Role of the Higher Faculties
Faculties of Vastness of Light, Revelation, Inspiration, Intuition and Discrimination
The attainment of Surya Savitri, the supramental consciousness which is creative of the worlds, and which is the power of the manifestations of the highest triple world is a culminating victory of the Angirasa Rishis and of the Vedic system of yoga. The supermind is the highest creative faculty of the One, who unites multiplicity of manifestation with the original oneness. The development of this supramental faculty is prepared by the working of the seven rivers, the mighty ones of the heaven, which are also described as the seven Mares, seven Words, seven mothers and seven fostering cows.
Saraswati is prominently described as the one connected with these seven rivers and as one of the seven rivers. Madhuchhandas describes Saraswati39 to be that power of Truth which can be called inspiration, since it is inspiration from the Truth which purifies by getting rid of all falsehood. Saraswati is thus pāvaka, the purifier, and she is full of her luminous plenitudes (vājebhir vājinīvatī). She is upholder of the sacrifice (yajnam dadhe); she is dhiya vasuh, rich in substance of thought. Saraswati is the impeller of truths and awakener of thoughts in accordance with that which is
beneficent. It is by constant awakening and impulsion that results in divine perception, ketu, that Saraswati brings into active consciousness of the human being the great flood (maho arnah), the supramental Truth-Consciousness itself, which is for the Vedic Rishis a supramental plane, a level of the will of being (adreh sānu) which is beyond our ordinary reach and to which we have to climb with difficulty.
Ila, Mahi and Saraswati
The attainment of Savitri is also connected with other rivers or goddesses who are plainly psychological symbols. In Rig Veda Mandala I in the thirteenth hymn, Ila, Mahi or Bharati and Saraswati are associated together:
Iiā Saraswatī Mahi tisro devīr mayo bhuvah, barhih sīdantvasridhah
"May Ila, Saraswati and Mahi, three goddesses who give birth to the bliss, take their place on the sacrificial seat, they who stumble not."
In hymn 110 of the tenth Mandala, all the three goddesses are invited, and their connection with consciousness, bliss and will to work are manifestly referred to:
"May Bharati come speeding to our sacrifice and Ila hither awakening our consciousness in human wise, and Saraswati, — three goddesses sit on this blissful seat, doing well the Work."
In the first Mandala in the eighth Rik in the eighth hymn, Madhuchhandas speaks of Bharati under the name of Mahi as follows:
"Thus Mahi for Indra full of the rays, overflowing in her
abundance, in her nature a happy truth, becomes as if a ripe branch for the giver of sacrifice."
All the three goddesses have connection with light and consciousness. As the light of the sun represents the supramental light which is brihat, luminous vastness of the Truth, Mahi or Bharati which means Largeness, can be seen to be connected with the brihat of the superconscient in us containing in itself the Truth or rtam. Ila, the power of revelation or truth-vision is also connected with Surya, the Sun, Lord of true Light being of one mind with Ila, ilayā sajosā yatamāno raśmibhih sūryasa.40 It would seem that when Bharati or Mahi dawns on man's limited mind and bestows on it the largeness of the Truth-Consciousness, two sister Puissances, Ila and Saraswati, are also brought forth. These two sister Puissances can be identified with drsti, the truth-vision, and śruti, truth-audition or inspiration which expresses itself with truth-bearing Word. These two powers characterize the Rishi or the Kavi. It has, therefore, been suggested that Saraswati represents the truth-audition or inspiration and Ila represents truth-vision or revelation.
Another power of the higher faculty of knowledge that we find in the Veda is Sarama. Sarama is the leader in the search for the radiant herd and discovers both the path and secret hold in the mountain; she is a forerunner of the dawn of Truth in the human mind. And the faculty which discovers truth darkness of the unknown in our being is what we call intuition. Sarama is distinguishable from Saraswati and Ila. Saraswati gives the full flood of the knowledge, and she awakens the great ocean, maho arnah; but Sarama is a traveller and seeker on its path who does not herself possess
but rather finds that which is lost. Sarama is not Ila; Ila is a plenary word of revelation; Sarama seeks and finds by direct suggestiveness of truth and consciousness. Sarama does not possess the truth as Saraswati and Ila; even when what is sought and found, Sarama does not take possession but only gives the message to the seers and their divine helpers who have still to fight for the possession of the light that has been discovered.
