Baghawat Geeta, Class 104: Chapter 7, Verses 10 to 13


Shloka # 10:

बीजं मां सर्वभूतानां विद्धि पार्थ सनातनम्
बुद्धिर्बुद्धिमतामस्मि तेजस्तेजस्विनामहम्।।7.10।।

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.

 Continuing his teaching of the Gita, Swami Paramarthananda said, in chapter 7 from shloka # 4 onwards Sri Krishna has been talking about Iswaraswarupam. Ishwara has two parts, a higher nature or consciousness or para parkriti (PP) and a lower nature consisting of matter principle or apara parkriti (AP). This mixture of Chit and Jada is Ishwara. This Ishwara is the root cause of the universe. From him the universe rises and into him it finally resolves as well. While studying this aspect of god as the cause of the universe we come across a law that says, whatever is the composition of the cause is also the composition of the effect. Thus, if out of gold we make an ornament, the composition of both gold and ornament will be the same. Thus, if gold has, say, 5 % copper, the ornament will also have same amount of copper. We can say this law even applies to the character of children. The child’s character is based upon the character of the parent.

We find that children inherit the characters of their parents. Since father and mother are involved, para and apara prakriti, are represented in them.  That is the reason, in a newly born baby people try to find if the baby looks like the father or mother. This characteristic includes good ones as well as bad ones, such as say a disease.  Thus, this law is known as karana gunah karye anuvartate.

Since Ishwara is a combination of Chetana and Achetana, the universe is also a combination of these two aspects. Therefore all glories of Universe belong to Me alone. Therefore Sri Krishna wants a total transformation in us. He wants us, not to look at the world as world, but look at the world as Ishwara, with both its chetana and achetana aspects. He is preparing us for chapter 11 for the Vishwarupa darshanam.

And here Krishna makes a small difference, when we say the whole creation is the manifestation of the Lord. We know that not only the wonderful things are the manifestation of the Lord, even the terrible things also is ultimately the manifestation of the Lord alone; but Krishna is very diplomatically, very intelligently suppressing the negative aspect, he is claiming only the glorious and wonderful thing as himself. What is the purpose of this deliberate suppression? Because already we find it difficult to develop devotion to God. If Bhagavan is going to claim all the negative things also as himself, one will never develop devotion to God.

Therefore in initial stages only positive aspects are emphasized. Once we are mature, we will be able to expand our vision to include both positive and negative aspects or be able to look at the totality of Creation. Once we are sufficiently mature we see even the so-called negative aspects in a positive light. We find that they actually complement the positive aspects.

Citing an example, birth is considered mangalam while death is considered amanagalam. We don’t like to talk of death of close one’s. As per shastras we see death as amanagalam, not because death itself is amangalam, rather it is because it is our mind that is still amangalam. Once our mind is mature, we will see everything as Ishwara and that everything in life is in complementary pairs.

Continuing with shloka # 10, Sri Krishna says, I am the intelligence in the intelligent people and I am the seed of the entire creation as well. Up to this we saw in the last class.

Shloka # 11:

बलं बलवतामस्मि कामरागविवर्जितम्
धर्माविरुद्धो भूतेषु कामोऽस्मि भरतर्षभ।।7.11।।

Also of the mighty I am the might, devoid of appetite and attachment. Foremost Bharata prince! in beings I am appetite not opposed to righteousness.

The same ideas as last shloka are commented upon. Hey foremost among Bharata princes (Arjuna), in the strong, I am the strength. The word cause in Sanskrit is also known as Saram. Therefore, strength is the essence of strong people. Now, strength is of two types.

  1. Positive strength, that is dharmic and constructive.
  2. Negative strength, that is adharmic and causes destruction.

Thus Rakshsas had destructive strength while Anjaneya swami had constructive strengths. Sri Krishna says I am the constructive strength or dharmic balam. Such strength is free from selfishness (kama) and desires (ragaha). This is pure strength. Kama is desire for an object not yet acquired by me. The moment I buy the object the desire is completed. Now karma converts to Ragaha or attachment. Both Kama and Ragaha are poisonous.

I am also kama in people with desires or desire-ridden people. Sri Krishna’s desire , however, was desire without any impurity.

Desire is, in general, of two types:

  • Dharmic, where his spirituality grows, in helping others, in desire for moksha (mumukshatvam). Any desire that promotes inner growth is dharmic. Even desire for money is good so long as it is used for sharing with others or as required by pancha maha yagnaha.
  • Adharmic desire: is one that pulls me down spiritually or destructive desires.

Shankaracharya says: Even money can be used for noble activities, noble activities will be useful for purification of mind; purification will be useful for knowledge. Knowledge will be useful for liberation; thus even desire for wealth can be a dharmica iccha; and Sri Krishna says such a dharmic desire I am.

Shloka # 12:

ये चैव सात्त्विका भावा राजसास्तामसाश्च ये
मत्त एवेति तान्विद्धि नत्वहं तेषु ते मयि।।7.12।।

Whatever things are satvic, rajasic and tamasic, know these to proceed from Me alone; I am not in them; they are in Me.

Until now Sri Krishna has talked about external world. Now he points out that external world as well as internal world (such as thoughts) is all a product of Ishwara alone.

Thoughts are inert by themselves. They appear to be sentient because of Para Prakriti (PP). Thus, the mind has Consciousness with changing thoughts (apara prakriti.) Thought and consciousness are closely intertwined as such difficult to differentiate. Citing an example:

In our hand, nails are there; fingers are there; lines are there; bacteria or dust etc; In fact, we tend to enumerate everything except one thing. That is the light, which is not part of the hand; but which is a distinct entity; the light and hand are intimately mixed together. Of these two principles, the hand is the moving part while the light is the movement-less part.

