RigVeda and the Systems of Approach to the One

H.B.Dave hbd at DDIT.ERNET.IN
Mon Aug 14 01:38:03 CDT 2000

Dear List Members,
Here is posting no. 13, the last one in this series.
Best wishes to all.

-- Himanshu

-------------- next part --------------
RigVeda and Indian Systems of Approach to the One :
(notes from selfstudy - svaadhyaaya)

XIII : The Silence.

------------------------------------- Himanshu B. Dave

aha.m eva vaata iva pra vaamy aarabhamaa.naa bhuvanaani vi"svaa |
paro divaa para enaa p.rthivyaitaavatii mahinaa sa.m babhuuva || (8)
[RV X-125-8]

{When I start Creation [as the Cause], I move like Vayu, without
help of others, I become active on my own. I am beyond the Earth and the
Heaven. I am so due to my own might. (8)}

Vak compares herself to Vayu (wind) which moves about randomly.

Vaak is the "movement" aspect of the Ultimate Reality (as we can understand it).
This movement is random (again as we can understand it), like Brownian motion
observed in liquids. Just as a gambler throws dices and gets random figures,
on which he may win or lose money, we observe a randomness in the Universe. If
the gambler knew the rule by which the next figure on the dices appear, he
would have predicted it all the times and won always, but it is not so.
Similarly we human beings do not know the Law (.rta), we can not know it.

Vaak is active on her own, not directed by some other power. You can not
explain its action by taking recourse to some other agency.

Vaak is beyond what a human can perceive in his mundane and abstract
thinking. This is her svabhaava, her very nature.

This posting brings us to the end of our discussions in this series. What do
we discuss now? Which mantras to take up?

We shall take up a whole sukta, number 72 from Mandala X, by b.rhaspati
addressed to devaa.h in anu.s.tup chanda.h :

devaanaa.m nu vaya.m jaanaa pra vocaama vipanyayaa |
ukthe.su "sasyamaane.su ya.h pa"syaad uttare yuge || (1)

{Let us announce in clear speech the generation of gods , who, when their
praises are uttered, are awarer for the lower functions. (1)}

vipanyayaa      -- by especially clear speech;
ya.h pa"syaat uttare yuge -- also can be interpreted as : on conclusion of a
                   yajna, during 3rd part of meditation or on achieving
                   Shambhavi Mudra;

brahma.nas patir etaa sa.m karmaara ivaadhamat |
devaanaam puurvye yuge 'sata.h sad ajaayata || (2)

{The lord of food, Aditi, filled these with breath as a black-smith [blows
his bellows]. In the first age of the gods, the manifested was born out of
the unmanifested. (2)}

When the gods started functioning the first time? (i) during the begining
part of the meditation; (ii) when a seeker started his enquiry. There is a
RA here : aditi filled those gods with pra.naa.h as a black-smith
(karmaara.h); here karmaara.h itself is a code word for aditi or prajaapati.
Unmanifested means that yet names and forms are not assigned.

devaanaa.m yuge prathame 'sata.h sad ajaayata |
tad aa"saa anv ajaayanta tad uttaanapadas pari || (3)

{In the first age of the gods, the manifested was born out of the unmanifested.
After that quarters were generated and after them, the upward growing. (3)}

a"saa.h         -- quarters, directions; here name-space;
uttanapada.h    -- upward growing (a tree); here it denotes a tree of
                   name-relationships, which constitutes what we know; the
                   network of our individual knowledge;

bhuur jaj~na uttaanapado bhuva aa"saa ajaayanta |
aditer dak.so ajaayata dak.saad v aditi.h pari || (4)

{The Earth was born form the upward growing (tree), the quarters were born
from the Earth. Daksha was born from Aditi and afterwards Aditi was born
from Daksha. (4)}

This mantra should be read along with [RV X-71-1].

bhuu.h          -- Earth; the "world as perceived at surface consciousness";

There seems to be a loop here :
         a"saa.h ---> uttanapada.h ---> bhuu.h --> a"saa.h --
         ^                                                   |
         |_________________ ??? _____________________________v

The 1st a"saa.h denotes "concept-space" or "name-space";
The 2nd a"saa.h denotes physical aakaa"sa.h, the physical space;

Thus from "name-space" was generated the tree of knowledge, from which was
generated perceptions about the world, from which in turn the concept of
physical space was generated.

We have a seeming problem in the second half of the mantra, as we have :

                 aditi ---> dak.sa.h -->
                 ^                      |

There is a "Endless-loop" here, (remember the example in posting no. 2?)
Yaska says in Nirukta [11-23] : this means that either (i) they were born
together, (ii) being of divine nature, gave reciprocal births to each other and
shared each others nature. Our interpretation is :
        aditi = countably infinite set, N; set of names possible to be
                generated by the human brain;
        dak.sa = set of gods and other "born" things; ultimately size of the
                two sets is same;

aditir hy ajani.s.ta dak.sa yaa duhitaa tava |
taa.m devaa anv ajaayanta bhadraa am.rtabandhava.h || (5)

{O Daksha, Aditi, your daughter, was born. After her the gods were
born -- adorable, free from the bonds of death. (5)}

All the gods are sons of Aditi.
It is not that I am a "male sexist pig." Godesses are generally considered as
either born of a godess or as a wife/daughter of another god. A godess
simply means the ability or power of a god, Shakti.

yad devaa ada.h salile susa.mrabdhaa ati.s.thata |
atraa vo n.rtyataam iva tiivro re.nur apaayata || (6)

{When you gods stayed in this consciousness, in respective proper positions,
then sharp (clear) dust arose from you, as if you were dancing. (6)}

