The story of Aravan, the God of the Transgender

Most of us find Mahabharata to be a very mystifying chronicle. This is because Mahabharata has a lot of characters and each character is associated to the other in some or the other way.

As this epic has so many legendary characters such as Pandavas, Draupadi, Kauravas around whom the whole story revolves, people are not quite familiar with the other characters that also have a crucial role in the epic.

Today, I will try to narrate you the story of Aravan or Iravan, one such minor yet crucial character of Mahabharata. It is from his lineage that the transgender are said to have been born. That is why the transgenders or hijras are also known as Aravanis.

The story of Lord Aravan can be called one of the most tragic tales of Mahabharata where he sacrifices himself for the greater good. But he does leave a lineage before he dies which makes him immortal in the history of mankind. Want to know his story? Then, read on.

Aravan was the son of the great Mahabharata warrior, Arjuna and his wife Ulupi, the Naga princess. Aravan is the central God of the cult of Kuttantavar. Like his father, Aravan was a fierce warrior.

Aravan

He participated in the Kurukshetra war with his father and the other Pandavas. He fought bravely and gave himself up for a huge sacrifice.

The earliest source of mention regarding Aravan is found in Peruntevanar’s Parata Venpa, a 9th-century Tamil version of the Mahabharata.

There it talks about a special sacrificial ritual known as the ‘Kalappali’, which means sacrifice to the battlefield. It was believed that whoever performs this sacrifice ensures victory in the battlefield.

In this ritual, the most valiant warrior must sacrifice his life in front of Goddess Kali in order to ensure the victory of his side. Aravan volunteered to sacrifice himself in the ritual.

In Parata Venpa, Aravan asks Krishna to grant him the boon of a heroic death in the battlefield. Aravan is believed to have been granted a second boon – to see the entire 18-day war.

The third boon is found only in the folk rituals. This third boon provides Aravan to be married before the sacrifice, entitling him to the right of cremation and funerary offerings (bachelors were buried).

However, no woman wanted to marry Aravan, fearing the inevitable doom of widowhood. In the Kuttantavar cult version, Krishna solves this dilemma by taking on his female form, Mohini, marries Aravan and spends that night with him.

The Koovagam version additionally relates Krishna’s mourning as a widow after Aravan’s sacrifice the next day, after which he returns to his original masculine form for the duration of the war.

Aravanis Aravan is known as Kuttantavar in the cult which bears his name, and in which he is the chief deity.

Here, the marriage of Aravan and Mohini, her widowhood and mourning after Aravan’s sacrifice form the central theme of an 18-day annual festival either side of the night of the full moon in the Tamil month of Cittirai.

The Alis or the Aravanis (transgenders) take part in the Koovagam festival by re-enacting the marriage of Aravan and Mohini. It is believed that all the Aravanis are married to Aravan and hence, when the sacrifice is re-enacted, the Aravanis become widows of Aravan and mourn his death.

 

 

Via~ https://www.speakingtree.in/
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Karwa Chauth Vrat Katha

Karwa Chauth is a very popular fasting observance practiced by married Hindu women in North India; to seek long life and welfare of their husbands.

On this auspicious day, women keep day-long fast and offer prayer to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.

It is believed that those who observe this fast are blessed with lifelong prosperity and a healthy spouse. In the Indian culture, Hindu women observed this fast for their husbands.

During the day women abstain from food and water, and at night after moonrise, they break their fasts by reading the ‘vrat katha’ and performing the ‘puja vidhi’. There is a very interesting katha behind this fast.

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Long ago, there lived a very beautiful princess named Veeravati, who was married to a wealthy and strong king. As per the usual practice during those days, the day of Karwa Chauth arrived and the queen left for her parents’ house.

She was very devoted to Lord Shiva and Parvati and therefore decided to observe the Karva Chauth fasting.

She woke up at sunrise and started the fasting abided by worship and pujas. The whole day she did not eat anything and therefore turned so weak and fell unconscious.Karwa-Chauth-Vrat-Katha-In-Hindi-Punjabi-Karva-Chauth-Puja-Vidhi-Samagri

As per the custom, food should be partaken only after sighting the moonrise.

Her loving brothers could not bear the pain of seeing her faint and therefore created a false scene of moonrise by lighting a lamp on the hill and asking Veeravati to sot it and conclude her fast.

Due to the breach of the fasting rule, immediately after breaking the fast in advance, the queen heard to news of her husband’s sudden death. As she was wailing and returning to the kingdom, she had the vision of Mother Parvati and Lord Shiva on the way.

