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English translation of Sri Sankaracharya's Sanskrit Commentary - Swami


Chapter 7


7.1 O Partha, mayi asaktamanah, having the mind fixed on Me- one

whose mind (manah) is fixed (asakta) on Me (mayi) who am the supreme

God possessed on the qualification going to be spoken of-. Yogam

yunjan, practising the Yoga of Meditation, concentrating the mind-.

Madasrayah, taking refuge in Me-one to whom I Myself, the supreme

Lord, am the refuge (asraya) is madasrayah-. Anyone who hankers after

some human objective resorts to some rite such as the Agnihotra etc.,

austerity or charity, which is the means to its attainment. This yogi,

however, accepts only Me as his refuge; rejecting any other means, he

keeps his mind fixed on Me alone. Srnu, hear; tat, that, which is being

spoken of by Me; as to yatha, how, the process by which; you who,

having become thus, jnasyasi, will know; mam, Me; asamsayam, with

certainty, without doubt, that the Lord is such indeed; and samagram, in

fullness, possessed of such qualities as greatness, strength, power,

majesty, etc. [Strength-physical; power-mental; etc. refers to

omniscience and will.] in their fullness.

7.2 Aham, I; vaksyami, shall tell; te, you; asesatah, in detail, fully; of that

(Knowledge) about Myself, which is idam, this; jnanam, Knowlege; which

is savijnanam, combined with realization, associated with personal

enlightenment; yat jnatva, after experiencing which Knowledge;

avasisyate, there remains; na anyat, nothing else, anything that can be a

means to human ends; jnatavyam, to be known; bhuyah, again; iha,

here. (In this way) the Lord praises that Knowledge which is intended to

be spoken, in order ot draw the attention of the hearer. Thus, 'he who

knows Me in reality becomes omniscient.' This is the idea. Therefore

Knowledge is difficult to attain because of its superexcellent result.

How so? This is being answered:

7.3 Sahasresu manusyanam, among thousands, among a multitude of

men; kascit, a rare one; yatati, endeavours; siddhaye, for perfection. [For

perfection: for the rise of Knowledge through the purification of the

mind.] Siddhanam api, even of the perfected one; yatatam, who are

diligent-they (those diligent ones themselves) being (considered to be)

verily perfect because they are striving for Liberation; of them-; kascit,

one perchance, indeed; vetti, knows; mam, Me; tattvatah, in truth.

Having drawn the attention of the hearer by arousing interest, the Lord


7.4 Iyam, this; prakrtih, Prakrti, [Prakrti here does not mean the

Pradhana of the Sankhyas.] the divine power called Maya; me, of Mine,

as described; bhinna, is divided; astadha, eight-forl; iti, thus: bhumih,

earth-not the gross earth but the subtle element called earth, this being

understood from the statement, 'Prakrti (of Mine) is divided eight-fold'.

Similarly, the subtle elements alone are referred to even by the words

water etc. Apah, water; analah, fire; vayuh, air; kham, space; manah,

mind. By 'mind' is meant its source, egoism. By buddhih, intellect, is

meant the principle called mahat [Mahat means Hiranyagarbha, or

Cosmic Intelligence.] which is the source of egoism. By ahankarah,

egoism, is meant the Unmanifest, associated [Associated, i.e. of the

nature of.] with (Cosmic) ignorance. As food mixed with position is called

poison, similarly the Unmainfest, which is the primordial Cause, is called

egoism since it is imbued with the impressions resulting from egoism;

and egoism is the impelling force (of all). It is indeed seen in the world

that egoism is the impelling cause behind all endeavour.

7.5 O mighty-armed one, iyam, this; is apara, the inferior (Prakrti)-not

the higher, (but)-the impure, the source of evil and having the nature of

worldly bondage. Viddhi, know; anyam, the other, pure; prakrtim, Prakrti;

me, of Mine, which is essentially Myself; which, tu, however;is param,

higher, more exalted; itah, than this (Prakrti) already spoken of; Jivabhutam,

which has taken the form of the individual souls, which is

characterized as 'the Knower of the body (field)', and which is the cause

of sustenance of life; and yaya, by which Prakriti; idam, this; jagat, world;

dharyate, is upheld, by permeating it.

