THEREFORE, who doeth work rightful to do,

Not seeking gain from work, that man, O Prince!

Is Sânyasi and Yôgi—both in one!

And he is neither who lights not the flame

Of sacrifice, nor setteth hand to task.

Regard as true Renouncer him that makes

Worship by work, for who renounceth not

Works not as Yôgin. So is that well said

“By works the votary doth rise to saint,

And saintship is the ceasing from all works;”

Because the perfect Yôgin acts—but acts

Unmoved by passions and unbound by deeds,

Setting result aside.

Let each man raise

The Self by Soul, not trample down his Self,

Since Soul that is Self's friend may grow Self's foe,

Soul is Self's friend when Self doth rule o'er Self

But self turns enemy if Soul's own self

Hates Self as not itself.〖The Sanskrit has this play on the double meaning of Atman.〗

The sovereign soul

Of him who lives self-governed and at peace

Is centered in itself, taking alike

Pleasure and pain; heat, cold; glory and shame.

He is the Yôgi, he is Yûkta, glad

With joy of light and truth; dwelling apart

Upon a peak, with senses subjugate

Whereto the clod, the rock, the glistering gold

Show all as one. By this sign is he known

Being of equal grace to comrades, friends,

Chance-comers, strangers, lovers, enemies,

Aliens and kinsmen; loving all alike,

Evil or good.

Sequestered should he sit,

Steadfastly meditating, solitary,

His thoughts controlled, his passions laid away,

Quit of belongings. In a fair, still spot

Having his fixed abode,—not too much raised,

Nor yet too low,—let him abide, his goods

A cloth, a deerskin, and the Kusa-grass.

There, setting hard his mind upon The One,

Restraining heart and senses, silent, calm,

Let him accomplish Yôga, and achieve

Pureness of soul, holding immovable

Body and neck and head, his gaze absorbed

Upon his nose-end,〖So in original.〗 rapt from all around,

Tranquil in spirit, free of fear, intent

Upon his Brahmacharya vow, devout,

Musing on Me, lost in the thought of Me.

That Yôjin, so devoted, so controlled,

Comes to the peace beyond,—My peace, the peace

Of high Nirvana!

But for earthly needs

Religion is not his who too much fasts

Or too much feasts, nor his who sleeps away

An idle mind; nor his who wears to waste

His strength in vigils. Nay, Arjuna! call

That the true piety which most removes

Earth-aches and ills, where one is moderate

In eating and in resting, and in sport;

Measured in wish and act; sleeping betimes,

Waking betimes for duty.

When the man,

So living, centres on his soul the thought

Straitly restrained—untouched internally

By stress of sense—then is he Yûkta. See!

Steadfast a lamp burns sheltered from the wind;

Such is the likeness of the Yôgi's mind

Shut from sense-storms and burning bright to Heaven.

When mind broods placid, soothed with holy wont;

When Self contemplates self, and in itself

Hath comfort; when it knows the nameless joy

Beyond all scope of sense, revealed to soul—

Only to soul! and, knowing, wavers not,

True to the farther Truth; when, holding this,

It deems no other treasure comparable,

But, harbored there, cannot be stirred or shook

By any gravest grief, call that state “peace,”

That happy severance Yôga, call that man

The perfect Yôgin!

Steadfastly the will

Must toil thereto, till efforts end in ease,

And thought has passed from thinking. Shaking off

All longings bred by dreams of fame and gain,

Shutting the doorways of the senses close

With watchful ward; so, step by step, it comes

To gift of peace assured and heart assuaged,

When the mind dwells self-wrapped, and the soul broods

Cumberless. But, as often as the heart

Breaks—wild and wavering—from control, so oft

Let him re-curb it, let him rein it back

To the soul's governance! for perfect bliss

Grows only in the bosom tranquillized,

The spirit passionless, purged from offence,

Vowed to the Infinite. He who thus vows

His soul to the Supreme Soul, quitting sin,

Passes unhindered to the endless bliss

Of unity with Brahma. He so vowed,

So blended, sees the Life-Soul resident

In all things living, and all living things

In that Life-Soul contained. And whoso thus

Discerneth Me in all, and all in Me,

I never let him go; nor looseneth he

Hold upon Me; but, dwell he where he may,

Whate'er his life, in Me he dwells and lives

Because he knows and worships Me, Who dwell

In all which lives, and cleaves to Me in all.

Arjuna! if a man sees everywhere—

Taught by his own similitude—one Life,

One Essence in the Evil and the Good,

Hold him a Yôgi, yea! well-perfected!


Slayer of Madhu! yet again, this Yôg,

This Peace, derived from equanimity,

Made known by thee—I see no fixity

Therein, no rest, because the heart of men

Is unfixed, Krishna! rash, tumultuous,

Wilful and strong. It were all one, I think,

To hold the wayward wind, as tame man's heart.


Hero long-armed! beyond denial, hard

Man's heart is to restrain, and wavering;

Yet may it grow restrained by habit, Prince!

By wont of self-command. This Yôgi, I say,

Cometh not lightly to th' ungoverned ones;

But he who will be master of himself

Shall win it, if he stoutly strive thereto.


And what road goeth he who, having faith,

Fails, Krishna! in the striving; falling back

From holiness, missing the perfect rule?

Is he not lost, straying from Brahma's light,

Like the vain cloud, which floats 'twixt earth and Heaven

When lightning splits it, and it vanisheth?

Fain would I hear thee answer me herein,

Since, Krishna! none save thou can clear the doubt.


He is not lost, thou Son of Prithâ! No!

Nor earth, nor heaven is forfeit, even for him,

Because no heart that holds one right desire

Treadeth the road of loss! He who should fail,

Desiring righteousness, cometh at death

Unto the Region of the Just; dwells there

Measureless years, and being born anew,

Beginneth life again in some fair home

Amid the mild and happy. It may chance

He doth descend into a Yôgin house

On Vitue's breast; but that is rare! Such birth

Is hard to be obtained on this earth, Chief!

So hath he back again what heights of heart

He did achieve, and so he strives anew

To perfectness, with better hope, dear Prince!

For by the old desire he is drawn on

Unwittingly; and only to desire

The purity of Yôga is to pass

Beyond the Sabdabrahm, the spoken Ved.

But, being Yôgi, striving strong and long,

Purged from transgressions, perfected by births

Following on births, he plants his feet at last

Upon the farther path. Such an one ranks

Above ascetics, higher than the wise,

Beyond achievers of vast deeds! Be thou

Yôgi, Arjuna! And of such believe,

Truest and best is he who worships Me

With inmost soul, stayed on My Mystery!

Here endeth Chapter VI. of the Bhagavad-Gîtâ,

entitled “Atmasanyamayôg,” or “The

Book of Religion by Self-Restraint”

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