Bhagavad Gita with Commentaries of Shankara


Bhagavad Gītā with Commentaries of Śrī Ādi Shankara Āchārya (788–820), the famous Hindu teacher and philosopher, the great teacher of Advaita Vedānta. It was due to him that Hinduism witnessed a great revival of spirituality and Hinduism and many returned to the path of God-realization.

In times of Shankarāchārya the Hindu religion was on its decline – the most widespread religion in India at the time was Buddhism; intellectual people were mostly engaging in empty disputes on logic and scriptures, instead of God-realization,

and average people mostly treated religion just as an Ancient tradition to pay off their debts to Brahmans and perform some general rituals and offerings to Gods for tradition and when they expected some help from gods when in difficulties.

It was largely due to efforts, realization and inspiring teachings of Ādi Śankara that people returned to Vedic religion, God-centred life, path to liberation from saṁsāra, from birth and rebirth, and to God-realization.

Śaṅkarācārya gave his commentaries, explanation in light of his Realization and philosophical doctrine, to almost all basic Vedāntic scriptures – all main Upanishads, Brahma Sūtras and Bhagavad Gītā.

Below you can read full text of Bhagavad Gītā with Shankarāchārya’s commentaries online. Bhagavad Gītā or Lord’s Song is considered a holy scriptures in Hindu or Vedāntic tradition in 700 verses.

Initially Bhagavad Gītā formed a part of Indian epos Mahābhārata, but due to the merit of so many important spiritual teachings being gathered here, it is often read and reviewed as a complete volume of Vedic teachings in itself.





- Sanjaya narrates the course of the war.
- Duryodhana addresses Drona.
- Both armies ready for battle.
- Arjuna’s survey of the enemy.
- Arjuna’s words of despondency.
- Arjuna’s grief at the evils of war.

Discourse 2 SĀNKHYA YOGA

Verse 1-10

- Arjuna’s weakness condemned by the Lord.
- Self-knowledge alone eradicates misery.
- The doctrine that knowledge should be conjoined with works.
- Sānkhya and Yoga distinguished.
- Conjunction inconsistent with the sequel.
- Some cases of apparent conjunction explained.

Verse 11-18

- The Self is immortal.
- Endurance is a condition of wisdom.
- The Real and the Unreal.

Verse 19-21

- The Self is unconcerned in action.
- The Self is immutable.
- The enlightened man has to renounce works.
- Works are meant for the unenlightened.
- Knowledge of the Immutable Self is possible.
- The enlightened should resort to Jñāna-Yoga.

Verse 22-38

- How the Self is immutable.
- No room for grief.
- A warrior should fight.

Verse 39-50

- Yoga.
- Yoga, a safe course.
- Wisdom is one.
- No wisdom possible for the worldly - minded.
- Advice to the Yogin.
- Karma-Yoga.
- The merit of Wisdom.

Verse 51-72

- Results of Karma-Yoga.
- The characteristic attributes of a perfect Sage.
- (1) Satisfaction in the Self.
- (2) Equanimity in pleasure and pain.
- (3) Absence of attachment, delight and aversion.
- (4) Complete withdrawal of senses from objects.
- Unrestrained senses work mischief.
- (5) Devotion to the Lord.
- Thought of sense-objects is the source of evil.
- Sense-control leads to peace and happiness.
- Sense-restraint conduces to steady knowledge.
- (6) The Universe, a mere dream to the Sage.
- Works are not meant of the sage.
- (7) Subjugation of desire and personal self.
- Knowledge leads to Divine Felicity.

Discourse 3 KARMA-YOGA.

Verse 1-3

- Arjuna’s perplexity.
- No conjunction of Knowledge and Action.
- Renunciation enjoined in the scriptures.
- Moksha cannot be the effect of an action.
- Conjunction is inconsistent with Arjuna’s question.
- Which is better, Knowledge or Action.
- The Paths of Knowledge and Action.

Verse 4-16

- Karma-Yoga leads to freedom from action.
- The ignorant are swayed by Nature.
- The unenlightened should not give up Karma - Yoga.
- The wheel of the world should be set going.

Verse 17-33

- Karma - Yoga is not meant for the Self-knower.
- Arjuna qualified for Karma-yoga.
- The wise should set an example to the masses.
- The wise man’s action as contrasted with that of the ignorant.

