V Subrahmanian, Monday, February 16, 2015 12:21 pm

The Pra?nopani?at – Part 4

Part 4

The Second Question

In the foregoing, the First Question, the ‘consumer’ status of Pr??a, verily Praj?pati, was taught. In order to emphatically establish the Pr??a’s status as Praj?pati and the consumerhood in the body the Second Question is commenced.

Mantra 2.1

?? ???? ??????? ???????? ??????? ??????????? ????? ?????? ?????????? ??? ??????????????? ?? ???????? ?????? ??? ? ? ?

?? then ? indeed ??? the teacher ??????? of Bh?rgava family ???????? Vaidarbhi ??????? asked ????? Sir ???  how many ?? are ????? the gods ?????? the created being ?????????? support ???? how many ???? this ??????????? manifest the power ?? who ???? again ???? among them ??????? the paramount ??? thus

Then Vaidarbhi, belonging to the family of Bh?gu, asked him: Sir, how many gods support the body of the created being? How many of these manifest their power through it? And which one, furthermore, is paramount? 

After the first question was answered, it is now the turn of the next aspirant.  Vaidarbhi, who is of the Bh?rgava lineage, posed his question to the ?c?rya Pippal?da.  ‘Respected Sir, how many deva-s, gods, hold, support, the body? How many devas bring to light the individual greatness of each of the sense and motor organs that constitute the body? Also, who indeed is the foremost among the various constituents of the body-mind complex?’

To him the Teacher replied:

Mantra 2.2

????? ? ????? ? ????? ? ?? ?? ???? ????????????? ?????? ?????????????????????? ? ? ?? ????????????????? ?????????????????? ????????? ? ? ?

????? to him ? he ? verily ???? said ????? ?k??a ? indeed ?? surely ??? this  ???? god  ????? air  ?????? fire ??? water ?????? earth ???? speech ??? mind ?????? eye ???????? ear ? and ?? they ???????? having illumined ????????? say ???? we ???? this ????? body ???????? having resorted ????????? support

To the disciple he said: Space, ?k??a, verily is that god — the wind, fire, water, earth, speech, mind, eye and ear, as well. These, having manifested their glory, said boastfully: “We support this body and uphold it.” 

 
To him who posed his question, the ?c?rya said: The deva that is ?k??a (ether), air, fire, water and earth – the five basic elements that form the material with which the body is produced, the motor organs consisting of speech (etc.), the mind, the sense organs consisting of the eye, ear, etc. These gods that constitute the gross body and the subtle body, revealing their glory, competing with each other for pre-eminence, proclaim ‘We, like pillars of a palace, hold in place this body-mind aggregate, preventing its disintegration.’  Each of these divine beings thinks that it is the one that bears this body in place.

 
Mantra 2.3

??????????? ????? ???? ?? ??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????? ??????????? ????????????? ?????? ? ? ?

???? to them ??????? the foremost ?????? pr??a  ???? said ?? do not ????? delusion ?????? attain ???? I ?? alone ???? this ?????? five-fold ??????? myself ????????? dividing ???? this ????? body ???????? support ????????? uphold ??? thus ?? they ???????????? incredulous  ?????? became

To them pr??a, the foremost said: “Do not fall into delusion. I alone, dividing myself into five parts, support this body and uphold it.” But they were incredulous.  

 
Pr??a, the foremost among those organs which prided themselves, told them ‘Do not be deluded owing to want of discrimination.  For, it is I alone supporting this body uphold it.’ When thus told, those organs could not believe those words as to how indeed could it be so.

 
Mantra 2.4

 
?????????????????????????? ?? ???????????????????????? ???? ?????????????? ????????? ???????????? ???? ?? ????????????? ? ?????? ??????? ??????????????????????? ????? ?????????????? ????????? ???????????? ????? ?? ???????????? ??? ?????????????????????? ? ?? ??????? ?????? ??????????? ? ? ?

 
?? he, Pr??a, ????????? with pride ???????? above ????????? ?? as if rising ??????? upon his ?????????? rising ?? then ???? others ????? all  ?? too ???????????? rose ??????? ?? and upon his ???????????? settling ????? all ?? too ????????????? settled ??? this ??? just as ???????? bees ???????????? the king bee ???????????? rising ?????? all ?? too ???????????? rise ??????? ?  and upon his ???????????? settling ?????? all ?? too ???????????? settled  ??? thus ?????????????????????? the speech, mind, eye and ear ? too ??  they  ??????? satisfied ?????? pr??a ??????????? praised

 
Pr??a, out of pride, rose upward, as it were, from the body. Now, when it rose upward all the others rose upward also and when it settled down they all settled down with it. As bees go out when their king goes out and return when he returns, even so did speech, mind, eye and ear. They, being satisfied, praised pr??a.

