Thus, there is no dualism between spirit and matter. Its corresponding force center is Muladhara Chakra. It is produced by Rasa tattva the medium for taste sensations. Jala can assume any form, or we can say it contains all the possible forms.

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Most of us live in a mental world of our own making to such an extent that we are not well grounded in the sensual world. When we do pay attention to it, we see it through glass, darkly filtering it through our mentally constructed world. This is why the Tantra stresses sensual meditations — meditative savoring of food and music, as well as slowed down and ritualized acts of refined awareness like the Japanese Tea Ceremony Chanoyu — that allow us to cultivate our ability to allow the senses to experience their objects fully.

The whole world becomes more vivid and real, more radiantly lovely, more full of life-energy, not the relatively dull and lifeless world perceived by one living in their own mental world, or the insubstantial shadow-world perceived by a transcendentalist meditator. The latter are the worlds of one who starves the goddess of the senses. The next three tattvas are aspects of the mind, or antah-karana. TATTVA Mind manas, faculty of attention and sense-processing The manas is the common functional mind, processing and synthesizing the data collected by the senses.

It is also the faculty of attention, and thus it is the manas that needs to be gently trained and lovingly disciplined when learning to meditate. Simply put, it is what you think you are. The aggregation of all of these thoughts constitutes the egoic identity. The egoic identity is a fictitious construct, consisting primarily of self-images that persist because they are believed and attached to.

Each such self-image is based on a particular moment or moments of past experience that generated a mental construct vikalpa that was taken as a static reality. Thus the ego is essentially a fiction, because all that really exists is the flux phenomenon in each present moment. It seems real because you believe in it, and belief shapes experience. Ego, then, is a persistent contraction of awareness in the form of a collection of self-images that causes suffering through artificial self-limitation.

The ego should be a fluid entity, but instead becomes a static prison. The ego is not the enemy. It is not to be annihilated, but rather purified and infinitely expanded. Ultimately, when the ego expands infinitely, you experience all things in yourself and yourself in all things. There are no more boundaries to selfhood. When you experience all beings as part of yourself, you naturally act with compassion and wisdom. Just as the mass of any object accelerated to the speed of light increases to infinity, in the same way when the ego reaches the state of complete expansion, it merges into the ocean of consciousness.

The buddhi is the faculty of reason by which we formulate conceptions and make decisions. It is the power of imagination. It is the faculty of discernment by which we decide what is beneficial for us and what is not. Abhinava argues that discernment tarka is the highest of all the practices of yoga, and the only one that leads to liberation.

The most important form of discernment on the spiritual path, he tells us, is discerning between what is to be held close and what is to be laid aside — that is, what is ultimately benificial for us and what is not.

In fact, we have ample evidence of its inaccuracy, for many times we choose what we think is beneficial, and it turns out not to be so.

But since the learning from some mistakes is harder and more time consuming than others, we wish to constantly refine and improve our ability to choose what is benificial, and thereby increase our efficiency of movement on the path.

Why does that seem so difficult? In yoga philosophy, the buddhi is impaired in its function, by the presence of what are called samskaras, or the subliminal impressions of past experiences. In common Sanskrit usage, a samskara is literally an impression, like a footprint in the sand at the beach. Now, if there are a series of deep footprints and other impressions in the sand, when the tide comes in and the water flows over them, it will flow differently than if the sand were perfectly smooth.

In precisely the same way, when the energy of reality flows through your mind, it is affected by the deep impression of past experiences that are lodged there, and thereby flows differently. Thus based on our experience of the past, we formulate projections and make assumptions that too often are misaligned with the reality of the present. Our brains are good at pattern-matching — perhaps too good, for even a superficial resemblance of the current situation to a past situation will cause us to unconsciously assume that the present is like the past in most or all of its details.

This act of unconsciously projecting the past onto the present is the primary reason we are unable to be aware of the reality of the current situation as it is, and thereby make good choices. The spiritual path is very much about developing clear vision, about cultivating the ability to see things as they are. In classical yoga philosophy, the practices of yoga especially meditation have the primary purpose of dissolving the samskaras in order to bring about this clear vision, and the clear discernment that results from it.

