Monday, December 08, 2008

Selected Verses from the Gita by Ramana Maharshi

Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi was speaking once with a visiting pandit about the great merits of the Bhagavad Gita, when a devotee complained that it was difficult to keep all the seven hundred verses in mind and asked if there was not one verse that could be remembered as the quintessence of the Gita. Bhagavan thereupon mentioned Chapter X, verse 20 'I am the Self, Oh Gudakesa, dwelling in the Heart of every being; I am the beginning and the middle and also the end of all beings.' Later he selected forty-two verses that follow (of which the above verse comes as fourth) and arranged them in an appropriate order to serve as guidance. He also prepared Tamil and Malayalam versions of these verses.

The following are the original verses, and their translations by Swami Gambhirananda, which itself is based on Adi Shankara's commentary:

  1. sa.njaya uvaacha .

    ta.n tathaa kR^ipayaavishhTamashrupuurNaakulekshaNam.h .
    vishhiidantamida.n vaakyamuvaacha madhusuudanaH .. 2.1..

    Sanjaya said: To him who had been thus filled with pity, whose eyes were filled with tears and showed distress, and who was sorrowing, Madhusudana uttered these words:

  2. shriibhagavaanuvaacha .

    idaM shariiraM kaunteya kshetramityabhidhiiyate .
    etadyo vetti taM praahuH kshetraGYa iti tadvidaH .. 13.2..

    The Blessed Lord said: O son of Kunti, this body is referred to as the 'field'. Those who are versed in this call him who is conscious of it as the 'knower of the field'.

  3. kshetraj~na.n chaapi maa.n viddhi sarvakshetreshhu bhaarata .
    kshetrakshetrayorj~naana.n yattajj~naanaM mataM mama .. 13.3..

    And, O scion of the Bharata dynasty, under-stand Me to be the 'Knower of the field' in all the fields. In My opinion, that is Knowledge which is the knowlege of th field and the knower of the field.

  4. ahamaatmaa guDaakesha sarvabhuutaashayasthitaH .
    ahamaadishcha madhya.n cha bhuutaanaamanta eva cha .. 10.20..

    O Gudakesa, I am the Self residing in the hearts of all beings, and I am the beginning and the middle as also the end of (all) beings.

  5. jaatasya hi dhruvo mR^ityurdhruva.n janma mR^itasya cha .
    tasmaadaparihaarye.arthe na tva.n shochitumarhasi .. 2.27..

    For death of anyone born is certain, and of the dead (re-) birth is a certainly. Therefore you ought not to grieve over an inevitable fact.

  6. na jaayate mriyate vaa kadaachin.h
    naayaM bhuutvaa bhavitaa vaa na bhuuyaH .
    ajo nityaH shaashvato.ayaM puraaNo
    na hanyate hanyamaane shariire .. 2.20..

    Never is this One born, and never does It die; nor is it that having come to exist, It will again cease to be. This One is birthless, eternal, undecaying, ancient; It is not killed when the body is killed.

  7. achchhedyo.ayamadaahyo.ayamakledyo.ashoshhya eva cha .
    nityaH sarvagataH sthaaNurachalo.aya.n sanaatanaH .. 2.24..

    It cannot be cut, It cannot be burnt, cannot be moistened, and surely cannot be dried up. It is eternal, omnipresent, stationary, unmoving and changeless.

  8. avinaashi tu tadviddhi yena sarvamida.n tatam.h .
    vinaashamavyayasyaasya na kashchitkartumarhati .. 2.17..

    But know That to be indestructible by which all this is pervaded. None can bring about the destruction of this Immutable.

  9. naasato vidyate bhaavo naabhaavo vidyate sataH .
    ubhayorapi dR^ishhTo.antastvanayostattvadarshibhiH .. 2.16..

    Of the unreal there is no being; the real has no nonexistence. But the nature of both these, indeed, has been realized by the seers of Truth.

  10. yathaa sarvagataM saukshmyaadaakaashaM nopalipyate .
    sarvatraavasthito dehe tathaatmaa nopalipyate .. 13.33..

    As the all-pervading space is not defiled, because of its subtlety, similarly the Self, present everywhere in the body, is not defiled.

