”’अथ सप्तमोऽध्यायः”’ ज्ञान -विज्ञान योगः
SELF -KNOWLEDGE AND ENLIGHTENMENT
The scheme of discussion in this chapter –
The knowledge of God and the glory of God
Nature of God
Cause of Samsara
Bhakti, the remedy of Samsara
Sakama Bhakti, devotion for material gains
Nishkama Bhakti , devotion for spiritual gain
Introduction to the knowledge of God
and the glory of knowledge: 1-3
Arjuna ! this kis how you can learn my total nature by taking refuse in me,
absorbed in me and practicing yogic desciplines.
मय्यासक्तमनाः पार्थ योगं युञ्जन्मदाश्रयः ।
असंशयं समग्रं मां यथा ज्ञास्यसि तच्छृणु ॥७:१॥
shri -bhagavan uvacha
mayya asakta -manah partha yogam yunjan madasrayah
asamshayam samagram mam yatha jnasyasi tacchrnu 7 :01
मयि –in me आसक्तमनाः –with your mind attached to me (with exclusive devotion) पार्थ–O Partha योगं -yoga युञ्जन् -practising मदाश्रयः –taking me as your sole refuge असंशयम् –without any shadow of doubt समग्रम् –wholly (with all my splendour, strength and majesty etc ) माम् -me (the self in all) यथा -how ज्ञास्यसि –shall know तत् -that श्रुणु -listen
Shri Bhagawan said – O Arjuna, listen how you shall know me fully without any doubt, with your mind absorbed in me, taking refuge in me, and performing yogic practices.
मयि आसक्तमनाः -When the mind is entirely attached to the supreme spirit, naturally it remains entirely detached from all wordly attachments and enjoyments. He cannot live without the thought of God even for a moment, just as a fish cannot be separated from water even for a moment.
मदाश्रयः –Taking refuge or shelter in God. Having given up all attachment to objects of the world, having given up all sorts of wordly hope and reliance, he has pinned his faith entirely on God alone. The devotee knows that only God’s ‘will’ shall be done. So he becomes free from anxiety for ever. Such a person is मदाश्रयः
If we take up an emplyoyment in a corporate or government department, it becomes our Ashrya or refuge. The employee’s attachment has to be his department and nothing else.
योगं युञ्जन् -Practising yoga of equipoised mind (samatva buddhi) . When the seats of आसक्ति (attachment, interest) and आश्रय (refuge, asylum) are the same the yoga practices performed becomes योगं युञ्जन् .
माम् समग्रम् असंशयम् ज्ञास्यसि तत् श्रुणु -I am going to tell you how you can learn without any doubt my nature in entirety. That means our objective should be to learn the nature of God; how he permeats the cosmos, his anifestations, with all the splendour, strength and majesty etc.
I shall impart to you both theoratical and practical knowledge of God,
by knowing which nothing else remains to be known.
ज्ञानं तेऽहं सविज्ञानमिदं वक्ष्याम्यशेषतः ।
यज्ज्ञात्वा नेह भूयोऽन्यज्ज्ञातव्यमवशिष्यते ॥७ -२॥
jnyana te ’ham sa -vijnanam idam vakshyamy ashesatah
yajjnatva neha bhuyo’nyajjnatavyam avashisyate 7 :02
ज्ञानम् –indirect kowledge of shastras ते –to you अहम् -me सविज्ञानम् –combined with realization (direct knowledge of atma through experience) इदम् -this वक्ष्यामि –will declare अशेषतः –in full यत् -which ज्ञात्वा –having known न -no इह -here भूयः -more अन्यत् -anything ज्ञातव्यम् –what ought to be known अवशिष्यते –remains
I shall impart you without omission both theoretical self – knowledge and that wisdom which can be known only by intuitive realization. After knowing this nothing more remains to be known in this world.
ज्ञानं तेऽहं सविज्ञानमिदं वक्ष्याम्यशेषतः –This is a preface as to what is going to be discussed in this discourse. Krishna is going to tell Arjuna self -knowledge. That means, “Who am I”, solving the mysteries of birth and death, absolving oneself of the baggage of vasanas etc. Krishna gives here such information that will lead to tranformation of Bhakta. By the study of this, the emotions of raga and dwesha are conquered and one becomes toally detached from wordly objects and enjoyments. This is required by not only Arjuna but all of us. The knowledge gained by the study of scriptures has to be put into into practice. Otherwise it becomes a source of cheating the gullible people. Without practice the wisdom cannot give peace. Such a person without practice is compared to a laddle in the soup which does not know the taste of the soup.
यज्ज्ञात्वा नेह भूयोऽन्यज्ज्ञातव्यमवशिष्यते –Everything becomes known when the supreme being is realized. The need to know all other things becomes irrelevant with the dawn of the knowledge of the Absolute, the Supreme Spirit. All articles made of gold become known after knowing gold. Similarly, after knowing the Supreme Spirit, all manifestations of the Spirit becomes known. One who knows the Supreme Spirit is considered to have known all, but one who knows everything, but does not know the Supreme Spirit, is said to have known nothing. The intent of the above verse is that knowledge of all other subjects remains incomplete without one understands of ‘who am I’
Seldom one stirives to gain self-knowledge. Even among
them only some understand my essence
मनुष्याणां सहस्रेषु कश्चिद्यतति सिद्धये ।
यततामपि सिद्धानां कश्चिन्मां वेत्ति तत्त्वतः ॥७ -३॥
manushyanam sahasreshu kashchidyatati siddhaye
yatatamapi siddhanam kashchin mam vetti tattvatah 7 :03
मनुष्याणाम् –among men सहस्रेषु –of thousands कश्चित् –some one यतति -strives सिद्धये –for perfection यतताम् –among the striving people अपि –also सिद्धानाम् –of the successful ones कश्चित् –some one माम् -me वेत्ति –knows in तत्त्वतः -essence
Scarcely one out of thousands of persons strive for perfection of self -realization. Hardly one among those successful strivers truly understands me in essence.
मनुष्याणां सहस्रेषु कश्चिद्यतति सिद्धये –Among thousands of persons only one tries to seek God. It is because men have their search lights turned outside towards sense objects and enjoyment; only a few turn it inside to seek God. Unlike men, animals have no free will so they cannot turn the sensory searchlights from matter to God. They can act only as they are programmed. The free will and liberty is only a man’s privilage.
यततामपि सिद्धानां कश्चिन्मां वेत्ति तत्त्वतः and amongst those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows me in truth.
“Many are called but few are chosen (Matthew 22.14).” Few are fortunate enough to obtain knowledge of, and devotion to, the Supreme Being.
Nature of God: 4 to12
Earth, water, fire, air, ether mind, intellect and egoism
are said to be my eight-fold material or lower nature अपरा प्रकृति
भूमिरापोऽनलो वायुः खं मनो बुद्धिरेव च ।
अहंकार इतीयं मे भिन्ना प्रकृतिरष्टधा ॥७ -४॥
bhumirapo ’nalo vayuh kham mano buddhireva cha
ahankara itiyam me bhinna prakratirashtadha 7 :04
भूमि -earth आपः -water अनलः -fire वायुः -air खम् -ether मनः -mind बुद्धिः -intellect एव -even च -and अहंकारः -egoism इति –thus इयम् -this (is) मे -mine भिन्ना -divided प्रकृतिः –nature अष्टधा –eight -fold composition
The earth, water, fire, air, ether; the mind, intellect and ego; these are the eightfold division of my material nature. (Prakrati)
‘Material Nature ‘ is defined as the material cause (निमित्त कारण ) or the material out of which everything is made. It consists of three modes of material Nature (gunas) and eight basic elements mentioned above, out of which everything in the universe has evolved, according to Sankhya doctrine. Prakrati or material nature is a part of Lord’s illusory energy viz. Maya. Material Nature is also known by terminologies like the perishable, the body, matter; lower material nature (Apara Prakrati) Maya, field (Kshetra) creation, and the manifest state (व्यक्त). That which creates diversity as well as the diversity itself, and all that can be seen or known, including the mind, is called material Nature.
इतीयं मे भिन्ना प्रकृतिरष्टधा –Eight -fold divisions of material energy. However, in chapter 13 -6 and 13 -7 the lord explanis that material world has 23 constituents.
महाभूतान्यहंकारो बुद्धिरव्यक्तमेव च । इन्द्रियाणि दशैकं च पञ्च चेन्द्रियगोचराः ॥१३–६॥इच्छा द्वेषः सुखं दुःखं संघातश्चेतना धृतिः । एतत्क्षेत्रं समासेन सविकारमुदाहृतम् ॥१३–७॥
This is no contradiction here because, out of 23 material objects, the five objects of senses viz., sound, sight, smell, touch, and taste, are indeed the evolutes of the five subtle elements. The ten organs of perception and action are said to be the evolutes of the mind. So the lord has for brevity spoken about his eight -fold objective matter (prakrati).
My higher nature or para-prakruti, is jiva, the consciousness ,that sustains cosmos
अपरेयमितस्त्वन्यां प्रकृतिं विद्धि मे पराम् ।
जीवभूतां महाबाहो ययेदं धार्यते जगत् ॥७ -५॥
apareyamitastvanyam prakrtim viddhi me param
jiva -bhutam maha -baho yayedam dharyate jagat 7 :05
अपरः–lower nature इयम् -this इतः –than this तु -indeed अन्याम् –the other प्रकृतिम् -nature विद्धि -know मे -my पराम् -higher जीवभूताम् –constituting the life principle महाबाहो O mighty -armed यया –by which इदम् -this धार्यते=is sustained जगत् -world
The material Nature or matter is my lower Nature (Apara Prakrati); but understand O Mighty armed (Arjuna), that my different and higher nature (Para Prakrati) is jiva, the consciousness and life -principle, that sustains the cosmos.
In verses between 7: 05 to 7: 12 Krishna defines the nature of Ishwara or God. There are two aspects of God, inert material Nature (अपरा प्रक्रति) and and the conscious and life giving principle (परा प्रक्रति).The latter is vibrationless transcendental aspect and the famer is kinetic and evolutionary aspect. These two aspects have complimentary and contradictory features. Both are beginingless. The essential differences in them are the following:
Conscious principle. Chetana tattwa
Achetana tattwa Jada
Beyond quality निर्गुण
3 qualities of sattva, rajas and
Immutable changeless. निर्विकार
In a stagte of flux . सविकार
No division Nirvikalpa निर्विकल्प
Subject to division Savikalpa
अपरा इयम् इतः तु अन्याम् प्रक्रितिम् विद्धि मे पराम् –Arjuna you have learnt about my lower prakrati or matter which is inert in nature. Now know that my higher prakrati or para prakrati, which is dynamic, conscious, and is different. It is in the form of jiva or life principle and it supports the whole universe.
The Lord speaks about two types of prakrati -the lower and higher, material and spiritual aspects. The lower is eightfold in nature and in association with the higher prakrati creates the material world. The nature or matter or the lower prakrati is finite and perishable. The higher prakrati is the same as consciouness but individualized or embodied. So it is called jiva or soul and due to association with the matter is enamoured with it and feels that he is the performer and enjoyer of material world. Each man is endowed with free will. He can go in the direction of the material world and get trapped into vasanas. He can move towards the supreme spirit and get liberated from the bondage of birth and death. It is like a man moving away from the sun when he has to follow his shadow. If he decides to move towards the sun the shadow will follow him.
