So far, we have learnt from the Teacher the following:-
We can not know or attain Brahman fully by any wordly way or means. Our thinking, knowledge or consciousness, none are capable to realize or attain Brahman.We can only puruify our mental and intellectual facilities through mind, intellect and heart to attain Brahman, but it will be a great mistake on our part, if we consider their attainment as full and supreme attainment. It is true that we will have to be good – doers – sukrita. But in the end, - His attainment depends on His grace and inspiration (influx) as effulgence. When He appears (avih) before us, then only illuminated by His illumination our reflective knowledge and consciousness can know or realize Him. This knowing mind only can empower us with immortality. And to realize and attain Him with our minds means to attain Him here in this Body, in this life. Then the energy of the inwardized mind strengthens our self and the intuitive power enables us to enjoy immortality. In fact, we have to realize and attain here in this world. We will have to become Pippatada by making sweet the bitter pippal truit of this world tree. Then only we will attain to that Immortal Being. Otherwise, while trying to attain Him, to lose ourselves in the blind – darkness of Non-existence – asat – and not to do anything to attain Him, will be one and the same thing Both are Ignorance – avidya. Both are perdition.
Now the teacher draws the pupil’s attention to another point. To invigorate and strengthen the self is an indispensable means. But one should be careful and see that this invigoration does not create self-pride – ego in one’s self. Sanat Kumar too had spoken about the teaching regarding to self – atmadesha- after the teaching regarding to ego – ahankararadisha. Self – atma – is the purest form of ego. It is true, that ego is the first upholder of spiritual practice – sadhana. But – siddhi – success is sadhana is impossible unless we transform ego into self-atma. “asyatvam” – you are His; In his teaching the teacher has already given this hint to dissolve the ego. Now he wishes to clarify and amplify that by means of (an anecdote) a parable.
The background behind the parable is the war between the gods and the demons – which is a widely used analogy in Veda regarding the spiritual life and practice of man. The characters in this story are Brahman (yaksha), the assembly of the Gods, the Fire (agni), the wind (vayu), Indra and the woman(stri) – Uma Haimavati. Brahma is a widely used name in samhita, which signifies the vast – brihat – consciousness or expanding consciousness which is inseparably an united with the supreme speech or word – para-vak. So,Brahma is the immutable supreme heaven – parama-vyoma. Other appellations for Brahma are Ritam Brihat – the harmonious, that vast; eko-devah – the One God; ekam sat – the one Existence; ekam tat – the one that. Subjectively Brahma is the efflorencence of the Poetic consciousness due to the influx of the supreme and the revealed divine word – vak – in that consciousness. What is in the self is also in the universe. So, Brahma is both universal – cosmic consciousness as well as Self – consciousness simaltaniously. The woman (stri) is the force, energy of Brahma, the gods are Her special powers. This is how the Jaiminiya Upanishad describes Brahma – He is Nector, ambrosia; He is Prana, He is the person or the Man – Purusha; He is sama – the Harmony. He is the first proclaimer of the ambrosial gayatra sama. It is worth nothing that Brahma is also called the Supreme Heaven – paramer Vyoma.
The story narrates in the Godly context (adhi daivat) how we can attain, realize Brahman. The contemplation in the godly – context is universal or cosmic contemplation, whereas subjective or self-contemplation is individual. Both contemplations are interwoven. Modern theory in this respect is – what happens in the macrocasm – (brahmanda) happens in the microcosm (pinda) as well.
The acharya – the teacher says: -
brahma ha devebhyo vijigye, tasya ha brahmana vijaye deva amahiyanta, ta aiksanta asmakam eva ayam vijaya- smakam eva ayam mahima iti.
Brahma – the eternal conquered for the Gods. In that victory of Brahma the gods felt – came to greatness. They saw, “this victory is ours, it is our greatness indeed” – 1
All over the world, the war between the gods and demons is going on – it is like a fight between light and darkness. The gods are the power of light, demons of the darkness, what is light outside in the world is knowledge – vidya- in the individual. Similarly what is darkness outside is Ignorance – avidya – inside. The awakening and growing of knowledge is like the rising of light in the morning, vanquishing darkness. In the Veda, the fight between light and darkness is shown as the fight between Indra and Vritra. Indra is the head of the gods and vritra that of the demons.
In the cycle of day and night we see the rotation revolution of light and darkness.
There is a natural increasing of light from morning to noon, just as the increasing of energy –pranic- consciousness – is natural in life from childhood to youth. After noon, slowly the light starts decreasing, gets dim and in the evening it goes out. In our life too come decay, oldage and death.
We do not desire that light is defeated. We do not desire to be seized by old age and death. We wish to possess inexustible knowledge and energy. Is it not possible?
Taittiriya Brahmana says, revolution of day and night is only below the Sun. If we can rise beyond the sun, we will see that the revolution of the day and night is going on below our feet. Above the Sun is “ever lasting day” – sakrid diva – There is only the light of the day. To reach there is to attain Brahma.
We have seen that both light and darkness, knowledge and Ignorance are powers of Brahma. In the language of the Upanishads, both gods and demons are the sons of Prajapati – the creator God – “prajapatyah”. So the opposition between the two can be finally solved only in Brahma, on the level of the Everlasting Day beyond the Sun and not below it.
Below on the ground level, so long as we are moving forward in the tide of the rising energy – prana – we think how easy is this progress. This victory of light over darkness is our victory, our greatness! But this pride does not last till the end. When our day comes to an end we see that we cannot stop the darkness. Then we understand, it was lighted by someone else. We have experienced the greatness of the victory of light over darkness. But how is it, that greatness is defeated after mid-day? So, this is not the light that we are seeking. Where is that light which is beyond this light, in whose reflection lies our greatness? In this story we have suggestions for the solution of that problem.
In the very beginning of the story, we get Four denominations – Brahma, gods, victory and greatness. Victory of the Brahma and the greatness of Gods – of course in our life and therefore in the Universe.
In Samhita the characteristic of Brahma is swar brihad vast light are forms of Brahma – we experience light and sound in them. Another characteristic or name for Brahma is “Ekam sat” – the one Existence or Ekam tat – the one that – the one indescribable Existence only, from which all gods have come out. Again Brahma is beyond sat Existence and asat non-existence.
If we consider “Brahma” as Sun then all the rays of the sun are the universal gods – “Viswa-devayana”. If we see Brahma as sky then the gods are the directions – diksamuha- or the mystic “Thousand syllable word” – “sahasrakshara vak”which can be heard by our ears – each syllable or letter is a name or a mantra of a god. It can be said that gods are the powers of Brahma – in us the senses.
Growth and development of consciousness is the goal of universal life. In the language of Samhita, the supreme deity varuna, who is like a mystic ocean to us, dispels the illusions of the demon by the Kicks of His radiant legs and ascends to the sorroless world – this is His - vrata – vow or dexterity – daksha – i.e. True will – “satya sankalpa”. This will of Vrauna radiates in the progress and evolution. This will of Varuna radiates in the progress and evolution of our life – “ayu- pratarana”.
