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RELIGION OF THE WORLD-MAN
(DR. FATAH SINGH 09/06/1974 USA)
Studies in comparative religion conducted by various scholars during the past several years have revealed a wonderful unity of approach and concept in early man all over the world. Long before man began to hate and persecute others for their religious beliefs and practices, he had discovered the acme of religions, “a spiritual vision” leading him to an experience where distinctions of sex and shape, race and color, caste and creed, language and region cease to exist. Long before bloody wars were waged in the name of religion, and religion was used as a tool of imperialism, man had found that “real religion” consists not in ceremonious rites and rituals, priestly precepts and practices, but in the realization of the ultimate “Being” of man, the Sat of the Vedas and the son of Jews, the tatva of India and the Tao of China, the Shakti of Agamas, Shekinah of Hebrews and Es-Sakirah of Arabs.
This early discovery of man can be of immense value to the modern world tending to become one under compelling circumstances, but choosing to remain divided as a matter of pernicious habit. There is a growing tendency to overcome this “habit” by outlawing religion and blemishing it totally under the coercing sword of secularism, and by killing the “inner man” with the sugar-coated poison pills of materialism. The remedy is, however, based on a wrong diagnosis of the disease. The habitual conflict and confrontation between man and man is the gift, not of sat (truth) sought by religion, but of Satan 9 (the opposite of Sat), an instrument of irreligion pauperizing men of their spiritual energy in return for a tantalizing illusion of sensual pleasures. This is what we should understand by the fruits of two different trees mentioned in the Bible. There is a tree of life, the favorite of God and there is another, the favorite of Satan. Similarly in Mahabharat, we have the tree of dharma, with God as its root and also a tree of adharma, with a blind king as its root. The fruits of one can give you a spiritual life, full of peace and immortal bliss, whereas those of the other are sure to bring you discord, distress and death. It is open for man to eat either-he is free to follow dharma or adharma.
DHARMA AND RELIGION:
The primordial tradition of mankind is, however, in favor of dharma. The word dharma comes from Sanskrit root “dhr” meaning to uphold or maintain. Dharma wants you to retain the paradise (SK. Para-desh, higher world) which is yours. It is an attempt to prevent Adam and Eve from losing the garden of Eden, The symbol of spiritual bliss. However, when it is lost, there is need to bind them back to the same principle. From this stand-point, man needed religion from the root religore “to the back”. Religion is a means to restore paradise to every man and woman. The same idea is expressed by the Indian term yoga, from yu j “to unite when it is defined as a means to unite human self with God. The word yoga, however, also means the union which is always within us. It is only hidden by a heavy lid of ignorance caused by the disintegration of human self. Therefore yoga seeks to rediscover the eternal union through integration of human self. Thus yoga is as much a principle of synthesis or integration as that of reintegrations reunion. Even then, yoga only seeks to get to the depth and never to the breath of life touched either by dharma or religion.
The depth and width to which traditional law went is more transparent in Greek word dermis, a cognate of Indian dharma. Dermis means skin which serves as cover against the impurities entering the body, and also provides outlet to drain out those that are in. The law to deserve the name dharma should also ensure this double system of purification. There by dharma was R ju meaning straight or natural way of keeping the life clean and united with God. It was, therefore, also called a Ra j ju meaning rope that binds human self with divine life. Both R ju and Ra j ju seem to have been at the root of French “ligore” which, with prefix “re” gave the word religion, or of the “Logu” from which the word law is derived. Same thing can be said of Greek Logos signifying the “divine wisdom controlling the universe.”
Therefore, there need be no doubt that traditional law, both Eastern and Western, was essentially one in outlook and aim. And, it is the purpose of this paper how, in many respects, even certain details of its content point to a “universal and unanimous tradition” of mankind. An interesting study this field has been made by Leo sachaya in his book entitled “The Universal Meaning of the Qabbalah1.” It is, to quote Schelling, “that primitive system which is the key to all religious systems.” And, it is, therefore, sheer arrogance if any one race, country or nation wants to take credit for its origin. Being a perrinial philosophy handed down by tradition it is a divine gift and a common property of entire mankind.
