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Volume 5 - Issue 01 JANUARY 2007
 
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GITA FOR CHILDREN
PART 27

(Continued from the previous issue)


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CHAPTER 13

1. Arjuna says to Krishna, ‘People describe the Universe using pairs of words like Spirit and Matter, God and Nature, Consciousness and Energy, and so on. Sorry if I appear dumb, but frankly, I just don’t understand any of these words. Please can You enlighten me on these?’

2. With a smile Krishna says, ‘Why not? By the way, don’t be under the impression that you have asked a dumb question. On the contrary, even scholars are often not clear about such matters, though they may make a lot of noise and pretend to deliver erudite lectures!’

3. ‘The first thing you must understand is that Consciousness, or rather Absolute or Universal Consciousness as it is sometimes called, is where it all starts from.’

4. ‘Some people refer to this Consciousness as Formless God or Brahman; others prefer the term Atma. Still others who are allergic to the word God would rather use the word Spirit. No matter which word you use, it is all the same.’

5. ‘Next, as explained earlier, God exists even when there is no Creation. All that is now appearing as the Universe gets tucked into God as it were, when Creation has been dissolved.’

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Map of Tennessee

 
A galaxy within the universe

6. ‘When the Universe is created, God pervades it in two complimentary aspects. This helps to ‘run’ the Universe. These two complimentary aspects are Consciousness and Energy, or Spirit and Matter, if you prefer.’

7. ‘When you look at the sea, you see just water. Dissolved in this water is salt; yet when you look at the expanse of water, you never talk about the salt but only refer to the sea.’

8. ‘You might have seen villages on the sea shore. Many villagers there make salt. Do you know how? They gather the sea water in shallow pans and allow the water to evaporate. After a while both water and salt are visible. It is the same in Creation. Before Creation, one cannot really talk separately of Consciousness and Energy. Energy is subsumed in Consciousness. But after the Universe comes into existence, it is meaningful and also convenient to talk separately of Consciousness and Divine Energy or Spirit and Matter. At the working level, these two entities can be separately experienced.’

9. ‘Now there is an important point here that you must take note of. We both are standing on the earth. If you look up, you see the sky. The sky is supposed to be empty space, but here and there, there are celestial objects, like the Sun, the Moon, the planets, the stars and so on, all of which represent matter.’

10. ‘The question now is the following: “Space seems to be largely empty, with a scattering of matter here and there. Where in this combination does one seek and find Consciousness?” The answer is that Consciousness is present everywhere, including in regions that seem to be empty. There is no place where Consciousness is absent. That is why the Wise always say that God is Omnipresent.’

11. ‘This Consciousness is no ordinary Consciousness; it is Universal Consciousness. It is also the backdrop against which the whole of evolution takes place, the evolution of inanimate matter and also of living beings.’

12. Arjuna asks, ‘Krishna, if Consciousness is present everywhere, is it present also in matter?’

13. Krishna replies, ‘Of course! I have already told you that there is no place where God or the Atma does not exist. And you are forgetting that so soon!’

14. ‘Some people may doubt all this and ask, “How can Consciousness be present in inert matter? It may be present in living matter, but in inert matter like a piece of rock, for example?”’

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Map of Tennessee

 
Lord Krishna with Arjuna

15. ‘The answer is quite clear. Since Consciousness is primordial, it must be present everywhere, in a vacuum, in inert matter and in living matter as well. As regards the issue of inert versus animate matter, one might say that in inert matter Consciousness is present in a “passive” form, whereas in living beings it is present in an “active” form.’

16. ‘Take your own self. I have already told you that the human body is a living “factory”.  All the activities within the body and the actions performed by the body constitute proof of the life-force that animates the body. You breathe, your stomach digests, your blood circulates – all these happen on account of Praana, or the life-force within you. Where does this Praana come from? From the Atma, or Consciousness. This Praana, my dear Arjuna, is a manifestation of the “active” form of Consciousness.’ 

17. Arjuna says, ‘OK, I accept that. But we are told that when a person dies, the Praana departs from the body. Since You say the Praana comes from the Atma, does that mean that when a person dies, the Atma also quits and there is no Atma in the corpse?’

18. Krishna sighs and says, ‘Arjuna, you must think carefully and clearly. I have already told you that the Atma must be everywhere.’

19. Arjuna shakes his head and says, ‘But Krishna, the Praana has gone and what is left is just a corpse. How do you explain that Atma is present even in a corpse?’

20. With great patience Krishna explains, ‘Arjuna, did I not tell you that Consciousness can be present in the active as well as the passive form? Well, when a person dies, all that happens is that Consciousness associated with that mass of matter reverts from the active to the passive state - that is all. Death does not drain the Atma. You agree that the corpse too is made up of atoms? You agree that the Atma pervades the atoms even in inanimate matter? Then? Get this firmly into your head! Nobody can do anything to the Atma. I have already drawn your attention to this.’

21. ‘The Atma is ever existent. Sometimes, it manifests in gross form. Sometimes, it manifests only in a subtle form, like the Mind, for example. In addition, it is also all by itself, beyond both the gross and the subtle. The gross can be directly felt, touched, etc. The subtle can not be touched or felt but can be inferred; the super-subtle is beyond intellectual inference; it can only be experienced; not by the senses or even the Mind, but only by the Heart.’

22. Arjuna now asks another question. He says, ‘Krishna, You are in me, You are in Bhishma, and You are in X,Y, and Z. Have You divided Yourself into many Krishnas, allocating one Krishna to each individual?’

23. Krishna laughs and says, ‘O no Arjuna, nothing like that. I am only One. Even an ignorant fool cannot parcel Me like that. I am indivisible.’

24. Arjuna is not satisfied and continues, ‘In that case, how come You are present in all?’

25. Krishna replies, ‘That can be understood as follows. You will agree that there is air in your lungs, will you not? You will also agree that air is present similarly in the lungs of all the people here on this battlefield. OK, now where did all this air come from? From the atmosphere, obviously. There is an inherent continuity of air, though some of it is free and some of it is in the lungs of various people. We do not pay much attention to this continuity, that is all. In the same way, the one Omnipresent God is seated in the Hearts of all. Got it?’

(To be continued...)

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– Heart2Heart Team

 
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Vol 5 Issue 01 - JANUARY 2007
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