The Doctrine of the Bhagavad-Gita
Kshetra and Kshetrajna
Mulaprakriti, Daiviprakriti and Ishwara
Worship Me with All Bhavas
The Doctrine of the Bhagavad-Gita
In studying the Bhagavad Gita it is necessary, at the outset, to remember that the eighteen discourses are intimately connected with one another and that each discourse describes a particlar aspect of human life, and leads us on to the next in orderly sequence. For purposes of our study, however, it is convenient to arrange the discourses in three broad groups. Taking the first as an introductory discourse, you find that Lord Shri Krishna refers in the next five chapters, to the several schools of philosophy, that flourished at the time, namely; the Sankhya, Karma, Gnana, Sanyasa, and Abhyasa, each describing the path towards salvation.
The great Lord then examines the merits and defects of each school, and points out that there are, in nature, two important entities or factors which the several schools have lost sight of, and without the help of which the paths recommended by those philosophers will not be of much avail. He then expounds his own doctrine or theory with regard to the goal of human life, and from this standpoint supplies the key, as it were, with which the different viewpoints could be reconciled so as to evolve them in a harmonious whole in proper setting. This doctrine is enunciated in the next group of six chapters beginning with the seventh discourse.
You remember that the Great Lord referring to Himself in another connection says this in Chapter IV -6: “Though I am unborn, of imperishable nature and though I am the Lord of beings, yet presiding over (controlling) my own nature I am born through my Maya.” Now, every system of philosophy postulates the existence of a First Cause, and though there is differences of opinion as to the nature of this First Cause or its attributes, it is agreed on all hands that this First Cause (Parambrahma) is omnipresent and eternal; is not Gnatha (ego), not Gnanam (consciousnness), not Gneyam (non-ego). Any positive definition of this principle is impossible, and whatever description of it can be attempted is only by means of a negative definition. It is unknowable and therefore referred to as Avyaktamoorti and only becomes knowable when manifesting itself as the Logos or Ishwara; so it is possible to know something about its manifestations. When Evolution commences, it becomes active, and at the time of cosmic activity, there starts from it what might be called a centre of Conscious Energy. This is the word made manifest, Ishwara or Sabda Brahma.
Principles of Man, Solar System, and Cosmos
He is also described as Sat-chit-ananda in Ch. XIV-27, where Bhagavan says: “I am the image or the seat of the Immortal and Indestructible Brahma, of the Eternal law (Dharma) and of absolute happiness.” He is sat—सदास्थायी [sadāsthāyī]—who ever is (that is without becoming or change in past, present or future). He is Chit because in Him the eternal Dharma of Cosmos, the whole law of cosmic evolution abides. He is Anandam because he is the abode of bliss, and the highest happiness possible for man is attained when the Jivatma, the human soul, reaches Him. He is thus an object of the highest knowledge that man is capable of acquiring. You can have some little glimpse or conception of His nature in Slokas 4 & 5 of Ch. IX where Bhagavan says: “By Me all this world is pervaded, in My form unmanifested (Avyaktamoorti). All beings dwell in me and I do not dwell in them. Look at My condition when manifested as Ishwara.” “He is the beginning of all creation and the end of all evolution.” (VII-6). “All beings in the manifested Cosmos as well as the whole of this universe are woven in Me as a row of gems on a string (VII-7).
This view is again confirmed later on, in XIII-26, where Bhagavan says: “Know that all beings (unmoving or moving), have come from the union of My two Prakritis.” What are these two Prakritis which are under His control? Bhagavan says (VII-4): “earth, water, fire, air, ether, Manas Buddhi and Ahankara—this is my eightfold Prakriti.” This is Mulaprakriti, undifferentiated, giving rise to five Tanmatras, Ahankara, Buddhi and Manas. There is another Prakriti (VII-5) which is superior and which supports and sustains the whole universe. It is called the Mahachaitanya of the whole Cosmos. It is the one great power that guides the whole Course of Evolution, leading Nature towards its goal. It is the source of light, of various modes of consciousness, and of life manifested in every kind of organism that we know of in Nature.
When Evolution begins, Ishwara wakes up, so to say, with the image or conception of what is to be in the Cosmos, which Daiviprakriti or His Light catches and impresses on Cosmic matter which is already manifested. This Light may, therefore, be said to be a kind of link between objective matter and the subjective thought of Ishwara. While Mulaprakriti is the cause of bondage, Daiviprakriti is the cause of illumination. It is also symbolised as Gayatri in our Hindu Philosophy. It represents the life-aspect, while Mulaprakriti represents the form-aspect in Cosmos. This is further illustrated in Slokas 8-11 [of Chapter 7] where Bhagavan says, with reference to his Vibhutis: “In water I am sapidity, I am the light in the sun and the moon. I am the syllable Om in the Vedas, sound in ether, humanity in men, etc.”
Here Lord Shri Krishna refers to all the excellent qualities manifested in every region of phenomenal existence, as springing from Himself, and regrets that the world does not understand His real nature. For Bhagavan says: “The ignorant regard me as manifestation of Avyakta, not knowing my supreme and imperishable and best nature. I am not visible to all, veiled as I am by my Yoga Maya. The deluded world does not comprehend Me who am unborn and imperishable” (VII-24-25). This Yoga Maya is His Light, Daiviprakriti, behind which is Bhagavan unperceived. The reference is to the view held by the Sankhya school that Avyaktam (Parambrahma veiled by Mulaprakriti) takes on a kind of phenomenal differentiation on account of association with Upadhi” and in the course of such differentiation becomes the Atma of the individual, so that in tracing the path towards the goal, if you could control the action of the Upadhi and destroy the Maya it has created, the result would be the complete extinction or annihilation of man’s individuality and its final absorption (laya) in Parambrahma. This view, Lord Shri Krishna says, is wrong, because Ishwara and His Light are here, entirely lost sight of.
The Sankhyas consider Mulaprakriti as the source of matter as well as of force, while Daiviprakriti is regarded as an aspect or manifestation of Mulaprakriti, and when you try to trace the source of the Upadhi to Mulaprakriti, in that attempt the individuality becomes lost in Mulaprakriti, and you cannot cross the neutral barrier without the help of Ishwara. Secondly, this view of the Sankhyas excludes the possibility of Avataras and Jivanmuktas coming down for the sake of helping humanity. For when once man has reached the stage at which his whole individuality is completely annihilated, the existence of an Avatar would be, as a matter of simple logical inference, an impossibility. Bhagavan, therefore, controverts this theory of the Sankhyas and strikes a clear note of warning in Chapter XII verses 3, 4, 5, against following this doctrine.
The Vedantins, however, try to find the source of consciousness. They hold that it is a mode or manifestation of the Light, which is life, and that this Light permeates every kind of organism and is manifested in everyone of the Upadhis as the real ego of man. Now, evolutionary progress is effected by the continual perfecting of the Upadhi or organism through which the Lightworks. As the Upadhis are rendered more and more pure and perfected, man’s intelligence on the physical, astral, and spiritual planes will become more and more perfect, until that stage is reached when man will be enabled to recognise and perceive Bhagavan. Mukti is, therefore, not the loss of individuality, but the perfection of individuality. The ego in the Sthoola Sharira gains merely the experiences of everyday life; that is, the animal passions and emotions and ordinary thoughts connected with the physical wants of man are confined to the Sthoola and Sukshma Shariras.
But the Karana Sharira is the storehouse, in which the best experiences of man are garnered in every incarnation. In fact, the germs of every quality or attribute that is noble and enduring, all the higher emotions, impulses and aspirations that go deep into the intellectual nature of man are impressed on the Karana Sharira. Its place of existence is Sutratma, and as the individual passes from incarnation to incarnation, with its fund of experiences, a higher individuality is evolved, thus keeping up the continued existence of the Jiva as an individual monad. It is the real ego of man. Bhagavan throws out a kind of feeler, as it were, of His Light into various organisms and assimilates the spiritual experiences which result from its action as it vibrates on the organism along a series of incarnations. The individuality of man thus becomes united to that of Ishwara. He who is Prajna then becomes the Sarvajna.
There is another great difficulty for man to understand the nature of the supreme self and it is this. Bhagavan says: “The whole world is deluded by three sorts of things composed of Gunas, and therefore does not know Me, and this Maya of the three Gunas is divine and hard to surmount.” “Gunas” is a technical term. Guna is not the property or attribute of any substance, like the colour of an object. The Gunas are born of Prakriti, which is the root of Samsara. The Gunas are said to bind Kshetrajna as it were, because they exist having Kshetrajna as the basis of their existence (XIV -5). Prakriti is the mother of all material objects. The sun, moon, stars, mountains, seas, forest, men, birds, beasts, mind, and body-all are generated from her. The Gunas are mentioned in Chap. XIV (6-7-8).
As a result of past Samskaras they produce effects characteristic of the Guna with which a man is born. Guna, in that sense, is a result of Karma, and Karma in its turn determines the Guna. The Gunas pervade the whole Universe, for, “there is no being on earth or heaven who is free from the three Gunas” (XVIII-40) and this subject Bhagavan explains at great length, in the last discourse, with special reference to all activities of man, such as knowledge, action, intellect and pleasure. It is enough, for the present, to note that Tamas is connected with the gross passions and pleasures experienced in the Sthoola Sharira; Rajas with the passionate and restless activity of the mind and the Sukshma Sharira; and Sattva with the noble and higher aspirations in the Karana Sharira, the essence of all this bundle of attributes being comprised in Parambrahma. Bhagavan says that “Verily this Divine illusion of Mine made of Gunas, is hard to surmount. Whoever seek Me alone, they cross over this illusion.” (VII-14.)
How to cross the illusion made of the Gunas?
Perform Karma for His sake (as Yajna) and in the course of performance of duty in a proper and disinterested manner, you get rid of desires, and the mind becomes purified, when Bhakti slowly develops. So long as you identify yourself with Upadhis, there is differentiation, but when Parabhakti sets in, all ignorance and delusion are destroyed and when you go to Bhagavan with supreme devotion, you can cross the neutral barrier and reach the gateway which points towards the Goal. When the soul has reached that stage of evolution, when it does not want anything of the world, when it has outgrown the promptings of desire and gained freedom by love, there are no more duties to be performed, and, not till then, can man give up Dharma. So Bhagavan says in Sloka 66 of the 18th Discourse: “Give up all Dharma, come to Me for shelter and I shall liberate you.”
”All beings are subject to Moha, deluded by attachment and aversion,” says Bhagavan. So when their senses, mind and intellect are all coloured, and they cannot have a perfect knowledge of things as they really are, even of the external world, how can you expect to acquire a knowledge of the Self and of Bhagavan? True, there are different kinds of devotees, the distressed, the seekers of knowledge and of wealth and the wise. From one standpoint these can be classed according to the nature of the three Gunas. But the Karta is one who has a longing to reach Bhagavan; as he seeks to know how he can satisfy this longing, he becomes a Jignasu; when he feels the peace and bliss of Bhagavan he is the real Artharthi; and lastly he becomes the real Gnani when he knows the real nature of Bhagavan. Such a Gnani who cultivates Ananya Bhakti will reach the goal after many births (VII-19). Such a one is hard to find because Bhagavan says: “Among thousands one only strives for perfection (purity), for purifying himself by Tapas and Dhyana, and even among those who become perfect scarcely one reaches me” (knows me in truth) (VII-3). The path of liberation is long and tedious, full of obstacles and dangers. Some with the object of immediate gain or impelled by a desire for Siddhis (powers), worship the Devatas, thus reaching a stage, in the course of evolution, at which you are absorbed in them and cannot reach Bhagavan (VII-23). So you must not forget the centre who is Bhagavan (Ishwara) all along. There are those whose sin has come to an end by good deeds, who are freed from the delusion of attachment and aversion, and who worship Me with full resolve, and these also strive for liberation from birth and death. This is the Path of Light or Archaradi Marga (Self-conscious path). Those who follow this Path of Light go to Brahma Loka (VII-24). “They realise in full the supreme Brahman, the Adhyatma (Pratyagatma or Logos), Karma (action); realise Me in the Adhibhuta (physical region), in the Adhidaiva (region of the Devatas) and in the Adhiyajna (region of sacrifice); realise Me at the time of departing, steadfast in mind” (VII29-30). This path is also referred to in Bhagavata, Skanda VII, Chapter XV-54. This is indeed a noble object in view, but, to use the words of a Great Teacher, it is after all an exalted and glorious kind of selfishness. The other path (Atomic path) is referred to in VIII -25 and is called the Dhuma Marga or the Path of Smoke, followed by Karma Yogins, who perform different kinds of sacrifices and worshipping Me, reach Swarga (IX-20).
Lord Sri Krishna impresses on the mind of Arjuna that there is a direct path leading towards liberation. It is called Raja-Vidya and referred to in IX-2-3 thus: “Kingly Science, Kingly Secret, Supreme purifier is this; immediately comprehensible, unopposed to Dharma, very easy to perform, imperishable; but persons having no faith in this Dharma, without reaching Me, remain in the path of the mortal world.” It is the path of illumination, followed by Jivanmuktas, who, without even caring for their own salvation, wish to be born again merely for the sake of the suffering and struggling humanity. Bhagavan therefore says to Arjuna: “He whose mind is attached to Me, who performs Yoga, who takes refuge in Me, without doubt, will know Me in full.” In this connection you will remember what is said in the last two verses of the Sixth discourse: “One who has controlled his mind is better than a man of austerity (performer of different Vritas such as Chandrayana, etc.), better than a Gnani (teacher of Sastra), better than a Karmin (performer of Agnihotra, etc.). Among all these Yogis, he whose inner Self abides in Ishwara is the real Yogi.” Now what is this Yoga? Lord Sri Krishna sums up his teaching, in brief, in these verses: “Fix thy Manas in Me, place thy Buddhi (intellect) in Me; if you cannot fix your thought steadily on Me, then follow Abhyasa; if you cannot do this, then do Karma for My sake; and even if you are not able to do this, do thou at least abandon the fruit of any action with a pure mind” (XII-8-11).
At the initial stage of budding spiritual consciousness, the devotee voluntarily renounces the fruit of his action even though he is conscious that he is the doer of action. As he offers the fruits of every such action to Bhagavan with intensity and aspiration, he is slowly drawn towards Bhagavan, and conceives an attachment for Him which, in due course, develops into steady devotion and love. He performs Karma as Yajna and for His sake with the object of pleasing Him. Then he begins to con centrate his mind, having brought it under control and resisting all external thoughts and stimuli and meditating upon Bhagavan with one-pointed devotion reaches Him who is in the centre of the Universe. He realises that his physical centre and the Cosmos are the expression of one and the same Divine life. Such a one, Bhagavan says, “Who hates no being is friendly and compassionate, free from attachment and egoism steady minded self-controlled, with Manas and Buddhi fixed on Me, devoted to me, is dear to Me” (XII-1314). Such a one “knowing Me hither as the Sarathi (Charioteer) now knows Me in truth, that is, as Bhagavan.”
Kshetra and Kshetrajna
With the thirteenth discourse commences the third part of the Bhagavad Gita. In the second part the Great Lord, Sri Krishna, explained His doctrine with regard to the path of liberation, by pointing out the source and end of Evolution, the manifested Cosmos, His own place in Nature, His Vibhutis, the marks of the liberated, and the steps leading toward the Goal.
