In the tenth chapter the Lord continues the instructions to Uddhava. A person forsaking all desires should follow the conduct prescribed for his varna, ashrama and kula. Spiritual practices are to be undertaken under the guidance of a Guru, chosen with care.
The Guru should have realized the Lord and be full of tranquility and incessantly meditating on the Lord.He should be free from pride, jealousy, sloth and attachment. Sri Hari though distinct from the jeeva, appears to the ignorant as undergoing transmigration. Understanding the qualitative differentiation between the various jeevas from Brahma downwards, firmly rejecting the notion of supremacy for the jeeva, the aspirant should learn at the feet of the qualified preceptor.
The preceptor is compared to the piece of wood underneath, the disciple is the upper one and the instructor is the churning rod (middle one); self knowledge is the delightful fire (illumination) provided by friction. The direct knowledge of Sri Hari destroys the veil, which covers the swarupa of jeeva-the veil, which generates base desires in one- and thereafter uncovers the veil around the Paramatma. With this firm knowledge and understanding of ones constitutional position (swarupa) the jeeva enjoys the bliss of Paramatma in Mukti. In that state, the intellect that was an instrument to pierce the veil, itself becomes quiescent like the fire, which has consumed its fuel.
The differences seen in the Madhyama jeevas and Uttama jeevas in their approach and attitude towards action; and their fruits, follows from their respective constitutional and external positions. The complete dependence of all the jeevas on the Lord is once again stressed. Even when Jnanis who have yet to overcome body identification cannot be happy, it goes without saying that others who have no knowledge and who are vain and egoistic can never be happy. The transitory and evanascent character of worldly pleasures is brought out. As also the exhaustibility of heavenly pleasures and being forcibly returned to earth once the merit is exhausted .The senses which are the products of Gunas of prakriti, bring about actions and the jiva invested with the body and falsely identifying with the same, reaps the fruits of actions. As long as the gunas and their evolutes function, the jiva under the influence of Avidya experiences the manifoldness of the Atman. As long as this experience and manifoldness lasts, there is bondage. Once the Avidya dissolves, manifoldness also ceases in mukti.”So long as the dependence of the jeeva continues, there is fear from the Lord”, those who subscribe to this heresy fall into the darkest regions of hell.
Uddhava now asks the Lord whether (1) Sri Hari is ever bound by the gunas or not? (2) How does a person liberated or bound behave and by what characteristics is he to be known? The answers to these questions are provided in the eleventh chapter.