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Chapter 9 - Raja Vidya, Raja Guhya Yoga 
Commentary by Sri Adi Sankaracharya, Translated by Swami Gambhirananda

The yoga associated with (its part) dharana (concentration) (practised) while proceeding through the (susumna) nerve has been dealt with in the eighth chapter, together with its subsidiary disciplines (see (8.12). And its result has been indicated as the Stated of Non-return, which in fact is the realization of Brahman Itself, in due course of time by successively reaching fire, light, etc. In that connection, a doubt may arise that the result in the form of attainment of Liberation is achieved only through this process, and not through any other. For dispelling this-

The Blessed Lord said:

1. However, to you who are not given to cavilling I shall speak of this highest secret itself, which is Knowledge [Jnana may mean Brahman that is Consciousness, or Its knowledge gathered from the Vedas (paroksa-jnana). Vijnana is direct experience (aparoksa-jnana).] combined with experience, by realizing which you shall be free from evil.

Te, to you; anasuyave, who are not given to caviling, who are free from carping; pravaksyami, I shall speak of; idam, this.

The Lord uttered the word 'this' by bearing in mind as an immediately present fact the knowledge of Brahman that will be and was spoken of in the earlier chapters. The word tu (however) is used for pointing out a distinction [The distinction of Knowledge from meditation that was being discussed.].

(I shall speak) of this itself-what is that?-(it is) guhyatamam, the highest secret; and is jnanam, Knowledge, complete Knowledge-nothing else-, the direct means to Liberation, as stated in the Upanisads and the Smrtis, 'Vasudeva is all' (7.19), 'the Self verily is all this' (Ch. 7.25.2), 'One only, without a second' (op. cit. 6.2.1), etc., and also as stated in such Upanisadic texts as, 'On the other hand, those who understand otherwise than this come under a different ruler, and belong to the worlds that are subject to decay' (op. cit. 7.25.2). (Knowledge) of what kind? It is vijnana-sahitam, combined with experience; jnatva, by realizing, by attaining; yat, which Knowledge; moksyase, you shall be free; asubhat, from evil, from worldly bondage.

2. This is the Sovereign Knowledge, the Sovereign Profundity, the best sanctifire; directly realizable, righteous, very easy to practise and imperishable.

And that is raja-vidya, the Sovereign Knowledge, the kind among sciences because of the abundance of its radiance. Indeed, this knowledge of Brahman shines most brilliantly among all kiinds of learning [The word raja means a king, or figuratively, the greatest; or, derived from the root raj, to shine, it may mean shining.-Tr.] So also, idam, this; is raja-guhyam, the Sovereign Profundity, the kind among profundities; uttamam, the best; pavitram, sanctifier. This knowledge of Brahman, which sanctifies all things that purify, is the greatest. Shine it reduces to ashes in a moment (the results of) all actions-righteous, unrighteous and others-together with their roots, accumulated over many thousands of births, therefore, what to speak of its sanctifying power! Besides, it is pratyaksavagamam, directly realizable, directly perceivable like happiness etc.

Eeven though possessed of many qualities, a thing may be noticed to be contrary to righteousness. The knowledge of the Self is not opposed to righteousness, in that way, but it is dharmyam, righteous, not divorced from righteousness. Eeve so, it may be difficult to practice. Hence the Lord says it is susukham, very easy; kartum to practise, like the knowledge of the distinction among jewels. It is seen (in the world) that, actions which require little effort and are accomplished easily yield meagre results, whereas those that are difficult to accomplish yield great results. Thus the contingency arises that this (knowledge of Brahman), however. which is easily attained, perishes when its result gets exhausted. Therefore the Lord says it is avyayam, imperishable. From the point of view of its result, it is not perishable like (the results of) actions. Hence the knowledge of the Self should be highly regarded.

3. O destroyer of foes, persons who are regardless of this Dharma (knowledge of the Self) certainly go round and round, without reaching Me, along the path of transmigration which is fraught with death.

