Analysis of the Cosmos


In the analysis of the individual, we were seeing our life of becoming because of our superimposition of non ātmā which is mithyā (which existance depend upon satyam) to be ātmā which is satyam (which existance doesn't depend upon anything else, and it is of the nature of Sat-Cit-Ānanda (existance-consciousness-happiness)).


To know about the truth from the individual angle is not enough, because one can say that one is the truth of everything, but when it comes to related with others, then problems come. The entire teaching of the Veda can be said in only one sentence "tat tvam asi", you are that brahman who is the cause of the entire universe. Equation is made between seemingly two different entities. Therefore after analysis of the individual is done, we need to continue with the analysis of the cosmos, then equation can be made. Therefore ācārya said:


Atha caturviṁśati tattvotpattiprakāraṁ vakṣyāmaḥ.

Now (after the discussion centered on Ātma), we shall explain the mode of origin of the twenty-four essential principles / factor of the jagat-universe.


Brahmāśrayā sattvarajastamoguṇātmikā māyā asti.

Māyā is, with its being in Brahman, endowed with three gunas (qualities) sattva, rajas and tamas.


Brahman is another name of ātmā itself, also of the nature of Sat-Cit-Ānanda. But why we are using two different terms for the one and the same consciousness? Because when consciousness is seen in the individual angle which obtained in the specific body, we called it ātmā. And the same consciousness seen from the total standpoint is called Brahman. We take example of wave and ocean. From certain standpoint, we always make a different between waves, breakers, tsunami etc, but actually they are one ocean alone.


Brahman has the power to create called māyā, this power is depend upon Brahman to exist, therefore its not another different entity which exist independently. It means there are no two realities. This point is very important for us to understand, because if there are two realities, that means the total limitless I is not possible to be own-up because being limited by another reality, then total liberation is not possible for us.

In Brhadāranyakopanishad, there is a statement "dvitiyād-vai bhayam bhavati", fear comes only from a second.


Sattva, rajas and tamas are three qualities of māyā which account for the seeming plurality of the entire jagat. Therefore anything in this creation are endowed with these three qualities. Brahmāśrayā māyā means māyā is dependent on Brahman for its very existence. For this reason māyā is called mithyā, therefore the entire creation is also mithyā.


Sattva represents the faculty of knowledge (jñāna śaktih), rajas represents power of action (kriyā śakthi), and tamas is called the power of inertia (dravya śaktih). These śakti present in māyā and it's products which is the entire universe, but doesn't present in Brahman, therefore Brahman is called nirguna - attribute-less. Because it is attribute- less, therefore it is changeless - nirvikāram. On the contrary māyā is savikāram - subject to change. Let us understand how savikāram māyā evolve to this variety world.


Evolution of five fundamental elements

Tataḥ ākāśaḥ sambhūtaḥ. Ākāśād vāyuḥ. Vāyostejaḥ, Tejasa āpaḥ.

Aadbhyaḥ pṛthivī.

From that Brahman with māyā, space is born.

From space, air is born.

From air, fire is born.

From fire, water is born.

From water, the earth is born.


The world is presented in five-fold ways as pañca-bhūta five basic elements. These five elements are the product of Brahman with his māyā śaktih, therefore they are having the true nature of Sat-cit-ānanda Brahman, and also the three qualities of māyā.

All these are subtle elements that undergo the process of grossification. From the space which is most subtle, air is born. From air, fire is born. From fire, water is born. From water, the earth is born. Every element has sattva, rajas and tamas qualities as they are product of māyā. One thing we need to keep in mind here, these five elements are not the space, air, fire etc which we perceived, but they are the subtle form of those element we known.


From the sattva aspect of the five elements, comes the subtle sense organs.

Eteṣāṁ pañcatattvānāṁ madhye ākāśasya sāttvikāṁśāt śrotrendriyaṁsaṁbhūtaṁ. Vāyoḥ sāttvikāṁśāt tvagindriyaṁ saṁbhūtaṁ. Agneḥ sāttvikāṁśāt cakṣurindriyaṁ saṁbhūtaṁ. Jalasya sāttvikāṁśāt rasanendriyaṁ saṁbhūtaṁ.

Pṛthivyāḥ sāttvikāṁśāt ghrāṇendriyaṁ saṁbhūtaṁ.

Among these five elements, from the sāttvika aspect of space is born the organ of hearing.

From the sāttvika aspect of air is born the organ of touch.

From the sāttvika aspect of fire is born the organ of sight.

From the sāttvika aspect of water is born the organ of taste.

From the sāttvika aspect of earth is born the organ of smell.


These subtle sense organs are part of the subtle body, therefore its not our physical ears etc.


Elements Qualities Sattvika aspect of each elements (born) Space Sound Organs of hearing (subtle aspect)

Air Touch Organs of touch

Fire Form Organs of sight Water Taste Organs of taste

Earth Smell Organs of smell


This connection can be seen from our experience. Space is having the quality of sound, when space is there sound can takes place, and because there is sound then hearing can take place. Air is having 2 qualities: sound and touch, therefore when wind is blowing we can hear it and also can feel it on our skin. Next is fire which is the first element which can be perceived by eyes because it has form as it's quality, also adding on qualities sound and touch from previous elements as it's caused. Water can be heard, touched, seen and also taste. And all the five sense organs can operate on the earth or any earth products. One element is grosser then previous one and also carry the qualities of the previous elements.


