॥ શ્રી સ્વામિનારાયણો વિજયતે ॥

ભગવાન સ્વામિનારાયણનાં

॥ વચનામૃત ॥

Gadhada I-46

The Creation and Destruction of Ākāsh

On the evening of Mahā sudi 11, Samvat 1876 [25 January 1820], Shriji Mahārāj was sitting facing south on the platform near the mandir of Shri Vāsudevnārāyan in Dādā Khāchar’s darbār in Gadhadā. He was wearing a white khes and had covered Himself with a white cotton cloth. He had also tied a white pāgh around His head. At that time, an assembly of munis as well as devotees from various places had gathered before Him.

Thereupon, a Vedānti Brāhmin by the name of Maheshwar Bhatt asked Shriji Mahārāj a question: “Everything is assimilated during the state of samādhi; but how does ākāsh become assimilated?”

Shriji Mahārāj replied, “Please listen carefully as I explain the characteristics of ākāsh in detail. Ākāsh is the name given to vacant space. All objects that exist reside only within such space. Moreover, ākāsh pervades and resides within all of those objects as well. In fact, there is not a single object in which there is no ākāsh; even the smallest particle of pruthvi has ākāsh within it. In fact, if that minute particle is split into millions and millions of pieces, ākāsh will exist within those pieces as well.

“So, when one looks from the perspective of ākāsh, the four bhuts, i.e., pruthvi, jal, etc., cannot be perceived; only ākāsh can be perceived. Everything is dependent on that ākāsh. The three types of bodies, sthul, sukshma and karan, stay within ākāsh. This brahmānd, as well as the causes of the brahmānd, Prakruti and Purush, also reside within ākāsh. But that ākāsh also resides within Prakruti-Purush and their creation, the body and the brahmānd. It resides externally as their supporter. Therefore, this ākāsh is never assimilated, neither during the state of unconsciousness nor during samādhi.

“Now, someone may argue, ‘The five bhuts, i.e., ākāsh, pruthvi, etc., have evolved from tamogun; so how can that ākāsh be called the supporter of Prakruti and Purush? Also, how can it be said to pervade them all?’ Well, the answer is that if Prakruti did not contain ākāsh in the form of vacant space, how could mahattattva - which emerges from Prakruti in the way fruits, flowers, etc., emerge from a tree, and a calf emerges from a cow’s womb - emerge at all? Therefore, ākāsh does reside within Prakruti. Furthermore, ahamkār also emerges from mahattattva; so ākāsh resides within mahattattva as well. The three gunas emerge from ahamkār, and thus ākāsh is also within ahamkār. The five bhuts, i.e., ākāsh, pruthvi, etc., emerge from tamogun; thus, ākāsh is within tamogun as well. However, the ākāsh that has evolved from tamogun is subject to change, whereas the ākāsh that is the support of everything is not subject to change; it is eternal. It is this ākāsh - the support of all - that is known as Brahma, as Chidākāsh. Moreover, it is within this ākāsh that Purush and Prakruti undergo the states of expansion and contraction.

“How is this so? When Purush inspires Prakruti, then, just as children are born to a man and woman, similarly, with Purush as the husband and Prakruti as the wife, children in the form of mahattattva, etc., are produced. In this manner, Prakruti takes the form of the 24 elements as well as the form of the body and the brahmānd. This is her state of expansion. Purush pervades all entities that evolve from that Prakruti with his powers. This is his state of expansion.

“In time, when all of the entities that have evolved from Prakruti are destroyed, and even Prakruti appears to remain absorbed in Purush’s body, that is Prakruti’s state of contraction. When Purush reverts within his own self at the time when all of the entities that have evolved from Prakruti are destroyed, that is known as Purush’s state of contraction. For example, when a tortoise expands, all of its limbs emerge from its shell; and when it contracts, it withdraws all of its limbs back into its shell and remains totally motionless. The states of expansion and contraction of Prakruti and Purush are similar.

“Also, it is only Purush, and not the all-supporting Chidākāsh, which has an anvay-vyatirek relationship with Prakruti and the entities evolved from her. After all, how can something that is all-supporting ever be vyatirek from anything? On the contrary, it always resides in everything.

“Now, this brahmānd is surrounded on all four sides by the Lokālok mountains, just like a fort. Beyond the Lokālok mountains is Alok; beyond that are the seven barriers; beyond that is nothing but darkness; and beyond the darkness there is divine light, otherwise known as Chidākāsh. Above also, the brahmānd extends up to Brahmalok, above which are the seven barriers, above which there is darkness, and above which there is again divine light, otherwise known as Chidākāsh. Below, too, it extends down to the seventh pātāl, below which are the seven barriers, below which there is darkness, and below which there is again divine light, i.e., Chidākāsh. In this way, Chidākāsh is present on all four sides of the brahmānd as well as within the brahmānd. When one’s vision reaches the perspective of that all-supporting Chidākāsh, it is known as daharvidyā. Just as akshividyā and many other types of brahmavidyā have been described, this is also one type of brahmavidyā.

“That Chidākāsh is extremely luminous and eternal. It is neither created nor destroyed. Whenever there is any mention of the creation and destruction of ākāsh, it is with reference to the ākāsh that has evolved from tamogun, and which is full of darkness. This ākāsh can be assimilated, but the all-supporting Chidākāsh is never assimilated. This is the answer to your question. If anyone still has any doubts, please do ask.”

Thereupon, the Vedānti Brahmin and all of the devotees replied, “None of us have any doubts at all now.”

Vachanamrut ॥ 46 ॥

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