The Pillar of Celestial Fire

The Pillar of Celestical Fire

 

On top, sits Brahma

At bottom, Hari (Vishnu) in Boar (Varaha) Avatar

 

Key Terms

  • Mount Meru
  • Alif
  • Lingam
  • Danda
  • Meru Danda
  • Staff
  • Skambha
  • Stambha
  • Yupa-Stambha
  • Pillar
  • Fire
  • Jwala Linga
  • Agni Linga
  • One
  • 1
  • Ek Seedhi Lakir
  • Straight Vertical Line
  • Danda and the Serpent
  • Verticalism and Horizontalism
  • +
  • Ek Onkar
  • Om
  • Pranav
  • Fire Ascends
  • Yagya
  • Yajna
  • Ascending God
  • Water Descends
  • Descending God
  • Avatar
  • It rains
  • Falling Rains
  • Fall
  • Water flows Horizontally
  • Fire leaps Vertically
  • A Torus
  • An Apple
  • Atharv Veda, The Fourth Veda
  • Ida Lunar Vishnu
  • Pingala Solar Brahma
  • Sushumana  Agni Shiva Central Column
  • Sukhmani
  • 4 – 3 – 2 – 1
  • 432
  • 4321
  • 4/3 Fourth
  • 3/2 Fifth
  • 2/1 Octave
  • 1 great Monad
  • Pingala and Panini
  • Fire and Water
  • Mahat Tattva
  • Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni
  • Saptak
  • Pancham

 

 

HYMN VII

Skambha, the Pillar or Fulcrum of all existenc

Atharva Veda ( X – 7,8) — Skambha Suktam

The origins of the worship of the Shiva-Linga are unknown. Shiva-Linga has one complete purana which is dedicated to its form and origin. It may be a symbolic representation of self (Atma Linga) or of everything. Some associate it with the physical form of Pranava (Om). Oval form represents even the shape of the Universe including the existing space. The beginning of the oval form is A in OM and prolonged part is U in OM and M is the ending part of the linga. It is single shape of Trimurti. Praying Shiva Linga is considered as praying the Thrimurti in absolute form. Linga represents absolute and Single power of this universe. Some associate them with the famous hymn in the Atharva-Veda Samhitâ sung in praise of the Yupa-Stambha, the sacrificial post. In that hymn a description is found of the beginningless and endless Stambha or Skambha and it is shown that the said Skambha is put in place of the eternal Brahman. As afterwards the Yajna (sacrificial) fire, its smoke, ashes and flames, the Soma plant and the ox that used to carry on its back the wood for the Vedic sacrifice gave place to the conceptions of the brightness of Shiva’s body, his tawny matted-hair, his blue throat and the riding on the bull of the Shiva. The Yupa-Skambha gave place in time to the Shiva-Linga. In the Linga Purâna the same hymn is expanded in the shape of stories, meant to establish the glory of the great Stambha and the superiority of Mahâdeva.

In the context of Hindu mythology, stambha, also spelt as Skambha, is believed to a cosmic column. It is believed that the stambha functions as a bond, which joins the heaven (Svarga) and the earth (prithvi). A number of Hindu scriptures, including the Atharva Veda, have references to stambha. In the Atharva Veda, a celestial stambha has been mentioned, and that has been described as a scaffold, which supports the cosmos and material creation

Skambha Sukta ( Atharva Veda X-7 )

kásminn áṅge tápo asyā́dhi tiṣṭhati kásminn áṅga r̥tám asyā́dhy ā́hitam
kvà vratáṃ kvà śraddhā́sya tiṣṭhati kásminn áṅge satyám asya prátiṣṭhitam 1

kásmād áṅgād dīpyate agnír asya kásmād áṅgāt pavate mātaríśva
kásmād áṅgād ví mimīté ‘dhi candrámā mahá skambhásya mímāno áṅgam 2

kásminn áṅge tiṣṭhati bhū́mir asya kásminn áṅge tiṣṭhaty antárikṣam
kásminn áṅge tiṣṭhaty ā́hitā dyáuḥ kásminn áṅge tiṣṭhaty úttaraṃ diváḥ 3

kvà prépsan dīpyata ūrdhvó agníḥ kvà prépsan pavate mātaríśvā
yátra prépsantīr abhiyánty āvŕ̥taḥ skambháṃ táṃ brūhi katamáḥ svid evá sáḥ 4

kvā̀rdhamāsā́ḥ kvà yanti mā́sāḥ saṃvatsaréṇa sahá saṃvidānā́ḥ
yátra yánty r̥távo yátrārtavā́ḥ skambháṃ táṃ brūhi katamáḥ svid evá sáḥ 5

kvà prépsantī yuvatī́ vírūpe ahorātré dravataḥ saṃvidāné
yátra prépsantīr abhiyánty ā́paḥ skambháṃ táṃ brūhi katamáḥ svid evá sáḥ 6

yásmint stabdhvā́ prajā́patir lokā́nt sárvām̐ ádhārayat
skambháṃ táṃ brūhi katamáḥ svid evá sáḥ 7

yát paramám avamám yác ca madhyamáṃ prajā́patiḥ sasr̥jé viśvárūpam
kíyatā skambháḥ prá viveśa tátra yán ná prā́viśat kíyat tád babhūva 8

kíyatā skambháḥ prá viveśa bhūtám kíyad bhaviṣyád anvā́śaye ‘sya
ékaṃ yád áṅgam ákr̥ṇot sahasradhā́ kíyatā skambháḥ prá viveśa tátra 9

yátra lokā́mś ca kóśāṃś cā́po bráhma jánā vidúḥ
ásac ca yátra sác cāntá skambháṃ táṃ brūhi katamáḥ svid evá sáḥ 10

yátra tápaḥ parākrámya vratáṃ dhāráyaty úttaram
r̥táṃ ca yátra śraddhā́ cā́po bráhma samā́hitāḥ skambháṃ táṃ brūhi katamáḥ svid evá sáḥ 11

yásmin bhū́mir antárikṣaṃ dyáur yásminn ádhy ā́hitā
yátrāgníś candrámāḥ sū́ryo vā́tas tiṣṭhanty ā́rpitāḥ skambháṃ táṃ brūhi katamáḥ svid evá sáḥ 12

yásya tráyastriṃśad devā́ áṅge sárve samā́hitāḥ
skambháṃ táṃ brūhi katamáḥ svid evá sáḥ 13

yátra ŕ̥ṣayaḥ prathamajā́ ŕ̥caḥ sā́ma yájur mahī́
ekarṣír yásminn ā́rpitaḥ skambháṃ táṃ brūhi katamáḥ svid evá sáḥ 14

yátrāmŕ̥taṃ ca mr̥tyúś ca púruṣé ‘dhi samā́hite
samudró yásya nāḍyàḥ púruṣé ‘dhi samā́hitāḥ skambháṃ táṃ brūhi katamáḥ svid evá sáḥ 15

yásya cátasraḥ pradíśo nāḍyàs tíṣṭhanti prathamā́ḥ
yajñó yátra párākrāntaḥ skambháṃ táṃ brūhi katamáḥ svid evá sáḥ 16

yé púruṣe bráhma vidús té viduḥ parameṣṭhínam
yó véda parameṣṭhínaṃ yáś ca véda prajā́patim
jyeṣṭháṃ yé brā́hmaṇaṃ vidús te skambhám anusáṃviduḥ 17

yásya śíro vaiśvānaráś cákṣur áṅgirasó ‘bhavan
áṅgāni yásya yātávaḥ skambháṃ táṃ brūhi katamáḥ svid evá sáḥ 18

yásya bráhma múkham āhúr jihvā́ṃ madhukaśā́m utá
virā́jam ū́dho yásyāhúḥ skambháṃ táṃ brūhi katamáḥ svid evá sáḥ 19

yásmād ŕ̥co apā́takṣan yájur yásmād apā́kaṣan
sā́māni yásya lómāny atharvāṅgiráso múkhaṃ skambháṃ táṃ brūhi katamáḥ svid evá sáḥ 20