Parantapa, O destroyer of foes; those purusah, persons, again; who are asraddadhanah, regardless of, devoid of faith in; asya dharmasya, this Dharma, this knowledge of the Self-those who are faithless as regards its true nature as well as its result, who are sinful, who have taken recourse to the 'upanisad' (mystical teaching) of demoniacal people, consisting in consideration the body alone as the Self, and who delight in life (sense enjoyments); nivartante, certainly go round and round;-where?-mrtyu-samsara-vartmani, along the path (vartma) of transmigration (samsara) fraught with death (mrtyu), the path leading to hell, birth as low creatures, etc., i.e., they go round and round along that very path; aprapya, without reaching; mam, Me, the supreme God. Certainly there is no question of their attaining Me. Hence, the implication is that (they go round and round) without even acquiring a little devotion, which is one of the disciplines [Ast. omits the word sadhana, disciplines.-Tr.] constituting the path for reaching Me.

Having drawn Arjuna's attention through the (above) eulogy, the Lord says:

4. This whole world is prevaded by Me in My unmanifest form. All beings exist in Me, but I am not contained in them!

Idam, this; sarvam, whole; jagat, world; is tatam, pervaded; maya, by Me; through the supreme nature, that I have, avyakta-murtina, in My unmanifest form, in that form in which My nature is not manifest, i.e. in My form which is beyond the range of the organs.

Sarva-bhutani, all beings, from Brahma to a clump of grass; matsthani, exist in Me, are established in Me in that unmanifest form. For, no created thing that is bereft of the Self (i.e. of Reality) can be conceived of as an object of practical use. Therefore, being possessed of their reality through Me who am their Self, they exist in Me. Hence they are said to be established in Me.

I Myself am the Self of those created things. Consequently, it appears to people of little understanding that I dwell in them. Hence I say: Na ca aham, but I am not; avasthitah, contained; tesu, in them, in the created things. Since unlike gross objects I am not in contact with anything, therefore I am certainly the inmost core even of space. For, a thing that has no contact with anything cannot exist like something contained in a receptacle.

For this very reason that I am not in contact with anyting-

5. Nor do the beings dwell in Me. Behod My divine Yoga! I am the sustainer and originator of beings, but My Self is not contained in the beings.

Na ca bhutani, nor do the beings, beginning from Brahma; matsthani, dwell in Me. Pasya, behold; me, My; aisvaram, divine; yogam, Yoga, action, performance, i.e. this real nature of Myself. The Upanisadic text, too, similarly shows the absence of association (of the Self) due to Its being free from contact: '.....unattached, for It is never attached' (Br. 3.9.26). Behold this other wonder: I am the bhuta-bhrt, sustainer of beings, though I am unattached. Ca, but; mama atma, My Self; na bhutasthah, is not contained in the bengs. As it has been explained according to the logic stated above, there is no possibility of Its remaining contained in beings. How, again, is it said, 'It is My Self? Following human understanding, having separated the aggregate of body etc. (from the Self) and superimposing eoism of them, the Lord calls It 'My Self'. But not that He has said so by ignorantly thinking like ordinary mortals that the Self is different from Himself.

So also, I am the bhuta-bhavanah, originator of beings, one who gives birth to or nourishes the beings.

By way of establishing with the help of an illustration the subject-matter [Subject-matter-that the Self, which has no contact with anything, is the substratum of creation, continuance and dissolution.] dealt with in the aforesaid two verses, the Lord says:

6. Understand thus that just as the voluminous wind moving everywhere is ever present in space, similarly all beings abide in Me.

Upadharaya, understand; iti, thus; that yatha, just as; in the world, the mahan, voluminous-in dimension; vayuh, wind; sarvatragah, moving everywhere; is nityam, ever; [During creation, continuance and dissolution] akasa-sthitah, present in space; tatha, similarly; (sarvani, all; bhutani, beings; matsthani,) abide in Me who am omnipresent like space-abide certainly without any contact.

7. O son Kunti, all the beings go back at the end of a cycle to My Prakrti. I project them forth again at the beginning of a cycle.

Kaunteya, O son of Kunti; sarva-bhutani, all the beings-all the beings which, like wind abiding in space, abide thus in Me during their period of existence; yanti, go back; kalpa-ksaye, at the end of a cycle, at the time of dissolution; mamikam prakrtim, to My Prakrti which consists of the three gunas (qualities; see 7.13) and is (called My) lower Nature. Punah, again; aham, I; visrjami, project forth, create; tani, them, the beings, as before [As before: as in previous cycles of creation.]; kalpadau, at the beginning of a cycle, at the time of creation.

