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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Shrimad Bhagavad Gita > Gita By Acharyas > Gita 07 Vigyana Yoga

Ch 7. Vijnana Yoga

Yoga Through Realisation of Transcendental Knowledge

Constant study of these instructions leads to the firm understanding and realisation that Bhagavan Shri Krishna alone is the ultimate limit of para-tattva, the Supeme Absolute Reality, and that there is no parama-tattva other than Him.Only by Surrendering exclusively to His lotus feet can one become free from the bondage of maya. There are fou types of people who have no qualification to engage in bhagavad-bhajana because they perorm impious acts. They are the foolish, the lowest among mankind, those whose nature is asuric, and those whose knowledge is covered by maya. Conversely, there are four classes of people who are endowed with sukrti and who can therefore engage in bhagavad-bhajana: They are those who are distressed, those who want wealth, the inquisitive and the jnanis. The bhaktas of Bhagavan are very rare in this world. One does not attain eternal welfare by worshipping various devas and devis.

The Glories of Chapter Seven (Mahatmya)

Lord Siva said, “My dear Parvati, now I will tell you the glories of the Seventh Chapter of the Shrimad Bhagavad-gita, hearing which, one feels his ears have been filled with divine nectar. Pataliputra is the name of one large town, which has many large gates. In that town lived a brahmana of the name Shankukama He had taken to the occupation of a businessman, and had amassed a very large wealth. But he had never performed any type of devotional activities, nor had he performed the necessary ritualistic performances for the sake of his forefathers. He became very rich, so much that even great kings would dine at his house. Shankukarna was also the most miserly of persons, and he kept his wealth buried under the ground.

Once, when that brahmana was going along with his children and other relatives for the purpose of his fourth marriage, they stopped at one place to rest for the night. While he was sleeping, a snake came and bit him. When his sons and relatives realized that a snake had bitten him, they called for the doctors and mantra-chanters. But no one was able to help Shankukarna, and shortly he died. After that he attained the body of a Preta-Sarp, a snake-ghost. The only thing he was able to think about was his wealth, which was buried close to the house where he had lived. He had not even informed his own family of the whereabouts of his wealth. Even in the form of a Preta-Sarp he resided at the place where his wealth was buried, so that no one else could take that wealth. After some time he became tired of being trapped in the form of a Preta-Sarp and he appeared in dreams to his sons and requested them to help him. In the morning, when his lazy sons woke up, they told each other about the dream they had seen. One of his sons took a large digging instrument in his hands and went to the place the father had indicated that he was living. When he reached that place he realized that he was not aware of the exact spot where the wealth was buried. That son was exceptionally greedy, and he searched for a long time, until he came across a snake-hole, which he promptly started to dig out. Shortly a very large and fearful looking snake came out of that hole and spoke the following, “Oh, fool, who are you? Why have you come here? Who has sent you? And why are you digging at this place? Reply to my questions at once.” The son replied, “I am your son. My name is Shiva. In a dream last night. I saw that there were hidden treasures buried at this place and I came to take them. When he heard Shiva speaking that way the Preta-Sarp started to laugh and said, “If you are my son, then why are you not performing the necessary rituals to free me from this hellish situation. Due to greed in my last life, I attained this body and now you are heading the same way.”

The son inquired, “My dear father, kindly tell me how you can be freed from this hellish situation?” The Preta-Sarp said, “Not by any kind of charity, tapasya or yajna, only by reciting of the Seventh Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita will I be able to become free from the wheel of birth and death. My dear son kindly perform the shraddha ceremony and on that day, invite a Brahmana, who is in the habit of chanting the Seventh Chapter of Bhagavad-gita and feed him very sumptuously.”
Thereafter, Shiva, along with his other brother fulfilled the instructions of their father and while the Brahmana was chanting the Seventh Chapter of Shrimad Bhagavad-gita, Sankukarna gave up that frightful body of a Preta-Sarp and attained a divine four-armed body. At that time he blessed his sons and informed them where his wealth was and then left for Vaikuntha.

Those sons, whose minds had become fixed in devotion to Lord Krishna, used that wealth for building temples, digging wells and kinds, and distributing foodstuffs. They all engaged daily in the recitation of the Seventh Chapter of the Shrimad Bhagavad-gita. And very quickly they attained the lotus feet of Lord Krishna.
Lord Siva said, “My dear Parvati, I have told you the wonderful glories of the Seventh Chapter of Bhagavad-gita. Anyone, who hears this description, will be freed from all sinful reactions.”

Ch 7 Verse 1

shri bhagavan uvaca
mayy asakta-manah partha / yogam yunjan mad-ashrayah
asamshayam samagram mam / yatha jnasyasi tac chrinu

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shri bhagavan uvaca---the all-opulent Lord said; partha---O son of Pritha; shrinu---just hear; yatha---how; jnasyasi---you shall know; mam---Me; samagram---in truth; yunjan---by practising; tat--- that; yogam---bhakti-yoga; asakta-manah---with mind attached; mayi---to Me; mad-ashrayah---and taking shelter of Me; asamshayam---free from doubt.

Shri Bhagavan said: O Partha, now hear how you will know Me in full by practising bhakti-yoga with your mind attached to Me, taking full shelter of Me alone, being free from all doubt.


When will I attain the shelter of the lotus feet of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who is an abode of eternal bliss and an ocean of mercy? Having given up the processes of bhukti and mukti and taking shelter of the path of bhakti, when will I become qualified to taste the nectar of prema?

This Seventh Chapter describes the vibhutis (opulences) of Shri Krishna, who is the supreme object of worship. There is also a description of the four types of worshippers who perform bhajana to Him and the four types of persons who do not.

The first six chapters describe the processes of jnana and yoga, which both result in moksha and initially depend on nishkama-karma to purify the heart. Now, in the next set of six chapters, there is a description of various types of bhaktiyoga beginning with bhakti mixed with karma, jnana and so on. These practices (shravana etc.) result in destinations (types of liberations) such as salokya, and are attained by the sadhakas of nishkama and sakama-upasana. Most prominently, there is a description of the process of bhakti-yoga which is independent of karma, jnana, etc., and grants that mukti in which one becomes a loving associate of Shri Krishna. As it is said in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.20.32-33):

yat karmabhir yat tapasa / jnana vairagyatash ca yat

Simply by practising bhakti-yoga, My bhakta easily attains in full whatever auspicious results can be achieved by performing karma (prescribed duties), tapasya and other auspicious activities, and by cultivating jnana, vairagya, yoga and dana (charitable acts).

Even if one desires the destinations of Svarga, moksha, or Vaikuntha, one can attain them easily by bhakti-yoga. It is clear from these statements that bhakti is supremely independent. Bhakti is quite capable of granting the fruits of those processes even if one does not perform them. This bhaktiyoga is easy to perform, but difficult to attain. It is said in Shvetashvatara Upanishad (3.8): tam eva viditv atimrityum eti. "One can transcend death when one knows Him (Parameshvara)." This statement may cause one to doubt whether one can attain moksha merely by bhakti, without having jnana. In response Shri Bhagavan says, "Do not raise such an objection." Tam eva, one can only transcend death by knowing tat-padartha (Paramatma), through direct realisation of Him. One cannot attain freedom from death merely by knowing tvam-padartha (the jivatma), prakriti (material nature) or any other entity. This is the import of the above statement in Shvetashvatara Upanishad. The only way to taste sugar candy is with the tongue, not with the eyes or ears. Similarly, bhakti is the only way to realise parabrahma. Brahma is gunatita (beyond the gunas), so it is only possible to attain brahma with the help of bhakti as bhakti is also gunatita. Atma-jnana, knowledge of the self which is free from identification with the body and so forth, is in sattva-guna, so it cannot enable one to attain brahma. Bhaktyaham ekaya grahyah. "I am attained only by aikantika-bhakti." (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 11.14.21). Bhaktya mam abhijanati (Gita 18.55). "Only by bhakti can the jiva specifically know the tattva of My svarupa and sva-bhava." Shri Bhagavan says, "I will establish My savishesha (specific nature) by these two statements."

Jnana and yoga are well known as the means to attain mukti, but this is only possible by the influence of gunibhuta bhakti (bhakti predominated by karma, jnana, tapasya and so on). Jnana and yoga are incapable of giving such a result when they are bereft of bhakti. There are many statements that establish that jnana and yoga are ineffective without bhakti. Moreover, in the above statement from Shvetashvatara Upanishad, the word eva (only) has been used before the word viditva (knowing). This means that it is not a fact that moksha is attained only by jnana. It implies that it is possible to attain moksha by knowing Paramatma, and sometimes even without knowing Him. Thus moksha is attained by nirgunaparam atma-jnana (knowledge of Paramatma which is beyond the modes) generated from bhakti, and sometimes moksha can be attained solely by bhakti, even without knowledge of Paramatma. This meaning is also conveyed by the Upanishad statement previously quoted.

The tongue cannot taste the sweetness of mishri (rock sugar) if it is affected by the disease of jaundice, but by continuously consuming mishri, the defect of the tongue will be cured, and the taste of mishri will be relished again. There is no doubt about it. In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.47.59) Shri Uddhava says, "Nectar always grants immortality, even if one tastes it without knowing its characteristics." Similarly, one may be ignorant of His svarupa, but if he constantly performs bhajana of Shri Krishna, he is granted his desired result. It is also said of Shri Narayana in the Moksha-dharma, "A person who has taken shelter of Shri Narayana does not need to perform the sadhana by which one attains the four goals of life: dharma, artha, kama and moksha. Indeed, he attains these goals, even without practising this sadhana." It is also said in Shrimad- Bhagavatam (11.20.32-33): "Whatever is achieved by following these processes or performing one's prescribed duty and austerities, My bhaktas attain easily by bhakti-yoga." Moreover, it is said in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (6.16.44): "Simply by hearing Your holy name once, even a low born candala is liberated from the material world." These statements establish that, one can only attain moksha by practising bhakti. Furthermore: "Of all yogis, the best is he who performs bhajana with great faith within his heart," (Gita 6.47). By this statement, Shri Bhagavan also indicates a special characteristic of His bhaktas whose minds are fixed in Him, and who have faith in His bhaktas. One may raise the question, "What type of bhaktas are eligible to have jnana and vijnana of Shri Bhagavan?. This shloka beginning with the words mayy asakta, and also the next shloka, are spoken in response to this question. Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.2.42) states: "Just as a person has experience of satisfaction, nourishment and the removal of hunger all at the same time when he eats food, similarly one who performs bhajana of Shri Bhagavan simultaneously achieves devotion, realisation of Bhagavan and detachment." .It is noteworthy that one who eats only one mouthful of food experiences neither satisfaction nor nourishment. Satisfaction and nourishment are experienced only by one who eats a full meal. In the same way, although one starts to realise Me from the initial stages of performing My bhajana, only one who has become situated on the platform of asakti, and whose mind is attached to My Shyamasundara svarupa, adorned with a yellow dress, realises Me in reality. You can know Me only in this way.

