The Ancients knew that the Sun was the manifest source of all life below; that its chief energy was Heat accompanied by Light; and that this Heat was transformed into Electricity, Magnetism, and all other forms and forces of life. They saw that the Sun was situated to the east of our planet Earth.
The Sun, accordingly, was regarded as a symbol of the Supreme Purusha, who, though ever the same, created the Universe by his Tapas (Heat or meditation), and by transforming himself into various ways, created and pervaded all forms of life.
The Position of Purusha in Relation to Prakrti: East and North: If the Sun came to be regarded in the light of the manifest Purusha, objective life came to be regarded in the light of manifest Prakrti; and as the Sun is situated to the east of our Earth, the East came to be regarded as the abode of the Purusha in relation to Prakrti.
But the Ancients knew that, though the Sun may, in a measure, represent Purusha, there existed a higher energy than the Sun, unmanifest and unknowable, which created the Sun itself. This they conceived to be the Heart. They knew that the Heart is characterised by super-electro-magnetic energy, flowing from north to south, and again from south to north as when a person breathes in, there is a downward (north to south) flow of energy; and when he breathes out, there is an upward (south to north) flow of energy; that the former is positive, (or Purushic) and the latter negative (or Prakrtic). Accordingly, the place of Purusha, in relation to Prakrti, was believed to be also to the North. The East and the North were, therefore, regarded as the two directions from where the Purushic energy of life might be conceived to emanate.
The Moon: The ancient Hindus were, further, of opinion that, as the Sun was the source of Heat, the Moon represented the transformation of Heat into Electricity; that is to say, the energy of the Moon was electric, and it "converted the effects of the Sun's heat, and created the clouds" charged with lightning. Accordingly, the energy of the Moon was akin to that of the Heart; though lower in strength, the Moon being-electric and the Heart super-electric.
Ether: Further, as lightning is always accompanied by sound (even as "lightning of the heart" and its "beating" go together), and as sound was conceived to be a property of Ether, they held that the electric energy of the Moon was immediately transformed into magnetic energy, creating the element Ether.
Other Elements: Air, Fire, Water, Earth: Ether, they held, was transformed into Air; Air into Fire; Fire into Water; and Water into the element Earth. These were the great elements, and thus was all life made manifest.
Energies and their Symbolical Forms: But the Ancients believed that all forms of life below had their counterparts above, that this and that are the same. Accordingly, they tried to relate the principal energies of life, Buddhi, Mind, and the five elements, which are found to be united and inseparable below, to their individual and separate forms; and so Buddhi was personified in the Sun, Mind in the Moon, and the five elements in the five planets of our Solar system, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn respectively. This will be further explained in the course of the following pages.
Heart-Energy and Lotus: Lightning, Thunder and Rain: The story of the creation of Life is often narrated as follows:
In the beginning of a cycle of creation Narayana, the Supreme Creator, lay on the Waters (Prakrti), which constituted his body. He wished to create; and then rose from his navel a Lotus, on which Brahma found himself seated. Seeing the universe blank, Brahma wished to be many. Out of this Desire was born Thought, and Brahma created after himself and from his Mind the Universe.
Brahmanda or Golden Egg: It has already been pointed out that Brahma is often identified with the Golden Egg or Hiranyagarbha. Now, to picture the idea of the birth of Brahma from the navel of Narayana, let us draw the figure of an ellipse (Egg), and locate the place of the Heart, the abode of Narayana, within it; then let us locate the navel. By joining the two in the form of an ellipse, we shall get "Ether of the Heart" and if we draw an ellipse or circle at the top of this, we shall get the "Lotus", on which Brahma found himself seated, whence emanated the Golden Egg. This is done by connecting the Heart (now linked to the "Lotus") and the navel with the outer ellipse. The whole idea may be illustrated as follows and an examination will show some very interesting results::
1. It corresponds exactly to the figure of the human cell, with its protoplasm (outer egg-shape), nucleus (Ether of the Heart), nucleolus (Lotus or rain), and the centrosomes (point of the Heart, and centre of the Lotus or nucleolus). From this it may be permissible to infer that the ancient Hindus framed all their theories of life on the working of the living Cell, and conceived the whole Universe in the light of one large, immeasurable, universal Cell (Brahmanda), and all creatures, all substances and all forms of life to be fashioned after the same model, in the image of the Supreme Creator himself.
2. The Right half of the figure corresponds to the form of the child in embryo, once again indicating that one single type pervades all manifestations of life.
3. The form of "Ether of the Heart," with Lotus at the top, corresponds roughly to the figure of a Fish; and would explain the idea of Vishnu, the Supreme Creator, incarnate as a Fish; the Fish expressing the idea of "Ether of the Heart" (the abode of the Supreme), and the Lotus, from where the energy of life becomes manifest into the Golden Egg.
