SRIMAD BHAGAVAD-GITA: CHAPTER NINE
The Hidden Treasure of Devotion
sri-bhagavan uvacha–The Supreme Lord said: (aham) pravaksyami–I now tell; te–you; anasuyave–who are without envy; idam–this; guhyatamam–most hidden; jnanam–knowledge of pure devotion for Me (singing My glories which expands into unlimited services); vijnana-sahitam tu–up to direct realization of Me; jnatva–knowing; yat–which; (tvam)–you; moksyase–will be liberated; asubhat–from inauspiciousness, or, from all that is opposed to devotion.
1 The Supreme Lord said: I now reveal to you, who are without envy, this most hidden treasure of knowledge of pure devotion, with direct realization of Me, knowing which you will be liberated from inauspiciousness-from all that is opposed to devotion.
raja-vidya raja-guhyam, pavitram idam uttamam
(viddhi)–Know; idam–this; raja-vidya–as the king of knowledge; raja-guhyam–the most secret of secrets; uttamam–supreme; pavitram–pure; pratyaksa-avagamam–attained by direct realization; dharmyam–the perfection of religion; kartum susukham–very easy to practise; avyayam (cha)–and imperishable.
2 Know this to be the king of secrets, the king of knowledge, supreme, pure and imperishable. It is known by
asraddadhanah purusa, dharmasyasya parantapa
(he) parantapa–O conqueror of the enemy; purusah–persons; asraddadhanah–lacking faith; asya dharmasya–in this pure life of devotion for Me; aprapya–unable to reach; mam–Me; nivartante–ever revolve; mrtyu-samsara-vartmani–on the path of death in the material world.
3 O conqueror of the enemy, men who have no faith in this hidden treasure of devotion to Me are unable to reach Me, and so they remain wandering on the path of death in the material world.
maya tatam idam sarvam, jagad avyakta-murtina
idam–This; sarvam jagat–whole world; tatam–is pervaded; maya–by Me; avyaktamu rtina–by My unmanifest form. sarva-bhutani–All beings; mat-sthani–are situated in Me, the infinite; aham cha–but I; na avasthitah–am not situated; tesu–in them.
4 This entire universe is pervaded by Me in My unmanifest form, and all beings are situated in Me; yet I am not in them.
na cha mat-sthani bhutani, pasya me yogam aisvaram
bhutani na cha mat-sthani–Yet all beings are not situated in Me. pasya–Behold; me–My; aisvaram yogam–supreme mystical power. mama–My; atma–Self; bhutabhr t–is the mainstay; bhuta-bhavanah cha–and origin of all beings; (kintu)–yet; na bhuta-sthah–is not in them.
5 Again, they are not in Me. Behold My supreme mystical power of inconceivable oneness and difference (achintya-bhedabheda). I, Myself, am the mainstay and origin of all beings, but I am not in them.
yathakasa-sthito nityam, vayuh sarvatra-go mahan
upadharaya–Conceive; iti–in this way: yatha–as; mahan–the mighty; vayuh–air or wind; sarvatra-gah–going everywhere; nityam–always; akasa-sthitah–rests in the sky; tatha–similarly; sarvani bhutani–all beings; mat-sthani–rest in Me. direct realization (by one eager to serve Me), it is the perfection of religion, and very easy to practise.
6 Know that as the mighty wind blowing everywhere rests always in the sky, similarly, all beings rest in Me.
sarva-bhutani kaunteya, prakrtim yanti mamikam
(he) kaunteya–O Kaunteya; kalpa-ksaye–at the millenium's end; sarva-bhutani–all beings; yanti–merge; mamikam prakrtim–in My trimodal material nature. kalpa-adau–With a new day of Brahma; aham–I; visrjami–manifest; tani–them; punah–again.
7 O son of Kunti, at the end of the millenium, all beings are merged in the material nature of three modes, which is My external potency; and at the beginning of a new millennium, I make them manifest again.
prakrtim svam avastabhya, visrjami punah punah
avastabhya–Controlling; svam prakrtim–My trimodal nature; (aham)–I; punah punah–repeatedly; visrjami–manifest; imam–this; krtsnam–entire; bhuta-gramam–multitude of beings; avasam–who are helplessly; prakrteh vasat–controlled by their natures acquired through their previous actions.
