Saturday, October 20, 2012

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 8 - Akshara Brahma Yoga - Sloka 1&2

The entire content of this mail is from Swami Chidbhavananda's translation of The Bhagavad Gita, published by Ramakrishna Mission

The Worship of Iswara 1-8
1 Gita Sloka  every day - Chapter 8 - Alshara Brahma Yoga - Sloka 1
Arjuna uvacha
Kim tad brahma kim adhyatmam kim karma purushottama I
Adhibhutam cha kim proktam adhidaivam kim uchyate II sloka 1
अर्जुन उवाच 
किं तद् ब्रह्म किं अध्यात्म किं कर्म पुरुषोत्तम I
अधिभूतं च किं प्रोक्तं अधिदैवं किं उच्यते  I I श्लोक 1

Arjuna said
What is that Brahman? What is Adhyatma? What is karma? O best among men, what is said to be adhibhuta and what is called adhidaiva?

Adhiyajnah katham kah atra dehe asmin amdhusudana I
Prayana kale cha katham jneyah assi niyatamnhih II sloka 2
अधियज्ञः कथं कः अत्र देहे अस्मिन मधुसूदनः I
प्रयाण काले च कथं ज्ञेयः अस्सि नियतात्माभिः I I श्लोक 2

Who or how is adhiyajna here in this body, O Madhusudana? And how at the time of death, are you to be known by the self controlled?

The concluding 2 stanzas of the previous chapter induce Arjuna to raise these seven questions which are a sequel to the topics discussed. The Lord answers them all.  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 7- Jnana Vignana Yoga - Essence of Chapter 7

The contents of this mail below has been completely taken from the ebook Swamy Desikan’s GeethaarTa Sangraham which has been Annotated as a Commentary in English By Oppiliappan kOil SrI Varadachari Sathakopan ( 
This ebook is available at  I have also attached the book for ease of download.
Translation of Alavandar's Gitarthasangraham, by Diwan Bahadur VK Ramanujachari, published by Andavan Ashram has also been provided below.
Ramanuja - Srirangam
The SEVENTH Chapter of SrImath Bhagavath GeethA, which is the first chapter in the second hexad of Geethai adhyAyams, will be discussed next.

We stated earlier that Bhagavath Geethai is split by commentators into three hexads (Shadkams). The first shadkam covers chapters 1-6; The first hexad dealt with the jeevAthma and the methods of visualizing it through karma and Jn~Ana yOgas. It was pointed out that Karma yoga is the grand road that is suited for all saadhakAs to gain MOksham. Performance of one's karmAs without seeking the fruits there of is true karma yOgam. The vairAgyam and control of senses to pursue Karma yOgam arises from, “one must have the knowledge of being the Athman at the core and not the body-mind. To that extent, Jn~Ana yOga is involved in karma yOga”.

Gyana karmatmike nishthe yoka lakshye susanskrute I
Atma anubhuti siddhyarte poorva shatkena chodite II sloka 2

The second shadkam has for its coverage chapters from 7 to 12. This hexad elaborates on the doctrine of Bhakthi (Bhakthi yOga). This hexad “deals with the Supreme Lord, who is Sriman NaarAyaNan, the seat of all power and auspicious attributes. He alone can grant us salvation, which is a matter of His grace. None the less one has to be worthy to be the recipients of that grace. That worthiness is attained through the practice of Bhakthi, which develops with dawn of knowledge of the Self preceded by the performance of duties (Karma yOgA)”.

Madhyame bhagavad tattva yathathma yavapthi siddhaye I
Gyana karmarbhi nirvarttyo bhakti yogah prakritirtah II sloka 3

The third shadkam has for its coverage the last six chapters from 13 to 18. In this last hexad which sub serves the two preceding hexads, is treated matter (pradhAna) in the primordial condition, matter in its evolved state, the self (Purusha), and Isvara the Ruler of all. Besides,the disciplines relating to work, to knowledge, and to devotion are again dealt with by way of
supplementing and completing what has been taught earlier.

