We were towards the end of the 13th chapter now, verse 26th. It speaks of the birth of the universe by the union of the union of the ‘field’ and the ‘knower of the field’. In the terms of Sankhya that we discussed last time, it is by the union of Purusha and Prakriti that the world is produced. In terms of the Vedanta, it is the union of Sat and Chit that the world is produced. Sat corresponds to Purusha and Chit corresponds to Chit-Shakti, to Prakriti or force.
And the substance of this particular verse is a derivative of all that has gone before where the emphasis falls upon the knowledge of the ‘field’ and of the ‘knower of the field’, that is to say, the knower of the field not only knows the field, but the knower of the field also knows ‘the knower of the field’ himself. The knower of the field also looks upon himself as an object of knowledge. Therefore as far as the object of knowledge is concerned both the field is the object of knowledge and the knower of the field is also the object of knowledge.
In Sanskrit it is called ‘jñeya’, that which is to be known. That which is to be known is both the field and the knower of the field. And the important point is that you cannot know the field properly unless you know the knower of the field. It is not as if you observe the field and your knowledge, or the observation of the field will be perfect. Unless and until you also know the knower of the field, by introspection, by inner perception, even the field will not so clear. The more you know the knower, the more you know the field. The field will be illuminated when the knowledge of the knower also increases.
And when this knowledge is full, complete, the integral knowledge consists of the knower of the field which is not only the individual self but also the supreme Self. The knowledge of the field is not only the knowledge of Prakriti as it is now known, but even of Para Prakriti which is at the root of Prakriti and thirdly you also know the individual self which is a portion of the Supreme: all the three constitute, put together, is the subject of the integral knowledge.
Once you have this knowledge, then in the next verses we have a few verses, (not only one verse but several verses), which gives us characteristics of one who has gone to the knowledge of all the three.
samaṁ sarveṣu bhūteṣu tiṣṭhantaṁ parameśvaram |
vinaśyatsv avinaśyantaṁ yaḥ paśyati sa paśyati ||13.27||
“When this knowledge is obtained, then among all the objects you perceive the Parameshwara, the supreme Lord, even in the perishable things, you see that which is imperishable.” It is only when you see Purushottama, the supreme Lord, and when you see the Imperishable in the perishable, then only you can see what you have seen.
What is the definition of ‘having seen’: you have not seen unless you have seen the Lord and unless you have seen the imperishable in the perishable; yaḥ paśyati sa paśyati, “Who ever see this, he really perceives.”
Comment: That also is from the Upanishad.
It is from the Upanishad
samaṁ paśyan hi sarvatra samavasthitam īśvaram |
na hinasty ātmanātmānaṁ tato yāti parāṁ gatim ||13.28||
No, the question is: who is the knower? Who perceives? When do you mark that he has perceived? This is a subject which is raised in all kinds of debates in the world. Everybody claims that ‘he’ perceives. The proponent as well as the opponent, everybody claims he sees. Everybody swears on truth, everybody brings a battery of facts and presents the facts as truths.
So, at a deeper level, we have to ask the question: who really perceives? Everybody claims that he perceives. The question is: who perceives really? The answer is that unless you have perceived the whole, you don’t perceive anything particularly; no particular can be known without the knowledge of the whole. Normally people claim they know only when they see a few facts. Therefore according to Gita, he does not really see. Anybody who claims that he sees but knows only a few facts, he does not really see.
Comment: When we see the subject and object together.
That’s right. When he sees the subject and the object together and sees the object in the light of the full knowledge of the subject, then only you can say that he has seen.
One of the most important things in the true perception is that perception which results in the supreme condition of avyabhicāriṇī Bhakti, that’s the real mark. When you have a supreme Love for the supreme Lord without any expectation except in self-offering and the chance of offering oneself again and again and again, only when you are in that state of consciousness, you really perceive.
Till that time anybody who says he perceives that is a false claim, admissible only in our ordinary quarrels, but in the court of the Divine you must be able to see actually as the supreme Lord Himself sees Himself and in the world. Is it all right?
When you see the imperishable in the perishable and when you see the Supreme in all the objects, omnipresence of the Divine, even that is not enough, because the next verses again use a further definition.
In the 29th He says:
prakṛtyaiva ca karmāṇi kriyamāṇāni sarvaśaḥ |
yaḥ paśyati tathāṭmānam akartāraṁ sa paśyati||13.29||
So, even the middle one, verse 28 also is an exposition of the same perception. When you really perceive, first of all you see the Supreme in all the objects; second you perceive the imperishable in the perishable, then,
samaṁ paśyan hi sarvatra samavasthitam īśvaram |
na hinasty ātmanātmānaṁ tato yāti parāṁ gatim ||13.28||
This is another aspect of your perception: “When you see the Supreme equally seated, not only seated but, samavasthitam, equally seated, īśvaram, the supreme Lord, and one who does not kill himself by himself, na hinasty ātmanātmānaṁ. You remember this is the sentence in the 6th chapter, where Sri Krishna says that the self is the friend of the self, and the self is the enemy of the self.
This is a repetition of the same idea: “One who does not destroy himself by himself.” When you go into the lower impulses and obey the lower self you are killing the higher self by the lower self. That is the reference, so: “One who does not kill himself by himself…”, then, yāti parāṁ gatim, “then he attains to the supreme passage.”
Then in the next one:
prakṛtyaiva ca karmāṇi kriyamāṇāni sarvaśaḥ |
“When you see all actions performed by Prakriti and sees oneself as the non-doer, āṭmānam akartāraṁ sa paśyati, and one sees that the self is non-doer, all actions are being done by the Prakriti…
…the self is only a witness, he is not the doer, or the self is the originator, but action is carried out by the Prakriti, all actions are carried out by nature. That nature can be lower nature, or it may be higher nature, it may be Apara Prakriti or it may be Para Prakriti, but all actions are carried out by Prakriti and the real self remains either a witness or remains an originator, or enjoyer, or the Lord, but he is akartā, he doesn’t do. In other words no effects of actions attached to him, when this perception comes then you can say: ‘he is seen’,
yaḥ paśyati tathāṭmānam akartāraṁ sa paśyati|| (13.29)
And again further:
yadā bhūta-pṛthag-bhāvam eka-stham anupaśyati | (13.30)
“When in divisions of objects, he sees only one being, who has become, bhāvam eka-stham, in everything when you see oneness, even in the divisions…”
tata eva ca vistāraṁ, and when you see that all things have manifested from Him…, sampadyate tadā brahma, then only you attain to the Brahman*, ||13.30||
anāditvān nirguṇatvāt paramātmāyam avyayaḥ |
śarīra-stho ’pi kaunteya na karoti na lipyate ||13.31||
“He is the original, anāditvān, he is nirguṇatvāt, he has no Gunas, he is paramātmā, and he is avyayaḥ, he is indivisible; even when he is seated in the body, śarīra-stho ’pi kaunteya na karoti na lipyate, he does no action and he does not get any effect of it.”
