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तेजस्वि नावधीमस्तुLet Our Learning Illuminate Us

The universe is made up of akshara and kshara--the immutable and the perishable. There are five aksharas--Brahma, Vishnu, Indra, Agni and Soma. Here, we are going to explore the third akshara, Indra, in detail.  

 

Illustration drawn by Pandit Motilal Shastri, represents the process of creation and five dimensions of the universe.

Abhva is the element that has a name, form and function and is born when bala or power interacts with abhu.

Abhva is something which can be seen. It is the observed universe which is constantly changing and hence it is destructible. It is bound by time and space. To illustrate, a car, a house, a farm, a mountain, a river or any object or person one can see is abhva—it is observable, it has a name, form and purpose, it is located somewhere and exists within a time-frame. In other words, it is not eternal.

Brahma is the fountainhead of Creation. Creation is a seamless, eternal process in which two fundamental elements, different in character, are involved. These two elements, abhu and abhva, constitute Brahma.
 

Yajna (yagya or yajnya) is the process of creation. It is a process in which different elements come together, intermingle and transform into something new. It is a seamless, ceaseless process within us, and outside, enveloping all the elements of visible, invisible universes. In the Vedic texts, it is also referred to as Prajapati, Vishnu and Indra.

 

The term `triloki` is an important terminology in vedic science. It defines three triadic worlds that comprise brahmand, the whole of creation. An understanding of the meaning and scope of this term helps in getting a sense of brahmand (entire cosmos). This `triloki` straddles bhuloka (earth) to svargaloka (heaven).

In Shrimad Bhagvad Gita, it is stated that avyaya is the cause of this whole universe. This can be understood by learning that there are two types of causes. One is that which results in an ``effect``. 
The second produces no effect. Ávyaya falls in the second category; it can reveal the existence of whole universe by its sheer presence. Take for example, eyes; they can see an object, it is the effect.

The term, ananda, has a unique meaning and significance in the Indian philosophy. It has several meanings. The most widely known meaning is `bliss` which in turn is variously understood as `happiness` or a state of being where there is no joy or sorrow, only the awareness of existence.

Akshara is an important term in the Indian philosophy. Its references are found in sacred texts like Shrimad Bhagvad Gita and Upanishads. The universe is created from akshara. From akshara, animate and inanimate materials are born. It is stated in Mundakopanishad that akshara is Brahma. In the Bhagvad Gita too, there is a reference that Brahma was born from akshara. The Shvetashvatara Upanishad states that creation emerged from the fusion of akshara and kshara.

In the Vedas, the term `ritam` means `truth`. So does `satyam`. What then is the difference? `ritam cha satyam cha abhidhat`, says the Rigveda. It means both ritam and satyam are attained from consciousness.