Evening Meditation & Spiritual Baba Talk
Santa Rosa, CA
Santa Rosa, CA
3rd Friday Night
of each month
Glossary and Philosophy Primer
A name for God, or consciousness, or Purus'a. Also relates to both the unexpressed consciousness and the expressed consciousness in the Cosmic Mind. Brahma is the essence and source from which all created things emanate or with which they are identified and to which they return.
The pointed intellect of the mind.
A subtle being, often called a luminous being. In Christianity, similar to the concept of an angel.
The special innate quality of a thing or being by virtue of which that thing or being is what it is. The dharma of fire is its ability to burn. The dharma of a human being is to realize God.
One who leads a person to the light.
The play of the Lord.
Illusion. The created universe, looked on as a projected image or illusion.
That aspect of God, the Cosmic Consciousness, which is the source and nucleus of every living and non-living entity. Parama means "highest" or "great" as in the English word paramount. Purus'a means consciousness.
The creative aspect of Parama Purus'a. The operative principle which transforms consciousness into the manifest universe.
One who follows the spiritual path. A spiritual aspirant.
Meditation or contemplation.
Reactions in potential. Karma means action. When one performs an action with a thought that is related to the small ego, then a sam'ska'ra, or reaction, is created. Spiritual liberation can only happen when the accumulated sam'ska'ras are exhausted. Sam'ska'ras can be good or bad, but both act like chains, holding us to this reality. The Christian concept of sin is somewhat related.
An ancient language of India, serving as the root of contemporary Asian and European languages. Many spiritual scriptures are written in Sanskrit. Each sound vibrates sympathetically with the object or concept to which it refers.
A grand, all-encompassing philosophy.
Philosophy Primer - Brahmacakra: The Cycle of Creation
Brahma is the ultimate reality, and the only reality. It is all that exists and does not exist, all that is within Creation and beyond Creation. It is Infinite, indefinable and inconceivable. The word 'Brahma' simply signifies 'that which is great'. Because our philosophy holds that there is nothing outside of or separate from Brahma, it is non-dualistic, or monistic.
Purus'a and Prakrti
Brahma has two component aspects: Purus'a and Prakrti. Purus'a is consciousness and Prakrti is that which operates upon consciousness to give it form. Purus'a and Prakrti are not independent from one another, but exist only as differing functional aspects of Brahma. There cannot be one without the other, in the same sense that water cannot exist without its quality of wetness. Purus'a is referred to, in a philosophical sense, as the male-like component of Brahma, and Prakrti as the female-like component. While Prakrti operates upon and metamorphoses Purus'a, she only does so with the authority given to her by Purus'a. Because of this, it is said that Purus'a the material cause of Creation and that his authority is foremost.
Prakrti affects the metamorphosis of Purus'a into form through the agency of the three gun'as - or binding principles, or operative forces - of which she is composed. The three gun'as are: sattva gun'a, or the sentient principle; rajogun'a, or the mutative principle; and tamogun'a, or the static principle. All of the myriad forms in existence have been created through the blended influence of the three binding principles of Prakrti. No two entities have the exact same degree and proportion of influence of the respective gun'as, and thus there is diversity everywhere in Creation.
Sagun'a and Nirgun'a Brahma
Within the infinitude of Brahma, there is that realm in which Prakrti remains entirely dormant, or quiescent, in her expression. Where this occurs, Purus'a remains wholly uninfluenced, unbound, so that it retains its original quality of gun'atiita, of being beyond the gun'as and therefore without differentiated form. This realm is called Nirgun'a Brahma. It is the realm in which consciousness is free of all bondage - free even of the potential of bondage. Then there is that realm within the body of Brahma in which the gun'as of Prakrti are expressive and have established influence over Purus'a. This realm is called Sagun'a Brahma. It is the realm of Creation, in which consciousness has been given form by the operative principle.
Within Sagun'a Brahma, Prakrti is continuously creating forms from the field of consciousness which has come within the sphere of her influence due to having been encompassed within a triangular matrix of the gun'as, or within the progenitrix of Creation. Within this domain, there is consciousness which has already been brought into the realm of form, and there is consciousness which has yet to be given form, which remains as undifferentiated raw material, eventually to be drawn forth into Creation. The portion of Purus'a which is yet unmanifest remains as the nucleus of the Creation and is termed Purus'ottama. To substantiate their existence, all entities require a witnessing counterpart. Purus'ottama is the witnessing counterpart of Creation.