8 I control My potency of material nature, to repeatedly manifest the multitude of beings, who are helplessly controlled by their natures.
na cha mam tani karmani, nibadhnanti dhananjaya
(he) dhananjaya–O Dhananjaya; tani karmani–those actions of manifestation, sustenance and withdrawal; na nibadhnanti–cannot bind; mam–Me; asaktam–who am detached; udasinavat asinam cha–remaining as neutral; tesu karmasu–in those actions.
9 O conqueror of wealth, I remain detached and situated as neutral in the cosmic manifestation, sustenance and withdrawal, and these functions cannot bind Me.
mayadhyaksena prakrtih, suyate sa-characharam
(he) kaunteya–O Arjuna; maya adhyaksena–ordained by Me; prakrtih–My Maya potency; suyate–produces; (jagat)–the universe; sa-chara-acharam–with moving and stationary beings. anena hetuna–By this cause; jagat–the universe; viparivartate–is repeatedly manifest.
10 O Kaunteya, ordained by Me, My illusory potency produces this universe of moving and stationary beings. Thus it is manifest over and over again.
avajananti mam mudha, manusim tanum asritam
ajanantah–Not knowing; param–the transcendental; bhavam–nature, reality; mama asritam manusim tanum–of My form of human features; mudhah–ignorant persons; avajananti–considering Me a mere mortal, blaspheme; mam–Me; bhuta-maha-isvaram–the Supreme Lord of all beings.
11 Not knowing the transcendental nature of My form of human features, ignorant persons blaspheme Me, the Supreme Lord of all beings, considering Me a mere mortal.
moghasa mogha-karmano, mogha-jnana vichetasah
(te)–They; (bhavanti)–remain; mogha-asah–with vain hopes; mogha-karmanah–vain actions; mogha-jnanah–vain knowledge; (cha)–and; vichetasah–vain thoughts; sritah–adopting; raksasim–the ignorant; asurim cha–and passionate, demoniac; prakrtim eva–nature; mohinim–causing their delusion, their downfall.
12 Their hopes, acts, knowledge and thoughts all in vain, such persons acquire the ignorant and demoniac nature, which leads to their downfall.
mahatmanas tu mam partha, daivim prakrtim asritah
tu–But; (he) partha–O son of Prtha, Arjuna; asritah–taking refuge in; daivim prakr tim–the godly nature; maha-atmanah–the great-hearted, the devoted souls; jnatva–knowing; mam–Me; bhuta-adim–as the origin of all that be; (cha)–and; avyayam–imperishable; bhajanti–worship, adore; (mam)–Me; ananya-manasah–whole-heartedly.
13 But, O Partha, the great-hearted souls take refuge in the divine nature, and they whole-heartedly worship and adore Me, knowing Me as the eternal origin of all.
satatam kirtayanto mam, yatantas cha drdha-vratah
satatam–At all times, in all places and circumstances; mam kirtayantah–singing the glories of My divine name, form, etc.; yatantah–striving to learn spiritual truths of My transcendental nature, personality, etc.; drdha-vratah cha–and unfailingly following the devotional observances such as Ekadasi and regular chanting of the holy name; namasyantah cha–offering obeisances unto Me and following all the practices of devotion; (te)–they; upasate–worship; mam–Me; bhaktya–with devotion; nitya-yuktah–earnestly aspiring for their eternal relationship with Me.
14 They continually chant My glories, strive to learn spiritual truths about Me and faithfully follow the devotional practices. Bowing to Me and worshipping Me with devotion, they aspire for their eternal relationship with Me.
jnana-yajnena chapy anye, yajanto mam upasate
api cha–Also; jnana-yajnena–by performing the 'knowledge-sacrifice'; anye–others, self-worshippers; yajantah–who offer oblations; mam upasate–worship Me; ekatvena–conscious of oneness; (anye cha)–and others, external form-worshippers; (mam upasate)–worship Me; prthaktvena–Visnu, but in the form of demigods, conscious of differentiation; (anye cha)–and yet others; (mam upasate)–worship Me; bahudha–in many ways; visvatah-mukham–as the cosmic or universal form.
15 Others perform the 'knowledge-sacrifice' and worship Me in oneness, others worship Me in differentiation, and yet others worship Me in a multitude of ways as the universal form.
aham kratur aham yajnah, svadhaham aham ausadham
aham kratuh–I am the fire sacrifices Agnistoma, Atyagnistoma, Uktha, Sodasi, Atiratra, Aptoryama and Vajapeya, collectively known as Jyotistoma; aham yajnah–I am the five types of sacrifices to demigod deities such as the Visva-devas and others according to the Smrti scriptures; aham svadha–I am the obsequial oblation offered to the ancestors; aham ausadham–I am the food; aham mantrah–I am the sacred incantation; aham ajyam–I am the ghee (clarified butter) and other sacrificial ingredients; aham agnih–I am the fire; aham hutam eva–I am the act of offering.
