Vishwaguru Mahamandaleshwar Paramhans Sri Swami Maheshwarananda told to R.C. Ganjoo on the subject of Tritapas - The Three Forces of Destiny
During our lifetime we occasionally suffer from unfortunate circumstances, a accidents and illness that appear to strike us by chance through no fault of our own. These are, in fact, caused by cosmic influences that can throw us off-balance physically, psychically or spiritually.
Although it may appear so to us, these influences are by no means accidental a as they follow the universal law of Karma just like everything else in life. Therefore the cause is always in our own mental attitude, our own actions, words and thoughts, from this life or from earlier lives. Generally we do not have bad intentions, but unfortunately, and all too often, the way we act is due to lack of knowledge and awareness. And so, just as poison still has an effect upon us even we take it unknowingly, the unconscious violations of the cosmic law sooner or later also react upon us painfully.
There are three forces of destiny that influence our development from birth.
(Tri = three, Tapas = literally Heat, but in the figurative sense-hard, discipline)
The three Tapas are:
Adhibhautika are the various disturbances from the external world that stem from nature or living beings. To this belong influences from heat, cold, natural phenomenon such as floods, whirlwinds and earthquakes, as well as attacks by wild animals, violent people, etc.
Adhidaivika are disturbing influences from astral forces and beings. For example, vthese can be the cause of sudden accidents, psychic disturbances, fears and depression.
Adhyatmika are influences from the vibrational plane of the Tattvas (the elements). Amongst other things, these are able to trigger off physical illness or mental disturbances.
We are able to lessen the disturbances from Adhibhautika through certain precautions, such as protective walls, padlocks, bolts etc. However, these measures are ineffective against the forces of Adhidavika and Adhyattmika. We can only protect ourselves against these through payers, mantras and Shatsampatti - the six treasures.
Shatsampatti - The Six Treasures
Hidden within us lie six very special abilities that help us overcome the influences of the Tritapas and the barriers of Mala,Vikshepa and Avarana . What do these treasures consist of and how can we find them? To discover them requires keen self-observations and training of the consciousness .First we must find out what prevents us from discovering these inner friends and helpers. We are hampered by the four inner foes:
- Kama - Passion
- Krodha - Anger
- Moha - Delusion
- Lobha - Greed
Moha lays the foundation stone for Kama ,Krodha and Lobha. Delusion is the main cause of our mental ,psychic or physical suffering and our attachments. It is the reason for depression, fear. Even when we are happy in the present moment the fear of losing that which we believe is absolutely necessary for our happiness sits deeply within us. The attempt to safeguard and increase our possessions strengthens and nurtures passion and desire within us. The fear of loss leads subsequently to the eruption of anger, jealousy and hostility.
Naturally we should look after and care about our possessions. Certainly we should love and take care of our children, partner and friends. But, it is important to respect the freedom of everyone ; to make no-one dependent upon us , and also not to become dependent upon anyone. Attachment is like a spider's web that holds us firmly and stifles us. Please do not misunderstand me! I am not saying that we are not allowed to own things or that we should leave our family and friends. Completely the opposite ! With all my heart I wish everyone a prosperous and happy life-but we should not forget that after death we cannot take even one coin with us, and that all worldly relationships are temporary.
Through the practice of Yoga and following ethical principles we are able to purify the four Antahkaranas (mind, consciousness, intellect, and ego),to overcome false attachments and the other qualities mentioned above, and to transform their destructive energy into the good. Thus prepared, we can start to raise Shatsampatti (Shatsampatti is one of the our principles of Gyana Yoga. The other three principles are: Vikeka (differentiation between reality and unreality); Vairgya (desirelessness, renunciation ); Mumukshtva (striving after liberation), the six treasures, into the daylight. These treasures are: Shama, Dama, Shraddha, Titiksha, Uparati and Samadhana.
Shama is inner silence and calmness. We achieve this as we withdraw the mind and senses from the bustle of the external world and focus on the inner Self.