Creation issues forth from the macrocosmic nucleus, from Purus'ottama. In this process, consciousness is gradually and increasingly bound by the gun'as into cruder and yet cruder expressions. When consciousness has reached a point of maximum crudity there is no longer scope for yet further crudification. Then consciousness seeks to regain its original form. The bondages placed upon Purus'a by Prakrti are increasingly loosened until consciousness eventually gets liberated from the influence of the gun'as and regains its original, unmodified expression. This cosmological process of crudification and subtlification of consciousness is called 'brahmacakra', or the cycle of creation.
The phase of brahmacakra in which consciousness is moving away from the nucleus - becoming crudified and attaining increasingly densified form - is termed 'saincara', or evolution. This is said to be a centrifugal, or extroversial movement of consciousness. This centrifugal movement is dominated first by sattva gun'a, then by rajogun'a, and finally by tamogun'a. The point of origin, or point of first expression of evolutionary movement, is said to be the point of fundamental positivity. The point of ultimate expression of crudity is said to be the point of fundamental negativity. (The terms 'positivity' and 'negativity' are used as indicators of direction, and not as indicators of value.)
After tamogun'a has brought expression to the point beyond which further crudification is not possible, continued compression by the static force causes life force, or pra'n'a, or microvita, to come into existence. Further subtlification of microvita results in the creation of mind-stuff, the substance of unit mind. When unit mind becomes associated with pra'n'a, life comes into being. Living entities evolve into increasingly complex and subtle expressions, eventually attaining the capacity of self-reflection. They are drawn in this direction of development by the pull of the macrocosmic nucleus. Within the highly evolved, self-reflective beings there eventually arises a desire to know their fundamental identity, and they thus take to the practice of Brahma sa'dhana'. The culmination of this Brahma sa'dhana' is the liberation of consciousness from the bondage of Prakrti. The movement from the inception of life to the liberation of consciousness is called 'pratisaincara', or counter-evolution. This is the centripetal, or introversial phase of the cycle of Creation. It is movement from crudity to subtlety, and from ignorance to awareness.
When undifferentiated consciousness is first given quality by the sentient principle of Prakrti, the first characteristic it attains is a sense of existence. There is the subtle feeling of "I exist", "I am". This is a quality of mind is known as mahat, or maha'ttattva. It is the subtlest expression of manifest existence, and it is considered to be the primary subjectivity of mind.
Further modification of a portion of mahat is affected by rajogun'a, and this modification brings about a sense of doership. There is the feeling, "I do", "I act". This is quality of mind is known as aham, or aham'tattva. The aham is considered to be the secondary subjectivity of mind.
Further modification of a portion of aham is affected by tamogun'a, and this modification brings about a function of mind which takes mental shape or form as directed by the aham, by the doer I. This is know as citta, or objectivated mind.
The maha'ttattva, aham'tattva and citta collectively comprise the Cosmic Mind. Through their combined expression, the Macrocosm possesses the identity, the capacity to act, and the substance upon which to act and create the material universe.
The material universe is brought into existence within the citta portion of the Cosmic Mind. Under the predominant influence of the static principle, Cosmic Citta assumes five successive stages of increasing densification, giving rise to five types of fundamental substance called the 'bhu'tas', or fundamental factors. The universe is comprised of these five fundamental factors. The least dense substance is the ethereal factor, or a'ka'shatattva. Then gets created, in succession, the aerial factor, or va'yutattva; the luminous factor, or tejastattva; the liquid factor, or a'patattva; and the solid factor, or ks'ititattva. The cruder the factor, the greater the vibrational density, the greater the capacity for chemical affinity, and the less the intermolecular distance within the substance. Bala and Jad'asphot'a
When Prakrti has bound Purus'a into a highly crudified state, then the inherent integrity of Purus'a begins to exert an expansive pull to unbind itself. This results in a tension or struggle between these two tendencies - i.e., between the extroversial tendency of Prakrti and the introversial pull of Purus'a. The resultant of this tension is called 'bala'.
If Prakrti has constricted Purus'a to a state of extreme crudity yet continues to exert predominant influence, keeping a binding grip on Purus'a, then a pent up reactive force develops. Eventually, Purus'a rebounds in an explosive, violent fashion. This is called 'jad'asphot'a'. When jad'asphot'a occurs, crude matter undergoes a kind of reverse saincara in which crude substance can revert to subtler substance. This reversal may proceed to the point of a'ka'shatattva, or ethereal factor, but not beyond. If, however, the resultant of the clash between the constricting force of Prakrti and the expansive tendency of Purus'a is such that the expansive tendency of Purus'a can predominant, then consciousness can begin to unbind itself in a systematic fashion through the development of life force.
