CHAPTER VII. God and the World. God is Nature and Spirit.
Bhagavadgītā Translation & Highlighted Text by Dr. Radhakrishnan
Sanskrit Text, Transliteration, word translation By Veeraswamy Krishnaraj
मय्यासक्तमनाः पार्थ योगं युञ्जन्मदाश्रयः ।
असंशयं समग्रं मां यथा ज्ञास्यसि तच्छृणु ॥७- १॥
śrībhagavān uvāca = Sri Bhagavan said: pārtha3 = O Partha; [your] āsakta2Amanāḥ2B = mind2Battached2A; mayi1 = to Me; yuñjan5 = practicing; yogam4 = Yoga; [and] madāśrayaḥ6 = taking refuge in Me; śṛṇu13 = hear; tat12 = that; [as to] yathā10 = how; [you] jñāsyasi11 = will come to know; mām9 = Me; asaṁśayam7 = without doubt; [and] samagram8 = completely. 7.1
The Blessed Lord said:
(7.1) Hear then, O Pārtha (Arjuna), how, practicing yoga, with the mind clinging to Me, with Me as thy refuge, thou shalt know Me in full, without any doubt.
The author wishes to give a complete or integral knowledge of the Divine, not merely the Pure Self but Its manifestation in the world.
ज्ञानं तेऽहं सविज्ञानमिदं वक्ष्याम्यशेषतः ।
यज्ज्ञात्वा नेह भूयोऽन्यज्ज्ञातव्यमवशिष्यते ॥७- २॥
jñānam1 te2 aham3 sa4 vijñānam5 idam6 vakṣyāmi7 aśeṣataḥ8
aham3 = I; vakṣyāmi7 = will explain; te2 = to you; aśeṣataḥ8 = in full; idam6 = this; jñānam1 = Knowledge; [which is] sa4vijñānam5 = Realized experiential Knowledge; [after knowing] yat9 = which; jñātvā10 = knowledge; avaśiṣyate16 = there remains; na11 = nothing; iha12 = here [in this world]; bhūyaḥ13 = again; jñātavyam15 = knowable; anyat14 = besides [this]. 7.2
(7.2) I will declare to thee in full this wisdom together with knowledge by knowing which there shall remain nothing more here left to be known.
■ See III, 4I note. Jñāna is interpreted as wisdom, the direct spiritual illumination and vijñāna as the detailed rational knowledge of the principles of existence. We must have not merely knowledge of the relationless Absolute but also of Its varied manifestation. The Supreme is in man and nature though these do not limit Him.
मनुष्याणां सहस्रेषु कश्चिद्यतति सिद्धये ।
यततामपि सिद्धानां कश्चिन्मां वेत्ति तत्त्वतः ॥७- ३॥
kaścid yatati siddhaye
manuṣyāṇām1 sahasreṣu2 kaścit3 yatati4 siddhaye5
sahasreṣu2 = among thousands; manuṣyāṇām1 = of people; kaścit3 = some one; yatati4 = strives; siddhaye5 = for excellence or perfection. [Among] siddhānām8 = the perfected ones; api7 = in fact; yatatām6 = who are striving; kaścit9 = one by chance; vetti11 = knows; mām10 = Me; tattvataḥ12 = in truth. 7.3
(7.3) Among thousands of men scarcely one strives for perfection and of those who strive and succeed, scarcely one knows Me in truth.
Another reading: yatatām ca sahasrāṇām: "and of thousands of strivers." Most of us do not even feel the need for perfection. We grope along by the voice of tradition and authority. Of those who strive to see the truth and reach the goal, only a few succeed. Of those who gain the sight, not even one learns to walk and live by the sight.
भूमिरापोऽनलो वायुः खं मनो बुद्धिरेव च ।
अहंकार इतीयं मे भिन्ना प्रकृतिरष्टधा ॥७- ४॥
mano buddhir eva ca
bhūmiḥ1 āpaḥ2 analaḥ3 vāyu4 kham5 manaḥ6 buddhiḥ7 eva8 ca9
bhūmiḥ1 = Earth; āpaḥ2 = water; analaḥ3 = fire; vāyu4 = air; kham5 = ether; manaḥ6 = mind'; buddhiḥ7 = Buddhi; eva8 = in truth; ca9= and; ahaṅkāraḥ10 = ego; me13 = of Mine; iti11 = thus; [are] aṣṭadhā16 = eightfold; bhinnā14 = divisions; [of] iyam12 = this; prakṛtiḥ15 = Prakriti, (MAyA power of the Lord). 7.4
(7.4) Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind and understanding and self-sense-this is the eightfold division of My nature.
prakṛtiḥ15 : Nature, which is identified with śakti or māyā,I the basis of the objective world.2 These are the forms which unmanifested nature, prakṛti, takes when it becomes manifested. This is an early classification which later becomes elaborated into twenty-four principles. See XIII,5. The senses, mind and understanding, indriyas, manas and buddhi, belong to the lower, the material nature. For, according to the Sāṁkhya psychology, which is accepted by the Vedanta, they effect contact with objects and consciousness results only when the spiritual subject, puruṣa, illuminates them. When the self illumines, the activities of the senses, of mind and of understanding become processes of knowledge and objects become objects of knowledge. Ahaṁkāra or the self-sense belongs to the "object" side. It is the principle by which the ego relates objects to itself. It attributes to itself the body and the senses connected with it. It effects the false identification of the body with the spiritual subject and the sense of ''I" or "my" is produced.
