Mystic Passages – 3: Purusha Suktam (stanza 3- stages of creation)

Stanza-3:

Ētāvā nasya mahimā
atō jyāyāǵṃścha pūruṣah/
Pādōsya viśvābhūtāni 
tripādasya amṛtaṃ divi//

Import:

All that has been said of Puruṣa, is his “Greatness/Mahima”. But, HE is beyond his greatness. One-fourth of the creation in which he pervades, forms the psychical plane of creation, with many beings, while the remaining three-fourths form the imperishable divine planes.

Explanation:

This stanza has some of the subtle aspects that are often reverberated in the vēda and purāṇa. So, keep an open mind and open heart.

Ētāvā nasya mahimā – atō jyāyāǵṃścha pūruṣah:

Until now they have been praising the glory of Puruṣa and handing to us, the right pointers to look for. The seers are saying that all that has been extolled upto now, is the “Greatness/Grandeur” of Puruṣa. This is called his “Mahimā”. 

But, it seems that HE is greater than his own greatness. Let us take eye sight for example. When we look at a beautiful landscape, we cherish every minute detail. Does the greatness lie in the eyes that see the beauty or the landscape? Because beauty is relative, it should be in the eyes that see. Eyes that can see are better than eyes that can not see, for, the function of “sight” gives the eyes greatness, not their existence alone! But, if the mind is not in the aspect of seeing, the person who sees the landscape would be day-dreaming. So, mind is superior to the eyes. As we go deeper and deeper in this direction, we end up at “soul” or Jīvātma who is great, for, if not for his existence in the body, the body would have perished and the sight of beauty would have no meaning. But who is this Jīva? He is an emanation of Puruṣa. Many such Jīvās form a subset of Puruṣa and hence, Puruṣa is the  ultimate GRAND aspect in respect to appreciating  a beautiful landscape. But, more so, HE is the cause of that landscape, according to 1st stanza.

So, He is a “great” element as the observer and the “grand” element as the observed. Obviously, the process of observing also happens in the medium which is filled by him (stanza-1,2). So, HE is beyond his own greatness which forms another pointer for us to meditate upon!

Pādōsya viśvābhūtāni – tripādasya amṛtaṃ divi:

This line packs in a lot of details that require a meditative study. Let us go one by one and unfold the wisdom related to many branches.

The line literally means that the whole creation, as one unit, is divided into four parts. The physical manifestation forms only one part of it, while the remaining three parts form the immortal divine planes. What is this business of one-fourth and three-fourths? Isn’t lord’s creation supposed to be all uniform and all harmonious? Also, where is the symmetry? We would expect one-half to be physical and one-half as non-physical. So many such questions might occur to an inquirer at the first sight of this statement. Well, the seers did not “frame the theories”, but “recorded their discoveries”. So, the question of “WHY it should be” can not be answered by anyone. In fact, not even can GOD answer because, when there is no creation, he has no one to answer to (HE himself exists as ONE and hence no dual to him/it). When creation manifests, it manifests through him but not by him. Look into any purāṇa or vēdic hymns on creation – like Nāsadīya sūkta, etc. It is always that “An impulse to create occurs in GOD” rather than the “impulse occurs by him.” So, leaving the question of “WHY”, let us go into question of “HOW” and “WHAT”.

Let us understand the statement from the standpoint of the 

  • Uttered WORD by humans
  • Human-Birth through the womb
  • concept of progressed horoscope as propagated by Parāśara Maharshi (father of Veda Vyasa) and Alan Leo (in modern times).
  • Spatial dimensions of human perception

This will enable us to understand the wisdom hidden in this line, in a better fashion.

3rd_stanza_ps

Uttered WORD by humans:

I have explained this topic many times in the past. But for completness, let us once again visit it. Say, for example, person A wants to utter “I like rain”. Let us say that the whole process of uttering “I like rain” has N-distinguishable states and this uttered statement is N-th state.

  • The physically uttered statement – “I like rain” : N-th state
  • Before uttering this statement, he should have a mental blue-print of “I like rain”, which would then send relevant signals to vocal cords: (N-1)th state.
  • Before this blueprint, person A should have a hazy or cloudy idea as to what to say. He might be thinking “I like rain or rainfall or heavy rain ….. etc.” in related to rain. There are many clouds of ideas around “rain” that hover his mind in this stage: (N-2)th state
  • Before the blueprint, person A must have an “impulse” to speak. Otherwise, person A will be silent and not even bothering to speak: (N-3)th state.

