Advaita Vision

Advaita for the 21st Century

Tattvabodha - Part 19

Notes on Tattvabodha
Dr. Vishnu Bapat

Dr. Bapat (72) was the co-founder of an Ayurvedic Pharmaceutical Industry and served as its Managing Director for 26 years until retirement. He is associated with several professional and spiritual bodies. He is now fully engaged in the study and practice of Vedanta.




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41. Antahkarana from aggregate sattvika aspect

एतॆषां समष्टिसात्विकांशात्

एतॆषां पञ्चतत्वानां समष्टिसात्विकांशात् मनोबुध्य्हंकार-

र्चित्तान्तः करणानि सम्भूतानि ।

संकल्पविकल्पात्मकं मनः । निश्चयत्मिका बुद्धिः ।

अहंकर्ता अहंकारः । चिन्तनकर्तु चित्तम् ।

मनसो देवता चन्द्रमाः । बुद्धेर्बम्हा । अहंकारस्य रुद्रः ।

चित्तस्य वासुदेवः ।।

एतॆषाम् – of these पज्चतत्वानाम् – five elements समष्टि-सात्विक-अंशात् – from their combined sattva quality मनःबुद्धिः -अहंकारः चित्त - the mind, intellect, ego and memory अंतःकरणानि – the inner instruments; सम्भूतानि – are born. संकल्प-कल्पात्मकम् – wavering nature or indecision, proposing and disposing nature मनः – is the mind निश्चयत्मिका – of the nature of decision बुद्धिः – is intellect अहंकर्ता – the notion of doer-ship अहंकारः – is ego चिन्तनकर्तु – thinking faculty चित्तम् – memory मनसः – of the mind देवता – presiding deity चन्द्रमाः – the moon बुद्धेः – of the intellect र्बम्हा – Brahma अहंकारस्य – of the ego रुद्रः – Rudra चित्तस्य – of memory - वासुदेवः –Vasudeva

From the combined sattvika quality of these five elements, the inner sense equipment of mind, intellect, ego and memory are formed. The mind is of the nature of indecision. The intellect is of the nature of decision. The ego has the notion of doer-ship. Memory is of the nature of thinking or recollection.

The presiding deity of the mind is moon; of the intellect Brahma; of the ego Rudra; and of memory, Vasudeva.

After explaining how from the sattva quality of the five subtle elements तन्मात्रा emerged the five sense organs, in this paragraph the author explains how the interior sense organs (अंतःकरण) evolved एतॆषाम् पज्चतत्वानाम् समष्टि-सात्विक-अंशात् –From the aggregate sattva quality of these five subtle elements मनःबुद्धिः -अहंकारः- चित्त अंतःकरणानि –सम्भूतानि – the inner instruments of the mind, intellect, ego and memory are born. संकल्प-विकल्पात्मकम् – wavering nature or indecision; proposing and disposing nature मनः – is the mind निश्चयत्मिका बुद्धिः – of the nature of decision is the intellect चिन्तनकर्तु चित्तम् thinking faculty is memory The equipment of antahkarana although a single unit, has been divided into four divisions depending upon its function. These are:

मनः – Mind. What is mind? It is a continuous flow of thought modifications (चित्तव्रत्ति). Mind is described as संकल्प-विकल्पात्मकम् – wavering nature or vacillation. The thought is in a state of flux. Supposing I want to go to a movie, the mind wavers, “should I go today or tomorrow”. “Will I be able to reach in time, will I get a ticket” etc.
बुद्धि – or the intellect. This is said to be निश्चयत्मिका बुद्धिः – of the nature of decision. This is reasoning, discretion, decision and volition (conscious choice). An intellect dominated person is called a rationalist.  अहंकार – or the ego. In the common parlance, ego means an excessively high opinion of oneself or conceit, pride. But in Vedanta, ego has a different meaning. It is the creator of the sense of “I”. Ahankara creates self identity and notion of doership and ownership. We say “I did it, I ate, and I slept”, etc. The mind, intellect and memory keeps on changing. But the ego is there with every thought. The mind intellect and memory are different in different people but the ego is the same. It connects the pure self to the three bodies, five sheaths, and the three states of thought.
चित्तम् – or the memory चिन्तनकर्तु चित्तम् thinking faculty – memory. It is of the nature of reflection and recollection. All experiences are stored in the mind and can be recollected from its data bank.

The Deities

मनसः देवता चन्द्रमाः, बुद्धेः र्बम्हा, अहंकारस्य रुद्रः, चित्तस्य -वासुदेवः – the presiding deity of the mind is the moon; of the intellect is Brahma; of the ego Rudra; of memory is Vasudeva. “Each of the five sense organs of action and perception which go by the general name external organs or बाहिर्करण and the four internal senses or अंतःकरण has also a deity ruling over them. Since the time of Vedas the concept of deity has been here. They adored and prayed hundreds of deities. However they knew that these godheads are mere representative of the one supreme. In Brahadaranyaka Upanishad (ब्रहदारण्यक उपनिशद्) 3.9 there is a mention of the number of deities. A sage by name Vidagdha Shakalya विदग्ध शाकल्य asks his guru Yagnyavalka याग्न्यवल्क as to how many gods are there. For this the guru replies as 3,333. Upon repeated questioning he goes on reducing the count and at last it comes to one only. The meaning of this exercise shows that there is only one reality, the supreme Brahman. All are his functional representations.


