Question: Three statuses going side with the immanent reality, the cosmic reality and the transcendent, or would it be wrong to put the two together? Then He is in them, then it is the immanent reality…
It is difficult to classify absolutely accurately because there are different concepts. I shall at the end join them together after expounding something more which I want to expound, I will come to that question.
Here we have a description of the reality which says: Reality is mobile, immobile and a one who is above both mobility and immobility, which is un-describable because what is it that moves above both mobility and immobility? Such is the nature of that ultimate Reality.
There is another description which says: Reality is transcendental, universal and individual, this is another classification, I will come to that also just now. Another third one is: Reality is transcendental and immanent, (cosmic is the same as universal), transcendental, universal (or cosmic), and immanent. This is another classification of the nature of Reality, all the three are inter-connected. Reality within itself is complex, therefore it has inter-relationships.
Now, let us come to the 2nd one: Reality is at once transcendental, cosmic and individual (not immanent). So, since we all are ‘individuals’, for us this is the most important idea. We want to know ourselves what are we? Everyone has this question: what am I? What is my function in the world? What am I to do in this world? Supreme question of every individual! And this question cannot be answered unless in the concept of this broad idea of this relationship of the Supreme and the individual, Supreme and the Cosmic.
Now, we have in the Bhagavad Gita two statements which give us the idea of the concept of the individual. In the 7th chapter, in the verses n°4&5, Sri Krishna declares that the Supreme Purushottama has got two natures: one is the lower nature, another is the higher nature, Apara Prakriti and Para Prakriti. Apara Prakriti consists of eight elements, if you read 7th chapter, n°4, the last word is prakṛtir-aṣṭadhā, I have a Prakriti which is aṣṭadhā, which is eight-fold. What is this eight-fold? He has described in the first two sentences:
bhūmir āpo ’nalo vāyuḥ khaṁ mano buddhir eva ca |
ahaṇkara itīyaṁ me bhinnā prakṛtir-aṣṭadhā ||4|| (VII)
It consists of eight things: bhūmi means earth, pṛthvī; āpo means water, liquid principle; anala means the fire; vāyu means the Air or wind; khaṁ means ākaśa the ether; manaḥ the mind; buddhi the intellect; and ahaṇkara egoism. These eight elements constitute My lower Prakriti, aṣṭadhā prakṛti.
In the fifth verse it says:
apareyam itas tv anyāṁ prakṛtiṁ viddhi me parām |, this is Apara Prakriti, apara-yam, this is Apara, but beyond that, anyāṁ prakṛtiṁ, there is another Prakriti of Mine, that also you should know, viddhi; me parām, it is My higher Praktiti.
Now, this Para Prakriti is described as: jīva-bhūtāṁ, it is that Para Prakriti which has become the Jiva, it’s the individual, each one of us is ‘Jiva’. Each individual is actually born out of Para Prakriti. So, if you want to know ‘who am I?’, we have to distinguish ourselves from Apara Prakriti: ‘I’ am not Apara Prakriti, because I am jīva-bhūtāṁ parām, I am actually born out of the higher Prakriti. This is the first statement about our ‘self’ knowledge: ‘who am I?’. I am not the child of Apara Prakriti. My body, my life, my mind may be belonging to Apara Prakriti, but ‘me’, my ‘self’, my truth, my being is born out of Para Prakriti:
jīvabhūtāṁ mahābāho yayedaṁ dhāryate jagat ||5|| (VII)
“It is by a higher nature that the whole world is upheld”. Apara Prakriti does not uphold the world; it is by higher Prakriti that the world is upheld; this Prakriti is divya in nature, is divine in nature. Apara Prakriti is not divine in nature: Apara Prakriti is a mixture.