Bhagavân on the Bhagavad Gîtâ 

The Song of the Lord

Based on the Divine Discourses of Bhagavân S'rî Sathya Sai Baba 



Prayer - Janedu - MP3 - Text



1. In which sacred text is the Gîtâ incorporated? 

The Gîtâ is incorporated in the sacred scripture of the Mahâbhârata, Bhîshma-Parva, Ch. 23-40.

2. What is the special name given to each chapter in the Gîtâ

Each chapter is called "YOGA".

3. How many chapters are there in the Gîtâ?

There are eighteen chapters in the Gîtâ.

4. Mention them.

1. Arjuna Vishâdha Yoga, 2. Sânkhya Yoga, 3. Karma Yoga, 4. Jnâna Yoga, 5. Karma Sanyâsa Yoga, 6. Âtmâ Samyamana Yoga, 7. Vijnâna Yoga, 8. Akshara Parabrahma Yoga, 9. Râja Vidhya Râja Guhya Yoga, 10. Vibhuthi Yoga, 11. Vishvarûpa Yoga, 12. Bhakti Yoga, 13. Kshetra Kshetrajna Vibhâga Yoga, 14. Gunathraya Vibhâga Yoga, 15. Purushotthama Prâpthi Yoga, 16. Dhaivâsura Sampadvibhâga Yoga, 17. Shraddhâtharaya Vibhâga Yoga, 18. Moksha Sanyâsa Yoga.

5. How many Slokas (verses) are there in the Gîtâ?

There are (679) - 700 slokas in the Gîtâ.

6. What is the concluding commentary of each chapter?

The concluding commentary of every chapter is as:

'iti srimad bhagavad gîtâ su, upanishith su, brahmâ vidyâyâm, yoga sâsthre, Srî Krishna Arjuna samvadhe'

'In the Bhagavad Gîtâ, which is the text about the conversation between Lord Krishna and Arjuna, the philosophy of  pure consciousness and the absolute truth of yoga is propagated' 

7. Where and when was the Gîtâ taught?

The Gîtâ was taught on the eve of the Kuruksetra battle, in the middle of the two armies of the Kauravas and the Pandavas.

8. Why was the Gîtâ taught?

The Gîtâ was taught to transform Arjuna who had suddenly become a Dhîna (weak) into a Dhîra, a heroic warrior.

9. Why was Arjuna overwhelmed by despondency though he had come prepared to fight?

Arjuna surveyed at a glance the entire Kaurava army. Beholding the grandfather Bhîshma who had brought him up, his guru Dronâcârya, who had trained him as an ace archer, his friends and relatives, he was overwhelmed by pity. He became weak, the weapons fell down from his hand. He cried: "Oh! Krishna, how can I fight and kill those with whom I should have been living in happiness and harmony. Of what avail would be the victory at the expense of so many lives? Is it not true according to Sruti that after a war there will be corruption and injustice. Especially it is said that women may be led astray from the path of virtue. When women become immoral, the generation would be immoral. I cannot fight even if I were to win the Lordship of all the three worlds. I am in a dilemma. Please steer me across the state of indecisiveness and instruct me what I should do?"

10. How did Lord Krishna dispel Arjuna's delusion?

In order to dispel Arjuna's delusion that he was the killer and his kinsmen were going to be killed, Krishna taught the Gîtâ - that teaches the knowledge of Âtmâ. Lord Krishna says that there is none who kills, none who will be killed. It is the body that perishes and the Âtmâ is imperishable. Above all death is the final end of man. "jâtasya maranam druvam". Death is not in the hands of any one but God. So it is foolish to entertain such thoughts. The duty of a Ksatriya is to fight.

11. What is the central message of the Gîtâ?

The central message of the Gîtâ is that every one should regard performance of 'Sva-dharma' is of utmost importance. It is indicated in the first word of the first verse of the opening chapter and the last word of the last verse in the concluding chapter. Mama: mine, Dharma: Duty.

12. What is 'Sva-dharma' and what is 'Para-dharma'?

'Sva-dharma' is Âtmâ-dharma; 'Para-dharma' is the dharma related to the body.

13. Why did Lord Krishna impart knowledge of Âtmâ only to Arjuna and not either to Bhîshma or Yudhisthira?

Lord Krishna taught the Gîtâ only to Arjuna and not either to Bhîshma or Yudhisthira for the following reasons: Bhîshma knew that justice was on the side of the Pândavas and had even made a public proclamation of this. But he took to the side of the Kauravas and led the army. There was no harmony between his thought, word and deed. Harmony of thought, word and deed is the greatest virtue, and its absence is hypocrisy.
As for Dharma-râja (Yudhisthira) he had only 'pascha-thâpa' and not 'purva-tâpa' (futile regret of the past concern for the future). Dharma-râja was subject to common human failing of repentance rather than prior consideration though he was a noble soul. He lacked foresight and was guilty of remorse for his past mistakes.

Arjuna alone was fit to receive the knowledge of the spirit because he had Purva-tâpa, a wise concern for the welfare of the people. In the midst of the battlefield even when he had come prepared for the war, he thought of the future "what would happen after the war"? He at once asked for the advice of Krishna and acted accordingly.

Moreover, he had the following qualifications necessary for a spiritual aspirant: Surrender, desirelessness, dispassion and detachment as revealed in his words: "I do not care even for the Lordship of all the three worlds".

14. Krishna addresses Arjuna during the course of the dialogue by many names. Mention them.

They are: Prithâ, Kaunteya, Kurunandana, Gudakes'a, Anasûya, Vijaya, Parantapa, Danañjaya.

15. Give the meaning of each name.

They are:

Arjuna: One who is pure and unsullied
  1. Prithâ: One who is the son of Pritvi the earth, that is, one who is the representative of mankind. (Prithâ: Queen Kuntî, mother of Arjuna)

    Kaunteya: One who can listen with rapt attention to the divine teaching.

    Gudakes'a: One who punishes the enemies

    Kurunandana: One who delights in work (action).

    Anasûya: One who is free from jealousy.

    Parantapa: One who strikes fear in the hearts of his enemies.

    Vijaya: One who is ever victorious.

    Danañjaya: One who has earned the merit to receive the wealth of spiritual wisdom.

16. What light throw these names on the personality of Arjuna?

They show several virtues that Arjuna possessed and necessary for a disciple who is ready to receive knowledge from the Guru.

17. What is the meaning of yoga?

Yoga means union with God, pathway to union with God as well.

18. How is 'yoga' defined in the Gîtâ?

"karmasu kausalam yoga": Doing the allotted work well to the utmost capacity is Yoga.

"cittavritti niroda yoga": Control of inner and outer senses and stilling the mind is Yoga.

"samatvam yoga muchyate": Maintaining equanimity under all circumstances is Yoga.

19. What are the principal yogas in the Gîtâ?

Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Jnâna Yoga and RâjaYoga: Work, Worship, Wisdom and Yoga of Mind Control.

20. What is Karma Yoga?

Karma Yoga means: Performing one's duties and action without interest in the fruits of action. Performing actions with a spirit of dedication and devotion to God.

21. How does Swami explain Karma, Vikarma and Akarma? 

Swami explains Karma, Vikarma and Akarma as follows: Suppose there is a Jyothi (a flame); the steady flame is Karma, when the flame flickers due to certain external factors, it is Vikarma; the light that we get from the flame is Akarma. Akarma is complete detachment from activity. It is the characteristic of Âtmâ

22. Explain the meaning of the verse:

[BG: 2:47]
karmany evâdhikâras te
mâ phales'u kadâcana
mâ karma-phala-hetur bhûr
mâ te sango 'stv akarmani

It should be remembered that the Lord has said that it does not mean the doer has no right for the fruit, the doer has a right for the fruit but he should not selfishly desire the fruit. The expression 'mâ phalesu' the results deed yields, should be taken into account.

"You certainly have the right to do your duty but not the claim over the fruits whenever; never see yourself as the cause of the results as you should never let attachment accompany a religious duty".