It is a very important proposition, we shall see later on, when we come to the next chapter, where a distinction is made and a question is to be answered: ‘If the Supreme, even though in the body, does not get affected, why is the soul which is also in the body does similarly get not-affected?’
Soul also is like the Supreme, why is it not getting attached? That is a very important question we shall ask next time in the next chapter. So, in that context this sentence will be very important; we will come back to it: śarīrastho’pi kaunteya na karoti na lipyate |
Question: This Lord seated in the body, who is not touched, this does not happen to the soul at all this is the Supreme Self?
…supreme Self, that is the whole…paramātmā, I am avyayaḥ. It is not only the self, the soul, but the Supreme. Supreme does not get attached, na lipyate,
Comment: He is there and the soul is also there.
That’s right. The Supreme is in the soul. We have two advantages: our soul also is a portion of the Divine…actually what is within ourselves is very complex, we shall come back to it in the next chapter because that is one of the most important questions: “what is the Self?”
That is one statement, but that is…a more complex answer has to be given, that we shall give in the next chapter: “what are we?” But I shall speak about it at length, later on.
yathā sarva-gataṁ saukṣmyād ākāśaṁ nopalipyate |
sarvatrāvasthito dehe tathātmā nopalipyate ||13.32||
“Just as, ākāśa, ether, because of its subtlety, saukṣmyād, because of its subtlety, even though, sarva-gataṁ, it is spread everywhere and yet it is not changed, it does not affected, similarly, sarvatrāvasthito dehe, even though it is spread in the whole body, tathātmā nopalipyate, the self is not disturbed or changed.” Here the analogy is with ‘ether’, because of its subtlety.
Take for example, this is a classical example given of the space of ether that you find in the world and in the pot. The pot is circumscribed by clay and a form and the outer ether or space is not confined to a jar, or a pot, but the ether which is there in the pot has the same nature as the ether elsewhere, outside, therefore, sarvatrā gataṁ, ether which is spread everywhere, even if you try to circumscribe it by various forms, Ether remains the same; even the clay itself is nothing but a product of ether.
From ether, from Akasha comes Vayu, from Vayu comes the Fire, from Fire comes the Water, from Water comes the Earth: even the clay is a result of Ether. Even then the Ether remains Ether, even so many products come out of it, similarly supreme Purusha is such that although the whole world of mutations is a world of multiplicity, worlds of various names and forms, the essence, the Reality remains what it is.
yathā prakāśayaty ekaḥ kṛtsnaṁ lokam imaṁ raviḥ |
kṣetraṁ kṣetrī tathā kṛtsnaṁ prakāśayati bhārata ||13.33||
“Just as one sun, prakāśayaty ekaḥ raviḥ; kṛtsnaṁ lokam: kṛtsnaṁ means the entire. The entire world, lokam imaṁ, this whole world is prakāśayaty, is illuminated by one sun. Just as by one sun the entire world is illuminated even so, kṣetraṁ kṛtsnaṁ prakāśayati bhārata, O Arjuna, kṣetraṁ kṛtsnaṁ, the entire field is illuminated, by whom? kṣetrī, by the one who is located in the kṣetra. One who is the knower of the kṣetra, one who illumine everything by his own light?
kṣetra, we have defined already in the beginning of the chapter at three stages: kṣetra is the body, then Sri Krishna says that kṣetra is the entire Prakriti, then He says that kṣetra is all that is there in the movement. Therefore kṣetra is the body, Apara Prakriti and also Para Prakriti. The entire kṣetra, for the supreme Lord, He is the originator; He is the Purusha, paramātmā, Parameshwara. Therefore Sri Krishna says: “one who sees the whole world, but does not see the Supreme, he does not see.” Only one who sees the Supreme in the field, the subject and the object, both are known to each other by illumination coming to the subject: that is the true knowledge.
Question: kṣetrī is the higher Self?
… the higher self, kṣetrajña is the supreme Self; just as the kṣetrī, the kṣetra is the entirety, the body, the Apara Prakriti and the Para Prakriti, all is the kṣetra; the kṣetrajña is all that perceives, even our eyes are kṣetrajña, in a little sense; but in the truer sense the supreme Lord Himself is the knower.
kṣetrak-ṣetrajñayor evam antaraṁ jñāna-cakṣuṣā |
bhūta-prakṛti-mokṣaṁ ca ye vidur yānti te param ||13.34||
“One who knows by the eyes of knowledge, jñāna-cakṣuṣā, one who sees by the eye of knowledge the difference between kṣetra and kṣetrajña, between the field and the knower of the field; one who knows prakṛti-mokṣaṁ, one who knows the activities of the creatures and also the science of liberation; one who knows this, yānti te param, it is these peoples who are knower of this, who know the distinction between kṣetra and kṣetrajña, and one who knows how one gets bound and one gets liberated, it is these peoples who attain to the highest.”
Now, let us move forward to the 14th chapter.
Comment: Please summarise from the beginning to the 13th chapter.
This chapter and the remaining 5 chapters, all the 6 chapters I have said earlier constitute one important block. In the Bhagavad Gita there are three blocks: first 6 chapters, next 6 chapters and the last 6 chapters.
The last 6 chapters are a kind of an appendix which contain of the most important things which are either expounded earlier or expounded by giving a hint, but not yet fully expounded. But whatever is expounded here is expounded in the context of a very important theme. That theme is the psychology of the bondage of the soul and the liberation of the soul from the bondage.
Comment: It is *Jnana Yoga?
It is not only Jnana Yoga but it is something that is…you cannot be liberated, according to Bhagavad Gita’s teaching unless you attain to amṛtam Dharma. The very definition that is given in these chapters is different from the kind of definition that you get in many scriptures in many of the books of the world.
This is a very important theme; in fact it’s the central teaching of the Gita. We have to remember; the question of Arjuna in the beginning was: ‘I want to be free’: that was his basic call. Why this ‘ghoraṁ karma’, why this terrible action here? Is it not that by doing this ‘ghoraṁ karma’ I shall be responsible for the destruction of the kuladharma, as a result of which I will go to hell and remain bound? Is it not good for me to go out of this action, take Sannyasa which gives you freedom? So his whole question was: ‘what is freedom?’ And Sri Krishna says: “Do this…”
So this basic question of Arjuna, underlined question of Arjuna was: “Shall I not be bound, even to hell if I come into this action? Shall I not be liberated if I really renounce and take Sannyasa and pursue the path of knowledge and attain to Samadhi and to get liberated?” That was his basic question.
