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"What is my life if I am no longer useful to others"

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer & politician

The link between Microcosm and Macrocosm

By Sharda ten Hove - Extracts from the book YOGA by Hari Prasad Shastri on 28 January 2013

The universe that we now live in, and which is only one of a large number of universes which have been created in the past and are still to be created, comes into manifestation, remains in existence for a certain period, and will then be withdrawn into the undifferentiated state of Maya which may be likened to the cosmic causal body of the Supreme Reality.

On the same pattern, an individual’s mental activity starts at the beginning of the day and continues until the evening, when it is once more absorbed in the causal body during dreamless sleep. Again, the rise of a single thought, it’s retention by the mind for a short time, and it’s eventual fall back into the subconscious is the same process working on a yet smaller scale.

The three Gunas
Running through microcosm and macrocosm, like the threads of which a cloth is woven, are the three ‘constituents’ (Gunas) of Maya, known as sattva, rajas and tamas.

Rajas guna typifies activity in all it’s forms whereas tamas demonstrates the opposite tendency of inertia. Sattva guna stands for balance, purity, light and peace.
Everything in the world, material and psychological, inner and outer, is pervaded by the gunas and can be classified according to the predominating guna.

The following table illustrates the manifestation of the three gunas in the outer world and in the inner world of the mind:

EXTERNAL WORLD
Sattva                                                                
Light                                                                                                          
Balance                                                                                                  
Order
Rajas    
Life
Force
Movement
Tamas
Darkness
Mass
Inertia
INTERNAL WORLD
Sattva
Happiness
Equanimity
Balanced
Judgement
Rajas
Desire
Restlessness
Passion
Tamas
Fear
Laziness
Stupidity
                                                                                                                                             
The state of society and international relations simply reflect the inner condition of man. Wars and strife are the externalization of inner conflicts. Thus the betterment of society and the maintenance of peace between nations, according to Yoga, depend less upon economic and political movements than upon men establishing inner harmony in their minds by the cultivation of sattva, in other words by first becoming “at peace with themselves”.

Hari Prasad Shastri (1882-1956) was born into a Brahmin family at Bareilly in the United Provinces of India. He received a traditional Indian education, distinguishing himself as a Sanskrit scholar and finishing his studies at Varanasi (Benares) University. He later became well-versed in English literature, history and philosophy and also studied Persian, Chinese and Japanese literature.