Bhagavad Gita XIII.21
For the Spirit [purusha], abiding in material nature [prakriti],
Experiences the qualities [gunas] born of material nature.
Attachment to the qualities [gunas]
Is the cause of its birth in both good and evil wombs.
The highest Spirit [purusha para] in the body
Is called the witness, the observer, the consenter,
The supporter, the experiencer, the great Lord [paramatma],
And also the supreme Spirit.
He who in this way knows the Spirit [purusha]
And the material nature [prakriti] along with the qualities [gunas],
In whatever stage of transmigration he may exist,
Is not born again.
Sin is moving away from the Real. As the Cycles of Time slowly ‘cook’ our consciousness and move us ever more into density and delusion, we forget the God within us. We identify more and more with the small temporal ego-self we created to enjoy this universe.
The small ego-self is that aggregate of guna-maya we imagine to be us – the data-collecting vehicle we call ‘susie’ or ‘billy’ or whatever name fate has given us in any fleeting lifetime. In fact we are not that temporal identity. We are the greater eternal Self (Atman) within.
Ignorance of Wisdom Knowledge (jnana) moves us further and further away from what is real into the frequency waveform described as sin. Knowledge of the Self will brings us back into the higher frequencies and purify our consciousness.
The act of attaining the Wisdom Knowledge of the Real is in itself a kind of sacrificial rite. We sacrifice our ignorance into the flames of Truth.
Prakriti as the Unmanifest – Avyaktam
The Unmanifest also makes up the Field. Here the Sanskrit word avyaktam is used to refer to Prakriti in her state ‘the undifferentiated primordial substance’ (R.Guenon). Prakriti is the substance, ‘the uncaused cause’ and pure potential for what will be manifested, set forth and displayed via Maya’s gunas and the five senses in the temporal illusory hologram.
Prakriti is the feminine principle who in the presence of the powers of pure consciousness, Purusha the masculine principle, works through guna-maya to project the world in her womb, the Matrix.
But which comes first – Prakriti or Maya? In the west Maya is often defined as ‘illusion’ but this does not express the power of Maya which is a creative force – Shakti. Maya is the power of Shakti to create as an artist creates. Rene Guenon suggests that Maya as Shakti is ‘Divine Activity’ (Ichchha-Shakti) and therefore is ‘situated at an incomparably higher level than Prakriti’ (Studies in Hinduism).
Abhinavagupta’s Kashmir Saivism breaks it down thus:
* The divine power of the Absolute – Shakti – is projecting itself externally and covering the Absolute with pure creation. Manifesting diversity within unity, it hides the basic absoluteness and the perfect unity of the Absolute God …
* The sphere of Maya pushes into oblivion the natural purity and divine potency of the Absolute, covers it with five sheaths or limiting elements (kancukas) and presents the Absolute as a finite being called Purusha (pure consciousness).
* The sphere of Prakriti covers Purusha with all psychic elements, senses, organs, subtle objective elements (tanmatras), the three gunas (rajas, sattva & tamas) …
On the highest level there is no difference between Prakriti and Purusha – both are aspects of the One. Prakriti is the creation and aspect of the Supreme Being who ‘desires to cover Himself in Maya to conceal His nature of absolute purity and divinity’ ( ibid.15).
The appearance of separation of Prakriti’s Maya from the Absolute emerges from ‘the divine power of the Lord, reflected by Him externally’ (ibid.). Prakriti’s creative power of Maya ‘serves as the inanimate objective substance out of which all other insentient elements evolve. It is thus the substantive cause of numerous universes floating in it like bubbles in an ocean’ (ibid.).
The substantive cause of numerous universes floating in it like bubbles in an ocean
The necessity of solitude …
In our current Kali Yuga, those who seek Wisdom (jnana) and Liberation (moksha) from the endless rounds of birth and death understand the need for solitude. To gain access to the Real, we need to begin to hold our consciousness away from the ebb and flow of the collective.
We are living in an ocean of frequencies which affect and modify our behavior. These frequencies are born in the thoughts of others and wash over us like waves on the sea. They are emitted from friends and family, from television and radio, and even from passing strangers in the street. We need solitude.
Bhagavad Gita XIII.10
Loving all solitudes, and shunning noise
Of foolish crowds; endeavours resolute
To reach perception of the Utmost Soul,
And grace to understand what gain it were
So to attain, – this is true Wisdom, Prince!
And what is otherwise is ignorance!
In his commentary Abhinavagupta says that the realization that ‘there is nothing beyond’ the Supreme One, leads the yogin to ‘develop unwavering devotion to God’ (B.Marjanovic). Knowing God to be All, you begin to want only God. The company of those who are devoted to their own egos no longer interests you. You recognize the gunas at work in the small identity ego-self.
Man & His Becoming According to The Vedanta
Rene Guenon, 1925
Translated by Richard C. Nicholson
Sophia Perennis, 2001; Gent, NY
Studies in Hinduism
Rene Guenon, 1966
Translated by Henry D. Fohr
Sophia Perennis, 2001; Gent, NY
Translated by Swami Ambikananda Saraswati
Seastone, 2002; Berkley, CA
The Upanishads Volume Four
Translated by Swami Nikhilananda, 1959
Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1994; NY
Essence of the Exact Reality or Paramarthasara of Abhinavagupta
Translated by Dr. B.N. Pandit
Munishiram Manoharlal Publishers, 1991, Delhi