16 I am the Vedic Jyotistoma sacrifice and the five sacrifices to the Visva-deva demigods and others as enjoined in the Smrti scriptures. I am the oblation to the ancestors, the food, and the mantra. I am the sacrificial ingredients such as ghee, I am the consecrated fire, and I am the act of offering.
pitaham asya jagato, mata dhata pitamahah
aham pita–I am the father; asya jagatah–of this universe; mata–the mother; dhata–the ordainer of the living beings' fruits of actions; pitamahah–the grandfather; vedyam–the object of all knowledge; pavitram omkarah–the purifying pranava monosyllable; rk–the Rg Veda; sama–Sama Veda; yajuh eva cha–and Yajur Veda.
17 I am the father and the mother of the universe, the ordainer of the living beings' fruits of actions, the forefather, and the object of all knowledge. I am the purifying Om, the Rg, Sama and Yajur Vedas.
gatir bharta prabhuh saksi, nivasah saranam suhrt
(aham) gatih–I am the fruit of action; bharta–the maintainer; prabhuh–the Lord; saksi–the witness; nivasah–the refuge; saranam–the guardian; suhrt–the true friend; prabhavah–the universal manifestation; pralayah–withdrawal; sthanam–and sustenance; nidhanam–the reservoir; avyayam bijam–the imperishable seed.
18 And I am the goal, the maintainer, master, witness, refuge, guardian and true friend. I am the universal manifestation, sustenance and withdrawal. I am the reservoir, I am the original seed, I am the imperishable Supreme Lord.
tapamy aham aham varsam, nigrhnamy utsrjami cha
cha–And; (he) arjuna–O Arjuna; aham tapami–I give heat; aham utsrjami–I bring forth; varsam–rain; nigrhnami cha–and I withdraw it. aham eva amrtam–I am immortality; mrtyuh cha–and death; sat–truth; asat cha–and untruth.
19 O Arjuna, I give heat, and the rain comes and goes by My will. I am immortality and death, I am truth and untruth.
trai-vidya mam soma-pah puta-papa
trai-vidyah–Performers of the fruitive rituals of the Rg, Yajur and Sama Vedas; somapah–who take the remnants of soma-rasa, a beverage made from the Soma creeper, dear to the demigods; puta-papah–and are purified of sin; istva–having worshipped; mam–Me; yajnaih–by sacrifice, but indirectly through the demigods; prarthayante–pray; svargatim–to attain the heavenly plane, the abode of the demigods. asadya–Reaching; punyam–in reward for their piety; sura-indra-lokam–the plane of Indra, heaven; te asnanti–they enjoy; divyan–the exalted; deva-bhogan–happiness of the demigods; divi–in heaven.
20 Persons who perform the fruitive ritualistic sacrifices prescribed in three of the Vedas worship Indra and other demigods. In fact, they worship Me, but in an indirect way. They drink the sacrificial remnants of the Soma beverage, purify themselves of sin, and pray to attain the heavenly plane. As the result of their piety, they reach heaven and enjoy celestial pleasures.
te tam bhuktva svarga-lokam visalam
bhuktva–After enjoying; tam–that; visalam–vast; svarga-lokam–heavenly plane; punye ksine–with the exhaustion of their peity; te–they; visanti–enter; martya-lokam–the human plane. evam–In this way; kama-kamah–those desiring enjoyment; anuprapannah–given to; trayi-dharmam–the worship prescribed in three of the Vedas; labhante–attain; gata-agatam–coming and going in this world.
21 After enjoying the vast heavenly plane, upon the exhaustion of their pious merits they return to the human plane. In this way, persons desiring enjoyment who follow the Vedic rituals for demigod worship come and go—they undergo repeated birth and death in this material world.
ananyas chintayanto mam, ye janah paryupasate
aham–I; vahami–bear; yoga-ksemam–the responsibility of providing and protecting the necessities; tesam–of those; nitya-abhiyuktanam–who are exclusively devoted to Me; ye janah–and who; ananyah–exclusively; mam chintyantah–always think of Me; pari-upasate–and worship Me in all respects, every relationship.
