THE BHAGAVAD GITA: Chapter 9

Reference: Course on The Bhagavad Gita

NOTE: The following translation of the Sanskrit verses into English is obtained from Srimad Bhagavad Gita, SADHAKA SANJIVANI by Swami Ramsukhdas, published by Govind Bhawan Karyalaya, Gita Press, Gorakhpur, INDIA. For original comments please consult the above book. Abbreviated comments in color are provided by Vinaire.]

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Chapter 9

श्रीभगवानुवाच
इदंतुतेगुह्यतमंप्रवक्ष्याम्यनसूयवे।
ज्ञानंविज्ञानसहितंयज्ज्ञात्वामोक्ष्यसेऽशुभात्।।9.1।।

The Blessed Lord said:
To you who do not cavil, I shall now unfold the most profound Knowledge (Jñāna), along with Realization (Vijñāna), knowing which you will be released from evil i.e., evil of worldly birth and death. (IX-1)

राजविद्याराजगुह्यंपवित्रमिदमुत्तमम्।
प्रत्यक्षावगमंधर्म्यंसुसुखंकर्तुमव्ययम्।।9.2।।

This knowledge with realization is the sovereign science, the sovereign secret, supremely holy, the most excellent, directly realizable, attended with virtue, very easy to practice and Imperishable. (IX-2)

अश्रद्दधानाःपुरुषाधर्मस्यास्यपरन्तप।
अप्राप्यमांनिवर्तन्तेमृत्युसंसारवर्त्मनि।।9.3।।

People devoid of faith in the Dharma, failing to reach Me, O oppressor of the foes, revolve in the path of the mortal world. (IX-3)

Here the worldly birth and death is looked upon as an evil because it means that one’s evolution is not yet complete. The knowledge revealed here will bring about that remaining evolution. This knowledge is the icing on the cake. People who fail to evolve completely lack faith in the laws of nature, and so they keep cycling through the mortal world.

मयाततमिदंसर्वंजगदव्यक्तमूर्तिना।
मत्स्थानिसर्वभूतानिनचाहंतेष्ववस्थितः।।9.4।।
नचमत्स्थानिभूतानिपश्यमेयोगमैश्वरम्।
भूतभृन्नचभूतस्थोममात्माभूतभावनः।।9.5।।

All this universe is pervaded by Me in My unmanifest form. All beings abide in Me, but I don’t abide in them. Nor do the beings dwell in Me; look at My divine Yoga (power). Being the creator and sustainer of beings, Myself does not dwell in them. (IX-4, 5)

यथाऽऽकाशस्थितोनित्यंवायुःसर्वत्रगोमहान्।
तथासर्वाणिभूतानिमत्स्थानीत्युपधारय।।9.6।।

As the mighty wind moving everywhere ever rest in ether, likewise know that all beings rest in Me. (IX-6)

“Me” seems to stand for the Laws of Nature. These laws guide the evolution from raw impulse/energy to the electromagnetic configuration of matter and chemicals, which further evolve into self-animation of life, and finally, to self-awareness of humans. Thus, this whole universe is pervaded by the laws of Nature. The self-awareness is the product of these laws of Nature. The laws of Nature are not a product of self-awareness. All beings rest in the Laws of Nature.

सर्वभूतानिकौन्तेयप्रकृतिंयान्तिमामिकाम्।
कल्पक्षयेपुनस्तानिकल्पादौविसृजाम्यहम्।।9.7।।

All beings, O Kaunteya, go into my Prakrti (the Prime cause) at the end of a Kalpa (Brahmā’s day) and I generate them again at the beginning of the next Kalpa. (IX-7)

प्रकृतिंस्वामवष्टभ्यविसृजामिपुनःपुनः।
भूतग्राममिमंकृत्स्नमवशंप्रकृतेर्वशात्।।9.8।।

Laying hold of My Nature, I bring forth, again and again this whole multitude of beings, subject to the influence of their own nature. (IX-8)

