THE VEDIC TEACHINGS – GOD and purpose of his Creation
According to Vedas there are three things that are eternal: God, the Soul and Prakriti.
God is the agentive cause for the creation of the universe, prakriti is the material cause of universe, and souls are the consumersfor whose benefit the universe is created. God is the Creator, the Supreme Spirit or Consciousness, and the Eternal Bliss. On the other hand prakriti, while eternal, by itself is inert. Though, the soul is eternal and conscious (aware), it usually lacks bliss.
The soul has a choice, it can aim towards reaching God-the Eternal Truth, the Supreme Consciousness and the Supreme Bliss and it-self acquire bliss, or it can be lost in the distractions of prakriti (universe) and remain unfulfilled and lacking in joy.
The description of God, soul and prakriti may be summarized as follows:
God is Sat-Chit-Änand (Sachidänand) :
Sat = Eternally Exists, Eternal Truth
Chit = Supreme Consciousness
Änand = Supreme Bliss
Soul is Sat-Chit :
Sat = Eternally Exists
Chit = Conscious, aware
Prakriti is only Sat
Sat = Eternally Exists
– Direct cognition
– Testimony and
– HistoryDirect cognition, which is the Knowledge (must be free from error and doubt), that is of the result of the direct contact of the five senses; optic (seeing), auditory (hearing), olfactory (smelling), gustatory (tasty) and tactile (touch) and of the mind, with light, sound, smell, taste and touch, with feelings of pleasure and pain, truth and untruth. It is clearly a fact that only the Attributes can be known through the senses and the mind, not substances which we are cognizant of, when it gives rise to the sensations of touch, smell, taste, etc., by coming in contact with our four senses, such as the tactile sense, and the senses with the mind, and the latter with the soul.
Similarly we are cognizant of the existence of God by observing such qualities as law, order, design and intelligence in this world. Further when the soul instantly focuses the mind and the latter directs, the senses to the pursuit of a certain object either good ~ the feeling of fearlessness, courage, and satisfaction is experienced or bad ~ the feelings of fear, shame, and distrust arise in the self consciousness, these feelings come about, not by the human soul, but by the Divine Spirit. Again when the human soul is free of all impurities and devotes itself to the contemplation and realization of God, through the practice of Yoga, it becomes conscious of itself and the Divine Spirit.
Being without a body, He is able to make the visible universe out of invisible causes. Taking a form would also make him partial to a specific group of people, showing favor to one over the other, as He would have to come as a particular person in one racial group. It will be against one of his attributes of being impartial. Furthermore He is the Most High and Mightier than the Might, His laws are supreme and taking a form he will be subjected to the laws of man, as He will be in need of a passport and other travel documents to travel about. He is Wisdom and Purity and being embodied He will be exposed to ignorance and impurities.
Take a counter-way of thinking:-
If God is ever-perfect what would force God to take form every now and then?
What is it that God cannot achieve without taking form?
If there is indeed such a situation where God cannot do without taking form, that makes God imperfect before that. God is all-powerful and all-capable – means that He does not require any external support or modifications to fulfill his tasks. He is ever perfect at all situations and performs the most optimized management of world at all times. That is why Vedas very clearly define God as changeless, formless, ever-perfect and all capable at all times without requiring any further changes on temporary or permanent basis.
In other words:
He does His works with His own infinite power. Many will say that because He is All-powerful, He can do anything or whatever He likes. This is not so, can He kill Himself? Can He make other Gods like Himself, become ignorant, commit sins? Or can He be unhappy? Or can He create the Universe from nothing? All these things will oppose His nature and attributes.
His laws are immutable and cannot be changed even by Him.
Positive glorification consists in praising God as positive attributes in the following manner:- ”That Supreme Being overspreads all.He is entirely spirit, All-energy, all-powerful, Pure, Perfect, Omniscient, Inward Controller of all, Ruler of all, Eternal and self-existent. He has from all eternity been teaching uncreated immortal human souls, the true knowledge of things through the revelation of the Veda, His eternal knowledge.”
Yajur Veda, XXXX:8)
Negative glorification consists in praising God as devoid of such ungodly qualities as passion and malice in the following way:- “He is never embodied, is never born, is never liable to division and is fee from nervous or arterial systems, never commits a sin, is never subject to pain, grief and ignorance and the like.”
Yajur Veda, XXXX:8)
Prayer creates humility, courage, and obtains divine help after strenuous effort has been made. Prayer can also be positive or negative according as the Deity is looked upon as possessed of good attributes or as free from bad qualities, faults and imperfections. One should act in accordance with what one prays for. For instance if one prays for the attainment of highest wisdom, let one do one’s utmost to attain it. strenuous effort should be made by the individual always to attain whatever he or she is praying for. One should never pray to destroy one’s enemies, or any such negativity. He is the Great Judge and only His Justice will prevail.
Communion results in union with the Great Being and in direct cognition of Him which results in acquiring true knowledge by reasoning. All that is required in order to come close to God by the practice of Yoga (physical and mental discipline) and directly see the Omnipresent, Omniscient God should be accomplished. Communion requires a solitary, clean place to get comfortably seated and practice control of breath to restrain the senses from the pursuit of materialism, in fixing the mind to one of the following organs; the navel, the heart, the throat, eyes, the top of the head or the spine.
