Bhagavadgita !

Chapter 9

Rajavidya Rajaguhya Yoga

Slokas with meanings

Sanskrit text in Devanagari, Kannada, Gujarati, English, Telugu

||om tat sat||

śrī bhagavānuvāca:

idaṁ tu tē guhyatamaṁ pravakṣyāmyanasūyavē |
jñānaṁ vijñānasahitaṁ yat jñātvā mōkṣyasēsśubhāt ||1||

"I will tell this highest secret to you, the one who has gone beyond petty jealousies. That is the knowledge embedded with experience, knowing which you will be free from all evil."

rāja vidyā rājaguhya yōgaḥ

Krishna begins the ninth chapter by telling Arjuna that he, Krishna, will teach Arjuna that secret knowledge which will free from him evil (or knowing which, Arjuna will attain Liberation).
This sounds like a familiar refrain. In the seventh chapter also, Krishna starts by saying: "since you have an interest in Me (Brahman), I will tell you how you may know Me fully" ("asaṁśayaṁ samagraṁ māṁ yathā jñāsyasi tat śr̥ṇu"), emphasizing that one will know Him fully and without any doubt. In fact, He promises that, "yat jñātvā na iha bhūyō anyat jñātavyaṁ avaśiṣyatē" ("knowing which, there is nothing else that is worth knowing; that knowledge I will teach you").

Then Krishna describes the nature of Brahman, which consists of “apara” and “Para.” aparā consists of all the earthly elements (bhūmi rāpō nalō vāyu) and the superior "parā" is the basis of all living beings. parā and aparā are responsible for all the sentient and insentient beings in the universe.

Krishna describes how Brahman pervades all beings and how Brahman is the seed in all beings. That nature of Brahman is not known to all because of ignorance and Maya. Only those who are able to overcome the ignorance are able to perceive Brahman and attain Liberation (Moksha). Liberation is the realization of Brahman as none other than the Self. Liberation is also actions performed without wanting the enjoyment of fruits (or results of the actions).

Further elaborating on the nature of Brahman, Krishna says that those who realize Him as existing as part of everything—
“Adhibhuta, Adhidaivam, Adhiyagnya”—are able to remember Him even in their last moments. And if such a one lets the vital force (Prana) leave the body while uttering the syllable "om", that person will attain Moksha. But this may be an arduous task beyond all but a few. So Krishna also elaborates on an easier way to Liberation.

But by the end of the eighth chapter, one may be perplexed by the thought of having to remember the Almighty as a way to attain Moksha, uttering "om" in those final moments. One might even wonder if that is the only way of attaining Moksha. As though to answer that fear, Krishna starts the ninth chapter with a promise, just as he did in the seventh chapter. The promise is to reveal that knowledge which frees people from all evil.

That is Raja Vidya Raja Guhya Yoga.

Raja Vidya is that Vidya or "knowledge" that is the most valuable. That most valuable knowledge is none other than the knowledge of Brahman. It is secret by virtue of it not being known to many. That is the topic of this chapter nine, and chapter nine is titled "Rajavidya Rajaguhya Yoga."

Sloka 1

śrī bhagavānuvāca:

idaṁ tu tē guhyatamaṁ pravakṣyāmyanasūyavē |
jñānaṁ vijñānasahitaṁ yat jñātvā mōkṣyasē’śubhāt ||1||

sa|| yat jñātvā aśubhāt mōkṣyasē (tat) idaṁ guhyatamaṁ vijñānasahitam  jñānaṁ anasūyavē tē pravakṣyāmi ||1||

Sloka meanings:

yat jñātvā aśubhāt mōkṣyasē - having known which, you will be free from evil
(tat) idaṁ guhyatamaṁ - (that) this highest secret
vijñānasahitam jñānaṁ - knowledge with experience,
anasūyavē tē pravakṣyāmi - you, the one not given to jealousy, I will tell

Sloka summary:

"I will tell you, the one not given to jealousy, that highest secret, knowledge with experience, having known which, you will be free from evil." ||1||

Krishna addresses Arjuna as, “the one not given to jealousy.” It is an indication that Arjuna is fit to receive the highest knowledge. It is normal for a Guru to proceed only after testing the disciple to see if he is fit for a higher level of knowledge. Krishna, by way of his addressing Arjuna, confirms that Arjuna is indeed fit to receive the knowledge that He is about to teach. That is, “vijñānasahitaṁ jñānam”: knowledge with experience. If Arjuna grasps this knowledge, there is nothing else for him to know.

Sloka 2

rājavidyā rājaguhyaṁ pavitramidamuttamam |
pratyakṣāvagamaṁ dharmyaṁ susukhaṁ kartumavyayam ||2||

sa|| idaṁ rājavidyā rājaguhyaṁ uttamam pavitram pratyakṣāvagamam dharmyam kartum susukham avyayam ||2||

Sloka meanings:

rājavidyā - best of all knowledge
rājaguhyaṁ - the highest secret
uttamam pavitram - the best and the purifier
pratyakṣāvagamam - directly realizable
dharmyam - righteous
kartum susukham - very easy to practice
avyayam - imperishable

Sloka summary:

"It is the best of all learnings, the highest secret. It is the best purifier, directly realizable, and righteous. It is very easy to practice, and is imperishable." ||2||

rājavidyā means "the best of all knowledge." It is also translated as “Supreme Knowledge” or “Sovereign Knowledge.” That is, the Knowledge of the Divine Self. It is the highest knowledge.

guhyaṁ means “secret.” rājaguhyaṁ means then, “the highest secret.” It is also translated as the “Supreme Secret” or “Sovereign Secret.” Knowledge of the Divine Self is that highest secret because it is not known to all. This knowledge of the Divine Self is the main topic of this chapter.

