Om Namah Shivaya - Om Namo Venkatesaya  

The Song of God - Swami Venkatesananda enlarged 4th edition - 1984 - published by The Chiltern Yoga Trust, Cape Town, South Africa

15 - Purusottama Vibhaga Yoga - The Yoga of the Supreme Spirit

Om parthaya pratibodhitam bhagavata narayanena svayam vyasena grathitam purana munina madhye mahabharatam advaita 'mrta varsinim bhagavatim astadasa 'dhyayinim amba tvam anusamdadhami bhagavad gite bhava dvesinim
1. Om. O Bhagavad Gita, with which Partha (Arjuna) was illumined by lord Narayana himself and which was composed within the Mahabharata by the ancient sage Vyasa, O divine mother, the destroyer of rebirth, the showerer of the nectar of advaita (oneness) and consisting of eighteen chapters - upon thee, O Bhagavad Gita, O affectionate mother, I meditate.
namo 'stu to vyasa visala buddhe phulla 'ravinda 'yata patra netra yena tvaya bharata taila purnah prajvalito jnanamayah pradipah
2. Salutations unto thee, O Vyasa of broad intellect, and with eyes like the petals of full-blown lotuses, by whom the lamp of knowledge, filled with the oil of the Mahabharata has been lighted.
prapanna parijataya totravetrai 'ka panaye jnana mudraya krsnaya gita 'mrta duhe namah
3. Salutations to Krsna, the parijata or the bestower of all desires for those who take refuge in him, the holder of the whip in one hand, the holder of the symbol of knowledge and the milker of the nectar of the Bhagavad Gita.
sarvo 'panisado gavo dogdha gopala nandanah partho vatsah sudhir bhokta dugdham gita 'mrtam mahat
4. All the upanisad are the cows, the milker is Krsna the cowherd boy, Arjuna is the calf, men of purified intellect are the drinkers, the milk is the great nectar of the Gita.
vasudeva sutam devam kamsa canura mardanam devaki parama 'nandam krsnam vande jagad gurum
5. I salute lord Krsna, the world teacher, the son of Vasudeva, the destroyer of Kamsa and Canura, the supreme bliss of Devaki.
bhisma drona tata jayadratha jala gandhara nilotpala salya grahavati krpena vahani karnena velakula asvatthama vikarna ghora makara duryodhana 'vartini so 'ttirna khalu pandavai rana nadi kaivartakah kesavah
6. With Krsna as the helmsman, verily, was crossed by the Pandava the battle-river whose banks were Bhisma and Drona, whose water was Jayadratha, whose blue lotus was the king of Gandhara, whose crocodile was Salya, whose current was Krpa, whose billow was Karna, whose terrible alligators were Asvatthama and Vikarna, whose whirlpool was Duryodhana.
parasarya vacah sarojam amalam gitartha gandhotkatam nanakhya 'nakakesaram hari katha sambodhana 'bodhitam loke sajjana satpadair ahar ahah pepiyamanam muda bhuyad bharata pankajam kali mala pradhvamsi nah sreyase
7. May this lotus of the Mahabharata, born in the lake of the words of Vyasa, sweet with the fragrance of the meaning of the Gita, with many stories as its stamens, fully opened by the discourses on Hari, the destroyer of the sins of Kali, and drunk joyously by the bees of good men in the world, day by day, become the bestower of good on us.
mukam karoti vacalam pangum langhayate girim yat krpa tam aham vande parama 'nanda madhavam
8. I salute that Krsna, the source of supreme bliss, whose grace makes the dumb eloquent and the cripple cross mountains.
yam brahma varune 'ndra rudra marutah stunvanti divyaih stavair vedaih sanga pada kramo 'panisadair gayanti yam samagah dhyana 'vasthita tad gatena manasa pasyanti yam yogino yasya 'ntam na viduh sura 'sura gana devaya tasmai namah
9. Salutations to that God whom Brahma, Varuna, Indra, Rudra and the Marut praise with divine hymns, of whom the Sama-chanters sing by the veda and their anga, in the pada and krama methods, and by the upanisad, whom the yogi see with their minds absorbed in him through meditation, and whose end the hosts of the deva and asura know not.
the peepul tree
XV:1 - The Blessed Lord said : They speak of the indestructible peepultree, having its root above and branches below, whose leaves are hymns; he who knows it is a knower of the Vedas.
