Bhagwad Gita is an ocean filled with wonderful jewels and that keeps surprising me. Let's see some more verses where God has tried to explain His nature and His relationship with the creation :
BG verse 9.4
BG verses 9.4 and 9.5 give us a very strange picture of God.
MayA tatam idam sarvam jagatavyaktamUrtinA |
MatsthAni sarva BhUtAni, n chAham teshvavasthitah || BG 9.4
Na cha matsthAni bhUtAni pashya me yogmeshvaram |
BhUtabhrinna cha bhUtastho mamAtmA bhUtabhAvanah || BG 9.5
This whole universe is pervaded by Me in my unmanifest form. All beings exist in Me but I am not contained in them !
Behold my divine yoga power, nor do the beings are contained in Me. (Though) I am the sustainer and originator of all beings but my Self is not contained in the beings.
"But I am not contained in them" ? Now, this creates confusion. Because in another place, He says, "Aham AtmAn gudAkesha sarvabhUtAshya sthitah" ==> I am the Self in the heart of all beings. How can these two be compatible ? At one place He asserts that He is not contained in the beings and in another He says that He is in the heart of all beings !
This contradiction arises due to our conditioning of mind. We start seeing God as an entity with form and we see this world as a Real entity. God is subtlest among the subtles. He remains untouched by any gross existence in this universe even though He is the core / essence of all things. Therefore, He is the essence of all beings i.e. the Self of all beings (in the heart means at the core / in essence) ... but still He remains untouched by worldly creations (because worldly beings are unreal projections on His reality and He is the Real).
Do all the beings dwell "within Him" ? This is negated in the next verse .. "Na cha matsthAni bhUtAni" ...
The question arises :
In first verse He says, "MatsthAni sarva bhUtAni" (meaning all beings are within me) and just in the next verse He says, "Na cha matsthAni bhUtAni" ?? This appears to be an impossibility and a clear contradiction ! However, whenever Self is described, God is described ... we have seen such seemingly contradictory statements. Why ? Due to our limited capability to comprehend Nature of God.
The first verse simply means, "Existence of all beings is with God as the substratum" i.e. existence of all beings is derived from God alone. The beings have no independent existence in absence of God and that is the meaning of "MatsthAni sarva bhUtAni". In the next verse, any Beings's place in any physical spatial location of God is denied. Why ? Because God remains untouched by the worldly creations.
In the very next verse He gives example of VAyu within the space. VAyu stays within space but space remains untouched by VAyu's presence. Though, this example also doesn't exactly explain True nature of God and beings existence and relationship. It only explains how space remains untouched by VAyu but not the other part of the contradiction.
BG Chapter 10
In this chapter, God has tried to explain how we can visualise Him / where we can see Him. Let's take verse 20 of this chapter :
Aham AtmA gudAkesha sarvabhUtAshaya sthitah |
AhamAdischa madhyam cha bhUtAnAmanta eva cha || BG 10.20
==> I am the Self in the heart of all beings. I am the beginning, the middle and the end of all beings !
This is a very profound teaching. The first part says that He is the essence of all beings. In the second He says that all beings are nothing but Himself to begin with, in the middle and also at the end. What does it mean ? It means that, in reality, every being is none but God Himself in all its states. It is God which starts His journey as a being, It is God which lives the life of a being and it is only God left when the being ends its identity as a being.
The above is resonated in these verses too of the BG :
"Vasudevah sarvam iti"==> All this is but VAsudeva. BG 7.19
UpdrsTAnumantA cha bhartA bhoktA maheshwarah : |
ParmAteti chApyukto dehesmin Purushah parah || 13.22
===> He is updrshTA (i.e uninvolved witness) and the permitter (allows whatever one wants to do), the sustainer, the experiencer (Jeeva) and the great Lord and who is also called the Supreme Self is alone the Supreme Purusha in this body.
Who is the experiencer ? It is Jeeva. Why ? SvetAsvatar Upanishad says : There are two birds very closely related and very much alike on the same tree. One eats the ripe fruits but the other one just watches everything as a spectator.
