The three possibilities of the self—choose yours

उद्धरेदात्मनात्मानं नात्मानमवसादयेत्।

आत्मैव ह्यात्मनो बन्धुरात्मैव रिपुरात्मन:।।5।।

uddhared ātmanātmānaṁ nātmānam avasādayet

ātmaiva hyātmano bandhur ātmaiva ripur ātmanaḥ

One should save oneself by oneself. One should not lower oneself. For oneself is truly one’s own friend. Oneself is truly one’s own enemy.

~ Chapter 6, Verse 5

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बन्धुरात्मात्मनस्तस्य येनात्मैवात्मना जित:।

अनात्मनस्तु शत्रुत्वे वर्ते तात्मैव शत्रुवत्।।6।।

bandhur ātmātmanas tasya yenātmaivātmanā jitaḥ

anātmanas tu śhatrutve vartetātmaiva śhatru-vat

Of him by whom has been conquered his very self by the self, his self is the friend of his self. But for one who has not conquered his self, the self itself acts inimically like an enemy.

~ Chapter 6, Verse 6

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जितात्मन: प्रशान्तस्य परमात्मा समाहित:।

शीतोष्णसुखदु:खेषु तथा मानापमानयो:।।7।।

jitātmanaḥ praśhāntasya paramātmā samāhitaḥ

śhītoṣhṇa-sukha-duḥkheṣhu tathā mānāpamānayoḥ

The supreme self of one who has control over the aggregate of his body and organs and who is tranquil, becomes manifest. He should be equipoised in the midst of cold and heat, happiness and sorrow, as also honour and dishonour.

~ Chapter 6, Verse 7

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Questioner (Q): Shri Krishna speaks of three selves. What are these three different selves?

Acharya Prashant (AP): These three different selves are actually the three different possibilities of the ego, and the freedom of the ego to choose the various possibilities—not merely two or three, but an entire range of possibilities that are available to it.