Now, how can you slay it?
indriyāṇi parāṇy āhur indriyebhyaḥ paraṁ manaḥ |
manasas tu parā buddhir yo buddheḥ paratas tu saḥ ||42|| (III)
Higher than indriyā(s) is the mind; higher than the mind is the intellect, and if you want to take out kāma from all these crevices of our consciousness, then you go to him, the Self, the true Self: paratas tu saḥ, there is an inner Self in you, you go to him, by his help you will be able to destroy this desire.
evaṁ buddheḥ paraṁ buddhvā saṁstabhyātmānam ātmanā |
jahi śatruṁ mahā-bāho kāma-rūpaṁ durāsadam ||43|| (III)
Therefore, you go beyond the Buddhi; by your intellect you go beyond the intellect; and ātmānam ātmanā, and then by your Self you go beyond yourself; jahi śatruṁ, then you will be able to conquer and kill this śatruṁ; kāmarūpaṁ durāsadam, that which has a bad dwelling place, kāma-rūpaṁ, which is full of desire. This śatruṁ, this enemy you will be able to kill.
This is the explanation given to emphasize that if there is one thing which you should therefore destroy, if you really want to come out of all kinds of bondage, and even while acting you should be free, than this is the remedy for it.
I think we have done the full chapter today in detail, and we shall come to the 4th chapter next time, which in a sense takes us again into Karmayoga, but in a more subtle manner. And some of the secrets, which are not yet expounded, are expounded in the 4th chapter.
Question: Agni that you mentioned in the Vedas that referred to the Self or the Surya or…in which way we have to perform the sacrifice?
Answer: Your question is so precious and so complex. What is Agni in the Veda? There is a distinction between “Self”, which is immobile, which is different from “Jiva”, which is different from “Agni”, yet all the three are called “Self” in different contexts. That is why the question becomes very complex. When you say, “The soul passes from body to body, and it is that soul which is not killed”: it is to Agni that the reference is made. There is inextinguishable fire in us, that fire actually represents the Jiva: our true “individual Self”. The true individual Self is never alone, your individual Self is never been born alone, your individual Self has been born with many at the same time. All of us are, as it were, simultaneous, and each one is actually, kṣara, mobile.
But behind these mobile individuals, which we are truly, of which Agni is a representative, we are all united in that “immobile Self”, and that immobile Self is itself rooted in Purushottama, in the supreme Purusha, which transcends everything. Even that is also called: The supreme Self. The word “Self” is used for the “supreme Self”, for the “immobile Self”, for the “Jiva” and Jivas which are all mobile of which Agni is a representative.
Our starting point is Agni, because that is the nearest to us. When you say, “I”, (when you do not mean by “I”, ego), then what is the “I” to which I am referring? It is to Agni that I am referring, that inextinguishable spark that is in me. It is that which is called: Chaitya Purusha, (caitya puruṣa). It is the individual which is a “psychic fire”: it is the psychic being in us, which is immortal in the mortals; it is that which remains immortal. It is that which is described in Katha Upanishad (IV, 12&13) as: aṅguṣṭha mātraḥ, “That which is not bigger than the thumb.”
That is the “individual Self”, and that is the “Agni”. Therefore, when it is said, “You offer yourself to Agni”, take out all your egoism, and throw this Agni into the fire of your inner being, of your inner Self, and that inner being is a power, is itself not immobile, it is power, it is active, but which is seated; it is that power, that activity which is action all that comes from Brahma, which is active Brahman. All that comes from akṣaraṁ, from that which is immobile; and beyond that which is akṣara, is the Supreme. When we know the relationship of Agni with the Jivatman, with the active Self, which is universal, with the inactive Self which is akṣara, and when we know the Purushottama, when all these is fully understood by us, then the real Karmayoga is performed.
I am not giving you a full answer because all these terms require again to be fully elucidated, and it is a question of “questions” in fact. If there is lot of confusion in our country or in philosophy, it is centred on this question. The question is: who am I? This is the question, which was asked by Nachiketas to Yama; and ultimately he shows him all these, and says ultimately you know that Brahman, and what you need to know is the Supreme. And therefore Katha Upanishad becomes a revelation of that knowledge of the Supreme. What is the relationship of that Supreme with akṣara, with kṣara, with the Jiva, and with this psychic element in us, Agni in us, in what way they are all related is a complex relationship. Once that is known, then everything is known. Or when as in Chhandogya Upanishad says, yena vijñāte na sarvaṁ vijñātaṁ bhavati, “By knowing that everything is known.” But as we proceed in the Bhagavad Gita, we shall come to all these details.