Monday, April 21, 2014

Whom Should I Worship?

From the Chapter 7, "On the Nature of God", of Tripura Rahasya.

Parasurama, hearing this speech of his wife, Hemachuda, was delighted and continued to ask her:

70. "Tell me, dear, who is this God, the Creator, the Self-contained One and the Ordainer of the universe to whom I should consecrate myself.

71-72. "Some say He is Vishnu, others Shiva, Ganesha, the Sun, Narasimha or similar other avatars; others say Buddha or Arhat; still others Vasudeva, the life-principle, the Moon, Fire, Karma, Nature, primordial nature and what not.

73. "Each sect give a different origin for the universe. Tell me which of them is true. ...

75. Thus requested, Hemalekha spoke with pleasure: "Lord, I shall tell you the final Truth about God. Listen!

76-78. "God is the All-Seer who generates, permeates, sustains and destroys the universe. He is Siva, He is Vishnu, He is Brahman, the Sun, the Moon, etc. He is the One whom the different sects call their own; He is not Siva, nor Vishnu, nor Brahma nor any other exclusively.

79-93. "I will tell you father. Heed me! To say, for instance that the Primal Being is Siva with five faces and three eyes. The Creator would in that case be like an ordinary potter making pots, endowed with a body and brain. True, there is no art found in the world, without a body and some intellect. In fact, the creative faculty in men belongs to something between, the body and pure intelligence.

"Therefore the mind operates apart from the gross body, in dreams; being intelligent it creates environment suitable to its latent desires. This clearly indicates that the body is only a tool for a purpose and the agent is intelligence. Instruments are necessary for human agents because their capacities are limited and they are not self-contained. Whereas the Creator of the universe is perfect in Himself and creates the whole universe without any external aid. This leads to the important conclusion that God has no body. Otherwise, He would be reduced to a glorified human being, requiring innumerable accessories for work and influenced by seasons and environments, in no way different from a creature, and not the Lord. Moreover, pre-existence of accessories would quash His unique mastery and imply limits to His powers of creation. This is absurd, as being contrary to the original premises. Therefore, He has no body nor the other aids, yet He still creates the world, O Lord of my life! Fools are taken in by the notion of giving a body to the transcendental Being. Still, if devotees worship and contemplate Him with a body according to their own inclinations, He shows them Grace, assuming such a body. For He is unique and fulfils the desires of His devotees.

"Nevertheless, the conclusion must be reached that He is pure intelligence and His consciousness is absolute and transcendental. Such is the consciousness-intelligence in purity, Absolute Being, the One Queen, Parameshwari (Transcendental Goddess) overwhelming the three states and hence called Tripura. Though She is undivided whole the universe manifests in all its variety in Her, being reflected as it were, in a self-luminous mirror. The reflection cannot be apart from the mirror and is therefore one with it. Such being the case, there cannot be difference in degrees (e.g., Shiva, or Vishnu being superior to each other). Bodies are mere conceptions in the lower order of beings and they are not to the point in the case of God. Therefore, be wise, and worship the one pure, unblemished Transcendence.

94. "If unable to comprehend this pure state, one should worship God in the concrete form which is most agreeable to him; in this way, too, one is sure to reach the goal, though gradually.

95. "Though one attempted it in millions of births, one would not advance except in one of these two ways."

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