[Advaita-l] Musings on the Fundamentals of Hinduism - 9

Anbu sivam2 anbesivam2 at gmail.com
Thu Sep 17 12:50:57 CDT 2009



In our concept of Karma and Reincarnation based on cause and effect,
it is correct to say that there has never been a creation because you
cannot trace a beginning in the chain of cause and effect. So, for the
sake of convenience of understanding we would call the manifestation
part of the cycle as the beginning and the unmanifestation as the end.
In this scheme of things Maya remains the cause of all causes.
Incidentally this idea of creation is an important point of contention
between the western religions of Judaism, Christainity and Islam that
have their belief in creation as given in the Genesis of the Bible on
the one hand and Hinduism which is rooted in the Kaarmic view on the

This Maya has three Guna aspects called Sathwam, Rajas and Thamas.
These Gunas become the Upadhi or conditioning that makes the ONE
Brahman (Ekham Sat) to appear as many. Brahman with Suddha Sathwa or
Maya or Mulaprakrthi (as it is variously called) as the Upadhi would
make him Easwara or God. One of the functions of God is to be the
Karmaphala Dhaatha (giver of the fruit of karma). Rajo Guna
characterized by the diversity and multitude of the jeevas, is the
upadhi or conditioning called ‘avidya’. These bodies called Easwara in
macrocosm and Jeeva in microcosm are the causal bodies called
Anandamaya Kosa and they form the Kaarana Prapancha.

The Sthula Sariram (gross body), the Sukshma Sariram (subtle body) and
the jagat are caused by the Thamas dominated aspect of prakrthi that
divides itself into two called Aavarana Shakthi (veiling power) and
Vikshepa Shakthi (the projecting power). It is to be assumed that the
Sathwa and Rajo Gunas remain in them in an underlying aspect. It is
the Vikshepa Shakthi that evolved the fivefold Thanmaathras (the
subtle state of elements) called Sukshma Aakaasa (subtle space), Vayu,
Agni, Aapa (water) and Prithvi. Out of these five subtle elements five
sense organs called Srothra (hearing), Sparsha (touch), Chakshus
(sight), Jihva (taste) and Grana (smell) arose.

The Sathwa aspect of the Thanmaathras produced the Anthakkarana or
inner organ called the mind. Anthankkarana has four aspects called
manas, buddhi, chittha and ahamkara. Ahamkara is involved in Buddhi
and Chittha is involved in Manas. Thus the Anthakkarana is now reduced
to two.

The Rajo Guna aspect of Thanmaathras manifests the Pancha Praanaas
called Praana, Apaana, Vyaana, Udhaana and Samaana. They remain the
motive force in each individual. In the same manner the Rajasic aspect
of the tanmaathras manifest five karmendriyas called Vaak (speech),
Paani (hands), Paada (legs), Paayu (excretory organs) and Upastha
(reproductive organs).

So with five organs of knowledge, five organs of action and five
pranas and two indriyas of anthakkarana –totalling seventeen
items—form the Sukshma Sarira also known as Linga Sarira of the jeeva.
This Linga Sarira in macrocosm is called Hiranyagarbha and the
microcosm is called Thaijasa.

>From the Thamas dominated aspect of the Thanmaathras of Akasa to
Prithvi the gross elements came into being by a process known as
Panchikaranam. In this process each of the five Thanmaathras from
space to earth are divided into two. One half of each is further
divided into four and given to the remaining four elements. Thus each
element now has half of itself and the remaining half is composed of
equal parts of other four elements. This is the fivefold combination
called Panchikaranam. Only when this Panchikaranam takes place can the
gross elements be formed so as to be able to be perceived by the
senses. By this process of Panchikaranam the Brahmanda of fourteen
worlds and the Pindaanda of all the jeevas are formed. The macrocosm
of the gross body is called Viraat or Vaiswanara and the microcosm is
called Viswa.

Veiling Power

The Veiling Power called Aavarana Sakthi hides the ONE Brahman with
the result the jeeva perceives the multitudes of objects. Only Easwara
and the Gnanis are not subject to the Veiling Power. The Veiling Power
has two aspects. One is called Asatvaavarna (complete hiding) that
makes one convinced the complete non-existence of the ONE Truth i.e.
Brahman. The second one is called Abhaanaavarna (partial hiding). This
makes one to feel that there is this Brahman but it is not revealed.

It is the Veiling Power that is the root cause of Samsaara or the
cycle of birth and death that a jeeva is subjected to. By Tatva Gnana
this Veiling Power gets destroyed and one attains Moksha or release
from Samsaara.

Tatva Gnana

Tatva Gnana has two aspects – Paroksha or indirect knowledge and
Aparoksha or direct knowledge or intuitive knowledge. By hearing the
scriptures properly under the guidance of a Guru asatvaavarana gets
destroyed. The knowledge thus attained is called Paroksha Gnana. By
means of Sravanam (hearing) Mananam (meditation) and Nidhidhyaasanam
(contemplation) all doubts about the existence of Brahman is cleared
and this enables a person to lose “I am the body” idea. This is the
Aparoksha Gnana.

Sri Gurubyo Namaha

(to be continued)

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