Serpent Power (Kundalini-shakti), Introduction

by Arthur Avalon | 1919 | 101,807 words | ISBN-10: 8178223783 | ISBN-13: 9788178223780

This book outlines the principles of Kundali or Kundalini Shakti (“Serpent power”) and the associated practice known as Kundalini Yoga. The seven chapters contained in this book details on concepts such as Cakra (spiritual centers), the nature of consciousness and Mantras. When explaining technical terms there will be found many references to authe...

Chapter 3 - Embodied Consciousness (Jīvātmā)

Consciousness as one with dual aspect is Transcendent and Immanent. The Transcendental Consciousness is called the Paramātmā. The consciousness which is embodied in Mind and Matter is the Jīvātmā. In the first case Consciousness is formless and in the second it is with form. Form is derivable from Consciousness as Power (Śakti). One of these powers is Prakṛti-Śakti—that is, the immediate source of Mind and Matter. The corresponding static aspect is called Puruṣa. This term is sometimes applied to the Supreme, as in the name Brahma-puruṣa.[1] Here is meant a centre of limited consciousness—limited by the associated Prakṛti and its products of Mind and Matter. Popularly by Puruṣa, as by Jīva, is meant sentient being with body and senses—that is, organic life.[2] Man is a microcosm (Kṣudra-Brahmāṇḍa).[3] The world is the macrocosm (Brahmāṇḍa). There are numberless worlds, each of which is governed by its own Lords, though there is but one great Mother of all whom these Lords themselves worship, placing on their heads the dust of Her feet. In everything there is all that is in anything else. There is thus nothing in the universe which is not in the human body. There is no need to throw one’s eyes into the heavens to find God. He is within, being known as the “Ruler within” (Antaryāmin) or “Inner self” (Antarātmā).[4] All else is His power as Mind and Matter. Whatever of Mind or Matter exists in the universe exists in some form or manner in the human body.

So as already stated it is said in the Viśvasāra-Tantra:

“What is here is there. What is not here is nowhere.”[5]

In the body there are the Supreme Śiva-Śakti who pervade all things. In the body is Prakṛti-Śakti and all Her products. In fact, the body is a vast magazine of Power (Śakti). The object of the Tāntrik rituals is to raise these various forms of power to their full expression. This is the work of Sādhana. The Tantras say that it is in the power of man to accomplish all he wishes if he centres his will thereon. And this must, according to their doctrine, be so, for man is in his essence one with the Supreme Lord (Īśvara) and Mother (Īśvarī) and the more he manifests Spirit the greater is he endowed with its powers. The centre and root of all his powers as Jīva is Kuṇḍalinī-Śakti. The centre in which the quiescent consciousness is realized is the upper brain or Sahasrāra, whence in the case of the Yogī, the Prāṇa escapes through the fissure called Brahmarandhra at death. (See Plate VIII). The Mind and Body are effects of Prakṛti. Both having the same origin, each as such, whether as Mind or Matter, are “material” things—that is, they are of the nature of forces,[6] and limited instruments through which Spirit or Consciousness functions, and thus, though itself unlimited, appears to be limited. The light in a lantern is unaffected, but its manifestation to those without is affected by the material through which the light shines. Prakṛti, however, is not scientific Matter. The latter is only its grossest product, and has as such no lasting existence. Prakṛti is the ultimate “material” cause of both Mind and Matter, and the whole universe which they compose. It is the mysterious fructescent womb (Yoni) whence all is born.[7] What She is in Herself cannot be realized. She is only known by Her effects.[8] Though Mūla-prakṛti is the material cause of the world from which it arises,[9] ultimately, as it is in itself (Svarūpa), Prakṛti-Śakti, like all else, is Consciousness, for Consciousness as Power and static Consciousness are one.[10] Consciousness, however, assumes the role of Prakṛti—that is, creative power—when evolving the universe. So substance consists of the Guṇas or modes of this natural principle which are called Sattva, Rajas, Tamas.[11] The general action of Śakti is to veil or contract consciousness. Prakṛti, in fact, is a finitising principle. To all seeming, it finitises and makes form in the infinite formless Consciousness.[12] So do all the Guṇas. But one does it less and another more. The first is Sattva-guṇa the function of which, relative to the other Guṇas, is to reveal consciousness. The greater the presence or power of Sattva-guṇa, the greater the approach to the condition of Pure Consciousness. Similarly, the function of Tamas Guṇa is to suppress or veil consciousness. The function of Rajas Guṇa is to make active—that is, it works on Tamas to suppress Sattva, or on Sattva to suppress Tamas.[13] The object and the effect of evolution, as it is of all Sādhana, is to develop Sattva-guṇa. The Guṇas always co-exist in everything, but variously predominate. The lower the descent is made in the scale of nature the more Tamas Guṇa prevails, as in so-called “brute substance,” which has been supposed to be altogether inert. The higher the ascent is made the more Sattva prevails. The truly Sāttvik man is a divine man, his temperament being called in the Tantras Divyabhāva.[14] Through Sattva-guṇa passage is made to Sat, which is Git or pure Consciousness, by the Siddha-yogī, who is identified with Pure Spirit.

Prakṛti exists in two states, in one of which (so far as any effect is concerned)[15] She is quiescent. The Guṇas are then in stable equilibrium, and not affecting one another. There is no manifestation. This is the unmanifest (Avyakta), the potentiality of natural power (natura naturans).[16] When, however, owing to the ripening of Karma, the time for creation takes place, there is a stirring of the Guṇas (Guṇakṣoba) and an initial vibration (Spandana), known in the Mantra-Śāstra as Cosmic Sound (Śabda-brahman). The Guṇas affect one another, and the universe made of these three Guṇas is created. The products of Prakṛti thus evolved are called Vikāra or Vikṛti.[17] Vikṛti is manifest (Vyakta) Prakṛti (natura naturata). In the infinite and formless Prakṛti there appears a strain or stress appearing as form. On the relaxation of this strain in dissolution forms disappear in formless Prakṛti, who as manifested power (Śakti) re-enters the BrahmanConsciousness. These Vikṛtis are the Tattvas issuing from Prakṛti,[18] the Avidyā-Śakti—namely, the different categories of Mind, Senses and Matter.

The bodies are threefold: causal (Kāraṇa-śarīra, or Paraśarīra, as the Śaivas call it), subtle (Sūkṣma-śarīra), and gross (Sthūla-śarīra). These bodies in which the Ātmā is enshrined are evolved from Prakrti-Śakti, and are constituted of its various productions. They form the tabernacle of the Spirit (Ātmā), which as the Lord is “in all beings, and who from within all beings controls them”.[19] The body of the Lord (Tśvara) is pure Sattva-guṇa (Śuddha-sattva-guṇa-pradhāna).[20] This is the aggregate Prakṛti or Māyā of Him or Her as the Creator-Creatrix of all things. Jīva, as the Kulārṇava-Tantra[21] says, is bound by the bonds (Pāśa); Sadāśiva is free of them.[22] The former is Paśu, and the latter Paśupati, or Lord of Paśus (Jīvas). That is, Īśvarī[23] is not affected by Her own Māyā. She is all-seeing, allknowing, all-powerful. Īśvara thus rules Māyā. Jīva is ruled by it. From this standpoint the Mother and Her child the Jīva are not, thus, the same. For the latter is a limited consciousness subject to error, and governed by that Māyā-śakti of Hers which makes the world seem to be different from what it in its essence is. The body of Jīva is therefore known as the individual Prakṛti or Avidya, in which there is impure Sattva, and Rajas and Tamas (Malina-sattva-guṇa-pradhāna). But in the Mother are all creatures. And so in the Triśatī[24] the Devī is called “in the form of one and many letters” (Ekānekākṣarākṛti). As Ekā She is the Ājñāna which is pure Sattva and attribute (Upādhi) of Īśvara; as Anekā She is Upādhi or vehicle of Jīva. Whilst Īśvara is one, Jīvas are many,[25] according to the diversity in the nature of the individual Prakṛti caused by the appearance of Rajas and Tamas in it in differing proportions. The Ātmā appears as Jīva in the various forms of the vegetable, animal, and human worlds.

