Bhagavadgita !

Chapter 9

Rajavidya Rajaguhya Yoga

Slokas with meanings

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

||om tat sat||

श्री भगवानुवाच:

इदं तु ते गुह्यतमं प्रवक्ष्याम्यनसूयवे |
ज्ञानं विज्ञानसहितं यत् ज्ञात्वा मोक्ष्यसेsशुभात् ||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."

राज विद्या राजगुह्य योगः

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" ("असंशयं समग्रं मां यथा ज्ञास्यसि तत् शृणु"), emphasizing that one will know Him fully and without any doubt. In fact, He promises that, "यत् ज्ञात्वा न इह भूयो अन्यत् ज्ञातव्यं अवशिष्यते" ("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.” अपरा consists of all the earthly elements (भूमि रापो नलो वायु) and the superior "परा" is the basis of all living beings. परा and अपरा 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

श्री भगवानुवाच:

इदं तु ते गुह्यतमं प्रवक्ष्याम्यनसूयवे |
ज्ञानं विज्ञानसहितं यत् ज्ञात्वा मोक्ष्यसेऽशुभात् ||1||

स॥ यत् ज्ञात्वा अशुभात् मोक्ष्यसे (तत्) इदं गुह्यतमं विज्ञानसहितम्  ज्ञानं अनसूयवे ते प्रवक्ष्यामि ||1||

Sloka meanings:

यत् ज्ञात्वा अशुभात् मोक्ष्यसे - having known which, you will be free from evil
(तत्) इदं गुह्यतमं - (that) this highest secret
विज्ञानसहितम् ज्ञानं - knowledge with experience,
अनसूयवे ते प्रवक्ष्यामि - 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, “विज्ञानसहितं ज्ञानम्”: knowledge with experience. If Arjuna grasps this knowledge, there is nothing else for him to know.

Sloka 2

राजविद्या राजगुह्यं पवित्रमिदमुत्तमम् |
प्रत्यक्षावगमं धर्म्यं सुसुखं कर्तुमव्ययम् ||2||

स॥ इदं राजविद्या राजगुह्यं उत्तमम् पवित्रम् प्रत्यक्षावगमम् धर्म्यम् कर्तुम् सुसुखम् अव्ययम् ||2||

Sloka meanings:

राजविद्या - best of all knowledge
राजगुह्यं - the highest secret
उत्तमम् पवित्रम् - the best and the purifier
प्रत्यक्षावगमम् - directly realizable
धर्म्यम् - righteous
कर्तुम् सुसुखम् - very easy to practice
अव्ययम् - 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||

राजविद्या 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.

गुह्यं means “secret.” राजगुह्यं 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

अश्रद्धधानाः पुरुषा धर्मस्यास्य परन्तप |
अप्राप्य मां निवर्तन्ते मृत्यु संसारवर्त्मनि ||3||

स॥ हे परन्तप! अस्य धर्मस्य अश्रद्धधानाः पुरुषाः मां अप्राप्य मृत्युसंसारवर्त्मनि निवर्तन्ते ||3||

Sloka meanings:

धर्मस्यास्य - अस्य धर्मस्य - in this Dharma
अश्रद्धधानाः पुरुषा - people without faith
मां अप्राप्य - not being able to attain Me
निवर्तन्ते - returning again
मृत्युसंसारवर्त्मनि - 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

मया ततमिदं सर्वं  जगदव्यक्तमूर्तिना |
मत्थ्सानि सर्वभूतानि न चाहं तेष्ववस्थितः ||4||

स॥ इदं सर्वं जगत्  अव्यक्तमुर्तिना मया ततम् | सर्वभूतानि मत्थ्सानि | अहं तेषु न अवस्थितः ||4||

Sloka meanings:
इदं सर्वं जगत् - the whole world
अव्यक्तमूर्तिना मया ततम् - pervaded by My unmanifested form
सर्वभूतानि मत्थ्सानि - all beings are in Me
अहं तेषु न अवस्थितः - 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
न च मत्थ्सानि भूतानि पश्यमे योगमैश्वरम् |
भूतभृन्नच भूतस्थो ममात्मा भूतभावनः ||5||

स॥ भूतानि मत्थ्सानि  न च | मे ऐश्वरम् योगम् पश्य | मम आत्मा भूतभृत् भूतभावनः अपि भूतस्थः न च ||5||

Sloka meanings:

