We have seen that the ancient Hindus regarded the idea of the Golden Egg as the basis of all knowledge of the universe; and while it is difficult to give a complete account of what they knew enough has been said to show their grasp of the essential principles of Biology, Physics and Astronomy. It will be outside the scope of this work to examine the character of the knowledge of the ancients in the different departments of science and art; and we have to confine ourselves to the fundamental laws of life regarding its origin, growth, development and decay. We have examined their systems of thought and the character of the Golden Egg; it now remains to explain a few more points in the same connection, consider the basis of the science of Hindu Astrology and Medicine, and examine the application of their theories to life; after which we shall describe the character of the Sanskrt language as a picture of Brahmanda, understand the method of its interpretation, and construct the ideas underlying the sacred works of the Hindus.
Ether: All energy emanates from the unmanifest, the centre of the Heart; it is then transformed into Buddhi or the Sun, which is followed by the Mind or the Moon; and then comes Ether, the first of the elements; and a proper understanding of its character is essential to a study of the ancient systems of Hindu thought. The chief properties of Ether have already been described, and it has been pointed out that the energy of the Sun and Moon is made manifest in it accordingly, as the energy of Ether is magnetic, Heat, Light, Time, and Electricity are all magnetic in character; and so is Sound, propagated in that element. This might explain certain hitherto unexplained phenomena in regard to Heat, Light, Electric and Sound waves.
Motion: Again, all sound is caused by motion or vibration; hence all motion takes place in Ether. This motion is of two kinds, (1) Elliptical, that is, involving no relative change of place, and (2) Waves like, involving a relative change of place, corresponding to the twofold character of Ether, Purushic and Prakrtic.
In this connection we might observe that, while examining the transformation of the Golden Ellipse of the Solar system into a wave, we saw that we obtained a new arrangement of the planets coinciding with the order of the days of the week, by measuring distances by means of straight lines. This indicates that all manifestation is from an ellipse to a wave, and thence to a straight line; or, as a circle is but a modification of an ellipse, we may say that an ellipse is changed into a circle, a circle into a wave, and a wave into a straight line. This gives us the connection between them, on which depend all our ideas of dimensions, volume, mass etc.
Matter: Atom: Modern science has found it difficult to define Matter or Atom. Matter is usually conceived as a substance which occupies space; and space, according to the ancient system of thought, is identified with Ether. Matter, accordingly, is a substance situated in Ether. The idea of Atom is the same. It is called Anu in Sanskrt, which is derived from Anu, meaning "to produce sound", and Sound is a property of Ether.
Matter or Atom, therefore, possesses all the properties of Ether; heat, light, electric, electro-magnetic energy, sound and motion, is subject to Time, and assumes an elliptical form.
Time: The idea of Time, again, is one that has baffled modern science to define. According to the ancients, however, it is the energy of the Sun, made manifest in Ether, and has the form of a wave like a hooded Cobra.
Time and Space: From this we can understand the relation of Time to Space, for the latter is identified with Ether, and Ether itself is called Space. Thus Time is made manifest in Ether or Space but as it is the energy of the Sun, it is superior to Space which is created out of it; and it is created and destroyed not with Space, but with the Sun. But, inasmuch as all Sun-energy is made manifest in Ether, with the destruction of Ether Time becomes unmanifest, but is not destroyed. When we understand the character of the Sanskrt language we shall see that the relation of Time to Ether is indicated by the very word Kala, meaning Time.
Ether and Air: While a proper understanding of the idea of Ether is essential to a study of the ancient systems of thought, it is no less necessary to understand the relation of Ether to Air, into which it is transformed. In connection with Sound, the property of Ether, we are told in the Mahabharata as follows:
"Thus Sound, which is the property of Ether, is of various sorts. The learned have described Sound to be born of Space (Ether). When created by the various kinds of Touch, which is the property of Wind, it may be heard. It cannot, however, be heard when the different kinds of Touch are not used".
This gives us the relation of Air to Ether in connection with Sound; and if the statement be regarded as generally true for all things connected with Ether, we may say that Matter or Motion or electro-magnetic effects cannot "touch" any sense of perception without the medium of Air.
Breath or Prana: The transformation of Ether into the remaining elements has already been described; we may therefore examine the character of Prana or Breath. The conception of Prana as understood by the ancients is a most comprehensive one. It is sometimes conceived as the energy of the Heart, and identified with the Atman or Soul, characterised by Consciousness; sometimes it is associated with the energy of the Head, presided over by Buddhi or the Sun; sometimes it is fastened to the Mind again it is regarded as something physical and identified with Air, and associated with Action, a property of that element. Then it is examined in relation to Food; and sometimes food is spoken of as the origin of breath, and sometimes referred to as eaten by breath or Prana. Again it is considered in relation to the senses of knowledge and action, and recognized as superior to them all. Indeed, a proper understanding of the ideas associated with Prana or breath is essential to a correct understanding of the sacred works of the Hindus; and its importance from a purely scientific point of view can hardly be exaggerated. It is enough to mention here that the ancients had devoted a great deal of thought to the subject, distinguished between five principal and five subtle breaths, and built up a whole science of Pranayama or breath control. In this connection we have already pointed out that the form of Prana or breath is like a wave or a serpent.
Table of Life and Death: We have already referred to the Table of Life and Death and, if the conclusions arrived at are correctly drawn its importance in connection with the forms of life can hardly be exaggerated.
Trees: The question of Plant life has, in recent years, roused considerable interest; and in this connection the Mahabharata tells us that Trees partake of the energy of the five elements, have their own senses of knowledge, of hearing, touch, sight, taste and smell. They catch disease, and are cured; are subject to pleasure and pain, are not inanimate and live and die like all other creatures.
