Bhagavagd Gita

Track Running Session 5- Track 503

This energy has three functions: she is the supreme ruler of all that is created, and shares therefore the rulership with the Supreme, Purusha; she measures out from Purusha, from Brahman, from Ishwara all that has to be brought out, and she executes all that is willed by Purusha. This is the basic difference between the Sankhya, as we understand it normally and the Sankhya that is given in the Bhagavad Gita. To conclude, all that we said about Sankhya last time is to be found in the Sankhya of the Gita, but added to that these three concepts: first Sankhya does not accept the existence of God at all, except in the early form of Sankhya which is called seṣvara sāṁkhya; secondly, according to Sankhya, Purushas are many; according to Bhagavad Gita’s Sankhya, Purusha is only one; thirdly, according to Sankhya, Purusha is only draṣṭā, and anumantā, but very passive anumantā, and bhoktā, whereas according to Bhagavad Gita, Purusha is draṣṭā, anumantā, bhoktā, bhartā, maheśvara. And along with it therefore, the concept of Prakriti is different in the Sankhya, in the Sankhya of the Gita, namely that Prakriti is Shakti, she herself is a ruler, creator, she is Maya, she measures out from the Immeasurable and she is executrix: she executes all that is willed by the Supreme. In the ordinary Sankhya these three are not present, only one, namely ‘executrix’, it is the only function in the ordinary Sankhya; Prakriti is only executrix: she is neither Shakti, nor Maya.

After having said this, one more word has to be added: that although Purusha is one, Sri Krishna says that ‘This one is capable of multiplicity’. According to Sankhya, Purushas are many ultimately; each one is different from the other, each one is ultimate. According to the Gita’s Sankhya, Purusha is one, but that very Purusha is multiple; ‘multiple’ is not ‘ultimate’; ‘ultimate’ is only ‘one’, but ‘that one’ is ‘multiple’. In other words, each one of us is not an ‘independent Reality’ ultimately: each one is nothing but a ‘partial manifestation’ of the ‘One’. Each one of us is actually a ‘manifestation’ of the Supreme.

There are three important words about the ‘individual’, given in the Bhagavad Gita. The one word is that ‘individual’ is called ‘Jiva’ (jiva): Jiva is so called because it is that by virtue of which we seem to be alive; because it is breathing in us, we are alive, therefore it is called Jiva. Secondly, that this Jiva is mamaivāṁśaḥ sanātanaḥ, (XV, 7) this is the expression of the Bhagavad Gita where Sri Krishna says that Jiva mamaivāṁśaḥ, is my own portion: Jiva is not independent, but my own portion. In other words Jiva is ‘Myself’, as much as a portion can be oneself; sanātanaḥ: it is eternal, ‘it is my eternal portion’.

And how does it become manifest? It is the first sentence, it becomes manifest parā prakṛtir jīvabhūtā, (VII, 5), this is another expression of the Bhagavad Gita, parā prakṛtir jīvabhūtā: the Jiva is that in which parā prakṛtir has manifested itself. ‘Para Prakriti’, not Prakriti but Para Prakriti, and ‘this’ is a major difference between the ordinary Sankhya and Bhagavad Gita’s Sankhya. In ordinary Sankhya, Prakriti is only what Bhagavad Gita calls Apara Prakriti (aparā prakṛti). But according to Sri Krishna, in the seventh chapter, you will come across this expression that, “I have two Prakriti(s), not one Prakriti. What is called normally Prakriti is only my ‘lower’ nature, is my Apara Prakriti. But I have a ‘higher’ nature: I have Para Prakriti”.

The Apara Prakriti consists of three Gunas: Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas. But Para Prakriti is not at all this triguṇātmaka: it does not consist of this three Gunas. It is dynamic, but not triguṇātmaka: it is my ‘higher’ nature, it manifests my ‘own’ nature, the ‘supreme divine’ nature which is not limited, which is not obscure, which has not become lower, which has not become ignorant. The lower nature is a divisive nature, which seems to be dividing everything, which creates the sense of division, the sense of disharmony, the sense of strife. Whereas Para Prakriti is full of harmony, full of peace, full of knowledge, full of dynamism without obstruction, not a dynamism in which there is strife, which is the nature of Rajas, not the nature of fever which is also the nature of Rajas in the lower nature. Human beings who are in the Apara Prakriti…

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