Mercury Day Poetry: The Bhagavad Gita

Following up on Steve’s posts this week about the Gita and Krishna, this week’s poem is an excerpt from Stephen Mitchell’s gorgeous translation of The Bhagavad Gita. If you haven’t read it yet, you should (there’s an interesting interview with Mitchell here). Mitchell uses his own form, taking advantage of the economy and sparseness of English to present Krishna’s complexity and grace. This is the start of Chapter 9:

The Blessed Lord said:

Because you trust me, Arjuna,
I will tell you what wisdom is,
the secret of life: know it
and be free of suffering, forever.

This is the supreme wisdom,
the knowing beyond all knowing,
experienced directly, in a flash,
eternal, and a joy to practice.

Those who are without faith
in my teaching, cannot attain me;
they endlessly return to this world,
shuttling from death to death.

I permeate all the universe
in my unmanifest form.
All beings exist within me,
yet I am so inconceivably

vast, so beyond existence,
that though they are brought forth
and sustained by my limitless power,
I am not confined within them.

Posted by Bobbie

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

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