In an excerpt from the earlier Bhagavad Gita audio recordings (compare to the later video recordings), Swamiji explains the role of prakṛti (nature)…

“Through prakṛti you’ll rise. It is prakṛti through which you will fall.”

"Through Prakriti you'll rise and fall."

puruṣaḥ prakṛtistho hi bhuṅkte . . . (verse 22 Chapter 13)
prakṛtiriti kāryakāraṇabhave hetuḥ  / (comm. verse 21)

Prakṛti is the cause of kārya and kāraṇa, cause and effect. The field of cause and effect is created by prakṛti. Because cause, cause is seeds, pansy seeds, it will give effect of pansy sprouts only. It won’t give effect of tomatoes or potatoes or something else. So it is prakṛti. There is prakṛti in such way. But that prakṛti, when that prakṛti becomes universal it will be the cause of this whole creation. All seeds will come out from that prakṛti. And that prakṛti won’t remain as prakṛti, that prakṛti will remain as Śakti.
Do you understand?

So that prakṛti is liberated, that prakṛti is liberated. As long as prakṛti is not liberated you become victim of repeated births and deaths in this universe.

So it is worthwhile to divert your prakṛti towards God consciousness, so that that prakṛti becomes clearer and clearer, and leave that limitations and limitations, and in the end it will become, it will get entry in Śakti, the state of Śakti, and become united with Śiva.

That is the real way of liberation.

Otherwise, when they are not united, [when] they are separated, then this . . .

ERNIE:  There’s more battle.

SWAMIJI:   . . . this battle of one hundred and eighteen worlds.

puruṣaḥ prakṛtistho hi bhuṅkte prakṛtijānguṇān  /
kāraṇaṁ guṇasaṅgo’sya sadasadyonijanmasu  //22//
(not recited fully)

Puruṣa enjoys the fruit which has come out from these various prakṛtis. Puruṣa gets fruit.

For instance, I am old person. Once upon a time I was twenty years old. This is . . . I am now seventy years old, seventy one, seventy two. This does not take place with Śiva and Śakti. This takes place only in prakṛti and puruṣa.

DENISE:  When they are separated.

SWAMIJI:  When they are separated from union of Śiva and Śakti. Then they are vikāras, then there are changes of life.

Otherwise Śiva is changeless. He will never become old, he will never become young. He is as, as he was, always. Śakti is also the same. Because there is no entry of time, no entry of deśā, i.e. no entry of space, time or formation. Beyond space, beyond formation, beyond time, so he is always young. And he will remain always young.

DENISE:  And he is always old too.

SWAMIJI:  Ancient, ancient, ancient. You can’t say old. He has not wrinkles, never wrinkles. In old age you get wrinkles . . .
Don’t you get?

DENISE:  Yes.

SWAMIJI:  . . . and disfigured. He is always same.

So it is puruṣa who enjoys in this field of the body, who enjoys life and is attached to his prakṛti. You are attached to your prakṛti. Viresh is attached to his prakṛti. He will do according to his choice. He won’t ask your suggestion. He will do according to his choice. You will do according to your choice, and I will do according to my choice. So this is my way of prakṛti. But choice fails, choice fades, at the time when prakṛti and puruṣa are united in the state of God consciousness as Śiva and Śakti. Then there is no choice. Śiva’s choice is Śakti’s choice, Śakti’s choice is Śiva’s choice there because they are united. And as long as choice differs it is prakṛti and puruṣa. It does not differ in Śiva and Śakti. They are the same.

BRUCE P:  At that point, how would that being act in the world?

SWAMIJI:  No, there is no action in the world then. No, this world is always shining, always filled with the glamour of God consciousness. So there is no world. There is only consciousness.

DENISE:  But other people from outside will see him acting, and they will say . . . what will they say, “he’s a normal man, he’s an ordinary man?”

SWAMIJI:  No, they will say . . . they will say . . .

DENISE:  They will say that.

SWAMIJI:  Yes.

DENISE:  “He’s just an ordinary man, a nice man but ordinary.”

SWAMIJI:  Yes.

BRUCE P:  But his actions then, his going on, the apparent going on in the world?

