(translated by Swami B.V. Giri)

1-Pramāṇa – veda śāstra (The Evidence – the Vedic Literature):

vedyaṁ pavitram oṁkāra ṛk sāma yajur eva ca
(Gītā 9.17)

I am the pure syllable oṁ. I am the Ṛk, Sāma and Yajur Vedas.

tasmac castram pramanam te karyakarya-vyavasthitau
jnatva sastra-vidhanoktam karma kartum iharhasi
(Gītā 16.24)

Therefore, śāstra is the only criteria for determining what should be done and what should not be done. Knowing that the essence of all scriptures is bhakti, devotional service, you are eligible to perform your work.


2-Kṛṣṇaḥ (The Supreme Lord)

mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiñcid asti dhanañjaya
mayi sarvam idaṁ protaṁ sūtre maṇi-gaṇā iva
(Gīta 7.7)

O Dhanañaya! There is no one greater than Me; all universe rests upon Me, who is the vertical and horizontal cause of the cosmic manifestation, just as a cluster of pearls are strung on a thread.

3-kṛṣṇa-śaktiḥ (Kṛṣṇa’s Potencies)

bhumir āpo’ nalo vāyuḥ khaṁ mano buddhir eva ca
ahaṅkāra itīyaṁ me bhinnā prakṛtir aṣṭadhā
apareyam itas tv anyāṁ prakṛtiṁ viddhi me parām
jīva-bhūtaṁ mahā-bāho yayedaṁ dhāryate jagat
etad yonīni bhūtāni sarvā ity upadhiāraya
ahaṁ kṛtsnasya jagataḥ prabhavaḥ pralayas tathā
(Gītā 7.4-7.6)

The knowledge of the the Supreme Lord’s form and opulences is called bhagavad-jñāna. It is explained as follows: “I am the Absolute Reality, eternally possessing My own form and various energies. Brahman is only My impersonal aspect in the realm of My energies. It does not have any form (svarūpa). It has its place in the created world as the understanding by negation. Paramātmā is also My expansion in the universe. In fact, He is temporary substance existing in relation to the universe. He also does not have an eternal form. Only My form as the Bhagavān is eternal. In this form I have two energies and one of them is called the external energy (bahiraṅga) or illusory energy (māyā-śakti). She is known as “material mother” or “inferior energy” (aparā-śakti). It consists of the five elements. The earth, water, fire, air and ether-these five are called “gross elements” (mahā-bhūta). Sound, touch, form, taste and smell – these five are called ‘the objects of the senses’ (tan-mātra). In this way we can accept ten elements. Regarding false ego (ahaṅkāra) we accept the senses as its instruments and the mahat-tattva as its cause. The intelligence and the mind are mentioned separately only because they are generally engaged in different tasks among these elements, while in fact they are one. All these constitute My external energy.

Besides this, there is also My marginal potency (tatasthā-prakṛti) which is also called ‘superior potency’ (parā-prakṛti). This energy is conscious and consists of living entities. All living entities emanate from this energy and bring consciousness into this material universe. The living entities are called marginal energy (tatasthā-śakti) because they are fit to live in either of the two worlds-the spiritual world emanated from My internal energy or the material world created by My external energy.

Everything that has and does not have consciousness, the material world and the marginal energy, is created by these two potencies. Therefore, I in My personal form of the Supreme Lord am the root cause of the manifestation and dissolution of the whole creation.

4-kṛṣṇa-rasa (The Transcendental Mellows of Kṛṣṇa)

avyaktaṁ vyaktim āpannaṁ manyate mām abuddhayaḥ
paraṁ bhāvam ajānanto mam āvyayam anuttam
(Gītā 7.24)

Those who think that impersonal concept is the highest, conclude that I am impersonal and unmanifest, but being impelled by activity become manifested or become a person. Whatever knowledge of such scriptures as Vedānta they may have, they are fools because they do not know my supreme, imperishable, highest form, which is endowed with eternal qualities.

avajānanti maṁ mūḍha mānuṣīm tanum āśritam
paraṁ bhāvam ajānanto mama bhūta-maheśvaram
(Gītā 9 .11)

From everything that l said you should clearly understand that My form is eternal, full of knowledge and bliss. By My mercy My energy carries out all the activities. However, I am completely independent of any activity. In whatever way I am recognized in this material world is nothing but My mercy and the power of My energy. I am transcendental to all the material rules. Therefore, although My form is spiritual, I become manifested in the material world in this spiritual form. People of this world especially adore the unlimited the infinitesimal, the greatest, the unmanifest, but this is nothing but the activity of their intelligence influenced by illusion. These are not My supreme nature. My supreme nature is that although My middle-sized form is completely transcendental, by My energies I am simultaneously all-pervading and smaller than the atom. This manifestation of My form is possible only by My inconceivable energies. Foolish people take this form of Mine, which is eternal, full of knowledge and bliss, to be human and therefore think that l became subjected to the laws of material nature and accepted a temporary designative body. They cannot understand that in this very form I am the supreme controller of everything that be. Therefore, by their unintelligent ideas they attribute some contemptible nature to Me. Those who have awakened their intelligence can understand My form to be My eternal body, full of knowledge and bliss.

