|The subject matter of this chapter is the Yoga of Jnana and Vijnana.
This chapter describes the eternal indestructible and super-illusory (metaphysical) Self-existence of the Supreme. Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intellect and ego- these eight are His ‘Apara’ (lower) Nature. Above it is His ‘Para’ (higher) Nature which sustains the whole universe and which is or in the form of ‘Jeeva’ (life-element or individual soul) or conscious. All beings evolve from this twin Nature of the Supreme. God is the source of all evolution and dissolution of the whole creation and the creation is threaded in Him. God is the sapidity in water, radiance in the sun, moon and fire. ‘Om’ in all the Vedas, sound in ether, manliness in man, odour in the earth, life in all beings, austerity in ascetics, sharpness of intelligence of the intellectual, brilliancy of the brilliant, passion-free might of the mighty and the Passion unconflicting with religious commandments in beings.
All qualities springing from Sattva (the quality of goodness), Rajasa (the principle of activity) and Tamasa (the principle of inertia) evolve from the Supreme. All exist in Him but He is not in them. That is to say, He is not dependent on them. He is quite detached from those qualities but they exist due to Him. The worldly people are deluded by the three Gunas (three qualities of Nature viz, Sattva, Raja and Tama). Due to this reason, they cannot recognize the Imperishable Supreme Who is beyond these qualities. It is very difficult to get over the Maya (illusion) consisting of three qualities. But, he who takes refuge in him, crosses it. And he who does not take refuge in God is of demoniac nature, foolish, sinful and evil-doer. The ‘Maya’ divests him of his wisdom. There are four classes of devotees-Jnani (the wise), Jijnasu (the seeker for knowledge), Arta (the suffering) and Artharthi (the seeker of earthly glories). They are all upright and righteous. Of these, the best is the wise who is dearest to God. All these devotees are noble but the wise is His very own soul. Because this yogi of exclusive devotion and highest wisdom knows that no goal is higher than that of attainment of the Supreme. Such devotees attain the Supreme at the end of several births. Such devotees of wisdom who realize thet all this is Vasudeo (God) are rare. Those, whose wisdom has been swept away by various desires, take refuge in other gods than the Supreme. Those with scanty knowledge, gain perishable fruit. Worshippers of gods attain gods, so the worshippers of evil spirits attain evil spirits, whereas the adorers of the Supreme realize the Supreme and attain imperishable and peace-giving happiness of the Supreme for ever. The Supreme and essential existence of the Supreme is super-sensuous unequalled and imperishable. The ignorant think Him as realizable through senses. The Supreme is not manifest to all as He is enveloped in His own Yoga-Maya (illusion). The ignorant worldly people do not recognize Him well, Who is unborn and imperishable. It seems sensible to mention at the end of this chapter of ‘Jnana’ and ‘Vijnana‘ that the ‘Jnana‘ implies the sense of prevasiveness of the Supreme whereas ‘Vijnana’ denotes the sense of all being Supreme (such as an ornament is all metal). The Lord has made Himself know in such words as ‘Mayi’ (in Me), ‘Mattaha’ (by Me), Aham (I), Asmi (Am), Mam (to Me) and Muma (mine) and has described Himself as Unborn, Imperishable and Super-sensuous.
There are the slokas from the 2nd chaper, ‘skandha’ 10 of the Shrimadbhagawata —
"The Lord makes his devotees fearless. He is everywhere and in every form. He has not to move anywhere. So He appeared with all his effulgence in the mind of Vasudeoji (16). In spite of His presence in him, He made Himself manifest from unmanifest. Because of owing the celestial light of the Lord, Vasudeoji became so much radiant like that of the sun that people's eyes dazzled to see him. None could surpass him with his speech, power and influence. That quantity of Lord's effulgence (magnetism) which is very beneficient for the universe, was owned by goddess Devaki in the form of pregnancy through the sacred and celestial will of Shri Vasudeoji. As the east is illumined and beautiful by the moon, so blessed with the possession of sacred and celestial element goddess Devaki owned the Lord with pure heart Who is the Universal soul and Self-existent. God is the abode of the whole universe. Goddess Devaki became even His abode. But as the superior learning of an uncultured and indiscriminate soul does not spread in all sides and as it is limited to himself and as the light of the lamp closed in a jar does not spread out so also the glory of goddess Devaki caged in the prison of Kansa, did not shine."
