We had referred to those two verses in the 7th chapter, n°4&5: n°4, which describes Apara Prakriti, and n°5, which describes Para Prakriti. Apara Prakriti is also called Prakriti of Avidya, and the Para Prakriti is also called Prakriti of Vidya. To rise from Avidya to Vidya is the process of Moksha.
In the process of Moksha there are 3 elements: there is the individual who rises from ignorance to knowledge; secondly there is the higher nature, which aids in the process of rising from the lower to the higher; and there is the Purushottama, the Supreme with whom union is to be attained.
But there is another aspect of the process of Moksha, which is most prevalent in the world, and that is to rise from our present level to the immobility of the Self. Para Prakriti is both mobile and immobile; Purushottama is both mobile and immobile; and the Jiva, the individual is himself capable of both mobility and immobility. But there is an immobile self, which can be experienced as simply immobile. And to rise from Avidya to the immobility of the self is generally regarded to be the royal road or the short cut to Moksha. This immobile self is sometimes known by the word ‘Purusha’; sometimes it is also known by the word ‘Brahman’; it is also known as ‘Akshara’.
And this process consists of positive method and the negative method. In the negative method, the process consists of saying: “I am not the body, I am not the life, I am not the mind, I am not the ego”. All that refers to Apara Prakriti is negated by a constant meditation upon these four propositions. When one meditates, one meditates by saying: “I am not the body, I am not the life, I am not the mind, I am not the ego”. By constant repetition, there is a memory of what one is.
By negating these four propositions one enters into a positive statement, which says: “I am Purusha”, which is immobile, or “I am the Brahman”, which is immobile, or “I am Akshara”, which is immobile. This is the positive statement. “I am the Brahman”: a constant repetition of this statement and constant meditation on it lifts you away from our occupation with the outer objects, with the body, life, mind, and ego. And it is suggested that by constant meditation, there is a complete reversal of consciousness, and by this reversal you attain to a state of complete silence, complete immobility. When this state of immobility is reached, the ego vanishes and even the body life and mind seem to be as it were appendages without any foundation or reality: almost like a dream. Some of the Yogis remain in this state of a dream with regard to the whole world, and they feel that the whole world itself is a dream and illusion having no power upon the immobile self.
Now, this experience is a valid experience. And when ego falls away, one really becomes free from attachment, because the hook is thrown away. There is now no hook on which you are hanging in the Apara Prakriti; and you are lifted away into the state of immobility. And in the state of immobility, even you as an individual, you can feel that you are transcended and that individuality becomes laya (dissolution, disappearance), there is a complete fusion, it disappears, even the individuality disappears. According to this experience it is felt that individual even in the beginning was an illusion, ego was an illusion and all that has disappeared now and what remains is only the immobility of the Brahman.
Very often when you read accounts of Moksha, it is this account, which predominantly stated. This is called liberation by self-knowledge: “the self, which was regarding itself to be ego”, ‘that’ is found to be ignorance. To regard oneself as ego is an ignorance belonging to the Apara Prakriti; you lift yourself from it and enter into a self-knowledge in which you find to be immobile self: that is called self-knowledge. It is also called knowledge because this self is found to be the only reality, and there is the sense of oneness: immobility and oneness are the special characteristics of this experience of Moksha.
But this is only one aspect of Moksha in the terms of the Gita; because the Gita speaks of Jiva, not as an illusion. Ego is illusion, it belongs to Apara Prakriti and can be wiped out; it can be abolished. Jiva is Para Prakriti jīvabhūtā. Jiva is a product of Para Prakriti. Para Prakriti is the divine nature: it is the higher nature. Any thing that is produced by the higher nature is as Sri Krishna says: this Jiva mamaivāṁśo…sanātanaḥ(XV, 7); this word will come latter on in an other subsequent verse: sanātanaḥ. This individual is eternal, as much eternal as the Supreme. Therefore, this experience of the individual as an illusion is true only with regard to the ego as individual. But there is an individual, according to the Bhagavad Gita, which remains as an individual and yet free from egoism. In other words the Bhagavad Gita makes a distinction between ego and the individual.
What is the distinction? The egoistic consciousness is finite consciousness but regard itself to be self-existent and independent of everything else. This is the special mark of the egoistic consciousness. It knows itself to be finite, but regards itself to be self-existent, and completely independent of the others. Now, this egoistic consciousness is an illusion because there is nothing corresponding to it in reality. There is nothing in the world which is finite and which can be regarded as self-existent and independent of all the others. Therefore, very often egoistic sense is called only a ‘sense’: one is a sense when one is free from all others, independent of all the others, one is self-existent…really speaking there is no such thing in the world: it does not correspond to any entity. In other words egoism is not an entity, it is only an idea, only a sense, and this sense is destructible because it is something for which there is no corresponding reality. So, when the reality is known, the error is eliminated, an error no more exists.