Each 'Choose-day' we will investigate the process by which we can reassess our activity and interaction with the world of plurality and become more congruent within our personality.
|Swni. Vimalananda (CM)|
We completed the small text on Gita in Daily Life. Next we will take up a slightly longer small booklet called "Not Too Loose, Not Too tight - Just right!" This is written by Swamini Vimalananda, who is head of Schools for Chinmaya Mission. The booklet is written with children in mind - but of course for majority readers who are new to Vedanta and/or who are trying to make up their mind whether or not to read this philosophy more deeply, then there is a need for such beginner's texts… and there is the saying of Lord Jesus that 'ye must become as children to enter the kingdom of the Lord'; ...empty yourselves and be ready to accept anew! [Avblog - you will note "the creation" is used, rather than simply "creation" - this is because Vedanta views the manifestation of everything as an object, ie an effect, so even the creation itself is an effect…]
INTRODUCTION part 1.
Every effect must have a cause. It naturally follows that the world we experience must also have a cause. There are various causes for the various objects, phenomena, circumstances and experiences of the world. For example, a seed gives rise to a tree, condensation results in rain, unfulfilled desires cause frustration and anger and so on. There may be one or many causes for a phenomenon. However, what is the ultimate cause - the Cause of all causes - the cause of the entire world and not just a small part or event within it? Both Science and Religion seek this Ultimate Cause.
Logically thinking, an object, energy or phenomenon of the world cannot be the Ultimate Cause. Why?
- A part cannot create the whole. The finite cannot create the infinite.
- Any object being a part of the world cannot itself be the world.
- The cause has to precede the effect. The object would have to exist before the world came into being and yet all objects are logically a part (result) of creation.
These and many other logical fallacies would occur if we assume that an object, form of energy or phenomenon is the Ultimate cause of the world. Therefore, the Ultimate Cause cannot be an object or aspect of the world.
Then what is it?
Let us first see what is the world. Then we can arrive at its cause by negating all that the world represents. The creation, universe and world are names for forms and their attributes, which exist within the realm of time and space. Therefore the Ultimate Cause of the creation must be a nameless, formless, quality-less, timeless and spaceless entity. It is called 'God' in religion and 'Truth' in philosophy.
This Truth, [which in Vedanta is referred to as Purusha or Brahman - and other such names], has the unmanifest infinite potential ( प्रकृति /prakRiti) to create the vast universe. This potential first manifests as the five subtle elements called तन्मतराः /tanmatras. They are आकाश /aakaasha -space (or ether), वायु /vaayu - air, अग्नि /agni -fire, जल /jala -water and प्रिथ्वि /prithvi - earth. The elements are called subtle because they cannot be perceived by our sense organs. These subtle elements from the entire subtle world of our thoughts, emotions, talents and abilities. They then transform to make the five gross elements. These form the world as we perceive it with our five sense organs (eye, ears, nose, skin, tongue) as forms, sounds, smells, touch and taste.
If everything has emerged from the same Truth, the same unmanifest potential, the same subtle and gross elements, then why do we perceive differences? Why is one brilliant and another dull?
PrakRiti inherently has three qualities. These manifest in various ways causing a wide range of differences. For example, tea contains milk, sugar and the tea leaves. The various permutations and combinations of these three ingredients create a variety of tastes. Similarly, everyone and everything in the creation is made up of three qualities (gunas); sattva, rajas and tamas. The permutations and combinations of these three create the vast variety of the world.