What is the meaning of protecting the virtuous? What is the meaning of destruction of the wicked? And what is the meaning of establishing of Dharma? All this is only one meaning: ‘to make human beings imbued with the divine nature’. This is the real purpose. If this sentence is taken merely as it is without this important suffix, then it might mean that God comes and destroys like Rama came and destroyed Ravana. Sri Krishna came and destroyed Kansa, and got Duryodhana and others killed. Even the meaning of Dharma establishment is taken in a very ordinary sense; because the word Dharma has three meanings: the ordinary ethical meaning; the higher philosophical meaning; and third, a spiritual meaning. Normally, not knowing that there are three meaning of the word ‘Dharma’, we take it in a very ordinary sense, ordinary ethical sense.
What is the ordinary ethical sense of the word ‘Dharma’? Ethical sense of the word ‘Dharma’ is: ‘the act of righteousness’. Dharma is only act of righteousness, so that justice is protected, injustice is combated and destroyed: this is all that is meant by Dharma. It may mean that the divine Lord comes on the earth just what you and I can do in our higher moments of life. We also work for Dharma. If that is the only meaning of Dharma, then surely the purpose of God, Himself taking the birth on the earth is as limited as our own coming on the earth and doing our activities; there is no special purpose for it: it is not a very great aim to be established.
Therefore, Dharma is to be understood in his higher philosophical sense and much more in the spiritual sense. And that spiritual sense in understood only when you come to this word: mad-bhāvam āgatāḥ. Dharma is really speaking nothing but “manifestation of the divine nature”. It is not only to do righteous act, or to do justice, but to possess the divine nature, He comes on the earth basically so that human beings can imbibe, can manifest, and can be transformed into the divine nature.
This is not very easy thing to do. To change the human nature, which is normally Tamasic, Rajasic and Sattwic. And even, to rise from Tamas to Rajas is difficult; to rise from Rajas to Sattwa is difficult; but divine nature lies even beyond that. It transcends triguṇātmaka prakṛti. The present nature Prakriti is only triguṇātmaka. And in the Prakriti there is no further going beyond. Prakriti as we know it, at the highest it is only Sattwic. If you are only to take human beings from Rajas to Sattwa, that is the real meaning of Dharma, because Dharma is limited only to Sattwic level. That is surely not the meaning of Dharma that Sri Krishna wants to imply, therefore it is explained: mad-bhāvam āgatāḥ. They become something beyond the human nature, beyond Prakriti and that is the main purpose for the Avatar.
Let us delve upon this important point because everything else is subordinate that is why I said, this one word is most important: mad-bhāvam āgatāḥ. The real purpose of the Divine is to lift human beings towards the divine nature. First of all, it explains that the purpose of the whole world is to lift human beings from level to level, until they are all fully transformed into the divine nature: this is the first statement. If you ask the question: why this world at all? And why this terrible world as it is? The answer is that this world is an evolving world. There is an evolutionary movement in the world. In this evolutionary world there are stages; and all these stages are to be crossed until you reach a point where human beings can be turned into the divine beings, so they really act in the world as the Divine Himself would act on the earth.
And how does He act in the world? How does the Divine act in the world? That is explained in the subsequent verses. That, “I am the creator of an ascending order, cātur-varṇyaṁ, is I have created as ascending movement”, so Divine acts in ascending manner. How does He act? He acts in such a way that the whole world moves in one direction and in whichever direction human beings move, the Divine Himself comes forward and takes every human being into His own path: whichever paths human beings make, it is made into the divine path, (that is also the divine way of working in the world): there is an ascending path, and every path is the Divine’s path. At every stage the Divine adjust His own way to the human way: “As the human beings approach Me, so do I approach them”. It is like a good mother who deals with every child, specifically for each child, without disturbing his or her consciousness. This is the second way.
Third, this is a very difficult one: “I am the doer and yet I am the non-doer”. This is also a part of the divine nature: even when you act, you still have the experience of ‘not-doing’, this alchemy where action ceases to be action, and out of non-action, action arises. That is the path of divine nature. The divine nature is at once akṣara and kṣara. Therefore, unless you balance in you, both the immobility and the mobility, so that even in the thickness and the highest activity, you are inwardly completely inactive, completely quiet, silent.
And all that you call mokṣa is nothing but this state, the state in which: na karma lipyate nare( iśa upn. 2), in which “action does not cling to you”. The silence is such a great quietude that all action as it enters there, it dissolves. Such is the nature of the Divine, therefore, to lift human beings by an ascending path, and to make human beings full of Knowledge, evaṁ jñātvā. The purpose of the divine birth on the earth is to make human beings aware, and to transform them into divine nature. When that is done it is called ‘establishment of Dharma’, that is the inner meaning of dharma-saṁsthāpanārthāya.