Sloka 3

aśraddhadhānāḥ puruṣā dharmasyāsya parantapa |
aprāpya māṁ nivartantē mr̥tyu saṁsāravartmani ||3||

sa|| hē parantapa! asya dharmasya aśraddhadhānāḥ puruṣāḥ māṁ aprāpya mr̥tyusaṁsāravartmani nivartantē ||3||

Sloka meanings:

dharmasyāsya - asya dharmasya - in this Dharma
aśraddhadhānāḥ puruṣā - people without faith
māṁ aprāpya - not being able to attain Me
nivartantē - returning again
mr̥tyusaṁsāravartmani - in this path of repeated deaths

Sloka Summary:

"O Parantapa in this Dharma, people without faith return to the path of repeated deaths, unable to attain Me." ||3||

Faith is the key. Those without faith give up and return to the cycle of birth and death, forever lost in this busy life, earning merits and demerits.

 Sloka 4

mayā tatamidaṁ sarvaṁ  jagadavyaktamūrtinā |
matthsāni sarvabhūtāni na cāhaṁ tēṣvavasthitaḥ ||4||

sa|| idaṁ sarvaṁ jagat  avyaktamurtinā mayā tatam | sarvabhūtāni matthsāni | ahaṁ tēṣu na avasthitaḥ ||4||

Sloka meanings:
idaṁ sarvaṁ jagat - the whole world
avyaktamūrtinā mayā tatam - pervaded by My unmanifested form
sarvabhūtāni matthsāni - all beings are in Me
ahaṁ tēṣu na avasthitaḥ - I do not dwell in them

Sloka summary:

"The whole world is pervaded by My unmanifested form. All beings are in Me. I do not dwell in them." ||4||

Here, Krishna is saying: “Arjuna, what you see is My manifested form. But it is My unmanifested form of the Supreme Being that pervades all beings.” Does Krishna’s later statement, “I do not dwell in them," contradict His first statement? No, because beings are perishable. The imperishable cannot be part of a perishable thing (the body). So "I am not in them" is correct. The imperishable part of us is the "Self,” which is part of the Supreme Being.

Sloka 5
na ca matthsāni bhūtāni paśyamē yōgamaiśvaram |
bhūtabhr̥nnaca bhūtasthō mamātmā bhūtabhāvanaḥ ||5||

sa|| bhūtāni matthsāni  na ca | mē aiśvaram yōgam paśya | mama ātmā bhūtabhr̥t bhūtabhāvanaḥ api bhūtasthaḥ na ca ||5||

Sloka meanings:

bhūtāni matthsāni na ca - the beings do not exist in Me
mē aiśvaram yōgam paśya - behold my divine Yoga
mama ātmā - My Self (the manifested form)
bhūtabhr̥t - sustainer of all beings
bhūtabhāvanaḥ - source of all beings
bhūtasthaḥ na ca - not contained in all beings

Sloka summary:

"The beings do not exist in Me. Behold My Divine Yoga. My Self (the manifested form), the sustainer of all beings, the source of all beings, is not contained in all beings." ||5||

Here, though the Supreme Being is the sustainer and source of all beings. He is also detached from the beings he sustains and does not dwell in them.

Sloka 6

yathā’’kāśasthitō nityaṁ vāyussarvatragō mahān |
tathā sarvāṇi bhūtāni matthsānītyupadhāraya ||6||

sa|| yathā sarvatragaḥ mahān vāyuḥ nityaṁ ākāśasthitaḥ tathā sarvāṇibhūtāni matthsāni iti upadhāraya ||6||

Sloka meanings:

yathā sarvatragaḥ mahān vāyuḥ - just as the vast air spread all over
nityaṁ ākāśasthitaḥ - subsists within space
tathā sarvāṇibhūtāni - similarly all beings
 matthsāni iti upadhāraya - know that, they are in Me

Sloka summary:

"Just as the vast air, spread all over, subsists within space,
similarly, know that all beings are in Me." ||6||

The air, moving everywhere, ever rests in space. So do all beings rest in the Supreme which pervades everything.

Sloka 7

sarva bhūtāni kauntēya prakr̥tiṁ yānti māmikām |
kalpakṣayē punastāni kalpādau visr̥jāmyaham ||7||

sa||hē kauntēya | sarvabhūtāni kalpakṣayē māmikāṁ prakr̥tiṁ yānti | kalpasya ādau tāni punaḥ aham visr̥jāmi ||7||

Sloka meanings:

sarvabhūtāni kalpakṣayē - all beings at the end of the cycle
māmikāṁ prakr̥tiṁ yānti - return to My nature
kalpasya ādau tāni - at the beginning of the cycle
punaḥ aham visr̥jāmi - again I project them

Sloka summary:

"Kaunteya, at the end of the cycle, all beings return to My nature. At the beginning of the cycle, I project them again." ||7||

All beings merge into Brahman at the end of the cycle, only to be created again at the start of the next cycle. Again, the Lord is the source and the end of all beings.

