rule




 

Canto 2

S'rî S'rî Gurv-ashthaka

 

 

Chapter 5: The Cause of all Causes

(1) Nârada said [to the Creator]: 'My obeisances to you oh god of the demigods, for you are the one firstborn from whom all living beings generated. Please explain which knowledge specifically leads to the truth of the soul. (2) What is the form, the basis and the source of this created world? Oh master, how is it conserved, by what is it controlled and please, what is it factually? (3) All this is known by your good self, since you know all that has become, will become and is becoming. Master, you hold this universe in the grip of your scientific knowledge, like one holds a walnut. (4) What is the source of your wisdom, who protects you and who is above you? In what capacity do you, with the help of the potency of the soul, on your own create the lives of all beings with the elements of matter? (5) Like a spider creating its web, you without any help manifest from your own soul power all these lives by whom you are never controlled. (6) Oh almighty one, in this world I do not know a single entity having a name, a form and qualities, that is superior, inferior or equal, of a temporary nature or lasting forever, which owes its existence to any other source [than you]. (7) We are weary of the fact that you with your perfect discipline underwent severe penances. We thus had the chance to doubt whether your good self would be the ultimate truth [and thus thought of an entity higher than you]. (8) Oh all-knowing ruler over all, please explain to me all that I have asked you, so that I will be of an understanding in accordance with your instructions.'

(9) The Creator replied: 'Oh gentle one so dear to me, you, so very kind, are perfectly right in expressing your doubts, for [by that submission in penance] I was led to consider the heroism and power of the Supreme Lord. (10) My son, you are not mistaken in what you just said in your description of me, because without knowing the Supreme beyond me, it will certainly be so that it [seems to be that that greatness] all belongs to me. (11) All of the world that I created was created from the effulgence [the brahmajyoti] of His existence, just like it is with the fire, the sun, the moon, the planets and the stars [that radiate from His effulgence]. (12) I bring Him my obeisances, the Supreme Lord Vâsudeva upon whom I meditate, by dint of whose invincible potencies one calls me the teacher [guru] of the world. (13) People unashamed about keeping a prominent position with the bewildering material energy, in their deluded state make a wrong use of words in speaking of 'I' and 'mine'. By that use of words I am poorly understood. (14) The basic ingredients of matter in their interaction with Eternal Time and the natural disposition of the living being, are certainly part of Vâsudeva, oh brahmin, but the truth is that each of these agents separately has no value. (15) The cause and purpose of  the Vedas is Nârâyana [Krishna as the four-armed original Personality of God and primordial Lord of man], the demigods are the helping hands of Nârâyana, the worlds exist for the sake of Nârâyana and all sacrifices are there to please Nârâyana. (16) Concentration of mind is just there to know Nârâyana, austerity is only there to achieve Nârâyana, the culture of transcendence is just there to become aware of Nârâyana and progress on the path of salvation is there only to enter the kingdom of Nârâyana. (17) Inspired by His vision and what was created by Him, the seer, the controller, the stability and Supersoul of all who also created me, I create as well.

(18) Of the goodness, passion and ignorance [the gunas], that were assumed by the external energy, there are the three qualities of transcendence of the Almighty [Lord of Time]: maintenance, creation and destruction [see also 2.4: 23]. (19) The eternal transcendental person, under the influence of the basic qualities of material nature, is subjected to conditions of cause and effect. This results in the manifestation of the symptoms of knowledge [from goodness], activities [from passion] and goods [from ignorance].  (20) He, the witness of the individual soul who is ruled by the symptoms of the three modes, the Supreme Lord in the Beyond, the controller of everyone as also of myself, cannot be properly recognized in His progress, oh brahmin. (21) The Lord of Control by the potency of His material energy thus, from the independent will of His divine self, arrived at many appearances, taking upon Himself their karma, [being subjected to] time and their particular natures. (22) Because of the superintendence of the Original Person the creation of the mahat-tattva [the 'greater reality'] took place, from eternal time there was the transformation of the modes and from the modification of the original nature the different activities found their existence. (23) Because of the transformation of the greater reality though, [in the beginning] passion and goodness dominated, but then [countering in reaction] matter, material knowledge and material activities found their vital existence. (24) That modification of the material part of the self, the ego, manifested itself as said, according to the three characteristics of goodness, passion and ignorance. Thus, prabhu, there was the division of the powers of a guiding intelligence, knowledge of creation and material evolution.
   