This is the victory “vijaya” of Brahma and it blossoms into the greatness – mahima – of the gods, “mahima” is a technical word in samhita – it means the spreading in abundance, greatly extended expansion of Light. This is the power, energy of Brahma and regarding this there is another name for Brahma – “Ritam Mahat” – the mighty harmony. “Rita” means rhyttmical fruition of universal
order. It manifests in nature as the revolution of the wheel of seasons – ritu-cakra –As “svar’e” light. Brahma is vast; as rhythmical harmony it is “mahat” is the first manifestation of “avyakta” – the “Un-manifest”. In ourselves it appears as Intelligence, Being or knowledge – sattva or Vijnana. From here, the One becomes many and in each of the many, ego, the lower self permeates. The I-ness – ahanta of Brahma in its manifold manifestation appears as “asmita” – egotism, self – assertion, in the ego of “I-ness”. Gods are the first powers or manifestation of Brahma. Victory and greatness of Brahma permeates in them and stimulates, awakens their egotism. They felt that this victory and greatness is ours – asmakam eva – not of anybody else; our’s only. This ego is the first result of Ignorance.
The vastness of Brahma shrinks in the ego of its power – particular manifestation. The danger, the difficulty starts from here. Brahma has become all this and so feeling total oneness with it, in reality the manifestation – the separate power can say “I am Brahma” – aham Brahmasmi. Though this can be true at the time of ascent, it is not so during descent – in the state of manifestation – creation. Manifestation, creation falls in the region of power, energy – Shakti.
In this victory and greatness of Brahma lies the power of Brahma. In oneness of being the manifestation can be equal to Brahma, but can never be equal in power. Here lies the error of the ego.
This was the error that the gods committed. This is the Knavishness, deception, “dhurti”, a whirl on the way – moving in circles round one’s ego. In fact this is not the vastness or greatness of self- atma. This “amhah” – shrinking of consciousness. Offcourse without this egotism – asmita – the manifestation of one a many was not possible . And therefore it is indisperasable but is not unsurpassable. The One who has created the problem, will also solve the problem – by somehow striking out or present the ego from making mischief!
Tod ha esham vigagnau. Tebhyo ha pradur babhuva tanna vyajanata kim idam yaksham iti – 2-
That (brahma) verily knew their thought. That verily appeared before them. They could not discuss – recognize That. Who this Doemon was?
The gods were thinking, “we have been victorious over this darkness – this is our might. We have spread out as the light of knowledge – this is our greatness. We have been quite successful in both ways – might and knowledge. There is nothing more to be done orknown”
We very well know about this gratification or self – satisfaction. It has been already said that one who thinks that he has known Brahma, little has he known. On the contary, He alone knows, who thinks that though he has known so much he has known nothing or knows very little. To think that I have known all and everything inspite of not knowing all – this vanity is the great danger of egotism.
Ego is like a pot. It is bounded on all sides. If a light is put in it, everything within it is illuminated, but that light does spread out of the pot. This is the danger in trying to know the unlimited by limited means.
but this contentment is not the nature of all gods. We will know later that atleast three gods are not self-satisfied. They went very near to Brahma and touches It.
Brahma is that, the ineffable, beyond the known and the unknown, beyond all our knowledge and consciousness at the same time. That is pur solid knowledge; Its knowledge is all pervading. Because of that, Brahma very well knew. Vijajnah Gods self- pride and self – satisfaction.
The ascending movement is caught in a whirlt. It has to be freed from the coils. And so Brahma appeared Pradurbabhuva before them. This appearance was like a flash of lightening – it disappears as soon as it is seen. It is called – smara – memory, which is greater than sky. It is like a frequent remembrance of the unknown in unlimited void. We feel as if we know it and yet cannot recognize it.
Because of the grace of Brahma, the light of the unknown flashed in the hearts of Gods. But they could not know It – na vyajanata – whose indicator it was. The pride of their knowledge got a shock. They thought, “On, it seems like some mighty Daemon – yaksha – some mysterious thing! What is It? We must know.
Brahma is “yaksha” – an ineffable, unknowable mystery beyond knowledge and Ignorance – vidya, avidya, at the same time, He is the lord, the master, the controller. In the nomenclature of “yaksha” there is a strange combination of knowledge and power. And so He is illusive – “mayavi” Varuna is illusive – mayavi – In samhita, maya – the illusion – in samhita is the knowledge – power conductive of creation – manifestion.
The gods are standing before a great but strange mystery. A new horizon has opened before them. There is no end to knowing. So a new inquiry aroused in them and then.
Te’gnim abrivan, jataveda etad vijanihi kim etad yaksham iti, tatheti -3-
They said to Agni, “who this mighty Doemon is ? (He said) “so be it”.
A new expedition infinity begins. Who will be the leader? The god who was the leader in the beginning of this life’s journey, that Agni – the fire-god will be the leader.
Agni is the godhead – the deity on the earth. In our bodies He manifests as the heat and light of the earthly consciousness. Amongst the Gods, He is avam, below all other Gods; just as the Mid-day Sun – Vishnu – is above all. The flame of Fire is always rising upwards, as if it is trying to rise to the Sun similar is the aspiration for the Vast – brihat – in us.
A particular name for Agni is Jata veda – He knows all that is born. According to brihad a ranyaki Upanishad. He is the immanent soul of all beings that are created. This nomenclature is used only once for the Sun. There it is said that surpassing darkness one sees higher and the highest light. There, this is said about the rising of the flame of fire to the sun or the arriving of the soul – consciousness to the light of Brahma.
A form of a might Doemon has appeared in the sky. Surely Fire the knower of all births – jata veda is in the heart of this new born too! So the gods hope, they will be able to know about the Doemon from Him.
Whatever we wish to attain, can be attained by the intense force of aspiration. And so the Agni –
tad abhyadravad, tam abhyavadat. Ko’is iti, Agnirve aham asmi it abravit, jataveda va aham asmi iti –
He (agni) rushed towards that. That (yaksha) asked Him, “who are you?”. (Agni) said, “I am Agni – the – Fire-god and I am the knower of all births”.
Agni is running towards Him. But the surpassing him the yaksha is standing unmoving. Before Agni says anything, a deep voice from the void is heard, “who are you?”
is transmitted to Agni with some pride Agni introduces himself yaksha justingly asks Agni.
tasmimstayi kim virya iti, api idam sarvam daheyam yad idam prithivyam iti – 5-
(yaksha) said to, “since you are such, what power is in you?” The fire said, “I can burn all this that is on earth.”
Tasmai trinam nidadhan etad daha iti. tad upapreyaya sarvajavena. Tan na s’asaka dagdhum. Sa tata eva nivavriti. Na etad as’akam vijnatum yad etad yaksham iti – 6-
(That) put before him a blade of grass and said “Burn this”. He (Fire) rushed towards it with all his speech. But could not burn it. From there ceased and returned. ( He said to the Gods) “ I could not know (anything) about that, who indeed is this mighty Daemon?
