TROTA | CHAPTER 4 | SEL0458 TO SEL0469

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TROTA | CHAPTER 4 | SEL0458 | SWAMI KRISHNANANDA

|| 4.05 | BRAHMAN AS GOD OR ISHVARA | CONT ||

The accidental attributes , the tatastha-lakshanas of the Absolute , make It appear as Ishvara , whose existence is in relation to the manifested Universe .

" The sun rises in Self and sets again in Self . " " The shining region of the heavens is The Head , the sun and the moon are The Eyes , the quarters of space are The Ears , the Vedas full of knowledge are The Speech , the air is The Vital Energy , the Universe is The Heart , the earth is The Feet — This is the inmost Self of all beings . " ( Mund . Up . II . 1 . 4 ) .

All reality known to us is limited to this Self .


TROTA | CHAPTER 4 | SEL0459 | SWAMI KRISHNANANDA

We love and possess things , we speak , act and think , because we are the Self of that which is loved , possessed , spoken , done and thought .

The world subsists in our Consciousness which is the Great Self of all .

Aught else than our Self is nothing ; the Self is the " Vaishvanara " , GOD of all , and all are , because GOD is .

Our Self the Great Self are one ; whatever is outside us , is also inside us :

" In reality , great as this external space is , so great is this space within the heart ; in it are contained both the heaven and the earth , both fire and air , both sun and moon , lightning and stars , whatever is here , and whatever is not here — everything thereof is contained within it . " ( Chh . Up . VIII . 1 . 3 ) .


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A declaration is made in this , which strikes terror into the worldly ; the individual and the cosmos , the soul and GOD are one ! " That thou art , O Svetaketu ! "

This may not be easy to accept , but only this can be the truth .

This alone removes all contradictions in life , this truth alone stands unsublated .

" The Purusha is what is and what is not . " " Who dwells in all beings , and is other than all beings , whom all beings do not know , whose body are all beings , who controls all beings from within — This is thy Self , the Inner Ruler , the Immortal " ( Brih . Up . III . 7 . 15 ) .

" In the space within the heart lies the Ruler of all , the Lord of all , the Sovereign of all . . . It is the Overlord of all beings , the Ruler of all beings , the Protector of all beings " ( Brih . Up . IV . 4 . 22 ) .

" Etad vai tat — This , verily , is That . "


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The Supreme Lord is the Power of powers .

" Agni cannot burn even a piece of straw ; Vayu cannot blow even a piece of straw , apart from the Will of the Supreme " ( Kena . Up . III ) .

All beings , even the gods , even the greatest powers , execute their functions properly due to their dread for this Supreme .

The Great Lord can do or undo or otherwise do the whole Universe in the quick flash of a fraction of a single moment ! It is also the boundless ocean of Knowledge .

Even the gods cannot see It .

It cannot be known even through penance and sacrifice .

" This Atman is not to be comprehended through mere discourse , intellectuality or extensive hearing ; It is obtained only by one ( to ) whom It chooses ( to reveal Its Nature ) " ( Katha . Up . I . 2 . 23 ) .


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This does not mean that GOD is an autocratic despot acting as GOD likes , regardless of the feelings and grievances of others .

This would be a very poor interpretation of the sentence .

GOD chooses all and excludes none who looks up to GOD ; GOD helps even those who do not know GOD ! Even a villain and an outcaste reaches GOD through GOD's grace .

GOD is the ocean of compassion .

GOD is the justest Ruler , the most beloved Parent of all .


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The condition " whom It chooses " exalts the supreme factor of self-sacrifice and self-abnegation and a flowing of oneself with the Divine Force , as against the egoistic undertakings of the individual , viz , scholarship , etc , which lead to self-conceit and inordinate pride .

The passage also means that it is to be obtained only by that which one seeks to obtain , ie , the Seeker is oneself the Supreme Object which is the Sought .

The subject and the object are one in Truth .

No separate independence should be asserted with good as its effect .


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We are also cautioned to have the consciousness of the sole existence of the One Purusha , even when we offer sacrifices to different deities .

