The Bhagavad-Gītā
                                  Dialogues of Krishna and Arjuna
                                                            The Eighteen Lectures
                                                                                           With Notes
                                             TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL 

                              IN THE ANCIENT LANGUAGE OF THE BRAHMAN

                                 By CHARLES WILKINS     1785                                        




MAT 3Oth, 1785.

THE following Work is published under the authority of the Court of Directors of the East India Company, by the particular desire and recommendation of the Governor General of India; whose letter to the Chairman of the Company will sufficiently explain the motives for its publication, and furnish
the best testimony of the fidelity, accuracy, and merit of the Translator.
The antiquity of the original, and the veneration in which it hath been held for so many ages, by a very considerable portion of the human race, must render it one of the greatest curiosities ever presented to the literary world.

To you, as to the first member of the first commercial body, not only of the present age, but of all the known generations of mankind, I presume to offer, and to recommend through you, for an offering to the public, a very curious specimen of the Literature, the Mythology, and Morality of the ancient Hindūs. It is an episodical extract from the " Mahabharat," a most voluminous poem, affirmed to have been written upwards of four thousand years ago, by Krishna Dwypayana Vyasa, a learned Brahmin; to whom is also attributed the compilation of “The Four " Vedas (Bēdes), the only existing original scriptures of the religion of Brahma; and the composition of all the Puranas, which are to this day taught in their schools, and venerated as poems of divine inspiration. Among these, and of superior estimation to the rest, is ranked the Mahabharat. But if the several books here enumerated be really the productions of their reputed author, which is greatly to be doubted, many argument & may be adduced to ascribe to the fame source the invention of the religion
itself, as well as its promulgation: and he must, at all events.,.

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aim the merit of having first reduced the gross and scattered tenet&
of their former faith into a scientific and allegorical system.
The Mahabharat contains the genealogy and general history of the house of Bharata, so called from Bharata its founder; the epithet Maha, or Great, being prefixed in token of distinction: but its more particular object is to relate the dissentions and wars of the two great collateral branches of it, called Kurus and Pandavas; both lineally descended in the second degree from Vichitravirya, their common ancestor, by their respective fathers Dhṛitarāshṭra and Pandu.
The Kurus, which indeed is sometimes used as a term comprehending the whole family, but most frequently applied as the patronymic of the elder branch alone, are said to have been one hundred in number, of whom Duryodhana was esteemed the head and representative even during the life of his father,. who was incapacitated by blindness. The sons of Pandu were five; Yudhishthira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula, and Sahadeva who, through the artifices of Duryodhana, were banished, by their uncle and guardian Dhṛitarāshṭra, from Hastinapura, at that time the seat of government of Hindustan.
The exiles, after a series of adventures, worked up with a won­ derful fertility of genius and pomp of language into a thousand sublime descriptions, returned with a powerful army to avenge their wrongs, and assert their pretensions to the empire in right of their father; by whom, though the younger brother, it had been­ held while he lived, on account of the disqualification already­ mentioned of Dhṛitarāshṭra.
In this fiat the episode opens, and is called "The Gītā of "Bhagvat," which is one of the names of Kṛṣṇa. Arjuna. Is represented as the favorite and pupil of Kṛṣṇa, here taken for God himself, in his last Avatar, or descent to earth in a mortal form.

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The Preface of the Translator will render any further explanation of the Work unnecessary. Yet something it may be allowable for me to add respecting my own judgment of a Work, which I have thus informally obtruded on your attention, as it is the only ground on which I can defend the liberty which I have taken.
Might I, an unlettered man, venture to prescribe bounds to the latitude of criticism, I should exclude, in estimating the merit of such a production, all rules drawn from the ancient or modern literature of Europe, all references to such sentiments or manners as are become the standards of propriety for opinion and action i11 our own modes of life, and equally all appeals to our revealed tenets of religion, and moral duty. I should exclude them, as by no means applicable to the language. sentiments, manners, or morality appertaining to a system of society with which we have been for ages unconnected, and of an antiquity preceding even the first efforts of civilization in our own quarter of the globe, which inspect to the general diffusion and common participation of arts and sciences, may be now considered as one community.
I would exact from every reader the allowance of obscurity, absurdity, barbarous habits, and a perverted morality. Where the reverse appears, I would have him receive it (to use a familiar phrase) as so much clear gain, and allow it a merit proportioned to the disappointment of a different expectation.
In effect, without bespeaking this kind of indulgence, I could hardly venture to persist in my recommendation of this production for public notice.
Many passages will be found obscure, many will seem redundant ; others will be found clothed with ornaments of fancy unsuited to our taste, and some elevated to a track of sublimity into. which our habits of judgment will find it difficult to pursue them; but few which will shock either our religious faith or moral sentiments. Something too must be allowed to the subject itself, which

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is highly metaphysical, to the extreme difficulty of rendering abstract terms by others exactly corresponding with them in another language, to the arbitrary combination of ideas, in words expressing unsubstantial qualities, and more, to the errors of interpretation. The modesty of the Translator would induce him to defend the credit of his work, by laying all its apparent defects to his own charge, under the article last enumerated; but neither does his accuracy merit, nor the work itself require that concession.
It is also to be observed, in illustration of what I have premised, that the Brahmans are enjoined to perform a kind of spiritual discipline, not, I believe, unknown to some of the religious orders of Christians in the Roman Church. This consists in devoting a certain period of time to the contemplation of the Deity, his at.. tributes, and the moral duties of this life. It is required of those who practice this exercise, not only that they divest their minds of all sensual desire, but that their attention be abstracted from every external object, and absorbed, with every sense, in the prescribed subject of their meditation. I myself was once a witness of a man employed in this species of devotion, at the principal temple of Banaras. His right hand and arm were enclosed in a loose sleeve or bag of red cloth, within which he passed the beads of his rosary, one after another, through his fingers, repeating with the touch of each (as I was informed) one of the names of God, while his mind labored to catch and dwell on the idea of the quality which appertained to it, and hewed the violence of its exertion to attain this purpose_ by the convulsive movements of all his features, his eyes being at the same time closed, doubtless to affect the abstraction. The importance of this duty cannot be better illustrated, nor stronger marked, than by the last sentence· with which Krishna closes his instruction to Arjuna, and which is properly the conclusion of the Gītā: _"Hath what I have been. " speaking. O Arjuna, been heard with the mind fixed to one point .

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" Is the distraction of thought, which arose from thy ignorance, removed?"
To those who have never been accustomed to this separation of the mind from the notices of the senses, it may not be easy to conceive by what means such a power is to be attained; since even the most studious men of our hemisphere will find it difficult to restrain their attention but that it will wander to some object of present sense or recollection; and even the buzzing of a fly will sometimes have the power to disturb it. But if we are told that there have been men who were successively, for ages past, in the daily habit of abstracted contemplation, begun in the earliest period. of youth, and continued in many to the maturity of age, each adding some portion of knowledge to the store accumulated by his predecessors; it is not assuming too much to conclude, that, as the mind ever gathers strength, like the body, by exercise, so in such an exercise it may in each have acquired the faculty to which they aspired, and that their collective studies may have led them to the discovery of new tracks and combinations of sentiment, totally different from the doctrines with which the learned of other nations are acquainted: doctrines, which however speculative and subtle, stil1, as they possess the advantage of being derived from a source so free from every adventitious mixture, may be equally founded in truth with the most simple of our own. But as they must differ, yet more than the most abstruse of ours, from the common modes of thinking, so they will require consonant modes of expression, which it may be impossible to render by any of the known terms of science in our language, or even to make them intelligible by definition. This is probably the cafe with some of the Englsh phrases, as those of "Action," "Application,'' " Practice," &c. which occur in Mr. Wilkins's translation; and others, for the reasons which I have recited, he has left with the same sounds in which he found them.. When the text is rendered obscure from such causes, candor requires

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that credit be given to it for some accurate meaning, though we may not be able to discover it ; and that we ascribe their obscurity to the incompetency of our own perceptions, on so novel an application of them, rather than to the less probable want of perspicuity in the original composition.
With the deductions, or rather qualifications, which I have thus premised, I hesitate not to pronounce the Gītā a performance of great originality; of a sublimity of conception, reasoning, and diction, almost unequalled; and a single exception, among all the known religions of mankind, of a theology accurately corresponding with that of the Christian dispensation., and most powerfully illustrating its fundamental doctrines.
It will not be fair to try its relative worth by a comparison with the original text of the first standards of European composition; but let these be taken even in the most esteemed of their prose translations; and in that equal scale let their merits be weighed. I should not fear to place, in opposition to the best French versions of the most admired passages of the Iliad or Odyssey, or of the 1st and 6th Books of our own Milton, highly as I venerate the latter, the English translation of the Mahabharat.
One blemish will be found in it, which will scarcely fail to make its own impression on every correct mind.; and which for that reason I anticipate. I mean, the attempt to describe spiritual ·existences by terms and images which appertain to corporeal forms. Yet even. in this respect it will appear lefs faulty than other works with which I have placed it in competition; and, defective as it may at first appear, I know not whether a doctrine so elevated above common perception did not require to be introduced by such ideas as were familiar to the mind, to lead it by a gradual advance to the pure and abstract comprehension of the subject: This will seem to have been, whether intentionally or accidentally., the order which is followed by the author of the  Gītā; and so far at least he soars

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far beyond all competitors in this species of composition. Even the frequent recurrence of the same sentiment, in a variety of dress, may have been owing to the same consideration of the extreme intricacy of the subject, and the consequent necessity of trying different kinds of exemplification and argument, to impress it with due conviction on the understanding. Yet I believe it will appear, to an attentive reader, neither deficient in method, nor in perspicuity. On the contrary, I thought it at the first reading, and more so at the second, clear beyond what I could have reasonably expected, in a discussion of points so far removed beyond the reach of the senses, and explained through so foreign a medium.

It now remains to say something of the Translator, Mr. Charles Wilkins. This Gentleman two whose ingenuity, unaided by models for imitation, and by artists for his direction, your government is indebted for its printing-office, and for many official purposes to which it has been profitably applied, with an extent unknown in Europe, has united to an early and successful attainment of the Persian and Bengal languages, the study of the Sanskrit. To this he dev-oted himself with a perseverance of which there are few examples, and with a success which encouraged him to _under take the translation of the Mahabharat. This book is said to consists _of more than one hundred thousand metrical stanzas, of which he has at this time translated more than a third; and, if I may trust to the imperfect tests by which I myself have tried a very small portion of it, through the medium of another language; he has rendered it with great accuracy and fidelity. Of its elegance, and the skill with which he has familiarized (if I may so express it) his own native language to so foreign an original, I may not speak, as from the specimen herewith presented, whoever reads it will judge for himself

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Mr. Wilkins's health having suffered a decline from the fatigues of business, from which his gratuitous labors allowed him no relaxation, he was advised to try a change of air for his recovery. I myself recommended that of Banaras, for the fake of the additional advantage which he might derive from a residence in a place which is considered as the first seminary of Hindu learning; and I promoted his application to the Board, for their permission to repair thither, without forfeiting his official appointments during the term of his absence.
I have always regarded the encouragement of every species of life useful diligence, in the servants of the Company, as a duty appertaining to my office; and have severely regretted that I have possessed such scanty means of exercising it, especially to such as required an exemption from official attendance; there being few emoluments in this service but such as are annexed to official employment., and few offices without employment. Yet I believe I may take it upon me to pronounce, that the service has at no period more abounded with men of cultivated talents, of capacity for business, and liberal knowledge; qualities which reflect the greater luster on their possessors, by having been the fruit of long and labored application, at a season of life, and with a license of conduct, more apt to produce dissipation than excite the desire of improvement.
Such studies, independently of their utility, tend, especially when the pursuit of them is general, to disuse a generosity of sentiment:, and a disdain of the meaner occupations of such minds as are left nearer to the state of uncultivated nature; and you, Sir, will believe me, when I assure you, that it is on the virtue, not the ability of their servants, that the Company must rely for the permanency of their dominion.
Nor is the cultivation of language and science, for such are the studies to which I allude., useful only in forming the moral character and habits of the service.

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Every accumulation of knowledge,. and especially such as is obtained by social communication with people over whom we exercise a dominion founded on the right of conquest, is useful to the state : it is the gain of humanity: in the specific instance which I have stated, it attracts and conciliates distant affections; it lessens the weight of the chain by which the natives are held in subjection; and it imprints on the hearts of our own countrymen the sense and obligation of benevolence. Even in England, this effect of it is greatly wanting. It is not very long since the inhabitants of India were considered by many, as creatures scarce elevated above the degree of savage life; nor, I fear, is that prejudice yet wholly eradicated, though surely abated. Every instance which brings their real character home to observation will impress us with a more generous sense of feeling for their natural rights, and teach us to estimate them by the measure of our own. But such instances can only be obtained in their writings and these will survive when the British dominion in India will have long ceased to exist, and when the sources which it once yielded of wealth and power are left to remembrance.
If you, Sir, on the perusal of Mr. Wilkins's performance, shall judge it worthy of so honorable a patronage, may I take the further liberty to request that you will be pleased to present it to the Court of Directors, for publication by their authority, and to use your interest to obtain it its public reception will be the test of its real merit, and determine Mr. Wilkins in the prosecution or cessation of his present laborious studies. It may, in the first event, clear the way to a wide and unexplored field of fruitful knowledge; and suggest, to the generosity of his honorable employers,. a desire to encourage the first persevering ad venturer in a service in which his example will have few followers, and most probably none, if it is to be performed with the gratuitous labor of years left to the provision of future subsistence:

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: for the study of the Sanskrit cannot, like the Persian language, be applied to official profit, and improved with the official exercise of it. It can only derive its reward, beyond the breath of fame, in a fixed endowment. Such bas been the fate of his predecessor, Mr. Halhed, whose labors and incomparable genius, in two useful productions, have been crowned with every success that the public estimation could give them; nor will it detract from the no less original merit of Mr. Wilkins, that I ascribe to another the title of having led the way, when I add that this example held out to him no incitement to emulate it, but the prospect of barren applause. To say more, would be disrespect; and I believe that I address myself to a gentleman who possesses talents congenial with those which I am so anxious to encourage, and a mind too liberal to confine its beneficence to such arts alone as contribute to the immediate and substantial advantages of the state.
I think it proper to assure you, that the subject of this address, and its design, were equally unknown to the person who is the object of it; from whom I originally obtained the translation for another purpose, which on a second revisal of the work I changed, from a belief that it merited a better destination.
A mind rendered susceptible by the daily experience of unmerited reproach, may be excused if it anticipates even unreasonable or improbable objections. This must be my plea for any apparent futility in the following
observation. I have seen an extract from a foreign work of great literary credit, in which my name is mentioned, with very undeserved applause, for an attempt to introduce the knowledge of Hindu literature into the European world, by forcing or corrupting the religious consciences of the Pundits, or professors of their sacred doctrines. This reflexion was produced by the publication of Mr. Halbed's translation of the Poottee, or code

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of Hindoo laws; and is totally devoid of foundation. For myself I can declare truly, that if the acquisition could not have been obtained but by such means as have been supposed, I shouId never have fought it. It was contributed both cheerfully and gratuitously, by men of the most respectable characters for sanctity and learning in Bengal, who refused to accept more than the moderate daily subsistence of one rupee each, during the term that they were employed on the compilation; nor will it much redound to my credit, when I add, that they have yet received no other reward for their meritorious labors. Very natural causes may be ascribed for their reluctance to communicate the mysteries of their learning to strangers, as those to whom they have been for some centuries in subjection, never enquired into them, but to turn their religion into derision, or deduce from them arguments to support the intolerant principles of their own. From our nation they have received a different treatment, and are no less eager to impart their knowledge than we are to receive it. I could say much more in proof of this fact, but that it might look too much like self­ commendation.
I have the honor to be, with respect,
Your most obedient, and Most humble Servant,

Calcutta, 3d Dec, 1784
P. S. Since the above was written, Mr. Wilkins has transmitted to me a corrected copy of his Translation, with the Preface and Notes much enlarged and improved. In the former I meet with some complimentary

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complimentary passages, which are certainly improper for a work published at my own solicitation. But he is at too great a defiance to allow of their being sent back to him for correction, without losing the opportunity, which I am unwilling to lose, of the present dispatch; nor could they be omitted; if I thought myself at liberty to expunge them, without requiring confiderable alterations in the context. They must therefore stand ; and I hope that this explanation will be admitted as a valid excuse for me in passing them.
W. H.

                                       THE B H A G V A T- G E E T A,

                                                                  O R DIALOGUES O F Krishna and Arjun

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UNCONSCIOUS of the liberal purpose for which you intended the Gītā, when, at your request, I had the honor to present you with a copy of the manuscript, I was the less felicitous about its imperfections, because I knew that your extensive acquaintance
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with the customs and religious tenets of the Hindus would elucidate every passage that was obscure, and I had so often experienced approbation from your partiality, and correction from your pen : It was the theme of a pupil to his preceptor .and patron. But since I received your commands to prepare it for the public view, I feel all that anxiety which must be inseparable from one who, for the first time, is about to appear before that awful tribunal ; and I should dread the event, were I not convinced that the liberal sentiments expressed in the letter you have done me honor to write, in recommendation of the work, to the Chairman of the Direction, if permitted to accompany
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it to the presss, would screen me, under its own intrinsic merit, from all censure. The world, Sir, is so well acquainted with your boundless patronage in gen eral, and of the personal encouragement you have constantly given to my fellow-servants in _particular, to render themselves more capable of performing their duty in the ..various branches of commerce, revenue, and policy, by the study of the languages; with the laws and customs of the natives, that it must deem the . first fruit of every genius you have raised a tribute justly due to the source from which it sprang. As that personal encouragement alone first excited emulation in my breast; and urged me to prosecute my particular studies,
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even beyond the line of pecuniary reward, I humbly request you will permit me, in token of my gratitude, to lay the Gītā
publicly at your fee_t.I have the honor to.fubfcrjbe myfelf, with great refpea,
Honorable Sir,
Your most obedient, and Most humble Servant,

19th November, 1734.


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HE following work, forming part of the Mahabharat, an ancient Hindu poem, is a dialogue supposed to have passed between Krishna, an incarnation of the Deity, and his pupil and favorite Arjuna, one of the five sons of Pāndu, who is said to have reigned about five thousand years ago, just before the commencement of a famous battle fought on the plains of Kurushetra, near Delhi, at the beginning of the Kaliyuga, or fourth and present age of the world, for the empire of Bhārat-varsha, which, at that time, included all the countries that, in the present division of the globe, are called India, extending from the borders of Persia to the extremity of China; and from the snowy mountains to the southern promontory.
The Brahmans esteem this work to contain all the grand mysteries of their religion; and so careful are they to conceal it from the knowledge of those of a different persuasion, and even the vulgar of their own, that the Translator might have fought in vain for assistance, had not the liberal treatment they have of late years ex­ perienced from the mildness of our government, the tolerating principle's of our faith, and, above all, the personal attention paid to the learned men of their order by him under whom auspicious administration they have so long enjoyed,· in the midst of surrounding

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troubles, the blessings of internal peace, and his exemplary encouragement, at length happily created in their breasts a confidence in his countrymen sufficient to remove almost every jealous prejudice from their minds.
It seems as if the principal design of these dialogues was to unite all the prevailing modes of worship of those days; and, by setting up the doctrine of the unity of the Godhead, in opposition to idolatrous sacrifices, and the worship of images, to undermine the tenets inculcated by the Vedas; for although the author dared not make a direct attack, either upon the prevailing prejudices of the people, or the divine authority of those ancient books ; yet, by offering eternal happiness to such as worship Brahman, the Almighty, whilst he declares the reward of such as follow other Gods shall be but a temporary enjoyment of an inferior heaven, for a period measured by the extent of their virtues, his design was to bring about the downfall of Polytheism; or, at least, to induce men to believe God present in every image before which they bent., and the object of all their ceremonies and sacrifices.
The most learned Brahmans of the present times are Unitarians according to the doctrines of Krishna; but, at the same time that they believe but in one God, an universal spirit., they so far comply with the prejudices of the vulgar, as outwardly to perform all the ceremonies inculcated by the Vedas, such as sacrifices, ablutions, &c. They do this, probably, more for the support of their own consequence, which could only arise from the great ignorance of the people, than in compliance with the dictates of Krishna: indeed, this ignorance, and these ceremonies, are as much the bread of the Brahmans, as the superstition of the vulgar is the support of the priesthood in many other countries.
The reader will have the liberality to excuse the obscurity of many passages, and the confusion of sentiments which runs through the whole in its present form. It was the Transistor’s business to remove as much of this obscurity and confusion as his knowledge

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and abilities would permit. This he hath attempted in his Notes ; but as he is conscious they are still insufficient to remove the veil of mystery, he begs leave to remark, in his own justification·, that the text is but imperfectly understood by the most learned Brahmans of the present times; and that, small as the work may appear, it has had more comments than the Revelations. These have not been totally disregarded; but, as they were frequently found more obscure than the original they were intended to elucidate, it was thought better to leave many of the most difficult passages for the exercise of the reader's own judgment, than to mislead him by such wild opinions as no one syllable of the text could authorize.
Some apology is also due for a few original words and proper names that are left untranslated, and unexplained. The Translator was frequently too diffident of his own abilities to hazard a term that did but nearly approach the sense of the original, and too ignorant, at present, of the mythology of this ancient people, to venture any very particular account, in his Notes, of such Deities, Saints, and Heroes, whose names are but barely mentioned in the text. But 1hould the fame Genius, whose approbation first kindled emulation in his breast, and who alone hath urged him to undertake, and sup ported him through the execution of far more laborious tasks than this, find no cause to withdraw his countenance, the Translator may be encouraged to prosecute the study of the theology and mythology of the Hindus, for the future entertainment of the curious.
It is worthy to be noted, that Krishna throughout the whole, mentions only three of the four books of the Vedas, the most ancient scriptures of the Hindus, and those the three first, according to the present order. This is a very curious circumstance, as it is the present belief that the whole four were promulgated by Brahma at the creation. The proof then of there having been but three before his time, is more than presumptive, and that so many actually existed before his appearance; and as the fourth mentions the name of Krishna, it is equally proved that it is a posterior work.

