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Yoga is Universal Truth, Embracing All Gods and All Paths. (GN #14)

July 13, 2011

(Complete contents at
Gita in a NutshellBig Ideas and Best Quotations.
Join Gita Talk on facebook.)

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)

Is Love Itself the Overriding Theme of the Bhagavad Gita?

(Complete contents at
Gita in a NutshellBig Ideas and Best Quotations.
Join Gita Talk on facebook.)

From → Uncategorized

  1. From Facebook:

    Aminda R Courtwright isn't nice how a crisis of faith is almost always followed by a gently nudge back to center 🙂 Love and light sister —
    14 hours ago · Like

    Jennifer Cusano thanks, I swear my elephant friends are soul friends, always reaffirming my thoughts when I need it the most. xo
    14 hours ago · Like

    Aminda R Courtwright ‎:) I think I would have run off and joined the circus by now if it weren't for EJ friends

    Jennifer Cusano The circus, a padded room somewhere in a basement…its all the same haha and I know EXACTLY what you mean, it never ceases to amaze me, and when it does it is so comforting, I have to pick myself back up
    14 hours ago · Like

    April Wilson It is a comforting passage! : )
    14 hours ago · Like · 1 person

    Jennifer Cusano truly
    14 hours ago · Like · 1 person

    Bob Weisenberg I love all these stanzas from the upcoming Gita in a Nutshell. I find this absolute, unequivocal universality of the Gita, which sounds so startlingly modern and forward looking, even today, one of its most appealing features.
    13 hours ago · Like · 1 person

    Jennifer Cusano It truly is a timeless work, as it relates to such a modern world with its ancient text, and I have had the privilege of working with this Gita in a Nutshell, which has shed so much light for me on gray areas…there have been so many a-ha moments, maybe you can quite literally see a lightbulb above my head at these times 🙂 thanks Bob, it certainly wouldnt be possible without you
    13 hours ago · Like · 2 people

    Soumyajeet Chattaraj I will try to interpret it from a slightly different perspective. I truly believe in the divine power being manifest through all beings. So, if we start with that assumption, and if we were to accept as true that "what we give is what we get", then if we reach out to others with love, and honor the inner divinity of beings, then in a way, we are allowing an easier access to our inner divinities as well, thus creating a network based on divine connections. As for ourselves, we are reaching our intended place as well by touching the hearts of others where the divine resides. I know this is not the most obvious way to interpret the passage, but I like to take a different approach. Hopefully I did not offend anyone by taking too many liberties.
    7 minutes ago · Like

    Bob Weisenberg Not at all Soumyajeet. All interpretations welcome, and yours is very beautiful indeed!
    3 minutes ago · Like

    Soumyajeet Chattaraj Thank you! 🙂
    2 minutes ago · Like

  2. Bob was thinking of doing this! LOL

  3. Thank you for putting the wisdom on the Gita in lay terms. I never cease to be amazed at its wisdom. I shared this on my fan page. : )

  4. tanya lee markul permalink

    Love this.

    It's on Facebook! Posting to Twitter.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Assoc. Yoga Editor
    Like Elephant Yoga on Facebook
    Follow on Twitter

  5. tanya lee markul permalink

    Just posted to "Featured Today" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

  6. tanya lee markul permalink

    Just posted to "Popular Lately" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

  7. Pamela permalink


  8. midwalsh permalink

    One of the most touchingly beautiful aspects of these passages to me is how ordinary the language is!!!

    I mean here is Krishna, lord of everything (a stunningly gargantuan guy) talking to Arjuna as though they're sitting at Starbucks having a latte and reading the Sunday Times.

    The relationship between Arjuna and Krishna has other dimensions in the Gita, for sure, ranging from remarkable tenderness to abject terror. But in these passages I hear a really wonderful quality of ordinariness.

    Oh well…I must go out and push my electric lawnmower around the yard. Whirring like a hummingbird, its blade slays a thousand blades of grass with each stroke.

    Thanks for hanging these passages out on the line, Bob !

    • Also I think when put together like this,combined with the ordinary language, it makes it easier to understand. Certainly when laid out with a specific goal (as in the title above), I find it much easier to interpret and apply to my daily life, the principals in the Gita. When I read it from cover to cover I was deeply confused as to how it related to me (ego much haha). But really the passages all relate, and I can't tell you how AMAZED I was once I started reading Gita in a Nutshell. Its like Cliffs notes on the Gita, and I love it!! You are totally right though, I could see Arjuna and Krishna talking over coffee here. That makes them more relatable to be, not so much "God" and "Gargantuan Warrior" but teacher and student, in which I can easily put myself in a seat in the classroom. You dig?

  9. From the comments above I see I am not the only one for whom this came at just the right time. There is so much hope in these stanzas.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Gita a Nutshell: Big Ideas and Best Quotations | elephant journal
  2. The Yoga of Action (Karma Yoga). | elephant journal
  3. Get out feeling good. (The wise grieve neither for the living nor for the dead). | elephant journal
  4. Is Love Itself the Overriding Theme of the Bhagavad Gita? | elephant journal
  5. Gita in a Nutshell #13: The Yoga of Action (Karma Yoga). | Bob Weisenberg
  6. Is Love Itself the Overriding Theme of the Bhagavad Gita? (GN #15) | Bob Weisenberg

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