Question 170: How does Brahman attain the state as Brahma?

Divya lampThe young Rama is asking questions about ideations (thoughts that manifest as illusion, maya) The young Rama wants to know how that which is the Brahman state can manifest as Brahma, the Creator.


leela: play, diversion; an act of divine playfulness, pure sport, the transcendental pastime of the Lord, especially the cosmic play of creation in which God plays all the roles, a drama undertaken at his own sweet will for no other reason than the disinterested joy of it.

līlādhāra (līlā+ādhāra) San. M. (God) the source and divine foundation of creation.
līlā-dhāra San. M. (God) the support of all creation.

chitta: chitta San. noun. the mind (the seat of understanding and awareness, of intellect and will); memory, thought, reflection; the soul, heart. It is the individual consciousness, composed of intelligence and intellect (buddhi), ego (ahamkara) and mind (manas). In Vedanta, chitta is one aspect of Universal Consciousness (chit). The world hangs on the thread of consciousness – without consciousness, there is no world.

nābhi Hin. nābhi, -nābha San. f. the navel; the centre, focus

prana-apana: breath that is inhaled and exhaled; vital force, life-breath;

purushartha is understood to mean the four great goals of life:

  • dharma – the pursuit and practice of right conduct in everyday living;
  • artha – the acquisition of wealth to support family and necessary expenses;
  • kama – (normally translated as desires) – the fulfilment of needs necessary to one’s station in life.
  • moksha – the supreme goal, release from the cycle of birth-death-and-birth-again.

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.


Question 170: Sir, how does the primeval jiva, who after assuming the ideation of mind attained to the Brahman state, exist as Brahma? Kindly elaborate.

Answer: Ramji, listen now how Brahma came into existence by getting a body. Atma that is free from the ideas of time, space, action, etc., and exists in itself, has assumed for the sake of its play (leela) the ideas of space, time, action, etc and numerous names of jivas have risen from it. The primeval ideation arising from the Atma-tattva manifested itself as chitta-potency. The entire cosmos was manifested with the ideation in the chitta-potency. Sound, smell, touch, akash, fire, water and wind also arose with the ideation of chitta. Then followed the ego from which the jiva arose, and the gross body was manifested as a result of his strong conviction. Thus due to the firm tendency in his cognition Brahma attained to the gross state and from it the experiential world came into existence. In other words, the body of primeval Brahma arose due to the ideation of mind and it is of the nature of knowledge and illumination. This Brahma stays, at times, in maha-akash (infinite void) or maha-agni (infinite fire) or in the lotus-like nabhi (navel) of Lord Vishnu. Having created a variety of seats for his stay, he stays at different centres on different occasions for his play (leela).

Arising first from the primeval element, when he cognises the self with a body, then currents of breath — prana and apana — flow through the body. The five elements are created by the prana. Such a body includes flesh, blood, bones and senses. Joy and sorrow are experienced due to the ideation in the chitta. Like a lion and an elephant respectively, jiva and ego stay in the body. Manifesting himself, Brahma thought of the Vedas and other scriptures, etc and with this were created laws or attributes of nature, birth, existence, expansion, diminution, death and other functions for the sake of leela (sport). Then he created the fourfold objectives, of duty, wealth, desire and liberation (dharma, artha, kama and moksha), the rules and procedures for attaining them, and the conditions of admissibility and inadmissibility. The ideas of virtue and sin were accordingly created.

O Ramji, thus the universe has been created out of the ideation and it is sustained with the strengthening of the ideation (sankalpa); into it have been incorporated nature, time, activity, matter, duty (dharma) and karma. Such a creation has neither been created nor does it exist. It is all like akash (void) and is cognised because of the mind. It shows that all objects and actions in a universe are of unreal (asat) nature. Ideations (sankalpa) of one’s own mind are the cause of one’s bondage. Therefore, strive for the non-ideational state so that you may get salvation. Nothing happens in the absence of an ideation (sankalpa). If you want to realise the non-existence of the world, you should be without desire and ideation (sankalpa) and then you will experience nothing but Atma, which is the state of Supreme Bliss. Manas (mind), too, is the power of Paramatma or is an aspect of it and the entire universe is a creation of the mind. It shows that the power of Paramatma permeates through everything, or that there is nothing but Paramatma. Ramji, I have explained to you the supreme secret which is the mine of the greatest happiness and if you practise accordingly with firm faith, you will attain immense happiness. Abandon dependence on unreal objects and be ever established in Atma.


Once a sadhaka, who had a great ambition to know something about the divine, wanted his eye of wisdom to be opened. He entered a cave where a guru was residing. While entering the cave, he saw a small light. As he moved forward, even that little light got extinguished. In darkness one feels frightened and in fear, we think of God very intensively. Thus, he uttered loudly the word “Namassivaya” and on hearing this, the saint asked him who he was. This person said that he had come to seek his grace. This great saint, who was sustaining himself in the cave only by breathing the air around him, had the competence to know the mind of his visitor. He said that he will answer his questions later but asked him to first go and light the lamp which had just been extinguished. The visitor took a match box and tried to light the lamp but did not succeed. He told the guru that he had finished all the match sticks and yet he had not succeeded in lighting the lamp. The guru asked him to see if there was oil in the lamp. After seeing the lamp, he found that there was no oil and reported to the guru that there was only water in the lamp. The guru then asked him to open the lamp, remove all the water and pour oil in it, and then try to light it. The person did this but the lamp would not light even then.

The guru then said that the wick was probably wet with water and asked him to dry it nicely in the open and then attempt to light the lamp. He did this and succeeded. Then the person ventured to mention his doubt and sought the answer from the guru. The surprised guru said that the appropriate answer was being given all the while. The visitor pleaded that he being an ignorant man was not able to understand the significance of the teaching and requested the guru to explain to him in clearer terms.

The guru said: In the vessel of your heart, there is the wick of your jiva. That wick has been immersed all these days in the water of your sensuous desires. Therefore, you are not able to light the lamp of wisdom. Pour out all the water of desires from the vessel of your heart, and fill it with repetition of the name of God. Take the wick of jiva and dry it in the sunshine of vairagya (detachment). Then you come back to me and you will certainly be able to light the lamp of wisdom. What is required is the process by which you take the wick of jiva and squeeze out of it all the water present in the form of your desires and then put into the heart the oil, devotion or the name of God. It will then be possible for you to light the lamp of wisdom. By doing so, you will see the amar jyothi or the lamp of wisdom. (Showers 1973)


inner light
What is required is the process by which you take the wick of jiva and squeeze out of it all the water present in the form of your desires and then put into the heart the oil, devotion or the name of God. It will then be possible for you to light the lamp of wisdom.



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.”