The main purpose of creating this blog is to provide material and guidance to the students of Vedanga Jyotisha who are appearing for BA as well as MA level examinations of Kavi Kulaguru Kalidas Sanskrit University. I hope this effort will be welcomed by all the students of the Vedanga Jyotish and this effort will be useful to them. Dewavrat Buit dewavrat2000@yahoo.com

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Introduction to Mantra 1

The scene of the revelation of this Tantra is laid in Himalaya, the "Abode of
Snow," a holy land weighted with the traditions of the Aryan race. Here in these
lofty uplands, encircled with everlasting snows, rose the great mountain of the
north, the Sapta Kula Parvata. Hence the race itself came, and there its early
legends have their setting. There are still shown at Bhimudiyar the caves where
the sons of Pandu and Draupadi rested, as did Rama and his faithful wife at the
point where the Kosi joins the Sita in the grove of Asoka trees. In these
mountains Munis and Rishis lived. Here also is the Kshetra of Shiva Mahadeva,
where His Spouse Parvvati, the daughter of the Mountain King, was born, and
where Mother Ganges also has her source. From time immemorial pilgrims have
toiled through these mountains to visit the three great shrines of Gangotri,
Kedarnath, and Badrinath. At Kangri, further north, the pilgrims make the
parikrama of Mount Kailasa (Kang Rinpoche), where Shiva is said to dwell. This
nobly towering peak rises to the north-west of the sacred Mansarowar Lake
(Mapham Yum-tso) from amidst the purple ranges of the lower Kangri Mountains.
The paradise of Shiva is a summerland of both lasting sunshine and cool shade,
musical with the song of birds and bright with undying flowers. The air, scented
with the sweet fragrance of Mandara chaplets, resounds with the music and song
of celestial singers and players. The Mount is Gana Parvata, thronged with
trains of Spirits (devayoni), of which the opening Chapter speaks.
And in the regions beyond rises Mount Meru, centre of the world-lotus. Its
heights, peopled with spirits, are hung with clusters of stars as with wreaths
of Malati flowers. In short, it is written: "He who thinks of Himachala, though
he should not behold him, is greater than he who performs all worship in Kashi
(Benares). In a hundred ages of the Devas I could not tell thee of the glories
of Himachala. As the dew is dried up by the morning sun, so are the sins of
mankind by the sight of Himachala."
It is not, however, necessary to go to the Himalayan Kailasa to find Shiva. He
dwells wheresoever his worshippers, versed in Kulatattva, abide, and His mystic
mount is to be sought in the thousand-petalled lotus (sahasrara-padma) in the
body of every human jiva, hence called Shivasthana, to which all, wheresoever
situate, may repair when they have learned how to achieve the way thither.
Shiva promulgates His teaching in the world below in the works known as Yamala,
Damara, Shiva Sutra, and in the Tantras which exist in the form of Dialogues
between the Devata and his Shakti, the Devi in Her form as Parvvati. According
to the Gayatri Tantra, the Deva Ganesha first preached the Tantra to the
Devayoni on Mount Kailasa, after he had himself received them from the mouth of
After a description of the mountain, the Dialogue opens with a question from
Parvvati in answer to which and those which succeed it, Shiva unfolds His
doctrine on the subjects with which this particular Tantra deals.
Shiva and Shakti
That eternal immutable existence which transcends the turiya and all other
states is the unconditioned Absolute, the supreme Brahman or Para-brahman,
without Prakriti (nishkala) or Her attributes (nir-guna), which, as being the
inner self and knowing subject, can never be the object of cognition, and is to
be apprehended only through yoga by the realization of the Self (atmajñana),
which It is. For as it is said, "Spirit can alone know Spirit." Being beyond
mind, speech, and without name, the Brahman was called "Tat," "That," and then
"Tat Sat," "That which is." For the sun, moon, and stars, and all visible
things, what are they but a glimpse of light caught from "That" (Tat)?
