The Three Energies. The Forgotten Canons of Health and Harmonyñêà÷àòü êíèãó áåñïëàòíî
Light, activity and stability are three main types of movement which are not only the components of all substances but provide the foundation for the environment within which these substances exist.
According to modern science the characteristics of atoms and molecules depend only on their structure and in final analysis they are nothing more than different combinations of these three types of movement.
By studying physics and chemistry we can take any object and analyze its’ components from the perspective of movement – rhythmical movement, non-rhythmical movement and an absence of any movement.
In the chemical synthesis of any compound, for example DNA, if we add a radical in one place and take out one atom in another, the characteristic of the substance changes. Thus it is the movement that can be considered as the foundation of the substance of the objective Universe.
The conclusions of Eastern psychology and modern science are similar and affirm that movement appears to be the foundation of the physical Universe. The path is now open for accepting essential ancient teachings which define the foundation of the Universe is mental, and everything that appears to be a combination of mental and physical phenomena, in reality is a result of a psychic experience or purely mental phenomenon.
“Whatever modern physics has discovered until now is described in full in ancient Indian Vedic texts, without any (mathematical) formulas. There were and still are two ways of perceiving the Nature of things. On the one hand it is represented by Western science, which requires proof, experiments, etc. On the other hand is Eastern science – the knowledge received from an outer esoteric source, for example, in the process of meditation. Esoteric knowledge is not taken, it is given to people. At some point the esoteric path was lost and then another way was developed, extremely difficult and slow. In the last thousand years we have come to the knowledge that has been known in the East for over 5000 years.”
Director of International Institute of Theoretical and Applied Physics Professor A. E. Akimov
Despite the fact that not all of the colleagues agreed with this scientist, his statement is interesting. Certainly the further science progresses, the more it validates what was understood thousands years ago.
This book is dedicated to the “gunas”, the three main energies of the Universe, which determine the path of our lives.
In ancient ages, enlightened sages knew about these three energies and the three different types of movements. The excerpts from the book by I. K. Taimni “Glimpses into the Psychology of Yoga” are given below:
“The physical world, observed in it’s objective aspect of atoms and molecules, is a field of activity of three types of movement, which by their endless variety of combinations develop a flow of material manifestations.If we analyze how the gunas manifest in different aspects of life we see that they have their roots in their own fundamental and special natures, which depend on three types of movement – harmonious, chaotic and static.
Movement and nothing else is the structural foundation of the gunas. Actually, there are only three main types of movement. Movement can be rhythmical or non-rhythmical. The latter type is found in molecules moving in gas or liquid. Such movement is described by the Sanskrit word kriy? (which means an activity) and corresponds to rajas (passion). Movement can be rhythmical or harmonious, for example, light or sound. This is called prakasha meaning a vibration or light; light is a typical example of a vibration, enlightening a mind, where the movement of electrons is a “locked light”. Even sound vibrations evoke cognition of an object – the emitting sound can enlighten the mind. The third type of movement is a fixed condition and is called sthiti or stability. When we carefully study matter the “absence of movement” also can be considered to be a main type of movement which corresponds to tamas (ignorance), as prakasa corresponds to sattva (goodness).
One who has some knowledge of physics and chemistry can take any material object and analyse its composition in terms of rhythmical, non-rhythmical and static movements. Take water for example. What is the composition of water? Its’ mass consists of the chaotically moving molecules H2O. It is kriya. Each molecule contains two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen, united together and separated by a fixed distance. That is sthiti. In each hydrogen and oxygen atom electrons spin with the speed of light, which we know as “locked light”. That is prakasa. Therefore, any object can be represented as a unique combination of these three fundamental types of movement or, using terms from yoga psychology, as a unique transformation of the gunas. The distinctive qualities of all objects depend on certain unique combinations or structures and change when the structure changes. In this way, only movement can be considered as the base and substance of the objective Universe. In this instance occultism and science are in agreement…”
The Three Primary Energies Determining our Lives
An Introductory Explanation of the “Gunas”
Definition of Guna
We are embarking on the discussion of an extremely important subject. If we understand and put the following ideas into practice, we can change our lives. Even a basic familiarity with these concepts can cause a change for the better. This knowledge can affect how successful, healthy and harmonious we are.
