Know God As Spirit

Excerpts from God Talks with Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita
by Paramahansa Yogananda

Thou Art Dearly Loved by Me

Again listen to My supreme word, the most secret of all. Because thou art dearly loved by Me, I will relate what is beneficial to thee.
Absorb thy mind in Me; become My devotee; resign all things to Me; bow down to Me. Thou art dear to Me, so in truth do I promise thee: Thou shalt attain Me!
— The Bhagavad Gita XVIII:64-65

'Again listen to My supreme word, the most secret of all," the obvious question is, what is so profoundly secret? "Secret" means hidden, an experience of realization transcending the activities and ordinary observations of the mind and senses. Thus, this verse must be read as more than a simple formula for the single-minded bhahta. It is stating "again" the ultimate realization requisite to liberation.

The deeper metaphysical meaning of this stanza is entwined with the spiritual interpretation of stanza 62, wherein Lord Krishna asks Arjuna to remember God, saying: "Tam eva saranamgaccha," "Take shelter in Him."

In stanza 62, Arjuna was urged to concentrate on God as Cosmic Spirit; now he is exhorted to concentrate on God as "Myself."

To know God as that Spirit which is the origin and end of all beings is indeed the ultimate knowledge. But knowledge of God as the All in-All is possible only when the devotee realizes first the great "My self"—that Spirit present within himself, as well as omnipresent in the universe. Ordinarily, when the devotee speaks of "myself," he has in mind his ego; but when by meditation he succeeds in uniting his ego consciousness with the intuitive consciousness of his soul, he knows what is the true "Myself." This is why the Lord as Krishna is now urging Arjuna to lift his mind from the plane of the senses and be absorbed in the inner "Myself" or God, whose reflected presence in the devotee is his true Self.

A reflection of the moon appears distorted in a wind-ruffled lake; similarly, the reflected soul-image in the body is not clearly seen in a restless, sense-identified mind. Accordingly, God advises Arjuna to still the waters of his mind, so that, instead of seeing there the distorted ego-image of the Self, he would behold the clearly reflected true Self. Once able to gaze upon the tranquil soul, undisturbed by the ego's restlessness, Arjuna would then gradually come to understand that the soul, the little "Myself," is naught else than a pure reflection of Spirit, the great "Myself" spread over the skies of omnipresence. (pg.1084-1087)