I will speak today mainly from the Kat́hopaniśad, yet paiṋcakośas (the five layers of mind) and saptalokas (the seven realms of existence) will occupy the major part of my discourse. Proper knowledge about these five layers and seven realms helps sádhaná a great deal.
Human beings are generally acquainted with their kámamaya kośa (conscious or crude mind), and manomaya kośa (sub-conscious or subtle mind). The fact that kárańa mana (unconscious or causal mind) remains awake during sleep, and dormant or unexpressed, or seemingly unexpressed, during the wakeful and dreamful states, is not sufficiently known. This act of knowing is not even one of cognition at all but of sensation, and this takes place mainly through the sub-conscious mind. That is why in this state of mind, wherein only the unconscious (kárańabháva) exists, it becomes almost impossible for human beings to know or understand anything. But of course it would be possible if they could illumine the dark world of their unconscious minds through the radiance of their own Átman (soul). This focusing of light is the Sádhana of the Soul, for by this the unconscious mind gradually attains the characteristic state of the Átman and is absorbed in Cosmic Consciousness.
The unconscious state of the mind cannot be attained by the cruder expressions of mind. It is realizable only through cognition, not through the sensations of the crude or subtle mind. The particular cognitive act whereby the unconscious or causal mind is adequately objectified, is nothing but the radiation of the effulgence of the Átman. Here the object and subject remain intact. The attributional expression of the object and the subject must exist in the jiivátman (unit consciousness) or Saguńa Brahma (Cosmic Consciousness), or else their entitative existence will not be substantiated. Kárańa-darshana or the seeing of the unconscious mind is but a part of the seeable, sight and seer-ship. Yet I am not including this in the category of sensations of the mind, for the similarities of propensities (vrtti-sárupya) that exist in the act of sensing are not in it. Herein lies the chief difference between the cognitive act (Jiṋána-Kriyá) and the sensation (bodha-kriyá).
In the sensation when the citta (ectoplasmic sphere of the mind) becomes identical with the objects as the result of their association with the organs – it is called anubhúti, or “feeling”. “Anu” means “after” bhúti means “becoming”. When the form of an object is materialized in the mind through the instrumentality of the sense organs it is anubhúti. When this relationship with the objects becomes deeper resulting in the citta completely identifying itself with them it is called “realization” or upalabdhi (upa means “near”, and labdhi means “to get”). When this proximity with objects becomes still and deeper, when the mind-stuff becomes almost completely identical with them, the expression of the individual “I” feeling then becomes very indistinct. In that state, the sense of individuality almost disappears – the seeable and the seer become almost one, but not completely. This state is called labdhi or substantial attainment. Anubhúti, upalabdhi and labdhi are the different stages of perception of mind.
Whatever be the sensory act, success depends upon the citta’s acceptance of ideas, i.e., on the ectoplasmic simulation of ideas. What we generally call the causal or unconscious mind is also a blending of the three attributes, sattva, raja and tama, which are part of the citta (ectoplasm) in the pervasive sense. It is for this reason that the seeds of the reactive momenta (saḿskáras) are stored in the causal mind. In order to fully visualise the unconscious mind or causal mind, one’s identity must remain unaffected from its ingrained saḿskáras. With the expression of the saḿskáras the crude and subtle minds get agitated and it becomes impossible for the saḿskára-laden unit beings to reach the stage of tranquillity of the causal mind. So, as I was saying, in order to know or comprehend the causal mind one must transcend the inertness of the microcosmic mind. At this stage the Ahaḿtattva (doer-I) is bound to merge in mahattattva (existential-I). In that event the unit mahattattva will then have no alternative but to temporarily identify itself with the Cosmic Mahattattva.
In order to understand the causal mind fully, the unit entities have to give up their unit citta completely. Whatever the Mahat takes as the object of the Cosmic Mahat, it will not get the unmanifest bearing of the Great Citta as its own object. For both the causal entity of the unit being and the unexpressed Citta-entity of the Great, there must be the effulgence of cognition (prajiṋá). There is absolutely no scope for major or minor expressions of upalabdhi and labdhi, or bodha-kriyá (sensation).
How is the attainment of the cognitive force (prajiṋáshakti) possible, which is capable of apprehending the primary cause of the universe as its object? Is this attainment called sambodhi (highest intuitional power)? No, I would not call it sambodhi, because sambodhi is the fullest expression of intuition itself, and the infallible knowledge of cognition (Prajiṋá) is beyond the realm of the apperceptive mind. Can that force of consciousness (citi-shakti) be acquired through intuitional practice? Yes, it can be acquired by dint of intuitional practice. Cognition is the result of the total of all upsurging movements of the mind or intellect, which is possible through sádhaná alone. The sense of oneness between cognition and the sensory organs remains in the bodhi-citta of non-sádhakas. Here I have deliberately used the word bodhi-citta, for there is no equivalent word capable of explaining the ultimate manifestation of the ectoplasmic potentialities.
Human beings confuse their petty I-feelings with their actions and knowledge in such a way that they cannot think of any agency other than their own ego as the doer of their acts. Seeing the organs’ reception and projection of objectivities, they think that the performance of that reception and projection is dependent upon the inspiration of their own egos alone. Confounded by their extroversive propensities they cannot understand that without the help of prajiṋá (cognition) the very existence of (kárya) cannot be substantiated, what to speak of karana (instrument of action). The omnitelepathy of prajiṋá is the only factor for determining kárya, kárańa and the psychic faculty. The second phase of Avidyá (the force of microcosmic distraction) that creates a confusion between the Witnessing Entity and the witness-ship is called asmitá (egotism).