Verse 34-43

- Scope for man’s personal exertion.
- Desire is the enemy, of man.
- Desire enshrouds wisdom.
- The seat of desire.
- How to kill out desire.

Discourse 4 JÑĀNA-YOGA.

Verse 1-13

- Tradition of Jñāna-Yoga.
- Divine Incarnations.
- The purpose of Divine Incarnation.
- Jñāna-Yoga is the sole means to moksha.
- Divine dispensation of worldly benefits and salvation.
- Caste as a divinely ordered human institution.

Verse 14-18

- Action without attachment does not bind the soul.
- The real nature of action and inaction.

Verse 19-24

- Who is a sage?
- The Sage’s worldly action as an example to the masses.
- The Sage’s action for bodily maintenance.
- The Sage’s worldly action does not bind him.
- Wisdom - sacrifice.

Verse 25-42

- Sacrifices effected by action.
- Wisdom - sacrifice is superior to other sacrifices.
- How and where one should seek wisdom.
- Wisdom, a consumer of all sins and actions.
- The surest means to wisdom.
- Wisdom the killer of doubt.

Discourse 5 SANNYĀSA YOGA.

Verse 1-5

- Which is better for the ignorant, Karma-Yoga or Sannyāsa?
- The question is not with reference to the enlightened.
- Karma-Yoga and Saṁnyāsa inapplicable to the enlightened.
- Karma-Yoga suits the ignorant better than Sannyāsa.
- Sānkhya and Yoga lead to the same goal.

Verse 6-14

- Karma-Yoga is a means to Sannyāsa.
- A sage's actions do not affect him.
- A sage's actions are really no actions.
- Karma-Yogin is untainted by the results of his action.
- The blissful embodied life of a sage.
- Nature is the source of activity.

Verse 15-29

- Wisdom and Unwisdom.
- The sage has no more births.
- The sage sees the One in all beings.
- The sage is liberated while still on earth.
- The sage is free from grief and rejoicing.
- The sage’s infinite joy.
- The path of Nirvana.
- Realisation of the Lord by Dhyāna-Yoga.

Discourse 6 DHYĀNA-YOGA.

Verse 1-3

- Dhyāna-yoga is incompatible with works.
- Renunciation in action.
- Action is a stepping-stone to Dhyāna-Yoga.

Verse 4-26

- Who is a Yogin?
- Directions for the practice of Yoga.
- Consummation.
- Further directions concerning the practice of Yoga.

Verse 27-47

- The effect of Dhyāna-Yoga.
- Practice and Indifference are the surest means to Yoga.
- Failures in Yoga and the after-career.
- The best of the Yogins.

Discourse 7 VIJÑĀNA YOGA.

Verse 1-12

- Realisation of the Lord by meditation.
- Evolution of the Universe out of Divine Prakriti.
- The Divine Principle penetrating the Universe.

Verse 13-30

- Māyā: How to overcome it.
- Four classes of devotees.
- The ignorant worship inferior Gods.
- The root of ignorance.
- Divine worship leads to realisation.

Discourse 8 ABHYĀSA-YOGA.

Verse 1-13

- The seven things to be realised by meditation.
- Constant meditation of the Divine is necessary.
- The Divine Being to be meditated upon.
- Meditation of the Divine in the Prāṇavā.

Verse 14-28

- No re-birth on attaining to the Divine Being.
- The Highest Goal—how reached.
- The Paths of Light and Darkness.
- Excellence of Yoga.


Verse 1-15

- Brahma-Jñāna is the best Religion.
- All beings rest in the Lord.
- The Lord is the source and the end of all beings.
- The Lord is not bound by His acts.
- The life of the impious.
- The ways of the faithful devotees.

Verse 16-34

- All worship goes to the Lord.
- The fruits of interested acts of Vedic ritual.
- The Supreme watching over His devotees’ interests.
- Other devotees do but worship the Supreme in ignorance.
- Facility in Devotion to the Supreme.
- The impartiality of the Supreme.
- Even the low-born attain salvation by Devotion.
- The Yoga of Devotion.


Verse 1-11

- The Lord is the source of all manifestations.
- Knowledge of the Lord’s Glory conduces to Yoga.
- The Lord endows His devotees with wisdom.

Verse 12-42

- Arjuna’s question about the Lord’s manifestations.
- The Lord’s enumeration of His manifestations.
- Divine Glory described in brief.


