In the 14th chapter we have an elaborate understanding of the Apara Prakriti and the Para Prakriti. Apara Prakriti consists of the 3 Gunas and Para Prakriti is above the Gunas, although this chapter is entitled “guṇatrayavibhāga” in which…as if the whole chapter is devoted to only 3 Gunas, it is only an inadequate description. Actually this chapter concentrates upon the state above the Gunas. You will see towards the end of this chapter Arjuna specially asks the question: “Please tell me the characteristics of one who has gone above the Gunas.” This is the special question that Arjuna asks and the emphasis falls upon that description: one who has gone above the Gunas. So, this chapter when it describes the three Gunas this is only an introduction, it’s a description of Apara Prakriti. But the aim of the chapter is to show that you can go from Apara Prakriti into Para Prakriti.
No, no, no, in the 14th chapter itself Sri Krishna answers this question. The 14th chapter speaks of this very question. If you see verse n°21, in the 14th chapter.
Now, here Arjuna asks the question:
kair liṅgais trīn guṇān etān atīto bhavati prabho |
kim-ācāraḥ kathaṁ caitāṁs trīn guṇān ativartate ||21|| (XIV)
“By what marks, by kair liṅgais, by what marks one who has gone beyond atīto, guṇān etān atīto, one who has gone beyond the three Gunas, trīn guṇān etān atīto, how does one go beyond the three Gunas and what are the marks of the one who goes beyond this? kim-ācāraḥ, how does he act? kathaṁ caitāṁs trīn guṇān ativartate, and how one transcends these three Gunas?
This is the question Arjuna asks and the remaining portion of the entire chapter n°14 is the answer to this question: what is guṇatita?
Comment: How does one become nistraiguṇya?
Yes, that’s right. Yes, this is already hinted. Now, it is here that it is further expounded. How to become nistraiguṇya? How do you become without the 3 Gunas
So, this 14th chapter is actually a chapter which describes the conditions when you go above the Gunas. It is a continuation of the 13th chapter where Prakriti and Purusha are distinguished, then Apara Prakriti is described in this chapter with three Gunas, then a further step is taken as to how you go beyond the three Gunas and what are the characteristics of that stage, beyond the three Gunas and this is not yet complete, it is still further developed in the 15th chapter where the knowledge of Purusha and Prakriti is fully given, where the three-fold Purusha is described, Akshara Purusha, Kshara Purusha and Purushottama.
You might say that this is the real substance of the basic answer of Sri Krishna to Arjuna. You have to know the Purusha, all the three aspects, you have to know Prakriti as Apara Prakriti and Para Prakriti, you must know how you can go beyond Apara Prakriti and enter into Para Prakriti. In the process you come across the Devi Prakriti and the Asuric Prakriti, therefore Sri Krishna gives in the 16th chapter elucidation of these.
And then in the process of moving upwards there is a question of Shraddha; there is a question of works; a question of the mind; these are discussed in the 17th and 18th chapters, and then the final word is given as to how you really enter into Para Prakriti for ever and remain there and act from Para Prakriti and the condition of it is: complete surrender of the self to the Divine.
Comment: By the 15th Chapter the knowledge is given.
Yes, that is true, but these are the steps. Is it all right?
You wanted to ask something?
Question: I wanted to ask even after one is liberated one can still be in Apara Prakriti, then where is the liberation?
Therefore Sri Krishna does not regard it to be the final liberation.
sālokya mukti and…,
It should be, that’s why Sri Krishna says who “is dearer to Me”, one who devotes himself is ‘dearer’. But the ‘dearer’ is one who remains in the Dharma, the highest Dharma, amṛtam Dharma. So, the real Dharma of amṛtam, complete liberation, comes when you enter into sādharmya mukti: that is the whole teaching of the Gita that you cannot really act in the world, as the Divine acts, unless your nature becomes divine nature.
Question: And without the nature becoming the divine nature, one can attain to sālokya mukti or sāyujya…,
Yes, that is a stage of a development. In the movement mukti is defined as the loss of ego. Now, egoistic consciousness can be destroyed, central egoism is destroyed when you see the Divine, when you meet the Divine, when you begin to live with Him; or you forget everything in the world, you throw away Apara Prakriti and live in the Supreme, become one with Him, you are liberated. But Prakriti is not changed so when you come back to action, then by what instrument will you act? That’s why Sri Krishna says that unless you unite Karma, Jnana and Bhakti, the will, emotion and thought, all the three have to be united and transformed. Normal action, normal emotion and normal thought belong to Apara Prakriti, but you heighten all the three, unite all the three into the Divine, then only you are lifted from Apara Prakriti to Para Prakriti.
Therefore, that Bhakta who does it is dearer; one who only attains to his state of enjoyment of the Divine is ‘dear’; but the ‘dearer one’ is the one who attains to this amṛtam Dharma, who rises from the Apara Prakriti to the Para Prakriti and even acts with the Para Prakriti, even the instrument are not Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas. This is one of the capital points in the Bhagavad Gita that even in action…there is a very important question…He says what is the condition…we were just now reading n°21, if you read 22, His first answer is very worth reading. I am going so fast because you have raised the question and it should be answered properly, so I am going to the 22nd verse: