A Study of the Bhagavadgita
by Swami Krishnananda

Chapter 11: Beholding God as He Beholds Himself

The Lord made a reference to certain items which stimulated the mind of Arjuna, on account of which he raised certain questions. The concluding verses of the Seventh Chapter are as follows: jarāmaraṇamokṣāya mām āśritya yatanti ye, te brahma tad viduḥ kṛtsnam adhyātmaṁ karma cākhilam (Gita 7.29); sādhibhūtādhidaivaṁ māṁ sādhiyaj–aṁ ca ye viduḥ, prayāṇakālepi ca māṁ te vidur yuktacetasaḥ (Gita 7.30).

The words are jarāmaraṇamokṣāya: for freedom from old age and death; mām āśritya yatanti ye: whoever puts forth effort depending on Me as their final refuge; te brahma tad viduḥ kṛtsnam: they know the Absolute's real nature; adhyātmaṁ karma cākhilam: they also know what adhyatma is, and what karma is; sādhibhūtādhidaivaṁ māṁ sādhiyaj–aṁ ca ye viduḥ: they know Me as adhibhuta, adhiyajna, and then they remember Me at the time of passing.

Seven items were mentioned here, but they were only words without any explanation. Immediately Arjuna raised questions: "What are these things that you are talking about: Brahma, adhyatma, adhibhuta, adhiyajna, karma? What are all these things?"

The answers to these questions which occur at the beginning of the Eighth Chapter comprise the whole of the chapter. Arjuna asks: Kiṁ tad brahma (Gita 8.1): What do you mean by Brahma? Kim adhyātmaṁ: What is Atman? Kiṁ karma: What is karma? Adhibhūtaṁ ca kiṁ proktam: What do you mean by adhibhuta? Adhidaivaṁ kim ucyate: What is the meaning of adhidaiva? Adhiyaj–aḥ kathaṁ kotra (Gita 8.2): Adhiyajna is also to be explained. What is the meaning of it? Prayāṇakāle ca: At the time of passing from this world; kathaṁ j–eyosi: how are we to remember You? There are seven questions. Mostly the answers are brief, though the answer to the last point as to the process of departure from this world is a little detailed.

"What is Brahma?" was one question of Arjuna. Akṣaraṁ brahma paramaṁ (Gita 8.3): The Imperishable Reality is called Brahman. By a study of the chapters of the Gita from the First until the Seventh, we have gathered some idea as to what this imperishably is: the spaceless and timeless Absolute Being is called Imperishable Brahman. Svabhāvodhyātmam ucyate: Adhyatma is individual nature. Your own basic characteristic of personality may be regarded as adhyatma in its total signification.

Bhūtabhāvodbhavakaro visargaḥ karmasaṁj–itaḥ: What is karma? Generally we understand karma to be some action that we perform, any action that produces some result, fruit, or reaction. The energy that is the cause of the manifestation of beings is called karma, according to this definition in the half verse. Bhūta bhāva udbhava: that which causes the emanation of all beings right from the time the Creative Will started operating in the direction of the manifestation of categories. Ishvara willed, Hiranyagarbha willed, Virat willed. All these wills of the cosmic manifestation engender further evolution in the process of creation, and individuals of various species are born. Every living being, everything that can be called organic or inorganic is a manifestation of this original will which is the first karma, the primary act of God Himself. Therefore, karma in the sense of action or an act has a cosmical significance, as well as an individual purport. Cosmically it is the will of God Himself. Individually it is whatever one does. So briefly, karma means 'that which produces effects' – either in the form of beings in the case of cosmic evolution, or in the form of a result of an action, or even a reaction of an action, as in the case of ordinary individuals.

Adhibhūtaṁ kṣaro bhāvaḥ (Gita 8.4): Anything that is perishable and does not last for long can be regarded as adhibhuta prapancha, the objective world. The world of objects is adhibhuta, and it is characterised as perishable because everything is changing in this world. All things constituted of matter, and anything that is an embodiment, is perishable in its nature. Nothing lasts if it is physically, materially embodied.