asaccākhā́ṃ pratíṣṭhantīṃ paramám iva jánā viduḥ
utó sán manyanté ‘vare yé te śā́khām upā́sate 21

yátrādityā́ś ca rudrā́ś ca vásavaś ca samā́hítāḥ
bhūtáṃ ca yátra bhávyaṃ ca sárve lokā́ḥ prátiṣṭhitāḥ skambháṃ táṃ brūhi katamáḥ svid evá sáḥ 22

yásya tráyastriṃśad devā́ nidhíṃ rákṣanti sarvadā́
nidhíṃ tám adyá kó veda yáṃ devā abhirákṣatha 23

yátra devā́ brahmavído bráhma jyeṣṭhám upā́sate
yó vái tā́n vidyā́t pratyákṣaṃ sá brahmā́ véditā syāt 24

br̥hánto nā́ma té devā́ yé ‘sataḥ pári jajñiré
ékaṃ tád áṅgaṃ skambhásyā́sad āhuḥ paró jánāḥ 25

yátra skambháḥ prajanáyan purāṇáṃ vyávartayat
ékaṃ tád áṅgaṃ skambhásya purāṇám anusáṃviduḥ 26

yásya tráyastriṃśad devā́ áṅge gā́trā vibhejiré
tā́n vái tráyastriṃśad devā́n éke brahamvído viduḥ 27

hiraṇyagarbhám paramám anatyudyáṃ jánā viduḥ
skambhás tád ágre prā́siñcad dhíraṇyaṃ loké antarā́ 28

skambhé lokā́ḥ skambhé tápaḥ skambhé ‘dhy r̥tám ā́hitam
skámbha tvā́ veda pratyákṣam índre sárvaṃ samā́hitam 29

índre lokā́ índre tápa índre ‘dhy r̥tám ā́hitam
índraṃ tvā́ veda pratyákṣaṃ skambhé sárvaṃ prátiṣṭhitam 30

nā́ma nā́mnā johavīti purā́ sū́ryāt puróṣásaḥ
yád ajáḥ prathamáṃ saṃbabhū́va sá ha tát svarā́jyam iyāya yásmān nā́nyát páram ásti bhūtám 31

yásya bhū́miḥ pramā́ntárikṣam utódáram
dívaṃ yáś cakré mūrdhā́naṃ tásmai jyeṣṭhā́ya bráhmaṇe námaḥ 32

yásya sū́ryaś cákṣuś candrámāś ca púnarṇavaḥ
agníṃ yáś cakrá āsyàṃ tásmai jyeṣṭhā́ya bráhmaṇe námaḥ 33

yásya vā́taḥ prāṇāpānáu cákṣur áṅgirasó ‘bhavan
díśo yáś cakré prajñā́nīs tásmai jyeṣṭhā́ya bráhmaṇe námaḥ 34

skambhó dādhāra dyā́vāpr̥thivī́ ubhé imé skambhó dādhārorv àntárikṣam
skambhó dādhāra pradíśaḥ ṣáḍ urvī́ḥ skambhá idáṃ víśvaṃ bhúvanam ā́ viveśa 35

yáḥ śrámāt tápaso jātó lokā́nt sárvānt samānaśé
sómaṃ yáś cakré kévalaṃ tásmai jyeṣṭhā́ya bráhmaṇe námaḥ 36

katháṃ vā́to nélayati katháṃ ná ramate mánaḥ
kím ā́paḥ satyáṃ prépsantīr nélayanti kadā́ caná 37

mahád yakṣáṃ bhúvanasya mádhye tápasi krāntáṃ salilásya pr̥ṣṭhé
tásmin chrayante yá u ké ca devā́ vr̥kṣásya skándhaḥ paríta iva śā́khāḥ 38

yásmai hástābhyāṃ pā́dābhyāṃ vācā́ śrótreṇa cákṣuṣā
yásmai devā́ḥ sádā balíṃ prayáchanti vímité ‘mitaṃ skambháṃ táṃ brūhi katamáḥ svid evá sáḥ 39

ápa tásya hatáṃ támo vyā́vr̥ttaḥ sá pāpmánā
sárvāṇi tásmin jyótīṃṣi yā́ni trī́ṇi prajā́patau 40

yó vetasáṃ hiraṇyáyaṃ tiṣṭhantaṃ salilé véda
sá vái gúhyaḥ prajā́patiḥ 41

tantrám éke yuvatī́ vírūpe abhyākrā́maṃ vayataḥ ṣáṇmayūkham prā́nyā́ tántūṃs tiráte dhatté anyā́ nā́pa vr̥ñjāte ná gamāto ántam 42

táyor aháṃ parinŕ̥tyantyor iva ná ví jānāmi yatarā́ parástāt
púmān enad vayaty úd gr̥ṇanti púmān enad ví jabhārā́dhi nā́ke 43

imé mayū́khā úpa tastabhur dívaṃ sā́māni cakrus tásarāṇi vā́tave 44

MEANING:

1)Which of his members is the seat of Fervour: Which is the base of Ceremonial Order? Where in him standeth Faith? Where Holy Duty? Where, in what part of him is truth implanted?

2)Out of which member glows the light of Agni? Form which proceeds the breath of Mātarisvan? From which doth Chandra measure out his journey, travelling over Skambha’s mighty body?

3)Which of his members is the earth’s upholder? Which gives the middle air a base to rest on? Where, in which member is the sky established? Where hath the space above the sky its dwelling?

4)Whitherward yearning blazeth Agni upward? Whitherward yearning bloweth Mātarisvan? Who out of many, tell me, is that Skambha to whom with longing go the turning pathways?

5)Whitheward go the half-months, and, accordant with the full year, the months in their procession? Who out of many, tell me, is that Skambha to whom go seasons and the groups of seasons?

6)Whitherward yearning speed the two young Damsels, accordant, Day and Night, of different colour? Who out of many, tell me, is that Skambha to whom the Waters take their way with longing?

7)Who out of many, tell me, is that Skambha, On whom Prajāpati set up and firmly stablished all the worlds?

8)That universe which Prajāpati created, wearing all forms,, the highest, midmost, lowest, How far did Skambha penetrate within it? What portion did he leave unpenetrated?

9)How far within the past hath Skambha entered? How much of him hath reached into the future? That one part which he set in thousand places,—how far did Skambha penetrate within it?

10)Who out of many, tell me, is that Skambha in whom men recognize the Waters, Brahma, In whom they know the worlds and their enclosures, in whom are non-existence and existence?

11)Declare that. Skambha, who is he of many, In whom, exerting every power, Fervour maintains her loftiest vow; In whom are comprehended Law, Waters, Devotion and Belief

12)Who out of many, tell me, is that Skambha On whom as their foundation earth and firmament and sky are set; In whom as their appointed place rest Fire and Moon and Sun and Wind?

13)Who out of many, tell me, is that Skambha He in whose body are contained all three-and-thirty Deities?

14)Who out of many, tell me, is that Skambha. In whom the Sages earliest born, the Richas, Sāman, Yajus, Earth, and the one highest Sage abide?

15)Who out of many, tell me, is the Skambha. Who comprehendeth, for mankind, both immortality and death, He who containeth for mankind the gathered waters as his veins?

16)Who out of many, tell me, is that Skambha, He whose chief arteries stand there, the sky’s four regions, he irk whom Sacrifice putteth forth its might?

17)They who in Purusha understand Brahma know Him who is. Supreme. He who knows Him who is Supreme, and he who knows the Lord of Life, These know the loftiest Power Divine, and thence know Skam- bha thoroughly.

18)Who out of many, tell me, is that Skambha Of whom Vaisvānara became the head, the Angirases his eye, and Yātus his corporeal parts?

19)Who out of many, tell me, is that Skambha Whose mouth they say is Holy Lore, his tongue the Honey- sweetened Whip, his udder is Virāj, they say?

