As we have seen earlier, a soul has three tendencies called sat (consciousness), chit (meaning), and ananda (pleasure), such that the essence of choice is that between meaning and pleasure. We have also discussed previously, how the original sat-chit-ananda Absolute Truth creates five forms—Kṛṣṇa, Rāma, Hara, Ramā, and Jīvā, which are called the pañca-tattva or five categories. Two of these forms are masculine (Kṛṣṇa and Rāma) while two of them are feminine (Hara and Ramā). Each masculine form is paired with a feminine form. The form of Kṛṣṇa and Hara are the subject and object of pleasure, while the forms of Rāma and Ramā are the subject and object of meaning. In this post, I will use these descriptions to outline the Vedic philosophical view of feminine and masculine. It is noteworthy that masculine and feminine are not just material bodies in Vedic philosophy; they are spiritual archetypes or forms. This philosophical understanding can then be used to discern the basis of gender roles in society, and why some modern roles (for both men and women) are rejected.
Table of Contents
Masculine-Feminine vs. Male-Female
Given that the soul has a choice between prioritizing either meaning or pleasure, in Vedic philosophy, masculine is defined as the preference for meaning, while the feminine is defined as the preference for pleasure. The person in pursuit of meaning seeks higher and more abstract ideas—ultimately culminating in one or more of the six original ideas of knowledge, beauty, renunciation, power, fame, and wealth. The person in pursuit of pleasure, instead, seeks pure and unalloyed relationships, in one of the six original forms as relation to the self, and to others as reverence, servitude, friendship, parental affection, and conjugal love. Accordingly, the pursuit of the six original qualities (knowledge, beauty, renunciation, power, fame, and wealth) is defined to be masculine, while the pursuit of the six original relationships (to the self, and to others as reverence, servitude, friendship, parental affection, and conjugal love) is defined as feminine.
The terms masculine and feminine are somewhat different than the terms male and female. The definition of the male is a subject who seeks meaning or pleasure, while the female is an object who is sought as meaning or pleasure. Thus, the male is the seeker or the pursuer of meaning and pleasure, while the female is defined as the sought or the object of these pursuits.
According to these differences, Kṛṣṇa is a feminine-male—He is the seeker of pleasure; as the seeker, He is male, but due to the preference for pleasure, He is feminine. Conversely, Rāma is a masculine-male—He is the seeker of knowledge; as the seeker He is male, and due to the preference for meaning, He is masculine. Similarly, Hara is the feminine-female—She is the ultimate object of the quest for pleasure; we can say that She is the pleasure sought; as the sought, She is female, and due to the preference for pleasure, She is feminine. Conversely, Ramā is masculine-female—She is the object of the quest for meaning; we can say that She is the meaning sought; as the sought, She is female, although due to the preference for meaning, She is masculine. The four original forms are summarized in the below table.
Manifestations of the Original Forms
We can see many typical examples of the above four original forms in the present world too.
- By conventional definitions, a man is a “masculine-male”, which means that he is predominantly inclined towards the quest for meanings—knowledge, power, wealth, fame, splendor, and renunciation. Such a man is honorable, responsible, intelligent, diligent, powerful, disciplined, moral, and reliable. In most cases, he is also boring, aloof, uptight, abstract, serious, introverted, and irritable. He takes care of his family but is not amiable or fun-loving.
- Conversely, there is also a “feminine-male” who is irresponsible, disorganized, and unambitious, who seeks thrill instead of meaning, who is humorous, delectable, out-going, extroverted, and joyful. He is likely an artist, a musician, or a writer, who can’t be pinned down into a place or relationship; he roams and explores the world, seeking excitement and love. He won’t have a steady job or a profession. He does whatever pleases him.
- In most literary descriptions, a “woman” is a “feminine-female”—mysterious and seductive, she seeks risky and dangerous situations to find pleasure. She loves with great passion, but she cannot be possessed; she looks for the thrill, excitement, adventure, and fun, and doesn’t want to be bogged down by pragmatic questions of livelihood, responsibility, discipline, and reliability. She is the ultimate erotic object, or what is ordinarily known as femme-fatale.