Now, Sri Krishna’s answer is: “Fight!” That was His basic answer: “Fight!” In doing so He wants to tell Arjuna that the freedom that you are seeking will be obtained by fighting, in the fighting, in remaining in the field of action. So: “How to have freedom even while you do the action? Is it possible to do an action and yet be free?”
In the time this teaching was being given to Arjuna, a trend had arisen which said that action only keeps you in action and bound to action, that if you want freedom then renounce action and enter into the path of knowledge and by attainment of knowledge you get freedom, this was the trend and Arjuna seems to be influenced by that trend when he poses this question in the beginning of the Bhagavad Gita. Sri Krishna wants to combat this idea. Now, that combating is done in these last 6 chapters…He has already combated it, already He has answered, basic answer has been given already in the 12th chapter where Sri Krishna says that the highest action is the action which proceeds from the supreme Divine. Then by showing in the 11th chapter viśvarūpa darśana, where supreme Divine Himself is engaged in the war, the Lord Himself is in the war, and Lord Himself is fighting, He Himself has intended, He said “I have already killed them all.”
Therefore He says: “Now you only act, you don’t even act, you just become nimittamātram (11.33); you just become the instrument. When the Lord has decided to act and is acting through you, you simply become passive through that action. To do the divyam karma, to do the Lord’s work, not only to do the work for the Lord, but to do Lord’s own work, that is the state of complete freedom. That answer is given already.
Now, in the last 6 chapters, this answer is further expounded by emphasising a concept which has not been expounded earlier except by hint. That concept is sādharmya mukti. This is the one word that you have to remember very importantly. In these 6 chapters…these chapters may be regarded as an exposition of sādharmya mukti. We had referred to three concepts of mukti earlier: sālokya mukti, sāyujya mukti, and sādharmya mukti.
sālokya mukti is to remain in the same loka as the supreme Divine; sāyujya mukti is to be united with the Supreme, completely; sādharmya mukti is to be one in the action of the Divine, in the Dharma of the Divine. Dharma means the law of action, the law of action that proceeds from Himself. So, sādharmya mukti is connected with ‘action of the Divine’. You can be in the house of the Divine and do no action: only you only eat sweets, you enjoy the Lord’s presence, you play with Him, you are also mukta.
Question: Is that in Adaivta?
No, that is sāyujya, you become one with Him: sālokya, you remain with Him in the same plane, you play with Him. Both of them give you freedom. In both the cases the sense of ego vanishes. So, wherever egoism drops you are liberated, but as soon as you come to action, your mukti is compromised because there, if you have not done Karmayoga, you will not know how to do action and yet remain free.
Therefore sādharmya mukti is the one in which you do action according to the Divine’s will and follow the Divine’s will, in which case your own activity does not remain the same kind of activity which is normally the case when we are in bondage, the very nature of activity changes. The nature of activity will be the same as the nature of the Divine, Para Prakriti. In ordinary cases whenever we are acting, we always act in Apara Prakriti. To rise from Apara Prakriti and to go to Para Prakriti, so that in our action we act with the Para Prakriti that gives you sādharmya mukti. This is the whole meaning of the last 6 chapters.
Comment: All the three are covered.
Because you become completely surrendered fully to the Divine: that is avyabhicāriṇī Bhakti, the Bhakti which transcends ordinary Bhakti, which transcends Knowledge, which transcends Action, all the three are combined together, then you can enter into Dharma of the Divine. This is the main theme of the last 6 chapters.
Comment: The last is the essence of everything.
Yes, but emphasis upon sādharmya mukti, emphasis upon the passage by which one can rise from Apara Prakriti and enter into Para Prakriti. Normally all our actions are done by Apara Prakriti. Even in the so called liberated condition, the normal action proceeds from Apara Prakriti, even when you are liberated until you have gone from Apara Prakriti, cultivated Para Prakriti and you are able to be seated in that Prakriti, you have to ascend into the Para Prakriti, then your action also will be from Para Prakriti. Otherwise even when you are normally liberated, your activity will still be in the Apara Prakriti.
There is a special question in the 14th chapter where we shall mark this point, where Sri Krishna describes how one acts in a state of liberation and He points out that even in the stage of liberation, you are still in the stage of Apara Prakriti as far as action is concerned. But that is not the full liberation, full liberation can come only when you can rise into Para Prakriti and from there you can act. So, Sri Krishna’s answer to Arjuna is “Transcend Apara Prakriti, enter into Para Prakriti and act from Para Prakriti, then you will be perfectly free and dynamically active as the Divine is”: that is sādharmya mukti.
Now that is the substance of the last 6 chapters in which the exposition begins in the 13th chapter. Why is it that He starts with kṣetra and kṣetrajña? Because you cannot understand the difference between Apara Prakriti and Para Prakriti unless you know the distinction between Purusha and Prakriti and the starting point of the knowledge between Purusha and Prakriti is rooted in the kṣetra and kṣetrajña. That is the starting point of the knowledge of Purusha and Prakriti. Therefore this chapter begins with Purusha and Prakriti in the form of kṣetra and kṣetrajña.
Comment: Now it is crystal clear.
Now, it’s all right?
Therefore in the last verse, He says that one who knows the difference between kṣetra and kṣetrajña, one who knows who is the knower of the field and what is the field, it is he…and one who knows what is bondage and what is mokṣa, one who knows how one is bound and how one goes into liberation, only they attain to highest. But this is only the preliminary chapter. The 13th chapter is only the preliminary chapter which begins with the distinction between Purusha and Prakriti, kṣetra and kṣetrajña.
In the 14th chapter we have an elaborate understanding of the Apara Prakriti and the Para Prakriti. Apara Prakriti consists of the 3 Gunas and Para Prakriti is above the Gunas, although this chapter is entitled “guṇatrayavibhāga” in which…as if the whole chapter is devoted to only 3 Gunas, it is only an inadequate description. Actually this chapter concentrates upon the state above the Gunas. You will see towards the end of this chapter Arjuna specially asks the question: “Please tell me the characteristics of one who has gone above the Gunas.” This is the special question that Arjuna asks and the emphasis falls upon that description: one who has gone above the Gunas. So, this chapter when it describes the three Gunas is only an introduction, it’s a description of Apara Prakriti. But the aim of the chapter is to show that you can go from Apara Prakriti into Para Prakriti.
