November 29, 2006

Gita XIII—The Individual self

Reality is, in its own nature, infinite, absolute, untrammeled, inalienably possessed of its own unity and bliss. The cosmic process has assumed five stages which are matter (anna), life (prana), mind (manas), intelligence (vijnana) and bliss (ananda). There is an inner direction given to things by reason of their participation in the creative onrush of life. The human being is at the fourth stage which is intelligence or vijnana. He is aware of the universal reality which is operating in the whole scheme. He seems to know matter, life and mind. He has mastered, to a large extent, the material world, the vital existence and even obscure workings of mentality but has not yet become completely illumined consciousness.

The divine dwells in the inmost being of man and cannot be extinguished. It is the inner light, the concealed witness, that which endures and is imperishable from birth to birth, untouched by death, decay or corruption. It is the principle of the jiva, the psychic person which changes and grows from life to life and when the ego is completely harmonized by the Divine, it ascends into spiritual existence which is its destiny and until this happens it travels between birth and death.

November 21, 2006

Gita XII--- Brahmanda or Cosmic Egg

Cosmic egg or Brahmanda includes within itself the totality of manifested being. All later developments are contained within it in a germinal form. It contains the past, the present and the future. Arjuna sees the whole world form, visvarupa, in one vast shape. He sees the form of the divine bursting the very bounds of existence, filling the whole sky and the universe, worlds coursing through it like the cataracts.

God’s real being is veiled by the play of prakriti and its modes. The world is said to be deceptive as God hides Himself behind His creation. The world is not a deception but the occasion for it. The world and its changes constitute the self-concealment of God or obscuring of the creator by His creation. Man is inclined to turn towards the objects of the world instead of directing his mind to the creator. God seems to be a great deceiver as He creates the world and its sense objects and turns our senses outward. The proneness to self-deception lies in the desire for the things of sense which actually leads man away from God. The world or objectified nature or samsara is fallen, enslaved, alienated and it is full of suffering, as alienation from inward being is suffering.

This relative unreality of the world is confirmed by the self-contradictory nature of the process of becoming. There is a struggle of opposites in the world of experience, and the real is above all opposites.

November 17, 2006

Gita XI: Being and Non-being

The Spirit which transcends all dualities, when looked at from the cosmic end becomes sundered into the transcendental subject facing the transcendental object. Subject and object are the two poles of the one Reality. They are not unrelated. The principle of objectivity, mulaprakriti, the unmanifested (avyakta) potentiality of all existence is of the very nature of the creative Logos, Ishvara. The eternal “I” confronts the pseudo-eternal “not-I.” As the “not-I” Prakriti (nature), is a reflection of the Self, it is subordinate to the Self. When the element of negation is introduced to the Absolute, its inwardness is unfolded in the process of becoming. The original unity becomes pregnant with the whole course of the world.

Cosmic process is the interaction between the two principles of being and non-being. God is the upper limit with the complete control of non-being and matter or prakriti, is the lower limit of the being. The Gita does not uphold a metaphysical dualism; for the principle of non-being is dependent on being. Non-being is a necessary moment in reality for the unfolding of the Supreme. If the world is what it is, it is because of the stress. The world of time and change is ever striving to reach perfection. Non-being which is responsible for the imperfections is a necessary element in the world. Only because of this, the ideas of God are actualized. The divine forms and matter belong to the one spiritual whole. When it is lifted into incorruption, when it becomes completely illuminated, the purpose of the supreme is realized and the world is restored to its origin in pure Being, above all distinctions.

Why is there non-being? Why is there the fall or the precipitation of from absolute being to becoming? Why is the world a perpetual strife between being and non-being? Absolute being is behind and beyond the world and in the world; He is also the Supreme Living God, loving the world and redeeming it by His Grace. WE cannot account for the world but can only construe its nature, which is strife between being and non-being, in the process of becoming. Pure being is above the world and pure non-being is below the lowest existent. If we go lower still, it is absolute nothing, it is absolute non-entity. In the world of true becoming, samsara, we have the conflict between the two principles of being and non-being.

November 12, 2006

Gita X: Nirguna (above quality) and Acintya (inconceivable)

If the fundamental form of the Supreme is nirguna, beyond quality and acintya, inconceivable, the world is an appearance which cannot be logically related to the Absolute. In the unalterable eternity of Brahman, all the moves and evolves is founded. They exist by It, they cannot be without It, though it causes nothing, does nothing, determines nothing. While the world is dependent on Brahman, Brahman is not dependant on the world. This one sided dependence and the logical inconceivability of the relation between the Ultimate Reality and the world are brought out by the word, “maya.”

Maya does not imply that the world is an illusion or is non-existent absolutely. It is delimitation distinct from the unmeasured and immeasurable. By why is there this delimitation? We cannot answer this at empirical level. In this journey, we have embarked on, it may be revealed to us or maybe not. It solely depends on us.

In every religion, the Supreme Reality is conceived as infinitely above our time order, with its beginning and end, its movement and fluctuations. God, in the Christian religion, is represented as without variableness or shadow of turning. If this were all, there would be an absolute division between the Divine life and this pluralistic world, which would make all communions between the two impossible. If the Supreme Reality were unique, passive and immobile, there would be no room for time, for movement, for history. Time, with its processes of change and succession, would become a mere appearance. But God is living principle, a consuming fire. It is not question of either an Absolute with an apparent multiplicity or a living God working in this pluralistic universe. The Supreme is both this and that; Eternity does not mean the denial of time or history. It is the transfiguration of time. Time derives from eternity and finds fulfillment in it. In the Bhagavad-Gita, there is no antithesis between eternity and time. Krishna unites the eternal and historical. The temporal movement is related to the inmost depths of eternity.

November 08, 2006

Gita IX: God, the goal to God, the guide

According to the Bhagavadgita,”at midnight, in the thickest darkness, the Dweller in every heart revealed Himself in the divine Devaki (she is the mother of Krishna. He is said to be born of Vasudeva and Devaki) for the Lord is self hidden in the hearts of all beings.” The glorious radiance arises from the blackest of black nights. In mysteries and revelations, night is rich. The presence of night does not make the existence of light less real. But for night, there can be never human consciousness of light. Birth of Krishna in the darkest of stormy night is manifestation of redemption of Humanity. The incarnation of Krishna is not much of conversion of Godhead into flesh as of taking up manhood into God.

In Gita, Krishna, as teacher guides his pupil, Arjuna to attain the status that He has Himself attained. Arjuna has not yet received the saving truth. He is fighting with the forces of darkness, falsehood, limitations and mortality which bar the way to the higher world. When his whole world seems to have fallen apart, when he is unaware of law of action, he takes refuge in his higher self, typified by Krishna, the jagadguru, the world teacher, and appeals for the grace of enlightenment.

Every individual is a pupil, an aspirant of perfection, a seeker of God and if he seeks earnestly, with faith, God the goal, becomes God the guide. It must be mentioned here that so far as validity of teachings in the Gita is concerned, the realities of spirit are the same now as they were thousands of year ago and difference of race and nationality do not affect them. The essential thing is truth or significance.