The Teachings of the Bhagavadgita :
Now we are introduced into the cosmological principle of creation and the Creator, which theme was essential in the earlier stages of mere discipline of the personality which culminated in dhyana, in the sixth chapter. God Is! And when we are passing through a mere disciplinary process, such things need not be told us. When we are in the earlier stages of our schooling, we do not even know who is ruling our country, we do not know that there is a government at all, because we need not be concerned with such things which are beyond our heads and which do not constitute part and parcel of our education in the earlier stages. Later on, we begin to study geography and history and political science, civics, and then we come to know something more about the environment and the ruling powers, and so on.
So in the first six chapters we are in a preparatory stage, and so we were not introduced into that higher area which is cosmology, theology, and so on – to which we are now introduced, from the beginning of the seventh chapter. But there is something higher than these five elements.
Apareyamitastvanyam prakrtim viddhi me param, jivabhutam (Gita 7.5):
There is a subtle organising power behind the physical elements. The universe is not dead; it is not constituted of inanimate matter as it may be told us in the earlier stages of our study. There is nothing dead and insentient in this cosmos. Everything is vibrant with energy, everything is moving, everything is flowing, everything is living. In some form or other, in some incipient potentiality of consciousness, it manifests living characteristics. The Soul of the Universe vibrates through even the minutest atom and the electron, which perhaps explains the purposiveness that we recognise in the movement of even the littlest of things in the world. There is a teleological movement of everything in the world, there is a purpose in everything – it is not a dead mechanism that operates, though that appears to be our interpretation of things from purely a spatio-temporal point of view. Thus, the existence of God becomes a necessary postulate in earlier stages – a hypothesis, you may say – to explain the purposefulness in creation and the nature of the very evolutionary process of the cosmos.
These things raise doubts in our mind. Arjuna had difficulties; he was startled by these enunciations. (I mentioned to you, I'm passing through these chapters very very briefly, partly because we have very little time, partly because already I have gone through these chapters in greater detail, in a different session whose themes you can study in a printed form.) These mentions made in the seventh chapter raise questions of a cosmological nature: What is the universe? What is the world? What is the soul? What is God? What is creation? When we are told that we are there, the cosmos, the universe is there, we are related to it some way, organically, and the universe is created by God, many cosmological questions arise in the mind –
kim tad brahma kimadhyatmah kim karma purushottama,
adhibhutam ca kim proktamadhidaivam kimucyate (Gita 8.1) – and so on and so forth.
Adhiyajnah katham kotra (Gita 8.2) – Questions of this type are raised.
To be continued ...