Chapter 18: Conclusion-The Perfection of Renunciation
etad guhyam aham param
yogam yogesvarat krsnat
saksat kathayatah svayam
vyäsa-prasädät—by the mercy of Vyäsadeva; çrutavän—heard; etat—this; guhyam—confidential; aham—I; param—the supreme; yogam—mysticism; yogeçvarät—from the master of all mysticism; kåñëät—from Kåñëa; säkñät—directly; kathayataù—speaking; svayam—personally.
By the mercy of Vyäsa, I have heard these most confidential talks directly from the master of all mysticism, Kåñëa, who was speaking personally to Arjuna.
Vyäsa was the spiritual master of Saïjaya, and Saïjaya admits that it was by his mercy that he could understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This means that one has to understand Kåñëa not directly but through the medium of the spiritual master. The spiritual master is the transparent medium, although it is true that the experience is direct. This is the mystery of the disciplic succession. When the spiritual master is bona fide, then one can hear Bhagavad-gétä directly, as Arjuna heard it. There are many mystics and yogés all over the world, but Kåñëa is the master of all yoga systems. Kåñëa's instruction is explicitly stated in Bhagavad-gétä-surrender unto Krñëa. One who does so is the topmost yogé. This is confirmed in the last verse of the Sixth Chapter. Yoginäm api sarveñäm.
Närada is the direct disciple of Kåñëa and the spiritual master of Vyäsa. Therefore Vyäsa is as bona fide as Arjuna because he comes in the disciplic succession, and Saïjaya is the direct disciple of Vyäsa. Therefore by the grace of Vyäsa, his senses were purified, and he could see and hear Kåñëa directly. One who directly hears Kåñëa can understand this confidential knowledge. If one does not come to the disciplic succession, he cannot hear Kåñëa; therefore his knowledge is always imperfect, at least as far as understanding Bhagavad-gétä is concerned.
In Bhagavad-gétä, all the yoga systems, karma-yoga, jïäna-yoga and bhakti-yoga, are explained. Kåñëa is the master of all such mysticism. It is to be understood, however, that as Arjuna was fortunate enough to understand Kåñëa directly, similarly, by the grace of Vyäsa, Saïjaya was also able to hear Kåñëa directly. Actually there is no difference in hearing directly from Kåñëa or hearing directly from Kåñëa via a bona fide spiritual master like Vyäsa. The spiritual master is the representative of Vyäsadeva also. According to the Vedic system, on the birthday of the spiritual master, the disciples conduct the ceremony called Vyäsa-püjä.