In Sanatan Dharm/Hinduism, you acknowledge the essential consciousness in everything.
There are things which cannot be perceived by the limited organs of sense. There are also things beyond the manifested, beyond the Panch-bhoot. Once you realise this, you will try to go beyond these limits of the gross.
When you eat a sweet, you experience it with your five sense organs. But what of the subtle energies of the sweet? (I and my colleagues went out for a really super lunch last week. It was prepared by someone with a really evil mindset, so I stopped after eating one bite, but it was enough to give me mild food poisoning. I cannot perceive this energy with my gross senses.) Can you experience the weight of a speck of dust? Or the blast of a supernova? No, you cannot, not with these limited senses.
So the objective has always been to go beyond the limits of the physical. The last frontier so as to speak! Ultimately the desire is the to re-experience the Soul and beyond it consciously. You are called the individual soul/Jivatma and you desire to transcend this and re-experience the Eternal Soul/Paramatma.
A individual soul consists of 24 distinct attributes/Tattva.
To recap, the Singular Parabrahma creates Duality, Purush-Prakriti. Prakruti is the first Essence of Creation/tattva, and is composed of the three Gun, Satva, Raja and Tama. When the balance between these 3 gun is spontaneously disturbed Creation occurs. First to be created is Mahat-Buddhi, the second tattva. The next to be created is the Aham-kaar, self ego.
Now further. Raja-Gun again acts on Mahat-Buddhi and the 3rd tattva called Aham-kaar manifests. Whenever something has to be created, Raja-Gun, personified as Brahmadev and his wife Sarasvati, provides the energy. Aham-kaar, Aham karoti iti, is the personal identity, ‘I’, ‘Mine’, self-ego, individuality. It’s function is to bind the soul more tightly with self-referential behaviour.
In this ‘I’, reside the Vasana, वासना, the roots of desire. Vasana is also a Sanskrit word which means – longing, idea, imagination, regard, respect, confidence, false notion, liking, inclination, expectation, the present consciousness of past perceptions, impressions remaining unconsciously and Vasana is also a meter (Chhand छन्द) in Sanskrit prosody (so it is a sort of vibration ultimately). These ‘Vasana’ are created by interaction of the Gun, Satva, Raja and Tama with Mahat-Buddhi and Aham-kaar, all powered by Prakruti. These Vasana are linked to your past actions, your conscience has judged them. Those actions which were acceptable to your Antaratma/ conscience, their essences reside as ‘Dharm’ the correct foundation, and those which were against your conscience, are the ‘Adharma’ foundations of demerit. Both these foundations influence the ‘I’ and the Mahat-Buddhi above it. Vasana are the seeds of karma and are required to be rebalanced. (Prakruti powers all these actions and also differentiates her own self accordingly. All these things are happening within Her and are Her.)
Now Aham-kaar will evolve further, in two different ways. It will be modified by Satva with Raja. Ot it can be modified by Tama with Raja. It creates the Indriya as per the table above. These Indriya इन्द्रिय are the parts of the body, vigour, power, organs, senses etc of the body and also their ability to act/sense.
- The power of the 5 organs of senses and power of the 5 organs of action are a total more 10 tattvas. These 10 combine to produce another distinct tattva called the Manas मानस (imagination, belief, thought, idea, view).
- The Pancha-bhoot are again 5 separate tattva and the 5 tan-matra are also 5 distinct tattva.
Thus the Prakruti and her energies make up the 24 tattvas of creation.
The 25th tattva is the Purush who does not take part in this game of Prakruti, but just witnesses.
So when you get on the path of re-experience, you dissolve these tattvas. This process happens when you start your spiritual practice, Dhyan and only during this time when you are sitting on your Asan. When you are manipulating pran and then kundalini you are not completely in this manifested world. You are exploring the way back, you are in the energy of the joint/Sandhya.
So first you experience everything that you can with your senses, you have been doing this for several lives now. You sense the gross atoms and the molecules, the lowest manifested energy levels. You cannot go on eating sweets for ever after you get satisfied. There would be no meaning to such a life. So, you move on to the subtler and the subtlest things. But then to experience the subtle you need power the subtle senses.
So it first starts with the 21 lower tattvas merging back into the Self-Ego/Aham-kaar. In this phase you remember to sense and act directly through your ajnya chakra, using your intention and directly powering it from the pran from the Universe. I have written about small exercises where you can exercise your subtle energy, like seeing aura, telekinesis, distant vision, telepathy, seeing the future/past/parallel. These are just small reminders that there is more!
It may seem difficult when you are reading all this, but it is the easiest thing! You have the power of creation with you, so use this power. Create the intention that you wish to re-experience Your Real Self. The Prakruti will provide her energy to this intention.
In Sanatan Dharm, you will find most spiritual aspirants will have the Devi, the Goddess as their Isht devata. It may be Gayatri, Laxmi or Chamunda, these are the forms of the Prakruti, the tattva which actually forms the entire creation out of her energies. Doing Devi Sadhana always gives faster results. When you do a mantra-jaap linked to Her energy, you are giving a direction to her spontaneous release of her energy. This energy then drives your intention of Soham and takes you there. The process is faster if you do a mantra jaap in addition to the essential Dhyan.
But all said and done, your only work is to sit on your Asan, focus on your third eye and mentally recite Soham 108 times with your 108 breaths. (1/2/3 times a day as possible). It has to be a regular thing, every day (except for 5 days off for women in their monthly cycle.) This is all you need to do. The simplest things are the most powerful here. Once you are aware of the road, you will walk it spontaneously (Sahaj). Whatever pran has to be manipulated or Kundalini to be awakened, all of it will happen on its own under the direction of your Eternal Self.