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The original Sanskrit verses and
(word for word translated) of the
Mahābhārata, Bhīshma Parva ch. 23-40.

with comments taken from the writings of





'Hastasya Bhooshanam Daanam
Satyam Kanttasya Bhooshanam'

Charity is the ornament for the hand,
Truth is the ornament for the throat.


1 2a 2b 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18a 18b


Chapter 7
The Yoga of Wisdom
'About knowing and realizing oneself'
'Vijāna Yoga'




   " Listen to this spoken chapter in Audio "


Verse 1.

śrī bhagavān uvāca
mayy āsakta-manāh pārtha
yogam yujan mad-āśrayah
asamśayam samagram mām
yathā jāsyasi tac chrinu

Verse 2.

jnānam te 'ham sa-vijnānam
idam vaksyāmy aśesatah
yaj jātvā neha bhūyo 'nyaj
jātavyam avaśisyate

      Dhyana Yoga and Jāna Yoga are both inner disciplines; they are based on śraddhā (belief; finding sympathy to engage in the sphere of devotional service; trust) and bhakti. Without these two, they are both unattainable; the pursuit itself is vain. A sadhaka deprived of them is as a wooden doll, lifeless, unaware of the goal. The basic requisite is deep-rooted prema towards the Lord. How can you get this? By getting to know the glory, the splendor, the nature and characteristics of the Lord. His sva-bhāva (essence, reality, truth) (bhāva: affection and love) and sva-rūpa (form, true nature of being, essential nature). That is why I am now instructing you about these. I am imparting to you fully the wisdom of the śāstras, supplemented by the wisdom of inner experience. Know that there is nothing further for you to know. - Gītā Vahini, pp. 92-3

      In thousands of aspirants, there are few who strive to acquire this perfection, and of those who strive and succeed, scarcely one knows Me in reality.

Of the thousands of aspirants, there are few who strive to acquire this jāna. And, of these, only some single individuals achieve success. All who start do not reach the goal. - Gītā Vahini, pp. 92

Verse 3.

manushyānām sahasreshu
kaścid yatati siddhaye
yatatām api siddhānām
kaścin mām vetti tattvatah

Verse 4.

bhūmir āpo 'nalo vāyuh
kham mano buddhir eva ca
ahankāra itiyam me
bhinnā prakriitir ashthadhā

Verse 5.

apareyam itas tv anyām
prakritim viddhi me parām
jīva-bhūtām mahā-bāho
yayedam dhāryate jagat

      The five elements, manas (feeling, mind), buddhi (intellect) and ahamkāra (false ego derived from being identified with the body, self-love, selfish individuality) .... these eight varieties of prakriti (material nature, causal matter, creation, nature) have produced the sthula sukshma prapancha, the gross and the subtle in creation. This is called aparā prakriti. There is another prakriti distinct from this. That is known as parāprakriti. It is neither sthula nor sukshma; it is chaithanya (consciousness, intelligence), indwelling in the jīvī. The jagat (universe, cosmos, world of change, creation) itself is its aspiration.
*sthula: gross, material, superficial;
*sukshma: subtle, small, that which expands;
*prapancha: cosmos, created world, composed of the five elements.

      The Lord first created the gross world and then as jīva, He entered it and rendered it chith (consciousness, knowledge, awareness) by His chaithanya. This is declared clearly in de Vedas. You must consider this aparā prakriti to be the sva-bhāva of Paramesvara (the Supersoul, the Absolute Master) and the parā-prakriti to be His sva-rūpa. Dwell on the meaning of these, sva-bhāva and sva-rūpa and grasp it well. The gross is bound by the dictates of chaithanya, which is sarva-svathanthra, Complete Master, ever free.

Jīvī means that which assumes prāna (the life breath, the vital breath); the jīvī holds on to prāna, through his skill and intelligence. He is the antar-yamin (inner ruler or being that guides all creatures), who has penetrated into everything and who sustains everything. So the parā-prakriti is just Paramātmā (the Supersoul) itself. All that becomes manifest with the same chaithanya has to be taken as one. - Gītā Vahini, pp. 92-3

Verse 6.

etad-yonīni bhūtāni
sarvānīty upadhāraya
aham kritsnasya jagatah
prabhavah pralayas tathā

Verse 7.

mattah parataram nānyat
kicid asti dhanajaya
mayi sarvam idam protam
sūtre mani-ganā iva

