Vedic imagery in Savitri (Part 2) The Symbol of Dawn by Vladimir Iatsenko (Continued from issue no. 26) Invocation 28.pdf
According to Sri Aurobindo, the Myth of Dawn is one of the foundation stones of the Vedic Vision. Dawn, according to the Veda, comes from the transcendental realms bringing into the terrestrial life of man the Light of the Supreme, indicating to him his goal, and thus leading him out of Night, her twin sister (naktoshasau), which on the other hand helps him to accommodate a new light into the depth of his being: mind, vital and body. The importance of the Dawn lies in her function of intrusion into the realms of Darkness, bringing with her the Immortal Light into our mortality...
From the point of view of Vedic vision, it is basically all that the Divine Mother should have done: (1) to kindle the Fire in the lower hemisphere which is aspiring and rising to the greater realization of Consciousness, (2) to create a wide vision of the Sun from above for the Supreme to descend, and (3) to awaken those who want to participate in this creation and progress, seeking their growth in light within the darkness: the Sacrifice, who themselves want to become the carriers of the Divine Consciousness in the material body.
There is another significant passage of Vasishtha, depicting the action of the Dawn in the symbols of the Sacrifice:
ajãjanan såryam yaj¤am agnim apàcãnam tamo agàd ajuùñam
"You (Dawns) have created Sun, Yajna, Fire, (and) away the unwanted darkness went."
These three Surya, Yajna (=Vayu) and Agni are very important for the understanding of whole Vedic Vision. There are many related texts explaining the relation of these three.
The Aitareya Brahmana explains that Yajna consists of Vac, Speech, belonging to the Earth of which Agni is the essence, and Manas, Mind, belonging to the Heaven, of which Surya is the essence, 16 and by this Speech and Mind, (= earth and heaven), the space in between: Prana, Life-Energy is created, which belongs to Antariksha, the middle world, of which Vayu is the essence, therefore Vayu Pavamana is Yajna.
This general scheme of the Vedic ritual is a key to the symbolism of the Sacrifice. Agni, the lower pole, and Surya, the upper pole, create the energetic field in between: Vayu, or the Yajna. Moreover Yajna is the only way to connect Agni and Surya, Earth and Heaven.
There is another interesting passage in the Taittiriya Aranyaka explaining the relation of these three. It starts with an exclamation:
àpam àpàm apaþ sarvàþ asmàd asmàd ito ‘mutaþ / agnir vàyu÷ ca sårya÷ ca saha sa¤caskara-rddhiyà
"I have gathered all nourishing powers of Consciousness, from here, from there and from the beyond; Agni and Vayu and Surya I have combined for the Growth!"
This union of all the levels of existence from below and from above was seen as a key to the concept of sacrifice, which is to be done for the Universal and the Individual Growth, the condition of which is a simultaneous and united existence with Agni, Vayu and Surya. When the Rishi says that Usha has created Agni, Yajna and Surya, then this concept is rising in mind.
The Aprisukta hymns also mention two hotars after the verses dedicated to the Night and Dawn. These two hotars are considered by Sayanacharya to be Agni and Surya as two representatives of Light in the night and in the light, earth and heaven.
The Dawn and Angirasa Rishis.
It is interesting to mention here that the Dawn is often called in the Veda aïgirastamà, the best of Angirasa Rishis, also Indratama, the best of Indra’s qualities, who broke the rock of Vala and freed the herds of light together with other Powers. Sri Aurobindo explains this imagery in the Secret of the Veda that the Angirasa Rishis are the "sons of Agni, the original Angiras, forces of the symbolic Light and Flame, and even to coalesce into a single seven-mouthed Angiras with his nine and his ten rays of the Light, navagve angire dashagve saptasye, on and by whom the Dawn breaks out with all her joy and opulence."