KA (WHO), THE FATHER:
Starting with questions like “who am I?” and “what is this world?, man came to the conclusion that there is one reality at the root of “I” and “this”. It was a problem to name this reality, because names are generally specific and functional in nature, but it is impossible to describe the specific and functional in nature, but it is impossible to describe the specifications or functions of this reality controlling entire diversity of microscosm and macrocosm. Therefore Zoharistic writings of Jews use Hebrew “Mi” meaning the interrogative pronoun “who” as its name. Sometimes this reality is conceived in the likeness of a latent and manifests fire existing everywhere in the world; and then, not only interrogative pronoun “who” as its name. Sometimes this reality is conceived in the likeness of a latent and manifests fire simultaniously2 used for it. Therefore, no wonder that Tat(an indicative pronoun) as the name of that reality gave Tatva and Tao as the two names of its knowledge, and “yah” (relative pronoun) was responsible for Yahva of Veda and Yhvh or Jehova of Jewish and Chistian tradition. The most important name in this respect is indicated by interrogative pronoun which is ka or its cognate like qui (Letin and Greek), Kim, Ka and Kah (Sanskrit). As a term of highest veneration, it exists in Arabic Kaabbah, meaning Ka, the Abbah (father) and in Qiblah, the exalted one. As Ka, the Prajapati of Indian tradition, he represents, in the words of Rene Guenon3 , the “Universal Will” in each state of manifold existence. Again in Rigveda, it figures as the name of a “fire” called Sauchika, meaning Ka of the pointing needle and, here it may be compared with Locki (lit fire ki) the German firegod, believed to be son of a needle. It is “Ka-ddha4” (Ka, the Truth), reminding of Arabic Khud? and English God. Also it is ka, the god of kol tribe in India and is found at the root of many Indian words like Kovid (learned), Kabir(a mystic poet), Kabir? (a mystic song), as well as Kabbalah (Arabic) and Qabbalah (Hebrew)referring to a metaphysical tradition that goes up to words like Qabbali and Qabbal of India to day.
KA AS CROSS AND TREE OF LIFE:
When it came to writing, the mysterious syllable Ka was represented by what we now call a cross, and therefore the earliest form of the letter “K” as found in Indus and Br?hmi script is pure and simple cross, whereas forms or “K” in many other scripts seem also to refer to a same origin.
It was found that Reality named “Ka” contains in itself a principle of changeless being, inseparably associated with a rinciple of Becoming that is ever changing. The first was named Asu, the pure Being, and the second being the contrary of the changeless first was named, by reversing the letters of the word asu, as Asmut and Yusmat used as the first and second persons in Sanskrit language and as the two constituents of the phenomenal world of Vedant5 . The term Asu may be seen in Vedic and Avestic Asura or Ahura denoting the embodymentof Being, as Usa may be found in Vedic US? who is characteristically ever-changing6 . In Vedic tradition, Being is also known as Satyam and Becoming as Rtam; therefore Rtasya chakram, the wheel of Rtam (becoming) revolves on the unmoving vertical axis of Satyam, being. The principle of Becoming in veda is conceived in two aspects, namely Rtam and An-Rtam,
represented by the two halves of the horizontal line in the cross. These two sometimes figures as two horse, and then Ka (the cross) is described as the swift chariot with moving horses (ratham kam?hurdravadasvam?sum, RV. 4, 43, 2), a wide chariot that goes round and round (pari naksati, Rv. 4, 43, 5).
The cross has, however, undergone many transformations to connote different nuances and shades of meaning pertaining to the manifestation of Reality originally symbolized by “Ka”. Therefore, Rene Guenon, having devoted a full book to this subject, under the title “The symbolism of the Cross” admits that many world-wide meanings could only receive a cursory or no treatment in his book. The most popular symbolism of cross discussed by him is the ancient tradition of tree of life which recurs thoughout Europe, Mid-East, India and Far East alike. Here vertical line represents the trunk and one or more horizontal lines comprise its branches.
There is, however, a common practice in the entire ancient world to liken manifestation of life to the origin of speech or Word and regard various states of manifestation as letters and numbers. It has been most conspicuous in the Tantra and Montra literature of India and the philosophic tradition of Greece, but its traces can be found in Jewish, Arabic and Chinese traditions also. A tree of life incorporating this idea in an iconographic representation is found on an Indus seal reproduced here.
The little vertical stem of the tree is the letter A as well as number one of Indo-arabic tradition, and the leaf over it is the letter L of Indus alphabet. The two together make the syllable al, all, each meaning totality with something of otherness. Here also this stands for the monistic principle just heading towards duality as expressed by the two curves of unicorns – the duality giving forth a zero, the circular egg having seven dots representing the remaining seven numbers from 3 to 9. The syllable al therefore may also be found in Arabic Allah, the Islamic God and Al used as a term of reverence before words like Koran, Azhar and Safa. Above Zero also, we have a big trunk issuing forth nine leaves, three each in the central, left and the right sectors, the circular Zero is in fact the letter O of Indus, Greek and Roman scripts and, crowing this letter, we find another letter which is Indus m. Thus these two letters make an monogrammatic representation of the famous syllable Indian OM which is in closest proximity with nine fold creation below as well as above. This accounts for its name Pranava, meaning “the one closest to nine” (prakrsta nava). This prefixed by al mentioned before makes the monogram “Al-om” akin to akin to Elohim of Hebrew writings.