(25) Of the material elements [first] the [proto-material invisible] ether evolved from the darkness that underwent transformation. With the quality of sound as its subtle form it is like the seer relative to the seen [of all other matter]. (26-29) By transformation of the ether the air found its existence which is characterized by the quality of touch. Along with it sound also appeared as a characteristic that was remembered from the ether. Air thus acquired also a life of diversity with energy and force. Air on its turn again transformed under the influence of time and generated from its nature the element of fire in response to what preceded. With its form there was likewise touch and sound [as the hereditary burden or the karma of the previous elements]. Fire transformed [or condensed from oxygen and hydrogen] into water. Thus the element of taste came about which consequently was accompanied by touch, sound and form. But because of the variegatedness of that transformation of water next the smell of the juice followed that assumed form [as the earth element] together with the qualities of touch and sound. (30) From the mode of goodness the [cosmic] mind and the ten gods generated who act in goodness: the controller of the directions, the air [Vâyu], the sun [Sûrya], the waters [Varuna], longevity [the As'vinî-Kumâras], fire [Agni], of heaven [Indra], the  transcendence [Vishnu in the form of Upendra], the friendship [Mitra] and the guardian of creation [Brahmâ]. (31) From the transformation of the passion of ego the tenfold of the senses of action and perception generated - the mouth, the hands, the feet, the genitals, and the anus, plus sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell - as also the intelligence and the life force. (32) As long as all these categories of the elements, the senses, the mind and the modes of nature remained separate, the body [of man and mankind] could not be formed, oh best one of knowledge [Nârada]. (33) When they [these elements] were assembled by the [compelling] force of the Supreme Lord and found their application, this [personal and universal existence] with both its true and illusory, its spiritual and material realities [sat/asat] came into being.

(34) The universe after countless millennia having been submerged in the [causal] waters, was by the personal soul [the Lord] who animates the inanimate awakened to its own time of living. (35) He Himself as the original person [the Purusha] appeared from within the universal egg to divide Himself in thousands of divisions of legs, arms, eyes, mouths and heads. (36) The great philosophers conceive of all the worlds of the universe as the limbs of a body [the virâth-rûpa] which has seven systems below the waist and seven systems in the upper portion. (37) The brahmins represent the mouth of the Original Person, the ruling class constitutes His arms, the traders form the thighs of the Supreme Lord and the laborer class manifested from His feet. (38) The earthly [lower] worlds [Bhûrlokas] belong to His legs so one says, the ethereal worlds [Bhuvarlokas] belong to His belly, the heavenly worlds from the heart [Svarlokas] are situated in His chest while the highest worlds of the saints and sages [Maharlokas] are of the Great Soul. (39) Above the chest up to the neck one finds the world of the godly ones [the sons of Brahmâ, Janaloka] and higher up in the neck one finds the world of renunciation [Tapoloka, of the ascetics]. The world of truth [Satyaloka of the self-realized, the enlightened ones] is found in the head. [These worlds are all temporal] but the spiritual world [Brahmaloka, the world of the one Soul, the Supreme Lord] is eternal. (40-41) With on His waist the first of the lower worlds, further down the second on the hips, the third down to the knees, the fourth on the shanks, the fifth on His ankles, the sixth on His feet and the seventh on the soles of His feet [compare 2-1: 26-39], the body of the Lord [the virâth-rûpa or universal form] is filled with all the [fourteen types of] worlds. (42) One imagines the worlds alternatively [simply divided in three] with the earthly, lower worlds situated on the legs, the ethereal, middle worlds in the region of the navel and the heavenly, higher worlds found from the chest upwards.'



Read the inspiration to this chapter by Anand Aadhar.
 

