Diving into The Bhagavad Gita: The Yoga of The Supreme Being (Chapter 15)
by Sjoerd Dragtsma
When I received this chapter of the Gita I felt joy and an excitement to get involved with this chapter again. It describes the very ultimate realization of Creation, the Source of all manifestation, the Absolute as a direct experience while having a human body.
This concept of the Absolute has deeply intrigued me since the first time I encountered it. A principle that is beyond the understanding of the mind and while writing and contemplating about it for these last few weeks made me feel small and alive; like a child that for the first time is introduced to the concept of stars that are lightyears away.
“Neither the sun, nor the moon, nor even the fire can illuminate That, attaining to which no one ever returns. That is my supreme abode”
Arjuna has journeyed through the various stages of consciousness that’s waking up to its essential Nature, described in the earlier chapters. Krishna, the fully realized Being was by his side all along and made him see that he’s not his ego (first six chapters), but that he’s the space for all this content and movement of ego-ing. Then Lord Krishna introduced Arjuna to the Universal aspect (chapter 6-12) and made him see that he is not separate from all that. (we felt that already at the moment we were told the ‘lightyears away’ science, but we forgot).
This body we have is our vehicle (matter) through which we experience Life and through this form, the Universe (spirit) has a possibility to wake up, to itself. The human system is evolved to such an extent that we can again, if we live a spiritual life, realize our True Nature. Something a stone, a plant or a cow can’t do. This is Enlightenment or God-realization. Not only as a nice theory in the mind but to actually live it, fully and always.
Still, this is something that the human being realizes but this particular chapter stretches even beyond and reveals to Arjuna the absolute zero point of existence, the ultimate Purusha, the all-pervading Shiva, it’s the potency of the ‘bang’ before the Big Bang bursts out. From this point, it is said that when the realization is occurring in deep samadhi (absorbing meditation) one will not incarnate back into existence at the time of death. You’ll be adopted back into this primal Source.
This Source has no quality of being, it’s the origin of all Prakrti (manifestation of all Live). Its characteristics are still, ever stable, changeless, outside of time and full of potential. Without this principle, we couldn’t have this ride called Life. But how can you think, contemplate or reach something that is not in existence and so abstract to the human mind?
Let’s make it one step smaller; then, we arrive at the Supreme Being. This is a yoga (a doing, an effort; it’s in existence) that takes us to the very first moment that manifestation comes into existence from that Absolute Source.
Maybe this image helps to clarify; a giant flashlight is beaming out its bright light and all worldly life (nature, animals, human being interacting, thoughts, emotions) we see at the end of the flashlight beam, at an appropriate distance from the source so it doesn’t get burned right away. Because one has the drive to know the Absolute Truth, one slowly penetrates through the flashlight beam that narrows down when coming closer to the Source, moving through more subtle dimensions where Light and Angels are the standard (still Praktri) and finally arriving at that very edge of the Source where this potent Nothingness bursts out into manifestation on one side, and on the other side there’s the inside of the flashlight where’s it’s dark and completely still (the Absolute).
At that edge, to be not swept away by the immense blazing of light (manifestation coming into existence)and stay in that whirlpool of energy’s and light one must have transcended all worldly entanglement. One has realized on the deepest level that this blazing Life energy is just energy, a cosmic intent to experience itself. So one can stay present with it because one knows (through samadhi state’s) its true nature is the Absolute. One knows its the context and not the content. On the other side of the light, it can’t experience itself anymore, there’s no fun, so it concludes on this very brink and keeps and will also be in the world of form.
The longing and drive to know this ultimate Reality is not something you as a person has any say over. It’s not something you ‘go’ for. It’s more like a moth to a flame, you cannot help it. Anybody who is still invested in being here on the Earth will not have this drive for this Absolute attainment I believe.
Let’s make it very clear; this is not my personal realization, but it’s what this chapter is revealing and how far the Gita zooms out. This is a yoga, this is something we can come to if we are in full dedication and devotion to Krishna, to Truth. If we are single-focused in our meditation, have no preferences for the outcome of our actions and learn to listen to the whispering voice of the inner Guru.
Personally, I am awe by this cosmology but at this point, I feel that I’m still attached to this soup called Life. Life is just so darn beautiful when you realize that all suffering is also just energy. And that we can recognize these energy waves and thus we have a choice not to identify with it, as we did before. We feel it, we allow it so that it can change into something new; turning wounds into flowers.
At that point, you experience Life with all it has to offer as a dance. You don’t need to feel the control or manipulate anymore. You allow the dark and the light. Then, I feel, that you become the dance, you become the experience. Because in the end; this Life is one big sacred celebration.
READ THE WHOLE SERIES: Diving into the Bhagavad Gita: The Battlefield (Chapter 2) >
After flirting with yoga in his twenties, this time (2015) he was naturally and unavoidable drawn into the yogic fire. The sacred Amazone ceremonies gave Sjoerd many glimpses about what it means to be a human being, to live with other beings and how we tend to keep ourselves small and ‘secure’.