Creation by Local or Global mind?
Creation by Local or Global Mind?
There was some discussion related to the creation – is it by local mind or global mind. As per vinjnaana vaadins of Buddhism what I see is projected by my mind since mind is there world is there and mind is not there world is not there as in deep sleep state. Advaita differs from the Vijnana vaada.
First, my little mind cannot project the world, and then cognize the world as something that I have created it. This I am sure everyone knows. Therefore the world that I see cannot be projection or creation of my local mind, which is currently located in Chennai. Something other than this local mind has created the whole universe that includes this local mind too, whom we call as Iswara or God. Cause for creation is the vaasanaas of all beings in the universe which is called avidya or maayaa, says the scriptures – just as in the dream creation. Suppressions and apprehsion in the waking state form the vaasanaas for the dream creation. I using the waker’s mind create the dream world and then after the creation of all things and beings enter into the world as one subject in the dream. The projection of the waker’s mind manifests as verities of things and beings in the dream. After entering into my own dream as a subject I forget that I created this entire universe of names and forms, and look at the world as though different from myself. The tiger that is chasing me in my dream is different from me, the perceiver of the tiger. In the dream body, mind and intellect, I am ignorant that I am waker who is sleeping in the dark AC room. I have created bright hot sun and the forests and I am running to save myself from the hungry tiger that is chasing me. The tiger has mind of its own in the dream. The body, mind and intellect of each of the beings in the dream are different – yet all nothing but the projection of one mind, the waker’s mind, which pervades the whole dream creation. Thus the dream creation is by the gobal mind which is nothing but the waker’s mind but perceived by the dreamer’s mind or local mind. Thus in the dream world we have both local minds of all the beings in the dream that is pervaded by a global mind (i.e. waker’s mind) that is projecting the whole dream creation. For a dreamer the dream is not dream but real while he is in the dream with dream body, mind and intellect. Vedanta (Mandukya Upanishad) says that the waking world is also similar, wherein we have local minds of all jiivas that are different from each other, and a global mind that pervades the whole universe. The global mind is what we call as Iswara or God who created this entire universe of names and forms. What is the global mind that created this whole universe of names and forms? Scriptures say that what was there before creation is Brahman (meaning infiniteness) which is pure existence-conciseness-limitless (sat – chit-ananda). Being infinite, it has not divisions of any kind and also cannot have any divisions of any kind, since infinite cannot be divided.
Hence Brahman being infinite cannot, or I should say need not, create anything, since it is infinite. However, for the same reason, there cannot be any creation other than Brahman too. If there is then Brahma becomes limited by the creation and therefore ceases to be Brahman. There can however apparent creation in Brahman just like the dream world which is only apparent from the waker’s point but apparently real for the dreamer. Thus the contradiction here is only apparent, since creation itself is apparent and not real – just as the dream creation- says the scriptures. Hence it is useless to argue from Brahman point any creation other than the recognition that it is pure existence-consciousness-limitless, and not nothingness as in sUnya vAda of Buddhism, even though there are no things of any kind in it. That is stated clearly by statement of turiiyam as mantra 7 of ManDukya Up. Hence any creation of any kind including any differentiation of any kind, and any gunas or attributes of any kind, any distinctions of any kind etc., can be talked only at the level of apparent creation or mithyaa or vyaavahaarika satyam – that includes the differentiation of jiiva-jagat-Iswara, individuals-world and God. Therefore Brahman identified with the totality is Iswara of God who apparently became many – says creative theory of Vedanta.
In essence I, the jiiva, the individual mind, am not the creator of the whole world, period. Hence I have no control in terms of what is going to happen next, since I am not omnipotent or omnipresent or omniscient, and do not even know how to spell some of these words, since my knowledge is limited. Hence if anyone says, the whole world is illusion or maayaa and your mind is projecting this world and you are the world (there is JK Facebook group with the title -you are the world – without any scriptural backup to know what that means), then I have to question either his intelligence or my understanding.