I māyākhyā parameśvarī śaktir anirvacanīyasvabhāvā triguṇātmikā.
2 jaḍaprapañcopādānabhūta. Nīlakaṇṭha.
अपरेयमितस्त्वन्यां प्रकृतिं विद्धि मे पराम् ।
जीवभूतां महाबाहो ययेदं धार्यते जगत् ॥७- ५॥
tvanyāṁ prakṛtiṁ viddhi me parām
tu4 = However; itaḥ3 = besides; iyam2 = this; aparā1 = lower; prakṛtim6 = Prakrti [Material Nature]; viddhi7 = know; me8 = My; anyām5 = other; parām9 = Superior [Nature]; mahābāho11 = O Might-armed One: jīva-bhūtām10 = the Life-Being [the Universal soul]; yayā12 = by which; idam13 = this; jagat15 = world; dhāryate14 = is maintained. 7.5
(7.5) This is My lower nature. Know My other and higher nature which is the soul, by which this world is upheld. O Mighty-armed (Arjuna).
The Supreme is Īśvara, the personal Lord of the universe who contains conscious souls [Kṣetrajña) and unconscious nature (Kṣetra). The two are regarded as His higher (parā) and lower (aparā) aspects. He is the life and form of every being.1The Universal Being of God includes the totality of the unconscious in His lower nature and the totality of the conscious in His higher. The embodiment of the soul in body, life, sense, mind and understanding gives us the ego, which uses the material setting for its activity. Each individual has two sides, the soul and the image, Kṣetrajña and Kṣetra. These are the two natures of Īśvara who is superior to them both.2 The Old Testament teaches creation out of nothing. Plato and Aristotle assume a primitive matter to which God gives form. God is an artificer or architect rather than a creator, for primitive substance is thought of as eternal and uncreated and only form is due to the will of God. For Christian thinkers, God creates not from any pre-existent matter but out of nothing. Both matter and form are derived from God. A similar view is set forth in this verse. The Jīva is only a partial manifestation of the Supreme.3 The integral undivided reality of the Supreme appears divided into the multiplicity of souls.4 The unity is the truth and multiplicity is an expression of it and so is a lower truth but not an illusion.
1 viśuddhāṁ prakṛtiṁ mamātmabhūtāṁ viddhi me parāṁ prakṛṣtāṁ jīvabhūtaṁ Kṣetrajñalakṣaṇaṁ, prāṇadhāraṇanimittabhūtam. s
2Cp. the Bhāgavata.
Salutations unto Thee the Self, the sovereign of all, the witness, the great spirit, the source of souls as well as of the ever productive nature.
Kṣetrajñāya namas tubhyaṁ sarvādhyakṣāya sākṣine puruṣāy ātmamūlāya mūlaprakṛtaye namaḥ. -- VIII. 3 13.
3 XV, 7. 4XIII, 10.
एतद्योनीनि भूतानि सर्वाणीत्युपधारय ।
अहं कृत्स्नस्य जगतः प्रभवः प्रलयस्तथा ॥७- ६॥
etadyonīni bhūtāni sarvāṇīty upadhāraya
etat1 yonīni2 bhūtāni3 sarvāṇi4 īti5 upadhāraya6
upadhāraya6 = Understand; īti5 = thus; sarvāṇi4 = all; bhūtāni3 = entities [sentient and insentient]; [have] etat1 = these [two Natures of Mine]; [as] yonīni2 = the source. aham7 = I; [am] tathā12 = also; prabhavaḥ10 = the origin; [and] pralayaḥ11 = the dissolution; kṛtsnasya8 = of the whole; jagataḥ9 = world. 7.6
(7.6) Know that all beings have their birth in this. I am the origin of all this world and its dissolution as well.
■ The world with all its becomings is from the Supreme 1 and at the time of dissolution is withdrawn into Him. Cp. Taittīrīya Up., III. God includes the universe within Himself, projects it from and resumes it within Himself, that is, His own nature.
1 Cp. XIV, 3, mama yonir mahad brahmā. See also Muṇḍaka Up. I, 1, 6 and III, 1, 3. akṣaraṁ bhūtayonim ... puruṣaṁ bhūtayonim Brahma Sūtra: yonis' ca gīyate. I, 4, 27.
मत्तः परतरं नान्यत्किंचिदस्ति धनंजय ।
मयि सर्वमिदं प्रोतं सूत्रे मणिगणा इव ॥७- ७॥
nānyat kiṁcid asti dhanaṁjaya
mattaḥ1 parataram2 na3 anyat4A kiṁcit4B asti5 dhanañjaya6
asti5 = There is; na3 = no; anyat4A = other; kiṁcit4B = thing ; parataram2 = higher; mattaḥ1 = than Me; dhanañjaya6 = O Dhannjaya. sarvam9 = All; idam10 = this [universe] protam11 = is strung mayi8 = on Me; iva14 = like; maṇigaṇāḥ13 = pearls; sūtre12 = on a thread. 7.7
(7.7) There is nothing whatever that is higher than I, O Winner of wealth (Arjuna). All that is here is strung on me as rows of gems on a string.
