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Prakriti can be helped only by the one who is not Prakriti || On Advaita Vedanta (2019)

Author Acharya Prashant

Acharya Prashant

3 min
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स पर्यगाच्छुक्रमकायमव्रणमस्नाविरं शुद्धमपापविद्धम्‌ । कविर्मनीषी परिभूः स्वयम्भूर्याथातथ्यतोऽर्थान्‌ व्यदधात् शाश्वतीभ्यः समाभ्यः ॥

sa paryagācchukramakāyamavraṇamasnāviraṁ śuddhamapāpaviddham kavirmanīṣī paribhūḥ svayambhūryāthātathyato'rthān vyadadhāt śāśvatībhyaḥ samābhyaḥ

He, the self-existent One, is everywhere; the pure one, without a (subtle) body, without blemish, without muscles, holy and without the taint of sin; the all-seeing, the all-knowing, the all-encompassing One is He. he has duly assigned their respective duties to the eternal Prajāpatis (cosmic powers).

~ Ishavasya Upanishad, Verse 8

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Questioner: Can you please explain what is meant by the Ātman duly assigning duties to the Prajāpatis , cosmic powers? What are these Prajāpatis ? Do we need to worship them?

Acharya Prashant: Prajāpatis are just the forces of Prakriti (physical nature). Nothing else. What is being implied here is: Prakriti works as per the dictates of Ātman (the Self).

So, all the forces of physical nature that you see around you, the Upanishad is saying, they operate as per the law set by God. He has assigned their respective duties to the air, water, sun, moon, earth, body, fire. The Upanishad is saying, He has told the sun to keep providing warmth and brightness; He has told the earth to hold and support you; He has told the soil to bring up food for you; He has told the trees to bear nice fruits. That is all that is being said.

Do we need to worship them? No. Knowing them is enough. If you know Prakriti , you cannot be violent towards her. It’s a strange thing, but you must understand it.

The more identified you are with Prakriti , the more violent you would be towards her.

The body is Prakriti , right? For example, if you are very, very body-conscious, very body-identified, then for the sake of the body you will not hesitate in bringing down a tree or cutting down an animal. So, because you are body-identified, so you can wipe off an entire jungle; because you are body-identified, so you can consume away an entire species.

The more you take yourself as Prakriti , the more you will consume and devastate her. The only way to, therefore, help Prakriti is to stay clear of her.

Who is the one who will be able to help Prakriti ? The one who does not take himself as Prakriti .

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