Bhagavad Gita- Chap 9(Part-1) Raajavidyaa Raajaguhya Yogah- Yoga of Royal Knowledge and Royal Secret


This chapter explains how the Self - Atman - pervades  the entire world. The wise seek the Self while the ignorant, disregarding the  Self, lead an empty life with vain hopes and unfulfilled aspirations. They go  through the endless cycle of birth and death. Confirming the truth behind the  saying that whatever one strives for, be it material or spiritual, one attains  that particular goal, the ignorant gain their limited, mundane ends but never  find accomplishment in their lives, whereas, the wise pursue the ultimate goal  of Realization and find absolute peace and bliss in their own Self. Sri Krishna,  therefore, advises Arjuna to seek the Self, to subsume all worldly activities  to the Self until Spiritual Enlightenment is reached.

Krishna begins the chapter by offering to impart the  knowledge of Reality that pervades the world and also as to the means of achieving  this supreme knowledge and thereby free oneself from all agitations and sorrows.

The previous Chapter of the Gita dealt with liberation by  stages through the process of meditation. But this way is not the only means of  emancipation. A direct way is described in this Chapter. This knowledge being  unknown to the mankind at large, Krishna terms it as a supreme secret and hence  this Chapter is called ‘Yoga of Royal Knowledge  and Royal Secret’.

All living beings and inert things arise from the supreme  Reality, exist in the Reality and ultimately merge into the Reality. The  periods of manifestation of the world and its dissolution run into billions of  years. The supreme Reality acts as the disinterested Self, witnessing the entire  creation and dissolution. Those who fail to pursue this knowledge remain bound  to the world of mortality. Krishna, therefore, appeals to the seekers to free  themselves from the manifest world and reach the unmanifest Reality and to  discover the Divinity that supports the pluralistic phenomenal existence.

The  Text


sri bhagavaan uvaacha
    idam tu te guhyatamam  pravakshyaamyanasooyave
    jnaanam vijnaanasahitam yajjnaataa  mokshyase’shubhaat  // 9.1 //

Sri  Bhagavan said
    To  you, O Arjuna, who do not criticize, I will propound this, the greatest mystery  of knowledge combined with realization, by understanding which you will bee  released from evil.

In  this opening verse Sri Krishna assures Arjuna that He will reveal the  theoretical knowledge of the Self combined with Its intuitive perception. Such  knowledge is the direct means of attaining liberation. This knowledge about the  Self dwelling in the body, and about the identity of the individual self and  the Supreme Self, is considered most profound mystery because it has only to be  realized through one's own experience or spiritual intuition and cannot be  expressed in any words.

Arjuna  is considered to be the most suitable candidate to know this deep mystery because  he is free from jealousy and does not belong to the category of those who  always find fault with whatever others do or say. Jealousy-free mind only can  absorb deep knowledge, for jealousy is another form of ignorance.

Sri  Bhagavan says that the one who receives this knowledge (a realized person)  shall be free from all irksome problems of life, can rule over circumstances  and face adversities with a smile. Krishna assures that by understanding that  knowledge one will be released from the evil i.e. bondage of the world.


raajavidyaa raajaguhyam  pavitramidamuttamam
    pratyakshaavagamam dharmyam susukham  kartumavyayam // 9.2 //

It  is the Royal Science, Royal mystery, and the supreme purifier. It is perceived  by direct experience. It accords with Dharma, it is easy to practice and it is  imperishable.

In  order to develop enthusiasm in the pursuit of Self, perfection is praised in  this verse. Here the word secret or mystery means that which is too deep and  striking and hence Vedanta is a secret for the uninitiated which has to be unraveled  by a person endowed with scriptural knowledge.

Sri  Krishna says that Vedanta, the science of life which is sovereign in its  import, deep in its substance and supreme in its purifying effects, is clearly  comprehensible since it can be verified by direct experience. It is knowledge  by acquaintance and not by description.   The truth is waiting to be seen by us, if the obstructing veils are  removed. The Supreme is to be seen by one as one's own Self, through one's  developed and purified intuition. The gains obtained by pursuit of this Royal  Science are of imperishable nature.

As  a lamp, when lit in a room, instantly destroys the accumulated darkness of the  ages, so the knowledge of Brahman, when realized in the heart, reduces to ashes  the accumulated karma of all the past ages. Hence it is called supreme  purifier.

The  Bliss of Brahman is as directly perceived as the feelings of pleasure and pain.  An object endowed with great qualities can also be against Dharma; but such is  not the case with the knowledge of Brahman which is easily acquired when taught  by a qualified teacher. It is always in accordance with Dharma. The Bliss  arising out of the knowledge of Brahman, though easily acquired, is eternal.  Therefore the knowledge of Brahman should be pursued by all who desire peace  and happiness.

ashraddhadhaanaah purushaa dharmasyaasya  parantapa
    apraapya maam nivartante  mrityusamsaaravartmani // 9.3 //

Those  who have no faith in this knowledge of the Self and regard physical body itself  as the Self, O Parantapa, return to the path of mortal living.

Faith  or unswerving conviction of the existence of God, the soul and immortality is  the prerequisite of spiritual life. Those without faith mean those who regard  the physical body as the self and do not believe in the indestructibility and  immortality of the soul.

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