Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Origin of Brahman

A common question raised by skeptics is that everything in the world has a cause, so if God is the cause of the world, then who or what is the cause of God? Here we come to the specific definition of God: the One Who is the supreme cause of all causes, while He himself has no cause. As He declares:

ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate

iti matvā bhajante māṁ budhā bhāva-samanvitāḥ

(Bhagavad-gītā, 10.8; Govinda-bhāṣya, 2.3.14)

“I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who perfectly know this engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts.”

Here the word ‘sarvam’ (everything) is significant, for that includes whatever might exist in the material and spiritual worlds, that means, anything or anyone other than Himself. Thus, nothing can be the cause of God, for there is nothing that exists that was not manifested by Him, and it would be illogical to consider a created being to be the cause of its cause. Moreover, the imposition that God must have a cause would lead to regressus ad infinitum, which would contradict the very definition of God. This is described in Sāṅkhya in these words:

mūle mūlābhāvād amūlaṁ mūlam

(Sāṅkhya-sūtra, 1.67)

 "This is so because the root cause of everything is not caused by another root cause."

The śruti confirms:

tam īśvarāṇāṁ paramaṁ maheśvaraṁ taṁ devatānāṁ paramaṁ ca daivatam

patiṁ patīnāṁ paramaṁ parastād vidāma devaṁ bhuvaneśam īḍyam

na tasya kaścit patir asti loke na ceśitā naiva ca tasya liṅgam

sa kāraṇaṁ karaṇādhipādhipo na cāsya kaścij janitā na cādhipaḥ

(Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad, 6.7;9; Govinda-bhāṣya, 1.1.1)

“May we know the Great Lord, the supreme of all lords, the Supreme Deity of the demigods, the Supreme Master above all masters, the Supreme God, the worshipable Master of the world. No one in this world is His master or king. He has no material characteristics. He is the ultimate cause, the ruler of those who rule over the senses. No one is His father or controller.”


The smṛti says:

īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ

anādir ādir govindaḥ sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam

(Brahmā-saṁhitā, 5.1)

“Kṛṣṇa, Who is known as Govinda, is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal blissful spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin and He is the prime cause of all causes.”

The conclusion is that everything other than God has an origin, thus by the indirect process if we find someone who has no cause, He is God.