The Bhagavad Gita, deeply woven into the fiber of India’s culture, distills Hinduism’s core teachings in story form. Here are selected verses from one of my favorite versions: The Holy Geeta, translated by Prabha Duneja.
The soul is neither born
nor does it ever die;
having come into being once,
it never ceases to be.
It is unborn, eternal,
permanent, and primeval.
As a person casts off
and puts on new ones;
likewise the embodied soul
discards a worn out body
and enters into a new one.
Weapons cannot cut the soul, nor can fire burn it. Water cannot wet it, nor can wind make it dry. It is eternal, all-pervading, unchanging, immovable, and primordial.
As the waters of the rivers enter the ocean which though full, remains undisturbed; likewise the one in whom all desires merge themselves, he attains peace. … This is the state of transcendental unity, O Arjuna. … Being established in this state, even at the time of death, he attains the Supreme Blissful state.
In whatever way men approach Me, so do I accept them; for all men follow My path in every way, O Arjuna.
Those whose mind and intellect are totally merged in God, who remain established in Unity, and consider that as their Supreme goal, they reach the state of no return.
Shutting out the external sensory contacts, fixing the vision between the two eyebrows, controlling the outgoing and incoming breath flow, with the senses, mind, and intellect fully restrained, and free from desire, fear, and anger—the sage who aims at liberation as his highest goal, he is verily liberated forever.
He whose self is established in Yoga, he beholds the Self abiding in all beings and all beings in the Self.
He who, being established in oneness, worships Me dwelling in all beings, that yogi ever resides in Me.
I am the origin of the whole universe, as well as the dissolution.
Everything is strung on Me, like the clusters of gems on a string.
I am the sacred syllable AUM in all the Vedas.
I am the life in all beings.
Know Me to be the eternal seed of all beings.
Recognize Me as the unborn and the imperishable Supreme spirit.
Those who take refuge in me and strive for deliverance from old age and death, they know all about the absolute Brahman, the Self, and the entire field of actions.
Having closed all the doors of senses and firmly restoring the mind in the heart and the life-breath in the crown of the head; established in the yogic concentration, he who utters the single syllable AUM the Supreme Brahman and remembers Me while departing from his body, he certainly attains the Supreme Goal.
This whole universe is pervaded by Me, in My unmanifest aspect. All beings exist in me.
The great souls… devote themselves to Me with undistracted mind, knowing me as the source of entire creation.
I am the Father of this world and also the Mother. … I am the origin and the dissolution, the resting place, the store-house, and the imperishable seed of the universe.
…having come to this transitory, sorrowful world, devote yourself in worship to Me. Fix your mind on Me, be devoted to Me, adore Me, salute Me in reverence; thus being united with Me and taking Me as your ultimate goal, surely you will come to Me.
…destroy the ignorance-born darkness by the luminous lamp of wisdom.
I am the source of all; from Me everything proceeds.
I am the indwelling soul, seated in the hearts of all beings. I am the beginning and the middle, as well as the end of all beings.
I am verily the imperishable Time; I am the Sustainer facing in all directions. I am the all-devouring death and the source of things yet to come.
I am the seed of all living beings.
O great Supreme-soul: Thou are the greatest, even greater than Brahma, the original creator. O Infinite Being, Thou are the imperishable, the being, the non-being, and that which is beyond both.
You are the primal God, the most ancient Purusha, and the ultimate resort of the universe… The Universe is pervaded by You, O Lord of infinite forms.
The Light of all lights, said to be beyond darkness… is seated in the hearts of all.
He who beholds the Supreme Lord existing equally in all beings, as the imperishable within the perishable, he truly sees.
The Holy Geeta (1998), as well as and numerous other books and audio materials by Prabha Duneja, are available here and at YouTube’s Geeta Society page. See in particular her book Hinduism: Scriptures and Practices (Geeta Society, 2012) as well as my blog post with quotes from Prabha’s talk on Mantra and Meditation.
Chapter and Verse Citations from The Holy Geeta, tr. Prabha Duneja
1. Ch. 2, Verse 20
2. Ch. 2, Verse 22
3. Ch. 2, Verses 23 & 24
4. Ch. 2, Verses 70 and 72
5. Ch. 4, Verse 11
6. Ch. 5, Verse 17
7. Ch. 5, Verses 27 and 28
8. Ch. 6, Verse 29
9. Ch. 6, Verse 31
10. Ch. 7, Verse s
11. Ch. 7, Verse 7
12. Ch. 7, Verse 8
13. Ch. 7, Verse 9
14. Ch. 7, Verse 10
15. Ch. 7, Verse 25
16. Ch. 7, Verse 29
17. Ch. 8, Verses 12 and 13
18. Ch. 9, Verse 4
19. Ch. 9, Verse 13
20. Ch. 9, Verses 17 and 18
21. Ch. 9, Verses 33 and 34
22. Ch. 10, Verse 11
23. Ch. 10, Verse 20
24. Ch. 10, Verse 20
25. Ch. 10, Verses 33 and 34
26. Ch. 10, Verse 39
27. Ch. 11, Verse 37
28. Ch. 11, Verse 38
29. Ch. 13, Verse 17
30. Ch. 13, Verse 27