Bhagavadgita: 7. The Yoga of Knowledge and Wisdom

Krishna and Arjuna in the Bhagavadgita

Translated by Jayaram V

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Summary: This chapter deals with the importance of knowledge and wisdom. Only after innumerable births does a person attain the true knowledge of the self and the wisdom and worships God with true devotion. Deluded people remain bound to the cycle of births and deaths with their ignorant ways while the wise ones do worship God with devotion and determination and attain liberation.


Jnana Vijnana Yoga

1. Said the Lord Supreme, O Partha, now listen to this with your mind devoted to Me, practicing Yoga and taking refuge in Me, you can know Me completely without any doubt.

2. I will now explain to you fully the knowledge with wisdom by knowing which nothing else remains to be known further.

3. Among thousands of men few strive to achieve perfection (in yoga) and of such successful men very few indeed actually know Me

4. The earth (energy in the form of gross matter), water ( energy in the form of lighter matter), fire (energy in the form of lighter matter), ether (the subtle matter), mind (energy in the form of consciousness), buddhi (energy in the form of awareness), and the ego (the individualized consciousness)- these are the eight fold divisions of My Prakriti (Creative Energy).

5. This is My lower Nature. But know that there is My other and higher Nature, O mighty armed, which upholds and sustains all the beings in this world.

6. Know that all beings are created from this two fold Nature of Mine and also that I am the creator as well as destroyer of the entire universe.

7. There is nothing whatsoever that is superior to Me or higher than Me. O Dhananjaya. All that is here is strung upon Me like pearls on a thread.

8. O Son of Kunti, I am the liquidity of water, the light of the sun and the moon, the syllable AUM in the Vedas, sound in space and manliness in men.

9. I am the fragrance of cleanliness found in the earth, the light of fire, life in all beings, and among ascetics austerity.

10. O Partha, know that I am the eternal seed of all beings. I am the intelligence of the intelligent and the brilliance of the brilliant.

11. O best of the Bharatas, I am the strength of the strong. I am without lust and passion, but in beings I am desire that is not opposed to Dharma.

12. The three states of My Creative Energy, namely sattva (purity and truthfulness), rajas (pride and arrogance) and tamas (slothfulness and ignorance) have evolved from Me only. I am not in them though they are in Me.

13. Deluded by these three modes of nature all the beings in the whole world do not recognize Me, who is supernal and inexhaustible.

14. It is indeed very difficult to overcome maya (illusion) caused by these three modes of Nature. Those who take shelter in Me alone can do so.

15. But the evildoers, the deluded and the lowliest of the men do not worship Me. With their knowledge lost to Maya (illusion), they take shelter in the demonic.

16. Four kinds of pious people worship Me O Arjuna. The person in great distress, the person in search of knowledge, the seeker of wealth and the man of wisdom.

17. Out of them the man of wisdom who is constantly engaged in devotion to Me, is very special and dear to Me. Certainly to the man of wisdom I am very dear and he to Me.

18. All these men are definitely magnanimous souls. But the man of wisdom in my opinion is verily like Myself. He is certainly situated in Me and attains the highest end.

19. It is only at the end of many births, the man of wisdom surrenders to Me, realizing that Vasudeva is all. But it is very rare to come across such great souls.

20. Those under the influence of their respective nature, with their wisdom consumed by various desires, worship other gods, observing specific rituals and religious rites.

21. Whatever form a devotee desires to worship with deep faith, I stabilize his faith firmly in that form.

22. Endowed with such faith, he aspires to worship that form and gains through that fulfillment of his desires as ordained by Me.

23. But limited is the fruit gained by such men of small wisdom. Those who worship gods go to them but My devotees come to Me only.

24. The men without intelligence think that I have come into this world from nowhere, not knowing My inexhaustible and highest state of existence.

25. I do not manifest My illumination every where. Covered by yoga maya (the state of illusion), these deluded people do not know My Supreme Existence that is unborn and inexhaustible.

26. O Arjuna, I know the past, the present and the future and also about all the beings. But no one knows Me.

27. O Paramtapa Bharata, born out of the delusion of duality caused by attraction and aversion, all beings pass into delusion from their very birth. .

28. But men of virtuous deeds whose sins have been washed away worship Me with devotion and determination, freed from the illusion of duality.

29. Those who take refuge in Me and strive for deliverance from death and old age, know everything about Brahman, the Inner Self and all actions.

30. Those who know Me to be composed of Adhibhuta (Master of all elements), Adhidaiva (Master of all the devas) and Adhiyagna (Master of all sacrificial ceremonies), with their minds established in Me, know Me even at the time of their final journey (death).

Thus ends the seventh chapter named Yoga of Knowledge and Higher Knowledge in the Upanishad of the divine Bhagavad-Gita, the knowledge of the Absolute, the yogic scripture, and the debate between Arjuna and Lord Krishna.

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