Bhagavad-gita As It Is
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada




purodhasam ca mukhyam mam

viddhi partha brhaspatim

senaninam aham skandah

sarasam asmi sagarah

purodhasam—of all priests; ca—also; mukhyam—chief; mam—Me; viddhi—understand; partha—O son of Prtha; brhaspatim—Brhaspati; senaninam—of all commanders; aham—I am; skandah—Kartikeya; sarasam—of all reservoirs of water; asmi—I am; sagarah—the ocean.


Of priests, O Arjuna, know Me to be the chief, Brhaspati, the lord of devotion. Of generals I am Skanda, the lord of war; and of bodies of water I am the ocean.


Indra is the chief demigod of the heavenly planets and is known as the king of the heavens. The planet in which he reigns is called Indraloka. Brhaspati is Indra’s priest, and since Indra is the chief of all kings, Brhaspati is the chief of all priests. And as Indra is the chief of all kings, similarly Skanda, the son of Parvati and Lord Siva, is the chief of all military commanders. And of all bodies of water, the ocean is the greatest. These representations of Krsna only give hints of His greatness.



maharsinam bhrgur aham

giram asmy ekam aksaram

yajnanam japa-yajno ’smi

sthavaranam himalayah

maharsinam—among the great sages; bhrguh—Bhrgu; aham—I am; giram—of vibrations; asmi—I am; ekam aksaram—pranava; yajnanam—of sacrifices; japa-yajnah—chanting; asmi—I am; sthavaranam—of immovable things; himalayah—the Himalayan mountains.


Of the great sages I am Bhrgu; of vibrations I am the transcendental om. Of sacrifices I am the chanting of the holy names [japa], and of immovable things I am the Himalayas.


Brahma, the first living creature within the universe, created several sons for the propagation of various kinds of species. The most powerful of his sons is Bhrgu, who is also the greatest sage. Of all the transcendental vibrations, the “om” (omkara) represents the Supreme. Of all the sacrifices, the chanting of Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare is the purest representation of Krsna. Sometimes animal sacrifices are recommended, but in the sacrifice of Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, there is no question of violence. It is the simplest and the purest. Whatever is sublime in the worlds is a representation of Krsna. Therefore the Himalayas, the greatest mountains in the world, also represent Him. The mountain named Meru was mentioned in a previous verse, but Meru is sometimes movable, whereas the Himalayas are never movable. Thus the Himalayas are greater than Meru.



asvatthah sarva-vrksanam

devarsinam ca naradah

gandharvanam citrarathah

siddhanam kapilo munih

asvatthah—the banyan tree; sarva-vrksanam—of all trees; devarsinam—of all the sages amongst the demigods; ca—and; naradah—Narada; gandharvanam—the citizens of the Gandharva planet; citrarathah—Citraratha; siddhanam—of all those who are perfected; kapilah munih—Kapila Muni.


Of all trees I am the holy fig tree, and amongst sages and demigods I am Narada. Of the singers of the gods [Gandharvas] I am Citraratha, and among perfected beings I am the sage Kapila.


The fig tree (asvattha) is one of the most beautiful and highest trees, and people in India often worship it as one of their daily morning rituals. Amongst the demigods they also worship Narada, who is considered the greatest devotee in the universe. Thus he is the representation of Krsna as a devotee. The Gandharva planet is filled with entities who sing beautifully, and among them the best singer is Citraratha. Amongst the perpetually living entities, Kapila is considered an incarnation of Krsna, and His philosophy is mentioned in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Later on another Kapila became famous, but his philosophy was atheistic. Thus there is a gulf of difference between them.



uccaihsravasam asvanam

viddhi mam amrtodbhavam

airavatam gajendranam

naranam ca naradhipam

uccaihsravasam—Uccaihsrava; asvanam—among horses; viddhi—know; mam—Me; amrta-udbhavam—produced from the churning of the ocean; airavatam—Airavata; gajendranam—of elephants; naranam—among human beings; ca—and; naradhipam—the king.


Of horses know Me to be Uccaihsrava, who rose out of the ocean, born of the elixir of immortality; of lordly elephants I am Airavata, and among men I am the monarch.


The devotee demigods and the demons (asuras) once took a sea journey. On this journey, nectar and poison were produced, and Lord Siva drank the poison. From the nectar were produced many entities, of which there was a horse named Uccaihsrava. Another animal produced from the nectar was an elephant named Airavata. Because these two animals were produced from nectar, they have special significance, and they are representatives of Krsna.

