Mystic Passages – 3: Purusha Suktam (stanza 5- The brilliant EGG of Virāṭ)

Stanza-5:

Tasmā dwirā ḍājāyata
virājō adhipūruṣah/
sa jātō atyaricyata 
paścā dbhūmi madhō purah//

Import:

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.

Explanation:

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.

Screenshot from 2019-06-28 13-32-42

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).

Screenshot from 2019-06-28 14-09-42

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.

Screenshot from 2019-06-28 14-24-47

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 🙂

 

 

25 Comments

  1. Thank you. This is so very clear and well-written. Happy to study a text book version of Purusha suktam – complete with diagrams and examples! 🙂 Even reciting this many times and reading the Bhagavatam the Hiranya Garbha was always a blur! (a) Is it just a place holder to explain the move from the empty space where everything exists (potentially) to creation where Purusha manifests as all beings?
    (b) what does it mean that as long as Jivatman (Purusha-2) takes support of Paramatman (Purusha-1) as long as duality exists? Is it that when there is no duality they are One?
    Thank YOU! Om Namo Narayanaya! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha, yes my yearning is to give my understanding a stir of structure, which in future might extend into a book. 🙂 Thanks a lot.

      (a): I did not understand the question. Can you elaborate?

      (b): YES. When Praḷaya = Pra+Laya = In a state of special ONENESS, there is no second. This is what I meant.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It will be an awesome book! Though its easier to read day by day on the blog for me. I figured out the answer from Wikipedia….sorry, cheating in class. 🙂 Just was not sure of the role of the Golden egg between the unmanifest and manifest (that was my question) but I understand it now as unmanifest — seed of creation — golden egg — and from there all manifest creation (which is remarkably the same Purusha in different forms). If I am mistaken please let me know. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Golden EGG is the manifest form. That is why it is “Virāj = Vi + Rāj = Specially Glowing. Glowing occurs when something is manifested from the primordial RAY of LIGHT. So, The EGG is a manifest form. But, the manifest in its second stage. Then the gestation of creation happens in this egg. The third stage. Finally, in 4th stage, creation hatches. You see the similarity between 1:4, 3:4 and utterance of WORD and the creation of creation through EGG? So, the virāṭ EGG is indeed manifested, but not a Vaikharī stage of manifestation.

        haha not cheating … 😀 😀 …

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Also, as I wake up just now and mentally reciting this stanza, I got another point, which may be apt here. Nirguna and Saguna aspects of Purusha. Nirguna belongs to 1st Purusha and that is why what ever we mentioned was infinite. Saguna is for virat and creation there by (Purusha 2) and hence glowing, birth, growth etc.
        🙂 Just another point to solidify and sink in the import.

        Like

  2. Hi there, Recently found your blog, been binge reading since then, I am very much impressed by your writings and your way of understanding and decoding vedas.

    I would like to say that Brahmanda is nothing but a Torus model of universe. Adwaita/Singularity manifests itself as duality or polarity. One side where matter is continuosly destroyed through black holes and converted to energy and coming out through other side ie. White hole as matter.
    This model is repeated everywhere in cosmos, like in the cross section of apples and some seeds too. Where does this brahmanda comes from? From golden wombs aka Hiranyagarbha or like you would call it String field.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Shiva, thanks for dropping by. I am happy to hear your kind words.

      What you said about the Torus model does make a sound hypothesis. The point of Matter destroying into energy and energy to matter – cyclicity, caught my attention. In fact it occurs every day in our body as metabolism. This is yin-yang, shiva-shakti, etc., pairs that we hear around.

      Your quick link towards astrophysics is very interesting. Keep sharing your thoughts and connecting links!

      Like

      1. This is not my connection, It was first first made by an Israeli genius Itzhak bentov, you can watch it here: https://youtu.be/gJmBgnHsJ-A?t=78
        Bentov provided a real scientific background for the vedic thoughts (cosmology, kundalini, gods, consciousness, reincarnation,moksha,holographic universe, you name it) I think anyone who is interested in physics and vedas would love to read his book titled Stalking the wild pendulum and two others along the similar lines.
        Cyclic(or spiral?) universe absolutely makes sense to me. Last time i read, there was this theory of Conformal cyclic cosmology by Roger Penrose, where remnants from previous universe was supposedly detected.
        Indeed Shiva-Shakti duality can be seen throughout the microcosm and macrocosm, He gives an example of swatter, where a forward motion(first pulsation in purusha) of swatter in a closed system gives raise to compressed air in front and and decompressed at back(duality) instantaneously, This duality is caused and sustained by the “swatter”, it doesn’t have an independent reality. Moment motion is stopped, Pralaya, everything back to original state.
        Sorry for long rant, got carried away.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Indeed spiral, as in spiral of unwinding Serpent (age old symbol of Time).

        Roger Penrose’s work seems to resonate with surface idealogy but when he speaks of consciousness (for example, shadows of consciousness, or first chapters of road to reality where he totally ignores many axioms, etc.) it does not resonate with esoteric tenets. This is where the stalwarts of physics and age-old wisdom become two rail tracks for us to arrange in parallel way to tread on it, the wagon of our experiential life.