When people perceive something through the mind, they think that their sight or perception alone is the factor which determines the existence of an object. This sort of foolish presumption is called asmitá. Such people cannot understand that not only behind their cognition but also behind their sensation there exists the radiant reflection of an Effulgent Entity. This radiance is reflected not only in the crude and subtle but in the causal entity as well, and is the perfect semblance of His characteristic identity. Ignorant people cannot think of anything beyond what little light reflection they see on their own unit entities; their sense entities remain confined within that very limit. And that is why the ignorant materialists do not want to recognize anything beyond his observable world. This flagrant disregard on their part is not mere arrogance but Himalayan ignorance.
There are three stages of the mind – wakefulness, dream and sleep. In the wakeful state (kaosikii satta) all the layers of the mind remain more or less manifest – and it is possible to distinguish between the witnessing entity and the witnessing faculty. During the dream state since the conscious mind (kámamaya kośa) is asleep, the difference between them becomes less apparent; and in the inertness of sleep the two become as though lost in darkness – the object and the human being lose their identities in the darkness. Since the seeds of saḿskáras that remain in the unconscious mind as the sustainer of the ego have no actional expression in spite of their cognitive reflection, there is no measuring rod for the unit being to determine the difference between cognition and the instruments of action (prajiṋá and kárańa).
So you see, as long as the cognitive faculty (prajiṋá-bháva) and active expression of the layers of mind (kaośikii-bháva) maintain their distinctive specialties, their separate identities have got to be recognized; if not, we may infer that a person is blind even though he has eyes – he has lost the brightness the cognitive flame in the darkness of inertness. But when his identity is established in the world of effulgence, overcoming the illusory effect of the layers of mind, then there remains only the cognitive bearing. The ectoplasmic stance (cittabháva) merges completely into ahaḿbháva and ahaḿbháva into mahatbháva. That is the unit becomes fully suspended in the state of cognitive bearing. The agent, the action and the instrument of action all attain the supreme bliss of the cognitive bearing. And so, in spite of the existence of distinctions among the three ( knowledge, knowership and knowable; or deed, doer and done) in the six lower lokas, nothing is apparent or manifest in the satyaloka except pure Consciousness.
Although instrumentality and cognition abide in the lower six lokas separately (and this sense of separateness is the only criterion of this flow of creation), yet the infatuated unit mind makes a confusion of the six lokas, prajiṋá and kárańa. If this combination were conducive to the establishment of cognition, one would have nothing to say – for that indeed is sádhaná. But human beings get confused – they ignore prajiṋá and think kárańa to be everything.
The Liila Bháva of Parama Puruśa (His changing or metamorphic bearing) is an expression of His Nitya Bháva (eternal bearing). Due to false vision or ignorance, however, (asmitá means false vision; the tendency to equate prajiṋá with kárańa) humans lose the capacity to realize that the Eternal Entity is eternally present behind the metamorphic stance. The greater the influence of the sensual propensities, the greater the importance allotted to kárańa, and the greater the disregard for prajiṋá. Due to the subtlety of the power of sensation, the scope of expansion of mind will increase. The intellectual development will also increase, and the intuitional faculty will manifest more and more, and the restlessness of the human mind will be transformed into a state of tranquillity. Satyaloka or the Abode of Truth is the ultimate state, of the highest state of tranquillity (supramental state of witness-ship beyond the scope-of the mind). In philosophical language it is called Brahmaloka or the abode of Brahma.
Yathádarshe tathátmáni yathá svapne tathá pitrloke
Yathápsu pariivadadrshe tathágandharvaloke cháyátapayoriva Brahmaloke.
[[Supreme Cognition]] is perpetually reflected as the effulgence on the unit entity’s mental plate. The more one’s mental mirror is clear, the more it is free from impurities, and the more brilliantly and fully it receives this spiritual radiance. Those unit beings who purify their existential “I” (Mahat) through intuitional practice, enjoy the sweet bliss of His touch. If Mahatattva is impure, His reflection is not properly received. Thus those sadhakas whose minds are crude and inert are not able to apprehend even a iota of His sweet essence. That is why at the time of happiness their illusion-dulled mental waves seek to remain in smug oblivion, disregarding Him; and at the time of sorrow they unduly find fault with Him, failing to understand His merciful dispensation that exists behind that sorrow. [ Just as in a dirt-free or less unclean mirror you can see an original object very well and in the event of more dirtiness the knowledge of object becomes hazier, exactly so is the case with self-visualization of Átman in the mental mirror. In wakefulness, i.e., in the Kámamaya Kośa (conscious mind) reception of Self-reflection is extremely difficult as a rule, but in a dreamful state, i.e., in the Manomaya Kośa (sub-conscious mind) its comprehension is somewhat easy. So is the case with Pitrloka or Atimánasa Kośa (Supramental mind). In the Gandharvaloka, i.e., Janarloka or Vijiṋánamaya Kośa (Subliminal mind) His reflection is indistinct and frail like the reflection in water. Even in Devarloka, i.e., in the Hirańmaya kośa (Subtle causal mind) or Tapaloka (The Penultimate Sphere) His bearing is not clearly reflected. He is properly apprehended and realized in the Brahmaloka, where He is clearly and resplendently manifest. Just as a shadow beside sun-ray or sun-ray beside shadow is clearly understood, similarly perspicuous is His clearness or manifestness in the Brahmaloka. Greater the influence of Prakrti (the Operative Principle) or Avidyá (Force of microcosmic distraction), the greater the impurities. This is the reason why the lower layers or Kośas are comparatively less capable of expressing His greatness than the higher ones.