XV:2 - Below and above spread its branches, nourished by the gunas; sense-objects are its buds; below in the world of men stretch forth the roots, originating action.
A picturesque description of the cosmos.
Krishna had already described the peepul tree as one of his special manifestations.
Those who have seen this tree will admit that it is truly majestic and grand.
Its majesty and grandeur qualify it for this special mention.
Its roots go deep into the soil.
Hence Krishna takes it up once again to illustrate the cosmos.
All trees have their roots below; but this tree, which is the image of the cosmos, has its roots above - not literally, but allegorically.
Strange but true it is, that this material universe has its roots in the transcendent reality.
Nothing exists but that.
The substratum of what appears to be, is that; and incidentally, even the power of illusion that makes the illusory appearance possible is in a way transcendent too, for it cannot be properly explained.
The cosmos-tree has its roots above!
To the yogi this tree might mean the susumna-nadi (the psychic counterpart of the spinal cord), which has its root in the medulla oblongata (known as the "Tree of Life" in French).
The trunk extends downwards, and contains the various cakra (chakra) - on whose petals are the various letters (varna) which are here described as the chandas (hymns composed of those letters).
The nadi (subtle counterparts) branch out from this trunk with sense-objects as the buds.
This inverted tree has a root again below, which generates actions; the muladhara and the other lower chakra are thus referred to.
The tree and its root are of one substance - God.
indivisible one
XV:3 - Its form is not perceived here as such, neither its end nor its origin, nor its foundation nor resting place. Having cut asunder this firmly rooted peepultree with the strong axe of non-attachment,
XV:4 - Then that goal should be sought after, whither having gone none returns again. Seek refuge in that primeval Purusha whence streamed forth the ancient energy.
The cosmic tree, which has its root in the transcendental being, shares its characteristics.
What is hidden in the root becomes manifest in the tree.
It is all God and only God.
Yet, whereas we are ready to admit that God is indescribable and imperceivibly subtle, we boast that we know what this world is!
That is a mistake.
We only see what we wish or fear to see.
The world outside is a cloud with forms and figures projected on to it by our mind.
The cloud is real, but the forms are not.
The substratum of the world is real, but the appearance is a manifestation and projection on to it of our own likes and dislikes, fears and delusions.
These phantoms are the offspring of attachment.
Non-attachment removes them, enabling us to perceive the underlying reality.
Think of a banana.
The skin adheres to it and seems to encase it.
Peel it, and the fruit is left perfect.
Such is the spirit of non-attachment in the Bhagavad Gita.
Do your duty but do not get attached.
Neither must you let detachment make you neglect your duty.
The banana is like the soul, not to be held and encased by its skin body.
That must eventually be dropped, leaving the soul to attain moksha (liberation).
"I seek refuge" as said by Krishna is only initiation where he teaches Arjuna the formula: he who takes refuge in the supreme purusa returns not to this world.
The mature seeker surrenders the idea that he is somehow distinct from the cosmos; the drop joins the ocean and becomes the divinity of the ocean.
That oneness cannot be fragmented, it is indivisible.
attachment to god
XV:5 - Free from pride and delusion, victorious over the evil of attachment, dwelling constantly in the Self, their desires having completely turned away, freed from the pairs of opposites known as pleasure and pain, the undeluded reach the eternal goal.
How much wisdom can be compressed into a couplet!
How careful, too, are the words chosen by the Lord!
Attachment is the root of all evil - perhaps the only evil - not to be destroyed or annihilated, for that would be contrary to the law of nature, but definitely to be conquered.
However, attachment is deep in our very nature as love, which is a synonym for oneness.
Some attachment is all right as long as it is attachment to God.
Our Master used to say: "Detach the mind from the world and attach it to the Lord."
Wean it from the gross impure attachments and let it incline to the subtle and pure attachments; from them lead it to God.
One may or may not necessarily accept the conventional meanings of "pure" and "impure", but as one matures, this distinction becomes clear in one's own self.
Purity is transparent and impurity is opaque, dense, dull and veiling.
Even so with desire.
The gross impure desire must be weaned from sensual pleasures, refine itself until it is no longer 'desire' in the accepted sense and so incline towards God.
Such desire is like fire which burns everything, but which burns itself out as soon as its task is over.
Pleasure and pain are in a way part of this world-process, samsara, like day and night.
They may be there in the world, but one must free oneself from their sway.
