Krishna's Final Remarks to Arjuna & Conclusion of Bhagavad Gita (189)


Lesson 189 mentions Krishna's final comments to Arjuna. Arjuna says his delusion is gone. Sanjaya gives metaphorical meaning behind Krishna/Arjuna.

Source: Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 18, Verse 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78


  • VERSE 62: (Last verse in “Devotion via Karma-Yoga” section)
    1. Surrender to Him with your whole Heart”: Means, have DEGREE of control over actions, but NEVER over results (what-is). Thus “Surrender to Him in form of what-happens (your prarabdha) ”.
      • So question is always: What is the most intelligently way to handle what-is-infront-of-me?
        • EG: Doubt > Ask vs. holding it in for sake of saving-face. Emergency > mitigate vs. waiting for others to act.
        • Asking this question = acknowledging “I am participating in Ishvara’s order ruled by cause-effect relationship”.
    2. Doing so, by His grace you will obtain śānti (tranquility arising from reduction of sense of ownership of things).
  • VERSE 63: (V63-66: Summary of Karma-Yoga & Jnana-Yoga)
    1. “Most secret knowledge was told to you by Me”. Meaning:
      • Open-secret. According to Upanishads, this open-secret is not gained by retentive power, passive listening, recitation… but one who chooses to KNOW Brahman”.
    2. Having taken BG teaching into account, do as you wish (yathecchasi tathā kuru). Shows confidence of teacher; ready to let Arjuna free (knowing he/she will apply as told).
  • VERSE 64:
    • “Again listen to me last time; dear to Me”.
    • Either (a) be a karma-yogi [duties] and gain mokṣa, or (b) be a sannyāsi [no duties] and gain mokṣa.
  • VERSE 65: (Karma-Yoga Summary)
    • PART 1:
      • Treat all enjoined duties as reminders of Ishvara’s presence.
      • How does performance of duties remind of Ishvara? All duties are done with ethics (dharma). Karma-Yogi keeps in mind that dharma is ordained by Ishvara [ (a) Material/intelligent-cause of time-space-elements (b) One from whom all beings-orders-laws emerge, are sustained and resolve into (c) Ishvara further resolves into sat-cit).
    • PART 2: What is consequence of this attitude?
      1. BINDING LIKES-DISLIKES REDUCED: You are doing what is to be done, rather then what I want to do for self-pleasure. Thus personal likes-dislikes are forgotten in time.
      2. CLARITY: antaḥkaraṇa-śuddhi to understand confusing verses like BG4.18: The wise is one who sees no action in action, and action in inaction.
        • ANALYSIS OF BG 4.18:
          1. no action (akartā) in action (BMI):
            • Too recognize Self (akartā; Brahman) lending existence to BMI (actor).
            • Analogy: Hand (action) is moving, light (pervading the hand) is not moving (no action).
          2. action (maya) in inaction (brahman):
            • Forms (that which acts; maya) is appearing in presence of Brahman.
            • OR to see (potential) action in inaction. See beyond superficial.
  • VERSE 66: (Jnana-Yoga Summary)
    1. Give up dharma:
      • MEANING 1:
        • Means give up dharma/adharma. Both imply action.
        • OBJECTION: But Impossible to get rid of actions (karmas) by (a) exhaustion (too many), (b) inaction, since pursuit of (1) dharma/artha/kama, and (2) svabhāva … force acting.
          • Answer: Give up notion of being the dharmin/adharmin, by knowledge.
        • Dualist OBJECTION: This line means “I should give up dharma, and surrender to Krishna!”.
          • Counter: Is surrendering a dharmic or adharmic action? It’s dharmic. Contradicts “giving up dharma”.
      • MEANING 2:
        • Give up all punya-papa-karmas, implies, take life of sannyasi (once duties are done).
    2. How to give up actions? mām ekam śaraṇam vraja: Take refuge in Me.
      • What does “Me” refer to?
        • Ishvara (material/intelligent cause of 5-elements > Must exist and be conscious to “put together” the universe. Thus Me = sat-cit).
          • EG: Attempt to think of an object, minus, consciousness.
            • Therefore “Me” is the Consciousness obtaining in everything. Called ātmā from buddhi’s standpoint.
      • What does “Take refuge in Me” mean? Who is taking refuge? The brain recognizes it is 5-elements. That which makes the 5-elemental-brain conscious is Self, I.
        • Dualist OBJECTION 1: It means “Surrender the ego to Krishna”.
          • Counter: If ego is surrendered, whose left to enjoy that “Ego has been surrendered”?
        • Dualist OBJECTION 2: It means “Surrender to the feet of Lord Krishna”.
          • Counter: Where are these feet?
        • SUMMARY: Surrendering to Lord (over there) produces illusionary sense of surrender.


