- Vachanamrut Adhyayan By Hariswarup Swami- An English Translation (Click Here)
12.1 In the Samvat year 1876, on Mãgshar sud Punam [1st December, 1819], Shreeji Mahãrãj was sitting in Dãdã Khãchar’s darbãr in Gadhadã. He was dressed entirely in white clothes. A sabhã of sãdhus, as well as haribhaktas from various places, had gathered before Him .
12.2 Shreeji Mahãrãj then said, “When a person understands the nature of the causes of the entire creation, specifically Purush, Prakruti, Kãl, and the twenty-four tattvas, including maha-tattva, then he is released from the bondage of his avidyã, and the twenty-four tattvas that evolve from avidyã.”
The creation of the world is one the most intriguing and one the most disputed theories of all time. Each civilization has its own view on it. Very few of the theories provide a satisfactory answer to it. Here Lord Swaminarayan declares, that if one understands the nature and causes of entire creation, then one can be freed from avidya(Maya). There are few main elements or tattvas that need to be understood, there not much required to understand the full detail to overcome Maya, understanding is important, but being engrossed in just that is not advisable.
12.3 Then, Muktãnand Swãmi asked, “Mahãrãj, how can their nature be known?”
12.4 Shreeji Mahãrãj then said, “Their nature can be realised by knowing their characteristics. I shall now describe those characteristics.
The nature of anything or anyone can be understood by its characteristics. Lord Swaminarayan, the omniscient God, describes the characteristics of His own creation, who else can describe better than Him?
12.5 “Purush is the controller of Prakruti, and is also distinct from her. He is indivisible, without a beginning, and without an end. He is self-luminous, omniscient, imperishable, satya, kshetragna, and the cause of all the activities that possess a form. Also, he has a divya body.
To know about creation, one first needs to understand a few powers of God, Purush, Prakriti and Kaal, through these powers, God creates the universe and He acts as a non-doer of everything. Let us talk about Purush. The Tatva-Gyan (philosophical) knowledge before Lord Swaminarayan was limited until this Purush. People knew about this Purush and accepted Him as the ultimate God. This Purush is above Maya, but due to the grace of God. Prakruti refers to Maya. The various characteristics of Purush are defined in the above paragraph.
12.6 “Prakruti is composed of the three gun. She is both jad and chaitanya, eternal, nirvishesh, the kshetra of all the jeevs and all the elements, including maha-tattva. She is also the divine power of Bhagvãn.
Prakruti (Maya) has three guns(goons) Satva(goodness), Rajas(Passion), Tam (ignorance,agnosia). The Maya is both Jad(non-living, eg. stone, stick etc.) and Chaitanya(living/lively- as its karan svarup, it acts lively as the power of God, Maya is a living entity in the form such that it actively obstructs one from God, having all lively characteristics, but since it is a power of God, it shies away from obstructing the devotee from God when the devotee receives the grace of God).
The ten qualities of Satva Gunn (purity) are:
(i) Bliss (ii) penance (iii) peace (iv) enlightenment (v) intoning (vi) faithful (vii) compassionate (viii) donating (ix) God like (x) contentment.
The nine qualities of Rajo Gunn (activity) are:
(i) Unsteadiness (ii) not compassionate (iii) affected by pleasure and pain (iv) finds a difference (v) worldly aims of life (vi) lustful (vii) intoxicated (viii) vain (ix) talking too much.
The eight qualities of Tamo Gunn (impurity) are:
(i) Ignorance (ii) delusion (iii) great delusion (iv) anger (v) senselessness (vi) slander (vii) neglect (viii) laziness.
12.7 “Mãyã is nirvishesh, and the three gun of Mãyã are normally in the state of equilibrium. That which disturbs Mãyã, is called Kãl.
Here, Kal is described as that which disturbs the equilibrium state of Maya. To develop or for the occurrence of any discrimination, there has to be a disturbance in the equilibrium state of the three guns(goons). This is brought about by Kal, a phenomenon of progression of events.
12.8 “Now I shall describe the characteristics of maha-tattva and the other elements, so please listen.
12.9 “Chitt and maha-tattva should not be regarded as being different. The entire world resides in a small form within maha-tattva, which itself is unchanging, luminous, pure, peaceful, and full of pure sattvagun.
From Maha-tattva the three goons of Maya begin to play a part, the maha-tattva being satva goon dominant. Let us take an example of how chitt and maha-tatva are same(as the world resides in both of them in a subtle small form).
Suppose I say “elephant”, you can instantly picture an elephant. Why? this is the function of chitt, you do not need the whole space of the elephant in your head, but somewhere you can picture the whole elephant, this is the chitt. Today’s science compiles man, buddhi chitt and ahankar into one entity called as mind, but the Indian philosophy differentiates the mind into four categories:
In the maha-tattva and the chitt, the world is present, then what is the difference between them? The difference is that chitt contains the world limited to that one soul and the world that is seen by that one soul. Example, for a person who has never seen or heard of Saturn, can never imagine the existence of it and its Rings etc. But, the Maha-tattva contains infinite such universes in it, unlike the chitt which is limited to only what that one particular soul with which it is associated.