This is possible only if there is attachment to no object other than the self in which the yogi dwells constantly, witnessing the procession of the pairs of opposites without getting involved in them.
The undeluded soul is thus well established in truth and reaches the great goal of self-realization.
One should meditate daily upon this verse.
the sun, the moon, and fire
XV:6 - Neither doth the sun illumine there, nor the moon, nor the fire; having gone there they return not. That is My supreme abode.
This is the favorite idea of the men-of-God.
It is echoed in at least three principal upanisad.
Our life is governed by the sun, the moon and fire.
We see the world by their light.
All our experiences are regulated and limited by them.
Earlier, Krishna even made it look as though they concern our death too!
Going and coming, time, space and materiality do not operate in the absolute.
Where shall that which is everywhere come or go to?
In it everything is here and now.
Matter is only the spirit perceived through material eyes.
Who can describe it?
It is incomparable to even the grandest objects in the universe, which are perceived by the sun, the moon and the fire.
The Kathopanisad reminds us that even these shine because of that self - "sight" is possible not merely because the sun, the moon and the fire are there, but because "I see"!
The sun is reflected in a mirror, and not the mirror in the sun.
With what then does one perceive the omnipresence?
This supreme state of consciousness can only be found in its own light.
Therefore, an aspirant should constantly resort to this inner light which is independent of external sources.
And who can describe it?
For one who goes there (an expression used only to help our comprehension, not to suggest that there is an actual "going"), returns not.
This is not annihilation but fulfillment.
The individual is not destroyed, but the limitation is removed.
The part becomes one with the whole, is seen as the whole.
Some argue that, assuming all souls attain moksha, if God creates a fresh universe, they are bound to return.
The answer is: the same individual cannot come back!
If you pour a bucket of water into the ocean then immediately plunge in another bucket and take out some water, that can never be the same water.
The first bucketful has become one with the ocean; this is fresh ocean water.
The whole argument is, however, fallacious; infinity minus infinity is infinity.
the bliss of brahman
XV:7 - An eternal portion of my Self, having become a living soul in the world of life, draws to itself the five senses, with the mind for the sixth, abiding in Nature.
The jiva or the living soul is the Lord himself.
It has a mysterious dual relationship with the supreme being, even as a cell in our body has a dual relation with "us".
If the cells do not constitute our body, what else is the body?
Yet do we not refer to them as being different from the body?
In its essential nature, the jiva is none other than God; yet in a mysterious way (which we call ignorance on account of the fact that the soul thus ignores its identity with the supreme being) it deludes itself that it is an independent particle.
This individual independent existence, however, is in a way willed by God himself - "I am one, may I become many", for the purpose of his experiencing his own bliss nature.
For this purpose the jiva or the living soul "attracts to itself" the organs of perception and action, as well as their Coordinating agent, the mind.
Through these it objectifies its own natural bliss and tastes it.
Yet such is the nature of ignorance that very soon the jiva is deluded into imagining that happiness is in the outside objects and not in its own nature, objectified for the purpose of a certain experience.
In the ultimate analysis even sensual pleasure experienced in the external world is nothing but the bliss of Brahman; but it is veiled by ignorance and sustains the jiva's delusion of duality and plurality.
Whereas the bliss of meditation is unexciting and peaceful, sensual pleasure is preceded and accompanied by restlessness and excitement, and followed by exhaustion.
All pleasure which disturbs the mental equilibrium and the calmness of the spirit is to be avoided.
It is this disturbance which is the only risk in sensual pleasures.
The pleasure inherent in the sense objects is also derived from the absolute, whose perfect expression can only be experienced in perfect tranquillity.
We do glimpse this state occasionally in our life; but the mind jumps in, "enjoys" it, labels it as pleasure and craves for repetition.
This craving turns delight into pleasure and so into pain.
genetic theories
XV:8 - When the Lord obtains a body and when He leaves it, He takes these and goes with them, as the wind takes the scents from their seats.
The individual soul is, in biblical language, "the image of God".
Now we should change the metaphor.
It is the light of God reflected in buddhi, which is an extremely subtle form of matter.
The mirror is inert material; yet when it is held in such a way that it faces the sun and is able to reflect sunlight on to your face, it dazzles your eyes.
It is this reflection that moves from body to body, from mirror to mirror - not the self, which is God.