Prati yat syā nīthā adarśi
Dasyor oko na acchā sadanam jānatī gāt, —this movement which has been described in 1.104.5 brings out two essential characteristics of Sarama. When this guide (Sarama) became visible, she went, knowing, towards the seat that is as if the home of the Dasyus. The knowledge comes to her beforehand, before vision springs up instinctively at the least indication and with that knowledge, she guides the rest of the faculty and divine power. Sarama is the power descended from the superconscient Truth which leads us to the light that is hidden in ourselves, even in the subconscient; she is thus what can be properly be called power of intuition. In III.31.6, it is said: "When Sarama found the broken place of hills, she made continuous the great and supreme goal. She, the fair-footed, led him to the front of the imperishable ones; first she went, knowing, towards the cry." It is again the Intuition that leads; knowing, she speeds at once and in front of all towards the voice of the concealed illumination, towards the place where the hill so firmly formed and impervious in appearance is broken and can admit the seeker. Addressing Indra,41 it is said "When thou didst tear the waters out of the hill, Sarama became manifest before thee; so do thou as our leader tear out much wealth for us, breaking the panes, hymned by the Angirasas." Here, again, intuition manifests before Indra, the
Divine Mind, as its forerunner, and it is by the means of intuition that Indra, the godhead of Illumined Mind, becomes the leader of the rescue of the Light and the conquest of the much wealth of spiritual light hidden within the rock.
We have in the Rig Veda also the description of another supramental faculty, namely, Dakshina, the power of immediate discrimination or discernment, corresponding to the mental faculty of logical discrimination. The great Rishi, Vishwamitra, refers42 first to the Thought of the fathers, pitryādhīh, and it is described as the thought "which when it is being expressed, remains wakeful in the knowledge." Vishwamitra next proceeds to speak of the ancient Fathers who first formed it and of the great victory by which they discovered "Truth, the sun lying in the darkness." Then follows the images of the conquest; Vishwamitra then proceeds to indicate the real mystic sense of Dakshina: "He having Dakshina with him held in his right hand the secret tiling that is placed in the secret cave concealed in the waters. May he, knowing perfectly, separate the light from the darkness, jyotir vrnīta tamaso vijānan, may we be far from the presence of the evil." Dakshina is thus the faculty that separates and discriminates light from the darkness.
In some passages, the goddess Dakshina seems to be a form or epithet of goddess Usha (dawn); in some other passages, she is the one who distributes the offerings in the sacrifice. Usha is the divine illumination and Dakshina is the discerning knowledge that comes with the dawn; that discerning knowledge enables Indra, the illumined power in the mind, to know the right and separate the light from the darkness, the truth from the falsehood, the straight from the
crooked. It is instructive to note that Indra is endowed with two bright horses, Harī, which are described as sun-eyed, sūracaksasah, and as vision-powers of the Sun, sūryasya ketū. Similarly, Indra is endowed with two arms, gabhasti, and the right and the left hand of Indra are his two powers of action in knowledge. Dakshina presides over the right-hand power, and therefore we have the description of Indra who held Dakshina in his right hand (daksine daksināvān). The role of Dakshina is seen also in the action of the rescuing of the sun out of the cave, since the separation or choosing of the light out of the darkness is to be done by Dakshina, the faculty of all-discerning knowledge.
