[Advaita-l] Parameshti and nasadiya sukta

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Tue Jan 31 01:14:57 CST 2012

On Thu, 26 Jan 2012, Kalyan K wrote:

> In that case, how will you explain - "yadi vA dadhe yadi vA na" and
> "sah anga veda yadi vA na veda" that occur in 10.129.7? If kA is to be
> read as brahma, then how will these make sense?

That Brahma [i.e. Prajapati the creator not Brahman] was ignorant is a 
concept that occurs elsewhere in Shruti.  Compare Brhadaranyakopanishad 

Atmaivedamagra AsitpuruShavidhaH so.anuvikShya nAnyadAtmano.apashyat 
so.ahamasmItyagre vyAharat tato.ahaM nAmAbhavat 
tasmAdapyetarhyAmantrito.ahamayamityevAgra uktvAthAnyannama prabrUte...

"In the beginning this[1] was only the Atman in form of purusha[2].  He 
contemplated and found nothing else but himself. "I am He" He said first 
and so to this day people say "It is I" and then whatever their name may 

[1] The universe.

[2] purusha in the state of ignorance is called viraj.

[3] This is the origin of ahamkara "ego" or "I-ness."

The brahmana goes on to describe creation in 1.4.2

so.abibhet tasmAdekAkI vibheti sa hAyamIkShAM chakre yanmadanyannAsti 
kasmAnnubibhemIti tata evAsya bhayaM vIyAya kasmAddhayameShyat dvitIyAdvai 
bhayaM bhavatai ||

"He was afraid and so to this day people are afraid when they are alone. 
He thought "If there is no one but me, what am I afraid of?" From that 
alone His fear was gone for why should one fear?  It is only from a 
second that fear comes.[1]"

[1] ahamkara leads to duality and one afflicted by duality sees his self 
as incomplete and alone and thus a source of fear.  But when he 
understands oneness, that fear goes away.  Note Viraj gained that exalted 
position by his excellence in karma in the previous world-cycle.  But 
because he fell short of liberation, his knowledge is flawed and unsteady.

[Digression: in the bhashya here, Shankaracharya quotes a shloka from the 
Vayupurana about the qualities of Prajapati which further proves that he 
knew of the Puranas.]

So he creates as explained in 1.4.3 and onwards...

sa va naiva reme tasmAdekAkI na ramate sa dvitIyamaichchhat sa haitAvAnAsa 
yathA strIpmAMsau saMpariShvaktau sa imamevAtmAnaM dvedhApAtayat...

"He was still unhappy and so to this day people are unhappy when they are 
alone.[1]  He wanted a companion and so became as big as a man and woman 
embracing. He split[2] his self into two..."

[1] The puranas expand on this.  Armed with his knowledge of oneness, 
Brahma made a mAnasika sR^iShTi which resulted in the devarshis like 
nArada, sanatkumAras etc.  But they remained absorbed in Brahman and 
refused to create further so he got angry and commenced the maithuni 

[2] pat "split" is given as the origin of the words pati "husband" and 
patni "wife."

Because this universe was created with ego fear, sorrow etc. it is marred 
by flaws such as evil, ignorance, sin etc.  Yet its creations also have 
the power to do good and transcend ignorance.

Thus I hope I have shown how we can say "kA knows or perhaps He knows 

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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