To discriminate between the human soul and the Divine Spirit one must get absorbed in contemplation of the latter and commune with God. When such practices are followed with regularity, the soul becomes pure and imbued with righteousness. His knowledge and wisdom advance day by day till he obtains salvation or emancipation. Even if such practice is conducted even for one hour a day, the soul will always continue to advance spiritually.
Communion is positive when God is contemplated as possessed of such attributes as Omniscience, and it is said to be negative when the human soul is deeply absorbed in the Supreme Spirit, who even pervades such a subtle entity as the human soul. Its result is that the soul, by coming close to God, is rid of all its impurities, sorrows, and grieves, its nature, attributes and character become pure like those of God Himself. Leaving out other results that accrue from Divine Worship the gain in spiritual strength is such that even the approach of pain or sorrow of the greatest magnitude cannot disturb the mental tranquility of the devotee.
On the other hand, it is most ungrateful and foolish for not showing gratitude for the kindness of that Supreme Spirit who has freely given away all things of this world to his creatures to cease to believe in His very existence.
a) God (Eeshvar)
b) Atma (soul) and
c) Prakriti (matter and energy in its sublimest form)These three things are eternal. No body has made them. So God has not made soul and prakriti. Infact, they are part of HIM.
What is the role of the God in this Universe?
Similarly, over a long time horizon, there is absolutely no mess. There is observable mess in short term, but that is not created by God, but ourselves. The only way he could have avoided mess was by being a dictator and robbing us of our will-power. But then we would have been just puppets or non-living things and hence purpose of creation would have been lost.
Souls thus spend time in such species till they get rid of their obsessively negative behavior and again take birth as humans.
Only humans have complete freedom of executing free wlll. How much to exercise is also left to us. If we execute it correctly, we move ahead in path of Yog and get liberated. Else the life-cycle continues. Each human has potential to fight soul-created mess and raise his level. How much they execute is again left to them. Some create mess, some crib about mess and others rise up to fight mess to extent possible. Those who rise up move ahead in path of yog through right knowledge, right devotion and right actions. Others continue their stalemate.
Brahma is one of the names of the almighty God. It is also a common name given to the men. It also used to be a title which was given to highly qualified Rishis.
The Omnipotent Being of Brahma through his manifested will, revealed the Vedic Knowledge to the four Rishis for the welfare of the mankind. Metaphysically, this is described as Brahma chanting the Vedas through his four mouths.
“After the revelation, the great soul called ‘Paramesthi Brahma’ learnt the Vedas from the four original teachers in order to extend its knowledge of the Universe and fulfill that objectives of creation.”
– Manu Smriti
Can souls remember their actions in previous births?
Souls are finite in knowledge and power and cannot therefore be the seer of the three periods of time, the past, the present and the future. We cannot remember anything from birth to the age of five, how can we remember the previous birth. God’s mercy and compassion comes into action, for if we were to remember our previous births there would be no happiness.
We would always be in pain and constantly suffer mental anguish brooding over the terrible sufferings and sorrows of the past lives especially if we were rats. No one can ever know what happened in his past lives even if he were to try to do so; because the power and the knowledge of the soul are limited.
How can the punishment, inflicted on the soul, reform it when it cannot remember the past? Different people were born and brought up under different conditions in this world such as affluence and poverty, happiness and misery, talent and idiocy.
These conditions are the reason to infer the previous existence of the life of a soul. If there was no pre-existence of the souls then how could it be consistent with God’s divine justice to bless some with riches, power and talent, while others are afflicted with poverty, suffering and idiocy. If as adults we suffer because of sin, then a child, too young to sin, should never suffer.
His injunctions of justice would be obliterated, and all mankind would become most iniquitous. This way, they will be encouraged to commit sins for there will be no fear of punishment, knowing that their sins will be forgiven by only confessing. For example, if governments should often pardon criminals, it would be seen as an encouragement to commit greater crimes and even those who are not criminals will begin to commit crimes since there is no deterrence by fear of punishment.Therefore, to comply with His Laws of Nature, God has to award souls the just fruits (happiness or suffering) of their actions (good or bad). When sin predominates over virtue in a man, his soul goes into the bodies of animals, birds, insects and trees but when virtue predominates over sin in a soul, it is born as a good and learned person. When sin and virtue are equal, the soul is born as an ordinary man.
Is the human soul free to do whatever it wants to and is it responsible for the actions of the individual?
Was the soul created?
What are God and the soul in essence? What are their nature, attributes and actions?
The existence of the soul is known only by these attributes, as it is not material nor perceptible by the senses. These attributes manifest themselves only so long as the soul is present in the body, but cease to do so as soon as the soul leaves it.
Those qualities that manifest themselves in the presence of a substance and cease to do so in its absence belong to that substance alone; as for example, light is the property of the sun and of the lamp, because it is absent in their absence and present in their presence. In the same way God and the soul are known by their attributes. God is one, souls are many. God is infinite, the souls are finite.
God is the source of knowledge and bliss.
Are souls in the bodies of human and animals of the same nature or different?