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why humans feel "I"

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Topic starter

With reference to chapter 7 sloka 6 and the commentary offerred by sri T.N.Sethumadhavan at (a) the three divinly components viz para, apara prakruthis and the soul are creations of paramatma and residing inside humans and (b) the reason for feeling of "I" by human appears to be the worship of apara prakruthi by the soul ignoring the para prakruthi. Please explain how?

2 Answers
Topic starter

According to Sri T.N. Sethumathavan on chapter 7 verse 2-6 of Bhagwad Gita, Answer as moderated and summarized by member -

Bried Answer -

God created three cosmic entities and energies viz. Lower entity called APARA PRAKRUTHI ie physical world of inert matter ,visible or invisible ,Higher entity called PARA PRAKRUTHI is Consciousness which is eternal and dynamic and third is himself as Jeevatma. All the creation has the three ingredients of which the first two are of varying proportions. The objective of creation might be that Jeevatma to identify with PARA PRAKRUTHI and accordingly use APARA PRAKRUTHI and attain Moksha. But in the process, if Jeevatma ignores PARA PRAKRUTHI and start using APARA PRAKRUTHI , it will lead to EGO and feeling of I by which Jeevatma forgets the truth of its belonging to GOD and falsely identified separately by I and looses its spiritual permanent happiness and becomes temporary inert nature and takes all sufferings of matter.

Elaborate answer

These type of questions requires minimum understanding about creation and creator as first step. Knowledge of God and experiencing God are two different aspects and God is the cause of the appearance of the universe and all things in it. He is the essence, substance and substratum of everything, whether visible or invisible.


The word Creation, only refers to the manifestation of something which was potentially, manifestly existent. Nothing in the creation is non existent. The unmanifest matter later may becomes manifest, which means it is available for transaction. An analogy is that of butter which is known to be preexisting in manifested form in milk will become manifested as butter on churning the milk. The Lord proceeds to explain his manifestations as the universe and the power behind it. He speaks of these manifestations as His lower and higher Prakriti. It is to say that both prakriti existed in causal form before creation and manifestation and combination of these two ingredients causes things to be born and function.


lower Prakriti called APARA Prakrit is eight folds and made up of the five elements Earth, water, fire, air, ether and mind, ego and intellect. The matter is the source of all forms of energy and is referred as Beejam or Maya. Also it will be always changing from one form to other and its state is temporary. It needs no further explanation.


But the other HIGHER Prakruthi needs elaborate explanation. The Self has, besides elements of APARA Prakrit , equipments of a higher nature which are Pure Consciousness or Awareness i.e. PARA Prakrit.The higher Prakriti called PARA Prakrit is having several names like Vignana , Consciousness or Awareness .Its cosmic energy levels are much much higher than APARA PRAKRUTHI. It never changes and permanent in nature. It is this spiritual aspect in everybody that makes it possible for the body, mind ,intellect and ego which are inert matters to function as if they are very cognizant and intelligent. The spiritual factor is the entity with whose contact the body equipment works and without which it becomes dull and insentient. Without this spiritual spark ,man will be no more than a stone, and he will not be able to experience the world outside or within him. The world of objects, the world of feelings and the world of ideas that we experience constitute in their totality the Jagat or universe which is supported by the principle of consciousness. Consciousness is non-material entity . It does not come under matter and therefore it does not come within time and space. This means that as consciousness is beyond time and space it has to be eternal which implies that before the creation, consciousness also existed.


In addition to the above two PRAKRUTHIES , there is a third entity , God himself resides within all creation as JEEVATMA. At the Micro level i.e., with reference to an individual, it is given the name of Atma. The very same at the Macro level is called Brahman. Therefore Atma and Brahman are synonymous meaning the same thing .

Once the individual understands the distinction between matter and Atma , he will know that the cause of all our sufferings is due to Atma identifying with matter. When Atma is detached from all its identifications with matter, it rediscovers for itself its own essential nature as Perfection and Bliss Absolute.


The Atma identifying with matter or apara Prakrit is called ego. This is also called super imposition on the Truth through ignorance. It is apara Prakrit by which the atma gets bound with EGO. It is the ego that rediscovers itself to be nothing other than the spirit or para Prakrit that presides over the matter. The process of such rediscovery of truth by EGO is very interesting. Let us understand the entire process of formation of EGO and rediscovery of truth.


The five elements of matter are represented by the sense-organs by which the individual lives and gathers experiences in the world of sense objects. The sense organs are the channels through which the information stimuli reaches the mind. The impulses received in the mind are classified and systematized as knowledge by the intellect. Mind also memorizes the large amount of data about the matter. However, there may be differences in perception and efficiency of conduct of entire process among the individuals that lead to another quality referred as Intellectuality among humans and humans are classified with clever, intelligent, genius , innocent ,foolish etc. These assimilations bring another quality EGO among humans and during all these assimilations the spirit falsely identifies the body with the ego and the sense of I' or My' is produced.


The above mentioned higher and lower natures together cause the manifestation of the world of plurality. If there is no matter, the latent dynamic energy of the Spirit will not have a field for its expression. The matter by itself is dormant and it cannot function unless the Spirit is there to activate it, to enliven it. An example of this principle is electricity and the bulb. The bulb is the inert matter and the electricity is the dynamic spirit. It is obvious that one is of no use without the other. When the spirit functions through the five layers of the matter it finds a place to express itself.


