Bhagavad-Gita Summary, Chapter VII

[For the Disciple—A Guide]


"Devotion by means of Spiritual Discernment."

Krishna reminds Arjuna that when such a rare man fixes his mind in meditation on the Supreme Spirit, believing firmly in It, and continuing steadfastly in practice, he will learn all that can be known:

"Among thousands of mortals a single one perhaps strives for perfection, and among those so striving perhaps a single one knows me as I am. Earth, water, fire, air, and akasa, Manas, Buddhi, and Ahankara is the eight-fold division of my nature. It is inferior; know that my superior nature is different and is the Knower; by it the universe is sustained...I am the cause, I am the production and the dissolution of the whole universe. There is none superior to me...and all things hang on me as precious gems upon a string...in all creatures I am the life, and the power of concentration in those whose minds are on the spirit...in all creatures I am desire regulated by moral fitness." (Gita, pp. 53-4)

Krishna stands for the spiritual essence seated in the heart of all things. He causes the qualities of sattva, rajas and tamas to arise in Nature, but he is not bound by them. He declares that He is the "Eternal Seed," and he is the "Wisdom of the Wise." All Nature, and every creature, is produced by His divine illusive power acting through the qualities. Only those who approach Him directly, know Him, and will be able to surmount illusion.

Those who remain unwise, wicked and deluded will never attain to Him. These, the deluded, have many desires, worship other gods and powers, and follow rituals devised by them to achieve their lesser goals. However, Krishna states that the "power to achieve" springs from spirit, but if it is directed to temporary, short-sighted goals, it can sustain them only temporarily. (Gita, pp. 54-5)

Four classes of men who work righteousness worship Krishna. "The afflicted, searchers for truth, those who desire possessions, and the wise." The best are those who possess spiritual knowledge obtained by exclusive devotion to Him. They permit the Higher Self to act. They are rare, consistently follow the path of peace, and are devoted to the Supreme. These, after many births, discover His ubiquitous nature and see Him residing in their own hearts, "superior to all things, and exempt from decay." (Gita, pp. 55-6)

Being deathless, the Higher Self, knows all creatures in their innermost nature. He is unrecognized by the deluded because he remains undiscovered, "enveloped in his magic illusion." (Gita, p. 55)

"At the time of rebirth, all creatures fall into the delusion of the opposites which springs from liking and disliking." It is they who created their present condition through their choices made in past lives.

"But those men of righteous lives whose sins have ceased, being free from this delusion of the 'pairs of opposites,' firmly settled in faith, worship me. They who depend on me, and labor for deliverance from birth and death know Brahma, the whole Adhyatma, and all Karma. Those who rest in me, knowing me to be the Adhibhuta, the Adhidaivata, and the Adhiyajna, know me also at the time of death." (Gita, pp. 56-7)





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