Bhagavad Gita Treatise

Chapter-10: Discern the Divine

This intriguing chapter of 42 slokas, known as vibhooti yoga, Glories of the Supreme, characterizes the Omnipresence of the Supreme Spirit.Well, for general human understanding, Lord Krishna identifies the best in heaven and earth that represent all that is glorious about Him. One might note that His averment that sama veda and tapo yagjna, meditative prayer, symbolize the glory of the Supreme was cited in the introduction to the third chapter.

In the context of what Lord Krishna enumerates as symbolic of the 'Glory of the Supreme Spirit', it is interesting to note that He's the sovereign in humans in s27 but not Rama as one would have expected. However, Lord Rama enters the Hall of Fame as the first amongst the archers (s31). Going by the dispassionate outlook towards life that Lord Krishna expostulates, it is but natural that Lord Rama who personifies attachment to the values of his time is not reckoned as the Glory of the Supreme Spirit. It is another matter that in the Hindu religio-cultural ethos, Lord Rama is revered as purushottama, the noblest human.

Thus spoke the Lord:
Ear thy lend My words peerless
Bound they regale as thee gain.
Sourced though gods 'n seers in Me
Grasp they have none of My source.
Me as Lord of all who sees
Turns his back on wrongdoings.
Sourced in Me all faculties
State of mind of beings too.
Varied I made vicissitudes
As the case with attitudes.
Willed I birth of progenitors all
Seven seers great 'n elders four
Not to mention sovereign fourteen.
Grasps as one the power of Mine
Keeps he would his mind then firm.
Who this gets in My worship
Tends he then to turn to Me.
Whoso to Me thus taken
Delight he takes in praising Me.
Him I help to realize that
Which is needed to reach Me.
Doubts I dispel his for good
Grant I wisdom to his thought.
Thus spoke Arjuna:
O Lord Thou, Supreme Brahman
Abode Ultimate, Purifier Primordial
Indweller Permanent 'n God Primeval.
That's how sages down the ages
Narada foremost described Thee,
Affirmed Asita, Devala 'n Vyasa
All of that now Thou confirm.
None can ever be sure of Thee
Hold I true thus what Thou say.
God of gods
O Lord of all,
Thou but know
Self Thy true.
Pray Thee confide Thy nature
With which Thou all worlds transcend.
How to grasp all aspects Thine,
How to engage Thee in mind?
Make me privy, O, My Lord
Forms 'n attributes of Thyself.
Thus spoke the Lord:
Of all countless Glories Mine
Suffice thee knew a few of them.
I'm the Self of one and all
I'm the beginning as well end
Not to speak of in between.
Vishnu Am of all deities
Sun the luminous of luminous
Mareechi Am immortal
As well moon the star of stars.
I am the Sama of Vedas
It's Me Indra, god of gods
Of all organs, mind is Me
And so life in all beings.
Shankar Am the Lord of Lords
Kubera, richest of Yakshas
Of the Vasus know Am Fire
And Am Meru, peak foremost.
In those echelons ruled by gods
It's Me Bruhaspathi priest of priests,
Marshal that great Skand on earth
Besides the ocean among the seas.
Bhrugur I am the well-realized
So Am 'Om' that sound supreme,
Of rituals Am prayer muted
Himalayas high that kiss the skies.
I'm the fig, the tree foremost
And so heavenly sage Narad,
Maestro divine Chitraradh Am
Besides Kapila, the sage attained.
Uchhaisravas, Am horse foremost
Nectar that was churned in seas
Airavat white, Indra's elephant
Sovereign whoso crowns mankind.
Vajrayudh Am weapon mighty
Kamadhenu the cow holy
Cupid who aids to sustain life
Vasuki the fierce king serpent.
It's Me Ananth of Nagas
Varun I am of aquatics,
It's Me Aryama, mane of manes
Yama the ruler of beings.
Prahlad Am, the demon godly
Among the reckoners, I'm the Time
It's Me lion, of wildlife all
As well Garud that rules the skies.
I'm the wind that purifies all
Among the archers Ram I'm
I'm the shark that mighty fish
And the Ganges, ever in flow.
Hinge I am that holds all worlds
Source is Me of spiritual thought
Of Vedanta, I'm pro contra.
Alpha Am of alphabets all
Likeness I'm in like compounds
I'm the time of endlessness
It's Me Brahma of four heads.
I'm the death that devours all
As well brings forth that beings
Besides what makes woman's glory.
Am Sama the grand octane
Like none metre Gayathri,
Margasir pleasant month I am
As well splendid spring season.
I'm the splendour of splendrous
Besides fraud in dice as well
I'm the goodness in great souls
Effort that takes to succeed well.
It's Me Vasudev of Yadavs
Of the Pandavs thou art Me,
Know Am Vyasa of sages
Poet Laureate, Sukra great.
Justice I'm in every court
Policy Am of all conquest,
Secret I'm of every mute
Wisdom Am of what is wise.
I'm the seed of all beings
From Me apart none exists.
Endless are My attributes
This brief is for just thy grasp.
All that's glorious all therein
Is but spark of My splendour.
O dear friend need there none to delve in full
Suffice to say it's portion Mine that supports all.