  11. na tadbhaasayate suuryo na shashaaN^ko na paavakaH .
    yadgatvaa na nivarta.nte taddhaama paramaM mama .. 15.6..

    Neither the sun nor the moon nor fire illumines That. That is My supreme Abode, reaching which they do not return.

  12. avyakto.akshara ityuktastamaahuH paramaa.n gatim.h .
    yaM praapya na nivartante taddhaama paramaM mama .. 8.21..

    He who has been mentioned as the Unmanifested, the Immutable, they call Him the supreme Goal. That is the supreme abode of Mine, reaching which they do not return.

  13. nirmaanamohaa jitasaN^gadoshhaa
    adhyaatmanityaa vinivR^ittakaamaaH .
    dvandvairvimuktaaH sukhaduHkhasa.nGYaiH
    gachchhantyamuuDhaaH padamavyayaM tat.h .. 15.5..

    The wise ones who are free from pride and non-discrimination, who have conquered the evil of association, [Hatred and love arising from association with foes and friends.] who are ever devoted to spirituality, completely free from desires, free from the dualities called happiness and sorrow, reach that undecaying State.

  14. yaH shaastravidhimutsR^ijya vartate kaamakaarataH .
    na sa siddhimavaapnoti na sukhaM na paraaM gatim.h .. 16.23..

    Ignoring the precept of the scriptures, he who acts under the impulsion of passion,-he does not attain perfection, nor happiness, nor the supreme Goal.

  15. samaM sarveshhu bhuuteshhu tishhThantaM parameshvaram.h
    vinashyatsvavinashyanta.n yaH pashyati sa pashyati .. 13.28..

    He sees who sees the supreme Lord as existing equally in all beings, and as the Imperishable among the perishable.

  16. bhaktyaa tvananyayaa shakya ahameva.nvidho.arjuna .
    GYaatuM drashhTu.n cha tatvena praveshhTu.n cha para.ntapa .. 11.54..

    But, O Arjuna, by single-minded devotion am I-in this form-able to be known and seen in reality, and also be entered into, O destroyer of foes.

  17. sattvaanuruupaa sarvasya shraddhaa bhavati bhaarata .
    shraddhaamayo.ayaM purushho yo yachchhraddhaH sa eva saH .. 17.3..

    O scion of the Bharata dynasty, the faith of all beings is in accordance with their minds. This person is made up of faith as the dominant factor. He is verily what his faith is.

  18. shraddhaavaa.Nllabhate GYaanaM tatparaH sa.nyatendriyaH .
    GYaanaM labdhvaa paraaM shaantimachireNaadhigachchhati .. 4.39..

    The man who has faith, is diligent and has control over the organs, attains Knowledge. Achieving Knowledge, one soon attains supreme Peace.

  19. teshhaa.n satatayuktaanaaM bhajataaM priitipuurvakam.h .
    dadaami buddhiyogaM taM yena maamupayaanti te .. 10.10..

    To them who are ever devoted and worship Me with love, I grant that possession of wisdom by which they reach Me.

  20. teshhaamevaanukampaarthamahamaGYaanajaM tamaH .
    naashayaamyaatmabhaavastho GYaanadiipena bhaasvataa .. 10.11..

    Out of compassion for them alone, I, residing in their hearts, destroy the darkness born of ignorance with the luminous lamp of Knowledge.

  21. GYaanena tu tadaGYaanaM yeshhaa.n naashitamaatmanaH .
    teshhaamaadityavajGYaanaM prakaashayati tatparam.h .. 5.16..

    But in the case of those of whom that ignorance of theirs becomes destroyed by the knowledge (of the Self), their Knowledge, like the sun, reveals that supreme Reality.

  22. indriyaaNi paraaNyaahurindriyebhyaH paraM manaH .
    manasastu paraa buddhiryo buddheH paratastu saH .. 3.42..

    They say that the organs are superior (to the gross body); the mind is superior to the organs; but the intellect is superior to the mind. However, the one who is superior to the intellect is He.

  23. evaM buddheH paraM buddhvaa sa.nstabhyaatmaanamaatmanaa .
    jahi shatruM mahaabaaho kaamaruupaM duraasadam.h .. 3.43..

