Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Chapter 2 Verse 23

Chapter 2, Verse 23

"Not wounded by weapons,
Not burned by fire,
Not wetted by water,
Not dried by the wind,
Such is the Self."

Srila Prabhupada:

"Individual souls are eternally separated parts of the Supreme Soul. Because they are atomic individual souls eternally, they are prone to be covered by the illusory energy, and thus they become separated from the association of the Supreme Lord, just as the sparks of a fire, although one in quality with the fire, are separate from the fire when they shoot out of it. Even after being liberated from illusion, the living entity remains a separate identity. Arjuna became liberated by the knowledge received from Krishna, but he never became one with Krishna."

[Here we have a clear statement of the Vaishnavaite conception. When Srila Prabhupada says that the sparks are "one in quality" with fire, he is talking about the immanence of Krishna in all of creation, including humanity; and when he says that Arjuna "never became one with Krishna" he is pointing towards the Lord’s transcendence.

Swami Shivananda comments on this verse: "The eternal Self is indivisible, so It has no parts, etc." This is the non-dual view of the Advaitin. All is the Self and there is nothing else. Any sense of individuality is an illusion.

At this point on my path, these two differing conceptions do not trouble me. I don't feel that I need to align myself with either. What is important is that I align myself with the witnessing bird (Krishna himself) in the story from the Upanishads. I long for constant remembrance of the witness. When my goal of constant remembrance is realized, all of the differing conceptions will get resolved.]

1 comment:

Krishna Jaya said...

‘Be patient,’ Rilke advised, ‘with all that is unresolved in your heart, and try to love the questions themselves. Do not seek for the answers that cannot be given. Live the questions now, and perhaps without knowing it, you will live someday into the answers.’

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