Here is a slightly modified and extracted version of a work by Swami Sivananda (1887-1963). He founded the Divine Life Society in the Himalayas. His work is for free distribution. The Sanskrit of the verses is retained along with an English translation - updated and slightly modified. Sivananda's commentaries and introductory matters are left out: Also: [◦Sivananda's Gita translation and commentary]
Dhritarashtra and Pandu were brothers and local kings in ancient India. Pandu, married to Kunti and Madri, was cursed for a sin while hunting. Kunti begot three children, Yudhisthira, Bhima and Arjuna. Madri had twins, Nakula and Sahadeva. Pandu passed away and his sons, the Pandavas, were brought up by the blind Dhritarashtra along with his sons known as Kauravas.
Dhritarashtra had a hundred and one children by his wife Gandhari.
The Pandavas and Kauravas grew up together, but the Kauravas were unable to tolerate the Pandavas. At last a war was at hand. When both sides were prepared to commence the battle, the sage Veda Vyasa approached Dhritarashtra and said,
"If you wish to see this terrible carnage with your own eyes I can give you the gift of vision."
The king replied, "I have no desire to see this slaughter with my own eyes, but I should like to hear all the details of the battle."
Then Vyasa conferred divine sight on a man called Sanjaya, and told the king, "Sanjaya will describe to you all the incidents of the war. He will directly see, hear or otherwise come to know everything exactly as it happens."
After the ten days of continued war between the Pandavas and the Kauravas, when the great warrior Bhishma was thrown down from his chariot by Arjuna, Sanjaya told the news to Dhritarashtra. In agony the king asked Sanjaya to narrate the full details of the previous ten days war, from the very beginning and in all detail as it happened.
"Bhagavad Gita" means the song of the Lord, the words of the Lord, the words of the Blessed One, and so on. The Gita is a part of the very long Mahabharata epic. Some words in it are translated differently, among other reasons because they can mean several things.
Krishna is called Bhagavan, or "the blessed or fortunate one". The Sanskrit word comes from the noun from the noun bhaga, which means "fortune, wealth". Added meanings are "owning fortune, blessed, prosperous, illustrious, divine, venerable, holy".
"Blessed Lord" and so on are translations of Bhagavan, and so is "The Supreme Personality of the Godhead", which Prabhupada uses a lot in his translation.
Bhagavan may take on different means to different people and in different traditions. In some Hindu traditions it is used to indicate the Supreme Being having a personal side (a personal God). Used in this way, Bhagavan is quite similar to a Christian understanding of God. Bhagavan may also be used as a title of veneration, often translated as "Lord", as in "Bhagavan Krishna". Buddha is also venerated with this title, which is often translated into "the Blessed One".
"Loka", realm, plane, plane of existence, is another term worth telling of. Prabhupada translates it into "planet", while Sivananda tends to use "world" and "worlds" for it. The meaning not to be missed is "realm". For example, swargaloka is heaven (swarga = heaven, loka = plane (realm, region, place, space, company etc).
The Little Gita
The presumed "Post-Vedic" Bhagavad Gita, or "Little Gita" of ca. 85 verses are contained in the three first chapters. The singled out, presumably first verses without Dr. Phulgenda Sinha's detailed verse commentaries are here: [A Post-Vedic Bhagavad Gita]
Dharmakshetre kurukshetre samavetaa yuyutsavah;
1. What did the sons of Pandu and also my people do when they had assembled together, eager for battle on the holy plain of Kurukshetra, Sanjaya?
Drishtwaa tu paandavaaneekam vyudham duryodhanastadaa;
2. Having seen the army of the Pandavas drawn up in battle array, King Duryodhana then approached his teacher (Drona) and spoke these words:
Pashyaitaam paanduputraanaam aachaarya mahateem chamoom;
3. "Behold, Teacher, this mighty army of the sons of Pandu, arrayed by the son of Drupada, your wise disciple!
Atra shooraa maheshwaasaa bheemaarjunasamaa yudhi;
4. "Here are heroes, mighty archers, equal in battle to Bhima and Arjuna, Yuyudhana, Virata and Drupada, of the great car (mighty warriors),
Dhrishtaketush chekitaanah kaashiraajashcha veeryavaan;
5. "Drishtaketu, Chekitana and the valiant king of Kasi, Purujit, and Kuntibhoja and Saibya, the best of men,
Yudhaamanyushcha vikraanta uttamaujaashcha veeryavaan;
6. "The strong Yudhamanyu and the brave Uttamaujas, the son of Subhadra (Abhimanyu, the son of Arjuna), and the sons of Draupadi, all of great chariots (great heroes).