In studying the seventh discourse you find that the Great Lord, while enunciating His doctrine refers to Jnana as “the knowledge which being known, nothing more here remains to be known” (VII-2), and declares this knowledge as “that which, having known, thou shalt be liberated from the bondage of Samsara” (IX-l). It is that knowledge which, you will remember, Bhagavan says, only those who themselves realised the truth and reached the Goal could impart, and by which “thou shalt see all beings in thyself and also in Me” (IV -3,6). It is this knowledge which Bhagavan now explains at greater length in the thirteenth discourse of the Gita. You see Lord Sri Krishna starts by saying, “The knowledge of Kshetra and Kshetrajna is deemed by Me as true knowledge” (XIII-2), and expatiates on the same subject, by first narrating what the Kshetra is, what its attributes are, what qualities it generates, its source, and the reason of its existence; what Kshetrajna is, and what powers He possesses (XIII-3), and then pointing out that the possession of this true knowledge, if properly acquired, that is, when the proper means of attaining that knowledge are adopted, leads to emancipation from the wheel of Samsara (XIII-23). He then winds up his argument by saying that “They who by the eye of wisdom perceive the distinction between Kshetra and Kshetrajna, and the liberation of all beings from Prakriti, the differentiation of Prakriti which is the cause of Avidya or ignorant delusion, reach the supreme Goal” (XIII-34).
Now what is this Supreme Goal? Bhagavan refers to it in VIII-3: “Brahman is the Imperishable (Akshara), the Supreme.” It is “that Imperishable Goal which the knowers of the Vedas declare, which the self-controlled and the passion-free enter” (VIII-ll). It is called the Unmanifested, the Imperishable. That is the highest Goal which having reached, none return. That is My Supreme Abode” (VIII-2l). This is described in XIII-l2 as “The beginningless, Supreme Brahman,” which is “neither Sat nor Asat”; and more fully explained in the next four verses (XIII-14-17). It is, to use the language of Western philosophers, the First Cause, or Parambrahma, the existence of which Brahmavidya, Rajavidya or Paravidya postulates. It is neither Ego, nor non-Ego, nor consciousness, and as such it is impossible for human knowledge to predicate anything about it. It is the basis of material manifestations in the Cosmos, or the basis of Evolution.
It is not “Sat” because the word “Sat” is generally used to denote Jati (genus), Kriya (act), Guna (Quality) or Sambandha (relation). Nor can it be “Asat,” for without it there could be no material phenomena. But for it, the Indriyas could not operate and the power which makes the senses work is innate in it. It is admitted by physiologists that in evolution the exercise of functions gradually developed the necessity for the organs, of senses. “It is unattached, yet supports everything and is above the three Gunas. It is outside as well as inside; at the same time it is in the middle. Being very subtle it is very incomprehensible. It is far away to one who is ignorant, but very near to a man of knowledge. It is undivided, but appears to be divided in the Bhutas (sensible matter). At one time it is passive, at another time it is active. It is absolute Jyoti, the Light of Lights, which cannot be described and is beyond Prakriti.” It is neither Gnata (Ego), nor Gnanam (consciousness), nor Gneyam (Non-ego). It may be symbolised as the boundless circle, the Zero (No thing). The Zero becomes a number only when one of the other nine figures precedes it and thus manifests its value and potency.
Such description, graphic as it is, of something which defies any description, would indeed dishearten any person—at the mere thought of the knowledge of Parambrahma being difficult of attainment. So in order to cheer up Arjuna, Bhagavan at once Says in the 17th Sloka: “Knowledge, the knowable, and the Goal of knowledge (It) is seated especially in the heart of everyone.”
Thus there can be no manifestation without the First Cause, and all the physical phenomena that you see, though due to Prakriti, have Parambrahma as their basis. Now you find in the 7th discourse reference is made by Bhagavan to two kinds of Prakriti, one inferior, divided eight-fold, and the other Superior Prakriti, the very life by which the Universe is upheld (VII-4-5), and that “these are the womb of all creatures, I (the Ishwara) the source and the dissolution of the whole universe” (VII-6). In human life these refer or correspond to the Kshetra and Kshetrajna, respectively. Lord Sri Krishna says the true nature of Kshetra and Kshetrajna is sung by “Rishis in many ways in various chants, in Brahma Sutras which are logical and definite” (XIII-2). For you find in the Brahma Sutras a clear and consistent theory of Vedantic philosophy, with regard to the composition of man, as an entity, the nature of the three Upadhis, and their relation to the Soul” on the one hand, and their connection between themselves, on the other. The Lord says: “This, the body is called the Kshetra, that which knows it is called the Kshetrajna; do thou also know Me, Kshetrajna in all Kshetras” (XIII-1-2). The human body is called Kshetra. It is only when the human body is evolved, Jivatma enters (Aitareya Upanishad, 1-3-12). So, when the Light of Ishwara enters the human body, it is termed the Jivatma, and the body becomes, the field where the law of Karma begins to operate, and the fruits of action reaped. Evolution begins from Ishwara, while Karma, the law of cause and effect, from Mulaprakriti. Kshetra is therefore the Upadhi, and Kshetrajna, the ego which works through the mind and senses. “The great elements, Ahankara, Buddhi, also the avyakta; the ten senses and the one (Manas) and the five objects of sense; desire hatred, pleasure, pain, the aggregate (the combination of the body and the senses), intelligence, courage, constitute the Kshetra with its modifications” (XIII-5-6). The elements referred to here are the Mahabhutas or the five great Tanmatras, which pertain to the abstract qualities of supersensible (subtle) matter; the Pancha Bhutas refer to sensible matter in which the variations of the abstract qualities are observed. The former are generals of which the latter are particulars. Ahamkara is the sense of I-ness, the false or artificial “I.” In the course of evolution, Buddhi comes first and presents itself merely as consciousness without the sense of “I”-ness, and thereafter comes Aham-kara. Next comes the mind (Manas) the function of which is Sankalpa (selection) and Vikalpa (rejection). Then come the lndriyas, the Jnanendriyas and Karmendriyas, and the five gross elements. Desire and other qualities mentioned here refer to the qualities of the inner sense (Antahkaran). This illustrates that Prakriti is responsible for the mental and moral qualities of man. Herbert Spencer says that the physical organism has a great deal to do with the mental structure of man, and psychology therefore finds a foundation for itself in physiology.
Bhagavan therefore says “that the body is Kshetra, He is Kshetrajna, and that is the real knowledge.” Our Sages have explained three Upadhis (Sthoola, Sukshma & Karana) and 16 states of consciousness, namely, three Avasthas (states) Jagrat, Swapna and Sushupti, in each of the three Upadhis, and above these nine, seven other states to which only the Jivanmuktas have access. The Light of Ishwara permeates every kind of organism, and is manifested in everyone of the Upadhis as the real ego of man. If you observe a ray of light falling— on a clear mirror, and make the ray reflect on a polished metallic plate, and make this reflection of it in its turn fall upon a wall, you will then see three images, One clearer than the other. Camparing for a moment, the Sun to Ishwara, and the three surfaces to the three Upadhis, Karana, Sukshma and Sthoola, you will at once understand that the three reflections of the Sun, or the light will correspond to the three images (Pratibimbas), for the time being considered as the self. These Bimbas are not of the same lustre. The lustre of this Bimba may be compared to man’s knowledge and it grows feebler and feebler, as the reflection of light is transferred from a clear Upadhi to one less clear, and so on till you get to the Sthoola Sarira (physical body). Our knowledge of the self, therefore, depends mainly on the condition of the Upadhi.
The different states of consciousness mean simply this—that the Atma, or self, observes different (nine) classes of objects. It is the one observer of the generalisation, which the mind, that rules and guides the senses, makes from the impressions of the senses, when collected and arranged. In Jagrata Avastha (waking consciousness), when a person sees the objects with the senses and the light of the Sun, etc., and his mind draws deductions from the impressions of the senses, he is not conscious of the awareness of the self, and so “the self luminousness is for the beholder difficult to discriminate.” In Swapna avastha (dreamy state), there is self-luminosity, for you create things from the impressions gathered in the mind with the help of Chaitanya (Sri Shankaracharya’s commentary on Brahma Sutras, Chapter III, Pada 2, Sutra 4).
In Sushupti (dreamless sleep), you become one with yourself. The Light of Ishwara is the Turiya Avastha, or the fourth state. It is the Atma. According to the ordinary Vedantic classification, there are four states of Conscious Existence, namely, Viswa, Taijasa, Prajna and Turiya. These may be described as the objective, clairvoyant, esctatic and ultra-ecstatic states of Consciousness. The seats or Upadhis relating to these states, are the Sthoola Sharira (physical body), the Sukshma Sharira (subtle body), the Karana Sharira (human monad) and Daiviprakriti (Light of the Logos). The fourth (Turiya Chaittanya, the fourth life-wave) is Daiviprakriti, which is the real Atma; and is “realised by merging the other three in it in the order of the lower in the higher.” So merge the objective consciousness into the clairvoyant consciousness, then merge this into the esctatic consciousness, and lastly the ecstatic consciousness into the ultra-ecstatic consciousness (Mandukya Upanishad, Sloka 2). The fourth life-wave (Maha Chaitanyam) is “the sole Essence of the consciousness of the self” and indicates the transcendental consciousness “of peace, bliss and unity” (Mandukya, Sloka 7).
Let us now look at the activity of the Kshetrajna from a different standpoint, that is, in relation to the Upadhis, according to the Vedantic classification. In the Annamayakosha there is the life of sensation. This relates to the Sthoola Sharira. In the Pranamayakosha, there is the life of desire. In the Manomaya Kosha there is concrete activity, and the mind collects all sense-impressions and turns them into perceptions and concepts, by Sankalpa (assimilation) and Vikalpa (differentiation). Here the thinking faculty is highly developed and the person is not in the world of senses. It is the life of a thinker, scholar, painter, sculptor, musician or mathematician. Both these (Pranamaya and Manomaya), however, relate to Sukshma Sharira. But in Vijnanamaya Kosha you have the life of a philosopher, where the penetrative intellect is developed by study and deep thinking as a result of which abstract ideas are formed. A western philosopher says, “I exist because I think.” In the Anandamaya Kosha is the life of bliss. After the highest mental abstraction begins spiritual bliss, which is a part of the bliss of renunciation. The last two Koshas relate to the Karana Sharira, which is so to say the gateway of initiation. The highest state of Ananda is supreme love and devotion, when the real teaching of the Guru begins. It is at this stage you become serene and quiet. But there is another Kosha, which is the shining golden sheath of the Great Ones, wherein you realise the true self, the Light of Ishvara, free from Avidya. It is called the Hiranyamasa Kosha of the Jivanmuktas in which Brahman (Divine Light) ever shines and which the sun or the moon cannot illumine. (Mundaka II, ii 9-10).
Real knowledge is, therefore, that which treats of the Upadhis, consciousness and self-consciousness, from the lowest Annamaya Kosha to the highest Anandamaya. How do you attain this Jnanam or knowledge? Sri Krishna says that this knowledge results from the development of certain virtues or moral qualities as a necessary means of attaining such Jnanam. These are “humility, modesty, innocence, patience, uprightness, service of teacher, purity, steadfastness, self-control, unflinching devotion to Me, constancy in spiritual knowledge and understanding the end of the knowledge of truth” (XIII7-11). These attributes are also declared to be knowledge, for knowledge is their end. By this knowledge you get to know Ishwara, and the knowledge includes devotion as well. Bhagavan now says: “Kshetra and knowledge and that which has to be known have been set forth; My devotee, on knowing this, is fitted for My state” (XIII-18). So, when these virtues are developed, he becomes, by means of devotion, a Jnani. Devotion is the insatiable thirst of the human spirit for the divine, a thirst that can never be satisfied either by the reading of scriptures or the performance of rites or ceremonies; it can be satisfied by individual experience alone. Says Kathopanishad” 1st Adhyaya, 2nd Valli, 23:
”This Atma (Paramatma-Supreme Self) is not attainable by the study of the Vedas, nor by keen intellect (capable of understanding the meanings, conveyed by Shastras), nor by great learning. It is attainable by him alone who longs to reach it and to him this self reveals its real nature.”
Just as food is necessary for sustaining physical life, even so meditation and worship are needed for keeping up the spiritual life. The physical man must be made more ethereal by taking, pure food; moral man more self-denying and philosophical; mental man more penetrating and profound; and spiritual man more devotional. The first preliminary is, therefore, the purification of the Upadhis, and as man goes on evolving the Koshas, devotion to Ishwara comes (sets in). The Sthoola Sharira and the Sukshma Sarira are the “negative pole,” while Daiviprakriti and Ishwara are the “positive pole.” If Karana Sharira comes under the attraction of the negative pole, it becomes subject to the passions of embodied existence, but when it comes under the influence of the positive pole, one becomes liberated. The battle rages when you have to cross the neutral barrier-Mahasmashana—success in crossing which depends entirely on one’s past virtuous Karma and complete devotion to Bhagavan. Out of the personality is evolved the individuality, which is later on transferred to Ishwara. There can be no Mukti till the Ahankara is completely annihilated and all evil eradicated by the fire of devotion. “Sweep clean the threshold of your heart by pure life, garnish the dwelling place of the beloved with virtues; when thou departest, He enters in and shows His Face to him whose self is gone.” At first the devotee starts as “Dasoham,” i.e., “I am the servant.” The next stage of devotion is when he says and feels “He is Mine.” Lastly comes the stage Soham,” i.e., “I am He, Thou art myself,” when the devotee is in a state of perfect union and oneness with the Beloved.
In that Parabhakti, the devotee, on account of oneness, feels that what he sees, hears, etc, is Vasudeva.
Mulaprakriti, Daiviprakriti and Ishwara
In the early part of this discourse [Chapter 13] it was mentioned that the two Prakritis correspond to Kshetra and Kshetrajna and that these were the womb of all creatures. The question therefore arises: how can all beings be said to have been evolved from the two Prakritis? Bhagavan says: “Whatever is born, the unmoving or moving, know that to be from the union of Kshetra and Kshetrajna” (XIII-26). Now, the original Kshetra is Mulaprakriti, and the real Kshetrajna is Ishwara. What then is this union? It is not contact. It cannot be mutual inherence, for they are not related to each other as cause and effect. Their natures are different. Kshetra is object while Kshetrajna is subject. The connection, therefore, is of the nature of “Adhyasa,” which consists in confounding the attributes of the one with those of the other. It is a sort of illusion, due to Ajnana or ignorance, as when a rope is mistaken for a snake. Sankaracharya says that if you want to realise the Kshetrajna, you must separate the ego from the body; and when you begin to realise the real Purusha, Avidya disappears and you attain knowledge.
