Universal Philosophy

Swami Hrishikeshananda Saraswati, (Inspired by Satsangs of Paramahamsaji and Swamiji)

In time immemorial in this universe our journey started from unity to diversity. Within the purview of Prakriti or cosmic power, perennial evolution has been taking place. For the benefit of readers who may not have the real concept of Nature or Prakriti let me quote a few lines by Paramahamsaji:

Philosophically speaking, nature means Prakriti, that great law, that great system which is responsible for creation, growth and transformation. There is a universal law which controls the existence, growth and transformation of each and every speck of creation. This is known as the Natural Law. It controls the nature of plants, the properties of chemicals, the behaviour of invisible waves (magnetic and electromagnetic etc.), and it controls our existence.

This controlling force or Prakriti is composed of eight elements: ether, air, fire, water, earth, ego, mind and intelligence. These eight compose Nature or Prakriti, which is both individual and universal. It is micro cosmic and it is also macro cosmic. In its macro-cosmic aspect it controls number less galaxies, hundreds and thousands of suns and solar systems, and all the things in the vast universe. In its microcosmic aspect it controls each and every object individually. So, you have a prakriti in you, which is autonomous.

In this grinding process of evolution, our parameter of knowledge is being refined in various dimensions and transcendental experience is one of them.

If we refer to the scriptures regarding avatars then probably the inherent meaning of "evolution" will be understood better. The first avatar was Matsya Avatar, then came Kurma, Varaha, Nrisimha, Vamana, Parasuramu, Ramakrishna and Buddha. Another is yet to come. Although we call all of them "Avatars", nevertheless, according to "Time" their characteristics are not the same.

The quest for transcendental knowledge and experience gains momentum when we are not totally lost in the melee of this materialistic world. To quench the thirst for transcendental knowledge we turn the pages of the scriptures and look for an infallible guide or Satguru. Very often we travel to shrines or ashrams searching for this infallible guide. Sometimes we meet them inadvertently either in the physical form or in dream.

Whatever might be the case, it is then that our perception starts being recast by their guidance and blessings. It might not be spontaneous because it all depends on our existing samskara. Human behaviour is related to samskara. We inherit three types of samskara: samskara from the previous birth, samskara from our parent's, and samskara from society.

"Samskara" is defined in modern scientific terms as an archetype. Every action turns into an experience and experience turns into samskara. When the transcendental experiences coagulate, it is then that we may realise the mystery of this universe, and intellectual knowledge may be a barrier henceforth.

Srishti (creation) sthiti (preservation) samhara (destruction) tirdhana (veiling) and anugraha (blessing) are all the action of Prakriti. We then realise that whatever is seen in this universe is the outcome of consequences, i.e. parinam swaroop. Within the realm of Nature, consequences (parinum) keep changing, i.e. parivaartan swaroop according to time. It may take hundreds or thousands of years but parivartan must come.

Again, this is equally applicable to our pattern of mind. Individual mind is a very minor fraction of total mind. Owing to various factors such as time, work, desire, ambition, necessity etc., this individuality strongly persists. Consciousness is not different from person to person or even from matter to matter. The same consciousness we have is also present in matter, but in matter it is lying in a dormant state, whereas in our case it is active. When our evolution reaches a certain stage we start the return journey, i.e. nivritti marg. In other words, it is a journey, from diversity to unity, which may take place after many, many cycles of lives. "When we have the fullest measure of the six attributes of wisdom, dispassion, fame, divine power, wealth and righteousness then diversity merges into unity", nevertheless, that is not the end of it.

The lotus flower acts as an example of this transcendental journey:

  • - The lotus starts growing up from the muck of the pond (which is equivalent to the illusion of materialistic life).
  • - The lotus tries hard to come up through the water (which is equivalent to our sincere desire and aspiration for liberation).
  • - The lotus blooms in the sunlight (which is equivalent to our enlightenment). From the scriptures and from the sayings of the great divine messengers of the world these kernels of wisdom have been granted to us over and over again in order that we may not utterly lose our way.