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Note: This guide is not only intended for Balavikas students, this also helps every one who wants to know about the Indian Culture and Spirituality and also refresh the memory of those who have forgotten many of them. This will also guide all parents to teach their children and putting a foundation in their mind about Indian Culture and spirituality. Therefore we take pleasure in posting this in seven parts in our Forum for the benefit of all and are intended for fact-finding reading. Thanks to the author.     -‘saidevotees_worldnet’

Om Sri Sai Ram

GUIDE TO INDIAN CULTURE AND SPIRITUALITY

[Based on the Divine Teachings of BHAGAWAN SRI SATHYA SAI BABA]

By

Smt. KAUSALYARANI RAGHAVAN

AUM SRI SATHYA SAI BABAYA NAMAHA

"Aum Guru Brahma Guru Vishnu,

Guru Devo Maheswaraha

Guru Sakshath Param Brahma,

Thasmai Sri Gurve Namaha"

Pranams to the Lotus Feet of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, who is the Loka Guru and God manifested in human form out of His mercy to save humanity and shower His blessings and Prema. He is the motivator and we are all only tools in His Divine Hand. By His blessings and mercy, I have been able to write this book INTENDED MAINLY FOR SRI SATHYA SAI BALAVIKAS STUDENTS and also for those who are interested in knowing something about Indian culture and spirituality.

Just as in Ramayana, a squirrel with a deep desire to help Lord Rama in His mission of building a bridge across the ocean to reach Lanka, rolled in the dust and then shed the little dust accumulated on its body, near the sea-shore, where Sri Rama and the Vanaras were constructing the bridge, I too with a deep desire to help Sai mission, with my limited ability have written this book with the grace and blessings of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Bhagawan gave me the rare privilege of attending except one all summer courses which He conducted at Whitefield, Bangalore (years 1972 onwards upto 1979). I have summarized what I learnt there. The first 108 questions and answers are for beginners or say Primary or Junior students and the rest contains high Philosophy and Bhagawan's Divine Teaching for the welfare of the whole humanity. The small squirrel received the praise and patting from the Divine Hand and won the Lord's grace. Similarly if I can also please the Lord by this little act and receive His grace and blessings I will be greatly blessed.

We make a garland out of the beautiful and fragrant flowers created by God and offer it to Him as our own offering out of Prema. Similarly, I offer this book which contains the teaching of Bhagawan Baba which He Himself has taught, as a garland at the Lotus Feet of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba out of my Prema.

Asatho ma Sath Gamaya
Thamaso ma Jyothir Gamaya
Mrithyo ma Amritham Gamaya

Prostrating to the Lotus Feet of Bhagawan Sri Sri Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

Smt. KAUSALYA RANI RAGHAVAN

I. THE SACRED TEXTS OF HINDUISM

1. What is the name of our country?

The name of our country is Bharath.

2. Why is our country called Bharath?

Our country is called Bharath because the people in this land have attachment toward Bhagawan. "Bha" means Bhagawan and "Rathi" means attachment. This is the Spiritual meaning of the term "Bharath".

3. Name two great epics of our country.

The two great epics of our country are the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Ramayana is the story of Lord Rama, The Mahabharata is the story of Lord Krishna.

4. Who wrote them?

The great sage Valmiki wrote Ramayana. The great sage Vyasa wrote Maha Bharatha.

5. What is "Veda"? Define it.

By definition Vedas mean "Knowledge about everything." This word has come from the root "Vith" which means knowledge. God has given us in His grace these Vedas in order to enable us to know about this world, to understand the significance of human birth and also to understand the spirit of the divine. So Veda means God's words.

6. How did Veda originate?

God has given 'Veda'. This is like the very breath of God Himself. The Sacred 'Rishis' the Seers of this country when they performed penance and made inquiries into God's Nature, perceived Veda through various divine sounds that reached them. For such a thing like what is found by hearing Divine Sounds, there is no other Pramana or authority. So Vedas are God's words and 'Swara' or 'Vani' or the sound is the origin of Veda. The 'Akshara' "AUM" is the origin for Veda and Creation.

