Thursday, June 14, 2012

Ajativada - theory of non-creation

Wildfire - happens from time to time. Causes a lot of damage and destruction.

How does it happen? Natural causes includes friction when tree limbs rub against each other during dry summer months. Unnatural causes includes careless handling of fire by humans.

But, if anyone asks 'why did a particular wildfire start?', can that question be answered clearly? 

Not sure anybody can trace the cause of wildfire to some particular cause or causes. There may be but due to its random nature, it's not possible.

Same thing goes with several things that happen for no rhyme or reason. They may include disasters, personal tragedies etc. Asking - why such and such thing happened serves no purpose at all?

Even the so called creation of universe falls into that category. Can't really say why it was created and in the way it is. It was a lake of calm consciousness and some disturbance came about and the state of the consciousness changed. So the life we see is the disturbed consciousness. When it calms down and goes back it's native state, the universe as we see disappears until the next disturbance comes about and new universe is created.

Advaita Vedanta calls this 'ajativada' (non-creation). You do not call a choppy lake as a new lake. You just say it is in some non-native state. Similarly the universe as we see is just choppy consciousness. 

Read this simple explanation of very profound concept 'ajativada'. I am sure this is not the best explanation for Adi Shanakara's very involved treatment of 'ajativada' but for people like many of us Adi Shanakara's brilliant commentaries have to be dumbed down with analogies like this.


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