Struggle and Progress
The centrifugal movement that starts from the Macrocosmic Nucleus and moves towards crudity is called the process of Saiṋcara. What influence does the centrifugal force of Saiṋcara exert on the microcosmic body and Macrocosmic body?
In the process of Saiṋcara (the first half of the Cosmic cycle) the centrifugal force acts on the Cognitive Faculty, bringing Its unit expressions under ever cruder bondage. This centrifugal force of Saiṋcara results in the creation of a centripetal force in material structure. The more the process of Saiṋcara advances, the greater its momentum, and the stronger the internal force of attraction within the structure. When a molecule comes in contact with another molecule the inter-molecular gap decreases. This is what we call crudification.
So when the centrifugal force is greater than the centripetal force in the Cosmic body, in the microcosmic body the centripetal force is greater than the centrifugal force. Microcosms are attracted to the Supreme Nucleus with the same amount of centripetal force as the Macrocosmic body is distanced from Its Nucleus due to the centrifugal force, and vice versa.
When the centripetal force is greater than the centrifugal force in the Cosmic Cycle there emerges mutual repulsion amongst the component units of the material structure which leads to increasing subtlety. There arises a love and attachment for the Cosmic Mind and a limitless thirst for Supreme Bliss. In this stage the Microcosm is subjected to the centrifugal force which causes atoms and molecules to be mutually repelled. The strength of the force with which atoms are repelled from each other is the same as the strength of the force with which they are attracted to the Macrocosm.
When the centrifugal force of the Cosmic Cycle in Saiṋcara remains dominant, one particle comes in closer contact with another particle – their relative distance decreases. This decrease in the inter-molecular and inter-atomic gaps causes physical objects to be further crudified. In this process of gradual crudification a stage comes when the Cosmic Mind can hardly be called “mind”, but, having come within the scope of sense-perception, should be called “bhúta” or fundamental factor. The fundamental factor which first comes into being is ákásha or ethereal factor. The crudest stage of the Cosmic Mind and the subtlest stage of the ethereal factor are virtually indistinguishable.
The ethereal factor is also changeable, having variations in its degree of subtlety and crudity. Just as the subtlest stage of the ethereal factor is no different from the crudest stage of the Macrocosmic Mind, similarly, the crudest stage of the ethereal factor is nothing but the subtlest stage of the subsequent aerial factor. It is due to the decrease in the gaps between particles that the ethereal factor, at a certain stage, comes to be known as the aerial factor.
With the decrease in internal gaps there is a simultaneous increase in internal friction. If the strength of the centrifugal force of the Cosmic Cycle is less than the centrifugal force that first emanated from the Macrocosmic Nucleus, the centrifugal force generated within the material structure remains less than the centripetal force. As a result, in spite of the internal centrifugal force within the material structure, the extro-internal force remains dominant. It is for this reason that the internal force within the fundamental factors remains dominant during the process of Saiṋcara. When the centrifugal force exerts all its power in the process of gradual crudification, there is a simultaneous increase in the internal friction or centripetal force within the material structure. A stage comes when the centripetal and centrifugal forces are evenly balanced. That is the nadir point of crudification.
From the aerial factor evolves the luminous factor, from the luminous factor evolves the liquid factor, and from the liquid factor evolves the solid factor. When the particles of a structure come in close proximity to each other as a result of the action of the centripetal force(which is a reaction to the centrifugal force), the internal centrifugal force becomes less than the extro-internal force, and the process of crudification continues, but only to a certain level. A stage comes when the centrifugal and centripetal forces become evenly balanced. As soon as that stage is reached the Macrocosmic centripetal force increases. This results in a decrease in the intensity of the centripetal force within the material structure giving scope for greater internal friction. This is the state of maximum crudification.
With the increase in the degree of crudification of the fundamental factors, the clash within microcosmic structures gradually increases. To describe this clash I have used the term saḿgharśa (friction). In the flow of Saiṋcara this increase in friction and the process of evolution of an object are inseparably linked. But in the stage of Puruśottama, when Prakrti lies dormant, and the process of evolution is unborn, there is no friction because the fundamental factors have not yet come into being.
