – a place inherently doomed to destruction and devoid of significance –
that could give them real happiness?
सकृन्मनस्त्वयि य आत्मनि नित्यसुखे
पुनरुपासते पुरुषसारहरावसथान् ॥३५॥
frequenting the sacred pilgrimage sites and those places where the Supreme Lord
displayed his pastimes (leela). Because such devotees keep your lotus
feet within their hearts, the water that washes their feet destroys all
sins. Anyone who even once turns his
mind toward You, the ever-blissful soul of all existence, no longer dedicates
himself to serving family life at home, which simply robs a man of his good
इदमुत्थितं सदिति चेन्ननु तर्कहतं
क्व च क्व च मृषा न तथोभययुक्।
भारती त उरुवृत्तिभिरुक्थजडान्॥३६॥
this world is permanently real because it is generated from the permanent
reality, but such an argument is subject to logical refutation. Sometimes, indeed, the apparent non-difference
of a cause and its effect fails to prove true, and at other times the product
of something real is illusory.
Furthermore, this world cannot be permanently real, for it partakes of
the natures of not only the absolute reality but also the illusion disguising
that reality. Actually, the visible
forms of this world are just an imaginary arrangement resorted to by a
succession of ignorant persons in order to facilitate their material
affairs. With their various meanings and
implications, the learned words of Your Vedas bewilder all persons whose
minds have been dulled by hearing the incantations of sacrificial rituals.
यदिदमग्र आस न भविष्यदतो निधना-
मितमन्तरा त्वयि विभाति मृषैकरसे।
not exist prior to its creation and will no longer exist after its
annihilation, we conclude that in the interim it is nothing more than a
manifestation imagined to be visible within You, whose spiritual enjoyment
never changes. We liken this universe to
the transformation of various material substances into diverse forms. Certainly those who believe that this figment
of the imagination is substantially real are less intelligent.
सरूपतां तदनु मृत्युमपेतभगः ।
nature attracts the minute living entity to embrace her, and as a result he
assumes forms composed of her qualities.
Subsequently, he loses all his spiritual qualities and must undergo
repeated deaths. You, however, avoid the
material energy in the same way that a snake abandons its old skin. Glorious in
Your possession of eight mystic perfections, You enjoy unlimited opulences.
न समुद्धरन्ति यतयो हृदि कामजटा
order who fail to uproot the last traces of material desire in their hearts
remain impure, and thus You do not allow them to understand you. Although You are present within their hearts,
for them You are like a jewel worn around the neck of a man who has totally
forgotten it is there. O Lord, those who
practice yoga only for sense gratification must suffer punishment both in this
life and the next; from death, who will not release them, and from You, whose
kingdom they cannot reach.
देहभृतां च गिरः।
You, he no longer cares about his good and bad fortune arising from past pious
and sinful acts, since it is You alone who control this good and bad fortune.
Such a realized devotee also disregards what ordinary living beings say about
him. Every day he fills his ears with
Your glories, which are recited in each age by the unbroken succession of Manu’s
descendants, and thus You become his ultimate salvation.
unlimited, neither the lords of heaven nor even You Yourself can ever reach the
end of Your glories. The countless
universes, each enveloped in its shell, are compelled by the wheel of time to
wander within You, like particles of dust blowing about in the sky. The srutis, following their method of
eliminating everything separate from the Supreme, become successful by
revealing You as their final conclusion.
Narayana Rishi, said: Having heard these
instructions about the Suupreme Self, the Personality of Godhead, the sons of
Brahma now understood their final destination.
They felt perfectly satisfied and honoured Sanandana with their worship.
who travel in the upper heavens distilled this nectarean and confidential
essence of all the Vedas and Puranas.
earth at will, My dear son of Brahma, you should faithfully meditate on these
instructions concerning the science of the Self, which burn up the material
desires of all men.
said: When Sri Narayana Rishi ordered
him in this way, the self-possessed sage Narada, whose vow is as heroic as a
warrior’s, accepted the command with firm faith. Now successful in all his purposes, he
thought about what he had heard, O King, and replied to the Lord as follows.
my obeisances to Him of spotless fame, the Supreme Lord Krishna, who maifests
His all-attractive personal expansions so that all living beings can achieve
continued:] After saying this, Narada
bowed down to sri Narayana Rishi, the foremost of sages, and also to His
saintly disciples. He then returned to
the hermitage of my father, Dvaipayana Vyasa.
incarnation of the Personality of Godhead, respectfully greeted Narada Muni and
offered him a seat, which he accepted.
Narada then described to Vyasa what he had heard from the mouth of Sri Narayana
the question you asked me, O King, concerning how the mind can have access to
the Absolute Truth, which is indescribable by material words and devoid of
जहात्यजामनुशयी सुप्तः कुलायं यथा।
watches over this universe, who exists before, during and after its
manifestation. He is the master of both the unmanifest material energy and the
spirit soul. After sending forth the
creation he eters within it, accompanying each living entity. Then he creates
the material bodies and then remains as their regulator. By surrendering to Him one can escape the
embrace of illusion, just as a dreaming person forgets his own body. One who wants liberation from fear should
constantly meditate upon Him, Lord Hari, who is always on the platform of
perfection and thus never subject to material birth.