VERSE 67-73: Kṛṣṇa’s final remarks to Arjuna

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 18, Verse 67:

idam te na atapaskāya na abhaktāya kadācana ।
na ca aśuśrūṣave vācyam na ca mām yaḥ abhyasūyati ॥ 18-67॥
This (teaching which has been taught) to you is never to be taught to the one who has no religious discipline, nor to the one who has no devotion, nor to the one who is not willing to listen, nor to the one who finds fault with Me (where there is none).  (Swami Dayananda)


  • Krishna’s Warning: Never mention BGita (karma-yoga / jnana-yoga) to the unfit. Because one is devaluing the “secret of all secrets” (guhyād guhyataram; 18.63) and royal-secret (rāja-guhyam; 9.2).
    • EG: Defense strategies during war are never revealed to public. Even Defense Minister has sworn not to reveal, except to select-few. If leaks, it gets misused, abused and turned into what it’s not due to subtlety of self-knowledge.
    • Therefore, before trying to save someone, first consider if they are fit.
  • Who is NOT fit to receive teachings of B.Gita (karma-yoga / jnana-yoga)?
    • vācyam atapaskāya: Isn’t religious, doesn’t do any practices regularly.
    • na abhaktāya: Purely intellectual/material-reductionist. Lacks heart/devotion in character.
    • na ca aśuśrūṣave: Who takes interest in mainly aparā-vidyā (worldly news/knowledge).
    • na ca yaḥ abhyasūyanti: Who easily finds faults and is quick to criticize without asking for clarification.
      • EG:
        • Person leaves mindless comment about subtle topic of freewill, such as “Free will is an illusion. We are just puppets destined to experience whatever is to happen. Etc”.
        • One states that Krishna can’t be God because he is arrogant by talking about his glories in CH10/11. Counter: (1) Krishna is merely pointing out what-is, to uplift Arjuna(2) It’s only arrogance when talk about attributes which were given/acquired in time. Whereas speaking of glories that are ever-true, can’t be arrogance.
      • In short: Can’t force a flower to bloom prematurely. Let them exhaust their karma.
  • Stated positively, Krishna mentions 4 qualifications for learning/teaching BGita:
    1. Tapas: Religious/Spiritual discipline.
    2. Bhakti: Devotion to Lord, Guru, Tradition.
    3. Deep interest/desire in study of B.Gita. Hungry for knowledge.
    4. Open-minded / Has faith: Approaches the knowledge reverentially with an open mind, and wishes to confirm through own experience by self-inquiry.


TIMELINE: V68-71: Krishna glorifies Acharya / Sishya / Casual Listener of the BGita…

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 18, Verse 68:

yaḥ idam paramam guhyam mat-bhakteṣu abhidhāsyati ।
bhaktim mayi parām kṛtvā mām eva eṣyati asaṃśayaḥ ॥ 18-68॥
The one who teaches this most exalted, secret (śāstra) to My devotees, having the highest devotion for Me, will come to Me alone. There is no doubt.  (Swami Dayananda)

  • Who is Krishna talking about? yaḥ abhidhāsyati imaṃ paramaṃ guhyam: One who imparts the greatest secret (non-dual wisdom).
    • Krishna starts by acknowledging the expounder (guru/acharya) of the Vedas/BGita.
  • Why is guru being glorified? Because (a) teacher is fulfilling the purpose for which the Universe exists (to take jivas out of samsara), and (b) propagating sanatana-dharma.
  • What kind of devotion does the teacher have? kṛtvā parāṃ bhaktim: Highest devotion.
    • What does “parām” (highest) refer to?
      • Could refer to Jivanmuktaḥ, since there’s only 4 kinds of devotees: arti, arthārthin, jijñāsu, jīvanmuktaḥ.
      • Or one who ongoingly recognizes the profound value of the scriptures.
  • NEXT VERSE: Krishna says, out of expounder/student/casual listener, who is dearest to Him?

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 18, Verse 69:

na ca tasmāt manuṣyeṣu kaścit me priya-kṛttamaḥ ।
bhavitā na ca me tasmāt anyaḥ priyataraḥ bhuvi ॥ 18-69॥
Moreover, there is no one among the people who does a dearer service to Me than him, nor will there be another on earth who does a dearer service to Me than him.