■ There is no other higher principle than Īśvara who effects everything and is everything. The existences of the world are held together by the Supreme Spirit even as the gems are by the string.
रसोऽहमप्सु कौन्तेय प्रभास्मि शशिसूर्ययोः ।
प्रणवः सर्ववेदेषु शब्दः खे पौरुषं नृषु ॥७- ८॥
raso.aham apsu kaunteya prabhāsmi śaśisūryayoḥ
rasaḥ1 aham2 apsu3 kaunteya4 prabhā5 asmi6
aham2 = I [am]; rasaḥ1 = the taste; apsu3 = in water; kaunteya4 = O Kaunteya. asmi6 = I am; prabhā5 = the light; śaśi-sūryayoḥ7 = of the moon and the sun. [I am] praṇavaḥ8 = Om [AUM]; sarva9 = in all. [i am] vedeṣu10 = the Vedas; śabdaḥ11 khe12 = the sound11 in the Ether12; [and] pauruṣam13 nṛṣu14 = virility13 in men14. 7.8
(7.8) I am the taste in the waters, O Son of Kunti (Arjuna), I am the light in the moon and the sun. I am the syllable Aum in all the Vedas; I am the sound in ether and manhood in men.
पुण्यो गन्धः पृथिव्यां च तेजश्चास्मि विभावसौ ।
जीवनं सर्वभूतेषु तपश्चास्मि तपस्विषु ॥७- ९॥
tejaś cāsmi vibhāvasau
puṇyaḥ1 gandhaḥ2 pṛthivyām3 ca4 tejaḥ5 ca6 asmi7 vibhāvasau8
asmi7 = I am; puṇyaḥ1 = pleasant; gandhaḥ2 = fragrance; pṛthivyām3 = in the earth; ca4 = and; tejaḥ5 = brightness; vibhāvasau8 = in the fire; ca6 = and; jīvanam9 = life; [in] sarva10 = all; bhūteṣu11 = beings; ca13 = and; asmi14 = I am; tapaḥ12 = the austerity; tapasviṣu15 = of Tapsvis or ascetics. 7.9
(7.9) I am the pure fragrance in earth and brightness in fire. I am the life in all existences and the austerity in ascetics.
■ Cp, "Thou art Reality, the Divine Spirit, not material, not lifeless. Thou art the life of the universe, the life of all creatures.1
1tvaṁ satyaṁ devadevātmaṁ na jaḍo na mṛtopi vā,
jagatāṁ jīvitaṁ ca tvam prāṇināṁ jīvitaṁ tathā.
बीजं मां सर्वभूतानां विद्धि पार्थ सनातनम् ।
बुद्धिर्बुद्धिमतामस्मि तेजस्तेजस्विनामहम् ॥७- १०॥
bījaṁ māṁ sarvabhūtānāṁ viddhi
sarva-bhūtānām3 viddhi4 pārtha5 sanātanam6
pārtha5 = O Partha; viddhi4 = know; mām2 = Me; sanātanam6 = the eternal; bījam1 = seed; sarva-bhūtānām3 = of all living beings; asmi9 = I am; buddhiḥ7 = the intellect; buddhimatām8 = of the intelligent; aham12 = I am; tejas10 = the brilliance; tejasvinām11 = of the brilliant. 7.10
(7.10) Know Me, O Partha (Arjuna), to be the eternal seed of all existences. I am the intelligence of the intelligent; I am the splendor of the splendid.
बलं बलवतां चाहं कामरागविवर्जितम् ।
धर्माविरुद्धो भूतेषु कामोऽस्मि भरतर्षभ ॥७- ११॥
balam1 balavatām2 ca3 aham4
kāma5 rāga6 vivarjitam7
aham4 = I; [am] balam1 = the strength; balavatām2 = of the strong; vivarjitam7 = free from; kāma5 = desire; ca3 = and; rāga6 = passion. asmi11 = I am; kāmaḥ10 = desire; dharma-aviruddhaḥ8 = not opposed to righteousness; bhūteṣu9 = in beings; bharata-rṣabha12 = O the Best of Bharata clan. 7.11.
(7.11) I am the strength of the strong, devoid of desire and passion. In beings am I the desire which is not contrary to law, O Lord of the Bharatas (Arjuna).
■ kāmarāga: desire and passion. S. distinguishes kāma as desire for what is absent1 and rāga as affection for what one has obtained.2 Desire as such is not evil. Selfish desire requires to be rooted out. The desire for union with the Divine is not wrong. Chāndogya Up. refers to desires as essentially real (satya), though
overlaid by what is unreal (anṛta) , VIII, 3. Our desires and activities, if they are expressive of the spirit in us and derive from the true spiritual personality, become a pure overflowing of the Divine will.
1 kamaḥ 'ṛṣṇā asannikṛṣṭesu viṣayeṣu
2 rāgaḥ, rañjanā prāpteṣu viṣayeṣu.
