The Song Celestial
Verses from the Bhagavad Gita
Selected and reset by Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi
1. To him (Arjuna) thus filled with compassion and in despair, his eyes distressed and full of tears, spoke Madhusudana these words:
The Blessed Lord said:-
2. This body, O son of Kunti, is called the kshetra (field); him who knows it, the sages call the kshetrajna (knower of the field).
3. Know Me also as the knower of the field in all the fields, O Bharata: knowledge of the field and of the knower of the field I deem to be true knowledge.
4. I am the Self, O Gudakesa, dwelling in the Heart of every being; I am the beginning and the middle, and likewise the end of all beings.
5. Of the born the death is certain, and certain the birth of the dead: therefore for what none can prevent thou shouldst not grieve.
6. Never is He born nor dead; nor having been, ceaseth He any more to be: unborn, abiding, eternal, ancient, He is not slain when the body is slain.
7. Not to be cleft is He, not to be burnt is He, not even to be wetted nor yet to be dried is He: abiding He is and all-pervading, stable, immovable and everlasting.
8. Know That to be indestructible whereby all this is pervaded; of this Immutable none can work destruction.
9. Of the non-existent there is no being, and of what exists there is no non-being; the definite ascertainment of both is seen by the seers of the essence of Truth.
10. As ether everywhere present is not polluted by virtue of its subtlety, even so the Self abiding everywhere is not polluted in the body.
11. Nor sun nor moon nor fire illumines It: and whither having gone men return not, That is My Abode Supreme.
12. Unmanifested, Imperishable is this called; and this they proclaim the Supreme State, which attained they return not, That is My Abode Supreme.
13. Without pride, without delusion, victorious over the blemish of attachment, ever abiding in the Self, their desires abandoned, released from the pairs called pleasure and pain, they go undeluded to that Abode Immutable.
14. He who forsakes the ordinances of scriptures, and acts under the influence of desire, attains not perfection, nor happiness, nor the Supreme State.
15. Who sees the Lord Supreme dwelling alike in all beings, perishing not as they perish, he sees indeed.
16. By devotion alone, without the 'otherness', O Arjuna, thus can I be known, and seen, and in essence entered, O Parantapa.
17. The faith of every man, O Bharata, accords with his essential character; man is instinct with faith: as that wherein a man hath faith, verily so is he.
18. He that has intense faith, and to that faith being devoted has the senses controlled, gains knowledge; and having gained knowledge he swiftly attains Supreme Peace.
19. To those who are self-attuned and who worship Me with affectionate devotion I give that union with understanding whereby they come unto Me.
20. Out of compassion for them and abiding in their Self I destroy with the resplendent light of knowledge their darkness born of ignorance.
21. Verily for those in whom the ignorance is destroyed by the knowledge of the Self, in them the knowledge like the sun illumines That Supreme.
22. High, they say, are the senses; higher than the senses is the mind; and higher than the mind is the understanding; but one who is higher than understanding is He.
23. Thus knowing Him to be higher than the understanding, steadying the self by the Self, O thou strong of arm, slay the enemy in the form of desire, so hard to overcome.
24. Just as a burning fire makes ashes of its fuel, O Arjuna, even so does the fire of knowledge make ashes of all works.
25. Whose every enterprise is without desire or motive, whose actions are burnt up in the fire of knowledge, him the wise call a Sage.
26. All around the austere sages free from desire and wrath, who have subdued their mind and have realized the Self, radiate the beatific peace of Brahman.
27. Little by little should one realize tranquillity, by judgement held with a steadfast purpose; making the mind abide in the Self, he should think of nothing at all.
28. Towards whatsoever the mind wanders, being fickle and unsteady, therefrom it should be withdrawn and brought under the sway of the Self alone.
29. With the senses, mind and intellect subdued, the saint who devoutly seeks Liberation, without desire, fear or wrath - he is indeed ever Liberated.
30. The one steadfast in yoga and looking on every thing impartially, sees the Self abiding in all beings, and all beings in the Self.
31. I undertake to secure and protect the welfare of those who without 'otherness' meditate on Me and worship Me, and who ever abide thus attuned.