Ends thus:
Discern the Divine,
The Tenth Chapter
Of Bhagavad-Gita,
Treatise of self-help.

Chapter-11: Nature of Omnipresence

This fascinating chapter of 55 slokas, known as visvaroopa sandarsana yoga, Espial of the Universal Form, is about the character of the Supreme Spirit. Lord Krishna enables Arjuna to espy the All-encompassing Universal Form of the Supreme Spirit by granting him the required ESP. The descriptive nature of the State Supreme falls in the realms of Universal Vision.

Owing to the improbability of their being, s9-s14, make an amusing reading. S3 states that Krishna grants Arjuna the divine sight required to espy His Universal Form. Of course, the ESP that Vyasa granted Sanjaya (s75 ch.18) might have enabled him to monitor the goings on at Kurukshetra in order to appraise the blind king Dhrutarashtra about the same. Thus, only from Arjuna's averments Sanjaya could have gathered that he was divining the Universal Form, which obviously was beyond his own comprehension. But s10-s14 have him describe the Universal Form as though he himself was witness to the same, even before Arjuna utters a word about it. At the same time, the Lord made it clear in s52, 'Ever craved gods 'n angels too / Just to behold what thee beheld'. Thus, the Universal Form that was seen by Arjuna surely was beyond the scope of Sanjaya's ESP. Hence, s9-s14 that picture beforehand what Arjuna would witness later on are clear interpolations. Contrast this with the parallel situation in s50-s51, when the Lord reassumes His human form, but handled differently by Sanjaya.

The s29 which seeks to emphasize what was already pictured in s28, albeit with not so appropriate a simile, could be but an interpolation.

