Text of the Bhagavagd Gita (Mother's Institute of Research) - Session 30: Chapter 9—Verses 4-15 (29 January 2000)

Object, Instrument and Method of Yoga?

It is the 29th January today, 2000?

I think we had left last time at a very important point. Perhaps, it was necessary to give a lot of time because it was a very difficult portion of the Bhagavad Gita that we were dealing with last time. We shall just revise a little before we proceed further.

In the first place we had said that the first 6 chapters of the Bhagavad Gita give us a synthesis of Action and Knowledge: Karmayoga and Jnanayoga. The chapters 7 to 12 give us a synthesis of Knowledge and Devotion, along with the synthesis which was achieved already in the first 6 chapters, so by the time we come to chapter 12; we have a complete synthesis of Action, Knowledge and Devotion. The 7th chapter gives us a promise that it will gives us knowledge and detailed knowledge: jñānaṁ vijñāna-sahitaṁ, knowledge along with detailed knowledge, so that nothing remains afterwards to be known: everything that is to be known will be known. That is the promise in the 7th chapter. And in every chapter thereafter, we are getting into detailed knowledge, and chapter 9 in which we are now at present located is in a sense the central chapter of the Gita. It may be regarded as the chapter of the synthesis “par excellence”. It is one of the most difficult chapters, although many of the verses of this chapter are very easy to follow.

In the 7th chapter, we are told that the Divine has two natures, two Prakritis: the Para Prakriti and the Apara Prakriti. In the 8th chapter, we have difficult concepts defined: what is Brahma? What is Karma? What is adhidaivataṁ? What is adhibhūtaṁ? And what is adhiyajña? Five difficult concepts which are being first of all raised in the end of the 7th chapter and answered in the 8th chapter, very briefly and we had dealt with this concept at length. Now, in the 9th chapter Sri Krishna repeats again and says that He is now going to give us the secret most knowledge, secret of secrets. And this chapter at the very beginning in the paragraph verses 4&5, if you open verse 4, the statement which is made is:

mayā tatam idaṁ sarvaṁ jagad avyaktamūrtinā |
matsthāni sarvabhūtāni na cāhaṁ teṣv avasthitaḥ ||9.4||

We had already started with this statement and also we had completed this statement by reading the 5th verse, which says:

na ca matsthāni bhūtāni paśya me yogam aiśvaram |
bhūtabhṛn na ca bhūtastho mamātmā bhūtabhāvanaḥ ||9.5||

These two verses are perhaps the most difficult verses of the whole of the Gita. And therefore we had stayed on with these two verses for quite some time and we shall revise what we had said last time with some additional statements which are relevant.

We must remember the crisis through which Arjuna was passing. We recall the argument that Arjuna had made at the time of at the starting of the war, having seen all the warriors around and having seen particularly his brethrens and his grand sires and the teachers arrayed against him. He puts down his gāṇḍīva, and says ‘I will not fight’. And the arguments that he had given which seem formidable and when one reads those arguments, one feels very sympathetic to Arjuna’s stand point, are laughed at by Sri Krishna. And Sri Krishna said that “you speak the words of the wise, but the wise do not worry about things you are worried about”. And then when he is asked by Arjuna to help him, then Sri Krishna begins the whole statement by stating the Reality of ‘That’ which is immortal. Arjuna’s argument was based upon mortality and Sri Krishna says that the one thing which is missing in your whole argument is the reference to immortality and you must begin your argument actually with the first statement which is immortal. As long as the ‘immortal’ is not a part of your thought, your conclusion will be invalid. So, in the very first statement that Sri Krishna makes is regarding ‘that which is eternal’, ‘that which can never perish’ and ‘that which is the most important’ and in reference to what all our life should be directed. Now, it is that immortal which is expounded in fullness in these two verses. That immortal has been expounded to some extent in the previous chapters, but in these two verses, we get the fullest exposition of ‘that immortal’, ‘that reality’ which is eternal, the reality which is infinite that which gives you the full basis, the full content, the full direction of our existence.

In simple terms, these two statements, when translated come to this:

“By Me has been spun out all this world, avyakta-mūrtinā, I am the one who is avyakta, who is non-manifest; avyakta-mūrtinā, even My form is non-manifest.”

And then He says: “mat-sthāni sarva-bhūtāni, in Me are located all creatures, all the beings, all the existences:

matsthāni sarvabhūtāni na cāhaṁ teṣv avasthitaḥ ||

But I am not seated in them. They are all in Me, but I am not in them.”

