Suddha Dharma Mandalam

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Sanatana Dharma Sootras


Part 3


5. Bhavaroopam Brahmiva hiyatmaroopam geeyatae.

5. Bhava in its aspect of form (roopa) is Brahm verily and is said to be termed Atman.


By the postulation of this Sootra, the Lord teaches that the aspect of Brahm named Bhava is two featured viz Swabhava and Swaroopa i.e., natural and formful. As to what swabhava is, the Lord taught it in Sootra 3 above. Herein the swaroopa feature of Bhava is explained. The Lord calls this also as Atman. That is to say what is termed as Atman has a swabhava aspect and a swaroopa aspect as well. In its swabhava aspect, Atman is the worshipful Ishwara termed as ‘Antaryami’ – Immanence. What is it in its swaroopa aspect is the question. This is an important philosophical point, which has to be understood by Sadkas well.

This swaroopa aspect represents the Universal-Self and the Cause for world projection. This comes about in virtue of Atman getting into association with the ‘abhava aspect’ of Brahm, which is ‘Brahm Shakti’. That Brahma Shakti is always formful – swaroopa, was explained in sootra 4. With the advent of Brahm sankhalpa for the creation of cosmic world-processes and its contents, Brahm Shakti, assumes a form. And this form is the Cause of the Jagat and is known as “Sashaktika Brahm Swaroopa” – Formful Brahm in association with Shakti. For it is with the aid of Shakti alone that Atman can project the Jagat. So that, Shakti becomes the dominating figure in world-processes. And each and everything associated with it must be endowed with a form and Atman is no exception. This primal and first swaroopa of Atman goes by the name of chit generally translated as consciousness, but in fact quite different thing thought akin in meaning. It may be noted that Brahma-Shakti is also known as chitroopini.

This chit is the starting point of the world-creational activities. It may be stated also that this is the mental plane, for, all creational-activities of the Universe start in the Tatwa called Manas-Mind. Sankhalpa referred above takes place in the region of the Manas only. Hence, the usual idea that the entire creation is a projection of the Cosmic Mind. Such a Cosmic Mind represents the Universal Self, which is the ‘I’ – Aham. The Lord in the Gita, when stating ‘Aham Atma, Gudakesa’ – Oh Guda Kesa (Arjuna) I am Atman, refers to this Universal ‘I’. This ‘I’ is jeevabhoota, the life-giver, the Cause, and the Sustainer of the Universe, which is termed as ‘Para-Prakriti” by the Lord in the Giva. Such a Universal Self, which is the Cause also goes by the name of Suddhatman on a different level.

What is known as Individual-Soul is Jvatman. Defining Jivatman in Sanatana Dharma Deepika, the Lord declares – lokandhishtilo hiyatna jivaityuchyatae. – Atman enseated in loka is known as Jiva. It is not necessary to remind that this Jiva belongs also to the swaroopa category of Atma. This Atman enseated or submerged in the world and going by the name of Jiva is termed as Asuddhatman. When it is said ‘loka’ it means our bodies as well on the well-known dictum that which is in Macrocosm is in Microcosm. This term ‘Asuddha’ attributed to Jiva, which mans ‘impure’ is due to the fact of what is known as ‘awartha-dosha’ or ‘karpanya-dosha’ expressed by Arjuna to the Lord.

It is a fetter, whicyh being subtle prevents even the highest aspirant from realizing his own true inner self, if its true nature is not determined and broken. Sage Gobhila defines the essential nature of <jiva< as “Soyam mamaeti vignanam” – the knowledge that this is mine. Whereas “I” is the characteristic of Atman, “mine” is that of Jiva. “I” represents overship to Prakriti or matter, whereas “Mine” represents the subjection to matter or Prakriti; and such being the characteristic of Jivatmans encased in individual bodies, results in bondage and subjection and hence it is Asuddhatman.

From that point of  view- Point of Atman as the Cause-Karana, mJiva is said to be Karya-para- the term karya, though translatable as effect really stands for “effect-motive”. That is why we find that all Jivas are attached to results. This attachment is its bondage resulting in shabby functioning. In the di8vine scheme of creation-activity etc, in Samsara, every Jiva has a purpose to fulfill and hence it is named “Karya-para”. As to what this purpose is, it is its duty to find out and discharge it and this constitutes its real work.

