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RAMA PRASAD, M.A., F.T.S.
No theory of the life of the Universe is at once so simple and so grand as the theory of breath (Swara). It is the one universal motion, which makes its appearance in maya by virtue of the unseen substratum of the Cosmos, the parabrahma of the Vedantins. The most appropriate expression for Swara in English is the “current of life”. The Indian Science of Breath investigates and formulates the laws, or rather the one Universal Law, according to which this current of life, this motive power of Universal Intelligence, running (as Emerson so beautifully puts it) along the wire of thought, governs evolution and involution and all the phenomena of human life, physiological, mental and spiritual. In the whole length and breadth of this universe there is no phenomenon, great or small, that does not find its most natural, most intelligible, most apposite explanation in the theory of the five modes of manifestation of this universal motion: the five elementary tatwas. In the foregoing essays I have tried to explain generally how every physiological phenomenon was governed by the five tatwas. The object of the present essay is to briefly run over the various phenomena relating to the third higher body of man – the manomaya kosha, the mind – and note how symmetrically and universally the tatwas bring about the formation and work of this principle.
It is what is in general language called knowledge that distinguishes the mind from physiological life (prana), but it will be seen on a little consideration that different degrees of knowledge might very well be taken as the distinguishing characteristics of the five states of matter, which in man we call the five principles. For what is knowledge but a kind of tatwic motion of breath, elevated into self-consciousness by the presence, in a greater or lesser degree, of the element of ahankara (egoism)? His is no doubt the view taken of knowledge by the Vedantic philosopher when he speaks of intelligence as being the motive power, the first cause of the universe. The word swara is only a synonym of intelligence, the one manifestation of the One descending into prakriti.
“I see something” means, according to our view of knowledge, that my manomaya kosha has been put into visual vibration. “I hear” means that my mind is in a state of auditory vibration. “I feel” means that my mind is in a state of tangible vibration. And so on with the other senses. “I love” means that my mind is in a state of amatory vibration (a form of attraction).
The first state, that of the anandamaya, is the state of the highest knowledge. There is then but one center, the substratum for the whole infinity of parabrahma, and the ethereal vibrations of his breath are one throughout the whole expanse of infinity. There is but one intelligence, but one knowledge. The whole universe with all its potentialities and actualities is a part of that knowledge. This is the highest state of bliss. There is no consciousness of self here, for the I has only a relative existence, and there must be a Thou or a He before there can be an I.
The ego takes form when, in the second plane of existence, more than one minor center comes into existence. It is for this reason that the name ahankara has been given to this state of matter. The ethereal impulses of those centers are confined to their own particular domain in space, and they differ in each center. They can, however, affect each other in just the same way as the individualized ethereal impulses of one man are affected by those of others. The tatwic motion of one center of Brahma is carried along the same universal lines to the other. Two differing motions are thus found in one center. The stronger impulse is called the I, the weaker the Thou or the He as the case may be.
Then comes manas. Viraj is the center, and manu the atmosphere of this state. These centers are beyond the ken of ordinary humanity, but they work under laws similar to those ruling the rest of the cosmos. The suns move the virats in the same way as the planets move around the sun.
The composition of the manu is similar to that of prana: it is composed of a still finer grade of the five tatwas, and this increased fineness endows the tatwas with different functions.
The five functions of prana have been given. The following are the five functions of manas, as given by Patanjali and accepted by Vyasa:
(1) Means of knowledge (Pramana), (2) False knowledge (Viparyaya), (3) Complex imagination (Vikalpa), (4) Sleep (Nidra), (5) Memory (Smrite).
All the manifestation of the mind fall under one or another of these five heads. Thus, Pramana includes:
(1) Perception (pratyaksha), (2) Inference (anumana), (3) Authority (Agama).
(1) Ignorance (avidya, tamas), (2) Egoism (asinita, moha), (3) Retention (raja, mahamoka), (4) Repulsion (tamisra, dwesha), (5) Tenacity of life (abhinwesha, andhatamisra).
The remaining three have no definite subdivisions. Now I shall show that all the modifications of thought are forms of tatwic motion on the mental plane.
The word pramana (means of knowledge) is derived from two roots, the predicative ma, and the derivative root ana, with the prefix pra. The original idea of the root ma is “to go”, “to move”, and hence “to measure”. The Prefix pra gives the root idea of fullness, connected as it is with the root pri, to fill. That which moves exactly up or down to the same height with any other thing is the pramana of that thing. In becoming the pramana of any other thing, the first thing assumes certain qualities that it did not have before. This is always brought about by a change of state caused by a certain kind of motion, for it is always motion that causes change of state. In fact, this is also the exact meaning of the word pramana, as applied to a particular manifestation of the mind.
Pramana is a particular tatwic motion of the mental body; its effect is to put the mental body into a state similar to that of something else. The mind can undergo as many changes as the external tatwas are capable of imprinting upon it, and these changes have been classified into three general heads by Patanjali.
This is that change of state which the operations of the five sensuous organs produce in the mind. The word is a compound of “I”, each, and “aksha”, sensuous power, organ of sense. Hence is that sympathetic tatwic vibration that an organ of sense in contact with its object produces in the mind. These changes can be classified under five heads, according to the number of the senses.
The eye gives birth to the taijas vibrations, the tongue, the skin, the ear, and the nose respectively to the apas, the vayu, the akasa and the prithivi vibrations. The pure agni causes the perception of red, the taijas-prithivi of yellow, the taijas-apas of white, the taijas-vayu of blue, and so on. Other colors are produced in the mind by mixed vibrations in a thousand varying degrees. The apas gives softness, the vayu roughness, the agni harshness. We see through the eyes not only color, but also form. It will be remembered that a particular form has been assigned to every tatwic vibration, and all the forms of gross matter answer to corresponding tatwic vibrations. Thus, form can be perceived through every sense. The eyes can see form, the tongue can taste it, the skin can touch it, and so on. This may probably appear to be a novel assertion, but it must be remembered that virtue is not an act. The ear would hear form, if the more general use of the eye and skin for this purpose had not almost stifled it into inaction.
The pure apas vibrations cause an astringent taste, the apas-prithivi a sweet, the apas-agni hot, the apas-vayu acid, and so on. Innumerable other vibrations of taste are caused by intermediate vibrations in various degrees.
The case is similar with the vocal and other changes of vibration. It is clear that our perceptive knowledge is nothing more than a veritable tatwic motion of the mental body, caused by the sympathetic communications of the vibrations of prana, just as a stringed instrument of a certain tension begins to vibrate spontaneously when vibration is set up in another similar instrument.
