Sri Atma Gita

December 27, 2015


This is a beautiful Poem from the Bhagavat Purana written thousands of years ago. It is Krishna’s final discourse to his beloved disciple Uddhava, spoken on the eve of his departure from earth. 


Sri Atma Gita


Om Sri Atma gita now I’ll sing


On hearing which a man is freed


That heart receptive to God’s word


Becomes the Lord Hari’s abode


On the wheel of change a man is turned


Until Sri Atma Gita’s heard


Even the place in which it’s sung


Becomes a sacred place of love


Oh man, seek thee the highest goal


Read or sing this song each day


True understanding thou wilt gain


And all past sins will fade away


To one who hears this song at death


A place on high and those who give


This song as gift are one with Him


Sri Krishna out of love bestows


Om O souls who yearn for truth!


Come sip Sri Krishna’s honeyed work


Who hears this song is freed from death


And gains the precious peace of God


Sri Krishna is speaking:


O noble Uddhava, remember my words


For I’ll not be around to remind you again


Give up all attachments, surrender your love


For this world of sense-objects, relations and friends


The feeling of “I” as a separate self


Must be given up if you wish to know truth


There’s only one Self which exists within all-


“Tis that very Self which you see as the world


The Self is the source of the whole universe


It fashions all forms of its own Consciousness


Though all forms are changing and soon fade away


The one conscious Self is forever the same


Therefore Uddhava, cling fast to the Self


Your mind must be steady, unswayed by the world


Your heart must be free of all selfish desire


If you wish to awake and to know who you are


When you have gained knowledge and wisdom as well


When you can feel one with the whole universe


When you’ve found the Self  and in Self found delight


Then you will be free, though you live still on earth


Thus will you go beyond evil and good


Without pride or shame you’ll behave as you should


To everyone loving and gentle and kind


You’ll see naught but One, and in One keep your mind


Uddhava to Krishna:


O Krishna my God, only Soul of the world


So that I may awake please instruct me still more


My mind is so dull  I’m unable to see


The way that a man from this flesh can be free


Sri Krishna is speaking:


Listen Uddhava, take refuge in me


Perform all your duties and works faithfully


But keep your heart free from all want or desire


And surrender your heart and your mind unto me


This world which the senses perceive is a dream


There’s nothing within it that is what it seems


So keep your mind steady, remembering me


And do what you must while your heart remains free


To work with the motive of pleasing oneself


Leads only to ruin and darkness within


But works that are done in the service of God


Bring freedom and peace as the fruits of reward


With your mine wide awake and remembering me


Surrender all thought of yourself and be free


Give up the false dream of “myself” and “my own”


Become one with God through devotional love


Regard all your brothers with equality


See only one Self in whatever you see


With all doubts dispelled by the bright light of truth


Awake fro the dream of this world and be free


When you’ve become free of all worldly desire


No power can shake you or move you to ire


Unstirred by words of both good men and bad


Uddhava, be free keep your mind fixed on God


Uddhava to Krishna:


O Krishna all men are aware that the world


Is changing and fleeting, a whirlpool of dust


Yet see how all men run to fill their desires


See how they’re caught in the jaws of dark lust


Though suffering and misery runs after those men


Who seek for their pleasure the objects of sense


Please tell me, dear Krishna, why it should be so


That men, like dumb beasts love suffering so?


Sri Krishna is speaking:


Uddhava such poor men do not know the truth


Nor have they the peace and contentment that comes


From knowing the bliss of the one conscious Self


Pervading this world in these myriad forms


Such men are deluded in thinking the Self


Is body and mind and the organs of sense


Betrayed by desires of the flesh they are led


By dreams of sense-pleasure until they are dead


But the man of dispassion and knowledge is wise


By giving himself to the impulse of lust


A foolish man gathers up pain for himself


He gathers the fruit of a joy that’s divine


So listen, Uddhava, give up lethargy


Keep watch on the thoughts of your mind faithfully


Withdraw your regard from the world and its play


Remember the Self with each thought every day


‘Tis this which is known as the yoga supreme


I’ve taught it to gods and I’ve taught it to men


I’ll tell you Uddhava the words which I gave


To the great sage Sanaka in a far-distant age


The question Sanaka asked of me was this:


“The mind is attracted to objects of sense


And objects of sense become fixed in the mind


How can I be free from sense objects that bind?”