Pradhana purushavyakta sarveshvara vivechanam I
Karma dhir bhaktir ityadih poorva shoshonti moditah II sloka 4


Swamy Desikan's deft summary of the 30 slOkams of the SEVENTH chapter has taken on this form in his GeethArtha Sangraha Paasuram:

தான் நின்ற உண்ைமையத் தன் தனி மாைய மைறத்தைம􁾜ம்
தானன்றி மாைய தைனத்தவிர்ப்பான் விரகற்றைம􁾜ம்
ேமனின்ற பத்தர்கள் நால்வாில் ஞானிதன் ேமன்ைமக􁾦ம்
ேதனின்ற ெசங்கழலான் ெதளிவித்தனன் பார்த்த􁾔க்ேக.

thAnn ninRa uNmayait-tann-tani mAyai maRaitthamayum
tAnn anRi maayaitanait-tavirppAn virahu aRRamayum
mEl ninRa bhattarkaL naalvaril JN~Ani tann mEnmykaLum
tEn ninRa sem-kazhalAn teLivitthanan PaarthanukkE

The Lord with the sacred feet abundant with honey (nectar) and reminding one of the beautiful red lotus, explained clearly the following tatthvams about Him:
1. He is distinctly different from the sentients and insentients entities in many ways
2. He has both sentients and insentients as His property (sEsham) and as bhOga vasthus
3. Iswaran is the cause behind them (ChEthanam & achEthanam); both dissolve in Him to attain layam
4. They become His body (sArIram)
5. He is the abode of all kalyANa guNams

By every measure, the Lord as Iswaran is the most superior tathtvam. There is no one or nothing that is greater than Him. His Maaya serves as a curtain to conceal these auspicious attributes of the Lord from us. This Maayai also known as Prakruthi is also a creation of SrIman NaarAyaNaa and is made up of different admixtures of the three guNamsSathvam, Rajas and TamO guNams. This Prakruthi transforms in to SarIram and the indhriyams for us, the chEthanams.

This Maayai (Prakruthi), which hides the glories of the Lord, has to be overcome and one has to go beyond it through upAsanA and anushtAnam. The means for overcoming His Maayai is to select the upAyam of SaraNAgathy at His sacred feet. There are no other upAyams to overcome this Maayai except SaraNAgathy at His scared feet.

Those who reach the Lord and perform SaraNAgathy to Him are of four kinds: (1) AarTan (2) arTArthi (3) Jign~yAsu and (4) Jn~Ani. AarTi is the one, who has lost his wealth and wishes to have it back. One who wishes to have wealth for the first time is ArTArthi. Jign~Asu is the One who wishes to attain the untainted aathma svaroopamJn~Ani is the one, who comprehends his aathma svaroopam as eternally serving the Lord as its Master. He enjoys his aathma svaroopam without the blemish of Prakruthi. He (Jn~Ani) does not stop there with just the enjoyment of the Self. He enjoys further Bhagvath anubhavam without interruption and is steeped in such anubhavam.

All these four categories of SaadhakAs devote themselves solely to SrIman NaarAyaNa. They are unlike others driven by their deluded minds to worship demi gods like Indhran et al. It is indeed rare to see in this world these four groups of SaadhakAs, who worship SrIman NaarAyaNan alone (NaarAyaNa PaarAyaNALs). Among these four types of SaadhakAs (ParamaikAnthis)Jn~Ani is the foremost in glories. The other three will stay focused on the Lord until they gain their desired phalans. They (the
first three) had to focus on Him (the Lord) to gain their sought after boons. The Jn~Ani on the other hand will not seek any phalans from the Lord and will always be engaged in the meditation on His Lord. The Jn~Ani's devotion and love for the Lord is immeasurable. Even the omniscient Lord cannot quantify it and concludes that love of the Jn~Ani for Him is to this extent. The Jn~Ani will not bear to live even one second away from the Lord. The Lord also cannot bear even a moment's separation from the Jn~Ani and has the Jn~Ani as His life force (uyir). Being the servant of the Lord is recognized by the Jn~Ani as the inherent nature (Svaroopam) of the Self (aathmA). The Jn~Ani knows that the surrender without condition at the Lord's sacred feet can result from the progression through many puNya janmams. To come across such a Jn~Ani --dearest to the Lord -- for us is the rarest of the rare happening .

