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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Mūlaprakṛti

(Mūlaprakriti). A Sanskrit compound formed of the prefix mūla- (root, basis, foundation, etc.) and PRAKRTI (lit. “that which is put or made before,” i.e., “Primary substance”). The word is used to refer to primordial, undifferentiated, pre-cosmic substance, the spiritual essence of matter, the original root or “germ” of matter and form. As the aspect of the Absolute underlying the objective worlds it is the “veil” of Parabrahman, with which it is in reality one, but which it at once reveals and conceals, being the first abstract idea that can be formed of Parabrahman. The LOGOS, perceiving only the “veil,” Parabrahman manifests first as Múlaprakti, then as the Logos, being the basis of the Subject-aspect of manifestation (individual consciousness), as mūlaprakti is the basis of the Object-aspect.

There are numerous references to mūlaprakti in Helena P. Blavatsky’s The Secret Doctrine; the earliest occurs in her commentary on the first fundamental proposition which states that, “precosmic root-substance (Mulaprakriti) is that aspect of the Absolute which underlies all the objective planes of Nature” (Vol. I, p. 15).

Writing about God, Blavatsky denies that theosophy accepts the existence of any anthropomorphic God and states:

“That from which all forms of existence emanate, in which they endure and into which they return and enter, is Brahmā.” This Brahmā when viewed as the fons et origo of the Substance of the Universe is, as has been repeatedly said in these columns, Mulaprakriti — a term which, in the poverty of English metaphysical vocabulary, has been translated as “undifferentiated cosmic matter.” It has also been said that the differentiation of Mulaprakriti produces infinite forms of being. The utter absence of God-Idea from our philosophical creeds with which we are charged, is due entirely to the misconception of the single word “differentiation.” . . . Mulaprakriti or Brahmā is absolutely subjective, and, therefore, the word “differentiation” is to be transferred to the purely subjective, or as it is more commonly called, spiritual, plane before its significance can be properly comprehended. It must not for a single moment be supposed that Mulaprakriti or Brahmā (Parabrahm) can ever undergo change of substance (Parinama). It is the Absolute Wisdom, the Only Reality, the Eternal Deity — to dissociate the word from its vulgar surroundings. What is meant by the differentiation of Mulaprakriti is that the primordial essence of all forms of existence (Asat) is radiated by it, and when radiated by it becomes the centre of energy from which by gradual and systematic processes of emanation or differentiation the universe, as perceived, springs into existence. (CW VI:141-2)

M.A./P.S.H.

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