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You are not the Doer! Part II / Bhagavad Gita XVIII.16


There in truth thus, the one who acts,

Who sees himself, indeed, as the only exclusive agent,

He sees, he perceives from an imperfect incomplete understanding

He sees not, the blockhead!

tatraivam sati kartaram

atmanan kevalam tu yah

pashyaty akritabuddhitvan

na sa pashyati durmatih


Durmatis (m.) – fool, blockhead; 'Du' – to be burnt, to be consumed with internal heat or sorrow.



The Field & the Knower of the Field

In BhG. XIII.26 Krishna describes the relationship of the field [kshetra] to the knower of the field [kshetrajña]. Swami Lakshmanjoo: “Whatever happens in this world, kshetra and kshetrajña is conducting in each and every respect. Kshetra means this body, kshetrajña is soul. Which soul? Limited soul (Purusha). And limited soul is conducted by unlimited soul side by side in the body. [The unlimited soul] also whips [the limited soul]; He takes the whip and sees if he has some capacity for learning [saying], ‘let him rise, let him rise.’ The unlimited soul pushes him and he rises.” Thus we understand that the God-within us is encouraging us in various ways.

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Swami Lakshmanjoo (from 1978) on Liberation from Prakriti’s mischief: “If you become slave of Prakriti, you are gone. When you follow these, follow the movements of these five sense organs, i.e., five senses of cognition and five senses of action, along with the touch of these three gunas, you are just sheep, you are just carried by Prakriti. And this is that individual being who is governed by Prakriti. He creates this, he creates this universe. Because everybody has his own universe in his mind; you have your own world, you have your own world, you have your own world. And that world you have created by combination of these…by following your nature. When you command Prakriti, then you don’t create your world. Once you have not created your world, you are free, you have no rebirth. You won’t come…you won’t be entangled in repeated births and deaths.”

I find the above quoted explanation to be very clear — and so interesting that Swami Lakshmanjoo repeated the phrase “you have your own world” three times, for my life experience certainly would agree with this. Does it not all too often feel that each one of us is living in our own individual world? One cannot imagine what another person sees when they enter a room, or feels when they first meet anyone. Communication between us humans entwined in our self-created holograms, remains elusive and mysterious at best.

The idea that ‘we are not the Doer’ is repeated in BhG. XIV.19: When the observer sees that there is no other Doer than the gunas, and he knows what is higher than, transcends the gunas, he attains My state of Being (madbhavam). Swami Lakshmanjoo says that “there is one [person] in lakhs (100,000) of people, there is some fortunate person who always observes that I am above the cycle of the three gunas…I am not touched or painted, whitewashed, whitewashed by the three gunas…he enters the state of Parabhairava.”


Direct intuitive perception!

Samkhya pervades the Sanskrit metaphysics and the sage Kapila is generally thought of as its founder. “Kapila, the great sage, is regarded as the propounder of Samkhya. In the Samkhya tradition, he is held to be the first among the wise and he appears at the beginning of each cycle of creation. [Pulinbihari Chakravarti]” Kapila is said to be the foremost of the siddhas, and endowed with perfection from the very moment of his birth. Kapila assumed a form by dint of his supernatural power and “had no physical body and thus cannot be regarded as an historical person. [Ibid.]”

The Mahabharata says that Kapila was the incarnation of fire [Agni], also the light residing in the orb of the Sun, and one of the mind-born sons of the god Brahman. There is a wonderful collection, ‘The Sankhya Aphorisms of Kapila’ that I have found to be clearly stated, inspiring and enlightening. [The word Samkhya is spelled both ways because of the Sanskrit letter involved.] Here are a few of my shortened notes on Kapila’s splendid astute aphorisms:

The true sense of bondage is non-discrimination. The bondage of the soul is merely verbal. Bondage resides in the mind and not in the soul — it is merely a reflection, like the redness of [pellucid] crystal [when a red rose is near it]. [Ignorance of delusion] can be removed by nothing short of direct intuitive perception! The origination of the diversified [world of sense] is that from which has no difference. The subtle body consists of light. The soul abandons the idea of its being Nature [Prakriti]. Live alone! Emancipation is not a manifestation of Joy! Paradise is no security against transmigration. Moksha is not achieved by a counsel of heavenly people. The body is a site for experience. The subtle body attends the soul even during the periodic annihilations of the world.


Samkhya Karika of Ishvara Krishna

The book best known and most easily accessed, the Samkhya Karika of Ishvara Krishna, is now a free PDF online. This is said to be a compendium of the vast literature on Samkhya. The scholar P. Chakravarti says “the huge treatise of Kapila was not possible to master even in hundreds of years; hence the veteran teachers of Samkhya for the sake of benefit to their pupils dealt with the teachings of Kapila in the short treatises of their own.” Ishvara Krishna composed this compendium in an effort to clarify and simplify what had become clouded by “terse and subtle reasonings” in arguments from opposing sects. There is a Chinese version entitled ‘Gold-Seventy’ or in Sanskrit, Kanaka-Saptati.

There are many intriguing verses in Ishvara Krishna’s Samkhya Karika, for example: Regarding the three gunas, the Rajas attribute serves no useful purpose inasmuch as it energizes both Sattva and Tamas attributes which by themselves, are absolutely inert and as such incapable of performing any function.

* Of the sense organs, the Mind possesses the nature of both the sensory and motor organs. It is the deliberating principle. The subtle body is incapable of having any experience without a physical body of six sheaths; that is why it migrates. The subtle body migrates as it is tinged with dispositions of virtue and vice, knowledge and ignorance, passion and dispassion, power and weakness. Impelled by the purpose of Purusha, this subtle body appears in different roles, like a dramatic performer, by means of association with instrumental causes and their effects, through the all-embracing power of Nature [Prakriti’s maya-shakti].

