The Samkhya Philosophy
THE EVOLUTES OF THE LIFE
The Samkhya philosophy was formulated by Sage Kapila in deep meditational states where he perceived the subtle realms and dimensions of creation, stating them to people that wanted to listen. I am one of those people and I am going to state them here just in case anyone else would like to know about them.
Within the Samkhya philosophy there are references to two main aspects of life.
One being Purusha and the other known as Prakriti.
These two different aspects of life can be seen in two perspectives. According to my understanding, traditional Samkhya is expressed like this.
PURUSHA (PURE CONSCIOUSNESS – GODHEAD)
PRAKRITI & HER EVOLUTES (MANIFESTESTED CREATION)
The other perspective Purusha and Prakriti are sometimes appreciated
by is more tantric. As I understand it, sometimes it is seen as functioning
with three aspects.
- GODDESS (WOMB OF CREATION) SOURCE OF LIFE AS PURE CONSCIOUSNESS
- PURUSHA (CONSCIOUSNESS) SHIVA
- PRAKRITI (MANIFESTED CREATION) SHAKTI
This section will refer to the classical Samkhya view where Purusha is understood to be the source of pure consciousness expressing itself as being. That being is the underlying reality and substratum of all of existence. Purusha also known as the life force somehow condenses an aspect of itself to create a difference in being which form the three attributes known as the gunas, which are the three most subtle dimensions of Prakriti. Prakriti being the term used to describe everything in creation that provides the possibility of a dualistic experience. The evolutes that have been stated by Kapila are twenty-three in number. So, with reference to the first diagram explaining Purusha and Prakriti, the following pages will be divided into twenty-four subsections where interpretations of each aspect ranging from Purusha through to the last of the twenty-three evolutes of Prakriti will be given.
While the self is pure being and being one with universal life on one level, the human is a manifestation of five elements and interacts in the three dimensional realm, which is also a manifestation of the five elements, while fluctuating awareness between the koshas, being influenced by the Gunas and Vrittis, while bound by the kleshas, while being one with universal life on one level and everything experienced on the earthly plane being a manifestation of the five elements of earth, water, fire, air and ether, so to the human is a manifestation of the same five elements.
The human being interacts in a three dimensional experience in the physical plane. Awareness fluctuates betweens the koshas or different aspects of life while being influenced by its three attributes. The mind is bound by the impressions in it and the afflictions that limit it. In respect to the main two components of life the self is seen as Purusha and appreciated as functioning on the casual plane while the other component which appear to be manifestations are seen to be expressions of Prakriti.
In respect to the diagram there is a puppeteer influencing the body while experiencing perception of the outside world through the 5 physical senses. This puppeteer can be termed as the self. The actual intelligence within a person that doesn’t seem to age, is not influenced by the senses or thoughts within the mind, it is simply in a state of being.
From a human perspective, it has no form and can be appreciated as the pure intelligence contained within the body.
From the universal perceptive it can be appreciated as the substratum of existence that expresses its self as pure being.
It is the pure intelligence contained within the universe.
The analogy I prefer is relating to a bath tub. When the bath appears empty it is actually full of space. When the bath appears full of water the space does not disappear and its job is to hold the water. Once the water has been experienced it is removed from the space and only the space remains. It is as if the space has a job and that is to allow the experience of water. Similarly there is an aspect of me that is responsible for governing all experiences and that is my true self.
This self or intelligence needs a medium to function through, thus defining the jobs for my mind and body.
In the Samkhya philosophy the mind has distinct components and the body has a specific structure that allows experience to occur. The body is structured in a way that the intelligence of Purusha is protected and its expression is the main priority. The 13 systems work in coordination to allow this to happen.
The main system, being the nervous system, is responsible for allowing the body to function energetically in a physical sense. This mainly occurs through the spinal column and cord in relation to the 12 cranial nerves and the brain. Within the brain the section known as Homunculus prioritises the function and energy to certain organs. It is primarily influenced by the organs of knowledge and sense and expresses itself through the organs of action responsible for motor functions.
This interactional experience is brought about by both the manifestation of the mind, body, environment and other people. It is seen within the Samkhya Philosophy that all manifestations are expressions of the 5 elements. The 5 elements allow perception and cognition to occur. For perception and cognition to occur there is also the aspect of objects that allow them to be experienced, known as the subtle essences (Tanmatras).
