Purusha and Prakriti – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 9, Vs 8

Bhagavad Gita, chapter 9, verse 8:
“Relying on My own Prakṛti, I spontaneously send forth this entire multitude of beings again and again, according to Her wish.”

From Krishna and Radhana, Purusha and Prakriti, Creation is Spontaneously Brought Forth
From Krishna and Radhana, Purusha and Prakriti, Creation is Spontaneously Brought Forth

Creation is not done by Krishna—He has already identified Himself as actionless and Absolute—but comes about because of Him … and His Prakṛiti.

Purusha and Prakriti

  • Puruṣha – Masculine. The divine individual with a view-point.
  • Prakṛiti – Feminine. Another divine individual when viewed by Purusha. (When viewed, this other divine individual appears as nature, so the word prakṛiti is often used to mean ‘nature’.)

Prakriti is the Divine Mother, the Creator and Divine Other-Than-You. She is Shakti, the impeller of action, and Divine Energy, the sustainer of life in your body also known as Prana. She is Kundalini, the accelerated and intensified evolutionary force in your body. She is the mother, the nurturer, and the destroyer of obstacles to your liberation, fulfillment and eternal happiness. She is the Divine Goddess. You wouldn’t be here without Her.

  • Relying on Prakṛiti  leaning, resting or depending on Prakṛiti
  • According to Her wish – spontaneously and not against the will, wish or pleasure of Prakṛiti

As a divine individual in the Absolute, Krishna’s original state, the first Other known to Him is His Prakṛiti. 

This original knowledge of Otherness is the cause, or source, of Creation. In this way, Krishna is the source of all beings but does not create them by his will. It is because of His Prakṛiti that creation occurs spontaneously. 

There is Krishna and Prakṛiti; there is You and Other-than-You. Creation relies on Self and Other than Self, and because there are two, Creation is of a dualistic nature. Consider Noah saving all those pairs in his ark in order to preserve Life.

Krishna has previously identified Himself as Absolute, so His state, or condition, is actually Highest Purusha. He has taken the whole journey and is fully conscious and accepting of all others, of all that is. But He is still Prakriti to Arjuna (and to us) until we have reached this same state. So he is reminding Arjuna of what he (and we) can achieve through yoga practice because of its consistency with the Truth of the way things really are.

Purusha and Prakriti, Adam and Eve, masculine and feminine, the one who sees and the one who is who is seen, You and Other-than-you.

So now we have put the pieces together, and it all comes down to Purusha (the Real You with a viewpoint) and Prakriti (Divine Otherness which you ‘view’). But Lord Krishna has told us this before. Is He repeating it so we might finally get the message this time? Or is He repeating it to present something new?

We must not lose track of the fact that this entire chapter is about this mysterious Highest Secret, and remember that a secret can easily be something we already know but do not realize for what it is. So we can think on this with the help of the previous post, The Secret of Yoga.

Until next time…

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

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VIII:8-10 At the Moment of Death, Part 2

We’ve learned about our original situation in the Divine Absolute and how we got to where we are now, and now we will discover how to recover this happy state and overcome the cycles of birth and death that keep it at bay.

Absorbed in the repeated practice of yoga and constantly remembering and thinking of that other Divine Purusha with consciousness not turning to anything else, one reaches that Purusha, Son of Pritha (Arjuna).

“That other Divine Purusha”
You will remember that purusha is the Real You (adhyatma), a Divine Individual in the Absolute, who has chosen to know if there was anyone else. You did, and there was. The first other Divine Individual (adhidaiva) known to you is this Divine Purusha. This first encounter with another purusha is responsible for your inclination to think of God as personal God and other than you.

How is it possible to remember something that you have no memory of encountering? The answer is, through the constant practice of yoga (uniting). Through yoga one comes to know this Divine Purusha face to face. Once this has occurred, you will never forget it and it will be easy to call the memory to mind, and to think of this Divine Purusha. Short of this, if your idea of God is personal (rather than impersonal, or abstract), call God to mind and think of nothing else. 

In Surrender Meditation, one naturally becomes absorbed in and addicted to the repeated practice of yoga and thinks of nothing else. Consequently, one eventually gains communion with that first Divine Individual who was first known at the very beginning of time, Adhidaiva (‘first god’), who subsequently became one’s personal God, and one’s propensity for thinking of God as other than self.

Both the personal (God) and the abstract (Truth) are equally valid ways of thinking of God, but after a lengthy teaching on the Absolute (impersonal God, Brahman) in earlier verses, personal God seems to be taking center stage for achieving the Imperishable at end-time.