Yet, does not the reflection in the mirror have the same brilliance as the sun itself?
Hence, Krishna refers here to the jiva itself as the Lord (Isvara).
We do not deny the validity of genetic theories.
We know that the foetus is the result of a fusion between the ovum and the sperm.
But it is the jiva that brought them together and then, forming a nucleus with them, attracted more and more of other particles of matter, shaped the body of the baby, and finally "entered into it" as the soul.
Hence there are several theories regarding the time that the soul enters the foetus.
After birth, the process of cell-replacement carries on continuously, till the need arises for a wholesale abandonment of the worn-out body in exchange for a new one.
When the old cloth has too many patches, the person finds a new one; when the "surgeon", time, has performed too many operations on the body, nature steps in to help by providing a new one.
The body and its organs were only the gross instruments with which the jiva performed its work and had its experiences.
Though the tools are worn out, the workman is not; he leaves with all his talents intact.
Taking them with him as air wafts fragrance, he enters a new body and begins to work with new tools.
the mysterious play
XV:9 - Presiding over the ear, the eye, touch, taste and smell, as well as the mind, he enjoys the objects of the senses.
XV:10 - The deluded do not see him who departs, stays and enjoys; but they who possess the eye of knowledge behold him.
Such is the mysterious play of the divine, that the Lord himself, in and through infinite beings, enjoys the bliss of his own nature in his own nature.
That was the object of creation, according to some schools of thought.
To illustrate this they paint a graphic picture: there, on an ocean (of infinite existence), floats the little divine baby on a banyan leaf.
It holds and sucks its big toe as if asking itself: "How sweet is my toe that my devotees kiss?"
The relation between the senses and the sense-pleasure is such that when the former taste the latter they forget the Lord and the purpose of creation, deluding themselves that objective enjoyment is the goal and that pleasure is independent of the self or God.
The Kathopanisad explains why: the very nature of the senses is to flow out towards the objective world, though supreme bliss is in the self (which is all pervading).
When the senses thus flow out, the mind and intellect are externalized and consciousness moves away from the center.
That is when one is said to be deluded.
He does not realize that behind all these activities is the Lord himself, and he sees the world as a playground of havoc, passion, fear and hopes.
However, the senses of the undeluded are avenues of enlightenment and to them the world looks very different.
Since they possess the eye of knowledge, they perceive the Lord alone within themselves and realize that all experiences serve him and are derived from his own nature spread throughout the universe.
Some of the mystifying passages in the scriptures which seem to sanction worldly pleasures can be understood in their right perspective only if we bear this great truth in mind.
But to understand rightly demands great purity of heart and penetrating intelligence.
the rare hero
XV:11 - The yogis, striving for perfection, behold Him, dwelling in the Self; but, the unintelligent, even though striving, see Him not.
The outgoing tendency of the mind and the senses does not permit the ignorant man to turn his gaze within and behold the self.
The Kathopanisad describes the supreme effort of the rare hero who averts his gaze from the objects of the senses in order to behold the self and thus attain immortality.
This introversion is exceedingly important, as otherwise total ignorance makes one mistake a rope for a snake, and suffer; or perceive silver in mother-of-pearl, and en joy a phantom!
It is an uphill task, like taking a river to its own source on the hilltop.
This is not aversion to (in the sense of hatred towards) anything or anybody here, but an intelligent recognition of the source of all bliss, which is the self.
Once this introversion is truly achieved, life assumes a different meaning altogether.
The yogi begins to see that the same self dwells in all.
"Pleasure" loses its tantalizing attraction for him and its power to titillate.
Cravings cease, because what is outside can be found within.
When the mind is purified by right living, right thinking, right meditation, service and so on, it becomes transparent and instantly abolishes the fictitious distinction between the inside and the outside.
The yogi seems to live in two worlds simultaneously, because to his enlightened vision, their boundaries vanish.
His is the extremely subtle middle path like the razor's edge, which the gross vision of the unrefined and unintelligent cannot behold.
In him there is neither attraction nor repulsion whereas in the deluded there is always either craving or disgust.
Krishna's is the yoga of intelligence.
No amount of idle striving or abstinence from activity will lead to an expansion of consciousness, but refinement of the intelligence and purity of heart lead to the realization of the atman (self).
XV:12 - That light which residing in the sun, illumines the whole world, that light which is in the moon, and that which is in the fire - know that light to be Mine.