8. Keeping My own prakrti under control, I project forth again and again the whole of this multitude of beings which are powerless owing to the influence of (their own) nature.

Thus avastabhya, keeping under control; svam, My own; prakrtim, Prakrti, which is charcterized as nescience; visrjami, I project forth; punah, punah, again and again; the krtsnam, whole of; imam, this; existing bhuta-gramam, multitude of beings which are born of Prakrti; which, being under another's sub-jugation due to such defects [See under 8.19, introductory Commentary.-Tr.] as ignorance etc., are avasam, powerless, not independent; prakrteh vasat, under the influence of their own nature.

'In that case, You, who are the supreme God and who ordain this multitude of beings unequally, will become associated with virtue and vice as a result of that act?'

In answer the Lord says this"

9. O Dhananjaya (Arjuna), nor do those actions bind Me, remaining (as I do) like one unconcerned with, and unattached to, those actions.

O Dhananjaya, na ca, nor do; tani, those; karmani, actions-which are the sources of the creation of the multitude of beings unequally; nibadhnanti, bind; mam, Me, who am God. As to that, the Lord states the reason for His not becoming associated with the actions: Asinam, remaining (as I do); udasinavat, like one unconcerned, like some indifferent spectator- for the Self is not subject to any change; and asaktam, unattached; tesu karmasu, to those actions-free from attachment to results, free from the egoism that 'I do.'

Hence, even int he case of any other person also, the absence of the idea of agentship and the absence of attachment to results are the causes of not getting bound. Otherwise, like the silkworm, a foolish man becomes bound by acitons. This is the idea.

There (in th previous two verses) it involves a contradiction to say, 'Remaining like one unconcerned, I project forth this multitude of beings.' In order to dispel this doubt the Lord says:

10. Under Me as the supervisor, the Prakrti produces (the world) of the moving and the non-moving things. Owing to this reason, O son of Kunti, the world revolves.

Maya, under Me; adhyaksena, as the supervisor, remaining changeless as a mere witness under all circumstances; prakrtih, the Prakrti, My maya consisting of the three gunas and characterized as ignorance; suyate, produces; the world sa-cara-acaram. of the moving and the none-moving things. Thus there is the Vedic text, 'The one divine Being is hidden in all beings; He is amnipresent, the indwelling Self of all bengs, the Supervisor of actions, the refuge of all beings, the witness, the one who imparts consceiousness, unconditioned [This is according to Sankaracarya's commentary on this verse. A.G. interprets kevala as non-dual.-Tr.] and without qualities' (Sv. 6.11).

Anena hetuna, owing to this reason-because of this presiding over; O son of Kunti, the jagat, world, with the moving and the non-moving things, consisting of the manifest and the unmanifest; viparivartate, revolves, under all conditions [During creation, continuance and dissolution.] All the activities of the world in the form, 'I eat this; I see; I hear this; I experience this happiness, suffer this sorrow; I shall do this for that purpose, [Ast. omits this portion.-Tr] I shall do this for this purpose; I shall know this,' etc. indeed arise owing to their being the objects of the conscious witness. They verily exist in consciousness, and end in consciousness. And such mantras as, 'He who is the witness of this is in the supreme heaven' [Supreme heaven, the heart; i.e. He is inscrutable.] (Rg., Na. Su. 10.129.7; Tai. Br.2.8.9), reveal this fact. Since it follows from this that there is no other conscious being part from the one Deity-who is the witness of all as the absolute Consciousness, and who in reality has no contact with any kind of enjoyment-, therefore there is no other enjoyer. Hence, in this context, the question, 'For what purpose is this creation?', and its answer are baseless-in accordance with the Vedic text, 'Who know (It) truly, who can fully speak about this here? From where has this come? From where is this variegated creation?' (Rg. 3.54.5; 10.129.6). And it has been pointed out by the Lord also: 'Knowledge remains covered by ignorance. Thereby the creatures become deluded' (5.15).