“TEn ninRa sem-kazhalAn teLivitthanan PaarTanukkE”

Lord KrishNa with ambrosia present in His sacred lotus feet clearly instructed Arjuna on five principal doctrines:
1. The real svarUpam of the Supreme Being, who is the object of one's aarAdhanam
2. The concealment of that Supreme One by Prakruthi
3. The UpAyam of SaraNAgathy to remove that is concealed
4. The four kinds of devotees of the Lord and
5. The superiority of Jn~Ani among the set of four devotees of the Lord

Lord PaarthasArathy performed thus the upadEsam on these tatthvams for Arjuna in the SEVENTH chapter of GeethA.


Svayathatmyam prakrutyasya tirodhi sharangatih I
Bhakta bhedah prabhudyasya shraishtyam saptama uchyate II sloka 11

In the seventh chapter Lord teaches Arjuna about the exact knowledge of Himself. His concealment by the Prakruthi, the surrender to Him as the means to overcome the Prakruthi, observation on various types of devotees and the superiority of the man of wisdom among the devotees.

KrishNa BhagavAn starts off by observing that among the thousands of men, suited to observe the directions of the SaastrAs, only one perhaps strives for perfection. Even among this subset of men; one alone will comprehend Me and gain success in his strivings through My grace. Our Lord instructs Arjuna that as the Supreme One, He is the origin and the dissolver of the
universe (Aham kruthsnasya jagatha: prabhava: praLayastaTA --Chapter 7.6). The Lord reveals further that” There is nothing higher than Myself and all this is (Prakruthi, Jeevans) are strung on Me, as rows of gems on a thread” (Matta: parataram nAnyath kimchidhasthi Dhananjaya, Mayi Sarvamidham prOttham soothrE maNigaNA iva). The Lord tells Arjuna that the thriguNAs have originated from Him and that He is not however in them (i-e: He does not depend on them for His existence). The thriguNAs merely are instruments for His sport. My divine MaayA made up the three GuNAs and created by Me has divine power and it is not easy to overcome that MaayA of Mine. Next the Lord points out there are four kinds of men, who worship Him (the distressed, the seekers after knowledge, the wealth seekers and the men of knowledge /AarThO Jign~Asu
ArTArTee Jn~Ani). Our Lord identifies the Jn~Ani as the one among the four, who is dearest to Him. He states that the Jn~Ani finds refuge in Him at the end of the many births. That fortunate Jn~Ani considers that “VaasudEva is ALL” and that such a Jn~Ani is very hard to find in the world:

Bahunam janmanam ante gyanavan mam prapadyante I
Vasudevah sarvam iti sa mahatma sudurlabhah II sloka 19
बहूनां जन्मनां अन्ते ज्ञानवान माम प्रपद्यन्ते ।वासुदेवः सर्वं इति स महात्मा सुदुर्लभः ।। श्लोक १९

Lord KrishNa acknowledges that most of the people driven by their inherent nature (VaasanAs) and lack of knowledge of the SaasthrAs end up in resorting to other gods such as Indra et al. The Lord concedes out of compassion that “Whichever devotee seeks to worship with faith whatever form, I make that very faith steadfast” :

Yo yo yam yam tanum bhaktah shradhaya architum ichchati I
Tasya tasya chalam shradham tameva vidadhami aham II sloka 21
यो यो यां यां तनुं भक्तः श्रधया अर्चितुं इच्छति ।
तस्य तस्य चलां श्रधां तं एव विदधामि अहं ।। श्लोक २१
That person worshipping other gods with faith gains the object of his desire, which is granted really by Me alone (Geethai: 7.22). The worshippers of demi-gods will go the world of the demi-gods but those who worship Me will come to Me. Ignorant people do not comprehend that I am the One, who is worshipped by all the rites and I have incarnated as the son of King
VasudEva without setting aside My divine nature. These ignoramus think that I am the son of a mere human being, who is born here as KrishNa due to My karmAs. As a result, they do not offer worship to Me and seek My protection. All their worship to other demi-gods ends at My feet (Sarva dEva namaskAram Kesavam prathigacchathi). These demi-gods derive their power from a small portion of My omnipotence.

