Mahabharata Bhishma Parva - Translation by KM Ganguly

Mahabharata Adiparva

Section XXXI
(Bhagavad Gita Chapter VII)

"The Holy One said, 'Listen, O son of Pritha, how, without doubt, thou mayst know me fully, fixing thy mind on me, practising devotion, and taking refuge in me. I will now, without leaving anything speak to thee about knowledge and experience, knowing which there would be left nothing in this world (for thee) to know. One among thousands of men striveth for perfection. Of those even that are assiduous and have attained to perfection, only some one knoweth me truly.  Earth, water, fire, air, space, mind, also understanding, and consciousness,--thus hath my nature been divided eight-fold. This is a lower (form of my) nature. Different from this, know there is a higher (form of my) nature which is animate, O thou of mighty arms, and by which this universe is held.  Know that all creatures have these for their source. I am the source of evolution and also of the dissolution of the entire universe. There is nothing else, O Dhananjaya, that is higher than myself. Upon me is all this like a row of pearls on a string. Taste I am in the waters, O soil of Kunti, (and) I am the splendour of both the moon and the sun, I am the Om in all the Vedas, the sound in space, and the manliness in men. I am the fragrant odour in earth, the splendour in fire, the life in all (living) creatures, and penance in ascetics. Know me, O son of Pritha, to be the eternal seed of all beings. I am the intelligence of all creatures endued with intelligence, the glory of all glorious objects. I am also the strength of all that are endued with strength, (myself) freed from desire and thirst, and, O bull of Bharata's race, am the desire, consistent with duty, in all creatures.  And all existences which are of the quality of goodness, and which are of the quality of passion and quality of darkness, know that they are, indeed, from me. I am, however, not in

them, but they are in me. This entire universe, deluded by these three entities consisting of (these) three qualities knoweth not me that am beyond them and undecaying; since this illusion of mine, depending on the (three) qualities, is exceedingly marvellous and highly difficult of being transcended. They that resort to me alone cross this illusion.  Doers of evil, ignorant men, the worst of their species, robbed of their knowledge by (my) illusion and wedded to the state of demons, do not resort to me. Four classes of doers of good deeds worship me, O Arjuna, viz., he that is distressed, that is possessed of knowledge, being always devoted and having his faith in only One, is superior to the rest, for unto the man of knowledge I am dear above everything, and he also is dear to me. All these are noble. But the man of knowledge is regarded (by me) to be my very self, since he, with soul fixed on abstraction, taketh refuge in me as the highest goal. At the end of many births, the man possessed of knowledge attaineth to me, (thinking) that Vasudeva is all this. Such a high-souled person, however, is exceedingly rare. They who have been robbed of knowledge by desire, resort to their godheads, observant of diverse regulations and controlled by their own nature.  Whatever form, (of godhead or myself) any worshipper desireth to worship with faith, that faith of his unto that (form) I render steady. Endued with that faith, he payeth his adorations to that (form), and obtaineth from that all his desire, since all those are ordained by me.  The fruits, however, of those persons endued with little intelligence are perishable. They that worship the divinities, go to the divinities, (while) they that worship me come even to me.  They that have no discernment, regard me who am (really) unmanifest to have become manifest, because they do not know the transcendent and undecaying state of mine than which there is nothing higher.  Shrouded by the illusion of my inconceivable power, I am not manifest to all. This deluded world knoweth not me that I am unborn and undecaying. I know, O Arjuna, all things that have been past, and all things that are present, and all things that are to be. But there is nobody that knoweth me. All creatures, O chastiser of foes, are deluded at the time of their birth by the delusion, O Bharata, of pairs of opposites arising from desire and aversion. But those persons of meritorious deeds whose sins have attained their end, being freed from the delusion of pairs of opposites, worship me, firm in their vow (of that worship). Those who,

taking refuge in me, strive for release from decay and death, know Brahman, the entire Adhyatma, and action. 1 And they who know me with the Adhibhuta, the Adhidaiva, and the Adhiyajna, having minds fixed on abstraction, know me at the time of their departure (from this world). 2