Amongst the human beings, the king is the representative of Krsna because Krsna is the maintainer of the universe, and the kings, who are appointed on account of their godly qualifications, are maintainers of their kingdoms. Kings like Maharaja Yudhisthira, Maharaja Pariksit and Lord Rama were all highly righteous kings who always thought of the citizens’ welfare. In Vedic literature, the king is considered to be the representative of God. In this age, however, with the corruption of the principles of religion, monarchy decayed and is now finally abolished. It is to be understood that in the past, however, people were more happy under righteous kings.



ayudhanam aham vajram

dhenunam asmi kamadhuk

prajanas casmi kandarpah

sarpanam asmi vasukih

ayudhanam—of all weapons; aham—I am; vajram—the thunderbolt; dhenunam—of cows; asmi—I am; kamadhuk—the surabhi cows; prajanah—for begetting children; ca—and; asmi—I am; kandarpah—Cupid; sarpanam—of all snakes; asmi—I am; vasukih—Vasuki.


Of weapons I am the thunderbolt; among cows I am the surabhi, givers of abundant milk. Of procreators I am Kandarpa, the god of love, and of serpents I am Vasuki, the chief.


The thunderbolt, indeed a mighty weapon, represents Krsna’s power. In Krsnaloka in the spiritual sky there are cows which can be milked at any time, and they give as much milk as one likes. Of course such cows do not exist in this material world, but there is mention of them in Krsnaloka. The Lord keeps many such cows, which are called surabhi. It is stated that the Lord is engaged in herding the surabhi cows. Kandarpa is the sex desire for presenting good sons; therefore Kandarpa is the representative of Krsna. Sometimes sex is engaged in only for sense gratification; such sex does not represent Krsna. But sex for the generation of good children is called Kandarpa and represents Krsna.



anantas casmi naganam

varuno yadasam aham

pitrnam aryama casmi

yamah samyamatam aham

anantah—Ananta; ca—also; asmi—I am; naganam—of all serpents; varunah—the demigod controlling the water; yadasam—of all aquatics; aham—I am; pitrnam—of the ancestors; aryama—Aryama; ca—also; asmi—I am; yamah—the controller of death; samyamatam—of all regulators; aham—I am.


Of the celestial Naga snakes I am Ananta; of the aquatic deities I am Varuna. Of departed ancestors I am Aryama, and among the dispensers of law I am Yama, lord of death.


Among the many celestial Naga serpents, Ananta is the greatest, as is Varuna among the aquatics. They both represent Krsna. There is also a planet of trees presided over by Aryama, who represents Krsna. There are many living entities who give punishment to the miscreants, and among them Yama is the chief. Yama is situated in a planet near this earthly planet, and after death those who are very sinful are taken there, and Yama arranges different kinds of punishments for them.



prahladas casmi daityanam

kalah kalayatam aham

mrganam ca mrgendro ’ham

vainateyas ca paksinam

prahladah—Prahlada; ca—also; asmi—I am; daityanam—of the demons; kalah—time; kalayatam—of subduers; aham—I am; mrganam—of animals; ca—and; mrgendrah—the lion; aham—I am; vainateyah—Garuda; ca—also; paksinam—of birds.


Among the Daitya demons I am the devoted Prahlada; among subduers I am time; among the beasts I am the lion, and among birds I am Garuda, the feathered carrier of Visnu.


Diti and Aditi are two sisters. The sons of Aditi are called Adityas, and the sons of Diti are called Daityas. All the Adityas are devotees of the Lord, and all the Daityas are atheistic. Although Prahlada was born in the family of the Daityas, he was a great devotee from his childhood. Because of his devotional service and godly nature, he is considered to be a representative of Krsna.

There are many subduing principles, but time wears down all things in the material universe and so represents Krsna. Of the many animals, the lion is the most powerful and ferocious, and of the million varieties of birds, Garuda, the bearer of Lord Visnu, is the greatest.



pavanah pavatam asmi

ramah sastra-bhrtam aham

jhasanam makaras casmi

srotasam asmi jahnavi

pavanah—the wind; pavatam—of all that purifies; asmi—I am; ramah—Rama; sastra-bhrtam—of the carriers of weapons; aham—I am; jhasanam—of all aquatics; makarah—shark; ca asmi—I am also; srotasam—of flowing rivers; asmi—I am; jahnavi—the River Ganges.


Of purifiers I am the wind; of the wielders of weapons I am Rama; of fishes I am the shark, and of flowing rivers I am the Ganges.