Svayathatmyam prakrutyasya tirodhi sharangatih I
Bhakta bhedah prabhudyasya shraishtyam saptama uchyate II sloka 11

In the 7th chapter the following matters are dealt with:
His (the highest ATma's) nature as it is; its being hidden by prakriti; prapatti (appealing to him for help); classes of those that love him; and the superiority of those that love him for Himself.

Explanation:  The middle portion of the 6 chapters is now taken up. The first portion dealt with the jiva and the mode of realising him; this middle portion deals with the highest atma and the mode of meditating on Him. 

In the seventh chapter the nature of the highest atma is first deScribed. In the first place he is the lord of everything. Matter (prakriti) that appears in eight forms as mahat, ahankara, ether, air, water, earth and mind (which last represents all senses) is His. So also are all the jivas who support products of matter by their presence within them. Hence all beings formed by the union of these two elements are also his. That is, they form his property, and he may use them as he pleases. (verses 4-6). Next he enters into them as supports them, as in a string of pearls the string passes through the pearls and supports them.(verse 7). Now an intelligent being, who supports and control a thing, and who is the lord is an atma; and the thing that is supported and controlled  and used by one for his own purpose is a body. Hence everything forms the body of the highest atma, and he is its atma. This is the proper definition of the term (sarira); the definitions current in the world are inadequate, as they do not apply to the bodies of the highest atma and of freed jivas, which are taken up at their pleasure, and not for experiencing the fruits of karma, and which are formed of a superior substance, of which sattva alone is the quality. Now it is usual in the  world to speak of the body and the atma as being identical, as in the sentence "devadatta is stout". The first term denotes the jiva and the term stout   a body;  for the atma, being an atom in size, cannot be said to be  either stout or lean. The term "stout" means the jiva in a stout body; and the sentence states that devadatta is a jiva in a stout body. The body has no existence apart from the atma, and forms the aspect in which the atma appears. Hence every word denoting a body denotes the jiva, who is within it, and whose aspect it is. Similarly as everything forms the body of the highest atma, as it cannot exist without him, and as it is the aspect  in which he appears, every word denoting a jiva or a product of matter, who gives it an existence and who appears as the jiva or product of matter. In this sense the highest atma is identified with the jiva or product of matter. Thus in the vedic text "That thou art" the first term denotes the highest atma described in the context as the world - cause and the second term refers to a jiva named shwetaketu; and they are identified. For the highest atma is the atma of the person addressed; and the sentence means "That is the atma in you". Similarly in the vedic text, "All this indeed is Brahma" the expression "all this" means "the atma in all this" and the sentence means 'the atma in all this indeed is the Brahman". 

 Next, the highest atma is the place from which all the worlds go forth, an the place in which they are dissolved. (verse 6). When a substance changes its condition, the previous condition is said to be the material cause, the new condition is said to be a product. Thus when a lump of earth is made by a potter into vessels of various shapes and sizes, the lump is the material cause and the vessels are products; and the potter is the operative cause. Now, the world that appears in diverse forms and bears diverse names was in a different condition. The matter and jivas were in subtle condition. Matter has no forms and no names, and was an undifferentiated mass. The jivas had no bodies; and being merely jnana, they were all alike. And both the elements formed the body of the highest atma; and were so subtle that they could not be separated  from him  even as his body. The highest atma clothed with the matter and jiva elements in this condition was the cause. He then willed to become many; that is, to become the universe appearing in diverse forms  and bearing diverse names. The matter element underwent change of substance, and appeared as bodies of jivas as their senses and as objects of their enjoyment. The jivas did not change their substance, but entered into bodies made for them, in accordance with their past karma, and appeared as devas, as men, brutes, vegetables etc. The highest atma is present in all of them as their atma; and clothed in the matter and jiva elements in the evolved condition, He is the universe. Hence all the worlds are said to have come forth from him. After a period of activity the universe changes its condition; the names and forms of matter disappear, and all products are re-absorbed in subtle matter; and the jivas lose their bodies and become alke. This is dissolution and as the matter and jiva elements become one with the highest atma, and can not be separated in thought even as his body, the worlds are said to be dissolved in him. As the same substance becomes a product by change of condition, the cause and product are identical. The highest atma, the cause, is identical with the universe, the product.