Asmaakam tu vishishtaa you taan nibodha dwijottama;
7. "Know also, best among the twice-born, the names of those who are the most distinguished among ourselves, the leaders of my army! These I name to you for your information.
Bhavaan bheeshmashcha karnashcha kripashcha samitinjayah;
8. "Yourself and Bhishma, and Karna and Kripa, the victorious in war; Asvatthama, Vikarna, and Jayadratha, the son of Somadatta.
Anye cha bahavah shooraa madarthe tyaktajeevitaah;
9. "And also many other heroes who have given up their lives for my sake, armed with various weapons and missiles, all well skilled in battle.
Aparyaaptam tad asmaakam balam bheeshmaabhirakshitam;
10. "This army of ours marshalled by Bhishma is insufficient, whereas their army, marshalled by Bhima, is sufficient.
Ayaneshu cha sarveshu yathaabhaagam avasthitaah;
11. "Therefore, all of you, stationed in your respective positions in the several divisions of the army, protect Bhishma alone".
Tasya sanjanayan harsham kuruvriddhah pitaamahah;
12. His glorious grandsire (Bhishma), the eldest of the Kauravas, in order to cheer Duryodhana, now roared like a lion and blew his conch.
Tatah shankhaashcha bheryashcha panavaanakagomukhaah;
13. Then (following Bhishma), conches and kettle-drums, tabors, drums and cow-horns blared forth quite suddenly (from the side of the Kauravas); and the sound was tremendous.
Tatah shvetair hayair yukte mahati syandane sthitau;
14. Then also, Madhava (Krishna), and the son of Pandu (Arjuna), seated in their magnificent chariot yoked with white horses, blew their divine conches.
Paanchajanyam hrisheekesho devadattam dhananjayah;
15. Krishna (Hrishikesa) blew the Panchajanya and Arjuna blew the Devadatta, and Bhima, the doer of terrible deeds, blew the great conch Paundra.
Anantavijayam raajaa kunteeputro yudhishthirah;
16. Yudhisthira, the son of Kunti, blew the Anantavijaya; and Sahadeva and Nakula blew the Manipushpaka and Sughosha conches.
Kaashyashcha parameshwaasah shikhandee cha mahaarathah;
17. The king of Kasi, an excellent archer, Sikhandi, the mighty car-warrior, Dhristadyumna and Virata and Satyaki, the unconquered,
Drupado draupadeyaashcha sarvashah prithiveepate;
18. Drupada and the sons of Draupadi, Lord of the Earth, and the son of Subhadra, the mighty-armed, all blew their respective conches!
Sa ghosho dhaartaraashtraanaam hridayaani vyadaarayat;
19. The tumultuous sound rent the hearts of Dhritarashtra's party, making both heaven and earth resound.
Atha vyavasthitaan drishtwaa dhaartaraashtraan kapidhwajah;
20. Then, seeing all the people of Dhritarashtra's party standing arrayed and the discharge of weapons about to begin, Arjuna, the son of Pandu, whose ensign was that of a monkey, took up his bow and said the following to Krishna, Lord of the Earth!
Senayor ubhayormadhye ratham sthaapaya me'chyuta.
21-22. Please place my chariot, Krishna, in the middle of the two armies, so that I may behold those who stand here, desirous to fight, and know with whom I must fight when the battle begins.
Yotsyamaanaan avekshe'ham ya ete'tra samaagataah;
23. For I desire to observe those who are assembled here to fight, wishing to please in battle the evil-minded Duryodhana.
Evamukto hrisheekesho gudaakeshena bhaarata;
24. Being thus addressed by Arjuna, Lord Krishna, having stationed that best of chariots, Dhritarashtra, in the middle of the two armies,
Bheeshmadronapramukhatah sarveshaam cha maheekshitaam;
25. In front of Bhishma and Drona and all the rulers of the earth, said: "Arjuna, behold now all these Kurus gathered together!"
Tatraapashyat sthitaan paarthah pitrin atha pitaamahaan;
26. Then Arjuna beheld there stationed, grandfathers and fathers, teachers, maternal uncles, brothers, sons, grandsons and friends, too.
Shvashuraan suhridashchaiva senayorubhayorapi;
27. (he saw) fathers-in-law and friends also in both armies. The son of KuntiArjunaseeing all these kinsmen standing arrayed, spoke thus sorrowfully, filled with deep pity.
Drishtwemam swajanam krishna yuyutsum samupasthitam.
28. Seeing these, my kinsmen, Krishna, arrayed, eager to fight,
Seedanti mama gaatraani mukham cha parishushyati;
29. My limbs fail and my mouth is parched up, my body quivers and my hairs stand on end!
Gaandeevam sramsate hastaat twak chaiva paridahyate;
30. The (bow) "Gandiva" slips from my hand and my skin burns all over; I am unable even to stand, my mind is reeling, as it were.
