[Query] Namaste, sir, we both are (self and wife)gurupadistas. She is a working women. Although our ancestors were following practice of sitting seperatly for three days (periods time) we are unable to follow it. Even if we do it in home, when we go out we will be mixing with others and when we eat out the basic principle is lost. We have got a house maid who moves around in our home. Although I avoid sri chakra puja in those days, I continue daily sadhana but she takes interval for those days.

Please do guide us.


Dear Sir,

The shastras advice us to follow the AchAra to the best possible extent. The first option would be to intelligently come up with a strategy to avoid an unfavorable situation. When that is not feasible, one should do whatever is best possible and leave the rest to the lotus feet of parAshakti. It should never be forgotten that the panchadashI mantra is credited with the power to absolve every sin, and this is not mere arthavAda, especially in the described circumstance. I cannot comment on the injunctions of the shAstras and the amount of rigidity that is required in following them, but I do believe that a sincere effort is immediately appreciated by the stupid lady and she makes way for what she thinks is good for us. One should simply do what is best possible, being true to one’s heart, and leave the rest to parAmbA. The various doshas such as these are a reality of Kali Yuga. As stated in various shastras, bhagavannAma smaraNa is the easiest and foremost method to attain shuddhi in kali:

harernAma harernAma harernAmaiva kevalam |
kalau nAstyeva nAstyeva nAstyeva gatiranyathA ||

The power of nAmasmaraNa, in the context of shrIvidyA, has been stated by Lord Hayagriva thus:

kalau pApaikabahuLe dharmAnuShThAna varjite |
nAmAnukIrtanaM muktvA nR^iNAM nAnyatparAyaNam ||

We have discussed earlier the need for nAmasmaraNa even by those who think they perform all the required karma in the specified way. That simply is not possible due to Kali dharma as stated in several shastras that ordain karma. Sri Bhaskararaya deals with this topic briefly in saubhagya bhaskara as well. Madhusudana Saraswati, Sri Bhagavannama Bodhendra, Sri Lakshmana Deshikendra and others discuss this elaborately. The nAmasmaraNa of paradevata, by means of reciting panchadashI mahAmantra whose nAmaTmakatA has been stated in trishatI [kakArarupetyAdi] as well as by AchArya bhagavatpAda [tava janani nAmAvayavatAm], is capable of granting paripurnata to everything and that is the primary refuge for an upAsaka in all matters.

It is people like your good self that hold high the torch of Upasana, managing both laukika and AdhyAtmika vyavaharas, and giving their sincere best to both.

Best Wishes …

tvadIyaM vastu govinda tubhyameva samarpaye ||
hare krShNa

Sri Pashupatinath

The supremely beautiful and distinctive image of shrI pashupatinAtha mahAdeva at Kathmandu, Nepal, is adorned with four visible faces:

1. sadyojAta
2. vAmadeva
3. aghora
4. tatpuruSha

The fifth and invisible face of IshAna together with the other four faces forms a pancha mukha linga. The Srikula Krama Tantra of
Bimbambika Sampradaya which flourished prosperously in Nepal during certain periods, describes the following names for the five faces:

1. mahAdeva (pUrva mukha, pUrvAmnAya)
2. bhairava (dakShiNa mukha, dakShiNAmnAya)
3. nandivaktra (pashchima mukha, pashchimAmnAya)
4. umA vaktra (uttara mukha, shAktAmnAya)
5. sadAshiva (Urdhva mukha, UrdhvAmnAya)

The base of the linga represents adharAmnAya. The above epithets with respective mantras (kramakalpalatA, pAshupata krama, verses 18-39) are used today in the temple during ritualistic worship thrice every day.

What bhagavatpAda shankara did for the revival of sanAtana dharma in the face of many inroads into its stronghold in his days, then profoundly different from the pristine form and philosophy owing to the trappings of misinterpreted tAntric worship, is indeed marvelous. It is a commonplace in history that bhagavatpAda was responsible for the regeneration of the Hindu way of life and religious practice and for an extended devotional support to shAkta mata in its twin forms dealing with prakR^iti and puruSha. In keeping with the general practice set in vogue by the jagadguru, shivAbhinnA parAshakti is worshiped in the shrine of pashupatinAtha in the form of shrIyantra placed above the linga, representing tripurasundarI as panchabrahmAsanasthitA. She is worshipped with various offerings and tarpaNa using the parA ShoDashI mahAmantra and ShoDashAvaraNa krama. After all, the most distinctive aspect of even the Urdvaretas form of yogIshvara mahAdeva, along with his supreme control over the senses, is his intimate and uninterrupted contact with shakti. This gets stated beautifully in mAlavikAgnimitra:

kAntAsammishradeho.apyaviShayamanasAM yaH parastAdyatInAm ||

The statement in the mAhatmya khaNDa of tripurA rahasya describing the shrIchakra present on a panchamukha linga as the most auspicious among dasha koTi shrIyantras, seems to be an explicit indication of pashupatinAtha. The worship manual used by the priests in the shrine describes mahAtripurasundarI as the central deity commanding a greater priority than even the poor mahAdeva (sharIrArdham shambhoraparamapi shanke hritamabhUt, proktA shivavyApinI etc.) and her worship above the panchabrahma linga is described as granting yoga siddhi. The six yogas associated with the six aspects of the linga and AmnAyas that are attained by worship of mahAtripurasundarI (kAmakalA kAlikA) and pashupatinAtha (kAmeshvara bhaTTAraka or mahAkAla kAmeshvara) are:

1. adharAmnAya: shabda yoga
2. pUrvAmnAya: mantra yoga
3. dakshiNAmnAya: bhakti yoga
4. pashchimAmnAya: karma yoga
5. uttarAmnAya: j~nAnayoga
6. UrdhvAmnAya: shakti yoga or mokSha yoga

These seem to be based on the model of six yogas described in rudrayAmaLa with laya yoga replaced by shabda yoga.


