Creation, Destruction, Rebirth & The Self – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 10, Vs 32-35

Vishnu Creation

The Power of God & You

The manifestations of God in the world, in you, and in the entire universe.

The eighteen chapters of the Bhagavad Gita is a conversation between Arjuna and his childhood friend and Guru, Lord Krishna. Arjuna has asked Him to explain how He, as Absolute God, exists within Creation (beginning with verses 19-20, “God in You”):

Creation, Destruction, Rebirth & The Self

Of creations, I am the beginning, the middle and the end, and of knowables I am the knower of Adhyatma, the true Self. Of discussions I am the telling.

Alternate translation:
I am the beginning of the rushing forth of creation, as well as its destruction, Arjuna, and I am what lies between. Of knowables, I am the knower of the Supreme Self, and of conversations, I am the conveying of communications.

First He says that He is the beginning, middle and end of all things created, and then He follows with ‘knowables’ — things that can be known — and specifically, that He is the knower of the Supreme Self. By this we understand that the True Self can be known, and that He knows You as You really are. He is also saying that it is He who speaks when information, such as oral teachings, are being conveyed.

Creation, with its beginning, middle and end, is Relative, but the True Self is Absolute. Knowing is relative, but the Truth spoken in oral teachings is the Absolute Truth.

Self-referencing Experiment:
The connection of one individual with another is God. The next time you speak to someone, remember this and allow your attention to take in the Divine presence in your communion or communication with that person, whether you like this person or what is being spoken, or not. Check your own communications against the Yamas so that you are conveying the Divine when you speak. Remember that Absolute God is in you, as You.

Of letters I am the letter A, and of compound words, I am the union of syllables. And I alone am infinite Time, facing in all directions.

The letter “A”. Of the sound of letters (syllables in Sanskrit) of the alphabet, I am the imperishable vowel “A” (akṣara, meaning imperishable, unalterable, absolute). The letter A is the initiation (shakti) of all human speech, and the basis of the sounds of primary vowels (f), without which no consonant (m) can manifest. 

Compound words. Of compound words, I am the union of their parts, and their wholeness as a single word. 

Time, facing in all directions. Of Time, I am its endlessness. Undecaying time goes out, ‘faces’, or exists, in all directions everywhere always. There is in Reality, no end to it. It cannot end because, for the Absolute, there is no end. All time is present all the time. We experience it as linear because, as human beings, we have a point of view.

To expand your point of view, begin by taking different points of view about everything.

I have been heard to say that, in the Absolute, there is no time. This might be better expressed by saying that, in the Absolute there is no time going on. Time is not motion. Time presents changes in Creation that make it appear to be moving, the same way that you feel like you are moving in a stationary car-wash as the equipment cleans your car, or standing on a train platform as a train goes by. It is the train that is moving, not you. It is the car wash that is moving, not your car. 

The basis of Time is pure consciousness which is everywhere in all directions. So Time exists in all directions everywhere, and like consciousness, is also infinite. This teaching is symbolized in murits (material forms) expressing omniscience:

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I am death and the source of all things to come. Of the feminine, I am beauty, speech, remembered teachings, and also surrender, satisfaction and fortitude. Of the Sama Veda, I am the Brihatsamana and Gayatri meters. Of months, I am the month of harvest, and of seasons, the Spring.

Alternate translation:
I am all-destroying death and the origin of future existences. Of the feminine, I am glory, communication and oral teachings, and also patience, renunciation and fulfillment.
 Of knowledges that can be sung, I am the masculine and rhythmic duple meter (two beats), and the feminine and beguiling triple meter (three beats). Of months I am the harvest month in the Fall, and of the seasons I am the ‘abounding with flowers’, the Springtime.

Namaste (I bow to the divine one you really are),
Durga Ma

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As your True Self emerges, your life becomes more satisfying, and the lives of others are benefited. As you become Happier, the world becomes a Happier place.

Every step you take pulls every one of us with you—we ride the slipstream of your spiritual progress.

VIII:26-28 Reaching the Imperishable

By which path will you travel at death? Will you attain Eternal Happiness, or will you continue to return to worlds where happiness is only temporal? 

The two paths of going at death are (1) “the bright fire of day, the bright half of the moon, the upper-going of the sun, and (2) the misty darkness of night, the dark half of the moon, the right-hand going of the sun.” These two paths are not what they seem at first glance. If you have come to this point without having read the previous post, you will find them explained in “The Day and Night of the Yogi”.

These two paths (of going at death), light and dark, are considered to be inevitable. By one the yogi attains non-return, by the other he returns again.

The yogi who attains the path of darkness at death, enters a state similar to what we call ‘deep sleep’. When this state passes he finds himself in a heavenly world, and after a length of time he is destined to return again to physical embodiment.

Though this yogi lands himself in a dualistic world of pleasure and pain, suffering and happiness, good and evil, he will be born into a family who know yoga, and will resume his practice once again.

The yogi who attains the path of light at death, retains his consciousness, passes into the heavenly realm of a higher plane, and is not destined to be born again into a physical embodiment. Instead, he “goes forth to Brahman”—he returns to his natural state of eternal happiness, free of the cycles of death and rebirth, in the Imperishable Absolute.

Knowing these two ways of going, the yogi is not confused. So engage in Yoga at all times, Arjuna.