- Conversely, there is a “masculine-female” who people call the “girl next door”. She is shy, quiet, peaceful, dutiful, responsible, respectful, organized, and disciplined. She will love deeply, but it won’t be passionate; she will tolerate difficulties for her family demonstrating patience and forbearance; she will seek home and hearth, health and security; most times she would be well-educated and well-read; she will not be worldly, because she is worldly-wise.
The above are cardinal examples of the original male and female forms. The “girl next door” is the representation of Ramā—the consort of Rāma—who makes the ultimate dutiful wife, the most responsible mother, and a partner for good and bad times. The femme-fatale is the representation of Hara—the lover of Kṛṣṇa—who is the personification of erotic pleasure, exploration, and adventure. Similarly, the “mature and responsible man” is the representation of Rāma who seeks knowledge, power, wealth, and transcendence; he makes a responsible father and husband but is not humorous, fun-loving, or outgoing; he would most likely be a bad singer or dancer! Finally, the “artistic and passionate man” is the representation of Kṛṣṇa who leads a carefree life of abandon; he has many friends and girlfriends, but no dedicated profession, and does whatever he feels like.
The Union of Male and Female
I noted above that the male and female are like subject and object; since this is not an easy idea, I will try to illustrate this now in a better way. In a previous post, I described how the material world is comprised of sounds which can be described as the music produced from the act of playing an instrument. The original male and female forms are like the player and the instrument, respectively. The player is the male and the instrument is the female. The instrument is the possibility of any kind of sound and She exists in an unmanifest form—i.e. unknowable—until the instrument is played. The player is also the possibility of playing any kind of sound, and He too exists in an unmanifest form—i.e. unknowable—until He plays the instrument. The union of the male and female is when the instrument is played. The “children” produced from such a union are the sounds that we admire as musical compositions.
The instrument is generally not the instigator of music; the desire to play originates in the player, although the player is often excited into playing just by looking at an instrument. In this way, the male generally pursues the female, although the female can also attract the male. The male is, however, in a superior position, because the final act of playing has to come from the player and not the instrument. The instrument can attract and inspire the player, but the choices of playing are in the male. In that sense, the player is superior and the instrument is inferior, although they are also complementary because the music is a combination of the instrument and the player. The desires of the player cannot be fulfilled without an instrument and the instrument cannot be complete if it is never played.
The male and the female, therefore, have desires, but of different kinds. The female desire is to be used or played in a certain way, and the male desire is to use or play in a certain way. They are both incomplete without the other, and they crave a union in order to complete themselves. In many Vedic texts, therefore, the male and the female are described as the creator and the creatrix who combine to produce a creation. The combination is like that of a player and an instrument to create music.
In Vedic philosophy, there are innumerable forms of male God always accompanied by a female Goddess. The male is always the player and the female is always the played. The choice of the female is to define the limits on what is possible; for example, the form of the instrument defines what kinds of sounds can potentially be produced. The choice of the male is to pick from what is available; for example, the choice of the player defines the played sounds. Because the female sets the bounds on what can be chosen, the female is sometimes said to be superior to the male. Similarly, because the male chooses from among the available options, the male is said to be the decision-maker.
Both the male and female are actually decision-makers, although in completely different ways. The female decides the menu, and the male decides what to eat. The male cannot ask for what is outside the menu, and the female cannot stop the male from choosing what is within the menu. In the spiritual world, the male and the female are closely matched, which means that the female makes a menu that has exactly those things that the male relishes; they are thus unified in their intent and purpose. In the material world, there is great discord because the desires are outside the menu, or the menu is not exactly desirable.
The Archetypes of Consciousness
The essence of the personalist philosophy is that consciousness has form—i.e. it has the properties of masculine and feminine, male and female. The essence of impersonal philosophy is that consciousness has no form—i.e. it has no properties. Vedic personalist philosophy manifests itself into the above four archetypes of Kṛṣṇa, Hara, Rāma, and Ramā. These four archetypes are the “original forms” of meaning and pleasure, from which all other meanings and pleasures are created. In the pañca-tattva philosophy, these archetypes are the four forms called Chaitanya, Nityānanda, Advaita, and Gadādhara.
