Q/A: How can Kṛṣṇa be the cause of anādi creation, when anādi means without cause?

I received a long reply from a proponent of the jiva-choice theory- but I did not publish it as it violates the rules for posting on this site. I will answer one question, which is worth answering:

The writer quotes me from the previous article:

Question: You yourself wrote: “Thus, Kṛṣṇa is the ultimate cause of creation, while Mahā Viṣṇu is a more proximal cause.”. And above you wrote that Vishvanath says that jīva and māyā and their combination is anādi. So how Krishna can be the “cause” of anadi creation?

Answer: This is a substantial misunderstanding of the word anādi as applied to creation, versus anādi as applied to the jīva’s presence conjoined with prakṛti.

Creation, occurs at a specific point of time! Creation of the current world occurred billions of years ago. The world will be destroyed in the future, there will be *nothing* and then creation will occur again. As such, creation is a *recurring event*.

Any event that occurs has a preceding cause. As such, creation has a preceding cause.

What is the cause of creation? There has been considerable argument about this in the scriptures. The Sankhyaites say it is prakṛti itself which is the cause. Others say it is Brahmā. Some Vaiṣṇava scriptures proclaim Mahā Viṣṇu as the cause. The Brahma-saṁhitā says that it is Kṛṣṇa Himself who is the cause of all causes.

Thus, we have

Kṛṣṇa is the ultimate preceding cause of the event of creation, while Mahā Viṣṇu is a more proximal cause, Brahmā is an even more proximal cause, and prakṛti is a more proximal cause.

Why is creation called ‘anādi’ then? Because creation has beginninglessly been occurring, and Kṛṣṇa is called its anādi cause, because He has beginninglessly been its cause.

Imagine we time-travel back in time for t years, such that t is a very large number- say a quadrillion years. We will find that even before this time, infinite creations have already occurred. And we will find that for each of these creations, Kṛṣṇa was the preceding cause.

Contrast this with the jīva’s conjunction with prakṛti. This is not an event that occurred at any point; the jīva has always been with prakṛti.

It is meaningless to talk about a cause for an event that did not occur. This is why Sri Visvanatha clearly says: the jīva’s conjunction with prakṛti has *no cause* as discussed in the preceding article.

Categories: jīva-tattva, Q/A

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37 replies »

  1. It is very difficult for our mind to understand and realize anadi concept.
    But,as we accept that Krishna is never created,born,then all His potencies and energies are also without beginning…
    It is useful to always think of them as part of Krishna and then we will accept…


    • Indeed! Anadi avidya is the root problem of the jiva; this is part of sambandha gyana. Those who have a distorted understanding that the jiva made a choice torture others and themselves with the guilt of having made a decision which they never made. With such understanding and the willful intent to preach it to others which hurts others’ prospects, how can bhakti ever bear its fruit? It only produces an unhealthy frame of mind and has an undesired effect- misery in this life and the next.


  2. Therefore, if Krishna is beginingless that means he also is causeless which implies that the beginingless(anadi and ananta recurring…jivas are unlimited) cycle of creation and destruction is also causeless, because its origin(Krishna) is also originiless as per Brahma Samhita verse. That just means karma is anadi (chicken and egg situation)…no cause, no choice, no one to blame , simple as that.Then we take to Bhakti under a proper parampara and proper learned guru and we live happily ever after and others who disagree stay in their lane and do as they please…i wish.


    • This is a very important observation indeed! Imagine the creation cycle drawn as a circle with a center, with the event of creation indicated with arrows at various points on the circle. Label the center of the circle as Krsna. Draw a dashed arrow from the center to the arrows on the circle. This is a depiction of Krsna as the preceding cause of the creation. When did Krsna get into this relationship with creation? The question has no answer because the relationship is beginningless. So, there is *no cause* for the beginningless cause and effect relation between Krsna and the creation. All anadi examples involving cause and effect (karana-karya) can be understood the same way- for example Krsna’s birth from Yasoda, Radha and Krsna becoming one as Sri Krsna Caitanya, and so on.


  3. There are no cause and no motive behind these beginningless nescience, wandering and suffering. Thus, no aim and no purpose?


      • How to understand it? There is no cause and motive, but the purpose is there. I don’t understand. Could you please explain it?


      • You are making the logical error of assuming that something which is beginningless can have no purpose. What is the justification for thinking this way? Do you accept that the world is beginningless? It is an observable fact that things have a purpose in this world.


      • If this prison of samsara is beginningless then it was not created. Thus its purpose was not created too.


      • The scriptures describe that the world goes through cycles of creation and destruction. The creation has a purpose, the destruction has a purpose. Such purposes have existed from beginningless time. There have been infinite creations of the universe. It is not like Christianity where the world was created once


      • By samsara I mean these beginningless cycles of creation and destruction. Is there any goal or aim of samsara? Is there any purpose?
        If this “prison” of samsara is beginningless then it was not created by God. Then its purpose was not created by God too.


      • The scriptures say that the universe is created by bhagavan. If you go back in time, this universe was created by Him with a purpose. If you go further back in time, the previous universe was also created by Him with a purpose and then destroyed with a purpose. And you keep going back in time, you will see that He created yet another one. Clear?


      • So, there is cyclic creation and dissolution of sadi objects like universe. They are created by Bhagavan without a motive or goal but with a purpose.
        This cyclic process is anadi, and it has no cause. Does it have any goal, aim, purpose?


