Excerpt from Microvita and Tantra Maya
Anandamurti spoke of Microvita in several different aspects. He described the grossest forms of Microvita involved in the materialization and manipulation of material forces as well as the most subtle forms of microvita that function on the psycho-spiritual planes of being. The focus of this work will principally be on the function of microvita in the psycho-physical, psychic and psycho-spiritual planes of mind. Because microvita is such a broad, generalized term that includes so many types of disembodied microcosmic minds, I will refer to the entities hitherto discussed that relate to human psycho-physicaI, psychic, and psycho-spiritual planes of mind as mentities, or mental entities. I admit that my knowledge of these subtle entities on these levels is still elementary, but I have yet to investigate the function of microvita on the physical level, therefore I am even less capable of attempting to discuss them. </span></span>
Any attempt to explain Microvita without a theoretical and metaphysical background would be like attempting to explain quantum physics to an 6th-grade science class. Not only does one need an astute intellectual framework to attempt to understand Microvita, but more importantly one needs to cultivate the intuitive faculties through meditation. In fact, a highly developed intuition bypasses the need of a highly developed intellectual, conceptual mind. More often than not intellectual thought is a limitation to intuitive knowledge and keeps one bound in circumscribed boundaries. Intellectual concepts are a concretized and cruder manifestation of intuitive thoughts (recall the difference between the sensory intellectual mind and the 3 layers of the Macrocosmic Mind in the introduction). However, because intellectual thoughts do participate in and mimic the purer sources of conceptualization that have their seat or bearing in the Macrocosmic Mind, it is possible to cultivate these grosser thoughts so that they evolve into purer, intuitive concepts. This is possible if we understand that the sensory-intellectual mind is not an end-in-itself, but is merely a vehicle for higher forms of conceptualization. Philosophers through the centuries have emphasized the grandeur of intellect, although few have followed the intellect to its fullest potential: intuition. In Tantra, intellectual concepts or models (pratima in Sanskrit), are used in order to help the mind to obtain an initial grasp of a spiritual concept. True, the concept originates in the sensory-intellectual mind (Manomaya Kosa) but has the capacity to evolve conceptually into purer intuitions as the mind ascends through the higher Kosas. This is in fact the nature of the evolution of mind: that our minds contain germs of thought that can indeed sprout into the most sublime spiritual realizations.
An aspirant begins his/her practice with just a germ of knowledge from the initiation into their practice of meditation, but can transform that very fragment of knowledge into pure spirituality. And not only is it a thought that grows, but the mind as well. The nature of the mind is dependent on what it thinks. Subtle thoughts can only be thought by a subtle mind. The only way to comprehend subtlety is to become subtlety. It is due to this that Tantra is a holistic spiritual practice instead of an academic philosophy.
So it is through this understanding that Microvita can be understood: that thoughts have their origin in higher realities. In order to comprehend Microvita and their relation to manifested reality, whether in the mind or in objective being, we must begin to look behind the surface of things. We must see behind the mere manifestation of a thought, an emotion, or any state of mind and realize that there are “gods” or higher spiritual realities dwelling within all things. Anandamurti stated that Microvita can be understood through the reflection upon concepts. It is this reflection that supplies the knowledge necessary for the mind to resonate at a higher level. When we reflect upon something, a physical object, a thought, a feeling, we are conscious of the mental processes involved in our perceptions and conceptions. Reality isn’t something just ready made and taken as-is. Instead, we investigate the processes, the sensations, perceptions, thoughts, feelings, and intuitions that go into producing a state of awareness. Within this sensitivity and heightened consciousness it is possible to see more and more of the hidden, hitherto unobserved mental processes. Due to this, we begin to see more. A new perception of a hidden mental process induces us to ask more questions about the nature of the mind. We now know that there are other aspects, other hidden processes and laws that govern our thought and feeling and perception. Therefore, one begins to reflect upon them. From there, even more hidden processes are seen and thus continues the expansion of awareness.
If we begin to study and reflect upon the thoughts and experiences of minds that have already traversed the spiritual path we can have an intimation of the laws of mind and states of consciousness just above us. Imagine a mind attempting to grasp a spiritual law. He or she interacts with a teacher that understands their process and can provide clues as to how to arrive at a realization. This “outside” impetus bears such a close relation to the actual mental processes within the aspirant that it serves as a vehicle for fostering a leap in awareness. This is not only the value of the company of wise souls, but the value of the study of sound spiritual philosophy and psychology as well. A spiritual philosophy, if it is a true philosophy of Spirit, should be a reflection and description of actual psychological and spiritual processes of the mind. In other words, it is a practical philosophy that relates not just to abstract and abstruse realities, but to the very essence of the mind.
We understand mentities, or any other spiritual matter, simply by understanding ourselves. The more refined our self-awareness, the more we see the spiritual forces present in the mind. When Anandamurti described the 7 principal types of microvita (mentities) their descriptions where very much related to human psychology and spirituality, or rather, were described as causal agents in the effect of human psychological and spiritual life. Take for example someone struggling to comprehend the source of their resentment. They may see how their resentment has led them to mistrust other and therefore remain isolated and fearful. This person is aware of how an initial trauma, the source of the resentment, has structured one’s life in such a defensive manner. Through his/her growth process one has been able to get in touch with the source of these buried feelings and transform them to a great extent. Even his/her behavior, attitudes, and lifestyle begin to manifest this shift toward a healthy awareness. However, the tendency still clings and holds on to this mind. This person may notice after a good amount of spiritual practice that the source of this feeling is like a personality in itself. It is like an entity dwelling and inhabiting their minds. It has served like a guardian, protecting and defending the mind from real or imagined dangers.
Each of the 50 propensities are as such. They are like minds of their own. For example, this person may now normally be calm and reflective. However, when this propensity is set off some inner or outer stimuli, it is as if the dominant personality is backstage. The intensity of anger or fear is something that may take possession of the mind, making the person seem like there is some other force inhabiting the mind.