No, no, no, in the 14th chapter itself Sri Krishna answers this question. The 14th chapter speaks of this very question. If you see verse 21, in the 14th chapter.
Now, here Arjuna asks the question:
kair liṅgais trīn guṇān etān atīto bhavati prabho |
kim-ācāraḥ kathaṁ caitāṁs trīn guṇān ativartate ||14.21||
“By what marks, by kair liṅgais, by what marks one who has gone beyond atīto, guṇān etān atīto, one who has gone beyond the three Gunas, trīn guṇān etān atīto, how does one go beyond the three Gunas and what are the marks of the one who goes beyond this? kim-ācāraḥ, how does he act? kathaṁ caitāṁs trīn guṇān ativartate, and how one transcends these three Gunas?
This is the question Arjuna asks and the remaining portion of the entire chapter 14 is the answer to this question: what is guṇatita?
Comment: How does one become nistraiguṇya?
Yes, that’s right. Yes, this is already hinted at. Now, it is here that it is further expounded. How to become nistraiguṇya? How do you become without the 3 Gunas
So, this 14th chapter is actually a chapter which describes the conditions when you go above the Gunas. It is a continuation of the 13th chapter where Prakriti and Purusha are distinguished, then Apara Prakriti is described in this chapter with three Gunas, then a further step is taken as to how you go beyond the three Gunas and what are the characteristics of that stage, beyond the three Gunas and this is not yet complete, it is still further developed in the 15th chapter where the knowledge of Purusha and Prakriti is fully given, where the three-fold Purusha is described, Akshara Purusha, Kshara Purusha and Purushottama.
You might say that this is the real substance of the basic answer of Sri Krishna to Arjuna. You have to know the Purusha, all the three aspects, you have to know Prakriti as Apara Prakriti and Para Prakriti, you must know how you can go beyond Apara Prakriti and enter into Para Prakriti. In the process you come across the Devi Prakriti and the Asuric Prakriti, therefore Sri Krishna gives in the 16th chapter elucidation of these.
And then in the process of moving upwards there is a question of Shraddha; there is a question of works; a question of the mind; these are discussed in the 17th and 18th chapters, and then the final word is given as to how you really enter into Para Prakriti for ever and remain there and act from Para Prakriti and the condition of it is: complete surrender of the self to the Divine.
Comment: By the 15th Chapter the knowledge is given.
Yes, that is true, but these are the steps. Is it all right?
You wanted to ask something?
Question: I wanted to ask even after one is liberated one can still be in Apara Prakriti, then where is the liberation?
Therefore Sri Krishna does not regard it to be the final liberation.
Comment:sālokya mukti and…,
It should be, that’s why Sri Krishna says who “is dearer to Me”, one who devotes himself is ‘dearer’. But the ‘dearer’ is one who remains in the Dharma, the highest Dharma, amṛtam Dharma. So, the real Dharma of amṛtam, complete liberation, comes when you enter into sādharmya mukti: that is the whole teaching of the Gita that you cannot really act in the world, as the Divine acts, unless your nature becomes divine nature.
Question: And without the nature becoming the divine nature, one can attain to sālokya mukti or sāyujya…*,
Yes, that is a stage of a development. In the movement mukti is defined as the loss of ego. Now, egoistic consciousness can be destroyed, central egoism is destroyed when you see the Divine, when you meet the Divine, when you begin to live with Him; or you forget everything in the world, you throw away Apara Prakriti and live in the Supreme, become one with Him, you are liberated. But Prakriti is not changed so when you come back to action, then by what instrument will you act? That’s why Sri Krishna says that unless you unite Karma, Jnana and Bhakti, the will, emotion and thought, all the three have to be united and transformed. Normal action, normal emotion and normal thought belong to Apara Prakriti, but you heighten all the three, unite all the three into the Divine, then only you are lifted from Apara Prakriti to Para Prakriti.
Therefore, that Bhakta who does it is dearer; one who only attains to his state of enjoyment of the Divine is ‘dear’; but the ‘dearer one’ is the one who attains to this amṛtam Dharma, who rises from the Apara Prakriti to the Para Prakriti and even acts with the Para Prakriti, even the instrument are not Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas. This is one of the capital points in the Bhagavad Gita that even in action…there is a very important question…He says what is the condition…we were just now reading 21, if you read 22, His first answer is very worth reading. I am going so fast because you have raised the question and it should be answered properly, so I am going to the 22nd verse:
śribhagavān uvāca, this is the answer from Sri Krishna:
prakāśaṁ ca pravṛttiṁ ca moham eva ca pāṇḍava |
na dveṣṭi sampravṛttāni na nivṛttāni kāṅkṣati ||14.22||
udāsīna-vad āsīno guṇair yo na vicālyate |
guṇā vartanta ity eva yo ’vatiṣṭhati neṅgate ||14.23||
These two paragraphs are very important. He says; Prakasha (prakāśa) is Sattwa; Pravritti (pravṛtti) is Rajas; Moha (moha) is Tamas. Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas, na dveṣṭi sampravṛttāni, the one who is liberated, one who goes above the Gunas, he does not get affected when they come: Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas are still not destroyed, when you just go above it, these three are still there. But whether they come or go the individual is not affected by these Gunas.
Question: He is talking of them coming or going within his own…,
…in his own complex. I go to sleep, I may be liberated, but I go to sleep with this Tamas. So, whether I sleep or I don’t sleep, it makes no difference to him, then you have gone above the Gunas but still the sleep comes to you.
So, many Yogis in this world attain some kind of liberation from egoism, some kind of central egoism, but these three Gunas still pervade them. The action proceeds is like having a pen to write your poem; now, the poem that you want to write is an extraordinary poem, but supposing the pen by which you write is a defective pen, then even if your poem is extraordinary in writing there will be defect and if pen is the only instrument by which you can write then what will be the result? Your poem will not be absolutely perfect in expression because of the inadequacy of the pen.
Similarly even if you know the Divine, in expressing the Divine you have to use the nature, because nature is the active part and if Apara Prakriti is there, Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas will be always there, so your action will be always tainted with Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas. But when you go above the three Gunas the first condition will be that they will not affect you. You will not become bewildered by Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas; normally when these three Gunas are there and we are not liberated, these three Gunas trouble you, you feel bound. Whether they come or they don’t come, they make a difference to you. But you have gone above, then you know that all actions at present are being conducted by Apara Prakriti and they do not give you any trouble: na dveṣṭi na kāṅkṣati. You neither abhor, nor you desire. You are reconciled to the bad pen, you might say, you allow your poem to be expressed as much as possible, you know that the pen is defective, you can’t help it, but you still write whatever you can.
