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Karma Yoga(Yoga of Actions and Duties)

  • Chapter 1
  • Chapter 2
  • Chapter 3
  • Chapter 4
  • Chapter 5
  • Chapter 6

Bhakti Yoga(Yoga of Devotion)

  • Chapter 7
  • Chapter 8
  • Chapter 9
  • Chapter 10
  • Chapter 11
  • Chapter 12

Jnana Yoga(Yoga of Knowledge)

  • Chapter 13
  • Chapter 14
  • Chapter 15
  • Chapter 16
  • Chapter 17
  • Chapter 18


Introductory Overview




In reality, its not possible to describe or explain the greatness and glory of Lord Sri Krishna and his Bhagwad Gita. It has been said that if the entire sky be a sheet of paper and water of all the oceans be ink, it would still be insufficient to describe the glory and greatness of Lord Krishna. No one is capable, educated or equipped enough, be it in any language, to describe Shrimad Bhagwad Gita. It is the essence; the concentrated form of all Vedas and Upanishads. The language of this divine book which is in Sanskrit is simple but its meanings are so profound and deep that it needs to be read repeatedly and each time it unfolds newer meanings and realizations for the reader.
The great saint Shri Ved Vyasa,in his epic, The Mahabharata after explaining Shrimad Bhagwad Gita says,



Gita is to be read with “Bhakti “or devotion and its meanings and preachings should be beautifully absorbed within our inner self which has directly been delivered by Lord Krishna from his Lotus mouth.(Lord Krishna”s navel and mouth is like Lotus).
Where is the need then, for any other scripture?

Here its important to discuss the

“Mahatmayam” or greatness or importance of Shrimad Bhagwad Gita,to answer our questions i.e. Why should I read Gita? How is it different from any other religious scripture?



    Gita Mahatmayam


One who reads Shrimad Bhagwad Gita with devotion and humility and has a controlled and regulated mind, will attain the Holy Feet of Lord Shri Krishna and he will become free from all fear and miseries and from the perpetual cycle of life and death. 


One who reads Shrimad Bhagwad Gita with faith and sincerely and practices “Pranayam”, then the reactions of his past misdeeds will never have a bearing on him.

One may clean himself daily by bathing with water, but a bath in the purifying waters of Shrimad Bhagwad Gita will cleanse him of the dirt of this material world .

Gita is to be read with “Bhakti “or devotion and its meanings and preachings should be beautifully absorbed within our inner self which has directly been delivered by Lord Krishna from his Lotus mouth.(Lord Krishna”s navel and mouth is like Lotus).

Where is the need then, for any other scripture? 


After drinking the holy, pure, Ganga water of Shrimad Bhagwad Gita, the divine and most important part of the Mahabharata, emanating from the holy, Lotus Mouth of Lord Krishna, one will never take rebirth on this mundane material world again.




All the Upanishads are like cows; the son of Nanda – Lord Krishna is the milk- man who milks; Arjuna is the innocent calf and the divine nectar of Gita is the milk; the pure, devoted readers are the drinkers.



There is only one holy scripture i.e. the Divine song Bhagwad Gita delivered by Devaki”s son Shri Krishna; only one absolute God who should be worshipped i.e. Devaki”s son Shri Krishna; only one chanting (Mantra) i.e. chanting his holy names and only one duty (Karma) i.e. service of Lord Krishna.

Now, we need to know why reciting the Gita Mahatmayam is important.

“Gitaayaah pathanam kritwaa maahaatmyam naiva yah pathet;
vrithaa paatho bhavet tasya shrama eva hyudaahritah”

One who does not read the Gita Mahatmayam (Glory of Gita) loses the benefit of reading the entire Gita; his efforts go waste.

chidaanandena krishnena proktaa swamukhato'rjuna;
vedatrayee paraanandaa tatwaarthajnaanasamyutaa.