The analogy that is often given is that of polishing a dirty mirror. When, through yoga, the mirror of the buddhi become clear, it can perfectly reflect the light of the divine self.

Thus, the more we practice yoga, the more accurate our intuition and discernment becomes. Sometimes people think great yoga masters can read minds or have other psyhic abilities. In fact, they just see without obstruction, something so rare in our world that it seems like a magical power. And indeed, knowledge is power — the only kind that cannot be taken away.

A master with a purified buddhi can always see the most benificial course of action in any given sitaution, giving him or her a great power to change situations and uplift human beings. Finally, we should note that in tantric philosophy, the buddhi is not lcoalized in the brain but extends throughout the body.

Thus, samskaras of different kinds are distributed throughout the body, and can be released by the physical as well as the mental practices of yoga. Note that the Sanskrit word reflects the knowledge that matter is simply energy, albeit moving at a much lower vibration. Just as matter and energy are aspects of each other, the body and mind are not separate, but on a continuum: the mind is the subtlest aspect of the body, and the body is the most tangible manifestation of the mind. This is why dis-ease in the mind affects the body and vice versa.

Prakrti can also refer to the unmanifest field of primordial materiality at the beginning of the universe out of which all lower tattvas are created. In this form, prakrti consists of perfect balance of the three gunas, or qualities of nature: sattva lucidity and lightness ; rajas energy and passion ; and tamas darkness, heaviness, and inertia. These three gunas recombine in various proportions to create tattvas above. The field of prakrti, then, is everything that can become an object of consciousness i.

The purusa sits at the top of the hierarchy of tattvas in the system of Sankhya and the classical yoga of Patanjali. They propose that there are a plurality of divine souls each sentient being having his own , that are not part of one overarching conscious entity. For tantric philosophy it naturally follows, the purusa is not the highest principle for it does not express an all-encompassing view. Rather, purusa is correctly understood as a contracted form of the universal Consciousness, defined as Siva veiled by the five types of limitation kancukas.

In some systems of Indian philosophy, the individual soul is a permanent entity, but in tantric saivism, it is a phase of contraction, and every contraction gives way to expansion — in this case, expansion back into the absolute fullness of unlimited divine Awareness. So, the individual soul is not permanent, it is a wave on the ocean of Being.

But how does Siva, the absolute Consciousness, manifest itself in the form of an individual like you? H0wever, in the original tantric tradition, the understanding is this: Siva first contracts himself down to a single point of awareness, shedding his omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence completely. Then, in order to manifest as a sentient being, he equips himself with five limited capacities.

Each of the five kancukas is a limited form of the Divine Power. We seek to cultivate them and expand them with sadhana spiritual practice. Thus kala in its fully expanded form is simply the omnipotent kriya-sakti, or the Power of Divine Action. On the spiritual path, we are waxing from a mere sliver of divine power toward the total fullness of our capacity to express our innate divinity.

Tattva 8: Limited Power of Knowledge vidya. The second veil is not ignorance, but incomplete knowledge. The problem of this kancuka is not that we know nothing, but that we know a little bit and think that this is all we need to know. When a man looks on the horizon of his own knowledge and believe that he sees the horizon of knowledge itself, he is truly lost.

Yet, this very limited knowledge that binds us to a contracted experience of what reality is, is itself simply a limited form of the Divine Power of Knowing, jnana-sakti.

Thus, it is usually not the case that what we know about life is wrong, but rather that it needs to be situated in a larger context, integrated into a more encompassing vision.

The tantrika seeks to ever expand their understanding, which may be why this power is also called unmesa-sakti, the Power of Unfolding.