धार्यते जगत् –Supports the universe.The word ‘jagat’ stands for the outside objective world of names and forms as well as interior world of faculty of mind and intellect– the perceiver, feeler and thinker.
Gurudev Chinmayananda gives a good example of how the matter and spirit work together. The steam engine is inert and it cannot have locomotion without the steam. The steam cannot have motive power because it needs an instrument. The engine and the power together make the steam engine move. Similary matter is inert and insentient. The spirit is dynamic and needs the instrument of the matter for manifestation of dynamism. Together they become dynamic.
Some of the technical terms have to be understood clearly since in different chapter they are known by different names according to context. Here is a list.
Apara Prakruti,Kshetra (the field), mother nature, maya, prakrati, Shakti,
Para Prakruti, Kshetrajna (the knower of Field), Soul, Parashakti (CH. 7), Adhyatma (Ch, 8), Akshara Purusha (8 :03), Kutastha (14:16)
The lower and higher nature of my body is the womb of all beings.
I am the source and dissolver of them all.
एतद्योनीनि भूतानि सर्वाणीत्युपधारय ।
अहं कृत्स्नस्य जगतः प्रभवः प्रलयस्तथा ॥७ -६॥
etad -yonini bhutani sarvanityupadharaya
aham krtsnasya jagatah prabhavah pralayastatha 7 :06
एतद्योनीनि –have evolved from the these two-fold prakrati (these two prakratis are the womb) भूतानि -beings सर्वाणि -all इति -thus उपधारय -know अहम् -I कृत्स्नस्य –of the whole जगतः –of the world प्रभवः -source प्रलयः -dissolution तथा -also
Understand that this dual natures of prakrati, the lower and the higher; are the womb of all beings. I am the progenitor and also the dissolver of the entire cosmos.
एतद्योनीनि भूतानि सर्वाणीत्युपधारय –All the creatures Viz., Plant and animal kingdom have evolved from my two-fold prakrati.
Chapter 13:-27 says –
यावत्संजायते किंचित्सत्त्वं स्थावरजङ्गमम् ।
क्षेत्रक्षेत्रज्ञसंयोगात्तद्विद्धि भरतर्षभ ॥१३:२७॥
In the present verse under study the words Kshetra and Kshetrajna have been replaced by words apara and para prakrati.
The matter or the lower prakrati is insentient and has no property of evolution and modification but for the presence of the higher prakrati.
The entire universe including the galaxies is the manifestation of God’s para and apara prakrati.
अहं कृत्स्नस्य जगतः प्रभवः प्रलयस्तथा – I am the cause of origin, growth and dissolution of these two prakratis. I am the cause of shrushti, Sthiti and laya of the universe. (Creation, Sustenance and dissolution) The three activities of srushti, sthiti and laya do not occur in a linear aspect. They occur in a cyclincal aspect. Hence there is no starting point or ending point.
The word ‘Jagat’ stands for the entire universe consisting of sentient and insentient creation. Just as the different waves arise from the ocean, and are supported by the ocean and eventually dissolve into the ocean, all creatures rise, grow and perish in God. In other words God is the sole, supreme cause and ultimate support. A word of caution; the analogy of ocean is given just to illustrate that God is the ultimate support. Ocean is also finite but God is infinite.
Infinite nature of God
मत्तः परतरं नान्यत्किंचिदस्ति धनंजय ।
मयि सर्वमिदं प्रोतं सूत्रे मणिगणा इव ॥७ -७॥
mattah parataram nanyatkinchidasti dhananjaya
mayi sarvam idam protam sutre mani -gana iva 7 :07
मत्तः –than me परतरम् -higher न -not अन्यत् -other किन्चित् -anything अस्ति -is धनंजय –O Dhananjaya, (Arjuna, the conqueror or riches) मयि –in me सर्वम् -all इदम् –this universe प्रोतम् –is strung सूत्रे –on a string मणिगणाः – cluster of gems इव -like
O Arjuna! There is nothing higher than me, or beyond me. All this (creatures and objects) are strung on me like a row of jems on a string of the necklace.
मत्तः परतरम् न अन्यत् किन्चित् अस्ति धनंजय -Arjuna, there is nothing other than me. In the previous verse the Lord had declared that he is the cause and support of the universe, and now in this verse, he denies existence of anything apart than him. These two statements appear to be contradictory. On closer examination it becomes evident that there is no contradiction. The vast expanse of ether is the cause and support of cloud. The cloud has no existence apart from its cause. Similarly, God being the cause and support of the universe, the universe is but a manifestation of God and nothing else than God. Therefore there is no contradiction between the two verses. Effect is not seperate from the cause; therefore the cosmos is not separate from God.
मयि सर्वमिदं प्रोतं सूत्रे मणिगणा इव -Arjuna, there is nothing other than me. Just as different gem stones are strung upon a single thread to make a necklace, all the infinite creatures and objects of names and forms (cows, human beings, birds, and worms, mountains, ocean etc. are supported by God. The spiritual aspect of God is not visible like the thread in a garland. The entire creation is permeated by God. In vedantic parlance, God who is the substratum or supporter of all the beads is called adhishtana (अधिष्टान, आधार). The beads which are supported is called अध्यस्थ . They have no existence
(अस्तित्व) without support of God. Ishavasya panishat explaints this fact more clearly. It says ईशावास्यमिदं सत्वम् यत्किंच जगत्याम् जगत् The entire universe is pervaded by Ishwara. Narayana sutra says: अंतर्बहिष्च यत्सर्वं व्याप्य नारयण स्थितः Narayana has abides inside and outside ov everything.
Sita mai gifted Hanuman a pearl neckalace. Hanuman bit each pearl and threw it our saying “this is a material. There is no Ram inside”. He threw it out and ultimately garlanded himself with the thread of the necklace which supported the pearls.
Applied knowledge or vijnyana verse 8 to 12
Applied knowledge or vijnyana of God. Para Prakruti is innate
natue or essence of a material. It is not visible
रसोऽहमप्सु कौन्तेय प्रभास्मि शशिसूर्ययोः ।
प्रणवः सर्ववेदेषु शब्दः खे पौरुषं नृषु ॥७ -८॥
raso’hamapsu kaunteya prabhasmi shasi -suryayoh
pranavah sarva -vedeshu shabdah khe paurusham nrsu 7 :08
रसः –sapidity अहम् –I अप्सु –in water कौन्तेय – O Son of kunti (Arjuana) प्रभा –light अस्मि –I am शशिसूर्ययोः –in the moon and he sun प्रणवः –the sacred syllable OM सर्ववेदेषु –in all the vedas शब्दः -sound खे –in ether पौरुषम् -virility नृषु -in men
O Son of Kunti (Arjuna) I am the fluidity in water, the light in the moon and the sun, I am the Aum, (Pranava) in all Vedas, the sound in the ether and the manliness in the men.
पुण्यो गन्धः पृथिव्यां च तेजश्चास्मि विभावसौ ।
जीवनं सर्वभूतेषु तपश्चास्मि तपस्विषु ॥७ -९॥
punyo gandhah prithivyam cha tejashchasmi vibhavasau
jivanam sarva -bhuteshu tapaschasmi tapasvishu 7 :09
पुण्यः -sweet गन्धः -fragrance पृथिव्याम् –in the earth च -and तेजः -brilliance च -and अस्मि –I am विभावसौ –in fire जीवनम् -life सर्वभूतेषु –in all beings तपः -austerity च – and अस्मि –I am तपस्विषु –in the austere
I am the sweet fragrance in the earth, the brilliance in the fire, the life in all beings, and the self discipline (austerity) in the austere.
Having given the knowldge as Apara and Para Prakrati of God, Krishna now proceeds to explains in Verses 8 to 12 the applied knowldge or vijnana about God. Whereas the material aspect of God is visible and available to sense organs, the spiritual aspect has to be subjectively understood.
In verses 8 and 9 the Lord shows that the para prakrati is the innate nature or intrinsic character or essence of a material. Para Prakrati is the fluididity in water, it is the light in the sun and moon, it is the sacred syllable of AUM (Pranava) in the Vedas, the priniciple of sound in the ether, and the priniciple of manliness or humanity in man. The message given to us that we must expand our thought from the material aspect to the innate nature or the essence of God. When our thirst is quenched we must revisit God. When eating food we must remember that sustainance is but god. (अन्नम् ब्रम्हा रसो विष्णुः)
पुण्यो गन्धः पृथिव्यां च –Here Gandha or odour does no have a limited meaning of sweet odour of earth. It refers to the principle of odour -gandha tanmatra – which is the origin of earth. Similary the sapidity in water and sound in the ether should be understood to be referring to the corresponding tanmatras but not the objects of senses of taste and hearing.
जीवनम् सर्वभूतेषु -Life stands for the principle of vitality which distinguish them from non living beings. ‘Sarvabhuteshu’—all beings, means in animate and inanimate beings.
I am the eternal seed of all creatures. I am intelligence and splendour of all creatures
बीजं मां सर्वभूतानां विद्धि पार्थ सनातनम् ।
बुद्धिर्बुद्धिमतामस्मि तेजस्तेजस्विनामहम् ॥७ -१०॥
bijam mam sarva -bhutanam viddhi partha sanatanam
buddhirbuddhimatam asmi tejas tejasvinam aham 7 :10
बीजम् -seed माम् -me सर्वभूतानाम् –in all beings विद्धि -know पार्थ –O son of Prithi, Arjuna सनातनम् -eternal बुद्धिः –inelligence र्बुद्धिमताम् –of the inelligent अस्मि – I am तेजः –splendour तेजस्विनाम् –of he splendid अहम् –me
O Son of Pritha, Arjuna, know me to be the eternal seed of all creatures, the intelligence of the intelligent, and the splendour of the splendid.
बीजम् माम् सर्वभूतानाम् विद्धि पार्थ सनातनम् -‘Sanatatanam’ means eternal, that exists for ever and will never perish; God being the ultimate substratum of the whole creations, everything orginates from him. That is why the lord says, “I am the eternal seed of all creations and creatues”. A seed of a plant has a beginning and shelf life. It is not eternal. The Lord identifies himself as सनातनम् बीजम् – eternal seed at several places in Gita. In 9:18, for example, he calls himself as “imperishable seed” (बीजमव्ययम्). Again In 10:-39 he calls himself as “seed of all beings” (सर्वभूतानाम् बीजम्). I am the beginingless cause of all creations.
“गतिर्भर्ता प्रभुः साक्षी निवासः शरणं सुहृत्। प्र
भवः प्रलयः स्थानं निधानं बीजमव्ययम् “॥९-१८॥
“यच्चापि सर्वभूतानां बीजं तदहमर्जुन। न तदस्ति विना यत्स्यान्मया भूतं चराचरम्”॥१०-३९॥
(न तत् अस्ति विना यत् स्यात् मया भूतम् चराचरम्)
बुद्धिर्बुद्धिममस्मि तेजस्तेजस्विनामहम् – All the virtues mentioned here are of apara -prakruti or the lower nature of God. It shows that both the matter and spirit are the same aspect of God. Buddhi or intellect is responsible for restraining the mind and the body and realize the true nature of spirit.
