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Microvita (Official) Home Page

Atoms Have Mind

More Models and Metaphors for Microvita

The question to be discussed in this article is – What kind of mind does an atom have? As usual we approach the question from two perspectives, that of Brahmacakra and that of western science. A synthesis of both approaches will be required. We will rely heavily on the principle as below, so above (the reverse of its usual form!) in the belief that an understanding of the structure and behaviour of the accessible physical world can give us insights into the structure and behaviour of the less accessible mental world. Needless to say this principle should be applied cautiously!

The aum vibration is said to be the seed sound of the universe and we may consider it to be the first objective entity created during Saincara. Saincara proceeds by a process of repeated compression and division, such that the aum world gives rise to a succession of additional worlds (lokas), each one cruder, more constricted and more dense than it predecessor. The substance of these lokas is the material stuff of the universe, whether physical matter or psychic matter. Each loka offers a resistance to compression but eventually when the compression becomes too great, a new world is created within the existing ones. Using the language of physics, we can imagine that each new world appears as a new dimension in an already existing multi-dimensional space. Each new dimension has its own characteristic attribute or property by which it can be recognised.

Finally the physical world is created with its five sub-worlds known as the five fundamental factors (5FF). The crudest matter we know is nuclear matter and this is likely to be associated with solid factor in Brahmacakra. Electronic matter is one step subtler and likely to be associated with liquid factor. Thus solid factor is the world of high energy physics and nuclear energy while liquid factor is the world of chemistry and chemical energy. It is not clear how the subtlest three of the 5FF manifest in the world of western physics. Note that luminous bodies (consisting of ethereal, aerial and luminous factors only) are not normally visible to human beings and they are certainly not physical in the usual sesne. This suggests that the molecular matter of western science, and the stuff of rocks and protoplasm, is predominantly the liquid and solid factor of Brahmacakra.

In this regard, the neutrino of western physics is an interesting particle. If we consider the particle sequence, neutrino, electron and quark, we note a sequence of increasing mass and charges. Neutrinos have what is sometimes called flavour charge. Electrons have flavour and electric charge, while quarks have flavour, electric and colour charges. In other words, each more massive particle carries all the charges of the previous particles but has an additional charge that is its characteristic. Physicists consider that each new charge has its corresponding 'spatial' dimension, so we begin to sense some kind of correspondence between the physicists description of the particle world and the 5FF of Brahmacakra. The neutrino is an interesting particle because it appears to correspond to a factor that is subtler than the solid and liquid factors.

Psychic Charges

The reason for considering these issues in some detail is that the accumulation of particle attributes in the physical world suggests that the entire sequence of division and compression during Saincara will result in an accumulation both psychic and physical charges. During the early psychic stages of Saincara, we can imagine citta particles accumulating a sequence psychic charges. The physical particles of western science are the final outcome of this iterative process and we can therefore imagine that particles such as electrons and quarks have psychic charges, and many of them. And prior to the formation of physical particles there are purely psychic particles. Perhaps this is what Sarkar means when he says, “There are different kinds of atoms which do not come within the physical arena or even within the realm of physical perception.” [MVINS, p134] Of course physicists do not see or measure the psychic charges of physical particles because such charges are not directly or indirectly accessible through our sense organs. Besides which, the doctrine of materialism denies the reality of non-physical processes.

The question arises – what is a psychic charge? Physics cannot help us here but perhaps psychology can. Both western and eastern psychology recognise that human beings have certain propensities -  behavioural and mental tendancies that are either inherited or learned. In Brahmacakra such propensities are called vrttis. We have previously proposed [see Microvita – Models and Metaphors] that the physical charges of matter particles can be considered as the equivalent of propensities. The ideas developed in this article depend heavily on this equivalence. The negative charge of an electron, for example, endows it with a propensity to move towards a positive charge and away from any other negative charge. Indeed, we can infer the presence of neighbouring electric charges by watching the behaviour of an electron. The conclusion is that physical particles have psychic propensities or vrttis in addition to their physical charges.

