Un-created and ever existing Five Basic Entities

According to Hindu Texts, (1) Jiva, (2) Ishwara (i.e., Greater Beings – multitude of World 3, World 6 and World 12), (3) Maya (i.e., the whole web of fundamental eternal universal laws governing the Universe), (4) AksharBrahm (i.e., the Absolute), and (5) ParamBrahm (i.e., THE ALMIGHTY) are Anadi Panch-Maha-Bheda, that is, these are five ever-existing Basic Entities; they have no beginning and no end; they were, they are, and they will always be.  These Five Basic Entities should not be confused with five basic Elements (Panch-Maha-Bhuta): Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth; they both are quite different.

 Jiva (Human and lower grade living beings, the life principle)

 Jiva means all un-evolved Spirits (i.e., living beings) at human level, and all living beings below the human level.

 Ishwara (Greater Beings)

 All progressive Greater Beings (i.e., the multitude of World3, World6, World12   and World24) are various living Ishwara grades. For example, Virat-Brahmaa is an Ishwara living on the level of World6 (i.e., Galaxy Level). As one evolves, one progressively attains the level of consciousness, bliss and relative immortality (but not the size) of these Greater Beings.

Let us try to understand how these Greater Beings are living Ishwaras by an allegory with the Human body. As evidenced by modern science, the human body is constituted of innumerous independently living body cells. They all live comfortably like we are living here. The physical mass of all of them together form a living human body, but cells can not directly see Man as we see ourselves. For the body’s cells a cross-section of human body is their visible world. In the same way we all human beings and the entire organic life constitute a living being, our Earth. The multitude of all known and unknown planets constitute a living being, the Sun. Likewise the Milky Way and the Universe.

A cross-section of the next higher cosmos is the visible world for the lower cosmos. As like a human body cell can not see the living human body as we see ourselves, we can not see the Earth as the living Earth sees itself, what we see of the Earth is only a cross-section of its living body. And what we see as Sun is but a cross-section of a cross-section of its living body.

The first verse of Chapter IV of the Bhagwad Geeta may be understood from this point of view. In that verse Krishna says to Arjuna: “I taught this imperishable Yoga to Sun (Vivasvat- a living being on the level of World12); The Sun taught it to Manu (a Greater Being, the Hindu law-giver); Manu told it to Ikshvaku.

Further, an idea of the Jain Texts may be understood from this point of view, which says that the current Jain Tirthankar, Simandhar Swami (not born on our Earth) is said to be currently living on Maha-Videh-Chhetra (on a certain higher cosmos) still having remaining life of thousands of human years.

Human beings have Gross body, a Subtle body and a Causal body. Ishwaras (Greater Beings) have (1) a Virata body, the enormously huge corresponding physical body; (2) a Sutratma body, the corresponding subtle body which binds the whole together, and an Avyakrut body, the corresponding causal body. Further, Ishwaras have human-like functions (thinking, feeling, moving, sensing, etc), have a life-span and are subject to web of laws (Maya) of their own respective level, and need to transcend it to evolve further. (Bhagwan Shri Swaminarayan - Vachnamrit, Gadhda Madhya, 31).

Maya (Web of laws)

Maya means the whole web of eternal universal laws governing the Universe and man, the entire complex web of Law of Three and Law of Seven of different levels operating at various Worlds. As one goes below in the Ray of Creation, the density of Maya increases, that is, the web of laws becomes more and more complex by the addition of more and more levels of laws. For example, at the level of World3, Maya is least complex, as there exist only three laws (i.e., the first level of ‘Law of Three’), but as one goes below to the level of World6, Maya becomes more dense, as one new level of Law of Three (i.e., the second level of ‘Law of Three’) is added in the web of laws. Likewise, as it comes to the level of human being (humans are part of World48) the web of law becomes much much complex, that is Maya, becomes much more dense.

AksharBrahm (The Absolute)

AksharBrahm means the Absolute (i.e., Existence, Non-existence, Manifest and Unmanifest, all taken together). As per verse 21 of Chapter VIII of the Bhagwad Geeta, the imperishable AksharBrahm is eternal Home (ParamDham) of THE ALMIGHTY.

In his book Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson (hereinafter referred also as BT for the purpose of brevity), in Chapter 2, on page 52, G. I. Gurdjieff referred to AksharBrahm as “The Sun Absolute”, the fundamental place of THE ALMIGHTY’s dwelling.