The combination of the higher and lower natures (Prakrit) is the womb of all beings i.e., these two are the cause for the origin of all creatures or manifestation. The lower nature manifests itself as the material body and the higher nature as the enlivening soul, the experiencer.

Thanks for reading,
with great regards'



Hare Krishna apvsn. Please accept my humble obeisance's. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. Thanks for your interest in sharing on the school of Bhakti forum. However this is not the correct philosophy of Bhakti yoga as was thought by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. 

"God created three cosmic entities and energies viz. Lower entity called APARA PRAKRUTHI ie physical world of inert matter ,visible or invisible ,Higher entity called PARA PRAKRUTHI is Consciousness which is eternal and dynamic and third is himself as Jeevatma" I have noticed in your answer that you say that God is himself the Jiva( individual soul), however this is not supported by the Acarya's who have preserved and passed on the Krishna conscious philosophy over time and also this is not supported on the basis of sastrical evidence. I would encourage you to read the following text from the Bhagavad-gita as Srila Prabhupada elaborates thoroughly on this matter and also provides evidence on the basis of the scriptures.

Chapter 15: The Yoga of the Supreme Person

mamaivamso jiva-loke
jiva-bhutah sanatanah
prakrti-sthani karsati
mama—My; eva—certainly; amsah—fragmental particles; jiva-loke—world of conditional life; jiva-bhutah—the conditioned living entities; sanatanah—eternal; manah—mind; sasthani—six; indriyani—senses; prakrti—material nature; sthani—situated; karsati—struggling hard.
The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal, fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.
In this verse the identity of the living being is clearly given. The living entity is the fragmental part and parcel of the Supreme Lord-eternally. It is not that he assumes individuality in his conditional life and in his liberated state becomes one with the Supreme Lord. He is eternally fragmented. It is clearly said, sanatanah. According to the Vedic version, the Supreme Lord manifests and expands Himself in innumerable expansions, of which the primary expansions are called Visnu-tattva, and the secondary expansions are called the living entities. In other words, the Visnu-tattva is the personal expansion, and the living entities are separated expansions. By His personal expansion, He is manifested in various forms like Lord Rama, Nrsimhadeva, Visnumurti and all the predominating Deities in the Vaikuntha planets. The separated expansions, the living entities, are eternally servitors. The personal expansions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the individual identities of the Godhead, are always present. Similarly, the separated expansions of living entities have their identities. As fragmental parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord, the living entities have also fragmental qualities, of which independence is one. Every living entity has an individual soul, his personal individuality and a minute form of independence. By misuse of that independence, one becomes a conditioned soul, and by proper use of independence he is always liberated. In either case, he is qualititatively eternal, as the Supreme Lord is. In his liberated state he is freed from this material condition, and he is under the engagement of transcendental service unto the Lord; in his conditioned life he is dominated by the material modes of nature, and he forgets the transcendental loving service of the Lord. As a result, he has to struggle very hard to maintain his existence in the material world.
The living entities, not only the human beings and the cats and dogs, but even the greater controllers of the material world-Brahma, Lord Siva, and even Visnu-are all parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord. They are all eternal, not temporary manifestations. The word karsati (struggling or grappling hard) is very significant. The conditioned soul is bound up, as though shackled by iron chains. He is bound up by the false ego, and the mind is the chief agent which is driving him in this material existence. When the mind is in the mode of goodness, his activities are good; when the mind is in the mode of passion, his activities are troublesome; and when the mind is in the mode of ignorance, he travels in the lower species of life. It is clear, however, in this verse, that the conditioned soul is covered by the material body, with the mind and the senses, and when he is liberated this material covering perishes, but his spiritual body manifests in its individual capacity. The following information is there in the Madhyandi-nayana-sruti: sa va esa brahma-nistha idam sariram marttyam atisrjya brahmabhisampadya brahmana pasyati brahmana srnoti brahmanaivedam sarvam anubhavati. It is stated here that when a living entity gives up this material embodiment and enters into the spiritual world, he revives his spiritual body, and in his spiritual body he can see the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face. He can hear and speak to Him face to face, and he can understand the Supreme Personality as He is. In smrti also it is understood that in the spiritual planets everyone lives in bodies featured like the Supreme Personality of Godhead's. As far as bodily construction is concerned, there is no difference between the part and parcel living entities and the expansions of Visnumurti. In other words, at liberation the living entity gets a spiritual body by the grace of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
The word mamaivamsah (fragmental parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord) is also very significant. The fragmental portion of the Supreme Lord is not like some material broken part. We have already understood in the Second Chapter that the spirit cannot be cut into pieces. This fragment is not materially conceived. It is not like matter which can be cut into pieces and joined together again. That conception is not applicable here because the Sanskrit word sanatana (eternal) is used. The fragmental portion is eternal. It is also stated in the beginning of the Second Chapter that (dehino 'smin yatha) in each and every individual body, the fragmental portion of the Supreme Lord is present. That fragmental portion, when liberated from the bodily entanglement, revives its original spiritual body in the spiritual sky in a spiritual planet and enjoys association with the Supreme Lord. It is, however, understood here that the living entity, being the fragmental part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, is qualitatively one, just as the parts and parcels of gold are also gold.
I hope this helps. If you would like to discuss further please feel free to contact me. Haribol. Your servant, Bhakta David.