 Sloka 8

prakr̥tiṁ svāmavaṣṭabhya visr̥jāmi punaḥ punaḥ |
bhūtagrāmamimaṁ kr̥tsnamavaśaṁ prakr̥tērvaśāt ||8||

sa|| prakr̥tēḥ vaśāt avaśam imaṁ kr̥tsnaṁ bhūtagrāmam svām prakr̥tiṁ avaṣṭabhya punaḥ punaḥ visr̥jāmi ||8||

Sloka meanings:

svām prakr̥tiṁ avaṣṭabhya - following My nature
avaśam imaṁ kr̥tsnaṁ bhūtagrāmam - this helpless multitude of beings
visr̥jāmi punaḥ punaḥ - (I am) creating them again and again
prakr̥tēḥ vaśāt - (all beings are) swayed by the nature

Sloka summary:

"Following My nature again and again, I create this helpless multitude of beings, who are swayed by their nature." ||8||

Here, the Supreme Being is said to be in control of His nature and creating again and again. On the other hand, the created beings are swayed by and under the control of their nature.

Like the Supreme Being, the created beings too can have control of their nature. We heard repeatedly that when one, by their own efforts, is able to control their nature, one is unswayed by that nature and realizes the Self and joins the Supreme Being.

Sloka 9

na ca māṁ tāni karmāṇi nibadhnanti dhanaṁjaya |
udāsīnavadāsīnaṁ asaktaṁ tēṣu karmasu ||9||

sa|| hē dhanaṁjaya! tēṣu karmasu asaktaṁ udāsīnavat āsīnam mām tāni karmāṇi na nibadhnanti ||9||

Sloka meanings:

tāni karmāṇi māṁ na nibadhnanti - those actions do not bind Me
tēṣu karmasu asaktaṁ - being unattached to those actions
udāsīnavat āsīnam mām - with Me sitting unconcerned

Sloka summary:

"O Dhananjaya, those actions do not bind Me, as I am unattached to those actions and sit unconcerned." ||9||

The Supreme Being is like a witness, unconcerned and unattached. The Supreme Being is not bound by His acts. Again this is true for human beings also. The Gita says that when you perform work in an unattached manner, you are not bound by your acts, and you achieve Liberation. Detachment from the results of work suppresses the ego feeling of “I”, as the creator/performer of that work. Ownership (ego) creates bondage, leading you into a spiral of ownership issues. So perform your work in an unattached manner.

Unattached does not mean that you may perform your duty carelessly, producing an inferior product. It is said: "yōgaḥ karmasu kausalam". This means that Yoga is excellence in action, unattached but full of focus on the action to be performed.

Sloka 10

mayā’dhyakṣēṇa prakr̥tiḥ sūyatē sa carācaram |
hētunānēna kauntēya jagadviparivartatē ||10||

sa|| hē kauntēya mayā adhyakṣēna prakr̥tiḥ sacarācaraṁ sūyatē | anēnahētunā jagat viparivartatē ||10||

Sloka meanings:

mayā’dhyakṣēṇa - mayā adhyakṣēṇa - under my supervision
prakr̥tiḥ sacarācaraṁ sūyatē - nature creates all moving and unmoving things
anēnahētunā - because of this
jagat viparivartatē - world revolves
Sloka summary:

"O Kaunteya, under My supervision, nature creates all moving and unmoving things. Because of this, the world revolves." ||10||

Sloka 11

avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā mānuṣīṁ tanumāśritam |
paraṁ bhāvamajānantō mama bhūtamahēśvaram ||11||

sa|| mama paraṁ bhāvaṁ(tattvaṁ) ajānantaḥ mūḍhāḥ bhūtamahēśvaram mānuṣīṁ tanuṁ āśritam mām avajānanti ||11||

Sloka meanings:

mama paraṁ bhāvaṁ(tattvaṁ) ajānantaḥ - not knowing Me My true nature
mūḍhāḥ - foolish people
bhūtamahēśvaram - the lord of all beings
mānuṣīṁ tanuṁ āśritam mām – I, who have taken the form of a human
avajānanti - disregard Me

Sloka summary:

"Not knowing My true nature, foolish people disregard Me,
the lord of all beings, who has taken the form of a human." ||11||

Who are the foolish people who disregard the Supreme Being or the Self? Krishna explains in Sloka 12.

Sloka 12

mōghaśā mōghakarmāṇō mōghajñānā vicētasaḥ |
rākṣasī māsurīṁ caiva prakr̥tiṁ mōhinīṁ śritāḥ ||12||

sa|| mōghaśāḥ mōghakarmāṇaḥ mōghajñānāḥ vicētasaḥ mōhinīṁ rākṣasīm asurīṁ ca (sva) prakr̥tiṁ ēva śritāḥ ||12||

Sloka meanings:

mōghāśā - people with fruitless desires
mōghakarmāṇō- people with fruitless actions
mōghajñānā - people with fruitless knowledge
vicētasaḥ - people with deluded minds
mōhinīṁ - bewildering
rākṣasīm asurīṁ ca prakr̥tiṁ - the nature of Rakshasas and Asuras
ēva śritāḥ - possessed of

Sloka summary:

"People with fruitless desires, fruitless actions, fruitless knowledge, people with deluded minds are possessed of the bewildering nature of Rakshasas and Asuras." ||12 ||

All these people, possessed of the nature of Asuras, are “avajānanti,” disregarding Paramatman or the Self. This is also the life of impious people. Those who are attentive to the Self (as opposed to disregarding it) are possessed of a divine nature. We can also say those who are possessed of a divine nature do not disregard Self.