First we need to understand the definition of the word guna. There are two meanings – “rope” and “quality”, although these translations are somewhat superficial. The Yoga-Sutra, which is the foundation of Eastern psychology, gives a more exact, deep explanation – the gunas are that lie at the core of all qualities.
According to yoga psychology, the gunas determine the internal as well as external qualities of everything. If an object is a combination of different components then the quality of this object will be determined by the quality of all its components.
Eastern psychology explains that gunas influence all spheres of life. The three gunas are the foundation of the manifested Universe, and determine the direction of all aspects of life and the condition of different types of objects. The Bhagavad-Gita (3.27) states that while a living being imagines itself as the cause of all its actions, in reality all activity is performed by the three modes (gunas) of material nature; the living entity can only desire.
The American professor of psychotherapy Abraham Maslow demonstrated by research that ninety-nine percent of people lead a mechanical or unconscious existence. Only one percent adhere to the principles of Eastern psychology, although unaware of these principles, and thus lead a more mindful life-style. These people are more successful than all the ninety-nine percent put together. If you put into practice the knowledge in this book, you can easily become part of this one percent – a healthy, happy and harmonious person who is no longer a slave to lower energies.
Everything is Defined by Subtle Energy
Everything we see in this world is a mixture of different energies. All people, places and things radiate some kind of energy. We all need energy to have healthy, creative lives. If certain forms of energy, such as oil or electricity, were to disappear suddenly, our modern civilization would deteriorate within a few days.
There are different types of energy – gross and subtle, material and spiritual, good and evil. If we received a written message saying “I love you”, we would be delighted; but if the “I hate you” written on the same paper with the same pen, it could be devastating.
Similarly, when we enter a place where a quarrel has occurred, the atmosphere often feels stiffed, producing a feeling of coming in contact with something filthy, even if people may be seating, working, or smiling. If we live mainly in tamas and rajas (ignorance and passion), we may feel quite comfortable in such an atmosphere, even finding pleasure in it, and at times creating similar situations out of a pure environment.
Everything is decided by subtle energy. If our subtle body becomes even slightly active by practicing yoga and chanting mantras or prayers, we will start to see and feel this energy.
Origin and Categories of Energies
The Vedas state that God, Adipurusam, is the primeval Supreme Essence, the only Parabrahman from which all energies come.
The three main energies are:
1. Internal (spiritual).
2. Marginal (living entities, souls, living as we do in this material world).
3. External (material or illusory).
The spiritual or internal (1) energy is divided into three types:
A. Samvit – knowledge.
B. Sadhini – existence.
C. Hladini – bliss.
The external or illusory (3) energy is also divided into three energies:
A. Sattva (goodness) – the energy of sustenance.
B. Rajas (passion) – the energy of creation.
C. Tamas (ignorance) – the energy of annihilation.
Four Steps to Understanding the Absolute Truth
The topic of the three gunas will be examined in four main stages, according to the traditional system:
1. What are the gunas?
2. How do they act?
3. How do they cause unity?
4. How can they give liberation?
When a living being enters the material world, he comes under the influence of the gunas. Absolutely everything in the material world is created by these energies. They are like the three primary colours red, blue and yellow; by mixing them, a wide variety of colours and sub-colours are created.
The gunas are the force that gives all beings the opportunity to fulfill their desires, providing an endless variety of ways to do it. This arrangement is made possible by the Supreme Existence.
Knowledge of the three gunas is extremely relevant for us. If we understand it we can achieve liberation, or at least improve all aspects of our life, because these energies are present everywhere.
Sattva is the most important energy, because it determines how happy and successful we can be in life. But it does not come naturally to us: we have to choose it consciously. Rajas and tamas come easily; our civilization welcomes rajas and its qualities of passion, activity and creativity.
