Faith

Unchanging One

Kooratazhvan, in his Varadaraja Stavam, extols Lord Varadaraja’s qualities using words that remind us of Upanishadic descriptions. This is to show that Varadaraja is the Supreme One, said Valayapet Ramachariar in a discourse. One of the words he uses is niraabaadham. This means He is changeless. Non-sentient (acetana) things change by appearance and by character. When milk changes to curd, the taste and thickness change.

What about cetana (sentient beings)? The atma may take different births. But it does not change in size. It may be born as a human being in one janma and as an elephant in another. It does not increase in size to match the size of the elephant. If born as a human being, the atma has dharmabhutajnana (attributive consciousness), and is able to talk, to sing, to write etc. If it is born as an animal, it cannot do these things. So, while its appearance or size does not change, there is a change in the degree of jnana it has. But the appearance or qualities of the Supreme One never change.

For every action, three karanas are needed — upadana, sahakari and nimitta. The mud used to make a pot is upadana karana. The potter’s wheel etc become the sahakari karana. The potter is the nimitta karana. To get a pot you need all three. As for the Universe, the Lord is the upadana karana (the One from whom it came) and the nimitta karana (the One who made it). But in the case of the mud pot, the upadana karana, namely the mud, changes form to become a pot. How then can we say the Lord is upadana karana, and also claim He is changeless? One may wear a blue shirt in the morning and a different shirt in the evening. Does this mean the person changes? He remains the same. Likewise, Paramatma’s svarupa never changes.


Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jul 31, 2021 5:37:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/unchanging-one/article34720969.ece

Next Story