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This is a discussion on "Want a detailed note on Panchikarana" within the Advaita Vedanta section of the IndiaDivine.org forums.

Ram Prasadji, Namaste. Let me take a stab at the question raised about `panchikarana' (paJNchiikaraNa). If anyone finds any error in my analysis, please feel free to jump in and correct me. I...
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Want a detailed note on Panchikarana

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Posted 11 May 2002 - 05:52 PM

Ram Prasadji,

Namaste.

Let me take a stab at the question raised about `panchikarana'
(paJNchiikaraNa). If anyone finds any error in my analysis, please
feel free to jump in and correct me. I assure you that no offense
will be taken.

First, a couple of brief comments about the authorship
of `Tattvabodha' and `Panchikarana', two texts usually attributed to
Sri Sankaracharya (Sankara).

Tattvabodha is not included in the original Sanskrit edition of "The
Complete Works of Sri Sankaracharya" though Volume 2 (Prakarana-s)
includes a different `prakarana' of 87 verses called "Tattva Upadesa"
(pp 167-178). However, Panchikarana is included as part of the
Prakarana-s (pp 163-165).

On the other hand, Belvalkar contends that in `Panchikarana' there is
nothing in the work itself that warrants its ascription to Sankara
even though Suresvara (his disciple) has written a vartika on it (The
Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies, Vol. III, page 318). He also
rules out the claim of Sankara's authorship of `Tattvabodha' as
spurious (ibid. page 331).

Now, the process of `panchikarana' as described in `Tattvabodha'
slightly differs and discusses different aspects from the process
described in the actual work with same name, i.e. `panchikarana'. Let
me confine myself to the process described in Tattvabodha.

Tattvabodha

`Pacnhikarana' refers to the quintiplication process involved in the
Advaitic concept of creation. It is a process by which the five
elementary constituents of the universe are said to be compounded
with one another to form grosser entities that serve as units in the
composition of the physical universe. The process is also referred to
as `grossification'.

Let's look at the process in detail. First, it is established that
Brahman is both the efficient cause and the material cause of the
phenomenal world (nimitta karana and upadana karana). The simile used
(not a metaphor) is that of a spider, which weaves its web from the
silk, produced from its own body. Then due to the interaction of the
supreme Self with Maya, and the dominant influence of `tamas', there
arose `ether' or `space'. Out of `space', the `air' emanated. In due
succession, out of the `air', `fire' emanated; and out
of `fire', `water' emanated and out of `water', there arose
the `earth'. Thus these five `tattva-s' (space, air, fire, water and
earth) are the first `subtle' elements of creation
(Panchamahabhootani). They are called subtle elements because they
exist before they manifest themselves through their association with
the grosser objects of the phenomenal world. Then the `panchikarana'
process starts.

1. The `tamas' aspect of each of the five elements divides into two
equal parts
(parts A and B)

2. One half of each element remains intact. (A remains intact)

3. The other half of each gets divided into four equal parts. (B of
each element gets divided into four equal parts).

4. Then, to the A part of each element one part of the B of each of
the other four elements gets joined.

5. Then `panchikarana' is complete.

Let' designate space (subtle) = space (S) and
space (gross) = space (G).

So, after `panchikarana',

space(G) = ½ space(S) + 1/8 air(S) + 1/8 fire(S) + 1/8 water (S) +
1/8 earth (S)

air(G) = ½ air(S) +1/8 space(S) + 1/8 fire(S) + 1/8 water(S) + 1/8
earth(S)

fire(G) = ½ fire(S) +1/8 space(S) + 1/8 air(S) + 1/8 water(S) + 1/8
earth(S)

water(G) = ½ water(S) +1/8 space(S) + 1/8 air (S) +1/8 fire(S) + 1/8
earth(S)

earth (G) = ½ earth(S) +1/8 space(S) + 1/8 air + 1/8 fire(S) + 1/8
water(S)


Ram Prasadji, I sincerely hope that I've not confused you more. If
you want me to elaborate any part of my post, please do feel free and
identify the parts.