Nimittaani cha pashyaami vipareetaani keshava;
31. And I see adverse omens, Kesava! I do not see any good in killing my kinsmen in battle.
Na kaangkshe vijayam krishna na cha raajyam sukhaani cha;
32. For I desire neither victory, Krishna, nor pleasures nor kingdoms! Of what avail is a dominion to us, Krishna, or pleasures or even life?
Yeshaam arthe kaangkshitam no raajyam bhogaah sukhaani cha;
33. Those for whose sake we desire kingdoms, enjoyments and pleasures, stand here in battle, having renounced life and wealth.
Aachaaryaah pitarah putraastathaiva cha pitaamahaah;
34. Teachers, fathers, sons and also grandfathers, grandsons, fathers-in-law, maternal uncles, brothers-in-law and relatives,
Etaan na hantum icchaami ghnato'pi madhusoodana;
35. These I do not wish to kill, Though they kill me, Krishna, even for the sake of dominion over the three worlds, leave alone killing them for the sake of the earth!
Nihatya dhaartaraashtraan nah kaa preetih syaaj janaardana;
36. By killing these sons of Dhritarashtra, what pleasure can be ours, Janardana? Only sin will accrue by killing these felons.
Tasmaan naarhaa vayam hantum dhaartaraashtraan swabaandhavaan;
37. Therefore, we should not kill the sons of Dhritarashtra, our relatives; for, how can we be happy by killing our own people, Madhava (Krishna)?
Yadyapyete na pashyanti lobhopahatachetasah;
38. Though they, with intelligence overpowered by greed, see no evil in the destruction of families, and no sin in hostility to friends,
Katham na jneyam asmaabhih paapaad asmaan nivartitum;
39. Why should not we, who clearly see evil in the destruction of a family, learn to turn away from this sin, Janardana (Krishna)?
Kulakshaye pranashyanti kuladharmaah sanaatanaah;
40. In the destruction of a family, the immemorial religious rites of that family perish; on the destruction of spirituality, impiety overcomes the whole family.
Adharmaabhibhavaat krishna pradushyanti kulastriyah;
41. By prevalence of impiety, Krishna, the women of the family become corrupt and, women becoming corrupted, Varsneya (descendant of Vrishni), there arises intermingling of castes!
Sankaro narakaayaiva kulaghnaanaam kulasya cha;
42. Confusion of castes leads to hell the slayers of the family, for their forefathers fall, deprived of the offerings of rice-ball and water.
Doshair etaih kulaghnaanaam varnasankarakaarakaih;
43. By these evil deeds of the destroyers of the family, which cause confusion of castes, the eternal religious rites of the caste and the family are destroyed.
Utsannakuladharmaanaam manushyaanaam janaardana;
44. We have heard, Janardana, that inevitable is the dwelling for an unknown period in hell for those men in whose families the religious practices have been destroyed!
Aho bata mahat paapam kartum vyavasitaa vayam;
45. Alas! We are involved in a great sin in that we are prepared to kill our kinsmen through greed for the pleasures of a kingdom.
Yadi maam aprateekaaram ashastram shastrapaanayah;
46. If the sons of Dhritarashtra, with weapons in hand, should slay me in battle, unresisting and unarmed, that would be better for me.
Evamuktwaa'rjunah sankhye rathopastha upaavishat;
47. Having thus spoken in the middle of the battlefield, Arjuna, casting away his bow and arrow, sat down on the seat of the chariot with his mind overwhelmed with sorrow.
Tam tathaa kripayaavishtam ashrupoornaakulekshanam;
1. To him who was thus overcome with pity and who was despondent, with eyes full of tears and agitated, Krishna or Madhusudana (the destroyer of Madhu), spoke these words.
Sri Bhagavaan Uvaacha:
Kutastwaa kashmalam idam vishame samupasthitam;
The Blessed Lord said:
2. From where is this perilous strait come upon you, this dejection which is unworthy of you, disgraceful, and which will close the gates of heaven upon you, Arjuna?
Klaibyam maa sma gamah paartha naitat twayyupapadyate;
3. Yield not to impotence, Arjuna, son of Pritha! it does not befit you. Cast off this mean weakness of the heart. Stand up, scorcher of foes!
Katham bheeshmamaham sankhye dronam cha madhusoodana;
4. How, Madhusudana, shall I fight in battle with arrows against Bhishma and Drona, who are fit to be worshipped, destroyer of enemies?