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This observation has escaped all the commentators. and was received with great astonishment by the Pandit1 who was consulted in the translation.
The Transistor has not as yet had leisure to read any part of the ancient scriptures. He is told, that a very few of the original num­ ber of chapters are now to be found, and that the study of these is so difficult, that there are but few men in Banaras who understand any part of them. If We may believe the Mahahharat, they were almost lost five thousand years ago ; when Vyasa, so named from having superintended the compilation of them, collected the scattered leaves, and, by the assistance of his disciples, collated and preserved them in four books.
As a regular mode hath been followed in the orthography of the proper names, and other original words, the reader may be guided in the pronunciation of them by the following explanation.
(g) has always the hard found of that letter in gun.
(j) the soft found of (g), or of (J) in James.·
(y) is generally to be considered as a consonant, and to be pronounced as that letter before a vowel, in the word yarn.
(h) preceded by another consonant, denotes it to be aspirated.
(a) is always to be pronounced short, like (u) in Butter.
(ā) long, and broad, like (a) in all, call.
(ee) short, as (i) in it.
(ēē) long.
(oo) short, as (oo) in faot.
(ōō) long.
(ē) open and long.
(ī) as that letter is pronounced in our alphabet.
(ō) long, like (6) in over.
(ow) long, like (ow) in how.

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                                                           THE BHAGAVAD-GITA


                                                                                           LECTURE 1 .  Chapter 1 

                                                                                           THE GRIEF OF ARJUNA



Dḥṛtarāṣṭra  said,
“TELL me, O Sanjay, what the people of my own party, and those of the Pāṇḍu, who are assembled at Kuru-ṣetra resolved for war, have been doing

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SAṀJAYA v replied,
"Duryodhana having seen the army of the Pāṇḍus Drawn up for battle, went to his Preceptor, and addressed him in the following words:''
" Behold O master, said he, the mighty army of the sons of Pāṇḍu drawn forth by thy pupil, the experienced son of Drupada. In it are heroes, such as Bhīma or Arjuna : there is Yuyudhāna, and Vīrāṭa, and Drūpada, and Dhṛṣṭaketu, and Chekītana, and the valiant prince of Kāśi, and Purujit, and Kuntibhoja, and Śaibya a mighty chief, and Yudhāmanyu-Pīkranta,. and the daring Uttamauja; so the son of Subhadrā, and the sons of Krishnā the daughter of Drūpada, all of them great in arms. Be acquainted also with the names of those of our party who are the most distinguished. I will mention a few of those who are among my generals, by way of example. There is thyself, my Preceptor, and Bhīṣma, and Kṛpa the conqueror in battle, and As­ vatthāma, and Vikarṇa, and the son of Somadatta,8.
with others in vast numbers who for my service have forsaken the love of life. They are all of them practiced in the use of arms, and experienced in every mode of fight. Our innumerable forces are commanded by Bhīṣma,. and the inconsiderable army of our foes is led by Bhīma.1O

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Let all the generals, according to their respective divisions,. stand in their posts, and one and all resolve Bhīṣma to support."
 The ancient chief 1 , and brother of the grandsire of the Kurus, then, shouting with a voice like a roaring lion, blew his shell to raise the spirits of the Kuru. chief; and instantly innumerable shells2, and other warlike instruments, were struck up on all sides, so that the clangor · was excessive. At this time Krishna and Arjun were standing in a splendid chariot drawn by white horses. They also sounded their shells, which were of celestial form: the name of the one which was blown by Krishna, was Panchajanya, and that of Arjuna was called Deva-datta. Bhīma, of dreadful deeds, blew his ca­ pacious shell Pouṇḍra, and Yudhiṣṭhira, the royal son of Kuntee, sounded Anantavijaya. Nakula and Sahadeva blew their shells : Sughoṣa and Maṇipuṣpaka.16 The prince of Kāśi of the mighty bow, Śikhaṇḍin, Dhṛṣṭadyumna, Virāṭa, Sātyaki of invincible arm Drupada and the sons of his royal daughter Krishna, with the son of Subhadrā, and all the other chiefs and nobles, blew also their respective shells; so that their shrill sounding voices pierced the hearts.

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of the Kurus, and re-echoed with a dreadful noise from heaven to earth. In the meantime Arjuna, perceiving that the sons of Dḥṛtarāṣṭra ready to begin the fight, and that the weapons began to fly abroad, having taken up his bow, addressed Krishna3 in the following words:

I pray thee, Krishna, cause my chariot to be driven and placed between the two armies, that I may behold who are the men that stand ready, anxious to commence the bloody fight; and with whom it is that I am to fight in this ready field; and who they are that are here assembled to support the vindictive son of Dḥṛtarāṣṭra in the battle."
Krishna being thus addressed by Arjuna, drove the chariot; and, having caused it to halt in the midst of the space in front of the two armies, Arjuna cast his eyes towards the ranks of the Kurus, and behold where stood the aged Bhīṣma, and Drona, with all the chief° nobles of their party. He looked at both the armies, and beheld, on either side, none but grandsires, uncles, cousins, tutors, sons, and brothers, near relations, or bosom friends; and, when he had gazed for a while, and beheld such friends
[ 31 ]
as these prepared for the fight, he was seizcd with extreme pity and compunction, and uttered his sorrow in the following words :
" Having beheld, O Krishna my kindred thus standing anxious for the fight, my members fail me, my coun­ tenance withereth, the hair standeth an end upon my body, and all my frame trembleth with horror. Even Gāṇḍiva9 my bow escapeth from my hand, and my skin is parched and dried up. I am not able to stand; for my understanding, as it were, turneth round, and I behold inauspicious omens on all sides. When I shall have destroyed my kindred, shall I longer look for happiness? I. wish not for victory, Krishna; I want not dominion ; I want not pleasure; for what is dominion, and the enjoy­ ments of life, or even life itself, when those, for whom dominion, pleasure, and enjoyment were to be coveted. have abandoned life and fortune and stand here in the field ready for the battle ? Tutors, sons and fathers, grandsires and grandsons, uncles and nephews, cousins. kindred, and friends I Although they would kill me, I will not to fight them; no not even for the dominion of the three regions of the universe, much less for this little earthI Having killed the sons of Dhṛitarāshṭra, what

[ 32 ]
pleasure, O Krishna, can we enjoy ? Should we destroy them, tyrants as they are, sin would take refuge with us. It therefore behoveth us not to kill such near relations as these. How, O Krishna, can we be happy hereafter, when we have been the murderers of our race? What if they, whose minds are depraved by the lust of power, feel no sin in the extirpation of their race, no crime in the murder of their friends, is that a reason why we should not resolve to turn away from such a crime, we who abhor the sin of extirpating the kindred of our blood ? In the destruction of a family, the ancient virtue of the family is lost. Upon the loss of virtue, vice and impiety overwhelm the whole of a race. From the influence of impiety the females of a family grow vicious; and from women that are become vicious are born the spurious brood called Varṇasaṁkara. The saṁkara provideth Hell 5 both for those which are slain and those which survive; and their forefathers6 being deprived of the ceremonies of cakes and water offered to their manes, sink into the infernal regions. By the crimes of those who murder their own relations, fore cause of contamination and birth of Varṇasaṁkara, the family virtue, and the virtue of a whole tribe is for ever done away; and we have been told, O Krishna, that the habitation of those

[ 33 ]
mortals whose generation hath lost its virtue, shall be in Hell. Woe is me I what a great crime are we prepared to commit I ·Alas! that for the lust of the enjoyments of dominion we stand here ready to murder the kindred of our own blood I I would rather patiently suffer that the sons of Dhṛitarāshṭra, .with their weapons in their hands, should come upon me, and, unopposed, kill me unguarded in the field."
When Arhuna had ceased to speak, he sat down in the chariot between the two armies; and having put away his bow and arrows, his heart was overwhelmed with affliction,

L E C T U R E.  II.


                                                                               Sāṁkhya Theory and Yoga Practice

                                                                                         Charles Wilkins 1785



Krishna beholding him thus influenced by compunction, his eyes overflowing with a flood of tears, and his heart oppressed with deep affliction, addressed him in the following words :
" Whence, O Arjuna, cometh unto thee, thus standing in the field of battle, this folly and unmanly weakness ? It is disgraceful, contrary to duty
7, and the foundation of dishonour. Yield not thus to unmanliness, for it ill becometh one like thee. Abandon this despicable weakness of thy heart, and stand up."

O Krishna,
“Shall I resolve to fight with my arrows in the field against such as Bhīṣma and Droṇa, who, of all men, are most worthy of my respect ? I would rather beg my bread about the world, than be the murderer of my preceptors, to whom such awful reverence is due. Should I destroy such friends as these,
[35 ]
should partake of possessions, wealth, and pleasures, polluted with their 'blood. We know not whether it would be better that we should defeat them, or they us ; for those, whom having killed, I should not wish to live, are even the sons and people of Dhṛitarāshṭra who are here
drawn up before us. My compassionate nature is overcome by the dread of sin.
Tell me truly what may be left for me to do. I am thy disciple, wherefore instruct me in my duty, who am under thy tuition; for my understanding is confounded by the dictates of my duty8, and I see nothing that may assuage the grief which drieth up my faculties, although I were to obtain a kingdom without a rival upon earth,. . or dominion over the hosts of heaven."
Arjuna having thus spoken to Krishna, and declared that he would not fight, was silent.
Krishna smiling;
addressed the afflicted prince, standing in the midst. of the two armies, in the following words :
 " Thou ' grievest for those who are unworthy to be lamented, whilst thy sentiments are those of the wise men
9.  The wise neither grieve for the dead nor for the living. I myself never was not, nor thou, nor all the princes of the earth; nor shall we ever hereafter cease to be. As the
[ 36 ]
soul in this mortal frame findeth infancy, youth, and old age; so, in some future frame, will it find the like. One who is confirmed in this belief, is not disturbed by anything that may come to pass. The sensibility of the faculties giveth heat and cold, pleasure and pain; which come and go, and are transient and inconstant. Bear them with patience, O Son of Bharat; for the wise man, whom these disturb not, and to whom pain and pleasure are the fame, is formed for immortality. A thing imaginary hath no existence, whilst that which- is true is a stranger to non-entity. By those who look into the principles of things, the design· of each is seen. Learn that he by whom all things were formed is incorruptible, and that no one is able to effect the destruction of this thing which is inexhaustible. These bodies, which envelope the souls which inhabit them, which are eternal, incorruptible, arid surpassing all conception, are declared to be finite beings ; wherefore, O Arjuna, resolve to fight. The man who believeth that it is the soul which killeth, and he· who thinketh that the soul may be destroyed, are both alike deceived; for it neither killeth, nor is it killed. It is not a thing of which a man may say, it hath been, it is about to be, or is to be hereafter; for it is a thing without birth ; it is ancient, constant, and eternal,

[ 37 ]
and is not to be destroyed in this its mortal frame.
How can the man, who believeth that this thing is incorruptible, eternal, inexhaustible, and without birth, think that he can either kill or cause it to be killed ? As a man
throweth away old garments, and putteth on new, even so the soul, having quitted its old mortal frames, entereth into others which are new. The weapon divideth it not, the fire burneth it not, the water corrupteth it not, the wind drieth it not away ; for it is indivisible, inconsumable, incorruptible, and is not to be dried away: it is eternal, universal, permanent, immoveable; it is invisible, inconceivable, and unalterable ; therefore, believing it to be thus, thou should not grieve. But whether thou believeth it of eternal birth and duration, or that it dieth with the body, still thou hast no cause to lament it. Death is certain to all things which are subject to birth, and regeneration to all things which are mortal; wherefore it doth not behove thee to grieve about that which is inevitable. The former state of beings is unknown; the middle state is evident, and their future state is 'not to be discovered. Why then shouldst thou trouble thyself about such things as these? Some regard the soul as a wonder, whilst some speak, and others hear of it with astonishment; but no one knowest it, although he may

[ 38 ]
have heard it described. This spirit being never to be destroyed in the mortal frame which it inhabiteth, it is unworthy for thee to be troubled for all these mortals. Cast but thy eyes towards the duties of thy particular tribe, and it will ill become thee to tremble. A soldier of the Kṣatriya tribe hath no duty superior to fighting.
Just to thy wish the door of heaven is found open before thee. Such soldiers only as are the favorites of Heaven obtain such a glorious fight as this. But, if thou wilt not perform the duty of thy calling, and fight out the field, thou wilt abandon thy duty and thy honor, and be guilty of a crime. Mankind speak of thy renown as infinite and inexhaustible. The fame of one who hath been respected in the world is extended even beyond the dissolution of the body. The generals of the armies will think that thy retirement from the field arose from fear, and thou wilt become despicable, even amongst those by whom thou wert wont to be respected. Thy enemies will speak of thee in words which are unworthy to be spoken, and depreciate thy courage and abilities: what can be more dreadful than this. If thou art slain thou wilt obtain heaven; if thou art victorious thou wi1t enjoy a world for thy reward; wherefore, Son of Kunti, arise and be determined for the battle. Make pleasure and
[ 39 ]
pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat, the fame, and then prepare for battle; or if thou dost not, thou wilt be criminal in a high degree. Let thy reason be thus applied in the field of battle.
This thy judgment is formed upon the speculative doctrines of the Sankhya Sāstra; hear what it is in the practical with which being endued thou shalt forsake the bonds of action
10. A very small portion of this duty delivereth a man from great fear. In this there is but one judgment; but that is of a definite nature, whilst the judgments of those of indefinite principles are infinite and of many branches.
Men of confined notions, delighting in the controversies of the Vedas, tainted with worldly lusts, and preferring a transient enjoyment of heaven to eternal absorption, whilst they declare there is no other reward, pronounce, for the attainment of worldly riches and enjoyments, flowery sentences, ordaining innumerable and manifold ceremonies, and promising rewards for the actions of this life. The determined judgment of such as are attached to riches and enjoyment, and whose reason is led astray by this doctrine, is not formed upon mature consideration and meditation. The objects of the Vedas
11 are of a threefold nature. Be thou free from a threefold nature; be

[ 4O ]
free from duplicity, and stand firm in the path of truth; be free from care and trouble, and turn thy mind to things which are spiritual. The knowing divine findeth as many uses in the whole Vedas collectively, as in a reservoir full flowing with water.
Let the motive be in the deed, and not in the event. Be not one whose motive for action is the hope of reward. Let not thy life be spent in inaction. Depend upon application, perform thy duty, abandon all thought of the consequence, and make the event equal, whether it terminate in good or evil ; for such an equality is called Yoga
The action stands at a distance inferior to the application of wisdom. Seek an asylum then in wisdom
13 alone ; for the miserable and unhappy are so on account of the event of things. Men who are endued with true wisdom are unmindful of good or evil in this world. Study then to obtain this application of thy understanding, for such application in business is a precious art.
Wise men, who have abandoned all thought of the fruit which is produced from their actions, are freed from the chains of birth, and go to the regions of eternal happiness.
When thy reason shall get the better of the gloomy weakness of thy heart, then shall thou have attained all

[ 41 -]
knowledge which hath been, or is worthy to be taught. When thy understanding, by study brought to maturity, shall be fixed immovably in contemplation, then shall it obtain true wisdom."

What, O Krishna, is the distinction of that wise and steady man who is fixed in contemplation? What may such a sage declare? Where may he dwell ? How may he act?
A man is said to be confirmed in wisdom, when he forfaketh every desire which entereth into his heart, and of himself is happy, and contented in himself. His mind is undisturbed in adversity, he is happy and contented in prosperity, and he is a stranger to anxiety, fear, and anger. Such a wise man is called a Mauni. The wisdom of that man is established, who in all things is without affection; and, having received good or evil, neither rejoiceth at the one, nor is cast down by the other. His wisdom is confirmed, when, like the tortoise, he can draw in all his members, and restrain them from their wonted purposes. The hungry man loseth every other object but the gratification of his appetite, and when he is become acquainted with the Supreme, he loseth even that_.

[ 42 ]
The tumultuous senses hurry away, by force, the heart even of the wise man who striveth to restrain them. The inspired man, trusting in me, may quell them and be happy. The man who hath his passions in subjection, it possessed of true wisdom.
The man who attendeth to the inclinations of the senses, in them hath a concern; from this concern is created passion, from passion anger, from anger is produced folly
14, from folly a depravation of the memory, from the loss of memory the loss of reason, and from the loss of reason the loss of all. A man of a governable mind, enjoying the objects of his senses, with all his faculties rendered obedient to his will, and freed from pride and malice, obtaineth happiness supreme. In this happiness is born to him an exemption from all his troubles ; and his mind being thus at ease wisdom presently floweth to him from all sides. The man who attendeth not to this, is without wisdom or the power of contemplation. The man who is incapable of thinking, hath no rest. What happiness can he enjoy who hath no rest? The heart, which followeth the dictates of the moving passions, carrieth away his reason, as the storm the bark in the raging ocean. The man, therefore, who can restrain all his passions from their inordinate desires, is endued with true

[ 43 ]
wisdom. Such a one walketh but in that night when all things go to rest, the night of time. The contemplative Muni sleepeth but in the day of time, when all things wake.
The man whose passions enter his heart as waters run into the unswelling passive ocean, obtaineth happiness; not he who lusteth in his lusts. The man who, having abandoned all lusts of the flesh walketh without inordinate desires, unassuming, and free from pride, obtaineth happiness. This is divine dependence. A man being possessed of this confidence in the Supreme, goeth not astray: even at the hour of death, should he attain it, he shall mix with the incorporeal nature of Braḥman.
This is the end of Chapter 02 The Yoga of Knowledge (Entry by editor)



Bhagavadgita Chapter 03

OF WORKS (Karma Yoga)

                              By CHARLES WILKINS     1785                                        




According to thy opinion, the use of the understanding be superior to the practice of deeds15, why then dost thou urge me to engage in an undertaking so dreadful as this? Thou, as it were, confoundest my reason with a mixture of sentiments; wherefore choose one amongst them, by which I may obtain happiness, and explain it unto me.
It hath before been observed by me, that in this world there are two institutes : That of those who follow the Saṁkhya, or speculative science, which is the exercise of reason in contemplation ; and the practical, or exercise of the moral and religious duties.
The man enjoyeth not freedom from action, from the non-commencement of that which he hath to do; nor doth he obtain happiness from a total inactivity. No one ever refreth a moment inactive. Every man is involunta-

[ 45 ]
rily urged to ad: by those principles which are inherent in his nature. The man who refraineth his active faculties, and fitteth down with his mind attentive to the objects of his senses, is called one of an astrayed soul, and the practiser of deceit. So the man is praised, who, having subdued all his passions, performeth with his active faculties of all the functions of life, unconcerned about the event. Perform the settled functions: action is preferable to inaction. The journey of thy mortal frame may not succeed from inaction. This busy world is engaged from other motives than the worship of the Deity. Abandon then, O Son of Kunti, all selfish motives, and perform thy duty for him alone.

