Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 20 Oct 2004

     

INFINITY IN THE FINITE

‘Adhyatma’ means the knowledge of the substance, which controls the soul. Atma means the soul, which may indicate either the individual soul of a human being or the Lord. Atma also means the human body. Jivatma is the individual soul controlling the body. The body is made of five elements. Jivatma constitutes the mind, intelligence, chittam (memory) and ego. These are called the four antahkaranas or the inner instruments. Lord controls both the soul and the human body. The soul, which controls the body, pervades all over the body. Atma means that which pervades. It is just like the electric current pervading the wire. The Lord pervades the human body of the human incarnation. The Lord also pervades the entire world, which consists of five elements and individual souls.

God in the Universe?

The Lord pervades all over the universe but only as its substratum or base. The Lord is not in the universe. The Lord pervades all over the human body of Krishna as the electric current pervades the wire. The wire gives an electric shock wherever it is touched. Similarly, the Jivatma also pervades all over the human body. This is called ‘abhivyapaka saptami vibhakti’ in Sanskrit grammar. However when we say that the Lord is in the universe, it is called ‘aupasleshika saptami vibhakti’. The example for this is that a man is in the shirt. The man is the base of the shirt and is not in the threads of the shirt. When you touch the shirt, you are not touching the man. If the man leaves the shirt, the shirt collapses. Thus there are two sentences:

  1. A man is in the shirt
  2. The current is in the wire.

Both the sentences look similar but the concepts are different. People who do not have the knowledge of Shastras take the same meaning for both the sentences. They think that the Lord is present in every object and in every living being in this world. The Veda says that the Lord is not present in any object or in any living being in this world (Neti Neti). If there is no second substance (duality), how will the Lord have the entertainment? The Veda says that the Lord created the second substance (duality) for His entertainment (Ekaki na ramate Sadviteeyam). But how did the second substance come from the Lord, who is the One and only One Entity or Substance? This is beyond your understanding. However things exist even if you do not understand. That is the secret of the creation.

Brahma Jnana is the knowledge of the Lord, i.e. to understand that you cannot understand the Lord and His actions (Yasyamatam tasyamatam). The Gita says the same (Mam tu veda na kaschana). If you say that you cannot accept that which you cannot understand, you can never understand the Lord and His actions. The Lord lifted a mountain on His finger. You have seen this. But you could not understand this. The miracles prove that there is something, which you cannot understand. The Veda mentions this point (Asteetyevopalabdhavyah). Therefore the Lord created a second substance, which gives Him entertainment. This second substance is creation, which is a modification of His power called ‘Maya’. Maya means that, which cannot be understood and is wonderful.

Ishwara Enters Creation

The Lord who is the base of this world is called Iswara. This Iswara entered the body of Krishna as the current enters a wire. This Lord can be seen, and touched, and He talks and lives with His devotees. You can never touch Iswara by your egoistic efforts. The reason for your not accepting the human incarnation and your efforts to reach Him directly, is only your jealousy. This universe is like a shirt for the Lord. If you touch the shirt you are not touching the body. Similarly by worshipping any object or any man in the universe you are not worshipping Iswara directly. But the same Lord comes down due to His kindness. He pervades all over the human body of an incarnation like Krishna as the current pervades all over the wire. Any limb of such a special human body will give you the direct experience of the Lord. When you say that the Lord is in the universe, you must take the example of the man in the shirt. When you say that the Lord is in the human body of an incarnation like Krishna, you should take the example of the current in the wire. As the soul pervades the human body of a human being, the Lord pervades the human body of the human incarnation. Therefore the soul and the Lord can be compared. The soul in the body of Krishna is the Lord.

A peon is residing in his house. The collector (a powerful government official) is residing in another house. Both are householders. But the peon is different from the collector. The soul in human body and the soul in the body of a human incarnation are both called Atma because they both pervade the corresponding human bodies. But the Lord and the individual soul are different. The body of the human incarnation also gets the nature of the Lord. The wire gets the nature of the electric current, which is to give an electric shock. Therefore the body of Krishna, like the Lord present inside, is also beyond our understanding.

Universe Within the Incarnation

The infinite universe is adjusted within the limited human body of the incarnation. The Lord created the space. Volume is the property of the space. The Lord is above the concepts of space and volume. This means that there is no big Lord and small Lord. The body of Krishna attains the nature of the Lord and so it is also beyond space and volume. Therefore the limited body is the infinite universe.

Another wonderful point is that there are changes in the universe. But there is no change in the body of Krishna. The Lord is the base of the universe, but the same Lord is pervading all over the body of Krishna. The Lord is not touched by the changes in the universe. Therefore neither the Lord nor the body of Krishna is touched by the universal changes. To understand this wonderful secret, Krishna gave the vision of ‘Viswaroopam’ (Cosmic form of God or the Lord in the form of the entire creation). He, who understands that the limited Krishna is the infinite Lord, is a great devotee and this is the essence. The Gita says the same (Vasudevaha sarvam, Adhyatma jnana nityatvam). When you know that Krishna is the Lord, it is called as “Tatva jnanartha darsanam” by the Gita. This concept is called as jnana or knowledge. When you search the Lord in the world without seeing the Lord in Krishna due to your egoism and jealousy, it is called ajnanam or ignorance by the Gita (Ajnanam yadatonyatha, Nahamprakasah).


This article is meant for intellectuals only