Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Bhagavad Gītā, simply known as Gita NULL

Sanskrit for "Song of God," also more simply known as Gita, is a sacred Hindu scripture, though its philosophies and insights are intended to reach beyond the scope of religion and to humanity as a whole, referred to as the "manual for mankind"

"The uncontrolled mind cannot concentrate. Who cannot concentrate has no peace, without peace, where is happiness?"

"Among those who are purified by their goo deeds there are four kinds of men who worship Me: the world-weary, the seeker for knowledge, the seeker for happiness and the man of spiritual discrimination. The man of discrimination is the highest of these. He is continually united with Me. He devotes himself to Me always, and to no other. For I am very dear to that man, and he to Me."

"The abstinent run away from what they desire but carry their desires with them."

"When a man lacks discrimination, his will wanders in all directions, after innumerable aims. Those who lack discrimination may quote the letter of the scripture; but they are really denying its inner truth. They are full of worldly desires and hungry for the rewards of heaven. They use beautiful figures of speech; they teach elaborate rituals, which are supposed to obtain pleasure and power for those who practice them. But, actually, they understand nothing except the law of Karma that chains men to rebirth. Those whose discrimination is stolen away by such talk grow deeply attached to pleasure and power. And so they are unable to develop that one-pointed concentration of the will, which leads a man to absorption in God."

"The world is imprisoned in its own activity, except when actions are performed as worship of god. Therefore you must perform every action sacramentally... and be free from all attachment to results."

"Unreal is action without discipline, charity without sympathy, ritual without devotion."

"Knowledge is indeed better than blind practice; meditation excels knowledge; surrender of the fruits of action is more esteemed than meditation. Peace immediately follows surrender... Lust, anger, and greed, these three are the soul-destroying gates of hell"

"Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is."

"A man consists of the faith that is in him. Whatever his faith is, he is."

"For certain is death for the born and certain is birth for the dead; therefore over the inevitable thou shouldst not grieve."

"Action should culminate in wisdom."

"A man's own self is his friend, a man's own self is his foe."

"For him who has no concentration, there is no tranquillity."

"The goal of wisdom and the goal of service are the same. The ignorant one fails to see that knowledge and action are one."

"Never the spirit born; the spirit shall cease to be never; never was time it was not; End and Beginning are dreams! Birthless and deathless and changeless remaineth the spirit forever; Death hath not touched it at all, dead though the house of it seems."

"There is no purifier like knowledge in this world; time makes man find himself in his heart."

"The wise see knowledge and action as one; they see truly."

"A gift is pure when it is given from the heart to the right person at the right time and at the right place, and when we expect nothing in return."

"The raft of knowledge ferries the worst sinner to safety."

"Affection and aversion for the objects of sense abide in the senses; let none come under the dominion of these two; they are obstructers of the path."

"What is work? and what is not work? are questions that perplex the wisest of men."

"As leaving aside his worn-out garments, a man takes other new ones, so leaving aside worn-out bodies the embodied soul goes to other new ones."

"All this universe is pervaded by Me, in the form of the unmanifested. All beings dwell in Me, but I do not subsist in them."

"For that which is born, death is certain; and for the dead, birth is certain. Therefore, grieve not over that which is unavoidable."

"For that which is born death is certain, and for the dead birth is certain. Therefore grieve not over that which is unavoidable."

"He know peace who has forgotten desire."

"He who sees the inaction that is in action, and the action that is in inaction, is wise indeed."

"He who has conquered himself by the Self, he is a friend of himself; but he whose self is unconquered, his self acts as his own enemy like an external foe."

"Hell has three doors: lust, rage, and greed."

"Hell has three gates: lust, anger, and greed."

"In this world, aspirants may find enlightenment by two different paths. For the contemplative is the path of knowledge: for the active is the path of selfless action. Nobody can become perfect by merely ceasing to act. In fact, nobody can ever rest from his activity even for a moment."

"He whose heart is unattached to objects of the senses, findeth that within which is very bliss; he who resteth in identity with the One Supreme, enjoyeth bliss eternal."

"In this world, aspirants may find enlightenment by two different paths. For the contemplative is the path of knowledge; for the active is the path of selfless action."

"It is not born, nor does it ever die, nor come not to be. Unborn, eternal, everlasting, this ancient one [soul] is not slain when the body is slain."

"Let not the fruit of action be your motive to action. Your business is with action alone, not with fruit of action."

"Inner peace is beyond victory or defeat."

"Let your aim be the good of all."

"No weapons hurt the soul; no fire burns it; no waters moisten it; no wind dries it up. It is imperishable, perpetual, immovable, eternal. Therefore, knowing it thus, you should not grieve."

"Man reacheth perfection by each being intent on his own duty."

"On Karma alone be your interest, never on its fruits; let not the results of Karma be your motive, nor be your attachment to inaction."

"On action alone be thy interest, never on thy fruits."

"The truly wise mourn not either for the dead or for the living."

"The world is imprisoned in its own activity except when actions are performed as worship of God. Therefore you must perform every action sacramentally and be free from any attachment to the results."

"The faith of every man accords with his essential nature; man here is made up of faith; as a man’s faith is, so is he."

"Perform all necessary acts, for action is better than inaction; none can live by sitting still and doing nought; it is by action only that a man attains immunity from action."

"These bodies are perishable; but the dwellers in these bodies are eternal, indestructible, and impenetrable."

"There is “true” Knowledge. Learn thou it is this: To see one changeless Life in all the Lives and in the Separate, One Inseparable."

"There is more joy in doing one’s own duty badly than in doing another man’s duty well."

"To unite the heart with Brahman and then to act: that is the secret of non-attached work. In the calm of self-surrender, the seers renounce the fruits of their actions and so teach enlightenment."

"Water flows continually in the ocean but the ocean is never disturbed: desire flows into the mind of the seer but he is never disturbed. The seer knows peace: the man who stirs up his own lusts can never know peace. He knows peace who has forgotten desire. He lives without craving: free from ego, free from pride."