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Third revised edition, loaded July 24, 2016

 

 

 

Previous Aadhar edition and Vedabase links:

Text 1

Nârada said [to the Creator]: 'My obeisances to you oh god of the demigods, for you are the one firstborn from whom all living beings generated. Please explain which knowledge specifically leads to the truth of the soul.
Nârada said [to the Creator]: 'My obeisances to you, o god of the demi-gods, as you are the first one, giving life to the living beings. Please explain which knowledge specifically directs the transcendental. (Vedabase)

 

Text 2

What is the form, the basis and the source of this created world? Oh master, how is it conserved, by what is it controlled and please, what is it factually?

What is the form, the basis and the source of this created world; o master, how is it conserved, what controls it and please what of this is factually real? (Vedabase)

 

Text 3

All this is known by your good self, since you know all that has become, will become and is becoming. Master, you hold this universe in the grip of your scientific knowledge, like one holds a walnut.

All this for sure is known by your good self, as you know all that has become, will become and is becoming; master, the universe is like a walnut in your scientific grip. (Vedabase)

 

Text 4

What is the source of your wisdom, who protects you and who is above you? In what capacity do you, with the help of the potency of the soul, on your own create the lives of all beings with the elements of matter?

What is the source of your wisdom, under whose protection and ordination are you and in what capacity do you alone create the lives of all beings with the elements of matter that are for sure empowered by the soul? (Vedabase)

 

Text 5

Like a spider creating its web, you without any help manifest from your own soul power all these lives by whom you are never controlled.

Employed like a spider, you self-sufficient manifest without any help out of your own all those [lives] without being defeated yourself. (Vedabase)

 

Text 6

Oh almighty one, in this world I do not know a single entity having a name, a form and qualities, that is superior, inferior or equal, of a temporary nature or lasting forever, which owes its existence to any other source [than you].

Whether or not I know myself as superior or inferior in this world, or as an equal, o powerful one, the qualities of name and form of all that from the eternal came into existence are just temporary, like anything else that originated from another source. (Vedabase)


Text 7

We are weary of the fact that you with your perfect discipline underwent severe penances. We thus had the chance to doubt whether your good self would be the ultimate truth [and thus thought of an entity higher than you].

We're weary of the fact that your good self undertook severe penances in perfect discipline and so were given the chance to doubt about the ultimate truth of you. (Vedabase)

  

Text 8

Oh all-knowing ruler over all, please explain to me all that I have asked you, so that I will be of an understanding in accordance with your instructions.'

O you controller over all who knows everything, please explain to me all this I asked you about, so that I, to what the rule says, will be able to understand.' (Vedabase)

 

Text 9

The Creator replied: 'Oh gentle one so dear to me, you, so very kind, are perfectly right in expressing your doubts, for [by that submission in penance] I was led to consider the heroism and power of the Supreme Lord.

The Creator answered: 'O gentle one, so dear to me, you are very kind in your perfect inquiries that inspire me to the heroism of the Supreme Lord.  (Vedabase)

 

Text 10

My son, you are not mistaken in what you just said in your description of me, because without knowing the Supreme beyond me, it will certainly be so that it [seems to be that that greatness] all belongs to me.

You are not mistaken in what you just said in your describing me; because my dear, without the Supreme beyond me, it, knowing me, will certainly be as you said about me. (Vedabase)


Text 11

All of the world that I created was created from the effulgence [the brahmajyoti] of His existence, just like it is with the fire, the sun, the moon, the planets and the stars [that radiate from His effulgence].

It is I who manifests the universe shining forth on the power of His effulgence [the brahmajyoti], just like the sun and the fire as well as the moon, the stars, the planets and the constellations manifest their brightness. (Vedabase)

 

Text 12

I bring Him my obeisances, the Supreme Lord Vâsudeva upon whom I meditate, by dint of whose invincible potencies one calls me the teacher [guru] of the world.