Thus spoke Arjuna:
Thy words compelling, Spirit about indwelling
Uttered in compassion, dispelled my delusion.
Besides I've heard, about Thy glories
Origins of beings, and how it all ends.
Thou art verily, what Thee aver
Wish I espied, form Thy Divine.
If Thou so feel, I'm worthy
Let me espy, Thy True Self.
Thus spoke the Lord:
Divine I let thee, divinity Mine
Of hues varied colours 'n kinds.
Find Adityas, twelve therein
Vasus eight, and Aswin twins
Rudras eleven 'n Maruts four-nine
Wonders umpteen none else seen.
May thou discern in My frame
Much more than thy thought would take.
Bestow thee that ESP
Helps which espy form Supreme
Beyond the pale of god's own sight.
Thus spoke Arjuna:
In Thou find I
Brahma on lotus,
Gods and sages
Beings 'n serpents!
With no beginning
End none sighted,
Boundless find I
In Thee universe!
Find I blinding
Light that blazing
From Thy diadem
Club and discus!
Thou art Supreme
Indweller Ancient,
Eternal Refuge
Dharma's Guardian.
Eyes sun like
And oven for mouth,
How Thou radiate
In arms thy manifold!
Fills Thy Frame
The space entire,
Makes Thy sight
The worlds tremble.
See in Thee the angelic world
Find them all Thou pray in awe
Spot I sages in their scores
Hear them extol, Thee in hymns.
Demigods all 'n celestial folk
Stand they stunned 'n look at Thee.
Makes it awful sight Thine terrible
Bear as Thou those weird organs.
Perplexed am I by Thy sight
Seems I've lost my sense of self.
Discern I nadir in Thy face
Pray assume now Form Normal.
See I Bhishma, Dron 'n Karn
Kauravs, ours, making way to mouth Thy wide.
Nauseates sight of teeth Thine terrible
Gnashing heads of theirs in smithereens.
Rivers as run, towards the seas
So these armies, towards Thy mouths.
Consume worlds as mouths Thy blazing
Find I blinding rays those scorching.
Who art Thou, this Terrible Thing!
For what avail, mission this Thine!!
Gripped now am with urge to know.
Thus spoke the Lord:
I'm the time that infolds all
It's all over for most here
Doomed are they, never mind war.
Since I've handed them sentence
Thou art no more than hangman,
Finish them all 'n flourish in turn
Brings as reign thee power 'n pelf.
Take up arms 'n lap up crown
For Drona, Bhishma and Karna,
As well Jayadrath with the rest
Truly are they doomed by Me.
Thus spoke Sanjaya:
Stunned as he by what transpired
Beseeched Paartha, Lord Krishna.
Thus spoke Arjuna:
Sing Thy praises the rejoiced world
Hither 'n thither run wicked in awe
Bow to Thee those self-realized.
Can one fail to worship Thee
Creator's Creator, 'n Universal!
Thee the Primal, All-Dweller
Thou All-Knower, One to know.
God of gods, O, our Father
Thee I salute on and on.
One and All, who pervades all
Thou All-Powerful, praise be Thee.
Ignorant being of Thy Great Being
Owing to contempt familiarity bred
Sadly I have been badly behaving.
As I took Thee for granted
Kindly forgive, O, Great Soul.
Thou art Greater than greatest
None Thee in three worlds equal.
Treat me kindly 'n forgive
All I crave for, is Thy grace.
Form Thy Current holds dreadful
Pray show Divine Grace of Thine.
With mace, discus 'n diadem
Pray assume Thy Form four-armed.
Thus spoke the Lord:
As thou please Me, so I've shown
Form My Endless, none else seen.
Take to penance
Or pore over four Vedas
None that helps to see this Form.
Having beheld My bewildering Form
Now ease with My Form Normal.
Thus spoke Sanjaya:
Having said thus Lord assumed
His form normal that calmed Arjun.
Thus spoke Arjuna:
O, Lord now I feel normal
With Thy gentle form human.
Thus spoke the Lord:
Ever crave gods 'n angels too
Just to behold that thee beheld.
Austerities well Vedic grasp
Charity, as well ritual regimen
Get none to what thou had seen
Yet in devotion, divines man
Attains besides, Form this Mine.
He that takes Me for Supreme
And treats his work as Mine own one,
Gets who rid of his restraints
And keeps his faith in Me always,
He who bears no ill-feeling
Ever on move, he comes to Me.

Ends thus:
Nature of Omnipresence,
The Eleventh Chapter
Of Bhagavad-Gita,
Treatise of self-help.

Chapter-12: Doctrine of Faith

This chapter of 22 slokas, known as bhakti yoga, Doctrine of Faith, enumerates the human qualities that are endearing to the Supreme Spirit. In this also are discussed the ways in which one still could win the Lord's favour yet failing to set store on Him.

Thus spoke Arjuna:
Pray tell who's better realized,
One that devoted as stated
Or relies who on God Obscure.
Thus spoke the Lord:
Me in devotion who worships
Him I reckon as well realized.
Having said that add I might
Looks as one to God Obscure -
Doth he fine with senses reined
If well disposed towards the world.
But it's tough ask nonetheless
For one to realize God Obscure.
Whosoever hath faith in Me
And leans on Me heart 'n soul -
Him I help to cross over
Ocean vast of births 'n deaths.
If thou develop faith in Me
Take for granted I take thee.
Were thee to fail develop faith
It's not thou reached blind alley,
Ever Me having in thy mind
Practice lets thee turn the bend.
If thou feel that's hard as well
Indulge then in deeds Me please.
If thou find that difficult too
Give thyself to Me Supreme
Act then with thy subdued mind
With no thought for what follows.
Scores thought over mere roting
Betters meditation awareness too
What helps man to find moorings
Are acts his with no axe to grind.
Kind-hearted 'n considerate
Friendly natured, forgiving too
Lays no store on highs and lows
Suffers no pride 'n possessive not -
Who's patient 'n cheerful
Self-willed as well persevering,
Who's hearty ever at work
Makes he devout My beloved.
Troubles he none or perturbs
It's such poised I'm proud of.
Who's simple, never in want
Covets he not in vantage post
Shakes him none, he keeps his nerve
It's such who Me please the most.
He's My darling who craves not
Yet won't shun the pleasures of life
Takes but things all as they come.
Treats he equal friends 'n foes
Scorn or honour minds he not
Keeps he cool in grief and joy
Nurses for none soft centre -
Pats 'n slights all in the score
Treats as equal score My man
Takes he in his stride his lot
But won't put the blame on Me.
Who in dharma this engage
Them I hold in special esteem.