        I never heard about bentov. Let me check. Thanks for the suggestion!! As I am a physicist who is into self exploration of ancient wisdom, your suggestions might add another road toy map! :). So don’t worry of length of comment as long as it conveys the idea. Other authors like Edi Bilimoria, Frirjof Capra, Amit Goswami, etc. Have ventured into these union topics. Amonga these Edi Bilimoria’s Snake and rope fascinates me and then the famous Tao of Physics.

        All i am doubtful is as follows: whatever science of today discovers is one fourth of total truth (purusha suktam). The simple reason is instrumental approach. When science reaches a stage of unserstanding mind as not a biproduct of neural currents but the other way round, then it will enter into the domain of incorporating some ancient tenets.

        Looking forward! Thanks.

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  3. His(RP) theories on consciousness doesn’t sit well with vedanta. Only modern theory that does come close is by Donald hoffman, similar to vishistadvaita, He says that Reality is hidden so that the living species evolve, greater the hiding, greater the evolution, dumbing down the reality improves our chances of evolution, also paradoxically reducing our chances of seeing reality(explains the spiralling down of intellectual capabilites and Dharma through the four yugas). Maya/Prakriti enables us to evolve ourselves by hiding reality, Hiding reality is important because imagine seeing all the quantum particles, invisible and inaudible spectrum of light and sound, It would overwhelm you, you will not function and hence die.
    He gives example of OS where the complexities of operations in hardware is hidden(Aavarana shakthi of maya) but also projecting these complexites as something else in a cognizable format like icons on desktop (Vikshepa shakthi of maya). But he theorizes that there is individual separate conscious agents behind all things(Vishistadvaita). You can read more about it in his book “The case for reality” by Donald hoffman or watch his interviews on youtube, very interesting!
    The writers you have mentioned have just popularized it but they haven’t provided the scientific foundation for all the esoteric texts like Bentov did, You will know what i mean when you read the book, He was involved in building the first rockets for Israel, he invented several gadgets for medical use. He has made interesting claims on how he got those ideas, No spoilers!!
    Objective scientists no matter how endlessly they smash particles each other cannot find the reality, only by being subjective and going inwards can they pierce the matrix of maya like the rishis did. They are bound to doom if they do not take consciousness as a fundamental substratum of universe, They have regarded it as “untouchables”. For a brief moment it was explored when the quantum physics came into prominence, There is no doubt almost all those scientists read vedanta, not just for mental or spiritual comfort but to seek the reality. There are hundreds of quotes all over the internet on it.
    You can see its influence when Schrodinger quotes something like this “What we observe as material bodies and forces are nothing but shapes and variations in the structure of space. Particles are just schaumkommen. (appearances).
    or when William clifford who was a member of metaphysical society of London states that “All matter is simply undulations in the fabric of space. ”
    If you ask a road side illiterate sadhu in India, what is this world? He would say its all an appearance in brahman, a cosmic play. God knows how many decades would it take for the world to accept it, Theory of everything craves for consciousness to be factored in, Our preconcieved notions and bias seem to hold it back. I hope for a a future where consciousness is explored and studied, the holographic nature of universe seems promising, but difficult to prove like the string theory. Not to insult the Science or Scientists, but great deal of good has come from it but IMO what “really” matters is not studied at all leave alone accepting it, For those who study it are simply dismissed as crackpots or hippies pisses me off to the core.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am currently diving into John Woodroffe’s works. After that I will definitely give Bentov a read. I secodn your comments above except Edi Bilimoria’s book has sound foundations, I feel.

      Also, have you read The Secret Doctrine by H.P.Blavatsky by any chance? Just curious.

      Haha, Even Krishna was defamed by Dussyasana and the like. That’s the world of duality. See beyond and understand others as different grades of evolution and sympathise 🙂

      Like

      1. Haven’t heard of Edi Bilimoria, will read when time permits.
        Not a great fan of Blavatsky and her ilk, although familiar with her works, I haven’t read any literature, IMO only good thing that came out of Theosophical society was JK, He himself left the society.
        Since you are interested in tantra, might is suggest path to higher consciousness by pt. gopi krishna, His first hand experience of tantra is very interesting, He was perhaps the first as a live example to show negative effect of tantric practise(kundalini awakening) if not done correctly under the guidance of a guru. You probaby have a lot more on the plate to read i won’t bombard you with suggestions, but i have become somewhat a bentov envangelist since i came across his works by chance. He was extensively quoted in research works done by CIA on ESP and Remote sensing during the heights of cold war to collect soviet intelligence, They needed a famework for research on these unexplained phenomena, which bentov had provided in his books, Hence the fascination, if you are interested it was recently declassified and went viral, here’s the link

        Click to access CIA-RDP96-00788R001700210016-5.pdf

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, Gopi Krishna’s book I have read long ago when it was gifted to me by my phy prof. Very interesting book. Bentov is added to my list so in very near future will venture. Thanks for kindly sharing the pointers and other opinions :).
        You might as well look into http://www.smphillips.mysite.com/ for a sound mathematical perspective of the same truth that we are on the pursuit of (the author was a physicist from Cambridge who left the world of physics in the pursuit of his own way of decoding the universe – using mathematical key.)
        Best Wishes 🙂

        Like

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