Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 26 Mar 2021


Why Is Every Soul Not God? (Part-3)

Note: This article is meant for intellectuals only

Part-1     Part-2     Part-3     Part-4     Part-5     Part-6     Part-7     Part-8     Part-9

Part 3: Vast Differences Cannot Be Disregarded

Swami: Suppose person X earns ten lakh rupees per month and person Y earns ten rupees per month. If the Advaita philosopher has to select between X or Y as the bridegroom for his daughter, will he say that X and Y are equal? Will he say that they are one and the same because the common point between X and Y is that both earn money? Does the vast difference between their earnings not matter? The Advaita philosopher has already made such an unbelievable assumption and concluded that God and the soul are one and the same based on their common ability to know (awareness). He has disregarded the fact that God is omniscient while the soul has very little knowledge.

Opponent: Despite the observed differences between God and the soul, we can prove that the two are identical based on logic (tarka). We see that Devadatta, who used to appear stout in his native place, now appears lean in Kāśi city. Despite the difference between the observed stoutness and leanness of Devadatta in the two places, we are able to identify that he is the same person. How did we then identify him? We applied the logic of jahadajahat lakṣaṇā, by which we leave (jahat) the property of leanness and stoutness that causes difference. We retain only the common point that the face of the person seen in both places is one and the same (ajahat). This enables us to conclude that the person seen in the two different places is one and the same, despite the different associated properties.

Swami: This is the problem with you old scholars. You blindly stick to the scriptures of ancient logic in presenting your arguments. While doing so, you miss simple commonsense points because your I.Q. is lower than those who have studied science. In the example given by you, you have already chosen the same person Devadatta present in two places. So, you could eliminate the associated property of leanness and stoutness which differs in the two observations of the person in different cities. You could then conclude that the person seen in both places is the same. Such a conclusion of monism is valid. However, the commonsense point to be noted here is that even before you concluded the monism between two, the monism already existed. You particularly chose an example where monism already existed so that you could arrive at your desired conclusion. What if the two selected persons were different and one of them was stout while the other was lean? Would you still draw the conclusion that both are one and the same? In this logical analysis, you cannot say that dualism existed originally or that monism existed originally. Both cases are unfit for this logical analysis since either monism or dualism is already known to exist between the two items in the beginning. You must select an example in which neither monism nor dualism is known to originally exist. You must then conclude whether monism or dualism exists between the two items through your logical analysis.

In the case of God and the soul, neither monism nor dualism can be assumed to exist, at the outset. The conclusion of whether there is monism or dualism should naturally follow from our analysis. We agree that awareness is common between God and the soul. It is like the earning which was common between persons X and Y above. But based on this one common point, one cannot conclude that God and the soul are one and the same. It is just like the Advaita philosopher does not conclude X and Y to be identical when it is the practical question of his own daughter’s marriage. The case of the two persons X and Y is a case of qualitative similarity with a large quantitative difference. But in the case of God and the soul, even that qualitative similarity cannot be accepted because the awareness of God is unimaginable, whereas, the awareness of the soul is imaginable. A water drop and the mighty ocean have qualitative similarity and a vast quantitative difference. They can be compared with each other because both are at least imaginable and visible. But the invisible-unimaginable God can never be compared with the visible-imaginable soul, no matter how many gymnastic feats of logic one tries to do.

The causal background of God’s awareness is unimaginable. This is because He was aware even before the creation of inert energy and matter. Neither matter in the form of a material nervous system nor inert energy existed to produce God’s awareness. While the causal background of God’s awareness is unimaginable, the causal background of the soul’s awareness is totally imaginable. We know that inert energy gets converted into awareness in a functioning material nervous system. In the case of God, the process of generation of His awareness can never be established because it is simply beyond our imagination. The process of generation of God’s awareness is unimaginable. When the process is unimaginable, with what authority can you say that that which is generated is awareness? Strictly speaking, you cannot use the same word ‘awareness’ in the case of God as you do in the case of the soul. I am using the word awareness even in the case of God only to convey the concept to you that God is capable of knowing. The word awareness is only used in the case of God to indicate His ability to know. Let Me say that God has the knowledge of this entire world while the soul is aware of only a very small part of this world. Then immediately, you will say that since the soul has knowledge of a little part of this world, it is qualitatively the same as God who knows the whole world! This is the problem with you. In that case, I cannot convey any information about God to you through words and am forced to keep silent about God and His actions. It is precisely due to this problem that Śaṅkara said that the original unimaginable absolute God can only be expressed through silence (Mauna vyākhyā prakaṭita Parabrahma...). He even changed the term used to refer to God. He used the term Parabrahman, which specifically refers to the absolute unimaginable God. He did not use the term Brahman because you have already captured that term and used it to refer to the basic objectless subjective awareness.

Basic awareness is within the boundaries of the relative world

One thing should be clearly understood—by reaching that objectless subjective awareness, you have not crossed the boundaries of the relative awareness, which is both imaginable and relatively-real. The soul, which is relative awareness is imaginable. It is also visible in the form of pulses of electrical energy that can be seen in electronic instruments. The Gītā also says that the soul, which is relative awareness, can be seen by knowledgeable people like scientists (Paśyanti jñāna cakṣuṣaḥ). Alright, through your analysis, I have reached that basic awareness, which is relatively-real and imaginable. So what? Your analysis cannot convert that relative awareness into the unimaginable and absolutely-real awareness. I definitely give value to your hard work in doing your analysis. But I cannot give so much value to it to accept that relative awareness as the absolutely-unimaginable and real awareness! With a lot of teaching and training, you have converted an egoistic boy into an obedient boy. But you have not converted him into an obedient girl! By your analysis, an egoistic soul becomes soft-natured since he learns to separate himself from even the basic ego or the I-thought. This is highly appreciable. By preaching the relative reality of the world, you made the soul lose worldly ambitions that cause sins. Again, this is also highly appreciable. These achievements lead to the progress of the soul. They will be helpful to the soul on its spiritual path in the future. But I cannot accept your claim that you have achieved an impossible success of turning that person into the unimaginable God!

To reject the fact that awareness is only a converted form of energy, there is no point in arguing that awareness has a special quality of feeling, unlike a robot. That special quality does not make the awareness God. We will say that God has given a special quality of feeling to the awareness, which is unique in comparison with other forms of inert energy like light, heat, electricity, magnetism etc. But by receiving this special reward from God, awareness does not become God! A father gave a diamond necklace to one of his daughters. That daughter becomes more special than the other daughters. But receiving that reward of the diamond necklace does not make her become the father!


To be continued…