Chapter III, Verse 15
Sri Nerode’s Translation:
Know that action ariseth out of Brahma, the Spirit, who is the One and Imperishable. Therefore in the act of sacrifice (act of charity, rather than rituals) is present the All-pervading Eternal God. (The act of charity is the act divine.)
“God” drew creation into being through sacrifice. The sacrifice of concentrated intention to fulfill a duty is god-like. Creation came into being through sacrifice.
I ended the commentary on verse 14 with comparisons to scriptures from several religions. I have decided to start this commentary with a section of scripture from Christianity. From the 21st Century King James Version:
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.
1:3 All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.
1:4 In Him was life, and that life was the Light of men.
1:5 And the Light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not.
In Christian terms God the Father, who exists beyond any creation, willed into being the Holy Ghost. The manifestations of the Holy Ghost, which may alternately be described as the conscious energy or the traditional element of ether (plasma of space) or Brahman in the Bhagavad Gita, required sacrifice on God’s part. Material incarnation requires another level of concentrated intention, another “sacrifice”.
Krishna tells Arjuna in this verse that even Brahman (the name assigned to the conscious energy pervading all of creation) requires sacrifice (or intention) to exist.
The theme that the actions of man require sacrifice in order fulfill one’s highest duty are consistent across all of the world’s religions.
Traditional commentaries on the Bhavagad Gita claim that the point discussed in this verse is the point at which the Vedas (traditional Hindu scriptures) originated. The moment of the creation of the Holy Ghost is the origin of all true scriptures.
Truth is One. Truth is interpreted by different human prophets for different cultures at different points in the progression of humanity. Human understanding changes. The Truth present in the Holy Ghost (or Brahman) does not change.
Another way to summarize this verse is to say that the all eternal laws for the entirety of creation came into being at the moment conscious energy manifested. For Christians this means that the moment the Holy Ghost was born, the realm tapped by the prophets and Jesus was manifest. For Hindus it means that the moment Brahman was born, the Vedas also came into being. At this step the Eternal Universal laws that guide creation were born. Creation has never relied upon man’s beliefs for existence but man’s success or failure is determined by the laws of the Creator.
Easter Eggs (hidden references to deeper meanings) in the original version of this this verse include:
Yajna – translated as “Sacrifice”. The translation of Yajna as Sacrifice is misleading because even though correct religious rites benefit the development of humankind, the meaning in this set of verses is much more subtle. Yajna means to act with the positive quality (Sattwa guna) as it applies to one’s personal situation. In other words, embrace the moment with enthusiastic concentration and all else will improve.
Download a PDF copy of this post.