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.]


Chapter 10


The blessed Lord said:
Once again, O mighty-armed, listen to My supreme word, which I shall speak to you, who are so loving, out of solicitude for your welfare. (X-1)


Neither gods nor the great sages know the secret of My origin; for I am the prime cause in all respects of gods as well as the great sages. (X-2)


He who knows Me as unborn and beginningless, as the Great Lord of the world, he, undecided among men, is purged of all sins. (X-3)

Where the Laws of nature originate from is not known. But one, who knows that these Laws are overarching and follows them, is purged of all sins.


Intellect, wisdom, non-delusion, forgiveness, truth, self-restraint (control over the mind and the senses), joy (pleasure), and sorrow (pain), evolution and dissolution, fear and fearlessness, non-violence, equanimity, contentment, austerity, charity, fame and disrepute—these diverse feelings of creatures emanate from Me alone. (X-4,5)

The Laws of nature evolve the following metaphysical characteristics as part of awareness:

(1) बुद्धि (intellect): the power of forming and retaining conceptions and general notions, intelligence, reason, intellect, mind, discernment, judgement etc.

The sense organs convert the interaction with external (physical) energy of Akasha into electro-chemical signals, which are then converted into internal (metaphysical) energy by the cells of the body. The mental matrix then assimilates the incoming signals with stored internal energy to generate perceptions in real time. This assimilation also leads to the formation of concepts and general notions that are retained to speed up subsequent assimilations. This is the intellect functioning.

(2) ज्ञान (wisdom): knowing, becoming acquainted with, knowledge, (especially) the higher knowledge (derived from meditation on the one Universal Spirit) etc.

This is the understanding resulting from the assimilation of all mental matrices in the universe. It makes up the Attention field. These ultimate considerations are continuous, harmonious and consistent like the universe they are reflecting.

(3) असंमोह (non-delusion): (noun) calmness, composure, deliberateness, (adjective) not-confused.

Self is composed of the attention field, mental matrix and the body. Attention field forms a continuum, but the mental matrices and bodies are discrete condensations within it. Together the mental matrix and body form an identity, which is like a covering for self. A person generally confuses identity with self. In asammohah, one is aware of the difference between self and identity and the relationship between the two.

(4) क्षमा (forgiveness): patience, forbearance, indulgence etc.

Forgiveness is actually the patience needed to sort out the anomalies (discontinuities, disharmonies and inconsistencies) and not rushing and making mistakes. The mental matrix sorts out the anomalies naturally, and directs the body in its actions appropriately when data is missing. It requires patience to let the mental matrix do its job.

(5) सत्यं (truth): true, real, actual, genuine, sincere, honest, truthful, faithful, pure, virtuous, good, successful, effectual, valid etc.

Truth is the state achieved when all anomalies have been resolved. Truth is the state of continuity, harmony and consistency.

(6) दम (self-restraint): self-command, self-restraint, self-control
सम (self-restraint): equable, neutral, indifferent

Effort may be required in following the rules for self-restraint (morals), when anomalies exist in the mental matrix. But as these anomalies are resolved one no longer needs to put out effort to achieve self-restraint.

(7) सुख (joy): originally “having a good axle-hole” possibly running swiftly or easily (applied to chariots);
दुःख (sorrow): uneasiness, pain, trouble, difficulty.

Such conditions arise due to anomalies and during the process of resolving them.

(8) भव (evolution): coming into existence, birth, production, origin
अभाव (dissolution): non-existence, nullity, absence

Everything is cyclical. The universe, the identities perceiving it, the anomalies, etc., come into existence and then resolve again and again.

(9) भय (fear): alarm, dread, apprehension
अभय (fearlessness): fearless, undaunted

Such conditions also arise due to anomalies and during the process of resolving them, especially where the survival of identity itself is concerned.

(10) अहिम्सा (non-violence): harmlessness, not injuring anything, safeness, security

अहिम्सा is neither harming the body nor the mind. The body can be harmed by injuring any of its parts. The mind can be harmed by actions that make it unable to assimilate its contents and coordinate the functions of the body.

(11) समता (equanimity): equality, sameness, identity with, fairness, impartiality towards, equableness, equanimity.

समता is the ability of the mind to keep functioning normally despite being under tension.

(12) तुष्टि (contentment): satisfaction, contentment

One settles in contentment as anomalies in the mental matrix are routinely getting resolved without much difficulty.

(13) तप (austerity): “consuming by heat”, “causing pain or trouble, distressing”, heat, warmth, the hot season, religious austerity

When overcoming anomalies in the mental matrix becomes difficult it may require some discipline.