Sloka 13

mahātmanastu māṁ pārtha daivīṁ prakr̥timāśritaḥ |
bhajantyananyamanasō jñātvā bhūtādimavyayam ||13||

sa|| hē pārtha! mahātmanaḥ tu daivīṁ prakr̥tiṁ āśritāḥ mām bhūtādim avyayaṁ jñātvā ananyamanasaḥ (māṁ) bhajanti ||13||

Sloka meanings:

mahātmanaḥ tu daivīṁ prakr̥tiṁ āśritāḥ -
great souls are always possessed of divine nature
mām bhūtādim avyayaṁ jñātvā -
knowing Me as the cause of all beings, imperishable
ananyamanasaḥ (māṁ) bhajanti – they adore Me single-mindedly

Sloka summary:

"O Partha, great souls are always possessed of divine nature. Knowing Me as imperishable and the cause of all beings, they worship Me
single-mindedly." ||13||

How do they worship Him? Krishna elaborates on how the people of divine nature worship in Sloka 14.

Sloka 14

satataṁ kīrtayantō māṁ yatantaśca dr̥ḍhavratāḥ |
namasyantaśca māṁ bhaktyā nityayuktā upāsatē ||14||

sa|| satatam mām kīrtiyaṁtaḥ dr̥ḍhavratāḥ  yatantaḥ ca bhaktyā namasyantaḥ ca nityayuktāḥ mām upāsatē ||14||

Sloka meanings:

satatam mām kīrtiyaṁtaḥ - always glorifying Me
dr̥ḍhavratāḥ - firm in their vows,
yatantaḥ ca - always making effort to know
bhaktyā namasyantaḥ ca - faithfully paying obeisance
nityayuktāḥ mām upāsatē - always remaining imbued with devotion worship of Me

Sloka summary:

"They always worship Me, remaining imbued with devotion, firm in their vows, faithfully paying obeisance, always making an effort to know, and always glorifying Me." ||14||

Sloka 15

jñānayajñēna cāpyanyē yajantō māmupāsatē |
ēkatvēna pr̥thaktvēna bahudhā viśvatō mukham ||15||

sa|| anyē api jñāna yajñēna yajantaḥ ēkatvēna pr̥thaktvēna bahudhā viśvatō mukham mām upāsatē ||15||

anyē api jñāna yajñēna yajantaḥ - others worshipping Me with sacrifice of knowledge
ēkatvēna - knowledge of oneness
pr̥thaktvēna - as separate
bahudhā viśvatō mukham - in many ways, with many forms
upāsatē - worship

Sloka summary

"Others worshipping Me with sacrifice of Knowledge, knowledge of oneness or separate, in many ways, with many forms." ||15||

From the last two slokas, we know that the ones who follow their divine nature, are always glorifying Bhagavan, and are always striving, paying obeisance with single-minded devotion. Some of them worship Bhagavan with the knowledge of Him being only One (ēkatvēna). Some worship Bhagavan with the knowledge of Him being of different forms (pr̥thaktvēna). Some worship Bhagavan as the Supreme One who is multiformed (viśvamukham). These thoughts can be taken as reference to the Advaita and Dvaita philosophies.

There is a simple analogy to distinguish between these multiple streams of thoughts. Under a brilliant spotlight, one sees the light and the Self as separate: Bhagavan is the light, and the person is the lighted one; both being different is Dvaita. Then there is the one who realizes that the light is in oneself, that light is one’s knowledge; this is Vishishtadvaita. Then there is the one who realizes the Self is the light. The Self within one lights everything; this is Advaita.

In Sloka 9.04, Krishna said, "mayā tatamidaṁ sarvaṁ," meaning that the whole world is pervaded by Him. In the subsequent four slokas, Krishna elaborated on the all-pervasive Brahman who is worshipped in many forms, as well as in one form.

Sloka 16

ahaṁ kratuḥ ahaṁ yajñaḥ svadhāhamahamauṣadham |
mantrō’hamahamēvājyaṁ ahamagnirahaṁ hutam ||16||

sa|| ahaṁ kratuḥ | ahaṁ yajñaḥ | svadhāhamahamauṣadham | ahaṁ mantraḥ | ahaṁ ājyaṁ | aham agniḥ | ahaṁ ēva hutam asmi ||16||

Sloka meanings:

ahaṁ kratuḥ - I am the Vedic rite
ahaṁ yajñaḥ - I am the sacrifice
ahaṁ mantraḥ - I am the incantation
svadhāhamahamauṣadham - I am the food offered to the ancestral spirits, and the herb
ahaṁ ājyaṁ - aham agniḥ - I am the lustrated butter, I am the fire
ahaṁ ēva hutam asmi - I am the oblation

Sloka summary:

