Bhagavan was speaking once with a visiting pandit aboutthe great merits of the Bhagavad Gita, when a devoteecomplained that it was difficult to keep all the seven hundred verses in mind and asked if there was not one verse that could be remembered as the quintessence of the Gita. Bhagavan thereupon mentioned Chapter X, verse 20: `I am the Self, Oh Gudakesa, dwelling in the Heart of every being; I am the beginning and the middle and also the end of all beings.' Later he selected forty-two verses that here follow (of which that quoted above comes fourth) and arranged them in an appropriate order to serve as guidance. He also prepared Tamil and Malayalam versions of these verses.
Despondent, overwhelmed with compassion (as he
sat), his troubled eyes filled with tears, Krishna, the slayer of Madhu spoke to him.
Sri Bhagavan said:
This body, O Son of Kunti,1 is known as the field;
and he who is aware of it is called the Knower of the Field by the wise.
And know that I am the Knower of the Field in all the
fields, O Bharata. The knowledge of the field and the knower of that, in my opinion, is true knowledge.
I am the Self, O Gudakesa, dwelling in the Hearts of
all beings. I am the beginning and the middle and the end of all beings.
For to him who is born death is indeed certain, and to
him who dies birth is certain. Therefore you should not grieve for the inevitable.
That is not born, nor does It ever die; nor, having been,
does It ever cease to be. That unborn, eternal, abiding, primeval Being is not slain when the body is slain.
Invulnerable He is, not to be burnt, not to be
drenched or dried. He is eternal, all pervading, changeless, motionless, enduring.
Know that which pervades all this to be indestructible.
That immutable none can destroy.
The unreal has no being, the Real no non-being. These
two facts the Truth-seers perceive.
10. Just as the all pervading ether, being subtle, is not
affected, (tainted or contaminated by anything), even so, the Self pervading the whole body is not tainted.
11. Neither sun, nor moon, nor fire illumine this state
on attaining which one does not return. And this is My supreme abode.
12. This Supreme State is called the Unmanifest
Imperishable (avyakto akshara). That is My highest abode. For those who attain to It, there is no return.
13. The undeluded, those who are free from pride and
ignorance, who have overcome the evil of attachment, who
are ever devoted to the Self, who have turned away from desires and are entirely beyond the dualities of pleasure and pain, attain that imperishable state.
14. He who abandons the injunctions of the scriptures
and behaves according to the impulses of his desires, attains neither perfection, nor happiness, nor the highest state of salvation.
15. He who sees the Supreme Lord, residing equally in
all beings -- the Imperishable One among the perishables -- sees (truly).
16. Only by unswerving devotion can I be known and truly
seen in this form, Arjuna, and even be entered into, O tormentor of the foe.
17. The faith of everyone is according to his nature,
O Bharata. Man is essentially endowed with faith. What his faith is, that indeed is he.
18. One who has faith and concentration and has subdued
his senses attains knowledge. Having gained knowledge he speedily attains Supreme Peace.
19. To them ever steadfast in loving worship, I give the
yoga of understanding by which they attain to Me.
20. Out of compassion for them, I, dwelling in their Heart,
destroy the darkness born of ignorance with the effulgent light of knowledge.
21. But in those whose unwisdom is destroyed by
wisdom, that wisdom like the Sun, reveals the Supreme (Param).
22. Mighty, they say, are the senses, mightier than these,
the mind, mightier than that the intellect, but mightier still is He.
23. Thus knowing Him who is beyond the intellect,
O mighty in arms, control your self by the Self and slay the enemy in the form of desire, hard though it may be.
24. As a well lit fire consumes its fuel, Arjuna, so does
the fire of knowledge reduce all activity to ashes.
25. One whose undertakings are all free from desire and
whose activity has been purified in the flame of wisdom is termed a sage by those who know.
26. Brahma Nirvana lies around those who have freed
themselves from anger and desire, who have subdued their minds and have known the Self.
27. One should gradually, gradually attain quietude with
the intellect (buddhi) held steadfast and the mind sunk in the Self, allowing no thought to arise.
28. To whatever side the restless, unsteady mind wanders
away, one should check it and bring it back controlled to the Self.
29. With the senses, mind and intellect subdued, the saint
who devoutly seeks liberation, without desire, fear or wrath -- he is indeed ever liberated.
30. One who is thus integrated in yoga (yoga yuktatma)
sees all with an equal eye, seeing himself in all beings and all beings in himself.
31. To those, however, who dwell on Me in single minded
worship I guarantee fulfilment of their needs and security.
32. The foremost of these is the wise one (jnani) who is
ever steadfast and devoted to the One. Very dear am I to the wise man and he to Me.
33. At the end of many births the man of wisdom comes
to Me, realising that Vasudeva is all. Such a great soul is very rare to find.
34. When a man casts out all desires of the mind, Oson
of Pritha, and is content in himself he is said to be steadfast in wisdom.
35. He attains peace who abandons all desires, acting
without attachment, free from `I' and `mine'.
36. He by whom the world is not afflicted and who is not
afflicted by the world, who is free from pleasure, anger, fear and anxiety -- he is dear to Me.
37. The same in honour and dishonour, towards friends
and foes; he who abandons the initiative in all undertakings, is called one beyond qualities.
38. For him, however, who rejoices only in the Self, is
gratified with the Self and content with the Self, no action is incumbent.
39. He has nothing to gain by actions done or to lose by
those undone. He is not dependent on anyone for the achievement of any object.
40. Satisfied with what comes to him by chance, beyond
the pairs of opposites, free from envy, equal in success and failure, he is not bound by his actions.
41. The Lord resides in the Hearts of all, O Arjuna,
revolving all creatures by prakriti[?] as if mounted on a machine.
42. Surrender unto Him with all your heart, O Bharata.
Through His grace you will attain Supreme peace and the perennial abode.