The word anumana has the same roots as the word pramana. The only difference is in the prefix. We have here anu, “after”, instead of pra. Inference (anumana) is therefore after-motion. When the mind is capable of sustaining two vibrations at one and the same time, then if any one of these vibrations is set up and perceived, the second vibration must also manifest itself. Thus, suppose a man pinches me. The complex vibrations that make up the perception of the action of man pinching me are produced in my mind. I recognize the phenomena. Almost simultaneously with these vibrations another set of vibrations is produced in me. I call this pain. Now here are two kinds of tatwic motion, one coming after the other. If at any other time I feel similar pain, the image of the man pinching will be recalled to my consciousness. This after-motion is “inference”. Induction and deduction are both modifications of this after-motion. The sun always appears to rise in a certain direction. The concept of that direction becomes forever associated in my mind with the rising of the sun. Whenever I think of the phenomenon of sunrise, the concept of that direction presents itself. Therefore I say that, as a rule, the sun rises in that direction. Inference is therefore nothing more than a tatwic motion coming after another related one.
The third modification of what is called the means of knowledge (pramana) is authority (agama). What is this? I read in my geography, or hear from the lips of my teacher that Britain is surrounded by the ocean. Now what has connected these words in my mind with the picture of Britain, the ocean, and their mutual relations? Certainly it is not perception, and therefore not inference, which must by nature work through sensuous knowledge. What then? There must be some third modification.
The fact that words possess the power to raise a certain picture in our minds is one of very deep interest. Every Indian philosopher recognizes it as a third modification of the mind, but it receives no recognition at the hands of modern European philosophy.
There is, however, little doubt that the color corresponding to this mental modification differs from that corresponding to either perception or inference. The color belonging the perceptive modifications of the mind is always single in nature. A certain phase of the taijas vibration must always prevail in the visual modification, and similarly the vibrations of other tatwas correspond to our different sensuous modifications. Each manifestation has its own distinctive color. The red will appear as well in the visual as in the auditory or any other vibration, but the red of the visual will be bright and pure; that of the organ of smell will be tinged with yellow; that of the organ of touch with blue, and the soniferous ether will be rather dark. There is, therefore, not the least likelihood that the vocal vibration will coincide with the pure perceptive vibration. The coal vibrations are double in their nature, and they can only (if at all) coincide with the inferential vibrations; and here, too, they can only coincide with the auditory vibrations. A little consideration will, however, show that there is some difference between the vocal and inferential vibrations. In inference, a certain modification of sound in our mind is followed by a certain visual picture, and both these vibrations retain an equally important position in our mind. We place two precepts together, compare them, and then say that one follows the other. In the verbal modification there is no comparison, no simultaneous consciousness, no placing together of the two precepts. The one causes the other, but we are not at all conscious of the fact. In inference the simultaneous presence for some time of both the cause and the effect brings about a change in the color of the effect. The difference is less great in the vocal as compared with the inferential vibration. Axiomatic knowledge is not inferential in the present, tough it has no doubt been so in the past; in the present it has become native to the mind.
This is the second mental modification. This word also is derived from a root meaning motion : i or ay. “to go”, “to move”. The prefix pari is connected with the root pra, and gives the same radical meaning as pramana. The word Paryaya has the same radical meaning as pramana. The word Viparyaya therefore means “a motion removed from the motion that coincides with the object”. The vibrations of pramana coincide in nature with the vibrations of viparyaya. Certain acquired conditions of the mind imprint on the precepts a new color of their own, and thus distinguish them from the precepts of pramana. There are five modifications of this manifestation.
This is the general field for the manifestation of all the modifications of false knowledge. The word comes from the root vid, “to know”, the prefix a, and the suffix ya. The original meaning of the vidya is, therefore, “the state of a thing as it is”, or expressed in terms of the mental plane in one word, “knowledge”. As long as in the face of a human being I see a face and nothing else, my mental vibration is said to be vidya. But as soon as I see a moon or something else not a face, when it is a face I am looking at, my mental vibration is no longer said to be vidya, but avidya. Avidya (ignorance) is therefore not a negative conception; it is just as positive as vidya itself. It is a great mistake to suppose that words having the privative prefixes always imply abstractions and never realities. This, however, is by the bye. The state of avidya is that state in which the mental vibration is disturbed by that of akasa, and some other tatwas, which thus result in the production of false appearances. The general appearance of avidya is akasa, darkness, and this is why tamas is a synonym of this word.
This general prevalence of darkness is caused by some defect in individual minds, because, as we find from daily experience, a given object does not excite the same set of vibrations in all minds. What, then is the mental defect? It is to be found in the nature of the stored-up potential energy of the mind. This storing-up of potential energy is a problem of the deepest importance in philosophy, and the doctrine of transmigration of souls finds its most intelligible explanation in this. The law might be enunciated as follows:
If anything be set in any particular kind of tatwic motion, internal or external, it acquires for a second time the capability of easily being set in motion, and of consequently resisting a different sort of motion. If the thing is subjected to the same motion for some time, the motion becomes a necessary attribute of the thing. The superposed motion becomes, so to speak, “second nature”.
Thus, if a man accustoms his body to a particular form of exercise, certain muscles in his body are very easily set into motion. Any other form of exercise that requires the use of other muscles will be found fatiguing on account of the resistance set up by muscular habits. The case is similar with the mind. If I have a deep-rooted conviction, as some do to this day, that the earth is flat and the sun moves around it, it may require ages to dislodge it. A thousand examples might be cited of such phenomena. It is, however, only necessary in this place to state that the capacity of turning easily to one mental state and offering resistance to another one is what I mean by this stored-up energy. It is variously called vasana or Sansakara in Sanskrit.
The word vasana comes from the root vas, “to dwell”. It means the dwelling or fixing of some form of vibratory motion in the mind. It is by vasana that certain truths become native to the mind, and not only certain so-called truths, but all the so-called natural tendencies, moral, physical, spiritual, become in this way native to the mind. The only difference in different vasana is their respective stability. The vasana that are imprinted upon the mind as the result of the ordinary evolutionary course of nature never change. The products of independent human actions are of two kinds. If actions result in tendencies that check the evolutionary progressive tide of nature, the effect of the action exhausts itself in time by the repellant force of the undercurrent of evolution. If, however, the two coincide in direction, increased strength is the result. The latter sort of actions we call virtuous, the former vicious.
It is this vasana, this temporary dominion of the opposite current, that causes false knowledge. Suppose the positive generative current has in any man the strength a, if too it is presented a negative female current of the same degree of strength a, the two will try to unite. An attraction that we term sexual love will then be set up. If these two currents are not allowed to unite, they increase in strength and react on the body itself to its injury; if allowed to unite, they exhaust themselves. This exhaustion causes a relief to the mind, the progressive evolutionary current asserts itself with greater force, and thus a feeling of satisfaction is the result. This tatwic disturbance of the mind will, as long as it has sufficient strength, give its own color to all perceptions and concepts. They will not appear in their true light, but as causes of satisfaction. Thus they say that true lovers see all things rose-colored. The appearance of a face we love to see causes a partial running of currents into one another, and a certain amount of satisfaction is the result. We forge that we are seeing a face: we are only conscious of some cause resulting in a state of satisfaction. That cause of satisfaction we call by different names. Sometimes we call it a flower, at others we call it a moon. Sometimes we feel that the current of life is flowing from those dear eyes, at others we recognize nectar itself in that dear embrace. Such are the manifestations of avidya. As Patanjali says, avidya consists in the perception of the eternal, the pure, the pleasing, and the spiritual instead of or rather in the non-eternal, the impure, the painful, and the non-spiritual. Such is the genesis of avidya, which, as has been remarked, is a substantial rality, and not a mere negative conception.
