On Purusha

On Purusha

Bricks by R Barraez D´Lucca
Bricks by R Barraez D´Lucca

One thing I’ve not much related to is the term “Purusha.” In the philosophy of Samkhya, Purusha and Prakriti (nature) are seen as the fundamental dual reality from which all arises. This is like a subject-object polarity.

Purusha and prakriti are not really separate. More like 2 sides of a coin.

Some equate the word Purusha with consciousness, but its use has changed over time. Cosmic being, Vishnu, and spirit are other definitions.

Recently, a bit of shadow cleared and some insight resulted.

The central purusha is the cosmic body which can indeed be equated with Vishnu, the sustainer. I’d use the term “maha purusha” there, the great purusha.

Each of us also has our own purusha or existence prior to form.

We can describe purusha as a diffuse, subtle body that is a template or framework that holds our specific emphasis of laws of nature (our prakriti) and some of our deeper shadows. This then drives our thoughts, emotions, and desires.

Our local purusha would reside at the base of the Vijnanamaya kosha where form is structured. This is just above the bliss body.

This is why I didn’t relate to purusha as equivalent to consciousness, which is deeper. Even the maha purusha is in the field of creation, a step more expressed than consciousness itself.

Fundamentally, we’re working to clear or purify the impediments so our template can clearly express and we can easily fulfil our purpose.

The higher laws of nature or beings of light work mainly in the collective, supporting us through their connections to and emphasis in our purusha.

The more problematic ones use shadow, a hiding value, to obscure the light and favour qualities they prefer. They work more locally and specifically, perhaps favouring anger, fear, or anxiety. They work to encourage the energy (emotional) environment that suits them.

This doesn’t mean we’re victims. It means if we choose to favour the light, light can support us. If we invest in the heavier emotions, there are other laws that will do their best to support that too.

We want to allow all emotions that arise and encourage healthy expression. But what do we favour and invest in? Do we go into our story of suffering or look above the challenges?

When we clear enough shadow, the higher values can express more smoothly. First, we can embody sattva, bringing out a cleaner value of our purusha, our laws of nature. Then we can flow the cosmic body, a shared maha purusha. We may come to know the maha deva form or purusha of key laws of nature. Finally, we can embody the Divine.

How clean do you keep your purusha? 🙂

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  1. I’ve mentioned before that I know a couple of people who can see the birth chart, DNA, and chakras of people. This relates to the laws of nature structured in the purusha.

    For example, we can recognize the specific benefits of our moment and place of birth, then the current cycles of time interacting with those laws. That aspect of the purusha is like a planetarium, only in all directions. Inner chart, outer cycles of time.

  2. Eira

    If I may ask, does this relate to Dharma? To fulfill our purpose here? My old (and quite simplistic) understanding of Dharma was that it meant purpose, but i see it is much more comprehensive than such. Your explanation on Purusha seems like it’s on a more refined concept than Dharma, or do I misunderstand?

    Also, on allowing all emotion and healthy expression of such as they show up, yet being aware of what’s our choice of focus, without mood making…
    I tend to compare it to a satellite of sorts travelling through space; when we encounter a gravitational body (e.g. strong emotion, hard nut of the past) that affects our course, do we allow ourselves to be drawn in and succumb to the gravitational field to impact on the surface, or adjust our course/focus appropriately to a tangential path around that body, and use the gravitational pull to accelerate our path, curve around and eventually letting ourself let go of that particular influence?
    Granted, the G-forces in the middle of that curve can be pretty jarring, and keeping a strong enough grip on the controls to keep focus may be tricky when the ego comes up with all sorts of reasons to give in. And good heavens, that ego can get creative!
    Of course staying on track with a decent daily routine seems to reduce the turbulence.
    Anyway, it’s one way I try to see it. Trying to clean my Purusha, if I understood your post correctly. 🙂

    1. Hi Eira
      Yes. I touch on this in the related prior article, Gaining Abilities. Dharma fundamentally means ‘that which sustains’, those actions which keep things going so life can unfold. This is related to purpose but does indeed go deeper.

      We could say purusha holds the structure for dharma to be expressed through. And in another way, that structure is itself dharma.

      It is a bit of a dance – allowing but not encouraging. It’s also an ongoing leaning process as there’s always some manipulation going on when a person is trying to control something. Some of those habits die slowly post-awakening too. Perhaps some control of the steering needed while other forces of control are still in play. Allowing without making (a mood) can be a fine line.