Sayana interprets tiivro re.nur apaayata as : the suurya arisen towards the
Our interpretation : when various functions of the brain started actions
assigned to them, they became active together (dancing) and the "dust" i.e.,
a "cloud" of thoughts arose from them. This included Ego. It is this Ego
that Sayana refers to as suurya (and thus mixing up the code.)

yad devaa yatayo yathaa bhuvanaany apinvata |
atraa samudra aa guuLham aa suuryam ajabhartana || (7)

{Gods, when you filled the worlds, as controllers, then you brought out the
Sun hidden in ocean. (7)}

yataya.h        -- pl. of yati.h, one who decides; controller;
bhuvanaani      -- worlds; various levels of awareness;
suuryam         -- Sun (aatmaa); or here it may be taken to be Ego;
samudra.h       -- ocean (consciousness);

a.s.tau putraaso aditer ye jaataas tanva`s pari |
devaa.m upa prait saptabhi.h paraa maartaa.n.dam aasyat || (8)

{Eight sons of Aditi were born from her body (Self).  Seven were like gods
(or, became gods), The [eightth] Martanda she sent upwards (far). (8)}

Sayana gives the names of the eight sons as : Mitra, Varuna, Dhatri,
Aryaman, Amsha, Bhaga, Vivasvat and Aditya. From our previous discussions,
it is clear that the seven gods are the awarers of the seven states of
consciousness. For example, Mitra is the awarer of the normal waking state.
The 8th, Martanda, is suurya, aatmaa.

saptabhi.h putrair aditir upa prait puurvya.m yugam |
prajaayai m.rtyave tvat punar maartaa.n.dam aabharat || (9)

{With seven sons Aditi went to a former generation (begining of meditation
or searching), but she bore Martanda once again for progeny and death. (9)}

Sayana explains this mantra by noting that etymology of maartaa.n.da can be
maarta + a.n.da.h = m.rtyu + janma.h, i.e. births and deaths. This
interpretation seems to be defective because if Martanda is suurya, then it
can not be cause of birth and death.

Our interpretation : birth = Self-realization and death = routine life;
Martanda, suurya, provides cycles of these two states in a seeker.

According to Sayana, b.rhaspati is same as aditi, mother of gods. We
interprete b.rhaspati as that function of the brain which develops a
concept-seed generated at paraa vaak level into a fully developed thought at
vaikharii vaak level. Aditi is the sequencing, concatenating process by which
a finite set generates a countably infinite set. In other words, Aditi can
be taken to be equivalent to set N of natural numbers, it has countably
infinite members.

Unmanifested : like a set of Real numbers, represented by a "Real line" in
text-books. But you can never draw a real "Real Line", it will always be
limited, in extent and its granuality. The text-books give a manifested
"Real Line", limited, a countable set of ink points very near to each other.

I can not resist the temptation of putting down the relationships between
the various mantras (sa.mgati) in an algorithmic form :

Mantra        Flow of concepts :
(1)     clear exposition of generation of gods :
        Start -->+
(2)             asat (unmanifested)
                 |  Aditi
                sat  (manifested)
(3)             a"saa.h (name-space)
                uttanapada (tree of knowledge)
(4)             bhuu.h     (world view) (things external to "I")
                a"saa.h    (physical space, aakaa"sa) as a first step to
                 |                        material or "physical" objects
(4)         aditi --> dak"sa.h -->   "Endless Loop", conveys Knowledge;
            ^                    |
(5)        devaa.h
                 | dancing (mutual activity)
(6)         controller (suurya ?) hidden in consciousness, cidaabhaasa
(7)         devaa.h --> bhuvanaani, suurya
                   / \
                  /   \
(8)         7 sons     maartaa.n.da
             |          |__ sent "upwards", i.e. aanandamaya, cidaabhaasa
(9)        begining or             |__ cycles "birth" and "death"
           previous,                            |            |
           go to (2)                   Self-realization   routine life
           maintenance of perceptions
           of "created" world (2).
           (Lay person)                       (Jiivanmukta)

The structure of the sukta itself denotes the concept flow, also the path of
life of a jiiva. If one understands what is Aditi (Maya) at (4), then at (8)
he becomes Jivanmukta, because it is Aditi which send up Martanda.

With that we come to end of discussion of this sukta. What is more to say?
I become silent now, both verbally and mentally.

ahamaha.m nigadan na jaanan ko.aha.m pratyayata.h |
yadaa niv.rtta.h pravacanaat uditaa dhi.h brahmaasmiiti ||

{Saying "I", "I" one did not really know who is "I" definitely. When stopped
talking (discussing), the Knowledge that "I am verily Brahman" arose.}

Here niv.rtta.h pravacanaat (when stopped talking) has several meanings.

This closes several opening brackets aham aham ... which we were having in this
series of postings with a single closing bracket  brahmaasmi, just as Karma
of many births gets nullified by Knowledge obtained in one birth.
In algebra, there should be as many right, closing brackets ), as there
opening brackets (, for a well formed expression. Not so here.

     ahamahamiti acaram dvaada"se.su sarpadhi.h |
     brahmaasmiiti trayoda"se sak.rt mukto rajjudhi.h ||

{In the twelve [chapters, months, states] I went around feeling "I", "I",
having a view of the Illusion. In the thirteenth in a single [effort] I was
released, understanding myself to be Brahman, having a clear view of the
sarpadhi.h = seeing and accepting the Illusion as it is;
rajjudhi.h = knowing the real nature of Illusion and accepting the Basis.

Here concludes this series of postings. I do hope this small effort will be
able to interest you in studying more our great heritage.

-- Himanshu
["sraava.na pur.nimaa vikrama sa.mvata 2056 : Rakshabandhana]

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