Verse 1-34

- Arjuna’s prayer for a vision of the Universal Form.
- Arjuna endowed with heavenly sight to see the Universal Form.
- The Lord’s manifestation of the Universal Form.
- The Universal Form (continued.)
- The wonderfulness of the Universal Form.
- The terribleness of the Universal Form.
- Arjuna’s vision of the defeat of the enemy.

Verse 35-55

- Arjuna’s adoration of the Universal Form.
- Arjuna’s prayer for the Lord’s forgiveness.
- Arjuna’s prayer for the Lord’s resumption of His usual form.
- The Lord resumes His usual form.
- The essence of the whole teaching of the Gītā.

Discourse 12 BHAKTI-YOGA.

Verse 1-9

- Who are superior—the worshippers of Īśvara, or the worshippers of Akṣara?
- The worshippers of Īśvara.
- The worshippers of Akṣara.
- Salvation by worship of Īśvara.
- Abhyāsa-Yoga.

Verse 10-20

- Service of the Lord.
- Abandonment of the fruits of actions.
- The life of the Akṣara-Upāsakas.


Verse 1-2

- The main subject of the discourse.
- The body and the soul.
- The soul is subject to evil only through ignorance.
- Kshetrajna is really unaffected by saṁsāra.
- Avidya inheres in the organ, not in the Self.
- Scriptural injunctions apply only to the state of bondage.

Verse 3

- Bondage and liberation are not real states of the Self.
- Scriptural injunctions concern the unenlightened.
- Learned but deluded.
- The relation of the Self to saṁsāra is a mere illusion.
- The perception of the relation of avidya, etc., to the Self is due to illusion.
- Summary of the Doctrine.

Verse 4-11

- The Doctrine extolled.
- Matter in all its forms.
- Virtues conducive to Self-knowledge.

Verse 12-14

- Brahman, the Knowable.
- Brahman is beyond speech and thought.
- Brahman is the source of all activity.
- Brahman is unconditioned.
- Brahman, the basic Reality in all illusory phenomena.

Verse 15-18

- Brahman, the perceiver of the Guṇas.
- Brahman is all.
- Brahman is comprehended only by the wise.
- Brahman is the one Self in all.
- Brahman is the Cause of the Universe.
- Brahman is the Illuminator of all.
- The Light is in the heart of every one.
- Seek the Light through devotion.

Verse 19-23

- Prakriti and Purusha are eternal.
- Prakriti and Purusha as the Cause of samsāra.
- Avidya and Kāma are the cause of rebirths.
- SeIf-knowledge removes the cause of saṁsāra.

Verse 24-34

- The four paths to Self-knowledge.
- Nothing exists outside the Self.
- The one Self in all.
- Knowledge of the one Self leads to moksha.
- Prakriti acts, not the Self.
- The Self is the source and the abode of all.
- The Self is unaffected by the fruits of acts.
- The doctrine summed up.

Discourse 14 THE THREE GUṆAS.

Verse 1-18

- The subject of the discourse.
- Knowledge of the origin of the universe is necessary for Salvation.
- Evolution of the universe from the union of Spirit and Matter.
- The Guṇas bind the soul.
- The nature and functions of the Guṇas.
- The mutual action of the Guṇas.
- How to know when a particular guṇa is predominant.
- Life after death as governed by the Guṇas.
- The functions of the Guṇas summed up.

Verse 19-27

- Realisation of the Self beyond the Guṇas leads to immortality.
- The marks of a liberated soul.
- The conduct in life of the Liberated one.
- Devotion to the Lord leads to liberation.
- Unity of Ātman.


Verse 1-6

- The Tree of Saṁsāra.
- Cut the Tree and seek the Goal.
- The Path to the Goal.
- The Goal is the Lord’s Glorious Being.

Verse 7-20

- Jīva is a ray of the Lord.
- How Jīva dwells in the body and departs from it.
- The Self is visible only to the eye of knowledge.
- No self-knowledge without Yoga.
- Immanence of the Lord,
- (1) as the all-illumining Light of Consciousness.
- (2) As the all-sustaining Life.
- (3) As the Digestive Fire in all living organisms.
- (4) As the Self in the hearts of all.
- The Lord beyond the perishable and the imperishable universe.
- The Glory of Self-knowledge.