The self-realized yogi is not a nose-gazer nor does he live a life confined to the cave, forest or monastery.
God is the indwelling light, but he is also the light in the sun, the moon, the stars and the fire.
This and the following two verses establish an intimate relation between man and God.
Man is filled with the light of God; he is surrounded by the light of God.
Once the cataract of ignorance is removed, he shall see God everywhere - God and nothing but God.
Even so is it said in the Holy Bible: "And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light; and they shall reign for ever and ever." (Revelations 22:4,5).
When it is said that God gives them light, it does not mean that the scientist's discoveries are untrue.
The scriptural testimony only provides a clue to the ultimate mystery which science has still to approach.
Whilst accepting the validity of the scientist's explanations of the principle of combustion in the sun, its reflection in the moon, and the clash of gasses that keeps the fire burning, the scripture goes one step further, suggesting who ordained the law that all these obey, who limits their powers so that they do not cause a universal holocaust.
All wise men admit that there is some law and an intelligent administrator of that law.
To that power, that cosmic intelligence, the scriptures give an indicative name - God and its equivalent in other languages.
Read with verse 6, this verse reminds us that in the cosmos, the sun and heavenly bodies; and in the individual, the mind and intellect, are like mirrors reflecting God's light.
God is not the subject projecting an object, nor an object which can be seen by the subject.
God is the all.
No part of the all can become aware of the totality - only the all can be aware of itself.
XV:13 - Permeating the earth by My energy, I support all beings; and, having become the watery moon, I nourish all plants.
XV:14 - Having become the fire in the body of living, breathing beings and, associated with the Prana and Apana, I digest the fourfold food.
"Soma" in the text has been variously interpreted, and in the context of the veda, it has been taken to mean a kind of intoxicating drink.
The sense in which it has been used here makes it clear that 'soma' is "watery" energy or some kind of an "essence" (rasa) which the moon bestows on the herbs.
These verses bring God nearer home, explaining the daily function of our body.
Krishna neither cancels the vitamin theory nor the herbalists' ecstatic belief in the miracle that herbs can work.
He intensifies both!
Mineral salts nourish plant life and plants nourish animals, but the power of nourishment is God's.
Scientists have carefully analyzed the assessed mineral salts and described their composition in terms of different molecules. Krishna only expresses in another way the truth which scientists, in the glory of that intelligence which is the reflected light of God, have made clear.
There can be but one answer to the questions: "Who organized the molecules?", "Who guided the scientists'"intelligence?" - God.
Within the human body, as the gastric fire, it is his power again that digests all kinds of foods.
A study of the process of digestion is amazing indicator of the divine power that functions within our own body!
It is good to cultivate the habit of feeling the presence of God in all these functions.
It will promote the health of body, mind and soul.
It is also good to remember all the time that saying "God"" is not knowing him!
When "God" is given as the answer to our questions, the question is not answered, but the quest is intensified.
The verbal answer is but a word. Truth eludes words.
XV:15 - And I am seated in the hearts of all; from me are memory, knowledge, as well as their absence. I am verily that which has to be known by all the Vedas; I am the author of the Vedanta, and the knower of the Vedas.
Here is a clear-cut statement of the sublime truth that all is God.
Memory is from God; knowledge is from God; their absence is also from God!
Good is divine, and that which men call 'evil' is also divine (though God does not call it evil) .
If we wish to realise that the classification of good and evil are illusory and that they both are in God and from him, we should at the same time be prepared to regard, with equal eye, pain and pleasure which are extensions of evil and good!
To one who has transcended the latter pair, the former does not exist.
Saiva siddhanta also declares that it is God who veils and it is he again who reveals.
Why does he veil?
In order that we may seek him, and then he unveils, in order that we may realise him.
There is no further 'why'; this is the truth which has to be accepted.
It is this power to which the vedas offer their prayers.
Its glory do they sing.
'Veda' might refer to all branches of knowledge, sacred and secular, including modern science.
All of them will ultimately lead us to a realisation of God's omnipresence.
For, if we pursue with an incisive 'why' , the acquisition of any knowledge, we shall ultimately end up confessing "I do not know."
Only God knows why this unceasing and unquenchable thirst to know is there in the heart of man.
Only he knows all knowledge (veda) and the end of all knowledge (vedanta).
When knowledge as subjectobject relationship comes to an end, it shines in its own light as pure awareness (God) in which there is no distinction between the knower, knowledge and the object of knowledge.
