Question: Once you have discovered that the wave is water that is to say the oneness with the Divine and one is liberated then what is the need for perfection?
This is the whole Bhagavad Gita’s basic teaching. Apart from your knowledge of oneness with the Divine, there is a question of manifestation of the Divine. So, liberation is to be followed by perfection for the manifestation. The moment you withdraw from Gunas, you are liberated, but then what happens to the Gunas? That was the question that Sri Krishna answers in the 14th chapter: you go beyond the Gunas; when you go beyond the Gunas, you arrive at the divine being, but also mad-bhāvam, but also ‘My nature’.
The realisation is often limited to the knowledge of the divine being and very often there is a tendency to give up the nature, the activity, the manifestation. Those who want however, not only to be freed into the divine being, but also want to manifest, for them the question remains, and this question is very important for Arjuna, because Arjuna says: ‘I want to go out of this world’ when his very first declaration is: ‘I don’t want to fight because it is better for me to withdraw’, so for him it was a easier thing to come out of the Gunas and come out of it, but Sri Krishna says ‘No! You have to fight’.
Now, how is fighting possible with liberation, unless there is something more than liberation? Merely going and withdrawing within the divine being is not enough. This whole world is a manifestation of the Divine; this manifestation has arisen out of Para Prakriti, which is beyond the three Gunas; so apart from divine being there is also nature which is beyond three Gunas. When you come out of the three Gunas and enter into the divine being, you have to identify also with the divine nature. It is from that divine nature that this battle is going on. So, if you stand upon not only divine being, but also in divine nature, then you will be able to be the instrument of God’s action: that is perfection. All right?
Question: It is the difference between sālokya-mukti and sādharmya-mukti?,
Yes, that’s right, it is not only sālokya-mukti, you are not only one with the divine being, but also you are also ‘Dharma’; the mode of action is also identical with the mode of action of the Divine Himself. So, you become divine, not only in you being, also in your action.
Comment: This brings out the difference between Being and Nature.
Correct, absolutely. That is, you become not only Akshara Purusha, nor do you become only Kshara Purusha, you become Purushottama and your being is actually Amsha (aṁśa) of that Purushottama: neither of Kshara nor of Akshara. Your origin is mamaivāṁśo sanātanaḥ, you own being…Amsha is a portion of that Purushottama. Therefore “Be thou as perfect as thy father in heaven is perfect”. The father in heaven is not only being but also power, He is also manifesting power and you are only a child of that one, you are yourself that one, therefore you can become as perfect as He. If you are not a portion of that Reality, such a teaching would be irrelevant. At the most you can be told that you can become like Him, but what Christ said is: “You become as perfect as thy Father in heaven is perfect.” That is the teaching also of the Bhagavad Gita: you become the manifestation of the Divine and manifest the divine perfection in your action; your action must be as perfect, not tainted by Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas.
And how do you achieve that? How do you go beyond it? This is the subject matter of chapters’ n°16, 17, 18; of the Bhagavad Gita in which in brief He says that you develop Sattwic nature first: Rajas and Sattwa are superior to Tamas, so first of all Tamas and Rajas you transform transform and make it Sattwa. Therefore you will find in 16th, 17th and 18th chapters everywhere Sri Krishna describes what is Tamas, what is Rajas, what is Sattwa and then says that when you reach Sattwa, then you can make a transition.
When you make the transition then you become divine: divya karma you are able to perform, you become yourself the instrument of the Divine; nothing of Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas remains in you, the divine nature takes hold of you. So, you become in yourself sādharmya, your own nature, your action will be as the divine’s action. So, that completes the whole teaching of the Bhagavad Gita.
It is not only a teaching of liberation. The teaching of the Gita is not considered upon the Moksha, it is considered upon divine action, manifestation of the Divine in action. Otherwise Arjuna would have said: ‘I will go immediately out of this world, I don’t want to be here.’ And Krishna should have encouraged him in saying: ‘Very fine, one more saint now in the company of many others’ added to that whole vast galaxy, but Sri Krishna said: “No, although Moksha is a step, that is not the end. You are here on the earth, why did you take bondage? You have come to bondage not out of any compulsion. At the time of the assumption of bondage you were free to be bound or not to be bound. You were already free so, why did you take bondage? There was a reason. Reason is that having bounded yourself into Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas, you transform them. This transformation power is a further work to be done and that can be done only by Karmayoga.” One who does not do Karmayoga cannot achieve this transformation of Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas and it is that Karma which is the central teaching of the Bhagavad Gita. It is that which lead us to perfection, not only liberation but also perfection.