You can read the previous post in this series here: Part 4

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Verse 1.1.4 (b)

nāsike nirabhidyetaṃ nāsikābhyāṃ prāṇaḥ prāṇādvāyur

akṣiṇī nirabhidyetamakṣībhyāṃ cakṣuścakṣuṣa ādityaḥ

karṇau nirabhidyetāṃ karṇābhyāṃ śrotraṃ śrotraddiśas

tvaṅnirabhidyata tvaco lomāni lomabhya oṣadhivanaspatayo

hṛdayaṃ nirabhidyata hṛdayānmano manasaścandramā

nābhirnirabhidyata nābhyā apāno'pānānmṛtyuḥ

śiśnaṃ nirabhidyata śiśnādreto retasa āpaḥ ॥4॥

The nasal cavities emerged, from that the Prana, and from Prana the Vayu.

The eyes emerged, from that the sight, and from sight the Aditya.

The ears emerged, from that the hearing, and from hearing the Disha-s.

The skin emerged, from that the Loma, and from Loma the medicinal Vanaspati.

The heart emerged, from that the mind, and from the mind the Chandrama.

The navel emerged, from that the Apana, and from Apana the Mrityu.

The genitals emerged, from that the seed, and from the seed came Apah.

Insight:

Quick Summary of Previous Verses:

  • The Aiteraya Upanishad, affiliated to the Rig Veda, describes that Veda’s creation theory. At first, there was the Formless Divine, and from that emerged two parts. Those became known as masculine and feminine. 
  • The masculine got personified as Purusha or The Person. The feminine represented Prakriti or Mother Nature. Since Nature is diverse, the feminine got embodied as a concept – Vaak or the power of expression.
  • Then, the demigods started appearing. The first one was Agni or the God of Fire.

The Current Verse:

Here, the author continues to describe the expansion of creation. He relates Nature’s manifestations to Purusha and Prakriti. The poetic rendition resembles the Ananda Thandav, the Dance of Creation by Parama Shiva and Para Shakti. For each step taken by the masculine, the feminine provides a matching response.

Further, there are eight demigods known as the Vasu-s. Each Vasu is a personification of some aspect of Nature. The first Vasu is Anala or the Fire, covered in the first part of this verse as Agni, the God of Fire. The remaining seven Vasus are implied here.

The Ananda Thandav of creation progresses as below:

Step 1:

  • The Purusha develops a nose, which helps keep our Prana, the life force.
  • Prakriti supports that by presenting a deity named Vayu or air for breathing.
  • Amongst the eight Vasu-s, Vayu is known as Anila or the wind.

Step 2:

  • The Purusha develops eyes that provide sight.
  • Prakriti matches that by creating the deity named Aditya or the Sun. Here, Sun signifies light that helps in viewing.
  • The Sun here denotes the Vasu named Pratyusha or light.

Step 3:

  • Purusha’s ears bring the power of listening.
  • Prakriti provides deities named Disha or directions. Those make it conducive for sound to travel.
  • The Vasu attached to this is Dhruva or pole-star. In the olden days, that star assisted travelers in identifying directions.

Step 4:

  • Purusha’s skin develops Loma. Loma, an older variant of Roma, means hair. It also means the feather of birds and the scales of fish. In other words, it represents the sense of touch or hands.
  • Prakriti matches that by providing the herbs and shrubs. Using those, Purusha’s hands made the medical Vanaspathi.
  • This verse comprises of two Vasus:
    • Vanaspathi has a pun here. Vanaspathi is the name of Ayurvedic medicine. It represents the Vasu named Dhara or earth, that helps the plants grow.
    • Vanaspathi is another name of the Vasu called Soma or Moon. Moonlight is said to be conducive to the growth of herbs.

Step 5:

  • Purusha develops a heart that denotes emotions. The mind has emerged from the heart. That is, the mind represents the thoughts. And, thoughts bring emotions.
  • Prakriti matches that with the deity named Chandrama or Moon. In this context, the Moon represents imagination and dreams.
  • The Vasu attached to this is Prabhasa or dawn. Our thoughts, emotions, visions, and imaginations drive us to wake up each morning. Those are akin to dawn.

Step 6:

  • Purusha developed the navel, below which is the Apana. As per Yogic scriptures, our body has five predominant types of energies. Of that, Apana is one. Also known as descending energy, it handles elimination and sexual functions. 
  • Prakriti matched that by providing the deity named Mrityu or The God of Death. The scriptures cite Apana energy as the cause for diseases and faster aging. Those take us closer to death sooner than we desire. The sages recommended the control of Apana, mainly the sexual function. That promotes good health and spiritual growth.
  • In some ways, death represents going beyond manifestation. Hence, there is no Vasu attached to this.

Step 7:

  • Purusha developed the genitals, and in that resided the seed of creation. 
  • Prakriti matched that by providing a deity named Aapa. The term Aapa has a pun here. One meaning is to obtain. In this context, it stands for getting offsprings.
  • Aapa or water is also the name of a Vasu. Here, it might also represent the reproductive fluids.

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You can read the next part in this series here: Part 6

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