      "Arjuna! Note that there is nothing higher than Me in the world. All are strung in Me like flowers on a string ... jada (inanimate, lifeless, inert matter) and chaithanya (consciousness, intelligence) are the two essentials for the entire creation. They are the same as prakriti and purusha (perfect person, soul, self, indweller). The chaithanya śakti (śakti: strength, energy, power, might, ability) when it entertains the idea of bhoga (catering to the senses, eating, enjoyment), expresses the world out of its own sva-karma (own destiny or fate). The jada assumes the form of the deha (body). Both these are My Nature. The īśvara, who causes creation, preservation and dissolution through these, is I Myself, remember. There is no substance other than Me; there is no reality other than Me. I am the primal cause, the primal substance. 'I am One; let Me become Many': thus, I Myself resolved upon this expansion into manifoldness, called srishti (creation). That resolution affected and motivated the māyā-śakti (power of illusion, the veiling and projecting power of God) and so the mahat-tattva ('the great principle, the principle of cosmic intelligence'; the complete of material nature in her original undifferentiated form) got produced. That was the first step in the evolution of prakriti." - Gītā Vahini, pp. 93

Verse 8.

raso 'ham apsu kaunteya
prabhāsmi śaśi-sūryayoh
pranavah sarva-vedeshu
śabdah khe paurusham nrishu

      "Flowers cannot become a garland without the string; so, too, Brahman unites all jīvīs. You cannot separate the two in all substances; Brahman fills everything. The five elements are but its manifestations. It is the inner motive, unseen by those who look only at the surface. It is the antar-yamin (inner ruler or being that guides all creatures), in other words. That is why Krishna said, "I am the pranava (a-u-m, the sacred primordial sound principle) in the Vedas; I am sound in the ākāśa (sky, space, ether); I am paurusham (ability, heroism, adventure and aspiration) in man." - Gītā Vahini, pp. 96

Verse 9.

punyo gandhah prithivyām ca
tejaś cāsmi vibhāvasau
jīvanam sarva-bhūteshu
tapaś cāsmi tapasvishu

Verse 10.

bījam mām sarva-bhūtānām
viddhi pārtha sanātanam
buddhir buddhimatām asmi
tejas tejasvinām aham

      In the Gītā, the Lord has declared, bījam mām sarva-bhūtānām, I am the seed of all beings. The tree is a broad spread of leaf and flower, fruit and green. It is a fanned out system of trunk, branches, twigs! All have grown out of one single small seed! And, every fruit of that tree has seeds of the same nature inside it! So too, contemplate for a while on the magnificent multitude of life, all its rich variety of strong and weak, prey and hunter, distressed and delighted, creeping, crawling, flying, floating, walking, hanging, burrowing, diving, swimming - all this uncountable variety of created beings have come out of the beejam (Lord) (bija/beeja: seed, germ, primary cause; mystical letter or syllable that forms the essential part of a mantra) and each of them has in its core, the beejam, again! (the Lord)! Visualize this immanent divinity; you become humble, wise and full of love. - Sathya Sai Speaks VII, p. 222

Verse 11.

balam balavatām cāham
dharmāviruddho bhūteshu
kāmo 'smi bharatarshabha

      "Arjuna! Many people anxious to offer uninterrupted worship to Me go into the thick forest. That is an insane step. There is no need to seek the jungle as if I am only there. There is no place where I am not; there is no form that is not Mine. I am the five elements: earth, water, fire, air, ether! Where can you find a place devoid of one or other of these five? To experience My Presence and My Glory, there is no special place, for I am everything, everywhere, ever. The fiery nature of fire, is I Myself. I am Life in all living beings, I am the strength of the strong, the strength that is free from greed and lust. Mine is the nature that prompts beings to desire dharmic things and means." - Gītā Vahini, p. 99

Verse 12.

ye caiva sāttvikā bhāvā
rājasās tāmasāś ca ye
matta eveti tān viddhi
na tv aham teshu te mayi

       "... the objective world, with all its satvic, rajasic, tamasic things, reactions, impulses ... all originate in God. This conviction can grow in you and get firmly fixed only by reasoning it out and getting its truth affirmed."

