Question: Once you have discovered that the wave is water that is to say the oneness with the Divine and one is liberated then what is the need for perfection?
This is the whole Bhagavad Gita’s basic teaching. Apart from your knowledge of oneness with the Divine, there is a question of manifestation of the Divine. So, liberation is to be followed by perfection for the manifestation. The moment you withdraw from Gunas, you are liberated, but then what happens to the Gunas? That was the question that Sri Krishna answers in the 14th chapter: you go beyond the Gunas; when you go beyond the Gunas, you arrive at the divine being, but also mad-bhāvam, but also ‘My nature’.
The realisation is often limited to the knowledge of the divine being and very often there is a tendency to give up the nature, the activity, the manifestation. Those who want however, not only to be freed into the divine being, but also want to manifest, for them the question remains, and this question is very important for Arjuna, because Arjuna says: ‘I want to go out of this world’ when his very first declaration is: ‘I don’t want to fight because it is better for me to withdraw’, so for him it was a easier thing to come out of the Gunas and come out of it, but Sri Krishna says ‘No! You have to fight’.
Now, how is fighting possible with liberation, unless there is something more than liberation? Merely going and withdrawing within the divine being is not enough. This whole world is a manifestation of the Divine; this manifestation has arisen out of Para Prakriti, which is beyond the three Gunas; so apart from divine being there is also nature which is beyond three Gunas. When you come out of the three Gunas and enter into the divine being, you have to identify also with the divine nature. It is from that divine nature that this battle is going on. So, if you stand upon not only divine being, but also in divine nature, then you will be able to be the instrument of God’s action: that is perfection. All right?
Question: It is the difference between sālokya-mukti and sādharmya-mukti?**,
Yes, that’s right, it is not only sālokya-mukti, you are not only one with the divine being, but also you are also ‘Dharma’; the mode of action is also identical with the mode of action of the Divine Himself. So, you become divine, not only in your being, but also in your action.
Comment: This brings out the difference between Being and Nature.
Correct, absolutely. That is, you become not only Akshara Purusha, nor do you become only Kshara Purusha, you become Purushottama and your being is actually Amsha (aṁśa) of that Purushottama: neither of Kshara nor of Akshara. Your origin is mamaivāṁśo sanātanaḥ, you own being…Amsha is a portion of that Purushottama. Therefore “Be thou as perfect as thy father in heaven is perfect”. The father in heaven is not only being but also power, He is also manifesting power and you are only a child of that one, you are yourself that one, therefore you can become as perfect as He. If you are not a portion of that Reality, such a teaching would be irrelevant. At the most you can be told that you can become like Him, but what Christ said is: “You become as perfect as thy Father in heaven is perfect.” That is the teaching also of the Bhagavad Gita: you become the manifestation of the Divine and manifest the divine perfection in your action; your action must be as perfect, not tainted by Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas.
And how do you achieve that? How do you go beyond it? This is the subject matter of chapters’ 16, 17, 18; of the Bhagavad Gita in which in brief He says that you develop Sattwic nature first: Rajas and Sattwa are superior to Tamas, so first of all Tamas and Rajas you transform transform and make it Sattwa. Therefore you will find in 16th, 17th and 18th chapters everywhere Sri Krishna describes what is Tamas, what is Rajas, what is Sattwa and then says that when you reach Sattwa, then you can make a transition.
When you make the transition then you become divine: divya karma you are able to perform, you become yourself the instrument of the Divine; nothing of Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas remains in you, the divine nature takes hold of you. So, you become in yourself sādharmya, your own nature, your action will be as the divine’s action. So, that completes the whole teaching of the Bhagavad Gita.
It is not only a teaching of liberation. The teaching of the Gita is not considered upon the Moksha, it is considered upon divine action, manifestation of the Divine in action. Otherwise Arjuna would have said: ‘I will go immediately out of this world, I don’t want to be here.’ Krishna should have encouraged him in saying: ‘Very fine, one more saint now in the company of many others’ added to that whole vast galaxy, but Sri Krishna said: “No, although Moksha is a step, that is not the end. You are here on the earth, why did you take bondage? You have come to bondage not out of any compulsion. At the time of the assumption of bondage you were free to be bound or not to be bound. You were already free, so why did you take bondage? There was a reason. Reason is that having bound yourself into Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas, you transform them. This transformation power is a further work to be done and that can be done only by Karmayoga.” One who does not do Karmayoga cannot achieve this transformation of Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas and it is that Karma which is the central teaching of the Bhagavad Gita. It is that which leads us to perfection, not only liberation but also perfection.
Comment: Has the Gita been expounded by any one else in the way it has been expounded by Sri Aurobindo?
But I agree with you that only in this book, this is Sri Aurobindo’s Bhagavad Gita, it is unique.
Comment: This aspect of perfection has not been brought out anywhere else but is so evident, when you are expounding it.
Yes, it is never emphasised anywhere, although it is there in the Gita. It is evidently there, it is not brought out so well by many people, by most of the people you might say. That’s why Mother said that after Sri Aurobindo wrote this book, the role of the Gita has become tremendously important, and Sri Aurobindo has said: “The teaching of the Bhagavad Gita will liberate humanity in the future”, that is the future task of the Bhagavad Gita.
Comment: When you see the Gita in this light, it is evidently so.
That is so, it is so, it is so, yes, absolutely so, correct!
Question: Nothing happens to any individual unless we consent to it
The whole world has been conceived as a world issuing for freedom. Freedom is a natural corollary of the omnipotent divine will. When we say there is an omnipotent will it means there is no other will which can contradict it. So, if there is no will that can contradict it, then this will is free. It can will anything that it wants to will. Now, such is the Reality. There is an omnipotent will and there is this kind of freedom in the divine consciousness.
