Baghawat Geeta, Class 120: Chapter 9, Verses 8 to 12


Shloka # 8:

प्रकृतिं स्वामवष्टभ्य विसृजामि पुनः पुनः
भूतग्राममिमं कृत्स्नमवशं प्रकृतेर्वशात्।।9.8।।

Resorting, again and again, I loose forth this entire multidude of bound beings, swayed by and dependent on that nature.

Continuing his talk on chapter 9, Swamiji said, from shloka # 4 Sri Krishna is dealing with Ishwara Rupam. This topic is discussed until Shloka # 10. This topic was also discussed in Chapter 7 as Para Prakriti or Brahman and Apara Prakriti as Maya. Brahmaswarupam topic is considered the very essence of the Upanishads. Describing the features of God, we have already discussed following:

  1. Avyaktaha: Lord is one who is not available to the sense organs. He is free from the five-fold properties of shabda, sparsha, rupa, rasa and gandha and if we experience the Lord, with any of these properties; then it may be the Lord, but it is not the higher nature of Lord. We have experienced the lower nature; in fact, any experienced Lord is of the lower nature.
  2. Sarvagataha: Lord has no form; as such he is all pervading.
  3. Jagad Adhishtanam: Lord is the substratum of all material Universe. He is the consciousness principle that is the substratum of the material world. It is the essence of matter. Normally we think there cannot be consciousness without matter. But here Sri Krishna says it is the other way round; consciousness can exist independent of matter, matter cannot exist independent of consciousness; that means consciousness is satyam and matter is mithya; therefore the Lord is the mithya jagat adhishtana svarupam; this is the third feature we saw.
  4. Asangatvam: Then the fourth feature that we saw is asangatvam; even though the Lord is the substratum sustaining the whole creation; the Lord is not tainted by the various impurities of the creation; the Lord is unsullied.  Lord is like the crystal, which is never tainted by any impurity. Shudha sphatika sangasam is the first name of the Lord given in the Sri Rudra dhyana shloka.  Therefore the Lord is assangaha, unsullied and unsulliable. This is the fourth feature known as asangatvam.
  5. Jagat Srishti Sthiti Laya Karanam: God is the source of creation, its rest and resolution. This is the fifth feature.

And then the Lord gave some details about the creation. How does the creation come and how does it resolve? A He says, the creation is not freshly produced by Me; because of the Law of conservation of matter and energy; nothing can be newly created by anyone; even by God. Therefore God says: I do not produce fresh matter; the material universe was already there in Me in my higher nature; in potential form; and that potential form alone is called the maya shakthi or the lower prakrti of the Lord. So the higher nature includes the lower nature of matter in potential form.

And matter in potential form is called prakrti or maya; therefore the world existed in the form of maya in Me; and this maya alone evolves into this creation; and dances about for some time; and again this prapancha gets resolved into maya form; So maya becomes prapancha, prapancha becomes maya; maya is unmanifest matter; prapancham is manifest matter. This unmanifest matter becomes manifest matter; which is called srishti and manifest matter again comes back to unmanifest matter, which is called layam.

What about God; He is neither unmanifest matter, nor manifest matter; Lord is the consciousness which supports the whole phenomenon of the material evolution and devolution.

When did the creation begin? This is a cyclic process as such there is no beginning or an end. Up to this we discussed in last class at Shloka # 8.

In shloka # 8, the word punah punah is used twice to denote eternity. The creation process does not happen in time. Time is itself in the process. Space and time are all within Maya.

Shloka # 9:

मां तानि कर्माणि निबध्नन्ति धनञ्जय
उदासीनवदासीनमसक्तं तेषु कर्मसु।।9.9।।

These actions , Arjuna! bind Me not; I am as it were indifferent (to them all), being unattached to them.

Here Sri Krishna talks of the final and sixth feature of Ishwara by answering a possible doubt. When God says, I am creator of Universe; it seems to be an action. With action God becomes a Karta as well as a Bhokta. Now, because of the creation of universe many people are suffering. He creates us and then seems to enjoy our suffering, is the sentiment of some people. If so, does he pay a price for it?