22 I bear the responsibility of acquiring and protecting the necessities of My fully dependent devotees who are always absorbed in thought of Me, and who worship Me in every way.
ye 'py anya-devata-bhakta, yajante sraddhayanvitah
(he) kaunteya–O son of Kunti; ye–those persons who; anya-devata-bhaktah api–although devotees of 'other gods'; yajante–worship the demigods; sraddhaya-anvitah–with faith; te api–they too; yajanti–worship; mam eva–Me; avidhi-purvakam–but not in a way appropriate to attaining Me.
23 O Kaunteya, the devotees of the demigods who have faith in worshipping them, are actually worshipping Me, but incorrectly.
aham hi sarva-yajnanam, bhokta cha prabhur eva cha
aham hi–I alone am; bhokta eva cha–the enjoyer; prabhuh cha–and the rewarder; sarva-yajnanam–of all sacrifices; tu–but; na abhijananti–being ignorant; mam–of Me; tattvena–in truth; te–they; atah–therefore; chyavanti–fall to take birth; (punah)–again.
24 I alone am the enjoyer and rewarder of all sacrifices, but being ignorant of My position, the demigod worshippers fall to take birth again.
yanti deva-vrata devan, pitrn yanti pitr-vratah
deva-vratah–The demigod worshippers; yanti–reach; devan–the demigods; pitr-vratah–the ancestral worshippers; yanti–reach; pitrn–their ancestors; bhuta-ijyah–the spirit worshippers; yanti–reach; bhutani–the spirits; mat-yajinah–My worshippers; yanti–reach; mam api–Me.
25 The demigod worshippers reach the demigods, the forefather worshippers go to the plane of their ancestors, and the worshippers of the spirits go to the spirits. But those who worship Me come to Me.
patram puspam phalam toyam, yo me bhaktya prayachchhati
yah–For one who; bhaktya–with devotion; prayachchhati–offers; me–Me; patram–a leaf; puspam–a flower; phalam–fruit; toyam–water; aham–I; asnami–partake of that—I affectionately accept; tat–that; bhakti-upahrtam–devotional offering; (tasya)–of that person; prayata-atmanah–of clean heart.
26 If one offers Me with devotion a leaf, flower, fruit or water, I affectionately accept that offering of the clean hearted devotee.
yat karosi yad asnasi, yaj juhosi dadasi yat
(he) kaunteya–O Arjuna, son of Kunti; yat (tvam) karosi–whatever you do, general or scripturally prescribed actions; yat asnasi–whatever you eat; yat juhosi–whatever you offer in sacrifice; yat dadasi–whatever you give in charity; yat tapasyasi–and whichever austerity you perform or vow you keep; tat kurusva–do that; mat-arpanam–as an offering unto Me.
27 O Kaunteya, whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer in sacrifice, whatever you give and whatever vow you may keep—do everything as an offering unto Me.
subhasubha-phalair evam, moksyase karma-bandhanaih
(karma-kurvan)–Acting; evam–in this way; moksyase–you will be liberated; karmabandhanaih–from bondage to action; subha-asubha-phalaih–and its auspicious or inauspicious results. sannyasa-yoga-yukta-atma–With mind linked to Me by renouncing the fruits of your actions; vimuktah (san)–being perfectly liberated; mam upaisyasi–you will reach Me.
28 Acting thus, you will be freed from bondage to action and its auspicious or inauspicious results. With mind
samo 'ham sarva-bhutesu, na me dvesyo 'sti na priyah
aham samah–I am equal; sarva-bhutesu–to all beings; na asti–there is neither; dvesyah–an enemy; priyah (cha) na–nor a friend; me–for Me;. tu–but; ye bhajanti–whoever serves; mam–Me; bhaktya–with love; (yatha)–as; te–they; (asaktah)–are attached; mayi–to Me; aham api cha–I, too; (tatha asaktih)–am similarly attached; tesu–to them.
29 I am equal to all, so no one is My enemy or My friend. Yet, for those who serve Me with love, as they are bound by affection for Me, I am similarly bound by the tie of affection for them.
api chet suduracharo, bhajate mam ananya-bhak
chet–If; api–even; su-duracharah–a person of sinful practices; bhajate–serves; mam–Me; ananya-bhak–with exclusive devotion (giving up all other endeavours such as karma and jnana); eva–certainly; sah mantavyah–he should be regarded; sadhuh–as a saintly person; hi–because; sah samyak vyavasitah–his resolve is perfect.