Brahman is both nishkala and sakala. Kala is Prakriti. The nishkala Brahman or
Para-brahman is the Tat, when thought of as without Prakriti (prakriteranya). It
is called sakala when with Prakriti. As the substance of Prakriti is the three
gunas It is then su-guna, as in the previous state It was nir-guna. Though in
the latter state It is thought of as without Shakti, yet (making accommodation
to human speech) in It potentially exists Shakti, Its power and the whole
universe produced by It. To say, however, that the Shakti exists in the Brahman
is but a form of speech, since It and Shakti are, in fact, one, and Shakti is
eternal (Anadi-rupa). She is Brahma-rupa and both vi-guna (nir-guna) and
sa-guna; the Chaitanya-rupini-Devi, who manifests all bhuta. She is the
Ananda-rupini-Devi, by whom the Brahman manifests Itself, and who, to use the
words of the Sarada, pervades the universe as does oil the sesamum seed.
In the beginning the Nishkala Brahman alone existed. In the beginning there was
the One. It willed and became many. Ahab bahu syam – "may I be many." In such
manifestation of Shakti the Brahman is known as the lower (apara) or manifested
Brahman, who, as the subject of worship, is meditated upon with attributes. And,
in fact, to the mind and sense of the embodied spirit (jiva) the Brahman has
body and form. It is embodied in the forms of all Devas and Devils, and in the
worshipper himself. Its form is that of the universe, and of all things and
beings therein.
As Shruti says: "He saw" (Sa aikshata, aham bahu syam prajayeya). "He thought to
Himself may I be many." "Sa aikshaya" was itself a manifestation of Shakti, the
Para-mapurva-nirvana shakti, or Brahman as Shakti. From the Brahman, with Shakti
(Para-shakti-maya) issued Nada (Shiva-Shakti as the "Word" or "Sound" ), and
from Nada, Vindu appeared. Kalicharana in his commentary on the
Shatchakra-nirupana says that Shiva and Nirvana Shakti bound by a mayik bond and
covering, should be thought of as existing in the form of Parang Vindu.
The Sarada says: Sachchidananda vibhavat sakalat parameshvarat asichchhaktistato
nado, nadad vindu-samudbhavah ("From Parameshvara vested with the wealth of
sachchidananda and with Prakriti (sakala) issued Shakti; from Shakti came Nada
and from Nada was born Vindu" ). The state of subtle body which is known as
Kama-kala is the mula of mantra. The term mula-mantratmika, when applied to the
Devi, refers to this subtle body of Hers known as the Kama-kala. The Tantra also
speaks of three Vindus, namely Shiva-maya, Shakti-maya, and Shiva-shakti-maya.
The Parang-vindu is represented as a circle, the centre of which is the
brahma-pada, or place of Brahman, wherein are Prakriti-Purusha, the
circumference of which is encircling maya. It is on the crescent of
nirvana-kala, the seventeenth, which is again in that of ama-kala, the sixteenth
digit (referred to in the text) of the moon-circle (Chandramandala), which
circle is situate above the Sun-Circle (Suryyamandala), the Guru and the
hangsah, which are in the pericarp of the thousand-petalled lotus
(sahasrarapadma). Next to the Vindu is the fiery Bodhini, or Nibodhika (v.
post). The Vindu, with the Nirvana-kala, Nibodhika, and Ama-kala, are situated
in the lightning-like inverted triangle known as "A, Ka, Tha," and which is so
called because at its apex is A; at its right base is Za; and at its left base
Tha. It is made up of forty-eight letters (matrika): the sixteen vowels running
from A to Ka; sixteen consonants of the ka-varga and other groups running from A
to Ka; and the remaining sixteen from Ka to Tha. Inside are the remaining
letters (matrika), ha, la(second), and ksha. As the substance of Devi is matrika
(matrika-mayi) the triangle represents the "Word" of all that exists. The
triangle is itself encircled by the Chandramandala. The Vindu is symbolically
described as being like a grain of gram (chanaka), which under its encircling
sheath contains a divided seed. This Parang-vindu is Prakriti-Purusha,
Shiva-Shakti. It is known as the Shabda-Brahman (the Sound Brahman), or
Aparabrahman. A polarization of the two Shiva and Shakti Tattvas then takes
place in Parashaktimaya. The Devi becomes Unmukhi. Her face turns towards Shiva.
