Bhagavadgita -Radhakrishnan 25

The Bhagavadgita -S. Radhakrishnan

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

Why is there non-being? Why is there the fall or the precipitation from absolute being to becoming ? This is to ask why is there the world with its perpetual strife between being and non-being? Absolute being, the one Godhead, is behind and beyond the world and in the world; He is also the Supreme Living God, loving the world and redeeming it by His grace. Why is the world what it is with its graduated hierarchy? We can only say, it is the nature of the Supreme to express Itself in this way. We cannot account for the fact of the world but can only construe its nature, which is a strife between being and non-being in the process of becoming. Pure being is above the world and pure non-being is below the lowest existent. If we go lower still we have nothing, it is absolute non-entity. In the world of true becoming, sarhsara, we have the conflict between the two principles of being and non-being.

The first product of the interaction is the cosmic egg (brahm~ncla) which includes within itself the totality of manifested being. All later developments are contained within it in a germinal form. It contains the past, the present and the future in a supreme now. Arjuna sees the whole Vigvarupa, world-form, in one vast shape He sees the form of the Divine bursting the very bounds of existence, filling the whole sky and the universe, worlds coursing through it like catatacts Those who look upon the Supreme as impersonal and relationless regard the conception of I vara with his power of self-manifestation as the result of ignorance (avidya).[1]The power of thought that produces forms which are transient and therefore unreal compared with the Eternal Reality, this power of producing appearances is called avidya. But avidya is not something peculiar to this or that individual. It is said to be the power of self-manifestation possessed by the Supreme. The Lord says that though He, in reality, is birthless, He comes to birth by His own power atrarnayaya.[2] Maya is derived from the root, ma, to form, to build, and originally meant the capacity to produce forms. The creative power by which God fashions the universe is called yoga mayd There is no suggestion that the forms, the events and the objects produced by maya or the form-building power of God, the mayin, are only illusory.


References and Context

  1. S. says : "The names and forms imagined to exist in the Supreme I6vara as a result of the ignorance of the nature of the Atman, of which it is not possible to say whether they are different, or non-different from the Supreme are in Sruti and Smrti texts called mays, Aakti, prakrti of the all knowing Parame§vara." S.B., II, T, 14.
  2. IV, 6. "The Supreme Lord chose to sport in the exercise of His power of Yoga."bhagavan apt. vantum 11ial:ascakre yogantayam uu.fUritah. Bhagavata, X, 29, I. Divine activity is not undertaken for the fulfilment of anv purpose of his own, because'God is nityatrpia. This feature of disinterestedness is brought out by the use of the word sport. lokavat tu lila kawalyam. Brahma Sutra, II, I, 33. Radha Up. says that the One God is eternally at play in the varied activities of the world. eko demo nityalilanuraktalc, IV, 3.