Om. May no harm be done here, may the vessels of the great Seers continue in salvation, may these movements be in accord with Divine Will, may this desire be motivated by Love, may what is not beneficent wither to obscurity.
Concerning that first description of the beginning of this Creation in section two. From arising within that beginning we now discuss the beginning of further material “created” forms.
1.4.1 In the beginning, this (universe) was but the self (Viraj) of a human form. He reflected and found nothing else but himself. He first uttered, ‘I am he’. ‘Therefore he was called Aham. Hence, to this day, when a person is addressed, he first says, ‘It is I’, and then says the other name that he may have. Because he was first and before this whole (band of aspirants) burnt all evils, therefore he is called Purusa. He who knows thus indeed burns one who wants to be (Viraj) before him.
As we have seen from section one of this chapter it is desire that leads to the experience in Consciousness of birth and creation. That conscious experience of birth caused the further forgetting of our true identity with the non-dual Absolute or God or Brahman. Subsequent verses of this section describe the creation of further forms due to that continuing ignorance and desire.
“In the beginning, this (universe) was but the self (Viraj) of a human form”
This Viraj was the material representation of the desire for worldly knowledge. From this material knowledge (Viraj) the material forms of the Universe were made manifest.
The meaning is this “self” under discussion is the “first born” Purusa or prana or Viraj. “He” is the one who has fallen into a Consciousness of a worldly life experience due to his desires.
It is “He”, through desire that has caused the Creation of the Universe and his own material form.
“he reflected and found nothing else but himself”.
This “self” who now has a mind and body meditated (“reflected”) and could not distinguish any other than “himself”. That is, he was aware of “himself”. only.
“He first uttered, ‘I am he”.
These were the first words of duality, “I Am”. To be self aware is to be aware of the possibility of “another”.
That is, to have an ego is to be aware of boundaries. There are no boundaries in unity, no inside or outside.
“Because he was first and before this whole (band of aspirants)”….
“He” was the original desire that moved Absolute Knowledge to manifestation.
This means that in terms of the Universe of Creation “he” is the first.
But in this Singularity of Existence there is no second desire causing a second Universal Creation.
Because “he” was the first this means that there can be no other, no second, no “band of aspirants”. These “aspirants” were the possibilities that existed before the material existence of this “He”. After “He” came into existence all other possibilities became non-existent, they were “burnt”.
The meaning is that because “he” now exists as Creation there can be no another (Creation).
…”burnt all evils”.
With the only possibility of creation (“he”) in existence there can be duality. The (possibility of) evil or duality is “burnt” (by his very existence).
“therefore he is called Purusa”.
Being the One Non-Dual Consciousness then all experiences of birth and life are experiences of the One Consciousness. This Consciousness of all such experiences is named “Purusa”.
Once again, the meaning is, In Absolute Consciousness You desired to experience worldly knowledge through the Universe.
Your desire for a body led to your birth into the resulting universe.
The event of your birth has caused the forgetting of your true identity as that Absolute.
“He who knows thus indeed burns one who wants to be (Viraj) before him”.
“He” who now knows desire was the first to desire, this material creation is the result of “his” desire, “he” will maintain this material creation for the time being through his further desires.
This means that until his desires cease, so allowing this Creation of his own manifestation to cease, he must logicaly remain as the first “born” (“Viraj”). This means his very existence as “Viraj” or the first makes it, as said, logically impossible for there to be another first also within existence, or, this first “burns” the possibility of there being another“first”.
1.4.2 He was afraid. Therefore people (still) are afraid to be alone. He thought, “If there is nothing else but me, what am I afraid of?’ From that alone his fear was gone, for what was there to fear? It is from a second entity that fear comes.
“He was afraid”.
Fear comes from the forgetting of one’s true identity and unity with the Absolute. Believing ones ego or form to be ones real “self” causes the ignorance of duality and fear to rise.
“Therefore people (still) are afraid to be alone”.
The reason for their fear is the very reason for their continued material existence. “People” have still not come to realise their true identity as the Non-Dual Absolute. When “People” realise the Absolute Self they no longer fear or desire or take up new forms after death.
“If there is nothing else but me, what am I afraid of”?
He asked the question “what am I afraid of”? but due to his forgetting of the non-dual Absolute he assumed his fear must come from another, or something else.
His assumption was based on the ignorance of duality. This was described as there being “nothing else but me”. This assumption highlighted his fall into the ignorance of duality. the seeing of “no other” might temporarily overcome his fear, but what needed to be understood was that fear only appears to be caused by the delusion of “another”. In truth fear comes from his feeling incomplete due to his forgetting of Absolute Unity.
“for what was there to fear? It is from a second entity that fear comes”.
This second asking by the Sruti of the same question “where does fear come from” with the same answer fear comes from a (delusional) “second entity” is saying that the answer given here is not complete.
As described above, fear does not really arise just from “another” but from one’s feeling incomplete due to one’s forgetting of one’s true Non-Dual identity with The Absolute. That is, fear arises from the seeing of duality and all the possibilities that would arise from that delusion.
