- Krishna says that the foolish people wander about aimlessly on the path of world and death (3). He tells us that such mudhas ('asses') deride Him when He descends in His human like form."(11)
- And he goes on to contrast them with mahatamas (great souls), who are always chanting his glories,"But my Devotees worship me whole-heartedly and in turn become Great Souls(13-14).
- The most admirable phrase being" YOGAKSHEMAM VAHAMYAM ", verse 22. God assures us that those who worship Him, He makes them fully secure and personally attends to their various needs,(It is interesting to note that LIC, a corporate giant of India, has faithfully adopted this popular saying, conveying protection to its policyholders )
- "And those who worship other gods are at fault as I am the ultimate ocean of them all.,"( 23)He clarifies. Krishna enumerates the various kinds of worshippers those who prefer the impersonal Absolute, the demigods, pantheists and so on."
- Whosoever offers to Me with love a leaf, a flower, a fruit or even water,patram, pushpam, falam, toyam, I appear in person before that pious soul, and delightfully partake of the article offered by him with love(26)," the Lord elucidates.
- "Therefore , Arjuna, whatever you do , whatever you eat , whatever you offer as oblation to the sacred fire , whatever you bestow as a gift , whatever you do by way of penance , offer it all to Me( 27) so as to free yourself from the bond of karma (28).No matter, earlier he might have been a sinner but now if he pledges to worship Me , he will become a saint and My devotee never fails," (30-31) assures the Lord.Thus, His devotees by making Him, in His original spiritual form, the object of all their veneration, offerings and austerities, free themselves from the bondage of karma and ultimately develop love for Him.
- "Therefore , O Arjuna, fix your mind on Me, be devoted to Me, worship Me and make obeisance to Me, thus linking yourself with Me and entirely depending on Me , you shall come to Me (34)"concludes Lord Krishna.
Every year without fail on Sri Gita Jayanti, most revered Ushaji would recite verses from Srimad Bhagwad Gita and explain any one of its chapters, say 9, 12 or 18.
While reading the" YOGAKSHEMAM VAHAMAYAM", she would get sentimental and recount a true incident.
It so happened that once a Pundit, though well-versed in the 'Gita', changed the above verse to “YOGAKSHEMAM KARAHMAYAM" which meant that the Lord does not Himself take care of His Devotee's needs but gets the needful done through a delegation. Soon enough the Punditji's wife saw the toddler, Gopala, deeply wounded, with blood oozing. Since 'Gita' is the body of Lord Krishna Himself, changing of the verse amounted to hurting Him!
The Lord is so gracious that when a Devotee calls for Him, He Himself makes the effort to proceed there. There are multiple examples as in the case of Gajendra, Droupdi, Arjuna, Pandavas, Jatayu & so on.
As of now let us go through the original 35 verses to enjoy this divine knowledge.
Sri Bhagavaan Uvaacha:
Idam tu te guhyatamam pravakshyaamyanasooyave;
Jnaanam vijnaanasahitam yajjnaatwaa mokshyase'shubhaat.
The Blessed Lord said:
1. I shall now declare to thee who does not cavil, the greatest secret, the knowledge combined with experience (Self-realisation). Having known this, thou shalt be free from evil.
Raajavidyaa raajaguhyam pavitramidamuttamam;
Pratyakshaavagamam dharmyam susukham kartumavyayam.
2. This is the kingly science, the kingly secret, the supreme purifier, realisable by direct intuitional knowledge, according to righteousness, very easy to perform and imperishable.
Ashraddhadhaanaah purushaa dharmasyaasya parantapa;
Apraapya maam nivartante mrityusamsaaravartmani.
3. Those who have no faith in this Dharma (knowledge of the Self), O Parantapa (Arjuna), return to the path of this world of death without attaining Me!
Mayaa tatamidam sarvam jagadavyaktamoortinaa;
Matsthaani sarvabhootaani na chaaham teshvavasthitah.
4. All this world is pervaded by Me in My unmanifest aspect; all beings exist in Me, but I do not dwell in them.
Na cha matsthaani bhootaani pashya me yogamaishwaram;
Bhootabhrinna cha bhootastho mamaatmaa bhootabhaavanah.