11. Not knowing My supreme nature as the Lord of all beings, foolish people disregard Me who have taken a human body.

Ajanatah, not knowing; mama, My; param, supreme; bhavam, nature-My supreme Reality, which is like space, nay, which is subtler and more pervasive than space; as bhuta-maheswaram, the Lord of all beings, the great Lord of all beings who is their Self; mudhah, foolish people, the non-discriminating ones; avajananti, disregard, belittle; mam, Me, although I am by nature thus eternal, pure, intelligent, free and the Self of all beings; and asritam, who have taken; manusim tanum, a human body common to men, i.e... when I act with the help of a human body. As a result of that, as a result of continously disrespecting Me, those wretches get ruined.


12. Of vain hopes, of vain actions, of vain knowledge, and senseless, they become verily possessed of the deceptive disposition of fiends and demons.

Moghasah, of vain hopes. So also, mogha-karmanah, of vain actions: their rites, such as Agnihotra etc. which are undertaken by them, verily become vain, fruitless actions, because of dishonouring the Lord, disregarding Him who is their own Self. In this way they are of vain actions.

Similarly, mogha-jnanah, of vain knowledge: of fruitless knowledge; even their knowledge verily becomes useless. And vicetasah, senseless: i.e., they lose their power of discrimination. Besides, [Besides, in the next birth...] they become sritah, possessed of; the mohinim, self-deceptive, self-delusive; prakritim, disposition; raksasim, of fiends; and asurim, of demons-according to which the body is the Self; i.e., they become habitually inclined to act cruelly, saying, 'cut, break, drink, eat, steal others' wealth,' etc. [The habit to cut, break, drink, eat, etc. is characteristic of fiends. The habit of stealing others' wealth, etc. is characteristic of demons.] This is stated in the Sruti, 'Those worlds of devils (are covered by blinding darkness)' (Is. 3).

13. O son of Prtha, the noble ones, being possessed of divine nature, surely adore Me with single-mindedness, knowing Me as the immutable source of all objects.

On the othe hand, O son of Prtha, those mahat-manah, noble ones-who are not small-mined, who are imbued with faith, and who have set out on the path of Liberation, which is characerized by devotion to God; being asritah, possessed of; daivim, divine; prakrtim, nature-distinguished by mental and physical control, kindness, faith, etc.; tu, surely; bhajante, adore; mam, Me, God; ananya-manasah, with single-mindedness; jnatva, knowing Me; as the avyayam, immutable; bhutadim, source of all objects, of space etc. (i.e. th five elements) as well as of living beings.


14. Always glorifying Me and striving, the men of firm vows worship Me by paying obeisance to Me and being ever endowed with devotion.

Satatam, always; kirtayantah, glorifying; mam, Me, God, who am Brahman in reaility; ca, and; yatantah, striving, endeavouring with the help of such virtues as withdrawal of the organs, control of mind and body, kindness, non-injury, etc.; drdha-vratah, the men of firm vows those whose vows [Vows such as celibacy], those whosevows are unshakable; upasate, worship Me; namasyantah, by paying obeisance; mam, to Me, to the Self residing in the heart, ca, and; nitya-yuktah, being ever endowed; bhaktya, with devotion.

The various ways in which they adore are being stated:

15. Others verily worship Me by adoring exclusively through the sacrifice of the knowledge of oneness; (others worship Me) multifariously, and (others) as the multiformed existing variously.

Anye, others, giving up others forms of adoration; ca, verily; upasate, worship; mam, Me, God; yajantah, by adoring, glorifying; api, exclusively; jnana-yajnene ekatvena, through the sacrifice of the knowledge of oneness-knowledge of God itself being the sacrifice; and that knowledge consists in the realization of the highest truth that the supreme Brahman is verily one. Adoring with that (knowledge) they worship Me.

And some others Me prthaktvena, multifariously-in different forms as the sun, moon, etc. They worship (Me) by thinking that, Visnu who is God Himself exists in different forms as the sun etc.

Still others worship Me thinking that, that very God who is visvatomukhah, mulitiformed, who has His facr everywhere, i.e., who is the Cosmic Person; exists bahudha, variously. In numerous ways they worship Him, the Cosmic Person, who has His face everywhere.