Meditating according to the instructions of the ancient poets, on that one who is the sustainer and maintainer of everything, whose form is smaller than an atom and inconceivable, self-luminous and beyond darkness, for one who is endued with devotion and the power of yoga, the mind unmoving, the prana established at the eyebrow center and remembering him at end-time, that Divine Purusha is reached.

Lord Krishna is explaining the conditions surrounding reuniting with our personal God, by reminding Arjuna that for this to work, he must undertake Yoga as it was known by the ancients, those poet-sages who knew Original Yoga. Nothing else will do here.

He goes on to describe this Divine Purusha, whose form is more subtle than an atom and inconceivable, saying that he can reach this Purusha by thinking of him when, by the power of this Original Yoga, the energy is established at the eyebrow chakra at end-time, and he is thinking about and remembering him. 

This Divine Purusha is what keeps everything going for you. ‘Everything’ includes your own physical body. Its form (ananda kosha) is self-luminous (shines of its own light) and, in spite of having a form, its true nature is omniscient, omnipresent, and beyond darkness (tamas).

  • Beyond darkness – Knowable and perceptible.

We have learned how to reach Absolute God (Brahman) at end-time, and now we also know how to reach our Personal God at that time. Both are God, both are Absolute, and God being unlimited, will accommodate us either way.

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

VIII: 5-7 At the Moment of Death, Part 1

Last week we learned about our original situation in the Divine Absolute and how we got to where we are now. Now we will learn how to recover this happy state.   

Having abandoned the body at the time of death and thinking only of Me, one achieves My state.
 In this matter there is no doubt.  

Consider that freeing, letting go of, or abandoning the body, also refers to surrendering the body to God in meditation. This is consistent with previous verses. And consider that ‘end-time’ refers to a timeless state resulting from this surrender in which union (yoga) with God is achieved. It all works. 

  • Death – Literally, ‘end-time’. Death of the body, death of the ego, sleep, deep sleep, meditation, samadhi, renunciation. These are some of the ways we can take the idea of death beyond its usual meaning.

When the body is surrendered, whatever one’s thoughts at at end-time, one reaches that, and transitions into that state.

Whether referring to the moment of physical death of the body, or union with God in meditation, whatever you are focused on in that moment of end-time, you transition into that state. This message bears consideration in either case.

For those of you who practice Surrender Meditation, remember that thoughts do not arise as a result of your doing, but as a result of Shakti working in your best interest. So you need not concern yourself with what thoughts are active in your mind when meditating. The cause is Shakti, and no one else, and they cannot cause anything that is not determined by HerSo no matter what transforms into what, it is not your affair. This faith is imperative. Remember that Shakti’s goal is your perfection and eternal happiness, not your immediate comfort. By this practice of giving Her free rein, you will not have to concern yourself with thinking of God at end-time. It will come naturally.

Therefore, always remember and think of Me. Offering your buddhi-mind to Me, fight, and you will certainly attain Me.

Many years ago when I first read this, I valiantly tried to constantly remember and think only of God, and found that, inevitably, I would catch myself thinking about something else. This was especially bothersome because the translations I had read were about death of the physical body, and the idea of transforming into some of the things in my mind was unbearable. But having discovered the value of mantra (repeating Sanskrit names of God) as a means of keeping my attention on God, I applied it in these moments, and was relieved of this concern.

Mantra has the very fine quality of becoming addictive, and after practicing for a while, it will show up on its own when least expected. In the early days of sadhana, outside of meditation I often had recurring visions that were horrible and frightening. But once I had a mantra and had practiced it, I found that it would spontaneously intervene in these visions and send them scampering away. I recommend the practice of mantra to everyone, regardless of their path. At the very least, it will clear the mind. 

One way to understand ‘buddhi-mind’ is to think of it as the mind’s function of differentiation. Another way is to  remember that the body has a mind of its own, and that buddhi-mind refers to the body’s mind. In an earlier chapter on Action, we found the word buddhi used to suggest the action of the instrument of yoga (uniting). So we might take “offering your buddhi-mind to Me” to be referencing this ability of both the mind and the body to sort things out through Action, by offering (surrendering) them both to Krishna (God). 

Remember that the setting in which this conversation between Krishna and Arjuna takes place, is a battleground. The war, though historic, is getting used as a metaphor for hatha-yoga (sun-moon union), the first stage of yoga sadhana in which Kundalini is awakened.

Also remember that Arjuna initially refused to fight. But the clashing together of the two opposing forces (awakening kundalini) must happen in order for Arjuna’s people to take their rightful place as rulers of the kingdom (you’ll catch the metaphor here). So Krishna is encouraging Arjuna to get with the program and ‘fight’—to get on with his sadhana (practice).

Continued next week….

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