When in ancient days Brahma16 , the lord of the creation, had formed mankind, and, at the same time, appointed his worship, he spoke and said: '' With this worship pray for increase, and let it be that on which ye shall depend for the accomplishment of all your wishes. "With this remember the Gods, that the Gods may 'remember you. Remember one another, and ye shall obtain supreme happiness. The Gods being remembered " in worship, will grant you the enjoyment of your wishes. " He who enjoyeth what hath been given unto him by them, and offereth not a portion unto them, is even as
a thief. Those who eat not but what is left of the offerings, shall be purified of all their transgressions. '' Those who dress their meat but for themselves, eat the '' bread of sin, All things which have life are generated from the bread which they eat. Bread is generated from rain ; rain from divine worship, and divine worship from good works. Know that good works come from Brahman, whose nature is incorruptible; wherefore the omnipresent Brahman is present in the worship.

The sinful mortal, who delighteth in the gratification of his passions, and followeth not the wheel, thus revolving in the world, liveth but in vain.

But the man who may be self-delighted and self-satisfied, and who may be happy in his own soul, hath no occasion17 He hath no interest either in that which is done, or that which is not done; and there is not, in all things which have been created, any object on which he may place dependence. Wherefore, perform thou that which thou hast to do, at all times, unmindful of the event ; for the man who doeth that which he hath to do, without affection, obtaineth the Supreme Janaka. and others have attained perfection 18 even by Works. Thou should also observe what is the practice of mankind, and act accordingly. The man of low degree

[ 47 ]
followeth example of him who is above him, and doeth that which he doeth. I myself, Arjuna, have not, in. · the three regions of the universe, anything which is necessary for me to perform, nor anything to obtain which is not obtained; and yet I live in the exercise of the moral duties. If I were not vigilantly to attend to these duties,all men would presently follow my example. If I were not to perform the moral actions, this world would fail in their duty; I should be the cause of spurious births, and should drive the people from the right way. As the ignorant perform the duties of life from the hope of reward, so the wise man, out of respect to the opinions and prejudices of mankind, should perform the same without motives of interest. He should not create a division in the understandings of the ignorant, who are inclined to outward works. The learned man,, by industriously performing all the duties of life, should induce the vulgar to attend to them.The man whose mind is led astray by the pride of self-sufficiency, thinketh that he himself is the executor
-of all tbose actions which are performed by the principles of his constitution. But the man who is acquainted with the nature of the two distinctions cause. and effect, having considered that principles will act according to their natures, giveth himself no trouble. Men who are led astray by the principles of their natures, are interested in the works of the faculties. The man who is acquainted with the whole, should not drive those from their works who are slow of comprehension, and less experienced than himself.

Throw every deed on me, and with a heart, over which the soul presideth, be free from hope, be unpresuming, be free·fron1 trouble, and resolve to fight
Those who with a firm belief, and without reproach, shall constantly follow this my doctrine, shall be saved even by works; and know that those who, holding it in contempt, follow not this my counsel, are astrayed from all wisdom, deprived of reason, and are lost.

But the wise man also seeketh for that which is homogeneous to his own nature. All things aa according to their natures, what then will restraint effect? In every purpose of the senses are fixed affection and dislike. A wise man should not put· himself in their power, for both of them are his opponents. A man's own religion, though contrary to, is better than the faith of another, let it be ever so well followed. It is good

[ 49 ]
to die in one's own faith, for another’s faith beareth fear.
By what, O Krishna, is man propelled to commit offences? He seems as if, contrary to his wishes, he was impelled by some secret force.
Know that it is the enemy lust, or passion, offspring of the carnal principle, insatiable and full of sin, by which this world is covered as the flame by the smoke, as the mirror by dust, or as the fetus by its membrane. The understanding of the wise man is obscured by inveterate foe, in the shape of desire19, who rageth like fire, and is hard to be appeased. It is said that the senses, the heart, and the understanding are the places where he delighteth most to rule. By the assistance of these he overwhelmeth reason, and stupifieth the soul. Thou shouldst, therefore, first subdue thy passions, and get the better of this sinful destroyer of wisdom and knowledge.
The organs are esteemed great, but the mind is greater than they. The resolution20 is greater than the mind, and who is superior to the resolution is he21. When thou
[ 5O ]
hast resolved what is superior to the resolution, and fixed thyself by thyself, determine to abandon the enemy in the shape of desire, whose objects are hard to be accomplished.


                                       The Bhagavad-Gītā
                                  Dialogues of Krishna and Arjuna
                                             TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL 

                              IN THE ANCIENT LANGUAGE OF THE BRAHMAN

                                 By CHARLES WILKINS     1785                                        

                                                                                   L E C T U R E.  4.  

                               OF THE FORSAKING OF WORK.

                                         (The Way of Knowledge)





THIS never-failing discipline I formerly taught unto Vivasvān, and Vivasvān communicated it to Manu, and Manu made it known to Ikṣvāku; being delivered down from one unto another, it was studied by the RajaRṛṣis; until at length, in the course of time, the mighty art was lost: It is even the same discipline which I have this day communicated unto thee, because thou art my servant and my friend. It is an ancient and a supreme mystery.


Seeing thy birth is posterior to the life of Ikṣvāku, how am I to understand that thou hadst been formerly the teacher of this doctrine?
Both I and thou have passed many births. Mine are known unto me; but thou knowest not of thine. Although I am not in my nature subject to birth or decay, and am the lord of all created beings; yet, having

[ 52 ]
command over my own nature, I am made evident by my own power; and as often as there is a decline of virtue, and an insurrection of vice and injustice, in the world, I make myself evident ; and thus I appear, from age to age, for the preservation of the just, the destruction of the wicked, and the establishment of virtue.
He, O Arjuna, who, from conviction, acknowledgeth my divine birth and actions to be even so, doth not, upon his quitting his mortal frame, enter into another, for he entereth into me. Many who were free from affection, fear, and anger, and, filled with my spirit, depended upon me, having been purified by the power of wisdom, have entered into me.· I assist those men who in all things walk in my path, even as they serve me.
Those who wish for success to their works in this life, worship the Devatās22. That which is achieved in this life, from works, speedily cometh to pass.
Mankind was created by me of four kinds, distinct in their principles, and in their duties. Know me then to be the creator of mankind, uncreated, and without decay. Works affect not me, nor have I any expectations from the fruits of works. He who believeth me to be even so is not bound by works. The ancients, who longed for

[ 53 ]
eternal salvation, having discovered this, still performed works. Wherefore perform thou works, even as they were performed by the ancients in former times. The learned even are puzzled to determine what is work, and what is not. I will tell thee what that work is, by knowing which thou wilt be delivered from misfortune.. It may be defined--action, improper action, and inaction. The path of action is full of darkness.
He who may behold, as it were, inaction in action, and action in inaction, is wise amongst mankind. He is a perfect performer of all duty.
Wise men call him a Pundit, whose every undertaking is free from the idea of desire, and whole actions are consumed by the fire of wisdom. He abandoneth the desire of a reward of his actions; he is always contented and independent; and although he may be engaged in a work, he, as it were, doeth nothing. He is unsolicitous, of a subdued mind and spirit, and exempt from every perception; and as he doeth only the offices of the body, he committeth no offence. He is pleased with whatever he may by chance obtain; he hath gotten the better of duplicity, and he is free from envy. He' is the same in prosperity and adversity;· and although he acteth, he is not confined in the action. The work of him, who hath
[ 54 ]
lost all anxiety for the event who is freed from the bonds of action, and standeth with his mind subdued by spiritual wisdom, and who performeth it for the sake of worship, cometh altogether unto nothing. God is the gift of charity ; God is the offering; God is in the fire of the altar ; by God is the sacrifice performed; and God is to be obtained by him who maketh God alone the object of his works.
Some of the devout attend to the worship of the Devatās, or angels ; others, with offerings, direct their worship unto God in the fire; others sacrifice their ears, and other organs, in the fire of constraint; whilst some sacrifice found, and the like, in the fire of their organs. Some again sacrifice the actions of all their organs and faculties in the fire of self-constraint, lighted up by the spark of inspired wisdom. There are also the worshippers with offerings, and the worshippers with mortifications; and again the worshippers with enthusiastic devotion; so there are those, the wisdom of whose reading is their worship, men of subdued passions and severe manners. Some there are who sacrifice their breathing spirit, and force it downwards from its natural course; others force the spirit which is below back with the breath; and while a few, with whom these two faculties are held in great

[ 55 ]
esteem, close up the door of each ; and there are some, who eat but by rule, who sacrifice their lives in their lives. All their different kinds of Worshippers are, by their particular modes of worship, purified from their offences. He who enjoyeth but the Amrta which is left of his offerings, obtaineth the eternal spirit -Of Brahman the supreme. This world is not for him who doth not worship; and where, O Arjuna, is there another?23
A great variety of modes of worship like these are displayed in the mouth of God. Learn that they are all the offsprings of action. Being convinced of this, thou shalt obtain an eternal release; for know that the worship of spiritual wisdom is far better than the worship with offerings of thin In wisdom is to be found every work without exception. Seek then this wisdom with prostrations·, with questions, and with attention, that those learned men who see its principles may instruct: thee in its rules; which having learnt, thou shalt not again, O Son of Pāndū, fall into folly; by which thou shalt behold all nature in the spirit; that is, in me24. Although thou wert the greatest of all offenders, thou shalt be able to cross the gulf of sin with the bark (boat) of wisdom. As the natural fire, O Arjuna, reduceth the wood to ashes, so may the fire of wisdom reduce all moral actions to ashes.

There is not anything in this world to be compared with wisdom for purity. He who is perfected by practice, in due time findeth it in his own soul. He who hath faith findeth wisdom; and, above all, he who hath gotten the better of his passions; and having obtained this spiritual wisdom, he shortly enjoyeth superior happiness; whilst the ignorant, and the man without faith, whose spirit is full of doubt, is loft. Neither this world, nor that which is above, nor happiness, can be enjoyed by the man of a doubting mind.. The human actions have no power to confine25 the spiritual mind, which; by study; hath forsaken works, and which, by wisdom, hath cut asunder the bonds of doubt. Wherefore, O Son of Bharat, resolve to cut asunder this doubt, offspring of ignorance, which hath taken possession of thy mind, with the edge of the wisdom of thy own soul, and arise and attach thyself to the discipline.




                                       The Bhagavad-Gītā
                                  Dialogues of Krishna and Arjuna
                                             TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL 

                              IN THE ANCIENT LANGUAGE OF THE BRAHMAN

                                 By CHARLES WILKINS     1785                                        

                                                                                   L E C T U R E.  5.  

                               OF THE FORSAKING OF WORK.

                                         (True Renunciation)





[ 57 ]
THOU now speakest, O Krishna, of the forsaking of works, and now again of performing them. Tell me positively which of the two is best (sic).
Both the desertion and the practice of works are equally the means of extreme happiness; but of the two the practice of works is to be distinguished above the desertion. The perpetual recluse, who neither longeth nor complaineth, is worthy to be known. Such a one is free from duplicity, and is happily freed from the bond of action. Children only, and not the learned, speak of the speculative and the practical doctrines as two. They are but one, for both obtain the self-fame end, and the place which is gained by the followers of the one, is gained by the. followers of the other. That man seeth, who seeth that the speculative doctrines and the practical are but one. To be a Saṁnyāsi, or recluse, without application, is to obtain pain and trouble; whilst the Muni,

[ 58 ]
who is employed in the practice of his duty, presently obtaineth Braḥman, the Almighty, The man who, employed in the practice of works, is of a purified soul, a subdued spirit and restrained passions, and whose soul is the universal soul,. is not affected by so being. The attentive man, who is acquainted with the principles of things, in feeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, moving, sleeping, breathing, talking quitting, taking, opening, and closing his eyes, thinketh that he doeth nothing; but that the faculties are only employed in their several objects. The man who, performing the duties of life, and quitting all interest in them, placeth them upon Braḥman, the Supreme is not tainted by sin; but remaineth like the leaf of the lotus unaffected by the waters. Practical men, who perform the offices of life but with their bodies, their minds, their understandings, and their senses, and forsake the consequence for the purification of their souls; and, although employed, forsake the fruit of action, obtain infinite happiness; whilst the man who is unemployed, being attached to, the fruit by the agent desire is in the bonds of confinement. The man who, hath his passions in subjection, and with his mind forsaketh all works, his soul fitteth at rest in the nine-gate city of its abode26, neither acting nor causing to act.

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The Almighty createth neither the powers nor the deeds of mankind27, nor the application of the fruits of action : nature prevaileth. The Almighty receiveth neither the vices nor the virtues of any one. Mankind are led astray by their reasons being obscured by ignorance; but when that ignorance of their souls is destroyed by the force of reason, their wisdom shineth forth again with the glory of the sun, and causcth the Deity to appear. Those whose understandings are in him, whose souls are in him, whose confidence is in him, and whose asylum is in him, are by wisdom purified from all their offences, and go from whence they shall never return.
The learned behold him alike in the reverend Braḥman perfected in knowledge, in the ox, in the elephant, in the dog, and in him who eateth of the flesh of dogs. (See below bg05.h1.jpg) Those whose minds are fixed on the equality, gain eternity even in this world. They put their trust in Braḥm,, the eternal, because he is every where alike, free from fault.

The man who knoweth Braḥm and confideth in Braḥm, and whose mind is steady and free from folly, should neither. rejoice in prosperity, nor complain in adversity. He whose soul is unaffected by the impressions

[ 6O ]
made upon the outward feelings, obtaineth what is pleasure in his own mind. Such an one, whose soul is thus fixed upon the study of Brahm, enjoyeth pleasure without decline. The enjoyments which proceed from the feelings are as the wombs of future pain. The wise man, who is acquainted with the beginning and the end of things, delighteth not in these. He who can bear up against the violence which is produced from lust and anger in this mortal life, is properly employed and a happy man. The man who is happy in his heart, at rest in his mind, and enlightened within, is a Yogi, or, one devoted to God, and of a godly spirit; and obtaineth the immaterial na­
ture of Brahm, the Supreme. Such Ṛṣis as are purified from their offences, freed from doubt, of subdued minds, and interefted in the good of all mankind; obtain the incorporeal Brahm. The incorporeal Brahm is pre­ pared, from the beginning, for such as are free from lust and anger, of humble minds and subdued spirits, and who are acquainted with their own souls.
The man who keepeth the outward accidents from entering his mind, and his eyes fixed in contemplation between his brows; who maketh· the breath to pass through both his nostrils alike in expiration and inspiration;

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who is of subdued faculties, mind, and understanding, and hath set his heart upon salvation; and who is free from lust, fear, and anger, is forever blessed in this life; and, being convinced that I am the cherisher of religious zeal, the lord of all worlds, and the friend of all nature, he shall obtain me and be blessed.




                                      The Bhagavad-Gītā
                                  Dialogues of Krishna and Arjuna
                                             TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL 

                              IN THE ANCIENT LANGUAGE OF THE BRAHMAN

                                 By CHARLES WILKINS     1785                                        

                                                                                   L E C T U R E.  6.  

                                 OF THE EXERCISE OF SOUL.

                                         (The True Yoga)

                                 (Renunciation and Action are One)



HE is both a Yogi and a Saṁnyāsi who performeth that which he hath to do independent of the fruit thereof; not he who liveth without the sacrificial fire and without action. Learn, O Son of Pāndū, that what they call saṁnyās, or a forsaking of the world, is the fame with Yoga or the practice of devotion. He cannot be a Yogi, who, in his actions, hath not abandoned all intentions. Works are said to be the means by which a man who wisheth, may attain devotion; so rest is called the means for him who hath attained devotion. When the all­contemplative Saṁnyāsi is not engaged in the objects of the senses, nor in works, then he is called one who hath attained devotion. He should raise himself by himself: he should not suffer his soul to be depressed. Self is the friend of self; and, in like manner, self is its own enemy. Self is the friend of him by whom the spirit is subdued with the spirit; so self, like a foe, delighteth in the enmity

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of him who hath no soul. The soul of the placid conquered spirit is the fame collected in heat and cold, in and pleasure, in honor disgrace. The man whose mind is replete with divine wisdom and learning, who standeth upon the pinnacle, and hath subdued his passions, is said to be devout. To the Yogi, gold, iron, and stones, are the same. The man is distinguished whose resolu­
tions, whether amongst his companions and friends; in the midst of enemies, or those who stand aloof or go between ; with those who love and those who hate; in the company of saints or sinners, is the fame.
TheYogi constantly exerciseth the spirit in private. He is recluse, of a subdued mind and spirit; free from hope, and free from perception. He planteth his own feet on a spot that is undefiled, neither too high nor too low, and fitteth upon the sacred grass which is called Kusa, (grass: Desmostachya bipinnata) covered with a skiin and a cloth. There he, whose business is: the restraining of his passions, should fit, with his mind fixed on one object alone, in the exercise of his devotion, for the purification of his soul, keeping his head, his neck, and body, steady without motion, his eyes fixed on the point of his nose, looking at no other place around.
The peaceful soul, released from fear, who would keep in • the path of one who followeth God, should restrain the mind, and, fixing it on me, depend on me alone. The Yogi of an humbled mind, who thus constantly exerciseth his soul, obtaineth happiness incorporeal and supreme in me.
This divine discipline, Arjuna, is not to be attained by him who eateth more than enough, or less than enough; neither by him who hath a habit of sleeping much, nor by him who sleepeth not at all. The discipline which destroyeth pain belongeth to him who is moderate in eating and in recreation, whose inclinations are moderate in action, and ,who is moderate in sleep. A man is-called devout when his mind remaineth thus regulated within himself, and he is exempt from every lust and inordinate desire. The Yogi of a subdued mind, thus employed in the exercise of his devotion, is compared to a lamp, standing in a place without wind, which waveth not. He delighteth in his own soul, where, the mind, regulated by the service of devotion, is pleased to dwell, and where by the assistance of the spirit, he beholdeth the soul. He becometh acquainted with that boundless pleasure which is far more worthy of the understanding than that which ariseth from the senses; depending upon which, the mind moveth not from its principles; which having obtained, he respecteth no other acquisition so great as it; in which depending,

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he is not moved by the severest pain. This disunion from the conjunction of pain may be distinguished by the appellation Yogi, spiritual union or devotion. It is to be attained by resolution, by the man who knoweth his own mind. When he hath abandoned every desire that ariseth from the imagination, and_ subdued with his mind every inclination of the senses, he may, by degrees, find reand having, by a steady resolution, fixed his mind within himself, he should think of nothing else. Wheresoever the unsteady mind roameth, he should subdue it, bring it back, and place it in his own breast. Supreme happiness attendeth the man whose mind is thus at peace; whose carnal affections and passions are thus subdued; who is thus in God, and free from sin. The man who is thus constantly in the exercise of the soul, and free from sin, enjoyeth eternal happiness, united with Braḥman the Supreme. The man whose mind is endued with this devotion, and looketh on all things alike, beholdeth the supreme soul in all things, and all things in the supreme soul. He who beholdeth me in all things, and beholdeth al things in me, I forsake not him, and he forfaketh not me. The Yogi who believeth in unity, and worshippeth me present in all things, dwelleth in me in all respects, even whilst he liveth. The man, O Arjuna, who, from what

[ 66 .]
passeth in his own breast, whether it be pain or pleasure, beholdeth the same in others, is esteemed a supreme Yogi.
From the restlessness of our natures, I conceive not the permanent duration of ·this doctrine of equality which thou hast told me. The mind, O Krishna, is naturally unsteady, turbulent, strong, and stubborn. I esteem it as difficult to restrain as the wind.
The mind, O valiant youth, is undoubtedly unsteady, and difficult to be confined; yet, I think it may be restrained. by practice and temperance. In my opinion, this - divine discipline which is called Yoga is hard to be attained, by him who hath not his soul in subjection; but it may be acquired by him who taketh pains, and hath his soul in his own power.
Whither, O Krishna, doth the man go after death, who, although he be endued with faith, hath not obtained perfection in his devotion, because his unsubdued mind wandered from the discipline? Doth not the fool who is found not standing in the path of Braḥman, and is thus, as it were, fallen between good and evil, like a broken cloud,

come to nothing ? Thou, Krishna, canst entirely clear up these my doubts; and there is no other person to be found able to remove these difficulties.
His destruction is found neither here nor in the world above. No man who hath done good goeth unto an evil place. A man whose devotions have been broken off by death, having enjoyed for an immensity of years the rewards of his virtues in the regions above, at length is born again in some holy and respectable family; or perhaps in the house of some learned Yogi. But such a regeneration into this life is the most difficult to attain. Being thus born again, he is endued with the same degree of application and advancement of his understanding that he held in his former body; and here he begins again to labour for perfection in devotion. The man28 sa who is desirous of learning this devotion, this spiritual application of the soul, exceedeth even the word of Braḥman. The Yogi who, laboring with all his might, is purified of his offences, and, after many births, made perfect, at length goeth to the supreme abode. The Yogi is more exalted than Tapasvis, those zealots who harrass themselves in performing penances, respected above the learned in science, and superior to those who are attached to moral

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works; wherefore, O Arjuna, resolve thou to become a Yogi. Of all Yogis, l respect him as the most devout, who hath faith in me, and who ferveth me with a soul possessed of my spirit.


