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

praveen.r.bhat at exgate.tek.com praveen.r.bhat at exgate.tek.com
Wed Apr 20 01:00:15 CDT 2005

praNAm all,

May I humbly suggest that this thread is going nowhere and everyone is
sticking to their guns for no reason, repeating the same things over and

At the cost of sounding rude, may I kindly point out that a derivation such
as that which says "...if the universe is infinite, then praying to universe
would be equivalent to praying to purusha..." is similar to saying "if I
have *four* apples and *four* oranges, eating one or the other will give
same results, both being four in number"! Quality and quantity is something
that is confused with, then! Sorry for this stupid comparison. Whether
universe is finite or infinite is an argument equivalent to praying to
iShwara/saguNa brahmaN vs. praying to nirguNa brahmaN.

Since none of us have found a direct Shruti quote to conclude either, its
best left on one's understanding or faith. To lighten the mood, this thread
seems to tend to infinity! :)


-----Original Message-----
From: advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
[mailto:advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org]On Behalf Of ramesh
Sent: Tuesday, April 19, 2005 6:54 PM
To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Cc: badisa66 at yahoo.com
Subject: [Advaita-l] Re: Universe finite or infinite?

"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

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