32. Of these the jnani, who is ever attuned, whose devotion is centred in One, is the most excellent; because to the jnani am I exceedingly dear and he is dear to Me.
33. At the end of many births the jnani finds refuge in Me, recognising that Vasudeva is all. Such a high Soul is very hard to find.
34. When one puts away, O Partha, all the desires that are in the mind, and in the Self alone by the Self well satisfied, then is he called the man of steadfast wisdom.
35. Having cast away all desires, that man who goes without longing, devoid of 'I' and 'mine' - he doth attain peace.
36. He by whom the world is not disturbed, and who is not disturbed by the world, free from exultation, impatience, fright and agitation - he is dear to me.
37. He who holds honour and dishonour equal, equal the friendly party and the foe, who has renounced all enterprise - he is said to have transcended the gunas.
38. The man who revels here and now in the Self alone, with the Self is satisfied, and in the Self alone is content - for him there is no work which he must do.
39. For him there is no purpose in doing the work, nor any in leaving it here undone; nor is there for him in all the beings anything which serves a purpose.
40. Content to take what chance may bring, having transcended the pairs, free from ill-will, and even-minded in success or failure, though he works, he is not bound.
41. The Lord, O Arjuna, dwells in the Heart of every being and by His mysterious power spins round all beings set on the machine.
42. Unto Him alone surrender, O Bharata, with all thy being; by His Grace shalt thou obtain Peace Supreme, the Abode Eternal.
* * * *
Thus shines the quintessence of the Gita consisting of the verses selected by Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi.
He who studies with earnestness and devotion; these verses, forty-two in number, attains easily the knowledge imparted by the Gita.
What is the abiding Truth sought by man throughout the ages? How is it realized in this life of ours, a life so transient and yet so apparently full of sorrow? In answer to these questions (implicit in the opening verse of this Gita-booklet), Sri Krishna offered the eternal Message of Wisdom, KNOW THYSELF, which is also the quintessence of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi's teachings, which enjoin the earnest aspirant to enquire "WHO AM I?'', as the direct means to SELF-KNOWLEDGE.
In order to convey this Message in a pointed manner, Sri Maharshi, at the request of devotees, selected these forty-two out of the seven hundred verses of the Bhagavad-Gita, and arranged them in the particular order in which the reader finds in this booklet, SONG CELESTIAL.
The emphasis is primarily on jnana and bhakti margas, the path of nishkama-karma being implicit in either. Indeed, according to Sri Maharshi, it is only a jnani that can be a good karma yogi. These forty-two verses contain the essence of the Bhagavad-Gita, and they show to the aspirant the direct means to realize the Sat-Chit-Ananda Atman, the Self Absolute, which is the one, ultimate object of man's quest throughout the ages.
Desire, fear and anger presuppose duality, and duality is based on the mind. The wish to possess or do a thing, or the wish not to possess or not to do a thing, is desire.
The notion of possible loss or harm to a thing desired or the contrary notion with regard to a thing not desired is fear. The urge for aggressive action accompanied by fear of losing or of harm being done to a thing desired or fear of having to receive or to support a thing not desired, is anger. These three vices of the mind are, therefore, clearly interrelated. Without desire there is no fear, without fear there is no anger; and none of them can exist without the sense of duality. Duality is dependant on the mind, and, if the mind is destroyed, desire, fear and anger will also be destroyed. The only direct means of destroying the mind with its duality and the consequent vices of desire, fear and anger, is Atmanishta. Atmanishta means firm and unswerving abidance in the Atman or Self. It is the state of inherence in the Oneness of the Atman. Therefore, there is no scope for duality in Atmanishta. When Atmanishta becomes sahaja or spontaneous, the sense of duality is destroyed for ever.
Know this finally that the supreme state of beatitude is attained only by absolute surrender to the Lord Who dwells as the Self in the Heart, and by His Grace alone will you obtain Peace, the Abode Eternal.
This is the quintessence of Sri Krishna's Celestial Song of the Gita, which Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi has given us, and may His Grace enable us to realize the Peace and Bliss of the Self Transcendental!