Comment: It will not be the poem of the sage – imperfect.
Yes, it won’t be that perfect. Therefore, Sri Krishna says that you have to rise to a higher plan. Even in action, these Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas have to be transcended. Once you transcend, once you seat above, as He says in the next one, udāsīna-vad āsīno guṇair yo na vicālyate, ‘one who is not disturbed by Gunas’, why? Because udāsīna-vad āsīno, because you are seated above. You are already entering into Para Prakriti, therefore all this does not disturbed you now.
Comment: Maybe you are indifferent to it.
…indifferent to it, you are not troubled; ‘indifferent’ is still a kind of a passive condition, but you are not really troubled: guṇā vartanta ity eva yo ’vatiṣṭhati neṅgate: he knows that the Gunas always work in their own way; he is not troubled. Imperfections come, but you know what is the nature of Apara Prakriti! How can you expect perfection there?
This is the condition of freedom, the real freedom when you go above the Gunas.
Comment: And yet the lower Gunas are working through you,
…working in you as yet, as yet you have not come to the highest, this is only the beginning.
Then, come the highest stages of Para Prakriti. And this chapter prepares you for the highest one. The first condition is that normally in the psychology of a liberated individual, the individual soul lives with the Divine or lives in the same state as the Self of the Divine. In that condition there is either joy, or love, or complete peace even in activity. But as soon as you come to action there is a difficulty for all the Yogis who are ‘Jnanis’ or ‘Bhaktas’, they have great difficulty when they come to action. In their inner being, they are absolutely seated with the Divine or they are one with the Divine, but the moment they act, it is Apara Prakriti which is acting.
So, your action can never be as it would be the divine action itself, divyam karma. Unless you have done Karmayoga, and risen from Apara Prakriti in action, and risen to Para Prakriti which is active, but it is a divine Prakriti in which there is a complete transformation of thought into knowledge, of emotion into the supreme divine Love and action into the normal desire and ordinary action into the divine action, and they are united together, until you have this Para Prakriti does not act.
So, even the Yogis when they come to act there is a difficulty: it is never perfect action, unless you have made a Sadhana in which you have gone beyond Apara Prakriti and entered into the Para Prakriti.
This is one of the important things that Sri Aurobindo describes in the chapter we have read earlier: ‘Ascend to the Supermind’. Para Prakriti is ‘Supermind’. It does not have Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas: these three qualities are not present in the Para Prakriti. There are distortions or deformations of Para Prakriti. In the Para Prakriti Sattwa becomes ‘Ananda’, Rajas becomes dynamic divine activity, not feverish activity, not desired activity, but a divine will which is absolute powerful omnipotence, and Tamas becomes Shama (śama), Shanti,
So, the supreme nature, Para Prakriti is marked by Shanti, divine activity and Ananda. In other words the supreme Prakriti is “Sachchidananda”, the dynamism of Sachchidananda: Sat is Shanti; Chit is Shakti; and Ananda. So, these three powers when they act fully, that is Para Prakriti: that is ‘Supermind’.
So, Yoga is not completed unless you ascend from three Gunas and go into the higher Prakriti. The whole purpose of these last six chapters is this secret. Very often people regard this only as an appendix, but basically it reveals a very important domain; that you rise from the lower nature into the higher nature, triguṇātīta, and you understand the psychology of triguṇātīta. How do you ascend to the Supermind?
And then Sri Aurobindo said that even that knowledge is not sufficient. The last passage of the Bhagavad Gita which says that you give completely yourself to the Divine: body, life and mind, Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas, your entire being given to the Divine, then what happens? You can ascend then. You ascend, but then what is the nature of this ascension? That is not given in the Gita. After ascending what happens? What are the different levels? The higher mind, the illumined mind, the intuitive mind, overmind and Supermind, all this is not described here in the Gita, but all that knowledge is to be obtained. The Bhagavad Gita gives you a key to open the gate.
That is why Sri Aurobindo says the Bhagavad Gita towards the end is reticent, it remains silent. After that what happens? Once you give yourself entirely to the Divine then what happens? Your attainment to the Supermind is promised, what is the nature of it? What are the steps of it? Sri Aurobindo says that this is a knowledge which is a secret knowledge. You need not even tell somebody, let them do this much the rest will come. It is reticent because even if you tell, people won’t understand. You start with this, you practise it and you will understand what it is.
Even that…this is also a part of the Veda, you go from the lower levels by various processes of ascending and descending you come to Truth-Consciousness: that is Para Prakriti. Having reached there, the question is: can you still act, even in the bodily action, exactly with the Para Prakriti. Then the Para Prakriti has to descend to convert Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas completely in each and every movement of action. And Sri Aurobindo has discovered this path: how to bring about the real descent of the Para Prakriti right up to the cells of the body and then, even the human being is transcended and a new species is born: all this knowledge is not in the Gita. But, whatever is in the Gita is a very powerful step towards the highest
Question: ananya Bhakti is the same?,
You can say that but the word avyabhicāriṇī Bhakti is used by Sri Krishna, so you might say this is the word you should use really, the supreme Bhakti which reconciles Jnana, Karma and Bhakti: that is avyabhicāriṇī Bhakti. It is the real passage; the real surrender comes at that point. What we call surrender, real surrender when everything is surrendered. In the case of ordinary Bhakti, only emotions are surrendered and Jnana is quieted, action is quieted, but not surrendered; action is not performed; Jnana is not pursued; only Bhakti, only emotions are offered to the Divine.
But that is not avyabhicāriṇī Bhakti because even in movement of knowledge, there should be Bhakti, even in movement of action there should be Bhakti, all the three should be integrated by the supreme Bhakti then only śaraṇam, that surrender of which Sri Krishna speaks at the end is that śaraṇam. It’s not ordinary śaranam; serva dharma paritjyajya, when all the Dharmas are renounced, all Dharmas which pertain to action, of knowledge and of devotion, all Dharmas are given up, when you really become a complete channel then only Para Prakriti begins to act in you, otherwise in every movement of activity Apara Prakriti again begins to act. The liberated man however only knows that this is all Apara Prakriti: ‘I am not bound by it’. He is liberated inwardly, but he cannot throw out Apara Prakriti, it is there. That is why many Yogis say ‘videha-mukti’.
Comment: How do you explain to people why you go to temple?
