Bhagavadgita !

Chapter 7

Gnyana Vignyana yoga !

||om tat sat||
श्री भगवानुवाच
मय्यासक्त मनाः पार्थ योगं युञ्जन्मदाश्रयः।
असंशयं समग्रं मां यथा ज्ञास्यसि तत् शृणु||
"Oh Partha! Having mind fixed on me and taking refuge in me how you may know me fully without doubt practicing yoga that you may hear from me"

||Salutations to Sri Krishna||
Vignyana Yoga
Chapter 7

At the end of Chapter 6 Krishna says:
योगिनामपि सर्वेषां मद्गतेनान्तरात्मना ।
श्रद्धवान् भजते यॊ मां स मे युक्ततमो मतः ||6-47||
"O Arjuna! the one who has faith in me and meditates on me is the greatest even among those who perform penance or those who follow the path of knowledge!!"

One immediate question could have been how to fix mind on the Bhagavan or Brahman and on what form to meditate. Arjuna did not ask these questions. But Krishna himself decides to elaborate. So, this chapter also starts with elaboration from Bhagavan himself on what he said in the last chapter.

That special knowledge of Brahman on how to fix one's mind on him and how to meditate on him is the subject of this chapter. Hence this chapter is called the Yoga of Vignyaana or special Knowledge. It is a special knowledge generated by maturity of enquiry.

Krishna starts by saying:
श्री भगवानुवाच
मय्यासक्त मनाः पार्थ योगं युञ्जन्मदाश्रयः।
असंशयं समग्रं मां यथा ज्ञास्यसि तत् शृणु॥||1||

"Oh Partha! Having mind fixed on me and taking refuge in me how you may know me fully without doubt while practicing yoga that you may hear from me"

Krishan is saying, "I will tell you how without doubt you may know me fully" (the Brahman). The assurance " without doubt" of the very first shloka results in a curiosity as to what is it that Krishna might teach. We get the answer promptly in the second shloka.

ज्ञानं ते अहं सविज्ञानं इदं वक्ष्याम्यशेषतः।
यत् ज्ञात्वा नेह भूयो न्यज्ञाsतव्यमवशिष्यते || 2||

यत् ज्ञात्वा" - Knowing which
इह - in this world
ज्ञातव्यं - (another thing) which out to be known
न अवशिष्यते is not there !

- Knowing which there is no other thing left that needs to be known"
So, Krishna was going to elaborate on that, knowing which there is no other thing left that needs to be known. Such special knowledge is what Krishna is going to elaborate on.
What is that special kind of knowledge?
"सविज्ञानं ज्ञानम्"
- That knowledge which is based on experience.
If you know that special knowledge which is based on experience, there is nothing else to know. There is nothing else which is worth knowing. In the Upanishadic dialogs between a Guru and his disciple there is an instance when the Guru asks the disciples who approached him as to what they want to know. The disciples ask for " that knowledge knowing which there is nothing else to know!". This dialog of Krishna with Arjuna falls in the same category though here Guru himself is offering to tell you " that knowledge knowing which there is nothing else to know", without the disciple asking! (7.03)

What is the specialty here.
Such knowledge is not easily available.
Among thousands of seekers there will be a few such seekers making that special effort. In all those making such effort may be there will be one who is able to experience the Brahman. Experiencing Self or Brahman does not happen easily. It requires enormous effort in controlling one's senses, controlling one's thoughts and practicing Nishkama karma. Such knowledge which would have been available only to one in thousands, Krishna decides to teach to his favorite disciple Arjuna.

First Krishna elaborates to Arjuna the nature of Brahman

भूमिरापोsनलो वायुः खं मनॊबुद्धिरेवच ।
अहंकार इतीयं मे भिन्ना प्रकृतिरष्टधा ॥4||

" This Prakriti of mine is divided eight fold into earth water fire air space mind intellect and ego". Here Bhagavan describes these as inferior part of his nature "अपर" because they are insentient things without consciousness.