Of all the aquatics the shark is one of the biggest and is certainly the most dangerous to man. Thus the shark represents Krsna. And of rivers, the greatest in India is the Mother Ganges. Lord Ramacandra, of the Ramayana, an incarnation of Krsna, is the mightest of warriors.



sarganam adir antas ca

madhyam caivaham arjuna

adhyatma-vidya vidyanam

vadah pravadatam aham

sarganam—of all creations; adih—beginning; antah—end; ca—and; madhyam—middle; ca—also; eva—certainly; aham—I am; arjuna—O Arjuna; adhyatma-vidya—spiritual knowledge; vidyanam—of all education; vadah—natural conclusion; pravadatam—of arguments; aham—I am.


Of all creations I am the beginning and the end and also the middle, O Arjuna. Of all sciences I am the spiritual science of the Self, and among logicians I am the conclusive truth.


Among created manifestations, the total material elements are first created by Maha-Visnu and are annihilated by Lord Siva. Brahma is the secondary creator. All these created elements are different incarnations of the material qualities of the Supreme Lord; therefore He is the beginning, the middle and the end of all creation.

Regarding the spiritual science of the Self, there are many literatures, such as the four Vedas, the Vedanta-sutra and the Puranas, the Srimad-Bhagavatam and the Gita. These are all representatives of Krsna. Among logicians there are different stages of argument. The presentation of evidence is called japa. The attempt to defeat one another is called vitanda, and the final conclusion is called vada. The conclusive truth, the end of all reasoning processes, is Krsna.



aksaranam a-karo ’smi

dvandvah samasikasya ca

aham evaksayah kalo

dhataham visvato-mukhah

aksaranam—of letters; akarah—the first; asmi—I am; dvandvah—dual; samasikasya—compounds; ca—and; aham—I am; eva—certainly; aksayah—eternal; kalah—time; dhata—creator; aham—I am; visvato-mukhah—Brahma.


Of letters I am the letter A, and among compounds I am the dual word. I am also inexhaustable time, and of creators I am Brahma, whose manifold faces turn everywhere.


Akara, the first letter of the Sanskrit alphabet, is the beginning of the Vedic literature. Without akara, nothing can be sounded; therefore it is the beginning of sound. In Sanskrit there are also many compound words, of which the dual word, like Rama-krsna, is called dvandvah. For instance, Rama and Krsna have the same rhythm and therefore are called dual.

Among all kinds of killers, time is the ultimate because time kills everything. Time is the representative of Krsna because in due course of time there will be a great fire and everything will be annihilated.

Among the creators and living entities, Brahma is the chief. The various Brahmas exhibit four, eight, sixteen, etc., heads accordingly, and they are the chief creators in their respective universes. The Brahmas are representatives of Krsna.



mrtyuh sarva-haras caham

udbhavas ca bhavisyatam

kirtih srir vak ca narinam

smrtir medha dhrtih ksama

mrtyuh—death; sarva-harah—all-devouring; ca—also; aham—I am; udbhavah—generation; ca—also; bhavisyatam—of the future; kirtih—fame; srih vak—beautiful speech; ca—also; narinam—of women; smrtih—memory; medha—intelligence; dhrtih—faithfulness; ksama—patience.


I am all-devouring death, and I am the generator of all things yet to be. Among women I am fame, fortune, speech, memory, intelligence, faithfulness and patience.


As soon as a man is born, he dies at every moment. Thus death is devouring every living entity at every moment, but the last stroke is called death itself. That death is Krsna. All species of life undergo six basic changes. They are born, they grow, they remain for some time, they reproduce, they dwindle and finally vanish. Of these changes, the first is deliverance from the womb, and that is Krsna. The first generation is the beginning of all future activities.

The six opulences listed are considered to be feminine. If a woman possesses all of them or some of them she becomes glorious. Sanskrit is a perfect language and is therefore very glorious. After studying, if one can remember the subject matter, he is gifted with good memory, or smrti One need not read many books on different subject matters; the ability to remember a few and quote them when necessary is also another opulence.



brhat-sama tatha samnam

gayatri chandasam aham

masanam marga-sirso ’ham

rtunam kusumakarah

brhat-sama—the Brhat-sama; tatha—also; samnam—of the Sama-veda song; gayatri—the Gayatri hymns; chandasam—of all poetry; aham—I am; masanam—of months; marga-sirso ’ham—the month of November-December; aham—I am; rtunam—of all seasons; kusumakarah—spring.


Of hymns I am the Brhat-sama sung to the Lord Indra, and of poetry I am the Gayatri verse, sung daily by brahmanas. Of months I am November and December, and of seasons I am flower-bearing spring.


It has already been explained by the Lord that amongst all the Vedas, the Sama-veda is rich with beautiful songs played by the various demigods.

One of these songs is the Brhat-sama, which has an exquisite melody and is sung at midnight.

