avyaktam vyaktimaapannam manyante maamabuddhayaha |
param bhaavamajaananto mamaavyayamanuttamam || 24 ||

 
The unintelligent, not knowing my unmanifest, supreme, incomparable and imperishable nature, believe that I assume a human form.
 
avyaktam : unmanifest
vyaktim : human form
aapannam : assume
manyante : believe
maama : me
abuddhayaha : unintelligent
param : supreme
bhaavam : nature
ajaanantaha : not knowing
mama : my
avyayam : imperishable
anuttamam : incomparable
 
“To one that holds a hammer, everything looks like a nail”. When we get used to a certain mode of thinking or behaving, it becomes a disadvantage because that mode of thinking begins to limit our perspective. We spend all of our waking life taking in information from the sense organs – the eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin. Due to this constant exposure, we tend to perceive everything in terms of these 5 senses. Ultimately, these senses limit what we can perceive.
 
Shri Krishna, having described the finite goal-seeking mindset of most people, now clearly articulates the problem that they face. Limited by their finite intellect, limited by the prison of the 5 senses, people tend to view Ishvara as a finite entity. As if this is not unfortunate enough, they get so attached to their favourite deity that they sometimes begin to develop a fanatic attitude – “my god is better than your god” and so on. The true Ishvara is beyond all senses. Neither the mind nor our speech can reach it. Ishvara is beyond all names and forms.
 
But, many of us go to temples to worship deities. Even spiritual masters worship deities. How should we understand this? It is because deities in a temple are indicators or pointers to the infinite. An idol in the shape of a deity helps us focus our attention on the form of the deity. But this focusing of attention on the finite deity is a stepping stone to contemplating the true nature of Ishvara which is infinite, imperishable and supreme.
 
What is the real reason for the problem pointed out here? Why do most people think of Ishvara in finite terms? This is examined next.

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