On review, this tree may be compared with Vedic tree associated with two unborn principles called A Jau, meaning unborn as well as goats. The unicrons here may be regarded as these goats who are also described as two persons or to Suparnas (meaning beautiful leaves and birds) the two friends, joined with one another, one eating fruits of the tree and the other simply watching. These two are often identified with microcosmic and macrocosmic spirits, the Nara and N?r?yana of Puranas and Isvara and Jiva of Indian Philosophy. Sandwitched between them is O, the kha (hole) of Rta, the vedic cave known as secret home of seven rivers, seven rays, seven names or seven cows. It is also the secret Guha (cve) where Agni (fire) lies concealing its both ends. Agni is, however, indicated by a banner consisting of the central trunk crowned with the central leaf, but it is not easy to recognize the chief banner (praketa) in the forest of so many other leafy banner (ketavah). Therefore the poet of R.V.4,14,2 desires that light should adorn this lofty banner (?rdhvam ketum). This vedic Agni is sometimes likened to a lamb and described as having seven tongues which, in human personality may be identified with five sensory powers of speech and mind. In order to reach the secret place mentioned above this Agni along with its seven fold manifestations has to be surrendered to the supreme deity. This idea is depicted in Indus seal No. XCIX, A, apprearing in Further Excavations of MohenJodaro by Machey. There we find a human faced lamb and seven persons being presented by a man who is kneeling before the deity standing within a o-shaped tree with six leaves. This presentation is not an easy task. One has first to mark out the lofty banner and then go on following it deeper and deeper, till one reaches the cross where three of the nine leaves are let behind and only six remain. Incidentally, the banner and cross are also associated with Christian Agnus Deva of Veda represented as a lamb of God.
Therefore, nine leave of the Indus tree are to be understood as powers centered in nine apertures of human body. To have a clear conception of the tree as human personality, we may trun it upside down and take it as Indian asvattha tree or Scandinavian Asa yagadrasil, with its roots in heaven and branches below. Then taking lowest tip of our spinal chord as the leafy tip of what we called the lofty banner, we have to ascend upward till we have crossed two excretory apertures and the mouth represented by three central leaves and have arrived at a crossing point (the brain) where three apertures of ear, nose and eye are on one side and similar three on the other. N these two sets, ear and nose are in each case knit together as indicated by two leaves joined closely on either side. The stalks of remaining two leaves, however, have been shown as touching those of three central leaves and crossing two of others as well. Therefore, these two leaves are to be taken as two apertures of nose responsible for breathing and smell. The crossing point (brain) has been depicted in the tree as something like two triangles which together with six centers correspondering to six remaining apertures constitute eight chakras (centers) mentioned in the Vedas. With these eight centers and nine apertures, human personality has been portrayed as citadel of gods with eight centers and nine gateways (asta-chakr? nava-dv?r? devanam p?rayodhy?-Atharvaveda).
TREE OF SATANIC KNOWLEDGE:
Apart from this tree analogous to citadel of gods, Indian tradition knows a tree which has only four leaves. This is found on a seal discovered at Chhannodaro.
Here four leaves represent passion, pride, greed and anger of man, and two persons holding the trunk of the tree are two principles represented by Adam and eve in Bible. This tree finds its luxuriant growth only at physical and vital levels of human personality, but when it has this wild growth, it can completely hide three other layers, namely mental, supra-mental and spiritual, because the sun of spiritual life of anandamaya (spiritual) level that manifested as Mahah, Svah, Bhuvah and Bhuh at the four levels respectively is now hidden under a black curtain of thick darkness. Consequently, there is a demon of darkness, known as Vrtra (meaning encomppasor) in Veda, resideing in all nine leaves1 of what was once called tree of life. It is the Satan of Bible after his success in persuading Ada, and Eve to taste fruits of this tree.
VRTRA OR SATAN:
Satan is the result of wrong movement of the cross, the wheel of Rtam. As already stated, the left half of the horizontal line stands for An-rtam (falsehood) which is contrary to Rtam depicted by the right-half. Therefore, it is the right-ward movement of the cross that makes it a wheel of Rta strengthening the true of life. The cross with is movement is the swastika with its four hands turning in a rotary fashion towards the right hand. It is the most auspicious and popular symbol of India even to-day. Contrary to this a swastika with its four hands turning in a rotary way towards the left is the cross with a left-ward motion, a wheel of An-rtam (falsehood), hence most in-auspicous.
Each rotary motion of cross is called a Vrtta, a circularmotion from vr to turn round and means a circle as well as conduct signifying a moral or immoral turn. To differentiate one turn from another, the left one or Anrta was attributed to Vrtra, the Vedic Satan and the right one to Varuna, the Vedic god of moral order represented by Rta. Vrtra and Varuna, like Vrtta, are each derived from Vr to turn and to cover but the former is associated with durvrtta, the wheel of evil and the latter with Sad-vrtta, the wheel of goodness. The first spreads a black curtain of ignorance and evil to hide the rays of light and life, whereas the second spreads the net of light and noose of Rta (goodness) to scare away the evil forces and bind down the evildoer, in order to rejuvenate the tree of life, known as a tree of varuna in Veda, and the tree of dharma in Mah?bh?rat.