The first or Causal Body of any particular Jīva, therefore, is that Prakṛti (Avidya-Śakti) which is the cause of the subtle and gross bodies of this Jīva which are evolved from it. This body lasts until Liberation, when the Jīvātmā ceases to be such as is the Paramātmā or bodiless Spirit (Videha-mukti). The Jīva exists in this body during dreamless sleep (Suṣupti).

The second and third bodies are the differentiations through evolution of the causal body, from which first proceeds the subtle body, and from the latter is produced the gross body.

The Subtle Body, which is also called Liṅga Śarīra or Puryaṣṭaka, is constituted of the first evolutes (Vikṛti) from the causal Prakṛtic body—namely, the Mind (Antaḥ-karaṇa), the internal instrument, together with the external instruments (Bāhya-karaṇa), or the Senses (Indriya), and their supersensible objects (Tanmātra).

The third or Gross Body is the body of “matter” which is the gross particular object of the senses[26] derived from the super-sensibies.

Shortly, the subtle body may be described as the Mental Body, as that which succeeds is called the gross body of Matter. Mind is abstractedly considered by itself, that is, as dissociated from Consciousness which is never the case, an unconscious force which breaks up into particulars the Experience-Whole which is Git. It is called the “working within” or “internal instrument” (Antaḥkaraṇa), and is one only, but is given different names to denote the diversity of its functions.[27] The Sāṃkhya thus speaks of Buddhi, Ahaṃkāra, Manas, to which the Vedānta adds Citta, being different aspects or attributes (Dharma) of Mind as displayed in the psychical processes by which the Jīva knows, feels and wills.

These may be considered from the point of view of evolution—that is, according to the sequence in which the limited experience of the Jīva is evolved—or from that in which they are regarded after creation, when the experience of concrete sense objects has been had. According to the former aspect, Buddhi or Mahat-Tattva is the state of mere presentation; consciousness of being only, without thought of “I” (Ahaṃkāra), and unaffected by sensations of particular objects (Manas and Indriyas). It is thus the impersonal Jīva Consciousness. Ahaṃkāra, of which Buddhi is the basis, is the personal consciousness which realizes itself as a particular “I,” the experiencer. The Jīva, in the order of creation, first experiences in a vague general way without consciousness of the self, like the experience which is had immediately on waking after sleep. It then refers this experience to the limited self, and has the consciousness “I am So-and-so”.

Manas is the desire which follows on such experience, and the Senses (Indriya) and their objects are the means whereby that enjoyment is had which is the end of all will to life. Whilst, however, in the order of evolution Buddhi is the first principle, in the actual working of the Antaḥkaraṇa after creation has taken place, it comes last.

It is more convenient, therefore, to commence with the sense-objects and the sensations they evoke. The experiencer is affected by Matter in five different ways, giving rise in him to the sensations of hearing, touch and feel,[28] colour and form[29] and sight, taste, and smell.[30] But sensible perception exists only in respect of particular objects and is thus perceived in its variations only. But there exist also general elements of the particulars of sense-perception. That general ideas may be formed of particular sense-objects, indicates, it is said,[31] their existence in some parts of the Jīva’s nature as facts of experience; otherwise the generals could not be formed from the particulars given by the senses as the physical facts of experience. This general is called a Tanmātra, which means the “mere thatness” or abstract quality, of an object. Thus, the Tanmātra of a sound (Śabda-tanmātra) is not any particular sensible form of it, but the “thatness” of that sound—that is, that sound apart from any of its particular variations stated. The Tanmātras have, therefore, aptly been called the “generals of the sense particulars”[32]—that is, the general elements of sense perception. These necessarily come into existence when the senses (Indriya) are produced; for a sense necessitates something which can be the object of sensation. These Sūkṣma (subtle) Bhūtas, as they are also called, are not ordinarily themselves perceived, for they are supersensible (Atīndriya). Their existence is only mediately perceived through the gross particular objects of which they are the generals, and which proceed from them. They can be the objects of immediate (Pratyakṣa) perception only to Yogīs.[33] They are, like the gross sense-objects derived from them, five in number, namely, sound (Śabda-tanmātra), touch and feel[34] (Sparśa-tanmātra), colour and form (Rūpa-tanmātra) flavour (Rasa-tanmātra), and odour (Gandha-tanmātra) as universals. Each of these evolves from that which precedes it.[35]

Sensations aroused by sense-objects are experienced by means of the outer instruments (Bāhya-karaṇa) of the Lord of the body, or senses (Indriya), which are the gateways through which the Jīva receives worldly experience. These are ten in number, and are of two classes: viz., the five organs of sensation or perception (Jñānendriya), or ear (hearing), skin (feeling by toucḥ), eye (sight), tongue (taste), and nose (smell); and the five organs of action (Karmendriya), which are the reactive response which the self makes to sensation—namely, mouth, hands, legs, anus, and genitals, whereby speaking, grasping, walking, excretion, and procreation are performed, and through which effect is given to the Jīva’s desires. These are afferent and efferent impulses respectively.

The Indriya, or sense, is not the physical organ, but the faculty of mind operating through that organ as its instrument. The outward sense-organs are the usual means whereby on the physical plane the functions of hearing and so forth are accomplished. But as they are mere instruments and their power is derived from the mind, a Yogī may accomplish by the mind only all that may be done by means of these physical organs without the use of the latter.

With reference to their physical manifestations, but not as they are in themselves, the classes into which the Indriyas are divided may be described as the sensory and motor nervous systems. As the Indriyas are not the physical organs, such as ear, eye, and so forth, but faculties of the Jīva desiring to know and act by their aid, the Yogī claims to accomplish without the use of the latter all that is ordinarily done by their means. So a hypnotized subject can perceive things, even when no use of the special physical organs ordinarily necessary for the purpose is made.[36] The fact of there being a variety of actions does not necessarily involve the same number of Indriyas. An act of “going” done by means of the hand (as by a cripple) is to be regarded really as an operation of the Indriya of feet (Pādendriya), even though the hand is the seat of the Indriya for handling.[37] By the instrumentality of these Indriyas things are perceived and action is taken with reference to them. The Indriyas are not, however, sufficient in themselves for this purpose. In the first place, unless attention (Ālocana) co-operates there is no sensation at all. To be “absent-minded” is not to know what is happening.[38] Attention must therefore co-operate with the senses before the latter can “give” the experiencer anything at all.[39] Nextly, at one and the same moment the experiencer is subject to receive a countless number of sensations which come to and press upon him from all sides. If any of these is to be brought into the field of consciousness, it must be selected to the exclusion of others. The process of experience is the selection of a special section from out of a general whole, and then being engaged on it, so as to make it one’s own, either as a particular object of thought or a particular field of operation.[40] Lastly, as Western psychology holds, the senses give not a completed whole, but a manifold—the manifold of sense. These “points of sensation” must be gathered together and made into a whole. These three functions of attention, selection, and synthesizing the discrete manifold of the senses, are those belonging to that aspect of the mental body, the internal agent (Antaḥkaraṇa), called Manas.[41] Just as Manas is necessary to the senses (Indriya), the latter are necessary for Manas. For the latter is the seat of desire, and cannot exist by itself. It is the desire to perceive or act, and therefore exists in association with the Indriyas.

Manas is thus the leading Indriya, of which the senses are powers. For without the aid and attention of Manas the other Indriyas are incapable of performing their respective offices; and as these Indriyas are those of perception and action, Manas, which co-operates with both, is said to partake of the character of both cognition and action.

Manas, through association with the eye or other sense, becomes manifold, being particularized or differentiated by its co-operation with that particular instrument, which cannot fulfil its functions except in conjunction with Manas.

