Sacred Texts  Hinduism  Index  Previous  Next 

2. From the year to Vâyu; on account of non-specification and specification.

In their description of the path beginning with light the Khandogas mention the year between the months and the sun, 'from the months to the year, from the year to the sun' (Kh. Up. V, 10, 1); while the Vâgasaneyins mention, in that very place, the world of the Gods,'from the months to the world of the Gods, from the world of the Gods to the sun' (Bri. Up. VI, 2. 15). Now, as the two paths are identical, we have to supplement each by the additional item given in the other (and the question then arises whether the order of the stages be 1. months, 2. year, 3. world of the Gods, 4. sun; or 1. months, 2. world of the Gods, 3. year, 4. sun). The year and the world of the Gods are equally entitled--to the place after the months in so far as textual declaration goes; for both texts say 'from the months.' But we observe that the advance is throughout from the shorter periods of time to the longer ones ('from the day to the bright fortnight, from the bright fortnight to the six months of the northern progress'), and as therefore the year naturally presents itself to the mind immediately after the six months, we decide that the order is--months, year, world of the Gods, sun.--In another place (Bri. Up. V, 10) the Vâgasaneyins mention the wind as the stage preceding the sun ('the wind makes room for him--he mounts upwards; he comes to the sun'). The Kaushîtakins, on the other hand, place the world of the

p. 746

wind subsequent to light, referred to by them as the world of Agni ('Having entered on the path of the Gods he comes to the world of Agni, to the world of the wind,' &c., Kau. Up. I, 3). Now in this latter text the fact of the world of the wind following upon light is to be inferred only from the succession of the clauses ('to the world of Agni'--'to the world of the wind '), while the 'upwards' in the text of the Vâgasaneyins is a direct statement of succession given by the text itself; and as this latter order of succession has greater force than the former, we have to place, in the series of stages, the world of Vâyu directly before the world of the sun. But above we have determined that the same place (after the year and before the sun) has to be assigned to the world of the Gods also; and hence a doubt arises whether the world of the Gods and Vâyu are two different things--the soul of the wise man passing by them in optional succession--or one and the same thing--the soul coming, after the year, to Vâyu who is the world of the Gods.--They are different things, the Pûrvapakshin says; for they are generally known to be so. And there are definite indications in the text that the world of the Gods as well as Vâyu is to be placed immediately before the sun--this being indicated for Vâyu by the 'upwards' referred to above, and for the world of the Gods by the ablative case (devalokât) in the Khând. text, 'from the world of the Gods he goes to the sun'--and as thus there is no difference between the two, we conclude that the soul passes by them in either order it may choose.--This view the Sûtra negatives: 'From the year to Vâyu.' The soul, having departed from the year, comes to Vâyu. This is proved 'by non-specification and specification.' For the term 'the world of the Gods' is a term of general meaning, and hence can denote Vâyu in so far as being the world of the Gods; while on the other hand the term Vâyu specifically denotes that divine being only. The Kaushîtakins speak of 'the world of Vâyu'; but this only means 'Vâyu who at the same time is a world.' That Vâyu may be viewed as the world of the Gods is confirmed by another scriptural passage, viz.

p. 747

[paragraph continues] 'he who blows (Vâyu) is the houses of the Gods.'--Here terminates the adhikarana of 'Vâyu.'

Next: 3. Beyond lightning there is Varuna