It is spoken by the Supreme Lord, Shri Krishna, the All – knowing, through his own mouth (Srimukha Nisrita) to Arjuna. It contains the essence of Vedas- the knowledge of reality. The Bhagwad Gita contains the cream of Vedas and Upanishads. Hence it is a Divine scripture which has a universal appeal irrespective of religion, age or philosophy.

“Hare Krishna Hare Krishna,
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama,
Rama Rama Hare Hare”

"Shri Hari"

[Hari means the remover. Repeated uttering his name erases our sins, bad karmas and all that is negative in us. ]

Bhagwat Gita- The Divine Song of the Lord

Bhagwad Gita is Lord Krishna's battlefield discourse given to his friend (sakha),student (shishya), devote(bhakt) and very affectionate (priya) pandava, Arjuna. Arjuna's unwillingness to do his duty as a warrior was mainly due to two reasons, i.e.

How could he fight with his own teacher (Guru Dronacharya), his revered elders, his cousins and warriors whom he loved albeit they were fighting against the pandavas and belonged to the Duryodhana camp.
Fighting involved destruction and death and how could he engage in violent war and kill his own people?

• It is a doctrine of universal truth. Its message is universal, sublime and non sectarian although it is a part of one of the greatest epic of Hinduism i.e. Mahabharata. Repeated reading of “Bhagwad Gita” with faith will reveal all the sublime ideas of life, humanity, peace and divinity. It imparts the knowledge of the self and answers the universal questions. For Example:

• Who I am?
• Why have I taken birth?
• How can I lead a happy and peaceful life?
• What is my eternal aim in life?
• What should I do and what I should not do?

Lord Krishna Advises Arjuna to get up and fight as Arjuna is a Kshatriya (Warrior) and he should carry out his duty to protect Dharma (righteousness).

The central teaching of Gita is the attainment of freedom from the bondage of life by doing ones duty, Our duty is to always remember the glory and greatness of Lord Krishna, to do our duty efficiently in whichever field we are without being attached or effected by the results.

Also it is our duty to do all our duties as a service to the Lord and to see God alone in everything in a spiritual frame of mind which can only be achieved through worship, meditation, prayers, penance, austerity, honesty, selfless service and most importantly faith.

Bhagwad Gita also highlights the value for journey of self from within (Self enquiry), company of holy men (Sadhu- sangat), pilgrimage (Tirth yatra).

Also, one must learn a practice to give up greed, anger, lust which are enemies of our true happiness.

God is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient. He is the Doer; we are only his instruments. We must submit our will in the will of God and put in our utmost effort and dedication in all his undertakings remaining unaffected by its outcome that is why the gain or loss, pain or pleasure, success or failure that will arise from those undertakings.

"‘Om Tat Sat’


Om Shree Paramatmane Namah
Dear Krishna Bhakta!
Hare Krishna!

By now, we know what is the importance of Shrimad Bhagwad Gita in our lives and that repeated reading of this glorious text with utmost sincerity, devotion and faith gives us timeless wisdom and grace or “Kripa” of the Supreme Lord-Krishna. We have also dealt with the glory and importance of reading “Gita Mahatmayam”. Shrimad Bhagwad Gita is such an instruction manual that encompasses each and every aspect of life and shows us how with correct approach we can find the true purpose of our lives. It’s a book whose philosophy is vast,complex and multi-layered. It addresses the problems of our generation which is confused, unhappy,d isillusioned and reeling under fear and tension.


