The man of yoga, knowing the truth, knows that while seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, walking, sleeping, breathing, speaking, eliminating, grasping, opening and closing his eyes, he does in fact nothing, as he realizes that it is only the senses operating on their subjects.
Bhagavad Gita 278-9
What follows it is not a theoretical concept, not a mere verbal dissection of a phenomenal philosophy, and requires a conscious focused will to understand. These ideas are practically unknown in western thought and can only be assimilated through your own silent meditation, your own spiritual practices – which in Sanskrit, is called SADHANA, the act of mastering Yoga, meaning Union.
Knowledge of this metaphysical mechanism is a sort of ultimate users’ manual for the human being, as the amazing supercomputer we all are and have always been. This knowledge is my understanding of ancient Hindu metaphysical principles and reveals the ‘mechanics’ of the human experience in the temporal illusory hologram and therefore allows us to grasp the very means of our own enlightenment.
Hinduism – although not always under that name - has been around for millennia and thus is made up of immense rivers of thought from hundreds of brilliant seers and thinkers all offering and arguing their ideas of metaphysical exactitudes over thousands of years.
SAMKHYA and VEDANTA are but two major currents of Hinduism. Both of these deal with Knowledge as Wisdom. Vedanta is said to have taken wing and flowered from the SAMKHYA, but even this simple statement would elicit many conflicting opinions.
Forget the oversized mega-egos of Descartes, Hegel, Kant and the other western philosophers and logicians with their interminable arguments concerning the nature of reality – arguments that lead somewhat pompously to the brick-wall of materialism or at best the futility of existentialism. In their penchant for argument and disagreement, these men of the west have nothing on India’s Sankara, Ramanuja, or Madhvacarya. However, let me assure you that none of these numerous subtle frictional contentions bother me in the least. They offer the reader the opportunity to discern, to feel out the Truth.
To my mind the metaphysics of Hinduism offers a lot more than an endless battle of mind twisting verbiage. Reading these texts can definitely stimulate certain electrical currents and hormonal reactions in your brain that will bring about you own understanding and the very real possibility of liberation – JIVAN MUKTI, meaning liberation in life, or the completion, APAVARGA as it is known in SAMKHYA.
The historical origins of SAMKHYA are vague, as are the origins of the VEDAS. Hindu metaphysics reaches back in time before the advent of the Kali Yuga and written history – and happily so. For in my mind the possibility that this system of metaphysical thought comes from a previous cycle of time endows it with the potentiality of power and Truth. SAMKHYA lays down the mechanics of acquiring real Knowledge, realizing your true nature, and liberating you consciousness from the temporal illusory hologram.
Here is my simplified version:
Let’s imagine that we are back as the Oneness, before the appearance of multiplicity. As that Oneness, we create this universe to play in and we separate – or rather we take on the illusion of separation into order to experience the various modes of our Total Being, which is an immeasurable immensity. These beings under the veil of illusory separation begin to manifest the world and it is a thing of beauty – resplendent, glorious, and seething with waveforms of varying frequencies, which reflect the possibilities of the supernal eternal Oneness that pervades all.
The created world is so lovely, so enticing that as the initial beings we desire more direct contact with what we have created. We want more than to observe, we desire to touch our earth and to walk among the trees. To achieve this new and more intimate relationship with our creation, we begin to emit specific waveforms, which have the power to envelope us in bodies. These bodies are still subtle and have the ability to interface with the temporal illusory hologram – the world. These bodies consist of layers, as sheaths that permit this desired interaction and will soon become what we know as physical. The solidification of matter is part of the illusion of Time.
On one level of perception all of the body’s layers are One-ness, while on another they have taken on the illusion of division and separation. Thus the differences I am about to delineate are not real - they are self-imposed temporal illusions assumed for the sake of enjoying the world. Here a description is useful in the sense that a thread wisely laid down in a maze can lead one, who is lost, back out.
Within the center of your body – and simultaneously permeating the entire body and being - is the original portion of Oneness, the ATMA or SELF, the God-within. Layered around the ATMA/SELF is the Soul, the Universal Being, known as PURUSHA in Sanskrit. The Sanskrit texts say that, ATMA dwells within Purusha.
Purusha is light, but not reflected light, rather the light within, light as Knowledge, light as pure consciousness. Because this is a polarity universe, Purusha requires another principle to interact with – even though this interaction or correlation is illusory as is the entire temporal hologram. In order to manifest the varying frequencies as waveforms that become the illusions of the created world, Purusha needs PRAKRITI.
This stuff Prakriti is a very subtle undifferentiated primordial substance (R. Guenon) and is not to be confused with matter. Prakriti is not conscious, but is activity. In action, Prakriti is the power of MAYA, which is not merely illusion – but a great deal more. Maya is power in the sense of creative Art, the power to generate the hologram. Maya’s tools are the three Gunas – RAJAS, SATTVA, and TAMAS, which operate through the five senses.
Prakriti thus through GUNA-MAYA generates experiences for Purusha. Prakriti is a sort of data-collecting vehicle and stores all experiences in the DNA of the individual bodies. This is why you have access to the so-called past life memories of your current body. All of us are functioning within these incessant interactions between Purusha, as our Soul, and Prakriti with her powers of GUNA-MAYA. Depending on its accuracy, your astrological birth chart is a representation, a blueprint of your individual Prakriti and the GUNAS your current body is operating through.