ये चैव सात्त्विका भावा राजसास्तामसाश्च ये ।
मत्त एवेति तान्विद्धि न त्वहं तेषु ते मयि ॥७- १२॥
ye1 ca2 eva3 sātvikāḥ4 bhāvāḥ5 rājasāḥ6
tāmasāḥ7 ca8 ye9
ye1 = Those; bhāvāḥ5 = states of being; sātvikāḥ4 = of virtue; eva3 = indeed; ye9 = those; rājasāḥ6 = of passion; ca2 = and; tāmasāḥ7 = of darkness; viddhi14 = know; tān13 = them; [to spring] mattaḥ10 = from Me; eva11 = indeed; iti12 = thus; tu16 = however; aham17 = I; [am] na15 = not; teṣu18 = in them;ca8 = and; te19 = they; [are] mayi20 = in Me. 7.12
(7.12) And whatever states of being there may be, be they harmonious (sāttvika), passionate (rājasa), slothful (tāmasa) --know thou that they are all from Me alone. I am not in them, they are in Me.
■ The author rejects the Sāṁkhya doctrine of the independence of prakṛti, He asserts that everything constituted by the three guṇas is in no sense a self-dependent essence independent of God, but springs from Him alone. While He contains and comprehends all, they do not contain and comprehend Him. This is the distinction between God and His creatures. They are all informed by the Divine but their changes do not touch the integrity of the Divine. He is not subject to anyone else, while all things are subject to Him.
त्रिभिर्गुणमयैर्भावैरेभिः सर्वमिदं जगत् ।
मोहितं नाभिजानाति मामेभ्यः परमव्ययम् ॥७- १३॥
bhāvair ebhiḥ sarvam idaṁ jagat
tribhiḥ1 guṇamayaiḥ2 bhāvaiḥ3 ebhiḥ4 sarvam5 idam6 jagat7
idam6 = This; sarvam5 = whole; jagat7 = universe; mohitam8 = deluded; ebhiḥ4 = by these; tribhiḥ1 = three; bhāvaiḥ3 = states of being; guṇamayaiḥ2 = made of gunas; na9 = does not; abhijānāti10 = know; mām11 = Me; param13 = the Supreme; [and] avyayam14 = the imperishable; [different] ebhyaḥ12 = from these [gunas]; 7.13
(7.I3) Deluded by these threefold modes of nature (guṇas) this whole world does not recognize Me who am above them and imperishable.
■ S. says that the Supreme expresses His regret that the world does not know Him, the Supreme Lord who is, by nature, eternal, pure, enlightened and free, the self of all beings, devoid of attributes; by knowing whom the seed of the evil of saṁsāra is burnt Up.1 We see the changing forms and not the Eternal Being of which the forms are the manifestations. We see the shifting forms as Plato's dwellers in the cave see the shadows on the wall. But we must see the Light from which the shadows emanate.
1 evambhūtam api parameśvaraṁ nityaśuddhabuddhamuktasvabhāvaṁ
sarvabhūtātmānaṁ, nirguṇaṁ saṁsāradoṣabījapradāhakāraṇaṁ,
māṁ, nābhijānāti jagad ity anukrośaṁ darśayati bhagavān.
दैवी ह्येषा गुणमयी मम माया दुरत्यया ।
मामेव ये प्रपद्यन्ते मायामेतां तरन्ति ते ॥७- १४॥
mama māyā duratyayā
daivī1 hi2 eṣā3 guṇa-mayī4 mama5 māyā6 duratyayā7
eṣā3 = This; daivī1 = divine; māyā6 = Maya; mama5 = of Mine; guṇa-mayī4 = made of three gunas; [is] hi2 = indeed; duratyayā7 = inscrutable. eva9 = Certainly; ye10 = they who; prapadyante11 = take refuge; mām8 = in Me; te15 = they; taranti14 = cross across; etām13 = this; māyām12 = Maya. 7.14
(7.14) This divine māyā of Mine, consisting of the modes is hard to overcome. But those who take refuge in Me alone cross beyond it.
■ daivī: divine. Supernatural1 or belonging to the supreme Lord.2
■ māyām etāṁ taranti:3 cross beyond the māyā. They cross beyond the world of māyā which is the source of delusion.
■ R. makes out that māyā is that which is capable of producing marvelous effects.
1alaukikī atyadbhuteti. Śrīdhara.
2 devasya jīvarūpeṇa līlayā krīḍato mamasaṁbandhinīyam daivī.--Nīlakaṇṭha.
3 māyām sarvabhūtamohinim taranti, saṁsārabandhanāt mucyante. S.
न मां दुष्कृतिनो मूढाः प्रपद्यन्ते नराधमाः ।
माययापहृतज्ञाना आसुरं भावमाश्रिताः ॥७- १५॥
na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ
na1 mām2 duṣkṛtinaḥ3 mūḍhāḥ4 prapadyante5 nara-adhamāḥ6
duṣkṛtinaḥ3 = The evil doers; mūḍhāḥ4 = the ignorant; [and] nara-adhamāḥ6 = the lowest among men; [who] [are] apahṛta8 = robbed of; jñānāḥ9 = wisdom; māyayā7 = by Maya; [and who] āśritāḥ12 = resort to; āsuram10 = demonic; bhāvam11 = nature; na1 = do not; prapadyante5 = seek refuge; mām2 = in Me; 7.15
(7.I5) The Evil doers who are foolish, low in the human scale, whose minds are carried away by illusion and who partake of the nature of demons do not seek refuge in Me.
