The Deity said:
O son of Pṛthā! now hear how you can without doubt know me fully, fixing your mind on me, and resting in me, and practising devotion. I will now tell you exhaustively about knowledge together with experience; that being known, there is nothing further left in this world to know. Among thousands of men, only some work for perfection; and even of those who have reached perfection, and who are assiduous, only some know me truly. Earth, water, fire, air, space, mind, understanding, and egoism, thus is my nature divided eightfold. But this is a lower (form of my) nature. Know (that there is) another (form of my) nature, and higher than this, which is animate, O you of mighty arms! and by which this universe is upheld. Know that all things have these (for their) source. I am the producer and the destroyer of the whole universe. There is nothing else, O Dhanañjaya! higher than myself; all this is woven upon me, like numbers of pearls upon a thread. I am the taste in water, O son of Kuntī! I am the light of the sun and moon. I am 'Om' in all the Vedas, sound in space, and manliness in human beings; I am the fragrant smell in the earth, refulgence in the fire; I am life in all beings, and penance in those who perform penance. Know me, O son of Pṛthā! to be the eternal seed of all beings; I am the discernment of the discerning ones, and I the glory of the glorious. I am also the strength, unaccompanied by fondness or desire, of the strong. And, O chief of the descendants of Bharata! I am love unopposed to piety among all beings. And all entities which are of the quality of goodness, and those which are of the quality of passion and of darkness, know that they are, indeed, all from me; I am not in them, but they are in me. The whole universe deluded by these three states of mind, developed from the qualities, does not know me, who am beyond them and inexhaustible; for this delusion of mine, developed from the qualities, is divine and difficult to transcend. Those cross beyond this delusion who resort to me alone. Wicked men, doers of evil (acts), who are deluded, who are deprived of their knowledge by (this) delusion, and who incline to the demoniac state of mind, do not resort to me. But, O Arjuna! doers of good (acts) of four classes worship me: one who is distressed, one who is seeking after knowledge, one who wants wealth, and one, O chief of the descendants of Bharata! who is possessed of knowledge. Of these, he who is possessed of knowledge, who is always devoted, and whose worship is (addressed) to one (Being) only, is esteemed highest. For to the man of knowledge I am dear above all things, and he is dear to me. All these are noble. But the man possessed of knowledge is deemed by me to be my own self. For he with (his) self devoted to abstraction, has taken to me as the goal than which there is nothing higher. At the end of many lives, the man possessed of knowledge approaches me, (believing) that Vāsudeva is everything. Such a high-souled man is very hard to find. Those who are deprived of knowledge by various desires approach other divinities, observing various regulations, and controlled by their own natures. Whichever form (of deity) any worshipper wishes to worship with faith, to that form I render his faith steady. Possessed Of that faith, he seeks to propitiate (the deity in) that (form), and obtains from it those beneficial things which he desires, (though they are) really given by me. But the fruit thus (obtained) by them, who have little judgment, is perishable. Those who worship the divinities go to the divinities, and my worshippers, too, go to me. The undiscerning ones, not knowing my transcendent and inexhaustible essence, than which there is nothing higher, think me, who am unperceived, to have become perceptible. Surrounded by the delusion of my mystic power, I am not manifest to all. This deluded world knows not me unborn and inexhaustible. I know, O Arjuna! the things which have been, those which are, and those which are to be. But me nobody knows. All beings, O terror of (your) foes! are deluded at the time of birth by the delusion, O descendant of Bharata! caused by the pairs of opposites arising from desire and aversion. But the men of meritorious actions, whose sins have terminated, worship me, being released from the delusion (caused) by the pairs of opposites, and being firm in their beliefs. Those who, resting on me, work for release from old age and death, know the Brahman, the whole Adhyātma, and all action. And those who know me with the Adhibhūta, the Adhidaiva, and the Adhiyajña, having minds devoted to abstraction, know me at the time of departure (from this world).
Footnotes and references:
'Some one' in the original.
I. e. knowledge of the self. Śaṅkara says, as to the next clause, that those even who work for final emancipation must be deemed to have 'reached perfection.'
This accords with the Sāṅkhya philosophy. See chapter I. sutra 61 of the current aphorisms.
Cf. infra, p. 105.
Cf. Mundakopaniṣad, p. 298.
Infra, p. 79. Cf. Goldstücker's Remains, I, 14, 122; Yoga-sūtras I, 27.
I. e. the occult essence which underlies all these and the other qualities of the various things mentioned.
I. e. power to bear the pairs of opposites.
Glory here seems to mean dignity, greatness.
Desire is the wish to obtain new things; fondness is the anxiety to retain what has been obtained. The strength here spoken of, therefore, is that which is applied to the performance of one's own duties only.
I. e. indulged within the bounds allowed by the rules of the Śāstras, namely, for the procreation of sons &c. only.
They do not dominate over me, I rule them.
Infra, p. 115.
Fasts and so forth.
Which are the result of the actions done in previous lives.
And the divinities are not eternal, so the fruit obtained is ephemeral.
The ignorant do not know the real divinity of Viṣṇu, thinking him to be no higher than as he is seen in the human form. This gives them an inadequate notion of the purity and eternity of the happiness to be obtained by worshipping him; cf. infra, p. 83.
The veil surrounding me is created by my mysterious power, and that everybody cannot pierce through; cf. Kaṭha, p. 117.
Concerning the supreme principle and the mode of worshipping it.
Cf. infra, p. 109.
See the next chapter.