There is an unfolding which bursts the encircling shell of Maya, and creation
then takes place by division of Shiva and Shakti or of "Hang" and "Sah." The
Sarada says: "The Devataparashaktimaya is again Itself divided, such divisions
being known as Vindu, Vaja, and Nada. Vindu is of the nature of Nada or Shiva,
and Vaja of Shakti, and Nada has been said to be the relation of these two by
those who are versed in all the Agamas." The Sarada says that before the
bursting of the shell enclosing the brahma-pada, which, together with its
defining circumference, constitute the Shabda-brahman, an indistinct sound arose
(avyaktatmaravobhavat). This avyaktanada is both the first and the last state of
Nada, according as it is viewed from the standpoint of evolution or involution.
For Nada, as Raghava-bhatta says, exists in three states. In Nada are the guna
(sattva, rajas, and tamas), which form the substance of Prakriti, which with
Shiva It is. When tamo-guna predominates Nada is merely an indistinct or
unmanifested (dhvanyat – mako’vykta-nadah) sound in the nature of dhvani. In
this state, in which it is a phase of Avyaktanada, it is called Nibodhika, or
Bodhini. It is Nada when rajoguna is in the ascendant, when there is a sound in
which there is something like a connected or combined disposition of the
letters. When the sattva-guna preponderates Nada assumes the form of Vindu. The
action of rajas on tamas is to veil. Its own independent action effects an
arrangement which is only perfected by the emergence of the essentially
manifesting sattvika guna set into play by it. Nada, Vindu, and Nibodhika, and
the Shakti, of which they are the specific manifestation, are said to be in the
form of Sun, Moon, and Fire respectively. Jñana (spiritual wisdom) is spoken of
as fire as it burns up all actions, and the tamoguna is associated with it. For
when the effect of cause and effect of action are really known, then action
ceases. Ichchha is the Moon. The Moon contains the sixteenth digit, the Ama-kala
with its nectar, which neither increases nor decays, and Ichchha, or will, is
the eternal precursor of creation. Kriya is like the Sun, for as the Sun by its
light makes all things visible, so unless there is action and striving there
cannot be realization or manifestation. As the Gita sways: "As one Sun makes
manifest all the loka."
The Shabda-Brahman manifests Itself in a triad of energies – knowledge
(jñanashakti), will (ichchha-shakti), and action (kriya-shakti), associated with
the three gunas of Prakriti, tamas, sattva, and rajas. From the Parang-Vindu,
who is both vindvat-maka and kalatma – i.e., Shakti – issued Raudri, Rudra, and
his Shakti, whose forms are fire (vahni), and whose activity is knowledge
(jñana); Vama, and Vishnu and his Shakti, whose form is the sun, and whose
activity is kriya (action): and Jyeshtha and Brahma and his Shakti, whose form
is the Moon and whose activity is desire. The Vamakeshvara Tantra says that
Tri-pura is threefold, as Brahma, Vishnu, and Isha; and as the energies desire,
wisdom, and action, the energy of will when Brahman would create; the energy of
wisdom when She reminds Him, saying "Let this be thus" ; and when, thus knowing,
He acts, She becomes the energy of action. The Devi is thus
Para-shiva exists as a septenary under the form, firstly, of Shambhu, who is the
associate of time (kala-bandhu). From Him issues Sada-shiva, Who pervades and
manifests all things, and then come Ishana and the triad, Rudra, Vishnu, and
Brahma, each with their respective Shakti (without whom they avail nothing)
separately and particularly associated with the gunas, tamas, sattva and rajas.
Of these Devas, the last triad, together with Ishana, and Sada-shiva, are the
five Shivas who are collectively known as the Maha-preta, whose vija is "Hsauh."
Of the Maha-preta, it is said that the last four form the support, and the fifth
the seat, of the bed on which the Devi is united with Parama-shiva, in the room
of chintamani stone, on the jewelled island clad with clumps of kadamba and
heavenly trees set in the ocean of Ambrosia.
