Ashta Vasus – Biological Basics – Science of Sankhya Part II

Introduction and Background

In my previous article on Sankhya Philosophy, I had stated about the interplay of purusha, prakrti and Gunas in every dimension of this universe. I had specifically written about the interplay of Purusha, Prakrti and Gunas at the times of the origins of Universe. I had also written that I would write about the interplay of these in the biological world.


If we go into any dimension of Universe, be it Physics, Chemistry or Biology, at the bottom-most level (Ground zero level) these principles of Sankhya philosophy operate. But as Universe is multi-layered and human intelligence has evolved on the higher layer, that the same set of laws operate on Ground Zero in all dimensions, is not visible or perceptible easily.

The Devas of Rg Veda

The Rg Veda talks about the 33 Devas or Forces that operate this Universe. The term ‘Deva’ is used to indicate a force or factor in the Rg Vedas. This force or factor in itself may not be a single identity.

Devas are in fact in most cases a collection of similar identities that gets a name as the ‘Deva’. To put it colloquially, that’s how the 33 Devas become 33 Crore Devas.

The 33 devas are Eleven Rudras, 8 Vasus and Twelve Adityas. Apart from this there are two Devas which are variously termed as  two Asvinis, Dyaus/Prithu, Indra/Prajapathi.

These two Devas are forces that operate Closer to the Amba, while the 31 forces are the forces that make and operate the Universe directly. Refer to my blog on Aitareya Upanishad here:


Of these 31 forces,

·         Eleven Rudras are forces/factors that operate the world of ‘physics’,

·         Twelve Adityas are forces/factors that operate the world of Chemistry and

·         Eight Vasus are the forces/factors that operate the world of Biology. 

Purusha and Prakrti in the Biological world

These 31 forces are manifestation of Prakrti of the Sankhya Philosophy. These 31 forces have the balance (and imbalance) of all the three gunas in them.

Purusha exists beyond the prakrti as explained in my blog on Aitareya Upanishad as provided in the above link.

Purusha influences the Sattwa Guna in these Prakrtis and kick starts their evolution as explained in my blog on Aitareya Upanishad as provided in the above link. 

  • The Purusha acting on the Vasus is variously known as Vishnu, Narayana and Hari.

  • The Purusha acting on the Rudras is variously known as Shiva, Easwara and Rudra

  • The Purusha acting on the Adityas is variously known as Brahma, Brahmanaspati and Skanda

In other words, Vishnu, Hari and Narayana  are Purusha when working on the biological world of Vasus, using the Vasus to evolve into biological beings of Higher and Higher consciousness and intelligence.

Vedas say Vasus originated from Brahma, who is the Purusha or Protector of Adityas. In other words, they say, biology originated from Chemistry.

Though Vasus were the Sons of Brahma, the Purusha or protector of Vasus is Narayana.

Narayana is the first biological being to be formed due to the influence of Purusha. Narayana is also the consciousness or influence of Purusha that is idling or sleeping on the biological framework of Vasus and driving them to evolve.

This blog is about the Eight Vasus and the biological beings evolving from them. 

Ashta Vasus – Constituents of all biological beings

I map the Eight Vasus to the primitive ‘Devas’ or ‘Forces’ or ‘Factors’ that constitute the entire world of biological beings from primitive prokaryotes to current homosapiens.

Particularly these Eight Vasus are the forces that operate the Cell, in fact down below at the Proto-plasmic level.

The Eight Vasus are Apa, Soma,  Dhruva, Anila, Dhara, Anala, Pratyusha and Prabhasa. 

Apa is used to denote some kind of alkaline Celestial waters in the Rg Veda and Aitareya Upanishad. Aiterya Upanishad clearly states that Apa carries the seeds of life and comes out of the agitations of Ambha directly. Refer my blog on Aitareya Upanishad here:

I map Apa to some kind of alkaline substance that is vital to promote life.

Soma is used to denote some kind of Celestial waters again, but that causes hallucination. Soma is referred in many places in Rg Veda as that rains and flows, which if drunk gives perceptions of huge power. From this I map Soma to some kind of acidic substance that causes hallucination.

Remember this acidic Soma in the primitive Proto-plasm is what is in the Cyto-plasm and is what becomes the Nectar and Honey!

It is possible that this acidic substance was available in Planet Earth in its primitive form, thousands of years back, outside of proto/cyto-plasms, may be in a acid rain form and Rishis of the Yore drank it too!

Dhruva means immobile element. Dhruva is also used to indicate group. I map it to group of microsomal nucleo-proteins that are heavy and immobile.

Anila means movement or fast movement. It is used to indicate wind and things which move fast. I map it to group of light-weight proteins that are highly mobile.

Dhara means a support structure or a structure that supports and holds things. It is used to indicate uterus or womb in some places. I map it to cyto-skeleton fiber filaments that support the cyto-plasmic structure inside a cell.

Anala means digestion or metabolism. It is used to indicate fire in some places. I map it to metabolic pathways that convert organic matter to energy and uses energy to grow/reproduce. Such metabolic pathways reside inside the primitive proto-plasms and ofcourse in every biological being.

Pratyusha means a short radiation. It is used to indicate pre-dawn or the twilight before the dawn. I map it to short wave ionizing radiations that happen inside proto-plasm. Such powerful short wave radiations can affect or modify the structure of the atom by knocking off electrons or by changing their paths, thus altering the charge of the atom. They give chemical affinity to the atoms and build such organic compounds as those which make up plants and animals.

In a way Sun’s radiance is stored in atoms and molecules of protoplasm and released as energy to power up the metabolic pathways. Hence the wording of Pratyusha is highly appropriate for this short wave radiation.