"Please hear how one can have direct realisation of Me and what type of yoga grants this. One can become My ananyabhakta even without the help of jnana, karma, etc. by gradually becoming united with Me, and eventually taking complete shelter of Me." In this shloka, the word asamshayam indicates a doubt about the possibility of attaining nirvishesha-brahma, and samagram indicates that the realisation of that svarupa is incomplete. This will be stated later on in Gita (12.5):

klesho 'dhikataras tesham / avyaktasakta-cetasam
avyakta hi gatir duhkham / dehavadbhir avapyate

Those who fix their mind on nirguna-brahma have to undergo great miseries. It may be difficult for an embodied jiva to attain that unmanifest nature. In other words, there is a doubt as to whether one can attain the nirvishesha-brahma-svarupa. However, in the present shloka Shri Bhagavan is declaring, .This doubt does not exist in relation to My bhakti-yoga, because My devotees always realise Me, Shri Krishna, parabrahma-tattva. Moreover, brahma, the worshipable object of the jnanis, is only My glorious effulgence. As I said to King Satyavrata in My Matsya avatara, "By following My instructions you will also come to know My glories, which are manifested in your heart by shabda-brahma, the sound representation of parabrahma,. (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 8.24.38). And in Gita (14.27) I have said: "I am the shelter or basis of nirvisheshabrahma. Therefore, knowledge of My nirvishesha-svarupa is not complete but only partial compared to knowledge of My Shri Krishna Shyamasundara pitambara-dhari svarupa. Knowledge of nirvishesha-brahma is asamagram (incomplete). "


Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura quotes Krishna as saying, "O Partha, in the first six chapters, I explained jnana and ashtanga-yoga. These are paths to attain moksha, and they require the help of nishkama-karma-yoga to purify the heart. In the second set of six chapters, I am explaining bhakti-yoga. Please listen. With your mind steadfast in attachment to Me, having taken complete shelter of Me by practising bhakti-yoga, you will attain thorough knowledge of Me. There is no doubt about this.

"The knowledge of nirvishesha-brahma is incomplete because it denies knowledge of the qualities of the personal feature of the Absolute (savishesha-jnana). One attains the featureless nirvishesha conception by negating material variety. My nirvishesha-brahma nature manifests only as the object of this nirvishesha conception, which is not nirguna, because it merely transcends physical and mental knowledge, and is therefore limited to knowledge in sattva-guna. Bhakti is a function of nirguna-vritti (transcendental nature). My form is also nirguna, and can only be seen by the transcendental (nirguna) eyes of a jiva which have been uncovered by the process of nirguna-bhakti."

Ch 7 Verse 2

jnanam te'ham sa-vijnanam / idam vakshyamy asheshatah
yaj jnatva neha bhuyo'nyaj / jnatavyam avashishyate

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aham---I; vakshyami---shall explain; te---to you; asheshatah---in full; idam---this; jnanam---knowledge; sa-vijnanam---together with the process of realizing that knowledge; yat---which; jnatva---having understood; na anyat---nothing else; bhuyah---further; avashishyate--- will remain; be known; iha---in this world.

I shall reveal to you in full this jnana, enriched with vijnana (realisation). When you know this, there will remain nothing further to be known in this world.


Until one is situated on the platform of asakti (attachment) in the process of My bhakti, knowledge of Me is aishvarya-mayi (in awe and reverence), and is called jnana. Later, when one attains asakti, My madhurya is realised through vijnana. Please hear about both of these, after knowing which, there will be nothing else to be known. Knowledge of My nirvishesha-brahma as well as vijnana are included within this.


When one performs nirguna-bhakti, he realises the complete svarupa of Svayam Bhagavan Shri Krishna, who is eternal, full of knowledge and bliss, and who is the basis of transcendental aishvarya and madhurya. Shri Vyasa attained complete vision and realisation of the svarupa of Bhagavan in a state of samadhi, only through bhakti-yoga. Apashyat purusam purnam (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.7.4). "And thus he saw the complete Personality of Godhead." It should be understood that both brahma-jnana and paramatma-jnana are included within this complete vision and realisation (vijnana) of Krishna's svarupa. Therefore, when one has attained knowledge of Shri Bhagavan, nothing else remains to be known.

The synonym for nirguna-bhakti is prema-bhakti. To attain prema-bhakti, one must pass through nine stages:

(1) shraddha,
(2) sadhu-sanga,
(3) bhajana-kriya,
(4) anarthaniv ritti,
(5) nishtha,
(6) ruci,
(7) asakti
(these seven stages comprise sadhana-bhakti),
(8) bhava and
(9) the appearance of prema.

Before the sadhaka bhakta achieves the stage of asakti, knowledge of Bhagavan is aishvarya-mayi. But when asakti becomes mature, he realises madhurya within his heart. This is called vijnana.

Ch 7 Verse 3

manushyanam sahasreshu / kashcid yatati siddhaye
yatatam api siddhanam / kashcin mam vetti tattvatah

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sahasreshu---among thousands; manushyanam---of men; kashcit--- someone; yatati---endeavours; siddhaye---for perfection; api---yet even; yatatam---of those who endeavour; siddhanam---and attain perfection; kashcit---some (rare) person; vetti---knows; mam---Me; tattvatah---in truth.

Among thousands of men, one may endeavour for perfection. And among those who attain perfection, it is rare for even one to know My svarupa in truth.


"Even jnanis and yogis who are endowed with the symptoms described in the previous six chapters rarely attain knowledge of Me complete with vijnana." Saying this, Shri Bhagavan speaks about vijnana (realisation of Him) in this shloka beginning with the word manushyanam. "Among countless jivas, one becomes a human being, and among thousands of humans one of them tries to attain the ultimate goal of life. Among thousands who make such an endeavour, it is rare for one to know in truth and to have direct realisation of My Shyamasundara Muralidhari form."

The conclusion is that the bliss one experiences by realisation of savishesha-brahma is thousands of times greater than the bliss experienced by realizing nirvishesha-brahma.


In this shloka, Bhagavan is showing that bhagavat-jnana is extremely rare. In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (6.14.5), this has been described:

muktanam api siddhanam / narayana-parayanah
sudurlabhah prashantatma / kotishv api maha-mune

O Maha-muni, among millions of such liberated and perfected persons, a bhakta of Narayana, who is very peaceful, is extremely rare. Even more rare than such aishvarya-mayi bhaktas of Shri Narayana, who are attracted to His majesty, are the madhuryapar ayana-bhaktas of Shri Krishna. The bliss derived from tasting the sweetness of Shri Krishna is millions of times greater than the brahmananda, the bliss of brahma.

Also in the Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu 1.1.25:

brahmanando bhaved eshah cet parardha-guni-kritah
naiti bhakti-sukhambhodheh paramanu-tulam api

Even when the bliss of brahma is multiplied by the number of days in Brahma's lifespan, it still cannot be compared to a single particle of the pleasure of tasting the mellows of Shri Krishna's sweetness.

This is also stated in Chaitanya-caritamrita (Adi-lila 7.84-85).

Ch 7 Verse 4

bhumir apo'nalo vayuh / kham mano buddhir eva ca
ahankara itiyam me / bhinna prakritir ashtadha

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iyam---this; prakritih---energy; me---of Mine; (has) ashtadha--- eightfold; bhinna---divisions; iti---as follows; bhumih---earth; apah---water; analah---fire; vayuh---air; kham---ether; manah--- mind; buddhih---intelligence; ca---and; eva---certainly; ahankarah---false ego.

My external material energy has eight divisions: earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego.


In relation to bhakti, the word jnana indicates only the aishvarya-jnana of Shri Bhagavan. It does not indicate atmaj nana. Hence, in this shloka beginning with the word bhumi and in the next shloka, He is delineating His aishvarya-jnana by explaining His spiritual (para) and material (apara) energies. The word bhumi-adi (earth, etc.) indicates the five material elements (panca-maha-bhuta) along with their respective subtle elements such as fragrance. The word ahankara (false ego) refers to their effects, the senses, and their cause, the mahat-tattva. Since the intelligence and the mind are prominent among these elements, they have been mentioned separately.


Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura quotes Krishna as saying, "Knowledge of My svarupa and My aishvarya is called bhagavat-jnana." It is described in this way: "I, the Supreme Absolute Reality Shri Krishna, am always situated in My svarupa, and possess all energies (shaktis) in full. Brahma is only a featureless (nirvishesha) expression of My shakti, and does not have a form (svarupa). The existence of brahma is based on the concept of negating the created world. Paramatma is also a partial manifestation of My energy in this world. In fact, He is a reality specifically related to the temporary material world, and does not have an eternal svarupa. Bhagavat-svarupa is My only eternal feature and has two types of shakti. One shakti is called bahiranga or maya-shakti, the external energy. Since it is the cause (mother) of the inert world, it is also called apara-shakti. One should understand the number of elements in this apara-shakti related to inert matter. The five gross elements: earth, water, fire, air and ether are called maha-bhuta (gross elements). Smell, taste, form, touch and sound are their five respective qualities. Hence, there are ten elements. You should understand that the senses are their active elements initiated by the element of the false ego, or ahankara, and that mahat-tattva is their cause. The mind and intelligence have been mentioned as separate elements, because of their prominent and distinctive functions among the group of elements, but in fact they are one. This entire group is all part of My external energy."

Ch 7 Verse 5

apareyam itas tv anyam / prakritim viddhi me param

jiva-bhutam maha-baho / yayedam dharyate jagat

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maha-baho---O mighty-armed (Arjuna); viddhi---you must understand; iyam---this (material energy); (to be) apara--- inferior; tu---but; itah---beyond it; (there is) anyam---another; param---superior; prakritim---energy; me---of Mine; (consisting of) jiva-bhutam---the living beings; yaya---by which; idam---this; jagat---universe; dharyate---is accepted.

O Maha-baho, you should know that My external energy, which consists of eight divisions, is inferior. There is another potency of Mine known as the jiva-svarupa, which is superior and which accepts this material world for the purpose of enjoying the fruits of karma.