A Blind and lame men were friends. The lame used to sit on the shoulders of the blind and go to places in search of work. On the way, the lame said,”Hey stop for a while; here is a farm with abundant cucumbers. We shall rest for a while and have a blast”. The blind asked, “Are there any grazing animals? Or a watchmen, and is it fenced?” The lame said, ‘Well, there is neither a watchman nor a fence. Comeon let’s go”. Then the blind cautioned that the cucumbers could be poisonous or how else could there be in abundant quantity?
This discrimination is called Buddhi. The Lord says I am that Buddhi.
I am the strength free from desire and attachment.
I am the lust in men in accord with dharma
बलं बलवतां चाहं कामरागविवर्जितम् ।
धर्माविरुद्धो भूतेषु कामोऽस्मि भरतर्षभ ॥७ -११॥
balam balavatam chaham kama -raga -vivarjitam
dharmaviruddho bhuteshu kamo’smi bharatarshabha 7 :11
बलम् -strenghth बलवताम् –of the strong च -and अहम् -me कामरागविवर्जितम् –free from desire and attachment धर्माविरुद्धः –not conflicting with Dharma भूतेषु –of beings कामः –(sexual) desire अस्मि – I am भरतर्षभ –O Lord of Bharaas (Arjuna)
O the best of Bharatas, Arjuna, I am the strength of the strong that are free from desire and attachments. I am the sexual desire in the beings in accord with Dharma (for the sacred purpose of procreation of species after marriage)
बलम् बलवताम् च अहम् -I am the strength of the strong who is devoid of selfish attachment. An elephant has strength. But it is beast strength. The stgrengh in a man is satvik in nature. Since man is an intelligent animal, his real strength lies in intelligence. Man has other strengths; इछाशक्ति power of desire, ज्ज्ञान शक्ति power to know, क्रियाशक्ति power of performance, muscle strength money strength etc. The Lord says that he is strength devoid of Kama and raga. Kama is self- centric desire and Raga is passion or attachment. One must learn to refine the desires but not its elimination.
अहम् भूतेषु धर्माविरुद्धः कामः अस्मि -I am the lust or cupid in human beings that is in accord with Dharma. What is lust in consonance with Dharma? Procreation of the progeny after marriage is a righteous Kama or desire. Desire which is not against righteousness is a manifestation of God. Desire which fits into Dharma can lead you to liberation; but desire against dharma can land you in hell.
A student of Gita gets a doubt about two apparently contradictory statements made by the Lord.
In 2 -55 he Lord says –
प्रजहाति यदा कामान्सर्वान्पार्थ मनोगतान् |
आत्मन्येवात्मना तुष्ट – स्थितप्रज्ञस्तदोच्यते ||२:५५ ||
O Arjuna! When one completely relinquishes all desires of the mind and is entirely contented in the self, by the self, he is considered to be a man of self -realization.
However, now in the present shloka (7:11) he says:
धर्माविरुद्धो भूतेषु कामोऽस्मि भरतर्षभ
“I am the sexual desire in the beings in accord with Dharma.”
A deep understanding will clear all doubts. There is indeed no contradiction. The first was the nature of a perfect man (सिद्धावस्था स्वरूप). The second is the nature of a man who puts in effort for perfection (साधना स्वरूप). Effort is very important to reach a state of effortlessness.Till we are not able to reach a state of effortlessness we should put in effort spontaneously. Look around the nature and you will find effort happening spontaneously in plants and animals. It is also necessary in the process of spiritual progress; a devotee should put in effort for righteous desires. In order to win over vile desires, he should entertain dharmic desires and later on as he progresses he should get rid of all sorts of desires, including the righteous desires and effortlessly silence his mind to become one with God. This is a state of effortlessness.
The Gunas of Sattva, rajas and Tamas emanate from me.
I am not in them and they are not in me.
ये चैव सात्त्विका भावा राजसास्तामसाश्च ये ।
मत्त एवेति तान्विद्धि न त्वहं तेषु ते मयि ॥७ -१२॥
ye chaiva sattvika bhava rajasastamasas cha ye
matta eveti tan viddhi na tvaham teshu te mayi 7 :12
ये -whichever च -and एव -even सात्त्विकाः –born of sattva (the quality of goodness) भावाः -nature राजसाः –born of rajas (the priniciple of activity) तामसाः –born of tamas (the principle of inertia) च -and ये -whatever मत्तः –from me एव -even इति -thus तान् -them विद्धि -know न -not तु –but in reality अहम् -I तेषु –in them ते -they मयि –in me
Know that all manifestations of sattva – the quality of goodness, rajas – the quality of activity and tamas- the priniciple of inertia emanate from me. Though they are in me, I am not in them.
ये चैव सात्त्विका भावाः राजसास्तामसाश्च ये –The three modes of sattva, rajas and tamas are borne out of “apara prakrati” the lower nature of God.
मत्त एवेति तान्विद्धि न त्वहं तेषु ते मयि –Know that they are borne from me. Really speaking I am not in them and they are not in me. (न तु अहम् तेषु न तु ते मयि)
The three gunas are not in God. God is beyond the gunas although he created them. He is nirguna. Mud has to be in the pot, but pot is not in the mud. The metal gold is present in the chain, but the chain is not in the gold. Although I am the creator of Gunas, I am not in them. Like the worldly men I am not in their control. They are under my sway.
Cause of Samsara 13
Why people fail to recognize me? Because they are deluded
by three Gunas of sattva, rajas and tamas
त्रिभिर्गुणमयैर्भावैरेभिः सर्वमिदं जगत् ।
मोहितं नाभिजानाति मामेभ्यः परमव्ययम् ॥७ -१३॥
tribhirguna -mayair bhavairebhih sarvam idam jagat
mohitam nabhijanati mamebhyah param avyayam 7 :13
त्रिभिः -by three र्गुणमयैः –composed of gunas र्भावैः –by nature एभिः –by these सर्वमिदम् –all this जगत् -world मोहितम् –is deluded नाभिजानाति –does not know माम् -me एभ्यः –from them परम् -higher अव्ययम् –immutable
The whole of this creation is deluded from the objects evolved from the three modes of prakrati –sattva, rajas, and tamas; that is why the people fail to recognize me as one distinct from these objects and as immutable.
त्रिभिर्गुणमयैर्भावैरेभिः सर्वमिदं जगत् मोहितं –All this world is deluded by the these Gunas of sattva, rajas and tamas. The prakrati is derived as an evolute of the Gunas. The Panchamahabhutas, the body, mind and the intellect are in turn mutations from the three Gunas.
A very common question is why we are not able to see God? The answer to this question is available in this verse. There is a thick curtain between us and God. They are त्रिभिः र्गुणमयैः by the three gunas of sattva, rajas and tamas. As long as we are under the sway of these three gunas we are not able to see God. The thick curtain is like cataract in the eye. Our sight is restored when the cataract is removed surgically.
Ramakrishna: one more example. We see a big, white screen in a movie theatre. The movie is played on this screen. We see rainfall, inferno, tragedy and comedy on the screen. When the play is over the screen which was invisible so far becomes visible to us.
The truth is the screen is permanent. It is unaffected by what is played on it. The play is not real. It is only a superimposition on the screen. Maya is like the movie played on the screen. It is so poweful that it hides the infinite God.
What is the nature of maya?
Ramakrishna: A traveller was going on a forest trail. All of a sudden three robbers pounce upon him and fleece all his money and belongings. One of them said, “We shall not let him go. He may inform the police. We shall kill him”. He is ani. The second robber said, “Why to kill him? We shall tie him to a tree”. He is rajoguni. All the three moved away. After some time the third robber returned and release him from the tree. He showed him the way to the village. The traveller was pleased. He invited him to his house. The third robber said, “Well I am also a robberer. I can’t come to your house. The police will catch me”. He is sattva guni. Alll the tree are thieves. The difference is in their methods.
नाभिजानाति मामेभ्यः परमव्ययम् – An account of the delusion or the maya the ordinary people fail to recognize the lord as the supreme soul and immutable
Ramakrishna: There is a storey to show how one becomes enmoured with maya and forgets his true nature. Once Lord Vishnu took the avatar of varaha (pig) for redemption of earth. After completing the job he liked the life in the pig form. His family increased. Mrs. pig delivered several litters. The devas were puzzled. What happened to Vishnu, why is he not coming back to Vaikuntha. So they sent Narada who approached the pig and said, “O lord, your work is completed. Please come back to Vaikuntha”. The pig started squeling and said, “No I am happy here”. Narada said, this is a difficult thing. Vishnu is attached to his happiness. Narada, pearced a a trident into the body of the pig. Vishnu came out of the body and said, “I did not realize I was imprisoned in the body of pig”. मोहितं नाभिजानाति मामेभ्यः परमव्ययम्
Bhakti, the remedy for samsara: 14-19
One can cross over my maya by surrendering unto me by devotion
दैवी ह्येषा गुणमयी मम माया दुरत्यया ।
मामेव ये प्रपद्यन्ते मायामेतां तरन्ति ते ॥७-१४॥
daivi hyesha guna -mayi mama maya duratyaya
mameva ye prapadyante mayametam taranti te 7 :14
दैवी -divine हि -verily एशा -this गुणमयी –three modes or gunas मम -my माया -illusion दुरत्यया –difficult to cross over माम् –in me एव -only ये -who प्रपद्यन्ते –take refuse by Bhakti मायाम् -illussion एताम् -this तरन्ति –cross over ते -they
The divine power of my maya consisting of three gunas -qualities – is very difficult to overcome. Only those who surrender unto me easily cross over this Maya.
दैवी हि एशा गुणमयी मम माया दुरत्यया -This divine Maya of mine which is an evolute of the three Gunas. Maya is
described as daivi or devine. It means under the care of God. The maya is a protege of God but appears to have enveloped God. Sant jnyaneshwar gives three examples to illustrate as to how this could happen. The clouds are borne out of sun but envelope the sun. The algae grow in the water but cover the entire sheet of water bed. The cataract grows in the eye but yet veils the eye.
Maya is called ‘एशा mening ‘this’ is a feminine pronoun qualifying the feminine noun ‘Maya”. The lord says ‘this maya’, because, it is the subject under discussion in the preceeding two verses. Three adjectives are given to Maya.
- Maya is called दैवी– divine.
- Maya is called गुणमयी, born of or mutated from three Gunas.
- Maya is called मम माया -my maya.
Mama means mine. The gunas as well as their evolutes is called maya. Therefore, maya includes the material and phenomenal world. This maya is not like ordinary type of spell and sorcery associated with evil spiit. It is the divine illusion borne out of ignorance.
- Maya is दुरत्यया –difficult to cross over; difficult to cross over the sea of maya. It is not like crossing over British channel.