(14) दान (charity): the act of giving, communicating, imparting, teaching, paying back, restoring, donation, gift

दान is participating in a sphere wider than one’s own mental matrix. It is contributing to the assimilation of social mental matrix. Bodies must also be taken care of before mental matrix can be properly assimilated.

(15) यशस् (fame): beautiful appearance, beauty, splendour, worth, honour, glory, fame, renown
अयशस् (disrepute): infamy, devoid of fame, disgraced

यशस् is the outcome of actions that resolve anomalies and bring good alignment. अयशस् is just the opposite.


The seven great seers, the more ancient four Sanaka etc., and fourteen Manus, who are all devoted to Me, are born of My mind and all these creatures in the world have come forth from them. (X-6)

Saptarishis are regarded as knowers and annotators of Vedas and the patriarchs of the Vedic religion. They are recognized as representations of creators, preservers and destroyers. From them come the lineages of all the brahmins. Their names are identified with the seven stars of Ursa Major.

The four Kumaras are regarded as born of the mind of Brahma. Their names mean “Ancient,” “Eternal,” “Ever Joyful” and “Ever Young.” They roam the universe together as children without any desire but with purpose to teach. They have studied Vedas and are enlightened.

Manu is the title or name of fourteen mystical Kshatriya rulers of earth, or alternatively as the head of mythical dynasties that begin with each cyclic kalpa (aeon) when the universe is born anew.

These twenty-five mythical figures are the progenitors of mankind who are devoted to the Laws of Nature. The Laws of Nature are more ancient as they preceded mankind, and the mankind evolved out of them.


He who knows in reality this divine glory and power of Mine is endowed with unfaltering Yoga of devotion; of this there is no doubt. (X-7)


I am the origin of the whole creation; from Me all things move. The wise knowing this, full of devotion, worship Me. (X-8)


With their minds fixed on Me, with their lives surrendered to Me, enlightening each other about My greatness and ever speaking of Me, they ever remain contented and delighted. (X-9)

A Yogi who has realized the role of the Laws of nature has no more doubt of his understanding of their power, and he is completely devoted to this understanding. These Laws provide the clue to the origin of this whole creation. This brings about the stability of contentment and delight.


To them, ever devout, worshipping me with love, I confer that Yoga of Wisdom (equanimity) by which they attain Me. (X-10)


In order to shower my grace on them, I, dwelling in their self (heart), destroy the ignorance—born darkness by the luminous lamp of wisdom. (X-11)

Wisdom lies in the harmony of all knowledge. It requires assimilation of all knowledge. It is attained by those who are devout and loving in their study, meditations and observations. With the attainment of wisdom all ignorance is removed.


Arjuna said:
You are the Supreme Brahma (Eternal) (Pure Consciousness), the Supreme Abode, the Supreme Purifier, the Eternal Divine Person, the Prime Deity, the Unborn, the Omnipresent. Likewise all the sages have acclaimed You, as also celestial sage Narada, so also Asita, Devala and Vyasa; and You Yourself also proclaim this to me. (X-12,13)


I hold as true all that You tell me, O Kesava. Neither the gods nor the demons, O blessed Lord, know Your manifestation. (X-14)


You alone know Yourself by Yourself, O Supreme Person, O Creator of beings, O Lord of beings,  O God of gods, O Lord of the Universe. (X-15)

Krishna represents the ultimate in wisdom. He practiced that wisdom to such an extent that he became the example for it. He is credited for bringing wisdom to others and was adored for it. He was comparable to all other renowned sages of the past. Arjuna esteemed him greatly and trusted him fully. He considered himself very fortunate to know Krishna, who was boundless in his wisdom.


You alone can describe in full Your divine glories, by which You remain pervading these worlds. (X-16)


How may I know You, O Master of Yoga, by constant meditation? In what various aspects are You, O blessed Lord, to be meditated upon by me? (X-17)


Tell me again in detail, O Janardana, Your power of Yoga and Your glories; for I know no satiety in hearing Your nectarean words. (X-18)

Krishna was the master of Yoga. Arjuna was amazed at what he was hearing about Yoga. He felt that Krishna knew him better than anybody. He wanted Krishna’s direction on how he should start his Yoga meditation.


The blessed Lord said:
Now I shall tell you My divine glories in brief, O best of the Kurus, for there is no end to the details of My manifestation. (X-19)


In the self, O Gudakesa, seated in the hearts of all beings I am the beginning, the middle and also the end of all beings. (X-20)

There is no end to the manifestations of the Laws of nature. The beginning, middle and the end of all beings (elements) occurs according to the same laws.