7.6 Upadharaya, understand; iti, thus; that sarvani, all; bhutani, things;

etat-yonini, have these (etat) as their source (yoni)-things that have these

lower and higher Prakrtis, charcterized as the 'field' and the 'Knower of

the field (body)', as their source are etat-yonini. Since My two Prakrtis

are the source, the cause of all things, therefore, aham, I; am the

prabhavah, origin; tatha, as also; the pralayah, end, the termination;

krtsnasya, of the whole; jagatah, Universe. The maning is this: I, who

am the ominscient God, am the source of the Univese through My two

Prakrtis. Since this is so, therefore-

7.7 O Dhananjaya, asti, there is; na anyat kincit, nothing else

whatsoever, no other cause; parataram, higher; mattah, than Me, the

supreme God; i.e. I Myself am the source of the world. Since this is so,

therefore, sarvam, all; idam, this, all things, the Universe; protam,is

strung, woven, connected, i.e. transfixed; mayi, on Me, the supreme

God; like cloth in the warp, [Like cloth formed by threads constituting its

warp and woof.] and iva, like; maniganah, peals; sutre,on a string.

'What qualities are You endowed with, by virtue of which all this is strung

on You? This is being answered:

7.8 Kaunteya, O son of Kunti, aham, I; am rasah, the taste, which is the

essence of water. The idea is that water is depedent on Me who am its

essence. This is how it is to be understood in every case. Just as I am

the essence of water, similarly, asmi, I am; the prabha, effulgence; sasisuryayoh,

of the moon and the sun; pranavah, (the letter) Om; sarvavedesu,

in all the Vedas. All the Vedas are established on Me who am

that Om. So also (I am) sabdah, the sound; khe, in space, as the

essence. Space is established on Me who am that (sound). In the same

way, nrsu, in men; (I am) paurusam, manhood- the quality of being man,

from which arises the idea of manhood. Men are established on Me who

am such.

7.9 I am also the punyah, sweet; gandhah, fragrance; prthivyam, in the

earth. The earth is dependent on Me who am its fragrance. The natural

sweetness of smell in the earth is cited by way of suggesting sweetness

of taste of water etc. as well. But foulness of smell etc. is due to contact

with particular things, resulting from nescience, unholiness, etc. of

worldly people. Ca, and ; asmi, I am; the tejah, brilliance; vibhavasau, in

fire; so also (I am) the jivanam, life-that by which all creatures live; sarvabhutesu,

in all beings. And I am the tapah, austerity; tapasvisu, of

ascetics. Ascetics are established in Me who am that austerity.

7.10 O Partha, viddhi, know, mam, Me; to be the sanatanam, eternal;

bijam, seed, the source of growth; sarva-bhutanam, of all beings.

Besides, I am the buddhih, intellect, the power of discrimination of the

mind; buddhimatam, of the intelligent, of people having the power of

discrimination. I am the tejah, courage; tejasvinam, of the courageous, of

those possessed of that.

7.11 I am the balam, strength, ability, virility; balavatam, of the strong.

That strength, again, is kama-raga-vivarjitam, devoid of passion and

attachment. Kamah is passion, hankering for things not at hand. Ragah

is attachment, fondness for things acquired. I am the strength that is

devoid of them and is necessary merely for the maintenance of the body

etc., but not that strength of the worldly which causes hankering and

attachment. Further, bhutesu, among creatures; I am that kamah,

desire-such desires as for eating, drinking, etc. which are for the mere

maintenance of the body and so on; which is dharma-aviruddhah, not

contrary to righteousness, not opposed to scriptural injunctions;

bharatarsabha, O scion of the Bharata dynasty. Moreover,

7.12 Ye bhavah, those things; sattvikah eva, that indeed are made of

(the quality of) sattva; and ye rajasah, those that are made (of the quality)

of rajas; and tamasah, those that are made of (the quality of) tamaswhatever

things are made (of sattva, rajas and tamas) according to the

creatures's own actions: viddhi, know; tan, them, all without exception;

mattah eva iti, to have sprung from Me alone when they come into

being. Although they originate from Me, still, tu, however; aham, I; am na

tesu, not in them-I am not subject to them, not under their control, as

are the transmigrating bengs. Te, they, again; mayi, are in Me, subject to

Me, under My control. [For sattva, rajas, and tamas see note under 2.45

as also Chapters 14, 17 and 18.-Tr.] 'The world does not know Me, the

supreme Lord, even though I am of this kind, and am eternal, pure,

intelligent and free by nature, [See note on p.4.-Tr.] the Self of all beings,

free from all qualities, the cause of burning awa