Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 20 Mar 2024


What is the meaning of Sage Shuka still travelling in space?

[Prof. JSR Prasad asked:- Swami, Shri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa told that that sage Shuka is still travelling in absolute non-existence (Mahaa Shuunyam). What is the meaning of this? - At Your holy lotus feet]

Swami Replied:- The relative non-existence (Shuunyam) is the space present in this creation as the foremost out of five elements. When the other four elements (air, fire, water and solid) are absent, the first element called space is leftover. In such a state, the creation did not disappear fully because its first element is still existing. This space is called as ‘Shuunyam’ (Ākāśo gaganaṃ śūnyam). When this first element also disappears, it means that the creation disappeared completely and whatever is leftover is the absolute space. Why don’t we call this absolute space as the absolute item? We cannot call so because such item is not perceived even by our imagination and logic of intelligence. Due to this property of non-grasping nature of this absolute item (Parabrahman or generally called as Brahman), this absolute space is called as the greatest space (Mahaa Shuunyam). The word ‘Mahaa’ indicates that this item is Brahman (Mahat Brahma iti proktam, mahattvānmahatāmapi). ‘Shuunyam’ indicates the non-grasping aspect of this unimaginable item. The definition of Mahaa Shuunyam is that Brahman is not grasped by any intelligence so far (Śūnyavat kairapi agrāhyaṃ mahat Brahma iti Mahāśūnyam).

On the whole, this sentence means that even the greatest sage called Shuka is still travelling in the unimaginable domain only without grasping anything about it. This means that nobody can even imagine the unimaginable God because such God is beyond space and time without spatial dimensions. Anything without spatial dimensions can never be imagined. The reason is that since Parabrahman is the cause of the relative space, this relative space should not have existed in Parabrahman before the production of the relative space. Had the relative space existed in Parabrahman before its production, the result is that space is not generated by Parabrahman. Therefore, there should be no space in the Parabrahman so that Parabrahman is always unimaginable even to the imagination of any soul in the creation. The conclusion is that even sage Shuka could not imagine this unimaginable God or Parabrahman. Hence, sage Shuka followed the mediated unimaginable God, called God Datta, Whose incarnations were described in the Bhagavatam. Sage Shuka withdrew his research about Parabrahman and got himself confined to the incarnations of God only and became the best preacher of the Shrimad Bhagavatam.