Shrimad Bhagwad Gita contains 700 Shlokas(or verses or couplets) which is spread over 18 chapters. The 18 chapters are divided into 3 sections ;each consisting of 6 chapters. They are: 

•Karma Yoga(Yoga of Actions and Duties)
• Chapter 1 : Visada Yoga
• Chapter 2 : Sankhya Yoga
• Chapter 3 : Karma Yoga
• Chapter 4 : Jnana Yoga
• Chapter 5 : Karma Vairagya Yoga
• Chapter 6 : Abhyasa Yoga

•Bhakti Yoga(Yoga of Devotion)
• Chapter 7 : Paramahamsa Vijnana Yoga
• Chapter 8 : Aksara-Parabrahman Yoga
• Chapter 9 : Raja-Vidya-Guhya Yoga
• Chapter 10 : Vibhuti-Vistara-Yoga
• Chapter 11 : Visvarupa-Darsana Yoga
• Chapter 12 : Bhakti Yoga

• Jnana Yoga(Yoga of Knowledge)
Chapter 13 : Ksetra-Ksetrajna Vibhaga Yoga
Chapter 14 : Gunatraya-Vibhaga Yoga
Chapter 15 : Purusottama Yoga
Chapter 16 : Daivasura-Sampad-Vibhaga Yoga
Chapter 17 : Sraddhatraya-Vibhaga Yoga
Chapter 18 : Moksa-Opadesa Yoga

Yoga means connection or union where our puny, limited self connects or unites with the limitless “Highest Self”.

It is the process to realize and connect to the “Eternal Self” at our core.This book is written in classical Sanskrit which later has been translated in many foreign and Indian languages. The language is simple, subtle yet sublime.

Each Shloka or verse is tightly metered and rhymed beautifully and is harmonic and melodious to hear, when spoken properly. Probably, this is the reason why the book is called “Song of the God”. Though we know that Shrimad Bhagwad Gita is a spiritual, battlefield discourse delivered by Lord Krishna to his friend and devotee, Arjuna.

Chapter 1:

The Book opens with the blind king Dhritarashtra requesting his secretary Sanjay to narrate the battle scene between his sons-The Kauravas and his younger brother Pandu”s sons-The Pandavas.

Dhritarashtra Uvaacha(Dhritarashtra speaks)

“Dharmakshetre Kurukshetre Samaveta Yuyutsuvah
Maamaka Paandavaashchaiva Kima Kurvata Sanjaya

Lord Krishna out of affection for Arjuna, agrees to be his Charioteer (although He says that he will not fight in the battle.)
As the opposing Armies stand poised for the battle, Arjuna, the mighty warrior sees his intimate relatives, teachers and friends in both armies ready to fight and sacrifice their lives. Arjuna, who is fighting to protect “Dharma” or righteousness and his near and dear ones who are bereft of “Dharma” are drawn in military array, and at this point Arjuna on seeing his opponents is overwhelmed with grief and is bewildered and his mouth dries up and his body becomes numb and quivers.

Arjuna Uvaacha(Arjuna says)

“Drishstvemam Swajanam Krishna Yuyutsum Samupasthitam Seedanti Mama Gaatraani Mukham Cha Parishushyati”

(shloka 28; chap 1)
(Here we need to understand that Arjuna who was considered the undefeatable Archer is not afraid of fighting or losing a pure devotee of Lod Krishna cannot feel weak. But a pure devotee must have compassion for everyone i.e. humans animals, plants which Arjuna had. So he fears the sinful reactions of killing as by the Grace of Lord Krishna ,Arjuna was indomitable and indefeatable).

Arjuna argues that it is sinful to kill one”s family,under any circumstance and for any cause. The outcome of any war is degradation and destruction of society. He goes on and says that if others are blinded by the selfish motives to gain a kingdom, why should he too be blind ?. He does not wish to become the king of any World. Saying this Arjuna keeps down his bow and arrows and sat down on the chariot, overwhelmed with grief. This first chapter is also called “Vishad Yoga” which means depression and despair of Arjuna.(As Arjuna finds himself in the crisis of War)

(If Yoga is a positive connection, then how can it be associated with despair? We need to realize that without a crisis, we will never try to find a solution; unless there is hunger, we will never search for food; unless there is cavity, what will rainwaters fill ; unless there is mundanity and detachment ,how will we seek unity with the Lord.)

