The wisdom that Lord Krishna imparted to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita is presented in a straightforward manner, which is one of the reasons why this book is one of my favorites among the scriptures.
Each shloka (verse) of the Bhagavad Gita is filled with immeasurable knowledge. Believe it or not, but it is a life guidebook that has been directing us for millions of years up until the present time. It never ceases to amaze me that a book that is over 5000 years old is still applicable in this day and age of artificial intelligence.
If you’re looking for wisdom in life, you should read the holy Bhagavad Gita at least once. But selecting the greatest of the Bhagavad Gita’s 745 shlokas is no simple undertaking.
If you were to ask me, I have several shlokas from the Gita that are my favorites, and I have gathered for you this list of the best Bhagavad Gita verses with their meaning so that you can read them. So let’s get started.
Best Bhagavad Gita Verses (Shlokas) That Are Full Of Wisdom
Let’s begin with our list of the best Bhagavad Gita verses of all time that will provide you with some of the most crucial insights on life, success, relationships, spirituality and more.
1. Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 2, Verse 47
कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन |
मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि ||
karmaṇy-evādhikāras te mā phaleṣhu kadāchana
mā karma-phala-hetur bhūr mā te saṅgo ’stvakarmaṇi
Translation: You have the right to carry out the responsibilities that have been assigned to you, but you do not have the right to the results of your activities. Never think that you are the cause of the results of what you do, and don’t be attached to not doing anything (inaction).
Verse 47 of Chapter 2 of the Bhagavad Gita is considered to be the best verse because of the reflection of reality that it provides for us. If one were to observe human behavior and cognitive processes, they would see that everyone is preoccupied with the outcomes (fruits) of their actions rather than performing those duties with integrity and sincerity. When we aren’t worried about how things will turn out, we put in our best effort and end up with something even greater.
2. Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 2, Verse 57
य: सर्वत्रानभिस्नेहस्तत्तत्प्राप्य शुभाशुभम् |
नाभिनन्दति न द्वेष्टि तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता ||
yaḥ sarvatrānabhisnehas tat tat prāpya śhubhāśhubham
nābhinandati na dveṣhṭi tasya prajñā pratiṣhṭhitā
Translation: One who is detached from all outcomes, who takes no joy in success and no sorrow in failure, is a sage who has attained ultimate wisdom.
We get so happy when we encounter good fortune and so depress when something bad happens with us. This emotional imbalances lead us to a very emotionally fragile life making us so prone to sadness and confusion.
Our thoughts, our world, the situations we face in life are all temporary and even when we know this truth still we fell into the pits of emotions and swing from one end to the other. This is one of my favorite and the best verse from the Gita, because it teaches us to be equipoised and becoming aware that this too shall pass.
3. Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 2, Verse 22
वासांसि जीर्णानि यथा विहाय
नवानि गृह्णाति नरोऽपराणि |
तथा शरीराणि विहाय जीर्णा
न्यन्यानि संयाति नवानि देही ||
vāsānsi jīrṇāni yathā vihāya
navāni gṛihṇāti naro ’parāṇi
tathā śharīrāṇi vihāya jīrṇānya
nyāni sanyāti navāni dehī
Translation: When a person dies, their soul enters a new body much as they would change out of old clothes and into new ones.
Without the concept of rebirth, to answer the most asked question “Why Bad Things Happen To Me When I Did Nothing Wrong?” is a tough thing to do. Consider a man born blind. What’s the logical reason for this punishment? If we say it was his present karmas, he may counter that this is his only life, and he never hurt someone.
If we believe it was God’s will, it seems unlikely because God is all-merciful and wouldn’t want anyone blind. In this case, past-life karmas may explain the person’s blindness.
4. Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 2, Verse 63
क्रोधाद्भवति सम्मोह: सम्मोहात्स्मृतिविभ्रम: |
स्मृतिभ्रंशाद् बुद्धिनाशो बुद्धिनाशात्प्रणश्यति ||
krodhad bhavati sammohah sammohat smriti-vibhramah
smriti-bhranshad buddhi-nasho buddhi-nashat pranashyati
Translation: Getting angry causes one’s judgement to become clouded, which causes memory to get bewildered. Bewilderment of memory leads to the breakdown of reasoning, which in turn leads to destruction.
I used to get angry in the past on the most smallest things and for a long time, thanks to my aggression, I was never able to think clearly. Anger does clouds your decision making process and all you see is revenge. And when you’re unable to make sound decisions all you do is regret your whole life. While I was going through a tough time I used to read this verse from the Bhagavad Gita, which is why I think this is the best Bhagavad Gita shloka which I have ever read.
5. Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 3, Verse 35
श्रेयान्स्वधर्मो विगुण: परधर्मात्स्वनुष्ठितात् |
स्वधर्मे निधनं श्रेय: परधर्मो भयावह: ||
shreyan swa-dharmo vigunah para-dharmat sv-anushthitat
swa-dharme nidhanam shreyah para-dharmo bhayavahah
Translation: To do one’s natural prescribed duty, even imperfectly, is preferable to doing another’s prescribed duty, no matter how perfectly it’s done. Even death in the performance of one’s duty is preferable to following another’s dangerous path.
I think nothing better can explain this shloka other than this quote by Suzy Kassem, “Why escape your intended purpose by copying and trying to be someone else? You will discover who you were meant to be only after you have shown confidence being yourself.”
6. Bhagavad Gita’s Best Verse: Chapter 5, Verse 17
गच्छन्त्यपुनरावृत्तिं ज्ञाननिर्धूतकल्मषा: ||
tad-buddhayas tad-atmanas tan-nishthas tat-parayanah
Meaning: Those who have their minds set on God, whose faith in Him is unwavering, and who live their lives with that as their ultimate objective will attain the state from which there is no return very soon, their sins washed away by the illumination of wisdom.
In this shloka, Lord Krishna guides Arjuna to just have faith in God and perform all his duties as an offering to him without clinging to the pleasures of the outcomes. When a person does that, he/she attains the ultimate state which is moksha from the cycle of infinite births.
7. Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 4, Verse 8
परित्राणाय साधूनां विनाशाय च दुष्कृताम् |
धर्मसंस्थापनार्थाय सम्भवामि युगे युगे ||
paritranaya sadhunam vinashaya cha dushkritam
dharma-sansthapanarthaya sambhavami yuge yuge
Translation: Age after age, I reappear on Earth to defend the innocent, destroy the guilty, and restore dharmic order.
Who doesn’t know this verse from the Gita? It’s one of the most heard ones as it lighten up the hope in all of us. The hope that yes there is something like universal justice, there is a higher power to protect us and to guide us.
8. Best Bhagavad Gita Verse: Chapter 2, Verse 70
समुद्रमाप: प्रविशन्ति यद्वत् |
तद्वत्कामा यं प्रविशन्ति सर्वे
स शान्तिमाप्नोति न कामकामी ||
samudram apah pravishanti yadvat
tadvat kama yam pravishanti sarve
sa shantim apnoti na kama-kami
Translation: In the same way that the ocean is unaffected by the constant flow of water from rivers that flow into it, the sage who is unmoved despite the flow of desirable objects all around him is the one who achieves peace, not the person who strives to satisfy their desires.
There are many verses from the Gita that are the best. I mean, every shloka from the Bhagavad Gita has something wise to convey, but these are by far the best ones among all.