My obeisances are unto Him, the Supreme Lord Vâsudeva upon whom I meditate, by dint of whose invincible potencies one calls me the teacher [guru] of the world. (Vedabase)

 

Text 13

People unashamed about keeping a prominent position with the bewildering material energy, in their deluded state make a wrong use of words in speaking of 'I' and 'mine'. By that use of words I am poorly understood.

Unashamed in keeping a prominent position with the bewildering material energy, do those who are deluded abuse their words in talking of 'I' and 'mine', but thus speaking I am ill understood. (Vedabase)"

 

Text 14

The basic ingredients of matter in their interaction with Eternal Time and the natural disposition of the living being, are certainly part of Vâsudeva, oh brahmin, but the truth is that each of these agents separately has no value.

The five elements in their interaction in Eternal Time as also the natural disposition of the living being, certainly are part of Vâsudeva, o brahmin; each for themself have they in truth no value. (Vedabase)

 

Text 15

The cause and purpose of  the Vedas is Nârâyana [Krishna as the four-armed original Personality of God and primordial Lord of man], the demigods are the helping hands of Nârâyana, the worlds exist for the sake of Nârâyana and all sacrifices are there to please Nârâyana.

Nârâyana [Krishna as the four-armed original Personality of God and primordial Lord of man] is the cause of the knowledge, the demigods are His helping hands, for His sake do the worlds exist and all sacrifices are just there to please Him, the Supreme Lord. (Vedabase)

 

Text 16

Concentration of mind is just there to know Nârâyana, austerity is only there to achieve Nârâyana, the culture of transcendence is just there to become aware of Nârâyana and progress on the path of salvation is there only to enter the kingdom of Nârâyana.

The concentration of mind is just there to know Nârâyana, austerity is just there to achieve Nârâyana, the culture of transcendence is just there to become aware of Nârâyana and the progress on the path of salvation is there only to enter the kingdom of Nârâyana. (Vedabase)

 

Text 17

Inspired by His vision and what was created by Him, the seer, the controller, the stability and Supersoul of all who also created me, I create as well.

Seeing what of the Seer, of the Supersoul, the Controller over all intelligence who has created me, so immaculately has been created, do I, inspired by His glance, engage myself in creating. (Vedabase)

 

Text 18

Of the goodness, passion and ignorance [the gunas], that were assumed by the external energy, there are the three qualities of transcendence of the Almighty [Lord of Time]: maintenance, creation and destruction [see also 2.4: 23].

Of this [modal reality of] goodness, passion and slowness [see 4.23], that because of the Almighty [Lord of Time] by the external energy was assumed, are there the three qualities of transcendence: maintenance, creation and destruction. (Vedabase)

 

Text 19

The eternal transcendental person, under the influence of the basic qualities of material nature, is subjected to conditions of cause and effect. This results in the manifestation of the symptoms of knowledge [from goodness], activities [from passion] and goods [from ignorance].
Under the influence of the modes of the material energy is the eternally liberated living entity conditioned to the material knowledge [of 'I' and 'mine'] that manifests by the symptoms of cause and effect in material activities. (Vedabase)


Text 20

He, the witness of the individual soul who is ruled by the symptoms of the three modes, the Supreme Lord in the Beyond, the controller of everyone as also of myself, cannot be properly recognized in His progress, oh brahmin.

He, this Supreme Lord who by the symptoms of all these three modes, as the Superseer, verily is unseen in His movements, o brahmin, is of everyone as well as of me the controller. (Vedabase)


Text 21

The Lord of Control by the potency of His material energy thus, from the independent will of His divine self, arrived at many appearances, taking upon Himself their karma, [being subjected to] time and their particular natures.

[The Lord of] Eternal Time, the controller of the deluding potency of matter [mâyâ] that sets the workload [karma] as also the specific nature [or svabhâva - of the living entity], by the energy of its [His] own Self appears, independently merged, employing different forms. (Vedabase)


Text 22

Because of the superintendence of the Original Person the creation of the mahat-tattva [the 'greater reality'] took place, from eternal time there was the transformation of the modes and from the modification of the original nature the different activities found their existence.

