[Advaita-l] Re: Universe finite or infinite?

Aditya Varun Chadha adichad at gmail.com
Sat Apr 16 16:00:49 CDT 2005


Please note that I am not going to quote anything from Sruti, I am
just curious to understand the logical flow of your statements.

> Badisa: This clearly shows that the created universe is finite. If the created 
> universe is infinite, then how is it possible for it to get dissolved in NB at the time 
> of pralaya? 

> If the assumption of infinite universe is right, then how can it merge in another 
> infinite thing (NB)? Can we simply sat that divine can do any thing? The moment 
> we say the existence of another infinite, besides the infinite universe, then we are 
> immediately implying the finite nature of the universe. For example, we all know 
> that divine is infinite. If the created universe is also infinite, then it cannot merge 
> in divine.

Aditya: Why should something being infinite imply that it cannot
dissolve into something else that is infinite? Although it may sound
irrelevant since you have repeatedly stated the need for Sruti based
substantiation of any statements in this regard, i shall give some
examples from common day-to-day observations, and then maybe you can
refute them using Sruti...

For example, the set of rational numbers is infinite, and the set of
irrational numbers is also infinite. merged, the are the set of real
numbers, which is also infinite. in fact rationals and irrationals are
so tightly merged that between any to rational numbers there are
infinite irrational numbers, and vice versa. We are today also able to
talk about "levels of infinity". the rational numbers are infinite,
but are "less infinite" than the real numbers.

There are many other examples about common physical objects that
illustrate the same principle of merged infinities and even
"infinities" contained in "finite" things.

apologies if the above is too mathematical or seemingly irrelevant.
but my point is that as long as you do not substantiate with a direct
piece of text from Sruti that LITERALLY says that "the universe is
finite", the only tool you have left is the use of Logic and
rationality to derive the above statement from Sruti quotes. Surely,
this is the spirit SankarAchArya and all the other great souls always
had while elaborating on Sruti.

Note that, as I have refuted in the mathematical hoopla above, saying
that "the universe is infinitely smaller than the nirguNa brAhmaN"
does not imply "the universe is finite". I have given you examples of
two sets of which one (rational numbers) is infinitely smaller than
the other (real numbers) and yet both are infinite.

> Badisa: The universe is created by Saguna Brahman. Therefore, the size of this 
> universe extends only up to the level of SB.

What do you mean by "created"? Let us say I invent a gadget, have I
created it? If so, then I can certainly create "infinite" things, for
example I can create an infinite set of numbers in my mind. If this is
not creation and is only a "revealing" of something already there,
then applying the same logic to the saguNa brAhmaN, the universe MAY
be infinite (that is to say that the statement does not refute the
possibility that the universe is infinite).

All your quotes from the gItA are statements about the "absolute" or
"non-absolute" nature of forms of divinity. they still don't say
anything about "finite" or "infinite". although you may say that
anything "absolute" implies infinity, that is not the same as saying
that anything "non-absolute" implies finitude. ("A implies B" is not
the same as "Not A implies Not B").

Please either give LITERAL refutations of my statements from Sruti, or
give PURELY logical derivations of such refutations from Sruti
statements. all else is just your speculation against mine.

In any case, since the created universe is not our ultimate goal, its
extent may actually be an irrelevant question to ask. A path may seem
finite to someone who can see its end, but infinite to someone who
cannot see the end of the path. whether finite or infinite, the goal
is to transcend this entity.


Aditya Varun Chadha
adichad at gmail.com

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list