Question 164: How does the Atma contain objects and fragmentation?

light bulbThe young Rama asks “How do forms, states and individuals emerge out of Brahman? How is it that fragmentation of objects has occurred? The Sage explains ideations from Atma.


Glossary:

brahman, brahma San. N. the impersonal Absolute – a supreme, unmeasurable and transcendent essence that exists simultaneously with all of creation; the ultimate Reality, the Source, Consciousness not aware of itself, all-pervasive and self-existent. (V. 663) Brahman envelopes and permeates everything: ‘Brahman is all there is’ (sarvam brahman-mayam). Creation is but a reflection in brahman.

brahm-satta the potency of Brahman

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.

akash: San. m., n. (ambara) sky, space, an expanse; the element of ether, the subtlest form of matter. Space gives things form and keeps them discrete. Its quality is sound. ‘It is through space that sounds are transmitted and heard. Love and play are products of akasha and seeds sprout on account of akasha.’ ‘Akasha pervades the cosmos but remains unstained.’ (BG: 23:32)

roop, rupa, rupa: San. n. the subtle element of form; shape, outward appearance; figure; likeness, reflection; manner; beauty; character; colour. The formless God assumes a form, for no divine leela can be performed without a body.

swarup Hin. m. swarupam (swa+rupa) San. n. an image; a form assumed by a deity; one’s intrinsic nature, the expression of one’s own essential form, nature or character, including the values one represents or demonstrates. (real, actual, essential, original spiritual form, of the nature of, by nature)

vichara: self-inquiry; contemplation, thought

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Question 164: Sir, how jivas have been created out of Brahman and how many? Kindly explain this to me.

Answer: Ramji, pure Brahman — also called the Consciousness — is undefiled. When it assumes the nature of a modification (sankalpa) and by its association with body-aspect, it becomes of the nature of mind, then it creates a universe and attains an expanse. Abandoning the spirit of Brahman, the potency that creates the universe is all a glamour of Atma and nothing else has been created. It is the power of Atma that conceiving itself as Brahma imagines of the universe, and becomes the master of all. The entire creation is just pure consciousness, of the nature of void (akashroop). All forms and names are just ideations (sankalpa), and whatever is cognised is a delusion, to which the ignorant are bound by attachments. The wise who are of sattvic nature, are never under illusions, and they are always firmly established in Brahm. All creations are cognised due to ignorance. Truly, it is only Atma that is all-pervasive consciousness. Just as waves and bubbles seen at places in a sea are nothing but water, so are the various universes and jivas in Brahman.

Question 165: Sir, how are individual places created in Atma that is infinite and formless? How is fragmentation created in that which is indivisible?

Answer : Ramji, the creation and the objects of creation are all illusions, and are mentioned for the purpose of mundane dealings only. Nothing has in reality been created. Whatever is perceived as created or perishing, has been created neither with materials nor with actions; these are just imaginary. Imagination is not independent of Atma, but is an aspect of Atma. What is talked about or heard is just for the sake of dealings; nothing, in fact, has been created. There is nothing except Atma. Just as sparks of fire are nothing but fire because they arise from fire, so are the universes aspects of Atma, because they are the creations of ideations in Atma. Just as the sparks are not the products of ideation in fire, but manifestation of sparks is in the nature of fire, so are the universes in the nature of Atma and are aspects (forms) of Atma. A wise one does not cognise anything except Atma. Mind, consciousness, wisdom, word and purport are all aspects of Brahman. With pure thought (vichara) Ramji, destroy this illusion of the universe and then you will see the sublime illumination of Atma. You must not doubt my words.

We are ridden with sorrow as long as we have attachments. We must develop attachment towards God and not the world. The four Mahavakyas proclaim the truth that man is verily Divine. Man should be rooted in the belief that he is Brahman … … But people delude themselves into the thinking that they are the body. Parents name your body, but nobody is born with a name. Bodies come and go, but the Atma is eternal.

The Upanishads have made three statements in this respect. The first statement is “When it comes, it never goes.” This is Wisdom or ‘Jnana’, which when it comes, will never go. The second statement is ‘When it goes, it never comes” This is Ajnana or ignorance, which will never return once it goes. The third one is ‘It neither comes nor goes’. This is the Atma. Many people ask ridiculous questions like “What happens to the self when the body dies? Where does it go? When does the self enter the body again?”

Just as a current never comes and goes but only illumines the bulb which is connected to it, the self never comes and goes. Since the Self pervades everywhere, the question of it entering into a certain place or form does not arise at all.

 

light bulb
Just as a current never comes and goes but only illumines the bulb which is connected to it, the self never comes and goes. Since the Self pervades everywhere, the question of it entering into a certain place or form does not arise at all.

 

 

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.”