Since all created objects (bhUta) have a bhAva, the universe at large is a play of the bhAva.  It’s not clear how many bhAva exist and if they bundle together.  We know of the first five bhUta: sky, air, fire, water and earth; each of them has its distinct bhAva.  More objects are created by combining these five bhUta in different proportions and we have entities like galaxies, stars, planets and mountains.  Once the objects have life in them in the form of consciousness, we bring in guNa to add life characteristic to the object.   guNa makes each living object different and unique.  Two mountains have the same bhAva of steadfastness, but two cats may not have the same bhAva of affection.


Living objects are classified into species, in Sanskrit called jAti.  A jAti carries a bhAva ensemble and we label the compounded bhAva to the jAti.  So we have fruit trees, flowering trees, shade trees, grain shrubs, herbs, grass, insects, fish, snakes, animals and men.  Each jAti is a part of the design of the universe and performs its task in the design through its bhAva.  In order to make further granular in our understanding we think of subspecies, called upajAti in Sanskrit.  There could be a thousand varieties of fruit trees or a million varieties of fish.  We associate bhAva to them through their habitat or their performance.  Though all men belong to one jAti, it’s clear that each person is different depending on the manifestation of the bhAva due to jAti rendered with the individual guNa.


bhAva is created with bhUta, but its manifestation needs extra help from the power of the life force, which we have called purusha before.  A bhUta’s functioning is conditioned by the desire of purusha, so an object can be sickly or strong.  An object may be born in a jAti, but may not carry the bhAva of the jAti.  More importantly an object in a jAti might demonstrate bhAva of a different jAti.  Here we come to the expression of the bhAva.  In cosmological speculations, we can say that all bhAva exist in all objects but they express them differently.  The expression of bhAva is the desire of purusha.  We can have men as violent as the tigers, and tigers as affectionate as our own mother.


When we think of evolution, man has evolved from simpler creatures and various bhAva have manifested as the evolution has proceeded.  There is an old saying that the human liberation is achieved when man experiences all the possible births (jAti) manifested in the universe.  This basically means that all the experiences of the previous births are carried together as a part of the bhAva.  A birth is repeated if the bhAva corresponding to the birth is not manifested while on earth.  Why this is so is explained as the desire of purusha in the sense that we really strive to be sat in the jAti we are.  So the Gita says that we should develop sat(d)bhAva in our human birth.  It is not so easy, the process is complex.


When we have sat(d)bhAva and perform our tasks, we conform to the design of the universe and such tasks become our dharmadharma is something that sustains the universe, and every bhUta has its own dharma.  The sustenance of the universe is achieved by the cooperative assembly of dharma of all objects rendered as sat.    The sun heats up the water in the river to make clouds which make rain on the land such that grains can grow.  Men and animals survive by consuming the grain, tend to the land and river, and worship the sun.  The snakes eat frogs and the frogs eat insects.  Each has a life, a living and a death.  Dust clouds make stars and planets, and planets revolve round a star.  In time life may form in a planet.  All is a part of the dharma that prakRti engineers.


When we don’t go in sat, but proceed with asat, dharma gets in trouble.  As we said before (last essay), we may not know that we are in asat, since sat is not “known” to us.  Functioning in asat leads to the creation of adharma and the universe gets into difficulty.  Some adharma is also caused by design errors that create self-destructing desires, the exact cause of which is not humanly understood.  Such errors can put extra egotism in man to cause a breakdown of the universal dharma required for the maintenance of the universe.  Design errors annihilate themselves through massive destruction that happens periodically.  Purusha helps the man to discover new ways and find new tools, but man can extend the privilege to cause self-destruction.  Individual manifested entity is not self-restrained and is ego-driven.  Ego is not aware that it is a part of the larger cosmos that sustains it.  Man fails to know when the tools or knowledge become aggressive to break dharma.  Destruction through starvation could be part of the dharma design, but destruction by self-inflicted wars is a human error.  Discovery of the balance that maintains dharma is called vidyA.


It’s possible that a self-healing recuperation gets active to rejuvenate life unless all life gets wiped out.  The catalysts that help in such healing have been called avatAra incarnation in Hindu mythology.  A series of avatAra help create the evolution by manifesting different bhAva at different times.  Ten of such avatAra are listed in popular literature.  The first is fish, which helps rescue knowledge since it remembers its habitat.  The second is tortoise that supports objects on itself.  The third is boar that rescues objects in deluge.  The fourth is a man-lion which protects the righteous.  The fifth is a dwarf who challenges man’s charity.  The sixth is a warrior who annihilates pride in men.  The seventh is a prince who wages war and wins over the criminal.   The eighth is a farmer who cultivates land to grow food.  The ninth is an ascetic who teaches compassion.  An envisaged tenth avatAra might show up to destroy everything and help begin a new universe.  Each avatAra has a dominant bhAva and helps the evolution to go forward.  In some other literature, avatAra is conceived from the origin of the universe carrying the bhAva of life, music, knowledge and medicine among others.


avatAra is a cosmic process, a change in epoch.  bhAva of each incarnation is sat and contributes to a particular task.  While some dominant epochs are recognized in literature, it’s possible that men are always approaching sat, and are healing the planet in their locality or in a larger sense.  While they are in sat(d)bhAva, most men operate in their perceived bhAva which is called svabhAva “one’s own bhAva.” svabhAva is the sat(d)bhAva rendered via the individual guNa.  When we act on svabhAva, we create svadharma, which would be our topic in the next essay.


Let Sai bless all.

Bijoy Misra

September 18, 2012.