Is there any state prior to impulse? No. Then, N-3 = 1 (as in 1st stage) => N = 4. So, in a reverse order, we can see that a person A is continuing to do what they are doing (state of inertia). AN impulse occurs in this state. It creates a cloudy thought. This cloudy thought solidifies into a mental blueprint which is then uttered as the vocal sounds. So, what is N now? N = 4. The 4th state of utterance is called “Vaikharī Vāk”, the 3rd state is called “Madhyamā Vāk“, the second state is called “Pasyanti Vāk” and the primary state is called “Parā Vāk“, in the vēdic terminology.

Now tell me how many of these 4 states are inside us and how many are expressed exterior to us? The 4th state of Vaikharī is uttered as external to us, while the remaining three states lie hidden inside our heads. So, the law of one-fourths outside and three-fourths inside is working in the way we utter a WORD. This universe is called the “WORD of GOD” or “WORD of SARASWATI” in the scriptures of ancient. So, this WORD too imbibes the 3/4ths and 1/4ths law. This is one of the imports of the statement.

Human-Birth through the womb:

Let us consider the birth of a human body. From the time a sperm fertilizes an ovum, till the baby is born, let us call it womb-period. The moment a baby is out and takes in the first breath, until the last breath of death as life-period. We calculate our time units with respect to the movement of SUN or MOON, the naturally visible extraterrestrial objects that direct our “sense of time”. In case of age, we often use solar years. So, let us use the same in this case. What is the womb-period for a healthy baby? Some babies are born after 9 months, some before, etc. As I have pointed in one of my earlier comments that most of the distributions in this Universe are Gaussian. The peak of this distribution of womb-period will be “9 solar months”. This, on average, is often called the 9-month pregnancy.

Now, what was our basic unit of “Age”? It is a Solar year which has 12 solar months. Because fetus develops every month, let months be our basic unit of calculation here. If 12 months forms 1 unit of calculation, how many units does the fetus stay in the womb? 

  • 9 months out of 12 months = 3/4th of 1 Unit.

Thus, 3/4ths of our “birth” is spent hidden inside the womb. One may ask, well we can see the fetus through sonography, etc? Here, the word “hidden” implies with respect to the “perception” to human senses. We are dealing with human birth, human utterance, etc., because “Man is made in the image of GOD”. So, let us not pollute the experiment with external agents which are products of our mind, and instead, take only the naturally given instruments to probe nature of Cosmic Man. What happened to the remaining 3 months? The following answers this.

Progression of Horoscope:

the_progressed_horoscope

Out of 12 months, we spent 9 months in the womb (part 4,3,2 in the diagram). What are remaining months? Just 3 months. Vēdic scriptures take a solar year to be 360 days instead of 365.25 days, for sake of astrological calculations. Just like leap year, Vēdic calculations have “Adhika Māsa” to cater the difference(s). Not going too much into it, let us take it for granted that 360 solar days make one Sāvana year of the vēdās for time calculations. Parāśara suggests that the 3 months = 3 x 30 days = 90 solar days that were remained in the birth UNIT of the baby will have a change in the “time scale”. When in the womb, the human has no control but the dēvās or intelligences take abode in the fetus to etch the body into proper shape. That is why, the days spent in the womb are “Divine Days” or the “Days of Angels”. 1 day of angel = 360 days of humans or 1 year of humans. So, when fetus comes out of the womb, this human-ness kicks in giving a change to the time-scale. Thus, the remaining 90 solar days (divine) becomes 90 solar years of the human. It is said that after 90 years, planets have no impact on the human evolution. This is base of progressed horoscope. So, they progress the birth planets for 90 days and get the results of 90 years for the budding soul!.

Spatial dimensions of human perception:

This I explored in 35) Tetractys of Pythagoras, but we can still re-visit in brief. The way we perceive the 3-D world is as follows:

  • The basic unit of a three dimensional creation is a pyramid kind of structure made with 4 points, not all on same plane at same time. This is akin to Uttered Word/Vaikharī VākScreenshot from 2018-11-16 19-27-52
  • It is composed of three three planes intersecting and hence a plane is basic unit in this stage of comprehension, formed by three dots. This is akin to Mental Blue print/ Madhyamā VākScreenshot from 2018-11-16 19-27-40
  • A plane is composed of many lines and hence line is a basic unit of comprehension here, which is made of two dots. This is akin to Cloudy idea/ Paśyaṃtī VākScreenshot from 2018-11-16 19-27-31
  • A line is made of many dots and hence dot is basic unit here. This is akin to Impulse/Parā VākScreenshot from 2018-11-16 19-27-13

How many of these states can we comprehend? Only the first or the 3-D figure. A plane, a line and a point are incomprehensible to human consciousness. We may speculate them, but can never “understand them”, unless we become one with them. So, 3/4th of spatial dimensions are hidden to us where as 1/4th of it is manifested and thus can be experienced by us.

