Bhagavad Gita Teachings- Chapter 13: Various Paths Same Destination

Bhagavad Gita Teachings- Chapter 13: Various Paths Same Destination

The Knowledge






Reverence of the teacher,




Neutrality towards sense objects,

Lack of arrogance,

Awareness of faults and sadness related to birth, death, old age, sickness,


Non craving for children, spouse, home etc,

Sameness towards cherished and repulsive situations,

Single-mindedness and constant devotion to me,

Preference for solitary places,

Dislike for material society,

Constant quest for spiritual and philosophical knowledge

– this is knowledge, rest is ignorance (Verse 8, 9, 10, 11,12)

The Brahman

Brahman (God) is everlasting. He exists beyond what is there and what is not there (Verse 13)

According to Hinduism, God has no gender. I have used the masculine gender when referring to Brahman only for convenience

Everywhere in the universe are his hands, feet, face, eyes, ears, heads; he permeates the entire universe (VERSE 14)

He perceives all sense objects, though he is without senses; he is sustainer of all, though he is unattached; he enjoys modes of nature, though he is beyond them (VERSE 15)

The three modes of nature are modes of goodness, passion and ignorance

He exists within and outside all animate and inanimate beings. Because he can be felt but not seen, it is difficult to know him. He is close and also far (Verse 16)

Though he appears divided among beings, he is indivisible. He is the Creator, the Sustainer and the Destroyer of all (VERSE 17)

He is the source of light of all illuminated objects that is beyond darkness. He is knowledge, object of knowledge and goal of knowledge. He abides in the heart of all (Verse 18)

Interaction of Body & Soul

Both the material nature (Prakriti) and soul (Purush) are everlasting. Bodily changes and three modes of nature are caused by material nature (VERSE 20)

In matter of creation, material nature is the medium for cause and effect. In matter of experiencing happiness and sadness, the individual soul is (VERSE 21)

When the individual soul residing in material body enjoys the three modes of nature, it becomes attached to them, causing it inturn to be born in virtuous or evil wombs (VERSE 22)

The Witness who is the Supporter, the Enjoyer, the Controller, the Consenter, the Supreme Soul and God, also resides within the individual body (VERSE 23)

Those who see the Supreme Soul and the individual soul within all living beings; and know them to be imperishable among the perishable, they truly see (Verse 28)

Those who see the Supreme Soul present equally everywhere, do not degrade their higher self (the Supreme Soul) by their lower self (mind, senses, intellect) and reach the supreme destination (Verse 29)

Those who see that all actions are performed by material nature and not by the soul, truly see (VERSE 30)

The Supreme Soul is without beginning, without material qualities, is imperishable; and though present in the body, is not tainted and does not act (VERSE 32)

As the pervading space is not tainted even though it exists everywhere, the Supreme Soul situated in the body is not tainted by it (Verse 33)

Those who understand the Supreme Soul, the individual soul, the three modes of nature, and the interaction among them, they attain moksha (VERSE 24)

Moksha is liberation from the cycle of birth and death

There are Various Paths to Attain God

Some seek God within themselves through meditation, some through acquiring knowledge, and some through following the path of action (Verse 25)

Others who are unaware of the above paths (of seeking God) and upon hearing it from others, worship the Supreme God, they also attain moksha (Verse 26)

When they see that different entities of diverse variety in the material nature are all born from the same Brahman, they attain Brahman (Verse 31)

Those, who with realization of knowledge, know the difference between the Supreme Soul, the individual soul and the body; and the process to attain moksha, they attain God (VERSE 35)

Total Verses in this Chapter: 35

Words of Import:

I, me, Absolute Truth, Supreme Being, Supreme Soul, God, Divine, Brahman,Universal ConsciousnessShri Krishna – are all used interchangeably.


has a symbolic as well as a literal meaning. Literally it means a ritual where offerings are made to fire, hymns are chanted and deities are invoked for fulfillment of personal or community desires; or to thank God or to seek God’s blessings. Symbolically, Yagna signifies that we have to do our part (offering/action) in other to obtain something (blessing or fulfillment), with the latter not being guaranteed.


The word “Yog” is derived from a Sanskrit word “Yuj” which means to join. In Hindu scriptures, yoga means joining or uniting the soul within the individual with that of the universal soul (God). The common usage of yoga as physical exercise is just a subset of the practice of Yoga, which includes disciplines of meditation and mode of conduct among others. It is believed that practice of all these disciplines make a person ready for unification with the Supreme Being.


refers to our duty as it does to the intent behind our actions. According to Hinduism, every living being has their own personal dharma which may or may not be the same as of others. This dharma is based on one’s situation or circumstance in life. 


is action as well as the result of the action. Its meaning depends on its context.


is liberation from the cycle of birth and death.


“Bhagavad Gita As It Is” by Swami Prabhupada

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