Bhagavadgita -Radhakrishnan 40

The Bhagavadgita -S. Radhakrishnan

10. The Way of Knowledge: Jnana-marga

As such, it is the unmanifested or the avyakta. All mental and material phenomena are explained as the outcome of the evolution of prakrti. It has three modes or gums, literally strands of a rope. These, by appearing in different proportions, produce the variety of actual existence. With reference to matter, they act as lightness (sattva), movement (rajas) and heaviness (tamas). As forms of mental phenomena, they act as goodness, passion and dullness respectively. When the self realizes that it is free from all contact with prakrti, it is released. The Gita accepts this account with the fundamental modification that the dualities of Samkhya, purusa and prakrti, are the very nature of the Supreme Principle, God.

Evil is caused by the bondage to the gunas. It arises because the seed of life or the spirit cast into matter becomes fettered by the gunas. According to the preponderance of one or the other of the gunas the soul rises or falls. When we recognize the self as distinct from prakrti with its gunas, we are released. Metaphysical knowledge[1]. is transformed into realization[2] by means of yoga or the method of concentration. From the earliest times, yoga has been employed to describe practices and experiences of a special kind which have been later adapted to the teachings of the different methods, jnana, bhakti and karma. Each of them uses the practices of dhycinayoga or the way of meditation. Yoga is the suppression of the activities of the mind, according to Patanjali.[3] Maitri Up. says, "As fire deprived of fuel is extinguished in its own hearth, so when mental activities are suppressed (vrttiksayat), Nitta. is extinguished in its own seat. "[4] It is by a mighty exercise of will that we can achieve this suppression of the clamour of ideas and of the rabble of desires. By ceaseless action the yogi is called upon to achieve control.[5]


References and Context

  1. paroksajnana
  2. aparoksabrahmasaksatkara.
  3. yogas cittavrttinirodhah
  4. VI, 34
  5. cittarh svayonau upasamyate. s nirvtkarena karmana.. 'Harivamsa. XI, 736.