I am Visnu among the twelve sons of Aditi; and the bright rayed sun among the luminaries; I am the glory of the Maruts and the moon among stars. (X-21)

Aditi means “boundless” or “innocence”. It is the personification of the infinite. Vishnu means “the pervader”. It represents the self-actuated energy that pervades the infinite. Marut means “wind”. It represents the disturbances that accompany the evolution of the universe from energy.


Of the Vedas I am the Sāmveda; I am Vāsva (Indra) among the gods; of the senses I am the mind and among living being I am consciousness. (X-22)

Sāmveda (from sāman “song” and veda “knowledge”): Samaveda is the Veda of melodies and chants. It has the root of music and dance tradition of this planet. It deals with the importance of speech, language, song and chants to man’s quest for knowledge and salvation, to metaphysical premises and questions, as well as to rituals.

Vāsva (Indra): Indra is the king of the highest heaven. He represents the power that destroys evil and brings prosperity and happiness.

The mind is viewed here as a sense organ that integrates all other senses. Consciousness is viewed as the highest characteristic of self-awareness of life.


Among the Rudras I am Sankara; among the Yaksas (Genies) and Rakshasas (Demons) I am Kubera. Among the Vasus (a class of the gods) I am the god of fire, and of the mountains I am the Meru. (X-23)

Rudra appears to be the personification of violent and forceful phenomena. An angry emotion can be an appropriate response to a situation or it could be totally inappropriate reaction. Sankara represents a forceful but appropriate response to a situation.

The yaksha and rakshas seem to personify the passions in man from benign to most destructive. Of course, there are people and races that represent the predominance of such passions. These passions have the power to overcome the rational thinking in men when triggered. So they are considered to have magical powers of illusion. Kubera represents the control of these earthly passions while attached to them.

The Vasus seem to personify the physical elements of the universe. Fundamental to all these elements is “energy”. Meru seems to signify the central structure of the ancient cosmology.


Among priests, O Partha, know me to their chief Brhsapati; among generals I am Skanda; among the seats of water, I am the ocean. (X-24)

The ancient sages of Vedas seems to have been elevated to the status of deities and gods. Brhsapati is recognized as the chief offerer of prayers and sacrifices, for his wisdom and eloquence, and as a teacher. Skanda is recognized as a philosopher-warrior, who destroys evil and teaches the pursuit of ethical life as a celibate yogi.


Among the great seers I am Bhrgu, of the words I am monosyllable ‘Om’; of sacrifices, I am the sacrifice of the constant repetition of the Lord’s name; and of the immovables, Himalaya. (X-25)

In ancient India, the scientific research was focused on the perception of reality, and the sages were the great scientists. Maharishi Bhṛgu was one of the seven great sages, the first compiler of predictive astrology, and also the author of Bhrigu Samhita, the astrological (Jyotish) classic. Oṃ, ॐ, is a sacred sound and a spiritual symbol that signifies the essence of the ultimate reality, consciousness or Atman.


Of all trees I am Asvattha (the holy fig tree); among the celestial sages, Narada; among the Gandharvas (celestial monsters), Citraratha; among the siddhas (the Perfect), the sage Kapila. (X-26)

Here the most significant attributes of reality are being acknowledged. 

The Asvattha (peepal tree) has great scientific importance. It emanates a great amount of oxygen and possess a good amount of medicinal properties. Its leaves, wood, roots, and bark are the source of remedy for many diseases. 

Narada is a wise sage that represents a penetrating intellect. He perceives anomalies and devotes himself to resolving them. He promotes knowledge worldwide. 

Gandharvas represent artists among whom Chitraratha is the most prominent. He was a friend of Arjuna and Arjuna learned music from him.

Siddha means “one who is accomplished”. Siddhas are those who practice Sadhana. Sage Kapila was a siddha who founded tha Samkhya school of philosophy. His philosophy had an influence on Buddha.


Among horses, know Me to be Uccaihsrava begotten of the churning of the ocean along with nectar; of lordly elephants Airavata (Indra’s elephant); among men, the king. (X-27)

The myth of samudra manthan (churning of the ocean) could refer to the effect of “drinking soma” which led to intense meditation. Such meditation brought up deep anomalies in the mind for their resolution. This created a lot of churning of the mind that resulted in effects both daring as well as ecstatic. Overcoming of such effects led to enlightenment. The product of nectar from samudra manthan may refer to realizations and ecstasies resulting from intense meditation.