If all beings evolve out of the Prakritis, who then is lshwara? The two Prakritis depend on Ishwara, who is the source of evolution. “Prakriti and Purusha are both beginningless,” says the Great Lord. Here prakriti is Mulaprakriti, while purusha is Daivipraprakriti. They are both beginningless, because Ishwara is eternal; and the two are under His control. If, as some hold, purusha and Prakriti have a beginning, then there would be nothing left for Ishwara to rule over prior to their birth. Nor can Ishwara be held to be the cause of Samsara, because, in that case, the Muktas will be subject to the same disability of Samsara and there can be no meaning in Mukti or liberation. Ishwara, therefore, is the source of evolution, while Mulaprakriti is the cause of Samsara or bondage. That is why it is said that no puja can be performed without first offering puja to the Peetham (seat of the diety) while Namaskarams are to be made to both (Mulaprakriti and Daiviprakriti). Prakriti as such cannot be destroyed; what is destroyed is Avidya that she causes. Sri Krishna says: “All emanations and qualities are born of Prakriti. In the production of effect and causes (instrument), Prakriti is said to be the cause; in the experience of pleasure and pain purusha is (said to be) the cause” (XIIl-19-20). In other words, prakriti is the cause of the body, thirteen instruments (10 Indriyas, Manas, Buddhi, Ahankara) and five sense objects, and all qualities such as Sukha, Dukha, Moha (or pleasure, pain, delusion), which are seated in the Karanas or senses, are also included under the term Karana.
The other interpretation is that Karyas are sixteen, namely, 10 Indriyas, Manas and 5 sense objects, while Karana is Mahat, Ahankara and Pancha Tanmatras. At the beginning of evolution, Mahat existed, i.e., vague “consciousness, like the consciousness that comes to the waking man without the sense of “I”; this is followed by Ahankara and Tanmatras, viz., Shabda (sound), Sparsha (touch), Rupa (colour), Rasa (taste), and Gandha (smell), as such, being abstract supersensible generals. The Purusha, who is Bhokta, is the Jivatma in the Karana Sharira, because he identifies himself with Prakriti and enjoys and suffers. Instead of identifying yourself with Ishwara, you identify yourself with Prakriti (i.e. differentiated Prakriti, which is Avidya) and attach yourself to the qualities, and the result is Samsara. In other words, first there is Avidya, or ignorance, due to differentiation or the feeling of separateness, which causes desire or Kama, which, in its turn, produces Karma or action, resulting in pleasure and pain, thereby causing bondage. So long as you identify yourself with the body, your consciousness is in the body, but as a result of evolution, if there is purification, consciousness is transferred from Upadhi to Upadhi, until at last it is united to that of Bhagavan.
But there is another Purusha, who is Bhagavan himself. Lord Sri Krishna says: “I am the same to all beings; to Me there is none hateful or dear” (IX29). Bhagavan is, therefore, simply a disinterested witness (Upadristha) (XIII-22), watching the career of the human monad, and not concerning Himself with its interests. But he goes on to say: “I take interest in the welfare of those men who worship Me and think of Me alone with their attention always fixed on Me” (IX-22). Then he becomes Anumantha and Bharta (supporter,); that is, where real spiritual progress is made, he takes greater interest in the welfare of the individual who is his devotee, and becomes his light and guide, watches over him, and protects him by giving him knowledge, the light of wisdom (X-11). “To them who are ever devout, worshipping Me with love, I give Buddhi Yoga (Yoga of right knowledge of My essential nature) by which they come to Me. I, dwelling in them, out of My compassion for them, destroy the darkness born from ignorance by the shining light of spiritual wisdom” (X-1O-11). Then he becomes the Bhokta (enjoyer), for “I am indeed the enjoyer of all sacrifices” (IX24); “Know Me as the Enjoyer of sacrifice and of austerity” (V-29); and, as Bhokta, He takes from the Soul that portion of its individuality in the Karana Sharira (into which is garnered the best experiences of each incarnation), which is high and spiritual enough to live in His own individuality; and when the man reaches the highest spiritual development, the devotee finds that he is no more a reflection of the Paramatma, but Maheswara and Paramatma.
Such a one, says Lord Sri Krishna, “Who thus knows purusha and Prakriti by illumination escapes the wheel (cycle) of births and deaths, in whatever condition he may happen to be” (XIII-23) . What are the means of attaining the knowledge of the Atma by which one can secure liberation? Sri Krishna says:
”By meditation, some behold the self in the self by the self” (XIII-24). These are the Uttama Adhikarins. Vedantins come under this class. The Vedantin must possess “Sadhana Chatushtaya” (four qualifications), namely, “Nityanitya Viveka” i.e., discrimination between the real and the unreal, the self and the nonself; “Ihaloka Paraloka Vairagya” or indifference to the fruits of action in this world and the other world (Swarga); “Shat Sampatti,” i.e., Shama (control of the mind), Dama (Control of the five organs of knowledge, and five organs of action), Uparati (tolerance), Titiksha (endurance), Sraddah (faith in the teaching of the Vedanta and the Guru) and Samadhana (composure); and “Mumukshatvam” (desire for liberation).
To man, the world is a mirror to see the self, and is hence the subject of his study. The scientist studies it by observation, while the philosopher does it by contemplation, and gets to know the nature of the self. The man first observes the world around him, then recognises the relation between the sensations and the sense objects, and forms concepts by correspondences (Sankalpa) and differentiation (Vikalpa) and thus develops his faculties by analytical thinking. He separates himself from his senses, and listens to the teachings of scriptures (Sravanam), through the Acharya, regarding the nature of the self. He then studies these truths and ponders over them by cogitation (Mananam) and when, by mental abstraction and profound contemplation (Nididhyasa), he grasps the abstract truths through his penetrative intellect, he becomes convinced of the highest truth, the one reality. Even then the scripture says to him: “Atma (Paramatma) is not attainable by the study of the Vedas nor by keen intellect,” etc.; “to reach Ishwara there must be the quenchless thirst for Him.” Now Ishwara is Sabda-Brahman, the word manifest, the Nameless Name. He is transcendental (Nirguna) but out of pure compassion for us and for the purpose of helping humanity, takes a human form (IX-11). So when, after study and deep thinking, the devotee begins to concentrate his mind and fixes it on the image, he goes “from the circumference to the centre,” so to say. By means of Nama, Rupa and Mantra, he transcends, his mind and gets within, and his centre of gravity is slowly shifted from the head to the heart which now flows towards Bhagavan, as a stream of oil, continuous and unbroken. For, Sri Krishna says in the sixth discourse that when the senses become insenstive, and the mind is serene and quiet, the Antahkarana, which is the bridge between the lower mind (head) and the higher mind (heart), becomes purified, and Atman, which is the Supreme Intelligence (Chaitanya) and the All-resplendent Light of Ishwara, is seen (VI-2O).
The next class of devotees (Madhyama Adhikarins) are those to whom Sankhya Yoga appeals. It is the Yoga of analysis, by which the aspirant builds up a strong centre of individuality, as described in the second discourse. He dissociates himself from his body, his senses, feelings and emotions and realises that he is distinct from his sensations and perceptions and that the pleasures and pains or the joys and sorrows of his life do not affect the real self, the self whom “weapons cleave not nor waters wet, nor wind drieth, the unperceivable, the unthinkable and the unchangeable self” (II-23-25). He realises the harmony of the inner Self.
There is, then, the third class of devotees who are Karmayogins. They say: “Do Karma for the sake of the Lord, and carry on the wheel of Samsara for Bhagawan’s sake.” Lord Sri Krishna says: “Surrendering all actions to Me with thy thoughts on the self, without hope and egotism and without anxiety, engage in battle. Those who constantly practice this teaching are also liberated” (III-30-3l). You see, therefore, that in the devotees of the first class, there is mental abstraction, and spiritual devotion with the recognition of the Light of Ishwara; in the second class, though the Light of Ishwara is not recognised, the devotee realizes the self which is the indiviauality in the karana-Sarira; while in the third class, the devotee does all action, such as walking, sleeping, talking; eating, etc. as an offering to Bhagavan and the mind having thus become purified, the man qualifies himself for SankhyaYoga. Then there is also a fourth class of devotees who have no knowledge as to the true nature of the self, but learn this from the teachers and worship according to their instructions; these too cross the ocean of Samsara (XIII-25).
Samsara is due to the union of Kshetra and Kshetrajna, resulting from ignorance. A person whose eyes are affected, sees many moons, while the man of true or proper vision sees only one. Even so, owing to ignorance, differences are seen, but the sage sees that all is one. You must first separate yourself from the limitations, and then eventually realise that all beings exist in Him. “He sees, who sees the Supreme Lord, rernaining the same in all beings, the Undying in the dying” (XIII-27): Until and unless you see unity in diversity, there can be no real knowledge (IV-35). Remember that Lord Sri Krishna first explained the distinction between the self and non-self and then, out of love, showed to Arjuna His universal form only after giving him the divine sight, i.e., in Daivi Prakriti, the Light of Ishwara.
Bhagvan says: “He who sees the Lord seated, the same everywhere, does not destroy his self.” He realises that Brahman is the source and end of evolution. He realises that Karmas are done by the attributes of Prakriti, while Atma is actionless. By the one there is difference, as a result, while with the other, there is unity. “The imperishable Paramatma, who is Anadi (having no beginning) and without Gunas, though dwelling in the body, is actionless” (XIII-3l). Why? The Lord of the World does not create any Karma nor the conditions for its working (V-14). He disclaims all responsibility for Karma or any of the effects produced by the three Gunas which are, so to say, the children of Mulaprakriti. Says Bhagavan in Slokas 14, and 15 of the Fifth discourse: “The Lord of the world does not bring about or create Karana or the condition by which people attribute Karma to themselves; nor does He make people feel the effects of their Karma. It is the law of natural causation that works. He does not take upon himself the sin or the merit of anyone. Real knowledge is smothered by delusion, and hence created beings are misled.”
”Nor do these acts bind me, remaining like one unconcerned, unattached to those acts” (IX-9). The Self (Atma), seated in the body, is, like the Akasha, unpolluted, though all-pervading. Like the sun which illumines the whole world, the Atma illumines all bodies. The sun’s ray is colourless but the difference in colour is due to the matter on which the ray of the light falls. Even so, the Jivatma, owing to past experience and different attributes, assumes different characters. He who realises the whole variety of beings as resting in Him, reaches Brahman, the Supreme Goal (XIII-30). Lord Sri Krishna concludes His teaching in the last verse thus: “Those who know by the development of the inner vision that differentiated Prakriti is the cause of bondage, will know the real Lord. If you understand the difference between Kshetra and Kshetrajna by the eye of wisdom, and separate yourself from all Upadhis and limitations, you go to the Supreme Goal.”
Worship Me with All Bhavas
In the fifteenth discourse, Lord Krishna enunciates, in brief, the true doctrine of the Gita with regard to the real nature of the self, the goal of humanity, and the path leading towards that goal. Sri Sankaracharya, in his commentary, says that the whole teaching of the Gita Shastra is here summed up, nay, the whole teaching of the Vedas embodied as well, for it is said that “knowing this doctrine and not otherwise—a man becomes wise and has accomplished all duties” (XV-20).
While studying the thirteenth discourse, you remember how the Great Lord explains that the dwelling of the Kshetrajna in the Kshetra and his attachment for the Gunas form the cause of Samsara —”Attachment to qualities is the cause of his birth in good and evil wombs” (XIII-21). In the next discourse He explains what the Gunas are, how they bind him, and in what way liberation from the Gunas can be attained and concludes by saying that “He who serves Me with unfailing devotion, crossing beyond the Gunas, is fit to become Brahman” (XIV-26). The Great Lord now describes the nature of Samsara in figurative terms of the Ashwattha tree, and says that “he who knows it (Ashwattha) is a Veda-knower.” (XV-1). How is this described? Read Slokas 1 to 3:
”The eternal Ashwattha with roots above and branches below, whose leaves are the Vedas; below and above spread its branches, nourished by the Gunas; the sense-objects are its buds; below in the world of men stretch forth the roots resulting in action. Its form is not perceived as such here, neither its end, nor its origin, nor its existence.”
This tree of Samsara (Mundane existence) rests on a continuous series of births which is without a beginning or an end, and is therefore eternal. The tree of Samsara is so called because it is the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The root of Samsara is Mulaprakriti, which is the basis of all material manifestation in the Cosmos. While Ishwara is the beginning of all creation and the end of all evolution, that which keeps up the continued existence of Samsara is Prakriti. From man to the unmoving objects down below, and from him up to the abode of Brahma, the Creator of the Universe, whatever regions are attained as the suitable reward of knowledge and action, they are nourished and fattened by three Gunas, Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, which form their material basis (Upadana). Mulaprakriti as such is eternal, but when she becomes differentiated, she gives rise to Avidya. The primary root is therefore differentiated Prakriti, while the secondary roots are Kama and Krodha, which give rise to Karma (III-37). As the leaves serve to protect the tree, so do the Vedas serve to protect the tree of Samsara, treating of Dharma and Adharma, and its fruits, pleasure and pain, the results of past actions, namely, the Vasanas of attachment and aversion. Samsara is, therefore, necessary for learning the lessons of life; first, a knowledge of good and evil, which leads one on to abstain from evil and gain wisdom; and when the duties of life are discharged in a proper manner (III-8) the mind gets purified; then, by concentration, you bring it under control; and when the penetrative intellect is developed by cogitation on the eternal verities, you gain illumination through devotion and secure liberation by reaching Bhagavan. It is then that you understand the root of Samsara (Prakriti); that is to say, you take objective cognisance of it by reaching the Logos (Bhagavan) and become Sarvajana, Omniscient.
So, at the first rung of the ladder, you have the performance of Karma; Karma in thought, word and deed. Selfish Karma binds you and keeps you down, while unselfish Karma elevates you. Lord Sri Krishna says: “The world is bound by action unless performed for the sake of sacrifice; so, free from attachment, do thou perform action” (III-9). Again He says: “Do thou also perform action, as did our forefathers in the old time” (IV-15). So, Karma has to be performed as Yajna, for “this world is not for the non-sacrificer” (IV -31). In the lower world this sacrifice is demonstrated by a policy, so to say, of “give and take”; but in Karma Yajna, you give everything, without expecting anything in return. The scriptures refer to five kinds of Yajna, namely, Brahma Yajna (study of the Vedas), Daiva Yajna, Pitri Yajna, Bhuta Yajna and Nra Yajna (Manu Smriti, III-70). Sri Krishna says: “Many and various are the sacrifices spread at the doorway of Brahman” (IV-32).
But energy expended in the pursuit of knowledge is superior to ritualistic sacrifices, and above all is Jnana Yajna or wisdom sacrifice, for He says:
”All actions in their entirety culminate in wisdom” (IV-33); and “as the burning fire reduces fuel to ashes, so does the fire of wisdom reduce all actions to ashes” (IV-37).
