Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 11 Jan 2022


Is the Advaitin's view of the first energetic incarnation (Datta) as an impression formed in mind correct? (Part-2)

Note: This article is meant for intellectuals only

Continued from Part-1...

2. How is Vriti also relative reality like the world in the view of the unimaginable God?

[Shri Phani asked:- Swami! You said that Vritti or impression is also relative reality like the world in the view of the unimaginable God. Please explain this in detail.]

Swami replied:- Impression means a mode of awareness. Impression of a pot (Ghaṭa vṛtti) means the mind taking the shape of the pot (Ghaṭākāra-ākārita-antaḥkaraṇa vṛttiḥ - Ghaṭavṛttiḥ). The pot is the external object, which is made of inert matter and inert energy. The inert matter is also a form of inert energy only. Hence, the pot is inert energy only. The mind is its mode or impression like gold is its jewel. Hence, Vritti or impression is awareness only. What is awareness? It is nothing but the inert energy generated from the oxidation of digested food in the mitochondria of living cells in the living body that is transformed into a specific work (carrying on the impression of the object to the receiving part of brain) called awareness in the functioning brain-nervous system. Hence, the impression or Vritti is nothing but the awareness and the awareness is nothing but the inert energy. Hence, Vritti or impression is also inert energy only. This means that fundamentally there is no difference between Vritti or impression and the external world because both are essentially inert energy only. Inert energy is the essence of the entire creation of the unimaginable God. The unimaginable God alone is the absolute reality (Paramārtha sattā) and His creation is the relative reality (Vyavahāra sattā) in the view of the unimaginable God or creator. This creation is absolute reality because it is sanctioned with the absolute reality of unimaginable God by unimaginable God Himself for the sake of His real entertainment. Now, for both unimaginable God and the soul the creation is absolute reality. But such absolute reality of the creation is only borrowed reality from God and not inherent reality like that of God. Hence, the absolute reality of world and soul is called as relative reality. Shankara takes creation as relative reality while Ramanuja and Madhva take the creation as the gifted absolute reality and in this way, there is no difference among the three divine preachers.

We must remember that the soul is unreal when the world is unreal and the soul is relative real when the world is relatively real and the reason for this is that soul is an integral part of the creation or world. Now, it is clear to you that since Vritti or impression is nothing but this external creation in essential material, which is the inert energy and since inert energy is relative reality, Vritti or impression is also a relative reality only in the fundamental sense. This means that there is no difference between the Vritti or impression of a pot and the pot seen externally in the fundamental qualitative angle. There may be variation of quantitative aspect of items in the creation and this variation creates the degree of reality. The impression of the pot is very weak in quantitative sense and in the same sense, the external pot is very strong. This variation will make you to think that the impression is unreal and the pot is real. Hence, you cannot select correct examples from the creation for reality and non-reality. The reason is that the weakest concentration can be considered as negligible and hence, as non-existent or unreal.

When you think about the unreal horn of rabbit, an impression about the horn on the head of the rabbit is created in your mind and by this the horn of the rabbit became a reality in the fundamental sense even though the horn on the head of rabbit is absent in the external world. If you accept the existence of weakest concentration also, the impression of horn on the head of rabbit is reality in the fundamental qualitative sense. Since the mental impression is very weak compared to the concentration of matter, you are feeling that the impression about the horn of rabbit is unreal. Hence, for a human being the horn in the external world is absolute reality (borrowed from God) and the impression of the horn is weakest borrowed absolute reality. Even the horn of rabbit becomes real in fundamental sense because the mental impression of the rabbit-horn is generated from the same inert energy with least concentration and both rabbit and separate horn are also the modified forms of the same inert energy with extreme concentration resulting in matter.

The human soul will be really entertained with the strong relatively real horn in the external world and not with the weakest relatively real horn of its imaginary world. From this example, we can understand the case of unimaginable God. When God imagined this creation, He is not really entertained because this creation was the weakest relatively real entity, which is unable to give real entertainment to Him. Hence, the omnipotent unimaginable God donated His absolute reality to the creation (donation does not mean that God lost His absolute reality since the omnipotent God is capable to retain His absolute reality with Him as it is and is able to give the same absolute reality to the creation simultaneously). This donation is possible to the omnipotent God but not to the least potent soul. Hence, God is able to really enjoy His imaginary world through the above said donation of absolute reality, which is inherent to God. Since the absolute reality of the soul is borrowed from God, the soul has no power to do such donation to its imaginary world and hence, is unable to get real entertainment from its imaginary world. This clearly proves that the soul is not really real due to absence of inherent reality with it and hence, the soul cannot be God, who is really real due to His inherent absolute reality.