Uchchaihshravas (Sanskrit: उच्चैःश्रवस् Uccaiḥśravas or उच्चैःश्रवा Uccaiḥśravā, “long-ears” or “neighing aloud”) is a seven-headed flying horse, created during the churning of the milk ocean. It is considered the best of horses, prototype and king of horses. Uchchaihshravas is often described as a vahana (“vehicle”) of Indra (the king of gods), but is also recorded to be the horse of Bali, the king of Asuras (demons). Uchchaihshravas is said to be snow white in colour.

Airavata (Sanskrit: ऐरावत “belonging to Iravati”) is a white elephant who carries the deity Indra. It is also called ‘abhra-Matanga’, meaning “elephant of the clouds”; ‘Naga-malla’, meaning “the fighting elephant”; and ‘Arkasodara’, meaning “brother of the sun”. Airaavatha has ten tusks and five trunks and is spotless white. Airaavatha is also the third son of Iravati.

The king is regarded the best among men because he fosters, preserves and rules over the subjects.


Of weapons, I am the thunderbolt; of cows, I am the celestial cow Kamadhenu. I am the sexual desire which is attended by procreation; of servants, I am Vasuki. (X-28)

A vajra is a ritual weapon symbolizing the properties of a diamond (indestructibility) and a thunderbolt (irresistible force). According to the Indian mythology, vajra is considered as one of the most powerful weapons in the universe. It is wielded by Indra.

Kamadhenu is a miraculous “cow of plenty” who provides her owner whatever he desires and is often portrayed as the mother of other cattle. She is honored by the veneration of cows in general throughout the observant Hindu population.

Progeny is possible because of the sexual urge practiced according to proper discipline.

Vāsuki is a serpent king described as having a gem called Nagamani on his head. He is famous for coiling around Lord Shiva’s neck, who blessed and wore him as an ornament. Vāsuki took part in the incident of Samudra manthana by allowing both the devas and the asuras to bind him to Mount Mandara, so that they could use him as their churning rope to extract the Amrita from the ocean of milk.


Of the Nagas (serpents) I am ananta (the serpent-god); of aquatic creatures and water-gods, I am Varuna; among the manes I am Aryama; and among rulers I am Yama, the god of death. (X-29)

Ananta (also Sheshanaga) is the nagaraja or King of all Nāgas and one of the primal beings of creation. Vishnu is often depicted as resting on Shesha. In the Puranas, Shesha is said to hold all the planets of the universe on his hoods and to constantly sing the glories of the God Vishnu from all his mouths. It is said that when Shesha uncoils, time moves forward and creation takes place; when he coils back, the universe ceases to exist. “Shesha” in Sanskrit texts, especially those relating to mathematical calculation, implies the “remainder”—that which remains when all else ceases to exist.

Varuna is a Vedic deity associated initially with the sky, later also with the seas as well as Ṛta (justice) and Satya (truth). In the Hindu Puranas, Varuna is the god of oceans, his vehicle is a Makara (crocodile) and his weapon is a Pasha (noose, rope loop). In Hindu tradition, Váruṇa (Devanagari: वरुण) is described as a derivation from the verbal root vṛ (“to surround, to cover” or “to restrain, bind”) for an interpretation of the name as “he who covers or binds”, in reference to the cosmological ocean or river encircling the world, but also in reference to the “binding” by universal law or Ṛta.

Aryaman (Sanskrit: अर्यमन्‌) is one of the early Vedic Hindu deities. His name signifies “Life-Partner”, “close friend”, “Partner”, “play-fellow” or “companion”. He is the third son of Aditi, and is depicted as the mid-morning sun disk. He is the deity of customs of hospitality, and rules over the customs that rule the various Vedic tribes and peoples.

According to the Vedas, Yama is said to have been the first mortal who died. By virtue of precedence, he became the ruler of the departed, and is called “Lord of the Pitrs”. In Hinduism, Yama is the lokapala (“Guardian of the Directions”) of the south and the son of Surya. In Puranas, Yama is described as having four arms, protruding fangs, and complexion of storm clouds with a wrathful expression; surrounded by a garland of flames; dressed in red, yellow, or blue garments; holding a noose and a mace or sword; and riding a water-buffalo. He wields a noose with which he seizes the lives of people who are about to die.

NOTE: This chapter basically describes “divine glories” which are universal phenomena—both physical and metaphysical. The mythologies are the complex “mathematical equations” of “the science of metaphysics”.


Among the demons I am Prahalada; among reckoners I am Time; among beasts I am the Lion; and among birds, Garuda (the vehicle of Lord Vishnu). (X-30)

The Daityas seem to just another clan of the aryans, same as the Devas. Both clans worshipped the same deities, but were opposed to each other. Daityas were apparently more aggressive. Prahlada was from the clan of Daityas but he was not so aggressive and was favored by the Devas.