THE CONCEPT OF UNIVERSAL MAN:
The tree of Varuna (as tree of life is called in Veda) therefore, represents that supreme universal principle of light which we earlier named as Asura Mahat and corresponds to vedic Mahah state of manifestation at the supra-mental (vijaanamaya) level. It is the cosmic level from where the mental levels (monomaya) of all individual beings have their share of intelligence (Buddhi) according to their capacity. In other words Mahah is the cosmic intelligence, the source of “Svah” manifestation at each individual mental level. It is vedic Pramati (supreme intelligence), the father Manu who manifests himself as M?nava (meaning man, a son of Manu) at our mental level. There Rgveda terms this Mahah level as Visvam?nus?, the universal man.
This concept is the most important gift of what we call religion of the world man. Universal man figures as the first man, the primordial ancestor of the entire mankind. The modern tendency is to ridicule this concept as a superstition, but on analyzing different names of first man (e.g. Adam, Manu, Yama, Chien, Ayu), the present author found them to indicate the unity of “inner man” in the whole world1. And, if this unity is accepted, who knows we may agree to believe with Julian Huxley that “Racialism is a myth and dangerous myth” Speaking of Manu, the first man and the first author of Dharma, the renowned French scholar calls him a manifestation of the “Universal Will” and says, “In each particular cosmic cycle, the same will manifests itself as Manu who gives the cycle its proper law. Manu should not, therefore, be taken for the name of a mythical, legendary or historical personage; it is properly speaking the name of a principle which can be defined, in accordance with the meaning of the verbal root man, as “Cosmic intelligence” or “thought reflecting the universal order”. On the other hand, this principle is also regarded as the prototype of man, who is called m?nava in so far as he is considered essentially as a “thinking being”, characterized by the possession of manas, the mental or rational faculty; the concept of Manu is therefore equivalent, at least in certain respects, to what other traditions, notably the Hebrew Kabbalah and Islamic esoterism, refer to as Universal man or what Taoism calls the “king”. This interpretation is also corroborated by the story associated with Manu or his counterparts like Egyptian Minos or Biblical Noah. An interesting study in this respect has been made by Dr. D.R. Kshiragar in his doctoral thesis entitled “Manu In Rgveda”. He derives these names from the root man “to think” and takes them to signify the thinking principle who manifests as the manu of mental, vital and physical level, often termed three sons of Biblical Vedic Manu that is manava or manusa meaning man. They also correspond to three sons of Biblical Noah, known as Shem, Hem and Japeth. Hebrew ward “Ark” used for the ship which saves Noah from flood also means “a sacred chest or the repository for scrolls to Toroh (law or Dharma) and can be taken to correspond to Vedic “Ark” meaning a hymn or the word leading man to escape the flood of misery.
The mountain peak to which Biblical Noah or Vedic Manu escapes is known as Ararat, a ward corresponding to the Sanskrit Aryat?, derived from the well-known word Arya which, however, should not be understood as a racial term. In Veda, Arya means a person fit for ?ram meaning a state of universal perfection, as opposed to arya fit for aram signifying a state of individual perfection. Therefore, the ascent of Noah and his family to Arrat means the ascent of entire mankind to the height of universal perfection, that is, Aryanhood. This is the meaning of Indian dictum “Krinvanto Visvamaryam” intending to aryanize the whole word. Nowhere it has been more clearly explained than in the last hymn of Rgveda translated here;-
Bring all the aryas, o Raining fire,
for mixing together.
Burning the seat of Inteligence,
you collect all our spiritual wealth.
All of you go together, speak together
and may your minds be known together.
May gods, as before, get their share in union.
May their counsel be one, and one their congregation
May their mind and thoughts be one together.
I counsel you for a common counsel, and
Offer sacrifice with your common oblation.
Let your intension be one, and one your hearts.
Let your mind be one, so that the good in
You all may coexist.
 Isaac Myer, Qabbalah (New York, 1970), page 128-29
- Isaac Myer, Qabbalah (New York, 1970). Page 128-129.
- RV. 10.52.3
- Introduction to the study of the Hindu Doctrines page 213.
- Addha is included in the synonyms of Satya in Vedic
- Shankarachary starts his commentary on Brahmasutra with asmadyusmadatmakam Jagat, “the world consists of asmat and Yusmat.
- Cf. punarpunar J?yam?n? Vs?, “The goddess Usa who is born again and again”.
- Contribution of Sanskrit to Asian Culture, published by University of Rajasthan (India).