Baghawat Geeta, Class 103: Chapter 7, Verses 7 to 10
Shloka # 7:
मत्तः परतरं नान्यत्किञ्चिदस्ति धनञ्जय।
मयि सर्वमिदं प्रोतं सूत्रे मणिगणा इव।।7.7।।
Nothing whatsoever is beyond Me. All this is strung on Me like clusters of gems on a thread.
Continuing his teaching of the Gita, Swami Paramarthananda said, after introducing the subject matter in the first three shlokas of chapter 7, Sri Krishna has now entered the main topic of the Gita. This topic continues up to Ch 12. It is the topic of Ishwara swarupam. It discusses what is God and what is his function.
God is the Jagat Karanam. He is the cause of the universe. God is the intelligent cause and the material cause. God alone has created the world; he also has evolved into this creation. God is not a person sitting in a place; rather the world itself is a manifestation of God. This view of the world is Vishwarupa darshanam. It requires understanding and maturity to look at this world as Ishwara’s manifestation.
Until now we understand and assume that God is a person and Ishwara darshanam is coming in contact with a personal God. Sri Krishna wants to remove this idea. He wants to present Ishwara Darshanam as God’s Vishwarupam. In Chapters 7 through 10, Sri Krishna prepares our mind, so that in the 11th chapter, we do not ask for the arrival of God, but we understand that God has already arrived in the form of akasha, vayu, agni, jalam and prithvi. So, thus, not only I should understand what is God but also I should reorient the mind to see the very world as God. When I look upon God as a person, it is ekarupa Ishwara; Krishna does not want us to confine to ekarupa Ishwara; Krishna want us to know the aneka rupa Ishwara, the entire Gita is aiming at aneka rupa Ishwara darshanam or Vishvarupa Ishwara darshanam. Sri Krishna considers this Ishwara darshanam as superior because ekarupa Ishwara or a personal God is subject to arrival as well as departure.
A Personal God is subject to arrival and departure as can be seen from the Gopika’s attitude towards Sri Krishna when he appeared and when he departed. They cried in distress whenever he departed. We do not decry this devotion, but this is a lower level of appreciation of God. Sri Krishna wants us to see the higher level of Vishwa Darshanam as sarvam Vishnumayam jagat or sarvam Shivamayam jagat or sarvam Devimayam jagat. He presents himself as jagat karanam.
Thus this Vishwa rupa god has two aspects, Para prakriti (consciousness) and Aparaprakriti (material cause). Sri Krishna points out that this Ishwara consists of two aspects or amshas; one is called the para prakriti (PP), the consciousness part; the chetana amsha, and apara prakriti (AP), the achetana amsha. Thus the higher and lower nature put together; consciousness and matter put together is God. And how does this God evolve into the universe. Sri Krishna said that it happens in two stages; in the initial stage, it is one para prakriti and one apara prakriti; then in the intermediary stage, the apara prakriti divides itself into 8-fold ashtadha prakriti while para prakriti continues as one; and then in the final stage the 8 fold apara prakriti becomes the manifold creation.
Thus, wherever you see the changing matter, you appreciate it as the apara prakriti of Ishwara; and wherever you see consciousness which you can feel in your body, if you have doubt, you can touch; it is para prakriti.
It is because of consciousness that you can hear my words. All the five elements (shabda, sparsha, roopa, and rasa and gandha) that provide awareness of my words is PP.
Citing example of Mahabali story; with one step the Lord has measured the entire world, with another step the Lord has measured the entire apara prakriti; and after that there is nothing else other than your problematic ego, which claims this is my body; this is my mind; this is my property. Therefore bhagavan takes the third step and removes that ignorance, the ego, to indicate that there is nothing other than God.
He says there is nothing other than God. There is neither jiva nor jagat other than Ishwara.
Shloka # 7, continued: There are no ornaments other than gold, no furniture other than wood, no wave or ocean other than water. River is only a name, there is no substance called river.
Therefore the teaching is there is no product other than the cause and the Lord being the cause, the world being the product, Sri Krishna wants to say the world is only a word; there is no substance called world; Then what is the substance? The substance alone is the cause and that cause is God.
Just as the thread is inherent in the garland, I am the sutra-atma or the thread inherent in creation.
Shloka # 8:
रसोऽहमप्सु कौन्तेय प्रभास्मि शशिसूर्ययोः।
प्रणवः सर्ववेदेषु शब्दः खे पौरुषं नृषु।।7.8।।
I am the essence of water, O Arjuna, as also the light of the moon and the sun. (I am) the sacred syllable AUM in all the Vedas, the sound inherent in space and the manhood of men.
Sri Krishna wants us to not only understand this fact but he also wants our attitude to change as well. Attitude can change only through understanding. Our love for our parents is based upon the fact of all the things they have done for us; proportionally in keeping with that understanding; I develop the attitude of reverence. Any attitude is based on knowledge. When we meet a stranger we have no attitude, no Ragaha or Dveshaha towards him as we do not know him. Once we know the person we develop an attitude such as reverence. As you understand the world so is your attitude. As your understanding of this world changes, so does your attitude change as well.
When I look upon world as world, my attitude is ragah or dveshah; but when I understand the world as vishvarupa, the manifestation of God, then my attitude is one of reverence. In fact the basic teaching of Hinduism is reverence to the creation as manifestation of God.
Citing example of the mantra, Rudram, it is all about Vishwadarshanam. It says I worship the Shiva who is mud, fresh leaf, etc. We are asked to look at everything reverentially; it is same with sunrise. Thus, I worship the sun.