But the will of the Divine has many potentialities and many possibilities; you might say unlimited possibilities, because if there is a limitation of these possibilities it means that there is something that contradicts it. So, there are a number of possibilities, you might say unlimited possibilities and each possibility is as divine as the other. This is a very important statement: ‘each possibility is as divine as the other’. Since the Divine is the only Reality, the potentialities of the Divine can be only divine and therefore the Divine does not choose one possibility or the other on the ground that one is better than the other: all the possibilities are equally divine.
So, if one chooses, if the Divine chooses one or the other, it is not because one will is better or worse than the other: all are equally divine. Only in that condition can there be a real freedom. If you then choose one and you ask the question: why do you choose this? The answer was, it was freely decided. If the Divine says: “It was better therefore I chose”, then Divine is determined by the better-ness of that choice, therefore it’s not free: better-ness imposes itself upon the Divine and Divine was therefore determined to choose the better one, then it is not a free will. So, in regard to the Divine, all the possibilities are equally divine and if He chooses one or the other it is entirely out of freedom. It is a real free will.
So, if anything happens, it is because there is a consent of the Divine to it. Nothing can happen without the consent of the Divine. Now, this is different of saying that if anything happens it is because of your consent: the two statements are not equal. If anything happens it is because of the consent of the Divine, not because of your consent or anybody else’s consent. Now, if you happen to be a portion of the Divine, then it can be said that if anything happens it is because of your consent, if you happen to be a portion of the Divine.
Now, you do happen to be a portion of the Divine, therefore if anything happens to you, it is because of your consent. Now, this is the true truth which we will apply at every stage of life, but if you determine freely that you want to be hidden from ‘whatever has happen’ by your own will, you want to be hidden from it, then what is happening is certainly because of your consent, but you are hidden from it.
Question: Is this the veiling?
This is the veiling. Now, you as ‘veiled’ and you as ‘un-veiled’ makes all the difference. When you are veiled, then it appears that what you have willed is the master of yourself, not that you are the master of your will, but what has been willed is your master: that is our condition of ignorance. In that condition you feel a sense of bondage, you feel bound. What you have willed begins to master you: that is all the sense of bondage in the world. We all feel as if what is willed by us is hidden from us, by our own decision to be hidden. As a result, you feel a pressure of the outer, our circumstances begin to master us, seem to be mastering us and we begin to run about in the web of circumstances, but if you now remember, if you now decide not to hide yourself, this is also your free decision. You can will now that you will not forget yourself, you will not hide yourself, you will appear in the forefront, then you decide ‘I don’t want to be bound by this’, that bondage will disappear.
Question: What is the decision like? We undertake to discover God or to undertake Yoga?
Even the minimum is only this: ‘I don’t want to be bound’, you don’t even need to think of God or anything, you simply say: ‘I don’t want to be bound’, it’s the minimum. ‘My circumstances are too pressing on me and I feel as if I am subject to them, I am bound by them’, then you take a decision: ‘I don’t want to be bound’. The moment you take this decision, you will see the circumstances will begin to change, but not till then. And once you decide, you should decide persistently; that is because your decision not to hide yourself is not a persistent will, if you keep it persistently, then of course the circumstances will immediately change.
But if your will is half-hearted, then circumstances will change but very gradually, very lethargically, because you have not taken a firm decision. That now, ‘No more this play’: all yoga is basically rooted in this; you decide ‘I don’t want to be bound’, and make it a persistent will. In the meantime, during the time there is no persistence as yet, you will be buffeted, it is all human beings are at present. The present stage of evolution is one in which human beings begin to see that they do not want to be bound. Even the pressing circumstances are such that we don’t want to be bound, but the decision not to be bound is not persistent. So, at present we are all experiencing being buffeted by circumstances.
So, once you take a firm decision…and that is a ‘yogic moment’…yoga means basically a firm decision, a persistent decision, to affirm your freedom, and then to realise your real freedom, gradually your subjection becomes less and less and when you really move forward you will begin to perceive the Divine even though you may not have at the beginning seen the Divine or decided for the Divine, but as you begin to have this will, there will be ‘unveiling’ of what is behind this will, and you will discover the Divine behind it. So therefore, Yoga means union with the Divine’s will, but it can start only with this minimum decision and then make it persistent and then you attain to that stage.
Question: Is that the secret of Eventology that you had talked of?,
That’s right, correct, absolutely.
Question: I want to clarify what is eventology?
Eventology may be defined as the science and art of creating events. How to change the events? How to change the trend of events? Actually every science gives you capacity for eventology, every science: because you know the secret of electricity and how electricity can be produced, now you just switch on and you can produce the light, it is also a kind of eventology. There is naturally darkness! In the natural events, it is only darkness coming after darkness. If you want light suddenly you know the secret, so you can just switch on, and you get the light.
So, every science actually is a movement towards eventology. But we have not yet got that science as yet, it’s also a matter of research: how can you change your circumstances, as yet we don’t know the science of it, therefore we don’t know the eventology of circumstances. But if you know the science of it and this is the science of it, the basic principle is this: you take a decision that you do not want to be subject to the present events, then persistently will it and the result will come and change the circumstances.
In fact, the secret of the Veda is basically this. They spoke of saṅkalpa: you manifest a saṅkalpa, and continue with that saṅkalpa,( sacrifice which was proposed was only an outer symbol, but basically this is the truth behind it). You take a saṅkalpa, persist with it and result will follow as you have decided as you wanted it. That is why in ancient India, the kings when they wanted to undertake a war, they wanted to have a certain result as a result of war, then they used to have a saṅkalpa, a sacrifice and that saṅkalpa was followed over days and months, yajña(s): that was the secret behind it.
