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The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 7: The Yoga of Wisdom and Realization

The Holy Lord said:
With your mind intent upon Me,
Taking refuge in Me, now hear
How through the practice of yoga
You shall fully come to know Me. (1)

To you I shall explain in full
Knowledge and realization,
Which, being known, nothing further
Remains to be known in this world. (2)

Of thousands of human beings,
Scarcely one strives for perfection;
And of those adept in striving,
Scarcely any knows Me in truth. (3)

Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind,
Intellect, ego-principle:
These are the eight divisions of
My prakriti, O Arjuna.1 (4)

Such is my lower prakriti,
Yet know my higher prakriti
Sustains all beings that exist
And the whole cosmos, Mighty Armed. (5)

These two Prakritis should be known
As the womb of all these beings.
Of this whole universe am I
The Origin and Dissolver. (6)

Higher than Me, Dhananjaya,
There is absolutely nothing.
All creation is strung on Me
Like strands of jewels on a thread. (7)

I am the taste within water,
The radiance of moon and sun;
I am Om in all the Vedas,
Sound in ether, manhood in men. (8)

I am the fragrance within earth,
And the brilliance within the fire;
The life in all beings, and the
Austerity of ascetics. (9)

Know me as the eternal seed
Of all beings; th’intelligence
Of the intelligent, and the
Splendor of the splendid am I. (10)

I am the strength of the strong, free
From all desire and from passion.
I am the desire in beings
That is according to dharma. (11)

States of being which are sattwic,
Rajasic and tamasic2–know
As proceeding from Me, yet I
Am not in them, but they in Me. (12)

All this world is deluded by
The states composed of the gunas.
Thus it perceives Me not, Who am
Eternal and higher than these. (13)

This divine illusion of Mine
Is difficult to go beyond.
Only those devoted to Me
Shall pass beyond this illusion. (14)

But those not devoted to Me–
Evil-doers, deluded, low–
Deprived by Maya of good sense,
Follow the way of the demons. (15)

These four kinds of virtuous men
Do worship Me, O Arjuna:
The distressed, seekers of welfare,
Seekers of knowledge, and the wise. (16)

Of them, the wise man, e’er steadfast,
Devoted to the One, excels;
Supremely dear am I to him,
And he is dear to Me, as well. (17)

All these indeed are exalted,
But I see the man of wisdom
As My Self. He, with mind steadfast,
Abides in Me, the Supreme Goal. (18)

At the end of his many births
The wise man takes refuge in Me.
He knows: “All is Vasudeva.3
How very rare is that great soul! (19)

Others, deprived of their good sense,
By “this or that” desire or rite,
Devote themselves to other gods,
Impelled thus by their own natures. (20)

Whatever form a devotee
May seek to worship with full faith–
That faith of his is blessed by Me
To be steadfast, unwavering. (21)

Endowed with faith he then receives
His desires from that worshipped form
Because I have decreed that those
Desires should be granted to him. (22)

But temporary is the fruit
For those of small understanding.
To the gods go their worshippers;
My worshippers come unto Me. (23)

The unintelligent think Me
Manifest, though Unmanifest,
Not knowing My supreme state as
Unchanging and transcendental. (24)

Veiled by illusion born of the
Combinations of the gunas,
This deluded world knows Me not–
The Unborn, the Immutable. (25)

I know the departed beings,
Also the living, Arjuna,
And those who are yet to be born;
But none whatsoever knows me. (26)

By desire and hatred rising
Through duality’s delusion,
At birth all beings fall into
Delusion, O Scorcher of Foes. (27)

But those men of virtuous deeds,
They whose sin has come to an end,
Freed from the pairs of opposites–
They worship Me with firm resolve. (28)

Those men who take refuge in Me
Seek freedom from old age and death;
They know Brahman thoroughly, and
Know the Self and Karma as well. (29)

Those who know Me, the Primal One,
The Primal God, Chief Sacrifice,
They truly know Me with steadfast
Thought even at the time of death. (30)

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 seventh discourse entitled: The Yoga of Wisdom and Realization.

Read the next Chapter of the Bhagavad Gita: The Yoga of Imperishable Brahman


1) I have inserted “Arjuna” in this verse to fill out the meter, just as in the first verse of this chapter I had to omit “Son of Pritha” to maintain it. [Go back]

2) These three states will be discussed in Chapter Fourteen. [Go back]

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Text of the Bhagavad Gita 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

The Bhagavad Gita—The Song of God A new Translation by Abbot George Burke

  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

Read the Maharshi Gita, an arrangement of verses of the Bhagavad Gita made by Sri Ramana Maharshi that gives an overview of the essential message of the Gita.

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

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