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Spiritual Inquiries, Initiatives: The Human Consciousness

Aug 30, 2007 06:20 AM
by saidevotee

As you read this line, you are conscious of it. When you 
sleep you are not conscious. When you have fainted for some 
reason, you become unconscious. Sometimes you remember 
something suddenly that came up from your subconscious. So 
what is Consciousness?

Consciousness is essentially awareness. Who has this 
awareness? The human soul. So Consciousness is the very 
Atma, Self or Soul itself. Now Atma or Soul is pure energy 
and has its origin in Brahman, the One God. This Atma is now 
embodied in a human body and it activates the body which has 
external and internal senses. These senses are there to 
experience the world within the limits of the current life 
of the Atma.

So the Shakti or the power or energy of Consciousness is 
channelized right down to the senses to experience the 
world. All these senses have three primary channels at their 
root from which these other channels branch off, as with the 
human nervous system. The three primary channels through 
which Consciousness or the Atma expresses itself and flows 
through are the WILL, WISDOM and ACTIVITY.

The Will, Wisdom and Activity are the three root Shaktis or 
powers of a human soul. The Will is the IcchA Shakti or the 
power of Desire, Wisdom is the JnAna Shakti or the power of 
knowledge and Activity is the KriyA Shakti or the power of 
creation. (In Sanskrit terms, as you are aware, any 
captilized letter after the first letter represents the 
longer vowels, A for aa, ah, au and so on. Incidentally, the 
English term 'itch' perhaps has its root in this term IcchA 
and 'create' has its root in KriyA).

All your activities comprise these three Shaktis: desire, 
knowledge and action. And the right combinations of them 
decide whether what you do is good or bad, spiritually 
helpful or not, and whether you are applying your 
Consciousness to your benefit or not. It may not be exactly 
an yes-or-no situation, but it certainly is a more-or-less 

This more-or-less situation arises when you don't properly 
employ or apply your Consciousness using all these three 
channels: desire, knowledge, action. There are situations 
where these three channels are not employed in full. Using 
the numbers 0 and 1 for yes and no, and representing them in 
the order d(esire)-k(nowledge)-a(ction) you have these eight 

0-0-0, 0-0-1, 0-1-0, 0-1-1, 1-0-0, 1-0-1, 1-1-0, 1-1-1 or
0-0-0, 0-0-a, 0-k-0, 0-k-a, d-0=0, d-0-a, d-k-0, d-k-a

Notice that only in the last case you have full application 
of the three channels. The first case is what you experience 
in your deep sleep. The other cases arise in your wakeful 
and dream states of life.

What are the results of these partial combinations? That 
depends on the life and situation an Atma is placed in its 
current birth. And then there is the question of Right or 
Wrong. How do you know the right and wrong of a combination? 
It is right if it helps you to grow spiritually, wrong if it 
does not. But then it need not be this rigid as right and 
wrong; it is actually a case of more or less.

Why should you grow and mature spiritually just as you grow 
and mature physically? It is in the very nature of Atma to 
get back to its Source, just like a waterfall gushes into a 
river and traces its way down to the ocean. The very purpose 
of human birth is to experience the world, get the knowledge 
and grow spiritually.

Is material life totally wrong then? No, not at all, until 
you have the three basic necessities of life (bread, clothes 
and house) fulfilled for you and your family members who are 
dependent on you. These three basic necessities are like 
potholes in a riverbed. Once they are full, the river must 
flow through towards the ocean. Dig them deep with your 
desire and ambition, the river gets stuck and stagnates and 
only trickles towards the ocean.

Once you have the potholes filled up in your waking life, 
think about your dream life. Dreams are channels of action 
for desires that are not fulfilled in waking life. They are 
great indicators for the scum that has accumulated on the 
Soul. The way to clean the scum are through thinking, 
meditating and praying--in other words, increasing the 
amount of Wisdom.

If you had noticed, the Will and Activity are closely 
coupled. Wisdom always lurks behind the scenes. The Will is 
the freest of the three, hence the faculty of Freewill, 
which is the desire towards anything. Activity follows 
Freewill but is far more restricted than the Freewill. But 
then Activity flows through three channels: Mano, VAkku, 
KAyam (mind, word and deed). The right admixure of Wisdom 
with Will and Activity creates situations that help 
spiritual growth.

How are the three channels of Will-Wisdom-Activity connected 
to Brahman, the One God? Since the human Atma is essentially 
Brahman, they always stay connected. Right combinations of 
them reveal the underlying, self-luminous Brahman and help 
us realize our Self. Improper or inadequate combinations 
create layers of scum over the underlying Brahman and cloud 
its self-luminosity.

Just like the human consciousness, Brahman's Cosmic 
Consciousness manifests in three channels: IcchA Shakti or 
Will, JnAna Shakti or Wisdom and KriyA Shakti or Activity. 
These three Shaktis are represented by the Trinity 
Shiva-Vishnu-Brahma in Hinduism, and Father-Son-Holy Spirit 
in Christianity. Since the entire Trinity (not just the Holy 
Spirit) is always with us, we can set up our own ways to 
seek their help and guidance: through service, prayer or 
meditation--practically a combination of the three (to be on 
the safe side!).

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