Puruṣaś cādhidaivatam: adhidaiva is the transcendent divinity. I need not go into detail of explaining what adhidaiva is because you have already studied the cosmological doctrine of the Sankhya. In this context we came across this term adhidaiva, the transcendent Purusha, we may say: consciousness which is divinity that is present immanently both in the subjective side and also in the objective side, and yet remains transcendent to both the subject and the object.

Adhiyaj–oham evātra: God pervading all things is the adhiyajna. That which motivates any kind of performance whatsoever is actually the action of God which is cast in the mould of individual sense of agency. Your doership, which is the cause of the performance of anything in this world, is actually a motivation come from the Supreme Being, as is told in great hymns such as the Purusha Sukta of the Veda. All events of history, all processes of nature, and all actions of individuals are motivated by the Cosmic Being, and in that sense you may say that God does everything. Yet, it looks as if many people do many things on account of the fact the original will of the Cosmic Being passes through the individual egoism or the personality structure of people, who wrongly consider this universal motivation as their own individual initiative. Therefore, we feel that we are doing something while actually we are used as an instrument by the Universal Force.

Antakāle ca mām eva smaran muktvā kalevaram, yaḥ prayāti sa madbhāvaṁ yāti nāsty atra saṁśayaḥ (Gita 8.5). This last question is taken up for detailed explanation in the whole of the Eighth Chapter, while the other questions were briefly answered in a few words. Whenever the time comes for a human being to depart from this world, that particular context of the time of passing decides the nature of rebirth, the kind of embodiment into which the soul will enter in the region to which it will gravitate on account of its own present karmas.

The karma theory is very complex. The Lord Himself tells us the nature of karma is hidden so secretly that its operations are not easy to understand because on the one hand, action seems to be connected with the individual initiative because it passes through the egoism of personality, but on the other hand, it is actually not entirely confined to the structure of human individuality; it is cosmically oriented.

The difficulty that you feel in your personal life is regarding the understanding of the nature of the relation that seems to obtain between the cosmical impulsion behind all things and your individual initiative. Where does the demarcating line come between your assertion of personality and the operation of God's will? This is why it is said it is very hard. However, it is decided that the karmas of individuals will decide their future. Whatever you think intensely produces a vibration within as well as without. Outwardly it affects people in the world, in your vicinity, in everything outside. Inwardly, potencies or intangible layers of impulsion get piled up one over the other on account of your continuously thinking varieties of things throughout the day. As every click of a camera creates the impression of a particular picture on the film that is inside, every thought which is connected with an object of perception through the sense organs creates a sensation, a kind of picture of the object with emotion attached to it of like or dislike, or neutrality, as the case may be. Somehow or other, some impression is formed by the perception of any object through the sense organs. How many times do you perceive things during the day, and what are the thoughts that occur to your mind during the perception of things in the world? There are hundreds and hundreds of thoughts. Some thoughts are of an impersonal nature, and some are personal.

The personal thoughts which are connected with feelings, emotions and evaluations of any kind have a very strong effect upon you, and they will not leave you so easily. These impressions, which are stored in the psyche continuously for days, months and years throughout your life, appear like a thick, dark cloud, as it were, covering the consciousness of the Self inside. This cloud becomes the causative factor for the future embodiment of the soul, because whatever you desire has to find an expression sometime or the other. You cannot stifle your desires. The thought which is charged with an emotion or a feeling of desire is certainly to be allowed a channel of expression today or tomorrow. As you know very well, there are many desires in human individuals, and all of them cannot be fulfilled in this world due to various restrictions – personal, as well as social.

There are difficulties of your own. For example, you have debility of the physical body, weakness of the sense organs, and other hindrances which are psychological in nature. Due to the personal lacunae of the instrumentality for the purpose of fulfilling a desire, you cannot fulfil all your desires. The desires will remain, and are simply like building castles in the sky. Yet these castles will be there, and they cannot vanish into thin air. On the other hand, there are social restrictions. The world of people will not permit you to fulfil every kind of desire that emanates from your mind.