But you’re neither mind nor objects of sense


When you know that Self, then true freedom you’ll find


That vision which sees many where there is one


Is sleep through one’s though one’s eyes may appear open wide


Awake from the dream of this world and be free


Dispel the dark clouds of delusion with truth


With knowledge and wisdom shed light on the Self


Realize who you are, and by knowledge be freed


What you say is true, I assured him at once


There’s only one I, ever-free and divine


The one conscious Self is the Reality


Devotion to truth is the true love indeed


Today the world is, but tomorrow it’s not


It shifts like the forms of the clouds in the sky


It is but one Consciousness seeming to be


The manifold world which the senses perceive


Withdraw from this world of appearance your mind


And give up the thirst for the pleasures of life


With mind set at rest know the bliss of the Self


And nevermore fall into error and strife


That man who has tasted the bliss of the Self


May move among objects of sense without fear


His mind never clings to the world’s misery


His heart is with God and his soul is made free


This is the secret Sanaka was taught


The goal of all men and the highest of paths


Give worship to God as the Self of your heart


See only one Self and remain unattached


Uddhava to Krishna:


Dear Krishna the sages have taught many ways


To reach to the end of man’s journey to God


I wish to know, Lord, the way that is best


Can each of these paths be as good as the rest?


Sri Krishna is speaking:


Uddhava my child, there are many ways


Which sages have shown to attain the Supreme


The pathways are many, but each of them leads


To the knowledge of God beyond scriptures or creeds


By love, or by inward control of the mind


By faith, or by wisdom, by serving mankind


All these have been taught as the way to reach God


But the best way of all is devotional love


What joy does one find in the sweet love of God!


The bliss of His love fills the whole universe


Uddhava delight in that Lord who’s within


Surrender your life in devotion to Him


As wood is burned up when it’s thrown into fire


Devotional love burns up worldly desire


By stuffy of books men may try to find joy


But God who is Love is found only through love.


Without love for God all man’s learning is vain


‘Tis only through love that true bliss is regained


With joy in his heart, that wise lover is blessed


Who serves God with love; ‘tis this path which is best


Uddhava, obtain that sweet blessing of grace


By taking the path that is followed by saints


Give worship to God through devotional hymns


Perform all your actions in service to Him


Be free from all selfish desires of the mind


Renounce everything for the love that’s divine


When your mind is surrendered and evermore true


That love which is bliss will awaken in you


This goal is the highest goal one can attain


God’s freedom and bliss in the form of a man


All pleasure, all knowledge, all power divine


Belongs to that man who’s surrendered the mind


So therefore Uddhava, restrain the desire


For outward enjoyments through organs of sense


And turn your mind inward with love to the Self


Through deep meditation regain your true wealth


Learn to be even and in poise


Be calm in the midst of the mightiest storm


Though men may upbraid you and call you false names


Remember the Self, remain ever the same


Do not allow hatred to rise up in you


Nor ever in anger return blow for blow


But keep your mind turned to the Self who’s within


And strive to be free from the bondage of sin


Uddhava to Krishna:


O Master, dear teacher, O Soul of the world


When one is insulted and false words are hurled


How hard is the task of remaining in peace!