Now, there may be a ritualistic, ‘mechanistic’ will and therefore it may not succeed, but if you really will it, truly, sincerely, then it has an effect. That’s why sincerity is regarded as the most important element in this process: you should sincerely want it, not mechanically, not half-heartedly, not with a division in the mind and heart. Very often we find that we make a decision and then after sometime we change the decision and then come back to the original decision, then the effects are diluted.
Now, the 15th chapter which we are doing actually is considered to be the chapter containing the supreme Knowledge, even much greater knowledge than what was contained in the 9th chapter, because 9th chapter was also a chapter describing the supreme knowledge, the supreme word of the Gita…
Question: That would mean that we determine our own destiny?
Oh! Yes, absolutely.
Question: Then what is astrology?
This is your present will having its own consequences, then you intervene and change it.
Therefore, astrology itself recognises a science beyond astrology. Therefore, astrology also tells you remedies: ‘this is going to happen, but if you don’t want it to happen then do certain things’, of course it has become very mechanical, but there is a truth behind it. If you know the divine science, the yoga, then you can do it, you can change the whole course of events, a new course of events can arise.
Question: Sankalpa becomes karma?
That’s right, correct. That is why Isha Upanishad says: na karma lipyate nare (Isha Upn. 2), “You do the action, it does not bind you.” So, you should not give up action. In order to be free from action, many people advise: ‘you come out of action.’ Isha Upanishad says: ‘No, kurvanneveha karmāṇi jijīviṣecchataṁ samāḥ |’, ‘By doing actions verily in this world, here, you should wish to live for a hundred years.’ That is to say, hundred means: on and on, continue. This is the only way. And then it says: na karma lipyate nare, but you should do action in such a way, it does not bind you. So, action itself is the means of freedom. Go on doing actions, arrive at a point where action does not bind you, you become free, that is the secret of Karmayoga: you do action, arrive at a point where action no more binds you, you really attain to freedom. This is because there is a fundamental connection between action and silence. The two may seem to be opposites, but they reach a point of union, then you can do both: remain silent and be active. There is a fundamental connection in the very nature of things. Nature of Reality is such that the two are not opposite although they seem to be opposite to us, ‘to be silent is to be devoid of action’, ‘to be active means to be devoid of silence’, but that is true at a very lower level of consciousness where we are hardly silent and we are hardly active. So, in that kind of a balance…
Comment: Like Nataraja.
Yes, if you can really reach that stage of Nataraja, then there is a complete stability and a complete movement, and that is the great secret described in the 15th chapter, where Sri Krishna says, this is what we read last time but we will read again:
dvāv imau puruṣau loke kṣaraś cākṣara eva ca |
kṣaraḥ sarvāṇi bhūtāni kūṭa-stho ’kṣara ucyate ||15.16||
“dvāv imau puruṣau, there are two Purushas; loke, in this world; kṣaraḥ ca akṣaraḥ eva ca, the mobile and the immobile, action and silence. There is a Purusha which is mobile and there is a Purusha which is immobile, or there are two statuses of the same Purusha, the same reality, so that reality is at once mobile and immobile.
This is a kind of a digest of the Isha Upanishad, where the Isha Upanishad says:
tadejati tannaijati(Isha Upn. 5): it moves, it moves not. That is the real Reality; that is the very nature of Reality. If you really become completely silent, you will see automatically the will of action will start, unrestrained, the most omnipotent action will flow from the tremendous silence. Or if you become highly active, intensely active, what is called a ‘master act’, if you are able to do a master act, you become completely silent, but the action must be a ‘master act’.
Question: But people who opt for total silence, why don’t they return to activity?
Because it is not complete silence, there are many stages, layers and layers of silence. You don’t attain to the point where it meets action: just in our activities we also do a lot of activities, we also feel we are very active, but we don’t reach the point of ‘master act’. If you reach the master act, you will find supreme silence.
Comment: Is it the same as naiśkarmaiya?**
Yes, absolutely, when you have the master act, you attain to the non-action, you don’t feel the burden of action at all, you don’t feel that you are acting at all, it’s like carrying a feather in your hand. You may be commanding the whole world of the armies, but the consciousness in which you live is like if you are carrying a small feather, you are completely silent.
That is the mark of the ‘sthitaprajña’. A sthitaprajña is one who is completely in equilibrium and yet he is fully active. Like Sri Krishna when He was in the war, what was His condition of consciousness? Even when Arjuna, his great instrument of action refuses to act, He smiles, rebukes him, He does not say anything further, it is such a tremendous silence in His consciousness! That is one of the important things to be noted in the whole Gita: the consciousness of Sri Krishna with which He expounds the whole Truth; He does not get tired, He does not say ‘now the time is up’, finish your questions.
Question: But in that condition you become omnipotent?
Yes, quite true, that is true, that is right, that is…the omnipotence is a condition of silence.
Therefore it says: puruṣa kṣara akṣara. The two are simultaneous, it is not as if they alternate: even in kṣara, there, akṣara is present fully.
So, that is why: dvāv imau puruṣau loke kṣaraś cākṣara eva ca |
kṣaraḥ sarvāṇi bhūtāni: all the things that you see are mobile; kūṭa-stho ’kṣara ucyate, but that which is absolutely silent, kūṭa-stho, niṣkriya, is akṣaraḥ, is immobile.
