It will be very interesting to trace the development of man and the development of the world according to the theory of the tatwas.
The tatwas, as we have already seen, are the modifications of Swara. Regarding Swara, we find in our book: “In the Swara are the Vedas and the shastras, and in the Swara is music. All the world is in the Swara; Swara is the spirit itself.” The proper translation of the word Swara is “the current of the life-wave”. It is that wavy motion which is the cause of the evolution of cosmic undifferentiated matter into the differentiated universe, and the involution of this into the primary state of non-differentiation, and so on, in and out, forever and ever. From whence does this motion come? This motion is the spirit itself. The word atma used in the book, itself carries the idea of eternal motion, coming as it does from the root at, eternal motion; and it may be significantly remarked, that the root at is connected with (and in fact is simply another form of) the roots ah, breath, and as, being. All these roots have for their original the sound produced by the breathing of animals. In The Science of Breath the symbol for inspiration is sa, and for expiration ha. It is easy to see how these symbols are connected with the roots as and ah. The current of life-wave spoken of above is technically called Hansachasa, i.e., the motion of ha and sa. The word Hansa, which is taken to mean God, and is made so much of in many Sanskrit works, is only the symbolic representation of the eternal processes of life – ha and sa.
The primeval current of life-wave is, then, the same which in man assumes the form of inspiratory and expiratory motion of the lungs, and this is the all-pervading source of the evolution and the involution of the universe.
The book goes on: “It is the Swara that has given form to the first accumulations of the divisions of the universe; the Swara causes involution and evolution; the Swara is God Himself, or more properly the great Power (Mahashwara).” The Swara is the manifestation of the impression on matter of that power which in man is known to us as the power that knows itself. It is to be understood that the action of this power never ceases. It is ever at work, and evolution and involution are the very necessity of its unchangeable existence.
The Swara has two different states. The one is known on the physical plane as the sun-breath, the other as the moon-breath. I shall, however, at the present stage of evolution designate them as positive and negative respectively. The period during which this current comes back to the point from whence it started is known as the night of parabrahma. The positive or evolutionary period is known as the day of parabrahma; the negative or involutionary portion is known as the night of parabrahma. These nights and days follow each other without break. The sub-divisions of this period comprehend all the phases of existence, and it is therefore necessary to give her the scale of time according to the Hindu Shastras.
The Divisions of Time
I shall begin with a Truti as the least division of time.
26-2/3 truti = 1 nimesha = 8/45 second.
18 nimesha = 1 kashtha = 3-1/5 seconds = 8 vipala.
30 kashtha = 1 kala = 1-3/5 minutes = 4 pala.
30 kala = 1 mahurta = 48 minutes = 2 ghari.
30 mahurta = 1 day and night = 24 hours = 60 ghari.
30 days and nights and odd hours = 1 Pitruja day and night = 1 month and odd hours.
12 months = 1 Daiva day and night = 1 year = 365 days, 15″, 30′, 31”.
365 Daiva days and nights = 1 Daiva year.
4,800 Daiva years = 1 Satya yuga.
3,600 Daiva years = 1 Treta yuga.
2,400 Daiva years = 1 Dwapara yuga.
1,200 Daiva years = 1 Kali yuga.
12,000 Daiva years = 1 Chaturyugi (four yuga).
12,000 Chaturyugi = 1 Daiva yuga.
2,000 Daiva yuga = 1 day and night of Brahma.
365 Brahmic days and nights = 1 year of Brahma.
71 Daiva yuga = 1 Manwantara.
12,000 Brahmic years = 1 Chaturyuga of Brahma, and so one.
200 yuga of Brahma = 1 day and night of parabrahma.
These days and nights follow each other in eternal succession, and hence eternal evolution and involution.
We have thus five sets of days and night:
- A sixth is the Manwantara day, and the Manwantara night (pralaya).
The days and nights of parabrahma follow each other without beginning or end. The night (the negative period and the day (the positive period) both merge into the susumna (the conjunctive period) and merge into each other. And so do the other days and nights. The days all through this division are sacred to the positive, the hotter current, and the nights are sacred to the negative, the cooler current. The impressions of names and forms, and the power of producing an impression, lie in the positive phase of existence. Receptivity is given birth to by the negative current.
After being subjected to the negative phase of parabrahma, Prakriti, which follows parabrahma like a shadow, has been saturated with evolutionary receptivity; as the hotter current sets in, changes are imprinted upon it, and it appears in changed forms. The first imprint that the evolutionary positive current leaves upon Prakriti is known as akasa. Then, by and by the remaining ethers come into existence. These modifications of Prakriti are the ethers of the first stage.