Because its nature is inert, the earlier mentioned bahiranga- shakti is external (apara). The tatastha-shakti, in the form of the jivas, is different from this bahiranga-shakti and superior (para) to it because of the presence of consciousness. The reason that it is superior is that by its conscious nature it sustains the universe, that is, it accepts the material world for the purpose of its own enjoyment.


Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura quotes Krishna as saying, "Besides this material nature (apara prakriti), there is My marginal nature (tatastha prakriti), which is also called jiva or para prakriti. That prakriti is conscious (chaitanyasvar upa), and it is in the form of the jivas (jiva-svarupa). All the jivas emanating from that energy have made this inert material world conscious. The jiva has the capacity to understand and move in either the cit-jagat (transcendental world), which has emanated from My internal energy (antaranga-shakti), or in the jada-jagat (inert world) which has emanated from My external energy (bahiranga-shakti). Jiva-shakti is also called tatastha-shakti for this reason."

Those baddha-jivas who are averse to Shri Krishna manifest in this world from this tatastha-shakti. It is a great misconception to think that the baddha-jivas have given up their service to Krishna, and have come from Vaikuntha or even higher, from Goloka. This idea is opposed to siddhanta. Once a jiva has attained service to Krishna in His abode, it is impossible for him to fall from that position. As it is said in Gita (15.6):

yad gatva na nivartante / tad dhama paramam mama

Those who attain My supreme dhama never return to this material world.

Citraketu Maharaja and Jaya and Vijaya never fell down. They appeared in this world voluntarily, and enacted the roles of baddha-jivas for the pleasure of Bhagavan. The jivas who are absorbed in service to Shri Krishna in the spiritual world manifest either from Shri Baladeva Prabhu, or from His expansion, Maha-Sankarshana, who is non-different from Him. They are eternally liberated jivas. It is never possible that they fall.

Ch 7 Verse 6

etad yonini bhutani / sarvanity upadharaya
aham kritsnasya jagatah / prabhavah pralayas tatha

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upadharaya---know; etad---that; iti---that; sarvani---all; bhutani---living beings; (have come from these) yonini---energies; aham---I; (am) prabhavah---the origin; tatha---and; pralayah---annihilation; kritsnasya---of the whole; jagatah---universe.

Know that all created beings have been born from these two prakritis. I alone am the sole cause of the creation and destruction of the entire universe.


Here, Shri Bhagavan establishes Himself as the cause of the universe, for He is the origin of both these shaktis. Maya-shakti as kshetra (the field) and jiva-shakti as kshetrajna (the knower of the field) are the two causes of all moving and non-moving created beings. "Thus, as the controller of these shaktis, I am the creator of the entire universe. At the time of annihilation, these shaktis dissolve and rest in Me, the supreme energetic (shaktiman). I am therefore their only destroyer."


Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura quotes Krishna as saying, "Cit and acit (conscious and inert), that is, the jivas and the inert creation, have emanated from these two prakritis. Both maya and jiva-shakti are My potencies as they originate from Me. I, Bhagavan, am therefore the root cause of both the origin and dissolution of the universe."

Ch 7 Verse 7

mattah parataram nanyat / kincid asti dhananjaya
mayi sarvam idam protam / sutre mani-gana iva

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dhananjaya---O winner of wealth, Arjuna; na asti---there does not exist; kincit---anything; anyat---else; parataram---greater; mattah---than Me; sarvam---all; idam---this universe; protam--- is dependent; mayi---on Me; iva---as; mani-ganah---jewels; (strung) sutre---on a thread.

O Dhananjaya, there is nothing superior to Me. This whole universe is dependent on Me, like jewels strung on a thread.


Shri Bhagavan says, "In this way, I am the cause of everything. Just as cause and effect are non-different from each other, so are the energy and the energetic." It is said in shruti: ekam evadvitiyam brahma. "Before the creation of this universe, there was only one Absolute Reality without a second." (Chandogya Upanishad 6.2.1)

Moreover: neha nanasti kincana. "Nothing exists except for advaya brahma, the one non-dual Absolute Truth in various forms." (Brihad-Aranyaka-Upanishad 4.4.19)

Also in shruti it is stated: "Since My shaktis are the cause of all creations, I am the cause of everything."

In this way, after first explaining His nature of being everything, Bhagavan is now explaining His quality of being all-pervading by the words mayi and so on. Sarvam idam means, "Both the cit (conscious) and jada (inert) universes are non-different from Me because they are My creations (effects). In other words, they are My svarupa, and just as jewels are strung on a thread, they are strung on Me, Antaryami." Shri Madhusudana Sarasvatipada has written:

sutre mani-gana iva.

"This example merely proves that the universe is resting in Bhagavan, but it does not prove that He is the cause of the universe. However, "gold is the cause of a golden earring" is an appropriate example to establish Him as the cause of the universe."


In the previous shloka, Shri Bhagavan established Himself as the independent cause of creation and dissolution. Now, in the present shloka, He is establishing that as all-pervading Antaryami, He alone is the cause of maintenance. "I, Shri Krishna, am the parama-tattva and the cause of all causes." Lord Brahma also establishes this principle in Brahma-samhita (5. 1):

ishvarah paramah krishnah sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah
anadir adir govindah sarva-karana-karanam

The Supreme Lord, the embodiment of truth, consciousness and joy, is Govinda Krishna. He is without beginning, the origin of all that be, and the Cause of all causes.

To make this subject easier to understand, we will cite concepts from Govinda-bhashya written by Shri Baladeva Vidyabhushana: "Parabrahma-svarupa, Shri Krishna, is the Supreme Absolute Reality (para-tattva-vastu). There is nothing superior to Him because there is no other independent entity. Yasmat param na param asti kincit (Shvetashvatara Upanishad 3.9). These statements from the shrutis have not accepted the existence of anything higher than the allworshipable brahma. In the Vedas (Shvetashvatara Upanishad 3.8-9) it is said: "I have known this effulgent brahma which is like the sun and beyond all darkness (ignorance).
One attains immortality and the goal of human life (purushartha) by knowing Him. The only means to attain immortality is by knowledge of this maha-purusha. There is nothing superior to Him."

"After accepting the superiority of parabrahma established in these mantras, it is further said: "Those who know the pure or constitutional nature of brahma attain immortality in due course of time; otherwise there is no cessation to their miseries. " If something is accepted as superior to brahma, then Shri Krishna's statement: mattah parataram nanyat kincid asti dhananjaya, becomes false. Govinda-bhashya (Brahma-sutra 3.2.37).

Shvetasvatara Upanishad (6.8) repeats the same: na tat-samash cabhyadhikash ca drishyate. "There is nothing equal to or greater than savishesha-brahma-tattva."

Ch 7 Verse 8

raso'ham apsu kaunteya / prabhasmi shashi-suryayoh

pranavah sarva-vedeshu / shabdah khe paurusham nrishu

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kaunteya---O son of Kunti; aham---I; asmi---am; rasah---the taste; apsu---in water; prabha---the light; shashi-suryayoh---of the moon and sun; pranavah---the syllable om; sarva-vedeshu---in all Vedic mantras; shabdah---the sound; khe---in ether; (and the) paurusham---ability; nrishu---in man.

O Kaunteya, I am the taste in water, the radiance of the moon and sun, and the syllable om in all Vedic mantras. I am the sound in ether and the ability in man.


"As Antaryami, I enter into and exist in this universe which was created by Me. Similarly, I alone exist as the essence within all humans and all other living entities. Somewhere I am the cause and somewhere I am the effect." Shri Bhagavan is speaking this shloka beginning with the words raso 'ham and the next three shlokas in order to establish this truth. Apsu (water) means, "The rasa (taste) in water, is its cause, which is also My opulence (vibhuti). Similarly, My effulgence is the cause of the sun and the moon, and omkara is the cause of the Vedas. They are also My vibhuti. I am also the cause of the sky, sound, and the very essence of human beings, which is the source of their vital energy (paurusha)."

Ch 7 Verse 9

punyo gandhah prithivyan ca / tejash casmi vibhavasau
jivanam sarva-bhuteshu / tapash casmi tapasvishu

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asmi---I am; punyah---the pure; gandhah---fragrances; prithivyam---within the earth; ca---and; tejah---the heat; vibhavasau---within fire; ca---and; jivanam---life; sarva-bhuteshu--- in all beings; ca---and; asmi---I am; tapah---austerity; tapasvishu--- in ascetics.

I am the pure fragrance of the earth, the heat in fire, the life in all beings and the austerity of the ascetics.


According to the Amara-kosha dictionary, the word punya means an original and attractive fragrance. The use of the word ca indicates the relationship of the word punya with rasa (taste), etc. The word teja implies the capacity to digest and cook all ingredients. It also means to illuminate and to protect from cold and so on. This capacity is the essence. Jivana means essence in the form of life, and tapa means to tolerate dualities.

Ch 7 Verse 10

bijam mam sarva-bhutanam / viddhi partha sanatanam
buddhir buddhimatam asmi / tejas tejasvinam aham

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 7.10 <>

partha---O son of Pritha; viddhi---know; mam---Me; (as) sanatanam---the eternal; bijam---seed; sarva-bhutanam---for all living beings; aham---I; asmi---am; buddhih---the intelligence; buddhimatam---of the intelligent; (and the) tejah---prowess; tejasvinam---of the powerful.

O Partha, know Me to be the eternal cause of all beings. I am the intelligence of the intelligent, and the prowess of the powerful.


The word bija (seed) means the untransformed cause which is called pradhana. Sanatana means eternal. "The essence of an intelligent person is his intelligence, and that is Me."

Ch 7 Verse 11

balam balavatam caham / kama-raga-vivarjitam
dharmaviruddho bhuteshu / kamo.smi bharatarshabha

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bharata-rishabha---O best of Bharata's line; aham asmi----I am; balam---the strength; balavatam---of the strong; vivarjitam--- devoid; kama-raga---of lust and attachment; ca---and; kama--- passion; bhuteshu---in all living beings; dharma-aviruddhah---not incompatible with the codes of dharma.

O best of the Bharata dynasty, I am the strength of the strong, free from attachment and desire. In all beings I am sexual union in accordance with dharma, for the purpose of procreation alone.


The word kama generally refers to the desire for one's maintenance, and raga refers to anger. In this context, however, these meanings do not apply. Dharmaviruddhah means that which is not opposed to dharma, that is, passion which is used only to produce children from one's own wife.

