Bhagwat Geeta, Class 177 – Chapter 13 Verses 25 to 27


Krishna points out that this knowledge is a liberating knowledge.  A person who knows that body mind complex is prakriti and that I am purusha.  Body is prakriti and mind is prakriti; the association of mind and body is birth and dis-association of mind and body is death; they are all happening at the level of prakriti.  There is no question of one birth, then where is the question of rebirth.  A Jñāni who realizes this and knows that he is anädi purusha, does not have rebirth and gets moksha.

Verse 25

Some seekers see the Self in the mind with the mind through meditation.  Some others see through Gyana yoga.  Still others see Karma Yoga.

In verse 25 to 35 Krishna discusses the preparations needed for self-knowledge and what are the benefits of self-knowledge.

The ultimate goal of all spiritual sadhanas is self-knowledge only.  There should not be any doubt regarding this goal.  We should discover atma within ourselves, using our own buddhi.  Buddhi is the only instrument to get knowledge.  But this buddhi should be a refined buddhi supported by guru sastra upadesa. 

Preparatory stages for reaching self-recognition through the mind within oneself, five stage preparation helping in removing one obstacle in each stage:

  1. Karma yoga stage, where mental impurities are removed. Impurities like raga, dwesha, kama, moha etc.  Karma yoga removes impurities and refines the mind.
  2. Upasana or meditation upon saguna Eeswara; Removing the obstacle of restlessness of mind and extrovertedness; helping mind to focus.
  3. Vedanta Sravanam:  Systematic and consistent study of Vedantic scriptures under the guidance of a competent guru, removing ajñānam or ignorance.
  4. Mananam:  Asking myself if I am convinced of the teaching of the scriptures and guru.  Converting knowledge into conviction; removing intellectual obstacles.
  5. Nidhithyasanam:  Deliberate invocation of Vedanta to get rid of disturbing reactions of life.

These five stages are compulsory for all.  If one does not complete all five stages in one life, the remaining stages are completed in the next life.  The one who passes through the four stages and in the next life goes through nidhithyasanam, resulting in spiritual prodigy. 

Verse 26

Not knowing thus, some others pursue self-knowledge by hearing from others.  Being committed to listening, they also definitely cross over mortality.

Vedanta does not require any particular scripture but insists upon the vedantic teachings.  Vedanta does not refer to language, but only the teachings and the contents.  If a person who doesn’t know the Upanishad but has assimilated the teachings, he is liberated.  However, if one goes through all the upanishad, but does not assimilate the teachings, he is not liberated.

Verse 27

Whatever being, moving or stationary, is born – know that to be out of the union of shethragya and kṣetram – oh Arjuna!

For preparation and purification of mind, there are many sadhanas, but for mokśa there is only Jñānam.  Samsara is caused by ignorance and error.  We are ignorant of the fact that we are purusha or atma.  Identifying ourselves with the body or prakriti or anatma is error.  Self-ignorance leads to body identification.  I, the consciousness take ourselves to be the body.  I, the immortal purusha mistake myself to moral body.  Apūrṇathvam leads to kāma; Kāma leads to karma, karma leads to punya päpam, punya päpa leads to sukha duḥkam, and later to punar janma. In fact, entire cycle of birth and death is dēha abhimāna. All beings go through re-birth because of this error and the cause of the error ignorance.  To remove the error, we need to remove the cause, and the cause is ignorance.

Verse 28

He who sees the supreme Lord who dwells alike in all being and who is imperishable among perishables (alone really) sees.

From this verse onwards, Lord Krishna enumerates Jñāna phalāḥṃ.  The first one mentioned is to be aware of changeless atma which is in and through all anatma.  Just as there are numerous waves, there are innumerable anatma, which are different from each other.  Among these innumerable bodies, there is on imperishable sat chit atma or paramatma.  Wise person is the one who does not lose sight of this fact during day-to-day transactions.  If I am aware of the permanent one, I will handle the impermanent one but will not depend on the  impermanent one.