Sri Atma Gita


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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