Sunday, August 9, 2009

Ultimate Consumer

The Eater (is Brahman), because both the movable and immovable (i.e. the whole Universe) is taken (as His food). …. Brahma Sutra I.2.9

In Prasna Upanishad, Sage Pippalada answer the first question put to him by Kabandhi on the nature of birth of all things. The sage’s reply also explains the verse sited above.
He said:
“The Lord of all creatures became desirous of progeny. He deliberated on knowledge. Having brooded on that knowledge, He created a couple – food and Prana – under the idea, “These two will produce creatures for me in multifarious ways.”
….Prasna Upanishad 1:4 .In Sanskrit 'rayi' means matter or food and is feminine and 'Prana' means life and is masculine.
The emergence of duality of the Godhead is explained. Food and prana are defined the role of the consumed and the consumer.

A passage from the Kathopanishad can now be taken up for discussion. We read in
Kathopanishad I.2.25:
“Who then knows where He is, to whom the Brahmanas and Kshatriyas are (as it were) but food, and death itself a condiment?”

This text shows by means of the words ‘food’ and ‘condiment’ that there is some eater. Who is this eater? Is it the fire referred to in as eater:
“Soma indeed is food, and fire eater”………….. Brihadaranyake Upanishad I.4.6.

Or is it individual soul referred to as eater “Two birds living together, each the friend of the other, perch upon the same tree. Of these two, one eats the sweet fruit of the tree, but the other simply looks on without eating.”… Mundaka Upanishad III.1.1.

Swami Krishananda in his commentary of this verse says:
“The two birds are the Jiva and Isvara, both existing in an individual compared to a tree. They exist together as the reflection and the original. They both manifest themselves in different ways in every individual. From the characteristics of the Jiva it is possible to infer the nature of Isvara, and from the nature of Isvara it is possible to determine the potentialities of the Jiva. Both the Jiva and Isvara have a common substratum which is Brahman and which is the reality of both.”
Hence the eater is Brahman and the food is the totality of manifestation.

This is the reason that the Brahma Sutra mentions the ‘what is movable and what is immovable’ as the two aspects of manifestation namely; Jiva and Isvara. Jiva is moved and moulded aspect of creation while the Isvara is the in indestructible aspect of the same creation. The entire universe is re-absorbed in Brahman. All things movable and immovable are here to be taken as constituting the food of Brahman while Death itself is the condiment. The eater of the whole world, the consumer of all these things in their totality can be Brahman alone and none else.

This thought is reflected in Jesus saying "No one comes to the Father; but through me" .... John 14:6. Most often this is explained as a process of salvation but the deeper truth is; Jesus is the material manifestation of the divinity which is the Father. All material manifestations have a destiny of final merger with divinity which has created it from itself. This is again beautifully explained in the Gnostic Gospel of Mary Magdalene "The Saviour said, All nature, all formations, all creatures exist in and with one another, and they will be resolved again into their own roots." .... Ch 4:22

Love to you all


  1. I had two reflections as I read the blog. The ultimate target of all philosophical search is to find out the details and nuances of going back to the root.Secondly the food is rather human than feminine in character. For all of us have a wish to be consumed by something that sounds ideal to us.This may involve material or divine ideals.

  2. The 'rayi' & 'prana' as feminine and masculine aspect of creation represent the grosser and subtle aspects of the one and the same creation source.'rayi' encompasses all of manifest creation and 'prana' the unmanifest spirit (or 'chi' as the chinese call it) that courses through all creation.

    The gender classification is to only symbolize the creative process.