The soul is situated among the four archetypes but has the option to emulate any one of them. Some souls choose to emulate Kṛṣṇa and become “artistic and passionate men”. Some other souls decide to emulate Rāma and become the “mature and responsible men”. Some souls find the archetype of the “girl next door” very attractive and they like to emulate Ramā. Finally, there are souls who find the archetype of femme-fatale very attractive and they are inclined to emulate Hara.
In Vaishnava philosophy, these four archetypes are the only unique and distinctive forms; every other form—man or woman, masculine or feminine—is produced from these archetypes. For example, there can be men who are responsible in their careers but also seek thrill through women or sport. Similarly, there can be women who secretly seek thrill, excitement, and seduction, but overtly appear to be shy, dutiful, and responsible. The archetypes are therefore not mutually exclusive; rather, the soul has the choice to emulate and follow them in different ways. The important point is that the soul cannot create a new or original archetype apart from Kṛṣṇa, Hara, Rāma, and Ramā.
Austerity – The Ideal in the Material World
One of the key ideas in Vedic philosophy is that while the soul has the capacity and freedom to prioritize between meaning and pleasure, in the material world the natural preference is for meanings over pleasures whereas in the spiritual realm the natural preference is for pleasures over meanings.
In both cases, choices are involved, which means free will always exists. However, the material world is described as a temporary place in which the quest for pleasure with abandon only leads to misery and suffering. One is thus advised to exercise great restraints in the enjoyment of pleasure. There are, conversely, far fewer restraints on the pursuit of meaning in the material world; the general guideline provided by Vedic texts is that knowledge and renunciation are the most important meanings; all other meanings are acceptable so long as they serve the purpose of knowledge and renunciation.
In other words, the archetypes of femme-fatale and the “fun-loving lover” are summarily rejected in the material world. Quite notably, these two archetypes are the highest forms in the spiritual realm. This distinction is articulated in the Vaishnava philosophy by describing two forms of bhakti—vaidi and ragānugā. The vaidi-bhakti is a life in which men are the “boring, intelligent, and responsible caretakers of family and society” while the women are the “girl next door”—i.e. quiet, shy, tolerant, forbearing, unassuming, responsible mothers and wives dedicated to their family. Conversely, in the ragānugā-bhakti, the men are the playful fun-loving explorers, while women are the demanding, entitled, assertive, risk-taking, mysterious, and seductive embodiments of passion and love.
It is noteworthy that the archetypes of the “playful explorer” and the “mysterious seductress” are not always rejected; indeed, they are described in Vedic texts as the highest form of spiritual existence. They are, however, forbidden during material existence—also called the practice of vaidi or “disciplined” life.
The meaning of vaidi is “according to rules and regulations” and it embodies a life that pursues meaning over pleasure. The reason is that each soul has an eternal form of meaning (the six qualities described above) which has to be discovered through a regulated process before the soul can engage in a life of playful abandon. The regulated life is, however, not eternal; rather, the life of playful abandonment is eternal. Nevertheless, the regulated life has to be practiced in order to discover one’s form of meaning, before this form can participate in roles or relationships that involve the exchanges of playful abandonment.
The Divine Origin of Gender Roles
The traditional gender roles—for both men and women—come from the strictures of vaidi-bhakti. They are, in fact, emulations of Rāma and Ramā or Viṣṇu and Lakshmi. While it is quite possible that men can be “fun-loving lovers” and women can be femme-fatales, this life of careless enjoyment is rejected in vaidi-bhakti unless one discovers their true forms of meaning. Owing to this fact, society is expected to be designed in such a way that all men are “boring, intelligent, and responsible caretakers” and the women are “dedicated, forbearing, plain Janes”. This is the life of austerity and simplicity designed to cleanse a person of the varieties of ill-conceived relationships for false enjoyment.