In the legend of the Angirasa rishis, the rescue of the sun from the darkness is the culminating point of the yoga undertaken by them. The sun or surya is described in the Veda as Master of the Truth, as the Illuminator, the creator (Savitri), and as the Increaser (pūsan). The rays of the sun are supramental activities of Mahi, widening consciousness, Ila, revelation, Saraswati, inspiration, Sarama, intuition, and Dakshina, luminous discernment, and they constitute the action of the principle of the light of the perfect knowledge, rtam, satyam and brhat, the trinity of the truth, the right and the vast. The rays of this light descend into the human mentality and form at its summit the world of luminous intelligence, swar.
Attainment of Surya-Savitri: Culmination of the Vedic Yoga
Attainment of Surya-Savitri, creator and increaser is the culminating point of the yoga of the Veda. Apart from many other descriptions, in the fifth Mandala of the Rig Veda, in the 81st Sukta, we have a brief but adequate description of the
nature, power and attributes of Surya-Savitri as also of the nature of the attainment of Surya-Savitri. Surya-Savitri is described as illumination and largeness and one who has clear perception; he not only knows all phenomena; but he alone orders the energies of the sacrifice; Savitri is vastly affirmed in all things and he is the divine creator. Savitri is a seer and he creates all forms for the good of all, those of the two-fold existence and of the four-fold existence. He is the supreme Good and with the dawning of the light, he manifests Heaven wholly and its light pervades all. With the increasing of his realization, all the cosmic beings are enabled to their highest greatness of divinity. Savitri is the brilliant one and by the light and power of its mightiness, he illumines and maps out the realness of earthly light. Savitri is expressed utterly by the rays of the Sun and Savitri reaches the three luminous heavens. The night of darkness becomes encompassed upon either side. His law of action manifests the lord of love. Savitri is powerful for every creation, and he becomes increaser by his movement. The entire world of becomings becomes illumined by him.
Example of Shyavashwa and his Yoga of Surya-Savitri
The sukta,43 composed by Shyavashwa, marks his own attainment of the realization of Surya-Savitri, the creative supermind which is vast and omniscient and omnipotent as also omnipresent. While describing the yoga of the realization of the supermind, he refers to those who have reached the stage of illumination, and having reached that stage of illumination, they yoke their mind and they yoke their thoughts to Surya-Savitri. The sukta is thus a guideline for the yoga of the supermind. The yoga begins with Agni, the divine force, fulfiller of the Aryan sacrifice. In the Vedic yoga,
Agni is the beginning, and Agni accompanies the process of seeking and tapasya right up to the end. In answer to the aspiration kindled by agni, Indra arrives with his shining hosts, the Maruts, and it is by the aid of Indra and the Maruts that the initial conversion is effected. In the psychological sense of the Vedic symbol, the Maruts take our animal consciousness consisting of the impulses of the nervous mentality and drives them up with their illuminations so as to arrive at the world of swar and the truths of Indra, who is the lord of Swar. It is then that the seeker becomes illumined and it is at that stage that the thoughts and the mind are yoked to Surya-Savitri. The ordinary human mind is besieged by the wild impulses or animal troops, paśus; mind evolves when these impulses are aided by Maruts, shining forces that belong to the power of Indra, the cosmic being who represents the Illumined Mind. As one rises and as the truths of Indra convert our animal consciousness, our impulses become the brilliant herds of the Sun, gāvah, rays, the divine consciousness of the Veda.
The human mind does not possess knowledge; it can receive and understand Truth by dhi, the faculty of understanding which receives, holds in place and settles the object of knowledge in a state of possession. In contrast, Surya- Savitri, vijnana, is a divine and not a human faculty; it possesses knowledge, and its action is to manifest knowledge. The light of knowledge that is inherent in Vijnana presents itself to the mind, and it leads up three successive worlds of mentality progressively to its own true nature. At the lowest level, the mind is sensational, and emotional; at a higher level is a realm of the pure intellect, and at a still higher level, the mind is able to possess divine intelligence by the illumining power of Indra. The fullness and perfection of these three
worlds of the mind exists above the three heavens, tisro divah, as their three luminosities, trini rocanāni. When higher light descends upon the physical consciousness in the course of the yogic process, the earthly realms of consciousness become illumined and they become earthly realms of light, pārthivāni rajāmsi. This transformation is effected by the creative power of Surya-Savitri.