  • manuṣyeṣu priya-kṛttam me tasmāt; Krishna says the dearest to Him is the expounder (in V68) of the scriptures, due to performing the Lord’s highest work.
  • na ca bhavitā anyaḥ bhūvi priyataraḥ me tasmāt; And there never will be any other position in the future that will be dearer then one who takes the position of teaching God’s Word.
  • NEXT VERSE: Krishna glorifies the student who engages in consistent, systematic study of Vedantic scriptures, for length of time, under guidance of the teacher…

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 18, Verse 70:

adhyeṣyate ca yaḥ imam dharmyam saṃvādam āvayoḥ ।
jñāna-yajñena tena aham iṣṭaḥ syām iti me matiḥ ॥ 18-70॥
The one who studies or recites this dialogue of ours, that is unopposed to dharma, through that ritual in the form of knowledge, I would be worshipped. This is My conclusion.  (Swami Dayananda)

  • yaḥ adyeṣyate imaṁ dharmyaṁ saṁvādam: The student who studies/engages/contemplates on the dialogue (which keeps with the Vedic teaching).
  • What does such student/devotee-of-truth practice? Jñāna-yajñena: Worship by means of knowledge (whose nature is CH9 title; rāja-vidyā-rājaguhya: King of knowledge, King of secrets).  Krishna backs this up in BG4.33 (Jñāna-yajñā is superior to other Yajñās).
    • And what is thrown into the fire of Jñāna-yajñena? One’s stubborn, erroneous notions about jiva, jagat, ishvarah. One’s mama-kara (sense of my-ness).
  • SUMMARY: Krishna says, the student is engaging in the highest possible worship of God by study of dialogue (dharmyam between Guru-student).
  • NEXT VERSE: Krishna speaks about the casual student (who doesn’t fault shastra and listens causally, but not interested in moksha)….

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 18, Verse 71:

śraddhāvān anasūyaḥ ca śṛṇuyāt api yaḥ naraḥ ।
saḥ api muktaḥ śubhān lokān prāpnuyāt puṇya-karmaṇām ॥ 18-71॥
Even that person who merely hears this with faith and without criticism becomes free from sins. He shall attain the auspicious worlds of those who do good karmas.  (Swami Da./Pa.)

  • What kind of student is this? yaḥ api śṛṇuyāt śraddhāvān ca anasūyaḥ; One who listens merely by faith, with an open mind [meaning doesn’t follow-up with mananam/nididhyasanam].
  • What happens to such a student? mukataḥ prāpnuyāt śubhān lokān puṇya-karmaṇām; Becomes free from sin and consequently attains higher worlds (better birth, or svarga).
    • Listen to B.Gita: Listen to commentaries of verses that capture you. EG: Arjuna gained paroksha-jnanam (indirect knowledge) by listening. As did Parīkṣit by listening to Bhāgavatam (Bhāgavatam Canto 12.6).
    • Read the B.Gītā: Read a Chapter per day mentally or aloud.
    • Chant the BGita.
    • Study the B.Gītā: Adi Shankaracharya in Bhaja-govindam V20 said, “Studying even bit of Gita, saves one from jaws of death”. Read commentaries on stand-out verses.
    • Write the B.Gita: Write commentaries or translate Sanskrit-English.
    • Teach the B.Gita: To single or group. Per V69, the best way to worship God and show Love for Him is by teaching.
      • EG: Śrī Vinoba Bhave was freedom fighter who was jailed by British during freedom struggle in India. He taught Bhagavat Gita to inmates in jail. Discourses were later printer as “Gītāi” (Gītā, the Mother).
  • NEXT VERSE: Krishna is curious to hear what kind of student Arjuna sees himself?

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 18, Verse 72:

kaccit etat śrutam pārtha tvayā ekāgreṇa cetasā ।
kaccit ajñāna-sammohaḥ pranaṣṭaḥ te dhanañjaya ॥ 18-72॥
Oh Arjuna! Has this be heard by you with one-pointed mind? Has your delusion born of ignorance gone completely, Oh Arjuna?