Hopefully we can decipher this concept by gradually singling each component and discussing it in a way that makes it appear relevant to each person and their experience of life. Prakriti can be seen as “the experienced component of life”.
If compared to Purusha which has been appreciated as unmanifest pure consciousness, making it hard to describe then Prakriti can be summed up as everything else.
We must differentiate between manifestation and unmanifest consciousness in the sense that it does not determine whether the component is visible or physically present as compared to invisible and non physical.
Something such as heat can not be seen but clearly felt. So heat can be easily appreciated as an experience that has a invisible source. Similarly the components of the mind which function on the subtle plane can also be appreciated as manifestations. They each have their own attributes and specific functions while being invisible they can also been easily experienced. We are stepping up a level in the sense that the experience may not be a physical one but predominately psychological. The physical body and it functions are clearly more densely manifested than the mind so given that the majority of our experiences are governed by the 5 physical senses the experience of the body and its components are much more easily appreciated.
There is one more plane beyond the subtle plane of the mind known as the casual plane. The experience of the casual plane maybe governed by the pranic energy system and expressed relative to the frequency within the chakras and nadis. I personally am not to sure where the causal plane fits into the schematics of the Samkhya philosophy.
Prakriti can now be appreciated as everything manifest that can be experienced. In respect to the diagram it is everything except for the person sitting in the chariot. It is the physical equipment of the body known as anatomy and physiology that allow experiences to be perceived, cognised and responded to.
The physical apparatus also allows for perception of other forms, beings and components of life that areoutside ones self which do not seem a part of the body or any other aspect of it.
From the individual perspective Prakriti can be appreciated as the container (the Human body) that allows experiences to occur. Within the body and closely associated with it are the physical senses, the components of the mind and the mind content. Universally speaking, Prakriti is everything present within the universe that can be experienced.
The container in this sense is the universe itself, much like the space in the bath tub and the components are infinite. Some of the components include the planets, the stars, right down to the smallest form of life while being physically unperceivable and one cell in size. Within the universe itself there is also a form of intelligence that allows everything to occur in coordination without ending the experience of life.
When the components of Prakriti and everything manifest are broken down the three attributes of being are initially considered. As everything experienced has to be manifest then the way that the manifestation occurs must be considered. Since the whole of life is governed by vibration the rate of vibration can be appreciated in three contexts.
Tamasic – which is predominantly expressed by a lack of movement.
Rajasic – which is predominantly expressed by excessive movement.
Sattvic – which is predominantly expressed by balanced movement through equilibrium.
Here are some definitions in respect to Tamas, Rajas and Sattva (equilibrium).
THE GUNA’S – THE THREE ATTRIBUTES OF BEING
It is understood that everything manifest is predominately influenced by one of the gunas. Everything existing in the universe is composed of and governed by a combination of the three gunas.
TAMAS: INERTIA (LACK OF MOVEMENT)
Substances under the influence of tamas are prone to stillness.
Beneficial aspects of tamas include inertia, solidity and stability.
Detrimental aspects of tamas include inactivity, stagnation and instability.
RAJAS: DYNAMISM (EXCESSIVE MOVEMENT)
Substances under the influence of rajas are prone to movement.
Beneficial aspects of rajas include activity, ambition and vitality.
Detrimental aspects of rajas include scatteredness, egocentrism and unsociable desire.
SATTWA: EQUILIBRIUM (BALANCED EXISTENCE)
There are only beneficial aspects relating to the sattwa guna such as clarity, happiness, honesty and fearlessness.
While under the influence of sattwa the mind remains stable in all circumstances.
The attributes of being, predominately influence the gross body on both the physical and energetic levels. The aspects are certainly more obvious as they are manifest and easily perceivable. The superficial mind, functioning relative to the physically manifest dimension is also greatly influenced by the gunas. Sometimes the mind doesn’t work, sometimes it fluctuates too much and sometimes it is content within a state of equilibrium.
All states of being are transitory and even though one state may be presently predominant and currently experienced the other two states do not disappear, they simply fade into the background to be experienced at a later date. The gunas will be related to consciousness in the chapter titled “Yoga and the Yogic Path.”
