Bhagavad Gita Quotes

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The Bhagavad Gita--that ancient Indian Yogic text--says that it is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else's life with perfection.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else's life with perfection.
Anonymous (The Bhagavad Gita)
A gift is pure when it is given from the heart to the right person at the right time and at the right place, and when we expect nothing in return
Anonymous (The Bhagavad Gita)
Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.
J. Robert Oppenheimer
No one who does good work will ever come to a bad end, either here or in the world to come
Anonymous (The Bhagavad Gita)
कालो ऽस्मि लोकक्षयकृत्प्रवृद्धो..... ( I am Time, the great destroyer of the world ~Bhagavad Gita 11.32)
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
The Bhagavad Gita—that ancient Indian Yogic text—says that it is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection. So now I have started living my own life. Imperfect and clumsy as it may look, it is resembling me now, thoroughly.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
Curving back within myself I create again and again.
Anonymous (The Bhagavad Gita)
The happiness which comes from long practice, which leads to the end of suffering, which at first is like poison, but at last like nectar - this kind of happiness arises from the serenity of one's own mind.
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
Anyone who is steady in his determination for the advanced stage of spiritual realization and can equally tolerate the onslaughts of distress and happiness is certainly a person eligible for liberation.
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda (The Bhagavad-gita (Bhagavadgita))
The peace of God is with them whose mind and soul are in harmony, who are free from desire and wrath, who know their own soul.
Anonymous (The Bhagavad Gita)
The power of God is with you at all times; through the activities of mind, senses, breathing, and emotions; and is constantly doing all the work using you as a mere instrument.
Anonymous (Bhagavad Gita: El Canto del Senor)
Hell has three hates: lust, anger and greed.
Anonymous (The Bhagavad Gita)
In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagvat Geeta, since whose composition years of the gods have elapsed, and in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seem puny and trivial; and I doubt if that philosophy is not to be referred to a previous state of existence, so remote is its sublimity from our conceptions. I lay down the book and go to my well for water, and lo! there I meet the servant of the Bramin, priest of Brahma and Vishnu and Indra, who still sits in his temple on the Ganges reading the Vedas, or dwells at the root of a tree with his crust and water jug. I meet his servant come to draw water for his master, and our buckets as it were grate together in the same well. The pure Walden water is mingled with the sacred water of the Ganges.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
Perform all thy actions with mind concentrated on the Divine, renouncing attachment and looking upon success and failure with an equal eye. Spirituality implies equanimity. [Trans. Purohit Swami]
Anonymous (The Bhagavad Gita)
If the radiance of a thousand suns Were to burst at once into the sky That would be like the splendour of the Mighty One... I am become Death, The shatterer of worlds. [Quoted from the Bhagavad Gita after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.]
J. Robert Oppenheimer
He who has let go of hatred who treats all beings with kindness and compassion, who is always serene, unmoved by pain or pleasure, free of the "I" and "mine," self-controlled, firm and patient, his whole mind focused on me --- that is the man I love best.
Anonymous (The Bhagavad Gita)
The immature think that knowledge and action are different, but the wise see them as the same.
Anonymous (Bhagavad Gita: El Canto del Senor)
He who experiences the unity of life sees his own Self in all beings, and all beings in his own Self, and looks on everything with an impartial eye.
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
I have become Death, the destroyer of worlds.
Anonymous (The Bhagavad Gita)
Set thy heart upon thy work, but never on its reward.
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
You are what you believe in. You become that which you believe you can become
Bhagavad Gita
You have the right to work, but never to the fruit of work. You should never engage in action for the sake of reward, nor should you long for inaction. Perform work in this world, Arjuna, as a man established within himself - without selfish attachments, and alike in success and defeat.
Anonymous (The Bhagavad Gita)
For the senses wander, and when one lets the mind follow them, it carries wisdom away like a windblown ship on the waters.
Anonymous (The Bhagavad Gita)
If you want to see the brave, look at those who can forgive. If you want to see the heroic, look at those who can love in return for hatred.
Krishna Dharma
The Bhagavad-Gita is the most systematic statement of spiritual evolution of endowing value to mankind. It is one of the most clear and comprehensive summaries of perennial philosophy ever revealed; hence its enduring value is subject not only to India but to all of humanity.
Aldous Huxley
We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried. Most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita; Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty, and to impress him, takes on his multi-armed form and says, 'Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.' I suppose we all thought that, one way or another.
J. Robert Oppenheimer
The wise grieve neither for the living nor for the dead. There was never a time when you and I and all the kings gathered here have not existed and nor will there be a time when we will cease to exist.
Anonymous (The Bhagavad Gita)
The man who sees me in everything and everything within me will not be lost to me, nor will I ever be lost to him. He who is rooted in oneness realizes that I am in every being; wherever he goes, he remains in me. When he sees all being as equal in suffering or in joy because they are like himself, that man has grown perfect in yoga.
Anonymous (The Bhagavad Gita)
We behold what we are, and we are what we behold.
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
He is the source of light in all luminous objects. He is beyond the darkness of matter and is unmanifested. He is knowledge, He is the object of knowledge, and He is the goal of knowledge. He is situated in everyone's heart.
Anonymous (The Bhagavad Gita)
The embodied soul is eternal in existence, indestructible, and infinite, only the material body is factually perishable, therefore fight O Arjuna.
Anonymous (The Bhagavad Gita)
The nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons.They arise from sense perception,and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed.
Anonymous (The Bhagavad Gita)
Perform all work carefully, guided by compassion.
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
In order to approach a creation as sublime as the Bhagavad-Gita with full understanding it is necessary to attune our soul to it.
Rudolf Steiner
Everyone makes their own path, and I must make mine. The Bhagavad Gita - and ancient Indian Yogic text - says that it is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else's life perfectly. So now I have started living my own life. Imperfect and clumsy as it may look, it is resembling me now, thoroughly. It is mine.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
I enter into each planet, and by My energy they stay in orbit. I become the moon and thereby supply the juice of life to all vegetables.
Gopi Krishna (Bhagavad Gita)
The freer I get, the higher I go. The higher I go, the more I see. The more I see, the less I know. The less I know, the more I’m free.
Ram Dass (Paths to God: Living the Bhagavad Gita)
Feelings of heat and cold, pleasure and pain, are caused by the contact of the senses with their objects. They come and they go, never lasting long. You must accept them.
Anonymous (Bhagavad Gita: The Song of God)
The Lord said: "Time [death] I am, the destroyer of the worlds, who has come to annihilate everyone. Even without your taking part all those arrayed in the [two] opposing ranks will be slain!
Anonymous (The Bhagavad Gita)
O Krishna, the mind is restless
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
we never really encounter the world; all we experience is our own nervous system.
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
I am the Atma abiding in the heart of all beings. I am also the beginning, the middle, and the end of all beings.
Anonymous (The Bhagavad Gita)
Performing the duty prescribed by (one's own) nature, one incurreth no sin.