7. Why are Vedas called "Sruti"?

'Sruti' means a note of sound. These Vedas are the products solely of hearing by seers of the various Divine sounds. Because they are received through the act of hearing, Vedas are called "Srutis".

8. How many Vedas are there? Name them.

At the time when they first came out there were an endless number of Vedas but now after the lapse of centuries there are only four different Vedas -

(1) Rig Veda

(2) Yajur Veda

(3) Sama Veda and

(4) Atharvana Veda.

9. What is Rig Veda?

Rig Veda contains small stanzas or Mantras and hence the name Rig. In addition Rig Veda gives important statements like "Sathyam Vada" - (Speak the Truth), "Dharmam Chara" - (act in a righteous manner). It also contains various rituals and procedures which are intended to help in keeping the society intact.

10. What is Yajur Veda?

This Veda helps to fulfil our duties and tells how to conduct ourselves in addition to looking after the society.

11. What is Sama Veda?

The words of Sama Veda are set to music while the text gives the essence of Rig and Yajur Vedas.

12. What is Atharvana Veda?

This Veda tells us how man should take care of his children, family, elders and live happily. It also teaches special disciplines and curative techniques.

13. Why is Veda called "Nitya" and "Apourusheya"?

Veda is 'Nitya' because it is permanent. Veda is 'Apourusheya' because it is not created by man. Its origin is divine. It is the very breath of God Himself.

14. What are the four Divisions of Vedas?

They are -

1. Samhita or collection of Mantras in praise of God.

2. Brahmanas - Detailed instructions about rites and ceremonies.

3. Aranyakas - enquiries about the highest truth.

4. Upanishad - Philosophical treatises which form the basis of the great systems of Indian philosophy.

15. How has Vedic learning been preserved?

Vedic learning has been preserved through the tradition of transmission from the teachers to the taught by word of mouth. Hence it is called "Srutis".

16. Who is a "Mantra-Drashta"?

The Rishis who received the Vedic truth and vision of mantras by sight directly from the Supreme Being, i.e., God, are called "Mantra Drashta"

17. Who is called a "Brahmavadini"?

The women seers who had the vision of Mantras and Vedic truth are called Brahmavadini.

18. How many had the vision of Vedic Mantras?

300 persons are reported to have had the vision of Vedic Mantra.

19. How many women seers were there in all?

There were 32 women seers.

20. Name some of the "Brahmavadinis"?

Upanishads speak of the following women sages in particular:

1. Vagambhrani

2. Sarparajni

3. Uma Haimavathi

4. Maitreyi (Wife of Yagnavalkya)

5. Gargi (Seer at the court of Janaka).

21. What is Vedanta?

Literally it means the end of the Veda; it comprises the system of philosophy underlying the Upanishads. Upanishads constitute the essence of the Vedas and therefore are called "Sruthi Siras", the head of the "Sruthi". It is desired to lead man to the one science, one wisdom which sees oneself as real and all else as unreal.

22. How many Mantras and Suktas are there in the Veda? Based on the Vedas what are the other lores from which we benefit?

The Veda contains 10,581 Mantras and 1,000 Suktas. The (1) Ayur veda, (2) Dhanur veda, (3) Gandarva veda, (4) Natya veda, these spring up from the Veda. What is not found in the veda cannot be found anywhere else.

23. How many Upanishads are there?

There are 108 Upanishads at present which are well-known. Originally there were 1,180 Upanishads.

24. Name the ten well-known Upanishads.

1. Isavasya Upanishad.

2. Kena Upanishad.

3. Kathopanishad.

4. Mandukya Upanishad.

5. Taitriya Upanishad.

6. Prashnopanishad.

7. Chandogya Upanishad.

8. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad.

