In the primordial phase of creation, the three attributional principles of the Cosmic force of creation evolve countless geometric figures which all eventually get transformed into triangles of forces (gunatrikona in Sanskrit):
Trigunátmiká srst´imátrká ashesátrikona dhárá.
“Whenever there are more than three forces operating, the tendency is invariably to form a stable triangular figure.”
As long as this triangle of forces or gunayantraka is in a balanced state, the sentient is converted into mutative, the mutative into static, and the static into sentient. This process of mutual conversion has been going on endlessly.
Due to this homomorphic conversion, the balance of the triangle of forces is maintained. But in this process of constant metamorphosis, a stage comes when, due to the pressure of the static force of creation, the balance of the triangle is lost and the process of creation begins through one of its vertices: there ensues in the flow of creation a manifested triangle (lokatrikona). Human existence is trifarious – physical, psychic and spiritual. These three aspects give rise to a balanced triangle (pramátrikona) or manifested triangle in individual entities as well as in the collective body.
Now, what is the actual meaning of pramá? The word pramá is derived as the root má prefixed by pra and suffixed by d´a and t´á. The meaning of the root verb má is “to measure”, “to fathom”. So the etymological meaning of pramá is “balance”. In English the two words “equilibrium” and “equipoise” are used in this sense, but there is some practical difference between these two words. “Equilibrium” is used in the sense of balance in physical strength and “equipoise” is used in the sense of balance in weight. Suppose there is a tug-of-war between two parties. If both the parties are equally strong, neither party is able to pull the other party towards itself; that is, there is a physical equilibrium between the two parties. Take another case. Suppose there is a weight of one kilo on one side of a scale and on the other side there is one kilo of brinjal. As there is equality of weight on both sides, the scale is evenly balanced. This balanced state in weight is called “equipoise”. Equilibrium and equipoise are collectively known as pramá.
Just as balance (pramá) is indispensable in individual life, it is indispensable in collective life. The superiority or excellence of the social structure, culture or civilization of a community of people is derived from the degree of pramá which that community attains in its individual and collective life. It is somewhat strange that although human beings came onto the earth about a million years ago, and although human civilization started about fifteen thousand years ago, human beings could not bring about perfect balance or pramá in the three spheres of individual and collective life. And what is even more strange is that they did not even feel the necessity of establishing this pramá in individual and collective life.
For instance, though the western world has made some material progress and tried to bring about a certain degree of pramá in the physical sphere, in the past no sincere effort was made to establish pramá in the spiritual sphere, nor is such effort being made to do this even today. Of course, it made some effort to bring about pramá in the psychic sphere by bringing about some intellectual development. India is the only country in the world where at least some attempt was made to introduce pramá in the spiritual sphere, but it did not reach the state of perfection. Like the West, India also made some attempt to establish pramá in the psychic sphere, but that attempt was not remarkably successful.
If we analyse the history of different communities of people of the world, we notice that despite their tremendous physical, psychic and spiritual potentialities, they did not utilize the opportunity they had to establish pramá in individual and collective life. This was due to their defective ideas and practices and their faulty social and economic systems. They were not able to strengthen human society by developing different branches of knowledge, by evolving culture and civilization, or by bringing about intellectual and spiritual advancement. In the absence of pramá, they could not make the fullest possible contribution to human society by developing different branches of human knowledge, uplifting the standard of culture and civilization, and raising the level of intellect and intuition.
Lack of Pramá in the Physical Sphere
Nature has been bountiful to each and every region of the world, and has endowed us with enormous wealth both on and under the surface of the earth. In fact, different areas of the world are full of agricultural, mineral, aquatic, medicinal and forest resources, yet in many economic regions of the world there is utmost poverty, a low standard of living, and cultural and industrial backwardness. As a result, with the curse of the acute scarcity of food, clothes and accommodation, as well as lack of educational facilities, even today in the twentieth century when material science claims to have made rapid progress, millions of people are fighting for their physical survival. Due to the blessings of nature, there is no shortage of physical resources in any economic region. But due to the lack of benevolent propensities, those materials have not been utilized for social and economic development. Consequently, the people’s basic physical necessities (food, clothes, accomodation, medical treatment and education) could not be met. Obviously, there is a gross lack of pramá in the physical sphere.
