Gita Rahasya -Tilak 272

Karma Yoga Sastra -Tilak


The Rsi of this hymn, therefore, says, to start with, that it is not proper to describe the Fundamental, homogeneous, Substance as sat or asat, ether or water, light or darkness, death or immortality, or by such other mutually dependent expres- sions ; he says, that whatever there was, was stranger than all these things ; that It was one and one alone, and was throbbing in all directions by its inexhaustible energy ; and that there was nothing else which was a mate to it or which covered it. The root word ' an ' in the verb 'anit' in the second rca means to breathe or to throb ; and the word ' prana ' is derived from that root. But who can say that That, which was neither sat nor asat, was breathing like a living being ? and where was the air to breathe ? Therefore, the words avatam ( that is, without air ) and svadhaya ( by its own prowess ) have been added to the word 'anit', and the idea that the Fundamental Element of the world was not Gross Matter, which (idea) pertains to the stage of Non-Dualism, has been very skilfully described in the language of Dualism by saying that "that ONE substance was breathing or throbbing by Its own prowess without air, that is, without depending on air !" ; and the apparent contradiction in terms, which is involved in this, is 'the result of the insufficiency of Dualistic terminology.

The descriptions of the Parabrahman to be found in the Upanisads, such as, "neti, neti", or " ekamevadvitiyam" or "' sve mahimni pratisthitah" [1], that is, "that which subsists by Itself alone, by Its own prowess, that is, without depending on anyone else", are mere repetitions of this idea. It is clear that that indescribable Element, which has been referred to in this hymn as throbbing in all directions at the commencement of the entire universe, will survive when the entire visible universe is destroyed. Therefore, this same Parabrahman has been described in the Gita with a slight amplification, in the words: "Which is not destroyed though all other things are destroyed" [2]; and it is stated later on [3] by clear reference to this hymn that " It is neither sat nor asat". But, if there was nothing in the beginning except the qualityless Brahman, a difficulty arises- as to how to dispose of such descriptions as, " there were in the- beginning, water, darkness, or the couple of abhu and tuccha", which are to be found even in the Vedas. Therefore, this Bsi says in the third rca, that the descriptions, which we come; across, to the effect that in the beginning of the universe there- was darkness, or water clothed in darkness, or, that abhu- ( Brahman) and the Maya ( tuccha ) which covered It, existed from the very beginning, are descriptions of the ONE and sole, fundamental Parabrahman, after It had developed into a diversified expansion by the prowess of Its austere medita- tion, and not of Its fundamental state.


References And Context

  1. (Chan. 7. 24. 1 )
  2. (Gi. 8. 20)
  3. ( GI. 13. 12 )