9. Mundaka Upanishad.

10. Aithareya Upanishad.

25. What is the meaning of the word "Upanishad"?

1. That which leads us to the knowledge of Brahman.

2. That which dispels the fear of Samsara.

3. That which destroys sorrow.

4. That which the preceptor teaches the pupil who is sitting near and below him.

The Upanishad embody the secret of Veda.

26. Who translated Upanishads into Persian?

Jagannatha Panditaraja taught Upanishads to Prince Darashikon, Emperor Shahjahan's son. Dara translated the Upanishads into Persian. Translation of Upanishads is found in Latin, English, German and most other languages.

27. What is the language of the Vedas?

The language of the Veda is Sanskrit.

28. The Upanishadic tales impart what knowledge?

The Upanishadic tales the knowledge of Brahmavidya.

29. What is "Upasana"?

Taking of diksha (Spiritual resolve) and doing sadhana with Guru's guidance to ultimately attain divine power is called Upasana.

30. How many types of Dikshas are there?

There are 32 types of Dikshas.

31. What are the important steps in Upasana?

Anunyasa, that is carrying on Japa and feeling the presence of the Divine in one's body are the important steps in Upasana.

32. Who is called 'Adikavi' or first poet in Sanskrit Literature?

The great poet Valmiki, the author of Sreemad Ramayana, is considered to be the Adikavi or first poet in Sanskrit Literature.

33. Why is Valmiki considered to be Adikavi of Sanskrit literature?

Valmiki is considered to be the Adikavi (First Poet) of Sanskrit literature because he is the author of the great epic Sreemad Ramayana which is full of moral grandeur and sublime poetry. The Vedic Hymns and Upanishads are earlier to Ramayana but they cannot be easily understood by the common man because they are in "Vedic" Sanskrit. But Valmiki wrote his Ramayana in "Loukik" Sanskrit which is easily understandable by the common man. Yet it has a charm and dignity of its own. It is sweet and sublime in its very simplicity.

34. What is the basis of "Ramayana"?

Gayathri Mantra is the basis of Ramayana. It is incorporated in the Ramayana.

35. Which is the longest poem in the world's literature?

The Mahabharata is the longest poem in the world's literature and it contains 18 parvas or cantos. This epic contains many upakhyanas and episodes.

36. Which is called the "Panchama Veda"?

The great epic Mahabharata is called the Panchama Veda i.e., the Fifth Veda.

37. What is Bhagavad Gita?

Bhagavad Gita forms part of the Mahabharata. It is the most precious of the gems of Hindu scriptures. It contains the essence of Vedanta philosophy in the form of the teachings of Lord Krishna Himself to Arjuna on the battle field of Kurukshetra. It is taken as the teaching of Lord Himself to the whole Universe. In the word Gita "Gi" stands for sacrifice and "Ta" indicates spirituality. So Gita teaches us both sacrifice and the real nature of the soul.

38. How many 'Chapters' are there in the sacred book 'Bhagavad Gita'?

There are (18) eighteen Chapters in Bhagavad Gita.

39. How many 'Kandas' are there in Bhagavad Gita? Name them.

The first six Chapters form Karma Kanda. The second six Chapters form Bhakti Kanda and the last six Chapters form Gnana Kanda. Thus there are three Kandas in Bhagavad Gita emphasising ritual, wisdom, devotion and self surrender.

40. What is the highest form of Bhakti, taught in Bhagavad Gita?

The highest form of Bhakti or Prapatti is to give up everything in self-surrender to God. "Nishkama karma" or Karma Phala Thyaga is considered the highest form of Bhakti.

41. What is Nishkama Karma or Karma Phala Thyaga?

'Nishkama Karma' is doing any action with full self-surrender to God without aspiring for anything of his own that is having no selfish desire for the result of the action.

"Karmaphala Thyaga" means surrendering the results of any action undertaken to God.

42. What are Puranas?

Puranas are stories relating to God's and their dealings with men. The purpose of Puranas is to expand and propagate the meaning and content of the Vedas.

