My last post discussed the analogy, which Vedanta uses to prove one reality in diverse sentient beings. This present post discusses a profound question as to what is the nature of matter, a general word for insentient objects. Further, if there is only one reality, Brahman, then what is the relationship between Brahman and matter? Further, the last post discussed the reflection of Brahman in numerous mind-intellects polished by vasanas. Mind, intellect and vasanas are all insentient objects and are basically matter. Then, doesn’t it imply that Brahman and matter are different? One is sun and the other is mirror, so to say.
Matter is also referred to as Prakriti in Vedanta. Lord Krishna uses the word My Prakriti. Thus, it means Matter of Brahman. The analogy, which describes the difference between Brahman and matter, is that of diamond and charcoal. Both are carbon only. It is only different arrangements of the atoms that bring about a huge difference in their physical properties. Likewise, there is some inconceivable reason (Maya) through which the same Brahman takes the form of matter. Lord Krishna hints about it by saying that though He is never born, yet by getting situated in His Prakriti, he incarnates through His Maya (Chapter IV, Verse 6). Thus, it seems clear as to how the same Brahman is matter. The difference between Brahman and matter (Prakriti) is analogous to that of diamond and charcoal. The arrangement of carbon atoms is analogous to Maya. It is by this analogy that Vedanta explains the unity between Brahman and Prakriti.