Friday, April 1, 2011

Lecture (Chapter) 15: Of Pŏŏrŏŏshōttămă.

(Numbers in parentheses refer to the numbered notes that follow, which are also in parentheses.)


The incorruptible being is likened unto the tree Ăswătthă, whose root is above and whose branches are below, and whose leaves are the Vēds. He who knoweth that, is acquainted with the Vēds. Its branches growing from the three Gŏŏn or qualities, whose lesser shoots are the objects of the organs of sense, spread forth some high and some low. The roots which are spread abroad below, in the regions of mankind, are restrained by action. Its form is not to be found here, neither its beginning, nor its end, nor its likeness. When a man hath cut down this Aswătthă, whose root is so firmly fixed, with the strong ax of disinterest, from that time that place is to be sought from whence there is no return for those who find it; and I make manifest that first Pŏŏrŏŏsh from whom is produced the ancient progression of all things.

Those who are free from pride and ignorance, have prevailed over those faults which arise from the consequences of action, have their minds constantly employed in watching over and restraining the inordinate desires, and are freed from contrary causes, whose consequences bring both pleasure and pain, are no longer confounded in their minds, and ascend to that place which endureth for ever. Neither the sun, nor the moon, nor the fire enlighteneth that place from whence there is no return, and which is the supreme mansion of my abode.

It is even a portion of myself that in this animal world is the universal spirit of all things. It draweth together the five organs and the mind, which is the sixth, that it may obtain a body, and that it may leave it again; and Eĕswăr, having taken them under his charge, accompanieth them from his own abode as the breeze the fragrance from the flower. He presideth over the organs of hearing, seeing, feeling, tasting, and smelling, together with the mind, and attendeth to their objects. The foolish see it not, attended by the Gŏŏn or qualities, in expiring, in being, or in enjoying; but those who are endued with the eye of wisdom behold it. Those also who industriously apply their minds in meditation may perceive it planted in their own breasts, whilst those of unformed minds and weak judgments, labouring, find it not.

Know that the light which proceedeth from the sun and illuminateth the whole world, and the light which is in the moon, and in the fire, are mine. I pervade all things in nature, and guard them with my beams. I am the moon, whose nature it is to give the quality of taste and relish, and to cherish the herbs and plants of the field. I am the fire residing in the bodies of all things which have life, where, joined with the two spirits which are called Prān and Opān (107), I digest the food which they eat, which is of four kinds (108).

(107 Prān and Ŏpān.—The breathing spirit, and the spirit which acteth in the bowels to expel the fæces.)

(108 Which is of four kinds.—Either to be masticated with the teeth, lapped in with the tongue, sucked in by the lips, or imbibed by the throat.)

I penetrate into the hearts of all men; and from me proceed memory, knowledge, and the loss of both. I am to be known by all the Vēds or books of divine knowledge: I am he who formed the Vēdānt (109), and I am he who knoweth the Vēds.

(109 The Vēdant.—A metaphysical treatise on the nature of God, which teacheth that matter is a mere delusion, the supposed author of which is Vyās.)

There are two kinds of Pŏŏrŏŏsh in the world, the one corruptible, the other incorruptible. The corruptible Pŏŏrŏŏsh is the body of all things in nature; the incorruptible is called Kŏŏthăstă, or he who standeth on the pinnacle (110).

(110 Kŏŏthăstă, or he who standeth on the pinnacle.—The divine essence, which, according to the opinion of some of their philosophers, is without quality, and sitteth aloof inactive.)

There is another Pŏŏrŏŏsh (111) most high, the Părămātmă or supreme soul, who inhabiteth the three regions of the world, even the incorruptible Eĕswăr.

(111 There is another Pŏŏrŏŏsh, etc. etc.—This, and the following period, are so full of mystery, that the Translator despairs of revealing it to the satisfaction of the reader. Perhaps Krĕĕshnă only means to collect into one view the several appellations Kŏŏthăstă, Pŏŏrŏŏsh, Părămātmă, Eĕswăr, and Pŏŏrŏŏshōttămă, by which the Deity is described by as many different theologists, in order to expose their various opinions respecting his nature, and unite them in one.)

Because I am above corruption, so also am I superior to incorruption; wherefore in this world, and in the Vēds, I am called Pŏŏrŏŏshōttămă. The man of a sound judgment, who conceiveth me thus to be the Pŏŏrŏŏshōttămă, knoweth all things, and serveth me in every principle.

Thus, O Ărjŏŏn, have I made known unto thee this most mysterious Sāstră (112); and he who understandeth it shall be a wise man, and the performer of all that is fit to be done.

(112 Sāstră.—Any book of Divine authority.)

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