The reflection of the Puruśa that surges on the unit’s entitative intellect – in the cells or sheaths of the unit-mind, is indeed the Jiivátman or the subjective counterpart of the microcosm and the Puruśa Who is clearly manifest and characteristically ensconced in the Brahmaloka – where God and man have no distinction – where the mind has not awakened, is the Paramátman or the Supreme Soul. In the transparent [[black]] sky the moon abides in its own characteristic bearing and is reflected on the water below. The “water-moon”, although identical with the moon above, has no intrinsic individuality of its own. If any distortion comes in the real moon, the moon of the water will also have similar distortion. But initial distortion cannot come to the latter, for it is completely a shadow entity. Nevertheless if this shadow-entity can be seen and understood clearly, one can have an idea of the real moon therefrom, that’s all; but the real moon cannot be attained thereby. So one can indeed know the Paramátman by knowing the Jiivátman or Him by knowing the “I”, but it does not mean the attainment of Him or getting ensconced in Him thereby. And so fullness of knowledge may come from the smaller trances (Samádhis) but not ensconcement in Brahma or Consciousness. The water-moon is not properly and clearly seen or understood due to waves or impurities in the water. Similarly due to the existence of the waves of propensities or the impurities of the Saḿskáras or Chromosomes on the mental canvas, the reflection of the Paramátman thereon (i.e., Jiivátman) is not properly understood. That was why I said: In the lower Kośas or cells where the propensive expressions or impurities of the Saḿskáras are greatly in evidence, the Átmabháva or characteristic Spiritual Self is unmanifest. However, it is the Boddhámánas concerned (the apperceptive mind) – no matter to which Kośa it belongs – that apprehends the reflection of the Puruśa. This Boddhámánas, being directly vulnerable to propensities, becomes impotent to buck up and vivify its own capabilities. Therefore a Sádhaka (spiritual aspirant) has to free his mind from the impurities through Sádhaná (spiritual austerity). This purgation of the mind – this freedom of the mind from the impurities, is indeed liberation. The Buddhitattva of a liberated being is never smitten by any assault.
To convert the mind into the real mirror, every kośa has to be made transparent and crystalline. The attitude of the lower kośas has got to be sublimated into the higher Kośas and then again the higher Kośas have got to be made still more transparent by dint of Sádhaná – by dint of the penetrating projection of the Sentient Force and merged in the still higher Kośas. Thus through the medium of Kośa-wise Sádhaná the higher the Loka a sádhaka attains, the fuller will become his entire entity with the Divine Radiance – Divine Bliss. After the last trace of impurities being wiped out from the buddhitattva, the Átman that will come to light in that purified buddhi or intellect is alone [[called]] Puruśottama, Who is the Nucleus of Cosmic Subjectivity, the Saguńa Brahma – the Subjectivated Shiva, for in His catoptric, or reflect[[ing]], pure intellect, the “petty I” has no quarter. ] And when the sádhakas transcend the illus[[ory]] bondage of their buddhitattva [existential “I”] and race towards the ultimate reality unhindered by any reflection on the mental plate, their intellects and indeed their whole identities merge in Consciousness in its pure form. That [[un]]reflected(1) Átman is [[alone called the pure Nirguńa]]. This state [[is the unchallengeable position in Satyaloka – this state is Consciousness itself.
The process of perception that occurs due to the association of the organs with external objects is just an undulated expression of Citta. The part of the Citta where such vibrations take place is called the Kámamaya kośa or conscious or crude mind. In the wakeful state this kámamaya kośa keeps itself immensely busy. Although the sphere of the kámamaya kośa is quite large, it has no tranquillity due to the influence of the ever restless organs. And so the microcosms however hard they may try, never attain perfect peace and beatitude through the sádhana of kámamaya kośa alone, with a mind inclined towards the gratification of the sensual propensities. Can perfection be attained by a higher kośa above it, i.e., manomaya kośa (Sub-conscious mind). No, it cannot, for the memory, comprehension and imagination of the manomaya kośa, be they original or pertaining to saḿskáras, bear the stamp of petty “I”-ness; and this very pettiness of the ego stands in the way of attaining perfection.
None of the higher kośas can hold the citta pervasively and for that very reason none of them is capable of imparting Macrocosmic Bliss to the microcosm. Whatever are the waves in the unit-citta, in reality they do indirectly agitate every kośa, although they are directly under the sway of the kámamaya and manomaya kośas according to their circumstantial distinctions. This agitation is not the vibration of the infinite; it is the fevers and frets of the unit-citta. Spiritual sádhaná is indeed the sádhaná of bringing stability to the unit-citta. This merges in its immediate subjective part; and then losing the ego, merges in the entitative “I”. Every string of the microcosmic citta resounds with the hitherto unheard divine melody and the microcosm loses everything of its own. There remains only the Divine. Sádhaná is the process of stabilising and becalming the citta.
