« AnteriorContinuar »
by those who are acquainted with the system, of the universe, the heavenly sphere.* These three spheres are termed transitory. The three highest,—Janas, Tapas, and Satya, —are styled durable.1 Mahar-loka, as situated between the two, has, also, a mixed character; for, although it is deserted at the end of the Kalpa, it is not destroyed, f These seven spheres, together with the Patalas, forming the extent of the whole world, t I have, thus, Maitreya, explained to you.
The world is encompassed on every side, and above, and below, by the shell of the egg§ (of Brahma), in the same manner as the seed of the wood-apple2 is
the Parsis. Seven - suggested, originally, perhaps, by the seven planets, - seems to have been a favourite number with various nations of antiquity. Amongst the Hindus, it was applied to a variety of sacred or mythological objects, which are enumerated in a verse in the Hanuman Nataka. Rama is described, there, as piercing seven palm-trees with an arrow, on which other groups of seven take fright; as the seven steeds of the sun, the seven spheres, Munis, seas, continents, and mothers of the gods:
W ^ TlTTft *T^»pT: WT T STOTf^l II II
1 Kritaka and Akritaka, literally, 'made and unmade'; the former being renewed every Kalpa, the latter perishing only at the end of Brahma's life. IT
* Of the Kapittha (Feronia Elephantum).
invested (by its rind).* Around (the outer surface of) the shell flows water, for a space equal to ten times (the diameter of the world). The waters, again, are encompassed, exteriorly, by fire; fire, by air; and air, by ether f; ether, by the origin of the elements t (Ahamkara); and that, by Intellect. Each of these extends ten times the breadth of that which it encloses; and the last is encircled by (the chief Principle,) Pradhana,1 which is infinite, and its extent cannot be enumerated. It is, therefore, called the boundless and illimitable cause of all existing things, supreme (nature, or) Prakriti; the cause of all mundane eggs, of which there are thousands and tens of thousands, and millions and thousands of millions, such as has been described.2 §
1 See before the order in which the elements are evolved (Vol. I., pp. 29, &c.)
a The followers of Anaximander and Democritus taught "an aneiQta xoofxiov, 'an infinity of worlds;' and that not only successive, in that space which this world of ours is conceived now to occupy, in respect of the infinity of past and future time, but also a contemporary infinity of coexistent worlds, at all times, throughout endless and unbounded space." Intellect. System, Book I., HI., 33.
* See Original Sanskrit Texts, Part I., p. 195.
t Nabhas. Professor Wilson had "Mind" in the text, -which I have changed, unhesitatingly, as above. In taking nabhas to mean dkdsa, ordinarily rendered "ether", I have assumed that the Vishnu-purdna, as to its cosmogony, is at unity with itself. See Vol. I., p. 84.
t Bhutddi, here rendered rightly. See Vol. I., pp. 33, 34, and 169, where the term is interpreted "rudimental", "elementary", and "the first element". Ahamkdra as stagnant—tdmasa—is here intended.
Within Pradhana resides Soul, diffusive, conscious, and self-irradiating; as fire (is inherent) in flint1, or sesamum oil in its seed. Nature (Pradhana) and soul (Pums) are, both, of the character of dependants, and are encompassed by the energy of Vishnu, which is one with the soul of the world, and which is the cause of the separation of those two (soul and nature, at the period of dissolution), of their aggregation (in the continuance of things), and of their combination at the season of creation.2* In the same manner as the wind
1 Literally, 'in wood'; the attrition of two pieces of which does not create, but developes, their latent heat and flame.
8 Thus, in Scipio's Dream, the divinity is made the external limit of the universe: "Novem tibi orbibus vel potius globis connexa sunt omnia, quorum unus est coelestis extimus, qui reliquos complectitur omnis, summus ipse deus arcens et continens ceteros:"
'Supreme prakriti, Sage, became cause of all, —of thousands of mundane eggs: and of such there are thousands and tens of thousands, and so, there, hundreds of hundred billions.'
?nfr: fhr M^+^qqiKuj ^fenro ^ i
'Pradhana and spirit, most wise one, are enveloped— i. e. governed—by the energy of Vishnu, which is the soul of all beings: they have the property of resorting to one another. And this energy is the cause of their becoming separated, and of their resorting to one another; and it is the cause, great Sage, of their commotion at the time of creation.'
On these stanzas the smaller commentary remarks as follows:
Tf*f M<3^ilf*rfB<1<ft*H3 I WFT %f?r f^fft: ^^WJ: ruffles the surface of the water in a hundred bubbles, * (which, of themselves, are inert), so the energy of Vishnu influences the world, consisting of (inert) nature and soul. Again, as a tree, consisting of root, stem, and branches, springs from a primitive seed, and produces other seeds, whence grow other trees, analogous to the first in species, product, and origin, so from the first unexpanded germ (of nature or Pradhana) spring Mahat (Intellect) and the other rudiments of things. From them proceed the grosser elements, and, from them, men and gods, who are succeeded by sons and the sons of sons, t In the growth
which Macrobius explains as to be understood of the Supreme First Cause of all things, only in respect of his supremacy over all, and from his comprehending, as well as creating, all things, and being regarded as the soul of the world: "Quod virtutes omnes, quae ilium prima? omnipotentiam summitatis sequuntur, aut ipse faciat, aut ipse contineat. Ipsum denique Jovem veteres vocaverunt, et apud theologos Jupiter est mundi anima." In Somn. Scip., c. XVII.
* Professor Wilson should seem to have followed this lection:
'As the wind carries powerless a hundred particles that are in the water.' On this line, and its various readings, the smaller commentary remarks:
WnTrT ^nT TTrff f*THf$ I TTTTPfn! g f%?t ifar <*fi!i<*iof a tree from the seed, no detriment occurs to the parent plant; neither is there any waste of beings by the generation of others. In like manner as space,* and time, and the rest aref the cause of the tree (through the materiality of the seed), so the divine Hari is the cause of all things by successive developments (through the materiality of nature).1 As all the parts of the future plant, existing in the seed of rice,—or the root, the culm, the leaf, the shoot, the stem, the bud, the fruit, the milk, the grain, the chaff, the ear,—spontaneously evolve, when they are in approximation with the subsidiary means of growth (or earth and water), so gods, men, and other beings, involved in many actions (or necessarily existing in those states which are the consequences of good or evil acts 3), become manifested only in their full growth, through the influence of the energy of Vishnu.
1 The two passages in parentheses are the additions of the commentator, intended to explain how the deity is the material cause of the world. He is not so of his own essence, not so immediately, but through the interposition of Pradhana: <dMI^M^t". WfrTfK^ T TT^n l§ 'As, however, he
is the source of Prakriti, he must be considered the material as well as immaterial cause of being.'
'Thus, from the unmanifested first spring mahat and the like, inclusive of the elements; then from these originate the demons, &c; and, from them, sons; and of these sons there are other sons.'
* This is to render dkdia, on which term see my first note at p. 34 of Vol. I.
+ Add 'in consequence of proximity', ijfatJMIr^. X This ellipsis was supplied by the Translator.
§ This is from the smaller commentary, and means: 'Hari's material •causativity is through the instrumentality of 'prakriti, and is not in his own essence. Such is the import.'