Narach Philosophy

SYSTEMS OF HINDU PHILOSOPHY: POSITIONS OF THE GOLDEN EGG


It has been stated that the various systems of Hindu philosophy and religion can be understood in the light of the different positions of the Golden Egg with reference to that of Purusha, placed to the north or the east, and in connection with the threefold manifest energies of life, Heat, Electricity, and Magnetism.

Let us now examine the question: It has been said that there are eight possible positions of the Golden Egg in relation to Purusha. The point of the Golden Egg is turned to the four cardinal directions, east, south, west and north. With the Purusha placed to the north of, or above, Prakrti or the Golden Egg, we get one set of four relations between Purusha and Prakrti; and with the Purusha placed to the Right side or east of Prakrti, we get another set of four relations subsisting between them, making eight.

It has, further, been observed that all energy flows down from a higher to a lower one, when life becomes manifest and we find that this is so in the case of Heat and Electric energy in the physical world. In the present case it is conceived as flowing down from Purusha to the Golden Egg or Prakrti. Accordingly, Purusha must be conceived as one degree higher than the side of the Golden Egg placed nearest to him, to which his energy must flow down.

Further, all creation becomes manifest from the pointed side of the Golden Egg or Prakrti, and Purusha must be at least one degree higher than that; that is, inasmuch as the pointed side of the Egg represents Ether, Mind, being one degree above Ether, is the lowest creative energy associated with Purusha.

Again, it should be borne in mind that all life is characterised by the super-electric energy of the Heart, which is akin to electric energy; and as in the physical world an electric current flows in the direction of the hands of the clock, so must it be with the super-electric energy of the Supreme Purusha. Thus, the energy of Purusha flows down to Prakrti or the Golden Egg from north to east, thence to south, thence to west and north in order.

Let us now consider the eight possible positions of the Golden Egg in relation to Purusha. We have first of all to relate the Egg to the four cardinal directions, east, west, south, and north. In this connection we know that the order of creation is from Buddhi to the element "Earth" and that the pointed side of the Egg represents Ether. From this it is obvious that the rounded side represents Buddhi, and Mind lies on the nearest side of Buddhi in the direction of the hands of the clock. Thus, if we place the point of the Egg downwards, representing the south, as the current of life flows from north to south in the direction of the hands of the clock, we have Buddhi to the north, Mind to the Right side or east, Ether to the south, and Air to the west. The other elements Fire, Water and "Earth" would be arranged after Air in order. If the point of the Egg is placed to the east, we shall get Buddhi to the west, Mind to the north, Ether to the east and Air to the south. Similarly if the pointed side is placed to the west, we shall have Buddhi to the east, Mind to the south, Ether to the west, and Air to the north. Again, if the pointed side be placed to the north, we get Buddhi to the south, Mind to the west, Ether to the north, and Air to the east.

As Purusha is one degree higher than the point of the Golden Egg opposite to him, each of the positions represents him as follows:

  1. Buddhi, as he faces Mind.
  2. Greater-than-Buddhi, as he faces Buddhi.
  3. Ether, as he faces Air.
  4. Mind, as he faces Ether.
  5. Buddhi, as he faces Mind.
  6. Greater-than-Buddhi, as he faces Buddhi.
  7. Ether, as he faces Air.
  8. Mind, as he faces Ether.

Personification of Ways of Creation: Inasmuch as the Supreme Purusha may be regarded as either greater than or coequal with, but in no case less than, Prakrti, out of these eight positions, 3 and 7 are impossible; for Purusha is represented in both as Ether, and his energy is to flow down to Buddhi in each case, which is impossible. As will be shown subsequently the remaining six positions of the Golden Egg are personified in the sacred works of the Hindus as Agni, Vishnu, Rudra, Indra, Varuna, and Soma, respectively.

It has already been pointed out that, in addition to these six, there are three more ways of creation, making in all a total of nine.