23. What is Bhakti Yoga:

Bhakti Yoga means the path of attaining union with the Lord through intense love of God. It is not loving God for any selfish benefit but it is single minded devotion to God and total surrender to God.

24. How many types of Bhakti are there?

There are four types of Bhakti: Ârtha, Arthârthi, Jignâsu and Jñâni. An Ârtha prays to God intensely when he is in dire distress. He pleads for relief from difficulties and sufferings. God grants relief and blesses him with worldly happiness. An Arthârthi prays for money, power, position and prosperity. God grants his wishes too. A Jignâsu prays to God to enlighten him with self knowledge. His aim is to unravel the mystery of existence. God fulfills his longing by sending a Guru to enlighten him. A Jñâni is one who sees in every one and in every thing divinity.

25. Give examples of each.

Draupadî is an example of Ârtha bhakti. Prahlâda [SB: Canto 7, Ch. 5-10] and Sakku Bai (a famous Krishna devotee) are other examples of this bhakti; Dhruva, Sudhama and Arjuna are Arthârthis; Uddhava is an excellent example of Jignâsu; S'uka Maharishi is an example of Jñâni.

26. What are the qualities that a true devotee should have?

A true devotee should have the following qualities: He should hate none including all other living beings. He should be friendly, compassionate, without ego, and should remain equal minded in joy and sorrow. He should be self controlled, enduring, ever content. The path of realizing God by the experience of seeing unity in this world of duality and multiplicity (diversity). This knowledge can be acquired by serving a genuine Guru.

27. What is Jñâna yoga?

Jñâna yoga is the path of self enquiry with such questions as: Who am I? From where have I come? Where will I go? It begins with negating everything else (This is not, This is not) and ends in an intuitive experience of the Âtmic reality.

28. How many types of Jñâna are there?

There are two types of knowledge: Secular and Spiritual.

29. How can one earn Jñâna?

Jnâna can be earned only by Sraddhâ and intense faith in one's self. Sraddhâ means: earnestness, perseverence and determination.

30. What is Râja Yoga? 

Râja Yoga is concerned with the occult or hidden spiritual experience and inner mysteries of the human soul.

31. King Janaka, Saint Nâma Dhev, Saint Jnâna Dhev, are realized souls. What was the yoga they practiced? 

King Janaka [BG 3:20] is the exponent and practitioner of Karma Yoga, Nâma Dhev of Bhakti Yoga, and Jnâna Dhev of Jñâna Yoga.

[BG 3:20] For sure even kings like Janaka [father of Sîtâ, the wife of Râma] and others attained to perfection through this work and also in consideration of what the world needs you should act.

32. How does Swami explain the inter-relationship between Karma, Jñâna and Bhakti Mârgas?

Karma is like a flower, Bhakti is the raw fruit and Jñâna is the ripened fruit, one leading to the other.

33. What is it that prevents a spiritual aspirant from taking to these paths?

It is the mind that is ever in agitation that is responsible.

34. What is mind?

It is a bundle of thoughts and desires.

35. Why should mind be controlled?

Mind is responsible for both man's bondage and liberation. So it should be controlled.

36. How can mind be controlled?

The mind can be controlled only by being a master of the senses and not be a servant of them. it should obey the dictates of the Buddhi or intellect.

37. What are the other components of the mind?

The other components of the mind are Buddhi, Chittha and Ahamkâr. The mind is the seat of ever-wavering thoughts. It is called the 'Buddhi' when it discriminates (intellect); the 'Chittha' is that mind which stores impressions of experiences of the past and past lives. 'Ahamkâr' is the ego-mind.

38. What are the impurities that affect the mind?

The impurities that affect the mind are Mala, Âvarana and Vikshepa.

39. What is Mala?

'Mala' is the dirt and dust that soils the mind in the form of the imprints of the offences committed in this life and the previous lives. It is treasured in the Chittha or storehouse of memory. As a consequence the mind cannot reflect the Âtmic effulgence.