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Subjectively the meaning of the story is very transparent. Brahma is that, Brahma is that; Brahma is the mighty Daemon (yaksha) that is an indescribable transcendent mystery. Gods are Its special powers or manifestations – Vibhuti. In the word “Vibhuti” – special manifestations – there is another principle; that of “sambhuti” – three principles (1) Non- birth or non- manifestation asambhuti, (2) – Birth or manifestation – sambhuti and (3) Special birth or special manifestation or special powers – vibhuti. All of them are divine, all of them are conscious. In view of adhibhuta materal birth or manifestation, non-birth or unmanifestation is the void of the infinite sky. “Sambhuti” or birth or manifestation in it is the Sun – aditya and the gods “Viswe- devah” the gods in the Universe, according to Samhita – the rays of the sun. Piercing the “brahma-randra – the hole on the head- the rays enter in all the souls – jivas. Thus as each soul is different – specific its god too is different – specific. Taking hold of a specific Brahma – this is the goal of subjective spiritual practice – sadhana. In between, we meet – sambhuti –the mass of light of the sun. Here, gods of all are my gods.
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There is a difference again of gods according to the difference in worlds – loka. Loka – the world means the world of light, the hand of consciousness. Generally there are three worlds – the earth – prithivi, the midregions – antarisha and the heavens – dyand. Subjectively, spiritually there are three places – fields – body, prana (life) and the field of the light of mind – manojyoti. The godheads – the deities there are the fire – agni, the wind – vayu and the sun – aditya. God Indra is the bridge between the mid-regions and the heavens. Beyond the Sun is the void of the sky. Incidently, we can say that the “yaksha” of this story is the sky and the “woman” – stri is the globe of the Sun or the goddess “ savitri” of Jaiminiya Upanishad.
Sadhana – the spiritual practice – begins from the earth from body. It ends in the sky. In the language of Taittiriya Upanishad the spiritual experience is “akasha – shariram brahma, satyatma, pranaramani, mana- anandani, shanty samriddani amritani - the body is like the sky – akasha-brahma; satyatma- is its soul - ; his prana is always in disport, delightful; his mind becomes bliss, always happy; his whole being is enriched with peace and it is immortal (amritam) by nature. Brahma here has four parts – on one side is the sky, the truth, the disport and the Bliss. On the other side is their dense- conscious formations in body, soul, prana (life) and mind. They all are gathered in immortality which is enriched with peace. It is worth noting that here we get all the four deities found in this Upanishad. Of course when the body becomes like sky the Fire- god agni is then “Vaiswanara” – the being residing in the whole world – which is god agni’s most blessed form. “Jata Veda”the knower of all births - is the Fire- gods original form which is hidden in the two pieces of wood and is produced as a result of churning. We have already said that this Jata Veda is the Sun. In one of the hymns of rig Veda we see Vaiswanara Agni and the Sun as one so the name Jata Veda for Agni; the story should apply to Vaiswanara as well. But as the description there belongs to the beginning of Sadhana, the force is laid on the term Jata Veda – the term vaiswanara is also implied in it
In the samhita the term “tapaswan” – one who performs austerities – is particularly used for Agni. This austerity is His burning power, which transforms firewood in fire.
It is said in the swetaswatara Upanishad, “making one’s body the lower piece of wood and the Pranava (omkara) the upper piece of wood and practicing churning in the form of meditation” one should be able to produce fire in one’s body and there by manking the body full of fire of yoga, one should go beyond desease, old age and death. This is the acme of austerity or the sadhana – spiritual practice of Agni – the fire god. In Samhita it is called “to be of sunlike skin – Suryat wak. In the Brahmana it is called to be of golden body – “Hiranya – sharira”. We have already talked about this achivement at the time of the nourishment or strengthening of body and limbs.
We can see that there are two limits of this spiritual practice – 1) Recitation of Pranava – pranava Japa and 2) Mediation. Recitation of Pranava – especially by loudly reciting the name – uccarana – and thereby making resonating sound of Sama – is the best sadhana of Pranava. Fire is kindled in the body. In fact Fire takes the form of vak – word or speech and enters the mouth. Recitation of Name becomes “austerity with words” or a flow of firey words. This word is one and inseparable from Brahma, a means of realizing Brahma, a brahma purusha personalized Brahma of Chandogya Upanishad or the Brahma – giri – the mountain Brahma of Aitareya Upanishad.
When Agni said, “I can burn every thing that is on earth, that is my power” then he was pointing towards his capacity to bestow golden body. This is a great attainment no doubth, but it is not the supreme attainment. It is said in the chandogya Upanishad this is the first drink of nectar a first attainment – have a sun – worshipper. This is the fruit of the worship of daylight. The worshipper does not go beyond of the bounds of earth. Agni also says that He can burn onlu whatever is in this earth – yad idam prithivyani. And so, this siddhi – superhuman power – is that of Jataveda only and not of vaiswanara.
Any extra ordinary power or victory brings about self – pride or ego of greatness. It also brings about contentment. One thinks that nothing more to attain.
But he whom the supreme Brahman chooses cannot rest. He attains a state, a stage and for sometime, he rests there and enjoys the riches and splendour of that state. But after sometime feels the pangs of unfulfilled aspiration like Nachiketa. He feels, “no, nothing is activated, I have got something more, something higher”.
This eager solicitation of his raises in distant horizon a faint indication of the ineffable.
His beckoning forces the sadhaka to begin his journey again. Sometimes he feels that he will win Him by whatever he has gained till then. But he cannot. Why?
The Rishi of Kathopanishad has given the answer. He says, “One cannot realize or attain self or Brahma simply by speeches, intelligence or much hearing.
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He who has been chosen by Him alone can attain Him – that means that whatever power is attained is in fact due to his grace only. If I have attained the golden body, it is due to the entering and settling of the sunlight of the Infinite in me. My sadhana – my churning of the firewood has only purified me, removed the covers from the light – this much is only my doing, my accomplishment. When my effort, my austerity and His grace go together, then only true siddhi – attainment – is possible in Sadhana. Even in those two, His grace is more important. Even the push for my austerity comes from Him. Its because He wills, that I begin the sadhana!
Agni was once defeated by Vritra – the mighty Daemon! By His own self – power Agni had in the end defeated Vritra, but He could not overpower yaksha. He could overpower the whole earth but could not do anything to the small blade of grass laid before Him by yaksha.
It was proved that the powers of the body are not enough. Now follows the attainments of Prana. Before going into it let us say something more about the Brahma – purushas – the five persons the five doorkeepers – dwarapal – the five senses with whose help we can attain realize Brahma. It will be easy to understand the parable there after.
Subjectively the Brahma – purushas – are speech – the word = vak, Prana – the life force, Mind - mana, the eye – cakshu and the ear – srotra. Each of these has their presiding deity. They are different manifestations of the universal conscious force. Chronologically these deities are Agni (fire), vayu (the wind or the Air), Indra (the mind), Chandrama (the moon), surya (the sun) and Dik (the directions). They can be placed in the three worlds – Agni, on earth, Vayu and indra.
