The separation between the shuttle and the space station was 200 meters, as per the photographer (or you can estimate it from the photograph and fact that the sun subtends an angle of 0.5°).
33 minutes ago
The truth is that I am eternal; I am not born, I never
die and I am the Lord of everything....
Apart from me, there is nothing whatsoever. The entire
creation is strung out on me like a necklace of precious
Look at my body, Arjuna. You will see the entire universe
there -- all that moves and all that [seems to be] unmoving,
as well as anything else you wish to see. And all are part
of the same, which is me.
I am the same toward all beings. Before me, no one is
hateful and no one is more or less cherished. However,
those who lovingly worship me will realize that they are
actually part of me.
I am unaffected by all actions, nor do I desire any results.
Whoever experiences this quality in me is also free.
Good people worship me, Arjuna, for four basic reasons :
to be relieved of suffering, to understand life, to rise
from poverty to wealth, and just because they are wise
Foolish people don't look beyond physical appearance. Thus
they overlook my true nature which is Lord of everything.
Most people fail to look beyond the three qualities of my
prakriti. People see only these changing qualities and
don't see me, the transcendent One. In the midst of all
that changes, I am what doesn't change.
Not everyone can see me as I truly am, because I veil my-
self in maya. Thus deluded, the world does not recognize
me as the one who was never born and never changes.
Arjuna, I know all about every creature in the past ,present
and even future. Yet no one knows all about me.
Among all people, whoever recognizes me as the unborn and
beginningless lord of everything, knows the truth and frees
himself from wrongdoing.
By animating my prakriti, I repeatedly create the infinite
varieties of all beings which are subject to the rule of my
People are deluded by attraction and aversion, which spawn
all the pairs of opposites. These dualities, Arjuna, subject
all to maya at birth.
The Vedas discuss the three gunas, Arjuna, transcend the
three gunas and you will be free of the pairs of opposites --
ever-balanced, free of wanting ......
There never was a time when I did not exist, nor
you, nor any of these ruling princes. And neither
will there ever come a time when we cease to be.
That which is embodied experiences the body's childhood,
youth, and old age, and also in time acquires another body.
This does not disturb one whose mind is calm.
Whoever truly knows the Self -- indestructible, eternal,
birthless and changeless -- in what way would such a person
kill, Arjuna ? Who would be killed ?
Weapons do not affect the Self; fire does not burn
it, water does not wet it, and wind does not dry it.
The Self cannot be pierced or cut; it cannot be
burned, moistened or dried. It is endless, all-
pervading, stable, immovable and everlasting.
Just like casting off worn-out clothing and putting
on new ones, that which is embodied casts off worn-
out bodies and enters others that are new.
Even if you imagined Atman (the Self) continually
taking birth and dying -- even then, mighty Arjuna,
there is no reason to grieve.
Whatever is born will undoubtedly die; whatever is
dead certainly will be born. You should not mourn
what is inevitable.
Arjuna, beings originally are all unmanifested. At
midstate they're manifested; and unmanifested again
at the end. What is the point of lamenting ?
The blessed Lord said : I am all-powerful time, destroyer
of the worlds and now I have come to devour this world.
Whether you fight or not, all the warriors of the opposing
army gathered here will surely die.
Arjuna asked : You were born long after Vivasvat. How
is it possible that you taught this in the beginning?
Lord Krishna said : You and I have taken many births,
Arjuna. I know them all but you do not.
The truth is that I am eternal; I am not born, I never
die and I am the Lord of everything. Still, by control-
ling the elements of my nature (my prakriti), I appear
to take births by my power of illusion (maya).
When righteousness is lost and wickedness prevails, I
appear on earth in bodily form.
Age after age I take birth to protect the good, destroy
the wicked and establish virtue.
Arjuna asked : Krishna, what happens to someone who has
sincere belief, but cannot yet control the mind, or someone
who falls away from these practices before achieving per-
fection through yoga ?
Then the blessed Lord said : Do not worry, Arjuna. There
is no destruction -- either in this world or in the next --
for anyone who has embarked on the yogic path. O my son,
know for certain that anyone who does good never comes to
a bad end.
Whoever embarks on the yogic path -- and leaves his body
before reaching his highest goal -- attains the heavenly
state of the virtuous. He stays there a very long time
and then takes birth again in this world in a home of the
pure and prosperous in order to continue his quest.
Or he is reborn into a family of wise yogis. Such a birth
in this world is rare indeed.
