Narach Philosophy

THE GODS OF THE VEDAS: VISHNU


We have observed that Heart energy may be considered from three points of view, as Prakrtic, Purushic, or both Purushic and Prakrtic; of these Varuna represents the first, and the second we have in Vishnu; while Vayu or Vata personifies the last. We have examined the idea of Varuna, and may now pass on to that of Vishnu, after which we shall consider Vayu or Vata.

Figure of Vishnu: Regent of Dhruva Region: Vishnu is said to be the lord of the Dhruva region and the word Dhruva is usually interpreted to mean, Firm-set. But Dhruva is also the name of the Polar star or the Celestial Pole and it is in the light of this that we have to understand the idea of Vishnu; and so the Golden Egg must be turned towards the north polar region to indicate the place of his rule. The following figure will, accordingly, represent Vishnu.

Significance of the Figure: It will be noticed that the position of the Golden Egg corresponds to the verse in the Vedas, referring to the Bowl with its mouth inclined and bottom upward; and its axis is inclined like that of our planet Earth, causing the changes of night and day as well as the seasons of the year. Further, we see that it is like the Drum of Mahadeva in action, whose play is said to produce the notes which constitute the letters of the Sanskrt alphabet, in harmony with the vibrations of the universe. Again, as secondary meanings are generally related to the original conception of words, the two meanings of Dhruva, firm set and Polar region, are connected together, implying that the idea of the inclination of the world towards the Polar region is firm-set, based on the highest authority and the most scientific one; and Vishnu as its regent represents the most correct theory of the creation of the universe.

Meaning of Vishnu: According to our letter analysis Vishnu, may be resolved into V, i, sh, u, and would mean, Heart energy (n) in relation to (i) Prakrti (v), Mind (sh, letter No. 6), and Purushic Ether (u) It will be noticed from the figure that Vishnu, placed to the north of the region of Buddhi, represents Heart energy, one degree higher than Buddhi, and this is indicated by the in his name; and his line extends from Water or Prakrti (v) to Purushic Ether (u) He represents, therefore, the relation of Purusha, conceived as Heart energy, to Prakrti (v); and inasmuch all letters of his name, except v, are Purushic, he may be said to represent Heart energy as purely Purushic in character. In the case of Varuna, whose line of name is the same as Vishnu's, we noticed that, because the negative or Prakrtic half of the Golden Egg was placed above the positive or Purushic, Heart energy was conceived as Prakrtic; and there was a further reference to Prakrtic Ether, indicated by the letter r, in his name. In the case of Vishnu, on the other hand, we get the most scientific position of the Golden Egg as well as the correct direction of the flow of its electric or super-electric energy; and there is no reference even to Prakrtic Ether in his name. Accordingly Vishnu may be said to represent Heart energy as purely Purushic in relation to Prakrti (v).

Defect in the Vishnu Idea: But this absence of reference to Prakrtic Ether, while emphasizing his Purushic character, constitutes a defect in the idea of Vishnu, even as it did in that of Soma; and as the latter had to be "purified" to be made complete, the idea of Vishnu is perfected through his three great steps. But inasmuch as there is no reference to Prakrtic Ether in his original conception, the two world-halves, as in the case of Varuna, but for a different reason, remain separate so far as he is concerned; and so he is said to stay them asunder and apart.

Three Steps of Vishnu: We have said that the defect in Vishnu's conception is removed by means of the idea of his three great steps, within which all creatures have their habitation. In this connection we have pointed out that the number three refers to Ether (both Purushic and Prakrtic) and the three Gunas; and the three steps of Vishnu are to be understood in this light. The Sanskrt expression in the context is Tripada; and it will be noticed that its principal letters, t, r, p, all refer to Prakrtic Ether; and the word, when analyzed into T, r, i, pa, da, means, Giving (da) Prakrtic Ether (t, r, pa) in relation to the Mind (i).

Vishnu in the Vedas: Thus it is easy to understand why Vishnu is called a Bull, dwelling on the mountains for the cow or bull refers to Purushic Ether, and a mountain (Giri or gir) to the union of the Purushic and Prakrtic counterparts of that element. For the same reason he is admired for his deeds is borne by noble steeds and brings down both Parents (Heaven and Earth) to share the genial flow of Soma. He is fed on clarified butter or ghee is called Sipivishta and Maruts are his band. He has Aditi for his consort he is the Ancient and the Last the primeval germ of order from his birth and sovran Varuna and both Asvins, wait on him.

