Essays on the Gita - Track 502

Individual and the Supreme and it is the veil of egoistic consciousness, it is a special kind of veil, the veil of egoistic consciousness which makes you think that you are self-sufficient, that you are separate from the others, and that you are the originator of yourself, and your actions: these are the marks of the veil of egoism. This veil makes you think that you are self-sufficient that you are different from all others and that you are the originator of all your actions. This is the result of the veil between you and the supreme Lord because actually speaking, you are never self-sufficient, but when you have not seen the Lord and not yet cut the veil, you think that you are self-sufficient. So when this veil is cut, then you discover that you are all the time in the hands of the Lord, and that your very nature is such that you cannot exist by yourself. That is why it is called self-finding. When you really discover yourself, you discover that you are not, ever, independent, you are not yourself the originator, that you cannot exist except as a companion of the Lord, that you yourself are nothing but a spark of His fire – a spark cannot exist without the fire, you exist only by the fire. So, you discover yourself – when you discover at the same time the presence of the Divine. You never discover yourself as yourself, saying: 'I have discovered myself, now I will discover God'. It is not such a situation. To discover yourself is to discover yourself as a companion of God. It is not as though you can say, "'I have now known myself and now as a higher step I will now try to know God". To know yourself is to know yourself as a spark of the divine fire. It is a simultaneous realisation, and when that realisation comes and first is a great contact, intimate contact, the real embrace of the individual with the Lord, the supreme Love and ecstasy, great union, and then the Lord Himself begins to use you as it were, Himself, and you are an instrument. But at a farther stage even that vanishes and the Lord Himself acts as if He is the Master of all that you are, which He really is always, but it was all the time behind the veil.

That is how, for example, Sri Chaitanya, if you examine the experiences through which he passed, you will notice that he had a double experience. Sometimes he used to feel that he was a Bhakta of the supreme Lord Krishna; but sometimes he used to speak as if he was Krishna Himself. There was no difference between him and he was no more there at all: it was Sri Krishna Himself. If you examine Christ, you will find the same experience. Jesus said, "I am the son of God" – the spark of the divine Fire and I am the son of God – but he also said, "The son and the father are one." And he spoke with the authority of the Lord, quite often, "I am the Lord, I am the Way", He declared – I am the Way.

It is a special kind of phenomenon, which occurs on this line of development; but there is another line of development, when the Lord Himself assumes the body, the Unborn is born as it were. He takes a special kind of a birth, right from the beginning, and there the phenomena are quite different. The Lord may not all the time declare that He is the Lord, but in His consciousness right from the childhood, right from His early stages, there is a consciousness that He is the Lord and takes all His actions with that supremacy, with that responsibility, as if He is responsible for the whole world – it is not with the consciousness of the soul, which is never responsible for anything in the world, fundamentally. But when the Lord acts Himself, He may not be talkative about Himself, he may not say to people, "Look, I am the Lord". He may look to the whole world as a human being among all the human beings but in His consciousness He knows that he is responsible for the whole world, He is conducting the whole world.

Take for example, Sri Rama who is known as the Avatar in India, but in the Ramayana He never declares that He is an Avatar. But all His activities that He performed, all the decisions He took, and the majesty and the authority with which He did all His work, it was like the Lord Himself. Sri Krishna also had the same majesty, He may again not talk about His avatarhood, but sometimes He did speak also about his avtaarhood. In fact, the whole of Mahabharata recognizes Sri Krishna as a human hero or a human leader who was the Avatar Himself. Therefore, when you read the Bhagavad Gita, wherever Sri Krishna speaks it is written: Sri Bhagvan uvaca, it is the Lord Himself is speaking. So the Mahabharata, at least the author of Mahabharata, recognizes Sri Krishna as the Avatar. In Ramayana, Valmiki does not declare Sri Rama as Avatar as this or that, so there is a difference between the two, but both are Avatars. Sri Rama and Sri Krishna both acted with the authority of the Lord.

What is important in the Bhagavad Gita is not that you must believe that Sri Krishna was an Avatar. The significance of Sri Krishna's presence is that He reveals that inner Avatar of the Lord, that inner Divinity; what is emphasized in the Bhagavad Gita is not His own human avatarhood but the fact that even without this Avataarhood, there is available to every human being the Avataar which is already there, seated in our hearts.

I would like to read with you now two or three paragraphs from the text itself because these concepts require to be fixed quite well, and if you read the text of Sri Aurobindo, it will make it much more luminous.

On page 10 or 13, according to your books.

"India has from ancient times held strongly a belief in the reality of the Avatara, the descent into form, the revelation of the Godhead in humanity. In the West this belief has never really stamped itself upon the mind because it has been presented through exoteric Christianity as a theological dogma without any roots in the reason and general consciousness and attitude towards life. But in India it has grown up and persisted as a logical outcome of the Vedantic view of life and taken firm root in the consciousness of the race."