43. When were Puranas written?

Puranas were written after the Vedas but although Puranas are not older than Veda the stories might have been prior to the Vedas.

44. How many Puranas are there?

There are (18) eighteen Puranas and 18 Upapuranas and another 18 Upa Upapuranas.

45. Name the important major Puranas.

1. Brahma Puranam.

2. Padma Puranam

3. Vishnu Puranam.

4. Siva Puranam.

5. Bhagavatha Puranam.

6. Naradha Puranam.

7. Markandeya Puranam.

8. Agni Puranam.

9. Bhavishya Puranam.

10. Brahma Vaivartha Puranam.

11. Linga Puranam.

12. Varaha Puranam.

13. Skantha Puranam.

14. Vamana Puranam.

15. Koorma Puranam.

16. Machya Puranam.

17. Garuda Puranam.

18. Brahmanda Puranam.

46. What are the five characteristics of the Puranas?

The five characteristics of the Puranas are

1. Sarga (Creation)

2. Prati Sarga (Reabsorption).

3. Vamsa (Genealogy).

4. Manvantaras (Period of a Manu).

5. Vamsamcharita (History).

47. What do the Puranas actually contain?

They are really stories with a large element of the miraculous in them, showing the ultimate of power of the Godhead in His many manifestations and His divine mission of protecting Dharma and destroying Adharma.

48. What are the Upakyanas?

The Upakyanas in the various Puranas are source books for many poems written afterwards.

49. Why are Puranas important to our life?

Puranas are valuable historical records of our country. The Puranas kept Hindu religion alive among the masses by their narrative interest and the dramatic nature of their episodes.

50. What is Bhagavata?

It is one of the major Puranas. The various Manvantaras and the Avatars, the Lord took in them are described in this Purana. It narrates the stories of the incarnation of Lord Vishnu in short.

51. How many Avatars are mentioned in Maha Bhagavata?

Twenty-one Avatars are mentioned in Maha Bhagavata out of which ten are important.

52. What do these Avatars symbolise?

The various Avatars symbolised the gradual evolution of consciousness from the fish to the animal and then upwards to self-conscious man.

53. Why do Avatars take place?

God manifests Himself in order to destroy evil and re-establish dharma. The universe has to be frequently cleansed and remade in order to be a worthy "Kshetra" of the Divine. So Avatars takes place.

54. Which Avatar is called the "Purna Avatar"?

Lord Krishna is called the "Purna Avatar". ("Purna" means "Full")

55. What kind of Bhakti did the Gopis have towards Lord Krishna?

Gopis' Bhakti is called Madhura Bhakti. It is not mere ordinary love but the soul's deep longing for union with the Divine through the path of self-surrender and Prema.

56. What does the well-known "Bhramara Geeta" symbolise?

The well-known "Bhramara Geeta" symbolises perennial longing for Divine love, Example Gopis' Bhakti. They cannot bear the separation of their Lord from them even for a moment. They poured out their yearnings to the Bhramara (bee) to be conveyed to their Lord Krishna.

57. What are the stories or Upakhyanas in the Bhagavata?

The Upakhayanas in the Bhaghavata are conveyed in the following stories. They are:

1. Daksha's Sacrifice,

2. The story of Dhruva,

3. The story of Ajameela,

4. Suyagnopakhyana and the story of the hunter and the Kulianga bird,

5. Gajendra Moksha,

6. The stories of Yayathi and Ranti, and

7. Chitraketu,

8. Bhagavata Speaks of Sriman Narayana Kavacha which protects men from all sin and sorrow.

58. What do we mean by "Yaga"?

Yagas are sacrifices performed in accordance with the Veda.

59. What is meaning of Yaga?

Yaga means the giving up of the material for the sake of the Divine. By so doing the inner power of man blossoms forth.

60. What kind of Yaga is of the highest order?

The Gita suggests many kinds of sacrifices. The highest of all is Satya Yajna. God showers grace on those who perform Yaga. If one who performs Yaga has no selfish eye on its fruits, it will bring blessings to the world.