Pranams.

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Posted 11 May 2002 - 10:13 PM

Namaste.

Immense thanks to Ram Chandranji and you for the detailed responses.

Now if both of you and Stigji, who has promised a response as soon as
possible, will permit, may I express my thoughts and request critical
comments?

My feelings this morning with regard to the material provided are the
same as those of twenty years before when I first happened to read
them. Why did Sankara, of all the people, go to the extent of
providing mathematical equations for creation? For metaphysical
purposes, wasn't the spider simile (oornanaabhi) adequate? Isn't the
rest better left for intuitive minds to enquire into and appreciate
as is what is desired of the seekers elsewhere in vedanta?

It is probably due to the above reason that there are doubts about
the authorship of Thathwabodha. There are many who feel that this
treatise without the pancheekarana part can stand on its own to serve
the purposes of a beginner vedantin. If members disagree, for the
benefit and guidance of one and all, I would request them to present
their points of view about the actual relevance of the equations in
advaita. Kindly also point out if there are meanings to the
equations that are not immediately perceivable. Needless to say, such
thoughts will without doubt enrich our archives.

Ram Chandranji, the Hinduism site recommended by you does not open.
I am getting a "this page cannot be displayed" message. I will try
again later in the day. In the meanwhile, kindly recheck from your
side.

Best regards and pranaams.

Madathil Nair

advaitin, "nitya_em" <nitya_em@r...> wrote:
Then the `panchikarana'
> process starts.
>
> 1. The `tamas' aspect of each of the five elements divides into two
> equal parts
> (parts A and B)
>
> 2. One half of each element remains intact. (A remains intact)
>
> 3. The other half of each gets divided into four equal parts. (B

of
> each element gets divided into four equal parts).
>
> 4. Then, to the A part of each element one part of the B of each

of
> the other four elements gets joined.
>
> 5. Then `panchikarana' is complete.
>
> Let' designate space (subtle) = space (S) and
> space (gross) = space (G).
>
> So, after `panchikarana',
>
> space(G) = ½ space(S) + 1/8 air(S) + 1/8 fire(S) + 1/8 water (S) +
> 1/8 earth (S)
>
> air(G) = ½ air(S) +1/8 space(S) + 1/8 fire(S) + 1/8 water(S) + 1/8
> earth(S)
>
> fire(G) = ½ fire(S) +1/8 space(S) + 1/8 air(S) + 1/8 water(S) + 1/8
> earth(S)
>
> water(G) = ½ water(S) +1/8 space(S) + 1/8 air (S) +1/8 fire(S) +

1/8
> earth(S)
>
> earth (G) = ½ earth(S) +1/8 space(S) + 1/8 air + 1/8 fire(S) + 1/8
> water(S)


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Posted 12 May 2002 - 10:56 AM

Namaste Madathilnairji:

Try this and it does open.

http://www.hinduism.co.za/three.htm

Honestly, I do not see any valid reasons for us to probe into issues
such as 'authorship,' etc. Smart among us can develop their own logic
and convince one way or other. The bottom line for us to check the
relevance of the work with regard to advaita philosophy (vedanta.) The
rest are just an intellectual exercise and such discussions have
potentials to become a cirular loop.

Those with stronger mathematical background are able to digest heavy
dose of Vedanta and Shankara probably demonstrates his mathematical
skills through those equations. Sri Stig with his strong academic
background may be able to throw some light on your question.

warmest regards,

Ram Chandran

Note: In your last posting, you mentioned about your disappointments
for not getting a response to the question on this topic. If we don't
keep 'appointment' then we will not have disappointments!




advaitin, "madathilnair" <madathilnair> wrote:
> Namaste.
>
>
> Ram Chandranji, the Hinduism site recommended by you does not open.


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Posted 12 May 2002 - 12:23 PM


ramvchandran [rchandran]
Sunday, May 12, 2002 12:57 PM
advaitin
Re: Want a detailed note on Panchikarana


If we don't keep 'appointment' then we will not have disappointments!