"I am the Vedic rite. I am the sacrifice. I am the food offered to the ancestral spirits, and the herb. I am the incantation. I am the lustrated butter. I am the fire. I am the oblation too." ||16||

Sloka 17
pitā’hamasya jagatō mātā dhātā pitāmahaḥ |
vēdyaṁ pavitramōṁkāra r̥ksāmayajurēvaca ||17||

sa|| asya jagataḥ aham ēva pitā mātā dhātā pitāmahaḥ vēdyaṁ pavitraṁ ōṁkāraḥ r̥k sāma yajuḥ api ||17||

Sloka meanings:

asya jagataḥ - for this world
aham ēva pitā mātā dhātā pitāmahaḥ - I am the father, mother, sustainer, and the grandsire
vēdyaṁ - (I am the) knowable
pavitraṁ - (I am the) sanctifier
ōṁkāraḥ - Omkara
r̥k sāma yajuḥ api - as also Rk Sama, Yaju

Sloka summary:

"For this world, I am the father, mother, sustainer, and the grandsire. I am the knowable. I am the sanctifier, Omkara, as also Rk Sama, Yaju Vedas." ||17||

Sloka 18

gatirbhartā prabhussākṣī nivāsaśśaraṇaṁ suhr̥t |
prabhavaḥ praḷayaḥ sthānaṁ nidhānaṁ bījamavyayam ||18||

sa||gatiḥ bhartā prabhuḥ sākṣī nivāsaḥ śaraṇam suhr̥t prabhavaḥ sthānaṁ praḷayaḥ  nidhānam avyayaṁ bījam ||18||

Sloka meanings:

gatiḥ - Goal
bhartā - support
prabhuḥ - the Lord
sākṣī - witness
nivāsaḥ śaraṇam - abode, refuge
suhr̥t - friend
prabhavaḥ praḷayaḥ sthānaṁ - source, dissolution, existence
nidhānaṁ bījamavyayam - wealth and the imperishable seed
Sloka summary:

"I am the Goal , the support, the Lord, the witness, the abode, the refuge , the friend, the source, the dissolution, the existence, the wealth, and the imperishable seed." ||18||

Sloka 19

tapāmyahamahaṁ varṣaṁ nigr̥hṇāmyutsr̥jāmi ca |
amr̥taṁ caiva mr̥tyuśca sadasaccāhamarjuna ||19||

sa|| hē arjuna! ahaṁ tapāmi | ahaṁ varṣam utsr̥jāmi | nigr̥hṇāmi ca | amr̥taṁ ca | mr̥tyuśca | ahamēva sat ca | asat ca ||19||

Sloka meanings:

ahaṁ tapāmi - ahaṁ varṣam utsr̥jāmi nigr̥hṇāmi ca -
I cause the heat. I send forth the rain and arrest it too
amr̥taṁ ca - mr̥tyuśca - I am the nectar and death too
ahamēva sat ca asat ca - I am the real and unreal too

Sloka summary:

"O Arjuna, I cause the heat. I send forth the rain and arrest it too.
I am the nectar and death too. I am the real and the unreal too." ||19||

These are all forms of the Supreme Being. Because of Maya, people are not able to know them.

Sloka 20

traividyā māṁ sōmapāḥ pūtapāpā
yajñairiṣṭvā svargatiṁ prārthayantē |
tē puṇyamāsādya surēndralōka
maśnanti divyāndivi dēvabhōgān ||20||

sā|| traividyāḥ sōmapāḥ pūtapāpāḥ yajñaiḥ mām iṣṭvā svargatiṁ prārthayaṁtē tē puṇyam surēṁdralōkaṁ āsādya divi divyān dēvabhōgān āśnanti ||20||

Sloka meanings:

traividyāḥ - those who are versed in three Vedas
sōmapāḥ - those who drink Soma
pūtapāpāḥ - those who are free of sins
yajñaiḥ mām iṣṭvā - worshipping Me through sacrifices
svargatiṁ prārthayaṁtē - pray for attainment of heaven
tē puṇyam surēṁdralōkaṁ āsādya - after attaining the meritorious world of Indra, they
divi divyān dēvabhōgān āśnanti - enjoy the divine pleasures of gods

Sloka summary:

"Those who are versed in three Vedas, those who drink Soma, those who are free of sins, worshipping Me through sacrifices, pray for attainment of heaven. After attaining the meritorious world of Indra, they enjoy the divine pleasures of gods." ||20||
What happens after they enjoy divine pleasures in heaven? We hear that in ślōkamu 21.

Sloka 21

tē taṁ bhuktvā svargalōkaṁ viśālaṁ
kṣīṇē puṇyē martyalōkaṁ viśanti |
ēvaṁ trayīdharmaṁ anuprapannā
gatāgataṁ kāmakāmā labhantē ||21||

sa|| tē taṁ viśālaṁ svargalōkam bhuktvā puṇyē kṣīṇē martyalōkam viśanti | ēvam trayīdharmamanuprapannāḥ kāmakāmāḥ gatāgatim labhantē ||21||

Sloka meanings:

tē taṁ viśālaṁ svargalōkam bhuktvā -
they having enjoyed the vast heavenly world
puṇyē kṣīṇē martyalōkam viśanti -
after exhausting their merits enter the mortal world
ēvam trayīdharmamanuprapannāḥ - thus the followers of three Vedas
kāmakāmāḥ gatāgatim labhantē - desiring objects of pleasures achieve, the state of going and coming.