One experiences this state of “posession” mostly in very strong negative emotions, but also in very exalted moments of spiritual insight or creativity as well. What true artist or other creative person has never felt the invisible muse behind their thoughts and feelings, spontaneously guiding them toward the fruition of creation? When exalted spiritually, it is if an angel or god itself is inhabiting us.
Each of the 50 propensities has a controlling force or deity that regulates their intelligent expressions. It is not to say that the propensities are separate entities, independent of the inhabited mind. Rather, they are functionaries and mediators for the expression of mind. Every mind has legions of entities- helpers and hinderers, angels and devils- hidden but ever-active behind all of our thoughts and feelings and actions. The mental personality is but a vehicle for so many camouflaged and concealed expressions of mental energies to declare themselves into incarnation.
Inherent in the idea of mentities is the notion of reincarnation. Mentities are entities that instead of either attaining spiritual liberation (moksa) or undergoing the normal process of dormancy between lives while waiting to be reborn in a new body, continue to actively exist in the astral state between lives. Ordinarily a mind cannot express itself between lifetimes. A mind disconnected from the physical body, in most cases, cannot generate its own vital energy or prana without the body to generate this energy necessary for mental functioning. Therefore, minds in the astral realm, or the collective mind, waiting for rebirth are simply dormant, waiting to be reborn in a time and place that allows them to express their pending samskaras, or latent reactions to previous actions. Previous forms of mental conditioning become conditions for the next incarnation where the mind continues its same mental life from where it had abated with physical death.
However, there are certain minds with sufficient self-consciousness and mental vitality that enable them to continue functioning in the after-death state. These minds, due to their level of development, are able to generate the vital energy necessary for mental activity without the necessity of a physical body and cerebral cortex to act as its medium.
The average mind depends on the sensory, motor, and grosser cognitive organs in the cerebrum for its activity (the sensory and sensory-intellectual minds). However, minds that have learned in their lifetimes to transcend the grosser levels of thought connected to the physical plane and the physical body and brain have attained a level of thought purely mental. They attained a level of thought in the collective layers of mind in the Creative, Intuitive, and Causal levels, and therefore their level of cognition is already on the same level as the mind in the after-death state. A mind accustomed to this level of mental activity is a being highly evolved in spiritual evolution and has already realized that there are levels of being far beyond the mere physical and intellectual levels. Beings such as these must have been, in their lifetimes, persons who had undertaken some form of spiritual practice or virtuous living to develop their mental and spiritual faculties. It is through morality and spiritual practice or meditation that the mind is purified of its physical limitations and begins to realize the purity of its spiritual essence.
On the path to self-realization, new mental faculties are awakened. New forms of intelligence, more refined levels of feeling and intuition, and even occult faculties are developed in the mind. If a mind becomes attached to one of these faculties along the way instead of devoting all of ones potential to the realization of Brahma, then such a mind becomes “locked” into a certain faculty. Instead of realizing Brahma, these minds, due to their samskaras, or reactive momentum to their previous actions, are locked into these faculties instead of being liberated from all finite mental fetters. Therefore, after death they continue their mental activity in accordance with their accumulated samskaras.
The Mind of Brahma generates, operates, and dissolves all created being. As the Dissolver, it is its responsibility to dissolve all created being back into its infinite essence of pure consciousness. Over millions and millions of lifetimes beings work out their limitations of karma and samskara with the ultimate aim of attaining their liberation through their union with the Infinite. A microvita, like any other being, is a being existing at a certain vibrational frequency on a particular mental level, attempting to work out its samskaras. In the after-death state all of their mental potential moves toward their major bondages. In order to work out their bondages they must exhaust their respective samskaras via spiritual purification.
In their lifetimes, their egos were connected to their faculties (yatimana, vashikara, etc.) Perhaps their heightened intelligence or spiritual qualities were a self servicing vehicle of pride, vanity, or attachment for this otherwise noble soul. In order to work out their egocentric limitations, they must use their faculties to serve the creation in the after death state. This type of purgation serves the purpose of unifying their minds with the Macrocosm by transcending the egocentric identification with their abilities. Instead of attaining liberation after death, they fuse with the essence of their mental faculty and work therein until their pending samskaras are exhausted.
Recall that the root of all mental faculties is in the Macrocosmic Mind. The higher kosas contain the blueprint or hidden order of the manifested, lower worlds. When a subtle being- a being that has developed the ability to act and intuit the higher kosas in their embodied lives- dies, he or she carry their mental and spiritual faculties into an active, disembodied state of existence. From this state of existence these beings continue their activities in order to purify the limitations that kept them bound to their particular identity with a special ability or faculty. However, these beings are more subtle after the separation from the physical body and the bondage of a physical world and can therefore apprehend their very own talents and genius even more clearly than they did in embodied life. While living, there was still the weight and density of the physical world that partially obstructed their full development. Now, in an disembodied state, all of their refined, particular microcosmic intelligence merges with its source and essence in the Macrocosmic Mind. These entities, in fact, merge with this particular Macrocosmic function in that they actually become like “gods” in that they are entities that must govern a particular position or station in the dynamics of the mind of God. Brahma is purely transcendent in its purest essence; its mind is involved in Generation, Operation, and Dissolution, but the actual carrying out of activities is left to subordinate beings who have evolved and manifested a portion of the entirety of Macrocosmic Consciousness. These are the so-called Mentities.
In order to understand what a mentity is, how they “live” and function, and how their functions effect embodied beings, I will give a brief overview of the 7 types of mentity microvita described by Anandamurti. Later, I will go a little more deeply into the metaphysics and occult causality.
The first type of mentity microvita described by Anandamurti is termed the yaksa. A yaksa is the crudest type of positive mentity. They are beings that while living in the physical world were very adept in using material resources for a positive cause. They were very good people with noble intentions and the welfare of others in mind. They accumulated resources like money and goods in order to help other people. Rather than being an ordinary charitable person, the yaksa personality had a characteristic genius regarding their activity. They were beings that fully understood the ins and outs of commerce, the proper function and application of material resources. It can be said that their minds were merged with or had perfected the knowledge of how to maneuver resources.