When she prayed them to intervene in the issue, forgive and restore her husband back to life, they conceded.

With the blessings of Shiva and Parvati, her husband was restored to life but had fallen seriously ill without any consciousness. His whole body was found pricked with sharp needles.

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With her sustained efforts, the queen managed to remove one needle per day. At the end of the year, only one needle was left. Veeravati left to the market to buy Karwa for the puja.

The maidservant in charge removed the remaining one needle and the king regained his consciousness and got back his health. He mistook the maid for the queen and made the queen his servant.

Veeravati sincerely served the king in the capacity of the maidservant faithfully all through the year. The next Karwa Chauti day arrived and the queen sincerely prepared for the fasting ceremony.

She bots two identical dolls and placed them near the altar. She started singing the song “Roli ki Goli ho gayi… Goli ki Roli ho gayi” meaning that the queen has become the maid and the mad has become the queen. The king asked Veeravati what the song meant.

Veeravati narrated all that happened so far.

The king appreciated the patience and forbearance of the queen in addition to her strong devotion. The dauntless faith Veeravati had in Shiva and Parvati was heavily tested and found to be genuine.

The observance of the Karwa Chauth fasting sincerely despite troubles made her get Gods blessings in abundance. With the blessings of Shiva and Parvati, the king and the queen happily lived with health, wealth, happiness, and prosperity thereafter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

via~ https://www.speakingtree.in

5 Differences Between Ashtanga Yoga and Hatha Yoga

Understand how Ashtanga-yoga and Hatha-yoga are different in theory and practice though the objective of spiritual upliftment is common to both.

Browsing through yoga classes offering an array of styles and approaches could be a real exercise in confusion. This five thousand-year-old discipline of mind-body wellness has evolved over the ages, mushrooming into a variety of interpretations and interrelated approaches. While some styles highlight dynamism and core strengthening exercises others shed light on restful postures, the most common categories being Hatha and Ashtanga. The two modes are contrasting in the way Hatha demonstrates a generic set of seated and standing postures while Ashtanga engages practitioners in a specific sequence of more exacting asanas.

While it would be unfair to state that one style is superior to the other, it remains true that Hatha and Ashtanga are meant for people of two different temperaments. Let us explore in detail characteristics unique to these two styles:

Gentleness in Hatha and Ashtanga’s Intensive Potentials

One of the greatest differentiating factors—with Hatha you can simply perform as one asana at a time, but Ashtanga practice won’t let you stop before completing a series of asanas in an unremitting flow. This is vinyasa. To flow from one asana to the next makes the whole practice more vigorous, consequently, a greater heat generation within. Ashtanga is thus good for fast calorie burning and dynamic strength building. With the motion slow and focused, you can utilize Ashtanga to potentials of cardiovascular exercise as well. Hatha is more effective as a warm up, restorative workout, and relaxant.

Single Asana Observance and Ashtanga Vinyasa Flow

While Hatha lets you focus deeply upon the bends and flexes in each asana, in Ashtanga, it all passes in a blur. Ashtanga gets a little more complex when the instructor brings your attention to the synergy of movement and breath. Not only must you set your movements in a rhythm while Ashtanga Vinyasa, your breath must fall in curves too. To master synchronized breath-intensified asana movement, it is highly recommended to start your journey in yoga with Hatha first. After you have followed through the nuances of yoga breath and the importance of synchronizing yoga movement with pranayamic yoga breath in singular Hatha exercises, move to the more complex system of Ashtanga yoga.

Hatha Harmonization of the Sun and the Moon Energies and Ashtanga’s “Eight Limbs”

Hatha, translated literally is the coming together of the “sun” and the “moon”. Figuratively, this indicates a harmony or blend of different and oppositional forces. The coming together of the sun and the moon is an image of resolving conflicts and united energy in diversity. In case of the human body, it indicates a healthy system in which every unit is at par with others and is governed by a singular universal force. The main strategy of achieving such perfection is through asana observance. Hatha is thus a discipline with an objective which is same as one of the “limbs” of Ashtanga yoga, that being – asana.

Ashtanga, on the other hand, is an eight-fold path to the final stage of bliss. The “eight limbs” are:

Yama – This refers to moral restraints which prohibit the practitioner from adhering to any action or thought that disavows the commitment to universal love and brotherhood. The first limb concerns our relationship with the world, the people and our day to day interaction with them.