Many people suppose that the traditional gender roles are designed to favor men and that they were produced due to patriarchal societies. This idea is flawed because the man and woman in the material world are asked to emulate Lord Viṣṇu and Mother Lakshmi—God and Goddess. Their choices, as we have seen above, are different: the female is free to define the limits on the male’s possibilities, while a male is free to choose from among the available alternatives. Thus, a female binds a male with a limited menu, and a male binds a female by asking her to provide whatever he chooses in the menu. The affection or love between them is that the male will not want to breach the boundaries that the female has set, and the female will not try to deny the male what he wants to be on the menu.
The divine relationship becomes materially polluted when this love is lost. In such a situation, the woman becomes a dominating controller who tries to limit the options and choices of the man to a point that the man becomes dissatisfied. The man then breaches the bounds set by the woman and seeks another woman who can fulfill his desires. Alternately, a man may try to obtain from a woman what the woman cannot provide, and this inability to make the man happy may force the woman to seek another man who appreciates what she can provide much better. These frustrated alternatives between a man and a woman are barely the glimmers of the original male-female divinity.
The Process of Spiritual Advancement
The world is created from ideas with the original idea being the most abstract. In this origin, the female is the limit on everything that is possible because that is all that She will allow, while the male is the limits on everything that He wants to choose, and therefore has the desire for. These original forms are not just higher, they are also the “biggest” forms—size being defined semantically rather than physically. In the semantic notion, the form of “knowledge itself”, “beauty itself”, “glory itself”, “power itself”, etc. are the highest and the biggest ideas; every other idea is a limited possibility within it.
Spiritual perfection for both men and women is to get as close as possible to the divine couple—e.g. Lakshmi and Viṣṇu. For a woman, the proximity to Lakshmi means that she tries to stretch the limits of possibilities—as she stretches these limits, she comes closer to Lakshmi who is the fullness of all the possibilities. Similarly, the man tries his level best to elevate his desires from narrow parochial ideas to higher and broader cravings—culminating in “knowledge itself”, “beauty itself”, “glory itself”, etc. and in broadening he comes closer to Viṣṇu.
The affection between a male and a female is that the female tries to fulfill all of the male desires, while the male never breaches the bounds defined by the female. As a male raises his desires to original ideas, the female becomes the instrument of realizing these desires. But if the female is incapable of fulfilling the desire, the male gives up such desires. Recall that the male and the female are like the player and the instrument; they advance when the player wants the original sound, and the instrument expands to produce the new kind of sound. But if the instrument cannot produce the expected sound (e.g. we cannot expect a drum to produce the sounds of a wind or string instrument), then the player withdraws the expectations of such sounds. This is the principle of divine partnership. While men and women can never become God and Goddess, by emulating Lord Viṣṇu and Mother Lakshmi, both men and women can realize their original forms.
The feminist idea that women have been forced to serve men due to a patriarchal society is ignorant about the philosophical underpinnings of the conventional roles in which a man and woman are expected to play the transcendental archetypes of Viṣṇu and Lakshmi, whereby the marital relationship between man and woman is a reflection of the transcendental relationship between the Eternal Couple.
Enlightenment via Marriage
The idea underlying the marital arrangement—with the traditional gender roles—is that the temporary matrimony between man and woman itself can become eternal through a loving bond between husband and wife. When a man dies, and he has been purified, he will transfer to the Vaikunṭha planets in a form similar to that of Lord Viṣṇu, while his wife (assuming she has also been purified) will also similarly transfer to Vaikunṭha in a form similar to Lakshmi. If one of the two is not purified, they will take birth again as husband and wife and assist each other’s spiritual advancement. The traditional gender roles have thus a profound basis in spiritual archetypes due to which men and women will continuously follow each other—life after life—until they liberate each other into Vaikunṭha.
We should therefore understand that the traditional gender roles are not about which gender is in a greater position of power, nor are they subject to whimsical adjustment in time or place. Rather, the conventional gender roles are due to the fact that in the material world men and women are expected to emulate the archetypes of Viṣṇu and Lakshmi or Rāma and Ramā—rather than the archetypes of Kṛṣṇa and Hara. The strictures of gender roles are designed to take a person to the point of liberation where they know their true form of meaning—i.e. their inclination and capacity towards the six qualities.