The Lord Himself declared: "Arjuna! All this originated from Me, all this exists in Me, but I am not dependent on all this." - Gītā Vahini, p. 100-1

Verse 13.

tribhir guna-mayair bhāvair
ebhih sarvam idam jagat
mohitam nābhijānāti
mām ebhyah param avyayam

      Though gunas emanate from the Lord, He is unaffected; smoke arises from fire, but fire is unaffected. Clouds form in the sky and move about in the sky; but the sky is unaffected by them. All are attached to Him, the beads; but He is free, unattached. The universe is based on Him, but He has no need of the universe as base. - Gītā Vahini, p. 102-3

Verse 14.

daivī hy eshā gunamayī
mama māyā duratyayā
mām eva ye prapadyante
māyām etām taranti te

      For this question on faulty vision, Krishna had the answer. He said, "Listen, Arjuna! Between Me and this universe there moves māyā, called delusion. It is indeed a hard task for man to see beyond māyā, for māyā too is Mine. It is of the same substance; you cannot deem it separate from Me. It is My creation and under My control. It will turn, in a trice, even the mightiest among men head over heels! You might wonder why it is so difficult to overcome. Of course, it is by no means easy. Only those who are whole-heartedly attached to Me can conquer this. My māyā, Arjuna, do not take māyā to mean some ugly thing that has descended from somewhere else; it is an attribute of the mind; it makes you ignore the true and the eternal paramātmā and value instead the attributeful created manifold multiplicity of name and form. It causes the error of believing the body as the self, instead of the embodied (the deha instead of the dehi). Māyā is not something that was and will disappear; nor is it something that was not, but later came in and is. It never was, or is, or will be." - Gītā Vahini, p. 104-5

Verse 15.

na mām dushkritino mūdhāh
prapadyante narādhamāh
āsuram bhāvam āśritāh

       "All men do not get the inner prompting to conquer māyā, by surrendering their all to the Lord. It depends on merit or demerit, accumulated during many births. Those who have only demerit as their earnings will pursue the fleeting pleasures of the senses. Like the birds and the beasts, they revel in food and frolic; they take these as the purpose of life; they do not entertain any thoughts of God; they dislike the company of the virtuous and the good; they stray away from good acts; they become outlaws from the realm of God." - Gītā Vahini, p. 106-7

Verse 16.

catur-vidhā bhajante mām
janāh sukritino 'rjuna
ārto jijāsur arthārthī
jānī ca bharatarshabha

       "God is worshipped by four kinds of devotees; ārto (the distressed), arthārthī (the ones who desire material gain), jijāsu (the inquisitive ones) and jānī (the ones who know things as they are), God loves all of them. He grants them boons appropriate to their thoughts and attributes. - Summer Showers in Brindavan 1979, p. 66

       "Listen. Those who seek Me are of four types. One is always worn out by ills that affect the body; he is the ārta. Another is worried by the struggle for prosperity, power, self, property, posterity, etc. He is the arthārthī. A third yearns for the realization of the ātmā, reads the scriptures and sacred texts, moves ever in the company of spiritual sadhakas, acts along the lines laid down by the sages of sadachara (good conduct), and is always motivated by the eagerness to reach the sannidhi (presence) of the Lord. He is the jijāsu. The fourth is the jānī. He is immersed in the Brahmathathwam (formless God, brahman principle). - Gītā Vahini, p. 62-3

Verse 17.

teshām jānī nitya-yukta
eka-bhaktir viśishyate
priyo hi jānino' tyartham
aham sa ca mama priyah

       "The jānī will not raise his eyes towards anything other than the Lord. Even if he does, he sees the Lord wherever his eyes are cast. That is the reason why the Lord has declared that the jānī is the dearest to Him. - Gītā Vahini, p. 108

Verse 18.

udārāh sarva evaite
jānī tv ātmaiva me matam
āsthitah sa hi yuktātmā
mām evānuttamām gatim

       "A jānī is the only individual who has reached the summit of spirituality. He has attained the acme of wisdom. He alone can reach and know God. It does not mean that the others cannot know God. They, too, can realize God if they dedicate all their actions to God in a spirit of self-abnegation. Killing of the lower self is more important than memorizing all the scriptures.

"This is the easiest path to God-realization. Every act should be treated as a sacrament. Meditation, yoga, and rites and rituals are no longer essential to the jānī. His life and his actions are dedicated to God in complete self-surrender. He remains unattached to the fruits of his actions. - Summer Showerws in Brindavan 1979, p. 67.Gītā

Verse 19.

bahūnām janmanām ante
jānavān mām prapadyate
vāsudevah sarvam iti
sa mahātmā sudurlabhah

      "The bhakta must be convinced that all this is Vāsudeva, "vāsudeva sarvam-idam". That is to say, one's own ātmā is everywhere in everything; this truth must be realized, acted upon and experienced. Hating another is hating oneself; scorning another is but scorning oneself; finding fault with another fault with oneself. - Gītā Vahini, p. 187-8

      "vāsudevah sarvam iti (All this is God, Vāsudeva). The divine principle that is in every one is like the electric current that illuminates the bulbs, before Me here, of different colors and different candle powers. The same God shines in and through every one, whatever be the creed, color, tribe or territory. The current animates and activates all bulbs; the divine animates and activates all. Those who see difference are deluded; they are befogged by prejudice, egoism, hatred or malice. Love sees all as one divine family. - Sathya Sai Speaks V, pp. 224-5

