[Advaita-l] Which one is first in the creation sequence

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Tue Feb 25 23:50:48 CST 2014

On Tue, 25 Feb 2014, ramesh badisa wrote:

> Namaskaram.
> At the beginning of email, I would like to seek your forgiveness for 
> raising a silly question. I could not figure out the answer for myself. 
> So, I am requesting all members to help me.
> My confusion was related to two Bhagawad Gita slokas - 
> 4/13 (chatur varnyam ...)  & 
> 10/6 (Maharsayah Sapta ..).
> The first sloka talks about four varnas. So, it is obvious that it is 
> concerned to the creation; 
> The second sloka talks about creation of seven great sages by the Lord. 
> This is also concerned to the creation.
> My confusion was that which one stands first in the creation. 
> If you say, "it doesn't matter", then, sorry the matter ends there. 
> However, if you would like to help me, please read further.
> Is it 4/13 first or 10/6 first
> When there is no creation, then, there are no varnas. Similarly, when 
> seven great sages were born, there are no four varnas but only one varna 
> - the first varna. 
> For me, it appears that the classification of varnas by Lord came much 
> later after the creation. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Instead of helping, I'm going to complicate things even further :-) In 
fact there is really no creation at all or one can say srshti, sthiti, and 
pralaya are going on constantly.  And so one may find oneself as the 
father in one context and the son in another.  For instance Bhrgu is 
counted amongst the saptarshis so according to the shloka you mention he 
is created by Narayana Bhagavan.  But in Krshnas prior avatar as 
Parashurama He is also known as Rama Bhargava because through his father 
Jamadagni (who is also counted amongst the saptarshis in some lists) He is 
a descendent of that same Brghu!  And then elsewhere (i.e. Bhrguvalli of 
taittireyopanishad) none of that is mentioned at all and Bhrgu is said to 
be the son of Varuna.  To top it all off, in Vibhutiyoga Bhagavan says 
he is both Bhrgu (10.25) and Varuna! (10.29)

So does shastra just provide a hopeless mess of contradictions?  No, you 
just have to remember that the stories told therein are only for the 
purpose of illustrating some aspect of dharma.

4/13 for instance occurs where Bhagavan is explaining the difference 
between action and inaction.  He explains that Arjuna cannot simply blow 
off his duty as a kshatriya to fight by considering that duty as merely 
an ad-hoc social convention; it is a divinely ordained part of nature 

6/10 occurs before the description of the divine vibhutis.  Because we 
know Bhagavan from shruti and smrti some (such as the Mimamsakas) may 
think we need only rely on the seers and authors of those shastras and do 
without Ishvara altogether.  So Bhagavan is explaining that even the great 
Rshis, Sanatkumars, Manus etc. all have their origin in Him alone.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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