Prabhasa means a long radiation. It is used to indicate bright and hot sunlight. I map it to long wave heat radiations that happen inside the proto-plasm of plants and animals. While Short radiations affect the atomic structure, the long wave radiations affect the molecular structures. Here too the naming of this radiation is highly appropriate.

Scientifically putting it, if this is true, then the following eight are important for any primitive biological being to originate:

  1. Alkaline substance    Apa
  2. Acidic Substance – Soma
  3. Immobile microsomal nucleo protein like substance – Dhruva
  4. Mobile (light) microsomal nucleo protein like substance –  Anila
  5. Cyto-skeleton fiber filaments – Dhara
  6. Metabolic pathways – Anala
  7. Shortwave ionizing radiation – Pratyusha
  8. Longwave heat radiation – Prabhasa

Evolution of Primitive Proto-plasm (Narayana)

According to our Vedas, these eight Vasus  along with the other Devas originated at the very early stage of Universe. They form the core and crust of all biological beings. Vedas also say that all the eight Vasus go together and remain together always.

Of the eight Vasus mentioned above, Pratyusha and Prabhasa indicate the Sattwa Guna. Dhara,  Dhruva and Anila indicate the Tamasa Guna. Apa, Soma and Anala indicate the Rajasa Guna.

Purusha manifests itself as Maha-Vishnu, the consciousness, in the biological beings and drives evolution.

Infant Narayana

Pratyusha and Prabhasa indicate the Sattwa Guna (light, buoyant) of the Vasus. Purusha acts on the Vasus and makes the Pratyusha and Prabhasa to gain pre-ponderance. Scientifically dark matter influences the ionizing radiations and long wave radiations of the primitive proto-plasm to increase, there by triggering an imbalance in the Vasus. Thus ‘Mahat’ is formed in the Biological world with the pre-ponderance of Sattwa Ahamkara.

Thus the primitive biological being the infant Narayana is born. Infant Narayana at this stage is a set of radiations at the atomic level due to the influence of Vishnu (Purusha) on the Proto-plasm.

I consider the Puranas depiction of Narayana as an infant baby on banyan leaf as evidence to the fact that Narayana is the first formed primitive infant biological being from the Vasus. The banyan leaf here is the proto-plasm (Mahat with Sattwa Ahamkara). Infant Narayana is the set of infant radiations that sets of further reactions in the proto-plasm.

The Narayana

The next to be formed is the Tamasa Ahamkara (mass).  Dhruva, Anila and Dhara represent the Tamasa Ahamkara in the Vasus. As the ionizing radiations and long-wave radiations start in primitive proto-plasm, they trigger the consolidation of primitive nucleo-protein substances (Dhruva and Anila), thus leading to the formation of the first biological mass, the ‘DNA’, rather a throng of DNA. Dhara (cyto-skeleton fiber filaments) also evolve further to support the new evolving masses.

This proto-plasm with the DNA is called the ‘Milky Ocean”. The DNA, the  result of the pre-ponderance of Tamasa Ahamkara is represented as the five-hood Adisesha. Purusha or the Consicousness that sleeps on this Adisesha (DNA)  in the Milky ocean (primitive proto-plasm) is the Narayana.

In other words Eight vasus, driven by the Purusha, make the mature primitive biological being called the ‘Narayana’. Whether the primitive biological being originated before planet Earth originated or not, the Vasus originated much before. It is definitely feasible that primitive biological being originated much much before planet Earth originated.

And this Narayana himself formed due to the action of Purusha the consciousness, on the Prakrti the Vasus.

More Avataras of Maha-Vishnu

Rajasa Ahamkara (Restlessness and motion) takes over next. Apa, Soma and Anala represent the Rajasa Ahamkara in the Vasus. The throng of DNA that is formed then is moved into the acidic Soma forming a nucleus. 

The Anala (metabolic pathways) start producing energy from organic materials and use energy to make newer materials, thereby bringing up the concept of ‘life’.

Various life forms evolve due to this action of Purusha. Narayana is the primitive biological being. Sree (Mitochondrial like primitive bacteria) is one of the many other life forms that evolved in the course of this evolution.

When Sree (mitochondrial bacteria) enters the Navel of Narayana (primitive protoplasm or its derivative), again due to the action of Purusha the consciousness,  a new set of evolution is triggered that leads to higher and higher intelligent forms.

Thus MahaVishnu, the form of Purusha that acts on biological beings evolves consciousness and intelligence into higher and higher planes.  Each stage of evolution is depicted as an incarnation of

Maha-Vishnu, particularly in the animal kingdom.

In Matsya, the first ever animal kingdom started on oceans. In Koorma the animal kingdom moved to land.  In Nrsimha first erect-spine species appeared that altered the course of evolution completely. In Vamana, the first intelligent human beings formed.

The Vishnu Sahasranama, if interpreted raw and in the way I see it, provides ample proof to the idea that Maha-Vishnu is the Purusha that works on biological evolution. Each name of Maha-Vishnu as stated in Sahasranama can be used to corroborate the fact that Maha-vishnu has a biological connotation.


I would map the Adityas and Rudras too in the same form as above to chemistry and physics and their constituents. Rudram is a good source to map the Rudras. Aditya Hrdyam talks to some extent about the Adityas.

I am not sure if my understanding of a primitive proto-plasm with eight constituents ( ashta vasus) as I mentioned is accurately scientifically correct. But I know it is almost near to being correct, if not accurate.

As usual, this interpretation of Rg Veda and our Puranas is mine. More than an interested individual who somehow sees a very strong consistent and reliable link between Vedas and Science, I am neither a scholar nor a scientific expert. I apologize if my explanations in anyway hurts anyone.

Easwaro Rakshathu!


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