Reply To: The Purusha is Desireless

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Ashish Dalela

As it is absolutely universal it can be said to also be impersonal in a way.

There are infinite qualities that are universal. The combination of these qualities is unique and individual. Sankhya acknowledges three fundamental qualities, namely, sattvarajas, and tamas. And infinite variety is created from the combination of three qualities. Some of these can be common across individuals, but all the qualities are not. That unique combination is individuality.

I still hold though that omniscience is the eventual destiny of all beings.

You are using “destiny” in a weird way. It seems from the use that it is guaranteed or inevitable. Instead, I would like to hear from you about your method for attaining omniscience. Please describe a process, a path, a practice by which the current non-omniscient state will become omniscient. If you can present a path, and how that will work, then we can accept that omniscience will be achieved. But if you cannot present such a path, then the desire for omniscience is a pipe dream.

So all wisdom must be within inherently. It is only covered up temporarily.

Yes, everything is within us. This is one of the cornerstones of Satkaryavada: Everything springs out of the self. Even things that you don’t know presently are within you, and they can spring out of you. The unmanifest can become manifest. But have you also pondered on how that unmanifest thing will become manifest?

Like I said earlier, sweetness is unmanifest in sugar, and you manifest it by tasting it. So, how are you going to taste the self to manifest knowledge out of the self? Is there a notion of a tongue tasting itself? There isn’t. So, “wisdom is inside” is a very basic conclusion. How you manifest that hidden thing that lies unmanifest is a very hard process. We have to know how to manifest it.

Samkhya philosophy lists 25 tattvas while later Shaivite philosophies extend the number to 36.

Sankhya begins with Pradhana, which denotes the idea that “I am boss”. But Shaivism digs deeper and concludes: The belief that we are boss is bluster. It arises after we are conditioned by many inferiorities and insecurities. A deeper sense of insecurity and inferiority leads to an outward projection of bossiness, superiority, greatness. So, Shaivism now discusses the many kinds of inferiorities, insecurities, and fears, which are deeper than the idea that “I am boss”. There are six such primary categories, which include the inferiority that “I cannot enjoy everything”, “I cannot know everything”, “I don’t have all the abilities”, “I am tied to one place”, “I am the byproduct of this time”, which are in turn produced from the inferiority that “I am a very limited individual”.

The soul is factually limited, but the feeling of inferiority about this limitation is its covering. That covering is called Maya or “I am not (great)”. This feeling negates our pride, and an outward projection of pride (which is divided into Pradhana, Prakriti, Mahat, and Ahamkara) is created. It is not later and earlier. One philosophy says that the soul is covered by false pride, and another philosophy says that this false pride is produced by inferiority. Shaivism begins from inferiority and then discusses false pride as a byproduct of inferiority. Sankhya begins from false pride.

And liberation is then understood as freedom from the feeling of inner fear and insecurity so that you can get rid of the feeling of false superiority so that you can transcend this world.

Another point though is that there is also eternal unchanging truth. Eternal truth is not a created thing and cannot be changed even by God.

Don’t you want to go to a world, where you can have your cake and eat it too? This is the meaning of “eternity” for us. Go on eating the cake, and the full cake is there. That world is based on a different kind of logic than this world. In this world, you eat your cake, and you cannot have it. In that world, you can have your cake and eat it too. In fact, there exist an infinite number of worlds based on different logics. Whatever you call the “truth” is nothing but a set of axioms and logic. And there are infinite systems of axioms and logics. Each such system is a different world. All these worlds serve different kinds of pleasures and purposes. And God created all these worlds from Himself.

Truth is the servant of pleasure. Based on the different kinds of pleasures, different truths can be created. But God is infinitely free to create all these worlds. The soul is not free to create his own truth. He has to accept the truth. But the soul is free to choose its kind of pleasure. If your idea of pleasure is selfish, then you are put in a world where everyone is selfish. In this selfish world, you eat your cake, and you don’t have it anymore. Now, you are “forced” to accept the truth. But you develop unselfish love, then you can choose the truth. So, you think that truth is higher than God because you are thinking about selfish pleasure. That’s not our definition of God. Our definition is that God is the person Who enjoys in infinite ways. To enjoy, He creates many truths, including many kinds logics and axioms. These logics and axioms create many kinds of worlds. Each world affords a different kind of pleasure. And God enjoys infinite pleasure in infinite ways in infinite worlds.

We are here in this world because we chose selfishness, which subordinated our pleasure to the truth. We have no choice over the truth. Now you want to extend this idea of “truth” to God? Sorry, we don’t think in that way. We ask: How many kinds of logics and axioms can exist? The answer is infinite! And why would a person end up in a world with a certain logic and axioms? And the answer is the choice of pleasure. You can change the truth you see based on how you want to enjoy. But of course, first, you have to get out of this world where your happiness is a servant to the truth.

In mathematics there can be levels of infinity:

But you are thinking about the infinity of numbers, which is based on one set of axioms and one type of logic. I’m talking about an infinity in which axioms and logics are themselves infinite. The infinite world you are talking about is this world; yes, in a way it is infinite. But that is only when you don’t know about the other worlds. When those other worlds are known, then this world becomes insignificant. When it is seen as insignificance, then it is understood as a “mustard seed”. You have to study Vedic cosmology, where there are infinite material universes, and each universe is just like a mustard seed. In comparison, the other worlds are far bigger. So everything you call “infinity” is a mustard seed for the transcendentalist. And what is “big” is beyond the current idea of big.