"k" Intellect; sun, Vishnu; water; the body. "kh" Mind; sun; an organ of sense. "g" Senses of knowledge; going, motion; singing. "gh" Senses of action; striking, killing; a rattling, gurgling or tinkling sound. "n" An object of the senses. "ch" Mind; the moon; Siva; and. "chh" Senses of knowledge; tremulous; dividing. The sun refers to the intellect, and so does Vishnu: hence the meaning of the letter as intellect.
Water symbolizes Prakrti, as the Mimansa tells us; and its first manifest form, according to the Sankhya, is Mahat or the Intellect: hence the meaning of the letter as water. The dictionary meaning of the letter kh does not appear to refer to the mind; but, as we have seen, the mind can be conceived in terms of the organs of the senses on the one hand, and intellect on the other. Hence there is no contradiction in the meanings as given here.
Motion and sound are the characteristics of the "element" Ether, to which the senses of knowledge as well as of action correspond. The senses of knowledge are associated especially with sound, while those of action with motion. The letter g, in its meaning as "singing," refers specially to the senses of knowledge; while the reference to "motion" implies that it may be used for the senses of action too; and the Mimansa tells us that this interchange is permissible.
The letter "gh" refers to the senses of action in our scheme, which again has a bearing on the idea of Ether, as we have explained; and Ether has sound for its attribute; hence the reference to sound. Killing or striking too has bearing on the same idea, as this form of Ether, to which the senses of action correspond, is characterized by motion with change of place, as distinguished from elliptical motion, which too is a characteristic of Ether, and to which the senses of knowledge refer.
The letter "n" refers to the "element" Air in our scheme, which, after the senses of action, is the principal object of the senses. The meaning of "ch" as mind is supported by its other meanings as moon and Siva, both of which refer to the mind. The letter "chh" refers to the senses of knowledge in our scheme, which correspond to Ether with elliptical motion: hence the reference to "tremulous". "j" Senses of action; born, produced, connected with; enjoyment; poison. "jh" An object of sense; wind accompanied by rain. "n" Fire; a singer. "t" Senses of knowledge; sound. "th" Senses of action; a loud noise. "d" Air; Prakrti; submarine fire.
The letter "j" refers to the senses of action in our scheme, to which Ether, characterized by motion with a change of place, belongs. As the Mimansa tells us, all things are completed in the fourth stage of their existence, and it is for this reason that the number four is said to be important. Now the fourth stage in the order of development belongs to this aspect of Ether, the first three being the intellect, mind, and Ether characterized by elliptical motion or corresponding sound. Hence the meanings "produced" etc. The reference to "enjoyment" and "poison" is significant; for these are the different ways in which we look at things produced, or manifest life.
The letter "jh" refers to Air in our scheme, and that is supported by "wind" as its meaning. The letter "n" signifies the "element" Fire in our theory; and it has the tongue as an organ of speech corresponding to its character: hence the meaning "singer".
The letter "t" refers to the senses of knowledge in our theory, to which Ether, with elliptical motion and sound for its characteristics, corresponds; hence the reference to "sound" as its meaning. The letter "th" has a similar explanation. Its idea of senses of action in accordance with our scheme, is borne out by the reference to "a loud sound", which is characteristic of Ether with motion involving change of place.
The letter "d" in our scheme refers to the "element" Air; and, as Air is associated with action, which is a characteristic of Nature or Prakrti, it also refers to the latter, when we analyze words into their parts according to the method of interpretation explained in the Mimansa. There does not, however, appear to be any bearing on this idea in the dictionary meanings of this letter. It is possible that "submarine fire" may have some reference to Prakrti.
"dh" Fire; serpent. "n" Intellect; knowledge; certainty, ascertainment. "t" Senses of action; the womb; that. "th" Fire; an auspicious prayer; protection, preservation. "d" Intellect; act of giving or gift. "dh" Mind; name of Brahma or Kuvera; wealth; sixth note of the gamut in music. "n" Senses of knowledge;7 vacant, empty; a particle implying negation.
The letter "dh" should refer to the "element" Fire according to our theory; but there is no reference to it in the dictionary. It is possible that the meanings of "d" and "dh" have, to a certain extent, been interchanged; and "submarine fire", as one of the meanings of "d", is really that of "dh"; and "serpent", as that of "dh", is one of "d", for the "serpent" often refers to Nature or Prakrti, which, as we have observed, is specially characterized by action, and so connected with the "element" Air.
The letter "n" signifies intellect according to our theory, where it is, for practical purposes, identified with the soul. This is borne out by its dictionary meanings. The letter "t" refers to the senses of action in our scheme; and the womb, as the chief organ of creation, would signify the same. The letter "th" should signify the "element" Fire, and that is supported by the dictionary meaning "auspicious prayer", which may be said to be one of the highest expressions of the tongue, as an organ of speech, with which the "element" Fire is closely associated.
The letter d should mean intellect; and a proper act of giving, or gift, requires an exercise of the intellect, as the Mimansa tells us. Hence the letter "d" is said to refer to sacrifice. The letter "dh" should refer to the mind; and this is borne out by the reference to the number six, which, as has already been explained, refers to the mind. The range of the system of Brahma also extends to the mind; and the idea of Kuvera, the god, of wealth, is similar too. The letter "n" should refer to the senses of knowledge, which are closely connected with Ether; and the latter makes for a vacuum in a scientific sense of the term. Hence the meanings "vacant, empty, a particle of negation".
"p" Air; drinking; guarding. "ph" Water flowing, bubbling, boiling. "b" Intellect; Bhaga or the sun; ocean. "bh" Mind; light; Prakrti; name of Venus; resemblance. "m" Senses of knowledge; the moon. "y" Intellect; light; restraining; religious meditation. "r" Mind; desire; giving; going. "l" Senses of action; a technical term for th ten tenses and moods of verbs; cutting. The letter "p" should signify Air; and that is also one of its dictionary meanings. The letter "ph" should signify Water; and the idea is expressed by its meanings "flowing, bubbling, boiling".