Its function is said to be Saṃkalpa-Vikalpa, that is, selection and rejection from the material provided by the Jñānendriya. When, after having been brought into contact with the sense-objects, it selects the sensation which is to be presented to the other faculties of the mind, there is Sarḥkalpa. The activity of Manas, however, is itself neither intelligent result nor moving feelings of pleasure or pain. It has not an independent power to reveal itself to the experiencer. Before things can be so revealed and realized as objects of perception, they must be made subject to the operation of Ahaṃkāra and Buddhi, without whose intelligent light they would be dark forms unseen and unknown by the experiencer, and the efforts of Manas but blind gropings in the dark. Nor can the images built up by Manas affect of themselves the experiencer so as to move him in any way until and unless the experiencer identifies himself with them by Ahaṃkāra—that is, by making them his own in feeling and experience. Manas, being thus an experience of activity in the dark, unseen and unrevealed by the light of Buddhi and not moving the experiencer until he identifies himself with it in feeling, is one in which the dark veiling quality (Tamas-guṇa) of Śakti Prakṛti is the most manifest.[42] This Guṇa also prevails in the Indriyas and the subtle objects of their operation (Tanmātra).

Ahaṃkāra the “I-maker” is self-arrogation[43]—that is, the realization of oneself as the personal “I” or self-consciousness of worldly experience in which the Jīva thinks of himself as a particular person who is in relation with the objects of his experience. It is the power of self-arrogation whereby all that constitutes man is welded into one Ego, and the percept or concept is referred to that particular thinking subject and becomes part of its experience. When, therefore, a sensation is perceived by Manas and determined by Buddhi, Ahaṃkāra says: “It is I who perceive it.”

This is the “I” of phenomenal consciousness as distinguished from “this” the known. Buddhi functions with its support.[44] Buddhi considered with relation to the other faculties of experience is that aspect of the Antaḥkaraṇa which determines (adhyavasāyātmikā buddhiḥ).[45] “A man is said to determine (adhyavasyati) who, having perceived (Manas), and thought, ‘I am concerned in this matter (Ahaṃkāra)’ and thus having self-arrogated, comes to the determination, ‘This must be done by me’ (Kartavyaṃ etat mayā).”[46] “Must be done” here does not refer to exterior action only, but to mental action (Mānasī-kriyā) also, such as any determination by way of the forming of concepts and percepts (“It is so”) and resolutions (“It must be done”). Buddhi pervades all effects whatever other than itself. It is the principal Tattva because it pervades all the instruments (Indriya), is the receptacle of all the Saṃskāras or Karmic tendencies, and is in Sāṃkhya the seat of memory.[47] It is the thinking principle which forms concepts or general ideas acting through the instrumentality of Ahaṃkāra, Manas and the Indriyas. In the operations of the senses Manas is the principal; in the operation of Manas Ahaṃkāra is the principal; and in the operation of Ahaṃkāra Buddhi is the principal. With the instrumentality of all of these Buddhi acts, modifications taking place in Buddhi through the instrumentality of the sense functions.[48] It is Buddhi which is the basis of all cognition, sensation, and resolves, and makes over objects to Puruṣa, that is, Consciousness. And so it is said that Buddhi, whose characteristic is determination, is the charioteer; Manas, whose characteristic is Saṃkalpa-vikalpa, is the reins; and the Senses are the horses. Jīva is the Enjoyer (Bhoktā), that is, Ātmā conjoined with body, senses, Manas and Buddhi.[49] In Buddhi Sattva-guṇa predominates; in Ahaṃkāra, Rajas, in Manas and the Indriyas and their objects, Tamas.

Citta[50] in its special sense is that faculty (Vṛtti) by which the Mind first recalls to memory (Smaraṇaṃ) that of which there has been previously Anubhava or pratyakṣa Jñāna—that is, immediate cognition. This Smaraṇaṃ [Smaraṇa] exists only to the extent of actual Anubhava. For remembrance is the equivalent of, and neither more nor less than, what has been previously known;[51] remembrance being the calling up of that. Cintā, again, is that faculty whereby the current of thought dwells, thinks and contemplates upon (Cintā)[52] the subject so recalled by Smaraṇaṃ, and previously known and determined by Buddhi. For such meditation (Dhyāna) is done through the recall and fixing the mind upon past percepts and concepts. According to Vedānta, Buddhi determines but once only, and the further recall and thought upon the mental object so determined is the faculty of the separate mental category called Citta. Sāṃkhya, on the principle of economy of categories, regards Smaraṇaṃ [Smaraṇa] and Cintā to be functions of Buddhi.[53] In the works here translated and elsewhere Citta is, however, currently used as a general term for the working mind—that is, as a synonym for the Antaḥkaraṇa.[54]

To sum up the functions of the subtle body: the senseobjects (Bhūta, derived from Tanmātra) affect the senses (Indriya) and are perceived by Manas, are referred to the self by Ahaṃkāra, and are determined by Buddhi. The latter in its turn is illumined by the light of Consciousness (Cit), which is the Puruṣa; all the principles (Tattva) up to and including Buddhi being modifications of apparently unconscious Prakṛti. Thus all the Tattvas work for the enjoyment of the Self or Puruṣa. They are not to be regarded as things existing independently by themselves, but as endowments of the Spirit (Ātmā). They do not work arbitrarily as they will, but represent an organized co-operative effort in the service of the Enjoyer, the Experiencer or Puruṣa.

The subtle body is thus composed of what are called the “17,” viz., Buddhi (in which Ahaṃkāra is included), Manas, the ten senses (Indriya), and the five Tanmātras. No special mention is made of Prāṇa or Vital Principle by the Sāṃkhya, by which it is regarded as a modification of the Antaḥkaraṇa, and as such is implicitly included. The Māyāvādins insert the Prāṇa pentad instead of the Tanmātra.[55]

The Jīva lives in his subtle or mental body alone when in the dreaming (Svapna) state. For the outside world of objects (Mahā-bhūta) is then shut out and the consciousness wanders in the world of ideas. The subtle body or soul is imperishable until Liberation is attained, when the Jīvātmā or seemingly conditioned consciousness ceases to be such and is the Supreme Consciousness or Paramātmā, Nirguṇa-Śiva. The subtle body thus survives the dissolution of the gross body of matter, from which it goes forth (Utkramaṇa), and “reincarnates”[56] (to use an English term) until Liberation (Mukti). The Liṅga-śarīra is not all-pervading (Vibhu), for in that case it would be eternal (Nitya) and could not act (Kriya). But it moves and goes (Gati). Since it is not Vibhu, it must be limited (Paricchinna) and of atomic dimension (Aṇu-parimāṇa). It is indirectly dependent on food. For though the material body is the food-body (Annamaya), Mind is dependent on it when associated with the gross body. Mind in the subtle body bears the Saṃskāras which are the result of past actions. This subtle body is the cause of the third or gross body.

The whole process of evolution is due to the presence of the will to life and enjoyment, which is a result of Vāsanā, or world-desire, carried from life to life in the Saṃskāras, or impressions made on the subtle body by Karma, which is guided by Īśvara. In its reaching forth to the world, the Self is not only endowed with the faculties of the subtle body, but with the gross objects of enjoyment on which those faculties feed. There, therefore, comes into being, as a projection of the Power (Śakti) of Consciousness, the gross body of matter called Sthūla-Śarīra.

The word Śarīra comes from the root “Śṛ” to decay; for the gross body is at every moment undergoing molecular birth and death until Prāṇa, or vitality, leaves the organism, which, as such, is dissolved. The Soul (Jīvātmā) is, when it leaves the body, no longer concerned therewith. There is no such thing as the resurrection of the same body. It turns to dust and the Jīva when it reincarnates does so in a new body, which is nevertheless, like the last, suited to give effect to its Karma.

The Sthūla-Śarīra, with its three Doṣas, six Kośas, seven Dhātus, ten Fires, and so forth,[57] is the perishable body composed of compounds of five forms of gross sensible matter (Mahā-bhūta), which is ever decaying, and is at the end dissolved into its constituents at death.[58] This is the Vedāntik body of food (Annamaya-Kośa), so called because it is maintained by food which is converted into chyle (Rasa), blood, flesh, fat, bone, marrow and seed-components of the gross organism. The Jīva lives in this body when in the waking (Jāgrat) state.

