The Unmanifested And The Manifested

God or Para Purusha is Parabrahman unmanifest and inexpressible turned towards a certain kind of manifestation or expression, of which the two eternal terms are Atman and Jagati, Self and Universe.

Published: 23rd December 2013 07:11 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd December 2013 07:11 AM   |  A+A-


Parabrahman and Parapurusha

God or Para Purusha is Parabrahman unmanifest and inexpressible turned towards a certain kind of manifestation or expression, of which the two eternal terms are Atman and Jagati, Self and Universe. Atman becomes in self-symbol all existences in the universe; so too, the universe when known, resolves all its symbols into Atman. God being Parabrahman is Himself Absolute, neither Atman nor Maya nor unAtman; neither Being nor Not-Being (Sat, Asat); neither Becoming nor non-Becoming (Sambhuti, Asambhuti); neither Quality nor non-Quality (Saguna, Nirguna); neither Consciousness nor non-consciousness, (Chaitanya, Jada); neither Soul nor Nature (Purusha, Prakriti); neither Bliss nor non-Bliss; neither man nor god nor animal; He is beyond all these things, He maintains and contains all these things; in Himself as world He is and becomes all these things.

The only difference between Parabrahman and Parapurusha is that we think of the first as something beyond our universe-existence, expressed here indeed, but still inexpressible, and of the second as something approaching our universe-existence, inexpressible indeed, but still here expressed. It is as if, in reading a translation of the Ramayan or Homer’s Iliad, we were to look at the unapproachable something no translator can seize and say “This is not the Ramayan”, “This is not the Iliad” and yet, looking at the comparative adequacy of the expressions which do succeed in catching something of the original spirit and intention, were at the same time to say “This is Homer”, “This is Valmekie”. There is no other difference except this of standpoint. The Upanishads speak of the Absolute Parabrahman as Tat; they say Sa when they speak of the Absolute Parapurusha.

In the Katha Upanishad there occurs one of those powerful and pregnant phrases, containing a world of meaning in a point of verbal space, with which the Upanishads are thickly sown. Yogo hi prabhavapyayau. For Yoga is the beginning and ending of things. In the Puranas the meaning of the phrase is underlined and developed. By Yoga God made the world, by Yoga He will draw it into Himself in the end. But not only the original creation and final dissolution of the universe, all great changes of things, creations, evolutions, destructions are effected by the essential process of Yoga, tapasya. In this ancient view Yoga presents itself as the effective, perhaps the essential and real executive movement of Nature herself in all her processes. If this is so in the general workings of Nature, if that is to say, a divine Knowledge and a divine Will in things by putting itself into relation with objects is the true cause of all force and effectuality, the same rule should hold good in human activities. It should hold good especially of all conscious and willed processes of psychological discipline, - Yogic systems, as we call them; Yoga can really be nothing but a consummate and self-conscious natural process intended to effect rapidly objects which the ordinary natural movement works out slowly, in the tardy pace of a secular or even millennial evolution.

There is an apparent difference. The aim put before us in Yoga is God; the aim of Nature is to effect supernature; but these two aims are of one piece and intention. God and supernature are only one the real and the other the formal aspect of the one unattainable fulfillment towards which our human march is in its ascent directed. Yoga for man is the upward working of Nature liberated from slow evolution and long relapses and self-conscious in divine or human knowledge.

Excerpt from the book Essays Divine and Human by Sri Aurobindo

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