There are three eternal entities: God, Soul, Matter; or Parabrahma, Brahma, Prakriti; or Paramatman, Atman, Prakriti.
Prakriti is characterized by three GUNAs, or qualities: Satoguna, Rajoguna, Tamoguna. These qualities are inherent in Prakriti. Prakriti is sometimes called the Primordial Matter; however, it is more correct to say that primordial matter originates from Prakriti, which is also called the Unmanifest, or pure 'Nothingness.' However, since we reside in Prakriti and speak of that which exists, it is easier to 'conceive' of Prakriti as Matter, though really it is not matter but rather the origin of Matter. In other words, matter originates from Prakriti.
The 'originator' on the macro level is Parabrahma, or Supreme Consciousness (GOD), and on the micro level the originator is Atman, the eternal, indestructible conscious being (you, I, and everyone else).
Atman (which can refer to either or both the Supreme Consciousness-Paramatman, or the 'individual' conscious being-Atman), is all-pervading. Each and every soul (Atman) is all-pervading, as is the Supreme Soul (GOD). The 'all-pervasiveness' of Atman is more than just physically all-pervading (meaning, it pervades more than just Prakrti; in other words, its pervasiveness is not limited to Prakriti). Now, since all of us are eternal and all-pervading, it can be stated that we all occupy the same 'space.' In other words, each of us is the center and circumference of the Universe. Just as all of us were wholly present in the singularity at the commencement of the Big Bang, before the expansion of the Universe (and ultimately, the Multiverse), each of us is wholly present during the expansion as well. In this respect, all souls are the same yet unique (and eternally, and unchangeably so), but no 'individual' soul pervades another 'individual' soul; though, because we share the same space (Matter) we experience an affinity with one another on the gross level (of mind/body/matter-all evolutes of Prakriti). We also share a higher affinity by virtue of our common Essence: the All-prevading Supreme Being-the Soul of our soul (Self), the core of our being, or simply, the 'Essence.'
Atman is Pure Consciousness, Pure Awareness. It is not 'awareness of' because there is no 'of-ness' present in it; this is what is meant by 'pure awareness.' It is imageless, it is possessive-less-ness.
Prana is the 'energy of Atman.' It is soul-force. It is the inherent power of the soul (Atman). Through the process of TAPAS, this force emanates from the Self (Atman) and 'lights up' the 'darkness', which means Prakriti (the 'Invisible,' 'Nothingness') is infused with the power of Consciousness, and thus commences the drama (Lila) of Creation, or 'existence.'
The emanation of Prana from Atman is termed 'Purush,' the Spirit-Self. The 'union' of Purush and Prakriti brings about the creation of the Universe. Everything in this universe (and in every universe) is characterized by the qualities of both Purush and Prakriti. This is to say that the elementary matter, the building blocks of the universe, exhibit the characteristics of both Consciousness and Matter. Matter is set in motion by the power of Consciousness. Matter in motion is manifested as 'energy.' In other words, the 'Fire' of Consciousness (the Pranic force, manifested through Tapas) causes the particles of matter to move. These movements, or vibrations, reverberate and bring about various modulations and modifications of matter, which exist inherently in matter as potentialities. The more intense the 'Fire,' the greater the velocity; when the particles of matter (Paramanus) move quickly, we refer to this phenomenon as 'energy,' and when they move slowly we refer to it as 'matter.' In fact, both energy (mental and physical, but not spiritual energy) and matter are constituted of the same Prakriti infused with Prana.
The three essential qualities of Matter (Satoguna, Rajoguna, and Tamoguna), in their innumerable shades (intensities) bring about the various experiential phenomenon. Ultimately, this Drama exists for one purpose: MOKSHA. This is the experience of Liberation: the experience of total freedom from ignorance, arrogance, and suffering. Of course, Atman is intrinsically and unchangeably free, complete, whole. It is pure awareness, self-contained. When Atman manifests as Purush and 'joins' with Prakriti, it is playing the Game of Life. The object of the game is Liberation, Salvation, Kaivalya, or complete isolation or freedom from all pain and imperfection.
To play the Game of Self-Discovery, one's self must first be 'covered.' The coverings are created when Purush joins with Prakriti, causing the formation of the 'living self' or Jivatman. It is this Jivatman which strives to become Jivamukta in the Game of Existence.
We have played this game before, and we will play this game again. The details and intricacies of the game, its rules, guidelines, borders, techniques, components, mechanisms, and so forth, can be grasped through detailed analysis. However, skillfulness in the game is acquired through diligent practice (including introspection and meditation) and application of the principles of Consciousness, concurrent with the proper use of mental and physical resources. In my humble opinion, the Western scientific approach can certainly lead to important understandings which can facilitate the advancement of mental and mechanical means to address personal and public problems. However, the ultimate (or most satisfying) answers lie deep in the core of our being (Atman), somewhere far beyond the realm of mind, intellect, and ego.
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