"The moment for Lord Krishna's incarnation fixed to be dead of night. The darkness prevailed all around. At that hour, Lord Vishnu incarnated Himself from the womb of goddess Devaki (these slokas clearly explain Lord's — Lord Vishnu's — birth)."
[Extracted from Shrimadbhagawata, skandha- 10, chapter 3]
"As one drives one nail out with the other and throws them away together, so Lord Krishna relinquished His earthly body of the Yadava clan, through which He had lightened the burden of the earth (34)".
"As He, like an actor, takes the from of fish etc. and relinquishes it, so also He relinquished His body of the Yadava clan through which He had lightened the burden of the earth.(35)" [Extracted from Shrimadbhagawata, skandha- 1, chapter 15]
The following slokas too from Moosala Parva of Mahabharata refer to His relinquishing physical body and its cremation.
"Arjuna discovered the dead bodies of Vasudeoji (Lord Krishna) and Baldeoji and got them cremated through holy men (the upright and righteous men)."
"Arjuna spoke that Shri Krishna, the luster of whose body was like cloud and both eyes as large lotus-leaves, has gone to the world of gods along with Balrama."
Again, as in the sloka 6, chapter 31, skandha 11 of the Shrimadbhagawata —
"The holy form of Lord Krishna is the blissful basis for meditation and fixation of mind of the devotees and the extremely beautiful abode for all the world, so He did not let it burn into ashes with the yoga-strength concerning fire-god etc. and departed to His own divine world in the same physical form."
This indicates that Lord Krishna had departed to His own divine world in the same physical form. Since the fact of Lord Krishna's leaving His body is stated in Srimadbhagawata which tallies with that in the Mahabharata, so I am inclined to belive only in the fact of His death and cremation by Arjuna. How can it be supported that His body (physical body) was beyond the reach of senses while the people of His time touched His body well and saw the end of it. So it is irrational and only a blind faith as well to support His body as unborn, formless and super-sensuous. It is, however, rational to suppose the Supreme pervaded that and possessing of these said qualities. So, I have described, the unborn, unmanifest and super-sensuous existence of Lord Krishna as the Supreme at the appropriate places.
The commentator has made confusion in course of explaining the ‘Bala-Leela’ (sports and activities of childhood of Lord Krishna in the foot-notes, discussing sloka-31, chapter 107 of the tenth skandha in the Srimadbhagawata published from Gita Press, Gorakhpur (U.P.).
The commentator has written —"While contemplating on the sports and activities (Leela) of Lord Krishna this should be borne in mind that the ‘Leela dhama’ (abode for His celestial sports), ‘Leela patra’ (the characters in His sports), ‘Leela sharira’ (the celestial body through which He indulges in sports) and His ‘Leela’ (sports and activities) can never be material. There does not exist any distinction of ‘deha and dehi’ (body and the dweller in the body, i.e. soul).
The Mahabharata says —
"Lord Krishna's body does not consist of elemental objects. The man who takes the body of Lord Krishna as material is worth prohibiting from all ritualistic activities, that is to say, he should have no right to make sacrifices in the rituals. Not only this, one, who sees such man's face, should purge himself by bathing along with his clothes on".
This only is the mistake of the people who preach idolatory to be the only means of salvation. Lord Krishna took birth, played sports of the childhood (as to breaking up of the curd pots, stealing away butter, hiding clothes and garments etc.) in His childhood. These activities were material, which is perceptible with the naked eyes. If these were not so, they would not have been subject to perception by the people. Because unmaterial objects are impossible to be reached through senses, Lord Krishna Himself stressed the distinction between the body and the dweller in the body.
"The dweller i.e. soul in all the bodies is eternal and cannot be killed." (Sloka 30, chapter-2).
While drawing a distinction in the 13th chapter of the Gita between the body and the dweller in the body, He has described His body as body-field and Himself, the dweller in the body-field as the Knower of it.