This mental phenomenon causes the four remaining ones.
Egoism (Asmita) is the conviction that real life (purusha swara) is one with the various mental and physiological modifications, that the higher self is one with the lower one, that the sum of our percepts and concepts is the real ego, and that there is nothing beyond. In the present cycle of evolution and in the previous ones, the mind has been chiefly occupied with these percepts and concepts. The real power of life is never seen making any separate appearance, hence the feeling that the ego must be the same with the mental phenomena. It is plain that avidya, as defined above, lies at the root of this manifestation.
The misleading feeling of satisfaction above mentioned under avidya is the cause of this condition. When any object repeatedly produces in our mind this feeling of satisfaction, our mind engenders the habit of falling again and again into the same state of tatwic vibration. The feeling of satisfaction and the picture of the object that seemed to cause that satisfaction tend to appear together, and this is a hankering after the object, a desire not to let it escape us – that is to say, Raga.
Here may investigate more thoroughly the nature of this feeling of satisfaction and its opposite: pleasure and pain. The Sanskrit words for these two mental states are respectively sukha and dukkha. Both come from the root khan, “to dig”; the prefixes su and dus make the difference. The former prefix conveys the idea of “ease” and it derives this idea from the unrestrained easy flow of breath. The radical idea of sukha is, therefore, unrestrained digging – digging where the soil offers but little resistance. Transferred to the mind, that act becomes sukha, which makes an easy impression upon it. The act must, in the nature of its vibrations, coincide with the then prevailing conditions of the mental vibrations. Before any percepts or concepts had taken root in the mind, there was no desire, no pleasure. The genesis of desire and what is called pleasure – that is, the sense of satisfaction caused by the impressions produced by external objects – begins with certain percepts and concepts taking root in the mind. This taking root really is only an overclouding of the original set of impressions arising out of evolutionary mental progress. When contact with the external object momentarily removes that cloud from the clear horizon of the mind, the soul is conscious of a feeling of satisfaction that avidya connects with the external object. This, as shown above, gives birth to desire.
The genesis of pain and the desire to repel (dwesha) is similar. The radical idea of dukkha (pain) is the act of digging where a good deal of resistance is experienced. Transferred to the mind, it signifies an act that encounters resistance from the mind. The mind does not easily give place to these vibrations; it tries to repel them with all its might. There arises a feeling of privation. It is as if something of its nature was being taken away, and an alien phenomenon introduced. The consciousness of privation, or want, is pain, and the repulsive power that these alien vibrations excite in the mind is known by the name of dwesha (desire to repel). The word dwesha comes from the root dwesh, which is a compound of du and ish. Ish itself appears to be a compound root, i and s. The final s is connected to the root su, “to breath”, “to be in one’s natural state”. The root i means “to go”, and the root ish, therefore, means to go toward one’s natural state. Transferred to the mind, the word becomes a synonym of raga. The word du in dwesh performs the same function as dus in dukkh. Hence dwesh comes to mean "a hankering after repulsion". Anger, jealousy, hatred, etc., are all modifications of this, as love, affection and friendship are those of raga. By what has been said above, it is easy to follow up the genesis of the principle of "tenacity of life". I must now try to assign these actions to their prevailing tatwas.
The general color of avidya is, as already said, that of akasa, darkness. Otherwise, the agni tatwa prevails in anger. If this is accompanied by vayu, there will be a good deal of motion in the body, prithivi will make it stubborn, and apas easily manageable. Akasa will give a tinge of fear.
The same tatwa prevails in love. Prithivi makes it abiding, vayu changeable, agni fretting, apas lukewarm, and akasa blind.
Akasa prevails in fear; it tends to produce a hollow in the veins themselves. In prithivi the timid man is rooted to the spot, with vayu he runs away, with apas he succumbs to flattery, and agni tends to make one vengeful.
Vikalpa is that knowledge which the words imply or signify, but for which there is no reality on the physical plane. The sounds of nature connected with its sight have given us names for precepts. With the additions or subtractions of the percepts we have also had additions and subtractions of the sounds connected therewith. The sounds constitute our words.
In vikalpa two or more precepts are added together in such a way as to give birth to a concept having no corresponding reality on the physical plane. This is a necessary result of the universal law of visana. When the mind is habituated to a perception of more phenomena than one, all of them have a tendency to appear again; and whenever two or more such phenomena coincide in time, we have in our mind a picture of a third something. That something may or may not exist in the physical plane. If it does not, the phenomenon is vikalpa. If it does, however, we call it Samadhi.
This also is a phenomenon of the manomaya kosha mind. Indian philosophers speak of three states in this connection: waking, dream, and sleep.
This is the ordinary state when the principle of life works in connection with the mind. The mind then receives impressions of the external objects through the action of the senses. The other faculties of the mind are purely mental, and they may work in the waking as in the dreaming state. The only difference is that in dreams the mind does not undergo the perceptive changes. How is this? These changes of state are always passive, and the soul has no choice in being subjected to them. They come and go as a necessary result of the working of swara in all its five modifications. As has been explained in the articles on Prana, the different sensuous organs cease to respond to external tatwic changes when the positive current gains more than ordinary strength in the body. The positive force appears to us in the shape of heat, the negative in the shape of cold. Therefore I may speak of these forces as heat and cold.
The Upanishad says that in dreamless sleep the soul sleeps in the blood vessels (nadi), the pericardium (puritat), the hollow of the heart. Has the system of blood vessels, the negative center of Prana, anything to do with dreams also? The state of dream, according to the Indian sage, is an intermediate one between waking and sleeping, and it is but reasonable to suppose that there must be something in this system that accounts for both these phenomena. What is that something? It is variously spoken of as the pitta, the agni, and the sun. It is needless to say that these words are meant to denote one and the same thing. It is the effect produced on the body by the solar breath in general, and the agni tatwa in particular. The word pitta might mislead many, and therefore it is necessary to state that the word does not necessarily always mean lull. There is one pitta that Sanskrit physiology locates specifically in the heart. This is called the sadhaka pitta. It is nothing more or less than cardiac temperature, and it is with this that we have to do in sleep or dream.