Let us take the case of Rárh – the starting-point of human civilization. Nature has provided the hilly land of Rárh with enormous resources. In the different strata of old hard rock there are gold, silver, copper, mercury, mica, manganese and many other minerals. There are large deposits of quartz and various types of other valuable minerals in the stratum of hard igneous rock. There is good quality coal and sand in the strata of ancient alluvial rock and dead rock. Western Rárh is rich in mineral wealth. The soil of eastern Rárh, having been formed from the seabed, is comparatively new. There is a great possibility that mineral ore may be extracted from it, especially in those areas which were covered by a sargasso sea in ancient times.
Eastern Rárh is as rich in surface wealth as western Rárh is rich in underground wealth. The sort of rich fertile land we find in Burdwan, Hooghly, Howrah, eastern Midnapore and Kandi subdivision is extremely rare in the world. The reason is that the rivers of Rárh such as the Damodar, Ajay, Mayuraksi, Kangsavati, Suvarnarekha, Vakreshwar, Kopai, Shilavati and Hinglo have carried alluvial soil enriched with calcium and various mineral resources to eastern Rárh and made the surface of the land very rich, as precious as gold. In that fertile soil there can be bumper harvests of paddy, wheat, sugar cane, pulses, cotton, mulberry and non-mulberry silk, and many other agricultural products. The laterite soil of Rárh is so rich with calcium that good-quality apples, pears, oranges, papayas, guavas, grapes, custard-apples and many other fruits can be grown in abundance. By introducing various kinds of irrigation systems (small-scale irrigation, lift irrigation, excavation of tanks, etc.), efforts may be made to grow orchards and to cultivate three crops of rice in a year (early autumn, winter and summer). On the basis of the tremendous potentiality for agricultural production, numerous agrico-industries and agro-industries could be established in Rárh, but unfortunately this potentiality has not been tapped so far. The forests of Rárh are also full of resources. They have an abundance of sal [Shorea robusta Gaertn. f.], piyasal [Pterocarpus marsupium Roxb.], hizal [Barringtonia acutangula Gaertn.], palásh [Butea frondosa Koenig-ex Roxb.], ashok [Saraca indica Linn.], kusum [Schleichera trijuga Willd.], jám [Eugenia jambolana Linn.], jackfruit and other trees.
So although there are enormous natural resources of various types in Rárh, its people are undernourished, half naked, poorly accommodated, illiterate and ridden with disease. Had the economic planning of the country been based on the principle of pramá, the social and economic picture of Rárh would be completely different from what it is now.
There is another economic region, the adjacent state of Orissa, which is equally rich in natural resources, and yet equally poor. The economic potential of Orissa, abundant in tremendous agricultural, mineral and forest resources like Rárh, is very bright. On its long coastal belt there is immense potential for starting large numbers of farms and factories. There are also good prospects for the growth of the iron and steel industries and the shipbuilding industry, for the port industry, and for the generation of tidal electricity. Moreover, on the basis of the agricultural resources of Orissa, thousands of agro-industries and agrico-industries can be started. But due to the absence of any social and economic planning based on pramá in this region, a large percentage of the people of Orissa are living in abject poverty.
Why should we single out only Rárh and Orissa? Almost all the countries of the world are faced with nearly the same sort of economic crises due to a lack of pramá.
Lack of Pramá in the Psychic Sphere
The human mind has two main functions: thinking and recollecting. The human being is predominantly a mental being. So the greatness and excellence of human beings lies in their thinking capacity, intellectual subtlety and brilliance, and wisdom. Human beings, in the process of expressing their creative faculties, externalize the colourful and varied ideas of their psychic world in a variety of ways: on canvas with colours and brushes, in poetry and literature with the strokes of their pens, and in sculpture with the subtle use of hammers and chisels. Their philosophical ideas, their scientific observations and experiments, and the study and analysis of various branches of knowledge are exclusively within the psychic preserve of the human mind, and have been honoured as the golden harvest of the psychic realm. But if there is a lack of pramá in the psychic sphere, then many omissional and commissional mistakes and defects are bound to enter into their art, architecture, literature, philosophy, science and other branches of human knowledge. Dance may lose its rhythm, painting may lack proportion, music may lose the harmony of its melody and rhythm, and in the various branches of literature there may be an overgrowth of the parasitic weeds of immature expression.
