THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN FOR ATULYO VARSO MAGAZINE IN GUJARATI. THIS IS THE ENGLISH VERSION OF THE ARTICLE.
Since the rise of intellectual evolution, a question has been lingering in the mind of human beings, ‘Where did the creation take place, how did it happen and when did it happen?’.
If you ask today’s modern cosmologist they’ll say that universe started with a Big Bang. But even in various ancient sciences & philosophies like Vedanta Darshan, Nyaya Darshan, Sankhya Darshan etc. the creation of the universe has been described and that to on a scientific basis. This description matches a lot with the description in modern science.
This description is compatible with modern science and many scientists have studied these Shastras and made new discoveries. J. Robert Oppenheimer is considered to be the founder of the Nuclear Bomb. He also used to study theses scriptures. Psychologists such as Dan Earley and Daniel Golman also study Eastern cultures.
Even today there is a lot of science in these scriptures which can be of great benefit to modern scientists in their research work because whatever science there is in the scriptures is the result of thousands of years of study, penance and self-study of our yogis and sages. . Not only scientists but this knowledge and science can benefit a lot in our personal life as well. This knowledge and science can make our life very simple, successful and satisfying. In this article we will give you a glimpse of what this knowledge and science is and how you will benefit from this knowledge and science in your personal life.
What is Shakti?
Whether you look at the Puranas or study the Upanishads or read other Darshan Shastras, you will almost find the same description but the terminology may be different.
In simple words, the description is somewhat like this, in the beginning there was nothing. And that nothing is described by the name of Hiranyagarbha in Vedanta Darshan, Purush in Sankhya Darshan, Shiva in Tantra Shastra, Bhagwan in Bhagavat. It was Bhagvan’s or Shiva’s wish that I expand, that I should grow from nothing to multiple. And then the process of creation of Shrishti started which is still going on parallel with the process of nourishment and destruction and which will continue till Mahapralaya.
Everything that is created from the Supreme Entity is subject to Shakti. Shakti runs everything that you & I know. Different Darshan know this Shakti, this power by different names. Sankhya knows it by the name of Prakriti, Bhagavat knows it by the name of Bhagwati, Vedanta philosophy calls it by the name of Maya or Avidya. Tantra addresses it by Adi Shakti. And in modern science what can describe this primordial creation closely is matter and energy.
But what is Shakti for an ordinary person? What does it matter to you and me? Everything you and I know is Shakti. Our thoughts, the object of our thoughts, our senses, the objects of our senses, our karma and its fruits, our desires, our mindset, all come under Shakti. Everything we see with our eyes, hear with our ears, smell with our noses, speak from mouth, think in our minds, make decisions with our intellect, everything is subject to Shakti. Whatever we do, good or bad, and whatever fruit we get, favourable or unfavourable, is all subject to Shakti. Whether we have happiness or sorrow in life, success or failure, everything is within the territory of Shakti. In short the entire life is subject to Shakti.
Which GUNA is active in how much proportion will determine what life you and I will have?
How Does Shakti Works?
According to the scriptures, Shiva is Nirguna but Shakti is Saguna. There are 3 GUNA (qualities) of Shakti, and so there are 3 qualities of human beings as well. 3 qualities of our thoughts and 3 qualities of our actions. The names of these 3 Gunas are Sattva, Rajas and Tamas.
Sattva means that which has very little friction. One is more likely to have effortless movement in Sattva, and also has more speed, more smoothness in Sattva. Understand in this way that the motion of an object in water is less than that of air and the motion of an object in earth is less than that of water. If you move your hand in the air and move your hand in the water, you will feel more force in the water and if you move your hand in the soil, you will feel more force than the water. This is because there is more Sattva in the water than in the earth and more Sattva in the air than in the water. Rajas mean that in which friction is slightly higher and Tamas has highest friction. There is less effort in Sattva, more effort in Rajas and extreme effort in Tamas. The whole universe is covered with these 3 gunas. There is nothing beyond these 3 gunas. Rain, heat, humidity, cold, flowing water, moving wind, day, evening, traffic, transaction, love, hunger, thirst all have these 3 qualities. When these 3 virtues of Shakti are in harmony with each other, then our life goes very smoothly. Understand that the blessing of Goddess (Shakti) is on us. But if these 3 virtues are not in harmony with each other then friction in life will grow dramatically. And understand that the curse of (Shakti) in Goddess is on us.