The Mystic Breath

The abiding Reality in its natural flow
Exists in seven ways;
It is held to be spontaneously present in view of its being varied;
Indeterminate in its being alive with movement;
Determinate via its unchanging nature;

Transformable into anything with the dynamism of its presencing;
Describable as anything since it gives rise to everything;
Originally pure since it is free of straying and distortion;
And variegated with its diverse modes of manifestation.

Since the Great Perfection can appear in any way,
There are a great number of diverse assertions about it
Drawn from the specific particulars of such descriptions;
Yet within the view turned towards its abiding natural flow
It is revealed as neither this one nor two.

The ground which exists in a primeval, natural flow
Has no existence outside of its own oneness,
Yet it appears in seven distinct ways
When conceptually delineated
Under the bias of our distorted perception.

Beyond levels, partializing restrictions, and segmentation,
It is devoid of existence, non-existence or something that can be seen;
It is not within the scope of linguistic or logical analyses,
Nor is it something single, dual, or even an itemizable object at all.

Originally pure reality devoid of discursive elaboration,
Is the Ground-nucleus, thoroughly pure in its own essence.
Being devoid of words and letters,
It cannot be delineated with verbal expression;
Being devoid of all conventional reifications and terminology,
Conceptuality with its subject-object dualism does not apply.

When the core of such absence
Is verbally delineated in a provisional way,
Its essence is original purity
And its nature is spontaneous presence.

I have known thus through the merits earned willfully
Tranquil and subtle, the tool is the breath.
Through the successive periods of a day
The energy winds are reckoned to be
Twenty one thousand and six hundred in number,
And thus complete in a single day.

In every sixty moving winds
There is one that is subtle which is real
In double that interval there is one coarse
And make it triple to get one gross.
Here is a grand of six hundred distorted winds
In three divisions of subtle, coarse and gross;
These are all Karma is about!

In one third of that interval there is one balanced wind;
To put it all together,
Every twenty breaths there is a single moment
Where shines the reality’s sameness.

With the identity of being impelled, vibrated,
Pulsated, lightened, and shaken forth
Through the windy channels of its engendering
The psychic energy of insight revolves in the luminous mandala
As utterly vibrant quintessences of cognitive energy
Characterized as scattering fire-sparks.
This clarity of insight lights up the interior of the crystal tube
And there is bliss, unceasing and empty.

Breath is Worship!


[Query] Namasthe. We sincerely pray for your guidance harshaji. I live in Cochin and Iam facing intense problems in every field. We consulted prasna and the person told us it is because of a goddess called uloochi. What pooja can we perform to please this goddess?

shriyA cha bhadrayA juShTaH yastaM bhadraM namAmyaham

Whatever I say below is with the assumption that the person who you consulted for divination gave an authentic reply. Firstly, consult another person to cross verify. ulUchikA is no goddess and hence there is no need to please her. She is a kShudra devatA, a somewhat sophisticated form of folk deities such as bAnAmati etc. Like there are sixty-four yoginis who represent the divine force, there are also sixty-four corresponding kshudra devatas, again divided into eight categories. ulUchikA heads one such class and hits first at the children in the house. She is described as wearing a snake skin around her waist, holding a baby crocodile in her hand and smoky in color with bleeding ears. There are some texts that deal with such AbhichArika prayogas and these cannot be countered easily like a yakShiNi or a simple AbhichArika prayoga. I would be really surprised if there are currently people who are capable of deploying such banes. In any case, if there are children in the house, they should be immediately separated from the parents and sent to a maternal relative’s house in another city. Japa and Homa with Pratyangira Rk and Manyu Sukta can help in a limited way, depending on the extent and stage of the abhichAra. My familiarity with Kshudra devatas, their prayoga, pratyabhichAra etc. is very limited. It is best to consult a knowledgeable person who can deal with such forces. I can point you to one such person who in turn can possibly guide you to a mantrajna. Please send a private mail to one of the moderators with your details.

With prayers to the Lotus feet of chandramoulishwara

sadAshiva chakra

The sadAshiva chakra is composed of five chakras: tatpuruSha, aghora, vAmadeva, sadyojAta and IshAna.

Here the word chakra refers to yantra (maNDala), mUrti and mantra and hence a sort of sa~Nketa traya for the five-fold diversity is seen in all these aspects. The origin of the mantra chakra is from the mantra shuddha praNava with its five components: a, u, ma, bindu and nAda. These represent tatpuruShAdi mUrtis. From the praNava arises the five lettered mahAmantra popularly known as shuddha pa~nchAkSharI mantra. The five letters of this mantra represent the five mUrtis (tatpuruShAdayaH). From each of the letters of this mantra originate five panchAkSharI mantras known as the much(y)a panchAkSharas:

IshAna, sadyojAta, vamadeva, aghora and tatpuruSha panchAkSharas.

