BG 9.7-8: At the end of one kalp, all living beings merge into My primordial material energy. At the beginning of the next creation, O son of Kunti, I manifest them again. Presiding over My material energy, I generate these myriad forms again and again, in accordance with the force of their natures.

"all living beings merge into My primordial material energy",
This would be possible only if Shri Krishna was separate from the world. Because if he was the creation (monism) then there would be no reason for the merge, but the verse says "all living beings will merge".
But according to advaita everything is God (Shri Krishna).

What is the explanation for this contradiction?

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    In advaita, there is no time. Since Krishna is postulating cyclic time - this does contradict Advaita.
    – S K
    Mar 23, 2021 at 13:20
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    yānti used in the verse means go back, not merge. According to the commentary of Shankara, everything arises in consciousness and goes back to consciousness.
    Mar 23, 2021 at 13:56
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    Everything is Nirguna Brahman, which is pure consciousness, existence and bliss. Creation is everything emerging from Brahman and going back to Brahman. Like waves from an ocean. There is only water though waves appears to be different.
    Mar 23, 2021 at 14:33
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    @GIRIBLR beautiful, the last line was unexpected. It was good Mar 23, 2021 at 15:13
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    @DarkKnight You said according to Advaitha everything is God. Tejomayananda writes in his Bhagavata Purana Commentary verse 1 "The word anvayat is used to indicate that Brahman, as Existence, pervades the entire universe and yet the universe is not in It. Meaning, though Brahman pervades every object of the world, It remains untouched by the world" Mar 23, 2021 at 15:48

2 Answers 2


From Shri Adi Shankara bhasya,

All the activities of the world in the form, ‘I eat this; I see; I hear this; I experience this happiness, suffer this sorrow; I shall do this for that purpose, I shall do this for this purpose; I shall know this,’ etc. indeed arise owing to their being the objects of the conscious witness. They verily exist in consciousness, and end in consciousness. And such mantras as, ‘He who is the witness of this is in the supreme heaven’ (Ṛg., Nā. Sū. 10.129.7; Tai. Bṛ.2.8.9), reveal this fact. it follows from this that there is no other conscious being apart from the one Brahman—who is the witness of all as the absolute Consciousness, and who in reality has no contact with any kind of enjoyment—, therefore there is no other enjoyer.

Hence, in this context, the question, ‘For what purpose is this creation?’, and its answer are baseless—in accordance with the Vedic text, ‘Who know (It) truly, who can fully speak about this here? From where has this come? From where is this variegated creation?’ (Ṛg. 3.54.5; 10.129.6). And it has been pointed out by the Lord also: ‘Knowledge remains covered by ignorance. Thereby the creatures become deluded’

Everything is Nirguna Brahman, which is pure consciousness, existence and bliss. Creation is everything emerging from Brahman and going back to Brahman. Like waves from an ocean. There is only water though waves appears to be different. The waves appear to emerge briefly as a separate entity; however, just as quickly merge back into the ocean of which it is a part. Us, as human beings, are very much like the waves of the ocean. However, in reality, both wave and ocean are one, because both are really water.

The second Brahma-sutra states

We meditate on that supreme Truth—Brahman— in which all creation, sustenance, and dissolution of the world take place.

As pointed out by Setu sir in the comments, in the commentary to the bhagavatha 1.1.1

Svarat is used to indicate that the cause is self-effulgent, and independent of other causes. anvayat is used to indicate that Brahman, as Existence, pervades the entire universe and yet the universe is not in It.

As mentioned in the Isa Upanisad, Such a thing is pervading the whole Cosmos: īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam yat kiṁ ca jagatyāṁ jagat.

Thus, the above verse can be interpreted as advaita based on the commentary of Adi Shankaracharya.

  • Excellent answer sir! Where does Shankaracharya write that above passage?? Mar 24, 2021 at 6:01
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    Shankara combines a commentary of 9.7-9.9 and ends with the statement, ‘Remaining like one unconcerned, I project forth this multitude of beings.’ How can one unconcerned project? Then, Shankara says, see below and explains this and gives a detailed commentary for 9.7-9.10. The above is from this commentary.
    Mar 24, 2021 at 11:06
  • If you need I can add from the commentary of Madhusudhana Sarasvati also but it will become quite long
    Mar 24, 2021 at 12:00
  • Thankyou sir. Sir no need of Madhusudhana Ji Mar 24, 2021 at 12:29

Gita is strictly speaking not an Advaita text, It contains verses supporting all three main schools of Vedanta. So it is all right if you want to read this Gita verse from the dualistic angle.

Yet others sacrifice with the Yajna of knowledge and worship Me in various ways as the One, as the distinct and as the all-faced.

Gita 9.15

Worshipping the Lord as the one, undivided Pure Consciousness is the way of Advaita or non-dualism.

Adoring the Almighty as the distinct is the way of Dvaita or dualism. He is held distinct from the Jagat and the Jivatman - the universe and the beings, both of these categories being dependent on Him.

Invoking Iswara as the all-faced is the way of Visishtadvaita or the qualified non-dualism. The universe and the beings in it are all the insentient and sentient aspects of the body of the Lord. It is for this reason He is called the all-faced.

In whatever way the Lord is worshipped, it is acceptable to Him. These several ways of understanding the Lord by the devotees are all their respective Jnana-Yajna or sacrifices of knowledge.

Commentary on Gita 9.15 by Swami Chidvabhananda

How would an Advaita Vedanta follower claim this verse to be supporting Advaita?

Yayati answered, 'The wise, with the help of the Vedas and of Knowledge, having ascertained the visible universe to be illusory, instantly realises the Supreme Spirit as the sole existent independent essence. While that they that devote themselves to Yoga meditation take time to acquire the same knowledge, for it is by practice alone that these later divest themselves of the consciousness of quality.'

Mahabharata Adi Parva, Section XCII

The entire universe with its living beings is illusory to the Jnani who follows Advaita Vedanta. So it does not matter if the word 'merge' is used. Adding zero (since the universe is illusory) would not change Brahman. The idea that all is Brahman which is unchanging still remains. So Gita 9.7 is not against Advaita.

For those who think of God as different from Jiva would use the word 'merge' to say that it shows that there is a real difference and hence Gita 9.7 does not support advaita.

  • why did you used commentary of Gita 9.15. The question was about 9:7 Mar 23, 2021 at 14:22
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    I used commentary of Gita 9.15 to show that you can read Gita 9.7 from the dualistic point of view since Gita 9.15 itself sanctions it. There is no right or wrong way of interpreting Gita 9.7. It is all right if you think Gita 9.7 does not support monism. Mar 23, 2021 at 14:25
  • thanks for the answer, but can you explain how 9:7 support monism. Because I "don't think", it doesn't monism support, but it a fact. it supports dualism. Mar 23, 2021 at 18:06

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