[Advaita-l] Creation ex nihilo (was Re: Advaita vEdAnta - Unit (27))

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Wed May 2 20:54:54 CDT 2007

Dear K. Ramakrishna,

Your series postings are very informative, but I believe you need to
rework your posting on Unit 25 (probably also Unit 26). I've already
pointed out a serious error in Unit 25, but I will now explain the
error as clear as I possibly can in this posting:

--- Krishnamurthy Ramakrishna <puttakrishna at verizon.net> wrote:

> In Unit 25, we studied the nature of ajnyana and understood that
> ajnyAna is
> abhAvarUpa;

To recap what you said before in Unit 25:

  abhAvarUpa aGYAna (Cause) --> bhAvarUpa adhyAsa (Effect)

The above is glaringly defective, because it essentially says:

  "Something can come out of Nothing."

Or to be more precise:

  "Existence can arise from Non-Existence."

The above claim is known as "Creation ex nihilo", and is the
standpoint of the Catholic Church. For example, you may consult the
Catholic Encyclopedia online:


"Creation...In technically theological and philosophical use it
expresses the act whereby God brings the entire substance of a thing
into existence from a state of non-existence — productio totius
substantiâ ex nihilo sui et subjecti. In every kind of production the
specific effect had as such no previous existence, and may therefore
be said to have been educed ex nihilo sui — from a state of

The above is NOT the standpoint of advaita VedAnta, where Creation of
the world is never said to proceed out of nothing -- rather, it is
constituted by Brahman alone:


"One is the view of the brahmasUtra that brahman is at once both the
instrumental and the material cause of the universe...
This view is not very different from the traditional perspective
shared by almost all religions - some creator is usually credited
with having created this universe. This creator is the instrumental
cause of the universe. What differentiates the standard vedAnta
position from such general theistic views is that brahman is
simultaneously also the material cause of the universe. IN OTHER
{Emphases mine}

Note that in advaita VedAnta, Brahman is the efficient as well as the
material cause of the universe -- i.e. the universe is NOT "created
by God out of nothing", but rather, "created by God out of God".

If you REALLY doubt what has been said in the advaita VedAnta
homepage, I think Vidyasankar would be glad to provide you with
references for the statements.

> we understood how ajnyAna differs from mAya.
> In Unit 26, we started to discuss the three states of the jIva.

FYI: you never posted Unit 26.



Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam?  Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around 

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list