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 Aurobindo also 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. The Blessed Lord said: Again, O mighty-armed, hearken to my supreme word, that I will speak to thee from my will for thy soul’s good, now that thy heart is taking delight in me.
2. Neither the gods nor the great Rishis know any birth of Me, for I am altogether and in every way the origin of the gods and the great Rishis.
3. Whosoever knows Me as the Unborn, without origin, mighty Lord of the worlds and peoples, lives unbewildered among mortals and is delivered from all sin and evil.
4-5. Understanding and knowledge and freedom from the bewilderment of the Ignorance, forgiveness and truth and self-government and calm of inner control, grief and pleasure, coming into being and destruction, fear and fearlessness, glory and ingloriousness, non-injuring and equality, contentment and austerity and giving, all here in their separate diversities are subjective becomings of existences, and they all proceed from Me.
6. The great Rishis, the seven Ancients of the world, and also the four Manus, are my mental becomings; from them are all these living creatures in the world.
7. Whosoever knows in its right principles this my pervading lordship and this my Yoga, unites himself to me by an untrembling Yoga; of this there is no doubt.
8. I am the birth of everything and from Me all proceeds into development of action and movement; understanding thus, the wise adore Me in rapt emotion.
9. Their consciousness full of Me, their life wholly given up to Me, illumining each other, mutually talking about Me, they are ever contented and joyful.
10. To these who are thus in a constant union with Me, and adore Me with an intense delight of love, I give the Yoga of understanding by which they come to Me.
11. Out of compassion for them, I, lodged in their self, lift the blazing lamp of knowledge and destroy the darkness which is born of the ignorance.
12. Arjuna said: Thou art the supreme Brahman, the supreme Abode, the supreme Purity, the one Permanent, the divine Purusha, the original Godhead, the Unborn, the all-pervading Lord.
13. All the Rishis say this of Thee and the divine seer Narada, Asita, Devala, Vyasa; and Thou Thyself sayest it to me.
14. All this that Thou sayest, my mind holds for the truth, O Keshava. Neither the Gods nor the Titans, O blessed Lord, know Thy manifestation.
15. Thou alone knowest Thyself by Thyself, O Purushottama: Source of beings, Lord of beings, God of gods, Master of the world!
16. Thou shouldst tell me of Thy divine self-manifestations, all without exception. Thy Vibhutis by which Thou standest pervading these worlds.
17. How shall I know Thee, O Yogin, by thinking of Thee everywhere at all moments and in what pre-eminent becomings should I think of Thee, O Blessed Lord?
18. In detail tell me of Thy Yoga and Vibhuti, O Janardana; and tell me ever more of it; it is nectar of immortality to me, and however much of it I hear, I am not satiated.
19. The Blessed Lord said: Yes, I will tell thee of my divine Vibhutis, but only in some of My principal pre-eminences, O best of the Kurus; for there is no end to the detail of My
self-extension in the universe.
20. I, O Gudakesha, am the Self, which abides within all beings. I am the beginning and middle and end of all beings.
21. Among the Adityas I am Vishnu; among lights and splendours I am the radiant Sun; I am Marichi among the Maruts; among the stars the Moon am I.
22. Among the Vedas I am the Sama-Veda; among the gods I am Vasava; I am mind among the senses; in living beings I am consciousness.
23. I am Shiva among the Rudras, the lord of wealth among the Yakshas and Rakshasas, Agni among the Vasus; Meru among the peaks of the world am I.
24. And know Me, O Partha, of the high priests of the world the chief, Brihaspati; I am Skanda, the war-god, leader of the leaders of battle; among the flowing waters I am the ocean.
25. I am Bhrigu among the great Rishis; I am the sacred syllable OM among words; among acts of worship I am the worship called Japa (silent repetitions of sacred names etc.); among the mountain-ranges I am Himalaya.
26. I am the Ashwattha among all plants and trees; and I am Narada among the divine sages, Chitraratha among the Gandharvas, the Muni Kapila among the Siddhas.
27. Uchchaisravas among horses know me, nectar-born; Airavata among lordly elephants; and among men the king of men.
28. Among weapons I am the divine thunderbolt; I am Kamadhenu the cow of plenty among cattle; I am Kandarpa the love-god among the progenitors; among the serpents Vasuki am I.
29. And I am Ananta among the Nagas, Varuna among the peoples of the sea, Aryaman among the Fathers, Yama (lord of the Law) among those who maintain rule and law.
30. And I am Prahlada among the Titans; I am Time the head of all reckoning to those who reckon and measure; and among the beasts of the forest I am the king of the beasts, and Vainateya among birds.
31. I am the wind among purifiers; I am Rama among warriors; and I am the alligator among fishes; among the rivers Ganges am I.
32. Of creation I am the beginning and the end and also the middle, O Arjuna. I am spiritual knowledge among the many philosophies, arts and sciences; I am the logic of those who debate.
33. I am the letter A among letters, the dual among compounds. I am imperishable Time; I am the Master and Ruler (of all existences), whose faces are everywhere.
34. And I am all-snatching Death, and I am too the birth of all that shall come into being. Among feminine qualities I am glory and beauty and speech and memory and intelligence and steadfastness and forgiveness.
35. I am also the great Sama among mantras, the Gayatri among metres; among the months I am Marga-sirsha, first of the months; I am spring, the fairest of seasons.
36. I am the gambling of the cunning, and the strength of the mighty; I am resolution and perseverance and victory; I am the sattwic quality of the good.
37. I am Krishna among the Vrishnis, Arjuna among the Pandavas; I am Vyasa among the sages; I am Ushanas among the seer-poets.
38. I am the mastery and power of all who rule and tame and vanquish and the policy of all who succeed and conquer; I am the silence of things secret and the knowledge of the knower.
39. And whatsoever is the seed of all existences, that am I, O Arjuna; nothing moving or unmoving, animate or inanimate in the world can be without me.
40. There is no numbering or limit to My divine Vibhutis, O Parantapa; what I have spoken, is nothing more than a summary development and I have given only the light of a few leading
41. Whatever beautiful and glorious creature thou seest in the world, whatever being is mighty and forceful (among men and above man and below him), know to be a very splendour, light, and energy of Me and born of a potent portion and intense power of my existence.
42. But what need is there of a multitude of details for this knowledge, O Arjuna? Take it thus, that I am here in this world and everywhere. I support this entire universe with an infinitesimal portion of Myself.
as translated by
in: SABCL, volume 13 “Essays on the Gita, with Sanskrit Text and Translation of the Gita”
pages 674- 685
published by Sri Aurobindo Ashram – Pondicherry