From that Eternal Time it so happened that because of the transformation of the activities created by the modes of nature, the original person His modification of the complete of matter [the mahat-tattva] took place.(Vedabase)

 

Text 23

Because of the transformation of the greater reality though, [in the beginning] passion and goodness dominated, but then [countering in reaction] matter, material knowledge and material activities found their vital existence.

But of the transformation of the complete of matter the modes of passion and goodness were being increased so that [countering it in reaction] a prominence of the mode of darkness took place with its single material knowledge and predominance of material activities. (Vedabase)


Text 24

That modification of  the material part of the self, the ego, manifested itself as said, according to the three characteristics of goodness, passion and ignorance. Thus, prabhu, there was the division of the powers of a guiding intelligence, knowledge of creation and material evolution.

That transformed material ego, thus said, manifested itself in its three features of as well goodness, passion as ignorance, and thus, prabhu, were divided the powers of material action, knowledge in creation and guidance in intelligence. (Vedabase)


Text 25

Of the material elements [first] the [proto-material invisible] ether evolved from the darkness that underwent transformation. With the quality of sound as its subtle form it is like the seer relative to the seen [of all other matter].

From the idenfication with the darkness of matter was of the transformation to that mode the [first element of the] ether developed with its subtle form and quality of sound which is indicative of as well the seen as the seer. (Vedabase)

 

Text 26-29

By transformation of the ether the air found its existence which is characterized by the quality of touch. Along with it sound also appeared as a characteristic that was remembered from the ether. Air thus acquired also a life of diversity with energy and force. Air on its turn again transformed under the influence of time and generated from its nature the element of fire in response to what preceded. With its form there was likewise touch and sound [as the hereditary burden or the karma of the previous elements]. Fire transformed [or condensed from oxygen and hydrogen] into water. Thus the element of taste came about which consequently was accompanied by touch, sound and form. But because of the variegatedness of that transformation of water next the smell of the juice followed that assumed form [as the earth element] together with the qualities of touch and sound.

Of the transformation to the ether came the touch, as the quality of the air, to the full of sound, inheriting the characteristics of the previous element, and came it thus also to a life of discrimination and the might of strength. Likewise transforming to that air generated the time as a reaction to the past naturally the element of fire duly giving form, touch and sound also. Of the water that of fire got transformed there were the juices and the taste which, as seen before, also gave sound in succession [tears, saliva, semen, blood, milk]. But by the variegatedness of that transformation of water again, found next in succession the odorous [of the earth element] its existence of the juice taking the form of the qualities of touch and sound.  (Vedabase)  


Text 30

From the mode of goodness the [cosmic] mind and the ten gods generated who act in goodness: the controller of the directions, the air [Vâyu], the sun [Sûrya], the waters [Varuna], longevity [the As'vinî-Kumâras], fire [Agni], of heaven [Indra], the  transcendence [Vishnu in the form of Upendra], the friendship [Mitra] and the guardian of creation [Brahmâ].

From the mode of goodness [thus] the mind of the godly generated that act in that goodness, counting the ten of them as the controller of the directions, the air, the sun, the waters [Varuna], the longevity [As'vinî-Kumâras associated with the smell], the fire, the heavens [Indra], the deity of transcendence, ceasing [Mitra, associated with the evacuation] and the spirit [Brahmâ]. (Vedabase)

 

Text 31

From the transformation of the passion of ego the tenfold of the senses of action and  perception generated - the mouth, the hands, the feet, the genitals, and the anus, plus sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell - as also the intelligence and the life force.

From the passion of ego the according tenfold transformation concerning the power of knowledge and action to the five senses took place giving to the life energy the intelligence of all its hearing, touching, smelling, seeing and tasting to the speaking, handling, procreating, walking and defecating.  (Vedabase)


Text 32

As long as all these categories of the elements, the senses, the mind and the modes of nature remained separate, the body [of man and mankind] could not be formed, oh best one of knowledge [Nârada].

For the time that all these elements of the senses and the mind to the modes of nature remained separate, for that time the body [of man and mankind] could not be formed, o [Nârada] best one in knowledge.  (Vedabase)

 

Text 33

When they [these elements] were assembled by the [compelling] force of the Supreme Lord and found their application, this [personal and universal existence] with both its true and illusory, its spiritual and material realities [sat/asat] came into being.