The Sanskrit word “siddhi” often implies occult powers. Literally, it means “perfection”. Whenever there is a special ability regarding a particular activity, or a perfection in its understanding and application, there is always a super-cognitive acquaintance or an element of genius at work. This formula explains siddhi: the perfection of a particular mental faculty or function. “Genius consists in the proper use of things,” explained Swedenborg.
Normally, one doesn’t associate occult mental powers with crude activities such as commerce, as in the case of the yaksa. The notion of occult powers usually applies to the psychic and psycho-spiritual planes and activities of mind. However, the yaksa is one whose genius is focused on a mundane activity. If this particular mind would have a subtler object of mental occupation, then they would attain siddhi in that arena as well. It just so happens that the genius of this particular mind is directed toward the crude material world.
All spheres of existence have laws. The levels of consciousness that relate with these planes of being can apprehend these laws and correspond their activity to this understanding. The yaksa is one who understands the essentiality or dharma of commerce and has perfected or almost perfected their activities in harmony with these laws. The yaksa is not the ambitious capitalist who hoards for his or her self gain. Minds such as these have only a partial understanding of commerce and only want to use their knowledge and experience to exploit the physical world. The yaksa is moralistic and spiritual. He or she realizes that this physical world is not the be-all and end-all of existence, that it is a passing show. The physical world and the physical body are but vehicles for life to move toward the psychic and spiritual worlds. Through the proper use of limited physical resources and their proper distribution and application, human beings can meet their physical necessities without excessive toil and effort and therefore have a balanced physical existence so that more time and energy can be channelized towards inward, psychological and spiritual growth.
The yaksa understands this essential dharma of the physical world: that it serves the spiritual. However, a common fact with the yaksa or any other type of genius is that their abilities require a bit of attachment. It is not the case that they were blindly attached to an ambition. Subtle intelligence cannot manifest when there is unconscious compulsion as the mind is egocentrically isolated from this essential knowledge. However, there must be some form of personal attachment propelling the mind in its activities. In this case the manipura propensity of ambition or craving is culprit. Perhaps the mind was even free of ambitious, egocentric and vain qualities and all that was left was merely the association of the identity with a specific activity. The personality holds onto this identity because it is simply familiar. And it is precisely this exclusive identification that causes the yaksa to take the form of microvita after death instead of attaining complete spiritual liberation, or moksa.
Human life is immense. We are microcosms in a macrocosm. We evolve, live, die, and reincarnate into so many times, places, and personalities; each time requiring new talents and abilities; learning new lessons and laws. Continuously, we are learning how to refine and perfect our activities. It is when we come closer to this perfection that we begin to express the divine. Whether one is a singer expressing the perfect tone and feeling of a song, a thinker who elevates his thoughts toward the sublime and orderly, or a simple artisan who performs her work with joy and creativity, all of human activity can reach toward the divine order. Human life is an ideological flow toward the Infinite. The purpose of a microcosm is to evolve and familiarize itself with all forms of being until it grasps the essence and magnanimity of the Macrocosmic Mind of Brahma. However, through a process of spiritual expansion and growth, eventually the mind will break free of all limitations and return to its union with the macrocosmic consciousness, beyond all bounds of relative expression..
A state of being like the yaksa exists because the ideological flow pools into a stationary identity. The mind gets locked into these faculties and the multi-dimensional movement of evolution is temporarily hampered. The yaksa personality, after death, must requit all of its personal attachments for their mental specialty so that the evolution of mind can continue toward the development of other qualities so as to make the mind spiritually whole, as is the Macrocosmic Mind. In fact, Macrocosm is continually converting the microcosm back into Macrocosm and must therefore arrange ways for microcosms to work out their karmic pendings.
Behind every phenomenon is a spiritual force. The yaksa merges with the Macrocosmic Mind after death and serves as a faculty within the Macrocosmic Mind. Its mental energy and impetus (samskaras) merges with all of the laws and wisdom that regulate the dynamics of the material world. The yaksa must exhaust its exclusive identity by completely serving out its personal samskara. In one manner, the yaksa achieves its desire of complete knowledge in its particular field of specialty, but in another loses its entire lateral freedom as it becomes completely absorbed it its desire. It is therefore a state of bondage in which it must spend a determinate amount of time requiting its personal attachment. The manner in which this is done is by giving its abilities to others who need to develop them. For example, lets say there is a person with a noble and charitable mind but who still is driven by a little greed. He lacks the understanding of how to properly direct his ambitions. Because he has a degree of goodness and subtlety of mind he is capable of understanding the proper use of things. The disincarnate yaksa is the master of this mentality. Because its mental energy or samskaras have merged with the intelligence that the embodied being needs, the yaksa, via intuitionally percolating or downloading ideas into the mind of the incarnated being, can actually transmit this knowledge. This form of transmission occurs unconsciously. The incarnated mind has a certain intention, in other words his thoughts are flowing in a certain direction. The yaksa, whose essential mental vibration resonates with that of the incarnated mind, can create a connection through their mutual attraction. The incarnated being needs to develop something that he lacks, while the yaksa has become overdeveloped and needs to discharge its abilities to others in need. They are a perfect complement.
Now we can see a little clearer how there is a governing being or deva behind the expression of one’s vrttis. The mind being aided cannot fully develop his potential because the expression of his ambition distorts the sensory and intellectual mental layers. (Recall that the expression vrttis distort the mind field and one cannot have full access to their respective corresponding mental layers.) The yaksa is somebody almost perfected in its understanding of this level of mind and with a greater degree of control over ambition as well. It is therefore able to act as an appendaging causal force for the incarnated mind who very much needs to learn what the yaksa has learned so thoroughly.