■ The evil doers cannot attain to the Supreme, for their mind and will are not instruments of the Spirit but of the ego. They do not seek to master their crude impulses but are a prey to the rajas and tamas in them. If we control them by the sattva in us, our action becomes ordered and enlightened and ceases to be the result of passion and ignorance. To get beyond the three guṇas, we have to attain first the rule of sattva. We have to become ethical, before we can become spiritual. At the spiritual level, we cross the dualities and act in the light and strength of the Spirit in us. We do not act then to gain any personal interest or avoid personal suffering but only as the instrument of the Divine.
Different Kinds of Devotion
चतुर्विधा भजन्ते मां जनाः सुकृतिनोऽर्जुन ।
आर्तो जिज्ञासुरर्थार्थी ज्ञानी च भरतर्षभ ॥७- १६॥
māṁ janāḥ sukṛtinorjuna
caturvidhāḥ1 bhajante2 mām3 janāḥ4 sukṛtinaḥ5 arjuna6
arjuna6 = O Arjuna; bharatarṣabha12 = the Best of Bharatas; caturvidhāḥ1 = four kinds; [of] janāḥ4 = people ; [of] sukṛtinaḥ5 = virtuous acts; bhajante2 = worship; mām3 = Me: ārtaḥ7 = the afflicted, the fallen [the seeker of relief from affliction]; jijñāsuḥ8 = the seeker of Knowledge; arthārthī9 = the seeker of wealth; ca11 = and; jñānī10 = the seeker of Knowledge. 7.16
(7.16) The virtuous ones who worship Me are of four kinds, the man in distress, the seeker for knowledge, the seeker for wealth and the man of wisdom, O Lord of the Bharatas (Arjuna).
■ sukṛtinaḥ5: virtuous ones. Those who are disposed towards the higher life on account of their past virtuous conduct.1 The afflicted, those in distress, who have suffered losses are one class. Those who are desirous of wealth, dhanakāma (S.), who
wish to improve their material position are another. The third group are devout and upright and wish to know the truth. They are on the right way. The fourth are the Jñānis, they who know. R. interprets jñāna or wisdom as devotion to one alone, ekabhakti.
■ M.B. speaks of four classes of devotees of whom three are phalakāmā or desirous of rewards while the best are single-minded worshippers.2 Others ask for favors, but the sage asks nothing and refuses nothing. He yields himself completely to the Divine, accepting whatever is given to him. His attitude is one of selfoblivious non-utilitarian worship of God for His own sake.
I pūrvajanmasu ye kṛtapuṇyā janāḥ. Śrīdhara.
2 caturvidhā mama janā bhaktā evam hi me ṣrutam
teṣām ekāntinaḥ śreṣṭhā ye caivanānyadevatāḥ.--Sāntiparva, 341. 33.
तेषां ज्ञानी नित्ययुक्त एकभक्तिर्विशिष्यते ।
प्रियो हि ज्ञानिनोऽत्यर्थमहं स च मम प्रियः ॥७- १७॥
nityayukta ekabhaktir viśiṣyate
teṣām1 jñānī2 nitya-yuktaḥ3 eka-bhaktiḥ4 viśiṣyate5
teṣām1 = Of them; jñānī2 = Jnani, man of Knowledge; nitya-yuktaḥ3 = in constant union with [Me]; eka-bhaktiḥ4 = in one-pointed devotion; viśiṣyate5 = is superior. hi7 = Accordingly; aham11 = I; [am] atyartham10 = greatly; priyaḥ6 = dear; jñāninaḥ8 = to the man of Knowledge; ca13 = and; saḥ12 = he; [is] priyaḥ15 = dear; mama14 = to me. 7.17
(7.I7) Of these the wise one, who is ever in constant union with the Divine, whose devotion is single-minded, is the best. For I am supremely dear to him and he is dear to Me.
■ So long as we are seekers, we are still in the world of duality
but when we have attained wisdom, there is no duality. The sage unites himself with the One Self in all.
उदाराः सर्व एवैते ज्ञानी त्वात्मैव मे मतम् ।
आस्थितः स हि युक्तात्मा मामेवानुत्तमां गतिम् ॥७- १८॥
udārāḥ sarva evaite jñānī tv ātmaiva me matam
eva3 ete4 jñānī5 tu6 ātma7 eva8 me9 matam10
sarve2 ete4 = All2 these4 [aforementioned four]; [are] eva3 = indeed; udārāḥ1 = noble, exalted; tu6 = but; jñānī5 = Jnani [the seeker of knowledge]; [is] ātma7 eva8 = verily8 Myself7. [This is] me9 = My; matam10 = opinion; hi13 = for; saḥ12 = he; [whose] yuktātmā14 = mind is engaged; [and] āsthitaḥ11 = abiding; mām15 eva16 = in Me15 alone16; [has Me as] anuttamām17 = the unsurpassed; gatim18 = goal. 7.18
(7.18) Noble indeed are all these but the sage, I hold, is verily Myself. For being perfectly harmonized, he resorts to Me alone as the highest goal.