The tree is the body. Two birds are Jeeva (individual self) and God (Cosmic Self). One experiences the world and the other acts as just the uninvolved witness. But are they really two ? The above verse says that both are One alone.
... Contd. in next posts ....
"Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"
Let's revisit the verse BG 13.22 along with a few earlier verses which must be kept in mind as the reference verses for this verse. Verse 13.22 talks about Purusha and it starts with verse 13.19. This Purusha's characteristics are :
a. It is AnAdi i.e. which was never born (verse 13.19)
b. Purusha is enjoyer of happiness and sufferer of sufferings
c. Purusha due to its association with Prakriti's gunas gets into good/bad yonis in cycles of births. (13.21)
d. Purusha alone is UpdrashTA (uninvolved witness), the permitter, the enjoyer, great God and also the Supreme AtmAn. (13.22)
So, it is God alone which is playing different roles simultaneously. BG verse 10.20 and many other verses endorse this again and again in BG.
What does it mean ? If everything is God, then what about this multitude ? ===> This only means that multitude is not the reality. The reality is not what is perceived by our sense organs.
We must visit the relevant verses of Chapter 11 where VishvarUpa Darshan has been described. This will make things much more clear.
Let's note these things from Chapter 11 of BG :
a. VishvarUpa could be perceived by Arjuna only after getting divya chaksus (Divine eyes). Why was there a need for divya chaksus if it was a scene as we see from our worldly eyes ? Surely this was a scene which was not worldly and therefore couldn't have been seen without eyes blessed with special powers to see through what exactly was going on behind the worldly scene of MahAbhArat war.
Let's keep in mind that Arjuna requested to see the form of God which was complete with his Aishvarya (qualities and power of God). (Verse 11.3).
b. What does Arjuna see ?
i) He doesn't see Lord Krishna with reins of horses of the chariot in his hands. Let's remember that during this phenomenon, the people gathered in Kurukshetra were still seeing Lord Krishna driving the chariot.
ii) He doesn't see God in His somya rUpa as Lord Vishnu smiling with four hands though this is the form which is usually worshiped and recognised by his devotees.
iii) Though all the great warriors were standing to fight, Arjuna sees them running towards the mouths of MahAkAl, the form which Arjuna saw with the divine eyes. He sees sons of DhritrAshTra, Bhishma, Drona, Karna and many other warriors rushing towards fearsome mouths of MahAkAl. He also saw many of them already dead.
Which form of God was Real here ? The form which was driving the chariot ? Or the form of MahAkAl which was perceived by only Divya Chakshus ? or the form of Vishnu with four hands which was shown to Arjuna on request by Lord Krishna ? Or his unmanifest form which pervades the entire universe and which was pervading the entire universe even when VishvarUpa darshan was possible ?
How could these warriors be standing in Kurushetra with their weapons for starting the war and also at the same time entering into the mouth of MahAkAl or looking dead with their heads crushed under the jaws of MahAkAl ? On one hand from worldly eyes, nothing was yet lost, no one had yet died ... nothing else was happening except start of the great war ... and on the other hand, there was no war at all but a totally different picture was there where most of the warriors were dying like moths and entering into dreadful mouths of MahAkAl !
Question arises : What was the reality ? The scene that was perceived by worldly eyes during the war by everyone who didn't have the divine eyes or the scene that Arjuna saw with divine eyes ? As both scenes were perceived simultaneously, which scene was real ? ... Or Reality was something completely different from both the scenes ?
"Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"
The questions that arose in Vishva-rupa darshan hinged are on one question, "What was the reality ?" Now this appears an easy question as if we know what "reality" means !
We tend to accept something real if we are able to "know" that thing by "touch", "smell", "sight" etc. Actually, grossness of a thing has been accepted as the ultimate proof of reality. Our mind tends to accept : "If something is gross, it can't be unreal". Is it really so ? What does Bhagwad Gita say on this ?