SWAMIJI:  It is just like phantom figures. He acts in this world, afterwards, after getting . . .

BRUCE P:  According to what?

SWAMIJI:   . . . getting united in God consciousness, once you are united in God consciousness then he acts also in the same way as he was acting before.

BRUCE P:  According to what?

DENISE:  To his old prakṛti?

SWAMIJI:  From your point you will say that he is just like us. From his point of view he is something else.

BRUCE P:  Acha.

SWAMIJI:  He does . . . he plays with you. He plays badminton and everything with you, but he is divine. Understand?

BRUCE P:  And that’s how he gets old?

SWAMIJI:  Huh?

BRUCE P:  He doesn’t get old, but he gets old?

SWAMIJI:  From your viewpoint you feel that he is old but he is not old.

ERNIE:  You said that the prakṛti does what it wants?

SWAMIJI:  Huh?

ERNIE:  The puruṣa lives through the prakṛti and does what it wants, whatever it’s will–i.e. Viresh’s will, my will–but isn’t it that the prakṛti . . . we try to listen to our master and scriptures, and try to direct our will and our prakṛti to more uplifting things.

SWAMIJI:  Yes, yes prakṛti, it is due to . . . through prakṛti you’ll rise. It is prakṛti through which you will fall.

ERNIE:  Yes, so . . . I mean even though I may want something, I know that what you say, or what the scriptures say . . .

SWAMIJI:  According to the sayings of your master, if you act according to the sayings of your master in the field of prakṛti, then you will rise through prakṛti.

ERNIE:  So it is like Viresh, he may want to touch a ‘bukari’ [stove], but its not . . . Then you say, “No”.

SWAMIJI:  Yes.

ERNIE:  And it’s the same in spiritual life.

SWAMIJI:  Spiritual life, yes.

ERNIE:  You may want to do something, its just like . . .

SWAMIJI:  I’ll do only this much because I cough.

[puruṣaḥ] prakṛtistho hi bhuṅkte prakṛtijāguṇān  /
kāraṇaṁ guṇasaṅgo’sya sadasadyonijanmasu  //22//
(repeated)

This puruṣa, this limited soul, when he is situated with prakṛti, this same thing, bhuṅkte prakṛti guṇān, and enjoys the three-fold dishes of three guṇas.

Kāraṇaṁ guṇa saṅgo’sya, the cause of enjoyment, enjoying the three dishes, is only the attachment for those enjoyments. This attachment for enjoyments becomes the cause of his enjoying these dishes, sat asat yoni janmasu, by which way he goes either to hell or to heaven, or to liberation, or to higher worlds.

upadraṣṭānumanto ca bhartā bhoktā maheśvaraḥ  /
paramātmeti cāpyukto dehe’sminpuruṣaḥ paraḥ  //23//

In fact, upadraṣṭa, the witnessing agency; anumanta ca, and understanding agency; bhartā, protecting agency; and enjoyer [bhoktā], is Lord himself, who is supreme consciousness and who is residing in each and everybody, and he is Parameśvara. Parameśvara is getting entangled in three guṇas, three dishes.

This is Sāmkhyā, puruṣa.

ata evāsya śāstrakṛidbhirnānākārairnāmabhirabhadhīyate rūpam– (comm.)

It is why this formation of puruṣa is nominated in various ways.

‘upadraṣṭā’ – ityādibhiḥ  / 

He is the seer, he is the toucher, he smells, he does everything.

ayamatra tātparyārthaḥ  / 

The conclusion of this is this that . . .

prakṛtiḥ, tadvikāraścaturdaśavidhaḥ sargaḥ tathā puruṣaḥ, – etatsarvamanādi nityaṁ ca, 

Prakṛti, prakṛti is the nature of puruṣa. Tat vikāraḥ catur daśa vidhaḥ sargaḥ, and the offshoots of prakṛti: offshoots of prakṛti is the creation of twenty-three elements from buddhi to pṛthvī, these twenty-three elements. These are created by prakṛti.

to be continued…

(source: Chapter 13, Bhagavad Gita,
Audio Archives of the Lakshmanjoo Academy)
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