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

ramesh badisa badisa66 at yahoo.com
Tue Apr 19 08:23:58 CDT 2005

“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 Gita
 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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