Marriage is thus not a material bond. It is meant to be a divine and eternal relationship and is expected to be made into one. As the man and woman try to emulate Viṣṇu and Lakshmi, all false notions of pleasure are removed, and one sees oneself as that thing-in-itself. Such a state is called mukti or liberation. Once a person is liberated, and they have seen their form or the thing-in-itself that they are, then they would be transferred out of the material world into the realm called Vaikunṭha. Once the soul is enlightened about its true form, then he or she can seek relationships of pleasure. Through such relationships, one can now begin to emulate the archetypes of Kṛṣṇa and Hara if he or she wants. The road to that destination, however, passes through vaidi-bhakti—i.e. traditional gender roles.
The four archetypes of Kṛṣṇa, Hara, Rāma and Ramā represent two males and two females. In the pañca-tattva philosophy, these archetypes are the four forms called Chaitanya, Nityānanda, Advaita, and Gadādhara. Could you explain which is which? I have heard that Gadādhara is Hara and Chaitanya is Krsna but both Nityānanda and Advaita could be Rāma. That would leave out Ramā, wouldn’t it?
Please see this section in the earlier post: http://blog.shabda.co/2017/04/26/the-unity-of-vedic-philosophy/#The_Description_of_Panca-Tattva
Thanks for the link which answers my question. But leads me to another question.
Similarly, in the spiritual creation, the role is the efficient cause and the actor is the material cause. The role is created by Hara while the body is created by Ramā. As one who infuses the world with the “creative potency”, Ramā or Advaita Acharya is the creator of all the bodies and minds.
My new question: Is the body and mind separate from the soul in spiritual creation?
No. The body and mind means spiritual capabilities. These capabilities are fixed. The soul is not adding new capabilities. It is only using the capabilities to serve and to enjoy. There is hence no “education” or “learning” happening in the spiritual creation. Everyone is fully enlightened and educated. They all know the science of how things work. After knowing that they apply it.
It seems to me that in a semantic theory anything can be true so long as you can define the meanings of words in an abstract way. For example, in a previous answer to one of my questions you said, “Both matter and spirit are ideas; matter is false ideas, and spirit is true ideas”. And to my last question you answered, “The body and mind means spiritual capabilities”. I wanted to ask, that if in the spiritual world there is no difference between soul, body and mind, then what is the need for Advaita to be the creator of bodies and minds? But now I am almost certain you would interpret spiritual creation in some abstract way.
If you are certain then why are you asking? To prove a point that you are right and I’m wrong? Attitude is important if you want to learn. You can take your attitude to your school or college teachers and see if they answer your questions or throw you out. Even in case of spiritual knowledge if you don’t have an inquisitive attitude, you can keep arguing for millions of years and you will get no inspiration from within because you will not get the goodwill of those who know and without that goodwill you cannot understand anything. At the end of all your efforts, you will get frustrated, angry, and end up feeling lost. You are welcome to ask questions, but be inquisitive, not judgmental.
Now, your question is really silly because you haven’t understood how in the present body soul interacts with matter. If your body is particles and waves then they should obey some mathematical laws and you should have no control over what is going to happen. In atomic theory, it is now known that the world is not particles and waves. It is possibilities which we currently describe as probabilities. It means that there is something objective, but it is not an object. What does it mean to say that there is something objective but not an object? Ideas are the cardinal examples of this. An idea is objective, but it is not always manifest into an object.
For example, the idea of an airplane is objective, but airplanes did not always exist. So, there is a process by which the idea of an airplane is converted into an airplane. Until this conversion happens, the idea is objective and yet not an object. When this conversion happens, still the idea exists objectively. So, all these ideas are possibilities. In the living body we call them “capabilities” which means I can convert the possibility into a reality and that reality is activity and knowledge. The process of conversion is called prana and it enlivens all the bodies.
Just like there exists is a drum and you hit the drum and it vibrates. The drum is the possibility of sound, and the sound is created only when you hit it with energy. If you don’t hit it, the drum still exists, but you cannot perceive its existence (i.e. hear the sound of the drum). So the drum is the possibility and capability of many sounds and depending on our choice we can play it in many ways. The experience is the combination of a possibility and a choice. The soul is the choice, the mind is the drum, and body is the sound produced by hitting the drum. The prana is the energy that carries the soul’s choice and hits the drum. Therefore, the material energy is described as manas, prana, and vak. In this the vak is the body, the mind is the drum, and prana is the energy. This energy is called kriya-sakti and works under the soul’s choice.
In the material world a person is always changing the body. Sometimes he has a drum, other times a sitar, yet another time a flute, etc. Accordingly their bodily capabilities are changing. The Eagle can see very far but you cannot see. The fish can live inside the water but you can’t. How is that? It is because of different capabilities. The prana carries the soul to a new body, which means to a different instrument. If this life is not spent properly then next life we get a different instrument. That instrument may be working mechanically but it cannot do many other things. The human body is a special instrument by which we can play a specific type of sound which can take us out of this cycle of repeated birth and death. By understanding the instrument we know why this is a very special instrument, but the goal is to produce that special kind of sound by which we can exit the material world.
Once you exit the material world and enter the spiritual world, you are given another instrument — the mind. Similarly, you have an energy at your disposal to play that instrument and produce the sound. But that energy is under the control of the choice of the soul. The body and the soul are said to be identical because the instrument is tailor made for each soul. It will play all and only those sounds that the soul wants to produce. So, all souls are different, and each soul has a separate instrument — i.e. mind — from which it creates bodily activities. And the instrument never changes because each soul has a particular type of unique desire to play a certain kind of instrument.
Regarding Advaita, it a very preliminary understanding. When you see a forest from a distance, it just looks like a patch of green. When you come closer you can see many trees. And if you go even closer you can see a perfect tree is producing all the trees, which is appearing as a forest. So, the Vedic texts call this Brahman, Paramatma, and Bhagavan. The original person is the first tree. Then He creates many trees, like one lamp lighting many lamps. Ultimately from a distance you see a lot of light. Those who want to study the light from the distance can remain there. The advanced transcendentalist understands that he is an individual lamp, and then how he was lighted from an original lamp.
All this knowledge is so precious that there is no price that you can pay for obtaining it. It is obtained only by the grace of those who know. We are trying to explain these difficult topics in an easy manner so that other people can understand it. If you are sincere then you will spend time for your own benefit. So, be sincere and respectful because I have nothing to gain from you, and you have everything to lose.
I was no longer asking a question, rather, I was making a comment. The point of the comment was; how can a consensus be reached if the meanings of the words keep changing? If I disagree with the way you are using words, it doesn’t mean that I disagree with you. So therefore, you shouldn’t take it so personal. Everyone, especially myself, has a problem with words. Take the example of the musical instruments that you used. You say that the drum is capable of producing sound. I disagree. I say the drummer is capable of playing the drum. The sounds are not produced by the drum but by the drummer. It only appears to be the drum. Just like the body only appears to be alive. On one hand, you say that there is no difference between body, mind and soul in the spiritual world and on the other hand you say that when the soul arrives at the spiritual world he gets a mind. Well pardon me but that sounds like a contradiction. In the material world, there is mahamaya and in the spiritual world there is yogamaya. So, a separate covering must exist. But, for some reason it is hard to admit. Even if it is in perfect harmony with the soul, isn’t it still separate? I’ll give you another example. You say that consciousness is choice and there is no difference. I say that consciousness makes a choice. You can choose between chocolate or vanilla. If you choose chocolate, then chocolate is the choice. Are you getting my drift?
>> I was no longer asking a question, rather, I was making a comment.
OK, so how will I know that the rest of this is another comment or a question?
>> The point of the comment was; how can a consensus be reached if the meanings of the words keep changing?
But do you have a better alternative explanation to offer? Consensus means that there are two viewpoints which are contradictory. So far you haven’t offered anything. You have only said that I am twisting words and anything can be said. That’s not an explanation. So, first you have to provide a better explanation and show that yours is better.
>> If I disagree with the way you are using words, it doesn’t mean that I disagree with you.
Now, that is one perfectly clear statement. Please read it again.
>> So therefore, you shouldn’t take it so personal.
Why not? Everything is personal in my philosophy. Nothing is impersonal. The earth, the sky, the water, the mountain, they are all persons. And you are a person too (for me). So, everything you say and do will be taken personally.
>> Everyone, especially myself, has a problem with words.
It is not a problem of words. It is the way the words are used in scriptures. Just like Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Ether. These are words too. Now, you can say I have a problem with the words. Sure, then I will use Agni, Apah, Vayu, Bhumi, Kham. And you will not understand anything. So, having a problem with words is a question of learning the language.
>> Take the example of the musical instruments that you used. You say that the drum is capable of producing sound. I disagree. I say the drummer is capable of playing the drum. The sounds are not produced by the drum but by the drummer. It only appears to be the drum.
Now this is really splitting hair. The drummer is capable if playing, and the drum is capable of being played. The soul has capability and the matter has capability. Their capability combines. That I said before too.
>> Just like the body only appears to be alive. On one hand, you say that there is no difference between body, mind and soul in the spiritual world and on the other hand you say that when the soul arrives at the spiritual world he gets a mind. Well pardon me but that sounds like a contradiction. In the material world, there is mahamaya and in the spiritual world there is yogamaya. So, a separate covering must exist.
The maya is not prakriti. Maya is efficient cause, and prakriti is material cause. The spiritual body is the “material cause” (not matter). The choice is sat, the body is chit, and the pleasure of the body is ananda. So, yes, sat and chit are separate things. But the sat is always tied to the chit — an original chit — which is the original body.
>> But, for some reason it is hard to admit. Even if it is in perfect harmony with the soul, isn’t it still separate?
Separate as sat and chit. Identical as a single soul.
>> I’ll give you another example. You say that consciousness is choice and there is no difference. I say that consciousness makes a choice. You can choose between chocolate or vanilla. If you choose chocolate, then chocolate is the choice. Are you getting my drift?
Yes, chocolate and vanilla are meanings — chit. Choosing one of them is sat. This is a combination of sat and chit. When they are not combined experience doesn’t exist. Experience is created by combination.
Thank you very much for your patience and explanations. I now understand that maya is an efficient cause and that changes everything since I always thought of it as a material cause. Regarding questions versus comments, sometimes we speak rhetorically. Regarding consensus, an opposing viewpoint does not have to be better. It is a choice. This is a blog about your viewpoint and not mine. If your viewpoint is taken from scripture, it is still a viewpoint. Whatever language or words you use, it is your choice. My point is, that there is a difference between you and the choices you make. If you want to identify with the choices you make, that is also your choice. As for myself, I make choices from what is available, but I don’t identify with them. Regarding the musical instruments; a musician can play the same tune on different instruments. The instruments do not play the tune. They simply lend their quality or guna. For the Supreme Lord, there is no difference between Himself and His qualities. What I was trying to understand was: Do our spiritual qualities belong to us or are they borrowed from the Supreme Lord?
Srila Prabhupada would compare the soul to a drop of ocean water. The drop is qualitatively the same as the ocean, but not quantitively the same. But this analogy doesn’t answer my question. These spiritual qualities only manifest when the soul is fully surrendered to the Supreme Lord. They don’t manifest in Brahman, Nirvana or Samsara. So, it seems to me that for all practical purposes, they belong to the Supreme Lord and not to the individual soul. Therefore, there must be some separation.
>> If you kill someone and you go and tell a judge that I just made a choice but I don’t identify with it, the judge will tell you, “Right, I’m going to sentence you for life imprisonment and I don’t identify with my choice.”
That is perfect. In Bhagavad Gita, Krishna tells Arjuna to not be attached by practicing non-identification. After all, you are not the body.
>> So you can see like the eagle, swim like the fish, and smell like the dog? Since the same tune can be played on all instruments, why don’t you show how the soul is playing the same tune in eagle body, fish body, and dog body? That would be conclusive proof of your statement.