Ends thus:
Doctrine of Faith,
The Twelfth Chapter
Of Bhagavad-Gita,
Treatise of self-help.

Chapter-13: Field and Farmer

This chapter of 35 slokas, known as kshetra kshetragjnya vibhaaga yoga, Field and Farmer, deals with body and spirit in the first half, and for the rest about Prakruti (Nature) and Purusha (Supreme Spirit). It may be noted that customarily the first verse that is carried here is either omitted altogether or retained unnumbered for reasons none explained. Thereby to avoid confusion in comparison, the same is numbered 0 in this text. One might notice that s10, advocating asceticism to which Lord Krishna is opposed, doesn't jell with the rest, either contextually or philosophically, and thus should be seen as an interpolation.

S22, which states that the Supreme Soul, lay in beings as a sustainer, consenter, enjoyer and overseer, contravenes its very nature expostulated in s16-s18, ch.15. Besides, as can be seen, it affects the continuity between s21 and s23 of this chapter. S30, akin to s15 is an irrelevant interpolation too.

Thus spoke Arjuna:
What is nature 'n its role,
What is spirit 'n its nature,
What is frame 'n who lords it
What makes feeling 'n sixth sense?
Thus spoke the Lord:
Sees who body his as field
Sees he all there is to see.
Knows who Spirit One dwells in all
Knows he all that's there to know.
Lend thy ear, as I reveal
Nature of thy frame, as well
Spirit that tenants as farmer
Besides Him and His prowess.
In chants validate what Vedas
Aspects that well Brahmanas delve
Reasoned wise in varied ways.
Subject to reason, ego as well
Steeped is frame in elements five,
Earth, water, fire, ether and air
Organs those ten, as well mind.
Desire, derision, pleasure 'n pain
Pitch their tents in frames human.
Knowing is being -
Amiable and humble, simple 'n honest
Patient 'n decent, clean and clear
Not to speak of fair and firm -
Void of desires, egotism devoid
Passion none for life and times -
With no craving for possessions
Fondness none for things of life
None the averse, all the same.
Naive though fail to follow suit
Tend all wise to probe nature
And strive to see the Spirit in Me
Let Me tell thee what's needed
To let thee grasp the State Brahman
Which if done would bring in bliss.
All-Reaching, He's All-Seeing
All Hearing, He pervades all.
Organs in His likeness made
Unlinked though to their senses,
He that sustains all three worlds
Unattached though to goings on.
In beings all 'n objects too
Within He lies, without as well,
If one comes to grasp this well
It's perception that's Supreme.
It's how Brahman dwells in all
Till He ends all what that keeps.
He's the Light that leaves no shade
He's the One for one to know
He's the Goal of all learning
He's the Tenant in every heart.
It's the knowable of the frame
Me who worship come to grasp.
Spirit 'n Nature, ageless both
Nature of beings, of Nature born.
It's Nature that tends beings
Binding Spirit to one's own acts.
Spirit that lay in beings all
Inclines to one's attitudes,
With the ethos it imbibes
Tends it one to like rebirth.
Gets one freed, as he grasps
Aspects Nature 'n Spirit as well.
Indulge who in meditation
Find they Supreme Spirit in them,
Some as divine through wisdom
Others do so by deeds selfless.
He who finds this all too hard
May he obtain wise counsel
And be rid of births and deaths.
Whatever exists in this world
Designs Spirit in Nature's womb.
Sees he well, who would see
What doth perish is just the frame
End there none to Spirit therein.
Realize if thou Spirit in thee
Same as one that dwells in all
Hurt thou never thine own self
Thereby attain Me Supreme.
Beings act per their nature
Thus the Spirit that lay in them
Hath no hand in deeds of theirs.
Having none its attributes
Apart being from nature
Spirit hath no qualms of its own.
As with ether, spread all over
None the sullied, exposed being
So is the case with Spirit in thee.
Sun as one lights all three worlds
It's one Spirit that glows all frames.
Aware if thee of Spirit 'n frame
Frees that thou from all bindings
Making way to reach Supreme.

