Yoga Vasistha [English], Volume 1-4

by Vihari-Lala Mitra | 1891 | 1,121,132 words | ISBN-10: 8171101519

The English translation of the Yoga-vasistha: a Hindu philosophical and spiritual text written by sage Valmiki from an Advaita-vedanta perspective. The book contains epic narratives similar to puranas and chronologically precedes the Ramayana. The Yoga-vasistha is believed by some Hindus to answer all the questions that arise in the human mind, an...

Chapter X - Duads or duples of the bipartite om in dualistic theories

Duads. Om a couple.  ~~

"Om unites couples together and gratifies the wish of the adorer."

(Ch'handogya I. 6). Again "couples being incorporated with the letter Om, establish the all-gratifying power and attribute of Om." (Sankara's Scholium to Ch'handogya).


1. The Couple Udgitha & Pranava.  ~~

Om combines the Udgitha of the Sama with the pranava of the Rig Veda, the first couple; and therefore speech (Vak) and breath (prana) the sources of the Rik and Sama, the second couple; and lastly the said two Vedas themselves as the third couple. (Ch'handogya I. 1-8), and consequently the Hotri and Udgatri priests the fourth couple.


2. Brahma and Para Brahma.  ~~

Om is the superior and inferior Brahma conjointly. The superior or Para Brahma is the one eternal and infinite God; and the inferior or Apara Brahma is the finite God:—the demiurge of Plato, and the Prajapati and Indra of Vedanta theology. The Aitareya reckons the pentad of the five elementary bodies, under the latter category. (V. 3).

Kalidasa speaks of this as the pancha maha bhuta samadhi in the first book of his Raghu Vansa.


3. The two pronunciations.  ~~

"Om is pronounced as svarati in the Rigveda and Svara in the Yajur Veda." (Ch'handogya IV. 4. Manu XI. 265).


4. The Human & Divine Souls.  ~~

"Om is atman or soul. Two souls are said to enter the body; the individual and the undivided or universal soul." (Ait. III. 1). "Two birds (the supreme and individual souls) dwell upon the same tree of the body." (Svetasvatara Upanishad).


5. The Soul and Matter.  ~~

"Om is both spirit and matter," viewed as the same thing in the materialistic light of the Sankhya, and dualistic view of others. Spinoza defines them both as the "Substantia cogitans, et substantia extensa, una eademque est substantia, quae jam sub hoc, jam sub illo attributo comprehenditur." (Ethics. 1 Pr. 7 schol).


6. The Male and Female.  ~~

"Om Stripum the divine male and female"; the original androgyne or bisex being combined in the person of the first human being, Brahma or Adam, and called the Prakriti-purusha or pradhana &c. , in the Yoga and Puranic Systems. So says Manu also (I, 32). "The power became half male half female or nature active and passive, and divided itself in twain." (Ibid).


7. The cause and effect.  ~~

"Om implies the two states of mundane existence, viz, the cause dynamic and the effect energy. The effect also is two fold, the gross and subtile." ( ~~).


8. The Two Elements.  ~~

The subtile elements ( ~~) and the gross elements ( ~~) forming the Sthula or gross body and the linga Sarira or subtile body,—the two component parts of all living bodies.


9. Knowledge & Ignorance.  ~~

The two states of the soul, knowledge and ignorance ( ~~) and the two states of knowledge; namely that which is known ( ~~), and what is unknown ( ~~), corresponding with two others—the ( ~~) the manifest and unmanifest.


10.  The two states of Life.  ~~

Knowledge and action or Jnana and Karman,—theory and practice, are the two inseparable conditions of life; the one leading to the other, which is the result of the former, and according to others its cause, in the celebrated dispute  ~~ between theorists and practitioners.


11.  Other Pairs.

In this way many other pairs are joined together forming as they were the two halves of the great circle of Om, and whether diametrically or obversely opposed or attached to each other, they form together, the same circle of which each of them is but an imperfect part or half.


12.  Geometry of Om.


13.  Logical Use of Om.

Hence we see the mystery of the cypher of Om to be no less wonderful and efficacious in the investigation of theological truths, than the great instrument of Euclid's compass in the bisection and measurement of geometrical dimensions. And as the circle is latterly found to be made use of in the demonstration of propositions in Logic, how much must we wonder to reflect on the use and application of the sacred instrument of Om by the ancient Rishis of India, to all things of the physical, intellectual and spiritual world (Sarvamonkara eva) as their common measure.


14.  Dualism overthrown  ~~

Having thus observed the deficiency of dualities and the imperfection of dualistic theories, by the instrumentality of Om, and the application of its cypher of unity to them, to make up that unity which is essential to the true knowledge of God, whose nature is a perfect unity and without divisibility (Ekamevadwitia), the sages next proceeded to the investigation of trialities and pluralities of triune doctrines and so forth, which had been gaining ground even in those early stages of society, by the application of the same test of the unity of Om to them, till at last all these partitions are lost in the cypher of One indivisible whole.


15.  The Metrical Sense of Om.

Om in the sense of a compass or metrical instrument, is derived from O the cypher, letter or circle, and ma to measure, meaning the circle of measurement.