In Bhagwad Gita chapter 2, Lord Krishna tells us on what is real :
"That which is unreal has no existence and that which is real never becomes non-existent (i.e. the real cannot ever be destroyed)" (BG 2.16)
"Know that to be indestructible by which this all (world's everything) is pervaded. That imperishable cannot be destroyed by anyone" (BG 2.17)
"All bodies of that (real) which is Shariri (i.e. embodied one, which takes form of various bodies) and which is indestructible and indeterminable are destructible." (BG 2.18)
So, what is the test for anything to be real or unreal ?
a) The Real can never be destroyed i.e. it is always present and is indestructible.
b) That Real is one alone (Please mark the singular number used for that which is Real in the verses. That pervades this all "Sarvam idam". (In verse 2.17 Lord uses the term "Sarvam idam" and that means including everything whether living or non-living things")
c) All bodies taken by that "Real" which is the "embodied one" and which is 'indestructible" and "which always is" are destructible.
===> So, all bodies whether those are of the living things or non-living things have two things : One is that pervades them and everything else and the bodies in different form. The one that pervades everything always exists and is Real. The bodies don't always exist because those can be destroyed and therefore as per Verse 2.16 all bodies are unreal.
So, what are those all bodies and what is that Real one which is indestructible and that which takes on all bodies and is called the Shariri or the embodied one ? The bodies include :
a) The bodies of all living things and even non-living things.
b) The bodies of all warriors and even that of Arjuna
c) The body of Krishna whether it was in the form of a human being driving the chariot or the form of Lord Vishnu or the form of MahAkAl.
Why ? Because the verse 2.18 says, "All bodies are destructible" and therefore they all are unreal (because of Verse 2.16).
Now the question arises : Did Lord Krishna show Arjuna anything false ? Was this His grace ? Now, there comes the doctrine of "relative reality". How ? Let's see below :
===> The earth appears to be still even though it is moving at a very high speed around the Sun. What is the Reality ? From absolute point of reference, the earth is never still. However, from my position, it is still and that stillness of the earth is the relative reality.
Similarly, from the absolute point of reference, whatever Arjuna saw was unreal. However, from Arjuna's reference point (who himself is unreal from the absolute reference point), all Kings, bodies of Lord Krishna and the forms of Lord Krishna that he saw were all real (i.e. relatively real).
Now, the question arises, why did Krishna show Arjuna something which was unreal and then say that that "extraordinary seeing" was due to his grace ?? The answer lies in Lord's aim in doing all this :
What was the aim of showing Vishvarupa to Arjuna ? From the beginning of Bhagwad Gita Lord Krishna's aim was to make him do his duty at the time of war. So, he should see the reality behind whatever was happening. That was something which was "more real" than the relative reality seen by Arjuna at the time of war. What does it mean ?
Arjuna thought : He was going to be the killer of all kings, his own brethren, other relatives, his own Guru etc." That was his folly because the real actor was God Himself and not Arjuna. It is God's wish which acts through any agent within Prakriti (or it is Prakriti which does everything as God wishes). It is Prakriti (at the behest of God's wishes) which does everything and therefore, Arjuna was not the doer. The verse which says this is :"All actions are performed by Gunas of Prakriti in all respect. The being deluded by Ahamkaar thinks that he is the doer" (BG 3.27)
The above teaching has been repeated by Lord Krishna in other places too in BG. However, "seeing is believing". And therefore, Lord Krishna showed Arjuna who the real doer was in the form of Vishvarupa which was MahAkAl. It was that MahAkAl which was destroying all the kings and Arjuna's brethren and Arjuna was just a tool of the real doer.
Was it grace of God or not ? It surely was ! How could he ever believe that he was not the killer but it was Lord Krishna Himself in the form of MahAkAl ? Could he ever be deluded into believing that he is the doer of any action after seeing what he saw ? No. Because he saw with his own eyes that he was not the real killer. That was His grace !
"Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"
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