Present, but not present

In chapter nine of the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna makes statements that on the surface appear contradictory. He says to Arjuna that He is present in all sentient and non-sentient beings.

In other words, He is all pervasive. But immediately, He says He is not in them! How can both statements be right?

Both statements are equally true and valid, said Valayapet Ramachariar in a discourse.

Though the Lord exists everywhere, He is not seen by ordinary mortals. Only evolved souls can discern Him.

Because we do not see Him, it does not mean He does not exist. The fact of His Omnipresence is indisputable.

While the non-sentient beings obviously lack the capacity to know Him, even sentient beings do not know Him because of their sins. All sentient and non-sentient beings constitute His body. They are sustained and controlled by Him.

But what is one to make of the statement then that He is not present in them? What this means is that He is not dependent on them. He sustains them by His divine will. But He does not need their support.

The Lord does not sustain or support in the fashion in which we support something.

If we have to keep an object from falling down, we have to hold it with our hands. But in the case of the Lord, such physical actions are not necessary. He just uses His will to achieve things. How are we protected from danger or harm?

The self, through its knowledge of the world, knows of dangers and helps us avoid them.

So the self, through its will, protects the body from harm. Likewise, the Lord, through His will, sustains us.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 1:31:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-miscellaneous/faith-column-valayapet-ramachariar-discourse-on-bhagavad-gita-chapter-9/article16981819.ece

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