11. I am Thine, All is Thine, My Lord
The seventh chapter opens with a tremendously important declaration.
O Arjuna, hear how you shall without doubt know me fully, with the mind intent on me, practising yoga and taking refuge in me. (7:1)
The essential teaching of Krsna is anasakti yoga, total non-attachment, total non-contact.
When you come into contact with something, you are asking for trouble, because that contact will come to an end and you will be miserable.
Yet, here, we are asked to remain in intimate and constant contact with God!
There is good reason for this.
How to restrain the mind and rob it of its restlessness, thereby making it no-mind?
By abhyasa and vairagya.
This is usually translated imperfectly, into 'practice' and 'dispassion'.
A very holy man who lived in Uttarkashi thirty years ago explained it to me in just two sentences (but please remember that it is what he said, not what I said or what we can understand from it).
"Abhyasa means: to know that everything is God. Vairagya means: that there is no world."
Another great holy man, Swami Nisreyasananda, who belongs to the Ramakrishna Order said more or less the same thing in a different context: "Close your eyes when you meditate, then you realise the infinite or God within. Open your eyes and you see God in all."
God, perceived through the senses and conceived by the mind, is called the world, the body, personality, individuality and all that.
The world, the personality, the individuality seen through the eyes of wisdom, is God.
When your vision becomes wisdom, division is gone.
There should not only be no doubt or hesitation, but the knowledge of the totality - that nothing remains outside of it.
Is there a knowledge like that?
If there is, can we know that?
If you know that, you are standing outside so it's not a totality!
Any knowledge that you want to know is already divided knowledge, and therefore no knowledge.
If the individuality is still there, and this individuality aspires to a knowledge, it is only fragmented knowledge, and therefore no knowledge.
I shall declare to thee in full this knowledge, combined with direct realisation, after knowing which nothing more here remains to be known. (7:2)
Such a knowledge implies the coming to an end of what has been assumed to exist - ego - ego in a very special sense.
Until then all the seeking that you are indulging in is part of the seeker, all that you are observing is part of the observer.
The ego itself, the mind itself, is indulging in some sort of acrobatics.
As long as the observer is there, the observation is part of the observer.
It is his own projection, it is the same mind.
As long as the ego is there, saying: "I am seeking God, I want this liberation" you are slightly more social than the other fellow who says: "I want your property".
You are more acceptable to others, because you are not a threat!
Where there is an observer, a seeker, whether he seeks a thing called 'world' or a thing called 'God', he is still seeking, and that seeking seeks something that the seeker has invented and projected out of himself.
Who is the seeker?
There is a problem!
If there is a seeker, an observer,, who is to observe this observer?
Or, who is to seek the seeker and find him?
How does the knower become known?
That is, my objective knowledge, 'me', also becomes 'my' object of knowledge.
How can 'I' become the object of my own knowledge?
How can 'I' know my self?
Which one is the 'me'?
It is at that point that what is popularly known as self-surrender happens.
The direct realisation arises which is thus stated by Krsna:
Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intellect and egoism - thus is my nature divided eightfold. This is the inferior prakrti, O mighty armed Arjuna; know thou as different from it, my higher prakrti (nature) the very life-element, by which this world is upheld. (7:4,5)
There is one factor which is especially thrilling - 'I' exist.
This thing called 'I' is everywhere.
This principle called 'I am' is very different from what you and I assume it to be.
'I do not belong to myself, but to God to whom everything belongs!'
That is self-surrender.
Whatever beings are pure, active and inert, know that they proceed from me. They are in me, yet I am not in them. (7:12)
All these moods are also of the divine, but the divine is not confined to them.
We constantly make a mistake in trying to think that we can somehow find God within 'myself'.
When this God enters 'myself', then it becomes a little cap for my self!
There is nothing other than the divine.
Please do not think that God especially manifests in your heart only when you are in an exalted mood.
When you are in a sleepy mood also, God is manifest in you.
God is always there - but not in those moods, God is not confined to anything.
It is possible that one day you begin to wonder and realise: "I am, but I am not mine; the body exists, it is not mine; the world exists, it is not mine. And when there is confusion, even that confusion, Lord, is not mine."
There is surrender.
Every moment you are surrendering, whatever happens you are surrendering - surrendering in the sense that there is no sense of 'mine'.
In order that we might not pat ourselves on the back, Krsna cautions us:
I am not manifest to all (as I am) veiled by the yoga maya. This deluded world does not know me, the unborn and the imperishable. (7:25)
This truth is not easily perceived, because everything is mixed up, everywhere.
It is not easy for a person to become aware of this.
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. (7:28)
Who will understand and appreciate this?
Only they whose sins have come to an end can enter into the spirit of this teaching.
Otherwise, you hear the words, and you try to translate them in your own way and get caught, sometimes in an iron cage, sometimes in a brass cage, and sometimes in a golden cage.
The golden cage is nice, but it takes a little more to realise that even that is a cage, a prison.
If you practise what you are taught, it is only to come to that point where it is possible for this teaching to be received, not by the mind, not by the intellect, but by the heart, directly.

The Bhagavad Gita - Introduction | EN

Swami Venkatesananda

The Song of God - Introduction - Swami Venkatesananda - enlarged 4th edition – 1984 - published by The Chiltern Yoga Trust, Cape Town, South Africa
1998 - 2017