Please keep in mind that these most subtle dimensions influence the full spectrum of being. Each component within the Samkhya philosophy (known as the evolutes of Prakriti, in English the components that can be experienced during life) are always governed by the three Gunas (attributes of being). Whether it is in respect to the mind or components of it or simply a physical organ then each one, at varying times is influenced relative to the expression of the Gunas.
The most subtle aspect of the mind is termed Mahat in Sanskrit. The transliteration into English may result in “The great mind”. Mahat can be appreciated as the overseer. It operates as consciousness and co ordinates all interactions. On a human level, it is responsible for the infinite correlation that occurs within the body. Specifically, at any one given point in time the 13 systems are coordinated to function harmoniously while also metabolism within each cell provides nutrition, growth and sustenance. Every 7 years each cell within the body is replaced at least once and this function happens without conscious involvement. That intelligence, working behind the scenes, pervades every square millimetre of the body while also coordinating the function of the mind. Universally speaking, the great mind is interwoven into the fabric of the universe to such an extent that it also functions within every atom. It coordinates the movement of the planets, perpetuation of life while governing every individual interaction that ever occurs. In this context it is easy to appreciate why the ancient teachings of yoga, especially Samkhya define this component as “The Great”.
Having defined the unchanging self as Purusha and knowing that it expresses itself and gains experience through the evolutes of Prakriti, we have grown to appreciate that Mahat governs and oversees the ability for it to function and interact. The unchanging self functions specifically through three components of the mind which each have their purpose.
Below Mahat we have a component called Buddhi which is sometimes known as the discriminative aspect of the mind. It is the knower and is responsible for self knowledge.
Buddhi: The discriminator.
Responsible for discrimination between truth and untruth relative to the universal connectedness of everything. Example, Business interactions are most beneficial when compared to the existence of lichen, which I believe is a substance formed during the interaction of moss and fungi where both life forms are mutually benefited and they live in harmony to support each other. Discrimination at this level discerns when such interactions are beneficial for one life form and detrimental to the other. These interactions are avoided wherever possible by utilising the aspect of buddhi within the dimension of the deeper mind.
During experiences, the self has a natural ability to identify with certain aspects of life. The component within the mind that is responsible for self identification is termed the Ahamkara. It is responsible for self identity.
Relates to the understanding I have of my true nature and identity. At this level I understand that every individual I ever interact with is a reflection of me, and I, of them and that we are connected in the most intricate way that is not perceivable through the physical senses.
Example, If you asked me who I am today I would say that I have no idea, however I do understand and know that I am intimately connected with everything in existence. What I now identify with myself is universal in nature and cannot really be justified in words. I still appear the same as I did ten years ago however the understanding that I have of life which has been acquired through direct experience has confirmed that the universe truly is one song of being.
Another aspect of the mind is the component that is responsible for allowing the self to function and work within any situation but these situations are predominately governed by environmental aspects and lifestyle obligations. This component is known as Manas and is sometimes termed the working mind. It is the component that governs self functioning.
Manas: the working mind. When functioning through the deep mind it operates and co-ordinates the body to function for the upliftment and wellbeing of all life forms. Example, Actions and service performed not for self benefit in any way.
In some texts the component of Chitta is included among the evolutes of Prakriti. There is a little confusion about where and when it was introduced but personally I have come to understand Chitta as the part that is responsible for memory. Chitta functions in the background in respect to the other three components. These three components, being Buddhi, Ahamkara and Manas.
In this context, with relation to the evolutes of Prakriti I have aimed to maintain the number at 23 evolutes so chitta will not be discussed in length and merely added in here to appreciate that in some context it is included to allow 24 evolutes. I have chosen to attempt to define the evolutes as being 23 in number in regards to the original teachings of Kapila. Chitta could be appreciated more in the context of being the inner tool (Antarkarana) that is literally the non physical equipment called the mind that the human utilises during life.
THE SUPERFICIAL MIND (MANAMAYA KOSHA) – The ‘rational’ mind. The superficial mind is related to the element of fire. The unmanifest dimension of being that is related to the day to day working mind. The aspect of the mind that operates relative to the external environment and rationalisation of it based on the perception and cognition utilizing the five physical senses.
The superficial mind is related to the element of fire.