Due to its subjection to Prakriti, Jiva gets under the influence of “ahankara” – aspect of the said Prakriti and being confined to the little bodies it abides, attaches itself t the fruit of action. And this is called “karpanya-dosha” attachment to the fruits of action to the limited self; also termd as “Kripanaha palahetavaha” one whio is attached to the fruit of action to oneself is known as “Niggard”. Further details may be had in the Atricle Para and Aparan Prakriti and also Jiva and its Gati appearing in the “Suddha Dharma”. This bhava swaroopa and the Abhava Swaroopa of the next Sootra refer to their relationship with with the activities  pertaining to the infinities of Jagat projection. Let us learn the Abhava Swaroopa in the next Sootra.

6.  Tatchaiva abhavaroopam Prakritiriti.

6. Verily its abhava-roopa or changeful form is Prakriti.


The term “its” in the Sootra refers to Brahm. That is to say, “Abhava-Roopa” which goes by the name of Prakriti or Matter is decl;ared to be the other aspect of Brahm itself. This postulate brings out in bold relief the status of prakriti in the Brahmic scheme. This is because what is termed as Prakriti or Matter is Shakti itself in different states and hence its great importance.. Kumara says: Shaktiyadhishthana-bhedaena prakritihi sa cha kathyatae – Shakti, consequent on change of place is termed Prakriti. So, what is called matter and force are not two different things in their intrinsity. Matter is force latent, and force is matter, active. That is all. And because Matter is Shakti and also Brahmic at that, it is said to be “swatha –siddha” – self created.

However, it is “Jada” inert and devoid of any consciousness, though self create. It is tremed Moola Prakriti, which is said to consist of the well-known 24 tatwas or basic principles viz. the ficve Mahabootas, the five tanmatras, the five Karmendiras, the fove Gnanedriyas, manas, mahat, Avyakta and Ahankara (Gita, cap. XXII-6). In these, the atman abides giving momentum to their functioning by its mere presence. Man is said to be a complete organization nof these 24 elements of moola Prakriti, which is not, in lesser creations.

In the fully organized vehicle known as Man, there is full scope to the individual Jivatmans, wither to continue their subjection to the prakiritik influence or to get a release from it and overcome it, thereby realizing its true atmic state. Such of those who have raised themselves to the status of Yuktas spoken of in the Gita are said to know the influence of Prakriti in its entirety and infinite manifestations. As such they become able to steer clear without becoming subject to it. But this does not mean rejecting it, which can never be done at any time in any view of its all-compelling status in the divine scheme and its eternal association with the Atman, which is explained in the next Sootra.

      7.  Tow syatam brahmano hi sareerabhootow swabhavow sanatanow.

      7.  Of Brahm, they are embodiments inherently and eternally.


This Sootra brings out in completeness the staes of atman and Prakriti-Spirit and Matter in their intrincity and eternally regarding their relation to the all-ensouling and impoderable Brahm, as being its very embodiments in the shape of our own nature – nSwabhava. These embodiments or Swabhava of Brahm, are of the nature of nuclei- na noumenal manifestation prior to manifest phenomena, when this mysterious Brahm, as it is said, resolved as a result of its desire to divide itself into many from its ever unitary state of Oneness – Ekoham bahusyam etc. In this Samkalpa or resolve, its unitary state is there for ever and it is its embodiment that multiply into many through the process of mutation.

It seems necessary to bring  out the truth once again here that para Brahm, the supreme, impoderable, immesurable, immaculate, and the never knowable ultimate, which demands our attention and homage through subtle compulsion, as the rock-basis or the entire fabric of creation can be looked at  both positively and negatively, depending on the kind of learning and upbringing we have. When looked at positively, we have the name and form constituting the totality of oneness going by the name of Brahm, which, then becomes the rational basis for the manyness as creation, etc. constituting the Cosmos.

If we look at it negatively, we may stretch out rationalism to such an extent as to reduce the infinities of manyness into this ultimate as “Zero”. And that is what is said to be done by the Buddhists in their philosophy when they state “maya”, such a negative formulation is also available in the famous “neti-Neti”, Not-this, not this, which we find in Brahadaranyaka Upanishad, but of which no notice seems to have been taken hence it is a never knowable state, quite legitimately, through any kind of tests by us, even though one might have raised himself to the state of Mahatma or the very Ishwara himself. And that is what is indicated in the repose of Mahavishnu, the Paramatma, the Ishwara, on the serpent bed, the serpent representing the phenomenal universe brought under complete subjection.

Such is the yogic meditation pose of maha-siva and Maha Brahma enseated in Lotus. And this phase is fully brought out in the teachings of the Lord in the Gita, when he says, even though he is an Avatar and a representative of Brahm – Brahmano hi prathishtaham in chapter III, he adds in the Kaivalya Dharma Gita, chapter VII (S.D.M.) that offers his obeisance to Pursha-tameva chadyam purusham prapadye, the First Emanation from Brahm – yatah pravrutta purani. That is to say, Purusha the First manifestation of Para-Brahm when it resolved to multiply itself into many, is its positive feature, its negative feature never being know except felt as a power, to act as a whip for the envolved world-processes and its contents to return back to its original state of Brahm itself.

