Baghawad Gita, Class 193: Chapter 15 Verses


Shloka : 15. 7

15.7 It is verily a part of Mine, which becoming the eternal individual soul in the region of living beings, draws (to itself) the organs which have the mind as their sixth, and which abide in Nature.

Continuing his teachings Swamiji said, in the first 6 verses of the 15th chapter, we saw the first part of the vedantic teaching. Sri Krishna described the nature of samsara, by comparing it to the ashvatta tree and then he talked about the four important disciplines, by following which, a person will get out of samsara, the disciplines being, vairagyam, sharanagathi, satgunas, and vedanta vichara. And by following these four, a person attains freedom from samsara, which is otherwise called attainment of moksha. Attainment of moksha is nothing but attainment of Brahman, which is the very substratum of the samsara tree and Sri Krishna concluded that discussion by defining the nature of Brahman through a very important upanishad mantra that defined Brahman as the consciousness principle, which objectifies everything but itself cannot be objectified through any instrument. And then finally Sri Krishna added a note pointing out, that this consciousness is my higher nature. I-the-Lord have two natures or features; as apara and para prakrti, the lower and the higher nature, the lower nature is the saguna Ishvara, and the higher nature is the nirguna Ishvara, which is the consciousness. And therefore, indirectly Krishna tells:

Hey Arjuna! Do not look upon me as a physical body; born as son of Devaki; this visible personality of mine is only my inferior lower material nature and my real higher nature is the Nirguna chaitanyam which is never subject to birth or death, or even travel. That is why, we use the word Sri Krishna Paramatma, and that paramatma; the chaitanya svarupam, cannot travel from one place to another, because that Lord is all pervading.

And therefore Sri Krishna hereafter talks about himself as Nirguna Brahma Chaitanyam.

We have to remember that Sri Krishna uses the word I, but it has three different meanings, which has confused many students of the Gita. Sri Krishna is very loose in using the first person singular. In certain context he uses the word I as the physical Krishna; having a date of birth and a date of death, and born as a contemporary of Arjuna and a friend of Arjuna

When Krishna addresses Arjuna as his friend, Krishna is taking himself to be a personal God. So the word ‘I’ sometimes is also used as the all-pervading virat svarupam.

In Shloka 7.24 he says, People think I am human being; people think I was born, because people do not know my formless higher nature.

So Sri Krishna has three natures: ekarupa Krishna, anekarupa virat Ishvara and arupa nirguna Brahma chaitanyam.

Therefore whenever Krishna says, aham, maya, mama, we have to enquire and find out which I is being refrred to.

Shankaracharya says mam, neither means ekarupa, nor anekarupa, but arupa, nirgunam brahma alone

Here in the following portions when Krishna says tat damam paramam mama, here mama refers to my own nirguna svarupam. Having said this much in the first six verses from the seventh verse onwards, Sri Krishna is entering into the next topic.

The next topic is: I, the Nirgunam Brahma alone with the help of Maya, appear as both the jiva as well as the jagat. The conscious experiencer in the world, and the experienced object; both of them are my own manifestation. Just as in dream, we divide ourselves into two; both the dream-world and the dream-experiencer, and we interact. Just as I bifurcate myself in dream, similarly, I the Lord alone divide myself into bhoktha and bhogyam.

And therefore, I alone am everything. This is called sarva Ishvara bhava or Sarva brahma bhava. That is the topic.

And there from the 7th verse up to the 11th verse, Sri Krishna says that I am in the form of jiva; jiva means the individual experiencer in the world and from the 12th verse onwards up to 15th verse Krishna says, I alone am in the form of universe also. And therefore I am all. I am everything.

So this is the topic now.

So there in the 7th verse, I introduced how Bhagavan, the consciousness alone is in the form of every jiva. And how are we to understand? Every jiva, individual, has got primarily two bodies; the physical body and the subtle body. The causal body is not relevant at this time. Therefore, we will ignore that now; every individual consists of the physical body and the subtle body that we can take as the mind. And according to the shastras, the physical body is also inert, because it is made up of matter, and mind is also inert, because it is also made up of matter. We have seen in tatva bodha, that mind is also made up of panchca sukshma bhuthani.

