Verse 31: Why does cognition occur?

svāṃ svāṃ pratipadyante paraspara-ākuta-hetukāṃ vṛttim |
puruṣa-artha eva hetuḥ na kenacit kāryate karaṇam ||

paraspara – mutual
ākuta – impulse
hetukā – the cause
vṛtti – fluctuation

puruṣa – Spirit
artha – purpose
na – no
kenacit – someone/something
karaṇam – effecting

Cognition is an impulse in Nature that operates in service of Spirit.

  1. The organs-of-sense each do what they do, each performs its own function.
  2. They are activated by a mutual impulse that arises and passes between them.
  3. This mutual impulse causes their apparent coordination.
  4. There is no additional thing or entity that coordinates the objects-of-sense.
  5. There is no external thing that generates the impulse.
  6. The impulse arises among the sense organs and passes through them. Like an army, when one warrior charges, all warriors charge.
  7. Though each organ performs its own function when one moves they all move. When, for example, “I see a form”:
    1. The eye object-of-sense experiences resonance with the dance-of-the-gunas which is before it.
    2. The mind deliberates.
    3. The I-principle grasps.
    4. The intellect focuses.
  8. Their purpose is always to serve Spirit.
  9. The earth rotates, the sun shines, the flowers bud and the bees buzz. There is no external object or force that coordinates all this. A sense of coordination arises because it is all happening in service of spirit.

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