This unfolding is fueled by our intention and our practice of self-aware reflection, supported by the contemplation of the Tantras. In the expansion of our limited power of knowledge, we seek to move beyond words to an inner knowing, an embodied experiential knowledge that the word-based understanding of the intellect can only approximate. Tattva 9: Desire raga When fully expanded consciousness contracts into the form of an individual, it experiences itself as incomplete and imperfect, and therefore desires whatever it thinks it needs for completion.

This desire is called raga, and is thought of as a non-specific craving for worldly experience. But in fact all craving is truly craving for only one thing: the fullness of divine Consciousness. Therefore, when any other desire gets fulfilled, it is found to be unsatisfactory — the craving still remains.

In the Tantra, desire is not a problem but an opportunity to follow the desire back to its source and to realize that what we really crave is fullness, wholeness — that we will be satisfied by nothing less than knowing and being God. Thus we come to understand that raga is the limited form of the Divine Power, iccha-sakti, or the Power of Will, the deep impulse to express the fullness of our authentic being.

From this perspective, desire can teach us about those areas of life in which we many need to expand and express ourselves more fully and authentically. We can choose to activate our iccha-sakti in those areas, flowing forth our intentionality from a place of fullness, not of lack.

But as long as you are ignorant of the true nature of desire, as long as you believe that possessing something outside of yourself will somehow permanently or completely fulfill you, you will continue to experience an insatiable void, an emptiness that cannot be filled, and an inexplicable angst that will burden you until the end of your life.

It is primarily this raga, or craving for more, that propels us into the round of samsara, but again, raga should be not be rejected, but transmuted. Tattva Time kala The fourth of the pre-requisites for embodied experience is Time. Instead of a timeless simultaneity for absolute Consciousness, for which the entire universe is a single complex creation including all times, embodied beings generally experience time at the slow crawl of one second per second.

This also means that we experience time sequentially, with one thing following another in a process of continual change though some sources tell us that change is mere appearance and what really happens is that the Goddess Kali devours the whole universe in each instant and then recreates it anew in a slightly different form, hundreds of times each second.

We are often burdened by our awareness of the past and future — endless regrets and hopeful expectations, worry and anxiety — yet it is because of that very awareness that we can grow. The very thing that causes us suffering is also the means of our fulfillment once we shift our attitude toward it and our understanding of it. We do not seek to be entirely in the present moment the way animals are, with no conscious awareness of past and future.

Yoga psychology challenges this notion, telling us that losing ourselves in fantasy is as detrimental to us as being obsessed by worry because fantasizing is equally effective in removing us from full awareness of the present.

The present is what is real, and it is what we are called to respond to. In fact, the only way your hopes for the future can ever become a reality in the present is by careful attention to the details of the present-moment reality.

A more accurate perspective would be to accept that there is no future per se, but only a constantly flowing present, which though close and reverent attention, reveals its divinity to the yogi. In this way, we can learn to experience ourselves as a whole being, with our past and future part of our present, without grasping toward either.

In this way, we can become free of the net of time, entering into eternally flowing simultaneity nityodita.


Tattva (Shaivism)

Only one sun exists. Every droplet reflects the sun. Though the reflections are many, there is only one sun. There is one sun and many reflections. The hypostasis of all, the Indivisible One, the Supreme Intellect, and the Sakti beyond the beyond appear in us as the limited and the divided. Though it appears far away, it is far and yet near to us. TAT is you, so says the Veda.


36 Tattva Meditations for Spiritual Awakening

Prithvi 36 The significance of the number 36 The symbolic significance of the number 36 has been very beautifully explained by Yogacharya Sri Somananda 1 in the following lines: Does it matter whether there are twenty-five or thirty-six Tattvas? The answer is that it does matter. For the sake of harmony and unity, all Yogic traditions must agree with this. However, there is another important reason. The number "36" is a sacred number which has a special meaning in Yoga.


The 36 Tattvas

None of this material may be reproduced, apart from purely personal use, without the express permission of the Webmaster Web pages designed by Mike Magee. The U. Main Site Hosted by Register. The five-foldness prapancha of the universe, according to this tantrik view, is shown in the table above.

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