[Advaita-l] Tattvabodha of Adi Sankaracharya - 29

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 9 18:40:45 EST 2021

(Continued from previous post)
3.1.4 Evolution of the tAmasic aspect The process can be summarized as follows:
The evolution of tamas aspect (inertness
or ignorance) is explained by the a process
known as pancIkaraNam which can be briefly
described as follows: This is the way the five
basic subtler elements become grosser
elements and make up the gross body (sthUla
SarIra) as well as the gross world.
 eteShAM pa~nchatattvAnA.n tAmasA.nshAt
 pa~nchIkR^itapa~nchatattvAni bhavanti .
>From the tamas aspect of these five subtle
elements, the grossified five elements
pa~nchIkaraNa.n katham iti chet .
If it is asked, how panchIkaraNam
(grossification) takes place, (it is as follows).
 eteShAM pa~nchamahAbhUtAnA.n tAmasA.nshasvarUpam
 ekamekaM bhUta.n dvidhA vibhajya
a) The tamas aspect of each of the five basic
elements divides into two equal parts.
 ekamekamardhaM pR^ithak
b) One half remains itact.
 tUShNI.n vyavasthApya aparamaparamardha.n chaturdhA.n vibhajya
c) The other half of each gets divided into four
equal parts (which is 1/8).
 svArdhamanyeShu ardheShu svabhAgachatuShTayasa.nyojana.n
 kAryam .
d) To the intact-half of each element, a 1/8th
portion from each of the other four elements
gets joined.
 tadA pa~nchIkaraNaM bhavati .
e) Then pancIkaraNam is complete.
The process can be summarized as follows:
Sky = 1/2(S) + 1/8(A) + 1/8(W) + 1/8(F) + 1/8(E)
Air = 1/2(A) + 1/8(S) + 1/8(W) + 1/8(F) + 1/8(E)
Fire = 1/2(F) + 1/8(S) + 1/8(A) + 1/8(W) + 1/8(E)
Water = 1/2(W) + 1/8(S) + 1/8(F) + 1/8(A) + 1/8(E)
Earth = 1/2(E) + 1/8(S) + 1/8(F) + 1/8(W) + 1/8(A)
This means that every gross element is a
mixture of all five whereas, every subtle
element contains only that element. The subtle
element is called tanmAtrA. Even though each
of the gross elements is a mixture of five, they
are named after the element that is
predominant. For example, the gross Air
consists of the grossification of the tamas aspects
of 1/2 Air, 1/8th of Space, Fire, Water and
 etebhyaH pa~nchIkR^itapa~nchamahAbhUtebhyaH sthUlasharIraM
 bhavati .
>From these grossified elements, the gross body
is formed.
Thus the five grossified elements and their
combinations are responsible for the formation
of the gross body and the gross objective world.
 evaM piNDabrahmANDayoraikya.n sambhUtam .
Thus, there is identity between the microcosm
(piNDANDa) and macrocosm (brahmANDa).
The sUkshma Salira (individual level) and
sUkshma prapanca (samashTi level or total) have
the same basic elements in nature. Also, the
sthula SarIra (individual or vyashTi) and the
sthUla prapanca (total) have the same raw
material, namely the five elements. The five
gross elements are the effect (kAryam) from
brahman-mAyA couple. And, the author
concludes the section by saying that in creation
the individual, piNDa - (the microcosm) and the
total, brahmANDa - the macrocosm, are identical
in terms of their mater ial nature. Neither of these
is part of brahman, which is the fundamental
substance from which the entire universe is
made. Therefore, everything, sentient and
insentient, is made by brahman. Through the
attainment of Knowledge, one will be able to
experience the presence of brahman everywhere
and will be also able to see the identity between
the individual and the universe, or the
microcosm and the macrocosm.
This concludes the discussion on creation
(srushTi-prakaraNam). We will continue with
the discussion of Iswara in the next article.
Om, SAnti: SAnti: SAnti: |
1 Tattvabodha of Sankaracharya, Central
Chinmaya Mission Trust, Bombay. 1995.
2. Tattvabodha - Lectures by Swami
Paramarthananda, Chennai.
(Continued in next post)

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