4. The lines A and B, (connecting "Ether of the Heart" with the outer ellipse or Golden Egg), and the figure of "Ether of the Heart", correspond roughly to the figure of a Tortoise, and would explain the idea of Vishnu incarnate as a Tortoise.
5. Another incarnation of Vishnu is Ksa or Lightning, and would obviously refer to the "Lightning of the Heart", the first primal energy of life, as already pointed out.
Lightning, Thunder, and Rain: Water Personifying Prakrti: The same idea may be expressed in terms of lightning, thunder and rain. The original energy of life is "Lightning" of the Heart (conceived as electric or super- electric), and when the Heart beats it is accompanied by sound or Thunder, moving in elliptical form; and this thunder is followed by Rain, even as it happens in the ordinary phenomenon of nature, lightning followed by thunder, and thunder by rain. It is this "rain" which is conceived as Lotus, on which Brahma is said to find himself seated; and this would explain the connection between Lotus and Water or Rain, and also show why Water is spoken of as the original energy of life, identified with Prakrti, out of which the universe issues forth.
Sun and Buddhi (Understanding, Reason, Intelligence): As already explained, the Ancients regarded the Sun as the source of all manifest energy below; but they knew that there was the Unmanifest beyond it; and this Unmanifest was the Heart.
They knew that the Heart was the central energy of life; and that after the Heart came the Head or the energy of the Brain in a human being, and this they called Buddhi or highest Intelligence (Understanding or Reason). The Heart is unmanifest, and the Head manifest: similarly, the Purusha of the Heart is unmanifest, and the Sun, next in order, manifest. Accordingly, Buddhi or the energy of the Head was personified in the Sun, and all the characteristics and properties of the Sun were ascribed to it; Heat, Light, and the source of all manifest energy in man.
Moon and Mind: After Buddhi or Intelligence comes Mind in man; and as the Moon gets its light from the Sun, like the Mind from Buddhi, the Mind was personified in the Moon, and all the characteristics of the Moon were ascribed to it; its light, electric energy, creative power, changefulness, etc.
Sun and Moon: Their Relation to Manifest Life: The Ancients knew that, though the Sun was the parent-source of all life made manifest below, the Moon had even a larger share in the actual creation of life: for instance, the birth of the child was regulated by the Moon; so was the period of menstruation in women; and so the ebb and tide of waters, the cause of most changes of life. Accordingly, they came to the conclusion that the Moon played even a greater part in the creation of life than the Sun; and the fact that the energy of the Moon was regarded as electric, and the Heart was known to be characterised by a similar energy (super-electric), appeared to confirm that view. Accordingly, the energy of the Mind and the Heart were often identified; and this will explain why the Mind is sometimes spoken of as the original source of all manifest life. This would appear to explain why the Hindu calendar is based on the motions of the Moon, though it is recognized that the Sun is the source of all energy below.
Seven Energies and the Solar System: It has been said that the ancient Hindus believed that Buddhi is transformed into Mind, Mind into Ether, Ether into Air, Air into Fire, Fire into Water, and Water into Earth. It has further been said that they personified these seven energies; Buddhi as Sun, Mind as Moon; and found the personification of the five elements in the planets of our Solar system; Ether in Mars, Air in Mercury, Fire in Jupiter, Water in Venus, and Earth in Saturn. This will be explained in detail in the course of the following pages.
Our Planet Earth: It is necessary to mention here that the ancient Hindus did not regard our Earth, on which we dwell, as identical with the element "Earth". Our Earth was rather conceived as a great receptacle of Life, containing the energy of all the five elements, from Ether to the element "Earth"; and as the energies of the Heart, Buddhi (Sun), and Mind (Moon), or Super-electricity Heat, and Electricity, are made manifest in Ether, our planet is possessed of these energies as well. Accordingly, our Earth is a picture of manifest Prakrti, containing all the five elements, and the energies associated with Ether, viz. Super-electricity, Heat, and Electricity, or the energies of the Heart, Buddhi, and Mind.
The reason of the connection between the planet Earth and the element of that name is not far to seek of the energies composing our Earth, the topmost layer consists of the element "Earth"; below it is the region of the element Water; after it comes the region of Fire; thereafter the region of Air (gases), below which is the region of Ether, with its magnetic energy etc. Accompanying this Ether and its properties, are the energies of Electricity, Heat and Super-electricity, associated with the Moon (Mind), Sun (Buddhi), and the central energy of the universal Heart. But as we see the element "Earth" only at the top of our planet, the two are identified. We shall deal with this idea again at a later stage.