The human, physical, or gross body is, according to Western science, composed of certain compounds of which the chief are water, gelatine, fat, phosphate of lime, albumen, and fibrin, and of these water constitutes some two-thirds of the total weight. These substances are composed of simpler non-metallic and metallic elements, of which the chief are oxygen (to the extent of about two-thirds), hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus. Again, to go one step farther back, though the alleged indestructibility of the elements and their atoms is still said by some to present the character of a “practical truth”, well-known recent experiments go to re-establish the ancient hypothesis of a single Primordial Substance to which these various forms of matter may be reduced, with the resultant of the possible and hitherto derided transmutation of one element into another; since each is but one of the plural manifestations of the same underlying unity.

Recent scientific research has shown that this original substance cannot be scientific “matter”—that is, that which has mass, weight and inertia. Matter has been dematerialized and reduced, according to current hypotheses, to something which differs profoundly from “matter” as known by the senses. This ultimate substance is stated to be Ether in a state of motion. The present scientific hypothesis would appear to be as follows: The ultimate and simplest physical factor from which the universe has arisen is motion of and in a substance called “Ether,” which is not scientific “matter”, The motions of this substance give rise from the realistic point of view to the notion of “matter”. Matter is thus at base one, notwithstanding the diversity of its forms. Its ultimate element is on the final analysis of one kind, and the differences in the various kinds of matter depend on the various movements of the ultimate particle and its succeeding combinations. Given such unity of base, it is possible that one form of matter may pass into another. The Indian theory here described agrees with the Western speculations to which we have referred, that what the latter calls scientific or ponderable matter does not permanently exist, but says that there are certain motions or forces (five in number) which produce solid matter, and which are ultimately reducible to ether (Ākāśa). Ākāśa, however, and scientific “Ether” are not in all respects the same. The latter is an ultimate substance, not “matter,” having vibratory movements and affording the medium for the transmission of light. Ākāśa is one of the gross forces into which the Primordial Power (Prakṛti-Śakti) differentiates itself. Objectively considered it is a vibration[59] in and of the substance of Prakṛti of which it is a transformation in which the other forces are observed to be operating. Lastly, Ākāśa is not an ultimate, but is itself derived from the supersensible Tanmātra, with its quality (Guṇa) whereby Ākāśa affects the senses; and this Tanmātra is itself derived from the mental I-making principle (Ahaṃkāra), or personal consciousness produced from the superpersonal Jīva-consciousness as such (Buddhi), emanating from the root-energy, or Prakṛti-Śakti, the cause and basis of all forms of “material” force or substance. At the back of both “matter” and mind, there is the creative energy (Śakti) of the Supreme who is the cause of the universe and Consciousness itself.

Matter affects the Jīva in five different ways, giving rise in him to the sensations of smell, taste, sight, touch and feel, and hearing.

As already explained, the Tanmātras are supersensible, being abstract qualities, whilst the senses perceive their variations in particular objects only. These sense particulars are produced from the generals or Universals.

From the Śabda-Tanmātra and from the combinations of the latter with the other Tanmātras are produced the gross Bhūtas (Mahā-bhūta), which as things of physical magnitude perceivable by the senses approach the Western definition of discrete sensible “matter”. These five Mahā-bhūtas are Ākāśa (Ether), Vāyu (Air), Tejas (Fire), Āpas (Water) and Pṛthivī (Earth). Their development takes place from the Tanmātra, from one unit of that which is known in sensible matter as mass (Tamas), charged with energy (Rajas) by the gradual accretion of mass and redistribution of energy. The result of this is that each Bhūta is more gross than that which

precedes it until “Earth” is reached. These five Bhūtas have no connection with the English “elements” so called, nor, indeed, are they elements at all, being derived from the Tanmātras. Dynamically and objectively considered they are (proceeding from Ākāśa) said to be five forms of motion, into which Prakṛti differentiates itself: viz., non-obstructive, alldirected motion radiating lines of force in all directions, symbolized as the “Hairs of Śiva”[60] affording the space (Ākāśa) in which the other forces operate; transverse motion[61] and locomotion in space (Vāyu); upward motion giving rise to expansion (Tejas); downward motion giving rise to contraction (Āpas); and that motion which produces cohesion, its characteristic of obstruction being the opposite of the non-obstructive ether in which it exists and from which, it and the other Tattvas spring. The first is sensed by hearing through its quality (Guṇa) of sound (Śabda);[62] the second by touch through resistance and feeling;[63] the third by sight as colour;[64] the fourth by taste through flavour; and the fifth by the sense of smell through its odour, which is produced by matter only in so far as it partakes of the solid state.[65]

The hard and stable obstructive “earth” is that which is smelt, tasted, seen, and touched, and which exists in space which is known by hearing—that is, the sounds in it. The smooth “water” is that which is tasted, seen, and touched in space. “Fire” is what is seen and touched—that is, felt as temperature—in space. “Air” is what is so felt in space. And sound which is heard is that by which the existence of the “Ether” is known. These Bhūtas when compounded make up the material universe. Each thing therein being thus made of all the Bhūtas, we find in the Tantras that form, colour and sound, are related, a truth which is of deep ritual significance. Thus, each of the sounds of speech or music has a corresponding form, which have now been made visible to the eye by the Phonoscope.[66] Thus the deaf may perceive sounds by the eye, just as by the Optophone and blind may read by means of the ear.

In the same Śāstra various colours and figures (Maṇḍalas) are assigned to the Tattvas to denote them. Ākāśa is represented by a transparent white circular diagram in which, according to some accounts, there are dots (Cidra = hole), thus displaying the interstices which Ākāśa produces; for Ākāśa, which is all-pervading, intervenes between each of the Tattvas which are evolved from it.

Vāyu is denoted by a smoky grey, six-cornered diagram;[67] Tejas, red, triangular diagram; Apas, white, crescentshaped diagram; and Pṛthivī, yellow, quadrangular diagram which, as the superficial presentation of the cube, well denotes the notion of solidity.

Similarly, to each Devatā also there is assigned a Yantra, or diagram, which is a suggestion of the form assumed by the evolving Prakṛti or body of that particular Consciousness.

The gross body is, then, a combination of the compounds of those Mahā-bhūtas, derivable from the Ākāśa (“Ether”) Tattva.

The Bhūtas and the Tanmātras, as parts of these compounds, pervade the body, but particular Bhūtas are said to have centres of force in particular regions. Thus the centres (Cakra) of “Earth” and “Water” are the two lower ones in the trunk of the body. “Fire” predominates in the central abdominal region, and “Air” and “Ether” in the two higher centres in the heart and throat. These five Tanmātras, five Bhūtas, and the ten senses (Indriyas) which perceive them, are known as the twenty gross Tattvas which are absorbed in Yoga in the centres of the bodily trunk. The remaining four subtle mental Tattvas (Buddhi, Ahaṃkāra, Manas and Prakṛti) have their special centres of activity in the head. Again, the Bhūtas may be specially displayed in other portions of the bodily organism. Thus, Pṛthivī displays itself as bone or muscles; Āpas as urine and saliva; Tejas as hunger and thirst; Vāyu in grasping and walking. Fire is manifold, its great mystery being saluted by many names. So Tejas manifests both as light and heat, for, as Helmholtz says, the same object may affect the senses in different ways. The same ray of Sunshine, which is called light when it falls on the eyes, is called heat when it falls on the skin. Agni manifests in the household and umbilical fires; as Kāmāgni in the Mūlādhāra centre; in Badabā or submarine fire and in the “Lightning” of the Suṣumṇā in the spinal column.

Matter, thus exists in the five states etheric,[68] aerial,[69] fiery,[70] fluid,[71] and solid.[72] Pṛthivī does not denote merely what is popularly called “Earth”. All solid (Pārthiva) odorous substance is in the Pṛthivī state. All substance in the fluid (Āpya) state is in the Āpas state, as everything which has cohesive resistance is in that of Pṛthivī. This latter, therefore, is the cohesive vibration, the cause of solidity, of which the common earth is a gross compounded form. All matter in the aerial (Vāyava) condition is in the Vāyu state. These are all primary differentiations of cosmic matter into a universe of subtly fine motion. The Tattvas regarded objectively evoke in the Indriyas smell, taste, sight, touch and hearing.

The gross body is thus a combination of the compounds of these Mahā-Bhūtas, derivable ultimately from Ether (Ākāśa), itself evolved in the manner described.

