Prasthanatrayi Swaminarayan Bhashyam (Study)

by Sadhu Gyanananddas | 2021 | 123,778 words

This page relates ‘The Real Creator and Cause’ of the study on the Prasthanatrayi Swaminarayan Bhashyam in Light of Swaminarayan Vachanamrut (Vacanamrita). His 18th-century teachings belong to Vedanta philosophy and were compiled as the Vacanamrita, revolving around the five ontological entities of Jiva, Ishvara, Maya, Aksharabrahman, and Parabrahman. Roughly 200 years later, Bhadreshdas composed a commentary (Bhasya) correlating the principles of Vachanamrut.

3.8.1. The Real Creator and Cause

We can realize after evaluation over the creation of the universe that it’s Parabrahman’s wish that inspires the creation. Parabrahman is both the material and efficient cause of his creation. Māyā or prakṛti functions as His instrument or power. This can only be realized from scriptural revelation.

Therefore Svāminārāyaṇa concludes as an example of each:

“It is through Parabrahman that everything mobile and immobile is created.” (Vacanāmṛta Gadhadā II/10, p. 406)

“It is Parabrahman who is the creator, sustainer, and dissolver of the world.” (Vacanamrut Loyā 17, p.343).

Bhadreśadāsa explains and explores this fundamental fact in his commentaries:

ahaṃ saṃkalpamātreṇa tattajīveśvarāṇāṃ tattadātmānuṣṭhitaprācīnakarmānusāraṃ tatkarmaphalopabhogāya kalpādau sargakāle tāni visṛjāmi |” (Bhagavad-Gītā 9/7, p.206).

“Through my wish, I the Parabrahman myself create the bhogas (enjoyments) for jīvas and īśvaras according to their karmas at the commencement of the creation.”

While commenting on the sūtra: ‘Janmādyasya yataḥ’ (Brahmasūtras 1/1/2), the Bhāṣyakāra summarises that the entire creation of this world is by Brahman and Parabrahman only.

The Bhāṣyakāra is quick to accentuate with impeccable arguments and references of the Prasthānatrayī that only Parabrahman can be the complete cause of everything, not anyone or anything else.

Additionally, in the Racanānupattyadhikaraṇam he countered all the possibilities of māyā, prakṛti, or pradhāna as an ultimate creator:

kevalaṃ pradhānaṃ jagatkāraṇaṃ na |” (Brahmasūtra 2/1/1, p.189).

Prakṛti is not the ultimate cause of the creation.”

This is the prominent difference between the Sāṃkhya School and the Svāminārāyaṇa School of philosophy. The term “prakṛti’ will be recognized by those familiar with the Sāṃkhya School, and indeed the conceptualization of māyā in Svāminārāyaṇa system of belief is similar, except that whereas prakṛti in the Sāṃkhya system is considered wholly independent of initiating creation, in Svāminārāyaṇa system, māyā is dependent on and controlled by Parabrahman.

Thus, Bhadreśadāsa disproven the Sāṃkhya position:

nirbījasāṅkhyatantramasamañjasam” (Brahmasūtra 2/2/10, p.195)

Hence the Sāṃkhya system is unsatisfactory in consideration of the creation.

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