40. What is Âvarana?

'Âvarana' is that which conceals reality and makes man identify with the body.

41. What is Vikshepa?

'Vikshepa' is constant wavering of the mind and the projection of the unreal as the real. It is like one mistaking  a rope for a serpent in the twilight or dawn.

42. How can these impurities be removed?

'Mala' can be got rid of by Nishkâma Karma. Hence it is said: 'Chitthasya Suddhaye Karmah'. 
can be got rid of by wisdom, 'Vikshepa' by Bhakti or devotion.

43. What is it that is responsible for these impurities?

The three guna's or the attributes that are inherent in Nature (Prakrithi). 

44. What are Guna's?

The Tamas, the Rajas and Satva qualities are responsible for the impurities.

45. Describe the characteristics of these Guna's.

The characteristics of these guna's are: 
Tamasic is characterized by intellectual inertia, wavering mind, indecisiveness, non-discriminating and heedlessness. The Rajasic is characterized by passion, anger, jealousy, greed and restlessness. The Satvic is full of wisdom, is calm and serene but experiences happiness. Wisdom belongs to Satva-guna, activity to Rajo-guna and delusion to Tamo-guna.

46. What is the basis for these Guna's?

The food that we eat is the basis for these guna's.

47. How many types of food are there?

There are three types of food: Tamasic, Rajasic and Satvic. The Tamasic food is stale, tasteless, putrid. The Rajasic food is bitter, sour, saline, excessively hot, pungent and burning. The Satvic food is savoury, oleaginous and substantial, confers energy, health, strength, joy and cheer.

48. What exactly is food according to Swami?

Food according to Swami is not just what we take by mouth alone. All that we take in through all the sense organs is food. Hence,
We should not see evil but see only good.
We should not hear evil but hear only good.
We should not speak evil but speak only good.
We should not think evil but think only good.
We should not do evil but do only good.

49. What should we do to purify the food?

We have to say prayer and offer the food to God before eating.

50. What are the impurities related to food?

The purity of food materials - how it was bought, whether by fair or foul means. The purity of the cooking utensils. The purity of the person who cooks. 

51. Who digests the food that we eat?

The digestive fire by name Vaishvânara digests the food.

52. What are the types of food that He digests?

Food that is eaten by mastication (chewing), by sucking in, by devouring and by licking.

53. How can we get rid of these Guna's?

We can get rid of these just as a thorn in the foot can be easily removed by a thorn - by subduing the Tamasic by Rajasic and the Rajasic by the Satvic and ultimately transcend the three Guna's. 

54. What are the three gates to hell?

Anger, greed and desire are the three gateways to hell.

55. How do they affect man?

"kâmam karma nâshanam". Desire will make one take to improper actions.

"krodham jnâna nâshanam". Anger will destroy wisdom.

"lobham bhakti nasanam". Greed will destroy devotion.

56. How does the Gîtâ illustrate that 'desire leads to despair'?

Brooding over sense objects attachments is born;
from attachment comes desire, from desire sprouts anger,
from anger proceeds delusion, from delusion results confused memory and ruin of reason. Due to the ruin of reason he perishes.

In the verse: [BG: 2-62]

"dhyâyato visayân pumsah
sangas tesûpujâyate
sangât sanjâyate kâmah
kâmât krodho 'bhijâyate"

Facing sense-objects a person develops attachment for those objects. From that attachment desire develops and from that desire anger [the drift of passion] arises.

and in the verse: [BG: 2-63]

"krodhâd bhavati sammohah
sammohât smrt-vibhramah
smrti-bhramsâd buddhi-nâso
buddhi-nâsât pranasyati"

From anger [losing one's order] one gets illusioned and from illusion the memory gets bewildered. With the memory disturbed one loses one's intelligence and from that loss of intelligence one falls down.

57. What are the three stages that make an aspirant merge in God? 

Jnâthum - knowing about God; Dhrashtum- seeing God face to face, and Praveshtum - merging in God.

