Aurangabad Study Circle:

Q) “Please explain how should we understand ‘Pancheekaran’ such as to bring it in our thought process for our Spiritual journey.”

Manish ji's reply:

[As understood by us]

A) “The process of evolution of the universe is as follows:

Trigunaatmika Maya (Sattva, Rajas, Tamas) is the Creative Power of the Brahman. From Maya, evolve the Tanmaatras (as they are called before their grossification) – Space, Air, Fire, Water, Earth: they are the five great elements in their subtlest & purest form. These five Tanmaatras have the three aspects of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas each.

From the Sattvik aspect of each Tanmaatra, individually the five sense organs of perception (Panch Gnyaanendriyas) are created. The Sattvik aspect of all the five Tanmaatras together creates Antahkaran (the four-fold equipment of Mann-Buddhi-Chitt-Ahankaar).

From the Raajasik aspect of each Tanmaatra, individually the five organs of action (Panch Karmendriyas) are created. Collectively, the Raajasik aspect of all five Tanmaatras create the five vital air (Panch-Praan).

From the Taamasik aspect of the five Tanmaatras evolve the gross five elements after amalgamation (pancheekaran). In this process, one-half of each element remains as it is, and gets amalgamated with one-eighth of each of the other four elements, to form the ‘grossified’ Panch Mahaabhoot. The Sthool Shareer or gross world of objects evolves from the composition of the five grossified elements.

Now, to answer your question as to how can one practically put this knowledge/understanding, into ones’ lives as Spiritual aspirants -

First of all, one realises, that since apparently everything has been created and further evolved from Brahman; Brahman becomes both, the Efficient and Material cause for this whole creation, though Brahman is the causeless Cause!!

Since we now know that the Antahkaran is made collectively of the the Sattvik aspect of Tanmaatras, and Jagat or the gross world is made up of the composition of the gross five Great elements after the process of amalgamation of the Tamasik aspect of Tanmaatras, it will not be proper to imagine Sattva (‘Sat’) out of this world which is made of the Taamasik (‘inertia’) aspect! Yet we continue to look for peace and joy in the world outside. Instead of continuously muddling the Antahkaran with Rajas and Tamas propelled by desires to look for Sattva in the outside world, we must try to give it a Sattvik field by becoming introverted through continuous and disciplined Scriptural studies, and practices like reflection and meditation. Our Rishis have given us their research work on Life in the form of Scriptures for our better understanding which should be studied with complete Shraddha. “

[Ref. Adi Shankaracharya’s Tattwa Bodh. Discourses by H H Maa Purnananda in USB drive audio / video available]