There is a storey to illustrate maya. Once Narada went upto Vishnu and requested him.”O Lord please show me whatis maya”. The Lord agreed. After a few days, when both of them were going for evening walk, the Lord said, “Narada, I am thirsty, Can you please get me some water”. Narada said Ok and went in search of a river. Maya starts here. Narada should have said, Lord, you are beyond the body and mind. Hunger and thirst are the quality of the Pranamaya kosha. How can you be suffering from that? But Narada set out in search of water. He saw a cool stream and when he was babout to collect water he saw a beautiful lady singing nice songs. Narada fell in love with her. They had many children. Once when they were crossing a river in a raft, all the children and their mother fell into water and died. Narad could not suffer the bereavement. By that time he heard the voice of Vishnu. “Narada when are you giving me water?” Narada bent before Vishnu and said, “O Lord I bow to the power of maya, and thank you for showing me it”
माम् एव ये प्रपद्यन्ते मायाम् एताम् तरन्ति ते –He who takes refuge in me by constantly adoring me in absolute devotion can cross over the maya. What is the meaning of constantly adoring me? He who looks upon God alone as the supreme refuge, and goal, and has renounced his sense of possession, as well as attachment is regarded as constantly adoring God. It is the exclusive surrender to God. What is crossing over the maya? Birth and death are the dharma of body. Hunger and thirst are the dharma of the pranas. Pleasure and pain are the dharma of mind. Sense of ownership and doership are the dharma of intellect. Crossing over maya is not like crossing British Channel.
Gaurvi Singhi an Udaipur Girl became world’s youngest open water swimmer to cross the English Channel in 13 hours 26 minutes in September 2019.
One who has crossed over these ‘anatma’ dharmas, and finds unity in God, indeed crosses over maya. This is the meaning of मम माया दुरत्यया
Who seeks God? 7:15 -20
The sinners , misguided fools, lowest of men whose mind
is hijacked by maya fail to surrender to me and seek me.
न मां दुष्कृतिनो मूढाः प्रपद्यन्ते नराधमाः ।
माययापहृतज्ञानाः आसुरं भावमाश्रिताः ॥७ -१५॥
na mam dushkritino mudhah prapadyante naradhamah
mayayapahrta -jnana asuram bhavamasritah 7 :15
न -not माम् –to me दुष्कृतिनः –evil doers मूढाः –the deluded प्रपद्यन्ते -seek नराधमाः –the lowest of men मायया –by maya (cosmic delusion) अपहृतज्ञानाः –deprived of knowldege आसुरम् –belonging to the demons, materialistic tendency भावम् -nature आश्रिताः –having taken to
The perpetrators of evil, the misguided fools and the lowest of men whose discrimination has been hijacked by delusion of maya, do not seek me.
In the previous verse the Lord declared – “those who surrender to me cross over the evil quality in my cosmic delusion called maya “मामेव ये प्रपद्यन्ते मायामेतां तरन्ति ते 07:14.
In this verse, he specifically mentions five classes of people who fail to surrender to him. (माम् न प्रपद्यन्ते) They have a free option to join the Lord’s redeeming power or to stray away from his grace. The five classes are –
- दुष्कृतिनः -Evil doers. The sinners continue to indulge in promiscuous sex relations, cruelty, boozing, and begetting money by illegal and dishonest means and so on, which are the devilish qualities. This tendency has come by vasanas of the previous births. It is easy to get a bad habit but difficult to get rid of it. It is difficult to obtain a good habit, but easy to get rid of it. In the word “habit”, if you remove the alphabet ‘h’ a bit remains; if you remove ‘a’; still bit remains. If you strike off ‘b’ still ‘it’ remains. It is the devilish tendency. An impulsive sinner is like a bird whose legs are tied to a weight. It cannot fly away. Although the sinners have the power of redemption, they cannot use it because of the weight of their vasanas.
- मूढाः –Misguided fools. They have no faith in guru and scriptures. They do not know or even care to know the purpose of human existence. Their only goal is sense gratification and amassing wealth by any means, एनकेन प्रकारेण. Shankara calls one who is a hero in study of scriptures but a zero in realization, as ‘mudhamate’ (मूढमते).
- नराधमाः –They are two -legged animals; their body like humans and mind like beasts. For them surrender is out of question. Unless one surrenders, how can he be free from the noose of maya?
- 4. मायया अपहृतज्ञानाः –those men whose discrimination is hijacked by maya. One who is devoid of discrimination becomes inhuman. “बुद्धिनशात् प्रणश्यति “, says the Lord.
- आसुरम् भावम् आश्रिताः –This is the last entry in the list of five classes of people who fail to surrender to God. असुसु रमन्ते इति असुराः. ‘Asu’ means ‘prana’ or life; asuras are those who can do anything to save their life. Meterialistic tendency, खाओ पीओ मजा करो
They have the demonic propensities as mentioned in chapter 16, such as hypocracy, arrogance, pride, harshness, lust, anger, greed, infatuation etc., they never adore God. Such people do not pray to God. They don’t get redemption and they don’t care for it.
Verse 16 to 30: Bhakti
Four types of virtuous men worship me. They are, the distressed, seekers of wealth,
the seeker of self-knowledge and enlightendd wise
चतुर्विधा भजन्ते मां जनाः सुकृतिनोऽर्जुन ।
आर्तो जिज्ञासुरर्थार्थी ज्ञानी च भरतर्षभ ॥७:१६॥
chatur -vidha bhajante mam janah sukritino’rjuna
arto jijnasurartharthi jnani cha bharatarshabha 7 :16
चतुर्विधाः भजन्ते माम् जनाः सुकृतिनः अर्जुन
आर्तः जिज्ञासुः अर्थार्थी ज्ञानी च भरतर्षभ
चतुर्विधा –four kinds भजन्ते -worship माम् -me जनाः -people सुकृतिनः -virtous अर्जुन –Arjuna आर्तः –the distressed जिज्ञासुः –the seeker of spiritual knowledge or knowledge of para prakrati अर्थार्थी –the seeker of wealth ज्ञानी –the wise who has the knowledge of apara and para prakrati च -and भरतर्षभ –O Lod of Bharatas
Four types of pious ones worship me, O Arjuna. They are: – the distressed, the seeker of wealth, the seeker of self -knowledge, and the enlightened wise.
In the previous verse Ksihna described 4 types of people who do not surrender to him. In this verse he describes 4 types of people who take refuge in him
चतुर्विधाः भजन्ते माम् जनाः सुकृतिनः अर्जुन
Arjuna four types of pious people take refuge in me.
सुकृतिनः and दुष्कृतिनः –In the previous verse 7:15 the Lord described the the destiny of the evil doers (दुष्कृतिनः). Now Krishna lists four types of virtous devotees (सुकृतिनः) who
approach him for benediction. These are: – the distressed (आर्तः), the seeker of self knowledge (जिज्ञासुः) the seeker of wealth (अर्थार्थी), and the enlightened wise (ज्ञानी).
आर्तः जिज्ञासुः अर्थार्थी ज्ञानी च भरतर्षभ
Those who perform holy acts beneficial for the society and for the self so as to move nearer to God are called sukruta or virtous. Those deluded ones who are self -centred and care only for gratification of sense pleasures are called dushkruta or evil doers. By their sinful acts they move away from God. The lord has already discussed about the latter dushkrutas in verse 07:15. He calls the dushkrutas as, the lowest of the men (नराधमाः). Both the attitudes run in our vasanas of over several births.
The four types of devotees described by the Lord are:
आर्तः जिज्ञासुः अर्थार्थी and ज्ञानी Why the Lord has put jignyasu (seeker of wisdom)in the second place? In poetry, the order of writing is not necessarily the order or precedence. Patha krama (पाठ क्रमः) and Artha karma(अर्थ क्रम)
need not be the same. Patha krama is followed to ensure meter of the poem.
- The distressed (आर्तः) – Most people in distress pray to God with faith and devotion for selfish desires. The call could be need of money, healing of sickness for them or their dearest ones, for personal advantage like winning a lottery or election or a law suit. Gita recommends action without a selfish desire. But why the Lord puts those who pray to him only during an affliction as a virtous devotee? The reason is simple. Eventhough their prayers are for selfish benefits, they turn towards God rather than showing their back to him. Hence they are on the right path. God tests our faith by giving extreme suffering. The child Dhruva undertook great penance after his step-mother scorned him and did not allow him to sit on his father’s throne. God was pleased and asked for any boon. Dhruva said, “O God, give me un – attached mind not craving for anything in the material world”. So the child, who desired to get his father’s throne, eventually became disireless in divine presence. Sakama buddhi became Nishkama buddhi. It is like a child holding a coin in his hand. It refuses to open the hand and give back the coin. When he falls asleep, the coin drops off. Similary when the realization comes, all attachments and desires (Sakama buddhi) drop dead.
- Worshippers of wealth (अर्थार्थी) – Such seekers look for God’s aid for attaining wealth, health, power, possessions, position, Awards, Rewards and many material gains. They also perform acts of charity. In a balanced way they are trying to find a good life as well as divine realization.
- The seeker of self knowledge (जिज्ञासुः) – They are the seekers of wisdom. They want to know ‘who am I ’; what is the nature of this universe, who is its creator, what is the goal of my life? What is bondage, how to get liberation’? Etc. They are constantly seeking the knowledge of self to solve the mystery of life. Such people came to Sage Ramana, Aurobindo, etc. from different countries. “अथातो जिज्ञासः” –The Upanishats starts with these words. This task also starts as a sakama errand but ultimately folds up as a nishkama mission.
- The enlightened wise (ज्ञानी) – Among the sukruta Bhaktas, the wise is the last. “These are the sages, defined in the next verse as the greatest of all. Their goal is not acquisition of knowledge, nor they seek the Lord for any ulterior benefit, they have already obtained steady wisdom and divine communion. Such souls are liberated from the temptation, attachment and delusion. They are perpetually united with God within their hearts, unconditionally love him. They live for Him; act for Him.”
The first three devotees are sakama bhaktas, they adore aparashakti, whereas the the enlightend wise, is Nishkama Bhakta and adores parashakti. That is why the Lord says these are my favourites.
Men of wisdom who know my reality and very dear to me
तेषां ज्ञानी नित्ययुक्तः एकभक्तिर्विशिश्यते ।
प्रियो हि ज्ञानीनोऽत्यर्थमहं स च मम प्रियः ॥७:१७॥
tesham jnani nitya -yukta eka -bhaktir vishisyate
priyo hi jnanino’tyartham aham sa cha mama priyah 7 :17
तेषाम् – –of them ज्ञानी –the wise one who has understood para prakrati as aham bramhasmi नित्ययुक्तः –ever established in me एकभक्तिः –whose devotion is to para prakrati विशिश्यते –excels हि -indeed ज्ञानिनः –of the man of wisdom who knows my reality अत्यर्थम् -exceedingly अहम् –me प्रियः –dear सः –he च -and मम –of me प्रियः -dear
Among them the enlightened devotee, ever united with me and single pointed in devotion, is the best; I am very dear to the enlightened wise man, and he is beloved to me.
