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Monday, May 4, 2020

Asya Vamasya Sukta - 14

Mantra 36: “ The seed of the universe is made of the seven sons of the half (ardha). They maintain their functions through Vishnu’s command. The omnipresent ones, endowed with wisdom, surround us on all sides through their intelligence and thought.”
What does ardha, or half mean? Most likely, it means the invisible, the transcendent half. Who are the seven sons? Most likely, they represent matter with five elements, life and mind.  Vishnu, as we know now was not the same in those days. Vishnu was one of the 12 adityas and may stand for Sun, the Aditya. Or, is the poet referring to the sapta rishis, sons of Angirasa?
Mantra 37: The poet says: “ I do not know who or what I am”. Actually, the words can be interpreted to mean “I do not know whether I am the same as cosmos” (yad idam yeva asmi). The poet goes on to say: “ yet I am wandering around tied to this mystery (ninnyah samviddho).”
“When the first-born rta reached me, then I obtained a portion of Vac”. May be, he is saying that “when the consciousness reached me, or when I got endowed with consciousness, I obtained the power of speech.”
Rta is universal order. The rishi is recounting the appearance of human life and the associated powers of consciousness and speech that makes it possible for him to express his doubts and sense of mystery in words.
Mantra 38: The meaning of this hymn is straight forward and refers to the rta.
“ Driven by its own energy, the immortal which shares a common womb with the mortal, moves rhythmically, ceaselessly. They see the one but not the other.”
It appears that the rishi is talking about the rhythmic nature of phenomena such as sun rising and setting, life coming and going endlessly. He also suggests that life and death are part of the same rhythmic order. We see this visible world, this impermanent matter. We fail to see the force behind it – the immortal, the invisible.
Birth and death are parts of individual beings. Life and Consciousness as phenomena are parts of the Cosmos. It is the natural order. 

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