Sunday, March 9, 2014

Passage to Immortality

" Different indeed they declare what results from the manifest and distinct they say what comes out of the unmanifest. This is what we heard from the wise who explained these truths to us.
He who understands both the manifest and the unmanifest together, crosses death through the unmanifest and attains immortality through the manifest." ...........Isa Upanishad Verse 13, 14

The meanings of what is meant by "manifest" and "unmanifest" has to be very clearly understood in order to grasp the meaning of these two interconnected verses. In the human mind a manifestation occurs when any sense perception matches an a priori template generated through a past, individual or collective, experiential imprint.

In Adi Śakara's commentary as expanded by Somraj Gupta, he identifies the manifest as "born" and the unmanifest as "destruction".

Swami Nikhilananda in his commentary on these verses, identifies the manifest as " Hiranyagarbha" and the unmanifest as " Prākti"

 The Hirayagarbha Sūkta of the ig Veda (RV 10:121) declares that God manifested Himself in the beginning as the Creator of the Universe, encompassing all things, including everything within Himself, the collective totality, as it were, of the whole of creation, animating it as the Supreme Intelligence. Hence every element of objective perception is the manifest reality and cannot aid in grasping the "Absolute reality" which is the unmanifest.

The Sakhya school holds that there are only two primary principles, Purua and Prākti, and creation is only a manifestation or evolution of the constituents of Prākti due to the action of Purua's Consciousness.

All these interpretations aim at the two basic classifications; namely, causal and that which is beyond cause. All manifestations and birth are related to a preceding cause and that which remains annihilated or destroyed from all sense perception or grasping by the individuated ego consciousness is the unmanifest.

From pagan deities to later religious avatars, many deities were assigned the lunar tendencies to reflect the secondary nature of illumining light of spiritual wisdom, the Sun. By worshiping or deeply understanding the mere iconic or symbolic representation, whether they be representations of super natural attributes or pantheistic universality, we cannot grasp the absolute reality of the Godhead. That is the reason that these verses of the Upanishad stresses the need for understanding both the manifest and the unmanifest together. " Śakara calls jñāna knowledge. For jñāna means "Samatvam" which means equality between the manifest and the unmanifest, between bondage and release, between Samadhi and the mundane world, between God and the world."

All that is manifest is provided to us in the form of Saguna Brahman (all manifestations are the reflection and are the attributes of the absolute) so that it serves as a launch platform or the path for realizing the Nirguna Brahman (the one who has no attributes) who is our goal.

If we are rooted in an isolated understanding of the manifest then transcendence to immortality is not possible and we go through the cycle of Sasāra and born again. But if we relegate the manifest only a means and platform for grasping the unmanifest so that we may raise our consciousness to the Divine plenum, then we attain a final death or destruction of the physical body. This is what is meant by "........... crosses death through the unmanifest and attains immortality through the manifest."

Love to you all.

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