According to the Indian philosopher, it is the cardiac temperature that causes the three states in varying degrees. This and nothing more is the meaning of the Vedic text that the soul sleeps in the pericardium, etc. All the functions of life are carried on properly as long as we have a perfect balance of the positive and negative currents, heat and cold. The mean of the solar and lunar temperatures is the temperature at which the prana keeps up its connection with the gross body. The mean is struck after an exposure of a whole day and night. Within this period the temperature is subjected to two general variations. The one is the extreme of the positive; the other the extreme of the negative. When the positive reaches its daily extreme the sensuous organs pass out of time with the external tatwas.
It is a matter of daily experience that the sensuous organs respond to external tatwic vibrations within certain limits. If the limit is exceeded either way, the organs become insensible to these vibrations. There is, therefore, a certain degree of temperature at which the sensuous organs can ordinarily work; when this limit is exceed either way, the organs become incapable of receiving any impression from without. During day the positive life current gathers strength in the heart. The ordinary working temperature is naturally exceeded by this gathering up of the forces, and the senses sleep. They receive no impression from without. This is sufficient to produce the dreaming state. As yet the chords of the gross body (sthula sharira) alone have slackened, and the soul sees the mind no longer affected by external impressions. The mind is, however, habituated to various precepts and concepts, and by the mere force of habit passes into various states. The breath, as it modifies into the five tatwic states, becomes the cause of the varying impressions coming up. As already said, the soul has no part in calling up these visions of its own free will. It is by the working of a necessary law of life that the mind undergoes the various changes of the waking and the sleeping states. The soul does nothing in conjuring up the phantasms of a dream, otherwise it would be impossible to explain horrible dreams. Why, indeed, if the soul is entirely free in dreaming does it sometimes call into being the hideous appearances that, with one terrible shock, seem to send our very blood back to our heart? No soul would ever act thus if it could help it.
The fact is that the impressions of a dream change with the tatwas. As one tatwa easily glides into the other, one thought gives place to another. The akasa causes fear, shame, desire, and anger; the vayu takes us to different places; the taijas shows us gold and silver, and the prithivi may bring us enjoyment, smiles, dalliance, and so on. And then we might have composite tatwic vibrations. We might see men and women, dances and battles, councils and popular gatherings; we might walk in gardens, smell the choicest flowers, see the most beautiful spots; we might shake hands with our friends, we might deliver speeches, we might travel into different lands. All these impressions are caused by the tatwic state of the mental coil, brought about either by (1) physical derangement, (2) ordinary tatwic changes, (3) or some other coming natural change of state.
As there are three different causes, there are three different kinds of dreams. The first cause is physical derangement. When the natural currents of prana are disturbed so that disease results, or are about to be so disturbed, the mind in the ordinary way undergoes these tatwic changes. The sympathetic chords of the minds are excited, and we dream of all the disagreeable accompaniments of whatever disease may be within our physical atmosphere in store for us. Such dreams are akin in their nature to the ravings of delirium; there is only a difference in strength and violence. When ill, we may in a similar way dream of health and its surroundings.
The second kind of dream is caused by ordinary tatwic changes. When the past, the present, and the future tatwic condition of our surroundings is uniform in its nature, when there is no change, and when no change is in store for us, the stream of dreams is most calm and equable in its easy flow. As the atmospheric and the healthful physiological tatwas glide smoothly one into the other, so do the impressions of our minds in this class of dreams. Ordinarily we cannot even remember these dreams, for in them there is nothing of special excitement to keep them in our memory.
The third kind of change is similar to the first; there is only a difference in the nature of the effects. These we call the effects of disease or health, as the case may be; here we might group the results under the general name of prosperity or calamity.
The process of this sort of mental excitement is, however, the same in both. The currents of life, pregnant with all sorts of good and evil, are sufficient in strength while yet potential and only tending towards the actual, to set the sympathetic chords of the mind in vibration. The purer the mind, and the freer from dust of the world, the more sensitive it is to the slightest and the remotes tendency of prana towards some change. Consequently we become conscious of coming events in dreams. This explains the nature of prophetic dreams. To weigh the force of these dreams, however, to find out exactly what each dream means, is a most difficult task, and under ordinary circumstances quite impossible. We may make 10,000 mistakes at ever step, and we need nothing less than a perfect Yogi for the right understanding of even our own dreams, to say nothing of those of others. Let us explain and illustrate the difficulties that surround us in the right understanding of our dreams. A man in the same quarter of the city in which I live, but unknown to me, is about to die. The tatwic currents of his body, pregnant with death, disturb the atmospheric tatwas, and through their instrumentality are spread in various degrees all over the world. They reach me, too, and excite the sympathetic chords of my mind while I am sleeping. There being no special room in my mind for that man, my impression will be only general. A human being, fair or ugly, male or female, lamented or not, and having other similar qualities, will come into the mid on his deathbed. But what man? The power of complex imagination, unless strongly kept in check by the hardest exercise of yoga, will have its play, and it is almost certain that a man who has previously been connected in my mind with all these tatwic qualities will make his appearance in my consciousness. It is evident that I shall be on the wrong track. That someone is dead or dying, we may be sure, but who or where is impossible for ordinary men to discover. And not only does the manifestation of vikalpa put us on the wrong track, but all the manifestations of the mind do that. The state of samadhi, which is nothing more than putting one’s self into a state of the most perfect amenability to tatwic surroundings, is therefore impossible unless all the other manifestations are held in perfect check. Patanjali says, “Yoga is keeping in check the manifestations of the mind.”
The dreamy state is maintained as long as and when the cardiac temperature is not strong enough to affect the mental coil. But with increasing positive strength, that too must be affected. The manas and the prana are made of the same materials and are subject to the same laws. The more subtle these materials are, however, the stronger must be the forces that produce similar changes. All the coils are tuned together, and changes in the one affect the other. The vibrations per second of the first one are, however, larger in number than those of the lower one, and this causes its subtlety. The higher are always affected through the immediately lower principles. Thus the external tatwas will affect prana immediately, but the mind can only be affected through the prana and not directly. The cardiac temperature is only an indication of the degree of heat in prana. When sufficient strength is gathered up there, the prana affects the mental coil. That too now passes out of tune with the soul. The mental vibration can only work at a certain temperature; beyond that it must go to rest. In this state we have no more dreams. The only manifestation of the mind is that of rest. This is the state of dreamless sleep.
I pass on now to the fifth and last mental manifestation.
As Professor Max Muller has remarked, the original idea at the root smri (from which smrite) is “to make soft, to melt”. The process of making soft or melting consists in the melting thing assuming a consistency nearer and nearer to the tatwic consistency of the melting force. All change of state is equivalent to the assumption on the part of the thing changing, of the state of tatwa that causes the change. Hence the secondary idea of the root, “to love”. Love is that state of mind in which it melts into the state of the object of love. This change is analogous to the chemical change that gives us a photograph on a sensitive plate. As in this phenomenon the materials on the sensitive plate are melted into the state of the reflected light, so the sensitive plate of the mind melts into the state of its percepts. The impression upon the mind is deeper, the greater the force of the imprinting rays and the greater the sympathy between the mind and the object perceived. This sympathy is created by stored up potential energy, and the perceptive rays themselves act with greater force when the mind is in a sympathetic state.