Now, this statement is a very startling statement, in a sense paradoxical. But a greater paradox comes now in the next one:

na ca mat-sthāni bhūtāni, “Even these creatures, these things, these objects, these existences are not in Me”.

This is a direct contradiction of the statement He had made earlier where He said that ‘All objects, all existences are in Me’; and here He says: ‘none of these objects are in Me’.

paśya me yogamaiśvaram, “Behold this great majesty of My yoga”

“They are in Me; I am not in them; they are not in Me.” And then, He says: bhūta-bhṛn, “I am the bearer of all the creatures”, na ca bhūtastho, “and yet I am not Myself seated in them; I bear all the things, all the existences, but I am not seated in them; mamātmā bhūta-bhāvanaḥ, “I am Myself all these objects”.

Now, you see in every statement a contradiction of the other; that is why this is one of the most important statements in the Bhagavad Gita. Some of the critics maintain that the Bhagavad Gita is riddled with self-contradictions and they point out to these two verses to show what self-contradictions are in the Bhagavad Gita, because they are stated very clearly, blatantly you might say, openly. But like a master who is not afraid of his own contradictions, Sri Krishna states them Himself very clearly and then says: paśya me yogam aiśvaram, “Behold the majesty of My yoga”. He is aware that all these statements He is making are self contradictory. But He poses these statements in order to be understood to point out to know the Reality, this reality is a wonderful reality, is a mysterious reality, it is the reality which should really make you wonderstruck; it is of such a nature that you should get perplexed. It is this perplexity that we were trying last time to discuss.

I shall spend some time on this because this is the most important statement of what is called “integral divine”. This chapter may be regarded as a chapter describing ‘integral divine’, and ‘integral yoga’; knowledge of the integral divine and the yoga which is also integral.

Every Yogic system has three aspects. Every Yoga states his objects, what is the aim to be achieved. Secondly, it gives you the instrument by which the object is to be achieved. And thirdly, the method which has to be pursued for the achievement of the object: the object, the instrument and the method. These are the three things regarding every system of Yoga. Every student of Yoga should ask these three questions in regard to any system of Yoga: what is the object of Yoga? What is the instrument which is used for the achievement of the object? And what is the method which has to be pursued?

Take for example: Hatha Yoga. The aim of Hatha Yoga is: the achievement of the perfection of the human body, so that that body becomes capable of realising the ‘spirit’. This is the aim: perfection of the body by means of which spirit is known. Very often people believe that Hatha Yoga is concerned only with the perfection of the body, which is not true. The aim of Hatha Yoga is certainly perfection of the body, but by means of which spiritual knowledge is gained. What is the instrument? Instrument is the human body itself. The body is utilised, the body is purified, the body is cultivated, the body is exercised, the body is refined, the body is sublimated and all the organs of the body are strengthened, made healthy, tuned to perfect health. So, the instrument is the body. What is the method? The method is Asana and Pranayama. Posture, Yogic posture is the method and Pranayama, the control of breath. These are the two methods which are adopted by Hathayogin for achieving his object.

In Raja yoga, the aim is to attain complete stillness of the mind, attainment of silence of the mind: cittavṛttinirodhaḥ [yogasūtra 1.2]. The modifications of the mind are stilled. This state of the stillness of the mind is the state of Samadhi. In that state of Samadhi, the object of knowledge is known intuitively, so the object is the knowledge of the object, intuitive knowledge of the object by attaining silence of the mind: this is the aim of Raja yoga. What is the instrument? The instrument is the mind. Just as in Hatha Yoga the instrument was the body, in Raja Yoga the instrument is the mind. All things which have to be done in Raja Yoga are connected with the mind. It is the mind which is observed, the mind is purified, the mind is refined, cultivated, exercised, brought to perfection. Now, what is the method? The method is eightfold. We had seen earlier the eight steps of Raja yoga: yama, niyama, āsana, prāṇāyāma, pratyāhāra, dhāraṇā, dhyāna, and samādhi.

These are the eight steps, this is the method. First you purify yourself; the mind is purified by means of Yama and Niyama, rules of conduct and rules of cleanliness, purification, then the capacity to sit comfortably for long hours in a state of equilibrium, and the capacity to control the breath. These are the four preliminaries until you arrive at the fifth stage of Pratyahara where the mind is withdrawn from all external objects. Then comes the sixth step in which the mind is now focused upon one object. In the fifth step, the mind is withdrawn from all other objects, in the sixth step the mind is concentrated upon one object: that is Dharana. When the object is held for quite a long time in focus, with concentration, that is Dhyana, meditation. And the last stage, when meditation reaches its climax, in which the subject and the object of knowledge, both become united and the state of trance is achieved and complete stillness is attained, that is the Samadhi, last step. So, here again there is an object, instrument and the method.

