Gita in a Nutshell #14
Yoga is universal truth. The Gita embraces all Gods, and even all non-Gods, and all paths. The Gita is the voice of the unfathomable reality that precedes all other spiritual seeking, and is the source of it all.
(For those new to Gita in a Nutshell, the voice speaking here is the infinitely wondrous universe itself, what some refer to as the “Unfathomable Life Force of the Universe” and others choose to call “God”. In the Gita these are one and the same. See GN #2.)
However men try to reach me,
I return their love with my love;
whatever path they may travel,
it leads to me in the end. (BG 4.11)
Thus, many forms of worship
may lead to freedom Arjuna.
All these are born of action.
When you know this, you will be free. (BG 4.32)
But whatever form of reverence,
whatever god a sincere
devotee chooses to worship,
I grant him unswerving faith. (BG 7.21)
Others on the path of knowledge,
know me as the many, the One;
behind the faces of a million
gods, they can see my face. (BG 9.15)
Arjuna, all those who worship
other gods, with deep faith,
are really worshiping me,
even if they don’t know it. (BG 9.23)
I am the same to all beings;
I favor none and reject none.
But those who worship me live
with me and I live in them.
Even the heartless criminal,
if he loves me with all his heart,
will certainly grow into sainthood
as he moves toward me on this path.
Quickly that man becomes pure,
his heart finds eternal peace.
Arjuna, no one who truly
loves me will ever be lost.
All those who love and trust me,
even the lowest of the low-
prostitutes, beggars, slaves-
will attain the ultimate goal. (BG 9.29-32)
Neither the myriad gods
nor any of the sages know
my origin; I am the source
from which gods and sages emerge. (BG 10.2)
(For more on how the Gita defines “God”, see Highlights (Gita Talk #4) under the heading “What is God to You?”)
(Thanks to Jennifer Cusano for transcribing the stanzas from the Gita and moderating the discussion.)
#13: The Yoga of Action (Karma Yoga)