But then this is not enough (15.17):
uttamaḥ puruṣas tv anyaḥ: anyaḥ: another than these two, is another status,
paramātmety udāhṛtaḥ: that is the Paramatman,
yo loka-trayam āviśya bibharty avyaya īśvaraḥ ||15.17||
“Who, having entered all the 3 worlds, bibharty avyaya īśvaraḥ; bibharty means ‘breeds’, he breeds that is active, avyaya, which is not active. He is īśvaraḥ, He is the Lord, who is at once bibharty and avyaya, who is un-expendable, who is inexhaustible, who remains permanent.
Then, in the 18th:
yasmāt kṣaram atīto ’ham akṣarād api cottamaḥ |
“I am greater than kṣara, I am greater even than the akṣara, therefore uttamaḥ, I am supreme.”
ato ’smi loke veda ca prathitāḥ puruṣottamaḥ ||15.18||
“That is why, ato means ‘that is why’ asmi loke veda ca prathitāḥ puruṣottamaḥ, therefore in this world, as also in the Veda, I have been described as Purushottama.”
And then Sri Krishna says:
yo mām evam asammūḍho jānāti puruṣottamam |
sa sarva-vid bhajati māṁ sarva-bhāvena bhārata ||15.19||
“He who knows Me, asammūḍho means ‘fully awaken’; one who becomes fully awaken and one who knows Me as Purushottama, jānāti puruṣottamam, who knows Me as the Purushottama, sa sarva-vid he becomes the all-knower, and worships Me; sarva-bhāvena bhārata, O Bharata, O Arjuna, māṁ bhajati sarva-bhāvena…he does not say ‘therefore he sits quietly’…māṁ bhajati sarva- bhāvena, in every activity, in every movement, in every emotion, in every feeling, in every thought, sarva-bhāvena, there is nothing that he avoids, he is not polluted by anything, no action he abhors sarva-bhāvena bhajati māṁ.
And then the last is:
iti guhyatamaṁ śāstram idaṁ uktaṁ mayānagha |
In this way, O anagha, O sinless, maya guhyatamaṁ śāstram idaṁ uktaṁ: I have now told you the guhyatamaṁ…(the 9th chapter was already rājavidyārājaguhya, it was already the supreme, but still, this was still left out as it were, so it is now expounded fully)… guhyatamaṁ śāstram, I have now told you the profoundest secret. This idea that the silence and activity are united in the Purushottama as a result of which all that is a corollary of it, if you put all this together, that is the meaning of omniscience: you become sarvavid, then you become the knower of all things.
etad buddhvā buddhimān, having known this, the one who is intelligent,
syāt kṛta-kṛtyaś ca bhārata ||15.20||
“He becomes capable of the fulfilment of the highest possible action, he does not sit again quietly, kṛta-kṛtyaś ca, he becomes master of action and all actions are accomplished in totality.
So once again the message is a message of action, but action which is based upon complete silence, one who combines in himself total silence and total activity.
Now, once you know this, this chapter describes the entire process of bondage and liberation and perfection, the three words: ‘bondage’, ‘liberation’ and ‘perfection’.
How have we come into the stage of bondage? What is the experience of bondage? What is the process by which we can come out of the bondage? Who are we who are in bondage, who are seeking liberation?
And who annul bondage and enter into liberation? What is the knowledge that we gain in the stage of liberation? What is the state of our consciousness? What happens to our will? What happens to our emotions? What happens to our thoughts when we are liberated?
And what is the highest state in which we reach?
This whole science is given in this 15th chapter, that’s why the importance of this chapter. In a sense you might say ‘all this is already told’ in all the preceding chapters but not as explicitly as in this chapter, that is why this chapter again śāstram uttamam, the highest Shastra is revealed here.
Now, let us begin with this. First of all we have read one verse we shall repeat again, that is 15th chapter, verse 7, Sri Krishna describes:
mamaivāṁśo jīva-loke jīva-bhūtaḥ sanātanaḥ |
manaḥ-ṣaṣṭhānīndriyāṇi prakṛti-sthāni karṣati ||15.7||
This is the question: who are we? The answer is: mamaivāṁśo, each one of us is the very portion: jīva-loke jīva-bhūtaḥ, each one of us is called ‘Jiva’, so each Jiva is My own portion, sanātanaḥ is eternal.
Just as sparks are eternally present in fire…it is not as if sparks come out of something else than fire; the sparks are eternally present in fire. Similarly each one of us is eternally present in the Supreme. Each one of us is a partial manifestation of the Supreme; essentially we are one, there is no difference between us and the Divine.
That is why Isha Upanishad says: ‘He am I’, so ’ham (Isha Upn. 16), ‘He am I’ this is the supreme word of the Isha Upanishad. That is because each one of us is only a spark of the same fire, and between the spark and the fire, there is no difference basically, all the qualities in the fire are present in the spark, nothing less. In fact it is not as if the spark is slightly less than the fire; all the qualities of the fire are present in the spark.
The only difference is: the spark is a partial manifestation: partial manifestation does not mean there is a division. The Divine is indivisible; therefore the manifestation of it does not rob the Supreme of anything that is in Him, does not rob the spark of anything that is in the fire: such is the nature of the partial manifestation. The word used is aṁśaḥ, not the vibhāgaḥ; the soul is not vibhāgaḥ, not bhāga, it is not a part of the Divine: part would be division, the word used is aṁśaḥ, aṁśaḥ is a partial manifestation.
So: mamaivāṁśo jīva-loke jīva-bhūtaḥ sanātanaḥ |
It is eternal. Individual is not created, it is unborn; Jiva is called ‘unborn’. One of the definitions of Jiva is an ‘unborn’ portion of the Supreme. Now, it is this mamaivāṁśo jīva-loke jīva-bhūtaḥ sanātanaḥ, it is he, ‘karṣati’: karṣati *means attracts. This word is very important: ‘he attracts, he consents’, he is not ‘attracted’. In many accounts they say that the Jiva is attracted by Prakriti, but here He says: “he attracts”. It is by ‘his’ consent.
