Adhyaya 7 : Dnyãn-Vidnyãna
6th Adhyãya dealt with the
practice of meditation as an effective way to bring sense - mind - intellect combination
under control to kill lust and anger, two powerful enemies which obstruct discriminative
knowledge and self - realisation. In the seventh Adhyaya the Lord finds it
necessary to throw discerning light on the nature of Absolute Brahman. He is
preparing Arjuna to receive full knowledge required to realise It, keeping direct
spiritual experience in the centre. The Lord also describes many other ways that lead to
self - realisation. In addition to knowing the pure nature of the Atman, the Lord
wants Arjuna to know Brahman in its totality including Its manifestations
that collectively make the universe.
Verses 1 to 7
The Lord urges Arjuna to
listen how with the mind intent on Him, making Him his only shelter and practising Yõga
he would be able to know Him fully without any doubt. The Lord promises him teaching of
direct knowledge of unitive experience as well as all knowledge about the manifested
universe knowing which nothing else in this world remains to be known.
"Among thousands of men perhaps one
endeavours for perfection, out of those who try and achieve perfection hardly anyone
realises Me in My true nature."
Thus pointing out the most difficult nature
of spiritual journey, the Lord proceeds to educate Arjuna about the essential
nature of the Absolute. Here - onwards emerges the clearly defined Indian view of human
body and the soul.
Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind,
intellect and ego; appearing differinciated in this eight fold form is my nature called Prakriti.
This is my lower nature called Aparã Prakriti. Also know, behind this and
distinct from it, there is my higher nature called Parã Prakriti which
appears as living being,s as the Jiva on whom the whole
world depends for its sustenance.
Here the individual existence is clearly
divided into two integrated parts, the world of matter, appearing as body and the
differentiated consciousness appearing as soul. Thus every individual has two aspects;
body and soul, Sharir and Atma, the field and the knower of the field.
" Know this Prakriti as
the womb of all creation. I am the origin and also the dissolution of this entire world.
There is nothing superior to Me. All things are held by me as the gems are strung on a
Verses 8 to 12
There is nothing in this world different or
separate from the Absolute Brahman. Supreme Lord can be known by his
different energies and qualities which are so essential to make the object that particular
object. Active principle existing in the objects is representative fraction of the
Absolute. Lord Krishna quotes few of His opulence.
" I am the taste of water, I am the
light of the moon and the sun, I am the syllable om in Vedas, sound in the
sky, and manliness in men.
I am the holy fragrance of the earth,
splendour in the fire, the life in all creatures, I am the penance of the ascetics. Know
me as the eternal seed of entire creation, I am the intelligence of the intelligent, the
vigour of the powerful. I am the strength of the strong who are devoid of passion and
desire. In creatures I am the desire that does not transgress virtue.
Whatever states of sattwa, ( the pure),
rajas (the active), and tamas ( the lazy) exist they all proceed from Me alone. Try to
understand this. Yet I am not in them but they are in Me."
Verses 13 to 19
The Absolute manifests in everything but
still remains beyond all. It means that though the universal diversity is the creation
of the Absolute, this diversity does not exist in the Absolute which has no attributes.
This is the magical power of the Absolute Brahman.
Thus the Absolute is beyond the phenomenal
world. To know It one has to cross the barriers of this illusory world. The Lord starts
explaining why the world can not know the Absolute that encompasses everything.
Deluded by these manifestations of three gunas
of Prakriti the whole world fails to recognise the Absolute which stays
beyond them all; supreme and inexhaustible.
Guna - oriented senses create
illusions . The Lord describes the formidable nature of the Divine Power when he states:-
" How hard indeed to cross this my Mãyã,
the divine power which is made up of the gunas. Only those who faithfully
surrender into Me can easily pass beyond this Mãyã, and no one else."
Those fools involved in bad deeds and who are the foulest among men, do not surrender unto
Me. Their knowledge is destroyed by illusions, and they really belong to demoniac nature.
Those virtuous ones who worship me are
classified in four categories. They are: The person in distress, the seeker of knowledge,
the seeker of wealth and the man of enlightenment described as ãrta, jidnyãsu,
arthãrthi and Dnyãni respectively.
Dnyani, the man of enlightened
wisdom who is constantly in union with Brahman and who is solely devoted to
Me alone is the best among them all. " I am very dear to him and he is dear to Me.
" says the Lord.
All these devotees really are very noble
but the enlightened one, I consider as my very Self, because fully absorbed in Yõga
he establishes himself in Me alone as the highest goal. At the end of many births this man
of divine knowledge realising all this as God Vãsudeva reaches Me. Such a
great soul is very rare.
Significance of these four categories of
devotees needs to be properly understood. Gods worship with worldly motives
make the worship of inferior nature. So also the seeker of knowledge is still unripe and
he is far away from perfection. However they are all good intentioned people
traversing a good path. But the enlightened soul has nothing to gain; still he offers a
selfless service. Certainly he is the best.
Verses 20 to 23
Now one may ask a question. If everywhere
there is only one Absolute present why do people worship different types of gods and
goddesses and what kind of fruits they get out of that worship? The Lord explains :-
Men whose understanding is stolen away by
worldly desires and who are controlled by their natural impulses, adopting their own cults
and rituals resort to various other deities.
"I make his faith firm in the deity
of his choice in whatever form the devotee wishes to worship it with faith. Accepting that
faith he cherishes to worship that deity and obtains from it the desired fruits. In
fact these benefits are bestowed on him by Me alone."
But the fruits these men of little
intelligence get are perishable. The worshipers of gods go to gods so also My devotees
come to Me.
Verses 24 to 30
In this universe there is nothing except
the Absolute Brahman. So all other deities, their worshippers, their longings,
their fruits - all are nothing but the Absolute. Only the worshipers under the delusion of
ignorance fall short of their prayers. They do not know that the Absolute Supreme Lord is
the real giver.
The Lord clarifies further:-
"The ignorant ones not knowing My
real, changeless and supreme nature, think that I, the unmanifest have appeared in
He is not visible to many since he is
covered by his creative power called Mãya. This deluded world does not know
Him who is birthless and changeless.
The Lord tells Arjuna how to
free oneself from the veil of Mãya.
" Oh Arjuna, I know all
the creatures of the past, the present and the future. But no one knows Me."
All living beings are born into delusion
created by the pairs of opposites that arise from desire and hatred.
But the sinless men of meritorious deeds
who are freed from this delusion created by the pair of opposites, worship Him remaining
firm in their resolve. They who surrender unto Him striving to get free from old age and
death, fully realise Brahman, the Absolute, the nature of Atman,
the Self and all action.
They continue acquiring knowledge even at
the time of death getting enlightened about the supreme power of the God head called Adhiyadnya,
the nature of the phenomenal world, the Adhibhuta and the individual soul,
By mentioning this specific terminology, the Lord
introduces the subject matter of the eighth Adhyãya.