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 XIII - The pentads &c., of om

The Pentads of Om.

The quintuples of om are composed of five letters or divisions of the symbolical circle, standing for so many different things each of which forms a part of the whole, and is called an Om. The five parts are, A, U, M, O and the nada—the nasal half circle above.

1.  The Five Vital Airs.  ~~

Respiration, flatulence, circulation, pulsation and assimilation, commonly known by the names of prana, apana, vyana, udana and samana.

2.  The Five Caverns.  ~~

Pancha koshas or sheaths of the soul, folding one over the other "like the coats of an onion". 1. The sheath of the intellect. 2. The sheath of the mind. 3. The sheath of breathing. 4. The subtle and corporeal bodies. 5. The sheath of Supreme bliss, not admitted by all. ( ~~,  ~~,  ~~,  ~~,  ~~)

3.  The Five Internal organs, senses and their objects. ~~

The ear, eye, skin, nose and tongue, of hearing, sight, feeling, smell and taste. Their five objects—sound, colour, touch, savour and smell. ( ~~)

4.  The Five external Do.  ~~

The voice, hands, feet, the organs of generation and secretion are organs of action.  ~~ ~~

5.  The Five Elements.  ~~

Earth, air, fire, water and ether.  ~~

6.  The Five classes of Ignorance.

1. Obscurity ( ~~),

2. Illusion( ~~),

3. Extreme illusion( ~~),

4. Gloom ( ~~),

5. Utter gloom ( ~~).

1.  The six letters of Hexads or sextuples.

The sextuples of Om are composed of a, u, o, m, the Bindu, cypher, and the nada; and according to another account, the Ardha matra of Om is the fourth and the Bindu and nada the fifth and sixth aksharas. (Weber's Rama Tapaniya pp. 292, 312. Cowell's Maitri Up. p. 271).

2.  The 6 Organs.

The five organs of sense; viz the nose, tongue, the eye, ear, skin and the mind. (Gotama Sutra I. 1, 12). But according to others the mind is not reckoned an organ.

3.  Other Sextuples

The six seasons ( ~~), the six flavours ( ~~), the six musical modes ( ~~), the six Vedangas; but I never met a passage of their being preceded by Om.

1.  The Heptads or Septuples.

The Septuples are formed by a, u, o, m, Vindu, nada and Santa or ultimate silence, and these are used to symbolise the pantheistic form of the god Viraj, in the following description of him given by Sankara.

2.  The 7 Parts of Viraj Body.

"His head—the heavens; his eye—the sun; his breath—the wind; his center—the ether; his urine—the water; his feet—the earth; his mouth the fire." Anquetil gives the five senses, the mind and intellect as his seven members. (Weber's Indian Studien. Vol. II. p. 107).

3.  The Other Heptads.

According to other accounts there is a sevenfold septuples included in the figure Om comprising the Universe. The first trisaptaka or triplex septuple comprises the seven spheres of heaven, the seven patalas or infernal regions, and the seven Bhuvanas of earth. The second trisapta consists of the sapta dwipas or seven continents of the earth, the seven oceans, and the seven planets; and lastly the sapta swara or the seven notes emitted by the planetary motions.

The Octads or octuples.

The octuples consist of the aforesaid seven parts and the sakti or word namo added to them at the end, and are used as symbols of Viraj for the five vital airs, or the five organs of action and those of intellect i. e. the mind, intellect and self consciousness or chitta.

The Nonads.

These are nine cavities of the body  ~~ the abode of Brahm.

The Decads.

These are the ten internal and external organs of the ( ~~ and  ~~) of the body—the seats of Brahm.