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.
Brahman is still, yet faster than the mind. Sense organs (devas) cannot overtake Brahman since Brahman went even before them. Being still it outruns all other runners. It (Matarishva) supports the activities of all beings.
Q5-1). How can Brahman overtake Sense organs ?
Sense organs are described as divine beings (devas). Devas in Sanskrit means shining ones. Sun is brightest object in the world. But without consciousness of eyes sun is not visible. Hence, light of consciousness (Atmajyothi) in eyes is called devas – shining ones. Eyes throw light on even the son. Hence eyes are devas. Devas includes consciousness of all other sense organs – smell, touch, taste, sound and form.
There are two aspects of Brahman – transcendent and immanent. Transcendent aspect is beyond senses – unmanifest and total stillness. Manifest aspect of Brahman is the universe. The world in front of us is the manifest aspect of Brahman. It is the expression of Brahman.
Intuitive Experience – Aparoksha Anubhuti
To understand this sloka we have to understand two types of knowledge – intuitive knowledge and perceptual knowledge. Intuitive knowledge is directly experienced without intervention of mind and senses. For example I know I exist. It is intuitive experience. Experience of SELF is intuitive. Such an experience is called aparoksha anubhuti. Paroksha means indirect. Aparoksha means not indirect – intuitive. Anubhuti is experience of SELF.
Direct Perception – Pratyaksha Anubhava
Pratyaksha means direct perception. Sense organs are involved. For example when I see a tree, light from the tree is received by my eyes to experience tree. Bhava means what exists. World exists and hence it is called Bhava. More accurately, existence appears as world through sense organs. It is more appropriate to say existence appears as chair, or table rather than saying chair exists or table exists.
World can only be perceived through senses. Hence world is pratyaksha anubhava.
Intuitive experience of the world (aparoksha anubhava)
In any experience of the world, there are two aspects – direct perception (pratyaksha anubhava) and intuitive experience (aparoksha anubhuti). I will also use another word called intuitive experience of the world (aparoksha anubhava) since the word bhava indicates the world.
When I see a chair or table following things happen
1). There is a intuitive experience (aparoksha anubhuti) that I exist – “I am”
2). The intuitive experience of existence of chair ( aparoksha anubhava) – “is ness” of chair or table.
3). There is a superimposition of form by sense organs on existence – “is ness”
4). There is superimposition of name called “chair” or “table” by mind on form
The existence aspect is Brahman which is all pervading and unmanifest. However chair and table are visible. The experience of table and chair has visible aspect and invisible aspect. Invisible aspect is existence – sat. Senses and mind superimpose name and form on sat aspect.
Even before senses and mind can reach out there in the world, there is intuitive knowledge (aparoksha anubhava) of the existence of the world in the form of “is” ness. For example “world is” , “chair is”…. Hence Brahman even though still, reaches faster than sense organs.
Sense organs and sense objects exist in all pervasive SELF and hence. Brahman – SELF is the cause of the world. The cause permeates the effect. For example mud is the cause and pot is the effect. But in reality pot is mud. In this way, all sense objects and senses are nothing but SELF – existence only. This is another way of understanding the meaning of above sloka.
Q5-2). 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.