58. What is the illustration given by Swami to explain these stages? 

We first hear the news that sweet mangoes are available in the market. This is the stage of 'Jnâthum'. Fetching the mangoes and feeling happy of the possession is 'Dhrashtum'. Tasting and enjoying the fruits is 'Praveshtum'

59. Which is more fruitful, the worship of God with name and form or the worship of God without form and name? 

Both the types of worship is important but as long as a devotee is body conscious and does Sadhana through the body-, mind-, intellect-complex, he has to take to the worship of God with name and form.

60. What does the Gîtâ say about Avatâric mission? 

Avatharana means descent, Avatharana is the descent of God for the ascent of mankind. 
The Lord says: "Whenever there is a decline in de practice of Dharma and Adharma prevails, I incarnate. I incarnate to protect the virtuous and punish the wicked".

[BG: 4-7]
yadâ yadâ hi dharmasya
glânir bhavati bhârata
abhyutthânam adharmasya
tadâtmânam srjâmy aham

Whenever and wherever it is sure that one weakens in righteousness and a predominance of injustice does manifest, o descendant of Bharata, at that time I do manifest Myself.

61. What is the message of the Vibhuthi Yoga? 

The Vibhuthi Yoga exemplifies how divinity is immanent in the creation.

62. What is the purpose of the Vishvarûpa Samdharshana Yoga?

The Vishvarûpa Samdharshana Yoga projects the entire cosmos in the form of the Lord. God is not exhausted in His creation.

63. What are the qualities of a Stitha Pragna? 

A Stitha Pragna is one who has complete control over his senses, has steady mind, unaffected by the world of pluralities, he is ever established in God. He is equal minded and ever alert. He is free and is always at peace and joy.

64. How can the despondency of Arjuna be called a Yoga?

The despondency of Arjuna was not an ordinary type of despondency characterized by lack of courage and fear. Arjuna's despondency was beneficial. It tested his sincerity and steadfastness. It induced him to seek unquestioning refuge in the Lord. Hence Arjuna's Vishâdha or despondency is given a dignified name - Yoga.

65. How does Lord Krishna explain the efficacy of the caste system?

Lord Krishna says that He Himself has created the caste system according to people's natural attributes and aptitudes. It is based on Guna and Karma. The four castes, the brâhmana, the ksatriya, the vaishya and the sûdra are like the four limbs of the human body. It is said that the brâhmana's are born from the head of the Lord, the ksatriya's from the shoulders, the vaishya's from the thighs and the sûdra's from the feet. Just as each limb is important and has a function of its own, but interdependent, so too all these castes are equally important. Further by virtue of the Guna's they possess, they can transcend the castes.

66. What does the Gîtâ say about speech habit?

The words spoken must be true, must be devoid of passion and should not hurt others even if it be true.

67. What is the meaning of the terms Sadhu, Samadhi, Moksha and Pandit as given by Swami?

A 'Sadhu' is not just a monk or a sanyasi who wears an ochre robe. A 'Sadhu' is one who has Satva Guna, who practices Sathya (Truth) and Dharma (compassion). One who fosters Satva Guna in society and spreads sacred values of life.
'Samadhi' is made of two syllables: Sama and dhi. Sama means equal and dhi means buddhi; so it means equal mindedness. 
'Moksha' is Moha-kshaya.
'Pandit' is one who has equal vision - Samadarsan.

68. What is the significance of Dhaivâsura Sampadvibhâga Yoga?

Dhaivâsura Sampadvibhâga Yoga describes the virtues that one should cultivate and the vices that one should discard.

69. Describe the Tree of Samsara.

The tree of Samsara is compared to the imperishable Asvattha tree (banyan/peepal) with its roots above and branches below. The leaves are the Veda's. The branches spread above and below. They are nourished by the three guna's: sense objects are its buds, the roots stretch forth nourishing the tree. Œswara is the tap root of the tree sustaining from above. The roots stretch forth below in the world of men originating in action. Its form is not perceived here - neither its end, nor its origin, nor its existence is visible. The phenomenon vanishes to one, attaining Brahma Jnana. But it continues to exist for all others, in ignorance. Non-attachment is the axe to cut down the tree of Samsara, seeking refuge in the eternal cosmic spirit.