Ends thus:
Field and Farmer,
The Thirteenth Chapter
Of Bhagavad-Gita,
Treatise of self-help.

Chapter-14: Proclivities to Know

This diagnostic chapter of 27 slokas, known as gunatraya vibhaaga yoga, Differentiation of Qualities Three,details the three human proclivities - virtue, passion and delusion. It concludes with the identification of the realized spirit. It may be noted that s3, s4 and s19 that deal with the Nature and the Spirit are digressions, and thus are interpolations.
Thus spoke the Lord:
Pass I now thee that knowledge
With which sages free themselves.
Knows whoso this reaches Me
Keeps thus births 'n deaths at bay.
To tie the Spirit 'n body tight
Uses Nature as its threads
Virtue, passion as well delusion.
Spirit as well gets well enticed
By the charms of life well-led
Steeped in wisdom and virtue.
Frames of passion as it weds
Spirit gets fond of joys of life.
It's in delusion Spirit with sloth
Doth go in tow on wrong path.
Gives man virtue life of ease
Grinds him passion in despair
Deprives delusion him of reason.
Of the trio often
Takes as lead role one of these
Others to sidelines are confined.
Wearing wisdom on his sleeve
Radiates virtuous throughout life.
Plain greedy, or ever restive
It's the way all passionate live.
Dull in mind
And perverted
In work lethargic
He's but deluded.
Peaks as virtue dies as one
Ascends he the State Highest.
Dies if one with passion on hold
Comes he back to resume things,
Lives who deluded all his life
Gets he none better in rebirths.
Virtuous sully never their lives
Rue passionate as chase joys
Go down deluded drain of life.
Gives as virtue wisdom true
Renders passion unto grief
Leads as delusion into sloth.
Echelons virtuous reach higher
Remain 'as is where' passionate
Go down ladder ever the deluded.
Out of orbit if thou go
Of Nature that grips thy mind
Freed be thou of recurring births.
Thus spoke Arjuna:
Can man ever, rein in matter,
Is there regimen that reins it?
Thus spoke the Lord:
With no let or ever hindrance
Whatever it be he lets go,
Takes he things all as they come
With none fondness or distaste.
Seeing it all nature's work
From the fringes of conscience
Detached he watches goings on.
It's in fairness that he weighs
Affairs of life in fine balance.
Sans self, ego, self-realized
Works his way to state tranquil.
It's by capping his nature
Wavers he not from the path
That which truly leads to Me
And in end he turns Brahman.
It's Me Immortal self of Brahman
Dharma eternal that's All-Blissful.

Ends thus:
Proclivities to Know,
The Fourteenth Chapter
Of Bhagavad-Gita,
Treatise of self-help.

Chapter-15: Art of Liberation

This unique chapter of 20 slokas, known as purushottama praapti yoga, Realization of the Supreme.S9, s12, s13, s14 and s15 being digressions are clearly interpolations. Beginning with the parable of world as a fig tree, it later deals with the indwelling spirit and the Supreme Spirit, and the perishable man and the imperishable Purusha (Supreme Spirit).

