Upanishad creation theories








See: The Jina Upanishad




©  2018 by Victor Langheld










1.  In the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad an early (ca 800 BC), much redacted compilation Upanishad, three creation versions are presented, loosely corresponding to the needs of the three major human developments states, namely infancy (i.e. primary), adolescence (transition as secondary) and maturity (i.e. tertiary). Moreover two creation modes are described, namely the archaic mode of creation via the breath (also found in Genesis 2), deified (i.e. universalised) as the ATMAN, and the newly emerged creation mode conceived as creation via growth (or making, also found in Genesis 1), deified as the BRAHMAN.

2.  In the 1st version Prajapati, the transcendent Father (sic!), i.e. the ‘other’ simply creates (his offspring) with a view to eating them to sustain himself. Here all created forms are neti-neti, ‘not this, neti this’, the ‘this’ later being translated in ‘that’ (i.e. Sanskrit: tat, meaning:  suchness). This (i.e. the infants view) creation mode offers little political leverage. It is soon dropped from the Upanishads.




3.  In the 2nd version the Atman = Brahman, one of which can be deemed redundant depending on the creation mode found most congenial, creates and enters into ITS creations. In short, in the 2nd, the transition (or adolescent) version the Atman = Brahman is active both without (i.e. as ’other’) and within (i.e. as ‘self’), i.e. as transcendent and immanent. The transition is referred to in the Christian New Testament as ‘the kingdom within.’ Life, the whole world, is both neti, neti and eti, eti. This transitional and so highly ambiguous creation mode offers maximum political leverage. It serves as basis for the creation of henotheistic social and personal Guide and Control systems.




4.  In the 3rd version the created (now named the saguna (because differentiated, hence identified and real) Brahman), i.e. function as altered states (of turbulence of (within/as), therefore as (internal) niche applications or selfies, of the (nirguna (because undifferentiated, hence lacking identity and realness) Brahman, hence are identical with the Brahman. In short, in the mature Upanishad creation version the Brahman = Atman, now (in both cases) referred to as the SELF, and its creations, i.e. its selfies, are identical.  Therefore ‘Tattvamasi,’ ‘The whole world is Brahman,’ ‘Aham Brahman asmi (I am Brahman’ and so on. This creation solution, where all things, for instance, humans, are Brahman = Atman (i.e. G.O.D.) has, quite obviously, no political leverage (since as Brahman = Atman, i.e. G.O.D. all are good, perfect and so on) and is eventually abandoned in favour of the transitional, i.e. the adolescent view. Moreover, the 3rd version, namely that ‘all things are Brahman/Atman’, i.e. G.O.D, leads inevitably to meta-theism and which deconstructs the very notions of Brahman/ Atman.

Meta-theism suggests that Brahman/ Atman, indeed G.O.D. (i.e. the SELF) and all gods (i.e. selfies), happens as (universalised, thus deified) reified (i.e. halted and so quantised) self-regulation Guide and Control processes, thus as Guide & Control template for human social and personal behaviour modification.