Now, this has something to do with what He has already told us in the 7th chapter. In the 7th chapter Sri Krishna has told us that He has two natures, two Prakritis: He has got two natures. One is Apara Prakriti the lower nature; the other is Para Prakriti the higher nature. Higher nature is His own nature. Apara Prakriti is a further remoter, it is something that is derived from Para Prakriti; you might say even distorted, it is ignorant. But that which is Para Prakriti is not ignorant, it is full of luminosity because it is sva prakriti, ‘My’ own nature: ‘That Para Prakriti which is My own nature is svabhāva’ (svabhāva is actually Para Prakriti).
So, there is the immobile, and then there is the mobile; that mobile, which is His mobile, His mobility is svabhāva. But when He is in svabhāva, sva is not lost, He is adhy, He presides over the movement. So, svabhāva is the same thing than adhyātma , He is My self; ātman in the higher nature, ātman that presides over the higher nature is adhyātma , which is the same thing as svabhāva, so it is a synonym He has given very correctly: svabhāvo ’dhyātmamucyate; svabhāva is adhyātma but this will not be clear until we are connected with the 7th chapter, which He has already explained; because He has explained already, here He does not stop to explain further. He is expecting that we are such clever students that we shall be able to understand very quickly.
Question: dhyātma.. Does it mean the knowledge of the Apara Prakriti as well?
That is subordinately. Basically adhyātma …when you say adhyātmavidyā, it is the knowledge of the Self in the higher nature, it is called adhyātma vidyā. Mere knowledge akṣaram brahma is not adhyātma knowledge; it is deeper than adhyātma , but adhyātma proper is the knowledge of the self in the higher nature. What is svabhāva, what is the self in higher nature and there again if you go back to the 7th chapter, there is a very important word that Sri Krishna has given and that is para prakritiḥ jivabhūta. You cannot know what is the nature of Para Prakriti, unless you have the knowledge of Jiva: the individual self, the immobile is the impersonal immobile unchanging Reality. svabhāva is a mobile reality coming out of sva, therefore svabhāva; it is Para Prakriti itself; adhyātma means the Self in the higher nature. The self in the higher nature is not fully understood unless you have a further knowledge, that “para prakritiḥ jivabhūta” it is the individual. Therefore adhyātma vidyā is also the knowledge of your real true being, what you are: self-knowledge. But self-knowledge not as we normally understand ourselves to be, our self-knowledge is egoistic knowledge, I am at present an egoistic consciousness, that is not adhyātma vidyā: adhyātmavidyā is the knowledge of the Jiva, what am I ‘truly’, who am I ‘truly’, as Jiva, not as ego, not as ahaṁbhāva: ahaṁbhāva is a part of Apara Prakriti. That Sri Krishna has already explained to us in the 7th chapter: aṣṭadhā aparā prakṛti, eight fold is My Apara Prakriti; and we had noted there what is aṣṭadhā aparā prakṛti: buddhi, manaḥ, ahaṁbhāva: intellect, mind and ego, plus ākāśa, vāyu, agni, jala, pṛthvī, these five. These five and those three put together, aṣṭadhā: that is Apara Prakriti. adhyātma is not the knowledge of Apara Prakriti: adhyātma is the knowledge of svabhāva, that which moves from the supreme Self Himself, therefore the knowledge of Para Prakriti. And Para Prakriti’s knowledge is not complete unless you know Jiva. What is Jiva? (Jiva not as ego, that is Apara Prakriti). Jiva is the individual in the higher nature. Therefore the knowledge of your Jiva, of your true being in the higher nature is adhyātma vidyā. So, whether you know svabhāva, or whether you know adhyātma , it is the same thing; this is how the question is made: svabhāvo ’dhyātmamucyate.
Now we go further.
bhūta-bhāvodbhava-karo visargaḥ karma-saṁjñitaḥ || (VIII, 3)
What is Karma? What is called Karma has its origin in svabhāva; there is a logical connection: first is the immobile; then is the mobile, the svabhāva; from the mobile comes karma. There is a distinction between svabhāva and karma. Karma is a subordinate movement; svabhāva is the original movement: the first movement is svabhāva. All the essential movement is svabhāva.
The essential movement is to be distinguished from many subordinate movements. You may have essential movements of wisdom: that is svabhāva. Wisdom is the very nature of the supreme Reality, svabhāva. But of that wisdom there may have many other movements, subordinate movements. All movements of knowledge which comes from wisdom are all Karma, they are subordinate movements. Power is a svabhāva of the Divine. But all movements of power, there are hundreds, and thousands and millions of them: they are all Karma. Love is the essential principle. Love is the fundamental movement svabhāva of the Divine. The divine Love is an essential principle. But of Love there are thousands of tongues from which you can leak it: all that is Karma. All work basically, all service, all the skills are svabhāva, but all kinds of subordinate skills…I may be an archer, and a skilled archer, but to be a skilled archer I must have hundreds of other capacities and expertises. Even to hold the bow in your hand is a skill. So, although archery by itself is a complete skill, every other movement of skill is also a Karma. So, every subordinate movement is Karma.