By Sri Swami Sivananda
The Yoga of Wisdom and Realisation
Summary of Seventh Discourse
Sri Krishna tells Arjuna that the supreme Godhead has to be realised in both its transcendent and immanent aspects. The Yogi who has reached this summit has nothing more to know.
This complete union with the Lord is difficult of attainment. Among many thousands of human beings, very few aspire for this union, and even among those who aspire for it, few ever reach the pinnacle of spiritual realisation.
The Lord has already given a clear description of the all-pervading static and infinite state of His. Now He proceeds to explain His manifestations as the universe and the power behind it. He speaks of these manifestations as His lower and higher Prakritis. The lower Prakriti is made up of the five elements, mind, ego and intellect. The higher Prakriti is the life-element which upholds the universe, activates it and causes its appearance and final dissolution.
Krishna says that whatever exists is nothing but Himself. He is the cause of the appearance of the universe and all things in it. Everything is strung on Him like clusters of gems on a string. He is the essence, substance and substratum of everything, whether visible or invisible. Although everything is in Him, yet He transcends everything as the actionless Self. Prakriti or Nature is made up of the three Gunas or qualities—Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas. These three qualities delude the soul and make it forget its true nature, which is one with God. This delusion, termed Maya, can only be removed by the Grace of the Lord Himself.
Thus far Arjuna has been taught the highest form of devotion, which leads to union with God in His static aspect as also with His dynamic Prakriti. Krishna tells him that there are also other forms of devotion which are inferior as they are performed with various motives. The distressed, the seeker of divine wisdom, and he who desires wealth, worship Him, as also the wise. Of these the Lord deems the wise as dearest to Him. Such a devotee loves the Lord for the sake of pure love alone. Whatever form the devotee worships, the ultimate goal is the Lord Himself. The Lord accepts such worship, knowing that it is directed to Him only.
The Blessed Lord said:
1. O Arjuna, hear how you shall without doubt know Me fully, with the mind intent on Me, practising Yoga and taking refuge in Me!
COMMENTARY: If you sing the glories and attributes of the Lord, you will develop love for Him and then your mind will be ever fixed on Him. Intense love for the Lord is real devotion. With this you must surely get full knowledge of the Self.
2. I shall declare to thee in full this knowledge combined with direct realisation, after knowing which nothing more here remains to be known.
3. Among thousands of men, one perchance strives for perfection; even among those successful strivers, only one perchance knows Me in essence.
4. Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intellect and egoism—thus is My Nature divided eightfold.
5. This is the inferior Prakriti, O mighty-armed (Arjuna)! Know thou as different from it My higher Prakriti (Nature), the very life-element by which this world is upheld.
6. Know that these two (My higher and lower Natures) are the womb of all beings. So, I am the source and dissolution of the whole universe.
7. There is nothing whatsoever higher than Me, O Arjuna! All this is strung on Me as clusters of gems on a string.
COMMENTARY: There is no other cause of the universe but Me. I alone am the cause of the universe.
8. I am the sapidity in water, O Arjuna! I am the light in the moon and the sun; I am the syllable Om in all the Vedas, sound in ether, and virility in men.
9. I am the sweet fragrance in earth and the brilliance in fire, the life in all beings; and I am austerity in ascetics.
10. Know Me, O Arjuna, as the eternal seed of all beings; I am the intelligence of the intelligent; the splendour of the splendid objects am I!
11. Of the strong, I am the strength devoid of desire and attachment, and in (all) beings, I am the desire unopposed to Dharma, O Arjuna!
12. Whatever being (and objects) that are pure, active and inert, know that they proceed from Me. They are in Me, yet I am not in them.
13. Deluded by these Natures (states or things) composed of the three qualities of Nature, all this world does not know Me as distinct from them and immutable.
14. Verily this divine illusion of Mine made up of the qualities (of Nature) is difficult to cross over; those who take refuge in Me alone cross over this illusion.
15. The evil-doers and the deluded, who are the lowest of men, do not seek Me; they whose knowledge is destroyed by illusion follow the ways of demons.
16. Four kinds of virtuous men worship Me, O Arjuna! They are the distressed, the seeker of knowledge, the seeker of wealth, and the wise, O lord of the Bharatas!
17. Of them, the wise, ever steadfast and devoted to the One, excels (is the best); for, I am exceedingly dear to the wise and he is dear to Me.
18. Noble indeed are all these; but I deem the wise man as My very Self; for, steadfast in mind, he is established in Me alone as the supreme goal.
19. At the end of many births the wise man comes to Me, realising that all this is Vasudeva (the innermost Self); such a great soul (Mahatma) is very hard to find.
20. Those whose wisdom has been rent away by this or that desire, go to other gods, following this or that rite, led by their own nature.
21. Whatsoever form any devotee desires to worship with faith—that (same) faith of his I make firm and unflinching.
22. Endowed with that faith, he engages in the worship of that (form), and from it he obtains his desire, these being verily ordained by Me (alone).
23. Verily the reward (fruit) that accrues to those men of small intelligence is finite. The worshippers of the gods go to them, but My devotees come to Me.
24. The foolish think of Me, the Unmanifest, as having manifestation, knowing not My higher, immutable and most excellent nature.
25. I am not manifest to all (as I am), being veiled by the Yoga Maya. This deluded world does not know Me, the unborn and imperishable.
26. I know, O Arjuna, the beings of the past, the present and the future, but no one knows Me.
27. By the delusion of the pairs of opposites arising from desire and aversion, O Bharata, all beings are subject to delusion at birth, O Parantapa!
28. But those men of virtuous deeds whose sins have come to an end, and who are freed from the delusion of the pairs of opposites, worship Me, steadfast in their vows.
29. Those who strive for liberation from old age and death, taking refuge in Me, realise in full that Brahman, the whole knowledge of the Self and all action.
30. Those who know Me with the Adhibhuta (pertaining to the elements), the Adhidaiva (pertaining to the gods), and Adhiyajna (pertaining to the sacrifice), know Me even at the time of death, steadfast in mind.
COMMENTARY: They who are steadfast in mind, who have taken refuge in Me, who know Me as knowledge of elements on the physical plane, as knowledge of gods on the celestial or mental plane, as knowledge of sacrifice in the realm of sacrifice,—they are not affected by death.
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 seventh discourse entitled:
“The Yoga of Wisdom and Realisation”
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