Bhagavadgita Chapter 15 Purushottama Yoga Verse 11

Chapter 15 Purushottama Yoga Verse 11

Yatanto yoginashchainam pashyantyaatmanyavasthitam;
Yatanto’pyakritaatmaano nainam pashyantyachetasah.

The Yogis striving for perfection behold Him dwelling in the Self; but, the unrefined and unintelligent, even though striving, see Him not


After talking about ignorant body enjoying through the senses and not bothering about the soul which has an imprint of the Lord, in this shloka, Lord Krishna differentiates the yogis and the unintelligent in understanding the needs of the soul. He says that apart from the people who are wise, the Yogis who have been striving for perfection in their field also have been able to behold the Lord in them and understand the needs of the soul. Then Lord also says that the only people who cannot understand the needs of the soul are the unintelligent ones, even though they have a lot of knowledge.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

One thing we all need to understand is that our mind has the natural tendency to reject anything that does not fit into the frame of our scientific and philosophical beliefs. Some one might still call himself a believer, but a believer should not pick and choose in his beliefs. He cannot apply the yardstick of his knowledge in accepting or rejecting things. We feel that certain things that people believe in, looks illogical for us as they dont fit into the belief system of ours. Then naturally we make fun of that belief system and discard that knowledge. One has to understand that things change with time and technological advancements should never be taken as the only basis for defining the truth.

Once it so happens that a big frog which stays in the rocks adjacent to the ocean travels a bit far and accidentally falls into a well. There it meets another frog which has been living in that well for quite sometime. They both start to discuss about the size of their dwelling. The frog in the well asks “How big is the ocean that you live in”? Is it 5 times bigger? The frog says, no its much bigger. Then it asks, is it 10 times or 100 times? The frog from the ocean says much bigger. Then the frog in the well says, you must be lying, how can ocean be more than 100 times bigger than the well where I live? You must be crazy, it says. This is exactly how we react when someone talks about things we cannot perceive.
There was a time when we used to think that Pluto is the farthest planet in the solar system. That was in 1930 when Pluto was discovered. When it came inside the orbit of Neptune for sometime it was thought that pluto might be a satellite or moon of Neptune. Then it was discovered that Pluto around itself has some satellites revolving. Then scientists had a confusion on its status. Finally in 2006 it was clearly decided that Pluto is a dwarf planet and a separate category of dwarf planets was created to accommodate pluto and some other smaller planets that were discovered. Similarly there was a time when we thought Jupiter has a solid surface like Earth. Then the space shuttles that went and videographed Jupiter have given a clear indication that Jupiter doesnt have solid surface but has a thick layer of gas which appears like solid surface. That means if someone falls down from space into Jupiter, he would never hit the surface but will get deeper and deeper into these thick layered gases.
These amazing facts if told 100 years ago nobody believes and what people dont believe today, might get a proof 100 years later. So, one has to clearly understand that knowledge is not the only thing that is required for a person to judge things. What is required is the belief system and the ability to foresee things. This is something that a Yogi can only achieve and thus he is more qualified to understand the needs of a soul than a person who has got a lot of knowledge in his work area. In short, many knowledgeable people are actually ignorant, as they can never see things beyond their realm. 

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