But, the soul can become inherently real when the unimaginable God merges with it to form incarnation (energetic or human). The perfect merge has no example in the relatively real world. Even if you take a solid solution of gold and copper as an example of perfect merge, in the microscope, you can see the atoms of gold and copper separately. Any example in this world is the case of merge between two relatively real items only. But, the merge of God with the soul is an example of merge of unimaginable-absolutely real God and imaginable-relatively real soul and such example cannot occur in the relatively real world having relatively real examples only. Therefore, you have to understand all the actions of God taking God Himself as the comparison. You need not worry that how can we take the unimaginable God as comparison for the same unimaginable God? Don’t worry. You have the unimaginable God mediated in human medium in this world doing unimaginable actions called miracles, which establish the existence of unimaginable domain through which you can understand the possibility of the impossible actions of God.

Here, the main point is to recognize the human incarnation as mediated-unimaginable God and not as an ordinary human being. This is quite easy because both the human incarnation and the mediated unimaginable God (God Datta) have forms about which impressions can be very easily formed in the mind. In both, the imaginable medium exists externally and the unimaginable miraculous power is also common in both. Based on this common power, you can infer the existence of unimaginable God in both human incarnation (Krishna) and the first energetic incarnation (Datta) as the common item.

Let us assume

1) A as unimaginable God,

2) B as God Datta, the energetic incarnation,

3) C as Krishna, the human incarnation

4) D as the ordinary human body and

5) E as the ordinary human being.

A (unimaginable God) is common between B (Datta) and C (Krishna). D (human body) is common between C (Krishna) and E (ordinary human being). The question is whether C (Krishna) is B (Datta) having A (Unimaginable God)? or C (Krishna) is E (ordinary human being) having D (ordinary human body)? In this equal probability of both the options, both reasons are equally strong. Unimaginable God exists in both Datta and Krishna. Human body exists in both Krishna and ordinary human being. We are inferring unimaginable God in both Datta and Krishna through unimaginable miracles. We are directly perceiving the ordinary human body having same common properties (like birth, hunger, thirst, sleep, sex, illness, death etc.,) in both Krishna and ordinary human being. Both the reasons are equally valid because 1) the unimaginable God appears in human form to establish His unimaginable power in the eyes of the entire humanity so that the humanity will fear to do sins and 2) the unimaginable God likes to mix with humanity in human form to clarify their doubts and help the humanity for meditation. For this double aim to be fulfilled, both the exhibition of unimaginable power and the mediation of human body are essential. Hence, this means that the human incarnation is the ultimate unimaginable God as well as the ordinary human being.

3. Does the commonality of awareness not disturb unique unimaginable nature of unimaginable God?

[Shri JSR Prasad asked: In the unimaginable awareness or unimaginable God and the soul, the commonality is awareness. Does this commonality not disturb the unique unimaginable nature of unimaginable God?]

Swami Replied:- This is the point where Advaita philosophers took the imaginable awareness or soul as the unimaginable awareness or unimaginable God. This commonality is the final fruit of knowing something like that an item is a pot. Both the unimaginable God and ordinary soul recognize that a specific item is a pot. Please recognize that the awareness of the pot is the separate fruit obtained by both God and soul and this fruit is not a commonality between God and soul. If this is commonality, it should exist with both God and soul even before the fruit is attained. The fruit attained cannot be the commonality because the fruit can be attained or can be rejected. A commonality between two items shall continue forever. If both God and soul forget the pot, the awareness of the pot is not continuing as the commonality. The commonality shall always continue with both the persons. Suppose two persons are tall and are attaining a common fruit. Suppose, both reject the fruit and walk further, the tallness is continuing with them. Hence, tallness alone can be told as the commonality and not the common fruit attained by them, which can be subjected to rejection.

4. If quantitative difference only exists between knowledge of God and soul, it can be increased with time. Please comment.

