The rishis, who were gifted yogis too, wanted to see viraat-purusha. They closed their eyes and waited. They waited for quite a while, when one of them said, ‘Let us call out to him!’ They cried out in great devotion, in unison, ‘Purusha, where are you?’ A voice answered, ‘I am here. What do you think I should look like?’ Most felt they did not know, but one said, ‘I think you should have many more heads, eyes, ears, hands and legs than we have!’
They all felt they heard a chuckle. Then in their inner eyes they saw the great phenomenon which they described ecstatically in the hymn called Purusha-sukta, which was destined to become famous. They saw viraat-purusha as a human form, but pervading the entire universe and having a multiplicity of heads, eyes and limbs. They saw Purusha becoming yajna, yajnapati, yajvaa, yajnaanga, yajnavaahana, yajnabhrt, yajnakrt, yajnee, yajnabhuk, yajnasaadhana, yajnaantakrt, yajnaguhyam, annam and annaada. They watched the magic of all creation unfolding before their eyes. They heard vedic chants confirming their viraat-purusha as param brahma.
But the one, who had answered the Purusha voice venturing to tell Purusha what he thought Purusha should look like, felt that he heard the chuckle once again. This was followed by a whisper, ‘Did I appear as I should have? What do you think?’
He knew then that they had all witnessed in their inner eyes, what he thought Purusha should be like, rather than the viraat-purusha as he is. Thought had impinged on absolute yogic experience and coloured it. ‘Do not worry, my child,’ the voice comforted him, ‘If you had not supplied a design, someone else would have. Don’t you know that I am all that you can think of and more, and in fact, that I am what you do not have to think of at all?’ I simply am beyond all thought. Let your yoga dispense with thought. You will see me better.’
He knew he was supremely incapable of dispensing with thought, but decided to stay in penance, trying. The others, happy with the Purusha darsana, had already left him to mind their routines, but he sat, eyes closed, waiting.
After what appeared to be a very long time, he felt he was deeply in peace and he had a vision. He saw an erect plant swaying very, very gently. Perhaps vibrating, not swaying. The root alone was coiled upwards, almost reaching the stem, and he could see a pond very much below the root and soft earth beneath the clear water. The stem had pairs of circular leaves almost in the configuration of a horizontal figure of eight, one pair above another with some gap in between. Water droplets containing nutrients from the soft earth seemed to travel up to the root and into the plant. Solar energy and life breath were pouring into the leaves in continuous spirals. At the top of the stem there was a thousand-petalled lotus, which seemed to open out to sky-space and receiving something (bliss?) from it. He felt he was himself inside the plant, somewhere in the upper stem, but well below the lotus, but also seeing all of it from outside in some kind of consonance with it.
Some more time evolved and the root, still coiled up, developed some scales and started resembling a lizard’s tail stump. The leaves became white and were rather like bones. The lotus crumbled into itself. There then followed a crazy succession of frame after frame of fleshy growth of limbs, attaching to this skeletal being. In the final form, which moved away from the pond and stood on earth with a pair of legs, the yogi recognized his own body, which he knew was still capable of using praanas, by interacting with vaayu, but had become very inefficient in directly reaching out to the other four elemental manifestations of existence and absorbing them.
The voice spoke to him again. ‘Have you seen yourself? Have you seen me?’ The yogi did not have to answer. Everything that he or any one else had ever seen or experienced through any of the senses and will ever see or experience through all of time, and everything beyond it, including nothing at all, he now knew, was viraat-purusha. And he, the yogi, was an inseparable part of all of it. If he did not know it earlier, it was because of a fleshy growth beside his sahasraara lotus. This tended to make him think.
Note: This is pure fantasy, and I cannot defend the concept of a fully developed plant as a pre-reptilian ancestor of mankind.
More posts by this author:
- I am central
- I see Him now
- The Ant that went round the World
- The twelve-name shield/cage
After R & D and technical management experience of over three decades in petroleum and organic chemical industry, have been devoting the past fifteen years to the study of Tamil and Sanskrit classics, including dharmic works and doing some serious translation work. Have been a significant contributor to the medha journal almost since its inception upto 2013 and expect to continue my association with it.