Gita Daily Readings

4th June
Chapter VII: 14-15
Verily, this divine illusion of mine, made up of the three qualities of nature is difficult to cross over; those who take refuge in me alone, cross over this illusion.

The evildoers, the deluded and the lowest often do not seek me; they whose knowledge is destroyed by illusion follow the ways of demons.

Commentary

Maya is regarded as an illusion, and illusion is such only to one who regards that illusion as the reality. A careful study of these two stanzas reveals to us several great truths. Evildoers are so because they are deluded and their knowledge is destroyed by this illusion. But their own reality cannot be destroyed by this or even by the worst sin or evil, as Krishna never tires of repeating. Sin is only a product of delusion demanding nothing sensational or spectacular to remove it. We must awaken ourselves to the fact that as long as we are in the grip of the delusion of the three modes of nature, the gunas, we shall go on erring. The fact that people are different and that stupidity, dynamism or piety prevail in this universe, is divine nature manifesting in a particular form. The arising of this vision enables us to cross this illusion.

Nature is God's nature; and the gunas are modes of his nature. Yet, they have the power to delude us. Smoke is born of fire; yet, when it enters our eyes, it can compel us to close them against the light of fire. Tamas - inertia or stupidity - is a quality that effectively prevents us from even perceiving the truth about nature.

This illusory power is divine and hence outside the pale of rationalization. It is like the "liquid that will dissolve everything" - where can it be stored? The human intelligence itself is a reflection of spirit in matter, part of this illusion. Knowledge of the reality will dissolve all illusion, including the rationalizing power of the intellect! This knowledge is not intellectual but intuitive, immediate experience, obtainable only by total self-surrender and relentless quest.

Hence, the Kathopanishad warns us: "Arise, awake, resort to the Master and learn. The path is like the razor's edge, difficult to perceive and to tread."

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