20)Who out of many, tell me, is that Skambha From whom they hewed the lichas off, from whom they chipped the Yajus, he Whose hairs are Sāma-verses and his mouth the Atharvāngi- rases?

21)Men count as ’twere a thing supreme nonentity’s conspicuous branch; And lower man who serve thy branch regard it as an entity.

22)Who out of many, tell me, is that Skambha In whom Ādityas dwell, in whom Rudras and Vasus are contained, In whom the future and the past and all the worlds are firmly set;

23)Whose secret treasure evermore the three-and thirty Gods protect? Who knoweth now the treasure which, O Deities ye watch and guard?

24)Where the Gods, versed in Sacred Lore, worship the loftiest Power Divine The priest who knows them face to face may be a sage who knows the truth.

25)Great, verily, are those Gods who sprang from non-existence into life. Further, men say that that one part of Skambha is nonentity.

26)Where Skambha generating gave the Ancient World its shape and form, They recognized that single part of Skambha as the Ancient World,

27)The three-and-thirty Gods within his body were disposed as limbs: Some, deeply versed in Holy Lore, some know those three-and- thirty Gods.

28)Men know Hiranyagarbha as supreme and inexpressible: In the beginning, in the midst of the world, Skambha poured that gold.

29)On Skambha Fervour rests, the worlds and Holy Law repose on him. Skambha, I clearly know that all of thee on Indra is imposed.

30)On Indra Fervour rests, on him the worlds and Holy Law recline. Indra, I clearly know that all of thee on Skambha findeth rest.

31)Ere sun and dawn man calls and calls one Deity by the other’s name. When the Unborn first sprang into existence he reached that independent sovran lordship; than which aught higher never hath arisen.

32)Be reverence paid to him, that highest Brahma, whose base is Earth, his belly Air, who made the sky to be his head.

33)Homage to highest Brahma, him whose eye is Sūrya and the Moon who groweth young and new again, him who made Agni for his mouth.

34)Homage to highest Brahma, him whose two life-breathings were the Wind, The Angirases his sight: who made the regions be his means of sense.

35)Skambha set fast these two, the earth and heaven, Skambha maintained the ample air between them. Skambha established the six spacious regions: this whole world Skambha entered and pervaded.

36)Homage to highest Brahma, him who, sprung from Fervour and from toil, Filled all the worlds completely, who made Soma for himself alone.

37)Why doth the Wind move ceaselessly? Why doth the spirit take no rest? Why do the Waters, seeking truth, never at any time repose?

38)Absorbed in Fervour, is the mighty Being, in the world’s centre, on the waters’ surface. To him the Deities, one and all betake them. So stand the tree- trunk with the branches round it.

39)Who out of many, tell me, is that Skambha. To whom the Deities with hands, with feet, and voice, and ear, and eye. Present unmeasured tribute in the measured hall of sacrifice?

40)Darkness is chased away from him: he is exempt from all dist- ress. In him are all the lights, the three abiding in Prajāpati.

41)He verily who knows the Reed of Gold that stands amid the flood, is the mysterious Lord of Life.

42)Singly the two young Maids of different colours approach the six-pegged warp in turns and weave it. The one draws out the threads, the other lays them: they break them not, they reach no end of labour.

43)Of these two, dancing round as ’twere, I cannot distinguish whether ranks before the other. A Male in weaves this web, a Male divides it: a Male hath stretched it to the cope of heaven

44)These pegs have buttressed up the sky. The Sāmans have turned them into shuttles for the weaving.

AGNI_Skambha_Jpg_Mahapashupatastra

Ida-Pingala-Sushumna_JPG_Mahapashupatastra

yó bhūtáṃ ca bhávyaṃ ca sárvaṃ yáś cādhitíṣṭhati
sv àryásya ca kévalaṃ tásmai jyeṣṭhā́ya bráhmaṇe námaḥ 1
Worship to loftiest Brahma, Lord of what hath been and what shall be, To him who rules the universe, and heavenly light is all his own!
skambhénemé víṣṭabhite dyáuś ca bhū́miś ca tiṣṭhataḥ
skambhá idáṃ sárvam ātmanvád yát prāṇán nimiṣác ca yát 2
Upheld by Skambha’s power these two, the heaven and the earth,stand fast. Skambha is all this world of life, whatever breathes or shuts eye.
tisró ha prajā́ atyāyám āyan ny ànyā́ arkám abhíto ‘viśanta

br̥hán ha tasthau rájaso vimā́no hárito háriṇīr ā́ viveśa 3

Three generations have gone by and vanished and others near have entered into sunlight. There stood on high he who metes out the region into green, plants hath passed the Golden-coloured

dvā́daśa pradháyaś cakrám ékaṃ trī́ṇi nábhyāni ká u tác ciketa tátrā́hatās trī́ṇi śatā́ni śaṅkávaḥ ṣaṣṭíś ca khī́lā ávicācalā yé 4

One is the wheel, the tires are twelve in number, the naves are three What man hath understood it?Three hundred spokes have thereupon been hammered, and sixty pins set firmly in their places.

idáṃ savitar ví jānīhi ṣáḍ yamā́ éka ekajáḥ tásmin hāpitvám ichante yá eṣām éka ekajáḥ 5

Discern thou this, O Savitar. Six are the twins, one singly born.They claim relationship in that among them which is born alone.

āvíḥ sán níhitaṃ gúhā járan nā́ma mahát padám

tátredáṃ sárvam ā́rpitam éjat prāṇát prátiṣṭhitam 6

Though manifest, it lies concealed in the vast place they call the old:Therein is firmly stationed all the moving, breathing universe.

ékacakraṃ vartata ékanemi sahásrākṣaraṃ prá puró ní paścā
ardhéna víśvaṃ bhúvanaṃ jajā́na yád asyārdháṃ kvà tád babhūva 7

Up, eastward downward in the west, ‘it rolleth, with countless elements, one-wheeled, single-fellied.With half it hath begotten all creation. Where hath the other half become unnoticed?

pañcavāhī́ vahatyágram eṣāṃ práṣṭayo yuktā́ anusáṃvahanti
áyātam asya dadr̥śé ná yātáṃ páraṃ nédīyó ‘varaṃ dávīyaḥ 8

In front of these the five-horsed car moves onward: side-horses, harnessed with the others draw it. No one hath seen its hither course untravelled; the height sees it more near, the depth more distant.

tiryágbilaś camasá ūrdhvábudhnas tásmin yáśo níhitaṃ viśvárūpam
tád āsata ŕ̥ṣayaḥ saptá sākáṃ yé asyá gopā́ maható babhūvúḥ 9

The bowl with mouth inclined and bottom upward holds stored within it every form of glory.Thereon together sit the Seven Rishis who have become thismighty One’s protectors

yā́ purástād yujyáte yā́ ca paścā́d yā́ viśváto yujyáte yā́ ca sarvátaḥ
yáyā yajñáḥ prā́ṅ tāyáte tā́ṃ tvā pr̥chāmi katamā́ sā́ r̥cā́m 10

The Verse employed at opening and conclusion, the Verseemployed in each and every portion;That by which sacrifice proceedeth onward. I ask thee which is that of all the Verses

yád éjati pátati yác ca tíṣṭhati prāṇád áprāṇan nimiṣác ca yád bhúvat
tád dādhāra pr̥thivī́ṃ viśvárūpaṃ tát saṃbhū́ya bhavaty ékam evá 11

That which hath power of motion, that which flies, or stands,which breathes or breathes not, which, existing, shuts the eyeWearing all forms that entity upholds the earth, and in its closeconsistence still is only one.

anantáṃ vítataṃ purutrā́nantám ántavac cā sámante
té nākapāláś carati vicinván vidvā́n bhūtám utá bhávyam asya 12

The infinite to every side extended, the finite and the infinite around us,These twain Heaven’s Lord divides as he advances, knowing the past hereof and all the future

prajā́patiś carati gárbhe antár ádr̥śyamāno bahudhā́ ví jāyate
ardhéna víśvaṃ bhúvanaṃ jajā́na yád asyārdháṃ katamáḥ sá ketúḥ 13

Within the womb Prajapati is moving: he, though unseen, is born in sundry places. He with one half engendered all creation. What sign is there to tell us of the other?

