Brahman is defined as Existance,Consiouness and Bliss(Satchitananda). Aitareya Upanishad 3.1.3 says Brahman is consciousness and pure awareness. Isa Upanishad 1 says its all pervading.

1)But how can Brahman or Awareness or Consciousness be there and be all pervading in Non Living things like Pots,Ornaments etc which have no sence of awareness or Atman?

2)How can Brahman be all pervading as Isa Upanishad says when its just pure awareness ? It only exists individually as Awarness or life force or Atman in all beings. Atman is just awarness. I am not the body,mind,intellect. This same I is in all. How does that mean this awareness is all pervading??? How can a concept like Brahman exist? There cannot be a principle which is awareness and all prevading.

3)What is Sat feature of Brahman?? What exactly is that existence that is conscious of all things including non living things??

4)How to see one's self alone in all non living things which don't have Atman and in what sense whole Universe is our body as per Bramha Vidya Meditations??

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4 Answers 4


Brahman is both the nimitta-kāraṇa (efficient cause) and upādāna-kāraṇa (material cause) of the universe. Otherwise, definition of Brahman is meaningless. If Brahman was not everything, then it would mean there is a second pole of power that Brahman has to contend with or be dependent on.

But as we see from Upanishads, Brahman is everything that exists.

Brhadaranyaka 1.4.10:

ब्रह्म वा इदमग्र आसीत् -- "Brahman indeed was all this in the beginning"

And Brahman became all the various differentiated aspects of the universe:

Taittiriya 3.1:

तस्माद्वा एतस्मादात्मन आकाशः संभूतः । आकाशाद्वायुः । वायोरग्निः । अग्नेरापः । अद्भ्यः पृथिवी । पृथिव्यामोषधयः । etc.

From this Atman, space came out, etc... all the way to earth, plants, humans, etc.

Taittiriya 3.6:

तत्सृष्ट्वा तदेवानुप्राविशत् । तदनुप्रविश्य सच्च त्यच्चाभवत् निरुक्तं चानिरुक्तं च निलयनं चानिलयनं च विज्ञानं चाविज्ञानं च ... ।

Having made it (the universe), he entered it... he became both gross and subtle, both well-defined and not-well-defined, both supporting and non-supporting, both conscious and non-conscious...

So by definition, Brahman expresses the nature of everything in the universe. So the meaning of "consciousness" in relation to Brahman's definition is not the narrow meaning as applicable to humans and animals.

This is the confusion that Maitreyi also had when Yajnavalkya was explaining Brahman to her.

Brhadaranyaka 2.4.13:

सा होवाच मैत्रेय्यत्रैव मा भगवानमूमुहन्न प्रेत्य संज्ञास्तीति स होवाच याज्ञवल्क्यो न वा अरेऽहं मोहं ब्रवीम्यलं वा अर इदं विज्ञानाय ।

Maitreyi said, "You confused me here, by saying that there is no consciousness after death." Yajnavalkya replied, "My dear, I haven't said anything confusing. It (Brahman) is quite complete in knowledge/awareness."

So, consciousness in humans is only one mode of Brahman. This is the mode that is available to us to realize Brahman.

In and by itself, Brahman, being everything, knows everything as itself, because there is nothing other than it. This is its mode as sat (existence) because it is everything that exists. Because it is everything that exists, it knows everything, because there is nothing left to know. This is its mode as cit (knowledge). These are mutually complementary.

The finer detail here is that existence implies knowledge and vice-versa. Because, even to recognize the state of non-existence, i.e. to say "nothing exists", there needs to be an observer that makes that observation. So absolute non-existence is impossible. Hence, the absolute existence and absolute knowledge of Brahman is logically self-evident.

Obviously, if Brahman is everything that exists, it is "all-pervading".

By realizing that our own innermost eternal reality is this Brahman, we become one with everything that exists. Obviously, our physical bodies are limited.

