[Advaita-l] Re: Universe finite or infinite?
Aditya Varun Chadha
adichad at gmail.com
Tue Apr 19 14:18:27 CDT 2005
* "All creation is but a fourth part of him. The rest is unmanifested"
Badisa: The statement "rest is unmanifested" carries importance here.
"Unmanifested" is the one, which is not created or which is left over
once the universe is created. If universe is infinite, then it should
also include the 3/4th of the remaining unmainfested form. Right? But
the created universe does not include unmanifest. As per the above
statement, created universe is only equal to fourth part of purusha.
This is a clear evidence to show the finite nature of universe.
My point is precisely that "if the universe is ifninite, then it DOES
NOT NEED to include the 3/4th remaining unmanifested form." so the
answer to your "Right?" is no. You also gave the example of a finite
earth as being part of an infinite brAhmaN. you are very right on that
part. but that is teh example of the earth, a SPECIFIC example. what
makes you think that by the same token you can treat the universe?
I think you are not looking that quantifiers of your statements
carefully. Although there EXIST some things that are finite but are
part of something infinite, (for example to say that the earth is
infinite would be wrong, as you have rightly said) there MAY EXIST
OTHER infinite things that are part of something infinite.
When someone says that "part of infinity does not imply finiteness",
one does not mean that "part of infinity necessarily implies
infinity", what one means is that "infinity can have finite as well as
other infinite parts", so the earth is an example of a finite part,
and the universe may be an example of an infinite part.
The very quote that you have quoted, when Krishna talks about the
universe being 1/4th of him. would you agree that this is the same as
Krishna saying that "I am 4 times the created universe"? this is a
crucial point. if you do agree that both statements are equivalent,
then please refer to the last few paragraphs of Mr. S. Jayanarayanan's
email. if you do not think that the two statements are equivalent,
them I am afraid no matter what i say, I cannot convince you
4 times something finite is definitely finite is it not? if to you it
is not so then I am afraid we are living in different mental
universes, and while mine has the potential of being infinite, your
universe is definitely finite.
On 4/19/05, ramesh badisa <badisa66 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> "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"
> Badisa: Rig Ved 10.90.3 says that created universe is only a fraction of "purusha". Similarly, Lord Krishna says that whole universe is only a fraction of him (10/42). Then why do you think it would be an absurd? It would be absurd if we think than finite universe is apart from infinite parabrahman. I never said that that finite universe is apart from divine. All I said is that finite universe is only "a part" – a fraction (not apart) of divine. We all understand the subtle difference between "a part" and "apart". If we accept "a part" based on the above references, then there is no absurdity. Now, one may say that since divine is infinite, and since created universe is also a part of it, then the created universe should also be infinite on the grounds that a part of infinity is also infinity. If this argument is valid, then worshipping of prakruti should also lead us to salvation. Because, created universe is prakruti. If universe is infinite, then prakruti is also infinite
> as per
> the same above assumption, and worshipping a part of it should also be equal to worshipping of whole, and thus it should lead one to salvation. But this is not possible based on Isha. Up. 12 mantra. Thus, the above assumption is not valid.
> "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!!"
> Badisa: The whole creation is a part of purusha, based on the above references. Thus, we are not excluding the finite universe from purusha.
> "For exmp. if you take praSnOpanishad it says with regard to creation HE created life,"
> Badisa: Description on creation is mentioned in Pras. Up. 1.4 onwards. The term prjapati means creator or hiranya garbha or saguna Brahman.
> "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 Similarly, in 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. "
> Badisa: This up. also talks of the same creation and the same creator, and does not say in any different way. For example, before creation, the atma alone is present. Who is this atma? Since this atma here is concerned with creation, it is the divine, a saguna Brahman. Before creation nothing is present as every thing else is merged temporarily during the nighttime of the creator (Gita 8/18, 19 & 9/7, 8). Based on the absence of such terms like water, light, air etc, we cannot say that this Upanishad is saying different from previous sruti text. At any rate, the terms, mind, senses, food etc come under prakruti. Since souls cannot be created, the rest of materials during creation is prakruti. This is not mentioned in pras. Up. This needs to be understood automatically. For example, in Ch. Up., Br. Up, Kaushitaki (sp?) Up, Dev Yan marg is described with almost all lokas the soul is passing through. In Gita 8/24, some of the lokas are omitted. Now, based on this can we say that
> 8/24 contradicts with the above sruti texts? No. So, the bottom line is that there is no contradiction in sruti texts please. Contradictions may arise to us, but there is no contradiction in scriptures.
> "but it is not clear out of which substance this purusha created them"
> Badisa: Souls cannot be created. So prakruti is used for rest of the creation, as also mentioned in Gita 9/7,8.
> "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"
> Badisa: The YOU referred above is pointing to the soul. But when this soul is surrounded by the layers of ignorance, as mentioned in Gita 3/38 and 5/15, the "HE" is not equal to "HIM". The "HE" becomes "HIM" after the death of the physical body of jeevan mukta or at the time of pralaya for liberated souls at Brahma Lok. The absolute divine, who is attained by the above souls, is all alone, and real. Such divine is already existing in our body in the form of soul, but surrounded by ignorance. So the father in the above up. is asking the son to do sadhana for the sake of realization. I do not see any contradiction from any of the sruti references you quoted. If I misunderstood your question on contradiction, then I request you to clarify me.
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Aditya Varun Chadha
adichad at gmail.com
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