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

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

Chapter XII

LORD! of the men who serve Thee—true in heart—
As God revealed; and of the men who serve,
Worshipping Thee Unrevealed, Unbodied, far,
Which take the better way of faith and life?
Whoever serve Me—as I show Myself—
Constantly true, in full devotion fixed,
These hold I very holy. But who serve—
Worshipping Me The One, The Invisible,
The Unrevealed, Unnamed, Unthinkable,
Uttermost, All-pervading, Highest, Sure—         10
Who thus adore Me, mastering their sense,
Of one set mind to all, glad in all good,
These blessed souls come unto Me.
        Yet, hard
The travail is for whoso bend their minds         15
To reach th’ Unmanifest. That viewless path
Shall scarce be trod by man bearing his flesh!
But whereso any doeth all his deeds,
Renouncing self in Me, full of Me, fixed
To serve only the Highest, night and day         20
Musing on Me—him will I swiftly lift
Forth from life’s ocean of distress and death
Whose soul clings fast to Me. Cling thou to Me!
Clasp Me with heart and mind! so shalt thou dwell
Surely with Me on high. But if thy thought         25
Droops from such height; if thou be’st weak to set
Body and soul upon Me constantly,
Despair not! give Me lower service! seek
To read Me, worshipping with steadfast will;
And, if thou canst not worship steadfastly,         30
Work for Me, toil in works pleasing to Me!
For he that laboreth right for love of Me
Shall finally attain! But, if in this
Thy faint heart fails, bring Me thy failure! find
Refuge in Me! let fruits of labor go,         35
Renouncing all for Me, with lowliest heart,
So shalt thou come; for, though to know is more
Than diligence, yet worship better is
Than knowing, and renouncing better still
Near to renunciation—very near—         40
Dwelleth Eternal Peace!
        Who hateth nought
Of all which lives, living himself benign,
Compassionate, from arrogance exempt,
Exempt from love of self, unchangeable         45
By good or ill; patient, contented, firm
In faith, mastering himself, true to his word,
Seeking Me, heart and soul; vowed unto Me,—
That man I love! Who troubleth not his kind,
And is not troubled by them; clear of wrath,         50
Living too high for gladness, grief, or fear,
That man I love! Who, dwelling quiet-eyed, 1
Stainless, serene, well-balanced, unperplexed,
Working with Me, yet from all works detached,
That man I love! Who, fixed in faith on Me,         55
Dotes upon none, scorns none; rejoices not,
And grieves not, letting good and evil hap
Light when it will, and when it will depart,
That man I love! Who, unto friend and foe
Keeping an equal heart, with equal mind         60
Bears shame and glory, with an equal peace
Takes heat and cold, pleasure and pain; abides
Quit of desires, hears praise or calumny
In passionless restraint, unmoved by each,
Linked by no ties to earth, steadfast in Me,         65
That man I love! But most of all I love
Those happy ones to whom ’tis life to live
In single fervid faith and love unseeing,
Eating the blessèd Amrit of my Being!
Here endeth Chapter XII. of the Bhagavad-Gîtâ,
entitled “Bhakityôgô,” or “The Book of
the Religion of Faith”
Note 1. “Not peering about,”—anapeksha. [back]