When all those [elements], one after another assembled by the Supreme Energy, were applied, came distinctly, in acceptance of their primary and secondary nature, both [material and spiritual realities] of this universe into being. (Vedabase)

 

Text 34

The universe after countless millennia having been submerged in the [causal] waters, was by the personal soul [the Lord] who animates the inanimate awakened to its own time of living.

Countless millennia that universal reality remained drowned in the [causal] waters until the individual soul [jîva or the Lord] of the action of Eternal Time to the modes of nature caused the non-animated to be animated.  (Vedabase)

 

Text 35

He Himself as the original person [the Purusha] appeared from within the universal egg to divide Himself in thousands of divisions of legs, arms, eyes, mouths and heads.

He Himself as the original person [the purusha] came out from within the universal egg dividing Himself in thousands of divisions of legs, arms, eyes, mouths and heads. (Vedabase)

 

Text 36

The great philosophers conceive of all the worlds of the universe as the limbs of a body [the virâth-rûpa] which has seven systems below the waist and seven systems in the upper portion.

The great philosophers imagine that all the worlds in the universe are like the limbs of the body with seven systems to the lower and seven to the upper part of what can be seen. (Vedabase)

 

Text 37

The brahmins represent the mouth of the Original Person, the ruling class constitutes His arms, the traders form the thighs of the Supreme Lord and the laborer class manifested from His feet.

The brahmins manifested as the mouth of the Original Person, the ruling class is there as His arms, the traders represent the Supreme Lord His thighs while the laborer class is of His legs. (Vedabase)

 

Text 38

The earthly [lower] worlds [Bhûrlokas] belong to His legs so one says, the ethereal worlds [Bhuvarlokas] belong to His belly, the heavenly worlds from the heart [Svarlokas] are situated in His chest while the highest worlds of the saints and sages [Maharlokas] are of the Great Soul.

The earthly [lower] worlds are of His legs one says, the ethereal worlds are from His belly, the heavenly worlds from the heart are of the chest while the supreme worlds of the saints and sages are of the great Soul. (Vedabase)

 

Text 39

Above the chest up to the neck one finds the world of the godly ones [the sons of Brahmâ, Janaloka] and higher up in the neck one finds the world of renunciation [Tapoloka, of the ascetics]. The world of truth [Satyaloka of the self-realized, the enlightened ones] is found in the head. [These worlds are all temporal] but the spiritual world [Brahmaloka, the world of the one Soul, the Supreme Lord] is eternal.

While up to the neck one finds the worlds of manhood and next from the chest the worlds of renunciation and the worlds of truth with the head are found, are it the worlds of the spirit that are found in the eternal.  (Vedabase)

 

Text 40-41

With on His waist the first of the lower worlds, further down the second on the hips, the third down to the knees, the fourth on the shanks, the fifth on His ankles, the sixth on His feet and the seventh on the soles of His feet [compare 2-1: 26-39], the body of the Lord [the virâth-rûpa or universal form] is filled with all the [fourteen types of] worlds.

With down His waist the first of the lower worlds, the second on the hips, the third down to the knees, the fourth on the shanks, the fifth from His ankles, the sixth on His feet and the seventh on the soles of His feet [compare 2-1: 26-39], the body of the Lord [virâth-rûpa or universal form] is full of all the worlds. (Vedabase)

 

Text 42

One imagines the worlds alternatively [simply divided in three] with the earthly, lower worlds situated on the legs, the ethereal, middle worlds in the region of the navel and the heavenly, higher worlds found from the chest upwards.'

Thus one [threefold] imagines oneself the earthly planets situated on the legs, the ethereal worlds on the region of His navel and the heavenly worlds from the chest upward or else the worlds as assumed otherwise [in a four or fourteen division].' (Vedabase)

 

 

 

 

 

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The picture is a popular Hindu vintage representation of Lord Brahmâ.
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