Every percept takes root in the mind, as explained above. It is nothing more than a change of the tatwic state of the mind, and what is left behind is only a capacity for sooner falling into the same state again. The mind falls back into the same state when it is under the influence of the same tatwic surroundings. The presence of the same thing calls back the same mental state.
The tatwic surroundings may be of two descriptions, astral and local. The astral influence is the effect upon the individual prana of the condition of the terrestrial prana at that time. If this effect appears as the agni tatwa, those of our concepts that have a prominent connection with this tatwa will make their appearance in the mind. Some of these are a hankering after wealth, a desire for progeny, etc. If we have the vayu tatwa, a desire to travel may take possession of our minds and so on. A minute tatwic analysis of all of our concepts is of the greatest interest; suffice it to say here that the tatwic condition of prana often calls up into the mind objects that have made the objects of perception in similar previous conditions. It is this power that underlies dreams of one class. In the waking state too this phase of memory often acts as reminiscence.
Local surrounding are constituted by those object which the mind has been accustomed to perceive together with the immediate object of memory. This is the power of association. Both these phenomena constitute memory proper (smrite). Here the object comes first into the mind, and afterwards the act and the surroundings of perception. Another very important kind of memory is what is called buddhi, literary memory. This is the power by which we call to mind what we have learned of scientific facts. The process of storing up these facts in the mind is the same, but the coming back into consciousness differs in this, that here the act first comes into the mind and then the object. All the five tatwas and the foregoing mental phenomena may cause the phenomenon of memory. Literary memory has a good deal to do with yoga, i.e., the exercise of free will to direct the energies of the mind into desirable channels. While those impressions that take root in the mind on account of natural surroundings make the mind the unwilling slave of the external world, buddhi may lead it to bliss and freedom. But will these tatwic surroundings always bring related phenomena into consciousness? No! This depends upon their correlative strength. It is well known that when the vibrations per second of akasa (sound) pass beyond a certain limit either way, they do not affect the tympanum. It is, for example, only a certain number of vibrations per second of the taijas tatwa that affects the eye, and so on with the other senses. The case with the mind is similar. It is only when mental and external tatwic tensions are equal that the mind begins to vibrate as it comes into contact with the external world. Just as the varying states of the external organs make us more or less sensitive to ordinary sensation, so different men might not hear the same sounds, might not see the same sights, the mental tatwas might not be affected by percepts of the same strength, or might be affected in different degrees by percepts of the same strength. The question is, how is the variation of this mental tatwic strength produced? By exercise, and the absence of exercise. If we accustom the mind, just as we do the body, to any particular precept or concept, the mind easily turns to those percepts and concepts. If, however, we give up the exercise, the mind becomes stiff and ceases by degrees to respond to these percepts and concepts. This is the phenomenon of forgetting. Let a student whose literary exercises is just opening the buds of his mind, whose mind is just gaining strength enough to see into the causes and effects of things, give up his exercise. His mind will begin to lose that nice perception. The stiffer the mind becomes the less will the casual relation affect him, and the less he will know of it, until at last he loses all his power.
Ceaseless influence and activity of one sort being impossible in the ordinary course of time, every impression tends to pass away as soon as it is made. Its degree of stability depends upon the duration of the exercise. But although activity of one sort is impracticable, activity of some sort is always present in the mind. With every action the color of the mind changes, and one color may take so deep a root in the mind as to remain there for ages upon ages, to say nothing of minutes, hours, days and years. Just as time takes ages to demolish the impressions of the physical plane, just as marks of incision upon the skin may not pass away even in two decades, so also it takes ages to demolish the impressions of the mind. Hundreds and thousands of years may this be spent in devachan in order to wear away those antagonistic impressions that the mind has contracted in earthly life. By antagonistic impressions, I mean those impressions that are not compatible with the state of moksha, and have about them a tinge of earthly life.
With every moment the mind changes its color, whether the impression be adding or subtracting. These changes are temporary. But there is at the same time a permanent change going on in the color of the mind. With every little act of our worldly experience, the evolutionary tide of progress is gaining strength and passing into variety. The color is constantly changing. But the same general color is maintained under ordinary circumstances, during one earthly life. Under extraordinary circumstances we might have men having two memories. Under such circumstances as in the case of approaching death, the accumulated forces of a whole life combine into a different color. The tension, so to speak, becomes different from what it was before. Nothing can put the mind into the same state again. This general color of the mind differing from that of other minds, and yet retaining its general character for a whole life, gives us the consciousness of personal identity. In every act that has been done, or that is, or might be done, the soul sees the same general color, and hence the feeling of personal identity. In death the general color changes, and although we have the same mind, we have a different consciousness. Hence no continuance of the feeling of personal identity is possible through death.
Such is a brief account of the manomaya kosha, the mental coil in the ordinary state. The influence of the higher principle (the vijnana maya kosha) through the exercise of yoga induces in the mind a number of other manifestations. Psychic manifestations show themselves in the mind and the prana, in the same way as mental manifestations are seen influencing and regulating the prana.
As has been seen, the universe has five planes of existence (which may also be divided into seven). The forms of the earth, which are little pictures of the universe, also have the same five planes. In some of these organisms the higher planes of existence are absolutely latent. In man, in the present age, the Vijnana maya kosha and the lower principles make their appearance.
We have had an insight into the nature of the macrocosmic prana, and we have seen that almost every point in this ocean of life represents a separate individual organism.
The case is similar with the macrocosmic mind. Every truti of that center takes in the whole of the macrocosmic mind in the same way. From every point the tatwic rays of the mental ocean go to every point, and thus every point is a little picture of the universal mind. This is the individual mind.
The Univesal mind is the original of all the centers of Prana, in the same way as the solar prana is the original of the species of earth-life. Individual mind, too, is similarly the original of all the individual manifestations of the prana maya kosha. Similarly the soul, and the individual spirit on the highest plane, is the perfect picture of all that comes below.
With the four higher planes of life there are four different states of consciousness, the waking, the dreaming, the sleeping, and the Tureya.
With these remarks the following extract from the Prasnopnishat will be intelligible and instructive.
“Now Sauryayana Gargya asked him, ‘Sir, in this body, what sleeps, and what remains awakened? Which of these luminous beings sees dreams? Who has this rest? In whom do all these [manifestations] rest in the potential unmanifested state?’