With this example we can also see how the quality of mind determines the quality of microvita attracted to that mind. In the above example, the person is kind and charitable, but is still driven by greed and ambition. Because of his positive qualities he is able to attract a positive mentity in the form of yaksa to help him purify his ambitions by putting this energy and its corresponding mental faculties to good use. If the mind had not such positive qualities perhaps it would attract an entity that only wants to sustain the status-quo or even degenerate it into overindulgence. This would be a so-called “negative mentity”.
All forms of microvita function in sympathetic harmony with incarnated minds. They only vary according to the type of mental activity and the faculties used.
The next type of mentity microvita that Anandamurti described is termed the kinnara. Kinnaras, like the yaksa are moral and spiritually elevated beings that have attained a very special understanding of the macrocosmic creation. The specialty of the kinnara is aesthetics of physical beauty. It is not aesthetics of art or music, the fine arts pertain to another type of mentity. The kinnara mind is a bit subtler than the yaksa. While still being preoccupied with the mundane, physical world, it is enchanted by the idea of perfect form- the manifestation of transcendental beauty in the physical world. The kinnara mind apprehends a greater beauty and knows that all beauty is from god. The kinnara seeks the eternal resplendence in the manifestation of finite forms. What is meaningful for the kinnara mind is that which is beautiful. In beauty is represented all that is truthful and virtuous. Beauty is the decor of truth and goodness in which is revealed the higher intentions of creation. When something is beautiful, such as a human figure, an object, or home it expresses more of the essence of eternity. So by the desire to appreciate and behold beauty, the kinnara is performing its worship of the Infinite Being.
This aesthetic appreciation isn’t merely the vanity of the aesthete. The kinnara is one who realizes that virtue is within beauty and has therefore morally purified one’s mind to some degree. The vain aesthete doesn’t realize the essence and archetypal function of beauty. Rather, he or she adorns the body and the environment for egocentric delight. The difference between the aesthete and the kinnara is that the kinnara realizes the essence or dharma of beauty: that beauty attracts the mind and is a calling from the infinite to all creatures that we must seek out subtlety. Beauty is this subtlety, this subtle order that exists beyond all things. And it is through the attraction toward beauty that we learn to appreciate the subtle essence of things. Therefore, beauty is a representative of dharma. Beauty without this moral element of dharma is nothing but fascination and lustful craving of the senses.
The yaksa mind is one connected to the sensory mind. Its astute development of the rationality of the sensory-intellectual mind governs the sensory mind. Therefore the sensory mind is properly guided and equilibrated by reason. Yaksas, then, are lords of these two worlds or realms of mind. The kinnara goes a little higher. It resonates with the vibrations of form emanating from the creative mind. It is this level of the collective mind that gives a comprehensive understanding to physical form. The subtle luminosity of this atimanasa kosa (supramental layer) enlightens and enlivens the multitudinous manifestations of earthly forms. The kinnara realizes this: that beauty doesn’t dwell just in the physical manifestation, but is a radiation from a level beyond. The kinnara mind is attracted by this calling.
At each level of being the Infinite is attracting us. At the sensory-intellectual mind the god is Reason and Logic. At the creative mind the god is Harmony and Beauty.
The limitation of the kinnara is that it perceives beauty not exclusively, but particularly through form. It realizes that beautiful forms are an intimation and calling of the Formless, but is attached to and loves the manifestation to such a degree that it cannot fully comprehend the essence behind the beautiful form. This one-sided attachment to physical beauty is the cause that such a worshiper of form becomes a microvita. In the after-physical-death state they must requite their attachments for physical beauty by helping and inspiring ideas of beauty in other minds. Just as with the yaksa, we see that what is a bondage for one can be a great inspiration for another. Imagine all of the minds with little concept of the essence of beauty and how their lives could be bettered and embellished by a little aesthetic refinement. The kinnaras help to develop ideas of beauty in the minds of those who are struggling to develop these ideas. They put a stir and dazzle of aesthetic life into the baseness and dullness of concrete materialism. The Macrocosmic Mind uses these kinnaras to attract minds bound by the staticity of material life in the sensory and sensory-intellectual minds so as to broaden their ideas and aspirations for more subtle pursuits.
The next category of mentity is termed vidyadhara, “one whose concentration is in knowledge.” The vidyadharas are beings advanced in intellectual knowledge and erudition. They were beings who,while living, cultivated their intellects to very high degrees. They are a bit more subtle than the kinnaras in that there minds penetrated into the Vijninamaya Kosa or intuitive mind. In other words, they expressed the vrtti of expansion of mind at the anahata instead of ambition at the manipura. The intuitive mind is where conceptualization becomes clear and lucid. Thoughts evolve into purely intuitive concepts. Here one begins to understand things as they exist in their essence within the Macrocosmic Mind of Brahma.
The yaksa may of had some practical knowledge of the mundane sphere, but the knowledge of the vidyadhara is much deeper in that their minds are moving more toward the source of conceptualization. Vidyadharas were very deep and creative thinkers. In fact, all of their mental energies went into the pursuit of knowledge. Because their manipuara vortexs are purified, they have full access to the creative layer of mind associated with the manipura as well as a great degree of the intuition of the anahata.
The vidyadhara’s god is the god of knowledge. They understand that the Macrocosmic Mind is the repository and source of all knowledge. Their pursuit of knowledge isn’t quite yet the pursuit of the pure subjectivity of the Atman, but rather with objective concepts. However , the Vidyadhara knows that all created things are creations of the divine, and by understanding the creations, one begins to understand the Creator. The vidyadhara may have been a great scholar engrossed in studies and books, but its knowledge isn’t a superficial intellectual knowledge. The spirit of its pursuit of knowledge was for a deeper and comprehensive truth. At the level of the intuitive mind, the Macrocosmic Mind emanates profound intuitions that help lead the mind toward higher understanding.