The gross and subtle bodies above described are vitalized and held together as an organism by Prāṇa, which is evolved from the active energy (Kriyā-Śakti) of the Liṅga Śarira. Prāṇa, or the vital principle, is the special relation of the Ātmā with a certain form of matter which by this relation the Ātmā organizes and builds up as a means of having experience.[73] This special relation constitutes the individual Prāṇa in the individual body. The cosmic allpervading Prāṇa is not Prāṇa in this gross sense, but is a name for the Brahman as the author of the individual Prāṇa. The individual Prāṇa is limited to the particular body which it vitalizes, and is a manifestation in all breathing creatures (Prāṇī) of the creative and sustaining activity of the Brahman, who is represented in individual bodies by the Devī Kuṇḍalinī.

All beings, whether Devatas, men, or animals, exist only so long as the Prāṇa is within the body. It is the life-duration of all.[74] What life is has been the subject of dispute in India as elsewhere.[75] The materialists of the Lokāyata school considered life to be the result of the chemical combinations of the elements, in the same manner as the intoxicating property of spirituous liquors results from the fermentation of unintoxicating rice and molasses, or as spontaneous generation was supposed to occur under the influence of gentle warmth. This is denied by the Sāṃkhya. Though Prāṇa and its fivefold functions are called Vāyu, Life, according to this school, is not a Vāyu in the sense of a mere biomechanical force, nor any mere mechanical motion resulting from the impulsion of such Vāyu.

According to the view of this school, Prāṇa, or vitality, is the common function of the mind and all the senses, both sensory (Jñānendriya) and motor (Karmendriya), which result in the bodily motion. Just as several birds when confined in one cage cause that cage to move by themselves moving, so the mind and senses cause the body to move while they are engaged in their respective activities. Life is, then, a resultant of the various concurrent activities of other principles or forces in the organism.

The Vedāntists agree in the view that the Prāṇa is neither Vāyu nor its operation, but deny that it is the mere resultant of the concomitant activities of the organism, and hold that it is a separate independent principle and “material” form assumed by the universal Consciousness. Life is therefore a subtle principle pervading the whole organism which is not gross Vāyu, but is all the same a subtle kind of apparently unconscious force, since everything which is not the Ātmā or Puruṣa is, according to Māyāvāda-Vedānta and Sāṃkhya, unconscious or, in Western parlance “material” (Jada).[76] The gross outer body is heterogeneous (Paricchinna) or made up of distinct or well-defined parts. On the other hand, the Prāṇamaya self which lies within the Annamaya self is a homogeneous undivided whole (Sādhāraṇa) permeating the whole physical body (Sarvapiṇḍa-vyāpin). It is not cut off into distinct regions (Asādhāraṇa) (as is the Piṇḍa, or microcosmic physical body. Unlike the latter, it has no specialized organs each discharging a specific function. It is a homageneous unity (Sādhāraṇa) present in every part of the body, which it ensouls as its inner self. Vāyu[77] which courses through the body is the manifestation, self-begotten, the subtle, invisible, all-pervading, divine energy of eternal life. It is so called from the fact of its coursing throughout the universe. Invisible in itself, yet its operations are manifest. For it determines the birth, growth and decay of all animated organisms, and as such it receives the homage of all created beings. As vital Vāyu it is instantaneous in action, radiating as nerve force through the organism in constant currents. In its normal condition it maintains a state of equilibrium between the different Doṣas[78] and Dhātus,[78] or root principles of the body. The bodily Vāyu is divided, as are the principles called Pitta[78] and Kapha,[78] into five chief divisions according to the differences in location and function. Vāyu, known in its bodily aspect as Prāṇa, the universal force of vital activity, on entry into each individual is divided into tenfold functions (Vṛtti) of which five are chief. The first or breathing, bears the same name (Prāṇa) as that given to the force considered in its totality—the function whereby atmospheric air with its pervading vitality, which has been first drawn from without into the bodily system, is expired.[79]

On the physical plane Prāṇa manifests in the animal body as breath through inspiration (Sa), or Śakti, and expiration (Ha), or Śiva. Breathing is itself a Mantra, known as the Mantra which is not recited (Ajapā-mantra), for it is said without volition.[80]

The divine current is the motion of Ha and Sa. This motion, which exists on all the planes of life, is for the earth plane (Bhūrloka) created and sustained by the Sun, the solar breath of which is the cause of human breath with its centrifugal and centripetal movements, the counterpart in man of the cosmic movement of the Haṃsaḥ [Haṃsa] or Śiva-Śakti-Tattvas, which are the soul of the Universe. The Sun is not only the centre and upholder of the solar system,[81] but the source of all available energy and of all physical life on earth. Accompanying the sunshine there proceeds from the orb a vast invisible radiation, the pre-requisite of all vegetable and animal life. It is these invisible rays which, according to science, sustain the mystery of all physical life. The Sun as the great luminary is the body of the Solar God, a great manifestation of the Inner Spiritual Sun.[82]

Apāna, the downward “breath” which pulls against Prāṇa, governs the excretory functions; Samāna kindles the bodily fire and governs the processes of digestion and assimilation; Vyāna, or diffused “breathing,” is present throughout the body, effecting division and diffusion, resisting disintegration, and holding the body together in all its parts; and Udāna, the ascending Vāyu, is the so-called “upward breathing”. Prāṇa is in the heart; Apāna in the anus; Samāna in the navel; Udāna in the throat; and Vyāna pervades the whole body.[83] By the words “navel” and so forth it is not meant that the vāyu is in the navel itself but in that region of the body so designated—the abdominal region and its centre the Maṇipūra-Cakra. The five minor Vāyus are Nāga, Kūrma, Kṛkara, Devadatta, and Dhanaṃjaya, which manifest in hiccup, closing and opening the eyes, digestion,[84] yawning, and in that Vāyu “which leaves not even the corpse”. The functions of Prāṇa may be scientifically defined as follows: Appropriation (Prāṇa), Rejection (Apāna), Assimilation (Samāna), Distribution (Vyāna), and Utterance (Udāna). The Prāṇa represents the involuntary reflex action of the organism and the Indriyas one aspect of its voluntary activity.

In the case of the individualised Prāṇa, or principle which vitalizes the animal organism during its earth life, it may be said, when regarded as an independent principle, to be a force more subtle than that which manifests as terrestrial matter which it vitalises. In other words, according to this theory, the Ātmā gives life to the earth organisms through the medium of terrestrial Prāṇa, which is one of the manifestations of that Energy which issues from and is at base the allpervading Ātmā, as Śakti.

Ātmā as such has no states, but in worldly parlance we speak of such. So the Māṇḍukya-Upaniṣad[85] speaks of the four aspects (Pāda) of the Brahman.

Caitanya, or Consciousness in bodies, is immanent in the individual and collective gross, subtle, and causal bodies, and transcends them. One and the same Git pervades and transcends all things, but is given different names to mark its different aspects in the Jīva. Cit, being immutable, has itself no states; for states can only exist in the products of the changing Prakṛti-Śakti. From, however, the aspect of Jīva several states exist, which, though informed by the same Cit, may from this aspect be called states of consciousness.[86]

In the manifested world, Consciousness appears in three states (Avasthā), viz.[87]: waking (Jāgrat), dreaming (Svapna), and dreamless slumber (Suṣupti). In the waking state the Jīva is conscious of external objects (Bahiḥprajña), and is the gross enjoyer of these objects through the senses (Sthūlabhuk).[88] The Jīva in this state is called Jāgarī—that is, he who takes upon himself the gross body called Viśva. Here the Jīva consciousness is in the gross body.

In dreaming (Svapna) the Jīva is conscious of inner objects (Antah-prajña), and the enjoyer of what is subtle (Pravivikta-bhuk)—that is, impressions left on the mind by objects sensed in the waking state. The objects of dreams have only an external reality for the dreamer, whereas the objects perceived when awake have such reality for all who are in that state. The mind ceases to record fresh impressions, and works on that which has been registered in the waking state.