“He answered him, ‘O Gargya, as the rays of the setting sun are all collected in the luminous shell, and then go out again, as he rises again and again, so all that is collected in the luminous shell of mind beyond. For this reason then, the man does not hear, does not see, does not smell, does not taste, does not touch, does not take, does not cohabit, does not excrete, does not go on. They say that he sleeps. The fires of prana alone remain awakened in his body. The apana is the Garhapatya fire; the Vyana is the right hand fire. The prana is the ahavanurya fire, which is made by the Garhapatya. That which carries equally everywhere the oblations of food and air, is the samana. The mind (manas) is the sacrificer (vajmana). The Udana is the fruit of the sacrifice. He carries the sacrificer every day to Brahma. Here this luminous being [the mind] enjoys great things in dreams. Whatever was seen, he sees again as if it were real; whatever was experienced in different countries, in different directions, he experiences the same again and again – the seen and the unseen, the heard or the unheard, thought or not thought upon. He sees all, appearing as the self of all manifestations.
“’When he is overpowered by the taijas, then this luminous being sees no dreams in this state; then there appears in the body this rest [the dreamless sleep].
“’In this state, my dear pupil, all [that is enumerated below] stays in the ulterior atma, like birds that resort to a tree for habitation – the prithivi composite and the prithivi non-composite; the apas composite and the apas non-composite; the taijas composite and the taijas non-composite; the vayu composite and the vayu non-composite; the akasa composite and the akasa non-composite; the sight and the visible, the hearing and the audible, the smell and the smellable, the taste and the tasteable, the touch and the tangible, the speech and the utterable, the hands and whatever might be grasped, the generative organ and the excrements, the feet and that which may be gone over, the faculty and the object of doubt, the faculty and the object of egoism, the faculty and the object of memory, the light and that which might be enlightened, the prana and that which keeps it together.
“’The soul is the Vijnana atma, the seer, the toucher, the hearer, the smeller, the taster, the doubter, the ascertainer, the agent. This soul [the Vijnana atma] stays in the ulterior, unchangeable atma [the ananda].
“’So there are four atma – the life, the mind, the soul, the spirit. The ultimate force that lies at the root macrocosmic Power of all the manifestation of soul, mind, and the life the principle, is the spirit.’”
By composite is meant that tatwa which has come into existence after the division into five, noticed in the first essay. The non-composite means a tatwa before the division into five.
The principal interest of this quotation lies in presenting in authoritative fashion the views that have already been propounded. The next essay explains one of the most important functions of the macrocosmic Power and Mind, that of recording the human actions, and touches upon some other rather important truths.
We are directed by our Guru in the philosophy of tatwas to look into vacant space toward the sky, when the sky is perfectly clear, and fix your attention there with the utmost possible strength.
We are told that after sufficient practice we shall see there a variety of pictures – the most beautiful landscapes, the most gorgeous palaces of the world, and men, women and children in all the varying aspects of life. How is such a thing possible? What do we learn by this practical lesson in the science of attention?
I think I have described with sufficient explicitness in the essays, the ocean of prana with the sun for its center, and have given a hint sufficiently suggestive of the nature of the macrocosmic mental and psychic atmospheres. It is of the essential nature of these atmospheres that every point therein forms a center of action and reaction for the whole ocean. From what has already been said, it will be plain that each of these atmospheres has a limit of its own. The terrestrial atmosphere extends only to a few miles, and the external boundary line of this sphere must, it will be readily understood, give it the appearance of an orange, just like that of the earth. The case is the same with the solar prana, and the higher atmospheres. To begin with the terrestrial Prana, which has the measured limits of our atmosphere. Every little atom of our earth, and the most perfect organisms, as well as the most imperfect, makes a center of action and reaction for the tatwic currents of terrestrial Prana. The prana has the capability of being thrown into the shape of every organism or, to use a different language, the rays of prana as they fall upon every organism are returned from that organism according to the well-known laws of reflection. These rays, as is again well known, carry within themselves our pictures. Bearing these within them, they go up to the limit of the terrestrial prana noted above. It will be easy to conceive that within the imaginary sphere that surrounds our terrestrial prana, we now have a magnified picture of our central organism. Not one organism only, but all the smallest points, the most imperfect beginnings of organized life, as well as the most perfect organisms – all are pictured in this imaginary sphere. It is a magnificent picture-gallery; all that is seen or heard, touched, tasted or smelled on the face of the earth has a glorious and magnified picture there. At the limit of this terrestrial prana, the picture-forming tatwic rays exercise a double function.
Firstly they throw the sympathetic tatwic chords of the solar prana into similar motion. That is to say, these pictures are now consigned to the solar prana, from whence in due course they reach step by step to the universal intelligence itself.
Secondly, these rays react upon themselves, and turning back from the limiting sphere, are again reflected back to the center.
It is these pictures that the attentive mind sees in its noonday gaze into vacancy, and it is these pictures, seen in this mysterious way, that give us the finest food for our imagination and intellect, and supply us with a far-reaching clue to the nature and working of the laws that govern the life of the macrocosm and the microcosm. For these pictures tell us that the smallest of our actions, on whatever plane of our existence, actions that may be so insignificant to us as to pass unnoticed even by ourselves, are destined to receive an everlasting record, as the effect of the past and the cause of the future. These pictures again tell us of the existence of the five universal tatwas that play so important a part in the universe. It is these pictures that lead us to the discovery of the manifold constitution of man and the universe, and of those powers of the mind that have not yet received recognition at the hands of the official science of the day.
That these truths have found place in the Upanishad may be seen from the following quotation from the Ishopnishat, mantra 4:
“The Atma does not move: is one: is faster than the mind: the senses reach it not: as it is the foremost in motion. It goes beyond the others in rapid motion while itself at rest, in it the Recorder preserves the actions.”
In the above quotation it is the word Matarishwa that I translate “Recorder”. Ordinarily the word is translated as air, and so far as I know, the word has never been understood clearly in the sense of the “Recorder”. My view, therefore, may be further explained with advantage.
The word is a compound of the words matari and swah. The word matari is the locative case of matri which ordinarily means mother, but which is rendered here as space, as the substratum of distance, from the root ma, to measure. The second word of the compound means the breather, coming as it does from the root Swas, to breathe. Hence the compound means “he who breathes in space”. In explaining this word the commentator Sankaracharya goes on to say:
“The word ‘Matarishwa’, which has been derived as above, means the Vayu [the mover] which carries in it all the manifestations of prana, which is action itself, that which is the substratum of all the groups of causes and effects, and in which all the causes and effects are held like beads in a thread, that which is given the name of sutra [the thread] inasmuch as it holds in itself the whole of the world.”
It is further said that the “actions” in the above quotation which this matarishwa holds in itself are all the movements of the individualized prana, as well as the actions of heating, lighting, ruining, etc., of the macrocosmic powers known as Agni, etc.
Now such a thing can by no means be the atmospheric air. It is evidently that phase of prana which acts as carrying the pictures of all actions, all motions from every point of space to every other point and to the limits of the surya mandala. This phase of prana is nothing more or less than the Recorder. It holds in itself forever and ever all the causes and effects, the antecedents and consequents of this world of ours.
