Three levels of Reality

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The cosmos is an inverted tree with its roots in the havens (metaphorically speaking). So the third level of reality is the illusion that we weave through our muddled mind which experiences through past conditioning and is focused on sense experiences. This is the common ground on which we all stand. Yet we would find that each has a unique slant and there is a greater gulf in how we perceive or view life than some would have us believe. It is an isolated world despite the derivation from common pool of human conditioning.

The subtle cause of the world as we commonly perceive are the Gunas or subtle forces which in their origin trace to the holy trinity but in its manifestation are called in the Sankhys philosophy Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. All phenomenon is a result of interplay of these forces.

In the context of human being the effect of these forces are the cause of intellect (Buddhi), mind (Manas) and Body. Intellect when fully developed becomes a creative principal. The manas of mind(heart) when purified becomes an pure active principal and Body when purified becomes the support for intelligent action or true Karma Yoga.

Hence, through Dharma and practice equanimity we cultivate Buddhi. Through Efficient action we establish Karma Yoga which purifies active force or Heart. This brings about harmony and the three Gunas begin to act in concord. bringing us to the shore of divine journey.

The second level of reality is Iswara or Hiranyagarbh or God the creator. This is best understood through Tantra which postulates the two cosmic principals. They are Consciousness (Siva) and Prana (Shakti). Prana literally means the first energy at the very root of Creation. This is best approached through the vichara of Ramana Maharshi or the I AM of Nisargdutta Maharaj.

The First or the Absolute is the efficient and material cause of all creation and is the sole unchanging Truth. He cannot be compared to anything for he is not only great as many believe but in the opinion of the few nothing even remotely reaches his threshold. He can be known only through Grace for Atman is known to one whom it chooses. The mechanics of this is beyond human mind for there are no two at that level and hence the name Advaita.

Therefore the counting is One (which is both two in one and three in one), Two (Male & female), Three (holy trinity in highest heaven or the three gunas each acting independently in Creation) and Five (intellect, Mind(emotional heart), breath or chi, sex and instinct in humans).