We have come to chapter n°15 now.
There are three chapters in the Bhagavad Gita which relate to the mystery of the divine existence: the wonder and mystery of the divine existence, chapter n°3, chapter n°9, chapter n°15, 3, 9, and 15, at the distance of 6 each.
In the chapter n°3, Sri Krishna speaks of the Divine as the creator of the universe. If you turn to chapter n°3 verse n°10, we have a sentence:
saha-yajñāḥ prajāḥ sṛṣṭvā purovāca prajāpatiḥ |
anena prasaviṣyadhvam eṣa vo ’stv iṣṭa-kāma-dhuk ||10|| (III)
“Prajapati created the world…” So, there the description is given of Prajapati as a creator, the Lord as a creator of the world, but He created the world with sacrifice: saha-yajñāḥ prajāḥ, this word ‘yajñāḥ’ is very important, this is one of the mystery of the supreme Divine. This is a connection with the Purusha Sukta of the Rig Veda, where Rig Veda points out that the whole world is created by the sacrifice of the Lord Himself in His own power of creation: it is called the sacrifice of Purusha. That is because the world itself is made of the ‘substance’ of Purusha.
It is not as if God has some ‘other matter’ before Him, and He simply gives shape to the world, to that matter. That is another view of God: God creates the world out of the matter which is beside Him, and He simply gives shape to it.
There is another view of the creation according to which God creates the world out of nothing, nothing beside Him, it is as it were a ‘magic’ of God: He makes the world out of nothing, He is so omnipotent, so powerful, out of nothing He creates the world.
Another view is that God Himself ‘is’ the world, He does not create the world, He Himself is the world, or the other way round, the whole world is nothing but God: that is another view.
In distinction from all these views, this statement of Bhagavad Gita is extremely mysterious, powerful and something that has a lot of impact and meaning.
So, prajāpatiḥ sṛṣṭvā saha-yajñāḥ prajāḥ: He sacrificed Himself and with the principle of sacrifice, He created the world. That is the substance of the world itself is the Lord sacrificing Himself. Instead of remaining in His own position where He is, (in His own status as it were), He sacrifices that position, throws Himself, and out of Himself He shapes the world.
Now, this is one statement in the Bhagavad Gita, which pervades the whole of the Bhagavad Gita. Because even in the Karmayoga which is the central teaching of the Bhagavad Gita, the Karmayoga itself consists of the principle of sacrifice: all your actions you offer to the Divine, sacrifice to the Divine. Why do you sacrifice to the Divine? It is simply a ‘response’ to the divine sacrifice: the Divine sacrifices Himself to create the world; and then the world sacrifices itself to reach back to the Divine. It is a mutual sacrifice from God to the world and world to the Divine: this is the secret of Karmayoga.