--> Skip to main content

Bhagavad Gita Chapter X – Verse 3

He who knows Me as birthless and beginningless, the Bhagavan of the universe, among mortals he is not-deluded and is freed from all sins. (Bhagavad Gita Chapter 10, Verse 3)

What does Sri Krishna mean? He says here that those who know Him as birthless and beginningless are free from all sins. Don’t we all know that God is birthless and eternal, without beginning and without end? Don’t we all know that He is the Bhagavan of the universe? How then can Sri Krishna say that those who know this are undeluded and freed from all sins? For though we know all this, we also know very well that we are not free from the delusion of maya; we also know that we are by no means sinless.

The answer is, we think we know, but we really don’t know. Our life, our deeds, our words — everything indicates that we do not know God. And without knowing Him, how can we know that He is eternal and the Bhagavan of the universe? There is but one convincing proof and that is not knowledge or hearsay but direct perception, realization. Until we meet God face to face, we do not know Him or anything concerning Him. We may think and guess and imagine, but that is not knowing.

Knowing in Vedanta means realizing. And only that Knowledge, or realization, can make us free and sinless. When Narendra (later Swami Vivekananda) was in search of a spiritual teacher, he went all over to find someone who knew God. ‘Have you seen Him?’ — that was his first question. And he did not rest until he came to the saint who could answer, ‘Yes, my boy, I see Him face to face, in a more real sense than even I see you.’ He could teach Naren, for he knew, he saw God. But such men are very, very few in this world. Among mortals, they are undeluded and freed from all sin, for they know the Lord and they know themselves, and they know all that is to be known.

Religion is not learning, but being and becoming. We may know all the shastras by heart; we may be conversant with all the philosophies; we may be able to hold our own in arguments — and still be ignorant of God. ‘If any religion is true,’ says Swami Vivekananda, ‘then it must be able to show us the soul and show us God and the truth in ourselves.’

The study of books will not reveal God to us, says the Amritabindu Upanishad: ‘After studying the scriptures, the intelligent one who is solely intent on acquiring knowledge and realization, should give up the scriptures entirely, like the man who looking for the rice rejects the husk.’ ‘This Atman is not to be reached by too much talk; no, not even by the highest intellect; no, not even by the study of the Vedas themselves.’ It is very difficult to know God.

We think in our foolishness that we know  Him. What does the Kena Upanishad say? ‘It is known to him to whom it is unknown; he knows it not to whom it is known. It is unknown to those who know, and known to those who do not know.’

To know God, we must be born again. We must be born in the Spirit. ‘For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.’ When we are God’s children, then we know Him. Not before that. ‘But the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.’ Yes, when we are God’s children, then we are not-deluded and freed from all sins, whether consciously or unconsciously incurred. Then we know the Truth. Then Truth alone triumphs in us and not falsehood. Through Truth alone lies the path of Bliss. When we know God as the divine Spirit, birthless and beginningless and as the supreme Lord of the universe, we are no longer under delusion; we are no longer ignorant; we are no longer under the curse of sin. Then all the desires for the sense life disappear. The mind has become pure and free from attachment. ‘Where there is Rama there is no desire (kama); where there is desire there Rama is not’ is a Hindu saying. Where God is realized there is no desire, no sin. Where sin dwells, there God is not.