Wednesday, February 15, 2012

V: 24

Chapter 5, Verse 24

"Only those Yogis
Whose joy is inward,
Whose peace is inward,
And whose vision is turned inward,
Shall come to Brahm
And know Nirvana."

Sri Aurobindo:

"They have merged into the Self of all, calm, dispassionate, motionless, and pure, one with all beings in the Self. This Self, though by its all-pervading existence supports the works of Nature, does not itself create works or the state of the doer of works or the joining of the works to their fruits, but only stands aloof as the witness of Nature, which accomplishes these things.

Is this the last state, the utmost possibility and the highest secret? It cannot be, since this is a mixed or divided and not a perfectly synthesized status, a double and not a unified being. What, then, is there beyond it? One solution is that of the traditional view of the Sannyasin [renunciate] who rejects Nature and her action altogether, so far at least as action can be rejected, but this solution is not preferred by Krishna in the Gita's teachings.

The Gita insists upon the giving up of action, not outwardly, but inwardly to Brahm, the Self. Brahm in the Kshara [manifest Nature] supports wholly the action of Prakriti [Nature], while Brahm in the Akshara [the unmanifest substratum of Nature], even though supporting, disassociates itself from the action, preserving its freedom. The individual soul [Jiva], unified with Brahm in the Akshara, is free and disassociated; yet, unified with the Brahm in the Kshara, it is involved, but not affected. This it can do best when it realizes that both Brahm in the Kshara and Brahm in the Akshara are aspects of the one Purushottam, the Supreme Self, Krishna himself.

The union of Jiva with the Purushottam by a Yoga of the whole being is the complete teaching of the Gita and not only the union with the immutable Self as in the narrower doctrine. This is why the Gita subsequently, after effecting the reconciliation of works and wisdom, is able to develop the idea of devotion, unified with both works and wisdom, as the highest path to the supreme secret.

Union by Yoga with the Purushottam means the knowledge of our oneness with him as well as the knowledge of a certain differentiation of our active being. It is the persistence of the latter in a play of divine action which is urged by the power of devotion and constituted by the divine nature.

Nevertheless, the direct way to this sublime union includes the firm Realization of the immutable Self, Brahm in the Akshara, and it is Krishna's insistence on this as a first necessity, after which alone may works and devotion acquire their complete, divine meaning. If we take the passages in which he insists most rigorously upon this necessity and neglect to observe the whole sequence of thought in which they stand, we may easily come to the conclusion, as so many have done before us, that Krishna is really teaching actionless absorption as the final state of the soul and action only as a preliminary means toward stillness in Brahm [in the Akshara]. It is in these verses at the close of the Fifth Chapter and throughout the Sixth Chapter that this insistence is strongest and most comprehensive.

Krishna often uses the phrase Brahm-Nirvana, extinction in Brahm; and Brahm here certainly seems to mean the immutable, divine foundation of the changing manifestation, denoting the inner, timeless Self withdrawn from active participation, even though immanent in the externality of Nature. We have to look closely to follow Krishna's drift here, and especially whether this peace is the peace of an absolute inactive cessation. We are indeed accustomed to regard Nirvana and action in the world as incompatible.

Liberated Jivas make the divinized natural being an instrument of the divine will, remaining, even in action, beyond the Gunas. They have unified their whole being in the Purushottam, assuming the divine nature of becoming, in a unification of the mind with the divine. This metamorphosis is the final evolution and consummation of the divine birth. When it is accomplished, Jiva becomes aware of itself as the master of its nature and is able to transform its natural workings into divine actions."

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