Surya-Savitri is the Lord of harmonious organization of all manifestations; our human energies are limited and in conflict with each other. But when these energies are offered in acts of sacrifice to Surya-Savitri, the truths of Surya-Savitri can act upon them, and Savitri creates order and harmony in all the human energies. According to the Vedic system, there are seven sacrificial energies in the human being, the energies of the body, life, mind, supermind, bliss, will and essential being. When these energies act in the mind, their action is irregular and causes wrong relationships. The result is stumbling and unhappiness, evil state and evil act. But Surya-Savitri knows all manifestations, comprehends their causes, contains their law and process and compels their right result. The process of sacrifice is a process of offering and a process of tapasya where the human mind does not allow interference of the conflicting agencies, and in a state of submission, it permits the power of Savitri to govern all the energies. Surya, Lord of Knowledge, puts each of them in its right place in the Sacrifice. As Shyavashwa observes:
"Knower of phenomena, soul, he arranges the sacrificial energies."
A divine revolution is effected by this process of yoga. The Surya, the Seer, takes to himself all forms and he manifests good for all, — for the two-fold existence and the
four-fold existence, kavih prasavid bhadram dwipade catuspade. Thereafter, the supramental force takes possession of the lower existence, and it manifests light in all faculties and potentialities. These faculties and potentialities are symbolized by various gods, and therefore all these gods reach the vastness of the divinity by the strength of the supramental force. Even the physical or earthly consciousness is developed to its full capacity, even the three luminous realms of the pure mind are pervaded by the supramental knowledge and will, and all the divine possibilities of the sensational and emotional mind, of the pure mind and of the intuitive reason are fulfilled. Savitri is thus perfectly expressed by the rays of the Sun, the Vedic Symbol of the Supermind.
The lower world of the earth of physical consciousness and the world of sensations, emotions, intellectual thought and intuitive mind are reconciled with their counterparts in the higher consciousness of the Supermind. The Ignorance in which one lives, the Night, is illumined upon both sides of our complete being. That state of complete illumination is the state of Beatitude or the principle of Love and Light, which is represented in the Vedic system by the cosmic power and being of Mitra. The Rishi, therefore, affirms: "And thou encompasseth Night upon both sides, and thou becomest, O god, Mitra by the laws of thy action."
It is by progressive development of this new creation that the whole world of our becoming becomes illumined. The process of yoga is a process of gradual increase of the action of Surya. Higher states of consciousness visit our lower members more and more frequently, and this increasing frequency of Savitri is termed in the Veda as the action of Savitri, the Pushan, the Increaser. As Shyavashwa testifies by
his personal experience and realization: "Thou becomest the Increaser, O God, by the goings; and thou illuminest entirely all this world of becomings."
What Shyavashwa has affirmed in his attainment has been expressed in the Veda by several other Rishis, and if we study some of the prominent affirmations, we shall have some more details of the culminating points of the Vedic yoga and the methods and stages of this yoga. Attainment of the light of the Sun, the supramental consciousness and power, attainment of the Beatitude, and the achievement of immortality, —these are the interdependent attainments which are chanted by the Rishis in the Veda.