5. Nor do beings exist in Me (in reality): behold My divine Yoga, supporting all beings, but not dwelling in them, is My Self, the efficient cause of beings.
Yathaakaashasthito nityam vaayuh sarvatrago mahaan;
Tathaa sarvaani bhootaani matsthaaneetyupadhaaraya.
6. As the mighty wind, moving everywhere, rests always in the ether, even so, know thou that all beings rest in Me.
Sarvabhootaani kaunteya prakritim yaanti maamikaam;
Kalpakshaye punastaani kalpaadau visrijaamyaham.
7. All beings, O Arjuna, enter into My Nature at the end of a Kalpa; I send them forth again at the beginning of (the next) Kalpa!
Prakritim swaamavashtabhya visrijaami punah punah;
Bhootagraamamimam kritsnamavasham prakritervashaat.
8. Animating My Nature, I again and again send forth all this multitude of beings, helpless by the force of Nature.
Na cha maam taani karmaani nibadhnanti dhananjaya;
Udaaseenavadaaseenam asaktam teshu karmasu.
9. These actions do not bind Me, O Arjuna, sitting like one indifferent, unattached to those acts!
Mayaa'dhyakshena prakritih sooyate sacharaacharam;
Hetunaa'nena kaunteya jagadwiparivartate.
10. Under Me as supervisor, Nature produces the moving and the unmoving; because of this, O Arjuna, the world revolves!
Avajaananti maam moodhaah maanusheem tanumaashritam;
Param bhaavamajaananto mama bhootamaheshwaram.
11. Fools disregard Me, clad in human form, not knowing My higher Being as the great Lord of (all) beings.
COMMENTARY: Fools who do not have discrimination despise Me, dwelling in human form. I have taken this body in order to bless My devotees. These fools have no knowledge of My higher Being. I am the great Lord, the Supreme.
Moghaashaa moghakarmaano moghajnaanaa vichetasah;
Raakshaseemaasureem chaiva prakritim mohineem shritaah.
12. Of vain hopes, of vain actions, of vain knowledge and senseless, they verily are possessed of the deceitful nature of demons and undivine beings.
Mahaatmaanastu maam paartha daiveem prakritimaashritaah;
Bhajantyananyamanaso jnaatwaa bhootaadimavyayam.
13. But the great souls, O Arjuna, partaking of My divine nature, worship Me with a single mind (with the mind devoted to nothing else), knowing Me as the imperishable source of beings!
Satatam keertayanto maam yatantashcha dridhavrataah;
Namasyantashcha maam bhaktyaa nityayuktaa upaasate.
14. Always glorifying Me, striving, firm in vows, prostrating before Me, they worship Me with devotion, ever steadfast.
Jnaanayajnena chaapyanye yajanto maamupaasate;
Ekatwena prithaktwena bahudhaa vishwatomukham.
15. Others also, sacrificing with the wisdom-sacrifice, worship Me, the all-faced, as one, as distinct, and as manifold.
Aham kraturaham yajnah swadhaa'hamahamaushadham;
Mantro'hamahamevaajyam ahamagniraham hutam.
16. I am the Kratu; I am the Yajna; I am the offering (food) to the manes; I am the medicinal herb and all the plants; I am the Mantra; I am also the ghee or melted butter; I am the fire; I am the oblation.
Pitaahamasya jagato maataa dhaataa pitaamahah;
Vedyam pavitramonkaara riksaama yajureva cha.
17. I am the father of this world, the mother, the dispenser of the fruits of actions, and the grandfather; the (one) thing to be known, the purifier, the sacred monosyllable (Om), and also the Rig-, the Sama- and Yajur Vedas.
Gatirbhartaa prabhuh saakshee nivaasah sharanam suhrit;
Prabhavah pralayah sthaanam nidhaanam beejamavyayam.
18. I am the goal, the support, the Lord, the witness, the abode, the shelter, the friend, the origin, the dissolution, the foundation, the treasure-house and the imperishable seed.
Tapaamyahamaham varsham nigrihnaamyutsrijaami cha;
Amritam chaiva mrityushcha sadasacchaahamarjuna.
19. (As the sun) I give heat; I withhold and send forth the rain; I am immortality and also death, existence and non-existence, O Arjuna!