Immortal Plane and Physical Plane:

I guess by now you have understood the depth of this stanza. Why is it that the 3/4th of hidden creation is called “Amṛta or Immortal”? Lets go back to our example(s). Can any one destroy the impulse we get to speak or the ideas we get or the mental opinions that we form? NO!! No one can destroy them. The moment they are born, they are ever existing in our conscience. But what of the “uttered word” ? It is easily destroyed – either by passing time or by the wind or the mobile signal, etc. You see! So, 3/4th of the word is in DIVINE or IMMORTAL plane. SImilarly, the birth of a baby. The concept of 9 month pregnancy can neither be amended nor destroyed. May be the physical aspect of pregnancy be destroyed due to accidents/intentions, but the concept of pregnancy that occurs in humans as a race does not. That is why this is also DIVINE/Immortal. But the life after birth depends on individual will. Even as a concept, the whole race can elongate the life or destroy each other — there is flexibility in the “idea of physical manifestation” here. That is why it is not immortal. 

Conclusion:

So, the greatness of the lord is exceed by the lord himself. His creation follows the law of three-fourths or law of one fourth, in the sense that, three-fourth of it is filled with his divine immortality and 1/4th of it is filled by his physical manifestation which has birth and death. This is the essence of third stanza. 

 

Stay tuned for the fourth stanza!!

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33 Comments

  1. You are so brilliant — i am still lost in the beauty of the landscape – it is Beautiful because it is Him and He alone sees it and appreciates it. His Mahima is so GRAND – flying in delight. Will be back to read the rest (once i come back to Earth plane). Thank YOU! Om Namah Shivaya! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks 🙂

      I read that article already when I was skimming through your blog. It was a compilation of some of the great utterances of bhagavata and upanishads – specially Katha, my fav. My only question is did you translate them or did you quote them from Prabhupada’s translation?

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      1. I mark in double quotes for those I directly quote from vedabase and also link it to them. Otherwise as much as possible I write it from my interpretations. Please do let me know if you think some of them looks a direct lift from somewhere. I will go to that source and I either will acknowledge it or take it away from my blog.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Mostly I don’t think I have to go that extreme 🙂 most of my posts are on general topics and my own personal experiences so I am not finding the necessity to take from other fellow writers unless I am too much impacted and would like to give profuse credit for their impact by direct acknowledgement or directly asking them for permission.

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    2. 🙂 Do read and digest. I am sure it will help you in pursuit of Bhagavata, because P.S is basic brick from puranic evolution of concepts. P.S comes in all the 4 vedas, brahmanas as well as agamas. So, its seeds are spread everywhere in our scriptural farm, sprouting many different crops of sweet wisdom.

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      1. Yes I totally agree with you PS is the basis of everything . Meanwhile On a lighter vein I understood it in a very hard manner when the Vivekananda college principal in those days of yore use to ask the prospective college entrants to recite PS as part of the admission process (LOL) I honestly admitted I don’t know a word of it and asked me to give a week time 🙂 he smiled and offered the seat (LOL). But still I didn’t went on to learn it till now… that’s another story 🙂

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  2. and another thing i want to mention that all the core concepts you mention as i could read in several of your posts, i could find the exact collorary in Srimad Bhagavatham. for example the four layers of vedic sounds and, and we are not able to get to a reasonable extent even in the first layer itself..that being said the vedic sound is deep and unfathomable than even the mighty ocean as explained under Chapter 21 Canto 11 (verses 36-42) under Uddhava Gita Section. In particular, i was talking about this statement “The 4th state of Vaikharī is uttered as external to us, while the remaining three states lie hidden inside our heads”. The purport of these verses throws a lot of light on this. (https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/11/21/36/).

    Thank you again. Your varied sources of knowledge and its assimilation is proving to be a kind of treat to us!

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    1. 🙂 In fact it should reverse map. Puranas are commentaries to vedas. As I told in mysteries of Bhagavata, it is composed by taking the drama of cosmic man( Purusha) taking birth as (Jiva – second purusha, which comes in next stanza(s) of PS) through the brilliant egg of Virāṭ. Anyways, you are connecting the missing links, which I am very happy to see. This connection of dots makes our understanding more complete, dot by dot.