Sloka summary:

"Having enjoyed the vast heavenly world and after exhausting their merits, they enter the mortal world. Thus the followers of three Vedas, desiring objects of pleasure, achieve the state of going and coming." || 21||

Slokas 20 and 21 say that the knowers of three Vedas, the drinkers of Soma, and also those purified of sin, worshipping through sacrifices, seek only the attainment of heaven (or other fruits). Their wish is being satisfied. They return to the cycle of birth, after their merits are exhausted in the enjoyment of fruits. Thus they continue in the cycle of birth and death.

Then how do we get out of that cycle? We hear that in Sloka 22.

Sloka 22

ananyāścintayantō māṁ ē janāḥ paryupāsatē |
tēṣāṁ nityābhiyuktānāṁ yōgakṣēmaṁ vahāmyaham ||22||

sa|| yē janāḥ na anyāḥ cintayantaḥ māṁ paryupāsatē nityābhiyuktānām tēṣām yōgakṣēmaṁ aham vahāmi ||22||

Sloka meanings:

na anyāḥ cintayantaḥ - not thinking of any other object
ē janāḥ māṁ paryupāsatē - those people who worship Me
nityābhiyuktānāṁ - thus earnestly engaged in constant meditation
tēṣāṁ yōgakṣēmaṁ vahāmyaham - their prosperity and security (welfare) is taken care of by Me

Sloka summary:

"The people who worship Me, not thinking of any other object and thus earnestly engaged in constant meditation, their prosperity and security (welfare) is taken care of by Me." ||22||

This is indeed a solemn assurance. It is a guarantee.

Again this is also a reiteration that there is no need to follow the triple Vedic texts full of fruit-oriented actions to achieve Liberation. What is needed is only worship of Bhagavan, without thinking of any other object.

Slokas in chapter 8 detailed a strict process of Yoga. But that is not the only way to Liberation. Even there, subsequent Sloka states that Bhagavan can be attained easily by those who take refuge in Him. The statement here in 9.22 reinforces that and removes all doubts.

Krishna adds a little more in Sloka 23.

Sloka 23

yē’pyannyadēvatā bhaktā yajantē śraddhayānvitaḥ |
tē’pi māmēva kauntēya yajantyavidhipūrvakam ||23||

sa|| kauntēya! yē api anyadēvatā bhaktā śraddhayānvitāḥ yajantē tē api mām ēva avidhipūrvakam yajanti ||23||

Sloka meanings:

yē api anyadēvatābhaktā - those who are devotees of other Deities
śraddhayānvitāḥ yajantē - imbued with faith, they worship
tē api mām ēva - they also (worship) Me
avidhipūrvakam yajanti - improperly (worship)

Sloka summary:

"Kaunteya, those who are devotees of other Deities, imbued with faith, also worship Me only, though improperly." ||23||

Sloka 24

ahaṁ hi sarva yajñānāṁ bhōktā ca prabhurēvaca |
na tu māmabhijānanti tattvēnātaścyavanti tē ||24||

sa|| hi sarva yajñānām ahaṁ ēva bhōktā ca  prabhuḥ ēva ca | mām tē tattvēna na abhijānanti | ataḥ cyavanti ( punarjanmaṁ āpnōti) ||24||

Sloka meanings:

ēva sarva yajñānām - for all the sacrifices
ahaṁ ēva bhōktā ca prabhuḥ ēva ca - I am the enjoyer as well as the master (the Lord)
tattvēna tē  mām na abhijānanti - in reality, they are not knowing Me
ataḥ cyavanti - hence they fall (fail)

Sloka summary:

"I am the enjoyer as well as the master (the Lord) of all the sacrifices. They do not know Me in reality. Hence they fall." ||24||

Sloka 25

yānti dēvavratā dēvān pitrūn yānti pitr̥vratāḥ |
bhūtāni yānti bhūtējyā yānti madyājinō’pi mām ||25||

sa|| dēvavratāḥ dēvān yānti | pitr̥vratāḥ pitrūn yānti | bhūtējyā bhūtāni yānti | mat yājinaḥ api mām yānti ||25||

dēvavratāḥ dēvān yānti - those who worship Deities, attain Deities
pitr̥vratāḥ pitrūn yānti - those who worship manes (the ancestral Deities), attain the manes
bhūtējyā bhūtāni yānti - those who worship Beings, reach Beings
mat yājinaḥ api mām yānti - those who worship Me, attain Me

Sloka summary:

"Those who worship Deities, attain Deities. Those who worship manes (the ancestral Deities), attain the manes. Those who worship Beings, reach Beings. Those who worship Me, attain Me." ||25||

Krishna says you attain what you wish for in your prayers. In order to emphasize that the worship need not involve complicated Vedic rites, Krishna goes on to say that any offering is as good as any other in Sloka 26.

