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It will take some time for me to completely absorb the nuances of modal combinations. But it is not that I haven’t given importance to Gunas while reading Mystic universe. It may be because of the limitations in expressing my mind completely through the forum that created such an impression in you. And also my main focus was on outer dvipas and oceans. The fact that guna and karma are responsible for hiding and revealing different realms of experiences was ingrained in my mind from the day I read Easy journey to other planets. And I knew that this was the reason why we are not seeing the actual moon and stars. Also why we are not able to access other realms mentioned in Puranas. Sadhana is the process through which we can access other realms and not space travel. In this process Sarira, through which the prana flows, is the yantra. And I read the book Sankhya and science first before reading Mystic universe. So this emphasis on gunas was there in my mind while reading Mystic universe though I don’t know much about the nuances in their combinations. And these combinations happen both at the gross and subtle levels. I found your old article on Arithmetic of concepts very useful in this study. There you have mentioned about the three modes of soul also (Sat-Chit-Ananda).
Thank you for giving me the right model of Jnana Yajna. I will change my approach by making mind the soma and Jnana theAgni. I concentrated on the outer dvipas to complete my understanding of Bhumandala because that topic was not much discussed in the book Mystic universe. The reason why I connected it with Vedic Yajna is because the Puranas are giving us the hidden and complex meaning of Vedas in a relatively simple way. Vedas talk about Satya, Rta, Dharma and Yajna. Satya or Truth manifests as Rta(the cosmic order) and Rta when comes to the life is Dharma. Dharma is practiced in the form of Yajna. So the entire cosmos is a Yajnavedi. Chanting, learning and other meaningful things we do are different forms of Yajna. So Yajna also transforms us by creating new modal combinations and reveals previously hidden realms. When we look at 7 sons of Maharaja Priyavrata we can see that all of them carries synonyms of Agni shabda in them. Āgnīdhra, Idhmajihva, Yajñabāhu, Hiraṇyaretā, Ghṛtapṛṣṭha, Medhātithi and Vītihotra. They are also known by other names in other puranas:
Agnidhra, Agnibahu, Vapusman, Dyutiman, Medhas, Medhatithi and Jyotisman.Though the names are different in different puranas personalities are same. All of them carry Agni shabda. So the seven samudras are some combinations of gunas that hide/block access to certain levels of experiences from us which can be accessed by invoking certain forms of agni. So oceans are Avaranas(coverings) that hide new sets of objects and activities. This happens vertically also in the form of Kundalini rising. Kundalini is also a form of Agni. When we fix our mind on one Chakra, Prana flows there and creates Agni. This Agni reveals previously hidden Siddhis by transforming the modal combinations. At the level of Brahmanda this Kundalini is Sesa naga at the bottom who finally burns the entire samsara with his Agni. At a very gross level when we compare it with what Geologists are saying there are similarities. Earth was like a fire ball initially and this leads to the degassing and continuous rainfall which cooled the earth and resulted in the formation of land forms. This fire is still hidden inside earth. Why I am writing all these is because I would like to know whether this is the right way to understand things mentioned in Puranas.
I would summarize what I have understood.
- Seven oceans are seven different combinations of three Gunas which have their roots in Karana Samudra.
- Seven Dvipas are condensed forms of Seven oceans that surrounds them and limit the experience of jivas to a particular set of objects and activities both at the gross and subtle level.
- Seven different forms of Agni are ruling these realms which act as transformative or evolutionary forces to access those respective realms.
Thankyou very much for the detailed explanation of guna combinations. I think you have misunderstood my intentions. I am not a researcher who is searching various sources for citations to write and publish a book or an article. My only interest is to know the Truth and experience it. I consider this pursuit as a Yajna because Jnana Yajna is something that pleases Krishna. And this knowledge will make us more humble by purifying the Chitta and results in the natural evolution of pure Bhakthi. I am not even interested in preaching others because nobody cares. I am also not interested in meaningless knowledge exhibition. I will discuss it with similar minded persons because I need some association. But I have to dip my beak into many ponds because that is part of the role that I have to play in my life. Another reason for doing that is because everything is not available from one pond. But I will never dip my beak into a dirty pond. Because I don’t like diluting or polluting the Vedic knowledge. I need knowledge with all its purity. I am not at all interested in reconciling Vedic knowledge with Modern science. That’s why I read your books to get a framework to understand Vedic knowledge. I always look for authenticity and authority. I am comfortable with confusions and contradictions because it churns the mind and lead me to a higher level of understanding, clarity, conviction and courage. This is my experience till now. But I don’t think that Puranas have contradictions though there are some interpolations in Puranas like Bhavishya Purana. Puranas are written in different combinations of Samadhi Bhasha (As-it-is knowledge), Darshana Bhasha(Experiences of different observers), Guhya Bhasha( Completely different meaning) which appears as Satwik, Rajasik and Tamasik to different people according to their gunas.. If it is not an interpolation then such contradictions are reconcilable because Vyasa will not compose something to deceive us. Since I am aware of this mystical nature of Puranas I will always ask someone who has authentic knowledge in the subject to get more clarity.