According to eastern psychology, human beings have 50 basic vrttis which can be modulated in different ways (through the sense and motor organs and interially and exterially) giving rise to a multitude of apparantly different propensities. We can imagine that during Saincara, the creation of each new spatial dimension corresponds to the appearance of a new propensity. And by the logic described above we conclude that any physical particle can also potentially have these same propensities. But it is certain that Saincara gives rise to far more than 50 basic propensities. More likely it is the case that human beings have only recognised 50 basic propensities in themselves so far.

The idea that physical particles have psychic propensities which are the antecedents of mind,  feelings and sentiments, is not original. Indeed it has an impressive pedigree. See for example the writings of the mathematician Alfred Whitehead [Whitehead] and the evolutionist Sewell Wright [Wright, p14]. More recently, Charles Birch, former professor of Biology at the University of New South Wales in Australia, has summed up the idea: “There is but one theory, known to me, that casts any positive light on the ability of brain cells to furnish us with feelings. It is that brain cells can feel! What gives brain cells feelings? It is by the same logic that we may say – their molecules. And so on down the line to those individuals we call electrons, protons and the like. The theory is that things that feel are made of things that feel.” [Birch, p32] Clearly if we want to understand the subtle aspects of atoms, then we need to learn more about the vrttis and human propensities. No wonder Sarkar says that “For microvita research, you will have to study human psychology thoroughly.“ [MVINS p 133]

Note the difference between the ideas being developed here and the old idea of vitalism. According to vitalism, living beings were just ordinary physical matter but matter occupied by a spirit or soul that somehow slid in from the outside. According to the ideas being developed here, the spiritual and psychic aspects of living beings are integrated within the very substance of a person's atoms and molecules. There is no separate non-physical entity that takes possession of the physical entity.

At this point we need to introduce microvita into the picture. According to MV theory, atoms are composed of billions of microvita particles. Therefore, microvita particles must in some way be responsible for the charges (propensities) displayed by the atomic constituents and indeed Sarkar says that the expression of propensities is enhanced or repressed by MV. In Microvita – Models and Metaphors, we have filled out this picture in more detail, and the reader can refer to that article. The new idea developed in this article is that the different categories and denominations of microvita that Sarkar says will be recognised in future, must be associated with the types of physical propensities (particle charges) and psychic propensities (vrttis) that a microvitum enhances or suppresses. It is tempting to suppose that a thorough understanding of the virttis will lead to an understanding of the different categories of microvita and that each type of vrtti will turn out to have its associated microvitum.

Sarkar comments that agricultural fertilisers and explosives taken from different sources, sometimes have different effects, (i.e. effect on plant growth or explosive power) despite having the same molecular formulae. He attributes this to the constituent microvita within the atoms. He says that in future, the atomic and molecular formulae used by scientists will take note of the consituent microvita. The idea that atoms contain vrttis or psychic charges in addition to their physical charges helps us to understand these phenomena. Consider the explosive power of an ammonium nitrate molecule. It is dependent on the configuration of negative and positive charges within the molecule. Figuratively speaking, these charges are bound together somewhat against their will. The explosive power of the molecule is derived from the potential energy stored in its electric fields. But electric forces are not the only forces at play within the molecule. There will be a multitude of psychic charges, some of which will attract and others which will repell. All of these will contribute to the structural solidarity or instability of the ammonium nitrate molecule. In microvita science, these other psychic charges (or the more important of them) will be taken into consideration. It may also be that control over the psychic charges would be more than sufficient to counteract the known physical charges.

As a first step towards understanding vrttis in more detail, it may be useful to consider them as positive and negative charges. When physicists visualise the electric field around an isolated electron or proton, they draw it as arrow lines either radiating away from the point charge (negative charge) or radiating into the point charge (positive charge). This is similar to the notion of exterial and interial lines of force. We can extend this notion to vrittis and consider each of them to be a pair of opposites. We must learn to recognise these polarities as belonging to the same vrtti. The next step will be to consider the expression of each vrtti in 10 directions.