Example of Rishi Vamadeva and his Yoga 44
There is in the Veda symbolic opposition between the shining white purity of the One, on the one hand, and the variegated colouring of the Life manifested in the triple world of darkness and ignorance, the world of Matter, Life and Mind, on the other. Vamadeva, in the 4th Mandala, 3rd sukta presents briefly the entire process of the Vedic yoga. The hymn opens with a call to man to create Agni who sacrifices in the truth, to create him in his form of golden light before the Ignorance can form itself. The god is asked to awaken to the work of man and the truth in him as being himself "the Truth-conscious who places aright the thought", rtasya bodhi rtacit svadhih. Agni is prayed and all fault and sin and defect in man are offered to the various godheads or divine powers of the Divine Being, so that the same may be removed, and man may finally become blameless before the Infinite Mother - aditaye anagasah. Then Vamadeva expresses the idea of the united human and divine existence, diti and aditi, the latter founding, controlling and flooding with itself the
former. He expresses his aspiration:
"The Truth controlled by the Truth I desire, together the unripe things of the Cow and her ripe and honeyed yield; she (the cow) being black (Diti) is nourished by the shining water of the foundation, the water of the companion streams.
By the Truth, Agni the bull, the Male, sprinkled with the water of its levels, ranges unquivering, establishing wideness; the dappled Bull milks the pure shining teat."
The image of the dappled Bull and the pure bright udder or source of the waters repeats the frequent idea of the Veda of the multiple manifestations of the human life when they are purified, tranquilized and fed by the waters of the Truth and the Infinity.
In the next two Riks,45 Vamadeva presents four preliminary conditions for the great achievement of Immortality. These four conditions were those which were fulfilled by the Angirasa Rishis. These were the following:
1. Breaking the rigidity of the human consciousness by the pursuit of Truth and arriving at the union with the luminous rays (cows) proceeding from the Supramental Sun;
2. Dwelling in dawns of light bringing with them experiences of bliss;
3. Manifestation of swar, the world of the supramental light where the human aspiration symbolized by Agni becomes fully expressed;
4. Rush of divine immortal waters with their honeyed floods in their eternal flowing.
These four verses of these two Riks are:
"By the Truth the Angirasas broke open and herd ascended the hill and came to union with the Cows; human souls, they took up their dwelling in the blissful Dawn, Swar became manifest when Agni was born. By Truth the divine immortal waters, unoppressed, with their honeyed floods, O Agni, like a horse breasting forward in its gallopings, reign in an eternal flowing."
Vedic Yoga and Immortality
The attainment of Surya-Savitri is associated in the Veda with the attainment of immortality. But what is immortality?
In the first Mandala of Rig Veda, in the 71st sukta, Parashara speaks of the path to the great supramental consciousness, which is called the great heaven as distinguished from heaven or dyauh, signifying the realm of mental consciousness: "Our fathers broke open the firm and strong places by their words, yea, the Angirasas broke open the hill by their cry; they made for us the path to the great heaven; they found the Way and Swar and vision and the luminous Cows," cakrur divo brhato gātum asme ahah, svar, vividuh, ketum usrah46. This great path is, according to Parashara, the path which leads to immortality. In 1.72.9, he gives the brief formula describing the state of immortality:
"ā ye viśvā svapatyāni tasthuh krnvanāso amrtatvāya gātum; mahnā. mahadbhih. prithivi vi tasthe; mātā putrair aditir dhayāse veh."
"They who entered into all things that bear ripe fruits formed a path towards the immortality; earth stood wide for them by the greatness and by the Great Ones, the Mother
Aditi with her sons came or manifested herself for the upholding."
The Vedic immortality, it appears, requires stabilization in those states of consciousness and powers which have been ripened fruitfully; fruitful ripening is prepared by (a) processes of thought and meditation, by (b) perfection in works by processes that lead the ascension of the soul from one level to higher level that stabilizes it in divine status of divine action, and by (c) the search and eagerness of the heart for beatitude.
(a) The role of the austerity of the practice of thought and meditation on the Truth and its dynamic diffusion in all parts of the being, is explained in 1.71.33:
"dadhan rtam dhanayan asya dhītim, ād id aryo didhisvo vibhrtrāh”
"They held the truth, they enriched its thought; then, indeed, aspiring souls (aryah), they, holding it in thought, bore it diffused in all their being."