                                      OF THE PRINCIPLES OF NATURE, AND THE VITAL SPIRIT.

                                  (God and the World; God is Nature and Spirit.)

                                        The Bhagavad-Gītā
                                  Dialogues of Krishna and Arjuna
                                                            The Eighteen Lectures
                                                                                           With Notes
                                             TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL 

                              IN THE ANCIENT LANGUAGE OF THE BRAHMAN

                                 By CHARLES WILKINS     1785                                        

                                                                                   L E C T U R E. 07.                                                        




HEAR, O Arjuna, how having thy mind attached to me, being in the exercise of devotion, and making me alone thy asylum, thou wilt, at once, and without doubt, become acquainted with me. I will instruct thee in this wisdom and learning without reserve ; which having learnt, there is not in this life any other that is taught worthy to be known.
A few amongst ten thousand mortals strive for perfection; and but a few of those who strive and become perfect, know me according to my nature. My principle is divided into eight distinctions: earth, water, fire, air, and ether (Khaṁ); together with mind, understanding, and Ahaṁkāra, (self-consciousness) but besides this, know that I have another principle distinct from this, and superior, which is of a vital nature29 and by which this world is supported. Learn that these two are the womb of all nature.

I am the creation and the dissolution of the whole universe. There is not any thing greater than I; and all things hang on me, even as precious gems upon a string. I am moisture in the water, light in the sun and moon, invocation in the Vedas, found in the firmament, human nature in mankind, sweet-smelling flavor in the earth, glory in the source of light; in all things I am life, and I am zeal in the zealous; and know, O Arjuna, that I am the eternal feed of all nature. l am the understanding of the wise, the glory of the proud, the strength of the strong, free from lust and anger; and in animals I am desire regulated by moral fitness. But know that I am not in those natures which are of the three qualities called Satva, Raja, and Tamas30, although they proceed from me. yet, they are in me. The whole of this world being bewildered by the influence of these three-fold qualities, knoweth not that I am distinct from these and without decline. This my divine and supernatural power endued with these principles and properties, is hard to be overcome. They who come unto me get the better of this supernatural influence. The wicked, the foolish, and the low-minded come not unto me, because their understandings, being bewildered by the supernatural power, they trust in the principles of evil spirits.

[71 ]
I am, O Arjuna, served by four kinds of people who are good the distressed, the inquisitive, the wishers after wealth31, and the wise. But of all these the wise man, who is constantly engaged in my service, and is a servant but of one, is the most distinguished. I am extremely dear to the wise man, and he is dear unto me. All these are exalted; but I esteem the wise man even as myself, because his devout spirit dependeth upon me alone as his ultimate resource. The wise man proceedeth not unto me until after many births; for the exalted mind, who believeth that the Son of Vāsudēvā is all, is hard to be found. Those whose understandings are drawn away by this and that pursuit, go unto other Dēvatās. They depend upon this and that rule of conduct, and are governed by their own principles32. Whatever image any supplicant is desirous of worshipping in faith, it is I alone who inspire him with that steady faith; with which being endued, he endeavoureth to render that image propitious, and at length he obtaineth the object of his withes as it is appointed by me. But the reward of such short-sighted men is finite. Those who worship the Dēvatās go unto them, and those who worship me alone go unto me. The ignorant, being unacquainted with my supreme nature, which is superior to all things, and exempt from decay,

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believe me, who am invisible, to exist in the visible form under which they see me. I am not visible to all, because I am concealed by the supernatural power that is in me. The ignorant world do not discover this, that I am not subject to birth or decay. I know, O Arjuna, all the beings that have passed, all that are present, and all that shall hereafter be; but there is not one amongst them who knoweth me. All beings in birth find their reason fascinated and perplexed by the wiles of contrary sensations, arising from love and hatred.. Those men of regular lives, whose sins are done away, being freed from the fascination arising from those contending passions, enjoy me. They who put their trust in me and labor for a deliverance from decay and death, know Brahman, the whole Adhyātma, and every Karma. The devout souls who know me to be the Adhi-būta, the Adhi-daiva, and the Adhi-yagna, know me also in the time of their departure.


OF PURUṢA                            

                                      The Bhagavad-Gītā
                                  Dialogues of Krishna and Arjuna
                                                            The Eighteen Lectures
                                                                                           With Notes
                                             TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL 

                              IN THE ANCIENT LANGUAGE OF THE BRAHMAN

                                 By CHARLES WILKINS     1785                                        

                                                                                   L E C T U R E. 08.                

[ 73 ]


what is that Brahman? What is Adhyātmam33?, What is Karma?, O first of men ? What also is Adhibhūtam called? What is Adhidaivam? How is Adhiyajñam, and who is here in this body? How art thou to be known in the hour of departure by men of subdued minds?
Brahman is that which is supreme and without corruption ; Adhyātmam is Svabhāva or particular constitution, disposition, quality, or nature; Karma is that emanation from which proceedeth the generation of natural beings; Adhibhūta is the destroying nature; Adhidaiva is Puruṣa; and Adhiyajñam, or superintendent of worship, is myself in this body. At the end of time, he, who having abandoned his mortal frame, departeth thinking only of me, without doubt goeth unto me; or else, whatever other nature he shall call upon, at

[ 74 ]
the end of life, when he shall quit his mortal shape, he shall ever go unto it. Wherefore at all times think of me alone and fight. Let thy mind and understanding be placed in me alone, and thou shalt, without doubt, go unto me. The man who longeth after the Divine and Supreme Being, with his mind intent upon the practice of devotion, goeth unto him. The man who shall the last hour call up the ancient Prophet, the prime director, the most minute atom, the preserver of all things, whose countenance is like the sun, and who is distinct from darkness, with a steady mind attached to his service, with the force of devotion, and his whole soul fixed between his brows, goeth unto that divine Supreme Being, who is called Paramaṁ Puruṣaṁ.
I will now summarily make thee acquainted with that path which the doctors of the Vēdās call never-failing; which the men of subdued minds and conquered passions enter; and which, desirous of knowing, they live the lives of Brahmacharyas or godly pilgrims. He who, having closed up all the doors of his faculties, locked up his mind in his own breast, and fixed his spirit in his head, standing firm in the exercise of devotion, repeating in silence Om34 the mystic sign of Brahman, thence called "Ekākṣar" shall, on his quitting this mortal >
Note: The life of a Brāhmaṇa (These are four:ब्रह्मचर्य the life of a student; गार्हस्थ्य the life of a house-holder; वानप्रस्थ the life of an anchorite or hermit, and न्यास the life of a Bhikṣu or beggar. Kṣatriyas (and Vśiyas also) can enter, upon the first three Āśramas. Krishnaraj notes.) एकाक्षरं Ekākṣar = Monosyllable. Sanskrit Dictionary.

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>frame calling upon me, without doubt go the journey of supreme happiness. He who thinketh constantly of me, his mind undiverted by another object, I will at all times be easily found by that constant adherent to devotion ; and those elevated souls, who have thus attained supreme perfection, come unto me, and are no more born in the finite mansion of pain and sorrow. Know, O Arjuna, that all the regions between this and the abode of Brahman afford but a transient residence ; but he who findeth me, returneth not again to mortal birth.
They who are acquainted with day and night, know that the day of Brahman is as a thousand revolutions of the Yugās35 , and that his night extendeth for a thousand more. On the coming of that day, all things proceed from invisibility to visibility; so, on the approach of night, they are all dissolved away in that which is called invisible. The universe, even, having existed, is again dissolved; and now again, on the approach of day, by divine necessity, it is reproduced. That which, upon the dissolution of all things else, is not destroyed, is superior and of another nature from that visibility: it is invisible and eternal. He who is thus called invisible and incorruptible, is even he who is called the Supreme Abode; which men having once obtained, they never more return to earth: that is my mansion. That Supreme Being is to be obtained by him who worshippeth no other Gods. In him is included all nature; by him all things are spread abroad.

I will now speak to thee of that time in which should a devout man die, he will never return; and of that time, in which dying, he shall return again upon the earth. Those holy men who are acquainted with Brahman, departing this life in the fiery light of day, in the bright season of the moon, within the six months of the sun's northern course, go unto him ; but those who depart in the gloomy night of the moon's dark season, and whilst the sun is yet within the southern path of his journey, ascend for a while into the regions of the moon, and again return to mortal birth. These two, light and darkness, are esteemed the world's eternal ways: he who walketh in the former path returneth not ; whilst he who walketh in the latter cometh back again upon the earth. A Yogi, who is acquainted with these two paths of action, will never be perplexed; wherefore, O Arjuna, be thou at all times employed in devotion. The fruit of this surpasseth
all the rewards of virtue pointed out in the Vedas, in worshipping, in mortifications, and even in the gifts of charity. The devout Yogi, who knoweth all this, shall obtain a supreme and prior place.


'OF THE CHIEF OF SECRETS AND PRINCE OF SCIENCE'                            

                                      The Bhagavad-Gītā
                                  Dialogues of Krishna and Arjuna
                                                            The Eighteen Lectures
                                                                                           With Notes
                                             TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL 

                              IN THE ANCIENT LANGUAGE OF THE BRAHMAN

                                 By CHARLES WILKINS     1785                                        

                                                                                   L E C T U R E. 09.   

The Lord is more than His creation.            

I will now make known unto thee, who findest no fault, a most mysterious secret, accompanied by pro­ found learning, which having studied thou shalt be de­ livered from misfortune. It is a sovereign art, a sovereign mystery, sublime and immaculate; clear unto the fight, virtuous, inexhaustible, and early to be performed. Those who are infidels to this faith, not finding me, return again into this world, the mansion of death.
This whole world was spread abroad by me in my invisible form. All things are dependent on me,36 and I am not dependent on them; and all things are not dependent on me 36.Behold my divine connection! My creative spirit is the keeper of all things, not the dependent. Understand that all things rest in me, as the mighty air, which passeth every where, resteth for ever in the etherial space. At the end of the period Kalp37 all things,
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O son of Kunti, return into my primordial source, and at the beginning of another Kalpa 1 create them all again. I plant myself on my own nature, and create, again and again, this assemblage of beings, the whole, from the power of nature, without power38. Those works confine not me, because I am like one who fitteth aloof uninterested in those works. By my supervision nature produceth both the moveable and the immoveable. It is from this sources 39 , O Arjun, that the universe resolveth.
The foolish, being unacquainted with my supreme and divine nature, as lord of all things, despite me in this human form, trusting to the evil, diabolic, and deceitful principle within them. They are of vain hope, of vain endeavours, of vain wisdom, and void of reason; whilst men of great minds, trusting to their divine natures, discover that I am before all things and incorruptible, and serve me with their hearts undiverted by other Gods40.
Men of rigid and laborious lives come before me humbly bowing down, forever glorifying my name; and they are constantly employed in my service; but others serve me, worshipping me, whose face is turned On all sides, with the worship of wisdom, unitedly, separately,

[ 80 ]
in various shapes. I am the sacrifice; I am the worship; I am the sacrifice; I am the invocation; I am the ceremony to the manes of the ancestors; I am the provisions; I am the fire, and I am the victim: I am the father and the mother of this world, the grandsire, and the preserver. I am the holy one worthy to be known; the mystic figure Om; the Ṛk, the Sāma, and Yajurr Vedas 41 I am the journey of the good; the comforter; the creator; the witness; the nesting-place; the asylum, and the friend. I am generation and dissolution; the place where all things are reported, and the inexhaustible seed of all nature. I am sunshine, and I am rain ; I now draw in, and now let forth. I am death and immortality: I am entity and non-entity.

The followers of the three Vedas, who drink of the juice of the Soma42 being purified of their offences, address me in sacrifices, and petition for heaven. These obtain the regions of Indra 43 the prince of celestial beings, in which heaven they feast upon celestial food and divine enjoyments; and when they have partaken of that spacious heaven for a while, in proportion to their virtues, they sink again into this mortal life, as soon as their stock of virtue is expended. In this manner those, who, longing for the accomplishment of their wishes, follow the religion

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pointed out by the three Vedas, obtain a transient reward. But those who, thinking of no other, serveth me alone, I bear the burden of the devotion of those who are thus constantly engaged in my service. They also who serve other Gods with a firm. belief, in doing so, involuntarily worship even me. I am he who partaketh of all worship, and I am their reward. Because mankind unacquainted with my nature, they fall again from heaven. Those who wordship the Devatas go unto the Devatas; the worshippers of the Pitṛus, or patriarchs, go unto the Pitṛus; the servants of the Bhūtas or spirits, go unto the Bhūtas; and they who worship me go unto me.
I accept and enjoy the holy offerings of the humble soul, who in his worship presenteth leaves and flowers, and fruit and water unto me. Whatever thou doest, O Arjun; whatever thou eatest:, whatever thou sacrificeth, whatever thou giveth:, whatever thou shalt be zealous about, make each an offering unto me. Thou shalt thus be delivered with good and evil fruits, and with the bonds of works. Thy mind being joined in the practice of a Saṁnyāsi44, thou shalt come unto me. I am the fame to all mankind: there is not one who is worthy of my love or hatred. They who serve me with adoration.

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I am in them, and they in me. If one, whose ways are ever so evil, serve me alone, he is as respectable as the just man; he is altogether well employed; he soon becometh of a virtuous spirit, and obtaineth eternal happiness. Recollect, O son of Kunti, that my servant doth not perish. Those even who may be of the womb of sin; women45, the tribes of Vaiṣya and Śūdra; shall go the supreme journey, if they take sanctuary with me; how much more my holy servants the Brahmans and the Rajarṣayas46. Consider this world as a finite and joyless place, and serve me. Be of my mind, my servant, my adorer, and bow down before me. Unite thy soul, as it were, unto me, make me thy asylum, and thou shalt go unto me.


                                                  The Bhagavad-Gītā
                                  Dialogues of Krishna and Arjuna
                                                            The Eighteen Lectures
                                                                                           With Notes
                                             TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL 

                              IN THE ANCIENT LANGUAGE OF THE BRAHMAN

                                 By CHARLES WILKINS     1785                                        

                                                                                   L E C T U R E. I0.     

                                                                            OF THE DIVERSITY OF THE DIVINE NATURE.

                                                                        (God is the Source of All; to know Him is to Know All.)


[ 83 ]

Hear again, O valiant. youth, my supreme words, which I will speak unto thee, who art well pleased, because I am anxious for thy welfare.
Neither the hosts of Suras47 nor the Mahaṛṣis48, know of my birth, because I am before all the Devatas and Mahaṛṣis. Whoso, free from folly, knoweth me to be without birth, before all things and the mighty ruler of the universe, he shall, amongst mortals, be saved with all his transgressions. The various qualities incident to natural beings, such as reason, knowledge unembarrassed judgment, patience, truth, humility, meekness, pleasure and pain ; birth and death, fear and courage ; mercy, equality, gladness, charity, zeal, renown and infamy, all distinctly come from me. So in former days . the seven Mahaṛṣis and the four Manus49 who are of my nature, were born of my mind of whom are

descended all the inhabitants of the earth. He who knoweth this my distinction and my connexion, according to their principles, is without doubt endued with an unerring devotion. I am the creator of all things, and all things proceed from me. Those who are endued with spiritual wisdom, believe this and worship me: their very hearts and minds are in me; they rejoice amongst themselves, and delight in speaking of my name, and teaching one another my doctrine. I gladly inspire those, who are constantly employed in my service, with that use of reason, by which they come unto me; and, in compassion, I stand in my own nature, and dissipate the darkness of their, ignorance with the light of the lamp of wisdom.
All the Rajaṛṣis50 and Devaṛṣis51, and the prophet Nārada52, call thee the supreme Brahman; the supreme abode; the most holy; the highest God; the eternal Puruṣa, the divine being before all other Gods, without birth, the mighty Lord! Thus say Asita, Devata, Vyāsa, and thou thyself hast told me so; and I firmly believe, O Kesava, all thou tellest me. Neither the Devās nor the Danavās53 are acquainted, O Lord, with thy appearance. Thou alone, O first of men54! knowest thy own spirit; thou, who art the production of all nature, the ruler of
all things, the God of Gods, and the universal Lord. Thou art now able to make me acquainted with those divine portions of thyself, by which thou possessest and dwellest in this world. How shall I, although I constantly think of thee, be able to know thee? In what particular natures art thou to be found? Tell me again in full what is thy connection, and what thy distinction; for I am not yet satisfied with drinking of the living water of thy words.
Blessings be upon thee I I will make thee acquainted with the chief of my divine distinctions, as the extent of my nature is infinite.
I am the soul which standeth in the bodies of all beings. I am the beginning; the middle, and the end of all things. Amongst the ādityas55, I am Viṣṇu56, and the radiant Ravi57 amongst the stars ; I am Marici58 amongst the Maruts59, and śaśī60 (Moon) amongst the Nakṣatras61 (Stars), amongst the Vedas, I am the Sāma62, and I am vāsavaḥ63 amongst the Dévas, Amongst the faculties I am the mind, and amongst animals I am reason. I am Śaṁkara64 amongst the Rudrās65, and Vitteśa (Kubera)66 amongst the Yakṣas and Rakṣasās. I am Pāvaka (Fire)67 amongst the Vasus68 and Meru69 amongst the aspiring mountains.
BG 10.23. udrāṇām1 = Of the Rudras; asmi4 = I am; śaṁkaraḥ2 = Siva; ca3 = and; yakṣa-rakṣasām6 = of the Yaksas and Raksasas; vitteśaḥ5 = kubera, the Lord of Treasury; vasūnām7 = of the Vasus; asmi10 = I am; pāvakaḥ8 = Fire; ca9 = and; śikhariṇām12 = of the mountain peaks;aham13 = I [am]; meruḥ11 = Meru. 10.23 
Amongst teachers know that I am their chief Bhaspati70 ; amongst warriors I am Skanda71; and amongst floods I am the ocean. I am Bhṛgu72 amongst the Maharisahis, and I am the amongst words. I am amongst worships the Tip 74 or silent worship, and amongst immovables the mountain Himālaya. Of all the trees of the forest I am the monosyllable73 amongst words. I am amongst worship Japa74 or silent worship, and amonst immovablews the mountain Himalaya75. Of all the trees in the forest I am the Asvatta76, and of all the Devarṣīs, I am Nārada. I am Chitraratha amongst Gandharvas77 and the Kapila Muni amongst the saints. Know that amongst horses I am Uccaiḥśrava, who arose with the Amrtam from out the ocean78 Among elephants I am Airāvata, and the sovereign amongst men. Amongst weapons I am the Vajra or thunderbolt, and amongst cattle the cow Kāmadhuk79. | am the prolific Kandarpa the God of love ; and amongst serpents I am Vāsuki their chief. I am Ananta amongst the Nāgās80, and Varuṇa81 amongst the inhabitants of the waters. I am Aryamā amongst the subduers, and I am Yama82 amongst all those who rule. Amongst the Daityas (evil spirits) I am Prahalāda83 , and Kāla (time) amongst computations. Arnongst beasts I am the king of beasts, and Vinateya- Garuda84 amongst the feathered tribe, Amongst purifiers I am Pavana the air, Rama amongst those who carry arms. Amongst fish I am the Makara85 and
amongst rivers I am Ganga86 the daughter of Jahnu, Of things transient I am the beginning, the middle, and the end. Of all science I am the knowledge of the ruling spirit, and of all speaking I am the oration. Amongst letters I am the vowel a, and of all compound words I am the Dwandva87 I am also never-failing time ; the preserver, whose face is turned on all sides. I am all-grasping death; and I am the resurrection of those who are about to be. Amongst feminines I am fame, fortune, eloquence, memory, understanding, fortitude, patience. Amongst harmonious measures I am the Gāyatrī, and among Sāma Veda, I am the Brhatsama. Amongst the months I am the month margasirasa88, and amongst seasons the season Kusumākara (flower-bearer)89. Amongst frauds I am gaming; and of all things glorious I am the glory. I am victory, I am industry, and I am the essence of all qualities. Of the race of Vṛṣṇīs am the son of Vasudeva90, and amongst the Pāndūs Arjun-Dhananjaya. I am Vyāsa91 amongst the Munis, and amongst the Bards92 I am the prophet Uśanā93. Amongst rulers I am the rod, and amongst those who seek for conquest I am policy. Amongst the secrets I am silence, and amongst the wife I am wisdom. I am, in like manner, O Arjuna that which is the seed of all things in nature; and there is
is not anything, whether animate or inanimate, that is without me. My divine distinctions are without end, and the many which I have mentioned are by way of example. And learn, O Arjuna, that every being which is worthy of distinction and preeminence, is the produce of the portion of my glory. But what, O Arjuna, hast thou to do with this manifold wisdom ? I planted this whole universe with a single portion and stood still.