ūrdhváṃ bhárantam udakáṃ kumbhénevodahāryàm
páśyanti sárve cákṣuṣā ná sárve mánasā viduḥ 14

All men behold him with the eye, but with the mind they know not him.Holding aloft the water as a water-bearer in her jar.

dūré pūrṇéna vasati dūrá ūnéna hīyate
mahád yakṣáṃ bhúvanasya mádhye tásmai balíṃ rāṣṭrabhŕ̥to bharanti 15

With the full vase he dwells afar, is left far off what time it fails, A mighty Being in creation’s centre: to him the rulers of the realms bring tribute.

yátaḥ sū́ryaḥ udéty ástaṃ yátra ca gáchati
tád evá manye ‘háṃ jyeṣṭháṃ tád u nā́ty eti kíṃ caná 16

That, whence the Sun arises, that whither he goes to take his rest,That verily I hold supreme: naught in the world surpasses it.

yé arvā́ṅ mádhya utá vā purāṇáṃ védaṃ vidvā́ṃsam abhíto vádanti
ādityám evá té pári vadanti sárve agníṃ dvitī́yaṃ trivŕ̥taṃ ca haṃsám 17

Those who in recent times, midmost, or ancient, on all sides.greet the sage who knows the Veda,One and all, verily discuss Aditya, the second Agni, and the threefold Hansa.

sahasrāhṇyáṃ víyatāv asya pakṣáu hárer haṃsásya pátataḥ svargám
sá devā́nt sárvān úrasy upadádya saṃpáśyan yāti bhúvanāni víśvā 18

This gold-hued Haiisa’s wings, flying to heaven, spread o’er athousand days’ continued journey.Supporting all the Gods upon his bosom, he goes his way beholding every creature.

satyénordhvás tapati bráhmaṇārvā́ṅ ví paśyati
prāṇéna tiryáṅ prā́ṇati yásmin jyeṣṭhám ádhi śritám 19

By truth he blazes up aloft by Brahma, he looks down below: He breathes obliquely with his breath, he on whom what is highest rests.

yó vái té vidyā́d aráṇī yā́bhyāṃ nirmathyáte vásu
sá vidvā́n jyeṣṭháṃ manyeta sá vidyād brā́hmaṇaṃ mahát 20

The sage who knows the kindling-sticks whence by attrition wealth is drawn,Will comprehend what is most high, will know the mighty Brahmana.

apā́d ágre sám abhavat só ágre svàr ā́bharat
cátuṣpād bhūtvā́ bhógyaḥ sárvam ā́datta bhójanam 21

Footless at first was he produced, footless he brought celestiallight. Four-footed grown, and meet for use, he seized each thing enjoyable.

bhógyo bhavad átho ánnam adad bahú
yó devám uttarā́vantam upā́sātai sanātánam 22

Useful will he become, and then will he consume great store of food The man who humbly worshippeth the eternal and victorious God.

sanātánam enam āhur utā́dyá syāt púnarṇavaḥ
ahorātré prá jāyete anyó anyásya rūpáyoḥ 23

Him too they call eternal; he may become new again to-day.Day and Night reproduce themselves, each from the form the other wears.

śatáṃ sahásram ayútaṃ nyàrbudam asaṃkhyeyáṃ svám asmin níviṣṭam
tád asya ghnanty abhipáśyata evá tásmād devó rocat eṣá etát 24

A hundred, thousand, myriad, yea a hundred million stores of wealth that passes count are laid in him.This wealth they kill as he looks on, and now this God shines bright therefrom.

bā́lād ékam aṇīyaskám utáikaṃ néva dr̥śyate
tátaḥ páriṣvajīyasī devátā sā́ máma priyā́ 25

One is yet finer than a hair, one is not even visible. And hence the Deity who grasps with firmer hold is dear to me.

iyáṃ kalyāṇy àjárā mártyasyāmŕ̥tā gr̥hé
yásmai kr̥tā́ śáye sá yáś cakā́ra jajā́ra sáḥ 26

This fair one is untouched by age, immortal in a mortal’s house. He for whom she was made lies low, and he who formed her hath grown old.

tváṃ strī́ tváṃ púmān asi tváṃ kumārá utá vā kumārī́
tváṃ jīrṇó daṇḍéna vañcasi tváṃ jātó bhavasi viśvátomukhaḥ 27

Thou art a woman, and a man; thou art a damsel and a boy. Grown old thou totterest with a staff, new-born thou lookest every way.

utáiṣāṃ pitótá vā putrá eṣām utáiṣāṃ jyeṣṭhá utá vā kaniṣṭháḥ
éko ha devó mánasi práviṣṭaḥ prathamó jātáḥ sá u gárbhe antáḥ 28

Either the sire or son of these, the eldest or the youngest child.As sole God dwelling in the mind, first born, he still is in the womb.

pūrṇā́t pūrṇám úd acati pūrṇáṃ pūrṇéna sicyate
utó tád adyá vidyāma yátas tát pariṣicyáte 29

Forth from the full he lifts the full, the full he sprinkles withthe full.Now also may we know the source from which the stream is sprinkled round.

eṣā́ sanátnī sánam evá jātáiṣā́ purāṇī́ pári sárvaṃ babhūva
mahī́ devy ùṣáso vibhātī́ sáikenaikena miṣatā́ ví caṣṭe 30

Brought forth in olden time, the everlasting, high over all that is was she, the Ancient. The mighty Goddess of the Morn, refulgent with one eye, looketh round with one that winketh,

ávir vái nā́ma devátarténāste párīvr̥tā
tásyā rūpéṇemé vr̥kṣā́ háritā háritasrajaḥ 31

Known by the name of Guardian Grace the Deity sits girt by Right.The trees have taken from her hue, green-garlanded, their robe of green.

ánti sántaṃ ná jahāty ánti sántaṃ ná paśyati
devásya paśya kā́vyaṃ ná mamāra ná jīryati 32

When he is near she leaves him not, she sees him not though he is near. Behold the wisdom of the God; he hath not died, he grows not old.

apūrvéṇeṣitā́ vā́cas tā́ vadanti yathāyathám
vádantīr yátra gáchanti tád āhur brā́hmaṇaṃ mahát 33

Voices that never were before emitted speak as fitteth them. Whither they go and speak, they say there is the mighty Brahmana.

yátra devā́ś ca manuṣyā̀ś cārā́ nā́bhāv iva śritā́ḥ
apā́ṃ tvā púṣpaṃ pr̥chāmi yátra tán māyáyā hitám 34

I ask thee where the waters’ flower by wondrous magic art was placed,Thereon the Gods and men are set as spokes are fastened in the nave.

yébhir vā́ta iṣitáḥ pravā́ti yé dádante páñca díśaḥ sadhrī́cīḥ
yá ā́hutim atyámanyanta devā́ apā́ṃ netā́raḥ katamé tá āsan 35

Who gave command unto the wind that blowet! Who ranged the five united heavenly regions? Who were the Gods who cared not for oblations! Which of them brought the sacrificial waters?

imā́m eṣāṃ pr̥thivī́ṃ vásta éko ‘ntárikṣaṃ páry éko babhūva
dívam eṣāṃ dadate yó vidhartā́ víśvā ā́śāḥ práti rakṣanty éke 36

One God inhabiteth the earth we live on; another hath encompassed air’s mid-region. One, the Supporter, takes the heaven and bears it: some keeping watch guard all the quarters safely.

yó vidyā́t sū́traṃ vítataṃ yásminn ótāḥ prajā́ imā́ḥ
sū́traṃ sū́trasya yó vidyā́d sá vidyād brā́hmaṇaṃ mahát 37

The man who knows the drawn-out string on which these creatures all are strung,The man who knows the thread’s thread, he may know the mighty Brahmana.

védāháṃ sū́traṃ vítataṃ yásminn ótāḥ prajā́ imā́ḥ
sū́traṃ sū́trasyāháṃ vedā́tho yád brā́hmaṇaṃ mahád 38

I know the drawn-out string, the thread whereon these creatures all are strung. I know the thread’s thread also, thus I know the mighty Brahmana.

yád antarā́ dyā́vāpr̥thivī́ agnír áit pradáhan viśvadāvyàḥ
yátrā́tiṣṭhann ékapatnīḥ parástāt kvèvāsīn mātaríśvā tadā́nīm 39

When Agni passed between the earth and heaven devouring with his flame the all-consumer,Where dwelt afar the spouses of one husband, where at that moment, where was Matarisvan?

apsv ā̀sīn mātaríśvā práviṣṭaḥ práviṣṭā devā́ḥ salilā́ny āsan
br̥hán ha tasthau rájaso vimā́naḥ pávamāno haríta ā́ viveśa 40

Into the floods had Matarisvan entered, the deities had past into the waters. There stood the mighty measurer of the region: into the verdant plants went Pavamana.

