Gita Daily Readings

3rd June
Chapter VII: 12-13
Whatever beings are pure, active and inert, know that they proceed from me. They are in me, yet I am not in them.

Deluded by these natures, composed of the three qualities of nature all this world does not know me as distinct from them and immutable.

Commentary

Krishna is very cautious! Asceticism, and so on, are the manifestation of his nature, not to be confused with him. He remains further behind, beneath and within them. Again, "within" should not be taken to mean that he is somehow encased, limited or restricted by them. They are all in him, but he is not "contained" in them as a pot contains water! God is like the crystal that reflects the color of a nearby object. It is ignorance that attributes to the crystal itself the color of the object.

A crude analogy may help. Look at the flame of a candle. The extremely subtle, intangible, axiomatic and self-existent power that carries out the process of combustion in that flame is comparable to God. The flame of fire itself resembles his nature (though in philosophy even his nature and its modes are subtler than the candle-flame). The fire of the flame has three characteristics: light, heat and smoke, comparable respectively to sattva, rajas and tamas, which are modes of God's divine nature. All beings in the universe (sentient and inert) participate in these three qualities because they all form part of God's nature.

If we do not see that these qualities flow from the divine, we remain deluded by the manifest phenomena, not caring to probe them to discover the reality. However, sooner or later man asks the right question, and, pursuing the right line of approach, he discovers that just as the ocean is one indivisible mass of water, so the three distinctions of sattva, rajas and tamas do not exist separately in God. They are made only in order to promote our understanding. The truth is seen to be transcendent - something which embraces all these. They exist in God without division, yet he is beyond them and also changeless.

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