5-jīvaḥ (The Jīvas)

mamaivāṁśo jīva-loke jīva-bhūta-sanātana
(Gītā 15. 7)

“I am the Supreme Personality of Godhead, complete, eternal and full of knowledge and bliss. I have two kinds of expansions-svāṁśa (personal expansions) and vibhinnāṁśa (separated expansions). In My personal expansions I manifest My pastimes in such forms as Rāma, Nṛsiṁha and others. My separated expansions are manifested as living entities, who are My eternal servants. In my personal expansions I am fully manifested, but in My separated expansions My position of Supreme Controller is not present; the living entity’s personal ego (ahaṅkāra) arises there. The living entities who belong to My separated expansions exist in two states: the liberated state (mukta-daśā) and conditioned state (baddha-daśā). In both states the living entity is eternal. In the liberated state the living entity is completely under my shelter and is free from any connection with matter.

6-baddha-jīvaḥ (The Bound Jīva)

śarīraṁ yad avāpnoti yac cāpy utkrāmatīśvaraḥ
gṛhītvaitāni saṁyāti vayur gandhān ivāśayat
(Gītā 15.8)

The conditioned state of the living entity does not end when he dies. The jīva receives his gross body according to his karma and gives it up when the time approaches. When he migrates from one body to another his desires for fruitive activities related to the body go with him. Just like the air takes the aroma of the flower and carries it to another place, in the same way a living entity departs, taking all the senses from one gross body to another with the help of the subtle elements.

na mām duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ prapadyante narādhamāḥ
māyayāpahṛta-jñānā āsuraṁ bhāvam āśritāḥ
(Gītā 7.15)

The miscreants do not surrender unto My form of Supreme Personality of Godhead. There are four kinds of such people-the fools, lowest among mankind, those whose knowledge is stolen by illusion and who take shelter of the atheistic nature of demons. Those who are extremely absorbed in sense gratification and whose think in terms of material fruitive activities are fools (mūḍha). They cannot understand the spiritual substance and therefore they are very determined to develop materialistic science, and so on. Lowest among mankind (narādhama) are they who are devoid of the high sentiments of the human heart, the atheistic moralists and worshipers of the imaginary gods, who consider themselves very learned and expert in dull material activities. Those who accept the spiritual substance, but take shelter of such wicked erroneous teachings as exclusive monism (kevaladvaita-vāda), voidism (sūnyavāda), materialism (prakṛti-vāda), etc., and therefore do not accept the eternality of the pure devotional service, are known as “those whose knowledge is stolen by illusion” (māyā-dvārā apahṛta-jñāna). Those who are under the influence of their pride, false ego, selfishness and senses, who are mad after happiness of this world and consider saintly devotees to be destitute, they have taken shelter of the demoniac nature (asura-bhāvāśrita). In brief, those who are always devoid of piety (sukṛti) in the form of devotees’ association (sādhu-saṅga), are miscreants (duṣkṛta).

7-mukta-jīvaḥ (The Liberated Jīva)

mām upetya punar janma duḥkhālayam aśaśvatam
nāpnuvanti mahātmātmānaḥ saṁsiddhiṁ paramāṁ gatāḥ
(Gītā 8.15)

All great souls, devotee-yogīs, having attained Me do not take another birth, which is temporary and full of miseries, because they achieve the highest perfection. Pure devotional service is characterized by exclusive consciousness. One who takes exclusive shelter in Me, having given up all hope in yoga, jñāna and other processes, begins his pure devotional service.

daivi hy eṣa guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā
mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti te
(Gītā 7 .14)

This illusory potency (māyā) is My energy and therefore she is naturally very difficult for a weak living entity to overcome. Those who take shelter of My form as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, can cross the ocean of illusion. In other words, it is not possible to cross the ocean of illusion by fruitive activity (karma), mental speculations (jñāna) or by surrender to various demigods.