The limitation of the vidyadhara mind is that, while it seeks pure intuitive knowledge, its methods may still be based in the intellect. True, the vidyadhara is not the average scholar, but at the same time he is not a complete mystic. The vidyahdhara is more like the Socratic philosopher with a love of wisdom, a pure and noble philosopher whose intellect is entirely devoted toward Truth. The mystic only seeks and experiences atmavidya, the pure knowledge of the self. The knowledge of the vidyadhara is still seeking this purer knowledge. Therefore, the pursuits and work of the vidyadhara are still mingled with an intellectual scholasticism. Vidyadhara may seek inspiration from the study of scripture and the writing of scholarly work. This entity may have been well-read, a great scholar or professor, a lonely writer, or recondite thinker. What characterizes all of the possible types of vidyadhara is their partial reliance on intellect instead of full establishment in intuitional knowledge.
Also, it is a common fact that a bit of vanity so often accompanies great genius. Knowledge gives power, prestige and respect. The ego of such an accomplished and gifted mind likely feels a degree of pride and self-satisfaction with his/her accomplishments. However, a vidyadhara is wise enough to have transcended a coarse and vulgar vanity.
The requital of samskara and purification of the vidyadhara is to help the mind to free itself from the bondage of pending scholarly desires or intellectual pride. Instead of possessing their knowledge for themselves, they must serve as vehicles to inspire great ideas in other minds struggling to conceive of higher truths. The vidyadhara has a bit of excess in this field, while so many other minds are struggling to realize higher truths that the vidyadhara may have taken for granted behind the veil of great achievements. They therefore merge all of their mental capacity with the thought archetypes of the unconscious mind- the creative and intuitive layers of mind. From this state of existence their mental energy imbibes latent unconscious thought patterns in the collective mind that can be more easily accessed by minds struggling to think in a more refined and evolved manner.
For example: there are so many great ideas from so many periods of time in the history of humanity. People are often limited from the access to the purest and noblest thoughts that have been thought by human beings. This may be due to a lack of education or cultural limitations that don’t encourage mental development beyond the physical world. Out of so many educated people in this modern world, who is inspired to read Plato, the Upanishads, Meister Eckhart, Tagore, or Emerson? Human history is full of original thoughts that can potentially elevate the awareness of all human beings, if only they could access them. The vidyadhara merges all of its mental energy into the archetypal sources of these thought in order to help percolate or download these thoughts into minds striving for the light. The vidyadhara must devote all of its existence to the upliftment and revival of human intellectual culture in order to compensate for his/her personal attachment to knowledge.
Another type of microvita is the gandharva. The gandharva mind is a mind highly developed in the aesthetic sciences. It differs from the kinnara in that the kinnara is attached to physical beauty.
The aesthetics of the gandharva are more abstract and intuitive than the mundane aesthetics of the kinnara. Just as the intellect of the vidyadhara operates on a higher mental plane than the yaksa, so does the aesthetic, intuitive faculty of the gandharva operate on a finer plane. While the vidyadhara thinks at the level of the intuitive mind, the gandharva intuits and feels the realities and beings in the intuitive mind. Any appreciation of beauty moves toward the intuitive layers of mind and deeper aesthetic feeling. The kinnara mind is awakened to this intuition of beauty and the spiritual reality behind physical form. It remains at a distance, however, worshiping and admiring beauty. The gandharva, however, dwells in the intuitive mind and therefore has a deeper and more creative understanding of aesthetics. In fact, the gandharva is the divine artist. Instead of merely admiring beauty the kinnara is a mind that apprehends ideas at the intuitive level and can interpret them through the mediums of art, literature, music, poetry, and other fine arts.
It is at the intuitive layer of mind that the mind makes actual tactual contact with cosmic reality. At the levels of mind beneath the Intuitive Mind, what we think, feel, or in anyway perceive is but a reflection of the original creation in the Macrocosmic Mind. The intuitive layer of mind actually makes a form of “tactual” contact with the thought pulsations emanating from the mind of Brahma. This form of “tactual contact” gives a very fine sensitivity to the intuitive mind. One intuitively feels and conceives reality directly without interpreting it from a series of reflections and refractions from the external world. Take the case of intellectual, scientific ideas, for example. They are empirical observations that are first filtered through the physical senses. The vibrations of sound, touch, light, taste, or smell that emanate from an object must make contact with the sensory organ, be interpreted by it, then it sends a message to the association areas in the brain, is further interpreted by these association areas of touch, sound, form, etc. in the context of time and space, then are later organized into coherent thought forms through a complex process involving the cerebrum as well as the mind. Therefore, ordinary empirical knowledge is a complex process, involving many factors of interpretation. The original object, the “thing-in-itself” was never experienced, only its reflection or refraction, and then a complex cognitive process based on these emanations from the original object.
The creative level of mind is a bit deeper than this sensory intellectual mind. It resonates with the causal form behind the physical manifestation of the object. It begins to perceive the essence of things in creative ideas instead of matter. The intellect only apprehends the gross material effect. The creative mind intimates the formal, creative cause of the material object. Therefore it is much closer to essence than the expressed material form of the intellect and senses. However, this is still an emanation of the thing-in-itself. The Creative Mind is still seeing the outer shell, the form of the essential thought essence of a thing.
It is only at the Intuitive Mind that actual “tactual” contact is made and we understand the “thing-in-itself” independent of its outer, formal and material emanations. The thoughts, feelings, and concepts here, instead of merely reflecting an object or an idea, mystically penetrate the essence of being. One sees into and through creative being, whether it is a being in nature, a profound idea in the mind of Brahma, or the characteristics of the mental life of another–their thoughts, feelings, and inner aspirations and desires.
At this level, which corresponds with the Anahata or heart vortex, one experiences the essential oneness of the universe. One realizes that there is no real separation between the subjective “knower” and the objective “known”. And because the mind is at-one-with being, it can deeply comprehend it.
The gandharva is a mind that has a deeply intuitional understanding of aesthetics. It comprehends the harmony, balance, and beauty of the intuitional layer of mind and can therefore express these vibrations through the medium of music, poetry, speech or any fine-art medium.