तेषां ज्ञानी नित्ययुक्तः –Although in the previous verse the Lord mentions the wise the man in the end, he now starts with the wise man at the outset. The mind of the wise man is ever established in God. It never wavers with the oscillating delusive forces of Apara Prakrati. He has lost all interest in the wordly matters, his own body etc. He is in constant communion with God. He is immersed in the thought of God in Jagrat, swapna and sushupti states. He is never separated from God. Unlike the arta, (distress, SOS call for God) Jynani is not a devotee by fits and starts. There is a storey. A child prayed; “O God, my mom is not at home; it is dark, please keep me company.” As soon as the mother arrived, she said, “God my mom has come, you may go now”. This is what an aarti does. As soon as the desired object is obtained, he forgets God.
एकभक्तिः र्विशिष्यते -He wholeheartedly and single pointedly seeks God. He has no devotion for any material objects, divine thoughts are always in his mind. This is called ekabhakti.
अहम् ज्ञानिनः अत्यर्थम् प्रियः – I am exceedingly dear to the wise man. The wise man has renounced for the sake of God all his cravings for pleasure and enjoyments, which are normally so dear to an ordinary man. He naturally holds God in high esteem. God responds to it equal measures.
स च मम प्रियः – “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Mathew 6 :33). – Yogananda. So the Lord says such a devotee is extremely dear to me. To illustrate God’s love there is a storey of Prahlad. God came down in the avatar of fierceful Narasimha. After killing the demon Hiranyakashyap God gave a boon to Prahlad. “I am pleased with your love and devotion to me. Ask for a boon” (प्रह्लाद भद्रम् ते प्रीतोहम् ते असुरॊत्तम). Prahlad said, “Well, I am happy if I can continue with my devotion to you. By surrendering Bhakti and to get a boon I am not a trader”. That is why Prahlad was dear to God.
All the devotees are indeed pious. But the jnyani is my soul
उदाराः सर्व एवैते ज्ञानी त्वात्मैव मे मतम् ।
आस्थितः स हि युक्तात्मा मामेवानुत्तमां गतिम् ॥७:१८॥
udarah sarva evaite jnani tvatmaiva me matam
asthitah sa hi yuktatma mam evanuttamam gatim 7 :18
उदाराः -noble सर्व -all these four Bhaktas एव -surely एते -these ज्ञानी –the wise तु -but आत्मा -self एव – verily मे -my मतम् -opinion आस्थितः –firmly set to liberation सः –he (the enlightened devotee), the knower of para prakrati हि -verily युक्तात्मा –having the intellect and mind merged in me माम् -me एव -verily अनुत्तमाम् –the supreme गतिम् -goal of life
All these seekers are indeed noble. But I regard the enlightened devotee as my very self, because he is ever established in me alone as his utmost goal.
उदाराः सर्व एवैते –All these seekers are indeed noble because they have turned towards God. Tens and thousands of people never think of God; and these four classes of men have turned towards God for whatever reason. That is why the Lord calls them as noble.
A preacher of a church and a taxi driver died at the same time. They went to heaven where Saint Peter welcomed them. The taxi driver was sent inside through a golden gate, but the preacher was ushered in through a silver gate. The preacher protested. He said, “I was in the service of the Lord for my entire life. This taxi driver being a womanizer, and a drunkard never prayed to God. What you are doing is injustice to me”. Then the Lord said, “look my son! We assess people here on their performance but not on their profession. When you were preaching, the people were sleeping. When the driver was driving, people were praying to God” So he is dear to me.
ज्ञानी तु आत्मा एव मे मतम् -In my opinion the enlightened devotee is nothing but my own self. Just as the waters of the river enter the sea and inseperably mix with sea water, the soul of the jnani merges with the spirit completely. You cannot separate them like you seperate mango kernel from its meat. A jnani is considered as an embodied spirit and the Lord, consideres jnani as nothing but his own soul.
Then what about Artra and artharthi? Are they not dear to God? They are also dear to God. They approach God for self gratification. But a jnyani lives in the thought of God He has merged with God.
After many births an enlightened yogi attains me realizing that everything
is nothing but Vasudeva. Such a great soul is hard to find.
बहूनां जन्मनामन्ते ज्ञानवान्मां प्रपद्यते ।
वासुदेवः सर्वमिति स महात्मा सुदुर्लभः ॥७:१९॥
bahunam janmanamante jnanavan mam prapadyate
vasudevah sarvam iti sa mahatma su -durlabhah 7 :19
बहूनां –of many जन्मनाम् -births अन्ते –the end ज्ञानवान् –the wise para prakrati – माम् – to me प्रपद्यते -approaches वासुदेवः -vasudeva, Ishwara सर्वम् –is everything इति -thus सः -he महात्मा –the great soul सुदुर्लभः –is hard to find
After many births the enlightened wise man attains me by realizing that everything is indeed my manifestation. Such an illuminated soul is hard to find.
बहूनां जन्मनाम् अन्ते –at the end of many births. Once he attains the wisdom, that is the last birth. There is no room for despair. The very fact that we have taken up the study Gita shows that we have already crossed several births and liberation is possible right in this life. Girish Ghosh who was into boozing and vices became a realized soul.
वासुदेवः सर्वम् इति –Other than Vasudeva (Ishwara) there is nothing. This is an important aphorism advocated in Gita, a shadakshari mantra (शडाक्षरी मन्त्र). The Lord is all -pervading. The whole creation is a manifestation of God. There is nothing apart from God. Learning a few text books does not make a man wise. Yes, he can stand on the palpit or a platform and influence the people by the gift of the gab. He becomes a wise sage as soon as he personally realizes that everything is vasudeva. The beholder as well as the beholded is vasudeva (God). What he offers is Ishwara, what he eats, what he wears, the ground he walks, the air he breaths are God; he sees God everywhere and in everything. He subjectively realizes that Apara Prakarati as well as Para Prakarati, both of them is part of Ishwara. There is nothing other than Iswhara or Vasudeva.This is the meaning of वासुदेवः सर्वमिति.
The wise man or Jynani shows the highest form of Bhakti or devotion. There is a shift in his attitude from दासोहम् Bhakti to सोहम Bhakti.
There was a man who wanted to sell a golden image of Lord Ganapati, mounted on his vehicle, the mouse. He went to a goldsmith who checked that both had same weight. So he quoted same rate for for both the items. The man protested. “How can you pay the same rate for the Lord and his mouse?” The goldsmith said. “Look my dear; I pay you for the gold value but not sentimental value “The goldsmith saw only gold in both items but not the external appearance.
सः महात्मा सुदुर्लभः -Such a devotee is rare indeed. Very few people reach this state of realization.
With this verse the discription of Jynani Bhakta is over.
Men poached by cravings of material enjoyment seek lesser Gods for fulfilling their needs
Sakama Bhakti (devotion to material ends) : 20 to 26
कामैस्तैस्तैर्हृतज्ञानाः प्रपद्यन्तेऽन्यदेवताः ।
तं तं नियममास्थाय प्रकृत्या नियताः स्वया ॥७:२०॥
kamaistaistair hrta -jnanah prapadyante ’nya -devatah
tam tam niyamam asthaya prakritya niyatah svaya 7 :20
कामैः –by desire तैः –by this तैः –or that ह्रतज्ञानाः –those whose wisdom has been stolen प्रपद्यन्ते -approach अन्यदेवताः –other gods, celestials Apara Prakruti तम् -this तम् –or that नियमम् -rite आस्थाय –having followed प्रकृत्या –by nature नियताः -led स्वया –by one’s own
Led by their own desires, their discernment poached by this or that craving, pursuing this or that cultic practice, men seek lesser gods. (Yogananda)
कामैः तैः तैः ह्रतज्ञानाः प्रपद्यन्ते अन्यदेवताः -Men have multiple desires for sense objects. Sense gratification being the goal of a man, he forgets to think of the supreme spirit and acquire self-knowledge. Such deluded individuals resort to material and religious rituals to propitiate one or the other lesser Gods of heavens such as Indra, and Varuna who are capable of granting those wishes. They forget to worship the God of Gods who gives them greatest gift of merging into his being.
A middle aged childless couple went to Tirupati to pray to God Balaji. Ultimately they came to Kashi. A man asked them, “Why so many temples? They said, “Balaji temple was so crowded; it appears God did not see us, so we are here”. This is a typical example of those who lack the knowledge of self; and they go after shopping Gods. Their discrimantion is deluded by morbid desire for their greed. The mere absence of desired sense object is not really a source of our grief. It is its morbid desire for possessing it (ह्रतज्ञानाः) is the cause of grief. Even if the desired objects are granted their desires do not get diminished. There is a saying in Sanskrit. Chita (funeral pyre) burns the dead body, but chinta (grief) burns the living body.
चिता चिंता समाप्रोक्ता बिंदुमात्रं विशेषता।
सजीवं दहते चिंता निर्जीवं दहते चिता
Sant tulsidas said,
“जहाँ रम है वहाँ काम नहि, जहाँ काम है वहाँ राम नहि”
Where there is Ram there is no craving, and where there is craving there is no Ram.
A couple went to Vaishno devi temple. The goddess is known for wish fulfilment. Husband and wife prayed to Goddess for their fulfilment of their wishes. Then they have to tie a thread around their wrist. Husband asked to his wife,”What was your wish?” The wife said, “I prayed to mother Goddess, please neutralize all my husband’s problems”. But she was hesitating to tie the wrist thread. “She said, “I am afraid the Goddess may take me away being the problem of my
In the verses 20 to 26 Bhakti by an aarti or artharthi is described. They use the powerful tool of Bhakti for cheap, personal materialistic goal; under-utilization of a resource.
One is free to worship whatever form of God he likes. It is I who
make his faith unflinching in that image of God,.
यो यो यां यां तनुं भक्तः श्रद्धयार्चितुमिच्छति ।
तस्य तस्याचलां श्रद्धां तामेव विदधाम्यहम् ॥७:२१॥
yo yo yam yam tanum bhaktah shraddhayarchitum icchati
tasya tasyachalam shraddham tam eva vidadhamy aham 7 :21
यः यः याम् याम् तनुम् भक्तः श्रद्धया अर्चितुम् इच्छति
तस्य तस्य अचलाम् श्रद्धाम् ताम् एव विदधामि अहम्
यः -who यः -who (whoever) materialistic Bhakta of Apara Prakruti याम् –which याम् –which (whichever) तनुम् -form, image of God भक्तः -devotee श्रद्धया –with faith अर्चितुम् –to worship इच्छति -desires तस्य -his तस्य -his अचलाम् -unflinching श्रद्धाम् -faith ताम् -that एव -surely विदधामि -make अहम् -I (by fulfilling his materialistic desire)
Whosoever desires to worship whatever deity with faith (using any name, form and method); it is I who make his devotion unflinching.
यः यः याम् याम् तनुम् भक्तः श्रद्धया अर्चितुम् इच्छति –
Whosoever desires to worship whichever deity with faith. The words who and which are repeated to stress the diversity that there are many types of devotees (aarta and artharthi) and deities worshipped by them. He may worship any saint, deity or a symbol. What is important is that the devotee should have complete faith and devotion in the worship. A devotee worships representative forms of Godhead because for him the worship of the absolute spirit through meditation is not possible. The Lord says that in whatever way people are devoted to me, in that measure I manifest myself to them.