Ch 7 Verse 12

ye caiva sattvika bhava / rajasas tamasash ca ye
matta eveti tan viddhi / na tv aham teshu te mayi

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ca---and; viddhi---you should know; eva---certainly; ye ye--- whichever; bhavah---states of existence (there are); sattvikah--- in goodness; rajasah---passion; ca---and; tamasah---ignorance; eva---certainly; tan---them; mattah---to come from Me; iti---thus; aham---I (am); na---not; teshu---in them; tu---but; te mayi---they are in Me.

Know that all states of existence: sattvika, rajasika and tamasika, are manifested by the modes of My material nature. I am not subject to these modes, for they are all under the control of My energy.


"In this way, I have explained only some of the vibhutis, such as those which are the cause and the essence of objects. But what is the purpose of going into details? Everything is under My control and is My vibhuti." To explain this, Shri Bhagavan speaks this shloka beginning with the words ye caiva. "Control of the mind and senses, as well as the devas themselves are sattvika bhavas (states of existence). Happiness, pride and other such feelings, as well as the asuras themselves are rajasika bhavas. And lamentation, delusion and other such attitudes, as well as rakshasas (those who are lower than asuras), are tamasika bhavas (natures). They all come from Me, but it should be understood that they are the effects of the gunas of My material nature, so I am not personally present in them. Unlike the jivas, I am not under their control; rather, they exist under My control."

Ch 7 Verse 13

tribhir guna-mayair bhavair / ebhih sarvam idam jagat

mohitam nabhijanati / mam ebhyah param avyayam

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mohitam---deluded; ebhih---by these; tribhih---three; bhavaih--- states; guna-mayaih---of the qualities of material nature; idam--- this; sarvam---entire; jagat---world; na abhijanati---does not know; mam---Me; (who am) param---beyond; ebhyah---these modes; avyayam---and imperishable.

Deluded by these three states of existence ( sattva-guna, rajo-guna and tamo-guna) the whole world does not know Me, who am beyond the modes and imperishable.


Arjuna may ask, "Why do people not know You, Parameshvara?" In response, Krishna speaks this shloka beginning with the word tribhih. "The jivas of this world are bewildered because they are controlled by their acquired nature, which is composed of the activities of the three gunas. This consists of control of the mind, control of the senses, happiness, lamentation, attachment and envy. But I am beyond the gunas and free from any perverted transformation, and that is why they cannot understand Me."

Ch 7 Verse 14

daivi hy esha gunamayi / mama maya duratyaya
mam eva ye prapadyante / mayam etam taranti te

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 7.4 <>

hi---indeed; esha---this; daivi---divine; maya---illusory energy; gunamayi---consisting of the gunas; mama---of Mine; (is) duratyaya---difficult to overcome; te---they; ye---who; prapadyante---surrender; eva---only; mam---to Me; taranti---transcend; etam---this; mayam---illusion.

This external energy of Mine which consists of the three gunas, and which bewilders the jivas, is certainly very difficult to overcome, but those who take exclusive shelter of Me can easily transcend this maya.


The following question may be raised: "How can one become free from the delusion created by the three gunas?" In response, Shri Bhagavan speaks this shloka beginning with the word daivi. "This maya is called daivi because it deludes the devas (the jivas), who are divine by nature, but who are absorbed in the sporting pleasures of sense enjoyment. This maya is guna-mayi, composed of the three gunas. The word guna-mayi has another meaning. It has the form of a strong rope with three strands. This bahiranga-shakti which belongs to Me, Parameshvara, is duratyaya, extremely difficult to cross over. No one is able to cut this rope and become free from the bondage of the gunas.. Shri Bhagavan says, "Believe Me." Then He touches His own chest, and goes on to say mam, "A person can only transcend this maya if he exclusively surrenders unto Me in this form of Shyamasundara."


Para (spiritual) and apara (material) are Bhagavan's two types of shaktis. The spiritual, internal energy is called antaranga (cit-shakti) and the material, external energy is called bahiranga (acit, apara or maya-shakti). In the Upanishads it is also said: mayan tu prakritim vidyan mayinam tu maheshvaram. "Maya should be understood as apara-shakti, and the person (purusha) who is the shelter of maya, should be understood to be the maheshvara, the Supreme Controller."
(Shvetashvatara Upanishad 4.10)

This is also confirmed in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (8.5.30): na yasya kashcatititarti mayam / yaya jano muhyati veda nartham." The jiva is bewildered by maya-shakti and therefore he is unable to understand the nature of the self. This insurmountable maya of Bhagavan cannot be overcome by anyone without His mercy." One may question that if maya-shakti is the cause of the jiva's bondage, can one become free from this bondage by pleasing this maya-shakti? What is the need to take shelter of Shri Hari, Guru and the Vaishnavas? In the present shloka, Bhagavan responds to this, using the words mama maya. He says, "This maya is not independent, rather, it is under My control, so it has no independence to liberate anyone from the material world." This is what He means by the statement: mam eva ye prapadyante. "Only a person who surrenders to Me can cross over this insurmountable maya of Mine; others cannot." This is also confirmed in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.14.58):

samashrita ye pada-pallava-plavam
mahat-padam punya-yasho murareh
bhavambudhir vatsa-padam param padam
padam padam yad vipadam na tesham

When a person takes shelter of the boat of the lotus feet of Shri Krishna, who is supremely famous and is the shelter of great personalities such as Shiva and Brahma, this ocean of the material world becomes just like the water contained in the hoof-print of a calf. His supreme destination is then Vaikuntha, which is free from all types of miseries.

Ch 7 Verse 15

na mam dushkritino mudhah / prapadyante naradhamah
mayayapahrita-jnana / asuram bhavam ashritah

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dushkritinah---miscreants; mudhah---fools; nara-adhamah---the lowest among mankind; (and) apahrita-jnanah---those whose knowledge is stolen; mayaya---by illusion; ashritah---who take shelter; asuram---of the demonic; bhavam---nature; na prapadyante---do not surrender; mam---to Me.

Those miscreants and fools who are devoid of discrimination, who are the lowest among human beings, whose knowledge has been completely stolen by maya, and who have an asurika nature, do not surrender unto Me.


If the question is raised, "Why, then, do the panditas not take shelter of You?" Shri Bhagavan replies, "Those who are genuine panditas do take exclusive shelter of Me, but those who like to consider themselves to be panditas do not." Shri Bhagavan is speaking this shloka beginning with the words na mam to explain this. The word dushkritinah refers to those who are wicked, though they may have some piety. And some may appear to be panditas but are actually kupanditas (pseudo panditas). They are of four types:

(1)Mudhah---a fruitive worker (a karmi), who is no better than an animal. Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.32.19) describes, "Just as a stool-eating hog rejects sweet-rice and enjoys stool, those cheated by destiny, who give up the nectar of hearing harikath a and engage in hearing other useless talks, are most unfortunate. " Who but an animal would not like to perform seva to Shri Mukunda?

(2)Naradhama---the lowest among mankind. Even after performing bhakti for some time and attaining the qualities of a human being, they finally give up the process of bhakti wilfully, thinking that it is not effective in attaining the desired fruit. Such persons are naradhamas.

(3)Mayayapahrita-jnana---those whose knowledge has been stolen by maya, even after studying the shastra. They think that only the form of Shri Narayana, situated in Vaikuntha, can be served eternally and can grant eternal bhakti; one cannot perform bhakti eternally to other forms, such as Rama and Krishna, because They are human-like. Shri Bhagavan has said in the Gita (9.11): "Fools disrespect Me when I appear in My human form. After apparently surrendering unto Me, they have not surrendered in reality."

(4)Asuram bhavam ashritah. "Asuras such as Jarasandha shoot arrows in order to hurt My transcendental body. Similarly, persons who carry this asurika bhava use illogical reasoning to deny My shri-vigraha (Deity form), which is eternally situated in Vaikuntha. They do not surrender unto Me."


Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura quotes Krishna as saying, "Having taken shelter of an asurika bhava, four types of persons do not surrender unto Me: the dushkrita (wicked), the mudhah (foolish), the naradhama (lowest of human beings) and the mayayapahrita-jnani (persons whose knowledge is covered by maya).

(1)Dushkritas are those who live an extremely unrighteous life.
(2)Mudhas are those atheistic persons who only follow moral principles, without taking shelter of Me, the presiding Deity of morality.
(3)Naradhamas are the lowest of human beings, are those who consider Me to be only an aspect of morality, but not the Lord of morality.
(4)Mayayapahrita-jnanis are those whose knowledge remains covered by maya, and even when they have studied shastras such as Vedanta they worship the devas such as Brahma. They do not know My omnipotent nature, the eternal conscious nature of the jiva, the temporary nature of the relationship of the jiva with inert matter, or the eternal nature of the relationship of the jiva with Me as My servant."

Ch 7 Verse 16

catur-vidha bhajante mam / janah sukritino'rjuna
artto jijnasur artharthi / jnani ca bharatarshabha

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arjuna---O Arjuna; bharata-rishabha---best of Bharata's lineage; catur-vidhah---four kinds; sukritinah---of pious; janah---persons; bhajante---worship; mam---Me; artta---the distressed; jijnasuh--- the inquisitive; artha-arthi---the seeker of wealth; ca---and; jnani---the man in knowledge.

O best of the Bharata dynasty, there are four types of pious men who perform My bhajana; the distressed ( artta), the inquisitive ( jijnasu), the seeker of wealth ( artharthi) and the man of wisdom ( jnani).


"Who then performs Your bhajana?" In response to this question, Shri Bhagavan speaks this shloka beginning with the words catur-vidha. "Sukrita refers to those who worship Me and who follow the rules and regulations of varnashramadharma. Artta refers to persons afflicted with distress such as disease and who worship Me to get relief. Jijnasu means those who worship Me desiring atma-jnana (knowledge of the self) or scholarly knowledge of the shastra through grammar. Artharthi refers to those who worship Me with a desire for enjoyment in this world, such as possession of land, elephants, horses, beautiful women, gold, or enjoyment in Svarga. Jnanis with pure hearts also worship Me. Of these four, the first three are sakama-grihasthas, householders who have fruitive desires, and the fourth group consists of nishkamasanny asis (renunciates who perform selfless actions).

