The origin of worldly experience begins when anthakkaranam or the internal tool co-ordinates with bahyakarana or the external tool. Instead of using the word coordination, the appropriate word would be interdependence. This is a slightly complicated process but lays a strong foundation to progress considerably in the path of self-realization. Articles of this type coupled with interpretations of Bhagavad Gita and Lalitha Sahasranamam will surely provide sufficient impetus to self-realization. Before we proceed with the understanding this process, we have to go into the details of internal and external tools.
Internal tool is also known as anthakkaranam as it works internally on subtle plane. There are four components of this internal tool. They are mind, intellect, conscience (lower level of consciousness) and ego. Mind is one of the amazing instruments of human life. Mind is endowed with the power of creation and when manifested, the dualities like pain and pleasure are realized. The mind could be pure or impure depending upon certain external influences. If mind is not properly trained and tamed, it turns out to be a potential source of danger, dangerous than the weapons of war. Therefore, when one decides to pursue the path of spirituality, mind has to be quarantined, as otherwise it acts according to its likes and dislikes. It develops likes and dislikes from the three gunas – sattva, rajas and tamas. All the three gunas are always prevalent in all the human beings, but not in equal proportions. At the most these gunas can be interpreted as harmonious, mobility and inertia. But these gunas play an important role by influencing the mind and making the mind susceptible to likes and dislikes. The next is intellect or buddhi. This is not just wisdom which is merely the ability to apply knowledge, experience, understanding or common sense and insight. Intellect is the refined form of knowledge. Intellect can be defined as the intuitive aspect of consciousness. Intellect and mind are interdependent on each other. When mind is not in a position to make the final call, it seeks the help of the intellect to find a solution. The solution provided by the intellect is called intellectual conviction, the process by which the intellect convinces the mind by providing a solution. The highly refined form of intellect is able to establish commune with God. Its unrefined form comprehends the materialistic world. Therefore the intellect can be broadly classified as higher and lower forms. The lower form of intellect is known as knowledge that is associated with worldly affairs and associated with individual conscience (lower level of consciousness) and the higher form of intellect that is refined and pure is associated with higher levels of consciousness. At the time of merger of individual of consciousness with universal consciousness, it is only the intellect that accompanies the individual consciousness till the gates of the universal consciousness. The third of the internal tool is the individual consciousness (individual awareness) as opposed to the pure consciousness of God (absolute awareness). The individual consciousness not willing to pursue the path of spirituality is also known as individual conscience (sense of right and wrong). Irrespective of its level, consciousness plays the most important part knowing the existence itself.
The highest level of consciousness relinquishes the ego to ultimately merge with the Supreme Spirit or God. Out of all these four components of the internal tool, consciousness is the most important factor in realizing God or realizing the Self, a process known as self-realization. It is only the individual conscience that blossoms into consciousness. But the conscience is to be kept clear, clean and calm to move towards consciousness. Though conscience is not powerful like consciousness, still it can cause a serious damage to the mind by not willing to forgive certain actions that mind performs through senses. That is why it is said ‘God may forgive you, the law may forgive you, but your conscience will never forgive you’. All of us have to certainly answer to our conscience. Righteousness plays an important role in evolving conscience into consciousness. The last of the internal tool is ego, the potential enemy to all the seekers of spirituality. This evolves from the intellect. Ego and conscience may appear to be the same because both of them have the influence of the three gunas. Ego is more influenced by these gunas than conscience. The predominance of a particular guna is reflected in the ego of a person. Ego is concerned more with practical realities than with inner thoughts and feelings. It is associated with subjects and objects. But conscience does not deal with such a situation. Conscience can be interpreted as un-conditioned self awareness and when it becomes conditioned, it evolves as consciousness. The Supreme self is veiled by ego. For all the actions of the Supreme Self, ego takes wrongful credit. But the reality is that the universe cannot exist without the influence of the ego. But one should try to understand the limitations of ego. The state when ego and consciousness stand united, ego continues to dominate and this stage is known as “I” consciousness or the awareness of the self.
As long as this stage is not transcended, God can never be realized. This powerful ego can be dissociated from consciousness by two methods. In the first method, by exploring the internal self, the connection between consciousnesses is to be severed by lifting the consciousness to higher planes. In the second method, the ego can be surrendered to someone who is superior to it namely God. Another effect of ego is to prevent the intellect to gain further strength thereby blocking the path of spirituality. Ego is the worst enemy of the individual. These are the basic functions of the internal tool. In the next posting we will go into the details of external tool and the union of these two tools making the creations possible. (to be continued)