Author Topic: CHAPTER 7 - Vijnana Yoga  (Read 250 times)

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CHAPTER 7 - Vijnana Yoga
« on: April 09, 2019, 11:57:22 PM »
Realization of the Lord by meditation
Having given in vi. 47 an occasion for further interrogation, and wishing to teach, without being asked, that "so and so is My Real Being, and such and such is the one whose inner self abides in Me," the Lord said:

The Blessed Lord said:
1. With the mind intent on Me, O Partha, practicing Yoga, and finding refuge in Me, how in full without doubt thou shalt know Me, that do thou hear.
The Yogi's mind is intent on Me, the Supreme Lord, possessed of such attributes as will be mentioned below. He practices Yoga or steadfastness of mind and finds refuge in Me alone, the Supreme Lord. He who seeks a human end resorts to some action such as Agnihotra, or to an austerity, or to a gift or the like, as a means of attaining that end. The Yogi, on the other hand, resorts to Me alone, abandoning all other means with his thought intent on Me alone. Now, listen to what I am going to say as to how you also, thus acting, will, without doubt, know Me in full, possessed of infinite greatness, strength, power, grace and other attributes; you will know Me undoubtingly, that "The Lord is so and so only."

2. I shall fully teach thee this knowledge combined with experience, which being known, nothing more besides here remains to be known.
And this knowledge concerning Me, as borne out by My own experience, I shall relate to thee in full. - In the latter portion of the verse the Lord extols the knowledge which is going to be taught, with a view to prepare the hearer to follow it. - Nothing more; no other means to a human end. He who knows Me in truth becomes omniscient. Thus, the knowledge is productive of great results and is therefore very hard to obtain. How? Listen:

3. Among thousands of men, one perchance strives for perfection; even among those who strive and are perfect, only one perchance knows me in truth.
Perfect: they are indeed perfect who strive for moksha.

Evolution of the Universe out of Divine Prakriti
Having prepared the hearer for the teaching by inducing in him a taste for it, the Lord proceeds thus:

4. Earth, water, fire, air, ether, thought (Manas) and reason (Buddhi), egoism (Ahamkara) - thus is My Prakriti divided eightfold.
Earth stands for the subtile rudimental element or Tanmatra, the Prithivi - tanmatra or the subtile rudimental element of earth; and so water, fire, air and ether stand for the Tanmatras of water, etc. Thought (Manas) stands for its cause Ahamkara or egoism; reason (Buddhi) for the Mahat principle, which is the cause of Ahankara; and Ahankara for the Avyakta, the Unmanifested, conjoined with Avidya or nescience. Just as food which is mixed with poison is itself called poison, so the Avyakta, the First Cause, conjoined with the vasana, or latent unconscious impression, of Ahankara, is itself called here Ahankara inasmuch as Egoism is the impelling cause of all. As a matter of fact, we find, from our ordinary experience, that egoism is the cause of the activity of every being.
Thus divided eightfold is My Prakriti, the "Maya" belonging to the Isvara.

5. This is the inferior (Prakriti); but as distinct from this know thou My superior Prakriti, the very life, O mighty-armed, by which this universe is upheld.
This Prakriti is inferior, impure, productive of evil, itself constituting the bondage of samsara; but the superior Prakriti is pure: it is My very Self, the Kshetrajna, that by which life is sustained, that which enters within the whole universe and sustains it.

6. Know that all beings have their birth in these. So, I am the source and dissolution of the whole universe.
These, My inferior Nature (Prakriti) and My superior Nature (Prakriti), matter (Kshetra) and spirit (Kshetrajna), are the womb of all creatures. Because my Prakriti is the womb of all beings, I am the origin and the end of the whole universe. That is to say, through this twofold Prakriti, I, the omniscient Isvara, am the cause of the universe. Wherefore,

7. There is naught else higher than I, O Dhananjaya: in Me all this is woven as clusters of gems on a string.
There is no other cause besides Me, the Supreme Lord: I alone am the cause of the universe. Wherefore all beings as well as the whole of this universe are woven in Me, as a cloth in the warp, or clusters of beads on a string.