 
Finding that the sense organs were not ready to believe what Pr??a told them about the former’s power, with a view to demonstrate the same, becoming indifferent, in indignation, pr??a appeared to rise up.  With the pr??a rising, all the organs such as the eye, too rose up.  And when pr??a remained quiet, they too followed suit.  What happened then is stated by an analogy.  When the king bee rises, all the bees rise up too, and when he settles, all the others settle as well.  Thus, the sense organs including the mind, giving up their incredulity acknowledged the supremacy of pr??a and praised it with delight. How?

 
Mantra 2.5

????????????????? ????? ?? ???????? ??????? ????? ?
?? ?????? ????????? ??????????? ? ??? ? ? ?

??? this ?????? fire ???? burns ?? this ?????? sun ?? this ???????? cloud  ?????? Indra ?? this ????? v?yu ?? this ?????? earth ???? food ???? god ??? being ???? non-being ? and ????? immortal ? too ??? this one

 
It burns as fire, it is the sun, it is the rain; it is Indra, it is the wind, it is the earth, it is food. It is the luminous god. It is being and non-being; it is immortal. 

 
This pr??a as agni, fire, burns.  Being the sun, the pr??a, shines. In the form of cloud it rains.  Also, as Indra, pr??a protects the beings and also exterminates the asuras and r?k?asas (demons and ogres). This pr??a is v?yu in its various currents such as ?vaha, prav?ha, etc. Further, pr??a is the earth, food, the resplendent one, for the entire world. ‘Being’ (sat) is the formed, m?rtam, gross and ‘non-being’ (asat)  am?rtam, subtle.  It is also am?tam, nectar that sustains gods. The idea needs no further elaboration.   

 
Mantra 2.6

??? ?? ?????? ?????? ????? ???????????? ?
??? ?????? ?????? ????? ????????? ?????? ? ? ? ?

 
???? ?? as spokes ?????? in the hub of the wheel ?????? in pr??a ????? all ???????????? fixed ??? Rg  ?????? yajus ?????? s?ma ????? sacrifice ????????? k?attriyas ?????? ? and br?hma?as

 
As spokes in the hub of a wheel, all are fixed in pr??a, including the Rig-Veda, the Yajur-Veda, the S?ma-Veda, sacrifices, the k?attriyas and the br?hma?as.

 
Just as the spokes of a wheel are firmly fixed to the navel of a wheel, everything from ?raddh?, faith, up to n?ma, name, is fixed firmly in the pr??a alone during the sthiti, sustenance, of the world, after creation.  The set consisting of ?raddh? up to n?ma is stated in the sixth pra?na, fourth mantra. Also the Rg, Yajus, S?man – the three types of mantras – the sacrifice, yajña, accomplished by these, the k?attriya and br?hma?a components of a society (these two have the eligibility in engaging in actions such as yajña), are all verily pr??a. 

 
Mantra 2.7

 
?????????????? ????? ?????? ?????????? ?
?????? ????? ????????????? ???? ?????? ?? ??????? ???????????? ? ? ?

 
????????? praj?pati ???? moves ????? in the womb ????? you ?? alone ?????????? are born ?????? to you ????? O pr??a ?????? the beings ?? indeed ???? these ???? offerings ?????? bring ?? who ??????? along with the senses ???????????? are dwelling

 
As Praj?pati thou movest about in the womb; it is thou, indeed, who art born again. To thee, O Pr??a, creatures bring offerings, to thee who dwellest in the body with the organs. 

 
Even though you are Praj?pati, it is you alone who move in the womb, as the offspring of the mother and father and thus born.  Since you are the Praj?pati your being the parents is a pre-determined fact. Your identity hidden in the form of every body and the indweller of the body, you are the self of all.  To you, O pr??a, for your sake, these beings consisting of humans, etc. fetch offerings, through the sense organs.  Since you abide in the body along with the sense organs, it is but appropriate that you are offered gifts.  You are the bhokt?, enjoyer/experiencer, and by you alone everything else is the enjoyed/experienced.

 
Mantra 2.8

 
????????? ???????? ??????? ?????? ????? ?
?????? ????? ???????????????????? ? ? ?

 
???????? of the gods ??? you are ???????? the chief bearer ??????? of manes ?????? the first ????? offering ?????? of the ??is ????? activities ?????? true ??????????????? atharv??giras ??? are

 
Thou art the chief bearer of oblations to the gods and the first offering to the departed fathers; thou art the true activities of the ??is, of the Atharv?ngiras.  

 
You are the foremost bearer of the sacrifices that are addressed to the gods such as Indra. In the n?nd?mukha ?r?ddha (obsequial rite) invoking the manes, pit?s, the offering of rice/food is called the ‘first’ relative to the food offered to the gods. The idea is, the offering in honor of the manes takes precedence over the offering to gods.  You, pr??a, alone are the carrier of this offering to the manes as well. Moreover, it is you, pr??a, that are the true, right conduct, consisting in the upkeep of the body. The organs of the body, such as the eye, are the essence of the body and are called ‘atharva-s’ according to the passage ‘Pr??o v? atharv?’ (the pr??a is atharv?).

 
Part 1, Part 3, Part 5


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