The Supreme Truth, or Principle, is subsumable under five categories:
- The Para, the Supreme, or the Beyond;
- The Vyuha, the Grouped;
- The Vibhava, the Multiplied;
- The Antaryami, the Indwelling and
- The Archa, the Imaged
1. The Para-Form of Bhagavan is the eternal transcendent Essence – the spiritual Substance – which is the Noumenal, the Beyond, the Supreme, or the Ne Plus Supra, round which rotates, as it were, every kind of cosmic phenomenon or manifestation.
2. The Vyuha-Form is His becoming grouped, after derivation from Para, into such groups as possess the fitness to perform severally the functions, in the material or manifested cosmos, of the making, the keeping, and the breaking of the fabric of worlds, countless. These derived Godships take the names Pradyumna, Aniruddha, Samkarsana, and so forth.
3. The Vibhava-Form consists of the Avataras, or Incarnations, such as Sri Rama, Sri Krishna, etc.
4. The Antaryami-Form falls into two classes. The one is the All-pervadingness of Spirit (or God), the Inner Soul of all Souls, forming the very basis of their be-ness (svarupa-vyapti)) and the other is the Beatific Presence, the union of the Mother-and-Father principles of Godhood (guna-vyapti), enshrined in the heart, and ever watching and directing the systole and diastole of all the processes of the soul’s being.
5. The Archa-Form consists in the images of Bhagavan (God) which accommodate themselves to the various tastes of His creatures for their worship, having no fixed form, but that which the worshipper may choose and desire to have of Him; having no fixed name but that which the worshipper may choose and desire to call Him by; all-knowing, but seeming as if not-knowing; all-powerful, but seeming as if powerless; all-sufficient, but seeming as if needy; – thus seeming to exchange places, the Worshipped with the worshipper, and choosing to be ocularly manifest to him in temples and homes, in short at all places and at all times desired.
Article Credits: “The Artha Pancaka of Pillai Lokacharya” by Alkondavilli Govindacarya Swamin, Journal of Royal Asiatic Society, 1910