भूतानि मत्थ्सानि न च - the beings do not exist in Me
मे ऐश्वरम् योगम् पश्य - behold my divine Yoga
मम आत्मा - My Self (the manifested form)
भूतभृत् - sustainer of all beings
भूतभावनः - source of all beings
भूतस्थः न च - 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

यथाऽऽकाशस्थितो नित्यं वायुस्सर्वत्रगो महान् |
तथा सर्वाणि भूतानि मत्थ्सानीत्युपधारय ||6||

स॥ यथा सर्वत्रगः महान् वायुः नित्यं आकाशस्थितः तथा सर्वाणिभूतानि मत्थ्सानि इति उपधारय ||6||

Sloka meanings:

यथा सर्वत्रगः महान् वायुः - just as the vast air spread all over
नित्यं आकाशस्थितः - subsists within space
तथा सर्वाणिभूतानि - similarly all beings
 मत्थ्सानि इति उपधारय - 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

सर्व भूतानि कौन्तेय प्रकृतिं यान्ति मामिकाम् |
कल्पक्षये पुनस्तानि कल्पादौ विसृजाम्यहम् ||7||

स॥हे कौन्तेय | सर्वभूतानि कल्पक्षये मामिकां प्रकृतिं यान्ति | कल्पस्य आदौ तानि पुनः अहम् विसृजामि ||7||

Sloka meanings:

सर्वभूतानि कल्पक्षये - all beings at the end of the cycle
मामिकां प्रकृतिं यान्ति - return to My nature
कल्पस्य आदौ तानि - at the beginning of the cycle
पुनः अहम् विसृजामि - 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

प्रकृतिं स्वामवष्टभ्य विसृजामि पुनः पुनः |
भूतग्राममिमं कृत्स्नमवशं प्रकृतेर्वशात् ||8||

स॥ प्रकृतेः वशात् अवशम् इमं कृत्स्नं भूतग्रामम् स्वाम् प्रकृतिं अवष्टभ्य पुनः पुनः विसृजामि ||8||

Sloka meanings:

स्वाम् प्रकृतिं अवष्टभ्य - following My nature
अवशम् इमं कृत्स्नं भूतग्रामम् - this helpless multitude of beings
विसृजामि पुनः पुनः - (I am) creating them again and again
प्रकृतेः वशात् - (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

न च मां तानि कर्माणि निबध्नन्ति धनंजय |
उदासीनवदासीनं असक्तं तेषु कर्मसु ||9||

स॥ हे धनंजय! तेषु कर्मसु असक्तं उदासीनवत् आसीनम् माम् तानि कर्माणि न निबध्नन्ति ||9||

Sloka meanings:

तानि कर्माणि मां न निबध्नन्ति - those actions do not bind Me
तेषु कर्मसु असक्तं - being unattached to those actions
उदासीनवत् आसीनम् माम् - 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: "योगः कर्मसु कौसलम्". This means that Yoga is excellence in action, unattached but full of focus on the action to be performed.

Sloka 10

मयाऽध्यक्षेण प्रकृतिः सूयते स चराचरम् |
हेतुनानेन कौन्तेय जगद्विपरिवर्तते ||10||

स॥ हे कौन्तेय मया अध्यक्षेन प्रकृतिः सचराचरं सूयते | अनेनहेतुना जगत् विपरिवर्तते ||10||

Sloka meanings:

मयाऽध्यक्षेण - मया अध्यक्षेण - under my supervision
प्रकृतिः सचराचरं सूयते - nature creates all moving and unmoving things
अनेनहेतुना - because of this
जगत् विपरिवर्तते - 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

अवजानन्ति मां मूढा मानुषीं तनुमाश्रितम् |
परं भावमजानन्तो मम भूतमहेश्वरम् ||11||

स॥ मम परं भावं(तत्त्वं) अजानन्तः मूढाः भूतमहेश्वरम् मानुषीं तनुं आश्रितम् माम् अवजानन्ति ||11||

Sloka meanings:

मम परं भावं(तत्त्वं) अजानन्तः - not knowing Me My true nature
मूढाः - foolish people
भूतमहेश्वरम् - the lord of all beings
मानुषीं तनुं आश्रितम् माम् – I, who have taken the form of a human
अवजानन्ति - 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

मोघशा मोघकर्माणो मोघज्ञाना विचेतसः |
राक्षसी मासुरीं चैव प्रकृतिं मोहिनीं श्रिताः ||12||

