Adventures in Advaita Vedanta, the philosophy and science of spirit. We are one you and I; are you curious why?..


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Tri-gunaaH - Melting Pot

Hari Om

Each 'Choose-day' we will investigate the process by which we can reassess our activity and interaction with the world of plurality and become more congruent within our personality.

KINDLE LIFE. We continue exploring points raised by HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda-ji in the publication of this name. Remember, you can purchase, (very economically!), the book from  Chinmaya Mission Publications or if you prefer, the Amazon Link. Thus you can read Gurudev's words directly and bring your own voice to the discussion.

(We have been breaking up Chapter 26 of KL, firstly for length, but also for 'digestion'...mananam! It is hoped that you think deeply upon what you read, making notes and finding levels of inspiration. This is saadhana. To review the chapter so far, click the Choose-day label on right panel.)

"Yaa maa saa maayaa - that which is not, is Maya" was our discussion last week. Now the example of Somadatta's father.

One newly initiated hermit, during a pilgrimage, felt tired and weary as the day was burning hot.  He, seeing a shady spot near the Ganges' bank, took shelter there to rest.  There was a narrow piece of rock upon which he stretched himself, making comfy.  As he was dozing off, at that point just between waking and sleeping, his attention was attracted to two village girls who had come to collect water.  They filled their pots and went quietly away, but the visitors generated a line of thinking in the hermit.

"Why not? Certainly there is no harm.  Supposing I marry one of them, then I shall keep a small house...three rooms at least...and I shall be a very severe and grave husband…working my own fields.  I shall live a happy life of contentment and joy." The fellow goes off to the village and seeks out the girl whom he had favoured from the group. Later, he is well settled and he thinks, "The agrarian life suits me well. The harvest has been good and a little prosperity is ours.  Devi-wife is attentive and a mighty fine cook!"

Then the first born, yes a fat, beautiful son.  "Of course I must name him Somadatta..and we shall all three sleep happily in the bed together...but is there space for my son? Devi, please give some more space for our son, or he may fall out of the bed!"

"Husband, how can I? Move? To where?  You move a bit your side!"


Splash...gnuh..ghooooooo……… Poor 'Somadatta's father moved a little towards his side and the stone was narrow.  He lost balance and rolled into the waters of the Ganges! Awakened now, the hermit swam out.

Now, think, what made the hermit fall? After his awakening, where should he go to regain his young wife and child? The poor ब्रह्मचारिन्/brahmachaarin (monk/solitary one) created the world of Somadatta in himself and, identifying completely with it, came to live the dream-life as though 'real', thus suffered the fall.

So, too, Pure Eternal Self we all are, The Self, in a dream, has forgotten itself and is now dreaming its own samsaara, filled with Somadattas and Devis and so much more.  WAKE UP! Roll off your stone beds, dip into the cool waters of Ganges (Shruti/scripture) and get awakened fully.  End the undivine dream at one stroke.  The power of Somadatta's father, with which he lived his domestic life and ultimately fell down into the mighty river, is Maya - that which is not, existing in his own mind.

त्रिगुणाः/trigunaaH - three qualities.
Maya is manifested in the world as three distinct गुणाः/gunaaH - eternal qualities. The सत्त्व/sattva (unactivity), the रजस् /rajas (activity) and the तमस् /tamas (inactivity).  All the three qualities are ever in a state of flux, mixing more of one then another. Their proportions vary from individual to individual and the same individual will differ from time to time.

When the Supreme Reality gets reflected in the part of Maya which is predominantly sattvic (सत्त्व गुण प्रधान माया/sattva guna pradhaana maayaa), we get a very distinct and clear reflection of that Supreme; this is the "God" principle.  The reflection is dimmer in the sattva which has mixed with rajas and/or tamas (मलिन सत्त्व माया/malina sattva maayaa)… this becomes the ego-centric जीव/jiiva, individual mortal.  The "God" principle manifests itself around us, in the world outside, as three main accomplishments.  We observe that at every moment, things and beings are created (born) and destroyed (dead) and certainly between these two points of an unknown beginning and an equally uncertain end, we also watch things and beings maintained (living their existence). In order to facilitate the common man to grasp these three powers manifest about him, we have them represented as the Creator (ब्रह्मा/Brahmaa), Sustainer (विष्णु /Vishnu) and Destroyer (शिव/Shiva).

Image result for brahma vishnu shiva trinityTo create a pot, the potter must have pre-knowledge of what (and how) he is going to make; thus the creator must 'know' his creation, prior to the act itself. We have, thus, Brahmaa-ji married to सरस्वती /Sarasvatii, the goddess of learning and knowledge (the feminine side of creation). In order to sustain (maintain), we need the capacity for it, with power and skill - a pauper cannot head and maintain a family.  Thus we have लक्ष्मी/Lakshmii, goddess of wealth and plenty as consort of Vishnu-ji. Further, the act of destruction, the removal of that no longer required, requires that there be something there at first to be destroyed. In this manner then, the partner of Shiva-ji is the goddess उमा/Umaa who is none other than प्रकृति/prakRti - Mother Nature, the manifest world - which represents that even in destruction there is renewal. Even when the Trinity is thus shown to be three distinct, divine 'personalities', it is also shown clearly that they are distinct and separate divine powers.  The Oneness of them is the soulful song of the scriptures, but the subtle song is heard only by the most attentive and most cultured.  In satguru Sri दत्तत्रेय/Dattatreya, the teachers' teacher, we have a synthesis of all the three lords and in goddess दुर्गा/Durgaa, we have the representation of a total synthesis of the three consorts.

 Image result for dattatreya                                                  


Consider the play of Maya in existence. Ponder the elegance of the naming of the powers, those very processes which modern science is still trying so hard to explain.

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