12.10 “Ahankãr is composed of the three gun, and is the cause of the evolution of all bhuts, indriyas, antah-karans, their presiding devs, and the prãns. It is peaceful, dense, and totally ignorant.
Now comes Ahankar, through this ahanakar, all the three goons come into play which causes the formation of the matter and elements required for the formation of Virat.
12.11 “The man is the place where all the desires for women and other objects are generated. It is subject to random thoughts, and is the controller of all the indriyas.
Man(pronounced as Mann) is what we refer to as the mind.The Mann is the controller of all the senses. The mind creates all the random thoughts we have. It is said to be the fastest object in the material universe.
12.12 “Buddhi possesses the knowledge of all the objects. The specific knowledge which all the indriyas possess, is due to the buddhi. Its natural features are sanshay, nishchay, nindrã, and smruti.
Buddhi can be defined as intellect or as the ability to decide and analyse. The knowledge of all the objects is in one’s intellect. The intellect gives the all the senses their specific knowledge and differentiates one sensory input from other.
12.13 “The characteristics of the ten indriyas – the ears (shrotra), the skin (tvak), the eyes (chakshu), the tongue (rasnã), the nose (ghran), the voice (vãk), the hands (pãni), the feet (pãd), the anus (pãyu), and the genitals (upastha) – is to connect themselves in their respective vishays.
We have ten senses, five cognitive and five conative, these help us to receive inputs from the world and perform tasks respectively. The characteristics of these senses is to indulge in their objects, like the sense of sight enables us to see, the eyes are the sensory organs and not the sense of sight, that is a basic difference between the sensory organ and the sense, the sensory organ is a part of the physical (gross) body whereas the senses are a part of the subtle body.
12.14 “Shabda is the indicator of all objects. Shabda is the cause of all social interactions, and reveals the nature and class of the speaker. It dwells within ãkãsh, and is also the physical element of ãkãsh, and is perceived by the ears.
Shabda refers to a word in a general sense. Be it a sound or an action.
12.15 “Sparsh is the physical element of vãyu. Softness, hardness, cold, heat, and perception by the skin, are the characteristics of sparsh.
12.16 “Rup reveals the appearance of all objects. It resides in all objects in a small form, and changes as objects change. It is the physical element of tej, and is perceived by the eyes.
12.17 “The characteristics of ras are sweetness, spiciness, distastefulness, bitterness, sourness, and saltiness. It is the physical element of jal, and is perceived by the tongue.
12.18 “The characteristics of gandh are fragrance and stench. It is the physical element of pruthvi, and is perceived by the nose.
12.19 “Pruthvi supports all jeevs, and in the form of a physical body, the pruthvi is their home. It separates the other four bhuts, and gives a physical form to all life-forms.
The solid matter in the universe is called Pruthvi, it consists all the elements including salts metals, rocks etc, anything which is solid comes under pruthvi.
12.20 “Jal binds pruthvi and other substances, and it also softens and moistens all objects. It satisfies and sustains all life-forms, it quenches thirst, and suppresses heat.
Jal here refers to water.
12.21 “Tej is luminosity, the cause of the digestion of food and absorbs liquids. It eliminates cold, is the cause of drying, creates hunger and thirst, and is the cause of burning wood and ghee.
Tej can be luminosity(light energy) as well as heat energy in general.
12.22 “Vãyu causes trees to shake, and it gathers leaves and other small objects. It also carries the five vishays – shabda, sparsh, rup, ras, and gandh – to their indriyas. It is the vital force of all the indriyas.
Vayu refers to wind, flowing air. The senses receive their inputs because of wind in two manners. The sense sight and hearing are perceived without going to the Vishay. Whereas the senses of taste, touch and smell are perceived only when the Vishay comes to the respective sense. Examples, to see an object/person we need not go to that person/object, we can see it from afar, but to taste something we need to keep it on our tongue to taste it.
12.23 “Ãkãsh provides space for all jeevs, and is the cause of the internal and external activities of the bodies. It is also where the prãns, indriyas, and antah-karans reside.
Akash refers to space, it is infinite.
12.24 “In this way, by knowing the characteristics of the twenty-four tattvas, Prakruti, Purush, and Kãl, a person is freed from ignorance. In addition to knowing the characteristics, a person should also know the process of their creation.
12.25 “While residing in His dhãm, Shree Krishna Bhagvãn impregnates the womb of Mãyã through Akshar-Purush(the same Purush whose characteristics are describes above), through whom countless millions of Pradhãn and Purush are produced. What are those Pradhãn–Purush pairs like? Well, they are the cause of the creation of countless millions of brahmãnds. Of these, I shall now tell you about one Pradhãn–Purush pair – the cause of the creation of one brahmãnd.
