Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Divine Wheel

The Shvetashvatara Upanishad, Adhyaya One
The Divine Wheel

6. We understood Him as a wheel which has one felly with a triple tyre with sixteen end-parts, fifty spokes, twenty counter-spokes, with six sets of eights, which has one rope of various forms, which has three different roads or paths and which has one revolution for two causes.

7. God is meditated upon as the wheel of this universe, and circumference of this wheel is Maya.

8. The three tyres are the three qualities of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas or time, space and causation.

9. The sixteen end-parts are sixteen modifications or Vikritis, viz. the five organs of knowledge, the five organs of action and mind and the five gross elements.

10. The fifty spokes are (a) the five classes of ignorance viz., Tamas, Moha, Maha-Moha, Timira (darkness) and Andha-Timira (utter darkness); (b) The 28 disabilities; (c) the nine Tushtis or satisfactions; (d) the eight Siddhis or perfections viz., Tara, Sutara, Tarayanti, Pramoda, Pramodita, Pramodamana, Ramyaka and Satpramodita.

11. The twenty counter-spokes are the ten senses and their ten objects.

12. Six sets of eight: (1) the eight producers of the Sankhya eightfold Prakriti viz. the five elements, mind, intellect and egoism. (2) the eight constituent parts of the body or Dhatus viz. external skin, internal skin, blood, flesh, fat, bone, marrow and semen. (3) Ashtasiddhis or eight superhuman powers viz., Anima, Mahima etc. (4) Eight mental states (Bhava) viz., virtue, unrighteousness, knowledge, ignorance, dispassion, attachment, super- human power and want of superhuman power. (5) The eight deities viz., Brahma, Prajapati, Devas, Gandharvas, Yakshas, Rakshasas, Pitris and Pisachas. (6) The eight virtues of the soul, viz. compassion, forbearance, absence of jealousy, purity, freedom from fatigue, auspiciousness, freedom from poverty, and desirelessness. (7) Three different roads are virtue, vice and knowledge. (8) The rope is desire.

13. We understand Him as a river of five sources, impetuous and crooked, whose waves are the five Pranas or vital breaths, whose original source is the fivefold perception, which has five whirlpools, which is impelled by the velocity of the fivefold misery or pain, which is divided by the five kinds of misery, and which has five turnings or branches.

The five senses represent the five streams.

The five Pranas represent the waves.

The five objects of the senses viz., sound, touch etc. are called whirlpools, because the individual souls get drowned in them.

The five kinds of pain are the pain arising from existence in the womb, from birth, old age, disease and death.

14. In the infinite wheel of Brahman in which everything lives and rests, the pilgrim-soul, or the reincarnating self is whirled about when it thinks that it and the supreme Ruler are different or separate. It attains immortality when it is blessed or favoured by Him.

15. This is verily declared as the supreme Brahman. In that is the triad. It is the firm support. It is the indestructible. By knowing what is therein, the knowers of Brahman become devoted to Brahman, merge themselves in it and are liberated from birth.

16. The triad are the world, the individual soul and the supreme Soul. The triad are the enjoyer, the objects of enjoyment and the supreme Soul. It may mean also the waking state, dream and deep sleep.

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