We are now entering into chapter n°10.
Because what is said in the 9th chapter is of capital importance, the 10th chapter begins by the re-statement of the main essence of the 9th chapter. And Sri Krishna Himself said that what has been said so far in the 9th chapter is parapaṁ vacaḥ, is the supreme word, it is not our interpretation that the 9th chapter contains the supreme word, Sri Krishna Himself says at the very beginning of the 10th chapter: parapaṁ vacaḥ śṛṇu me, you listened to Me the highest word, the sacred word which is of the greatest importance:
bhūya eva mahābāho śṛṇu me parapaṁ vacaḥ |
bhūya eva means: again, once more, once more listen to Me, once more listen of the parapaṁ vacaḥ, the supreme word.
yat te ’haṁ prīyamāṇāya vakṣyāmi hitakāmyayā ||1|| (X)
This is being told because of hita-kāmyayā, because of the welfare and because he is being mood, Sri Krishna he is mood by a sense of prīya, sense of Love for Arjuna. This 10th chapter therefore up to verse n°11 is a re-statement with some additional knowledge still being bestowed upon Arjuna. As we know this 9th chapter was the description of the integral knowledge, the supreme knowledge which is all sided; it is also the description of the triple Yoga combined together, synthesis of Karma, Jnana, and Bhakti. Therefore from verse n°2 up to verse n°11 is a re-statement of the integral knowledge and integral Yoga in briefest terms with one important new element which takes the argument of the Bhagavad Gita one step farther and that is in verse n°6. What is stated in verse n°6 is something new which was not told so far. We know that from chapter n°7 onwards, in every chapter there is something new that is added as far as the knowledge of the Divine is concerned: God knowledge, soul knowledge and world knowledge; these three knowledges put together is integral knowledge, and in one way or the other in every chapter there is something additionally told to us as far as the knowledge of the Divine is concerned.
Now, this 6th verse is very important because it describes the Divine in the movement, the Divine in the formation of the cosmos, the Divine in cosmic movement, the world formation, the Divine in the world. And Sri Krishna says:
maharṣayaḥ sapta pūrve catvāro manavas tathā |
madbhāvā mānasā jātā yeṣāṁ loka imāḥ prajāḥ ||6|| (X)
“loka imāḥ prajāḥ, all these people they have been born out of Me, out of the Supreme but through sapta maharṣayaḥ, through seven Rishis of the ancient times, catvāro manavastathā, and through four Manus”. Now, this is a new knowledge which is being given in this chapter; that in this movement of the Supreme, the world is created through a certain movement of principles of being. These principles of being are seven; these principles are embodied at the mental level in the form of seven Rishis.
This is a very ancient tradition in Indian knowledge. In the Vedas there is the mention of seven Rishis; there is also mention of the four fold movement of the Divine when the world is created. Both these propositions are Vedic propositions; they are taken from the Veda; that is why the Bhagavad Gita is nothing but a continuation of the Vedic knowledge. According to the tradition seven Rishis were bhṛgu, marīci, atri, pulaśa, aṅgiras, kratu, and pulaṣya. These are the seven Rishis which have been mentioned in the Rig Veda. Each one of them represents one of the important principles of existence.
Now, if you want a comment upon it, it can be said, in the light of the Vedic knowledge, that there are seven planes of existence. The Veda speaks of seven principles, which are to be found in the world. Upanishad speaks of sapta sapta (Muṇḍ. Upn. 2.1.8.), that the whole world is so designed that everywhere you find seven principles existing, one of them more predominant, others subordinate. At the lowest when it comes down it is ‘physical’, which we see very easily, physical principle. Then, higher than the physical is the ‘mental’: it is called in the Veda: dyau. The physical is called pṛthivī and higher than that is the mental, which is called dyau. Between the dyau and the physical (pṛthivī), there is another principle which is called antarikṣa: pṛthivī, antarikṣa, dyau, these are three principles which we can see more easily here.
Then, higher than that is satya, the Truth: satyam, ṛtam, bṛhat, this is the 4th principle. The 5th is ānanda, the Bliss. Sixth is cit, Consciousness, Force and higher than that is sat, the supreme Existence: so, Existence, Consciousness-Force, Bliss, Truth, Mind, Life, and Matter.
These are the seven principles and the whole world is nothing but the manifestation of these seven principles. Even the physical have all others involved in it, they are not absent, but physical is more prominent, others are subdued. In the Life principle, life is more manifest others are subdued. In the Mind, Mind is more prominent, others are subdued and so on, but all the present principles are present there in the world.