स॥ मोघशाः मोघकर्माणः मोघज्ञानाः विचेतसः मोहिनीं राक्षसीम् असुरीं च (स्व) प्रकृतिं एव श्रिताः ||12||

Sloka meanings:

मोघाशा - people with fruitless desires
मोघकर्माणो- people with fruitless actions
मोघज्ञाना - people with fruitless knowledge
विचेतसः - people with deluded minds
मोहिनीं - bewildering
राक्षसीम् असुरीं च प्रकृतिं - the nature of Rakshasas and Asuras
एव श्रिताः - 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 “अवजानन्ति,” 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

महात्मनस्तु मां पार्थ दैवीं प्रकृतिमाश्रितः |
भजन्त्यनन्यमनसो ज्ञात्वा भूतादिमव्ययम् ||13||

स॥ हे पार्थ! महात्मनः तु दैवीं प्रकृतिं आश्रिताः माम् भूतादिम् अव्ययं ज्ञात्वा अनन्यमनसः (मां) भजन्ति ||13||

Sloka meanings:

महात्मनः तु दैवीं प्रकृतिं आश्रिताः -
great souls are always possessed of divine nature
माम् भूतादिम् अव्ययं ज्ञात्वा -
knowing Me as the cause of all beings, imperishable
अनन्यमनसः (मां) भजन्ति – 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

सततं कीर्तयन्तो मां यतन्तश्च दृढव्रताः |
नमस्यन्तश्च मां भक्त्या नित्ययुक्ता उपासते ||14||

स॥ सततम् माम् कीर्तियंतः दृढव्रताः  यतन्तः च भक्त्या नमस्यन्तः च नित्ययुक्ताः माम् उपासते ||14||

Sloka meanings:

सततम् माम् कीर्तियंतः - always glorifying Me
दृढव्रताः - firm in their vows,
यतन्तः च - always making effort to know
भक्त्या नमस्यन्तः च - faithfully paying obeisance
नित्ययुक्ताः माम् उपासते - 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

ज्ञानयज्ञेन चाप्यन्ये यजन्तो मामुपासते |
एकत्वेन पृथक्त्वेन बहुधा विश्वतो मुखम् ||15||

स॥ अन्ये अपि ज्ञान यज्ञेन यजन्तः एकत्वेन पृथक्त्वेन बहुधा विश्वतो मुखम् माम् उपासते ||15||

अन्ये अपि ज्ञान यज्ञेन यजन्तः - others worshipping Me with sacrifice of knowledge
एकत्वेन - knowledge of oneness
पृथक्त्वेन - as separate
बहुधा विश्वतो मुखम् - in many ways, with many forms
उपासते - 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 (एकत्वेन). Some worship Bhagavan with the knowledge of Him being of different forms (पृथक्त्वेन). Some worship Bhagavan as the Supreme One who is multiformed (विश्वमुखम्). 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, "मया ततमिदं सर्वं," 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

अहं क्रतुः अहं यज्ञः स्वधाहमहमौषधम् |
मन्त्रोऽहमहमेवाज्यं अहमग्निरहं हुतम् ||16||

स॥ अहं क्रतुः | अहं यज्ञः | स्वधाहमहमौषधम् | अहं मन्त्रः | अहं आज्यं | अहम् अग्निः | अहं एव हुतम् अस्मि ||16||

Sloka meanings:

अहं क्रतुः - I am the Vedic rite
अहं यज्ञः - I am the sacrifice
अहं मन्त्रः - I am the incantation
स्वधाहमहमौषधम् - I am the food offered to the ancestral spirits, and the herb
अहं आज्यं - अहम् अग्निः - I am the lustrated butter, I am the fire
अहं एव हुतम् अस्मि - 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
पिताऽहमस्य जगतो माता धाता पितामहः |
वेद्यं पवित्रमोंकार ऋक्सामयजुरेवच ||17||

स॥ अस्य जगतः अहम् एव पिता माता धाता पितामहः वेद्यं पवित्रं ओंकारः ऋक् साम यजुः अपि ||17||

Sloka meanings:

अस्य जगतः - for this world
अहम् एव पिता माता धाता पितामहः - I am the father, mother, sustainer, and the grandsire
वेद्यं - (I am the) knowable
पवित्रं - (I am the) sanctifier
ओंकारः - Omkara
ऋक् साम यजुः अपि - 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