Buddhi: The discriminating aspect. This aspect of the mind is responsible for discriminating between beneficial and detrimental outcomes that may be experienced during life. It is associated with the external environment that I predominately perceive physically through the senses. Example, When I go to the fridge to drink the water if the liquid in the container is a funny colour with a weird aroma that resembles petrol my chitta remembers last time I syphoned petrol and how unpleasant it tasted and influences the buddhi aspect of my superficial mind to discriminate between water and petrol.
Ahamkara: Self-identity. Within this dimension the self and understanding of who I am is appreciated as being separate from all forms of life. Identification with the intelligence within ones body is associated with the personality, environmental factors and cultural heritage while being totally encapsulated within the body. The ahamkara / self-identity within this dimension is often associated with the ego. Example, If someone asked me ten years ago who I was I would say my name is Michael, I work as a radiographer, I live in the Blue Mountains in New South Wales Australia, I have a pet dog called Max and generally I am an easy going person who likes to enjoy the sporting aspects of life.
Manas: The mind that rationalises and works according to the manifested environment. Example, If I am thirsty the manas aspect of my mind instructs my body through my nervous system to go to the fridge and get some water to put in my mouth.
Chitta: Memory, both conscious and subconscious. On a conscious level the chitta aspect of my mind remembers the last time I was thirsty and how the water quenched my thirst so it works in co-operation with the manas to relieve it again. On a subconscious level memories are constantly being put into my limbic system for both future reference and influence. Memory at this level is more personal and individually based, often experienced in dreams. Also at this level, memory is unconscious and includes impressions both from our individual and collective pasts as human beings being part of the collective race. These impressions include karmas, some samskaras, attitudes and compulsions.
THE DEEP MIND (VIJANANAMAYA KOSHA) – The ‘intuitive’ mind. The unmanifest dimension of being functioning through perception and cognition that is not associated with the five physical senses. Associated with intuition and wisdom obtained through direct experience. Difficult to explain due to a lack of empirical scientific proof, however ninety-nine percent of humans have experienced it in some way. My understanding is that the four aspects of the mind are also present within this dimension of being but this statement could be somewhat controversial. The deeper mind is related to the element of air. There are four aspects functioning within both the superficial and deep minds and they are:
Buddhi: The discriminator. Responsible for discrimination between truth and untruth relative to the universal connectedness of everything. Example, Business interactions are most beneficial when compared to the existence of lichen, which I believe is a substance formed during the interaction of moss and fungi where both life forms are mutually benefited and they live in harmony to support each other. Discrimination at this level discerns when such interactions are beneficial for one life form and detrimental to the other. These interactions are avoided wherever possible by utilising the aspect of buddhi within the dimension of the deeper mind.
Ahamkara: Self-identity. Relates to the understanding I have of my true nature and identity. At this level I understand that every individual I ever interact with is a reflection of me and I of them and that we are connected in the most intricate way that is not perceivable through the physical senses. Example, If you asked me who I am today I would say that I have no idea, however I do understand and know that I am intimately connected with everything in existence. What I now identify with myself is universal in nature and cannot really be justified in words. I still appear the same as I did ten years ago however the understanding that I have of life which has been acquired through direct experience has confirmed that the universe truly is one song of being.
Manas: the working mind. When functioning through the deep mind it operates and co-ordinates the body to function for the upliftment and wellbeing of all life forms. Example, Actions and service performed not for self benefit in any way.
Chitta: Memory. At this level chitta represents the genetic vibration and memory inherent within the structure of the DNA. It influences one’s being relative to the information present within it that has been accumulated since the time of creation, especially since human beings have inhabited the earth. Example, My DNA from the time of conception onwards creates a human vehicle for me to exist within that is extremely similar to the structure of the human species that inhabited the earth at least ten thousand years ago.
Moving away from the non physical aspects of the human being the physical components within the body are defined. The physical components are clearly more evident due to the fact the majority of our experiences are perceived through the physical senses.
Within the Samkhya philosophy the components are divided into two categories.
The first category is termed the five Jnanendriyas.
The term Jnanendriyas translates as Jnana (knowledge) and Indriyas (organs), simply meaning the organs of knowledge. The Jnanendriyas are the components within the human body that allow us to gain knowledge through physical experience that is sensorial in nature. The five organs as detailed below will initially be written according to the transliteration of the Sanskrit sound then the English equivalent, followed by a brief explanation.