[Shri JSR Prasad asked: Suppose, we take the awareness as the subject itself that is attaining the common fruit which is the awareness of the pot. Now, with respect to the subject, the commonality continues forever. Hence, from the view of the point of subject, we say that awareness is the commonality between God and soul. If You say that God is omniscient and soul has least knowledge, such difference is only quantitative but not qualitative. The soul is a drop of awareness while God is ocean of awareness. The soul will increase his drop into ocean by concentration since it has the same qualitative drop of ocean. How to reply to this counter-argument?]

Swami Replied: The soul is a drop of water and God is the ocean of water. Both are imaginable items only and you cannot bring this example for unimaginable God and imaginable soul. I am not establishing the difference between God and soul simply based on this pre-determined concept that God is unimaginable and soul is imaginable. I am giving lot of proof for the unimaginable nature of God and imaginable nature of soul. In the case of soul, the imaginable inert energy generated from imaginable food is converted into imaginable awareness that is standing as the subject called soul. I mean that this imaginable awareness is the constituent construction material of the soul. In the case of soul, your argument is correct because the awareness as subject exists, which is a special form of energy that grasps the specific pot as pot only and not as cloth. Such capable subject is recognizing the pot as pot and in this way, the awareness is the specific awareness of the pot whereas the subjective awareness is the general awareness having the capability of grasping an item in its true sense. If all this explanation completely applies to unimaginable God also, we will prostrate to your feet and propagate that this soul is the God. But, enough logic was projected in the topic of unimaginable position of boundary of the space where the unimaginable position itself is the unimaginable God. Moreover, the existence of unimaginable nature of God is proved by every human incarnation through genuine miracles, which are repeated by every incarnation so that the physical perception is possible for the entire corresponding generation. Of course, the audio-video technique of recording the miracles of Shri Satya Sai Baba is a wonderful contribution of science since such technology gives the continuous physical perception of unimaginable miracles to prove the existence of unimaginable God. Now, coming to the actual point, God is originally unimaginable without any medium and His unimaginable power establishing His existence is demonstrated by Himself while coming through a human medium in every generation through exhibition of the unimaginable and perceivable events called miracles. Applying this unimaginable nature of God in the present concept, unimaginable God thought about creation originally (Sa dvitīyamaicchat…- Veda) when He was without any imaginable medium because the imaginable creation did not start at all! In such condition, God is not having imaginable inert energy, imaginable inert food producing imaginable inert energy, imaginable awareness that is transformed imaginable inert energy, imaginable-materialized brain-nervous system that is transforming imaginable inert energy in to imaginable awareness etc. In such state, how anybody can say that this worldly awareness (awareness created in the process of creation as per the Veda) existed so that God or that subjective awareness thought about the creation of a second item for the entertainment? This clearly proves that this awareness cannot be even imagined when God thought of creation before creation. Hence, you have no right to use the word – ‘awareness’ before the creation. The existence of an item alone gives the way for the creation of a word for it to mean it. We can say that God thought of creation, but, we shall not say that awareness or God thought of creation. God existed before creation but, awareness did not exist before creation. Now, you may say that how God thought when awareness itself is absent? You are right if God is a human being. The rules of imaginable human beings cannot be applied to unimaginable God. The unimaginable God thought even in the absence of awareness because He can do so since He is Omnipotent. If God burnt this creation, you need not say that God used the inert energy as the tool to burn the creation. We say that God burnt the creation through His Omnipotence and neither God Himself is the inert energy nor God used the inert energy as instrument to burn the creation. Similarly, neither God is awareness nor God used awareness to think. God thought since God is Omnipotent. Now tell Me My dear brother! Whether you have any place leftover to say that God is the subjective awareness before creation?

5. How to reconcile Patanjali’s statement of meditation on Iishvara as an alternative method for success with Your’s?

[Shri JSR Prasad asked: Patanjali said that meditation on Iishvara or the first energetic incarnation of unimaginable God is an alternative method for success in this context since He used ‘Vā, which means that concentration on God can also be done alternatively (Īśvara praṇidhānāt vā). The earlier sutra (Abhyāsa vairāgyābhyāṃ tannirodha) says that this success can be achieved by repeated self-effort and detachment from world, which completely eliminates the concentration on God. If You say two alternatives, it means that success can be attained by following any alternative. But, You told only one path, which is the concentration of Vritti on God only. How to reconcile Your statement with Patanjali?]

