Advaita Vision

Advaita for the 21st Century

Tattvabodha - Part 20

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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43. The process of grossification

पञ्चीकरण कथम् इति चेत्?

एतेषां पञ्चतत्वानां मध्ये तामशांसात् पञ्चीक्रतपञ्चतत्वानि भवन्ति ।

फंचीकरणम् कथम् इति चेत् ।एतेषां पञ्चमहाभुतानां

तामसांशस्वरूपम् एकमेकं भूतं द्विधा विभज्य एकमेकमर्धं प्रथक्

तूष्णीं व्यवस्थाप्य अपरमपरमर्धं चतुर्धा विभज्य स्वार्धमन्येषु अर्धेषु

स्वभागचतुष्टयसंयॊजनं कार्यम् । तदा पंचीकरणं भवति ।।

एतॆभ्यः पंचीक्रतपंचमहाभूतेभ्यः स्थूलशरीरं भवति ।।

एतेषाम् – of these पञ्चतत्वानाम् - मध्ये – of five basic elements तामस् अंशात् – from the tamas aspect पञ्चीक्रतपञ्चतत्वानि – grossified five elements भवन्ति – are formed फंचीकरण – panchikarana grossification कथम् – how takes place इति चेत् – if asked एतेषाम् – of these पञ्चमहाभुतानाम् – of the five basic elements तामसांशस्वरूपम् – from the tamas aspect एकमेकम् भूतम् – each element द्विधा - विभज्य – divides into two equal parts एकमेकम्-अर्धम् – half of each प्रथक् – separate तूष्णीं-व्यवस्थाप्य – remaining intact अपरम्- अपरम् -अर्धम् – other half of each चतुर्धा -विभज्य – dividing into four equal parts स्वार्धम्- to the intact half of its own अन्येषु-अर्धेषु-स्वभागचतुष्टय – one forth portion of (Divided) half of the others (for instance individual one eighth portion); संयॊजनम् -कार्यम् – gets joined तदा –then पंचीकरणम् – panchikarana भवति – happens एतॆभ्यः – from these grossified elements पंचीक्रतपञ्चमहाभूतेभ्यः – the grossified five elements स्थूलशरीरम् – the gross body as well as sthula स्थूल प्रपञ्च (gross universe also) भवति – is formed.

From the tamas aspect of these five subtle elements the grossified five elements are born. This is called panchikarana. If it were to be asked how this panchikarana takes place, it is as follows: The tamas aspect of each of these five subtle elements divides into two equal parts. One half of each remains intact. The other half of each element divides into four equal parts. To the intact half of one element, one eighth portion from each of the other four elements gets joined. This way Panchikarana is complete. From these five grossified elements, the gross body is formed.

Below is the Panchikarana chart used by Swami Chinmayaanda.


Chinmaaya chart

फंचीकरणम् कथम् इति चेत् – If it were to be asked as to how the process of grossification takes place, it is like this. एतेषां पञ्चमहाभुतानां तामस् अंश स्वरूपम् – the tamasa aspect of the five subtle elements एकमेकं भूतं द्विधा विभज्य- each element having divided into two equal parts एकमेकमर्धं प्रथक् तूष्णीं व्यवस्थाप्य – half of each separately remaining intact अपरम् अपरम् अर्धम् चतुर्धा विभज्य – other half of each dividing into four equal parts स्वार्धम् - to the intact half of its own अन्येषु-अर्धेषु-स्वभागचतुष्टय – one forth portion of (Divided) half of the others (for instance individual one eighth portion) The gross elements are an admixture of all the five elements. For example, earth has 50% earth part, and 12.5% of other four elements.

संयॊजनम् -कार्यम् – gets joined

तदा पंचीकरणं भवति –This completes grossification.

एतॆभ्यः – from these पंचीक्रतपञ्चमहाभूतेभ्यः – the grossified five elements स्थूलशरीरम् – the gross body भवति – is formed.

This is the way the cosmic subtle becomes the cosmic gross.

Quick Recapitulation

We have seen that in the beginning only reality of the nature of existence, consciousness and bliss was there. It was also associated with Maya. Maya is of the nature of three qualities of sattva, Rajas and Tamas.


In the stage one, from the sattva guna generated the five unalloyed pure basic elements of space, air, fire, water and earth. These are called subtle elements सूक्ष्म भूतानि. This is the precursor of subtle cosmos and subtle body consisting of five senses of knowledge, and the antahkarana including the mind, intellect, memory and ego.


In the stage two from the rajasa aspect of the five fundamental elements evolved the five organs of action and prana.


In the third stage from the tamasa aspect of these five subtle elements emerged the five gross elements of space, air, fire, water and earth; each of the latter ones are grosser than the earlier ones. This is the third stage of creation where the gross visible and tangible universe is created.


The big bang theory also explains the creation of universe. It accepts that there was nothing before creation and space and was created first.


From these five gross elements the entire universe including all our physical bodies is created. This is called gross creation or manifestation स्थूल स्रष्टि, स्थूल or अभिव्यक्ति. In short maya is causal universe. From that comes subtle universe and subtle body सूक्ष्म अभिव्यक्ति. Out of this comes gross universe and gross body स्थूल अभिव्यक्ति.


Swami Paramarthananda compares the creation to preparation of fruit salad. Subtle universe is like eating grapes, banana, and mango etc separately. Grossification means eating all of them together mixed in a particular pattern. The gross universe is not infinite. It also undergoes modifications and after deluge folds up itself in reverse order of its formation till ultimately nothing remains. This is also what the big bang theory says.


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