Bhagavad Gita Verses

Best Bhagavad Gita Slokas or Verses to enlighten your spiritual journey

The Bhagavad Gita, often referred to as the Gita, is a sacred Hindu scripture that is part of the epic Mahabharata, dated back to the second century BCE . Gita holds profound wisdom and guidance which can lead you forward towards your spiritual journey. Srimad Bhagavad Gita comprises 18 chapters and has  700 Sanskrit shlokas or verses which unravel the philosophy of life. It is a compilation of conversation between Lord Krishna  and warrior Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. This holy book of the Hindus highlights the fundamental truths of life that have been inspiring the past, the present and will inspire the future of every human being.

The Gita not only provides practical guidance for leading a righteous life but also delves into deeper philosophical and spiritual teachings. There are many verses in Bhagavad Gita which I really like, and it is not easy to pick just one. Still, I am trying my best to summarize best shloka or verses from the holy book that takes us through the spiritual essence of the Bhagavad Gita in the most practical and systematic way.

bhagavad gita Lessons from Lord Krishna

You may also like to read Bhagavad Gita Quotes

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2, Sloka 12

न त्वेवाहं जातु नासं न त्वं नेमे जनाधिपा |
न चैव न भविष्याम: सर्वे वयमत: परम् ||2.12|| 

na tvevāhaṁ jātu nāsaṁ na tvaṁ neme janādhipāḥ
na chaiva na bhaviṣhyāmaḥ sarve vayamataḥ param

Meaning : But certainly, there was not any time in the past when I did not exist; nor you, nor these rulers of men. And surely it is not that we all shall cease to exist after this.

This verse explains the non lasting existence of everyone (soul). Krishna says there was not any time in the past when he did not exist. He was there in present in the battle of Kurukshetra and will exist in the future also. Same is true for Arjuna and others kings too. Their eternal soul having neither birth or death, they should not be grieved for.

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2, Verse 13

देहिनोऽस्मिन्यथा देहे कौमारं यौवनं जरा।
तथा देहान्तरप्राप्तिर्धीरस्तत्र न मुह्यति ||2.13||

dehino’sminyathā dehe kaumāraṃ yauvanaṃ jarā
tathā dehāntaraprāptirdhīrastatra na muhyati

Meaning : Just as the man in this body passes through the various stages of boyhood, youth, and old age, like so, he passes into another body after death. The wise know it and are not deluded.

In this Bhagavad Gita sloka, Shree Krishna establishes the principle of transmigration of the soul from lifetime to lifetime. He explains that in one lifetime itself, we change bodies from childhood to youth to maturity and then to old age. In fact, modern science informs us that cells within the body undergo regeneration—old cells die away and new ones take their place. It is estimated that within seven years, practically all the cells of the body change. Further, the molecules within the cells change even more rapidly. Scientifically, in one year’s time, about ninety-eight percent of our bodily molecules change. And yet, despite the continual change of the body, we perceive that we are the same person. That is because we are not the material body, but the spiritual soul seated within.

Since the body is constantly changing, in one lifetime itself, the soul passes through many bodies. Similarly, at the time of death, it passes into another body. Actually, what we term as “death” in worldly parlance is merely the soul discarding its old dysfunctional body, and what we call “birth” is the soul taking on a new body elsewhere. This is the principle of reincarnation.

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2, Shloka 14

मात्रास्पर्शास्तु कौन्तेय शीतोष्णसुखदु: खदा: |
आगमापायिनोऽनित्यास्तांस्तितिक्षस्व भारत ||2.14||

mātrā-sparśhās tu kaunteya śhītoṣhṇa-sukha-duḥkha-dāḥ
āgamāpāyino ’nityās tans-titikṣhasva bhārata

Meaning : O son of Kunti, the contact between the senses and the sense objects gives rise to fleeting perceptions of happiness and distress. These are non-permanent, and come and go like the winter and summer seasons. O descendent of Bharat, one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed.

This shloka or verse from Bhagavad Gita communicates a very powerful and important message that nothing is permanent in this life.

Winters and summers are temporary in nature. Like whether changes with time, it come and go away. Similarly, pain and pleasure are impermanent and will come and go away.

Ups and downs, tough times and difficult situations will come and go away in life. Have patience, learn to tolerate them without being affected by them. Nothing is of permanent nature in this world. everything changes with time.

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2, Verse 20

न जायते म्रियते वा कदाचि
नायं भूत्वा भविता वा न भूय: |
अजो नित्य: शाश्वतोऽयं पुराणो
न हन्यते हन्यमाने शरीरे ||2.20||

na jāyate mriyate vā kadāchin
nāyaṁ bhūtvā bhavitā vā na bhūyaḥ
ajo nityaḥ śhāśhvato ’yaṁ purāṇo
na hanyate hanyamāne śharīre

Meaning : The soul is neither born, nor does it ever die; nor is it that having come to exist, It will ever cease to be. The soul is birth less, eternal, immortal and ageless; It is not destroyed when the body is destroyed.