No, you can simply explain what you just now explained to me. That is enough. Don’t try to convince them. You can explain, but don’t try to convince them, because there is a very important message of spirituality: ‘you should never try to convince’. You do your best in your own life, practise your own truth, it will have vibration, contagion of itself and will do the necessary, because spirituality is a very delicate process. Different people approach the Reality in different ways, there is not ‘one way’. So even avyabhicāriṇī Bhakti should be given to one who is fit for it, if you give to somebody who is not fit for it, it will create trouble for him, so we should not do it. We can only explain if anybody wants to ask, explain, but you really do yourself inwardly your ananya Bhakti, or your avyabhicāriṇī Bhakti.
Question: There is not much difference between ananya Bhakti and avyabhicāriṇī Bhakti*,
Only sometimes people use one word with one meaning, another…just now you explain ananya Bhakti is only one Krishna you take, therefore ananya Bhakti.
Comment: There is no anya, that is ananya *,
That’s right, different people interpret differently, we should not enter into it. We should simply say my meaning is avyabhicāriṇī Bhakti which means this. And according to my understanding, Sri Krishna speaks of that Bhakti in which action, knowledge and devotion are all united together and then only you can enter into sādharmya mukti.
Comment: It would be a shallow meaning.
…different meanings, we don’t even say shallow or whatever, let everybody understand in its own way. We should not try to force our ideas or our own vocabulary upon others. If anybody asks you, you can say: ‘my vocabulary means this, but you can have your own vocabulary’.
Comment: We should not disturb anybody, Shraddha.
Absolutely, we should not disturb anybody’s Shraddha.
So, to come back to these 22nd and 23rd verses, the psychology is that a liberated Yogi has minimum this: Sattwa predominates; Rajas and Tamas do not press themselves. Sattwa predominates, Rajas and Tamas do not press themselves, but they act under the control of the Sattwa. Ego does not exist, central ego does not exist and inner state of consciousness either is witness, consciousness, complete inactivity, complete peace, union with the Divine, play with the Divine: this is the psychology of the liberated individual.
Out of that arises the next possibility; that is going towards Para Prakriti, and these last 6 chapters are given to that task: how you enter into Para Prakriti and work as in the same law of action as the Divine.
Is it all right, so far?
Comment: These two are very important.
This is the real point of the chapter. Very often when you read this chapter, people think it is simply an enumeration of Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas, because twenty verses are only on that and the last is not understood fully, so people try to neglect or ignore them, but they are the most important ones.
So, let us see now, Sri Krishna Himself says what is contained in this chapter is jñānam uttamam, He Himself says, having explained what is kṣetra and kṣetrajñā, He now says:
paraṁ bhūyaḥ pravakṣyāmi jñānānāṁ jñānam uttamam |
He says: “Now I will tell you still further, bhūyaḥ pravakṣyāmi, I will tell you something still more, and I will give you jñānānāṁ jñānam uttamam, I will give you the highest knowledge among all knowledges.
yaj jñātvā munayaḥ sarve parāṁ siddhim ito gatāḥ ||14.1||
“Having known that the great Munis have achieved parāṁ siddhim, the highest Siddhi, the highest accomplishment.” What is the highest accomplishment in 2nd He explains:
idaṁ jñānam upāśritya mama sādharmyam āgatāḥ |: this is the most important statement He makes. “Having obtained this knowledge they attain to My sādharmya. “They attain to the same law of action in which I am engaged.”
sarge ’pi nopajāyante pralaye na vyathanti ca ||14.2||
“They do not attain to the highest, or they do not really get worried even in the Pralaya.” They are so free; in all the conditions they are equal, because they are seated in the sādharmya, in the Para Prakriti.
Now, He explains this: what is sādharmya; where is the origin of the sādharmya. So He answers:
mama yonir mahad brahma tasmin garbhaṁ dadhāmy aham | (14.3)
Now there is a word used: ‘mahad’, and we shall stop here for a moment because this is a very important word: mahad and then says brahma mahad.
If you read the Sankhya philosophy to which we have made a reference, you find the mention of mahat in that philosophy. According to Sankhya philosophy, Prakriti manifests, unfolding itself by the glance of Purusha. Purusha glances at Prakriti and Prakriti begins to unfold. The first thing that manifests is Mahat, but defines it as Buddhi: it says that Mahat is Buddhi. So, first evolution is the evolution of Buddhi or Mahat.
Then comes ahaṁbhāva, then comes manas, then comes five senses of organs, and five organs of knowledge, and organs of action, then tanmātrā(s), and then pañca mahabhūta(s): this is the description of the Sankhyan development. So, the first thing that is given there is Mahat.
Now, here also Sri Krishna uses the word: mama yonir mahad brahma. Does this mahad mean the same thing like Buddhi in the Sankhya? The answer is ‘No’ because here ‘mahad brahma’, this is not ‘mahad prakṛti’, this ‘mahad brahma’, this is the supreme Mahat; this Mahat is the ‘Supermind’, Para Prakriti.
mama yonir: “it is My own womb”: it is the womb of Chit.
tasmin garbhaṁ dadhāmy aham: “it is in that womb that I put the seed”. The Sat which is the Purusha, Purushottama, that Sat originates the activity of Mahat of Chit-Shakti. The Sat, Chit and Ananda, this is the Vedantic terminology (not the Sankhyan terminology), the supreme Reality is Sachchidananda: Sat is Purusha in that philosophy and Chit is Prakriti, but Sat is not only Purusha but Purushottama, and Prakriti is not Prakriti but Para Prakriti.
So, if you understand that statement very well then this will be understood very properly: mama means Sat: that which belongs to Sat; mama yonir, the Chit belongs to Me, Chit which is the yonir belongs to Me. That is Sat and Chit are one but Chit belongs to mama, of Sat. This Sat originates and puts the seed of action, it activates Prakriti. From the supreme womb multiplicity of things are to arise and can arise, but for any particular creation the Divine determines only one type of creation.
From the infinite, infinite can come out, Supreme is infinite. Therefore from the infinite, infinite can come out, but every universe manifests only one law. For example our present world is a world in which the first principle is matter; second principle is life; third principle is mind; then above, this is the law of the present world.
Now, the Divine could have created another world in which life could have been first, matter could have come later on, mind could have come later on, so life becomes the first principle; that also could have been possible. There could have been a possibility of a world in which mind comes first, then life and then matter; that also is possible. How the arrangement of the world will be made depend upon the Divine’s will; it will depend upon bījam, it will depend upon the idea that is given to that particular creation.
