Mahabharata Bhishma Parva Chapter 34

Mahabharata Bhishma Parva (Bhagavat-Gita Parva) Chapter 34
Bhagavad Gita Chapter X

The Holy One said, 'Once more still, O mighty-armed one, listen to my supernal words which, from desire of (thy) good, I say unto thee that wouldst be pleased (therewith).[1] The hosts of gods know not my origin, nor the great Rishis, since I am, in every way, the source of the gods and the great Rishis.[2] He that knoweth me as the Supreme Lord of the worlds, without birth and beginning, (he), undeluded among mortals, is free from all sins. Intelligence, knowledge, the absence of delusion, forgiveness, truth, self-restraint, and tranquillity, pleasure, pain, birth, death, fear, and also security, abstention from harm, evenness of mind, contentment, ascetic austerities, gift, fame, infamy, these several attributes of creatures arise from me. The Seven great Rishis, the four Maharishis before (them), and the Manus, partaking of my nature, were born from my mind, of whom in this world are these offsprings.[3] He that knoweth truly this pre-eminence and mystic power of mine, becometh possessed of unswerving devotion. Of this (there is) no doubt. I am the origin of all things, from me all things proceed. Thinking thus, the wise, endued with my nature, worship me.[4] Their hearts on me, their lives devoted to me, instructing one another, and glorifying me they are ever contented and happy.[5] Unto them always devoted, and worshipping (me) with love, I give that devotion in the form of knowledge by which they come to me.[6] Of them, for compassion's sake, I destroy the darkness born of ignorance, by the brilliant lamp of knowledge, (myself) dwelling in their souls.

Arjuna said, 'Thou art the Supreme Brahma, the Supreme Abode, the Holiest of the Holy, the eternal Male Being Divine, the First of gods Unborn, the Lord. All the Rishis proclaim thee thus, and also the celestial Rishi Narada; and Asita, Devala, (and) Vyasa; thyself also tellest me (so). All this that thou tellest me, O Kesava, I regard as true since, O Holy One, neither the gods nor the Danavas understand thy manifestation. Thou only knowest thyself by thyself. O Best of Male Beings, O Creator of all things; O Lord of all things, O God of gods, O Lord of the Universe, it behoveth thee to declare without any reservation, those divine perfections of thine by which perfections pervading these worlds thou abidest. How shall I, ever meditating, know thee, O thou of mystic powers, in what particular states mayst thou, O Holy One, be meditated upon by me?[7] Do thou again, O Janardana, copiously declare thy mystic powers and (thy) perfections, for I am never satiated with hearing thy nectar-like words.

The Holy One said,—'Well, unto thee I will declare my divine perfections, by means of the principal ones (among them), O chief of the Kurus, for there is no end to the extent of my (perfections).[8] I am the soul, O thou of curly hair, seated in the heart of every being, I am the beginning, and the middle, and the end also of all beings.



  1. Telang renders Paramam 'excellent'; Mr. John Davies, 'all important'. The meaning is referring to the 'Supreme Soul'.
  2. Both Sankara and Sreedhara explain Sarvassas as "in every way". i.e., as creator, as guide, &c.
  3. Prajas offspring, including, as Sankara says, both mobile, and immobile, therefore, not mankind alone.
  4. Bhava-samanwitas is explained by Sreedhara as "full of love", which K. T. Telang accepts. Sankara explains it as "endued with penetration into the knowledge of the Supreme object."
  5. Tityam, ever, is connected with what follows and not what precedes. Thus Sreedhara. Mr. Davies connects it with Kathayantas.
  6. K. T. Telang renders buddhi-yogam as knowledge; Mr. Davies, as mental devotion and Sankara, "devotion by special insight."
  7. To know thee fully is impossible. In what particular forms or manifestations, therefore, shall I think of thee? The word Bhava in the second line is rendered "entities" by K. T. Telang, and "form of being" by Mr. Davies.
  8. Vistarasya evidently refers (as explained by all the commentators) to Vibhutinam. It is a question of grammar and not of doctrine that there can be any difference of opinion. Mr. Davies, however, renders it "of (my) greatness." This is inaccurate.