Tat Pada Vicāra – 1 – Sṛṣṭi – Creation

CreationIn the previous article, I had said that īśvara and jīva have to be understood in their entirety in order for us to understand the mahāvākya, tat tvaṁ asi. Over the next few articles, we will attempt to have a fuller understanding of who īśvara really is.

The most important understanding of īśvara is his dimension of being the abhinna nimmitta upādāna jagat kāraṇam. Its means the one who is the non-different intelligent and material cause of the jagat.

For any creation to come into being, there are 2 primary causes that are required. One is the intelligent cause who has the knowledge to meaningfully produce something to serve a given purpose; and the other is material cause from which the object is produced. There are also other ancillary causes in order to bring forth creation. For example, in creating a pot, a pot-maker who has the knowledge, skill, power and the desire to create a pot is required; the pot-maker is the intelligent cause of the pot. Clay, assuming that we are creating a mud pot, is also required; clay serves as the material cause of the pot.  Ancillary causes such as the wheel, stick etc. are also required in order to make the pot. Thus the pot is created and comes into being.

Extending this analogy, we can postulate that for this jagat to have been created, there should have been an intelligent cause, material cause and ancillary causes. The faithful will immediately say that jagat is indeed a Creation and īśvara is its creator. Before we dwelve into who or what could those causes be, we need to establish that this jagat is indeed a creation, and have a clearer understanding of what could be called a creation, since we are not talking about the faithfuls here. We want to address the “rational” thinkers; and every rational thinker must think of cause and effect.

kāryam, sakartṛkam, kāryatvāt, ghaṭavat. This is the postulation. However, it has a defect. It is like saying, man has 2 legs, therefore, all those which have 2 legs are man. Crow also has 2 legs, therefore crow is a man.

I say pot is created, because pot did not exist prior and later it came into being; and I saw both its non-existence and it coming into being with my own eyes. However, how can one say the same of the jagat? For one to admit that jagat is indeed created, one should have seen its absense prior to its creation. Who has seen the jagat being created? Every one has come into being only after the creation of the jagat. So we need to define creation differently.

Lets look at the production of a ceiling Fan. Can we call it creation? Indeed, but its creation is different from that of a pot. A Fan is assembled, put together. However, everything that is put together cannot be called creation, it has to be meaningfully put-together; else a child’s play pen would become a creator’s den.

We say “Creation” when things are brought together meaniningfully in order to serve a given one or more purposes. This is called saṁhati – assemblage. A Pot, a Fan, a Car, everything is a creation within this definition.

What about this Earth, the Galaxy and the Milky Way? Are they also creations? We need to analyze – but before that…

What is the pramāṇam for us to say the jagat is indeed created?

It is only śāstram that is pramāṇam for jagat sṛṣṭi. The rational man might say “I don’t believe or accept śāstram”. To him, I would like to point out that there are 2 kinds of beliefs; one is a reasonable belief, and another is unreasonable belief.

An example will make it clear. If I say I was born to a virgin mother and you believe in it, that is unreasonable belief, because it is contrary to what we see in the world. However, if I tell you that I am well read and you believe in it, it is a reasonable belief even though you have actually not seen me attend college. So also accepting śāstram as pramāṇam for creation is reasonable. Let us analyze to see if what the śāstram says is reasonable or not.

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About Śuka

Śuka, 48, has been a student of Vedanta since 1980 and has learnt traditional Vedānta from Arsha Vidya Gurukula Teachers. As a Certified Public Accountant, he worked in India, Africa and the Middle East. Later he pursued a successful business career in Software and BPO industries. He has since retired from active business, and back to studying Vedānta full time. Having completed Masters in Sanskrit, he is currently pursuing a research programme in Advaita Vedānta...