There are various ways people may experience and model the structure of creation, also known as nature or Prakriti. Recently, there have been several insights that allowed integrating some models. First, I’ll explore some models, then I’ll show the chart.
On the broadest level, you have:
– local or personal experience
– shared, collective, or universal values common across this universe
– cosmic values that are creation-wide
– Divine layers that are totally inclusive
The model I use most commonly on this site is the kosha or sheath model. This starts with the physical body and steps back through 7 primary layers into our origins in consciousness. This is like Russian nested dolls but starts with the innermost one. It starts with our surface experience rather than the source. In brief, the 7 koshas are: physical, energy/ emotions, mind, intellect, bliss/ causal, flow, and consciousness itself. Brahman and ParaBrahman are beyond the koshas.
The 7 primary chakras or energy centers in the body run up the spine. They reside in the causal (universal) through energy bodies, appearing differently in each layer. Each chakra primarily supports a corresponding kosha even though they function on fewer levels.
Jyotish or Vedic astrology associates the various “planets” with the chakras and thus the koshas.
I can also note that the sequence aligns with the solar zodiac rulerships if you follow them around the chart, starting with Aquarius at the root. When you reach the sun, you return back down the higher octave chakras (the 12 chakra model). They continue to align if you skip the moon as it only rules one sign. Some models put both the Sun and Moon at the 6th chakra for the 2 petals, viewing the crown as transcendent. If you looped across them at the 6th, then it would align exactly.
Did you know that how we measure space and time arises almost entirely out of astrology? 12 hours on a clock, 360 degrees on a compass (both zodiac), 7 days in a week (Saturnday, Sunday, Moonday), 12 months in a year (names edited a few times), and so on.
The Vedic tradition has 6 systems of philosophy to handle the perspectives of each stage of unfolding. Samkhya lists fundamental quantities that make up our subjective and objective experience. It begins with a dualistic purusha and prakriti, cosmic spirit (observer) and nature. Like Shiva and Shakti, they represent a fundamental polarity of subject and object at the foundation of our world experience.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi used a simplified version with 8 “prakritis” or fundamental qualities.
Five of them are the basic qualities of the world, the 5 elements: earth, water, fire, air, and space.
Three of them are about the structure of the personal experiencer: intellect, mind, and the intellect distinguishing self from other as the ego or I-sense. These overlap with the elements when comparing to a kosha model because the driver of the mind is the 3rd chakra and fire, the intellect the 4th and air.
A blend of these principles gives rise to the objects of the world, the means of experiencing them, and the vehicle of the experiencer.
The first 8 Prakritis cover the personal, collective, and universal arenas.
There is a second 8 known as paraprakriti that overlaps the universal and covers the cosmic. This brings out more detail in the sub-layers of the 6th kosha.
And finally, there is a Divine set that overlaps the cosmic and into the Divine. These are Divine qualities, prior to nature.
Update: Note that the values of Prakriti are expressed. The values of ParaPrakriti are flavours that are only expressed in the cosmic, in consciousness. They set the stage but are not manifest. The values of the Divine are qualities that seed consciousness, a bit more than alertness and liveliness.
Update 2: I made the mistake of applying principles upward, nature to Divinity. It’s the other way around as I outlined on Structure of Divinity.
Intelligence, Alertness, & Liveliness become self-aware consciousness.
Self-aware consciousness > space, Love > air / Intellect > ego, Power > fire / mind, Action > water, Being > earth
The reason for the overlap is what I refer to as nested spaces. Each set covers the nature of that space. Also, the subject/ object overlap I mentioned above. When this is seen, the values of prakriti align with the kosha model.
|Anna-||food body, physical||root||Saturn||earth|
|Vijnana-||intellect, intuition||heart||Venus||air||intellect, ego||para-earth|
|Ananda-||bliss, celestial, causal||throat||Mercury||space||Para-water|
|Chitta-||flow, cosmic mind||3rd eye||Moon||Para-fire||Para-mind|
|structure of creation||Para-air||Para-intellect/ ego||Being|
|space of consciousness||Para-space||Action|
|Atma-||cosmic Self, consciousness||crown||Sun||Rishi, Devata, Chhandas||Power||D-Mind|
|(beyond)||Love||D-Intellect, cosmic personality/ Krishna|
Vyasa composed the Rig Veda in 10 Mandalas or books. Maharishi spoke of how the first was about Prakriti as a whole, then each of the 8 prakritis were assigned to Mandalas 2-9, then Brahman to the 10th mandala.
With the overlapping prakritis, you end up with almost 10 rows that almost align with this model. I’ve not researched this further.
The 19 Enclosures
There’s another value that I didn’t try to align because it was a loka, not creation itself. In the Shrimad Devi Bhagavatum, the Divine mother Gayatri’s abode in Sarva loka is described in some detail.
Because it’s a loka or world and surrounded by an ocean, it’s likely a heaven in the bliss body or perhaps structured in consciousness. (I’ve not experienced this.) Lorn Hoff observed that if you “stack” the first 8 prakritis, then the 8 paraprakritis, and then the 3 aspects of consciousness (8+8+3), they align with the 19 enclosures. The first 8 enclosures have metal walls, then the next 8 have walls made of gems, then the final 3 are things like “gems of mind and consciousness.” I’ve not taken this correspondence further, but this would be a specific space that mirrors the space of creation (or inversely, creation reflects this loka).
The Kosha model doesn’t cover the whole territory, but I still prefer it to the prakriti model. It’s based on our personal experience rather than abstract principles around us.