The tune that all animals are playing is called; eating, sleeping, mating and defending. If it sounds a little different, it is due to different qualities in the instrument. The instrument has no capabilities. Perhaps you are trying too hard to sound like a modern scientist.
>> If you don’t accept scripture as the basis of truth, then why are you wasting time in trying to understand it? What is the purpose?
It is my choice. The purpose is to fulfill the meaning of human life.
>> I have come to my conclusions regarding this interaction, I don’t think it is fruitful for me to continue because I’m focused on certain things and whatever limited time I have I want to spend it fruitfully. It has been nice interacting with you, but I will like to put this conversation to rest now. I won’t be able to answer more of your comments. Please excuse.
>> But do you have a better alternative explanation to offer? Consensus means that there are two viewpoints which are contradictory. So far you haven’t offered anything. You have only said that I am twisting words and anything can be said. That’s not an explanation. So, first you have to provide a better explanation and show that yours is better.
Fine then, here is an alternative explanation. See it as just a deeper abstraction of the semantic theory. Sat, Chid, and Ananda are three separate spiritual energies that exist on three different platforms. Sat means Purusha. Chid means Shakti, and Ananda means Maya. The three platforms are Spiritual, Absolute and Material. On the Spiritual platform; Purusha is Vishnu tattva, Shakti is Laxmi tattva, and Maya is Yogamaya. On the Absolute platform, Purusha is Nirvana, Shakti is Brahman, Maya is Mahatattva. On the Material platform; Purusha is Jivatattva, Shakti is Mahashakti, and Maya is Mahamaya. When the jiva fully renounces Shakti, it can enter Nirvana. When the jiva liberates the Shakti from the material platform, it can merge into Brahman. When the jiva surrenders himself and the Shakti to the Supreme Lord it can enter the Spiritual platform in the arena of Laxmi Tattva rendering service to the Supreme Lord.
On the Spiritual Platform, Shakti is personal. On the Absolute and Material platforms, Shakti is impersonal. Here it is the living energy known by different names such as jnanashakti, itchashakt and kriyashakti.
On the material platform, Maya becomes the non-living energy. She gives the judgement of relativity. By this judgement, one knows time and space, forms, qualities, and so on. She is the matrix of chakras and nadis. She is the DNA. She lends her qualities to Shakti as Shakti enters her matrix. The Shakti in turn, lends her qualities to the jiva. One’s guna is the result of one’s karma.
In a nutshell, this semantic theory perfectly explains the major religious theories and the nature of the self. Now, you may go on to more fruitful activities and I will put this interaction to rest.
>> As for myself, I make choices from what is available, but I don’t identify with them
If you kill someone and you go and tell a judge that I just made a choice but I don’t identify with it, the judge will tell you, “Right, I’m going to sentence you for life imprisonment and I don’t identify with my choice.”
>> If your viewpoint is taken from scripture, it is still a viewpoint.
If you don’t accept scripture as the basis of truth, then why are you wasting time in trying to understand it? What is the purpose?
>> Regarding the musical instruments; a musician can play the same tune on different instruments.
So you can see like the eagle, swim like the fish, and smell like the dog? Since the same tune can be played on all instruments, why don’t you show how the soul is playing the same tune in eagle body, fish body, and dog body? That would be conclusive proof of your statement.
I have come to my conclusions regarding this interaction, I don’t think it is fruitful for me to continue because I’m focused on certain things and whatever limited time I have I want to spend it fruitfully. It has been nice interacting with you, but I will like to put this conversation to rest now. I won’t be able to answer more of your comments. Please excuse.
So a masculine male should pair with masculine female and a feminine male should pair with feminine female. I don’t understand it, it is not the male and female who seek union, but masculinity and feminity, so masculine male should pair with feminine female and vice versa. ??
This post is about the divine archetypes of masculine and feminine and not about the man and woman you see in this world. These archetypes exist in men and women, which means that men and women can have different tendencies of masculine and feminine. This post is not about marital advice or relationships between men and women.