Similarly the scriptures point out, within our mind also, there are two things; one is the changing thought, which is changing every moment. In fact, right from the first word that I uttered, your mind has been changing. In fact your mind has to entertain thoughts in keeping with the movement of my words. Every word I utter  has to enter through your ears and you should know the meaning and in accordance with the meaning, a thought will come. And how are my words moving; fast; and what about your thoughts, they also change fast.

In Panchadashi, Vidyaranya Swami compares thoughts to the greatest dancer of the world; how the dancer violently moves the hands and legs so fast; similarly the mind assumes thoughts after thoughts; the thoughts are varying but there is one thing which is not varying at all; that is consciousness; I am conscious of your first sentence; conscious of your second sentence; conscious of your third sentence; conscious, conscious, conscious, no sentence; and even when the mind is blank without thoughts, I am conscious of the blankness of the mind.

This consciousness is PP while whatever changes, such as thought, is AP. Every thought that rises in you is AP. This AP (apara prakriti) has three gunas. They are: satva standing for knowledge faculty; rajas standing for dynamism or activity; and tamas standing for dullness or delusion. So knowledge, activity, and delusion, satva, rajas and tamas, are three gunas belonging to aparaprakriti, and now the thoughts, which are products of apara prakriti, they also will have three gunas.

Thus, thought, a product of AP, also has the same three gunas. Thus, body and mind also have these three gunas. We will study them in detail in chapter 14.

In short, varieties of thoughts occur in the mind; and all of them arise from where? Sri Krishna says, all those mental states are also born out of Me alone. Which part of Me? The apara prakriti part of Me alone.

Here Shankaracharya adds a commentary to clarify the interpretation:

Sri Krishna has said all thoughts are born out of Me alone. Thus, I can say God is responsible for all violence, jealousy etc in me, as well. Such a misinterpretation is possible. So, Shankaracharya says, God alone is Samanya (general) karanam. You and your free will are responsible for the specific (visesha) thought.

Citing an example. What is general cause of say, this hall? We can say the bricks and cement are the samanya karanam for the hall. The brick and cement do not determine the particular shape of the hall whether rectangle, square etc, It is my plan and desire that becomes the visesha karanam.

Citing another example, petrol is samanya karanam for movement of the car. Whether car should move on road or the sidewalk, that direction is not determined by petrol, rather it is determined by the driver, the visesha karanam.

Our discrimination power is visesha karanam.

This entire creation is dependent on Me, the cause. An effect depends on the cause. Try to remove gold and have an ornament; it is not possible. Effect depends upon cause. Cause does not depend on effect.

Arjuna, I do not depend on the world; that is why during pralayam; even when the whole world is resolved, I continue to exist. I don’t depend on product. God is therefore called Satyam as world depends upon him while the dependent world is called a mithya.

Shloka # 13:

त्रिभिर्गुणमयैर्भावैरेभिः सर्वमिदं जगत्
मोहितं नाभिजानाति मामेभ्यः परमव्ययम्।।7.13।।

Due to three (kinds of) objects, consisting of (prakriti’s) constituents, this whole world is deluded; it fails to cognize Me, the immutable (Reality) beyond them.

With the previous shloka Sri Krishna concludes the topic of Ishwara svarupam, the nature of God and the main points mentioned were:

  1. God is a mixture of para apara prakriti; that is chetana-achetana tatvam;
  2. The second feature is God alone is the Srishti-sthithi laya karanam of the world, is the creator, the preserver and the destroyer; Srishti-sthithi laya karanam is the second important feature;
  3. And the third important feature is God being the cause, He alone manifests as the entire world and therefore world is the manifestation of God; the world is divine. This is what is called Vishvarupa Ishwara; this is the third important feature
  4. And fourth and final thing is since God is the cause and the world is the effect; God has independent existence; therefore God is satyam; the world however, has a dependent existence and therefore is mithya;

Then, Sri Krishna discussed the topic of: why there is suffering in the world when everything is God? In this shloka he gives the answer. It is a very important shloka. It is a diagnosis of all our mental problems.

Correct diagnosis is important. We have never really analyzed why sorrow comes in our life? I thought education, then job, getting settled, having children and so on would solve our problems. But we still do not know why we mental problems of depression, anxiety, fear, sorrow, irritation, anger, jealousy; because we are treating the disease called bhava roga without diagnosis.

What is the diagnosis of Sri Krishna?

Sri Krishna says whole world is a combination of PP and AP.

PP: It is the changeless chetana that is nirguna, nirvikara, formless, propertyless, Consciousness principle.

AP: It is the achetana that is changing, with properties and is the matter principle. AP is perceptible to our sense organs. Sound, form, smell, taste and touch are evident to sense organs.

In the PP and AP mixture we are attracted to the visible and changing AP. In this attraction we lose sight of the invisible PP. Citing an example,  you are so much carried away by the hand and its motion, that you are always distracted away from the very light principle. And that is why you take it lightly. In a movie, the screen is the motionless substratum; but once the movie is on, you are so much absorbed in the changing characters; that you loose sight the changeless screen and once you miss the para prakriti; Sri Krishna says, you are in trouble. And therefore, our problem is losing sight of para prakriti (PP).

Take away:


In the Para Prakriti and Apara Prakriti mixture known as Samsara we are attracted to the visible and changing AP. In this attraction we lose sight of the invisible PP, the divine.

With Best Wishes

Ram Ramaswamy