What is the attitude of a sincere seeker?
We are comfortable in our own home compared to someone else’s home. Why? Because of a sense of belonging, known surrounding and known faces.
Similarly, this entire universe is one BIG home, the home of the supreme. God’s home is ‘Sri nivas’, Nivas is home, the entire existence is His home and He is in everything here. How can we not be comfortable with Him around all the time with us? He resides as the Self in all and all reside in Him, He is the substratum of all. He alone is the refuge and resting place of all.
When the devotee sees only God in everything and everywhere, without duality, then there is no negative experience. When everything and everyone is known, makes the whole world comfortable and one feels at home.
God is the eternal seed, (Beejam) the source of the entire existence, A normal seed would destroy itself to become a tree where as He is indestructible. He is the warehouse to provide for every need and to every existence. He also a storage for all the consequences of or actions, papa and punya. He is everyone’s needs provider, a sustainer, a mentor, a playmate and a lover. When we operate with such an attitude, we definitely feel at home with no agitation or stress. He is the karta and bogta. No one need to feel lonely even when we live alone.
All we need to do is remember Him, call out for Him. He is with us all the time. He appears to His true devotees in human form.
God alone is directing us from within as our consciousness, (adhyatma), from our surroundings, (Adhibuta) through circumstances and from nature around, (adhidaivika) light, heat and rain.
He alone appears as death and immortality, the relatively changing and the changeless worlds. He alone is the gross and subtle world and the unmanifested potential (prakrti) behind the world.
His presence alone IS at all the times and all around us and within us. So why fear? The bhava, the attitude with which we live makes a big difference on how we live.
Why is Self-knowledge, referred as ‘raja-vidhya, the king’ amongst all knowledges?
Sri Krishna in this chapter says Self knowledge is the Raja Vidhya, meaning the King of all knowledge.
Self knowledge is one without a second. There are plenty of objects in this world and a plethora of information about them. We can know about the particles, atoms, molecules, cell biology, astronomy, astrology, biometrics and you name it. We learn about all diseases, their symptoms, cause, and treatments… There is a whole lot of information on animals, plants, planets and weather but all these are known by the mind. This mind, which is powerful, creative, imaginative, logical, analytical, critical and synergistic is nothing but inert and is activated by the ‘Self’ in the body.
The Self is the illuminator as well as the substratum of the mind. Without the presence of this divine Self, the mind cannot function. I, the ‘Self’, is the foundation of all knowledge. Without knowing this Self, all the information gained about this universe is all nothing but our perception. It would change with each mind. That’s how all the scientific truths and evidences keep on evolving.
All these knowledge/information that we acquire have an end, therefore are temporary. They can help us in getting worldly accomplishments, which are also temporary. These also accumulate both merits and demerits (punya) and demerits (papa).
Self knowledge alone can help us eliminate both merits (papa) and demerits (punya), gain peace and contentment, thus enabling us to get out of this samsara forever. The one with Self knowledge becomes totally independent in this world of samsara.
Self knowledge is the highest and best, easy and effortless. Because knowing of anything and everything, whatever we learn or know, is only through the mind. This mind has its own limitation and is activated by the presence of Self alone and is incapacitated without the presence of Self. The Self is the substratum of the mind. Self is beyond the mind. For ex..we use a flashlight in the dark but the same flashlight will not, cannot help us see the battery in it. Recognized knowledges can give us temporary satisfaction in life whereas the Self knowledge, puts an end to all our sorrows and we gain instant supreme Bliss.
This Self knowledge integrates the entire universe. Knowing the Self, who is the knower of all, is the true knowledge. Self knowledge puts an end to all our sorrows and gives supreme bliss.
This knowledge cannot be taught or learned like other knowledge. This is the only knowledge that can only be directly experienced by the seeker. The seeker do not need to do anything or go anywhere but just ‘be’ his true Self and therefore is easy and effortless. The Self is eternal, the Self knowledge is eternal and results of the Self knowledge is also eternal unlike any other knowledge which keeps on evolving and thereby tend to become obsolete.
Describe the Creations and Dissolutions
The. entire cosmos, planets and all the beings of this universe are created, sustained and dissolved by the avyakta maya which is bound by the divine almighty.
GOD represents Generator, Operator, Dissolver. Some say destroyer but destroying something simply means that it cannot be recreated. Therefore the right usage of the term here would be dissolver.
This dissolution is of four types:
(1) Nitya Pralaya
(2) Naimittika Pralaya
(3) Maha Pralaya
(4) Aatyantika Pralaya.
