In the previous post What Are Tattvas? Part 1, we studied the meaning of Brahman and maya. We also studied the tattvas arising from Shuddha Maya. In this post, we will study the tattvas that are grouped under Ashuddha maya. Let's remember that Tattvas are defined by their exclusive capacity to perform a specific function in the scheme of reality. And as the sole agent or acting force is Consciousness, it follows that the Tattvas are nothing but functions of Consciousness.
Asuddha Tattvas or Vidya tattvas
Ashuddha maya tattvas cause atma/soul to dwell in all the living things in the universe as an instrument of action. It is associated with Anava mala. This is God's differentiating power of the universe; it makes us see the Super-consciousness or Brahman as being separate from us. Just as the Sun is sometimes obscured by an eclipse or cloud which conceals his radiant orb from human view, God's Infinite, Independent and Free Consciousness appears to become obscured by a layer of dense and opaque Consciousness. This dark veil of Consciousness provides the substance from which the Material Universe is created. Maya "wears" five tattvas, known as the "five sheaths," pancha kanchuka, which restrict the universal Self to being the individual soul or the purusha.
Vidya tattvas are described as the "instruments" that assist the souls for their liberation. Soul or Atman is considered as "Purusha tattva", while the final manifestation of almighty is known as "Maya tattva". Maya manifests into five more tattvas known as "kanchukas" and these six tattvas adjoins the purusha tattva and thus, produce seven vidya tattvas.
The 5 Kanchukas or cloaks are:
Kala: limits omnipotence (Kriya), creates limited capacity to act, whereby an embodied being is able to accomplish only a few things and his uninterrupted happiness becomes temporary and limited
Vidya: limits omniscience (jnana) creates limited knowledge.
Araagam/Raaga: limits fullness of heart (iccha) creates desire and longing to be full again. Raga gives rise to the sense of being weak-willed, at the mercy of attachments and desires;
Niyati: limits omnipresence freedom of creative power. It is the contraction of Chith-Shakti (the Power of Consciousness) and gives rise to the notion of Space (as in “I am here and that is over there”), and the energetic tapestry of causality.
Kaala: Kaala veils the supreme infinite moment and gives rise to the experience of sequential time.
Shiva tattvas are essential for the vidya tattvas to function. Of the five tattvas, Kaala, Niyati and Kala are activated by Vindu tattva, Raaga by Eswaram tattva, Maya by natham and Purusha by Sadasivam.
Kaala, Niyati,kala, Vidya and Raga together form the causal body for the souls. This is the crucial point at which Consciousness, having become limited, comes into existence as an embodied Soul, complete with the above mentioned limited powers of consciousness, happiness, will, knowledge and action. Hence it is known as Purusha or personal Soul.
In the next post we will see how the prakriti maya joins with purusha and paves way for the wonderful creation. Prakrti represents that aspect of the Soul which, following the limitation of its consciousness, becomes unconscious and forms the primary Matter from which all objective experiences arise.