The factor in which the degree of friction becomes extreme is the solid factor. The crudest stage of the liquid factor is the subtlest stage of the solid factor. What is the crudest stage of the solid factor? I shall explain this a little later.
In this connection it should be understood that the philosophical term bhúta is different from the scientific term “element”. The Saḿskrta equivalent for element is maolika padártha. Philosophically, bhúta means that which has been created, that which is recognized as a factor (tattva). In the world there are many elements, but only five bhútas, five fundamental factors.
The fundamental factors are determined by certain characteristics. Those factors that have the capacity to carry the inference of sound come within the scope of the ethereal factor. Those factors which carry two inferences, sound and touch, are known as the aerial factor, which is not visible to the eye. The luminous factor carries three inferences, sound, touch and form, and due to its greater crudity comes within the scope of visibility. The nebulae and the sun belong to this luminous factor. The crudest stage of the aerial factor and the subtlest stage of the luminous factor are the same. Of course, there are variations in the degree of crudity within the same fundamental factors. Thus although the sun and nebulae both belong to the luminous factor, the sun is much cruder than the nebulae.
Let us return to our previous discussion about the crudest stage of the solid factor. Each factor is going through the process of gradual metamorphosis in the flow of saiṋcara. Even no two molecules are uniform as far as the degree of crudification is concerned. Of all the fundamental factors, the solid factor is the most perceptible because it contains five inferences, and its degree of friction is the highest. What is the resultant of the extreme friction within the solid structure? The resultant is the gradual increase in the inter-molecular gap. This increase is inspired by the force of Macrocosmic attraction (the sentient force which enhances the strength of the centrifugal force, as a reaction, within the material structure) causing the conversion of matter into mind. But the mind that first originates in the process of introversive movement is a very undeveloped stage of mind. Thus the direct resultant of the crudest solid is the crudest mind.
This resultant is the first stage of Pratisaiṋcara. Mind does not emerge from the solid factor under all circumstances. For the preservation and proper functioning of the unit mind, the solid factor as well as the other four factors have to be metamorphosed into the chemical compound we call the human body. For the preservation of this human body, food, drink, air and light are necessary. It is not possible for the mind to evolve in an environment which does not have an adequate supply of these essential requirements.
When the solid factor does not get the opportunity to be converted into mind, it is automatically further crudified in the process of Saiṋcara. Instead of calling excessively crude matter the direct resultant of crudification of matter, it is better to call it the indirect resultant of the crudification of matter. Of course this extremely crudified object is nothing but matter. And the direct effect of matter is mind. So when materialists observe that mind comes out of matter, they are right. But remember, matter itself comes out of Macrocosmic Mind: both are composed of the same stuff.
Now what is the function of this unit mind that evolves from solid matter? To meet the primary needs of the physical body, the fundamental factors have to bring about necessary changes in structural complexity. Although the mind draws its sustenance from the organic structure, its function is also to preserve the organic structure. In the initial stage this is the main function of the mind. This primary stage of mind is called kámamaya kośa. Eating, procreating, and so on, are the functions of the kámamaya kośa. The minds of undeveloped unicellular organisms are nothing more than kámamaya kośa. How do the higher kośas evolve out of the kámamaya kośa? The mutual conflict between the physical components of the body (which follow the laws of Saiṋcara) and the mind (which follows the laws of Pratisaiṋcara) is called physical clash. That physical clash forms the subtler manomaya kośa out of the stuff of the kámamaya kośa. But where mind cannot evolve from matter, matter undergoes further crudification and finally explodes in the process of Jadasphota. Jadasphota causes the internal force of the material structure to be suddenly released, and generates tremendous heat in some portion of the universe. This is why I once said that the universe as a whole will never meet with thermal death.
