Hinduism/ Sanatan Dharma has very deep statements which cannot be understood but need to be experienced. My Guru would talk about things and we all used to listen. But it is only with practice that some of his statements are making more sense now.
There is only one origin called the ‘Nirvishesh Brahma’, the ‘intelligence where differentiation does not exist’ or Parabrahma, the ‘beyond intelligence’. This is the goal of each soul, your and my personal spiritual evolution leads here. This is the Ultimate Creator.
The first creation was duality, ie observer-performer energy was created. The Para creates infinite numbers of observer-performer pairs. The observer energy is called the Purush and the performer energy is called the Prakruti. Prakruti is said to be feminine as the energies are active, kinetic, capable of responding, changeable. Purush is said to be masculine as these energies are still and unchanging but are capable of eliciting a response. (The Purush and Prakruti are not a physical man and a woman, there is no sexism in the spiritual context.)
Only Advaita as discussed by Adi Shankaracharya is subtle and deep enough to pierce through all duality. It can take you upto the Real Creator, the Parabrahma. Advaita is referred to as ‘Non-duality’. It can be only expressed as a negation as what it really is cannot be described in the words of this creation, it needs to be experienced. This is the Reality which you and me actually desire to experience. Sankhya-shastra is a method analysing intelligence, energy, matter and the rest of it. This is a discriminative, rational, calculative and deliberate instrument directed to the understanding the Self. Sankhya is a prelude to the understanding of the Advaita.
The Prakruti is called Lalita, the one who plays the game. This game is of her devising, created out of her own energies, occurs within her and is not separate from her. The entire performance occurs within the energies of the performer. All creation theories or even modern science describe this Game that she plays, the secondary creation of the manifested Universes. These theories are limited to only Prakruti and the processes that go on with her body. These do not describe the Purush as they have not reached so deep within. And neither do they take you upto your reality, ie the Parabrahma.
In my earlier posts, I have written about Prakruti and her active role in creating, maintaining, evolving and finally destroying the manifested. Whatever you see around you, your body, mind, environment, etc is all Prakruti. Now there is one twist here. Prakruti is described as being ‘Jada’ जड. She is without animation, insensate, still, lifeless, paralysed, numb, dull, stunned, cold, apathetic as Jada means ‘matter without Intelligence’. She is capable of motion but incapable of initiating the motion herself. She does not have the intelligence or the consciousness. So why does the Prakruti start her performance? What caused her to move, to start Playing?
The reason is the catalyst, the Purush.
The Purush has a very important role in all this Play. The Purush is called the ’Sakshi’ in Sanskrit. This word is usually translated to mean a witness or an observer. This is slightly incorrect as Devbhasha Samskrutam is a palimpsest, the deeper you go the more meanings you understand. Sakshi is a compound word ‘Akshasya sah’. Sakshi is the ‘intelligence which accompanies the Axis on which the individual soul exists’. Or the ‘self-awareness of the Pivot of the wheel of creation’.
Purush is Aware Intelligence.
The Purush is the catalyst. He, by his mere presence causes the Prakruti to start her performance. But the Purush does not interact with any other energy or get involved in any way. Purush is the ever-existing, steady, ever-pervading Intelligence. He doesn’t change and neither does he interfere. Manifested creation happens just because he exists. His existence is the reason why Prakruti goes about creating.
There are catalysts in every system, eg enzymes are catalysts in biology, they bring about all the cellular life processes but remain unchanged and unaffected. In chemistry, the neutrons are Sakshi, they do not participate but their presence makes things happen, eg electrons are captured by protons and chemical reactions take place. It is the same with the creation, Prakruti performs just because the Purush is there. Matter moves just because of the presence of the Purush.
In our usual life we all are actors, we perform. A very simplistic example, I interact with my son. I get cross and tell him to clean his room, he is irritated but cleans it. Both of us have changed. I was irritated, now I am satisfied. He was irritated, now he is tired. And a new reality has come to being, the room is clean. So two energies interacted and changed themselves and also changed the environment. This has happened within the realm of Prakruti. Emotions, physical realities which are capable of being changed are part of Prakruti and occur within her body.
Now if you look around you, there are also catalysts/ sakshi everywhere. These Sakshi do not engage with anyone else nor do they change, but events occur around them because of their mere presence. A very simplistic example again, I am at home just sitting and reading, my son comes home and because I am sitting there, carefully removes his shoes and puts them on the rack. I didn’t even look at him. But my mere presence, the catalyst, made him ‘perform’.
My Guru would say that I must bring in the ’Sakshi-bhaav’ into myself, ie bring into myself the reality of the Sakshi. He was telling me to be the unchanging center around which the whirl of creation unfolds. To change my perception from the ‘matter’ component to the ‘intelligence’ component. But how do I bring in this ‘consciousness’ within me? How can I stop being involved in ‘matter’. All my senses, my organs of action are oriented towards matter. I smell, taste, touch, move.. matter. I perceive only matter whirling around me.
The solution is to do Dhyan, when you sit still and focus only at your Ajnya chakra you are focussing on your personal consciousness. The Ajnya chakra is the seat of the individual consciousness. Once you identify with the fragment of the Ultimate consciousness within you rather than the matter swirling around you, your evolution gets easier.
Route from the Ajnya chakra to the Sahasrara and the Bindu within the Sahasrara gets easier. This is real evolution.
But when you are just starting your spiritual practice you cannot experience or imagine or visualise or even think of such subtle energies. So you start the ‘observe yourself’ thingie again by observing whatever is visible at your third eye during Dhyan. Dispassionately, you close your eyes and focus at your third eye. In the physical body, you, the individual consciousness, reside at the third eye Ajnya chakra. You start your practice of observing yourself from this chakra. Initially you see just darkness here. As your practice deepens you will observe yourself in all your increasing higher energy levels.
You have to traverse a distance of ’10 fingers’ from the third eye chakra to the top of the head. All this practice for this seemingly tiny thing!
The Sakshi is the pivot, the axis around which change occurs. The Sakshi is essential for evolution. Matter by itself cannot move. Intelligence makes it move, evolve. Consciousness is steady, it does not change, it remains constant, it is. This principle is applicable everywhere, from biology, chemistry to spiritual evolution. When you become your own catalyst, you further your own spiritual evolution.
thanks for the article and examples which made it easy to understand. Will be grateful if you can guide on below:
Experiencing the Saakshi every moment: let’s take an example of me fighting with someone. Instantly mind will rake up thoughts of rage or harm or defense; buddhi will allow us to consider what is legal &/or good for us and Saakshi is the one who is watching both mind/buddhi?