Shiva is variously addressed in this work as Shambhu, Sada-shiva, Shankara,
Maheshvara, etc., names which indicate particular states, qualities, and
manifestations of the One in its descent towards the many; for there are many
Rudras. Thus Sada-shiva indicates the predominance of the sattva-guna. His names
are many, 1,008 being given in the sixty-ninth chapter of the Shiva Purana, and
in the seventeenth chapter of the Anushasana Parvan of the Mahabharata.
Shakti is both maya, that by which the Brahman creating the universe is able to
make Itself appear to be different from what It really is, and mula-prakriti, or
the unmanifested (avyakta) state of that which, when manifest, is the universe
of name and form. It is the primary so called "material cause," consisting of
the equipoise of the triad of guna or "qualities" which are sattva (that which
manifests) rajas (that which acts), tamas (that which veils and produces
inertia). The three gunas represent Nature as the revelation of spirit, Nature
as the passage of descent from spirit to matter, or of ascent from matter to
spirit, and Nature as the dense veil of spirit. The Devi is thus guna-nidhi
("treasure-house of guna" ). Mula-prakriti is the womb into which Brahman casts
the seed from which all things are born. The womb thrills to the movement of the
essentially active rajo-guna. The equilibrium of the triad is destroyed, and the
guna, now in varied combinations, evolve under the illumination of Shiva (chit),
the universe which is ruled by Maheshvara and Maheshvari. The dual principles of
Shiva and Shakti, which are in such dual form the product of the polarity
manifested in Parashakti-maya, pervade the whole universe, and are present in
man in the Svayambhu-Linga of the muladhara and the Devi Kundalini, who, in
serpent form, encircles it. The Shabda-Brahman assumes in the body of man the
form of the Devi Kundalini, and as such is in all prani (breathing creatures),
and in the shape of letters appears in prose and verse. Kundala means coiled.
Hence Kundalini, whose form is that of a coiled serpent, means that which is
coiled. She is the luminous vital energy (jiva-shakti) which manifests as prana,
She sleeps in the muladhara, and has three and a half coils corresponding in
number with the three and a half vindus of which the Kubjika Tantra speaks. When
after closing the ears the sound of Her hissing is not heard death approaches.
From the first avyakta creation issued the second mahat, with its three guna
distinctly manifested. Thence sprung the third creation ahangkara (selfhood),
which is of threefold form – vaikarika, or pure sattvika ahangkara; the taijasa,
or rajasika ahangkara; and the tamasika, or bhutadika ahangkara. The latter is
the origin of the subtle essences (tan-matra) of the Tattvas, ether, air, fire,
water, earth, associated with sound, touch, sight, taste and smell, and with the
colours – pure transparency, shyama, red, white, and yellow. There is some
difference in the schools as to that which each of the three forms produces, but
from such threefold form of Ahang-kara issue the indriya ("senses"), and the
Devas Dik, Vata, Arka, Prachetas, Vahni, Indra, Upendra, Mitra, and the Ashvins.
The vaikarika, taijasa, and bhutadika are the fourth, fifth, and sixth
creations, which are known as prakrita, or appertaining to Prakriti. The rest,
which are products of these, such as the vegetable world with its upward life
current, animals with horizontal life current, and bhuta, preta and the like,
whose life current tends downward, constitute the vaikrita creation, the two
being known as the kaumara creation.