These four types of persons are eligible to perform pradhani- bhuta bhakti, the process wherein bhakti predominates over karma, jnana, etc. The first three perform karma-mishra bhakti, bhakti mixed with karma, and the fourth performs jnana-mishra bhakti, bhakti mixed with jnana. Later, in the shloka: sarva-dvarani samyamya (Gita 8.12.), yoga-mishra bhakti will be explained. However, kevala-bhakti, which is devoid of karma or jnana, is explained in the beginning of the Seventh Chapter: mayy asakta-manah partha (Gita 7.1). Kevalabhakti will also be delineated later in two shlokas: ananyacet ah satatam (Gita 8.14) and mahatmanas tu mam partha (Gita 9.13).

In the middle six chapters of Gita, Shri Bhagavan has explained two types of bhakti: pradhani-bhuta and kevala. In the third process, which is called gunibhuta bhakti, bhakti is present to some extent but it is predominated by karma, jnana and so forth. This is the process that karmis, jnanis and yogis perform simply to attain perfection in their respective endeavours. It cannot be called bhakti because it is karma or jnana, etc., which predominate, and not bhakti herself. Pradhanyena vyapadesha bhavanti is a name given to something according to its predominating element. According to this principle of logic (nyaya), such processes are named after their respective predominating natures: karma, jnana and yoga. These processes are not categorised as bhakti because bhakti is not predominant.

The result of sakama-karma is Svarga, and the result of nishkama-karma is jnana. The result of jnana and yoga is moksha. Now, the result of the two types of bhakti, pradhani- bhuta and kevala, are being explained. In pradhani-bhuta bhakti, those who are distressed (artta), those who aspire for knowledge (jijnasu) and those who seek wealth (artharthi) perform karma-mishra bhakti, that is, bhakti which is mixed with karma. Hence they are called sakama-bhaktas. The only result of this type of bhakti is the fulfilment of one's material desires. Due to the superior nature of the object of their endeavour (bhakti), they finally attain moksha, e.g. salokya, which is characterised by a predominance of happiness and majesty (aishvarya). They do not fall down, like a karmi who falls after enjoying in Svarga. This is stated later on: yanti mad-yajino .pi mam (Gita 9.25).

The result of the fourth type, jnana-mishra bhakti, is superior to that of karma-mishra bhakti. Those who practise it attain shanta-rati, like the four Kumaras, headed by Sanaka. By the special mercy of Shri Bhagavan and His bhaktas, this type of bhakti culminates in premotkarsha, the excellence of prema, which is seen in people like Shukadeva Gosvami. When karma-mishra bhakti is nishkama (selfless), it results in jnana-mishra bhakti, the result of which has just been explained. Sometimes, a person who is performing jnana-mishra or karma-mishra bhakti attains prema in the moods of dasya (servitorship) and so forth, due to his intense desire which is developed by the association of bhaktas who have dasyabhava, etc. That prema, however, is predominated by aishvarya. The result of shuddha, ananya, akincana and uttama-bhakti, etc., which is free from jnana and karma and which has various branches, is that one attains the position of a loving associate of Krishna in dasya-bhava, sakhya-bhava and so on. This has been established in many places in the commentaries of Shrimad-Bhagavatam. The concept of sadhya-bhakti has also been briefly explained in this commentary.


Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura quotes Shri Krishna as saying, .It is generally not possible for those who are miscreants (dushkrita) to perform My bhajana, because they are not on the path of gradually developing their consciousness. Sometimes, however, such people attain My service by chance. Among those with sukriti who lead a regulated life, four types are qualified to perform My bhajana. Those who are engaged in kamyakarma (fruitive activities) remember Me when they are afflicted by some misery. They are called artta, the distressed. Even those who are dushkrita sometimes remember Me when in distress.

"The foolish (mudhah), who stick to morality as described in the previous shloka, engage in the gradual process of inquiring about tattva-jnana. By this, they feel the necessity of accepting the existence of Parameshvara. As He is the object of their inquisitiveness, they gradually remember Me.

Naradhamas, the lowest among mankind, who take up bhakti and then later discard it, gradually become dissatisfied with their concept of an ethical controller, and come to realise the real controller of morality. They then become regulated bhaktas and, since they turn to Me to fulfil their desired goals, they are known as artharthi. When the jiva realises that knowledge of brahma and Paramatma is incomplete, he takes shelter of My shuddha-jnana. At that time the covering of maya is removed and, knowing himself to be My eternal servant, he accepts My full shelter.

"Those who are artta (distressed) have the defect of various desires; those who are jijnasu (inquisitive) have the defect of bondage to moralistic knowledge; the artharthis (seekers of wealth) have the defect of striving to attain Svarga; and the jnanis, who think that bhagavat-tattva is temporary, have the defect of wanting to merge into brahma. When these impurities are removed, these four types of persons become eligible to perform pure bhakti. As long as these impurities exist in them, their pure bhakti is considered to be pradhani-bhuta. They attain bhakti when their impurities are completely removed. This bhakti is called kevala, akincina or uttama."

The word sukriti used in this shloka means piety that is generated from following the principles of varna and ashrama. Such pious persons, whose bhakti is pradhani-bhuta, engage in Bhagavan's service in four ways.

Examples of karma pradhani-bhuta bhakti are included in the first three categories below:

(1)Artta: Kings who were captured by Jarasandha; and Gajendra, who was caught by a crocodile.
(2)Jijnasu: Shaunaka and other rishis who were inquisitive about atma-jnana.
(3)Artharthi: Those such as Dhruva who sought wealth.
(4)Jnani: The four Kumaras come in this category. This is jnana-pradhani-bhuta bhakti.

Pradhani-bhuta bhakti is defined as that karma, jnana and yoga in which bhakti predominates, in other words, where karma, jnana and yoga are subordinate to bhakti.
Kevala-bhakti is defined as follows:

anyabhilashita-shunyam / jnana-karmady-anavrtam
anukulyena krishnanu-shilanam bhaktir uttama
Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu 1.1.11

Uttama-bhakti is performed when a person is free from all other desires except to render service to Krishna, when his intelligence is completely free from the concept of nirvishesha-brahma-jnana, and from affinity to nitya (regular) and naimittika (causal or occasional) karma, yoga, tapasya, etc., and when he renders service to Krishna and His bhaktas in a favourable way.

Guni-bhuta bhakti is defined as that process in which karma, jnana and yoga predominate, not bhakti. When bhakti is only practised to assist in the attainment of moksha or Svarga, then such karma is merely called karma, jnana is called jnana, and yoga is called yoga. Such karma, jnana and yoga are not shuddha-bhakti, but guni-bhuta bhakti. Guni- bhuta bhakti is not considered to be in the category of bhakti because bhakti does not predominate in it. In conclusion, therefore, bhakti is of two types: kevala and pradhani-bhuta.

Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has given detailed explanations of bhakti-tattva in his Sarartha-darshini commentary on Shrimad-Bhagavatam. For this information, one should consult the following shlokas from Shrimad-Bhagavatam: atmaramash ca munayo (1.7.10), rite .rtham yat pratiyeta (2.9.34), muktanam api siddhanam (6.14.5), yavan nri-kaya-ratham (7.15.45) and ye .nye .ravindaksha (10.2.32).

Ch 7 Verse 17

tesham jnani nitya-yukta / eka-bhaktir vishishyate
priyo hi jnanino'ty-artham / aham sa ca mama priyah

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jnani---the man in knowledge; nitya-yuktah---is always connected; eka-bhaktih---and exclusively devoted; vishishyate---is distinguished; tesham---among these; hi---certainly; aham---I; (am) ati-artham priyah---exceedingly dear; jnaninah---to the jnani; ca--- and; sah---he; (is) priyah---dear; mama---to Me.

The tattva-vit jnani, My exclusive devotee whose thoughts are always fixed on Me, is the best of these, because I am very dear to him and he is very dear to Me.


"Who is the best of the four types of devotees who are eligible to perform bhakti?" In answer, Shri Bhagavan speaks this shloka beginning with the word tesham. "Those jnanis who are always united with Me are the best of the four. By the practice of jnana, their thoughts are completely under control and thus their minds remain one-pointed. The other three types (artta and so on) are not like this." Arjuna then asks, "Do all jnanis worship You out of fear that they may fail in their endeavour to attain jnana?" In response, Bhagavan says eka-bhakti. Eka means prominent. This means, "Those jnanis in whom bhakti is prominent (pradhani-bhuta) perform bhajana to Me, unlike other jnanis in whom jnana is prominent. Those who are attached only to bhakti are bhakti-eka, and they are jnanis in name only.

"In this way, in My beautiful form of Shyamasundara, I am very dear to the jnanis. In the states of both sadhana and sadhya, they are unable to give up their attachment to this form. It is because of the principle of surrender (as described in Gita 4.11) that they are also very dear to Me."


Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura quotes Krishna as saying, "When they have become free from impurities, the artta, jijnasu, artharthi and jnani become devotedly surrendered to Me and become My bhaktas. Among them, the jnanis attain shuddhaj nana, having given up the impurity of jnana, which is the desire for salvation. They then become endowed with bhaktiyoga, and attain superiority over the other three types of devotees. This means that although the process of karma cleanses the jiva of all impurities, the svarupa of the jiva, which is conscious by nature, is not realised by the practice of karma to the same extent that it is realised by the cultivation of jnana-yoga. Ultimately, by associating submissively with bhaktas, everyone realises his own svarupa. During the sadhana stage, only jnani-bhaktas who are eka-bhaktir vishishyate (specifically endowed with one-pointed pure devotion), are superior to the other three types of eligible persons described above. They are My unalloyed servants. Thus I am very dear to them and they are also very dear to Me."

Shukadeva Goswami is an example of this. Previously, he was a brahma-jnani, but in the association of Shri Vyasadeva, he realised bhagavat-jnana (prema-bhakti). During the sadhana stage, the service to Krishna of those bhaktas who have attained pure knowledge (shuddha-jnana) is also supremely pure, without the slightest scent of materialism.

Ch 7 Verse 18

udarah sarvah evaite / jnani tv atmaiva me matam
asthitah sa hi yuktatma / mam evanuttamam gatim

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eva---certainly; ete---these; (are) sarvah---all; udarah---magnanimous (souls); tu---but; jnani---the man in knowledge; matam--- is considered; me---by Me; (as) eva atma---My very self; hi eva--- certainly; sah---that; yukta-atma---soul is always connected; asthitah---abiding; mam---in Me; anuttamam---as His unsurpassable; gatim---goal (of life).

Though these are all certainly great souls, I consider the jnani to be as dear to Me as My own self. Since his thoughts dwell always in Me, he takes determined shelter of Me as his supreme destination.


