Chapter 9 - Raja-Vidya-Guhya Yoga
Chapter 9, Verse 1
Here Lord Krishna says he will impart one of the secrets of the universe, very confidential knowledge to Arjuna. He says to Arjuna that he is imparting the knowledge because Arjuna does not feel envious of him. We have to understand that because of this quality of Arjuna (Not being envious) Arjuna is imparting this knowledge. Also in the coming stanzas, we should read with an open mind and do not wear our lenses or look through our filters in life.
Chapter 9, Verse 2
Lord Krishna says the knowledge he is going to impart is the king of knowledge. He is using the metaphor king to describe the position among other knowledge. And he uses the word Vidya which can be translated as knowledge or education. He also says the kind of knowledge that is being imparted is virtuous, directly perceptible and easy to practice.
He also says it is secret knowledge. When does something remain a secret? When a thing is between few people or when it is open there and only a few perceive it. I think the knowledge Lord Krishna is imparting is already there in open but very few people realized it, so very few people know it so it is a secret and will always remain a secret.
Chapter 9, Verse 3
Lord Krishna says that to reach him people should have faith in him, otherwise people will be born and die and this process of recycling of a soul happens for many births. It is not difficult to understand what Lord Krishna is saying. Unless people have faith in a destination, they will not properly go to that destination. They should believe in that destination first. So Lord Krishna is only asking us to believe in the supreme energy of the universe. Once you believe in almighty you would listen to what almighty says.
Chapter 9, Verse 4
Lord Krishna reiterates once again in this sloka that he permeates the entire universe. In what way does he permeate? He permeates the entire universe in a very imperceptible way. It may be electromagnetic energy, or gravity or some energy that is there in the entire universe. And that energy is God. He was there before the big bang event happened and he will be there even after the universe collapses.
Lord Krishna also says that he supports all living beings. The support for all living beings is energy. This is constant across all living beings for survival. All living beings need energy for survival and that energy is provided by God. Lord Krishna also says he is not dependent on any living being. It means he works as per the rules of nature and not as per the rules of a being. He has the job of maintaining the universe in harmony and least bothered what human being thinks of him.
Chapter 9, Verse 5
Here Lord Krishna becomes more specific when he says he is not affected by the deeds of people. He is beyond the actions of the people. Also, he says it is very difficult to comprehend him. he is beyond the comprehension of human mind. The human mind is very limited. It cannot see beyond visible spectrum (only seven colors) also it cannot hear ultrasounds etc. Thus, we can see that human mind cannot comprehend many things of this nature, how can it comprehend the supreme energy called God? This is where the challenge lies. We have to believe in the existence of something which is beyond our comprehension. He then manifests to those people who believe in him and make efforts to comprehend him. Otherwise, it’s very difficult to see or hear God.
Chapter 9, Verse 6
Since it is very difficult to comprehend how living beings are within the God, Sri Krishna uses the metaphor of wind. The wind having enormous force sometimes, where is it situated, it is situated in the atmosphere of the sky. Wind (mighty or normal wind) occupies a space in the sky. It keeps moving from one place to another, untouched to the space it is in. In the same way, all the living beings are in the space of the universe and that space is created by the God. Even he mighty living beings and weak living beings is there in the universe and each occupies a place in the God.
Chapter 9, Verse 7
In this sloka, Sri Krishna says what has been told in the earlier chapter. That as per the time of Brahma all living beings merge into the God after one “kalpa” when the time comes to an end. It is explained in physics that there are two main constants in the universe, they are time and space. We have seen that in the earlier stanza that God is one kind of space. Now the other constant is introduced in this stanza. The concept of time. At the end of time, all beings merge with space. This constant churning keeps happening in the universe all the time. Even the mighty planets, stars they explode and become blockholes just occupying space and all their physical mass converted into energy (gamma rays etc.).
Chapter 9, Verse 8
Lord Krishna says the material nature is caused by his material energy. He says that the living beings are created again and again as per their “nature”. How is the nature of individuals formed? It is formed because of the actions and thoughts of the people. As per their thoughts, their nature is ultimately formed. This is carried over to next birth till the time the beings acquire knowledge and change the nature. Once the beings recognize that God is supreme and reach his abode, then immerse in the supreme energy.
Chapter 9, Verse 9
Lord Krishna says these universal activities never bind lord Krishna and he is independent of the actions of the beings on this planet. He is a neutral observer to the whole processes activities of the planet. There might be a doubt that if he is a neutral person why should we worship him? We need to worship the God if we want peace on this planet and if we do not decide to be born again and again on the planet of suffering. If we want liberation then we should worship him.
Chapter 9, Verse 10
The answer to the doubt, how can God create a world and be neutral to it. Here in this sloka, he clarifies that he is the creator of illusionary energy. And because of this energy, this material world comes into existence and is perceived by the living beings. It is into this material world that living beings are sent again and again to realize the real nature of the world.
Chapter 9, Verse 11
Ignorant people not knowing that God is the supreme ruler of all living beings, disregard him both as a living entity or a universal entity.