It is action itself. This means that all action is a change of phase of prana.
It is said in the above quotation that this Recorder lives in the atma. Inasmuch as the atma exists, this Power always performs its function. The prana draws its life itself from the atma, and accordingly we find a similarity between the dualities of the two. It is said of the atma in the above extract that it does not move, and yet it moves faster than the mind. These appear to be contradictory qualities at first sigh, and it is such qualities that make the ordinary God of commonplace theologians the absurd being he always looks to be. Let us, however, apply these qualities to prana, and once understood on this plane, they will be quite as clearly understood on the highest plane, the atma. It has been said more than once that from every point of the ocean of prana the tatwic rays fly in every direction, to every point within the surya mandala. Thus the ocean of prana is in eternal motion. For all this, however, does one point of this ocean ever change its place? Of course not. Thus while every point keeps its place, every point at the same time goes and shows itself in every other point.
It is the same simple way that the all-pervading atma is in eternal motion and yet always at rest.
The case is similar with all the planes of life; all our actions, all our thoughts, all our aspirations, receive an everlasting record in the books of Matarishwa.
I must now notice these pictures in a little more detail. The science of photography tells us that under certain conditions the visual pictures can be caught on the plane of the sensitive film. But how can we account for the reading of letters at a distance of 40 miles or more? Such phenomena are a matter of personal experience to me. Very recently, while sitting abstracted, or it may be in a kind of dream, about 4 o’clock in the morning, I read a postcard written by a friend to a friend about me, the very same night, at a distance of almost 30 miles. One more thing must be noticed here, I think. Almost half the card spoke about me, and the rest referred to other matters that might have a passing interest for me, but could not be engrossing. Now this rest of the card did not come before my eyes very clearly, and I felt that with all my effort I could not even keep my eye upon those lines or a sufficiently long time to understand them, but was irresistibly drawn towards the paragraph that spoke of me, and which I could read very clearly. Four days after this, the addressee showed it to me; it was exactly the same, sentence by sentence (so far as I could remember), as I had seen before. I mention this phenomenon in particular, as in it the various prerequisites for the production of these phenomena are clearly defined. We learn from an analysis of this incident the following facts:
(1) When he was writing, the writer of the card meant that I should read the card, and especially the paragraph that concerned me.
(2) I was very anxious to know the news about me that the card contained.
(3) In the frame of mind mentioned above my friend wrote the card. What happened? The picture of his thoughts on the card, both on the physical and the mental plane, flew in every direction along the tatwic rays of the macrocosmic prana and mind. A picture was immediately made on the macrocosmic spheres, and from thence it bent its rays towards the destination of the postcard. No doubt all minds in the earth received a shock of this current of thought at the same time. But my mind alone was sensitive to the card and the news it contained. It was, therefore, on my mind alone that any impression was made. The rays were, as it were, refracted into my mind, and the result described above followed.
It follows from this illustration that in order to receive the pictorial rays of the prana we must have a mind in a state of sympathy, and not of antipathy; that is to say, a mind free from all action or intense feeling for the time being is the fittest receptacle for the pictorial representations of the cosmos, and so for a correct knowledge of the past and the future. And if we have an intense desire to know the thing, so much the better for us. It is in this way that the divine occultist reads the records of the past in the book of nature, and it is on this road that the beginner of this science must walk according to the direction of our Guru.
It must be understood that everything in every aspect that has been or is being n our planet has a legible record in the book of nature, and the tatwic rays of the prana and the mind are constantly bringing the outlines of these pictures back to us. It is to a great extent due to this that the past never leaves us, but always lives within us, although many of its most magnificent monuments have been forever effaced from the face of our planet for the ordinary gaze. These returning rays are always inclined toward the center that originally gave them birth. In the case of the mineral surroundings of terrestrial phenomena these centers are preserved intact for ages upon ages, and it is quite possible for any sensitive mind, at any time, to turn these rays towards itself by coming into contact with any material remains of historic phenomena. A stone unearthed at Pompeii is pictured as part of the great event that destroyed the city, and the rays of that picture naturally are inclined towards that piece of stone. If Mrs. Denton puts the stone to her forehead, a sympathetic and receptive condition is the only pre-requisite for the transference of the whole picture to her mind. This sympathetic state of mind may be natural to a person, or it may be acquired. It may be mentioned that what we are in the habit of calling natural powers are really acquired, but they have been acquired in previous incarnations. Shiva says:
“There are some to whom the tatwas become known, when the mind is purified by habituation, either by the acquired velocity of other births or by the kindness of the Guru.”
It seems that two pieces of granite, the same to all intents and purposes externally, may have an entirely different tatwic color, for the color of a thing depends to a very great extent upon its tatwic surrounding. It is this occult color that constitutes the real soul of things, although the reader must by this time know that the Sanskrit word prana is more appropriate.
It is no myth to say that the practiced yogi might bring the picture of any part of the world, past or present, before his mind’s eye with a single effort of his will. And not only visual pictures, as our illustration might lead the reader to think. The preservation and formation of visual pictures is only the work of the luminiferous ether, the taijas tatwa. The other tatwas perform their functions as well. The akasa or soniferous ether preserves all the sounds that have ever been heard or are being heard on earth, and similarly the remaining three other preserve the records of the remaining sensations. We see, therefore, that combining all these pictures, a yogi in contemplation might have before his mind’s eye any man at any distance whatsoever and might hear his voice also. Glyndon, in Italy, seeing and hearing the conversation of Viola and Zanoni in their distant home, is therefore not merely a dream of the poet; it is a scientific reality. The only thing necessary is to have a sympathetic mind. The phenomena of mental telepathy, psychometry, clairvoyance and clairaudience, are all phases of this tatwic action. Once understood, it is all a very simple affair. It may be useful in this place to offer some reflections as to how these pictorial representations of a man’s present go to shape his future. I shall first attempt to show how complete the record is. At the outset I may remind the reader of what I have said about the tatwic color of everything. It is this that gives individuality even to a piece of stone.
This pictorial whole is only the cosmic counterpart of the individual prana maya kosha (the coil of life). It is possible that anyone who may not have thoroughly understood the manner of the storing up of tatwic energy in the individual prana may more easily comprehend the phenomena in its cosmic counterpart. In fact, the macrocosmic and microcosmic phenomena are both links of the same chain, and both will conduce to the thorough understanding of the whole. Suppose a man stands on a mountain, with the finest prospect of nature stretched out before his eyes. As he stands there contemplating this wealth of beauty, his picture in this posture is at once made in the ecliptic. Not only is his external; appearance pictured, but the hue of is life receives the fullest representation. If the agni tatwa prevails in him at that moment, if there is the light of satisfaction in his face, if the look in his eyes is calm, collected and pleasant, if he is so much absorbed in the gaze as to forget everything else, tatwas separate or in composite will do their duty, and all the satisfaction, calmness, pleasure, attention or inattention will be represented to the finest degree in the sphere of the ecliptic. If he walks or runs, comes down or jumps up or forward, the tatwic rays of prana picture the generating and the generated colors with the utmost faithfulness in the same retentive sphere.
