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Bhagavad Gita Chapter Nine: The Yoga of the Royal Science and Royal Secret

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

To you who do not disbelieve I shall declare this most secret knowledge combined with realization, which having known you shall be free from evil. (9:1)

Royal knowledge, royal secret, this the supreme purifier, readily understood, dharmic, pleasant to practice, eternal. (9:2)

Those who have no faith in this dharma, without attaining me are reborn in the realm of death and samsara. (9:3)

All this world is pervaded by me in my unmanifest aspect. All beings dwell within me, but I do not dwell within them. (9:4)

And yet beings do not dwell within me: behold my Divine Yoga. Sustaining beings and yet not dwelling in them, I myself cause all beings to come into manifestation. (9:5)

As mighty winds move everywhere, yet always dwell in the ether, know that even so do all beings dwell within me. (9:6)

At the end of a kalpa, all beings merge into my Prakriti: at the beginning of another kalpa, I myself send them forth. (9:7)

Resting on my Prakriti, I send forth again and again this entire multitude of beings, helpless under Prakriti’s power. (9:8)

And these acts do not bind me, sitting as one apart, indifferent and unattached in these actions. (9:9)

With me as overseer Prakriti produces both the animate and the inanimate; because of this the world revolves. (9:10)

The deluded despise me dwelling in human form, not knowing of my higher being as the Great Lord of all beings. (9:11)

Those of vain hopes, vain deeds, vain knowledge, without intelligence, abide in the delusive nature of rakshasas and asuras. (9:12)

But those great souls that abide in their divine nature, worship me single-mindedly, knowing me as the eternal Origin of beings. (9:13)

Always glorifying me and striving with firm vows, bowing to me with devotion, always steadfast, they worship me. (9:14)

And others, sacrificing by the sacrifice of knowledge, worship me as One and Manifold, variously manifested, omniscient. (9:15)

I am the ritual, I am the sacrifice, I am the offering, I am the herb, I am the mantra, I am the ghee, I am the fire, and the pouring out into the fire. (9:16)

I am the Father and Mother of this world, Establisher, Grandfather, the object of knowledge, the Purifier, the Omkara (Om), the Rig, Sama and Yajur Vedas. (9:17)

I am the Goal, the Sustainer, the Lord, the Witness, the Abode, the Refuge, the Friend, the Origin, the Dissolution, the Foundation, the Treasure house and the Eternal Seed. (9:18)

As the sun I radiate heat; I withhold and send forth rain; I am immortality and death; being and non-being am I. (9:19)

The knowers of the three Vedas, the Soma drinkers, purified of sins, worshipping by sacrifices, seek the goal of heaven; they, the meritorious, attaining the world of Indra, enjoy divine, heavenly pleasures of the gods. (9:20)

Having enjoyed the vast heaven-world, with merit exhausted, they reenter the world of mortals. Thus, carrying out the injunctions of the three Vedas, desiring objects of desire, going and coming from birth to birth, they obtain them. (9:21)

Those men who single-mindedly direct their thoughts to me, worship me. For them who are constantly steadfast I bestow what they lack and preserve that which they possess. (9:22)

Even those who with devotion worship other gods also worship me, though with a mistaken approach.* (9:23)

Truly I am the Enjoyer and Lord of all sacrifices; but because they do not know me in truth they fall back into rebirth in this world. (9:24)

Those who are devoted to the gods go to the gods. Those who are devoted to the ancestors go to the ancestors. Those who are devoted to the spirits go to the spirits. Those who are devoted to me surely come to me. (9:25)

Whoever offers to me with devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit, or water, I accept that offering of devotion from him whose heart is pure. (9:26)

Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer in sacrifice, whatever you give, whatever tapasya you practice, do that as an offering to me. (9:27)

Thus shall you be freed from the bonds of actions producing both good and evil fruits. Steadfast in the yoga of renunciation and totally liberated, you shall come to me. (9:28)

I am the same to all beings. There is no one who is disliked or dear to me. But they who worship me with devotion are in me, and I am also in them. (9:29)

If even an evildoer worships me single-heartedly, he should be considered righteous, for truly he has rightly resolved. (9:30)

Quickly he becomes a virtuous soul and goes to everlasting peace. Understand: no devotee of me is ever lost. (9:31)

Truly, those who take refuge in me even though they be from wicked origins, women,** Vaishyas or Shudras, they also attain the Supreme Goal. (9:32)

How much more easily, then, the holy Brahmins and devoted royal (kshatriya) sages. Having come to this impermanent and unhappy world, devote yourself to me. (9:33)

With mind fixed on me, devoted, worshipping, bow down to me. Thus steadfast, with me as your supreme aim, you shall come to me. (9:34)

* The words “with a mistaken approach” is the best I can do with avidhipurvakam. It literally means “not according to the rules” or even “without/outside the rules.” The idea seems to be that these people do not know or understand how to worship God correctly because they do not know or understand the nature of God. Other possible terms–ignorantly, incorrectly, mistakenly, improperly, inappropriately, inappositely, inaptly, ineptly, haphazardly, irregularly–either express a value judgment or add an extra meaning or attitude the Sanskrit does not include.

** At the time of Krishna, and even today in India, some people, denying the truth of the Self, claim that only Brahmin and Kshatriya males can attain liberation. Krishna denies this.

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 ninth discourse entitled: The Yoga of the Royal Science and Royal Secret.

Read Chapter Ten: The Yoga of Divine Glories

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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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