तस्य तस्य अचलाम् श्रद्धाम् ताम् एव विदधामि अहम् -I make his devotion unwavering. The pronoun taam (ताम्) can be connected either to the noun ‘tanum’ form or image or the Adjecive ‘sharaddham’. If the noun’ tanum (form; body) is taken, it means, “I stabilize the faith of the devotee in that particular form of Godhead”. If the adjective ‘sharaddham’ is taken, it means that I make his shraddha or devotion unflinching. When a devotee worships a symbol or a form of deity, God blesses him in that particular symbolic form.
Swami Chinmayananda demonstrates how Bhagawad Gita is a universal scripture. It does not support sectarian approach to God realization.
Krishna says in 7:07 that there is nothing higher than me; and all the creatures and objects are strung on me like a row of jems on a string of necklace.
“मत्तः परतरं नान्यत्किंचिदस्ति धनंजय।
मयि सर्वमिदं प्रोतं सूत्रे मणिगणा इव” ॥७ -७॥
In the present verse the Lord declares, “Each individual has freedom of choice and liberation to worship me in whatever way and whatever form one likes and suits him. The only condition is that he has to worship with unflinching faith. I bless him in that very form in equal measure”
Gita does not advocate sectarianism and intolerance. It does not say that only one prophet or one scripture is exclusively the right teaching. It supports multiple approaches for realization of one truth; paths are many, truth is one. For this reason you can find shrines for the neo- goddess of plague (Plague Amma) and measles (Shitala Devi) too, in India. The followers of Indian religions such as Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs are free to worship in a shrine of each other’s or any other different religion.
One may pray to any deity and get his longings rewarded.
I grant such rewards through the deity of his choice
स तया श्रद्धया युक्तस्तस्याराधनमीहते ।
लभते च ततः कामान्मयैव विहितान्हि तान् ॥७:२२॥
sa taya shraddhaya yuktastasyaradhanam ihate
labhate cha tatah Kaman mayaiva vihitan hi tan 7 :22
स तया श्रद्धया युक्तः तस्य आराधनम् ईहते
लभते च ततः कामान् मया एव विहितान् हि तान्
सः –he, such a devotee तया –with that श्रद्धया –with faith युकतः -endowed तस्य–of it आराधनम् -worship इयते –engages लभते -obtains च -and ततः -from that कामान् -wordly desires मया – by me एव -surely विहितान् -ordained, blessed तान् –those
Endowed with steady faith, he worships that deity and gains the fruits of his longings. Yet such fulfilments are verily granted by me alone.
स तया श्रद्धया युक्तः तस्य आराधनम् ईहते
When a man worships a God for a reward in the form of money, power etc, (सकाम भक्ति) God will create more faith and devotion in the devotee and through the devatas will grant the reward to him. I fulfill the desires of the aarta and artharthi bhaktas by sanctioning the reward.
लभते च ततः कामान् मया एव विहितान् हि तान्
Just as a man is a husband, father, brother, grand father, brother-in-law, all at the same time; the absolute Brahman is Indra, Varuna, Shiva, Laxmipati etc. at the same time. Water is supplied to a town from a particular tank. You may get the water through a GI pipe or a Plastic pipe or earthen pipe, all water has to come from the same tank. Similary the celestial Gods are the different pipes and infinite God is the unending source of water.
Krishna says the sakama Bhakti gets fructified and gradually the lord hopes that the devotee becomes nishkama Bhakta (निश्काम भक्त); transition from religious materialism to religious spiritualism. More puja and Bhakti, more rewards. What happens if the Bhakta does not graduate to Nishkama Bhakti? This is explained in the next verse.
The reward given by the deities are finite. They go to the deities
after death and my devotees come to me
अन्तवत्तु फलं तेषां तद्भवत्यल्पमेधसाम् ।
देवान्देवयजो यान्ति मद्भक्ता यान्ति मामपि ॥७:२३॥
antavattu phalam tesham tadbhavaty alpa -medhasam
devan deva -yajo yanti mad -bhakta yanti mam api 7 :23
अन्तवत् तु फलम् तेषम् तत् भवति अल्पमेधसाम् ।
देवान् देवयजः यान्ति मद्भक्ताः यान्ति मामपि ॥७:२३॥
अन्तवत् – finite, perishable तु -verily फलम् –the fruit तेषाम् –of them sakama bhakata तत् -that भवति -is अल्पमेधसाम् –those of small intelligence देवान् –to the Gods देवयजः –the worshippers of the Gods यान्ति –go to मद्भक्ताः –my devotees, nishkama Bhaktas of para prakrati यान्ति –go to माम् –to me अपि -only
Such material gains of these less intelligent human beings are finite. The worshipers of the celestial controllers (Devas) go to the celestial controllers, but my devotees certainly come to me.
अन्तवत् तु फलम् तेषम् तत् भवति अल्पमेधसाम् – The fruit gained by these sakama aarta and artharthi bhaktas are perishable. The rewards given by them also come to an end. It is like
going on a paid world trip in a good business class flight. Once the payment is used up the trip comes to an end you are back to sqare one. The message is the seekers of sensual enjoyment can gain their objective but had they invested the same effort in the right direction to understand para prakrati or Ishwara, they could come to discover their identity with the absolute self. You have a choice, you can pray for a gift of god or for God himself.
अल्पमेधसाम् – Men of small understanindg. This is a disparaging remark. The lord called them stupid and possessing devilish disposition in verse 7:15.
न मां दुष्कृतिनो मूढाः प्रपद्यन्ते नराधमाः ।
माययापहृतज्ञानाः आसुरं भावमाश्रिताः ॥७ -१५॥
The perpetrators of evil, the misguided fools and the lowest of men whose discrimination has been destroyed by their own delusion, follow the path of devils.
The अल्पमेधसाम् referred to in this verse are dfinitely superior because they are not sinners. They worship some form of God.
देवयजः देवान् यान्ति –Those who worship the lesser deities of go to the lesser deities. These are sakama Bhaktas who worship the apara prakrati.
मद्भक्ताः यान्ति माम् अपि -My devotees, nishkama bhaktas of para prakrati come to me.
There are two ways of upliftment. One is the woship of the deities and the other is worship of the absolute reality. The farmer has short shelf life. The devotee has to come back to this world. The latter is a permanent liberation. The lord calls those who worship the deities as अल्पमेधसाम् – men of small intelligence.
माम् अपि – My eternal being; My own nature; Para prakrati.
The reward given by the smaller Gods are finite and perishable. So they go back to be born again in the world. But the intelligent nishkama Bhaktas come unto me for ever.
People do not recognize my highest and immutable form because of ignorance
अव्यक्तं व्यक्तिमापन्नं मन्यन्ते मामबुद्धयः ।
परं भावमजानन्तो ममाव्ययमनुत्तमम् ॥७:२४॥
avyaktam vyaktimapannam manyante mam abuddhayah
param bhavam ajananto mamavyayam anuttamam 7 :24
अव्यक्तम् व्यक्तिम् आपन्नम् मन्यन्ते माम् अबुद्धयः
परम् भावम् अजानंतः माम् अव्ययम् अनुत्तमम्
अव्यक्तम् –the unmanifested, one who does not have body, senses and mind व्यक्तिम् -to manifestation आपन्नम् –come to मन्यन्ते -think माम् -me अबुद्धयः –the foolish परम् –the highest भावम् -nature अजानन्तः –not knowing माम् -my अव्ययम् -immutable अनुत्तमम् –most excellent
The foolish think me, the unmanfest, as having come to manifestation, not knowing my higher, immutable and peerless nature.
अव्यक्तम् व्यक्तिम् आपन्नम् मन्यन्ते माम् अबुद्धयः
अबुद्धयः – These are the ignorant people, who have no faith in the virtues, glory, reality, and sports of God. They think that Krishna had no earlier avatar, but has come in human form just like any of us. They do not know that I am immortal Brahman who has come in human form.
परम् भावम् अजानंतः माम् अव्ययम् अनुत्तमम्
They do not know my highest and immutable form due to
ignorance. It is only out of his compassion for the world that the lord takes avatar of human and animal forms to save them from destruction and to put the Dharma on a firm footing. However he keeps his identity behind the veil by his ‘yogamaya’.
A great Master, Shri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, who saw God constantly as Mother Kali, conversing often with her, later said: “I had to destroy that finite form of my mother with the sword of wisdom, to behod her as the formless infinite.”
It has been a practice in India to worship God in different forms and finite shapes and apparel. They put an idol to ‘sleep’ in the night and wake him up early morning by
reciting mantras from the Vedas. They sing lullaby to child Krishna. They routinely conduct his /her weddings and birthdays. They lay food and fruits before the idol as a symbolic act of feeding. If a devotee performs such a worship with sincere devotion, God receives the spirit of love behind the offering. He who worships God merely as a finite form will not attain the transcendental divine union with his infinite nature. Peace, security and happiness can come only from Para Prakrati but not from Apara Prakrkati. Krishan says:
अवजानन्ति मां मूढाः मानुषींम् तनुमाश्रितम्।
परम् भावमजानन्तो मम भूतमहेश्वरम्।।9.11।।
The ignorant, oblivious of my transcendental nature as Lord, as creator of all beings, discount also my presence within the human form.
Eclipsed by my own yogamaya, I am unseen by men. The ignorant
do not know my transcendental form and personality
नाहं प्रकाशः सर्वस्य योगमायासमावृतः ।
मूढोऽयं नाभिजानाति लोको मामजमव्ययम् ॥७:२५॥
naham prakasah sarvasya yoga -maya -samavrtah
mudho ’yam nabhijanati loko mam ajam avyayam 7 :25
न अहम् प्रकाशः सर्वस्य योगमायासमावृतः
मूढः अयम् न अभिजानाति लोकः माम् अजम् अव्ययम्
न -not अहम् -me प्रकाशः -manifest para prakruti सर्वस्य of all योगमायासमावृतः –veiled by divine maya मूढः -deluded अयम् -this न -not अभिजानाति -knows लोकः -world माम् -me अजम् -unborn अव्ययम् -imperishable
Seemingly eclipsed by my own Yogamaya (the delusion born of the triple qualities of nature) I am unseen by men. The
ignorant do not know and understand my unborn, eternal and transcendental form and personality.
न अहम् प्रकाशः सर्वस्य योगमायासमावृतः
I am Veiled by my yogamaya, so, I am unseen by men. Why the Lord who is unborn (अजरा) immortal (अमर), and imprerishable (अव्यय), remains unseen (अगोचर) and unknown by the people? Because he is eclipsed by his yogamaya.
Maya is the lady of illusion whose working is secret but the display bold. She is product of the delusion born out of three gunas of sattva, rajas and tamas. Maya is the conditioning through which the one and only one Reality appears to be many, and attractive apara prakrati, saguna Ishwara. Blinded by desire and attachement to finite objects one does not turn towards the infinite para prakrati.
In order to give an indication of this veiling power of Maya, the common analogy given is the capacity of the clouds to eclipse the sun. The sun behind the gathering clouds appears to be hidden by the clouds; which can never indeed hide the sun. It is due to the light of the sun that we can see the clouds, and still for all purposes we say the sun is hidden by the clouds. Similary the yogamaya can never veil the spirit for a finite thing can never bear comparision with the infinite.