In Karma Yoga, what is the aim? The aim is to know the Divine’s will, and to make the Divine’s will active through our instrumentality: this is the aim. To discover the Divine’s will, and to make that will active through our instrumentality. The human consciousness, the human mind, the human will becomes simply a channel of the Divine’s will: that is Karma Yoga. What is the instrument? Instrument is human desire and human will. The desire is purified, the desire is sublimated, the desire is brought to the highest level so it becomes a will and the will becomes powerful, so powerful that it can bear the flow of the Divine’s will. So, the instrument is desire and will. What is the method? The method first is to cease upon the central point of desire and to operate upon it, to make an operation of it. What is the central sting of desire? It is the desire to enjoy the fruits of action. Therefore the first step in Karma Yoga is to deal with this ‘desire to enjoy the fruits of action’. By means of renunciation, this is the method: renounce the fruits of action which are to be enjoyed; secondly, to renounce action itself. First is to renounce the fruits of action, the second is to renounce action itself: in other words, to offer the action to the one to whom the action really belongs with the knowledge that when we think that we are the doer of action, we are ignorant. Really speaking, action proceeds from a higher source, not from us and therefore whatever action is performed by us is to be brought back to its original source, to become aware of it and to offer it to the original source: you realise that there is a master of action, which we are not ourselves. There is a master of action from whom action proceeds, we are only usurpers of that action, and we believe we are doing action: ‘I am the doer’. To get rid of this ignorance and to refer the action to the supreme Lord from whom the action proceeds. So, offering the action, this is called: the yajñā, the sacrifice of action, so even action you are not doing. Whatever you think you are doing you also offer to the Divine, it is sent back as it were to the Divine. The sense, ‘I am the doer’, is also abolished and then we come to the third step of Karma yoga in which action is seen to be proceeding from the Supreme.

As Sri Aurobindo says: ‘the aim of Karma yoga is to become like a bow’. The bow by itself cannot act, it is only an instrument. For an action of the bow, you require an arrow, you require a target and you require somebody who pushes the arrow on the bow and shoots it. the aim of Karma yoga and this is the last step of the method of Karma yoga, it is to become exactly like a bow so that you see very clearly that there is an arrow which is produced by the Divine, there is a target which is also decided by the Divine and there is the shooter which the Divine Himself. So, to realise that the Divine Himself is the shooter, He Himself is the arrow, He Himself is the target and as far as you are concerned, you are only a bow, an instrument. This is the method of Karmayoga: nimittamātram bhava (11.33), that’s right, you become only the instrument.

Similarly, Jnana Yoga, what is the aim of Jnana Yoga? The aim of Jnana yoga is to know the supreme, the highest, the ultimate: that is the aim. What is the instrument? Instrument is intellectual discrimination. In Raja yoga, the instrument was the mind and there is a distinction between the ‘mind’ and ‘intellect’. Intellect is the operation of the pure reason in which you see the distinction between the ‘real’ and the ‘unreal’: viveka buddhi. You discriminate between the real and the unreal. So, the instrument is the viveka buddhi. And what is the method? The method is to allow viveka buddhi, to meditate upon the ‘real’, positively, and to withdraw itself from the unreal, negatively. There is a negative method and a positive method. In simple terms it would mean the real is the Supreme and to concentrate upon the Supreme until the consciousness is melted into the Supreme and negatively, to constantly meditate upon the idea: ‘I am not that which is other than the Supreme’. Whatever presents itself as oneself, normally, is to be rejected: ‘I am the body, I am the life, I am the mind’: these are the normal operations of the perception of ourselves. These three propositions are false according to Jnanayoga: ‘I am not the body, I am not the life, I am not the mind.’ Therefore the negative meditation is upon these three propositions. ‘I am not the body, I am not the life, I am not the mind, I am not the ego’: cidananda rūpa śivo ham śivo ham, so you concentrate upon śivo ham, I am what? I am Shiva, I am the Supreme: this is the method of Jnana yoga.

In Bhakti Yoga the object is to attain the sweetness of the relationship with the Divine, not the identity with the Divine, but sweetness of the relationship with the Divine: this is the aim of Bhakti Yoga. What is the instrument? Instrument is emotion. All emotions are purified, sublimated, exercised, all turned towards the Divine; in every emotional movement there has to be the feeling of the divine presence. And what is the method? The method is the straining of the emotions towards the company of the Divine. All emotions are so strained that they are all put into connection with the Divine; it is said ‘straining of the emotions’ because normally our emotions turn towards various objects which are not divine. So, to draw them out from the normal coursings and train them, turns them towards the Divine. And then, secondly to enjoy the company of the Divine, which is only temporary in the beginning, and suffer the long separation which also heightens the aspiration to meet the Divine, until there is permanent union with the Divine: this is the method of Bhakti yoga.