Vishnu and Varuna: The connection between Vishnu and Varuna has already been pointed out and explained. Both of them represent Heart energy, the one as Purushic and the other as Prakrtic.

Vishnu and Indra: The connection between Indra and Vishnu is a more intimate one. Indra is a Buddhi god, associated with the Mind and the senses of action, which include those of knowledge too; and he is connected also with the energy of the Heart; while Vishnu is the deity of the Heart, associated with Prakrti, Mind, and the senses of knowledge which cannot be separated from those of action. In Indra there is an indirect reference to Heart energy and the senses of knowledge; while in Vishnu the indirect reference is to Buddhi and the senses of action. Thus the chief difference between them relates to the position of the universe in relation to Purusha; and in the case of Indra we see that it is vertical, and in that of Vishnu inclined; and it is for this reason that Indra desires to issue forth from the side obliquely, and is with difficulty prevailed upon by his dying mother to desist: and this preserves the difference between the two.

Thus Vishnu and Indra are friendly gods wonderworkers sharers of the banquet; riding together their foe-conquering horses and together they quaff the pressed Soma's juice and Indra leagued with Vishnu slew Vrtra, the Dragon and Vishnu, through Indra's energy, strode his three great steps.

Vishnu and Soma: The idea of Soma, as representing Mind energy, akin to the Heart, associated with the senses of knowledge and purified through the senses of action, has already been explained; and it will be seen that there is a great deal in common between Vishnu and Soma. Accordingly Vishnu is spoken of as the saviour of Soma and the sweet Soma juice flows to him and he protects the Soma oblation and drinks the divine draught with Indra, his friend.

Vishnu in Post-Vedic Literature: Incarnations of Vishnu: Krshna: The idea of Vishnu in post-Vedic literature follows the lines of Vedic thought. In this connection we have already referred to his ten incarnations, and shown that they represent different theories of creation in the light of its most scientific conception, vis., Vishnu; and of these Krshna is regarded as most perfect and complete.

Figure of Krshna: As Vedic thought is carried forward and explained in post-Vedic literature, it will be interesting to examine the idea of Krshna in the light of our method of interpretation. According to our analysis Krshna may be resolved into K, r, sh, n (a); and an examination of the line of his name, according to our diagram of the alphabet, will show that it embraces the whole of the Golden Egg.

Significance of the Figure: It will be noticed that if we start from K (the first letter in our diagram) and proceed from the Prakrtic or left side of the ellipse to r (indicating Prakrtic Ether), and pass on to sh, and end with n (a) (the second letter in our diagram), we shall embrace the whole of the Golden Egg; and so the idea of Krshna, as a complete incarnation of Vishnu and comprehending the whole universe, is expressed in his very name.

In this connection a question might be asked, why should we, in sketching Krshna's line of name, proceed from left to Right or Prakrti to Purusha, and not from Right to left or Purusha to Prakrti, as in the case of other gods? the reply to this is a simple one: in our examination of the idea of the universe we have seen that we have to proceed from the Known to the Unknown, or from Prakrti to Purusha; and this is the significance of the method of writing from left to Right in Sanskrt, which is conceived as a picture of Brahmanda or the manifest universe. Further, we notice that in the case of other gods Purusha is placed outside Prakrti, either to the east or the north; and as the current of life is electric or super-electric, and flows down in the direction of the hands of the clock, it must pass from the Purushic to the Prakrtic side. But in the case of Krshna Purusha is placed within and not without Prakrti, and seated in the Heart; and in this case it is possible for the current of electricity to flow at will either from Right to left or left to Right as directed; and it is to distinguish between Purusha seated within and seated without Prakrti that we move from left to Right in the case of Krshna, and from Right to left in the case of the other gods. In Krshna, as a complete incarnation of Vishnu, emphasis is accordingly laid on Prakrti as leading to the knowledge of Purusha, and it is for this reason that he is represented as dark, that being the colour of Prakti, as already explained. Moreover, this signifies that what is Prakrti (dark) is really Purusha (Krshna) himself.