The constant enemy of the wise is Kama (III39), and your enemies in Samsara are two, Kama and Krodha, pertaining to the senses (III-37) and unless and until these are vanquished, you cannot get dispassion. How will you do this? Sri Krishna says: “Do your Karma as a matter of duty, renouncing the fruits of action” (III-19). This is the negative aspect of sacrifice. The other aspect or positive aspect of sacrifice, is to do Karma for the good of all, with an altruistic motive: “Having an eye for the welfare of the world, thou shouldst perform action” (III-20). This, however, is attended with some danger for it brings in its train a higher ambition, an aspiration for name or fame, glory or power; and so egoism still remains latent in a subtle form. This will only disappear when Karma is performed as an offering to Bhagavan with the fire of devotion. Sri Krishna says: “Dedicate unto Me all actions with thy mind fixed on the Supreme” (III-30). Thus, by means of Nishkarma Karma, as well as Karma performed as Yajna or sacrifice to Bhagavan, the mind becomes purified, but Kama and Krodha (attachment and aversion), which still remain latent, can only be got rid of by concentration and meditation on Bhagavan as manitested deity (Sakara Upasana); and as the penetrative intellect is developed by deep study and profound meditation, you get to recognise the eternal verities, the truths relating to the real nature of the Self, the Paramatma, and of the Light of Ishwara. It is at this stage, that he realises the true greatness of the Guru and of Bhagavan. The brain then becomes the generator of great spiritual energy to be used for the good of all, and He becomes His Warrior, so to say, for the emancipation of the struggling human souls by dispelling darkness and removing ignorance. Thus, having cut asunder Kama and Krodha in the senses, mind and intellect, which are the secondary roots of Samsara, the aspirant has then to seek the Tatpada (Parambrahma), “the goal whither having gone, none return.” How? Sri Krishna says: “Take refuge in the Primeval Purusha (who is Bhagavan) from whom streams forth the current of evolution” (XV-4). By self-surrender and renunciation, aided by supreme devotion, the aspirant gets illumination with the help of the Guru and the compassion of Bhagavan, and reaches the goal. In the case of Arjuna, however, Bhagavan was the Guru as well as the Lord. But remember that both are necessary, viz., the Prasad of the Guru and Divine Grace, and the one cannot be secured without the other. For, says Yoga Vasishtha:
”So long as the compassion of Parameshwara (the great Lord) is not secured by complete devotion, one does not get the real Guru and the true Shastra (Teaching).”
That goal, Sri Krishna says, is “My Supreme Abode, which the sun, moon, or fire does not illumine” (XV-6). It is the goal already referred to by Him in the eighth discourse of the Gita as the “Eternal Brahma, the Supreme” (VIII-3), “the Unmanifested, Imperishable, the Highest Goal, which having reached, none return. That is My Supreme Abode” (VIII-21). It is the goal eternal, which those Muktas who are “free from pride and delusion, with the evil of attachment conquered, ever contemplating the Self, with desires repelled and liberated from the pairs of opposites,” reach (XV-5).
They have annihilated the Ahankara and reduced it to ashes by burning in the “Chidagnikunda” (the heart), where dwells the Divine Fire. They are free from delusion because they have separated themselves from all Upadhis by giving up attachment. They are free from hatred towards enemies and from love towards friends. They have reached the Light of Ishwara, and yet they meditate upon the centre of that Light which is the Supreme Self. They are Jivanmuktas and having no desire even for Mukti, renounce it for the purpose of helping humanity. They reach that goal, when the Jivatma (individual soul) becomes united with, or assimilated to, Ishwara (Logos).
What is this Jivatma? Sri Krishna sayst “It is the ‘Amsa’ that emanates from Me and which is manifested from the beginning of time, that becomes the Jivatma in the world of living beings, and attracts the mind and the five senses, which have their basis in Prakriti” (XV·7). This Jivatma is the spark which hangs from Ishwara, the Flame, by the finest thread of Daiviprakriti and which is enclosed in the film of Hiranyamaya matter (which is Karana Sharira). Jivatma is the Light of the Logos, Chaitanyam, which, becoming differentiated, forms the individual Ego, in combination with Karana Sharira. Now, Karana Sharira is so called, “Karana,” because it is the father of the other two bodies, Sthoola and Sukshma. It may also be said to be their child because its growth depends upon the best experiences which they hand up to it.
Its growth or development in man is brought about—
a. (1) By renunciation of the fruits of Karma (Nishkama Karma);
(2) By altruistic Karma (Loka Sangraha);
(3) Through Karma performed as Yajna or sacrifice to Yajna Purusha, who is Bhagavan;
b. Through virtue or the law of self-sacrifice, following which the several virtues mentioned in Slokas 7 to 11 of the thirteenth discourse are evolved, namely, humility, sincerity, patience, &c. Because there is in man that spark of divinity, the nature of which is ever to give, to sacrifice, the law of self-sacrifice should govern his actions as opposed to the law of self-assertion, the latter leading to success or progress in the evolution of the physical universe;
c. Through deep thinking and cogitation on the truths mentioned in the scriptures; and
d. Through perfect devotion to Bhagavan.
It is the Karana Sharira which is the seat of human individuality. The Jivatma or the human monad is the one connecting link between the several incarnations of man. Sri Krishna says: “When the Lord, Jivatma (human monad), quits one body and enters another, he carries with him the mind and the senses as the wind carries the fragrance of flowers from their source” (XV-8). So, when the Jivatma leaves the body, it takes with it all the germs of conscious existence, the essence of five Tanmatras, Manas and Ahankara. In every stage of conscious existence, these seven elements are always present, namely, the five senses, the mind which guides and rules the senses, and draws deductions from their impressions, when collected and arranged, and the ego (Atma) or the sense of ‘I-ness,’ which is the observer of the generalisations deduced from the sense impressions. In dreaming, for example, objects appertaining or appealing to the senses of sight, touch, etc., pass before the dreamer; his mind classifies these impressions and the dreamer feels the sense of “I,” the observer. These seven elements exist in the Sthoola as well as the Sukshma, and are latent, so to say, in Karana Sharira. So then, the Jivatma takes the essence of all these experiences and the impulses generated in connection with the seven elements of conscious existence residing in Karana Sharira, thereby forming a kind of energy, as it were, which brings about the future incarnations (the environments being those determined by the past Karma of the man) and becomes the cause of rebirth, because the impulses already generated cannot be fructified in the region of Swarga.
So, the Jivatma or individual soul, is an integral portion of Paramatma (Supreme Self); it is like the reflection of the sun in water. (The reflection is but a portion of the real sun, and on the removal of water, it returns to the original sun, and remains as that very sun.) The deluded, however, do not perceive Him, because they are under the influence of the Gunas, pleasure and pain (Sukha and Dukkha), and their mind is forcibly attracted by the enjoyment of objects, visible and invisible. But those in whom the eye of wisdom has been opened do recognise Him (XV-10). Those who strive, through deep study and deep thinking, endowed with Yoga, i.e., when the senses are subdued (when the senses are tranquil and insensitive), when the mind is calm and serene, and when their whole being is steady, see the reflection of the Supreme Self in themselves, just as one can see the reflection of the sun on the still surface of a lake, when not disturbed by the wind. But others, who strive to study, but whose minds have not been regenerated by austerities and subjugation of the senses, who have not abandoned their evil ways, whose pride of having studied the scriptures has not been given up, do not perceive Him (XV-ll).
What then are His powers? They have already been mentioned in the seventh discourse (VII-8-l0), and more specifically described in the tenth discourse, where Lord Sri Krishna, after explaining His vibuthis, concludes by saying: “There is no end of My divine glory; whatsoever is glorious, good, beautiful or strong, know that to be a part of thy splendour” (X-40-4l). Shri Krishna gives now a brief summary of His powers in the following verses: “Know that the splendour which belongs to the sun and illumines the whole world, which is in the moon and in fire, is from Me; entering into the earth, I sustain all things by My energy; I am the cause of the moisture that nourishes herbs; becoming fire of digestion I enter into the bodies of all that breathe and, being united with Pranam and Apanam, I cause food of the four kinds to digest” (XV-12-14). What Bhagavan says here is that all the qualities exhibited in matter, as in fire, the sun, light, or any other object, originally emanated from Him, because it is His light and energy that gives to matter all the qualities that enable it afterwards to form the various organisms in the manifested Cosmos; the properties commonly associated with matter and all those tendencies of chemical action that we see in the chemical elements did not belong to it or them originally. Matter, which is differentiated Prakriti, becomes endowed with these properties by the action on it of the current of life, which emanates from Logos or Ishwara.
This is well illustrated in Kenopanishad, where the mysterious appearance of Parashakti (Daiviprakriti) in Swarga is thus referred to. It is said that when Parashakti first appeared in Swarga in a mysterious form, Indra wanted to know what it was. He first sent Agni to enquire what it was that appeared in that particular form. Then Parasakti asked Agni what functions he fulfilled or what were his latent capacities. Agni replied that he could reduce almost everything to ashes; and in order to show that this attribute did not originally belong to Agni, but was simply lent to him, Parashakti placed before him a little bit of grass, and asked him to reduce it to ashes. Agni tried his best, but failed. Vayu was next sent; he attempted to blow it away, but failed miserably.
All this was done to show that Parashakti, or the Light of the Logos, endows even the Panchatanmatras with qualities that did not originally belong to Mulaprakriti. The great Lord then says: “Penetrating the earth, I support all beings by My energy.” From the standpoint of Western science, it is the earth that attracts all bodies by the force of gravity. If so, how do you account for some phenomena such as levitation? What is true of the macrocosm (Brahmanda) is also true of the microcosm (Pindanda). The two great forces in nature, attraction and repulsion, are both included in ‘Kundalini’ which, according to our scriptures, is a manifestation of His Shakti residing or latent in the Muladhara Chakra (Sacral Plexus), which is closely connected with the earth. Another manifestation of the same Light or Energy appears as “Vaishvanara fire which is within the human body and by which the food is digested” (Brih. Up. 5-9-1).
It is for this reason that all the food should first be offered to Bhagavan before it is eaten, so that the food may become transmuted into higher forces. Then, later on, Sri Krishna says: “I am seated in the hearts of all,” a statement once referred to while explaining His vibhutis to Arjuna in the tenth discourse (X-20). Here, the heart is the cavity below the Anahata Chakra, which is a plexus; and you can find Ishwara, who dwells in it, only when you go within the heart (Hridaya), or withdraw yourself within yourself, so to say, after transcending the senses, mind and intellect; and, when aided by pure devotion, you get illumination, as a result of past virtue and good Karma, you attain a knowledge of things that transcend the ordinary limits of time and space, and of visible nature; and acquire the capacity to get a glimpse of the previous lives from the Akashic records. Hence He says:
”Wherefore, from Me, the Self of all sentient beings, are memory and knowledge” (XV-15). Bhagavan (Divine Voice) is the real Ishwara of the Vedantins and the saviour of mankind. Through Him alone can salvation and immortality be secured by man. The aim and object of all initation is to ascertain His attributes, His connection with humanity, and realise His sacred presence in every human heart, and discover the means of transferring man’s higher individuality, purified and ennobled by the virtuous Karma of a series of incarnations, to His lotus feet as the most sacred offering which a human being can bestow. Therefore, Sri Krishna says: “I am that which is to be known through the Vedas,” because He is the Divine Voice and He is the author of the Vedanta, being the Paramaguru. Through Him the teaching is imparted to the great Gurus, who form the brotherhood of Adepts; and He knows the Vedas, as He is the Sabdabrahman from whom the Vedas proceed. “He is the Supreme Self, the eternal Lord, who pervades the three worlds and sustains them, and in the world and in the Vedas He is known as Purushottama, because He transcends both the perishable and the imperishable” (XV-17-18). Here Lord Krishna divides all existing entities in nature into two classes, those not permanent, Ksharam or perishable, by which is meant the manifested Cosmos, and Aksharam or imperishable, which is called Kutastha or undifferentiated Prakriti. This Kutastha is the Mayashakti of the Vedantins.
It is the illusion-power of the Lord, the germ from which the perishable being takes its birth. It is the seat of all latent Samskaras or tendencies, of desires, actions, etc., pertaining to mortal creatures. It is the Avyakta of the Sankhyas, or Mulaprakriti, already referred to as Kutastha in the 3rd Sloka of the twelfth discourse. Although Akshara is not destroyed at the time of Cosmic Pralaya (VIII-18-19), as are all things that come out of it, yet there is something superior in nature to that of Aksharam, and it is the Uttama Purusha (Maheshw-ara) or Paramatma. For Ishwara is the beginning of creation and end of all evolution. He is the one means and the most effectual means of obtaining salvation. Therefore, Sri Krishna puts the whole doctrine in a nutshell in the last two Slokas: “Knowing Me that I am Purushottama, he who worships Me with all Bhavas becomes Sarvajna” (XV-19-20). Now this comprises five Bhavas, namely, Deha-bhava, Indriya-bhava, Mano-bhava, Buddhi· bhava, and Aham-bhava. How are we to offer these Bhavas to Bhagavan?
First, take Deha-bhava. The Deha or physical body must be kept pure. There is the statement in the Bhagavata which says that the acquisition of the human body is a great opportunity in nature, and that the Devas or other highly evolved beings preferred to accept it, when the choice was put before them; and as food is necessary to maintain the physical body, the food to be partaken of must be pure, so that the body may become a temple of Bhagavan, and fit for receiving His divine influence. The Pure magnetic food is to be taken not for the reason that yourself may be kept clean. For says the Light on the Path:
”The self-righteous man makes for himself a bed of mire. Abstain because it is right to abstain, not that yourself shall be kept clean.”l Secondly, food must be partaken after performing one or other of the five kinds of sacrifices, namely, Brahma-yajna, Deva-yajna, Pitri-yajna, Nra-yajna and Bhuta-yajna. Lord Sri Krisnna says: “The righteous who eat the remnant of the sacrifice are freed from all sins, but the impious who cook for their own sake, eat sin.” But of all Yajnas, the best is Japa-yajna, the silent repetition of mantra (X-25.) Thirdly, we must cease from wicked ways and make the body a fit instrument, by proper discipline and control, the object being to transmute the physical or brute energy, by steady devotion, into moral and spiritual force, through the workings of the brain and the heart. The person who is devoted to Bhagavan may be living in a palace, fed with rich and luxurious food and surrounded by all objects of gratification, and yet these do not attract him. From palace to a hovel, from luxury to penury, he moves with equal calm, through riches or poverty. He is always content with what cometh to him and is homeless (XII-19), as his heart is always set on Him who is the real home.
Then there is the lndriya-bhava. The world is the world of Bhagavan manifested, and affects our senses in different ways. The senses, in their origin and activity, are indicative of the one life; and the specialisation of the visual and other faculties tends to prove the existence, in the germinal state, of a principle of synthesis, i.e., the presence of a generalised and universal perceptivity. That shows that there is one Chaitanya, which the senses can perceive, if only the barrier of likes and dislikes formed between ourselves and the external world as a result of the taint of personality is removed. These do not appertain to the objects of the senses. What makes harmonious relations difficult or impossible is the personality, which is affected by our likes and dislikes. The story of the Sadhu fully illustrates this: A Sadhu once observed a cow passing in front of him. The butcher who was following it, came to the Sadhu and asked him if he had seen the cow pass by. The Sadhu was in a dilemma. He could not speak an untruth; nor could he speak the truth, that the cow did pass him by, because the butcher was sure to follow and kill her. So the Sadhu calmly said: “The eyes see, but they don’t speak; the tongue speaks but does not see.” The butcher could not understand the parable and asked the Sadhu what it was that sees, speaks, hears, etc. The Sadhu said that there was one life-Chaitanyam which works through all the senses and shows its powers. The butcher immediately asked if that life was present in him and in the cow as well. On hearing the Sadhu’s reply that it was so, the butcher gave up his pursuit and desisted from killing the cow.
Then there is the Mano-bhava. This is offered by leading a life of renunciation in the little things of life. You must strive to live and love the unity in thought, word and deed. You must not merely preach but practise it by thinking of others first, trying to supply their needs first before your own. Your mind must become free from attachment and aversion. The attachment must expand into universal love. “Bearing no ill-will to any being, friendly and compassionate, free from attachment and egoism, balanced in pleasure and pain, and forgiving, ever content, steady-minded, self-controlled, resolute, with Manas and Buddhi dedicated (fixed on) to Me, such a devotee is dear to Me” (XII-l4).