Guroon ahatwaa hi mahaanubhaavaan
Shreyo bhoktum bhaikshyam apeeha loke;
Bhunjeeya bhogaan rudhirapradigdhaan.
5. Better it is, indeed, in this world to accept alms than to slay the most noble teachers. But if I kill them, even in this world all my enjoyments of wealth and desires will be stained with (their) blood.
Na chaitad vidmah kataran no gareeyo
Yadwaa jayema yadi vaa no jayeyuh;
Te'vasthitaah pramukhe dhaartaraashtraah.
6. I can hardly tell which will be better: that we should conquer them or they should conquer us. Even the sons of Dhritarashtra, after slaying whom we do not wish to live, stand facing us.
Pricchaami twaam dharmasammoodha chetaah;
Shishyaste'ham shaadhi maam twaam prapannam.
7. My heart is overpowered by the taint of pity, my mind is confused as to duty. I ask you: tell me decisively what is good for me. I am your disciple. Instruct me who has taken refuge in you.
Na hi prapashyaami mamaapanudyaad
Yacchokam ucchoshanam indriyaanaam;
Raajyam suraanaam api chaadhipatyam.
8. I do not see that it would remove this sorrow that burns up my senses even if I should attain prosperous and unrivalled dominion on earth or lordship over the gods.
Evam uktwaa hrisheekesham gudaakeshah parantapah;
9. Having spoken thus to Hrishikesa (Lord of the senses), Arjuna (the conqueror of sleep), the destroyer of foes, said to Krishna: "I will not fight," and became silent.
Tam uvaacha hrisheekeshah prahasanniva bhaarata;
10. To him who was despondent in the middle of the two armies, Sri Krishna, as if smiling, Bharata, spoke these words!
Sri Bhagavaan Uvaacha:
Ashochyaan anvashochastwam prajnaavaadaamshcha bhaashase;
The Blessed Lord said:
11. You have grieved for those that should not be grieved for, yet you speak words of wisdom. The wise grieve neither for the living nor for the dead.
Na twevaaham jaatu naasam na twam neme janaadhipaah;
12. Nor at any time indeed was I not, nor these rulers of men, nor verily shall we ever cease to be hereafter.
Dehino'smin yathaa dehe kaumaaram yauvanam jaraa;
13. Just as in this body the embodied (soul) passes into childhood, youth and old age, so also does he pass into another body; the firm man does not grieve thereat.
Maatraasparshaastu kaunteya sheetoshnasukhaduhkhadaah;
14. The contacts of the senses with the objects, son of Kunti, which cause heat and cold and pleasure and pain, have a beginning and an end; they are impermanent; endure them bravely, Arjuna!
Yam hi na vyathayantyete purusham purusharshabha;
15. That firm man whom surely these afflict not, chief among men, to whom pleasure and pain are the same, is fit for attaining immortality!
Naasato vidyate bhaavo naabhaavo vidyate satah;
16. The unreal hath no being; there is no non-being of the Real; the truth about both has been seen by the knowers of the Truth (or the seers of the Essence).
Avinaashi tu tad viddhi yena sarvam idam tatam;
17. Know That to be indestructible, by whom all this is pervaded. None can cause the destruction of That, the Imperishable.
Antavanta ime dehaa nityasyoktaah shareerinah;
18. These bodies of the embodied Self, which is eternal, indestructible and immeasurable, are said to have an end. Therefore, fight, Arjuna!
Ya enam vetti hantaaram yashchainam manyate hatam;
19. He who takes the Self to be the slayer and he who thinks he is slain, neither of them knows; he slays not nor is he slain.
Na jaayate mriyate vaa kadaachin
Naayam bhootwaa bhavitaa vaa na bhooyah;
Na hanyate hanyamaane shareere.
20. He is not born nor does he ever die; after having been, he again ceases not to be. Unborn, eternal, changeless and ancient, he is not killed when the body is killed,
Vedaavinaashinam nityam ya enam ajam avyayam;
21. Whoever knows him to be indestructible, eternal, unborn and inexhaustible, how can that man slay, Arjuna, or cause to be slain?
Vaasaamsi jeernaani yathaa vihaaya
Navaani grihnaati naro'paraani;
Nyanyaani samyaati navaani dehee.
22. Just as a man casts off worn-out clothes and puts on new ones, so also the embodied Self casts off worn-out bodies and enters others that are new.
Nainam cchindanti shastraani nainam dahati paavakah;
23. Weapons cut it not, fire burns it not, water wets it not, wind dries it not.
Acchedyo'yam adaahyo'yam akledyo'shoshya eva cha;
24. This Self cannot be cut, burnt, wetted nor dried up. It is eternal, all-pervading, stable, ancient and immovable.
Avyakto'yam achintyo'yam avikaaryo'yam uchyate;
25. This (Self) is said to be unmanifested, unthinkable and unchangeable. Therefore, knowing This to be such, you should not grieve.