So, Sri Krishna says:
mama yonir mahad brahma tasmin garbhaṁ dadhāmy aham |
“In every movement, I put first the seed in the womb of the Para Prakriti”: Para Prakriti which is the Chit-Shakti, in that I put what kind of world will be manifested, then:
sambhavaḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ tato bhavati bhārata ||14.3||
“After that is done, then all the creatures emerge out of that”, once He has determined garbhaṁ, what is the pregnant idea which has been put into the yonir, into the mahad brahma, into the vast Apara Prakriti, then everything follows.
sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya mūrtayaḥ sambhavanti yāḥ |
tāsāṁ brahma mahad yonir ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā ||14.4||
“I am the pitā, I am the father; bīja-pradaḥ, I am the giver of the seed, I am the giver of the principle by which the world will be manifested, I have determined what will be the law of the world. Therefore, in all the wombs of the world, all kinds of forms are created, all these forms are actually resultants of the seed that I put and the seed that I put is in the yonir, in the mahad, in the Para Prakriti, and I am therefore the father of all things in the world.
Now, having said this, now Sri Krishna comes to the description of Apara Prakriti, so far was the Para Prakriti, because mahad brahma is given; mahad brahma is the description, not of Apara Prakriti. Pure mahat would have meant Apara Prakriti, but this mahat is brahma mahad, it is Para Prakriti. Out of Para Prakriti now comes Apara Prakriti. In the Apara Prakriti this is the description:
sattvaṁ rajas tama iti guṇāḥ prakṛti-sambhavāḥ |, “Where you find Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas, these are the products of ordinary Prakriti, not of the mahad yonir, but of the Apara Prakriti, prakṛti-sambhavāḥ. This Prakriti is what?
nibadhnanti mahā-bāho dehe dehinam avyayam ||14.5||
“If you remain in the mahad yonir, in the Para Prakriti, there is no bondage, but when you come into this Prakriti, then, dehinam avyayam nibadhnanti, then the soul becomes bound into the body: so, the cause of the bondage is Apara Prakriti, not Para Prakriti.
These 2 propositions are extremely important to remember: where is the freedom and where is the bondage; there is no bondage as long as you remain in Para Prakriti. As soon as you come into Apara Prakriti, even that bondage is not necessary, but it is possible and you can become bound, you can become bound when…that is another given, afterwards it comes in the 6th one:
tatra sattvaṁ nirmalatvāt prakāśakam anāmayam |
sukha-saṅgena badhnāti jñāna-saṅgena cānagha ||14.6||
“How does a soul get bound in the Apara Prakriti…” So, first He speaks of the Sattwa; Sattwa is nirmala, is pure, it is prakāśa, its nature is luminous; anāmayam, it is healthy, but sukha-saṅgena badhnāti jñāna-saṅgena, but even there, by virtue of happiness, and by virtue of knowledge, Sattwa binds the soul to the body: this is the cause of the bondage; sukha-saṅgena, the kind of happiness that comes in the Sattwa, it gives a special kind of sukha. That sukha becomes so pleasing that you become bound to it. You get such a knowledge…it is knowledge but it is not ‘that’ knowledge of Para Prakriti, but a knowledge, it is limited knowledge, because of the limitation, you become bound.
rajo rāgātmakaṁ viddhi, Rajas is full of attachment, desire.
tṛṣṇā-saṅga-samudbhavam, it is that which gives rise to desire.
tan nibadhnāti kaunteya karmasaṅgena dehinam ||14.7||
Rajas binds the soul to the body by karma-saṅgena, by attachment to action. Just as Sattwa was able to bind the soul to the body through sukha-saṅgena, and through jñāna-saṅgena, through attachment to the knowledge and attachment to the happiness, similarly Rajas binds the soul to the body through the attachment to the action.
Comment: and you are happy about it,
That’s why, yes, that’s right. That’s the beginning: how you get into the bondage, sukha-saṅgena, jñāna-saṅgena, then it becomes further, by Rajas you get into karma-saṇgena.
Then comes the 3rd one:
tamas tv ajñāna-jaṁ: Tamas is the originator of ajñāna-jaṁ, of ignorance.
mohanaṁ sarva-dehinām: it is that which deludes everybody.
pramādālasya-nidrābhis tan nibadhnāti bhārata ||14.8||
“Tamas binds the soul to the body by pramādā, by ālasya, by nidra. By pramādā, by indolence, by negligence; ālasya, and by sleep. This is how the bondage takes place.
So, first there is the description of mahad yonir, Para Prakriti; and then comes Apara Prakriti and how because of Apara Prakriti and because of these reasons the soul gets bound in the Apara Prakriti. If you therefore come out of the Apara Prakriti and go into Para Prakriti, there is no bondage. This is the descending path and when you ascend then you become liberated.
Comment: This tamas is nidra but Yoganidra is not tamas?
No, no, this is not that nidra is not Yoganidra. This is not Yoganidra. Our ordinary sleep is Tamas. But Yoganidra is actually Jnana nidra, you enter in the supreme Knowledge. It is beyond Sattwic. Yoganidra is the Supreme’s own sleep, which is Para Prakriti.
sattvaṁ sukhe sañjayati rajaḥ karmaṇi bhārata |
jñānam āvṛtya tu tamaḥ pramāde sañjayaty uta ||14.9||
“Sattwa binds you by happiness; Rajas binds you through action and inaction; Tamas binds you by the covering of knowledge and by pramādā, by indolence.”
rajas tamaś cābhibhūya sattvaṁ bhavati bhārata |
rajaḥ sattvaṁ tamaś caiva tamaḥ sattvaṁ rajas tathā ||14.10||
“Rajas and Tamas, both are controlled by Sattwa when Sattwa prevails. Rajas prevails when it controls Sattwa and Tamas; and Tamas prevails when Sattwa and Rajas, both are controlled by Tamas.” This is the law of the preponderance: when can you call somebody Sattwic? When Sattwa prevails over Rajas and Tamas; somebody is Rajasic when Rajas prevails, when Sattwa and Tamas both are controlled and you become Tamasic when Sattwa and Rajas both are controlled by Tamas.
Comment: But none is independent, they are mixed together.
All the three are together always, always mixed.
In physical terms: Tamas is for inertia; Rajas is for motion and Sattwa is for equilibrium. The entire physical world has these three movements, you find everywhere, all the three are together, inertia, motion and equilibrium. In everything in the world these three are all the time concomitant, but somewhere one is predominant, in another place another is dominant.
Comment: When Sattwa is predominant, then it’s all right?
