Chapter Seven: 1-2
The blessed Lord said: Oh Arjuna,
hear how you shall without doubt know me fully, with the
mind intent on me, practicing yoga and taking refuge in
I shall declare to thee in full this knowledge combined with direct realization, after knowing which nothing more here remains to be known.
CommentaryThe scriptures are full of knowledge and wisdom garnered from direct, intuitive, inner experience. The masters can impart knowledge to you and lead you to the threshold of the highest experience, saving you from pitfalls and inspiring you at every step. However, the great sage Vasishta says: "Enlightenment is not reached by resorting to a teacher or a teaching; but it is not had without them." The teacher and the teaching act as catalysts, their purpose is unknown. They are necessary, but not to be dependent upon.
We ourselves should be intent on God-realization, on the practice of yoga. We shall have to equip ourselves with the four means to salvation: discrimination, dispassion, virtues conducive to tranquility of the mind and an intense yearning for God.
Knowledge of God is beyond the mind and intellect. It must be devoutly and lovingly received by the heart. This wisdom is not something which can be gained merely by studying or listening to discourses. It is not in words, nor in concepts. But, unless the mind is calm and the intellect open, that knowledge cannot gain admission into the inner chambers of our being. And unless the heart is pure, free from passions, attractions, selfishness and worldly pursuits, it will not receive the knowledge. Only the pure heart is "intent on God."
How are we to ensure these receptive conditions? There is only one aid here - satsang or constant association with the wise, the devout and other spiritual seekers. Study of their works also constitutes satsang. Frequent gatherings to talk about God and yoga, to contemplate the nature of the world and life, to meditate upon God and thus to acquire a reassessment of values, are a great help, too. However, these must awaken us from our slumber of ignorance, keeping us vigilantly watchful of the mind and aware of the sorrow that thought-process is.
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