Answering this doubt Sri Krishna says, I am akarta and abhokta; I am neither the creator; nor the destroyer and therefore you cannot attribute any action or result to me.

Sri Krishna says, O Arjuna, all these actions (srishti, sthiti, laya karmani) do not bind me at all. How is this possible? I am indifferent, or uninvolved or a detached person. Sri Krishna is giving us a clue here. As discussed in chapter # 5, Abhimana Tyaga is the secret to being free from Kartutvam and bhoktatvam. Whoever performs abhimana tyaga is free from karma phalam as well.

Shloka # 10:

मयाऽध्यक्षेण प्रकृतिः सूयते सचराचरम्
हेतुनाऽनेन कौन्तेय जगद्विपरिवर्तते।।9.10।।

Due to Me, the Supervisor, Nature gives birth to the world of mobile and immobile (beings). For this reason, Arjuna! it revolves in manifold ways.

 Remaining detached is called Sakshi Bhava. I do not perform anything willfully; rather it is Maya that functions in front of Sakshi. Citing an example, it is like the light illumines the hall, however, light does not influence any action in the hall, good or bad; also, good or bad actions don’t taint the light. While light is required it is not affected by the kartu phalam.

This is called sakshi bhavah. Therefore he says, in My presence. And when Krishna says in My presence, it does not refer to Krishna shariram; Krishna shariram is the visible lower nature. So when Sri Krishna says, in My presence, he is referring to that all pervading consciousness, which is formless, which is untainted, that consciousness is here, as Me and in my presence, prakrti functions; this is the basic matter called Maya; and which was called apara prakrti in the Chapter 7.

Thus all gadgets function in presence of electricity. Electricity only blesses the gadgets. Gadgets function according to their own nature; thus the bulb illumines and a fan rotates. So, nature of gadget determines type of function.

Electricity does not will or wish a particular action.

Similarly when there is a satvic brain or satvic mind, it will do its function blessed by consciousness, a rajasic mind will do its function, blessed by consciousness, a tamasic criminal mind will perform the criminal action; the criminality is determined by the nature of the mind; the blame cannot, however, go to the consciousness principle or God.

This is to be remembered because, people always ask; if God is in everyone; how come there are criminal thoughts in the people; God does not determine the nature of thought; God enlivens the instrument depending upon the nature of the instruments, the thoughts are generated accordingly; therefore he says, prakrti; the basic matter evolves, produces and projects into jagat. So this whole universe, consisting of the mobile and the immobile one, the moving and the stationary one, are manifested. In short the entire Creation of things and beings comes about.

And therefore O Arjuna, because of my sheer presence

Alone, the whole drama is going on; that is why when the light goes off; the drama stops. Thus, again, even though the light does not play the role of a teacher; the light does not play the role of a student and light is not directly involved in the transaction; the presence of the light is required.

Vidhyaranya Swami commenting on Panchadashi says God is like a light. He does not perform any transaction, but his presence is required. The entire universe revolves in my “presence”.

Shloka # 11:

अवजानन्ति मां मूढा मानुषीं तनुमाश्रितम्
परं भावमजानन्तो मम भूतमहेश्वरम्।।9.11।।

Fools deride Me, who have assumed a human body; for, they are unaware of My transcendent status as the great Lord of beings.

With previous shloka, Ishwararupam is complete. Sri Krishna says, Ishwara is neither a Karta nor Bhokta, as such; we can’t blame all our problems on God. God is a non-interfering presence. Then, why do we suffer?

We suffer because we were a karta and now a bhokta. People give up God when he does not help them in their suffering. Citing a story: One lady came and told me she threw away all the religious books as she had lost faith in God; a god who could not get her daughter married.

God has to get her daughter married! This is the type of misconceptions people have.

Prayer can produce punyam, however, if our papam is overwhelming then papam will overtake everything else.