In this sádhaná of stabilising the citta the meaning of progress is to gradually cleanse every kośa of its impurities. When kámamaya kośa is stabilized, the citta will follow the dictates of the manomaya kośa and will not be swayed by the lower propensities, by sensual proclivities. Then again, when manomaya kośa becomes tranquil the citta will be free from the influence of kamamaya kośa. It will then merge its own entity in the atimánasa kośa – the supramental mind. In other words, it will exhaust the remaining saḿskáras. It cannot perform any original action (Pratyayamúlaka) without citta-suddhi, (mental purification) because these non-original actions keep the lower kośas active. Thus one must continue with sádhaná ceaselessly with a view to gradually establishing harmony and equilibrium in the kośas one after another. The moment the indistinct sensibility of the hirańmaya kośa (subtle causal mind) is free of the least vestige of impurity, the sádhaka shines with the dazzling radiance of the Satyaloka. That is an auspicious moment for a sádhaka as it is unification between Átman and Paramátman.
Action is of two kinds – original and reactive (pratyaya múlaka and saḿskára múlaka). It is due to original actions that saḿskáras accumulate. The saḿskáras are exhausted through reactive actions. In the case of original actions the unit entity enjoys some freedom but not in the reactive actions. Original actions, whether in the external world or in the world of thought, are performed in the wakeful state. In most cases the thoughts in a dream are the tightly-woven expressions of the dreamers’ saḿskáras. In the dream state the kámamaya kośa and even the manomaya kośa have no direct authorship, so original action is not possible. But the reason that this dream state is subtler than the wakeful state is that in the dream state, the lower kośas completely sublimate themselves to the higher kośas: it becomes impossible for them to indulge extroversively in original acts driven by the sensual propensities. The unconscious or causal mind, however, remains in its original stance even in the dream state. That is to say, in that state the normal characteristics of the atimánasa kośa (supramental mind), the Vijiṋánamaya kośa (subliminal mind) and hirańmaya kośa (subtle causal mind) are not impaired.
The dream world is directly concerned with the atimánasa kośa, and from this atimánasa kośa the manomaya kośa germinates. Because the atimánasa kośa is the creator of the manomaya kośa it is called Pitrloka (supramental sphere). Due to the incessant expression of saḿskáras, this pitrloka also does not remain in a state free of impurities, and for this reason the divine effulgence cannot be properly reflected in this loka. The loka just above it, the Vijiṋánamaya kośa or janarloka, being involved with the I-feeling (asmitá), also has impurities. Although it enjoys a very elevated position, yet it is not free from the possibility of downfall. In this loka the mind does experience the semblance of bliss, but the unit may also degenerate into inertness, driven by the saḿskáras – although both these eventualities take place unknown to the unit itself. So [[one who has]] made even the least acquaintance with this loka – whether [[that person does]] good or evil acts – develops a rather self-forgetful nature. This very loka is also called gandharvaloka in Sanskrit. The semblance of happiness, that arises out of music or other fine arts, belongs to this loka. Let us call it in English the “subliminal sphere”. This loka lacks perfection due to the influence of asmitá. So people may attain the semblance or suggestion of happiness by cultivating only the fine arts, but they can not fully establish themselves in Bliss Divine; for this Brahma Sádhaná is indispensable.
The loka above this where the hirańmaya kośa (subtle causal mind) is established is what we call devarloka. When sádhakas merge their petty I-feeling from the realm of the devarloka (where this “I” feeling is not very much evident) – into the bearing of the Great, they establish themselves fully in Saguńa Brahma (Qualified Consciousness – the collectivity of Paramátman, Macrocosm and Microcosm). In this loka, if the whole of the I-feeling (asmita) ia shattered and merged in Puruśa, the unit attains total identification with Nirguńa Brahma (Unqualified or Objectless Consciousness). This loka is the Satyaloka – this indeed is the Brahmaloka. The one who is established in this loka is alone the Bráhmańa (Brahman).
Saguńa or Nirguńa – whatever be the goal or aspirations of the sádhakas on the path of sádhaná, they must avoid the fragmentary pursuits of their organs. So the spiritual aspirants have to properly understand intrinsic tendencies of the organs, or else it is impossible to bring them under control. Sádhakas must know how the organs and their tendencies have been evolved and why.
Indriyánám prthagabhávamudayástamayao ca yet.
Prthagutpadyamánánaḿ matvá dhiiro na shocati.
The human body is made of five fundamental factors, which are controlled by Práńa (vital energy). Práńa is controlled by the mind. So, Práńa and the mind are respectively the direct and the indirect controllers of those fundamental factors. The different seats of the mind for controlling the fundamental factors indirectly are called plexi (cakras). In these cakras the práńa is active. The nucleus that exists in the centre of these cakras bears the controllership of the mind.
The main controlling station of the citta and mind is located in the sixth plexus – the pituitary plexus (ájiṋá cakra). This plexus also indirectly controls the other fundamental factors. The right petal (the acoustic root of which is Ha) controls the aparávrtti (propensity of extroversiality) of the human mind. In this it is assisted by the right subtle nerve current (the piuṋgalá), which primarily controls the left portion of the body and secondarily the right portion.
The left petal of pituitary plexus (whose acoustic root is kśa) controls the force of spiritual inclination or parávrtti. With the help of the left subtle nerve of id́á it primarily controls the activities of the right portion of the body and, secondarily, the activities of the left portion.
But whether the Práńa directly controls the cakras, there too the mind has to remain with it. A part of the mind remains intimately and pervasively associated with Práńa that controls the múládhára cakra. Thus the five kośas or layers of the mind – kámamaya, manomaya, atimánasa, vijiṋánamaya and hirańmaya – chiefly control the five subtle energy centres or cakras – the múládhára, svádhiśt́hána, mańipura, anáhata and vishuddha cakra respectively. Ájiṋá cakra does not directly control any fundamental factor, but by its spiritual power controls the psychic force. Those who are engaged in bringing this seat of knowledge under control are the true sádhakas. For them alone the Divine Sphere remains open.