The Divine Principle penetrating the Universe
What are Thy attributes showing that the whole of this is woven in Thee? Listen:

8. I am the sapidity in water, O son of Kunti. I am the light in the moon and the sun. I am the syllable Om in all the Vedas, sound in ether, humanity in men.
The essence of water is sapidity. In Me who am that sapidity waters are woven. - So, in all cases. - Just as I am the sapidity in waters, so am I the light in the moon and the sun; I am the Pranava, the syllable Om in all the Vedas: in Me who am that Pranava all the Vedas are woven. So also, I am humanity in men, i.e., I am that in a person which makes that person regarded a human being. In Me as humanity all persons are woven. Sound is the essence of akasa: in Me as sound akasa is woven.

9. And I am the agreeable odor in the earth and the brilliance in the fire, the vitality in all beings, and I am the austerity in ascetics.
In Me as odor the earth is woven, Odor by itself is agreeable; the disagreeableness of odor in the earth and of the like being due to the combination of one element with some other element or elements under the influence of the avidya and adharma of individual souls in the world. The agreeableness thus spoken of with reference to the earth applies also to the agreeableness of the sapidity in waters, and so on. - I am the vitality in all beings, that by which all beings live. In Me as austerity the ascetics are woven.

10. Know Me, O Partha, as the eternal seed of all beings; I am the intelligence of the intelligent, the bravery of the brave.
 Seed: the cause of growth. Intelligence: the discriminative power of the antah-karana.

11. And of the energetic am I the energy devoid of passion and attachment; and in (all) beings I am the desire unopposed to dharma, O lord of the Bharatas.
Passion (Kama): thirst for objects not present to the senses. Attachment (raga): love for those presented to the senses. I am that energy which is necessary for the bare sustenance of the body, certainly not that which causes thirst and attachment (for sense-objects) in the case of worldly mortals. So, I am the desire not opposed to the teaching of the scriptures: I am, for instance, the desire for that much of eating and drinking, etc., which is necessary for the bare sustenance of the body. Moreover,

12. And whatever beings are of Sattva or of Rajas or of Tamas, know them to proceed from Me: still, I am not in them, they are in me.
Know that all beings, whether formed of Sattva, or of Rajas, or of Tamas, and which come into existence as the result of the respective karma of living beings, proceed from Me. Though they thus proceed from Mc, I am not subject to them like mortal beings (samsarins). On the other hand, they are subject to Me: they are dependent on Me.

Maya: How to overcome it
The Lord now expresses His regret that the world does not understand Him, who is thus the Supreme Lord; who by nature is eternal, pure, intelligent and free; who is the Self of all beings, devoid of all attributes; by knowing whom they might burn up the evil which is the seed of samsara. What is this ignorance on the part of the world due to? Listen.

13. Deluded by these three (sorts of) things composed of gunas, all this world knows not Me as distinct from them and immutable.
All living beings are deluded by such things as love, hatred and attachment, which are all modifications of gunas. Immutahle: devoid of such changes as birth and the like, which pertain to all things in the world.How then can one surmount this Divine Illusion (Maya) of Vishnu made up of the three gunas? Listen:

14. Verily this Divine Illusion of Mine, made up of gunas, is hard to surmount. Whoever seek Me alone, they cross over this Illusion.
This Illusion ("Maya"), formed of gunas, is inherent in Me, Vishnu, the Lord. Such being the case, whoever abandon all formal religion (Dharma) and completely devote themselves to Me, their own Self, the Lord of Illusion, they cross over the Illusion which deludes all living beings: they are liberated from the bondage of samsara. If those who resort to Thee cross over the Illusion, why do not all resort to Thee only? Listen:

15. Not Me do the evil-doers seek, the deluded, the vilest of men, deprived of wisdom by Illusion, following the ways of the Demons.
Me, the Supreme Lord, Narayana. The ways of the Demons are cruelty, untruth, and the like.