Anonymous (The Bhagavad Gita)
Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is
Bhagavad Gita
Krishna taught in the Bhadavad Gita: ‘karmanyeva-adhikaraste ma phalesu kadachana’, which means, ‘Be active, never be inactive, and don’t react to the outcome of the work.
Anonymous (Buddhist Scriptures)
You have the right to work, but for the work's sake only. You have no right to the fruits of work. Desire for the fruits of work must never be your motive in working. Never give way to laziness, either. Perform every action with you heart fixed on the Supreme Lord. Renounce attachment to the fruits. Be even-tempered in success and failure: for it is this evenness of temper which is meant by yoga. Work done with anxiety about results is far inferior to work done without such anxiety, in the calm of self-surrender. Seek refuge in the knowledge of Brahma. They who work selfishly for results are miserable.
Bhagavad Gita
Meet this transient world with neither grasping nor fear, trust the unfolding of life, and you will attain true serenity.
Krishna Dharma
You are only entitled to the action, never to its fruits.
Bhagavad Gita
Selfish action imprisons the world. Act selflessly, without any thought of personal profit.
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
The world is won by those who let it go.
Ram Dass (Paths to God: Living the Bhagavad Gita)
If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One... I am become Death, the Shatterer of Worlds.
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa
We are not cabin-dwellers, born to a life cramped and confined; we are meant to explore, to seek, to push the limits of our potential as human beings. The world of the senses is just a base camp: we are meant to be as much at home in consciousness as in the world of physical reality.
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
When a person responds to the joys and sorrows of others as if they were his own, he has attained the highest state of spiritual union.
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
Reshape yourself through the power of your will; never let yourself be degraded by self-will.
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
Death is as sure for that which is born, as birth is for that which is dead. Therefore grieve not for what is inevitable.
Bhagavad Gita
Do good because it is good to do good. Ask no more.
Vivekananda (Lectures on Bhagavad Gita)
Work for work’s sake, not for yourself. Act but do not be attached to your actions. Be in the world, but not of it,
Bhagavad Gita (The Bhagavad Gita)
Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.
Bhagavad Gita
The spirit is beyond destruction. No one can bring an end to spirit which is everlasting. ---Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita (Bhagavad Gita)
The true goal of action is knowledge of the Self.
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
The wise unify their consciousness and abandon attachment to the fruits of action,
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita (Classics of Indian Spirituality))
Our mistake is in taking this for ultimate reality, like the dreamer thinking that nothing is real except his dream.
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
Asceticism is giving up selfish activities, as poets know, and the wise declare renunciation is giving up fruits of action. — Krishna.
Anonymous (The Bhagavad Gita)
Lust, anger, and greed are the three doors to hell
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
Arise, slay thy enemies, enjoy a prosperous kingdom,
Bhagavad Gita
Religion without philosophy is sentiment, or sometimes fanaticism, while philosophy without religion is mental speculation.
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda (Bhagavad-Gita As It Is)
One who sees inaction in action, and action in inaction, is intelligent among men.
Bhagavad Gita
You have control over doing your respective duty, but no control or claim over the result. Fear of failure, from being emotionally attached to the fruit of work, is the greatest impediment to success because it robs efficiency by constantly disturbing the equanimity of mind.
Ramananda Prasad (The Bhagavad Gita)
All that we are is the result of what we have thought. We are made of our thoughts; we are molded by our thoughts.
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
I am Sama Veda among the Vedas; I am Indra among the Devas; I am the mind among the senses; I am the consciousness in living beings.
Anonymous (The Bhagavad Gita)
One whose happiness is within, who is active within, who rejoices within and is illumined within, is actually the perfect mystic. He is liberated in the Supreme, and ultimately he attains the Supreme.
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda (Bhagavad-gita As It Is)
There was never a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor any of these kings. Nor is there any future in which we shall cease to be.
Anonymous (Bhagavad Gita: The Song of God)
I am time, the destroyer of all; I have come to consume the world.
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
Freedom from activity is never achieved by abstaining from action. Nobody can become perfect by merely ceasing to act. In fact, nobody can ever rest from his activity even for a moment. All are helplessly forced to act. . . . A man who renounces certain physical actions but still lets his mind dwell on the objects of his sensual desire, is deceiving himself. He can only be called a hypocrite. The truly admirable man controls his senses by the power of his will. All his actions will be disinterested. Activity is better than inertia. Act, but with self-control. If you are lazy, you cannot even sustain your own body.
Anonymous (Bhagavad Gita: El Canto del Senor)
Whatever action is performed by a great man, common men follow in his footsteps, and whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues.
Bhagavad Gita (The Bhagavad Gita)
Seek refuge in the attitude of detachment and you will amass the wealth of spiritual awareness. The one who is motivated only by the desire for the fruits of their action, and anxious about the results, is miserable indeed.
Bhagavad Gita
Those established in Self-realization control their senses instead of letting their senses control them.
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
Pleasures conceived in the world of the senses have a beginning and an end and give birth to misery, Arjuna.
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
They say that life is an accident, driven by sexual desire, that the universe has no moral order, no truth, no God. Driven by insatiable lusts, drunk on the arrogance of power, hypocritical, deluded, their actions foul with self-seeking, tormented by a vast anxiety that continues until their death, convinced that the gratification of desire is life's sole aim, bound by a hundred shackles of hope, enslaved by their greed, they squander their time dishonestly piling up mountains of wealth. "Today I got this desire, and tomorrow I will get that one; all these riches are mine, and soon I will have even more. Already I have killed these enemies, and soon I will kill the rest. I am the lord, the enjoyer, successful, happy, and strong, noble, and rich, and famous. Who on earth is my equal?
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
In the Bhagavad Gita they say, "The mind under control is your best friend, the mind wandering about is your worst enemy." Make it your best friend, to the point where you can rely on it. Your mind makes you strong from within. It is your wise companion. The sacrifices you make will be rewarded. Life doesn't change, but your perception does. It's all about what you focus on. Withdraw from the world's influence and no longer be controlled by your emotions. If you can grab the wheel of your mind, you can steer the direction of where your life will go.
Wim Hof (Becoming the Iceman)
The cause of the distress of a living entity is forgetfulness of his relationship with God.
Anonymous (Bhagavad-gita As It Is)
Out of many thousands among men, one may endeavor for perfection, and of those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth.
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda (Bhagavad-Gita As It Is)
You have a right to perform your prescribed duties, but you are not entitled to the fruits of your actions.
Bhagavad Gita (Bhagavad Gita)
Because materialists cannot understand Krsna spiritually, they are advised to concentrate the mind on physical things and try to see how Krsna is manifested by physical representations.
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda (Bhagavad-Gita As It Is)
When meditation is mastered, The mind is unwavering like the Flame of a lamp in a windless place. In the still mind, In the depths of meditation, The Self reveals itself. Beholding the Self By means of the Self, An aspirant knows the Joy and peace of complete fulfillment. Having attained that Abiding joy beyond the senses, Revealed in the stilled mind, He never swerves from the eternal truth.