■ udārāḥ1 sarve2 eva3 ete4: noble indeed are all these. We pray to avoid emotional suffering (ārtaḥ), gain practical advantages (arthārthi), obtain intellectual satisfaction (jijñāsuḥ) or gain wisdom (jñāni). All these are noble. Even if we pray for material things, turn prayer into a formal routine or use it as a mascot, we recognize the reality of the religious sense. Prayer is the effort of man to reach God. It assumes that there is an answering Presence in the world. If we ask, it shall be given to us. Through the exercise of prayer, we kindle a light in our consciousness which shows up our silly pride, our selfish greed, our fears and hopes. It is a means for the building up of an integral personality, a harmony of body, mind and spirit. Slowly we feel that it is degrading to pray for luck in life or success in examinations. We pray that we may know the Divine and be more and more like Him. Prayer is a way of life. Slowly it becomes the practice of the presence of God. It is jñāna, integral wisdom, divine life. The jñāni who knows God as He is, loves God for what He is. He lives in the Divine. God is dear to him as he is dear to God. While the first three types attempt to use God according to their ideas, the knowers belong to God to be used according to His will. Therefore they are the best of them all. It is possible that, when we are in deep distress, we may pray with such single-heartedness and intensity, to be relieved of our agony. If such a prayer be answered, it may be thwarting the purpose of God which we are unable to see in our blindness. The jñāni, however, has the purity of heart and singleness of will to see the plan of God and ask for its realization. "Thy will, not mine, be done."
बहूनां जन्मनामन्ते ज्ञानवान्मां प्रपद्यते ।
वासुदेवः सर्वमिति स महात्मा सुदुर्लभः ॥७- १९॥
ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate
bahūnām1 janmanām2 ante3 jñānavān4 mām5 prapadyate6
ante3 = At the end; bahūnām1 = of many; janmanām2 = births; jñānavān4 = man of wisdom; prapadyate6 = takes refuge [in], arrive [at], resort; mām5 = to Me; vāsudevaḥ7 = Vasudeva. iti9 = As you know; [Vasudeva is] sarvam8 = all; saḥ10 = he; [who knows Me as such is] mahātmā11 = a great soul; [who is] su-durlabhaḥ12 = difficult to be obtained. 7.19
(7.I9) At the end of many lives" the man of wisdom resorts to Me. knowing that Vāsudeva (the Supreme) is all that is. Such a great soul is very difficult to find.
■ bahūnām1 janmanām2 ante3: at the end of many lives. The realization of the truth is a work of ages. One cannot expect to obtain the reward until one has sounded well the depths of experience in its varied complexity, and all this takes time. God lets the
plant grow at its own pace. It takes nine months to make a natural baby and it will take a much longer time to make a spiritual one. The total transformation of nature is a long process.
■ vāsudevaḥ7 sarvam8: Vasudeva is all. Vasudeva is the lord of the life which dwells in all.1 God is all in virtue of His two natures.
■ R. means by this phrase that "Vasudeva is my all." It refers to God's imperishable majesty felt by the devotee who is humble and trustful. God is all while we are nothing. Like everything else, man cannot exist without God also existing at the same time. We trustfully resign ourselves to His hands confessing that He is all. It is a consciousness of humility towards God who is everything and who truly is.
■ "Vāsudeva is the cause of all." Madhva.
■ Other forms of entreaty and prayer are not without their value. They have their reward.
1 vasati sarvasmin iti vāsuḥ, tasya devaḥ.
कामैस्तैस्तैर्हृतज्ञानाः प्रपद्यन्तेऽन्यदेवताः ।
तं तं नियममास्थाय प्रकृत्या नियताः स्वया ॥७- २०॥
kāmais tais tair hṛtajñānāḥ
taiḥ2 hṛta-jñānāḥ3 prapadyante4 anya5 devatāḥ6
[They] hṛta-jñānāḥ3 = shorn of wisdom; [and subject to] taiḥ taiḥ2 = many disparate; kāmaiḥ1 = desires prapadyante4 = take refuge; [in] anya5 = other; devatāḥ6 = gods; [and] niyatāḥ11 = restrained; svayā12 = by their own; prakṛtyā10 = nature; āsthāya9 = perform; tam tam7 = appropriate or respective; niyamam8 = rites. 7.20
(7.20) But those whose minds are distorted by desires resort to other gods, observing various rites, constrained by their own natures.
यो यो यां यां तनुं भक्तः श्रद्धयार्चितुमिच्छति ।
तस्य तस्याचलां श्रद्धां तामेव विदधाम्यहम् ॥७- २१॥
yo yāṁ yāṁ tanuṁ bhaktaḥ śraddhayārcitum
yaḥ yaḥ1 yām yām2 tanum3 bhaktaḥ4 śraddhayā5 arcitum6 icchati7
yaḥ yaḥ1 = Whatever; yām yām2 = whichever; tanum3 = form of a deity; bhaktaḥ4 = a votary; icchati7= wants; arcitum6 = to worship; śraddhayā5 = with faith; aham14 = I; vidadhāmi13 = reinforce; tām11 = that; eva12 = very; acalām9 = steady; śraddhām10 = faith; [in] tasya tasya8 = such and such a person; 7.21
(7.2I) Whatever form any devotee with faith wishes to worship, I make that faith of his steady.
■ The Supreme Lord confirms the faith of each and grants the rewards each seeks. Exactly as far as the soul has risen in its struggle does God stoop to meet it. Even seers who were so profoundly contemplative as Gautama the Buddha and S. did not repudiate the popular belief in gods. They were conscious of the inexpressibility of the Supreme Godhead as well as the infinite number of possible manifestations. Every surface derives its soil from the depths even as every shadow reflects the nature of the substance. Besides, all worship elevates. No matter what we revere, so long as our reverence is serious, it helps progress.