From each letter of these mantras, five panchAkSharas originate i.e. from every mukhya pa~nchAkShara mantra, twenty-five panchAkShara mantras emanate:

shuddha panchAkShara
tatpuruSha panchAkShara, aghora pa~nchAkShara, vAmadeva pa~nchAkShara, sadyojAta pa~nchAkShara, IshAna pa~nchAkShara

tatpuruSha ->

ananta, aghora, saumya, rudra, hamsa, Atma, Aj~nA, madana, mAyA, mantra, amR^ita, prapa~ncha, sArasvata, skanda, mUla, mahA, kailAsa, mR^ityu~njaya, lakShmI, kShipra, Ananda, ana~Nga, shAmbhava, jvAlA and sarvasiddhi panchAkSharas

aghora ->

vidveSha, savya, satya, brahma, vishva, varuNa, samudrashoShaNa, garuDa, gaja, bhramara, saMgrAma, yoginI, gaNa, shArabha, gandharva, vidyAdhara, sandhAna, sR^iShTi, samhAra, chitra, vyaShTi, samaShTi, vaishvAnara, parjanya and yakSha pa~nchAkSharas

vAmadeva ->

stambhana, praj~nA, stotra, vimAna, mAnasa, dhenu, purUhUta, icChA, laghu, saura, baindava, sa~nchAra, Aloka, vij~nAna, khechara, pa~nchasadAkhya, manovega, shubha, gIrvANa, svarga, viSha, sundara, ghaNTA, sa~njIvana and AkhaNDala panchAksharas

sadyojAta ->

bhedana, prAjApatya, mahAbala, nirvana, nayana, giri, viShNu, ucchaishrava, mandAkinI, samvarta, aghamarShaNa, anAhata, megha, pavana, siddhi, yaj~na, pUjA, parimala, sasya, dik, jihvA, karNa, chit, j~nAna and sambhoga panchAkSharas

IshAna ->
prAsAda, prAsAdagochara, prAsAdasundara, prAsAdashekhara, prAsAdasaura, prAsAdabandhana, prAsAdabhujanga, prAsAdakamala, prAsAdachandra, prAsAdavidyAdhara, prAsAdavij~nAna, prAsAdachintAmaNi, prAsAdadIpaka, prAsAdavidyatanu, prAsAdakamalAnanda, prAsAdakavacha, prAsAdaratnAkara, prAsAdakaustubha, prAsAdalakShaNa, prAsAdakuNDalI, prAsAdachUDAmaNi, prAsAdapArameshvarIya, prAsAdashaiva, prAsAdashakti and mahAprAsAda panchakshara mantras

Each of the 125 panchAkShara mantras are said to confer different siddhis. For example, the siddhi associated with prAsAdakamalAnanda is bhuvanAdhva darshana, prAsAda chintAmaNi is somamaNDala darshana, karNa panchAkShara is karNa siddhi, nayana panchAkshara is dUradarshana siddhi, khechara panchAkShara is AkAshagamana siddhi and so on.

Thus, this results in a total of 125 + 5 + 1 = 131 mantras (excluding praNava) which again amounts to the number 5 (1+3+1). As these 131 mantras with praNava acting as mantra vIrya for each of them are hidden within the prAsAda, this great mantra of sadAshiva is termed as the seed or bIja of every mantra belonging to shaivAmnAya. Hence, the UrdhvAmnAya tantra describes the siddhi of prAsAda as equivalent to the siddhi of the entire gamut of shaiva mantras. When we speak of prAsAda, the reference here is to shuddha prAsAda (of shaivAmnAya) but due to its presence within parA prAsAda and prAsAda parA, this would hold good even in the case of these mantras belonging to shAmbhavAmnAya. Hence it is said regarding mahAprAsAda mantra:

tamAchAryaM vijAnIhi dvAdashArNapradaM shive |
guruH prAsAdadAtA syAdupAdhyAyaH prakIrtitaH ||
ShaDakSharI pradAtA tu sA~NgopA~NgaM mahAmanum |
dadan sa paramAchAryo saiva deshikarADiti ||
imaM manuM naro yastu sakR^ijjapati bhUtale |
guruM santoShya yatnena pUjayitvA svakardhanaiH ||
sa eva muktisAmrAjyapadavIbhA~N na saMshayaH |
shaivaM ShaDakSharImAhuH pUrvA~NgaM shrutayaH shive ||
dvAdasharNaM tathA prAhuruttarA~NgaM shivAgamAH |
prAsAdamAhurhR^idayaM sarvAmnAyagatAH shive ||
vidyAvihInopi dhanairvihInaH putrairvihInopi yashasA vihInaH |
vidyAmimAM kAmitakalpavallIM sA~NgAM bruvan pAtakasa~NghamuktaH ||
shivopi chAhaM svamukhairyutaH san vidhishcha vA viShNurathAmarA vA |
mAhAtmyamasyAH prabhavanti nAtra kiM vaktumanye prabhavanti mUDhAH ||

The anuShThAna of sadAshiva chakra and panchAkShara prAsAda rashmi nyAsa are performed during pradoSha and importantly on the last prahara of Mahashivratri. The observance of sadAshiva chakra in its aspects of mantra, mUrti and mandala grants panchAnga shuddhi without which inner alchemy has been declared as unattainable by the rasa siddhas.


