Shri Bhagavaan uvaacha:
mayyasaktamanaaha paartha yogam yunjanmadaashrayaha |
asamshayam samagram maam yathaa jnyaasyasi tachchrunu || 1 ||
Shri Bhagavaan said:
With mind attached to me, O Paartha, striving in yoga, taking refuge in me, without doubt, by which you will know me completely, listen to that.
mayi : to me
aasaktamanaaha : mind attached
paartha : O Paartha
yogam : yoga
yunjan : striving
madaashrayaha : taking refuge in me
asamshayam : without doubt
samagram : completely
maam : my
yathaa : by which
jnyaasyasi : knows
tat : that
shrunu : listen
Before we proceed to the seventh chapter, let’s recap what we have seen so far. Arjuna, overcome with sorrow in the battlefield, pleaded to Shri Krishna to give him proper guidance. Shri Krishna proceeded to give him the teaching of the eternal essence, which was the primary topic of the second chapter.
The first step in gaining this supreme knowledge is to purify the mind of selfish desires through karmayoga, which was the topic of the third and fourth chapters. As our desires slowly get purified, karmayoga morphs into karma sanyaasa, where our activities reduce to the bare minimum. The final step is the culmination of karmayoga into dhyaana yoga or meditation. In this manner, the first six chapters of the Gita focus on the individual and self effort.
We saw in the last chapter that Shri Krishna wanted us to meditate upon him as Ishvara. But for the most part, we do not know what Ishvara is, what is his role in the world, how do we access him and so on. Furthermore, if Ishvara truly represents the infinite eternal essence, how can the finite mind meditate on him? Chapters seven through twelve explain this technique. They reveal to us the nature of Ishvara as creator and controller of this universe. And just like we had to put forth effort to purify our mind in the prior six chapter, we need to apply a more demanding approach to understand Ishvara. It is the effort of surrender to Ishvara with bhakti or devotion.
Now, Shri Krishna introduces the seventh chapter with a powerful message. He says that he will reveal that by which we can come to know of Ishvara’s true nature completely and without any doubts. This will require us to develop attachment towards him, and to seek refuge in him.
Firstly, Shri Krishna wants us to understand his true nature “samagram” or completely, and without any doubts. For many of us, our image of Ishvara is based upon pictures we have seen in books or on television of Lord Narayana sleeping on the serpent, or of Shri Krishna playing in Vrindaavan. Shri Krishna says that there is nothing wrong with these images, but that is not the full story. He wants to reveal himself in such a manner to us that we will get a complete and comprehensive understanding of his real nature.
In the process of understanding Ishvara’s true nature, we will begin to develop a strong attachment towards him and become intent on him, indicated by the words “mai aasakta”. When we begin to develop an attachment to a higher ideal, the lower attachments to material things will automatically drop. There is no need for anything else as a source of joy when one develops an affinity for Ishvara.
Furthermore, we will seek his “aashraya”, which means support. Usually, when we are in distress, we take the support of our job, our wealth, our body, our friends and so on. But, none of these can guarantee their support. They could pull out any any minute, they are unreliable. As we begin to develop devotion towards Ishvara, we will realize that he is the only permanent support available. We will begin to rely on him solely, rather than on any other source of support.
So therefore, Shri Krishna asks Arjuna to pay attention to this message, as it is not going to be easy for everyone to develop such a connection to Ishvara. But this is the only way by which we can know Ishvara in his entirety. Shri Krishna speaks more about the nature of this knowledge in the next shloka.
Shri Bhagavaan uvaacha: