THE VEDIC TRINITY
By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
Many a time you and I wish to ponder over the raison d etre of this universe and our presence therein. Who is our Maker, if there is one, and what is our relationship with Him? A natural question is: who am I? Besides God and soul, is there another entity? What is this mundane world made of? Is that what we refer to as Matter? Mind-boggling problems indeed! Is there a solution to these problems? Man is a thinking being and if he does not think about various issues around him, he will make no progress in his life. A non-thinking person’s mental faculties deteriorate fast and he is reduced to the status of a cabbage .When Man thinks he cannot but be in communion with his Maker and the divine knowledge called VEDAS comes to his rescue. Let us see what this triangle of God, Soul and Matter is all about.
Parmatama (God), Atma (soul) and Prakriti (matter) comprise the Vedic trinity. There is neither a beginning nor an end to their existence. These three make the Srishti (creation of universe) and, of course, unmake it too. The Sanskrit words Anadi and Anant convey the idea of the Vedic trinity having neither a beginning nor an end. A question arises: Do these three entities maintain their existence independent of each other or they are dependent on one another?
One may also like to know how is he or she influenced in action or inaction by this philosophy of Vedic Trinity. Legitimate questions indeed. These important questions are addressed appropriately by a mantra of the Rig Veda that runs thus:
Dva Suparna Sayuja Sakhaya Samanam Vriksham Pari Shasvajate;
Tayaranyah Pippalam Swaduattyanashnananyo Abhi Chakashiti.
Rigveda mandal 1,sukta 164,mantra 20.
This Ved mantra, freely rendered into English says: There are two pretty birds, they are not only colleagues but also close friends and are sitting close to each other on a tree. They are practically intertwined. One of the birds is partaking of the delicious ripe fruits of the tree with great relish. The other bird is maintaining a detached outlook, exhibiting no interest in eating the delicious ripe fruit and is judiciously presiding over the activities around.
At the first glance this Ved Mantra sounds like a riddle. However, in itself it is not a riddle but solves many mundane riddles. On the one hand it underscores the basic concept of the Vedic Trinity, that is, God, Soul and Matter have their separate existence. Two of them, God and Soul are very close to each other and the third one that is the Matter is a passive agent of the universe. Parmatma or God as well as Atma or Soul are Chetan, that is they are vibrant. It is only the soul, represented by the bird enjoying the taste of the ripe and delicious fruit that partakes of the myriad products of the mundane world. The mundane world is Matter or Prakriti represented by the tree. The soul acts out of its own volition. This is the theory of Karma. It is the soul that performs good or bad acts and is accordingly rewarded or punished in this life and the life hereafter. God presides over the entire creation, both known and unknown to us . He is a friend, philosopher and guide of the soul.
However, God does not partake of the fruits of the tree, that is, the Matter. God is Nirakar, Nirlipta and Nirguna, that is, He is formless or imageless, has no interest in sowing or reaping the harvest like a soul does and is, therefore, above mundane affinity and envy. In the above quoted Ved mantra ,the concept of God presiding over the world and sitting in judgement over a soul’s action or inaction, that is Karma, is represented by the friendly bird who maintains a studied detachment from the mundane world but keeps an eye on whatever is going on.
It would be a good idea to take a close look of the Vedic concept of Parmatma or God Almighty. He is the True One ,the Good One and the Blissful One .He is formless, Omniscient Just,Merciful,Unborn,without a beginning or an end, Unequalled, Omnipresent, Eternal and the Maker. He alone is to be worshipped.The Rigveda says: “Pray only to Him who is One “.(mandal 6,sukta 45,mantra 16.)
One may ask why should the soul worship God when they are like two birds sitting entwined on the tree? Well, soul wishes to imbibe the great qualities of God of rising above the mundane matter. It is only when the soul is not unduly influenced by the riches of this world that it rises in stature and attains Godly qualities. Of course, it is the friendly attitude that helps and smoothens the process of their attainment. Eventually this is the path of Moksha, or salvation, the ultimate goal of the soul.
Generally speaking, Man gets unduly attached to the inanimate objects of the mundane world. All that glitters may not be gold and yet man goes after the glitter .A sane Sita ji ,with all her wisdom around her, could not resist the temptation of acquiring a golden dear masqueraded by Marich, the demon. The end result was her abduction by Ravana and the epic battle of Lanka where Maryada Purushottam was victorious.The moral of the story is that men and women have to be constantly reminded of the fact that they are not the body but the soul and the soul is superior to the Matter or prakriti which is inanimate.Therefore do not entertain a desire to acquire an inanimate object which may corrupt your soul and prevent it from attaining Moksha,the ultimate goal.A thorough knowledge of the principle of the Vedic Trinity will indeed help men and women remain on the path of righteousness and avoid pitfalls of lust and greed which corrupt the soul. A good Karma brings in the good Sanskar which over a period of time influences the soul. A man or a woman must keep on giving auto-suggestions that he or she is the soul and not the outward body Of course, it is the embodied soul which performs the Karma, both action and inaction, and it is the Karma which paves the path to attainment of goal of Moksha. We shall deal in depth with the principle of karma and freedom of soul to act or not to act later elsewhere.
A clear and logical perception of the principle of Vedic Trinity makes an individual attain social efficiency. The term social efficiency includes successful performance of an individual in various walks of life over a period of time. Many a time we may go wrong in our acts or omissions because we do not have a clear perception of our identity. Once the question of identity is answered, the future course of action will be chalked out with ease. One should constantly keep on reminding one’s self that it is the soul, my soul, which will be the beneficiary of my good Karma. Likewise it is my soul that will suffer here and hereafter in next life for my bad karma. It is not only the individual but the entire society that will be the beneficiary if the principle of Vedic Trinity is well understood and acted upon by a majority of men and women. The number of criminal cases will go down, the policing will be less strenuous and judicial delays due to overloading of cases under consideration willbecome history. A real El-Dorado indeed!
Time permitting ,it will be a good idea to meditate on the Ved mantra that we have deliberated upon and translate it into action in our day-to-day life. Thus we shall take a pace forward in the direction of the ultimate goal, the MOKSHA liberation from the cycle of birth,death and rebirth.
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