Atha chainam nityajaatam nityam vaa manyase mritam;
26. But, even if you think of it as being constantly born and dying, even then, mighty-armed, you should not grieve!
Jaatasya hi dhruvo mrityur dhruvam janma mritasya cha;
27. For, certain is death for the born and certain is birth for the dead; therefore, over the inevitable you should not grieve.
Avyaktaadeeni bhootaani vyaktamadhyaani bhaarata;
28. Beings are unmanifested in their beginning, manifested in their middle state, Arjuna, and unmanifested again in their end! What is there to grieve about?
Aashcharyavat pashyati kashchid enam
Aashcharyavad vadati tathaiva chaanyah;
Shrutwaapyenam veda na chaiva kashchit.
29. One sees This (the Self) as a wonder; another speaks of it as a wonder; another hears of it as a wonder; yet, having heard, none understands it at all.
Dehee nityam avadhyo'yam dehe sarvasya bhaarata;
30. This, the Indweller in the body of everyone, is always indestructible, Arjuna! Therefore, you should not grieve for any creature.
Swadharmam api chaavekshya na vikampitum arhasi;
31. Further, having regard to your own duty, you should not waver, for there is nothing higher for a Kshatriya than a righteous war.
Yadricchayaa chopapannam swargadwaaram apaavritam;
32. Happy are the Kshatriyas, Arjuna, who are called upon to fight in such a battle that comes of itself as an open door to heaven!
Atha chettwam imam dharmyam samgraamam na karishyasi;
33. But, if you will not fight in this righteous war, then, having abandoned your duty and fame, you shall incur sin.
Akeertim chaapi bhootaani kathayishyanti te'vyayaam;
34. People, too, will recount your everlasting dishonour; and to one who has been honoured, dishonour is worse than death.
Bhayaad ranaad uparatam mamsyante twaam mahaarathaah;
35. The great car-warriors will think that you have withdrawn from the battle through fear; and you will be lightly held by them who have thought much of you.
Avaachyavaadaamshcha bahoon vadishyanti tavaahitaah;
36. Your enemies also, cavilling at your power, will speak many abusive words. What is more painful than this!
Hato vaa praapsyasi swargam jitwaa vaa bhokshyase maheem;
37. Slain, you will obtain heaven; victorious, you will enjoy the earth; therefore, stand up, son of Kunti, resolved to fight!
Sukhaduhkhe same kritwaa laabhaalaabhau jayaajayau;
38. Having made pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat the same, engage you in battle for the sake of battle; thus you shall not incur sin.
Eshaa te'bhihitaa saankhye buddhir yoge twimaam shrinu;
39. This which has been taught to you, is wisdom concerning Sankhya. Now listen to wisdom concerning Yoga, endowed with which, Arjuna, you shall cast off the bonds of action!
Nehaabhikramanaasho'sti pratyavaayo na vidyate;
40. In this there is no loss of effort, nor is there any harm (the production of contrary results or transgression). Even a little of this knowledge (even a little practice of this Yoga) protects one from great fear.
Vyavasaayaatmikaa buddhir ekeha kurunandana;
41. Here, joy of the Kurus, there is a single one-pointed determination! Many-branched and endless are the thoughts of the irresolute.
Yaam imaam pushpitaam vaacham pravadantyavipashchitah;
42. Flowery speech is uttered by the unwise, who take pleasure in the eulogising words of the Vedas, Arjuna, saying: "There is nothing else!"
Kaamaatmaanah swargaparaa janmakarmaphalapradaam;
43. Full of desires, having heaven as their goal, they utter speech which promises birth as the reward of one's actions, and prescribe various specific actions for the attainment of pleasure and power.
Bhogaishwarya prasaktaanaam tayaapahritachetasaam;
44. For those who are much attached to pleasure and to power, whose minds are drawn away by such teaching, that determinate faculty is not manifest that is steadily bent on meditation and Samadhi (the state of superconsciousness).
Traigunyavishayaa vedaa nistraigunyo bhavaarjuna;
45. The Vedas deal with the three attributes (of Nature); be above these three attributes, Arjuna! Free yourself from the pairs of opposites and ever remain in the quality of Sattva (goodness), freed from the thought of acquisition and preservation, and be established in the Self.
Yaavaanartha udapaane sarvatah samplutodake;
46. To the Brahmana who has known the Self, all the Vedas are of as much use as is a reservoir of water in a place where there is a flood.