Bhagavad Gita verses or shloka

“Fear of Death” is the biggest fear. Be fearless and live the life at the fullest. We all know that one day we are going to die. But the soul will never die. Death is solely the destruction of the materialistic physical body.  Identify yourself as pure and peaceful eternal soul not as your materialistic physical body. The soul neither born nor die.

Existence in the womb, birth, growth, procreation, diminution, and death. These are transformations of the human body, not of the self (soul). The self awareness that you are soul is one of the important step towards spiritual journey.

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2, Verse 22

वासांसि जीर्णानि यथा विहाय
नवानि गृह्णाति नरोऽपराणि |
तथा शरीराणि विहाय जीर्णा
न्यन्यानि संयाति नवानि देही ||2. 22||

vāsānsi jīrṇāni yathā vihāya
navāni gṛihṇāti naro ’parāṇi
tathā śharīrāṇi vihāya jīrṇānya
nyāni sanyāti navāni dehī

Meaning : As a person sheds worn-out garments and wears new ones, likewise, at the time of death, the soul casts off its worn-out body and enters a new one.

In this verse or shloka, Shree Krishna reiterates the concept of rebirth, comparing it to an everyday life activity. When cloths or garments become torn and useless after getting old, we discard them in favor of new ones, but in doing so we do not change ourselves. In the same manner, the soul remains unchanged, when it discards its worn-out body and takes birth in a new body elsewhere. Again the eternal and immortal form of the soul has been emphasized here.

Lessons from Lord Krishna

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2, Verse 47

कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन |
मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि ||2. 47||

karmay-evādhikāras te mā phalehu kadāchana
mā karma-phala-hetur bhūr mā te sago ’stvakarmai

Meaning : You have a right to perform your prescribed duties, but you are not entitled to the fruits of your actions. Never consider yourself to be the cause of the results of your activities, nor be attached to inaction.

This is probably one of the most famous shlokas from the Bhagavad Gita. This verse encapsulates the essence of selfless action. It emphasizes to be process oriented rather then result oriented.  This Gita verse reminds you to focus on performing your duties sincerely and wholeheartedly without getting attached to the outcomes. Do your duty in best possible manner and be detached from its outcome, do not get driven by the result, enjoy the journey of reaching there. Because if the end results does not turn around as per your expectations, pain is unavoidable. By detaching ourselves from the fruits of our actions, we free ourselves from the anxieties and expectations.

Bhagavad Gita Verses

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2, Verse 70

समुद्रमाप: प्रविशन्ति यद्वत् |
तद्वत्कामा यं प्रविशन्ति सर्वे
स शान्तिमाप्नोति न कामकामी ||2. 70||

āpūryamāṇam achala-pratiṣhṭhaṁ
samudram āpaḥ praviśhanti yadvat
tadvat kāmā yaṁ praviśhanti sarve
sa śhāntim āpnoti na kāma-kāmī

Meaning : Just as the ocean remains undisturbed by the incessant flow of waters from rivers merging into it, likewise the sage who is unmoved despite the flow of desirable objects all around him attains peace, and not the person who strives to satisfy desires.

A deep and large ocean has many streams of water entering it. No matter how many streams enter the ocean, regardless of how gently or how forcefully they enter it, the ocean always remains calm and undisturbed. Likewise individual of steady wisdom has all the – “thoughts, needs, expectations, desires” (rivers) flowed in the mind (ocean) , but he/she does not get affected and disturbed with them. He/she does not get impacted by any number of material objects or desires that he/she experiences.

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 3, Sloka 35

श्रेयान्स्वधर्मो विगुण: परधर्मात्स्वनुष्ठितात् |
स्वधर्मे निधनं श्रेय: परधर्मो भयावह: ||3.35||

śhreyān swa-dharmo viguṇaḥ para-dharmāt sv-anuṣhṭhitāt
swa-dharme nidhanaṁ śhreyaḥ para-dharmo bhayāvahaḥ

Meaning : It is far better to perform one’s natural prescribed duty, though tinged with faults, than to perform another’s prescribed duty, though perfectly. In fact, it is preferable to die in the discharge of one’s duty, than to follow the path of another, which is fraught with danger.

Lord Krishna says to us that it is better to perform our own prescribed duty even if it has some faults rather than performing someone else’s duty to perfection.

Around 4000 – 5000 years back; what Lord Krishna said in the above verse is still relevant. On the similar lines there is a famous quote of Steve Jobs (co-founder of Apple), from his commencement speech to the graduates of Stanford University which goes like this – ” Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.”