'If they worship in numerous ways, how is it that they worship You alone?' Hence the Lord says:

16. I am the kratu, I am the yajna, I am the svadha, I am the ausadha, I am the mantra, I Myself am the ajya, I am the fire, and I am the act of offering.

Aham, I; am the kratuh, a kind of Vedic sacrifice; I Myself am the yajnah, sacrifice as prescribed by the Smrtis; further, I am svadha, the food that is offered to the manes; I am ausadham-by which word is meant the food that is eaten by all creatures. Or, svadha means food in general of all creatures, and ausadha means medicine for curing diseases. I am the mantra with which offering is made to manes and gods. I Myself am the ajyam, oblations; and I am agnih, the fire-I Myself am the fire into which the oblation is poured. And I am the hutam, act of offering.


17. Of this world I am the father, mother, ordainer, (and the), grand-father; I am the knowable, the sancitifier, the syllable Om as also Rk, Sama and Yajus.

Asya, of this; jagatah, world; aham, I; am pita, the father; mata, the mother; dhata, ordainer, dispenser of the results of their actions to the creatures; (and the) pirtamahah, grand-father. I am the vedayam, knowable-that which has to be known; the pavitram, sanctifier; [Virtuous actions.] and the onkarah, syllable Om; eva ca, as also Rk, Sama and Yajus. [Brahman, which has to be known, is realizable through Om, regarding which fact the three Vedas are the authority. The ca (as also) is suggestive of the Atharva-veda.]


18. (I am) the fruit of actions, the nourisher, the Lord, witness, abode, refuge, friend, origin, end, foundation, store and the imperishable seed.

(I am) the gatih, fruit of actions; the bharta, nourisher; [The giver of the fruits of actions.] the prabhuh, Lord; the saksi, witness of all tha is done or not done by creatures; the nivasah, abode, where creatures live; the saranam, refuge, remover of sufferings of the afflicted who take shelter; the suhrt, friend, one who does a good turn without thought of reward; the prabhavah, origin of the world; the pralayah, end, the place into which the world merges. So also, (I am) the sthanam, foundation on which the world rests; the nidhanam, store, which is for future enjoyment of creatures; and the avyayam, imperishable; bijam, seed, the cause of growth of all things which germinate. The seed is imperishable because it continues so long as the world lasts. Indeed, nothing springs up without a seed. And since creation is noticed to be continuous, it is understood that the continuity of the seed never ends.


19. O Arjuna, I give heat, I withhold and pour down rain. I am verily the nectar, and also death existence and nonexistence.

O Arjuna, aham, I, in the form of the sun; tapami, give heat through some intense rays. Through some rays utsrjami, I pour down; varsam, rain. Having poured down, again nigrhnami, I withdraw it through some rays-for eight months. Again I pour it down in the rainy season. I am eva ca, verily; the amrtam, nectar of the gods; and mrtyuh, death of the mortals. I Myself am sat, existence-the effect which has come into bneing in relation to its cause; and its opposite, asat, nonexistence. [Nonexistence: the cause which has not become manifest as the effect possessing name and form, It cannot be admitted that the effect has absolute existence, for the Upanisad says, 'All transformation has speech as it basis, and it is name only' (Ch.6. 1. 4). Nor can it be said that the cause has absolute non-existence, for there is the text,'..... by what logic can the existent come verily out of nonexistence? But surely,....all this was Existence, one without a second' (op. cit. 6.2.2).] It is not that the Lord is Himself absolutely nonexistence; nor are effect and cause (absolutely) existence and nonexistent (respectively).

Those men of Knowledge who meditate of Me while worshpping Me according to the respective forms of sacrifices mentioned above-regardomg Me as one or multifirious, etc.-, they attain Me alone according to their conceptions.

20. Those who are versed in the Vedas, who are drinkers of Soma and are purified of sin, pray for the heavenly goal by worshipping Me through sacrifices. Having reached the place (world) of the king of gods, which is the result of righteousness, they enjoy in heaven th divine pleasure of gods.

