TEXT 17
katham vidyam aham yogims
tvam sada paricintayan
kesu kesu ca bhavesu
cintyo 'si bhagavan maya
SYNONYMS
kathamhow; vidyam ahamshall I know; yogin—O supreme mystic; tvamYou; sadaalways; paricintayanthinking; kesuin which; kesuin which; caalso; bhavesunature; cintyah asiYou are remembered; bhagavan—O Supreme; mayaby me.
TRANSLATION
How should I meditate on You? In what various forms are You to be contemplated, O Blessed Lord?
PURPORT
As it is stated in the previous chapter, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is covered by His yoga-maya. Only surrendered souls and devotees can see Him. Now Arjuna is convinced that His friend, Krsna, is the Supreme Godhead, but he wants to know the general process by which the all-pervading Lord can be understood by the common man. No common man, including the demons and atheists, can know Krsna because He is guarded by His yoga-maya energy. Again, these questions are asked by Arjuna for their benefit. The superior devotee is not only concerned for his own understanding, but for the understanding of all mankind. Out of his mercy, because he is a Vaisnava, a devotee, Arjuna is opening the understanding for the common man as far as the all-pervasiveness of the Supreme is concerned. He addresses Krsna specifically as yogin because Sri Krsna is the master of the yoga-maya energy by which He is covered and uncovered to the common man. The common man who has no love for Krsna cannot always think of Krsna; therefore he has to think materially. Arjuna is considering the mode of thinking of the materialistic persons of this world. Because materialists cannot understand Krsna spiritually, they are advised to concentrate the mind on physical things and try to see how Krsna is manifested by physical representations.

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