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Seeing the One Within the All

Part 71 of the Bhagavad Gita for Awakening

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The One in all

Krishna now concludes the subject of the field and the knower of the field, pointing out the results of seeing their nature and their union.

Know this: whatever is born, the animate or the inanimate, know it to be resulting from the union of the Field and the Knower of the Field (13:26).

All that exists within the field of relativity, even if only momentarily, has arisen from the interaction of the field (prakriti) and the knower of the field (purusha), that are really one and the same. For “creation” is a dream of the purusha, though infinitely more stable and lasting than our nightly dreams.

Regarding those who wake from the cosmic dream, Krishna says:

He who sees the Supreme Lord existing in all beings equally, not dying when they die–he sees truly (13:27).

What a glorious vision! And Krishna uses the term Parameshwara–Supreme Lord–for he is speaking of a very personal seeing of God, not some abstract metaphysical Principle. God is indeed Principle, but so much more besides. To ever see God, to not have the world be a veil but a window, is possible to the yogi, a sublime possibility. For such a one: “Death is swallowed up in victory” (I Corinthians 15:54).

The One in him

Truly seeing the same Lord existing everywhere, he injures not the Self by the lower self. Then he goes to the Supreme Goal (13:28).

Unpleasant as the fact may be, people live in continual violation of their spirit-nature. Daily they outrage their divine Self in a multitude of ways, all of which have the single effect of burying, even suffocating, their Self, of dethroning and degrading it–at least within this plane of relative existence, even though the Self can never be diminished or harmed in the transcendental realm. The way human beings live is a kind of constant attempted murder of their own deathless being. This is a terrible mode of life, and the world around us reveals the results.

Although nearly all of the world continues to repeat the same deadly folly, we as individuals need not do so. We can make our heart and our home a haven of peace, an abode of Consciousness. It is all a matter of refining and elevating our usual state of mind through japa and meditation, of thus “truly seeing the same Lord existing everywhere” around us. Freed from the lie of ego, we come to know who and what we really are, and our eternal relationship with God.

He who himself sees thus: that all actions are performed exclusively by Prakriti, and perceives that therefore he is himself not the doer–he sees truly (13:29).

In the midst of “change and decay all around I see,” the yogi is undisturbed, because he knows that prakriti alone is moving, changing, breaking up, and recombining–that the Self is untouched by all that, the unmoving witness of it all. As Yogananda continually reminded his students, “this is all just movies.” The movie is not ultimately real, but the movie-viewers are. And when the show is over they will leave the theater and go home where they belong without a backward look.

When he perceives the various states of being as resting in the One, and their expansion from that One alone–he then attains Brahman (13:30).

First we see the truth of the individual Self, and then we are enabled to know the Supreme Self. All states and forms of existence come from Brahman and ever remain within Brahman. The entire cosmos is a great ritual of Consciousness. As the fourth chapter says: “Brahman is the offering, Brahman is the oblation poured out by Brahman into the fire of Brahman. Brahman is to be attained by him who always sees Brahman in action.” This being so:

This eternal Supreme Self, without beginning and devoid of gunas, even though dwelling in the body, does not act, nor is it tainted. As the all-pervading ether because of its subtlety is not tainted, so the Self seated in the body is not tainted at any time in any situation. As the sun alone illumines this entire world, so the Lord of the field illumines the entire field. Those who know through the eye of knowledge the distinction between the Field and the Knower of the Field, and the liberation of beings from Prakriti–they go to the Supreme (the Highest) (13:31-34).

This is no intellectual exercise, but “knowledge combined with realization” (9:1). Once we know the difference between purusha and prakriti, and how to distance ourselves from the prakriti-dream, we are on the way to freedom from bondage in this or any other world.

Read the next article in the Bhagavad Gita for Awakening: The Three Gunas

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Introduction to The Bhagavad Gita for Awakening

Preface to The Bhagavad Gita for Awakening

Bhagavad Gita for Awakening links:

  1. The Battlefield of the Mind
  2. On the Field of Dharma
  3. Taking Stock
  4. The Smile of Krishna
  5. Birth and Death–The Great Illusions
  6. Experiencing the Unreal
  7. The Unreal and the Real
  8. The Body and the Spirit
  9. Know the Atman!
  10. Practical Self-Knowledge
  11. Perspective on Birth and Death
  12. The Wonder of the Atman
  13. The Indestructible Self
  14. “Happy the Warrior”
  15. Buddhi Yoga
  16. Religiosity Versus Religion
  17. Perspective on Scriptures
  18. How Not To Act
  19. How To Act
  20. Right Perspective
  21. Wisdom About the Wise
  22. Wisdom About Both the Foolish and the Wise
  23. The Way of Peace
  24. Calming the Storm
  25. First Steps in Karma Yoga
  26. From the Beginning to the End
  27. The Real “Doers”
  28. Our Spiritual Marching Orders
  29. Freedom From Karma
  30. “Nature”
  31. Swadharma
  32. In the Grip of the Monster
  33. Devotee and Friend
  34. The Eternal Being
  35. The Path
  36. Caste and Karma
  37. Action–Divine and Human
  38. The Mystery of Action and Inaction
  39. The Wise in Action
  40. Sacrificial Offerings
  41. The Worship of Brahman
  42. Action–Renounced and Performed
  43. Freedom (Moksha)
  44. The Brahman-Knower
  45. The Goal of Karma Yoga
  46. Getting There
  47. The Yogi’s Retreat
  48. The Yogi’s Inner and Outer Life
  49. Union With Brahman
  50. The Yogi’s Future
  51. Success in Yoga
  52. The Net and Its Weaver
  53. Those Who Seek God
  54. Those Who Worship God and the Gods
  55. The Veil in the Mind
  56. The Big Picture
  57. The Sure Way To Realize God
  58. Day, Night, and the Two Paths
  59. The Supreme Knowledge
  60. Universal Being
  61. Maya–Its Dupes and Its Knowers
  62. Worshipping the One
  63. Going To God
  64. Wisdom and Knowing
  65. Going To The Source
  66. From Hearing To Seeing
  67. The Wisdom of Devotion
  68. Right Conduct
  69. The Field and Its Knower
  70. Interaction of Purusha and Prakriti
  71. Seeing the One Within the All
  72. The Three Gunas
  73. The Cosmic Tree
  74. Freedom
  75. The All-pervading Reality
  76. The Divine and the Demonic
  77. Faith and the Three Gunas
  78. Food and the Three Gunas
  79. Religion and the Three Gunas
  80. Tapasya and the Three Gunas
  81. Charity and the Three Gunas
  82. Sannyasa and Tyaga
  83. Deeper Insights On Action
  84. Knowledge, Action, Doer, and the Three Gunas
  85. The Three Gunas: Intellect and Firmness
  86. The Three Kinds of Happiness
  87. Freedom
  88. The Great Devotee
  89. The Final Words
  90. Glossary

Visit our e-library page for Free Downloads of this and other ebooks in various formats.

Read the Maharshi Gita, an arrangement of verses of the Bhagavad Gita made by Sri Ramana Maharshi that gives an overview of the essential message of the Gita.

Read The Bhagavad Gita (arranged in verses for singing) by Abbot George Burke (Swami Nirmalananda Giri).

Read about the meanings of unfamiliar terms in A Brief Sanskrit Glossary

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