A Spiritual Singularity of Oneness

Vishnu sahasranama manuscript, ca 1690. Vishnu...
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When we are guided to see all the differently manifested living beings on one common platform, even when they are expanded in so many different ways, then we attain spiritual realization.

– Bhagavad Gita 13.31

All the acaryas’ commentaries answer one quesion: “what do you mean all the living beings are eka-stham, they are all one?”

Al the acaryas explain that eka-stham means that they all come from the same “place.” All living entities are fragments of Krsna-shakti. In this sense we all are one – we all have a common origin.

This is our oneness, which exists even in a liberated condition, but there is also a type of oneness that is material. In that sense eka-stham refers to pradhan – the prakriti or energy of Vishnu which causes the manifestation of the material world.

Vishnu generates the Pradhana, and then infuses it with jiva souls (similar to the conception of babies in a womb). This “womb” of the material universe is the “singularity” (eka-stham) scientists are referring to when they trace back the origin of the universe via empirical methods. All living entities enter into this one condition when they are destroyed. When the universe is periodically destroyed – all living entities enter into a singularity (eka-stham) and thus attain a oneness.

But this oneness also remains even when the universe is manifested and alive (vistaram). We all come from and return to the same “womb.”

We should try to see this (pashyati). But it is beyond the range of empirical senses to directly see, because the singularity is by definition beyond the range of empirical laws and definitions. Therefore Krsna does not say to “see it” (pashyati) he says to “be guided to see it.” (anupashyati). Our empirical senses must be extended past their normal operating range via the disciplines of yoga and shastra-svadhyaya (mental discipline and deep study of the scriptures left by persons who have gone beyond empirical limits).

When our vision is thus enhanced and we can see the oneness of all living beings, what happens? Brahma sampadyate tadaa then you become spiritual.

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6 Comments

  1. Umm, the singularity in science does not refer to single point of origin.

    It’s a state when laws of physics break down and can’t be used to describe the situation.

    Imagine we have an equation where something is divided by another thing. Imagine that we go back to the beginning of Big Bang and that another thing becomes infinitesimally small with each step. What we have, then, is division by null, and it’s impossible in mathematics, the equation can’t be used anymore.

    Scientist call this “approaching singularity”.

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  2. Well, yes, singularity happens at the point of infinitesimal size and infinite density but it does not exclusively refer to Big Bang. Singularity exists in black holes, too, for example.

    Actually, I don’t think I agree that eka-stham refers to Big Bang either. That would mean “come from the same place at some time in the past”, or even before time was introduced into the universe.

    In Prabhupada’s translation it is “situated in one”, now and always, and it refers to “bhava”, material existence, the same bhava as mentioned in Siksashtaka, I guess – blazing fire of [my] material existence…

    We see “bhutas” as “prithak-bhavam”, as separate identities, while actually they are all “eka-stham”, situated in the same one material energy, prakriti. All trees, cats, dogs and girlfriends are one and the same crap, no difference, products of the same illusion.

    I suppose there’s no such thing as “my” material existence either, according to this verse. There’s nothing to make it particularly “mine”, only my lack of proper vision.

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    1. This was a good reply. Thank you.

      The verse is particularly about expansion and contraction into creation and destruction. in that context eka-stham refers to pradhana – which is more or less what scientists are talking about with the point from which the universe enemates.

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  3. I don’t think those are mutually exclusive explanations. Remember how Lord Chaitanya heard nine explanations of atmarama verse and then added eighteen of His own? He took each meaning of atmarama and combined it with various meanings of other words.

    I just never seen sthan translated as “origin”, though being situated in the same place implies having the same origin so your explanation is correct, too.

    Hope you are having as much fun with this as I am.

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