Physical clash leads to psychic progress. But is absolute psychic progress possible through physical clash alone? No. Apart from physical clash, psychic clash and attraction of the Great are necessary. The mind that evolves from the solid factor as a result of physical clash gradually takes the form of manomaya kośa from the initial stage of kámamaya kośa. If there is only physical clash, the kośas higher than manomaya kośa cannot be developed. Extreme physical clash can only mature or perfect the lower kośas.
Human beings who live in hostile or uncongenial environments are far more dynamic than those who live in areas where the struggle for existence is minimal. Those who maintain their existence through greater physical clash are said to be engaged in shákta sádhaná. But physical clash alone can only lead to a certain level of psychic progress. To progress beyond that psychic clash is required.
Through study, analysis, verification, listening to scriptural discourses, constant contemplation, and meditation unit minds acquire psychic power from the Cosmic Mind. To produce friction or commotion in others’ minds by proper application of these psychic powers is called psychic clash. Those who are mentally inert, who are blindly attached to old worn-out ideas, will no doubt refuse to accept new ideas, but questions will nevertheless arise in their minds. Constant psychic clash will cause their blind attachment for the old to gradually weaken.
When the ancient people were faced with immense obstacles, they would perform sacrificial ceremonies for the propitiation of the gods, for they were not acquainted with the scientific methods to surmount those obstacles. They thought that there was no difference between the smoke produced by burning ghee in fire and the clouds in the sky. They were unaware that the former is composed of unburnt carbon-particles of ghee and the latter are basically a combination of hydrogen and oxygen which appears to be blackish under certain circumstances. Even today if people misuse ghee by burning it in a sacrificial fire, they certainly do it out of total ignorance.
If people’s blind attachment to sacrificial rituals and love for outmoded customs are intense, they will not disappear when confronted with logical arguments or shaken by the first jolt caused by psychic clash. But if one can create a suitable environment of constant psychic clash their blind attachments are bound to disappear. Some people believe that the fragrance of the sacrificial smoke purifies the air and kills germs. This is not true. On the contrary, the increase in the amount of carbon particles makes the air more impure. A highly pungent smell is much more effective in destroying germs. Thus, due to the impact of constant psychic clash, people eventually understand the defects of old systems and ideas. Through physical clash the kámamaya and manomaya Kośas can be developed, and through psychic clash the higher kośas can be developed.
Those who want to avoid the cultivation of knowledge hardly get any opportunity for psychic clash, and hence the higher kośas of his mind do not get any scope for development. It is through psychic clash that the psychic field gets properly tilled, thereby increasing its fertility. All living beings evolving in the phase of Pratisaiṋcara benefit from this psychic clash.
Both physical clash and psychic clash accelerate psychic progress. The rat which escapes from the trap never makes the mistake of getting caught again; the fish which frees itself from the fisherman’s hook never bites the bait again. Physical clash develops the kámamaya kośa and, as a consequence, the instinct to survive. A city ox walks confidently along a busy street in Calcutta, but if a village ox were made to walk along the same road, it would become crazy.
Psychic clash enables one to make rapid psychic progress along the path of Pratisaiṋcara and deepen one’s thinking capacity. The psychic clash caused when undeveloped minds come in contact with developed minds further accelerates the rate of psychic progress in the flow of Pratisaiṋcara. A monkey is more developed than a dog, having advanced further along the path of Pratisaiṋcara. Yet a pet dog, benefiting from the psychic clash resulting from its contact with human beings, becomes more advanced in knowledge than other dogs, and even other monkeys. A monkey trained by human beings is far more advanced intellectually than a wild monkey. If a monkey becomes intellectually developed its brains cells will have to be kept engaged in more complicated activities to give proper expression to its evolved thinking. This will result in a change in the size of its brain. If its brain outgrows the size of the cranium, it will require the more developed body and brain of a human being. Similarly the dog which makes tremendous psychic progress after being trained by a human being will require a more developed structure to express its increased psychic potentialities. In such circumstances there will be a rapid progress in the phase of Pratisaiṋcara. Such rapid change can also take place in the phase of Saiṋcara through scientific efforts. So you understand that psychic clash is not at all negligible. Rather, with the cultivation of knowledge, microcosms can make galloping progress along the path of Pratisaiṋcara.
