Sri Krishna tells Arjuna, ‘O Arjuna, by practicing yoga, with the mind clinging to Me, with Me as your refuge, you shall know Me in full, without any doubt.’ (7.1) Here Krishna is saying that if Arjuna can practice yoga and be totally dependent on Him, then He is willing to give Arjuna all that He has and all that He is. Krishna also tries to explain to Arjuna how difficult the spiritual journey is, ‘Among thousands of men, scarcely one strives for spiritual perfection, and of those who strive and succeed, scarcely one knows Me in essence.’ (7.3)
Krishna reveals to Arjuna His relation with the universe, ‘I am the beginning and the end of the universe. I am the Source of creation and I am the place of dissolution. Beyond Me, there is nothing. All this is threaded upon Me as pearls on a string.’(7.6-7) Krishna says, He is the taste in water, light in the moon and sun, the syllable Aum in the Vedas, the sound in ether and manhood in man. He is pure fragrance in earth and brightness in fire, life in all existences and austerity in ascetics. He is the eternal seed of all existences, the intelligence of the intelligent and the splendour of the splendid. (7-11)
Sri Krishna says, the three qualities of nature: sattva, rajas, and tamas, are from Him and in Him, but He is not in them. Sri Krishna further states, ‘The divine maya (power of illusion) of Mine, consisting of the three qualities, is hard to overcome. But those who take refuge in Me alone cross beyond it.’ (7.13-14)
According to Sri Krishna, those who follow the inner path are of four kinds, the man in distress; the enquirer or the seeker for knowledge; the seeker of true wealth, the Truth absolute; and the wise, the man of wisdom. Of them all, the man of wisdom is the most dear to Sri Krishna. Sri Krishna says, ‘Noble and good are they all, but I hold the wise, the enlightened as My chosen soul and My own Self; fully united, absolutely one we are. When his life has played its role, when the hour of silence knocks at his door, I place him in My Heart where the Breath of Eternal Life grows.’ (7.13-19) Then there are those who in order to have their desires fulfilled resort to other gods, observing various rites. Krishna says, ‘temporary is the fruit gained by these men of small minds. The worshippers of the gods go to the gods but My devotees come to Me.’ (7.23)
Towards the end of this chapter Sri Krishna instructs Arjuna thus, ‘Those who take refuge in Me and strive for deliverance from old age and death – know about Brahman. Those who know Me as the One that governs the material and the divine aspects, and all sacrifices – they, with their minds controlled, have knowledge of Me even at the time of their departure from here.’ (7.29-30)
Chapter 7: God and the World
God is nature and spirit
Among thousands of men scarcely one strives for perfection,
and of those who strive and succeed
scarcely one knows Me in truth.
The two natures of the Lord
I am the taste in the waters,
0 Son of Kunti (Arjuna).
I am the light in the moon and the sun.
I am the syllable Aum in all the Vedas.
I am the sound in ether and manhood in men.
And whatever states of being there may be,
be they harmonious, passionate,
slothful-know thou that they are all from Me alone.
I am not in them; they are in Me.
Different kinds of devotion
Of these, the wise one,
who is ever in constant union with the Divine,
whose devotion is single-minded,
is the best, for I am supremely dear to him
and he is dear to Me.
At the end of many lives,
the man of wisdom resorts to Me,
knowing that Vasudeva [the Supreme] is all that is.
Such a great soul is very difficult to find.
The power of ignorance
Men of no understanding think of Me,
the unmanifest, as having manifestation,
not knowing My higher nature,
changeless and supreme.
Veiled by My creative power (yogamaya),
I am not revealed to all.
This bewildered world knows Me not,
the unborn, the unchanging.
The object of knowledge
Those who take refuge in Me and strive for deliverance
from old age and death-they know the Brahman [or the Absolute] entire; they know the Self and all about action.