He attracts what? manaḥ-ṣaṣṭhānīndriyāṇi prakṛti-sthāni: there are 6 senses which are seated in Prakriti: the mind and other five senses, all together are 6. Manas is also a sense, the real sense: the eye sight, the hearing, the touch, smell and the taste: these are the indriya(s), and Manas is the basic. If the mind is not there all the senses will not work. If my mind is elsewhere even if there is a big noise, I will not hear it. The mind should be present, then only the five senses will function. That is why the 6th sense Manas is called the real sense: the other five senses are only instruments of Manas.
These six senses which are seated, ‘sthāni’, which are seated in Prakriti… manaḥ-ṣaṣṭhānīndriyāṇi prakṛti-sthāni karṣati: ‘he’ attracts these.
By this attraction…śarīraṁ yad avāpnoti, by this he obtains the body. By attracting these senses…so if you don’t attract the senses you will be free from the body. Your coming into the body is because you attract these senses:
śarīraṁ yad avāpnoti yac cāpy utkrāmatīśvaraḥ, now the word used is īśvaraḥ, because Jiva is nothing but Ishwara. As we saw earlier: ‘He am I’. Therefore, Ishwara means the Jiva, Ishwara that is Jiva attracts the body, obtains the body and it is he who leaves the body and while leaving the body…
gṛhītvaitāni saṁyāti vāyur gandhān ivāśayāt ||15.8||
…just as when you pass from a home and the home is full of fragrance, you carry the fragrance outside, similarly, when you go out of the body, then you carry with you whatever is the remnant of your experience of the body: that you carry with you.”
In other words in one sentence, He describes the entry into the body…why do you enter into the body? Because you attract the 5 senses, you live in the body, and when you leave the body, all your experiences, you carry with you just as the fragrance is carried by you when you leave a fragrant house. So, the life in this body, the life after this body, and what is carried, what is called Karma, (Karma is nothing but the bundle of experiences that we gather and whatever remains as it were, the quintessence of your experience you carry with you and that is what is the capital in the next birth.
Now, while in the body:
śrotraṁ cakṣuḥ sparśanaṁ ca rasanaṁ ghrāṇam eva ca |
adhiṣṭhāya manaś cāyaṁ viṣayān upasevate ||15.9||
What happens in this body is upasevate, you only experience and enjoy; this is all that is there in this entire life: to experience and to enjoy. Enjoy does not mean necessarily only pleasure, also ‘suffering’ is also ‘enjoy’, we are…in the highest sense of the term, all experience…if there is pain it is because the pain is a part of a ‘pleasant’ experience,(‘pleasant’ in inverted commas), because you have to pass through it without that pain you will not get a further experience therefore you pass through pain.
So, what happens with the soul in the body, when you are in bondage stage, śrotraṁ, whatever is heard, cakṣuḥ, whatever is seen, whatever is touched, whatever is enjoyed, whatever is smelled, all this you preside over, manaś ca, and then you experience the mind and all the objects of the senses, all that is experienced and enjoyed: this is our condition of bondage. ‘Bondage’ because at that time you don’t experience anything other than this thing, because you have attracted the mind and the senses, son, you experience only that. If you did not decide to attract then you are free, so your bondage is because of your consent, you yourself attracted that. This is all that is in the whole life there is nothing but an experience of enjoyment, therefore, the Jiva is called the ‘upabhokta’, he is the enjoyer, he is the ‘experiencer’.
Question: The purpose of the…
The purpose of course, is not yet revealed, but you have attracted yourself, surely you are not, as it were, fallen into an error, karṣati, you have deliberately, you have chosen, so there is surely a purpose in it. Why have you chosen?
utkrāmantaṁ sthitaṁ vāpi bhuñjānaṁ vā guṇānvitam |
“Whether you are moving about, whether you are stable, whether you are enjoying, bhuñjānaṁ; vā guṇānvitam, you are enjoying the Gunas…”, Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas…it is a very rapid statement because again Sri Krishna does not repeat that all these senses are part of Prakriti and Prakriti is triguṇātmaka, this is all assumed because this is already told earlier…so, whether you are moving about, or you are stable, or you are enjoying, or you are absorbed in the Gunas…
vimūḍhā nānupaśyanti, “…those who are ignorant, they don’t see that this is the Jiva which experiencing all these things, but”…
paśyanti jñāna-cakṣuṣaḥ ||15.10|| …”but those who are awaken in knowledge, they know that Jiva is enjoying”.
So, even in the state of bondage, you do not know that you are in bondage. As Shankaracharya says: “The mark of ignorance is that it is not suspected”, you do not have the suspicion that you are ignorant, you don’t even doubt that you are doubting, you are in the state of doubt, but you do not know that you are doubting. You are doubting, but you are doubting that you are ignorant. It is taken for granted: you don’t know that you are bound. You become aware of bondage only when certain circumstances press you down, then you feel: why? Why this? And then the starting point of freedom begins.
yatanto yoginaś cainaṁ paśyanty ātmany avasthitam |
yatanto, making a big effort, yoginaś cainaṁ paśyanty, the Yogins comes to perceive it by great effort, ātmany avasthitam, they become settled in themselves…
yatanto ’py akṛtātmāno nainaṁ paśyanty acetasaḥ ||15.11||
…but those who are ignorant, who do not get awakened, akṛtātmāno,(it is a very important word), those who do not develop; kṛta means ‘one who develops’, individuals, (ātmāno means individuals) who develop the spiritual element in them, they are akṛtātmāno.