      • What is the difference between motive or goal, and purpose? The universe is created for devotees to perfect their devotion. That is the purpose.

        The cyclic process has a cause. Bhagavan is its cause. The cyclic process is anadi. He is its anadi cause.


      • Vedanta-Sutra:
        vaisamya-nairghrnye na sapeknatvat tatah hi darsayati
        na karmavibhagad iti cen nanaditvat
        As far as I understand from your words, this theodicy concerns the Evil in the universes but not the Evil of Samsara.


      • I think we discussed this already. Something that is anadi does not have a cause. Things just are the way they are. Why does evil exist? It exists because it does. No reason.
        If you are looking for an answer like – it exists because of ‘free will’, or it exists because of the ‘devil’, – well no, there is no such thing in Hindu theology.


      • Regarding the statement that something that is anadi does not have a cause.
        You mentioned earlier that anadi process can have anadi cause:
        – The cyclic process has a cause. Bhagavan is its cause. The cyclic process is anadi. He is its anadi cause.


      • I meant something that exists from anadi time. The atma is anadi. That does not have a cause. The law of Karma is anadi. No cause. Bhagavan is anadi. No cause. The universe is not anadi. It has a beginning. So it has a cause. But the relation between bhagavan and the cycle of creation- no cause. That means the relation has always existed.


    • Do you mean ‘effect’ when you use the word ‘purpose’? Every cause has an effect. Yes, correct. And this relation exists from beginningless time between the cause and the effect. So water flows down the hill because of its potential energy. And water has been flowing downhill (and not uphill) from beginning-less time. I dont see the problem.


      • Let me illustrate my doubt with two quotes from the article https://www.jiva.org/why-does-god-create-the-world which says that the Lord creates the prison without a goal and… with a goal:

        The first quote:
        sṛstyādikaṁ harir naiva prayojanam apehsya tu I kurute kevalānandādyathā mattasyanartanam || pūrnānandasya tasyeha prayojana-matih kutah I muktā avyāpta-kāmāḥ syuḥ him utāsy akhilātmanaḥ ||
        “Without a goal, the Lord carries out creation out of bliss alone, like a mad man dancing. What is the question of a goal for the Lord who is complete bliss? Persons who are liberated have no desires to be fulfilled. What then to speak of desires in the Lord, the soul of all beings?” (Nārāyaṇa-saṁhitā)

        The second quote:
        “Why does He create a prison? He creates it so that people can become devotees. […] He is only trying to help the beginningless conditioned soul to get out of the conditioning.”

        So, I can’t understand: if the Lord has no goal then whose goal is this?


      • The question is ill-posed. Why is water wet? It is how it is. But the suffering can make us want to get out.

        Note also that all suffering is in the mind. Suffering does not touch the atma. If we accept the atma’s existence, who is suffering? If we reject it, who is suffering?


  4. I have a friend who recently bought a house. It needed a lot of fixing, refurbishment and cleaning up, due to mold( a living organism) and some insects etc. In the process of cleaning it and fixing it up, a lot of these organisms had to die. From his (this friend of mine) perspective he was not doing evil, in fact his main concern was the refurbishment of the house. The word “evil” is a dualistic term from the conditioned experience of a jiva in the material world. Creation, maintenance and destruction are part of the material world. Its all about perspective, when I look at traffic from an aerial view( airplane), I see beauty due to the lights coming from the cars and the arrangement. However, from the perspective of someone on the ground stuck in traffic (and late for an appointment) its “evil”.


      • 1. I never said there is no evil, instead what I said was that good and bad(evil) are dualistic experiences imposed by the three gunas . Both good and bad are actually not conducive in “getting out”. Although good is generally helpful in giving one a favorable situation to meet devotees and to practice sadhana peacefully. However, to get the password (shraddha/transcendental “faith”) is not up to pious endeavors, its causeless. Ask anyone working at a gas station, or office if they want to get out of the material world…they will give you a blank stare. The only people who are thinking of getting out are those acquainted with vedic “liberation” texts such as the Upanishads. Although most rely only on sattva guna instead of the authorized password of bhakti-shraddha.

        2. A self-realized soul (jivanmukta) can be in this world of dualities and not be affected; so in a sense such souls do not “need to get out”. They are already attuned to a higher consciousness. For them there is no difference between “here and there”. A prominent example of a great soul who travels to the material world and even gets “cursed” for encouraging others to “get out” is Sri Narada Muni.

        3.However, jivas are still under the thralldom of the three gunas, so they continually feel the pangs of material existence. These pangs are felt due to identification with the material body.

        4. I am not a sanskrit expert but I have a feeling that those from a western perspective study vedic realities in a “contained/biased” manner. For instance, uttama bhakti is not about getting out but about Krishna Prema.


      • If you want to impose the “evil” term in such discussions, I can only suggest that “evil” is a beginningless/causeless lack of Krishna Prema / Bhakti. That “evil” is threefold (sattva/rajas/tamas)…however, on careful inspection this term simply does not work in the world of bhakti philosophy and vedic understanding. “Evil” implies that someone is purposefully inflicting pain on you; we know that karma is anadi and its you( the individual jiva) who creates karmic impressions by acting under the gunas. These karmic impressions are without a beginning, so there is no need of even bringing up the word “evil”.


      • What is dharma of each of anadi tattvas and phenomenons: Bhagavan, Jiva, Prakriti, Samsara, etc.? And what is svarupa of jiva? And what is definition of this term, svarupa?


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