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    Sir I am in tears. I bow down to your feet for you saw my comment and helped me. Thanks a lot. I humbly request you to kindly help me with further philosophical doubts related to this question. Can you kindly help me 1)Sir is consciousness all pervading? 2)Sir can you explain Maitreyi and Yajnavalkya conversation further? Sir is there really no Conscience of anything in Nirvikalpa Samadhi?? 3)Does Chit mean knowledge or consciousness or both? Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 17:33
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    4)How do we become everything that exists? 5)Sir Isa Upanishad 1 says Lord is all Pervading. How? Because he(Brahman) became everything ? What exactly is that which is all prevading? Is it Atman? Or is it Consciousness that is all pervading ? What exactly is that sir?? I know my doubts sound very foolish but please dont mistake me and help me Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 17:33
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    Atman=Brahman=all-pervading according to advaita. IT is all there is. There is nothing else apart from consciousness. All objects are also projections from the consciousness.
    Commented Mar 4, 2021 at 4:39
  • Ram sir in one of your answers (qr.ae/pNqpAK) You said "Brhadaranyaka Upanishad gives a definition of the ultimate reality as the one that denies existence of everything" Sir it should be everything else other than itself right???IF everything is denied then its Shunya right?? You then said "basis of denying everything cannot itself be denied. " What does this mean? Sir please please reply and help me sir. I am asking only pure philosophical doubts, Please have compassion on me please Commented Mar 15, 2021 at 11:22
  • I started reading the answer... found it sounding academic... scrolled down to find the name "RamAbloh" and lighted up. Now I'm reading the whole answer again. Please take a bow.
    – Siv
    Commented May 13, 2021 at 13:47
  1. Consciousness is manifest only if there is a medium to reflect it. For example, a pot containing water can reflect the sun but a pot without water cannot reflect the sun. This does not affect the sun. Here, sun is for consciousness and the pot with and without water refers to jiva with and without sentience. Shankara gives the example of water changing from one pot to another in case of jiva (water) leaving one body (pot) and taking another after death. Another example given is how polished surfaces reflect more.

In Panchadasi, 8.1

Just as a wall illumined by the rays of the sun is more illumined when the light of the sun reflected in a mirror falls on it, so the body illumined by Kutastha is more illumined by the light of Kutastha reflected in the intellect (Chidabhasa).

  1. In order for cognition, consciousness should exist. Thus consciousness and existence are interwined. Existence causes each object to appear. However, the appearance as perceived by the ajnani is wrong. He erroneously perceives the object to be real and independent of the consciousness; however, it is only consciousness that exists and the object is merely an unreal projection on consciousness.

In Panchadasi 8.57.

As the support of the unreal world, the nature of Brahman is existence; as it cognises all insentient objects, its nature is consciousness; and as it is always the object of love, its nature is bliss.

Panchadasi 13. 9

Vivarta is mere appearance of change of a thing or its state, not a real change: like a rope appearing as a snake. It is seen even in a partless substance, e.g., the Akasa (which has no shape or colour) appearing as the blue dome.

Panchadasi 13.35

The pot is not different from the clay, as it has no existence apart from the clay; it is neither identical with the clay, as in the unmoulded clay it is not perceived.

  • Thanks for answering sir but my doubt is Is consiouness all prevading ?? Non living things don't have consiouness. Then how can we claim Brahman prevades everything ? Brahman is existance consiouness and bliss . Without consiouness how can brahman exist ? Commented Feb 27, 2021 at 12:06
  • For consiouness to be there it has to be inside a Jiva or a body. Without body ,without jiva , what is that consiouness that is existing? Advaithans answer that it's possible that Atman alone appears as all objects as it does in dream state. Dreams are different to Vyavaharika state right. How can we say just because in dream it happens, in Vyavaharika also it's same Atman who projects all and at paramarthika level only Atman remains? Without a body what else can remain? How can that awarness remain without a body ? That also has to be destroyed right? Commented Feb 27, 2021 at 12:06
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    You are confusing consciousness with being conscious. Consciousness is all pervading. However, for a being to be conscious, it needs a subtle body to reflect it. Example is the pot with and without water. Sun (Consciousness) shines on everything but only the pot with water can reflect the sun. There is nothing other than Brahman.
    Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 3:08
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    Oh got it sir! Thanks a lot! Upvoted the answer! Sorry if I disturbed you! Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 17:19
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    @Sethu Srivatsa Koduru Thank you, sir. Please do ask further questions as separate threads. Will be glad to answer to the best I can.
    Commented Mar 4, 2021 at 4:36