“Hare Krishna Hare Krishna,
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama,
Rama Rama Hare Hare "HARI OM TAT SAT"

Chapter 2:

The second chapter opens with Sanjaya narrating to blind Dhritarashtra that the Supreme Lord Krishna sees his most intimate friend Arjuna, full of earthly compassion and depression and loosing strength and willingness to fight and He gives Arjuna what is known as “Gita Gyan”.

Gita Gyan shows path to the lost and offers solution to the confused and eternal wisdom and enlightenment to all. Its primary purpose is to enlighten all of humanity towards realization of the true nature of divinity. It gradually draws us away from the materialistic and mundane world and takes us closer to the spiritual and divine world which is endless. It advocates about the importance of meditation which is necessary for inner peace. Everything in this world is temporary but our soul which is a part of that Divine Soul i.e. Lord Krishna, is immortal.

Finding Arjuna in dilemma and confusion, and Arjuna being blinded by love towards his relatives ,near and dear ones, Krishna reminds him of being a “Kshatriya”(warrior class) and his duties. As Arjuna is grief stricken, Lord Krishna says that Arjuna”s grief does not befit his Kshatriya Dharma. The wise mourn neither for the living nor for the dead. Never was there a time when Lord Krishna or the kings didn”t exist and never will be a time when they wouldn”t in future. Happiness and unhappiness are temporary like the summer and winter season. So a wise man will not be disturbed by the temporariness of life and death. The body is perishable but soul is indestructible.

Shribhagavanuvacha(says the Godhead):
“Na Jaayate Mriyate Vaa Kadaachin,Naayam Bhutwaa Bhavitaa Vaa Na Bhuyah.
Ajo nityah Shaashvatoyam Puraano,Na Hanyate Hanyamaane Sharire”(Ch.2:Shlok 20)

The soul is immortal; it is neither born nor does it die. It does not have a birth nor death. Its eternal, unborn and deathless. Aatma or soul is not slain when the body is slain. So, Lord Krishna urges Arjuna to think that knowing Aatma to be unslainable, how can one kill the indestructible?

Shri Bhagawanauvacha (Says Lord Krishna)

“Vaasaansi Jeernaani Yathaa Vihaaya, Navaani Grihanaati Naroparaani. Tathaa Shariraani Vihaaya Jirnaanyaani,Sanyaati Navaani Dehi.” (Chap2:Shlok22)

Shri Bhagavanuwaacha (Says Lord Krishna)

“Nainam Chindanti Shastraani, Nainam Dahati Paavakah Na Chainam Kledayantyaapo, Na Shoshyati Marutah”(Chap2: Shlok 33)

This soul can never be cut into pieces by weapons, nor burnt by fire, nor made wet by any water or be dried by wind.

The soul cannot be destroyed by any agent of destruction.

Its insoluble ,unbreakable, unchangeable, immovable and everlasting. The soul is invisible and invincible while what is born must die. Anything which has a beginning also has an end. So why moan for the mortal body? The soul never had a beginning and so it will never cease to exist.

One who shows “SAMATVA” (Equanimity) or balanced mind ,he is unaffected by good or bad. One who does not get carried away by happiness or success and doesn”t get drowned or consumed at times of distress then he is fixed in perfect knowledge and is able to withdraw his senses from sense objects just like the tortoise which draws its limbs within the shell. But a person who”s even one sense contemplates on mundane pleasures and the mind is not focussed on the Lord ,it can carry away that man”s intelligence just like a boat in water which is carried away by a strong wind. So a man”s mind, speech and deeds all should be engaged in the service of the Lord showing restraint from material, temporary happiness and carrying out one’s duties dispassionately and being detached without thinking of the fruits of one’s actions. Here Lord Krishna says

“Karmanye Vaadhikaaraste Maa Phaleshu Kadaachana
Maa Karmaphalaheturbhur Maa Te Sangostavakarmani”(Chap2: Shlok 47)

Don”t deviate from Dharma or Rightousness for temporary happiness or sadness. Therefore every person must dispassionately carry out one”s duties with utmost sincerity which has been assigned to him.
Arjuna in this chapter becomes Lord Krishna”s disciple from being an intimate friend and prays to Lord to show him the righteous way to dispel his grief and lamentation.