    Understanding the Self thus as superior to the intellect, and completely establishing (the Self) is spiritual absorption with the (help of) the mind, O mighty-armed one, vanquish the enemy in the form of desire, which is difficult to subdue.

  24. yathaidhaa.nsi samiddho.agnirbhasmasaatkurute.arjuna .
    GYaanaagniH sarvakarmaaNi bhasmasaatkurute tathaa .. 4.37..

    O Arjuna, as a blazing fire reduces pieces of wood to ashes, similarly the fire of Knowledge reduces all actions to ashes.

  25. yasya sarve samaarambhaaH kaamasaN^kalpavarjitaaH .
    GYaanaagnidagdhakarmaaNa.n tamaahuH paNDitaM budhaaH .. 4.19..

    The wise call him learned whose actions are all devoid of desires and their thoughts, and whose actions have been burnt away by the fire of wisdom.

  26. kaamakrodhaviyuktaanaa.n yatiinaa.n yatachetasaam.h .
    abhito brahmanirvaaNaM vartate viditaatmanaam.h .. 5.26..

    To the monks who have control over their internal organ, who are free from desire and anger, who have known the Self, there is absorption in Brahman either way.

  27. shanaiH shanairuparamed.h bud.hdhyaa dhR^itigR^ihiitayaa .
    aatmasa.nsthaM manaH kR^itvaa na ki.nchidapi chintayet.h .. 6.25..

    One should gradually withdraw with the intellect endowed with steadiness. Making the mind fixed in the Self, one should not think of anything whatsoever.

  28. yato yato nishcharati manashcha.nchalamasthiram.h .
    tatastato niyamyaitadaatmanyeva vashaM nayet.h .. 6.26..

    (The yogi) should bring (this mind) under the subjugation of the Self Itself, by restraining it from all those causes whatever due to which the restless, unsteady mind wanders away.

  29. yatendriyamanobuddhirmunirmokshaparaayaNaH .
    vigatechchhaabhayakrodho yaH sadaa mukta eva saH .. 5.28..

    [Keeping the external objects outside, the eyes at the juncture of the eye-brows, and making equal the outgoing and incoming breaths that move through the nostrils,] The contemplative who has control over his organs, mind and intellect should be fully intent on Liberation and free from desire, fear and anger. He who is ever is verily free.

  30. sarvabhuutasthamaatmaanaM sarvabhuutaani chaatmani .
    iikshate yogayuktaatmaa sarvatra samadarshanaH .. 6.29..

    One who has his mind Self-absorbed through Yoga, and who has the vision of sameness every-where, see this Self existing in everything, and every-thing in his Self.

  31. ananyaashchintayanto maa.n ye janaaH paryupaasate .
    teshhaa.n nityaabhiyuktaanaa.n yogakshemaM vahaamyaham.h .. 9.22..

    Those persons who, becoming non-different from Me and meditative, worship Me everywhere, for them, who are ever attached (to Me), I arrange for securing what they lack and preserving what they have.

  32. teshhaa.n GYaanii nityayukta ekabhaktirvishishhyate .
    priyo hi GYaanino.atyarthamahaM sa cha mama priyaH .. 7.17..

    Of them, the man of Knowledge, endowed with constant steadfastness and one-pointed devotion, excels. For I am very much dear to the man of Knowledge, and he too is dear to Me.

  33. bahuunaa.n janmanaamante GYaanavaanmaaM prapadyate .
    vaasudevaH sarvamiti sa mahaatmaa sudurlabhaH .. 7.19..

    At the end of many births the man of Knowledge attains Me, (realizing) that Vasudeva is all. Such a high-souled one is very rare.

  34. prajahaati yadaa kaamaansarvaanpaartha manogataan.h .
    aatmanyevaatmanaa tushhTaH sthitapraGYastadochyate .. 2.55..

    O Partha, when one fully renounces all the desires that have entered the mind, and remains satisfied in the Self alone by the Self, then he is called a man of steady wisdom.

  35. vihaaya kaamaanyaH sarvaanpumaa.nshcharati niHspR^ihaH .
    nirmamo nirahaN^kaaraH sa shaantimadhigachchhati .. 2.71..