The multiple gods of the Vedas are not the childish imaginations of undeveloped panegyrists who knew but to flatter superhuman powers , but they are the seers' visions , in the overflow of their ecstatic joy , of the Great Purusha who excels in the blissful revelation of Itself in Its universal form .

To the Vedic seers the world appeared as the beatific flooding of the abundance of the richness of GOD .


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This Supreme One is the Object of spiritual love .

All beings have an innate longing , a love to attain It .

" It is called Great Longing — Love — It is to be adored as such , and one who knows this , all beings love and long for " ( Kena . Up . IV . 6 ) .

At the mere transcendental wish of this Great Being , the whole Universe is issued forth systematically , protected justly and destroyed root and branch .


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Ishvara is the Absolute BRAHMAN working through the Universe .

This is the Nature of Reality as appearing to put on all names , all forms and all actions , though these three aspects are the one being , the Self ( Brih . Up . I . 6 ) .

The Upanishads do not make much practical difference between Ishvara and BRAHMAN , and hold that " BRAHMAN is both the Formed and the Formless " ( Brih . Up . II . 3 . 1 ) .

They voice both the Phenomenal and the Absolute points of view .

The proofs for the existence of Ishvara really turn to be proofs for the existence of BRAHMAN .

In fact there cannot be any strictly logical proof for the existence of an Ishvara who is different from BRAHMAN .

The moment we admit something which distinguishes Ishvara from BRAHMAN , we bring forward a reality which is neither Ishvara nor BRAHMAN .

The Absolute which is ever consistent with Itself does not allow in any extraneous principle which would limit Pure Existence .

Ishvara is BRAHMAN defined by the creative will .


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BRAHMAN appears as the supreme Person ( Purusha-vidha ) , and in becoming this It would appear to cease to be what It is , at least temporarily .

Such a conception of BRAHMAN would go against the very grain of the reality of BRAHMAN .

That BRAHMAN BECOMES Ishvara in any way is not a fact , and if it is a fact , the whole of philosophy which posits the existence of the Absolute Reality would become a self-contradiction and absurdity .

To make BRAHMAN pass into another form is to deny BRAHMAN .


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The theory , which holds that Ishvara's creation of individuals which are responsible for the nature of the world manifested is determined by the potentialities of the previous world-cycle , makes Ishvara a creature of time , divests It of omnipotence and freedom and creates an eternal duality of Ishvara and the material stuff called potentiality of creation in addition to a real multiplicity of individuals .

Such an artificial view of Ishvara shows how it is valid only as a practical device for the explanation of the difficulties of the individual , and how it is not possible to conceive of an Ishvara real IN ITSELF .

This view of creation is a regrettable echo of the Sankhya which so audaciously asserts a plurality of realities that it is blind to all the difficulties presented by such an assertion .

An eternal plurality or duality contradicts the Absoluteness of Reality , which is equal to denying Reality altogether .


TROTA | CHAPTER 4 | SEL0469 | SWAMI KRISHNANANDA

If it is said that Ishvara is not directly connected with creation but only helps in the manifestation of the world which is necessitated by the dormant potencies of the unliberated individuals , the question arises ,

" Who created the individuals ? "

It is said that the individuals are only the forms which Ishvara has imagined Itself to be .

If Ishvara is omnipotent , It can at any time cease from imagining thus .

If It is to cause creation every time , after every world-cycle , and work like a clock , Ishvara can only be a machine and does not seem to have freedom of thought and action .

Moreover , Ishvara seems to be working in strict consonance with the rules which It Itself has framed ! If the state of dissolution of the Universe at the end of a cycle is forced upon Ishvara's experience , It is no more an Ishvara , a Lord .

If , on the other hand , Ishvara does it voluntarily , there is no reason why It should go on creating , cycle after cycle , as though it is Its bounden duty .

Freedom and the sense of duty are opposites .

If Ishvara has nothing to do with creation and only the individuals are somehow causing their bondage and liberation through some kind of relation which they have with the Absolute , there is no need for positing an Ishvara who is different from BRAHMAN .

SOURCE | SATYAVEDISM.COM