Bhagavad Gita- Chapter 7 (Part-1) Jnaana Vijnaana Yogah- Yoga of Knowledge and Wisdom

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Let  us turn back to the Gita.

Once  the individual understands the distinction between matter and spirit, he will  know that the cause of all our sufferings is due to spirit identifying with  matter.  When spirit is detached from all  its identifications, it rediscovers for itself its own essential nature as  Perfection and Bliss Absolute. The spirit identifying with matter or apara  prakriti is called ego. This is also called super imposition on the Truth  through ignorance.  It is apara  prakriti which is the cause of the world and by which the ego or Jiva gets  bound. It is the ego that rediscovers itself to be nothing other than the  spirit or para prakriti that presides over the matter.  In order to make it clear Sri Krishna tells  that the matter-aspect is distinct from the spirit-aspect in each individual.

The  five elements are represented by the sense-organs by which the individual lives  and gathers experiences in the world of sense objects as we have seen above. The  sense organs are the channels through which the world of stimuli reaches the  mind. The impulses received in the mind are classified and systematized as  knowledge by the intellect.  During all  these assimilation the ego falsely identifies the body with the Spirit and the  sense of `I' or `My' is produced.

Sri  Krishna says that the equipments referred to in Verse 4 are not all that the  Self possesses. The Self has, besides them, equipments of a higher nature which  are Pure Consciousness or Awareness i.e. para prakriti (Verse 5). It is  this spiritual aspect in everybody that makes it possible for the body, mind  and intellect which are inert matters to function as if they are very cognizant  and intelligent.

The  spiritual factor is the entity with whose contact the body equipment works and  without which it becomes dull and insentient. Without this spiritual spark man  will be no more than a stone and he will not be able to experience the world  outside or within him.  The world of  objects, the world of feelings and the world of ideas that we experience  constitute in their totality the Jagat or universe which is supported by  the principle of consciousness.

etadyoneeni bhootaani  sarvaaneetyupadhaaraya
    aham kritsnasya jagatah prabhavah  pralayastathaa // 7.6 //

Know  these two - My higher and lower natures - form the womb of all beings.  Therefore, I am the origin and dissolution of the whole Universe.

The  above mentioned higher and lower natures together cause the manifestation of  the world of plurality.  If there is no  matter, the latent dynamic energy of the Spirit will not have a field for its  expression.  The matter by itself is  dormant and it cannot function unless the Spirit is there to activate it, to  enliven it. An example of this principle is electricity and the bulb.  The bulb is the inert matter and the  electricity is the dynamic spirit. It is obvious that one is of no use without  the other. When the spirit functions through the five layers of the matter it  finds a place to express itself.

The  combination of the higher and lower natures (prakritis) is the womb of all  beings i.e., these two are the cause for the origin of all creatures or  manifestation.  The lower nature  manifests itself as the material body and the higher nature as the enlivening  soul, the experiencer.

At  the time of evolution, names, forms and life arise from prakriti and at the  time of dissolution they go back into it. But prakriti, independent of the Lord  (Consciousness or Brahman or Spirit) cannot generate anything. Prakriti is the  Lord’s instrument of creation, preservation and dissolution. Hence the Lord is  the ultimate cause of the Universe; as we have seen under the topic “Creation”  above Brahman (the Lord) + Maya or Consciousness (Spirit) + Matter is the  ultimate cause of the evolution and dissolution of the Universe or Creation or  Manifestation.

These  ideas constitute the nucleus of the knowledge about Brahman, Maya,  Manifestation or Creation all of which are dealt with elaborately in the  subsequent Chapters of the Gita especially in Chapters 8, 9, 13, 14 and  15.  Hence these concepts and ideas  should be thoroughly grasped and kept in mind for a fruitful study of the  latter Chapters of the Gita.

mattah parataram naanyat kinchidasti  dhananjaya
    mayi sarvamidam protam sootre maniganaa  iva // 7.7 //

There  exists nothing whatsoever higher than Me, O Dhananjaya.  All this is strung on Me, as a row of gems on  a thread.

There  exists no other cause of the universe except the Lord. To show that the Self is  one and the same in all created beings on the earth it is stated here that The  Lord is the supporter of the Universe just as the string is of the gems on a  garland. Without the string the gems will be scattered.