As a result of this renunciation and freedom from attachment, the mind becomes pure. You must then concentrate and fix the mind and meditate upon Bhagavan in the form of a manifested deity. Just as you catch the rays of the sun’s light through a lens and focus them so as to burn a piece of cotton, even so through such a form you can receive the Light of Ishwara and burn up all the dcsires of the heart. Thus meditation, aided by intense devotion, gradually brings on the longing to reach Paramatma. The devotee’s attitude of mind shows a marked change. First, he begins with Sravana and shows an eagerness to listen to the glories of Bhagavan; then the devotee takes delight in Kirtana (IX-14), and begins to participate in it along with congenial or kindred souls (X-9). He then desires to see the form which he worships, the transendental loveliness of which surpasses everything in the world. Then comes Sparsha (touch), when the devotee touches the lotus feet of the Lord by prostration and feels the oneness or solidarity, became all spiritual influences flow from His lotus feet; then Ghrana, where the devotee smells the fragrance of the flowers which, when offered to Bhagavan, become magnetised by the Light of Isnwara. The devotee then eats his food after offering the same first to Bhagavan. This is Rasanam (taste). He also offers by Hasta (hand) flowers and fruits to Him at His feet. So the mind directs the five senses towards Bhagavan, and the devotee visits the holy places of pilgrimage which are centres of great spiritual influence charged, so to say, by great beings.
Then there is the Buddhi-bhava. By study and cogitation on the truths explained in the scriptures, the devotee attains knowledge which is to be used for the service of others, so that they may be brought to His lotus feet. His intellectual conviction grows deep and strong and as he offers himself to Bhagavan, he begins to realise the inner joy and peace, which gradually changes his conviction into faith and his intellectual perception into personal experience, whence true devotion begins.
Last but not least is Aham-bhava. This is entire self-renunciation or complete surrender to Bhagavan.
”Salutation to Lord Shiva, the tranquil, the cause of the three causes (material, instrumental and efficient). O Supreme Lord, Thou art the goal, I offer myself to Thee.”
In this connection, compare the Sufi couplet: “If you want to float on water, you must die.” Even so, if you wish to float in the ocean of Samsara, the personal self of your personality must die. Lord Gouranga says: “Be more humble than grass, more enduring than a tree as regards heat and cold, and respect others without respecting yourself. In this way the Lord has to be praised.” So Sri Krishna says:
”He who worships Me with all Bhavas becomes Sarvajna” (XV-19). That is the true doctrine of the Gita; and the man who knows this and lives up to it becomes wise and happy, for he may be said to have accomplished all his duties in life.
This then is the true doctrine of the BhagavadGita expounded in the second part of the book. Yet we find in the earlier chapters indirect references to it, when the Great Lord critically examines the theories put forward by the different philosophers with regard to the path leading towards the Goal. The BhagavadGita should not be looked upon merely as a dialogue between Arjuna and Sri Krishna just before the GreatWar, but is intended by the author to be a treatise dealing with the origin, trials and destiny of man. Arjuna, who is also called by the name “Nara” in the Gita, is the real monad in man, while Sri Krishna is the Logos or the spirit that comes to save man; and the discourses in the first part of the book will be found to be in orderly sequence and closely interconnected as pointing out the steps on the path leading the disciple towards the Goal. The first discourse treats of Vishada, which is also called Yoga, because it is not the passing despondency of the disappointed man but the deeper sadness felt in the heart, caused by the blankness of his existence and the unreality of things seen and felt by the separative self in man. It describes the position of the Jivatma or monad in man as it enters the threshold of manhood after passing its stages of irresponsible childhood and of disciplined youth.
At this stage the Great Lord commences the teaching of the Sankhya Yoga in the second discourse. It begins with the analysis of man and shows that man is not his body, that pleasure and pain are fleeting, that the self is “not born, nor doth he die, nor, having been, ceaseth he any more to be, unborn, eternal, unchangeable” (II-20) . “Just as a man casts off worn-out clothes and puts on others which are new, so the embodied (self) casts off worn-out bodies and enters others that are new.” So the aspirant should, by analysis, dissociate himself from his body, sensations and feelings, emotions and thoughts and realise the self. If the aspirant is not thus capable of realising the self, he should follow Buddhi-Yoga. Let him do his work casting off attachment and giving up the desire for Phalam (fruit) balanced in mind, whether success or failure falls to his lot (II-47-48). Sri Krishna says: “Be free from the triad of the Gunas, free from pairs of opposites, ever remaining in the Sattva self-possessed” (II-45). He will then attain to the disciplined and one-pointed reason by which he will realise the self which is the centre of individuality in the Karana Sharira. Having realised the harmony of the self, the Sankhya Yogi begins to trace the Upadhis to their source which is Avyaktam. The theory of the Sankhya school is that Avyaktam is the basis of the differentiated Prakriti, with all its Gunas; that Purusha is merely a kind of passive substratum of the Cosmos, while Prakriti is responsible for all that is done in the Cosmos, and for all the results of Karma due to Upadhi. Now as you rise from Upadhi to Upadhi in gradual succession and when you try to rise from the last Upadhi (Karana) to the Avyaktam, your consciousness is lost and there is no connection that will enable your consciousness to bridge the interval. This Avyaktam is Mulaprakriti which produces all the organisms or Upadhis that constitue the whole Cosmos, and the consciousness manifested in every Upadhi is traceable to the Light of the Logos and not to Avyaktam. It is, therefore, easier for a man to follow his own consciousness further and further into the depths of his innermost Being and ultimately reach Logos, than to try to follow Upadhi to its source which is Avyaktam or Mulaprakriti. Sri Krishna therefore says:
”The difficulty of those whose minds are set on Avyaktam is great. The path towards Avyaktam is travelled by emboided souls under very great difficulties” (XII- 5). So even for him who follows the Sankhya doctrine, the true path when the Karana Sharira is reached is to lose sight of the Upadhi altogether and to fix his attention solely upon the energy of the Light of the Logos that is working within it; and, in trying to trace its origin, he will reach its source which is the Logos, through the Divine Light (Daiviprakriti) and, from the standpoint of the Logos, try to reach Parabrahma, where he will be able to take objective cognisance of Avyaktam.
So when the aspirant has, by Nishkama Karma, purified the mind and by dissociation or analysis realised the self and gained the harmony of the self he has still to realise the harmony of the non-self in relation to the outer world and for this reason the next step of Karma Yoga is explained in the third discourse. The theory of Karma Yogis is that Karma is not due to Upadhi alone, but due to the effects produced by the two elements, Upadhi and Chaitanyam, that Karma cannot be entirely given up, and that if you perform the rituals prescribed in the Vedas, you will receive the assistance of the Devatas to reach Swarga and in the end you will attain supreme happiness. Lord Sri Krishna controverts this doctrine by saying that the Devatas are beings on the plane of the Karana Sharira and can never give you immortality because the Devatas themselves are not immortal. The happiness in Swarga is not eternal and you will have to return to objective existence in a new incarnation. He says: “They who worship the shining ones go to the shining ones, but my worshippers come to Me” (IX-25, VII-23). So the Great Lord says that Karma cannot be given up but must be performed as Yajna, or offering to Yajna Purusha, who is Ishwara. “The world is bound by action unless performed for the sake of sacrifice, for that sake perform action free from attachment” (III-9). “With an eye to the welfare of the world thou shouldst perform action” (III-10). So, for the Sankhya Yogi, the only method by which he can harmonise his self with the non-self (the outer world) is the performance of Karma as Yajna (sacrifice). How? By Bhuta Yajna, the aspirant develops the virtues of compassion and kindness towards the animal world; by Nra Yajna, he will maintain and establish harmony and goodwill in his relations towards men in their social and religious life, in as much as his thoughts and actions affect his fellows as members of the body politic, either for good or evil; by Pitri Yajna, he will be enabled to have better bodies from the Pitris whose function it is to provide necessary instruments for his evolution; by Deva Yajna, the powers of his consciousness are harmonised to their sources in the macrocosm and the centre (the self) is thus harmonised with the Tattvas and their presiding intelligences; by Brahma Yajna, that is, study of the scriptures, which deal with the (great) truths revealed by the Great Rishis and by meditating on them for the purpose of helping humanity, he becomes an instrument in their hands for its evolution. Thus, with the help of the Yajnas a dim realisation of the one life dawns on the aspirant as a result of the desire for establishing the harmony of the non-self; and he who was a spectator now becomes a co-worker with Nature. The Yajna Purusha is Ishwara who is the enjoyer of sacrifices (V-29) and so the Great Lord says this to the Karma Yogi: “Surrendering all actions to Me with thy thoughts resting on the Supreme Self, from hope and egoism freed, devoid of fear, do thou fight” (III-30). So, when the aspirant has realised the harmony of the inner self according to Sankhya, and maintained the harmony of the non-self in relation to the outer world by means of Karma done as Yajna (sacrifice) and for the welfare of the world as enjoined in the third discourse, he becomes fit to receive Jnana as a necessary consequence which is now explained in the fourth discourse. Here the Lord first describes the manifold sacrifices born of action and says: “Manifold sacrifices are spread at the mouth of Brahman. Know them all as born of action. But superior is wisdom sacrifice to the sacrifice with objects. All action without exception is comprehended in wisdom” (IV-32-33).
The theory of the jnana Marga philosophers is that all Karma is merely symbolical and intended as a stepping stone to gain knowledge; that there is a deep meaning underlying the whole ritual that deals with real entities, with the secrets of nature and all the faculties embedded in Man’s Prajna; that the knowledge of intellectual elements underlying the ritual would be more important for man’s salvation than any physical act could be; and so these philosophers recomended Japam, Pranagnihotram and other methods as substitutes for external rituals. Now Lord Sri Krishna says that even this knowledge will not bring the aspirant any Nearer the Goal, for Jnanam is not directed towards its proper source. There must be some definite aim before you in your search after truth, a complete view of the path to be traversed and the ultimate goal to be reached in order that the knowledge gained may bear fruit. The men of science who investigate into the secrets of nature for the advancement of knowledge are working almost on the lines of these philosophers but that kind of investigation and knowledge will not by itself enable a man to attain immortality or Mukti. Such knowledge is not enough, for Sri Krishna says: “He whose engagements are all devoid of desires and purposes, and whose actions have been burnt by the fire of wisdom, him the wise call a sage” (IV-19). He becomes fit for receiving illumination through the Light of Ishwara, with the help of the Guru. The true knowledge is that “by which thou wilt see all beings in thyself and also in Me” (IV-35)—the knowledge by which all beings from Brahma the Creator down to the blade of grass are seen in one’s real self which is the Light of Ishwara. It can be imparted by Jivanmuktas forming the hierachy of adepts who awaken in the disciple the divine vision (spiritual clairvoyance) and transmit to him the Light of the Logos. They form the Guruparampara, the highest of whom is described thus: Dakshinamuti Stotra 12.
”Ah! the wonder under the Banyan tree, there sits the Guru Deva, a youth, the disciples, elders; the teaching is silence, and the disciples’ doubts are dispelled.”
It is the Light of the Logos (Daiviprakriti) “which keeps up the Guruparampara; for it is the spiritual light that is transmitted from Guru to the disciple when the time for real initiation comes. It is the bond of union and brotherhood which maintains and preserves the chain of spirutual intercourse through all the Great Jivanmuktas of the world, and to enter into any such brotherhood, one should bring oneself within the influence of that spiritual Light of the Logos.
Jnana is followed by Sanyasa Yoga in the fifth discourse. What is Sanyasa? It is not renunciation of action (Karma Sanyasa) at all. The Lord says that as between Karma Sanyasa and Karma Yoga, the latter is certainly superior, for you gain all the advantages of Sanyasa by doing Karma as a matter of duty. Sri Krishna says: “He should be known as a perpetual renouncer who neither hates nor desires; for free from the pairs of opposites, he is easily set free from bondage” (V -3).
”He who, without depending on the fruits of action, performs the bounden duty, he is a Sanyasi—not he who is without fire and without action” (VI-l).
”He who does actions offering them to Brahman abandoning attachment, is not tainted by sin, as a lotus leaf by water” (V-lO). But the true Parammartha Sanyasa is that which is based upon Jnana (true knowledge) and not merely renunciation of action. When the aspirant becomes fit to receive illumination, he attains Jnana with the help of Gurudeva and sees the oneness of life through the Light of the Logos. This Light (Daiviprakriti) impregnates the body, senses, mind and intellect with the powers of automatic activity, so that these (the body and senses, mind and intellect) may work without his aid.
Sri Krishna says: “By the body, by the mind, by the intellect, by mere senses also, Yogis perform action, without attachment, for the purification of the self” (V-II). The Sanyasi who has subdued his senses, renounces all action, in speech, thought and deed, by discrimination, rests happily in the body—a ninegated city, with the self for its monarch, inhabited by the citizens of the senses, mind and intellect, all working for the sole benefit of the Lord who is the real self (V-13). Such a one, self-controlled and intent on the welfare of all beings, rests in Brahma (V-19), which is Turiya Chaitanyam and which is the real Atma (Mandukya Upanishad, Sloka 7); and in the steady contemplation of Brahman attains Brahman’s bliss (V-24). Such a Sanyasi “on knowing Me, the Lord of all sacrifices and austerities and the Great Lord of all worlds, attains Peace” (V-29). Now, whether for the Sankhya Yogi, the Karmin, the Jnani or even for the Sanyasi (the sage who wishes to attain Yoga), the control of the mind is an important factor to be reckoned with; and it was the votaries of this school of philosophy (Abhyasa Yoga) that recommended different methods by which the mind could be controlled by man. Sri Krishna says: “The mind is hard to restrain and restless; but by practice (Abhyasa) and by indifference (Vairagya) it may be restrained” (VI-35). How? “When a man renouncing all thoughts is not attached to sense objects and actions, then he is said to have attained Yoga” (VI-4). So, “Little by little, let him withdraw, by reason (Buddhi) held in firmness; keeping the mind established in the self, let him not think of anything” (VI-25). The Great Lord then gives other directions with regard to the practice of Yoga and emphasises the fact that these methods are useful for training in one’s birth and likely to leave permanent traces on a man’s soul in future incarnations, so that, in the course of many births he acquires facility in Yoga, little by little, and thereafter reaches the Supreme Goal. But of such Yogis, Sri Krishna says: “Who, full of faith, worships Me, with his inner self abiding in Me, he is deemed by Me as most devout” (VI- 47).
So Lord Sri Krishna, in recommending his own doctrine, combines all that is good in the different systems of philosophy and adds to each the necessary means of obtaining salvation, which follow as logical inferences from the existence of the Logos and its Light, and its right relationship to man and to the principles that operate in the Cosmos. His own doctrine, as stated above, is enunciated in the following six discourses and the whole teaching is summed up in brief in the fifteenth discourse.
Glossary from the 1966 Edition
Note: Initials BS, in brackets, indicate that the definitions are from the text as given by the author. Initials HPB, in brackets, indicate that the definitions have been taken from H. P. Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary, 1892.
Abhanga: Lit., Unbreakable, of permanent value; a term applied to certain poetical compositoins of Divine Wisdom by the saints of Maharashtra; psalm.