In Sanskrit, there are definite rules that regulate poetry; rhyme and meter are not written whimsically, as in much modern poetry. Amongst the regulated poetry, the Gayatri mantra, which is chanted by the duly qualified brahmanas, is the most prominent. The Gayatri mantra is mentioned in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Because the Gayatri mantra is especially meant for God realization, it represents the Supreme Lord. This mantra is meant for spiritually advanced people, and when one attains success in chanting it, he can enter into the transcendental position of the Lord. One must first acquire the qualities of the perfectly situated person, the qualities of goodness according to the laws of material nature, in order to chant the Gayatri mantra. The Gayatri mantra is very important in Vedic civilization and is considered to be the sound incarnation of Brahman. Brahma is its initiator, and it is passed down from him in disciplic succession.

The months of November and December are considered the best of all months because in India grains are collected from the fields at this time, and the people become very happy. Of course spring is a season universally liked because it is neither too hot nor too cold, and the flowers and trees blossom and flourish. In spring there are also many ceremonies commemorating Krsna’s pastimes; therefore this is considered to be the most joyful of all seasons, and it is the representative of the Supreme Lord Krsna.



dyutam chalayatam asmi

tejas tejasvinam aham

jayo ’smi vyavasayo ’smi

sattvam sattvavatam aham

dyutam—gambling; chalayatam—of all cheats; asmi—I am; tejah—splendid; tejasvinam—of everything splendid; aham—I am; jayah—victory; asmi—I am; vyavasayah—adventure; asmi—I am; sattvam—strength; sattvavatam—of all the strong; aham—I am.


I am also the gambling of cheats, and of the splendid I am the splendor. I am victory, I am adventure, and I am the strength of the strong.


There are many kinds of cheaters all over the universe. Of all cheating processes, gambling stands supreme and therefore represents Krsna. As the Supreme, Krsna can be more deceitful than any mere man. If Krsna chooses to deceive a person, no one can surpass Him in His deceit. His greatness is not simply one-sided—it is all-sided.

Among the victorious, He is victory. He is the splendor of the splendid. Among enterprising industrialists, He is the most enterprising. Among adventurers, He is the most adventurous, and among the strong, He is the strongest. When Krsna was present on earth, no one could surpass Him in strength. Even in His childhood He lifted Govardhana Hill. No one can surpass Him in cheating, no one can surpass Him in splendor, no one can surpass Him in victory, no one can surpass Him in enterprise, and no one can surpass Him in strength.



vrsninam vasudevo ’smi

pandavanam dhananjayah

muninam apy aham vyasah

kavinam usana kavih

vrsninam—of the descendants of Vrsni; vasudevah—Krsna in Dvaraka; asmi—I am; pandavanam—of the Pandavas; dhananjayah—Arjuna; muninam—of the sages; api—also; aham—I am; vyasah—Vyasa, the compiler of all Vedic literature; kavinam—of all great thinkers; usana—Usana; kavih—the thinker.


Of the descendants of Vrsni I am Vasudeva, and of the Pandavas I am Arjuna. Of the sages I am Vyasa, and among great thinkers I am Usana.


Krsna is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, and Vasudeva is the immediate expansion of Krsna. Both Lord Krsna and Baladeva appear as the sons of Vasudeva. Amongst the sons of Pandu, Arjuna is famous and valiant. Indeed, he is the best of men and therefore represents Krsna. Among the munis, or learned men conversant in Vedic knowledge, Vyasa is the greatest because he explained Vedic knowledge in many different ways for the understanding of the common mass of people in this age of Kali. And Vyasa is also known as an incarnation of Krsna; therefore Vyasa also represents Krsna. Kavis are those who are capable of thinking thoroughly on any subject matter. Among the kavis, Usana was the spiritual master of the demons; he was extremely intelligent, far-seeing, political and spiritual in every way. Thus Usana is another representative of the opulence of Krsna.



dando damayatam asmi

nitir asmi jigisatam

maunam caivasmi guhyanam

jnanam jnanavatam aham

dandah—punishment; damayatam—of all separation; asmi—I am; nitih—morality; asmi—I am; jigisatam—of the victorious; maunam—silence; ca—and; eva—also; asmi—I am; guhyanam—of secrets; jnanam—knowledge; jnanavatam—of the wise; aham—I am.


Among punishments I am the rod of chastisement, and of those who seek victory, I am morality. Of secret things I am silence, and of the wise I am wisdom.