61. What is Yagna?

The end of Yaga is to bring out an efflorescence of the humanity in man and help the attainment of divinity is Yagna.

62. What does Yaga reveal?

Yaga reveals the Yagjneswara, the supreme Lord of the sacrifice. Though Yaga Gayathri Devi protects the world.

63. What is Yoga?

The union of Jiva and Atma is Yoga.

64. What are the different branches of Yoga?

There are several branches of Yogas like Hatha, Mantra Laya, Raja and Shabda.

65. Who wrote "Yoga Darshan"?

Patanjali wrote "Yoga Darshan".

66. How should Yoga be practiced?

Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama and Pratyahara are the five external regulations to be practised. Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi are the internal disciplines. The process of yoga involves arresting of the mind from external objects. Some varittis or activities antagonistic to meditation must be arrested. They can be controlled by abhyasa (Practice) and Vairagya (detachment). Purification of the Nadis, i.e., nerve centres is also essential.

67. How has Mimamsa developed?

The Veda teaches the Dharma which is basic to four purusharthas (Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha). Mimamsa has developed in order to clarify Dharma; it is an enquiry into the nature of Dharma. It says Dharma is an instrument for gaining bliss in this world as well as in the next. Wisdom must accompany action.

68. Who wrote Mimamsa Sutra?

Jaimini wrote Mimamsa Sutra.

69. What is Poorva Mimamsa?

Poorva Mimamsa deals with the procedure for dispelling divergence and establishing unity.

70. What are the action prescribed by the Vedas?

Activities prescribed by the Vedas are three fold. They are Nitya, Kamya and Vishuddha - obligatory, purposive and pure.

71. What is Moksha?

"Moha Kshaya" is Moksha i.e. full detachment from worldly desires and considerations.

72. What are "Mahavakyas"?

Mahavakyas are the grand utterances of the Upanishads. They contain the essence of the Vedanta and the ultimate truth.

73. Write the Mahavakya of Rig Veda and its meaning.

The Mahavakya of Rig Veda is "Prajnanam Brahma". It means Divine consciousness is the Supreme Reality or Para Brahman.

74. What is the Mahavakya of "Yajur Veda"? Give its meaning.

The Mahavakya of Yajur Veda is "Aham Brahmasmi". The meaning of this is "I am Brahma". That is, that 'I' in everybody is Brahma.

75. What is the Mahavakya of Sama Veda? Explain its meaning.

The Mahavakya of Sama Veda says "Tatvamasi". Its meaning is "Thou art that".

76. What is the Mahavakya of "Atharvana Veda" and its meaning?

"Ayam Atma Brahma" is the Mahavakya of Atharva Veda and its meaning is "Atma is Brahma".

77. What are the three Mantras of Isvasya Upanishad? Explain in detail their meaning.

The essence of all the Upanishads are contained in the three Mantras of Isavasya Upanishad. The first Mantra says "Isavasyam Idam Sarvam Yat Kinchya Jagatyam Jagat". The meaning of this is everything in this world is enveloped by God. This teaches us that the highest happiness is got through Thyaga sacrificing for the sake of other's happiness. The second Mantra teaches us to work in the world and do the duties in the spirit of renunciation. The third Mantra says, one who sees God everywhere and in everything and within oneself will know no misery.

78. What is the meaning of "Kena Upanishad"? What does it emphasise in short?

"Kena" means "by what?" That is to say - by what power does everything in this universe move? The answer is "God" or "Brahman".

79. What is the story narrated in Kathopanishad?

Kathopanishad narrates the story of Nachiketas who asked Yama, the God of Death, only for Atma Vidya.

80. What is "Shreyes" and what is "Preyas"?

"Shreyas" means "the eternal good" and "Preyas" means the "pleasant". Nachiketas in Kathopanishad firmly believed that the "eternal good" is better than "pleasant" that is to say, he preferred "Shreyas" to "Preyas".

