apara, para prakruti – the lower and higher natures

Let us take these four verses as a unit and “listen” to them as LORD declares his own “nature”. from Srimad Bhagavad Gita 7-4 till 7-7.

Prakruti:

भूमिरापोऽनलो वायुः खं मनो बुद्धिरेव च।
अहङ्कार इतीयं मे भिन्ना प्रकृतिरष्टधा।।7.4।।

अपरेयमितस्त्वन्यां प्रकृतिं विद्धि मे पराम्।
जीवभूतां महाबाहो ययेदं धार्यते जगत्।।7.5।।

एतद्योनीनि भूतानि सर्वाणीत्युपधारय।
अहं कृत्स्नस्य जगतः प्रभवः प्रलयस्तथा।।7.6।।

मत्तः परतरं नान्यत्किञ्चिदस्ति धनञ्जय।
मयि सर्वमिदं प्रोतं सूत्रे मणिगणा इव।।7.7।।

My eight fold differentiated prakruti (ayam = this) is bhumi, apah, anala, vayu, kham, manah, buddhi (eva ca and also) ahamkaram (iti = thus)

The three states of matter bhumi = solid, apah = liquid, vayu = gaseous; the manifested energy anala (or the fire) and the non-manifested energy kham (or space, ether etc.,) are the five elements that make up the universe of things that are seen and perceived by the senses.

manas is the instrument of measurement and a faculty of doubt; buddhi is the resolve that finalizes a measurement and makes a judgment of the perceived.

ahamkaram is the one which differentiates the respective capabilities to the rest of the seven divisions. It creates similarity and (infinite way) differentiation amongst the senses/manas/buddhi.

This is the “apara” (the lower) nature; there is a “param” (higher nature) which holds or bears (dharayate) this lower nature called “jeeva bhutaam” or simply the jeeva.

In the macrocosm, the visible universe, it is similar to the basic force like “gravity” that holds the whole of universe together. In the microcosm, it is the vital force (the life force) that equally powers all the five senses, mind and intellect; without which the body is dead…. that higher force which holds/bears everything is termed as “jeeva bhutam” by lord is the “higher nature” of the Lord.

Thus understand (iti upadharaya) these two prakritis are the yoni = repository/source of all the beings (bhutani sarvani). “AHAM = I AM” the prabhavam (bringing forth) as well as pralayam (merging back) of whole of the worlds!

The pra+bhavam and pra+layam or bhavam or layam is the pair of opposites called birth and death in case of microcosm. This is a continuous cycle.

There is nothing whatsoever exists (kincad asti) other than me! In “me” (mayi) all the worlds are woven (protam) just like the pearls (maniganaa) strung in the thread (sutre) to make the necklace.

The “maniganas” represents the worlds made up of lower prakriti, sutram represents the jeeva bhutaam = higher prakriti that holds the worlds. Both these prakritis woven in each other forming a wonderful necklace to the supreme lord.

The higher nature is non-differentiated. It is Universal.
Due to the impact of ahamkara i.e., ego, the lower nature appears to be differentiated in eight fold universals as well as within each category infinite divisions of particular individual identities! These differentiated matter energy appearances build infinite microcosms of different sizes, shapes and tastes, emotions!

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