Bhagavad Gita
Pleasure from the senses seems like nectar at first, but it is bitter as poison in the end.
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Mahabharata)
Be aware of me always, adore me, make every act an offering to me, and you shall come to me; this I promise; for you are dear to me.
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
For man, mind is the cause of bondage and mind is the cause of liberation. Mind absorbed in sense objects is the cause of bondage, and mind detached from the sense objects is the cause of liberation.
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda (Bhagavad-Gita As It Is)
It was Vyasa’s genius to take the whole great Mahabharata epic and see it as metaphor for the perennial war between the forces of light and the forces of darkness in every human heart.
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
Left to itself, the mind goes on repeating the same old habitual patterns of personality. By training the mind, however, anyone can learn to step in and change old ways of thinking; that is the central principle of yoga:
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
the Gita is not a book of commandments but a book of choices.
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
The immature think that knowledge and action are different, but the wise see them as the same.
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
Through selfless service, you will always be fruitful and find the fulfillment of your desires
Bhagavad Gita
To do the work of others is slavery. To do the work of God is true liberation.
Anonymous
The mind is in its own nature when it is calm. The moment you can calm it, that [very] moment you will know the truth.
Vivekananda (Lectures on Bhagavad Gita)
Krishna says: "Arjuna, I am the taste of pure water and the radiance of the sun and moon. I am the sacred word and the sound heard in air, and the courage of human beings. I am the sweet fragrance in the earth and the radiance of fire; I am the life in every creature and the striving of the spiritual aspirant
Bhagavad Gita
A yogī is greater than the ascetic, greater than the empiricist and greater than the fruitive worker. Therefore, O Arjuna, in all circumstances, be a yogī.
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda (Bhagavad-gita As It Is)
Where the whole world is awake, the sage sleeps.
Vivekananda (Lectures on Bhagavad Gita)
For even if the greatest sinner worships me with all his soul, he must be considered righteous, because of his righteous will. And he shall soon become pure and reach everlasting peace. For this is my word of promise, that he who loves me shall not perish. -Krishna; Chapter 9, verses 30–31.
Anonymous (The Bhagavad Gita)
So do not be concerned with the fruit of your action — just give attention to the action itself. The fruit will come of its own accord. This is a powerful spiritual practice. In the Bhagavad Gita, one of the oldest and most beautiful spiritual teachings in existence, nonattachment to the fruit of your action is called Karma Yoga. It is described as the path of “consecrated action.
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
It is I who remain seated in the heart of all creatures as the inner controller of all; and it is I who am the source of memory, knowledge and the ratiocinativefaculty. Again, I am the only object worth knowing through the Vedas; I alone am the origin of Vedānta and the knower of the Vedas too. — Krishna; Chapter 15, verse 15
Anonymous (The Bhagavad Gita)
As long as we lean on anything outside ourselves for support, we are going to be insecure. Most of us try to find support by leaning on all sorts of things - gold, books, learning, sensory stimulation - and if these things are taken away, we fall over. To the extent that we are dependent on these external supports, we grow weaker and more liable to upsets and misfortune.
Eknath Easwaran (The End of Sorrow (The Bhagavad Gita for Daily Living, #1))
death is no more traumatic than taking off an old coat
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
I might be ready to embrace a snake, but, if one comes to bite you, I should kill it and protect you.
Mahatma Gandhi (Bhagavad Gita According to Gandhi(tr))
Knowledge all by itself, without deep wisdom, ends up becoming despair.
Ram Dass (Paths to God: Living the Bhagavad Gita)
The very heart of the Gita’s message is to see the Lord in every creature and act accordingly,
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
From anger, complete delusion arises, and from delusion bewilderment of memory. When memory is bewildered, intelligence is lost, and when intelligence is lost one falls down again into the material pool.
Anonymous (Bhagavad-gita As It Is)
My dear Arjuna, only by undivided devotional service can I be understood as I am, standing before you, and can thus be seen directly. Only in this way can you enter into the mysteries of My understanding.
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda (Bhagavad-Gita As It Is)
Although some popular religious texts such as the New Testament, Quran, Bhagavad Gita, Tao Te Ching, or Tibetan Book of the Dead contain interesting insights and stories, it is the Jewish religious texts such as the Old Testament (Hebrew Scriptures) that contain valuable information on acquiring wealth.
H.W. Charles (The Money Code: Become a Millionaire With the Ancient Jewish Code)
When a man dwells on the pleasure of sense, attraction for them arises in him. From attraction arises desire, the lust of possession, and this leads to passion, to anger. From passion comes confusion of mind, then loss of remembrance, the forgetting of duty. From this loss comes the ruin of reason, and the ruin of reason leads man to destruction.
Bhagavad Gita
You have the right to work, but never to the fruit of work. You should never engage in action for the sake of reward, nor should you long for inaction. 48 Perform work in this world, Arjuna, as a man established within himself – without selfish attachments, and alike in success and defeat. For yoga is perfect evenness of mind.
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
Just as the dweller in this body passes through childhood, youth and old age, so at death he merely passes into another kind of body. The wise are not deceived by that.
Anonymous (Bhagavad Gita: The Song of God)
Stand alone! See the glory of your own soul, and see that you will have to work.
Vivekananda (Lectures on Bhagavad Gita)
But where the ignorant are asleep, there the sage keeps awake
Vivekananda (Lectures on Bhagavad Gita)
As all the rivers of the world constantly pour their waters into the ocean, but the ocean’s grand, majestic nature remains undisturbed and unchanged,
Vivekananda (Lectures on Bhagavad Gita)
God does not showers blessings, he showers opportunities.
Amit Kalantri
God accepts only the love with which things are offered to Him.
Anonymous (Bhagavad-gita As It Is)
...where there is One, that One is me; where there are many, all are me; they see my face everywhere. The Bhagavad Gita
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa
Then, O King! the God, so saying, Stood, to Pritha's Son displaying All the splendour, wonder, dread Of His vast Almighty-head. Out of countless eyes beholding, Out of countless mouths commanding, Countless mystic forms enfolding In one Form: supremely standing Countless radiant glories wearing, Countless heavenly weapons bearing, Crowned with garlands of star-clusters, Robed in garb of woven lustres, Breathing from His perfect Presence Breaths of every subtle essence Of all heavenly odours; shedding Blinding brilliance; overspreading- Boundless, beautiful- all spaces With His all-regarding faces; So He showed! If there should rise Suddenly within the skies Sunburst of a thousand suns Flooding earth with beams undeemed-of, Then might be that Holy One's Majesty and radiance dreamed of!
Edwin Arnold (The Bhagavad Gita)
SHOW GOOD WILL TO ALL Be fearless and pure; never waiver in your determination or your dedication to the spiritual life. Give freely. Be self-controlled, sincere, truthful, loving, and full of the desire to serve. Realize the truth of the scriptures; learn to be detached and to take joy in renunciation. Do not get angry or harm any living creature, but be compassionate and gentle; show good will to all. Cultivate vigor, patience, will purity; avoid malice and pride Then, Arjuna, you will achieve your divine destiny.
