Recension By William Quan Judge
Devotion by means of the Universal Divine Perfections
“Hear again, O thou of mighty arms, my supreme words, which unto thee who art well pleased I will declare because I am anxious for thy welfare. (1)
“Neither the assemblage of the Gods nor the Adept Kings know my origin, because I am the origin of all the Gods and of the Adepts. (2) Whosoever knoweth me to be the mighty Ruler of the universe and without birth or beginning, he among men, undeluded, shall be liberated from all his sins. (3) Subtle perception, spiritual knowledge, right judgment, patience, truth, self-mastery; pleasure and pain, prosperity and adversity; birth and death, danger and security, fear and equanimity, satisfaction, restraint of body and mind, alms-giving, inoffensiveness, zeal and glory and ignominy, all these the various dispositions of creatures come from me. (4-5) So in former days the seven great Sages and the four Manus who are of my nature were born of my mind, and from them sprang this world. (6) He who knoweth perfectly this permanence and mystic faculty of mine becometh without doubt possessed of unshaken faith. (7) I am the origin of all; all things proceed from me; believing me to be thus, the wise gifted with spiritual wisdom worship me; (8) their very hearts and minds are in me; enlightening one another and constantly speaking of me, they are full of enjoyment and satisfaction. (9) To them thus always devoted to me, who worship me with love, I give that mental devotion by which they come to me. (10) For them do I out of my compassion, standing within their hearts, destroy the darkness which springs from ignorance by the brilliant lamp of spiritual discernment.” (11)
“Thou art Parabrahman!1 the supreme abode, the great Purification; thou art the Eternal Presence, the Divine Being, before all other Gods, holy, primeval, all-pervading, without beginning! (12) Thus thou art declared by all the Sages—by Narada, Asita, Devala, Vyasa, and thou thyself now dost say the same. (13) I firmly believe all that thou, O Kesava, sayest unto me; for neither Gods nor demons comprehend thy manifestations. (14) Thou alone knowest thyself by thy Self, Supreme Spirit, Creator and Master of all that lives, God of Gods, and Lord of all the universe! (15) Thou alone canst fully declare thy divine powers by which thou hast pervaded and continuest to pervade these worlds. (16) How shall I, constantly thinking of thee, be able to know thee, O mysterious Lord? In what particular forms shall I meditate on thee? (17) O Janardana—besought by mortals—tell me therefore in full thine own powers and forms of manifestation, for I am never sated of drinking of the life-giving water of thy words.” (18)
“O best of Kurus, blessings be upon thee.2 I will make thee acquainted with the chief of my divine manifestations, for the extent of my nature is infinite. (19)
“I am the Ego which is seated in the hearts of all beings; I am the beginning, the middle, and the end of all existing things. (20) Among Adityas3 I am Vishnu, and among luminous bodies I am the sun. I am Marichi among the Maruts,4 and among heavenly mansions I am the moon. (21) Among the Vedas I am the Samaveda,5 and Indra6 among the Gods; among the senses and organs I am the Manas,7 and of creatures the existence. (22) I am Sankara among the Rudras; and Vittesa, the lord of wealth among the Yakshas8 and Rakshasas.9 I am Pavaka among the Vasus,10 and Meru11 among high-aspiring mountains. (23) And know, O son of Pritha, that I am Brihaspati,12 the chief of teachers; among leaders of celestial armies Skanda, and of floods I am the ocean. (24) I am Bhrigu among the Adept Kings; of words I am the monosyllable OM; of forms of worship, the silent repetition of sacred texts, and of immovable things I am the Himalaya. (25) Of all the trees of the forest I am Asvattha the Pippala tree; and of the celestial Sages, Narada; among Gandharvas13 I am Chitraratha, and of perfect saints, Kapila. (26) Know that among horses I am Uchchaisrava, who arose with the Amrita out of the ocean; among elephants, Airavata, and among men their sovereigns. (27) Of weapons I am the thunderbolt; among cows, Kamadhuk, the cow of plenty; of procreators, the God of love, and of serpents, Vasuki,14 their chief. (28) I am Ananta among the Nagas,15 Varuna among things of the waters; among the ancestors, Aryaman, and of all who judge I am Yama.16(29) Among the Daityas I am Prahlada, and among computations I am Time itself; the lion among beasts, and Garuda17 among the feathered tribe. (30) Among purifiers I am Pavana, the air; Rama among those who carry arms, Makara among the fishes, and the Ganges among rivers. (31) Among that which is evolved, O Arjuna, I am the beginning, the middle, and the end; of all sciences I am the knowledge of the Adhyatma,18 and of uttered sounds the human speech. (32) Among letters I am the vowel A, and of all compound words I am the Dvandva;19 I am endless time itself, and the Preserver whose face is turned on all sides. (33) I am all-grasping death, and the birth of those who are to be; among feminine things I am fame, fortune, speech, memory, intelligence, patience, and forgiveness. (34) Among the hymns of the Samaveda I am Brihat-Saman, and the Gayatri among metres; among months I am the month Margasirsha,20 and of seasons spring called Kusumakara, the time of flowers. (35) Of those things which deceive I am the dice, and splendor itself among splendid things. I am victory, I am perseverance, and the goodness of the good. (36) Of the race of Vrishni I am Vasudeva; of the Pandava I am Arjuna the conqueror of wealth; of perfect saints I am Vyasa,21 and of prophet-seers I am the bard Usana. (37) Among rulers I am the rod of punishment, among those desiring conquest I am policy; and among the wise of secret knowledge I am their silence. (38) I am, O Arjuna, the seed of all existing things, and there is not anything, whether animate or inanimate which is without me. (39) My divine manifestations, O harasser of thy foes, are without end, the many which I have mentioned are by way of example. (40) Whatever creature is permanent, of good fortune or mighty, also know it to be sprung from a portion of my energy. (41) But what, O Arjuna, hast thou to do with so much knowledge as this? I established this whole universe with a single portion of myself, and remain separate.” (42)
Thus in the Upanishads, called the holy Bhagavad-Gita,
in the science of the Supreme Spirit, in the book of devotion,
in the colloquy between the Holy Krishna and Arjuna,
stands the Tenth Chapter, by name—
DEVOTION BY MEANS OF THE UNIVERSAL DIVINE PERFECTIONS.
1. Beyond Brahman.
2. In the original the first word is one which carries a blessing with it; it is a benediction and means “now then,” but this in English conveys no idea of a benediction.
3. Adityas, the twelve Sun-Gods, who, at the recurrence of the time for dissolution by fire, bring on the universal conflagration.
4. The Gods of air.
5. In Western language this may be said to be the Veda of song in the very highest sense of the power of song. Many nations held that song had the power to make even mere matter change and move obedient to the sound.
6. In the original it is “Vasava” which is a name of Indra.
7. The heart or the mind.
8. Spirits of a sensual nature.
9. An order of evil spirits.
10. Among the first created Beings of a high order.
11. Said by some to be the North Pole.
12. Jupiter, the teacher of the Devas.
13. Celestial host of singers; they are a class of elementals.
14. Poisonous serpents.
15. Non-poisonous serpents of a fabled sort, said to have speech and wisdom.
16. The Judge of the dead.
17. Garuda, the bird of Vishnu, and also means esoterically the whole manvantaric cycle.
18. The highest spiritual knowledge.
19. A form of compound word in the Sanskrit which preserves the meaning of the words making up the compound.
20. The month when the regular rains have stopped and the heat abated.
21. Vyasa, the author of the Mahabbarata.