[Advaita-l] Chidabhasa and Saguna Brahman ?

Raghav Kumar raghavkumar00 at gmail.com
Wed Aug 3 12:27:56 CDT 2011

Respected Srikanta ji
I gather you are saying that chidabhasa pertains only to the jIva and not to
Saguna Brahman, which is what I too underatand.

A little elaboration of what I wanted to ask - let us for now avoid the word
'hiranyagarbha', the idea of Prajapati is sufficient.
The shruti says that at the beginning of the kalpa, the srishthi-karta
desired to become many "ekoham bahu syaam prajaayeyeti". Such a desire arose
at the samashthi level. It is not just the jIva who desires on account of
ajnana. Such a desire arose in the mind of Prajapati too. And Prajapati
alone created the jagat with all the five elements, living beings, devatas,
lokas etc. That Prajapati is sarvajna, (He knows all that is to know about
this entire Cosmos, he himself was instrumental in manifesting it.) and
Prajapati is also sarvashaktiman (He had the power to create, sustains and
dissolve this entire jagat.) And yet this Prajapati was only an exalted jIva
who did special upasanas etc., and was endowed with super-excellent punya
carried forward from the previous kalpa. (all this is given in
Brihadaranyaka 1.4.1 sambandha bhashya to 1.4.10 mantras). Prajapati is
an Aadhikarika Purusha ( a special jIva with a special prarabdha to do
srishthi, says the Brihadaranayaka Upanishad 1.4.1-1.)  Desire arising in
his mind is not on account of ajnana. It is merely to fulfill a cosmic
purpose of creation etc.

Bhashyakara says the following - "jnana-karma-samucchitaabhyaam
prajaapatitva-praaptih" ( By performace of karma together with upasana, a
jIva becomes Prajapati.literally prajapatitva is attained ) And this
Prajapati has total freedom (power) to independently do srishti-shtithi and
laya of the entire jagat. "srishti-sthithi-samhaareshu jagatah
svaatantryam." Brhad.Up. 1.4.1 sambandha bhashya) Prajapati is not just one
more devata.

But Saguna Brahman with maya as the Upadhi is superior even to this
Prajapati, surely. Since Saguna Brahman is never thought of as having
formerly been a jIva in a previous kalpa. The shvetaasvataropanishad (3.7,
4.12 etc)  and other texts explicitly state this.

Now I am only asking for confirmation that the following 2 statements are
1. Just as we can talk of jIva as chidabhasa, we can talk of this Prajapati,
too as chidabhasa. (having an exalted antahkarana as his upadhi. which is
not merely a finite one like a regular jIva.) There is a nyaaya i have heard
in this context - ghatasya karta ghatajnah, sarvasya karta sarvajnah. (just
as the maker of the pot has knowledge of the pot. The maker of the 'entire
jagat' has knowledge of the 'entire jagat'. He is sarvajna.)

2. Yet, Saguna Brahman with maya as upadhi is superior to even this exalted
Prajapati.  And we cannot talk of any chidabhasa at the level of Saguna
Brahman. His upadhi is Maya, not any kind of Cosmic Mind, or Mahat or
antahkarna etc. All these are later evolutes in the srishthi-kramam
(sequence of creation from avyakta to the jagat.).

I admit that these questions are somewhat metaphysical and can never be
answered to 100% satisfaction. But I also would suggest it is worthwhile to
look into them without bringing in the idea that Vedanta tatparya is not in
srishti  but in ajati. While dealing with questions at the adhyaropa stage,
it may be worthwhile to answer such questions as best as possible without
jumping to apavada and saying that jagat is mithya, anyway. ( I got
this response too from some friends, I talked to.)

Thank you

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