The God Song — Chapter VII: Knowledge illumined

Out of his infinite Bounty Sri Krishna tells his beloved disciple that he will give him all that he has and all that he is: Infinity and Eternity. He expects only two things from the disciple in return: Yoga and dependence. We may call this dependence devoted surrender which is the indivisible oneness of the finite with the Infinite. To know Sri Krishna is to know the Knowledge Supreme. To realise Sri Krishna is to realise the life of everything in essence.
"Manushyanam sahasresu... — “Among thousands of men scarcely one strives for spiritual perfection and of those who strive and succeed scarcely one knows me in essence.”"

It seems that the 3rd verse is throwing cold water on the seeker. But Krishna’s intention is anything but that. Krishna is not only all-Wisdom, but also all-Compassion. He wants to tell the truth that actually takes place in the spiritual marathon race.<a href="#fnjxde" id="fnrefjxde">1</a>

Not for him the Knowledge Supreme, to be sure, who owns childish curiosity, shallow enthusiasm, weak determination, flickering devotion and conditional surrender. Any of these undivine qualities will, without fail, fail the inner runner.

The sixth and the seventh verse describe the relation that exists between Sri Krishna and the universe. “I am the beginning and the end of the universe. I am the Source of creation and I am the place of Dissolution. Beyond me, nothing there is. All this is threaded upon Me as pearls on a string.”

When we concentrate on ‘all this is woven unto Me like gems into a necklace’, we immediately vision the peerless poet Krishna.

Three qualities of nature: Sattva, Rajas, Tamas — Harmony, activity and inactivity. Sri Krishna says that these three qualities are from Him, in Him, but He is not in them.

Sattva:

Sattva is the chief of the qualities of nature. It embodies harmony. Let us know the existence of harmony in relation to the universe. To quote Dryden:

"“From harmony, from heavenly harmony
This universal Frame began:
From harmony to harmony
Through all the compass of the notes it ran,
The diapason closing full in Man.”"

The possessor of the Sattvic quality has undoubtedly a heart of gold. He knows that his life has a significance of its own. His breath is pure. His patience is luminous. Unparalleled is his fortitude. Infallible is his certainty.

Rajas:

Rajas is the second quality. A man with the rajasic quality is always filled with dynamic passion. He wants to possess the world. He wants to rule the world. He has practically no time to enter into the world of inner Illumination. His life cherishes just two things: Fight and conquest. He has the possibility either to be a divine warrior or to be a warrior of stark Falsehood. He has the strength to build a temple of Truth. He has also the strength to break and destroy it. Unfortunately he often breaks and destroys the temple owing to this unlit vision and the mad elephant in him.

Tamas:

Tamas is the third quality. It is sloth, darkness, ignorance, sin and death. It is also the worldly delusion and the deluding illusion. Sattva is the soul with clear vision. Rajas is either the fruitful or fruitless life. Tamas is the dance of death.

Sattva manifests itself through the aspiring light.
Rajas manifests itself through the desiring might.
Tamas manifests itself through the darkening night.

A man of virtue wants to live the truth.
A man of action wants to enjoy the world.
A man of inactivity enjoys nothing. On the contrary, he is enjoyed constantly by darkness, ignorance and death.

A man of virtue has a friend: aspiration.
A man of activity has a friend: inspiration.
A man of inactivity has a friend: delusion.

A man of virtue tries to live in the truth of the present, past and future.
A man of action wants to live in the glorious present. He does not care much for the future.
A man of inactivity does not live in the proper sense of the term. He sleeps. His days and nights are made of lightless sleep.

The first one wants to transcend himself soulfully. The second one wants to expand himself forcefully. The third one destroys himself unconsciously.

Those who follow the inner path have four distinct roles to play.

Arta, the depressed, the afflicted. Life is a bed of thorns. He has realised this truth and cries for life’s transformation. He wants to possess a bed of roses. Pain is his painful possession. He can successfully sing with Francis Thomson:

"“Nothing begins and nothing ends,
That is not paid with moan;
For we are born in other’s pain,
And perish in our own.”"

Jignasu, the seeker, the enquirer. What he wants is knowledge. Knowledge tells us why a man suffers. Further, since knowledge embodies power, it transforms the breath of suffering into the breath of seeing and kindling knowledge.

Artharthi, the seeker of true wealth, the Truth absolute. He has no sorrow. He has no earthly desire. He wants to live in perpetual freedom, liberation.

Jnani, the wise. He who is wise knows that the Supreme is everywhere and the Kingdom of Heaven is within him. He lives in the Supreme. His life is the life of oneness with the Supreme. His world is the world of true fulfilment. Thickest is the intimacy between him and the Supreme.

Sri Krishna continues: ‘Noble and good are they all, but I hold the wise, the enlightened as my chosen soul and my own Self; fully united, absolutely one we are. When his life has played its role, when the hour of silence knocks at his door, I place him in my Heart where the Breath of Eternal Life grows.’


  1. 573,3. Original read "He wants to tell the true that actually takes place..