Summary of Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 7: Matter & Consciousness (64)


Lesson 64 uses logic to show how seeking immortality (‘I don't want to go out of existence') is actually seeking freedom from time (world of matter). Then entire CH7 is summarized in light of integrating it into our everyday lives. How to discriminate TRUTH vs FALSEHOOD, how to end samsara, how to properly see the world, what is God, what is essential nature of Jiva, and on moksha (highest goal of human life).

Source: Srimad Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 7 – verse 29, 30. Includes SUMMARY of all verses.

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 7 – Verse 29:

jarāmaraṇamokṣāya māmāśritya yatanti ye |
te brahma tadviduḥ kṛtsnamadhyātmaṃ karma cākhilam ||

Having resorted to Me, those who strive for freedom from decay and death come to know that Brahman completely, the Self (completely), and karma completely.


  • What realization is catalyst for niṣkāma-bhakti? World neither CAUSE of sorrow, nor cheerfulness. My MIND is cause of both.
  • How is my mind the cause of both?
    • Sorrow: Caused by wrong understanding of myself. Misunderstood “I”.
    • Cheerfulness: Properly understood “I”.
    • EG:
      • When rope is understood/seen-as rope, I see what-is. No fear.
      • When SAME rope misunderstood as snake, I see what is NOT. Giving way to fear.
    • Therefore, niṣkāma-bhakta is attempt to “Know Thyself”. Beginning of jijñāsā-bhakti.
  • What does jijñāsu-bhakta strive for?
    • jarāmaraṇamōkṣāya: Strive for mokṣa / freedom. Freedom from what? Saṃsāra.
      • What are 2 biggest FRIGHTENING saṃsāra unavoidable facts of life?
        • Old age & death. All are afraid of these TWO, whether admit or not.
        • DEATH: Some say “I’m not afraid of death”. Only because healthy. When death is very close, fear starts.
          • EG: Skydiving. No fear on ground. Fear when door opens.
          • EG: No problem thinking divorce. When it’s real, fear/uncertainty!
        • OLD AGE:
          • EG: Some alleviate pain of this reality by associating with younger age group.
          • EG: Excessive talking about young years. Nobody listens. Feel rejected.
  • For this freedom from death/old age, mām āśritya yatanti ye, rare FEW work for this immortality, by taking shelter in Me, seeking My grace.
    • To seek freedom from death/old age = seek freedom from matter (subject to decay).
    • To seek freedom from matter = seek freedom from time (responsible for decay of matter).
    • Therefore, matter & time are in SAME order of reality. Aparā-prakṛti.
    • Meaning rare FEW are seeking other then aparā-prakṛti.
      • There is only ONE “other then”: parā-prakṛti.
        • For many aparās to be validated, they have to rely on ONE same parā-prakṛti substratum. EG: Can’t tall changing movie unless it’s “resting” on a non-moving substratum.
      • Thus, these FEW niṣkāma-bhaktās, over time will know God FULLY (parā-prakṛti & aparā-prakṛti).
  • However Krishna does NOT use parā/aparā. Introduces 3 new technical words.
    • Knows Arjuna won’t understand and will ask questions. Motivates him to come back to Chapter 8.
    • What are they? Brahma, Karma, Adhyātma / Adhyātman (without sandhi: adhi ātma)
    • A jñāni appreciates and has assimilated their FULL meaning.
  • Next verse, Krishna introduces 3 more important words…


Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 7 – Verse 30:

sādhibhūtādhidaivaṃ māṃ sādhiyajñaṃ ca ye viduḥ |
prayāṇakāle'pi ca māṃ te viduryuktacetasaḥ ||

Those with disciplined mind who know Me along with adhibhuta, adhidaiva and adhiyajñā will remember Me at the time of death also.

  • 3 additional significant words Krishna introduces: adhi bhūtam, adhi daivam, adhi yajñam.
  • Now Arjuna wants to know 6 in total. For now, think of them as parā-aparā-mixture presented from 6 additional points of views.
  • Prayāṇakāle api ca mām: Not only 6 known to wise-person, but also wise person remembers them at time of death.
    • Arjuna’s mind now wants to know:
      • What is significance of remember Īśvara time of death?
      • How to remember God at death, when everything but God comes in last few days/hours/mins?
  • Arjuna wants to know 7 in total:
    • Brahman, Karma, Adhyātmam.
    • Adhibhūta, Adhidaiva, Adhiyajña.
    • How to remember God, time of death? Or: What should I be thinking BEFORE leaving world?
  • Who are those that remember Me at death? Yuka cetasaḥ, of disciplined mind, niṣkāma-bhaktās.

