|| Hariḥ Om ||

Sanatana Dharma owing to its multitudes of traditions has some of the fascinating creation myths (I don’t use Myth in a negative sense here).  The one that is close to my heart is the one in Aitareya Upanishad, the Upanishad of my Veda. Recently while reading Srimad Bhagavatam, in the discourse that Kapila, an avatara of Vishnu, gives to his mother Devahuti, a variant of this myth is presented with great detail.

I am recounting it here, just because I enjoy narrating it.

This is from the chapter 26 in the 3rd Skanda of Srimad Bhagavatam.

The Prakriti is the Pradhana the primal cause. It comprises of 24 Tattvas. These are the 5 Tanmātrās, 5 Mahābhūtās, 5 Jñānendriyās,5 Karmendriyās,Citta, Ahaṃkāra, Manas and Buddhi.

The 5 Tanmātrās are Śabdha (sound), Sparṣa (touch), Rūpa (form), Rasa (taste) and Gandha (smell)

The 5 Mahābhūtās are Ākāśa (space), Vāyu (air), Agni (fire), Āpa (water) and Pṛthvi (earth).

The 5 Jñānendriyās are Śrotram (Ears), Tvak (Skin), Dṛk (Eyes), Rasana (Tongue), Nāsikāḥ (Nose)

The 5 Karmendriyas are Vāk (organ of speech); Karau(Hands), Caraṇau (Legs); Meḍhram(generative organ) Pāyuḥ (Evacuating organ)

Citta (memory) for remembering, Ahaṃkāra (ego) for identification, Buddhi (intellect) for discrimination, Manas (Mind) for willing. This group is called the Antaḥkaraṇa or inner instruments.

Each of the 24 Tattvas are inert. It is the Purusha, the Atman,  the 25th Tattva, which causes creation to come into being.

The story of the creation that is narrated here, especially the Devatas arising from body of the Virāṭ  Purusha, finds parallels in Purushasuktam and the Aitareya Upanishad.

So, how does creation begin? When the three Guṇas of Prakṛti, viz Sattva, Rajas and Tamas are in equilibrium, there is no creation. The Purusha in the form of Kāla (time) disturbs that equilibrium and impregnates Prakṛti with his Tejasa.

As a result of this is produced the Mahat which is Golden, and is pure Sattva. This Primal Mahat is the Chitta called Vasudeva.

The Mahat began to transform slowly producing the three kinds of Ahamkāra – Vaikarika, Tejasa and Tāmasa.  The form of Vishṇu associated with Ahamkāra is Samkarṣaṇa who is Ananta of the thousand heads.

The Vaikarika (Sattvika) Ahaṃkāra underwent modification to produce the Mānas which is the master of the Organs. Aniruddha is the form of Vishnu associated with Mānas who is bluish like the Autumn Lotus.

From the Taijasa (Rājasika) Ahaṃkāra, Buddhi was born. It ascertains the nature of the objects grasped by the Jñānendindriyas. Pradyumna is the form of Viṣṇu governing this.

From the Taijasa Ahaṃkāra was also born Prāṇa, which is the vital force directing the Karmendriyās.

When the Tāmasa Ahaṃkāra was agitated by the potency of the Purusha, the Tanmātra of Śabdha was born. From it arose Ākāśa from which arose Śrotram the organs of hearing. Śabdha conveys the idea of an object, even when it is not in view.

Ākāśa impelled by Kāla (time) gives rise to Sparśa (touch) which in turn gives rise to the Vāyu from which arises Tvak.

From Vāyu and Sparśa, inspired by Daivam arise Rūpa. From Rūpa come Agni and from Agni comes Cakṣuḥ.

From the interaction between Agni and Rūpa, under the supervision of Daivam, emerges Rasa. From Rasa comes Āpah and from that Jihvā.

The interaction between Āpah and Rasa produces Gandha from which arises Pṛthvi and from that Ghrāṇaḥ (sense of smell)

Since cause exists in its effect, the characteristics of the former is observed in the latter, i.e characteristics of Ākāśa observed in Vāyu whose characteristics are observed in Agni, whose in Āpah and finally Pṛthvi contains characteristics of all the earlier ones.

Initially all the seven entities (Mahat, Ahamkāra and Mahābhūtas) were unmixed. Then the Puruṣa, endowed with Kāla (time) Karma (effort) and Guṇa (Sattva, Tamas, Rajas) entered the Universe and churned it. The result was an Egg -a brilliant golden egg. From this golden egg came Virāṭ.