Those, again, who are ignorant and desirous of pleasures, trai-vidyah, who are versed in the three Vedas, who know the Rk, Yajus and Sama Vedas; somapah, who are drinkers of Soma; and who, as a result of that very drinking of Soma, are puta-papah, purified of sin; prarthayante, pray for; the svargatim, heavenly goal, the attainment of heaven-heaven itself being the goal [Ast. adds this portion-svareva gatih, heaven itself being the goal.-Tr.]-; istva, by worshipping; mam, Me, existing in the forms of gods such as the Vasus and others; yajnaih, through sacrifices such as the Agnistoma etc. And asadya, having reached; surendra-lokam, the place (world) of the kind of gods, of Indra; (which is) punyam, the result of righteousness; te, they; asnanti, enjoy; divi, in heaven; the devyan, divine, heavenly, supernatural;; deva-bhogan, pleasures of gods.

21. After having enjoyed that vast heavenly world, they enter into the human world on the exhaustion of their merit. Thus, those who follow the rites and duties prescribed in the three Vedas, and are desirous of pleasures, attain the state of going and returning.

Bhuktva, after having enjoyed; tam, that: visalam, vast; svargalokam, heavenly world; te, they; visanti, enter into; this martyalokam, human world; ksine, on the exhaustion; of their punye, merit. Evam, thus, indeed; anuprapannah, those who follow in the manner described; trai-dharmyam, [A variant reading is trayi-dharmam.-Tr.] the rites and duties prescribed in the three Vedas-merely the Vedic rites and duties; and are kama-kamah, desirous of pleasures; labhante, attain; only gata-agatam, the state of going and returning, but never that of independence. This is the meaning.

22. Those persons who, becoming non-different from Me and meditative, worship Me everywhere, for them, who are ever attached (to Me), I arrange for securing what they lack and preserving what they have.

On the other hand, ye janah, those persons, the monks, who are desireless and fully illumined; who ananyah, becoming non-different (from Me), having realized the supreme Deity, Narayana, as their own Self; and cintayantah, becoming meditative; ['Having known that I, Vasudeva, am the Self of all, and there is nothing else besides Me'.] paryu-pasate mam, worship Me everywhere; ['They see Me the one, all-pervading, infinite Reality.'] tesam, for them; who have realized the supreme Truth, nitya-abhiyuktanam, who are ever attached (to Me); aham, I; vahami, arrange for; both yoga-kesamam, securing what they lack and preserving what they have. Yoga means making available what one does not have, and ksema means the protection of what one has got.

Since 'but the man of Knowledge is the very Self. (This is) My opinion' and 'he too is dear to Me' (7.17,18), therefore they have become My own Self as also dear. Does not the Lord surely arrange for securing what they lack and protecting what they have even in the case of other devotees? This is true. He does arrange for it. But the difference lies in this: Others who are devotees make their own efforts as well for their own sake, to arrange for securing what they lack and protecting what they have. On the contrary, those who have realized non-duality do not make any effrot to arrange for themselves the acquisition of what they do not have and the preservation of what they have. Indeed, they desire nothing for themselves, in life or in death. They have taken refuge only in the Lord. Therefore the Lord Himself arranges to procure what they do not have and protect what they have got.

'If you Yourself are the other gods even, then do not their devotees too worship You alone?' 'Quite so!'

23. Even those who, being devoted to other deities and endowed with faith, worship (them), they also, O son of Kunti, worship Me alone (though) following the wrong method.

Api, even; ye, those who; anya-devata-bhaktah, being devoted to tother deities; and anvitah sraddhaya, endowed with faith; yajante, worship (them), te api, they also; O son of Kunti, yajanti, worship; mam, Me; eva, alone; (though) avidhi-purvakam, following the wrong method. Avidhi implies ignorance. So the idea is that they worship (Me) ignorantly.

'How it is that they worship (Me) ignorantly?' [i.e. the worshippers of other deities worship them knowingly, and hence, how can the question of their ignorance arise?] This is being answered: Because-