There was a query sometime ago on why the last name in shrI viShNu sahasranAma is repeated twice. The reason for that is the following:

adhyAyAnte dviruktiH syAt vede vA vaidikepi vA |

AchArya bhagavatpAda respects this tradition and uses the reading sarvapraharaNAyudha om nama iti in his bhAShya.

dvirvachanaM samAptiM dyotayati | omkArashcha ma~NgalArthaH |

omkArashchAtha shabdashcha dvAvetau brahmaNaH purA |
kaNThaM bhitvA viniryAtau tasmAnmA~NgalikAvubhau || [bR^ihannAradIye]

Thus, the repetition of this name is not without a reason.

eko.api kR^iShNe sukR^itah praNAmo dashAshvamedhAvabR^ithena tulyah |
dashAshvamedhI punareti janma kR^iShNa praNAmI na punarbhavAya ||

hare krShNa

trikhaNDA mudrA


Each of the ten mudrAs starting with sarvasaMkShobhiNI and ending with sarvatrikhaNDA have their own importance. However, trikhaNDA is indeed special due to one reason. The entire kalApa of bahiryAga assumes significance after the presence of shrI sundarI in the bimba or yantra and the mudrA which accomplishes the AvAhana of parAmbA is trikhaNDA:

trikhaNDeyaM mahAmudrA tripurAhvAnakarmaNi [vAmakeshvare]

Hence, bahiryAga siddhi is attributed to trikhaNDA mudrA specifically among the dasha mudrAs. Of course, bhAskararAya does state in setubandha that upAsanA is japarUpa in kali yuga and hence archana is an anga of japa and not vice versa. If this is accepted, then bahiryAga siddhi would seem more logical when associated with sarvayoni mudrA rather than trikhaNDA. However, this view, even if not incorrect, does not seem to find support either in kalpasUtra, tantrarAja or nityAShoDashikArNava where japa is an anga of bahiryAga. So also says the tradition.

Here, tri means three and it can denote either janma, mR^ityu and jarA or sattva, rajas and tamas. As this mudrA, which is non-different from parAmbA, destroys this triad, it is called trikhaNDA:

trIn khaNDayatIti trikhaNDA ||

In other words, the mudrA grants kaivalya or mokSha.

Alternately, tri here represents icchA, j~nAna and kriyA shaktis or the three khaNDas of the supreme mahAvidyA namely vAgbhava, kAmarAja and soma kUTas. The mudrA which represents these three khaNDas is named trikhaNDA.

mudrAkhyA sA yadA samvidambikA trikalAmayI |
trikhaNDArUpamApannA sadA sAnnidhyakAriNI || [yoginI tantre]

Though vAmakeshvara tantra teaches only two khaNDas for the mudrA, bhAskararAya instructs the upAsaka to refer to tantrAntara and necessarily accomplish khaNDatraya:

trikhaNDeti yogArthasampattaye tantrAntaraM sharaNIkR^itya khaNDatrayamavashyaM sampAdanIyam |

It is of great significance to know why a specific mantra of three kUTas is coupled with trikhaNDA during AvAhana of parAmbA and not panchadashI or ShoDashI. The answer to this lies in the concept of awakening kuNDalinI or the serpent of fire which is what AvAhana is all about. And when we say snake, there is hissing and she is yogAgni svarUpinI. I am sure many have seen the Harry Potter series of movies. Potter, to communicate with a snake (in Goblet of Fire), uses its language which is predominantly a hissing sound. While this is fiction, the Yogis of Tibet who practice gtummo to awaken the sacred fire use a similar technique. The exact sanketa rahasya should be grasped from Sadguru.

Also, one can refer to the following statement from bhAvanopaniShad:

AdhAranavakaM mudrAshaktayaH ||

The nine AdhAras are mUlAdhArAdi ShaTka, Urdhva and adhaH sahasrAra, and lambikAgra. Each of these corresponds to one of the nine mudrAs (sarvasaMkShobhiNI to sarvayoni). The samaShTi of these navAdhAras and hence of nava mudrAs (grouped into three categories) is represented by trikhaNDA mudrA. Thus, the mudrA also represents the source tattva of the nine aspects: sR^iShTi sR^iShTi, sR^iShTi sthiti etc. shrI bhAskararAya thus illustrates the following prayoga:

pAdA~NguShTharUpa AdhAranavakAtmane sarvatrikhaNDAmudrAyai namaH ||

mukundo govindo janakatanayAlAlitapadaH
padaM prAptA yasyAdhamakulabhavA chApi shabarI |
girAtIto.agamyo vimaladhiShaNairvedavachasA
ramAnAtho rAmo ramatu mama chitte tu satatam ||


[Query] Why does a kaula who has taken saktopaya need japam or worship? My guru guided us saying this is anupaaya maargam. Please clear my confusion.

There are two things you are trying to link here: kaula and shAktopAya. Let’s take what is relevant to this discussion, which is shAktopAya. There are three upAyas: shAmbhava, shAkta and ANavopAya. While what you speak of as kaula or simply shAkta upAsanA (be it vAma or dakSha) can be fit into this scheme roughly, possibly between the last two upAyas (ANava is the least or the lowest but abhinavaguptapAdAcharya always starts with the highest and following the same tradition, vidvAns have regarded shAkta and ANavopAyas as the last two). But the fourth and the highest path is of anupAya which is beyond the three. anupAya or no-means technique is not a technique per say but simply a glorious experience of the anuttara beyond the twin aspects of transcendence and immanence aka shiva and shakti. Thus anupAya denotes liberation itself and not a pathway to it for it is summarized by abhinavaguptapAdAchArya as svAtmavishrAnti, although it is allegorically represented as AnandopAya. While anupAya is simply this, shAstra classifies it into two: anAkhya and sUkShmopAya. The highest category of Yogis in who shines the shivadR^iShTi resplendently, appear on material planes fully enlightened and they are true adhikArins for anupAya as they need no upAya or practice. This experience which is indescribable is anAkhya. This indeed is true anupAya. The next category of Yogis who are completely purified and almost ready to embrace anupAya are eligible for sUkShmopAya or the subtle path where a gaze of the guru or tattvopadesha is sufficient to immediately propel the consciousness of the disciple into the sphere of transcendence. Thus, sadyaH muktAH are those yogis who adopt sUkShmopAya. One can refer to shiva dR^iShTi where somAnanda says:

When Shiva who is omnipresent is known just once through the firm insight that arises of pramANa, shAstra and deshika vAkya, no upAya serves any purpose and even bhAvanA is of no further utility.

