The workings of the universe is probably the most important, yet also the most ignored, topic. There have been various philosophies and explanations for the same in ancient scriptures of various civilisations. One of the most significant being the Chinese philosophy on the natural phenomenon of the universe, or the Tao, as mentioned in I Ching (the foundation of Chinese philosophy also known as the Book of Changes). The book explains the metaphysical workings of the entire universe and is the origin of what is called the Yin-Yang school of Chinese thought.
According to the philosophy, Yin and Yang are complementary opposite energies (negative and positive, respectively) with a common origin, the Tao.
In this article, Ganesha draws your attention to certain basics of the Yin-Yang philosophy, which will give you a better understanding of positive and negative energies.
The Yin-Yang symbol, also known as Tai-Chi
Yang is positive (active) energy Yin is negative (passive) energy
Colour is White Colour is Black
Contains a Black dot Contains a White dot
White is Masculine Black is Feminine
Positive and Negative - understanding the terms
All the opposing principles one finds in the universe are represented by Yin and Yang. Yang stands for masculinity, the sun, light, creation, heat, heaven, dominance and so on, while Yin stands for feminine, the moon, darkness, cold, ending, submission and so on.
According to the Yin-Yang philosophy, if there is no darkness, light will have no meaning. Only because of black, white has its importance. Each Yin produces a Yang and vice versa, and this is a never ending cyclical process.
In the Tai-Chi symbol given above, we can see a circle with a black boundary and black and white regions inside it. The white region has a black dot and the black region has a white dot. The region where the concentration of white is the highest is also the point of the origin for the black region and vice versa. These features imply that the two regions though are opposites, they are also complementary. Both cannot exist without each other. Similarly, each male has a feminine side in his basic nature and each female has masculine potential.
Yang and Yin are inseparable
Our eyes are the perfect medium for explaining the relation between the Yang and Yin. Here the black pupil is surrounded by the white region (Sclera). The three dimensions are in our eyes. They are: height, width, and depth. Without Yang (white region or Sclera) and Yin (Black region or Pupil) this would not have been possible. Although it is the distance between two eyes, 2.5 inch, that creates the the third dimension, it's the combination of yin (pupil) and yang (sclera) that makes the vision possible.
Tabla (Musical Instrument) and Yang-Yin Energies
Tabla, a popular percussion instrument used by Indian musicians, is also a good example for Yin-Yang philosophies. Tabla contains both white and black colours at the surface that creates sounds. Tablas originated from Pakhwaj and are said to have been invented by Amir Khusrau. Even Pakhwaj's surface had the two colours.
In both the rhythm instruments - Pakhwaj and Tabla - lower octave 'bols' or notes (also known as bass) are played on the white part. The higher octave 'bols' (also known as treble) are played on the black part. The black centre is the Yin and the white region is the Yang.
Harmonium, Piano or Accordion (Musical Instruments) and Yang Yin Energies
All the three instruments harmonium, piano and accordion start with a white key, lower note or Kharaj Swar followed by a black key which is a note higher than the white key. Females generally have their voice naturally set on 3rd, 4th or 5th black key (known as Kaali 3, Kaali 4 and so on). Some can also sing from Kaali 1 Soor which is also a higher note. Though this doesn't mean that only females can sing from higher notes but just to explain the subject, Ganesha suggests this point. In short, the first key in all the three instruments is white that contains more bass (lower pitch) then the following black key. So, white is male or Yang energy and Black is Female or Yin energy even in case of musical instruments.
Summary of the Philosophy
Ganesha concludes with a note that be it our Body or Musical instruments, the dual energies of yin-yang exists everywhere. Everything can be perceived to be in sync with the God's ultimate design of Tao, the universe. It is to realise how 'creative and fabulous' God's design is. Both male and female energies are incomplete and non-existent without each other and examples given above confirm this fact.
Bhavesh N. Pattni
The GaneshaSpeaks Team