Because I know you will not belittle it, I shall tell you the most profound secret knowledge which having understood, will free you of unrighteousness.
This dialogue between Krishna and his disciple Arjuna began as the result of Arjuna’s perception of what he was being asked to do as wrong. Lord Krishna is telling him that, if he understands what He is going to tell him now, he will be relieved of this concern.
- The Sanskrit for ‘unrighteous’ also means ‘unpleasant, inauspicious and unfortunate.’
“Because I know you will not belittle it”
Because Arjuna is well-disposed toward Lord Krishna, considers Him as Guru and will believe Him, Lord Krishna trusts him with this knowledge because he has the qualities that demonstrate his readiness to hear it.
- These qualities are (from the Sanskrit), respectful and devoted to Guru (Krishna), trustworthy and not of a jealous, covetous, begrudging or resentful nature.
“I will explain to you the most profound secret knowledge”
Lord Krishna is saying that He will explain it, tell it in a way that Arjuna can understand it. We like hearing this, because we will also be able to understand what he is saying … if we have the qualities mentioned above.
“Profound secret knowledge”
Other translations of ‘profound knowledge’ are ‘highest knowledge’ and ‘knowledge of the true nature of God’. With the word ‘secret’ we conclude that we are in the dark about something important. But we are about to hear this secret because Krishna is going to explain it to Arjuna as we listen in (we will have to listen very carefully).
- Secret – Something that is hidden, unknown, or not correctly understood.
Additional clues as to the nature of this secret are found in the Sanskrit. For instance, the word ‘profound’, modifier of the word ‘secret’, also means ‘an ascending node intensified to a high degree’.
A node is a point at which the amplitude of vibration in a standing wave system is zero. Or you can think of it as the point at which a path intersects with another path, suggesting that this zero-point is neutral—not positive and not negative.
Remember the see-saw you used to play on when you were a child? When one person was up the other person was down, and in the very center of all this activity of going up and down, was a pivotal point from which all this activity emanated and was supported without being in it (not going up and down).
The Power of Neutral
When I was doing Readings at the bookstore, I was sometimes asked to balance chakras (those energy centers along the spine). I always thought this was strange, this balancing business, because anything that has to be balanced is inevitably going to go out of balance again anyway.
But I would do this in my own way, which was to not try to get them all going around in clockwise rotation as expected, but to move both clockwise and counterclockwise motions to this zero point. This left people with a happy, pleasant and relaxed feeling. If someone was looking for something specific, I would then get the chakra associated with that activity to spin clockwise and they left feeling enthusiastic, inspired and happy.
Much of written Sanskrit teachings on spiritual science are stated in double negatives to suggest this neutrality, rather than ‘positive’. For example, “That which is not non-existent constitutes the Real.”
“Which having understood, will free you of unrighteousness”
Remember that Arjuna has been worried about not doing the right thing by engaging in this battle against the Kurus (‘doers’). Lord Krishna is saying that when he correctly understands what He is telling him, he will be free of this misconception.
Now to return to this secret, which has to do with a highly intensified ascending node, which must have to do with something going up in a highly intensified manner…
The node being referred to here is the central energy channel in the body (suṣumṇa nādī, ‘kind and gracious river’) through which the united prana and apana try to rise. Normally, these two polarized energies (positive and negative) are upward and downward flowing respectively, but when they are united (yoga), they are neutralized as opposites and function together as the intensified evolutionary force, kundalini. Kundalini is awake and eager to ascend, from the lowest chakra to the highest, transforming the human you to the perfect and imperishable individual that you really are.
Lord Krishna is telling this secret to Arjuna in an easy to understand manner. Next he will tell him how this is accomplished.
Namaste (I bow to the Divine One that You really are),