The Goddess (Devi) is the great Shakti. She is Maya, for of Her the maya which
produces the sangsara is. As Lord of Maya She is Mahamaya. Devi is a-vidya
(nescience) because She binds and vidya (knowledge) because She liberates and
destroys the sangsara. She is Prakriti, and as existing before creation is the
Adya (primordial) Shakti. Devi is the vachaka-shakti, the manifestation of chit
in Prakriti, and the vachya-shakti, or Chit itself. The Atma should be
contemplated as Devi. Shakti or Devi is thus the Brahman revealed in Its mother
aspect (shri-mata) as Creatrix and Nourisher of the worlds. Kali says of Herself
in Yogini Tantra "Sachchidananda-rupaham brahmaivaham sphurat-prab-ham." So the
Devi is described with attributes both of the qualified Brahman; and (since that
Brahman is but the manifestation of the Absolute) She is also addressed with
epithets, which denote the unconditioned Brahman. She is the great Mother
(Ambika) sprung from the sacrificial hearth of the fire of the Grand
Consciousness (chit); decked with the Sun and Moon; Lalita, "She who plays";
whose play is world-play; whose eyes playing like fish in the beauteous waters
of her Divine face, open and shut with the appearance and disappearance of
countless worlds now illuminated by her light now wrapped in her terrible
The Devi, as Para-brahman, is beyond all form and guna. The forms of the Mother
of the Universe are threefold. There is first the Supreme (para) form, of which,
as the Vishnu-yamala says, "none know." There is next her subtle (sukshma) form,
which consists of mantra. But as the mind cannot easily settle itself upon that
which is formless, She appears as the subject of contemplation in Her third, or
gross (sthula), or physical form, with hands and feet and the like as celebrated
in the Devi-stotra of the Puranas and Tantras. Devi, who as Prakriti is the
source of Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh-vara, has both male and female forms. But
it is in Her female forms that She is chiefly contemplated. For though existing
in all things, in a peculiar sense female beings are parts of Her. The Great
Mother, who exists in the form of all Tantras and all Yantras, is, as the Lalita
says, the "unsullied treasure-house of beauty" ; the Sapphire Devi, whose
slender waist, bending beneath the burden of the ripe fruit of her breasts,
swells into jewelled hips heavy with the promise of infinite maternities.
As the Mahadevi She exists in all forms as Sarasvati, Lakshmi, Gayatri, Durga,
Tripura-sundari, Anna-purna, and all the Devi who are avatara of the Brahman.
Devi, as Sati, Uma, Parvvati, and Gauri, is spouse of Shiva. It was as Sati
prior to Daksha’s sacrifice (daksha-yajna) that the Devi manifested Herself to
Shiva in the ten celebrated forms known as the dasha-mahavidya referred to in
the text – Kali, Bagala, Chhinnamasta, Bhuvaneshvari, Matangini, Shodashi,
Dhumavati, Tripura-sundari, Tara, and Bhairavi. When, at the Daksha-yajna She
yielded up her life in shame and sorrow at the treatment accorded by her father
to Her Husband, Shiva took away the body, and, ever bearing it with Him,
remained wholly distraught and spent with grief. To save the world from the
forces of evil which arose and grew with the withdrawal of His Divine control,
Vishnu with His discus (chakra) cut the dead body of Sati, which Shiva bore,
into fifty-one fragments, which fell to earth at the places thereafter known as
the fifty-one maha-pitha-sthana (referred to in the text), where Devi, with Her
Bhairava, is worshipped under various names.
Besides the forms of the Devi in the brahmanda there is Her subtle form called
Kundalini in the body (pindanda). These are but some only of Her endless forms.
She is seen as one and as many, as it were, but one moon reflected in countless
waters. She exists, too, in all animals and inorganic things, since the universe
with all its beauties is, as the Devi Purana says, but a part of Her. All this
diversity of form is but the infinite manifestations of the flowering beauty of
the One Supreme Life, a doctrine which is nowhere else taught with greater
wealth of illustration than in the Shakta Shastras, and Tantras. The great
Bharga in the bright Sun and all Devatas, and, indeed, all life and being, are
wonderful, and are worshipful, but only as Her manifestations. And he who
worships them otherwise is, in the words of the great Devi-bhagavata, "like unto
a man who, with the light of a clear lamp in his hands, yet falls into some
waterless and terrible well." The highest worship for which the sadhaka is
qualified (adhikari) only after external worship and that internal form known as
sadhara, is described as niradhara. Therein Pure Intelligence is the Supreme
Shakti who is worshipped as the Very Self, the Witness freed of the glamour of
the manifold Universe. By one’s own direct experience of Maheshvari as the Self
She is with reverence made the object of that worship which leads to liberation.
