Question 136-137: What is the role of Memory in Creation?

Evolution and Involution

The cycles of yugas roll by; after many yugas, evolution transits to involution, creation moves to pralaya and the known universes come to an end and are born again in the mind of Brahma. What then is this process, and does Brahma create the Universe and human life from memory?

Brahma Creator: born out of the golden egg produced in the boundless causal waters. His consort Vak or Sarasvathi was manifested out of him. From their union was born all the creatures of the world.

prajā-pati San. M. ‘lord of offspring’, ‘progenitor of mankind’ – God as creator, epithet of many vedic deities, including Shiva or Vishnu, but especially Brahmā and his offspring who came into being for the sole purpose of creating the different kinds of beings that inhabit the earth.

pralaya San. m. the universal dissolution and reabsorption of the cosmic manifestation which traditionally occurs at the end of each ‘day of Brahmā’ or world cycle (kalpa). At the end of the last kalpa, the world was symbolically dissolved into one vast ocean.

videhamukta: liberated; having no body feelings or body consciousness.


Question 136: Sir, after the great dissolution and before creation, the Prajapati revives the memory of the previous universe. Can’t memory be said to be the cause of the universe?

Answer: Ramji, we cannot accept remembrance by Prajapati between the great dissolution and the beginning of a creation as the cause of the universe, because Prajapati does not survive the great dissolution. When Prajapati does not remain, whose memory can it be assumed?

Question 137: Sir, since the memory of Brahma — the primeval creator of the universe — is not lost, why can’t it be said that the same Brahma recreates a universe out of his memory? How do you say that this cannot be so?

Answer: Ramji, the Brahma of a universe becomes videhamukta at the time of the great dissolution. When the agent of memory vanishes, how can memory continue. When memory does not continue, it cannot be said to be the cause. Great dissolution (maha-pralaya) is the state where all the three planes (loka), including also words and their connotations, become non-existent, and, therefore, there is none to remember. Hence, the entire universe is ideational.

Of course, you will get faith in God only when you have yourselves discovered that the universe must have a creator, a protector, an agency for both evolution and involution or a power that exercises all these three functions. To grasp that idea, the heart must be pure, the mind must be clear. For this, karma is very important. The Karmakanda in the Vedas is the major part of the sruthi, for jnana is but the final stage of karma. The army will have many soldiers but only just a handful of officers; so too, karmas are many, and they all obey the jnani. Of the hundred parts of the Vedas, 80 will be karma, 16 upasana and 4 jnana. Karma has to be done for educating the impulses and training the feelings. Then, you develop the attitude of upasana, of humility before the great unknown, and finally, you realise that the only reality is you, which is the same as He. – 23-11-64

The wise are those who know the Atma. They distinguish between That and This, Thath and Thwam, the Absolute and the Relative, the Universal and Particular that is falsely conceived as separate from the Universal. When he experiences the Truth that he is the Absolute Atma, man is endowed with Supreme Bliss. It is sheer waste if one has no such experience but has pored over mountains of spiritual texts or earned fame as a deep scholar.

Man alone has the ability to understand the phenomenal world around him. He can grasp the ways and waywardness of the world; he can delve into its evolution and involution, its contraction and expansion. Therefore, he has to give it only a relative value, and follow as his only goal, the search for the Atma and the attainment of the Atma. The search has to be through continuous consistent Sadhana. – 3-12-1972

Evolution and Involution


Hamsa Gayatri
Om Hamsaaya Vidmahe
Paramahamsaya Dheemahi
Tanno Hamsa Prachodayat

“May we realise Hamsa that is our own Self as the Swan. Let us meditate on that Paramahamsa, the Supreme Self. May Hamsa illumine us.”