It is up to oneself to conclude if he/she qualifies for anupAya.

Hare krShNa

guru pAdukA

[Query] Respected Sir, What is the correct order to worship? Guru, paramaguru and paramesthi guru or other way round?
Should we add om before guru mantram?

namaH shrIpurabhairavyai

The general order for worship is guru, paramaguru and parameSTi guru. The pramANa for the same is hAdimata:

svaguruM prathamaM pUjya tatpashchAt paramaM gurum |
parameShTiguruM pashchAtpUjayedgurumantrataH ||

There could be exceptions, when there is an explicit shAstra pramANa to reverse this order, like during the gurumaNDala pUjA.

As for pAdukA mantra, there are various versions. Many including vidyAnandanAtha have used praNava before tritArI and there have been several threads on this topic in the past. Searching the group archive would pull them out. I can only speak for what I am taught. The pAdukA mantra we are taught is from hamsa mAheshvara and it does not use praNava at the beginning:

tritAraM cha kumArIM cha haMsaH shiva samuddharet ||

vande gurum shankaram

sAMkhya-yoga: 1

By mahAmahopAdhyAya j~nAnaku~njastha shrIgopInAtha kavirAja

In the history of Indian Philosophy, the controversy over the doctrine of causality is very old indeed. Although the nature of the controversy has varied from time to time, the fundamental problem has persisted. It is this: what is the relation between the cause and the effect? Does the cause contain the effect in its implicit form or is the effect a new thing altogether? What are the presuppositions of the genetic process? Does it imply simply a gradual unfoldment of what lies within, as eternally existing, or is it a creation ex nihil?

We know that various answers can be given to these questions according to the differences of our viewpoint. The naiyAyika, with his commonsense and realistic assumptions, would naturally be inclined to favor the view which maintains an absolute difference between the material cause and the effect. To him, the cause and the effect are two distinct concepts, though bound together by a mysterious tie of relationship; for it cannot be gainsaid, the naiyAyika would say, that though the effect is distinct from its cause, indeed from everything else in creation, by virtue of its own apparent individuality, it still inheres in it during its existence, and that even when it does not exist, i.e. before its production and after its destruction, its non-existence, technically known as prAgbhAva and dhvamsa, is predicable of its cause alone. As to what constitutes this bond of affinity, nothing is said beyond the fact that it is in the nature of an effect to be thus intimately related to its own material cause. It is an ultimate fact and has to be accepted as such.

This appeal to “the nature of things” on the part of the naiyAyika amounts practically to a confession of weakness of his theory. The yogin, who is an advocate of satkAryavAda, rejects the naiyAyika hypothesis and affirms that the effect, in so far as its essence is concerned, is identical with the cause from which it comes forth. The s-called production and destruction do not really mean that the product comes into and passes away from existence. Every product being an aspect of the supreme prakr^iti in which it exists somehow involved and identified as an eternal moment, creation out of nothing and annihilation is an absurdity. Production, therefore, is differentiation and dissolution is re-integration. The process of becoming, with which the problem of causality has to deal, does indeed imply a change, but it is a change conceived as the transition of a dharma from an unmanifest to a manifest state and from the manifest back into the unmanifest condition. The substrate of change is everywhere and always an existing unit.

The sum and substance of the satkAryavAdin’s contention seems to be this. We all must start from the assumption, under the necessity of our thought, that being comes from being and not from not-being, and that an absolute void giving rise to being is inconceivable. The denial of this principle would land us in contradictions. We conclude, therefore, that the effect is real or sat.

In the text-books of the school, we find a set of five arguments brought forward to establish the reality (sattA) of the effect, even before its origin:

1. The fact that what is asat or unreal cannot be subject to the causal operation or kAraka vyapAra.
2. The fact that an appropriate material (upAdAna) is resorted to for bringing about a certain effect; in other words, that every material is not by nature capable of producing every effect. This means that the material cause, which is somehow related to the effect in question, brings about that effect. But if the effect did not exist, there would be no relation and consequently no production. An unrelated material is no material at all.
3. And if the necessity of the relation between the material and the effect be not admitted, it would imply that the fitness of the material is not a condition of production and that any effect could result from any cause. This would be subversive of all order and so against our experience.
4. This difficulty cannot be got over by the assumption of shakti, as the mImAmsakas seem to do. They declare that an effect, before origin, is indeed non-existent or asat and that the cause is therefore indeed unrelated. Still, there would be no irregularity, for we admit, they say, that the cause, in so far as it possesses a Shakti favorable to a certain effect, does produce that effect. As to the question whether the cause possesses a particular Shakti or not, it can only be answered a fortiori, for it is inferred by observation of the effect.
5. The last argument is that the effect is nothing different from the cause. If the cause be existent, there is no reason to maintain that the effect, which is only a mode of the cause, should be non-existent (asat).