Namaskarm, So let's take one by one with examples: What is Brahman, is it awareness or reality? Is Brahman a singularity or Infinity? So let's start with a contradiction, Brahman is “The Singularity” whose luminance is addressed as Pāramātma, for example: if Sun is Brahman the luminance that reaches us in the form of heat and light is Pāramātma. It is this supreme that is Nirguṇa, meaning that which can’t be described with characteristics or qualities or possession of any limitations. Now, though we used the word “Singularity”, it is to be understood in the sense of being infinite; hence, Singularity should not be interpreted as being Single or numeric “One” (Ekam). Numeric “One” means there is an entity that is unique among many other entities. If we say “There is only one apple in creation” then it means there are many things, among which there is only one apple. Also, when we say “One” the question of where this “One” exists comes up. Meaning, if you say one apple, then the question arises, where is this one apple? If we say one universe or multiverse, the question arises, where is this one universe or multiverse? If you say one Creator, then we have the question, where is this one Creator? Or who is this so-called One Creator? The “where” and "who" always infers that if something exists, then automatically there should be something else to witness its existence. To solve this profound linguistic perplexity, the magnificent child prodigy, Jagat Guru Adi Śankara Bhagavadpada said “Advitam”, meaning “there is no two” or “there is no second”. So instead of saying there is one (Ekam), he said “there are no two things”. However, one can try to interpret Pāramātma based on the attributes described by Vedānta as sat-cit-ānanda.

So, what is sat:cit:ananda? sat=existence/basis for everything; cit=consciousness (the ability to self recognize) and finally Ananda=bliss(that which exists). So a question to readers, that which is self-aware, is it ominous or auspicious? Its su:mangalam (auspicious) this is called Ananda. Ananda doesn't have a counterpart like Dukha has a counterpart called Sukha. Ananda doesn't have a polar counter.

The opposite of Nirguṇa is Saguṇa, and it is this Saguṇa Brahman that we can consider as THE ULTIMATE REALITY or THE COSMIC BEING (Nārāyaṇa), The innate indweller of all is Rudra. The eternal bliss in all is Siva, the energy/vibration/ripple is called Shakti. Nothing in creation (Sristi) has any independent existence other than Brahman. The notion that Brahman exists within something and operates or performs actions is a delusion arising out of māyā and linguistic misrepresentation. Brahman is a singularity of infinite pure consciousness; in other words, the awareness that can only be realized, hence cannot be defined within the frontiers of vocabulary.

Is brahman a witness? Many use the word “witness”, which is not correct because to witness, there have to be two things, the one witnessing and the item or thing to be witnessed. So, the word “witness” is only used in a relative sense during a conversation describing a state (like a dream state, waking state) of reality. So, technically, Brahman is a word with no definition; so is ātman, the self. This is as it should be, because if we can define them, then they become finite. This is explained by Rishi Vaśiṣṭha in His Yoga to Śrī Ram as:

“During the cosmic dissolution, the entire objective creation is resolved into the infinite being, which is variously designated as Atma, Brahman, Truth, etc., by the wise, to facilitate communication and dialogue.” ~(Swami Venkatesananda. 1993)

In short, Iśvara is a representation of Brahman towards the control and management aspect of “A Brahmanda” or, in some cases, the entire cosmos (Jagat) or creation (sristi) and Māyā. Śāstra defines the cosmos (Jagat) as that which appears and disappears, meaning an illusion that seems to exist and then ceases to exist. Iśvara is the authority of that Māyā and is not limited to the phenomenon of this reality. So, Iśvara can’t be classified by gender or shape or any specific definition, yet can be personified into various manifestations with attributes; hence, moving forward, rather than addressing Iśvara as an object or a thing, we shall refer to Iśvara as “Him” and His energy (vibration), Pārashakti (Pāra:Śakti) and Pārameshwari (Pāra:m:ishwari) as “Her”. The operational aspect of Iśvara is represented as Śakti (Shakti). This is not to classify either as masculine or feminine nor as a biological representation of being male or female. It is only a means to distinguish both entities as a duality (Prakṛti & Puruṣa) which are one and the same but operating in two modes, with one relying on the other. Also, as we are emotional beings, the notion of addressing Iśvara/Śakti as Him/Her gives us a sense of relative closeness and sweetness to our emotions. Iśvara is not a position that one can fill – like Indra. Indra, Vyasa, and Brahmā are positions that get filled over time, but Iśvara is not. Meaning, one cannot “become” Iśvara. Iśvara is that thought of Brahman which is a singularity over Creation and Māyā. (Swami Prabhavananda. Isherwood, Christopher. 1947, I.K.Taimni. 1975, Srichaganti. K.D.S, n.d., p.4)

