Now I will speak to you, who are not given to carping, of that most mysterious knowledge, accompanied by experience, by knowing which you will be released from evil. It is the chief among the sciences, the chief among the mysteries. It is the best means of sanctification. It is imperishable, not opposed to the sacred law. It is to be apprehended directly, and is easy to practise. O terror of your foes! those men who have no faith in this holy doctrine, return to the path of this mortal world, without attaining to me. This whole universe is pervaded by me in an unperceived form. All entities live in me, but I do not live in them. Nor yet do all entities live in me. See my divine power. Supporting all entities and producing all entities, my self lives not in (those) entities. As the great and ubiquitous atmosphere always remains in space, know that similarly all entities live in me. At the expiration of a Kalpa, O son of Kuntī! all entities enter my nature; and at the beginning of a Kalpa, I again bring them forth. Taking the control of my own nature, I bring forth again and again this whole collection of entities, without a will of its own, by the power of nature. But, O Arjuna! these actions do not fetter me, who remain like one unconcerned, and who am unattached to those actions. Nature gives birth to movables and immovables through me, the supervisor, and by reason of that, O son of Kuntī! the universe revolves. Deluded people of vain hopes, vain acts, vain knowledge, whose minds are disordered, and who are inclined to the delusive nature of Asuras and Rākṣasas, not knowing my highest nature as great lord of all entities, disregard me as I have assumed a human body. But the high-souled ones, O son of Pṛthā! who are inclined to the godlike nature, knowing me as the inexhaustible source of (all) entities, worship me with minds not (turned) elsewhere.
they worship me, being always devoted. And others again, offering up the sacrifice of knowledge, worship me as one, as distinct, and as all-pervading in numerous forms. I am the Kratu, I am the Yajña, I am the Svadhā, I the product of the herbs. I am the sacred verse. I too am the sacrificial butter, and I the fire, I the offering. I am the father of this universe, the mother, the creator, the grandsire, the thing to be known, the means of sanctification, the syllable Om, the Ṛk, Sāman, and Yajus also; the goal, the sustainer, the lord, the supervisor, the residence, the asylum, the friend, the source, and that in which it merges, the support, the receptacle, and the inexhaustible seed. I cause heat and I send forth and stop showers. I am immortality and also death; and I, O Arjuna! am that which is and that which is not. Those who know the three (branches of) knowledge, who drink the Soma juice, whose sins are washed away, offer sacrifices and pray to me for a passage into heaven; and reaching the holy world of the lord of gods, they enjoy in the celestial regions the celestial pleasures of the gods. And having enjoyed that great heavenly world, they enter the mortal world when (their) merit is exhausted. Thus those who wish for objects of desire, and resort to the ordinances of the three (Vedas), obtain (as the fruit) going and coming. To those men who worship me, meditating on me and on no one else, and who are constantly devoted, I give new gifts and preserve what is acquired by them. Even those, O son of Kuntī! who being devotees of other divinities worship with faith, worship me only, (but) irregularly. For I am the enjoyer as well as the lord of all sacrifices. But they know me not truly, therefore do they fall. Those who make vows to the gods go to the gods; those who make vows to the manes go to the manes, those who worship the Bhūtas go to the Bhūtas; and those likewise who worship me go to me. Whoever with devotion offers me leaf, flower, fruit, water, that, presented with devotion, I accept from him whose self is pure. Whatever you do, O son of Kuntī! whatever you eat, whatever sacrifice you make, whatever you give, whatever penance you perform, do that as offered to me. Thus will you be released from the bonds of action, the fruits of which are agreeable or disagreeable. And with your self possessed of (this) devotion, (this) renunciation, you will be released (from the bonds of action) and will come to me. I am alike to all beings; to me none is hateful, none dear. But those who worship me with devotion (dwell) in me, and I too in them. Even if a very ill-conducted man worships me, not worshipping any one else, he must certainly be deemed to be good, for he has well resolved. He soon becomes devout of heart, and obtains lasting tranquillity. (You may) affirm, O son of Kuntī! that my devotee is never ruined. For, O son of Pṛthā! even those who are of sinful birth, women, Vaiśyas; and Śūdras likewise, resorting to me, attain the supreme goal. What then (need be said of) holy Brāhmaṇas and royal saints who are (my) devotees? Coming to this transient unhappy world, worship me. (Place your) mind on me, become my devotee, my worshipper; reverence me, and thus making me your highest goal, and devoting your self to abstraction, you will certainly come to me.
Footnotes and references:
I. e. by immediate consciousness, not mediately; 'not opposed to the sacred law,' i.e. like the Śyena sacrifice for destroying a foe.
Because he is untainted by anything. And therefore also the entities do not live in him, as said in the next sentence. See p. 80 supra.
As space is untainted and unaffected by the air which remains in it, so am I by the entities.
Supra, p. 58. Nature = the unperceived principle.
Cf. p. 80 supra.
I am not affected by the differences in the conditions of these entities.
Viz. the supervision.
Hope, viz. that some other deity will give them what they want; acts, vain as not offered to the supreme; knowledge, vain as abounding in foolish doubts, &c.
Cf. p. 76 supra.
For a knowledge of the supreme, or for the means of such knowledge.
Vows = veracity, harmlessness, &c.
Sacrifice of knowledge, viz. the knowledge that Vāsudeva is all; as one = believing that all is one; as distinct = believing that sun, moon, &c. are different manifestations of 'me.'
Kratu is a Vedic sacrifice; Yajña, a sacrifice laid down in Smṛtis. Svadhā = offering to the manes; 'product of the herbs' = food prepared from vegetables, or medicine.
Cf. p. 61 supra.
P. 9 supra.
I. e. the seat of enjoyment; receptacle = where things are preserved for future use, say the commentators.
The gross and the subtle elements, or causes and effects.
Cf. Muṇḍakopaniṣad, p. 279; and Chāndogya, p. 344.
Cf. Dhammapada, stanza 23. I. e. attainment to the Brahman and not returning from it.--Rāmānuja.
Because in form they worship other divinities.
Giver of the fruit. As to enjoyer, cf. p. 67 supra.
I. e. return to the mortal world.
I. e. some regulation as to mode of worship. Cf. also p. 76 supra.
Cf. p. 55 supra, and other passages.
This mode of action is at once devotion and renunciation: the first, because one cares not for fruit; the second, because it is offered to the supreme.
'They dwell in me' by their devotion to me; I dwell in them as giver of happiness to them.
Viz. that the supreme Being alone should be reverenced.
Śaṅkara takes Vaiśyas &c. as examples of this; not so Śrīdhara. Cf. as to women and Śūdras, Nṛsiṃha-tāpinī, p. 14. 'Of sinful birth' = of low birth (Śrīdhara) = birth resulting from sins (Śaṅkara).
Cf. p. 79 supra.