The Imperishable Absolute and the Coming and Going of Beings – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 11, Vs 2

Mt Meru 8

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The Imperishable Absolute and the Coming and Going of Beings

In this conversation between Lord Krishna and his devotee and childhood friend, Arjuna confirms his understanding that the knowledge that has been given him by Lord Krishna includes both the relative and the absolute.

2
From You, O Lotus Eyed, I have heard in detail of the coming and going of the existences of beings, as well as Your exalted state of Imperishable Absolute.

Arjuna is saying that he understands that Lord Krishna is not only present in things that come and go in the relative realm of beings, but that He is also the Imperishable Absolute from which they have come to be.

The “coming and going of existences” is frequently translated as the “origin and dissolution of beings.” It can also easily be read as birth and death, but I opted for the simple expedient of “coming and going.”

The Sanskrit, bhavāpyaya, is a compound word consisting of bhava and apyaya. The meaning of bhava is, ‘coming into existence, birth, origin, turning into,’ and ‘a state of being, and life in this world’. The meaning of apyaya is, ‘juncture, pouring out, entering into, and vanishing’, and is associated with ‘being in or coming from water.’

There is a strong association with water here. Water is the source life by which living beings of all kinds come into existence. Lord Vishnu’s first avatara (of ten) was a fish. In the verse, Arjuna refers to Lord Krishna as “Lotus Eyed”. A lotus is a water flower, its stem reaching down into the soft watery earth as it floats above the water.

All this works very nicely to lead us to the idea of the coming and going of beings, which Arjuna has heard about in earlier chapters. But here, in the context of these verses, the Sanskrit has lured me into taking a deeper dip into this ‘coming and going’.

Vishnu, Brahman, Creation

Chakra means ‘wheel’, yet chakras are referred to as lotuses. The body of adult humans is 60% water, the brain and heart 73%, and the lungs 83%. The surface of the earth is 71% water. Lord Vishnu is seen seated on the eternal Cosmic Ocean, a lotus streaming from His navel. From this lotus Lord Brahmā is born. Brahmā’s first sound, Aum (OM), signals the beginning of Creation.

  • Water – Fluidity: Of no fixed form; takes the form of its vessel; able to move or change; the fluid transmission of power between two people or things, i.e., shaktpat.

From the Absolute to the Relative and Back Again

We have spoken long on Creation as transitory and Relative, even though it has come about from the Absolute. Beings, states of being, and even life itself, ultimately vanish in the way a river vanishes when reaching its confluence with other waters—it is not gone, but becomes a part of a greater water. It is not the Real Self that vanishes, but the Being. The encompassing veil of the Being that hides the Divine Individual is dissolved upon its confluence with the Cosmic Ocean, and vanishes.

When we enter into the equanimity of nirbija samadhi, we vanish in this way. We return to our original situation in the Absolute where we are merged with That, our individuality in tact. When trying to express this paradox, the experience is often spoken of as ‘a sea of bliss’, or the ‘rolling bliss’ of the ‘ocean of the Absolute’.

Namaste (I bow to the divine one you really are),
Durga Ma
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2 thoughts on “The Imperishable Absolute and the Coming and Going of Beings – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 11, Vs 2

  1. katritam

    This is such a beautiful passage. And the pictures are lovely as well.
    When I read about the “Coming and Going of Beings”, especially “The encompassing veil of the Being that hides the Divine Individual is dissolved upon its confluence with the Cosmic Ocean, and vanishes”, I felt a complete relief and relaxation, as if all cares and concerns in the relative world just dissolved. I also felt inspired to continue surrender meditation on a more regular basis, knowing that with each session not only are others pulled along toward Truth, but also more and more of the old small self falls away. Thank you, Durga Ma!

    An unrelated question has arisen for me: What is the correlation or connection between the celestial bodies, planets and the human body? I’ve read that there is one, but not which planets are directly connected to which organs/glands or parts of the body. Can you guide me to further elucidation?

    Love,
    Ritam

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do so love it when someone actually not only gets, but is positively affected, by this work. Thank you.

      As to celestial bodies, I think the simplest way to say it is, “Everyone’s a Star!” Truly, I do think that every sun (and its planets, chakras, etc.) is someone’s ‘body’. If anything else comes up about this, I’ll let you know.

      Love,
      dg

      Like

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