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The concept of the Father of the Universe has two connotations. One is that He is the Creator of the Universe. The other is that He is the Soul of our souls, the Core of our core.
First let us take the Creation aspect. Where does He create the universe from? This question is often asked with great interest by all thinking persons. Much water has flown under the bridge of this debate whether He created the Universe out of Nothing or whether He created it from something other than Himself. Neither of the hypothesis is acceptable to either the advaita or the viSishTAdvaita philosophy. It is maintained by both that the Universe was created by the Lord out of Himself! In other words, He Himself is the material cause of the Universe. How can this be? The muNDaka-Upanishad explains this by giving three analogies. He creates the Universe just as a spider creates its own web, says the Upanishad. But this actually raises a question in our minds: Does it mean then that the Lord is in need of a place just as the spider weaves its web so as to have a place of residence for itself? No, says the Upanishad, by giving another analogy. Just as plants grow from Earth so also the Universe emanates from the Lord, continues the scripture. But again a further question may arise. So then, is the Lord, probably, an inert entity like the Earth?! No, look at the third analogy: Just as hairs grow on a man, says the Upanishad. Thus the universe sprouts forth from the Lord spontaneously, without any effort, from His Cosmic Energy, called prakRti.
For more on prakRti, go to Essay on prakRti.
By the very presence of the omnipresent Absolute, the prakRti gives birth to the universe. It is actually a manifestation of the Absolute through the phenomenon called mAyA, which is only another name for prakRti. Manifestation is not transformation or a change of state. A change of state is called pariNAma or vikAra. The Absolute brahman does not undergo a change when it appears as the universe. It just appears; that is all. Such an appearance where the original does not modify its own svarUpa (inherent 'form') is called a vivarta -- like the rope appearing as the snake.
The second aspect of the Lord being the Father of the Universe is its role as the Soul of our souls. The Gita in its seventh chapter uses the word jIva-bhUtAM, in this context. It is the spark from the Light Absolute that becomes the life-giving Consciousness in every being.
The intellectual understanding of these two facets of the Father of
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