Adi Shankara's Dawn of Knowledge & Meaning of Bhakti (82)


Lesson 82 shows how relationship to pleasant/unpleasant life events changes by knowing all world manifestations are of ONE Cause. Definition of words love, respect & reverence is given. Leading to bhakti. Finally, what is antahkarana & ahamkara?

Source: Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 10: Verse 11, 12, 13, 15


  • Topic is about mind learning to appreciate the Ultimate Cause in all manifestations/effects. Just how goldsmith can appreciate ONE gold in multitude of ornaments.
    • Similarly, nothing in universe is separate from it’s cause, being Īśvara – in whose existence both yoga & vibhūti enjoy their reality.
      • What is yoga?
        • Īśvara’s unmanifest creative power (māyā) – manifesting as…
          • Infinite vibhūtis: Īśvara’s Effects.
        • Thus yoga is essence of all vibhūtis. And they both belong to Īśvara.
  • Meaning, when know that essence of everything is of the One, then relationship to pleasant/unpleasant life events changes. “Without resistance”.
    • For eg: Father plays prank and wears a mask. Son screams with fright, seeing strange face. Once child knows masked man is own father, then enjoys seeing him with OR without the mask. Child is no longer shaken because has objectivity. Meaning viveka is being applied.
      • In same way, whether vibhūti is welcoming/unwelcoming, there is objectivity.
        • Person with such objectivity is called: viśva-rūpa / aneka-rūpa / virāt-bhakta.
          • Bhakta recognizes ultimate cause is Īśvara who (in Stage 2) is referred to as: virāt (one who manifests as infinite names/forms).
  • And how to see all vibhūtis resolving into ONE Cause?
    • Satya-mithyā relationship.
      • Forms within forms. Each intelligently put together.
      • Any mithyā resolves into satyam (nirguṇa Brahman; Awareness).
  • Accordingly, virāt-bhakta (Stage 2) is preparation for “tat tvam asi” (that you are) in Stage 3 (CH13-18).
    • “Asi” means “are”. Meaning: How ARE svarūpa of jīva (tvam; CH1-6) and īśvara (tat; CH7-12) the SAME.
  • IN V11: Being a committed virāt-bhakta, how is ignorance removed by grace of Parameśvara?


Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 10 – Verse 11:

teṣāmevānukampārtham ahamajñānajaṃ tamaḥ |
nāśayāmyātmabhāvastho jñānadīpena bhāsvatā ||

Out of compassion for them, I remaining in their intellect, destroy the darkness born of ignorance by the brilliant light of knowledge.