70. What are the seven excellences (Sthree) of women as mentioned in the Vibhuthi Yoga?

The excellences in a women are: Fame, fortune, speech, memory, intelligence, consistency and endurance.

71. How does Swami explain the eternal longing of man"I want peace" and how can one attain peace?

"I want peace": Remove the I which is the Ego, remove also Want which is Desire and what remains is Peace.

72. Complete these quotations of Swami:

a. Death is the dress of life.
b. Death is sweeter than the
blindness of ignorance.
c. As you
sow, so you reap.
d. The sloka's of the Gîtâ will banish the
soka in our hearts.
e. Mind is the puppet of the
food we take.

73. What is the significance of the following similies:

a. Goods wagon: Just as on the goods wagon the date of its return is written, so too man is sent into the world with his death date already fixed.

Fan with three blades: The three blades stand for the three Guna's. When these three Guna's (Satva (harmony), Rajas (passion) and Thamas (passivity))  are in union and when there is balance, the individual is happy, just as the fan gives good breeze when the three blades move in one direction only.

Match box: If we want to light fire, we need not strike all the matchsticks in the box, one or two would do. Similarly if we want to attain Jnana (wisdom, knowledge), we need not memorize all the verses in the Gîtâ. It is enough if we learn one or two and practise them in daily life.

74. The following quotations of Swami throws light on certain teachings of the Gîtâ-explain.

a. Less luggage more comfort make travel a pleasure:
It means, the less desires you have, the more comfortable will be your journey of life. Then the life will be full of joy.

b. Be in the world but let not the world enter you:
You may live in the world but should not allow the worldly tendencies to bind you. You must develop detachment (Vairâgya).

c. Food - Head - God:
As the food so is the head. As the head so is the mind. As is the mind, so is the conduct. As is the conduct so is God's grace.

d. Man minus desire is God:
A man without desire can realize God.

e. What matters is renunciation in action and not renunciation of action:
This is the sum and substance of Karma yoga. One should not desist from doing work. One must do work without desire for the fruits.

75. What are the two verses that serve as two banks of the river of life?

[BG 4:39] "sraddhâvân labhathe jnânam": One who has steadfastness and sincerity can obtain wisdom.

[BG 4:40] "samsayâtmâ vinasyati": One who doubts will come to ruin.

76. What is the significance of the verse: 

 [BG 9:26]
"patram puspam phalam toyam
yo me bhaktyâ prayacchati
tad aham bhakty-upahrtam
asnâmi prayatâtmanah" 

This verse means that God will accept anything you offer with love and devotion, be it a leaf, a flower or water. But Swami says that body should be the leaf, the flower is the heart and the water is tears of joy. We have to offer only these three. 

"Whoever offers Me a leaf, a flower, a fruit, and water with devotion, that offer brought from the heart by a soul of good habits I accept".

77. How can a lazy fellow interpret the verse:

[BG: 18-66]
sarva-dharmân parityajya
mâm ekam saranam vraja
aham tvâm sarva-pâpebhyo
moksayisyâmi mâ sucah
A lazy fellow who does not work will quote the verse and justify his laziness "Has not the Lord said: Give up all dharma and seek my refuge, I shall grant Moksa (liberation from the cycle of birth and dead)".

"Go, leave the variety of religions behind for surrendering to Me only; I will deliver you from all the consequences of sin, don't worry!"

78. Mention at least three verses that point out the immanent divinity.

[BG 7:10] 
bîjam mâm sarva-bhûtânâm
[viddhi pârtha sanâtanam
buddhir buddhimatâm asmi
tejas tejasvinâm aham]

 I am present as the seed in all the living beings.
Know Me as the eternal seed of all beings.

[BG 15:7]
mamaivâmso jîva-loke
jîva-bhûtah sanâtanah
prakrti sthâni karsati]

 An eternal portion of myself having become the Jîva.