JNANENDRIYAS – Organs of Knowledge
STROTA – EARS: The ears are the equipment/organs that allow perception of sound to occur. The vibration of sound resonating and impacting on the tympanic membrane, it is initially perceived then translated (cognised) into a recognisable experience within the nervous system.
TWACHA – SKIN: Skin is the covering that encapsulates the body, basically holding it intact while also serving its purpose of protection. Within the skin there is an infinite number of cells each containing a DNA molecule that vibrates at ultra high frequency. Both the physical sensation of touch and perception via the experience of “feeling” without actual contact are the jobs of the skin. Knowledge is gained through physically appreciating the touch and feel of something but also knowledge is gained relative to environmental factors. The skin is responsible for determining the environmental temperature and subsequently passing on knowledge to the brain to determine whether more or less clothing is required. The skin also works miraculously to determine tense environments and the probability of threat to ones survival. This experience is clearly appreciated with reference to stillness within the air or the creation of “gut feelings” for no apparent reason.
CHAKSU – EYES: The eyes are one of the most significant tools utilised by the human body to gain knowledge. A common known fact is that more than 80% of daily perception occurs through the eyes alone. The other 5 organs share 20% of the perception. In reality, the eyes are simply spherical shaped objects with membrane on the outside and liquid on the inside. At one end they have a lens that transfers vibrations from outside of the body on to the receptors on the backside of the eye. The receptors are known as rods and cons and are responsible for perception of light, dark and varying colours. Upon being stimulated by certain frequencies of light these receptors transfer the frequencies into electrical impulses that can be cognised by the nervous system. The experience of sight can then be appreciated as yet another experience of frequency transferred into electrical impulses by the equipment within the human body.
JIHWA – TONGUE: The tongue is simply an organ made up of predominantly muscular tissue with taste buds strategically placed on its upper surface. The taste buds are receptors for each of the six food taste variations. Food itself vibrates at certain frequencies that determine its flavour. The taste buds are termed appropriately because the lumps (buds) on the upper surface of the tongue determine according to the frequency of foods its flavour and translates this frequency into electrical impulses via the nervous system so knowledge can be gained according to its flavour. The knowledge gained from each taste is perceived and recognised via cognition which determines whether the flavour is favourable or not.
GHRANA – NOSE: The nose, apart from appearance has its main function closer to the point directly between the eyes rather than on the surface of the face. The main cells used are known as olfactory and lie in close proximity to the brain. The nose and its structure has certain functions involving the breath as well but from a knowledge perspective, its main function is to determine smell. The olfactory cells perceive the vibration of substances according to their frequency and via contact through stimulation transmit the frequency into electrical impulses that can be cognised into recognisable aromas. Knowledge through the sense of smell then can be determined and acted upon.
Their common factor within, appreciating the organs of knowledge seems to be that certain frequencies are perceived and according to their anatomical movement and molecular structure these frequencies are initially perceived by the organ then transformed into electrical impulses that are the sole stimulus within the nervous system. Each electrical impulse varies according to its frequency and cognised within the brain according to its effect. The brain then responds according to what it determines as appropriate action. The actions are governed by a different component within the nervous system. Perception occurs through sensorial pathways whereas actions are created and maintained through the motor pathways.
The second category of physical components within the body that allow experience to occur are called Karmendriyas. Karmendriyas are translated as Karma (action) Indriyas (organs), the organs of action.
They allow for the experience of perception to occur and transform the image and experience into electrical impulses that are subsequently understood and cognised then responded to appropriately through the Karmendriyas. The karmendriyas bless the human with the ability to act and respond appropriately to the information received through the organs of knowledge. The organs of actions make up one third of the essential cycle of experience. The other two essential components are the already mentioned Jnanendriyas and the not yet mentioned subtle essences that provided the elemental constitution of the environment and everything experienced physically.
The Karmendriyas are known within the Samkhya philosophy as the organs of action. They have categorised five specific organs that allow the experience of being human to continue. The organs of action allow experience to be expressed, all the while allowing physiological actions to occur while also providing the body with the ability to move.