Life is short. Don’t do precisely what others do. Be original. Have the courage to follow your intuition and dreams. Don’t let others opinion affect your opinion. Don’t waste precious time by doing things other people want you to do. When you’re cognizant of the fact that time is short, you value it appropriately.

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 3, Verse 42

इन्द्रियाणि पराण्याहुरिन्द्रियेभ्य: परं मन: |
मनसस्तु परा बुद्धिर्यो बुद्धे: परतस्तु स: ||3.42||

 indriyāṇi parāṇyāhur indriyebhyaḥ paraṁ manaḥ
manasas tu parā buddhir yo buddheḥ paratas tu saḥ

Meaning : The senses are superior to the gross body, and superior to the senses is the mind. Beyond the mind is the intellect, and even beyond the intellect is the soul.

An inferior entity can be controlled by its superior entity. Here in the above verse or shloka Shree Krishna explains the gradation of superiority amongst the instruments God has provided to us. He describes that the body is made of gross matter; superior to it are the five knowledge-bearing senses (which grasp the perceptions of taste, touch, sight, smell, and sound); beyond the senses is the mind; superior to the mind is the intellect, with its ability to discriminate; but even beyond the intellect is the divine soul.

This knowledge of the sequence of superiority amongst the senses, mind, intellect, and soul, can now be used for rooting out lust, as explained in the final verse of chapter 3.

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 3, Verse 43

एवं बुद्धे: परं बुद्ध्वा संस्तभ्यात्मानमात्मना |
जहि शत्रुं महाबाहो कामरूपं दुरासदम् ||43||

evaṁ buddheḥ paraṁ buddhvā sanstabhyātmānam ātmanā
jahi śhatruṁ mahā-bāho kāma-rūpaṁ durāsadam

Meaning: Thus knowing oneself (soul) to be superior to the material senses, mind, and intellect, O mighty-armed Arjuna, subdue the lower self (senses, mind, and intellect) by the higher self (strength of the soul), and kill this formidable enemy called lust.

In conclusion of Chapter 3, Shree Krishna emphasizes that we should slay this enemy called lust through knowledge of the self. The verse addresses the inner battle we face against our own desires and passions. It teaches us to develop spiritual intelligence and rise above the influence of the senses and the mind. By recognizing our true nature as spiritual beings and aligning ourselves with our higher consciousness, we can overcome the relentless force of lust and other material attachments.

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 16, Verse 21

त्रिविधं नरकस्येदं द्वारं नाशनमात्मन: |
काम: क्रोधस्तथा लोभस्तस्मादेतत्त्रयं त्यजेत् ||16.21||

tri-vidhaṁ narakasyedaṁ dvāraṁ nāśhanam ātmanaḥ
kāmaḥ krodhas tathā lobhas tasmād etat trayaṁ tyajet

Meaning : There are three gates leading to the hell of self-destruction for the soul—lust, anger, and greed. Therefore, all should abandon these three.

Together, lust, anger, and greed are the foundations from which the demoniac vice gets developed. These are the root cause of virtually every single problem in human life. They fester the mind and make it a suitable ground for all the vice to get triggered. So if anyone wants to avoid the self-destruction, he or she should ensure to stay away from these three.

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 18, Sloka 11

न हि देहभृता शक्यं त्यक्तुं कर्माण्यशेषत: |
यस्तु कर्मफलत्यागी स त्यागीत्यभिधीयते ||18.11||

na hi deha-bhṛitā śhakyaṁ tyaktuṁ karmāṇy aśheṣhataḥ
yas tu karma-phala-tyāgī sa tyāgīty abhidhīyate

Meaning : For the embodied being, it is impossible to give up activities entirely. But those who relinquish the fruits of their actions are said to be truly renounced.

It may be contended that better than renunciation of the fruits of actions is to simply renounce all actions, for then there will be no distraction from meditation and contemplation. Shree Krishna rejects this as a possible option by stating that the state of complete inactivity is impossible for the embodied being. The basic functions for the maintenance of the body, such as, eating, sleeping, bathing, etc. have to be performed by everyone. Besides, standing, sitting, thinking, walking, talking, etc. are also activities that cannot be avoided. If we understand renunciation to be the external abandonment of works, then no one can ever be truly renounced. However, Shree Krishna states here that if one can give up attachment to the fruits of actions, it is considered perfect renunciation.

Over to You

These were my best verses or shlokas from Bhagavad Gita, which have bring remarkable transformation in my spiritual journey.  Over to you now, we would like to know the favorite verses or shlokas which you like most and have made a significant impact in your life. Please feel free to share them in the comment section below.

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