úttareṇeva gayatrī́m amŕ̥té ‘dhi ví cakrame
sā́mnā yé sā́ma saṃvidúr ajás tád dadr̥śe kvà 41

Over the Gayatri, above the immortal world he strode away.Those who by Song discovered Song–where did the Unborn see that thing?

nivéśanaḥ saṃgámano vásūnāṃ devá iva savitā́ satyádharmā
índro ná tasthau samaré dhánānām 42

Luller to rest, and gatherer-up of treasures, Savitar like a God whose laws are constant, hath stood like Indra in the war for riches.

puṇḍárīkaṃ návadvāraṃ tribhír guṇébhir ā́vr̥tam
tásmin yád yakṣám ātmanvát tád vái brahmavído viduḥ 43

Men versed in sacred knowledge know that living Being that abides. In the nine-portalled Lotus Flower, enclosed with triple bands and bonds.

akāmó dhī́ro amŕ̥taḥ svayaṃbhū́ rásena tr̥ptó ná kútaś canónaḥ
tám evá vidvā́n ná bibhāya mr̥tyór ātmā́naṃ dhī́ram ajáraṃ yúvānam 44

Desireless, firm, immortal, self-existent, contented with the essence, lacking nothing, Free from the fear of Death is he who knoweth that Soul courageous, youthful, undecaying.

Please see my related posts

The Great Chain of Being

 

Key Sources of Research

Atharva Veda ( X – 7,8) — Skambha Suktam

http://hara-hara-mahadev.blogspot.com/2009/08/atharva-veda-x-78-skambha-suktam.html

The unassailable glory of lord Bhuvaneshwara – the primordial Skambha supporting the worlds

http://www.mahapashupatastra.com/2015/09/the-unassailable-glory-of-lord-bhuvaneshwara-the-primordial-skambha-supporting-the-worlds.html

 

The Lamps And The Cosmic Pillar

https://swarajyamag.com/culture/the-lamps-and-the-cosmic-pillar

 

 

Vedas and Torah

https://www.sunypress.edu/p-1707-veda-and-torah.aspx

Click to access 52791.pdf

Integral Philosophy of the Rg Veda: Four Dimensional Man

Integral Philosophy of the Rg Veda: Four Dimensional Man

 

Meditations Through the Rg veda:  Four Dimensional man was published in 1976.  In 1999, Antonio de Nicholas published a review of his work.  See below.

 

From Forward to the book.

rgvedargveda2

From Infinity Foundations website

Meditations Through The Rg Veda: A Retrospective
(Philosophy East and West. Vol.49. Number 2. April 1999)
by Antonio T. de Nicolas, PhD

Paradigm, Theory, Ritual

It is now twenty five years since Meditations Through the Rg Veda: Four-Dimensional Man was first published in the United States. My earlier work on the Rg Veda was published in 1971 in Bangalore, India. Though the structures of the book were born during my twelve years of consecutive living in India, these structures did not become a paradigm until later. The structures I refer to are the word things and the order of their arrangement I was embodying as I lived there, a context at a time. It was the way the sun rose or the dawn arrived, the slow-motion for the sun to set and the sudden night; the lines of movement, of people, animals, wind or rain; the sudden appearance of forms, by the river, a well, in the sky; the dissolution of familiar and unfamiliar names, in the rhythm of language, Gujarati, Sanskrit, even English or Spanish names; but above all, the new habit of listening with my eyes to the movements in the sky, the forest, the streets, the homes; for the world, and my body, were a musical string plucked at every turn, in every silence , in every sight, sound, smell, touch and movement. Hidden geometries became human flesh, unnoticed. It was a silent world longing to become language, but can a multiplicity of embodied languages be expressed as one? After a while it was life in the twilight; which was the shadow, which the real object? One has to gain distance, and none farthest than an American Ph.D. Nonetheless, dispite the distance, and dispite the academic language, a new paradigm was born, in the Bronx, of all places. The structures I embodied gave way to an experienced, embodied geometry, sustaining all the structures, texts and statements I silently learned in India. Of course, when I set down this paradigm in writing, be it the Rg Veda or the Gita, the actual written text was already a theory, no longer a paradigm, though perhaps the most accurate translation of the paradigm. Those who disagreed kept silent and those who agreed, the majority, repeated my theory as participants in a ritual. In short, the acts by which the paradigm was born in me, or is born in any one giving birth to an original text like the Rg Veda, is not the written text. The act of creation is silent. The text of the Rg Veda, however, as written down is only a theory of itself, an invitation to a ritual. It is not even one text, or one language, but several and can only be expressed in plural linguistic wholes. Paradigms may be tested; they leave invariant epistemologies, but they can never be taught; they are sheer creation. Theories, as short hand of possible paradigms, on the other hand, we learn in the classroom. They are the easy ones to repeat. Those who follow the path of creation, of embodied-vision, follow the path of the gods. The others follow the path of the fathers, the path of pro-creation, the path of ritual, as the Rg Veda indicates. One leads to immortality, the other to rebirth. On which of these two paths stands the author of the text, rsi, commentator, priest or scholar? Besides, the Rg Veda is the sruti (revelation) tradition of India. As such, it is earlier than any other claim of revelation from any of the canonical texts, from the East, Middle East or West. The paradigm of the interpreter, if it coincides with that of the Rg Veda, should also give birth to those gods that gave humans sensation, inspiration and immortality, not just life to a priesthood that changes ritual as the mood strikes, bent on the act of pro-creation for, after all, the immortality of the ritual is more important than the immortality of the soul. Nor is it legitimate while interpreting to disband these earlier gods in the name of a later one, nor the heart-ethics of these original people for the head-ethics of those who came later, and if done it should be made evident. And this is how the “written” Rg Veda began. The priests wrote it down thousands of years later (depending on which initial date you choose). Ideographic language gave way to alphabetic writing, criteria of sound to those of sight, the path of the gods to that of the fathers, the structures of immortality to those of reincarnation, paradigm to theory repeated in ritual. Which Rg Vedic text are we talking about? What is recoverable from such a text? In the end, all we are left with are the technologies by which we recreate either text. Which path do they open for us? Now, once this is said, however, the modern interpreter cannot be blamed for not being a rsi. Let the reader be free to decide between the two paths, and let the interpreter be aware of both.

The Myth of Invariance

The first scholar to find my 1971 edition of the Rg Vedic world “captivating” was Ernest McClain. His interest was my claim that every statement in the oral/aural Rg Veda was tied to a language grounded on musical criteria. Music was once, at the origin of human language, the epistemology of oral cultures. This was all Ernest McClain needed to make a life and a project of his training as a musicologist. We started collaborating, getting together for brunch at the Waldorf Astoria in New York, in 1974. His first book appeared in 1976, The Myth of Invariance: The Origin of the Gods, Mathematics and Music from the Rg Veda to Plato (Nicolas-Hays, N.Y.) In 1978 he brought out with the same publisher, The Pythagorean Plato: Prelude to the Song Itself, and in 1981 Meditations Through the Quran: Tonal Images in an Oral Culture. When we last spoke he had already found confirmation of his work and mine, not only in Greece, but also in Chinese and Biblical texts. In his words: The Rg Veda is the original epistemology upon which humans built knowledge and also immortality. And thus by the hand of music the Rg Veda re-entered human consciousness.

