Daily Readings from the Works of Swami Venkatesananda

Bhagavad Gita - Song of God - Chapter 8: 19-20

June 23, 2022

™bhūtagrāmaḥ sa evā ’yaṁ bhūtvā-bhūtvā pralīyate
rātryāgame ’vaśaḥ pārtha prabhavaty aharāgame (VIII-19)

™paras tasmāt tu bhāvo ’nyo ’vyakto ’vyaktāt sanātanaḥ
yaḥ sa sarveṣu bhūteṣu naśyatsu na vinaśyati (VIII-20)

VIII/19. This same multitude of beings, being born again and
again, is dissolved, helplessly, O Arjuna, at the coming of the
night and comes forth at the coming of the day.

VIII/20. But verily there exists, higher than the unmanifested,
another unmanifested eternal being who is not destroyed
when all beings are destroyed (dissolved).

Swamiji's Commentary

      All this coming and going, according to one school of thought (amply supported by The Bhagavatam which contains highly colorful stories of such creation), takes place in the mind of God(See also 11:20.). The Hebrew word in the Genesis story of The Bible, which is usually translated "in the beginning" also means "in the head" - creation took place in God's head!

     The universe is an extensive and prolonged "dream" of God. Even as during the course of our own dream the dream-objects are indeed real, the objects of this universe seem to be real to us, while the dream of the cosmic dreamer is still in progress.

    Otherwise, how is it that though scientists have proved that the whole universe is nothing more than a perpetual movement of light-waves, and that all objects of this universe are, in the ultimate analysis, nothing but energy, we persist in seeing a variety of objects? What sees what? "I see this paper". When "I" and "paper" are both vibrations of energy, what makes "I," "I", and "paper," "paper?"

    When thus we pursue all our sense perceptions (which together we call the manifest universe), we arrive at the ultimate unmanifested principle - the reality or the absolute. That absolute is beyond the intellect and the senses. The unmanifested (root-matter or mulaprakrti) which projects itself and withdraws such manifestation is what Fred Hoyle calls the eternally self-creating root element of which the universe is composed. It keeps changing, over the substratum of the absolute which is unchanging. That is Brahman. That is the self. "That thou art", cry out the Upanishad!
      We resume our Jnana Yoga lecture series tomorrow.


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