Dama means self-control. When we rein in the senses, thoughts and emotions with the intellect (Buddhi), so that they do not gallop away like wild horses, we are able to avoid ill-considered actions and spare ourselves from the ensuing problems and suffering.
Shraddha is trust. Trust is something that is absolutely fundamental to spiritual as well as all worldly relationships. Where trust is missing, doubt grows and gradually destroys love. Doubt is like "sand and salad". A salad that has grains of sand mixed in with it is inedible, even it may still appear to be delicious. Therefore remove your doubts and begin to trust.
Who should you trust? Yourself, first of all. Many people have lost their self-confidence. Through the rediscovery of your inner treasures you also regain your self-confidence.
Next, have faith in your path and your purpose so that nothing or no-one can undermine it or dissuade you in any way. The way to perfection requires unconditional trust. Once you have decided upon a path do not allow yourself to be discouraged by difficulties. Be deeply committed to the attainment of what you have resolved to do, and say to yourself with inner certainty : "I will make it". Do not think, "I will try it" - with this type of thinking you cripple yourself. Courageously seize the opportunities that fate offers you and place the outcome of your efforts in God's hands.
Thirdly, have absolute faith in your Master. If you constantly doubt, you are unable to see the truth even if it is directly before your eyes. Shraddha is primal trust, such as that between a mother and her child. A crying baby quietens as soon as the mother takes it in her arms because with this it feels safe and secure. Whoever possesses this natural capacity to trust is happy and successful in life. You are only able to recognise the truth when you show unconditional trust in the Master, just like a child to its mother.
Titiksha is equanimity and inner strength. Everyone is aware that they will continue to face obstacles and difficulties in life. When was our existence ever completely free of problems? Do not lose your nerve even if a situation appears to be hapless. Remember that nothing last for forever. Only the Self is unchanging and eternal . Everything else is changeable and transitory because time continues to march on inexorably. The body is changing every second; just as thoughts, feelings and situations also continue to change. Never despair, even if you should fare badly at some time. Pray to God for Titiksha, inner strength, courage and steadfastness.
Uparati means to rise above things by not being dependent or being afraid. When you face everything with a positive attitude you cannot really be harmed because you are able to draw valuable lessons from everything, even accidents. Fears and problems always arise when we are afraid of losing something. A wealthy person who is surrounded by guards, bolts, and padlocks is, in reality, a prisoner of his possessions.
In the principles of Raja Yoga it is said: "You should not accumulate possessions." Rise above worldly things and practice renunciation-not as painful turning away from the world, but as a liberating act of turning towards God. Mahatma Gandhi also said: "Renounce and enjoy" this is an important rule of life.
Samadhana, the last of the six treasures, means inner composure and the ability to remain focussed on one's goal. Never lose sight of the goal. If disturbances and resistance surface, sit yourself down quietly, close your eyes and carefully think about the situation. If you feel a surge of malice or rage building within you do not act at once. Remain detached and merely observe your emotions.
Sri Mahaprabhuji said: "When the waves are high one should not dive into the sea for pearls". Therefore wait until the inner waves have again subsided, and carefully and calmly put the following to yourself:
What have I done? - Why have I acted so?
What have I thought? - Why have I thought so?
What do I think now? - Why do I think so?
What should I think? - How should I act?
Then ask yourself:
How important was it?
Why was it so important? Or
Was it at all important?
What have I lost?
Have I really lost anything?
Was it of importance for my eternal happiness?
You can never lose what is important for eternal happiness - therefore, in reality you have lost nothing.
The second philosophical aspect of Samadhana is to reflect on the sense and reason for existence:
Who has created this world and for what purpose?
Where do I come from and where do I go to?
What is reality and what is unreality?
What is my purpose in life?
Therefore, on a general level, Samadhana means to withdraw and observe. When the inner waves have quietened we can dive deeply within our self. Only in this way are we able to recognise the truth, the reality ,and understand the sense of all difficulties and suffering.
When we are able to withdraw the mind from external things, we can connect with the higher consciousness within ourselves and know the answers to all our questions.