8-māyā-jīveśvara-paraspara-sambandhaḥ (The Relationship Between māyā, jīva and the Lord)

mayā tatam idaṁ sarvaṁ jag ad avyakta-mūrtinā
mat-sthāni sarva-bhūtāni na cāham teṣv avasthitaḥ
na ca mat-sthāni bhūtāni paśya me yogam aiśvaram
bhūta-bhṛn na ca bhūta-stho mamātma bhūta bhāvanaḥ
(Gītā 9.4-5)

I am present in everything that exists in My unmanifest form, which is beyond the perception of material senses (atīndriya). The clay is present in the pot but I am not present in the world in the same way, because the world is neither My transformation (pariṇāma) nor My illusion (vivarta). I am the complete and the greatest. This world is manifested by the power of My energy. My energy carries out all the activity in it but I remain separate in My complete spiritual form.

I have already said that all living entities rest in Me. This does not mean that all of them are situated in My pure original form because I have My own potency called māyā and everything is situated in it. You will not be able to reconcile this with your limited intelligence of a jīva. Therefore knowing this to be My mystic opulence and that the activities of My energy are actually My activities, you should know me as the maintainer of all living entities (bhūta-bhṛt), who is present in them (bhūta-stha) and the protector of all jīvas (bhūta-bhāvana) and you should know for sure that since there is no difference between My body and Myself, I am all-pervading and at the same time completely transcendental.”

9-Abhidheyaṁ (The Process of Attainment)

mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha daivīṁ prakṛtiṁ āśritaḥ
bhajanty ananya-manaso jñātvā bhūtādim avyayam
satataṁ kīrtayanto māṁ yatantaś ca dṛḍha-vratāḥ
namasyantaś ca māṁ bhaktyā nitya-yuktā upāsate
(Gītā 9.13-14)

O Pārtha, those who have obtained realization through true knowledge are great souls (mahātmas). They have taken shelter of the divine potency and worship Me with exclusive minds, not having any faith in activity that brings insignificant fruits and in dry impersonal knowledge that brings about the destruction of the soul. Thus they worship Me in My original form of Kṛṣṇa, knowing Me to be the origin of all beings, imperishable, ultimate manifestation of the Absolute Truth.

These great souls, devotees endowed with such realization through the true knowledge, always glorify My name, form, qualities and pastimes, engaging themselves in the nine processes of devotional service, such as hearing and chanting. ln order to attain everlasting service to My eternal form, which is full of knowledge and bliss, they cultivate consciousness of Me by becoming determined in performing their bodily, mental, social and spiritual activities-in other words by strictly following vows such as Ekādaśī, Janmāṣṭamī etc. Their consciousness is not diverted towards mundane activities, therefore by their devotional service they surrender unto Me while performing their worldly duties.

10-prayojanaḥ (the Goal of Life)

ananyāś cintayanto māṁ ye janāḥ paryupāsate
teṣāṁ nityābhiyuhtānāṁ yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy aham
(Gītā 9.22)

samo’haṁ sarva-bhūteṣu na me dveṣyo’ sti na priyaḥ
ye bhajanti tu māṁ bhaktyā mayi te teṣu cāpy aham
(Gītā 9.29)

You should not think that all those who have material desires (sakāma) and worship the threefold knowledge (described in the three Vedas) achieve happiness and My devotees only suffer. My devotees exclusively think of Me alone. For the bodily maintenance they accept all objects that are not contrary to devotional service. Therefore they are always engaged (nityābhiyukta). Although they are free from desires (niṣkāma) they offer everything to Me. I also give them everything and protect everything. The meaning is that devotees by accepting the enjoyment that does not contradict devotional service, get all varieties of enjoyment without any effort.

Thus, from the external point of view there is no difference at all between those who worship through the medium of demigods (pratīkopāsaka), that have many desires, and My devotees. Therefore although My devotees do not have any desires, I personally carry out what they need and preserve what they have. The special gain of My devotees is that by My mercy they enjoy all the suitable happiness of the sense objects and in the end they achieve eternal bliss. However, those who worship through the medium of demigods (pratīkopāsaka), having enjoyed sense pleasure, again return to the place of fruitive activities. They do not achieve eternal happiness. Although I am detached, due to My love for My devotees, l do not accept any offenses on their part. Because they do not ask anything from Me, l carry what they lack.

The mystery about Me is that l am equal to all living entities; I do not have friends and enemies. This is My general rule. However My specific rule is that one who worships Me with devotion, he is in Me and l am attached to him.

(‘Bhagavad-gītā Daśa Mūla’ by Śrīla Bhaktivinod Ṭhākura was translated from the original Bengali by Swami B.V. Giri)

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