[Initiation of Arjuna by Sri Krishna into Yoga and Jnana]
English Translation and Notes by B. K. Laheri, F.T.S.
Published by Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, Madras, India
ARJUNA, after the successful issue of the battle of Kuruksetra, amidst the pleasures of rank, riches, and prosperity, had forgotten the priceless instructions imparted to him by Sri Krishna, on the eve of that memorable battle. He now asks Kesava again to propound to him the secrets of the Brahma-jnana.
1, 2 & 3.
O Kesava, [ Kesava means the manifested Logos, the union of Visnu, Brahma and Mahesvara, or the combined Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas Gunas. The word “Kesava” is from Ka-isa-va] tell me the knowledge of that Brahman that is One, and without its like and rival, without Upadhi (attributes) beyond the Akasa, source of all purity, that which cannot be approached by argument, or reached by conception, the unknowable and the unknown, and that which is absolutely free from births and deaths. O Kesava, impart to me the knowledge of that which is Absolute, the only above ode Eternal Peace and Purity, the Instrumental (Nimitta) and Material (Upadana) cause of the Universe, though itself causeless and free from all connection. Tell me, O Kesava, the knowledge of that which dwells in every heart, and that which combines the fact of knowledge and the thing knowable in Itself.
SRI BHAGAVAN SAID:
4. O thou long-armed one, thou who art the crest-jewel of the Pandu dynasty, O Arjuna, thou art most intelligent, because thou hast asked me a question which is at once most sublime and magnificent – to attain the knowledge of the boundless Tattvas. Hear, therefore, O Arjuna, attentively what I wish to say on the matter.
5. He is called Brahman, who, devoid of all desires, and by the process of Yoga, sits in that state of meditation in which he assimilates his own Self-mantra (Pranava or Aum) with the Hamsa (Paramatma).
6. For the human being, the attainment of the state of Hamsa (I am He), within his own limits, is considered the highest jnana. That which remains merely a passive witness between the Hamsa and Non-Hamsa, i.e., the Paramatman and the destructible portion of the human being, is the Aksara Purusa in the form of Kutasha-Caitanya (Atma-Buddhi). When the knower finds and sees this Akara Purusa in him, he is saved from all future troubles of birth and death in this world.
7. The word “Kakin” is the compound of ka + aka + in. The first syllable Ka means happiness, the second Aka means misery, and the third In denotes possessing: therefore one that possesses happiness and misery – the Jiva – is called “Kakin”. Again the vowel a at the end of the syllable Ka is the conscious manifestation of Mula-Prakrti or the Jiva form of the Brahman; therefore when this a disappears, there remains only the K, which is the One great indivisible Bliss – Brahman.
8. He who is always able to retain his life-breath (Pranavayu) within himself, both at the time of walking and rest, can extend the period of his life over a thousand years.
9. Conceive so much of the manifested Akasa (sky) as can be brought within the range of one’s own mental view, as one undivided Brahman then merge the Atman into it, and it, into your own self; this done, i.e., when the Atman is made one with the Akasa, think of nothing else – as moon, stars, etc. – in the sky. [ This is the Nirvikalpa Samadhi – the subjective concentration of the mind, in which both the mind and life-breath become still like a flame without air.
There are two well-known processes of practising Yoga: viz., to concentrate the mind (a) at the point where the nose ends, and (b) where the root of the nose begins. The result in both cases is the same as are the further processes of practice, but in either case the instruction of a Guru is necessary, otherwise it is absolutely impossible to succeed. ]
10. Such a seeker of Brahman, after fixing his mind as aforesaid, and shutting himself out of all objective knowledge (Ajnana), should hold fast the support of unchangeable Jnana, and think of the One Indivisible Brahman in the inner and outer Akasa, that exists at the end of the nose, and into which the life-breath merges.
11. Freed from both nostrils where the life-breath disappears, there (i.e., in the heart) fix thy mind, O Partha, [ another name of Arjuna. ] and meditate upon the All-Supreme Isvara.
12. Think of the Siva, there, as devoid of all conditions of life, pure but without lustre (Prabha), mindless, Buddhi-less.
13. The signs of Samadhi are the negation of all positive conditions of life and the complete enthralment or subjugation of all objective thoughts.
14. Although the body of the meditator may now and hen become somewhat unsteady at the time of meditation, yet he is to consider that the Paramatma is immovable. This is the sign of the Samadhi.
15. He that considers the Paramatman as without Matra, i.e., neither short nor long in metre, soundless, unconnected with vowels, and beyond the Bindu, (Point) i.e., Anusvara, (which produces a nasal sound), beyond the Nada, i.e., the voice that rises from the throat, etc., and beyond the Kalas, i.e., the different phases of this sound, is the real knower of the Vedas.
16. He that has acquired Vijnana, (the Supreme Knowledge) by the aid of Jnana, i.e.., the knowledge derived from books of Philosophy and instruction from a Guru, and has learned to place the object of this knowledge in his heart, and he that has acquired peace of mind, such a person requires no Yoga for further practice, and no meditation for further conception.