Baghawat Geeta Class 102: Chapter 7, Verses 4 to 7


Greetings All,

Shloka # 4:

भूमिरापोऽनलो वायुः खं मनो बुद्धिरेव
अहङ्कार इतीयं मे भिन्ना प्रकृतिरष्टधा।।7.4।।

The earth, water, fire, air, space, mind, intellect and the ego-sense constitute My distinctive eight-fold nature.

Continuing his teaching of the Gita, Swami Paramarthananda said, after the first three shlokas of chapter 7, Sri Krishna has now entered the topic of Ishwara Svarupam in shlokas # 4-12. He defines god as the cause of the universe.  God is the intelligent cause and the material cause. Just as material cause evolves into effect, so also God alone becomes creation. God is manifested as creation.

What is God? He is a mixture of PP (para prakriti) and AP (apara prakriti). Both of them are eternal principles. They also have some differences.

PP, higher nature, is nirguna, meaning without properties.

AP, lower nature, is saguna, meaning with properties.

PP is changeless and not a subject of time.

AP is subject to change.

AP is dependent on PP and hence called mithya.

Thus, chetana-achetana; nirguna-saguna; nirvikara and savikara, sathyamithya, this para and apara prakriti put together is God. Symbolically it is presented in our religion as ardhanarishvara tatvam. And this mixture existed even before the evolution of the world.

Sri Krishna now wants to talk about how the universe emerges. Sri Krishna is now presenting the intermediate stage of evolution in shlokas 4 & 5.

In evolution PP remains the same and is not affected by time. In Narayaniyam, Bhattathiri defines God as beyond time and space parameters and because of this the para prakrriti (PP) continues to be the one changeless principle. It is also an indivisible principle.

Change is possible only when something is within time; and the division is possible only when something is within space; and what is beyond time and space, is unchanging and indivisible; therefore the higher principle remains undivided and unchanged; whereas the lower principle called apara prakriti (AP), which is the basic matter principle or energy principle that, divides itself into eight fold sub-principles.

Thus 1PP+ 8 AP’s=9, this is at the intermediate stage of creation.

In the final stage the 8 AP’s become the multifaceted creation. At that time the solar system, body, mind etc., all come into being. Mind is also matter. It is very subtle matter. Mind is part of AP as is the body as well as the entire creation.

Sri Krishna enumerates the eightfold principle consisting of earth, water, air, fire and space. Scriptures talk of two types of pancha mahabhutani. Five are sthula Bhutani that are concrete products and another five are sukhma Bhutani or subtle elements. Subtle are at intermediate stage, while gross are at final stage. Here Sri Krishna is talking about intermediate stage. He is talking about sukshma bhutani  or subtle matter. They include: Bhumi, apaha, agni, vayu and akasha. Three other principles of manaha, budhi, and ahamkara are also mentioned. These three are a part of samkhya philosophy. They are also part of intermediate stage of evolution.

Manaha is a technical word and does not mean mind.

Ahamkara is also a technical word

Budhi is also a technical word and does not mean intellect.

They are all matter principles of the intermediate stage.

With regards to these terms from Samkhya philosophy, Shankaracharya says, Manaha should be replaced by the word Avyaktam.

Thus there are eight principles at intermediate stage. Physical world has not yet come into being. It is still at the subtle stage. It is like the big bang moment where 100 th of a second after big bang is talked about. These eight are the AP.

Now Sri Krishna introduces the PP (Para Prakriti).

Shloka # 5:

अपरेयमितस्त्वन्यां प्रकृतिं विद्धि मे पराम्
जीवभूतां महाबाहो ययेदं धार्यते जगत्।।7.5।।

This is the lower nature; but My higher nature, know to be other than it. That constitutes, mighty armed! The living being by which this world is upheld.

This is an important and significant shloka of the Gita. The eightfold principle is AP, the lower nature. Matter and energy are both part of AP. Scriptures consider consciousness as superior and as PP. Consciousness is neither energy nor matter. Energy is subject to change. Mechanical and electrical energy are thus inter- convertible. Consciousness is however not subject to any change. Conscious as the PP is beyond physical and chemical laws of nature.

Where is this PP located?

It is within creation. If so, where is it? Whatever changes is AP. Anything that does not change is PP. Even space expands and changes, per scientists. They are all AP. Even body changes. Mind also changes. World changes. Whatever I observe is AP.

So, again, where is PP? Whatever you experience is AP; while You the experiencer is the PP, says Sri Krishna.

Therefore the Observer, the Jiva is the PP, while observed world is AP. Hence the phrase, “ Tat Tvam Asi”.

The whole creation is a mixture of the experiencer and the experienced; observer and observed.

Electrical energy is converted into mechanical energy, in the fan and it is further converted into sound energy. Energy is subject to modification, whereas consciousness is that principle which is not subject to modification. Therefore consciousness is neither matter nor energy.