Niyama – This refers to our duties. Ashtanga yoga codifies a set of regulations and duties to which a practitioner must commit to. The duties concern one’s responsibility to the society, family, and individual selves.

Asana – The third step to the path to freedom is physical exercise. This is the main scope of concern in Hatha yoga and forms a part of Ashtanga discipline. To adapt one’s body to a steady and comfortable posture is the goal. It does not necessarily have to be a striking bend or an appealing headstand. Anything that sets the body at ease and aligns internal organs and the mind to their optimum efficiency is satisfactory.

Pranayama – Prana is the vital life force that flows through us and the universe around. It is often equated with breath and thus, by working with the way we breathe we can create a more progressive flow of prana. This limb of Ashtanga is an important part of Hatha exercises as well, where pranayamic breath is incorporated in all its asana movements.

Pratyahara – This limb of Ashtanga refers to sense withdrawal. Drawing inwardly from the distractions of sense perceptions help a meditative mind delve deeper into spiritual immersion.

Dharana – Dharana refers to focus and unwavering concentration, a part of the meditative practice.

Dhyana – This is meditation in the most absorbed state, a vital component of yoga common to all its stylistic forms

Samadhi – The final stage of bliss as the yogic goal comes after reorganizing our oppositions and contradictions within the self and outside in the world around.

Thus, Hatha and Ashtanga yoga are not different in their spiritual objective but appeals yogis of different temperaments. For a dedicated practitioner, an integrated learning approach combining the vital aspects of Ashtanga and Hatha will be ideal.

 

author: Manmohan (https://www.remedyspot.com)

Nadis: The Energy Rivers of Human Body

A student of the great Indian poet Kabir once asked him, “Kabir, where is God?” His answer was simple: “He is the breath within the breath.

” To understand the profound implications of Kabir’s reply, we need to look beyond the physical components of breath—the oxygen, carbon dioxide, and other molecules that stream in and out with our every inhalation and exhalation. Beyond this breath—yet within it—is prana, the universal vital energy that is quite literally the stuff of life.

For those of us who practice yoga, the challenge is to harness this energy so it can fuel our physical, mental, and spiritual development. To do this, we need to look deeply into the mysteries of the mind and the subtle body.

Fortunately, the early practitioners of Tantra voyaged into this inner landscape, mapping the many ways energy circulates within us. Among their most important discoveries were the Nadis, the vast network of energy channels that makes each individual an integrated, conscious, and vital whole.

The Sanskrit word Nadi derives from the root Nad, which means “flow,” “motion,” or “vibration.” The word itself suggests the fundamental nature of a  Nadi: to flow like water, finding the path of least resistance and nourishing everything in its path. The Nadis are our energetic irrigation system; in essence, they keep us alive.

kundalini

According to many Tantric texts, the human body contains 72,000 Nadis that channel prana to every cell. Some are wide and rushing; others are a mere trickle. When this system flows freely, we are vital and healthy; when it becomes weak or congested, we struggle with poor mental and physical health. The practices of hatha yoga are so effective because they strengthen the flow of prana in our bodies, invigorating the current so that it carries away obstructions that block the free flow of energy.

Because Nadis like the chakras (psychoenergetic power centers), prana, and other aspects of the subtle body—don’t show up under microscopes, medical science has relegated them to the realm of the merely metaphorical. But traditional yogis believe that the subtle body is real and that understanding it and working with it complement and counterbalance the emphasis on gross physical anatomy that predominates our current yoga culture.

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Night and Day

Three Nadis are of particular interest to yogis. The Sushumna (most gracious) Nadi is the body’s great river, running from the base of the spine to the crown of the head, passing through each of the seven chakras in its course.

It is the channel through which kundalini shakti (the latent serpent power) —and the higher spiritual consciousness it can fuel—rises up from its origin at the Muladhara (root) chakra to its true home at the Sahasrara (thousand-fold) chakra at the crown of the head. In subtle body terms, the Sushumna nadi is the path to enlightenment.

The ida (comfort) and Pingala (tawny) nadis spiral around the Sushumna nadi like the double helix of our DNA, crossing each other at every chakra. If you visualize the caduceus, the symbol of modern medicine, you’ll get a rough idea of the relationships among the ida, Pingala, and Sushumna nadis. Eventually, all three meet at the Ajna (command) chakra, midway between the eyebrows.

The Ida Nadi begins and ends on the left side of Sushumna. Ida is regarded as the lunar Nadi, cool and nurturing by nature, and is said to control all mental processes and the more feminine aspects of our personality. The color white is used to represent the subtle vibrational quality of Ida. Pingala, the solar Nadi, begins and ends to the right of Sushumna. It is warm and stimulating by nature, controls all vital somatic processes, and oversees the more masculine aspects of our personality. The vibrational quality of Pingala is represented by the color red.

nadi1

The interaction between Ida and Pingala corresponds to the internal dance between intuition and rationality, consciousness and vital power, and the right and left brain hemispheres. In everyday life, one of these Nadis is always dominant. Although this dominance alternates throughout the day, one nadi tends to be ascendant more often and for longer periods than the other. This results in personality, behavior, and health issues that can be called Ida-like or Pingala-like.

Ida-like individuals have lunar, or nurturing, qualities but may lack the verve to sustain a strong yoga practice. They are full of potential, but unless they develop their Pingala side may never manifest that potential in either worldly affairs or spiritual development. Pingala-like individuals have solar qualities: type A personalities, lots of creativity, abundant vitality. But unless they develop their Ida side, they may lack the quietude, introspection, and receptivity necessary to yield to the grace of spiritual awakening.

 

Creating Equilibrium

Bringing Ida and Pingala into equilibrium is a major focus of hatha yoga—so important, in fact, that the term Hatha symbolizes this balance. Although the word Hatha literally means “forceful” in Sanskrit, it is composed of ha and tha, two esoteric bija (seed) mantras that have arcane meaning and power.

He represents the solar qualities, the vital force, of Pingala; tha represents the mind and the lunar qualities of Ida. Balancing sun and moon, or Pingala and Ida, facilitates the awakening and arising of kundalini, and thus the awakening of higher consciousness. In fact, some yoga teachings hold that as long as either Ida or Pingala predominates, Sushumna stays closed and the power of kundalini lies dormant.

nadi2

The most powerful method of balancing ida and Pingala is Nadi Shodhana, alternate-nostril breathing. (Literally, the Sanskrit means “nadi cleansing.”) This practice is effective because the ida nadi is directly connected to the left nostril, and the Pingala nadi to the right.

A few rounds of this basic Pranayama technique at the end of an asana practice are an excellent way to help restore equilibrium between the two Nadis and to compensate for any imbalance you may have inadvertently caused during your practice.

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Coming into Balance

To practice Nadi Shodhana, sit in a comfortable meditative position. Make a fist with your right hand, then partially re-extend your ring and little fingers. Lightly place the pad of the thumb on your nose just to the right and below the bridge; lightly place the pads of your ring and little fingers on the corresponding flesh on the left side of your nose. Gently pressing with the ring and little fingers to close the left nostril, exhale fully through the right.

Then inhale fully through the right, close it with the thumb, release the left nostril, and exhale through it. Inhale through the left nostril, close it with the fingers, release the right nostril, and exhale through it. This completes one round of Nadi Shodhana.

In addition to using Nadi Shodhana, you can experiment with using the asanas themselves as a method of balancing ida and Pingala. At the beginning of a practice, sit and observe your breath to see which nostril—and, hence, which nadi—is dominant. (If you can’t tell, try a few rounds of alternate-nostril breathing—it should be immediately clear which side is freer and which feels more inhibited).

If the left nostril dominates, ida is in charge, and you might consider focusing your attention on invigorating asanas—such as backbends, standing poses, inversions, and twists—to engage the Pingala Nadi. If the right nostril dominates, the cooling, calming energy of seated poses and forward bends might be most beneficial.

You can also bring awareness of Ida and Pingala into any asana practice by pausing between poses to notice which nadi dominates your breathing. Notice your mind-states as well; you will find they closely correlate with which nadi is ascendant.

Are you agitated and active (Pingala-like) or calm and receptive (Ida-like)? Through this checking-in process, you can begin to identify which poses activate one nadi or the other, and which are particularly effective—for you, at least—in creating physical and emotional equilibrium. You’ll also be developing your awareness, deepening your practice, and clearing the way for your spiritual growth.

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*article from http://www.remedyspot.com /author Gopal Singh

 

Creation According to Hinduism

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The Material Creation
The material creation in its very first stage is called pradhana – the eternal, subtle, undifferentiated sum total of all material elements, the unmanifested eternal combination of the three modes of material nature.

Pradhana is sometimes also related to as saguna-Brahman, since it is basically Brahman but with the presence of the three modes of material nature. Nevertheless, these modes do not yet clearly manifest causes and effects (SB 3.26.10).