Karmanyevaadhikaaraste maa phaleshu kadaachana;
47. Your right is to work only, but never with its fruits; let not the fruits of actions be your motive, nor let your attachment be to inaction.
Yogasthah kuru karmaani sangam tyaktwaa dhananjaya;
48. Perform action, Arjuna, being steadfast in Yoga, abandoning attachment and balanced in success and failure! Evenness of mind is called Yoga.
Doorena hyavaram karma buddhiyogaad dhananjaya;
49. Far lower than the Yoga of wisdom is action, Arjuna! Seek you refuge in wisdom; wretched are they whose motive is the fruit.
Buddhiyukto jahaateeha ubhe sukrita dushkrite;
50. Endowed with wisdom (evenness of mind), one casts off in this life both good and evil deeds; therefore, devote yourself to Yoga; Yoga is skill in action.
Karmajam buddhiyuktaa hi phalam tyaktwaa maneeshinah;
51. The wise, possessed of knowledge, having abandoned the fruits of their actions, and being freed from the fetters of birth, go to the place which is beyond all evil.
Yadaa te mohakalilam buddhir vyatitarishyati;
52. When your intellect crosses beyond the mire of delusion, then you shall attain to indifference as to what has been heard and what has yet to be heard.
Shrutivipratipannaa te yadaa sthaasyati nishchalaa;
53. When your intellect, perplexed by what you have heard, shall stand immovable and steady in the Self, then you shall attain Self-realisation.
Sthitaprajnasya kaa bhaashaa samaadhisthasya keshava;
54. What, Krishna, is the description of him who has steady wisdom and is merged in the superconscious state? How does one of steady wisdom speak? How does he sit? How does he walk?
Sri Bhagavaan Uvaacha:
Prajahaati yadaa kaamaan sarvaan paartha manogataan;
The Blessed Lord said:
55. When a man completely casts off, Arjuna, all the desires of the mind and is satisfied in the Self by the Self, then is he said to be one of steady wisdom!
Duhkheshwanudwignamanaah sukheshu vigatasprihah;
56. He whose mind is not shaken by adversity, who does not hanker after pleasures, and who is free from attachment, fear and anger, is called a sage of steady wisdom.
Yah sarvatraanabhisnehas tattat praapya shubhaashubham;
57. He who is everywhere without attachment, on meeting with anything good or bad, who neither rejoices nor hates, his wisdom is fixed.
Yadaa samharate chaayam kurmo'ngaaneeva sarvashah;
58. When, like the tortoise which withdraws its limbs on all sides, he withdraws his senses from the sense-objects, then his wisdom becomes steady.
Vishayaa vinivartante niraahaarasya dehinah
59. The objects of the senses turn away from the abstinent man, leaving the longing (behind); but his longing also turns away on seeing the Supreme.
Yatato hyapi kaunteya purushasya vipashchitah;
60. The turbulent senses, Arjuna, do violently carry away the mind of a wise man Though he be striving (to control them)!
Taani sarvaani samyamya yukta aaseeta matparah;
61. Having restrained them all he should sit steadfast, intent on me; his wisdom is steady whose senses are under control.
Dhyaayato vishayaan pumsah sangas teshupajaayate;
62. When a man thinks of the objects, attachment to them arises; from attachment desire is born; from desire anger arises.
Krodhaad bhavati sammohah sammohaat smriti vibhramah;
63. From anger comes delusion; from delusion the loss of memory; from loss of memory the destruction of discrimination; from the destruction of discrimination he perishes.
Raagadwesha viyuktaistu vishayaanindriyaishcharan;
64. But the self-controlled man, moving among objects with the senses under restraint, and free from attraction and repulsion, attains to peace.
Prasaade sarvaduhkhaanaam haanir asyopajaayate;
65. In that peace all pains are destroyed, for the intellect of the tranquil-minded soon becomes steady.
Naasti buddhir ayuktasya na chaayuktasya bhaavanaa;
66. There is no knowledge of the Self to the unsteady, and to the unsteady no meditation is possible; and to the un-meditative there can be no peace; and to the man who has no peace, how can there be happiness?
Indriyaanaam hi charataam yanmano'nuvidheeyate;
67. For the mind which follows in the wake of the wandering senses, carries away his discrimination as the wind (carries away) a boat on the waters.
Tasmaad yasya mahaabaaho nigriheetaani sarvashah;
68. Therefore, mighty-armed Arjuna, his knowledge is steady whose senses are completely restrained from sense-objects!
Yaanishaa sarvabhootaanaam tasyaam jaagarti samyamee;
69. That which is night to all beings, then the self-controlled man is awake; when all beings are awake, that is night for the sage who sees.