We have already said that according to sAMkhya, unlike nyAya-vaisheShika, the relation between cause and effect is declared to be identity (tAdatmya). The naiyAyika, with his pragmatic attitude towards reality, makes utility the criterion of existence and approaches the problem in a semi-Buddhistic fashion. To him, therefore, the effect, say a jar, is altogether a distinct entity from its cause, clay, for both do not serve the self-same purpose. This is artha-kriyA bheda. Besides, there are other grounds, which help a realist philosopher to differentiate one object from another. These are buddhi (pratIti), vyapadesha and arthakriyA vyavasthA. On these grounds too, the naiyAyika seeks to establish the difference of the effect from the cause. Thus, the notion of jar is distinct from that of clay and consequently corresponding to this notional or logical difference, the naiyAyika would say, there must be a real difference in the objective world. In other words, jar and clay, as objective realities, must be mutually different [Note: So too, differences of names and functions point to a difference in reality - edit].

These are some of the stock arguments of the naiyAyika. But they do not appear to have much weight against the sAMkhya-yoga position. They lose their point as soon as they are aimed at a system in which the so-called Realism finds little support. The arthakriyAbheda is really no sure test of objective difference, for the same object may have different arthakriyAs; nor is arthakriyA vyavasthA a test, for different collocations of the same cause may serve different purposes. The difference of names, viz. clay and jar, is no proof of difference either, for in that case, a forest would have to be postulated as different from the individual trees composing it.

The true relation between the cause and the effect, therefore, is that the effect is a dharma, an aspect of the cause and constitutes a mode of it. The primart prakR^iti being the equilibrium of the three guNas, the effects or vikAras are nothing but various modifications and collocations of it. In essence, the cause and the effect are identical, for both consist of guNas and it is in difference of collocation (samsthAna bheda) that the difference between the two, as it reveals itself to our consciousness, consists. And this difference in collocation is a peculiar manifestation. That of which it is a manifestation remains always in the background, unmanifest. In the last resort, the cause, the prakR^iti, the Materia Prima, is the unmanifest and the effect, the vikAra, is the manifested world, as always held within the bosom of that unmanifest, universal being [Note: Observe the use of the word bosom; shrImAn discusses elsewhere the inspiration drawn by shAkta tantra and Mother Worship from sAmkhya and yoga].

The doctrine of satkArya, therefore implies, as we often find in Indian Philosophy, that the universe, with an infinite number of cosmic systems belonging to it, is always existing in prakR^iti as its aspects. The evolution of a universe out of void has no meaning. The Buddhists, together with the naiyAyika and the vaisheShika, believe that the product has no existence prior to its origination and that it loses its existence as soon as it is destroyed. What this really means and how far it is justified we shall try to explain elsewhere. But we may just observe here that the whole doctrine of satkArya is a blow to this position.

To make the Yoga thesis clearer, we give here a brief analysis of its concept of substance or dharmin. In the technical nomenclature of Indian Philosophy, the term dharmin bears the sense of substrate, subject, that in which something is held, that of which something is predicated etc. Dharma means the aspect of dharmin, predicate, content and so forth. All predication, and therefore all judgment, involves the affirmation (vidhAna) or denial (niShedha) of a particular dharma with reference to a particular dharmin. In fact, every preposition, which is an expression of judgment, bears testimony to the fact of predication. Now, though predication is made and our entire phenomenal existence is necessarily based upon this, the subject of predication remains always, so far as its nature and essence are concerned, a point of controversy. When it is said that the flower is red, the proposition is certainly intelligible to commonsense, but on closer examination, the meaning of the proposition furnishes a topic for discussion. It reveals the same old problem which nAgasena raised before Menander more than 2000 years ago. What is that to which I am attributing redness? What is meant by the flower? Is it a mere bundle (samghAta) of sensible qualities or is there a real objective ground, a substrate, to which the qualities are attached by some natural relations? There are two answers that are generally given to this question. The first answer is of the Buddhists and in a certain sense of the vaiyAkaraNas. The second answer comes from the naiyAyika. The Vedantic position on this question is one of compromise between Idealism and Realism, but it tends towards the former. And the yoga view too is more or less idealistic, though with an important qualification.

In other words, the Buddhists deny the existence of a substance away from the qualities and a whole as a distinct from the parts. Bu the Realists, to whom the external world has an objective, extra-mental value, are not satisfied with this view. They posit a real substance in which various qualities inhere and which is not a mere collection of guNas but has an independent existence. So too with the whole (avayavI) which results, as a distinct and independent object, from the combination of parts. In vedAnta, also, the former view is favored. AchArya shankara, in bR^ihadAraNyaka bhAShya, plainly denies substantiality to the atoms and describes them as mere guNas. The Yoga theory is clearer on the point. It is said indeed that dharma is the guNa or a set of guNas by which the dharmin is made known to us and that this guNa may be any of the sensible qualities, viz., color, sound, etc. or any of their combinations. But this ought not to imply that there is any fundamental distinction between dharma and dharmin. Both these are, paramArthataH, one. They are different only in vyavahAra. And since this difference between dharma and dharmin and between one dharma and another is founded on the appearance and disappearance of the dharmas, which is due to time limitation, it is evident that in eternity, where there is no distinction between past and future, all the dharmas are in a sense identical, not only with one another but even with the dharmin to which they are referred. This ultimate dharmin is the unmanifest prakR^iti whose infinite modes (vikArAH) are the infinite dharmas, of which those which are present to our consciousness are called present and the rest is characterized either as past or as future. The dharmas are, therefore, only the varying manifestations of the guNas of primary Matter. That is, prakR^iti as modified in a particular manner is known as a particular dharma or vikAra.