The first (Jāgrat) state is that of sense perception. Here the ego lives in a mental world of ideas, and the Jīva consciousness is in the subtle body. Both these states are states of duality in which multiplicity is experienced.[89]

The third state, or that of dreamless sleep (Suṣupti), is defined as that which is neither waking nor dreaming, and in which the varied experiences of the two former states are merged into a simple experience (Ekībhūta), as the variety of the day is lost in the night without extinction of such variety. Consciousness is not objective (bahiḥprajña) nor subjective (antaḥprajña), but a simple undifferenced consciousness without an object other than itself (prajñāna-ghana), In waking the Jīva consciousness is associated with mind and senses; in dreaming the senses are withdrawn; in dreamless slumber mind also is withdrawn. The Jīva, called Prajña, is for the time being merged in his causal body—’ that is, Prakṛti inseparably associated with Consciousness—that is, with that state of Consciousness which is the seed from which the subtle and gross bodies grow. The state is one of bliss. The Jīva is not conscious of anything,[90] but on awakening preserves only the notion, “Happily I slept; I was not conscious of anything.”[91] This state is accordingly that which has as its object the sense of nothingness.[92] Whilst the two former states enjoy the gross and subtle objects respectively, this is the enjoyer of bliss only (Ānanda-bhuk)—that is, simple bliss without an object. The Lord is always the enjoyer of bliss, but in the first two states He enjoys bliss through objects. Here He enjoys bliss itself free from both subject and object. In this way the Suṣupti state approaches the Brahman Consciousness. But it is not that in its purity, because it, as the other two states are both associated with ignorance (Avidyā) the first two with Vikṛti, and the last with Prakṛti. Beyond, therefore, the state there is the “fourth” (Turīya). Here the pure experience called Śuddha-vidyā is acquired through Samādhi-yoga, Jīva in the Suṣupti state is said to he in the causal (Kāraṇa) body, and Jīva in the Turīya state is said to be in the great causal (Mahā-kāraṇa) body.[93]

Beyond this there is, some say, a fifth state, “beyond the fourth” (Turīyātīta), which is attained through firmness in the fourth. Here the Īśvara-Tattva is attained. This is the Unmeṣa[94] state of consciousness, of which the Sadākhya-Tattva is the Nimeṣa.2 Passing beyond “the spotless one attains the highest equality,” and is merged in the Supreme Śiva.

The above divisions—Viśva, Taijasa, and Prājña—are those of the individual Jīva. But there is also the collective or cosmic Jīva, which is the aggregate of the individual Jīvas of each particular state.[95] In the macrocosm these collective[96] Jīvas are called Vaiśvānara (corresponding to the individual Viśva body), Hiraṇyagarbha, and Sūtrātmā[97] (corresponding to the individual Taijasa-body); and Īśvara is the name of the collective form of the Jīvas described as Prājña. Cosmically, these are the conscious Lords of the objective, subjective, and causal worlds, beyond which there is the Supreme Consciousness.

Supreme Yoga-experience and Liberation is attained by passing beyond the first three states of ordinary experience.

The Yoga-process is a return-movement to the Source which is the reverse of the creative movement therefrom. The order of production is as follows: Buddhi, then Ahaṃkāra, from the latter the Manas, Indriya and Tanmātra and from the last the Bhūta. As the seat of the Source is in the human body the cerebrum in which there is the greatest display of Consciousness, the seat of Mind is between the eyebrows and the seats of Matter in the five centres from the throat to the base of the spine. Commencement of the return movement is made here and the various kinds of Matter are dissolved into one another, and then into Mind and Mind into Consciousness as described later in Chapter V. To the question whether man can here and now attain the supreme state of Bliss, the answer in Yoga is “yes”. 

Footnotes and references:


So it is said: Puruṣān na paraṃ kiṃcit sā kāṣṭhaparā gatiḥ.


dehendriyādiyuktaḥ cetano jīvaḥ.—The Kulārṇava-Tantra, I. 7-9, describes the Jīvas as parts of Śiva enveloped in Māyā (which thus constitutes them as separate entities), like sparks issuing from fire—an old Vedāntic idea. As, however, Jīva in Māyāvāda Vcdānta is really Brahman (jīvo brahmaiva nāparaḥ) there is according to such doctrine in reality no independent category called Jīva (nahi jīvo nāma kaścit svatantraḥ padārthaḥ). Ātmā is called Jīva when with Upādhi—that is, body, etc. Philosophically, all Ātmā with Upādhi (attribute) is Jīva.


“Little egg (spheroid) of Brahmā.”


The Jñānārṇava-Tantra (XXI, 10) says that “antaḥ” implies secret and subtle, for the Ātmā, fine like an atom, is within everything. This is the bird Haṃsa which disports in the Lake of Ignorance. On dissolution, when it is Saṃhārarūpī, Ātmā is revealed. The Mother is the Antaryāmin of the Devatās also, such as the five Śivas, Brahmā, etc., for She is Parabrahmānandarūpā, Paraprakāśa-rūpā, Sadrūpā and Cidrūpā and thus directs them (Triśatī, II. 47).


yad ihāsti tad anyatra yan nehāsti na tat kvacit—an Indian version of the Hermetic maxim, “As above, so below”.


So Herbert Spencer holds, in conformity with Indian doctrine, that the universe, whether physical or psychical, is a play of force which in the case of matter we as the self or mind experience as object. As to Mind and Matter see “The World As Power”.


The word has been said to be derived form Kṛ and the affix ktin, which is added to express bhāva, or the abstract idea, and sometimes the Karma, or object of the action, corresponding with the Greek affix sis. Ktin inflected in the nominative becomes tih, tis. Prakṛti therefore has been said to correspond with ##### (nature) of the Greeks (Banerjee, “Dialogues on Hindu Philosophy,” 24). It is also called Pradhāna. Pra+dhā+anat=pradhatte sarvaṃ ātmani, or that which contains all things in itself, the source and receptacle of all matter and form. Pradhānā also literally means “chief” (substance), for according to Sāṃkhya it is the real creator.


See the splendid Hymn to Prakṛti in Prapañcasāra-tantra. What can be seen by the eyes can be defined, but not She. “It cannot be seen by the eyes.” Kena Upaniṣad, 1-6: “yat cakṣuṣā na paśyati”.—She is beyond the senses. Hence the Triśatī addressess the Devī (II. 44) as idṛgityavinirdeśyā (who is not to be particularly pointed out as being this or that). See Śāradā-Tilāka, Vāmakeśvara, and Viśvasāra-Tantras, cited in Prāṇa-toṣiṇī, p. 24. She is ineffable and inconceivable: with form (Vikṛti), yet Herself (Mūla-prakṛti) formless. Mahānirvāṇa-Tantra, IV. 33-35. Thus Sāyāṇa (Rig-Veda. X, 129, 2) says that, whilst Māyā is Anirvācyā (indefinable), since it is neither Sat nor Asat, Git is definable as Sat.


kṛteḥ prāraṃbho yasyāḥ. That is, by which creation (Sṛṣṭi,) maintenance (Sthiti), and dissolution (Laya) are done (prakriyate kāryādikaṃ anayā).


See Satyānanda’s Comm, on 4th Mantra of Īśa Up. “The changeless Brahman which is consciousness appears in creation as Māyā which is Brahman (Brahmamayī) consciousness (Cidrūpiṇī), holding in Herself unbeginning (Anādi) Kārmik tendencies (Karma-saṃskāra) in the form of the three Guṇas. Hence She is Guṇamayī despite being Cinmayī. And as there is no second principle these Guṇas are Cit-Śakti.”


The three Guṇas are Prakṛti. The Devī, as in the form of Prakṛti, is called Triguṇātmikā (who is composed of the three Guṇas). All nature which issues from Her, the Great Cause (Mahā-kāraṇa-svarūpā), is also composed of the same Guṇas in different states of relation.


See an article of mine in the Indian Philosophical Review, “Śakti and Māyā,” reproduced in “Śakti and Śākta


In the words of Professor P. Mukhyopadhyaya, dealing with the matter monistically, these are the three elements of the Life Stress on the surface of pure Consciousness—namely, presentation (Sattva), movement (Rajas), and veiling (Tamas), which are the three elements of creative evolution (“The Patent Wonder,” p. 19).


