Home  »  Harvard Classics, Vol. 45, Part 4  »  Chapter VII

The Bhagavad-Gita.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

Chapter VII

LEARN now, dear Prince! how, if thy soul be set
Ever on Me—still exercising Yôg,
Still making Me thy Refuge—thou shalt come
Most surely unto perfect hold of Me.
I will declare to thee that utmost lore,         5
Whole and particular, which, when thou knowest
Leaveth no more to know here in this world.
  Of many thousand mortals, one, perchance,
Striveth for Truth; and of those few that strive—
Nay, and rise high—one only—here and there—         10
Knoweth Me, as I am, the very Truth.
  Earth, water, flame, air, ether, life, and mind,
And individuality—those eight
Make up the showing of Me, Manifest.
  These be my lower Nature; learn the higher,         15
Whereby, thou Valiant One! this Universe
Is, by its principle of life, produced;
Whereby the worlds of visible things are born
As from a Yoni. Know! I am that womb:
I make and I unmake this Universe:         20
Than me there is no other Master, Prince!
No other Maker! All these hang on me
As hangs a row of pearls upon its string.
I am the fresh taste of the water; I
The silver of the moon, the gold o’ the sun,         25
The word of worship in the Veds, the thrill
That passeth in the ether, and the strength
Of man’s shed seed. I am the good sweet smell
Of the moistened earth, I am the fire’s red light,
The vital air moving in all which moves,         30
The holiness of hallowed souls, the root
Undying, whence hath sprung whatever is;
The wisdom of the wise, the intellect
Of the informed, the greatness of the great,
The splendor of the splendid. Kunti’s Son!         35
These am I, free from passion and desire;
Yet am I right desire in all who yearn,
Chief of the Bhâratas! for all those moods,
Soothfast, or passionate, or ignorant,
Which Nature frames, deduce from me; but all         40
Are merged in me—not I in them! The world—
Deceived by those three qualities of being—
Wotteth not Me Who am outside them all,
Above them all, Eternal! Hard it is
To pierce that veil divine of various shows         45
Which hideth Me; yet they who worship Me
Pierce it and pass beyond.
        I am not known
To evil-doers, nor to foolish ones,
Nor to the base and churlish; nor to those         50
Whose mind is cheated by the show of things,
Nor those that take the way of Asuras. 1
  Four sorts of mortals know me: he who weeps,
Arjuna! and the man who yearns to know;
And he who toils to help; and he who sits         55
Certain of me, enlightened.
        Of these four,
O Prince of India! highest, nearest, best
That last is, the devout soul, wise, intent
Upon “The One.” Dear, above all, am I         60
To him; and he is dearest unto me!
All four are good, and seek me; but mine own,
The true of heart, the faithful—stayed on me,
Taking me as their utmost blessedness,
They are not “mine,” but I—even I myself!         65
At end of many births to Me they come!
Yet hard the wise Mahatma is to find,
That man who sayeth, “All is Vâsudev!” 2
  There be those, too, whose knowledge, turned aside
By this desire or that, gives them to serve         70
Some lower gods, with various rites, constrained
By that which mouldeth them. Unto all such—
Worship what shrine they will, what shapes, in faith—
’Tis I who give them faith! I am content!
The heart thus asking favor from its God,         75
Darkened but ardent, hath the end it craves,
The lesser blessing—but ’tis I who give!
Yet soon is withered what small fruit they reap
Those men of little minds, who worship so,
Go where they worship, passing with their gods.         80
But Mine come unto me! Blind are the eyes
Which deem th’ Unmanifested manifest,
Not comprehending Me in my true Self!
Imperishable, viewless, undeclared,
Hidden behind my magic veil of shows,         85
I am not seen by all; I am not known—
Unborn and changeless—to the idle world.
But I, Arjuna! know all things which were,
And all which are, and all which are to be,
Albeit not one among them knoweth Me!         90
  By passion for the “pairs of opposites,”
By those twain snares of Like and Dislike, Prince!
All creatures live bewildered, save some few
Who, quit of sins, holy in act, informed,
Freed from the “opposites,” and fixed in faith,         95
Cleave unto Me.
        Who cleave, who seek in Me
Refuge from birth 3 and death, those have the Truth!
Those know Me BRAHMA; know Me Soul of Souls,
The ADHYATMAN; know KARMA, my work;         100
Know I am ADHIBHUTA, Lord of Life,
And ADHIDAIVA, Lord of all the Gods,
And ADHIYAJNA, Lord of Sacrifice;
Worship Me well, with hearts of love and faith,
And find and hold Me in the hour of death.         105
Here endeth Chapter VII. of the Bhagavad-Gîtâ,
entitled “Vijnânayôg,” or “The Book
of Religion by Discernment”
Note 1. Beings of low and devilish nature. [back]
Note 2. Krishna. [back]
Note 3. I read here janma, “birth;” not jara, “age.” [back]