It must be noted in this connection that while in the world the material ans operative causes differ, they are combined in the highest atma; for he himself becomes the universe, and is therefore the material cause; and there is no one that directs the change of condition; hence he is the operative cause also.

Lastly, a being higher than the highest atma does not exist. This implies that he has no equal. This is so not merely because he is the lord of all and the world cause, but  also because  He is the seat of endless noble qualities, the excellence of which is beyond thought or expression. Of these qualities six show his greatness. They are the power to see all things at the same time by sense perception (jnana); the power to support the world (bala); the power to control the world (aiswarya); freedom from fatigue by this seeing, supporting and controlling (virya); the power to do anything (sakti);and the quality of overcoming all opposition (tejas). If he had only these qualities, we should be afraid to approach him; but he has qualities of another kind, which should give us confidence. They are mercy (daya), love (vatsalya), accessibility (saulabhya), willingness to intimately mix with us (sausilya), and generosity (audarya).

What the highest atma is has thus been described. Here several questions may be put. First why is he not perceived as he is? REPLY : Men are deluded by matter, which appears as bodies, senses and objects of enjoyment in accordance with their past karma. Though the objects are very petty and disappear quickly, the highest atma has made them attractive, in order to give the jivas fruits of their karmas. Those that wish to overcome the attraction of the worldly objects should do prapatti. This means that one, that is unable to gain his end and keenly feel his inability, should pray to him for help. And he will respond; for he has an unfailing will, which is exercised not merely to bind, but also to take off the fetters. He is also highly merciful. A person maybe able, but if he be not merciful, there will be no good in approaching him;but the highest atma is both able and merciful. He does not discriminate between one person and another; all may approach him, however low they may be. This quality of the highest atma was exemplified in the case of the asura in the form of crow, the monkey sugriva, the rakshasa vibhishana and draupadi, the wife of the pandavas.

Why do all men not do prapatti ? REPLY : Their bad karma stands in the way. Men of good deeds do prapatti and meditate on the highest atma. They are of 4 classes. Some wish to regain lost material enjoyment; Some wish to attain it newly. Both these form but one class in reality. Some wish to get out of samsara with the incidence of old age and death, and to enjoy the bliss of self-realisation. The last class wish to go to the highest atma and enjoy him alone. The gita refers to them by the term jnani, and states that they are the best. For they wish to be ever with the highest atma; their love is not divided between and end and its means, but is fixed wholly on him; and he is immeasurably dear to them.The highest atma on his part loves the jnanis with the same degree of love, and regards them as his atma. It is very difficult to find a jnani of this description. At the end of many lives of good deeds one can become a jnani and regard Vasudeva as very dear to him (verses 16-19)

Why should one go to the highest atma ? Are not devatas available to whom he may offer worship and get from them what he desires? REPLY :The devatas are the bodies of the highest atma and he is their atma. It is he that makes the worshipper's fervour continue till the end; it is he that receives the worship and gives the fruits; but they are petty and perishable. If the worshipper does the same karma and worships the highest atma in the form of the devatas, the fruit attained is very superior. ( verse 20-23).

That men desire fruits other than the enjoyment of the highest atma, and that they go to other devatas is intelligible; for their evil tendencies (vasanas)stand in the way of their knowing the highest atma.  But  when he came down as Sri Krishna  with the express object that all men should come to him, and was present before their eyes, why was he not sought by all? REPLY : Most men seeing his form, regard him as an ordinary mortal, that has attained this birth under the influence of karma.They did not see that he the lord of all, had come down from his infinite mercy and from his love of those that had come to him. He did give indications of what he was by his abnormal feats; but they had not the capacity to discriminate between him and others. And this was due to their bad karmas. (verse 24-25)

Last Question: At the time of birth one has no desire or aversion; for there s no cause for either.Assuming that he has desire or aversion, why should he not desire the highest atma and regard other things with aversion? REPLY : In the previous life he liked some things and disliked other things, and developed certain tendencies; he returns with the same tendencies and begins to like and dislike the same things. If he had like the highest atma,he will now desire to go to him; but most men liked other things and in their new birth they seek the very same things.

