By Sri Swami Sivananda
The Yoga of the Kingly Science & the Kingly Secret
Summary of Ninth Discourse
Observing that Arjuna was a qualified aspirant and endowed with faith, Krishna declares to him the sovereign knowledge and sovereign secret that is to be known by direct experience. He adds that without faith in this knowledge man fails to reach God and is reborn to suffer.
Now the Lord proceeds to describe His nature as the eternal, all-comprehensive Truth. He is everything that is invisible and visible. He pervades everything that exists. He creates everything, sustains everything, and when final dissolution takes place, absorbs everything into Himself. He manifests them again when the next creation begins. All beings who are ignorant of this knowledge are caught helplessly in the cycle of birth and death. In the midst of this creation, preservation and dissolution of the universe, the Lord stands as a silent witness, unaffected and unattached. He is the sole director, sustainer and supervisor of His Cosmic Prakriti.
Ignorant beings are not able to recognise the Lord in one who has realised Him. Although these cruel beings assume a human form, their nature is that of demons. The God-realised Mahatma, on the other hand, is a man of knowledge, and perceives Him indwelling all beings and creatures. He beholds the underlying unity of existence in all names and forms.
The Lord’s divine protection is assured to all those who take refuge in Him. Whatever path a devotee follows, he ultimately reaches Him. He is the goal of the various methods of spiritual practice. Devotion, Sri Krishna emphasises, is the essence of all spiritual discipline. If this supreme element is present, then the devotee is freed from bondage. The Lord observes the motive and degree of devotion. Even the most sinful and diabolical man, if he takes a radical turn towards the path of righteousness and truth, reaches the Lord. Whatever vocation one follows, one can attain the Lord if one seeks earnestly and with loving devotion. The essential thing is to fix the mind on the Lord and dedicate everything unto Him—one’s body, mind, actions, emotion and will.
The Blessed Lord said:
1. I shall now declare to thee who does not cavil, the greatest secret, the knowledge combined with experience (Self-realisation). Having known this, thou shalt be free from evil.
2. This is the kingly science, the kingly secret, the supreme purifier, realisable by direct intuitional knowledge, according to righteousness, very easy to perform and imperishable.
3. Those who have no faith in this Dharma (knowledge of the Self), O Parantapa (Arjuna), return to the path of this world of death without attaining Me!
4. All this world is pervaded by Me in My unmanifest aspect; all beings exist in Me, but I do not dwell in them.
5. Nor do beings exist in Me (in reality): behold My divine Yoga, supporting all beings, but not dwelling in them, is My Self, the efficient cause of beings.
6. As the mighty wind, moving everywhere, rests always in the ether, even so, know thou that all beings rest in Me.
7. All beings, O Arjuna, enter into My Nature at the end of a Kalpa; I send them forth again at the beginning of (the next) Kalpa!
8. Animating My Nature, I again and again send forth all this multitude of beings, helpless by the force of Nature.
9. These actions do not bind Me, O Arjuna, sitting like one indifferent, unattached to those acts!
10. Under Me as supervisor, Nature produces the moving and the unmoving; because of this, O Arjuna, the world revolves!
11. Fools disregard Me, clad in human form, not knowing My higher Being as the great Lord of (all) beings.
COMMENTARY: Fools who do not have discrimination despise Me, dwelling in human form. I have taken this body in order to bless My devotees. These fools have no knowledge of My higher Being. I am the great Lord, the Supreme.
12. Of vain hopes, of vain actions, of vain knowledge and senseless, they verily are possessed of the deceitful nature of demons and undivine beings.
13. But the great souls, O Arjuna, partaking of My divine nature, worship Me with a single mind (with the mind devoted to nothing else), knowing Me as the imperishable source of beings!
14. Always glorifying Me, striving, firm in vows, prostrating before Me, they worship Me with devotion, ever steadfast.
15. Others also, sacrificing with the wisdom-sacrifice, worship Me, the all-faced, as one, as distinct, and as manifold.
16. I am the Kratu; I am the Yajna; I am the offering (food) to the manes; I am the medicinal herb and all the plants; I am the Mantra; I am also the ghee or melted butter; I am the fire; I am the oblation.
17. I am the father of this world, the mother, the dispenser of the fruits of actions, and the grandfather; the (one) thing to be known, the purifier, the sacred monosyllable (Om), and also the Rig-, the Sama- and Yajur Vedas.
18. I am the goal, the support, the Lord, the witness, the abode, the shelter, the friend, the origin, the dissolution, the foundation, the treasure-house and the imperishable seed.
19. (As the sun) I give heat; I withhold and send forth the rain; I am immortality and also death, existence and non-existence, O Arjuna!
20. The knowers of the three Vedas, the drinkers of Soma, purified of all sins, worshipping Me by sacrifices, pray for the way to heaven; they reach the holy world of the Lord of the gods and enjoy in heaven the divine pleasures of the gods.
21. They, having enjoyed the vast heaven, enter the world of mortals when their merits are exhausted; thus abiding by the injunctions of the three (Vedas) and desiring (objects of) desires, they attain to the state of going and returning.
COMMENTARY: When their accumulated merits are exhausted, they come to this world again. They have no independence.
22. To those men who worship Me alone, thinking of no other, of those ever united, I secure what is not already possessed and preserve what they already possess.
23. Even those devotees who, endowed with faith, worship other gods, worship Me only, O Arjuna, but by the wrong method!
24. (For) I alone am the enjoyer and also the Lord of all sacrifices; but they do not know Me in essence (in reality), and hence they fall (return to this mortal world).
25. The worshippers of the gods go to them; to the manes go the ancestor-worshippers; to the Deities who preside over the elements go their worshippers; My devotees come to Me.
26. Whoever offers Me with devotion and a pure mind (heart), a leaf, a flower, a fruit or a little water—I accept (this offering).
27. Whatever thou doest, whatever thou eatest, whatever thou offerest in sacrifice, whatever thou givest, whatever thou practiseth as austerity, O Arjuna, do it as an offering unto Me!
28. Thus shalt thou be freed from the bonds of actions yielding good and evil fruits; with the mind steadfast in the Yoga of renunciation, and liberated, thou shalt come unto Me.
29. The same am I to all beings; to Me there is none hateful or dear; but those who worship Me with devotion are in Me and I am also in them.
30. Even if the most sinful worships Me, with devotion to none else, he too should indeed be regarded as righteous, for he has rightly resolved.
31. Soon he becomes righteous and attains to eternal peace; O Arjuna, know thou for certain that My devotee is never destroyed!
32. For, taking refuge in Me, they also, who, O Arjuna, may be of sinful birth—women, Vaisyas as well as Sudras—attain the Supreme Goal!
33. How much more easily then the holy Brahmins and devoted royal saints (attain the goal); having obtained this impermanent and unhappy world, do thou worship Me.
34. Fix thy mind on Me; be devoted to Me; sacrifice unto Me; bow down to Me; having thus united thy whole self with Me, taking Me as the Supreme Goal, thou shalt verily come unto Me.
COMMENTARY: The whole being of a man should be surrendered to the Lord without reservation. Then there will be a marvellous transformation. He will have the vision of God everywhere. All sorrows and pains will vanish. His mind will be one with Him. He will for ever have his life and being in the Lord alone.
Thus in the Upanishads of the glorious Bhagavad Gita, the science of the Eternal, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna, ends the ninth discourse entitled:
“The Yoga of the Kingly Science & the Kingly Secret”
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