The Spiritual Essence of the Material Creation

The Gita is attempting to translate from an experiential, symbolic basis to a more or less intellectual statement, an understanding of the Reality, the primacy of the spiritual consciousness and the essential spiritual force that permeates and inhabits the entire created, manifested world. While the Rig Veda can refer to “the golden child in the womb (hiranyagarbha)” and the Upanishads can speak of the Ashwattha Tree that has its roots above and its leaves and branches down below, the Gita does not rely on this type of purely symbolic transcription of the spiritual standpoint, but rather tries to provide for those who base their understanding on the mental process, what may be called a philosophical statement, although the Gita continually insists on the need to actually transfer the standpoint of the consciousness to gain the actual sight and experience of the spiritual essence of all existence.

The Gita does this by focusing on the common and central essence that weaves itself through all creation, disregarding the differences for the moment to focus on the unifying factor.

Sri Aurobindo delves into this issue: “The one original and eternal fact is the energy of Nature, the power and quality of being which so manifests itself to the soul through the senses. And what is essential in the senses, most spiritual, most subtle is itself stuff of that eternal quality and power. But energy or power of being in Nature is the Divine himself in his Prakriti; each sense in its pureity is therefore that Prakriti, each sense is the Divine in his dynamic conscious force.”

There is something of a reversal of consciousness that must be understood here: “From the material point of view matter is the reality and the sensory relations are derivative; but from the spiritual point of view the truth is the opposite. Matter and the material media are themselves derivative powers and at bottom are only concrete ways or conditions in which the workings of the quality of Nature in things manifest themselves to the sensory consciousness of the Jiva.”

Sri Krishna underlines the essence of the permeating spiritual power when he states in the Gita: “I am taste in the waters, sound in ether, scent in earth, energy of light in fire…” The material form has an inner essential quality and that is the important fact from the spiritual viewpoint.

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, Second Series, Part I, Chapter 1, The Two Natures, pg. 260