Thus spoke the Lord:
Wise see Nature as fig tree huge
Roots its planted in high skies
Branching down with Vedic leaves
Helps which man reach State Supreme.
So to feed on their organs
With its downward roots it ties
Beings all to mundane things,
With man being charged by wants
Supplies he the feed it needs
Through the knots of threefold ways.
Man as fails to lay his hands
Roots on those that entwine him
Helps dispassion sunder them.
Roots as sundered, one gets freed
To reach the Vedic branch in reach,
Grasps as he the truth there all
Goes he up from branch to branch
To end up on the root utmost
On which Abode Supreme lies.
Freed of pride, desire 'n delusion
Climbs as he, in self he dwells,
Feels he same of pleasure 'n pain
Detached he reaches thus Supreme.
Sun too doth pale nears it when
Seat of moksha, Abode of Mine.
Spirit as lies in beings all
Gets it rubbed with one's nature.
Wind as carries scent of flowers
While leaving them as is where,
In like fashion Spirit from frames
Moves its awareness to rebirths.
Know not fools in lifetime theirs
Nature of Spirit thus lies in them
But ever on move from frame to frame.
This by striving wise realize
Fail though naive in spite of it.
Perish all beings though in time
Perishes not the Spirit in them.
Self Mine Highest that sustains
Is but different from that One.
Since I transcend that perishes
Apart 'n above the eternal One
Vedas vouch Me Soul Supreme.
Who aver Me as Soul Supreme
In My worship bring they faith.
Grasps who nuances of this science
Turns he wise 'n accomplished thus.

Ends thus:
Art of Liberation,
The Fifteenth Chapter
Of Bhagavad-Gita,
Treatise of self-help.

Chapter-16: Frailty of Thought

This chapter of 24 slokas, known as daivaasura sampad vibhaaga yoga, The Characteristics of Virtuous and the Vile, deals with all aspects of virtue and evil including how they affect human life.

S19 which implies that the Supreme Spirit condemns to hell those who hate Him is an obvious interpolation that contravenes Lord's affirmative statement in s29 ch.9, 'None I favour; slight I none / But devout Mine all gain Me true' and other such averred in many a context in this text. Be that as it may, when He is the indweller in all beings as postulated by the Lord himself, won't the interpolative proposition of s19 amount to self-condemnation!

Thus spoke the Lord:
Pure in heart 'n courage to boot
Even mind with helping hand
Works who hard 'n tries to grasp
Austere, upright, and well-read -
Even tempered, loves he peace
Liberal minded with kind heart
Calm 'n truthful, well mannered
Fickle he not or calumnious
Modest natured covets he not -
Free of bias he's fair-minded
Strong in will, he stalls envy
Humble, and he forgives too
He's virtuous thus earmarked.
Make all vile, rude guys all
Vainglorious 'n haughty too,
Besides being indignant
No less are they indulgent.
Gives as virtue man freedom
Keeps him vileness ever constrined.
World is as of good 'n bad
Serves thee to know latter too.
Conduct of theirs lacks virtue
Bear they demeanour that's impure.
Branding beings sexual products
Reckon not such in God 'n truth.
These small minds, of ruined souls
Wreck they world with acts of wrath.
Pride 'n lust, long wish list
Vile in conceit live impure.
Seeing life as one to gloat
Vile by impulse go to lengths.
Seek vile creatures ever shortcuts
On way to wants, they ill-get wealth.
Think all vile, in like terms -
This is mine so let me keep
Why not have I more of it.
Foe this mine I've truly floored
Won't I tackle the rest of them
Sure I'm Lord of mine own world.
Note all vile, gloat as such -
Besides wealthy, I'm well-born
Won't I give and enjoy too.
To their hurt in illusion vile
End up slaves of joys of flesh.
17 .
In vainglory live all vile
And for show-off spend they well.
18 .
Blinded by pride, lustful lot
Me they ill-treat lay in them.
Live all deluded far from Me
Depraved ladder they go down.
Detours, lust, wrath 'n greed
Self-destruct to go hellward.
Steer if clear, perils these men
See they then the path perfect.
In their impulse vile impinge
Upon the scriptures that hold good
And thus keep ever from Supreme.
Ordain scriptures rights 'n wrongs
It's now left to choose thy course.

Ends thus:
Frailty of Thought,
The Sixteenth Chapter
Of Bhagavad-Gita,
Treatise of self-help.

Chapter-17: Science of Devotion

This chapter of 28 slokas, known as sraddhaa traya vibhaaga yoga, Threefold Devotion, deals with the spiritual and temporal aptitudes of man. S11-s13 that deal with the virtuous, the passionate and the deluded in ritualistic sense and s 23 -28 concerning Om, Tat, Sat and Asat of the Vedic hymns are clear interpolations for reasons the reader is familiar with.