What are these Gods? They mean certain states, certain offices. For instance Indra, the king of heaven means certain office. A highly merited soul from the mortal world fills up this office and rules over heaven. He has to come back to the world after his merits are exhausted. Then another meritorious soul takes over.

42. Organs of action from Rajasa aspect

एतेषां राजसांशात्

एतेषां पंन्चतत्त्वानां मध्ये आकाशस्य राजसांशात् वागीन्द्रियं

सम्भभूतम् । वायॊः राजसांशात् पाणीन्द्रियं सम्भभूतम् । वह्नॆः

राजसांशात् पादेन्द्रियम् सम्भभूतम् । जलस्य राजसांशात्

उपस्थेन्द्रियं सम्भभूतम् । प्रथिव्याः राजसांशात् गुदेन्द्रियं सम्भभूतम् ।

एतेषाम् समष्टि राजसांशात् पञ्चप्राणाः सम्भूताः ।।

एतेषाम् – of these पञ्चतत्वानाम् -मध्ये – of the five subtle elements मध्ये – among आकाशस्य राजसांशात् – from the Rajasik aspect of space वागीन्द्रियं – the organ of speech सम्भभूतम् - generated वायॊः – of subtle air राजसांशात् – from Rajasik aspect पाणीन्द्रियं –organ of grasping evolved. सम्भूतम् – evolved वह्नॆः – of fire राजसांशात् – from Rajasik aspect पादेन्द्रियम् – the organ of locomotion सम्भूतम् – evolved जलस्य – of water राजसांशात् – Rajasik aspect उपस्थेन्द्रियम् – genital organ सम्भूतम् – evolved प्रथिव्याः – of earth राजसांशात् –from Rajasik aspect गुदेन्द्रियम् – the organ of anus सम्भूतम् – evolved एतेषाम् – of these समष्टि-राजसांशात् – total Rajasik aspect पञ्चप्राणाः – the five pranas सम्भूतम् - evolved

Of these five elements, from the rajas aspect of the space, the organ of speech (mouth) is formed; from the rajas aspect of the air, the organ of grasping (hand) evolved; from the rajas aspect of fire, the organ of movement (leg); from the rajas aspect of water, the genital organs evolved; from the rajas aspect of the earth, anus, the organ of excretion evolved. From the total rajas aspect of these five elements, the five vital airs or pranas evolved (vital force).

So far we have seen how in the first place the five fundamental subtle elements तन्मात्रा emerged. Each of these five elements has the three basic properties of maya namely; Sattvika, Rajasika and Tamasika Gunas. From the sattvika aspect of these elements came forth the five sense organs and the Antahkarana consisting of the mind, Intellect, memory and ego. In this paragraph the author explains what happens to the Rajasik aspect of these five tanmatras. The quality of rajas is dynamism or activity. The five organs of action as the name indicates are action prone. वाक्पाणिपादपायूपस्थानीति पञ्चकर्मेन्द्रियाणि.

आकाशस्य राजसांशात् वागीन्द्रियम् सम्भूतम् – From the rajasa aspect of the space the organ of speech or mouth evolved. वाक्

वायॊः राजसांशात् पाणीन्द्रियं सम्भभूतम् – From the rajasa aspect of air the hand the organ of grasping emerged. पाणि

वह्नॆः राजसांशात् पादेन्द्रियम् सम्भूतम् – From the rajasa aspect of fire the leg, the organ of movement emerged. पाद जलस्य राजसांशात् उपस्थेन्द्रियम् सम्भूतम् – From the rajasa aspect of water genitals, the organ of procreation evolved. उपस्थ

प्रथिव्याः राजसांशात् गुदेन्द्रियम सम्भूतम् – From the rajasa aspect of earth the anus, the organ of excretion evolved. पायुः

एतेषाम् समष्टि राजसांशात् पञ्चप्राणाः सम्भूतम् – From the total rajasa aspect of these five elements the five vital airs or pranas formed ( पञ्चप्राण).

The vital force is the backend support for the five organs of perception and action. Just as mind is born out from the aggregate sattva elements, prana is born out of aggregate rajasa guna of the five tanmatras. The individual senses are born out of the individual elements.

With this all 19 organs of subtle body are explained. Next topic is gross sharira.


Evolution of organs action from ungrossified Rajasa Elements





Organ of























Total of five basic


Five vital airs पञ्चप्राणाः


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Page last updated: 29-Oct-2016