Discourse 16

- Spiritual disposition.
- Materialistic disposition.
- Results of the two dispositions.
- The materialists.
- The materialist’s view of the world.
- Men’s life as guided by materialism.
- The materialist’s aspirations.
- The materialist’s sacrificial rites.
- The materialist’s neglect of Divine Commandments.
- The materialist’s fall.
- The three Gates of Hell to be avoided.
- Let the Law guide thy life.


Discourse 17

- The ignorant, but faithful.
- The three kinds of Faith.
- Men of Rājasic and Tāmasic Faiths.
- Threefold Food, Worship, Austerity and Gift.
- The three kinds of Food.
- The three kinds of Worship.
- Physical Austerity.
- Austerity in Speech.
- Mental Austerity.
- The three kinds of Austerity according to Guṇas.
- The three kinds of Gift.
- How to perfect the defective acts.
- Works without faith are fruitless.
- The teaching of the discourse summed up.

Discourse 18 CONCLUSION.

Verse 1-9

- ‘Sannyāsa’ and ‘Tyāga’ distinguished.
- Should the ignorant perform works or not?
- The Lord’s decree is that the ignorant should perform works.
- The obligatory works should be performed without attachment.
- Tāmasic and Rājasic renunciations of works.
- Renunciation in works is Sāttvic.

Verse 10-18

- From renunciation in works to renunciation of all works.
- Renunciation of fruits is alone possible for the ignorant.
- Effects of the two renunciations after death.
- Factors in the production of an act.
- The agency of the Self is an illusion.
- Realisation of the non-agency of the Self leads to absolution from the effects of all works.
- The impulses to action.

Verse 19-40

- The Impulses are threefold according to the guṇas.
- Sāttvic Knowledge. - Rājasic Knowledge. - Tāmasic Knowledge.
- Sāttvic Action. - Rājasic Action. - Tāmasic Action.
- Sāttvic Agent. - Rājasic Agent. - Tāmasic Agent.
- Intellect and Firmness are threefold according to guṇas.
- Sāttvic Intellect. - Rājasic Intellect. - Tāmasic Intellect.
- Sāttvic Firmness. - Rājasic Firmness. - Tāmasic Firmness.
- Pleasure is threefold according to guṇas.
- Sāttvic Pleasure. - Rājasic Pleasure. - Tāmasic Pleasure.
- No man or god is free from guṇas.
- The sequel sums up the whole Doctrine.

Verse 41-47

- Duties of the four castes ordained according to nature.
- Devotion to one’s own duty leads to perfection.

Verse 48

- One ought not to abandon one’s own duty.
- Is entire renunciation of action possible?
- The Sānkhya, Buddhist and Vaiśeṣika theories.
- Refutation of the Vaiśeṣika theory.
- Refutation of the Pariṇāma-Vāda.
- The Lord’s theory of illusion.
- The enlightened alone can renounce action entirely.

Verse 49-55

- Perfection in Karma-Yoga leads to absolute Perfection.
- Absolute perfection is the consummation of Self-knowledge.
- Is Self-knowledge possible at all?
- The Self reveals Himself in Pure Reason.
- Cognition and the Cognizer are self-revealed.
- The Path to Absolute Perfection.
- The consummation of Knowledge attained by Devotion.

Verse 56-66

- Renunciation of all works is necessary for absolute perfection.
- Devotion to the Lord by works enjoined.
- Devotion to the Lord is the Secret of success in Karma-Yoga.
- Right Knowledge and Renunciation.

Verse 66b

- What is the means to the Highest Bliss, — Knowledge or Works?
- Self - Knowledge alone is the means to the Highest Bliss.
- Knowledge cannot be conjoined with Works.
- Refutation of the theory that salvation is attained by works alone.
- Refutation of the theory that the Nitya-Karma leads to no future births.

Verse 66c

- The Paths of Knowledge and Works are meant for distinct classes of aspirants.
- Action is a creature of Avidya.
- The theory of Avidya does not militate against the authority of Karma-Kānḍa.
- Refutation of the theory of the Self’s agency by mere presence.
- The theory of Avidya concluded.

Verse 67-78

- Qualification for instruction in the Gītā Doctrine.
- The merit of teaching the Doctrine.
- The merit of hearing the Doctrine.
- The Lord assured by Arjuna of his grasp of the Teaching.
- Sanjaya extols the Lord and His teaching.