  • Arjuna, did you destroy your initial ignorance/doubts you had about jiva, jagat, ishvara?
  • What was Arjuna’s original doubt? “Should I fight or not?”. What was the origin of this question? The universal condition which all jivas share, which is:
    1. Mistaking the upādhi (BMI) for Self. Since BMI does actions and accumulates punya-papa, it means “I” have punya-papa, hence “I” must be reborn over-and-over to continue experience the pleasant/unpleasant consequences.
    2. Mistaking mithyā (relative) as satyam (absolute). EG: World is seen as absolute (so all time/energy/effort goes into making the world work). Hence invested in perfecting the environment/life. And always anxious if one’s actions are leading to the idealized image of “perfection”. Hence becomes self-critical.
  • NEXT VERES: Arjuna answers…

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 18, Verse 73:

arjunaḥ uvāca ।
naṣṭaḥ mohaḥ smṛtiḥ labdhā tvat prasādāt mayā acyuta ।
sthitaḥ asmi gata-sandehaḥ kariṣye vacanam tava ॥ 18-73॥
Arjuna said: By your grace, (my) delusion is gone; and I have gained recognition (of myself). O Lord Acyuta (Kṛṣṇa)! I remain as one from whom all doubts have gone. I will do what you say.  (Swami Dayananda)

  • Arjuna replies, gone is my delusion (mohaḥ/avidyā).
  • How did this delusion go away? smṛtiḥ labdhā mayā; By recognizing who/what I am [by means of knowledge].
    • Smṛtiḥ means “memory”. Implying, “recollection of what I have always known all-along”.
      • This kind of recollection can never be lost, forgotten or partial because: I can never forget that I exist.
    • Therefore Arjuna is stating his point of focus has changed:
      • Point of view 1:
        • BEFORE: That which was always experienced as self-evident “I”, was thought to be because of body-mind being alive.
        • AFTER: That which was always experienced as self-evident “I”, was and is free of the BMI and even this world.
      • Point of view 2:
        • BEFORE: I exist. But the identity of BMI is included in “I”.
        • AFTER: I exist. The BMI is excluded from “I”.
          • In other words, “I” have always ever been experiencing Myself. But owing to ignorance, any emotion/thought/sensation/habit was included in Self.
          • After ignorance removal, any emotion/thought/sensation/habit is immediately and spontaneously known to be not-I.
  • Arjuna adds word of humility, tvat prasādāt; by Your grace [systematic teaching]. IE: Lack of ahamkara/mama-kara.
    • How do we know knowledge-of-Self is gained by a systematic teaching? Because Krishna is speaking as all-knowledge. If there was better/faster way to help Arjuna (you), Krishna would’ve chosen it (EG: Shaktipat, Mantra, etc).
  • Krishna, asmi sthitaḥ gata-sandehaḥ; I have no more inner conflict/doubt. I will do my assigned duty by participating in the field-of-action according to my nature.
    • In CH1, Arjuna said, “I will listen with an open mind, but will not fight the war!”. Now Arjuna is saying, “I will do as you say because your logic/view of life makes a lot more sense then my own”.
    • Therefore, kariṣye vacanam tava; I shall do as you say.
      • Interpretation 1: Arjuna is saying this to Krishna person.
      • Interpretation 2: Arjuna is listening to his own inner conscience (clear/educated intellect). IE: Thy will be done; not mine. Surrender.
  • TIMELINE: At this point, Arjuna prostrated to the feet of the Lord in sheer gratitude. Thereafter both Krishna and Arjuna became silent. Sanjaya takes over…


VERSE 74-78: Sañjaya’s final remarks to Dhṛtarāṣṭra

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 18, Verse 74:

sañjayaḥ uvāca ।
iti aham vāsudevasya pārthasya ca mahātmanaḥ ।
saṃvādam imam aśrauṣam adbhutam roma-harṣaṇam ॥ 18-74॥
Sañjaya said: Thus, I have heard this dialogue between Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna, of great mind and heart, which is wonderful and makes one’s hair stand on end.  (Swami Dayananda)

  • Scene of battlefield is over.
  • Who is Sañjaya?
    • Charioteer and right hand man of Dhṛtarāṣṭra (blind king of Hastināpura, father of Kauravas, uncle of Pāṇḍavas).
    • Sanjaya was an ideal example of a karma-yogi and devotee. His service to the corrupt king Dhṛtarāṣṭra was nothing but service to Lord Kṛṣṇa. That’s why Vyāsa gave him the divine vision, by which he could see/hear everything remotely, including thoughts of each individual.
    • After the Krishna/Arjuna dialogue, Sanjaya was overwhelmed with gratefulness for the divine vision of CH11, which was ineffable bliss for him.
  • Sanjaya says: I have heard this brilliant dialogue between Krishna and mahātma (Arjuna), that it made my body hairs erect.
  • NEXT VERSE: How did Sanjaya hear the dialogue at a distance?