However, s7-s10 that deal with the food habits of the virtuous, the passionate and the deluded would pose a problem in determining whether or not they are interpolations. Can eating habits be linked to the innate nature of man in an infallible manner? Perhaps, some future research and analysis might resolve the universality or otherwise of this averment, and till then, it is appropriate to reserve the judgment on these.

Thus spoke Arjuna:
None the regard for scriptures
Who tend to manage life their well
What Thou say of such of beings
Virtuous, passionate or merely deluded.
Thus spoke the Lord:
It's one's nature that tends him
To be virtuous, passionate, or deluded.
Beings all have faith in some
It's one's nature that shapes it.
Virtuous seek gods in worship
Opt passionate to humour ghosts
Turn all deluded towards the Hades.
Hoping for there all to gain
Indulge vain in austerities
Though not endorsed by scriptures.
It's in delusion they all fast
Emaciating frames of theirs,
Thus in foolishness they all
Famish Mine own Self in them.
As with habits so with palates
Come to tend all in three ways.
Opt virtuous all recipes fine
Sustain health 'n enhance strength.
Hot 'n spicy, and pungent,
Prefer food passionate that ill-suits.
Food of deluded is all stale
Long in storage, and impure.
Rings with truth 'n laced with warmth
It's speech austere that's well-meaning.
Simple 'n stoic
Kind and candid
It's mind austere
With self-control.
Wanting none
Never in turn,
Done in concern
Deed it's austere.
It's in pretension passionate live
Eye they have on name 'n fame.
With troubled mind all deluded live
Hurt themselves 'n others as well.
Virtuous deed is that extends
Helping hand to one in need
Guided by the zeal to serve.
Deed passionate is quid pro quo
Ever done with some end in mind.
Aiding dubious with disdain
It's deed deluded that lacks goal.

Ends thus:
Science of Devotion,
The Seventeenth Chapter
Of Bhagavad-Gita,
Treatise of self-help.

Chapter-18: Thy Looking-glass

This chapter of 78 slokas, known as moksha sanyaasa yoga, Realization through Abnegation, describes such aspects of human behaviour based on the three natures - virtue, passion and delusion - and the path of selfless action. And in the end, the relevance of, and the reverence to, the Gita is described.

One can note that s12 breaks the continuity between s11 and s13 with hyperbolic averments, and s56 combines what is stated in the preceding and the succeeding slokas, and thus both are seemingly interpolations.

S41- s48 that describe the allotted duties of man on the basis of his caste are clearly interpolations. In essence, the discourse till s 40 is about the human nature and how it affects man. As can be seen, the duties on caste lines detailed in the said interpolations have no continuity of argument. As in earlier chapters, the text acquires continuity if only these verses are bypassed.

S61 avers that the Supreme dwells in humans and deludes them all by his maya. This is contrary to what is stated in s14, c5, 'It's his nature, but not Spirit / Makes man act by wants induced'. Thus, s61 clearly is an interpolation as it contravenes the neutrality of the Supreme Spirit in the affairs of man affirmed throughout by Lord Krishna.