1.4.3 He was not at all happy. Therefore people (still) are not happy when alone. He desired a mate. He became as big as man and wife embracing each other. He parted this very body into two. From that came husband and wife. Therefore, said Yajnavalkya, this (body) is one-half of oneself, like one of the two halves of a split pea. Therefore this space is indeed filled by the wife. He was united with her. From that men were born.
“He was not at all happy”.
To attribute unhappiness to being alone is also a delusion of duality, His Unhappiness was due to the forgetting of his original completeness united with the Divine as the One Self.
“Therefore people (still) are not happy when alone”.
(As in the previous verse), the reason for their unhappiness is the very reason for their continued material existence. “People” have still not come to realise their true Divine identity as the Non-Dual Absolute. When “People” realise the Absolute Self they no longer fear or feel unhappy (desire material happiness) or take up new forms after death.
“said Yajnavalkya, this (body) is one-half of oneself, like one of the two halves of a split pea”.
The worldly experience which was the desire of this first born has been achieved through his birth into creation as man.
Mankind consists of men and women, male and female, husband and wife. The functional experience of life as mankind requires both male and female. Likened by Yajnavalkya to a split pea which completes the fertile seed, husband and wife complete each other materially as mankind.
But due to this forgetting of the Self the ignorance of duality persists. In this ignorance he sought completion through an image of his self (wife) in the belief that fulfilment can be found in the transient material of creation.
“Therefore this space is indeed filled by the wife”.
Through the worldly gain of a wife he was indeed materially complete.
Through feeling complete he believed further creation through offspring would lead to true happiness.
Consider, How could an exact copy of a being unhappy because something is forgotten produce happiness? Through dividing a being ignorant of his true self where is the happiness to be found? The resultant attempts to produce more could not produce true lasting happiness.
1.4.4 She thought, ‘How can he be united with me after producing me from himself? Well, let me hide myself’. She became a cow, the other became a bull and was united with her; from that cows were born. The one became a mare, the other a stallion; the one became a she-ass, the other became a he-ass and was united with her; from that one-hoofed animals were born. The one became a she-goat, the other a he-goat; the one became a ewe, the other became a ram and was united with her; from that goats and sheep were born. Thus did he project everything that exists in pairs, down to the ants.
“She thought’ How can he be united with me after producing me from himself”?
Their previous physical union is known due to their descendants, but she realised that true completeness could not result from the uniting of the identically incomplete, (She and her Husband)
“Well, let me hide myself”
Her attempts to hide herself were unsuccessful. She being as identically incomplete as he she also suffered the ignorance of duality. Repeatedly and unsuccessfully his wife symbolically sought refuge within the material forms of Creation instead of seeking the way back home to unity with the Non-Dual Absolute, this symbolically explains the further diversity in creation.
As the creator of the fruits of his desires (the universe and all it contains) he imagined himself satisfied. All who are satisfied in this way are condemned to seek fulfilment through birth and creation “become a creator”.
1.4.6. Then he rubbed back and forth thus, and produced fire from its source, the mouth and the hands. Therefore both these are without hair at the inside. When they talk of particular gods, saying, ‘Sacrifice to him’, ‘Sacrifice to the other one’, (they are wrong, since) these are all his projection, for he is all the gods. Now all this that is liquid, he produced from the seed. That is Soma. This universe is indeed this much food and the eater of food. Soma is food, and fire the eater of food. This is the super-creation of Viraj that he projected the gods, who are even superior to him. Because he, although mortal himself, projected the immortals, therefore this is a super-creation. He who knows this as such becomes (a creator) in this super-creation of Viraj.
The allegory of the sacrifice ritual is maintained in the language and symbols within this verse. the symbol of fire and liquid as creative elements, and soma, the drink of the presiding priest symbolically contains the seed for what will be the desired benefit of the sacrifice.
“produced fire from its source, the mouth and the hands”
Mans means of creating (symbolised by “fire” ) the material of his desires are achieved through his mouth (speech) and his hands (work). This is a statement that this universe or Creation was projected to satisfy the hunger of desire of this husband and father that sees himself as a “creator”, this has been explained.
“Sacrifice to him”, “Sacrifice to the other one” is wrong since “These are all his projection, for he is all the gods.”
This is the “he” who was afraid to be alone. He felt incomplete due to his original forgetting of Absolute Unity. He has imagined and assuming a “vital force” projected the gods “for he is all the gods” who are illogically superior to himself. The creation or projection of gods by the father or Viraj is extra to this “original” Creation that arose through his original desire that placed him within creation, (caused by his original desire with rites.) this is being explained.
For reference, This verse and Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 3.9.9 “‘Which is the one god?’ ‘The vital force (Hiranyagarbha)” explain the same meaning.
“Now all this that is liquid, he produced from the seed. That is Soma”
In keeping with the symbology of the sacrifice ritual the liquid soma (symbolically) contains the seed that manifests the results of the rites with desire. The liquid soma represents the unmanifest knowledge (seed) of the object of desire.
From that seed of knowledge desire manifests itself in the forms (material, water, or “liquid”) of Creation.
The meaning here is to confirm that all of creation comes from the desire of this man and father residing within the Creation of his original desire (now forgotten through his birth). His ongoing creation includes the creation of his gods.
“This universe is indeed this much food and the eater of food. Soma is food, and fire the eater of food”.
The created universe is the manifest material forms of desire, this has been explained. “fire” is the fire of creation through desire and it is that hunger of desire that is the “eater” of material creation (“food”).
“this is a super-creation….of Viraj…he projected the gods…who are even superior to him. Because he, although mortal himself, projected the immortals”
This further creation this “super creation” is a superimposition by he who sacrifices to “his projection”, his “super creation”, of gods seeking social prestige and gain to fulfil his ongoing need for completion. The meaning is, man, due to his forgetting of his Divine unity, needs to project an (apparent) immortal reality in this transient and ultimately unreal material creation.
“He who knows this as such”
Means he who meditates or contemplates on this as being the truth.
“becomes (a creator) in this super-creation of Viraj”
Those that see reality in this material creation are ignorant of the non-dual Self so become engrossed in work (becomes a creator) seeking fulfilment within this false extra creation of man’s gods, rites and rituals.
The meaning is that man’s gods are a projection of his needs and desires.
The Shruti now takes a third look at that one beginning of Creation described in section two. The last mantras of this section importantly reveal higher knowledge. Material existence is explained as consisting entirely of the same undifferentiated substance. When difference is detected by the senses that difference is of name and form only. Those forms with names or labels are all composed of the same substance or energy of existence. Therefore nothing in creation has any individual reality. No thing truly exists as “itself”. The Sruti speaks directly of the only reality being The Absolute Non-Dual Self.
First is described the forms of beings.
1.4.7. This (universe) was then undifferentiated. It differentiated only into name and form it was called such and such, and was of such and such form. So to this day it is differentiated only into name and form it is called such and such, and is of such and such form. This Self has entered into these bodies up to the tip of the nails as a razor may be put in its case, or as fire, which sustains the world, may be in its source. People do not see It, for (viewed in Its aspects) It is incomplete. When It does the function of living, It is called the vital force; when It speaks, the organ of speech; when It sees, the eye; when It hears, the ear; and when It thinks, the mind. These are merely Its names according to functions. He who meditates upon each of this totality of aspects does not know, for It is incomplete, (being divided) from this totality by possessing a single characteristic. The Self alone is to be meditated upon, for all these are unified in It. Of all these, this Self alone should be realised, for one knows all these through It, just as one may get (an animal) through its footprints. He who knows It as such obtains fame and association (with his relatives).
“This (universe) was then undifferentiated.”
This Creation or universe has eternal existence, in reality, as the pure undifferentiated Knowledge that is the Non-Dual Absolute.
“It differentiated only into name and form it was called such and such, and was of such and such form”
When the Creation of the Universe comes into being or is made manifest the Knowledge that is the Singularity of the Absolute differentiates in Consciousness to project the appearance, or the experience, of name and form.
“This Self has entered into these bodies up to the tip of the nails as a razor may be put in its case”
By using an example of a razor and its case or fire as the one source of all it produces to compare the relationship, as it were, between the Absolute Self and the material form of a being the Sruti is allowing some “relaxation” in its wording to get it’s meaning accross. Relaxation in the accuracy of Sruti description is needed here because comparison through example can never be entirely accurate. In reality the non-dual unmoving Self or Absolute does not actualy “enter into” any other thing. Apart from the non-dual (Advaita) Absolute no other form or “thing” exists.
A being or person has a name and body. That is, this creation is made up of name and form, water is liquid and so forth. But, in reality all of this Creation consists of the Absolute Self (that is Absolute Knowledge). All forms or names are but a projection, in consciousness, of the One Non-Dual Absolute Self. The intention here is to explain that all forms contain, as it were, or in fact are the One Non-Dual Self. So, a razor (the self) may fit tightly into its case (the form) but the razor and its case and any little gaps are in reality just names and forms of the one all pervading Absolute Self.
“People do not see It, for (viewed in Its aspects) It is incomplete”.
“It” is the Absolute Self, God, Brahman. The reality of the singularity of existence as described above cannot be seen or detected by any of the senses because the senses only “hear name” and “see form”. The senses are also just the same differentiated knowledge of the Absolute, they are part of the play of Maya of the Absolute. Names and forms and the senses that report them as being as such are not the complete or true reality is the meaning. The Absolute Singularity that is the Self is all this but One cannot see OneSelf.