स तया श्रद्धया युक्तस्तस्याराधनमीहते ।
लभते च ततः कामान्मयैव विहितान्हि तान् ॥७- २२॥
saḥ1 tayā2 śraddhayā3 yuktaḥ4 tasya5 ārādhanam6 īhate7
saḥ1 = He; yuktaḥ4 =endowed; tayā2 = with that; śraddhayā3 faith; [in] tasya5 = that [diety]; īhate7= puts in the effort; [and] ārādhanam6 = worships; ca9 = and; labhate8 = gets; kāmān11 = desired results; tataḥ10 = from that [deity]; tān15 = that, which; vihitān13 = [are] bestowed; hi14 = indeed; mayā eva12 = by Me alone; 7.22
(7.22) Endowed with that faith, he seeks the propitiation of such a one and from him he 0btains his desires, the benefits being decreed by Me alone.
■ All forms are forms of the One Supreme; their worship is the worship of the Supreme; the giver of all rewards is the Supreme.1Śrīdhara.
1 sarvā api devatā mamaiva mūrtayaḥ tad ārādhanam api vastuto
mamārādhanam eva, tat tat phaladātāpi· ca'hameva.
अन्तवत्तु फलं तेषां तद्भवत्यल्पमेधसाम् ।
देवान्देवयजो यान्ति मद्भक्ता यान्ति मामपि ॥७- २३॥
antavat tu phalaṁ teṣāṁ tad bhavaty
antavat1 tu2 phalam3 teṣām4 tat5 bhavati6 alpa-medhasām7
tu2 = But; tat5 = that; phalam3 = fruit; teṣām4 = of theirs; bhavati6 = becomes; antavat1 = perishable; [for] alpa-medhasām7 = ignoramuses, the ones with little intelligence. deva-yajaḥ9 = The worshippers of gods; yānti10 = go; devān8 = to the gods. madbhaktāḥ11 = My votaries; yānti12 = go; mām13 = to Me; api14 = alone 7.23
(7.23) But temporary is the fruit gained by these men of small minds. The worshippers of the gods go to the gods but My devotees come to Me.
■ As the Transcendent Divine cannot be known easily we resort to aspects of the Supreme and offer our worship. We realize the results we seek, for the Supreme is patient with our imperfect vision. He accepts our prayers and answers them at the level at which we approach Him. No devotion is worthless. Gradually even the illiterate devotee will seek his highest good in the Divine and grow into it. Those who rise to the worship of the Transcendent Godhead which embraces and transcends all aspects realize and attain to the highest state, integral in being, perfect in knowledge, absolute in love and complete in will. All other goods are partial and limited and have a meaning only at lower levels of development.
The Power of Ignorance
अव्यक्तं व्यक्तिमापन्नं मन्यन्ते मामबुद्धयः ।
परं भावमजानन्तो ममाव्ययमनुत्तमम् ॥७- २४॥
avyaktam1 vyaktim2 āpannam3 manyante4 mām5 abuddhayaḥ6
abuddhayaḥ6 = Ignoramuses; [are] ajānantaḥ9 = are unknowing of; mama10 = My; param7 = supreme; avyayam11 = immutable; anuttamam12 = incomparable; bhāvam8 = state; manyante4 = think; mām5 = of Me; [as] avyaktam1 = the unmanifest; āpannam3 = having become; vyaktim2 = manifest. 7.24
(7.24) Men of no understanding think of Me, the unmanifest, as having manifestation, not knowing My higher nature, changeless and supreme.
■ The forms we impose on the Formless are due to our limitations. We turn away from the contemplation of Ultimate Reality to concentrate upon imaginative reconstructions. All gods except the One Unmanifest Eternal are forms imposed on Him. God is not one among many. He is the One behind the ever changing
many, who stands beyond all forms, the immutable center of endless mobility.
नाहं प्रकाशः सर्वस्य योगमायासमावृतः ।
मूढोऽयं नाभिजानाति लोको मामजमव्ययम् ॥७- २५॥
na1 aham2 prakāśaḥ3 sarvasya4 yoga-māyā5 samāvṛtaḥ6
aham2 = I; samāvṛtaḥ6 = covered by; yoga-māyā5 = creative power; na1 = do not; prakāśaḥ3 = manifest; sarvasya4 = to all. ayam8 = This; mūḍhaḥ7 = deluded and foolish; lokaḥ11 = world; na9 = does not; abhijānāti10 = know; mām12 = Me; [as] ajam13 = unborn; [and] avyayam14 = imperishable. 7.25
(7.25) Veiled by My creative power (Yogamāyā) I am not revealed to all. This bewildered world knows Me not, the unborn, the unchanging.
■ yoga: S. means by it union of the three guṇas: for Madhusūdana it is saṁkalpa or will. The Supreme is not only in the world but beyond it, We mistake Him for this or that limited form.
■ Cp, Bhāgavata: "O Lord, All pervading Supreme Self, Lord of Yoga, who is there in the three worlds, who can penetrate Thy mystery, know where, when, in what manner and in how many forms Thou engagest Thyself in sport ?"1 Only Pure Being is unmanifest, everything else belongs to the world of manifestation.