Eteṣāṁ pañcatattvānāṁ samaṣṭisātvikāṁśāt manōbuddhyahankāra - cittāntaḥkaraṇāni sambhūtāni. Sankalpavikalpātmakaṁ manaḥ. Niścayātmikā buddhiḥ. Ahankartā ahankāraḥ. Cintanakartṛ cittam. Manasō dēvatā candramāḥ.Buddheḥ brahmā. Ahankārasya rudraḥ. Cittasya vāsudevaḥ.

From the total sāttvika aspect of these five elements are born the mind, intellect, ego, memory, called the inner instrument. Decision followed by doubt is the nature of the mind. Resolved ascertainment is the nature of the intellect. I am the doer, this sense is ego. Cittam is the thinking process in keeping with what has gone before (memory recollection). Candra the moon, is the presiding deity of the mind. Of the intellect, the presiding deity is Brahmā the creator. Of the ego, the presiding deity is Rudra. Vāsudeva is the presiding deity of cittam.


The five sense organs gather five sense objects as the data for the mind, therefore from the total of the sattvika aspect of five elements, the inner instruments are born. They are being categorised differently based on their functions, and also being blessed by each presiding deity.


Instrument Function Presiding deity

Manas/Mind Doubting Candra/moon

Buddhi/Intellect Ascertainment Brahmā/the creator

Ahankara/Ego I sense Rudra

Cittam/Memory Memory recollection Vāsudeva


Evolution of Rajasik aspect

Eteṣāṁ pañcatattvanāṁ madhye ākāśasya rājasāṁśāt vāgindriyaṁsambhūtam. Vāyōḥ rājasāṁśāt pāṇīndriyaṁ sambhūtam. Vahneḥ rājasāṁśāt pādēndriyaṁ sambhūtam. Jalasya rājasāṁśāt upasthendriyaṁ sambhūtam. Pṛthivyā rājasāṁśāt gudendriyaṁ sambhūtam. Eteṣāṁ samaṣṭirājasāṁśāt pañcaprāṇāḥ sambhūtāḥ.

From the rajas aspect of space, among these five elements, the organ of speech is born. From the rajas aspect of air, the organ of action called hand is born. From the rajas aspect of fire, the organ of movement called feet is born. From the rajas aspect of water, the organ of evacuation is born.

From the rajas aspect of earth, the organ of procreation is born. From the total rajas aspect of these five subtle elements, are born the five prānas (physiological functions).


Elements Rajasik aspect of each elements (born) Space Organs of speech (subtle aspect)

Air Organs of grasp/hand

Fire Organs of movement/feet Water Organs of evacuation

Earth Organs of procreation


From the total rajas aspect of theses five elements, five prāna are born.


From the tamas aspect of the five elements, comes the tangible world

Eteṣāṁ pañcatattvānāṁ tāmasāṁśāt pañcīkṛta pañcatattvāni bhavanti.

From the tamas aspect fo these five subtle elements, the five grossified elements are formed.


The five elements, space, air, fire, water and earth which we infer in the world, are from the tamas (inert) aspect of five great elements.


Pañcīkaraṇaṁ katham iti cet. Eteṣāṁ pañca mahābhūtānāṁ tāmasāṁśa svarūpam ekamekaṁ bhūtaṁ dvidhā vibhajya ekamekamardhaṁ pṛthak tūṣṇīṁ vyavasthāpya aparamaparamardhaṁ caturdhā vibhajya svārdhamanyēṣu ardhēṣu svabhāga catuṣṭayasaṁ yōjanam kāryaṁ. Tadā pañcīkaraṇaṁ bhavati.

If it is asked, how the process of making each element five-fold (take place)? Of these five great original elements, the tamas aspect of each elements dividing into two halves, one half (of each element) remaining distinct (without further division or combining); dividing the other half (of each element) four-fold. Combining each of these quarters with the other half of each element (which was undivided), is called pancikarana- grossification.


Etebhyaḥ pañcīkṛta pañcamahābhūtēbhyaḥ sthūlaśarīraṁ bhavati. Evaṁ piṇḍa brahmāṇḍayōraikyaṁ sambhūtam.

From these five elements which have undergone grossification (pancikaranam), the gross body is formed. In this manner, identity between microcosm (individual) and the macrocosm (cosmos) is born.


The gross body is formed from the tamas aspect of the five basic elements, because it is tamasik in nature therefore it is inert in nature. The physical body occupies space. There is air throughout the whole body. Whenever there is a blood cell, oxygen is there. Our body has temperature as the aspect of fire, and water is giving the body's shape. The minerals throughout the whole body are the aspect of the earth.

Our physical body is inert if our subtle body is not there. Just like all the objects in the world, even though they are inert, but they are not separated from the sat-cit-ananda svarūpa. Therefore everything here is Isvara without exceptional.

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