Now, this chapter, 9th chapter synthesises Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga, and Bhakti Yoga. All the three Yogas are united. So the method of all the three Yogas are to be united, and the object is: integral Divine, attainment of integral Divine: that is to say, to discover the Divine with whom you can be identical; to discover the Self that is one; to realise that there is one Self everywhere, that is the aim of the Jnanayoga of the Bhagavad Gita, the realisation of the Oneness of the Self. Secondly, to realise that that oneness is consistent with multiplicity: even though one, it is capable of many, it is capable of all. These two terms are very important: the one that is all, the one that is many.

Question: Can this be termed non-duality?

The first is non-duality: to see one Self is ‘non-duality’. Now, the perception of that one as all and as many is to perceive the many-ness of the Divine or the duality of the Divine: ‘I am different from the Divine’, that is to say to discover not only oneness of the Divine but also to see how I am, although one, still I can have relation with Him: that is the object of the Bhakti yoga in the Gita. It does not divorce, it does not make a conflict, a conflict which is found very often in many philosophies, that if Reality is one, it cannot be all, it cannot be many. If it is non-dual, there cannot be any duality; therefore there is an opposition between the two kinds of philosophies. Dualistic philosophy, Non-dualistic philosophy, and there is a Qualified Dualism: Monism, Dualism, Qualified Monism. There is also Dualism that is Monism and there is acintyaveda vedavāda, another which says that there is a difference between the Divine, and identity with the Divine is of such a nature that there are unthinkable: acintya, unthinkable, it is one and yet many.

In the Bhagavad Gita, all these views are as it were, synthesised, embraced: that is the aim of the Bhakti yoga of the Bhagavad Gita. And thirdly, it aims at the discovery of the Divine’s will, the one that is everywhere, the one with whom I can have hundreds of relationships is also the source of all actions in the world: everything proceeds from Him. Therefore, to know the source of all actions, and to become the instrument of that source is the third aim of the Bhagavad Gita’s Yoga. All the three become one, one united thread as it were, not three disentangled threads, but all of them united, woven together into one thread. To know the Divine as one in all, to know the one as all and as many, and to know the Divine as the source of all action, of all movement, all that happens, all that is created, all that is dissolved, and all that is re-started, and to identify yourself with that will, and to become the instrument of that will, all of them are united. Now, the foundation of this integral Yoga is integral Divine. The method is integral because the object to be discovered, the object to be attained is integral. Now, when you try to understand the ‘integrality’ of the Divine, all the statements which can be made about the Divine, are to be harmonised. Surprisingly, the different statements of the Divine, when they are brought together, they give first a shock, shock because these statements seem to be colliding with each other, they seem to be contradicting each other. And this apparent contradiction which is not really a contradiction is stated boldly and clearly by Sri Krishna in these two verses: therefore, these two verses are the most important, most difficult verses of the Bhagavad Gita. The whole of the Gita’s teaching is integral. The entire Yoga of the Gita is integral, it is a synthetic Yoga and this integrality depends upon the integral knowledge of the Divine.

Very often the question is asked by many young people: ‘does God exist?’ And very often attempts are being made to persuade the children or young people to accept that God exists and most often we fail to do so. The reason is that we are actually not clear as to what is ‘the nature of the Divine’: when we try to prove the existence of God, the question is: what is the nature of God that you are trying to prove? Very often our whole idea of God is a limited idea, one-sided idea. And when you try to prove the existence of God, it is that one-sided idea of God that you are trying to prove which is always hopeless because there are facts in the world which contradict that limited idea of God; you can succeed only if the idea that you want to prove itself is integral. Then, all the facts of the world can ultimately be explained in the context of the integrality of the Divine.

There are four or five major ideas about God as we see in the history of thought. We see first, if you examine the development of religions the idea of ‘Deism’; it is a technical world, although the meaning is very easy: deity is god, but when you speak of ‘Deism’, it is a view that God is so different from man, so different from man, that He is entirely inaccessible. In ordinary children’s idea, it is a God who lives on the 7th floor where entry is barred. He is so far, so remote, so great; children can have no access to Him. This is the children’s idea that is presented very often, but sometimes it is seriously maintained that God is ‘transcendental’, so transcendental that there is no access to Him. Most of the religions stumble on this idea of Deism: they make a big gulf between man and God: man is always shown to be something puny, insignificant, something who is always subject to the rule of that one who is inaccessible.