The gunas permeate everything – our clothes, food, speech and even our thoughts. When people quarrel, this is a manifestation of the energy of tamas. When a man lusts over beautiful women, this is rajas. When a person meditates, performs yoga and wishes happiness for everybody, this is sattva. It is tamas when we are half asleep or inert, or if we show signs of this destructive energy by thinking negatively about someone or wishing them harm.
When we learn to see the gunas in everything and how to change from one to another, it allows us to control our life and our karma.
We need to see through the eyes of knowledge to recognize the gunas everywhere and to choose the guna of sattva (goodness). The guna of goodness gives liberation from sins and bad habits and enables us to rise to the transcendental (spiritual) level. Conversely, it is possible to be engaged in spiritual practices and yet be in rajas and tamas. In this situation, even many years of spiritual practice will not bring enlightenment but only the opposite – we can destroy our own lives and the lives of those around us.
Success in Life Depends on the Right Choice
I can always choose; but I should know that even if I don’t, I have still made a choice.
1. When we know the symptoms of the gunas and how they bind, we can determine which energy is controlling us. This can be compared to a map; you look at it and see where you are now and where you need to go. Without a map any journey can become difficult or lead to a tragic result.
2. By knowing what qualities are favourable for becoming a harmonious person, we are in a better position to make the right choice.
3. If we choose the guna of goodness, it will enable us to become happy and successful in all aspects of life.
4. According to Ayurveda, all psychological and psychiatric problems develop when rajas and tamas become active.
5. The ultimate achievement of the guna of goodness is a swift purification and transition to the transcendental level.
6. At this stage we can become free from the influence of all the gunas and achieve true freedom.
Modern western society is considered a free civilization, but from the perspective of enlightened sages, this is a society of slaves entangled by the lower energies and instincts. Everyone serves their senses, especially their tongue and sexual organs, and have a predictable reaction to everything – “if praised we are happy, and if criticised we are unhappy”. Recently I met an American man in California who seriously practiced yoga and various forms of meditation. He noted sadly, “Here in America everyone is crazy about food and sex”.
The Functions of the Gunas
1. Bind: They constrict and restrain all living beings, causing the forgetfulness of their true nature: eternal souls, pure Being, Consciousness and Bliss. Gunas force us to plunge into the temporary illusive life of this world.
2. Create variety: Like the three primary colours – red, blue and yellow – that are the basis of all colours and sub-colours, the three gunas are the foundation of all varieties of manifestations, whose purpose is to attract our attention and keep us here in the material world.
3. Permeate: Everything in this world is in the gunas: our bodies, the air we breathe, words, thoughts, objects, etc… For example, clothing can also be in the three gunas. A dirty shirt made of artificial materials is in ignorance, whereas a clean shirt made of natural materials is in goodness. Thoughts, subconscious agendas and arrangements are also in the gunas. Lazy and aggressive thinking is in ignorance. Thoughts of various desires for food, sex, work and honour are in passion. Thoughts in goodness are calm, magnanimous, and focused on self-realization and helping others to achieve happiness. These people attract others without any special effort. Only a few moments in the presence with this kind of person, who thinks about God and service to others, will bring joy, peace of mind and tranquil breathing.
Our natural environment is also in various gunas. For example, a lake in tamas is dirty, stinky and barely worthy of being considered a lake; it is more similar to a swamp. A lake in rajas is usually in a city, surrounded by different man-made things; a place where lovers meet and modern music plays. A lake in sattva is surrounded by beautiful nature with clean water and wildlife, where one may be inspired to meditate and the air is filled with prana (living energy).
It is considered to be very difficult to overcome the gunas because everything is saturated by them; we need clear vision and consciousness to be able to see how they act and how to become free of their influence.
