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PURANAS AND THEIR CONTRIBUTION
PART 5 – page of pages
Parasara continued: there is one principle which is greatest than the greatest conceivable thing in the whole creation. It is the greatest of all principles and is called Paramatma (the Highest Spirit). It is located in the “I AM” of every being as well as in the atom. It is free from shape, colour, etc. and is free from any qualitative and quantitative entities. It is free from waning, destruction, change, growth, birth and evolution. It can only be said about it that it is ever existing and ever present. It is everywhere and in everything. Since it exists everywhere as “here” or “this”, it is termed and understood by the learned as Vasudeva. The term means Living Light in all that exists. It is called “That” and is the Supreme and Eternal principle without wear and tear. Anyone is its shape always. Due to the absence of anything avoidable it is ever pure (the God principle which is inclusive of shape, name, colour etc. is called Vishnu. That which exists in the behaviour of the mind and senses is called Vasudeva. That which is beyond is called Narayana. All the three put together, exist in the One principle which is Narayana Himself. This three-engrossing Narayana is also termed Vishnu by Parasara in the Vishnu Purana).
It is the very same essence which is once manifest as "All this". It is unmanifest. The two states alternate on the surface of the eternity. Thus it exists in two alternating existences; Purusha (personality) and Kala (time). Of these two, Purusha is the original and greater principle. Time exists only in the alteration of shapes. It exists as existence and non-existence. That which is beyond Purusha and his manifestation is the purest bliss that is experienced by the learned.
This primordial mass, Purusha, manifestation and time divide into forms which comprise existence, creation and merging. All these are from Vishnu himself. They are like the four implements or play things to the same child, God. Vishnu is the cause of this creation (though he never proposes it) and non existing (unconscious). It does not depend upon any other principle and hence it cannot be called a principle. It is proper to be called HE in the real sense. He is beyond measure, age and location. He is stable, though dynamic and poised. He has no sound, touch, taste, form or smell, though they come out of him later. The conscious nature is three-fold: static, dynamic and poise. By that one nature of this, this was all pervaded at first (Here first means after the previous merging).
And how was that? There was no day, no night; no sky, no earth (space and physical matter). There was no darkness, no light (this because there was no second thing existing. Only after the separation of an observer from it, all the above distinctions will be made. All these things exist only to his objectivity). The self-expanding consciousness was the only existence in that state. This cannot be comprehended by the senses and the mind. This state of existence is called Pradhana (primordial). Purusha and Pradhana are the two entities which are separate from the Vishnu principle. The other entities which follows belong to this couple. Yet all of them are in Vishnu and hence they belong to Vishnu. They take up the forms which are ever changing (in a sequence) and the succession of the changing forms is called time. That which is now manifest (the objective universe) was then existing in its own nature before manifestation. This is its state during the previous state of merging. That is why the merging of this creation is called Prakrita, Pralaya or the merging of the creation into its own creative nature. The time state of God has neither beginning nor ending. The creation, living and merging exists without any demarcation between any two of the three states when the three gunas (qualities) are kept in equilibrium. Again when there is a vibration in the equilibrium, nature becomes objective to Purusha. Then again, O Maitreya, the time-form of Vishnu is set in motion. Vishnu, the Supreme Soul is above this double phase and pervades the pulsating universe. That which enters into the double state out of His own will is called the Hari phase of Vishnu. Thus, He (Hari) stirred the mutable and the immutable when it was time for the unfolding of this universe. Just as the smell, by the mere presence of something in space, causes a stir in the minds, He stirs and the stirred aspect is called Purushottama. He has expansion and contradiction as his main states of the previous Pradhana sate. He is known by the shapes of expansion, atoms and the shapes of Brahma. Such is his active phase.
When the three gunas are brought to equilibrium and when the Kshetragna state meets Pradhana, then the expression of the qualities occurs and it is the time of unfolding (Kshetragna is Vasudeva, the Lord in existence). Then quantity or volume (Mahat) is born as the first principle. It is of three states: poised, dynamic and static. This and Pradhana exist like the seed-coat. Consciousness (local consciousness) is awakened in this volume. It is awakened from the background which serves as local unconsciousness (consciousness before localisation). Consciousness to the whole is slumber to the part awakened. This is again of three types: 1) the manyness, 2) Brilliance or objectivity, 3) Becoming (of these three the third is static, the second is dynamic, while the first is the poised state of being like the shape of the jet of water). Since this has become three-fold, it has become the cause of the elements in the macrocosm and the limbs and senses in the microcosm.