Here the verses are displayed as a series of questions and answers.
Click on the question to go to the full verse page.
Verse 1: What is the origin of this inquiry?
It is a response to the inevitable human experience of suffering.
Verse 2: What kind of inquiry can address suffering?
An inquiry that discerns between the Manifest, Unmanifest & Knower.
Verse 3: How can I discern between the Manifest, Unmanifest & Knower?
By looking closely at my lived experience of causality.
Verse 4: What do I need to know about causality?
Since causality emerges from cognition, I need to discern between right and wrong cognition.
Verse 5: What is right cognition?
Perception, inference and valid testimony.
Verse 6: How can I know an Unmanifest that I cannot perceive?
Through inference and valid testimony.
Verse 7: When perceiving directly, can I trust my own senses?
Yes, if I am aware of their limitations.
Verse 8: How can I know that the Unmanifest, which I cannot perceive, really exists?
Relying on causality, I Infer it from its effects.
Verse 9: How can I know causality is real?
I look around (with right cognition) and find evidence of it all around me.
Verse 10: What does causality reveal about the Manifest and Unmanifest?
The Manifest is that which is caused & transient and the Unmanifest is the opposite….
Verse 11: And what is the Knower?
The Knower (Spirit) is without the three Gunas and is opposite & similar to the…
Verse 12: What are the three Gunas?
They are the essential underlying qualities of the Manifest.
Verse 13: Why are there three Gunas?
Together, the three encompass my entire lived experience.
Verse 14: Are the Gunas also present in the Unmanifest?
Yes, because it has already been established that the effect (Manifest) exists in its cause…
Verse 15: Why must I infer an Unmanifest?
There must be something that causes the Manifest.
Verse 16: How can all the diversity I experience in the world emerge from one Unmanifest cause?
Diversity comes from different combinations of the three Gunas.
Verse 17: What is the point of all this mixing and combining of the Gunas?
The Knower (Spirit).
Verse 18: Is there one Spirit or are there many?
There is one Knower, but many Spirits.
Verse 19: What does Spirit do?
Nothing. Spirit is an isolated and inactive witness.
Verse 20: How then, can there be conscious choice?
Conscious choice is an illusion that arises from a co-presence of Spirit and Nature.
Verse 21: Why do Spirit and Nature come together?
They need each other.
Verse 22: What arises from the conjunction of Spirit and Nature?
Mahat, a discerning intelligence.
Verse 23: What is Discerning Intelligence?
It is mental effort that is affected by the dominant Guna.
Verse 24: What arises from Discerning Intelligence?
Ahamkara – a center from which a notion of self arises.
Verse 25: What arises from the self center?
Eleven special objects arise when Sattva is dominant and five special objects arise when Tamas…
Verse 26: What are the eleven special objects that arise from a sattvic Ahamkara?
Ten of the eleven are objects-of-sense.
Verse 27: And what is the eleventh special object?
The eleventh special object is mind – Manas.
Verse 28: What do the objects-of-sense do?
Five of them perceive specific kinds of objects and five are active.
Verse 29: What does the mind do?
Mind functions alongside Discerning Intelligence and the I-Principle.
Verse 30: How does cognition occur?
Cognition occurs when the three internal organs interact with the objects of sense.
Verse 31: Why does cognition occur?
Cognition is an impulse in Nature that operates in service of Spirit.
Verse 32: How does sensing become cognition?
Through seizing, illuminating and sustaining.
Verse 33: How does cognition give rise to the notion of time?
The ten external organs-of-sense function only in the present, the three internal organs function at…
Verse 34: What do the organs-of-sense do?
They are sensitized to and resonate with specific kinds of elements.