10 Quotes from the Bhagavad Gita to Extend Your Spiritual Dictionary

“I am time, the destroyer of all; I have come to consume the world.”~ Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, The Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad Gita, an ancient spiritual text is a 700-verse Hindu scripture featuring a dialogue between Pandava Prince Arjuna and his guide and charioteer Lord Krishna. Krishna counsels and advices Prince Arjuna on how to become an exemplary warrior and achieve attainment.

The battlefield is often seen as a metaphor for the experience of life and the narrative structure an allegory for the dualistic nature of the self. Mahatma Gandhi referred to the Gita as his ‘spiritual dictionary’ and the text calls for ‘warriors’ to live their lives with selflessness and poetry in order to uncover the divine within.

bhagavad-gitaHere are ten quotes from the Bhagavad Gita to add to your spiritual dictionaries:

“Set thy heart upon thy work, but never on its reward.” ~ Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, The Bhagavad Gita

So simple, yet so rewarding. Imagine if everyone did this? What a harmonious world we would live in! This trick of the mind, and heart, could quite possibly solve all personal problems entirely.

That and only doing the work that is in your heart and no one else’s and being intuitive enough to be able to follow your own line of enquiry rather than that which we are given from, for example, the school system.

“I enter into each planet, and by my energies they stay in orbit. I become the moon and thereby supply the juice of life to all vegetables.” ~ Gopi Krishna, Bhagavad Gita

The poetic side of this is immense, but so is the implication. When looking at the stars, the trees, the rivers, we can meditate on this fantastic truth and melt into existence. Just beautiful.

“Feelings of heat and cold, pleasure and pain, are caused by the contact of the senses with their objects. They come and they go, never lasting long. You must accept them.” ~ Anonymous, Bhagavad Gita: The Song of God

Non-duality. Non-attachment. So entwined with the senses yet always a perception of the observer, always illusionary. It is the great deception; yet as the quote says to accept them and let them pass is the only choice we have in order to not suffer. Whether it is physical pain or emotional suffering, it always passes, never lasting long.

krishna-preaching-gita-to-arjuna-qq18_l“Some offer their out-flowing breath into the breath that flows in; and the in-flowing breath into the breath that flows out; they aim at Pranayama, breath-harmony, and the flow of their breath is in peace.” ~ Anonymous, The Bhagavad Gita

I like this one as it reminds me of the meditation to focus on the gap in our breath. That so minute a moment can feel so expansive and the combination of ‘gaps’ limitless. To focus on the gap on the in breath or the gap on the out breath? Such a small decision yet it could encompass the whole way we live our lives. Reality is sensitive.

“Thus the Gita places human destiny entirely in human hands. Its world is not deterministic, but neither is it an expression of blind chance: we shape ourselves and our world by what we believe and think and act on, whether for good or for ill.” ~ Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, The Bhagavad Gita 

artHow empowering a statement: ‘the Gita places human destiny entirely in human hands’! All voices of wisdom, all spiritual texts say this, it is free will and could be called the most important rule of existence. We shape ourselves.

“We are not cabin-dwellers, born to a life cramped and confined; we are meant to explore, to seek, to push the limits of our potential as human beings. The world of the senses is just a base camp: we are meant to be as much at home in consciousness as in the world of physical reality.” ~ Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, The Bhagavad Gita

A sentiment that we have certainly let fall by the wayside, in Western society at least. When the individual has balanced the world of the consciousness with that of the physical senses will he experience reality in a purer form.

“One whose happiness is within, who is active within, who rejoices within and is illumined within, is actually the perfect mystic. (S)He is liberated in the Supreme, and ultimately (s)he attains the Supreme.” ~ A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Bhagavad-gita

untitledWhen a person flows from the centre; a place where all the earth and stars are contained, then we find balance and happiness. We are microcosms, little universes not independent from each other.

Mediations on light and being illuminated from within may aid the individual in achieving this wonderful analogy of happiness.

“The cause of the distress of a living entity is forgetfulness of his relationship with God.” ~ Anonymous, Bhagavad-gita As It Is

As above, our forgetfulness of this fact causes much anguish. How sad that we forget and lose touch with this.

When our perception of duality goes awry and becomes distorted beyond our perceived control. Perhaps we experience this sort of extreme distortion of the senses and our perceived separation from the divine in order to come so glamorously back to it.


“Just as the dweller in this body passes through childhood, youth and old age, so at death he merely passes into another kind of body. The wise are not deceived by that.”
~ Anonymous, Bhagavad Gita: The Song of God

Death is the next great adventure. Another disruption and distortion of reality; the fear and unfamiliarity of death.

“We must act in a selfless spirit, Krishna says, without ego-involvement and without getting entangled in whether things work out the way we want; only then will we not fall into the terrible net of karma. We cannot hope to escape karma by refraining from our duties: even to survive in the world, we must act.” ~ Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, The Bhagavad Gita

07eb15529a66be128ab312f5a96c0db9If the lesson of the Bhagavad Gita could be summed up, it would probably be with this wonderful verse. Lord Krishna, the ‘guide’ and right-hand-man to the Prince, is also a divine God.

We are both God and simultaneously the beggar or aide. As the Gita teaches, we are all these facets and whatever hand karma has dealt us in this moment will also pass.

Our ‘duty’ (as Lord Krishna teaches to Prince Arjuna) is to be warriors, and the act is to be far from a violent one. It is to not seek to satisfy the ego but to selflessly give and without hope of reward.

If you would like to read The Bhagavad Gita in its entirety, it is available online. Just follow the link: http://www.bhagavad-gita.org/

Image Sources

Krishna and Prince Arjuna
Krishna in sky
18th century painting
Bhagwad Geeta Art

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