The reason why I looked into Vishnu Purana to understand other dvipas was because you haven’t explained much about other dvipas in your book Mystic Universe. And I don’t belong to the category of fools that you have mentioned. Certainly not. They call themselves the guardians of Sanathana Dharma and they make sure the destruction of whatever Dharmic knowledge that is left. Some considers Yuga duration as 20 years and says that Swayambhuva Manu is only 10000 years old in order to match their theory with that of modern historians, Vyasa is not the author of Puranas, etc.. In my questions I have never mentioned the works of any such fools. I have only mentioned Vishnu Purana and Bhugola Varnanam. Bhugola varnanam is used as a reference book in ISKCON and it is also mentioned in the TOVP project. The book actually confirms what you have said to me in the first two answers. I am sorry if I have wasted your time.
Hare Krishna Prabhu. I am sorry if I asked the questions at an inappropriate time. I was using an easy method to solve the confusion. Because you have explained the same problem in case of Jambudwipa in this old shabda blog article Jambudvipa mountain heights. Here you explained the steplike structure of Jambudwipa. But you haven’t mentioned about entire Bhumandala here. Many years ago I have heard from some source that Bhumandala has a basket like structure but I was not even aware of the fact that Sankhya is the darshana with which we should explain the Vedic model of cosmology and my mind was not ready to go forward with the details at that time. So this was not there in my mind when I read Mystic universe. But when I read the descriptions about other dvipas and your article on step like structure of Jambudwipa this old memory came back. But I don’t remember the source from which I have heard this. So I was unable to verify it. And also from the descriptions of other dvipas in Vishnu Purana I faced a problem in visualizing the mandala i.e which one is higher and lower in the hierarchy. Yesterday I referred a work called Bhugola Varnanam by Vadiraja Tirtha (Madhva Sambradaya). He says that the Bhumandala is a terraced structure and not a uniform circular plane. But contrary to what I thought after reading Purana Jambu dwipa is at the top and Other dvipas are lower. i.e the outer dvipa called Pushkara dvipa is lower and from there other dvipas are arranged in steps. He also says that these lower dvipas are populated by beings like Devas, Gandharvas, Siddhas etc.. So these places are heavenly abodes but still lower than Jambudvipa in hierarchy. Interestingly the Kalachakra mandala of Tibetan Buddhism is also a terraced structure with Jambudvipa at top and center of the mandala. This resolves the contradiction with Sankhya darshana i.e we are also moving upward when we move inward. I have also understood that I haven’t understood the Guna combinations properly. These abodes are populated with Satvik people but still they are lower in hierarchy. Also I have read that these intermittent oceans contains a form of Agni which boils the oceans called Badavagni and consumes everything that flows into the oceans and send back flames. This has some resemblance to the Agni in Yajna because Agni also has seven tongues and seven arms. I try to understand this by connecting it with Vedic Yajna because this cosmology comes to my mind as a Grand Yajna which creates a sense of wonder and mystery.