30 If even a very sinful person serves Me exclusively with devotion, he should be regarded as saintly, for his resolve is perfect.
ksipram bhavati dharmatma, sasvach-chhantim nigachchhati
 (sah)–He (who dedicates himself to Me); ksipram–swiftly; bhavati–becomes; dharma-atma–a person of virtuous practices; nigachchhati–and attains; sasvat–constant; santim–peace, relief from obstacles. (he) kaunteya–O son of Kunti; pratijanihi–declare; (iti)–thus; me–My; bhaktah–devotee; na pranasyati–is never vanquished.
 (he) kaunteya–O son of Kunti; pratijanihi–promise and declare it; (iti)–that; me bhaktah–My devotee; na pranasyati–is never vanquished. (sah)–That person who proclaims this; ksipram–swiftly; bhavati–becomes; dharma-atma–virtuous, religious; nigachchhati–and attains; sasvat–constant; santim–peace, joy. selflessly linked to Me, you will be perfectly liberated and you will come to Me.
31  He swiftly becomes a person of virtuous practices and attains constant peace. O son of Kunti, declare to the world that My devotee is never vanquished!
 O son of Kunti, declare to the world that My devotee is never vanquished. One who declares this swiftly becomes virtuous and attains eternal joy.
The second interpretation of this verse was revealed to Srila Bhakti Vinoda Thakur in a dream.
In the Srimad Bhagavatam (11.11.32) Lord Sri Krishna says:
mayadistan api svakan
"The best of the saintly persons are those who have surpassed the forms of duties that I, Myself, have recommended in the scriptures for the people in general. Although it is My directive, they cross it and render loving service to Me."
In society, one must obey the law, but there is also the situation of crossing the law to show fidelity to the king. If one risks his life and reputation, and crossing the general law enters the royal chamber to combat an assassin, then he will be considered the most loyal servitor.
Similarly, the Lord is saying, "I have already given some direction for the people in general. Do this, don't do that, don't cross these laws, etc. But if for My interest anyone takes the risk of committing sin, then he should be considered the best of My devotees.
"So, Arjuna, go and declare it, promise to the public that the ananya-bhak (verse 30), the exclusively devoted persons, will never come to ruin. Then you will get the benefit. You will become dharmatma, religious, and attain eternal divine happiness. The ananya-bhak, the exclusive devotees, have already crossed the threshold of dharma, the standard of dutifulness, and taken the risk to throw themselves fully into My service. Sarva dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja (18.66). There is no question of them 'becoming' virtuous or religious as they long before surpassed dharma and took the risk and entered into prema-dharma, My loving service, transcending both piety and sinfulness."
mam hi partha vyapasritya, ye 'pi syuh papa-yonayah
(he) partha–O Arjuna; ye api–even those who; syuh–may be considered ; papayonayah–low-born persons; striyah–women; vaisyah–merchants; tatha sudrah–and labourers; vyapasritya hi–if they take full shelter; mam–in Me; te api yanti–they, too, attain; param gatim–the supreme destination.
32 O son of Prtha, persons of low birth, women, merchants or labourers-they, too, attain the supreme destination by taking full refuge in Me.
kim punar brahmanah punya, bhakta rajarsayas tatha
kim punah–Not to mention that; bhaktah (santah)–having become devoted to Me; punyah–the pure; brahmanah–brahmanas; tatha–and; rajarsayah–saintly kings; (param gatim yanti)–will surely attain the supreme destination. prapya–(Therefore) having achieved; imam–this; anityam–temporary; asukham–miserable; lokam–human body; bhajasva–serve; mam–Me.
33 So can there be any doubt that those brahmanas and saintly kings who are pure devotees will achieve the supreme goal? Therefore, worship Me, since although this human body is temporary and a place of suffering, it is attained only after many births and it affords the best opportunity to render devotional service to Me.
man-mana bhava mad-bhakto, mad-yaji mam namaskuru
bhava–Be; mat-manah–always conscious of Me; mat-bhaktah–My devoted servitor; mat-yaji (cha)–and My worshipper. namaskuru–Offer obeisances; mam–to Me. evam–In this way; yuktva atmanam–having dedicated yourself to Me; mat-parayanah–taking refuge in Me; esyasi–you will reach; mam eva–Me.
34 Always think of Me, be My devotee, always worship Me and offer obeisances to Me. Thus offering yourself to Me and taking refuge in Me, you will come to Me.
iti sri-mahabharate sata-sahasryam samhitayam vaiyasikyam
End of Chapter Nine
The Hidden Treasure of Devotion
from the conversation
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