He is accessible that is the Gita’s view, but in the deistic view of God, the only thing that man can do is to obey the laws that God has made for ruling this world, sometimes to pray to God, not in order to know Him, (because you cannot know Him), but to propitiate Him, to please him, so He can give you some exemptions from the laws that He has made, some favours you can ask for that He may grant, He may not grant, it depends upon Him. In very crude way sometimes God is like a dictator to whom appeal is not possible or if possible in a kind of ‘fiat’ He might decide something, arbitrarily, and therefore there are many ideas of God of this kind, current in the world; and very often when we tell children: ‘God exists’ it is this idea of God that is very often portrayed and presented. According to Deism God, (this is one of the ideas of Deism), God creates the world, makes laws for that world and leaves the world to be ruled by those laws. He Himself is above; and creatures and man, they have to obey those laws and if you follow the laws very well, then you will get good results, if you don’t you will get punishment and sometimes punishment of such a nature than one can be horrified. According to one of the deistic ideas, if you do not recognise God, if you don’t acknowledge God, then you may at the end of the life, you are sent of hell fire, for ever, and ever, and ever, from which there is no return. Therefore people are told, recognise God during your lifetime, at least say that you give your allegiance to God, then you won’t have to go to the hell fire.

The Gita’s concept is therefore much more comprehensive…

Chapter 9—Verses 4-15

…is rejected by most of the people who think rationally. The only way by which Deism thrives or protects itself is by saying that the statement about God that we are making is a dogma. It is not to be questioned. And very often this dogma is coupled with another idea that while humanity in general can never know God, can never have access to God, sometimes God stands on this a earth a Prophet who alone can know, others cannot know; or a messiah is born on this earth, son of God and it is He who can give the knowledge of that God. You can have piety, sense of holiness, some purity, some kind of feeling, of presence of the Divine but more than that, what you have do is simply to follow God’s will, what He has asked you to do and if you give your allegiance to that God, you are saved, if you don’t, you are punished.

Now, these ideas collide with rational thought so much that most of the rationalists reject this idea of God. Along with that even some of the true elements of Deism, even what is true behind Deism is also rejected. How can there be a God who is merciful, why does He create a system in which individuals are thrown into hellfire? What is justice in it? What is goodness in it? If God is God, is omnipotent, why does He create this kind of world, (if He has created the world)? Why does He employ the method of punishment? Even modern civilised man does not now favour the method of punishment. So it may seem that God is even inferior to a civilised man because He uses the method of punishment and a very heavy punishment. If He wants to improve the individuals, why does He not find some better method of improving the children, if He is omnipotent? Why this kind of method in which hellfire is to be experienced? These and other questions arise in the minds of those who think rationally and who question the dogmas.

There is therefore an opposite view, which many rationalists seem to admit more easily, which say that God is not above the world, God is not transcendent of the world, God is nothing but the totality of the world, the sum total of all what is in the world is God; God and all-ness is the same thing; God is all, all is God: this is the view of Pantheism as opposed to Deism. Pantheism: pan means all; theism means God. All is God.

Question: If all is God, why is there good and evil in the world?

But that is the question which is raised against Deism.

Pantheism now answers that all that is there is the world is God. The only problem with Pantheism is that evidently in the world, everything is not beautiful; everything is not good. How can you therefore say that ugliness is also God? If all is God, ugliness is part of the world, how can ugliness be God? How can cruelty be God? (Because cruelty also exists in the world) Therefore it is felt that we have to find an answer to this question. If all is God then the pantheist's answer is that ugly looks ugly only from a certain point of view, but if you look at the whole totality, that ugliness seems to be a part of beauty. It is like seeing the whole picture and seeing a part of the picture: a part of the picture may look to be ugly, but when you look at the whole, then it looks fully beautiful. Similarly a part of the action may seem to be wrong, to be unkind, to be cruel, but when you see the totality of the whole then you see that that action which seemed cruel was actually kind: this argument which is put forward by pantheists. But this does not satisfy because if this is true, then all that happens in the world is allowed to be happening. You don’t need to do anything at all: all is God, everything is good in this world, whatever you are doing is good, whatever you can do is good, therefore the entire endeavour of man to reject evil and to establish good does not find a justification in this scheme of things. So this pantheistic idea which is called ‘idea of God as immanent’ is also rejected.