A man stands with a weapon in his hand, with the look of cruelty in his eye, with the glow of inhumanity in his veins, his victim, man or animal, helpless or struggling before him. The whole phenomenon is instantly recorded. There stands the murderer and the victim in their truest possible colors, there is the solitary room or the jungle, the dirty shed or the filthy slaughterhouse; all are there as surely and certainly as they are in the eye of the murderer r the victim himself.
Let us again change the scene. We have a liar before us. He tells a lie, and thereby injures some brother man. No sooner is the word uttered than the akasa sets to work with all possible activity. There we have the most faithful representation. The liar is there from the reflection that the thought if the injured person throws into the individual prana; there is the injured man also. The words are there with all the energy of the contemplated wrong. And if that contemplated wrong is completed, there is also the change for the worse that his mendacity has produced in the victim. There is nothing of the surroundings, the antecedent and the consequent postures – the causes and effects – that is not represented there.
The scene changes, and we come to a thief. Let the night be as dark as it may, let the thief be a circumspect and wary as he can; our picture is there with all its colors well defined, though perhaps not so prominent. The time, the house, the wall, the sleeping and injured inmates, the stolen property, the subsequent day, the sorrowful householders, with all the antecedent and consequent postures, are pictured. And this is not only for the murderer, the thief, or the liar, but for the adulterer, the forger, the villain who thinks his crime is hidden from every human eye. Their deeds, like all deeds that have ever been done, are vividly, clearly, exactly recorded in nature’s picture gallery. Instances might be multiplied, but it is unnecessary. What has been said is sufficient to explain the principle, and the application is useful and not very difficult. But now we must bring our pictures back from our gallery.
We have seen that time and space and all the possible factors of a phenomenon receive an accurate representation there, and these tatwic rays are united to the time that saw them leaving their record on the plane of our pictorial region. When, in the course of ages, the same Time throws its shade again upon the earth, the pictorial rays, stored up long since, energize man-producing matter, and shape it according to their own potential energy, which now begins to become active. It will be readily conceded that the sun dives life to the earth – to men as well as to vegetables and minerals. Solar life takes human shape in the womb of the mother, and this is only an infusion of some one set of our pictorial rays into the sympathetic life that already shows itself on our planet. These rays thus produce for themselves a gross human body in the womb of the mother, and then having the now somewhat different and differing maternal body, start on their terrestrial journey. As time advances, the pictorial representation changes it tatwic postures, and with it the gross body does the same.
In the case of the rebirth of the man we saw gazing on the mountains, the calm, watchful, contented attitude of the mind that he cultivated then has its influence upon the organism now, and once more the man enjoys the beauty of nature and so is pleased and happy.
But now take the case of the cruel murderer. He is by nature cruel, and he still yearns to murder and destroy, and he could not be restrained from his horrible practices; but the picture of the ebbing life of his victim is now part and parcel of his constitution, the pain, the terror, and the feeling of despair and helplessness are there in all their strength. Occasionally he feels as if the blood of life were leaving his very veins. There is no apparent cause, and yet he suffers pain; he is subject to unaccountable fits of terror, despair and helplessness. His life is miserable; slowly but surely it wanes away.
Let the curtain fall on this stage. The incarnated thief now comes on the stage. His friends leave him one by one or he is driven away from them. The picture of the lonely house must assert its power over him. He is doomed to a lonely house. The picture of somebody coming into the house through some unfrequented part and stealing some of his property, makes its appearance with the fullest strength. The man is doomed to eternal cowardice. He draws towards himself the same grief and heart-rending that he caused to others long ago. This posture of heart-rending grief has its influence upon him in the ordinary way, and it creates its surrounding under the same influence.
These illustrations are sufficient to explain the law according to which these cosmic pictures govern our future lives. Whatever other sins may be committed under the innumerable circumstance of life, their tatwic effects can be traced easily through the pictorial representations of the cosmos.
It is not difficult to understand that the picture of each individual organism upon the face of the earth is pictured in prana, and it is these pictures, in my opinion, that correspond to the ideas of Plato on the highest plane of existence. A very interesting question arises at this point. Are these pictures of eternal existence, or do they only come into existence after formations have taken place on the terrestrial plane? Ex nihilo nihil fit is a well-known doctrine of philosophy, and I hold with Vyasa that the representations (what we now call pictures) of all objects in their generic, specific, and individual capacities have been existing forever in the universal mind. Swara, or what may be called the Breath of God, the Breath of Life, is nothing more or less than abstract intelligence, as has been explained, or intelligent motion, if such an expression is better understood. Our book says:
“In the swara are pictured, or represented, the Vedas and the Sastras, in the swara the highest Gandharvas, and in the swara all the three worlds; the swara is atma itself.”
It is not necessary to enter more thoroughly into a discussion of this problem; the suggestion is sufficient. It might be said, however, that all formation in progress on the face of our planet is the assuming by everything under the influence of solar ideas of the shape of these ideas. The process is quite similar to the process of wet earth taking impressions of anything that is pressed upon it. The idea of anything is its soul.
Human souls (prana maya kosha) exist in this sphere just like the souls of other things, and are affected in that home of theirs by terrestrial experience in the manner mentioned above.
In the course of ages, these ideas make their appearance in the physical plane again and again, according to the laws hinted at previously.
I have also said that these pictures have their counterparts in the mental and the higher atmospheres. Now it might be said that just as these solar pictures recur again and again, there are times at which these mental pictures also recur. The ordinary deaths known to us are terrestrial deaths. This means to say that the influence of the solar pictures is withdrawn for some time from the earth. After some time, the duration depending upon the colors of the picture, they throw their influence again upon the earth, and we have terrestrial rebirth. We may die any number of terrestrial deaths, and yet our solar life might not be extinct.
But men of the present manwantara might die solar deaths under certain circumstances. Then they pass out of the influence of the sun and are born again only in the region of the second Manu. Men who now die solar deaths will remain in the state of bliss all through the present manwantara. Their rebirth might also be delayed for more than one manwantara. All these pictures remain in the bosom of Manu during the manwantarapralaya. In the same way, men might undergo higher deaths, and pass their time in a state of even higher and more enduring bliss. The mental coil may be broken, too, just as the gross, the terrestrial, and the solar might be, and then the blessed soul remains in bliss and unborn until the dawn of the second day of Brahma. Higher still and longer still is the state that follows Brahmic death. Then the spirit is at rest for the remaining Kalpa and the Mahapralaya that follows. After this it will be easy to understand the meaning of the Hindu doctrine, that during the night of Brahma the human soul and the whole of the universe is hidden in the bosom of Brahma like the tree in the seed.
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