Chapter 9, Verse 12 & 13
In the 12th sloka Lord Krishna states clearly that under the influence of the material forces, some people perceive Krishna as the giver of prosperity and have a relationship of give and take. People’s mind is influenced by the materials and their actions towards God are also to gain material pleasures. They cannot imagine the real nature of God beyond pleasures of happiness and senses. They can never know that God is beyond all these senses.
In 13th sloka he says Some great souls realize the real nature of God. The real nature of God is the universal energy that creates everything. It doesn’t interfere in the day to day issues of human beings. They know that the supreme being will not help us in material welfare or prosperity. Knowing this they still love God because they do not have any give and take relationship. They worship or do devotional service to the lord just out of pure belief that he exists and pure love to him without expecting anything in return.
Chapter 9, Verse 14
Here Lord Krishna says how God should be worshipped. He says, the people who have realized that God is supreme, devote their 100% to the God. How should they devote 100%? It has to be done by singing songs (glory of the God), have a firm determination to reach him and try to reach him with firm determination. They develop loving devotion to him without a give and take relationship.
Chapter 9, Verse 15
Others try to reach the God through knowledge. The conditions are the same for people who try to reach God through Knowledge. One is burning desire, determination, and devotion. Sri Krishna has prescribed many methods earlier, to reach God. Through doing work as an offering to him, though the practice of Yoga, through the cultivation of knowledge etc. Some see him everywhere and try to reach him by serving people and some see him as sperate and worship him. Whatever the method is if followed fervently they will reach him.
Chapter 9, Verse 16
In this sloka Shri Krishna says that he is the form of energy present everywhere in all good activities of the universe. All these activities which involve spending of energy by human beings ultimately reach God. He is there in all the things of the universe. This shows that we can reach the God in various forms, provided activities are done with the devotion and firm determination
Chapter 9, Verse 17
The four Vedas, father mother and protector of the universe, the sacred Om all are embedded in the God. This shows that all the supreme things a human being can conceive of are produced by him.
Chapter 9, Verse 18
Lord Krishna says he is the ultimate goal of human beings. Whatever activities they do, ultimately the final and real goal is the God. They may pursue different activities in the world but they have to remember that all these activities are transitory and vanish with the death of the person. The real goal is to achieve the lord. Also, Lord Krishna says that he, the God is the master of the universe. He is the refuge for the people. People usually take refuge in various activities, some people take alcohol, some people drugs, some people take refuge in money and some people in power. God says all these are not the real places for refuge it is the ultimate God in whom people should take refuge.
God says he is the creator, dissolver and maintainer of the universe. He is the energy behind the creation of the universe. He is that energy that is responsible for various activities of the universe.
Chapter 9, Verse 19
In this shloka lord, Krishna makes it clear that he gives heat. Heat is a form of energy and is responsible for the creation of life. Too much of heat and too low heat, life will not be there. So optimum heat is given by the Sun to sustain life on earth. This heat also creates water evaporation and rains. He also says he is responsible for the un-manifest past and un-manifest future and the manifest present. He is the one who is immortal and rests all others are mortal things created and ultimately dissolve like the cycles of rain.
Chapter 9, Verse 20
In this shloka Lord Krishna says what happens to people who are well learned and practice everything that is prescribed in the Vedas and worship various other Gods. Here we have to understand what it means to worship other Gods. I feel it means that having other purposes other than the highest goal of life (realizing god). In such cases when people do other pursuits seriously they will attain those pursuits and enjoy those worlds whatever they aimed for. Once they realize that those enjoyments are temporary, they will ultimately try to reach the supreme reality.
Chapter 9, Verse 21
It is made clear in this shloka that people get tired of their worldly pursuits, rewards and satisfaction. We are seeing this in modern world very clearly. Even people who are very successful are not very happy. Happiness comes to those people only when they control their mind and tune their efforts for attaining the God.
We can see clearly that people when they tune their efforts for achieving something seriously, they can achieve those things. The condition is they have to follow the principles of effort given in the textbooks with sincere effort.
Once they realize the value of the God then they will come to him and put the same amount of effort in reaching him.
Chapter 9, Verse 22
This is one of very powerful shloka which has to be understood properly in the light of previous shlokas. In this shloka Lord Krishna says for those people who are completely absorbed in him and who are doing activities for him only, then he will take care of them and protect them. IN one of the earlier shloka he says that he is not bothered about what is happening in the world, now he says he will take care of his devotees. How is this possible? This is very much possible because a person who is completely absorbed in the God has very few necessities from life. Even if he is married he leads a very simple and austere life. when desires are limited then the basic necessities will be fulfilled easily. A person needs food, clothing, shelter, security to survive. All these things can be assured at a basic level for a person who is indulged in devotion to God. In return, God assures that he will give the assets of “you” to his devotees and non-return to the cycle of birth and death.
Chapter 9, Verse 23
This Shloka is a repetition of an earlier one. In this Lord Krishna says people worshipping other Gods for material gains are worshipping me but the method is wrong. It’s been realized that to reach the supreme energy/God the method is absolute devotion and yoga. If people put their efforts in worshipping God rather than material welfare they will reach the highest God.