Those who remain only body-life-and-mind as they are and don’t allow the development of Jiva in the body life and mind they are akṛtātmāno. Jiva is present, but they are absolutely bound in the body-life-and-mind so much, they do not make an effort, or even if they make an effort but if they are absolutely ignorant, and they do not want to be awaken, then they do not develop that Jiva in their body, life and mind. Development of Jiva in the body, life and mind is kṛtātmā, all of us we become aware of Jiva’s presence and if we begin to develop…
This is the concept of the ‘psychic being’, the Jiva when developed in the body, life and mind is the ‘psychic being’. A formation takes place which is aṅguṣṭhamātraḥ in the beginning, this is the Katha Upanishad statement (4.12&13) that the Jiva when it begins to develop in the body , life and mind, it is first in the shape of aṅguṣṭha-mātraḥ, it looks as if it is a small little thumb in the ocean of ignorance (body, life and mind), afterwards, it begins to grow more and more, it becomes a lotus, then you realise what you are truly and then you understand what is Jiva, Jiva which is unborn becomes realised when this kṛtātmā, when this ‘psychic being’ develops.
But those who do not develop, they are akṛtātmāno, they do not develop that consciousness, the Jiva consciousness; yatanto ’py, even if they try but remain ignorant, if they do not do Yoga…in the first sentence yatanto, they are trying, but who is trying, yogina, if you become Yogi and if you try then you will see it, but otherwise even if you try but you do not become Yogi, then, nainaṁ paśyanti, you will not see it.
Question: Does kṛtātmā can be translated as ‘the psychic being’?
Yes, you can do that.
yad āditya-gataṁ tejo jagad bhāsayate ’khilam |
yac candramasi yac cāgnau tat tejo viddhi māmakam ||15.12||
“When you realise…” Now comes the question of your release. We can see in 3, 4 sentences, bondage is described, experience of bondage is described, effort is described, coming out of bondage is described, you become liberated and then what do you realise? “…you realise tejo, you realise the light. What light? āditya-gataṁ tejo, the light which is burning in the suns, by which the whole world becomes illumined yad āditya-gataṁ tejo jagad bhāsayate ’khilam |, yac candramasi, whatever is the moon, whatever light is in the moon, yac cāgnau, whatever is in the fire, *tat tejo viddhi māmakam ||, it is that light that you realise is Myself, is My light.” So, this is the first experience of release from bondage: you first experience the light of the Divine.
Question: But when they say ‘light’ from the sun, do they mean the divine’s will or it is something else here, in this particular verse?
The Light of the Divine, it has all the three qualities. The Light of the Divine is ‘the glow’ in which the divine Being is seen, just as with the light I can see the book. Similarly, there is the Being of the Divine and there is the Light of the Divine; there is a difference between the two. When the Light comes then you see the divine Being. Then, if that light becomes even more powerful you see the divine Will, then you see the divine Love.
All the three are actually involved in the condition of Light: basic condition is Light. That’s why the whole emphasis in Yoga is on Light. ‘Become illumined’, is the first message of Yoga: ‘become illumined’, gain the Light. Without the Light you cannot see that which is the Being, that which is divine Will, that which is the divine Love.
Now, this Light can be awakened by all the three means: by silencing the mind, be quiet, that’s the path of Knowledge. Do the will of the Divine: that is Karmayoga; offer yourself with Love to the Divine, all the three methods ultimately enlighten you and that illumination comes.
If you have followed the Jnanayoga, the first realisation will be of the divine Being; if you have followed the Karmayoga, you will discover the divine Will; if you have followed the path of Love, you will experience the divine Love, but if you follow the triple path simultaneously, then you will realise the Divine fully. That is the message of the Gita: integral Divine to be realised integrally.
It is when these three are combined, then there is one more important result which comes: you become not only the Divine, not only you know the divine Will, not only you act the Divine, not only you love the Divine, but your whole nature becomes divine. This entire nature being transformed into divinity, that is not possible if you follow the Karmayoga alone, or Jnanayoga alone, or Bhaktiyoga alone. If you want to have, here on this earth, the divine action as the Divine Himself would be acting, like Sri Krishna Himself acting, then you have to combine all the three.
That is what Sri Krishna says: amṛtaṁ. At one time we had distinguished between avyabhicāriṇī Bhakti and Bhakti (13.10): mere Bhakti is mere Love for the Divine; avyabhicāriṇī Bhakti is the one which is illumined by Knowledge, it is keen to serve the Divine by will and it is offered to the Divine, all the three combined together that is avyabhicāriṇī Bhakti. It is that which gives you the law of the Divine in action, all the three should be combined. And Sri Krishna’s whole emphasis in the Gita is not merely on Moksha.
Even though in this chapter He describes Moksha, the last word of the chapter is…we have read just now the last word of the chapter is kṛta-kṛtyaś ca bhārata: ‘It is then that you become kṛta-kṛtya’, in all your action, you manifest the divine action. This divine action, the manifestation of the divine action is amṛtaṁ, you become immortal. There is no disintegration possible once our will begins to manifest the totality of the Divine, and that is the goal of the Bhagavad Gita.
The Bhagavad Gita does not teach you how to become liberated merely; because liberation is a condition of this…liberation is incidental, but the aim of Sri Krishna is to tell Arjuna why he should act, He does not tell Arjuna only to come out of this bondage and that is the end, no, He wants Arjuna to act, but act divinely. He points out that ‘your bewilderment, your confusion arises because you act humanly. Your bewilderment will go away when you become one with the divine Being, one with the divine Will, one with the divine Love, then you will become kṛta-kṛtya, then all your bewilderment will vanish’.