It cannot be said that current explanations give a clear understanding of this
subject. Yet such is necessary, both as affording one of the chief keys to
Indian philosophy and to the principles which govern Sadhana. The term guna is
generally translated "quality," a word which is only accepted for default of a
better. For it must not be overlooked that the three guna (Sattva, rajas, and
tamas), which are of Prakriti, constitute Her very substance. This being so, all
Nature which issues from Her, the Maha-karana-svarupa., is called tri-gunatmaka,
and is composed of the same guna in different states of relation to one another.
The functions of sattva, rajas, and tamas are to reveal, to make active, and to
suppress respectively. Rajas is the dynamic, as sattva and tamas are static
principles. That is to say, sattva and tamas can neither reveal nor suppress
without being first rendered active by rajas. These gunas work by mutual
The unrevealed Prakriti (avyakta-prakriti) or Devi is the state of stable
equilibrium of these three guna. When this state is disturbed the manifested
universe appears, in every object of which one or other of the three guna is in
the ascendant. Thus in Devas, as in those who approach the divya state, sattva
predominates, and rajas and tamas are very much reduced. That is, their
independent manifestation is reduced. They are in one sense still there, for
where rajas is not independently active it is operating on sattva to suppress
tamas, which appears or disappears to the extent to which it is, or is not,
subject to suppression by the revealing principle. In the ordinary human jiva,
considered as a class, tamas is less reduced than in the case of the Deva, but
very much reduced when comparison is made with the animal jiva. Rajas has great
independent activity, and sattva is also considerably active. In the animal
creation sattva has considerably less activity. Rajas has less independent
activity than in man, but is much more active than in the vegetable world. Tamas
is greatly less preponderant than in the latter. In the vegetable kingdom tamas
is more preponderant than in the case of animals, and both rajas and sattva less
so. In the inorganic creation rajas makes tamas active to suppress both sattva
and its own independent activity. It will thus be seen that the "upward" or
revealing movement from the predominance of tamas to that of sattva represents
the spiritual progress of the jivatma.
Again, as between each member of these classes one or other of the three guna
may be more or less in the ascendant.
Thus, in one man as compared with another, the sattva guna may predominate, in
which case his temperament is sattvik, or, as the Tantra calls it, divyabhava.
In another the rajoguna may prevail, and in the third the tamoguna, in which
case the individual is described as rajasik, or tamasik, or, to use Tantrik
phraseology, he is said to belong to virabhava, or is a pashu respectively.
Again the vegetable creation is obviously less tamasik, and more rajasik and
sattvik than the mineral, and even amongst these last there may be possibly some
which are less tamasik than others.
Etymologically, sattva is derived from "sat," that which is eternally existent.
The eternally existent is also chit, pure Intelligence or Spirit, and ananda or
Bliss. In a secondary sense, sat is also used to denote the "good." And commonly
(though such use obscures the original meaning), the word sattva guna is
rendered "good quality." It is, however, "good" in the sense that it is
productive of good and happiness. In such case, however, stress is laid rather
on a necessary quality or effect (in the ethical sense) of "sat" than upon its
original meaning. In the primary sense sat is that which reveals. Nature is a
revelation of spirit (sat). Where Nature is such a revelation of spirit there it
manifests as sattva guna. It is the shining forth from under the veil of the
hidden spiritual substance (sat). And that equality in things which reveals this
is sattva guna. So of a pregnant woman it is said that she is antahsattva, or
instinct with sattva; she in whom sattva as jiva (whose characteristic guna is
sattva) is living in an hidden state.
But Nature not only reveals, but is also a dense covering or veil of spirit, at
times so dense that the ignorant fail to discern the spirit which it veils.
Where Nature is a veil of spirit there it appears in its quality of tamoguna.
In this case the tamoguna is currently spoken of as representative of inertia,
because that is the effect of the nature which veils. This quality, again, when
translated into the moral sphere, becomes ignorance, sloth, etc.
In a third sense nature is a bridge between spirit which reveals and matter
which veils. Where Nature is a bridge of descent from spirit to matter, or of
ascent from matter to spirit, there it manifests itself as rajoguna. This is
generally referred to as the quality of activity, and when transferred to the
sphere of feeling it shows itself as passion. Each thing in Nature then contains
that in which spirit is manifested or reflected as in a mirror or sattvaguna;
that by which spirit is covered, as it were, by a veil of darkness or tamoguna,
and that which is the vehicle for the descent into matter or the return to
spirit or rajoguna. Thus sattva is the light of Nature, as tamas is its shade.