It will further be shown that Prakrti creating alone, without the existence of Purusha, was personified as Vrtra; and inasmuch as this was regarded as a very incorrect point of view, Vrtra had to be "killed" by every deity who could conceivably represent a more correct aspect of the truth. The eighth position of the Golden Egg, dividing the Universe into two equal parts (even as is our Earth under the electro-magnetic energy of the Sun), was personified as "Heaven and Earth," or "Dyava-Prthvi" in the Vedas.

The ninth way of creation, with the Supreme Purusha seated within Prakrti, in the Heart, was personified as Vayu in the Vedas, and as Krshna in the subsequent sacred works of the Hindus.

Theories of Creation in the Light of the Energies of Life: Heat, Electricity, and Magnetism: It is possible now to consider the creative energies of life in terms of the great manifest energies Heat, Electricity, and Magnetism. We have seen that there are nine ways of looking at the creation of life; in one the Supreme Purusha is unmanifest, dwelling within the Golden Egg or Prakrti; in one he is regarded as non-existent; and in the remaining seven he is conceived as manifest.

We have seen that the idea of the Supreme Purusha, in his manifest form, relates to the following energies; (1) Higher than Buddhi; (2) Buddhi; (3) Mind; (4) Ether. These may be regarded as the Purushic or creative energies of life.

Now, it has been pointed out that the energy higher than Buddhi is the energy of the Heart, which may be regarded as super-electric, and is often referred to as "Lightning of the Heart". The other three energies are Buddhi, Mind, and Ether; and they are characterised by the energies of Heat, Electricity, and Magnetism respectively.

But it has been said that the energy of the Heart (greater than Buddhi) is unmanifest. Accordingly, when we are referring energies to the manifest universe, the Heart-energy has, for practical purposes, to be identified with Buddhi; even as for the same reason Atman and Buddhi are identified. Thus the four creative energies of life are reduced to three, when we examine them in the light of the manifest universe; and they are Buddhi, Mind, and Ether, or Heat, Electricity, and Magnetism respectively.

Creative Energies of Life in the Light of Gunas: It has already been stated that the three Gunas refer to the modifications or changes that take place when the original Heart-energy is transformed into Heat, Electricity and Magnetism. Accordingly, the energies of Buddhi, Mind, and Ether, and the changes that they undergo, are represented by the three Gunas, Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas. Buddhi in action or change is represented by Sattva; Mind in action or change by Rajas; and Ether in action or change by Tamas.

Vedic Gods and Creative Energies: the Three Gunas: It has been stated that the various aspects of the creative energies of life have been personified in the Vedas as Agni, Vishnu, Rudra, Indra, Varuna, Soma, Vrtra, "Heaven and Earth" and Vayu. Inasmuch as, again, as these energies are considered in the light of the three Gunas, the Vedas, which consist of hymns of praise in honour of the gods, may be said to deal with the three Gunas.

Three Main Systems of Hindu Philosophy: It has been observed that corresponding to the three manifest energies of creative life Buddhi, Mind, and Ether, or Heat, Electricity, and Magnetism, or Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas we have three main systems of Hindu philosophy, Vedanta, Yoga, and Sankhya, and three main systems of Hindu religion in India, of Vishnu or Krshna, of Siva, or Mahadeva, and the religion associated with the name of Brahma or Buddha.

Inter-related Systems of Thought: Before we go on to consider the different systems of Hindu philosophy and religion, it is necessary to remember that, in their original conception, they represent interrelated lines of thought rather than rival schools, as in later times they came to be. We have further to bear in mind that the Sutras or Aphorisms of Kapila or Patanjali or the authors of the system of Vedanta, as at present understood, came much later in time, although they embody a great deal of original, ancient thought on the subject.

Three Gunas: Their Form: To revert to the idea of the three Gunas: It has been said that they are related to the three systems of Hindu philosophy Sattva to Vedanta, Rajas to Yoga, and Tamas to Sankhya. Further, it has been said that the idea of the Gunas of philosophy and of grammar is the same. In the light of this, the conception of the three Gunas, as modifications of Prakrti or the Golden Egg may be explained as follows:

In the Sanskrt alphabet the vowels represent the energies of the nucleus, and the consonants of the cytoplasm. Each vowel represents energy of life, a long vowel being similar to the short one. Thus a, short or long, stands for Buddhi, i for Mind, u for Purushic Ether, r for Prakrtic Ether, lr for Air, e for Fire, and o for Water. There are seven vowels, representing seven energies; and as there are two aspects of Ether, Purushic and Prakrtic, the last vowel o represents Water. This implies that the last energy of the Nucleus is Water and not the element "Earth"; and would explain why Water is conceived as the original cause of life.

