In the case of Para Prakriti, there is no movement from darkness to light. In Para Prakriti, it is plenary daylight. In plenary daylight you don’t start from darkness into light, it is light everywhere: this is the nature of Para Prakriti. As it is said the movement in Para Prakriti is from knowledge to knowledge. In the Apara Prakriti, the movement is from ignorance to knowledge. This is the fundamental difference between Apara Prakriti and Para Prakriti. As long as we are in Apara Prakriti, you move from ignorance to knowledge. When you are in Para Prakriti, you go from knowledge to knowledge. It is as it were, whatever is given to you is luminous; it will become more luminous; it will become still more luminous, and still more luminous. It is a progressive revelation of light, in which nothing of the previous is cancelled. The difference between going from ignorance to knowledge and from knowledge to knowledge is this: that when you go from ignorance to knowledge, then what was in ignorance is cancelled. In the case of knowledge to knowledge, when you move from one to the other, the next step does not cancelled your previous step; it is only addition: pūrṇam adaḥ pūrṇam idam pūrṇāt pūrṇam udacyate, ‘This is perfect, that is perfect; that perfect added to perfect is perfect; take out perfect from perfect is perfect’. This is the condition of Para Prakriti. But in Apara Prakriti you go from error into knowledge; therefore, when you get the knowledge, error is cancelled. In the case of Para Prakriti, there is no error. Even though the present formulation of knowledge may be limited; it is completed next day, next time.
Is that clear to you now, in what sense are manas, buddhi, and ahaṁkāra are condition of incomplete consciousness?
Jiva by nature is also called ‘The Ether of Sweetness’: its very nature is sweetness. Sweetness is also symbol of immortality; the very nature of Jiva is immortality. Jiva cannot really live happily in the conditions of mortality and Apara Prakriti is a condition of mortality. Birth and death is a constant phenomenon in our present world of Apara Prakriti, because we live in Apara Prakriti. Jiva is like stranger who belongs to the amṛtasya putrāḥ (śvetāśvatara. Upn. 2.5), he is a son of immortality. And here he finds himself in this opposite condition of mortality. Therefore, the Jiva must some how decide: “I must come out of it”. And the moment he wills…this is the promise of Sri Krishna: Prakriti will change your circumstances. Prakriti is the executrix. The moment you will…that is why uttiṣṭḥata jāgrata, ‘Stand up! Rise!’ This is the command of the Upanishads: stand up and rise. The moment you say: “I want liberation”, it is a promise that your circumstances will change. But it is not a casual will; it must be a ‘real’ will. You take a firm stand: “I do not want to live in these conditions of mortality, of bondage to manas, buddhi, and ahaṁkāra, I want to be liberated into the Prakriti of Unity, of Light, of Immortality, Will this!”…and this is the real process of Moksha.
I think we stop here. This is a good point to stop, although I have not completed the answer to your question. And may be next time we may continue with it, because this is a very important question. And in fact, all the next chapters of the Bhagavad Gita are related to this question. So, your question came exactly at the logical point, and gave me the opportunity of expounding it in a way, which I would not have expounded otherwise. I would have gone more in the text but I got the opportunity of expounding in a different way.