The pradhana contains the following 24 elements in a dormant state:

– 5 subtle elements (sound, touch, form-color, taste)
– 5 gross elements (ether, air, fire, water, earth)
– 5 knowledge aquiring senses (ears, skin, eyes, tongue, nose)
– 5 working senses (tongue-mouth, hands, legs, genital, anus)
– 4 internal, subtle senses (mind, intelligence, ego, contaminated consciousness)

Time is considered to be the 25th element; it is the mixing and agitating element. The Supreme Personality of Godhead can be perceived as time (SB 3.26.11-18).

The pradhana or saguna-Brahman becomes then agitated by the time factor which represents the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thus and by the influence of the three modes of material nature the creation comes to the level of mahat-tattva, or prakrti, where the elements actually can manifest themselves. The mahat-tattva is the breeding source of all varieties and brings forth all the different material bodies and material objects; it contains all the universes and is the root of all cosmic manifestations. The mahat-tattva is annihilated at the time of the annihilation, the end of Brahma’s life.

Next the Supreme Personality of Godhead impregnates the mahat-tattva with His internal potency which are the living entities. Agitated by the destinations of the contitioned souls the material nature, or mahat-tattva, delivers the cosmic intelligence (Hiranyamaya). The mahat-tattva is thus “lit up” by the sum total of the consciousness of all the conditioned souls (SB 3.26.19-20).

The Caturvyuha expansions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, namely Sri Vasudeva, Sri Aniruddha, Sri Pradyumna and Sri Sankarshana occur and take charge of various aspects of the material creation.

In the beginning pure goodness, the vasudeva stage of consciousness, prevails within the mahat-tattva. This point of creation is controlled by Sri Vasudeva, the Superknower. Due to the pure goodness the consciousness has the qualities of complete serenity, clarity and freedom from any distraction; one is free from the infringement by material desires. Therefore one can see a reflection of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and if one worships Sri Vasudeva one can come to the platform of pure goodness (suddha-sattva), thus understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead (SB 3.26.21).

Through the desire to enjoy and control seperately from Krishna, the misuse of independence by the living entities which are impregnated into the material nature, material ego or false ego is caused to spring up from the mahat-tattva in pure goodness. This false ego is endowed with active power of three kind – good (serene), passionate (active), ignorant (dull). From the false ego in different modes of material nature mind, senses, elements as well as all the other ingredients and objects of the material nature are produced. Therefore every object within the material creation is seen as identical with false ego since it has the false ego as its source. Sri Sankarshana controls that false ego and in order to become free from it one is adviced to worship Sri Sankarsana. He is worshipped through Lord Siva; the snakes which cover the body of Lord Shiva are representations of Sri Sankarsna, and Lord Shiva is always absorbed in meditation upon Sri Sankarshana (SB 3.26.23-24).

From the false ego in goodness come the controlling demigods as well as the mind. The mind has the quality of not being fixed; due to different kind of desires for sense gratification the mind rejects something as bad and accepts something else as good. The false ego in goodness is controlled by Sri Aniruddha. If one wants to get free from mental disturbances, one has to worship Sri Aniruddha. For this purpose, worship of the moon planet is also recommended in the Vedic literature (SB 3.26.26-27).

From the false ego in passion intelligence, living energy (prana), the five knowledge aquiring sense and the five working senses are created. Intelligence has five qualities: doubt, misapprehension, correct apprehension, memory and sleep. The function of intelligence is to ascertain the nature of an object and thus help the senses to make choices. The intelligence is supposed to control or guide the senses. By intelligence one can understand how things are and if intelligence is properly applied one’s consciousness becomes expanded. This begins with doubt, the first quality of intelligence. One doubts whether ones existence is spiritual or material. Doubt is a very important factor in developping intelligence, eventhough doubting is improper after receiving information from an authoritative source. Through proper analysis one then finds that things are different from what they seemed to be so far; thus misapprehension, the second quality of intelligence, is detected. Next, after eliminating the wrong understanding one can come to the proper conclusion; this is called correct apprehension, the third quality of intelligence. In this way by intelligence one can understands that one is not the body and one’s consciousness becomes expanded; expansion of consciousness culminates in pure Krishna-consciousness. Beyond the intelligence’s three qualities of doubt, misapprehension and correct apprehension there are also the qualities of memory and sleep. In order to keep the intelligence working properly one must sleep. For being fixed in one’s intelligence one has to worship Sri Pradyumna, who is reached through the worship of Lord Brahma.