The word vibhrtrāh is extremely important; it suggests the process of upholding the thought of the truth in all the seven principles of our being. This would mean that the thought of the Truth should become seven-headed thought, —the thought in the planes of the body, life, mind, supermind, bliss, conscious-force and essential being, so that one arrives at the state which was described of Ayasya, when by the power of seven-headed thought he became universal and discovered supramental consciousness, the fourth level of consciousness which transcends the triple state of physical, vital and mental consciousness.
In the next verse, (b) the other conditions of the ripening
of consciousness are described:
"atrsyantīr apaso yanti acchā, devān janma prayasā vardhayantīh”
"The doers of the works go towards the unthirsting waters which increase the divine birth by the satisfaction of delight."
The emphasis here is on karma yoga by which work is constantly perfected by energies that are unthirsting and thus are devoid of desire. This movement of karma yoga results in the ascension of sacrifice whereby higher levels of works begin to operate and the activities of cosmic godheads rise up and establish a universal and immortal life in place of our present limited mortality. The ascension of sacrifice is effected by Agni, the divine Seer-will (kavikratu). And when Agni rises upwards "he becomes one God encompassing all the gods with the greatness of his being".47 The impulse of the Truth, the thinking of the Truth becomes universal, and in it all fulfill their workings, rtasya preśā rtasya dhītir viśvayur viśve apāmsi cākruh.
(c) The process of yoga implies the rising of the soul from the dryness of the material being, from the desert which is unwatered towards the increase of eagerness of the soul for beatitude, for the delight of the presence of the divine consciousness, which is the essence of Bhakti. The Soul is increased and satisfied when by the attainment of the truth and immortality, it enjoys the bliss. This is the state which Parashara describes in 1.73.6:
"The fostering cows of the Truth nourished him, lowing, with happy udders, enjoyed in heaven; obtaining right thinking as a boon from the supreme, the rivers flowed wide and evenly over the hill."
The three processes of knowledge, action and delight are synthesized in arriving at that condition of stabilization of consciousness which is the condition for the attainment of immortality. For this attainment, the yogic process is worked out on all the planes of being, including the physical being. The infinite consciousness, Mother Aditi (which is termed Para Prakriti or Shakti in later systems of yoga) intervenes, and she brings her sons with her, the cosmic gods or the divine Powers of the supreme Deva. The physical being is visited by the greatness of the infinite planes above; by the descent of the power of the great godheads, the limitations of the 'physical being are broken; the light of the infinite planes which reigns above enters into lower levels of being right up to physical being; the physical being opens out to the Light and is upheld in its new wideness by the action of Aditi, supreme power of the infinite consciousness.
We may take another example of the idea of immortality which is expressed in the 28th hymn to Agni in the Vth Mandala of Rig Veda. In this hymn, the Rishi celebrates the flame of Agni, the Will that rises high in the dawn of knowledge, and Agni is addressed as a king of immortality, since he gives to the soul its spiritual riches and felicity and a well-governed mastery of Nature. Addressing Agni, the Rishi asks of Agni the boon for a vast enjoyment of bliss by means of highest illumination, and the Rishi wants the creation of a well- governed union of the Soul and Nature. The Vedic immortality is seen here as a vast beatitude, a large enjoyment of the divine and infinite existence reposing on a perfect union between the Soul and Nature (jaspatyam) in that state of Immortality. The soul, by identity with the divine infinite existence and by enjoyment of that existence, becomes King of itself and its environment; the soul becomes conscious on
all planes of existence and gains mastery of them, and Nature, becomes now the bride of the soul and partakes in the soul's enjoyment into an infinite and luminous harmony. The Rishi, in the course of the hymn, addresses Agni thus:
"When thou burnest high, thou art king of immortality and thou cleavest to the doer of sacrifice to give him that blissful state; he, to whom thou comest to be his guest, holds in himself all substance and he sets thee within in his front.