I have understood the model of going inward and upward in Sankhya by reading your books and I am convinced with that. That is also seen in other mystic drawings like Sri Chakra, Kalachakramandala etc.. Also this is the concept with which temples are constructed: From outer walls to Garbha Griha and from there the sadhaka transcends the mundane levels of experience. That is exactly the reason why I asked you this doubt when I read something that contradicts my understanding. Also I haven’t ignored the example of deeply understanding milk and ghee. Words in its primary sense denotes something deeper than what we experience. This is the nature of Sanskrit words: Slesha. Same word can be used for different substances due to conceptual linkages at a deeper level. Also different words can be used to denote same substance. But I haven’t attained that state in which I can take the meaning from Vaikhari level to Para. For example, I believed that taste is the meaning of Sanskrit word ‘Rasa’ used in the context of Ayurveda though I know that it has different meanings when it comes to Bhakthi and Art. But an ayurvedic doctor has given a talk in which she has said that ‘Rasa’ is not taste. We cannot classify substances into Six Rasas by tasting it. The example she gave is that of honey. Honey tastes sweet(Madhurya) but in Ayurveda its rasa is Astringent(Kashaya). So what exactly is Rasa? How can we know this? This is the dilemma. Certainly Ksheera is not the milk we drink. I was aware of this while asking. But for every higher reality there is a representation in gross level. That’s why I asked you whether Milk used in Yajna has any relation to Milk ocean.
I will answer your last question first.
6. The space in Vedic cosmology is a tree like structure with roots above. This space is a conceptual space and it is the underlying reality behind the physical space which we experience with senses. Root is the abstract from which details branches out. The detailing of abstract realm is what Sankhya describes as the evolutes of Prakrithi. i.e from Mahat to Pancha mahabhootas. This forms a matrix in which the Jiva goes through different kinds of experiences according to his position in this tree like space. So even though I am closer to a group of people in physical space my experience, world view, behaviour etc.. depends on my position in the conceptual space. In short the physical space is appearance and conceptual space is reality. This is what I have understood.
1. Yes. Yama is more evolved than us and is ruling the hellish planets. But the Jivas who come there are sinners. Each dwipa in Bhumandala has a presiding diety. Their presence is not a sufficient reason for determining whether a dwipa is evolved or not. I have no doubt in that. But here it is giving description of a social order. A specific group of Jivas are taking birth in that realm and they are devoid of attachments, jealousy, anger, miseries, diseases etc.. They don’t require a king like Manu to teach Dharma and Dandaniti. A state similar to Satya Yuga. It is also true that such realms are also in Jambu dwipa and among all Dwipas Jambu Dwipa is the greatest. I have no doubt in that too. My doubt is like this: Deva Swarga is above Bhumandala which is higher in the hierarchy. But Devas from above always want to take birth in Bhuloka. This shows the greatness of Bhuloka. Similarly, are these dwipas higher in hierarchy than Jambu dwipa even though they are not greater than Jambu dwipa. This we also say in case of Kaliyuga. Satya yuga has more spiritually evolved people but our Puranas call kaliyuga as great because it makes progress faster.
2. No. Here also ruler and ruled are different.
3. I thought they are also part of Bhumandala. That was a mistake. Now I understood that they are similar to Meru which is higher than Bhumandala.
5. I thought Lokaloka mountain is the boundary of Bhumandala. In Vishnu purana Suvarna bhumi and Vajra bhumi are located between lokaloka and Pushkara dwipa. That’s why I included it in Bhumandala.
I read it from Vishnu Purana. It says that from Plaksha Dwipa to Shaka Dwipa there are no Vriddhi-Kshaya for Yugas. They are always in Treta Yuga. People live for 5000 years without diseases following Varnashrama Dharma. Also in Pushkara Dwipa(Outermost Dwipa) there is Manasottara mountain where people live without Raga-Dwesha, lobha, moha, bhaya and shoka.They live for 10000 years. Vishnupurana calls it as Uttama Swarga. There is no Varnashrama Dharma and Danda Niti there. Resources are abundant. Beyond Pushkara Dwipa there are two more realms called Suvarna Bhumi and Vajra Bhumi. Vajrabhumi ends with Lokaloka mountain. Brahma, who is at the top of Meru also resides in this outermost realm of Bhumandala. So all these descriptions gave me an impression that they are more evolved than beings in Jambu Dwipa.
Thank you very much. This is something similar to what Yayati was doing in his life. Today spirituality is practiced for getting enhanced material experience and not for non dual experience! Those who practice this are not concerned with the question of self. There is no Brahma Jijnasa. Their fundamental question is how to become a billionaire and enjoy the life using ancient Vedic wisdom!
Yes. All these achievements that they have made by rationalizing immorality, by forgetting paapa-punya, karma and reincarnation are like collecting water in a bucket full of holes. No use in the long run. Thank you so much for the reply Prabhu. Hare Krishna.
Thank you very much. Yes, ultimately it is the conviction about our eternal dependence upon the Supreme Person that can liberate us from the clutches of material existence.