…it is easier for you to cross over to Para Prakriti. It is why it is said that if you want to cross over to Para Prakriti, develop Sattwa, then it is easier for you to climb up. In psychological terms: Tamas means inconscience; Rajas means activity illumined by desire, passion; and Sattwa is an activity illumined by true knowledge, in terms of psychology. In purely physical terms, Sattwa is a quality of equilibrium; Rajas is the quality of motion and Tamas is the quality of inertia. In psychological terms Tamas is inconscience, Rajas is activity illumined by desire and Sattwa is an activity illumined by knowledge, but by knowledge is meant ‘mental knowledge’, not Para Prakriti’s knowledge.
sarva-dvāreṣu dehe ’smin prakāśa upajāyate |
jñānaṁ yadā tadā vidyād vivṛddhaṁ sattvam ity uta ||14.11||
“When all your dvāra, all your doors, senses of knowledge, become filled with knowledge, filled with light, then knowledge emerges, then you understand that Sattwa has arisen.” When all your doors of knowledge are filled with light and when knowledge begins to pour in you, think that Sattwa is arising.
In the state of consciousness in which we all are now, it is Sattwic consciousness because our mind is filled with knowledge of some kind, it is not the highest knowledge, in some kind it’s spreading, therefore the present state is of Sattwa.
lobhaḥ pravṛttir ārambhaḥ karmaṇām aśamaḥ spṛhā |
rajasy etāni jāyante vivṛddhe bharatarṣabha ||14.12||
“When there is lobhaḥ, the greed, when there is a tremendous passion to act, pravṛttir ārambhaḥ, you begin lot of action, plan so much, go about things, rush about, pravṛttir ārambhaḥ karmaṇām aśamaḥ, when there is restlessness, spṛhā, desire, rajasy etāni jāyante, these are all products of Rajas, and when these begin to predominate, think that you are now Rajasic.
aprakāśo ’pravṛttiś ca pramādo moha eva ca |
tamasy etāni jāyante vivṛddhe kuru-nandana||14.13||
“aprakāśo, there is darkness, ’pravṛttiś ca, inactivity, pramādo, laziness, moha, delusion, these arise from Tamas, and when they arise think that you are Tamasic.”
yadā sattve pravṛddhe tu pralayaṁ yāti deha-bhṛt |
“When you are living in a body, which is predominated by Sattwa,if due to death, one dies…
tadottama-vidāṁ lokān amalān pratipadyate ||14.14||
…then one goes into families of best scholars, wise men, those who are Sattwic.” So, if you die, at the time of the death if Sattwa is predominant, you enter into the families in the next birth which are full of knowledge.
rajasi pralayaṁ gatvā karma-saṅgiṣu jāyate |
“But if at the time of death Rajas is predominant, then you enter into the families which are absolutely active…
tathā pralīnas tamasi mūḍha-yoniṣu jāyate ||14.15||
…if at the time of the death there is Tamas predominant, then you take birth in the wombs of those who are mūḍha, who are inert.”
Comment: yogabraśṭa are born into homes Yogis.
Yes, quite right, but here it is not written about Yogi, it is a general principle even of the general type, not only of yogabraśṭa.
…to some extent, because all Sattwic are not yogabraśṭa(s); yogabraśṭa(s) are those who have risen high and then they fall, but you have people who are still rising; for them fall has not yet come; all may not even fall: that which have been described in the earlier chapters in only of yogabraśṭa(s).
karmaṇaḥ sukṛtasyāhuḥ sāttvikaṁ nirmalaṁ phalam |
rajas as tu phalaṁ duḥkham ajñānaṁ tamasaḥ phalam ||14.16||
“If one is Sattwic, then his actions are always good actions and the fruits are nirmalaṁ, are always pure; the fruits of actions done by Rajas are always painful, duḥkham; all duḥkha arises from the actions which have been done by desire or Rajas; ajñānaṁ tamasaḥ phalam, and all the results of Tamas are productive of ignorance.”
sattvāt sañjāyate jñānaṁ: from Sattwa arises knowledge,
rajaso lobha eva ca: from Rajas comes greed,…
pramāda-mohau tamaso bhavato ’jñānam eva ca ||14.17||
…from Tamas arise laziness, delusion and ignorance.
ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti sattva-sthā: those who are seated in Sattwa, ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti, they go upwards; madhye tiṣṭhanti rājasāḥ: those who are in Rajas stand in the middle…
jaghanya-guṇa-vṛtti-sthā adho gacchanti tāmasāḥ ||14.18||
…those who are Tamasic, who are fixed in the lowest Guna, they go downwards, adho gacchanti.
nānyaṁ guṇebhyaḥ kartāraṁ yadā draṣṭānupaśyati |
guṇebhyaś ca paraṁ vetti mad-bhāvaṁ so ’dhigacchati ||14.19||
Now comes again the description of Para Prakriti. having described Apara Prakriti so far, now He says, nānyaṁ guṇebhyaḥ kartāraṁ yadā draṣṭānupaśyati: when you begin to perceive that all actions are proceeding only from Prakriti, from the Gunas, then, guṇebhyaś ca paraṁ vetti madbhāvaṁ so ’dhigacchati: then, when you begin to know the complete scheme of Apara Prakriti, then you go above, guṇebhyaś ca paraṁ, you go above the Gunas and mad-bhāvaṁ, not only mam, the knowledge of Me and the knowledge of My activity, (there is a difference): to know Me, you can know the Divine essentially, to know the Divine as Love, but to know the Divine as Action is mad-bhāvaṁ, My Prakriti. When you go above the Gunas, then mad-bhāvaṁ so’ dhigacchati, you rise into Para Prakriti, mad-bhāvaṁ so ’dhigacchati.
guṇān etān atītya trīn dehī deha-samudbhavān |
janma-mṛtyu-jarā-duḥkhair vimukto ’mṛtam aśnute ||14.20||
“When, dehī, one who is in the body, when he goes beyond the three Gunas, guṇān-etān-atītya…this is the verse which is the message of the whole chapter: your bondage comes because of your saṅga with Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas. ‘When you go beyond the 3 Gunas then you are able to be liberated’; guṇān-etān-atītya, atītya means ‘having gone beyond’, when you go beyond the 3 Gunas, then deha-samudbhavān, these Gunas which arise out of the body, when you go beyond these 3 Gunas, then you become vimukto, you become liberated; from where? janma-mṛtyu-jarā-duḥkhair, you become liberated from birth, from death, from old age, and from the misery and then, amṛtam aśnute, then you enjoy immortality.
It is only when you arise to Para Prakriti that immortality comes. This is another definition of immortality. What is immortality? Immortality is the entry into Para Prakriti. Even if you are liberated, but you are not able to enter into Para Prakriti, you are still not attaining immortality. It is only when you go into amṛtaṁ Dharma, of which at the end of the 12th chapter we had given this idea, amṛtam Dharma: amṛtam Dharma is this amṛtam aśnute, when you enter into Para Prakriti.
I think we stop here now, because now comes the question of Para Prakriti and the end of the chapter.