In the first six chapters Krsna has given all the knowledge required for a person to lift off from the material realm to heights of Perfection. Arjuna, however, remains unmoved. He has not assimilated the knowledge. He needs to ponder over it to transform it to wisdom. This is the case with us all. There is a huge gap between knowing and doing. Like Arjuna we speak words of wisdom. But we are unable to use the knowledge to overcome the challenges of life and emerge victorious. This is because we have not followed through the three phases of sravana, manana and nidhidhyasana. Sravana is listening or reading, the intake of knowledge. Having listened, we need to reflect and mull over it, contemplate on it, look at it from different angles. Only then will the knowledge get integrated into our system. This is called manana. When the knowledge is internalised we begin to live it. Nidhidhyasana is meditation which leads to Realisation, the last step to gaining knowledge of Self.
Krsna bridges the knowing-doing gap in Chapter VII by enforced reflection. He presents the knowledge from a fresh perspective and ignites original thinking. He promises knowledge as well as wisdom by which we can attain the Highest. He infuses devotion which helps convert theory to practice.
Krsna begins with an analysis of the world and shows how Brahman permeates the universe. As humans we have the choice of staying with the world or penetrating through to the Spirit. Pursue limited, myopic goals or rise above the obvious and seek the Eternal. The choice is ours. Krsna supports us in our chosen path and ensures we obtain what we strive for. All paths eventually lead to Him. In the end everyone seeks happiness, infinite bliss. Some look for it in the world, some through different religious practices. Krsna respects all paths. In this lies the open-mindedness of the Indian tradition. Not only do we respect all faiths but we accept even agnostics and atheists in our fold.
The onus is on us to figure out the quickest and most effective path to the goal of total Fulfilment. The ignorant, unaware of the higher, seek and obtain finite ends. A few people visualise that which transcends the material plane and worship God. They belong to four categories. Some turn to God only to enhance their wealth. They believe that supplication to God will bestow riches on them. The distressed, who meet with tragic circumstances and are agitated, seek solace. Others are curious and look for answers to questions. But the jnanis, the wise, excel. They see the futility of worldly pursuits and abide in the Transcendental. They are not carried away by the glitter of transitory joys. They seek permanent happiness. They reach Enlightenment.
Brahman is hidden, unmanifest, shrouded by maya illusion. We see the manifestations and get carried away by them. The deluded world does not know Me – the Unborn, the Imperishable – says Krsna. But the virtuous who have freed themselves from the delusion of the pairs of opposites worship Me with determination.