"Does that mean that the other three types of persons, the artta and so on, are not dear to You?" In response, Shri Bhagavan says, "No, no, that is not so," and speaks this shloka beginning with udarah. "Whoever performs My bhajana with a desire to receive something from Me, and who accepts that benediction when I award it to him, is dear to Me. Having had their desires fulfilled by Me, they give Me the quality of being bhakta-vatsala (affectionate to My bhakta). However, jnani tv atmaiva refers to the jnani who is considered to be My own self and extremely dear to Me, because, while performing My bhajana, he does not expect anything in return from Me such as Svarga or moksha. As a result I always remain under his control. He is like My own self. This is My opinion. Because he knows only Me, Shyamasundara, as the highest destination, he remains free from anxiety and he is determined to attain Me. He does not take shelter of My nirvishesha-svarupa, brahma-nirvana.

"I am bhakta-vatsala Bhagavan, and I consider such a jnani, who is endowed with nishkama-pradhani-bhuta bhakti, to be My very self. But one who is endowed with unalloyed kevalabhakti is even more dear than My own self."

It is said in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.14.15): "O Uddhava, as a bhakta you are so dear to Me; not even My own son Brahma or Shankara, Sankarshana, Laksmi-devi or My own svarupa are as dear to Me as you are." Moreover, Shrimad-Bhagavatam (9.4.64) says: "Without the associaton of My bhakta sadhus I do not desire even the bliss of My own svarupa."

Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.29.42) says atmarama also enjoys. This means that, although yogeshvareshvarah Shri Krishna is atmarama, who delights within Himself, He receives a greater pleasure from the service of the gopis. Thus He mercifully enjoys and performs pastimes with them.


Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura quotes Krishna as saying, "When the above-described four classes of devotees accept kevalabhakti, they become supremely great. However, the jnani- bhaktas are situated in Me because they have more nishtha than the others to realise Me, the supreme conscious entity, and their highest destination. They are very dear to Me, and are able to control Me completely."

People perform bhajana to Bhagavan Shri Krishna as a result of sukriti accumulated in their previous lives. Those who are averse to Krishna remain non-devotees, engaged in the worship of various devas and devis. Therefore, those who perform Krishna.s bhajana are endowed with great intelligence, whether they have material desires (sakama) or are free from them (nishkama). This is also expressed in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (2.3.10):

akamah sarva-kamo va / moksha-kama udara-dhih
tivrena bhakti-yogena / yajeta purusham param

In his Sharartha-darshini commentary on this shloka, Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakura explains the word udaradh ih to mean of pure and great intelligence (su-buddhi). "Performance of Bhagavan's bhajana is the symptom of pure and great intelligence regardless of whether one has material desires or is free from them. The absence of such worship is a symptom of impure and lowly intelligence."

What to speak of the devotees who are free from material desires, even those devotees who have material desires attain service to Bhagavan in His abode, by His mercy or by the mercy of His bhaktas, when they have enjoyed their desired objective. Therefore, they possess pure and great intelligence.

Ch 7 Verse 19

bahunam janmanam ante / jnanavan mam prapadyate
vasudevah sarvam iti / sa mahatma sudurlabhah

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ante---at the end; bahunam---of many; janmanam---births; jnanavan---one who has knowledge; iti---that; vasudevah--- Vasudeva; sarvam---is everything; prapadyate---surrenders; mam---to Me; sah---that; maha-atma---great soul; (is) sudurlabha h---extremely rare.

After many births of spiritual practice, the jnani who is endowed with knowledge that everything both conscious and inert is related to Vasudeva surrenders himself fully to Me, and performs bhajana to Me. Such a mahatma is extremely rare.


The following question may be raised: "Since the jnanis accept Your shelter as the supreme destination, they certainly attain You, but how long will it take for such jnanis to become qualified to enter bhakti?" In answer to this, Shri Bhagavan speaks this shloka beginning with the word bahunam.

"Vasudevah sarvam means that those jnanis take shelter of Me when, after many, many births they see Vasudeva everywhere. Such sadhus surrender unto Me due to the influence of good association which is arranged by My will. That is, they surrender to Me according to the bhava received in such association. Among thousands and thousands of men, such a jnani bhakta, whose thoughts are fixed in Me is very rare, what to speak of aikantika-bhaktas, who are far more rare."


"Of the four types of devotees (artta, etc.), the jnanis who have nishtha in Me, Krishna, are the best.. A jnani who has spiritual fortune (sukriti) attains the association of shuddha Vaishnavas after many, many lifetimes, and he thus becomes aware of the svarupa of Shri Vasudeva. He sees Bhagavan Vasudeva everywhere, which means that he sees everything as being related to Vasudeva. Thus he obtains shuddha-bhakti to Shri Krishna. Such mahatmas are extremely rare.

Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana has given the following comment on this shloka: .The bhaktas who are artta, jijnasu and artharthi enjoy the highest type of material happiness for many lifetimes as a result of devotion unto Me. Finally, they become detached from such material pleasure, and in some lifetime come in contact with Vaishnavas who know My svarupa-tattva. In that association, they attain knowledge of My svarupa. Knowing only Me, Krishna, the son of Vasudeva, as the parama-tattva, they take shelter of Me." Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura quotes Krishna as saying, "After performing sadhana for many, many lifetimes, the jivas attain pure jnana, and become steadfast in the transcendental consciousness of the self. In the beginning of such spiritual practice, when they are trying to give up their mundane identification, they take support of impersonal monism (advaita-bhava) to some extent. During this stage, they develop disgust towards the material world, but they also remain indifferent toward spirituality, especially regarding the variegated nature of spiritual life. When they have become a little advanced in the eternal, conscious existence of the self (chaitanya-dharma), and in understanding the special nature of spiritual life which consists of variegated activities, they become attracted to it and surrender unto Me, who am param chaitanya-rupa (the supreme conscious form). At that time they understand that this mundane world is not independent but a perverted reflection of the conscious reality, the transcendental realm, and that a relationship with Vasudeva also exists in this world. Hence everything is in relationship with Vasudeva. Those mahatmas, who have such a surrendered attitude towards Me, are very rare."

Ch 7 Verse 20

kamais tais tair hrita-jnanah / prapadyante.nya-devatah

tam tam niyamam asthaya / prakritya niyatah svaya

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hrita-jnanah---those whose knowledge is stolen; taih taih---by their various; kamaih---lusty desires; prapadyante---surrender; anya-devatah---to other gods; asthaya---practising; tam tam--- the various; niyamam---regulations; niyatah---controlled; svaya---by their own; prakritya---nature.

Those whose intelligence has been stolen by material desires, and who try to eliminate their distress, follow the rules of worship for a particular deva, who can fulfil their desires. Thus, being swept away by their own nature, they worship such devas.


"Very well, I have understood that even those with material desires, such as the distressed, become partially successful by performing Your bhajana, but what is the destination of those distressed persons who worship the devas for relief from their miseries?" In response to this Shri Bhagavan is speaking this shloka beginning with the words kamais tais, and the next three shlokas. "Those who think that the devas, such as Surya, can immediately remove miseries like disease and that Shri Vishnu cannot, have lost their intelligence (hritaj nanah). They remain bound by their own nature and it is that ill-nature which keeps them from surrendering to Me."


Intelligent and fortunate persons, who are influenced by various types of desires, try to satisfy their desires by worshipping Parameshvara Shri Krishna. When they have fulfilled their desires, by His mercy they gradually lose interest in such enjoyment and attain His bhajana. In this regard, the shlokas from Shrimad-Bhagavatam (2.3.10 and 5.19.26) are worth contemplating.

As a result of being averse to Krishna, fools and unfortunate persons remain bound by the rajasika and tamasika gunas and think that the devas can fulfil their desires more quickly. They, therefore, worship various unimportant devas according to their respective natures in an attempt to satisfy their various material desires, and quickly attain perishable fruits. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura quotes Krishna as saying, "Those such as the distressed are averse to Me as long as their impurities remain, but when they are freed from material impurities, they perform bhakti to Me. Those who take shelter of My transcendental nature, however, do not become attracted to the external nature, even though they may be full of desires. I free them from all their material motivations within a short time. Conversely, those who are averse to Me lose their spiritual intelligence and, being impelled by their material desires, worship particular devas who can quickly award the trivial objects of their desires. They do not trust Me, the eternal, beautiful Shyamasundara, the embodiment of vishuddhasattva.

Hence, they are driven away from Me by their lower rajasika and tamasika natures, and worship particular devatas, following whatever obscure rules are favourable to such worship. "

Ch 7 Verse 21

yo yo yam yam tanum bhaktah / shraddhayarcitum icchati
tasya tasyacalam shraddham / tam eva vidadhamy aham

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 7.4 <>

yam yam tanum---whichever form of the devatas; yah yah bhaktah---whichever devotee; icchati---desires; arcitum---to worship; shraddhaya---with faith; eva---certainly; aham vidadhami--- I bestow; tasya tasya---to that particular devotee; acalam--- unshakeable; shraddham---faith; tam---in that (deva).

Whichever devata the fruitive devotee wants to faithfully worship, I, as the indwelling Antaryami, make his faith in that particular devata unflinching.


If Arjuna says, "For the auspiciousness of their devotees, those devatas will generate in them faith in Your bhakti, being pleased by their worship," then Shri Bhagavan responds by saying, .No, it is not so. The devatas are unable to generate faith (shraddha) in devotion to themselves, so how can they generate shraddha in My bhakti?. Hence, He speaks this shloka beginning with the words yo yo yam. "Whichever devata they may want to worship, such as Surya, who is nothing but My vibhuti, I, the indwelling Antaryami, inspire their shraddha in that particular devata and not in Myself. This is because they are averse to Me. Those devatas are also unable to generate shraddha in Me."


Some think that, by worshipping the devatas, they can inspire shraddha in bhagavad-bhakti in the hearts of their worshippers. However, Shri Krishna explains that it is He as Antaryami who gives the deva worshippers steady faith in whichever deva they desire to worship, according to their desires, although the devas are nothing but His vibhuti. He does not inspire faith in Himself in the hearts of those who are averse to Him. If the devatas cannot generate shraddha towards themselves in their worshippers, then how can they create faith in Bhagavan?