“When It does the function of living, It is called the vital force; or when it speaks the organ of speech or… the eye or… the ear or… the mind. These are merely Its names”
The meaning is that all of the apparent separate parts of creation are merely names and forms of the same Self. That is, for example there is the principle or existence of hearing, this hearing principle is the knowledge of the Self. The Self is the “Ear” of all the projected ears of Creation. When we hear something the real hearer is the “Ear” of the ear. Ultimately this self is really “The Self”. The Self is the One Self of all the selfs of Creation. We may name a function “speaking” for example, but in reality it is the Absolute Self just knowing, being the knowledge in Consciousness that is Speaking, or Hearing or Living as it were. All names all forms all functions are the One Self Existing as all things.
“He who meditates upon each of this totality of aspects does not know, for It is incomplete, (being divided) from this totality by possessing a single characteristic”.
The meaning is plain. It would be illogical to assume one understands the reality of existence by contemplating separate objects of creation. It would be the equivalent of meditating on a shadow as being the totality of the real thing. To meditate on a vital force or speech and so forth is to meditate on the delusion or Maya of this transient Creation. It is unreal and incomplete therefore cannot lead to the real.
“this Self alone should be realised, for one knows all these through It”
It is said by the wise, and it is also the meaning here that to Realise the Absolute Self is to Realise the truth of all things. Or to know the One is to know all.
“just as one may get (an animal) through its footprints.”
The empty footprints of the animal prove the existence of the animal that created them.
The animal itself may be unknowable until found, but its existence is known.
This Universe of forms all empty of unique existence is itself proof of the existence of the Absolute Self as the Knowledge that “causes” as it were, all forms.
“He who knows It as such obtains fame and association (with his relatives)”
He who knows “It”, means he who has realised the Absolute primal unity of Brahman or the Self knows of his identity (“association”) with “It”, and all beings (“his relatives”.)
1.4.8. This Self is dearer than a son, dearer than wealth, dearer than everything else, and is innermost. Should a person (holding the Self as dear) say to one calling anything else dearer than the Self, “(What you hold) dear will die” he is certainly competent (to say so) it will indeed come true. One should meditate upon the Self alone as dear. Of him who meditates upon the Self alone as dear, the dear ones are not mortal.
“This Self is dearer than a son”
Dearer than all in creation is the Upanishad meaning. This continues the subject from the previous verse of all names and forms being but the Absolute alone.
“(What you hold) dear will die”
When one sees the form of a beloved son one should know that all that can be held is a form with a name produced from the transient dust of creation and that it will die, just as the forms called Mother and Father will die.
“who meditates upon the Self alone as dear, the dear ones are not mortal”.
The meaning of this sentence is that he who has realised the Self sees the same Self in all forms, True love is the love of the Absolute Self. It is the Divine Absolute that is loved not the form. What is truly seen is not mortal. The form is mortal but the Absolute that is loved is immortal. The light of life that is the son is the One Self alone.
Through meditation and realising of the Absolute Self it will be known that what is truly loved is the Self seen more clearly through higher knowledge and known to be eternal.
1.4.9. They say: Men think, ‘Through the knowledge of Brahman we shall become all’. Well, what did that Brahman know by which It became all?
This verse elegantly displays the contrast between being in ignorance of the Absolute and being in the light of the Absolute.
“what did that Brahman know by which It became all?”
The mind of the ignorant man is clad in natural desires. When told of God or Brahman this ignorant man of good intention, seeks to understand or gain Gods knowledge in order to be virtuous in achieving his planned success.
But it is the truth that The Absolute itself is unknowable. The Absolute Brahman, through Grace can only be known of, through its empty footprint, the “empty” forms of Creation, as it were. The knowledge that is the Absolute Brahman cannot be known in advance or by itself, The knowledge that is the Absolute can be known only by what is being manifested now, this Existence in the present moment.
“Through the knowledge of Brahman we shall become all”.
The mind of the enlightened man seeks, as it were, to realise God alone. It is through this knowledge or Realisation of the Divine as being Non-Dual that the enlightened become all through that Realisation of their own Non-Dual identity with “all” as the Absolute Brahman.
The Absolute Brahman alone is Absolute Knowledge Complete.
The Absolute Brahman is without beginning unchanging and immortal.
Brahman “Is” and does not “Become”.
Brahman knows no-thing but is all Knowledge.
The meaning here is to explain again that which arises due to the Truth of the primal singularity of Existence.
The Absolute alone Exists. Non-Dual, Unmoving, Undesiring Truth Consciousness and Bliss.
All else that appears, is a projection in Consciousness of man’s desire.
Continuing with the description of the beginning of Creation from section two, with this fourth consideration the Sruti now describes man’s creation of the gods and man’s division of “other” men into Casts or class, both to enable his own desire to flourish.
1.4.10 This (self) was indeed Brahman in the beginning. It knew only Itself as, ‘I am Brahman’. Therefore It became all. And whoever among the gods knew It became That; and the same with sages and men. The sage Vamadeva, while realising this (self) as That, knew, ‘I was Manu, and the sun’ And to this day whoever in like manner knows It as, ‘I am Brahman ‘becomes all this (universe). Even the gods cannot prevail against him, for he becomes their self. While he who worships another god thinking, ‘He is one, and I am another’ does not know. He is like an animal to the god. As as many animals serve a man, so does each man serve the gods. Even if one animal is taken away, it causes anguish, what should one say of many animals? Therefore it is not liked by them that men should know this.