Then what is consciousness? Consciousness is consciousness. Just as electricity activates a gadget, so also the mind body complex is activated by this consciousness.

What is the glory of this consciousness?

Because of this Consciousness principle the entire material universe is sustained. “It” is experienced as the “life” principle.

At the physical body level; the consciousness is experienced in the form of the very life principle; if you have any doubt, touch your body, the body is sentient, means that the body is blessed by the consciousness principle; and as long as there is life, the body is together and functioning; the moment the life principle is not there; the body disintegrates; the dearest body has to be disposed at the earliest; now this body is bathed, dressed and perfumed and all kinds of things are done; it is together; but without life, this will disintegrate. Extend this to the cosmic level; the

whole cosmos is in harmony, only because of the intelligence principle, the chaitanya tatvam; the world is functioning as though a cosmic human being; because of the para prakriti alone, the world is in harmony; and that is why in our religion; we look at the universe itself as a cosmic person; the visible part of the creation is apara prakriti; the invisible sustaining principle is called para prakriti; and the creation itself is called a cosmic person.

Thus, Purusha suktam means the cosmic person; or in Tamil, it becomes Perum All; the whole cosmos is Perum All; combine it and it becomes Perumal, which is same as Bhagavan.

Shloka # 6:

एतद्योनीनि भूतानि सर्वाणीत्युपधारय
अहं कृत्स्नस्य जगतः प्रभवः प्रलयस्तथा।।7.6।।

Know all beings to be born of this My dual nature. I am the source of the entire world as well as that into which it is dissolved.

In this shloka Sri Krishna talks of conversion of intermediate stage to final cosmos. In intermediate stage 1 PP+8 AP’s were there. From these 9 came the creation or gross elements plus elementals. Elementals are produced by the elements. Thus body is an elemental made up of earth, water, fire, vayu and akasha (empty space), all elements. Elements are known as Bhutas while elementals are known as Bhautikam.

Bhuta> Bhautika. It is a PP+ AP mixture. PP+AP is known as Yoni.

And therefore God alone has evolved in the form of this creation. So Sri Krishna is revolutionizing the concept of God. Until we study this, our concept of God is of a person, sitting beyond the cloud; either shiva; sitting in Kailasam; or Vishnu, lying on the adhisesha etc.

So we have an idea of god that is in its infancy. We cannot appreciate God in his true nature in the beginning. Therefore the scriptures introduce God at three levels; God as a person, God as the universe, and God as the nirguna chaitanyam; the property-less Consciousness or the abstract truth.

Very few understand God as an abstract truth. Now Sri Krishna says do not look upon God as a person, learn to look at everything as my own manifestation. Therefore assert in your mind, digest and assimilate this teaching that not only the whole universe evolves out of me; the whole universe rests in me alone.

Pralayam always follows Srishti. Thus the process of expansion and contraction is an ongoing one for the universe. Everything goes to unmanifest state and then comes back as manifestation.

Thus, when we wake up, our thought and actions, all evolve. During night at sleep, everything is withdrawn. This process starts every day and closes every day. When did this all start?

A cycle or circle has no beginning or an end. It is an eternal process. But you can get out of the cycle through moksha.

“ I am the source, origin of the entire universe. In the same manner I am also the graveyard of creation. The whole thing will come to Me alone.”

Scriptures give another example. Out of my mind emerges the dream world. Here even time and space is generated. In a few minutes, the dream (REM) projection comes on. In these few minutes I get married, have children and grand children as well. This is because dreamtime is different from waker’s time. When I wake up, I swallow the whole thing. Similarly God is srishti-sthithi-layam karta of the whole cosmos and therefore srishti-sthithi-laya karanam.

Shloka # 7:

मत्तः परतरं नान्यत्किञ्चिदस्ति धनञ्जय
मयि सर्वमिदं प्रोतं सूत्रे मणिगणा इव।।7.7।।

Nothing whatsoever is beyond Me. All this is strung on Me like clusters of gems on a thread.

Normally when we study creation there is one law we observe. Every cause has its own cause.  Thus our parents were products of our grand parents. I am product of my parents. Every cause also has its own cause.

If God is the cause, then who caused God? In effect who is God’s parent? Sri Krishna says I am the parentless cause of creation. Thus:

PP: is anadi or without beginning.

AP: is also anadi or without beginning.

PP+AP: God is also anadi without a beginning.

I am the ultimate cause of creation.

In second line of this shloka an important philosophy is communicated.

God is material cause of creation. God has manifested as creation. Material cause is inherent in all products. All products exist because of material cause.

Thus Pot exists because of the inherent clay. Ornaments exist because of inherent gold.

I being the material cause of creation, I am its inherent cause as well. A mala (garland) has an inherent thread ( sutram) that keeps it together. I am inherent in creation, just like the thread of a mala.


With Best Wishes


Ram Ramaswamy