In this environment, Arjuna, he soon recalls the knowledge
gained in previous births, and strives for realization even
more earnestly than before.
By earnest and persistent effort -- even over many lifetimes --
a yogi becomes completely purified of all selfish desire and reaches
the supreme goal of life.
The qualities of nature (calmness, restlessness, inertia)
do all that is done. But because the mind is clouded by
ego, a person thinks : I am the doer.
Those still deluded by nature's qualities become attached
to nature's functions. But the one of perfect understanding
should not disturb the mind of someone who does not know
....Though they may have been meticulous in religious
observances, if they still want something, they are caught
in the endless chain of personal desires, and thus must
continue to take birth after death.
After many life times, a person grows wise and takes
refuge in me and nothing else. Then he realizes that
I am all that is. Such a great soul is rare indeed.
When you have your mind well trained so that it
rests solely in Atman, without wanting anything,
then you are established in Yoga.
The well-trained mind of a yogi, concentrating on
the Self, is as steady as a flame in a windless
Once you are established in this (reality), there's
absolutely nothing else to achieve, nor will any-
thing ever shake you again -- not even the worst
Yoga is a means to disconnect your identification with
that which experiences pain.
Someone with personal desires will not experience true
peace. But when all desires merge, like different rivers
flowing into the vast, deep ocean, then peace is easily
If you are thinking of me at the time of physical
death, you will leave your body and come directly
to me, there is no doubt about it.
A person goes to whatever he is thinking of at the
time of physical death, Arjuna, because his mind
established that direction.
To practice meditation, fix up a clean meditation place
with your seat neither too high nor too low. Insulate the
seat with a grass mat, then a deer skin and over those a
Then sit and calm the mind the senses by concentrating on one
thing; thus you practice Yoga for self-purification.
It is impossible to practice Yoga effectively if
you eat or sleep either too much or too little.
But if you are moderate in eating, playing, sleeping, staying
awake, and avoiding extremes in everything you do, you will
see that these yoga practices eliminate all your pain and
While still in a human body, if you can stand fast amid
the forces of desire and anger, then surely you are a yogi
destined for happiness.
The yogi who discovers happiness and joy within is also
illumined solely from within. That yogi becomes one with
God and marvels in the ecstasy of God.
By mentally renouncing the fruits of his action, the yogi's mind
becomes disciplined. Thus, he knows himself to be Atman, happily
abiding in the city of nine gates (the body). He knows he is not
the doer who acts or causes to act.
This is the effective yoga technique :At the time of leaving the
body, mentally withdraw attention from the gates of the body into
the heart area, and from there direct the prana into the head.
When the light of wisdom shines through all the gates of the body
this is a sign that sattva is dominant.
Arjuna, one may intuit the relationship between nature's qualities
(gunas) and action (karma). Whoever does so knows that nature, as
the senses, merely abides with nature, as the sense objects. He
identifies with neither, and thus does not become entangled.
Even the sages are sometimes confused about action and inaction ...
Distinguish between right action, wrong action and inaction. The
way of karma is nearly impossible to understand.
Because of ignorance, some people have no sincere
belief and are constantly skeptical; they are
ruined. A mind like that is unhappy in the present
and the future.
These are the physical disciplines (tapas) : serving
God, the twice-born, spiritual teachers, and the wise;
staying pure, virtuous, continent and practicing non-
These are the disciplines of speech : speaking truthfully,
pleasantly and kindly with words that do not excite others
and reading scripture (svadhyaya).
These are the mental discipilines : tranquility, gentleness,
goodheartedness, silence, self-control and purity of thought.
The blessed Lord said : The wise speak of an eternal Asvattha tree
(sacred fig) with its roots above and its branches here in this world.
Its leaves are the Vedas (holy scriptures). Whoever understands this
tree knows the most sacred wisdom.
Nourished by the gunas, its branches spread above and below. It buds
forth all the sense objects, and its roots reach down to this world,
binding people to one action after another.
The true nature of this tree -- its form, origin, end and even pre-
sence -- is not perceived at the level of worldly awareness. Just
cut down this deep-rooted Asvattha tree with the sharp sword of non-
There is a place from which none ever returns. That is the goal. Seek
it by vowing : I take refuge in the original Purusha, who is the lord
and source of all, the Absolute, from which streams forth the eternal
Fortunate are those seekers who are no longer deluded (by that tree)
and thus are liberated from pride. Because they have conquered personal
attachment, they ever abide in their true identity, which is the Self.