Rajas is, as it were, a blended tint oscillating between each of the extremes
constituted by the other guna.
The object of Tantrik sadhana is to bring out and make preponderant the sattva
guna by the aid of rajas, which operates to make the former guna active. The
subtle body (lingasharira) of the jivatma comprises in it buddhi, ahangkara,
manas, and the ten senses. This subtle body creates for itself gross bodies
suited to the spiritual state of the jivatma. Under the influence of prarabdhda
karmma, buddhi becomes tamasik, rajasik, or sattvik. In the first case the
jivatma assumes inanimate bodies; in the second, active passionate bodies; and
in the third, sattvik bodies of varying degrees of spiritual excellence, ranging
from man to the Deva. The gross body is also trigunatmaka. This body conveys
impressions to the jivatma through the subtle body and the buddhi in particular.
When sattva is made active impressions of happiness result, and when rajas or
tamas are active the impressions are those of sorrow and delusion. These
impressions are the result of the predominance of these respective guna. The
action of rajas on sattva produces happiness, as its own independent activity or
operation on tamas produce sorrow and delusion respectively. Where sattva or
happiness is predominant, there sorrow and delusion are suppressed. Where rajas
or sorrow is predominant, there happiness and delusion are suppressed. And where
tamas or delusion predominates there, as in the case of the inorganic world,
both happiness and sorrow are suppressed. All objects share these three states
in different proportions. There is, however, always in the jivatma an admixture
of sorrow with happiness, due to the operation of rajas. For happiness, which is
the fruit of righteous acts done to attain happiness, is after all only a
vikara. The natural state of the jivatma – that is, the state of its own true
nature – is that bliss (ananda) which arises from the pure knowledge of the
Self, in which both happiness and sorrow are equally objects of indifference.
The worldly enjoyment of a person involves pain to self or others. This is the
result of the pursuit of happiness, whether by righteous or unrighteous acts. As
spiritual progress is made, the gross body becomes more and more refined. In
inanimate bodies karma operates to the production of pure delusion. On the
exhaustion of such karma the jivatma assumes animate bodies for the operation of
such forms of karma as lead to sorrow and happiness mixed with delusion. In the
vegetable world sattva is but little active, with a corresponding lack of
discrimination, for discrimination is the effect of sattva in buddhi, and from
discrimination arises the recognition of pleasure and pain, conceptions of right
and wrong, of the transitory and intransitory, and so forth, which are the fruit
of a high degree of discrimination, or of activity of sattva. In the lower
animal sattva in buddhi is not sufficiently active to lead to any degree of
development of these conceptions. In man, however, the sattva in buddhi is
considerably active, and in consequence these conceptions are natural in him.
For this reason the human birth is, for spiritual purposes, so important. All
men, however, are not capable of forming such conceptions in an equal degree.
The degree of activity in an individual’s buddhi depends on his prarabdha karma.
However bad such karma may be in any particular case, the individual is yet
gifted with that amount of discrimination which, if properly aroused and aided,
will enable him to better his spiritual condition by inducing the rajoguna in
him to give more and more activity to the sattva guna in his buddhi.
On this account proper guidance and spiritual direction are necessary. A good
guru, by reason of his own nature and spiritual attainment and disinterested
wisdom, will both mark out for the sishya the path which is proper for him, and
aid him to follow it by the infusion of the tejas which is in the Guru himself.
Whilst sadhana is, as stated, a process for the stimulation of the sattva guna,
it is evident that one form of it is not suitable to all. It must be adapted to
the spiritual condition of the sishya, otherwise it will cause injury instead of
good. Therefore it is that the adoption of certain forms of sadhana by persons
who are not competent (adhikari), may not only be fruitless of any good result,
but may even lead to evils which sadhana as a general principle is designed to
prevent. Therefore also is it said that it is better to follow one’s own dharma
than that, however exalted it be, of another.


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