Ch 7 Verse 22

sa taya shraddhaya yuktas / tasyaradhanam ihate
labhate ca tatah kaman / mayaiva vihitan hi tan

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yuktah---endowed; taya shraddhaya---with that faith; sah---he; ihate---tries to perform; aradhanam---the worship; tasya---of that deva; ca---and; tatah---thereby; labhate---he attains; (the fulfilment of); kaman---his desires; eva---in actuality; tan---those (boons); (are) vihitan---granted; maya---by Me; hi---alone.

Endowed with such shraddha, he attempts to worship that particular devata and thus attains fulfilment of his desires, which in actuality are granted by Me alone.


Ihate means 'he does'. They attain their desired ends by worshipping the respective devatas, but in actuality those devatas are not able to fulfil those desires. Therefore, Shri Bhagavan says: mayaiva vihitan. " In reality, those desires are fulfilled by Me alone."


Some think that if they worship the devatas, they will obtain the fruits of their desires by that devata.s mercy. But, from this shloka it is clear that the devas are unable to award the results of worship that is performed to them. Those who worship the devas can obtain their desired results only when it is sanctioned by Bhagavan, but such ignorant people cannot understand that it is Shri Bhagavan, as Antaryami who has fulfilled their desires. Here it is seen that the devatas cannot generate shraddha in themselves among their own worshippers. Similarly, they cannot independently award the results of fruitive activities unless Antaryami Shri Bhagavan sanctions it.

Ch 7 Verse 23

antavat tu phalam tesham / tad bhavaty alpa-medhasam
devan deva-yajo yanti / mad-bhakta yanti mam api

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tu---indeed; tat phalam---that benefit; (obtained) tesham---by those; alpa-medhasam---persons of meagre intelligence; bhavati---is; antavat---perishable; (for) deva-yajah---the worshippers of the gods; yanti---go; devan---to the gods; api---whereas; mat-bhaktah---My bhaktas; yanti---go; mam---to Me.

However, the fruit attained by such men of meagre intelligence is perishable. The worshippers of devatas go to their planets, whereas My bhaktas come to Me.


The results obtained by worshipping the devatas are perishable and transitory. If one raises the question, "Although equal endeavour is performed in both types of worship, why do You give perishable results to the worshippers of the devas, and imperishable results to Your own bhaktas? For You, who are Parameshvara, this is certainly unjust," Shri Bhagavan responds by saying, "This is not unjust" Those who worship the devas attain those devas and My bhaktas attain Me. One attains the object of one.s worship. This is indeed justice. If the devatas themselves are perishable, how will their worshippers become imperishable and why will the results of their worship not be destroyed?. For this reason, these worshippers have been called less intelligent. Bhagavan is eternal and so are His bhaktas, His bhakti and the results of His bhakti. They are all eternal.


A question may be raised, "Since the devas, as His vibhutis, are also the limbs of Shri Bhagavan, there is no difference between the worship of the devas and that of the bhaktas of Bhagavan. What is the harm in worshipping these devas if Bhagavan Himself generates the faith in the worshippers toward their worshipable deity, and also grants them the result of their fruitive activities?" In response to this Shri Bhagavan replies, "If, being impelled by some desire, one takes shelter of the devas, he is called hrita-jnana, a person who has lost his intelligence." Since he attains only perishable results, he is described as having less intelligence. Someone may say that because Bhagavan bestows eternal results to His bhaktas and perishable results to the worshippers of the devas, He is not equal to both; rather He is biased. In response one can say that it is certainly just to receive the result that one desires. Because both the devatas and their planets are temporary, their worshippers attain perishable results on perishable planets. However, the bhaktas of sac-cid-ananda Bhagavan Shri Krishna attain His eternal service in His eternal dhama by worshipping Him. Therefore, those who are intelligent worship the eternal form (nitya-svarupa) of Shri Bhagavan even if they have material desires. They do not worship other devas and devis.

Ch 7 Verse 24

avyaktam vyaktim apannam / manyante mam abuddhayah
param bhavam ajananto / mamavyayam anuttamam

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abuddhayah---the unintelligent; manyante---consider; mam--- Me; avyaktam---the unmanifest; apannam---to have taken on; vyaktim---a manifest form (personality); ajanantah---they are unaware; mama---of My; param---supreme; avyayam---imperishable; anuttamam---transcendental; bhavam---nature.

The unintelligent consider that I, who am unmanifest and beyond mundane existence, take birth like an ordinary human being. They do not know the supreme, excellent, immutable and transcendental nature of My form, birth, pastimes and qualities.


"Even those who know shastras such as the Vedas do not know My tattva, what to speak of less intelligent worshippers of devas. Brahma spoke this to Me (in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.14.29): "O Bhagavan! O Deva! Only those who have attained a particle of compassion from Your lotus feet are able to understand Your real glories. No one else will be able to understand You, even if they search for a very long time." Therefore, everyone except My bhaktas lacks the necessary intelligence to understand My tattva-jnana." To convey this, Shri Bhagavan speaks this shloka beginning with avyaktam. "Those who are unintelligent consider Me to be the unmanifested nirvishesha-brahma, which is beyond the mundane plane. They think that I have no eternal form and that My manifest human-like svarupa is illusory like that of mortals because I took birth in the house of Vasudeva. This is because they do not know My param-bhava, My transcendental form, birth, activities, pastimes, etc. What is the nature of that bhava? It is eternal and supreme." The dictionary named Medini states that existence, nature, purpose, endeavour, birth, action, pastimes and objects are all bhava. Shrila Rupa Gosvami's Laghu-bhagavatamrita has established that Bhagavan's form, qualities, birth, pastimes and so on are endless and are, therefore, all eternal. Shrila Shridhara Svami quotes Krishna as saying, "My param-bhava that is My svarupa is avyaya (immutable). It is eternal, supremely pure and vishuddha-sattvam."


Men who have fruitive desires are less intelligent. It is a matter of great surprise, however, that those who are expert in shastras such as the Veda and Vedanta also disregard the omnipotent sac-cid-ananda-ghana-vigraha, Shri Krishna.s lila- maya-svarupa, who takes birth and performs pastimes. Although He is the supreme objective established by the Vedas, they worship His featureless, immutable form of brahma, considering that to be supreme. This indicates that they lack intelligence.

Ch 7 Verse 25

naham prakashah sarvasya / yogamaya-samavritah
mudho.yam nabhijanati / loko mam ajam avyayam

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aham---I (am); na---not; prakashah---revealed; sarvasya---to all; samavritah---covered; yogamaya---by My internal potency; ayam mudhah lokah---these foolish people; na abhijanati---do not comprehend; mam---Me; ajam---the unborn; avyayam---and imperishable.

I am not manifest to all. To the foolish I am veiled by My yogamaya potency; therefore, they do not know My unborn and imperishable svarupa.


If Arjuna raises a question, "If it is to be accepted that You are eternal, and have an eternal form, qualities and pastimes, then why aren't these pastimes visible at all times?" then in response to this, Shri Bhagavan speaks this shloka beginning with the word naham. "I do not manifest Myself at all times, in every country, and before each and every person. The sun is continuously present in the universe, yet when it is blocked by the Sumeru Mountain it is not seen by everyone all the time. Similarly, although I exist eternally with My qualities, pastimes and associates, I am covered by My yogamaya, so I am only seen sometimes in some brahmandas. I am not seen everywhere, all the time by everyone."

Someone may say,"The sun is always present among the luminaries in this universe, but it is not seen by everyone in all countries at the same time. Surya, however, can always be seen in his abode. In the same way, like the sun, You are always visible to those in Your abode. Why, then, are You not visible to those now situated in Your abodes such as Mathura and Dvaraka?" In response, Krishna says, "If the Sumeru Mountain is in the midst of the luminaries, the sun will be blocked by it and will not be visible. Similarly, yogamaya is always present in My abodes such as Mathura, just like Mount Sumeru in the sun's abode." Krishna only becomes visible at certain periods. "That is why those who are foolish are not able to understand Me, Shyamasundara, the son of Vasudeva, being unborn and immutable. Although I am an ocean of all auspicious qualities, they eventually give Me up, and worship My nirvishesha-svarupa-brahma."


In Goloka Vrindavana, Shri Krishna and His lila are eternally manifest. Through the medium of yogamaya, He sometimes descends with His eternal associates to manifest His nitya-lila out of compassion for the jivas of this world. Those who are unaware of this tattva are unable to understand this secret. They think that the unmanifest nirvishesha-brahma is the only para-tattva, and that Bhagavan, whose names, forms, qualities and activities are transcendental, has manifested Himself from that nirvishesha- brahma. Such people are fools and have been described here as mudhah because their intelligence is covered by maha- maya. Here, it should be understood that Bhagavan has two types of maya-shakti: yogamaya (internal) and maha-maya (external). Yogamaya is His svarupa-shakti (internal potency), which is expert in making the impossible possible, and maha- maya is the shadow of this yogamaya. The first, yogamaya, arranges yoga, the enactment of the lila of Bhagavan, who is omniscient (sarva-jna) and omnipotent (sarva-shaktiman). Yogamaya does this by putting Him and His associates in transcendental illusion. She also arranges for the yoga (union) of Bhagavan and the jivas who are practising sadhana-bhakti. That is why this potency is called yogamaya. On the other hand, mahamaya bewitches those jivas who are averse to Bhagavan, and binds them by the results of their various activities. A cloud cannot cover the sun; rather, it is only the eyes of the jivas situated on earth which are covered. Similarly, mahamaya cannot cover Bhagavan, but can only cover the knowledge of the jivas and thus prevent them from seeing Him.

Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura quotes Krishna as saying, "Do not think that I was previously unmanifest and that I have now manifested this beautiful sac-cid-ananda form of Shyamasundara. My Shyamasundara form is eternal. Although this form is like the self-effulgent spiritual sun of the transcendental realm, it remains hidden from the vision of common men because it is covered by the shadow of yogamaya. The less intelligent cannot understand My avyaya-svarupa (immutable nature) because of this covering."

Ch 7 Verse 26

vedaham samatitani / varttamanani carjuna
bhavishyani ca bhutani / mam tu veda na kashcana

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arjuna---O Arjuna; aham veda---I know; samatitani---the past; ca--- and; varttamanani---present; ca---and; bhavishyani---future; (of) bhutani---living beings; tu---but; mam---Me; na kashcana---no one; veda---knows.

O Arjuna, I know all the moving and non-moving beings of the past, present and future, but Me, no one knows.