Those in whom Rajas Guṇa is predominant, and who work that Guṇa to suppress Tamas, are Vīra (hero), and the man in whom the Tamas Guṇa prevails is a Paśu (animal).


The three Guṇas are essentially changeful.—nāpariṇamya kṣaṇamap- yavatiṣṭhante guṇāḥ—(the guṇās do not remain for a moment without movement). Vācaspati-Miśra: Sāṃkhya-Tattva-Kaumudī, 16th Kārikā. The movement is twofold: (a) Sarūpa-pariṇāma or Sadṛśa-pariṇāma is dissolution, and (b) Virūpapariṇāma is evolution.


This is, in fact the definition of Prakṛti as opposed to Vikṛti,—

sattvarajastamasāṃ sāṃyāvasthā prakṛtiḥ.
Sāṃkhya-Kaumudī-Kārikā, 3; Sāṃkhya-Pravacana, I. 61.


Vikāra or Vikṛti is something which is really changed, as milk into curd. The latter is a Vikṛti of the former. Vivarta is apparent but unreal change, such as the appearance of what was and is a rope as a snake. The Vedānta-sāra thus musically defines the two terms:

satattvato's nyathāprathā vikāra ityudīritaḥ
atattvato's nyathāprathā vivarta ityudīritaḥ.

Under V. 40, on page 422 post, the commentator speaks of Vikṛti as a reflection (Prati-biṃbatā) of Prakṛti. It is Prakṛti modified.


As already explained, there are Tattvas which precede the Puruṣa- Prakṛti-Tattvas. Etymologically Tattva is an abstract derivation from pronoun “Tat” (that), or Thatness, and may, it has been pointed out, be compared with the Haecceitas of Duns Scotus. The Tattva in a general sense is Truth or Brahman. But in the Sāṃkhya it has a technical sense, being employed as a concrete term to denote the eight “producers,” the sixteen “productions,” and the twenty-fifth Tattva or Puruṣa.


yaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣū tiṣṭhan: yaḥ sarvāṇi bhūtānī antaro yamayati (Brih. Upaniṣad, iii. 7, 15).

The Jīva is in Māyāvāda thus Gaitanya-rūpa with the Upādhi ajñāna and its effects, mind and body, and which is Abhimānin, or attributor to itself, of the waking, dreaming and slumber states.


Śaṃkāra’s Bhāṣya, II. 3-45. The Jīva is Caitanya distinguished by Upādhi. The latter term means distinguishing property, attribute, body, etc., and here body (Deha), senses (Indriya), mind (Manas, Buddhi), etc. (ib., I. 2-6).




pāśa-baddho bhavej jīvaḥ pāśa-muktaḥ sadāśivaḥ (Kulārṇava- Tantra, IX. 48), upon which the author of the Prāṇa-toṣiṇī, who cites this passage, says: “Thus the identity of Śiva and Jīva is shown” (iti śivajīvayor aikyaṃ uktāṃ).


Feminine of Īśvara. Some worship Śiva, some Devī. Both are one.


Comm., by Śaṃkara on. v. 23.


According to anoṃer Vedāntic view there is only one Jīva.


The definition of a Bhūta (sensible matter) is that which can be seen by the outer organ, such as the eye, ear, and so forth.


Sāṃkhya-Pravacana-Sūtra, II. 16. See “Mind” in “The World As Power”.


See post; also section on Matter, in “The World As Power”.


Rūpa is primarily colour. By means of colour form is perceived, for a perfectly colourless thing is not perceivable by the gross senses.


The other objects of the senses are the speakable, prehensible, approachable, excitable (that which is within the genitals), and excretable. “Each sense is suited to a particular class of influences—touch to solid pressure, hearing to aerial pressure, taste to liquid, light to luminous rays.” (Bain: “Mind and body,” p. 22, 1892.)

See Sāṃkhya-Pravacana-Sūtra, II. 26-28, 40: Sāṃkhya-Tattva- Kaumudī, 27 Kārikā.


See for this in greater detail J. C. Chatterji’s “Kashmir Śaivaism.”


lb., see post.


So it is said: tāni vastūni tanmātrādīni pratyakṣa-viṣayāṇi (that is, to Yogīs).


Whereby the thermal quality of things is perceived.


In a general way the last four correspond with the Vaiśeṣika Paramāṇus. There are differences, however. Thus, the latter are eternal (Nitya) and do not proceed from one another.


See “Kashmir Śaivaism,” by J. C. Chatterji, p. 120. Thus Professor Lombroso records the case of a woman who, being blind, read with the tip of her ear, tasted with her knees, and smelt with her toes.


Tantrasāra Āhnika, 8.


See “Kashmir Śaivaism,” p. 112.


So in the Bṛhadāraṇayaka-Upaniṣad, I. 3-27, it is said: “My Manas (mind) was diverted elsewhere. Therefore I did not hear.”


So, in the Text here translated post, Manas is spoken of as a doorkeeper who lets some enter, and keeps others outside.


See “Kashmir Śaivaism,” pp. 94-114. This is the Sāṃkhyan and Vedantic definition. According to the Vaiśeṣika, Manas is that which gives knowledge of pleasure, pain, and Jīvātmā (I am So-and-so).


See “Kashmir Śaivaism,” p. 116, where the author cites the dictum of Kant that perceptions (Anschauung) without conceptions are blind.


Abhimāna.—abhimāno'haṃkāraḥ.—See Sāṃkhya-Tattva-Kaumudī, 24 Kārikā, and Bk. II, Sūtra 16, Sāṃkhya-Pravacana-Sūtra.


taṃ ahaṃkāraṃ upajīvya hi buddhir adhyavasyati (Sāṃkhya- Tattva-Kaumudī), supra.


Sāṃkhya-Pravacana, II. 13. The Sūtra has adhyavasāyo buddhiḥ; but the Commentator points out that Buddhi is not to be identified with its functions. Buddhi is thus called Niścayakāriṇī.


Sāṃkhya-Tattva-Kaumudī 23rd Kārikā:

sarva vyavahartā ālocya mattvā ahaṃ atrādhikṛta ityabhimatya kartavyaṃ etat mayā iti adhyavasyati.


Sāṃkhya-Pravacana, II. 40-44.


Ibid., 45, 39.


Śaṃkara’s Commentary on Kaṭhopaniṣad, 3rd Valli, 4th Mantra:—ātmendriyamanoyuktaṃ bhokteyāhur manīṣiṇaḥ; and see Sāṃkhya- Pravacana, II. 47.


cetati anena iti cittaṃ.


So the Pātañjala-Sūtra says:—anubhūta-viṣayāsaṃpramoṣaḥ smṛtiḥ—(Nothing is taken away from the object perceived).


anusaṃdhānātmikā antaḥkaraṇa-vṛttir iti vedāntaḥ.—(It is the faculty of the Antaḥkaraṇa which investigates in the Vedānta.)


sāṃkhya-śāstre ca cintāvṛttikasya cittasya buddhāvevāntarbhāvaḥ.—(In the Sāṃkhya-Śāstra, Citta, the function of which is Cintā, is included in Buddhi, I. 64.)


cittaṃ antaḥkaraṇa-sāmānyaṃ.—(Citta is the Antaḥkaraṇa in general): Sāṃkhya-Pravacana-Bhāṣya.


Sāṃkhya-Pravacana-Sūtra, III. 9. See Chapter on ‘Power As Life’ in “The World As Power”.


This is transmigration or pretyabhāva, which means “the arising again and again”—punarutpattiḥ pretya bhāvaḥ, as Gautama says. Pretya=having died, and Bhāva=“the becoming (born into the world) again”. “Again” implies habitualness: birth, then death, then, birth, and so on, until final emancipation which is Mokṣa, or Apavarga (release), as the Nyāya calls it.


See Introduction to my edition of Prapañcasāra-Tantra, Vol. III, “Tāntrik Texts”.


Decay and death are two of the six Ūrmis which, with hunger and thirst, grief and ignorance, are characteristics of the body (Dehadharma): Prapañcasāra-Tantra, II.


