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Wisdom from Bhagavad-gita

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[Excerpts from the Seventh Chapter-‘Knowledge of the Absolute”]

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Now hear, O son of Prtha [Arjuna], how by practicing yoga in full consciousness of Me, with mind attached to Me, you can know Me in full, free from doubt.

I shall now declare unto you in full this knowledge both phenomenal and noumenal, by knowing which there shall remain nothing further to be known.

Out of many thousands among men, one may endeavor for perfection, and of those who have achieved perfection hardly one knows Me in truth.

Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence, and false ego—all together these eight comprise My separated material energies.

Besides this inferior nature, O mighty Arjuna, there is a superior energy of Mine, which consists of all living entities who are struggling with material nature and who are sustaining the universe,

Of all that is material and all that is spiritual in this world, know for certain that I am both the origin and dissolution.

O conqueror of wealth [Arjuna], there is no truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread.

O son of Kunti [Arjuna], I am the taste of water, the light of the sun and the moon, the syllable om in Vedic mantras; I am the sound in ether and ability in man.

I am the original fragrance of the earth, and I am the light in fire. I am the life of all that lives, and I am the penances of all ascetics.

O son of Prtha, know that I am the original seed of all existences, the intelligence of the intelligent, and the prowess of all powerful men.

I am the strength of the strong, devoid of passion and desire. I am sex life which is not contrary to religious principles, O lord of the Bharatas [Arjuna].

All states of being-goodness, passion, or ignorance-are manifested by My energy. I am, in one sense, everything-but I am independent. I am not under the modes of this material nature.

Deluded by the three modes [goodness, passion, and ignorance], the whole world does not know Me, who am above them and inexhaustible.

This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome, but those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it.

Those miscreants who are grossly foolish, lowest among mankind, whose knowledge is stolen by illusion, and who are of the atheistic nature of demons, do not surrender unto Me.

O best among the Bharatas [Arjuna], four kinds of pious men render devotional service unto Me-the distressed, the desirer of wealth, the inquisitive, and. he who is searching for knowledge of the Absolute.

Of these, the wise one who is in full knowledge, in union with Me through pure devotional service, is the best. For I am very dear to him, and he is dear to Me.

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