The idea is that the mind is made of subtle matter or energy; therefore body and mind are both inert intrinsically. However, now we find the body and mind are sentient; we are experiencing the sentiency of the body and mind. The scriptures point out that this sentiency or life in the body-mind complex is not natural to the body mind, but it is borrowed from Brahma chaitanyam. The original all-pervading consciousness when it pervades the mind, the mind becomes a live-mind. By itself it is dead matter; but pervaded by the consciousness, the mind becomes live. And that consciousness which pervades the mind is called pratibhimba chaitanyam, or abhasa chaitanyam. In the last class, I used the word, RC, the reflectedconsciousness. So when the original consciousness pervades the individual mind, the mind becomes live. And what does the mind do? It has borrowed life fromBrahman, and out of the borrowed consciousness, the mind lends consciousness to the physical body.

And from that borrowed consciousness, mind lends consciousness to the body, and therefore now the body is also alive. Now the body is alive, because of the mind and the mind is sentient because of the OC.

And at the time of death, the mind quits the body. You should not say consciousness quits as consciousness cannot quit because it is all pervading; whereas the mind quits, and hence the mind is no more available to lend consciousness to the body.

Why can’t the original consciousness lend consciousness to the body, if you ask; OC cannot directly lend to the body. If OC, the original all-pervading-consciousness can lend consciousness to the body, what will be the consequence?  If OC can lend consciousness to the body, body will be eternally sentient. We will never die. You may say it is good.

Already we have got 6 billion people and imagine nobody dies. So therefore for the good of the world, and for the good of others, we all should successfully die, which means the mind should quit the body; and thereafter the body will become insentient; and it will decay and then people will dispose it off.

So therefore, the consciousness makes the mind sentient; the mind makes the body sentient. Therefore whenever I see a live body, I should remember that behind the live body, there is a live mind, even though I do not see the mind. That is why you can escape, you can think of something else also, because I do not see your mind and I do not know whether you are ‘here’. I do not see your mind, whether you are listening to me or not. It is my great optimism.

But how do I know that there is a mind, because you are alive.

Therefore every activity of the body is the proof to the presence of the mind, live-mind; and the presence of the live-mind is the proof for the original consciousness, this is so because, without the original consciousness lending consciousness, mind will not be sentient. Therefore body helps me recognize the mind; mind helps me recognize the original Conciousness, which is also called God.

Therefore Sri Krishna says every activity of a live person is a proof for the existence of the original consciousness, called God. Suppose somebody asks the question: Is there electricity in this hall; how do you know; you cannot perceive because electricity is invisible. So if somebody asks whether there is power or not, what do I do? Look at the bulb; the bulb is called sthoola shariram. So when I see a bright bulb, I know that the bulb does not have brightness of its own; therefore the brightness of the bulb is a borrowed brightness. And this brightness of the bulb is given by sthoola shariram, there is a sukshma shariram called the filament; tungsten filament; and that filament is very bright; and that bright filament alone lends brightness to the bulb.

Now the next question is: How is the tungsten filament is bright? Does the brightness belong to the filament itself or is it borrowed? The filament is not bright by itself; but now it is bright because of an invisible power that pervades. I do not see it but I recognize it because I tell other people, there is power. I do not say that there is bulb. I am seeing the bulb; I do not say I see the filament; my reply is there is power. Power means electricity. How do I recognize this; electricity enlivens the filament makes and it bright and that bright filament makes the bulb bright.

And some times the bulb is there; power is also there; but it is not burning. Why, electricity is there, bulb is there; but it is not burning. You say bulb is fused or Sukshma shariram out. The filament is gone. Similarly, there is a person till yesterday, walking talking, scolding; one day I see the bulb is there; the body is like a bulb (round!) and of course, Conciousness is there everywhere, but no life. Why, because the mind filament that borrows consciousness and lends to the body that mind has quit this place; also because mind is not all pervading. And therefore Sri Krishna says: whenever you see the activity of a living being, you remember that it is the touch of the all-pervading Conciousness called God. You do not require any special tapas to realize God. Sri Krishna says; for a mature mind, God is realizable in and through every movement. Even my ability to talk is because of God. Consciousness blesses the mind; the mind blesses the mouth and therefore the mouth speaks. And the consciousness blesses your mind and your mind blesses your ears and therefore you hear. That I talk that you listen is the most amply evident proof for the existence of God. And Sri Krishna says inspite of so much clear evidence, people ask, what is the proof for God.

