Chapter 58 — Arjuna Understands Krishna’s Words

Arjuna said, “Lord! It is by your kindness that I am freed from my delusion and have regained my memory of who I am. Now I am placed above all doubts and I will act as you have said.”

Lord Krishna replied—

Your soul has attained its tranquility and the purity of its nature when you find the feelings and faculties of your heart and mind are fully pacified through your knowledge. In this state, the soul becomes unconscious of all mental thoughts. It is full of consciousness in itself. Freed from all inner and outer perceptions, it perceives the one Brahman in itself who is all and everywhere.

No worldly being can observe this elevated state of the soul, just as nobody can see a bird that has fled from the earth into the upper sky. 5 A pure soul devoid of desire becomes full of consciousness and spiritual light. It cannot be perceived by even the most foresighted observer. Unless one has purified his desires, one cannot perceive this transcendental and transparent state of the soul. It is a state as imperceptible to the impure as the smallest particle of an atom is imperceptible to the naked eye. Attainment of this state drives away knowledge of all objects that can be sensed, such as pots, plates, and other phenomena. What is there so desirable that it is worth having more than the Divine Presence?

As frost and ice melt when a volcanic mountain erupts, so our ignorance melts away at our knowledge of the conscious soul. What are these mean desires that we have which blow away like the dust of the earth? What are our possessions and enjoyments but traps for our souls? 10 As long as our ignorance displays herself in her various shapes, we remain ignorant of the pure and modest nature of our inner souls. 11 In the inner soul, all outward appearances fade away and appear in their transparent forms. The soul grasps the whole in itself, just as emptiness contains the fullness of all in it. 12 That which shows all forms in it, without having any form of itself, is that transcendent substance which is beyond description and transcends our comprehension of it.

13 Now get rid of the poisonous and colic pain of your desire for gain and the permanence of your own existence. Utter inwardly to yourself the mantra of your renunciation of whatever can be desired, and thus prosper in the world without fear for anything.

14 Vasishta said:—

After the Lord of the three worlds had spoken these words, Arjuna remained before him silent for a moment. Then like a bee sitting beside a blue lotus, Arjuna uttered the following words to the dark bodied Krishna. 15 Arjuna said, “Lord! Your words have dispelled all grief from my heart. The light of truth is rising in my mind like the sun rising to awaken the closed and sleeping lotus.”

16 Vasishta said:—

After saying this, Arjuna being cleared of all his doubts grasped his Gandiva bow and rose with Hari (Krishna) for his charioteer in order to proceed to his warlike exploits. 17 He will transform the face of the earth into a sea of blood flowing out of the bodies of combatants. He will wound their charioteers and horses and elephants. The flights of his arrows and thickening darts will hide the sun in the sky and darken the face of the earth with flying dust.