Through the practice of Yoga as described by Lord Krishna, one attains this union, is a yogi, and takes one of these two paths at death. In this verse, Lord Krishna is suggesting to Arjuna that by being constantly engaged in yoga he will acquire the ability to remain conscious in death, and automatically take the path of light.

Because he will have already experienced death in his meditation, dying will not be unfamiliar to him, so it will not overwhelm him. By practicing yoga “at all times” he gives himself this advantage.

Once one becomes a yogi (one who has achieved union), he has reached a point in which the opportunity to end the rounds of death and rebirth and to know Absolute God, becomes a reality. He comes to realize through union with the Divine, that there is more to be had than the lower worlds of duality in which he is presently chained. He seeks release from this bondage and continues his Yoga practice enthusiastically. He knows that he must reach a point wherein he will not waver, even at death, and seeks to be engaged in uniting (yoga) at all times.

It should be understood that Yoga is not a religion, but a term expressing union with Absolute God, or Absolute Truth, by any name, regardless of one’s religion or even the lack of it. Yoga is a science that is proved. Its practice is aimed at attaining the Absolute and is proved by the individual himself by putting correct knowledge of Yoga into practice.

When action follows correct knowledge, understanding is gained and Truth is revealed.

Having understood all this, the yogi goes beyond the fruits of actions ordained in the Vedas—sacrifices, austerities and charities. He goes beyond this to the highest, the Imperishable.

This yogi goes beyond religious beliefs and ordinances, and ascends to the highest state: his original and natural state of eternal happiness.

One thing is certain about either path: The yogi (one who has achieved union) gets beyond religious beliefs and religious practices designed for fulfilling desires (‘fruits’).  The destiny of the yogi is the immediate (day) or eventual (night) passage back to the beginning, his original situation—before the fall into creation and union with illusion—with full awareness (established in consciousness), immortality (not mortal) and Eternal Happiness.

End of Chapter Eight
The Yoga of Imperishable Brahman

VIII:24-25 The Day and Night of the Yogi, Continued

Will you continue to become embodied in worlds of temporal happiness and sorrow at death? Or will you rise above this dilemma and reach the Eternal Happiness of the Imperishable Absolute?

The bright fire of day, the bright half of the moon, the upper-going of the sun, departing then, those who know Brahman go forth to Brahman.

  • Brahman – God in the absolute sense. 

The bright fire (agni jyoti)kundalini flowing through the central channel of the body, the sushumna nadi (‘gracious and kind flow channel’), is day. Departing then, the yogi who knows Brahman (God) is liberated from rebirth and goes to Brahman.   

Upper-going of the sun, the six months of the sun’s northern course, refers to the ascendant flow of kundalini within the central channel (‘north’ is ‘up’). 

The bright half of the lunar month is a reference to soma. The moon is the pineal gland which, when ‘full’, produces soma. When drunk by the body, the soma becomes purified. Once pure, it is called amrita, the nectar of immortality. 

Departing – ‘dead, passed away’ (macrocosm), and also ‘arrived at, advanced to’ (microcosm).  

Those who know Brahman, Absolute God, the Imperishable: To ‘know’ Brahman is to have experienced Brahman. This event is known as nirvikalpa, nirbija or asamprajnata samadhi. By merely recalling this experience, the life energy flows in the direction of That—where the attention goes, the energy flows. In this case, that direction is upward and inward, pulled by the upward-going of kundalini. This is the meaning of  ‘knowing Brahman’, or ‘thinking only of God’. Thought, remembering, takes place in the brain and mind, and this is just where kundalni is going—into the head.

At this stage (Raja Yoga), sun and moon are related to the brain: The sun is kundalini-shakti initiating the flow of soma from the pineal gland, the Moon, and into the body to be purified.

When we reach this stage, Kundalini is stationed in the north at the sixth chakra. Before this, She made Her home at the first chakra, returning there after many ventures into higher places. Now, from the ajna chakra, She is able to use the life energy (Prana) to suit Her, and sends it into every cell of the body to deliver the amrtia and make the necessary changes. The evolutionary force, Kundalini, seated above the throat is now called Maruti (Goddess of the Wind). At this point, one has completed yoga sadhana.

With the misty darkness of night, the dark half of the moon, the right-hand going of the sun, the yogi attains the lunar light and is born again.

The misty darkness of night – Kundalini is seated below the throat at the first chakra.

The dark half of the lunar month – The moon, the pineal gland, is not ‘full’.

Right-hand going of the sun, the six months of sun’s southern course, refers to Kundalini moving in the chakras below the sixth chakra (‘south’ is ‘down’).

The yogi attains the lunar light (cāndra jyoti), the light of the moon, and is born again.

Once Raja Yoga is achieved, Kundalini is seated at the ajna chakra and Her sphere of action is above the throat, but before this, Her sphere of action is from the first to the fifth chakra. During this phase of sadhana, the yogi gets the moonlight (jyoti) of Hatha Yoga, but not the moon juice (soma) of Raja Yoga.

Moonlight is the precursor of the moon juice. The moonlight, or moon-lightening, occurs in meditation during Hatha Yoga as it tries to stimulate the soma. This lightening is experienced in spontaneous (without will) meditation, or Experiential (Surrender) Meditation. It cannot be made to happen.

Namaste (I bow to the Divine One that You really are),
Durga Ma