****************************************************************************
**************
In most cases, this is simply not true Sri Ramji. For example, if your
toilet is overflowing and the plumber does not come in time, you are likely
to be disappointed directly because of the plumber not keeping his/her
appointment.

It should be pointed out that Mahatma Gandhi was a strong adherent of
punctuality!

Jai Jai Time Ki!

Love to all
Harsha





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Posted 12 May 2002 - 07:05 PM

Namaste Harshaji:

I enjoyed the humor, in all seriousness, my statement is quite
subtle! When the mind empties all appointments there will no more
disappointments!!

Warmest regards,

Ram Chandran

advaitin, "Harsha" wrote:

> **************
> In most cases, this is simply not true Sri Ramji.
>
> It should be pointed out that Mahatma Gandhi was a strong adherent

of
> punctuality!


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Posted 12 May 2002 - 08:39 PM


ramvchandran [rchandran]
Sunday, May 12, 2002 9:06 PM
advaitin
Re: Want a detailed note on Panchikarana

Namaste Harshaji:

I enjoyed the humor, in all seriousness, my statement is quite
subtle!

**********************
Yes, Sri Ramji, I agree. Your statements are always quite subtle! They play
with metaphors, mathematical symbols, and display a textual facility to
convey points which are often difficult to grasp with ordinary words.
Personally, I love your subtle statements, even though I may not immediately
grasp their depth right away.

I appreciate the opportunity to express my warmth and gratitude for you
making these statements which capture the essence of Advaita Vedanta and
challenge us to go beyond the mind and thus beyond appointments and
disappointments.

Thank you.

Love
Harsha




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Posted 17 May 2002 - 08:48 AM

Panchiikarana

This involves grossifcation of subtle elements.

The five elements that are created as part of prakRiti - space, air, fire,
water and earth - three states of matter - solids, liquids and gases and
energy and space.
The subtler form of these are created. PrakRiti has three guNa-s or
qualities - satva, rajas and tamas. Satva is the source of knowledge.
Satva guna-s of these five elements become the source of JNana-indriya-s or
sense faculties. Together they form the source for subtle matter - mind and
intellect.
The rajas which is the cause for activity - the rajas aspect of these five
emements form the five karma indriaya-s - organs of action at subtler level.

Then comes the grossification of these. In the grossification -
panchiikarana starts. Each of the five elements splits into half. Thus
space is divided into two parts and similarly the rest of the five.

One half of each remins but other half splits further into four more parts.
The four (1/8th) part joins each of the other elemnts. Thus the space has
its half part plus 1/8th of air, 1/8th of fire, 1/8th of water and 1/8th of
earth - all together forming one complete whole again. thus in the
pancheekarana each of the unit after the reassembly has half of its own plus
1/8th part of other four elements. These form the basis for the
grossification of the universe. From these re-assemboled unit - the
fourteen worlds, plus the gross bodies of all living organims - including
gods, humans and animals and plants are made.

This in essense is the panchiikaraNa process.

It is a theory of explaining how subtle all pervading aatma becomes a
grossifed forms of many.

You can have your own theory if you want, but as a good scientist you have
to find fault in the previous theory before you produce a new one which is
better.

The philosophy starts with one - existence-consciousnes-bliss - and every
philosopher is trying to account how one became many. That is the essence
of creation.

This is all prakriti only which is equated to maaya - that which is not
there in reality.

This what I understand as PanchiikaraNa process.

Hari OM!
Sadananda

> > advaitin, "Ram Prasad" <ram_cnr@h...> wrote:
> > > Hari Om,
> > >
> > > Can any of the learned ones please tell me more about the

>concept
> > of
> > > panchikarana. I have gone thro commentaries on Atma Bodha

>from shri
> > > parthasarathy where there is mention of this concept and it

>is till
> > not
> > > clear to me.
> > >
> > > Thanks in Advance.
> > >
> > > Ram Prasad
> > >
> > >
> > >

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> > Advaitin List Archives available at:

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>
>






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Posted 19 May 2002 - 05:43 AM

Namaste Sadanandaji,

My doubts are included in brackets in the body of your post.
Appreciate your comments, if any.