* Purusha is never bound, nor is he released, nor does he migrate. It is Prakriti, being the support of manifold creation, that migrates, is bound and is released. Thus, from the practice of Truth, is produced the wisdom in the form: ‘I am not,’ ‘nothing is mine,’ and ‘not-I,’ which is final, pure on account of the absence of error and absolute knowledge. Doubt and falsity are the two impurities of wisdom.

* The one (Purusha) thinks: She, Prakriti, ‘has been seen by me’ and therefore loses all interest [in her performance]; the other (Prakriti) thinks ‘I have been seen’ and ceases to act further. Therefore, even though if there is still connection, there is no motive for further evolution. With the absence of the bondage of erroneous knowledge, enjoyment of sense objects also cannot be there. Because of the momentum of the impulse of subliminal impressions, the Sprit continues to inhabit the body for a while.


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The Rishis & The Essence of the Exact Reality

For millennia, Rishis, Seers and enlightened masters have gone deep into the Heart and all found the same experience: They did not exist. There is only the One. The One has been given 1000s of names, and yet is nameless. The One is infinite forms, and yet is formless. The experiences of those who came into the Presence that always exists within us all, found its way into countless expressions, systems of cosmology, metaphysics and philosophies.

No matter how you slice up the holographic pie, no matter how many terms describe the aspects of the One as it manifests through the Matrix in Time & Space, there is only the One. When you become weary of learning metaphysical concepts that have evolved over the centuries, think of the enlightened genius Kashmir Shaivite, Abhinavagupta, who in his 'Paramarthasara, the Essence of the Exact Reality' has said:

“All Such Theories are Mere Suppositions & Imaginary Concepts of Thinkers”

 Once you begin to consider the nature of your relationship to the universe and the origin of both, it is quite natural to want to systematize your findings to both share and clarify. Ever since we lost the memory of our absolute nature, we began this process. Abhinavagupta states that all such theories are “mere suppositions and imaginary concepts of thinkers.”

 Why? Because – “No diversity is the real truth.”

 Paramartharsara: 27. The Buddhist thinkers maintain that the constant flow of momentary consciousness is the only reality. The Vedic thinkers say that the single self, penetrating inside pervading, directing and governing all minds, is the ultimate reality.

 Some Upanishadic thinkers take the power of animation as the ultimate truth, while other such thinkers say that one universal Atman, shining as all phenomena, is the only reality. Some other thinkers take either the psycho-physical organism or the generalities or lastly the individual as the ultimate truth.

 But all such theories are merely dialectical speculations useful in discussions and debates. None among such entities has a real existence, as all these are mere suppositions and imaginary concepts of thinkers.

 28. In the same way that matters like piety and sin, heaven and hell, birth and death, pleasure and pain… and so on, do never exist in reality, but appear in the Self on account of delusion (maya).

 No diversity is the real truth. Its existence is simply apparent. It shines in the Atman as reflections shine in a mirror. All this appears to be a bonded being on account of the delusion caused by maya.


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As I consider Abhinavagupta’s enlightenment to be beyond question, I feel I can draw certain conclusions from his emphatic statements:

*There is Oneness and the appearance of multiplicity.

*The domain of Prakriti is the ‘appearance’ of transitory multiplicity in the form of the temporal illusory hologram produced by the matrix, meaning Prakriti’s shakti-maya gunas.

*Therefore the mechanics of this multiplicity can be described in many diverse ways depending on the consciousness of the experiencer.




Threads in the Labyrinth

 Throughout the four Cycles of Time we all have recognizable differences in the way we perceive life. Our holograms are not identical, as I am sure you have noticed. Thus when any one of us goes traveling into the inner worlds of our one Soul, we all come up with our own filtered versions of how the universe is constructed and manifested. None of which are any more real than the temporal illusory hologram itself - and none of which is any more real than another. However some do have a higher consciousness and are more useful than others, meaning they may guide us Home.

 Each is a product of the individual’s consciousness based on his or her state of balance among the three gunas. Prakriti’s guna-maya manifestations are all a part of the illusion of multiplicity - even when they are grand and enlightening illusory thoughts. If it is true, as Abhinavagupta says, that all such theories are “mere suppositions and imaginary concepts of thinkers” then why should we read these wonderfully arcane and often complex metaphysical systems that take great pains to delineate the mechanics of consciousness? Metaphysical systems are the threads in the Labyrinth that lift our consciousness into the higher frequencies, out of the mundane and into the sacred.




The words of these ancient seers are in the higher waveform frequencies that we want to be in. Immersing yourself in their consciousness through reading their thoughts will bring our consciousness closer to theirs. You will still have to ‘experience’ what you read. Just reading or hearing the truth is not enough. You must intuitively perceive, know, and feel these teachings in your deepest being. They must become a part of you – experientially. This is why so many diverse forms of spiritual practices have developed. These practices are the effort that allows you to make Wisdom-Knowledge a reality, the Real that has power to release you from the bondage of delusion.

 A huge piece of this 'bondage of delusion' is thinking that we are the Doer. However, having immersed our consciousness in Krishna's sublime liberating wisdom and Samkhya, we now know that, "We are not the Doer!" We are neither as he cajoles Arjuna, blockheads or fools, in Sanskrit durmatis.


We meet in the Heart!

V. Susan Ferguson



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PARAMARTHASARA of Abhinavagupta

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