Thus, from a look at the sun in verse 12, Krsna has brought God-consciousness closer to our very self.
In that process the object (the experience) and the subject (the experiencer) seem to merge into one.
This is yoga.
XV:16 - Two Purushas there are in this world, the perishable and the imperishable. All beings are the perishable, and the Kutastha is called the imperishable.
"Kutastha" is the unchanging rock-like substratum of the individual personality, the unobvious.
The perishable purusa (the para prakrti - VIII: 5) is the living soul, "Adam" after the fall from the Garden of Eden, the "raindrop" that has disconnected itself from the cloud.
The imperishable purusa is the substratum of this second personality - not different from it in the main, yet with a subtle difference.
Like the raindrop in the process of formation.
There is the potentiality of drop formation in the dark rain-bearing cloud; as the water is becoming effective as a drop, it is still one with the cloud.
Just so is the imperishable purusa one with God, though the manifestation-potential is beginning to express itself. One, yet not exactly so!
A mysterious power called maya rules this manifestation-potentiality state in the infinite being.
Mysterious indeed, only to be likened to the atmospheric disturbance which makes subtle water vapor visible to the human eye as cloud.
Krishna calls maya "my power" in order to prevent us vainly arguing about it.
The human being's focus is too puny to comprehend the total working of this power of maya.
In this limited vision, avidya or ignorance, changes are observed.
We can, perhaps, at any given moment, only focus on one "drop" and therefore feel that it is different from another - thus one being assumes independence from the rest.
This fictitious distinction which is jivahood (egoity), caused by avidya, only fades at the dawn of that knowledge which enables us to "understand" maya.
The vision becomes unconditioned and limitless and none of these changes are seen to be true.
We realize that the self is, was, and will ever be one with the infinite.
god is one
XV:17 - But distinct is the Supreme Purusha, called the Absolute Reality, the indestructible Lord who, pervading the three worlds, sustains them.
XV:18 - As I transcend the perishable, and am even higher than the imperishable, I am declared as the highest Spirit in the world and in the Vedas.
The following analogy is inadequate, as most analogies are, but will enable us to grasp vaguely the distinction between the perishable and the imperishable purusa mentioned in the previous verse, and the supreme purusa mentioned in this.
The "drop in the cloud" is superior to the "drop let loose".
The latter gets caught up in the process of samsara or world-play, whereas the former can still escape that fate if the rain does not fall.
The atma is the purest "creation" of God: Adam was "whole" till Eve was shaped from his own bone.
The jiva (Eve) is imperfect, the mother of Cain (meaning possession or mineness in Hebrew) and Abel (in Hebrew, vanity).
But even the "drop in the cloud", and for that matter the dark cloud, too, is in perpetual danger of falling!
Hence, that also is not the state of supreme felicity.
There is a state higher than that - the state of being, untainted even by the possibility of becoming.
That is the state of the supreme purusa.
In the cloud analogy, it is comparable to the clear sky in which the least trace of a cloud is not visible; before the mysterious maya exerts her influence to generate the "white cloud" (the Isvara-consciousness - the highest concept of a personal god).
God is the supreme purusa, and the name purusa is given only to show that prakrti (his nature ) is ever latent in him, just as water-vapor is latent in the clear sky.
God is the vital factor in all beings.
Without him they have no life, no existence.
That supreme self permeates every atom of existence enabling us to live and function.
Forget all comparison and look within to discover the three planes of the perishable, the imperishable and the transcendent substratum, and to discover the truth that they are not three but one.
XV:19 - He who, undeluded, knows me thus as the highest Spirit, he worships me with his whole being and heart, O Arjuna.
XV:20 - Thus, this most secret science has been taught by Me. On knowing this, a man becomes wise, and all his duties are accomplished, O Arjuna.
He who knows the unobvious sustaining reality knows that God alone pervades all, and that he is beyond all limitations, beyond maya (illusion) and avidya (ignorance).
God is the substratum of the jiva, that living soul and perishable person, as well as of the atma, the imperishable person or purusa.
However, God is in neither jiva nor atma, for though the waves are part of the ocean, the ocean is not part of the waves.
Such knowledge cures delusion, making evident the unreality of distinction between the three which is born of ignorance; and that the loss of jiva-hood is supreme gain, heralding the realization that the substratum of the immortal atman is the infinite being.