                                          The Bhagavad-Gītā
                                  Dialogues of Krishna and Arjuna
                                                            The Eighteen Lectures
                                                                                           With Notes
                                             TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL 

                              IN THE ANCIENT LANGUAGE OF THE BRAHMAN

                                 By CHARLES WILKINS     1785                                        

                                                                                   L E C T U R E. I1.     

                                                          Display of the Divine Nature in The Form of the Universe.

                                                            (The Lord's Transfiguration)





[ 89 ] 




THIS supreme mystery, distinguished by the name of the Adiātma or ruling spirit, which, out of loving kindness, thou hast made known unto me hath dissipated my ignorance and perplexity. I have heard from thee a full account of the creation and destruction of all things, and of the mightiness of thy inexhaustible spirit. It is even as thou half described thyself, O mighty Lord, I am now, most elevated of men, anxious to behold thy divine countenance; wherefore, if thou thinkest I may behold it, shew me thy never-failing spirit.


Behold, O Arjuna, my million forms divine, of various species, and diverse shapes and colours. Behold the Āditya

, and the Vasus., and the Rūdras, and the Maruts, and the-twins Asvin and Kumar94. Behold things wonderful, never seen before. Behold, in this my body,

           [90 ]

the whole world animates and inanimate, and all things else thou hast a mind to see. But as thou art unable to see with· these thy natural eyes, I will give thee a heavenly eye, with which behold my divine connection.


The mighty compound and divine being Hari, having, O Raja, thus spoken, made evident unto Arjun his supreme and heavenly form; of many a mouth and eye; many a wondrous fight; many a heavenly· ornament; many an up-raised weapon; adorned with celestial robes and, chaplets; anointed with heavenly _essence; _ covered with every marvelous thing; the eternal God, - whose countenance is turned · on every side. The glory and amazing splendor of this mighty being may be likened to the sun rising at once into the heavens, with a thousand times more than usual brightness.   The son of Pāṇḍu then beheld within the body of   the God of Gods standing together, the whole universe divided forth into its vast variety. He was overwhelmed with wonder, and every hair was raised on end. He bowed down his head before the God, and thus addressed him with joined hands.


I behold, O   God I within thy breast, the Devas assembled, and every specific tribe of beings.   I see Brahma,


[    91   ]

that Deity sitting on his lotus-throne; all this is and heavenly Oragass95 ( uragān = Snakes


          I see thyself, on all sides, of infinite shape, formed with abundant arms, and bellies, mouths, and eyes; but I can neither discover thy beginning, thy middle, nor again thy end, O universal Lord, form of the universe I see thee with a crown, and armed with club and Chakra96, a mass of glory, darting refulgent beams around.   I see thee, difficult to be seen shining on sides with light immeasurable, like the ardent fire or glorious sun.

Thou art the Supreme Being incorruptible and worthy to be known! Thou art prime supporter of the universal orb.  I Thou art the never-failing and eternal guardian of   religion. Thou art from all beginning, and. l esteem thee Puruṣa97.  I see thee without beginning, without middle, and without end; of velour infinite; of arm innumerable;  the sun and the moon thy eyes; thy mouth a flaming fire, and the whole world shining with thy reflected. Glory.  The space between the heavens and the earth is possessed by thee alone, and. every point around: the three regions of the Universe O mighty spirit l behold   the wonders of thy awful countenance with troubled minds. Of the celestial bands, some I see fly to thee for refuge; whilst some afraid, with joined hands sing fort h thy praise.   

          [ 92]

The Mahaṛṣis, holy bands, hail thee, and glorify thy name with adorating praises. The Rūdras, the Ādityas, the Vasus, and all those beings the world esteemeth good; Asvin and Kumar, the Maruts and the Uṣmapas; the Gandharvas and   the Yakṣas, with the   holy tribes of Suras, all stand gazing on thee, and alike amazed. The worlds, alike with me, are terrified to behold thy wondrous form gigantic; with many mouths and eyes; with many arms, and legs, and breasts; with many bellies, and with rows of dreadful teeth. Thus, as I see thee, touching the heavens, and shining with such glory; of such various hues, with widely-opened mouths, an. d bright expanded eyes, I am disturbed within me; my resolution faileth me, O Vishnu and I find no rest. Having beholden thy dreadful, teeth, and gazed on thy countenance, emblem of Time’s last fire, I know not which way I turn I find no peace!  Have mercy then, O God of Gods!  thou mansion of   the universe! The sons of Dhṛitarāshṭra, now, with all those rulers of the land, Bhīṣma, Drona, the son of Suta, and even the fronts of our army, seem to be precipitating themselves hastily into thy mouths discovering such frightful rows of teeth! Whilst some appear to stick between thy teeth with their bodies sorely mangled.  As   the rapid streams of full-flowing

 [   93  ]

rivers roll on to meet the ocean's bed; even so these heroes of the ·human race rush on towards thy flaming mouths. As troops of insects with increasing speed seek their own destruction in the flaming fire; even so these people, with swelling fury, seek their own destruction. Thou involvest and swallowest them altogether, even unto the last, with thy flaming mouths; whilst the whole world is filled with thy glory, as thy awful beams, O Vishnu, shine forth on all sides! Reverence be unto thee, thou most exalted!  Deign to make known unto me who is this God of awful figure!  I am anxious to learn thy source, and ignorant of what thy presence here portendeth.


I am Time, the destroyer of mankind, matured, come hither to seize at once all these who stand before us. Except thyself98 not one of all these warriors, destined against us in these numerous ranks, shall live.  Wherefore, arise!  seek honor and renown!  defeat the foe, and enjoy the full-grown kingdom! They are already, as it were, destroyed by me.  Be thou alone the immediate agent99. Be not disturbed I Kill Drona, and Bishma, and Jayadratha, and Karna, and all the other heroes of the

 [  94  ]   

war already killed by me.   Fight! and thou shalt defeat thy rivals in the field.

 S A N J A Y.

W h e n   the trembling   Arjun heard these words from. the mouth of Krishna, he saluted him with joined hands, and addressed him in broken accents, and bowed down terrified before him.


Hṛṣīkeśa the universe   rejoiceth   because of thy renown, and is filled with zeal for thy service. The evil spirits are terrified and flee on all sides; whilst the holy tribes bow down in adoration before thee.  And wherefore should they not, O mighty Being! bow down before thee, who, greater than Brahma, art the prime Creator! eternal God- of Gods! the world’s mansion! Thou art the incorruptible Being, distinct from all things transient! Thou art before all Gods, the ancient Puruṣa, and the supreme supporter of the universe! Thou knowest all things, and art worthy to be known; thou art the supreme mansion, and by thee, O infinite form!  the universe was spread abroad.    Thou art Vāyu the God of wind; Agni the God of fire, Varuṇa the God of oceans, Śaśānka the moon, Prajāpati the God of nations, and Prapitāmaha

 [         95      ]

the mighty ancestor. Reverence! Reverence be unto thee a thousand times repeated! Again, and again Reverence!  Reverence be unto thee! Reverence be Un to thee before and behind!  Reverence be unto thee on all sides, O thou who art overall!  Infinite is thy power and thy glory! Thou includest all things, wherefore   thou art all things!  Having regarded thee as my friend, I forcibly called thee Krishna, Yadava, Friend! but, alas! I was ignorant of this thy greatness, because I was blinded by my affection and presumption. Thou hast, at times, also in sport been treated ill by me; in thy recreations, in thy bed, on thy chair, and at thy meals; in private and in public; for which, O Being inconceivable!  I humbly crave thy forgiveness.   

Thou art the father of all things animates and inanimate; thou art the sage instructor of the whole, worthy to be adored! There is non-e like unto thee; where then, in the three worlds, is there. one above thee?  Wherefore I bow down; and, with my body prostrate upon the ground, crave thy mercy, Lord!  worthy to be adored; for thou shouldst bear with me, even as a father with his son, a friend with his friend, a lover with his beloved.  I am well pleased with having beheld things before never seen; yet my mind is overwhelmed with awful fear.


Have mercy, then, O heavenly Lord! O mansion of the universe! And shew n1e thy celestial form. I wish to behold thee with the diadem on thy head, and thy hands armed with the club and Chakra; assume then, O God of a thousand arms, image of the universe! thy four-armed form100.


Well pleased, O Arjuna, I have shewn thee, by my divine power, this my supreme form the universe in all its glory, infinite and eternal, which was never seen by anyone except thyself; for no one, O valiant Kuru!  In the three worlds, except thyself, can such a fight of me obtain; nor by the Vedas, nor sacrifices, nor profound study; nor by charitable gifts, nor by deeds, nor by the most severe mortifications of the flesh.  Having beholden my form, thus awful, be not disturbed, nor let thy faculties be cofounded.   When thou art relieved from thy fears, and thy mind is restored to peace, then behold this my wondrous form again.


The son of Vasudeva having thus spoken unto Arjuna, shewed him again his natural form; and having re-affirmed his milder shape, he presently assuaged the fears of the affrighted Arjuna.

[   97 ]

Having beheld they placid human shape, I am again collected; my mind is no more disturbed, and I am once more returned to my natural state.


Thou hast beholden this my marvelous shape, so very difficult to be seen, which even the Devas are constantly anxious to behold.  But I am not to be seen, as thou hast seen me, even by the assistance of the Vedas, by mortifications, by sacrifices, by charitable gifts; but I am to be seen, to be known in truth, and to be obtained by means of that worship which is offered up to me alone; and he goeth unto me whose works are done for me; who esteemeth me supreme; who is my servant only; who hath abandoned all consequences, and who liveth amongst all men without hatred.


                                      The Bhagavad-Gītā
                                  Dialogues of Krishna and Arjuna
                                                            The Eighteen Lectures
                                                                                           With Notes
                                             TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL 

                              IN THE ANCIENT LANGUAGE OF THE BRAHMAN

                                 By CHARLES WILKINS     1785                                        

                                                                                   L E C T U R E. 12.   

                                      OF SERVING THE  DEITY IN HIS VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE FORMS.

(Worship of the Personal Lord is better than Meditation

of the Absolute. Title by Dr. Radhakrishnan)            





Of those thy servants who are always thus employed, which know their duty best?  those who worship thee as thou now art; or those who serve thee in thy invisible and incorruptible nature?


Those who having placed their minds in me, serve me with constant zeal, and are endued with steady faith, are esteemed the best devoted. They too who, delighting in the welfare of all nature, serve me in my incorruptible, ineffable, and invisible form; omnipresent, incomprehensible, standing on high fixed and immoveable, with subdued passions and understandings, the same in all things, shall also come unto me. Those whose minds are attached to my invisible nature have the greater labour to encounter; because an invisible path is difficult to be found   by corporeal beings. They also who, preferring me, leave

 [            99          ]

All works for me, and, free from the worship of all others contemplate and serve me alone, I presently raise them up· from the ocean of this region of mortality, whose minds are thus attached to me. Place then thy heart on me, and penetrate me with thy understanding, and thou shalt, without doubt, hereafter enter unto me.  But if thou shouldst be unable, at once, steadfastly to fix thy mind on me, endeavor to find me by means of constant practice.  If after practice thou art still unable, follow me m my works supreme; for by performing works for me, thou shalt attain perfection.  But shouldst thou find thyself unequal to this task, put thy trust in me alone, be of humble spirit and forsake the fruit of every action. Knowledge is. better than practice, meditation is distinguished from knowledge€, forsaking the fruit of action from meditation, for happiness. hereafter is derived from such   forsaking.

He my servant is dear unto me, who is free from enmity, the friend of all nature, merciful, exempt from pride and selfishness, the same in pain and pleasure, patient of wrongs, contented, constantly devout, of subdued passions, and firm resolves, and whose mind and understanding are fixed on me alone. He also is my beloved of whom mankind are not afraid, and who of 

[             100        ] 

mankind is not afraid; and who is free from the influence of joy, impatience, and the dread of harm.   He my servant is dear unto n1e who is unexpecting, just and pure, impartial, free from distraction of mind, and who hath forsaken every enterprise. He also is worthy of my love, who neither rejoiceth nor findeth fault; who neither lamenteth nor coveteth, and, being my servant, hath forsaken both good and evil fortune. He also is my beloved servant, who is the same in friendship and in hatred, in honor and in dishonor, in cold and in heat, in pain and pleasure; who is unsolicitous about the event of things; to whom   praise and blame are as one; who is of little speech, and pleased with whatever cometh to pass; who owneth no home, and who is of a steady mind. They who seek this Amṛta101 of religion even as I have said, and serve me faithfully before all others, are, moreover, my dearest friends.


                                        The Bhagavad-Gītā
                                  Dialogues of Krishna and Arjuna
                                                            The Eighteen Lectures
                                                                                           With Notes
                                             TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL 

                              IN THE ANCIENT LANGUAGE OF THE BRAHMAN

                                 By CHARLES WILKINS     1785                                        

                                                                                   L E C T U R E. 13.   


                                                EXPLANATION  OF THE TERM ‘KṢETRA  AND KṢETRAJÑA’.

                                  (The Body called the Field, the Soul called the Knower of the Field, and the Discrimination between them.

                                                                                        Title Dr.Radhakrishnan)




[           101     ]





I NOW am anxious to be informed, O  Keśava! what is Prakṛti, who is Puruṣa; what is meant by the

words Kṣetra and Kṣetrajña, and what by Jñāna and



Learn that by the word Kṣetra is implied this body, and that he who is acquainted with·   it is called Kṣetrajña. Know that I am that Kṣetrajña in every mortal frame. The knowledge of the Kṣetra and the Kṣetrajña is by me esteemed Jñāna or wisdom. ·

Now hear what that Kṣetra or body is, what it resembleth, what are its different parts, what it proceedeth from, who he is who knoweth it, and what are its productions. Each hath been manifold sung by the Ṛṣis in various measures, and in verses containing divine precepts, including arguments and proofs.

 [          102     ]


●This Kṣetra or body, then, is made up of the five Mahābhūtā (elements), Ahaṁkāra (self-consciousness), Buddhi (understanding), Avyaktam (invisible spirit), the eleven Indriyas (organs), and the five Indriya-gocarā (faculties of the five senses); with Icchā and Dveṣa (love and hatred), Sukhā and Duḥkha (pleasure and pain), Cētana

(sensibility), and Dhṛti (firmness).

●Thus, have I made known.  unto thee what that Kṣetra or body is, and what are its component parts.

Jñāna, or wisdom   , is freedom from   self-esteem, hypocrisy and injury; patience, rectitude, respect for masters. and   teachers, chastity, steadiness, self-constraint, disaffection for the objects of the senses, freedom from pride, and


And a constant attention102  to birth, death, decay, sickness, pain and defects, exemption from attachments and affection103 for children, wife, and home; a constant evenness of temper upon the arrival of every event, whether longed for or not; a constant and invariable worship paid to me alone; worshipping in a private place, and a dislike for the society of man; a constant study of superior spirit104; and the inspection of the advantage to be derived from the knowledge of the Tattva or first principle. 

This is what is distinguished by the name of Jñānam or wisdom. Ajñānam, or ignorance, is the reverse of this.


I will now tell thee what is Jñeyam, or the object of wisdom, from understanding which thou wilt enjoy immortality. It is that which hath no beginning, and is supreme, even Brahman, who can neither be called Sat (ens = an existing or real thing; an entity.) nor Asat (non ens)105.   It is all   hands and feet; it is all faces, heads, and eyes; and, all ear, it fitteth during the world possessing the vast whole. Itself exempt from every organ, it is the reflected light of every faculty of the organs. Unattached, it containeth all things; and without quality it partaketh of every quality. It is the inside and the outside, and it is the moveable and immoveable of all nature. From the minuteness of its parts it is inconceivable. It standeth at a distance, yet is it present. It is undivided, yet in all things it standeth divided.   It is the ruler of all things: it is that which now destroyeth, and now produceth. It is the light of lights, and it is declared to be free from darkness. It is wisdom, that which is the object of wisdom, and that which is to be obtained by wisdom; and it presideth in every breast.

Thus, hath been described together what is Kṣetra or body, what is Jñānam or wisdom, and what is Jñeyam or the

object of wisdom. He my servant. who thus conceiveth me obtaineth my nature. 

[           104     ]

Learn· that both Prakṛti and Puruṣa are without beginning.  Know also that the various component parts·

of matter and their qualities are co-existent with Prakṛti.

Prakṛti is that principle which operateth in the agency of the instrumental cause of action.

Puruṣa is that Hetu or principle which operateth in the sensation of pain and pleasure.  The Puruṣa    presideth in the Prakṛti and partaketh of those qualities which proceed from the Prakṛti.  The consequences arising from those qualities, are the cause which operated in the birth of the Puruṣa106, and determineth whether it shall be in a good or evil body. Puruṣa is that superior being, who is called Maheśvara, the   great God, the highest spirit, who in this body is the observer, the director, the protector, the partaker. ·

He who conceiveth the Puruṣa   and the Prakṛti, together with the Guṇas or qualities, to be even so as I have described them, whatever mode of life he may lead, he is not again subject to mortal birth.

Some men, by meditation, behold, with·   the mind, the spirit within themselves; others, according to the discipline of the Sāṁkhya (contemplative doctrines), and the



discipline which   is called   Karma-Yoga (practical doctrines); others again, who are not   acquainted with this, but   have heard it   from others, attend to it.     But even these, who act but from the report of others, pass beyond the gulf of death. 

●Know, O chief of the race of Bharat. that everything which is produced in nature, whether animate or inanimate, is produced from the union of Kṣetra and Kṣetrajña, matter and spirit.    He-who   beholdeth the Supreme Being alike in all things, whilst corrupting, itself uncorrupting; and conceiving that God in all things is the same, doth not of himself injure his own soul, goeth the journey of immortality. He who beholdeth all his actions performed by Prakṛti nature, at the same time perceiveth that the Ātmā or soul is inactive   in them. When he beholdeth all the   different   species in nature comprehended in one alone, and so from it spread forth into their vast variety, he then conceiveth Brahman, the Supreme Being. This supreme spirit and incorruptible Being, even when it is in the body, neither acteth, nor is. it affected, because its nature is without beginning and without quality. As the all-moving Ākāsa, or ether, from the minuteness of its parts, passeth everywhere unaffected, even so the omnipresent spirit remaineth in the

 [          106     ]


body unaffected. As a single sun illuminateth the whole world, even so doth the spirit enlightens everybody. They who, with the eye of wisdom, perceive the body and the spirit to be thus distinct, and that there is a final release from the animal nature, go to the Supreme.


                                        The Bhagavad-Gītā
                                  Dialogues of Krishna and Arjuna
                                                            The Eighteen Lectures
                                                                                           With Notes
                                             TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL 

                              IN THE ANCIENT LANGUAGE OF THE BRAHMAN

                                 By CHARLES WILKINS     1785                                        

                                                                                   L E C T U R E. 14.   

                                                                      OF THE THREE GUṆAS OR QUALITIES


107 ]

OF THE THREE GUṆAS OR QUALITIES (The mystical Father of All Beings-Dr. Radhakrishnan)

I will now reveal unto thee a most sublime knowledge, superior to all others, which having learnt, all the Munis have passed from it to supreme perfection. They take sanctuary under this wisdom, and, being arrived to that virtue which is similar to my own, they are not disturbed on the day of the confusion of all born again on their renovation.