The Yoga philosophy, especially the system propounded by pata~njali and vyAsa, accepts in the main the views of the rival school of the sAmkhyas. The yoga view of causality is, therefore, in all essential features almost identical with the sAmkhya.

From what we have said regarding satkAryavAda, it must have been made clear that the yoga (and sAmkhya) notion of causality has a distinct character of its own. The word cause means indeed a necessary pre-condition of a subsequent event; this meaning is common to the other systems; it also accepts the anvaya and vyatireka as the guiding principles for the discovery of causality. But the characteristic doctrine remains to be noted.

If we observe the world of change and analyze it carefully, we find that every change involves a double element:

a. A transitional one
b. A permanent one

When clay is molded into the form of a jar, we are accustomed to speak of this molding as an instance of change. Evidently here too, there are two elements present, viz., clay and the forms that appear and disappear in it. The forms are all transitional, they come and go, but the matter, the clay, for instance, is relatively permanent. It is, therefore, said to be the substrate of these changes of forms, through all of which its unity remains unbroken. Before the production of jar, clay had a definite form viz, lump, which disappeared and made room for the appearance of a new form, viz., jar, and the destruction of the jar again is nothing but the disappearance of the jar form and the appearance of a fresh one in its place, and so on till Universal Dissolution when Matter will absorb within itself all its forms and regain its pristine formless and blank character. But during creation, it stands as the background for the play of these countless fleeting forms. From this will be obvious what the relation between matter, the dharmin, and the form, the dharma is. Every change being a kind of causation, true causal relation must be understood as meaning the relation of the form to the matter and not as the Buddhists would contend, of one form with another. In the chain of causation, of course, one form may be spoken of as the cause of another, but it is not by virtue of itself but of the matter which is its content. In the technical language of sAmkhya-yoga, all causal relation is prakR^iti vikR^iti bhava, prakR^iri being the cause and vikR^iti the effect.

But the meaning of the term prakR^iti is very often misunderstood. It is generally supposed to stand for the samavAyi kAraNa of the vaisheShika or for the material cause of the Scholastics. There is no doubt that what is meant by samavAyi kAraNa falls under prakR^iti, but the latter includes the so-called nimittas as well. If we leave aside for the present the question of asamavAyi kAraNa, which is a peculiarity of the vaisheShika alone, we may conveniently divide prakR^iti into a two-fold aspect, upAdAna and nimitta.

Thus although prakR^iti is one and the question of causal classification is, therefore, out of place is sAmkhya, it becomes intelligible why we find mention of a two-fold division of the causal principle. This division is really a concession to the demands of empiric consciousness, and is resorted to just as in vedAnta, truly speaking, sAmkhya-yoga, as much as vedAnta, is an advocate of the identity of nimitta and upAdAna. In other words, the distinction between nimitta and upAdAa is a pseudo-distinction, and has no existence on the plane of pure prakR^iti which is universal Being and Essence. It is only when prakR^iti has evolved herself into the first stadium, into the mahat, that we find this distinction, of nimitta and upAdAna, like every other distinction, probably brought out. The function of the nimitta, therefore, is not to serve, as with the vaisheShika, as an external principle of movement, the effectuating factor in the universal Becoming. prakR^iti is self-moved (svataH pariNAminI), motion is inherent in it by nature and does not come to it from without. It (as rajas) is an aspect of its Being. The efficiency of nimitta, and this is all that we mean by causal operation, consists only in the removal of the prohibens in the way of prakR^iti (tamaH, AvaraNa) and in the consequent liberation of the vikAras, the forms, held so long in confinement within the womb of prakR^iti.

For practical purposes, therefore, we may distinguish in our system between two kinds of causes at work, the material and the efficient. What Aristotle designated as formal causes does not seem to possess here a causal character at all. And we shall find that the so-called final causes of Aristotle fall under the category of nimitta.

Let us try to understand the position more clearly. We have said that the material cause, the prakR^iti qua upAdAna, possesses an eternal
motion inherent in itself and is not an inert substance required to be moved from outside. It possesses in potential infinite forms towards the manifestation of which it has a natural proneness; but this manifestation is held in check by a retarding force which, as we shall find later on, is identical with the merit or demerit of jIva with whose personal experience the manifestation is directly concerned. As soon as this force is counteracted by an opposite force, e.g., merit by demerit and vice versa, the path of evolution becomes clear and the material transforms itself into the appropriate effect. The block of stone for instance, contains involved within itself any kind of image, but it is able to manifest a particular image, and this manifestation is called production, only when the particular AvaraNa which stands in the way of its manifestation is removed by the sculptor’s chisel. The removal of this AvaraNa constitutes the efficiency of the nimitta, and is the sum and substance of all causal operation. The nimittas do not lend any impulse to the material nor can they bring out what is not implicitly contained in it. The apt illustration in the yogabhAShya (4.3) of the water in a reservoir on a higher level flowing of itself into the lower fields when a leakage or an outlet is made in the embankment, will clear up our point. Further, since every subsidiary prakR^iti, finite cause, is ultimately permeated by and coincident with pure prakR^iti, it naturally follows that every individual thing in nature contains every other thing potentially. The arguments in sAnkhyakArikA viz. upAdAnaniyamAt etc. are in consonance with our ordinary experience which justifies this restriction. An effect, to be brought forth, requires an appropriate material (and appropriate subsidiary causes). This is so, because we are dealing with limited prakR^iti and with limited human resources. But to the yogin, to whom the entire prakR^iti is open, it is easy to evolve anything from anything.