Garuda is a legendary bird that is the vehicle mount (vahana) of the Hindu god Vishnu. He is described as the king of birds and a kite-like figure. Garuda is generally a protector with the power to swiftly go anywhere, ever watchful and an enemy of the serpent.


Among purifiers, I am the wind; among welders of weapon I am Rāma. Among fishes I am alligator; and among rivers I am the Ganges. (X-31)

These verses of Chapter 10 seem to be highlighting positive qualities as opposed to negative qualities. Thus, they are pointing towards an ideal scene.


Arjuna, I am the beginning, the end and also the middle of all creations. Of sciences, I am the science of the self (soul); in debates I am the reason. (X-32)

There is beginning, middle and end of all things, and underlying all phenomena there is reason and essence. It is such reason and rationality that is desirable in all research and discussions.


Of letters I am ‘A’; of word-compounds I am the dual (Dvandva). I am verily the endless Time; I am the sustainer of all, having My face on all sides. (X-33)

‘A’ is the first letter of alphabet. It occupies an important place in both vowels and consonants. The consonants cannot be pronounced without this letter. A dvandva (‘pair’ in Sanskrit) is a linguistic compound in which multiple individual nouns are concatenated. For instance, the individual words ‘brother’ and ‘sister’ may in some languages be agglomerated to ‘brothersister’ to express “siblings”. In a ‘dvandva’ each word retains equal importance.


I am the all devouring Death. I am the source of future beings. Of females I am Kirti, Sri, Vāk, Smrti, Medha, Dhrti and Ksamā (the goddesses) presiding over the qualities Fame, Prosperity (Fortune), Speech, Memory, Intelligence, Steadfastness and Forgiveness respectively. (X-34)

It is thought that the soul survives the death of the body; but the truth is that, upon death, both body and soul disintegrate into atoms and monads, which get recycled into new bodies and souls. Neither the same soul, nor the same body regenerates after death. The unresolved karma, however, gets manifested again and again until resolved. The goddesses referred to here are personifications of fame, fortune, speech. memory, intelligence, steadfastness and forgiveness. These qualities are positive manifestations of life.


Of the Sāma hymns I am Brhatsama; of Vedic verses, I am Gayatri. Of the twelve months of the Hindu calendar I am Margasirsa and of seasons I am the flowery spring. (X-35)

The Sāma Veda is rich with beautiful songs played by the various demigods. One of these songs is the Bṛhat-sāma, which has an exquisite melody and is sung at midnight. The Gayatri is the most important of all the metres contained in the Vedas. It consists of the trio of God–His form, His prayer and meditation on Him. The crop which supplies food to the people is harvested in the month of Margasirsa. In the spring season the life of plant kingdom gets reanimated with fresh leaves and flowers even without water. These are the glories of nature.


I am gambling of the deceitful practices; I am the glory of the glorious. I am the victory of the victorious, the resolution of the resolute; the goodness of the good. (X-36)

These all are activities of life regardless of the significance attached to them. The life itself is the play of natural laws.


Among the members of the Vrsni clan, I am Krsa; among the Pandavas, Dhananjaya; among the sages I am Vyasa and among the seers I am the sage Sukra. (X-37)

This is most succinct verse. Natural laws are most clearly expressed through identities such as Krishna, Dhananjaya (Arjuna), Vyasa and Sukra, but the natural laws themselves have no identity. The identities above represent the activities of life, the skills displayed, knowledge and the clarity of vision respectively. The essence of natural laws is expressed through them.


I am the ruling-power (punishment) in rulers; I am righteousness in those who seek victory. Of secrets I am silence and I am wisdom of the wise. (X-38)

The essence of ruling-power is the discipline it imposes on those ruled. This is the ruling-power we impose on ourselves. The very essence of victory is righteousness. Wherever there is righteousness there is victory. The essence of secrets is silence. Wherever there is silence there is a secret to be discovered. And the essence of the wise is the wisdom.


O Arjuna, I am the seed of all beings. There is no creature animate or inanimate that can exist without Me. (X-39)


O harasser of foes, there is no end of My divine glories; this is only a brief description by Me of the extent of My glories. (X-40)


Every such thing as is glorious, brilliant or powerful, know that to be a manifestation of a spark of My splendor. (X-41)


Or, what need is there, O Arjuna, for the detailed knowledge? I stand supporting the whole universe with a single fragment of Myself. (X-42)

These natural laws underlie everything animate or inanimate. There may even be a source to these natural laws. There is no end to what is manifested. It is all the display of the natural laws. There is no need for detailed knowledge. Just see things as they are. They all are amazing.


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