“This (self) was indeed Brahman in the beginning”.
This Brahman is the Brahman with the attributes of mind, body and organ. This Brahman is the first born of a vital force of material desire that resulted from that original desire for mind and body, this is the Absolute Brahman known through the Maya of creation. This Brahman has been described as only knowing itself, here it knows itself as “I am Brahman”.
The “self” of this verse is the being clothed in the material of manifest desire, the form of a vital force or Hiranyagarbha, the projected individual first born “self” within Creation.
The Absolute Brahman or Absolute Self is all Knowledge and is Existence Itself. The Absolute Self is without origination, without beginning.
“It knew only Itself as, ‘I am Brahman”.
The Absolute Brahman does not know itself because Itself is all there is (Being all there is there is no differentiation, no “itself” and anything else, there is no duality)
This “self” is the first born Brahman, being the first there is no “other”.
“Therefore It became all”
The Absolute Brahman being immortal is of necessity immutable, Being immutable the Absolute Brahman is unchanging and does not “Become”.
This Brahman that in the beginning “became all” is the first born “self” that “became all” (“This” Universe). The meaning is, this universe was projected (“therefore it became all”) due to his (“it”) being a vital force of original desire for worldly experience. That desire is causing his ongoing need for a wife and further creation.
To clarify the above, this mutable Brahman with attributes that knows itself was the first born Brahman or Viraj or Prajapati, an individual “self”, he is the One who desired. This will be further clarified in following verses (viz.verse 11. “Being one, he did not flourish, He specially projected an excellent form….)” as we will see he has further desires (to flourish).
“whoever in like manner knows It as, ‘I am Brahman’ becomes all this (universe)”.
“It” was the first born Brahman with attributes of desire therefore all “This” is that Brahman, The Self.
He who Realises “It” the first born Brahman as being all this and “It’s” line back to the Primal Singularity of existence be it the sage Vamadeva or any of the Prophets will know themselves as “all things”. That is they will realise themselves as“I am (That) Brahman”, I am the Absolute. Further to this :-
“The sage Vamadeva, while realising this (self) as That, knew, ‘I was Manu, and the sun’…..whoever in like manner knows It as, ‘I am Brahman’ becomes all this (universe)”.
The statement that a Self Realised person becomes all through the knowledge of the Self is well known in the scriptures and is used in many places throughout the Upanishads.
The meaning is based on the fact that all that Exists is but The Absolute Brahman. So, in the true sense of this there is no actual changing in Existence through becoming all because there is no other such existence other than Brahman, The Self. Therefore Brahman is “All” , “All” is The Existing Reality.
So when “The sage Vamadeva” or the “gods….sages….and men” “become all” that becoming is that concerning Knowledge, awareness, Consciousness, and Maya only.
The Absolute Brahman who is all this, including “The sage Vamadeva” is eternally unchanging. Therefore the term “becomes” when describing the unreal state of mortality of being is a convenience of language and references Consciousness only.
Whether this “self” was Viraj, or Brahma, or a first or a reborn sentient being he may seek return home to the unity and the knowledge of the Absolute, or he will seek worldly knowledge and through the forgetting that he is the Absolute Non-Dual Brahman risk fall into duality and ignorance (of the unity that is the Absolute Brahman).
“Even the gods cannot prevail against him, for he becomes their self”.
Referring to the Self realised sage, such as Vamadeva above, having gained or remembered his true non-dual identity with the Absolute, the sage is freed from his false world of duality with its imagined gods and so forth.
The meaning is, Rites rituals and gods or divas are seen to be merely a part of the unreal world of his previous ignorant self.
“While he who worships another god thinking, ‘He is one, and I am another’ does not know”.
He does not know the Non-Dual Absolute who forgets his identity with the first born and with the Absolute, which is the reality of his Non-Dual Self.
As described before, it is this forgetting that causes this man to imagine or project or create the gods, thereby imagining duality.
“He is like an animal to the god. As as many animals serve a man, so does each man serve the gods”.
The meaning of this sentence is that “He” becomes a slave, an unknowing “animal” to his own projections of duality, “them”, gods and so forth.
“it is not liked by them that men should know this”
This verse describes the difficulty the fallen man of ignorance faces in regaining his freedom from his desires. The truth of the Non-Dual Self is further covered within his false “super creation” of gods and casts. In this respect the gods of his own creation are denying him the seeing of that truth.
In the following verses we will see worldly desire and ignorance due to duality lead the descent into further creation. This will be the superimposition of gods and the division by name into different castes (Ksatriya etc.) onto creation. The“super creations” of duality due to the ignorant have previously been described above in verse 6 of this section.