Bhagavad Gita
Work done with anxiety about results is far inferior to work done without such anxiety, in the calm of self-surrender. [...] They who work selfishly for results are miserable. — "Bhagavad Gita.
J.D. Salinger (Franny and Zooey)
Thus the Gita places human destiny entirely in human hands. Its world is not deterministic, but neither is it an expression of blind chance: we shape ourselves and our world by what we believe and think and act on, whether for good or for ill.
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
Some perceive God in the heart by the intellect through meditation; others by the yoga of knowledge; and others by the yoga of work. Some, however, do not understand Brahman, but having heard from others, take to worship. They also transcend death by their firm faith to what they have heard.
Anonymous (The Bhagavad Gita)
it is not the institution, ultimately it is you and you alone who can change your life by hard work.’ Probably he was not aware that he was following the philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita: ‘Your best friend is yourself and your worst enemy is yourself.
Sudha Murty (How I Taught My Grandmother to Read and other Stories)
The great scriptures of yoga ― The Bhagavad Gita, The Yoga Sutras, and The Upanishads ― clearly describe how the subtle causes of external war emanate from the internal world. The real causes of war lie rooted in the individual's unwillingness to listen to the voice of the heart, the inner conscience.
Rajmani Tigunait (Yoga on War and Peace)
Ma’s pet peeve was how the Western world misunderstood the theory of karma. “I mean it’s the Bhagavad Gita they’re bastardizing. What is all this ‘karma’s a bitch’ nonsense!” Ma loved to say. The entire “what goes around comes around” thing was a backward view of karma. Karma was simply Sanskrit for action, and the theory was that your actions are the only thing under your control, as opposed to the fruits of your actions, which are not. And since actions always bear fruit, you were better off focusing your energy on your own actions, rather than worrying about the results you wanted them to produce.
Sonali Dev (Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors (The Rajes, #1))
All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts; it is made of our thoughts.
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
The spirit is beyond destruction. No one can bring an end to spirit which is everlasting.
Bhagavad Gita (Bhagavad Gita)
There was never a time when we did not exist.
Vivekananda (Lectures on Bhagavad Gita)
There will never be a time when we shall not exist.
Vivekananda (Lectures on Bhagavad Gita)
The Gita is a commentary on the Upanishads. The Upanishads are the Bible of India.
Vivekananda (Lectures on Bhagavad Gita)
Devotional service is more or less a declaration of war against the illusory energy.
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda (Bhagavad-Gita As It Is)
Let a man lift himself by his own Self alone, let him not lower himself; for the Self alone is the friend of oneself and this Self alone is the enemy of oneself (5).
Sivananda Saraswati (Bhagavad Gita for Busy People)
Nothing should be accepted blindly; everything should be accepted with care and with caution.
Anonymous (Bhagavad-gita As It Is)
While contemplating the objects of the senses, a person develops attachment for them, and from such attachment lust develops, and from lust anger arises.
Anonymous (Bhagavad-gita As It Is)
In the dark night of all beings awakes to Light the tranquil man. But what is day to other beings is night for the sage who sees.
Bhagavad Gita
[How do I do it?] Well, it's always a mystery, because you don't know why you get depleted or recharged. But this much I know. I do not allow myself to be overcome by hopelessness, no matter how tough the situation. I believe that if you just do your little bit without thinking of the bigness of what you stand against, if you turn to the enlargement of your own capacities, just that itself creates new potential. And I've learned from the Bhagavad-Gita and other teachings of our culture to detach myself from the results of what I do, because those are not in my hands. The context is not in your control, but your commitment is yours to make, and you can make the deepest commitment with a total detachment about where it will take you. You want it to lead to a better world, and you shape your actions and take full responsibility for them, but then you have detachment. And that combination of deep passion and deep detachment allows me to take on the next challenge, because I don't cripple myself, I don't tie myself in knots. I function like a free being. I think getting that freedom is a social duty because I think we owe it to each not to burden each other with prescription and demands. I think what we owe each other is a celebration of life and to replace fear and hopelessness with fearlessness and joy.
Vandana Shiva
Seek refuge in the attitude of detachment and you will amass the wealth of spiritual awareness. Those who are motivated only by desire for the fruits of action are miserable, for they are constantly anxious about the results of what they do. 50 When consciousness is unified, however, all vain anxiety is left behind. There is no cause for worry, whether things go well or ill.
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
An intelligent person does not take part in the sources of misery which are due to contact with the material senses. O son of Kunti, such pleasures have a beginning and an end, and so the wise man does not delight in them.
Anonymous
We must act in a selfless spirit, Krishna says, without ego-involvement and without getting entangled in whether things work out the way we want; only then will we not fall into the terrible net of karma. We cannot hope to escape karma by refraining from our duties: even to survive in the world, we must act.
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
Does rough weather choose men over women? Does the sun beat on men, leaving women nice and cool?' Nyawira asked rather sharply. 'Women bear the brunt of poverty. What choices does a woman have in life, especially in times of misery? She can marry or live with a man. She can bear children and bring them up, and be abused by her man. Have you read Buchi Emecheta of Nigeria, Joys of Motherhood? Tsitsi Dangarembga of Zimbabwe, say, Nervous Conditions? Miriama Ba of Senegal, So Long A Letter? Three women from different parts of Africa, giving words to similar thoughts about the condition of women in Africa.' 'I am not much of a reader of fiction,' Kamiti said. 'Especially novels by African women. In India such books are hard to find.' 'Surely even in India there are women writers? Indian women writers?' Nyawira pressed. 'Arundhati Roy, for instance, The God of Small Things? Meena Alexander, Fault Lines? Susie Tharu. Read Women Writing in India. Or her other book, We Were Making History, about women in the struggle!' 'I have sampled the epics of Indian literature,' Kamiti said, trying to redeem himself. 'Mahabharata, Ramayana, and mostly Bhagavad Gita. There are a few others, what they call Purana, Rig-Veda, Upanishads … Not that I read everything, but …' 'I am sure that those epics and Puranas, even the Gita, were all written by men,' Nyawira said. 'The same men who invented the caste system. When will you learn to listen to the voices of women?
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o (Wizard of the Crow)
That Bhagavad Gita instruction to be unattached to the fruits of your actions is the key. If you are a parent raising a child, don’t get attached to the act of raising the child. That doesn’t mean you’re not a loving, active parent. Your job is to love and nurture, feed and clothe, take care and guard the safety of the child, and guide him or her with your moral compass. But how the child turns out is how the child turns out. Ultimately he or she is not your child; who they turn out to be is up to God and their own karma. Your
Ram Dass (Polishing the Mirror: How to Live from Your Spiritual Heart)
His judgment will be better and his vision clear if he is not emotionally entangled in the outcome of what he does.
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
They live in wisdom who see themselves in all and all in them, who have renounced every selfish desire and sense craving tormenting the heart. 56
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
Who can work without any attachment? That is the real question.
