Episode # 49 – “Sthoola” and “Sookshma” – Two important “states” of the world!!!

Little Krishna

In the previous episode, we had witnessed King Parikshit sitting down with Sage Sukhaachaarya to commence the proceedings of the Bhaagawatha Puraana. King Parikshit asks a series of questions to Sage Sukhaachaarya and the answers that come out of each question, form the contents of this text. Of course, Sage Sukhaachaarya gives detailed narrations from various examples and also from Bhagawan’s various incarnations in this world. He illustrates the answers with what Bhagawan do in this world to establish and re-establish the Dharma at different points in time!

In that way, King Parikshit asks Sage Sukhaachaarya the first question as to how this world was created and what is the nature of this world. Sage Sukhaachaarya says that the world is conceptualized and created by Bhagawan as per the rules and regulations ascertained in the Vedas. Post that, the world can never be destroyed by whatever force. The world will keep running and chugging ahead, irrespective of whatever “Yuga” or whatever might be the nature – “Dharma” or “Adharma”. Of course, as Bhagawan Krishna has said in the Bhagawad Gita, He would incarnate in this world to set things right as per the Dharma, at a time when Adharma reaches its peak. Although Bhagawan “destroys” few people in the process, this could not be termed as “destruction” in the literal sense. Everything on this earth, be it a living or a non-living being, can never be totally destroyed – It can still take up some form or the other and exist in this world. This is where we witnessed the example of a mud pot. If the pot is intact, then we say that the mud exists in the form of a pot. Whereas, if the pot is broken down, the mud is still there, but now it is in a powdered form. Similarly, carbon can exist in different forms like Graphite, Diamond, etc. In the science of Chemistry, this phenomenon is referred to as “Allotropy”. If we burn down the diamond, it is going to be reduced to carbon ashes. Although the diamond stone might be considered to be “destroyed” in the process of burning, it still exists in a different form – That is, ashes of carbon!

Hence from all these discussions, we can see that this world can never be destroyed. It has a perpetual existence yuga after yuga. However, there is another important point to be noted here, which is a continuation of the previous point. If we say that the world is getting “destroyed” because of various natural calamities, it is not the literal meaning here also. It just means that the “state” in which the world exists, is changing. This is why we say that the world is susceptible to “change”. For instance, if we take a look at the geographical map of the world that existed around 10,000 years ago, we would be able to see a huge difference in which various continents were placed. For instance, until few thousands of years ago, geologists claim that the land masses of today’s Asia and Africa were together without any separation, and the landmasses of today’s Australia and adjoining Indonesia were totally smudged with the Asian landmass. However, over thousands of years, the world has gone through innumerable changes and thus today we see Asia and Africa separated by the Arabian Sea, Australia, New Zealand, etc. taking shape and the land masses of Indonesia, Malaysia, etc. also coming into the picture. Thus, we can see here that the world undergoes change, but can never be destroyed.

Similarly, today the world contains plants, animals, human beings, buildings, houses, etc. However, these things are not going to be permanent. After some point in time, all of these are going into a state of “Sookshma” and the process by which these things are attaining this “Sookshma” stage is called “Samhaara”. Readers need to be very careful in understanding these terminologies here, as it might get a bit confusing. However, these things that have attained the state of “Sookshma” can again take forms of plants, animals, human beings, etc. in this world, and this phenomenon is called as “Sthoola”. Thus, whatever might be in the “Sookshma” state today, can take the form of “Sthoola” tomorrow, and vice versa. Thus, “Sthoola” is the state of all objects in the world, which can be seen as a definitive form by our naked eyes. “Sookshma” is a state wherein all of these objects do exist, but in the invisible form.

There can be a slight confusion here – How do we say that if something exists, but still cannot be seen? Is this possible? Yes, it is possible! For instance, if we take a towel, rinse it with water, wash it, take it out of water, squeeze it and put it in the open for drying, is the water still existing in the towel? Yes, isn’t it? It is only because of the presence of the water in the towel, we say that the towel is “wet”. Although we might not be able to see water in the towel in the normal form, small and minute granules of water is still sticking on to the fabric of the cloth, thus making it “wet”. In fact, in the wet towel, water is everywhere in it. However, if we look at the towel, we can only see the cloth but not the water in it. This means that the water in the towel is in a “Sookshma” form and not in the “Sthoola” form. The “Sthoola” form here is the towel that is hanging on the rope. We can see the towel with our naked eye, but not the water that is making the towel “wet”. This “wetness” of the towel is referred to as the “Sookshma” form of water.

Similarly, the world that we see around us every day, is “Sthoola” in nature. All of this would attain the state of “Sookshma” after a period of time. However, in all of these Sthoola and Sookshma states, Bhagawan is present! This is why we always keep saying that Bhagawan is “omni-present” everywhere in this world, and He exists in the “Sookshma” form. If we say that Bhagawan Krishna exists in the form of Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana text itself, it means that Bhagawan Krishna is existing in the “Sookshma” form inside this text.

So for today, let us ponder over this important point and understand the difference between the two states of the world. We shall wait till the next episode to witness the continuation of this discussion further. Stay tuned! 😊


Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, India A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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