1.4.11 In the beginning this (the Ksatriya and other castes) was indeed Brahman one only. Being one, he did not flourish. He specially projected an excellent form, the Ksatriya those who are Ksatriyas among the gods: Indra, Varuna, the moon, Rudra, Parjanya, Yama, Death, and liana. Therefore there is none higher than the Ksatriya. Hence the Brahmana worships the Ksatriya from a lower position in the Rajasuya sacrifice. He imparts that glory to the Ksatriya. The Brahmana is the source of the Ksatriya. Therefore, although the king attains supremacy (in the sacrifice), at the end of it he resorts to the Brahmana, his source. He who slights the Brahmana, strikes at his own source. He becomes more wicked, as one is by slighting one’s superior.
Being described for us here is the desire and ignorance that projected a mistaken “super creation” of gods and casts. (The allegory of the sacrifice ritual is still being maintained).
“In the beginning this (the Ksatriya and other castes) was indeed Brahman one only”.
This “beginning” refers to the subject of the previous descriptions of “the beginning”. In those descriptions as here, the Prajapati or Brahman that knows himself, or Viraj, the first born, is this Brahman that being alone “one only” is not happy and desires to flourish. Previous descriptions of the beginning have (symbolically) explained his desire for wife and offspring.
Here we are being told of his desire to flourish. The meaning of “In the beginning this ..Ksatriya..other castes was indeed Brahman..” is that the castes did not exist in the beginning except as the unmanifest desire of this Brahman born into the creation of his desire.
“Being one, he did not flourish “
But, he desired to flourish through the use of worldly knowledge. This fall into desire with the need to flourish gave rise to further evils of duality. It is confirmation that we are indeed talking of the first born “Brahman” with attributes of need and desire.
To “flourish” here means the need to fulfil ones purpose, that is to gain the benefit of ones work or rites and rituals. Having forgotten his divine unity with the Absolute Brahman this one now seeks a reality and purpose in material life. Despite the evidence of the mortality of all things around him he has imagined his gods and endowed them with immortality :-
(“Because he, although mortal himself, projected the immortals”. 1.4.6)
Now he is described as projecting his desired society through which he will satisfy his need for purpose in his life, (because he has, for the moment, forgotten his true purpose of finding his way back home to unity with the Absolute Brahman).
remember, The Absolute Brahman or Self or God has no needs, does not know desire therefore does not need or desire to “flourish”
“He specially projected an excellent form, the Ksatriya…. Therefore there is none higher than the Ksatriya…. Hence the Brahmana worships the Ksatriya”
This error, this ignorance of duality caused him to imagine or create or project a society of Casts of devas and people through which he could “flourish”. That is, he wished to construct a reality through which he could work and find purpose. The actual reality is that he is further losing himself in the delusion of material duality.
This is all due to his having forgotten (in Consciousness) his true identity as the Absolute Singularity. It is explained here that this Brahman or Viraj assuming himself as a Brahmana projected the “Ksatriya” who although are superior to all they ultimately defer to himself due to his being their source.
“He imparts that glory to the Ksatriya. The Brahmana is the source of the Ksatriya Therefore, although the king attains supremacy (in the sacrifice), at the end of it he resorts to the Brahmana, his source.”
This explains that although the king is superior to this Brahman in the sacrifice rituals at the end of the Ritual the king should acknowledge and defer to this Brahman as the source of the “Ksatriya”
“He who slights the Brahmana, strikes at his own source. He becomes more wicked, as one is by slighting one’s superior.”
This explains that this first born Brahman who first projected the “Ksatriya”, who are superior to himself, Ultimately he retains status because they should nevertheless defer to himself. If they failed to do so then they become :-
“more wicked…by slighting one’s superior”.
This understanding describes the working of dharma which supports the environment within which he can materially flourish.
1.4.12 Yet he did not flourish. He projected the Vaisya those species of gods who are designated in groups: The Vasus, Rudras, Adityas, Visvadevas and Maruts.
This one desiring to flourish and gain through creation next projected the Vaisya and the gods of the Vedas. The Vaisya are the means to gaining wealth.
His desire for substance was not satisfied through his creation. He further created the Sudra caste Ptisan desiring to further enhance his “creation”.
1.4.14 Yet he did not flourish. He specially projected that excellent form, righteousness (Dharma). This righteousness is the controller of the Ksatriya. Therefore there is nothing higher than that. (So) even a weak man hopes (to defeat) a stronger man through righteousness, as (one contending) with the king. That righteousness is verily truth. Therefore they say about a person speaking of truth, ‘He speaks of righteousness’, or about a person speaking of righteousness, ‘He speaks of truth’, for both these are but righteousness.
We can assume that through his original projection of the Ksatriya the framework of his society could be contested by them, that is, due to his understanding through duality he feared them, as duality fears all “others”. So next he projected “that most excellent form”, Dharma, Righteousness.