गतिर्भर्ता प्रभुस्साक्षी निवासश्शरणं सुहृत् |
प्रभवः प्रळयः स्थानं निधानं बीजमव्ययम् ||18||

स॥गतिः भर्ता प्रभुः साक्षी निवासः शरणम् सुहृत् प्रभवः स्थानं प्रळयः  निधानम् अव्ययं बीजम् ||18||

Sloka meanings:

गतिः - Goal
भर्ता - support
प्रभुः - the Lord
साक्षी - witness
निवासः शरणम् - abode, refuge
सुहृत् - friend
प्रभवः प्रळयः स्थानं - source, dissolution, existence
निधानं बीजमव्ययम् - 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

तपाम्यहमहं वर्षं निगृह्णाम्युत्सृजामि च |
अमृतं चैव मृत्युश्च सदसच्चाहमर्जुन ||19||

स॥ हे अर्जुन! अहं तपामि | अहं वर्षम् उत्सृजामि | निगृह्णामि च | अमृतं च | मृत्युश्च | अहमेव सत् च | असत् च ||19||

Sloka meanings:

अहं तपामि - अहं वर्षम् उत्सृजामि निगृह्णामि च -
I cause the heat. I send forth the rain and arrest it too
अमृतं च - मृत्युश्च - I am the nectar and death too
अहमेव सत् च असत् च - 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

त्रैविद्या मां सोमपाः पूतपापा
यज्ञैरिष्ट्वा स्वर्गतिं प्रार्थयन्ते |
ते पुण्यमासाद्य सुरेन्द्रलोक
मश्नन्ति दिव्यान्दिवि देवभोगान् ||20||

सा॥ त्रैविद्याः सोमपाः पूतपापाः यज्ञैः माम् इष्ट्वा स्वर्गतिं प्रार्थयंते ते पुण्यम् सुरेंद्रलोकं आसाद्य दिवि दिव्यान् देवभोगान् आश्नन्ति ||20||

Sloka meanings:

त्रैविद्याः - those who are versed in three Vedas
सोमपाः - those who drink Soma
पूतपापाः - those who are free of sins
यज्ञैः माम् इष्ट्वा - worshipping Me through sacrifices
स्वर्गतिं प्रार्थयंते - pray for attainment of heaven
ते पुण्यम् सुरेंद्रलोकं आसाद्य - after attaining the meritorious world of Indra, they
दिवि दिव्यान् देवभोगान् आश्नन्ति - 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 श्लोकमु 21.

Sloka 21

ते तं भुक्त्वा स्वर्गलोकं विशालं
क्षीणे पुण्ये मर्त्यलोकं विशन्ति |
एवं त्रयीधर्मं अनुप्रपन्ना
गतागतं कामकामा लभन्ते ||21||

स॥ ते तं विशालं स्वर्गलोकम् भुक्त्वा पुण्ये क्षीणे मर्त्यलोकम् विशन्ति | एवम् त्रयीधर्ममनुप्रपन्नाः कामकामाः गतागतिम् लभन्ते ||21||

Sloka meanings:

ते तं विशालं स्वर्गलोकम् भुक्त्वा -
they having enjoyed the vast heavenly world
पुण्ये क्षीणे मर्त्यलोकम् विशन्ति -
after exhausting their merits enter the mortal world
एवम् त्रयीधर्ममनुप्रपन्नाः - thus the followers of three Vedas
कामकामाः गतागतिम् लभन्ते - 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

अनन्याश्चिन्तयन्तो मां ए जनाः पर्युपासते |
तेषां नित्याभियुक्तानां योगक्षेमं वहाम्यहम् ||22||

स॥ ये जनाः न अन्याः चिन्तयन्तः मां पर्युपासते नित्याभियुक्तानाम् तेषाम् योगक्षेमं अहम् वहामि ||22||

Sloka meanings:

न अन्याः चिन्तयन्तः - not thinking of any other object
ए जनाः मां पर्युपासते - those people who worship Me
नित्याभियुक्तानां - thus earnestly engaged in constant meditation
तेषां योगक्षेमं वहाम्यहम् - 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

येऽप्यन्न्यदेवता भक्ता यजन्ते श्रद्धयान्वितः |
तेऽपि मामेव कौन्तेय यजन्त्यविधिपूर्वकम् ||23||

