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

ramesh badisa badisa66 at yahoo.com
Sat Apr 23 09:41:57 CDT 2005


“We dont need Sruti references for proving this point”

Badisa: Sir! Who has to say this? You?

“The point has already proved using logical considerations”

Badisa: Nothing is proved so far. One cannot prove in spiritualism by applying pure logic. Your logical considerations end at mind and buddhi level.  

“Why are you not asking for Sruti references to prove that 2+2 = 4?”

Badisa: Because, I did not find any valid point why the above should be equated with whole purusha. Divine is above the mathematical calculations and imaginations please.

“Even assuming that we really need Sruti references,”

Badisa: Then, why did you say above that sruti reference is not needed in this regard? You are contradicting yourself.

“I dont find that you have quoted even one to prove or disprove the point”

Badisa: Bad luck. May be found later.

“It would be really worth while if you read the posts more carefully. I did not claim that rAmAnuja (not rAmAnujam) had an interpretation of purusha sUkta that we need to accept.”

Badisa: I am cutting and pasting the following opinion by one of the list members (I am not giving the name) expressed some time ago: “This list respects Ramanuja, but his teachings do not carry as much authority”. 

In view of the above observation, when I saw sri Vaishnava web link, provided by you, I was not sure how well the interpretation of sri Ramanuja (no ‘m’ this time) would be accepted. Thus I expressed a kind of doubt. But it does not mean that I was pointing my doubt to you. I think there is some misunderstanding here from your side. This indicates that you should read and understood the posts carefully from the beginning on this topic. Anyhow, if you feel hurt due to this, my sincere apology to you. I am not intended to hurt you or anyone.  

“rAmAnuja (not rAmAnujam)”

Badisa. Agreed. It’s my mistake, and sorry if it had hurt you or other members.

“ Where, in gIta 10.42, does Sankara explicitly mention that the universe is finite”

Badisa: Please see this in Gita 10/42 (The Bhagavad Gita, with the commentary of Sri Sankaracharya, Samata Books Madras. Translated from the original Sanskrit into English by Sri Alladi MahaDeva Sastry). “ But, of what avail to thee is this vast things being known, O Arjuna? I stand sustaining this whole world by one part (of Myself).

Of what avail to you can be this knowledge of vast but imperfect details? Listen, I will tell you completely of it, I stand sustaining firmly this whole world by one part, by one limb, by one foot; ie., one part of Myself constitutes all beings. So says the chant:

‘All beings form His foot’ – (Taittiriya Aranyaka 3-12). 

Note: You can also check Rig Ved 10.90.1 to 5 mantras on this. For more additional proof, please refer Gita Makaranda (English), written by sri sri sri Vidya Prakasananda Giri Swamiji (Sri Shankara’s advaita followers) (sri Sukha Brahma Ashram, p.o box 517640, Srikalahasti, Chittor district, A. P). When divine experienced swamiji indicates that the created universe is finite, yes, it is indeed finite. This is a parama praman, at least for me, and I do not and will not take support from logic or maths or science to prove or disprove it.  

“Your imaginative interpretations dont render a purANa as anti-Sruti” 

Badisa: This is your opinion please. But I still believe that we all need to respect each other, irrespective of differences in our opinions. Then only the true spirit of advaitam is shown.  

“Notice the word "anantam" in the last line. it literally means without end or unending or unlimited or without limits or infinite”

Badisa: Who saw the universal form of Lord Krishna? It is Arjuna and Sanjay. Who expressed the term ‘anantam’? It is Sanjay. Arjuna did not say the word ‘anantam’. So, from Sanjay’s (or for that matter, even Arjuna’s) point of view, the universal form of Lord Krishna is infinite. But, it doesn’t mean that his opinion is correct in absolute sense. To conclude that the created universe or the universal form, shown by Lord Krishna, is infinite just based on Sanjay’s point of view is a big mistake. I will give a simple example. One mile may be infinite from an insect’s point of view, but it is finite from man’s point of view. Similarly, from Sanjay’s or Arjuna points of view, the universal form of Lord Krishna may be infinite, but what is the guarantee that it is correct. I for myself do not bank on this to say or prove the infinite nature of created universe. Rather, I would depend on the scriptures, and the divine experienced swamijis. Sanjay did not learn Purusha suktam or Vedas to
 know that the created universe or manifested universe forms only a part of whole purusha. It means Sanjay expressed his opinion due to lack of scriptural knowledge that the universal form shown by Lord Krishna is infinite. Anyhow, what did Arjuna see? Arjuna saw the universal (jagat – check this term in 11/13) form of Lord Krishna. Again, what did Arjun see in the universal form? He saw different gods, different living entities, Lord Brahma etc., etc. Note that all these personalities have certain kind of bodies (not necessarily to resemble like our physical bodies – Here I am pasting the answer for existence of bodies for gods and others, as expressed in this list some time ago. "Shankaracharya says that the Devas being living beings posessed of consciousness also can desire moksha.  Because they have bodies they can learn the Vedas, meditate, practice yoga etc which are means of pursuing moksha" Also please vide Brahma Sutra 1.3.26 on this). Now, having agreed that all living
 beings have certain form of bodies, the question is that how long the bodies of these gods etc., live? Gods and others certainly live much longer time than humans. But, they do not live forever, meaning that they also meet their end eventually. Birth, death etc are concerned with the universe. For example, a soul, which attains the absolute salvation, will never take birth (except the divine incarnates) in the created universe. When the gods etc personalities have certain form of bodies and have the end, then they all will come under created universe. That means whatever Arjuna has seen in the universal form of Lord Krishna, that all comes under the created universe. That is the reason Lord Krishna says that what ever the forms or names are seen in this world (or the universal form), they are nothing but the projections of the mind (Uddav Gita 2/7 & 11/41) and thus are subjected to dissolution. In this regard, we also have proof from Brahma Sutra 4.3.10, where it clearly says about
 dissolution even for the saguna (karya) Brahma also. It means that all living entities, gods etc shown in the universal form of Lord Krishna are subject to dissolution at the time of pralaya. This, unfortunately, includes even the universal form, shown by Lord Krishna. If we assume that the universal form shown by Lord Krishna is the ultimate form, then, in that case, there is no reason why every thing, all forms etc, should merge or attain Nirgun Brahman (NB) at pralaya, as indicated by the above Brahma Sutra. The very fact that every thing is merged in NB itself is a clear proof that NB is ultimate and the highest. NB exists at all the times, before creation and after creation. But the Saguna form of Brahman exists only for creation, and lasts till the time of dissolution of created universe. Thus, the conclusion is that the universal form, shown by Lord Krishna, is not complete by it self, as it only shows the universe and nothing else, and thus cannot be considered to be
 infinite. Now let us see Purusha Suktam. It says:

“All creation is but a fourth part of him. The rest is unmanifested. This world of name and form (nAma-rUpa-bheda- jagat) is but one part of Purusha” 

Since Arjun saw different forms in the universal form of Lord Krishna, it is clear that universal form is a fourth part of purusha (as indicated above). This is called manifested part of purusha. One does not need to hang on to the term ‘quarter’. It is said figuratively. What about the rest of the purusha? Let us see below, as said in Purusha suktam:

“Three parts of the purusha are above the creation” 

It means that unmanifested form of purusha is not involved in the creation, and obviously not seen by Arjuna in the universal form, shown by Lord Krishna. Please note that the unmanifest form of purusha is greater than the manifested form, because, from the above, the manifest is only a part, while unmanifest is three parts. It is said figuratively as three parts. This manifest form of created universe is figuratively said as ‘ekamsena’ by Lord Krishna in Gita 10/42 to denote one part of purusha involved in the creation. But, the intension of 10/42 was obviously missed by the respected members due to hurry to prove that a part of infinity is infinity. At any rate, from the above, the following points are clear: 

·        Manifest form is only a part of whole purusha. 

·        The unmanifest form is said figuratively as having three parts indicating that it is bigger than the manifested part.

·         Arjuna saw only the manifest form (the universal form) of Lord Krishna. The manifest form of created universe is smaller than the unmanifest form of purusha. 

·         The manifested universe cannot be infinite, because, the manifested universe being only a part and thus smaller, merges in the unmanifest purusha, which is bigger than the manifested form, at the time of pralaya, as indicated in Brahma Sutra 4.3.10.

·         No one can see the unmanifest form of purusha. Also, the unmanifest form cannot be shown by anyone. Because, it is unmanifest. One can see the manifest forms. Since the unmanifest has no form, no one can see it. Then how to know the existence of it? It has to be experienced. By whom? By all, eventually. The experience of this cannot be expressed in words by the mouth, and is beyond the imagination and calculations of mind and buddhi. It is said that absolute divine is already exists ‘there’ before mind and buddhi reaches ‘there’. The ‘thing’, which does not exist everywhere, cannot understand ‘that thing’, which exists everywhere. That is the reason it is said that the ‘thing’, which exists everywhere as infinite, and the ‘thing’ that does not exist everywhere to be finite.

·         The created universe is understood by mind and buddhi  in terms dualities and transcient existence of created universe and thus it shows its finite nature.

·         The logic that a part of infinity is infinity is operated at the level of mind and buddhi. What is it judging that a part of infinity is infinity? It is buddhi. This buddhi comes under prakruti. Prakruti, which is operated under absolute divine, cannot be infinite. Yes, prakruti is eternal, but not infinite.  

·         The qualified souls of 8/24 path of Gita reach and halt at Brahma Lok (BL). Now if the speculation that a part of infinity is infinity is right, then, it means that the created universe, the liberated souls at BL and Lord Brahma at BL are infinite. If they are infinite in absolute sense, then how did the soul on 8/24 of Gita traveled to other lokas? How did the amanav purush comes from BL and guides this soul to BL? Why should the Brahma Sutra 4.3.10 say the attainment of higher state (check for atahparam – higher than, that is, higher than the level of Brahma Lok) for Lord Brahma and liberated souls (salvation)? If Lord Brahma or liberated souls, and for that matter the created universe really denote the infinite nature, then how come their attainment of higher state is possible? Is there anything greater than infinite? The fact of attainment of higher state, as assured by this Brahma sutra, is a clear indication that Lord Brahma, the liberated souls at BL are finite
 temporarily. If this is the condition of Lord Brahma himself, then where is the question of created universe being infinite? This cannot be. The conclusion is that the created universe, which is only a part of purusha, is finite, and on account of this, it can attain the higher state, that is nirgun Brahman, by merging, as assured by Brahma sutra 4.3.10. Since the infinite and all pervasive thing cannot merge into another such thing (if at all such thing exist), the fact of merging of created universe, including BL, Lord Brahma and liberated souls into unmanifest nirgun Brahman should be understood that created universe as finite and that the unmanifest divine as infinite. In case of karma bandha souls, this absorption cannot be termed as higher state, or salvation, but only a temporary winding of all activities due to dissolution of universe.

·         Based on Sanjay’s point of view, one cannot conclude that the universal form, shown by Lord Krishna is infinite.

·         I respect all, and their views.

·         Namaste 









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