Righteousness is a powerful force within any organised society. Those people with their understanding based on duality are naturally conscious in a fearful way of the opinion and judgement of others. They fear being judged wrong because it will weaken or reduce their stature, or worse it will make them vulnerable to attack. Conversely they could pride themselves, feel superior to others through being righteous. So a king would hesitate to be seen to dismiss the righteous claims of even a beggar.
So what is being described in this verse is the power of righteousness to impose and reinforce the appearance of reality and permanence onto this creation. But in Truth all material Creation is transient, therefore ultimately delusional and dependent entirely on desire.
We are to understand that this desirous being based his social structure and classes on their practices of rites and ritual to flourish. The ultimate ignorance of this understanding will be explained in the following verses.
1.4.15. (So) these (four castes were projected) the Brahmana, Ksatriya, Vaisya and Sudra. He became a Brahmana among the gods as Fire, and among men as the Brahmana. (He became) a Ksatriya through the (divine) Ksatriyas, a Vaisya through the (divine) Vaisyas and a Sudra through the (divine) Sudra. Therefore people desire to attain the results of their rites among the gods through fire, and among men as the Brahmana. For Brahman was in these two forms. If, however, anybody departs from this world without realising his own world (the Self), It, being unknown, does not protect him as the Vedas not studied, or any other work not undertaken (do not). Even if a man who does not know It as such performs a great many meritorious acts in the world, those acts of his are surely exhausted in the end. One should meditate only upon the world of the Self. He who meditates only upon the world called the Self never has his work exhausted. From this very Self he projects whatever he wants.
“Therefore people desire to attain the results of their rites among the gods through fire, and among men as the Brahmana”.
So through his superimposed divisions of duality with its divinity of gods, dharma and social systems this first born Brahman has the means to flourish relative to others as an individual. The projections of his desires enable his ambitions to improve himself (seeking gain) through his practice of rites and rituals for status and worldly power.
“If, however, anybody departs from this world without realising his own world (the Self), It, being unknown, does not protect him”
“This world” means this transient delusional creation and construction of (false) reality that has all proceeded from “his” first desire.
“his own world” means the Eternal Non-Dual Absolute Self, Brahman, God, (“the real world”, as it were.)
If he has not meditated and studied (the Vedas) and come to remember and realise the reality of his true “self” identity and Unity with The Absolute Self which is “his own world (the Self)”, if The Absolute has not been Realised in Consciousness by him he remains unprotected from the evils of duality, even after death.
The meaning is that by maintaining his understanding of duality with its desires, he maintains a Consciousness of desire. The Consciousness of desire will seek to repeat the life experience of working to flourish.
Only a Self Realised Consciousness will remain with the stillness of the Absolute after the death of his form.
“those acts of his are surely exhausted in the end”
This is because all within Creation including actions and their results are transient, finite and become exhausted.
That is, his creation of castes and so forth will all come to an end “exhausted in the end” because they are based on the delusion of material duality, that is, they do not take into account the reality of the Absolute Self, Brahman, God.
“He who meditates only upon the world called the Self never has his work exhausted”
Through study and meditation the realised Sage gains the understanding and knowledge of the Non-Dual Self. This Sage becomes one with the true Self, This work leads back home to the Absolute, eternal and inexhaustible.
“From this very Self he projects whatever he wants”.
To commit one’s meditations to the divine Absolute Self or Brahman or God is to surrender one’s ideas of individual self. To attain the Absolute through meditation is to “want,” as it were, the world of the Absolute.
One projects what one desires, he who desires the Absolute projects his path to the Absolute.
1.4.16 now this self (the ignorant man) is an object of enjoyment to all beings. That he makes oblations in the fire and performs sacrifices is how he becomes such an object to the gods. That he studies the Vedas is how he becomes an object of enjoyment to the Rsis (sages). That he makes offerings to the Manes and desires children is how he becomes such an object to the Manes. That he gives shelter to men as well as food is how he becomes an object of enjoyment to men. That he gives fodder and water to the animals is how he becomes such an object to them. And that beasts and birds, and even the ants, feed in his home is how he becomes an object of enjoyment to these. Just as one wishes safety to one’s body, so do all beings wish safety to him who knows it as such. This indeed has been known, and discussed.
“This self (the ignorant man)”
The scriptural meaning of ignorance is ignorance of the Absolute Self, Brahman, God the only real ignorance.
“is an object of enjoyment to all beings”.
This ignorant man may be most beneficial (giving enjoyment) to all being in all worlds. He may be a Benefit through religion, medicine, science, art, selfless philanthropy, family and so forth. Such a person, of benefit to all would improve the happiness, safety and well being of his own and other beings lives. But the previous verses have demonstrated to us the transience of all worldly deeds, even those performed by the man of good intentions.
For as long as he is unaware of his true Self no work done in creation, even that benefitting creation will enable the attainment of his true being, his eternal Self. THAT that is eternal, the Truth of oneself can only be provided for by the Absolute Self. It is through the knowledge of the Absolute and the subsequent Realising of the Self in Consciousness that eternal protection (Truth) is attained.
