Krishna: There is another, far more certain way to attain yoga, my friend. Listen carefully, I will teach you how to absorb your mind in me by the power of emotional attachment to me.
Arjuna: Please tell me elaborately about this!
Krishna: I will explain it fully. I won’t stop until you fully understand and realize it. Nothing will be left unknown.
Out of thousands of people, does even one strive for perfection? Further, out of thousands of people who have achieved perfection, does even one know the truth about me?
Arjuna: Please explain the truth about you!
Krishna: This world is made of my eight separated energies, called earth, water, fire, air, space, mind, intellect, and especially ego. But these are inferior to my other, superior, energy: life–force itself, the energy that animates and utilizes every other energy in the world.
Everything that exists comes from these energies, and these energies all come from me. Ultimately, it is I who animate both of them. Everything comes from me, and everything returns to me.
Krishna describes the eight inert energies as “separated” because ego makes them seem to have existence independent from their divine source.
Arjuna: Where do you come from? What animates you?
Krishna: My friend, nothing at all is beyond me!
Arjuna: You are the causeless cause of everything?
Krishna: Yes! Everything rests on me, like a necklace of pearls on a thread.
The underlying thread of a pearl necklace is not obviously visible. Similarly, divine presence is not always directly obvious in the eight separated energies of this world.
Arjuna: How can we be more aware of the thread of this necklace? How can we better perceive your underlying presence everywhere?
Krishna: When you taste pure water, you taste me. When you see the light of the Moon and Sun, you see me. When you hear “Om” pervading the Vedic mantras, you hear me.
I am sound vibrating in space. I am the human-ability in every human. I am the pure fragrance of the earth. I am the power of fire. I am the eternal seed of all beings and all states of being, my friend.
I am the life of the living. I am the struggle of the struggling. I am the genius of the intellectual. I am the might of the mighty. I am the strength of the strong. I am the power to forego desires and attachments for the sake of morality, yet I am also the power of lust!
Everything of goodness, passion, or ignorance certainly comes from me. Yet I am not contained within them!
Everything comes from Krishna, but Krishna is distinct from and superior to everything. The Sun, for example, is nothing but Krishna – yet Krishna is far more than just the Sun.
Arjuna: This is a beautiful way to see the world. But why is it so difficult to see it this way?
Krishna: The threefold qualities of illusion – goodness, passion, and ignorance – bewilder everyone in the world. Under their spell, no one can perceive the infinite that is above and beyond them: me.
Arjuna: How can we get free from this illusion?
Krishna: This threefold illusion is my own powerful, insurmountable energy. Therefore, only those who come to me for shelter can pass beyond it.
Arjuna: That doesn’t seem so difficult. Why don’t more people do so?
Krishna: Only the vilest people, villainous fools, do not take shelter of me. Illusion hijacks their “knowledge” and they instead take shelter of a very dark mentality.
Arjuna: What type of person does seek shelter in you?
Krishna: Four types of good people: the needy, the curious, the ambitious, and the wise.
Arjuna: Which type achieves your shelter most fully?
Krishna: A wise person, who always comes to me only out of love, is very special. Oh, I am her beloved and she is also my beloved!
Arjuna: Are the others not dear to you also?
Krishna: They are all special, but I hold that wise soul as dear as my own self. He is grounded in spiritual union with me, and achieves the very highest goal. Such a great soul is very rare! Only after many births does one become wise and seek my shelter, knowing, “Vāsudeva is all there is.”
Arjuna: Why are the others not as dear to you?
Krishna: They have ulterior motives. So, they will be distracted to ulterior shelters, under the sway of their own desires.
Arjuna: They will worship other gods, other beings, other things?
Arjuna: Are you jealous?
Krishna:No. I help them. I give them to the firm faith to dedicate themselves to whomever or whatever they are inspired towards. Taking that faith, they worship whatever or whomever they are inclined to worship and fulfill their selfish desires. All of this is arranged by me alone.
Arjuna: Then do they finally take shelter of you directly?
Krishna: No, because their meager intelligence doesn’t perceive any of this, being obsessed merely with its temporary objective. Those who worship other gods go to other gods. Those who love me alone, come to me.
Arjuna: What about the “curious”? Why are they not as dear to you as the wise?
Krishna: They are a little less than wise, so they tend to think that I am merely a “manifestation of the unmanifest.” They do not understand that I personally am infinite and unsurpassed.
Arjuna: If you are everything you say you are, why wouldn’t we all know it?
Krishna: I do not exhibit myself to everyone! These masses of fools are eclipsed by their union with illusions. They are incapable of perceiving that I am beginningless and infinite.
Krishna is not on exhibit in Macy’s window. He is not desperate. When souls desire of their own accord to comprehend him, then he begins to reveal himself. Until that time, he stays out of the way of our precious illusions.
I know the past, present and future of all living beings, but no one knows me!
Arjuna: At what point did the living entity lose awareness of you?
Krishna: From the very beginning, Arjuna! As soon as they were created they experienced the duality of selfish desire and repulsion, from which illusion arises, and by which all living beings are intoxicated.
Arjuna: Then how does anyone manage to gain awareness of you?
Krishna: By being responsible and dutiful, their misfortune gradually comes to an end. As they become free from duality, their illusion subsides and they become very intent upon developing a loving relationship with me, and getting free from things like old age and death.
Thus they come to fully and completely understand “spirit”, “soul”, and “karma.” They understand me to be the essential reality of every object, of every divinity, and of every effort. Their thoughts are united with me, even up to the moment of death.