नचमांतानिकर्माणिनिबध्नन्तिधनञ्जय।
उदासीनवदासीनमसक्तंतेषुकर्मसु।।9.9।।

O Dhananjya (Arjuna), those actions, however, don’t bind Me, Who remain like one unconcerned, unattached to those actions. (IX-9)

All beings reduce to their basic potential, and then regenerate, as the universe goes through cycles according to its nature. The laws of Nature regenerate totally afresh together with the beings, so the evolution can be unique in each cycle. The beings are obviously subject to the influence of their own nature. The laws of nature, however, are totally independent of the universal cycle.

मयाऽध्यक्षेणप्रकृतिःसूयतेसचराचरम्।
हेतुनाऽनेनकौन्तेयजगद्विपरिवर्तते।।9.10।।

O Son of Kunti, with Me as the supervisor, Nature brings forth the whole creation, both animate and inanimate; the world, therefore, revolves. (IX-10)

अवजानन्तिमांमूढामानुषींतनुमाश्रितम्।
परंभावमजानन्तोममभूतमहेश्वरम्।।9.11।।

Fools disregard Me as one putting on the human body, not knowing My supreme nature as the Great Lord of beings. (IX-11)

मोघाशामोघकर्माणोमोघज्ञानाविचेतसः।
राक्षसीमासुरींचैवप्रकृतिंमोहिनींश्रिताः।।9.12।।

Those fools with vain hopes, vain actions and vain knowledge have embraced a nature which is fiendish, demoniacal and delusive. (IX-12)

Under the supervision of the Ultimate Law of Nature, the whole creation, both animate and inanimate, comes forth at the beginning of the universal cycle. This continues till the end of the universal cycle. Some are aware of this; others are not. Those who are not aware attempt to act vainly in conflict with the Laws of Nature hoping for different outcomes.

NOTE: Postulates that may be able to describe the Laws of Nature are being worked out here: Course on the Universe

महात्मानस्तुमांपार्थदैवींप्रकृतिमाश्रिताः।
भजन्त्यनन्यमनसोज्ञात्वाभूतादिमव्ययम्।।9.13।।

But great souls, who possess a divine nature, knowing Me as the prime cause of creation; and imperishable, worship Me constantly with undivided mind. (IX-13)

सततंकीर्तयन्तोमांयतन्तश्चदृढव्रताः।
नमस्यन्तश्चमांभक्त्यानित्ययुक्ताउपासते।।9.14।।

Constantly chanting My names and glories, striving firm in vows, prostrating before Me, they worship Me with devotion, ever stead fast. (IX-14)

ज्ञानयज्ञेनचाप्यन्येयजन्तोमामुपासते।
एकत्वेनपृथक्त्वेनबहुधाविश्वतोमुखम्।।9.15।।

Others worship Me (as the One, Undivided Pure Consciousness) through their offering of Knowledge; while still others worship Me in My Universal Form, taking Me to be diverse in diverse celestial forms. (IX-15)

These verses describe the core of Jnana (knowledge) Yoga, Bhakti (devotional) Yoga, and Karma (Action oriented) Yoga.

अहंक्रतुरहंयज्ञःस्वधाऽहमहमौषधम्।
मंत्रोऽहमहमेवाज्यमहमग्निरहंहुतम्।।9.16।।
पिताऽहमस्यजगतोमाताधातापितामहः।
वेद्यंपवित्रमोंकारऋक्सामयजुरेवच।।9.17।।
गतिर्भर्ताप्रभुःसाक्षीनिवासःशरणंसुहृत्।
प्रभवःप्रलयःस्थानंनिधानंबीजमव्ययम्।।9.18।।

I am the Vaidika ritual, I am the sacrifice, I am the offering to the departed, I am the medical herb, I am the sacred formula, I am the clarified butter, I am the sacred fire and I am the act of offering oblation into the fire. I am the knowable, the purifier, the sacred syllable Om and the three Vedas—Rk, Sāma and Yajus. I am the father, sustainer, mother, grand-father, goal, supporter, Lord, witness abode, refuge, disinterested friend, origin, end, resting place, store-house and the imperishable seed of this universe. (IX-16, 17, 18)