स॥ कौन्तेय! ये अपि अन्यदेवता भक्ता श्रद्धयान्विताः यजन्ते ते अपि माम् एव अविधिपूर्वकम् यजन्ति ||23||

Sloka meanings:

ये अपि अन्यदेवताभक्ता - those who are devotees of other Deities
श्रद्धयान्विताः यजन्ते - imbued with faith, they worship
ते अपि माम् एव - they also (worship) Me
अविधिपूर्वकम् यजन्ति - improperly (worship)

Sloka summary:

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

Sloka 24

अहं हि सर्व यज्ञानां भोक्ता च प्रभुरेवच |
न तु मामभिजानन्ति तत्त्वेनातश्च्यवन्ति ते ||24||

स॥ हि सर्व यज्ञानाम् अहं एव भोक्ता च  प्रभुः एव च | माम् ते तत्त्वेन न अभिजानन्ति | अतः च्यवन्ति ( पुनर्जन्मं आप्नोति) ||24||

Sloka meanings:

एव सर्व यज्ञानाम् - for all the sacrifices
अहं एव भोक्ता च प्रभुः एव च - I am the enjoyer as well as the master (the Lord)
तत्त्वेन ते  माम् न अभिजानन्ति - in reality, they are not knowing Me
अतः च्यवन्ति - 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

यान्ति देवव्रता देवान् पित्रून् यान्ति पितृव्रताः |
भूतानि यान्ति भूतेज्या यान्ति मद्याजिनोऽपि माम् ||25||

स॥ देवव्रताः देवान् यान्ति | पितृव्रताः पित्रून् यान्ति | भूतेज्या भूतानि यान्ति | मत् याजिनः अपि माम् यान्ति ||25||

देवव्रताः देवान् यान्ति - those who worship Deities, attain Deities
पितृव्रताः पित्रून् यान्ति - those who worship manes (the ancestral Deities), attain the manes
भूतेज्या भूतानि यान्ति - those who worship Beings, reach Beings
मत् याजिनः अपि माम् यान्ति - 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

पत्रं पुष्पं फलं तोयं योमे भक्त्या प्रयच्छति |
तदहं भक्त्युपहृतमश्नामि प्रयतात्मनः ||26||

स॥ यः मे भक्त्या पत्रं फलं पुष्पं तोयं प्रयच्छति (तां) प्रयतात्मनः भक्त्या उपहृतं तत् (पत्रं पुष्पम् फलम् तोयम्) अहं आश्नामि ||26||

Sloka meanings:

यः मे भक्त्या - whoever gives with faith
पत्रं फलं पुष्पं तोयं प्रयच्छति - a leaf, a fruit, or water
(तां) प्रयतात्मनः भक्त्या - that action of the pure hearted man done with faith
उपहृतं तत् अहं आश्नामि - 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
यत्करोसि यदश्नासि यज्जुहोषि ददासि यत् |
यत्तपस्यसि कौन्तेय तत्कुरुष्व मदर्पणम् ||27||

स॥ कौन्तेय! यत् करोषि यत् अश्नासि यत् ददासि यत् तपस्यसि तत् मत् अर्पणं कुरुष्व ||27||

Sloka meanings:

यत् करोषि - whatever you do
यत् अश्नासि - whatever you eat
यत् ददासि - whatever you give away
यत् तपस्यसि - whatever penance you are performing
तत् मत् अर्पणं कुरुष्व - 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

शुभाशुभफलै रेवं मोक्ष्यसे कर्मबंधनैः |
सन्न्यासयोगयुक्तात्मा विमुक्तो मामुपैष्यसि ||28||

स॥ एवं सन्न्यास योगयुक्तात्मा शुभाशुभफलैः कर्मबंधनैः मोक्ष्यसे | (तदा) विमुक्तः मां उपैष्यसि ||28||

Sloka meanings:

एवं सन्न्यास योगयुक्तात्मा - thus having been purified by the Yoga of renunciation (Sannyasa)
शुभाशुभफलैः कर्मबंधनैः - from the bondage good and evil results
मोक्ष्यसे - will be freed
(तदा) विमुक्तः मां उपैष्यसि - 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

समोऽहं सर्वभूतेषु न मे द्वेष्योऽस्ति न प्रियः |
ये भजन्ति तु मां भक्त्या मयि ते तेषु चाप्यहम् ||29||

