Gita Daily Readings

25th October
Chapter XV: 16
Two purushas there are in this world, the perishable and the imperishable. All beings are the perishable and the kutastha is called the imperishable.

Commentary

“Kutastha” is the unchanging rock-like substratum of the individual personality, the unobvious.

The perishable purusha (the para prakriti - cf. VIII:5) is the living soul, “Adam” after the fall from the Garden of Eden, the "raindrop" that has disconnected itself from the cloud.

The imperishable purusha is the substratum of this second personality - not different from it in the main, yet with a subtle difference. Like the raindrop in the process of formation. There is the potentiality of drop formation in the dark rain-bearing cloud; as the water is becoming effective as a drop, it is still one with the cloud. Just so is the imperishable purusha one with God, though the manifestation-potential is beginning to express itself. One, yet not exactly so!

A mysterious power called maya rules this manifestation-potentiality state in the infinite being. Mysterious indeed, only to be likened to the atmospheric disturbance which makes subtle water vapor visible to the human eye as cloud. Krishna calls maya “my power” in order to prevent us vainly arguing about it. The human being's focus is too puny to comprehend the total working of this power of maya. In this limited vision, avidya or ignorance, changes are observed. We can, perhaps, at any given moment, only focus on one “drop” and therefore feel that it is different from another - thus one being assumes independence from the rest.

This fictitious distinction which is jivahood (egoity), caused by avidya, only fades at the dawn of that knowledge which enables us to “understand” maya. The vision becomes unconditioned and limitless and none of these changes are seen to be true. We realize that the self is, was, and will ever be one with the infinite.

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