This is the essence. Now look at the shloka.

Sri Krishna says mamaiva amsa. Mama, my, when he is referring to arupa nirguna brahma chaitanam; amsa means reflection or prathibhiṁba. So my own reflection alone is formed in the inert mind of every one. Just as the electricity alone is behind every live bulb that is why we say the wire is live wire. There also we use the word live wire. Therefore, He says, mamaiva amsa means prathibhimba. Is there in the jiva loke, in the world of living beings, which means in every body mind complex or jiva there is Ishvara in reflected form. Just as from the original sun we get a reflected bright sun depending on the many, many mirrors; similarly, as many minds are there; as many reflected paramatmas are also there. Each reflected paramatma is called the jivatma. And how long does this jiva live; it is sanatana or he is eternal. At the time of death also, jiva does not die; jiva quits or leaves the body, the death belongs to the physical body alone; because it does not have the blessing of the mind with RC and that mind with RC is called jiva. That jiva does not die, that jiva travels. And therefore, that jiva is eternal. When did that jiva begin? Anadi kala meaning the jiva is beginningless, the jiva will continue the journey endlessly also until liberation.

And therefore jiva is called sanatana, during death jiva does not die; even during pralayam the cosmos dissolution, jiva does not die, the mind does not die, the mind goes to dormant condition; as it happens in sleep. In sleep, mind goes to dormant state. How do you know?  Because when we get up, we get up with the same worry, if it is a different worry, we can say that it is a different mind and that it has been switched.

But we wake up with the same problem, indicating during sushupthi, the mind survives, during pralayam also the mind with Reflected Consciousness called the jiva will survive; therefore sanatana; And what does that jiva do, at the time of death; he says, at the time of death, not only the reflected Conciousness goes away, but it drags the entire sukshma shariram also along with it. And what is the sukshma shariram; it is all the sense organs; sense organs do not mean the physical sense organ, that is called golakam; but behind the golakam, the sensory perception faculty is there called the indriyani. That is why in the dead body, physical eye will be there, but it cannot see; all the physical parts will be there. In short, the anatomy will be there; but the physiology will be missing; physiology, the power of acting, that is sucked by the RC.

The word karshati means dragged; not only the sense organs, mana sastani, which includes the mind also are dargged. Not only the five Gyanendriyas are dragged away, but also the mind behind the sense organs as well. All our sensory faculties at the time of death, they are taken away. Who does that? Jiva the RC takes it away. It takes it away when the jiva leaves the body.

Then the next incidental question is: When will the jiva leave the body? Is it arbitrary or does God decide or do the family members decide. When does it happen? It is decided by karma. So we have got a set of punyams and papams to be exhausted through this medium. We have taken this specific medium called the physical body to exhaust our punya-papam. And once those punyams and papams are exhausted then death occurs and this medium is left.

Then what happens? Next bunch of punya-papam is waiting in queue. You get ready for next body based upon one’s sanchita karmas. Your next bunch of karmas will determine what should be the type of next body. Whether it should be uttama shariram, madhyama shariram or adama shariram. And that karma guides the jiva to the appropriate environment. And that is called the travel of the jiva.

Shloka # 15.8:

5.8 When the master leaves it and even when he assumes a body, he departs taking these, as wind (carries away) odours from their receptacles.

When the jiva leaves the body, it carries with it the sense the organs and the mind. Now the next question is: What will the jiva do next? We are all eager to know.

Whenever death occurs in the neighborhood or in our own family, you suddenly begin to think of, what happened to that person? Where will that person go; when will he go; how will he go; what will happen? etc.

Sri Krishna answers that question. Before looking at his answer a few clarifications are in order. Jiva

Is the Lord of the body, jiva itself is called here Ishvara.

Why is jiva called Ishvara? Because of two reasons: first reason is Ishvara alone is in the form of jiva when he is reflected; after all jiva is reflected version.

The second reason is Ishvara means the master, the Lord and jiva is called Ishvara the master, because jiva is the Lord of the individual body, because only his presence makes the body alive; and his absence makes the body dead and thereforeIshvara or swami Jiva. And this swami jiva, after leaving this body, what does he do?

