In the previous episode, we had witnessed the extension of the discussion on the different “states” through which the world transcends every time – “Sthoola” and “Sookshma”. From yesterday’s explanation we witnessed that this process of transformation between the two states of “Sthoola” and “Sookshma” is a continuous cycle and is a perpetual one. It is only within this cycle that we as “Jeevaatmas” are stuck too! This is what we precisely call the “birth-and-death-cycle” too. How do we get ourselves released from this vicious cycle and reach Bhagawan? For this, Bhagawan has given us the golden opportunity of being born as a human being and has given us the apt infrastructure to perform spiritual practices so that we train our mind towards spiritual growth. It is now up to us to use this opportunity given by Bhagawan to utilize these “tools” and “guidelines” to attain “Moksha” and to liberate ourselves from this vicious cycle of birth and death.
Now moving on further, let us witness the next phase of answer given by Sage Sukhaachaarya. Here he is going to explain to King Parikshit as to how has Bhagawan created this world. Basically, as we might know well, this world comprises of two types of constituents – Living beings (Also called as “Chith” in Sanskrit) and non-living beings (Also called as “Achith” in Sanskrit). Living beings are of course ourselves (human beings), other kinds of animals, insects, reptiles, plants, trees, etc. Non-living beings are of course stones, sand, wood, etc. that do not have a life of their own. In fact, Sage Sukhaachaarya presents a very interesting point here – Bhagawan creates this world only from non-living beings – In other words, the table, chair, wood, body of animals, plants, also inclusive of our human body are all considered to be lifeless. It is to be noted that bodies of living beings are originally lifeless and they come to life only because of the “Aathman” (Soul) that is within them. Thus all of these so-called “non-living entities” are comprised of the five main elements of the world – “Prithivi” (Land), “App” (Water), “Tejas” (Fire), “Vaayu” (Wind) and “Aakaasha” (Sky or Open space). Thus, Bhagawan first created these five elements, also called the “Tathva”. This “Tathva” is like the nucleus for everything. It is only with this “Tathva” is Bhagawan going to create all other beings in this world. For instance, only if we have clay, we can make a pot. Only if we have wood and iron, we can make chairs, tables, etc. Thus for creating something, we need some “raw materials”, isn’t it? Similarly here, Bhagawan uses the “Tathva”, which comprises of the five main elements as the raw material to create the world.
In fact, this Tathva also is made of another raw material. This is called “Ahankaara”. Readers should be careful here, not to get confused. I shall explain it in a simpler way – The world is created out of the five elements, which are collectively called as “Tathva”. This “Tathva” is created from something called as “Ahankaara”. This “Ahankaara” is created from another raw-material called “Mahaa”. This “Mahaa” is created from a raw material called “Prakriti”. Thus we can see here that all of us living beings are created from “Prakriti” and this is why we’re called as “Praakrita” objects. However, this term called “Praakrita” is valid only until the point we’re living in this world with this physical body. Once we reach Moksha, we would then be called “Apraakrita”. The “Aprakrita” objects are not derived from “Prakriti” and hence the name. Thus we should understand here that those objects and entities that are made out of “Prakriti” are the ones that are subjected to creation and destruction with the passage of time.
Thus, “Prakriti” gives rise to “Mahaa”. “Mahaa” gives rise to “Ahankaara”. This “Ahankaara” is used by Bhagawan to create the five elements – “Prithivi”, “App”, “Tejas”, “Vaayu” and “Aakaasha”. From these five elements, arise all living and non-living beings in this world! I hope our readers are now getting more clarity on this subject.
Now moving on to the subsequent context, these five elements have their own characteristics. For instance, “Prithivi” (Land) has a characteristic called “Smell” or “Vaasana”. Many of us might have the experience of getting the smell of earth – Especially when it starts to rain! “Aakaasha” (Open space) has the characteristic of “Sound” (“Sabdha”) . “Vaayu” has the characteristic called “Sparsha”, which is “Touch” or “Feel”. If we experience breeze flowing towards us, we feel so pleasant and relaxed, isn’t it? “Tejas” has the characteristic of “shine” and “glitter” (“Roopam”). If we witness fire, we of course can see it with a glow, isn’t it? Next is “App” or Water. Water is characterized with “Taste”. If we drink water, we discover many tastes from it, isn’t it? This is called as “Rasa”. Thus, “Sabhdha”, “Sparsha”, “Roopa”, “Rasa” and “Vaasana” are the five important characteristics that the five elements of the earth possess.
Next, comes the five senses. In order to experience these five characteristics, Bhagawan creates one sense organ for each of the characteristic. For instance, to experience sound, we have ears. To experience touch, we’ve got our skin. To experience taste, we’ve got our tongue. To experience smell, we’ve got our nose. To experience the vision of the glitter and shine, we’ve got eyes.
So for today, let us recollect and understand all of these points. Readers are requested to take adequate notes of all these points for remembrance and understanding. We still have five more elements to look into. Let us wait till the next episode to continue this discussion further! Stay tuned! 😊