[Advaita-l] Panchikarana Theory

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Thu Apr 16 18:22:16 CDT 2009

Shree Andreas - PraNAms

Here is the essence - as I understand.

In the Upanishads there is discussion of creation - how one became many- involving both sentient and insentient entities.

Since nothing can come out of nothing - what was there before creation is pure sat-chit-ananda. 

>From that we have creation of space, from space air, from air fire, from fire water and from water the earth - thus from subtle to grosser forms.  

All the five are first subtle elements.
PanchiikaraNa involves grossification required for further creation of bhoutika lokas including the gross bodies etc.

The process involves each of the five elements splitting into two halves and one half of each further spilling into four parts. Thus we have space splitting into two and one of the halves further splitting into four parts. Like that each of the elements undergoes divisions. The four 1/8th parts are now distributed to other elements. Thus air, fire, water and earth each of them get 1/8th of space. Similarly the other elements get distributed giving again one full for each of the units. Thus space has half of its own and 1/8th of other elements. This process is called panchiikaraNam or grossification of the five subtle elements.

In the Chandogya Up. 6th chapter for expediency there is only a discussion of the creation of grosser three elements - fire, water and earth (food)  since the discussion is not about details of creation but to establish that knowing the cause one as well know the products - eka vijnaanena sarva vijnaanam bhavati. In essence, anything one sees or transacts with is nothing but Brahman only since it is the cause which pervades all the effects just as gold pervades all the gold ornaments. Since only three grosser elements are mentioned the same process of division and recombination is called TrivRit karaNam - tri stands for three. 

Any further discussion on the pachiikaraNa vs trivRit karaNam, in my opinion, is an exercise in futility - of course this is my opinion. What we need to know is everything is nothing but Brahman only in varieties of names and forms. That is the essence of the teaching. In the end of that chapter the teacher summarises - the essence of everything is nothing but Sat from which the whole creation appears to have come, just as from one gold all ornaments arise, sustain and go back into - And  you are that sat swaruupam. aitadaatmya idagam sarvam, tat satyam, sa aatmaa, tat tvam asi svetaketo - To make sure we do not miss this essence of the teaching it is repeated at the end of each section.  

Hope this helps


--- On Thu, 4/16/09, ML-Tamil <murugan2003 at web.de> wrote:

with my deep respect,

while following your discussions I met several times the panchikarana
Please tell my about this theory and if possible explain it in a short way.
If a short way is not possible, please tell me a text dealing this theory

Thanking you

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