It is said that in each age, God manifests Itself in the Relative realm of this world. How and why this happens is revealed in the next few verses.
BHAGAVAD GITA, CHAPTER 4, VERSES 4 – 6
Your birth was recent, the birth of Vivasvat, earlier. How do I understand that you declared all this to Vivasvat in ancient times?
The Blessed Lord spoke:
Many of my births have passed, and also the births of you, Arjuna. I know all of them, but you do not know them, Scorcher of the Foe.
Krishna knows what He knows because of what He is, and He has initiated Arjuna into a mystical path of yoga that can get him to this same state. But Arjuna is uncertain how Krishna could have taught this to someone thousands of years ago, so Krishna explains.
Most people in the world believe in reincarnation. In the West, not so much, our most predominant religion being Christianity with a scripture that has had this concept, and others, edited out to satisfy the political interests of the time (312 AD). But vestiges of it have slipped through the cracks and can be seen by the neutral, uninvested eye seeking the Truth. Unfortunately however, most theologians have a vested interest in their own established belief systems.
Yoga, not being a religion, is not a system of beliefs, but a spiritual science uninvested in hanging on to beliefs. This is partially due to its understanding of the mind as the believer, and the individual as not being a mind. Yoga is about union with Absolute Truth, and in this it finds a soul-mate in true Christianity and the teachings of Jesus, who, along with John, had been reincarnated, their earlier births appearing in the old testament.
Although I am birthless, imperishable and immutable, and although I am the Lord of all born beings, by governing my inherent supernatural power, I come into being in this world.
“I come into being in this world”
Lord Krishna spells it out: “I am birthless, imperishable and immutable”, “I manifest myself” “by governing my inherent supernatural power”.
Whether you concur with the concept of reincarnation or not, surely these characteristics of Lord Krishna, Jesus, and other masters, are indisputable. They have no limitations, so how is it that they could not come again wherever and whenever they please?
“The Lord of all born beings”
The word for ‘Lord’ is Ishvara. Ishvara means ‘the power to act’, and ‘steward, master, lord, king, queen, or God’. Ishvara is another name of Shiva, and of Durga and other Shaktis.
A Shakti is the power behind male deities. Goddesses, being Shaktis, are independent. Although Ishvara is generally considered male, 'power' has always been female.
Krishna means, ‘dark blue’. Darkness in general suggests something materially imperceptible, such as Prana, the Life Energy, which is blue, and which is obvious but not perceptible to the eye any more than the air we breathe.
Krishna is an avatara (one who has descended to earth) of Vishnu, the Sustainer All-pervader, as is Prana, the Life Energy. Vishnu, known to be female in earlier times, is the male personification of Prana in our time. An avatara comes into being here on earth through his or her own means, i.e., “inherent supernatural power”.
Our ability to understand the state of such beings is not within the capabilities of the human mind. What they have accomplished is beyond our comprehension. The compassion they must possess to be willing to descend into our violent and cruel world is nothing short of amazing.
Now that we have some idea of how God manifests on earth, in our next two installments, we will find out why and when, as well as the state of the avatar and how it is achieved.
Namaste (I bow to the Divine One that You really are),
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