For an introduction given earlier to the Gitarthasangrahas by Swamy Alavandar & Swamy Desikan

For Essence of the 6th chapter go to

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 7 - Jnana Vignana Yoga - Sloka 30

The entire content of this mail is from Swami Chidbhavananda's translation of The Bhagavad Gita, published by Ramakrishna Mission

The Discerning and the Non-discerning 27-30
1 Gita Sloka  every day - Chapter 7 - Jnana Vignana Yoga - Sloka 30

Sadhi bhutadhi daivam mam sadhi yagyam cha ye vidhuh I
Prayana kale api cha mam te vidusa yukta chetasah II sloka 30
साधि भूताधि दैवं माम  साधि यज्ञं च ये वीदुः I 
प्रयाण काले अपि च माम  ते विदुस युक्त  चेतसः I I  श्लोक  30

Those who realise Me in Adhibhuta, in the Adhidaiva and in the Adhiyajna, they of steadfast mind realise me even in the hour of their death.

The details of the adhibhuta, adhidaiva & adhiyajna come in the next chapter. The way of the world is to be scared, confused and frightened in the hour of death. But the yogi accepts death calmly and as a matter of course. It has its due place in nature. A true study of nature develops into devotion to the Lord. A yogi's knowledge and devotion reveal themselves best in the hour o death. This God-realisation is at its zenith when he drops the body in death. 

Iti shrimad bhagavad gitasu upanishadtsu brahmavidyayam yogashastre srikrishna arjuna samvade gyana vigyana yogo nama saptamodhyayah II
इति श्रीमद भगवद्गीतासु उपनिशद्त्सु ब्रह्मविद्यायां योगशास्त्रे  श्रीकृष्ण अर्जुन संवादे ज्ञान विज्ञान योगो नाम सप्तमोध्यायः  ।।

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 7 - Jnana Vignana Yoga - Sloka 29

The entire content of this mail is from Swami Chidbhavananda's translation of The Bhagavad Gita, published by Ramakrishna Mission

Why are people devoid of knowledge and devotion? Their case is analysed:

The Discerning and the Non-discerning 27-30
1 Gita Sloka  every day - Chapter 7 - Jnana Vignana Yoga - Sloka 29

Jara marana mokshaya mam shritya yatanti ye I
Te brahm tat vidhuh krutsnam adhyatmam karma cha akhilam II sloka 29
जरा मरण मोक्षाय माम श्रित्य यतन्ति ये ।ते ब्रह्म् तत् विधुः कृत्स्नं अध्यात्मं कर्म च अखिलं ।। श्लोक २९

Those who take refuge in me and strive for deliverance from decay and death, they realise in full that Brahman, the individual self and all karma.
The mind of a man may take its own time to be delivered from the delusion of the pairs of opposites. But there are two other factors  in life that are ever staring at him. Decay and death are the two factors unwanted by him; but he can never escape from their clutches. To loose one's hard earned vigour and to become a prey to death - are these the end of human life? To do deeds of rarity, to achieve the impossible and then to quit the world as if in banishment - Is the reward of life on earth? Death drives man to the necessity of raising questions of this type. It does not  allow him to be dormant. It gives him rude knocks and wakes him up to realities with which he is not acquainted. When the right enquiries are made, the sadhaka comes to know of the truths of Brahman, himself and karma. 
When a man wants to eat fruit, he discards its shell, and seeds and helps himself to its pulp. But when he wants to purchase that fruit or make a study of it, he has to take into account the shell, seeds, the pulp and all the contents of the fruit. Very much like this, the seeker of God negates the world and goes to him.  But after god-realisation he concludes that it is Brahman that puts on an appearance of the universe and the beings in it
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahmasa

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 7 - Jnana Vignana Yoga - Sloka 28

The entire content of this mail is from Swami Chidbhavananda's translation of The Bhagavad Gita, published by Ramakrishna Mission

Why are people devoid of knowledge and devotion? Their case is analysed:

The Discerning and the Non-discerning 27-30
1 Gita Sloka  every day - Chapter 7 - Jnana Vignana Yoga - Sloka 28

Amminjikarai Varadarajar
Yesham tvanta gatam papam jananam punya karmanam I
Te dvandva mohanir muktah bhajante mam dradhavratah II sloka 28

येषां त्वन्त गतं पापं जनानां पुण्य कर्मणां ।
ते द्वन्द्व मोहनिर मुक्तः भजन्ते माम द्रदव्रतः  ।। श्लोक २८

But those men of virtuous deeds whose sins have come to an end, who are freed from the delusion of the pairs of opposites worship Me remaining steadfast in their vows.

Whatever action fosters the jivahood in one, is condemned as sin by the wise. In contrast with it, whatever action contributes to self-abnegation is deemed as virtue. Selfless service has to be carried on incessantly lest the mind should lapse into lethargy and egotism.. Purity of the mind ensues from constant self- denial. Unswerving adoration of the Lord is possible  to him only whose mind is free from taint.
They only who remains unruffled and unaffected by the pairs of opposites such as victory and defeat, gain and loss, praise and censure and life and death, become steadfast in their vows. Worship of the Lord is possible to such dedicated souls.

A rusty piece of iron is not actively susceptible to magnetization; but when cleansed of rust, it readily responds. Similarly in that mind which has become rusty with attachment and aversion and likes and dislikes, devotion to the Lord does not dawn. Whereas in a pure bhakti rises readily.
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 7 - Jnana Vignana Yoga - Sloka 27

The entire content of this mail is from Swami Chidbhavananda's translation of The Bhagavad Gita, published by Ramakrishna Mission

Why are people devoid of knowledge and devotion? Their case is analysed:
The Discerning and the Non-discerning 27-30
1 Gita Sloka  every day - Chapter 7 - Jnana Vignana Yoga - Sloka 27
Serthi Kancheepuram
Ichcha dvesha samutthena dvandva mohena bharata I
Sarva bhutani sammoham  sarge yanti paran tapa II sloka 27
इच्छा द्वेष समुत्थेन द्वन्द्व मोहेन भारत ।सर्व भूतानि सम्मोहं सर्गे यान्ति परन्तप ।। श्लोक २७

By the delusion of the pairs of opposites arising from desire and aversion, all beings, O Bharata, are subject to illusion at birth, O harasser of foes.

Among the pairs of opposites the foremost and the most lasting is the one pertaining to life and death. Where life is its counterpart, death, should necessarily be. The existence of the one to the exclusion of the other is impossible. From birth onwards a being proceeds towards death. The interval between the two is what is called life, which is as impermanent as bubble on water. Death may at any moment swoop and swallow up the embodied. Of the inseparable two, life and death, the desire for the fromer and aversion for the latter manifest themselves from birth onwards. But both of these attitudes are born of delusion.

The pairs of opposites pertaining to pleasure  and pain comes next. Sense pleasures are always crowned with pain. From birth onwards beings hug the one and shun the other. But it is an illusion to seek sense- pleasure to the exclusion of pain. 

Among the pairs of opposites, the desire for the one and aversion for the other are the foes  of the seekers of knowledge and devotion. These foes have to be conquered.

What do they do, who have got over the pairs of opposites? Their path to perfection is portrayed  in the next sloka.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 7 - Jnana Vignana Yoga - Sloka 26

The entire content of this mail is from Swami Chidbhavananda's translation of The Bhagavad Gita, published by Ramakrishna Mission

The Characteristics of Iswara 24-26
1 Gita Sloka  every day - Chapter 7 - Jnana Vignana Yoga - Sloka 26

Vedaham samatitani varta manani cha arjuna I
Bhavishyani cha bhutani mam tu veda na kaschana II Sloka 26
वेदाहं समतीतानि  वर्तमानानि च अर्जुन ।
भविष्याणि च भूतानि मां तु वेद न कश्चन ।। श्लोक २६

I know, O Arjuna, the beings of the past, the present and the future, but no one knows me.

