Essays on the Gita -Sri Aurobindo
First Series : Chapter 12
The Significance of Sacrifice
Even in the passage itself, without the illumining interpretation afterwards given to it in the fourth chapter, we have already an indication of a wider sense where it is said that sacrifice is born from work, work from brahman, brahman from the Akshara, and therefore the all-pervading Brahman, sarvagatam˙ brahma, is established in the sacrifice. The connecting logic of the “therefore” and the repetition of the word brahma are significant; for it shows clearly that the brahman from which all work is born has to be understood with an eye not so much to the current Vedic teaching in which it means the Veda as to a symbolical sense in which the creative Word is identical with the all-pervading Brahman, the Eternal, the one Self present in all existences, sarvabhutesu, and present in all the workings of existence. The Veda is the knowledge of the Divine, the Eternal,—“I am He who is to be known in all the books of the Knowledge,” vedai´s ca vedyah. , Krishna will say in a subsequent chapter; but it is the knowledge of him in the workings of Prakriti, in the workings of the three gun. as, first qualities or modes of Nature, traigun. yavis.ay¯a ved¯ah. . This Brahman or Divine in the workings of Nature is born, as we may say, out of the Akshara, the immutable Purusha, the Self who stands above all the modes or qualities or workings of Nature, nistraigun. ya. The Brahman is one but self-displayed in two aspects, the immutable Being and the creator and originator of works in the mutable becoming, atman, sarvabhutani; it is the immobile omnipresent Soul of things and it is the spiritual principle of the mobile working of things, Purusha poised in himself and Purusha active in Prakriti; it is aksara and ksara.