[Advaita-l] The origin of evil

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Thu Oct 23 17:33:59 CDT 2003

--- "Jaldhar H. Vyas" <jaldhar at braincells.com> wrote:


> * The creator (Prajapati or Hiranyagarbha) first made a mental
> creation
>   (manasika srshti)  which was pure but failed to flourish so he made
>   woman and united with her to create all the living things through
>   intercourse.  (Maithuna srshti)  As the female was technically His
>   daughter, this was incest and because the act of creation was
> morally
>   flawed, so was the result.  Such a story is mentioned in the
> earliest
>   Vedic texts.

I think arguing that creation is flawed is essentially accepting that
the ultimate Creator Himself is flawed. Of course, Brahma the creator
is not worshipped for the sake of salvation in Hinduism, but the
"ultimate creator" is Brahman Itself. If creation by Brahman is seen as
a flaw, then there being "nothing else" to blame for this flaw, the
blame would fall on Brahman.

That's why in Christianity, typically creation is seen as perfect and
good, but Man somehow "made a mistake". It has never been
satisfactorily explained how God, a being who is incapable of error,
can create a being (Man) who is capable of error. Hume with his
"problem of evil" was attacking this fundamental notion.

Ramana Maharshi was asked, "Perhaps there was an error in creation?" to
which he replied, "There is no error in creation, the error is in us."
Another time, He said, "Creation is neither good nor bad; it is as it
is. It is the human mind which puts all sorts of constructions on it,
seeing things from its own angle and interpreting them to suit its own


PS: Shankara also handles this problem in his Brahma sUtra bhAshhya,
I'll try and post it soon. 

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