Verse 20.

kāmais tais tair hrita-jānāh
prapadyante 'nya-devatāh
tam tam niyamam āsthāya
prakrityā niyatāh svayā

Verse 21.

yo yo yām yām tanum bhaktah
śraddhayārcitum icchati
tasya tasyācalām śraddhām
tām eva vidadhāmy aham

 Verse 22.

sa tayā śraddhayā yuktas
tasyārādhanam īhate
labhate ca tatah kāmān
mayaiva vihitān hi tān

Verse 23.

ntavat tu phalam teshām
tad bhavaty alpa-medhasām
devān deva-yajo yānti
mad-bhaktā yānti mām api

       "Only those prayers that have their origins in the spirit of nishkama karma, infinite and pure love, and an unsullied heart reach the Lord directly. It is not possible for prayers of any other kind to reach Him directly. Therefore, it is only through these three media, that is, nish-kama-karma (renunciation of the fruit of action), boundless love and an unsullied heart, that we can hope to secure direct contact with the Lord and obtain His divine sanction to our request. - Summer Showers in Brindavan 1979, p. 8

Verse 24.

avyaktam vyaktim āpannam
manyante mām abuddhayah
param bhāvam ajānanto
mamāvyayam anuttamam

Verse 25.

nāham prakāśah sarvasya
mūdho 'yam nābhijānāti
loko mām ajam avyayam

       "Just as there is divine nature behind the phenomenal nature, there is also the divine mind behind the phenomenal mind. True spirituality lies in the recognition and apprehension of the Divinity underlying the phenomenal world of mind and matter. - Summer Showers in Brindavan 1979, p. 122

Verse 26.

vedāham samatītāni
vartamānāni cārjuna
bhavishyāni ca bhūtāni
mām tu veda na kaścana

Verse 27.

icchā-dvesha samutthena
dvandva-mohena bhārata
sarva-bhūtāni sammoham
sarge yānti parantapa

Verse 28.

yeshām tv anta-gatam pāpam
janānām punya-karmanām
te dvandva-moha-nirmuktā
bhajante mām dridha-vratāh

       "This is the meaning of what is called ātmā-samyama, the control of the senses, detachment from the outer sensory world, the withdrawal of the mind from the outer world. This is the goal of all life; knowing the paramātmā, attaining liberation. There can be no second aim for man. Man is endowed with life, not as a means for building bungalows, the acquisition of estates, the accumulation of wealth, the addition of progeny, the earning of titles or ascent into higher rangs of social life. His greatness does not depend on these. The chiefest success in life lies in the winning of permanent bliss, permanent escape from grief and agitation. - Gītā Vahini, p. 115

Verse 29.

mām āśritya yatanti ye
te brahma tad viduh kritsnam
adhyātmam karma cākhilam

      "Arjuna! Everyone is anxious to avoid old age and death; it is human nature so to be anxious. But of what avail is mere anxiety? One's conduct and behavior should be in accordance with one's objective. If one has sincere yearning and if one places full trust and faithfully surrenders to the Lord, the fog of grief will be dispensed by the rays of His grace. If on the other hand one places his trust on the objects of this world, the consequent grief will never end; nor can they be ended by any other than the Lord. Serve the Master of māyā, the designer of all this dreamland, rather than the dream itself. How can attachment to delusion yield anything but disappointment. How can joy be won by such pursuits? If joy is not won and grief avoided, how can liberation be achieved!" Krishna asked. - Gītā Vahini, p. 116

 Verse 30.

sādhibhūtādhidaivam mām
sādhiyajam ca ye viduh
prayāna-kāle 'pi ca mām
te vidur yukta-cetasah

      "I am master of adhibhūta, adhidaiva and ādhiyaja, and if I am thus worshipped, the worshipper will evelop equanimity and full control of the vagaries of the mind. Besides, such a person will dwell on Me, without forgetting Me even in his last moments. For that reason, he will reach Me too. That is to say, he will merge in Me." - Gītā Vahini, p. 115-6

* Adhi: a prefix to verbs and nouns, expresses above, over and above, besides.
* Adhibhūtam: material nature.
* Adhidaivatam: the universal form of the Lord called adhidaiva (see
B.G. 8.4)
* Adhidaivika, adhyātmika, adhibhautika kleśas: hindrances stemming from resp. nature, oneself and others, (kleśas: obstacle of a mental or emotional nature on the path of selfrealization).










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