This chapter, predominantly deals with the immortal and deathless nature of the Aatma or Soul existing within all living beings. This chapter gives a glimpse of all the “Yoga” that will be discussed in the subsequent chapters-i.e. Karmayoga, Bhaktiyoga and Jnanayoga.
The second chapter is also called “Sankhya Yoga” which means Yoga of Right Understanding.
“Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare”


Chapter 3

Om Shree Paramatmane Namah
Dear Krishna Bhakta!
Hare Krishna!

Shrimad Bhagvad Gita, as discussed earlier,means "Song of God" i.e. Lord Krishna the Supreme Personality of Godhead and his teachings are meant for the "Bhagavatas" or "Servants of God".

Shrimad Bhagvad Gita teaches us how to lead our lives in this "NASWAR" (or perishable) world which is illusory,transient ; perform our duties without attachment(i.e. ASAKTI) and be unaffected by the worldly desires just like a lotus leaf which inspite of being an aquatic one never becomes wet or submerges in water but floats above and thus doesn't decompose or becomes dirty. It teaches to come out of the maze of desire-driven actions and delusions which consequently has chained us to the cycle of birth and death. Our mind is the seat of desires, thoughts and feelings. So we must not allow it to wander after egoist pursuits and never-ending materialistic desires. An unstable mind cannot attain salvation and liberation.

Thus, by disengaging and withdrawing the mind from worldly pleasures and pursuits, by exercising restraint and self- discipline one can be liberated from the cycle of birth and death.

The third chapter Karma yoga teaches us the value of "Karma or Duty or action". It teaches us to perform our Karma and give up the fruits of our actions. Each one of us have to perform our prescribed duties which is obligatory and in accordance with our functions and responsibilities.

Lord Krishna in this chapter talks about two actions of Karma
- Action is better than inaction i.e merely by abstaining from work or renunciation, no one can achieve liberation or God.
-Which action of ours leads us to sin and which actions leads to liberation and salvation.

Also, Lord Krishna talks about "Sakaam Karma" i.e. actions undertaken to achieve success,glory, profits, pleasure and "Nishkaam Karmas" i.e. actions undertaken as a duty and service to the Lord without any materialistic desire.

There are many people who pretend to be devotees and so refrain from doing work. They are cheaters who outwardly control the organs of action and pretend to meditate while in reality their mind and senses are totally dwelling that gratify their senses. They are unable to choose the right and are guided by desire for sensual pleasure.

Shri Bhagawanauvacha (Says Lord Krishna)

Karmendriyaani Sanyamya,Yah Aaste Manasaa Smaran Indriyaarthaan Vimoordaatmaa Mithyaachaarah Sa Uchyate. ( shloka 6;Chapter 3)

A person who abstains from action but whose mind yearns for sensual pleasures is living in delusion and is called a cheater (hypocrite).

Shri Bhagawanauvacha (Says Lord Krishna)

Yastvindriyaani Manasaa,Niyamyaarbhaterjuna Karmendriyeh Karmayogamasaktah Sa Vishishyate. (Shloka 7;Chapter 3)

Whereas , a person ,who has control over his mind, and works without desires (Aasakta) of the fruits of his actions ,he is superior(Vishishyate).

Lord Krishna urges Arjuna to carry out his duty according to his Dharma as action is greater than inaction. He enlightens Arjuna by saying that any work undertaken as a service to Vishnu will be free from bondage as both good or evil actions have their definite outcome which binds the doer. Every act should be an act of prayer and service to the Lord.

Shri Bhagawanauvacha (Says Lord Krishna)

Yagyaarthath Karmanyonatra Lokoyam Karmabandhanah Tadhartham Karma Kaunteya Muktasangah Samaachara.(shloka 9;Chapter 3)

When a person dedicates all his actions to God and renounces their respective consequences, then he is liberated.

