31st July 2011
The Metaphysics of the Upanishads (Vichar Sagar) by Nischal Das #3
As one reads Vichar Sagar (download Word version) it becomes evident that much of the Upanishads are based on speculation and assertion. That is only to be expected from a philosophy that, 2500 years ago, must have been at the “cutting edge”, but clearly events have overtaken these speculations now.
I’m still midway through the book, but given Ramesh’s insistence that the Vedantic is a higher order of science, and that therefore apparently that scientists should “direct their energies in finding the useful things which are almost infinite-Vedanta”, I’m forced to comment on the HIGHLY speculative components of the Upanishads.
Ramesh also asks (re: modern science): “What is the use of the theory if it doesn’t explain the energy which is already there (assuming that energy can never be created)”.
Well, let’s examine the quality of explanations available in the Upanishads, before questioning the quality of modern science. Here’s what happens upon death to some people:
The way to the Brahmaloka is gradual and takes place in the manner described below. When a person, always given to the worship of Brahma, dies, with his internal organ, the sensory and the active organs overpowered in a swoon, so that no consciousness is left, the angel of death comes not unto him to take away his astral body, but the presiding deity of fire with a conceit for it, gets out of the body at death, and takes him to his own abode, thence he is transferred to his own abode by the presiding deity of day, to be re-transferred by the deity presiding over the bright phase of the Moon to his own abode, thence to be carried to his own abode by the deity who has a conceit for the six months of the sun’s path on the north of the equator, thence to be taken away by the divinity presiding over year, next by the Sun, Moon, and the divinity presiding over lightning, who carries him to his own abode; there, appears in front of him by the command of Hiranyagarbha a fine person resembling Hiranyagarbha in appearance, to take him away from the electrical abode of lightning to Varunloka. In his passage, he is accompanied by the presiding divinity of electricity (lightning) to the next abode, that of Indra, and keeps company with the inhabitant of the abode of Hiranyagarbha who is accompanying the worshipper’s subtle body. The next stage is the abode of Prajapati up to which place Indra accompanies them; but Prajapati is unable to enter the abode of Brahma, so he arrives here in company of the fine or excellent person. The King of the abode of Brahma is Hiranyagarbha, who is called so, because he is the collective aggregate of intelligence of all gross bodies and for the conceit that he is so. His action is known by the designation of Brahma,and the abode of that active (Karya) Brahma is called ‘Brahmaloka.’
The progressive grades of ascent typified in what is called the “Road to Brahmaloka” which falls to the lot of a devout worshipper of Anthrapomorphism after death, cover a vast extent of time. For we find a passing reference to pralaya or cylic period of destruction. Now this pralaya does not occur except in the night time of Brahma. With us day is the period of waking and night of rest; with Brahma day begins with creation and night ushers in destruction, of the objective world. But Brahma’s night comes once after fourteen Manus, a period embracing a thousand Yugas. Each Manun is equal to seventy one Yugas, therefore for one thousand Yugas Brahma is engaged in creating. The twilights of Brahma are called the intervals of Mann or Sandhi. To enable our readers to form a correct idea of the subject we subjoin the following table.71 Mahayugas=l Manantvara or Manu.14 Manus or 1000 Human Yugas=1 Brahma’s day,14 Manus=1 Brahma’s night.But what is a Mahayuga? One solar year constitutes a day and night for a Deva and Asur. The Sun’s passage.in the north of equator is the daytime of a Deva and night of an Astir, while its passage in the south of the equator is the night of a Deva and day of an Asur, hence it will appear that 360 of our years will form a Deva’s year, and 12,000 such years will be equal to one Mallayuga.Therefore 12000 x 360=43,20,000 i.e.,43 lacs and 20,000 years go to make up a Mahayuga; of whichThe Satya has 4800 years of a Deva.Treta, 3600 years of a DevaDvapara 2400 years of a DevaKali 1200 years of a DevaGiving us a total of 12,000 Deva years.Now a single Brahma’s day has fifteen periods of intervals otherwise called Sandhi. In the beginning of the first day of Brahma there was an interval, hence there are fifteen intervals between the appearance of the Manus, each of which has a duration of 4000 Deva years.According to the Surya Sidhanta,Brahma took 47,400 Deva years to collect the materials of creation, and as one Deva year is equal to 360 solar years it will give us a period of 16,464,000 ordinary years during which the earth underwent changes ultimately to fit it for the reception of organic life.Brahma has a life time of 100 years. That is to say, 28 Manus multiplied by 360 days constituting a year, and one hundred such years is his span. That gives a period of 1,008,000, half of which must necessarily be night or the cyclic periods of destruction(pralaya).He is now in the fifty first year of his age; six Manantwaras have already been over and the Kali of the 28th Yuga is now passing over. It is very near his noon.The names of the several Manus are;—1. Sayambhu2. Swaroichisha3. Utarnaja4. Tamas5. Rajbata6. Chakshuha7. Vaivasuta.Brahma’s night comes once after 11 Manus, when there is a pralaya. But as a Manu is equal to 71 Yugas therefore during 1000 Mahayugas Brahma is engaged in creating and there is a similar period of night when every thing is destroyed. But he is not affected by these pralayas; when his hundred years are over, there is one mahapralaya and he too is destroyed, leaving the ONE ETERNAL REALITY quite unaffected.