….so important that I have anticipated many things. We are not studying merely chapter by chapter. We are studying the Bhagavad Gita as a whole and while dealing with one chapter, if we need to anticipate something that is in later chapters, we need to bring it, so that we can answer the question at the right time when the question arises. The one principle of pedagogy is: you should not postpone the curiosity; you should answer the question when it arises. You can say that this question can best be answered when I will have finished everything; that also could be said. But as far as possible it is best to answer the question when it arises, because otherwise all that you are going to say will always go on jarring, because that question is not answered. Until it is answered, how can you move forward? That is why I have taken the link at this stage. In any case, Bhagavad Gita has to be read as a whole, and Sri Krishna when He starts His teaching, it is not as He comes to know what is in the 15th chapter only at the 15th chapter. He knows even when He speaks of the first chapter; He knows what he is going to say later on. So, we can enter into His consciousness, as it were, and when the question arises we can bring out from what He is going to say later on. In any case, this question requires a holistic answer; it is such an important question, such a difficult question that we have to put all the premises first of all very clearly.
So, we have now a starting point that there is a reality which is wonderful, which is something quite different from what we see in the world around, and one wonder of it is that it is ‘simple–complex’: it is at once static and dynamic. Now, this dynamism at the very source is dependent upon akṣara, or you might say depends upon Purushottama, but depends in a very special manner, namely that although it depends upon Purushottama, it is one with Purushottama. This is also a kind of the mystery and one of the wonder of Reality: usually that which depends is not one, identical, it has to be different. That Reality is only one; there is nothing other than the Reality, that this power cannot be something other than that Reality. So, it is that which is ‘in’ that Reality but one ‘with’ that Reality. Why do you say it is ‘in’ that reality? Because that power may manifest, may not manifest, and it depends upon the Purushottama Himself. There is something which is Purushottama, which is more than the power, although the power is one with Him, still it is something more than that. Such is the nature of reality. Therefore it is wonderful. It is anupamā: there is no simile of it. It is such a reality that it is more than power and yet power is inherent in it and power is one with Him. We start with these startling statements.
In any case, this is the teaching of the Veda, the Upanishads and the Gita. And what is stated is that if this is the nature of Reality when you experience it; not when you think of it. When you experience it, such is the nature of Reality. This is something similar to what happened to modern physicists. When they were thinking of atoms they said it can be only a particle or a wave but not both. But when they experienced that very atom, they are obliged to say that in experience you find it is at once ‘particle’ and ‘wave’. What can we say about it! It is like that. So, on the basis of the experience it is found that the nature of Reality is such that it is only one, in which the elements of mobility and immobility are present; one does not negate the other: when mobility takes place, immobility is not exhausted, is not diminished, it remains the same. And yet the force flows from it: we speak of the conservation of energy; that energy spent or not spent always remains the same. That is physics telling us.
And you can ask the question: if the energy is spent, how can the energy remain the same? But such is what the physics says that even if the energy is spent, the total energy always remains the same. That is also a mystery. Such is the nature of Reality. You can determine the nature of Reality only by knowing what it is. You cannot decide on your own that the Reality must be like this. You cannot dictate the Reality must be like this. If Reality is like that you have to describe that the Reality is like this, even though it may give a great shock to your brain, but Reality is not in respect of your brain: the brain has to respect the Reality because it is that which is trying to understand the Reality. But such is the nature of the Reality. I am speaking at length on this because the question that you have raised requires that everything should be made perfectly clear in the very first premises; then other things will follow much more easily.
Now, this Reality when it manifests, you will find that there is nothing to restrict it. All restrictions come only from something else. I can be restricted by outside force; if I am the only one, then I have no restriction; nobody can limit it. Therefore the movement of forces is unlimited: it can move in many ways, in different ways, there are no restrictions at all. That is what is called ‘free will’: the free will is that which has no restriction in its movement: it can remain immobile if it wants to remain immobile; it can be mobile if it wants to be mobile; it can be mobile in unlimited way if it wants; it can be mobile in hundred different ways, or millions ways: all these are possibilities of that energy, of mobility.