Surya Siddanta – Part 0

In the Surya Siddanta – Part 1, I had started at the verse 11. But, going back and reading all the verses together, I realise the first 10 are very important to the definition of prANa. While I was under the impression that prANa is just any change, these verses give it a qualification to the change that is prANa. Also, the flow does not just start from 11th verse, but starts from the beginning. In this blog I will be translating these first verses which seems very pertinent to the understanding.

acintyAvyaktarUpAya nirguNAya gunAtmane
samastajagadAdhAra mUrtaye brahmaNe namah

acintya + avyakta + rUpAya + nirguNaya + guNa + atmane = incomprehensible + unmanifested + of without qualities + qualified self
samasta + jagada + AdhAra + mUrtaye + brahmaNe + namah = 
each and every + related to moving / alive + support or basis + formed of + created + yield / submit

Translates to:

The incomprehensible, unmanifested, that without qualities, qualified as self yields to creation which forms the basis of each and every movable

alpAvAshiShTe tu kRta mayA nAma mahAsuraH
rahasyaM paraM jijnAsurjnAnamuttamam

alpa + ava + shiShTa + tu + kRta + mayA + nAma + maha + asura = 
minute + to indicate a negative? + trained + however + made + consisting of + called / named + abundant + inactive
rahasyaM + paraM + jijnAsu + sur + jnAna + muttamam = secret + main + inquisitive + active + knowledge + having

Here important to note is the introduction of asura and sur. asura is typically translated as demon which makes no sense since we are looking at a description of the environment without qualities. “sur” is basically active, hence asura becomes negative of it which is inactive. Thus sur/asura is active/inactive while deva/daitya becomes energy/inertia.

The next part is avashiShTa which is translated as “remaining”. Again we find what is remaining when we have done nothing yet. So, we split it into ava + shiShTa which is a negative of shiShTa which is training, hence avashiShTa is untrained. Thus we get the translation:

That minute untrained consisting of making is called abundant inactive, the primary secret is inquisitiveness for having active knowledge

Now we have a translation which says that the first that happens in that incomprehensible is it getting an abundant inactive and how this happens is due to the want to have knowledge. But, it should be noted, that even that which is abundant inactive is pretty minute when compared to the whole.

vedANgamagrayamakhilaM jyotiShAM gatikAraNAm
ArAdhayan vivasvantaM tapastepe sudushcaram

vedANgam + agram + yam + akhilaM + jyothi + eShAM + gati + kArANAm = 
part or limb of knowledge + assemblage + to support + without a gap + illuminance + seeking + path + cause / reason
ArAdhayan + vivasvantaM + tapas + tepe + sudushcaram = 
steadfastness + diffusing + concentration + filtered + very difficult to attain / inaccessible

Here, we can leave jyotiShAM as jyothish which is considered to be a translation to astrology. But, again, as before, we are in a context where we are creating from the incomprehensible. So, jyotiSh has no place in such a context. Hence I have split it out into jyoti and esham, which leads us to “seeking illumination”. Next is related to tapa, while tapas can be translated as meditation, I have used the word concentration. So, this translates to:

Multiple partial knowledge established without gap is the cause of the path of seeking illumination, steadfast diffusing the inaccessible with filtered concentration

Here, it introduces the word tapas which I have translated as concentration instead of meditation. Yet, this has to induce us to think what really concentration or meditation is. It cannot anymore be only related to the mind or manas, because this is a point where these have not yet been formed. So, tapas has to be something even more fundamental. Possible it needs to be focus.

toShitastapasA tena prItastasmai varArthine
grahANaM caritaM prAdAnmayAya savitA svayam

toSha + tas + tapAsA + tena + prIta + astasmai + varArthina =  contentment + that + concentration + in that manner + pleased + complacency + granting
grahANaM + caritaM + prAdA + mayAya + savitA + svayam = 
acquiring + motion + that which is made of + together with + by one's self

grahA is a word which is misused in a lot of ways and mostly in the negative sense. Hence graham seems to have been translated to eclipse. Yet, the core meaning of this word is “to grasp or hold”. The sense in which this is used is when there is a hand that grasps or hold. Hence I have used the alternative of “acquire”. This translates to:

Yielding to that concentration in a manner which grants complacency to that, acquiring that which gives motion by itself together with self