  • Teṣām eva (for them): For virāt-bhaktās / jijñāsu who want only śreyaḥ (the highest gain/auspiciousness), are eventually freed from jīva-hood. (Mokṣa).
    • Śreyaḥ refers to: Receiving buddhi-yoga (jñāna-yoga) > means of knowledge to mokṣa.
  • What is reason for receiving śreyaḥ? Anukampārtham; Bhagavān GIVES śreyaḥ out of sheer compassion.
    • This compassion can be known when one says “I am lucky”. Referring to Parameśvara-grace.
    • How is grace evoked? Through own puṇya-karma / prayer.
  • How will Parameśvara give the devotee śreyaḥ (highest gain of buddhi-yoga)? Ātma-bhāvasthaḥ.
    • Ātma: antaḥ-karaṇa (sūkṣma-śarīra). Mind.
    • Bhāva: vṛtti (thought modification).
    • I give because, I am (Īśvara) obtaining in-and-through every vṛtti within the antaḥ-karana.
      • This removes doubt of giver/taker duality. Mind always imagines Īśvara is away, giving to bhakta.
        • To counter dualistic idea, Krishna includes “aham”: I, as the very self of every jīva, obtaining in all vṛttis, give śreyaḥ.
  • Obtaining as essence of every thought, what is the result? Nāśayāmi tamaḥ; I destroy delusion of darkness/ignorance.
    • What ignorance? Self is body-mind. And body-mind is the self.
    • How is ignorance sustained? Aviveka; lack of discrimination of satya/mithyā. Ātma/anātma.
    • Why is ignorance destroyed? Because of bhakta’s OWN seriousness / commitment.
  • How does Īśvara’s grace destroy ignorance? Shining light of knowledge onto the buddhi. Leaving no doubts.
    • How does ātma-jñānam destroy ignorance? To answer, we compare:
      • Anātma-jñānam:
        • To destroy ignorance of world-knowledge (EG: JavaScript programming), what is involved?
          • Subject: Limited individual “I AM”. Ahaṅkāra (knower: pramātā).
            • From ajñāni’s standpoint: ahaṅkāra (knower) is the subjective “I AM”.
              • I AM doer/experiencer of emoting, thinking, doing, planning, meditating, etc.
                • What is a “doer”? I AM actor whom I don’t see myself apart from.
            • From jñāni’s standpoint: ahaṅkāra (knower) is an objective mechanism for transacting in vyāvahārika world.
          • Object: Javascript Programming.
        • Conclusion: “I” have destroyed ignorance of Javascript knowledge.
          • However status of ahaṅkāra is retained.
      • Ātma-jñānam:
        • When assimilated in buddhi, the mistaken notion of “I AM ahaṅkāra” is destroyed by knowledge that: I am consciousness in which ahaṅkāra operates.
        • Meaning buddhi recognizes:
          • Subject is self, but self is not the subject. (Satya-mithyā).
          • In other words: Knower (ahaṅkāra) – Known (object) – Knowledge (cognition in antaḥkaraṇa) are all mithyā. Dependent on Self (satyam).
    • How is ātma-jñānam different from anātma-jñānam?
      • Javascript is not ALREADY available in buddhi.
        • Hence it is gained by ACTION. Meaning, ahaṅkāra is involved.
      • Consciousness is already reflected in buddhi as self-evident “I AM”.
        • Meaning ātma-jñānam does not involve ahaṅkāra. Which is why ātma-jñānam able to destroy ahaṅkāra.
        • Because you don’t have to do anything to listen, other then expose your ears to śabda-pramaṇa, which removes ignorance.
          • Just like exposing nose to fish… knowledge of fish-smell will take place whether you like it or not. One doesn’t need to do intentional smelling.
  • Jñāna-dīpena bhāsvatā: Īśvara shines lamp of knowledge in the bhaktā’s buddhi, owning to bhaktā’s commitment.
    • Adi Shankara compares “dawn of knowledge” to lighted oil lamp. Implies: (1) Oil (2) Wick (3) Flame (4) Oxygen.
      • Oil:
        • Represents bhakti: devotion and cheerfulness. Also affection or love.
        • What is difference between LOVE and DEVOTION?
          • Devotion is when there is love (word discussed in L81), with respect and reverence.
      • Wick:
        • Represents buddhi purified by buddhi-yoga.
        • Wick must be soaked with oil (cheerfulness and bhakti).
          • Otherwise bhakta becomes very serious in life.
            • Reason for seriousness? Seeing own thoughts either virtuous or sinful.
            • Solution:
              • There are no good/bad thoughts. They are just thoughts. They will continue until death.
                • Thoughts don’t create puṇya/pāpa-karma.
              • All that counts is proper/improper actions.
              • This understands makes bhakta NOT RESIST fluctuating thoughts.
        • Where is wick located? In lamp called antaḥ-karaṇa.
          • Must be protected from strong winds of binding likes/dislikes.
      • Flame:
        • The fire of self-knowledge: Clarity of jīva & īśvara’s one identity.
      • Oxygen:
        • Sustains the flame through constant śravaṇam, mananam, nididhyāsanam.
        • Initially flame is feeble. One painful event, Vedānta forgotten. Must spend time revising.
        • How to make big flame? Apply oxygen neither too much nor too little.
  • NEXT VERSE: Arjuna reveals his understanding of what has been taught…


Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 10 – Verse 12 & 13:

paraṃ Brahma paraṃ dhāma pavitraṃ paramaṃ bhavān |
puruṣaṃ śāśvataṃ divyamādidevamajaṃ vibhum || 10.12

āhustvāmṛṣayaḥ sarve devarṣirnāradastathā |
asito devalo vyāsaḥ svayaṃ caiva bravīṣi me || 10.13

12 & 13. Arjuna asked — You are the supreme Brahman, the supreme light, and supremely holy. All the sages ( including) the divine sages, Narada, Asita, Devala, as well as Vyasa speak of you as the Self of all, eternal, divine, the primary God, birthless, and all- pervasive, You are also telling me (the same).


  • Krishna is finished with Īśvara svarūpam and benefits of viśva-rūpa or virāt bhakti.
  • Now Arjuna expresses interest (V12-18), wishing to know thoroughly Bhagavān’s glories. But first Arjuna shares what already understood. Oh Krishna, you are…
  • Param Brahma: You are the highest nirguṇa Brahman, appearing as saguṇa Īśvara.
    • Dressed up Brahman (by māyā clothing) = Īśvara.
      • IE: Brahman & Vibhūti = Īśvara.
    • Undressed Īśvara = Brahman.
  • You are, paraṃ dhāma: light because of which all see, hear, taste, smell. The light of all lights. The light of consciousness.
    • Abode: You are the most exalted end, reaching which, there is no further end.
  • Also paramam pavitram: most scared, holiest of the holy.
    • Anything becomes holy only because of it’s association to Lord.
      • EG: Saint is holy because discovered Lord in oneself.
    • In the wake of Īśvara-jñanam, the feeling of isolation is destroyed. Because “I am non-separate from Īśvara”.
      • Thus there is no sense of loneliness or isolation for a saint.
  • You are, puruṣa: Which has 2 meanings…
    1. One who is enclosed by body-mind-sense complex. Resident of sthūla/sūkṣma-śarīra.
    2. That which fills up everything.
      • So mantra, puruṣo ‘ham puruṣaḥ would mean: One who is seemingly enclosed by this body-mind complex, is indeed the limitless puruṣa, filling up everything.
  • Śāśvatam: Eternal one.
    • Just like when puruṣa leaves house, house is empty, but puruṣa (indweller) survives.
      • NOTE:
        • Jñāni puruṣa survives in terms of merging one with Brahman, after physical death.
        • Ajñāni puruṣa survives in terms of transmigrating to another physical body, after physical death.
  • Together: Puruṣam śāsvatam divyam: You are the ONE eternal self of all.
    • Reason why namaskāra is done. To recognize this body is manifestation of Parameśvara.
  • Ādideva: the same Parameśvara who was existent before all other devatās came. Like Brahmāji from Viṣṇu’s navel > Indra, Varuṇa, etc.
  • Ajam: who is unborn. A cause without a previous cause.
  • Vibhum: who is never away; all-pervading one.
  • VERSE 13:
    • sarve ṛṣayaḥ āhuḥ: From whom this knowledge is not only spoken from you Krishna, but of prior sages whose opinions are non-dismissable.
    • dēvarṣirnāradaḥ: Even heavenly sages speak of you, like Nārada; traveling teaching. And also…
    • asitaḥ dēvalaḥ vyāsaḥ: Devala is son of sage Asita. And Vyāsa the author of Mahābhārata.
    • svayaṃ caiva bravīṣi me: You declare this, whom I have complete śraddha in.
  • NEXT VERSE: Adds credibility to 12/13…


Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 10 – Verse 14:

sarvametadṛtaṃ manye yanmāṃ vadasi keśava |
na hi te Bhagavānvyaktiṃ vidurdevā na dānavāḥ ||

Oh Krishna! I consider all this which You tell me to be true, because neither the Gods nor the demons know Your manifestation, Oh, Lord.


  • tat ṛtam manye: I consider this knowledge to be true, O Lord.
  • ṛta & satyam words compared:
    • Satyam:
      • When spoken words are true to a fact. Inner-knowledge matches outer experience.
      • What about knowing a FALSE fact, but think it’s true? And communicate it truthfully? Also Satyam (from person’s angle).
    • Ṛtam:
      • You speak what you know is accepted by ṛṣis, and in line with śāstra.
      • Thus ṛta is above satyam. Arjuna considers Krishna to be ṛta-vadam.
  • devāḥ dānavāḥ te vyaktim na viduḥ: Even Gods don’t know your full glory, because they are all within time/space. Because you are the beginingless first cause.
  • NEXT VERSE: Arjuna shares further his gathered knowledge…


Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 10 – Verse 15:

svayamēva”tmanā”tmānaṃ vēttha tvaṃ puruṣōttama |
bhūtabhāvana bhūtēśa dēvadēva jagatpatē ||

Oh Krishna! The creator of all beings, the sustainer of all beings, the God of all gods, and the protector of the Universe! You alone know Yourself by Yourself.


  • puruṣottama: Another name for Īśvara. Technical word explained in CH15 when Krishna divides jagat into THREE:
    • kṣara puruṣa: manifest matter.
    • Akṣara puruṣa: unmanifest matter.
    • Uttama puruṣa: consciousness principle.
    • Puruṣottama means consciousness principle accommodating both manifest/unmanifest matter, ever untainted by the accommodated.
  • Bhūtabhāvana:
    • Bhūta: sṛṣṭi (manifestation).
    • Bhāvana: kartā (cause).
    • Sṛṣṭi-kartā.
    • You are the substratum puruṣottama from which matter evolves (Sage 2 word. Stage 3 would be “appears”).
  • Bhūteśa: Because you are sarvajña of manifestations, you also have knowledge how to manage manifestations.
    • EG: Every child’s milk teeth are managed at right time by puruṣottama. Lord never forgets single heartbeat.
    • Sthiti-kartā.
  • Jagat pate: Protector of the world from those who wish to destroy it.
    • How? Through willing instruments. EG: Freedom fighters of our time, like Ghandi, Mark Luther King, etc.
  • Svayam evātmanātmānaṃ vettha: You alone know yourself completely. You are the first guru from which all other body-mind gurus
    • All gurus had to remove avidyā (except Avatāras who are not born of past karma). Only Bhagavān never had avidyā.
  • NEXT VERSE: Up to Verse 15, glorification of Īśvara is complete. Next, Arjuna will ask Krishna a favor…


Keywords: aksara purusha, akshara, anatma-jnana, antah karana, antahkarana, atma-anatma, atma-jnana, avidya, jijnasu, jiva-hood, karta, ksara purusha, kshara, mahabharata, maya, namaskara, narada, nirguna, papa karma, parameshvara paramesvara, pramata, punya, purusa, purusha, purusho ‘ham, ritam, rta, rtam, saguna, satya-mithya, shraddha, sraddha, shreya, sravana, nididhyasana, sreyah, srishti, srsti, sukshma sharira, suksma sarira, vibhuti, virat-bhakta, vishva visva rupa bhakta, vyasa, vyavaharika


Credit for help in Bhagavad Gita teaching given to Swami Dayananda (Arsha Vidya), Paramarthananda & Chinmaya Mission

Recorded 11 Feb, 2020


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