The  substance with which gems and thread are made is different. Similarly the world  is constituted of infinite variety of names and forms which are held together  by the Spiritual Truth into a complete whole.   Even in an individual, the body, mind and intellect are different from  one another but they work in harmony and in unity because of the same spiritual  Truth, the principle of consciousness. Hence Sri Krishna says that there is no  other cause of the Universe but Him; He alone is the cause of the Universe.

The  Lord is the support of the universe, as the string is of the gems on a garland.  Without the string the gems will lie scattered; without the Lord, the planets,  the stars and all else will be dispersed. The Lord, manifesting Himself through  the physical and moral laws, sustains the relative world. He is also the Unity  that underlies the diversity of names and forms.

ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE LORD’S MANIFESTATIONS

raso'hamapsu kaunteya prabhaasmi  shashisooryayoh
    pranavah sarva vedeshu shabdah khe  paurusham nrishu // 7.8 //

O  Son of Kunti, I am the savor of  waters,  the radiance of the sun and moon, the syllable OM in all the Vedas, the sound  in ether and the manliness in man.

punyo gandhah prithivyaam cha  tejashcha'smi vibhaavasau
    jeevanam sarvabhooteshu tapashchaasmi  tapaswishu // 7.9 //

I  am the sweet fragrance in earth and brilliance in the fire, the life in all  beings and I am the austerity in the ascetics.

In  these two verses the doubt as to what is the eternal factor which is common in all  and yet not readily perceptible to anybody is cleared.

That  which remains always from beginning to end and without which the thing cannot  be identified as such is declared to be its essence, its Dharma - the law of its  being. All examples given here by The Lord like savor in water, radiance in the  sun and the moon, syllable OM in the Vedas, the principle of sound in Space, manliness  in man, brilliance in the fire, life in all beings etc. indicate that the Lord  is that factor or subtle principle which gives the individual creatures different  characteristics of their own..

beejam maam sarvabhootaanaam viddhi  paartha sanaatanam
    buddhir buddhimataamasmi  tejastejaswinaamaham // 7.10 //

Know  Me, O Partha, as the eternal seed of all beings that exist; I am the intelligence  of the intelligent and the splendor of the splendid (things and beings).

balam balavataamasmi  kaamaraagavivarjitam
    dharmaaviruddho bhooteshu kaamo'smi  bharatarshabha // 7.11 //

Of  the strong, I am the strength - devoid of desire and attachment and in all  beings, I am the desire unopposed to Dharma, O Best among the Bharatas.

The  Lord continues to indicate the same truth by means of some more analogies.  Sri Krishna tells that He is the strength  among the strong but devoid of desire and attachment.

The  terms desire and attachment are not synonymous.   Desire is for what is absent at present in the scheme of life and  attachment or affection is for what one has already obtained. These two  emotions are generally the cause of conflict between individuals, communities  and countries assisted by their respective strength.

Another  concept is brought in here - Desire unopposed to Dharma. All actions, thoughts  and ideas entertained by an individual which are not contrary to his own nature  of Divinity make up his Dharma.  Such  actions, thoughts etc. which lead him to discover his nature of Divinity are  considered righteous actions. Those actions which remove him from his inherent  nature of Divinity are called unrighteous implying that The Lord is all the  desires that are not wrongful to a living being.

ye chaiva saatvikaa bhaavaa raajasaas  taamasaashcha ye
    matta eveti taanviddhi natwaham teshu te  mayi // 7.12 //

Whatever  things there be that are pure (pertaining to Sattva), active (pertaining to  Rajas) and inert (pertaining to Tamas), know them to proceed from Me alone; yet  I am not in them, they are in Me.

This  verse concludes the discussion started with the statement “all this is strung  in Me as a row of pearls on a thread”. All things (including the different  states of mind) are in The Lord but He is not in them just as all waves are in  the ocean but the ocean is not in them.  The  universe is only an appearance superimposed by illusion (Maya) on the Lord. It  is like a mirage in the desert. From the standpoint of the onlooker, the  illusory water exists in the desert; but the desert does not depend upon or  exist in the mirage. Likewise this universe, apparently superimposed on the  Lord, exists in the Lord, but the Lord is not in the universe. None of the  properties of the universe touches the Lord, just as the waters of the mirage  cannot soak a single grain of the desert sand.

The  gunas constitute prakriti or nature which is the lower manifestation of the  Lord. Therefore the Lord is their ultimate cause. But the Lord is not, as in  the case of worldly men, under the control of the gunas. The gunas, on the  contrary, are subject to Him.

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