Into these five ethers, as now constituting the objective phase, works on the current of the Great Breath. A further development takes place. Different centers come into existence. The akasa throws them into a form that gives room for locomotion. With the beginning of the vayu tatwa these elementary ethers are thrown into the form of spheres. This was the beginning of formation, or what may also be called solidification.
These spheres are our Brahmandas. In them the ethers assume a secondary development. The so-called division into five takes place. In this Brahmic sphere in which the new ethers have good room for locomotion, the taijas tatwa now comes into play, and then the apas tatwa. Every tatwic quality is generated into, and preserved in, these spheres by these currents. In process of time we have a center and an atmosphere. This sphere is the self-conscious universe.
In this sphere, according to the same process, a third ethereal state comes into existence. In the cooler atmosphere removed from the center another class of centers comes into existence. These divide the Brahmic state of matter into two different states. After this comes into existence another state of matter whose centers bear the names of devas or suns.
We have thus four states of subtle matter in the universe:
- Prana, life matter, with the sun for center;
- Manas, mental matter, with the manu for center;
- Vijnana, psychic matter, with Brahma for center;
- Ananda, spiritual matter, with parabrahma as the infinite substratum.
Every higher state is positive with regard to the lower one, and every lower on is given birth to by a combination of the positive and negative phase of the higher.
(1) Prana has to do with three sets of days and nights in the above division of time:
(a) Our ordinary days and nights; (b) The bright and dark half of the month which are called the pitrya day and night; (c) The northern and southern halves of the years, the day and night of the devas.
These three nights acting upon earth-matter impart to it the receptivity of the cool, negative shady phase of life-matter. These nights imprint themselves on the respective days coming in after it. The earth herself thus becomes a living being, having a north pole, in which a central force draws the needle towards itself, and a south pole in which is centered a for which is, so to speak, the shade of the north polar center. It has also always a solar force centered in the eastern half, and the lunar – the shade of the former – centered in the western half.
These centers come, in fact, into existence even before the earth is manifested on the gross plane. So too do the centers of other planets come into existence. As the sun presents himself to the manu there come into existence two states of matter in which the sun lives and moves – the positive and the negative. As the solar prana, after having been for some time subjected to the negative shady state, is subjected in its revolutionary course to the source of its positive phase, manu, the figure of manu is imprinted upon it. This manu is, in fact, the universal mind, and all the planets with their inhabitants are the phases of his existence. Of this, however, more heareafter. At present we see that earth-life or Terrestrial Prana has four centers of force.
When it has been cooled by the negative current, the positive phase imprints itself upon it, and earth-life in various forms comes into existence. The essays on prana will explain this more clearly.
(2) Manas: this has to do with manu. The suns revolve round these centers with the whole of their atmospheres of prana. This system gives birth to the lokas or spheres of life, of which the planets are one class.
These lokas have been enumerated by Vyasa in his commentary on the Yogasutra (III. Pada, 26th Sutra). The aphorism runs thus:
“By meditation upon the sun is obtained a knowledge of the physical creation.”
On this, the revered commentator says: “There are seven lokas (spheres of existence).”
(1) The Bhurloka: this extends to the Meru; (2) Antareikshaloka: this extends from the surface of the Meru to the Dhru, the pole-star, and contains the planets, the nakstatras, and the stars; (3) Beyond that is the swarloka: this is fivefold and sacred to Mahendra; (4) Maharloka: This is sacred to the Prajapati; (5) Janaloka; (6) Tapas loka, and; (7) Satya loka. These three (5, 6, and 7) are sacred to Brahma.
It is not my purpose to try at present to explain the meaning of these lokas. It is sufficient for my present purpose to say that the planets, the stars, the lunar mansions are all impressions of manu, just as the organisms of the earth are the impressions of the sun. The solar prana is prepared for this impression during the manwantara night.
Similarly, Vijnana has to do with the nights and days of Brahma, and Ananda with those of Parabrahma.
It will thus be seen that the whole process of creation, on whatever plane of life, is performed most naturally by the five tatwas in their double modifications, the positive and negative. There is nothing in the universe that the Universal Tatwic Law of Breath does not comprehend.
After this brief exposition of the theory of tatwic evolution comes a series of Essays, taking up all the subtle states of matter one by one, and describing more in detail the working of the tatwic law in those planes, and also the manifestations of these planes of life in humanity.