“I know the living and the dead and those who are yet to be, but no one knows Me. All living beings are born into the deluding power of opposites that arise at birth: attraction and aversion. But those persons who perseveringly perform virtuous action in surrender to Me, get their faults eradicated and are liberated from the delusion of duality.” — Lord Krishna, Bhagavad Gita, ch 7, vs 26-29
I know the living and the dead, Arjuna, and those who are yet to be, but no one knows Me.
Lord Krishna knows all of us, and He knows us completely—as we are now, as we have been in previous existences, and as we will exist beyond this lifetime. He has this knowledge because He accepts us unconditionally. One can only truly know someone by accepting them in this way.
Know – recognize, identify, be aware of, experience, accept, be familiar with, experience directly.
All of us are known to God, but we do not know God. To truly know anyone, we must accept them for what they really are: Divine. We do not accept them for what they look like or what they do, but what they truly are underneath all the packaging—perfect, eternal, unborn and imperishable: Absolute. Lord Krishna is saying that although He has accepted all of us, we have not accepted Him, and that by accepting Him we can truly know Him.
Knowledge of another is gained by accepting them unconditionally.
Understanding this, the meaning of “Jesus saves” is proved. He has accepted each and every one of us unconditionally. If we accept Jesus, we accept someone who has already accepted everyone. By accepting Him we are united with Him, and because He has accepted everyone, we have accepted everyone by default.
Whether through the absolute acceptance of Lord Jesus or another like him, we take a short cut to the full acceptance of everyone as divine and the same as ourselves. It is this that saves us. It is the shortcut to the finish line that saves us now and ends the domination of dual conditions such as birth and death, and the suffering and unhappiness that accompanies them.
If you believe that you have accepted Jesus as your savior but you still deny others as Divine and the same as You, you deny Jesus.
This acceptance is full and complete surrender to the Divine, whether to God, a God-person like Jesus or Krishna, or a true Guru. It is how the guru-disciple relationship works, and how, as the Guru Gita states, “God and Guru are but two names; the truth is they are forever One,” and it is how “God, Guru and the true Self are the same.”
Each of us is a divine individual that is the same as all other individuals in what it is that we really are: divine, perfect, eternally deathless and unborn: imperishable. But we are blind to this. We do not know the nature of our true selves, and we do not know God. The next verse tells us why this is so:
All living beings are born into ignorance due to the deluding power of opposites that arise at birth: attraction and aversion.
Attraction and aversion arise at the moment of birth. Lord Krishna is telling us how this dual phenomenon causes us to become identified with what we have come to understand as illusion, and are therefore unable to know Him. If one were to be born in a state devoid of these two it might be otherwise, but because we are drawn to the things we like and are averse to things we dislike, we are influenced by them from the very beginning, and illusion, as opposed to Reality, is set in place. The next verse will tell us how to remedy this situation:
But those persons who perseveringly perform virtuous action in surrender to Me, get their faults eradicated and are liberated from the delusion of duality.
Impurities, faults, sins, come to an end when one’s actions are pure—when all action is God-action, actions not willfully done for one’s own purposes. Only surrender to God can bring about God-action. All other actions are tainted with desire, self-interest and willful intent. Thus we do not ‘know’ God.
Through union (yoga) this comes to an end and one is liberated from the illusion of duality. In other words, duality is still what it is—an illusion of the human condition—but now you know it for what it is and are no longer subject to the pull of polarities. This comes about through the resolute and persevering practice of God-action in meditation—complete surrender to Absolute God. By this surrender, you will come to know (experience) God directly.
Namaste (I bow to the Divine One that You really are),
P.S. I have had one experience of an individual who appeared to have been born free of the grip of illusion. This was a young boy still in the crib in Mother Theresa’s orphanage in India. He sat facing into the room, in full lotus, his hands resting on his thighs, his semi-closed eyes meeting mine. I felt blessed by God and offered pranam (bowing and touching the feet) to this child without hesitation. Even the nuns were is awe of him and treated him so.