Publisher’s Note: The translation of the Gita presented here was compiled mainly from Sri Aurobindo’s“Essays on the Gita”. It first appeared in “The Message of the Gita”, edited by Anilbaran Roy, in 1938. Sri Aurobindo approved this book for publication; however, he made it clear in one of his letters that the translations in the Essays were “more explanatory than textually precise or cast in a literary style”. Many of them are paraphrases rather than strict translations.
Sri Aurobindoalso wrote that he did not wish extracts from the Essays “to go out as my translation of the Gita”. This should be borne in mind by the reader as he makes use of this translation, which has been provided as a bridge between the Gita and Sri Aurobindo’s Essays.
1. Arjuna said: Those devotees who thus by a constant union seek after Thee, and those who seek after the unmanifest Immutable, which of these have the greater knowledge of Yoga?
2. The Lord said: Those who found their mind in Me and by constant union, possessed of a supreme faith, seek after Me, I hold to be the most perfectly in union of Yoga.
3-4. But those who seek after the indefinable unmanifest Immutable omnipresent, unthinkable, self-poised, immobile, constant, they also by restraining all their senses, by the equality of their understanding and by their seeing of one self in all things and by their tranquil benignancy of silent will for the good of all existences, arrive to Me.
5. The difficulty of those who devote themselves to the search of the unmanifest Brahman is greater; it is a thing to which embodied souls can only arrive by a constant mortification, a suffering of all the repressed members, a stern difficulty and anguish of the nature.
6-7. But those who giving up all their actions to Me, and wholly devoted to Me, worship meditating on Me with an unswerving Yoga, those who fix on Me all their consciousness, O Partha, speedily I deliver them out of the sea of death-bound existence.
8. On Me repose all thy mind and lodge all thy understanding in Me; doubt not that thou shalt dwell in Me above this mortal existence.
9. And if thou art not able to keep the consciousness fixed steadily in Me, then by the Yoga of practice seek after Me, O Dhananjaya.
10. If thou art unable even to seek by practice, then be it thy supreme aim to do My work; doing all actions for My sake, thou shalt attain perfection.
11. But if even this constant remembering of Me and lifting up of your works to Me is felt beyond your power, then renounce all fruit of action with the self controlled.
12. Better indeed is knowledge than practice, than knowledge, meditation is better; than meditation, renunciation of the fruit of action, on renunciation follows peace.
13-14. He who has no egoism, no I-ness and my-ness, who has friendship and pity for all beings and hate for no living thing, who has a tranquil equality to pleasure and pain, and is patient and forgiving, he who has a desireless content, the steadfast control of self and the firm unshakable will and resolution of the Yogin and a love and devotion which gives up the whole mind and reason to Me, he is dear to Me.
15. He by whom the world is not afflicted or troubled, who also is not afflicted or troubled by the world, who is freed from the troubled agitated lower nature and from its waves of joy and fear and anxiety and resentment, he is dear to Me.
16. He who desires nothing, is pure, skilful in all actions, indifferent to whatever comes, not pained or afflicted by any result or happening, who has given up all initiative of action, he, My devotee, is dear to Me.
17. He who neither desires the pleasant and rejoices at its touch nor abhors the unpleasant and sorrows at its touch, who has abolished the distinction between fortunate and unfortunate happenings (because his devotion receives all things equally as good from the hands of his eternal Lover and Master), he is dear to Me.
18-19. Equal to friend and enemy, equal to honour and insult, pleasure and pain, praise and blame, grief and happiness, heat and cold (to all that troubles with opposite affections the normal nature), silent, content and well-satisfied with anything and everything, not attached to person or thing, place or home, firm in mind (because it is constantly seated in the highest self and fixed for ever on the one divine object of his love and adoration), that man is dear to Me.
20. But exceedingly dear to Me are those devotees who make Me (the Purushottama) their one supreme aim and follow out with a perfect faith and exactitude the immortalising Dharma described in this teaching.
as translated by
in: SABCL, volume 13 “Essays on the Gita, with Sanskrit Text and Translation of the Gita”
pages 700- 705
published by Sri Aurobindo Ashram – Pondicherry