A-AS Level (CIE) Hinduism: Specimen Questions with Answers 35 - 35 of 51

Question 35

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Describe Apara prakriti & Para prakriti in reference to Hinduism.

Explanation

  • Prakriti means Nature. Here, in Hinduism- nature means the real essence (satta) of one is existence.
  • As per Veda, Prakriti is of two types- 1) Apara prakriti (lower nature) , 2) Para prakriti (higher nature) .

  • Apara prakriti deals with each and everything that is perishable in nature made up of five elements (pancha bhootas) , three gunas (sattva, rajas, tamas) , five senses (pancha indriyas) etc. It is considered as matter principle (Jada) . Changes or modifications can be taken place in Apara prakriti. This prakriti is totally depends upon Para prakriti for its existence.

  • Para prakriti deals with the eternal nature of the supreme soul. It is considered as consciousness principle (chetana) . It neither can create nor can be destroyed. Moreover, this (Para prakriti) conscious matter is called God (Iswara) . It is free from experience, observance, remembrance etc. without any physical attribute. It exists beyond the time and space.

  • When we compare both the prakriti-, we can conclude that, Apara is a myth or illusion (Maya) that which have some characteristics or attributes. However, Para is Truth (satyam) and independent.

  • According to lord Krishna in Bhagavat gita- “apareyam ita tatvam anyam prakritim viddi jivam bhutam mahabaho yayetam dharyate Jagat. ” It clearly states that- apart from Apara prakriti (inferior nature) , there is a superior energy of mine (para prakriti) , that which all creatures struggling with the material aspects and sustaining this universe.

  • Swami Sri Ramakrishna Paramahmsa makes this theory much more very easy to understand. As per his words- “Suppose a thorn has pierced a man’s foot. He picks another thorn to pull out the first one. Then he throws both away. One should use the thorn of knowledge to pull out the thorn of ignorance. “

  • That is why lord Krishna as an eternal soul (supreme soul) , urges everyone to go beyond all these Prakritis.

  • Above mentioned all are the main features of both Para and Apara prakriti, as per the Hinduism.

Para and Apara Prakriti