The perfect sádhaná is the sustained effort to completely identify every kośa with the inner self, thus the more sádhakas progress on the path of sádhaná, the more their cakras and propensities (vrttis) are gradually controlled by the higher and higher kośas. But the sádhakas must not stop here. At the final stage of their sádhaná even the stance of ájiṋa Cakra, even their entire mind entity – has to be taken to a higher state of existence, the Brahmaloka, and merged in the Puruśa Bháva or Cognitive Bearing. It is in the Sahasrára Cakra (pineal plexus) that sádhakas establish themselves in the true blissful state and transcend the bondages of pleasure and pain. That state is the ultimate state of attainment for microcosms, it is the original stance of Brahma. There exists neither you nor He, the two become One. It is by means of sádhaná that this supreme rank is attainable. So you see, the destiny of human beings is in their own hands. You are certainly capable of controlling yourself. Here “yourself” means your propensities – the demons within you.
Bear in your mind that the controlling point of each cakra is located in ájiṋá cakra. But it is with the help of the crude nerves that the kośas control the different cakras as well as the propensities belonging to them. Even without the nerve-fibres it is not impossible for the kośas to function; but in the absence of the nerve cells the unit-mind is unable to express its inner thoughts. Thus the mind of a dead person or disembodied soul being detached from its physical base, loses its capacity of contemplation. Thus it is impossible for a bodiless mind to entertain hopes or desires, or to become involved with any entity or any crude object, or to frighten or help anyone. Ghosts and spirits are the products of the human beings’ flighty imagination – the fantastic fancy of an idle, timid mind. The greater the control you achieve over the kośas through your sádhaná, the more your organs will become submissive to you. Just as people’s internal thoughts and knowledge go on developing as they become established in their higher kośas due to their control over the mind and the organs, similarly, when they are unaffected by the external influences, all their vanity, inertness and superstitions rapidly disappear. The impact of external objects leads to psychic perversion whereas the impact of subtle, internal ideas due to introspection manifests a synthetic mind in which intuition comes to the surface. In the final phase the prajiṋá mánas (intuitional mind), the abode of saḿkalpa and vikalpa, free from the psychic bearing, ultimately transforms itself into cognitive bearing (prajiṋá).
The organs have their origin in the mind. It is because of the mind’s association with external objects that the organs are created. The mind moulds a particular organ to the extent it likes to acquire the limited worldly objects, but ultimately becomes its slave. Some creatures which depend upon sound to locate their food, strengthen their ears with immense zeal. Similarly, according to necessity, some creatures strengthen the organ of touch, some the organ of sight, and some the organ of smell. Thus some organisms have evolved bodies which emit a strange hypnotic light, which causes their prey to run into their clutches; others kill their prey first with their poisonous secretions and eat them afterwards at their convenience, and so on. So you see, the organs are really the expressions of the mind, and for this reason they thrive wholly on tanmátric or inferential acceptance or projection, and these tanmátras are entirely related to the five fundamental factors. The sound-tanmátras on which the ears are dependent are waves of the ethereal factor (ákáshabhúta); the tactual tanmátras on which the skin is dependent are the waves of the aerial factor (marut-tattva); the sight organ is dependent on the form tanmátras, which are waves of the luminous factor (tejastattva); the olfactory organ is dependent on taste tanmátras, which are the waves of the liquid factor (apatattva); and the organ of smell is dependent on smell-tanmátras which are the waves of the solid factor. But the witnessing Átman, the Cognitive Puruśa, is not dependent on anything, and thus is Absolute Truth. Had there been no sound, the mind would not have felt the necessity of the ear-organ, and so the it would not have evolved – it is entirely dependent on the sound-tanmátras and ákáshatattva (ether). So since the organs are dependent upon the fundamental factors for their existences, they are only relative truths.
Whatever is relative truth we may call Padártha (matter). What do we understand by Padártha? Pada means “rank”, and artha means “meaning” or “significance”. So none of the Padárthas are absolutely pervasive: they appear in certain conditions and in certain conditions they disappear, and so they are not the absolute supreme truth. Sádhakas must endeavour to realize the Characteristic Self – that Supreme Being. They must do the sádhaná of the Absolute, not the sádhaná of the organs or the senses. The organs are not the Svarúpa or characteristic Self; they are only attributes of temporal, spatial and personal factors. An attribute which exists today will disappear tomorrow, and thus cannot be regarded as Svarúpa. The thing upon which the attributes are ascribed is indeed the Svarúpa. The sense attributes carry the identities of the unit entity in a number of ways, such as the seer, the hearer, etc., but what will happen if there is no witnessing entity behind the faculties of knowing and seeing? In the absence of that witnessing entity, the Supreme One, everything will appear to be non-existent.
So the organs, which have their origin and dissolution, are totally dependent on that Absolute “I”, that Svarúpa, which has to be realized through sádhaná. By knowing Svarúpa human beings will be freed from all kinds of mental distortions such as pleasure and pain. The ensconcement in the Absolute I means that the introversive and extroversive tendencies (Saḿkalpa-Vikalpa) of the mind disappear. The sádhaná of the senses or organs cannot give any satisfaction or happiness neither in this world nor in the world beyond.
