The Essence of The Bhagavad Gita
Chapter 9: The Path of Sovereign Wisdom and Sovereign Mystery
Shri Krishna said, “O Arjuna! You do not carp, so I will tell you this profound knowledge with its practical aspect of realization, by knowing which, you will be free of all the sorrows of life.
This is sovereign knowledge, sovereign mystery, and the supreme purifier. It is righteous, eternal, gives tangible results, and is easy to practice.
People who do not have faith in these teachings do not attain Me (Brahman) and they go through the cycle of birth and death in this world.
The whole world is pervaded by My un-manifested form (Brahman). All beings are in Me, but I am not in them.
(Note: The whole world is projected on Brahman. In particular, all beings are projections of names and forms on Brahman.)
Actually, all beings do not dwell in Me (meaning they are just the projections of names and forms). However, behold My Divine Power (Maya) that I am the Creator (cause) and the Nourisher (support) of all beings, yet I do not dwell in them.
As the mighty wind—created from the sky, which moves everywhere within the sky, and still remains in the sky—all beings dwell in Me.
O Arjuna! At the end of a Kalpa (a period of 4.32 billion years), all beings merge into My Divine Power (Prakruti), and at the beginning of the next Kalpa, I create them with My Divine Power.
With My Divine Power I create all beings again and again. They are helpless because of their worldly desires and past actions.
Since I am the Witness Consciousness and unattached to their actions, their actions do not bind Me.
With My consent, My Divine Power creates the whole universe of living and non-living and makes it move around.
When I take human form, deluded people do not recognize Me as the Lord of the Universe and they disregard Me. Being that their intellect is covered by delusion, they remain engaged in useless hopes, actions, and knowledge. Thus, they remain possessed by demonic qualities.
On the other hand, the great souls, filled with divine qualities, know that I am Imperishable and the cause of the whole universe, and they constantly think of Me with focused mind.
(Note: For the demonic and divine qualities, read Chapter 16 of The Bhagavad Gita.)
These great souls remain firm in their vows to realize Me. They constantly sing My names and glories, make efforts to realize Me, remember Me, salute Me, and thus, worship Me with great devotion.
The followers of “Jnana Yoga”, worship Me as being one with them as Brahman. Some worship Me as being distinct from them, and others worship My Virata Form (Me as the whole universe) in various ways.
If you think of this whole universe as a “Yajna”, then know that I am the Vedi (in which fire of the Yajna is invoked), I am the fire in it, I am the mantras recited, I am the ingredients offered in the fire, and I am the whole worship of the Yajna.
Also, know that I am the father, the mother, the grandsire, and the sustainer of the universe. I am the one that has to be known. I am the Purifier, the Omkar (one syllable Brahman), and I am three Vedas, namely the Rig Veda, the Sama Veda, and the Yajur Veda.
I am the nourisher, the goal of life, the Lord of the Universe, the Witness Consciousness, the abode, the refuge, and the true friend. I am the cause of creation and the dissolution of the universe, and I am its support. Know that I am the imperishable seed of the universe.
I shine through the sun, create clouds, and bring rain. I am the nectar (immortality) and I am death. I am the being and the non-being.
Those who are devoid of sins and who wish to attain heaven by worshipping Me, through the performance of the “Yajnas” described in the three Vedas, attain heaven by their own merits. In heaven they enjoy various worldly pleasures until their merits are exhausted. Then, they come back to the earth and start their lives all over again. Thus, people who perform rituals described in the Vedas to fulfill their worldly desires go back and forth between earth and heaven. (They do not get the benefits of spiritual life.)
On the other hand, to those devotees who are ever devoted to Me, thinking of Me only and worship Me without any selfish reasons, I provide them what they lack in their spiritual practices and preserve what they have attained. (Thus, God helps these devotees attain their goal of God Realization.)
Those devotees who worship other gods (for worldly pleasures) also worship Me (Brahman), but they do this unknowingly and improperly.
I (as Brahman) am the Recipient and the Lord of all the worships and sacrifices of the devotees. But, not knowing Me, in essence, they fall from their spiritual path and become slaves of their senses.
Those who worship gods (limited forms of Brahman) go to the gods. Those who worship their ancestors go to their ancestors. Those who worship spirits go to the spirits. Those who worship Me (Brahman) come to Me.
If a devotee, out of love, offers Me a leaf, flower, fruit, water, or any simple thing, I accept such an offering made by the pure in heart.
O Arjuna! Offer to me any action you perform (Karma), anything you intake (Food), anything you offer in your spiritual practice (Yajna), anything you give in charity (Dana), and whatever austerity (Tapa) you perform.
(Note: In Chapter 17 of The Bhagavad Gita, Shri Krishna describes three kinds of food, Yajna, Dana, and Tapa, and in Chapter 18, he describes three kinds of actions and performers.)
By offering everything to Me, you follow “Sanyasa Yoga” (The Yoga of Renunciation) and, thus, become free from the bondage of all the results of your actions, whether they are pleasant or unpleasant. Then, being free from all bondages, you will come to Me (become one with Brahman).
I am the same towards all beings. I do not favor anyone and do not deny anyone. But, those who worship Me with love, they are in Me and I am in them.
Even a great sinner worships Me with one-pointed devotion (with repentance of sins and with a vow not to commit any sin again) must be regarded as a righteous person who has made the right resolve. Such a person (with devotion and the right resolve) soon becomes a righteous person and attains eternal peace within. O Kaunteya! Know that My devotee never perishes.
Taking refuge in Me, even women, Vaishyas, Shudras, and sinners attain the Supreme State.
(Note: This was the bold statement of Shri Krishna at the time when women, Vaishyas, Shudras were looked down upon compared to men, Brahmins and Kshatriyas.)
Definitely, when Brahmins or Kshatriyas, being free of sins, worship Me, they attain the Supreme State. Therefore, having attained this temporary human life filled with sufferings, worship Me with great devotion.
Focus your mind on Me, be devoted to Me, worship Me, offer everything to Me, and surrender to Me. Thus, keeping Me as the goal of your life and making efforts to realize Me, you will definitely attain Me (the Supreme State).
Thus, in the Bhagavad Gita— the essence of the Upanishads, the science of Brahman, the scripture of Yoga, and the dialogue between Shri Krishna and Arjuna— ends the Ninth Chapter, entitled “The Path of Sovereign Wisdom and Sovereign Mystery.”
Om Tat Sat.
(Thanks to Radha Dhar for editing this post.)