An Excerpt from Vishwadarshan a Glimpse of the Universe by Rupa Srikumar

This boundless universe is composed of an immeasurable number of spheres. This planet Earth that we inhabit is a microcosm of the universe. Innumerable species of living beings exist upon this Earth. The human being also is one such life form. All living beings toil lifelong to fulfill their needs. This is the ‘battle for survival’, so to speak. Eating – drinking, walking – peregrinating, reading – writing, farming – commerce – business, art – proficiency, and theatre—each one of these activities involves a struggle that constitutes this ‘battle for survival’. In this battle for survival, living beings are faced with social and political conflict. Like the personal, social, and political conflicts of human beings, other life forms also must undergo this struggle.

Honey bees toil every day of their lives to fulfill their needs, and for the satisfaction of individual needs, they unite to create a social movement. They also have an organised political setup to carry forward this effort. Monkeys, too, are socially and politically organised for meeting their requirements. So are grasshoppers and ants. Like humans, many other living beings have their setups, but in fact, humans and other living beings upon earth are so organised for the attainment of bliss.

It is quite another matter that due to ignorance, humans and other beings, instead of achieving joy, end up becoming miserable. But the actual objective of this struggle of life is to achieve bliss. What is ‘bliss’? What is the real goal worthy of achievement by all life forms? To all intents and purposes, the global human community comprehends happiness in terms of wearing good clothes and flashy jewellery, delectable food and drink, a wife and son to one’s liking, a high standard of living, and a grand house with a courtyard.

Likewise, it is evident that happiness for all living beings is dependent upon brightness.Like human beings, other organisms also are joyful in light. Moths and many insects even get burnt in the luminosity of lamps in their craving for joy. Deer and snakes get charmed by sweet sounds. Likewise, all living beings, it appears, are dependent for their happiness upon brilliance.

In the dark of night, humans and many other beings come under the spell of slumber, and become unconscious. In the darkness of night, like on the new moon night in the rainy season, most people are afraid to venture out of their sanctuaries, and not many beings are seen moving around in the darkness. Thus, fear is experienced in darkness, but as soon as day breaks and sunshine scatters, all beings become fearless. That is why brightness is the harbinger of fearlessness. In the inky gloom of night, nothing can actually be perceived. But when it is light all objects, and their shapes and colors, can actually be appreciated in the sunshine. Thus, in daylight, the sunshine makes us naturally conscious, fearless, and perceptive. The dark of night, on the other hand, renders us insensible, fearful, and lacking perception.

Besides sunshine, there is the radiance of the moon, stars, light, fire, and jewels that makes us happy. This proves that there is a light source greater than the sun which provides lustre to the sun, moon, stars, light, fire, and other objects in the world. That supreme light is the source of complete bliss for us. To attain it is the ultimate joy for humans and other beings. It manifests as super-consciousness, fearlessness, and supreme knowledge, which bring absolute bliss.

Likewise, in the expanse of the sky, we see a darkness thicker than the gloom of night. In that absolute void, we realise there is maximum unconsciousness, fear, and ignorance. Fear and ignorance cause acute sorrow.

That is why humans and other beings seeking worldly gratification are caught up in the conflict and struggle to decipher the mysteries of brightness and darkness. It is acuity or the ignorance of intelligence alone that will help unravel these mysteries, or lead to failure. Through knowledge we may achieve supreme bliss, while ignorance will lead to our experiencing extremes of anguish.

All beings are eternally battling to resolve these two mysteries—of attaining bliss and achieving deliverance from sorrow. The primary goal of a living being’s existence is to come to terms with these mysteries, but it is unjust that only human beings have been endowed with an intelligence that is able to comprehend them. So it becomes the prime duty of human intelligence to plumb the mysteries of joy and sorrow in the maze of this world, and impart to human beings the methods of achieving bliss and redemption from sorrow.

In order to attain this objective, it is necessary to have knowledge of the world. An understanding of the world is required first for being blissful and free of sorrow. With so much diversity evident in the world, it becomes quite impossible to accurately perceive the mysteries of joy and grief. So much so that at times an ordinary intelligence may mistake joy for sadness or sorrow for happiness.

To be able to achieve comfort and joy, therefore, human beings must first aim at understanding temporal issues.

The entire universe was constituted originally of two great elements. The first is a whole great element, while the other is an incomplete one. The whole element is the support, constant, and radiance incarnate, whereas the incomplete element is dependent, inconstant, and darkness incarnate. The original essence of worldly creation and the birth of living beings can be termed sukra (semen) and raj (menses). The creation of all living beings is through ‘sukra’ and ‘raj’. ‘Sukra’ has stability, steadfastness, and brightness. But ‘raj’ is fluid, inconsistent, and murky. The entire universe is structured in this way, using Maha-sukra and Maha-raj components. The ‘Maha-sukra’ is considered to be purush (the Supreme Being) while the ‘Maha-raj’ is prakriti, (the primal, natural state). ‘Purush’ is whole, free, grounded, and with brightness, but ‘prakriti’ is incomplete, subjugated, inconsistent, and shrouded in darkness. The entire universe is a product of the union of these fundamental whole and incomplete elements.

In the make-up of living beings as well, there is one complete and an incomplete element. Our incomplete element joins with the whole element and seeks bliss in its endeavour of becoming whole, but the incomplete objects in the world cannot presume to make the incomplete element whole. We have this constant craving to fulfill our physical incompleteness and are continuously trying to do so, but due to a lack of understanding, we seek completeness through the consumption of incomplete worldly objects. This is what causes the contradiction between our desires and our deeds, and as a result, we do not achieve happiness although we yearn to be happy. Each atom of the world craving for happiness without possessing the actual knowledge to do so becomes a cause of happiness or sorrow. Therefore, the steps to attaining happiness are as follows:

First, pure consciousness intelligence is required in order to comprehend the universe. Without humility, the intelligence lacks pure consciousness. Without spiritual illumination, there cannot be humility in intelligence. Without conservation of pure ‘sukra’ (semen), the intelligence is incompetent to grasp spiritual illumination in the absence of which intelligence cannot shine. Semen cannot be conserved unless sensory agitation is controlled. Without non-deception in thought, deed, and action, sensory agitation cannot be overcome. Without internal and external truthfulness, non-stealing is not possible. Unless there is absolute purity, truthful behaviour is not possible. Without non-violence, complete purity cannot be attained. Non-violent behaviour is not possible without penance. Without purity in education, the proclivity towards penance is not invoked, without patience penance is not possible, and without overcoming sensory agitations, patience will not reign. Unless there is a psychological improvement as suggested, human beings cannot experience actual bliss.

For a glimpse of the universe, mental growth is first required, and thereafter the mysteries of the world need to be understood for experiencing supreme bliss.