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In the unmanifested state, there is no maya which means the soul was already in pure state. So why did God decide to manifest himself, why he created different universes? Under Maya, the same indivisible self appears as different jivas.

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If God didn't create everything, then there was no need for souls to realize the truth because by default they would be in pure state.

  • As i discussed in this hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/9370/3500 Brahman created on it's own manifest form as a part of it's/His sport (leela). IMO, this is teach us lesson. We should experience to learn some new lessons. We should know things that exist in opposite pairs( Cold and Heat, good and bad, evil and virtue) etc. I think only after experiencing this we can realize or know "what is absoluteness"?. – The Destroyer Nov 8 '15 at 6:25
  • @AnilKumar We all started from pure state, at present we are in human bodies, our goal is to realize back that pure state. So, if we were already in that pure state then why did God felt a need to bring us to this impure state? Suppose, I am taking part in a race and there is no opponent, I alone will be racing. The racing field is circular so I will stop where I will start. Now I know my goal is to come back from where I started then logic says I shouldn't start the race at all! – Chinmay Sarupria Nov 8 '15 at 6:30
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    The pure unmanifested Brahman is not aware of any manifestation or creation. To the pure unmanifested Brahman there is only the pure unmanifested Brahman. It is only within Maya that there is the 'awareness' of a 'creation'. 'Why' only can be asked within time, space, and causation. There is no 'why' in the unmanifested state.... – Swami Vishwananda Nov 8 '15 at 9:52
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    @sv. How are those 2 questions duplicate of this one? I know we are NOT god and I know the purpose of life is to realize God. My question is not about who we are but rather why we are that. My question is in no way related to the 2 you mentioned. – Chinmay Sarupria Feb 17 '16 at 10:22
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    @sv. If this question has to be re-framed then it will go like this "What was the purpose behind God creating all this". Many users have commented here, 1 has answered it, why didn't they flag it? Because it is no way related. You first need to understand this question, then understand the question you linked and then analyse the differences between two. – Chinmay Sarupria Feb 18 '16 at 2:30
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Interesting question and answer to this super "Why" is something we can at max opine about. We all are sensing this elephant from various angles, so being judgmental is the last thing to do!

In the unmanifested state, there is no maya which means the soul was already in pure state.

Soul is in its pure state even with MAyA.
There is another theory, which describes this "unmanifested" to be complete "Nothingness". Which means nothing really exists, yet this "Nothingness" is still identifiable & real!
Paradoxically, this "unmanifested" is beyond what we call "manifested" as well as "unmanifested". Isn't it confusing? That's why I used term "Nothingness" to segregate the former and latter "unmanifested"s:

BG 8.20 — But there is another eternal (unmanifest) reality, which is beyond this manifested and unmanifested matter. It is supreme and is never annihilated. When all matter is annihilated, that remains

Adi ShakarachArya's version, provides us 2 inputs:

  1. The Brahman has an "unmanifested" nature which is eternal (forever)
  2. The "manifested" nature is also a reality (because "unmanifested" is referred as "another reality"), but it's not eternal

This shows that irrespective of MAyA is present or not, the eternal reality (Advaita calls it "soul") remains in its pure state.

So why did God decide to manifest himself, why he created different universes?

Before this "Why", there could be a big troubling question: "How" this unmanifested nature creates the 1st ever "anything" with no resources? I don't have a clue about this "Everything out of Nothing" magic. But since, it's not asked, let's duck that question and assume it to be "the way it is".

Let's call "God" as the manifested reality. So your question boils down to: "Why does God manifests anything at all?" The answer is:
"Because this is the Dharma of the God.".

At first glance, you may find the answer to be over-simplistic street-smart skip. Hence let me put it in interesting ways:

  • "Because manifesting self doesn't serve any Purpose."
  • "Because this is the only way, the God doesn't have to answer any 'WHY'".

All the above "Because"s are answering the same thing even though they look contradicting. The reason is that often we link Dharma with "Morality", by conveniently forgetting that "Morality" is not a monopoly, but changes from person to person. Ofcourse, Dharma is not Religion. In shortest form, Dharma is "Being oneself without further expectation". Dharma changes according to entity, hence there is term: Swa-Dharma.

Acting with Swa-Dharma is the only way to disallow the Karma to bind us. The fruits would be generated, but there won't be any attachment. e.g. A thief acts according to Dharma when [s]he neither repents upon punishment nor becomes happy upon escaping.

"Why God acts according to Swa-Dharma?", for the same reason: Detachment. Because God is neutral, Karma of creating universes, manifesting self etc. doesn't bind. There is no reason to create/destroy, it just creates/destroys due to own nature. God is just vibrating the way it should:

BG 9.8, 9.9 — The whole cosmic order is under Me. Under My will it is automatically manifested again and again and annihilated at the end.
— O Dhanañjaya, all these work cannot bind Me. I am ever detached from all these material activities, seated as though neutral.


If God didn't create everything, then there was no need for souls to realize the truth

There is indeed never a need for Jivas to realize self. The things must be fine without it.
Moksha is lack of "purpose", "need", "goal". As soon as we relate Moksha with anyone of these destinations, it slides away like a mirage in dessert. Think of life as wet hands and Moksha as a wet soap on your palm. It's quite handy, but the moment you try to grab it, it slips away.

Moksha or self-realization is a state which is "received", Not "achieved".
Such opinion is from MA ShArada, RAmAnujAchArya, MAdhavAchArya, ...
(various articles and wikipedia, where they term it as Krupa)

BG 3.18 — He (A self-realized man) has no purpose to fulfill in the discharge of his prescribed duties, nor has he any reason not to perform such work. Nor has he any need to depend on any other living being.

Footnote
If you believe above interpretations and are disappointed then there is a reason to be happy! Moksha is equivalent to assuming God's own nature, which is granted to all the entities at the end of Kalpa. But not to be too excited either. According to Ramana Maharshi, the actual nature is "thought-less-ness". If we "think" that after achieving Moksha we will enjoy some bliss, then there are chances of disappointment. Because that "bliss" might turnout to be "nothingness".

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