Friday, April 13, 2012

Assigning Attributes to the Indefinable

“Although fixed in His abode, the Personality of Godhead is swifter than the mind and can overcome all others running. The powerful demigods cannot approach Him. Although in one place, He controls those who supply the air and rain. He surpasses all in excellence.”…….. Isa Upanishad - 4

The contradictions that introduces the concept of the absolute has to be understood as not being related to space-time. When we use the words such as swifter, running and approach, immediately we are drawn to motion and action in a physical plane, with the upper limit of parameters defined in the mental plane. There are two qualities of the absolute which needs understanding, First, it has an all encompassing permanence and second the absolute is beyond space-time.

In his commentary on this verse His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, says:
“In the Bhagavad-gītā (10.2) the Lord says that not even the great ṛṣis and suras can know Him. And what to speak of the asuras, for whom there is no question of understanding the ways of the Lord? This fourth mantra of Śrī Īśopaniṣad very clearly suggests that the Absolute Truth is ultimately the Absolute Person; otherwise there would have been no need to mention so many details in support of His personal features.”

There are two elements of this comment that need to be positioned in the context of today’s knowledge.

The first is that the ‘the great ṛṣis and suras’ are persons who seek the absolute through an intuitive journey but yet limited in their seeking in a mental mode and the ‘asuras’ are those who are rooted in materialistic and physical reality. For both these categories of persons the absolute is beyond grasping.

The second element that needs repositioning is the concept that the absolute is a person or entity with specific attributes. This is again very limiting due to the fact that this positioning results from an anthropomorphic view. It is the language limitation within which the Vedic ṛṣis propounded these concepts and it is our endeavour to transcend beyond the words into an indicative concept, which while defining a path will not in any concrete way define the destination.

While commenting on this verse one who is scientifically inclined would see the striking parallel in Quantum physics where the concept of Quantum entanglement is a well accepted fact. In the Big Bang cosmology, as every element of creation comes from a single source, all fundamental constituents of creation are entangled. It is only the modification of the observer consciousness which produces the subject-object duality. The imprint of all actions both in the physical and mental plane are immutably etched in the sub-quantum or consciousness field. There is growing awareness in the science community that all manifestations are the explicit order evolving from an underlying implicate order.

This is the reason that the Isa Upanishad concludes this verse “Although in one place, He controls those who supply the air and rain. He surpasses all in excellence.”
The ‘one place’ is the Quantum entangled non space-time Singularity which supplies all the elements we breathe and the waters which nourishes us as well as feeds the food we eat.

The superior attribute which makes this source excel everything else is the residence of this all pervading entity. “The Brahma-samhitā (5.37) further describes that the Absolute Personality of Godhead has His transcendental abode, known as Goloka, where He remains and engages.”… His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda.

Goloka is defined elsewhere in Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta Madhya 8.163 as follows:

“I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who resides in His own realm, Goloka, with Rādhā, who resembles His own spiritual figure and who embodies the ecstatic potency [hlādinī]. Their companions are Her confidantes, who embody extensions of Her bodily form and who are imbued and permeated with ever-blissful spiritual rasa.”

‘Go’ in ‘Govinda’ and ‘Goloka’, as I had earlier commented in my writings, is the supra-physical or higher dimensional energy and the entire verse sited above clearly indicates the all pervasive consciousness field as the abode of the absolute by defining non-dual principle of form and potency with all its attributes permeating the manifest and the unmanifest.

It is only through this sadhana of supra mental positioning that one can attempt to reach the understanding of the absolute.

Love to you all.

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