Chapter II, Verse 17
Sri Nerode’s Translation:
Know that life which permeates through all can by no means be destroyed. None has the power to cause to perish that which is imperishable.
The Unchangeable Spirit (Universal Consciousness) can never be annihilated. Consciousness alone enlivens all illusions.
Until the highest state of consciousness is attained – an experience of unbroken, all-knowing bliss – attachment to the false illusion of creation continues.
In the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna eventually experiences the state where that both the created consciousness and uncreated consciousness exist as separate entities. Krishna is the rarest of individuals. He has achieved the highest state in which he realizes that creation is only one subset of the uncreated consciousness.
Can water annihilate water? If a container made from ice holds both melted water and steam within, would anyone say that the water-ice has destroyed the fluid and gaseous water within?
In the highest state of consciousness – when one becomes aware of the created illusion within the singular substance of consciousness, it’s apparent that nothing is formed and nothing is destroyed. Consciousness exists.
In the higher ages of the cyclic progression of the earth through the cosmos, more humans are able to perceive the unity of the created and uncreated consciousness, even as Krishna perceives it in this verse. During the current ascending period of consciousness, more humans become receptive to the concepts expressed by their enlightened ancestors. However, despite the knowledge society has yet to develop the skills required for practical applications of those concepts. For example, shouldn’t a reasonable calendar be tied to the movements of the celestial bodies within our solar system instead of to an arbitrary calendar that requires adjustments, like the “leap year” in the Western Gregorian calendar? Even more silly in the United States there is a practice of shifting the hours of the day back and forth. The unscientific practice of “Spring ahead” and “Fall back” is capricious at best and a gentle reminder to consider the truth behind time and cycles.
The ancient rishis (sage) explained that time has three practical layers. On the grand scale, the cycles of the earth are determined by the path our entire solar system traverses throughout the galaxy. On a planetary scale, life on earth is impacted by earth’s annual trip around the sun and by earth’s relationship to other celestial bodies close by, especially by the lunar cycles. For the yogi, however, the most intimate measurement of time is the resting rate of the heart beat and the related cycles of the physical and subtle breath.
Individual consciousness, or the force behind the body, is significantly impacted by its environment. For example, the average human resting heart rate during the lowest period in the earth’s cycle the Iron Age (Kali Yuga) is about 75 beats per minute. Yet at the highest point in the Golden Age (Satya Yuga) the average human resting heart rate is only about 60 beats per minute. The heart rate impacts the number of inhalation and exhalations required to keep the blood oxygenated. Slower heart rate and thus slower cycles of breath during the highest period means a longer human life as measured by the annual cycles around the sun.
In other words, during the age of greatest ignorance and most limited consciousness, the heart rate is faster resulting in human lifetimes lasting less than 100 solar years. In the period of least ignorance and nearly unlimited expression of consciousness, the slower heart rate results in human lifespans that may reach up to 400 solar years. The cycles of the earth offer an explanation for mythological characters who lived exceptionally long lives as well as for religious figures.
Consciousness that expresses through form must also follow the laws of that form. When Jesus Christ said that he came to “fulfill” and not to “overturn” the law, he was not referring to man’s legal system. He referred to the cosmic laws that may only be fulfilled by living in the now in an expanded state of immortal universal consciousness. Universal Consciousness can never be annihilated.
Easter Eggs (hidden references to deeper meanings) in the original version of this this verse include:
Arhati – Sanskrit moniker for a rare individual who is capable of performing a great deed.
Avinasi – designating the substance that is indestructible.
While verse 16 was concerned with comparisons, this verse focuses on the singularity within consciousness.
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