Microvita and Pra'n'a
The life force that results from the clash of the interial and exterial forces is called microvita, or small life, or pra'n'a. That is, pra'n'a arises through the clash and cohesion between the inherent nature of Purus'a to be unbound and the inherent tendency of Prakrti to constrict the expression of Purus'a. With the creation of pra'n'a, the prati-saincara, or counter-evolutionary phase of brahmacakra is begun.
Pra'n'a is said to be a blind force. That is, it is without mind. Due to the continued clash and cohesion in the tension between Prakrti and Purus'a in prati-saincara, a portion of physical substance is subtlified beyond the five fundamental factors to become ectoplasm, or mind-stuff. When there is the parallelism of a mental wave and a pra'n'ic wave and mind is able to direct the pra'n'a within a physical structure, then a living structure gets created. When mind is associated with a living structure it is called 'unit mind'. Though its expression is limited by the finite capacity of its physical and mental structure, the qualities of unit mind are no different from those of Cosmic Mind.
Citta'n'u and Citta
When a portion of ethereal factor gets metamorphosed into subtler expression, this becomes citta'n'u, or mind-stuff, or ectoplasmic particles. This is the crudest expression of mind. The totality of citta'n'u that is expressed in a living entity constitutes the citta of that entity's unit mind. This is the objectivated portion of mind in living beings.
Further subtlification of mind stuff gives rise to aham'tattva, or the sense of doership, of doer I, which provides the living being with ego. In undeveloped living entities in which the doer I is not yet prominent, there is not a developed ego so the entities cannot function with an independent sense of self. In such living beings, the will of the Cosmic Mind provides the momentum for evolutionary development. When the development of aham'tattva is greater than that of citta, there is development of intellect.
With the subtlification of aham'tattva, maha'ttattva is created, enabling the living entity to have an I feeling, or the feeling, "I exist". When the development of the maha'ttattva is greater than that of the aham'tattva, there is development of intuition.
Operative Forces of Evolution of Unit Life
In pratisaincara, unit entities undergo psychic dilation, or the increasing conversion of crude mind into subtler mind. The forces which affect this psychic dilation are physical clash, psychic clash and the attraction of the Great. The rate of dilation or expansion of mind increases as mind becomes subtler and approaches its spiritual goal. To give expression within a physical structure of more evolved mental expression, increasing complexity of the physical body is required. In particular, there is increased complexity in the development of glandular and neural systems.
Ma'nus'a and Negative Pratisaincara
When the ego of a living entity is developed enough, the unit aham takes over in giving the momentum for evolution that was previously provided by the will of the Cosmic Mind. This stage of life form is called ma'nus'a or humanoid. Whereas the will of the Cosmic Mind constantly directs living entities toward more subtle expression, the ego of the unit mind has the capacity to direct mental evolution in the direction of its desire, including reverse development, or negative pratisaincara. The direction and speed of mental evolution in humanoid life is determined by the mind's objects of ideation.
If the unit entity takes the Supreme as its object of ideation, then it will progress toward the culmination of pratisaincara, in which mind becomes increasingly dilated until consciousness becomes wholly unbound and attains its characteristic, original state. The experience of this state is characterized by a'nanda, or bliss.
Beings with sufficient development of sentience and lacking in crude desires may have no need to possess a physical structure. What bodily form they have is comprised only of subtler factors. These subtle beings exist in more subtle realms. They are called devayonis, or devas.
Mukti and Moks'a
If the unit entity merges itself into the Cosmic Mind of Sagun'a Brahma, bringing the unity of microcosm with Macrocosm, it attains the state of mukti. If the unit entity merges into Nirgun'a Brahma, it attains the state of moks'a.
Through the practice of Brahma Sa'dhana', living beings can attain the state of mukti and merge into Sagun'a Brahma. But they are not able, with their own effort, to attain merger into Nirgun'a Brahma. For this, they require the assistance of Ta'raka Brahma, or Brahma as liberator. Ta'raka Brahma is said to be at the tangential point between Sagun'a and Nirgun'a Brahma and to function as a bridge between Sagun'a and Nirgun'a. Only through the grace of Ta'raka Brahma, attained through full surrender to the Supreme, is the state of moks'a realized.