[Advaita-l] Re: Universe - finite or infinite?
bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com
bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com
Mon Apr 18 03:21:45 CDT 2005
IMHO, we can not postulate *finiteness* to the universe, since for an
advaitin, it is quite absurd to think that there is a thing called *finite
universe* apart from infinite parabrahman. If we say universe is finite &
brahman is infinite, the very infiniteness of brahman does get affected &
becomes *finite* only coz. this excludes the another finite thing
universe!! But at the same time, neither we can say this universe is
*infinite* & ever lasting like parabrahman. According to advaita,
infinite should be *trikAla abhAdita* satya...universe having its temporal
existence in certain state with time & space limited boundaries (dEsha -
kAla parichinnatva) cannot fulfill this criteria. But as a matter of
fact, universe does not anyway has its own existence apart from brahman.
To solve this riddle, shankara puts this universe (mAya) under
anirvachanIya category & says it is impossible to define universe
categorically as brahman or otherwise.
As Sri Ramesh Badisa prabhuji insisted, to have the clear picture of this
*universe*, obviously, being a vaidika student, we have to go back to the
souce i.e. shruti-s. But, it is unfortunate to note that shruti seems to
carry self contradicting definitions as
regards to creation of this jagat. For exmp. if you take praSnOpanishad it
says with regard to creation HE created life, from life ether, light,
water, earth, senses, mind, food etc. will eminate. In continuation it
further says, from food this world emanated & in world nAma etc. If you
take AitarEya shruti it gives some other account : There
is Atman alone in the beginning & nothing else neither sentient nor
non-sentient. Then He thought (!!??) let me create the worlds & he created
these worlds etc. If we observe the first shruti vAkya from praShna, it is
clear that puruSha or HE created prAna (life) etc. but it is not clear
out of which substance this purusha created them.
On the other hand, the second shruti assertion from AitarEya we can say all
this universe was Atman alone before creation. And finally take
chAndOgya's mahAvAkya tatvamasi, it says all this universe has IT alone as
its essence, that *alone* is real,
that is *Atman*, that is YOU Svetaketu etc. Here shruti declaring that the
pure being alone which created this apparent universe is strictly real &
that alone is the genuine (shuddha) brahman/Atman. This universe
So, it is through agnAna it appears that this really
real (satyasta satya) parabrahman appears as all the differentiated things
such as mountains, stars, trees, BMI, socalled individual self etc. etc.
Shankara simply rejects these nAma rUpAtmaka jagat as vAchArambhaNam since
it is avidyAkruta taking into consideration of our true nature. In
ArambhaNAdhikaraNa sutra bhAshya he says the *non existence* of the effect
(kArya as jagat) in reality (fullness) is confirmed. On what grounds??
since shruti declares that the socalled effect / universe is merely the
play of words (vAchArambhaNam) & other similar reasons.
Further, one can say in the pUrNamadaH shAnti maNtra *pUrNamidam*
represents universe...But while commenting on this mantra in khila kAnda of
bruhadAraNyaka shruti shankara has not said that *idaM* is universe.
Just few thoughts on the on-going discussion.
Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!
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