December 21, 2006

Vedic to the Vedantic and later to the Sankhyaic paradigm

Re: Instruments of Knowledge and Post-Human Destinies
by Vladimir on Wed 20 Dec 2006 10:36 PM PST Profile Permanent Link
It is quite interesting to see the transition from the Vedic to the Vedantic and later to the Sankhyaic paradigm. In the Vedic Vision the Word-faculty was even superior to the Mind-faculty. The Brihaspati, the Lord of the Word, was a teacher of Indra, the Lord of Divine Mind.
There is a famous story in Mahabhashya of Patanjali, where Indra, who is considered to be the first grammarian, the creator of Language, was a student of Brihaspati, learning from him the original Sanskrit, as it were. The flow of the Brihaspati’s Speech was infinite, for the meaning and the sound were identical, the sound itself was the meaning, as it were, so whatever was sounding was true at that particular moment of time in the Infinite; there was no gap in the flow. Indra understood that he could never accomplish his studies, for there was no end to it. So, he stopped the flow of Brihaspati’s speech and cut it into pieces, grams, and created Grammar. He filled the sound-meaning with the mental categories of subject, object, etc., creating Language, separating the meaning and the sound. From now the word, though having its own meaning, could be applied in any context, relevant or irrelevant, indicating the creation of time and space. This act of Indra was seen as the act of creation, the separation of artha and vak, the Heaven and the Earth, and connecting them with the Grammar, the space in-between. Now to understand the meaning of the sound one has to know the language, grammar.
I quote from The Secret of the Veda, p. 54: “The Vedic Sanskrit represents a still earlier stratum in the development of language. Even in its outward features it is less fixed than any classical tongue; it abounds in a variety of forms and inflexions; it is fluid and vague, yet richly subtle in its use of cases and tenses. And on its psychological side it has not yet crystallised, is not entirely hardened into the rigid forms of intellectual precision. The word for the Vedic Rishi is still a living thing, a thing of power, creative,formative. It is not yet a conventional symbol for an idea, but itself the parent and former of ideas. It carries within it the memory of its roots (Brihaspati’s speech), is still conscient of its own history.”
The whole mantric theory is based on this experience that the word is a power of consciousness which can form and create ideas. The transformative mantric power of Savitri and of the Veda is of this nature. Now in the Upanishadic paradigm the mantric or brahmic power of the Word, of the Lord Brihaspati is reduced to the usage of the intuitive Mind, flashes of Indra, as it were. RYD’s quotation from Sri Aurobindo: “Especially he (Agni) is the primary impeller of speech of which Vayu is the medium and Indra the lord.” And finally in the Sankhyaic paradigm the word is only an expression of the mind, completely dependant on it, and a mere symbolic representative of thought.
The Secret of the Veda, p.52: “The last stage of the entirely natural growth of language comes when the life of the word is entirely subjected to the life of the idea which it represents. For in the first state of language the word is as living or even a more living force than its idea; sound determines sense. In its last state the positions have been reversed; the idea becomes all-important, the sound secondary.”
by RY Deshpande on Wed 20 Dec 2006 09:40 PM PST Profile Permanent Link
We have been talking about reason. Let us see the issue in the context of post-human destinies. This is greatly important when we know that reason has serious, actually dreadful and appalling limitations. This becomes particularly obvious when we talk of supra-rational realities, assuming that supra-rational realities are real, that they do exist, and that they are not simply metaphysical formulations or abstractions. But, whether one likes it or not, they are real, real in the sense that they are powers and personalities and embodiments of the Spirit in different domains of this vast creation. But, then, what is reason? The immediate answer is: an instrument of knowledge in the possession of our ego-self, and that reason is already circumscribed, constrained by it. But there is another reality also, that at another level reason herself is a goddess.
“Our reason is only a rule-maker in a stumbling game. She hopes to see God in her heart and feel the body of his reality. Her hands are too small to hold vast Truth. She sees but understands it not.”
But then can come unseen announcers of a distant Truth. Not only do they intend to come; there is a still greater Gnosis looking at the world. Indeed, as I had already stated in one of the earlier postings, the journey of the evolution of consciousness is made not only by reason, but there are other known and unknown travellers too.
Let us read a bit of Savitri. Just beyond reason, above in a high breathless stratosphere, are present two sun-gaze Daemons, the aspirants to a limitless Beyond. There is the huge high-winged Life-Thought and there is the pure Thought-Mind, an archangel of a white transcending realm. They are not mere metaphysical concepts, but are living powers, entities, deities, beings influencing all the while our thoughts and actions, not passive observers but full of interest and dynamism in the terrestrial scheme. We are not alone in our search for the truth of this world and there are helpers and shapers and moulders of destiny standing beyond our little earth, our island universe.
In fact there is a whole race of beings, a subtle archangel race, “with larger lids and looks searching the unseen”.
High architects of possibility And engineers of the impossible, Mathematicians of the infinitudes And theoricians of unknowable truths, They formulate enigma's postulates And join the unknown to the apparent worlds… Each mysteried God forced to revealing form, Assigned his settled moves in Nature's game, Zigzagged at the gesture of a chess-player Will Across the chequerboard of cosmic Fate…
And yet beyond them
In a sublimer and more daring soar To the wide summit of the triple stairs Bare steps climbed up like flaming rocks of gold Burning their way to a pure absolute sky. August and few the sovereign Kings of Thought Have made of Space their wide all-seeing gaze Surveying the enormous work of Time… A Wisdom knows and guides the mysteried world; A Truth-gaze shapes its beings and events; A Word self-born upon creation's heights, Voice of the Eternal in the temporal spheres, Prophet of the seeings of the Absolute, Sows the Idea's significance in Form And from that seed the growths of Time arise. On peaks beyond our ken the All-Wisdom sits… Translated the unthinkable into thought: A silver-winged fire of naked subtle sense, An ear of mind withdrawn from the outward's rhymes Discovered the seed-sounds of the eternal Word, The rhythm and music heard that built the worlds, And seized in things the bodiless Will to be…
There are beings and beings and beings, what in earlier times, of mythology, we would have called gods and gods and gods. And they are not sitting there quiet. They are constantly influencing our thoughts and feelings and actions. In fact many of them have given the form and the shape that we presently have, our instruments of volition and cognizance and action. We are a mental being and this mental being, Manomaya Purusha, was fashioned with their active participation. How it happened? Among many factors, there is in it the role of the divine Sankhya. It is the study of that Sankhya which could be rewarding. We could perhaps have a new title for this theme. RYD

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