By: Zarine Taraporevala
Sivanesan Swamiji Ashram, Shiridi
May Lord Sainath and Guru Maharaj Sivanesan Swamiji bless all Sai devotees.
“I never take anything from anyone gratis. I do not ask all and sundry. I only take dakshina from those to whom the Fakir points out.”– Shri Sai Baba (Chap 35, Ovi 129-131)
Saguna Brahman, Qualified Consciousness, is the cause of the creation of the universe. In other words, the universe has originated from Brahman.
But if Brahman or Bhagwan created the universe, a very pertinent question arises about the availability of the material or stuff from which the universe was made. Saguna Brahman also needs the material to create the universe just as the potter needs clay to make his pots. A potter obtains his clay from the earth. So then has Brahman also obtained the material from someone else? The material and its owner from whom Saguna Brahman borrowed it must have existed even before the Brahman came into being, and that this owner is bigger than Saguna Brahman has to be admitted.
It has already been accepted that Brahman is non-causal. Nothing existed before it. And so, the material from which the universe is made could not have existed before Brahman.
What could be the material out of which Saguna Brahman made this universe if nothing existed before or beyond it? The universe, which is so visibly existent, could not have been created out of nothing. The only material available to Saguna Brahman for creation was its own Self. Hence, it must be accepted that this creation is only Saguna Brahman metamorphosed into all that we find in the universe.
“If anyone has given me one rupee as ‘Dakshina’, I have given ten times more in return, accurately.” – Shri Sai Baba (Chap 35, Ovi 129-131)
The entire universe is formed from Saguna Brahman. It is only this which is manifested as this creation. To say that Brahman is present in a book means that the book is a separate entity and Brahman occupies that entity. This gives the impression of two separate entities – Brahman and the book which appears to be outside Saguna Brahman. This is completely incorrect as it has already been established that everything is made by an of Brahman; It has assumed the shape of everything. Hence the correct thing to say would be that the book is Brahman or that it has assumed the shape of a book also. This shows that the book and Brahman are not two separate entities and that the book did not exist before Brahman. This alone is the correct expression, for Brahman is infinite and eternal and nothing can exist beyond or before It. The book could not have existed before Brahman. In fact, nothing could have existed before Brahman. Every speck of dust is only Brahman.
Brahman is the cause of the entire creation, and it is the collective name for Prakriti and Purush. Which of the two then forms the creation? Prakriti is a unique force – a principle, the only function of which is to qualify Purush.
“The Fakir asks from only those to whom He is indebted.”– Shri Sai Baba (Chap 35, Ovi 129-131)
Purush cannot perform the tremendous task of giving Prakriti the form of creation. Prakriti does not assume the shape of the creation and it is only Purush who could take these forms. Hence, the stuff of which the entire creation is made is Purush. Prakriti qualifies Purush to give Him different forms and Purush has to follow the designs of Prakriti. For example, a potter shapes a lump of clay according to his designs. The lump of clay is comparable to Purush and the potter who provides the force, to Prakriti. Similarly, Prakriti gives all these shapes to Purush according to Her wish to create this universe.