Tasmā dwirā ḍājāyata
sa jātō atyaricyata
paścā dbhūmi madhō purah//
From Puruṣa came a brilliant golden egg. Taking this egg as a base, Puruṣa is re-born into creation. He first entered into the west, then into the nadir and finally to the east.
I feel like the dosage of depth is increased in this stanza. Look at the import! What can you understand? At first sight, barely can we understand anything. But as the intuition unfolds and help of Purāṇās, Brāhmaṇās, etc., come to our rescue, we will slowly see the true import rather than the apparent import. Let us look line by line now.
Tasmā dwirā ḍājāyata:
It seems that from Puruṣa is born a brilliant glowing egg. This in scriptures has many names: Hiraṇya Garbhāṇḍa, Brahmāṇḍa, etc. What is this egg? Last stanzas have suggested us that Puruṣa pervades the creation and enters into organic and inorganic materials. This stanza is like a prequel to the last few stanzas, for, this stanza pictorially tells us the birth of creation.
It is being stated that, Puruṣa was “As Is” when creation was naught. But when the parā vāk or the impulse to create occurred in Puruṣa, he gave rise to (Jāyata = give birth to) a brilliant EGG. Virāṭ = that which is glowing specially. This EGG can be seen as the EGG from which “Brahma” was hatched in the purāṇās like Bhāgavataṃ. Vēda and Purāṇa differs in the sense that, the absolute truth is conveyed in Vēda in their natural form while purāṇa conveys the same in a story form. The word Brahma = That which has property to expand (root: Bṛhmaṇaṃ) – is the creative force or impulse to create that occurs in the mind of Nārāyaṇa/Puruṣa. One can see the same story applied to even Garuḍa – The Eagle God in Bhāgavata (Garuḍōpākhyāna). So, why similar stories? What is that they want to so solidly convey through multiple repetitions? The fact that Puruṣa gives rise to a “Globe of creation” is the prime fact. When he gives rise to this EGG, HE fills the content of the EGG and spends time in it until it hatches.
virājō adhipūruṣah (-‘sa’ is added to next line) jātō:
‘Adhi’ means to take something as a base. So, they are saying that Puruṣa takes this brilliant EGG-Virāṭ as a base and is reborn (jātō – to take birth).
- A question might arise: When Puruṣa creates EGG and enters the EGG, and spends time in it, is there a situation where HE is not there as omnipresent Puruṣa?
No! This is understanding of a linear mind. We should go beyond that. Let us take the birth of a hen for example. From a hen A, comes an egg B and from the egg B a chick C – which grows into a hen C. This cycle continues: A-B-C—-C-D-E—-E-F-G—-etc. Though the individual entities hen A and chick C change at every step of our cycle, the root principle of Parent-HEN and a Child-EGG does not change. These two entities are always there as long as the creation exists i.e., a parent gives rise to a child and a child grows into a parent (rather has capacity to grow into).
Compare the stanza to the above example. Puruṣa the Omniscient ONE gives rise to an egg and fills it with himself. From it, HE hatches himself as the baby-Puruṣa, the jīva. The 1st Puruṣa, let us call Puruṣa-1 and the 2nd Puruṣa as Puruṣa-2.
- Puruṣa-1: HE is the lord Almighty beyond birth/death, beyond any measures, beyond any comprehension. HE is “Paramātman” of Vēdānta.
- Puruṣa-2: HE is the Jīva or the created entity. HE is subjected to many apparent changes and apparent effects of creation. Though HE actually exists beyond them just like Puruṣa-1, Puruṣa-2 “thinks” he is being affected. He is “Jīvātman” of Vēdānta.
The same truth is conveyed in “Asya Vāmīya sūkta” or “Suparṇa Sūkta” of Rig Veda: “Two birds exist on the tree of LIFE. One bird always eats the fruits of the tree while the other bird just observes the first bird.” Bird-1 is the jīva who eats the fruits of his actions while the bird-2 is the Lord who just observed as one inside our heart – “I AM”.
In essence, Puruṣa-1 stays as background on which the drama of Puruṣa-2’s birth keeps happening. This is the meaning of the birth of Virāṭ from Puruṣa.
sa (jātō-belongs to last line) atyaricyata
paścā dbhūmi madhō purah:
This line is understood as “ Sa Bhūmim Paścāt + Adah Purah Atyaricyata“. It seems that Lord first entered the West/past, then went deep into the Nadir/present and then finally came rising from the East/future. This is one of the most cryptic lines of this hymn. Paścha, Adhah and Purah can mean: WEST, Nadir and EAST or Past, present and future as well. Let us first take the spatial case with a vēdic injunction that –
- GOD sleeps in minerals, dreams in plants, wakes in animals and realsies himself in Humans.
