Thursday, July 13, 2006


Sri gurubhyo namaha.

Following on from the post regarding the birth of the Tattvas, it is time now to understand what the word/term Prakrti (Nature) signifies. The Sankhya in one of its aphorisms in this context says - '' Since the root has no root, the root (of all) is rootless.'' The commentators explain this as follows:
Since the" root "(mula) which is the cause of the twenty three principles (tattvas) [and which along with the Soul (Purusha) and the root itself make the 25 tattvas or realities accepted in the Sankhya system], has no "root" that is, has no cause; the cause of all (which is Nature) is "rootless" or void of roots. By this it is to be understood that there is no other cause for Nature, for if that were accepted, then there would be, by parity of reasoning, another cause for that and so on without end.
The sankhya clarifies this point further by saying that " Even if there be a succession of causes, there would be a halt at some one point. And so it is merely a name we give for that one point which is the point in question, when we speak of the 'root' of things with the name MulaPrakrtiti (Nature) ". That is to say, since there would be a regressus in infinitum, if there were a succession of causes - another cause of nature, and another cause of that and so on- there must be at some point, a halt, a conclusion, at one uncaused and eternal thing. Therefore, that final point at which it stops is what we call the Primal Agency (Pra - Kriti) and this word (Prakruti) is nothing more than a sign to denote the cause which is the root of all.

The commentator Bhasurananda, describes the following points in this connection when describing the name of the Devi in the Sahasranama (Mulaprakritihi) -
Amongst the actions (Karma) which are to become ripe in a certain time, those that ripen are exhausted by fruition, the others which are as yet unripe and have not come consequently to fruition, a new creation for their sake being useless, a prakrta (temporary) pralaya or dissolution takes place. Then Maya, consuming all the world, is absorbed into the independent Paramasiva, who is without attributes. This Maya abides thus (merged) till the ripening of the remaining Karma - when all the world is revealed again.
The Vishnu Purana says - " The earth, the basis of all, becomes dissolved in water, water is absorbed into fire, fire is absorbed into air, air into ether, ether into the Unmanifested (Avyakta or Maya), and this is entirely absorbed in the Unconditioned Purusha." The Avyakta or the Unmanifested is Maya. The dissolution of this Maya is not absolute annihilation, but like the modifications of the mind in the state of sleep, as there is no appearance of the modifications of Maya during Pralaya. Though at that time (of dissolution) by the power of illumination of the unconditioned Supreme Self (Purusha), Maya receives light, yet it remains as if it has no light. If there is no light at all to the Maya, then there is no existence of it. If you accept this theory, there will be no succeeding creation.
The modification of Maya in the form of desire for creation arises in Paramasiva for the sake of bestowing the fruit on those whose unripened Karman are absorbed in Maya, when their Karman become ripe in course of time. It is this state of Maya that is variously described in the scriptures by the words ' desire', 'sight', 'thought' etc. ( refer, And then the Brahman desired, May I be many, etc). This manifestation of Maya characterized by objective distinctions, is the first creation, the creation of Darkness called Tamasa Sarga, void of consciousness. From this creation called Tamasa, in which the three gunas were differentiated, there arose the creation of the partially manifested Mahat. This is the second creation. That is to say, the distinct manifestation of the three gunas as separate (instead of their equipoise), is the second creation, namely that of Mahat.
From that Mahat, arises the third creation, that which is called Ahamkara. In this creation (ahamkara) the three gunas are manifested objectively. This Ahamkara or egoism is threefold, namely Vaikarika (pure), Taijasa (passionate) and Tamasa (Dark) - note that the three gunas Sattva, Rajas and Tamas in concentrations produce the above mentioned threefold manifestations of Ahamkara. The last of these (namely the Tamasa) is the origin of the elements. And as the Tamasa is the origin of the elements, it is to be understood that the rest of creation belong to Sattva and Rajas.
From that Tamasa Ahamkara, which is called the origin of elements, arose, with the aid of Rajas, the creation of the five Tanmatras (subtle elements - refer previous post on tattvas for details). This is the fourth creation.
From the pure ego called Vaikarika Ahamkara, with the aid of Rajas, arose the creation of the aggregate of the eleven senses/organs (the two sets of Indriyas - refer post on tattvas for details). This is the fifth creation.
From the Rajas(passionate) ego named Taijasa ahamkara, arose the deities, Dik, Vata, Arka, Asvins, etc, who are the deities of the fourth and fifth creations. This is the sixth creation.

** The above description is of the Sankhya school. The Saiva school holds as follows - From the pure Vaikarika Ahamkara comes the Mind, from the passionate Taijasa Ahamkara comes the ten senses or Indriyas.***
The above named six creations are Prakrta as they belong to Prakruti.

Then comes the Vaikrta creation or the creation belonging to the products (namely Mahat,etc). This consists of trees etc (with upward life current movement), animals etc (with horizontal life current movement) and the bhuta and pretas (spirits,ghosts,etc with downward life current movement).
These Prakrta and Vaikrta creations when taken together are termed the Kaumara creation. The Puranas say - " The first is the creation of Mahat, there the inequality of the gunas arises. The second is that of egoism (ahamkara) and therein arise Dravya (object), Jnayana (Knowledge) and Kriya (Action). The third is the creation of the elements. There arises the subtle elements (tanmatras) having the energies of the dravyas (objects). The fourth is the creation if the senses (indriya) which consists of Knowledge and Action. The fifth is Vaikarika, the creation of the devas and which consists of the Mind. The sixth is the creation of Tamas which is the creation of the all pervading Maya, devoid of knowledge.
Here the commentator urges that the correct understanding of the above mentioned creations is helped by consulting the vayu and other puranas in this context. As even though the Avyakta or the creation of Maya is described above as being the sixth creation it has to be taken as the first is the order - as the previous one is the origin of succeeding ones. Thus the Supreme Brahman alone is the origin of Maya (Avyakta) and thus all the other creations. Thus He himself has no roots, being the root of all - hence that is the root matter named Mulaprakrti.


mooligai sidhan said...

Boom. Since this topic is very deep and forms the base of all else, it might be a good idea to explore the details and descriptions in this and the previous post on tattvas, through an interactive discussion or atleast a q&a session. For one thing will lead to another and another and eventually everything will interconnect to give a good and in depth perspective of the tattvas. What do you think?