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Awareness is formed from food we eat


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How can awareness be an item of the imaginable creation?

Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! It is simple. If food is not given to the body for a long time, awareness disappears from that body. If awareness were eternal, it would not disappear from the body, even when no food is supplied to the body. The Veda also says that the awareness is born from food (Annāt puruṣa). The word puruṣa means the awareness lying in the body (Puri dehe yat śete tat caitanyaṃ puruṣa). As per science, when food is digested, inert energy is released. That energy enters the nervous system and gets converted into a specific form of work, called awareness. Awareness or ‘being aware’ means the work of transferring information from the senses to brain. If the supply of food is stopped, no inert energy is liberated and hence, awareness cannot be produced. Awareness continues to exist in the body for some days, even if we do not eat food, because the fats stored in the body are broken down to release inert energy, which, in turn, gets converted to awareness. Once the stored fats get exhausted, no more inert energy is generated and awareness disappears. Ahalyā, the living human being was converted into an inert stone due to a curse. Her awareness was converted into inert energy and the energy was converted into inert matter or stone. When Rāma released her from the curse, the reverse process took place and the stone-form of Ahalyā again became the living Ayalyā with awareness. Of course, this particular conversion was miraculous and can only be done by God using His unimaginable power. We cannot imagine how a living woman can be converted to a stone and vice versa. But the usual conversion of inert energy to awareness in a living body is imaginable by us. It also is ultimately under the control of God alone.

The Veda says that God first created the inert five elements, followed by plants and finally, awareness. Thus, awareness is not eternally self-existent. It is a generated product, which was produced at the end of the process of creation. Creation is called prakṛti. Awareness is called parā prakṛti. Parā means the best. So, parā prakṛti means the best or most precious part of creation. If awareness itself were God, God would have said that He Himself is parā prakṛti. But in the Gita, He said that His creation or prakṛti consists of two parts: (1) Aparā prakṛti, which is the lower part of His creation and (2) Parā prakṛti, which is the best and most precious part of His creation. For parā prakṛti, He only said that it is the best part of His creation (Prakṛtiṃ viddhi me parām). He did not say that parā prakṛti is Himself. When somebody says that this gold is the best part of his property, it does not mean that the gold is himself! God has also mentioned in the Gita that parā prakṛti is awareness (Jīvabhūtām). God is unimaginable as per the Veda (Atarkya) and His creation is imaginable since we can see and understand it. Awareness, being a part of creation, is imaginable and also visible, as per the Gita (Paśyanti jñāna cakṣuṣa). You can visualize awareness in the form of waves or pulses of inert energy on a monitor since awareness is nothing but a converted work-form of inert energy.



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