Chapter 9, Verse 24
In this Shloka it is made clear that people who worship other Gods must be reborn again. Only the supreme God can liberate the people from rebirth. We have to understand that people who worship Gods for material benefits will get as return gifts lot of material things. Material things ultimately bind people so they are more into bondage through more material things. So, it is best that we do not worship Gods for material benefits because they cause more bondage. Bondage is equal to rebirth. Instead realize what God is, what he can actually do and worship him accordingly. He can deliver us from the lifelong suffering of being born on the planet again and again. So better worship him to liberate us from bondage. Worship him for the ultimate benefit.
Chapter 9, Verse 25
Here it is said that we become what we worship. If we imitate a wealthy businessman, his behaviour etc we will one day become like him. In the same way, as we imitate a politician and his ways we become like him one day. Children will become like their parents because they imitate them.
In the same way, if we worship Gods for material benefits we will get material benefits one day. In this shloka, we should understand that what is the purpose of activities we are doing in life? Is it the purpose of reaching the higher God? Or is it the purpose of more material wealth and power.
We should be clear in the mind what we want ultimately. In these shlokas Lord Krishna is taking the metaphors of worshipping various Gods to show what purpose we worship in mind. God is equated with purpose here. The purpose of worshipping supreme God is liberation. So better we worship the supreme God.
Chapter 9, Verse 26
This is a very famous shloka of Geetha.IN this Lord Krishna says he does not want any rich offerings like gold, silver or money. All he needs is a leaf or a flower. The only conditionality he set is, the offering should be given with a pure loving heart. The deeper meaning, I feel, is that we cannot satisfy God by money. He can be satisfied only by Love. He can see our inside with what motivation we are offering him. we can see that unless we perfect the work (either in the office or home) with the bare minimum, the addition of costly gadgets will not improve the work. We need to be better at our motivations first then all additions can be added to increase the motivation.
In the same way in this shloka, Lord Krishna is asking his devotees what’s your motivation? Is it liberation or material gain
Chapter 9, Verse 27
This is a very powerful shloka. Read in conjunction with the earlier shloka gives the full meaning. Here in this shloka, God is asking the devotee to offer whatever he is doing to the God. It literally means whatever a person is doing is not doing for himself, but for the God. If we start living our life like this 99.999% of the things get sorted out.
It works like this, God gives us energy to live (the energy of the universe converted into food and prana) and time. Now in return, God is asking whatever energy the person spends in the form of activities in the time span of life of the person should be dedicated to him.
In this way whatever action, a person is doing is for the God. If a person is doing exercises it is not for the person to be fit but if the person is fit then he can do better activities and serve God well. In this way, if we keep balancing the energy and time given to us, we can definitely reach God one day.
Chapter 9, Verse 28
The reason why all work should be offered to God is given here. If all the results of work are offered to God(the results may be good or bad) then the person doing the work is just an actor in the whole thing and the benefactor of the work is the God. The person will work on a issue without his personal ego coming in-between and all will be for the benefit of the God. In such a case what will be the goal of a person? The goal of a person has to be liberation. He has to be liberated with the help of Viaragya and renunciation. He should renunciate the works in favor of God. Which means he should not do the work for himself but should do the work for God.
Chapter 9, Verse 30
Here God affirms the statement that there are no friends and foes to him. He is equally available to every one. Only those seeking him will know him. They are in fact present in him and they will realize slowly and slowly about this fact.
Chapter 9, Verse 31
Actually, for a person who has committed sins in the past, the past keeps haunting him. Whether he will be able to come clear of his past, this question will stop his progress forward on the path of bhakti. Lord Krishna says that in fact asks Arjuna to makes an affirmation that even people who have done unrighteous deeds in the past, if they choose the path of God will reach him, provided they make bhakti as a 24* 7.
Chapter 9, Verse 32
Here in this shloka lord, Krishna makes a declaration that, even if people born in any circumstances, if they want to reach him, they can reach him. The only requirement is they have to do all activities with the lord in mind and not for personal benefit.
Here in this shloka again Lord Krishna is saying that people should use their free will to reach god or achieve excellence. They should not be influenced by their situations but by their resolve. Whatever the circumstances are a person should not change as per his circumstances. Instead, he has to create his future by having a firm resolve in what he wants to achieve.
Chapter 9, Verse 33
This is a very powerful shloka. Here Lord Krishna says, people committing sins in their past are assured of reaching the God if they resolve to achieve him and make the effort. People in good positions reached those positions because of good deeds are done in the past. So they should be more assured of reaching the God and should not be in doubt, whether they can reach god or not. God has made their life comfortable and gave them all the materials they need in life to lead a life of comfort. They need not worry about basic needs of human beings like food and housing. Such people should render their deeds in the thoughts of God.
Chapter 9, Verse 34
Lord Krishna concludes this chapter on Bhakti by saying that people should worship him, shower their devotion to him with their mind and body. God should be the mover of their minds, whatever actions they need to do, they should do so with God in mind.