Krshna and Rudra: We have seen that the line of Krshna's name embraces the whole of the Golden Egg, and so does that of Rudra; and so in post-Vedic literature these two, or Vishnu and Siva, figure as the great rival gods. The defect in the Rudra idea has already been pointed out; but it would be difficult to find anything seriously lacking in the idea of Krshna, either in respect of the place of Purusha, the position of the Golden Egg, or the direction of the current of energy. In this connection it might be of interest to point out that the only creative energy left out in the Krshna-idea is Purushic Ether; and all the rest, Heart, Buddhi, Mind, and: Prakrtic Ether are indicated by the letters n (a) k, , and r in his name. This omission, however, is supplied by the idea of his birth in the Dvapara Age which, as has already been explained, refers to Purushic lather.

Krshna and Action: The idea of Action is specially emphasized in Krshna, and is indicated by the syllable, Kri, meaning, to act, in his name. The association of the letter k with ri is significant; and as the former refers to the first creative energy of life, Heart energy, Buddhi, Mind, or Ether, it implies that each of them is associated with and completed in Prakrtic Ether (r) and refers to Action; and Action, as we shall see, is at the foundation of the whole story of the Mahabharata, and is specially stressed in the Bhagavad Gita.

Vishnu as Deity of Feet: We have observed that the idea of Vishnu in post-Vedic literature follows the lines of Vedic thought. In this connection it may be of interest to note that he is spoken of as the presiding deity of feet and identified with the power of motion and it is said that when he was an embryo he was a span long. This is but a different way of describing the inclined position of the universe in connection with Vishnu; for it will be noticed that that is the natural position of the feet or span of the hand. The following figure will illustrate the idea.

Vishnu is called Sipivista he is identified with the Sun with Soma and his weapon is the thunderbolt. He is the friend and ally of Indra is invoked to protect the sacrifice and Soma libations are poured out to him. Water is his body he resides in the Ocean of Milk is seated on the Serpent and embraces the universe in his three great steps. Again, he is spoken of as the source of the universe and is the highest Abode. He is the Supreme Soul, pervading the universe, and is the fundamental cause of the creation, sustenance and extinction of everything.

Vishnu in the Mahabharata: The idea of Vishnu is given in considerable detail in the Anusasana Parva of the Mahabharata where, in his thousand names, all that relates to him is described. The whole "story" of the Mahabharata is but a picture of the universe in the light of the Supreme Purusha, conceived as the energy of the Heart and represented by Vishnu or his complete incarnation, Krshna; and so is Vishnu spoken of as the centre of the universe, the Soul of all things, and the Lord of the Past, Present, and the Future. He is the presiding deity of the Sun, exists in the form of the Sun, and pours forth heat in the form of the Sun. He transcends the three Gunas or qualities; is the husband of Sri or Laksmi and from his navel the primeval lotus originated. He is the lord of the senses; urges all creatures to their acts and roves through the universe riding on Garuda. He evolves the universe out of Prakrti, and is both the effect and the cause. He is identified with Sesa, the Serpent assumes the form of Prana or Air; merges the life-breaths in the soul; and lives in the Ether of the Heart. He has Water for his home; is the receptacle of all waters in the universe; holds in the form of the vast Ocean all jewels and gems in his abdomen; and lies on the vast expanse of waters after the dissolution of the universe. He is the brother and protector of Indra, who delights to do his deeds; and he performs the functions of the universe and causes its wheel to revolve. He is the Lord of the universe; the lord of Time and its cycles; and is the primeval Golden Egg. His effulgence is like the Sun; the Moon has originated from his Mind; and he overwhelms the universe with his Maya. He protects the Cows; drinks Soma; takes his birth in a sacrifice; and lives in the form of sacrifice in all animals. His bow is called Sarnga he has the mystic mark, Srivatsa, on his breast and he is armed with the discus. He is of diverse forms, manifest and unmanifest; and he like a cipher. His colour is gold; his colour is tawny and he has seven tongues, and seven flames, and seven horses to draw his chariot. He is self-born; he is the creator of the universe; and he takes his birth through many incarnations, Dwarf, Tortoise, Fish, Boar, two Ramas, Krshna, Arjuna, Vyasa, and the rest.