So what do you do at that time? You repress the desires, and keep them inside: "Go back. Withdraw." Well, the desires will tell you, "Yes, we will withdraw." Afterwards, they will ask you, "What happens to us?" You will say, "Keep quiet. Don't say anything," because you are afraid of telling them anything of a positive nature.

Suppose you die in this condition with unfulfilled desires buried inside like a thick cloud. They will germinate into action under different conditions altogether, and that would be your future fate. As seeds in barren ground look dead because there is no water and manure but can suddenly come alive, become tendrils and plants when rain falls on them, so these karmas germinate into action. Not a single desire of yours will go unfulfilled – if not today, then tomorrow, or after any amount of time. Time is endless, space is vast; therefore, there is infinite possibility and opportunity for the individual potencies to fulfil themselves, so it is dangerous to entertain desires in a haphazard manner. They will bind you, like cocoons enclosing the silkworm, which is its own doom. Every desire is a cocoon that you spin for yourself, and then you die with that.

So the Gita tells us, whatever is your last thought at the time of passing from this physical body will decide your future. What is the last thought? Nobody knows when their last day will be. Even if the end is only a few minutes away, you will not have any indication that it will come. There are people who take their lunch or dinner normally, and five minutes afterwards they breathe their last, not knowing that this will happen. So how will you prepare yourself for this adventure of a new kind of life that you have to achieve? Can you wait for the last moment? "I will think of God at that time. Now I will think rubbish." Is it possible? Who knows when the last moment will be?

Therefore, the advice is that throughout the day you have to entertain noble thoughts. You do not know when the demand will come and an order will be issued to you. When the order to quit comes, you cannot say, "Please wait! Come tomorrow." It is not possible. There is no 'tomorrow' for that order. It is just now, immediately. And then you will repent: "I never knew this. I never expected this. I have so many commitments. I have unfulfilled wishes, and relatives." Who cares? Your cry will be in the wilderness. Nobody will bother about you.

So right from the beginning of your life, throughout the tenure of your existence in this world, entertain divine thoughts. Let unselfish motives be in your mind. Never be greedy. Never be possessive. Never harm others. Never talk ill of others, and cause not any kind of inconvenience to other people, as far as it is possible. As the Gita will tell you, sarvabhūtahite ratāḥ (Gita 12.4): Be a well-wisher of all people. Treat others as you would treat yourself. Be a good person. What is goodness? Are you not good to your own self? Are you harsh and hard upon your own self at any time? How kindly you treat your own self! Why not be kind to others, because what is the difference between you and another person? The embodiment, the desires, the structure of personality, and the aspiration are the same; birth and death are the same.

Therefore, throughout life one should live as if the last day is today. And many saints have said that when you go to bed at night, do not expect to get up tomorrow morning. Consider today to be the last. It may be. Then if you really get up in the morning, it is a tenure that is further granted by God. Be grateful to Him that this tenure, this lease of life has come to you. But it may not come, as there is no guarantee of it coming to you. So whenever you go to bed, think "Okay, this is the last day. Tomorrow morning I may not get up. Even if I don't get up, I lose nothing because I have cleared all my debts." All your material debts, psychological debts, emotional debts and also debts you owe to your own desires must be completed. As it is not possible to pay off every kind of debt in one instant, it is better not to have debts at all. Neither a lender nor a borrower be. Do not be a borrower or a lender. Have no transaction of this kind in your life. Be a simple, contented person. Be contented with whatever you have.

Divine thoughts, God-thoughts, should be at the back of your life even in ordinary routine activities. It is not that you have noble thoughts only in your puja room, in temples, and during satsangas, and at other times such as in the marketplace, you are foolish. You can die in a marketplace rather than in a temple or during satsanga. How is it that you go carefree, thinking everything is fine? You do your meditation during meditation time, but before the meditation time comes, you may not be in this world. So why entertain this foolhardy imagination that you shall meditate afterwards, in the evening when the sun sets? The sun may not set for you.

