Verse 21: Why do Spirit and Nature come together?

puruṣasya darśana-arthaṃ kaivalya-arthaṃ tathā pradhānasya |
paṅgu-andha-vat-ubhayoḥ api saṃyogaḥ tat-kṛtaḥ sargaḥ ||

puruṣa – spirit
darśana – seeing/witnessing
artha – purpose

kaivalya – separateness
pradhāna – primordial nature

paṅgu – lame
andha – blind
saṃyoga – union
kṛta – made
sarga – creation

They need each other.

  1. What is the purpose, what drives this conjunction of Spirit (Purusa) and Nature (Prakrti)?
  2. This a relationship in which mutual needs are met.
  3. The cooperation of Spirit and Nature is like the cooperation of a lame man and a blind man. The blind man (Nature) carries the lame man (Spirit) and they help each other.
  4. Nature needs Spirit in order to be enjoyed. Spirit can witness and enjoy Nature (see verse 17: for something to be enjoyed and appreciated there needs to be an enjoyer).
  5. In its union with Nature, Spirit is ignorant of its distinction from Nature. It experiences the effects of the three gunas (pleasure, pain and delusion) as if they originate from itself.
  6. Through the union of Spirit and Nature, discerning knowledge eventually arises and leads to liberation.
  7. When the lame and the blind reach their destination they separate.
  8. Similarly, when Spirit and Nature reach their shared destination they too separate.
  9. The destination of the collaborative journey of Spirit and Nature is discerning knowledge – Spirit recognizing that it is distinct from Nature.
  10. Creation is an outcome of this journey that arises from the union of Spirit and Nature.

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