Body Mind Life
Our body and mind are under the influence of these 3 virtues. These 3 Gunas of Shakti are at work on cellular level. But to understand Shakti, let us understand it in larger groups.
Tamas Guna is dominant in the bones & muscles in our body. Rajo Guna is more in the vein of blood and other liquids. For now you can understand that the air we breathe is the predominance of Sattva Guna.
This is about the body but what about the mind? When the mind is tired and it wants nothing but rest, then the mind is under the influence of Tamas. When the mind is creative and desires to do something, it is under the influence of Rajo Guna. And the mind is under the influence of Sattva Guna when it is alert and one pointed.
Rest is necessary for body & mind and it can be done only in Tamo Guna, work is necessary for social life and it can be done only in Rajo Guna and inspiration is necessary for excellent life which can only happen in Sattva Guna. So all the 3 Gunas are of utmost importance and all of them are necessary at their appropriate time.
Our body & mind are under the influence of these 3 gunas. And a particular Guna is dominant during different times throughout the 24 hours.
How does the 3 Gunas affect our life?
Just as there are different qualities in our body at different times, there are also different qualities in our environment at different times. Morning time is the predominance of Sattva Guna. Afternoon time is the predominance of Rajo Guna. And the evening time is the predominance of Tamo Guna.
Our body is in Sattva Guna after waking up. After some time it comes in Rajo Guna. And after doing hard work it comes in Tamo Guna. The more the dominant Guna of the body is in harmony with the dominant Guna of time, the more productive effect of Shakti is in our life. But the more there is inconsistency between the dominant Guna of our body and the dominant Guna of time, the more the conflict in life increases.
For example, in the morning, just before sunrise, when the atmosphere is dominated by Sattva Guna, at the same time, if you wake up, you will have Sattva Guna predominant in your body. And your dominant Guna and environment’s dominant Guna will be in harmony. In such a situation our consciousness is in a different world and we connect with the divine powers. That results in motivational thoughts and desire to do serve society in a better way (PAROPKAR) which is essential for living a fully successful life.
But if you keep sleeping at that time, then there is the predominance of Sattva Guna in the atmosphere, but in your body there is the predominance of Tamo Guna. Due to this struggle in your deeds and in life increases exponentially.
Depending on the terrain and season, the predominance of Rajo Guna increases in the atmosphere from about 9:30 am to 11 o’clock in the morning and if you get up near that time, there is Sattva Guna dominant in the body but there is Rajo Guna dominant in the atmosphere. In such a situation, due to the mismatch between the prime qualities of the body and the prime qualities of the environment, our actions turn out to be inaccurate and the results are not as productive as they should be.
But if you bring the prime qualities of your body in sync with the prime qualities of the environment, that is, you get up on time and do all the necessary things like purification of the body (exercise and bathing) and purification of the mind (pranayama and meditation) then we will be able to do everything effortlessly and get the desired result.
The person, who understands this Gunas of Shakti and applies it accordingly, will reach at the pinnacle of success. But the person who is under the control of his or her senses and becomes a slave of the mind, then the struggle in life itself increases.
In the same way food also have these 3 Gunas. The type of food we intake at a particular time influences the particular guna in our body. And the more that guna is in synchronization with guna of the environment the more overall success we get in our life.
The more coordination there is in the 3 Gunas of Shakti in the life of a person, the more overall Sattva Guna grows in the person and the more his aura becomes pure and the more his deeds are easily accomplished. Sattva Guna then also increases in the life of those people who meets such person. People and opportunities are automatically attracted to such individuals. Such individuals bring themselves up, bring their family, friends and relatives up. And eventually bring the whole society up. Such persons are beloved of Shiva and Shakti. It is my prayer and my effort that you too become that person.