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Bhikshu Gita Teachings

Bhikshu Gita teachings are found in the Srimad Bhagavad Purana

Oh king! Abandon the feeling that you are going to die – a feeling that befits only animals. For, the real you are not, like the body, a previously non-existent thing now come into being.

The real you did not descend like a son from a father, or like a tree from a seed, generated by a being that is itself originated. You are, on the other hand, like the fire, which, though seen in association with wood, is not its product and is entirely different from it.

In the dream, one can experience one’s own decapitation. Physical death in the waking state is on par with it. The atman, which is not one with the body, but only its witness, is not affected by death. It is without origin and deathless.

When a pot is destroyed, the sky enclosed by it becomes one with the universal. So also, when the body perishes through jnana, the jiva becomes one with the Brahman.


The Bhikshu Gita (also spelled Bikshu Gita) is a profound discourse found in the Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana), specifically in Canto 11, Chapter 23. It is a part of the Uddhava Gita, where Lord Krishna imparts wisdom to his devotee Uddhava. The Bhikshu Gita stands out as a deeply philosophical and spiritual text that offers insights into the nature of suffering, detachment, and the pursuit of spiritual enlightenment.

Context of Bhikshu Gita:

The Bhikshu Gita is the song of a mendicant (bhikshu) who narrates his journey and realizations. This mendicant was a former king who became a renunciant after facing adversity. His teachings reflect his understanding and the wisdom he gained through his experiences.

Key Teachings of the Bhikshu Gita:

  1. Nature of Suffering:

    • The Bhikshu Gita begins with the mendicant explaining how he, once a king, lost everything and became a wandering beggar. Despite his fall from a royal status, he does not lament his misfortune. Instead, he reflects on the transient nature of worldly possessions and positions.
    • He teaches that suffering is a result of attachment and the identification with the physical body and material possessions. When one’s sense of self is tied to these temporary aspects, their loss leads to suffering.
  2. Detachment and Renunciation:

    • The mendicant emphasizes the importance of detachment. He narrates how he faced abuse and ridicule without being perturbed, viewing these events with equanimity.
    • He advocates for the renunciation of ego and the understanding that one's true nature is beyond the physical body and the material world.
  3. The Mind and Its Role:

    • The Bhikshu highlights the mind’s role in creating a sense of suffering or joy. He explains that an uncontrolled mind leads to bondage, whereas a disciplined and tranquil mind leads to liberation.
    • By mastering the mind and not allowing it to be swayed by external circumstances, one can attain peace and freedom from suffering.
  4. Self-Realization and Liberation:

    • The mendicant advises the pursuit of self-realization as the ultimate goal of life. Recognizing one’s true self as distinct from the body and mind leads to liberation (moksha).
    • He stresses that this realization is achieved through introspection, meditation, and the cultivation of wisdom.
  5. Equanimity and Non-attachment:

    • The Bhikshu demonstrates that true wisdom involves seeing pleasure and pain, loss and gain, success and failure with equanimity.
    • By remaining unattached to both favorable and unfavorable outcomes, one can maintain inner peace and continue their spiritual journey unaffected by external events.
  6. Transience of Material World:

    • The mendicant reflects on the impermanence of the material world. Everything in the material world is subject to change and decay, and clinging to these transient things leads to suffering.
    • He teaches that understanding this transience helps in cultivating detachment and focusing on the eternal aspects of existence.
  7. Devotion and Surrender to God:

    • While the Bhikshu Gita focuses largely on the philosophical aspects of suffering and detachment, it also underscores the importance of devotion (bhakti) and surrender to the Supreme.
    • The mendicant suggests that by dedicating oneself to God and recognizing the divine presence in all aspects of life, one can transcend worldly suffering and achieve spiritual fulfillment.

Relevance and Application:

  • Personal Growth: The teachings encourage individuals to look beyond immediate hardships and focus on inner growth and self-realization.
  • Mental Peace: By advocating detachment and equanimity, the Bhikshu Gita offers a path to mental peace and resilience against life’s challenges.
  • Spiritual Practice: The Gita provides a framework for integrating spirituality into daily life, promoting a balanced approach to worldly and spiritual pursuits.

The Bhikshu Gita provides timeless wisdom that addresses the fundamental questions of human existence, suffering, and the path to true happiness. It offers a practical and philosophical approach to overcoming the trials of life through detachment, self-discipline, and devotion.