Choose a verse from the Bhagavad-gita and describe why it inspires you.

“Again there are those who, although not conversant in spiritual knowledge, begin to worship the Supreme Person upon hearing about Him from others. Because of their tendency to hear from authorities, they also transcend the path of birth and death.” (Bg. 13.26) When I hear this verse it makes me think of Srila Prabhupada sitting under the tree in Tompkins Square Park teaching Krishna consciousness, or giving the Wednesday night Gita class at 26 Second Avenue. Whether surrounded by hundreds of young people on Hippy Hill in San Francisco or at the Fillmore Auditorium, he would speak about Lord Krishna. Many listened, and some stayed to serve.

Although we were dull-headed, sensual, lazy, and distracted, Srila Prabhupada made hearing about Lord Sri Krishna so attractive that we became “bright-faced,” and knowledge and detachment developed naturally. We learned the highest truths of the Vedas simply by hearing from the most authoritative source, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, and thus are on our way back home, back to Godhead.
Chandrashekhara Dasa
Mulberry, Tennessee

I find great inspiration from Bhagavad-gita 2.14: “O son of Kunti, the nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed.” So many times in ours lives we experience these emotions. While we don’t have a problem with the happy times, we certainly want the distressful times to end quickly. The Lord guarantees that both are temporary and will end. It perfectly explains the old saying “One man’s pleasure is another man’s pain.” No situation in this world is enjoyable or distasteful, but because our senses want to be engaged in a particular fashion, we assess the situations as such. So, whenever I am in a so-called distressful situation, I find great comfort in the Lord’s promise that it will end. Hopefully, one day I will not be affected by either happiness or distress.
Dhanya Devi Dasi
El Dorado, Trinidad and Tobago

“If one offers me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit, or water, I will accept it.” (Bg. 9.26)

I like this verse not only because the words are beautiful but also because, as a new devotee of Krishna, it reminds me that my offerings to Krishna don’t need to be fancy foods or complicated aratis and pujas. They can be as simple as a single leaf or a freshly picked flower.

I like the thought that I can offer things to Krishna wherever I am, even if I’m far from the temple or my kitchen. Even more, I like the lesson that it’s our intention—our love and devotion—that really counts when we offer to Krishna, and in this way everyone from a king to a beggar is equal before Krishna.
Channah Mace
London, UK

I am inspired by Bhagavad-gita Chapter 9, verse 34, where Lord Krishna states: “Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, become My devotee, offer obeisances to Me, and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me.” Here Lord Krishna gives specific instructions to Arjuna in very simple words, understandable to anyone who wants to get back to Krishna’s abode. All the activities mentioned in this verse are familiar to anyone. In relation to Lord Krishna, they eventually lead to the revival of our forgotten personal relationship with Lord Krishna. This revival is most pleasing to Krishna.

Because Lord Krishna loves us so much, He repeats this instruction to Arjuna in Chapter 18, verse 65, where He goes so far as to promise Arjuna that he will reach His abode without fail. Krishna declares this particular instruction to be the most secret of all secrets.
Vitthalbhai Mistry
Austin, Texas

“Even if one commits the most abominable action, if he is engaged in devotional service he is to be considered saintly because he is properly situated in his determination.” (Bg. 9.30)

This verse particularly inspires me to increase my faith in devotees. Many times we see devotees go through turbulence or what we would call the slap of the witch Maya. We tend to lose faith and judge sincere Vaishnavas who falter.

This verse helps bring me back on track and stop committing offenses toward these Vaishnavas. It teaches me that they are saints, that this temporary situation they are in is just a test from Krishna to make them stronger, and that I am in no position to judge them.
Mathura Lileshvari Devi Dasi
Shah Alam, Malaysia

Bhagavad-gita 18.66 is the verse that gives me solace and hope: “Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.” It highlights Krishna’s magnanimous nature, His qualities to aspire to. Krishna is so forgiving and kind-hearted, and most definitely our true well-wisher.

This verse gives me so much encouragement by reminding me that Krishna is willing to forgive the mistakes I have made in my choice of actions over millions of lifetimes. He knows all that I have done, the harm I have caused others, the heavy reactions I am due, and still He reaches out with His loving kindness to wipe the slate clean and pardon me. Such benevolence. This verse invites a deep sense of gratitude in my heart for Krishna’s blessings and inspires me to be more forgiving of others and myself.
Krishnangi Devi Dasi
Sydney, Australia

My favorite verse in the Bhagavad-gita is 7.14: “This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it.” In this material world we are bound by the three modes of material nature, and I personally can see that it is very difficult to overcome the modes. I always think about when and how I can be free from misery. Lord Krishna in this verse directly states that by surrendering unto His lotus feet, one can easily cross the three modes.

This has been the aim of my life, and with the help of the Lord, guru, and Gauranga, the path has been clearly laid—the singing and chanting of the Lord’s holy name. I never forget this simple method, especially since my name is Kirtan, the simplest form of devotional service in this age of Kali.
Kirtan Patel
Henderson, Nevada

I feel that the most enlightening message we get from the all-powerful Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna, is that one must accept a bona fide spiritual master: “Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth.” (Bg. 4.34). In this verse the Lord says that to revive our pure conscious we conditional souls must learn the truth. And the truth is that is we are part of Krishna and are His eternal servants.

This transcendental knowledge can only be given by a bona fide guru, who will present the Lord’s teachings as they are. A sincere soul must approach such a guru in full surrender and serve like a menial servant, without false prestige. Satisfaction of the self-realized spiritual master is the secret of advancement in spiritual life. Because bona fide gurus are representatives of the Supreme Lord, they can impart knowledge of the Absolute Truth, and by having such knowledge, one never falls back into the illusion that the living entity is equal to Krishna, which is the cause of one’s falldown into this material existence.
Rukmini Priti Devi Dasi
Adliya, Bahrain

The first verse I listened to very attentively and committed to memory was recited in a lecture by my spiritual master, His Holiness Srila Tamal Krishna Goswami, back in 1987. I was intrigued by the way he quoted the verse. It sounded mystical, not from this world.

I was in primary school then. Later I tried to recall the verse, and by Lord Krishna’s mercy our family had a Bhagavad-gita As It Is. As a child, I was so happy when I found the verse. It was my first attempt to read the Gita, and I felt encouraged to find more beautiful verses.

Srila Prabhupada’s purports are amazing—so simple that even children can understand them. This is the verse: “The humble sages, by virtue of true knowledge, see with equal vision a learned and gentle brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog, and a dog-eater [outcaste].” (Bg. 5.18)
Sravaniya Devi Dasi
Tavua, Fiji