Then, there is a third idea which has been developed in the history of thought is what is called ‘Theism’ which tries to reconcile ‘Deism’ and ‘Pantheism’. According to Theism God is both ‘transcendental’ and ‘immanent’. Now, this is a grand idea, and many developed religions call themselves ‘theistic’; there are different forms of ‘Theism’. But when you examine these ideas, deistic ideas become very prominent, and the pantheistic ideas, God’s immanence in the world becomes diluted. In what way is God immanent in the world?

Immanence may have two meanings: God ‘in’ the world: that is one meaning of immanence of God, God ‘in’ the world that is immanence of God. And God ‘as’ the world, God Itself is the world, not in the world, but God Himself ‘as’ the world. God in all is one idea of immanence of God. Another one is God ‘as’ all is another idea of the immanence of God. Which of these two is advocated by any particular theory is to be examined. It makes a lot of difference. God ‘in’ the world and God ‘as’ the world, all the forms in the world being the forms of God Himself, and therefore there are many shades.

Now, in the Bhagavad Gita these two sentences, these two verses that we are reading, we will find ‘Deism’, ‘Theism’, ‘Pantheism’, and beyond all this, all put together. It is true that Bhagavad Gita is not a philosophical work so as to work out all of the arguments. The Bhagavad Gita is a transcription of experience. The Bhagavad Gita is a description of what knowledge of God you gain when you experience Him and that too when you experience Him by integrating all the systems of Yoga: all the methods of Yoga put together and then you attain to the knowledge of the Divine, what do you gain? The sum total of that whole knowledge is given in these two verses.

Now, let us see now these verses:

matsthāni sarvabhūtāni na cāhaṁ teṣv avasthitaḥ || (9.4)

“All these objects are in Me, but I am not in them, I am above them.”

This is what is called, the supra-cosmic view of God: ‘All in Me, but I am not in them’, is the supra cosmic idea of God. Very crudely speaking, if an object is in a bottle, you can say that the object is in the bottle, but the bottle is not in the object, that is because the bottle is larger, is bigger, but then the next statement bewilders you very much: na ca matsthāni bhūtāni (9.5), ‘even these objects are not in Me’. The first statement was: ‘All objects are in Me, I am not in them’, now He says, ‘Even the objects are not in Me’ and then He says: paśya me yogamaiśvaram, ‘See the majesty of my Yoga’. They are in Me, I am not in them, they are not in Me, either.

That is the difficulty. The difficulty can be resolved only if you grasp that all that is in the Divine, all that is in the world ultimately issues from the Divine. In other words Sri Krishna expounds here what is called: Monism, neither Deism, nor Theism, nor Pantheism, but Monism.

Monism is a theory according to which the Reality is one; there is only one Reality. It is not as if God creates the world and the world is different from Him. There is only one Reality; that Reality is a complex Reality; it is not a simple Reality. The difference between simplicity and complexity is that simplicity has only one characteristic. Complexity is that which has many characteristics. So Reality is one but it is not having only one characteristic: it has many characteristics. And these many characteristics are harmonious with each other; therefore it is complex. When complex is not a harmony it becomes chaos; but when complexity is harmonious, then it supports the true identity or oneness of the Reality, the Monism. There is no other example. That is the whole point, there is no example of a Reality which is one; the example of this is the supreme Divine Himself. He is the only one, there is nothing else; example would mean there are two, three things like each other. If there is one Reality therefore it is called: anupama; there is no upamā, there is no parallel of it. Reality is anupama. Therefore Sri Krishna says: paśya me yogamaiśvaram, ‘See the majesty of my Yoga, I am such a Reality of which there is no parallel, I am the only one. That reality is supra-cosmic, (that is one characteristic of it), but not merely supra cosmic; if it is only supra cosmic it becomes simple; but it is not merely supra-cosmic; it is also cosmic; it is also individual. These three words are ingrained in these two verses: the Reality is transcendental, supra-cosmic, but not extra cosmic: it is supra cosmic but not extra cosmic.

In Deism, God is supra-cosmic but extra-cosmic, He is on the ‘seventh floor’, all other floors are eliminated, He is not on the other floors, therefore extra cosmic. This reality is supra-cosmic and yet cosmic, therefore He says: “They are in Me”, therefore there is a connection between ‘All’ and the Supreme. The supra-cosmic and all that is in the cosmic they have a relationship. But a relationship is of such a nature …that can be understood only if you know the relation between ‘essence’ and ‘manifestation’.

