SEVEN: KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE
“Lord Shri Krishna said: Listen, O Arjuna! And I will tell thee how thou shalt know Me in my Full perfection, practising meditation with thy mind devoted to Me, and having Me for thy refuge.
I will reveal to this knowledge unto thee, and how it may be realised; which, once accomplished, there remains nothing else worth having in this life. Among thousands of men scarcely one strives for perfection, and even amongst those who gain occult powers, perchance but one knows me in truth.
Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intellect and personality; this is the eightfold division of My Manifested Nature. This is My inferior Nature; but distinct from this, O Valiant One, know thou that my Superior Nature is the very Life which sustains the universe.
It is the womb of all being; for I am He by Whom the worlds were created and shall be dissolved.
O Arjuna! There is nothing higher than Me; all is strung upon Me as rows of pearls upon a thread.
O Arjuna! I am the Fluidity in water, the Light in the sun and in the moon. I am the mystic syllable Om in the Vedic scriptures, the Sound in ether, the Virility in man.
I am the Fragrance of earth, the Brilliance of fire. I am the Life Force in all beings, and I am the Austerity of the ascetics. Know, O Arjuna, that I am the eternal Seed of being; I am the Intelligence of the intelligent, the Splendour of the resplendent.
I am the Strength of the strong, of them who are free from attachment and desire; and, O Arjuna, I am the Desire for righteousness. Whatever be the nature of their life, whether it be pure or passionate or ignorant, they are all derived from Me. They are in Me, but I am not in them.
The inhabitants of the world, misled by those natures which the Qualities have engendered, know not that I am higher than them all, and that I do not change.
Verily, this Divine Illusion of Phenomenon manifesting itself in the Qualities is difficult to surmount. Only they who devote themselves to Me and to Me alone can accomplish it. The sinner, the ignorant, the vile, deprived of spiritual perception by the glamour of Illusion, and he who pursues a godless life – none of them shall find Me.
O Arjuna! The righteous who worship Me are grouped by stages: first, they who suffer, next they who desire knowledge, then they who thirst after truth, and lastly they who attain wisdom.
Of all of these, he who has gained wisdom, who meditates on Me without ceasing, devoting himself only to Me, he is the best; for by the wise man I am exceedingly beloved and the wise man, too, is beloved by Me.
Noble-minded are they all, but the wise man I hold as my own Self; for he, remaining always at peace with Me, makes me his final goal. After many lives, at last the wise man realises Me as I am. A man so enlightened that he sees God everywhere is very difficult to find.
They in whom wisdom is obscured by one desire or the other, worship the lesser Powers, practising many rites which vary according to their temperaments. But whatever the form of worship, if the devotee have faith, then upon his faith in that worship do I set My own seal.
If he worships one form alone with real faith, then shall his desires be fulfilled through that only; for thus have I ordained. The fruit that comes to men of limited insight is, after all, finite. They who worship the Lower Powers attain them; but those who worship Me come unto Me alone.
The ignorant think of Me, who am the Unmanifested Spirit, as if I were really in human form. They do not understand that My Superior Nature is changeless and most excellent. I am not visible to all, for I am enveloped by the illusion of Phenomenon. This deluded world does not know Me as the Unborn and the Imperishable. I know, O Arjuna, all beings in the past, the present and the future; but they do not know Me.
O brave Arjuna! Man lives in a fairy world, deceived by the glamour of opposite sensations, infatuated by desire and aversion. But those who act righteously, in whom sin has been destroyed, who are free from the infatuation of the conflicting emotions, they worship Me with firm resolution.
Those who make Me their refuge, who strive for liberation from decay and Death, they realise the Supreme Spirit, which is their own real Self, and in which all action finds its consummation.
Those who see Me in the life of the world, in the universal sacrifice, and as pure Divinity, keeping their minds steady, they live in Me, even in the crucial hour of death.”
Thus, in the Holy Book the Bhagavad Gita, one of the Upanishads, in the Science of the Supreme
Spirit, in the Art of Self-Knowledge, in the Colloquy between the Divine Lord Shri Krishna and the Prince Arjuna, stand the seventh chapter, entitled: Knowledge and Experience.
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