Bhagavadgita -Radhakrishnan 23

The Bhagavadgita -S. Radhakrishnan

6. The Status of the World and the Concept of Maya

If the fundamental form of the Supreme is mirguna, quality-less and acintya, inconceivable, the world is an appearance which cannot be logically related to the Absolute. In the unalterable eternity of Brahman, all that moves and evolves is founded. By It they exist, they cannot be without It, though It causes nothing, does nothing, determines nothing.

while the world is dependent on Brahman, the latter is not dependent on the world. This one-sided dependence and the logical inconceivability of the relation between the Ultimate Reality and the world are brought out by the word, "maya." The world is not essential being like Brahman; nor is it mere non-being. It cannot be defined as either being or non-being.[1] The sudden discovery through religious experience of the ultimate reality of spirit inclines us sometimes to look upon the world as an illusion rather than as a misapprehension or a misconstruction. Maya does not imply that the world is an illusion or is non-existent absolutely. It is a delimitation distinct from the unmeasured and the immeasurable But why is there this delimitation ? The question cannot be answered, so long as we are at the empirical level.

In every religion, the Supreme Reality is conceived as infinitely above our time order, with its beginning and end, its movements and fluctuations. God, in the Christian religion, is represented as without variableness or shadow of turning. He dwells in the eternal now seeing the end from the beginning. If this were all, there would be an absolute division between the Divine life and this pluralistic world, which would make all communion between the two impossible. If the Supreme Reality were unique, passive and immobile, there would be no room for time, for movement, for history. Time, with its processes of change and succession, would become, a mere appearance. But God is a living principle, a consuming fire. It is not a question of either an Absolute with an apparent multiplicity or a living God working in this pluralistic universe. The Supreme is both this and that. Eternity does not mean the denial of time or of history. It is the transfiguration of time. Time derives from eternity and finds fulfilment in it. In the Bhagavadgita, there is no antithesis between eternity and time. Through the figure of Krsna, the unity between the eternal and the historical is indicated. The temporal movement is related to the inmost depths of eternity.


References and Context

  1. sadasadbhiyam anzrvacasiyam.