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Bhagavad Gita Chapter Fifteen: The Yoga of the Supreme Spirit

The Bhagavad Gita, the Song of God
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The Holy Lord said:

They speak of the eternal ashwattha tree with roots above and branches below, its leaves the Vedic hymns; he who knows it is a knower of the Vedas. (15:1)

Below, above, its branches spread afar, nourished by the gunas. Its buds are the sense-objects; and in the world of men below its roots engender action. (15:2)

Its form is not perceptible here in the world, nor its end, nor its beginning, nor its foundation. Cutting this firm-rooted ashwattha tree with the strong axe of non-attachment, (15:3)

Then that place is to be sought to which, having gone, they do not return again: “In that Primeval Purusha from which streamed forth the ancient Power, I take refuge.” (15:4)

Without pride or delusion, with the evil of attachment conquered, constantly dwelling in the Self, with desires dispelled, freed from the pair of opposites known as pleasure and pain, the undeluded reach the eternal Goal. (15:5)

There the sun, moon or fire illuminate not; going whither they return not, for that is my Supreme Abode. (15:6)

Merely a fragment of myself, becoming an eternal jiva in this world of jivas, draws to itself the senses, and the mind as the sixth sense, abiding in Prakriti. (15:7)

When the Lord takes on a body, and when he leaves it, he takes the senses and the mind and goes, like the wind takes the scents from their seats, the flowers and herbs. (15:8)*

Presiding over hearing, sight, touch, taste and smell as well as the mind, this Ishwara experiences the objects of the senses. (15:9)

Whether departing, remaining or enjoying, accompanied by the gunas, the deluded do not see him. Those with the eye of knowledge see him. (15:10)

The yogis, striving, behold him dwelling within the Self; but the undeveloped and unintelligent, even though striving, see him not. (15:11)

That light which resides in the sun, which illumines the whole world, which is in the moon and in fire–know that light to be mine. (15:12)

Entering the earth, I support all beings with my energy. Having become the watery moon, I cause all plants to thrive. (15:13)

Becoming the digestive fire, I abide in the body of all living beings. Joined with prana and apana, I digest the fourfold food. (15:14)

Seated within the hearts of all, from me come memory and knowledge and their loss: I alone am to be known by all the Vedas; I am the Author of the Vedanta, and the Knower of the Vedas. (15:15)

There are two purushas in this world–the perishable and the imperishable. All beings are the perishable, and Kutastha is called the imperishable. (15:16)

But there is also the Highest Purusha, called the Supreme Self, the eternal Ishwara, Who pervades all the three worlds and sustains them. (15:17)

Since I transcend the perishable and am also above the imperishable, so in this world and in the Veda I am known as the Supreme Purusha. (15:18)

He who, undeluded, thus knows me as the Supreme Purusha, he, knowing all, worships me with his whole being. (15:19)

This most secret teaching has been imparted by me; awakened to this, a man becomes wise and all his duties are fulfilled. (15:20)

* According to the upanishads and the Gita, Ishwara lives in the heart, the core, of every human being, and experiences all which they experience. Therefore Krishna underlines that both the incarnating jivatman and the Paramatman enter and depart from the body together.

Om Tat Sat

Thus in the Upanishads of the glorious Bhagavad Gita, the science of the Eternal, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna, ends the fifteenth discourse entitled: The Yoga of the Supreme Spirit.

Read Chapter Sixteen: The Yoga of the Division between the Divine and the Demonic

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Chapters for The Bhagavad Gita–The Song of God

Introduction: The Bhagavad Gita–The Book of Life

  1. Bhagavad Gita Chapter One: The Yoga of the Despondency of Arjuna
  2. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Two: Sankhya Yoga
  3. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Three: The Yoga of Action
  4. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Four: The Yoga of Wisdom
  5. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Five: The Yoga of Renunciation of Action
  6. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Six: The Yoga of Meditation
  7. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Seven: The Yoga of Wisdom and Realization
  8. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Eight: The Yoga of Imperishable Brahman
  9. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Nine: The Yoga of the Royal Science and Royal Secret
  10. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Ten: The Yoga of Divine Glories
  11. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Eleven: The Yoga of the Vision of the Cosmic Form
  12. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Twelve: The Yoga of Devotion
  13. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Thirteen: The Yoga of the Distinction Between the Field and the Knower of the Field
  14. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Fourteen: The Yoga of the Division of the Three Gunas
  15. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Fifteen: The Yoga of the Supreme Spirit
  16. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Sixteen: The Yoga of the Division between the Divine and the Demonic
  17. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Seventeen: The Yoga of the Division of Threefold Faith
  18. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Eighteen: The Yoga of Liberation by Renunciation

Also: The Bhagavad Gita Arranged for Singing

  1. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 1: The Yoga of the Despondency of Arjuna
  2. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 2: Sankhya Yoga
  3. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 3: The Yoga of Action
  4. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 4: The Yoga of Wisdom
  5. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 5: The Yoga of Renunciation of Action
  6. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 6: The Yoga of Meditation
  7. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 7: The Yoga of Wisdom and Realization
  8. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 8: The Yoga of Imperishable Brahman
  9. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 9: The Yoga of the Kingly Science and Kingly Secret
  10. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 10: The Yoga of Divine Glories
  11. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 11: The Yoga of the Vision of the Cosmic Form
  12. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 12: The Yoga of Devotion
  13. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 13: The Yoga of the Distinction Between the Field and the Knower of the Field
  14. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 14: The Yoga of the Division of the Three Gunas
  15. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 15: The Yoga of the Supreme Spirit
  16. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 16: The Yoga of the Division between the Divine and the Demoniacal
  17. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 17: The Yoga of the Division of Threefold Faith
  18. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 18: The Yoga of Liberation by Renunciation

Read about the meanings of unfamiliar terms in A Brief Sanskrit Glossary

Read the Bhagavad Gita for Awakening, a full commentary on the Bhagavad Gita by Abbot George Burke (Swami Nirmalananda Giri).

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