[BG 18:61] 
îsvarah sarva-bhûtânâm
[hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthati
bhrâmayan sarva-bhûtâni
yantrârûdhâni mâyayâ]

 The Lord dwells in all beings.

79. What are the three types of Saranâgati (absolute self-surrender) 

They are:
1. "
tavaivâham" meaning 'I am Thine'.
2. "
mamaiva tvam" meaning 'You are mine'.
3. "
tvame vâham" meaning 'Thou art I'.

80. What is the meaning of total surrender?

Total surrender means surrendering to the Lord with body, mind and heart - with a feeling "nothing is mine". Everything is Yours. Thy will shall prevail.

81. What is the key to gain spiritual wisdom?

The key is: sense control.

82. How does Lord Krishna describe Âtmâ?

Âtmâ can not be cut by any weapon, cannot be burnt by fire, cannot be wetted by water and cannot be dried. It is immutable, all pervading, stable and firm.

[BG 2:23]
nainam chindanti sastrâni
nainam dahati pâvakah
na cainam kledayanty âpo
na sosayati mârutah

Never can this soul (Âtmâ) be cut to pieces, be burnt by fire; nor can it drown in water or wither in the wind.

83. What is the meaning given by Swami to MAN?

MAN means Mâyâ removed, Âtmâ seen and Nirvana attained.

84. What is the foundation for the mansion of the Gîtâ?

Arjuna Vishâdha Yoga or the Yoga of Arjuna's despondency is the foundation of the Gîtâ. 

85. How should one regard and revere the Gîtâ, the song and word of God?

The Gîtâ is not a text to be worshipped with flowers, nor is it a text the verses of which should be committed to memory. It is the Song of the Lord, the Word of God, so the Word should be obeyed and put into practice.

86. "Dharmaksetre Kuruksetre" is the line with which the  Gîtâ starts: what is the meaning of these terms?

Dharmaksetre and Kuruksetre means: Man, when he is born as a child, his heart is pure and is a dharmaksetra; as he grows it becomes Kuruksetra, a battle ground. Kuru means to do. Hence by being good and doing good, kuruksetra can be transformed into dharmaksetra.

87. Âtmâ is described as free and independent, then what is the meaning of Âtma-samyamana Yoga? 

In this context Âtmâ means mind. So it stands for mind control (Dhyânam). 

88. What is meditation?

Meditation is concentration on God to the exclusion of everything else. In meditation Dhyâta, one who meditates and Dhyânam the process of meditation, Dheya the object of meditation, all the three should merge. The person who meditates should become one with the object of meditation.

89. How can we say that the Gîtâ is the Universal Scripture?

The Gîtâ is a text book on the conduct of life, what man should do to be happy and peaceful. It is a practical guide to the art and science of life in the secular world and spiritual world. Its message is for the entire mankind. 

90. How could Arjuna rise to the occasion and fight?

Arjuna said "karisye vacanam tava" [BG 18:73]: I shall act according to your word. He fought and won.

91. What is the symbolical significance of the Kuruksetre battle? 

The two armies pitted against one another; the Pandava army and the Kaurava army stand for the eternal struggle between good end evil forces within man.

92. What is Akshara Parabrahma Yoga? 

Akshara Parabrahma Yoga means attainment of yoga through the contemplation of AUM (Omkâra) the imperishable. Akshara means that which is imperishable.

93. Krishna says that He had first taught the Gîtâ to the Sungod [Vivasvan] and the Sungod to the father of mankind [Vaisvata Manu] who in his turn spoke it to Iksvaku [founder of the dynasty where Râma descended in] as He is teaching it to Arjuna. What is the meaning? 

[BG 4:1]
srî bhagavân uvâca
imam vivasvate yogam
proktavân aham avyayam
vivasvân manave prâha
manur iksvâkave 'bravît

It means: "Arjuna, I am unborn, I am infinite, I am omniscient and omnipresent. I have neither beginning nor an end". He is the eternal Sarathi (charioteer) of mankind.


