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 By Ramaa Ravi Shankar

The whole trend of evolution is towards synthesis. As consciousness goes down into matter, towards materialization, heterogeneity arises; as consciousness works back towards spirit there is tend towards unity. What is the path that helps humanity particularly the human being, work to be one with the unity?

 It is definite that the entire human race shall one-day learn the technique to blend with the one consciousness, without any effort of its own. Yet when the purpose of human life is realized to be concurrent with the One, efforts towards that goal alone seem to bring meaning to life and living.

 The attempt of choosing the appropriate path turns one on the road of spiritualism. Science Religion and Philosophy provide the fundamental impetus required to make the right choice. Scientific line of thought embodies all that concerns matter, the substance aspect of manifestation dealing with objectivity, and with that which is material, tangible, and seen; literally, with that which can be proven. Religious thought is concerned with the life within the form, which deals with the return of spirit to its source and all that has been gained by the use of the form. It has reference to the subjective side of nature. The philosophical thought shows the utilization of the intelligence by the indwelling life, in order that the form may be adequately adapted to its need.

 All this fundamental study brings one to an understanding that human life is adventurous with freedom to choose the personal path to emancipation. As Hamlet says, "What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculty!  In form and moving how express and admirable!"

 Even as each person desires to exist and live in such divine state of consciousness the conditions of life one has to manage do not appear to give a natural thrust of effort towards this end.

 The day-to-day humdrum of human life however is largely confined within the realms of the intellect. Focus of human effort is chiefly in the area of sharpening the intellect. The conditions of life are highly analyzed with the aid of one’s intelligence. The age-old theory of Descartes “Cogito Ergo Sum (I think, therefore I am)” though proved incorrect in defining Man still has its sway over humanity. Religion Philosophy and Science point that any effort to have relationship with the higher life, life beyond that on the physical plane will be well realized only when appealed more to the intuition than the intellect. The mind its compulsive thoughts is said to bring a state of apparent separateness that becomes an obstacle for man to take to the path of spiritualism.

 The sudden hunch, the creative leap of the mind that “sees” in a flash how to solve a problem in a simple way, is something quite different from general intelligence. Recent studies show that persons who possess a high aha! Ability are all-intelligent to a moderate level, but beyond that level there seems to be no correlation between high intelligence and aha! Thinking – (The New Indian Express- Excel Think Piece- 2-12-2002)

 In Chapter XVI (verses 1 to 3) of The Bhagavadgita, Sri Krishna replies explicitly to Arjuna’s question on the method of identifying a man who has risen above the three Gunas- tamas,rajas and sattva. Lord Krishna illustrates such a man as ‘a wise one with divine qualities’. These divine qualities, the Lord says are aspects of Self-Knowledge. When one practices these qualities with a quest to know the Self, the lord says that the practitioner will arrive at the realization that living these qualities is true-knowledge and true-knowledge is the realization of God in his divine qualities of Sat Chit Ananda.

  “Absolute fearlessness, perfect purity of mind, constant fixity in the Yoga of meditation for the sake of Self-realization, and even so charity in its Sattvika form, control of the senses, worship of God and other deities as well as of one’s elders including the performance of Agnihotra and other sacred duties, study and teaching of the Vedas and other sacred books as well as the chanting of God’s names and praises, suffering hardships for the discharge of one’s sacred obligations and straightness of mind as well as of the body and senses.

Non-violence in thought, word and deed, truthfulness and geniality of speech, absence of anger even on provocation, disclaiming doer ship in respect of actions, quietude or composure of mind, abstaining from malicious gossip, compassion towards all creatures, absence of attachment to the objects of senses even during their contact with the senses, mildness, a sense of shame in transgressing against the scriptures or usage, and abstaining from frivolous pursuits.

Sublimity, forbearance, fortitude, external purity, bearing enmity to none and absence of self-esteem-these are the marks of him, who is born with the divine gifts.”

 Who would not want to dwell and live with these divine qualities? Who would not want to be in this state of sat chit ananda. Sat the Be-ness. Being aware of the be-ness is Chit. Such awareness accompanied with Bliss is Ananda. But Man seems to have varied built-in filters that prevent him from being so. What in the process of evolution seems to limit him?

Science presents the big bang theory advocated by Georges Lemaitre and Alexander Friedmann in the 1920’s, which explains how a cosmic explosion caused the Universe to expand 15 billion years ago from a dense point of matter called Singularity making way for matter space and time and later forming galaxies, Milky Way and introduction of life. It is no doubt a good theory but hasn’t been proved for sure.

 In chapter IX of The Bhagavadita Krishna explains the process of creation in verses 7, 8 & 9 as follows:

“Arjuna, during the final dissolution all beings enter my prakrti (the prime cause), and at the beginning of creation, I send them forth again.

Wielding my nature I release, again and again (according to their respective karmas) all this multitude of beings subject to the influence of their own nature.

Arjuna, with me as the supervisor, nature brings forth the whole creation, consisting of both sentient and insentient beings; it is due to this cause that the wheel of samsara is going round.”  

Each religion has a story on the creation of Universe. As a summation, religion professes that everything in the universe has sprung from one transcendent self-existent life. Duality as matter-spirit became evident soon after the manifestation. Life manifested as Shabda Brahma and each aspect of duality expressed itself as Trinity, called by different names in different religions. While the Spirit has three qualities and matter too has three qualities of its own.

 According to the Occult chronology, Human being is available on this Earth in a nebulous condition without the definite body of a human being for last thirty million years and with a body structure we presently know of for the last thirty million years. Physical form has been the resultant of great evolutionary process.  

Darwin explained the process of evolution in his theory of natural selection introduced the phrase ‘the survival of the fittest’ explaining biologically the evolution of man from the animal. Darwinism is the most powerful and unifying theory in biology. Underlying it is the principle of 'descent with modification' (evolutionary change), that species are not fixed: that new species arise from those that already exist, some of which become extinct.