Therefore, great caution is to be exercised. Throughout your life you must maintain this consciousness of it being perhaps the last moment for you; and the last thought, as it is said, which will be your asset when you pass from this world, is the fructification of all the thoughts that you entertain throughout your life. The tree will decide the fruit; your life in this world will decide what kind of thought you entertain at the time of passing. It does not mean God-thought will come at the last moment while throughout life you have forgotten it. The last thought, so called, is the maturity of the essence culled, as it were, from all the thoughts, feelings and emotions that you entertained throughout your existence. The kind of life that you have lived in this world from birth until death will decide what kind of thought will come to you in the end, so be very cautious.

When one actually passes away, the soul departs. It catches hold of a thin, threadlike support of whatever it has done, whatever it has felt. Its knowledge, its imagination, its desire, its actions will decide the course or path that it will pursue. Towards the end of the Eighth Chapter, mention is made of two kinds of courses for the movement of the soul – the Northern Path and the Southern Path, as they are called. A very detailed explanation of it is found in the Upanishads. The Sun and the Moon decide many things about your own personal life. The solar influence, as the Upanishads and the Gita tell us, is greater during the northward movement of the Sun, during the waxing period of the Moon, and during the daytime rather than during the night; and whoever passes during this period will move through a subtle divine ray which is the path of the soul, and the Sun is where this soul will be received. You will be wondering, "How will I reach the Sun? It will burn me." It will not burn you because at that time you will have no physical body. The soul is in its astral form, and an astral being from the Sun comes to meet it and take it forward. Then you go to the Absolute. Otherwise, if your mind has been tarnished by lower desires and you are not fit to pass through the Sun to the Absolute, you will be reborn in this world itself, or something else will happen to you which is not liberation.

So the Eighth Chapter is quintessentially an answer which the Lord gives to the questions of Arjuna, which briefly I placed before you, that you can read in greater detail in commentaries of the Bhagavadgita. Highly elevated expressions of the religious consciousness are found in the Ninth Chapter. From the Seventh Chapter onwards, as I mentioned, the religious consciousness becomes more and more intensified until it reaches the pinnacle or the apotheosis in the Eleventh Chapter. In the earlier stages, say from the Seventh Chapter onwards until we come to the Ninth, God is always placed on a pedestal of superiority in the heavenly world, as it were. God is a transcendent being, and He seems to be very far from us. He is the creator of the cosmos; therefore, He is above creation, and above us also. So we can imagine the distance between ourselves and God: God is so far, He may take time to reach us. These ideas may also enter our minds because of the psychological distance created by us due to the conception of God being the creator of the cosmos and the cosmos being so vast.

Here in the Eighth Chapter, during the enunciation of the possibility of the soul attaining God after death, the point is that you will reach God only after death, and not when you are alive. This also keeps God at a distance, especially in your practical life. But it is in the Ninth Chapter that God comes down to your level. There is a diminution of the distance between God and man as the Gita proceeds higher and higher, from the Seventh Chapter onwards. God is a transcendent creative principle, the judge of the cosmos, very far from you; you cannot see Him. This idea may enter into you when you reach the Seventh Chapter, where it briefly touches upon the creative process. Even this idea of liberation being possible only after death, and that nothing is possible in this life, may enter into you when you reach the Eighth Chapter.

But in the Ninth Chapter it says God is your friend. You cannot expect a friend to be millions of light-years away. He is very near you. He is a comrade and a well-wisher. He is your bosom friend, alter ego, and He is at your service, as it were, whenever you need Him. In a pendent verse of the Ninth Chapter, a masterstroke is struck in enunciating the meaning of the religious consciousness when it is told that God provides every need of the human being. Ananyāś cintayanto māṁ ye janāḥ paryupāsate, teṣāṁ nityābhiyuktānāṁ yogakṣemaṁ vahāmy aham (Gita 9.22). The great promise is made by God: "Whoever contemplates Me undividedly without any other thought in the mind, absorbing the mind in the thought of God only, such a person will lack nothing." Everything is at your fingertips. All commodities will be thrown at you.