81. What does the term "Avashtha Traya Vichara" mean?

The Mandukya Upanishad consists of a detailed analysis of the nature of Atma and its manifestation in the "Omkara" or "Pranava". This analysis is known in the Upanishad as the "Avasthatraiya Vichara".

82. What are three states of experience commonly known by oneself?

The three states of experience in common life are - (1) Jagrat, (2) Swapna, and (3) Sushupti.

83. What is the meaning of the term "Jagrat"?

The term "Jagrat" means the state of awakening that is, all that happens during our wakeful period. In the Jagrat state the experiencer functions through both the mind and the five sense organs. We are therefore in immediate contact with the world around us, with persons and the qualities of external objects.

84. Explain the term "Viswa" and "Sthula Bhuk".

In the Jagrat or awakening stage, the individual is known as "Viswa" - that is, one who experiences concrete gross objects with continuous weight and dimension. This makes us enjoyers of gross entities and the individual is said to be a "Sthula Bhuk".

85. What is "Swapna state"? Explain it in detail.

"Swapna" state is the state of dreaming. In the Swapna state of dreaming, the sense organs cease to function. We have no contact with the objects of the external world, but in this stage, we have contact only with the subtle ideas and urges of the mind.

86. Explain the term "Tejasa" and "Pradiviktha Bhuk" mentioned in the Mandukya Upanishad.

The Swapna state is however as rich, real and concrete as the world of awakened experiences. In this dreaming stage the mind alone is active and so the experience is called "Tejasa". "Tejasa", means in Sanskrit "Light". So the mind in dream depends upon the light of the mind itself. It is a self-generating Atmic light which shows up subtle objects and the experience is called "Pradiviktha Bhuk".

87. Explain the state of "Sushupti" in detail.

The state of dreamless sleep or "Aswapna Nidra" is called "Sushupti". Here the mind together with the sense organs does not function. Only the Atma functions by witnessing this state of Ananda. So we say only Atma or Soul is omnipresent.

88. Explain the term "Prajna" and "Ananda Bhuk".

The experience of deep dreamless sleep is called "Prajna". But even though the mind and sense organs cease to function, the person continues to experience the state of Ananda and he is called Ananda Bhuk.

89. Whom did the Mandukya Upanishad refer as "Sakshi"?

The silent witness of the self, which impartially observes both the presence and the absence of external objects and which is present in all the three states of experience, namely Jagrat, Swapna and Sushupti, is called in the "Mandukya Upanishad" "Sakshi" or witness.

90. What is real and permanent?

While the mind and the sense organs vary and change in their work, the light of the Self remains constant and changeless. It is the reality, the "Sat", the Atman, and it is the only point of stillness, a passive lamp and an illuminator. Since all the other three states of experience are temporary and unreal, the Atman or the witnessing force within us known as "Sakshi" alone is real.

91. Who is known as "Vishwavirat"?

The objective Vishwa (experience of the worldly matter) corresponds objectively to the world of matter called "Virat" and so is known as "Vishwavirat." (Jagrat state).

92. Who is a "Taijasa Hiranya Garbha"?

The Taijasa corresponds to the mind of the world. The Hiranya Gharbha is known as the Taijasa Hiranya Garbha (Swapna state).

93. Whom does the "Prajna" individual correspond?

The "Prajna" individual (person in dreamless deep sleep state) corresponds to Iswara or God from whom he proceeds and to whom he must return.

94. What is Brahman?

Atman is Brahman. Finally the subjective Atman or "Turiya" corresponds to the Brahman in which the objective and subjective are fused.

95. What is the meaning of "Om Iti Ek Aksharam"?

The Aksharam "OM" is the Brahman itself and it contains the ultimate truth. It is present in all the three states of experience as Atman or Brahman. So it is eternal witness.

96. What truth does the Taitiriya Upanishad declare?

The Taitiriya Upanishad declares that in the being there are five sheaths which can be grouped into three bodies.