In the extant philosophical understanding of the Ultimate in this land, there is a good deal of confusion between these two phases of Para-Brahm – the positive and the negative represented as zero. The usefulness of the negative phase is for the purpose of withdrawing from the phenomena to noumera, while the positive one, hailed as a Purusha as stated above and which is declared as Para-Brahm itself is the basis of the phenomenal world, the Supreme manifestation of which is Atma and Prakriti, declared as embodiments of Brahm in this Sootra. These two ever in conjunction bring out the phenomenal universe.

The Atma spoken of here is said to be masculine and Prakriti, feminine, which is the Sharkti of Para-Brahm crystallized as Matter and called Prakriti. In this conjuctive state, which is one of absolute equilibrium, Atma and Prakriti are said to be Avyakta or unmanifest. In the Sanskrit language, the difference between these two as masculine and feminine is brought out by the term ‘Avyatana’ denoting the former and ‘Avyakta’ denoting the latter which when abides as prakriti or Matter is termed ‘Avyaktam’.

It is declared to be the fourth or Turiya or Yogic state. The Atman is known as Paramatma here, the other states of Atman being, kevalatman, Jivatman and Akasharatmman, occupying the planes of Mahat, Manas e Indriya respectively. That is to say Atman a general term has various states as pointed above in accordance with the various planes of matter formations, occupying these planes with different nomenclatures and giving the needed life force to them.

It is Purusha that is the positive ONE, and not the Atman, though for all practical purposes, it can be declared as One which is out of vision, in general, but it can be visioned etc. and so the dictum is atmavare drashtavya, shrotavya, mantavya, etc. It is not ‘never knowable’ like Para-Brahm, though representing is as an unseeable generally. And this Atman as such is hailed as ‘Swaroopa’ or the form of Brahm with name etc. And Prakriti as the ‘Swabhava’ or nature of Brahm supplying the needed material for the name to have a form. It is this that is brought out in this Sootra, the two being declared as the embodiments of Brahm. This arises the importance of the knowledge of ‘Swaroopa’.

8. Swabhavow tow nityayuktavubhavapi.

8. In their very nature these two are eternally in union.

This sootra is a constant reminder of the truth that Atman and Pakriti or Spirit and Matter are over present in eternal union and there is no such state in which one or the other is absent. What is generally stated as transcending Prakriti is nothing else than over-coming the trigunatmic(i.e.) the Tamasic, the Rajasic and the Satwic influences exerted by Prakriti through getting a control over them. In the world of effect, they are ever-present in close union as the Cause. That which is known as the Avyakta-plane is the seat of Yoga.

9. Yogahetavasha gnanechakriya smahara brahmadharma bhavanti.

9. The cause as well as effect of Yoga is knowledge, desire, action and their summation, which are known as Brahm-Dharma.


The term ‘hetu’ in this sootra is translated both as cause and effect not only because it has these two contrary meanings, but because it represents the interchange of direction in the projection of the world-processes and also a contraction thereof.

It is clear that the ultimate is Yoga-Yoga of Atma and Prakriti in the highests plane of Avyakta. Abiding in this place they project the world-processes and the effect produced thereon is Gnana, Iccha, Kriya and Samhara, which are declared as Brahm-Dharmas. That is to say the dharmas or laws by which the creational etc, activities are brought about are knowledge etc. This is known asPravitti or Upakrama. Even though Yoga is present always, it is only partially reflected in the realms of Gnana etc. which are termed worlds, each in itself. In the act of Nivritti or Upasamhara where there is a cossation of the world activity, Gnana etc. which were effects before act as causes to enable Individual Souls to get back to the Avyakta state of Yoga. This idea is brought about in the shoka Avyaktadmi bhootani vyakta madyani – that all beings emanate from Avyakta abide in Vyakta for a while and get back to Avyakta again. The Vyakta state is that which is mentioned as Gnana, Iccha, Kriya and Samhara, which are Brahm-Dharmas.

Though Yoga pervades all-sarvam yogae pradishtitam, in its real sense, the term can be applied only to that state of Avyakta, wherein Atma and Prakriti are in union on a part with each other which is not obtained in other levels. The Yoga mentioned in this sootra refers to the highest Yoga, which is known as Suddha Yoga.