1 ko vetti bhūman bhagavan parātman yogeśvarotīr bhavatas trilokyām
kva vā kathaṁ vā kati vā kadeti vistārayan, krīḍasi. yogamāyām.
वेदाहं समतीतानि वर्तमानानि चार्जुन ।
भविष्याणि च भूतानि मां तु वेद न कश्चन ॥७- २६॥
veda1 aham2 samatītāni3 vartamānāni4 ca5 arjuna6
arjuna6 = O Arjuna; aham2 = I; veda1 = know; samatītāni3 = the erstwhile dead [and from the past]; vartamānāni4 = the present; ca5 = and; ca8 = also; bhaviṣyāṇi7 = the future; bhūtāni9 = beings; tu11 = but; na13 kaścana14 = no one; veda12 = knows; mām10 = Me. 7.26
(7.26) I know the beings that are past, that are present, O Arjuna, and that are to come but Me no one knows.
इच्छाद्वेषसमुत्थेन द्वन्द्वमोहेन भारत ।
सर्वभूतानि संमोहं सर्गे यान्ति परन्तप ॥७- २७॥
iccha1 dveṣa2 samutthena3 dvandva4 mohena5 bhārata6
iccha1 = Desire; [and] dveṣa2 = hate; samutthena3 = rise from; dvandva4 = dual nature; [of] mohena5 = delusion; bhārata6 = O Bharata. sarva7 = All; bhūtāni8 = beings; yānti11 = become; sammoham9 = subject to delusion; sarge10 = at the time of birth; parantapa12 = O Parantapa 7.27
(7.27) All beings are born to delusion O Bharata (Arjuna), overcome by the dualities which arise from wish and hate, o Conqueror of the foe (Arjuna).
येषां त्वन्तगतं पापं जनानां पुण्यकर्मणाम् ।
ते द्वन्द्वमोहनिर्मुक्ता भजन्ते मां दृढव्रताः ॥७- २८॥
yeṣāṁ tv antagataṁ pāpaṁ janānāṁ
But; = those; = people; [whose]
sin; [and] = pious; = deeds; = come to an end; [are] = free from; = duality; [of] =
worship; = Me; [with] = firm conviction.
= sin; [and]
= come to an end; [are]nirmuktāḥ11
= free from;dvandva9
= duality; [of]
= Me; [with]dṛḍha-vratāḥ14
= firm conviction.7.28
(7.28) But those men of virtuous deeds in whom sin has come to an end (who have died to sin), freed from the delusion of dualities, worship Me steadfast in their vows.
■ Sin is not the violation of a law or a convention but the central source of all finiteness, ignorance, the assertion of the independence of the ego which seeks its own private gain at the expense of others. When this sin is renounced, when this ignorance is overcome, our life is spent in the service of the One in all. In the
process, devotion deepens and knowledge of God increases until it reaches the vision of the One Self everywhere. That is the life eternal, release from birth and death. Tukārām says:
"The self within me now is dead
And thou enthroned in its stead
Yea, this I, Tuka, testify"
No longer now is 'me' or 'my',"1
1Macnicol: Psalms of the Maratha Saints (1919), p. 79.
जरामरणमोक्षाय मामाश्रित्य यतन्ति ये ।
ते ब्रह्म तद्विदुः कृत्स्नमध्यात्मं कर्म चाखिलम् ॥७- २९॥
(7.29) Those who take refuge in Me and strive for deliverance from old age and death, they know the Brahman (or Absolute) entire (they know) the Self and all about action.
adhyātmam is the reality underlying the individual self.1
1 pratyagatmaviṣayam vastu, S.
साधिभूताधिदैवं मां साधियज्ञं च ये विदुः ।
प्रयाणकालेऽपि च मां ते विदुर्युक्तचेतसः ॥७- ३०॥
sādhibhūtādhidaivaṁ māṁ sādhiyajñaṁ ca ye viduḥ
sa-adhibhūta1 adhidaivam2 mām3 sa-adhiyajñam4 ca5 ye6 viduḥ7
ye6 = They who; viduḥ7= know; mām3 = Me; sa-adhibhūta1 = on physical plane; adhidaivam2 = on divine plane; ca5 = and; sa-adhiyajñam4 = on sacrificial plane; ca11 = and; te13 = they; api10 = even; viduḥ14 = know; mām12 = Me; [with their] yukta-cetasaḥ15 = mind meditating on Me; prayāṇa8 kāle9 = at the time9 of death8. 7.30
(7.30) Those who know Me as the One that governs the material and the divine aspects, and all sacrifices, they, with their minds harmonized, have knowledge of Me even at the time of their departure (from here).
■ We are not asked to remember at the time of departure certain speculative doctrines, but to know Him in all aspects, trust Him and worship Him.
■ Certain new terms are used and Arjuna in the next chapter asks for their explanations. The Supreme is to be known not only in Itself but also in Its manifestations in nature, in objective and subjective phenomena, in the principle of works and sacrifice. The teacher explains them all briefly in the next chapter.
Iti… jñāna vijñānayogo nāma saptamo 'dhyāyaḥ
This is the seventh chapter entitled The Yoga of Wisdom and Knowledge.