The first step towards studying the process of manifestation of the unmanifested is to recognize the parameters of the study. The resources available to conduct the study as we saw was the “tatvamasi” method which cannot use anything external to ourselves. We find that every time we need to describe something around this study, we have to refer to what is called “environment(s)”, and invariably, over the course of previous chapters, I have been referring to environment(s) in various forms. Thus, the first question that arises is, “What are these environment(s)?” In general, “an environment” is defined as the surroundings or conditions in which something operates. For e.g., earth is an environment in which living beings prosper, the LHC becomes an environment in which fundamental physics principles are experimented and so on. We need to define the properties of the environment that we study and the restrictions and limitations under which we can study this environment when using the “tatvamasi” approach.
Modern science is limited to the study of matter. The environment in which we live in is considered to be purely consisting of different forms or compositions of energy or matter or anything that is sense-able by the human brain or manas. Yet, if we read the ancient texts, matter and energy just scratches the surface of this environment. Matter is not even mentioned as a possible study that requires attention. It either starts at the spirit, the waking state or energy forms. Anything else other than these starting points are considered to be already understood and discarded as trivial.
The major difference to recognize of “researching by being or tatvamasi” instead of “researching by experimenting” is that in the latter you can pre-set the boundaries of the study, while in the former you have no control over the state and what is present has to be studied as is.
In an experiment based study, the state is stripped down to that which is the simplest state and this state studied and the results extrapolated to more complex states. But, such a study is accompanied by the disadvantage that, what is studied need not be representative of the actual. It is only an un-validated assumption that the stripped down version is representative of the actual state. Validation of the assumption can be done, but this leads us into a recursive set of experiments which gets us to no conclusive end.
When studying using the “tatvamasi or experimenting by being” we have to understand that we have to study the states “as is” without altering what is happening. As in any analogous process, there is no abrupt change from one state to another. What exists is a function based on which one state decays and another function based on which the second state comes into being. We cannot also assume that at any given point only one idea is manifesting. This study then is a study of multi-threaded, non-mutually exclusive, continuous change in the states in its entirety. The techniques for such a study is completely different. For e.g., it is possible that by being we can “influence what is” and compare the difference to understand, but the whole has to studied or nothing at all can be studied.
At a first glance, in the process where the unmanifested becomes the manifested, we can recognize three states, namely, it starts at a state where only a set of possibilities exist, moves on to a state when one or more of those possibilities start to go towards manifestation and ends at in state when that possibility has manifested. The Bhagavad Gita talks about the three states in this verse below:
avyaktadini bhutani vyakta-madhyani bharata
avyakta-nidhanany eva tatra ka paridevana
That which has become is unmanifested and is manifested in the middle. For that which is therefore unmanifested without end, why lament
This indicates to us that the states are circular, hence forming the infinite cycle. The unmanifested starts becoming manifested, goes towards manifestation and then starts going back into unmanifested before it becomes unmanifested and the cycle continues.
Continuing to define these three states, we have:
- “The void – this is call shunya”, this is where nothing is actually present, but the possibility of being exists. This either starts at the Ishvara state and ends at the Bhairava state.
- “The becoming – this starts at Shiva and ends at Purusha”, this is when the possibility starts to manifest and ends when it has completed manifested
- “The become – this is the Prakruti”, this is when the becoming has completely manifested. This is the reality that we see around us.
The state before the void is where nothing exists, even the possibility of being. This, is considered to be “the truth or the Brahman state” and this state is not the topic of this research. The question that arises here is “What is manifesting?” and the only answer I can think of is “the possibility of the truth being perceived in a certain state”.
If we form a sets of, a void with a number of possibilities in the state of becoming and a number of possibilities that have become, this forms the environment of study. This is what is called in sanskrit “kshetra” or “the environment”. Maybe various kshetras can exist and these states are exclusive to each other else it just is the same become environment extended in various dimensions. Yet, we can only know and study this environment or “kshetra” we are in. The Bhagavad Gita has a chapter devoted to describing “kshetra” and we will delve deeper into this in this chapter subsequently to understand the “kshetra”.