The essence always transcends the manifestation. All manifestation depends upon the essence. Essence does not depend upon manifestation; essence may manifest, may not manifest, yet it remains essence, but manifestation cannot manifest without the essence. It is only if the essence exists that manifestation can take place. Manifestation depends upon it; manifestation is in it, in the essence. And yet the essence transcends all that is manifested. There is something in essence that is so great, it is inexhaustible. Even if you multiply millions and billions and billions of manifestations, that essence still remains essence, it is not lost, not exhausted: it is sat. Essence is sat.

This is the sense in which: “They are in Me, but I am not in them”. But also He is in others also. As Sri Krishna will say: bhūtabhṛnna, “I am the bearer of all this, and I am bhūtabhāvanaḥ, I am Myself the whole”: all the statements are together. There is no contradiction because if you understand the idea of essence and its relationship with manifestation then you are bound to say that ‘all are in it’ and yet ‘that is not in them’. At the same time it is true that ‘that is in all’; ‘that is itself all’. But if you look at the essence only, then you have to conclude, (if you look only at the essence, not at the manifestation), then you are bound to conclude, that all manifestation is a manifestation “in the space and time”. Since manifestation depends upon essence, “space and time” themselves depend upon essence: therefore essence is “spaceless and timeless”. The entirety of “space and time” depends upon essence, therefore essence must be ‘more’ than “space and time”: it is spaceless and timeless.

Now the idea “in”, whatever is conveyed by the word “in” is true only of space and time: the word “in” is only applicable of that which is “space and time”, but that which is “not in” “space and time”, how can you describe of that reality that this is “in” it. Secondly even those which are manifested, even those before manifestation, what is their condition? What is their ontological status: they are also beyond space and time. So, even with regard to them, you cannot say ‘they are in’. You cannot say ‘it is in them’ or ‘they are in it’. Therefore in the stage where manifestation has not taken place, you can make both the statements: “They are in Me”, “I am not in them”, even “They are not in Me”, because the idea ‘They’, ‘They are My manifestations beyond space and time, they cannot be in Me, because the idea of ‘in’ does not apply there.

So, if you grasp exactly the idea of essence which is timeless and spaceless and which is also capable of manifesting itself in space and time, then all the statements will fall in their proper place: there is no contradiction. If you want now to describe that Reality, even if ‘you’ want to describe, (not Sri Krishna describing), if ‘you’ the reality which is supra-cosmic but not extra-cosmic, which is supra-cosmic but also cosmic, which is essence but also capable of manifestation, now ‘you’ describe that Reality, you are bound to use these words, namely: “They are all in Me, but I am not in them”, even “They are not in Me”. Then He says: “I am the bearer of all” and yet “I am not in all”, and then “I am Myself all”: mamātmā bhūtabhāvanaḥ.

So, all the statements fall in their proper place: this is the description of the integral Divine. These are the two verses on which one can write a long commentary.

Sri Aurobindo himself has written a very powerful chapter in the ‘Essays on the Gita’: The Divine Truth and Way. If you have time, sometime you open this particular chapter from ‘Essays on the Gita’: The Divine Truth and Way, that is the title of the chapter, it is chapter 5 of volume II of the Essays on The Gita. The Divine Truth and Way: this is one of the most difficult chapters of the whole book; evidently it is difficult because it is the heart, as it were you might say, it is the quintessence of the Bhagavad Gita is as it were summarised in these two verses.

Therefore they are leaden, so pregnant that when you want to explain so much is to be said. Sri Aurobindo has described here varieties of spiritual experiences. In the different religions, in the different systems of yogas, among different mystics, among those who have realised the Divine, if you knock their doors and ask: what is the Divine? You will get different answers. Now, these different answers very often seem to collide against each other. But if you go behind the doctrine to the level of experience then you find that these experiences can be all synthesised.

This synthesis of spiritual experiences is the basis of the Bhagavad Gita. When Sri Krishna said to Arjuna in the second chapter that ‘you are not taking into account that which is immortal, that which never dies, that which is Real’, what He wanted to say was ‘this’, that there is a Reality which is ‘supra-cosmic’, which is ‘cosmic’, which is ‘individual’ and in respect of which, varieties of spiritual experiences are possible. It is only when you know the Divine integrally that you understand how the Divine works in the world. Very often we complain against the Divine: if the divine were such and such, why is the world be such and such. These questions arise because we are not looking at the Divine in Its totality. The Divine Himself has varieties of relationship with the world: ‘All are equal to the Divine’ Sri Krishna says, ‘none are more favoured than the other’ and yet He says: mad bhaktaḥ māma priyaḥ, ‘My devotee is very dear to Me’.

