If I am Brahman as Shankara states:

 I am other than name, form and action.
 My nature is ever free!
 I am Self, the supreme unconditioned Brahman.
 I am pure Awareness, always non-dual.

 — Adi Shankara, Upadesasahasri 11.7

Why does the supreme unconditioned Brahman appear as multiplicity? What is the point of existence? Why did the Universe come into being?

I am obviously thinking within my dualistic mind, but I don't understand why the One became Many. Is there a purpose to the One becoming the Universe? Are we all a dream in the mind of God, and finding our way back to realizing that we are God? I just don't understand why the One became Many, or at least appears to be Many to the individual person through Maya. Why does Maya exist within Brahman?

Why is there appearance instead of reality?

  • Relevant: What is the need of creation? – Pandya Nov 17 '20 at 1:53
  • There are several prespective advaita is one such perspective.. its like scientific big bang theory.. out of explosion universe created.. why the explosion happened no answer in science.. – Prasanna R Nov 17 '20 at 5:13
  • from dvaita prespective universe is created for each individual soul to attain to its fullest capacity of its own nature. like for good sould its fullest capicity is bliss and knowledge.for mid souls they just get recycled.. for evil soul its fullest capcity is world of darkness and unhappiness.. this 3 things are know sattva, rajas and tamasic souls.. – Prasanna R Nov 17 '20 at 5:16
  • The difference between Shankara's 'I am' and your 'I am' is the ego. Maya is the temporary matrix within Brahman which ultimately ends with body's death. Buddha saw dead, old, diseased and left home to seek truth and found peace only in enlightenment. You have many questions, answer to all of them is Self. "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." – user21800 Nov 17 '20 at 17:08
  • It is His sport. See Brahma Sutras 2.1.33 here - wisdomlib.org/hinduism/book/brahma-sutras – Swami Vishwananda Nov 18 '20 at 6:37

There is only one answer in the Hindu scripture to the above question. The answer is that Brahman was lonely. Philosophers do not like this answer since Brahman is by definition full and thus cannot have any want.

He was afraid. Therefore one who is alone is afraid. This one who is alone then thought to himself, 'since there is nothing else than myself, of what am I afraid?' Thereupon his fear, verily, passed away, for, of what should he have been afraid? Assuredly it is from a second that fear arises.

Brhad-aranyaka Upanishad I.4.2

He, verily, had no delight. Therefore he who is alone has no delight. He desired a second. He became as large as a woman and a man in close embrace. ............

Brhad-aranyaka Upanishad I.4.3

Hiranya-garbha or Prajapati divided himself into two. Both are his elements. The two are not separate and the theory is not one of final dualism. ................ The original being, atman or self looks around and sees nothing else but himself. When he realizes his loneliness, he has two feelings, one of fear and the other of desire for companionship. His fear is dispelled when he realizes that there is nothing else of which he has to be afraid. His desire for companionship is satisfied by his dividing himself into parts which are then called husband and wife.

The Principal Upanishads by Radhakrishnan


Do you have any other suggestions ? If you are the only one and there is no other- and I mean literally nothing else and you gape yourself in the dark, what the heck would you do? Try splitting yourself, try hurting yourself, try to create some thing just like you, see what your alter-ego does but finally realize that it’s your own body part that’s also you! What a bummer! Its the the lowest low ever don’t you think? This is not new many other first ones have felt that or Brahman passed on his feelings to them. Refer to Brihadaranyaka upanishad initial chapters “Death or Hiranyagarbha goes about wandering in the dark worshipping himself , creating stuff and eating himself when for distinction a baby appeared and he tried to eat it and that cried “Baan” . He stopped and let it grow and produce things that he then devoured”. That is the primal instinct that is on all sentience. To eat. Sacrifice thus becomes a primordial need What and how varies. Obviously, then Maya becomes a game. Sort of like what your body part does to fool another. You watch the game enjoying the many vagaries . Oh yes, many of your body parts Are sentient conscious entities. You watch their games, get bored and the drama stage changes,. Everything becomes righteous. Everything becomes unrighteous. You question who you are and word and sound emerges, space emerges. Abracadabra poof it vanishes when you realize that they are a part of you. You churn the darkness spin your own awareness and lo and behold light filled consciousness emerges. Wow. Let that spin too..the dance goes on And Nasadiya Sukta emerges from some entities thought, sound and language in the future. Any more ideas on how to entertain oneself? Interestingly, for sharing you keep a bunch of sentient entities around you while the rest of them goes about in birth death processes. And so much complexities and games emerge to attain those seats. So much hatred and love. The literature on supposed immortality. To attain the divine feet. The bliss enjoyers. The ignorant. No one is more depressed than an immortal. But then you need an ‘achutha’ that does not fall from such grace heights to keep the show going. Newer the games the better. The question then becomes what improvements that we make to our current vivarium to pass it on to more ignorant sentient entities so that we all Move on to better Vivariums...? See the real show ? Yes Truth hurts and sometimes fantasies are far better. A set of 18 sages in south India called ‘siddhars’ have cryptic songs and poems that talk about Brahman. One of them is called Kudhambai Siddhar. He wrote a touching description of Brahman that you see In Tamil the verses read “ வெட்டவெளிக்குள் வெறும்பாழாய் நின்றதை இட்டமாய்ப் பார்ப்பாயடி குதம்பாய் இட்டமாய்ப் பார்ப்பாயடி.”. He tells himself this “In Space you will see an outcast that is not bound to anything but still you will love seeing that again and again”. He is referring to the visions in Kundalini post Ajna Chakra. The outcast is Brahman. The observer is jivatma which is also Brahman. The outcast knows this fact. The poor jivatma doesn’t and hence the feeling of liking and loving that it feels. Yes, sir it’s a very lonely existence. Universe is keeping that outcast busy - a poor attempt to make it forget who it really is...

  • I think your answer is very unclear. – Wikash_ Nov 20 '20 at 20:17

The phenomenal world, the world of appearance, by definition is multiplicity.

Hence if the Brahman 'appears', it appears as 'multiplicity'.

Thus the only question can be is why Brahman appears; not how this appearance manifests itself.

Brahman, etymologically speaking, comes from the root brh, and this means 'to grow, expand and swell'.

It also, etymologically, comes from man and this means firm, supportive and maintaining.

This suggests that Brahman, is being all, is infinite, and being infinite, is inexhaustible and expands beyond all limits, even its own; this expansion, is its manifestation as the world of appearance, of plurality and multiplicity and of all difference and that it maintains and supports this show.

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