      The G-forces are akin to our degree of attachment. As that softens, the pull is less, however big the mass. We become transparent to gravity, so to speak. 🙂

      Yes, the trickster. When i became conscious of just how devious the ego was, trying to maintain control, I was appalled. It was even using memories of spiritual experience to pretend to be consciousness, creating conflict with itself as a distraction from clear seeing. Happily, it wasn’t necessary to untangle all that directly. Just transcend it enough that consciousness itself overshadowed it.

      Yes, a good routine, without forcing, is good. Some stability. Helps with dharma. 🙂

      1. Eira

        Thank you Davidyaji, that was very helpful; that one could say Purusha holds the structure through which Dharma expresses was a good clarification. I did read the Gaining Abilities post, and enjoyed the Sci-Fi angle on enlivening the laws of nature in our development. Thus manifesting our Purusha if I got it right.

        I really appreciated your thought on the trickster, and the various ways it exerts its influence, perhaps most insidious when it is fair-spoken! “Oh this is an experience of sustained witnessing, what a good little spiritual practitioner I am” did make me smirk when I spotted it. Had a period of overthinking that particular issue but your point on simply transcending it until the light of consciousness dissolves it, rather than give it more attention, was exactly what I needed to hear to let it go.
        Thank you _/\_

        1. Right, Eira. We could say more fully manifesting our purusha.

          (laughs) Yep. In my case it was more “What a confused practitioner you are, you’re not qualified to witness.” Although nature had a hand in that too, to ensure I didn’t get too full of it. 🙂

          You’re very welcome.

  3. Harrison

    love the line that, “Fundamentally, we’re working to clear or purify the impediments so our template can clearly express and we can easily fulfil our purpose.” I’ve heard the expression about our “orginal blueprint” and how that gets altered through stress induced by trauma. I believe our adaptation to that stress can be described as a schema – a sort of unconscious set of beliefs and energetic impressions that structures our reality, especially reoccuring patterns.
    Clearing this and getting back to our orginal blueprint or template or Purusha that can fully express the life supportive laws of nature is a top down and bottom up endevaor. Top down through the super-conscious work of darshan and meditation, prayer and attunement. Bottom up through raising to awareness and clearing those subconscious impressions and loyalties that have such a binding affect. Funny, how those hidden or masked parts of ourselves can be our worst enemy but also hold the potential to be a friend if we own up to them and their real motives.

    1. Hi Harrison
      Well, it’s not so much that it gets altered but that it gains impediments to it’s clean expression. The original is subtle enough to be untainted. Those impediments include trauma but also subtle things like “I must”, identifications, and habitual resistance. So yes, we can be said to add overlays or schema. Some people spend much of their life trying to be something others expected of them rather than what they are.

      We also come in with a plan to deal with some of this stuff through a kind of schedule of karmic unfolding, synced to collective cycles.

      Yes, well put. We can literally experience it that way too, with purifying flows moving top down and bottom up. And yes, our disowned parts can be such a burden until we allow them to be as they are. Crying for men comes to mind. Such a challenge to avoid until we don’t. Then it can be such a vehicle for relief. (laughs)

  4. Harrison Snow

    Thanks for clairying this point about altered verus overlaid. Perhaps our process is in gaining enough clarity of consciousness to see the overlays and know they are just old impressions. This takes me back to the ancient practices of self-inquiry and discrmination – self or nonself – what is showing up? What do I allow myself to identifiy with? Where is the place within that can observe the inner drama with dispassion, non attachment and compassion? And at the same time manage to not get entangled more deeply through resistance and overwhelm. This strikes me as the “razors edge” that many of us are walking as we seek to be established in non-duality.

    1. Hi Harrison
      Yes, become conscious of them. That may include seeing or feeling or hearing. Yes, these can be valuable tools. But we also have to discriminate between mind and intellect and emotions. We can’t use the mind to process emotions. Discrimination helps in recognizing what is arising but then we allow.

      When the observer is established enough, we don’t have to ask where we can observe from. It’s simply the natural state. The default. But the shift can kick up a lot of baggage that overshadows that a bit. Then yes, we refer back to it.

      At first, it is a razors edge, a fine line of discrimination. There is being conscious of vs investing in, there is allowing vs wallowing, discriminating vs controlling, noticing vs managing, and so forth. A lot of old habits to be made conscious and released. But as we relearn how to be, it all becomes natural and we rarely need a “doing”. 🙂

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