 ————————- END OF CHAPTER 7 ————————-



  • CHAPTER 2-6:  Dealt with 3 major topics:
    1. Jīva svarūpam: Essence nature of individual.
      • Neither perishable body, nor changing mind.
      • Changeless consciousness is nature of individual.
        • One SAME consciousness for all individuals.
        • Just like one screen for every movie that plays on it in past, present, future.
    2. Jīva prayatanam: Role of individual EFFORT
      • Pitfalls of human life is to buy into fatalistic approach, when nothing is going well.
        • EG: Everything is a finished script. I’m a puppet in it. All is pre-determined!
      • Krishna strong CAUTION:
        • Never take this disempowering view of life.
        • Instead TAKE CHARGE of your life, which is human prerogative.
        • Jīva DOES play a role in deciding his/her future, through actions taken on a daily bases.
        • Exercise your freedom to will. IE: Freewill.
    3. Karma Yoga: Important spiritual sādhana for mind purification.
      • Brings God in our life, even in most mundane / unspiritual world duties.
  • CHAPTER 7-12:
    1. Īśvara svarūpam: What is nature of God?
    2. Īśvara aungraha: Role of Īśvara’s laws/orders when śāstra is followed.
      • Receiving God’s grace by means of bhakti (devotion). EG: Mind becomes what thinks about.
    3. Īśvara dhyānam: Meditation on God/Bhagavān.



  • Krishna says: I am going to deal with nature and knowledge of God in V1: Īśvara svarūpam jñānam.
    • He divides knowledge in 2 categories:
      1. Jñānam: Saguṇa īśvara. Indirect intellectual knowledge. Parokṣa-jñānam. Knowing God with form.
      2. Vijñānam: Nirguṇa īśvara. Direct assimilated knowledge. Aparokṣa-jñānam. Knowing formless God.
    • “I am going to give you both Arjuna”.
  • Krishna glorifies this knowledge. Hence don’t see it as spare-time hobby.
    • End of many lifetimes, one ultimately comes to this. Take it SERIOUSLY! Don’t take for granted.
  • VERSE 4-12: Main topic: Īśvara svarūpam
    • What is God?
      • ONE principle consisting of two aspects: aparā-prakṛti & parā-prakṛti.
      • Spirit & matter. (Not speaking of invisible-matter spirit, but matter-less consciousness).
    • Common/uncommon features of aparā/parā?
      • Both are beginingless (anādi). Meaning…
        • Consciousness never created.
        • Matter never created. “Law of conversation of matter”, matter never created/destroyed.
        • Hence they are: anādi cetana tatvam (conscious parā) & anādi acetana tatvam (non-conscious aparā/māyā).
      • Conclusion: Invalid to say “When did God come?”. God did not come in first place. Always IS.
    • How does Krishna NOT present God? God is an entity apart from creation… creating and dumping into Universe.
    • How DOES Krishna present God?
      • Īśvaraḥ jagat upādāna kāranam: Īśvara is cause of material world.
      • Thus evolves/manifests as universe, without God undergoing changes.
        • Īśvara = cause. World = effect.
      • Therefore no world is separate from God.
      • Meaning world is another name for God. World is different configuration of God.
        • Different configuration meaning what?
          • Gold is the cause. Ornaments are the effects.
          • Is ornament separate from gold? No.
          • Meaning there is no substance called “ornament”. It is incidental.
            • Only substance is Gold alone.
          • Meaning, ornaments are different configurations/manifestations of ONE SAME Gold.
          • Called: avasthā bhedaḥ, difference in mode/configuration. EG:
            • Ice, water, steam = different configuration of one same H2O.
      • Conclusion: Resist looking down on world/people, because all is Bhagavān alone.
        • World is My own viśvarūpa avatāra (incarnation of many forms).
        • God is APPEARING as world. If understood this, will look world as divinity.
          • Not secular for exploitation. Else exploiting/cheating lying to God.
    • Important Understanding: IF world is manifestation of God, then world is ALSO mixture of aparā/parā-prakṛti.
      • Then how do we DISCERN the two orders of reality, when they are intimately mixed?
        • Whatever is experienced = aparā-prakṛti (matter).
          • Mind is also matter, but SUBTLE. Proof?
            • Psychiatrist prescribes chemical medicine (matter), it affects state of MIND.
            • Thus subtle mind & gross body MATTER are same ORDER of reality.
        • Where do we FIND parā-prakṛti?
          • Never find, because it is NOT an object.
          • It is the SEARCHER, the “I” who is searching. EXPERIENCER of the world, body-mind.
          • Thus the observer principle is parā-prakṛti (jīvātma / ātman / reflected awareness).
          • What is contextual-difference between Brahman and parā-prakṛti?
            • Consciousness BEFORE creation evolves: Brahman/paramātma/pāramārthika
            • When SAME Consciousness available AFTER creation evolves: parā-prakṛti / ātman.
  • VERSE 13-19: Saṃsāra kāraṇam (cause) and parihāraḥ (removal):
    • What causes human misery/worries/fear?
      • Humans pre-occupied with the visible/perceptible aparā-prakṛti.
        • Causes problem of seeking happiness/security in changing MATTER.
          • Never STEADY. Fluctuates.
          • Yoga/kṣema: Life becomes one of: acquiring AND maintaining.
        • Meaning nothing is ever 100% PERFECT in aparā world. Even gold is 99.999% pure.
        • Saṃsāra fuels motivation for endless search for perfection of matter.
          • EG: Outside happy, but inside secretly “I wish it was better”.
          • Only ONE principle is “PERFECT”. That which never changes it’s original FULLNESS (can’t reduce to 99.999%): satcitānanda.
    • Krishna continues:
      • For attachment/dependence/security, discover parā-prakṛti.
      • For fun/enjoyment/appreciation, use aparā-prakṛti.
        • No need to reject / renounce. Example:
          • You have beautiful decorated carboard chair.
            • Can use for looking, give as gift, house decoration.
            • No need to hate/renounce it.
          • Use for everything other then? Sitting.
    • What is REMEDY for saṃsāra?
      • Surrender unto Me, by means of bhakti. (7.14)
      • OBJECTION: In 4.33, jñānam alone is remedy for saṃsāra. It’s not “one of remedies”, but “ONLY”.
        • Now telling me “bhakti” is remedy. How to reconcile?
        • Bhakti-Yoga is NOT one specific sādhana. But series/range of sādhanās. All CULMINATE to jñānam. Series spoken in CH12.
        • Meaning bhakti which culminates/leads-to jñānam, is the remedy for saṃsāra.
      • WHO are saṃsāra-bhaktās? Ārtaḥ, arthārthi, Jijñāsu. They are travelling through stages of bhakti to arrive to jñāni-bhakta (liberated from saṃsāra).
        • Krishna says the traveling is a long-term process. But must start from somewhere. Hence patience!
  • VERSE 20-26: Bhakti divided into 2 forms based on motive of bhakta (devotee). Sakāma-bhakti & Niṣkāma-bhakti.
    • Sakāma-bhakti:
      • Any form of worship, seeking material/aparā benefits.
      • Anything that comes & goes OR vacillates.
      • Dharma, artha, kāma.
      • Preyaḥ in Kaṭha Upaniṣad language.
      • BRIGHT side of sakāma-bhakti:
        • Not sinful. Not pāpam.
        • Don’t feel bad if you are sakāma-bhakta. Can indeed ask anything in world.
        • Bhagavān will answer prayer is backed by ahimsa/dharma.
          • Shouldn’t have obstacles preventing reception of gift.
            • EG: Hungry man can’t receive food if stomach digestion issues.
      • DARK SIDE of sakāma-bhakti:
        • Can’t permanently hold onto anything.
        • Leaves mind constant state of fearing loss. Hence never fully accept.
          • EG: Drinking tasty juice with straw. The more consume/enjoy, the more worry about level coming down. Even while drinking, I’m fearing loss.
  • VERSE 27-30: Niṣkāma-bhakti: all devotee’s actions are MEANS to ultimate END; discovering parā-prakṛti.
    • Doesn’t reject money. Only sees as means to end. EG: Remove anxiety to focus on nididhyāsana.
    • Only interested in going beyond time (kāla), which causes continued birth-death.
    • Niṣkāma-bhaktās eventually discover Lord in TOTALITY (saguṇa & nirguṇa). They apprehend complete īśvara-jñānam.
    • Finally, Arjuna wants to know 7 important questions. What are they?…
      • Brahman, Karma, Adhyātman
      • Adhi bhūtam, Adhi Daivam, Adhi Yajñam.
      • How to remember God, time of death?
  • Chapter 7 concluded which deals with: Jñāna-vijñāna-yoga, knowledge of Īśvara’s TOTAL knowledge: parā-prakṛti & aparā-prakṛti.


