Saturday, 26 March 2011

Nimmānavāda in Veda and Upanisad


At the time of the Buddha nimmanavAda was represented by the creation theory of Brahmanism. The term ‘BrAhmaNa’ in the neuter form was used to show the impersonalized nature, before that it was as a masculine noun BrahmA. At that time sixth century BC it meant a god. The Brahmin creation theory was at its climax and the Brahman was considered as the first cause of the world. In the Rgveda the Brahman is referred to as Visvakarman, he is the universal being. The entire world with human beings, non-human beings and material things were created by him, the theory of caste, and the theory of duties are also created by him. The twelfth sukta of ninetieth chapter of the Rgveda explains the brāhmanic creation theory like this, Brahmins are born from the mouth of µahAbrahmA, Khattiya are from the soldiers of µahAbrahmA, Vaisyas are from thighs of µahAbrahmA and Sudras are from the feet of the µahAbrahmA.

In the Brāhmanic literature, another name given for Visvakarman is Prajapati. BRhadAraNyaka Upanishad gives a new explanation to the creation theory first there was only individual formed soul, it was frightened to know that there is none other than him and also thought if so why should I be afraid. So he was happy, just after that his happiness disappeared and thought that it would be better if there is another, after that soul was divided into two parts, one was male and the other was female. They had sexual union and it was the beginning of human raise. The female thought it is not good he having created me out of him having sexual intercourse so she took the form of a cow, the male one also changed the form as a bull and had the union. In term female one get different forms in order to prevent the union but the male followed taking forms and had the union. It resulted in the first generation of many beings on earth. In this way when it came to Upanishad the Brahma was known as the first being on earth. He was also the creator of universe and the protector of it. “BrahmA devAnaM prathamaH sambabhUva, visvasya karta bhuvanasya goptA.

The BrahmajAlasutta explains the origin of creation theory with reference to trances and attainments. After the destruction of earth at the end of the kappa the world starts to evolve, at that occasion there came an empty plane of Brahma, some Brahmas who leave the Ābhassara world are born in this empty plane. They are self radiant fed of rapture and traveling in the sky. The first being dislikes loneliness and thinks it would be better if other beings come to this world. Then some others are born in the same plane and they also have the characteristic radiants etc.  

The first being thinks that these came after me, I am senior and the great, I am unsurpassed, I am the creator and the father of them, because they came here when I thought it would be better if they come. The other beings who are born letter also think the first being is Brahma, the µahAbrahmA exists over the other (abhibhU), unsurpassed by others (anabhibhUto), definitely sees everything (aJJadattuddaso), keeps the world under his control (vasavatti), he is the great (issaro), doer (kattA), the creator (nimmAntA), the great (seTTho), the reformer (sajitA), keeps world under his control (vasI) and the father of all beings (pitAbhUtabhavyAnaM) and we were created by him.

One being passed away from this birth there he is born in human world as a human. Thus he develops the knowledge of former births (pubbenivAsanussatiJANa), he does not remind beyond that first being and thinks that first being is the creator God. This he reveals creation theory.

All these creation theories are rejected by Buddhism. The TitthAyatanasutta of AN is the best example of Buddhist rejection of ñimmAnavAda.

îssaranimmANaM kho bhikkhave sArato pacchAgacchataM na hoti chando vA vAyAmo vA idaM karaNIyaM idaM vA akaraNIyanti. iti karaNIye kho pana saccato thetato anupalabbhiyamAne muttassatīnaM anArakkhanaM viharataM na hoti sahadhammiko samaNavAdo.

=O monks! To the person who takes the creation theory as true and meaningful, there is o effort, no perseverance (in him) or an idea, what is to be done and what is not to be done? When there is no clear idea of what is to be done and not. He is embraced and (lives with the feeling of) non-protection, so there is no a righteous life of a recluse in him.

Buddhism accepts the creation theory as an idea that prevents freewill and the responsibility in the man.

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