Question: Is this the same than the amṛtaṁ dharma?*
That’s right, amṛtaṁ dharma, correct.
So, even this chapter gives you: bondage, experience of bondage, release. How do you get released by Yoga? And then, when you get released, you get first that knowledge, the light.
gām āviśya ca bhūtāni dhārayāmy aham ojasā |
puṣṇāmi cauṣadhīḥ sarvāḥ somo bhūtvā rasātmakaḥ ||15.13||
“It is by light that I enter into this world, I bear the bhūta(s), all the creatures…
puṣṇāmi cauṣadhīḥ, I nourish all the medicines, all the herbs,
sarvāḥ somo bhūtvā rasātmakaḥ , it is by light that I become rasa, and this rasa nourishes everything in the world. This is why this world is so much enjoyable, it is because it is My light that has become rasa, which has spread in the world therefore anything that you touch becomes rasātmakaḥ.”
ahaṁ vaiśvānaro bhūtvā prāṇināṁ deham āśritaḥ |
“I am not only Light, but also I am fire…” the two are actually simultaneous, the two are inseparable, the light and fire are simultaneous, so, He says “ahaṁ vaiśvānaro, it is the same light which is the fire, it is that fire which in the bodies”. All this is a state of realisation, when you realise what you realise, you realise Myself as the Light, you also realise Me as the fire. It is this fire, prāṇāpāna, by prāṇa and apāna, this fire moves and digest everything, pacāmy annaṁ catur-vidham ||14|| (XV), there are four kinds of foods: that which can be eaten, that is called ‘bhakṣya’; that which is enjoyed, which is called ‘bhojya’; ‘lehya’; that which can be licked; ‘coṣya’. These are the four kinds of food, all these are digested by this Agni, by this fire, the whole world, in other words is maintained by this fire.
sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca |
vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyo vedānta-kṛd veda-vid eva cāham ||15.15||
“It is Me…” Now comes the question of ‘being’. First is the light and the fire, then comes the knowledge of the being. Then you find that I Myself, My being, sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo, I am seated in all, through fire and light you come to know Me and then you find that all these things which are, are Myself, My being; mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam, it is because of Me that there is the experience of memory, or the experience of knowledge; apohanaṁ ca, even when they lapse, it is also because of Me.
If there is one thing to be known, vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyo, it is My being that has to be learnt. So, you can see, first of all you learn the knowledge the light, the fire and then you come to know Him, the being of the Divine; vedaiś ca sarvair, of all the Vedas if you learn the whole Veda, the only thing to be learnt is aham, the supreme Divine is to be learnt, is to be known; vedānta-kṛd, I am Myself the creator of Vedanta, veda-vid eva cāham, I am Myself the knower of the Veda.
And then you come to know now the secret of this Being that there are three Purushas: the Kshara Purusha, the Akshara Purusha and Purushottama. When you know all this, then you know the most secret knowledge.
So, last verse (15.20):
iti guhyatamaṁ śāstram idaṁ uktaṁ mayānagha |
“Therefore I have now revealed to you the entire, the most secret truth of My being. When you know all this, then you become sarva-vid, you can be called the knower of all things.” The word sarva-vid is a very important word: what is the meaning of being ‘the knower of all things’?
There is a very important sentence in Chandogya Upanishad: knowing which all things can be known. This is the question that Shvetaketu is asked by his father. The story: Shvetaketu as you know was a student, son of Aruni. He himself was a teacher, but he sent his son to learn from another teacher. For many years he lived with his teacher and Shvetaketu came back home after studying. When he came back he believed that he had known now everything, as all young people feel after studying that ‘now there is nothing more to be learnt, I have done so much and may be my father and my mother also don’t know as much as I do’ and that was his feeling, in the Upanishad it is said that Shvetaketu felt that he had known now everything and he had become even quite proud and arrogant.
The father being a very good teacher, he recognises he is proud of it also but wants to put him in his place, so, he says to his son: “my son, have you learnt everything?” “All that my teacher knows I know now”. Then he says: “Then you will be able to answer one question I will ask you.” So, he said “of course!” “So, tell me what is it knowing which everything can be known.” He was startled. “Tell me knowing which…what is it knowing which everything can be known.”
So he could not answer the question. But now he felt that “if I don’t plead with my father, my father will send me back to my teacher’s house.” So he said that “I am sure my teacher did not know the answer to this question, therefore you only teach me now.” So, the father said “all right, I will teach you”, then he asked many questions such as “you put salt in this water, then taste from here. Then he said: “Do you need to drink from all sides to know that wherever you drink it will be salty? Because you know salt is there in it so wherever you drink from, it will be salty. So, if you know that salt is mixed with it you can be sure about all that is happening in the water: it is salty. So, knowing this one thing you know everything about this water. Similarly if you know that the supreme Divine is everywhere, if you know that you yourself are that and if you know the nature of the supreme Divine, then you can be sure that wherever you go in the world, you know that this is all divine: so, you become sarva-vid, just as a good cook knows when the rice is cooked: only one grain is to be tasted and you know that all that is tasted. Similarly sarva-vid does not mean that necessarily you examine each and everyone and say ‘this is my knowledge’, what we call all is nothing but different names and forms. You can say in general ‘all these are names and forms and there can be thousands and billions and billions of forms, this is known, forms can be one crooked, one straight, one beautiful, one ugly, all kinds of forms are there, you know it already: so, there is one knowledge. Then you know what is behind the form.”
Now, Sri Krishna has told us here what is behind the form is one very complex being, not one very simple straightforward being, a very complex being. He is one being, which is ‘ineffable’, you can’t even describe it. It can only be ‘experienced’.