Keywords: adhibhuta, adhidaiva, adhiyajna, adhyatma, anadi, apara-prakriti, aparoksha, avatar, bhagavan, bhaktas, dhyana, dhyanam, ishvara, jijnasa, jijnasu, jiva, jnana, Jnana-vijnana-yoga, jnanam, kama, karanam, ksema, kshema, maya, nididhyasana, nimitta, nirguna, nishkama, niskama, para-prakriti, paramarthika, paramatma, paramatman, parihara, paroksha, preyah, saguna, sakama, samsara, svarupam, upadana, vijnana, vijnanam, yoga, kshema

Credit for help in Bhagavad Gita teaching given to Chinmaya Int. Foundation & Swami Paramarthananda

Recorded 27 Aug, 2019



  1. Hi Andre,

    Thanks for this knowledge!!, We need to purify mind by Bhakti yoga and Karma yoga
    Bhakti yoga, I got it, Can you please little explain about Karma yoga, how to purify mind with Karma yoga


    1. Karma-Yoga and Bhakti-Yoga are inseparable.

      Karma-Yoga means to apply yoga (spiritual practice) to karma (action).


      (a) Reminding yourself that all RESULTS/EVENTS that show up during your day, are coming from a vast intelligence that’s coordinating the entire universe every moment, including your body-mind right now. Hence best we can do is respond to both negative/positive in an intelligent and equanimous manner. Rather then getting excited like a dog, or excessively throw into gloominess. This attitude maintains your composure and reminds you there’s a much higher order operating here. This is essentially bhakti-yoga.

      (b) Remind yourself that all your actions are going back into this vast intelligence. They are going to God alone. Knowing this, it eliminates excessive selfish thinking, which we’re all subject to more-or-less. For example, one no longer puts out actions of swear words and rudeness to people (because every person is expression of God).

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