Swami Replied:- The two sutras quoted by you represent the two alternative paths, which are posed by two different opponents. One says that self-effort is sufficient for success and the other says that God’s grace to be obtained by meditating upon Him is sufficient for success. Patanjali gives his own opinion, which is that both are essential for success. In fact, Patanjali arranged the two sutras of the opponents in such way that each sutra speaks about the other alternative way also. 1. By repeated self-effort and detachment from world:- the detachment from the world is impossible without attachment to God because the mind is always having inherent tendency to attach to something. Hence, when the detachment from the world is mentioned, it automatically means attachment to God. In this way, the next sutra is referred here. 2. By meditation upon God. In this alternative way, meditation is the effort of the soul and not the effort of the God! In this way, the repeated self-effort (of the earlier sutra) of the soul is mentioned in this sutra, which means that the later sutra is referring the earlier sutra also.

Combining both these sutras, Patanjali gave the final concept, which refers to both sutras and this final sutra says that both faith on God based on self-effort and repeated self-effort like the control of breath can arrive at the final success. In this final sutra, a new self-effort was suggested which is the control of breath (Prāṇāyāma) in the place of repeated self-effort (Abhyāsa). This means that Patanjali is suggesting another type of self-effort, but, is maintaining the same concept of meditation upon God. This means that there may be variation in the self-effort, but, there is no variation in the meditation of God.

The word ‘Vritti’ is also mentioned in a different sutra ‘Vṛtti sārūpyamitaratra’, which means that Vritti or impression can be related to any item of the world or any form of the incarnation of God (energetic or human) since in all incarnations, the Iishvara or Datta exists as commonality. This means that this sutra is speaking about the variation of Vritti or impression in both pravrutti and Nivrutti. In pravrutti, a soul may have different impressions like son/daughter or husband/wife or father/mother etc. In Nivrutti, the impression or Vritti can take the form of any divine incarnation of unimaginable God to attain success in Nivrutti.

6. Since the first energetic incarnation is having difficulty in imagination, can’t we do It away also?

[A question by Shri Lakshman]

Swami Replied:- There are three stages of unimaginable God:-

1. Unimaginable God without medium, Who is invisible and unimaginable.

2. Unimaginable God mediated in energetic form (God Datta as well other energetic incarnations also remembering that God Datta Himself merged with other energetic forms to become other energetic incarnations) is invisible but, imaginable.

3. Unimaginable God mediated in human form (God Datta merged with all human media in forming all the human incarnations) is visible and imaginable.

Hence, in all the above three categories, the commonality is unimaginable God. In the first category, He cannot be mediated upon since He is not only invisible, but also unimaginable. In the second category, the unimaginable God is invisible but, imaginable. In the third category, the unimaginable God is both visible and imaginable. Hence, you can select any form of unimaginable God between second and third categories. The energetic incarnations are also visible in the form of beautiful photos and beautiful statues and in this way, you can consider the energetic incarnation also as almost visible. But, if you are fond of the actual physical vision of unimaginable God directly without indirect methods like representing statues and photos, the visible and imaginable human incarnation is the best. The human incarnation is always best in all angles because you can clarify any spiritual doubt with It and also you can feel extremely happy while the human incarnation is enjoying your offered practical service and sacrifice. In the case of energetic incarnations, the statue or photo cannot directly enjoy your service and sacrifice apart from which the energetic incarnation will not clarify your spiritual doubts. But, there are some worldly benefits in the case of energetic incarnation because you can offer service or sacrifice to God and you will enjoy the entire offer since statue or photo cannot even share a little enjoyment of your offering. You may think that this is economically beneficial, but, what is the use since there is no fruit for such offering since it gives only a false satisfaction. There is also another advantage with energetic form of God, which is that you will never become jealous with God since there is no repulsion of common media, but, in this case also there is no final real benefit of your spiritual effort because God is Omniscient and can never be fooled by any human being however much it may be intelligent.

God may respond positively even to such false devotion, which is mere false self-satisfaction only in the very beginning stage of accepting the existence of God and development of devotion even if it is impure. But, in the advanced stage of a theist trying to develop permanent and true bond with God in Nivrutti, all the above analysis is very very essential because God is anyway Omniscient to know any deepest background of your mind and intelligence. I am not referring the beginning stage of spiritual path, which is generally surrounded by defects like the fire in the beginning stage of birth is surrounded by black smoke (Sarvārambhā hi doṣeṇa…- Gītā). I am concentrating on the advanced stage of the spiritual path where the smoke completely disappeared and the truth-fire alone is shining with full pure flashes.