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Bhagavagd Gita - Session 27- Track 2707

That’s right. That is the same reality. Yes that’s true, that is quite true. All metaphysics, which is very difficult is expounded in our poems of India in a very simple manner, like familiar songs; so many great things are told in a very simple way; but metaphysically there seem to be very difficult, and we are now doing some metaphysics.

So…but we have to make very clear; so there are formations, which you can call particular formations.


We shall come to that because then I have to explain what is ‘Mundaka Upanishad’. It will be a real digression, but we shall come to it if you want, Mundaka Upanishad some day.

?Question about ‘universal and individual’?

Yes, that’s right, it is brought out quite clear, but we shall come to it.

So, there is a formation which is ‘universal’; there is a formation which is ‘particular’; and there is a formation which you can call ‘individual’. Now ‘individual’ formation is a very peculiar kind of a formation: that is neither a ‘universal’ formation nor a ‘particular’ formation: it is a category by itself. And that is very important for us because each one of us is ‘that’. Most intimate to us is our own individuality; and what we are, can be understood best only when you understand this formation called ‘individual’. Since each one of us is that ‘individual’, for us the most intimate knowledge that we require is that ‘individual’.

‘Particulars’ are those formations which can be broken: you make an image out of clay and you can break it; you make another image out of the same clay: these are all ‘particulars’. Secondly each one of them has a limit, beginning and an end. The ‘universal’ is also a formation, but it has no beginning and no end; it is a different kind of formation.

Now, the ‘individual’ is a ‘finite’ whose ‘centre’ can be determined, but whose ‘circumference’ is everywhere. It is a very peculiar kind of individual formation. You know normally there is a circle form; a circle form has a centre (every circle has centre) and that centre, around it, there is at equidistance a kind of a circle which has a limitation. Now, the ‘individual’ is a centre, but whose circumference is not limited, whose circumference can always be expanded. Such is the nature of the ‘individual’. It is different from the universal, but without the universal formation, this individual formation cannot come into existence.

Therefore Bhagavad Gita says: parā prakṛti. Para Prakriti is the ‘universal’ formation. You might even say that Para Prakriti is the real cause of the universal formation out of which jīvabhūta, “parā prakṛtir jīvabhūtā”, it is that which becomes Jiva. And yet various particular forms can be opened and can be broken, can be formed and can be broken. This ‘individual’ is not of that nature; this individual is eternal: that is the Supreme Himself ‘is’ the individual. Just as when we say that Supreme is ‘transcendental’ and yet ‘universal’, similarly it can be said the Supreme is at once ‘transcendental’, ‘universal’, and ‘individual’. Such is the nature of the individual. The Supreme Himself ‘is’ the individual.

In other words Supreme Himself can take the position in the dynamic formations where He can be a ‘centre’ and therefore ‘finite’ and yet capable of becoming ‘universal’. That is the reason why the ‘individual’ can become as vast as the universe. When we tell anybody: “Do not become narrow, become universal, be one with whole humanity”. How can you become one with the humanity if by very nature you are limited to its finitude? But that is not so, the individual is by itself of such a nature, such a finite that the circle of it can always expand to the whole universe. And it is such a finite that the depth of the circle, if you go into the depth of the circle, it can unite with the transcendental, so it becomes one with the transcendental. Such is the peculiar nature of this formation, and the Divine is capable of this kind of formation also, very surprising but such is the formation. We are only describing the nature of it.

Is it the virāṭ svarūpa?

No, virāṭ svarūpa is the universal, but this is the individual; you and me all of us are individuals: Jiva.

It can unite with the transcendental but never become the transcendental.

In unity there are two terms: unity in the dynamic, and unity in the static, because reality is both static and dynamic. Since individual is nothing but the Supreme, it has also both static and dynamic aspects. In the dynamic aspect, it always remains united but not become one; but in the static aspect, it attains complete identity.