ParamBrahm, THE ALMIGHTY, is the Entity, who initiates Creation and Destruction, and is beyond Absolute (AksharBrahm). As per verse 18 of Chapter XV of the Bhagwad Geeta, THE ALMIGHTY is beyond AksharBrahm (the Absolute) and therefore HE is being called as ParamBrahm, Purushottam.

In his book Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson, in Chapter 2, page 52, G. I. Gurdjieff refers to ParamBrahm as “THE LORD SOVEREIGN ENDLESSNESS”, and on page 54 referred to HIM as “THE MAKER CREATOR”.

Meaning of Anadi (un-created, ever-existing)

Let us try to understand the meaning of Anadi by an allegory. Suppose, if we destroy a ten storey building, then what would remain there? The answer is, there will remain open space in place of that destroyed building. If the entire city in which that building is situated is somehow destroyed, then what would remain there? Again the answer is the open space. Suppose, the entire Earth is somehow destroyed, then what would remain in place of the destroyed Earth? Again the answer is the space. Now suppose, if the Sun, the Milky Way, all other known and unknown galaxies, and the entire Universe is somehow destroyed, then what will remain there? Again the answer is the space. This fundamental space is Anadi, un-created and ever-existing, so are those five Entities.

Everything that exists comes from and goes back into this Space. On  Atyantic Pralaya (i.e., Total Destruction) the entire Existence, the basic particle of matter, and the time, the passage of which keeps the entire Universe in Existence will shrink into Non-existence (i.e., Oblivion – singularity); the life principle will also go in Oblivion state in that Non-existence. That which is beyond, and which is the source of, Existence and Non-existence both is called the Absolute, AksharBrahm.

For us it is unfathomable anything can be beyond Existence and Non-Existence both. We may try to understand it in this way: the Existence means the state in which things are in their manifest form and exists in time. The Non-Existence (Oblivion) means the state in which things are in unmanifest (i.e., in seed-form) and the time has totally ceased to exist, like death at the human level. The Absolute, that is, AksharBrahm or Chidakash is beyond both, and is the cause for the both, and being beyond both it is imperishable, as  everything is one there – no space-time nor energy-matter nor Chaitanya-Jad duality – we may call IT sublime, illumined, still, alive nothingness.

On Atyantic Pralaya (i.e., on Total Destruction) the basic principle of Maya shrinks in seed-form into the Non-Existence (i.e., Oblivion), and on Creation again comes into being, and it itself proceeds to create various levels of Worlds. On Pralaya the life principle of Jivas and Ishwaras also shrinks in seed-form into the Non-Existence, and on Creation again manifest as per their level of being.

To understand it in modern scientific terms, Prakrut Pralaya may be taken as the phenomena of formation of Black holes and Supermassive Black holes at the centers of galaxies, wherein numerous solar systems (stars) disappear.  Atyantic Pralaya may be taken as the phenomenon on a still bigger scale wherein numerous galaxies, nebulas and even universes disappear, like going into Oblivion.

As one evolves, one progressively attains the level of consciousness, bliss and relative immortality (but not the size) of respective GREATER BEINGS. For example, when man attains a fully developed Astral (Kesdjan) body and control over the third state of consciousness, he attains the level of consciousness and bliss of the Earth, and becomes immortal within the limits of the Earth. Like man, Ishwara also needs to evolve to reach to their next respective higher level of being in their own way. Below the level of the Absolute, everything is relative and has degrees.

Jivas and Ishwaras go into respective oblivion on respective Destructions (i.e., Pralaya), and again manifest on Creation. They both need to transcend Maya wholly to attain Brahmi State. Until one reaches the Brahmi State (the spiritual state of the Absolute), one is not entirely free from the cycle of life and death.

These five Entities are ever-existing, ever-existing in the sense that on Existence they exist in manifest form, and on Non-Existence they exist in unmanifest, seed form, ready to manifest in next cycle of Creation, like, as we are in organic sleep (i.e., in mini-oblivion state, unaware about our existence as human being), ready to wake up in the morning to come to our usual existential waking state.

When we feel ourselves together with the touch of the space that surrounds us right now, it connects us with the invisible, the energies of higher Worlds and the Universe, as it is permeated by the energies of all the Worlds above us.

© Mohan Vaishnav 

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