[Advaita-l] Musings on the Fundamentals of Hinduism - 5
anbesivam2 at gmail.com
Mon Sep 7 08:15:18 CDT 2009
“Naiveha kinchanaagra aaseeth. Mrthyur naivedhamaavrudhamaaseeth,
asanayayaa. Asanaayaa hi mrthyuhu.”
In the beginning there was nothing whatsoever. This universe was
enveloped by death called *Hiranyagarbha* because of hunger. And hunger is
The beginning we are talking about is the beginning of time called ‘Kalpa’.
This beginning also happens to be the end of the previous kalpa. Time indeed
is a phenomenon that has a beginning, life and end. Like all phenomenon, it
is cyclical. Well then, What is a kalpa? A kalpa consists of 4 yugas called
Sathya yuga, Thretha yuga, Dwapara yuga and Kali yuga and like the day
succeeds another day, a kalpa succeeds another kalpa. The principle of
entropy works through the four successive yugas during which Dharma loses
its glory steadily and at the end of Kali yuga complete adharma prevails.
Why and how did the previous kalpa end?
In all periods of time, what sustains the creation is the Dharma. Prakrthi
is made up of opposites and so there is also adharma that opposes Dharma.
Whenever adharma takes an upper hand, Vishnu as the preserver incarnates to
restore Dharma to its glory. As it happened at the end last Kali yuga all
orders broke and complete anarchy prevailed. Vishnu the preserver felt that
the restoration of Dharma is impossible in such condition and so he decided
to end the adharma by totally destroying the creation!
He knew that food sustains the creation and so he decided to sap the food by
means of Vedic Karma. He sapped the food of all living organisms and they
died and merged into Prithvi from where they had arisen. He then sapped the
food of Prithvi and Prithvi died and merged into water from where it arose.
He then sapped the food of water and so it merged into fire. He sapped the
food of fire and it merged into air. He sapped the food of air and so it
merged into space. He finally sapped the primordial sound that is the food
of the space and the space collapsed and merged into him. What remained then
was this great destroyer, this Mrithyu, this death completely devoid of food
and in great hunger. So we say hunger is death.
We do not know how long this death remained as death because there was no
time to measure. As we said before there was nothing at all except death.
“Sa vai naiva reme, thasmaadhekaakee na ramathe; sa dwitheeyamechathu.”
In fact He did not at all feel happy. Therefore one (still) does not feel
happy being alone. He desired a mate.
Do you not say “I have every mind to do this” or “I have no mind to do
this”? Thus we know that without mind nothing can be done. "May I be
possessed of a mind" desired Hiranyagarbha and he produced the mind. This
mind became his consort that is why at the time of marriage the bridegroom
takes an auspicious thread and says, "*Maangalyam* *thanthunanena mama
jeevana hethuna*.”, "by this you become the cause and reason of my life",
and ties it round the neck of the bride as the neck is the residence of the
mind. From then on the void is filled by the wife even to this day.
With a wife with him, Hiranyagarbha is now qualified to perform a yagna,
because only a Grihastha, a man with a wife, is qualified to perform Vedic
Karma. For, again, without a yagna nothing could come about. The yagna he
performed is called *Brahmahooth. *Since there was nothing besides him, he
himself became the *pasu* or sacrifice. From this yagna came Virat or Brahma
the creator. Brahma then embarks on the creation called *Pravrthi*.
He churned his mouth and rubbed his hands and produced fire. Whatever is
liquid in the world He created from his seed. Soma the Moon (who has a
liquid body) is indeed the food. And fire is the eater. This universe is
this much only. The food and the eater. This mortal created Agni and Soma
the Gods who are immortal. Therefore this is a surpassing creation!
He created from his mind seven *Prajapathis* called Saptha Rishis known as *
Marichi* etc. and asked them to create. They first created women whom they
gave away in marriage to each other. Then they produced two sets of beings
called *Devas* and *Asuras*. Devas were few in number and were
good guys and the Asuras were many but were bad guys. They fought each other
bitterly for world domination. Not satisfied with this state of affairs,
Brahma called the Prajapathis and told them, "Look, if your creation is so
self destructive, then there is no hope for creation. So I want you to go
back and do it again."
So the Prajapathis went back and this time produced Yakshas and Rakshasas.
The Yakshas are merry go lucky guys like the hippies who sang and danced and
roamed the universe. Brahma looked at them and shook his head. He was
unimpressed of their creative abilities in furthering the creation. Then he
turned his attention to the Rakshasas who were cruel to others and were even
cannibals. Brahma's hair shot up in shock and utter disgust. When the hair
curled Snakes and *vermins* were produced. He was not at all satisfied with
the creative process that had taken place so far. So he said to himself,
"These Prajapathis are useless, let me create more Prajapathis out of my
mind" and he created 4 charming young men known as *Sanath Kumaras*. Brahma
asked these new Prajapathis to create. Being smart as they are, these young
boys asked Brahma, "Father, what are you going to do?” Brahma replied, "I am
going to reflect on the Self." The curiosity of the boys increased and they
asked of their father if reflecting on the Self is superior to creation.
Brahma replied that it is the *parama* *purushartham* or the ultimate
objective of any being. That answer proved disastrous for Brahma for the
children told the father they would rather know about the self which is
superior rather than embark on creation. That is why the maxim in all times
is that a Brahmana who sets out to know his real Self cannot be faulted for
not performing karma.
The Sanath Kumaras then went to Dhakshinamoorthi and surrendered to him and
Dhakshinamoorthi taught them the knowledge of the Self in silence (mouna
vyaakyaana prakatitham) by means of *Chin Mudra *indicating that the
jeevathma and paramaathma are one and the same. Thus Dhakshinamoorthi became
the first guru. “Dhakshinamoorthy samaarambam, Sankaracharya madyamaam,
asmat acharya paryantham, vande guru paramparaam.”
Now back to Brahma, who found himself at square one, sighed to himself
"There is no point in delegating any work to any Prajapati. They are all
useless, I will take over the job of creation myself", he declared. He
instantly split himself like a pea into two, as male and female. The female
was shy and wanted to hide herself from the male and she became a cow. The
male became a bull and united with her and from them the cows were born.
Then she turned into a she-goat and he changed to a he-goat and propagated.
Then they took the forms of mare and stallion and propagated. In this manner
they continued to reproduce. She became a Naari and he became a Nara and
propagated the men and women. This way he set out the great pravaham of *
>From the unmanifest world He manifested the world of names and forms. So
even now this manifest world is of names and forms only. This Supreme Self
penetrated into all these bodies just as a razor lies in its case. People do
not realize It when they view it from its particular function such as when
it is breathing, it is called Prana. Because such a view is incomplete. He
is the eye of the eye, ear of the ear, and mind of the thoughts. Eye, ear
and so on are only names due to functions. If we know each aspect then our
knowledge is incomplete. So the totality called the Self alone should be
meditated upon for knowing of which everything else is known.
“Thadhethathpreyaha puthraathu, preyo vitthaathu preyonasmaathsarvasmaath
This Self is dearer than a son, dearer than wealth, dearer than all other
objects because it is the nearerst than all.
Because all others will perish but not the Self.
This self (before the realization of its eternal identity) was actually
Brahman and it knew only itself as “I am Brahman” and so he became the
Universe. Whosoever among the Gods, sages and men realize this then they too
*Sri Gurubyo Namaha*
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