[Advaita-l] Chidabhasa and Saguna Brahman ?

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Thu Aug 4 01:52:00 CDT 2011

On Wed, Aug 3, 2011 at 10:57 PM, Raghav Kumar <raghavkumar00 at gmail.com>wrote:

> Now I am only asking for confirmation that the following 2 statements are
> ok.
> 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.).

Swami Paramarthananda  Saraswati known to be an excellent exponent of
Vedanta for the last three decades presents the above concept thus:

There is one Original Consciousness (OC).
This OC gets reflected in six reflecting mediums (media) RMs
By virtue of the presence of these RMs, we have six reflected
Consciousness(s) RCs

The Mandukya scheme is very helpful in understanding this.  There are three
states and we have a SamaShTi upAdhi and a vyaShTi upAdhi in each state
called the macrocosm and the microcosm respectively.  These are:

Waking: virAT and vishva
Dream: Hiranyagarbha and taijasa
Sleep: Ishwara and prAjna

All these 'six' are conscious entities and as such are endowed with a
reflecting medium RM each.  Hence we have six RCs making these entities
conscious ones.  In this way all the six have/are chidaabhasa-s.  They are
and have to be conscious entities because they have their respective worlds
in those three states for experiencing, abhimAna.  Thus, these RCs are the
viShayi-s and the respective inert worlds in those states are the

It should also be remembered that in the ultimate analysis there is only one
Consciousness, OC which alone gets reflected in the available RMs and
'becomes' RCs.  When the upAdhis are negated by the understanding gained by
the study of the upanishad that teaches the first three paada-s and the
Fourth, Turiya, pAda, by the words 'nAnataH prajnam......prapanchopashamam'
one realizes that there is only one Consciousness that appeared as these
very many vyashti and samashti chidAbhAsas and the inert world.


> 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
> Raghav

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