It is Spanda-naśīla (vibratory), according to Sāṃkhya; for the products share the character of the original vibrating Prakṛti, and these products are not, like Prakṛti itself, all-pervading (Vibhu). The Vaiśeṣika-Sūtrakāra regards it as a motionless, colourless (Nīrūpa) continuum (Sarva-vyāpī). It is not an effect and is Vibhu, therefore it cannot vibrate (Gatikriyā). The Commentators argue that, as it is a Dravya or thing, it must possess the general quality (Dharma) of Dravya or Kṛyā—that is, action. See Chapter on ‘Power As Matter’ in “The World As Power”.


Kashmir Śaivaism,” p. 132, wḥere it is suggested that the lines of the magnetic field are connected with the lines of Dik (direction) as the lines of ethereal energy.


Vāyu, as the Prapañcasāra-Tantra says, is characterized by motion (Calanapara). The Saṃskrit root Vā=to move. See Suśruta, Vol. II, p. 2, ed. Kavirāj Kuñjalala Bhiṣagratna.


According to Western notions, it is the air which is the cause of sound. According to Indian notions, Ether is the substratum (Āśraya) of sound, and Air (Vāyu) is a helper (Śahakārī) in its maṃfestation.


Touch is not here used in the sense of all forms of contact, for form and solidity are not yet developed, but such particular contact as that by which is realized the thermal quality of things.


Fire is the name or that action which builds and destroys shapes.


All matter in the solid state (Pārthiva) giving rise to smell is in. the state of earth—e.g., metals, flowers, etc.


When words are spoken or sung into a small trumpet attached to the instrument, a revolving disk appears to break up into a number of patterns, which vary with the variations in sound.


See as to this and other diagrams the coloured plates of the Cakras.


All-pervading (Sarva-vyāpī), though relatively so in Sāṃkhya, and colourless (Nīrūpa). As to vibration, v. ante,


With movements which are not straight (Tiryag-gamana-śīla).


Illuminating (Prakāśa) and heating (Tāpa).


Liquid (Tarala), moving (Calanaśīla). It has the quality of Sneha, whereby things can be rolled up into a lump (Piṇḍa), as moistened flour or earth. Some solids things become liquid for a time through heat; and others become solids, the Jāti (species) of which is still water (Jalatva).


Without hollow, dense (Ghana), firm (Dṛḍha), combined (Saṃ- ghata) and hard (Kaṭina).


“Hindu Realism,” p. 84. See Chapter on ‘Power As Life’ in “The World As Power”,


Kauśītakī Upaniṣad, 3-2.


See Chapter on ‘Power As Life’ in “The World As Power”.


See Commentary on Taittirīya Upaniṣad, edited by Mahādeva- Śāstri and Appendix C, by Dr. Brojendra Nath Seal, to Professor B. K. Sarkar’s “The Positive Background of Hindu Sociology,” where some further authorities are given. By unconscious in Vedānta is meant that thing is an object of consciousness, not that it is unconscious in itself for all is essentially consciousness.


In the sense of Prāṇa. The Sanskrit root =to move. See Suśruta, Vol. II, p. 2, ed. by Kavirāj Kuñjalāla Bhiṣagratna.


See Introduction to third volume of “Tāntrik Texts,” where these terms are explained. The Devatās of these Dhātus are Dākinī and the other Śaktis in the Cakras. See “The World As Power”.


The Vāyus have other functions than those mentioned. The matter is here stated only in a general way. See Suśruta-Saṃhitā, cited ante, Prāṇa is not the physical breath, which is a gross thing, but that function of vital force which exhibits itself in respiration.


Thus the Niruttara-Tantra (Chapter IV) says:

haṃ-kāreṇa bahir yāti saḥkāreṇa viśet punaḥ,
haṃseti paramaṃ mantraṃ jīvo japati sarvadā.

By Haṃkāra it goes out, and by Saḥkāra it comes in again. A jīva always recites the Supreme Mantra Haṃsaḥ. See also Dhyānabindu Upaniṣad.


The Sun is said to hold the vast bulk of the total matter of the solar system, while it only carries about 2 per cent of its movement of momentum.


The Yoga works speak of the Moon-Cit (Ciccandra). It is this spiritual moon which is shown on the cover of this book, embraced by the Serpent Kuṇḍalinī.


Amṛtanāda-Upaniṣad, w. 34, 35—Anandāśrama Edition. Vol. XXIX, p. 43; Śāṇḍilya Upaniṣad, Ch. I. See also, as to Prāṇa, Ch. II, Prapañcasāra-Tantra. It is also said that Prāṇa is at the tip of the nostrils (Nāsāgra-varttī), and others are also said to be elsewhere. These localities denote special seats of function. See “The World As Power”.


Kṣudhākara; lit., “appetite-maker”.


This Upaniṣad gives an analysis of the states of Consciousness on all planes, and should be studied in connection with Gauḍapāda’s Kārikā on the same subject with Śaṃkarācārya’s Commentary on the latter.


Described in detail post.


See Māṇḍukya-Upaniṣad (where these are analysed) with Gauḍapāda’s Kārikā and Śaṃkarācārya’s Commentary on the same.


Māṇḍukya Upaniṣad, Mantra 3. Prapañcasāra-Tantra;

svairindriyair yadātmā bhuṅgte bhogān sa jāgaro bhavati;
  —(Ch. XIX, Tāntrik Texts, Vol. III).

See Īśvara-pratyabhijñā:

sarvākṣa-gocaratvena yā tu bāhyatayā sthitā
  —(cited by Bhāskararāya in commentary to v. 62 of Lalitā).


See Māṇḍukya Upaniṣad, Mantra 4. Īśvara-pratyabhijñā, manomātrapathe'dhyakṣaviṣayatvena vibhramāt

spaṣṭāvabāsabhāvānāṃ sṛṣṭiḥ svapnapadaṃ mataṃ
  —(Cited in Lalitā, under v. 113.)


saṃjñārahitair api tair asyānubhavo bhavet punaḥ svapnaḥ.


This state, when nothing is dreamt, is rarer than is generally supposed.


See Pātañjala-Yoga-Sūtra:—sukhaṃ ahaṃ asvāpsaṃ na kincid avediṣaṃ iti smaraṇāt.


abhāva-pratyayālaṃhanāvṛttir nidra.

See also Prapañcasāra- Tantra:

ātmanirudyuktatayā nairākulyaṃ bhavet suṣuptir api
  —(Ch. XIX,. Vol. III, of Tāntrik Texts).


Bhāskararāya in his Comm, on Lalitā says:

ata eva suṣupti-dāśapanna-jīvopadheḥ kāraṇaśarīratvena turīyadaśāpanna-jīvopādheḥ mahākāraṇaśarīratvena vyavahāraḥ.

Inasmuch as the Jīva in the Suṣupti state is possessed of the Kāraṇa-śarīra (causal body) the same Jīva in the Turīya state is understood to be possessed of the Great Causal Body (mahākāraṇa-śarīratvena vyavahāraḥ).


Opening and closing of the eyes (of consciousness). The latter is the last stage before the perfect Śivā-consciousness is gained.


Accounts vary in detail according as a greater or less number of stages of ascent are enumerated. Thus Nirvāṇa-Tantra, cited in Comm, to v. 43 post, says the Paramātmā is the Devatā in the Turīya state; and Prapañcasāra (Ch. XIX) says Jāgrat is Bīja, Svapna is Bindu, Suṣupti is Nāda, Turīya is Śakti, and the Laya beyond is Śānta.


The nature of the collectivity is not merely a summation of units, but a collectivity the units of which are related to one another as parts of an organized whole. Thus Hiraṇyagarbha is he who has the consciousness of being all the Jīvas.

samaṣṭyabhimānī hiraṇyagarbhāt-makaḥ
  —(Bhāskararāya, op, cit. v. 61).

He is the aggregate of these Jīvas.


There is said to be this distinction between the two, that the Paramātmā manifested as the collective Antaḥkaraṇa is Hiraṇyagarbha, as the collective Prāṇa it is called Sūtrātmā. When manifest through these two vehicles without differentiation it is Antaryāmin. See Bhāskararāya, loc. cit.

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