The great Brahma (Prakṛti) is my womb. In it I place my fetus; and from it is the production of all nature. The great Brahma is the womb of all those various forms which are conceived in every natural womb, and I am the father who soweth the seed.
There are three Guṇas or qualities arising from Prakṛti or nature: Sattva truth, Rajass passion, and Tamas
darkness; and each of them confineth the incorruptible spirit in the body. The Sattva-Guṇa, because of its purity, is clear and free from defect, and entwined the soul

[ 108 ]

with sweet and pleasant consequences, and the fruit of wisdom. The Rajassa Guṇa is of a passionate nature, arising from the effects of worldly thirst, and imprisoneth the soul with the consequences produced from action. The Tamas Guṇa is the offspring of ignorance, and the confounder of all the faculties of the mind; and- it imprisoneth the soul with.intoxication, sloth, and idleness. The Sattva Guṇa prevaileth in felicity, the Ra jas in action, and the Tamas, having possessed the soul, prevaileth in intoxiation. When the Tamas, and the Rajas have been overcome, then the Sattva appeareth; when the Rajas and the Sattva, the Tama; and when the Tama and the Sattva the Rajas. When Jñāna or wisdom, shall become evident in this body at all its gates, then shall it be known that the Sattva-Guṇa is prevalent within. The love of gain, industry, and the commencement of works; intemperance, and inordinate desire, are produced from the prevalence of the Rajas Guṇa; whilst the tokens of the Tamas-Guṇa are gloominess, idleness, sluggishness, and distraction of thought. When the body is dissolved whilst the Sattva-Guṇa prevaileth, the soul proceedeth to the regions of those immaculate beings who are acquainted with the Most High. When the body findeth dissolution whilst the Rajas-Guṇa is predominant, the soul is born

[ 109 ]

again amongst those. who are attached to the fruits of their actions. So, in like manner, should the body be dissolved while the Tama-Guṇa is prevalent, the spirit is conceived again in the wombs of irrational beings. The fruit of good works is called pure and holy;. the fruit of the Rāja-Guṇa is pain; and the fruit of the Tama-Guṇa is ignorance. From the Sattva is produced wisdom, from the Rajas covetousness, and from the Tama madness; distraction, and ignorance. Those of the Sattva Guṇa mount on high, those of the Rajas stay in the middle, while those abject followers of the Tama-Guṇa sink below.
When he who beholdeth perceiveth no other agent than these qualities, and discovereth that there is a being superior to them, he at length findeth my nature; and when the soul has surpassed these three qualities, which are co-existent with the body, it is delivered from birth and death, old-age and pain, and drinketh of the water of immortality.
By what tokens is it known that a man hath surpassed these three qualities? What is his practice? What are the means by which he overcometh them..


[110 ]

He, O son of Pāndu, who despiseth not the light of wisdom, the attention to worldly things, and the distrac­
tion of thought when they come upon him, nor longeth for them when they disappear; who, like one who is of no party, fitteth unagitated by the three qualities; who, whilst the qualities are present, findeth still and moveth not; who is self-dependent and the same in ease and pain and to whom iron, stone, and gold are as one; firm alike in love and dislike, and the same whether praised or blamed; the same in honor and disgrace; the fame on the part of the friend and the foe, and who forfaketh all enterprise; such a one hath surmounted the influence of the qualities. And he, my servant, who serveth me alone with due attention, having overcome the influence of the qualities, is· formed to be absorbed in Brahman, the Supreme. I am the emblem of the immortal, and of the incorruptible; of the eternal; of justice, and of endless bliss.


                                        The Bhagavad-Gītā
                                  Dialogues of Krishna and Arjuna
                                                            The Eighteen Lectures
                                                                                           With Notes
                                             TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL 

                              IN THE ANCIENT LANGUAGE OF THE BRAHMAN

                                 By CHARLES WILKINS     1785                                        

                                                                                   L E C T U R E. 15.   

                                                   'Of Puruṣottama'


[Page 111   ]


Of Puruṣottama



THE incorruptible being is likened unto the tree Aśvattha, whose root is above and whose branches are below, and whose leaves are the Vedas. He who knoweth that, is acquainted with the Vedas. Its branches growing from the three Guṇa or qualities, whose lesser roots are the objects of the organs of sense, spread forth some high and some low. The roots which are spread abroad below, in the regions of mankind, are restrained by action. Its form is not to be found her, neither its beginning, nor its end, nor its likeness. When a man hath cut down this

Aśvattha, whose root is so firmly fixed, with the strong ax of disinterest, from that time that place is to be fought from whence there is no return for those who find it; and I make manifest that first Puruṣa from whom is produced the ancient progression of all things.

Those who are free from pride and ignorance, have prevailed over those faults which arise from the consequences

 [         112    ]

 of action, have their minds constantly employed in watching over and restraining the inordinate desires, and are freed from contrary causes, whose consequences bring both pleasure and pain, are no longer confounded in their minds, and ascend to that place which endureth forever. Neither the fun, nor the moon, nor the fire enlighteneth that place from whence there is no return, and which is the supreme mansion of my abode.

It is even a portion of myself that in this animal world is the universal spirit of all things. It draweth together the five organs and the mind, which is the sixth, that it may obtain a body, and that it may leave it again; and Īśvara, having taken them under his charge, accompanieth them from his own abode as the breeze the fragrance from the Bower. He presideth over the organs of hearing, seeing, feeling, tasting, and smelling together with the mind, and attendeth to their objects. The foolish see it not, attended by the Guṇa or qualities, in expiring, in being, or in enjoying; but those who are endued with the eye of wisdom behold it.          Those also who industriously apply their minds in meditation may perceive it planted in their own breasts, whilst those of unformed minds and weak judgments, laboring find it not.

  [        113    ]

Know that the light which proceedeth from the fun and illuminateth the whole world, and the light which is in the moon, and in the fire, are mine. I pervade all things in nature, and guard them with my beams. I am the moon, whose nature it is to give the quality of taste and relish, and to cherish the herbs and plants of the field. I am the fire residing in the bodies of all things which have life, where, joined with the two spirits which are called Prāṇa and Apāna.107 I digest the food which they eat, which is of four kinds 108 • I penetrate into the hearts of all men; and from me proceed memory, knowledge, and the loss of both. I am to be known by all the Vedas or books of divine knowledge: I am he who formed the Vedanta 109 ,  and I am he who knoweth the Vedas.

 There are two kinds of Puruṣa in the world, the one corruptible, the other incorruptible. The corruptible Puruṣa is the body of all things in nature; the incorruptible is called Kūṭastha , or he who standeth on the pinnacle110 .  There is another Puruṣa111 most high; the Paramātma or supreme soul, who inhabiteth the three regions of the world, even the incorruptible Īśvara. Because I am above corruption, so also am I superior to in­ corruption; wherefore in this world, and in the Vedas, I am called Puruṣottama. The man of a sound judgment,

 [         114    ]

who conceiveth me thus to be the Puruṣottama, knoweth all things, and serveth me in every principle.

 Thus, O Arjuna, have I made known· unto thee this most mysterious Sāstra112; and he who understandeth it shall be a wise man, and the performer of all that is fit to be done.



                                        The Bhagavad-Gītā
                                  Dialogues of Krishna and Arjuna
                                                            The Eighteen Lectures
                                                                                           With Notes
                                             TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL 

                              IN THE ANCIENT LANGUAGE OF THE BRAHMAN

                                 By CHARLES WILKINS     1785                                        

                                                                                   L E C T U R E. 16.  

                              'OF GOD AND EVIL DESTINY' 






(The nature of Godlike and Demonic Mind-Dr. Radhakrishnan)

Kṛṣṇa (KRISHNA)  

T HE man who is born with divine destiny is endued with the following qualities: exemption from fear, a _purity of heart, a constant attention to the discipline of his understanding; charity,    self-restraint, religion, study, penance, rectitude, freedom from doing wrong, Veracity, freedom from anger, resignation, temperance, freedom from slander, universal compassion, emption from the desire of slaughter, mildness, modesty, discretion, dignity, patience, fortitude, chastity, unrevengefulness, and freedom. From vainglory: whilst those who come into life under the in influence of the evil destiny distinguished by hypocrisy, pride, presumption, anger, harshness of speech, and ignorance. The_ divine destiny is for Mokṣa, or eternal absorption in the divine nature; and the evil destiny confineth the soul to mortal birth. Fear not Arjun, for thou t born with the divine destiny before thee. Thus, there are two kinds of destiny

 (     116      ]

prevailing in the world. The nature of the good destiny hath been fully explained. Hear what is the nature of the evil.

Those who are born under the influence of the evil destiny know not what it is to proceed in virtue, or recede from vice; nor is purity, veracity, or the practice of morality to be found in them. They say the world is without beginning, and without end, and without an Īśvara; that all things are conceived by the junction of the sexes; and that love is the only cause. These lost souls, and men of little understandings, having fixed upon this vision, are born of dreadful and inhuman deeds for the destruction of the world. They trust to their carnal appetites, which are hard to be satisfied; are hypocrites, and overwhelmed with madness and intoxication. Because of their folly they adopt false doctrines, and continue to live the life of impurity. They abide by their inconceivable opinions, even unto the day of confusion, and determine within their own minds that the gratification of the sensual appetites is the supreme good fast bound by the hundred cords of hope, and placing all their trust in lust and anger, they seek by injustice the accumulation of wealth, for the gratification of their inordinate desires. “This, today, hath been acquired by

[      I 17     ]

me. I shall obtain this object of my heart. This wealth I have, and this shall I have also.  This foe have I have already slain, and others will forthwith vanquish. I am Īśvara, and I enjoy; I am consummate, I am powerful, and I am happy; I am rich, and I am endued with precedence amongst men; and where is there another like unto me? I will, make presents at the feasts and be merry." In this manner do those ignorant men talk, whose minds are thus gone astray. Confounded with various thoughts and designs, they are entangled in the net of folly; and being firmly attached to the gratification of their lusts, they sink at length into the Naraka of impurity. Being self-conceited, stubborn, and ever in pursuit of wealth and pride, they worship with the name of worship and hypocrisy, and not according to divine ordination; and, placing all their trust in pride, power, ostentation, lust, and anger, they are overwhelmed with calumny and detraction, and hate me in themselves and others: wherefore I cast down upon the earth those furious abject wretches, those evil beings who thus despise me, into the wombs of evil spirits and unclean beasts. Being doomed to the wombs of Asuras from birth to birth, at length not finding me, they go unto the most infernal regions. There are these three passages to Naraka or the

 [    118     ] 

the infernal regions; lust, anger, and avarice, which are the destroyers of the soul; wherefore a man should avoid them; for, being freed from these gates of sin, which arise from the influence of the Tama-Guṇa, he advanceth his own happiness; and at length he goeth the journey of the Most High. He who abandoneth the dictates of the Śāstra to follow the dictates of his lusts, attaineth neither perfection, happiness, nor the regions of the Most High. Wherefore, O Arjuna, having made thyself acquainted with the precepts of the Śāstra, in the establishment of what is fit and unfit to be done, thou shouldst perform those works which are declared by the commandments of the Śāstra.




                                        The Bhagavad-Gītā
                                  Dialogues of Krishna and Arjuna
                                                            The Eighteen Lectures
                                                                                           With Notes
                                             TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL 

                              IN THE ANCIENT LANGUAGE OF THE BRAHMAN

                                 By CHARLES WILKINS     1785                                        

                                                                                   L E C T U R E. 17. 

                                                               'OF FAITH DIVIDED INTO THREE SPECIES.




[         119    ]



Three Kinds of Faith (Dr. Radhakrishnan)


What is the guide of those men, who, although they neglect the precepts of the Śāstra, yet worship with faith? Is it the Sattva, the Raja or Tama Guṇa?



The faith of mortals is of three kinds, and is produced from the constitution. It is denominated after the three Guṇas, Sattvic, Rajasic, or Tamasic. Hear what these are. The faith of every one is a copy of that which is produced from the Sattva-Guṇa. The mortal Puruṣa being formed with faith, of whatever nature he may be, with that kind of faith is he endued. Those who are of the disposition which ariseth from the Sattva-Guṇa worship the Devās; those of the Raja-Guṇa the Yakṣas, and the Rākṣasa; and those of the Tama-Guṇa worship the departed spirits and the tribe of Bhūta Gaṇas. Those men who perform severe mortifications of the flesh, not authorized


[         120    ]

 by the Śāstra, are possessed of hypocrisy and pride, and overwhelmed with lust, passion, and tyrannical strength. Those fools torment the spirit that is in the body, and myself also who am in them. Know what are the resolutions of those who are born under the influence of the evil spirit.

There are three kinds of food which are dear unto all men. Worship, zeal 111, and charity are each of them also divided into three species. Hear what are their distinctions.

The food that is dear unto those of the Sattva-Guṇa is such as increases their length of days, their power and their strength, and keeps them free from sickness, happy and contented. It is pleasing to the palate, nourishing, permanent, and congenial to the-body. It is neither too bitter, too sour, too salt(y), too hot, too pungent, too astringent, nor too inflammable.  The food that is coveted by those of the Raja-Guṇa giveth nothing but pain and misery and the delight of those in whom the Tama-Guṇa prevaileth, is such as was dressed the day before, and is out of season; hath lost its taste, and is grown putrid; the leavings of others, and all things that are impure.

That worship which is directed by divine precept, and is performed without' the desire of reward, as necessary

 [        I 21    ]

to be done, and with an attentive mind, is of the Sattva Guṇa.

The worship which is performed with a view to the fruit, and with hypocrisy, is of the Tama-Guṇa.

The worship which is performed without regard to the precepts of the law, without the distribution of bread, without the usual invocations, without gifts to the Brahmans at the conclusion, and without faith, is of the Raja Guṇa.

Respect to the Devās, to  Brahmans, masters, and learned men; chastity, rectitude,  the worship of the Deity, and a freedom from injury, are called bodily zeal.

Gentleness, justness, kindness, and benignity of speech, and attention to one's studies, are called verbal zeal.

 Content of mind, mildness of temper, devotion, restraint of the passions, and a purity of soul, are called mental zeal.

This threefold zeal being warmed with supreme faith, and performed by men who long not for the fruit of action, is of the Sattva-Guṇa.

The zeal which is shewn by hypocrisy, for the fake of the reputation of sanctity, honor, and respect, is said to


[         122    ]

be of the Raja-Guṇa; and it is inconstant and uncertain.

The zeal which is exhibited with self-torture, by the fool, without examination, or for injuring another, is of the Tama-Guṇa.

That charity which is bestowed by the disinterested, because it is proper to be given, in due place and season, and to proper objects, is of the Sattva-Guṇa.

That which is given in expectation of a return, or for the sake of the fruit of the action, and with reluctancy, is of the Raja-Guṇa.

That which is given out of place and season, and to unworthy objects, and, at the same time, ungraciously and scornfully, is pronounced to be of the Tama-Guṇa.

Om, Tat, and Sat, are the three mystic characters used to denote the Deity.

By him in the beginning were appointed the Brahmans·, the Vedas, and religion: hence the sacrificial, charitable, and zealous ceremonies of the expounders of the word of God, as they are ordained by the law, constantly proceed after they have pronounced Om!

Tat having been pronounced by those who long for immortality, without any inclination for a temporary


[         123    ]

reward of their actions, then are performed the ceremonies of worship and zeal, and the various deeds of charity. The word Sat is used for qualities which are true, and for qualities that are holy. The word Sat is also applied to deeds which are praiseworthy. Attention in worship, zeal, and deeds of charity, are also called Sat Deeds which are performed for Sat are also to be esteemed Sat.

Whatever is performed without faith, whether it be sacrifices, deeds of charity, or mortifications of the flesh, is called Asat; and is not for this world or that which is above.      


                                        The Bhagavad-Gītā
                                  Dialogues of Krishna and Arjuna
                                                            The Eighteen Lectures
                                                                                           With Notes
                                             TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL 

                              IN THE ANCIENT LANGUAGE OF THE BRAHMAN

                                 By CHARLES WILKINS     1785                                        

                                                                                   L E C T U R E. 18. 







 (Renunciation not to Work but to Fruits of Work)


I WISH much to comprehend the principle of saṁnyāsa and also of Tyāga, each separately.


The bards conceive 114  that the word saṁnyāsa implieth the forsaking of all actions which are desirable; and they call Tyāga, the forsaking of the fruits of every action. Certain philosophers have declared that works are as much to be avoided as crimes; whilst others say that deeds of worship, mortifications, and charity should not be forsaken. Hear what is my decree upon the term Tyāga.

Tyāga, or forsaking, is pronounced to be of three natures. But deeds of worship, mortification, and charity are not to be forsaken: they are proper to be performed. Sacrifices, charity, and mortifications are purifiers of the philosopher. It is my ultimate opinion and decree, that such works are absolutely to be performed,

[         125    ]

with a forsaking of their consequences and the prospect of their fruits. The retirement from works, which are appointed to be performed, is improper.

The forsaking of them through folly and distraction of mind, ariseth from the influence of the Tama-Guṇa.

The forsaking of a work because it is painful, and from the dread of bodily affliction, ariseth from the Raja­ Guṇa; and he who thus leaveth undone what he ought to do, shall not obtain the fruit of forsaking.

The work which is performed because it is appointed and esteemed necessary to be done, and with a forsaking of the consequences and the hope of a reward, is, with such a forsaking, declared to be of the Sattva-Guṇa. The man who is possessed of the Sattva-Guṇa is thus a Tyāgi, or one who forfaketh the fruit of action. He is of a sound judgment, and exempt from all doubt; he complaineth not in adversity, nor exulteth in the success of his undertakings.

No corporeal being is able totally to refrain from works. He is properly denominated a Tyāgi who is a forsaker of the fruit of action.

The fruit of action is threefold: that which is coveted, that which is not coveted, and that which is neither one nor the other. Those who do not  abandon works

 [        126    ]

obtain a final release; not those who withdraw from action, and are denominated Saṁnyāsa.

Learn, O Arjuna, that for the accomplishment of every work five agents115 are necessary, as is further declared in the Sāṁkhya and Vedānta-Śāstras attention and supervision, the actor, the implements of various sorts, distinct and manifold contrivances, and lastly the favor of Providence. The work which a man undertaketh, either with his body, his speech, or his mind, whether it be lawful or unlawful, hath these five agents engaged in the performance. He then who after this, because of the imperfection of his judgment, beholdeth no other agent than himself, is an evil-thinker and seethe not at all. He who hath no pride in his disposition, and whose judgment is not affected, although he should destroy a whole world, neither killed nor is he bound thereby 116.

In the direction of a work are three things: Jñāna, Jñeya, and Parijñātā117.  The accomplishment of a work is also threefold: the implement, the action, and the agent. The Jñāna, the action, and the agent are each distinguished by the influence of the three Guṇas. Hear in what manner they are declared to be after the order of the three Guṇas

[         127    ]

That Jñāna, or wisdom, by which one principle alone is seen prevalent in all nature, incorruptible and infinite in all things finite; is of the Sattva-Guṇa.

That Jñāna, or wisdom, is of the Raja-Guṇa, by which a man believeth that there are various and manifold principles prevailing in the natural world of created beings.

That Jñāna, or wisdom, which is mean, interested in one single object alone as if it were the whole, without any just motive or design, and without principle or profit, is pronounced to be of the Tama-Guṇa.

The action which is appointed by divine precept, is perforn1ed free from the thought of its consequences and without passion or despite, by one who hath no regard for the fruit thereof, is of the Sattva-Guṇa.

The action which is performed by one who is fond of the gratification of his lusts, or by the proud and selfish and is attended with unremitted pains, is of the Raja­ Guṇa.

The action which is undertaken through ignorance and folly, and without any foresight of its fatal and injurious consequences , is pronounced to be of the Tama-Guṇa.

The agent who is regardless of the consequences, is free from pride and arrogance, is endued with fortitude

 [        128    ]

and resolution, and is unaffected whether his work succeed or not, is said to be of the Sattva-Guṇa.

That agent is pronounced to be of the Raja-Guṇa who is a slave to his passions, who longeth for the fruit of action, who is avaricious, of a cruel disposition, of impure principles, and a slave to joy and grief.

The agent who is inattentive, indiscreet, stubborn, dissembling, mischievous, indolent, melancholy, and dilatory, is of the Tama-Guṇa.

