त्रिभिर्गुणमयैर्भावैरेभि: सर्वमिदं जगत् |
मोहितं नाभिजानाति मामेभ्य: परमव्ययम् || 13||
tribhir guṇa-mayair bhāvair ebhiḥ sarvam idaṁ jagat
mohitaṁ nābhijānāti māmebhyaḥ param avyayam
tribhiḥ—by three; guṇa-mayaiḥ—consisting of the modes of material nature; bhāvaiḥ—states; ebhiḥ—all these; sarvam—whole; idam—this; jagat—universe; mohitam—deluded; na—not; abhijānāti—know; mām—me; ebhyaḥ—these; param—the supreme; avyayam—imperishable
Deluded by nature composed of these three qualities (Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas) the whole world does not know Me, the Higher and Imperishable.
When the clouds spread over the sky one cannot see the Sun, which is above the clouds. Even so, when the mind is deluded by the three qualities, one cannot see Atma, who is transcendental. Enveloped by these qualities, man remains like a worm in a fruit. It can move inside the fruit, but it cannot come out unless the rind is broken. So long as the qualities agitate the mind, the real Self cannot be perceived.
It is necessary first of all to understand the cause of ignorance and know that one is bound. Then only does he make the attempt to regain his freedom. The spiritual aspirant is on a higher plane because he has become conscious of his bondage and is eager to know the truth. This itself is a great step in evolution. The majority of people do not even know that they are slaves to their own lower nature. The aspirant is awakened to his present position as a bound soul, and so he strives to get himself free from the shackles that bind him. Except for the jivanmuktas, all the others – rich and poor, great and small, learned and illiterate – are bound by Maya. The eye cannot see objects when there is a cataract. It should be removed by surgical operation. Then the eye becomes clear and sees things distinctly. Such an operation should be conducted by the spiritual seeker. In this verse, the cause of ignorance is explained. In the next verse, the way to freedom is pointed out.