The 5 Powers of God
Tantra offers many different systems of reality. One needs to understand that “reality” here is a composite whole wherein the observer and the observed are both part of the reality. Therefore, in any environment, reality is that entire environment which includes you and your experiences (emotions, sensations, and the like). Example: My reality while writing this essay includes every object and living creature in my immediate environment and also my thoughts, feelings, and sensations and the thoughts, feelings, etc. of other creatures in that environment. Here I present the 5 Powers of God.
1. Power of Consciousness
In this context, Consciousness is used in the same way as Awareness. Many higher-order animals have this power as they are conscious of themselves. But are they conscious of having consciousness? I will not answer that question! Simply because some humans introspect on their consciousness doesn’t mean that all humans can. Also, most of the time we behave like automatons like any other creature.
2. Power of Bliss
When you think about it, it seems that almost all creatures other than humans have this Power in much greater abundance. Compared to other creatures, humans come across as nothing more than malcontents.
3. Power of Free Will
The power to act upon something or the power to exercise a choice is the Power of Free Will. Tantra offers us this freedom. Remember that the Hindu Schools of Thought debated whether or not human beings had Free Will. The notion of Free Will is too vast to explore here, but here are some salient points:
Free Will makes sense only if I have the option to act on that will. I’m free to imagine that I’m flying, but I’m not a bird so I can’t fly. On the contrary, many of us have dreams where we fly – literally – and the thrill is so vivid that it is easily comparable to things that we do when we’re awake.
Therefore, Free Will need not be manifested in literal action, and its definition is fully revealed in being able to imagine something even if one can’t always put it in action.
Free Will can delude us into thinking that we have it, and it can delude also delude us into thinking we don’t. In both cases it is a paradox: we’re free to delude ourselves one way or another.
4. Power of Knowing
Knowledge is the overlap of beliefs and truths. If something is true but so “crazy” that I can’t believe it, then it does not become knowledge (at least not for me, because I’m unable to accept the truth). Similarly, if people believe something very strongly even though it is false, then too it does not become knowledge. (People believe in God even though he/she does not exist.) In the tantric context, this Power of Knowledge is also the power to discern between different bits of information: this is a belief, this is a truth, this is a lie, this is knowledge, and so on. I have the 'power' to know what I know and to know what I don’t know.
Consider the following statement: “Nothing is concealed.” On the one hand, it can mean that nothing can be hidden; no knowledge is concealed. The Brahmasutras support this by stating that the entire knowledge of the universe is available to anyone who seeks it with diligence. However, if that sentence is read to interpret “nothing” as an idea, then “nothing” is no longer a non-entity: it exists as an idea. But the “idea of nothing” does not reveal itself easily to the human mind. I know that I do not know 'something.' A simpler example: I know that Botany exists as a subject within Biology, but I don’t know any Botany.
5. Power of Action
This power is self-explanatory. Like all the other powers, it manifests them through action. The desire of every human to express himself/herself is done through action, and – in that sense – it is the only power that manifests the other powers. There is no point in thinking that power exists if it is not seen to exist!
The Power of Free Will needs more elaboration because it’s a power that permeates all other powers. The Freedom to choose (for or against), to act (or not to act), to express oneself (even through silence) is automatically manifested in the Power of Free Will. Free Will gives potency to the other powers and is omnipresent in their manifestation.
A complete realization of these Powers is our idea of God! And Tantra offers us an opportunity to reach the God-Level!