english  |  franšais     contact us
The equation you are that

The related articles mentioned here are in PDF format and can be viewed only with Adobe Reader version 6 and above. If required, you can download this software from


The equation you are that

The cause of the universe

We will now inquire into the second side of the equation 'you are that'. The immediate meaning of the word 'that' is the cause of the universe.

Up to now, we saw that I am not the individual I was taking myself to be but I am limitless consciousness-existence, that is the truth of the world which consists of many forms, and forms within forms. But the question arises as to how my and every other sentient being's body-mind-sense complex, and all other objects came into being? I now have to examine what is the cause of the universe, if there is one; and what is its nature. 

It is clear that I was born with a certain body and a self conscious mind, with a faculty given to me to understand, explore, ask questions, the capacity to have desires and pursue them. When I look more attentively, I see that everywhere in this world there is an order, a marvelous balance. Everything is amazingly and very intelligently put together. My body itself is a marvel, with hundreds of billions of cells all working together in harmony, I see a biological order in all the connections in my brain firing all the time and giving me knowledge of this world around me. In that knowledge there is an epistemological order, governing my knowing the different objects. In my interaction with the other human beings, there is a psychological order. The galaxies and the planets are also governed by a physical order and the earth with all its life forms by a biological and ecological order.

The fact that there is an order, an arrangement, a predictability and a network of laws governing the whole universe, leads me to conclude that there must an intelligent being at the origin of the creation. And this being must necessarily have all knowledge and the capacity to create the universe. Just like the creator of a pot has to know all about the pot and must have the skills to create a pot, the creator of everything should have all knowledge and all capacity.

Upanishads reveal the presence of an intelligent being, Isvara, that created the universe 68. It seems that Upanishads also say the same thing as all sacred scriptures, that the universe has a creator, that is God. Is it true? No, the differences become apparent when we look into the material cause of the creation.

Anything that is intelligently put together has two causes, an efficient cause (a maker with appropriate knowledge and skills) and a material cause. For example, in the case of a pot, the pot maker is the efficient cause while the clay is the material cause. Just as there is a material cause for every thing that is intelligently put together, what is the material cause of the entire universe? In other words, Isvara created the universe but where did the material that constitutes this universe come from? Where did this intelligent cause with all necessary skills find the appropriate material to create the universe? We can not say he found the material somewhere else, because everything is yet to be created! The only logical possibility is that the material is also Isvara. Isvara is not only the intelligent cause but also the material cause of the universe. That also means that Isvara pervades the whole creation 69 just like the clay as the material cause of the pot pervades the pot.

How can I accept this statement? To help us assimilate this unique vision of Isvara as both efficient and material cause of the world, the Upanishads give us two examples from our experience of a given entity being both the material and efficient cause. One is the example of the spider who is the intelligent designer of the web and also the material, since the soft fiber comes also from his body 70.

The dream is even a better example: you are the creator of the dream as you have the power and the intelligence to create the dream world, based on your own experiences, memories, etc. in the waking. You are also the material from which the space/time and all the objects such as rivers, mountains, road etc. and people, yourself and everyone around you in the dream are created. As the material cause of the dream creation, you pervade the whole dream world. You are the lord of the dream world, both efficient and material cause of the dream world. Similarly, Isvara is both the efficient and material cause of the entire universe 71.


You need to upgrade your Flash Player.
This requires Macromedia Flash, version 8 or greater. Please click here to download.
Or, if you're absolutely positive you have Flash 8 or greater, click here to force the site to load.
Vedanta, the Yoga of Objectivity
In this interview done in Bangkok, Neema explains why we have chosen to call this website, Vedanta, the Yoga
of Objectivity. What is the relationship between objectivity and seeing the reality as it is? What are the different
levels of objectivity we are speaking about?
Listen to audio (3:46 minutes)

Introduction to Vedanta, a timeless wisdom
A series of 4 videos which unfolds in a methodical,
short and powerful way the whole vision of Vedanta by looking into what we are really
searching in life and by inquiring into each side of the equation you are that (tat tvam asi).

The timeless teaching of the Bhagavad Gita
Watch this series of 20+ videos which unfolds the
essential verses of the Bhagvad Gita in a modern, accessible and yet profound manner. These talks
highlight how its vision is relevant to our contemporary world. It also shows how its teaching can help us to
live a meaningful and objective life.


counter easy hit