I was at the Chennai central station the other day performing a devoted husband’s duty – trying to receive my wife coming from Guntur. By the by, I found that Chennai Central station is a good place to meditate! The crowds are moving this way and that way, pushing each other, where there is no place in between to go. The people with heavy back-packs were going forward, caring only for themselves, and ignoring, whom or what they knock down in reaching their goal. Porters taking big trollies loaded with boxes pushing everybody out as if they have the right of way. Everybody is rushing somewhere to catch up the train or to receive the arriving passengers, while the arriving passengers moving their heavy luggage pushing out everybody in the process. It was a mess. I found it is a good place to see the drama of life impartially, since you do not know anybody there, to get attached. My mind cannot be creating all these masses of human beings and then make them act the way they are acting, each concerned with own plans or destiny, not bothering about anybody else. I was thinking about the history of each person. I am sure each one has one of his own stories to tell, different from those of others, and would be happy to tell their problems if only he has chance and time and there is a person to listen. Each person must have born somewhere with all his problems and aspirations, with their own life of past and with expectations of future, part of that is being present at Chennai Central Station on that day and time, and incidentally falling in my view for those few seconds. I remember the teaching – tat tvam asi – you are that or you are the world– all the mess that I am seeing in front of me, right now – I am all that too. Is this my creation or I just happen to be there as witnessing this dram of life which is changing rapidly as every moment passes by, since actors are keep changing. I am all that body, mind and intellects (BMIs) but yet I am none of them too, since I can stand apart and witness their anxieties and expectations. Obviously, there must somebody behind all this mess, if is not I. If Brahman cannot create all these, being infinite, then Iswara who is different from jiiva created this mess. But this is really a messy creation. However, I get the feeling that if I ask anybody, and if he cares to answer – Sir, I have a power to make you disappear and make you not having to go through this life full of struggles, would you be willing? , I will sure he will hit with an axe if he has one, since everyone loves their life. In essence, Life itself is wonderful and every body loves the life in a way, in spite of the problems he has. If you can stand apart as a witness and look at this whole thing, as though it is just a drama that your mind is seeing then you can enjoy the life more, since you do not have any problems now. Obviously I was enjoying the whole drama until the announcement came that the train that my wife is coming is now arriving in the platform 6. Now I have rush to the place, pushing anybody or everybody on the way to make sure that I do not miss my wife getting down the train. Oh! What a life? It is difficult to stand apart as witnessing consciousness when you are actively involved in pushing others out of your way! Scriptures and these discussions can wait.
Obviously, I did not create the train or the train station or the people whom I encountered only for few seconds of my life or their lives, and I may never see them again in my whole life. It is done by somebody other than my mind. However my mind has to be there to recognize the creation of that total mind; without my mind present there is no creation or no recognition of the creation, or I can say that it may be there or may not be there or it is indeterminate or it is anirvachaniiyam. When I go to deep sleep state when I fold my mind, there is no creation what so ever – no space and not time. Since I slept very well, I was there without any world of names and forms.
In simple statements, my mind:
1. Has no creative power to create the entire universe. I can create some misconceptions about my mind and the creation that I see or that I do not see – which may be called praatibhaasika – that includes my dream creations. I cannot be this world, unless I stands for something other than this local body, mind and intellect.
2. There is some total mind which we call as Iswara (not Brahman) who has the creative power, which is nothing but the sum total of all the karmas of all beings put together. Creative power, Shakti, needs a locus and that is Iswara.
3. Brahman being infinite cannot have any attributes of any kind since it is one without a second – that is it is infinite – no duality of any kind. Attributes are different from the locus of attributes. Since there are no differences of any kind there cannot be any attributes for Brahman. For our realization, scriptures compromise to teach us that swaruupa lakshaNa or intrinsic nature of Brahman as satyam, jnaanam anantam, pure existence, consciousness and limitless. Hence, any descriptive word used to indicate Brahman are only indicative, not descriptive of Brahman, since scriptures says, na vaak gacchati na manaH – no words can go there nor the mind, etc. yato vaacho nivartante apraapya manasaa saha – the speech returns back with the mind without describing that. The basic reason as Shankara clearly points out is – anantatvaat- because it is infinite.
In essence, any creation can be talked about from the point of the total mind, not the local mind. Hence Vedanta differs from any theory that states, if it states, that local mind is the creator of the total universe.
However when I understand who am I, in the tat tvam asi, I am dissociating or de-identifying myself with the local mind and claim that I am that Brahman who is all pervading and therefore I am pure sat chit ananda aatma and the whole creation reduces to anaatma, not self.
Now I am moving from triangular format – jiiva-jagat-Iswara – individual, world and God to binary format, I am (self) and not I am (non-self), with understanding of the duality is self and not self is only apparent and not absolutely real. From that wiseman’s perspective only, I am not only the local mind but global mind and that enlivens both of them, both coming under anaatma, not self, which cannot exist independent of aatma, self that I am.
As long as I do not jump between triangular format of jiiva-jagat-Iswara to binary format of aatma-anaatma, there should not be any confusion in understanding. The bhaashyaas and the scriptures have done their job. Problems arise only if I keep one leg in the triangular format and one leg in the binary format. Otherwise the teaching is simple and straight forward. Of course, I can be standing as witnessing agent looking at the piles of emails on this theme or participate without participating.