14. A Great Secret
The ninth chapter opens with a great flourish.
Krsna declares:
I shall now declare to thee who does not cavil, the greatest secret, the knowledge combined with direct self-realisation.
Having known this thou shalt be free from evil. It is the kingly science and the kingly secret. (9:1,2)
Just as the king is considered to be the foremost of men, this is the foremost knowledge.
Not only that, it is an extremely subtle secret - secret not because it has been hidden away by some god or maya, but because you have not thought about it or investigated it.
You have never turned within to look.
We have never bothered to understand life; we have never bothered to understand ourselves until a tragedy or a calamity overtakes us.
Even then not all the people bother to look into the facts or the truth concerning life, the self, the world.
Hence it remains a secret just by default.
The truth is extremely simple.
But because of some kind of kink in our own brain, we cannot possibly believe this to be true.
We think that the truth or God-realisation must be such a complicated affair, that the truth that is right in front of us seems to be too simple to be true, and therefore, ignoring it, we look for something that is imaginary - complicated.
This life, when it is lived and investigated in the proper manner, reveals the truth instantly.
The nature of reality is not hidden away, except to the extent that you have not bothered to investigate it.
The extraordinary feature of Krsna's teaching is that instead of looking at your body and denying its reality, he asks you to look at it and see it as God' s own nature.
The body is not a non-existent illusion, but it is not what you think it is.
The totality that pervades the entire universe is not obvious to that which is unable to perceive the totality.
The senses being fragmented, limited, can only perceive or respond to a certain limited field, called the sense field, so that the eyes can only see, the ears can only hear.
That is not to say that what is heard is unreal and what is seen is unreal.
The unreal cannot be seen or heard and so on.
For instance, what the eye sees is only a certain limited spectrum of light.
That is not the totality of life.
Understanding of the limitation of the senses is understanding of the existence of the totality.
There is an unmanifest presence which you cannot possibly be conscious of.
It is something which one cannot comprehend either with the senses or with the mind.
Krsna says:
As the mighty wind, moving everywhere, rests always in space, even so, know thou that all beings rest in me. (9:6)
These acts do not bind me, O Arjuna, sitting like one indifferent, unattached to those acts. (9:9)
'All this creation takes place, diverse beings exist and dissolve and I pervade all of them, but the divine omnipresence is not polluted.'
It is not possible to conceptualise the relationship of God, world and you.
Hence, the apparently contradictory declarations in verses four and five of chapter nine.
God pervades all things in a non-obvious (avyakta-murtina) way.
Thus, the enquiring mind is pushed to its own ultimate limits, so that surrender may happen.
God, being the indwelling omnipresence, is in you, but not confined to you.
In the very core of your being, there dwells this omnipresence.
It penetrates every cell of your being, because it is omnipresent.
And yet it is outside the comprehension of your senses and your mind - which means neither the senses nor the mind can function independent of this omnipresence, and that omnipresence is unaffected by what is being done by the senses and the mind.
In the Upanisad you are given an illustration which is very beautiful.
The sun shines, and aided by the light of the sun, because of the light of the sun, we sit here and contemplate God.
One man goes on with his building work, earning his bread; another cheats; another man picks someone else's pocket; another man kills.
Though, in a manner of speaking, the sun is responsible for all, the sun is unaffected by the sins or the virtues of the people functioning in sunlight.
In the same way, the omnipresence oversees all that goes on in this universe, and yet it is not affected by it.
Just as you are endowed with a nature, this cosmic omnipresence also has got a nature of its own.
What you are seeing in front of you is the manifestation of that nature.
If you study yourself, you will understand the cosmic being, because the omnipresent is present in you without being confined to you, so that the characteristics of the omnipresence can be intuited - not understood mentally, intellectually or psychologically - by becoming aware of what goes on in you.
The omnipresence is omniscient and omnipotent at the same time.
The omnipotence manifests itself everywhere as all this, and the same omnipotence stirs in you, as it were.
You are not different from the universe.
In you this same omnipotence stirs, and the omniscience (which is in you) thinks 'I am doing it'.
You are caught!
The simple truth is that the omnipresence is God, God is the indwelling omnipresence, 'I am that I am'; and that indwelling omnipresence is omniscient and therefore there is awareness.
It is not 'my' awareness.
The indwelling omnipresence which is omniscient, is also omnipotent, and therefore is capable of diverse action.
The sensory faculties experience the world as if it were outside and the faculties of action express themselves as if the action arises in the ego, but all these arise not in the 'me' but in God.
All the elements that are involved in living are but the manifestations of the omnipotence of the omniscient, omnipresent being.
One who realises this is instantly liberated.
Why need the reality be realised?
Because it is not obvious.
Paradoxically, the truth or God is the omnipresent but unobvious reality in what is obvious.
A delightful 'hide and seek'!

The Bhagavad Gita - Introduction | EN

Swami Venkatesananda

The Song of God - Introduction - Swami Venkatesananda - enlarged 4th edition – 1984 - published by The Chiltern Yoga Trust, Cape Town, South Africa
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