Vivekananda (Lectures on Bhagavad Gita)
Awake! Stand up and fight! Die if you must.
Vivekananda (Lectures on Bhagavad Gita)
We are like the caterpillar which takes the thread out of his own body and of that makes the cocoon, and behold, he is caught.
Vivekananda (Lectures on Bhagavad Gita)
Reshape yourself through the power of your will; never let yourself be degraded by self-will. The will is the only friend of the Self, and the will is the only enemy of the Self. (6:5)
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
Such deluded persons, symptomatically, dwell in dualities of dishonor and honor, misery and happiness, woman and man, good and bad, pleasure and pain, etc., thinking, "This is my wife; this is my house; I am the master of this house; I am the husband of this wife." These are the dualities of delusion. Those who are so deluded by dualities are completely foolish and therefore cannot understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda (Bhagavad-Gita As It Is)
Reshape yourself through the power of your will; never let yourself be degraded by self-will. The will is the only friend of the Self, and the will is the only enemy of the Self. (6:5) The
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
I am in every religion as the thread through a string of pearls. Wherever thou seest extraordinary holiness and extraordinary power raising and purifying humanity, know thou that I am there.
Anonymous
Arjuna, immerse your mind in me and I will uplift you from the ocean of recurring death. If you cannot do that, then practise yoga and work on your mind. If you cannot do that, then do your work as if it is my work. If you cannot do that, then make yourself my instrument and do as I say. If you cannot do that, then simply do your job and leave the results to me.—Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 12, verses 6 to 11 (paraphrased).
Devdutt Pattanaik (My Gita)
If I could offer only one key to understanding this divine dialogue, it would be to remember that it takes place in the depths of consciousness and that Krishna is not some external being, human or superhuman, but the spark of divinity that lies at the core of the human personality. This is not literary or philosophical conjecture; Krishna says as much to Arjuna over and over: “I am the Self in the heart of every creature, Arjuna, and the beginning, middle, and end of their existence” (10:20).
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
Actions do not cling to me because I am not attached to their results. Those who understand this and practice it live in freedom.
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
Knowledge is better than practice; meditation is better than knowledge; and best of all is surrender, which soon brings peace.
Stephen Mitchell (The Bhagavad Gita)
He is trying to justify himself, but he cannot fool Krishna.
Vivekananda (Lectures on Bhagavad Gita)
take Buddha. The central idea [is] sacrifice.
Vivekananda (Lectures on Bhagavad Gita)
He works for work’s sake. “Work for work’s sake. Worship for worship’s sake.
Vivekananda (Lectures on Bhagavad Gita)
One cannot reach the real point of factual knowledge without being helped by the right person who is already established in that knowledge. There
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda (Bhagavad-gita As It Is)
But for one who takes pleasure in the Self, whose human life is one of self-realization, and who is satisfied in the Self only, fully satiated – for him there is no duty.
Anonymous (Bhagavad-gita As It Is)
Man is not at peace with himself till he has become like unto God. The endeavour to reach this state is the supreme, the only ambition worth having. And this is self-realization.
Mahatma Gandhi (The Bhagavad Gita According to Gandhi)
The Gita has sung the praises of Knowledge, but it is beyond the mere intellect; it is essentially addressed to the heart and capable of being understood by the heart.
Mahatma Gandhi (The Bhagavad Gita According to Gandhi)
Tat tvam asi: “Thou art That.” Atman is Brahman: the Self in each person is not different from the Godhead.
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
In an effort to teach myself self-restraint and self-control, I decided that until I completed my engineering degree, I would wear only white saris, refrain from sweets, sleep on a mat and take baths with cold water. I aimed to become self-sufficient; I would be my best friend and my worst enemy. I didn’t know then that such a quote already existed in the Bhagavad Gita where Krishna says, ‘Atma aiva hi atmano bandhu aatma aiva ripu atmanah’.
Sudha Murty (Three Thousand Stitches: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives)
Your authority extends only to the performance of action; obtaining or not obtaining the fruit is never within your control; therefore, do not be one who performs action with a motive that a specific fruit should be obtained; nor insist on not-performing action.
William Milcetich (Bhagavad Gita)
whoever remembers him at the time of death will enter madbhavam, “my being.” If Arjuna can remember Krishna in the hour of death, he will be united with Krishna and enter into immortality.
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
The doctrine that God can be incarnated in human form is found in most of the principal historic expositions of the Perennial Philosophy—in Hinduism, in Mahayana Buddhism, in Christianity and in the Mohammedanism of the Sufis, by whom the Prophet was equated with the eternal Logos. When goodness grows weak, When evil increases, I make myself a body. In every age I come back To deliver the holy, To destroy the sin of the sinner, To establish righteousness. He who knows the nature Of my task and my holy birth Is not reborn When he leaves this body; He comes to Me. Flying from fear, From lust and anger, He hides in Me, His refuge and safety. Burnt clean in the blaze of my being, In Me many find home. Bhagavad Gita
Aldous Huxley (The Perennial Philosophy)
Those who are motivated only by desire for the fruits of action are miserable, for they are constantly anxious about the results of what they do. 50 When consciousness is unified, however, all vain anxiety is left behind. There is no cause for worry, whether things go well or ill.
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
Thus knowing oneself to be transcendental to material senses, mind and intelligence, one should control the lower self by the higher self and thus-by spiritual strength-conquer this insatiable enemy known as lust.
Krishna Dharma
It is better not to love, if loving only means hating others. That is no love. That is hell! If loving your own people means hating everybody else, it is the quintessence of selfishness and brutality, and the effect is that it will make you brutes. Therefore, better die working out your own natural religion than following another’s natural religion, however great it may appear to you
Vivekananda (Lectures on Bhagavad Gita)
Man is a slave of nature, and slave eternally he has got to remain. We call it Karma. Karma means law, and it applies everywhere. Everything is bound by Karma.
Vivekananda (Lectures on Bhagavad Gita)
18 The wise see that there is action in the midst of inaction and inaction in the midst of action. Their consciousness is unified, and every act is done with complete awareness.
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
Shutting out all external objects, fixing the vision between the eyebrows, making even the inward and outward breaths, the sage who has controlled the senses, mind and understanding, who is intent upon liberation, who has cast away desire, fear and anger, he is ever freed.
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa
If you [can realise Brahman] by standing on your head, or on one foot, or by worshipping five thousand gods with three heads each — welcome to it! ... Do it any way you can! Nobody has any right to say anything. Therefore, Krishna says, if your method is better and higher, you have no business to say that another man’s method is bad, however wicked you may think it.
Vivekananda (Lectures on Bhagavad Gita)
When meditation becomes very deep, breathing becomes slow, steady, and even, and the windows of the senses close to all outward sensations. Next the faculties of the mind quiet down, resting from their usually frantic activity; even the primal emotions of desire, fear, and anger subside. When all these sensory and emotional tides have ceased to flow, then the spirit is free, mukta – at least for the time being. It has entered the state called samadhi. Samadhi
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
Seek refuge in the attitude of detachment and you will amass the wealth of spiritual awareness. Those who are motivated only by desire for the fruits of action are miserable, for they are constantly anxious about the results of what they do.
