Thursday, September 29, 2011

Samkhya - 02 - mahAbhUta

As far as the first question is concerned "how is tanmAtra manifested?", the answer lies in what is known as mahAbhUta-s, the medium in which each of the tanmAtra is manifested.

First mahAbhUta is pRRithvi or Earthly Plane. It is the least subtle among the others as it allows all the tanmAtras (sound, touch, form, flavor and odor) to inhere in it.

Thus we have the following scheme:

Prithvi or Earthly Plane - Sound, Touch, Form, Flavor, Odor
Apas or Water Plane - Sound, Touch, Form, Flavor
Tejas or Fire Plane - Sound, Touch, Form
Vayu or Air - Sound, Touch

Thus for each of these mahAbHuta-s, we have one tanmAtra which is a unique to that mahAbhUta in that it's disassociation from the mahAbhUta results in that mahAbhUta losing its identity.

For example, if tanmAtra odor is removed from the Earthly Plane it becomes the same as Watery Plane.

This leads to the question: what is that mahAbhUta which is associated with Sound?

This mahAbhUta is known as AkAsha or Ethereal Plane.

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