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Dasbodh Chapter: 8, Sub-Chapter: 2 A Subtle Doubt || ShriRam ||

1. Earlier, the listeners raised a doubt that must be explained. How can this universe of animate and inanimate things be created from that which is without any attributes? 2. The answer to this question is as follows: Brahman is eternal, and there in it, the untrue appearance of Illusion appears like ripples on water. 3. The primal One, Parabrahman, the Absolute Reality, is eternally free, and totally beyond any activity. There, in it, the subtle and unmanifest primal original Illusion (Moolamaya) came into existence. 4. The listener asked, "If Brahman is one, formless, free, beyond any activity, and without modification, How can the appearance of Illusion happen in it? 5. As Brahman is continuous and without attributes, how can there be any desire there? In that which is without attributes, there cannot be any desire without that which is with attributes. 6. Originally, the one with attributes was not there, thus Brahman is named attributeless (nirguna). How did attributes come into being? 7. To say foolishness. that the attributeless has attributes would be

8. Some say he is without any attributes, and that while doing everything he is a nondoer. How can the poor ignorant beings understand his divine play? 9. Some say, 'Who can know the greatness of Parabrahman? It cannot be known.' How are poor ignorant individual beings to understand? 10. Some try to explain the greatness of Parabrahman ignoring what is said in the scriptures. They boldly say that the attributeless is the nondoer after having done everything. 11. In the original attributelessness there is no doing of anything. Who is the doer or nondoer? The ideas of a doer and a nondoer are totally false. 12. For that which is fundamentally without any attributes, how can there be any doership, and who is there to have any desire to make creation?

13. Most people say that it is the desire of God, but how can that which is without attributes have any desire? How can this be understood? 14. Still the question remains, who made all of this creation? Has it happened by itself? If so, that would mean that it was constructed without God. 15. If everything was created without God, then where is there any place for God? This would mean that God is absent and cannot be found. 16. If we say that God is the creator of creation, this would mean that he is seen to be with attributes, and there can be no notion of God without attributes. 17. If God is fundamentally attributeless, then who is the maker of this creation? The nature of a doer is to have attributes that are innately destructible. 18. Here one gets into the thought about how were all of these animate and inanimate things created. If we say that Illusion exists independently, this seems to be backwards logic. 19. If we say that Illusion is not made by anyone, that it has happened or expanded by itself, then there can be no talk about the existence of God. 20. If we say that God is self-existent and attributeless, what relationship can he have with Illusion? In saying this, there is contradiction. 21. If we say that the task of creation was entirely the responsibility of Illusion, then how can there be any talk of God who uplifts devotees? 22. If there is no God, and there is only Illusion, then who is responsible for the dissolution of Illusion, and who is there to protect us, the devotees? 23. All of that being said, one cannot say that Illusion has created itself. The one who is "Lord of All" alone is the creator of Illusion. 24. So, what is God, and what is one to think about Illusion? Please, now all of this must be explained in detail." 25. The speaker said, "Listeners remain alert now, focus your mind, and listen attentively to the explanation that follows." 26. Here a doubt has been expressed about the various experiences of different people. I will tell about them all, in a sequential manner. 27. Some say that God has made and expanded this creation, and that if God had not desired it, then how could Illusion exist?

28. Some say that God is without attributes, so who is there to have any desire, and that Illusion is unreal, as it cannot happen by itself. 29. Some say that because it is seen, one cannot say it does not exist, and that Illusion is only the Power (Shakti) of God from the beginning. 30. Some say that if Illusion is true, then how is it that it can it dissolved with Knowledge (Jnana)? It only appears to be real, but it is really unreal. 31. Some say that it is innately false, so why should anyone do any spiritual practices,and others say that God has said that following the way of devotion is the means for being free of Illusion. 32. Some say that Illusion is unreal and that it appears due to the fever of ignorance,and that spiritual practice is the medicine by which the visible world is seen to be untrue. 33. An endless number of practices have been given, and many opinions have been expressed which create much confusion. And still, Illusion has not been discarded, so how can it be called untrue? 34. The knowledge of yoga, of the Vedas, vedic scriptures (Shastras), and the mythological books (Puranas) all say that Illusion is false. In a great number of explanations Illusion is said to be unreal. 35. Just saying that Illusion is false does not make it disappear. No one has ever heard of this happening. Actually, when one says that it is unreal, it seems more real. 36. For one who does not have Self-Knowledge and who does not know any saints, the unreal Illusion appears to be real. 37. Whatever is one's determination, one gets the results accordingly. In this way, Illusion is like the reflection that one sees of whatever is put in front of the mirror. 38. Some say that when all is only Brahman, where is Illusion? Similarly, with ghee,whether it is solid or liquid, it is only ghee. 39. Some say that the simile of solid and liquid cannot be applied to Brahman, and that even though it is spoken of in these terms, it has not changed, it always remains only one. 40. Some say that all is Brahman, but that this understanding cannot be gained as long as delusion has not gone from the mind. 41. Some say that since there is one God alone, how can there be any thing such as "everything"? Surely such a marvel as "everything is Brahman" has never occurred! 42. Others say that because there is only One alone that is true, it is not possible to bring in any "other," so Brahman has become everything effortlessly.

43. Some say that everything is entirely false and disappears, while Brahman is the only thing that remains, and is real. They say that statements like these have the support of scriptures. 44. Some say that because ornaments are only gold, there is no difference in them, and that it is only unnecessary toil to try to unify them. 45. Some say that any simile about Oneness will fall short, because how can using any concepts about objects apply? It is not possible to make a comparison of manifestation as being similar to the unmanifest. 46. If one has seen gold in its basic melted form and then sees the ornaments, it is understood that the ornaments are only gold. 47. Basically because gold is a manifested form that has the qualities of being heavy and a particular color of yellow, the simile cannot apply to Brahman which is complete in itself. 48. Similes are all limited, but some similes need to be given to help with understanding. For example, the simile of no differentiation between the waves and the ocean is often given. 49. Some similes are the best, some in the middle, and some are inferior. With one simile comes clarity and understanding, and with another clarity is destroyed and doubt is increased. 50. Even the simile of the ocean and the waves does not apply. How can the immovable Brahman be equated with the constantly moving sea and its waves. The magic of illusory objects cannot be considered to be real. 51. The magic of Illusion is only imagination. appearances, however it is always only Brahman. It shows many

52. In these ways, many people argue with one another, and the doubts remain. Now, be alert and listen to the explanation that follows. 53. The unreality of Illusion is understood, but how did it appear in Brahman? Even if we say that it was created by the attributeless, this statement is basically false. 54. The word unreal or untrue means that there is nothing, so who can say that anyone has done anything? It is not possible that anything has happened in that which is attributeless. This is a very wonderous thing. 55. The doer is basically formless, and what has been made by him is unreal. Even so,the doubt of the listeners shall be cleared.

Thus in Shri Dasbodh, a dialogue between the Guru and disciple, SubChapter 2 of Chapter 8, named "A Subtle Doubt" is concluded.