Thus spoke Arjuna:
Pray Thee tell, for my grasp
All about sanyaas, path forsake
And self-denial that's tyaaga.
Thus spoke the Lord:
Lack inclination, it's sanyaas
Sans wants work what makes tyaaga.
Fault some sages effort per se
Others give nod to deeds noble.
Make thee privy of three ways
By which, men all give up well.
Effort, gift 'n austerity
Take men all on road forsake.
Forsake I this vouchsafe when
Acts man with no axe to grind.
Avoid obligation, it's no abnegation
Boils it down to, give up of delusion.
Forgo made easy passionate opt
Desist from duties that strain them.
Indulge virtuous in their work
With no thought of its outcome.
With no illusion but diligence
Carries renunciant his duties
Agreeable or otherwise too.
Needs one work to sustain life
Relinquients avoid, overloads all.
Factors five all deeds engulf
Know them well to free thyself.
Prone are acts to these aspects -
Body to sustain, ego that goads
Senses thy lure, life to guard
Faith in deities that tends thee.
Be well or so be ill
In word, thought 'n deed as well
Sourced are acts in these aspects.
Ignoramus in vain ascribe
Acts of theirs to Spirit in them.
It's for thee to realize now
That by killing these Kauravs
Slay thee none of them thyself.
Aspects knowable, known 'n knower
Lead to duty, deed 'n doer, in that order.
Knowable as well deeds 'n doers
Bracket those freed in three groups.
Lay indivisible in frames divisible
Realize virtuous Spirit not perishable.
Spirit in them 'n others that lies
Apart 'n unique feel passionate.
Failing to see beyond the self
Deluded think like frog in well.
Illusions of life virtuous
See in light of limitations
Thus thou carry businesslike
Duties that their life ordains
In want passionate come to live
Bogged down by, what they eye.
Deluded work in reckless ways
Harm their cause 'n others' as well.
Taking well and ever at ease
Senses honed 'n ego evened
Detached virtuous ever engage.
Mind as covetous 'n thought impure
Crave passionate all things mundane
Which them excite as well pull down.
Verily deluded, vulgar 'n vacillate
Arrogant, dishonest, ignorant 'n malicious
Indolent being remain they gloomy.
By natures of these beings
Features intellect theirs vary.
Deal virtuous in measures equal
Weigh they fine all deeds their fair.
Perspective lack passionate right
In weird ways they tend their lives.
Given their state of perversion
Go all deluded in wrong path.
Virtuous ever in self-control
Steady they wavering mind of theirs.
Things that seem to bring joys
Passionate all with zeal pursue.
Proud 'n arrogant, doubting 'n grieving
Bog down deluded in despair.
Make a note of these three ways
Pains which banish 'n fetch bliss.
What fail sprint 'n serve long run
Virtuous know keep woes at bay.
It's the way with thy passion
To jump at all that what might tempt
Which would turn sour in due course.
Ever in day-dreams
End up deluded in dreamlands.
Beyond the pale of these natures
None ever exists in three worlds.
With no want
Allegiant to none,
Freed from action
Thou forsake.
Leads how forsake to Brahman
Know that Wisdom Supreme now.
With pure mind 'n will that's strong
Wants thou void and firm thy self -
Frugal of food, thoughts reined in
Dwell in self thou sans passion -
Lack thou pride, wish 'n wrath
Give up ego, crave not power
Be content and live in peace
It's then thou come near Brahman.
Treat all beings ever equal
And in devotion live tranquil.
It's thou attain State Brahman.
It's then one would know Me true
That tends him to be one with Me.
Let thy faith in Me be strong
Take Me thou for thy shelter
And ever thee act as My agent.
58 .
It's all smooth sail if heeded
At thy peril thou this ignore.
It's thine ego sues for peace
But prevails what is thy nature..
Sidetrack might thine illusions
But nature thine would shape thy deeds.
Fix thy mind on Me Supreme
Find thou peace in My refuge.
That thee heard of this wisdom
For task on hand now apply mind.
O, dear friend, let Me tell
Word My final that benefits.
If one remains to Me firm
It's My promise I take him.
Set all aside 'n have faith
Thus sans sin, reach Me thou
None of this for those who lack
Faith in Me and selfless work.
Whoso passes this secret
To devout Mine all reach Me true.
Know not I a dearer soul
None there ever a better service.
Who that studies this discourse
He Me prays in true wisdom.
Hears this whoso in good faith
Attains he the Worlds Higher.
Looks as if thou got it right
Let not delusions rule thy head.
Thus spoke Arjuna:
Glad O Lord
Gone are doubts,
Sense I gained
With Thy words.
Thus spoke Sanjaya:
It's what I've heard of that stirring
Dialogue between these great souls
Krishn and Arjun as they spoke.
It's with Vyasa's grace I've heard
This peerless art of yogic life
Which Lord Krishna taught Paartha.
Found I thrilling, dialogue stirring
Reminiscing I rejoice, again and again.
What a wondrous Form that was
Recalling I rejoice, again and again.
Wherever yogic Lord Krishna
Joins hands with great Paartha
Goddess Victory, spreads carpet
Heaven on earth to set there ever.

Ends thus:
Thy Looking-glass
The Eighteenth Chapter
Of Vyasa's classic
Bhagavad Gita.

Dedication Note:
"To grand parents,
Bulusu Thimmaiah -
Lakshmi Narasamma,
Challa Kameswara Rao -
And parents,
Peraiah Sastry and Kamakshi,
In whose care my destiny
So favourably placed me."

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