POSTULATE # 6: The cycle of the universe starts as a universal field of raw impulse and energy called Akasha.
COROLLARY: All forms in the universe evolve from condensation due to innate attractive attributes of Akasha.
In Hinduism, Akasha means the basis and essence of all things in the material world; the first element created. The cycle of the universe starts with Akasha, a continuum of raw impulse and energy. Akasha has inherent attributes of attraction, and, therefore, impulse and energy attract each other. They integrate and condense as a result. From this condensation emerges everything in this universe.

तपाम्यहमहंवर्षंनिगृह्णाम्युत्सृजामिच।
अमृतंचैवमृत्युश्चसदसच्चाहमर्जुन।।9.19।।

Arjuna, I as the sun, radiate heat,  withhold and send forth rain, I am immorality as well as death; I am being and non-being both. (IX-19)

त्रैविद्यामांसोमपाःपूतपापा यज्ञैरिष्ट्वास्वर्गतिंप्रार्थयन्ते।
तेपुण्यमासाद्यसुरेन्द्रलोक मश्नन्तिदिव्यान्दिविदेवभोगान्।।9.20।।

Those who perform actions with some interested motive as laid down in the three Vedas and drink the sap of soma plant, and thus purged of sin, worshipping Me as Indra, by sacrifices, pray to seek access to heaven, attaining Indra’s paradise as the result of their good deeds, enjoy the celestial pleasures of the gods. (IX-20)

तेतंभुक्त्वास्वर्गलोकंविशालं क्षीणेपुण्येमर्त्यलोकंविशन्ति।
एवत्रयीधर्ममनुप्रपन्ना गतागतंकामकामालभन्ते।।9.21।।

Having enjoyed the extensive heavenly world, they return to the world of mortals on the exhaustion of their merits. Thus taking recourse to action with interested motive enjoined by the three vedas and seeking worldly enjoyments they repeatedly go and come. (IX-21)

The Laws of Nature have existed even before the life organisms acquired the ability to be aware of life and death. Such awareness is also the outcome of the Laws of Nature. In this world, actions, motivated along the lines of the knowledge from Vedas, and accompanied by sacrifices, do lead to fulfillment. But such fulfillments are narrow in their scope and the cycle of such actions continues.

अनन्याश्चिन्तयन्तोमांयेजनाःपर्युपासते।
तेषांनित्याभियुक्तानांयोगक्षेमंवहाम्यहम्।।9.22।।

To those men who worship Me alone, thinking of no one else, who are ever-devout, I provide gain and security. (IX-22)

येऽप्यन्यदेवताभक्तायजन्तेश्रद्धयाऽन्विताः।
तेऽपिमामेवकौन्तेययजन्त्यविधिपूर्वकम्।।9.23।।

Even those devotees who, endowed with faith, worship other gods, worship Me alone, O son of Kunti, though not in accordance with rules. (IX-23)

अहंहिसर्वयज्ञानांभोक्ताचप्रभुरेवच।
नतुमामभिजानन्तितत्त्वेनातश्च्यवन्तिते।।9.24।।

I am verily the enjoyer of all sacrifices and I am the Lord. But they don’t know Me in reality; hence they fall. (IX-24)

Those who perceive the Laws of nature in everything are very secure in themselves. Even those who do not perceive the Laws of nature, do so by the Laws of nature. The Laws of nature always prevail. Those who are unaware of these laws suffer.