Nitya Pralaya: This depicts that change is the only one that is constant. There is a continuous flow of change, the thoughts change, actions change, seasons change, the cells in the being’s body change, thus transforming to a new form. Also, each day we create our own world of likes and dislikes, pain and pleasure and finally at the end of the day dissolve them all in sleep. We are totally unaware of any of these when we are in deep sleep. This happens everyday by each one of us. That’s why it us called Nithya (daily) pralayam (dissolution).
Naimittika Pralaya: This is the end of a single day of Brahma. In Vedic philosophy, it is mentioned that there are four yugas, namely, Krita Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dvapara Yuga, and Kali Yuga. All these four yugas together is called a chatur yuga, which means “four epochs”, also termed one maha yuga.
Together one chatur yuga (4 yugas) constitutes 4,320,000 human years and the lengths of each chatur yuga follow a ratio of (4:3:2:1:).
1 chatur yuga (mahayuga)–4,320,000 human years
In this cyclic process of time, 1000 chaturyuga or mahayuga period is called a Kalpa, and period of time is equal to a daytime for the Brahma, the creator of the universe.
A two thousand chaturyuga-s are said to be one day and night of Brahman (the creator). Each Kalpa,
1000 chatur yuga (mahayuga)
1 day and 1 night of Brahman = 2 kalpas
At the beginning of creation begins the day of creation. At the end of that goes back all of the creation of the Absolute.
This is a Kalpa a cosmic cycle of creation and dissolution is Naimittika pralayam.
Maha Pralaya: is the great deluge at the end of the age of one each Brahma, which consists of 100 Brahmic Years (365 Times 2,000 ChaturYugas)
The entire universe goes into the unmanifested, avyakta form and emerges again. This is beeja Avastha and all the merits and demerits earned are also frozen only to come back from the same point to each being.
Aatyantika Pralaya: is the final deliverance or the attainment of Salvation by a Jivan and after that the Jivan is never again in the clutches of Karma nor bound by the tight ropes of Samsara.
The individual jiva is born and dies, again and again in different forms and different places life after life. Once he realizes his true nature, he puts an end to this cycle. For such a realized master the Self alone exists and the entire world dissolves and ceases to be. The entire creation, sustenance and dissolution is only an appearance of the true atman.
What is GOD? Could you describe GOD?
GOD is acronym. Generator, Operator, Dissolver. There’s only One, without a second! He alone IS, without any attributes, indescribable.
In this chapter, Sri Krishna is describing three different types of people & their mode of worship.
1, The general belief is that the Lord is the creator of the Universe/Jagat, just like the pot maker making the pots. They believe that the GOD is the instrumental cause of this entire creation. They also believe that God is up somewhere and making us go through our lives with all sorts of sorrow. It is all His Game. These are dvaithis.
- The next group of people believe that the entire universe is His body. There is only one God but He is in the form of the entire cosmos. These are called Visishta advaitins as there is no duality in their belief and different from the first one. This belief is like a tree (Advaita view), branches, leaves, fruits and flowers are part of the same tree (Visishta view). These are called Visishta advaitas.
The third group or religion believe in only in the entire universe. They believe everything in nature is God and there is none other than nature. These are called ‘Sunyavadhis’.
The fourth group is called Siddantha and they are different from the first three groups. The first three groups are called ‘Purva meemsa’. Their thoughts are entirely opposite of ‘Siddanthis’. These are called ‘Advaithis’.
Advaithis believe that there is only one God and the entire universe is only an appearance. ‘Sathya/Mithya sambhandam’, ‘True/False relationship’. The entire universe is only an appearance of the Truth and does not have independent existence.
Advaithis deny the first three group’s theory. Here is why.
In the first group there is both the creator and the creation, meaning two entities. God is only One. If there are two, then God cannot be called as ‘poornam’, ‘complete or Sarva shaktiman’, and ‘infinite’. For He is just One, without a second.
In the second, Visishta advaitas, the entire universe is not separate but like one’s body. Advathis deny this as well, for any and all samsaras of this jagat, becomes God’s attribute but God is avyakta and therefore is not acceptable.
The third group where ‘Eva Isvaran’, God is none other than nature, is also denied because Lord is anithyam, asukam whereas the universe is full of duality, with merits/demerits, pain and pleasure.
God is in all – The popular example is ‘Vedanta Sarpaha’ on a rope. When we see a ten feet rope in a dark alley at dusk, often we mistake it for a ten feet snake. The snake exists in mind though not physically and It creates the emotion of fear that we experience it.
The snake is not Asat (non existent), for it exists in the mind. The snake is an appearance on the existing rope. We cannot deny its existence for that creates the emotion of fear. That is called ‘mithya’, an appearance of existence, just like a mirage. It is neither Sat (existing in all three states) nor Asat, (non-existence).