Hindu Astrology: We may now pass on to a study of the principles underlying the idea of Hindu Astrology. I; has already been shown that the ancients understood the nature and character of the Solar system, and the existing science of Astronomy points to their knowledge of the subject. It is less easy to define the principles underlying their science of Astrology; but a careful study of the subject will show that they were constructed on the line of thought outlined in these pages.
We have shown that the seven members of the Solar system correspond to the seven divisions of Prakrti from Buddhi to the element "Earth", out of which the Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn belong to one category, which may be called Purushic; and the Moon (including our planet Earth), Mercury and Venus belong to another, called Prakrtic. We have also pointed out that these constitute "likes" and "unlikes", or the "Pairs of Opposites", which attract and repel one another like the positive and negative aspects of electricity, or the north and south poles of a magnetic field.
Further we have shown that the energy of life flows downward and upward, corresponding to breathing in and breathing out, and that the former is Purushic and the latter Prakrtic. From this we shall be able to construct the fundamental principles of Hindu Astrology.
Nine Grahas or Mansions: In Hindu Astrology we are told of nine grahas or mansions, by which the life history of each individual is governed. They are the Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Rahu or the ascending node, and Ketu or the descending node. The first seven are the planets; and what are Rahu and Ketu?
Rahu and Ketu: It is not difficult to imagine that these two refer to the two currents of life, the descending or the Purushic and ascending or the Prakrtic one; and, with the seven planets, complete the idea of the energies of life. That this is correct is evident from the fact that Rahu means the ascending or the Prakrtic node, and Ketu the descending or the Purushic one. Further, Rahu is dark, causing eclipse of the Sun and Moon; whereas Ketu means day-time and light; the former referring to Prakrtic and the latter to Purushic energy.
Location of Nine Mansions in Man: It is one of the fundamental ideas of the ancient systems of Hindu thought that all energies of life are made manifest in every creature born on earth, and that Man represents them best of all. Indeed, all things, Food, the inner Self, Breath, Mind, and Buddhi, are often personified as Man. It is said that the Heart is within and unmanifest; and of the manifest, the place of Buddhi and Mind is in the head; Ether in all the holes and cavities of the body; of Air in the skin; of Fire in the heat of the body; of Water in its liquid parts; and of "Earth" in the substance of the body. But there is another way of locating the energies too, and their relation to the nine mansions may be illustrated as follows:
|Sun||Buddhi||Upper part of the Head|
|Moon||Mind||Lower part of the Head, down to Eyebrows|
|Mars||Ether||From Eyebrows to the Throat|
|Mercury||Air||Lungs, the organs of breath|
|Venus||Water||Organ of Creation|
|Saturn||"Earth"||Organ of Excretion|
|Ketu||Descending||Breathing in node|
|Rahu||Ascending||Breathing out node|
We see that this gives us all the vital parts of Man; and when we have understood the character and form of the Sanskrt language we shall see that the very names of the planets correspond to the places in the human body assigned to them.
Birth of a Creature: It is now easy to understand that the birth of a creature corresponds to a certain position of the planetary system made manifest above. The time of appearance, position, conjunction and opposition of the heavenly bodies, and their descending and ascending currents or nodes, will determine the duration of life of a particular aspect of the planetary system, corresponding to a creature born at a certain time; and the birth, character, and the course of life and death of the latter will correspond to the formation, character, continuance and dissolution of that aspect. Since the motions, conjunctions, combinations, and oppositions of the planetary system are known, we can determine the life history of a creature (Man) corresponding to them; and when a certain combination in heaven is dissolved, a person dies. This would appear to be the fundamental idea of Hindu Astrology. It has been developed in many ways, in which both truth and error are strangely mixed; but we cannot easily deny its theoretical foundation or logical scheme.
Attraction and Repulsion: We have already referred to the attraction and repulsion of the different members of the Solar system. This does not mean that "attraction" is always desirable, and "repulsion" undesirable. The influence of a heavenly body depends upon its position at a particular time; and if it is adverse, its effect may be "repelled" or neutralized by a "like" planet, or one belonging to the same category, Purushic or Prakrtic; whereas an "unlike" one may "attract" or aggravate it. This is important to remember, as this idea has been extended to the science of Medicine as well.
Mars: Mars or Mangala occupies a very important place in this scheme of thought. He represents Ether, in which all life becomes manifest, and where the current of life is broken into positive and negative, corresponding to its twofold character, Purushic and Prakrtic, and to breathing in and breathing out. So long as this positive energy continues to be transformed into its negative counterpart, and breathing in into breathing out, life functions undisturbed; but a disturbance in the flow of this current or its reversal will cause dislocation or break in the current of life, resulting in disease or death. Thus Mars occupies a very important place in the scheme of Hindu Astrology, and his "unfriendliness" is believed to cause a disturbance or break in the flow of the energy of life.
Saturn: Saturn or Sani is equally important a planet. He represents the element "Earth", the last of the seven manifest divisions of life; and it has been pointed out that all life becomes manifest as soon as it reaches the "Earth" stage. As the Viviparous become manifest in Ether, so do Trees and Germs in "Earth", and the importance of this element has been shown in the Table of Life and Death. It has been pointed out that the viviparous die when "Earth" disintegrates; that is to say, so long as the current of life passes on, through Food, from "Earth" to the parent energy of the Heart, the cycle of life goes on; but when its contact with the Heart is broken and it passes on from integrated to disintegrated "Earth", life comes to an end. Thus the viviparous continue to live as long as Saturn is friendly and holds his connection with the unmanifest energy of the Heart or the manifest energy of Buddhi; but if the current of life is "earthed", a person must die.
Thus we see that there is a consistent and logical basis for what might be called the science of Astrology. Its details require further investigation; but the scheme of thought as here outlined cannot be dismissed as altogether fantastic.