Re: Instruments of Knowledge and Post-Human Destinies by RY Deshpande on Tue 12 Dec 2006 08:43 PM PST Profile Permanent Link
In the Aitereya Upanishd we have the famous statement regarding Prajna or Wisdom as the foundation of all, as everything established in it. “Wisdom is the eye of the world, Wisdom is the sure foundation, Wisdom is Brahman Eternal.” We have in this Upanishad the four terms we have been discussing: Sanjnana, Ajnana, Vijnana, Prajnana. It also enumerates other aspects pertaining to Knowledge and Faculties of Knowing. Of this primary Wisdom, Prajna, there are, the Upanishad tells us, a number of forms. These are: “Concept (Sanjnana) and will (Ajnana) and analysis (Vijnana) and wisdom (Prajnana) and intellect (Medha) and vision (Drishti) and continuity of purpose (Dhriti) and feeling (Mati) and understanding (Manisha), pain (Jutih) and memory (Smriti) and volition (Sankalpa) and operation of thought (Kriti) and vitality (Asu) and desire (Kama) and passion (Vashah), all these, yea all, are but names of the Eternal Wisdom.” What are the instruments of this Prajna, Wisdom? Let us paraphrase the relevant parts of the Upanishad quickly. In the beginning there was the Spirit only, and nought else, “the Absolute, the Perfect, the Alone.” He wished to make worlds out of his being. He made four worlds: of the ethereal waters, of light, of death and mortal things, of the lower waters. The descending sequence is: ethereal waters, the shining firmament, earth the world mortal, and the lower waters. Then out of the higher waters he gathered the Purusha and gave him shape and substance. Having made the Purusha he brooded over him. Then broke forth the mouth and from the mouth broke Speech and of Speech the fire was born. Similarly came the nostrils and the Breath and the air, the eye and Sight and the Sun, the ears and Hearing and of Hearing the regions, and so on. From the eye of the Virat Purusha came Sight and from it was born the Sun, the guardian deity of that world. Similarly were born the other Gods. These Gods wished to have a secure dwelling place, and the Spirit offered them Man. The Gods were happy, and they entered into him. Here we have the Manomaya Purusha, the Mental Being, as the Leader of Life and Matter. Fire became Speech and entered into the mouth, Air became the Breath and entered into the nostrils; the Sun became Sight and entered into the eyes; the Quarters became Hearing and entered into the ears. We start discerning here the connection between faculty and organ or the instrument in this sequence, between the Sight and the Eye and the Power presiding over it, the Sun, as an example. The Sankhya element is also discernible.