Indriyebhyah paraḿmano mánash sattvamuttamam,
Sattva dadhi mahánátmá mahato’vyaktamuttaman.
No state lower than the ensconcement in the Supreme I is capable of imparting peace or doing any good to the unit beings. Not even the existential feeling, which in philosophical language is called buddhitattva (pure “I”) – can be recognized as the ultimate truth. It is an established fact that the mind is greater than the organs, for the mind is their creator and controller. And the sentient intellect or the pure sense of ego is greater than this subjective and objective mind, for the mind exists because of the sentient intellect of the dynamic momentum. Greater than this sentient intellect is the great Átman or hirańyagarbha (the Subtle Cosmic Mind), for Hirańyagarbha’s imagination is responsible for the creation of the sentient intellect and its reflection on unit consciousness. That is not all. It is through the medium of this imagination of the Hirańyagarbha; that the crude, subtle and causal factors as well as reflected consciousness (Ábhása-Caetanya) are constantly rotating. So the greatest of all the expressional bearings that abide in time, place and person, is Hirańyagarbha. But the unmanifest Prakrti, the Primordial Operative Principle, is still greater than this Hirańyagarbha, for the existence of the Hirańyagarbha depends upon the manifestation of this unmanifest Prakrti. But is this unmanifest Prakrti the ultimate truth? No, She is not.
Avyaktáttu parah puruśa vyápáliuṋga eva ca,
Yaḿ jiṋátva mucyate janturamrtatvam ca gacchati.
Puruśa, the Supreme Consciousness, is far greater than this unmanifest Prakrti. In Parama Puruśa, when that unmanifest Prakrti is manifested, the collective name given to Puruśa and that manifest Prakrti is Hirańyagarbha. The Puruśa who is the witness of the manifest Prakrti in Hirańyagarbha is also the witness of the unmanifest Prakrti in Nirguńa state (Objectless Consciousness). That is to say, in Nirguńa the object (the unmanifest Prakrti) of which He is the witness, remains implicitly absorbed in His own stance (bháva). When the attribute is merged into the source of His attribution, one attains the non-attributional stance. Hirańyagarbha is attributional in the stage of individual association, (ota-yoga) and non-attributional in the stage of pervasional association (prota-yoga). In some philosophies the words shuńya or vajra-shuńya are used to describe this non-attributional stance. Here shuńya does not mean “nothing” in the literal sense; it means to be filled with something. The reason why the nirvishesa is called shúńya is that it is devoid of Prakrti’s expression. It is this expression which substantiates the existence of matter in the micropsychic sphere by being the support or fulcrum of the mind. Vajrashúnya (absolute void) having no support to offer, remains beyond the cycle of subjectivity and objectivity (saḿkalpa-vikalpa). The sphere of existence or non-existence can not touch it. Those who think shúnya means “emptiness” are mistaken – there exists no theory or principle such as savisheśa or nirvesheśa in the above sense of shúnya. The shúnya that is used in pratiikiikarańa (symbolization) is also not meant in the negative sense, for it is ten times more meaningful than a numerical cipher.
Truly speaking, by shúnya the philosophers generally meant non-attributional stance. So said Ácárya Shaḿkara –
Yathá shúnyavádinaḿ shúnyaḿ
Call Him Shúnya or Puruśa according to your choice – He alone is the Supreme Entity. As soon as unit beings, know Him they free themselves from all kinds of bondages and become established in Him, in that sea of Divine Nectar. Puruśa is Aliuṋga (unqualified or non-attributional). The saguńabháva or the qualified state that is active in the microcosm and Macrocosm due to the activity of the Binding Force is called Liuṋga Puruśa or Operative Puruśa and its base is called Liuṋga-Deha or operative body.
“Liuṋgate gamyate yena talliuṋgam” – “That which causes [[this flow, this]] continuity of the imaginary world, to remain unbroken is known as Liuṋga.” “Layaḿgacchati yasmin talliuṋgam”. That in which all objects get lost is called liuṋga. In this sense the epithet Liuṋga may also be given to Saguńa Brahma. Shiva means Consciousness. So the word, Shiva-Liuṋga, means Liuṋga-Puruśa. Those who propagate the worship of a particular part of the body in the name of liuṋga-pújá (phallus worship) fail to realize the depth and significance of Dharma. Such a vulgar interpretation is most undesirable. Only Aliuṋga Puruśa, the Supreme Puruśa, is the absolute principle. And to be established in Him one has to return one’s identity, created by Prakrti’s influence, to Him, the Original Cause.
Na saḿdrshe tiśt́hati rúpamasya no cakśuśá pashyati kashcanaenam
Hrdá maniiśá-manasábhikirpto ya etadviduramrtáste bhavani
When you qualify an object you say that it is either round or square, white or red, etc. These figures and colours merely indicate the forms and features of the object, and are necessary to recognize it with the organs of sight, the eyes. For every organ the respective signs of the objects have to be taken into account according to their relative inferential factors (tanmátras). But Puruśa has neither form nor tanmátra, because each of the tanmátras is evolved by Prakrti, the Operative Principle. No physical or attributional consideration, nor even any name, can be given to Savisheśa or Nirvisheśa, for a name is also attributive. Yet a symbol has to be ascribed to Him in order to understand Him. And this terminological bearing has to be understood through one’s mental endeavour, not through tanmátras. Efforts have to be made to merge one’s thoughts in Him. He is Great – this alone describes Him because others become Great when they are merged in His thought. This indeed is His identity, His significant epithet. No other name would be suitable for Him.
