When Arjuna was faced with the dilemma of going to battle with his own relatives, teachers and acquaintances, he turned to Krishna for advice. The ensuing monologue where Krishna enunciated the philosophy of life is recorded in the ancient scripture of Bhagavad Gita. In an age where one continuously witnesses the violence committed in the name of religion, the preaching in the timeless text expound the true meaning of religion and faith. It elucidates that selfless service is the true devotion to the almighty. The message contained in the text applies to the entire human race as it urges one to expunge the quest of mortal gains and strive for wisdom. While the religious pundits create a fear of the almighty in the minds of their followers, Bhagavad Gita teaches one to dispel all fears and pursue their Karma with utmost sincerity. This collection of inspiring quotes borrowed from the eternal text that contains the teachings of Lord Krishna is meant to lead one towards their actual goal. As the deity himself said, “I give you these precious words of wisdom; reflect on them and then do as you choose.”
1. We are kept from our goal, not by obstacles, but by a clear path to a lesser goal.
2. It is better to perform one’s own duties imperfectly than to master the duties of another.
3. No one should abandon duties because he sees defects in them. Every action, every activity, is surrounded by defects as a fire is surrounded by smoke.
4. Reshape yourself through the power of your will…
Those who have conquered themselves…live in peace, alike in cold and heat, pleasure and pain, praise and blame…To such people a clod of dirt, a stone, and gold are the same…Because they are impartial, they rise to great heights.
5. It is better to strive in one’s own dharma than to succeed in the dharma of another. Nothing is ever lost in following one’s own dharma. But competition in another’s dharma breeds fear and insecurity. By fulfilling the obligations he is born with, a person never comes to grief.
6. Abandon all attachment to the results of action and attain supreme peace.
7. Those who eat too much or eat too little, who sleep too much or sleep too little, will not succeed in meditation. But those who are temperate in eating and sleeping work and recreation will come to the end of sorrow through meditation.
8. When meditation is mastered, the mind is unwavering, like the flame of a lamp in a windless place.
9. Strive to still your thoughts. Make your mind one-pointed in meditation. The mind is restless and difficult to restrain, but it is subdued by practice.
10. When a person is devoted to something with complete faith, I unify his faith in that. Then, when his faith his completely unified, he gains the object of his devotion.
11. On this path effort never goes to waste, and there is no failure. Even a little effort toward spiritual awareness will protect you from the greatest fear.
12. Strive constantly to serve the welfare of the world; by devotion to selfless work one attains the supreme goal of life. Do your work with the welfare of others always in mind.
13. As the heat of a fire reduces wood to ashes, the fire of knowledge burns to ashes all karma.
14. Those who renounce attachment in all their deeds live content in the “city of nine gates,” the body, as its master. They are not driven to act, nor do they involve others in action. Those who surrender to Brahman all selfish attachments are like the leaf of a lotus floating clean and dry in water. Sin cannot touch them. Those who possess this wisdom have equal regard for all. They see the same Self in a spiritual aspirant and an outcaste, in an elephant, a cow, and a dog.
15. Free from anger and selfish desire, unified in mind, those who follow the path of yoga and realize the Self are established forever in that supreme state.
16. No one who does good work will ever come to a bad end, either here or in the world to come.
17. A gift is pure when it is given from the heart to the right person at the right time and at the right place, and when we expect nothing in return.
18. It is Nature that causes all movement. Deluded by the ego, the fool harbors the perception that says “I did it”.
19. He is the source of light in all luminous objects. He is beyond the darkness of matter and is un-manifested. He is knowledge, He is the object of knowledge, and He is the goal of knowledge. He is situated in everyone’s heart.
20. One has to learn tolerance in the face of dualities such as happiness and distress, or cold and warmth, and by tolerating such dualities become free from anxieties regarding gain and loss
21. Ignorance is the cause of sinful life, and sinful life is the cause of one’s dragging on in material existence.
22. Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.
23. For the one who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so his very mind will be his greatest enemy.
24. A man who sees action in inaction and inaction in action has understanding among men and discipline in all action he performs.
25. Sever the ignorant doubt in your heart with the sword of self-knowledge. Observe your discipline. Arise.
26. The power of God is with you at all times; through the activities of mind, senses, breathing, and emotions; and is constantly doing all the work using you as a mere instrument
27. There are three gates to this self-destructive hell – lust, anger, and greed. Renounce these three.
28. The offering of wisdom is better than any material offering.
29. You have the right to work, but never to the fruit of work. You should never engage in action for the sake of reward, nor should you long for inaction.
30. Those who are motivated only by desire for the fruits of action are miserable, for they are constantly anxious about the results of what they do.
31. Actions do not cling to me because I’m not attached to their results. Those who understand this and practice it live in freedom.
32. The wise work for the welfare of the world, without thought for themselves.
33. Pleasures conceived in the world of the senses have a beginning and an end and give birth to misery.
34. Even if you were the most sinful of sinners, you could cross beyond all sin by the raft of spiritual wisdom.
35. Calmness, gentleness, silence, self-restraint, and purity: these are the disciplines of the mind.
36. Better indeed is knowledge than mechanical practice. Better than knowledge is meditation.
37. If you want to see the brave, look to those who can return love for hatred. If yu want to see heroic, look to those who can forgive.
38. Faith means unflinching trust in something sublime.
39. The immature think that ‘knowledge’ and ‘action’ are different, but wise them as the same.
40. Neither in this world nor elsewhere is there any happiness in store for him who always doubts.
41. When you move amidst the world of sense, free from attachment and aversion alike, there comes the peace in which all sorrows end, and you live in the wisdom of the Self.
42. Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.
43. He alone sees truly who sees the Lord the same in every creature…seeing the same Lord everywhere, he does not harm himself or others.
44. Why do you worry unnecessarily? Whom do you fear? Who can kill you? The soul is neither born nor dies.
45. Whatever happened was good, what’s happening, it’s going well, whatever will happen, will also be good. You need not have any regrets from the past. Do not worry for the future. Live in the present.
46. What have you lost that you cry for? What did you bring, that you have lost? What did you create that was destroyed? What you have taken has been from here, what you gave has been given here. What belongs to you today belonged to someone yesterday and will be someone else’s tomorrow. Change is the law of the universe.
47. The meaning of Karma is in the intention. The intention behind action is what matters.
48. Better indeed is knowledge than mechanical practice. Better than knowledge is meditation.
49. Fear not what is not real, never was and never will be. What is real, always was and cannot be destroyed.
50. Only when a person responds to the joys and sorrows of others as if they were his own, he has attained the highest state of spiritual union.