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BG Chap 16 - The philosophies of the demons

The impersonal philosophers say that the world is false, filled with error, like thinking a shell is silver. They say that the world has no basis like a flower in the sky, which means the world has no existence at all as a real object. There is no God in control, who creates, maintains and destroys the world. They say God, like the world, is manufactured out of illusion. If there were an absolute God, He would not have created such an illusory world. They say there is one soul without qualities, unknown by any source of knowledge, which because of error in knowledge, reflects itself through ignorance as another entity—in the form of the material world, the individual jīvas and the Lord. When one realizes one’s real nature as that one soul, there is no duality and there is only oneness. Until then everything that we see is like elephants, horses and chariots in a dream. When one realizes one’s true nature, what was imagined out of ignorance disappears along with the notion of being a separate jīva, just as the chariots and horses disappear during deep sleep.

The Buddhists who advocate the theory of svabhāva or inherent nature say that the world does not arise from the intercourse between man and woman in the manner of a potter producing a pot (with intention), since the parents beget a child without even knowing how it is being done. Children sometimes are born as a result of men and women uniting only once and some creatures appear from perspiration spontaneously (without interaction of male and female). Thus creation takes place spontaneously by its own nature, by nature’s inherent properties.

The Lokāyatas say that the world has no purpose other than satisfying one’s lust. Nothing else should be said. The lust between men and women alone is the cause of the world, being the motive for all actions. The Jains say that the cause is whatever one wants it to be—whatever a person can imagine according to his reasoning power, he will say that that is the cause of the world. In other words, among the demons there is no perfect knowledge of the creation of the world; every one of them has some particular theory of his own. According to them, one interpretation of the scriptures is as good as another, for they do not believe in a standard understanding of the scriptural injunctions.