Traividyaa maam somapaah pootapaapaa
Yajnairishtwaa swargatim praarthayante;
Te punyamaasaadya surendraloka-
Mashnanti divyaan divi devabhogaan.
20. The knowers of the three Vedas, the drinkers of Soma, purified of all sins, worshipping Me by sacrifices, pray for the way to heaven; they reach the holy world of the Lord of the gods and enjoy in heaven the divine pleasures of the gods.
Te tam bhuktwaa swargalokam vishaalam
Ksheene punye martyalokam vishanti;
Gataagatam kaamakaamaa labhante.
21. They, having enjoyed the vast heaven, enter the world of mortals when their merits are exhausted; thus abiding by the injunctions of the three (Vedas) and desiring (objects of) desires, they attain to the state of going and returning.
COMMENTARY: When their accumulated merits are exhausted, they come to this world again. They have no independence.
Ananyaashchintayanto maam ye janaah paryupaasate;
Teshaam nityaabhiyuktaanaam yogakshemam vahaamyaham.
22. To those men who worship Me alone, thinking of no other, of those ever united, I secure what is not already possessed and preserve what they already possess.
Ye'pyanyadevataa bhaktaa yajante shraddhayaa'nvitaah;
Te'pi maameva kaunteya yajantyavidhipoorvakam.
23. Even those devotees who, endowed with faith, worship other gods, worship Me only, O Arjuna, but by the wrong method!
Aham hi sarvayajnaanaam bhoktaa cha prabhureva cha;
Na tu maamabhijaananti tattwenaatashchyavanti te.
24. (For) I alone am the enjoyer and also the Lord of all sacrifices; but they do not know Me in essence (in reality), and hence they fall (return to this mortal world).
Yaanti devavrataa devaan pitreen yaanti pitrivrataah;
Bhutaani yaanti bhutejyaa yaanti madyaajino'pi maam.
25. The worshippers of the gods go to them; to the manes go the ancestor-worshippers; to the Deities who preside over the elements go their worshippers; My devotees come to Me.
Patram pushpam phalam toyam yo me bhaktyaa prayacchati;
Tadaham bhaktyupahritamashnaami prayataatmanah.
26. Whoever offers Me with devotion and a pure mind (heart), a leaf, a flower, a fruit or a little water—I accept (this offering).
Yatkaroshi yadashnaasi yajjuhoshi dadaasi yat;
Yattapasyasi kaunteya tatkurushva madarpanam.
27. Whatever thou doest, whatever thou eatest, whatever thou offerest in sacrifice, whatever thou givest, whatever thou practiseth as austerity, O Arjuna, do it as an offering unto Me!
Shubhaashubhaphalairevam mokshyase karmabandhanaih;
Sannyaasayogayuktaatmaa vimukto maamupaishyasi.
28. Thus shalt thou be freed from the bonds of actions yielding good and evil fruits; with the mind steadfast in the Yoga of renunciation, and liberated, thou shalt come unto Me.
Samo'ham sarvabhooteshu na me dweshyo'sti na priyah;
Ye bhajanti tu maam bhaktyaa mayi te teshu chaapyaham.
29. The same am I to all beings; to Me there is none hateful or dear; but those who worship Me with devotion are in Me and I am also in them.
Api chet suduraachaaro bhajate maamananyabhaak;
Saadhureva sa mantavyah samyagvyavasito hi sah.
30. Even if the most sinful worships Me, with devotion to none else, he too should indeed be regarded as righteous, for he has rightly resolved.
Kshipram bhavati dharmaatmaa shashwacchaantim nigacchati;
Kaunteya pratijaaneehi na me bhaktah pranashyati.
31. Soon he becomes righteous and attains to eternal peace; O Arjuna, know thou for certain that My devotee is never destroyed!
Maam hi paartha vyapaashritya ye'pi syuh paapayonayah;
Striyo vaishyaastathaa shoodraaste'pi yaanti paraam gatim.
32. For, taking refuge in Me, they also, who, O Arjuna, may be of sinful birth—women, Vaisyas as well as Sudras—attain the Supreme Goal!
Kim punarbraahmanaah punyaa bhaktaa raajarshayastathaa;
Anityamasukham lokam imam praapya bhajaswa maam.