In the midregions – antariksha and surya and dik in the heaven (dyan). The midregions are lioke a bridge between the earth and the heavens. One end of the bridge is touching the earth – the deity there is vayu; the other end is touching the heavens – the deity there is Indra. In the Samhita, Vayu is prana and Indra is “Prathama manasvan” – the first person with mind, that is pure Mind. The senses (indriya) were the vigour of Indra (indravirya). Later in philosophy they became faculities of mind. In the Vedic Philosophy generally speaking mind is not a sense. Its place is between Prana (life-force) and Prajna (knowledge-intelligence). In kaushitaki Upanishad Indra therefore is “pranah prajnatma” – prana whose self is knowledge (prajna). In samhita – this is the natural form of “marutvam Indra” – Indra accomplished by maruts (windgods – powers of vayu), who is the destroyer of the demon vritra. After destroying Vritra, Indra is not accomplished by the maruts; indra then is without any company (nihsanga) – all Alone (nishkivalya) that is “tranquil sky” where there is no wind of conscious prana is blowing.
Brahma is “Aupanishad Purusha” i.e. the person of the Upanishads. In Chandogya Upanishad He is called “Antaraditye Hiranmaya purusha” – the golden person who is in the Sun – He has both Pure white Light as well as supreme Black Darkness. Objectively, materially He is the Sun as well as the sky beyond. The Sun is the heavens; the sky by the eyes – cakshu shya” – As sky, He is the Heard – shruta – by the Ear. In the mystic language of Samhita, He is the vast light – sound – “svar-brihat” that is both vast light and vast rhythm. Beyond light is sound (musical note). Light is in the sun – sound is in the sky. The author of the Purana will say it is like the music of the flute of Krishna. In our story Yaksha is sky and the woman (stri) is its most beautiful pure white light – “Bahushobhamana shukla bhati” –
So as regards Brahmapurushas the eye and the Ear come after the word (vak), Prana and the mind. Ofcourse this is not our physical eye and the ears. They the divine eye (seeing) and the divine ear (hearing) beyond Mind. Then to the mystic everything is conscious direct vision. The seeking, the search for Brahma begins with the word – vak, with the repetition of the word as denoted by Pranava (Om). But so long as we do not go beyond the earth, Brahma cannot be attained. The earthy riches, prosperity, attainments is not the attainment of Brahma. Prana helps and enriches Vak. But that Prana too is of the earth, earthy. Brahma cannot be attained by that Prana too. At last, It can be attained by the pure mind which is “Prajnatmaka prana” – Prana full of knowledge – very close to the heaven. That mind dees Brahma as the vast light – brihat – jyoti and diving in that light hears Brahma as the vast symphony – “Brihat sama”.
It is worth noting that there is a well-ordered sequence of the brahma-purushas according to self (adhyatma) as well as according to gods (adhidaivat).
Agni failed and returned from yaksha. Then the gods –
Atha vayum abruvan, vayur etad vijanihi, kim etad yaksham iti, tatheti -7
tad abhyadravat, tam abhyavadat, ko’is iti, vayur va aham
asmi iti abravin matarisva va aham asmi iti – 8
tasministvayi kim viryam iti, api idam sarvam adadiyam
yad idam prithivyam iti – 9
tasmai trinam nidadhan, etad adatsva iti, tad upapriyaya
sarva-javen, tad na shashaka adatum, sa tata eva nivavrite,
na etad as’akam vijnaluni, yad etad yakshani iti – 10
Then they said to vayu, “O, vayu, go and discern, who is this yaksha? He said, “So be it”.
He rushed towards that yaksha. Yaksha asked him, “who are you?” He said, “I am vayu, I am matariswa – He who expands in the Mother.
So being that, what is the force in you? He said, “I can take all that is on this earth”.
Yaksha put before him a blade of grass and said, “Take this”. He rushed towards it with all the speed, but could not take it. From there he returned (and said to the gods) – “I could not discern, what that (yaksha) is”.
The enquiry about Brahma moves one step forward. After Agni, gods try to know Brahma through Vayu. Vayu is the deity of Mid-regions, so He is one step higher. Still He is very near the earth. The one important difference between Agni and Vayu is that Agni is with form, but Vayu has no form. Subjectively Agni resides in the body. Where as vayu resides in Prana. Agni is experienced as heat and light, which is the illumination of Brahma – “Brahma-vareah” in body; Where as the experience of vayu as formless touch. In mediation the flow of Prana flows upwards through the veins. As regards Agni, this flow is experienced as liquid heat – technical name for which in the veda is :dravina” – the flowing fire. Agni is then called “dravina dah” When the mind goes in the mediatation, a formless flow of touch is experienced in the veins; then the sense of solidity of the body also disappears. The technical term for the vein then is “niyut”, the word “niyut” is generally used in the plurul and the “niyuts” are then the carriers of Prana.
In Chandogya Upanishad Rishi Raihva calls both vayu and prana – “samvarga” – meaning the place of dissolution. Whatever we see by our eyes – Fire, sun, moon, and water (all these are gods in Veda) – all disappear in the formless vayu (air). Similarly in deep sleep the word, the eye, the ear and even mind, all dissolve in Prana. Both vayu and prana are all-devouring. The word “adana” of the Upanishad means “to open the mouth”, to take in, to devour.
Though vayu is formless, one adjective for it in samhita is “darshata” – that which is seen. Of course this seeing is due to contractual closeness – when the vayu ascends in the veins there is subtle feeling of form – vayu touches the veins. This experience rises to its acme “dravina” also means wealth – as the wealth also flows! The name “dravina” of agni – then will mean “giver, bestower of wealth”. (From root Vdru – to flow)
Nityut from root yu – yanti – to bind, to fasten, to be near, compact order eti. “Niyut” will mean fixed drawn by a team of horses – used for vayu, indra, maruts.
One whose ear (ratha) is drawn by a team of horses R.V. X .26! Niyut also means a very high number – more than a million eti
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In the “ Marudgana” – the assembly of Maruti (the fast moving dazzling winds) another form of vayu. The maruti are universal Prana – in the seven worlds “pranah guhasshaya nihitah sapta sapta” – the pranas that sleep in the cavity and are deposted in groups of seven. Marut literally means dazzling light. Marudgana are constant companions of Indra during slaying of Vritra. But in the supreme sole ness of Indra, they dissolve in Him. We have discussed the subject of the supreme soleness of Indra in Aitareya Upanishad. That Indra and the yaksha here are the same principle. So, Marudgana or the universal Prana is lower principle, than Brahma. The lower principle can indicate the higher or supreme Principle but cannot reveal it. Therefore, vayu even as marudgana cannot reveal Brahma.
The highest excellence of vayu is in Matarisva. It is the first form of Prana. Here, like Agni, vayu too tells, yaksh about this form of his – with some pride About “Matariswa” it is said in samhita – “matarisva yad amimita matari”– He is matarisva who takes form in the mother. The mother is Aditi, the first and foremost mother. Matarisva or the Universal Prana swells in the mother like waves in the calm sea. According to chandogya this is Brahma-kshobha – queering in Brahma. This queering is the Birth of Brahma. He (It) himself is beyond queering. And so Matariswa too cannot know or attain Brahma fully.