Brhattvád brahma brḿhańattvád brahma
“Brahma is Great and He makes others Great too.” Puruśa has no length, breadth or width – He is beyond the senses, He cannot be seen with your eyes. He is non-material. He has to be understood by the proper application of the fundamental intellect or buddhitattva. When one succeeds in bringing the buddhitattva, which is normally agitated by the waves of the emotions, to a state of serene composure by applying the internal force of the agryábuddhi (pointed intellect), then alone will the radiance of the effulgent Puruśa be reflected on the mind. This intellect is the subtlest part of the mind, a part of hirańmaya kośa. It is from this layer that the subjective and objective seeds start to arouse their germinative potentialities. These potentialities find greater scope of expression in the Vijiṋánamaya kośa and become manifested in the atimánasa kośa. The proper application of intellect leads to proper progress in sádhaná. Sádhakas who make proper use of their intellect (Maniiśá) in the scriptures are called maniiśii or the people of intellect.
Yad́a paiṋcavatiśt́hante jiṋánáni manasá saha
Buddhishca na viceśt́atitámáhuh paramáḿ gatim.
When the ears stop receiving tanmátras from ether, the skin from the air, the eyes from the luminous factor, the tongue from the liquid factor, and the nose from the solid factor, the collective bearing of the five organs becomes merged in the mind. This is the initial stage of pratyáhara or retractive yoga. Thereafter, when the mind and these organs attain oneness with the intellect (buddhitattva), the intellect, due to the absence of Ahamtattva and Citta also ceases its egoistic function. The intellect then merges in the Jiṋa-shakti (cognitive force). At that stage the witnessing bearing attains the characteristic objectless witness-ship. This is called Paramágati or Parama Yoga.
What is yoga? There are three definitions:
1) Yogashcittavrttinirodhah: Yoga is the state of cessation of ectoplasmic occupations or mental modifications.
2) Sarvacintá parityágo nishcinto yoga ucyate: Yoga is the state in which the faculty of the mind completely stops functioning and the Supreme Witness remains in His characteristic witness-ship.
3) Samyogo yoga ityukto jiivátma paramátmanah: Yoga is the state in which unit consciousness merges in Cosmic Consciousness, and becomes one with the Original Entity.
All these three are similar. Buddhi has no active role in any of them.
Táḿ yogamita manyte sthirámindriya dhárańaḿ
Apramattastadá bhavati yoga hi prabhavápyayao.
Supreme bliss and yoga are one and the same thing. At such a stage all propensities, all entities, become calm and tranquil. Common people are normally madly preoccupied with mundane objects according their saḿskáras. Their organs continually run after one object or other with an intense desire for self gratification. But the state of Yoga is a state of the tranquillity of the organs. In such a state the sádhakas remain calm and tranquil. In this sádhaná of absolute composure, sádhakas have to be fully established in self-restraint through the attainment of nirodha (the cessation of all mental functions). This can only be achieved by surmounting the four lower states of citta: restlessness (kśipta), infatuation (mud́ha), distraction (vikśipta) and concentration (ekágra).
One’s sense of reality often becomes distorted in a paroxysm of rage (kśipta), and a sort of mental inertia occurs. This is also a type of crude samádhi in which all the propensities of the irate person are absorbed in the object of anger.
Mudhabhútni samadhi, or the trance of infatuation, is a little higher than this. This is a state of mental stupefaction which results from excessive infatuation, causing a person to lose all common sense. All the propensities of the infatuated person become absorbed in the object of infatuation. This sort of samádhi may even occur in the mind of the most common person if he or she is suddenly fettered tightly by this overpowering bondage. In the Mahábhárata it is said that Jayadratha was a victim of such samádhi due to excessive fear.
Vikśipta samádhi occurs when the mind is engrossed in an elevated thought one moment, and the very next moment suddenly returns to its meaner propensities. Those who do not follow Yama and Niyama (codes of self-restraint), those who endeavour to attain God without the sádhaná of saḿyama (self-control); are troubled by a multitude of distractions. If they absorb themselves in singing spiritual songs (kiirtana-bhajana), their mental proclivities are temporarily focused on the Divine One. Their bodies show signs of spiritual awakening, tears flow from their eyes, and they attain the trance of subjectivity (bháva samádhi). But immediately after the kiirtana-bhajana session has ended their unrestrained and incontinent minds race towards mean propensities with an even greater momentum. That is why such sádhakas are very dishonest, depraved and deceitful, and even go so far as to defraud their own relatives. Most people are a little wary of such bhajana singers. People lacking self-control do enjoy a little transcendental happiness by forcing their mental flow towards the auspicious name of God, but soon after the end of the divine singing (náma kiirtana) their dammed up minds burst and race towards the crude world with redoubled speed, and they become even more inclined to scandal-mongering and rude behaviour. You may have noticed how blatantly those bhajana singers indulge in abusive language at the least provocation. These are symptoms of the distractions of the citta.
When all the vrttis of the citta are focused on a single point it is termed the state of concentration (ekágrabhúmi). This, however exhalted, is not the ultimate state. The ultimate state is reached when the mind transcends all citta-vrttis (mental propensities) and merges in the object of contemplation (dhyeya). To reach that ultimate state one has to pass through the four stages of pratyáhára yoga: yatamána, vyatireka, ekendriya and vashiikára.
