“…. Then he unfolds Himself in the totality of manifestations viz., principles (tattvas), worlds (bhuvanas), entities (bhaavas) and their respective experients that are only a solidified form of Cit-rasa [the juice universal consciousness].” (Pratyabhijnaahrdayam: The Secret of Self Recognition. Trans. Jaideva Singh. Sutra 4)
Macrocosmos & Metaphysical Existence
Shiva Tattvas (Shaktyanda; sphere of shakti functioning in its pure form of citshakti or mahamaya)
Iccha (initial stirring of the will) – Kriya (spontaneous action as opposed to karmic action which seeks to fulfill desires) – Jnana (knowledge)
Vidya Tattvas: these are the tattwas which bind us to our bodily existence
6. Maya3: Five Kanchukas:
7. Kalaa (limits power)
8. Vidya (limits knowledge)
9. Raga (limits fullness)
10. Kaala (experience of time/change)
11. Niyati (experience of cause and effect)
The jiva is limiting himself thru maya and the five kanchukas. The Malas are due to the kanchukas and the two types of ajnana: 1: Paurusa ajnana: innate ignorance regarding the self. 2. Bauddha ajnana: ignorance of buddhi.
One considers the subtle and gross body as the self on account of asuddha vikalpas (ideation, thought constructs, irrational psychological thought). Replacing ajnana with jnana is one of the main goals of kashmiri shaivism and philosophical spiritual practice in general.
Microcosmos – Physical Existence
- Purusha (iccha, individual soul, subject) – 13. Prakriti4 (kriya, creatrix, object)
The three Gunas (Sattvic, Tamas, Rajas) are the qualities belonging to prakriti. Possessing gunas is a property of being the object of experience which depends on an experiencer.
Instruments of cognition (Jnana):
14. Budhi5 – Intelligence (Mercury)
15. Ahamkara – Ego/ I-sense (Sun)
16. Manas6 – Mind (Moon)
17 -21. Jnana Indriyas:
- Sense of smell (Mercury)
- Sense of taste (Venus)
- Sense of seeing (Sun & Moon)
- Sense of feeling/touching (Saturn)
- Sense of hearing (Jupiter)
22- 26. 5 Karma Indriyas:
- Power of speech (vak)
- Power to grasp objects (pani)
- Locomotion (pada)
- Excretion (payu)
- Power of procreation
27 – 31. 5 Tanmatras:
32 -36. 5 Tattvas:
- Fire (agni, tejas) – Sun, Mars
- Earth (prthvi) – Mercury
- Air (vayu) – Saturn
- Water (apas, jala, rasa) – Venus, Moon
- Ether (akasha) – Jupiter
1 Five functions Performed by Shiva: 1. Nigraha or vilaya (act of self limitation/contraction), 2. Srsti (act of self manifestation of the world), 3. Sthiti (preservation of the world), 4. Samhara (absorption/withdrawl of worldly manifestation), 5. Anugraha (revelation or dispensation of grace)
2Shakti’s 5 modes of expression: 1. cit-shakti: conscious force, 2. Ananda-shakti: power as bliss, 3. Iccha-shakti: power as will, 4. Jnana-shakti: power as knowedge. 5. Kriya-shakti: spontanious action as power
3 Three kinds of defilements: 1. Aanava Mala (mula mala): self-contraction occuring at the first moment of manifestation of the universe. “The impurity of individuality.”(Aphorisms p15) Our true power becomes “obscured by the notions of existence and non-existence…”(Aphorisms p15) Begins once he descend to sadashiva level. Two kinds: a) veils knowledge of divine awareness, but freedom of action remains intact (Parlayaakalas & sakalas who exist below Prakriti) b) leaves knowledge of divine awareness, but veils ability to act freely (those staying above maya tattva). 2. Maayiiyamala: maayaa and the 5 kanchukas. Makes oblivious to real nature. Robs all sign of divinity. Veils only those below Prakriti. 3. Karma mala: Provides us with physical body. Collective residual impressions from past lives. Once karma mala defiles the monade, embodies individuals are created, known as sakalas. *the imprint made in the mind due to action which is motivated out of attachment.
4Prakriti provides Purusha with everything he needs for enjoyment. The physical body, karmendriyas, jnanaindriyas. The three gunas constitute prakriti: Kapha, vatta, pitta. Three modes of activity of shakti are: iccha (rajas), jnana (sattva), kriya (tamas).
5Buddhi is the abode of microcosmic Pranashakti. From here it flows thru the different parts of the body via the nadis. Contracted power of Jnana shakti. Sattvic. Locus of every experience. Five kinds of Pranavayu: 1. Prana (air: moves upward. Receptive: sense organs) 2. Aapana: (Earth: moves downward. Elimination.) 3. Udaana: (outwards. Speech, sound, limbs of the body), 4. Vyaana: (expansion in all directions), 5. Samaana: (Inwards. Anything that spins towards a centre point (ex. Meditation)).
6Manas: Ahamkara is the material cause. Instrument of rationality. Supervises/controls karmindriya and Jnanindriyas.
2 thoughts on “36 Tattvas: Elements of Existence”
Excellent summary. Thanks