No longer disturbed by personal desires, which have completely abated,
or the pairs of opposites, such as pleasure and pain, they attain that
THAT is beyond the light of the sun, the moon or fire. That is where
I am. When you reach this goal, you will never again fall back to a
feeling of separateness.
Indeed, Arjuna, the qualities in one's own nature determine
the appropriate role and duties for each person -- whether
scholar or priest (brahmin), leader or warrior (kshatriya);
tradesperson (vaisya), or laborer (sudra).
By nature the priest or teacher (brahmin) is inclined
toward serenity, self-control, self-discipline, purity
and forgiveness, as well as virtuous behavior, learning,
Self-realization and faith in the eternal.
The leader or warrior (kshatriya) is naturally inclined
to courage, vigor, firmness of mind, resourcefulness,
generosity, leadership and the resolve not to flee,
but to persevere in the midst of battle.
The tradesperson (vaisya) is naturally inclined toward
farming, dairying, and other business trades. And working
people by nature are inclined toward service.
Anyone can attain perfection by devoting himself to the
work that comes most naturally. I will explain how.
When you do the work that by your nature is your calling,
you are worshipping the creator of all beings who is
omnipresent, and thus you attain perfection.
It is better to do your own dharma imperfectly than to
excel at another's dharma. Whoever accepts the duties
of his nature is free from sin.
It is better to do your own dharma even imperfectly, than
someone else's dharma perfectly. Even better to die in
your dharma than in another's, which brings great fear.
Furthermore, looking at your own duty, you
will see no reason to waver. For certainly
there is nothing higher for a Kshatriya than
a righteous war.
Happy indeed are the Kshatriyas, Arjuna,
called to fight in such a battle that comes
of itself -- like an open gate to heaven.
If you are killed, you will gain heaven.
If you are victorious, you will enjoy the
earth. Therefore, rise up, Arjuna, resolved
to fight !
But if you don't fight when its your duty
to do so, you lose your honor and incur sin.
People will continually recall your shame.
And for one who has been honored, dishonor is
worse than death.
The great charioteers will suppose you withdrew
from battle out of fear. Those who thought so
highly of you will take you lightly.
And your enemies will deride your strengths and
slander you. What could be more painful ?
Seeing the same in pleasure and pain, gain and
loss, victory and defeat, in battle -- just for
the sake of the battle -- then you will be
Dedicate all your actions to me. (Then) your
mind will rest in the Self (Atman), free of
the wishing and selfishness fever, and you
can engage in battle.
I am the same toward all beings. Before me, no one
is hateful, and no one is more or less cherished.
However, those who lovingly worship me will realize
that they are actually part of me and that I live in
No matter your birth, race, sex or caste -- even if
you are scorned by others -- if you take refuge in me,
then certainly you will attain the Supreme Goal.
Others still allow personal desires to lead astray
their good judgement. [Thus] they follow their
lower nature and worship lesser gods for their
A devotee may select any name or form as
the object of his worship. But if he has
sincere belief (shraddha), I make his faith
strong and steady.
Then when he worships with steady faith the
form he has chosen, he gets what he wants.
But actually, I am the one fulfilling his
However, those of limited understanding
obtain limited satisfaction. Those who
worship the devas go to the devas; my
devotees come to me.
Because their understanding is still shallow,
many still believe that I, the unmanifested
one, am limited to one particular manifestation.
They have not yet seen my true nature which is
unchanging and supreme.
A person stands supreme who has equal regard for
friends, companions, enemies, neutral arbiters,
hateful people, relatives, saints and sinners.
Those who have realized the Self see that same Self
equally in a humble scholar, a cow, a dog or a dog-eater.
Whatever a great person does is followed by others who set
their standard by his or her example.
Arjuna, there's nothing in the three worlds that I ought to
do, nor anything for me to achieve that I have not already
achieved -- yet I continue doing things.
If I ever stop doing my continuous work, Arjuna, everyone would
follow my example in every way.
If I stop doing, the worlds would perish; I would confuse all
the species and cause the destruction of all creatures.
The unenlightened do things with attachment (wanting some results
for themselves). An enlightened person does things with the same
zeal, Arjuna, but without attachment, and thus guides others on
the path of selfless action (Karma Yoga).
If a yogi who knows reality leaves his
body during the six months of the northern
passage of the sun, which is the path of
light, fire, day, and the bright two weeks
of the moon, he goes directly to Brahman