The Philosophy of Bhagawad-Gita/Third Lecture

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THIRD LECTURE

IN this lecture I shall consider the premises I have laid down with special reference to the various passages in which they seem to be indicated in this book.

It will be remembered that I started with the very first cause, which I called Parabrahmam. Any positive definition of this principle is of course impossible, and a negative definition is all that can be attempted from the very nature of the case. It is generally believed, at any rate by a certain class of philosophers, that Krshna himself is Parabrahmam— that he is the personal God who is Parabrahmam— but the words used by Krshna in speaking of Parabrahmam, and the way in which he deals with the subject, clearly show that he draws a distinction between himself and Parabrahmam.

No doubt he is a manifestation of Parabrahmam, as every Logos is. And Pratyagatma is Parabrahmam in the sense in which that proposition is laid down by the Adwaitis. This statement is at the bottom of all Adwaiti philosophy, but is very often misunderstood. When Adwaitis say "Ahameva Parabrahmam ", they do not mean to say that this ahankaram (egotism) is Parabrahmam, but that the only true self in the cosmos, which is the Logos or Pratyagatma, is a manifestation of Parabrahmam.

It will be noticed that when Krshna is speaking of himself he never uses the word Parabrahmam, but places himself in the position of Pratyagatma, and it is from this standpoint that we constantly find him speaking. Whenever he speaks of Pratyagatma, he speaks of himself, and whenever he speaks of Parabrahmam, he speaks of it as being something different from himself.

I will now go through all the passages in which reference is made to Parabrahmam in this book. The first passage to which I shall call your attention is chapter viii, verse 3:

The eternal spirit is the Supreme Brahma. Its condition as Pratyagatma is called Adhyatma. Action which leads to incarnated existence is denoted by Karma.

Here the only words used to denote Parabrahmam are Aksharam and Brahma. These are the words he generally uses. You will notice that he does not in any place call it Ishvara or Maheshvara; he does not even allude to it often as Atma. Even the term Paramatma he applies to himself, and not to Parabrahmam. I believe that the reason for this is that the word Atma, strictly speaking, means the same thing as self, that idea of self being in no way connected with Parabrahmam. This idea of self first comes into existence with Page:Philosophy of bhagawad-gita.pdf/80 Page:Philosophy of bhagawad-gita.pdf/81 Page:Philosophy of bhagawad-gita.pdf/82 Page:Philosophy of bhagawad-gita.pdf/83 Page:Philosophy of bhagawad-gita.pdf/84 Page:Philosophy of bhagawad-gita.pdf/85 Page:Philosophy of bhagawad-gita.pdf/86 Page:Philosophy of bhagawad-gita.pdf/87 Page:Philosophy of bhagawad-gita.pdf/88 Page:Philosophy of bhagawad-gita.pdf/89 Page:Philosophy of bhagawad-gita.pdf/90 Page:Philosophy of bhagawad-gita.pdf/91 Page:Philosophy of bhagawad-gita.pdf/92 Page:Philosophy of bhagawad-gita.pdf/93 Page:Philosophy of bhagawad-gita.pdf/94 Page:Philosophy of bhagawad-gita.pdf/95 Page:Philosophy of bhagawad-gita.pdf/96 Page:Philosophy of bhagawad-gita.pdf/97