We are repeatedly told that this Self should be meditated on and Realised above all. This is the meaning here.
The meaning is, mankind does not find its true home and identity with God through flourishing within this material world.
1.4.17 This (aggregate of desirable objects) was but the self in the beginning the only entity. He desired, ‘Let me have a wife, so that I may be born (as the child). And let me have wealth, so that I may perform rites’. This much indeed is (the range of) desire. Even if one wishes, one cannot get more than this. Therefore to this day a man being single desires, ‘Let me have a wife, so that I may be born. And let me have wealth, so that I may perform rites’. Until he obtains each one of these, he considers himself incomplete. His completeness also (comes thus) The mind is his self, speech his wife, the vital force his child, the eye his human wealth, for he obtains it through the eye, the ear his divine wealth, for he hears of it through the ear, and the body is its (instrument of) rite, for he performs rites through the body. (So) this sacrifice has five factors the animals have five factors, the men have five factors, and all this that exists has five factors. He who knows it as such attains all this.
This verse highlights the reality that this material realm is the sum of all desires, there is nothing else. Man’s body houses, as it were, the source of all desires. Therefore, all further desires are obtained through the organs of his body. Further to this, the material of the universe and the organs of the body represent the limits of all possible desire. The creation cycle produces no more than this. He who consciously desires all this attains all this.
“This (aggregate of desirable objects) was but the self in the beginning the only entity”
This is the first born consisting of the body and its organs that were the objects of his first desire, “desirable objects”.
Because he was “the only entity” is also confirmation that all that has been described above as projected, such as the gods and castes and so forth are merely the continuing workings of the desirous, needy minds of mortal men of flesh and blood.
“He desired, ‘Let me have a wife, so that I may be born (as the child).”
The man ignorant of his unity with the Non-Dual self sees reality in the duality of creation and is subject to the natural desires of that duality. The desire of this man is to fulfil his purpose, understanding only duality and material gain he seeks wife and son so that he might be judged successful through that son and wealth.
Also as the “only entity” and considering the reality of non duality, whatever is further created is merely an extension of himself (“that I may be born (as the child)”.
“let me have wealth, so that I may perform rites”.
The wealth, as said is to perform rites to gain or maintain a high place in his society with further wealth to enable the fulfilment of continuing desires. these “rituals” also mean the social rituals of education, work, wealth, progeny, status and so forth.
“Until he obtains each one of these, he considers himself incomplete”
The higher meaning of the Sruti is not that this man feels incomplete due to a logical deduction that he needs wife, child, and wealth.
Incompleteness, or the need to feel complete, comes from his original forgetting of his true completeness as being One with the Absolute Self, that ignorance is always the cause and error of seeking that missing divine completeness through material creation.
“His completeness also (comes thus)”
We are about to have the organs of the body explained as the means of attaining completeness. This is describing the completion of his original desire to experience worldly knowledge through a body. The desires of this ignorant man for completeness are all satisfied through his material senses and organs. Therefore he judges completeness through his material being. This is to remind us that he is still in ignorance of his true Divine completeness with the Absolute Self.
“The mind is his self”,
The man that is driven by desire is the man controlled by the senses which guide the mind, unsupervised by the higher knowledge of his true Self.
“speech his wife”,
Through his wife a man obtains his desire for a son. Also it is through speech man sounds the name of the object of his desire, so through speech as well as a wife man obtains his worldly desires.
“the vital force his child”,
The vital force is the material creation being moved to manifest material desire. A child is the product of his desire. A vital force is the material product of his desire.
Through his son his desire to live on is realised. Through a vital force his further desires are realised.
“the eye his human wealth, for he obtains it through the eye”,
Through the sense of sight man sees objects of desire.
“the ear his divine wealth, for he hears of it through the ear”,
Through his hearing, knowledge (Vedas) are heard. The ignorant man of good intention accept she knows the Divine having heard the words.
“the body is its (instrument of) rite, for he performs rites through the body”.
Chanting, oblations to the fire and so forth are performed by this man of desire seeking to flourish.
Returning again to the allegory of the sacrifice ritual, we have described for us the five factors of being, Mind, Speech, Eye, Ear and Body. He, who being in ignorance of his true self and the unity of the Absolute Self, imagines he is completed through his knowledge of the means of material gain can attain to the whole material world.
But, the truth is, this man can have, procreate, own this whole universe but due to the forgetting of his true being as the Absolute Self he cannot yet attain liberation from the creation cycle and return home to unity with the Absolute.
In this section we have had described to us the growth or population of mankind. This population has proceeded through the line of the first born who desired worldly knowledge.
The desire and need of this first born mortal has been to create a society and reality to cover his feeling of “something missing” and to deny the truth of material entropy and ultimate unreality of the Universe and its forms.
This need for further creation arose from his and his line of children’s (us) forgetting of our true eternal identity with the Non-Dual Absolute which transcends this material universe.
Ohm peace, peace, peace.