I heard an interesting story about this. There was a Brahmin priest who was very fond of this verse. He said, "Oh, I have no problem now. I am a devotee of God. God has promised. See the promise: 'Whenever you think of Me undividedly, I shall be at your service, and all your needs will be supplied to you.' When the demand comes, the supply also comes." He was a poor fellow. He was living on alms, begging, and every day he would go from house to house and collect a little rice and some grains, and maintain his wife and children. Yet he was satisfied. "After all, God is kind to me. He has given me all that I want. What do I want, except a little food that He has given me in the form of alms?" Even with that wretched life, he was satisfied. He attributed it to the grace of God.

But one day it so happened, alms would not come. He went all places; nobody gave anything. He came back in the evening and said, "I have got nothing." His children were crying. They were starving. They said, "Papa, give us some food." But what food? There was no food. The mother also said, "Okay, all right." The next day also this happened.–It was terrible. He came back with nothing in the evening of the third day also, and they were dying, that's all. Starvation. He got annoyed. "This promise is not a real promise! I thought God is kind and He would keep His promise, but He has not." In those days, scriptures were written on palm leaves. In anger he took a nail and struck that verse, tearing it. "We are dying in spite of our prayer to God." He threw it down, and ran from the house. He did not want to sit there and hear the cry of his little children, who were almost dying.

After a few minutes of the departure of this old man in wrath, some boy suddenly came with a big bag on his back, threw it on the veranda of the house and yelled to the mother, "Here are the rations for you." She came out. He was bleeding from the tongue. She asked, "What is the matter?" "Your husband has sent all these grains." "Why are you bleeding?" "Oh, I came a little late. He was so angry with me, he cut my tongue," he said. "Oh what an idiot! He is so bad. How can he tear your tongue like that? Poor boy!" She cursed her husband. The boy vanished.

After some time the Brahmin came home, and she said, "Are you a fool? Have you no sense? You sent some grains, rice and dahl, etc., with a boy, and you tore his tongue because he was a little late." He was flabbergasted. He said, "I have not sent any grain. I have not seen any boy. I have not torn the tongue of any person." "But I saw him. Here are the grains," said the mother. The old man closed his eyes for a few minutes and understood what it could be. He wept. And it appears he actually touched the feet of his wife, saying, "You are more blessed than I because you had darshan of God Himself." Well, this is the story of this great verse: ananyāś cintayanto māṁ ye janāḥ paryupāsate, teṣāṁ nityābhiyuktānāṁ yogakṣemaṁ vahāmy aham. God is at your beck and call, as it were.

In certain instances of the lives of saints, in Maharashtra especially, we have anecdotes of someone suddenly coming in the nick of time and working as a servant boy of the particular saint. The Divine Will itself manifested in the case of Eknath or Namdev in the form of a little working boy called Sri Kandiya. All the miracles of this world are the workings of God only. If you have the blessing of a cup of tea in the morning, you must remember that God has willed it; otherwise, you would not get it. You would not get even a cup of milk or tea if God has not willed it. You should not imagine that you have money in your pocket, and therefore you purchased it. You will not have any money in the pocket, and you cannot purchase anything like that; you cannot even lift your finger unless the Central Will operates, let alone anything else.

Such consoling message of the nearness of God, friendship of God, readiness of God to be of assistance to you at any moment is delineated in the Ninth Chapter, whose details we cannot entertain just now due to the paucity of time. I am moving rapidly, as I mentioned to you, to complete the whole Gita, and you can read commentaries to know what the substance of the Ninth Chapter is.

In the Tenth Chapter, God comes nearer. He is not merely ready to come to you whenever you want; He is already there all around you in some form or the other, in excellences of all types. Yad yad vibhūtimat sattvaṁ śrīmad ūrjitam eva vā, tat tad evāvagaccha tvaṁ mama tejoṁśasaṁbhavam (Gita 10.41). Whenever you find excellence of any kind – it may be even a whirlwind, a tornado, a heavy downpour or a flood, anything that is extraordinary – you must consider that the finger of God is operating there. If you find tremendous power, great strength, agility, knowledge, goodness of an extremely lofty type anywhere, you must see the divinity there. "Even in a lion I am present," He says. The king of the jungle has an element of divinity, and so he rules. Even a supreme administrator of a country is supposed to be imbibed with some element of God; otherwise, he cannot control the nation. That element of super-individuality, which is actually the meaning of divinity, is present in all administrators, kings, rulers, presidents, or whatever they are called. So is the case with anything in this world. Wherever there is excellence of any kind – great scholarship, great oration, great capacity to write, great poetry, great art, great painting, great music, great power, great authority, great ability of any kind – God is operating.