"O flame, put forth thy battling might for vast enjoyment of bliss; may there be thy highest illumination; create a well-governed union of the Lord and his Spouse, set thy foot on the greatness of hostile power."48
Example of Ribhus, the Artisans of Immortality
We have rightly been described as artisans of immortality. They are called children of Sudhanwan, where the word dhanwan means desert field of Matter, and it has connection with an image of hill or rock out of which waters or rays representing the energies of supermind are delivered. Sometimes they are also addressed as off springs of Indra, grandsons of luminous Force.49 In the Vedic symbolism, Indra stands for divine mind in man, which is born out of chit as light, just as Agni is born out of chit mhśas pure Force. The connection of Ribhus with Indra becomes clearer when it is suggested that Indra as the divine mind impels in the human being the human aspirations after immortality, and Ribhus represent the human aspiration for Immortality. Ultimately, Rishis attain the status of artisans of Immortality.
Ribhus are brothers, — the eldest is Ribhu or Ribhukshan,
the skillful Knower or Shaper in knowledge; the second one is Vibhu, the Pervading or the self-diffusing; and the third is Vaja, the Plenitude. In a hymn of Rigveda,50 Ribhus, the ancient human beings, are addressed as those who had successfully accomplished those works and formations by which they worked out Immortality. These works and formations are described symbolically as the horses of Indra, the car of Ashwins, the Cow that gives the sweet milk, the youth of the universal Parent and the multiplication into four of the one drinking-bowl of the gods originally fashioned by Twashtri, the Framer of things. Let us explore these accomplishments in some detail.
(a) It is said that the Ribhus "fashioned by the mind for Indra his two bright steeds that are yoked by Speech, and they enjoy the sacrifice by their accomplishing of the work."
Free movement of the luminous mind of Indra is a necessary condition for accomplishing immortalizing works. The free movement is indicated by horses; but horses are to be united, controlled and guided by knowledge, by the Word and by Speech. As a result, the horses are fashioned by the mind; hence, the nature of the horses is luminous. To develop the power of the divine mind, to convert the energies of action by the light of the divine mind and to control the movement of the horses by the Word, and to accomplish the work of the sacrifice, yajna, which symbolizes the upward journey in which human capacities and energies are offered for an upper evolution by means of progressive descent and manifestation of Truth, — all these formations and works, when success- fully accomplished, prepare the state of immortality.
(b) It is further said that the Ribhus "fashioned for the twin lords of the voyage their happy car of all-pervading
movement, and they fashioned the fostering cow that yields the sweet milk."
The chariot referred to here is the chariot of the Ashwins, who are described in the Veda as the twin lords of the human voyage who, on account of their all-pervading movement are able to help human beings in their journey, which is represented by the rising wave that emerges from the ocean of the inconscient. The movement of Ashwins is a movement of Ananda that always bestows health, youth, strength, wholeness to the physical man; it bestows capacity of action and enjoyment to the vital being; and it imparts energy of the light to the mental being. To fashion the chariot of the Ashwins is to provide to the physical, to the vital and to the mental members of the human personality with the force of the pure delight of the being. It is only by a tremendous training and cultivation of the body, life and mind, and it is only by a great purification of these parts of the being that the force of the pure delight, the boon of the Ashwins, can be brought in the instrumental personality. This is what Ribhus accomplished and fulfilled the condition of the attainment of the state of immortality:
(c) Ribhus again fashion the cow that gives sweet milk; this is a symbolic expression of the manifestation of the universal forms the light of Aditi, the Cow, the infinite Consciousness of the infinite conscious Being which is the Mother of the worlds. It is by the intervention of Aditi that the inferior nature of the man, which is mortal, is transformed into the higher nature of unity and infinity, which is immortal. That infinite consciousness of Aditi is the giver of sweet milk, since she is the Divine Shakti of Self-existent conscious Delight, Sachchidananda.
(d) Again, it is said: "O Ribhus, in your pervasion you made young again the Parents, you who seek the straight path and have the Truth in your mentalising."