97. What are the five sheaths the Taitiriya Upanishad declares in a being?

The five sheaths are:

1. Annamaya Kosa,

2. Pranamaya Kosa,

3. Manomaya Kosa,

4. Vignana Maya Kosa,

5. Ananda Maya Kosa.

98. What is the "Stula Sharira"?

"Stula Sharira" refers to Annamaya Kosa, or belongs to the gross body which undergoes changes and dies a physical death.

99. What is "Sukshma Sharira"?

The Pranamaya Kosa (life giving vital force), the Mano Maya Kosa (mind or Manas) and Vignanamaya Kosa (wisdom) belong to one body are called Sukshma Sharira. Sukshma Sharira is the subtle body which constitutes the jiva character.

100. Where does the Atman or Brahman reside in a body?

The Atman or Brahman resides in the "Karana Sharira" or causal body, which is also the body of ignorance. It is so because it is not aware of itself. On account of this Advidya or "Karana" it is subject to rebirth.

101. What is "Atmavidya"?

Atma Vidya is knowledge or Vidya about Atman or Absolute Reality. It is only when the individual recognise the Self as his reality that he can be made absolute and free. It is also Brahma Vidya.

102. What do the terms "Purusha" and "Prakriti" mean?

The entire universe consists of two fundamental realities:

1. "Purusha" and

2. "Prakriti".

"Prakriti" is primordial matter, the stuff of the universe in short. "Purusha" is individual consciousness or intelligence in short.

103. How is the universe evolved?

The universe is evolved through the interaction of Purusha and Prakriti (ref.: Kapila's Sankhya Darshana).

104. What are the three Gunas or Qualities of Prakriti?

Prakriti or primordial matter has three gunas or qualities namely,

1. Satwa,

2. Rajas,

3. Tamas.

Satwa is the quality of light, Rajas is the quality of activity, and Tamas is the quality of inertia.

105. How was cosmic evolution set in motion in creation?

In the beginning the qualities of Prakriti, namely, Satwa, Rajas and Tamas are in equilibrium. When this pre-cosmic equilibrium is upset by the instrumentality of Purusha, cosmic evolution gets into motion.

"Mahat" and "Ahamkara" are the two evolutes during this "Parinama" or evolution.

106. What do "Mahat" and "Ahankara" mean?

"Mahat" can be described as Buddhi, the cosmic intellect or world mind.

"Ahamkara" evolves into Satvik Ahankara, Rajasic and Tamasic Ahankara depending on which guna predominates. Satvik Ahankara undergoes Psychic evolution resulting in the emergence and functioning of Manas or the mind, the five sensory organs and the five organs of action. Rajasic Ahankara evolves into the world of matter perceived by the five elements:

1. Sabta

2. Sparsha

3. Rupa

4. Rasa

5. Gandha

Meaning:

1. Hearing

2. Touch

3. Vision

4. Taste

5. Smell

These five subtle elements have their material counter parts viz:

1. The sky

2. The air

3. The fire

4. The water

5. The earth

107-a. What is the difference between mind and matter?

Mind is the subtle Prakriti, and matter is gross Prakriti.

107-b. What is the difference between Purusha and Prakriti?

Purusha is passive and Prakriti is active - Purusha is conscious intelligence; Prakriti is material activity.

Purusha can free itself from the bondage of Prakriti by Vivekakhyati or discrimination.

108. Who is the Real Purusha?

God or Brahman alone is the only real Purusha. What is clear, what is clean, what is indestructible and what is self-effulgent and shining is only one and that is the soul or Purusha.

TO BE CONTINUED …

Source:  GUIDE TO INDIAN CULTURE AND SPIRITUALITY Published by

Sri Sathya Sai Books & Publications Trust Prashanthi Nilayam, India

Sent with Sai love by Sai brother M. Palaniswamy, ‘saidevotees_worldnet’

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/saidevotees_worldnet/ 


Chapter -2