24. I indeed am the enjoyer as also the Lord of all sacrifices; but they do not know Me in reality. Therefore they fall.

As the Self of the deities (of the sacrifices), aham, I; hi, indeed; am the bhokta, enjoyer; ca eva, as also; the prabhuh, Lord; [The Lord: 'I being the indwelling Ruler of all.'] sarva-yajnanam, of all sacrifices enjoined by the Vedas and the Smrtis. A sacrifice is verily presided over by Me, for it has been said earlier, 'I Myself am the entity (called Visnu) that exists in the sacrifice in this body' (8.4). Tu, but; na abhi-jananti, they do not know; mam, Me as such; tattvena, in reality. And atah, therefore, by worshipping ignorantly; te, they; cyavanti, fall from the result of the sacrifice. ['Although they perform sacrifices with great diligence, still just because they do not know Me real nature and do not offer the fruits of their sacrifices to Me, they proceed to the worlds of the respective deities through the Southern Path (beginning with smoke; see 8.25). Then, after the exhaustion of the results of those sacrifices and the falling of the respective bodies (assumed in those worlds) they return to the human world for rembodiment.'-M.S. (See also 9.20-1.)]

The result of a sacrifice is inevitable even for those who worship ignorantly out of their devotion to other deities. How?

25. Votaries of the gods reach the gods; the votarites of the manes go to the manes; the worshippers of the Beings reach the Beings; and those who worship Me reach Me.

Deva-vratah, votaries of the gods, those whose religious observances [Making offerings and presents, circumambulation, bowing down, etc.] and devotion are directed to the gods; yanti, reach, go to; devan, the gods. Pitr-vratah, the votaries of the manes, those who are occupied with such rites as obsequies etc., who are devoted to the manes; go pitrn, to the manes such as Agnisvatta and others. Bhutejyah, the Beings such as Vinayaka, the group of Sixteen (divine) Mothers, the Four Sisters, and others. And madyajinah, those who worship Me, those who are given to worshipping Me, the devotees of Visnu; reach mam, Me alone. Although the effort (involved) is the same, still owing to ingorance they do not worship Me exclusively. Thereby they attain lesser results. This is the meaning.

'Not only do My devotees get the everlasting result in the form of non-return (to this world), but My worship also is easy.' How?

26. Whoever offers Me with devotion-a leaf, a flower, a fruit, or water, I accept that (gift) of the pure-hearted man which has been devotionally presented.

Yah, whoever; prayaccati, offers; me, Me; bhaktya, with devotion; patram, a leaf; puspam, a flower phalam, a fruit; or toyam, water; asnami, I accept; tat, that (gift)-leaf etc.; prayata-atmanah, of the pure-hearted man; which has been bhakti-upahrtam devotionally presented.

Since this is so, therefore-

27. O son of Kunti, whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer as a sacrifice, whatever you give and whatever austerities you undertake, (all) that you offer to Me.

O son of Kunti, yat-karosi, whatever you do, what comes spontaneously; [Actions such as walking etc. that are spontaneous,not injunctions of the scriptures.] yad-asnasi, whatever you eat; and yat-juhosi, whatever you offer as a sacrifice, whatever sacrifices you perform-be it prescribed by the Vedas or by the Smrtis; yatadadasi, whatever you give-gold, food, clarified butter, etc. to Brahmanas and others; and yat-tapasyasi, whatever austerties you undertake; (all) tat, that; kurusva madarpanam, you offer to Me.

'Hear what happens to you when you act thus.'

28. Thus, you will become free from bondage in the form of actions which are productive of good and bad results. Havng your mind inbued with the yoga of renunciation and becoming free, you will attain Me.

By dedicating to Me evam, thus; maksyase, you will become free; karma-bandhanaih, from bondage in the form of actions-actions themselves being the bonds; subha-asubha-phalaih, which are productive of good and bad results-i.e. from actions that have desirable (subha) and undesireable (asubha) results (phala).

Sannyasa, renunciation, is that which results from dedication (of actions) to Me, and that is also yoga since it involves actions. He who has his mind (atma) endowed (yukta) with that yoga of renunciation (sannyasa-yoga) is sannyasa-yoga-yukta-atma.

You, being such, having your mind endowed with the yoga of renunciation, and vimuktah, becoming free from the bonds of actions evern while living; upaisyasi, will attain, come; mam, to Me, when this body falls.

In that case the Lord is possessed of love and hatred inasmuch as He favours the devotees, and not others? That is not so:

29. I am impartial towards all beings; to Me there is none detastable or none dear. But those who worship Me with devotion, they exist in Me, and I too exist in them.