Subjectively, Vayu is Prana, Brahma is knowledge (prajnana). Though life force and knowledge (prana) and (prajna) go together, prana is generated from prajna – knowledge. Prana is the pulsation, vibration of Prajna; so prajna is attached inseparable in Prana. But when Prana is not vibrating, it is dissolved in Prajna. Even then Prajna is wake, unwinking. Samhita describes this
Unwinking condition thus: Death was not there, nor immortality; there was no sign whatsoever of day or night, there “anid avatam svadhaya tad ekam – that one breathless without air, breathed by Its own nature
The jurisdiction of Vak and Prana extends far and wide. They can lead us to Brahma, but still they are “dwar-palas”, doorkeepers. They have no capacity to enter into Brahma (principle). They are great because of the greatness of brahma. Because of that they can be as good as Brahma. Vak is then one and inseparable from Brahma, Prana with Prajna – conscious knowledge. Still they are manifestations, born of Brahma, not Brahma. Our object of life (purushartha) to attain Brahma with the help of these means or doorkeepers! But Brahma is realized, attained only by the grace of Brahma. The evening star presages the Sun, but its glow is the sun’s glow reflected light. When the Sun rises its glow loses, dissolves in the sunlight. Thus fruitfulness, gratification of the Brahmapurushas lies in such enlightened death, death in light!
The defeat of two brahma purushas lies been described so far. Now Mind is called upon – Its deity – Godhead here is Indra. Alternately mind’s deity is “chandrama” – the moon. Mind then is not the divine mind. It is earthly mind – it waves and waves increases and decreases like Moon . Indra is the first and formost mind. “prathamo manasvan” – in the language of Veda, it is “Cikitvinmanah” the searching and seeking mind – or “bodhin-mahah” – the knowing mind. In Agni – the Fire and Vayu – the Air, there was touch (contact) of earth. Though they are seeker of Brahma, they carried the smell of human beings – “manusya-gandha” like the Ribhus. But Indra is nearer, closer to the heavens – dojan. At this stage the mind of the worshipper, seeker is in the language of chandogya “daivam cakshu” – the divine eye.
Like Agni and Va+yu the special name for Indra is “Maghava” – the master of Plentitude of strength and greatness. In Rig Veda, this appellation is exclusively used for Indra: It means one who is “great, illumined, powerful” – in one word Truly Great – “mahima – maya” in every respect.
Whom Indra saw in the sky, is Haimavati or is the stream of Saraswati the daughter of the snows – which is united flow of life force and knowledge – prana and prajna. The sky-form (akasha-rupa) of yaksha is indicated by his disappearance – tirodhana. We have already talked about this sky, this void. And that, He is Prana, We have seen in Jaiminiya Upanishad. In the Upanishads Akasha – the sky and Prana the life force are two forms inseparably united – the sky is the basis, the abode and prana is its dynamis. Objectively materially as element what is Akasha – the sky is subjectively in the self Prajna – the knowledge. Mind’s becoming sky is its characteristic of Prajnana – knowledge.
We can see that just as Indra is the Union of Prana and Prajna – life force and knowledge – so is Haimavati and yaksha too. The three are of the same principle characteristic. The three together are the trine form of Aditi – as said by Aishi Gotam Rahugana – “aditir mata, sa pita sa putrah” Aditi is the Mother, She is the Father, she is the son. Yaksha is the father haimavati is the mother and Indra is the son.
Now let us look at the story from the view of the Brahmapurushas, the doorkeepers – dewarpalas – the senses – the spritual side of the story will be then clearer to us.
Vedic Sadhana – spiritual practice – mostly is the sadhana of the word – vak. It is Mantra sadhana – incantation of the mystic word, words, formulas, verses and hymns to particular deities, supreme Divine, Brahma. At the highest stage of this sadhana, vak and brahma are one united. Though the sadhana is begun from The fourth – the turiya – state of the human speech, it is not fruitful until its state hidden in the cave of the heart is discovered, attained. The immutable supreme heavens, where all the universal gods reside. All the riks – Veda mantras – terminate in. One who does not understand that, what will ne gain simply by reciting the Riks? He is only the hymn chanter, his eyes are enrapt in misty cloud. This with this spoken speech we will never realize Brahma.
Spoken speech (vaikhari vak) is life less, prana less. When it is accompanied by prana it becomes “madhyama vak” – the middle state of vak – that rises from the heart. Then oblations of vak are given in prana. Then with the help of inhalation and exhalation (pranana and apanana) the utterence of vak becomes subtle. In kaushitaki Upanishad this is called the inner fire sacrifice, called “samyamana” discovered by Rishi Pratardana.
In brihadaranyaka this is called the middle Prana or “Ekavrata” ceremony in which vayu is worshipped.
But Prana is the principle of the mid regions (antariksha). Midregions is touching the earth on one side and the heaven on the other side. Heaven is the region of knowledge – prajnana. If Prana is not united with Prajna, then Prana too cannot lead us to Brahma.
Indra is Prana united with Prajna - life-force united with knowledge – prjnatmaka prana as well as “prathamo manasvan” – the first one endowed with mind. He is the pure mind. In samhita it is called “citti” or “bodhi” – awakened knowledge. In this Upanishad it is “pratibodha-vidit manna” – thinking that is reflective, awakened knowledge – by which Brahma can be attained.
This mind has divine eye and divine ear, which are called “caksha” :- the seen and “sravah” – the hearing. The mind sees by this eye, the white light of the Sun and hears
The dark blue glow of the sky. Beyond what it saw is light – svar – what it heard is also “svar” – sound. Both together is music of light. This is in the language of Candogya,”Om iti etad aksharam vdgithati” – It is the loud uprising chant of Om; the immortable word. This is the mysticism of samaveda.
All the five brahmapurushas are pleased, oblated by the act.
We will now conclude this discussion by telling something about the two main characters of this story – “yaksha” and the “woman”. First, about the woman.
Yaksha appearance and His disappearance before Indra, both take place in the great void or the sky – akasha. So long as the yaksha was there, there was some feeling of mysteriousness in the sky. There was nothing left after the yaksha disappeared – everything was covered by the supreme dark blue darkness. Indra is moving forward in that dark sky. Going forward, he came across – “ajagama” – a woman – stri. This woman was as if like the Dawn – the daughter of Heaven, the beautiful light that dilutes, softens the darkness of Night.
The simile of dawn is appropriate in many ways. We have seen that Kenopanbishad’s introduction is gayatra – sama Upanishad and it is concluded with the savitri principle. The whole Upanishad is graced by Gayatri and savitri. Gayatri is the metre of Agni – the Fire. Agni is called “Usharbhut” – who takes birth, awakens at dawn. And savitri is the illumination of the sun at the time when the sun is below the horizon but its rays rise and spready all over the sky illuminating the path to Heavens (devayana). Yaska says, the heavens then is full of rays and bereft of darkness “apahata-tamaka evam kerna-rashmi”, but there os darkness on earth as the sun has not yet risen. Time of Savita is after Dawn- Usha, seeing from the spiritual viewpoint at the dawn of Sadhana, the fire of aspiration is litin the heart. On the overhead consciousness the light of the ineffaceable
has fallen by the grace of God, but the darkness of the mortal consciousness is still there. We see this picture in the beginning of the story.