The art expressed through a gandharva-type mind is indeed the true aesthetic science. The creative inspiration comes from a level of consciousness that is deeply and spiritually conscious. The Intuitive Mind is like the Kingdom of Heaven. It is the level where the macrocosmic thoughts begin to move and flow. The Intuitive Mind, or Vijninamaya Kosa, is connected with the so-called Aerial Factor. the Aerial Factor is by no means physical air, but the thought pulsations (touch) of energy that are flowing through the universe beyond physical form. It is this energy, or Prana, that is the expressed movements and pulsations of the thoughts of the Creator. The mind here is very light, flowing with the cosmic flow of being and enraptured by the pulsative vibrations radiating out of the Macrocosmic Mind. For this reason, if one listens to music or poetry from a mind connected to the Intuitive Mind, there is a profound and moving inspiration. This type of art speaks of spiritual worlds and realms beyond the physical. When one listens to the music Bach or the poetry of Shakespeare one hears a divine perfection in their respective expressions. Their minds were perfected and expressed their latent genius in their art forms. Their thought, feeling, intuition, and creative expression resonated with this deep level of mind, comprehended its psychic and spiritual laws of aesthetics, and then translated them into their respective mediums.
When a being such as a gandharva descends upon ones mind and begins to manipulate one’s vrttis, all sorts of positive vrttis like hope, love, expansion of mind, conscience, and a deeper definition of self are kindled. All of these tendencies activated through aesthetics propel and inspire the mind on the subtle, resplendent, and beauteous path towards Truth as Beauty.
True aesthetics is not a commentary on truth, but the pure expression of it. Like Yeats said, “Truth is Beauty, Beauty is Truth.” This level of art, for the human mind, isn’t really creation, but discovery. The Artist is but a discoverer, a pioneer of how the essential truths of being and existence are expressed in beauty. Therefore, the true Artist is also a mystic. It is not to say that this type of artist penetrates into the pure essence of the infinite consciousness of Brahma, but comprehends the higher layers of the Mind of Brahma*
*Metaphysically speaking, Mind and Consciousness are not identical. Most people think of consciousness as a mental process. What is spoken of here is the essence of consciousness, and not the mental process. Mind is a creation emanating from the pure and unconditioned Supreme Consciousness. The layers of mind or Kosas exist within Mind, while Consciousness is the essential Witness and Source of Mind.
Another type of mentity to discuss is the Shaktiliina. Shaktiliina is derived from the word, Shakti. Shakti is the divine creative force responsible for the expressed manifestation of Brahma in the relative world. Although Shakti refers to the divine creative force behind the manifestation of creation, it is often translated as nature. A Shaktiliina mentity is a being with a profound loving attachment for the natural world. A Shaktiliina will vary in expression between the sublimity of the nature mystic and the sublimated sensuality of a lover of incarnated, sensory life. A Shaktiliina is not the crude brute that only knows the life of physical nature, nor is he or she the raw sensualist who only lives for the pleasures of the flesh. True, the inspiration and beauty of life is expressed through the physical senses. However, there is a deeply psychic, aesthetic, and even moral ideation behind the sensory enjoyment. Rather than reflecting on the abstract ideas behind creation, as in the case of the vidyadhara, the Shaktiliina desires to experience Spirit concretely, in the senses.
The Shaktiliina knows that god is in all things and that the enjoyment of the senses is really the spirit enjoying its creation while itself is in creation. The senses too are divine or, in other words, the senses,while being a created thing, enjoy other created things within creation. As William Blake wrote, “the senses are eternal delight.” Another poet that comes to mind is Walt Whitman when he writes “All men are my brothers. All women are my sisters and lovers.” There is evidently the recognition of the divinity of all things, but with a touch of sublimated sensuality. Even Tagore, when he stated poetically that this world was created so that god could enjoy it through the medium of his [Tagore’s] senses, was expressing this idea of the expression of divine beauty through the senses.
The Shaktiliina is a mind at the Intuitive level or Anahata Vortex. Their intuitional, aesthetic, and moral understanding of this level is expressed through the kamamaya kosa or sensory mind. However, it is clearly evident, as such in the case of Whitman and Blake, that this enjoyment of the senses is not merely sensory pleasure. There is a deep reflection of the intuitive consciousness upon the sensory objects of the world. One sees the handicraft of the Divine Maker upon every line, shade, color, and contour of form within the sensory world. The Shaktiliina mind has an immediate contact with god through form. For it, there is no need to seek the divine in severe renunciation of the senses. God is immediate and apparent in all things, and it is the genius of the Shaktiliina that sees a rock not as a mere physical rock, nor a tree as a crude physical being, but as living embodiments of the divine.
The limitation of the Shaktiliina, as is the limitation of all microvita in their respective forms, is that their love for their particular way of being is also their limitation. The Shaktiliina, instead of developing all of the faculties of perception and conception, direct their mental energy toward a certain sensory-intuitive mode. A little bit of the tendency of thirst or craving still permeate their subtle vision and thus perceive but a portion of all of the macrocosmic vibrations emanating from the Infinite Consciousness. All minds will eventually become one with Brahma, and therefore one with all of its macrocosmic emanations. Therefore, the Shaktiliina, like all microvita, must undergo their respective purgation and purification to continue onward with their spiritual journey.
The last and greatest category of mentity is the siddha. The siddha type of mind is a mind that is mystically developed. Instead of having a particular faculty developed with its corresponding abilities as in the case of the other mentities, the siddha’s mind is a mind that has almost entirely transcended the faculties of mind. The siddhas are the great yogis and mystics. The practice of yoga is to unify the mind and all of its faculties with the Supreme Consciousness, or Brahma. Therefore, for spiritual union with Brahma it is necessary that the mind with all of its propensities and faculties is transmuted into pure consciousness.
Because the Supreme Consciousness is the source of all being, it is the most subtlest of all entities. The essence of Brahma resides as the mere witness of the play or drama of the generation, operation, and dissolution. A being united with Brahma transcends birth and death, all limitations and all sufferings. In fact, this mind becomes one with Brahma. It is only when the mind is purified through the full process of spiritual evolution that all of the propensities and layers of mind are under the guidance and control of Consciousness. The mind that is fully developed is a mind that is not fettered by the finite propensities and is thus absorbed in the bliss of infinite consciousness.