Iswara is the Lord of maya, having complete control over it. The appearance, stay and dissolution of all beings are all acts of maya. Time also exists in maya. The Lord being all knowing , the destiny of all these is within his  ken.  The beings that were there in the past, that are there in the present and that are to be in the future are all known to him. But the individual souls do not know anything worthwhile about themselves; how then are they going to know about Iswara, the cosmic soul! The devotees however do not come within this limitation. They constantly adore the Lord and chose to be in his proximity. So they understand  him to some extent. The others neither adore nor understand him.
It is possible for the swan to separate milk from water and partake of the former only. The other birds are unable to do this. Iswara is mingled with maya; He is non-dual with it. The ordinary people cannot distinguish him from maya. But the parmahamsas - the men of perfection - are able to cognise Iswara to the exclusion of maya
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 7 - Jnana Vignana Yoga - Sloka 25

The entire content of this mail is from Swami Chidbhavananda's translation of The Bhagavad Gita, published by Ramakrishna Mission

The Characteristics of Iswara 24-26
1 Gita Sloka  every day - Chapter 7 - Jnana Vignana Yoga - Sloka 25

Naham prakashah sarvasya yoga maya samavrutah I
mudhoyam na abhijanati lokah mam ajam avyayam II sloka 25
नाहं प्रकाशः सर्वस्य योग माया समावृतः  ।
मूढोऽयं न अभिजानाति लोकः माम अजं अव्ययं ।। श्लोक २५

I am not revealed to all, as I am veiled by yoga maya. This deluded world knows me not, the unborn, the unchanging.

The magician throws a spell on his audience and keeps it in illusion in regard to his performance. But what seems a magic to the onlookers is not so to the kith and kin of the magician. The nature of his play is well known to himself and his own people.  The Lord is the magician who has produced the magic of this world. Its nature is well known to him only and his devotees.

The sun that cannot be hidden by anything seems to be covered by a patch of cloud; but that patch itself cannot be located with the aid of sunlight. the originator of the cloud is none other than the sun. The cloud is the yoga maya concealing the sun. The prakriti made up of 3 gunas is the yoga maya of Iswara. As it has no existence apart from Iswara, it is held to be in yoga with him; and because of its veiling capacity it is called maya. Iswara the akhanda sat chit ananda seems to be concealed by his yoga maya while actually he remains unaffected by it. Further he is sarvajna - the all knowing one. 

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 7 - Jnana Vignana Yoga - Sloka 24

The entire content of this mail is from Swami Chidbhavananda's translation of The Bhagavad Gita, published by Ramakrishna Mission

The Characteristics of Iswara 24-26
1 Gita Sloka  every day - Chapter 7 - Jnana Vignana Yoga - Sloka 24

Avyakatam vyaktimapannam manyate mam abuddhayah I
Param bhavam ajanantah mama avyayam anuttamam II sloka 24
अव्यक्तं व्यक्तिमापन्नं मन्यन्ते माम अबुद्धयः ।
परम् भावम् अजानन्तः  मम अव्ययं अनुत्तमं ।। श्लोक २४

Men of poor understanding think of Me, the unmanifest, as having  manifestation, not knowing my supreme state - immutable and unsurpassed.
A benevolent and charity minded millionaire maybe in rags occasionally just for the fun of it. If a beggar misunderstands him as one in rags and passes by without availing himself of the rich man's charity, the poor man becomes poorer for his ignorance. Such verily is the lot of those ignorant of the glory of Iswara. 

An incarnation of god, like Sri Krishna assumes a human body, just as the bound souls do. But he is no more bound in the manifested body than the sky seen through a window is bound within the frame of that window.The manifested body of Sri Krishna is mutable; but in reality He is immutable and unsurpassed by the ordinary human beings. His supreme state remains unknown to the people of poor understanding. They do not therefore seek to worship him. 

How then can we account for the ignorance of the ordinary man? the answer follows.