The commentator has not taken pains to adduce evidence from the authoritative spiritual texts that sportive activities of Lord Krishna were not material and that there was no distinction in Him between the body and the dweller in the body. Whatever extract he has made from the Mahabharata do not apply well ever to his own logic. Further he has not taken pains to point out clearly as to where and in what context has this matter come up. The people of His time saw and touched Lord Krishna. Was He worth such as people who saw Him did take bath with their worn clothes on?
From the slokas 34, 35, chapter-15, skandha-1 of the Srimadbhagawata it is gathered that the earth had become full of sinners long before Lord Shri Krishna's time and they were like great weight upon the earth. They were like thorns to the upright people of the time. It was very necessary to throw out this thorn which was like a dead weight. Lord Vishnu had incarnated Himself in the Yadava clan for the sake of driving out it away. Therefore His body of this life was of Yadava clan only. That body, too, was such a thorn through which he took out the thorn that was lying in the form of the weight upon the earth and in turn also threw away the thorn in the form of removing His self imposed body of the Yadava clan. In His eyes both thorns — the thorn, in the form of the weight upon the earth and the thorn in the form of His earthly body of the Yadava clan, through which He took out the former, were alike. He took the body of the Yadava clan and gave it up in the same way as an actor takes and gives up the form of the fish etc. this earthly body of the Yadava clan was perceptible.
From the slokas 10 to 19 of the chapter 11, skandha 10 as also sloka 8, chapter 8 of this skandha of the Srimadbhagawata it is evident that through Vaasudeo (Superior among Yadava and the father of Lord Krishna), Devaki (the mother of Lord Krishna) conceived Him. And Lord took His incarnation from the womb of His mother Devaki, that is, He took birth. In this way, there does not appear anything unnatural in His birth. The sum of the matter is that His birth was natural. The sum of the matter is that His birth was natural. To conceive, to stay for some period in pregnancy and to come out from the womb or to take birth are of course quite natural (material) things. There is absolutely nothing unnatural (unmaterial) in it. It has been stated in sloka 31 and sloka 8 of the chapter 7 and 8 respectively in the Moosala Parva of the Mahabharata that Lord Krishna relinquished His physical body and which Arjuna got cremated by the holy persons. How can it be believed that those matters relate to the unmaterial body. It is contrary to reason to accept the unmaterial thing as the object of sense-perception. Vyasdeo is accepted as the author of both the Mahabharata and the Srimadbhagawata. Has his statement of the body of Lord as thorn and having been cremated, made of the unmaterial body? Is it for such body which is super-sensible? This can never be possible. It is said that he, who sees the man who regards human body of Lord Krishna as material, should purge himself by bath with all clothes on, them by implication, Vyasdeoji should be an object of disrespect, of which he was not. The statement in the Srimadbhagawata and Mahabharata which has been made to regard Lord Krishna's perceptible body unmaterial, is the commentator's opinion, not of Vyasdeoji's.
The Lord says in this very chapter of the Gita (which is only a fragment-part of the Mahabharata) —
"The ignorant, knowing not My absolute indestructible, unsurpassable existenee beyond the reach of senses, think Me as perceptible through senses."
This indicates that His supreme form is only His unmanifest form (not perceptible through senses). It is for the ignorant to think Him as manifest only. The Manifest form cannot be accepted as unmaterial or beyond material. Nowhere in the Srimadbhagawadgita is this to be found that there is no distinction between His body-field and the dweller in the body-field. This kind of thinking is contray to reason. The sloka 2, chapter 13 of the Srimadbhagawadgita says —
"O Bharata (Arjuna)! Know Me as the ‘Kshetrajna’ (Jivatma- knower of the body-field) in all the Kshetras (body-field)."
My opinion is that only that knowledge is knowledge that makes distinction between ‘Kshetra’ and ‘Kshetrajna’ (M.K.Gandhi). But, here, Lord does not say that His ‘Kshetra’ (body) and He, living in all the ‘Kshetras’ are one and the same, Still some try to have the people believe in this kind of indistinction which is undesirable.