The lines of Gunas in the above figure correspond to the Guna changes according to Sanskrit Grammar, where the guna of r is said to be ar, that is, r is connected with a; of i is said to be e; and of u is o.

Guna Lines: From the figure of the three Gunas we find that:

Further, we notice that all the three Gunas meet in the region of Ether, from u to r. Again we see that each Guna partakes of the characteristics of the remaining two in some degree; and that Rajas does this most of all. Finally, all the three Gunas are possessed of both Purushic and Prakrtic energies to more or less extent.

Three Gunas and Three Systems of Philosophy: It has been observed that the three Gunas correspond to the three main systems of Hindu philosophy Sattva to Vedanta, Rajas to Yoga, and Tamas to Sankhya. If this be correct, the three systems of Hindu philosophy should have the following characteristics:

  1. According to Sattva Purusha alone should be the Supreme Creator, one without a second, and Prakrti but a manifestation or modification of him; for we notice in the figure of Sattva that the Prakrtic energy is represented only by Ether (r) and the rest is all Purushic. Corresponding to this we find that in the system of Vedanta Purusha alone is conceived as the Supreme Creator and Prakrti is but a manifestation or modification of him.
  2. According to Rajas Purusha and Prakrti, together and in equal partnership, should be the creators of life; for we notice that, in the figure of Rajas, both the Purushic and Prakrtic energies are almost equally represented and are equally important. Corresponding to this we find that in the Yoga system the Universe is conceived as having been created by Purusha and Prakrti together, as co-extensive and coeternal.
  3. According to Tamas Prakrti alone should be the creator of life; or, if there is a Purusha, he can have little to do with the actual work of creation and can be dispensed with; for we notice in the figure of Tamas that the Purushic energy is represented only by Ether (u), and, the rest is all Prakrtic. Corresponding to this we find in the Sankhya system that the Universe is conceived as having been created by Prakrti alone; and if there is a Purusha, he has little to do with the actual work of creation, is a mere onlooker and spectator, and can be dispensed with.

Thus, according to Vedanta Purusha alone, without a second, is regarded as the Supreme Creator of life; according to the Yoga system there are, two creators and not one Purusha and Prakrti, who act together and are co-equal and co-eternal partners in the creation of manifest life; while according to the Sankhya system, Prakrti alone, without a second, is the supreme creator of life; or, if there is a Purusha, he is a mere spectator or onlooker of the work done by Prakrti.

Three aspects of each System of Philosophy: All systems of Hindu philosophy may be looked at from three points of view. It has been said that each of them corresponds to the idea of a great energy of life Vedanta to Buddhi or Heat; Yoga to Mind or Electricity; and Sankhya to Ether or Magnetic energy. Now, each of these energies may be considered from three points of view: (1) in itself (manifest); (2) in relation to the energy higher than itself (unmanifest); and (3) in relation to the energy lower than itself (manifest). Thus, Buddhi may be considered manifest in itself, as Buddhi; or it may be considered in relation to an unmanifest energy higher than itself, viz. The Heart-energy; or it may be considered in relation to a manifest energy lower than itself, viz. Mind. In the same way we may regard Mind and Ether. Similarly Vedanta has a threefold aspect; and so Yoga and Sankhya. It will be noticed that at least one aspect of each (Mind) is common to all; that two aspects of Vedanta are common to two of Yoga; and two of Yoga are common to two of Sankhya. The whole idea may be represented as follows:

VedantaHeart-energyBuddhi Mind  
Yoga BuddhiMindEther 
Sankhya  MindEther (Purushic)Ether (Prakrti)

We are now in a position to consider the three main systems of Hindu philosophy.