यान्तिदेवव्रतादेवान्पितृ़न्यान्तिपितृव्रताः।
भूतानियान्तिभूतेज्यायान्तिमद्याजिनोऽपिमाम्।।9.25।।

Those who worship the gods with self-interest, go to the gods after death, those who worship the manes reach the manes, those who adore the evil spirits, reach the evil spirits. But those who worship Me attainMe alone. (IX-25)

पत्रंपुष्पंफलंतोयंयोमेभक्त्याप्रयच्छति।
तदहंभक्त्युपहृतमश्नामिप्रयतात्मनः।।9.26।।

Whoever offers Me with devotion a leaf,  a flower, a fruit or even water, I accept the pious offering offered by him with love. (IX-26)

यत्करोषियदश्नासियज्जुहोषिददासियत्।
यत्तपस्यसिकौन्तेयतत्कुरुष्वमदर्पणम्।।9.27।।

O son of Kunti, whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer in sacrifice, whatever you bestow as gift, whatever you do by way of penance, offer it all to Me. (IX-27)

You go where you direct your attention. If your attention is directed at the Laws of nature, you will attain the understanding of the Laws of nature. Let whatever you do be accompanied by the intention to seek out the Laws of nature.

शुभाशुभफलैरेवंमोक्ष्यसेकर्मबन्धनैः।
संन्यासयोगयुक्तात्माविमुक्तोमामुपैष्यसि।।9.28।।

With your mind firmly set in the Yoga of renunciation I.e., by offering all actions to Me, you will be free from the bondage of action yielding good and bad results; and freed from them, you shall attain Me. (IX-28)

समोऽहंसर्वभूतेषुनमेद्वेष्योऽस्तिनप्रियः।
येभजन्तितुमांभक्त्यामयितेतेषुचाप्यहम्।।9.29।।

I am the same to all beings; to Me there is none hateful, none dear.But those who worship Me with devotion are in Me and I am also in them. (IX-29)

अपिचेत्सुदुराचारोभजतेमामनन्यभाक्।
साधुरेवसमन्तव्यःसम्यग्व्यवसितोहिसः।।9.30।।

Even if the vilest sinner worships Me with exclusive devotion, he should be considered a saint, for he has rightly resolved. (IX-30)

When the focus is on assimilating the mental matrix, one is reducing “karma” and minimizing new “karma”. In this direction lies the total freedom from knowing the Laws of nature. The Laws of nature are the same for everyone. Anyone, who is devoted to seeking out the Laws of nature, can attain total freedom regardless of their background.

क्षिप्रंभवतिधर्मात्माशश्वच्छान्तिंनिगच्छति।
कौन्तेयप्रतिजानीहिनमेभक्तःप्रणश्यति।।9.31।।

Speedily he becomes virtuous and secures lasting peace. O Kaunteya, you vow for certain that My devotee never falls. (IX-31)

मांहिपार्थव्यपाश्रित्ययेऽपिस्युःपापयोनयः।
स्त्रियोवैश्यास्तथाशूद्रास्तेऽपियान्तिपरांगतिम्।।9.32।।

O Partha, women-folk, Vaisyas, Sūdras, and even those that are born of the womb of sin (such as the pariah) taking refuge in Me attain the Supreme God. (IX-32)

किंपुनर्ब्राह्मणाःपुण्याभक्ताराजर्षयस्तथा।
अनित्यमसुखंलोकमिमंप्राप्यभजस्वमाम्।।9.33।।

What wonder then that the holy Brahmanas and devout royal saints should attain Him. Therefore, having obtained this transient and joyless body, do worship Me. (IX-33)

मन्मनाभवमद्भक्तोमद्याजीमांनमस्कुरु।
मामेवैष्यसियुक्त्वैवमात्मानंमत्परायणः।।9.34।।

Fix your mind on Me, be devoted to Me, adore Me, bow down to Me, thus making yourself steadfast in Me and entirely depending on Me, you will come to Me. (IX-34)

A person who is seeking out the Laws of nature, cannot help but become part of Nature. This is virtue. This is peace. Caste and sins are no barriers. Privileges are no wonders. This transient and joyless body is not everything. Knowing and living naturally without pretensions is everything.

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