The Artful Universe

At first glance this book is a most welcome addition to Vedic studies. It covers a territory in Indian Studies few dare to tread, and in doing so the author brings to the discussion almost everyone, ancient or modern, who has written anything on the Vedas. The writing style is beautiful and the translations from the Sanskrit have a modern ring that makes the original less intimidating. There is a definitive purpose by the author in the writing and interpreting of these texts! On the one hand, and this is the thesis of the book, the Vedas are the product of the imagination, and on the other this imagination expresses itself as ritual, as the religious imagination of the Vedic religion. Professor William K. Mahoney takes six chapters to develop this thesis. The first two are a preparation to understanding the religious imagination, the third and fourth chapters cover the Rg Veda and the last two the Upanishads. The book, however, does not end here. The Notes that follow these six chapters are yet another book within the book which allow the reader to follow the inner footsteps of Prof. Mahoney in the composition of his book. It is easy here to admire his delicate scholarship and his flare for the happy phrase in translating or interpreting the work of others. While my intention in writing this essay is a celebration of the human effort carried out in getting to the origins of our species, I wish also to sharpen the debate in the hope that “embodied structures” take over where simple or simplistic statements become the origin of the dialogue.

The modern scholar dealing with the Vedic period has several options: Translations of individual hymns under arbitrary categories, as it has been done and can be found in the Bibliography of The Artful Universe; or corrections, very important, as to the date of the Vedas, as In Search of the Cradle of Civilization, as G. Feuerstein, S. Kak and D. Frawley have successfully done, or he/she may try to uncover for us the paradigm and mental faculty through which the Vedic seers “composed” the original hymns. This is what Prof. Mahoney promises us:

“To Vedic visionary poets, the world is – or could be – an integrated whole, a unified structure and process of being in which there are no unbridgeable distances separating the divine, natural, and human worlds” (p.2).

And this world is held together by ” mental abilities or processes associated with what I will call the imagination” (p.5), ” the divine imagination… and the human imagination – especially the poetic, sacerdotal, and contemplative imagination… (and) whether divine or human, it is precisely the imagination that fashions and recognizes the universe as meaningful, abiding, and valuable, that is to say, real” (p. 7).

Here are my first questions. When we take, say the Rg Veda, for examination or commentary, which “text” are we recreating? The oral text the rsis chanted, the written text the priests codified in ten mandalas and became a ritual, or a new mongrel text that repeats a lot of names and quotes but can be used, at most, as the weekend comfort of New Age Evangelicals? And if so, where are the priests in the Upanishads when the Ksatriya instruct them? But above all, if the imagination is the faculty used by the seers in the composition (creation) of the oral, original hymns, which is the faculty that the priests use when they write down the text and when they repeat the same written text in ritual after ritual? But above all, if the imagination is a faculty, how does it work, which are its movements besides naming it, which are its structures, and are these structures the same or different from our own, and if the same why, and if different, how can we understand the Vedic imagination? How many priests does the author know with imagination? Isn’t their job to repeat a ritual imagined by others, deadening thus not only their senses but their faculties too? An imaginative priest is known as a heretic!

These remarks are not to be answered by Prof. Mahoney. He has written his beautiful text. But is this text the Rg Veda, or is it the case that any attempt at writing down one Rg Veda will give us of necessity several texts? It is obvious that this study fluctuates between the “creation” text of the original rsis and the “pro-creation” text of the later, codifying priests. Where once we had sheer power of creation, through an active imagination, giving birth to gods, powers and continuities, very soon we descend to the repetitive ritual of procreation through human semen, and the danger is that this becomes the ritual we celebrate today:

O holy drop!
You are the master of ecstasies!
You are the immortal god’s favorite drink!
Show us the way to success,
as a friend to a friend. (p. 85)

But it is the Rg Veda itself which admonishes us a few hymns later than the one quoted above by Prof. Mahoney (R.V.9.112) to be weary of one single text, be it rituals or anything else:

l. Our thoughts wander in all directions
And various are the ways of men:
The cartwright looks for accidents,
The physician for the sick,
And the brahman for a rich patron.
For the sake of Indra,
Flow, Indra, flow.

4. The horse draws a swift carriage,
The generous host an easy laugh and play.
The penis seeks a hairy slot
And the frog (brahman) hankers for a flood.
For the sake of Indra,
Flow, Indra, flow.

(My translation in Meditations through the Rg Veda).

How does this effort in all of us at producing “one single” text fail when dealing with Indian classical texts, particularly the Rg Veda?

As regards the Notes of this book I have only admiration. It is almost heroic the effort of Prof. Mahoney to footnote his conclusions. It is as if footnoting he were building a path for others to follow. The way he does it, however, may raise serious questions. Is not this the “path of the fathers” leading to the re-incarnation of all ritual, including the ritual of scholarship? Take, for example, part of the footnote he dedicates to my book Meditations through the Rg Veda:

” …The “four dimensions” of the Vedic intentional life outlined by de Nicolas are similar in some ways to the poetic and ritual aspects of the Vedic World I discuss in Chapters Three and Four, below. We overlap most in regards to what de Nicolas calls the “language of embodied vision.” My approach is different from his, however, in that, whereas he concentrates on the linguistic nature of visionary knowledge, I focus my intention on the visionary background of linguistic expression.” (Emphasis mine) (p.238). Does Prof. Mahoney understand that no matter how he “overlaps” me, (ritualizes my writing?) my work antedates his by twenty five years, and supplies him not only with the pertinent Rg Vedic hymns he quotes but also with the secondary sources he needs to gather the community of scholars that will testify to his thesis? Furthermore, was not my book the one to establish not only the “imagination” as a rational intelligence of oral cultures, but also the “moves” it must make to be an imagination in movement, able to keep a diverse society in continuity within the discontinuity of sensation? If this is my thesis where is his? In the ritual of repetition of the original text? I would most probably let this point go were it not for the fact that this “tracing” over other people’s work seems to count these days as scholarship. It seems to be a mind-set of the times. But is this the “text” that gave birth to the Rg Veda? Scholarship is not a ritual, and more so, a thesis is not a ritual. Where is the imagination to get out of other people’s rituals, to rise to ” the path of the gods”? Let’s go on with our conversation. Prof. Mahoney will rejoin us later in the dialogue.

The New Theogony And The Heresy Of Oedipus

” Let us with tuneful skill
Proclaim the origin of the gods,
So that in future generations these origins
May be seen, when these songs are sung.” (R.V. l0.72.1)

Dr. Colavito, in The New Theogony, perhaps the best book on myth written in English, universalizes the “languages” of the Rg Veda, Asat, Sat, Yajna and Rta, to cover the study of all myth.

“What we call “myth”,” she writes “is a fourfold cluster of actions and mental properties that individually and together account for the necessary and sufficient conditions of the mythopoetic worldview, of the nature and workings of the cosmos, and of the individuals and groups of individuals within this cosmos.” For the sake of clarity she summarizes these languages thus: ” These four fundamental acts defining myth are: maia, mythos, mimesis and logos. Each act is a single focus or mental habit; together the four account for the totality of human and divine acts, or mental habits, that have guided the human species to the present shores. Though strictly speaking myth is merely one of the (four) acts in myth making, even this act is incomprehensible unless the other three mental operations are included in the narratives of myth…” She then goes on outline the four “languages”:

“Maia (Gr. midwife) is the term used to signify the bringing forth of action from inaction, cosmos out of chaos, the initial spark that kindles the mind to transform from nothig to something. It is the midwife between the divine realm of immortality and potentiality and the human realm of temporality and human existence. The aspect of maia in the human sphere is represented by the human faculty of imagining. It is the expression of the creative experience; it cannot be described,, it has no form, its proper abode is the midregion between the human and the immortal. Once an individual begins to interpret or reflect upon the experience, maia disappears and the experience receives an existence of its own, outside the real of potentiality, and it is given a form, name, boundary. In short, the reflective act heralds in the aspect of mythos. And with mythos the world moves from chaos to cosmos.

