Wednesday, February 13, 2013

VII: 5

Chapter 7, Verse 5

"This is Nature
In its lower manifestation,
But beyond this,
I have another,
Higher, supreme Nature,
The fountain of Life
Whereby this Universe
Pours forth its Being."

Swami Shivananda:

The eight-fold Nature described in the previous verse is known as the lower Prakriti.  It constitutes the unified field of matter.  The higher Nature, Para Prakriti, is my very Self, says Krishna, by which Life is sustained.  It is that which enters the whole world and upholds it.  It is the very Life-element by which the Universe is sustained in its evolution.

Paramahansa Yogananda:

The Krishna or Christ consciousness is the intelligence of God immanent in all of creation as the unchanged and unchanging pure reflection of God.  Para Prakriti is that same consciousness expressing itself through the creative power of individuality and diversity.

[In the past, whenever I came across this image of immanence as the pure reflection of God, it gave me trouble, because it just didn't seem to fit very well, so this time I looked up "reflection" in the dictionary.  One of the definitions is, "the action of the mind by which it is conscious of its own operation."  This is in line with the idea of a witnessing presence as alert stillness.]

Eckhart Tolle:

When you look at a tree, you are aware of the tree.  When you have a thought or feeling, you are aware of that thought or feeling.  When you have a painful or pleasurable experience, you are aware of that experience.  These seem to be true and obvious statements, yet if you look at them closely, you find that in a subtle way their very structure contains a fundamental illusion that becomes unavoidable with the use of language.  Thought and language create an apparent duality and a separate person when in fact there is none.

The truth is this.  You are not somebody who is aware of the tree, the thought, the feeling or the experience.  You are the awareness or consciousness in which those things appear.  As you go about your daily activities, can you be aware of yourself as that awareness in which the entire content of your life unfolds?

[The awareness or consciousness in which everything appears is known as the Self in the Gita.  It is inactive and changeless.  The higher power in the Universe provides the impetus behind the world of manifestation which arises from the changeless Self and later subsides back into it in a succession of cycles without beginning or end.  The changeless substratum and the higher power are essentially, indivisibly one and make up what is known as the Supreme Self.  Krishna embodies the Supreme Self, at once the divine foundation of all and the higher power in the Universe.]

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