As mentioned in my last stanza, the position of SUN has a link to human consciousness – (remember Inverted Tree?!).
1) WEST: It seems that GOD first entered WEST. So, where was he before? Here, GOD entered implies the entering of God-Consciousness as the “Awareness” of the beings of objective world. Before WEST, he is at the highest SKY possible i.e. ZENITH. This is the mid-noon to an observer on Equator. This NOON position is GOD’s abode in relation to understanding birth of consciousness. One can call this Vaikunṭha or Viṣṇu Lōka etc. Now, to create the cosmos, HE has to comedown. His descent is being stated as his entering into the WEST. Because this is his first descent, he starts his sleeping stage of awareness and hence the WEST implies “mineral kingdom”. So, Puruṣa vitalizes the minerals (an-aśana) first. It is ironic to see how “Western World” is mostly materialistic in “attitude” – maybe this property of Puruṣa acts in this way too! Its just my observation.
2) NADIR: Then after vitalizing the mineral kingdom, HE enters deep into the atoms of matter and causes a dreamy consciousness to them. This wakes the “Sāśana” aspect of plant kingdom. In plants, the pain and feeling is not localised but spread, as shown by Jagadish chandra bose and as postulated by many vēdic seers. Because GOD enters the “DEEP of NADIR”, i.e., plant kingdom too have the property of DEEP-Rootedness and hence the roots.
3) EAST: After dreamy state of NADIR, GOD awakens in animal consciousness. They form set-2 of “Sāśana”. Animals do have localised pain and pleasure and hence an awareness of surrounding, but not about themselves. This is representation of Puruṣa entering the EAST. As HE rises in the EAST, the whole creation wakes into an awareness of surroundings – A half-wake state with respect to a fully awakened spiritual state.
4) ZENITH: Consider the human consciousness. Humans are close to animals in the sense that, as long as they do not turn their “I AM” inward or towards the “I AM” in all, they behave like animals i.e., controlled by emotions and instincts. But when SUN rises from EAST and goes back to the abode of ZENITH or Vaikuntha, i.e., human reaches the full potential of his consciousness, HE becomes one with puruṣa.
So, in stage-1,2,3, human is Puruṣa-2 while in stage-4, he is Puruṣa-1.
What did we understand until now? Puruṣa-1 creates a brilliant EGG out of himself and hatches from it again as Puruṣa-2. This Puruṣa-2 is first sent to the WEST, then to the Nadir and to the EAST before reaching his FATHER, yet again!
If TIME is taken as our meaning, it would imply that the Puruṣa divided the Unlimited TIME into three parts of Past, present and future. That means, Puruṣa-2 gets the awareness of SPACE and TIME as he is hatched from the EGG.
At the end, it is stated that “Atyaricyata = Stood Beyond“. That means, even though Puruṣa is constrained by his own birth, he stood BEYOND this drama.
Side Notes and Summary:
- Imagine this: First there is SPACE-Unbound, permeated by Puruṣa. From it, a part of space is separated as an “individual space-bound”. It is said to be a brilliant EGG. Why brilliant? It is to symbolize the first creation of LIGHT from the DARK. This LIGHT, which is divine light, hovers as a layer of EGG-SHELL around the separated space-bound and hatches the puruṣa-2. This second puruṣa gets the awareness of SPACE-TIME i.e., he forms the matrix of space-time with which the whole objective manifestation is created from apparent nothingness.
- The relation that exists between the principle of PARENT-CHILD, is the same relation between the Puruṣa-1, before Virāṭ and Puruṣa-2, after Virāṭ hatches.
- Just like a WAVE is separated from Ocean, EGG of Virāṭ occurs from the ocean of Puruṣa. There is no separate individuality to the wave. It has to take support of the ocean. Similarly, Puruṣa-2 takes support of Puruṣa-1 as long as the “Duality” of creation exists.
- Before creation, there is no East or west or Past or future. But it is only after Virāṭ hatches we get these space and time elements externalized. This is an important point to remember.
- The Entering of Puruṣa into the West, to Nadir to the East can be interpreted as follows: Nārāyaṇa descents into our planes of spiritual interia (parallel to mineral kingdom), then jolts the sleeping divinity into a dream state that exists as deep inherent spiritual lingering attitude in us (parallel to plant kingdom, then vitalizes our consciousness to a wakeful state of knowing our own FATHER (parallel to animal kingdom) and finally pulls us up into HIS own level of existence by uniting the individual “i am” into the “I AM” of HIS (parallel to true human kingdom).
- One should be careful to grasp the references to Jīva/Puruṣa-2 and Puruṣa in this stanza. If the difference is not noted, confusions and paradoxes are for sure inevitable.
Stay tuned for further stanzas 🙂