Abhimaana: Thirst for individual power and glory; pride.
Abhyaasa: Practice (BS). Systematic exercise in Meditation.
Abhyaasa Yoga: Yoga of Meditation. See Abhyaasa and Yoga.
Aachaarya: Spiritual teacher, Guru; as Shankar-aachaarya, lit., “a teacher of ethics.” A name generally given to Initiates, etc., and meaning “Master” (HPB).
Achyuta: That which is not subject to change or fall; the opposite to Chyuta, “fallen.” A title of Vishnu (HPB).
Adharma: Unrighteousness, vice, the opposite of Dharma (HPB).
Aadibhuta: Physical region (BS). The first Being; also primordial element.
Adbhuta is a title of Vishnu, the “first Element” containing all elements, “the unfathomable deity” (HPB).
Aadidaiva: Substratum of all Devataas (BS).
Aadiyajna: Region of sacrifice (BS).
Advaitam: Unity (BS). See Shaantam.
Adhyaasa: Confounding the attributes of the one with those of the other (BS).
Adhyaatma: Pratyaagaatma or Logos (BS). Individual or universal living soul.
Adhyaaya: Discourse; chapter.
Agneya-chakra: Base of the nose (BS). The plexus at the base of the nose.
Agni: The God of Fire in the Veda; the oldest and the most revered of Gods in India. He is one of the three great deities: Agni, Vaayu and Surya, and also all the three, as he is the triple aspect of fire; in heaven as the Sun; in the atmosphere or air (Vaayu), as Lightning; on earth, as ordinary Fire. Agni belonged to the earlier Vedic Trimurti before Vishnu was given a place of honour and before Brahmaa and Siva were invented (HPB).
Agnihotra: (Worship by) The act of offering oblation to Fire God.
Aham-bhaava: (Worship by) Entire self-renunciation; complete self-surrender (of Aham Bhaava, or Egoism) to Bhagavaan (BS).
Ahamkaara (Aham-kaara, Ahankaara): The sense of or-ness, the false or artificial “I” (BS). The conception of “I,” Selfconsciousness or Self-identity; the “I,” the egotistical and lVlayaavic principle in man, due to our ignorance which separates our “I” from the Universal ONE-SELF. Personality, Egoism (HPB).
Aitareya Upanishad: The name of an Upanishad of Rig Veda.
Ajnaana: Non.knowledge; absence of knowledge rather than “ignorance” as generally translated. An Ajnaani, means a “profane” (HPB). Cf. Avidya.
Aakaash (Aakaasha): The subtle, supersensuous spiritual essence which pervades all space; the primoridal substance erroneously identified with Ether (HPB). see Mulaprakriti.
Aakaashic: Pertaining to the above.
Akshara(m): Imperishable (BS). Supreme Deity; lit., “indistructible,” ever perfect (HPB).
Akshouhinis: A military unit.
Amrita: Ambrosia (BS). The ambrosial drink or food of the gods; the food giving immortality. The elixir of life churned out of the ocean of milk (HPB).
Amsa: A portion; fragment.
Anaadi: Having no beginning (BS).
Anaahata Chakra. The plexus above the cavity of the heart.
Aananda(m): Bliss, joy, felicity, happiness (HPB).
Aanandamaya (Kosha): “The illusive Sheath of Bliss,” i.e., the Maayaavic or illusory form, the appearance of that which isfarmless (HPB).
Ananya Bhakti: Exclusive devotion to Ishwara, the Supreme Self.
Annamayakosha: A Vedantic term. The same as Sthula Sharira or the physical body. It is the first “sheath” of the five sheaths accepted by the Vedantins, a sheath being the same as that which is called “principle” in Theosophy (HPB).
Antahkaran(a): The bridge between the lower mind (head) and the higher mind (heart) (BS). The bridge between the divine Ego, and the personal Soul of man (HPB).
Anumantha: One who consents or decides.
Apaana(m): “Inspirational breath”; a practice in Yoga. Praana and Apaana are the “expirational” and the “inspirational” breaths. It is called “vital wind” in Anugita (HPB).
Aparokshaanubhooti: Lit., Direct perception. One of the treatises of Shankara.
Aapastamba Dharma Sutra: Aapastamba is a branch of Krishna Yajurveda. Lit., Dharma Sutra belonging to that branch.
Archana: Self-forgetfulness in Meditation. The fifth of nine stages of Devotion (Nava-Vidha Bhakti).
Archaraadi Maarga: Path of Light; self-conscious path (BS).
Arjuna: Lit., the “white.” The third of the five Brothers Paadu or the reputed Sons of lndra (esoterically the same as Orpheus). A disciple of Krishna, who visited him and married Subhadraa, his sister, besides many other wives, according to the allegory. During the fratricidal war between the Kauravas and the Paandavas, Krishna instructed him in the highest philosophy, while serving as his charioteer (HPB).
Arthaarthi: One desirous of the wealth of spiritual wisdom. See Shat Sampathi.
Asat: A philosophical term meaning “non-being,” the “Incomprehensible nothingness.” The unreal, or Prakriti, objective nature regarded as an illusion (HPB). 71, 72 Aashrama: (Four) Stages of life.
Ashwattha: The Bo-tree, the tree of knowledge, ficus religiosa. (HPB).
Aatma(n): The Universal Spirit, the divine Monad, the 7th Principle, so-called, in the septenary constitution of man. The Supreme Soul (HPB).
Aatmanivedana: State of self surrender devoid of any duality or sense of separateness. The ninth of nine stages of Devotion (Nava-Vidha Bhakti), in which the devotee “disappears and Bhagavaan is all in all” (BS).
Avastha: States of consciousness.
Avataar (Avataaras): Divine incarnation. The descent of a god or some exalted Being, who has progressed beyond the necessity of Rebirths, into the body of a simple mortal. Krishna was an Avataar of Vishnu (HPB).
Avidya: Opposed to Vidya, Knowledge. Ignorance which proceeds from, and is produced by, the illusion of the Senses (HPB). Cf. Ajnaana.
Avyakta(m): The unrevealed cause; indiscrete or undifferentiated; the opposite of vyakta, the differentiated. The former is used of the unmanifested, and the latter of the manifested Deity, or of Brahma and Brahmaa (HPB).
Avyaktamoorti: The Unknowable (BS), Parabrahma, the First Cause or the Causeless Cause. It becomes knowable only when manifesting as Logos or Ishwara. see Brahmaa 59, 61 Balaraama: Shri Krishna’s elder brother.
Bhagavad Gita (Bhagavad-Gita): Lit., “The Lord’s Song.” A portion in the “Bhisma Parva” of the “Mahaabhaarata,” the great epic poem of India. It contains a dialogue wherein Krishna—the “charioteer”—and Arjuna, his Chela, have a discussion upon the highest spiritual philosophy. The work is pre-eminently occult or esoteric (HPB).
Bhagavaan: Lit., Blessed Lord. Shri Krishna.
(Srimad) Bhaagavata: One of the Puraanas, giving the events of the life of Shri Krishna.
Bharta: Supporter (BS).
Bhaavas: (Five) States of being, pertaining severally to the.body, senses, Manas, Buddhi and “I”-ness.
Bhaya: Fear (BS).
Bhokta: Enjoyer (BS).
Bhu Loka: Physical world.
Bhutas: Sensible matter (BS).
Bhuta Yajna (Bhuta-Yajna): Service or sacrifice by beneficent thoughts and actions to all living beings.
Bhuvar Loka: Astral world.
Brahma: The student must distinguish between Brahma the neuter, and Brahmaa, the male creator of the Indian Pantheon. The former, Brahma or Brahman, is the impersonal, supreme and uncognizable Principle of the Universe from the essence of which all emanates, and into which all returns, which is incorporeal, immaterial, unborn, eternal, beginningless and endless. It is all-pervading, animating the highest god as well as the smallest mineral atom. Brahmaa, on the other hand, the male an~ the alleged Creator, exists periodically in his manifestation only, and then again goes into pralaya, i.e., disappears and is annihilated (HPB). See Avyaktamoorti.
Brahma-Loka: Region of Brahmaa.
Brahman: See Brahma above.
Braahman: The highest of the four castes in India, one supposed or rather fancying himself, as high among men, as Brahman, the ABSOLUTE of the Vedantins, is high among, or above the gods (HPB).
Brahmarandhra: A spot on the crown of the head connected by Sushumna, a cord in the spinal column, with the heart. A mystic term having its significance only in mysticism. (HPB).
Brahmarshis: The Brahminical Brahma Yajna (Brahma-Yajna): scriptures (BS).
Brahma Sutras: A treatise by Veda Vyaas on Veda ant philosophy.
Brahma-vidyaa (Brahmavidyaa): Spiritual wisdom, the esoteric science about the two Brahmas and their true nature. See Rishis (HPB). See Rishi. Study of the Vedas and other Brahma.
Brih. Up.: Brihadaaranyaka Upanishad.
Buddhi: Universal Soul or Mind. The spiritual Soul in man (the sixth principle), the vehicle of Aatma, esoterically the seventh (HPB).
Buddhi-bhaava (worship by): By study and cogitation on eternal truths, eXplained in scriptures, the devotee attains knowledge and transmits it to others as a Yajna.
Buddhi-yoga: Yoga of right knowledge (BS); spiritual discernment, mental devotion.
Chaitanya(m): Supreme Intelligence, the All-resplendent Light of Ishwara (BS).
Chakra (Chakram): Plexus. Nerve centre.
Chandraayana (Vrita): One of the (ritualistic) austerities.
Chichchakti: The power which generates thought.
Chidaagnikunda: The heart, where the Divine Fire dwells and in which Ahankaara, the I-ness, is burnt by the Initiates to become Jivanmuktas.
Chit: Abstract consciousness.
Daiva Yajna: (Deva Yajna): Sacrifice to obtain the Grace of the Divine hierarchy.
Daivi-prakriti: Light of the Logos; Light of Ishwara; Divine Light. Mahaachaitanya of the whole Cosmos (BS). Primordial, homogeneous light. See Chaitanya (m).
Dakshinaamurti Stotra: One of the compositions of Shankara.
Dama: Control of five organs of knowledge and five organs. of action (BS).
Daasoham: I am the servant (BS).
Daasya: Servant-Master relationship. The seventh of nine stages of Devotion (Nava-Vidha Bhakti).
Deha-bhaava (worship by): Performing bodily actions as a Yajna for the magnetic purification of the body, so that it may become a fitting shrine for divine sensations.
Devarshis: Lit., “God’s rishis”; the divine or godlike saints, those sages who attain a fully divine nature on earth (HPB).
Devas (Devatas): Hierarchies of cosmic intelligences (BS). A god, a “resplendent” deity (HPB).
Devi: Goddess. Short form of Daivi-prakriti.
Dharma: Religion; Eternal law (BS). The sacred law.
Dharmaachaaryas: Instructors of Dharma.
Dhi-guha: Cave of the intellect, the space between the brows (BS).
Dhuma Maarga: Path of Smoke, followed by Karma Yogins, who perform different kinds of sacrifices (BS).
Dhyaana: Lit., contemplation; meditation; a state of abstraction which carries the ascetic practising it far above the planes of sensuous perception and material world (HPB).
Dwaadashaakshari Abhanga: Twelve syllabled Abhanga (BS). See Abhanga.
Ekaatma-pratyaaya-saaram: The sole essence of consciousness of the self (BS).
Gachhatiti: Going; even ascent ; perishable.
Ganapati: God of Wisdom; an elephant headed god; son of Shiva. Lit., Lord of hierarchies.
Gandha: Smell (BS).
Ganesh: Same as Ganapati.
Ganga: The Ganges; the principal sacred river of India.
Gaayatri: A most sacred verse addressed to the Sun, in the Rig Veda, which the Braahmans have to repeat mentally every morn and eve during their devotions (HPB).
Ghrana: To smell the fragrance of flowers magnetised by the Light of Ishwara (BS).
Gita: See Bhagavad Gita.
Gita Shaastra: Science of Bhagavad Gita.
Gnaana (Yoga): One of the schools of philosophy (BS).
Gnaanam: Consciousness (BS).
Gnaani: Teacher of Shaastra (BS). One who knows the real nature of Bhagavaan (BS).
Gnaatha (Gnaata): Ego; knower.
Gneyam: Nonego; that which is to be realized.
Gorakh: Gorakshnaatha, a great Yogi of Hathayoga school.
Gouranga: Chaitanya Mahaa Prabhu, a sage of Bengal.
Guna(s): Satwa, Rajas and Tamas; a combination of thesli three Gunas.
Guru (Guru-deva, Guru deva): Masters of Wisdom.
Guruparampara: The Hierarchy and Brotherhood of Gurus, preceptors and teachers of Wisdom, at whose apex is Shiva, the Mahaa-Yogi, the “great ascetic,” also called Mahaadeva, the “great god.”
Hamsa: A bird (swan) believed to possess the power of separating pure milk from a mixture of milk and water (BS).
Hata-Yoga: Practitioners of the lower form of Yoga practice; in which physical means for purposes of spiritual development are used. The opposite of Raaja-Yoga (HPB).
Hasta: Hand (BS).
Hinduism: Religion of the Hindus.
Hiranyagarbha: The radiant or golden egg or womb. Esoterically the luminous “fire mist” or ethereal stuff from which the universe was formed (HPB).
Hiranyagarbha-Brahmaa: Brahmaa, who, “having emerged out of his golden egg (Hiranyagarbha), creates and fashions the material world (being simply the fertilizing and creative force in Nature).” Thereafter (i.e., following Brahmaa’s Day, a period of 2,160,000,000 years), “the worlds being destroyed in turn, by fire and water, he vanishes with objective nature, and then comes Brahmaa’s Night” (HPB). See Brahma.
Hiranyamaya matter: Golden Radiant Matter from which Kaarana Sharira is built.
Hiranyamaya Kosha: The shining, golden, Hiranyamaya body of the Great Ones (BS).
Hridaya: Heart (BS).
Ichhaa Shakti: The power of the will (BS).
Ihaloka Paraloka Vairaagya: Indifference to the fruits of action in this world and the next world (Swarga) (BS).
Ikshwaaku: The progenitor of solar tribe (the Surya Vans a) in India and the son of Vaivasvat Manu, the progenitor of the present human race (HPB).
Indra: The god of Firmament, the king of sidereal gods. A Vedic Deity (HPB).
Indriyas: These are the ten external agents; the five senses which are used for perception are called Jnaana-indriyas, and the five used for action-Karma-indriyas.
Indriya-bhaava (worship by): Striving at spiritual perception, through the senses, of the one Chaitanya which ensues when the personality, which creates a barrier between ourselves and the external world, is destroyed.
Ishta-deva (Ishtadeva): The favourite Deity worshipped by the devotee.
Ishwara: The “Lord” or the personal god-divine spirit in man Lit., sovereign (independent) existence. A title given to Shiva and other gods in India. Shiva is also called Ishwaradeva, or sovereign deva (HPB).
I tihaasa: History. A record of events that actually happened (BS).
Jaagrat (Jaagrat Avastha): Waking state of three states of consciousness, the other two being Swapna and Sushupti.
Janaka: One of the Kings of Mithila of the Solar race. He was a great royal sage, and lived twenty generations before Janaka the father of Sita who was King of Videha (HPB).