 The story of Dasha Avatara of Sri MahaVishnu narrates the process of evolution. The first being a creature of water (matsya), evolving to a creature that can move both in water and on land (kurma), to an animal or land (varaha), half animal and man (Narasimha), a human yearning for physical need of land (Vamana) developing to being an emotional (Parashurama) intellectual (Rama) intuitive (Krishna) liberated as Buddha and much higher self as Kalki.

 Thus man is a product in the process of evolution. The visible section of the human body is the result of the combination of  Pancha bhootas (Five elements)  water, fire, earth, air and ether (aapa tejo prithivi vaayu aakaasha) developing bone, muscle, nerve, circulatory, lymphatic, tubular and skin systems. This is called the annamaya kosha, the grossest of all shields of the human body.

 The invisible but sense-able or otherwise present subtler shields of the human are pranamaya manomaya vigyanamaya and anandamaya koshas. These are rightly called koshas or shields to stress that they are mere shields for something else, to that which is indestructible, the Atman.  

Sri Ramanuja clarifies in his philosophy of Srivishishtadvaita that Atman which is from the Paramatma has to journey back to Paramatma shedding away the contingencies it has acquired in its journey through the shields, lingering to the distinct individuality it has developed by virtue of its experience in the journey so as  to  rejoin Paramatma with its distinctive individuality so contributing to refinement of the Paramatma himself.

 ‘Know thyself’ is the key phrase said to the student walking the spiritual path. To understand oneself investigation into the latent powers with the belief that one is a reflection of that One homogeneous reality becomes necessary. Individuality here does not mean knowledge of the physical emotional and mental bodies and gaining distinction in them by proper training. It means understanding their working to transcend to higher levels and work with higher mind devoid of its analytical and rationing qualities, with intuition and complete awareness.

 The phrase sat-chit-ananda is used to describe the gunas (qualities) of Divinity. Man being the reflection of the Divine; these qualities of sat-chit-ananda are to reflect in him. That would be his real self and all others psuedo. The divine qualities are of subtler realms unlike grosser natures man is made of. Like a stone is pulled easily to the bottom of the water body than a feature, grosser natures pull man to dwell in qualities of matter rather than in the subtler realms that exhibit divine qualities. Thus Will, Knowledge and Joy natures of the divine reflect as desire thought and pleasure in man. Duality in matter has further created one positive and a second negative aspect to desire thought and pleasure too.

 In the evolutionary journey of consciousness when consciousness en-souls the matter in its grossest form it evolves as mineral later involutions as vegetable then as animal to become a man yet getting highly influenced to the gravitational pull that constantly tries to bring him down to exhibit qualities of matter than the higher self he is or he could be.

 ‘According to the Occult chronology, human being is available on this earth for the last eighteen million years in the body structure we presently know of; and for the last thirty million years in a sort of nebulous condition without having shaped up a definite body as such.’ The physical body of man so has come a long way with Developed, developing and undeveloped organs waiting development.

The physical seat of emotions and mind shows itself in the brain of man. ‘Our brain, no less than our livers or kidneys, are products of evolution, Steven Pinker argues. 'The emotions and drives and ways of thinking and learning that are uniform across the human species are part of our inheritance,'' he says. In other words, a baby's brain is not a blank slate; it is inscribed with the genetic history of humankind, with the traits that allowed earlier humans to survive -- and with many of the quirks that make individuals themselves, Pinker says. ''Evolution feeds on variation.''

 The well-developed emotional body is showing itself as ‘amygdala’ a portion in our brain. The brain of Homo sapiens achieved its modern form and size between fifty and a hundred thousand years ago, well before the invention of agriculture, civilizations, and writing in the last ten thousand years So humans evolved mind that allowed us to cooperate and outsmart the local flora and fauna. Vital to that, what makes it so powerful and essential to foragers and neuroscientists alike--is its ability to analyze the world into useful categories. 

 Sri Sankaracharya details the four functions or divisions or parts of the mind as mind called MANAS that creates doubt, the BUDDHI (intellect) making decisions CHITTA the storehouse of memory and AHAM (the ego), creating I-consciousness.

 Understanding the constitution of human being is but feeding the intellectual quest within. The lesson on the path of spiritualism lies more in learning the trick of non-identification: Non-identification with the physical body or the emotional body or the mental body. Identification gives it more energy and observation withdraws energy. The withdrawn energy can be directed to dwell in the present moment thus breaking the old pattern of present-moment denial and present-moment resistance. ‘No longer be so preoccupied with our personal evolution, but simply attentive to evolution as it takes place in us and around us, and our life will be completely transformed’.

Many philosophers have preached ways that help us be in the present moment. One that will appeal to the modern mind would be the GOLDEN STAIRS given by H.P.Blavatsky Co-founder of The Theosophical Society.

A clean life, an open mind, a pure heart, an eager intellect, an unveiled spiritual perception, a brotherliness for all readiness to give and receive advice and instruction, a loyal sense of duty to the teacher, a willing obedience to the behests of Truth once we have placed our confidence in and that Teacher to be in possession of it, a courageous endurance of personal injustice, a brave declaration of principles, a valiant defense of those who are unjustly attacked and a constant eye to the human progression and perfection which the sacred science depicts, these are the golden stairs up the steps of which the learner may climb to the Temple of Divine Wisdom.


1.      The Human-Being by Dr N C Ramanujachary 1999

2.      The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature by Steven Pinker

3.      On knowing oneself by Danielle Audoin 1995

4.      The Bhagavat Gita

5.      The Power of Now - A guide to spiritual enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle 2001

6.      Pinnacle of Indian Thought by Ernest Wood