Nature and The Self
The self is made up of three gunas, they are sattva, rajas and tamas. The permutation and combination of these three gunas give rise to the character of a person. The nature and the self are two different things altogether but they are deeply interconnected and interlinked. There is an unbreakable connection between the world and your self. For the spiritual aspirants this is the starting level where they begin to believe in a superpower because of this connection. Then he/she will have to go look for a guru who will explain these phenomena to him/her if they become a disciple. One peculiar thing about the Guru-shishya relationship is that the guru does not have a shishya but a shishya always has a guru. This has to be like this in order for the Vedanta knowledge to shine in the disciple. This connection is based on your character which is shaped by the three gunas. But this nature is different from the Purusha. The Purusha is that one which does not have a sensory existence. In the Bhagavad Gita, Bhagvan Krishna says that the Purusha cannot be burnt by the fire, it cannot be wetted by water, cannot be dried by air. It neither has birth nor death. It is indestructible by any force in this universe, not even god can destroy it. This is the true self. This is each and every one of us.
The nature comes to us according to our own gunas. A sattvik person will receive nature in its sattva form. Likewise a rajasik person and a tamasik person also will receive accordingly. Depending upon the permutations, there can be thousands of combinations. But the scriptures give us manly four combinations. They are: complete sattvik(Brahmana), Sattvik with a dash of Rajasik(Kshathriya), Rajasik with a dash of Tamasik(Vyshya) and complete tamasik(Shudra). These are the four varnas. This is based on the character of a person and not by birth. A Brahmin’s son need not be a Brahmin in as much as a doctor’s son need not be a doctor.
Each and every person’s experience is based on their own karma. So if nature is treating you indifferently, then understand this fact that you are being indifferent towards nature. The Purusha is not affected by any of this. It is omniscient and omnipotent. How do we realise this Purusha? It is through constant listening, contemplation and practice. Why we do not realise this Purusha which is existence absolute is because of the dark veil of ignorance that is covering it. The purpose of human life is to uncover this veil so that the absolute knowledge will shine in each and every one of us. If we fail to understand this, the Vedas tell us that is a grave loss. Who are eligible for this kind of knowledge? The shastras give different virtues that the aspirant should possess, but in short all of these descriptions aim at one thing; the beauty of a person. When will a person be beautiful? It is when the mind is devoid of all the crookedness, jealousy, envy, so on and so forth. Such people can learn Vedanta.
The nature is different from the Purusha. This distinction has to made as soon as we find the connection. The process can be in two ways. Either by Neti Neti(not this, not this) or iti iti(this this). Neti Neti is a practice where we constantly remind ourselves that we are not this but the supreme Purusha. The Result of such practice or the aim of such practice is to reach the ultimate stage, which is the unity of the Jeevan and Brahman hinted by the mahavakya in veda which is Ahambrahmasmi. Iti Iti practice will lead us to another unison which is the same as the first one and that is Thatwamasi.
All these words are mere attempts to explain the undefinable. The absolute truth is beyond words to express. Language fails in this respect. Adi Shankaracharya in his Bhashya says that in Vedatha, the lakshyartha(can be literally translated as target meaning) of the word brahman is what is to be taken and considered. Concentration and incessant thought are the only ways to conquer