Various instances of this super-excellence are enumerated in the Tenth Chapter. God is here itself. You can see God in front of you in the beauty of the tender leaves of the tree, in the mellifluous flow of the Ganga, in the majesty of the Himalayas, in the brilliance of the Sun, in the blueness of the sky; everywhere you can see God. The very earth that supports you is God manifest. The very breath that you breathe is His blessing.

With these consoling messages, the Gita comes nearer and nearer to us in its message of divinity and Godliness. It is in the Eleventh Chapter that God becomes only God, and there is nothing but God. Up to this time you have heard so many things, and you know what these things are. So much instruction – do this, don't do that; this must be done, this must not be done; God has created the world; there is adhyatma, adhibhuta, adhidaiva; there are individuals, psychological function, society, and things in objective nature. So many things you have heard. Now everything is brought to a close, as it were. The Director of the drama winds up His play, and absorbs everything into Himself.

Arjuna poses a question at the beginning of the Eleventh Chapter. "Wondrous is this teaching, my Lord. You have made me immensely happy when you said mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiṁcid asti (Gita 7.7): 'Nothing outside me can exist.' The absoluteness of God does not permit anything external to Him. Externality delimits God's existence, and He would become a finite person if there were external things. The superiority and absoluteness, the infinitude, the spacelessness and timelessness of God precludes any kind of outsideness in God's existence. This is what I have heard from you. Is it possible to have a vision of this Great Being? Am I blessed to behold this great Universal Reality with my eyes?" This is a queer question for a mortal to put before the Almighty Master.

And the kindhearted teacher says, "You can, but you cannot behold the Cosmic Reality with your two eyes which are meant only for sensory operations, and which always externalise objects and tell you that all things are outside. With these eyes, you cannot have the vision of the Almighty. This Infinite Being can be beheld only by a consciousness that is within. The eye of consciousness can behold it."

Divyaṁ dadāmi te cakṣuḥ (Gita 11.8). "A divine eye is bestowed upon you here, by My grace." The divine eye is not this kind of eye, but an eye of the soul itself. The soul alone can behold the Universal Soul. These sense organs – eye, ear, and so on – cannot. You cannot see God, touch Him, smell Him, or have any sense contact with Him because sensory operations are externalised actions in space and time. Spaceless and timeless existence cannot be contacted. It is not a contact at all. The soul is of the nature of the Absolute, made in the image of God, as they say, and can behold God. The soul alone can behold God, not any apparatus of this body.

So the Master says, "I shall bestow upon you a rare opportunity of having the power to visualise this Supreme inclusiveness, the interconnectedness of all things, where everything is everywhere. God is everywhere; everything is everywhere. All things of this world and the other world, of all the realms of creation – heaven and earth and hell, everything you can find – is interconnected in this cosmic timeless infusion of the reality of all existences." Suddenly there was a flash, the Gita says. What kind of flash was it? It was not the flash of light that you can see with your eyes. It was not the sunlight that you see. You cannot open your eyes and look at the Sun, but thousands of Suns arose simultaneously in the horizon, as it were. Imagine what that would be like. That kind of light flashed before Arjuna.

Divi sūryasahastrasya bhaved yugapad utthitā, yadi bhāḥ sadṛśī sā syād bhāsas tasya mahātmanaḥ (Gita 11.12). Na tatra sūryo bhāti (Katha 2.2.15), says the Upanishad. The Sun is like darkness, like a firefly, as it were. The light of the Sun is actually virtual darkness before that light. Na tatra sūryo bhāti: The moon and the stars and fire will not shine there.