Iśvara, Śakti, and Māyā are not separate from Brahman, as anything and everything is Brahman. There is no second entity other than Brahman. Brahman doesn’t have parts or subsections or shades. Various Rishis and sages used linguistic distinctions for us to understand the different aspects of Brahman, but they are all one and the same. Try saying it out loud "Infinity is one" does that make sense? or "infinity has parts"? or "there are many infinities"? As Rishi Vaśiṣṭha explained to Śrī Rama in his Yoga:

“To the enlightened, the mind is the absolute Brahman and naught else. To the unenlightened, the mind is the cause of repetitive history (saṃsāra). When dualistic concepts are used by us, O Rama, it is only to facilitate instructions: the division is not real” (Swami Venkatesananda 1993).

How can Brahman be like a pot or clay? There is no second entity other than Brahman. so if Brahman is the ocean, the water or ripple in that ocean is called Cit:Shakti. So, both animate (living) and inanimate (nonliving) are made of shakti. Physical Matter is also energy made of proton-electrons. Both living an non-living are made of same pancha-bhoota (5 elements). The only difference is the Jiva in the animate (living) has Chaitanya (ability to react and respond) but in-animate doesn't have the same level as Chaitanya, but Jiva is there in all. Everything is jiva, the planet is live, the sun is live, the moon is live and they all have energy in them which is Chaitanya, but human beings have a different level of Consciousness called Citta (an aspect of Cit). Finally, the last question is malformed. There is no Your Atman vs My Atman. But there is your jiva vs my jiva. All jivas together is called Samashṭi-jiva (aka Brahma). Its the Jiva that moved from body to body, not the atman. Atman is a window into Brahman like a pot is in the space, inside the pot is also space, the opening of the pot is the Atman. The space in the pot and outside is the same space. The Pot/clay itself is Cit:shakti. Pranam Content Source from the following pages. These pages are research material with APA Citation and proofed: http://sanatanadhara.com/ishwara/ http://sanatanadhara.com/rebirth/

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    You need to provide sources for your answer, otherwise it is just your opinion and should be posted as a comment and not an answer. Commented Feb 27, 2021 at 4:21
  • Thanks a lot for your detailed and hard effort sir Commented Feb 27, 2021 at 6:44
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    This answer has been copy-pasted from here , Maybe it is your site or maybe not. In either case the site is not an acceptable source Commented Feb 27, 2021 at 10:02
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    Commented Feb 27, 2021 at 17:27

Understanding the concept of Brahman is very difficult. Even devatas and sages don't know completely about him.

BG 10.2: Neither celestial gods nor the great sages know my origin. I am the source from which the gods and great seers come.

Now your question is how can Iswara be all pervading in the non living things?

Mundaka Upanishad I-i-6: (By the higher knowledge) the wise realize everywhere that which cannot be perceived and grasped, which is without source, features, eyes, and ears, which has neither hands nor feet, which is eternal, multiformed, all-pervasive, extremely subtle, and un-diminishing and which is the source of all.

According to Mundaka Upanishad, God is small, very small and present everywhere in world. It means god is present in the particles or atoms and gives them motion. Whole universe is made up of atoms including non living things that's why god is all prevading.

S.B 3:11:3. One can estimate time by measuring the movement of the atomic combination of bodies. Time is the potency of the almighty Personality of Godhead, Hari, who controls all physical movement although He is not visible in the physical world.

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