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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