The letter "b" should refer to the intellect in our scheme; and we have observed that it also implies that intellect is the first manifest form Nature or Prakrti, even as the Sankhya tells us. Hence its dictionary meaning, "the sun", which symbolizes the intellect. Hence also the reference to ocean or water, which symbolizes Nature or Prakrti. The letter "bh" should refer to the mind according to our theory; and, the mind is symbolized by the moon, we have one of its meanings as light It is the twenty-fourth consonant, and so refers to Prakrti which, according to the Sankhya, consists of twenty-four parts. Hence the reference to Venus, the planet of the "element" Water. Sukra or Venus also refers Soma, which refers to the moon or the mind, signified by this letter.
The letter "m" refers to the senses of knowledge where they may I identified with the mind: hence the reference to the moon, which signifies the mind. The letter "y" refers to the intellect in our theory; and that is also i meaning as given in the Mimansa. Hence the dictionary meanings light, etc., which are associated with the intellect or its symbol, the sun. The letter "r" refers to the mind in our theory; but the mind is conceived in a comprehensive sense, as associated with the intellect on the one hand and the senses on the other. Hence the meaning desire, which is an attribute of the mind; while "giving" or a gift requires the function of the intellect, and "going" is associated with the senses. The letter "l" refers to the senses of action in our scheme; and, as the latter make for action, this letter is associated with verbs in a special manner. Cutting is an obvious form of action. This letter accordingly refers to the senses of action and their functions.
The letter "s" according to our theory, refers to the intellect, where the latter, in its turn, is associated with the senses of knowledge. Hence its other meaning Siva, the range of whose thought extends from the senses to the intellect. The letter "sh" should refer to the intellect in our scheme; hence its meaning "wisdom". As it is intellect or its special function, discrimination; that makes for final happiness according to the Sankhya, this is also one of the meanings of this letter. As the intellect may also be identified with the mind, it means also the numbers six, which refers to the mind. The letter "s", according to our theory, refers to the mind; but the mind in this case is associated with the soul. Hence the reference to Siva and Vishnu, both of whom refer to the mind, while the idea of the latter extends to the soul.
The letter "h" refers to the "element" Earth in our scheme; but there appears to be no reference to it in the meanings given to it. It is the last letter of the alphabet, and the meanings given to it correspond to the last or final analysis of things, Purusha or God, Prakrti or Water, intellect (meditation) or the mind (moon). The idea of God is represented by a cipher; and that is also an expression of a particle of the "element" Earth, which may be identified with a germ.
A scientific conception: These are the meanings of the letters of the Sanskrt alphabet, within the range of which we can reinterpret the text of the sacred books in accordance with the method of interpretation explained in the Mimansa.
It is possible that the correlation of the dictionary meaning of certain letters with human faculties and the objects Nature may, to the uninitiated, appear to be somewhat remote but it is necessary to remember that the ancients had their own conception of life, which they believed to be scientific in a modern sense of the term. Indeed, as the Mimansa, tells us, these works were composed long ago, and need be understood in the light of the ideas of their own age, ar we should not superimpose our own theories upon then Thus, if there is a statement to the effect that the intellect sun, and gold, or the mind, moon and silver may be identified, we should, so far as the interpretation of the text concerned, accept it as true; and then, if we like, try and find out if there is also any scientific or rational foundation ft such a view. But, so far as the interpretation of the text is concerned, the question whether or not we should understand the moon to refer to the mind cannot arise.
The Mimansa is, however, careful to lay down certain conditions which must be satisfied before we can accept the correctness of this method of interpretation. We must see to it that the division of words into their component parts, as also our method of dealing with the language o the text, is in conformity with the rules of grammar, base on the authority of the best grammarians; further, that th letters retain their new meanings throughout; that, so far as the gods and hymns of the Vedas are concerned, we transform them into personifications of ideas and statements of laws of Nature by this means; and finally, that all this has a bearing on the idea of action, in the widest sense of the term. As the same method of interpretation is said to be applicable to both the sruti and smrti, it means that the "stories" of the Epics and Puranas can be transformed into accounts of the laws of Nature or systems of philosophy and religion, based on them, in the same manner.
It will be found on examination that, so far as the work of the present writer is concerned, all the conditions laid down in the Mimansa have been satisfied. The same letters of the alphabet have the same meanings throughout, from the Vedas to the Epics and the Puranas; and that is equally true of all characters, divine as well as human. The gods of the Vedas are transformed into great forms and forces of Nature, and the hymns, to the small extent to which they have been dealt with, into its laws; the idea of these gods constitutes the basis of the different systems of philosophy, which, in their turn, are grouped together to form the different systems of religion; and the same have been described in the form of stories in the great Epics and Puranas, and can be re-interpreted as accounts of the different systems of philosophy and religion in accordance with the method explained at such length in the Mimansa.
The two principal tests of correctness of a theory, as the Mimansa tells us, are its consistency of plan in conformity with a rational system of thought, and more satisfactory results; and, so far as the sacred books are concerned, a new method of interpretation should be consistent throughout, and enable us to understand the text in a new light of the laws of Nature and ideas of philosophy and religion; and it would be stupid, says Jaimini, to ask for more. The theory of the Sanskrt alphabet, with the meanings assigned to its letters, will be found to answer both these tests. It has been applied to the Vedas, the two great Epics of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, and number of Puranas; and the result is the same every time; they all deal with the same laws of Nature, and the same systems of thought, though in different forms and different ways.