We all know that energy cannot be destroyed. It is either transformed or transmitted. Similarly, though an action ends, their imprints do not. Every action leaves its mark or imprint in the person who carries out the act. This is how man accumulates imprints. The samskara-s of karma-imprints of actions-are not only from the present life but also from past lives, rooted in afflictions. The reservoir of karma is ever full, since the unfathomable afflictions are the base for this reservoir. Birth, the span and experience of life which we call fate or destiny, are the sprouts of these past karma-s. The effort to experience the world is already destined. We are forced to experience the world of pleasure and pain since the seeds are already there. This is the limitation of human beings.
God, however, is free from afflictions, conflicts and unaffected by actions. He is also free from the fruits of actions and thus untouched by cause and effect. Yet, He has unquestionable and unparalleled potentiality. He is omnipotent. Being free form afflictions he has no bondage to birth and death. He is omnipresent. He is eternal.
He is the seed or origin of all knowledge. His knowledge cannot be surpassed or excelled. He is the first and foremost Guru, the Guru of Guru-s, without any condition to place or time. He is omniscient. He is the ocean of knowledge. Patanjali names this special purusa as ‘purusa visesa’ or God a Unique Soul.
Well! God for this reason alone, is recongnised by the pranava-aum. Aum is considered to be the symbol of Divinity. Pranava stands for praise of divine fulfilment. Aum is composed of three syllables a, u and m. No language is complete without the sound of these three syllables. Aum is the seed from which all
worlds and languages spring. Aum is considered to be sabda-Brahman-the word of God, a Universal Sound.
It is interesting to see that Patanjali’s isvara is not a personified or anthropomorphic God. In Sanskrt, isvara means God. The word indicates supremacy. The word aisvarya is hidden in isvara. Aisvarya means glory. The one who has unexcelled, insurmountable and unparalleled glory is called isvara. The whole universe belongs to Him. He owns the universe, When Patanjali calls God with the words Purusa Visesa, he is pointing out that God is a distinct purusa compared to human beings.
Purusa means a human being. It also means soul. Puri sete iti purusa llh. The word puri means town or city. It indicates the body. Sete means to dwell. Purusa is the one who dwells in the city of the body and hence this dweller is the soul. The soul exists in all the living beings, but purusa visesa is specified as distinct from the rest of the souls since God is a distinct purusa-Purusa Visesa.
Why did Patanjali think of isvara? why did he bring in this topic at all? He could have proceeded without referring to isvara. Did he refer to isvara because of our limitations, the limitations of human beings?