33. How much more easily then the holy Brahmins and devoted royal saints (attain the goal); having obtained this impermanent and unhappy world, do thou worship Me.
Manmanaa bhava madbhakto madyaajee maam namaskuru;
Maamevaishyasi yuktwaivamaatmaanam matparaayanah.
34. Fix thy mind on Me; be devoted to Me; sacrifice unto Me; bow down to Me; having thus united thy whole self with Me, taking Me as the Supreme Goal, thou shalt verily come unto Me.
COMMENTARY: The whole being of a man should be surrendered to the Lord without reservation. Then there will be a marvellous transformation. He will have the vision of God everywhere. All sorrows and pains will vanish. His mind will be one with Him. He will for ever have his life and being in the Lord alone.
Hari Om Tat Sat
Iti Srimad Bhagavadgeetaasoopanishatsu Brahmavidyaayaam
Yogashaastre Sri Krishnaarjunasamvaade
Raajavidyaa-raajaguhyayogo Naama Navamo'dhyaayah
Thus in the Upanishads of the glorious Bhagavad Gita, the science of the Eternal, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna, ends the ninth discourse entitled:
"The Yoga of the Kingly Science & the Kingly Secret"
COMMENTARY ON CHAPTER 9:
Swami Shivanandaji gives a summary of the Ninth Discourse as under:--
Observing that Arjuna was a qualified aspirant and endowed with faith, Krishna declares to him the sovereign knowledge and sovereign secret that is to be known by direct experience. He adds that without faith in this knowledge man fails to reach God and is reborn to suffer.
Now the Lord proceeds to describe His nature as the eternal, all-comprehensive Truth. He is everything that is invisible and visible. He pervades everything that exists. He creates everything, sustains everything, and when final dissolution takes place, absorbs everything into Himself. He manifests them again when the next creation begins. All beings who are ignorant of this knowledge are caught helplessly in the cycle of birth and death. In the midst of this creation, preservation and dissolution of the universe, the Lord stands as a silent witness, unaffected and unattached. He is the sole director, sustainer and supervisor of His Cosmic Prakriti.
Ignorant beings are not able to recognise the Lord in one who has realised Him. Although these cruel beings assume a human form, their nature is that of demons. The God-realised Mahatma, on the other hand, is a man of knowledge, and perceives Him indwelling all beings and creatures. He beholds the underlying unity of existence in all names and forms.
The Lord's divine protection is assured to all those who take refuge in Him. Whatever path a devotee follows, he ultimately reaches Him. He is the goal of the various methods of spiritual practice. Devotion, Sri Krishna emphasises, is the essence of all spiritual discipline. If this supreme element is present, then the devotee is freed from bondage. The Lord observes the motive and degree of devotion. Even the most sinful and diabolical man, if he takes a radical turn towards the path of righteousness and truth, reaches the Lord. Whatever vocation one follows, one can attain the Lord if one seeks earnestly and with loving devotion. The essential thing is to fix the mind on the Lord and dedicate everything unto Him—one's body, mind, actions, emotion and will.
On this chapter many inspiring commentaries are accessible.
- From the stable of Gita-press in Gorakhpur we have ‘Gita-tika’ by Seth Jaidayal Goenka, Saint Hanuman Prasad Poddarji alias Bhaiji; Swami Ramsukhdasji and other saints. Those believing in Gyan-yog, repeatedly read the one by Sethji and those who have faith in Bhakti-yog read more of Bhaiji. Swami Ramsukhdasji has tried to balance the two and His Gita-Darpan commentary is simply marvellous.
- Other interprations are by ancient Acharyas namely ‘Gita-tika’ by Ramanujacharya, Vallabhachrya, Gyaneshwarji, and Shankarcharyaji and so on.
- 20th century Saints like Swami Shivanandaji, Chidanandaji of Divine Life Society , Rishikesh, and ISCKON's Prabhupadji have documented their observations.
- We have annotations by modern day thinkers like Lokmanya Tilak and Dr Radhakrishnan.
- A rather simplistic summary in the17 to18th chapters sums up the 'Gita'.This is after a time span of 30 years satsang with Saint Ushaji , Susheelaji and Manoharji of Swami Ramkrishan Paramhansa fame.