Directly related to intelligence in their function are the knowledge acquiring senses which are: Ears, skin, eyes, nose and the tongue.

With the working senses action are performed; there are five working senses as well: Tongue (mouth, speaking), hands, legs, genitals and the anus.

Both, the knowledge acquiring senses and the working senses are depending on the living energy (vital energy, prana), which is also created from the false ego in the mode of passion. The more a person is influenced by the mode of passion the more he can accomplish and acquire. The Vedic scriptures recommend that if one wants to encourage a person in acquiring material possessions, one should also encourage him in sex life. Thus one can see that those who are addicted to sex life are also materially advanced. Sex life or passionate life is the impetus for the material advancement of civilization (SB 3.26.29).

From the false ego in ignorance the five subtle and gross elements, from whom all (perceivable) objects within the material world are made, become manifested; it is presided over by Sri Sankarsana. Therefore persons who are very dull and very much absorbed in the gross material world worship Lord Shiva who is connected with Sri Sankarsana, in order to obtain gross material sense objects. When the false ego in ignorance is agitated by the sex energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, first the subtle element sound is manifested. The original and very first sound within the creation is the omkara, “OM”, being the sound representation of the Supreme Personality’s Brahman aspect. From sound comes the gross element ether as well as the sense of hearing. Sound has the quality of conveying the idea of an object; therefore it is considered to be the subtle form of an object. Further sound indicates the presence of a speaker, eventually screened form our view, and it also constitutes the subtle form of ether (SB 3.26.32-33).

Ether has the qualities of accommodating the room for external and internal existences of all living entities, the field of activity of the vital air, the senses and the mind.

Ether means room or space, and it evolves from sound vibration. Thus form the original sound vibration “om” the room was created within which the manifestation of the gross elements like air, fire, water and earth (the universe) can take place. In general the ether or sky gives accommodation to the room which the various material bodies of the living entities need for their external and internal existence. The internal existence of a living entity in the material world comprises of vital air (prana), senses and the mind. These ingredients require for their functioning subtle forms which are invisible and rest within ether. In this way ehter accommodates the internal existence of the living entities within the material world. With external existence everything is meant that stands in relation with material objects which are external to the material body. By means of sound vibration, talking about a particular object, the subtle form of that object, which sound carries, is created within the mind. These subtle and invisible forms of material objects are given a room within the ether and this is called the external activity of ether. That within ether subtle, invisible forms of material sense objects can exist has been proven by modern science by transmission of television where forms as pictures are transmitted from one place to another by wireless means (SB 3.26.34). Thus it is seen that mental activities or psychological action in terms of thinking, feeling and willing are activities on the ethereal platform. This is very important in relation to the moment of death. On the basis of its reflections (which are influenced by sound vibrations) the mind generates desires for obtaining various sense objects. In fact these desires are unlimited and they all create subtle forms within ether. An of course, they all result in various bodies in order to enjoy these desired situations (desiring a sense object indirectly means desiring all the tools to enjoy it) which are accommodated in their subtle form within ether as well. In this way one can, and in fact by every minute’s desires one actually does create an unlimited number of bodies within the ether, all well equipped to become manifested on the gross level. At the moment when one particular body perishes the opportunity for one of all the subtle forms kept within ether arises to become manifested on the gross plane. This happens according to the level of contamination or desire which was most prominent within the mind at the moment of death. All this is described by Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita (8.5-8).

From the above it becomes clear that the evolution of various material elements is not something that takes place only once, at the moment of creation. The description of the primary creation is rather a general scheme by which matter is manifested in general, at the moment when creation starts as well as at any stage of the existence of the material manifestation. The difference is, however, that at the beginning of creation the sum total of each element was taken from a dormant state, the pradhana, and made available by the direction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whereas later, when the living entities “create” while pursuing various desires they simply receive supplies from that sum total of the material elements.

From ethereal existence, under the influence of time, the subtle element touch and thence air and the sense of touch become manifested.

After creating subtle forms in the mind which are accommodated in the ether, time separates us from the manifestation of gross forms which we can touch. By the influence of the mode of passion, which is related to air (movement), we endeavor to manifest the form on the gross level. Our sense of proprietorship over action (passion) is due to the activity of air within the material body. Consequently, we will “get in touch” with the gross form of what now is a wishful thought in the mind in due course of time.