While the highest phase of Brahmanism was hardly a religion, it was truly one of the most noble reaches of the mortal mind into the domains of philosophy and metaphysics. Having started out to discover final reality, the Indian mind did not stop until it had speculated about almost every phase of theology excepting the essential dual concept of religion: the existence of the Universal Father of all universe creatures and the fact of the ascending experience in the universe of these very creatures as they seek to attain the eternal Father, who has commanded them to be perfect, even as he is perfect.
In the concept of Brahman the minds of those days truly grasped at the idea of some all-pervading Absolute, for this postulate was at one and the same time identified as creative energy and cosmic reaction. Brahman was conceived to be beyond all definition, capable of being comprehended only by the successive negation of all finite qualities. It was definitely a belief in an absolute, even an infinite being, but this concept was largely devoid of personality attributes and was therefore not experiencible by individual religionists.
Brahman-Narayana was conceived as the Absolute, the infinite IT IS, the primordial creative potency of the potential cosmos, the Universal Self existing static and potential throughout all eternity. Had the philosophers of those days been able to make the next advance in deity conception, had they been able to conceive of the Brahman as associative and creative, as a personality approachable by created and evolving beings, then might such a teaching have become the most advanced portraiture of Deity on Earth since it would have encompassed the first five levels of total deity function and might possibly have envisioned the remaining two.
In certain phases the concept of the One Universal Oversoul as the totality of the summation of all creature existence led the Indian philosophers very close to the truth of the Supreme Being, but this truth availed them naught because they failed to evolve any reasonable or rational personal approach to the attainment of their theoretic monotheistic goal of Brahman-Narayana.
The karma principle of causality continuity is, again, very close to the truth of the repercussional synthesis of all time-space actions in the Deity presence of the Supreme; but this postulate never provided for the co-ordinate personal attainment of Deity by the individual religionist, only for the ultimate engulfment of all personality by the Universal Oversoul.
The philosophy of Brahmanism also came very near to the realization of the indwelling of the Thought Adjusters, only to become perverted through the misconception of truth. The teaching that the soul is the indwelling of the Brahman would have paved the way for an advanced religion had not this concept been completely vitiated by the belief that there is no human individuality apart from this indwelling of the Universal One.
In the doctrine of the merging of the self-soul with the Oversoul, the theologians of India failed to provide for the survival of something human, something new and unique, something born of the union of the will of man and the will of God. The teaching of the soul's return to the Brahman is closely parallel to the truth of the Adjuster's return to the bosom of the Universal Father, but there is something distinct from the Adjuster which also survives, the morontial counterpart of mortal personality. And this vital concept was fatally absent from Brahmanic philosophy.
Brahmanic philosophy has approximated many of the facts of the universe and has approached numerous cosmic truths, but it has all too often fallen victim to the error of failing to differentiate between the several levels of reality, such as absolute, transcendental, and finite. It has failed to take into account that what may be finite-illusory on the absolute level may be absolutely real on the finite level. And it has also taken no cognizance of the essential personality of the Universal Father, who is personally contactable on all levels from the evolutionary creature's limited experience with God on up to the limitless experience of the Eternal Son with the Paradise Father.
--Presented by a Melchizedek of Nebadon, from the Urantia Papers.
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