Wordviews: Upanishads part 1

The religious belief, as it is described in the old religious scriptures  of India,  in the so called Vedanta and especially  the parts  of them, which are called the Upanishads, is really astonishing and worth, to be studied carefully.

The citations, which are used here are but not from the Upanishads themselves, but from a later work, which is based on the Upanishads.

Srimad Bhagavatam, the wisdom of God

translated from Sanskrit by Swami Prabhavananda

published in India 2008

ISBN 81-7823-315-0

I use the Srimad Bhagavatam, because it is kind of a commentary of the Upanishads and  easier to understand.  It can be bought at Amazon  as an eBook for the Kindle Readers (2,90 euro)

The master Maitreya explains to Vidura ( chapter 1 )

  1. The creation, preservation, and dissolution of the universe are all divine play.
  2. In the universe, the Self, who is the Self of all beings, appears as many.
  3. Before creation, and in dissolution, the world exists as one absolute existence, which is God.
    1. Then there is neither the seer nor the seen, neither subject nor object.
    2. There exists only consciousness itself.
    3. In that consciousness, which is absolute God, is the power, which divides itself into the seer and the seen, in the cause and the effect.
    4. This power is called Maya


  • In 1, the reason is given, why the Universe was created  etc:    Divine Play
  • In 2  is explained, that all, what exists in the Universe is the Self
  • In 3 the state before the creation of the Universe is defined to be God.
    • 3A   explains a bit more, what qualities God has.
    • 3B   states, that there is nothing besides consciousness, which is God
    • 3C   explains, that God has the power, to divide himself and by doing so, he creates the universe.
    • 3D  defines this power of God  as Maya

 In the sequence of time, we have therefore:

God –> Maya of God –> Self

Question is now, what is  the difference between God and Self  ?

Maytreya explains a bit more about the creation in Chapter II of Book Three:

  1. Creation , O Vidura has no absolute beginning.
    1. The present universe is but one of a series  of worlds that are past and of worlds, that are to be.
  2. The cosmic energy alternates between periods of potentiality and of expression.
    1. The phase of potentiality is known as dissolution; the phase of expression is known as creation.
      1. Created things are of different kinds:
        1. The Avyakta, or cosmic energy, consists of three Gunas.
          1. When the equilibrium of the Gunas is disturbed, there are manifested universal intelligence, universal ego, the mind, the senses and the organs of sense, the subtle principle of elements, and the elements themselves.
          2. As these combine and recombine in various ways, all beings attain to existence.
  3. All things, whatsoever, O Vidura, were created by Brahma.
    1. While the world was yet submerged beneath the ocean, God lay brooding on Ananta, king of serpents, as Ananta floated upon the waters.
    2. God was resting, with eyes closed, but his consciousness was fully awake. He was completey merged in the bliss of his own Self.
    3. appearance of Brahma: After Brahma came out of God, God spoke to him: O Brahma, I command thee: again create the world, as thou hast often done in times past. To create is not new to thee. Whatsoever is to be created is aleady within me, as thou knowest. Creation is only the projection info form of that, which already exists.
  4. creation of mankind: While Brahma was meditating about the course he should pursue, his own form divided itself; one half became man and the other half became woman.
    1. The man was called Manu, and the woman Satarupa; and from them have sprung all mankind.


  • From 1 it follows that there exists a sequence of  universes ( Universe = world, seem to be equal).
  • From 2 it follows, that there exists a cosmic energy, which can be transformed into objects, which all are combinations of elements.
  • In 3 it is explained, that Krishna  commanded Brahma, to create a new universe and all, what Brahma will create, is  a projection of what is already in Krishna.
  • In 4 it is described, that the first man and the first woman were created by Brahma, by dividing his own form.

Some general conclusions:

  1. There eixists only one God, called Krishna, who has no beginning.
  2. There exists no absolute beginning of the universe, but a sequence of many.
  3. All universes have been created by  Brahma, who is always in Krishna, before a new universe is created. The universe is the projection of what already is in Krishna.
  4. Mankind was created by Brahma, by dividing his form.

If we compare that with the reasoning of Christian theologians or with western philosophers, we see following:

  • western thinking always concludes, that because of the law of causality, there must be a first cause ( prima causa ), which is defined to be God.
  • In the Upanishads, this reasoning is not used. There does not exist a beginning of the universe. There exists a cosmic energy which gets tranformed into a universe, which gets transformed again into cosmic energy and so on.
  • Krishna exists outside of the universe, Brahma is engaged in the creation of the universe, which is a projection of what is already in Krishna. It is similar like a blue print, which has been made by Krishna and according to which Brahma manufactures the universe.

I want to stress, that it is a much more satisfying explanation, that the first man and the first woman are on equal footing and that both were created at the same time, because Brahma divided his form, than what is told in the Genesis in the Old Testimony.

From that it follows, that women are considered with much higher respect, than what we find in the 3 religions, which are based on the God Jahwe of Abraham.

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