This Golden egg is enveloped by layers of Mahābhūtas starting from Āpaḥ to Ākāśa, Ahaṃkāra & Mahat. Each layer is 10 times thicker than the previous one. The final outer layer is covered by Pradhāna (Prakṛti). Inside this egg is the universal form of Hari, whose body parts are the 14 lokas.

This Golden Egg was floating on divine waters. Then the Virāṭ-Puruṣa residing within divided it into different parts.

First came the mouth, from which arose Vāṇi, the sense of speech and Vaḥni, the Devata who presides over it.

Then came the Nāsikas, from which arose the  Ghrāṇaḥ, the  sense of smell and from it Prāṇa, the presiding Devata.

The Akṣiṇī appeared next, from which came the Cakṣuḥ, the sense of sight. From it emerged  Sūryaḥ, the presiding Devata.

Following it came Karṇau (the two ears), from which arose  Śrotram (sense of hearing). From this came the Dikpālakas its the presiding Devatās.

Next appeared the Tvak (skin). From that appeared Roma (Hair), Śmaśru (Facial hair) for the sense of Touch. All the Ośadhis (medicinal herbs) came from these.

The Śiśnam (genitals) appeared next from which came the Retas (semen). From this came Āpaḥ (the Devata presiding over waters – Varuna ?)

The  Gudam (Anus) came afterwards, from which came  Apānaḥ (capability of defecation), from this  came Mṛtyuḥ, the Devata of death.

The Hastau (two hands) manifested next, from which came Balam (power of grasping). From this came Indra, the presiding Devata.

This was followed by  Pādau (feet), from which came Gatiḥ (capability of movement). From this came Hariḥ (Upendra in some versions, Jayanta as per Madhvas) , the presiding Devata.

The Nāḍyaḥ (veins) manifested next, from which came Lohitam (blood). Nadyaḥ (rivers) were produced from that, which are its presiding Devata.

The Udaram (stomach) appeared after that. From which came Kṣut-Pipāsa (Hunger, thirst). The presiding deity samudraḥ (Oceans) appeared from it.

The Hṛdayam (heart) came next, from it came Manaḥ (mind). Candramāḥ (Moon), the presiding deity came from that.

The Buddhiḥ (intelligence) came afterwards, and Braḥmā, the presiding deity of Buddhiḥ came from that.

The Ahaṃkāra (Ego) came next, and Rudraḥ the presiding deity of the ego came from it.

Finally Cittam (consciousness) came, and from it came Caityaḥ the presiding deity.

The Devatās tried to rouse the Virāṭ Puruṣa, but he was unmoved. So each of the Devatās entered their respective abodes.

Agni entered Mukham along with Vāk, but that didn’t rouse him.

Prāṇa entered the Nāsika along with Ghrāṇa, but that didn’t rouse him.

Āditya entered the Akṣiṇī along with Chakṣu, but that didn’t rouse him.

The Dikpālas entered his Karṇau along with Śrotram, but that didn’t rouse him.

The Oṣadhyaḥ entered his Tvak along with the Roma, but that didn’t rouse him.

The Devatā of  Āpaḥ entered his Śiśṇa along with Retas, but that didn’t rouse him.

Mṛtyu entered Guda along with Apāna, but that didn’t rouse him.

Indra entered the Hastau along with their Balam, but that didn’t rouse him.

Hari entered the Caraṇau along with Gati, but that didn’t rouse him.

Sindhuḥ entered his Udara along with Kṣuda and Tṛśṇā, but that didn’t rouse him.

Candraḥ entered Hṛdayam along with Manaḥ, but that didn’t rouse him.

Brahmā entered Hṛdayam along with Buddhiḥ, but that didn’t rouse him.

Rudrā entered Hṛdayam along with Ahaṃkāra, but that didn’t rouse him.

Finally, when Vāsudevā, entered Hṛdayam along with Citta, Virāt arose from the primordial waters. Just as when a Man is asleep, none of his Indriyās, his Manas, Buddhi, Ahaṃkāra can wake him up , but only the Ātman can!

Hence for Mokśa, one should contemplate on the Antaryāmin, who resides within the Deha, but is apart from it.

|| Śrī Kṛṣṇārpaṇamastu ||


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