When you experience it, you first of all experience the light, then you experience it as fire, then you experience His being. So, you know 3 things: there is the ‘being’ which is ‘light’ and which is ‘fire’. Wherever you go in the world, you will get nothing else than this: light and fire. These are the two things you will find anywhere in the world, so this is one part of all-knowledge.
Then you know that this Reality is both ‘mobile’ and ‘immobile’: so, this true anywhere in the world, anywhere you go, even if you experience mobility you can be sure immobility is behind it: there is nothing in the world except mobility and immobility, there is nothing else in this world.
Then you know that there is ‘being’ as a partial manifestation of itself: this partial manifestation is what is called ‘Jiva’. Now, all creatures that you see are nothing but Jivas, so there is also all-knowledge. Wherever you move about, you know that everyone of us here is Jiva.
Now you know that all these Jivas attract Manas…six indriya(s), so everyone…you can predict, everyone is drawn in the senses, there are no secrets at all. All the secrets of human beings are only in this: they are entirely bound to the six senses, they are all enjoying in different ways.
If you are interested in knowing each one separately you can ask everyone what is his enjoyment, his special enjoyment, but in general you can say that all of us are enjoying various senses and we are drawn in them. Then you know that some of them make no effort or even if they make an effort they don’t realise what they are; some make great effort to know what they are, so that also is known now.
And those who are full of knowledge, they are liberated and if they know this Reality in totality all that is said now, they become kṛta-kṛtya, they become powerful in action, at once stable and active like the Divine Himself: so, one who knows this is, is sarva-vid: so, all we have become sarva-vid in a sense because we all now know what is entirely in the whole world, wherever we move about, nothing is strange, the same story is repeated everywhere.
Now, this when we realise…this is a mental knowledge but when it becomes a real knowledge…and how to make it a real knowledge is the whole Shastra of the Gita by Karmayoga, Bhaktiyoga and Jnanayoga, combine them all together you really become spiritually knowledgeable. All right?
Question: What is the connection between the caturvarṇa and any of the light and the three…...Sachchidananda, does it have any connection or they are independent?
Chaturvarna arises from the nature of the trinity of the Divine: Sat-Chit-Ananda. Truth, Light, Life, Delight: Sat-Chit- Ananda means these four things, because Chit has two aspects: Consciousness and Force; (wherever there is Consciousness there is Force), therefore Chit is twofold. So, Sat that is Truth; Chit is Light, Force is Life, action; Ananda is Delight. So, Truth, Light, Life and Delight, these are the four fundamental aspects of the Divine.
Whenever the Divine manifests, these four things come out. When divine Light is not obstructed, not hidden, you will find these four things automatically manifested. From Divine only Divine can manifest, and divine manifestation means only this: Truth, Light, Life and Delight. It is out of this fourfold development that by specialisation you get four kinds of human beings. There are four kinds of characters which arise: wisdom, will, love and skill, these are the four characteristics which arise in this world; these four are results of Truth, Light, Life and Delight. There are many other manifestations but these are the four which in human beings are characterised. Therefore you get among human beings these four characteristics, therefore you get Chaturvarna. The Veda speaks of the four Manus, the first four Manus; the first four Manus are these. All right?
Question: Does the skill come out of the Delight when it is manifested…or this wouldn‘t be?
This Delight is still not manifested; these four are still the mixtures of the other three. Delight is also present but not yet fully manifested; this world is not yet ready for the manifestation of the Delight, it is present everywhere, but these four have come out of basically Sachchidananda in one way or the other; there are mixtures of various kinds, four are not the only things which are possible, there are many others also possible. So far these four have come out; many other personalities will come out in due course.
There are Maheshwari, Mahakali, Mahalakshmi, Mahasaraswati, these are four basic characteristics. Now, Maheshwari is the Mother of Wisdom; Mahakali is the Mother of will; Mahalakshmi is the Mother of Love and Mahasaraswati is the Mother of skills. Saraswati is the engineer, all skilful action, perfection.
As Sri Aurobindo says: ‘When the work of Mahasaraswati is done, nothing remains forgotten, nothing remains omitted. The skill is so great that the work is done without remainder, whatever has to be done is done, is accomplished, kṛta-kṛtya.
Therefore the combination of these four powers make you perfect, you become Brahmin, Kshatrya, Vaishya, Shudra at once, like Sri Krishna Himself was: he was a Brahmin because He knew the Truth, therefore He gave the teaching of the Gita, because He knew. He was a Kshatrya because He was a great fighter and a warrior, He was a great Lover of which there is no question in the story of Krishna, He was a great charioteer, great skilful man who could drive the horses and chariot. So, He was at once Brahmin, Kshatrya, Vaishya, Shudra. Whenever we try to reach perfection of a personality, you will find that these four powers begin to manifest: rounded personality, what we call ‘all-round personality’ automatically manifests something of this fourfold.
The division of Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, Shudra is an artificial division for a transitory period. In human history, this is an order of society which has been valid for some time, now it is all broken down or breaking down, because this is only a temporary device. The next step will be when we shall be required to become all the four at once. Each one will be required to become Brahmin, Kshatrya, Vaishya, Shudra and the modern world is actually forcing towards that end, that is why the whole idea of integral personality in education. We want all children to be Brahmin, Kshatrya, Vaishya, Shudra at the same time.
This is the real mark of the present trend of education. Why in education we want our children to be all rounded, because of this reason. The transitory period is over where casts and classes were necessary; it is all broken down or will break down, so we should be ready for the new development: to make ‘Krishnas’ everywhere, all the four personalities together. All right?