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The appearance of the woman is the first flash of light of the ineffable in the wide sky of the Indra-consciousness like the yaksha, this woman too is indescribable. She has appearance but no shape; she has consciousness but no name. It is said in chandogya that the Akasha – the sky is the revealer of the name and form. In the language of the daughter of Rishi Ambhrina”, she is the great Birth, that great existence beyond the earth and the heaven, tha blows as the trumpest of the universal manifestation. Yagyavalkya speaks about the experience of such a woman in Briladarayaka at the beginning of chapter about creation. Therefore each one of us is like one half of a split pea. Thereforethis akasha – this space is indeed full with the Woman. In the language of the Nasadiya – hymn, this is the breathing without air of the “Ekam fat” – that one- or the First desire which is also the Primal seed of the Mind. The first flower of existence attached in kinship to non-existence”.
The glow of the dawn slowly changes into the bright light of “Brihaddiva”. Indra sees the woman as the “most beautiful” – Bahuos’sobhamana- her white pure light is illuminating all sides. There is one technical term for this pure white beauty. It is called, “shubh in samhita. The murudgana are the light-storm of the universal Prana – they are always running towards “shubhe kam” – towards some ineffable bright purity – goodness. The storm of the midregions rises to the heaven, from heaven to “svar-loka” – the heavens of light and sound and from there to-----naka- the highest heaven. The terms “shubh” and “svara” mean the same. “Svar” is both the light of the Sun and the rhythm of the sky – the goddness savitri and the goddess gayatri
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“svar” is light, “naka” is bliss-ananda. The goddess is consciousness – cinmgyi and bliss personified – anandamayi. Her bliss ruined over Indra as Her grace, encircled him as an armour or a spell; Because of that act of love, she became Uma. “Uma” here is not a name but like “bahhu-shobhamana” –very beautiful – an adjective of “stri” – the woman. We will talk about it later. In Veda it is used as a name on in Taittiriya samhita “Ambika” is Rudra’s sister- She gets equal portion of sacrifical oblations. One who is a sister, becomes a beloved wife too!This is another type of the idea of “half female half male” – “ardhanariwar” – deity – like twin flowers on the same stock. There is a nother instance in samhita. In Purana, Uma is wife of Shiva, the mother of Kumar (kartikya). The word “Uma” is most probably derived from the root vav. The two words “avah” and “uti” are derived from the same root; “avah” means god’s grace, Uti means protection from all sides. The first is “yoga” – aquirement of necessary wealth the other is “Kshema” – maintenance of welfare. The goddess is lord of both and therefore she is Uma.
Then the grace of the light and force of the goddess came down from the snowy peaks of knowledge as the flow of Prana like the snow-melt water. The goddess now became Haimavati. This too is an adjective, not a name we find its use in the hymn to ap (the water) of Sannaka – samhita, in the very beginning of which is the RIk “Samite apo haimavatih, sam n te sapta-utiyah” – May the waters of Haimavati Blissful to you; may the seven rivers be blissful to you. According Panini, this is after the word Haimavati – tatra bhavarthe an pratyayanishpanna- Suffix a’n’ introduced after the normal stem (here Haimavat) snowclad peak or mountain) – thus from Himavat – as born of Haimavat.
We get the “ime himavarte mahitva” – see these have become like the Himalayas – Himavantah – due to the grace of Hiranyagarbham the god Brahma – Prajapati. The description comes from a person who is seeing directly; otherwise the word “ime” – these would not have been used. We get another mention of the river Haimavati in the discourse between Gargi and Yagyavallya in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. “Etusya va aksharasya prashasane gargi pracyoanya nadyah syandante shvetebhyat, parvatebhyat, praticyonyah, yam yam ca disham anu” – under the mighty rule pof this immutable, O gargi, some rivers flow eastward from the white Mountain, others keep to their respective courses – there is snowpeak of the Himavat mountain north of Videha. But it seems the desription is about the whole of the Himalayan Range.
One river coming down from snow peaks – Haimavati – is quite famous in the Vedic tradition – that is the river “Saraswati”. Saraswati is both a river and a a deity. “Ekacetat saraswati nadinam shueiryati giribhyah a samudrat…….ghritam payo duduhe” – Amongst all the pure in her course from the peaks of the mountain of the earth and beyond that from the seasof the midregions; she possesses the wonderful wealth of consciousness of the wonderful worlds; she is milehed – poured- for the son of Nahusha (her milk and all the wealth). The pure stream of Saraswati is the combined pure stream of knowledge, word and life-force – prajna, vak and prana. This stream is the flowing ambrosia of Pavamana Soma, which has been tasted and drunk by the first Prana – Matariswa and the grace of knowledge wich takes birth in the hearts of the Rishis.
Disappearence of Yaksha and the appearance of the goddess in the consciousness of Indra is like dawn rising on the snowy peaks of the Himalayas.
Now let us consider the word “Uma” as a name and trace it histerically.
We have said earlier that the word “Uma” as a name has occurred only once in the Veda – that too in the supplement of taittiriya aranyaka. There Rudra is both “Umapati” and “Ambikapati”. But in Taittiriya samhita “Ambika” is the sister of rudra! The words “Rudra”, “Ambika” etc. are names but not meaningless like “dittha” or “dabittha”. No names of Vedic gods are such. The names are indicative adjectives of the Gods, in many places there is definite explanation, defination. Even where defining is not possible, they are not meaningless. There is definite meaning for Rudra. But though the “nirukh” definite explanation of the word “Ambika” is not known it is use as “mother” is found at many places in yajuh samhita regarding “saraswati” – Best mother, best of rivers, best of goddesses, O Saraswati.
In Taittiriya Aranyaka “Uma” is Ambika – that is Mother like “brihad-dive” or Aditi, the Mother of the U iverse. What is the derivation of the word?
There is one word in Riksamhita, which is derived from the root “av” – It is “Uma”. The word is often used as an adjective of Gods. There are many use of the root “av” in Veda, to show close intimate relation between god and the worshipper. The meaning is to be pleased or to be favourable, benign. Or to protect to gaurd. For the first meaning the word is used widely in neuter gender “avah” and in the second the word is used in feminine gender – as “uti”. In some place the word “Oman” is used to mean “grace”. In Samhita the word “vyoman” is used instead of Akasha – Sky.
In fact “Vyoman” is “Vitoman” – which means special grace, favours and protection of the sky through its unlimited, unbound vastness; the sky as if leans over us with all love and affection. This is the picture of “Dyanspita” – sky the father.
The word “Uma” can fall in the same category of all these much used words. Adjective of male gods is “Uma” and that of female goddesses is “Uma”. In this regard there are other examples of short – long alternatives: Usha || “Ushas” udha || “udhas”.
