Q: I am wondering about the concept of Paramatma, Prakriti and jivatma: Why have a construct of Paramatma, Prakriti and atma/jivatma? Why not simply have Paramatma, without the need for any existence, any Universe, creatures or beings, given that Paramatma is eternal, unmanifest, not of Prakriti, and does not require Prakriti or jivatma to “be,” whilst the latter two require Paramatmna to “be”… etc?
I do understand that with this hypothesis, there would be no beings, universe etc. which is a false statement in itself, but from a Vedanta standpoint, what is the “tarka” or logical reasoning for the construct of Paramatma, Prakriti, and jivatma?
You see yourself into what absurdity it all falls when a person subscribes to Advaita Vedanta rather than Sankhya, the original philosophy (darshana) of Sanatana Dharma, especially the Bhagavad Gita, and of the Yoga Darshana itself. When we realize that these three concepts are necessary for an intelligent pursuit of Brahmajnana and moksha, it is really an absurdity to deny their value.
Any concept is fundamentally merely an image in the mind, but the entire universe is being held as a concept in the consciousness of Brahman. It is a dream, but a dream that is real like any other dream of the mind. To say that something is not real because it is not material reveals the mind of a materialist, of Charvaka, not Dharma.
Beware of over-intellectuality
These three concepts form the practical basis of, and make possible, the individual’s pursuit and attainment of Atmajnana and Brahmajnana. This is reality, not the over-intellection of Vedantists that only causes people to be like the poor centipede who, when asked how he could walk with so many legs, tried to figure it out, got them all tangled and ended up on his back.
Sankhya, the basis of Yoga
I am not saying that a non-dual view of things is false, only that the theories of people that say such things as: “Even though non-duality is the truth, we must live as though there is duality,” are not to be taken seriously. The final word to all of this is Sri Krishna’s advice to us: “Therefore be a yogi” (Bhagavad Gita 6:46). And, as already said, Sankhya is the basis of Yoga, which is why the Gita has an entire chapter called Sankhya Yoga, and Sankhya is mentioned in these seven verses:
- This buddhi yoga taught by Sankhya is now declared to you, so heed. Yoked to this buddhi yoga, you shall avoid the bonds of karma. (2:39)
- In this world there is a two-fold path taught by me long ago: knowledge, the yoga of the Sankhyas, and action, the yoga of the yogis. (3:3)
- “Sankhya and karma yoga are different,” the childish declare–not the wise. If one is practiced correctly, that person finds the fruit of both. (5:4)
- The realization that is attained by the followers of Sankhya is also attained by the followers of karma yoga. Sankhya and karma yoga are one. He who perceives this truly perceives. (5:5)
- Some perceive the Self in the Self by the Self through meditation, others by Sankhya yoga, and still others by karma yoga. (13:24)
- Learn from me these five factors for the accomplishment of all actions, declared in the Sankhya: (18:13)
- It is said in the Sankhya Philosophy, in the doctrine of the three gunas, that knowledge, action and the doer are of three kinds: hear them also duly. (18:19)
In the Gita (10:26) Sri Krishna also says: “Among the siddhas I am the sage Kapila” who was the formulater of the Sankhya philosophy (darshan).