Friday, September 23, 2011

Prajnapti's Questions on Creation and Appearance of the World

Prajnapti's Questions on Creation and Appearance of the World

[Yogavaasishta is an authoritative Advaitic scripture of about 32,000 verses divided into six chapters. The last chapter is Nirvana. It comes in two parts – Purva (Book I) and Uttara (Book II).  King Prajnapti, Ruler of the City Ilavati, raises many doubts about Creation and the world that appears to us. These are the sort of doubts any one of us would like to ask. Sage Vasishta answers the Questions of the King from Sargas 204 to 210 in Book II of the sixth Chapter Nirvana. Presented here is an Extract (adopted with slight modifications) from a forthcoming Book – Yogavaasishta, Chapter VI: Nirvana - Book II by Shri K.V. Krishna Murthy, English Translation by Dr. Vemuri Ramesam. The Questions are posted here.  The reply of Sage Vasishta will be posted next month.]

Part I: Prajnapti's Questions:

King Prajnapti:  My Lord! The Holiest of saints!  Several doubts have been nagging me for quite some time.  Please listen to my questions and bless me with your answers.
1.            It is said that the Supreme Brahman, inaccessible to the mind and speech alone was present prior to creation.  It is also said that there was nothing else. That being the situation, what was the root cause for triggering the creation? What was the material cause for creation?  What were the enabling causes?  Was there one or more than one material cause?
2.            It is said that there are a multitude of universes.  It is also said that there is a huge variety of them.  Some are said to be in space, some at the center of rocks, some as liquids, some as gas and some as fire.
What is the reason for such diversity? 
3.            Who created these universes, the inhabitants in the universes and the sense organs of the inhabitants?  Who witnesses these worlds?
4.            Vedas speak about both the ritual-oriented action and also Knowledge-oriented pursuit of Brahman.  Therefore it is beholden to us to synthesize both approaches and enunciate a principle.  As per this principle, the cycles of creation and dissolution will go on indefinitely and there is no stopping that. 
Would you agree to that? 
If you agree, we have to accept that the root causation for turning the wheel of creation and dissolution is human thinking because of the famous adage that what you experience follows what you think.
Do you accept it?
5.            If that is granted, such a thought or knowledge can be either permanent or impermanent. If it is impermanent, what is the cause for its impermanency?  We do not have an answer.  If we suppose that the knowledge is permanent, we cannot conceive of changes happening within a permanent thing.
How do you reconcile the two concepts?
6.            Suppose a man is dead.  His body is consigned to flames.  He goes to heaven or hell to reap the fruit of his actions.  He cannot experience the happiness or sorrow unless he is an embodied creature there.  Who will be the parents for the new body in the heaven or hell?   Scriptures are silent on this. 
How could a body be born without any parentage?
7.            We may propose that his sins and merits act as the parents for the new body.  If so it would mean that the formless notions of sin and merit are able to engender physical bodies composed of substances.  But this is impossible.
What then could cause the bodies with a noticeable form?
8.            As a way out of this complication, one can argue that there is really no higher world.  This is the atheistic position.  But there are problems with this concept also.  If we accept that the visible world is real, we may expect a real cause behind it.  That cause could be the higher world.  But from the viewpoint of that world, our world will be the higher world.  Hence one cannot argue against a higher world.  It is also contrary to what the Vedas declare.
9.            I said a while ago that mere concepts having no form could not produce substances having a form.  I am not too sure of it either.  Say a King sits in his capital city.  The people in a remote village under that kingdom are bound by the dictates of the King and suffer the punishment imposed by his orders.  The orders of the King do not have a form.  But the punishment meted out to the people is physically felt by their bodies.  It would mean that the formless order has generated something having a form.
How do you explain this?
10.          The scriptures ordain or prohibit certain things.  Some people faithfully follow the stipulations. Some others do not care. How do these things actually work?
11.          An accomplished Yogi converts a stone column in no time into a golden pillar.
How can that be done?
12.          Vedas contain many mutually contradictory and opposing statements. How do you build a convergence of these diverse declarations?
13.          Sages like you say that the Pure Consciousness changed to Hiranyagarbha first at the beginning of the creation. It is said that the rest of the creation was made by him.  It means that Hiranyagarbha was born from space. Is it your contention that It has such a power because It is not just space but It is Consciousness-Space?
If It has intrinsically such power, why cannot more Hiranyagarbhas be born out of It?
14.          Fire is always hot; water is ever cool and so on within this creation.  We notice such inherent order in all substances.
How did such Laws of Nature get embedded in this creation?
15.          Elders advise that we should perform austerities and meditation to get relieved of such doubts. They speak of austerities and meditation as a means for the fulfillment of any desire.  Suppose a person has a close friend and a sworn enemy.  The friend observes austerities desiring a long life for him.  The enemy performs the austerities with a wish for his immediate death.  Both the friend and enemy are very strong. 
How do their austerities take effect?
16.          In another example, say, a dozen young men of letters are enthralled by the beauty of the moon.  They meditate at the same time with a yearning to become the moon.
If their desire gets fulfilled, do we then see a dozen moons simultaneously in the sky?
17.          Here is another more complex problem.  I know a very beautiful lady.  She practices detachment.  She deserted her house when she was young.  She commenced performance of austerities with a wish to remain unmarried for life.  But a handful eligible youth were captivated by her beauty and fell in love with her.  Each of them began austerities and meditation longing to marry and keep her as his wife.
How will their meditation take effect?
18.          A smart guy meditated rigorously.  His personal God was pleased with the meditation and manifested in front of him.  He requested the God to grant him a boon so that he would be the Emperor for the seven islands till the time of Great Dissolution without having to budge out of his house.
How can the God grant a boon like that?
19.          People make offerings and donations.  They observe the annual death ceremonies.  It is said that such acts yield the fruits in the higher world.  The rationale behind it is given to be that an “invisible” thing is born here and the same invisible thing bestows the rewards in the higher worlds.  The “invisible” thing has no form.  This formless substance is supposed to be admixed with an embodied being having a form and show the result in a different place at a different time in different ways.  Somehow this does not appeal very much.
How do you justify that expectation?

1 comment:

Dov Henis said...

All The Mass Of The Universe Formed At The Pre-Big-Bang Singularity

The universe is a two-poles entity, an all-mass and an all-energy poles.

The elementary particle of the universe is the graviton. The gravitons are compacted into the universal inert singularity mass only for the smallest fraction of a second, when all the gravitons of the universe are compacted together, with zero distance between all of them. This state is mandated by their small size and by their hence weak force.

The big bang is the shattering of the short-lived singularity mass into fragments that later became galactic clusters. This is inflation. The shattering is the start of movement of the shatters i.e. the start of reconversion of mass into energy, which is mass in motion. This reconversion proceeds at a constant rate since the big bang since the resolution of gravitons, their release from their shatters-clusters, proceeds at constant rate due to their weak specific force due to their small size.

Dov Henis (comments from 22nd century)