The lord uses another word atma-maya (आत्ममाया) to explain the phenomenon of yogamaya verse 4: 6 which is reproduced below:
अज अपि सन् अव्ययात्मा भूतानां इश्वर अपि सन्|
प्रक्रतिम् स्वाम् अधिष्ठाय संभवामि आत्मा –मायया ||4:6||
Though I am unborn and am of imperishable nature, and though I am the Lord of all beings, yet, ruling over My own Nature, I take birth by My own Maya
मूढः अयम् न अभिजानाति लोकः माम् अजम् अव्ययम्
The ignorant do not understand me who is unborn and immutable. They think that I am an ordinary man just like them. When the Lord takes avatar on earth, he plays a drama like an actor. Just as an actor who plays different roles and puts on appropriate costume, the Lord hides his real personality and acts like an ordinary man.
I know the past, present and future. But no one knows me
वेदाहं समतीतानि वर्तमानानि चार्जुन ।
भविष्याणि च भूतानि मां तु वेद न कश्चन ॥७:२६॥
vedaham samatitani vartamanani charjuna
bhavishyani cha bhutani mam tu veda na kashchana 7 :26
वेद अहम् समतीतानि वर्तमानानि च अर्जुन
भविष्याणि च भूतानि माम् तु वेद न कश्चन
वेद -know अहम् -me समतीतानि –the past वर्तमानानि –the present च -and अर्जुन –O Arjuna भविष्याणि -the future च –and भूतानि -beings माम् -me तु -verily वेद -know न -not कश्चन –any one
O Arjuna, I am aware of the beings of the past, the present and the future; but no one knows me.
वेद अहम् समतीतानि वर्तमानानि भविष्याणि च -I am aware of the past, present and future. God’s consciousness is ever aware through out eternity. The Lord has no past or future because he is never interrupted by death or limitation.
Eternal consciousness has one time – the ever present.
The Lord is सर्वज्ञ (All-knowing, omniscient) सर्वशक्तिमान् (omnipotent , entire strength). The time and space is under his control. So there nothing which is not in his knowledge.
माम् तु वेद न कश्चन -I know every one but no one knows me, that means they are in ignorance. No one means those who are आर्तः, जिज्ञासुः, and अर्थार्थी Bhaktas. The ज्ञानी devotee knows my nature as unborn and imperishable.
The maya prakrati or apara prakarati is capable of deluding the people and jiva but not me. I am the master of Maya but not its slave. I know both the apara an para prakruti, also past, present and future.
In Vishnu sahasranama, the lord is described as स्तेनानां पतये नमः (I bow to the leader of the thieves). Why the lord is eulogised as the leader of the thieves? When a burglar breaks
into a house, he remains unseen by all but he sees every one and everything. Ishwara remains hidden by the world but he sees the world. A woman in the veil sees every one but no one sees her face.
Once a thief was being taken to a court surrounded by many police men. A child asked, “Hey Dad why is he surrounded by so many police men. The dad said that he is a theif. Another day the child saw the president of the state taking a salute by rows of policemen in a parade. Immediatley the child shouted, “Hey again a bigger thief”
Swami Chinmayananda says, similarly: “jiva is associated with Maya; Ishwara is also associated with maya. The difference is jiva is a slave of maya (mayadasa) and Ishwara is the master of maya” (mayapati).
“People like us, who believe in physics,” said Einstein, “know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly present illusion”.
The Lord explains why people fail to understand me
Nishkama Bhakti (devotion to spiritual end): 27- 30
इच्छाद्वेषसमुत्थेन द्वन्द्वमोहेन भारत ।
सर्वभूतानि संमोहं सर्गे यान्ति परन्तप ॥७:२७॥
iccha -dvesha -samutthena dvandva -mohena bharata
sarva -bhutani sammoham sarge yanti parantapa 7 :27
इच्छाद्वेषसमुत्थेन द्वन्द्वमोहेन भारत
सर्वभूतानि संमोहम् सर्गे यान्ति परन्तप
इच्छाद्वेषसमुत्थेन –arisen from desire and aversion द्वन्द्वमोहेन –by the delusion of the pairs of opposites भारत –O Bharta सर्वभूतानि –all beings संमोहम् –to delusion सर्गे –at birth यान्ति –are subject परन्तप –O parantapa (Arjuna), the scorcher of foes.
O Descendent of Bharata, O scorcher of Foes (Arjuna)! At birth all creatures are subjected to delusive ignorance (Moha) by the pairs of opposites arising from desire and aversion.
इच्छाद्वेषसमुत्थेन द्वन्द्वमोहेन भारत Arising from the delusive
nature of the pair of opposites. The Lord explains in this
shloka why people fail to realize his true nature. Men are born with the prenatal delusion caused by Iccha-attraction and dwesha- repulsion (इच्छा -द्वेष, रागद्वेषौ).
These two emotions have been condemned by the Lord in verse 3:34 as two priniciple enemies standing in the way of man’s pilgrimage to spirituality. In verse 3:37 it has been declared that desire and anger (काम एष क्रोध एष) are main
incentives to sin and the enemies of mankind. Both these verses are reproduced below:
इन्द्रियस्येन्द्रियास्यार्थे रागद्वेषौ व्यवस्थितौ
तयोर्न वशमागच्छेत्तौ ह्यस्य परिपन्थिनौ ॥३ -३४॥
Attachment and repulsion of senses for their specific sense-objects are governed by the law of gunas. Man should never allow himself to be swayed by them, because they are the principal enemies in the way of his God-realization.
काम एष क्रोध एष रजोगुणसमुद्भवः
महाशनो महापाप्मा विद्ध्येनमिह वैरिणां ॥३ -३७॥
It is desire; it is anger begotten by the principle of Rajo guna that is the impelling force to commit sin. It is insatiable and grossly wicked. Know this to be the foulest enemy on earth.
Owing to the prenatal habits of desires and aversions human being is born with a baggage of vasanas which create
agitations from birth. This is the state of man’s congenital sin. Christians also believe that a child is born with orginal sin.- Yogananda
सर्वभूतानि संमोहम् सर्गे यान्ति परन्तप
Arjuna, all creatures are born with vasanas. From the very birth children are exposed to cosmic delusion and grow up helplessly under it.
A jignyasu and a jnyani bhakta worships me with firm resolve
येषां त्वन्तगतं पापं जनानां पुण्यकर्मणाम् ।
ते द्वन्द्वमोहनिर्मुक्ता भजन्ते मां दृढव्रताः ॥७:२८॥
yesham tvanta -gatam papam jananam punya -karmanam
te dvandva -moha -nirmukta bhajante mam drdha -vratah 7 :28
येषाम् तु अन्तगतम् पापम् जनानम् पुण्यकर्मणाम्
ते द्वन्द्वमोहनिर्मुक्ताः भजन्ते माम् दृढव्रताः
येषाम् –of whom तु -but अन्तगतम् –has come to an end पापम् -sin जनानाम् –of men पुण्यकर्मणाम् –virtuous deeds, selfless actions, worship and devotion ते -they द्वन्द्वमोहनिर्मुक्ताः –freed from the pairs of opposites and delusions in the form of raga and dwesha भजन्ते -worship for माम् -me, para prakrati दृढव्रताः –steadfast vows, firm committment
But persons of virtous deeds, whose karma or sin has come to an end, who are freed from the delusion of pairs of opposites, worship me with firm resolve.
In the previous verse the Lord had declared about the original sin or vasanas. Each child is born with vasanas acquired due to desire and aversions in the prenatal births. In the
present verse, he shows how a jignasu and jnani bhakta attains redemption of the sins (vasanas), by virtuous deeds and becomes free from desire and aversion.
येषाम् तु -the word ‘tu’ has been used to denote the great devotees of God from the ordinary men. The meaning is, as far as the great devotees are concerned…
अन्तगतम् पापम् जनानाम् पुण्यकर्मणाम् -Persons of virtuous deeds whose karma or sin has come to an end. Those who have performed meritorious deeds in successive births, viz. Charity, penance, devotion to God, helping fellow beings, studying good books, singing the glory of lord, adhyana and adhyapana and all holy works without desire and
attachment qualify as पुण्यकर्मणाम् . They free themselves from अन्तगतम् पापम् or vasanas
ते द्वन्द्वमोहनिर्मुक्ता भजन्ते माम् दृढव्रताः –They become free from delusion of pairs of opposites, and worship me with resolve. When the karmas of a person comes to an end, only then he can understand the transcendental nature of God. Pairs of opposites are: likes and dislikes, pleasure and pain, benefit and burden etc. Information becomes transformation and jnyana becomes vijnyana.
For the realization of God, in this verse 07: 28, the Lord lays down three mandatory things:
- Performance of good deeds (पुण्यकर्मणाम्)
- Freedom from pairs of opposites (द्वन्द्वमोह निर्मुक्ताः)
- Worship God with firm resolve (भजन्ते माम् दृढव्रताः)
Suppose you are going by a boat in a river. In the middle of travel you notice that a hole has developed and water is seeping in. You can continue to travel safely provided you are able to through out water faster than the rate of inflow of
water. Similalry, our good deeds so much as to neutralize the karmic effect.
Such a sinless yogi attains deliverance from birth and death.
The lord explains the Jignasu Bhakta in verse 28, and a jnyani Bhakta in verses 29 and 30 of this 7th chapter.
Those who try for self -realization have to surrender to God
जरामरणमोक्षाय मामाश्रित्य यतन्ति ये ।
ते ब्रह्म तद्विदुः कृत्स्नमध्यात्मं कर्म चाखिलम् ॥७:२९॥
jara -marana -mokshaya mam asritya yatanti ye
te brahma tad viduh krtsnam adhyatmam karma chakhilam 7 :29
जरामरणमोक्षाय माम् आश्रित्य यतन्ति ये ।
ते ब्रह्म तत् विदुः कृत्स्नम् अध्यात्मम् कर्म च अखिलम्
जरामरणमोक्षाय –for liberation from old age and death माम् -me आश्रित्य –having taken refuge in me यतन्ति -strive ये -the spiritual seekers ते -they ब्रह्म -brahman तत् -that विदुः -know कृत्स्नम् –the whole, entire अध्यात्मम् –knowledge of self
Brahma tatvam कर्म -action चाखिलम् -whole karma tatvam
Those who strive for freedom from cycles of old age and death by taking refuge in me, fully realize the Brahman and the all-inclusiveness of Adhyatma (the soul as the repository of spirit) and the true nature of karma (Action).
This verse explains how by continuous spiritual practice, the jignyasu or a seeker of spiritual knowledge, transforms himself into a jnyani or the knower and experiencer of spiritual knowledge; in other words a seeker of wisdom experienes jnyana and vijnyana. He gets a complete knowledge of
Ishwara as consisting of para and apara prakrati; or nirguna and saguna forms. But the Lord, instead of using these two words for his two aspects of spiritual nature and material nature, uses a new set of six words to define himself. Three words are introduced in verse 29 and three more in verse 30. -Paramarthananda.