Please show me the way I can do this with ease


Sri Krishna is speaking:


Indeed it is true there’s nothing more hard


The words of the wicked strike deep in the heart


Like arrows they lodge in the breast of a man


And Cause such a pain that he scarcely can stand


But please le me tell you Uddhava my child


A story of one who was painfully tried


By torment and misery throughout all his life


Yet ever remained free of pain and of strife


This man was once wealthy and foolishly proud


“Til fate intervened and deprived him of all


But the blow fortune dealt him was good in disguise


For he soon realized where man’s real treasure lies


With mind turned within he examined his soul


While wandering the earth as a sadhu alone


Though poor in the eyes of all men of the world


He soon became wealthy in true self-control


Now other men saw him alone and detached


And decided to test him by treating him rough


Wherever he went, he was treated with scorn


As men tried to wound him with words and with stones


But though he was treated by all men with spite


The truth of the Self he kept ever in sight


Tormented incessantly, injured and wronged


He sang in his heart this pain-dispelling song:


“No pleasure, no pain, can affect my true Self


Both suffering and pleasure belong to the mind


The Self is the witness of all the mind’s play


Remaining forevermore conscious and free


The Self, like an object reflected in glass


Appears to be mind and the whole universe


And man, by forgetting his identity


Is lost in delusion and misery


All teachings of sages have one common goal


They all teach the way to attain self-control


The highest religion consists of just this:


To bridle the mind and in truth become fixed


The uncontrolled mind is man’s sole evil foe


It vanquishes men with its weapons of woe


Forgetful of this, men see evil in men


Like fools, they forget that all evil’s within


None other can cause me to know joy or pain


For I am forever the unchanging One


The sense of delight or of sadness I find


Comes from the false notion that I am the mind


The body and mind are both subject to change


But I am the One in whom all is contained


In freedom forever, beyond shame or fear


The sweet blissful Self is the one I hold dear”


That was the song that my wise wanderer sang


Though injured and tortured by wrong-hearted men


He held to the truth and continued in peace


And crossed over the ocean of misery – to me


When you van surrender in full love to God


You’ll rise to the heights of the heaven within


In blissful awakening, you’ll know your true Self


And fathom the depths of the whole universe


And when your mind’s light becomes steady and bright


All ignorant notions will fade out of sight


The false sense of ego will then disappear


And the world of appearance will bind you no more


Your mind will be peaceful, absorbed in the Self


You’ll look on all others with equality


Beyond good or evil with ego dispelled 


To nothing attached, you’ll then become free


What more can remain to be gained by that man


Whose heart’s filled with love, who has found joy within?


His words are of truth and all men are made pure


By hearing from him of the One who endures


Like fire, he is able to burn away sin


And light up the deep night of darkness within


A blessing to all, he’s like a strong ship


To carry all men ‘cross this ocean to bliss


As food sustains life and as life sustains man


That sage who is free is the savior of all


The sun in the sky who lights heaven and earth 


Cannot be compared to that sage who lights hearts


Now let me tell you, Uddhava my son


The things you must do if the Truth’s to be won


By following this you will come to know bliss


Through wisdom you’ll conquer invincible death


Awake to the knowledge that God is your Self


Let all of your actions be guided by Him


Surrender your life in the service of God


And your heart will be filled with the light of His Love


Take up your abode with the holiest saints


Those sages whose lives are devoted to God


And learn by their conduct to live as you must


To see only One in this vast universe


O noble Uddhava, your sight must be pure


To see only god in this manifold world


Such vision is wisdom that sets the soul free


See only on Consciousness incessantly


By seeing in all men the spirit divine


The notion of ‘others’ abandons the mind


Realize this one truth and your heart will be free


Of anger and hatred and mean jealousy


That man who has seen God sees God everywhere


He worships the Self in all hearts as his own


This is the best mode of worship indeed


To treat all as God in one’s thought, word and deed


Such is the knowledge I pass on to you


By which in this life you may learn to be free


And loose all attachment to things passing by


And know your true Self as immortality


Dear brothers, said Suta, the tale has been told


Of Uddhava and Krishna, the one Soul of all


This song Atma Gita, His glory has told


May all men win freedom by singing this song


From the Srimad Bhagvatam Purana of old


Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

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