Lord Krishna says, ‘Sa taya shraddhaya yuktas tasyaradhanam ihate. Labhate cha tathah kaman mayaiva vihitan hi tan’. (7.22)
Whatever we receive in life is
because of our devotion, and
what we receive depends on
the kind of devotion we have,
to some demigod or goddess,
or to a Guru, or to God. So
what is more important: the
scene or devotion? It is said
that devotion alone is important.
Lord Krishna says, ‘When a person worships whichever demigod, he surely receives the merits of his worship (from those demi-gods), as arranged by me. Do not think that there is some other person other than Me who bestows the fruits of devotion. All fruits of devotion come through Me (as all demigods are forms of Myself). This is the law of Nature’.
There is a law of nature. If you put your hand in fire you will naturally get burnt, and if you put your hand in water you will feel its coolness.
So Lord Krishna says, ‘Everything operates per laws of Nature, and it is I who has created these laws of Nature. This is why, I am (through the laws of nature) the one who bestows everyone with the fruits of their devotion. It is I who decides the merits that one must receive based on their actions, and not anyone else. I am the One (pure Consciousness), yet I am expressed through different forms’.
He says, ‘Antavat tu phalam tesham tad bhavaty alpa-medhasam. Devan deva-yajo yanti mad-bhakta yanti mam-api’. (7.23)
When people desire for small things, it shows that their intellect is very limited.
This is because once they receive these small things that they desire for, it all comes to an end in a short time.
Throughout their lives people desire for small things, like a promotion, or more money, or a more fulfilling relationship. But all of these are very limited (meaning: all these cannot give everlasting joy or contentment).
So people who keep making efforts towards such desires, and who spend their whole lives in achieving these desire are not intelligent. This is a sign of a limited intellect. We cannot say that they are foolish in doing so, but this is surely a sign of lesser intelligence. They make so much effort for very small gains in life.
By being devoted to the scenery (meaning having narrow goals, or desires for small sense pleasure), one only reaps short lived results. But one who is devoted to the seer (meaning the Self as a witness) within him receives eternal gains. The fruits of such devotion (of being focussed inward) never diminish.
So the creation (or life) is a process to shift your focus from the (limited) scenery back to the seer.
You place your faith on the scenery (here referring to the form of Divinity one prays to) because you get something from it. But whatever you gain is because of the devotion you have within, which is the devotion of the seer. Whatever one receives in life is due to their devotion (shraddha). Devotion always comes from within (the seer).
Whatever we receive in life is because of our devotion, and what we receive depends on the kind of devotion we have, to some demigod or goddess, or to a Guru, or to God. So what is more important: the scene or devotion? It is said that devotion alone is important.
And where does this devotion come from?
This is where Lord Krishna says, ‘Any devotion that one has comes from Me and Me alone, for I am that pure Consciousness. Those who pray devotedly to different demigods and goddesses become one with them, but My devotees attain Me’.
There is something within us
That never changes. Every
one of us has experienced this
at some time or the other, in
some measure. If we focus
more on this unchanging aspect
of our self then this realization
dawns, that we are eternal.
Those who believe in the Self receive self-knowledge. Those who believe that the demigods are separate from the Lord and worship them alone attain those demigods and merge with them. So Lord Krishna says, ‘One who is completely devoted to Me alone attains Me and merges into Me’.
So who is this Me? – This is what Lord Krishna explains in the next verse: ‘Avyaktam vyaktim apannam manyante mam abuddhayah. Param bhavam ajananto mam-avyayam anuttamam’. (7.24)
He says, ‘My Divine form which is eternal, unparalleled and beyond the material realm is My Para-Rupa (transcendental Divine form) which is not visible to the naked eye. Those who are unaware of this, and who think of Me as being limited to my (visible) physical body, or a personality are foolish. I am the Divine power and not a person. I am the pure Consciousness present everywhere. They do not know this Divine form of Me and look at me from a limited perspective’.
What does seeing in a limited way mean? It means getting stuck in little things like, ‘Oh, he looked at that person and he didn’t look at me. He spoke to that person and he didn’t speak to me’. This is all very petty behaviour. In the Indian tradition it has always been said that you should not look at your Guru with your (limited) human intellect. This is because if you do, then you get caught up in petty thoughts like, ‘Gurudev saw him but did not look at me. Gurudev spoke to someone else but not to me. He speaks more to this person but less with me. He loves others more than me’. Do not get stuck in such thoughts. All these come because of the limited human intellect.
Once you are with the Guru, then that is it! Just know that your devotion and His love for you are total and complete. Do not doubt or question it one bit. Do not think whether the Guru loves you or not because the Guru is a Shakti (power) and that power loves you very much. There is no other option because love is its very nature.
In the next verse He says, ‘Na-aham prakasah sarvasya yoga-maya-samavrtah. Mudho 'yam nabhijanati loko mam ajam avyaya’. (7.25)
Lord Krishna says, ‘I am not visible to everyone, and this is because of My own Yoga Maya (delusions about one’s abilities as one moves higher on the path of Yoga). It is because of this that everyone is not able to recognize Me. One who knows Me is surely an intelligent person, and one who does not, is ignorant’.
What would you call someone who looks at the sun and then asks you, ‘Is this the sun?’ When the sunshine is falling on your head, when its heat is burning the earth around you, would someone still ask such a question? The proof is so self-evident.
So Lord Krishna says, ‘Because of My Yoga Maya, not everybody can see Me. In this entire creation, I am the Avyaya (eternal principle or the underlying cause of all causes) behind everything that happens. I am not diminished by anything and I am not enhanced by anything. I remain unchanged. I am never born and I do not have any end. A foolish person is unable to understand this. One who has even a little intellect knows from within that I (as the Self or pure Consciousness) am neither born nor can I die. I have never experienced birth or death, although people around me are constantly growing old and changing with age. But when I am unchanging, how can I die?’ It is only that which is constantly changing that can die.
Lord Krishna says, ‘Because
of My Yoga Maya, not
everybody can see Me. In
this entire creation, I am the
cause behind everything
that happens. I am not
diminished by anything and I
am not enhanced by anything.
I remain unchanged. I am
never born and I do not
have any end. .
There is something within us that never changes. Every one of us has experienced this at some time or the other, in some measure. If we focus more on this unchanging aspect of our self then this realization dawns, that we are eternal. We will always be there.
So here, Lord Krishna speaks about that Atma Tattva (the soul or the self). He says that one who knows this Atma Tattva is truly intelligent.
In the next verse, Lord Krishna says, ‘Vedaham samatitani vartamanani cha-arjuna. Bhavishyani cha bhutani mam tu veda na kashchana’. (7.26)
He says, ‘I know everything. I know all that has happened in the past, I know all that is happening in the present, and I know all that will happen in the future as well’.
The Self deep within us knows everything. It has the knowledge of events that happened in the past, and all that will happen in the future. That which has the ability to know is the soul.
So Lord Krishna says, ‘I know everything and everyone, yet everyone does not know Me. There is only One power that is capable of knowing everything, and that is the Self. So the objects in the creation appear different, yet none of them truly know Me. Yet I know them all’.
People often ask, ‘If all this is true, then why don’t more and more people across the world walk the spiritual path?’
Lord Krishna explains this very clearly by saying, ‘The foolish ones cannot know Me. There are very few intelligent ones in the world and they alone are capable of knowing Me. The very sign of being an intelligent person is one who knows Me’.
(Note: The discourse was given in Hindi. Above is a translation of the orginal talk.)