Why Creation? Purpose of Universe? Why Ignorance? (127)


Lesson 127 answers: What is reason for creation? What is our role in it? How can Ishvara have a desire for the world? About Hiranyagarbha. Proofs for big-bang. Likes-Dislikes lead to pain/suffering.

Source: Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 13, Verse 5, 6

General Revision of Verse 5:

  • What is the purpose of creation? What is our role in it?
    • Where we can NOT ask, “Why Creation?”:
      • Creation is a cyclical phenomena of creation, sustenance, dissolution.
        • Meaning it never had one specific beginning in time. Beginning means: It never existed. And suddenly it popped into this Existence out of nowhere.
        • So there was never a time when Creation was NOT. Even when universe didn’t come, it still existed in potential form (just as dream is in potential).
        • Meaning it’s a beginningless manifest/unmanifest cycle. Like seed>tree>seed>tree.
      • So asking “Why is there creation?”, implies a beginning or time. Meaning “someone” in time thought “I want to create time/space.
        • “Why” implies Limitlessness suddenly had “aha insight”, which was non-existent a moment ago.
          • If a Limitless being (all-knowledge-power) suddenly has an “aha insight”, then there’s a fallacy in thinking:
            • The “aha insight” wasn’t part of this Limitless being. Meaning He is not Limitless.
            • From what OTHER existence did the Limitless One borrow the idea to create a universe?
            • If have 2 existences, then:
              • It introduces space to accommodate the 2 existences.
              • Which is superior?
    • Where we CAN ask, “Why Creation?”:
      • However we can inquire into PURPOSE of creation for present cycle (one of countless manifest/unmanifests for trillions of years).
      • FIRSTLY: What is the unmanifest state of universe (macrocosmic dissolution)?
        • Every jīva and object is in potential-unmanifest state (causal state).
        • EG: Just like going to sleep, you are in unmanifest state (causal state). Upon waking, you come out of causal state… into state of manifestation.
        • In same way, macrocosmic dissolution is like a long deep sleep. Every jiva dissolves into Causal Body (prakṛti).
          • Meaning, the experience of SLEEP and MACROCOSMIC dissolution is the same. In both cases… every jīva dissolves into Causal Body (potential state).
            • Proof? Everyone’s identity is SAME when identified with Causal Body: “I don’t know anything. I am absolutely ignorant”.
      • SECONDLY: What specifically caused the unmanifest universe to become the manifest universe?
        • What makes you wake up from sleep?
          • Your unfulfilled desires which lie dormant in you. It’s same reason that causes another manifest universe.
        • Why is present creation cycle, the way it is?
          • Because it’s a result of total desires of all living beings. It’s as though, all beings were sleeping in dissolution… then all needed to wake up to fulfill desires.
        • So what is creation?
          • A response to desires of all living beings. It provides appropriate field/world for various entities.
        • What is human role in this creation?
          • For animals/insects… it’s basic instincts of eating, preservation, propagation.
          • For human… it can’t be basic instincts… else all would be satisfied on earth. Thus it’s freedom from sense of limitation (which our behaviour proves).
          • Meaning the only valid role for any human is fulfill THAT agenda.
            • How? By purifying the mind. Changing focus from me-centred to others-centred. Becoming a contributor in scheme of things.
            • Reason to become a contributor? Because we are recipients of collective contributions of others. And spirit of contribution is the most conducive for cultivating mind appreciate subtler realities.
  • How can the Limitless One… have a desire… to become the many (manifest)?
    • Upanishads describe creation as a product of Īśvara’s desires.
      • What are these desires? Cumulative desires of all jivas.
      • Therefore Īśvara’s desire for creation is entirely for sake of jīvas In other words, Īśvara sees desire of jīvas… thus creates this universe.
      • So Īśvara’s desire to create… is solely on bases of fulfilling the needs of others. Meaning Īśvara’s desire has no self-centerdness, personal agenda, unfairness, partiality, likes-dislikes.
      • Who are these “others” which Īśvara’s creates for? Jīvas who think they are “others”. In reality, there’s no other from standpoint of Īśvara.
        • Īśvara sympathizes with desires of jīvas… just as parent sympathizes with childish demands of the child. You know demands don’t make sense, but fulfill them anyway.
        • In same way, karma-kāṇḍa section of Vedas is for the demanding jīva.
          • Reality is, there is nothing other then Kṣetrajña and you don’t have to do anything to be what you are.
          • But why do we have rituals anyway? Because ignorant person thinks he/she is an individual.
            • Since individual is limited… he/she always wants to complete oneself. How? By fulfillment of desires… because thinks it will “complete me”.
          • However expectation is… he/she will gain maturity in time, thus release need to constantly ask for things.
  • SUMMARY: Why is there creation? Because of desires. Desires are there because of ignorance.
    • Why is there ignorance to begin with?
      • Can’t ask, because that implies jīva was given ignorance at some point in time by someone.
    • ORDER: Ignorance > notion of jīva > leading to desires > need for creation to fulfill desires.
    • In short: Creation exists so you may exhaust your karmas.
  • What is Hiraṇyagarbha?
    • Hiranyagarbha is macrocosmic subtle body. Sum total of all individual subtle bodies. Therefore, it’s the conscious sarva-jñānam being.
      • EG: Where was the concept of “AC current” before Nikola-Tesla thought of it? In Hiranyagarbha.
      • Garbha means womb (seed or cause). Meaning, cause of a birth.
      • Hiraṇya means golden.
      • So hiraṇyagarbha means “golden womb”. It denotes cause of whole creation.
    • Universe in it’s…
      • Causal state: Māyā.
      • Subtle state: Hiraṇyagarbha.
      • Gross state: Virāt.
    • Analogy:
      • This manifest universe emerged from un-manifest stage… just as tree > sprout > seed.
        • Standpoint of Seed: Tree is in causal state.
        • Standpoint of Sprout: Tree is in subtle state.
        • Standpoint of Tree: Tree is in gross state.
        • In same way, this Gross universe was in form of a subtle thought before it is manifest.
    • So what is Hiraṇyagarbha?
      • Hiraṇya means golden, which is shining/resplendent.
      • Thus Hiraṇyagarbha represents shining/resplendent form of universe BEFORE gross manifestation.
        • Reason why new insight carries a quality of shine in first few seconds, as it comes from the shining Hiraṇyagarbha.
  • BIG-BANG QUESTION: What is it’s proof?
    • EXPANSION: Universe is known to be:
        • Expanding
          • Galaxies are receding from Milky Way.
            • How to know? All elements emit light which is measured on Electromagnetic spectrum (whose colour determines distance).
        • Cooling
        • Both suggest Universe was smaller and hotter in the past.
    • NIGHT-SKY: Olber’s paradox suggests the Universe didn’t always exist.
      • Because if it was infinitely large/eternal… then night sky would look equally bright… because light photons had time to travel to earth.


Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 13, Verse 6:

icchā dveṣaḥ sukham duḥkham saṃghātaḥ cetanā dhṛtiḥ ।
etat kṣetram samāsena savikāram udāhṛtam ॥ 13-6॥
Andre Translation: Once the kṣetram-universe is manifest (Verse 5) — let's see what are some kṣetram modifications which jīva undergoes (Verse 6). They are: desire, aversion, pleasure, pain, the physical body, cognition, fortitude.


  • Verse 6 elaborates modifications within antaḥ-karaṇa (mind) in reference to jīva.
  • CETANA: Mind is capable of reflecting Kṣetrajña, thus appears seemingly sentient (cetana).
    • EG:
      • Electricity passes through rock, no effect. But through filament of bulb… the filament lights up and glows.
        • Similarly, gross body (annamaya-kośa) is like bulb. And mind is like filament.
        • Seeming sentiency (sense of alive-ness) is cetana.
      • A mirror doesn’t have own luminosity. It’s luminosity is borrowed from Sun’s reflection.
        • Similarly, kṣetrajña is like Sun. Mind is like mirror. Borrowed kṣetrajña is like the reflected Sun.
        • Borrowed kṣetrajña is called: cidābhāsa, pratibimba (reflection).
    • SUMMARY: Reflecting medium is kṣetram (mind). Reflected kṣetrajña is ALSO kṣetram.
  • What are some modifications of this seemingly-sentient Mind?
    • icchā dveṣaḥ: Attractions and repulsions.
      • Causes mind to categorize world into worthy/unworthy.
        • Meaning objective-Īśvara-world is seen through eyes of subjective-private-world.
        • Motivates jīva to adjust the environment to suit his/her subjective-world.
      • By-product or attraction-repulsion is attachment. Because jīva’s adjusting makes one invested to protect-preserve the past efforts.
    • What experience do likes-dislikes produce for jīva? Sukham duṣkham: Mixture of satisfaction and disappointment.
      • 2 Reasons:
        1. Neither sukham nor duḥkham intrinsically belong to any object. But when mind classifies objects as favourable/unfavourable… objects gain capacity to produce sukham-duḥkham.
          • Moment mind concludes “THIS object is valuable”… person mentally converts that object into God-idol. Thus worships/devotes to it by time-energy-effort.
          • This act of associating value to an object produces “binding desire”.
        2. Every pleasant object undergoes change in state.
      • SUMMARY: Mind overlays value onto kṣetram-world, because of icchā-dveṣaḥ. Consequently bestows world permission of producing sukham-duḥkham.
    • Dhṛtiḥ: Will power. Jīva now uses will-power to acquire/maintain happiness-producing-objects.
  • CONCLUSION: These are some vikāras (modifications) born out of mind.


Keywords: antahkarana, cidabhasa


Credit for help in Bhagavad Gita teaching given to Swami Dayananda (Arsha Vidya), Paramarthananda & Chinmaya Mission.

Recorded 1 June, 2021


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