Mythos (from the Gr. delivered by word of mouth) primarily describes the initial reflection of the creative experience. It is the oral transmission of the experience… The first “scream of individuation,” to quote Nietzsche… Mythos, also, represents the original fall from grace, the first act that breaks from the unity of the beginning, from the glory of immortality; for the telling of the experience now has another element, an experiencer, a self, through whom the experience flowed. Thus… the telling of the experience is not the experience… and only those who have had the same experience may truly understand the full import of the teller’s tale…so that communities of experiencers can share common revelations.

Mimesis (Gr. to make a copy) is the aspect that describes the mythopoetic action of re-membering or re-creating… In this manner the story is told with an intent, a moral… What becomes important now is the story not so much as it relates to the original creative experience of individuals, but as it relates to the desire to make a point… The mimetic phase is … the first frozen form: the pictographic mode… geared toward establishing the social mores of the collective group.

Finally, logos, (Gr. the word by which the inward thought is expressed), taking as its origins these mores, completely eradicates the level of personal experience and uses the rules derived from the mimetic to create theories about human action. These mores are founded on human experience, but only on hypothetically universal experience – in other words, experience filtered through the sieve of a collective interpretation. As such, then , no origin in logos has the certainty of an origin in maia… Logos ceases to be a pictographic representation; it transforms into a symbolic or alphabetic system that has only its own correlatives within its own framework, with no derivative capacity from the experiential realm of the individual… Logos has always been the shadow of maia in the mythopoetic world.

This fourfold division is neither a convenient devise for classification, nor an arbitrary tool for interpretation; it is the fabric itself of myth… an abstraction, that, though distinguishable, is inseparable from myth. From a biological perspective this fourfold division is the neurophysiological equipment of the species, its mental habits accumulated through the repetition of the past: imagining, fantasizing, narrating, following the discursive path of logic… )(Thus) while maia stands for an original experience… mythos, mimesis and logos stand for different ways (languages) of making this experience public, either through narrative (mythos), visual forms (mimesis), or… theory…alphabetic substitutions, or conceptual analyses (logos)… Finally, this fourfold system of acts corresponds to the scientific operations functioning within the oral/aural worldview, which has as its verification the ancient science of acoustics.” (pp.6-8)

Using the model of the one dismembering itself or the model of the zero as an addition of objects, Dr. Colavito makes evident the model through which dialogue and understand of myth is possible, and this not in just a few cases, Classical India, Rg Veda, Upanishads, but also the Greek gods and goddesses ending with the education of Pythagoras as imparted on his students, and the acoustic verification in Plato. A breathless trip that ends in the frustrating realization that while simple acts may lead to overwhelming “oceanic” experiences, the unity of maia, once broken, can never be recovered in one single language, but we must learn to move with of plurality of at least four irreconcilable and irreducible languages. Or is this a frustration or a temptation, the temptation to be the shadow of a god, if not god him/her self?

These are very strong claims. If true they may lead to the mobility of the Rta to perform the good act (sukrta), the original act of creation. Can they also lead to reconstructing the original Rg Veda? Where do we find the verification? Dr. Colavito took it upon herself to get to the bottom of the issue. Equipped with two Ph.Ds – one in Comparative Literature and the other in Psychology, her next book, The Heresy of Oedipus and the Mind/Mind Split, introduces us to her “Biocultural Paradigm.” She starts with the Nature/nurture controversy raging in the biological sciences to conclude that neither one nor the other works in isolation, but that nurture opens Nature, and Nature is not activated without nurture. In other words, the neural passages of the brains are open or forever shut if there is not a mutual fecundation. This interaction is limited, and almost chronologically developed in every child from conception to the age of l2; after that, what nurture has not activated in the right hemisphere of the neocortex is forever destroyed, though the left hemisphere, the seat of logic and discourse and the place of the “interpreter module,” keep developing abstract substitutions based on information received by these other brains or by its own conceptual loops, forever. What in her first book was called maia, in the second is the reptilian brain; mythos becomes the limbic brain; mimesis she divides into two: the visual, right hemisphere and the conceptual left hemisphere; and logos is the interpreter module located in the left hemisphere of the neocortex. In this she follows MacLean and Gazzaniga and the latest discoveries in neurobiology. But for the purpose of our discussion, in what way is this relevant to the Vedas and Prof. Mahoney’s or McClain’s books?

Revelation, individual experience, is an affair of the right side of the brains. The left hemisphere can only interpret, translate what the right hemisphere presents as sensation. Thus, while we have five different brains, (not one as Descartes thought and we presume,) only the three of the right hemisphere deal with original experience. And this in different ways. While maia ( the Asat) is the origin, maia is also wired with a geometry capable of letting forms appear, while mythos, the place of gods and heroes, is already a world of forms. However, and this is the point of our discussion, when these two original and originating brains are translated by the right hemisphere of the neocortex they are translated as “visual images;” they are seen as images even if originally they were waves and movement and tactility. In other words, by the time the ritual priests take on the “visual images” to the sacrifice and the ritual, these visual images, originally, were neither images nor visual. Thus by constituting these images as the original text, the followers are removed from the origin, from the source of sensation and are led into a repetition of acts that may crystallize either in a crisis of faith or in a crisis of dogma. The believers may either end up losing faith,( also sensation) or becoming dogmatic preachers in a game of endless logomachy. And the same with any other “text” bound by single language-games, like Western Theology. Thus, according to the Rg Veda it is precisely because of this tendency that the culture calls for cyclical returns to the Asat: to lose all forms, verbal, audial, or visual and break the dragon Vrta open, again. And that excerise, in the Rg Veda, is the true meaning of sacrifice (yajna). The sacrifice is necessary because these languages are invariant biological epistemologies, irreducible to one another.

Dr. Colavito follows up her neurobiocultural bases with studies on myth, Rg Vedic and principally the Oedipus cycle and the whole history of the House of Cadmus, after the mind/mind split took place in the species with the repetition of the technologies developed to introduce alphabetic writing in our mental habits. The paradigm is so explosive that Time magazine (Feb. 1997) could not avoid making a full use of it to describe the early development of the different brains in children, the contrary pole of Dr. Colavito’s thesis as she verified it through earlier cultures, in the infancy of the species. Of special interest in our discussion is her Appendix 2.3 making visible the hidden geometries of the Asat and the two ways of reading those texts: as from the “path of the fathers” or as from the “path of the gods.” How can we overcome the temptation of one single language, and how do we learn to be open to a plurality of four?

The Human Potential

“We can’t put it together; it is together.”

“What we need to understand may only be expressible in a language that we do not know.”

The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential, is a mammoth ongoing enterprise to cover all human problems ( l2,000 profiles with 120,000 hyperlinks), strategies and solutions (29,500 profiles with 91,000 hyperlinks), human development (4,400 profiles with l5,000 hyperlinks) and human values (1,900 profiles with 23.000 hyperlinks). The Encyclopedia hypertexts are currently edited at the Union of International Associations (UIA) by Nadia McLaren. It is now in its fourth hardback edition, first CD-ROM edition, and is available in demo version on the Web (http://www.uiaorg/homeency.htm/), although all texts have been accessible since l998. Profiles on the Web can be translated through Alta Vista into a variety of major languages.