There are many suppressing agents, of which the most important are those that cut down the miscreants. When miscreants are punished, the rod of chastisement represents Krsna. Among those who are trying to be victorious in some field of activity, the most victorious element is morality. Among the confidential activities of hearing, thinking and meditating, silence is most important because by silence one can make progress very quickly. The wise man is he who can discriminate between matter and spirit, between God’s superior and inferior natures. Such knowledge is Krsna Himself.



yac capi sarva-bhutanam

bijam tad aham arjuna

na tad asti vina yat syan

maya bhutam caracaram

yat—whatever; ca—also; api—may be; sarva-bhutanam—of all creations; bijam—the seed; tat—that; aham—I am; arjuna—O Arjuna; na—not; tat—that; asti—there is; vina—without; yat—that; syat—exists; maya—by Me; bhutam—created; caracaram—moving and unmoving.


Furthermore, O Arjuna, I am the generating seed of all existences. There is no being—moving or unmoving—that can exist without Me.


Everything has a cause, and that cause or seed of manifestation is Krsna. Without Krsna’s energy, nothing can exist; therefore He is called omnipotent. Without His potency, neither the movable nor the unmovable can exist. Whatever existence is not founded on the energy of Krsna is called maya, that which is not.



nanto ’sti mama divyanam

vibhutinam parantapa

esa tuddesatah prokto

vibhuter vistaro maya

na—nor; antah—a limit; asti—is there; mama—of My; divyanam—divine; vibhutinam—opulences; parantapa—O conquerer of the enemies; esah—all this; tu—that; uddesatah—examples; proktah—spoken; vibhuteh—opulences; vistarah—expanded; maya—by Me.


O mighty conqueror of enemies, there is no end to My divine manifestations. What I have spoken to you is but a mere indication of My infinite opulences.


As stated in the Vedic literature, although the opulences and energies of the Supreme are understood in various ways, there is no limit to such opulences; therefore not all the opulences and energies can be explained. Simply a few examples are being described to Arjuna to pacify his inquisitiveness.



yad yad vibhutimat sattvam

srimad urjitam eva va

tat tad evavagaccha tvam

mama tejo-’msa-sambhavam

yat yat—whatever; vibhuti—opulences; mat—having; sattvam—existence; srimat—beautiful; urjitam—glorious; eva—certainly; va—or; tat tat—all those; eva—certainly; avagaccha—you must know; tvam—you; mama—My; tejah—splendor; amsa—partly; sambhavam—born of.


Know that all beautiful, glorious, and mighty creations spring from but a spark of My splendor.


Any glorious or beautiful existence should be understood to be but a fragmental manifestation of Krsna’s opulence, whether it be in the spiritual or material world. Anything extraordinarily opulent should be considered to represent Krsna’s opulence.



atha va bahunaitena

kim jnatena tavarjuna

vistabhyaham idam krtsnam

ekamsena sthito jagat

athava—or; bahuna—many; etena—by this kind; kim—what; jnatena—knowing; tava—you; arjuna—O Arjuna; vistabhya—entire; aham—I; idam—this; krtsnam—all manifestations; eka—one; amsena—part; sthithah—situated; jagat—in the universe.


But what need is there, Arjuna, for all this detailed knowledge? With a single fragment of Myself I pervade and support this entire universe.


The Supreme Lord is represented throughout the entire material universes by His entering into all things as the Supersoul. The Lord here tells Arjuna that there is no point in understanding how things exist in their separate opulence and grandeur. He should know that all things are existing due to Krsna’s entering them as Supersoul. From Brahma, the most gigantic entity, on down to the smallest ant, all are existing because the Lord has entered each and all and is sustaining them.

Worship of demigods is discouraged herein because even the greatest demigods like Brahma and Siva only represent part of the opulence of the Supreme Lord. He is the origin of everyone born, and no one is greater than Him. He is samata, which means that no one is superior to Him and that no one is equal to Him. In the Visnu-mantra it is said that one who considers the Supreme Lord Krsna in the same category with demigods—be they even Brahma or Siva—becomes at once an atheist. If, however, one thoroughly studies the different descriptions of the opulences and expansions of Krsna’s energy, then one can understand without any doubt the position of Lord Sri Krsna and can fix his mind in the worship of Krsna without deviation. The Lord is all-pervading by the expansion of His partial representation, the Supersoul, who enters into everything that is. Pure devotees, therefore, concentrate their minds in Krsna consciousness in full devotional service; therefore they are always situated in the transcendental position. Devotional service and worship of Krsna are very clearly indicated in this chapter in verses eight to eleven. That is the way of pure devotional service. How one can attain the highest devotional perfection of association with the Supreme Personality of Godhead has been thoroughly explained in this chapter.

Thus end the Bhaktivedanta Purports to the Tenth Chapter of the Srimad-Bhagavad-gita in the matter of the Opulence of the Absolute.

Next chapter (Bg 11)