Hear also what are the threefold divisions of understanding and firmness, according to the influence of the three Guṇas, which are about to be explained to thee distinctly and without reserve.

The understanding which can determine what it is to proceed in a business, and what it is to recede; what is necessary and what is unnecessary; what is fear and what is not; what is liberty and what is confinement, is of the Sattva Guṇa.

The understanding which doth not conceive justice and injustice; what is proper and what is improper; as they truly are, is of the Raja-Guṇa.

The understanding which, being overwhelmed in darkness, mistaketh injustice for justice, and all things contrary

[         129    J

to their true intent and meaning, is of the Tama ­Guṇa.

That steady firmness, with which a man, by devotion, reftraineth every action of the mind and organs, is of the Sattva-Guṇa.

That interested firmness by which a man, from views of profit, persisteth in the duties of his calling, in the gratification of his lusts, and the acquisition of wealth, is declared to be of the Raja-Guṇa.

That stubborn firmness, by which a man of low capacity departeth not from sloth, fear, grief, melancholy, and intoxication, is of the Tama-Guṇa.

Now hear what is the threefold division of pleasure. That pleasure which a man enjoyeth from his labour, and wherein he findeth the end of his pains; and that which, in the beginning, is as poison, and in the end the as the water of life, is declared to be of the Sattva-Guṇa, and to arise from the consent of the understanding.

That pleasure which ariseth from the conjunction of the organs with their objects, which in the beginning is as sweet as the water of life, and in the end as a poison, is of the Raja-Guṇa.

That pleasure which in the beginning and the end


tendeth to stupefy the soul, and ariseth from drowsiness, idleness, and intoxication, is pronounced to be of the Tama Guṇa.

There is not anything either in heaven or earth, or amongst the hosts of heaven, which is free from the influence of these three Guṇas or qualities, which arise from the first principles of nature.

The respective duties of the four tribes, of Brāhmaṇa, Kṣatriya 119, Vaiśya, and Śūdrā120, are also determined by the qualities which arc in their constitutions.

The natural duty of the Brahman is peace, self-restraint, zeal, purity, patience, rectitude, wisdom, learning, and theology.

The natural duties of the Kṣatriya are bravery, glory, fortitude, rectitude, not to flee from the field, generosity, and princely conduct.

The natural duty of the Vaiśya is to cultivate the land, tend the cattle, and buy and sell.

The natural duty of  Śūdrā is servitude·

A man being contented with his own particular lot  and duty obtaineth perfection. Hear how that perfection is to be accomplished.

The man who maketh an offering of his own works

 (        131    ]

to that being from whom the principles of all being proceed, and by whom the whole universe was spread forth, by that means obtaineth perfection.

The duties of a man's own particular calling although not free from faults, is far preferable to the duty of another, let it be ever so well pursued.       A man by following the duties which are appointed by his birth, doeth no wrong. A man's own calling, with all its faults, ought not to be forsaken. Every undertaking is involved in its faults, as the fire in its smoke. A disinterested mind and conquered spirit, who, in all things, is free from in-. ordinate desires, obtaineth a perfection unconnected with work by that resignation and retirement which is called Saṁnyāsa; and having attained that perfection, learn from me, in brief, in what manner he obtaineth Brahman, and what is the foundation of wisdom.

A man being endued with a purified understanding, having humbled spirit by resolution, and abandoned the objects of the organs; who hath freed himself from passion and dislike; who worshippeth with discrimination, eateth with moderation, and is humble of speech, of body, and of mind; who preferreth the devotion of meditation, and who constantly placeth his confidence in dispassion; who is freed from ostentation, tyrannical

[         132    ]

strength, vain-glory, lust, anger, and avarice; and who is exempt from selfishness, and in all things temperate, is formed for being Brahman. And thus, being as Brahman, his mind is at ease, and he neither longeth nor lamenteth. He is the same in all things, and obtaineth my supreme assistance; and by· my divine aid he knoweth, fundamentally; who I am and what is the extent of my existence; and having thus discovered who I am, he at length is absorbed in my nature.

A man also being engaged in every work, if he put his trust in me alone; shall, by my divine pleasure, obtain the eternal and incorruptible mansion    of my abode.

With thy heart place all thy works on me; prefer me to all things else; depend upon the· use of thy understanding, and think constantly of me; for by doing so thou shalt, by my divine favor, surmount every difficulty which surroundeth thee. But if, through pride, thou wilt not listen unto my words, thou shalt undoubtedly be lost. From a confidence in thy own self-sufficiency thou mayst think that thou wilt not fight. Such is a fallacious determination, for the· principles of thy nature will impel thee.      Being confined to action by the duties of thy natural calling, thou wilt involuntarily do that from necessity, which thou wantest, through ignorance, to avoid..

. [       1 3 3  ]

Īśvara resideth in the breast of every mortal being, revolving with his supernatural power all things which are mounted upon the universal wheel of time. Take sanctuary then, upon all occasions, with him alone, O offspring of Bharata; for by his divine pleasure thou shalt obtain supreme happiness and an eternal abode.

Thus, have I made known unto thee a knowledge which is a superior mystery. Ponder it well in thy mind, and then act as it seemeth best unto thee.

Attend now to these my supreme and most mysterious words, which I will now· for thy good reveal ·unto thee, because thou art dearly beloved of me. Be of my mind, be my servant, offer unto me alone and bow down humbly before me, and thou shalt verily come unto me; for I approve thee, and thou art dear unto me. Forsake every other religion, and fly to me alone.          Grieve not then, for I will deliver thee from all thy transgressions.

This is never to be revealed by thee to anyone who hath not subjected his body by devotion, who is not my servant, who is not anxious to learn; nor unto him who despiseth me.

He who shall teach this supreme mystery unto my servant, directing his service unto me, shall undoubtedly go un_to me; and there shall not be one amongst mankind

[         134    ]

who doeth me a greater kindness; nor shall there be in all the earth one more dear unto me. He also who shall read these our religious dialogues, by him I may be sought with the devotion of wisdom. This is my resolve.

The man too who may only hear it without doubt, and with due faith, may also be saved, and obtain the regions of happiness provided for those whose deeds are virtuous.

Hath what I have been speaking, O Arjuna, been heard with thy mind fixed to one point? Is the distraction of thought, which arose from thy ignorance, removed?


 By thy divine favor, my confusion of mind is lost and I have found understanding. I am now fixed in my principles, and am freed from all doubt; and I will henceforth act according to thy words.


In this manner have I been an ear-witness of the astonishing and miraculous conversation that hath passed between the son of Vāsudeva, and the magnanimous son of Pāṇḍu; and I was enabled to hear this supreme and miraculous doctrine, even as revealed from the mouth of Kṛṣṇa himself, who is the God of religion, by the


[         135    ]

favor of Vyāsa121, As, O mighty Prince I recollect again and again this holy and wonderful dialogue of Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna, I continue more and more to rejoice; and as I recall to my memory the more than miraculous form of Hari us, my astonishment is great, and I marvel and rejoice again and again ! Wherever Kṛṣṇa the God of devotion may be, wherever Arjuna the mighty bowman may be, there too, without doubt, are fortune, riches, victory, and good conduct. This is my firm belief.



N      O       T      E s.

PageXX Index. XX

Page 29  1.THE ancient chief.-Bhīṣma, brother of  विचित्रवीर्य,  vicitravīrya, grandfather of the Kurus and the Pāṇḍus.   .

Page 029  2   Shell.-The conch or chank.
                3  Kṛṣṇa.-An incarnation of the Deity. Krishna
                4 Arjun.-The third son of Pānḍu , and the favorite of Krishna.
031            Gāṇḍīva my bow.-The gift of varuṇa  the God of the Ocean.
032.        5 Hell.- In the original Naraka. The infernal regions, supposed to be situated at the bottom of the earth, where those whose virtues are less than their vices are doomed to dwell for a period proportioned to their crimes, after which they rise again to inhabit the bodies of unclean beings.
               6 Forefathers, &,-The Hindus are enjoined by the Vedas to offer a cake, which is called Pinda, to the ghosts of their ancestors, as far back as the third generation. This ceremony is performed on the day of the new moon in every month. The offering of water is in like manner commanded to be performed daily, and this ceremony is called Tarpana, to satisfy, appease. The souls of such men as have left children to continue their generation, are supposed to be transported, immediately upon quitting their bodies, into a certain region called the pitṛ-loka, where they may continue in proportion to their former virtues, provided these ceremonies be not neglected; otherwise they are precipitated into Naraka, and
bodies of unclean beasts; and until, by repeated regenerations, all their sins are done away, and they attain such a degree of perfection as will entitle them to what is called Mukti, eternal salvation, by which is understood a release from future transmigration, and an absorption  in  the nature of the Godhead, who is called Brahman.  These ceremonies, which are called Śrāddha, were not unknown to the Greeks and Romans, and are still practiced by the followers of Mahomed.
3+        7   Contrary  to duty. Contrary to the duty of  a soldier.
35        8  By the dictates of my duty.-The duty of a soldier, in opposition to the dictates of the general moral duties.
            the wise men.-Pandits, or expounders of the law; or in a more general sense, such as by meditation have attained that degree of perfection which is called Jñānam, or inspired wisdom.
39        10   the bonds of action.-The Hindus believe that every action of the body, whether good or evil, confineth the soul to mortal birth; and that an eternal release, which they call Mōkṣa, is only to be attained by a total neglect of all sublunary things, or, which is the same thing according to the doctrine of Karma, the abandonment of all hopes of the reward of our actions; for such reward, they say, can only be a short enjoyment of a place in heaven, which they call Svarga; because no man can, merely by his actions, attain perfection, owing to the mixture of good and evil which is implanted in his constitution.
            11  the objects of the Vedas are of a threefold nature. The commentators do not agree with respect to the signification of this passage; but, as the Vedas teach three distinct systems of religion, it is probable that it refers to this circumstance.
            12 Yoga.-There is no word in the Sanskrit language that will bear so many interpretations as this. Its first signification is junction or union. It is also used for bodily or mental application; but in this work it is generally used as a theological term, to express the application of the mind in spiritual things, and the performance of religious ceremonies. The  word Yogi, a devout man, is one of its derivatives. If the word devotion be confined to the performance of religious duties, and a contemplation of the Deity, it will
 [     141      ]
generally serve to express the sense of the original; as will devout and devoted for its derivatives.
40       13 Wisdom. -  Wherever the word wisdom is used in this Translation,  is to be understood inspired wisdom, or a knowledge of the Divine Nature.  The original word is Jñāna, or as it is written Jñāna.
42       14 Folly.-In the original M oha, which signifies  an embarrassment  of the faculties, arising from the attendant qualities of the principles of organized matter.
44       15 The practice of deeds.-The performance of religious ceremonies and moral duties, called Karma-Yoga.
45       16 Brahma.-The Deity in his creative quality.
46       17  Hath no occasion.-  Hath no occasion to perform the ceremonial parts of religion.
           18 Attained perfection.-That degree of perfection which is necessary to salvation.
49 ·     19  Desire.-The will, as presiding over the organs, the heart and the understanding.
            20 The resolution.- In this place resolution means the power of distinguishing the truth of a  proposition:  the understanding.
            21. He.-The soul, or universal spirit, of which the vital soul is supposed to be a portion.
52.       22 Worship the Devatas.-The word Devatā is synonymous with Dev, Dew or Deb, as it is sometimes pronounced. The Angels, or subordinate celestial beings; all the attributes of the Deity; and everything in Heaven and Earth which has been personified by the imagination of the Poets.
5 5.      23  And where, O Arjun, is there another?-  fit f or him is understood. The sentence would perhaps read better in this form : " He  who neglecteth the duties of life is not for this world, much less for “that which is above." But the other translations is literally correct.
55.       24  In me.-In the Deity, who is the universal spirit.
56.       25  Have no  power to  confine. -  Have no power to confine the soul to mortal birth.
58.        26 In the nine-gate city  of its abode.-  The body, as furnished with nine
passages for the action of the faculties : the eyes, nose, mouth, &c.
5 9.       27  The powers nor the deeds of mankind.-To understand this, and many
[    142  ]

similar passages, it is necessary to be apprized that the Hindus believe that all our actions, whether good or evil, arise from the inherent qualities of the principles of our constitutions.
67.       28 The man, &c.-i.e. That the desire of becoming a devout man is equal to the study of the Vedas.
69.       29 Of a vital nature.-The vital soul. 1.  ult. Learn that these two. -Matter and spirit.
70.       30 Sattva, Raja, Tama.-Truth, passion, darkness; or, as the words are sometimes used,  white, red, black.
71        31 The wishers after wealth.-Such as pray for worldly endowments.
            32 And are governed by their own principles. -By the three ruling qualities already explained.
73        33  Adhyātma, &c.-As Krishna's answer to the several questions of Arjun has something mysterious in it, I will endeavor to render it
more comprehensible:
Adhyātma-literally signifies the over-ruling spirit, by which is implied the divine nature.
Karma-signifies action, whereby is to be understood his creative quality.
Adhibhūta-  signifies he who ruleth over created beings: the power of the Deity to destroy.
Adhidaiva - literally means Superior to fate; and is explained by the word Puruṣa, which, in vulgar language, means no more than man; but in this work it is a term in theology used to express the vital soul, or portion of the universal spirit of Brahman inhabiting a body. So by the word Maha-Puruṣa is implied the Deity as the primordial Source. These terms are used in a metaphysical work called Pa­ tanjal, wherein God is represented under the figure of Maba-Puruṣa, the great man or prime progenitor; in conjunction with Prakṛti, nature or first principle, under the emblem of a female engendering the world with his Māyā or supernatural power.


74        34-This mystic emblem of the Deity is forbidden to be pronounced but in silence.  It is a syllable formed of the letters, AUM which  in composition  coalesce, and make  OM, and  the nasal consonant m. The first letter stands for the Creator;  the second for the Preserver, and the third for the Destroyer.

75        35  is   A thousand revolutions of the Yuga.- 1s equal  to 4320,000,000  years.
 [   143  ]
An ingenious mathematician, who is now in India, supposes that these Yugas      are nothing more than astronomical periods formed from
the coincidence of certain cycles, of which those of the precession of the equinoxes and the moon are two. The word Yuga, which signifies a juncture or joining, gives good grounds for such an hypothesis.

78      36  And all things are not dependent on me.- This ambiguity is removed by the following simile of the air in the ether.
-        37  Kalpa.-  The same as the day of Brahma, a thousand revolutions of the Yugas. The word literally signifies formation.
79     38 The whole, from the power of nature, without power.-This passage is agreeable to the doctrine of the influence of the three Guṇa , or qualities, over all our actions.
-        39 It is from this Source.-Because of the fupervifion of the Supreme Being.
-       40 Other Gods.-Wherever the word Gods is used in this Translation, the subordinate supernatural beings are implied.
80    41 Vedas.-The word Veda signifies learning. The sacred volumes of the Hindus, of which there are four, supposed to have been revealed from the four mouths of Brahma remarkable that Krishna mentions only the three first; it may therefore be presumed that no more existed in his time.
        42 Soma -is the name of a creeper, the juice of which is commanded to be drank at the conclusion of a sacrifice, by the person for whom and at whose expense it is performed, and by the Brahmans who officiate at the altar.
-      43  Indra-is a personification of  the visible heavens, or the power of the Almighty over the elements. He  is the sprinkler of the rain, the roller of the thunder, and director of the winds. He is represented with a thousand eyes, grasping the thunderbolt.
81     44  Saṁnyāsi:-   One who totally forfaketh all worldly actions; but Krishna,in order to unite the various religious opinions which prevailed
in those days, confines the word S Saṁnyās to a forsaking of the hope· of reward.
82     45 Women.-In the Vedas it is declared, that the souls of women, and of the inferior tribes, are doomed to transmigration till they can be regenerated in the body of a Braḥman.
82     46 Rājaṛṣis = Rajarṣayas46 - from Rāja and Ṛṣi, Prince and Saint.
83     47  Surās.- Good angels.
        48  Mahaṛṣis.-Great saints, of whom there are reckoned seven, who were at the creation produced from the mind of Brahma.
        49 Manus.-Four other beings produced at the creation from the mind of Brahma.
84     50 Ṛṣis.- Saints.
         5l  Devaṛṣis.-Deified saints .
         52  Nārada.-One of the Devaṛṣis, and a great Prophet, who is supposed to be still wandering about the world. Nara signifies a thread or clew, a precept; and Da Giver.-Wherever he appears he is constantly employed in giving good counsel..
        53 Danavās/ Danūs -  Evil spirits, or fallen angels, the offsprings of Danu (fem).
        54 O first of men!-Arjun makes use of this expression as      addressing the Deity in human shape.
85    55 Ādityas._:_The offsprings of Āditi (f.) (that may not be cut off.) There are reckoned twelve, and are nothing more than emblems of the sun for each· month of the year.  Their names are  Varuna, Surya, Vedang, Bhanu, Indra, Ravi, Gabasti, Yama, Swarna-reta, Divakar, Meetra, Vishnu.   


Bhagavata Purana

Linga Purana

Vedanta and Purana




Vishnu (







Indra (The head of Ādityas)



















Parjanya (Savitr?)







Sūrya or Arka













                                                 Tables introduced by Veeraswamy Krishnaraj

11.27-49) A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami prabhupada


The 12 Adityas

Ruling Month

Solar Month

Lunar Month


March - April





April - May





May - June





June - July





July - August





Aug - Sept





Sept - Oct





Oct - Nov





Nov - Dec





Dec - Jan





Jan - Feb





Feb - March



         56  Viṣṇu.-He who filleth or possesseth all space. One of the twelve suns, and the name of the Deity in his preserving quality.
        57 Ravi.-The riser-one of the names of the sun.
        58  Marchi.-  O ne of the eight points _of   the heavens.
        59  Maruts. - - The winds.
        60  śaśī-The moon.
        61 Nakṣatras.-Dispellers of darkness. The 18 constellations through which the moon passes in its monthly course.       Constellations in general.     .

85:  62 sāma.-The first of the four books of the Vedas, composed to be chanted or sung.

       63  Vāsavaḥ.- One of the names of Indra.
       64  Śaṁkara.-One of the names of Śiva, or Fate.
-      65 Rūdras.- - Eleven distinctions of Śiva, or Fate.
85:  66 Vitteśa (Kubera).-The God of riches, otherwise called Kubera. He is said to preside over the regions of the north, and to be the chief of the Yakṣās and the Rākṣasās, two species of good and evil Genii.
[     145    l

85   67  Pāvaka.-The God of fire. He is supposed to preside over the South­ east quarter.
       68  Vasus.-Eight of the first created Beings of Brahmā, the creator.
       69 Meru.-The north pole of the terrestrial globe, fabled by the poets to be the highest mountain in the world.  It is sometimes, by way of pre-eminence,     called Sumeru सुमेरु. It is remarkable that the word  Meru signifies a centre or axis.
86 70  Bṛhaspati = बृहस्पति.- The preceptor of the Devas or Dews, the planet Jupiter and Dies Javis.
-   71 Skanda.- Otherwise called Kârttikeya, the general of the celestial armies. (“Leaper” or “Attacker”)
     72 Bhṛgu. One of the first created beings produced from the mind of Brahma.
-   73 monosyllable.- The mystic word or monosyllable Om! already explained.
    74   Japa.-A silent repetition of the name of God.
    75 Himalaya.-The chain of snowy mountains which divide India from Tartary, and which, from the immense distance they may be seen, are supposed to be as high as any upon the face of the globe.
-  76  Asvatta......:.The Peepal tree.
 77 Chitraratha amongst Gandharvas.-The title of chief of the Gandharvas or celestial choirs : the Gandharva of the painted chariot.
In the Mahabbarat is to be found a very entertaining story of a combat between him and Arjun, wherein he is defeated; and, his
painted chariot being destroyed by a fiery arrow shot from the bow of his opponent, he resolves to change his name to Dagdha-rath (Burnt chariot), or the Gandharva of the burnt chariot.
-   78 Uccaiḥśrava, who arose with the Amrta from out the ocean, or the water of life, from the ocean.-The story of churning the ocean for· what are called the Cbowda Rattan, or fourteen jewels, is of such a curious nature, and, in some parts bears such a wonderful affinity to Milton's description of the war in heaven, that the Translator thinks it will afford the reader an agreeable contrast to the subject: of this work, and serve as a further specimen of his version of the Mababharat, from which both are extracted.

