……questions. One who was put by you about Purusha; and the second question was by you. I think both questions can be connected, so let me first answer those two questions.
The first question was: is Purusha mobile or immobile, or both? And the second question was: what is the origin of Apara Prakriti? You put it in a different way; I am putting the same question in a different way: how does Para Prakriti, which is the divine Prakriti, which is luminous Prakriti, how does that Prakriti become Apara Prakriti? Or how does Apara Prakriti originate from Para Prakriti? Does Para Prakriti itself become Apara Prakriti? Or even when Para Prakriti remains what it is, there is still something that becomes Apara Prakriti out of her? These are the different nuances of the question as far as I can understand, but now if you have any further thing…Is this all right? Is this your question? And I told you that in the Bhagavad Gita there is no direct answer to this question.
In fact, this was my question in my own personal life for a long time, and I studied a good deal of philosophy to find an answer to this question; so, I value this question tremendously. It has played a great role in my life this question. I read so much at that time and ultimately I came to the conclusion that ‘nobody’ has answered this question. This is the conclusion I arrived at after reading so much on this subject and yet I found this question is perhaps the most important question until I came to read Sri Aurobindo where I found that He is the first one, the only one who has raised this question pointedly, sharply, and answered it extensively in all its aspects. So, from the point of view of the literature on this subject, I can only say that Sri Aurobindo is the only one, ‘The Life Divine’ is the only book where this question has been answered. Even in The Synthesis of Yoga this question is not answered. It is only in The Life Divine this question has been answered.
When Sri Krishna speaks of that, He speaks of the Apara Prakriti:
prakṛitiṁ yānti bhūtāni nigrahaḥ kiṁ kariṣyati || (III, 33)
So, that is only about Apara Prakriti. In the Bhagavad Gita, in the first 6 chapters wherever the word Prakriti has been used, it is Apara Prakriti. In the 7th chapter Sri Krishna speaks of Para Prakriti. Till that time He had not spoken of Para Prakriti at all. In the 7th chapter Sri Krishna speaks of Para Prakriti and then naturally the question arises, when Sri Krishna says that “I have got two natures”. This itself is a startling statement. It is when He says: “I have got two natures, the higher and the lower”.
Now, naturally the question arises: the Divine being the Supreme how can He have a lower? He is the Supreme, He is the Divine. How can He have something that is lower? So, there must be some kind of a link and that link has to be found. Now, since Sri Krishna spoke of it, and He also said there is a link between the two, Sri Krishna knows the answer, but the question is not raised either by Arjuna or by Himself and in that rapid conversation there is no time where this question can be addressed. So, you can simply say that although there is an answer to this question there is no scope for getting this answer within the four limits of the Bhagavad Gita. We have to read the Bhagavad Gita several times and you do find somewhere the answer but still you do not get that satisfaction of having found the answer in the Gita.
If you look back into the Upanishads the same question can be asked, because the Upanishads also speaks of two vidyās: para vidyā and apara vidyā. It also makes a distinction between jñāna and ajñāna, and you ask the question: how does the phenomenon of ignorance arises at all, if there is only one Reality? And this is the basic proposition of the Upanishads: ‘the Reality is only one’; that Reality is Divine; it is self-luminous; it is all luminous. If that is so, where ignorance can exists at all? If the Divine is the only reality and the Divine is everywhere, then knowledge should be everywhere! So how can there be the presence of ignorance at all?
So, this question is certainly a very important question. But even in the Upanishads, I must say, I could not find raising of this specific question and the answering of this question. Again, Upanishads are not philosophical works. In a philosophical works, one can say that a philosophy should raise all possible questions and should answer all of them. But since the Upanishads are not primarily philosophical book, philosophy something can be derived, but they are not themselves philosophical, we can only look for some hints.
Now, what is the hint that you find in the Upanishads? The one very great hint that you get in the Upanishad is in the Isha Upanishad, where it is said that “The face of the Truth is covered by a golden lid” (īśa u.15). Now, this is a very important clue that “The face of the Truth is covered by a golden lid”. Now, this golden lid has to be removed, apāvṛṇu, that is the prayer: ‘Please remove this golden lid’. Although it is golden, it is a lid, it is a cover and cover has to be removed and when you uncover it, then it is said: kalyāṇatamaṁ rūpam (īśa u.16): “The most auspicious form of the Divine is then seen, where thousands rays of the sun meet together and the highest form of the Divine is revealed and I realise so ’ham, I am He.” Now this realisation depends upon the golden lid being removed, but then the question arises: how did this golden lid arise? From where did it come, if there is one Reality? If there were two realities, we can imagine that there is another reality which was mischievous and put the lid there. But if there is only one Reality, then you have to find some other deeper answer. But there is an admission in the Isha Upanishad that there is a golden lid.