स॥ अहं सर्वभूतेषु समः | मे द्वेष्यः न अस्ति | प्रियः न | ये तु मां भक्त्या भजन्ति ते मयि (सन्ति अथ्वा वर्तन्ति) | तेषु च अहं (अस्मि अथवा वर्ते) ||29||

Sloka meanings:

अहं सर्वभूतेषु समः - I am equally present in all beings
मे द्वेष्यः न अस्ति - there is none to be hated
प्रियः न - no one dear too
ये तु मां भक्त्या भजन्ति - whoever worships Me with faith
ते मयि - they are in Me
तेषु च अहं - 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

अपिचेत्सु दुराचारो भजते मामनन्यभाक् |
साधुरेव स मन्तव्यः सम्यग्व्यवसितो हि सः ||30||

स॥ सुदुराचारः अपि अनन्यभाक् माम् भजते चेत्, सः साधुः एव मन्तव्यः हि | सः सम्यक् व्यवसितः ||30||

Sloka meanings:

सुदुराचारः अपि - though of very bad conduct
अनन्यभाक् माम् भजते चेत् - with single-minded focus if he worships Me
सः साधुः एव मन्तव्यः हि - he is to be considered as verily good
सः सम्यक् व्यवसितः - 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 "अनन्याश्चिंतयंतो मां" 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, "अनन्याश्चिंतयंतो मां," is applicable to all.

Sloka 31

क्षिप्रं भवति धर्मात्मा शश्वच्छान्तिं निगच्छति |
कौन्तेय प्रतिजानीह नमे भक्तः प्रणश्यति ||31||

स॥ (सः) क्षिप्रम् धर्मात्मा भवति | शाश्वतः शान्तिं निगच्छति | हे कौन्तेय मे भक्तः न प्रणश्यति इति प्रतिजानीहि ||31||

Sloka meanings:

(सः) क्षिप्रम् धर्मात्मा भवति - he soon becomes one virtuous mind
शाश्वतः शान्तिं निगच्छति - attains everlasting peace
हे कौन्तेय - Oh Kaunteya
मे भक्तः न प्रणश्यति - My devotee never gets ruined
इति प्रतिजानीहि - (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

मां हि पार्थ व्यपास्रित्य येऽपि स्युः पापयोनयः |
स्त्रियो वैश्यास्तथा शुद्रास्तेऽपि यान्ति परांगतिम् ||32||

स॥ हे पार्थ ये पापयोनयोः अपि स्युः ते अपि स्त्रियः वैश्याः तथा शूद्राः माम् व्यपाश्रित्य परां गतिम् यान्ति हि ||32||

Sloka meanings:

ये पापयोनयोः अपि स्युः - those born of sin
स्त्रियः वैश्याः तथा शूद्राः - women, Vaishyas, and Sudras
माम् व्यपाश्रित्य - having taken refuge in Me
परां गतिम् यान्ति हि - 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

किं पुनर्ब्रह्मणाः पुण्या भक्ता राजर्षयस्तदा |
अनित्यं असुखं लोकमिमं प्राप्य भजस्वमाम् ||33||

स। पुण्याः ब्राह्मणाः तथा भक्ताः राजर्षयः पुनः किम् वक्तव्यम् | अनित्यम् असुखम् इमम् लोकम् प्राप्य माम् भजस्व ||33||

Sloka meanings:

पुण्याः ब्राह्मणाः - Holy Brahmins
तथा भक्ताः राजर्षयः - similarly devout King-sages
पुनः किम् वक्तव्यम् - what is to be said again?
अनित्यम् असुखम् - ephemeral (transient) and miserable
इमम् लोकम् प्राप्य - having come to this world
माम् भजस्व - 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

मन्मनाभव मद्भक्तो मद्याजीमां नमस्कुरु |
मामेवैष्यसि युक्त्वैव मात्मानं मत्परायणः ||34||

स॥ मत् मनाः मत् भक्तः मत् याजी भव | माम् नमस्कुरु | एवम् आत्मानम् युक्त्वा मत्परायणः माम् एव एष्यसि ||34||

Sloka meanings:

मत् मनाः, मत् भक्तः, मत् याजी भव -
with mind fixed in Me, being My devotee, worship Me
माम् नमस्कुरु - bow down to Me.
एवम् आत्मानम् युक्त्वा - thus concentrating your mind on Me
मत्परायणः - having accepted Me
माम् एव एष्यसि - 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, "अनन्याः चिंतयंतो मां": worship with single minded focus.

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

||ओम् तत् सत्॥