One may conclude theoretically that a highly evolved monkey and the most backward human are almost similar. An underdeveloped human being will make rapid progress after coming in contact with more advanced human beings. The same applies to cows, horses, dogs and monkeys. After coming in contact with evolved human beings they get the scope to be reborn as human beings.
Animals lack a brain developed enough to contain a greater intelligence, and thus do not have the capacity to perform spiritual practice. This is not to say that animals are not entitled to spiritual practice. On the contrary, had their bodies and brains been more developed, they would have certainly had the opportunity to perform spiritual practice. The characteristics of a physical structure are determined by the nature of the brain. So by looking at the physical structure of a living being one can have a rough idea about the degree of its intellect or intelligence.
As some psychic propensities have a tendency to flow towards matter, even evolved human beings can be transformed into inert matter if they fall prey to those psychic propensities. Hence all human beings should carefully avoid bad company. Due to mean psychic ideation the human mind may imbibe animal tendencies or may even degenerate to a stage cruder than that. Once the mind degenerates to the inertness of stone, the physical body will also be converted into stone. In Indian mythology there is a beautiful story illustrating this point. Due to her mean thoughts Ahalya was turned into inert stone. However, by the grace of Parama Puruśa, she was later reconverted into a human being.
When the mind evolves in a physical structure, it becomes responsible for the maintenance of that structure. That initial state of mind, the kámamaya kośa, is only concerned about the needs of the physical body. Thereafter, in the flow of Pratisaiṋcara, one’s unit mind comes in contact with other unit minds which leads to psychic clash. In this way the hopes and aspirations, the pains and pleasures of ones own mind becomes interrelated to and interdependent on other minds. This mutual relationship is a kind of psychic clash. And even greater psychic clash occurs when people try to derive mutual benefit through rational intellectual pursuit. Therefore in our society the cultivation of knowledge is an indispensable necessity. Those who avoid good company (satsauṋga), study of good books (svadhyaya), uplifting discourses and healthy analyses cannot develop any kośa (layer of mind) higher than kámamaya kośa. Animals dominated by the kámamaya kośa find pleasure in snatching away morsels of food from others mouths, and in depriving others of their right to live, because they look upon this world with a narrow body-centred outlook.
With the development of higher kośas through the process of psychic clash the existential feelings of human beings do not remain confined to their physical bodies alone but spread to those around them. Initially they think about the welfare of the members of their own families, but with the gradual evolution of their minds, they see themselves as members of a global society and become actively engaged in promoting the well-being of all. This gradual process of evolution leads the unit mind towards the Macrocosmic mind.
The ensconcement in the Macrocosmic stance is not possible through morality alone. “I will speak the truth, I will not harm anyone” – This simple morality alone cannot take human beings very far along the path of progress. So-called moralists can all too easily degrade themselves under the nefarious influence of evil company. The only way to advance is to follow the path of vigorous spiritual practice. To repeat high-sounding words of morality like a parrot, while cherishing narrow sentiments within one’s mind, will not take one far.
To effect psycho-spiritual expansion constant spiritual practice is a must. I have called this spiritual practice “attraction of the Great”. Through physical or psychic clash absolute self expansion is not possible; even the awakening of hiranmaya kośa is not possible. Of course physical clash can take a person a certain distance, but not to the final destination. I have already said that only when attraction of the Great is supreme can the centrifugal force within the microcosm become strong enough to lead an entity to liberation or salvation. Where there is no attraction for the Great, no matter how intellectual or moral a person might be, his or her entire existence will be dominated by the kamamaya kośa. Out of narrow self interest, such a person will betray low morals at every step in live. Those who have no love for the Supreme may be considered as humans today, but tomorrow will surely degenerate into animals like dogs, and the day after into inert bricks or stones.