Suppose a painter is drawing a picture of a small pond. The pond is full of beautiful transparent water upon which sits a full-blossomed lotus. Suppose the pond occupies a square inch of space, whereas the petals of the lotus occupy two square inches of space. In this case the painter has clearly lost the basic sense of proportion and artistic balance, has violated the principle of pramá in the creation of art. Naturally, in the absence of pramá, artistic creation cannot be symmetrical or systematic.
Let us take the case of poetry. Successful poetry is a balanced blending of idea, language, metre and expressional beauty. But if a poet has only a flair for language and depth of ideas and is not skilled in metrical rhythm or cannot introduce subtle beauty into his or her composition, then the poetry will suffer from lack of pramá. Poetry devoid of pramá cannot attain the height of success.
Similarly, song is the inner blending of idea, language, melody and rhythm. In the absence of any of the four, pramá will be lost and the song will lose its charm and beauty. It will be nothing but a random composition, a few lines of lifeless words.
Philosophy began in the distant past in an effort to understand the mysteries of creation. Various scholars in different branches of human knowledge established various schools of philosophy in different ages. Some of these philosophies were idealistic, some were materialistic. What is the purpose of philosophy? The purpose is to discover the unmistakeable link between the Creator and the creation. But philosophers, in spite of their sincere efforts, have not yet been able to build a bridge between the relative world and the absolute world. It seems philosophy has lost its way in a labyrinth of metaphysics. The defective conclusions of philosophers have made respective schools of philosophy merely dogmatic intellectual extravaganza. Regarding these kinds of philosophies, Lord Shiva said:
“They are the cause of psychic diseases.”
Lack of Pramá in the Spiritual Sphere
The main purpose of spirituality is to discover Paramashiva who is lying quiescent in every human existence, and to establish oneness between the Macrocosm and microcosms, between the Cosmic Being and human beings, between Paramátma and jiivátmá.
Very often, ignorant of real spirituality and goaded by religious dogma, people undertake long and hazardous journeys to places of pilgrimage, sometimes even selling their earthly possessions such as houses and cultivable land to make the trip possible. They hope to attain virtue by taking a holy dip in sacred rivers. Needless to say this not only causes a loss of energy, time and money, but also causes much trouble and brings no spiritual gain. This is one of the glaring examples of lack of pramá in the spiritual sphere.
Pramá Sam’vrddhi, Pramá Rddhi and Pramá Siddhi
It has already been said that the importance of pramá in all three phases of human existence is tremendous. Physical progress is deeply associated with the psychic and spiritual development of human beings. When the balanced state of material development, having reached a supreme height, maintains proper adjustment with the psychic and spiritual elevation of individuals and the collectivity, it is called pramá sam’vrddhi.
Similarly, pramá rddhi occurs when the balanced psychic stratum attains the peak of progress and maintains adjustment with the material and spiritual progress of individuals and the collectivity. In this state of pramá rddhi, the ectoplasmic stuff of the mind gets powdered down. It develops not only in mass and volume, but moves forward towards the pinnacled intellect (agryábuddhi), while maintaining psychic adjustment, in order to attain sharp penetration of the mind.
Finally, pramá siddhi is a state in which the mind, having transcended the psycho-spiritual stratum, attains a pinnacled state and absolute equilibrium in spiritual progress, and at the same time maintains an adjustment with the physical and psychic development of individuals and the collectivity.
Manifested Triangle and the Stages of Derangement, Disruption and Degeneration
Manifested triangle (lokatrikona or pramátrikona) of the three forces of creation — sentient, dynamic and static — of individuals and the collectivity is attained in the physical, psychic and spiritual spheres. In the flow of evolution, such manifested triangle occurs at the first phase of creation emanating from the first expression of Supreme Consciousness.
In the first phase there is balance in the manifested triangle of individuals, but in subsequent stages, due to the influence of time, space and person and the clash of propensities, the balance of the triangle gets lost. This state of loss of balance in the manifested triangle is called “the stage of derangement”.
If at this stage the lost pramá is re-established, well and good. If it is not re-established, the manifested triangle degenerates and enters the stage of disruption. If people fail to counteract this trend of downward movement, the manifested triangle further descends to the stage of degeneration.
