The Theosophical Forum – September 1948


Question — Could you explain in simple language the fundamental difference between Parabrahman and Mulaprakriti? I have been studying the explanation given in The Secret Doctrine on pages 15 and 16, but do not seem to understand Mme. Blavatsky's definitions. Perhaps you could simplify this for me. — L. B.

Abbott B. Clark — For fifty years we have accused any one who was talking over his depth of talking about Mulaprakriti and Parabrahman. It seems now to be time to clear things up a little and try to learn the place of these two words in our philosophy.

The fundamental principle of any cosmos, solar system or galaxy in the fields of Boundless Space is Parabrahman, from the Sanskrit Para, beyond, and Brahman, the highest, most impersonal and metaphysical conception of God. The Vedic Sages spoke of the manifest and all that can be discussed and speculated upon as This, and reverently spoke of all beyond as THAT — the great mystery — to be viewed in reverent silence. IT is the unthinkable, the unutterable silence. Beyond the range and reach of thought or speculation, yet it can be perceived by the highest intuition as the Real, the One Reality. Our Teachers tell us that meditating upon it as your inmost Self, the Paramatman, is the highest, most worthwhile form of meditation or yoga. Parabrahman is the omnipresent, eternal, boundless Principle which is fundamental to all manifested, conditioned being. It is the field of unconditioned consciousness, life, wisdom and love. All the gods came later into being. To attempt to describe and discuss it would be to set our own limits to the Illimitable and produce only a traffic jam of thoughts and words. It is the One Flame of which all the gods and spiritual powers are sparks. It is not an entity but the underlying Reality of which all entities are transitory and ephemeral phenomena.

Mulaprakriti, from the Sanskrit mula, root, and prakriti, which may be translated as nature — a vague term, or as matter, also a very inadequate translation. Literally Prakriti is "production," "bringing forth," "originating," hence also signifies "primary, original substance" — according to the Occult Glossary definition.

Therefore, Mulaprakriti, as Primordial, homogeneous, undifferentiated substance, is the spiritual essence of cosmic Matter: a veil thrown over the face of Parabrahman, and furnishes the highest form of spiritual substance, by and through which Parabrahman manifests and without which Parabrahman would remain forever a mere empty and impotent abstraction. It is one with and inseparable from Parabrahman as the tangible substance of a thought is one with and inseparable from the thought. Parabrahman is the field of limitless, boundless, unconditioned consciousness; Mulaprakriti the substantial aspect of all forms on all planes of being, from the highest divine worlds to the lowest elemental worlds. The two, Parabrahman and Mulaprakriti, form a duality; for the human mind cannot conceive of a manifested universe without duality: Mind and matter; consciousness to be aware of something and something to be aware of, that is, subject and object, inner and outer, spirit and matter.

Now let us take a view of these two subjects in the general field of our cosmic philosophy.

1st: BOUNDLESS SPACE, from which all proceeds, to which all must return: the One alone: Absolute Unity.

2nd: Parabrahman and Mulaprakriti. Unconditioned Consciousness and undifferentiated Matter.

3rd: The above shadowed forth on the fields of Boundless Space as Brahman and its veil, Pradhana or prakriti. The first differentiation by which the One becomes the many. In Greek philosophy, the First Logos; the first awakening of divine thought.

This first awakening of Divine thought acts as or liberates Daiviprakriti, the highest form of spiritual cosmic energy — "the Light of the Logos," which is at once consciousness, light and substance. The conscious energy by and through which Cosmic Ideation molds cosmic substance. On a lower plane Fohat, the electric energy vivifying cosmos.

4th: Brahma-Prakriti or Purusha-prakriti. Brahma corresponds to the active, creative god of all religions. In the Christian scheme God is obliged to make the world out of nothing. In Theosophy Brahma is furnished with Prakriti and everything that a creative God or gods may need in the shape of material: architects and builders.

Thus is given the profound philosophical basis which underlies the whole structure of theosophical thought. It furnishes a basis for, and also a key to, many of the world's religions and philosophies.

This universe is one living, throbbing, vibrating organic whole, divine in origin, nature and destiny; Parabrahman is, in theological language, both immanent and transcendent. Transcendent because it transcends all else and immanent because it abides in every atom of space. It is the heart of the heart of every man's being. "Aham asmi Parabrahma" — I am Parabrahman.

The Theosophical Forum