Four classes of devotees
But as to the best of men, men of good deeds:

16. Four kinds of virtuous men worship Me, O Arjuna, - the distressed, the seeker of knowledge, the seeker of wealth, and the wise man, O lord of the Bharatas.
The distressed: he who is in distress, overpowered by a robber, a tiger, illness or the like. Knowledge: of the real nature of the Lord. The wise man: he who knows the real nature of Vishnu.

17. Of them the wise man, ever steadfast and devoted to the One, excels; for, excessively dear am I to the wise, and he is dear to Me.
Of the four, the wise man, as knowing the truth, is ever steadfast, and devoted to the One, finding no other object of worship. Thus, he who is devoted to the One is superior to all others. Since I am his very Self, I am excessively dear to the wise man. - It is well-known to all in this world that the Self is dear to everyone. Therefore Vasudeva, as the Self of the wise man is dear to him. And the wise man is My very Self and is therefore very dear to Me. Then the three others, the distressed and the rest, are not dear to Vasudeva? Not so. What then?

18. Noble indeed are all those; but the wise man, I deem, is the very Self; for, steadfast in mind, he resorts to Me alone as the unsurpassed goal.
These are all noble indeed; i.e., those three also are dear to Me. There is no devotee of Mine but is dear to Me, Vasudeva. There is, however, this difference: the wise man is excessively dear to Me. - Why so? - It is my conviction that the wise man is the very Self, not different from Me. The wise man strives to reach Me, firm in the faith that he himself is the Lord Vasudeva and is no other than He. He seeks Me only, the Supreme Brahman, as the highest goal to be reached. The wise man is again extolled:

19. At the end of many births, the man of wisdom comes to Me, (realizing) that Vasudeva is the all: he is the noble - souled (Mahatman), very hard to find.
At the end of many births occupied in spiritual regeneration as preparatory to the attainment of wisdom, the man of mature wisdom resorts to Me, Vasudeva, the innermost Self (Pratyagatman). How? - Realizing that Vasudeva is the All. He who thus comes to Me, Narayana, the Self of All, is a Mahatman, a man of high soul; there is no other either equal to him or superior to him. Therefore, such a man is very hard to find; it has indeed been said that "among thousands of men, one perchance strives for perfection " (vii. 3.)

The ignorant worship inferior Gods
Now will be shewn the cause of (the people) not seeing that the Self or Vasudeva alone is the All:

20. Those whose wisdom has been led away by this or that desire resort to other Gods, engaged in this or that rite, constrained by their own nature.
Their desires for progeny, cattle, svarga and the like deprive them of their power of discrimination, and they resort to other Gods (Devatas), other than Vasudeva, the Self. They engage in rites peculiar to the worship of these Gods; they being constrained to do so by their own nature (prakriti), by that peculiar tendency (samskara) which they acquired in the previous births. Of these lustful men,

21. Whatever devotee seeks to worship with faith what form soever, that same faith of his I make unflinching.
Whatever form of God (Devata) a man of desire worships in devotion and faith, I confirm his faith in the worship of that same form. By whatever faith a man is naturally actuated and seeks to worship a particular form of Devata,

22. Possessed of that faith he engages in the worship of that (form); thence he obtains his desires, these being indeed ordained by Me.
Possessed of that faith ordained by Me, he engages in the worship of that form of God. From the God worshipped in this form he obtains the objects of his desire as ordained by Me, the Supreme Lord, the Omniscient, as I alone know the precise relation between actions and their fruits, because their desires are all ordained by the Lord Himself, therefore the devotees are sure to obtain them. Another interpretation is also given which would make the last part of the verse mean that desires are beneficial. But desires can be beneficial only in a secondary sense; for, strictly speaking, they are beneficial to nobody. Because they are unwise and full of desires and resort to the means of attaining finite results, therefore,