जरामरणमोक्षाय मामाश्रित्य यतन्ति ये –The Deliverence from old age and death is possible only if one secures immunity from birth. And immunity from birth is possible only when the jiva (individualized soul) is freed from the bondage of karma by self-knowledge and realization of God. Self-knowledge or atmajynana is not a crash course. तद्विद्धि प्रणिपातेन परिप्रश्नेन सेवया –by consistent and systematic, spiritual enquiry and practice a Jignasu bhakta becomes a jnani bhakta. Real bhakti is not only understaninding the Lord, but always remebering him for ever.
ते ब्रह्म तत् विदुः कृत्स्नम् अध्यात्मम् कर्म च अखिलम्छ – The spiritual seekers come to know the entire knowledge of Brahman and his actions.
Let us see now which are the six new synonyms of para and apara prakriti introduced by the Lord.
- 1. ते ब्रह्म तत् विदुः -‘That brahman’, or paraprakrati refers to the abslolue formless supreme spirit, the embodiment of truth, knowledge and bliss (सच्चिदानन्द). The wise yogi gets a subjective experience of the spirit.
- ते क्रत्स्नम् अध्यात्मम् विदुः –They come to know the adhyatma tatwa. Adhyatma is the knowledge of self; totality of the
individualized souls or jivas; the repository of spirit. There is no difference between the soul and the spirit except that the individualized soul is in association with the material body.
- ते अखिलम् कर्म विदुः -They come to know the true nature of karma. Karma is the set of selfless mandatory and voluntary works done without desire and attachment. Karma causes vasanas; karma also absolves one of vasanas. An intelligent yogi performs all mandatory and voluntary karmas in a spirit of dedication to God without having any personal interest in it.
A comparison of the contents of verse 07:01 and the present 07:29 /30 makes an interesting reading. All these verses are reproduced below for quick study.
मय्यासक्तमनाः पार्थ योगं युञ्जन्मदाश्रयः ।
असंशयं समग्रं मां यथा ज्ञास्यसि तच्छृणु ॥७:१॥
जरामरणमोक्षाय मामाश्रित्य यतन्ति ये ।
ते ब्रह्म तद्विदुः कृत्स्नमध्यात्मं कर्म चाखिलम् ॥७:२९॥
साधिभूताधिदैवं मां साधियज्ञं च ये विदुः ।
प्रयाणकालेऽपि च मां ते विदुर्युक्तचेतसः ॥७:३०॥
Listen how you shall know me fully without any doubt; for this Arjuna three things are necessary. Your mind should be
focused on me, take shelter in me, and perform the karma yoga practices.7:01
With the mind attached to me
र्युक्तचेतसः (Verse 07:30)
possesed of steadfast mind
योगं युञ्जन् Practising Yoga
मदाश्रयः With dependence on me
माम् आश्रित्य Taking refuge in me
The Lord expounds the nature of his integral being
साधिभूताधिदैवं मां साधियज्ञं च ये विदुः ।
प्रयाणकालेऽपि च मां ते विदुर्युक्तचेतसः ॥७:३०॥
sadhibhutadhidaivam mam sadhiyajnam cha ye viduh
prayana -kale ’pi cha mam te vidur yukta -chetasah 7 :30
साधिभूताधिदैवम् माम् साधियज्ञम् च ये विदुः ।
प्रयाणकाले अपि च माम् ते विदुः युक्तचेतसः
साधिभूताधिदैवम् – with adhibhuta and adhidaiva together माम् -me साधियज्ञं –along with adhiyajna च -and ये -who विदुः -know प्रयाणकाले अपि –even in the moment of death च – and माम् –me ते -they विदुः -know र्युक्तचेतसः –possesed of steadfast mind
Those who perceive me with stead fast mind, my Adhibhuta, the Adhidaiva and the Adhiyajna principles even as late as the time of death, attain me
These three terminologies are explained in the next chapter.
अधिभूत the principle of God behind all beings
अधिदैव the principle of God behind celestial deities.
अधियज्ञ the principle of performing all actions as karmayoga.
अधिभूतम् ये विदुः -–The term adhibhuta covers the whole range of perishable matter, which the lord has referred to as his lower nature (अपरा प्रक्रति) 07:05, and as Kshetra (क्षेत्र) in chapter 13 and as ‘Kshara purusha’ (क्षर पुरुष) in chapter 15.
अधिदैवम् ये विदुः – –The creator or Hiranyagarbha who
ensouls the totality of subtle bodies, who has been also
referred to as Brahma in chapter 8 is called adhidaiva.
अधियज्ञम् ये विदुः -–Adhiyajna is that unmanifest aspect of God who pervades within the heart of all beings as the inner witness as described in chaper 9:4/5/6.
In the beginning of the chapter 7 the Lord defined his own nature as consisting of two aspects- para and apara prkarati; spiritual and material nature or as saguna and Nirguna.
However in the concluding statement of the chapter, the Lord introduces a set of new terminologoies to define
himself. These are adhibhuta tattva, adhidaiva tattva and
adhikarma tattva. The totality of these principles constitutes the integral, seamless aspect of the one and the same God. In other words, they are the same as para and apara prakriti the total picture of Ishwara.
The Lord had promised in 7:01 that he would expound his
integral being (असंशयं समग्रं मां यथा ज्ञास्यसि तच्छृणु). “There is nothing other than me, O Arjuna,” the lord says in 07:07 (मत्तः परतरं नान्यत्किंचिदस्ति धनंजय). Again, in 7:12, the Lord
continues, “all the manifestations of sattva, rajas, and tamas emanate from me” (ये चैव सात्त्विका भावाः राजसास्तामसाश्च ये । मत्त एवेति तान्विद्धि न त्वहं तेषु ते मयि). Further in 7:19 the Lord declares, “Everything indeed is God (वासुदेवः सर्वमिति). Just as water, vapour, cloud, rain drop and iceberg are all nothing but the different forms of water (H2O), even so Brahman, adhibuta, adhidaiva and adhiyajnya all these are nothing but the same as gaining the knowledge of integral Brahman or the God.
प्रयाणकाले अपि च माम् ते विदुः र्युक्तचेतसः – The devotee who worships me with steadfast mind has freedom to acquire my integral knowledge any time in his life including the death time. He not only understands the Lord but also remembers him for ever. Even at the time of death his memory of Lord does not fade.
The word ‘api’ has been similarly used while glorifying the state of brahmic bliss at the end of chaper 2 (02:72) which has been reproduced below.
स्थित्वास्यामन्तकालेऽपि ब्रह्मनिर्वाणमृच्छति ||२:७२||
ॐ तत्सदिति श्रीमद्भगवद्गीतासूपनिषत्सु ब्रह्मविद्यायां योगशास्त्रे श्रीकृष्णार्जुनसंवादे ज्ञानविज्ञानयोगो नाम सप्तमोऽध्यायः ॥ ७ ॥
Thus, in the Upanishad of the glorious Bhagavad Gita, in the science of the Eternal, in the scripture of Yoga, in the dialogue between Shri Krishna and Arjuna, the Seventh discourse entitled; JYANA -ViIGYANA YOGA
Summary of 7th chapter
In the first six chapters (Ch. 1 to 6) Lord Krishna emphasized the individual effort for spiritual progress (त्वम्). The subject matter of the next six chapters, ( Chapter7 to 12) is the nature of the Lord and methods of worshipping him (तत्). The technique of understanding and attaining the grace of Lord is explained.
In the opening first three verses of 7th Chapter, the Lord
introduces the subject of Ishwara and his glory. Whoever worships the saguna Bramha fully surrendering him will
ultimately discover the real nature of God.
From 4th to 11th verse, Krishna talks about the nature of God. God has two aspects, the lower nature or apara prakriti and the higher nature or para prakriti. The lower nature has eight divisions- the five subtle elements, the cosmic ego, cosmic intellect, and the unmanifest. This is called lower because it is inert, finite and dependent. The higher nature is the consciousness that is behind every creation and is responsible for the birth, sustenance and loss of the creations. This is called higher because it is conscious, infinite and independent. From this integral God alone comes the entire creation which consists of conscious and intert aspects (Jiva and Jagat). He alone sustains the creation and resolves it (verse 6). In fact there is no creation other than him and he alone is the very essence of every thing (verse 7 to 11). Being the material cause of every thing God is independent of them and every thing is dependent on him. (Verse 12)
In the 13th verse, the Lord traces the cause of all problems of samsara. Being deluded by the creation which is a product of three gunas (apara prakriti) one fails to know the higher nature of God (Para prakriti).
The divine maya (power of delusion) derived from the three gunas cannot be conquered by one’s own effort. So the Lord gives the solution of total surrender unto Him (Verse 14).
In the next two verses (Verse 15 and 16) Krishna devides the entire humanity into five classes. The lowliest of them are the non-beleivers who do not accept or parsue God. Leading a life governed by their own desires they take to devilish nature. Such people are completely lost in maya. The others, though they are devotees worship the Lord with different attitude because of their maturity. The aarta is the one who worships the lord only when he is in distress. The artharthi is the one who worships the lord for material prosperity. The jignyasu, who is discriminative enough to recognize the limitations material prosperity and a limited approach to God, surrenders to him through knowledge of him. Jnyani is the one who has reached the destination of his life’s journey by discovering his identity with the lord.
In the next two verses (Verses 17, and 18), the lord talks about the superiority of the wise devotee. His devotion is permanent and undivided. He loves the Lord as himself because he does not have dualistic notion. Naturally the lord
also loves him as Himself (verse 17). The lord promises
highest goal for the wise devotee of non-dualistic vision. (Verse 18).
Such a vision is achieved by preparing oneself over many births and rare are those blessed ones (Verse 19). In the following four verses,(Verses 20 to 23) the lord talks about the other devotees who worship the lord but seek ephemeral rewards. They look upon the lord as the bestower of health, wealth, power etc., and they seek those ends through rituals and vows (Verse 20). Still the lord fulfills their prayers out of compassion (verse 21,22). But the lord warns that everything except God is finite (verse 23).
Then the lord reveals his true nature which is unmanifested, immutable and peerless (Verse 24). Still the people deluded by maya mistake the lord as a person subject to birth, death etc., (Verse 25). The Lord being the nature of non-dual awareness, knows everything belonging to the past, present and future. The lord never becomes the object of knowledge (Verse 26).
27-30 Nishkama Bhakti: Concluding the topic, Krishna mentions the last stage of devotion which ends in jnyana. Because of the fundamental self-ignorance, no one can avoid the desires in the initial states of life. Naturally he will be an
Aartha or Artharthi. (Verse 27). When he worships the lord, his mind becomes purified and slowly his desires are reduced and he becomes jignyasu (Verse 28). Now his attention turns towards knowledge and he persues it surrendering to the lord. Soon he becomes a jnyani, knowing all about Bramhan, karma, adhyatma, adhibhuta, adhidaiva, and adhiyajnya. This is nothing but knowing apara prakriti and para prakriti
together. Being established in this knowledge, he does not loose sight of the lord even at the time of his death (Verses 29 and 30). Thus jnyani Bhakta enjoys jivanmukti or videha mukti.