The guna of ignorance (tamas) is very dangerous because it is destructive from the beginning to the end. The destructive power of tamas can be compared to radiation; it is invisible yet capable of destroying the physical, psychological and spiritual aspects of our lives when we come in contact with it. If we went to Chernobyl for a holiday, we might think we were enjoying ourselves, drinking, eating, etc… but at the same time we would be completely destroying not only our own life but whatever we touch. Although we would be unaware of the effect it has, this kind of trip would bring suffering for ourselves and others, even our clothing would become contaminated.
The guna of passion (rajas) is activity performed with a goal to savour result of those actions. Karma-yoga is the method for overcoming this guna: the act of renouncing the fruits of one’s labour by offering them to God.
The guna of goodness (sattva) is any action which purifies our consciousness.
When we clearly see our current condition we can raise to the transcendental state. Therefore, it is very important to liberate from ignorance, become well-established in passion and begin acting in goodness to achieve liberation.
Questions and AnswersReplacing Ignorance with Passion
Question: What exactly does it mean to “become established in passion”?
Answer: Tamas is inertia, laziness, sleepiness and filth. It has to go away. There is a saying: “A brahman (teacher, priest) is not sorry for the time spent on cleanliness”. First of all, we need to become active and move away from apathy, to arouse curiosity and thirst for knowledge. People in rajas are very curious and active. It means to become established in passion: to replace ignorance with passion and minimize ignorance in our life to a minimum.
Disadvantages of Television
Question: What guna is watching TV?
Answer: TV is predominantly in the mode of ignorance, as it makes a person passive. To a certain degree the same can be told about computers (for the expectation when it is a part of your work). Children in particular should be protected from the virtual world of TV as it gradually saps their intelligence, and they become more dull and stupid. You will never meet a successful, active and happy person who spends more than one hour a day watching TV. One professor told me, “I got everything I have in life because I threw away my TV”. Despite this, some programs and films are in goodness and can be watched, such as those dealing with spiritual or philosophical subjects or about nature.
Spiritual Life and the Gunas
“People where you live,” the little prince said, “grow five thousand roses in one garden… yet they don’t find what they’re looking for…
They don’t find it,” I answered.
And yet what they’re looking for could be found in a single rose, or a little water…”
Of course,” I answered.
And the little prince added, “But eyes are blind. You have to look with the heart.”
Antoine de Saint-Exup?ry, The Little Prince
Each of us is engaged in various types of spiritual practices to some extent and want to progress spiritually; otherwise we would not be interested in this kind of knowledge. But we need to realize that if we are established in the lower gunas, it is practically impossible to attain higher spiritual levels, regardless of how many years we practice. This is why it is extremely important to understand the gunas.
Religious Practices in the Lower Gunas Do Not Purify
If a priest, Rabbi or Guru is not mainly in sattva, he will neither be able to progress spiritually, nor help his followers to progress. Just consider how the majority of problems and wars in this world have been started by so-called spiritual leaders who were confident that what they did was right. For example, during the Crusades the Christian preachers used theft and violence to convert others to their faith; they did not consider it sinful to throw a pagan child into a bonfire.
If we are in rajas we think, “My religion is the only right one. To bring goodness in the world means converting everyone to my religion”.
In tamas we think, “Violence is required and should be used.”
People in rajas engage in service with the purpose of gaining some result or benefit for themselves. This is why these religious practices are on the level of, “I will pray and God will help me by fulfilling my needs”. This is very common in modern society. We often come across religious symbols being sold for money, with the claim that they can bring happiness. People often come to religion for recognition, power or wealth; people organize pilgrimages to holy places so that they can become rich, establish/improve personal life and so on.
Many people believe that Paganism is another form of worship, a form of Polytheism. Yet at some point it becomes a worship for the sake of material profit – “God, send me this, or save me from that”. In the construct of this type of a mindset, if our desires are fulfilled – we say “God is good”, but if not – “God is bad” or people say that Satan has won. In some cases people ask a question, “What happened to God? What on earth is He thinking? How did He let THIS or THAT happen?” Only the sattva guna can truly inspire us to follow the path of spiritual perfection, helping us to become harmonious and balanced personalities.
ñêà÷àòü êíèãó áåñïëàòíî
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