Sloka 26

patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ tōyaṁ yōmē bhaktyā prayacchati |
tadahaṁ bhaktyupahr̥tamaśnāmi prayatātmanaḥ ||26||

sa|| yaḥ mē bhaktyā patraṁ phalaṁ puṣpaṁ tōyaṁ prayacchati (tāṁ) prayatātmanaḥ bhaktyā upahr̥taṁ tat (patraṁ puṣpam phalam tōyam) ahaṁ āśnāmi ||26||

Sloka meanings:

yaḥ mē bhaktyā - whoever gives with faith
patraṁ phalaṁ puṣpaṁ tōyaṁ prayacchati - a leaf, a fruit, or water
(tāṁ) prayatātmanaḥ bhaktyā - that action of the pure hearted man done with faith
upahr̥taṁ tat ahaṁ āśnāmi - that which was presented I am accepting

Sloka summary:

"Whoever gives with faith a leaf, a fruit, or water,
I accept that gift of the pure-hearted man done with faith." ||26||

The emphasis is on simplicity and sincerity of worship as opposed to ostentatious Yagnyas. The cause of "My" acceptance is devotion alone, not the brahminhood of the devotee or his being a man of austerity. The Puranas are full of stories where the Devotees offered a leaf or fruit or water to the Supreme with supreme devotion and have attained Moksha.

Sloka 27
yatkarōsi yadaśnāsi yajjuhōṣi dadāsi yat |
yattapasyasi kauntēya tatkuruṣva madarpaṇam ||27||

sa|| kauntēya! yat karōṣi yat aśnāsi yat dadāsi yat tapasyasi tat mat arpaṇaṁ kuruṣva ||27||

Sloka meanings:

yat karōṣi - whatever you do
yat aśnāsi - whatever you eat
yat dadāsi - whatever you give away
yat tapasyasi - whatever penance you are performing
tat mat arpaṇaṁ kuruṣva - that you do as an offering for Me

Sloka summary:

"O Kaunteya, whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you give away, whatever penance you perform, that you do as an offering for Me." ||27||

This is a talisman or mantra for Liberation. Here, Krishna says: "O Arjuna (Oh Devotees) whatever you do, including gifts and even penance, offer them to Me." Renunciation of action is embedded in those offerings to God. We know that in Karma Yoga, renunciation of action, one can surely attain Him.

This is renunciation of the fruits of all actions.

Sloka 28

śubhāśubhaphalai rēvaṁ mōkṣyasē karmabaṁdhanaiḥ |
sannyāsayōgayuktātmā vimuktō māmupaiṣyasi ||28||

sa|| ēvaṁ sannyāsa yōgayuktātmā śubhāśubhaphalaiḥ karmabaṁdhanaiḥ mōkṣyasē | (tadā) vimuktaḥ māṁ upaiṣyasi ||28||

Sloka meanings:

ēvaṁ sannyāsa yōgayuktātmā - thus having been purified by the Yoga of renunciation (Sannyasa)
śubhāśubhaphalaiḥ karmabaṁdhanaiḥ - from the bondage good and evil results
mōkṣyasē - will be freed
(tadā) vimuktaḥ māṁ upaiṣyasi - thus freed you will attain Me

Sloka summary:

"Thus having been purified by the Yoga of renunciation (Sannyasa), from the bondage of good and evil results, you will be freed. Thus freed, you will attain Me." ||28||

Sloka 29

samō’haṁ sarvabhūtēṣu na mē dvēṣyō’sti na priyaḥ |
yē bhajanti tu māṁ bhaktyā mayi tē tēṣu cāpyaham ||29||

sa|| ahaṁ sarvabhūtēṣu samaḥ | mē dvēṣyaḥ na asti | priyaḥ na | yē tu māṁ bhaktyā bhajanti tē mayi (santi athvā vartanti) | tēṣu ca ahaṁ (asmi athavā vartē) ||29||

Sloka meanings:

ahaṁ sarvabhūtēṣu samaḥ - I am equally present in all beings
mē dvēṣyaḥ na asti - there is none to be hated
priyaḥ na - no one dear too
yē tu māṁ bhaktyā bhajanti - whoever worships Me with faith
tē mayi - they are in Me
tēṣu ca ahaṁ - I am in them

Sloka summary:

"I am equally present in all beings. There is none to be hated, no one dear too. Whoever worships Me with faith, they are in Me and I am in them." ||29||

In this worship of God, there are no levels. Those who worship Him with devotion are in Him, and He is in them. He is equal to all. ||29||

Sloka 30

apicētsu durācārō bhajatē māmananyabhāk |
sādhurēva sa mantavyaḥ samyagvyavasitō hi saḥ ||30||

sa|| sudurācāraḥ api ananyabhāk mām bhajatē cēt, saḥ sādhuḥ ēva mantavyaḥ hi | saḥ samyak vyavasitaḥ ||30||

Sloka meanings:

sudurācāraḥ api - though of very bad conduct
ananyabhāk mām bhajatē cēt - with single-minded focus if he worships Me
saḥ sādhuḥ ēva mantavyaḥ hi - he is to be considered as verily good
saḥ samyak vyavasitaḥ - he has resolved rightly (to shed his bad habits)

Sloka summary:

"Even a person of very bad conduct, if he worships Me with single-minded focus, he is to be considered as verily good. For he resolved rightly." ||30||

The solemn promise of "ananyāściṁtayaṁtō māṁ" is applicable to all.
To restate the same, Krishna goes to the other extreme of a person with bad character. If people of bad character worship Bhagavan, their sins melt away, and they become people who attain Liberation. So the solemn promise, "ananyāściṁtayaṁtō māṁ," is applicable to all.