94. How can ignorance or Ajnâna be removed? 

By using the sword of Jnaan, by using the fire of Jnâna, Ajnana can be cut off and burnt.

95. What is the verse that says "nothing is greater than self-discipline"?  

[BG 18:9]
kâryam ity eva yat karma
niyatam kriyate 'rjuna
sangam tyaktvâ phalam caiva
sa tyâgah sâttviko matah
Without the observance of discipline, no good can be accrued.

Prescribed work then indeed done out of discipline, o Arjuna, and in association with giving up on the result - that renunciation is, in My view, of goodness.

96. What is the verse that says "you shall raise self by your own self"? 

Let man raise himself by his own self; let him not debase himself. For he is himself his friend, himself his foe.

[BG 6:5]
uddhared âtmanâtmânam
nâtmânam avasâdayet
âtmaiva hy âtmano bandhur
âtmaiva ripur âtmanah

One must free oneself by mindfulness and never put oneself down, as surely that selfinterest is indeed as well the friend of the soul as the self its enemy.

97. Who were the people other than Arjuna who heard the Gîtâ? 

Hanuman [see: RRV : 12a] on the flag staff, Sanjaya and Dhritarâstra.

98. Did Krishna teach the Gîtâ only to enlighten Arjuna? 

Krishna Himself says: "Arjuna, you are just a pretext for the celestial song to emanate from Me". 'nimitta-mâtram bhava savyasâcin', Sage Vyâsa with his poetic genius describes that the Gîtâmrita is like the milk drawn from the Upanishadic cows, having Arjuna as the calf by the cowherd Gopala for the benefit of men of purified intellect.

[BG 11:33]
tasmât tvam uttistha yaso labhasva
jitvâ satrûn bhunksva râjyam samrddham
mayaivaite nihatâh pûrvam eva
nimitta-mâtram bhava savyasâcin

Therefore You must get up and gain fame conquering the enemies and enjoy the kingdom flourishing by Me; for sure all these were destined to be killed, be merely the instrument of that, o left-handed one.

99. Give the meaning of the last verse of the Gîtâ. 

The last verse means: Wherever there is Krishna, the 'Yogesvarah', one who works for the welfare of the world, one who embodies sacrifice with all divine attributes, where is Arjuna Dhanurdhara the wielder of the bow, there will be prosperity, glory and felicity.

[BG 18:78]
yatra yogesvarah krsno
yatra pârtho dhanur-dharah
tatra srîr vijayo bhûtir
dhruvâ nîtir matir mama

I am convinced that wherever there is the Lord of Yoga Krishna and the son of Prthâ carrying the bow and arrows, that there opulence, victory, great power and morality are assured."

100. What is the famous quotation of Swami that portrays the greatness of the Gîtâ?

Baba says:

Gîtâ is the universal Mother.
Gîtâ is the messenger of God.
Gîtâ is the lifeboat to cross the ocean of life.
Gîtâ is the staff and support for spiritual seekers.
Gîtâ is a casket of sacred mantra's.
Gîtâ is a beautiful garden of flowers.
is the royal road to liberation.
This is the word of Sai


Janedu Potta Nimpukona Chikkula Nonduchu
Koti Vidyalanu Punika Mira Nerchi
Paripurna Sukhammu Nonda Leka
Vi Manava Jathi Lokamuna Mraggaga Netiki
Sri Parathprunv Dhyanamu Cheyu Bhakthulaku
Darini Chuppaka Unne Manava Manava Manava

Why do you suffer in this world of humans
unable to satisfy the belly
(measuring up to one span) with the help 
of umpteen (very many) number of skills. 
Will not the Supreme Lord show the way
if you but besought his refuge O man?


Gîtâ Vahini by Bhagavân Sathya Sai Baba

Bhagavad Gîtâ of Order by: Anand Aadhar Prabhu

See also the Family Tree of the Kuru-Dynasty



Original Text: Quiz on the Bhagawath Geeta
ISBN: 81-7208-196-0
Published in India by: 
The Convenor, Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust, 
Prashanthi Nilayam, India 
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