Samudram aapah pravishanti yadwat;
Sa shaantim aapnoti na kaamakaami.
70. He attains peace into whom all desires enter as waters enter the ocean, which, filled from all sides, remains unmoved; but not the man who is full of desires.
Vihaaya kaamaan yah sarvaan pumaamshcharati nihsprihah;
71. The man attains peace, who, abandoning all desires, moves about without longing, without the sense of mine and without egoism.
Eshaa braahmee sthitih paartha nainaam praapya vimuhyati;
72. This is the Brahmic seat (eternal state), son of Pritha! Attaining to this, none is deluded. Being established therein, even at the end of life one attains to oneness with Brahman.
Jyaayasee chet karmanaste mataa buddhir janaardana;
1. If it be thought by you that knowledge is superior to action, Krishna, why then, Kesava, ask me to engage in this terrible action?
Vyaamishreneva vaakyena buddhim mohayaseeva me;
2. With these apparently perplexing words you confuse, as it were, my understanding; therefore, tell me that one way for certain by which I may attain bliss.
Sri Bhagavaan Uvaacha:
Loke'smin dwividhaa nishthaa puraa proktaa mayaanagha;
The Blessed Lord said:
3. In this world there is a twofold path, as I said before, sinless one,the path of knowledge of the Sankhyas and the path of action of the yogis!
Na karmanaam anaarambhaan naishkarmyam purusho'shnute;
4. Not by the non-performance of actions does man reach actionlessness, nor by mere renunciation does he attain to perfection.
Na hi kashchit kshanamapi jaatu tishthatyakarmakrit;
5. Verily none can ever remain for even a moment without performing action; for, everyone is made to act helplessly by the qualities born of Nature.
Karmendriyaani samyamya ya aaste manasaa smaran;
6. He who, restraining the organs of action, sits thinking of the sense-objects in mind, he, of deluded understanding, is called a hypocrite.
Yastwindriyaani manasaa niyamyaarabhate'rjuna;
7. But whoever, controlling the senses by the mind, Arjuna, engages himself in Karma Yoga with the organs of action, without attachment, he excels!
Niyatam kuru karma twam karma jyaayo hyakarmanah;
8. Perform your bounden duty, for action is superior to inaction and even the maintenance of the body would not be possible for you by inaction.
Yajnaarthaat karmano'nyatra loko'yam karmabandhanah;
9. The world is bound by actions other than those performed for the sake of sacrifice; do you, therefore, son of Kunti, perform action for that sake (for sacrifice) alone, free from attachment!
Sahayajnaah prajaah srishtwaa purovaacha prajaapatih;
10. The Creator, having in the beginning of creation created mankind together with sacrifice, said: "By this shall you propagate; let this be the milch cow of your desires (the cow which yields the desired objects)".
Devaan bhaavayataanena te devaa bhaavayantu vah;
11. Nourish the gods with this, and may the gods nourish you; thus nourishing one another you shall attain to the highest good.
Ishtaan bhogaan hi vo devaa daasyante yajnabhaavitaah;
12. The gods, nourished by the sacrifice, will give you the desired objects. So, he who enjoys the objects given by the gods without offering (in return) to them, is verily a thief.
Yajnashishtaashinah santo muchyante sarva kilbishaih;
13. The righteous, who eat of the remnants of the sacrifice, are freed from all sins; but those sinful ones who cook food (only) for their own sake, verily eat sin.
Annaad bhavanti bhootaani parjanyaad anna sambhavah;
14. From food come forth beings, and from rain food is produced; from sacrifice arises rain, and sacrifice is born of action.
Karma brahmodbhavam viddhi brahmaakshara samudbhavam;
15. Know you that action comes from Brahma, and Brahma proceeds from the Imperishable. Therefore, the all-pervading (Brahma) ever rests in sacrifice.
Evam pravartitam chakram naanuvartayateeha yah;
16. He who does not follow the wheel thus set revolving, who is of sinful life, rejoicing in the senses, he lives in vain, Arjuna!
Yastwaatmaratir eva syaad aatmatriptashcha maanavah;
17. But for that man who rejoices only in the Self, who is satisfied in the Self, who is content in the Self alone, verily there is nothing to do.
Naiva tasya kritenaartho naakriteneha kashchana;
18. For him there is no interest whatever in what is done or what is not done; nor does he depend on any being for any object.
Tasmaad asaktah satatam kaaryam karma samaachara;
19. Therefore, without attachment, always perform action which should be done; for, by performing action without attachment, man reaches the Supreme.