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
Although one who is situated in Kṛṣṇa consciousness may not have any interest in the world, he still works to teach the public how to live and how to act. Experienced persons in Kṛṣṇa consciousness can act in such a way that others will follow,
Anonymous (Bhagavad-gita As It Is)
The great men think, and you and I [also] think. But there is a difference. We think and our bodies do not follow. Our actions do not harmonise with our thoughts. Our words have not the power of the words that become Vedas. ... Whatever they think must be accomplished. If they say, “I do this,” the body does it. Perfect obedience. This is the end. You can think yourself God in one minute, but you cannot be [God].
Vivekananda (Lectures on Bhagavad Gita)
The awakened sages call a person wise when all his undertakings are free from anxiety about results; all his selfish desires have been consumed in the fire of knowledge. 20 The wise, ever satisfied, have abandoned all external supports. Their security is unaffected by the results of their action; even while acting, they really do nothing at all. 21 Free from expectations and from all sense of possession, with mind and body firmly controlled by the Self, they do not incur sin by the performance of physical action. 22 They live in freedom who have gone beyond the dualities of life. Competing with no one, they are alike in success and failure and content with whatever comes to them. 23 They are free, without selfish attachments; their minds are fixed in knowledge. They perform all work in the spirit of service, and their karma is dissolved.
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
16 I am the ritual and the sacrifice; I am true medicine and the mantram. I am the offering and the fire which consumes it, and the one to whom it is offered. 17 I am the father and mother of this universe, and its grandfather too; I am its entire support. I am the sum of all knowledge, the purifier, the syllable Om; I am the sacred scriptures, the Rig, Yajur, and Sama Vedas. 18 I am the goal of life, the Lord and support of all, the inner witness, the abode of all. I am the only refuge, the one true friend; I am the beginning, the staying, and the end of creation; I am the womb and the eternal seed. 19 I am heat; I give and withhold the rain. I am immortality and I am death; I am what is and what is not.
Bhagavad Gita (The Bhagavad Gita)
The Bhagavad-gītā teaches one how to absorb the mind and intelligence in the thought of the Lord. Such absorption will enable one to transfer himself to the kingdom of the Lord. If the mind is engaged in Kṛṣṇa’s service, then the senses are automatically engaged in His service.
Anonymous (Bhagavad-gita As It Is)
When your intelligence is shaken by the conflicting opinions of others don’t get upset over it, because you know the truth. Just accept their opinions as mere words. You simply feel, “Yes, that’s what they feel. Let them feel that way.” It may appear to be conflicting, but you give the freedom to others to think the way they want and say what they want. The enlightened person is not affected by that.
Satchidananda (The Living Gita: The Complete Bhagavad Gita: a Commentary for Modern Readers)
One who is free from selfish attachments, who has mastered himself and his passions, attains the supreme perfection of freedom from action. Listen and I shall explain now, Arjuna, how one who has attained perfection also attains Brahman, the supreme consummation of wisdom. (18:49–50) These
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
The law of karma says that no matter what context I find myself in, it is neither my parents, nor my science teacher, nor the mailman, but I alone who have brought myself into this state because of my past actions. Instead of trapping me in a fatalistic snare, this gives me freedom. Because I alone have brought myself into my present condition, I myself, by working hard and striving earnestly, can reach the supreme state which is nirvana.
Eknath Easwaran (The End of Sorrow (The Bhagavad Gita for Daily Living, #1))
You don’t need validation or approval from anyone but yourself. Even if the entire world goes against, disagrees with or attempts to crush you, stand up for what you believe in, and stand up alone if you have to! It’s better to die while living your own truth than to live in the truth of another. Lord Krishna in the holy Bhagavad Gita pointed this out when he said; “It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.” Integrity is the key to freedom. It’s only your own truth that can ‘set you free.’ It’s perfectly fine if your truth doesn’t match that of others because the experience of physical reality is a completely subjective one. It doesn’t make either of you wrong, as long as you’re both being true to yourselves, that’s all that matters.
Craig Krishna (The Labyrinth: Rewiring the Nodes in the Maze of your Mind)
The image of God is found essentially and personally in all mankind. Each possesses it whole, entire and undivided, and all together not more than one alone. In this way we are all one, intimately united in our eternal image, which is the image of God and the source in us of all our life.
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
For sense gratification, a man in the mode of passion wants some honor in society, or in the nation, and he wants to have a happy family, with nice children, wife and house. These are the products of the mode of passion. As long as one is hankering after these things, he has to work very hard. Therefore it is clearly stated here that he becomes associated with the fruits of his activities and thus becomes bound by such activities. In order to please his wife, children and society and to keep up his prestige, one has to work. Therefore the whole material world is more or less in the mode of passion.
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda (Bhagavad-Gita As It Is)
He who is ever brooding over result often loses nerve in the performance of his duty. He becomes impatient and then gives vent to anger and begins to do unworthy things; he jumps from action to action never remaining faithful to any. He who broods over results is like a man given to objects of senses; he is ever distracted, he says goodbye to all scruples, everything is right in his estimation and he therefore resorts to means fair and foul to attain
Mahatma Gandhi (Bhagavad Gita According to Gandhi)
When you keep thinking about sense objects, attachment comes. Attachment breeds desire, the lust of possession that burns to anger. Anger clouds the judgment; you can no longer learn from past mistakes. Lost is the power to choose between what is wise and what is unwise, and your life is utter waste. (2:62 –63 ) Yet
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (The Bhagavad Gita)
Every selfless act, Arjuna, is born from Brahman, the eternal, infinite Godhead. He is present in every act of service. All life turns on this law, O Arjuna. Whoever violates it, indulging his senses for his own pleasure and ignoring the needs of others, has wasted his life. But those who realize he Self are always satisfied. Having found the source of joy and fulfillment, they no longer seek happiness from the external world. They have nothing to gain or lose by any action; neither people nor things can affect their security. Strive constantly to serve the welfare of the world; by devotion to selfless work one attains the supreme goal of life. Do your work with the welfare of others always in mind.
Bhagavad Gita
Even if we believe in non-violence, it would not be proper for us to refuse, through cowardice, to protect the weak. I might be ready to embrace a snake, but, if it comes to bite you, I would kill it to protect you. If Arjuna had forgotten the difference between kinsmen and others and had been so filled with the spirit of non-violence so as to bring about a change of heart in Duryodhana, he would have been another Shri Krishna. However, he believed Duryodhana to be wicked.
Mahatma Gandhi (Bhagavad Gita According to Gandhi)
This is the unmistakable teaching of the Gita. He who gives up action falls. He who gives up only the reward rises. But renunciation of fruit in no way means indifference to the result. In regard to every action one must know the result that is expected to follow, the means thereto, and the capacity for it. He, who, being thus equipped, is without desire for the result and is yet wholly engrossed in the due fulfillment of the task before him is said to have renounced the fruits of his action.