Sloka 31

kṣipraṁ bhavati dharmātmā śaśvacchāntiṁ nigacchati |
kauntēya pratijānīha namē bhaktaḥ praṇaśyati ||31||

sa|| (saḥ) kṣipram dharmātmā bhavati | śāśvataḥ śāntiṁ nigacchati | hē kauntēya mē bhaktaḥ na praṇaśyati iti pratijānīhi ||31||

Sloka meanings:

(saḥ) kṣipram dharmātmā bhavati - he soon becomes one virtuous mind
śāśvataḥ śāntiṁ nigacchati - attains everlasting peace
hē kauntēya - Oh Kaunteya
mē bhaktaḥ na praṇaśyati - My devotee never gets ruined
iti pratijānīhi - (you) may proclaim

Sloka summary:

"Kaunteya, he soon becomes one virtuous mind, and attains everlasting peace.
O Kaunteya, you may proclaim that My devotee never gets ruined (perish)." ||31||

That most evil man, worshiping Bhagavan with single-minded focus, becomes free of evil thoughts. He is to be considered as verily good. He attains everlasting peace because of the cessation of evil thoughts. Attaining everlasting peace is the same as Moksha.

Sloka 32

māṁ hi pārtha vyapāsritya yē’pi syuḥ pāpayōnayaḥ |
striyō vaiśyāstathā śudrāstē’pi yānti parāṁgatim ||32||

sa|| hē pārtha yē pāpayōnayōḥ api syuḥ tē api striyaḥ vaiśyāḥ tathā śūdrāḥ mām vyapāśritya parāṁ gatim yānti hi ||32||

Sloka meanings:

yē pāpayōnayōḥ api syuḥ - those born of sin
striyaḥ vaiśyāḥ tathā śūdrāḥ - women, Vaishyas, and Sudras
mām vyapāśritya - having taken refuge in Me
parāṁ gatim yānti hi - surely attain the Supreme Goal

Sloka summary:

"Oh Partha, those born of sin, women, Vaisyas, and Sudras, having taken refuge in Me, surely attain the Supreme goal." ||32||

This is a very important pronouncement in the Gita: Everybody is eligible for Moksha. The eligibility criterion has nothing to do with one's station in life including caste. It is only a matter of one's devotion. Women also have been mentioned as being able to reach the Supreme Goal, to banish the thought that women are not eligible to study the Vedas, etc. The Gita in that sense is a reformation of antiquated thoughts that are embedded in the early and ritual parts of the Vedas.

Sloka 33

kiṁ punarbrahmaṇāḥ puṇyā bhaktā rājarṣayastadā |
anityaṁ asukhaṁ lōkamimaṁ prāpya bhajasvamām ||33||

sa| puṇyāḥ brāhmaṇāḥ tathā bhaktāḥ rājarṣayaḥ punaḥ kim vaktavyam | anityam asukham imam lōkam prāpya mām bhajasva ||33||

Sloka meanings:

puṇyāḥ brāhmaṇāḥ - Holy Brahmins
tathā bhaktāḥ rājarṣayaḥ - similarly devout King-sages
punaḥ kim vaktavyam - what is to be said again?
anityam asukham - ephemeral (transient) and miserable
imam lōkam prāpya - having come to this world
mām bhajasva - you worship Me

Sloka summary:

"What is there to be said again about Holy Brahmins and similarly devout King-sages? Having come to this ephemeral (transient) and miserable world, you worship Me." ||33||

This is to be read in continuation with the previous Sloka, which emphasized the universality of the path to Liberation. This Sloka exhorts human beings to worship Bhagavan, having come to this ephemeral world.

Sloka 34

manmanābhava madbhaktō madyājīmāṁ namaskuru |
māmēvaiṣyasi yuktvaiva mātmānaṁ matparāyaṇaḥ ||34||

sa|| mat manāḥ mat bhaktaḥ mat yājī bhava | mām namaskuru | ēvam ātmānam yuktvā matparāyaṇaḥ mām ēva ēṣyasi ||34||

Sloka meanings:

mat manāḥ, mat bhaktaḥ, mat yājī bhava -
with mind fixed in Me, being My devotee, worship Me
mām namaskuru - bow down to Me.
ēvam ātmānam yuktvā - thus concentrating your mind on Me
matparāyaṇaḥ - having accepted Me
mām ēva ēṣyasi - you will attain Me

Sloka summary:

"With mind fixed on Me, being My devotee, worship Me, bow down to Me.
Thus concentrating your mind on Me, having accepted Me, you will attain Me." ||34||

In this exhortation, the equality of the Supreme Being shines through. There is no gradation. Whoever worships Him, He is in them, and they are in Him.
This is Rajavidya, the best knowledge. This is Rajaguhya, the highest secret.

The difficult paths for attaining Moksha are known. They have been detailed. But the easier path is enunciated by Krishna here, saying, "ananyāḥ ciṁtayaṁtō māṁ": worship with single minded focus.

That path detailed by Krishna is the secret path for Liberation. That is the Rajavidya Rajaguhya Yoga.

||ōm tat sat||