This infinite being is the all, the all-in-all.
Bhakti yoga prescribes five attitudes that the devotee can adopt towards God.
The attitudes of: peaceful contemplation; mother-child or child-parent; master-servant; friendship; and lover-beloved.
Knowing that God is all, the devotee worships him in all the five bhava (attitudes), "sarvabhavena".
He looks upon his parents or children, his master or servant, his friends, his beloved and the stranger as the manifestation of God, and he regards God as all these.
"Sarvabha-vena" is the commandment of the Holy Bible, too: "Love thy God with all thy heart".
In the heart of the devotee there is no room for finite, imperfect, selfish and sensuous love.
He loves all; not the heterogeneous but the homogeneous God-in-all.
If we begin with the obvious and examine the not-so obvious sources of these obvious phenomena, then it is possible for us to be free from self-created problems and eventually arrive at the grand discovery of the profoundest secret.
Om Tat Sat
Thus in the Upanishad of the Bhagavad Gita, the Science of the Eternal, the Scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna, ends the fifteenth chapter entitled: The path of knowledge - Purusottama Vibhaga Yoga - The Yoga of the Supreme Spirit.

gri ganesaya namah! sri gopala krsnaya namah! dharo 'vaca bhagavan paramesana bhaktir avyabhicarini prarabdham bhujyamanasya katham bhavati he prabho
1. The Earth said: O Lord! The supreme one! How can unflinching devotion arise in him who is immersed in his worldly life, O Lord?
sri visnur uvaca prarabdham bhujyamano hi gita 'bhyasa ratah sada sa muktah sa sukhi loke karmana no 'palipyate
2. Lord Visnu said: Though engaged in the performance of worldly duties, one who is regular in the study of the Gita, becomes free. He is the happy man in this world. He is not bound by karma.
maha papadi papani gita dhyanam karoti cet kvacit sparsam na kurvanti nalini dalam ambuvat
3. Just as the water stains not the lotus leaf, even so, sins do not taint him who is regular in the recitation of the Gita.
gitayah pustakam yatra yatra pathah pravartate tatra sarvani tirthani prayaga 'dini tatra vai
4. All the sacred places of pilgrimage like Prayaga, etc., dwell in that place where the book, the Gita, is kept and where the Gita is read.
sarve devas ca rsayo yoginah pannagas ca ye gopala gopika va 'pi narado 'ddhava parsadaih
5. All the gods, sages, yogi, divine serpents, gopala, gopika (friends and devotees of lord Krsna), Narada, Uddhava and others (dwell there).
sahayo jayate sighram yatra gita pravartate yatra gita vicaras ca pathanam pathanat srutam tatra 'ham niscitam prthvi nivasami sadai 'va hi
6. Help comes quickly where the Gita is recited and, O Earth, I dwell at all times where the Gita is read, heard, taught and contemplated upon.
gita 'sraye 'ham tisthami gita me co 'ttamam grham gita jnanam upasritya trimllokan palayamy aham
7. I take refuge in the Gita and the Gita is my best abode. I protect the three worlds with the knowledge of the Gita.
gita me parama vidya brahma rupa na samsayah ardha matra 'ksara nitya sva 'nirvacya padatmika
8. The Gita is my highest science, which is doubtless of the form of Brahman, the eternal, the ardhamatra (of the sacred monosyllable om), the ineffable splendour of the self.
cidanandena krsnena prokta sva mukhato 'rjunam veda tray! parananda tattva 'rtha jnana samyuta
9. It was spoken by the blessed Krsna, the all-knowing, through his own mouth to Arjuna. It contains the essence of the three veda, knowledge of the reality. It is full of supreme bliss.
yo 'stadasa japen nityam naro niscala manasah jnana siddhim sa labhate tato yati param padam
10. He who recites the eighteen chapters of the Gita daily, with a pure, unshaken mind, attains perfection in knowledge, and reaches the highest state or supreme goal.
pathe 'samarthah sampurne tato 'rdham patham acaret tada go danajam punyam labhate na 'tra samsayah
11. If a complete reading is not possible, even if only half of it is read, he attains the benefit of giving a cow as a gift. There is no doubt about this.
tribhagam pathamanas to ganga snana phalam labhet sadamsam japamanas to soma yaga phalam labhet
12. He who recites one-third part of it achieves the merit of a bath in the sacred Ganga, and he who recites one-sixth of it attains the merit of performing a soma ritual.
