Diving into the Bhagavad Gita: Yoga of Hidden Treasure (Chapter 9)
by Reinier Dorrepaal
While knowledge of the self (selfless action or karma yoga) is revealed in the first six chapters of the Bhagavad Gita, knowledge of the union of the self through devotion in love (devotional yoga or bhakti yoga) is revealed in chapters seven to twelve.
Krishna begins Chapter 9 with three verses to draw Arjuna’s undivided attention because the knowledge he is going to reveal is very important; it is the ‘Hidden Treasure’.
Chapter 9, Verse 1
“O Arjuna, you are non-envious, and therefore I shall impart this supreme secret to you, in terms of both theory and experience, knowing which you shall be free from inauspiciousness.”
He mentions that Arjuna is non-envious. Arjuna never gets tired of listening and he is characterized as sincere and self-controlled. He has unlimited faith. This means that Arjuna has the opportunity to access the knowledge of pure devotion. If the mind accepts knowledge, our inner resistance can prevent us from really letting it penetrate through our mind. Therefore, the most confidential knowledge is the knowledge of pure devotion.
Chapter 9, Verse 2
“This is the king of knowledge, the king of secrets, the ultimate purifier. It is directly perceivable, easy to practice, and imperishable.”
What is the knowledge of kings? What is the hidden secret? Bhakti Yoga is the practical knowledge that results in the magical effect of developing a loving relationship with the divine (in this case Krishna). It is the magic that transforms all things by unveiling their connection with their spiritual origin.
“People who do not have faith in this dharma do not attain me.”
This means faith is the base for bhakti. Those who lack faith, remain in samsara or illusion.
Chapter 9, Verse 34
Krishna concludes with:
“Fix your mind on me. Be my devotee! Sacrifice for me. Offer obeisance unto me. Absorbed thus in me alone, you shall come to me.”
Krishna says here that a devotee should surrender completely to him.
- ‘Be my devotee’ – this symbolizes the offering of one’s heart as the basis of love.
- ‘Offer obeisance unto me’ – symbolizing the offering of the entire self, mind, body and speech.
This reminds us of the power of devotion, sacrifice and humility (I like the Dutch translation ‘nederigheid’). Verse 34 can be seen as the essence and conclusion of the Bhagavad Gita. The essence is that devotion, love - the heart’s domain - rules over all, which means that the practice of devotional yoga is developing a relationship with the divine or ‘god’. I like to see this divine as love or humility. It is about the dismantling of the self. Taking away the selflessness and making you realize that we are all connected.
To write this article I made use of two Bhagavad Gita’s:
The Bhagavad Gita, it's feeling and philosophy by Swami B. V. Tripurari
Walking with the Bhagavad Gita by Mansukh Patel.
Reinier has started practicing yoga in 2003. After years of led classes in various styles of yoga, the authentic ashtanga yoga fascinated him completely and in 2009 he became a dedicated practitioner of the traditional ashtanga yoga method.