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 18, Verse 75:

vyāsa-prasādāt śrutavān etat guhyam aham param ।
yogam yogeśvarāt kṛṣṇāt sākṣāt kathayataḥ svayam ॥ 18-75॥
By the grace of Vyāsa, I have listened to this secret and ultimate yoga from Kṛṣṇa, the Lord of yoga, directly teaching (it) himself.  (Swami Dayananda)

  • vyāsa-prasādāt etat paraṁ guhyam; Sanjaya was blessed by Vyāsa by divya-cakshu (eye of extrasensory perception), thus he could hear this supremely secret knowledge. And…
  • yoga kṛṣṇāt svayam yoga eśvarāt;  Sanjaya feels blessed because he heard directly from Krishna Himself who is the lord of Yoga.

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 18, Verse 76:

rājan saṃsmṛtya saṃsmṛtya saṃvādam imam adbhutam ।
keśava-arjunayoḥ puṇyam hṛṣyāmi ca muhuḥ muhuḥ ॥ 18-76॥
O King! Repeatedly recalling this wondrous, auspicious, dialogue between Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna, I rejoice again and again.  (Swami Dayananda)

  • Sanjaya feels so grateful and cheerful for hearing sacred dialog between Arjuna (the beginningless seeker) and Krishna.
  • NEXT VERSE: Sanjaya says his favorite was 11th Chapter…

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 18, Verse 77:

tat ca saṃsmṛtya saṃsmṛtya rūpam ati-adbhutam hareḥ ।
vismayaḥ me mahān rājan hṛṣyāmi ca punaḥ punaḥ ॥ 18-77॥
Further, repeatedly recalling that most wondrous form of the Lord Hari, I have great amazement, O King! and I rejoice again and again.  (Swami Dayananda)

  • saṃsmṛtya tad ati-adbhutam rūpam hareḥ; Sanjaya says what stood out for him most was the wonderful universal form (vishvarupa; consisting of all forms) of Hariḥ (Iswara).
  • hṛṣyāmi punaḥ punaḥ; By this (CH11) vision I rejoice again and again.
  • NEXT VERSE: Sanjaya concludes B.Gita

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 18, Verse 78:

yatra yogeśvaraḥ kṛṣṇaḥ yatra pārthaḥ dhanurdharaḥ ।
tatra śrīḥ vijayaḥ bhūtiḥ dhruvā nītiḥ matiḥ mama ॥ 18-78॥
Wherever there is Kṛṣṇa, the Lord of yoga, wherever there is Arjuna, the one who bears the bow, there wealth, victory, various riches, and definite justice are present. This is my conclusion.  (Swami Dayananda)

  • Interpretation 1:
    • Krishna represents spiritual knowledge (parā-vidyā), while Arjuna secular knowledge (aparā-vidyā). Both lead to:
      1. Lasting Wealth/Resourcefulness (śrīḥ): Because it’s backed by righteous means.
      2. Total Victory (vijayaḥ): Means settled accounts with external world AND resolved inner conflicts.
      3. Abiding Laws/Justice/Fairness (nītiḥ): Moral fiber in community/society/nation. Firm governing/company policies.
      4. Prosperity (bhūtiḥ): Which comes from prior 3.
    • Unlike Duryodhana who asked for Krishna’s army (aparā-prakṛti), consequently 4 were absent, thus he fell. Similarly, entire society collapses when there’s only reverence of aparā-vidyā/prakṛti. EG: Roman Empire.
  • Interpretation 2:
    • Krishna represents renunciation [from expectation of results; which removes anxiety and clears that mind], and Arjuna represents action. Right balance between sattva/raja guna.
  • Interpretation 3:
    • Krishna represents Ishvara / saguna brahman (creator, sustainer, controller of the universe). And Arjuna represents the Karma-Yogi.
    • Just as there is no Ocean without wave, nor wave without Ocean. When the wave follows scriptural injunctions (as ordained by the TOTAL all-knowing Ocean), the wave eventually merges into the TOTAL ocean, never again to take another wave-form. The wave now enjoys the total Ocean and the Water.
      • IE: After death, you are Ishvara and Brahman (All-knowledge, All-Power. Existence-Awareness-Boundless-Love. Ineffable Happiness).
  • Interpretation 4:
    • Since many are uninterested in moksha, rather the worldly benefits were enumerated.
  • Final conclusion:
    • First word in B.Gita is “dharma” (dharma-kṣetre kuru-kṣetre; CH1.1). Last word is “mama”. Thus B.Gita really speaks about “mama dharma” (my duty; the duty of each individual towards oneself and others, including the highest duty; moksha).


Resources:  L189 Mind-Map

Credit for help in Bhagavad Gita teaching given to Swami Dayananda (Arsha Vidya), Paramarthananda & Chinmaya Mission.

Recorded 25 Oct, 2022


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