You can read the previous post in this series here: Part 7


Verse 1.2.4

agnirvāgbhūtvā mukhaṃ prāviśadvāyuḥ prāṇo bhūtvā nāsike 

prāviśadādityaścakṣurbhūtvā'kṣiṇī prāviśāddiśaḥ

śrotraṃ bhūtvā karṇau

prāviśannoṣadhivanaspatayo lomāni bhūtvā

tvacaṃprāviśaṃścandramā mano

bhūtvā hṛdayaṃ prāviśanmṛtyurapāno

bhūtvā nābhiṃ prāviśadāpo reto

bhūtvā śiśnaṃ prāviśan ॥4॥

Fire entered the mouth as speech. Air entered the nostrils as smell. Sun entered the eyes as sight. Directions entered the ears as hearing. Herbs and trees entered the skin as hairs (sense of touch). The moon entered the mind as the heart (emotions). Death entered the naval as Apana. Apa entered the genitals as the seed.

Quick Summary of Previous Verses:

  • In the first set of verses, the Aiteraya Upanishad described Rig Veda’s creation theory. 
  • From there, the text moved on to sustenance. Here, our senses fell prey to gratification.
  • Some of those gratifications were necessities like food and water. Though, many others were merely pleasures that got us stuck in the ocean of Samsara.
  • Developing contentment and recognizing our divinity are the means out of Samsara.

Current Verse Insight:

Sage Aiteraya revisits the ideology of the Dance of Creation discussed in Verse 1.1.4 (b). The details are identical, but here the verse denotes the concept of macrocosm and microcosm.

Macrocosm and Microcosm

In Greek, macro and micro mean large and small, respectively. Cosm is a derivative of the term cosmos, which in Greek means the world with some order. Thereby, the macrocosm is the larger orderly universe or Nature. The smaller orderly universe or microcosm indicates the humans.

The idea of macrocosm and microcosm proposes a similarity in pattern between the cosmos and human beings. Many ancient traditions believed in this notion. Upanishads, Buddhist manuscripts, Greek philosophies, and Sufi beliefs are a few examples.

Physically, the human body consists of five elements. The same applies to everything else in Nature as well. This universe is a play of Energy, and so is the human body. Human intellect may be superior, but we aren’t any different from everything else in Nature in structure and function.

The Experience of Samadhi

We are a part of Nature. So, it is not surprising that there are similarities between our bodies and everything else in the cosmos. Yet, most of us don’t feel that intimate connection with Nature.

We can discuss this idea of macrocosm and microcosm till the cows come home. We can prove and disprove it with theories. However, those are merely intellectual. In essence, the idea is to feel no separation between ourselves and the rest of this universe. The day we experience that, we have reached the state of Samadhi, or merger with the Source (Nature).

Putting it crudely, we feel like we have disappeared, and the only thing that exists is Mother Nature. The experience of Samadhi sees the difference between micro and macro diminish. As the Sufi saint Rumi notes, “O human, you seem to be a microcosm but in reality actually a macrocosm.”


You can read the next part in this series here: Part 9

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