Mahatma Gandhi (The Bhagavad Gita According to Gandhi)
After a long and happy life, I find myself at the pearly gates (a sight of great joy; the word for “pearl” in Greek is, by the way, margarita). Standing there is St. Peter. This truly is heaven, for finally my academic questions will receive answers. I immediately begin the questions that have been plaguing me for half a century: “Can you speak Greek? Where did you go when you wandered off in the middle of Acts? How was the incident between you and Paul in Antioch resolved? What happened to your wife?” Peter looks at me with some bemusement and states, “Look, lady, I’ve got a whole line of saved people to process. Pick up your harp and slippers here, and get the wings and halo at the next table. We’ll talk after dinner.” As I float off, I hear, behind me, a man trying to gain Peter’s attention. He has located a “red letter Bible,” which is a text in which the words of Jesus are printed in red letters. This is heaven, and all sorts of sacred art and Scriptures, from the Bhagavad Gita to the Qur’an, are easily available (missing, however, was the Reader’s Digest Condensed Version). The fellow has his Bible open to John 14, and he is frenetically pointing at v. 6: “Jesus says here, in red letters, that he is the way. I’ve seen this woman on television (actually, she’s thinner in person). She’s not Christian; she’s not baptized - she shouldn’t be here!” “Oy,” says Peter, “another one - wait here.” He returns a few minutes later with a man about five foot three with dark hair and eyes. I notice immediately that he has holes in his wrists, for when the empire executes an individual, the circumstances of that death cannot be forgotten. “What is it, my son?” he asks. The man, obviously nonplussed, sputters, “I don’t mean to be rude, but didn’t you say that no one comes to the Father except through you?” “Well,” responds Jesus, “John does have me saying this.” (Waiting in line, a few other biblical scholars who overhear this conversation sigh at Jesus’s phrasing; a number of them remain convinced that Jesus said no such thing. They’ll have to make the inquiry on their own time.) “But if you flip back to the Gospel of Matthew, which does come first in the canon, you’ll notice in chapter 25, at the judgment of the sheep and the goats, that I am not interested in those who say ‘Lord, Lord,’ but in those who do their best to live a righteous life: feeding the hungry, visiting people in prison . . . ” Becoming almost apoplectic, the man interrupts, “But, but, that’s works righteousness. You’re saying she’s earned her way into heaven?” “No,” replies Jesus, “I am not saying that at all. I am saying that I am the way, not you, not your church, not your reading of John’s Gospel, and not the claim of any individual Christian or any particular congregation. I am making the determination, and it is by my grace that anyone gets in, including you. Do you want to argue?” The last thing I recall seeing, before picking up my heavenly accessories, is Jesus handing the poor man a Kleenex to help get the log out of his eye.
Amy-Jill Levine (The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus)
Meditation has also been proven scientifically to untangle and rewire the neurological pathways in the brain that make up the conditioned personality. Buddhist monks, for example, have had their brains scanned by scientists as they sat still in deep altered states of consciousness invoked by transcendental meditation and the scientists were amazed at what they beheld. The frontal lobes of the monks lit up as bright as the sun! They were in states of peace and happiness the scientists had never seen before. Meditation invokes that which is known in neuroscience as neuroplasticity; which is the loosening of the old nerve cells or hardwiring in the brain, to make space for the new to emerge. Meditation, in this sense, is a fire that burns away the old or conditioned self, in the Bhagavad Gita, this is known as the Yajna; “All karma or effects of actions are completely burned away from the liberated being who, free from attachment, with his physical mind enveloped in wisdom (the higher self), performs the true spiritual fire rite.
Craig Krishna (The Labyrinth: Rewiring the Nodes in the Maze of your Mind)
The thought of the Gita is not pure Monism although it sees in one unchanging, pure, eternal Self the foundation of all cosmic existence, nor Mayavada although it speaks of the Maya of the three modes of Prakriti omnipresent in the created world; nor is it qualified Monism although it places in the One his eternal supreme Prakriti manifested in the form of the Jiva and lays most stress on dwelling in God rather than dissolution as the supreme state of spiritual consciousness; nor is it Sankhya although it explains the created world by the double principle of Purusha and Prakriti; nor is it Vaishnava Theism although it presents to us Krishna, who is the Avatara of Vishnu according to the Puranas, as the supreme Deity and allows no essential difference nor any actual superiority of the status of the indefinable relationless Brahman over that of this Lord of beings who is the Master of the universe and the Friend of all creatures. Like the earlier spiritual synthesis of the Upanishads this later synthesis at once spiritual and intellectual avoids naturally every such rigid determination as would injure its universal comprehensiveness. Its aim is precisely the opposite to that of the polemist commentators who found this Scripture established as one of the three highest Vedantic authorities and attempted to turn it into a weapon of offence and defence against other schools and systems. The Gita is not a weapon for dialectical warfare; it is a gate opening on the whole world of spiritual truth and experience and the view it gives us embraces all the provinces of that supreme region. It maps out, but it does not cut up or build walls or hedges to confine our vision.
Sri Aurobindo (Essays on the Gita)
Later on we read what Krishna says, “Even those who worship other deities are really worshipping me” (note 31). It is God incarnate whom man is worshipping. Would God be angry if you called Him by the wrong name? He would be no God at all! Can’t you understand that whatever a man has in his own heart is God — even if he worships a stone? What of that! We will understand more clearly if we once get rid of the idea that religion consists in doctrines. One idea of religion has been that the whole world was born because Adam ate the apple, and there is no way of escape. Believe in Jesus Christ — in a certain man’s death! But in India there is quite a different idea. [There] religion means realisation, nothing else. It does not matter whether one approaches the destination in a carriage with four horses, in an electric car, or rolling on the ground. The goal is the same. For the [Christians] the problem is how to escape the wrath of the terrible God. For the Indians it is how to become what they really are, to regain their lost Selfhood. ...