The first stage, yatamána, is the state of perseverance. The state in which pratyáhára is sometimes effectual, and sometimes not is called vyatireka. The state in which all vrttis are absorbed in one sentiment is called ekendriya, and the state in which one accepts the superiority of the Puruśabháva and surrenders all mental modifications to Him is called vashiikára-siddhi or vashiikarańa (the ultimate attainment of self-control). Vashiikarańa is the total subjugation of the six subtle energy centres (śatcakra) and six lokas. It is the true attainment of pratyáhára yoga.
Vashiikára-siddhi is only possible for those sádhakas who follow the principles of yama and niyama and perform Brahma sádhaná. Those who do not, do immeasurable harm to themselves and the entire world by the strength of their kśipta, mudha and vikśipta samádhis having attained some degree of control over their organs through the process of yoga sádhaná. In the absence of the sádhaná of self-control they use their mental power for the petty selfish ends. After practicing yoga or Tantra sádhaná for a while these immoral individuals begin to harm others for the sake of their own petty egoistic aggrandizement, and eventually end up in the blind alley of inertness. So I entreat you to follow the right path. The same yoga of self-control which is so beneficial for both individuals and the collectivity, is so dangerous when it is devoid of morality. So everyone must be strict in following the principles of yama and niyama.
Naeva vácá na manasá práputuḿ shakyo na cakśuśa
Astiiti vruvato’nyatra kathaḿ tadupalabhyate.
Those who are not established in self-control cannot attain Brahma – their Brahma remains confined to books and tall talks. They can never expand their minds to absorb spiritual knowledge. But the knower of truth realizes that Brahma is not attainable by words, nor even by reasoning, for the mind is itself a relative truth, is an ideating entity dependent upon various theories. When the pointed intellect (agryábuddhi), attained through concentration, is merged in its subject, Brahma, then alone does He appear. Only when relativity is transcended does spirituality burst into radiance. It is futile to attempt to apprehend this Transcendental Entity – who exists beyond the scope of time, space and person – with the help of the crude organs. Union with the self is union with Brahma. Illuminating this sentiment is the firmament of one’s heart, one has to realize Him; and the one who realizes Him announces thunderingly: “He exists!! Listen, human beings. The words ‘He exists’ are much truer than ‘I am’ or ‘You are’. Oh sons and daughters of immortality of the divine abode, hear me. He exists. I have known Him, I have touched Him with my soul, I have understood Him with the core of my heart.”
Vedáhametaḿ puruśaḿ máhantaḿ áditya varńaḿ tamasah parastád.
But those materialists who run like mad dogs after crude enjoyment, who cannot think of anything beyond their physical pleasure, are incapable of transcending the perceptible aspects of the Cosmic Energy. They can never understand the transcendental source of the Cosmic Energy, the primary seed of all causes of action, the witnessing principle of the Supreme Puruśa. They lack the large-heartedness required to understand Him, and attempt to hide their deficiencies by unnecessarily spreading a web of dialectics.
Astiityevopalabdhasya tattvabhávah prasiidati
Those who seek to attain Him in their hearts, in the molecules and atoms of their sense of existence, realize Him through the attainment of divine truth. Whether in matter, spirit, space, existence, non-existence, or transcendality – He exists everywhere, sometimes qualified, sometimes unqualified. It is He upon whom the mind and the thought, and the organs and their propensities depend. Spiritual sádhakas know upon whose merciful favour all intellectual feats and eloquent expressions of the ego depend – they know that this is His qualified stance. And when they have nothing to call their own, when all their inspirations and aspirations are dedicated to the source of their existence, then what remains in them is nothing but His unqualified state. Every bearing of His qualified and unqualified states is properly realized when they attain Him through the sádhaná of devotion.
Yadá sarve pramucyante kámáyesya hrdi shritáh
Atha martyo’mrto bhavatyatra brahma samshnute.
What is the internal state of the sádhakas who attain that stance? You know, passion of desire is of two kinds: saḿskára múlaka (consequential) and pratyaya múlaka (original). The seat of expression of both these is the heart. When the mental propensities reach the stage of cessation through sádhaná all the desires of the heart, whether original or consequential, disappear. The reactive momenta (saḿskára dhara) of those who have reached this stage, even once, no matter what course their reactive momenta take, have only one [ passion (Rati) left in them and that is, Brahma-rati or passion for the union with Brahma. Love alone remains as the Praeti (the only longing). ] At that stage sádhakas attain deathlessness right in this mortal world. They see nothing but Brahma. For the eyes of those in whom a singular longing for union with Brahma has awakened (Brahma praeti) this mundane world appears as the Brahma Loka, the Abode of Brahma – everything is He, everything is He.
Yadá sarve prabhidyante hrdayasyeha granthayah
Atha martyo’mrto bhavatyetávaddhyanushásanam.
What happens in such a state? The jiiva shakti, or the microcosmic force which is called kulakuńd́alinii (coiled serpentine), pierces through the six cakras and reaches the lotus of the sahasrára cakra, and thus becomes one with Him. There are fifty vrttis in the human body situated in the different glands of each cakra. As the kulakuńd́alinii passes through a particular gland, the vrttis connected with it cease to function. In the absence of the vrttis, after the six cakras are pierced, the kuńd́alinii, or fundamental negative force of the unit body, merges in the Supreme Force of Shiva or Cosmic Consciousness. In that state the sádhakas merge their entire entities in the Ocean of Divine Nectar, even while remaining in the mortal world. This is the essence, the last word of all scriptures and philosophies.
Shrávańii Púrńimá 1956 DMC, Madhopur, Monghyr