The siddha is almost at this stage of mind. A siddha has experienced very high degrees of spiritual realization in which the mind has experienced an almost permanent fusion with the Supreme Consciousness. A siddha sees beyond the veil of time and relativity and ego, thus knowing the impermanence of all things. Creation is something very subtle, light, and playful for this mind that is so connected with the sublime heights of god-consciousness. However, this exalted vantage point gives this [almost] liberated and purified mind domain over its subtle mental faculties and therefore access to the siddhis or mental powers of the mind.
The true siddha is not the wayward yogi street magician or fakir.
Their mental powers are of the subtlest nature and are capable of the deepest intuitional knowledge and benevolence. A mind endowed with these abilities is a mind endowed by the power of the Macrocosm itself.
A siddha is a mind that possesses either one or many of the 8 occult powers of the Vishuddha Vortex discussed in book I.
An example of a siddha may be a highly developed yogi whose intuitional understanding and compassion has become so developed that his mind has the ability to see the minds of others. He therefore has the ability to see what and why another being is suffering from and can thereby know how to guide them out of bondage. Or perhaps his intuitional intellect is so developed that he can see beyond the present, into the future, and in to the past as well. These are a few examples of some of the higher siddhis that one can develop.
As is the case with the other mentities, the siddhas limitations are their attachments to their mental abilities. The cosmic station of siddha does not necessarily mean that the siddha is an ambitious mind seeking the highest form of power in the occult. Rather, it is necessary for the mind to be quite pure of auxiliary tendencies for such higher faculties to ripen. It is more the case that a siddha has simply become comfortable and accustomed to their modus operandi, just as the Shaktiliina, gandharva, vidyadhara, etc. Maya, or the veil of cosmic illusion is extremely subtle. Only the Supreme Unmanifest Consciousness is beyond its domain. Even the subtle and causal levels of the Macrocosmic Mind of Brahma are under the domain of Shakti and her sentient, mutative, and static forces that create Maya.
It is certainly easy to understand how a mind adorned with such noble powers and abilities can become accustomed to their state of being, thinking that these divine abilities are the summum bonnum of spiritual realization. What the siddha doesn’t fully realize is that even the Macrocosmic Mind with all of its occult powers and subtlety is still in the plane of the relative and created. The spiritual destiny of all microcosms is to return into union with the essential consciousness of Brahma, beyond even the domain of the Mind of Brahma. The siddha must therefore remain in the higher kosas of mind and help spiritual aspirants to attain their liberation. The mental energy that wasn’t fully utilized by the siddha that was instead directed toward the subtle mental powers must be directed toward guiding minds toward subtler notions of pure spirituality.
A siddhas are bound in varying manners to the minds that they are helping to liberate. The lower siddhas may actually dwell inside a microcosm and thus be interfused with it. Due to this fusion the siddha experiences the bondages of that particular mind as its very own. It must therefore utilize its spiritual power to liberate itself from the samskaras that it has taken upon itself. Perhaps this type of siddha was a little aloof from the needs of other spiritual aspirants. His/her mind was more directed toward its particular occult faculties instead of a purely universalistic spiritual outlook. Not that it was vainly self absorbed, but that the siddhis were a distraction to genuine spiritual service to others. The siddha therefore descends back into the bondage of samskara with all of its mental power. Only now it is weighed down by the samskaras of others. In this process of liberation in which the siddha directs its spiritual force toward the genuine liberation of other minds, the siddha is able to resolve its misdirection of spiritual energy and learn the true spirit of universal compassion, of pure giving.
A higher siddha, being almost divine in its purity, merges into the divine activity that guides microcosms in the most subtle of realms. They are verily the archangels, the beings closest to the Supreme Deity. Brahma, being Infinite and Eternal, is beyond the scope of activity. The siddhas are the active expression of Brahma. The siddhas actually are the divine actions.
The mythologies and religions of all cultures resonate with the variegated aspects of the Supreme Consciousness; some see a very limited perspective, others comprehend a vaster array of divine qualities. There are deities of Generation, Operation, and Destruction, the Brahmas, Vishnus, and Maheshvaras. There is a Christ that manifests as pure faith and devotion. A Buddha expresses universal compassion. Sankara is the expression of the divine intellect that liberates with its pure reason and discernment.
A mind that meditates and contemplates on these elevated spiritual concepts finds that these are living ideas with a spiritual momentum that actually consume the ego by directing it toward the infinite. Here one sees how all of the mental faculties are essentially “empty”: they have no end in themselves, but instead lead toward absolute transcendence altogether.
An elevated siddha merges with a divine activity or faculty and thus empowers it with its cultivated spiritual energy. When a microcosm is participating in such a corresponding faculty within his/her mind the siddha is there, so to say, waiting to receive the mind and elevate it even higher. In other words, when a microcosm discovers an occult faculty, it is already enlivened and empowered by beings that are masters of their domain.
Siddhas represent the highest form of self-sacrifice. They are the purest of all of the mentities and are therefore capable of helping all souls in the subtlest of manners. A siddha is actually a living extension of an aspiring mind. The siddha is what unites itself, the cosmic faculty, and the macrocosmic faculty as one process. Therefore, the siddhas aid in the liberation of microcosms from all forms of Macrocosmic bondages. Of course, Brahma is the Supreme Liberator, the entity that inspires all action. The sidddhas, rather, are the active extensions of Brahma.
The siddhas are connected, or rather the controllers of the 16 vrttis of the Vishuddha Vortex. Recall, that the vrttis of the Vishuddha Vortex guide the limited ego’s dualistic vrttis toward unqualified unity with Brahma. Therefore when the mind is under the influence of the noble vishuddha vrttis such as devotion or universal compassion, or is expressing the occult perceptions and activities therein, the mind is unifying with a siddha controlling these expressions.
