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The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 9: The Yoga of the Kingly Science and Kingly Secret

The Holy Lord said:
To you who argue not shall I
Declare this most secret knowledge
Which, when joined with realization,
Shall free you from impurity. (1)

Royal knowledge, royal secret,
This the supreme purifier,
Readily learned by the righteous,
Easy to practice, eternal. (2)

Those without faith in this dharma,
Return, without attaining Me,
To the path of birth in this world–
The realm of death, O Arjuna. (3)

All this world is pervaded by
Me in My unmanifest form:
All beings do dwell within Me,
But I do not dwell within them. (4)

Nor do beings dwell within Me–
Behold this, My Divine Yoga!
Bringing forth and supporting them,
My Self yet does not dwell in them.1 (5)

As mighty winds move ev’rywhere,
Yet always dwell in the ether,
Know, Arjuna, that even so
Do all beings dwell within Me. (6)

At the end of a kalpa,2 all
Beings merge in My Prakriti:
At dawn of another kalpa,
I Myself send them forth again. (7)

Animating My Prakriti,
I project again and again
This whole multitude of beings,
Helpless under Prakriti’s sway. (8)

And yet these acts do not bind Me,
Sitting as one indifferent
And fully unattached to them:
This is the truth, Dhananjaya. (9)

Because of My proximity,
Prakriti produces all this,
The moving and the unmoving;
The world revolves because of this. (10)

Unaware of My higher state
As the Great Lord of all beings,
The deluded disregard Me
Dwelling within a human form. (11)

Of vain hopes, vain deeds, vain knowledge,
Without sense–truly they abide
In the delusive nature of
The rakshasas3 and asuras.4 (12)

But those great souls that abide in
Their divine nature, Arjuna,
Worship Me single-mindedly,
As their eternal Origin. (13)

Glorifying Me always and
Striving ever with firm resolve,
Bowing to Me in devotion,
Always steadfast, they worship Me. (14)

And others, sacrificing by
The sacrifice of pure knowledge,
Worship Me, the All-Formed, as one,
As distinct, and as manifold. (15)

I am the rite, the sacrifice,
The offering, the offered things,
I am the mantra and the ghee,
The fire, and act of oblation. (16)

Father and Mother of this world,
Sustainer, Grandfather, the Known,5
Purifier, the Pranava,
The Rig, Sama, Yajur Vedas. (17)

Goal, Supporter, the Lord, Witness,
Abode, Refuge, Friend, Origin,
Dissolution, and Substratum,
Storehouse, Seed Imperishable. (18)

As the sun I give heat and I
Withhold and send forth rain; I am
Both immortality and death;
Being and non-being am I! (19)

The knowers of the three Vedas worship Me
By sacrifice, by drinking Soma, and thus
Made pure from sin pray for passage to heaven;6
Gain worlds and enjoy pleasures of the Devas. (20)

Having enjoyed the heaven-world, with merit
Exhausted, they re-enter the mortal world.
Thus, keeping the injunctions of the Vedas,
Filled with desires, they constantly come and go. (21)

Those who direct their thoughts to Me,
Worshipping Me with steadfast mind,
For them I secure what they lack
And preserve that which they possess. (22)

Even those who with faith worship
Other gods, also worship Me,
Though with a mistaken approach7
This is the truth, Son of Kunti. (23)

Truly I am the Enjoyer,
And Lord of all sacrifices;
But because they do not know Me
They return, subject to rebirth. (24)

To the gods go their devotees;
To fathers go their devotees;
To spirits go their devotees;
And to Me go My devotees.8 (25)

Whoe’er with devotion offers
A leaf, flower, fruit, or water,
That I accept–the devout gift
Offered by the pure-minded one. (26)

Whate’er you do, whate’er you eat,
Whate’er you sacrifice or give,
Whate’er austerity you do,
Do that as offering to Me. (27)

Thus shall you be freed from the bonds
Of actions–both good and evil;
Steadfast in renunciation
And freed, you shall come unto Me. (28)

I am the same to all beings:
To me none is disliked or dear.
But those worshipping Me, devout,
Are in Me, and I am in them. (29)

If even an evildoer
Worships me single-heartedly,
He should be considered righteous,
Truly having rightly resolved. (30)

Quickly he becomes virtuous
And goes to everlasting peace.
O Son of Kunti, understand:
My devotee is never lost. (31)

Women, Vaishyas, also Shudras,
Even those born of evil wombs,
All those who take refuge in Me
Also go to the Supreme Goal.9 (32)

How much more, then, holy Brahmins
And devoted royal10 sages!
Having obtained this transient
And joyless world, then worship Me. (33)

With mind fixed on Me, devoted,
Worshipping, bowing down to Me,
Thus made steadfast, with Me as your
Supreme aim–you shall come to Me. (34)

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 Kingly Science and Kingly Secret.

Read the next Chapter of the Bhagavad Gita: The Yoga of Divine Glories


1) The idea of these two verses is that we draw our being from God; God does not draw His being from us. We are contained in Him, He is not contained in us. [Go back]

2) A kalpa is a Day of Brahma–4,320,000,000 years. It alternates with a Night of Brahma of the same length. In the Day of Brahma creation is manifest and in the Night of Brahma is it resolved into its causal state. [Go back]

3) Rakshasa: There are two kinds of rakshasas: 1) semidivine, benevolent beings, or 2) cannibal demons or goblins, enemies of the gods. Meat-eating human beings are sometimes classed as rakshasas. [Go back]

4) Asura: Demon; evil being (a-sura: without the light). [Go back]

5) The “to be known,” the object of knowledge. [Go back]

6) Surendralokam–the world of Indra, king of the “gods” who control the forces of nature. This is a comparatively lower realm of development in the cosmos. [Go back]

7) 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 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. [Go back]

8) “Gods” (devas) are the demigods presiding over various powers of material and psychic nature. “Fathers” (pitris) are ancestors or other departed human beings. “Spirits” (bhutas) are non-human nature spirits, some of them subhuman (“elementals”), but this classification can also include earthbound human spirits. All of these may be either positive or negative. [Go back]

9) At the time of Krishna, and even today in India, some ignorant people, denying the truth of the Self, claim that only Brahmin and Kshatriya males can attain liberation–and they have to be from “good” backgrounds. Krishna denies this. [Go back]

10) Kshatriya [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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