_____________________________

In advaitin, "Kuntimaddi Sadananda" <k_sadananda@h...> wrote:

The five elements that are created as part of prakRiti - space, air,
fire,
water and earth - three states of matter - solids, liquids and gases
and
energy and space.
The subtler form of these are created.
_____________________________

(Does this mean that matter exists in subtle and gross forms?)

_____________________________

PrakRiti has three guNa-s or
qualities - satva, rajas and tamas. Satva is the source of knowledge.
Satva guna-s of these five elements become the source of JNana-
indriya-s or
sense faculties. Together they form the source for subtle matter -
mind and
intellect.
The rajas which is the cause for activity - the rajas aspect of these
five
emements form the five karma indriaya-s - organs of action at subtler
level.

_________________________

(What happens to thamas? Is that not to be accounted for? Besides,
the logical conclusion in Vedanta is that the mind precedes matter.
How can we then say that the satwa guna-s of the elements are the
source of mind and intellect? Will that not mean that the elements
with their guna-s preceded the mind. Does this also mean that our
thoughts, ideas, reasoning, dreams etc. are all made of subtle
matter?)

__________________________

Then comes the grossification of these. In the grossification -
panchiikarana starts. Each of the five elements splits into half.
Thus
space is divided into two parts and similarly the rest of the five.

One half of each remins but other half splits further into four more
parts.

Is the remaining one part the essence of all our mental and
intellectual activities?


The four (1/8th) part joins each of the other elemnts. Thus the space
has
its half part plus 1/8th of air, 1/8th of fire, 1/8th of water and
1/8th of
earth - all together forming one complete whole again. thus in the
pancheekarana each of the unit after the reassembly has half of its
own plus
1/8th part of other four elements. These form the basis for the
grossification of the universe. From these re-assemboled unit - the
fourteen worlds, plus the gross bodies of all living organims -
including
gods, humans and animals and plants are made.

This in essense is the panchiikaraNa process.

It is a theory of explaining how subtle all pervading aatma becomes a
grossifed forms of many.

You can have your own theory if you want, but as a good scientist you
have
to find fault in the previous theory before you produce a new one
which is
better.

_______________________________

With all respect to Sankara, pancheekarana so far has sounded only as
an attempt to explain creation. It cannot be called a theory in the
same sense as atomic theory or the theory of relativity, which have
contributed to the empirical understanding of other phenomena and
stood the tests of time. So, there is no need to locate a fault in
pancheekarana for another person to postulate something entirely
different.

In this context, I am a little perplexed why our sages, who
proclaimed that Brahman is desa-kaala-aabhaadida (beyond or not
affected or not conditioned by space and time) excluded time from the
list of elements. They were wise enough to understand the relevance
of space. Why did they leave out time? From their upanishadic
ponderings, it can be assumed that even in their ancient days they
perhaps were able to appreciate Einstein's space-time continuum.
Nevertheless, they failed to accord time the importance they gave
space. Why? Did they think that space has no meaning without
temporal relevance and the inclusion of one really meant the
inclusion of the other as well? That may probably be the reason, I
am not sure. Do I sound like holding an uncalled for brief for their
act of omission?

However, if it is not considered outrageous, can't we not rewrite
pancheekarana on a six-element footing with time included as one of
the elements? The proportions can then be appropriately altered to
arrive at a new set of mathematical equations.

This is just a thought by way of discussion. If it can generate
interesting thoughts from other knowledgeable members, I would be
very happy. All the same,pancheekarana or shashteekarana, I am
totally convinced of the essence of advaita. And that is most
important to me.
______________________________


The philosophy starts with one - existence-consciousnes-bliss - and
every
philosopher is trying to account how one became many. That is the
essence
of creation.

This is all prakriti only which is equated to maaya - that which is
not
there in reality.

This what I understand as PanchiikaraNa process.

Hari OM!
Sadananda
______________________________


Best regards and pranams.

Madathil Nair



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