If atoms have mind why do we not recognise it? Put another way, how is it possible for a collectivity of apparantly inert atoms in the form of a human being to generate an obvious mind. Here we can use the physicists model of a magnetised iron bar. In an unmagnetised iron bar, the individual crystal domains are magnetised in random directions, so that at the macroscopic level, no magnetic field is discernible. When the bar is magnetised, all the individual magnetic domains are oriented in the same direction, so that the sum of fields becomes recognisable at the macroscopic level as a strong magnetic field. In this model, we suppose that the psychic microvita within atomic matter are dipoles that give rise to psychic fields. Only when a large number of atoms (or rather the microvita within them) are oriented correctly, do the individual fields sum to a recognisable macroscopic psychic field. Furthermore as the total psychic field becomes stronger, the field itself acts as a template to which other atoms and their constituent microvita can align themselves.

Ectoplasm and Endoplasm

The above model is helpful in another respect. The magnetic field around an iron bar provides, in some sense, a coverage of the bar. Lines of magnetic force emerge from the north pole and circle around to enter the south magnetic pole of the iron bar. Perhaps a better example is the magnetic field around the earth which provides protection from cosmic radiation. Using such a model, we can begin to understand the distinction between the terms ectoplasm and endoplasm in Brahmacakra. The term ectoplasm appears to be used quite generally in Brahmacakra philosophy and in occult literature to mean the substance of mind. It refers to the collectivity of citta particles and the psychic force fields at play between them. A single atom has some small amount of ectoplasm associated with it. When a much larger number of citta particles are available and the psychic force fields between them are coordinated and reinforce (as in the analogy of a magnetised bar) then the ectoplasm provides a coverage of the object. Mind in this stable state is known as endoplasm.

The closest physical analogy to endoplasm is the electron orbital around an atom or the extended electron orbital that surrounds an entire molecule, such as a benzene ring. For this condition to arise, the sum of interial forces holding the molecule together must be greater than the sum of exterial forces that tend to break the molecule apart. For any given living entity, there will be several layers of endoplasm and in Brahmacakra, each layer is known as a shell or kosa. Put another way, the electron orbitals which surround atoms and entire molecules are the physical world's equivalent of the kosas of the mind. Kosas can only arise in stable living structures where there is parallelism between the physical and psychic parts of the structure and where the total sum of interial forces exceeds that of the exterial. These conditions arise only in the process of Prati-saincara. And Prati-saincara is the synthetic process whereby the countless billion of parts created during Saincara are again integrated into wholes. The relevant physics for understanding Prati-saincara was described in the section Complex Systems of More Metaphors and Models for Microvita.


1.The simple premise of this article is that something cannot come from nothing. Human beings have sentiments and feelings because our constituent atoms and molecules have sentiments and feelings.

2. In the language of eastern psychology, the propensities (a generic term apparently used by Sarkar to include all human instincts, emotions, sentiments and feelings) which motivate human beings are known as vrttis. They have been well studied and enumerated. These same vrttis must be located in atoms and molecules and have their origins in the creative processes of Saincara.

3. Microvita, the particle constituents of atoms, must ultimately be responsible for the expression of vrttis.

4. The categories and enumerations of microvita will match their corresponding vrttis.

5. The significant conclusion of this article is that an intensive study of the vrttis in Eastern psychology will be required if we are to succeed in a science of microvita.     


Birch, Charles (1990) “On Purpose” NSW University Press, Sydney

[MVINS] Sarkar, P.R. (1991) “Microvita in a Nutshell” Ananda Marga Publications

Whitehead, Alfred (1966) “Modes of Thought” NY, Free Press

Wright, Sewell (1953) “Gene and Organisation” American Naturalist 87, p5-18

Author: Michael Towsey, September 2003

© Ananda Marga Pracaraka Samgha

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