Similarly, the entire universe is an appearance of the Divine. ‘Brahma Sathyam,, Jagat Mithya’. The entire universe from Saguna Brahman to all beings, plants, animals, planets, seasons and everything that we experience through our senses is all an appearance of that Nirguna Brahman.
Nirguna Brahman is the father, mother, sustainer of all, is the means to know God (Vedas), the means to worship (Om), and the goal to be reached (vedantic).
Brahman is both destination and the one who accelerates our progress to the destination.
GOD is the supporter, the sakshi, witness, nivasa, refuge, a friend, He is the Origin and Dissolution, the immutable seed. He is the heat and the rain. He is both the existence & non existence. He is the immortality and death. That’s why Bhishmacharya welcomed Him as death. He is the illuminator of the change itself in the changeless world.
He sees all and knows all as the objective illumination of all our actions, being the witness consciousness in each of us (Saksi), substratum in all, nivasa. Without His signature no action gets validated.
He is the essence in all. The essence of the clay pots is clay, even though we may call the objects as flower vase, a flowering pot or a tea cup. The essence of the waves in a ocean is water. There is no additional substance in them. The pots and the waves are mithya, they’re only appearance, expressions with name and form but not different from source.
Similarly the ‘Essence’, substratum of this entire universe is God. He is Nirguna Brahman, One, appearing as many. He alone IS.
Is God separate from the creation?
Verse 4, second line and verse 5 first line explains this.
Lord confirms his relation-less relationship with creation with the following statements…
I pervade this entire world in My unmanifest form.
The whole world and all beings exists in me
I’m not in them
They are not in me.
I pervade the entire world in My unmanifest form: God is the ultimate cause of this world. World is the effect. The cause pervades in the effect. The effect exists in the cause.
For ex: When clay pots are made, all the pots have clay, they have no separate identities. We can create ten pots with ten different shapes and sizes but they are not ten entities. The essence in all the pots is the same one entity clay. Similarly He is the cause and pervades the entire world. Gold ornaments and ocean and waves are also other examples used in Upanishads.
The whole world and all beings exists in me: In Vedanta, all than be experiences as ‘this’, whatever can be objectified is called the ‘world’. All theories, concepts, laws, phenomena, matter, energy, things, senses, emotions, beings could be objectified as ‘this’. Therefore they all constitute as world. Only thing that cannot be objectified as this is ‘I’, the knower of this world. Also all that is born are subject to death and a life in between, the only changeless factor in this world is ‘I’, present in all three states (waking, dream & deep sleep)(Jagruti, Swapna, Nidra) is the substratum of all changes. The world exists in ‘I’.
In the clay pot example, when these pots are dismantled, broken clay alone remains. The clay is present before the pot was made, in the pot and when the pot is broken. Therefore the pots exists in clay.
I’m not in them: I pervade all that is ‘this’ existence. This computer ‘is’, this body ‘is’, this finger ‘is’. All ‘this’ exists in the ‘I’. Without the ‘I’ there are no ‘this’.
At the same time this ‘I’ is independent of ‘this’. I is a witness to ‘this’. In deep sleep state the ‘I’ exists, for it was the witness of the one who slept. So we say, ‘I slept well’ when we wake up. Therefore the ‘I’ is not located in the world. The world is located in the ‘I’.
The third statement means that the pots are dependent on clay in the example. The pots cannot exist without clay. The pots are dependent on the clay while the clay has an independent existence. Similarly, the entire universe cannot exist without the presence of ‘I’ and ‘I’ is independent of this universe. Everything in this universe is nothing but Nama, Rupa alone and are dependent on the ‘I’.
They are not in me: The entire world exists because of God. God pervades the entire world but God is independent of the world. World is dependent on God, therefore it has no existence at all and therefore in God there is no world.
The fourth statement seems contradictory to the second one. This is the extension of statement 3. Lord, from the Nirguna Brahman perspective addresses that, ‘If they are dependent on me, then they don’t have an existence of their own. In that case, they are NOT in me’. They are all nothing but expressions, appearance like a mirage.
A good day-to-day example would be when we see our own shadow, the shadow exists because of our body. It has no independent existence, from its perspective. It is dependent on the body.
From Him alone we are born, in Him we exist, and into Him we merge back. He is the eternal seed. This explains the relation-less relation between the God and the creation. This might trigger a question then, ‘For a relation to be, we need two entities, how is relationless relation possible when there is only One?’
The response to this would be when we look in the mirror do we see a second person? Do we order two coffee for both? What relation do we have with the person that we see in the mirror? A reflection of the one that exists, which is Satya,Truth to the appearing reflection, mithya, a false appearance. That’s the relationship between the Nirguna Brahman and the world.
Advaita is the only phenomenal response to explain the One existence.
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