This complimentary analogue between Purusha and Prakriti generates the temporal illusory hologram. The pieces of Oneness now have manifested bodies that allow us to interface with creation - and interface we do. The more attached we became to our creation - the more we lost ourselves in it.
Sinking deeper and deeper down into matter through GUNA-MAYA and the five senses, propelled by the force of Time our consciousness became cooked to the point of Forgetting who we are. At every moment we have the opportunity to Remember and wake up, but the forces of Darkness are increasing and it becomes harder and harder to see through the Veil, so that most are befuddled, trapped by desires, by greed and fear.
So where’s the Door?
The purpose of Prakriti is solely to provide Purusha with the enjoyment (BHOGA) of the world. The data-collecting vehicle Prakriti has been exploring the temporal illusory hologram through GUNA-MAYA and presenting Purusha with experiences. But there is an intermediary between Purusha and Prakriti and this is known as BUDDHI. The Sanskrit word BUDDHI – not to be confused with the person Gautama or his religion – is derived from budh, meaning to know. This Buddhi factor is the discriminating principle that allows Purusha to gain self-knowledge.
What is very interesting about Buddhi is that it communicates Prakriti’s information to Purusha in the form of ‘feelings’ - thus there can be no spiritual experiences without feelings. I suggest that this is what makes the human being uniquely valuable and why many of the so-called extraterrestrials are covetous of our DNA and hormonal secretions. The Vishnu Puranas texts say that the gods do not have feelings, that only human beings have feelings.
Purusha has been enjoying (BHOGA) the world through Prakriti. Experiences are played over and over through the yugas in different lifetimes as male and female identities. Purusha thus begins, through the mirror of Buddhi’s intelligence, to realize the rules of the Game (the Divine LILA).
Purusha then realizes that, confused and deluded by MAYA, he has mistakenly identified his consciousness with Prakriti’s activity. He Remembers and thus regains his true nature, which initiates the return to Oneness. This Realization is the result of Purusha’s power to discriminate and discern the Real behind the Illusion.
Purusha now Knows that he is neither the data-collecting vehicle nor the data. Purusha is pure and was in truth never affected by Prakriti. Upon his realization, Purusha is no longer afflicted by the polarities, such as pleasure or pain. He withdraws himself from the province of Prakriti and is liberated – APAVARGA!
As there is no longer any purpose for Prakriti’s GUNA-MAYA, she ceases to act. Her reason for being has been to provide experiences for Purusha so that after enjoying the world he may, through discriminative knowledge, return to his true state. Prakriti has been recognized and known by Purusha, and so he loses interest in her – thus she ceases her MAYA, as there is no further need. She is compared to a dancer who having performed then graciously leaves the stage.
Just as the dancing girl ceases to dance after having exhibited herself to the spectators, so also the Prakriti ceases to operate after having exhibited herself to Purusha.
SAMKHYA KARIKA of ISVARA KRSNA . 59
Many have often said that no matter how arduously they have endeavored at their spiritual practices in the fervent desire to achieve liberation, the truth is that the moment of realization seemed to come only through God’s Grace. I agree – because this universe is electric and our temporal illusory hologram is solely made up of varying frequencies as waveforms. Feelings of selfless-ness, love, surrender and devotion are all within the frequency band of the GUNA SATTVA (illumined knowledge).
It is only by remaining in such a consciousness that we can climb above the polarities of RAJAS (force) and TAMAS (delusion). These SATTVA frequencies will lift our consciousness up to the higher realms and beyond, and head us toward the Real, towards true Knowledge and Home.
The spiritual path is often called THE RAZOR’S EDGE and with good reason. The abyss lies on either side and as you climb higher in consciousness, the fall looming beneath you gets deeper and more perilous.
Too much devotion can lead you to a state of giddy childish stupor, robbing you of your Will and your need to refine your discernment. Too much knowledge can lead to a heartless stagnation in an icy realm of eternally conflicting theories.
Even when you begin to Remember and realize your true Oneness, the small identity self can rear its ugly head and call the old Maya-Gunas back into play as you find yourself the spiritual leader of your needy flock who adores your clay-feet! Spiritual pride is a real killer. Head for Home, trust the God-within and remain vigilant. Hungry ghosts and the forces of Darkness would love to reclaim you. A fallen aspirant makes a real feast for the Phantasmal Hierarchies!
ATMA – the SELF, a piece of Oneness within man; ATMA dwells in Purusha.
PURUSHA – the individual Soul; pure consciousness that is the passive observer and does not act; remains pure and unaffected
PRAKRITI – actively generates the temporal illusory hologram through the creative power of MAYA and the GUNAS (sattva, rajas, and tamas), which operate within the five senses; Prakriti is not conscious.
BUDDHI – intelligence; the Will that allows Purusha to experience the feeling of pleasure & pain (the polarities); this feeling takes place in the Buddhi.
BHOGA – is the enjoyment of the universe that Prakriti is manifesting presented to Purusha
SAMKHYA KARIKA of ISVARA KRSNA
With the Tattva Kaumudi of Sri Vacaspati Misra
Translated by Swami Virupakshananda
Sri Ramakrishna Math Printing Press, Madras India
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The word "Hindu" was first used by the Persians to refer to the people who lived on the southern side of the Sindus River (now known as the Indus River). The Sindus River divides what was at one time the Middle East (Persia and Afghanistan) and India (then known as Bharata). Because of problems in pronouncing the initial "s", the river was called "Hindu," so the people who lived on the other side of the Sindus River in India, were called Hindus. The name "Hindu" came to refer to both the people and their religion.
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