— By Ayan.
The 12 higher Tattvas, precede the classical 24 Tattvas. As Tattvas are seen as essence of existence, they progressively emerge from consciousness in a single causal chain, and thus they start from in the beginning. Here are the twelve higher Tattvas, starting with the highest:
- Shiva Tattva: Shiva here is consciousness with the potential of power. Shakti is not yet manifest. Shiva is not conscious yet of the potential of Shakti. Here we have the ShivaShakti written as one word . There is a sense of union between I and That, although consciousness is emphasized on the I and is not aware of the That.
- Shakti Tattva: Shakti has become manifest and thus observable, and becomes the will of Shiva. At her turn she is not really conscious of her consciousness (shiva) aspect. Shakti, the cosmic energy, the dynamic consciousness, is experienced as bliss. The first two Tattvas cannot be seen separately. They are intimately connected. ShivaShakti becomes Shiva-Shakti, in a certain sense ‘separated’ but still strongly connected to each other. Here is a sense of division between I and That.
- Sadakhya Tattva: ShivaShakti in stillness now turn into movement, what is also called ‘the first idea’. This first movement is Nada, the original sound, or AUM. In the relationship between I and That, there is now a strong emphasis on the I aspect.
- Ishvara Tattva or Bindu Tattva: Consciousness starts to exteriorise itself. The I starts to see the That (=the universe) as different from itself although also a part of itself. Here we still can speak of Bindu, the Point, as consciousness identifies itself with the universe, but the universe is still unmanifested. With living beings, this Bindu is situated in the sahasrara chakra. Here we talk about “the opening of the eyes”, as one starts to observe the observed; or “the closing of the eyes” when consciousness retreats and observation ceases. Here the seed of creation of the universe is produced. Shiva-Shakti will become Shiva and Shakti. Together they form the Tri-Bindu, that is Bindu becomes a trinity of Bindu (Point), Nada (Sound=Aum) and Bija (seed-mantra). Tri-Bindu creates the subtle body of the Kundalini-Shakti.
- Shuddhavidya Tattva: The I and That have equal value here and the tension between them is so strong that the both parts are seen as separated from each other, although here they are not yet completely separated. Consciousness still experiences that it is the universe. Creation starts, but on this level there is only Mantra, that is vibration. But with creation the Tattvas become more impure as the Tamo Guna becomes more and more dominant. Under this Tattva arises the eight entities (living beings), which are the Jivas in the form of knowledge. The jiva is the soul and possesses consciousness and intelligence.
- Maya Tattva: Maya means ‘to veil’ or is the veil of consciousness. Although the veiling of consciousness started from the beginning of the Tattvas, it is here, in Maya Tattva, that it becomes complete. Here the I is being observed as different from That. Duality arises. All the jivas obtain a sense of difference. What is maya? Maya is actually the movement of consciousness, dynamic movement, so we call Shakti also Maya Shakti, as it is this movement, or dynamic aspect that veils pure consciousness (Shiva), or the static aspect of consciousness. The more Maya Shakti veils, the more Sattva guna is repressed and Tamo guna is strengthened. Although Maya Shakti is always consciousness, she appears as mind, gross matter and life force. Maya is actually a power of consciousness, a limiting principle which reduces the universal powers of consciousness and produces the state of limited experience. Maya Shakti is considered the root of her five instruments, the Kancukas. The Kancukas (=coverings or limitations) is the cause that unity is divided in multitude. This creates limitations in experience. The five Kancukas (which become the next five Tattvas) are:
- Kaala: time limitation
- Niyati: consciousness dependency
- Raaga: attraction to objects
- Vidya: limited knowledge or wisdom
- Kalaa: limited action
- Kaala Tattva: This is the first limitation of consciousness. Maya Shakti divides eternity (of Brahman) and brings it to an apparent limitation, boundary. This ‘time limitation’ gives rise to what we commonly call time. With this ‘time limitation’ consciousness experiences birth and death, arising and ceasing.
- Niyati Tattva: The unlimited (of Brahman) becomes limited space. As consciousness has become limited to time, the thought process arises which always develops in time. Consciousness becomes dependent on the circumstances, and it looses its freedom and independency, thus becoming dependent on the order prevalent in creation.
- Raaga Tattva: Complete satisfaction (of Brahman) becomes limited to desire. Raga is a function that creates desire. Desire to know and acquire knowledge and wisdom of (apparent) other objects than the Self. In Reality these other objects are nothing else but its own dynamic aspect. Purusha (the Self) now becomes an enjoyer of Prakriti (the other objects). In essence it is the attraction of pure (still) consciousness (=Shiva) to its own movement (=Shakti, the dynamic aspect).
- Vidya Tattva: the all-knowing (Brahman) becomes limited by the Vidya quality to obtaining limited knowledge of the apparent objects around him. Pure consciousness gets only limited knowledge of only parts of his “consciousness in movement”.
- Kalaa Tattva: The all-powerful (Brahman) becomes limited in its actions. Thus individualized consciousness
becomes limited in its actions because of the limitations of Prakriti.
- Purusha and Prakriti Tattva: Purisha, the Self, or Cosmic Consciousness becomes limited by its own limiting power, Prakriti, or Shakti, also called Para Shakti Maya in this aspect. By the creation of Purusha and Prakriti, Consciousness forgets about its true nature, it cloaks itself with Maya and the five kancukas (coverings, see above), it limits its power and reduces itself to an individual soul, Purusha, in a seemingly objective manifestation, prakriti.
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