Shad Darshan – Vedanta philosophies (contd.):
Swaminarayan philosophy – Brahm
Brahm, Akshar, or Aksharbrahm: Part IV
The abode of Purushottam (God) is known as Akshardham. Swaminarayan philosophy describes that, once reaching in Akshardham the souls get another type of body than the worldly body. It is called aprākrut or divine, brahm-like, body called brahmmaya tanu. The souls are now known as Muktas of Akshardham or Aksharmuktas. Because Akshardham is beyond the space, time, karma, and maya, space-time doesn’t reach there, along with that the ordinary light also does not reach there; maya doesn’t reach there, so, maya’s inherent characteristics called three gunas also doesn’t reach there; and karma or deeds doesn’t reach there, so the soul’s destiny or fate is determined by God’s will only. In other words when the soul becomes completely free from these attachments of influencing factors, then only goes to Akshardham. This is the reason why Akshardham or Brahmdham is called in the scriptures as the final destination of the souls. Secondly, because of the above mentioned transcendental nature of Brahm or Brahmdham, there is no aging there, no decaying there, no gender differentiation is there, or not any of the physical worldly characteristics of the body is there. Moreover, material wealth does not reach there, bodily relatives and their relations are not maintained there, worldly sensual pleasures or pain, comfort or sufferings does not reach there.
This abode of God, Akshardham, is filled with cool, extremely bright luminescence of divine light (different than ordinary light) irradiating from Purushottam. Laws of physical sciences, life sciences, social sciences, or any of the worldly sciences doesn’t apply here, only the laws of spiritual science (brahmvidyā) or the laws of the Supreme Being apply here. One can think of any imaginable thing in the Aksharbrahm, but everything would be in the divine form. It is the final resting place of no return for the liberated souls (muktas) where all the souls are equally divine (divya), bright (tejomaya) and luminescent (prakāsh-yukta), equidistant from God, and forever enjoy the bliss of God. All souls here are similar in looks and brightness. There is no age differentiation, gender differentiation, skin-color differentiation, race differentiation, animal or plant (kingdom) differentiation, phylum, class, order, family, genus, or species differentiation among the muktas. They all look like Brahm and Parabrahm. The only difference is ontological difference, which is still maintained. All liberated souls (Aksharmuktas) are equally powerful but not as powerful, potential, and capable as Brahm, and Brahm is not as powerful as Parabrahm (God). God is omnipotent or all-powerful.
The essence of Brahm or Akshar is Parabrahm or Purushottam. Akshar, Brahm or Aksharbrahm is described, in the scriptures, as the body or “sharir” of Parabrahm and Parabrahm is described as “Shariri” or ātmā (soul) of Brahm or Akshar. Both Brahm and Akshar are the terms used synonymously in the scriptures. So, sometimes it is called “Aksharbrahm.” Brahm, Akshar, and Aksharbrahm are the three names of one and same ontological entity. It is described to be Sagun and Nirgun. Sagun (sa + guna, means, with attributes) Brahm has all the worldly attributes, whereas, Nirgun (nihi + guna, means, without attributes) Brahm is transcendental, divine, and without having any attributes. Sagun means gross form of Brahm and Nirgun means microscopic or subtle form of Brahm. Sagun Brahm is larger than even the largest objects combined. Its largeness or magnitude is such that countless brahmands look like mere atoms floating in its sagun form. Nirgun Brahm is subtler than even the subtlest object or an ordinary space in the atom so that it pervades everything. If we see in the eyes of ordinary space (Ākāsh), which is tinier than an atom, there is space everywhere and atoms are very far and wide. If we see in the eyes of superspace (Chidākāsh or divine space), superspace (Chidākāsh or divine space) is everywhere and universes are very far and wide looking merely like atoms such is the vastness of Brahm. Chidakash seems to be exactly opposite of Maya. Scientifically speaking, analogically, if Maya (the avyakrut form of universe and the multiverse) is Black Hole, Chidakash can be analogized as the White Hole, and the Archi Marg (the direct path or highway for the free soul leading to Brahmdham – the highest abode of God connecting Brahmrandhra of the body to the center of Aksharbrahm) can be analogized as the tunnel or the Worm Hole connecting the two.
Secondly, almost hundred year old, Big Bang theory may be true for single universe but the Steady State theory can be applied to the multiverse of Sagun Brahm. Brahm is eternal. It has no beginning and no end. It doesn’t contract or expand. It does not change its appearance, topology, shape, and size over the period of time. It is homogenous and isotropic in space and time. It is uniform in all directions. For the big bang theory, the scientists have few questions, such as, from where the matter came into the fireball, what or which force made fireball to explode, and what was the purpose or reason of creation of the universe from the fireball? The answers to all of these questions can be found from the philosophy of Hinduism even before the big bang theory was proposed.
Nirgun Brahm is all-pervading, subtler than the subtlest. The cool bright luminescence is uniform and homogenous in all directions. It follows the perfect cosmological principle. Brahm has no boundary. It is limitless. The original form of Brahm is described to be the divine personified form which is beyond three types of body (deh), three basic natural qualities (gunas), and three states of body and mind (avasthās) and always remains in the humble service of Parabrahm (God). It is this form of Brahm that a soul has to unite, level, or resemble with and attain the highest enlightened state called Brahmrup or Brahmanized state for salvation. No one can be like Purushottam (God) but one can be and has to be like Brahm for the ultimate liberation (Ātyantik Mukti).