Vivekananda (Lectures on Bhagavad Gita)
KẾT LUẬN Người học thức, tức là người thà biết ít mà thật biết những gì mình biết, còn những gì mình không biết, thì cũng biết rõ là mình không biết. “Không có sự dốt nát nhục nhã bằng tin tưởng rằng mình đã biết trong khi mình chưa biết”. Văn hóa là một vấn đề thuộc phẩm chứ không phải thuộc lượng. Tuy nhiên, càng biết rộng càng hay, càng biết sâu càng quý. Một cái học về bề rộng mà kém về bề sâu, là một cái học nông nổi phù phiếm. Một cái học về bề sâu nhưng kém về bề rộng, là một cái học câu chấp hẹp hòi. Cả hai đều là thiếu sót cả. Có được một cái học rộng rãi thì tránh được nạn thiên kiến chấp nhất. Có được một cái học chuyên môn thì cái học của mình mới biến thành thực dụng. Điều hòa được cả hai lối học ấy là thực hiện được mức cao nhất của công trình văn hóa của mình. Đọc sách và biết đọc sách rất cần, nhưng chính mắt thấy tai nghe, biết nhìn xem và quan sát, biết suy nghĩ và phê bình những sự việc chung quanh ta hằng ngày lại càng cần hơn. Cái lợi của sách là giúp cho mình suy nghĩ, chứ không phải suy nghĩ thế cho mình. Học khoa học và triết học rất cần, nhưng đào tạo cho mình một tinh thần khoa học và triết học lại càng cần hơn. Mỗi người, tùy khả năng, tùy phương tiện, tùy tính khí, tùy khuynh hướng… phải biết tự mình tìm thấy một phương pháp thích ứng cho riêng mình. Thật vậy, sở dĩ “không ai giúp ai được là vì không ai giống ai cả” như Jules Payot đã nói. Và cũng vì tin tưởng như thế nên tôi chỉ nêu lên những nguyên tắc mà không dám đưa ra những thí nghiệm của bản thân. Tôi lại còn muốn nói thêm: “Không ai bắt chước ai được, vì không ai giống ai cả”. Socrate nói rất chí lí : “Tôi không dạy ai được cả, tôi chỉ khêu gợi mà thôi”. Học cũng như ăn. Tuy là cần thiết cho tất cả mọi người, nhưng không phải món ăn nào cũng hợp cho tất cả mọi người. Có kẻ ăn mau tiêu, có người ăn lâu tiêu: sức tiêu hóa của mỗi người mỗi khác. Lớn ăn khác, nhỏ ăn khác; mạnh ăn khác, đau ăn khác; ở xứ nóng ăn khác, ở xứ lạnh ăn khác. Có phương pháp học, lợi cho người này, nhưng không lợi cho người kia. Ai đã từng đi dạy học đều biết rằng phương pháp dạy phải tùy từng cá nhân mà áp dụng. Nhà giáo dục phải như người trồng cây. Cho nên người Tây phương đã dùng chữ “culture" (*có nghĩa đen là trồng trọt*) để chỉ về văn hóa. Mỗi loại cây đều có những nhu cầu khác nhau, cần sự chăm nom săn sóc khác nhau. * * Nói thì dễ… nhưng làm được bấy nhiêu thôi, đâu phải là dễ. “Tri dị, hành nan” hay “tri nan, hành dị”? Theo tôi, cả hai đều khó cả. Học đâu phải là công việc của một thời kì cắp sách và trường, “thập niên đăng hỏa” mà thực ra, phải là công phu thực hiện của suốt một đời người. “Học là một vấn đề không biết lúc nào là cùng. Còn sống giờ nào, còn phải học giờ nấy”. Nhưng, học mà không hóa có hại cho tinh thần, cũng như ăn mà không tiêu, có hại cho sức khỏe. Người có học thức là người đã “thần hóa” cái học của mình. Bởi vậy, học mà đến mức gần như quên hết cả sách vở của mình đã học ấy mới gọi được là cái học “tinh nghĩa nhập thần”. Văn hóa không là quyền sở hữu của bất cứ một dân tộc nào : những quyển Bible, Koran, Bhagavad Gita, Đạo Đức Kinh, Dịch Kinh, Hoa Nghiêm Kinh không phải là của riêng của một màu da, một dân tộc, một thế hệ nào cả. Nó là kho tàng chung của nhân loại. Và người văn hóa cao cũng không phải là người riêng của một màu da, của một dân tộc hay của một thế hệ nào cả, mà là một người đã hoàn thành sứ mạng con người của mình, trong nhân loại.
Nguyễn Duy Cần (Tôi Tự Học)
He is the devotee who is jealous of none, who is a fount of mercy, who is without egotism, who is selfless, who treats alike cold and heat, happiness and misery, who is ever forgiving, who is always contented, whose resolutions are firm, who has dedicated mind and soul to God, who causes no dread, who is not afraid of others, who is free from exultation, sorrow and fear, who is pure, who is versed in action and yet remains unaffected by it, who renounces all fruit, good or bad, who treats friend and foe alike, who is untouched by respect or disrespect, who is not puffed up by praise, who does not go under when people speak ill of him, who loves silence and solitude, who has a disciplined reason. Such devotion is inconsistent with the existence at the same time of strong attachments. 18. We thus see that to be a real devotee is to realize oneself. Self-realization is not something apart. One rupee can purchase for us poison or nectar, but knowledge or devotion cannot buy us salvation or bondage. These are not media of exchange. They are themselves the thing we want. In other words, if the means and the end are not identical, they are almost so. The extreme of means is salvation. Salvation of the Gita is perfect peace.
Mahatma Gandhi (Bhagavad Gita According to Gandhi)
How important was mantra to Gandhi’s transformation? Extremely. When done systematically, mantra has a powerful effect on the brain. It gathers and focuses the energy of the mind. It teaches the mind to focus on one point, and it cultivates a steadiness that over time becomes an unshakable evenness of temper. The cultivation of this quality of “evenness” is a central principle of the Bhagavad Gita. It is called samatva in Sanskrit, and it is a central pillar of Krishna’s practice. When the mind develops steadiness, teaches Krishna, it is not shaken by fear or greed. So, in his early twenties, Gandhi had already begun to develop a still-point at the center of his consciousness—a still-point that could not be shaken. This little seed of inner stillness would grow into a mighty oak. Gandhi would become an immovable object. Rambha had given Gandhi an enchanting image to describe the power of mantra. She compared the practice of mantra to the training of an elephant. “As the elephant walks through the market,” taught Rambha, “he swings his trunk from side to side and creates havoc with it wherever he goes—knocking over fruit stands and scattering vendors, snatching bananas and coconuts wherever possible. His trunk is naturally restless, hungry, scattered, undisciplined. This is just like the mind—constantly causing trouble.” “But the wise elephant trainer,” said Rambha, “will give the elephant a stick of bamboo to hold in his trunk. The elephant likes this. He holds it fast. And as soon as the elephant wraps his trunk around the bamboo, the trunk begins to settle. Now the elephant strides through the market like a prince: calm, collected, focused, serene. Bananas and coconuts no longer distract.” So too with the mind. As soon as the mind grabs hold of the mantra, it begins to settle. The mind holds the mantra gently, and it becomes focused, calm, centered. Gradually this mind becomes extremely concentrated. This is the beginning stage of meditation. All meditation traditions prescribe some beginning practice of gathering, focusing, and concentration—and in the yoga tradition this is most often achieved precisely through mantra. The whole of Chapter Six in the Bhagavad Gita is devoted to Krishna’s teachings on this practice: “Whenever the mind wanders, restless and diffuse in its search for satisfaction without, lead it within; train it to rest in the Self,” instructs Krishna. “When meditation is mastered, the mind is unwavering like the flame of a lamp in a windless place.
Stephen Cope (The Great Work of Your Life: A Guide for the Journey to Your True Calling)