The question may come about as to if the siddhas are to be the object of one’s worship or meditation. Siddhas are Macrocosmic functionaries; they are the active agents of Brahma, but not the supreme controlling force. The spiritual destination of a microcosm is even beyond the macrocosmic mind of Brahma itself, in the unmanifest essential consciousness of the eternal, infinite, and immutable Brahman. So how can it be possible that a siddha be one’s object of ideation? They are unified in macrocosmic processes of Saincara and Pratisaincara, or Involution and Evolution, but not in essence. Process, or Involution and Evolution, are always in relative activity, while essence is the goal of process, beyond all limitations. The universe is so perfectly equilibrated that all created things return to essence through process.
The siddhas are aids in this process of evolution. They are united with microcosms not just to liberate them, but also to liberate themselves. In other words, both aspiring microcosm and siddha seek the same desideratum, union with Brahman. Recall the difference between liberation and emancipation, or mukti and moksha, discussed in book I. Liberation is liberation from microcosmic samskara where the microcosm unifies with the Macrocosm. Emancipation is the union with the essential consciousness of Brahman, beyond even the Macrocosm.
The siddhas are liberated beings. Their personal samskaras have unified with the collective, macrocosmic samskaras. They still must work for their emancipation, however.
Another question may thus arise. “Who is emancipated first, the microcosm, or the siddha? Or are they emancipated together?” This depends entirely on the given situation. In most cases the influence of the siddha and the vrttis that they are helping to manifest in the microcosm are very deeply rooted in the unconscious of the microcosm. The microcosm need not even be aware of their presence. The siddha may guide this mind until the microcosm has sufficient wisdom and understanding that the vrttis that the siddha was manifesting have become sufficiently learned for the microcosm that they have become second-nature. Then the siddha may be freed from the samskaras of the microcosm and return to its own process toward emancipation.
However, once being freed from the samskaras of the microcosm, how are they emancipated from their divine macrocosmic activities? Can a siddha be emancipated from the bodiless state? These are indeed questions of the subtlest nature.
According to the author’s understanding, there are two ways in which a siddha may be emancipated. The first is where the siddha must be reborn in a physical body to finish its pending activities. This would of course be a reincarnation of a very saintly soul or great teacher.
The second way is that is the siddha can connect with the mind of another great soul that is embodied, then that embodied soul may emancipate the siddha by consuming its pending activities and therefore transfer them onto itself. The embodied being therefore becomes endowed with the sublime qualities of the siddha. The mental force of this great soul has the ability to awaken its kundalini and elevate it to the Sahasrara Vortex. In this process of the elevating of the kundalini, the siddha who has attached itself to this mind, is carried upward and emancipated by the fusing of the great soul with Brahman. Therefore, only an embodied being capable of unifying with Brahman may liberate a siddha. He or she has the capacity to be emancipated, but instead chooses to remain behind, in creation, aiding all microcosms in their evolution. The great soul, returns from his/her experience of samadhi and continues its noble work, only now with even greater power as he/she has accumulated even more spiritual force. Occurrences such as this happen when the Macrocosmic Mind needs to express its work through an elevated, embodied microcosm for the spiritual upliftment of a culture, country, or an entire planet.
Many mythologies around the globe speak of how the gods are envious of human beings. Perhaps with the previous statements of how a siddha needs to return and reincarnate into an embodied state or be liberated by a microcosm, we can understand how this is true.
Creation is a complete act, from the subtle to the crude, and is not complete until it is completely manifested in the physical. All of the kosas of mind and their corresponding elements created in the involutionary phase of creation tend toward manifestation in the physical, Solid Factor. Mahat generates Aham, Aham generates Chitta, from Chitta the static force of Shakti continues to condense Chitta until Ether is formed. Involved from Ether is the Aerial Factor. Aerial Factor condenses into the Luminous. From Luminous is the Liquid, and from Liquid, the Solid Factor.
Mentities work in the subtle realms, behind the physical world. However, the nature of their work is to spiritualize all of creation, even what is manifested in physical reality, the Solid Factor. Working in this manner, they follow the will of the Macrocosmic Mind: that all things reveal Spirit through their manifestation. The fundamental urge in the creative process of Brahma vortex is for the Infinite to manifest itself in the finite. Mentities help to teach us the spiritual essence of all things in all forms of activity. If a human being is lost or estranged in the vastness of creation, doesn’t understand the grand purpose for his/her existence, can’t see the spiritual beauty and profound meaning already present in the given environment, then the mentities attempt to show us the way out of our illusions. Brahma will, using its mentities, liberate all beings from their created bondages. Brahma is the Entity that has generated all beings, it is its will that sustains all, and it is its eternal responsibility to liberate them as well. Mentities are the divine forces that help to ensure that all beings follow their inherent nature, or dharma. They eagerly wait, behind our thoughts, feelings, and actions, to show us the way toward the righteousness and correctness that corresponds with our existential place in creation. Mentities, according to their varying abilities and powers, all have the responsibility to guide microcosms at least a few paces closer in our continual orbit around our spiritual nucleus.
It is for this very reason that the siddhas must be liberated from a physical base. In order to complete the cycle of creation, one must see the absolute oneness of Brahma, that even this physical creation is a manifestation of Spirit. Without this understanding we have not fulfilled our purpose in this creation. Has the Macrocosm created all of this only to show its essential nothingness, without purpose or reason? The illusionist, the spiritual nihilist, closes his eyes all through the day only waiting for the sleep of night. It is the same with all that resist Oneness. They seek an escape from how things really are and deny the essential spirituality of creation and fail to see that this world is the name for the nameless, the expression of the inexpressible and that there is a place for each of us. As long as one resists the spiritual nature of creation there is no release from it. As Vivekananda once stated, we must leave our mark on this world before we go. True, all is intransient, vaporous, shadowy, and incessantly passing away from us. But within this hazy mist is a definite theme and purpose for its every particle.