eka 'dhyayam to yo nityam pathate bhakti samyutah rudra lokam avapnoti gano bhutva vasec ciram
13. That person who reads one chapter with great devotion attains to the world of Rudra and, having become an attendant of lord Siva, lives there for many years.
adhyayam sloka padam va nityam yah pathate narah sa yati naratam yavan manvantaram vasundhare
14. If one reads a quarter of a chapter or even part of a verse daily, he, O Earth, retains a human body till the end of a world-cycle.
gitayah sloka dasakam sapta panca catustayam dvau trin ekaih tad ardham va slokanam yah pathen narah candra lokam avapnotii varsanam ayutam dhruvam gita patha samayukto mrtomanusatam vrajet
15,16. He who repeats ten, seven, five, four, three, two verses or even one or half a verse, attains the region of the moon and lives there for ten thousand years. Accustomed to the daily study of the Gita, the dying man comes back to life again as a human being.
gita 'bhyasam punah krtva labhate muktim uttamam gite 'ty uccara samyukto mriyamano gatim labhet
17. By repeated study of the Gita he attains liberation. Uttering 'Gita' at the time of death, one attains liberation.
gita 'rtha sravana 'sakto maha papa yuto 'pi va vaikuntham samavapnoti visnuna saha modate
18. Though full of sins, one who is ever intent on hearing the meaning of the Gita, goes to the kingdom of God and rejoices with lord Visnu.
gita 'rtham dhyayate nityam krtva karmani bhurisah jivanmuktah sa vijneyo deha 'nte paramam padam
19. He who meditates on the meaning of the Glita, having performed a lot of good actions, attains the supreme goal after death. Such a man should be known as a jivanmukta (sage liberated while living).
gitam asritya bahavo bhubhujo janaka 'dayah nirdhuta kalmasa loke gita yatah paratn padam
20. In this world, taking refuge in the Gita, many kings like Janaka and others have reached the highest state or goal, purified of all sins.
gitayah pathanam krtva mahatmyam naiva yah pathet vrtha patho bhavet tasya srama eva by udahrtah
21. He who fails to read this Glory of the Gita after having read the Gita, loses the benefit thereby, and the effort alone remains.
etan mahatmya sahyuktam gita 'bhyasam karoti yah sa tat phalam avapnoti durlabharn gatim apnuyat
22. One who studies the Gita, together with this Glory of the Gita, attains the fruits mentioned above and reaches the state which is otherwise very difficult to attain.
suta uvaca mahatmyam etad gitaya maya proktam sanatanatn gitante ca pathed yas to yad uktam tat phalarnlabhet
23. Suta said: This greatness or Glory of the Gita which is eternal, as narrated by me, should be read at the end of the study of the Gita and the fruits mentioned therein will be obtained.
iti sri varaha purane gri gita mahatmyam sampurnam
Thus ends the Glory of the Gita contained in the Varaha purana.

This was a glimpse of the gospel of Lord Krishna - simple, direct, yet profound. It is not one of pessimism or escapism, but is full of robust common sense. And if it sometimes seems to be puzzling, it is because common sense is so uncommon in the complex world of today.
You may be quite certain that one direction is east and the opposite direction west. But, if you move a little, you suddenly discover that east and west meet you! You are the divider, and from another point of view, you are the meeting point. In fact, it is the mind that creates all this duality which multiplies into endless diversity, creating conflicts and confusion all the way through.
There is only oneness and cosmic unity. There just cannot be two infinites or two omnipresences. The origin of the perception of diversity is enshrouded in mystery - maya. But Krishna boldly assumes responsibility for even that! "I am seated in the hearts of all; from me are memory, knowledge, as well as their absence, " says He.
The manifest universe is the body of God, and the supreme spirit is the indweller. Even this distinction was made to suit human analogy and to satisfy the duality-ridden intellect. We make an arbitrary distinction between our body and our spirit which seems to be justified because at one stage - death - the spirit leaves the body. This, obviously, does not apply to the Lord and His Body, for He is eternal and infinite, and does not leave His Body.
What a sublime vision! What a world-uniting doctrine! What a fountain of love! What a soft blow to shatter all distinctions and differences! What a divine cord of love to unite all mankind in oneness - divinity!

Swami Venkatesananda

Om Tat Sat
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