The other part of his true nature is the "परा" Prakruti.
That is " जीव भूतं महाबाहो" that is the form of an "individual soul "which is sentient and conscious. ( 7.05)
Prakruti with insentient things which is "अपरा is inferior to the sentient conscious nature "जीव" which is "परा".
More importantly
- ययेदं धार्यते जगत्
- this sustains the world
The "individual soul " supports the world constituting the objects, feelings and ideas we experience.

This "परा" is what Krishna wants us to recognize as the important or the best.

The important point is that - "सर्वाणि भूतानि
" All these have as source the prakruti which is "परा अपरा".
Both are of his form. He is the originator as well as the destroyer of the whole world "सर्वाणि भूतानि". (7.06)

मत्तः परतरं नान्यत्किंचिदस्ति धनंजय ।
मयि सर्वमिदं प्रोतं सूत्रे मणि गणाइव ||7||

Which states that -
" There is nothing other than me - the whole universe is strung within me like the gems on thread"

The simile used here is the string used to hold together the gems. Like the string, in all objects there is Brahman. Without the support of the string the necklace will not be in place, similarly without the Brahman in all objects the "jagat" also will not be sustained.

That is how Krishna tells about the omnipresence of Brahman in all forms.
Krishna further elaborates on the omnipresence of Brahman.

रसोsहमप्सु कौन्तेय प्रभास्मि शशि सूर्ययोः।
प्रणवः सर्व वेदेषु शब्दः खे पौरुषं नृषु॥8||
पुण्यो गन्धः पृथिव्यां च तेजशास्मि विभावसौ ।
जीवनं सर्वभूतेषु तपश्चास्मि तपस्विषु॥9||
बीजं मां सर्वभूतानां विद्धि पार्थ सनातनम्।
बुद्धिर्बुद्धि मतामस्मि तेजस्तेजस्विनामहम् ॥10||
बलं बलवतां चाहं कामरागविवर्जितम्।
धर्नाविरुद्धो भूतेषु कामोsस्मि भरतर्षभ ॥11||

Krishna elaborates on the presence of Brahman - and says
"The taste in the water, light in the Sun and moon, the "Om" in Vedas, the sound in the space, the virility in men, the smell in the earth, the brilliance in fire, the life in all beings, austerity in ascetics, the seed in all, intellect of the intelligent, prowess in the powerful, the desire in the being which is right they are all form of Brahman"

These are all symbols of the omnipresence of Brahman. Brahman is present in all beings.

In Karma yoga ( chapter 3) when Arjuna asks why does a man run after sin even while knowing it is not correct Krishna says it is because of the nature. He elaborates there that it is because of the Rajo, Tamas and Sattva Gunas present in the man.

Elaborating on the same theme Krishna says
"मत्तः एव इति
" - these are because of me
"न त्वहं तेषु ते मयि"
- "अहं तेषु न; ते मयि न"
But these are not in me or me in them

The Rajo Tamas Sattva Gunas are not in Brahman. Because of the preponderance of these Gunas one may not be able to perceive the Brahman.
"मोहितं नाभिजानाति
" because of the desires generated by the three "Rajo Tamas Sattva" gunas with the mind running after them, the true Brahman is not perceived (7.13).
So, who can overcome this "मोह".

Krishna comes back with an answer

देवी ह्येषागुणमयी मम माय दुरत्यया ।
मामेव ये प्रपद्यन्ते मायामेतां तरन्ति ते ||14||

"मम माया -This illusion of mine
"दुरत्यया" - is difficult to overcome"
"मामेव ये प्रपद्यंते" - whoever takes refuge in me alone"
"ते एतां मायाम् तरन्ति" - they are able to overcome this illusion."

Emphasizing that whoever through his discipline controls the Rajo and Tamas Gunas and through Sattvic guna focusses on Brahman, that one only is able to overcome the illusion and reach Brahman.