The Divine Himself is spread in the world, but because of its complexity, although He is present everywhere, the way in which He is present is quite different. When I am ignorant, the Divine is present in me, present in the whole world. How does the Divine behave with me? When I am in a state of knowledge, how does the Divine deal with me? When I am ignorant I relate myself with God and the world through my ego, so I am myself developing a special kind of attitude to the world and with the Divine, (if such a Divine exists to the egoistic consciousness which very often does not exist, because regards itself to be the Supreme). That egoistic consciousness cannot easily approach the Divine because his own doors are closed by himself. The Divine who is present everywhere through the egoistic consciousness, the individual closes the door on that divine. So even if the Divine is equal everywhere, how can you experience Him as a Bhakta would experience Him? The fire and the heat may be everywhere, equal, but if a put an air conditioner around me, then I may not experience heat, because air conditioner is around me: so, the Divine’s Love is present everywhere, but if I put on my body, on my being, a coat of coldness, how shall experience the warmth of the divine Love?

Therefore, Sri Krishna is quite right in saying: “My Bhakta is dear to Me” because between Bhakta and Myself there is no air conditioner: it is a direct connection. He is equal to all even to the egoistic, He is giving the same Love, but because the egoistic consciousness has got this over coating, he will not experience the warmth of the divine Love. There, Sri Krishna says that ‘Those who are egoistic they will experience Me or experience the world as if it is a huge machine’, the world is experienced as a huge machine on which ego finds itself to be a kind of a ‘cog’, or a convenience and the experience of egoism, when it really experience itself, it finds itself to be overridden all the time by this huge machine. If you are seated in a machine and if the machine is running on its own, even if you feel ‘I am running, I am running, I am running’, but you are all the time overrun, because you are seated in a machine which is moving on its own. I may be running on this earth, but the earth is itself moving which I cannot overrun. Therefore, whatever I do here is overrun all the time. Therefore, the relationship between God and ego is of such a nature that ego always finds itself to be overrun. In the ultimate analysis all egoistic consciousness finds it becomes overrun.

But the same individual when egoism is rooted out, annulled, then he finds that he is held all the time by the Supreme so that what the Supreme wants is acted out without effort through the individual, effortlessly. And effortless operation of the divine consciousness through oneself: this is the whole mark of an egoless consciousness. The same divine is immobile as a condition of mobility. The whole world as we experience is mobile, that mobility is the Divine, but that mobility has behind it a kind of a reservoir of immobility. Now, supposing I want to relate myself to that immobility, then you cannot ask from that divine which is immobile to be acting for you in the world: He is immobile; He can give only the experience of witness, sākṣībhāva. So, if you enter into sākṣībhāva, you can only experience the Divine as a witness: don’t expect Him that He will do so many things for you. The Divine as immobile, is immobile, equal, allows everything to happen, He will also tell you ‘be equal minded’. If you ask the Divine and pray to the Divine: ‘You now solve my problem’, He will not solve the problem; that is not the relationship between immobile and yourself. He can only give you the experience of immobility so that you are equal minded whether the problem is resolved or not resolved, this is the only advantage you get.

But for the problem to be resolved, you have to go to the Divine who is both ‘immobile’ and ‘mobile’, only that divine can solve the problem. Why is it necessary to be told is because Arjuna wanted to solve the problem and he was arguing that he will run away from the battlefield and attain to Sannyasa and will attain to Mukti, so, Sri Krishna says, ‘If you are looking for the solution of the problem and if you just withdraw from the world and withdraw from the battle and go to the immobile your problem won’t be solved’. For solving the problem there is only one way and that is to know the Divine integrally: therefore integral divine is a necessity of the Gita’s position. If Gita’s aim was only to tell you how to withdraw from the world, then integral divine is not necessary. It is only because Gita started with a very big problem: how to resolve the problem in an intensity of action of the most horrible type, ghoraṁ karma, this is the condition of Kurukshetra, ghoraṁ karma, the Karma was horrible, terrible. In the midst of this horrible action, a problem that arose in the mind of Arjuna had to be resolved, this can be resolved only if the divine is integral, is ‘immobile’, ‘mobile’, ‘supra-cosmic’ and ‘cosmic’, not only that, He is also ‘individual’. Reality as supra-cosmic, cosmic and individual; the Reality that is one and yet complex; Reality that is one and one that is many; the one that is infinite and finite; the one that is spaceless and timeless and time and space, only on that basis can this problem of Arjuna be resolved: this is the basis of the synthesis of yoga. The rest of the paragraphs and verses of the chapter are comparatively easy.

So, next time we shall go through them much more fast, but for today we can end here. All right?