Now a question a may arise: Since animals cannot act independently, and thus cannot discriminate between virtue or vice (only developed human beings can do that), why do some animals live in constant pleasure while other animals undergo constant pain? Why are some dogs treated lovingly, fed tasty food, and driven around in cars, their heads stuck out of the window to enjoy the fresh breeze; while other dogs are forced to eat out of dustbins to survive, or are shot by hunters’ bullets, or are run over by passing cars? The answers to these question have already been given: in most cases the psychic clash caused by these incidents, under the direction of Prakrti, helps to accelerate the dogs’ psychic development.
In the attraction of the Great lies the secret of greater well-being. You will have to rush towards the fundamental Source of the entire creation. You will have to merge your individual stance in the Absolute Stance of the Supreme Transcendental Entity. You will have to advance at a speed greater than that of ordinary microcosms in the Cosmic Cycle.
Having accelerated your speed, if you embrace the force of Vidya, rejecting Avidyá, you will certainly reach the Macrocosmic Nucleus. If Non-attributional Brahma and not Puruśottama is accepted as the goal one will transcend the Cosmic Cycle. This transcendence is not affected by the centrifugal force of Macrocosmic Nucleus, because that force is confined to the periphery of Saguna Brahma. One will have to transcend the Cosmic Cycle with the help of the Cognitive Force. To become one with the Macrocosm is called liberation, and to transcend the periphery of the Cosmic Cycle and becomes one with the Non-attributional stance is called salvation. The Tangential Entity which connects the path of liberation and the path of salvation, who, although infinite, comes within the domain of the finite, is called Táraka Brahma. Whether you want to become one with Puruśottama, or one with the Non-attributional Stance, or one with Táraka Brahma, you will have to continue your spiritual pursuit, you will have to surrender yourself to the force of attraction of the Great.
The one performing sádhaná must be ever vigilant to ensure that the small “I” cannot hinder spiritual progress. The ego that can so easily develop on the path of knowledge and action may not develop at all on the path of devotion. A spiritual aspirant must take the help of devotion at the final stage of spiritual attainment. If ego remains, even on the path of devotion, the best way to counteract it is to superimpose Cosmic ideation on the small I-feeling through devotion. Intelligent people should understand that the objects their ego uses as its support may not last long. The vanity of power of today will disappear tomorrow; the leader of today may be thrown out of office tomorrow (those who clamour for a chance to garland them today will not even cast a glance at them tomorrow); a man swollen with the pride of scholarship today may become mentally abnormal tomorrow – people will point at him and say, “See that lunatic over there, he used to be great scholar”.
The vanity expressed by the so-called civilized human beings of today is extremely dangerous. These people hide the cruder propensities of the mind under the cloak of sweet words and decent behaviour. They are more harmful to the well-being of the human race than the so-called uncivilized humans, because they are hypocrites. The defects of the uncivilized humans pale into insignificance before their abominable hypocrisy. The uncivilized humans of the past may have killed twelve people at most in the battles they fought with bows, arrows, sticks and spears, but the so-called civilized human beings of today kill millions of unarmed, innocent people indiscriminately with their dreadful and lethal weapons. Human society of today is being exploited by the so-called civilized people. Such people should not make themselves look ridiculous by claiming otherwise.
All entities must advance along the path of progress. This evolution will lead to the expansion of the psychic arena and, ultimately, liberation. This struggle for liberation is the struggle against those forces which attempt to thwart one’s psychic expansion. These are one’s enemies. Through meditation and contemplation one must surrender oneself at the altar of the Almighty, merging one’s finite identity into the Infinite. Only by surrendering one’s mind to the vast Macrocosm and becoming one with the Supreme Consciousness can one attain final salvation. The struggle for salvation is the struggle against those forces which strive to prevent one’s total self surrender to the Supreme.
Never retreat. Keep advancing, and you will certainly attain the highest fulfillment of your existence.