Na candra-tārakam, nemā vidyuto bhānti, kuto'yam agniḥ: tam eva bhāntam anubhāti sarvaṁ tasya bhāsā sarvam idaṁ vibhāti (Katha 2.2.15). All the lights of this world are reflections, perhaps distorted reflections, of the Almighty Light. That light shone before Arjuna, whose soul was shaken up completely. The personality broke, as it were, and this shattering which Arjuna felt before this incomparable majesty of the Almighty made him sing prayers, which are incomparable in themselves.

When you are in the state of ecstasy, you do not know what you are speaking. When you are angry, you also do not know, and say anything that you like. But much more is the difficulty you feel in ecstasy. The mouth shuts and the tongue ceases to operate, and if you say anything, you do not know what you are saying, because your words at that time of divine ecstasy are of divine origin. The word that was God, as it were, manifested itself through the prayers, the hymns, the psalms of the great devotee whose soul opened itself completely before the Almighty Being, and long verses of an intricate nature of beauty and linguistic excellence form the major part of the Eleventh Chapter of the Gita.

Can you also behold that? Why should Arjuna alone be blessed with that greatness? Why not you, or I, or anybody else? Arjuna is blessed, yes. You are also blessed – or anybody. But – there is a great 'but'. Na veda yaj–ādhyayanair na dānaiḥ na ca kriyābhir na tapobhir ugraiḥ, evaṁrūpaḥ śakya (Gita 11.48). Any amount of human effort is inadequate for this purpose. 'Human' – after all, your effort is human; that is the only difficulty. You are a person, and that is divinity; it is a Super-person. You are a mortal; that is immortal. You are located in one place; it is everywhere. How would a localised, mortal individual with the frail faculties of sense organs expect to visualise that cosmic inclusiveness?

Therefore, the Gita says no amount of sacrifice, yajna, worship, prayer, study, will be of any avail: na veda yaj–ādhyayanair na dānaiḥ na ca kriyābhir na tapa. Who will pray? Even intense austerity is not of any utility. You are thinking that you are doing austerity. The whole point in our spiritual practice is we do not give up the idea that we are doing the practice: I do prayer, I study the Bible, I study the Gita, I study the Ramayana, I worship in the church, I worship in the temple, I do tapasya, I observe fasting, I did not sleep yesterday. How many times this 'I' comes in! This 'I' will prevent the Supreme I from descending. There is a necessity for the complete abolition of personality before the mighty God's coming. This is the reason why it is said that ordinary sadhanas that are motivated by personality consciousness, or agency in action, even if it be religious, will not suffice. A dedication of oneself to God is necessary. This word 'bhakti' is used here, implying ardent longing from the deepest soul of the devotee.

'Ardour' is the word also used in a sutra, an aphorism of Patanjali's Yoga. Tīvra saṁvegānām āsannaḥ (YS 1.21): Whoever's ardour is intense, intensely intense, or threefold intense, four times, nine times intense – if the ardour for God is nine times intense, God will be immediately present before you. This is why the Gita says ordinary effort is not sufficient. This kind of vision is not bequeathed to ordinary people, whose personality asserts its egoism and confirms that it exists again and again. When God comes, man cannot stand before Him. He has to get absorbed in His mighty radiance. And as long as you stand outside as a person looking at God, you will not see the real God because the God you look at becomes an object and He becomes an individual in space and time, and it will look like a mountain or a river or a sky. Nothing of the kind is possible because the soul, which has descended from God Himself, has to go to God. That which is an evolute of God's existence must return to the original source, and it can know God only when it has become God or, rather, entered into God's being, because the effect has to enter into the cause. As long as the effect is outside the cause, it cannot know that its relation to the cause is internal. It always feels that it is outside. God is the material as well as the instrumental cause of creation, it is said. He is not creating the world like a potter manufacturing pots out of clay or mud. There is no mud before God. There is no wood, no steel, no cement. Nothing of the kind is before God to create this world. He created out of the abundance of His existence.

Thus, the superabundance of God itself manifests as this cosmos, including yourself, myself. Therefore, this abundance that has manifested itself as this outside universe should revert and recede into the cause, so that the soul that has come from God enters into God and beholds God as He beholds Himself. This is the great, wondrous conclusion of the message of the Gita in the Eleventh Chapter.