KARMENDRIYAS – Organs of Action
VAC – SPEECH: Vac is the phonetic pronunciation of the term vac from the Sanskrit language that can be appreciated in English as the voice producing organs known as the vocal cords. The vocal cords being, responsible for expressing sound vibrations that vary in frequency and pitch and form together to create what is recognised as sounds and languages. Basically, from an electrical impulse in the nervous system, communication and vocal expression can be created in the vocal cords by generating sound. The vocal cords are simply fibrous membranes situated specifically within the throat, designed to produce a vibrational sound that can be projected out of the mouth. The main action the vocal cords would be responsible for would be communication and expression in the form of speech.
PUNI – HANDS: Puni is the Sanskrit term for hands. The hands are organs that have a secondary role in expression but primarily responsible for the experience of grasping. Grasping is a major role within the everyday life of the human being. It helps in with our need to eat and is essential for survival and also it is helpful to allow us to move things from one place to the other or simply prepare the environment in which to live for a comfortable existence.
PADA – FEET: Pada in Sanskrit is translated to mean the feet. The feet, as with the hands can be easily appreciated as an organ of action. The feet have their primary role in travel but play a secondary role in support and balance of the human frame. The feet allow the action of walking to occur and allow us to move from one place to another.
UPASTHU – REPRODUCTIVE ORGANS: Upasthu in Sanskrit can be translated to define the sexual organs. The sexual organs being composed of the reproductive cells as well as the organs and their abilities to allow the act of reproduction to occur. Their main action is procreation for survival of the species but they also have a second function closely aligned with more subtle perception that can bring about a deeper more expanded spiritual awareness. In the context of being an organ of action it is easier to simply appreciate the reproductive organs as the human body’s equipment allowing the experience of reproduction to occur. Of course within humans of varying genders then the organs of reproduction vary appropriately.
PAYU – EXCRETERY ORGANS: Payu is Sanskrit for what could be defined as the organs of excretion. Their main function being the responsibility to eliminate waste products from the body. Whether the organ excretes fluids or faeces is not of importance compared to the focus being elimination of toxic and waste substances that are of no use to the body via their respective exit points. The excretory organs provide a maintenance role within the body as they allow the human framework to be perpetually fed and aids significantly in the cyclic maintenance of it.
These organs of action known as Vac (vocal cords), Puni (hands), Pada (feet), Upastha (sexual organs) and Payu (excretory organs) govern and maintain the ability of action to occur within any environment.
For the human body to experience anything the equipment is needed to firstly perceive and gain knowledge about objects and other components within the environment. Secondly understanding and cognising the experience allows action to be taken. The action, whilst allowing the person to be consciously involved in the experience is also an expression that forms part of the cycle of experience. So here we have two components. Firstly the experience of perception leads to knowledge and secondly the ability to utilise knowledge so that actions or responses occur. The third component is what and where the experience occurs. In English this could be termed as the environment but taking into account the infinite components within the environment the Samkhya philosophers have determined that within the given environment there are predominately five essences or elements within nature that allow experience to occur. In respect to the human being, it’s five physical senses, the bio physiological human framework, the Jnanendriyas and the Karmendriyas the subtle essences are what is experienced via the five physical senses.
These subtle essences are known in Sanskrit as the Tanmatras and can easily be appreciated as the actual essence or vibration that is emitted atomically at a unique frequency that allows the specific experience of varying objects to occur.
TANMATRAS – The Subtle Essences
SHABDA – SOUND / HEARING: Shabda in Sanskrit translates as sound. Sound is the essence that provides the organs with the experience of hearing. In reality, sound in the movement of atoms, at such a rate that the frequency of the movement of that object creates a sound that can be perceived when it comes into contact with the tympanic membrane of the ear and falls within the frequency of the audible sound range. In respect to humans, any vibration that has its frequency within the audible sound range can be perceived as a sound to the human being.
SPARSHA – TOUCH / FEELING: Sparsha translates from Sanskrit into English to define the experience of touch and feeling. The subtle essence experienced through the organ of the skin creates the experience of touch. The subtle essence appears to be more of a physical object in this sense rather than an invisible light or sound riding through the airwaves. The majority of experiences based on feeling can be summed up as a physical experience, however more subtle experiences do occur but these are relative to the perception of the person involved in the experience. Some examples may involve feeling without physical contact as in “the tension in the air” or more intuitive experiences that maybe governed through emotions or compassion as in “I feel for you”. Feeling the subtle essence of Sparsha is ironically unique for everyone but physically very similar and can be appreciated in the context of an experience rather than anything else. The experience itself is a feeling.
