Skip to main content

10: The One Supreme Absolute Alone Is : 6.

The Teachings of the Bhagavadgita  :

The Bhagavadgita accepts the Samkhya principles of the dualism of prakriti and purusha, with a great proviso that there is something beyond these two principles which are like the two wings of the bird of the Supreme Being, but the wings themselves are not the bird. We have a similar thought in Spinoza in the West, who had a notion of the Supreme Being by way of what we call substance, with two attributes of space and time. The attributes of Spinoza are something like the purusha and prakriti of the Samkhya according to the Mahabharata, the Manu Smirti and the Bhagavadgita – not Kapila's or Ishvarakrishna's Samkhya. There is a practical utility in taking for granted that there is such a thing called purusha and prakriti. Whether they are really there in the last word is a different matter, but they have to be taken as existent, like an 'x' in an equation; it is not there, but it must be there because it has utility. Human beings, who can think only in this manner and cannot think in any other way, cannot obviate their involvement in this concept of the duality of the seer and the seen, and we cannot jump over our own skin.

But the philosophy of the Bhagavadgita, or any profound philosophy for the matter of that, is a study of the implications of experience, and not merely a study of empirical experience. Empirical experience may tell us that there are two realities – prakriti and purusha – but the implication is something deeper. The very knowledge of the fact that there are two things shows that there is a third thing which is other than the two things; otherwise, no one can know that there are two things. Prakriti cannot know there is purusha, purusha cannot know that there is prakriti, if they are totally different. The possibility of the one knowing the other, or one contacting the other, is acceptable only on the presence of a larger ground to which a subtle hint is given when the Bhagavadgita tells us, "I am the Knower behind all the things," – which means to say, the consciousness behind the whole material universe. Consciousness is the Knower of the whole cosmos. There is a single Seer – 'The Beholder of the Universe' that is God, who is brooding over the waters of creation. We need not go further, deeper, into the difficulties that we may have to face, in going a step beyond this conclusion that we have arrived at, because if we press this feature of the omnipresence of consciousness as immanent in all creation to its logical limit, we will be forced to conclude that matter does not exist, because consciousness can be omnipresent only if the so-called material object is a part and parcel of the existence of consciousness itself. This is to go too far, and we need not to such an extent at the present moment.

The thirteenth chapter of the Bhagavadgita is thus: prakriti, purusha, viveka, kshetra, kshetrajna vibhaaga-yoga. This prakriti, this material – a metaphysical matter, we should say, not the ordinary matter of the carpenter, or the chemist, or the scientist as we know, the philosopher's matter – this matter is not a solid substance, but a constituent of forces, energies. There is no matter outside energy. This is what our science also says, and the Bhagavadgita says. These energies are called sattva, rajas and tamas. Sattva, rajas and tamas are not three substances. The idea of substance attacks us like a hobgoblin wherever we go; and whichever we try to contact in any manner whatsoever, the idea of solidity of objects and the externality of things is so hardboiled in us that we cannot understand how a mere force, an energy, can become a solid universe. The solidity of a substance is not the characteristic of the substance itself – it is a reaction set up by the contact of senses. Again we go back to that famous statement in the third chapter of the Bhagavadgita where it is said that the perception of the universe is nothing but the coming together, in contact with each other, of the constituents of the individual with the constituents of the cosmos – the gunas of prakriti colliding with the gunas of prakriti, an ocean of waves, dashing against one another, as it were, where there neither a seer or a seen, no subject or object. 'The Ocean of Being' is dancing within its own bosom!

Swami Krishnananda

To  be continued   ....

Popular posts from this blog

All About Bharatiya Sanatana Dharmam otherwise known as Hinduism : 2.1.1.g) -2.


The Scriptures :

1. The Srutis : g)-2

g ).The Vedangas-2.

Vyakarana is Sanskrit grammar. Panini’s books are most famous. Without knowledge of Vyakarana, you cannot understand the Vedas.

Chhandas is metre dealing with prosody.

Nirukta is philology or etymology.

Jyotisha is astronomy and astrology. It deals with the movements of the heavenly bodies, planets, etc., and their influence in human affairs.

Kalpa is the method of ritual.

The Srauta Sutras which explain the ritual of sacrifices belong to Kalpa.

The sulba Sutras, which treat of the measurements which are necessary for laying out the sacrificial areas, also belong to Kalpa.

The Grihya Sutras which concern domestic life, and the Dharma Sutras which deal with ethics, customs and laws, also belong to Kalpa.

Swami Sivananda
 To be continued  ....

All About Bharatiya Sanatana Dharmam otherwise known as Hinduism : Ch-4.5.



5. Ethical Codes In Hinduism :

Hindu ethics is superb. Hinduism lays great emphasis on ethical discipline.

Yama (self-restraint) and Niyama (religious observances or canons) are the foundations of Yoga and Vedanta.

Undeveloped persons cannot think for themselves.

Hence rules of conduct have been laid down by great sages or seers like Manu and Sage Yajnavalkya.

Lord Krishna says in the Gita: “Let the scriptures be thy authority in determining what ought to be done or what ought not to be done.

Knowing what hath been declared by the ordinances of the scriptures, thou oughtest to work in this world” (Ch. XVI-24).

The Smritis written by Yajnavalkya, Manu and other sages distinctly prescribe the rules of conduct.

As you have not got the power nor the time to think of the moral principles and rules given in the scriptures, you can get them from the sages and saints and follow them to the very letter.

Swami Sivananda
To be continued ..

All About Bharatiya Sanatana Dharmam otherwise known as Hinduism : Ch-3.15-4.3.


15. The Law of Spiritual Economics-4.2.

4. Use and Abuse of the Caste System -3.

At the present moment, the Varnasrama system exists in name only.

It has to be rebuilt properly.

Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas and Sudras, who have fallen from their ideals and who are not doing their respective duties, must do their respective duties properly.

They must be educated on right lines.

They must raise themselves to their original lofty level.

The sectarian spirit must die.

They should develop a new understanding heart of love and devotion, with a spirit of co-operation, sacrifice and service.

Next : 5. The Four Asramas

Swami Sivananda
      To be continued...