AN  EPISODE  FROM THE                                                     MAHABHARAT,
Book I.  CHAP, 15•
 “THERE is a fair and stately mountain, and its name is Meru, a most exalted mass of glory, reflecting the sunny rays from the splendid surface of its gilded horns. It is clothed in gold, and is the respected haunt of Devas and Gandharvas. It is inconceivable, and not to be encompassed by sinful man; and it is guarded by dreadful serpents. Many celestial medicinal plants adorn its sides, and it stands, piercing the heavens with its aspiring summit, a mighty hill inaccessible even by the human mind! It is adorned with trees and pleasant streams, and resoundeth with the delightful songs of various birds.
The Suras, and all the glorious hosts of heaven, having ascended to the summit of this lofty mountain, sparkling with precious gems, and for eternal ages raised, were fitting, in solemn synod, meditating the discovery of the Amrita, or water of immortality. The Dev Narayana being also there, spoke unto Brahma, whilst the Suras were thus consulting together, and said, "Let the  ocean, as a  pot  of milk, be churned  by  the  united labour  of  the Suras and Asuras; and when the mighty waters have been stirred up, the Amrta shall be found.  Let  them collect together every medicinal herb and every  precious thing, and let them stir the ocean, and  they  shall discover the Amrta.
 There is also another mighty mountain whose name is Mandar, and its rocky summits are like towering clouds. It is cloathed in a net of the entangled tendrils of the twining creeper, and resoundeth with the harmony of various birds. Innumerable savage beasts infest its borders, and it is the respected haunt of Kinnaras, Devas,and Apsasras. It standeth eleven thousand Yojanas above the earth, and eleven thousand more below its surface.
As the united bands of Devas were unable to remove this mountain, they went before Vishnu, who was sitting with Brahma, and addressed them in these words: " Exert, O masters, your most superior wisdom to remove the  mountain Mandar, and employ your utmost power for our good.''
Vishnu and Brahma having said," It shall be according to your wish," he with the lotus eye directed the King of Serpents to appear; and Ananta arose, and was instructed in that work by Brahma, and commanded by Narayana to perform it.  Then Ananta, by his power, took up that king of mountains, together
[    147    ]
with all its forests and every inhabitant thereof; and the Suras accompanied him into the presence of the Ocean, whom they addressed, saying, “We will stir up thy waters to obtain the Amrta." And the Lord of the waters replied- "Let me also have a share, seeing I am to bear the violent in agitations that will be caused by the whirling of the mountain." Then the Suras and the Asuras spoke unto Kūrma-raj, the King of the Tortoises, upon the strand of the ocean, and said-" My Lord is able to be the supporter of this mountain."  The Tortoise replied, " Be it so :" and it was placed upon his back.
So the mountain being set upon the back of the Tortoise, Indra began to whirl it about as it were a machine. The mount Mandar served as a churn, and the serpent Vasuki for the rope; and thus in former days did the Devas, the Asuras, and the Danavas, begin to stir up the waters of the ocean for the discovery of the Amrta.
The mighty Asuras were employed on the side of the serpent's head, whilst all the Suras assembled about his tail. Ananta, that dovereign Devas, stood near Narayana.
They now pull forth the serpent's head repeatedly, and as often let it go; whilst there issued from his mouth, thus violently drawing to and fro by the Suras and  Asuras, a continual stream of fire, and smoke, and wind; which ascending in thick clouds replete with lightning, it began to rain down upon the heavenly bands, who were already fatigued with their labour; whilst a shower of flowers was shaken from the top of the mountain, covering the heads of all, both Suras and Asuras In the mean time the roaring of the ocean,  whilst violently agitated with the whirling of the mountain Mandara by the Suras and Asuras, was like the bellowing of a mighty cloud.-Thousands
of the various productions of the waters were torn to pieces by the mountain, and confounded with the briny flood; and every specific being of the deep, and all the inhabitants of the great abyss which is below the earth, were  annihilated; whilst, from the violent agitation of the mountain, the forest trees were dashed against each other, and precipitated from its utmost height, with all the birds thereon; from whose violent conflagration a raging fire was produced, involving the whole mountain with smoke and flame, as with a dark blue cloud, and the lightning's vivid flash. The lion and the retreating elephant are overtaken by the devouring flames, and every vital being, and every specific thing, are consumed in the general conflagration.
The raging flames, thus spreading  destruction on all sides, were at length quenched by a shower of cloud-borne water poured down by the immortal  Indra. And now a heterogeneous stream of the concocted juices of various trees and plants ran down into the briny flood.
It was from this milk-like stream of juices produced from those trees and plants, and a mixture of melted gold, that the Suras obtained their immortality.
The waters of the ocean now being assimilated with those juices, were con.. verted into milk, and from that milk a kind of butter was presently produced; when the heavenly bands went again into the presence of Brahma, the granter of boons, and addressed him, saying-" Except  Narayanaa, every other " Sura and Asura is fatigued with his labour, and still the Amrta doth not
appear; wherefore the churning of the ocean is at a stand." Then Brahma said unto Narayana-" Endue them with recruited strength, for thou art their   support."  And Narayana answered and said-"I will give fresh vigour to   such -as co-operate in the work.  Let Mandara be whirled about, and the bed of the ocean be kept steady."
When they heard the words of Narayana, they all returned again to the work, and began to stir about with great force that butter of the ocean; when there presently arose from out the troubled deep-first the moon, with a pleasing countenance, shining with ten thousand beams of gentle light; next followed Srī, the Goddess of fortune, whose seat is the white lily of the waters; then Sura-Devi, the Goddess of wine, and the white horse called Uccaiḥśravas . And after these there was produced, from the unctuous mass, the jewel Kustubha, that glorious sparkling gem worn by Narayana on his breast.
To Pārijāta (Sanskrit: पारिजात), the tree of plenty, and Surabhi, the cow that granted every heart's  desire The  moon, Sura-Devi, the  Goddess  Srī, and the horse  as swift as thought, instantly marched away towards the Devas, keeping in the path of the sun.
Then the Deva Dhanvantari, in human shape, came forth, holding in his hand a white vessel filled with the immortal juice Amrta. When the Asuras beheld these wondrous things appear, they raised their tumultuous voices for the Amrta, and each of them clamorously exclaimed-" This of right is "mine!" In the mean time Irāvati, a mighty elephant, arose, now kept by the God
[     149 1
of thunder; and as they continued to churn the ocean more than enough, that deadly poison issued from its bed, burning like a raging fire, whose dreadful fumes in a moment spread throughout the world, confounding the three regions of the universe with its mortal stench; until Śiva, at the word of Brahma, swallowed the fatal drug to save mankind; which remaining in the throat of that sovereign Deva of magic form, from that time he hath been called Nīla-Kantha, because his throat was stained bl ue.
When the Asuras beheld this miraculous deed, they became desperate, and the Amrta and the Goddess Srī became the source of endless hatred.
Then Narayana assumed the character and person of Mohini Maya,the power of enchantment, in a female form of wonderful beauty, and stood before the Asuras; whose minds being fascinated by her presence, and deprived of reason, they seized the Amrta, and gave it  unto her.
The Asuras now clothe themselves in costly armor, and, seizing their various weapons, rush on together to attack the Suras. In the meantime Narayana, in the female form, having obtained the Amrta from the hands of their leader, the hosts of Suras, during the tumult and confusion of the Asuras, drank of the living water.
And it so fell out that whilst the Suras were quenching their thirst for im­ mortality, Rāhu, an Asura, assumed the form of a Sura, and began to drink also. And the water had but reached his throat, when the sun and moon, in friendship to the Suras, discovered the deceit; and instantly Narayana cut off his head, as he was drinking, with his splendid weapon Chakra. And the gigantic head of the Asura, emblem of a mountain's summit, being thus separated from his body by the Cbakra's edge, bounded into the heavens with a dreadful cry, whilst his ponderous trunk fell cleaving the ground asunder, and shaking the whole earth unto its foundation, with all its islands, rocks, and forests.  And from that time the head of Rāhu resolved an eternal enmity, and continueth, even unto this day, at times to seize upon the sun and moon.
Now Narayana, having quitted the female figure he had assumed, began to disturb the Asuras with sundry celestial  weapons; and from that  instant a dreadful battle was commenced , on the ocean's briny strand and, between the Asuras and the Suras. Innumerable sharp and missile weapons were hurled, and thousands of piercing darts and battle-axes. fell on all sides. The Asuras vomit blood from the wounds of the Chakra, and fall upon  the ground
 [     150      ]
 pierced by the sword, the spear, and spiked club.-Heads, glittering with polished gold, divided by the Patti’s blade, drop incessantly; and mangled bo• dies,  wallowing  in  their  gore, lay like fragments of mighty rocks sparkling with gems and precious ores. Millions of sighs and groans arise on every side; and the sun is overcast with blood, as they clash their arms, and wound each other with their dreadful instruments of destruction.
Now the battle's fought with the iron-spiked club, and, as they close, with clenched fist; and the din of war ascendeth to the heavens! They cry­ " Pursue ! strike ! fell to the ground!" so that a horrid and tumultuous noise is heard on all sides.
In the midst of chis dreadful hurry and confusion of the fight, Nara and Narayana entered the field together.  Narayana beholding a celestial bow in the hand of Nara, it reminded him of his Chakra, the destroyer of the Asuras. The faithful weapon, by name Sudarsan, ready at the mind's call, flew down from  heaven  with direct and refulgent  speed,  beautiful,  yet  terrible to behold. And being arrived, glowing like the sacrificial flame, and spreading  terror around, Narayana, with his right arm formed like the elephantine trunk, hurled forth the ponderous orb, the speedy messenger, and glorious ruin of hostile towns; who, raging like the final all-destroying fire, shot bounding with desolating force, killing thousands of the Asuras in his rapid flight, burning and involving, like the lambent flame, and cutting down all that would oppose him. Anon he climbeth the heavens, and now again darteth into the field like a Piśāca to feast in blood. 
Now the dauntless Asuras strive with repeated strength to cru1h the Suras with rocks and mountains, which, hurled in vast numbers into the heavens, appeared like scattered clouds, and fell,with all the trees thereon, in millions of fear-exciting torrents, striking violently against each other with a mighty noise; and in their fall the earth, with all its fields and forests, is driven from its foundation : they thunder furiously at each other as they roll along the field, and spend their strength in mutual conflict.
Now Nara, feeing the Suras overwhelmed with fear, filled up the path to heaven with flowers of golden-headed arrows, and split the mountain sum­ mits with his unerring shafts; and the Asuras, finding themselves again fore pressed by the Suras, precipitately flee: some rush  headlong into the briny waters of the ocean, and others hide themselves within the bowels of the earth.
[      151      J
The  rage  of the glorious Chakra, Sudarsansa, which for a while burnt like the oil-fed fire, now grew cool, and he retired into the heavens from whence he came.  And the Suras having obtained the victory, he mountain Mnndar was carried back to its former station with great respect; whilst the waters also retired, filling the firmament and the heavens with their dreadful roarings.
The Suras guarded the Amrita with great care, and rejoiced exceedingly because of their success; and Indra, with all his immortal bands, gave the water of life unto Narayana, to keep it for their use."

Page 86 Index #79  Kāma-dhuk.-One of the names of the Cow of Plenty, produced in
churning the ocean.

        80 Ananta amongst  the Nags.-The Nags are serpents fabled with many heads. Ananta fignifies eternal, and may be an emblem of eternity. There are some very wonderful stories told of these serpents in the original from which these Dialogues are taken.
-       81Varun.-The God of the Ocean.
       #82  Yama.-The judge of hell.
        83 Prahalād.-An evil spirit who was converted by Krishna.
        84 Vinateya- Garuda.-A bird fabled to be of wonderful aize, and the vehicle of Vishnu, the Deity in his preserving quality, and who is otherwise called Garudar.
-    #85 Makar.-A fish represented with a long snout something like the proboscis of an elephant; and the sign Capricornus.
Page 87               
     #86 Ganga.-The Ganges. When the river was first conducted from its source, by a Prince whose name was Bhagīrathi, towards the ocean, it so fell out that Jabnoo was at his devotions at the mouth of the Mahanadu, at a place now called Navobgunge.-The Goddess in
passing swept away the utensils for his ablutions, which so enraged him, that he drank up her stream; but after a while his anger was appeased, and he let her escape from an incision made in his thigh; and from this circumstance of her second birth, she was afterwards called Jahnavee, or the offspring of Jahnoo (sic).
-      87 Dwandva.-A term in grammar, used where many nouns are put
[   152   ]

together without a copulative, and the case subjoined to the last only, which is a mode of composition much admired by the Poets.
      88 Margasirasa.-The month beginning with the middle of October, when the periodical rains have subsided, and the excessive heats are abated.
      89 Kusumākara (flower-bearer).-The season of flowers, otherwise called Vasant. The two months between the middle of March and May.-The Hindus divide the year into   six  Ritu, or seasons, of two months each, which are thus denominated:
śiśira.-Dewy season.
hemanta.-Cold season  (Winter)
vasanta.-Mild Spring season .
grīṣma.- Hot season.
varṣā.-Rainy  season.
śarad.-Breaking (up of the rains). Autumn
 vasanta-,"spring"; grīṣma-,"the hot season"; varṣā-s (f. pluralNominal verb ),"the rainy season" śarad-,"autumn"; hemanta-,"winter";and śiśira-,"the cool season";the seasons are not unfrequently personified, addressed in mantra-s, and worshipped by libations)  
-    90 vasudevaḥ.-The father of Krishna in his incarnation. 
     91 Vyāsa.-The reputed author or compiler of the Mababharat.

     92 Bards.-The  Poets of India, like the Bards of Britain, were re­ vered as Saints and Prophets.
     93 Uśanā.-Otherwise called śukra, esteemed the preceptor of the evil
spirits; the planet Venus, and dies Veneris.
Page 89
     #94 Aśvin and Kumāra.-Reputed the twin offsprings of the Sun, and physcians of the Gods.
91 #95 Uragas.--Who crawl upon their b: ellies :-serpents.
       96 Chakra.-A kind of d!fcus with a fharp edge, hurled in battle from the point of the fore-finger, for which there is a hole in the centre. -See the story of the churning of the ocean, p. 146.
       97 Puruṣah.-Already explained.
93   98 Except thyself.-'Thyself should include his brothers, who were also saved.
-     99 the immediate agent.-The inftrument to execute the decree of Fate.
96  100 T'hy four-armed farm.-In which the Deity is usually represented in his incarnations, the images of which Arjun had been accustomed to behold without emotion.
100 101 Amṛta.-The water of immortality, the Ambrosia of the Hindu Gods.-See the story of churning the ocean, p. 146.
 Page. No. 102

[153 ]

102    102 And a constant attention to birth &c.-To look upon them as evils.
-         103  Exemption from attachments and affection, &c.-i. e. That no attachments or affections should draw a man from the exercise of his devotion; or that all worldly cares must be abandoned for the attainment of that wisdom which is to free the soul from future birth.
104 The superior spirit.-God, the universal soul.
103 105 Sat(ens) nor Asat(non ens).-The opposite meanings of these two words render this passage peculiarly mysterious; and even the commentators differ about their true signification. The most rational interpretation of them is, that the Deity in his works is a substance, or a material Being, and in his essence immaterial; but as he is but one, he cannot positively be denominated either one or the other.
104 106 are the cause which operated in the birth of the Puruṣa, & c.-That is, The influence of the three Guṇa -, or qualities, over the human mind, not only determines the future birth of the soul, but into what rank of beings it shall transmigrate; for to transmigrate it is doomed, until it hath attained a degree of wisdom more powerful than the influence of those qualities.
113    107  Prāṇa and Apāna.-The breathing spirit, and the spirit which acteth
in the bowels to expel the faeces.
-         108  which is of four kinds.-Either to be masticated with the teeth, lapped in with the tongue, sucked in by the lips, or imbibed by the throat.
-         109 The Vedanta.-A metaphysical treatise on the nature of God, which teacheth that matter .is a mere delusion, the supposed author of which is Vyasa.
          110 Kūṭastha , or he who standeth on the pinnacle.-The divine essence, which, according to the opinion of some of their philosophers, is without quality, and  fitteth aloof inactive.
-        111 There is another Puruṣa, &c. &c.- This, and the following period,are so full of mystery, that the Translator despairs of revealing it to the satisfaction of the reader. Perhaps Krishna only means to colkct into one view the several appellations Kūṭastha, Puruṣah, Paramātma, Īśvara, and Puruṣottama, by which the Deity is
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described by as many different theologies, in order to expose their various opinions respecting his nature, and unite them in one.

114     112 Śāstra.-Any book of Divine authority.
120     113 .Zeal, in  the vulgar  acceptation of the word signifies  the  voluntary infliction of pain, the modes  of doing  which,  as practiced to this day by the zealots of India, are as various as they are horrible and aston- ishing. Krishna, by pointing out what true zeal is, tacitly  condemns those extravagant mortifications of the flesh.
124    114 The bards conceive &c.-The meaning of this period is too evident to require a note. But, in order to shew that the commentators of India are not  less fond of searching for  mystery, and wandering from the simple  path of their author into a labyrinth of scholastic jargon, than some of those of more enlightened nations, who for ages have been labouring to entangle the plain unerring clew of our holy religion, the Translator, in this place, will intrude the following literal version of the comment written upon it by one Sreedhar Swami, whose notes upon the whole are held in as much esteem as the text, which at this day, they say, is unintelligible without them. It can seldom happen that a com­ mentator is inspired with the same train of thought and arrange­ ment of ideas as the author whose sentiments he presumes to ex­ pound, especially in metaphysical works. The Translator hath seen a comment, by a zealous Persian, upon the wanton odes of their favorite Poet Hafiz, wherein every obscene allusion is sublimated into a divine mystery, and the host and the tavern are
as ingenuity metamorphosed into their Prophet and his holy temple.
" The Bards, & c.- The Vedas say-"Let him who longeth for children  make offerings.  Let  him who songeth for heaven make offerings, &c. &c." The Bards understand Saṁnyāsa to be a forsaking, that is, a total abandonment, of such works as
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are performed for the accomplishment of a wish, such works as care bound with the cord of desire.  The Pandits know, that is, they understand, Saṁnyāsa to imply also a forsaking of all cc wo_ks together with all their fruits.  The disquisitors, that is, such as expound or make clear, call Tyāga forsaking of the fruit only of every work that is desirable, whether such as are ordained to be performed constantly, or only at stated periods; and not a forsaking of the work itself.  But how can there be a forsaking of the fruit of such constant and  stated works as have no particular fruit or reward annexed to them ? The forsaking of a barren woman's child cannot  be conceived.-It  is said-- Although one who longeth for heaven, or for a store of  cattle, &c. should all his life perform the ceremonies which are called Sandyā, or feed the fire upon the altar, and in these  and the like ceremonies, no particular reward has ever been heard of; yet whilst the law is unable to engage a provident and wary man in a work where no human advantage is to be seen, at, the same time it ordaineth that even he who hath conquered the universe, &c. shall perform sacrifices; still for these, and the like religious duties, it  hath appointed some general  re ward. But it is the opinion of Guru, that the law intended these works merely for its own accomplishment.   Such a tenet is unworthy of notice, because  of  the difficulty of obliging men  to pay attention to those works.-  It is also said, that there is a reward annexed  to - the  general  and  particular  duties;  that they who perform them shall become inhabitants of the Puniya-lok; that by works the Pitṛ-lok is to be attained; that by good works crimes are done away, &c. &c.  Wherefore it is  properly said,-that they call Tyaga a forsaking of the fruits of every action.

126    115 Fi v e agents, &c.-  The five agents here implied, are probably the soul, as supervisor; the mind, as actor or director; the organs, as implements,&c.                                                                      ,·

-        116   Nor is he bound thereby.- He is not confined to mortal birth.
         117 Jñāna, Jñeya, and Parijñātā.-Wisdom, the object of wisdom, and the superintending spirit.
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130    118 Brahman is a derivative from the word Brahm, the Deity, and signifies a Theologist or Divine.
          119 Kṣatriya  is der1ved from !he word Kṣetra, land.
          120 Vaiśya, and Śūdrā of doubtful origin.                                                                           

135 121 favor of Vyāsa who had endued Sanjaya, with an omniscient and prophetic spirit, by which he might be enabled to recount all the circumftances of the war to the blind Dhṛitarāshṭra.
-      122   Hari.-One of the names of the Deity. 
F       I        N        I       S.