Drishti-Srishti Vada

Swami Atmananda Saraswati

Broadly speaking there are two fundamental theories about creation. They are: Srishti-Drishti Vada and the Drishti-Srishti Vada. The first, Srishti-Drishti Vada means that 'We see the creation because it exists', and the second one implies that 'The creation exists because we see it'. The majority of people including today's scientific fraternity believe in the former premise; however, vedanta proposes and believes the almost revolutionary latter proposition that the truth is contrary, and in fact all what is seen exists and depends on the very seer.

Vedanta says that the 'seen' has no independent existence apart from the seer. In fact the entire Srishti (creation) is created from, is sustained by and goes back into - the seer. Obviously those Rishis who have dared to propose this revolutionary and most often unimaginable theory, see the 'seer' to be very different from all what the others know it to be. They see the seer as Brahman, the infinite, timeless divinity. The Lord wishes to see something and thus the entire creation is presented by his divine creative power called Maya. This is what Sri Gaudapada has presented and in fact proved in his profound commentary on Mandukya Upanishad known today as the Gaudapada Karika. So also the Yoga Vasishta, the compendium of the teachings of Sage Vasishta to his disciple Sri Rama. Without mincing any words they clearly thunder this truth that the creation exists because you wish to see it, otherwise there is no independent creation whatsoever. The basic difficulty to see and believe this is because today we entertain a very superficial, baseless and fallacious perception about our own Self and also about the truth of the world.

It is not in the purview of this article to go into the exact intricacies of this proposition, we shall just briefly see on the possibility of this proposition and also the implication of these theories.

Our dream state is one of the finest example of the possibility of the proposition of Drishti-Srishti Vada. We all daily experience our dream state. We know that dream is a state where mind projects a realm of experience on the basis of our impressions, fascinations, suppressions & repressions. Like a pressure cooker it helps to release our pent-up emotions. One thing is very clear to the majority that the dream world is a projection of the mind, it is not that somewhere some dream world exists, and we travel there and get experiences. When we get up from our dream state we all very clearly know that it was all in our mind, and by our mind alone. However, this realization dawns only when we get up from our dream, not while we are dreaming. If someone was to tell us this truth while we are dreaming that this 'world' exists on you the seer, then it would be as difficult to accept this as we find it difficult to imagine that this entire cosmos exists in us and it exists because of me. While dreaming the dream world appears to have an independent separate existence apart from us, and this is what dreaming is all about. The entry to the dream world is only when the truth of our waking state gets veiled and then start the projections. So also in this waking world, it is the pressure of our karmas because of which our mind projects a world of experience, and it is indeed difficult to imagine that all this is my projection, as long as we continue to give importance to the world. Only those who can dare to stand apart and see the truth of what is.

The implications of both these theories is profound. The one who thinks that the world exists and therefore we see it, shall always remain extrovert, and try to enjoy the world, in which he or she has temporarily come into. Such a person shall always take him/her self to be a limited person. This is a road to misery and bondage, and at the end of it such people die too as a wanting mortal being. On the other hand those who believe in the latter proposition and see the truth of it, bring about a revolutionary change in their lives. A fundamental paradigm shift indeed. Such a person obviously sees the profoundity and divinity of his / her self. They are never dependent on things outside. They revel in contentment in & by their own Self, and in fact they can create whatever they really wish. They are the liberated ones, the so called Jivanmukta's. 

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