One Akshar Purush gives rise to countless Pradhan Purush Pairs, and each of this pair gives rise to a Brahmand(universes as we know them, but “Brahm”- brahmamaya and “anda”-egg meaning this universe is egg-shaped and just as the egg has a shell, the shell of this universe is made of eight layers-Prithvi, jal , tej, Vayu, Akash,ahankar,maha-tattva, Prakriti). These countless brahmands are identical, so Lord Swaminarayan describes the creation of just one of these.
12.26 “Firstly, Purushottam Shree Krishna Bhagvãn in the form of Purush, impregnated(the word impregnated is used so that we humans can understand the process, but in actuality it is quite different from the human conception of impregnation) the womb of Pradhãn. From the Pradhãn, maha-tattva evolved. From maha-tattva, the three types of ahankãr evolved. Of these, from sãttvik–ahankãr, the man and the presiding devs of the indriyas evolved; from rãjas-ahankãr, the ten indriyas, the buddhi, and the prãns evolved; and from tãmas–ahankãr, the five bhuts and the five tanmãtras evolved. These tattvas were created in this way.
This is how the tattvas or elements evolved.
12.27 “Then, inspired by the will of Bhagvãn, each tattva with its own components, helped create the bodies of the ishvars and the jeevs. A particular ishvar’s bodies are known as virãt, sutrãtmã, and avyãkrut. A particular jeev’s bodies are known as sthul, sukshma, and kãran.
The Ishvaras have three bodies namely :
The souls(jeevs) also have three bodies:
- Sthul(Gross)- The physical body which is made of panch bhutas
- Sukshma(Subtle)-The Mann, buddhi, chitt, and ahankar. the prana(vital airs), and the respective devtas of senses and Antahkarana.
- Karan(Causal)- The fundamental body which consists of desires of the soul, it is not made of any elements. It is like a seed from which the other two bodies grow, it retains the accumulated Karmas of the soul.
12.28 “The body of ishvar, called virãt, has a lifespan of two parãrdhs. Fourteen manvantars pass, during one of Virãt–Purush’s days, and his night is the same duration as the day. During his day, the lower ten loks of the brahmãnd remain in existence; and after his night falls, they are destroyed. This is called nimit–pralay.
The Virat(which is also this universe )is made of 14 loks(planets) which are as follows(from higher to lower):
A parardh is 1×1017 human years. The Virat thus lives for 2×1017 years. Therefore, at night of Virat, the lower 10 loks are destroyed. A manvantar is the lifetime of Indra. Therefore, during the day of Virat 14 Indras live and die. Therefore the world which is crazy about Swarga Lok(heaven) is at such a low level as compared to Akshardham.
12.29 “When the two parãrdhs of Virãt–Purush have passed, the body of Virãt is destroyed, along with Satya-Lok and the other loks. At that time, Pradhãn–Prakruti, Purush, and the twenty-four tattvas, including maha-tattva, are absorbed back onto Mahã-Mãyã. This is called prãkrut–pralay.
Then, after the lifetime of Virat purush is over, it dies and with that, all the Loks are destroyed with Maha-tattva, and only Maha Maya exists with Maha purush.
12.30 “When that Mahã-Mãyã is absorbed by the divine light of Akshar– Brahm – like the night merges into the day – it is called ãtyantikpralay. Also, the day-to-day death of the bodies of individual devs, demons, and humans, is called nitya-pralay.
Then occurs the Atyantik Pralay, when all the Prakrutik existence is absorbed into Akshar Brahm, only God, His dham and his Muktas exists. This is the understanding of staunch devotees and that is why they are not disturbed by some minor material losses. They see everything as already destroyed, but it just a matter of time. Hence, they develop detachment, as nothing will remain in the Atyantik Pralay.
12.31 “In this way, by knowing the process of the creation, sustenance, and destruction, a person develops vairãgya towards the world, and bhakti towards Bhagvãn. Also, when all of those brahmãnds are destroyed, all other jeevs lie dormant within Mãyã, whereas the bhaktas of Bhagvãn attain the dhãm of Bhagvãn.”
At the end of the destruction, the souls other than liberated souls lie dormant within Maya, until next creation process starts. The liberated souls attain God’s spiritual abode.
12.32 Again Muktãnand Swãmi enquired, “What is the dhãm of Bhagvãn like?”
Now, Muktanand Swami enquires, how is the spiritual abode of God?
12.33 Shreeji Mahãrãj replied, “The dhãm of Bhagvãn is without a beginning and without an end. It is infinite, indivisible, divya and sachidãnand. I shall describe it using an analogy.
12.34 “Imagine that this whole world, with all the mountains, trees, humans, animals, and all other life-forms, is made of glass. Also, imagine that all the stars in the sky are as bright as the sun. Then, just as the glass world would glow with extreme beauty amidst this radiance, the dhãm of Bhagvãn is similarly beautiful. Bhaktas of Bhagvãn see this in samãdhi and attain that luminous dhãm after death.”
This kind of beauty exists in the abode of God. So beautiful and so blissful.