    That man attains peace who, after rejecting all desires, moves about free from hankering, without the idea of ('me' and) 'mine', and devoid of pride.

  36. yasmaannodvijate loko lokaannodvijate cha yaH .
    harshhaamarshhabhayodvegairmukto yaH sa cha me priyaH .. 12.15..

    He, too, owing to whom the world is not disturbed, and who is not disturbed by the world, who is free from joy, impatience, fear and anxiety, is dear to Me.

  37. maanaapamaanayostulyastulyo mitraaripakshayoH .
    sarvaarambhaparityaagii guNaatiitaH sa uchyate .. 14.25..

    He who is the same under honour and dishonour, who is equally disposed both towards the side of the friend and of the foe, who has renounced all enterprise,-he is said to have gone beyond the qualities.

  38. yastvaatmaratireva syaadaatmatR^iptashcha maanavaH .
    aatmanyeva cha sa.ntushhTastasya kaaryaM na vidyate .. 3.17..

    But that man who rejoices only in theSelf and is satisfied with the Self, and is contented only in the Self-for him there is no duty to perform.

  39. naiva tasya kR^itenaartho naakR^iteneha kashchana .
    na chaasya sarvabhuuteshhu kashchidarthavyapaashrayaH .. 3.18..

    For him there is no concern here at all with performing action; nor any (concern) with nonperformance. Moreover, for him there is no dependence on any object to serve any purpose.

  40. yadR^ichchhaalaabhasa.ntushhTo dvandvaatiito vimatsaraH .
    samaH siddhaavasiddhau cha kR^itvaapi na nibadhyate .. 4.22..

    Others, having their food regulated, offer the vital forces in the vital forces. All of them are knowers of the sacrifice and have their sins destroyed by sacrifice.

  41. iishvaraH sarvabhuutaanaa.n hR^iddeshe.arjuna tishhThati .
    bhraamayansarvabhuutaani yantraaruuDhaani maayayaa .. 18.61..

    O Arjuna, the Lord resides in the region of the heart of all creatures, revolving through Maya all the creatures (as though) mounted on a machine!

  42. tameva sharaNaM gachchha sarvabhaavena bhaarata .
    tatprasaadaatparaaM shaantiM sthaanaM praapsyasi shaashvatam.h ..

    Take refuge in Him alone with your whole being, O scion of the Bharata dynasty. Through His grace you will attain the supreme Peace and the eternal Abode.

The collected works of Ramana Maharshi are available as a zip file, at page (along with other works)

  • According to the above book, number 8 above is listed as verse 2.27 with the following as its translation: "Know that which pervades all this to be indestructible. That immutable none can destroy." This does not seem to be the translation of 2.27. Further, verse 2.27 has been listed above as number 5! So, it seems that the number of verse 2.27 is incorrect and the given translation refers to verse 2.17.

  • According to the above book, in place of 2.55 (number 34 in the list above), is listed 2.35. It seems unlikely that Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi would select such a verse as 2.35 which has a purely contextual meaning. (A meaning of verse 2.35 is the following: "The great chariot-riders will think of you as having desisted from the fight out of fear; and you will into disgrace before them to whom you had been estimable.") So, 2.55 seems more likely.

  • Did Ramana Maharshi wanted to have the tally measure upto 42?

Postscript: The following is some notes from Ramana Gita at atmajyothi:

  • It seems to substantiate our conclusions about 2.2

  • As noted in the beginning, Ramana Maharshi considered 10.20 (number 4 above) as the quintessence of all verses of Bhagavad Gita

  • Ramana Maharshi is said to have composed the following verse in praise of Gita:

    He, Who seated in Arjuna's car,
    Spoke the Gospel to Arjuna
    And removed his distress, may that
    Embodiment of Grace save us.
    Om Tat sat.

This post is one of many with the tag Collections of Gita Verses.

sarvam Shri bhagavAnarpaNamastu!


Rajya said...

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ramakrishna u said...

Namaste Smt. Nandini-ji

Thanks for the kind comments.

JP said...

Nice blog.

Keep writing!!!

Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya
Prasanth Jalasutram

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ramakrishna u said...


Thanks for the interest.

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