23. That result indeed is finite, (which accrues) to those men of small intellect. Worshippers of Gods (Devatas) go to Gods (Devatas); My devotees come unto Me.
Though there is the same amount of exertion (in the two kinds of worship), people do not resort to Me so that they may attain infinite results. Alas! it is very miserable. Thus does the Lord express His regret. Why do they not come unto Me? it may be asked. The answer follows:

24. The foolish regard Me as the unmanifested coming into manifestation, knowing not My higher, immutable, unsurpassed nature.
Not knowing my higher nature as the Supreme Self, the ignorant think that I have just now come into manifestation, having been unmanifested hitherto, though I am the ever luminous Lord. To what is their ignorance due? Listen:

25. I am not manifest to all, veiled (as I am) by Yoga - Maya. This deluded world knows not Me, unborn and imperishable.
I am not manifest to all people; that is to say, I am manifest only to a few who are my devotees. I am veiled by Yoga-Maya. Yoga-Maya is the Maya which is none other than the Yoga or union of the three gunas. Or, Yoga is the firm will of the Lord or Isvara. The Illusion or veil thereby spread is called Yoga-Maya. Wherefore people are deluded and know Me not as unborn and imperishable. That Yoga-Maya by which I am veiled and on account of which people do not recognize Me, is Mine, i.e., subject to My control, and, as such, it cannot obstruct My knowledge the knowledge of the Isvara, of the possessor (or wielder) of the Maya, just as the glamour (maya) caused by a juggler (mayavin) does not obstruct his own knowledge. Wherefore,

26. I know, O Arjuna, the past and the present and the future beings, but Me nobody knows.
Nobody knows Me, except that one man who worships Me and seeks refuge with Me. Just for want of knowledge of My real nature, nobody worships Me.

The root of ignorance
It may be asked, "What is that obstacle to their knowledge of My real nature, whereby deluded, all creatures that are born know Me not?" Listen:

27. From the delusion of pairs caused by desire and aversion, O Bharata, all beings are subject to illusion at birth, O harasser of thy foes.
The very desire and aversion which are opposed to each other like heat and cold, and which, arising in connection with pleasure and pain and their causes, occur to every being in its turn, are known as pairs (dvandva). Now, when desire and aversion arise on the occurrence of pleasure and pain or of the causes thereof, they cause delusion in all beings and create obstruction to the rise of a knowledge of the Supreme Reality, the Self, by subjugating to themselves the intelligence of those beings. To one whose mind is subject to the passions of desire and aversion, there cannot indeed arise a knowledge of things as they are, even of the external world; and it needs no saying that to a man whose intellect is overpowered by passion there cannot arise a knowledge of the Innermost Self, inasmuch as there are many obstacles in its way. All creatures coming into existence are born subject to this delusion. Wherefore every being has its intelligence obscured by the delusion of pairs; and thus deluded it knows not that I am the Self, and therefore worships Me not as the Self.

Divine worship leads to realization
Who then are free from the delusion of pairs and know Thee and worship Thee as their Self according to the Teaching (Sastra)? In answer to this, the Lord says:

28. Those mortals of pure deeds whose sin has come to an end, who are freed from the delusion of pairs, they worship Me with a firm resolve.
Those persons of good deeds - good deeds causing purity of mind - whose sin has almost come to an end are freed from the delusion of pairs spoken of above and worship Me, their Highest Self. They resolutely abandon all else, firm in the conviction that "This is the Supreme Reality and no other." With what object do they worship? Listen:

29. Whoever resorting to Me strive for liberation from decay and death, they realize in full that Brahman, the individual Self, and all action.
Those who, with the mind steadfast in Me, the Supreme Lord, strive for liberation from decay and death, realize in full, That, the Supreme (Para) Brahman. They realize in full the Reality underlying the Innermost individual Self (adhyatma), and they know all about action (karma).

30. Those who realize Me in the Adhibhuta (physical region), in the Adhidaiva (the divine region) and in the Adhiyajna ( region of Sacrifice ), realize Me even at the time of departure, steadfast in mind.

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