Japam (Japa-yajna): Silent repetition of sacred texts.
Jaati: Genus (BS).
Jignaasu: Enquirer (BS).
Jiva: The monad or Aatma-Buddhi, Life, as the Absolute (HPB).
Jivanmukta(s) (Jivan-Mukta(s»: An adept or yogi who has reached the ultimate state of holiness, and separated himself from matter; a Mahaatma, or Nirvaanee, a “dweller in bliss” and emancipation. Virtually one who has reached Nirvaana during life (HPB).
Jivanmukti: State of the Jivanmukta.
Jivaatma: The ONE universal life, generally; but also the divine Spirit in Man (HPB).
Jnaana(m): Occult Wisdom; Knowledge (HPB).
Jnaana-maarga (Jnaana Maarga): The path of Occult Wisdom.
Jnaana Shakti: Ability to see the past and future (BS).
Jnaana Yajna: Wisdom sacrifice (BS).
Jnanayoga (Jnaana-Yoga): Yoga of Occult Wisdom.
Jnaanendriyas: See lndriyas.
lnaaneshwara: A young Yogi; author of the mystic work, Dnyaaneshwari, a commentary on the Bhagavad Gita.
Jnaani (Jnaanin): One who has acquiredlnaana.
Jyoti: Light of Lights (BS).
Kalpa(s): The period of a mundane revolution, generally a cycle of time, but usually, it represents a “day” and “night” of Brahmaa, a period of 4, 320,000,000 years (HPB).
Kaama: Evil desire, lust, volition; the cleaving to existence.
Kaama is generally identified with Maara, the tempter (HPB).
Kaarana: Cause (metaphysically) (HPB).
Karanas: Senses-Mahat (or Manas), Ahankaara and Pancha Tanmaatras (BS).
Kaarana-Sharira: The Hall of Wisdom (BS). Causal body, corresponding to Buddhi and the Higher “Manas,” or Spiritual Soul (HPB).
Kaarana-Sharira-Self: The higher man.
Karma: Physically, action; metaphysically, the Law of Retribution, the Law of cause and effect or Ethical Causation (HPB).
Karma-maarga: Disinterested performance of religious and secular duties (BS).
Karmaani: Actions (BS).
Karma Sanyaasa: Renunciation of action; non-performance of the duties of life. See Sanyaasa and Karma-Yoga.
Karma Yajna: attachment to the fruits of action. 92 Karma-Yoga: Yoga by renunciation of the fruits of action.
Karma-Yogis (Karma-Yogins): Persons engaged in KarmaYoga. The third of four classes of devotees.
Karmendriyas: See Indriyas.
Karmin: Performer of Agnihotra (offering oblations into fire), etc. (BS). see Dhuma Maarga.
Karta: The doer (BS).
Kaartikeya Swaami: The Indian God of war, son of Shiva. He is also the personification of the power of Logos. The Planet Mars. He is a very occult personage (HPB).
Kaaryas: Ten Indriyas, Manas and five sense objects (BS). See Karanas.
Kathopanishad: An Upanishad dealing principally with the philosophy of life after death.
Kirtana: Singing devotional songs together with kindred souls. The second of nine stages of Devotion (Nava-Vidha Bhakti).
Kosha(s): Sheaths; body.
(Shri/Sri) Krishna: The eighth Avataar of Vishnu (HPB).
Kriya: The deed (BS).
Kriyaa Shakti: The mysterious power of thought which enables an individual to produce external, perceptible and phenomenal results by its own inherent energy (BS). One of the seven forces of Nature. Creative potency of the Siddhis (powers) of the full Yogis (HPB).
Krodha: Anger, hatred, aversion (BS).
Ksharam: Perishable (BS). See Aksharam.
Kshattriyas (Kshatriyas): The second of the four castes into which the Hindus were originally divided (HPB).
Kshetra(s): The human body, the temple of the divine man.
Kshetrajna: Embodied spirit; the Consious Ego in its highest manifestations; the re-incarnating Principle; the “Lord” in us (HPB).
Kundalini (Shakti): The power of life; one of the forces of Nature; that power that generates a certain light in those who sit for spiritual and clairvoyant development. It is a power known only to those who practice concentration and Yoga (HPB).
Kunti: The wife of Pandu and the mother of the Paandavas.
Kurukshetra: The battlefield near Delhi, where the Mahaabhaarata war was fought and where the Lord gave discourses of Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna.
Kurus: The foes of the Paandavas in the Bhagavad Gita, on the plain of Kurukshetra (HPB).
Kutastha: Undifferentiated Prakriti. It is the illusion power of the Lord, the germ from which the perishable being takes its birth (BS).
Kuteechaka: One who resides in a humble hut of leaves (BS).
Laya(m): Absorption (BS).
Loka(s): A region or circumscribed place. In metaphysics a world or sphere or plane. The Puraanas in India speak incessantly of seven and fourteen Lokas, above, and be!o,y our earth; of heavens and hells (HPB).
Loka Sangraha: For the welfare of the world; for the benefit of mankind.
Machchendra: Matsyendranath, a great Hathayogin.
Madhyama Adhikaarin: The second of four classes of devotees, or claimants to Esoteric Wisdom; those to whom Saankhya Yoga appeals come under this category (BS).
Mahaabhaarata: The celebrated epic poem of India; Lit., the “great war” (HPB).
Mahaabhutas: The five great Tanmaatras, i.e., earth, fire, air, water and ether.
Mahaachaitanya(m) (Mahaa Chaitanyam): Daiviprakriti, fourth life-wave; the sole Essence of tlle consciousness of the self (BS). See Turiya Chaitanyam.
Mahaadeva: Lit., “great god”; a title of Shiva (HPB).
Mahaashmashaana: The great burning ground where Ahankaara is burnt to ashes and a full-blown adept, a Jivanmukta; emerges.
Mahaa Sushupti (Mahaa-Sushupti): The neutral barrier which the Initiate has to overcome before qualifying for the Fourth Initiation. When isolated from its three bodies, the Jivaatma passes into Mahaasushupti, the neutral barrier, the Great Sunyam, which strikes terror even in the philosopher who may have perfected his individuality; and which may be overcome only through devotion to Bhagavaan. It is also called the Mahaashmashaana, the great cremation ground, as it is here that the Initiate cremates his individuality and Ahankaara (I-ness) and emerges a full Master of Wisdom.
Mahat: Lit., “The great one.” The first principle of Universal Intelligence and Consciousness (HPB).
Mahaatman (Mahaatma): Lit., “great soul.” An adept of the highest order. Exalted beings who, having attained to the mastery over their lower principles are thus living unimpeded by the “man of flesh,” and are in possession of knowledge and power commensurate with the stage they have reached in their spiritual evolution. Called in Pali Rahats and Arhats. (HPB).
Maheshwara: The Great Lord.
Maheshwara, Parambrahm: The Great Lord, the Causeless Cause or the Supreme Spirit.
Mananam: Cogitation (BS); Meditation.
Maandukya: Maandukya Upanishad.
Maandukya-Upanishad (Maandukyopanishad): This Upanishad belongs to Atharva-Veda and speaks of the entire range of human consciousness.
Mano-bhaava (worship by): Worship by leading a life of renunciation in the little things of life (BS).
Manomaya (Kosha): A vedaantic term, meaning the Sheath (Kosha) of the Manomaya, an equivalent for fourth and fifth “principles” in man. In esoetric philosophy this “Kosha” corresponds to the dual Manas. (HPB).
Mantra(s): Verses from the Vedic works, used as incantations and charms. By Mantras are meant all those portions of the Vedas which are distinct from the Brahmanas, or their interpretation. (HPB).
Mantrika Shakti: The power, or the occult potency of mystic words, sounds, numbers or letters in these Mantras (HPB).
Manu: The great Indian legislator, the progenitor of mankind, almost a Divine Being (HPB).
Manu Smriti: The laws and injunctions of Manu.
Maargas: The “Paths,” leading to Nirvaana.
Maayaa: Illusion; the cosmic power which renders phenomenal existence and the perceptions thereof possible. In Hindu philosophy that alone which is changeless and eternal is called reality; all that which is subject to change through decay and differentiation and which has therefore a beginning and an end is regarded as Maayaa-illusion (HPB).
Maayaa Shakti: The power of Maayaa.
Mayi (Sarvaani Karmaani): Unto me (Dedicate unto me all actions).
Moksha: Liberation. The same as Nirvaana; a post-mortem state of rest and bliss of the “Soul-Pilgrim” (HPB).
Muktas: Those who have attained Moksha.
Mukti; Same as Moksha; perfection of individuality CBS).
Mulaadhaara Chakra: Sacral plexus at the base of the spine.
Mulaprakriti: Lit., The “root of Nature” (Prakriti) or Matter—The Parabrahmic root, the abstract deific feminine principle undifferentiated substance. Aakaasha (HPB).
Mumukshu: The aspirant for liberation (Moksha) (BS).
Mumukshutwa (m) : Desire for liberation (from reincarnation and thraldom of matter) (HPB).
Mundaka (Upanishad). An Upanishad called Mundakopapanishad of Atharva Veda.
Munis: Saints, or Sages (HPB).
Naadi: The human artery or vein; also nerves.
Namaskaarams: Reverence, obeisance, salutations.
Nara: Man, the original, eternal man (HPB).
Nara-Hari: One of the names of the manifested Deity.
Naaraayana: The “mover on the Waters” of space: a title of Vishnu, in his aspects of the Holy Spirit, moving on the Waters of Creation. In esoteric symbology it stands for the primeval manifestation of the life-principle, spreading in infinite Space (HPB).
Nava-Vidha Bhakti: Nine stages of Devotion through which the devotee ascends.
Nididhyaasa: Mental abstraction and profound contemplation (BS).
Nirguna: Transcendental (BS); without attributes.
Nityaanitya Viveka: Discrimination between real and unreal (BS).
Nishkaama Karma: Performance of the duties of life without selfishness, as a sacrifice.
Nivritti Dharma: Duties oflife for attaining liberation (Moksha).
Nra-Yajna: Service of humanity as a sacrifice.
Om: A mystic syllable, the most solemn of all words in India (HPB).
Paadasevana: Service of the (holy) feet. The fourth of nine stages of Devotion (Nava-Vidha Bhakti).
Pancha Bhutas: Five elements, viz., earth, water, fire, air and Aakaasha.
Pancha Tanmaatras (Panchatanmaatras): The types or rudiments of the five Elements; the subtle essence of these, devoid of all qualities and identical with the properties of the five basic Elements-earth, water, fire, air and ether; i.e., the tanmaatras are in one of their aspects, smell, taste, touch, sight, and hearing (RPB).
Paandava: Descendant of Paandu (RPB).
Pandita: A learned or wise man.
Paraabhakti: Supreme devotion, by means of which the devotee enters Bhagavaan and becomes Brahman (BS).
Parambrahma: “Beyond Brahmaa,” literally. The Supreme Infinite Brahma, “Absolute”—the attributeless, the secondless reality as the end and goal of existence. The impersonal and nameless universal Principle (RPB).
Paramahamsa: One who has realised THAT, i.e., that he, the One Life, and himself are one (BS).
Paramaguru: Supreme Teacher.
Paramaatma: The Supreme Soul of the Universe (RPB).
Paramaartha Sanyaasa: Renunciation informed by Wisdom (Jnaana) (BS).
Parantapa: One who harassess his foes, a name of Arjuna. 35 Paraa Sakti (Paraashakti): “The great Force”—one of the six Forces of Nature; that of light and heat (RPB). Daiviprakriti, Light of the Logos (BS).
Parashuraama: A Puraanic Sage, an Avataar.
Paraavidya: Supreme knowledge.
Parivraajaka: A wanderer (BS).
Peetham: The seat of the deity (BS), the idol of worship. 82 Phalam: Fruit (BS).
Phalgutaaya: Lit., The nature of “phalam” itself-something that vanishes, something unsubstantial (BS) (Iayam aadarshanam gachhatiti phalam).
Pindaanda: Microcosm (BS).
Pitris: The ancestors, or creators of mankind. They are of seven classes, three of which are incorporeal, Arupa, and four corporeal (HPB).
Pitri Yajna (Pitri-Yajna): Sacrifice to Ancestors (Pitris).
Prajaapati(s): Progenitor(s); the givers of life to all on this Earth. They are seven and then ten. Brahmaa, the creator, is called Prajaapati as the synthesis of the Lords of Being (HPB).
Prajna: One of the four states of Conscious Existence of the Vedaantic classification; ecstatic consciousness (BS). The description, given in the Maandukyopanishad, of the spiritual ego (consciousness) of the Initiate upon his receiving the Third Initiation.
Prakriti(s): Same as Mulaprakriti. Mother Nature (BS). Nature in general; nature as opposed to Purusha-spiritual nature and Spirit, which together are the “two Primeval aspects of the One Unknown Deity” (HPB).
Pralaya: A period of obscuration or repose-planetary, cosmic or universal-the opposite of Manvantara. (HBP). 30 Praanaagnihotram: Offering the fire of life as an oblation to the Spiritual Self.
Praanam: Life Principle; the breath of Life. 99 Praanaayaama: Restraint of breath (BS), a Hatha Yoga practice.
Praanamaya Kosha (Praanamayakosha): The vehicle of Praana, life, or the Linga Sharira: a Vedaantic term (HPB).
Pratibimbas: Images (BS), reflections.
Pratyaagaatma: The same as Jivaatma, or the one living Universal Soul-Alaya (HPB).
Pravritti Dharma (Pravritti Maarga) (Pravritti-Maarga): Duties of the four Castes (Varnas) and of the four stages (Aashramas) of life.
Pritha: A name of the mother of Arjuna (ofPaandavas).
Puja: An offering; worship and divine honours offered to an idol or something sacred (HPB).
Purusha: Same as Daiviprakriti. “Man,” heavenly man. Spirit, the same as Naaraayana in another aspect. “The Spiritual Self” (HBP).
Purusha-Sukta: A text used in Vedic rituals. 36 Purushottama: Lit., “best of men”; metaphysically, however, it is spirit, the Supreme Soul of the Universe; a title of Vishnu (HPB).
Raaga: The “obstruction” called love and desire in the physical or terrestrial sense (HPB).
Rajas: The “quality of foulness” (i.e., differentiation), and activity in the Puraanas. One of the three Gunas or divisions in the correlations of matter and nature, representing form and change (HPB).
Raajarshis: Kingly Adepts.
Raaja Vidya (Raajavidya): Kingly Science (BS).
(Shri) Raamchandra: Seventh Avataar or incarnation of Vishnu (HPB).
Rasa (Rasanam): Taste (BS).
Rishi(s): Adepts; the inspired ones. In Vedic literature the term is employed to denote those persons through whom the various Mantras were revealed (HPB).
Rupa: Colour (BS); form.
Sa Aatma: Lit., This is the self. See Shaantam.
Sa eva Asamantaat: He indeed is everywhere (BS).
Sabda Brahma (Sabda-Brahman) (Sabdabrahman): “The Unmanifested Logos”; The Vedas; “Ethereal Vibrations diffused throughout Space” (HPB).
Sadaa-sthaayi: Who ever IS, being without change in the past, present or future (BS).
Saadhana Chatushtaya: Four qualifications (BS) of the Vedaantin (given in the text).