The word “Uma” is used at one place in Shatapatha Brahmana. It means a type of grass, which lives for one year. It is a type of cereal like sesame or mash, a kind of pulse; it was customarily cultivated. We find it in the aphorisms of Panini. Sayana, the commentator of Vedas, saya, “Rshauma – vastra – upadana-bhutas trina-visheshak umah” – Uma is a type of grass which is used as ingredient of silk cloth – Amar in his lexicon says, “atasi syad uma kshuma – atasi is uma or kshuma – “atasi is called “tisi” In Bengali i.e. flax or Linum. Its flower is of blue colour. In bangla the flower “zanzaniya” is also called “atasi”. Its flower is yellow. Like the flowers “drona” and “aparajita” they are used in Tantra worship. And “Krhuma” is what was called in ancient Benbla “khuiya” – from the yarn of which fine cloth was woven. Oil is made from the seeds of Uma and Atasi, cloth from their fibers – Panini intended seeds and shatapatha Brahmana – the fibers. Aatasi is of many types and it is cultivated on earth from ancient times.
In Shathapatha Brahmana, there is one interesting description of how Uma is to be used. Agni – fire has to be ignited in the Fire-pot and in agni-sthali – a special plate of Ukha. A special nest like
Kulaya – place has to be prepared by firewood all around, so that the fire can be easily kindled. First “Uma” – colon? has to be placed, then jute, then “munja” grass ( from which the girdle of the celebate is made). Agni is like an embryo. Uma all around it, is like the womb or placenta in which the embroyo develops; the jute is like uterus and the manja is like vagina.
It is said in the Vedas that Agni – the fire is like the embroyo of the plants. In wet plants agni – the fire is hidden within. In mystic sense then Agni- the fire is their prana – life force. When the plants are dried like the forest (vana) or wood they become fuel-firewood. When the plants are wet, sap or fluid flow in them, Agni then is “dravinoda” – flowing fire – It has then close relation with Soma or the flowing conscousness. But if we want flow of fire we have to make the fuel sapless. Therefore even now the sahajiyas, the Bawls, the mystic singers say, “That the body has to be made like dry wood!” The Munja, the Jute, the cotton(Uma) are all dry and is a collection of some fibres. These wombs made of Munja etc are like nets of Veins in which the fire of yoga (yogagni) is easily ignited. Uma is the inmost net. Agni will be ignited first in it and then slowly the fire will spread in the two nets round it.
Uma is therefore the first mother or proginitress. Again Aditi (the goddess) is the mother of the Universe and Agni is “Aditi’s embryo”. So Uma is Aditi’s symbol.
Here is the root of “Uma” of Kenopanishad. Then is no need of dragging “Umma” of Babylone here, from similarity of sound. In Tamil language too, the word for mother is not “Umma” but Amma – just as in mary-amma. There is much similarity with it of of “Amba” of the Veda. If it is said that “Amba” too has come from Babylone, then it will be the prattle of a fanatic.
In fact “Uma” is the name of a plant generally preyolent in the Vedic society. Fine cloth was woven from its fibres. Fibres of Jute are finer than that of Manja. Uma’s fibres were finer than Jute’s. The fibres of the Soma plant are symbol of the veins that carry fluids like blood etc.
There are many indications to that in the Soma- mandala (books) of Rik – Samhita. From the fibre- net both the flames of five and the liquid soma flow. The ritual of sacrifice is the sadhana of this flow. “Uma” in the beginning was a part, an ingredient of sacrifice. To ascribe divinity even to the ingrdients of sacrifice was anormal practice in the Vedic times. We find many instances of the cloth woven from Uma or Kshuma in the ancient literature. And so the adjective of “bahushobhamana” – very beautiful or well decorated for Uma is also very apt.
Most probably Uma is a non-derivable word. But when it is used in Veda as a symbol, a derivation from the viewpoint of that symbolism becomes necessary so that its mystic sense becomes easy to understand. This also is a Vedic tradition. We can then easily take “Uma” as the feminine form of “uma” which signifies a deity. Some scholars derive the word “Uma” from the root “Va” e “Ve” which denotes weaving. This derivation, which is generally prevalent, is also possible. It should be remembered that the whole ritual of sacrifice is compared with the weaving of cloth. We find it even in Rik Samhita. But when the word “Uma” was raised to the high status of a goddess, they would have surely taken up (applied) the mystic derivation too along with the worldly derivation. In this way through the tradition of the succession of knowers, poets and rishis, the meaning of the word “Uma” has developed into “Ambika” or the First Mother in Taittiriya Aranyaka. In the Purana this Uma is the mother of Kumara (Kartikeya) and Agni too is Kumara, Her son.
This Uma is again Haimavati – not the daughter of Haimavat, but the river flowing down the snow peaks of Haimavat. Later Haimavati became “parvati”. In the west there is a mention of an ancient goddess. She is not the daughter of the mountain, but a dweller and controller of the mountain and riding on a lion. We find the goddess as “Candi” in the saptashati- of markandeya purana. There are manmy names of the goddess there but nowhere we find the name “Uma”. In Saptashati, three characters of the goddess are presented, the first character is that of the goddess who is the yoganidra (yogie sleep) of the lord Vishnu sleeping o the serpent shesha. She is neither Parvati, nor has she any relation with the Himalayas. In the second character too, she is not Haimavati. Of course she takes birth as the anger of the gods; she is like a mountain on fire; such is the mass of Her light. This idea of the appearance of the goddess as a mass of light has come from the two “Manyu” Hymns in Rik – Samhita. The same is also the seed of the fight of the Goddess with the demons. Though the goddess is not “Haimavati” – she rides on a lion and the lion is the gift of Haimavana – the Himalaya. After killing the demon “Mahishasura” she continued to live in the Himalayas and there after was called “Parvati” and the lion was Her mount. In the middle and the last (second and third) characters the Goddess is called “Ambika” as well as “Candika” – both the names are conventionally used for Her.
Thus we see that the goddess “Ambika” is “Haimavati Uma” in Veda and “Haimavati Candika in the Purana – Uma is her Peaceful image and Candika is Her dreadful form. In Veda she is both the sister as well as wife of Rudra. In Puruna, instead of Rudra, we have Ishana or Shiva. The goddess in Purana is independent but inseparably one with Shive. In Veda, Rudra is a dreadful God; when He is in Peaceful mood. He is Shiva, like calm after tempest in the Sky. The form of Shiva-Shakti described in Purana is complimentary to the form described in the Veda. In Veda the god is terrible, dreadful and the goddess is calm, peaceful. In Purana the goddess is dreadful, the God is calm. In the language of the Upanishad Uma therefore is not riding on a lion, but Uma and candika both are Haimavati and Parvati.
Shankaracharya the great commentator of the Upanishads has given two meanings of “Haimavati”. At one place, he says, Haimavati is one who is decorated with golden ornaments. At another place, he says she is the daughter of Himalaya. But no where in the Veda or Brahmanas the word “Hema” meansgold and we have already said tat in the word “haimavati” the infliction doesnot refer to the offspring. Ofcource in the eyes of the mystics both the definations by Shakar can be true. The Image of the woman that appeared in the consciousness of Indra in the vast sky was golden, or she was born of the white heights of consciousness – both can be true and are true in the experience of the mystics. In Veda “parvata” or “giri” (both mean mountain) both are symbols of the ascent of consciousness.
