Narach Philosophy

CHAPTER 15: PURUSHOTTAMA YOGA


The fifteenth chapter, called "Purushottama Yoga" or "The Supreme Purusha in the light of Yoga", tells us of Asvattha the great tree of life and of how God takes birth in Prakriti. We are also told of the three Purushas Jivatman (also called Bhutatman, mortal), the Individual soul (immortal) and the Supreme Purusha (Krishna Himself or God).

The Blessed Lord said:

They say the eternal Asvattha
Hath roots above, branches below;
Its foliage is the sacred hymns;
Who knows it doth the Vedas know.

Above, below, its branches do extend,
Nourished by Gunas, and sense objects are
It's bursting shoots, and in the world of men,
Creating action, spread its roots below.

Its real form can never be perceived,
Nor end, nor source, nor what it rests upon;
Cutting with weapons of detachment strong,
This Asvattha, with roots so firmly fixed,

A person seeketh for that happy goal,
Attaining which, doth no one thence return;
I go unto that primal Man alone
From whom this ancient stream of life arose.

From pride, delusion, and attachment free,
From pairs of opposites, of joy and pain,
Abiding in the soul, with no desire,
The undeluded reach the eternal goal.

The Sun does not illumine it;
Nor yet the light of Moon or fire;
And that is my supreme abode,
Attaining which, doth none return.

An eternal portion of myself
Becomes a soul in the world of life
Drawing the mind and senses five,
Abiding all in Prakriti.

And when the Lord a body takes,
Or when he leaves it here again,
He taketh these with him and goes,
As perfumes Wind from their retreats.

Presiding over the ear and eye,
And sense of touch and taste and smell,
And also mind, he doth enjoy
The objects of the senses all.

Quitting a form, or dwelling there,
Possessed of Gunas, joying in life,
The foolish ones see not the Lord;
Those who have eyes of wisdom see.

The Yogis, striving, see the Lord,
Abiding in the inmost soul;
But heedless ones, whose soul is not
Refined, though striving, cannot see.

The light that dwelleth in the Sun,
Illumining the world entire,
The light that is in the Moon and fire,
Know that this light is all from me.

Entering the earth, do I support
All beings with my energy;
And I become the dewy Moon,
And nourish all the herbs below.

And I become the fire of life,
Within the frame of all who breathe;
And linked with breath that comes and goes,
Do I digest the fourfold food.

And I abide within the hearts of all;
From me is memory, knowledge and its loss;
And me alone, do all the Vedas know;
Vedanta's author, Vedas' knower am I.

There are two Purushas in the world,
The mortal and immortal one;
The elements are mortal all,
The highest is the immortal one.

There is yet a greater Purusha still,
The highest Purusha he is called,
Within the three worlds who abides,
The changeless Lord, sustaining all.

As I transcend the mortal one
And the immortal one excel,
So in the world and Vedas all
As highest Purusha I am known.

And he who from delusion free,
As highest Purusha knoweth me,
He, knowing all doth worship me
In every way, O Bharata.

And thus have I, O sinless one,
Declared this knowledge most profound;
Who knows is wise, and he hath done
His duties all, O Bharata.

NOTES:

Asvattha: It is the scared Fig Tree, the Tree of Life.

Weapons of detachment: We can escape the taint of life's activities only by means of detachment.

When God takes birth in this world of life, he makes use of the different forms of Prakriti.

Two Purushas: These are two aspects of the individual soul, the soul in itself, and when it is associated with the objects of life, and becomes Bhutatman, Jivatman, or Egoism (Ahankara). In the Upanishads this difference is indicated by the simile of two birds who dwell in the same tree, one whom partakes of the fruit, and the other does not.

A greater Purusha still: This is God, the Supreme Purusha.