Saadhu: Sage, holy man.
Sahasraara(m) (Sahasraara Chakram) : Thousand petallad lotus (BS); the sacral plexus in the human brain.
Sakaara Upaasana: Worship of—i.e., concentration and meditation on—the manifested deity.
Sakhyataa: The feeling of Friendship (BS), the eighth of niM stages of Devotion (Nava-Vidha Bhakti).
Sakti: The active female energy of the gods; in popular Hinduism, their wives and goddesses; in Occultism, the crown of the astral light. Force and the six forces of nature synthesized. Univesal Energy (HPB).
Sama: Control of the mind (BS). One of the Bhaava push pas, or “flowers of sanctity.” Sama is the fifth, or “resignation” (HBP).
Samaadhaana: Composure (BS). That state in which a Yogi can no longer diverge from the path of spiritual progress; when everything terrestrial, except the visible body, has ceased to exist for him (HPB).
Sambandha: Relation (BS).
Samsaara: Mundane existence (BS); the inconstant world.
Samskaaras: Lit., from Sam and Kri, to improve, refine, impress.
In Hindu philosophy the term is used to denote the impressions left upon the mind by individual actions or external circumstances, and capable of being developed on any future favourable occasion-even in a future birth. The Samaskara denotes, therefore, the germs of propensities and impulses from previous births to be developed in this, or the coming Janmas or reincarnations. In Tibet, Samskaara is called Doodyed, and in China is defined as, or at least connected with, action or Karma. It is, strictly speaking, a metaphysical term, which in exoteric philosophies is variously defined; e.g., in Nepal as illusion, in Tibet as notion, and in Ceylon as discrimination. The true meaning is as given above, and as such is connected with Karma and its working (HPB).
Sankalpa: Selection, assimilation, correspondences (BS).
Saankhya(s): The system of philosophy founded by Kapila Rishi, a system of analytical metaphysics, and one of the six Darshanas or schools of philosophy. It discourses on· numerical categories and the meaning of the twenty-five Tatwas (the forces of nature in various degrees) (HPB). Also called “atomistic school.”
Saankhya-yoga: A system of Yoga as set forth by above school.
Saankhya-yogi: A yogi of Saankhya School.
Santushtaha: Contented (BS).
Sanyaasa: Life of renunciation of an ascetic or Sanyaasi. See Sanyaasi.
Sanyaasi: A Hindu ascetic who has reached the highest mystic knowledge; whose mind is fixed only upon the supreme truth, and who has entirely renounced everything terrestrial and worldly (HPB).
Saarathi: Charioteer (BS).
Sarva-bhaava: (Worship with) All five Bhaavas. See Bhaavas. 102 Sarvajna: Omniscient (BS). The stage above Prajna. See Prajna.
Sarvaani: All (BS). See Mayi.
Sat: The one ever present Reality in the infinite world; the divine essence which IS but cannot be said to exist, as it is absoluteness. Be-ness itself (HPB). Also used to dt-note Jaati (genus), Kriya (act), Guna (quality) or Sambandha (relation) (BS).
Satatarn (Satatam Kirtayantah): Always (Takes delight III always singing devotional songs).
Sat-Chit-Aananda: Be-ness, abstract consciousness, Bliss.
Sattva: Goodness; purity; one of the three Gunas or three divisions of nature. See Guna.
Saatvic: Pure (BS); of the quality of Sattva, goodness or purity.
Shabda: Sound (BS).
Shambhu: One of the names of Shiva. Seee Shiva.
(Shri) Sankaraachaarya (Sri Sankaraachaarya): The great religious reformer of India, and teacher of the Vedaanta philosophy- the greatest of all such teachers, regarded by the Advaitas (Non-dualists) as an incarnation of Siva and a worker of miracles. He established many Mathams (monasteries), and founded the most learned sect among Braahrnans, called the Smaartava. The legends about him are as numerous as his philosophical writings. At the age of thirty-two he went to Kashmir, and reaching Kedaaranaath in the Himalayas, entered a cave alone, whence he never returned. His followers claim that he did not die, but only retired from the world (HPB).
Shaantam Shivam Advaitam . . . sa Aatma: The Supreme Spirit in man is Peace, Bliss and Unity.
Shaastra(s): Teaching(s) or science(s).
Shat Sampatti: Lit., six (spiritual) assets or acquisitions. See Arthaarthi.
Shiva: The third person of the Hindu Trinity (the Trimurti). He is a god of the first order, and in his character of Destroyer Mightier than Vishnu, the Preserver, as he destroys only to regenerate on a higher plane (HPB).
Shivam: Bliss. See Shaantam.
Shraddah: Faith in the teaching of the Vedaanta and the Guru (BS); respect, reverence.
Shravana (Sravanam): The first of nine stages of Devotion (Nava-Vidha Bhakti); in listening to the teachings of the scriptures and the glories of Bhagavaan he rejoices. 9,85, 105 Shudras: The last of the four castes that sprang from Brahmaa’s body. The “servile caste” that issued from the foot of the deity (HPB).
Siddhis: Lit., “attributes of perfection,” phenomenal powers acquirttcl through holiness by Yogis (HPB).
Skanda: Part (of a book).
Sloka(s): The Sanskrit epic metre formed of thirty-two syllables; verses in four half lines of eight, or in two lines of sixteen syllables each (HPB).
Smaranam: Brooding (BS); Meditation. The third of nine stages of Devotion (Nava-Vidha Bhakti).
Soham: I am He; Thou art myself (BS). 34, 80 Soundaryalahari: A hymn to Daiviprakriti by Shri Shankaraa_ chaarya.
Sparsha: Touch (BS).
Sookshma Sharira (Sukshma Sharira): The dreamlike, illusive body akin to Maanasarupa or “thought-body.” It is the vesture of the gods, or the Dhyaanis and the Devas (HPB).
Sthita-prajna: One who has perceived the Supreme Reality (Brahman) in his Self (BS). See Prajna.
Sthoola Sharira: In metaphysics, the physical body (HPB).
Sukha: Pleasure (BS).
Sushumna: The solar ray-the first of the seven rays. Also the name of a spinal nerve which connects the heart with the Brahmarandhra, and plays a most important part in Yoga practices (HPB).
Sushupti: Deep sleep; one of the four aspects of Pranava (HPB).
Sutraatma: Lit., “the thread of spirit”; the immortal Ego, the Individuality which incarnates in men one life after the other, and upon which are strung, his countless Personalities, like beads on a string. The universal life-supporting air, Samashti praan; universal energy (HPB).
(Great) Sunyam: The neutral barrier. See Mahaa-sushupti.
Swapna Avastha: Dream state of consciousness. Swar Loka (Swarga): A heavenly abode, the loka; the paradise on Mount Meru (HPB). Same as Indra.
Swaswarupa-jnaanam: Knowledge of the self (BS).
Swetaasvetara Upanishad: An Upanishad belonging to Krishna Yajur Veda, named after the sage Swetaasvetara or one who has purified his senses.
Taijasa: Resplendant centre (BS). The same as the Aadidaiva of Bhagavad Gita, the substratum of all Devatas. Clairvoyant consciousness (BS), one of the four states of Conscious Existence of the Vedaantic classification.
Tamas: The quality of darkness, “foulness” and inertia; also of ignorance, as matter is blind. A term used in metaphysical philosophy. I t is the lowest of the three gunas or fundamental qualities (HPB).
Tanmaatras: The types or rudiments of the five Elements; the subtile essence of these, devoid of all qualities and identical with the properties of the five basic Elements-earth, water, fire, air and ether; i.e., the tanmaatras are, in one of their aspects, smell, taste, touch, sight, and hearing (HPB).
Tapas: “Abstraction,” “meditation.” “To perform tapas” is to:sit for contemplation. Therefore ascetics are often called Taapasas (HPB).
Tatpada: Parambrahma, the goal which having reached none return (BS).
Tattvas: The abstract principles of existence or categories, physical and metaphysical. Eternally existing “That”; also the different principles in Nature, in their occult meaning. Tattwa Samaasa is a work of Saankhya philosophy attributed to Kapila himself (HPB).
THAT: The One Life. 24 Titiksha: Endurance (BS).
Turiya: A state of the deepest trance—the fourth state of the Taaraka RaajaYoga, one that corresponds with Aatma, and on this earth with dreamless sleep—a causal condition (HPB).
Turiya Avastha: Almost Nirvaanic state in Samaadhi, which is itself a beatific state of the contemplative Yoga beyond this plane. A condition of the higher Triad, quite distinct (though still inseparable) from the condition of Jaagrat (waking), Svapma (dreaming), and Sushupti (sleeping) (HPB).
Turiya Chaitanya(m): The fourth life-wave, Daiviprakriti, which is the real Aatma (BS). See Mahaa Chaitanyam.
Uddhava: A devotee of Shri Krishna.
Upaadana: Material Cause; as flax is the cause oflinen (HPB).
Upaadhi(s): Basis; the vehicle, carrier or bearer of something less material than itself; as the human body is the upaadhi of its spirit; ether the upadhi of light, etc, etc.; a mould; a defining or limiting substance (HPB).
Upadrista: Distinterested witness (BS).
Upanishads: “Esoteric doctrines,” interpretations of the Vedas by the Vedaanta methods (HPB).
Uparati: Tolerance (BS).
Uttama Adhikaarins: The best of four classes of devotees, or claimants to Esoteric Wisdom; Vedaantins come under this category.
Uttama Purusha: Maheshwara (BS), Supreme Spirit. 102 Vairaagya: Indifference or non -a ttachmen t to worldly affairs.
Vaishwaanara: The fire which is within the human body and by which food is digested (BS).
Vaishyas: The third of four castes whose natural duties include ploughing, protection of kine and trade.
Valli: Lit., Creeper; in scriptures, topical compositions denoted as such.
Vandanam: Obeisance to the Deity which the devotee sees In everything and everywhere. The sixth of nine stages of Devotion (Nava-Vidha Bhakti).
Varna(s): Colour of the subtler bodies (BS). The four chief castes named by Manu-Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra-are called Chatur-varna (HPB).
Vaasanas: Impressions. See Samskaara.
Vaasudeva: A name of Krishna, son of Vasudeva.
Vaayu: Air; the god and sovereign of the air (HPB).
Veda(s): The “revelation,” the scriptures of the Hindus, from the root vid “to know,” or “divine knowledge.” They are the most ancient as well as the most sacred of the Sanskrit works. To each hymn of the Rig-Veda, the name of the Seer or Rishi to whom it was revealed is prefixed (HPB).
Vedaanta: A mystic system of Philosophy which has developed from efforts of generations of sages to interpret the secret meanings of the Upanishads. Shankaraachaarya, who was the popularizer of the Vedaantic system, and founder of the Advaita philosphy, is sometimes called the founder of the modern school of the Vedaanta (HPB).
Vedaantic: Pertaining to Vedaanta.
Vedaantin(s): Practitioners and philosophers of Vedaanta.
Vedic: Pertaining to or, belonging to, the Vedas.
Vibhutis: Attributes or manifestations of the Deity.
Vidya: Occult Science (HPB).
Vijnaanamaya Kosha: The sheath of intellect and corresponds to the faculties of the Higher Manas (HPB).
Vikalpa: Rejection; differentiation (BS).
Vishaada: Despondency, the deeper feeling of deadness ansmg from the recognition of the unreality of phenomenal existence (BS).
Vishwaamitra: A Brahmarishi; a Vedic sage. See Rishi. 8 Vishwanara: Universal Being.
Vishwa: Objective consciousness, one of four states of Conscious Existence of the Vedaantic classification.
Vivaswan: The same as Vivaswat; the “bright One”; the Sun (HPB); the Hiranyagarbha-Brahmaa, the creator of our system (BS).
Vritas: (Ritualistic) Austerities.
Vyaasa: Revealer (Lit., amplifier) of mysteries. There were many Vyaasas in Aaryavarta; one was the compiler and arranger of the Vedas; another, the author of the Malzaabhaarata. The latter was the twenty-eighth Vyaasa in the order of succession (HPB).
Yajna: Sacrifice (BS).
Yajna Purusha: He to whom Yajna is performed as a sacrifice; Bhagavaan, Ishwara (BS).
Yoga: (1) One of the six Darshanas or schools of India; a school of philosophy founded by Patanjali, though the real Yoga doctrine, the one that is said to have helped to prepare the world for the preaching of Buddha, is attributed with good reasons to the more ancient sage Yaajnawalkya, the writer of the Slzatapatlza Braalzmana, of Yajur Veda, the Brilzad Aaranyaka, and other famous works. (2) The practice of meditation as a means of leading to spiritual liberation. Psychospiritual powers are obtained thereby, and induced esctatic states lead to the clear and correct perception of the eternal truths, in both the visible and invisible universe (HPB).
Yoga-fire: The purifying spiritual fire generated by Yoga.
Yogamaaya (Yoga Maaya): The Light of Ishwara, Daiviprakriti, behind which Bhagavaan remains unperceived.
Yoga Vaasishtha: A treatise on Yoga, being the teachings on Yoga communicated by Sage Vasishtha to Shri Raama, the seventh Avataar of Vishnu.
Yogi(Yogin): (1) One who has full control, owing to his knowledge of SELF and Self, over his bodily, intellectual and mental states, which, unable any longer to.” interfere with, or act upon, his Higher Ego, leave it free to exist in its original pure, and divine state. (2) Also the name of the devotee who practices Yoga (HPB).
Yuga: A 1,000th part of a Kalpa. An age of the World of which there are four, and the series of which proceed in succession during the manvantaric cycle. Each Yuga is preceded by a period called in the Puraanas Sandhyaa, twilight, transition period, and is followed by another period of like duration called Sandhyaansa, “portion of twilight.” Each is equal to one-tenth of the Yuga. The group of four Yugas is first computed by the divine years, or “years of the gods,” each such year being equal to 360 years of mortal men. Thus we have, in “divine” years:
1. Krita or Satya Yuga 4,000
+ Sandhyaa 400
+ Sandhyaansa 400
2. Tretaa Yuga 3,000
+ Sandhyaa 300
+ Sandhyaansa 300
3. Dwaapara Yuga 2,000
+ Sandhyaa 200
+ Sandhyaansa 200
4. Kali Yuga 1,000
+ Sandhyaa 100
+ Sandhyaansa 100
Total = 12,000
This rendered in years of mortals equals:
4,800 x 360 = 1,728,000
3,600 x 360 = 1,296,000
2,400 x 360 = 864,000
1,200 x 360 = 432,000
The above is called a Mahaayuga or Manvantara. 2,000 such Mahaayugas, or a period of 8,640,000,000 years, make a Kalpa : the latter being only a “day and a night,” or twentyfour hours, of Brahmaa. Thus an “age of Brahmaa,” or one hundred of his divine years, must equal 311,040,000,000,000 of our mortal years. The old Mazdeans or Magi (the modern Paarsis) had the same calculation, though the Orientalists do not seem to perceive it, for even the Paarsi Mobeds themselves have forgotten it. But their “Sovereign Time of the Long Period” (Zervan Daregho Hvadata) lasts 12,000 years, and these are 12,000 divine years of a Mahaayuga as shown above, whereas the Zervan Akarana (Limitless Time), mentioned by Zarathustra, is the Kaala, out of space and time, of Parabrahm (HPB).