Having talked about his higher nature, Sri Krishna now talks about Samsara Karanam. Our problems are due to our expectation of permanence from impermanent things; we expect security from insecure things; we expect ananda from things that are apurva.

If we want peace, ananda and security we need to go our higher nature of God. Nobody understands my higher nature, and they all hold on to my lower and perishable nature.

He says Mudah; meaning confused people; ignorant people who are not able to differentiate nityam and anityam. None can give security. They don’t know my formless swarupam or my Chaitanya Swarupam. Why don’t they know? We are born with ignorance and as we grow we keep removing our ignorance.

 Having ignorance is not a problem but perpetuating it, is. How to remove ignorance? It can be removed by gaining knowledge through Vedanta Vichara of Sravanam, mananam and nidhidhyasanam. Many people think this study is a waste of time. Since they don’t know my higher nature they take lower nature as true and they take Rama, Krishna forms as real. These forms are finite and limited. They were born and they also died. Ignorant people take to my human form as real form and in this they are degrading Me.

Thus, when we perform puja to an idol, we invite God to our idol; then you give a seat to Lord. All these are Apachara per Shankaracharya. Formless god has no limbs for him to sit. What Shankaracharya criticizes is; begin with personal God or formed God but we

should not end with that; Saguna is the best beginning; but it cannot be the culmination; culmination should be in the nirguna. Thus one goes from sakaram to nirakaram; sagunam to nirgunam; apara to para and achetanam to chetanam.

And as long as they do not know the higher nature they will not seek security and purnatvam from the higher nature; which is the only source of security. Nirguna brahma is the only source of security; why, is that so?

The reasoning is that anything other than nirgunam Brahma is saguna maya; and anything that is within saguna maya is matter. And they don’t know this and thus disrespect Me. They don’t seek security or Purntavam from PP. Rather than leaning on Nirguna Swarupam they lean on Saguna, which is always changing. This is Samsara Karanam.

Shloka # 12:

मोघाशा मोघकर्माणो मोघज्ञाना विचेतसः
राक्षसीमासुरीं चैव प्रकृतिं मोहिनीं श्रिताः।।9.12।।

Futile are their desires, futile their works, and futile their cognitions! They are mindless; (for) they have resorted to the delusive nature of monsters and demons.

 Having talked about Samsara Karanam in shloka # 11, now in shlokas # 12 and 13, Sri Krishna talks about various types of people who approach this problem.

Some are intelligent people who don’t lean on the perishable; rather they lean on the Lord. Most people have not diagnosed correctly and don’t learn from experience. When one perishable object goes, they go after another perishable one. It is like moving from smoking to chewing tobacco. Most people don’t learn.

How does it happen? Any form of human pursuit has three stages. They are:

  1. Gyana Shakti: Knowing activity; first stage is knowing activity; before any activity I should have the knowledge about the result of that activity.
  2. Icha Shakti: Desire based knowledge. Without knowing we can’t desire.   Can you desire something, which you do not know? So, whatever you desire is a known object. Therefore, Gyanam gives way to desire and desire leads to action.
  3. Kriya Shakti: is action based on our desire, when we act.

So from Gyana shakti to iccha shakti to kriya shakti; throughout the life, this is our process. Thus all our pursuits begin at the cognitive level, at the understanding level. If I do not have proper understanding of things in the world, the possible course of life will also be not be clear and accordingly Gyana shakti, Ichha shakti and kriya shakti will be abused and we get into problems. And therefore Sri Krishna says many people are misinformed or uninformed because they do not study the scriptures. That is why scriptural study becomes a fundamental necessity to get a direction in our life.

Take away:

  1. We are born with ignorance and as we grow we keep removing our ignorance.
  2. If God is in everyone; how come there are criminal thoughts in the people? God does not determine the nature of thought; God enlivens the instrument depending upon the nature of the instruments, the thoughts are generated accordingly;

With Best Wishes,

Ram Ramaswamy