Human society today has reached the stage of degeneration and, as a result, is lost in the wilderness of economic bankruptcy, social unrest, cultural degeneration and religious superstition.
Once the society reaches the state of degeneration, the balance in the manifested triangle cannot be immediately restored. Rather, society will have to be lifted up step by step from the stage of degeneration to the stage of disruption, and then from the stage of disruption to the stage of derangement; and in the final stage balance in the triangle will have to be established. Although all three aspects of life – physical, psychic and spiritual – carry equal significance, the physical stage should be given greater importance in the initial stage. If pramá is lost in the physical sphere, the antisocial elements will have the upper hand in society. They will pollute the entire social environment. Consequently, pramá in the mental and spiritual spheres will be lost, and the mental condition will further degenerate. So, the establishment of a balanced triangle in the physical sphere is the foremost necessity.
Now the question is, what should be done to restore order in the manifested triangle? First, we must divide each stratum into various substrata. For example, we may divide the physical stratum into the following substrata: agriculture, industry, trade and commerce, medicine, irrigation, physical education, etc. Here it should be mentioned that as far as education is concerned, the science subjects come within the scope of the physical stratum as they are directly concerned with the material world. On the other hand, the humanities subjects (language, literature, history, philosophy, etc.) come within the scope of the psychic stratum. By forming subtriangles for each substratum, a greater degree of balance can be established. The physical stratum will then have to be gradually elevated from the stage of degeneration to the stage of disruption. Later, after restoring a greater balance in the subtriangles, the physical stratum will have to be raised from the stage of disruption to the stage of derangement. There will be a perfect balance in the manifested triangle of the physical stratum when all the subtriangles are in perfect equilibrium.
Similarly, there are many substrata in the psychic stratum, such as physico-psychic, psychic, psycho-spiritual, etc. When the degree of balance within these substrata increases, the psychic stratum will be elevated from the state of degeneration to the state of disruption, and from the state of disruption to the state of derangement; and finally there will be a perfect balance in the manifested triangle in the psychic stratum.
Now, let us come to the question of the spiritual stratum. It too, may be divided into several substrata, although they will be comparatively few in number. The degree of balance within the substrata will also have to be increased gradually. Thus, the spiritual stratum will be raised through the stages of degeneration, disruption and derangement. Balance in the manifested triangle of the spiritual stratum will then be established.
To restore balance in the manifested triangle of the physical stratum, the following four factors should be considered:
- The physical demand at present and the physical demand in the foreseeable future
- The physical supply at present and the physical supply in the foreseeable future
- The maximum utilization of land
- The Five Fundamental Principles of PROUT as they apply to the physical stratum
For example, while trying to solve the food problems of any socio-economic unit, the subtriangle of agriculture will have to be created. A proper irrigation system may have to be introduced, and high-breed varieties of seeds may have to be used. By extensive cultivation of land, using tractors and necessary fertilizers, three or four crops may be harvested every year. The proper crops for the proper soils will have to be selected. Agricultural cooperatives and agricultural producers cooperatives will have to be started, and farmers brigades will have to be formed. Agriculture should be conducted on the basis of the principle of consumption, and not the principle of profit. There should be a proper preservation and distribution of agricultural products. A proper balance in the manifested triangle of agriculture will help establish balance in the manifested triangle in the physical stratum.
In the same way, if there is a perfect balance in the subtriangles of the substrata, there will also be a balance in the manifested triangle in the psychic and spiritual strata.
When all the manifest triangles of the physical, psychic and spiritual strata collectively form the final balanced triangle, its central point will coincide in a perfect balance with the central point of the supreme triangle of forces. A perfect state of balance will be established between individuals and the collectivity, and between the collectivity and the Cosmos. This supreme balance in all spheres will bring a perfect state of pramá everywhere. The society will attain pramá sam’vrddhi in the physical stratum, pramá rddhi in the psychic stratum and pramá siddhi in the spiritual stratum. That will be the stage of all-round welfare, progress and perfection for all humanity, for the entire living world.
February 1987, Calcutta
A Few Problems Solved Part 8
Neohumanism in a Nutshell Part 2
Prout in a Nutshell Part 9
Copyright Ananda Marga Publications 2011
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I am indebted to have the concept