PANCHADASI--- part 18

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E text source- www.celextel.org 111. Ishvara being endowed with eternal knowledge and other cognate attributes must be ever engaged in the creation of the world. He must therefore be Hiranyagarbha who is endowed with a subtle body.
112. The glory of Hiranyagarbha has been given in detail in the Udgitha Brahmana. He, the totality of all subtle bodies, is not to be considered a Jiva because He is free from desires and Karma.
113. The worshippers of Virat hold that no subtle body is seen without a physical body. So Virat, who has a physical body with head and other organs, is the real Ishvara.
114. The Shruti says that the form of Virat is the form of the universe, extending in all directions with an infinite number of heads and eyes. So they meditate on Virat.
115. Then there are worshippers who object to the worship of Virat on the ground that according to this conception of Virat even insects and worms will have to be regarded as Ishvara. So the four-faced Brahma, the creator, is Ishvara and nobody else.
116. So say people who worship the creator Brahma for obtaining children and quote passages which say, ‘Brahma created the people’.
117. The Bhagavatas call Vishnu the only Ishvara because the lotus-born Brahma issued from the navel of Vishnu.
118. The Saivas on the authority of their Agamas declare Shiva alone to be Ishvara, as according to a tradition in the Puranas, Vishnu in spite of all his efforts could not discover the feet of Shiva.
119. The followers of the creed of Ganesha say that the elephant-faced Lord is the only Ishvara for Shiva in order to conquer the demons of the three cities worshipped Ganesha.
120. There are many other sects which try to declare their own favourite deity to be the supreme. They quote hymns from Shruti and alleged traditions in support of their views.
121. So every entity from the Inner Ruler to inert objects is considered as Ishvara by someone or other, for we find that even the sacred fig tree, the sun-plant and the bomboo etc., are worshipped by the people as family deities.
122. Those who are desirous of ascertaining the real truth study the Shruti and logic. Their conclusion is the same, that Ishvara is one only and this fact we have set forth in this chapter.
123. The Shruti says that Maya is Prakriti, the material cause of the universe, and the Lord of Maya is the great Ishvara who pervades the whole universe, consisting of sentient and insentient objects which are like parts of that Ishvara.
124. The correct definition of Ishvara is available from the Shruti text. Then there will be no clash with even the worshippers of trees and so forth as Ishvara.
125. The [Nrisimha-Uttara-]Tapaniya Upanishad declares Maya to be Tamas or darkness. The empirical experience of all is evidence for the existence of Maya, says the Shruti.
126. The Shruti points to the universal experience of the insentient and illusory nature of Maya, as displayed by persons of undeveloped intellect, such as children and dullards.
127. The nature of the poet and other inert objects exhibits insentiency (which is a characteristic of Maya). People say that the intellect feels shy to fathom the depths of Maya.
128. All people admit in their experience existence of Maya. From the logical point of view Maya is inexplicable. Shruti too declares it to be neither existence nor non-existence.
129. Since the effects of Maya are undeniably manifest, its existence cannot be denied. Being stultified by knowledge, it cannot really be said to exist. From the point of view of (absolute) knowledge (of the Atman) it is always inoperative and hence negligible.
130. Maya is looked upon in three ways. From the point of view of knowledge and Shruti it is negligible; for empirical reason it is indefinable and for the ordinary people it is real.