1.24 The God Particle
Updated: Jul 30
YOGA SUTRAS OF PATANJALI | CHAPTER 1 - SAMADHI PADA | VERSE 24 | COMMENTARY
Klesh-karma-vipak-ashayeh-aparamrishth purush-visheshah ishvarah.
क्लेशकर्मविपाकाशयैरपरामृष्टः पुरुषविशेष ईश्वरः॥१.२४॥
Kleśakarmavipa̅ka̅śayairapara̅mr̥ṣṭaḥ puruṣaviśeṣa i̅śvaraḥ ||1.24||
God is untouched by suffering, karma, doership, its impressions and fruits, and holds no expectations.
When one mentions God, everyone has a different reaction to it. For some God is a Father sitting in heaven who is categorizing each action and thought as good or evil, and passes judgement after Death. For someone else, God is what we call Soul. For an atheist, this anthromorphic entity is a farce, created to bully people into doing things which might be against their nature. The words of Cristopher Hitchens “Religion is the root of all Evil” ring true for a lot of people, especially millennials. His argument that there is no good human quality that would not exist without religion is undebatable. But this argument is undebatable only if one views religion from the political standpoint – a pseudo group identity with pseudo assets and ego that must be protected at all costs.
God does not belong to any religion – how could it be if we believe God to be infinite. Meanwhile a religion that does not accept other beliefs cannot be infinite. If it is, then there cannot be any conflict with other factions.
The Upanishads say God is simply the supreme consciousness pervading every particle, every atom - the entire cosmos. It calls it Brahman. It is infinite, omniscient and all encompassing. There is no duality – good and bad, right and wrong, night and day – all these relative terms are meaningless for an infinite, timeless entity. Every religion aims to take the human awareness so that this Supreme Consciousness can be experienced, but this goal has been buried under theological totalitarianism.
Maharishi Patanjali, understood the difference in beliefs and opinions of different people regarding the concept of God. He might have known how many people are God-fearing people, believing in a Being just because they are afraid of the uncertainty of Life and Death, and find solace in a Divine Being that will grant them Heaven after Death. In this sutra, he tries to define God.
Maharishi Patanjali 3 qualities of God:
1. God is untouched by suffering: Suffering arises only when an undesirable state comes, or when a desirable state passes away. Pleasure and Pain, which are temporary are considered permanent, and that which is permanent is lost. God is eternal itself and hence beyond suffering.
2. God is above doership and actions its impressions and expectations of fruit, and fruit of the action: The supreme consciousness is the cosmic will, and yet it is an observer. In the large frame of things, the entity which can observe each perspective and dimension of an event is God. It is omniscient. It observes everything is happening, and does nothing. There is no doership.
3. God does not hold any expectations or any latent impressions: Since there is no impressions of the actions, no expectations arise of any effect of the action. Therefore, God is timeless for it is always in the present moment.
These qualities are mentioned to remind us that we all have the potential to realize God – to recognize that we are the Supreme Consciousness that is eternal and timeless. We cannot become God, for we already are, we can only realise it and that is the aim of any spiritual practice.