"That maya which cannot bewilder its foundation (Me) is called bahiranga maya. However, antaranga maya does not cover knowledge of Me." To explain this, Shri Bhagavan is speaking this shloka beginning with vedaham. "No one can know Me fully, neither those in this mundane world, nor those who have transcended this world, nor even personalities such as Maharudra, who are omniscient." That maya which makes yoga (union) between the bhaktas and Bhagavan is called yogamaya. Most people's jnana is covered by maha- maya, and the knowledge of omniscient personalities such as Maharudra remains covered by yogamaya; therefore they cannot know Me."


One may raise the doubt: "If Bhagavan is covered by yogamaya, He must also be in illusion like the jiva, and have the defect of ignorance." In response it is said, "Maya is engaged in My service being subject to My prowess, and remains under My control from afar. This maya cannot cause any transformation to take place in Me." Maya cannot cover the knowledge of Bhagavan. Shri Bhagavan is again emphasising this, saying, "I know everything in the past, present and future, but if even great, omniscient personalities such as Maharudra do not know Me fully, because their knowledge is covered by yogamaya, what then to speak of common men?" For this reason, common people do not accept that the human-like form of Shyamasundara Krishna is eternal. It is not possible to know and realise the tattva of Shri Krishna and His lila without the mercy and shelter of yogamaya, even if one has knowledge of His nirvisheshabrahma, or of His partial expansion, Paramatma.

Ch 7 Verse 27

iccha-dvesha-samutthena / dvandva-mohena bharata
sarva-bhutani sammoham / sarge yanti parantapa

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bharata parantapa---O scion of Bharata, conqueror of the foe; sarge---at the time of creation; sarva-bhutani---all living beings; yanti---enter; sammoham---into complete illusion; dvandvamohena ---bewildered by duality; iccha-dvesha-samutthena---born of desire and hate.

O scion of Bharata, O Parantapa, at the time of creation all jivas enter into complete illusion, bewildered by the dualities of happiness and distress which are born of desire and hate.


"How long have the jivas been bewildered by Your maya?" Shri Bhagavan anticipates this question by speaking this shloka beginning with iccha. "Sarga means creation. All jivas have been bewildered since the beginning of creation. By what? By desire and hate which is born from their previ ous karma. They are deluded by the dualities which arise from the desire for sense objects which are to their liking, and from aversion to those which are not. Examples of this are honour and dishonour, cold and heat, happiness and distress, male and female. The jivas are bewildered by the designations which are delusions born of ignorance, such as "I am honoured, therefore I am happy; I am disrespected, therefore I am miserable; this beautiful woman is my wife; this man is my husband." In other words, they become deeply attached to wife, children and so on. Those with such deep worldly attachment do not have the right to engage in My bhakti. As I have said to Uddhava in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.20.8): "By good fortune, a person who has developed shraddha in hearing My katha and who has neither repulsion nor excessive attachment to sense objects attains perfection in bhakti-yoga.""


The jivas remain bereft of Parameshvara jnana because they are deluded by maya. At that time, being further bewildered by the delusion of duality arising from desire and hate, their aversion to Krishna becomes deeper. The reason for this is that the jiva in his pure state sees the eternal form of Bhagavan with his transcendental senses. However, the baddha-jiva in the material world is overpowered by avidya and remains bewildered by duality which arises from desire and hate. At that time, he becomes bereft of vidvat-pratiti, access to transcendence. Bhagavan becomes visible to the material eyes of the jivas by yoga (union) with the cit-shakti by which He manifests His nitya-svarupa. Even then, such persons think that the svarupa of Bhagavan is temporary. They do not have the proper knowledge to perceive Him, because they are covered by maya. This is their great misfortune.

Ch 7 Verse 28

yesham tv anta-gatam papam / jananam punya-karmanam
te dvandva-moha-nirmukta / bhajante mam dridha-vratah

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tu---but; jananam---those persons; punya-karmanam---who have performed pious activities; yesham---whose; papam---sinful activities; antagatam ---have come to an end; te---they; (become) nirmuktah---freed; dvandva-moha---from the bewilderment of duality; (and) bhajante--- worship; mam---Me; dridha-vratah---with determined vows.

However, those pious persons whose sins have been eradicated become free from the bewilderment of duality and engage in My bhajana with firm determination.


"Who then, has the adhikara to perform bhakti?" In answer to this, Shri Bhagavan speaks this shloka beginning with the word yesham. "When one's sins are almost destroyed by pious activities, sattva-guna rises within him and reduces tamo-guna and its effect, delusion. When he associates with My bhakta, who is not overly attached to this world, his delusion decreases, and he engages in My bhajana by his own will. Only those whose sins are completely destroyed by the practice of devotional service to Me have become completely free from delusion and perform My bhajana with great determination. " Pious deeds alone are not the cause of bhakti. Shri Bhagavan says in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.12.9): "Bhakti cannot be attained by a person endeavouring in yoga, sankhya, dana, vrata, tapasya, yajna, vairagya and study of the shastra." One does not attain bhakti-yoga simply by taking shelter of pious activities. This has been established in various ways.


There are two ways in which the baddha-jivas attain onepointedness in bhajana to Bhagavan. Firstly, a jiva who is bound by maya may by good fortune, develop shraddha in hearing hari-katha in the association of devotees, although he is not yet performing bhakti to Krishna. Then, by continuously hearing descriptions of His name, form and qualities, he becomes free from sins (anarthas) and detached from worldliness. He develops nishtha towards Krishna and progressively enters aikantika-bhakti. In the second category are the jivas who have not completely renounced sense-objects, but are also not excessively attached to them. When such jivas, by great fortune, attain the association of a maha-bhagavata, they engage in bhajana, and, as a result, all their sins, their attachment to sense enjoyment and their delusion are removed, and they also develop nishtha in bhajana. Having achieved such nishtha, they enter aikantika-bhakti. The association of maha-purushas, their mercy and one's endeavour to perform bhajana are the only means of attaining bhakti. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura quotes Krishna as saying, "Hear from Me how one can gain the adhikara to realise My nityasvar upa. The asuras who are overpowered by a sinful nature do not have such access. One who has completely eradicated his sins by performing many pious deeds and by following a regulated dharmika life performs nishkama-karma-yoga in the beginning, then jnana-yoga, and finally one achieves samadhi by dhyana-yoga. Only then is he able to realise My eternal, beautiful cit-tattva Shyamasundara form. That realisation which comes by virtue of vidya (transcendental knowledge) is called vidvat-pratiti. Only those who are endowed with this realisation can gradually become free from dvaita (duality) and advaita (non-duality), and can engage in My bhajana with great determination."

Ch 7 Verse 29

jara-marana-mokshaya / mam ashritya yatanti ye
te brahma tad viduh kritsnam / adhyatmam karma cakhilam

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te ye---those who; yatanti---endeavour; mokshaya---for deliverance; jara-marana---from old age and death; (by) ashritya---taking shelter; mam---of Me; viduh---understand; kritsnam akhilam---completely; (concerning) brahma---spirit; tat---that (the Supreme Personality); adhyatmam---the nature of the jivatma; ca---and; karma---the process of action and reaction.

Those who strive for liberation from old age and death by taking refuge of Me attain knowledge of brahma, of the pure constitutional nature of the jiva, and an understanding of the principle of karma, which is the cause of their bondage to the material world.


Shri Bhagavan said earlier that all sakama-bhaktas, such as the distressed, become perfect by performing His bhajana. Others however, who worship the devas, will degrade themselves and remain in the material world. In saying this, Bhagavan is also referring to those who are unqualified to perform His bhajana. Here, in this shloka beginning with jara, Shri Bhagavan is speaking about the fourth type of sakamabhakta. "Those yogis who endeavour to stop the cycle of old age and death, and who worship Me with a desire for moksha are, by the influence of My bhakti, eventually able to attain full understanding of brahma (that is, My eternal beautiful Shyamasundara form), adhyatma (the complete self, or the jiva who possesses a body and exists in it as an enjoyer) and the principle of karma (that is, how the jivas enter this material world)."


Bhagavan first explained the first three types of sakamabhaktas, such as the distressed. "They initially perform My bhajana in order to attain their desired goals. After they have attained these goals and understood that such goals are actually miserable and degrading, they become detached from them. Finally, by taking sadhu-sanga, they become successful and attain My aikantika-bhakti." In the present shloka, Bhagavan is explaining the fourth type of bhakta, namely the sakama-bhakta who desires moksha. "When such sakamabhaktas achieve the association of My shuddha-bhaktas, they lose their desire to attain brahma-sayujya and focus on becoming situated in their pure constitutional form as the servants of Bhagavan. These sakama-jnani bhaktas are real mumukshus, persons who desire moksha. Only such brahmabh uta-jnani bhaktas (who have attained the nature of brahma) completely understand brahma-tattva, adhyatmatattva and karma-tattva and attain para bhakti."

Ch 7 Verse 30

sadhibhutadhidaivam mam / sadhiyajnanca ye viduh
prayana-kale.pi ca mam / te vidur yukta-cetasah

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ye te---those who; viduh---know; mam---Me; sa-adhibhuta---underlying the gross material elements of the cosmos; adhidaivam---underlying the devatas; ca---and; sa-adhiyajnam--- underlying all sacrifices; yukta-cetasah---with minds attached to Me; viduh---know; mam---Me; api---even; prayana-kale---at the time of death.

Those who know Me as the presiding deity (governing principle) of adhibhuta, adhidaiva and adhiyajna, and whose minds are attached to Me, remember Me even at the time of death.


"By the influence of My bhakti, the knowledge of those who have realised Me as the presiding Deity of adhibhuta, adhidaiva and adhiyajna remains intact up to the time of death. Unlike others, their intelligence is not affected by the body they will achieve in the future in accordance with their karma performed in this life." To explain this, Shri Bhagavan is speaking this shloka beginning with sadhibhuta. The words adhibhuta, etc., will be explained in the next chapter. Only the bhaktas of Bhagavan Shri Hari can cross over maya by completely understanding His tattva. Six types of such devotees have been delineated in this chapter.

Thus ends the Bhavanuvada of the Sarartha-Varshini Tika, by Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, on the Seventh Chapter of Shrimad Bhagavad-gita, which gives pleasure to the bhaktas and is accepted by all saintly persons.


Shri Bhagavan is saying, "Those who, by the power of My bhakti, know Me as the governing principle of adhibhutatattva, adhidaiva-tattva and adhiyajna-tattva can remember Me at the time of death. They are not fearful of death because they do not forget Me."

Thus ends the Sarartha-Varshini Prakashika-vritti, by Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja, on the Seventh Chapter of Shrimad Bhagavad-gita.