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      1. Thank you very much. As it is said in Bhagavatham itself. Canto 2 Chapter 10: Bhāgavatam Is the Answer to All Questions, that is a very beautiful chapter..all-in-all summarising all aspects involved in creation-preservation-annihiliation and everything that is possible thereof!

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      2. SO true. This is what I like of our scriptures. DO you know FRACTAL dimensions? search a youtube video if you don’t know. Our scriptures are exactly like fractals. Take any small infinitesimal part of it and it reveals the whole wisdom all together. I never understand how Sages wrote a compact and yet elaborate scriptures revealing the marvels of “I AM”.

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      3. similarly a single cell is itself a self contained unit capable of everythin on its own to its coexistence of trillions of cells in a complex organism! you can get the analogy or microcosm-macrocosm and the concept of the universe as an organic whole or the virata purusha!

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  3. i have read about its beautiful symmetry, the order of dimensions in nature in conch shells, tree barks, flowers, network of veins in leaf, ice crystal structure etc and could relate to certain repeated patterns all over…but why? that continues to be a mystery! you may say arrangement od numbers in a optimum way, fibonacci sequence etc. i mean there is no end to our study and understanding of these phenomena that could take several life times…but the ultimate thing is everything starts from a single source or maha-tattva that continues to branch out in multifarious dimensions in terms of time and space. We accept nuclear fusion when they say 2 different elements can be combined to create a totally new element but find it hard to accept the explanations of these multi-variegated expansions. we are ready to accept horse and donkey create mules but we find it unscientific to accept that the various prajapatis created different species of life through a common womb! which means when something is beyond our certain scientific purview, certain wrong assumptions and presumptions, we presume them as mere fads! these questions often come when we discuss the origin of life in vedas/puranas while taking Darwinism and the inadequacies of such “theories” done over limited period and with limited subjects. As you see this is the process of just trying to connect the dots and let me know if i digress things 🙂

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  4. I am amazed at how 90 Deva days becomes 90 human years. When grandmother died exactly 1 year after grandfather, our mother said that in 1 day Grandpa had called his beloved wife home — and we asked 1 day? Because grandma had suffered a lot in that last year. Our elders taught us – 1 deva day = 1 year for humans.
    Still, why should it be 1 year — 9 months + 3 months and the last 3 months be that of Devas? Maybe it is not correct to ask “why?” Just accept the magic and live in the miracle. And indeed, these verses and the magnificence of the all pervading Purusha is beyond breathtaking. Thank you for all your explanations. 🙏

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    1. Interesting aspect!!

      Actually you can ask why in this case. You got it little wrong. Only Last three months are not deva’s. All the 12 months since our conception in womb are deva’s. But, we came out from womb and started to live on our own which made last three months extend to 90years of human plane. Instead of staying in divine time, our First breath induces human time scale until we breath our last breath. This 9+3 follows his law of 1:3 (trivikrama as he is called)

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      1. But our Deva time in the womb was still only 9 months for Mommy? Forgive me if i am not understanding or asking stupid questions. I love that Lord Trivikrama is 1:3 – Again, never thought of Him like that! 🙂 3 seems to come up a lot (Satva, Rajas, Tamas; Mahakali, Mahalakshmi, MahaSaraswati and so on).

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You need to see for the fetus. The rapid evolution that occurs in fetus suggests a time scale difference. Our subject is fetus. What it is experiencing is divine time. What mother is experiencing is mundane time. That is why from nowhere, life occurs and the rapid development from one cell to many cells happen when in womb. Compare it with rapidity of growth when fetus is outside. It’s very slow! So we should not forget our reference frame.

        I really really like your doubt. I wish you to ask like that when ever you feel to ask. As Upanishads teach us, only through Q/A most of the wisdom is begotten.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thank you so much for this insight. Wow! Wow! and Wow again!
        Feel blessed to be in the arms of One who has planned/exists as the entire universe detailed with impeccable precision.
        What is our life? A single grain of sand in the vastness of infinity. A single breath to dissolve in love and gratitude.
        Thank you so very much for taking the time and energy to share this wondrous wisdom.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. No. Makes total sense. Also elders say a child is a deva for the first few years — and we should treat them as such (their super-fast growth explains that as well) — apart from their sweetness and purity. 🙂

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      5. And yea I skipped the 3part when I was reading earlier. Indeed, 3 repeats as you found. I think that in my article: mystic nature of numbers, you will find nice aspects related to three which you can later interpolate into your own perceptions of the divine.

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      1. To be honest, i am not so analytical and am happy to accept most things – esp if they help me love Him more. His leela even in our little lives is beyond our understanding! What to speak of Cosmic Connections. 🙂 Jai Bhagavan! 🙂

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