It is in this global environment that the paradigm of “languages” in the Rg Veda has found a home. The Director of the Union of International Associations, Dr. Anthony J.N. Judge, in article after article, profile after profile, conference after conference has articulated, and compiled in the Encyclopedia, the modern consequences of academic attempts at synthesis when these attempts are expressed in one common language, namely the one engendering the problems in the first place. Dr. Judge’s point of departure is the need to start from the experiential human origins as described in the Rg Veda and then articulate the ensuing insights in the plurality of languages available for their manifestation in the Rg Vedic model. Thus, the model or paradigm, is part of the “answer” proposed by the Editors of the Encyclopedia. Contrary to the position academics take of locating themselves within the “web” of a discipline, research, culture, department or, at times, a simple desk, Dr. Judge travels with ease the “lines of the webs” linking the totality of squares, within which the rest of us seem to be trapped, to a knowledge that seems to come only to those who are able to travel in his manner. He is at home in the East and in the West, in music and in science, in Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism or the Tao, and he seems to know a “knowledge” that comes only to those who travel the “lines” of the “web,” never squeezed by the particular generalizations of the cubicles within each “web’s square.” His summary of the “languages” of the Rg Veda for contemporary guidance to those looking to solve the problems, individual, communal or global, or contemporary life is appealing to him because it takes into account: ” The interrelated formal languages based on tone; (they lead ) toward reintegrating the individual in action; (make ) this integration embodied: re-imagining man; (take care) of the pluralism through an integration of community dialogue; (guarantee) this integrative renewal through sacrifice (of perspectives); (account) for an integrative vision that is encountered in the movement.” ( ” Liberation of Integration, Universality and Concord through pattern, oscillation, harmony and embodiment.” Originally delivered for the 5th Network Meeting of the United Nations University, project of Goals, Processes and Indicators of Development (Montreal) as a contribution to the discussion on integration of the findings of the Project.) And he includes in his remarks the fact that:

” Integration modelled on sound may be inherently more comprehensible to more people than integration modelled on sight.” (Ibid.) In view of Dr. Colavito’s previous discussed work, this conclusion is not so far fetched since the structures of the Rg Veda are the original embodied structures of the humanity that gave us birth, and as such they are embodied structures, bio-culturally invariant, not only in each of us but also in the earlier cultures that preceeded us.

Conclusion: Regathering The Fragments

The Artful Universe provided the occasion for a round discussion of the earliest structures of human “languages” we carry in our genes.

Any one particular language joining the discussion does not only show us the empirical grounding of their speech, experience, academic construction, but also the imperialistic tendency of such mono-linguistic speech universalizing itself. Contemporary discoveries in neurobiology and the paradigm based on them of Dr. Colavito make it clear that life, that is, human life, is life in community. This community is formed through interaction or dismemberment of a sensorium that is plural by its very bio-culture base and becomes integrated through dialogue. All dialogue, all language carries with it the possibility of sharing in the embodied vision of a paradigm that has been with us from the beginning, since through it we had to break through the “experience of separating earth and sky.” In this manner there is no need, as Prof. Mahoney does in one of his initial footnotes with a humility rarely present in Sanskrit scholars, to apologize for not being ethnically Indian while interpreting the Vedas. Interpretation, like everything else, is biocultural not ethnical. We are dealing with neural equipment, genes, receptors and transmitters, not the color of one’s skin, or the geography of one’s birth. And finally, if there is any hope in preserving the integrity of the University or returning it to its original call, especially in the humanities, this hope resides in the work of scholars like Profs. Mahony, Colavito and Judge who through their work in the classical myths were able to avoid the “empiricist languages” of the present Academic fashion and return to us the memories of our distant progenitors with the structures that made them live in innovation and continuity in the company of the gods. If we form the communities to carry these traditions forward, we might be able to share in the glory and celebration of life that once was ours. I am glad and grateful that Meditations Through the Rg Veda was an inspiration to them. But even more so the reiteration that our human makeup is larger, deeper and more full of sensation in the plurality we are than in the oppression of one single language-community-creed.

This is what William Irwin Thompson called, commenting on my work: “the planetization of the esoteric.”

References:

The Artful Universe: An Introduction to the Vedic Religious Imagination.
by William K. Mahoney , Ph.D.
SUNY Press, Albany N.Y. l998

The New Theogony: Mythology for the Real World.
by Maria M. Colavito, PhD
SUNY Press, Albany, N.Y. l992

The Heresy of Oedipus and The Mind/Mind Split: A Study of the Biocultural Origins of Civilization.
by Maria M. Colavito, PhD
The Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston,N.Y. l995

Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential.
Edited by The Union of International Associations
4th. Edition, K.G. Saur Verlag, Munchen, New Providence,
London, Paris l994-95

The Myth of Invariance: The Origin of the Gods, Mathematics and Music from the Rg Veda to Plato.
by Ernest McClain, Ph.D.
Nicolas-Hays Ltd. N.Y. 1976

The Pythagorean Plato: Prelude to the Song Itself.
by Ernest McClain
Nicolas-Hays Ltd. N.Y. 1978

Meditations Through the Quran: Tonal Images in an Oral Culture.
by Ernest McClain
Nicolas-Hays Ltd. N.Y. 1981

Coming Into Being: Artifacs and Texts in the Evolution of Consciousness
by William Irwin Thompson
St. Martin’s Press, New York , 1996. (p.187)


Antonio T. de Nicolas was educated in Spain, India and the United States, and received his Ph.D. in philosophy at Fordham University in New York. He is Professor Emeritus of philosophy at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Dr. de Nicolas is the author of some twenty- seven books, including Avatara: The Humanization of Philosophy through the Bhagavad Gita,a classic in the field of Indic studies; and Habits of Mind, a criticism of higher education, whose framework has recently been adopted as the educational system for the new Russia. He is also known for his acclaimed translations of the poetry of the Nobel Prize-winning author,Juan Ramon Jimenez, and of the mystical writings of St. Ignatius de Loyola and St. John of the Cross.

A philosopher by profession, Dr. de Nicolas confesses that his most abiding philosophical concern is the act of imagining, which he has pursued in his studies of the Spanish mystics, Eastern classical texts, and most recently, in his own poetry.

His books of poetry: Remembering the God to Come, The Sea Tug Elegies, Of Angels and Women, Mostly, and Moksha Smith: Agni’s Warrior-Sage. An Epic of the Immortal Fire, have received wide acclaim. Critical reviewers of these works have offered the following insights:

from, Choice: “…these poems could not have been produced by a mainstream American. They are illuminated from within by a gift, a skill, a mission…unlike the critico-prosaic American norm…”

from The Baltimore Sun: “Steeped as they are in mythology and philosophy these are not easy poems. Nor is de Nicolas an easy poet. He confronts us with the necessity to remake our lives…his poems …show us that we are not bound by rules. Nor are we bound by mysteries. We are bound by love. And therefore, we are boundless”

from William Packard, editor of the New York Quarterly: ” This is the kind of poetry that Plato was describing in his dialogues, and the kind of poetry that Nietzsche was calling for in Zarathustra.”

Professor de Nicolas is presently a Director of the Biocultural Research Institute, located in Florida.

 

Please see my related posts:

 

Meta Integral Theories: Integral Theory, Critical Realism, and Complex Thought

Truth, Beauty, and Goodness: Integral Theory of Ken Wilber

Myth of Invariance: Sound, Music, and Recurrent Events and Structures

Sounds True: Speech, Language, and Communication

Mind, Consciousness and Quantum Entanglement

Semiotics, Bio-Semiotics and Cyber Semiotics

Systems and Organizational Cybernetics

Society as Communication: Social Systems Theory of Niklas Luhmann

 

Key sources of Research:

 

 

Meditations Through The Rg Veda: A Retrospective

(Philosophy East and West. Vol.49. Number 2. April 1999)

by Antonio T. de Nicolas, PhD

https://www.infinityfoundation.com/mandala/i_es/i_es_denic_retrospective_frameset.htm

 

 

 

https://o-meditation.com/2009/11/01/the-four-dimensions-of-man-osho/

 

 

 

Antonio de  Nicolás

http://www.svabhinava.org/hinduchrist/AntonioDeNicolas/index.php