Thus, we need not seek for a principle of effectuation in prakR^iti outside of its own nature (svabhAva). This independence, on the part of the prakR^iti, of an extrinsic influence is called her svAtantrya or freedom. Vij~nAna bhikShu shows (yogavArttika) that the only possible cause of pravR^itti is the nature of the guNas (guNasvAbhAvyam tu pravR^ittikAraNamuktam guNAnAm). It is universally admitted that the particles of matter (aNu) are in perpetual motion in space. This motion is the vague vibration characteristic of the atoms and is to be distinguished from the definite motion which brings two atoms together (dravyArambhaka) so as to form a substance. This motion does not serve any moral purpose, i.e., does not produce bhoga; hence merit and demerit cannot be its cause. Nor is this motion due to a special act of God’s will, for it would be assuming too much. It is more reasonable, therefore, to think of it as natural. Vij~nAna bhikShu further points out that the nimittas are not found to be necessary and indispensable in the manifestation of an effect, for the yogin, by a mere act of his will, can bring forth anything that he pleases and for creation he does not stand in need of any human instruments. Similarly, in the beginning of creation, things, e.g., seeds, are produced by God’s will merely, without the help of any positive precedent conditions, e.g. similar other seeds. All this goes to corroborate the view that the nimittas have not a direct causality in the production of an object. They help, each in its own way, to rouse the evolving power of prakR^iti, viz., karma (merit and demerit) by breaking the AvaraNa which is a dharma opposed to itself, God’s will by breaking all kinds of AvaraNa beginning with the greatest one i.e. state of equilibrium, kAla by rousing karmas etc., and the ordinary instruments, danas etc., by retarding the possibility of manifestation of other effects.

But what is the aim of all this manifestation? What is its end? An answer to this would furnish us with what Aristotle calls final causes of creation. It is admitted that all movement presupposes an end to be realized; without an end there can be no activity:

prayojanamanuddishya na mando.api pravartate |

This end is however variously conceived:

1. Firstly, it is pleasure or pain, which the jIva is bound to experience in consequence (i.e. as the fruits or phala) of his previous karma. In common parlance, this experience is known as bhoga and jIva as bhoktA.
2. The author of yogabhAShya sets forth that this aim is twofold, pleasure or absence of pain. The former is bhoga and the latter is apavarga. It is either of these two which is the object of a man’s striving (puruShArtha). Pleasure or bhoga, when further analyzed, would be found to embrace the three varieties of end, viz. dharma, artha and kAma. But the Supreme end is indeed apavarga.

In the sAnkhya kArikA (42), it is clearly stated that the puruShArtha actuates the li~Nga (pravartaka). This artha is:

a. Experience of pleasure and pain on the ascertainment of viShayas, or
b. Denial of viShayas on the ascertainment of distinction between prakR^iti and puruSha.

In other words, every movement is either towards viShaya bhoga or towards bhoga tyAga i.e. peace. But as bhoga is the necessary precedent of tyAga, and must eventually be followed by it, sooner or later, it may be said with reason that the end of all movement is this tyAga, which in its highest form is dissociation from prakR^iti and self-realization. It is the One Event to which the whole creation moves.

The perpetual unrest and agitation which we observe around us will have their close only when this Supreme End is attained. The course of evolution, for each individual, will terminate when he realizes the essential nature of his own self:

tataH pariNAmakramasamAptiH guNAnAm |

For apart from the individual for whom it is intended, the evolution of Nature has no other meaning. As to the further question whether Nature as a whole will ever cease we have nothing to say here. This concept will be discussed separately in connection with the doctrine of praLaya.

Without going into further detail at this point we may note that the conception of causality in sAnkhya yoga is as much mechanical as it is teleological. Leaving out the other auxiallry factors and confining ourselves to karman alone we kind that it both efficient (though negatively so as already pointed out) as well as final. Everything in Nature has its end. It will be found that even the objective inequalities in creation are not explicable except on the hypothesis of the determining principle. A thing is what it is, not by chance but, as it were, by necessity. If the external world exists, and has come into being, to serve as the object of experience (pleasure or pain) of a conscious subject and would vanish for him, as soon as that purpose is fulfilled, it is easy to follow that its varieties must be occasioned by that principle, moral in its nature, which governs the varieties of such experience; and consequently all instruments and efficient factors must work in subordination to this Supreme Governor. So far, therefore, the whole scheme of Nature, appears to be teleological.

But karman is not the last word. It is worked off partly in natural course by fruition and is ultimately transcended by the light of Supreme Widsom which reveals the Self as it is and as distinct from prakR^iti. This is the final term of the evolutionary series. From this point of view, too, the scheme of Nature would be found to be pervaded by finality.

This analysis of ours leaves out of account what Aristotle calls formal causes. Though the forms, as conceived in the sAnkhya-yoga and even in the nyAya-vaisheShika are not considered to have a causal character strictly, they are not important in the order of creation, so far as the specialties of the individuals are concerned. They will be discussed elsewhere.