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Friday, April 24, 2020

Asya Vamasya Sukta - 13

Mantra 32: “He who made this (cosmos) does not comprehend it. The creation is hidden from him  who saw (could have seen) it. He, the source of many lives (bahupraja), is enveloped by the mother’s womb (matur yona) and has entered the world of nirriti.”

This is an expression of the mystery of the origins of the universe and of life. Sounds similar to the Nasadiya Sukta.

The Vedic meaning of the word nirriti is “the world of the vasus and the rudras” in  other words, the earth, the mortal world.

 Mantra 33: “Dyau (the sky or heaven) is my father. Prithvi (Earth) is my mother. They are tied by kinship (by my navel). They are like two bowls laid together (one upon the other) making a womb. The father deposited the seed in the daughter’s (duhithuh garbham) womb.”

The second part may jolt a few. But, questions about the origin of the many from the one, the origin  of the first male or female, the origin of the two sexes and the unavoidable doubt that the first child was born out of brother-sister or father-daughter union were thought of by these wise ancestors of ours. They expressed their ideas bluntly and openly. This became the source for later mythologies about how the human race began when Prajapati or Manu cohabited with their daughters and was looked down upon. 

Mantra 34: “I am asking: What is the farthest limit of the earth? What is the center of the universe? What is the fertilizing power of the stallion? What is the highest abode/station/reach of Vac (speech)?”

The rishi answers his questions himself in the next mantra.

Mantra 35: “This altar is the farthest limit of earth. The sacrifice is the center of the universe. Soma is the essence of the  stallion. Brahma is the highest reach of speech.”

The first three answers make it clear that the rishi was speaking about vedic sacrifice which was the essence of Vedic teachings, suggested in the rk mantras and formalized into rituals in the Brahmanas, which is one part of the Veda samhitas. The word Brahma deserves some explanation. Brahma may stand for Prajapati (and not Brahma as we know today). Or, does it stand for Brahmana? What is written in English as Brahmana , may be with Brah in short form or Braah in long form. Brahmana with short forms also stands for one of the four priests in Vedic ceremonies. His duty was to just observe the conduct of the sacrifices and make sure they are done properly, recognize any errors and make a remedy immediately. He practiced silence - the other end of chanting and doing. Some scholars say that his role was the starting point for the development of meditation as an approach to the Brahman. Speech and Silence are certainly the reaches of Vac.

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