This Power is conscious and not inert

This power is conscious and not inert. What is the nature of this power? Is it a blind force? Or is it related to any conscious being? If it is accepted that life originated from inert power, then it would mean that conscious power has originated from inert force. In the Encyclopaedia Britannica, writing on Biology, Huxley has stated that the characteristics of a conscious being make it distinct from all other matter. According to the knowledge that we possess at present, it is not known how life originated from matter. It is stated at another place, "The answer to the query, 'as to how life originated', is that we know nothing about it."

According to the laws of logic the same qualities that exist in the original can be found in that which is created out of it, in the process of evolution. For example, heat applied to water produces steam. There is nothing in the steam which is not to be found already in water and heat. Therefore, if there was no consciousness present in the creative originating power, then from where has consciousness come into this universe? It can be said that it is not necessary that the resultant should have the qualities of the original. For example, lime and turmeric are not red in colour, yet if the two are mixed together, red colour results. By mixing five or six ingredients we can produce a medicine. The fact is that by chemical analysis we can separate the ingredients, of any particular substance but can we in a similar manner produce consciousness from inert matter or can we obtain matter by analysing consciousness into its ingredients or can the mixing of particular atoms of the body in particular proportions result in producing life? This is impossible. We should, like Huxley, admit humbly that we know nothing in this respect.

The well-known American philosopher Will Durant, in his book "The Mansions of Philosophy" states:

In the heart of matter, giving it form and power, is something not material, possessed of its own spontaneity and life; and this subtle, hidden and yet always revealed vitality is the final essence of everything that we know.

What is this essence? This is the omnipotence of the Lord, which is beyond the reach of mind and intellect, as has already been mentioned. The resultant can have different qualities from the ingredients, but its essential nature cannot be different from that of its cause. By mixing lime and turmeric another colour can be produced, but the essence of the reality does not change. Similarly, if there had been no consciousness in the original Cause, then there would be no consciousness in the universe. There is another difference between the conscious and the inert. A conscious being feels its consciousness itself, while in the case of an inert being, its existence is felt by others only. It is only the conscious being who feels the existence of the inert. Consciousness is for the conscious being himself, and the existence of the inert is for others.

The qualities of the resultant are in accordance with the qualities of the cause. Consciousness can only come from consciousness. The soul is a particle of the Over-Lord (God).

Oh Kabir, It (soul) is a particle of the Lord (Ram).

Kabir, Rag Gond, 871-10


The powers that exist in the soul also exist in the Lord. The soul is consciousness and the Lord is the storehouse of consciousness. The soul is capable of thinking, and the Lord is an ocean of thoughts. The soul has intelligence and knowledge, and the Lord is the embodiment of knowledge and the treasure-house of intelligence. The soul is full of love, and the Lord is the source of all love. We are made in His image. Every particle is a part of the whole, and so are we.

There is little difference between the views of the sages Ramanuja and Shankaracharya. The followers of Shankaracharya call their system Advait (monism) and the followers of Ramanuja call their system Vashisat Advait (qualified monism).

Shankaracharya said, "All is consciousness. It is one (there is nothing except it)." Ramanuja also admits that there is nothing besides consciousness but says that it has two aspects, one conscious and one inert. If God were without these two aspects, he says, then the inert and the conscious would not have manifested in the universe. The two are one like the two joined parts of a pea.

This has been so explained in the Upanishads also. The real substance in the beginning was like a pea, the two parts of which were joined together. When difference developed between the two parts, the one became Purusha (conscious being) and the other, Prakriti (matter). By their interplay the universe came into being. The real substance is consciousness. Consciousness was generated by consciousness.