Karmanaiva hi samsiddhim aasthitaa janakaadayah;
20. Janaka and others attained perfection verily by action only; even with a view to the protection of the masses you should perform action.
Yadyad aacharati shreshthas tattadevetaro janah;
21. Whatever a great man does, that other men also do; whatever he sets up as the standard, that the world follows.
Na me paarthaasti kartavyam trishu lokeshu kinchana;
22. There is nothing in the three worlds, Arjuna, that should be done by me, nor is there anything unattained that should be attained; yet I engage myself in action!
Yadi hyaham na varteyam jaatu karmanyatandritah;
23. For, should I not ever engage myself in action, unwearied, men would in every way follow my path, Arjuna!
Utseedeyur ime lokaa na kuryaam karma ched aham;
24. These worlds would perish if I did not perform action; I should be the author of confusion of castes and destruction of these beings.
Saktaah karmanyavidwaamso yathaa kurvanti bhaarata;
25. As the ignorant men act from attachment to action, Bharata (Arjuna), so should the wise act without attachment, wishing the welfare of the world!
Na buddhibhedam janayed ajnaanaam karmasanginaam;
26. Let no wise man unsettle the minds of ignorant people who are attached to action; he should engage them in all actions, himself fulfilling them with devotion.
Prakriteh kriyamaanaani gunaih karmaani sarvashah;
27. All actions are wrought in all cases by the qualities of Nature only. He whose mind is deluded by egoism thinks: "I am the doer".
Tattwavittu mahaabaaho gunakarma vibhaagayoh;
28. But he who knows the truth, mighty-armed Arjuna, about the divisions of the qualities and their functions, knowing that the Gunas as senses move in the middle of the Gunas as the sense-objects, is not attached.
Prakriter gunasammoodhaah sajjante gunakarmasu;
29. Those deluded by the qualities of Nature are attached to the functions of the qualities. A man of perfect knowledge should not unsettle the foolish one of imperfect knowledge.
Mayi sarvaani karmaani sannyasyaadhyaatma chetasaa;
30. Renouncing all actions in me, with the mind centred in the Self, free from hope and egoism, and from (mental) fever, fight.
you me matam idam nityam anutishthanti maanavaah;
31. Those men who constantly practise this teaching of Mine with faith and without cavilling, they too are freed from actions.
you twetad abhyasooyanto naanutishthanti me matam;
32. But those who carp at my teaching and do not practise it, deluded in all knowledge and devoid of discrimination, know them to be doomed to destruction.
Sadrisham cheshtate swasyaah prakriter jnaanavaan api;
33. Even a wise man acts in accordance with his own nature; beings will follow nature; what can restraint do?
Indriyasyendriyasyaarthe raagadweshau vyavasthitau;
34. Attachment and aversion for the objects of the senses abide in the senses; let none come under their sway, for they are his foes.
Shreyaan swadharmo vigunah paradharmaat swanushthitaat;
35. Better is one's own duty, though devoid of merit, than the duty of another well discharged. Better is death in one's own duty; the duty of another is fraught with fear.
Atha kena prayukto'yam paapam charati poorushah;
36. But impelled by what does man commit sin, though against his wishes, Varshneya (Krishna), constrained, as it were, by force?
Sri Bhagavaan Uvaacha:
Kaama esha krodha esha rajoguna samudbhavah;
The Blessed Lord said:
37. It is desire, it is anger born of the quality of Rajas, all-sinful and all-devouring; know this as the foe here (in this world).
Dhoomenaavriyate vahnir yathaadarsho malena cha;
38. As fire is enveloped by smoke, as a mirror by dust, and as an embryo by the amnion, so is this enveloped by that.
Aavritam jnaanam etena jnaanino nityavairinaa;
39. Arjuna, wisdom is enveloped by this constant enemy of the wise in the form of desire, which is unappeasable as fire!
Indriyaani mano buddhir asyaadhishthaanam uchyate;
40. The senses, mind and intellect are said to be its seat; through these it deludes the embodied by veiling his wisdom.
Tasmaat twam indriyaanyaadau niyamya bharatarshabha;
41. Therefore, best of the Bharatas (Arjuna), controlling the senses first, kill this sinful thing (desire), the destroyer of knowledge and realisation!
Indriyaani paraanyaahur indriyebhyah param manah;
42. They say that the senses are superior (to the body); superior to the senses is the mind; superior to the mind is the intellect; and one who is superior even to the intellect is hethe Self.
Evam buddheh param buddhwaa samstabhyaatmaanam aatmanaa;
43. Thus, knowing him who is superior to the intellect and restraining the self by the Self, slay you, mighty-armed Arjuna, the enemy in the form of desire, hard to conquer!