Neema Majmudar, Thursday, July 30, 2015 7:04 am

Nature of the cause of universe

A spiritual person wants to transform oneself by knowing the reality. One essential part of knowing reality is to inquire into the nature of the cause of the Universe.

The inquiry starts with: ‘Is there a cause of the universe’? The answer to this question is anything intelligently put together presupposes a creator. Therefore, this world which is intelligently put together must have creator.

The fact that the creation is intelligently put together can be understood if we appreciate a number of orders that exist in the universe. There is physical order- from the time of big bang things have evolved through a chain of cause-effect relationship. Formation of starts/planets, the existing design which ensures sun makes life possible, plants grow, nourish our bodies is all arranged.

There is biological order. Plants not only give nourishment to our bodies but also have healing properties to cure diseases in our body. This is how the system of medicine which is a branch of biology has come about.

There is physiological order which determines the function of each organ in our body and makes it work in harmony to make life possible. Liver, kidney, heart, lungs each one has its unique function.

There is psychological order which determines how whatever happens to us in childhood has a bearing on how we act as adult. Once we are more aware of presence of psychological order, we are also capable of relearning our behaviors not to be guided by past experiences but present understanding.

The presence of order in every area shows that there must be a creator. The next question is what is the nature of creator? From logic we can understand that pot maker must have knowledge of pot and power to make a pot. Similarly, shoe maker must have knowledge of shoes (even if he/she employs number of people in assembly line to put everything together), the person has the knowledge and power to put together the whole process. What follows is that the creator of the entire universe must have all-knowledge and all power to create the universe.

Then, where is the creator? As knowledge, the creator is manifest in all laws of the creation. This is what is depicted in the verse of Gita VII,7:

????? ????? ?????????????????? ?????? | ??? ???????? ?????? ?????? ?????? ?? ||?- ?||

matta? paratara? n?nyat kińcidasti dhanańjaya | mayi sarvam ida? prota? s?tre ma?iga?? iva ||7- 7||

Dhananjaya (Arjuna)! There is no other cause superior to Me. All this is woven (has its being) in Me, like the beads in a string.  (Bhagavad Gita, VII,7)

An analogy is given of how one common thread strings together all beads to make a neckless. Similarly, the lord in form of various laws brings together all forms and makes them function in harmony in keeping with order.

This gives an impression that we are objects and Isvara in form of law brings us all together and governs us. To negate this idea, the next verse of Gita VII,8 says:

?????????? ??????? ????????? ??????????? | ?????? ?????????? ????? ?? ?????? ???? ||?- ?||

raso’ham apsu kaunteya prabh?smi ?a?is?ryayo? | pra?ava? sarvavede?u ?abda? khe pauru?a? n??u ||7- 8||

Kaunteya (Arjuna)! I am the taste (basic taste) in the water; I am the light in the moon and the sun; I am Om in all the Vedas; I am sound in the space; and I am the strength in human beings. (Bhagavad Gita, VII,8)

I am not only laws that govern different objects, but the very object that is governed by laws. How can we see Isvara in every object? If we inquire into any given object, it is form within form. For example, shirt is nothing but fabric, fabric is nothing but yarn, yarn is nothing but molecules; molecules nothing but atoms, atoms nothing but particles. Ultimately you can not find the substance which is building block of all matter. Here Gita reveals that there is no object at all which is final truth of particles etc. In fact there is all-intelligence (all-knowledge) which makes these so called quantum objects appear and puts them together in an intelligent manner so that they manifest as mountains, water, air, animals, plant kingdom and human beings. Same atoms depending upon their configuration make something sentient and other things insentient. That means, there is all-intelligence manifest through each and every form in creation.

That means, this all-intelligence has all-power to manifest in form of varied objects of universe and also power to govern the functioning of these objects through laws. That means all that is here is one all-intelligence and all-power manifesting in all names and forms and guiding their interactions. Isvara is maker as well as material for creation and hence, all-pervasive.

Having seen the nature of Isvara as all-knowledge and all-power manifesting in and through every object and law in the creation; and not some higher entity sitting in some place called heaven, the question arises as to how we can use this understanding for our personal transformation? The answer is-

The order of Isvara also includes law of dharma (ethics) which is sensed in our budhhi. Everybody knows I don’t want to be hurt and others equally don’t want to be hurt. When we go against this universal understanding of dharma, there are repercussions. This understanding of order will prevent us from transgressing dharma.

Understanding of order also helps us to let go all psychological burdens of sadness, anger, fear etc. that we are carrying within ourselves. There is an example of a man carrying a big load in a train. Somebody asks him to put it down because train will carry it anyway. If Isvara exists in form of order, we do what needs to be done, but free ourselves from all burdens related to outcomes. Then the mind is more available to decide on future course of action to gain desired outcomes.

People often ask if there is an order, why is there so much chaos in the universe? Why is not everything perfect? The answer is- order does not mean everything is perfect. It means that everything that happens is guided by cause-effect relationship. If the cause is in form of inappropriate action, the result (effect) is going to be unpleasant event which is in keeping with cause. This means there is order. Our justice system incorporates this understanding. Results are in keeping with actions means there is presence of order.

The third doubt that people have is, if Isvara is everything, is it not affected and hence afflicted by all the sorrows, violence and suffering that exist in creation? To answer this question, the Gita verse IX,4 says :

??? ?????? ????? ????????????????? | ????????? ?????????? ? ???? ???????????? ||?- ?||

may? tatam ida? sarva? jagad avyaktam?rtin? | matsth?ni sarvabh?t?ni na c?ha? te?vavasthita? ||9- 4||

This entire world is pervaded by Me whose form cannot be objectified. All beings have their being in Me and I am not based in them. (Bhagavad Gita, IX,4)

Lord Krishna says every being exists in me but I am independent of them all and hence not affected by what happens at the level of object. This idea can be easily understood through a normal example of what happens in mind. Let’s say there is an emotion of sadness. Even though this emotion is very real for someone who experiences it, if you focus your attention to neurons which make the brain, and atoms which make the neurons what they are, there is no sadness intrinsic to neurons and atoms. That means even while the person feels sad, what makes the brain what it is, is not subject to sadness. If atoms, transcend the sorrow that is felt by the mind, then what to talk of all-intelligence which makes every atoms, neuron, brain what it is. It certainly transcends whatever is going on at the level of objects. That means this all-intelligence is everything, yet free from everything and not bogged down by anything.

Finally the question can arise as to what is the purpose of life? The purpose is to know Isvara as everything? The answer is yes it is not only to know Isvara as everything, but also to know that I am not separate from Isvara. This all-intelligence Isvara has ultimate truth in awareness which is also my truth. Any intelligence regardless of whether it is all or limited intelligence can not exist without consciousness. This consciousness is truth of individual and total. This truth needs to be known by everyone. It is in knowledge of this truth that lies freedom for every individual.

This idea is conveyed by the verse of Gita IV,14 :

? ??? ??????? ????????? ? ?? ??????? ?????? | ??? ??? ??????????? ????????? ? ?????? ||?- ??||

na m?? karm??i limpanti na me karmaphale sp?h? | iti m?? yo’bhij?n?ti karmabhirna sa badhyate ||4- 14||

Actions do not affect Me. There is no longing with reference to the result of action for Me. The one who knows Me clearly in this way is not bound by actions. (Bhagavad Gita, VII,7)

Not only Isvara is not bound by any karma of anyone in the manifest universe, but even the individual who knows oneself to be consciousness is not bound by any action. That person, knowing ones identity with Isvara, is completely free. This is the ultimate goal and gain for every individual.

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