[Advaita-l] Essence of Mundaka Upanishad - Section 1- Part 3

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Thu Sep 17 00:58:27 CDT 2015

PraNAms - Happy Vinayaka chaturdashi to everyone Continuation of the series now.

Hari Om!
Essence of Mundaka Upanishad – Section I –Part III. 

Upanishad discussed so far that Brahman which is pure existence-consciousness and limitless – one without a second, as though, created this apparent universe taking the role of Iswara or the creator. It said, He himself became many – thus He is both intelligent, material and the instrumental cause for the Universe.  Recently the famous Scientist Stephen Hawking declared that God did not create universe, but Nature did. Mr. Hawking is looking for some being up in the sky as God, the creator, due to his limited Abrahamic religious background knowledge. Vedanta says Nature is prakRiti and is the expression of God, when it says He became many. Nature includes the inert as well as the conscious beings, movables and immovable (chara-achara). Nature or prakRiti itself is maaya, as Vedanta defines. 

Einstein was also looking for a universal force that is the cause for all other forces of nature, knowing which all other forces can be known; and he could not find it since in the very investigation, he is excluding the subject, a conscious entity, who or which is an integral part of the equation. Vedanta says the universal force is Maayaa – that which makes impossible possible – aghaTita ghaTanaa paTeeyasi maayaa – says Shankara. Creation, in principle, is not possible - why- because Brahman being infinite cannot undergo a modification to become universe.  Yet, there appears to be a creation; otherwise this write-up will not have been there.

 Hence maaya is also an apparent universal force that makes creation possible. yaa maa saa maayaa – that which is not there, but still appears to be there - is myaaya, and that which makes impossible possible. Mayaa includes both the subject and the object as the universal force should be cause for everything in the universe. Nature, mayaa and the world of objects all being inert cannot also create, since creation is an action that involves a conscious being. Hence according to Vedanta creation is done by Iswara using PrakRiti, which is same as maayaa (maayantu prakRitim vidyaat –Know mayaa is prakRiti- says Swetaswatara Up.) Krishna says – mayaadhyaksheNa prakRitiH suuyate sa charaa acharam – under My President-ship the prakRiti projects the movables and immovable.   

An objective scientist vision is limited since he is trying to exclude the subject and investigate only the objectifiable entities using his objective tools. His investigation is therefore valid only in terms of objectifiable entities. In the very process of investigation, he has to exclude the subject, the conscious entity, who is doing investigation, since his tools of investigation are not suitable to investigate himself, the subject. Vedanta says without the subject, I, the conscious entity, the independent existence of any object itself cannot be established.  Consciousness cannot be objectified to study, since it involves the subject who is doing the study and who cannot be objectified. 

Question – If Brahman or Iswara himself became many, why did he not create better world; there are many self-fish people than self-less ones? Some even killing and destroying others in the name of religion. Is He blind to the fact that there are so many innocent children that are suffering for no fault of theirs? How can He be a compassionate God, ignoring even prayers to save the world? Why did He create such a world? – asks a skeptic or a non-believer. 

Ans. I went recently to a gold shop to buy a ring that I want. There I found varieties and verities of ornaments- rings, bangles, bracelets, etc., but not the kind of ring I want. I went to the manager and asked him why they are selling all these useless ornaments and not the one I like. He introduced me to the gold-smith who made those. I asked him if he is really an expert gold-smith, why he created such useless ones and not create the beautiful one, the kind I want. He answered – Sir, I can make anything but my hands are tied. I have to make only those that can be sold. Nobody will buy the type you want. Those rings, bangles, etc., are made because that is what people want, and not the type you want. If you want, I can make it, but you have to pay heavy price for that – Do you have enough money or credit in your account to cover that, since I have to make it especially for you? The gold-smith even though he is capable of creating anything, has to
 create only those based on the demand by the customers. His hands are tied; he cannot create anything as per his whims and fancies. So is Iswara; not that he cannot create a better universe; but His hands are tied and he has to create based on the demands of all the beings. If all beings demand (by their karma) a better universe, then a better universe will be created. 

This is also a warning to those who only complain for the things that are there. If you want a change, then you have to work for it – that is the Universal Law. For humans, God has given the capacity to make it different, even locally, make it better or worse. Question is only what can I do to make the universe better. God can only bless if many work towards a set goal – this he discussed in the 3rd. Ch. Geeta as yagna. One has to do actions for the sake of yagna – yagnaartham karma .. yagna is explained by Swami Chinmayandaji as a) a cooperative action with everyone pitching in,  b) doing their part their best, c) in a self-sacrificing way, d) for the benefit of the totality. For example, if everyone in the Nation pitches in, and does his part his best, in a self-sacrificing way, for the benefit of the Nation, then the Nation will prosper; and this recipe applies at every level. If one acts in that spirit of yagna, says Krishna, then Devas (the
 phenomenal forces) will be pleased and will have to shower the results appropriate to the action – and this is the recipe for success, handed down by the creator himself to the humanity- says Krishna. 

There is a story related to this. Once, for some reason, thousands of prawns got washed to the shore and due to lack of water they are almost dying. One person saw this and out of compassion, picked up one at a time and throwing back into the ocean so that it can survive. A passerby saw what this person is doing, and as said – Sir, There are thousands and thousands of them here, and what you are doing is not going to make any difference. In response, the other person picked up one more prawn and threw back into the sea and said – it made difference for that. In essence, do what you can to make a change, and leave the rest to higher intelligence. Sometimes the help can come from somewhere to finish the job. From the individual point, swalpa alpasya dharmasya traayate mahato bhayaat – even a little bit of righteous living takes one beyond the realm of birth and death cycle – says Krishna. 

Therefore if one wants a better universe then he has to work for it and also inspire others by way of his example - then it becomes a yagna, a recipe for success. 

Q. When did the children demand this type of universe where they have to suffer? The child is just born, but with no limbs and no food to eat? – asks the unconvinced. 

Ans. Vedanta says the life is continuous and beginning less. According to cosmic law, none, I mean none, suffers without a cause. Cause-effect relations at the cosmic level are absolute. One has to reap the results of one’s action or karma, in this life or in the next. This is the universal law. The total kaarmas or vaasanaas of all beings forms, in essence, the basis for creation for Iswara. The total vaasanaas, which are ready to fructify, thus constitute the maayaa, which forms the creative force for Iswara’s creation. The creation involves a sequence, as discussed below by the upanishad. It has been said that there are close to 80+ theories of creation discussed in the shruities and smRithis – implying that they are provided just to satisfy the inquiring mind to go beyond the apparent creation to discover that there is no creation at absolute level.  

The steps involved in creation are now discussed in next sloka by the Upanishad. 

tapasaa cheeyate brahma, tato annam abhijaayate|
annaat praaNo manaH sathyam, lokaaH karmasu ca amRitam||I-I-8

Brahman expands (as it were) by tapas. From that the unmanifest is born. From the unmanifest Hiranyagarbha (is born). (Then) the (cosmic) mind, the five elements, the worlds, (and actions are born). And, due to actions, the results are born. (From Swami Paramarthanandaji text). 

The language is somewhat mystic, and the meaning need to be unraveled using the bhaasyas.  This will be discussed in the next part. 
To be continued. 

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