RUPA – FORM / SEEING: Rupa translates from Sanskrit to English in an attempt to define the subtle essence of form. This form varies from the form that we feel in the sense that it is not stimulated through touch but through the experience of sight. The objects form is stable and emits light at a certain frequency in order for the human eye to perceive it. In order for perception to occur the frequency of the atomic vibrations must fall within what is known as the visible light spectrum. Only then will the light rays be perceivable and subsequently translatable into a recognisable impulse or image.
RASA – FLAVOUR / TASTE: Rasa from Sanskrit can be translated into the term taste. Substances that come in contact with the taste buds vibrate at such a frequency that the experience of taste can occur. For the taste to be experienced by the taste buds there must be some essence that is emitted from the source. This essence is appreciated as what creates taste. Tastes vary depending on the substance as well as the region of the tongue which is stimulated in respect to the six regions of taste and flavour.
GANDHA – AROMA / SMELL: Gandha in Sanskrit can be appreciated as the English equivalent of smell. The experience of smell varies greatly but ultimately the source of such an experience is similar for all. Substances and objects are constantly experiencing vibration which is governed by the objects molecular makeup. As these vibrations occur certain frequencies are as such that would allow perception through the olfactory cells to occur. The actual experience is only able to occur because of the subtle essence of smell that is emitted from such an object. within the nose the receptacles for such vibration are present and can be transmitted into recognisable electrical impulses within the nervous system. The three components necessary for experience to occur have been outlined. They all have their own unique function and purpose while systematically being part of a larger group that is responsible for coordinating and functioning during each and every experience. The human body is the housing that holds two of the three major components necessary for experience within the manifested dimension. The five organs of knowledge are the pieces of equipment used by the human body that allow perception of experience to occur. The non physical dimension of the human being in the form of the mind (Antarkarana) is the equipment used by the human to metabolise and respond to any experiences. The tools used to act out in any response to certain stimulus and perception, are the organs of action. These organs of action are utilised appropriately depending on what is deemed the most appropriate form of action. The other component within the cycle of manifested experience that is essential is the subtle essences. These essences are emitted from objects and substances so that the human framework can work within the environment and function in any situation. Taking into account that the human being functions within a physical environment that emits varying degrees of frequencies, the equipment within the human framework of the human body can then be easily appreciated to have each of their specific functions relative to their determined roles.
Putting this information back into the explanation of the evolutes of Prakriti the organs and subtle essences can be seen as the most physical dimensions within the evolutes.
The fifteen physical evolutes allowand govern each and every experience within the physical dimension.
The eight remaining constituents that are unmanifest (non physicalin nature) each play their own role.
The list of evolutes originates as the most subtle aspect of ones owns self and being.
This subtle aspect changes form into separated and more physical (gross) dimensions. In the Western culture we would define manifestation as varying degrees of energy, whereas in the Eastern culture they have designated the word Prana to symbolise varying degrees of manifestations in what is termed the life force.
According to yogic philosophy Prana is present throughout the entire manifested universe. According to the Samkhya philosophy all manifestations of this Prana are conceptualised as evolutes of Prakriti.
The evolutes range from the purest and most untainted form of pure consciousness right through to the densest and most physically gross form of manifested energy.
From the pure consciousness down to and including the third component of the mind, can be appreciated as being non manifest in nature, in the sense that they are physically invisible but just like a thought is not physically apparent it can still greatly influence ones actions, words and someone else’s thoughts, it too has its function.
The components ranging from the Jnanendriyas through the Karmendriyas and including the Tanmatras can easily be experienced as physically manifest components of life.
Exactly how does the human body with its organs and systems manifest and allow the experience of life to occur while the body is constantly connected to both pure consciousness and the mind? As far as I understand it and according to the yogic texts there is an invisible bridge that links the mind to the body and is responsible for expression and experience of consciousness through it.
This bridge is also seen as a manifestation of prana and is sometimes known as the pranic energy system.