Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 10 Oct 2021


Swami, please explain about a) apara prakruti and b) the usage of Mula maayaa in the context of Shri Chakra.

Note: This article is meant for intellectuals only

[Smt. Priyanka asked: Pādanamaskāram Swami, In the recent discourse, You said that in Aparāprakṛti, there are 8 fold components, comprising of the five elements and mind, intelligence, and ego. In another older discourse on Śrī Cakra and its real meaning, You had mentioned the following.

"The first five Cakras represent the five elements, the constituent materials of the creation. Attraction is the process of mind representing the Sixth ‘Ājñā Cakra’ and the four functional faculties (mind, intelligence, ego, and memory) at this level are called the four internal instruments (Anthaḥkaraṇams). The five elements and the four Antaḥkaraṇams constitute the main hurdles (Nava Āvaraṇams) of the Śrī Cakra. Above these six Cakras stands the ‘Sahasrāra’ meaning an infinite number of apartments represented by petals of the lotus flower. Thus, Śrī Cakra is Sahasrāra. This is the root illusion (Mūla Māyā). These apartments indicate various aspects of this world. This means that money is the root illusion related to supporting any worldly aspect. Here, the word thousand means many. Hence, if you are able to detach yourself from money, you have crossed all the hurdles standing in the way to reach God. Therefore, the Veda says that by the sacrifice of money alone one can reach God (Dhanena Tyāgenaikena)".

While there is no confusion in the above paragraph itself, I have a couple of questions here. Firstly, why isn't memory a part of aparā-prakṛti, while other elements are the same as the Nava Āvaraṇams? Secondly, the term Mūla Māyā used as the root illusion here is confusing me with the other usage of Mūla māyā as the root cause of creation. Is the usage of Mūla māyā in the context of Śrī Cakra purely directed to the worldly aspect only and has nothing to do with Mūla māyā in terms of creation? Pardon me, Swami. I believe You will know what my confusion is better than myself. I will await Your divine clarification. At Your divine lotus feet, Priyanka]

Swami replied:- a) The internal instruments or antaḥkaraṇams are four:- 1) Mind or manaḥ, 2) intelligence or Buddhiḥ, 3) ego or Ahaṅkāraḥ and 4) Memory or Cittam. These four internal instruments (non-inert awareness) along with the five inert elements are called as Navāvaraṇas or the nine items constituting this entire creation. These nine items can be reclassified as three basic qualities:- 1) Sattvam or awareness (the four internal instruments), 2) Rajas or inert energy (Ākāśa or space or subtle energy and Agni or gross inert energy) and 3) Tamas or inert matter (Vāyu or gas, jalam or liquid and Pṛthivī or solid). These nine items can be again reclassified as two types of Prakṛti:- 1) Aparā Prakṛti or lower type of nature (five inert elements, mind, intelligence and ego, which are eight items) and 2) Parā Prakṛti or higher type of nature (memory or cittam). In this way, these total nine items are classified in various ways of classifications.

Explanation For Memory or Cittam To Be Called As Higher Type of Nature or Parāprakṛti:- The word cittam is almost equal to cit, which is pure awareness. Cittam or memory is a faculty or mode of chit or pure awareness (cit+ta). The root word ‘citi’ also has two meanings:- 1) to be aware or awareness and 2) to recollect or memory (citī = saṃjñane, smaraṇe ca). Cit is the root cause like gold and the four internal instruments are like different golden jewels. The root word citī means the same item doing the functions of awareness of an object and storing its information in the awareness under the name memory. Therefore, only three of the four internal instruments (mind, intelligence and ego) are included under the lower category of Aparā Prakṛti and not the fourth instrument called cittam. Cittam is equalized to chit and is mentioned as a separate higher category called Parā Prakṛti. Anyway, here also all the nine items are included. In the Gītā this Parā Prakṛti or cittam or cit is mentioned as maintainer of the world (Yayedaṃ dhāryate jagat). This is absurd because the awareness itself is a product of the five elements in the process of creation described in the Veda (Annāt Puruṣaḥ). Hence, the word ‘world’ or Jagat should be taken as the world of thoughts (Viṣaya Jagat). The awareness as cit is grasping the information of worldly items and is storing this information in it as cittam. The information of the world is mentioned as the world itself. Otherwise, it is mocking if one says that the petty human awareness is maintaining this entire world!

b) The word Mūla Māyā means the root illusion. In Śrīcakra, the root money is referred as ‘Śrī’ because the word Śrī means money or wealth. The word mūla māyā here means that money or wealth is the root illusion of all the worldly bonds. The sense root illusion can be also understood in the context that mūla māyā means the root cause of creation. The root cause of creation called mūla māyā is the unimaginable power or unimaginable God (Power and possessor of power can’t be isolated). This unimaginable cause created the imaginable product or world through the process of illusion only. Illusion means that the cause is absolute reality and the product is relative reality. This means that unimaginable Mūla Māyā is the absolute reality and its product or imaginable world is relative reality. Relative reality means that its inherent reality is non-existence and its acquired reality is the absolute reality of the mūla māyā. In this way, the word mūla māyā means maintains its sense in all contexts. Since the non-existence appears as absolutely existing, it can be treated as wonder and the sense of wonder is meaning of the word māyā. But, one shall be careful in understanding the root fact that the illusion is only for God in order to enjoy the entertainment and the illusion is not for the soul because soul is a tiny part of the world!