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Advanced Yoga Study ( By Swami Dharmananda
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consciousness provides the seed. The unchanging principle immanent in the universe is the Shiva the Tat aspect and the changing principle in the universe is Shakti the Om aspect.

Mula Prakriti/Shakti
When energy remains at the beginning of creation in an unmanifested or undifferentiated state in its original homogenous unity it is called Mula Prakriti or Primordial energy. This original, primordial, homogenous energy is personified and is given a feminine gender. This energy is the Divine Mother of the Hindus. This energy is symbolically represented as Durga or Kali. The different forms in which Durga and Kali are shown in Hindu mythology and worshipped by devout Hindus are methods devised by the ancient sages to explain different aspect and powers of this primordial energy. This energy contains the three Gunas (Sattva, Rajas and Tamas) in a state of static equilibrium. These three Gunas or energy types are personified as the famous Hindu trinity -Brahma (Rajas), Vishnu (Sattva) and Shiva (Tamas). When God as Ishwara or the creator of the universe wills, this equilibrium is disturbed and the Gunas become active and begins interacting upon each other. This interaction transforms the original, unmanifested, homogenous energy one by one into 23 different types of grosser and grosser energies or Tattwas or elements which acts as the structural medium of the universe and everything that it contains. Each of these succeeding elements contains a certain mixture of all the three Gunas. Sattwa guna when this is predominant is responsible for clarity, peace, light and wisdom. When Rajas is predominant it gives rise to intense activity resulting in stress and pain. When Tamas is predominant it leads to inertia and ignorance.

The first transformation and the first element that is produced in the process of creation is called Mahat Tattwa. Mahat means great. It is the first and obviously the greatest of all created objects. It is the principle or energy of intelligence, the power by which everything is cognized, experienced, planned or supervised. This is the universal Intelligence that is responsible for every other activity or creativity in the universe. A small part of this energy in the human personality acts as the human intelligence or ‘buddhi'.

A part of Mahat gets transformed into ahamkara. Ahamkara is generally translated as ego but it is a broader term and its meaning is much more than what we know as ego in modern psychology. Ahamkara is a universal energy a modification and a grosser aspect of mahat that is responsible for individuation or creating a feeling of independent existence and separated from everything else. This energy in the human personality is the human ahamkara or ego that creates in human personality the feeling of being an individual entity independent and separate from every other entity.

From the sattwic aspect of ahamkara evolves manas. Manas is the universal energy that is responsible for the co-ordination of all sensory activities. Manas in human personality is the human mind with which we are familiar. 


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