6). Foundation of Life

Ishavasya Upanishad

 

अनेजद् एकं मनसो जवीयो नैनद्देवा आप्नुवन्पूर्वमर्षत् ।
 तद्धावतोऽन्यानत्येति तिष्ठत् तस्मिन्न् अपो मातरिश्वा दधाति ॥ ४ ॥

                                                                     

anejad ekaṃ manaso javīyo nainaddevā āpnuvanpūrvamarṣat |
taddhāvato’nyānatyeti tiṣṭhat tasminn apo mātariśvā dadhāti || 4 ||

anejad – nonmoving (immobile), ekaṃ- one, manaso javīyo – faster than the mind. Devah- sense organs (Gods – consciousness of sense organs – shining ones), purvam arsat enat – always ahead of others, na apnuvan – could not overtake. tat tishtat – it is always still (always same); dhavatah anyan – others who move fast, ati eti – leaves behind. tasminn – on this, apaha – water (activity), matarishwa – air /life force (prana) who dwells in space, apaha dhadati – supports all activities

Q6-1 ). What is the meaning of Matarishva – air supporting water ?
Matr means space (akash). Matarishva means wind which moves in space. Wind carries the life force (prana) and supports all life. Water is life. Life forms are born in water.
Brahman supports all life forms in the form of wind. The upanishad sloka below gives following manifestations of Brahman.

Tasmat va etasmaat atmana akashaha sambhutaha Akashat vayuh, vayoragnih, agnerapaha Adbhayah prithivi, prithivya oshadhayaha Oshadhibhyo annam, annat purushaha
– Brahmanandavalli of Taittiriyopanishad

Above sloka gives how progressively space, wind, water, fire, earth, plants, living beings manifested. The subtle becomes grosser progressively. However, existence-consciousness aspect pervades all effects while cause is Brahman (SELF).
Wind has movement. SELF is motionless. SELF supports space, wind, water… Wind supports life on the basis of SELF. Will of the living being to live Self consciously drives its sustenance. The wind derives its potency from SELF to sustain life.
Shri Shankara also gives one more meaning – Matarishva means individual – jiva and water (apaha) means karma. Brahman (SELF) supports individuals and their actions.

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