Lord Krishna says that He is the Supreme Lord,the owner of entire universe.

Yet, He too , is bound by Karma because if He doesn't perform, then the world and everything will perish. A disillusioned person thinks of himself as the doer and fails to see himself as an instrument of Lord Krishna. He urges Arjuna to kill the desire of material, mundane pursuits which is the root cause of all evil. He suggests Arjuna to give priority to divinity and to detach from Maya and attach to the divine. He also advises Arjuna to fight dispassionately without any despair or guilt and without worrying about the outcome. Let us absorb our minds and heart in the Supreme Lord and lets move towards union with Him. Let us all see divinity all around us and connect to the Higher consciousness always.

"Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare"


Chapter 5

Om Shree Paramatmane Namah
Dear Krishna Bhakta!
Hare Krishna!

Chapter 5 of Shrimad Bhagawad Gita is also called "KARMA SANYASA YOGA". Arjuna, in his dilemma raises a question to Lord Krishna- Which is better? Renouncing or giving up all Karma or actions and becoming a sage or performing actions and being a Karmayogi. Just like a mirror which is covered with dust or water vapour can't show reflection similarly a mind which does not have right knowledge can't attain God and eternal peace and happiness. Lord Krishna says that both lead to the highest bliss but performing of actions being selfless, unattached and unaffected by the outcome of those actions while doing those actions with a sense of utmost duty and devotion is better.

He says that renunciation does not mean giving up of actions or shunning your duties. It means to lose the sense of doer ship. Highest renunciation is self realization and realizing the non-doer self.

When one has submitted oneself completely in the will of God and considers Himself as His instrument; God is the "Doer", we are only here to carry out His will.

Lord Krishna also explains the quality of a Yogi. A Yogi or the seeker needs to have the quality of "Sama Drishti" or "Samatva". All creations of Lord Krishna, whether human, elephant, dog or a "Chandala"(low uncivilized) and the eternal essence(undivided Aatma) present in all are part of "Prakriti" which is devoid of any positivity or negativity.
And How will one attain this "Samatva"? By meditation. Only the thirsty seeker who wants to be firmly and fully established in the eternal sense will meditate and be firmly planted in the Self which is a part of the "Absolute"
Such a seeker will discover infinite joy within himself as he will be connected with that infinite Supreme Lord. He no longer will need or desire to turn to the temporary, sensual , material pursuits for pleasure and will turn and contemplate his mind inwards as God manifests as the inner consciousness.

A person who has submitted all his actions to God and works without any attachment, he is like a lotus who even being in dirty, muddy water remains dry and clean.

Shribhagavanuvacha: (Says Lord Krishna)
Brahmanyaadhaaya Karmaani Sangam Tyaktvaa Karoti Yah,
Lipyate Na Sa Papena
Shribhagavanuvacha: (Says Lord Krishna)
Na Prahrishyetpriyam Praapya Nodvijet Praapya Chaapriyam,
Sthirbudhhirsammudho Brahmavid Brahmani Sthithah

He neither rejoices for any happiness nor drowns himself in lamentations, he neither has any friends nor any foe, his mind is still, unmoved and unfazed, doubtless and his mind is perfectly and permanently planted in God. He is unaffected by any worldly gain or loss and does not seek any material gain or pleasure out of it.

Shribhagavanuvacha: (Says Lord Krishna)

"Kaamakrothaviyuktaanaam Yateenaam Yatachetasaam,
Abhito Brahmanirvaanaam Vartate Viditaatmanaam".

He is devoid of any sensual pleasure or anger, he has control and won over his senses,he has realized God and and is enveloped by the Supreme,absolute Lord. Such a person is liberated and will attain eternal peace.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna,
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama,
Rama Rama Hare Hare


Lord Krishna Says that by unflinching faith and constant practice and meditation one can bring the mind under control. Any attempt and progress towards attaining God never

To Be Continued