Similarly, we have got twofold job of understanding the teaching and also bringing about an attitudinal change, a perspective change or divinization of the world. When the world is seen as world, it will persecute you; it will create fear; it will disturb you; so the world as world will cause samsara; but the very same world as Ishwara will not cause any samsara. In fact, this is the first mantra of Ishavasya Upanishad; Ishavasyam
idagum sarvam. May you learn to look upon the very world as Ishwara svarupa, paint the world with Ishwara bhavana.
Now, knowledge can be gathered immediately but attitudinal change is slow. Understanding the teaching and bringing about an attitudinal change is called divination of the world.
“Arjuna, when you drink water, consider that the essence of water is myself.” Hence in sandhya vanadanam water is worshipped.
This way I look at everything as God. I am the radiance in the sun and moon. This radiance is worshipped in gayathri mantra. This radiance is consciousness. I worship that brilliant sunlight, that consciousness alone that makes my inert brain into a live knowing instrument.
I am the aumkara, the essence of all vedas. Vedas are condensed at three levels.
First: At Gayathri mantra. Chanting gayathri is like chanting the entire vedas.
Second: Gayathri condensed into Vyahrithi mantra called the bhuhu, bhuva, suvaha, mantra.
Third: Vyahrithi is then condensed into AUM.
Therefore, Veda is condensed in AUM kara while AUM kara diluted is Vedas. AUM kara is essence of vedas, It is also myself. I am the essence of all pervading space (akasha brahman), the sound principle (shabda brahman); I am the very manliness (humaneness) in every human being.
Shloka # 9:
पुण्यो गन्धः पृथिव्यां च तेजश्चास्मि विभावसौ।
जीवनं सर्वभूतेषु तपश्चास्मि तपस्विषु।।7.9।।
I am pure odor in the earth; splendour in the fire; life in all beings; and austerity in ascetics.
The essential nature of prithvi, the earth is its fragrance or smell; among the five elements the earth alone has got gandha gunaha; the other four elements do not have gandha; so akasha has got shabda gunaha, Vayu has got shabda and sparsha; sparsha means touch, agni has got
Shabda, sparsha and rupam, visible; jalam has got shabda, sparsha, roopa, and rasa; and prithvi has got shabda, sparsha, roopa, and rasa and gandha.
This gandha or fragrance of earth is Myself as felt during a fresh rain in the mud.
The essence of fire is heat. In hot water you don’t see fire but you feel the heat. This heat, I am.
I am the very life principle, without which a life is dead.
Hence in our religion, we respect all living beings. Other religions believe animals, plants etc, do not have a soul and hence they are for our consumption. Our religion is talking of ecological protection to protect life principle.
Among human beings there are more evolved beings known as Tapasvinaha. They have accomplished success in material or spiritual worlds. I am austerity in austere. I am saintliness in saints.
We also look at the five elements themselves as God; thus we have five temples, each temple dedicated to one one bhutha; akasha lingam in Chidambaram; Vayu lingam in kalahasti; agni lingam in Tiruvannamalai; jala lingam in Jambukesvaram, thiruanaikavil; and prithvi lingam in Kancheepuram. What does it mean? I learn to look or see the five elements themselves as Ishwara’s manifestation; all these indicate an attitudinal change in us.
Shloka # 10:
बीजं मां सर्वभूतानां विद्धि पार्थ सनातनम्।
Know Me, Arjuna! to be the eternal seed power in all beings; of intellectual beings I am the intellect; of those who are splendorous, I am the splendor.
I am the intelligence in intelligent people. I am boldness in bold people. Boldness can overcome obstacles; it is the bull dozer capacity. Such people conquer all obstacles. Hence they are known as Parakrama. I am Parakrama.
Because essential nature of everything is God, if we have got any of these virtues; like boldness, like intelligence; like austerity; like knowledge, if anyone of these virtues is in me; I should remember they really do not belong to me; but they are the manifestation of God. Credit is to God and not me. I become humble, born out of knowledge. Humility coming out of humbleness is permanent, other wise it is superficial.
Story of Yaksha. Kenopanishad has this story. When the devas got a victory over asuras, they became arrogant. Now Bhagavan came in the form of a mysterious yaksha to teach Devas a lesson. Yaksha asks Agni Devata to burn a blade of grass. Agni tries to burn the blade of grass but cannot do so. Agni realizes that the agni principle is God. God asks Vayu devata to lift a blade of grass. He is not able to. All this shows the essential nature of God.
Any award that we get is really due to God so place it in front of him as an offering. Knowing this will lead to humility. Ignorance of God leads to arrogance. This way, I don’t feel jealousy when I know all glory is God’s. I do not compare; it is comparison that leads to jealousy. When I appreciate God, there cannot be jealousy. We are only pipelines; the water belongs to God. All glory belongs to God. Whenever I see glory, appreciate it as Lord’s glory. Humility, non-jealousy are benefits of Ishwara Gyanam. I am the seed, the primal cause. Let us always Keep this corollary in mind: understanding Ishwara will give you humility; Ignorance of Ishwara will lead to arrogance.
Causes are either intermediate or ultimate. Our parents are our cause. They had their parents, their cause. God is absolute primal cause, which is cause of everything. God himself is, however, a parentless cause (or parent) of creation.
The word sanatanam means without a beginning or causeless cause of creation.
- Sri Krishna says there is nothing other than God. There is neither jiva nor jagat other than Ishwara.
- Therefore the teaching is there is no product other than the cause and the Lord being the cause, the world being the product, Sri Krishna wants to say the world is only a word; there is no substance called world; then what is the substance? The substance alone is the cause and that cause is God.
- Any attitude is based on knowledge. As you understand the world so is your attitude. As your understanding of this world changes, so does your attitude change as well.
- I become humble, born out of knowledge. Humility coming out of humbleness is permanent, other wise it is superficial.
- Understanding Ishwara will give you humility; Ignorance of Ishwara will lead to arrogance.
With Best Wishes