He takes another body. There is no rule that human being will take only human birth; there is no rule;

Human being can become a deva, a human being; or even inferior janmas are all possible. Because there are some other philosophers who say that evolution is uniformly from lower to higher only; matsya, kurma, varaha, they take it as the Darwin’s theory of evolution; first we were monkeys (Now also doubtful), and then man.

We think from lower forms of life, we uniformly go to higher form, but Veda does not accept that; the journey need not be always upwards, that is why we give the example of the snake and ladder. You may take a ladder. So a human being may take a lower janma also.

Then the next question is; who determines the next janma? Is it Bhagavan?

Shastras says do not blame anyone. It is totally dependent on karma, and karma is dependent on karta, and you are the karta and therefore you alone determine your next janma. And in the 6th chapter, Sri Krishna gives a great consolation for us; all the Gita students will never take lower janma. So be regular

in the class; that is better. So all the Gita students, of course, they will get liberation; no janma at all, but if at all they do not get liberation, the next janma will invariably be manushya janma only.

This is not my promise but Sri Krishna’s promise. Therefore the next body is determined by punya papa karma. And when the jiva takes another body, what does he do? He has taken all the indriyas, sense organs from the previous body and all those sense organs, He, the jiva, will place in the respective physical plane; thus eye, the sense organ, must be placed in the chakshur golakam, chakshur indriyam must go to chakshur golakam.

Similarly, all Gyanendriya’s are placed in respective Gyanendriya golakas, karmendriyas are placed in the karmendriya golakas; and one starts transactions in the new transferred body. So rebirth is nothing but a transfer.

Sri Krishna provides us with a comparison for the death process.  Imagine there is a flower; the flower is compared to the physical body; because it is visible; and the flower has got the fragrance, the fragrance is compared to the sukshma shariram, the invisible mind. So the invisible vayu, wind, carries the invisible fragrance from the visible flower and travels. And how do you know vayu carries the fragrance. You can feel the smell. Therefore, just as the invisible vayu carries the invisible fragrance; similarly the invisible jiva carries the invisible mind from the physical body. Asayat, means flower, gandha, means fragance, vayu, the wind;

And the next question they will ask it, how long does it take to take the next body?

It all will depend upon the fructification of the next karma, it can be one day; one year, or one-lakh years, and it will vary from individual to individual. Therefore there is no regular rule and secondly, once the jiva quits this body, another important fact we should remember is, this particular time and space will become irrelevant for the jiva, which has quit this body.

You should remember that this time and space are relevant only when you function through this body; that shows how time and space are highly relative. That is why the moment you withdraw from this body, and enter the dream body, for your dream experiences, you have a different time, space field. So if this is true for your dream experiences, extend it to the other thirteen lokas. Each loka is a distinctive world like your dream world, which means the present time and space are meaningless. Therefore how can you measure the duration of jiva’s travel based on our present time and space? And what is 100 years for us, may be one year or one day,

Therefore, we cannot say and that is why shastra says; when you are doing sradham, do it for three generations; we simply obey them; it is not based on when the jiva takes rebirth.

Sri Krishna wants us to remember is our primary topic.

What Krishna wants to say that the sentiency of the body is the proof for the presence of the mind, and the presence of the live-mind is the proof for the existence of god, and therefore, life is the proof for the presence of God and the death is a bigger proof for the presence of the Lord; because when the body becomes dead body.

What has happened? The Ishvara’s blessing in the form of reflected consciousness is withdrawn. When Ishvara is there in this body, I am alive, when Ishvara has quit this body, Ishvara means you should understand, Ishvara in the form of chidabasa, has quit the body, the body becomes dead. So life is the proof for the Lord, death is the proof for the Lord and in the next verse he will say that between life and death, whatever activities you undertake, they are also the proof for the presence

of the Lord. How can you miss that Lord? It is like asking what is the proof that there is electricity? Sitting under the fan, sitting in a well-lit room, what is the proof for electricity; that he is able to see, that he is able to feel the breeze of the fan, is the proof for the invisible electricity.

Take Away:


Four important disciplines, by following which, a person will get out of samsara (moksha) are: vairagyam, sharanagathi, satgunas, and vedanta vichara.

The scriptures point out that this sentiency or life in the body-mind complex is not natural to the body mind, but it is borrowed from Brahma chaitanyam.

Each loka is a distinctive world like your dream world, which means the present time and space are meaningless.

With Best Wishes,

Ram Ramaswamy