Duality An Illusion
Then Krishna talks about the five gross elements and tattvas. Krishna says that Purusha and Prakriti are different entities. Prakriti is ever-changing and Purusha does not change. He confirms the self-illuminating nature of atman and compares atman with the sun. Those who do not believe in atman, says Krishna have to undergo births after births. Belief in atman, belief in God and belief in the inner self are one and the same. The living beings undergo constant changes and these changes are not visible as they are very subtle. The body is perishable and not the atman. He points out the nine states of the body starting from conception, embryo, birth, and 6 stages of growth viz. baby, young boy, youth, middle and old age and finally death.
These stages are applicable to the body made up of three Gunas and not to the atman that remains as a witness. Therefore it is important to differentiate between atman and Prakriti. The later is made up of the three Gunas and attains the form of the human body. Krishna says that though atman is without activity, it is covered by Prakriti. (This is the absolute form – prakasha form covered by vimarsha form. It can also be interpreted as Maya covering the Brahman). Patience and persistent efforts are vital to fighting ignorance. He points out that very learned rishis also loose their patience when they are hurt by harsh words. Then he narrates a story about Avanti. Money and greed are the two worst enemies to self-realization. Inner self or Atma never transmigrates and only the jiva connected with the mind goes from one body to another body. (This point has been discussed elaborately in my previous postings “God unplugged”) Krishna then proceeds to narrate the Sankhya system. Brahman divides itself into two-subject and object or Purusha and Prakriti. Prakriti, according to the will of Purusha produces the three Gunas viz. satwa, etc. Then comes Maya, ego and sensory organs. From the universal consciousness three worlds, Bhur, Bhuva, and Swar were produced.
Krishna then creates time (day, week, month, etc) and from time karma rises. Whatever be the objects, they are produced from the two principles Purusha and Prakriti. They also get dissolved into the same principles Purusha and Prakriti. Prakriti is the material cause, therefore it is not manifested. Purusha is the invisible cause, hence its form is manifested. Both Purusha and Prakriti is Me says, Krishna. This is the system of Sankhya, creation –sustenance –dissolution – again creation and the time wheel rotates like this. Krishna then elaborates about the three Gunas with examples. Each and everything is just a modification of the three Gunas. To attain the lotus feet of Krishna one should be free of these three Gunas. Krishna asks what else one needs after developing an attachment to Him. That is bliss, Absolute and knowledge. Rishis are in this stage and any association with them will increase the positive vibration. As a matter of fact, such rishis can guide those who seek Him. There are many rituals and ceremonies for worshipping Krishna and they fall under three categories viz. vaidika, tantrika and mixed. Procedures under each category have been prescribed by Him.
Krishna says that one should neither praise nor criticize others. Whatever created will ultimately be destroyed. He concludes by emphasizing the importance of atman and condemns duality. A sunrise drives away the evils of darkness. In the same way, realizing atman in one’s own self drives away ignorance. Duality is an illusion and man-made. Somebody afflictions may arise while practicing yoga. Such body afflictions can be removed by concentration, meditation, yogic postures, pranayama, austerities, mantra Japa and medicines. The regular practice of yoga gives a strong body. Continuous and dedicated practice of yoga gives some great powers (ashtama siddhi – eight types of powers described in kundalini yoga). If one gets attached to such powers, he loses his concentration on Him and thus fails in his mission to reach Him, says Krishna. Krishna finally orders Uddhava to go to Badari and do penance to merge with His supreme form.