Here, the most important is “acquiring that which gives motion by itself”. Thus we come to the important point, where the abundant inactive created in the incomprehensible, by filtered concentration starts acquiring that which gives motion or growth due to the seeking of knowledge.

viditaste mayA bhAvastoShitastapasA hyaham
dadyAM kAlAshrayam jnAnaM grahANA caritaM mahat

vidita + aste + mayA + bhAva + toShi + tas + tapasA + hyaham = knowing + is + consisting of + becoming / existing + gratification + in that + concentration + that which was
dad + yaM + kAla + AShrayam + jnAnaM + grahANAM + caritaM + mahat = 
giving + that + change + \shelter + of knowledge + acquire + attained / gone + great

Translates to:

Consisting of that knowing to become, yielding to that concentration of that which was, safeguarding that change that which acquires knowledge of abundant motion

na me tejaH sahaH kashrcidAkhyAtuM nAsti me kShaNAH
madaMshaH puruShoyaM te nishsheShaM kathayiShyati

na + me + tejaH + sahaH + kash + cida + khyAtuM + nAsti + me kShraNAH = not + in me + uncertainty + overcoming + to go + indeed awareness + appears + not exists + in me + moment
mada + amshaH + puruShoyaM + te + nish + sheShaM + kathay + iShyati = 
bewildered + part / portion + the soul of the becoming + that + without + end + is said + seek

Translates to:

Definitely, neither due to force of uncertainty nor due to moment does awareness appear, it is said to be the seeking of that bewildered soul of becoming without end

ityuktvAntardadhe devaH samAdishyAshamAtmanaH
sa pumAn mayamAhedaM praNAtaM prAnjalisthitam

iti + yukta + iva + antar + dadhA + devaH + samAdishya + aMsham + AtmanaH = 
thus + connected + these + between + hold + energies + distributed + portion + selves 
mayama + idaM + pranAtaM + prAnjali + sthitam = 
self + spirit + consisting of + this + through prANA + hollow hands? + situated in

Translates to:

Thus connected these held in between energies distributed in portions of selves, the spirit of that self consisting of this that is situated in (a handful that comes) through changes

As we have seen in the kalabhairava stotram, kashi is a measure which is translated to a handful and we do not know exactly what this measure is, here too, we are faced with a similar term for which we have no clue what the measure is. But, it definitely seems to say that when a measure of changes have passed, then we get that spirit of the self.

shRuNuShvaikamanAH pUrvaM yaduktaM jnAnamutamam
yuge yuge maharShInAM svayameva vivasvatA

shRuNu + iShvai + kamanAH + pUrvaM + yad + yuktaM + jnAna + uttamam = is heard + of potential + wishing for + after + which + joined + knowledge + highest degree
yuge + yuge + maha + RShinAM + svayam + eva + vivasvatA = joined + joined + great (abundant) + by flowing quickly + via ones own + diffusing

Here to note is the translation of RShi, it is typically just called a sage. But, in fact it means “to flow”. If changes were detected at the same location in the underlying environment without a flow, then the same changes would have been detected over and over again. it needs to extend and keep detecting change across locations only then we can have this what we have. For this, diffusion by itself is necessary. Hence this verse says:

This is heard that, after seeking, that which is connected to the apex of knowledge, and being connection through abundant flowing diffuses by itself

After this we get to the next point as translated in Part 1, where, the changes tie us to this environment, hence we start studying how these changes work.

So, in summary what is said here is:

The incomprehensible, unmanifested, that without qualities, qualified as self yields to creation which forms the basis of each and every movable

  • That minute untrained consisting of making is called abundant inactive, the primary secret is inquisitiveness for having active knowledge
  • Multiple partial knowledge established without gap is the cause of the path of seeking enlightenment, steadfast diffusing the inaccessible with filtered concentration
  • Yielding to that concentration in a manner which grants complacency to that, acquiring that which gives motion by itself together with self
  • Consisting of that knowing to become, yielding to that concentration of that which was, safeguarding that change that which holds knowledge of abundant motion
  • Definitely, neither due to force of uncertainty nor due to moment does awareness appear, it is said to be the seeking of that bewildered soul of becoming without end
  • Thus connected these held in between energies distributed in portions of selves, the spirit of that self consisting of this, that is situated in (a handful that comes) through changes
  • This is heard that, after seeking, that which is connected to the apex of knowledge, and being connected through abundant flowing diffuses by itself

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