This is the secret of Brahman
To overcome the illusion created by Rajo, Tamas and Sattvic Gunas one has to realize the Self or Brahman.
This is not possible for all
For whom it is possible for whom it is not possible is a question
Krishna answers that too in the following.
न मां दुष्कृतिनो मूढाः प्रपद्यन्ते नराधमाः।
माययाsपहृत ज्ञाना असुरं भावमाश्रिताः ||15||
meaning there by:
दुष्कृतिनः - sinners
मूढाः - ignorant
नराधमाः - wretched
मायया अपहृत ज्ञानाः- those whose discrimination capability is deprived by Maya or ignorance
असुर भावम् आश्रिताः those who have taken to the attitude of demons
- All such people as above will not be able to realize the Brahman

Who are the people who want to take refuge in the Brahman?
They are four (7.16)
Who are they?
"आर्तो जिज्ञासुः अर्थार्धी ज्ञानी च भरतर्षभ" ||16||
That is...
"- the one in difficulties
"- the one who wants to know more
" - the one who wants riches
"- the wise one who knows.

They all have desire for God -
"उदारः सर्वे एते"
They are all noble people (7.17)

There is no need to add that the ज्ञानि, the one who knows is the best of all.
The wise one who knows loves Bhagavan and Bhagavan loves the wise one who knows.

We have gone through the Yoga of Knowledge. We know who is the "ज्ञानि" the wise one. It is interesting to see how does he reach that state. Although one may start with a process where the Brahman is different from the Self, with continuous enquiry into Self, conquering the all-powerful I or ego complex, with selfless karma, the continued overpowering of the states of Rajo and Tamas, one attains the stage of realization. In that state the Brahman is no different from Self. That is the state of the "ज्ञानि" the wise one. He is established in अद्वैत!

To reach that state it may take many births

But unable to wait for that realization, the man may fall into the process of worshipping other Devas. Whichever Deva the worshipper chooses the Bhagavan makes it easier for him to make his worship happen. (7.20)
As stated by Krishna himself
"ये यथा मां प्रपद्यंते तां तथैव भजाम्यहम्" -
'Whatever way they worship me; they get their rewards accordingly'. ( 7.23)
The desires focusing on fruits will end in such fruits only.
The Nishkama Karma or worship without consideration of fruits results in one realizing the path to that bliss of Brahman. (7.23)

Why would one pray to Devas giving fruits instead of the one giving liberation is a question similar to the one earlier asked by Arjuna. This time Krishna answers that too without being asked.

The answer to that is as follows:

अव्यक्तं व्यक्ति मापन्नं मन्यन्ते मामबुद्धयः ।
परं भावमजानन्तो ममाव्ययमनुत्तमम् ||24||

meaning there by:
अबुद्दयः - The ignorant ones
मम भावं अजानन्तः
- not knowing my nature
अवक्तम् माम्
- the un-seeable form of me
व्यक्तं आपन्नं मन्यन्ते
- think of me as one with a form.
The ones who do not know the real form of Brahman, think of him as having a form and fall into the routine of worshipping the form.

So, what is the form of Brahman?
- invisible
- without destruction
- best without comparison
To meditate on such a form by planting it in one's mind is difficult for anyone. (7.25)
When one is under the power of illusion overpowering the intellect, it is impossible to focus on that form.
So, the ignorant cannot feel or imagine such a form.
For all the beings immersed in the happiness and sorrow generated by the anger and desire the intellect is clouded, clouded by Maya.
Then who can overcome this Maya or this ignorance?
Whoever can destroy the ignorance with the help of acquired good deeds, they are able to become free from the cycle of happiness and sorrow. They are able to focus on the Nishkama karma and reap the ensuing freedom from bondage. (7.28)

Whoever is praying for liberation from the worldly sorrows they are able to realize that the Self and all the actions as form of Brahman himself

साधिभूताधिदैवं मां साधियज्ञं च ये विदुः ।
प्रयाणकालेsपि च मां ते विदुर्युक्तचेतसः ||30||

"Those who know me together with what concerns beings, the gods and sacrifices - they fix their mind (on me) and know me even at the time of death".
This may be a tall order and Arjuna will have his questions.

||om tat sat ॥
साधिभूताधिदैवं मां साधियज्ञं च ये विदुः ।
प्रयाणकालेsपि च मां ते विदुर्युक्तचेतसः ॥
'Those who know me together with what concerns beings, the gods and sacrifices - they fix their mind (on me) and know me even at the time of death'.
||om tat sat||