Aham, I; am samah, impartial, equal; sarva-bhutesu, towards all beings; me, to Me; na asti, there is none; dvesyah, detestable; na, none; priyah, dear. I am like fire: As fire does not ward off cold from those who are afar, but removes it from those who apporach, near, similarly I favour the devotees, not others. Tu, but; ye, those who approach near, similarly I favour the devotees, not others. Tu, but; ye, those who; bhajanti, worship Me, God; bhaktya, with devotion; te they; exist mayi, in Me-by their very nature; ['Their mind becomes fit for My manifestation, as it has been purified by following the virtuous path.'] they do not exist in Me because of My love, Ca, and; aham, I; api, too; naturally exist tesu, in them, not in others. Thus there is no hatred towards them (the latter).

'Listen to the greatness of devotion to Me:'

30. Even if a man of very bad conduct worships Me with one-pointed devotion, he is to be considered verily good; for he has resolved rightly.

Api cet, even if; su-duracarah, a man of very bad conduct, of extremely vile behaviour, of very condemnable character; bhajate, worships; mam, Me; ananyabhak, with one-pointed devotion, with his mind not given to anybody else; he; mantavyah, is to be considered, deemed; eva, verily; sadhuh, good, as well behaved; hi, for; sah, he; samyakvyavasitah, has resolved rightly, has virtuous intentions.

31. He soon becomes possessed of a virtuous mind; he attains everlasting peace. Do you proclain boldly, O son of Kunti, that My devotee does not get ruined.

Having given up his external evil behaviour due to the strength of his internal proper resolves, ksipram bhavati, he soon becomes; verily dharma-atma, possessed of a virtuous mind; and nigaccahti, he attains; sasvat, everlasting; santim, peace, quietude [Cessation of evil acts.]. O son of Kunti, listen to the supreme Truth: Pratijanihi, do you proclaim boldly, make a firm declaration; that me, My; bhaktah, devotee, who has dedicated his inner being to Me; na, does not; pranasyati, get ruined.


32. For, O son of Prtha, even those who are born of sin-women, Vaisyas, as also Sudras [S.'s construction of this portion is: women, Vaisyas as also Sudras, and even others who are born of sin (i.e., those who are born low and are of vile deeds, viz Mlecchas, Pukkasas and others). M.S. also takes papa-yonayah (born of sin) as a separate phrase, and classifies women and others only as those debarred from Vedic study, etc.-Tr.]-, even they reach the highest Goal by taking shelter under Me.

Hi, for; O son of Prtha, ye api, even those; papayonayah syuh, who are born of sin;-as to who they are, the Lord says-striyah, women; vaisyah, Vaisyas, tatha, as also; sudrah, Sudras; te api, even they; yanti, reach, go to; the param, highest; gatim, Goal vyapasritya, by taking shelter; mam, under Me-by accepting Me as their refuge.

33. What to speak of the holy Brahmanas as also of devout kind-sages! Having come to this ephemeral and miserable world, do you worship Me.

Kim punah, what to speak of; the punyah brahmanah, holy Bramanas, of sacred birth; tatha, as also; of the bhaktah, devout; rajarsayah, kind-sages-those who are kings and, at the same time, sages! Since this is so, therefore, prapya, having come; imam, to this; anityam, ephemeral, ever changeful; and asukham, miserable, unhappy; lokam, world, the human world-having attained this human life which is a means to Liberation; bhajasva, do you worship, devoted yourself; mam to Me.


34. Having your mind fixed on Me, be devoted to Me, sacrifice to Me, and bow down to Me. By concentrating your mind and accepting Me as the supreme Goal, you shall surely attain Me who am thus the Self.

Manmana bhava, have your mind fixed on Me; [Here Ast. adds the word vasudeva.-Tr] and also be madbhakah, devoted to Me. Madyaji, sacrifice to Me, be engaged in sacrificing to Me. And namaskuru, bow down; only mam, to Me. Yuktva, by concentrating your mind; and mat-parayanah, by accepting Me as the supreme Goal; esyasi eva, you shall surely attain; mam, Me who am God. You shall attain Me evam atmanam, who am thus the Self: I indeed am the Self of all the beings, and am also the supreme Goal. You shall attain Me who am such. In this way, the word atmanam (Self) is to be connected with the preceding word mam (Me). This is the purport.