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36
THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE BHAGAVAD-GITA

when we come to man, we find that his conscious individuality is clearly and completely defined by the operation of this force. In producing this result several subsidiary forces, which are generated by the peculiar conditions of time, space and environment, co-operate with this one life. What is generally called karana sharira is but the natural product of the action of those very forces that have operated to bring about this result. When once that plane of consciousness is reached in the path of progress that includes the voluntary actions of man, it will be seen that those voluntary actions not only preserve the individuality of the karana sharira but render it more and more definite, as birth after birth further progress is attained, and thus keep up the continued existence of the jiva as an individual monad. So in one sense the karana sharira is the result of karmic impulses. It is the child of Karma as it were. It lives with it, and will disappear if the influence of Karma can be annihilated. The astral body on the other hand is, to a great extent, the result of the physical existence of man, as far as that existence is concerned with his physical wants, associations and cravings. We may therefore suppose that the persistence of the astral body after death will, under ordinary circumstances, be more or less proportionate to the strength of these emotions and animal passions.

Now let us enquire what, constituted as man is, are the rules to which he is generally subject, and the