Gita Daily Readings

27th MARCH
Chapter Four: 4-6
Arjuna said: Later on was thy birth, and prior to it was the birth of the sun. How am I to understand that thou taughtest this yoga in the beginning?

The blessed Lord said: Many births of mine have passed as well as of thine, Oh Arjuna. I know them all but thou knowest not.

Though I am unborn, of imperishable nature, and though I am the lord of all beings, yet, ruling over my own nature, I am born by my own maya.

Commentary

God is omnipresent and omnipotent. He is like the umpire in a football match: he lets the two teams (the divine and the undivine) play on; he himself remains unnoticed till the need arises and then he suddenly reveals his presence. The word avatara or "descent" is only symbolic. God, who is omnipresent, bursts into manifestation, even as electricity, which is subtle and "does not seem to exist at all," reveals itself through a light-bulb or where there is a short-circuit.

You and I have had countless births. God has also manifested himself countless times. You and I are also manifestations or incarnations of the omnipresent God! So were Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Zarathustra, Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, etc. There is this little (?!) difference: two people go into the sea; the fool is drowning and the lifesaver jumps in to save him. We are drowning in ignorance and evil. God (as the saviors and prophets) comes to save us. We are bound by ignorance and maya. He playacts as if bound, in order to liberate us.

It is blasphemy to say that this cannot happen. It is a rash denial of the omnipotence of God. True, the special manifestation does not cancel his omnipresence. When there is a great white cloud above us it does not mean there is no water-vapor anywhere else. God is ever omnipresent, even while he is with us as an avatara.

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