“Parvati” is “Parvamana” – it rises up step by step, and “giri” means, as if it is disgorged, all of a sudden it has risen up. The ascent of the spiritual consciousness is like mounting up the paeks, one after another and at the same time there is expansion pf horizon before one’s sight. In the end the consciousness rises to the white snowing heights under the unbound vast blue sky. This is the realization, attainment of the Goddess, as well as attainment of the infinity beyond all the worlds. This is why the goddess is “haimavati”. Do note, that all the main gods of the Veda are “giristhah” – stay or stand on the mountaintops – or “girikshit” – dwelling in the mountain. In Rik Samhita, they are Marundgana, Indra, Soma, Vishnu. In YajushSamhita Rudra is “girishanta” ; “Girishaya” – staying on the mountain – lord of the mountain , or sleeping on mountain. The greatness of the snow peaks of the Himalayas is the Shiva form of Rudra. There are many references of the Himalayas in the Samhita. That’s the Vaidiks were one resident of the Himalayan ranges can be guessed from the chronological change in the beginning of their years. At first it was at the time snow fall “Hima”. Then it was “Sarat” or antemn when the leaves fall and atlat when they came down it was “varsha” – when the rain falls. It is quite natural for the people whose religion administers them to look at all the nature as divine to be aroused with divine consciousness looking at the white heights of the snow peaks on the earth and feel that their gods also are dwellers on the mountain. Therefore there is no need so ever to drag the goddess Parvati from Babylone to Himavana! There is no less mention of the strength and valour of the lion in the Riksamhita. Ofcourse it is worth noting that though both Uma and Candika are Ambika and Haimavat. Candika alone rides on the lion – she is as if the anger image (manyu0 murti) of Uma.
After the “woman” – stri – let us talk shortly about “yaksha” the moghtl daemon. Something indescribable had appeared in the distant horizon before the gods – which was neither light nor darkness – as if some illusion – maya – of shades and light. This appearance is “yaksha”.
“Yaksha” is a much used word in the Veda. We can see a very clear meaning in the many varied uses of the word. In Riksamhita it is used as an abstract idea – it points to some “mystery”. Vaiswanara Agni is the “lord of the vast and mighty yaksha” because He is beyond all, He is the witness of the mystery beyond all the worlds. This mysteryis Varuna’s maya (mystery) and so Varuna is called “yakshin”.
Brihaspati is the god of the strength and power of mantra – therefore He is also called “yakshabhriat” – He is carrying in Him the unknowable mystery. Marudgana – the maruts – too is “yaksha-drishati” like Vaiswanara Agni – they can see this yaksha and seeing Him they become pure, white and bright. It is worth noting that Agni as Vaiswanare and Vayu as Marudgana, both are Lord and seers of Yaksha and the Brihaspati the companion Indra is “Yakshabhrit” – this idea has its echo in the story of Kenopanishad. Spritually we have delibration of realized consciousness, where as in the Upanishads, the deliberation is more on the Sadhaka – practitioners –consciousness.
Just as the word “Brahma” is used in Samhita both as knowledge and its power , “Yaksha” also means both the mystery and its power. As in the case of “Asura” – the demon and “maya” – the Illusive mystery, in the case of “yaksha” too, there is some degeneration – reduction- of meaning in some places, while alluding to his power – yaksha’s meaning comes down to “yakshma” – tuberculosis! We have to remember that the attack of disease comes from the action of some evil force! Ths is a very ancient belief. Because of this degeneration of meaning yaksha has in later times come to mean a “godly person” – devajana – who can do to men good or evil.
In saunaka Samhita (yajurveda), the Self “atma” in our body is a mystic entity (our body) is the invincible divine (adodhya) city with eight wheels (circles) and nine doors. In it there is a golden lotus like chest protected by the light of the heavens; in that golden chest with three spokes like three supports; there is “yaksha” – the mysterious one, who is the self – like “atmanvat”; only the knowers of Brahma know It.
In another place it is said, “There is a lotus flower with nine doors (portals), enclosed by the three bonds, the three qualities – sattwa, rajas and tamas) where abides “yaksha” – the mysterious Being – whom men versed in sacred knowledge know. Again “Yakshan” is the great Gos (Mahadeva) of the Universe, “Absorted in the austerities, is the mighty Being (yaksha) in the world’s centre on the water’s surface; to him all the Gods whoever they are take shelter. He stands like the tree trunk with the branches round It. Again, “ he lives afar with full vase, is left far off by the week; the mighty Daemon (yaksha) abiding in the creations Centre, to Him the rulers of the realous bring tributes.” Yaksha here is like the king Soma. He is both the light of the full moon and darkness of the new moon. All the world is his kingdom and the gods are his governors. Again yaksha is the mysterious power of Rudra, all lord of all animals(Pashupati), who abides in the depth of casual waters; “For thee the forest beasts and sylvam, acreatures are placed in the woods, also the small birds, the swans, and the eagles; all the creatures living in the waters are Thine. O Yaksha, the lord of all beasts! To swell strength the celestial waters flow down. We see here, Rudra too is yaksha (mysterious being) like Varuna. He is in his beautiful form here. At the end of the mantra, the picture of miditating Shiva, the upholder of Ganga is apparent. Both Varuna and Shiva have the same nature. The relation of Yaksha to Rudra- Shiva has been developed later in the Puranas. We are the association of Rudra-Umapati with yaksha of Kenopanishad can be easily traced.
In the Madhyandin Samhita the Mind is described as “apurvam yaksham antah prajanam” – wonderful, strange mystery (yaksha) in the hearts of living beings.
In Shatapatha Brahmana, the name and form are called two “great yakshas” the two great mysterious powers – of Brahma. In Taittiriya Brahmana when the bricks are being placed during the piling ceremony of the Naciketa Fire, each brick is addressed as “by thee the interior mystery of the world, the mystery of the beings of the world are well supported. Yaksha here is the mysterious power of the origin of the world. Elsewhere Yaksha is Brahma’s Power coming from Austinity. In Gopatha Brahmana brahma is called, “the great yaksha, the one and only”
We see yaksha as “god-person” in Brahmanas – there He is both good and evil. When He is good, He is on the same side of Gandharvas celectial musicians apsara (celestial damsels), Vaisravan and Indra. He is very beautiful, charming. When He is evil, He is on the side of the Rakshasas – devils – goblins, demons etc.
In Purana Vaisravana Kuber is the lords of the yakshas. Kuber is the treasurer of Shiva and other Gods. Yaksha is then clearly the powers and prosperity of yoga . Yoga is the spiritual discipline of naras – the munis – these strong men who perform – mainly the worshippers of Vishnu. In this former there is unfoldment of Self-power; in the other there is worship of the powers of God. It is worth nothing that the lord of the yakshas –kuber is only the carrier of man-nara. Ravana once snatched away his chariot Pushpaka. Now, it is the naras-powerful men who have snatched away his chariot! In Buddhism Yakshas are favourable yogic powers. In our country (Bharat) long before Christ, there has been profuse use of the idols of yakshas and yakshinis in the architecture of houses and temples.
“Yaksha” and the “women” of Kenopanishad reminds us of Uma and Maheswara (shiva) of the Puranas.
The story is continued in the next part.
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