The Parents are, indeed, the Mind or Heaven who is the father, and the body or the Earth, who is the mother. These parents are aged, having lived long in the tasks of upward evolution. According to the Vedic parable, the Ribhus ascend to the house of the Sun where he lives in the unconcealed slumbering of twelve days, and then traverses the heaven and the earth, fills them with abundant rain of the springs of the Truth, nourishing them, restoring them to youth and vigour.51 The Ribhus pervade heaven with their workings; they bring divine consciousness and increase the divine mentality.52 They give to the mental being and the physical being fresh and young and immortal movement.53 From the house of the Sun, which is the home of the Truth, they bring with them perfection; they fashion the straight path of the truth in contrast to the crooked path of the lower existence; and they bring the truth itself with its absolute effectivity in all the thoughts and words of the mentality. Carrying this power with them in their pervading entry into the lower world, they pour into it the immortal essence.
(e) The hymn54 further states: "The raptures of the wine come to you entirely, to you with Indra companioned by the Maruts and with the Kings, the sons of Aditi". To understand this statement it may be said that among the conditions of immortality, the following are repeatedly mentioned in Rig Veda: The attainment of the Divine mind represented by Indra, attainment of shining Thought-forces, represented by Maruts, attainment of purity resulting in the flow of Soma. divine delight, and synthesis of four powers of the great Kings or sons of Aditi, namely, the powers of Varuna (purity and
vastness of Truth-Consciousness), Mitra (law of love and light and harmony), Aryaman (upward aspiration and power of endurance and endeavour) and Bhaga (pure and happy enjoyment of things). All these conditions are fulfilled by Ribhus, and they have thus fashioned immortality.
(f) Ribhus have gone farther, and they have filled the physical consciousness, the single bowl which was framed by Twashtri, the Framer of things, with higher workings, and multiplied four-fold the original material body and perfected the four planes of the physical body, vital body, mental body and the causal or ideal body. These four bodies become the four-fold bowl for the pouring of the nectar, and thus these bodies partake of the nature of the nectar of Immortality.
The hymn is a prayer to Ribhus to bestow on the makers of stoma, who have illumined minds, the same delight and perfection which the Ribhus have attained. It is stated: "So established for us the thrice seven ecstasies, each separately by perfect expressings of them."
Thrice seven ecstasies refer to the ecstasies of supreme existence, which is triple in character, which in a later period came to be called Sat, Chit and Ananda, and the number seven refer to seven planes of Matter, Life, Mind, Supermind, Bliss, Conscious-force, and Essential Being. The prayer is that the thrice seven ecstasies are to be poured, each separately by perfect expressings of them, since each of these and all of them together constitute perfect perfection and in viable immortality. Ribhus are the object of the prayer because they have power to support and contain all these floods of delight of being in the human consciousness, and to use the language °f the sacrifice, they are able to divide these floods in fashioning the perfection of their works and distributing them
among the gods, to each god his sacrificial share. Perfect work, perfect knowledge, perfect delight and perfect distribution of all and each in a complex harmony and synthesis; — these are the conditions of Immortality, Therefore, the hymn ends as follows;
"They (Ribhus) sustained and held in them, they divided by perfection in their works the sacrificial share of enjoyment among the gods."
When we are able to discern the Vedic knowledge by unlocking symbols and figures which have been used by the Vedic seers, in the light of Sri Aurobindo, we find that the Vedic yoga was a synthesis of the psychological being of man in its highest flights and widest rangings of divine knowledge, power, joy, life and glory. We discover that the Vedic Rishis had measured and fathomed the heavens and earths within us; they had therefore spoken of three earths and three heavens. They had cast their plummet into the inconscient and the subconscient and the superconscient; they spoke of the triple world below, — the world of mind or heaven as they had called it, the world of matter or Earth, and the world of the intervening mid-region of Life or Antariksha. They spoke of a triple world above, the supreme and rapturous abodes of the highest godhead that came to be called in later developments Sat-Chit-Ananda..