1: King Parikshit’s Question to Suka Maharishi : 3.
At the very beginning of the second chapter of the Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana this question is answered briefly, and reference to this is also made in the beginning of the eighth chapter of the Srimad Bhagavadgita when Bhagavan Sri Krishna says: Our involvements in this life are explained in this beautiful contextual answer of Bhagavan Sri Krishna to Arjuna when He says, “That which is the ultimate good is the Supreme Brahman.” A similar question was raised by Yudhishthira at the end of the Mahabharata war when he went to Bhishma, who was lying on a bed of arrows, and Bhishma’s answer was that it is better to remember Vishnu and recite his name one thousand names, not only at the end of time, but at all times, because the end of time is at any time. Even this very moment can be the end of time. So, when we ask the question, “What is good for us at the end of time?” it is implied that it is that which is good for us at all times because, knowing the brittleness of things in the world, all times are the end of time.
The supreme good, therefore, is the Supreme Brahman, the Ultimate Reality – ak?ara? brahma parama? – which is intimately, vitally, inextricably connected with svabhavah, which is called the Atman. The internal, essential nature of the human individual, known as the Atman or the Self, is the true nature of a person. That is why it is called svabhava, the true disposition of an individual. Our selfhood is what we are; and how we behave, how we act, and how we think and feel depend upon the true nature which is our own self displayed through the various categories constituting this psychophysical individuality. This is svabhava.
Action, in the real sense of the term, is the force that ejects this cosmos right from the topmost level of creation – the atomic bindu of creation, prior to the bursting of this total potentiality into the two halves of positive and negative forces. Everything, all action – any impulse whatsoever, down to the movement of an ant – is controlled by this great event that took place at the beginning of creation. The origin of action is the Action of the Cosmos.
This concept of Total Action is again portrayed in the Purusha Sukta of the Veda, which compares the whole creation to a cosmic sacrifice performed by God Himself, as it were. The self-alienation of the Supreme Being, Mahapurusha, into this visible cosmos is a surrender of His own true nature of universality into the externality of creation, in which act He has sacrificed Himself, as it were. The greatest yajna is the Purusha Yajna, which is not to be translated as human sacrifice, as Western scholars sometimes translate this great hymn of the Rigveda.