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From: KRAZYKAT (V1S_at_eclx.psu.edu)
Date: Wed Mar 01 1995 - 07:49:12 PST
saptasyAn paridhaya: | tri sapta samidha krtA: | deva yadhyagnyam tanvAnA : | abadhnan puruSHam pashum || (asya) For this sacrifice (sapta) even were (paridhaya:) the sheathing logs, the fences. (tri-sapta) Thrice-seven, that is twenty one (samita:) the samit-wood firebrands (krtA:) made, (yad yagnyam) for the sacrifice for which (devA:) the gods as (tanvAna:) as performers of the sacrifice (abadhnan) bound (puruSHam) the puruSHa (pashum) as the beast of sacrifice. The yAgAgni, the sacred fire of the sacrifice, is invoked on a vedi, or altar, that is always sheathed, or fenced. sAyaNA gives us this : 'aiSHtikasyAvAhavaneeyasya traya: paridhaya : uttaravedikAstraya: Adityashca saptama: paridhi pratinidhi roopa:'.Three fences are in the uttaravedi part, three in the AvAhaneeya, and Aditya is the seventh sheath, or fence. Nothing had been created at this point. So what were the paridhi-s ? The seven chandas-es, or metres, gAyatri, triSHtup, brhatee, pankti, uSHNuk, anuSHtup, and jagatee may be the seven here. However, later verses would seem to go against this hypothesis. The chandas-es seem to be later creations, as the basis of speech. The maitrAyaNi upanishad suggests prthvi (earth), ap (water), tejas (fire), vAyu ( air), AkAsha (space), ahamkAra (ego), and buddhi (intellect) as these seven . The five elements or panchabhoota-s among these, (prthvi, ap, tejas, vAyu, AkAsha), along with the five subtle principles or tanmAtras, the five active senses or karmendriyas, the five discerning senses or gnyAnendriyas, combined with andhakaraNam, darkening, are said to be the twenty one samit firebrands, in the painkee brAmhaNa. Seven were the fencing logs Thrice seven the firebrands made When the Gods bound the puruSHa As the beast for their sacrifice. *** tam yagnyam barhiSHi proukshan | puruSHam jAtamagrata: | tena devA ayajanta | sAdhyA RSHayascha ye || (tam) That (puruSHam) purusha (yagnyam) of the sacrifice, (jAtam) who was (agrata:) in the beginning, (sAdhya:) those achievers (proukshan) sprinkled him with holy water (barhiSHi) on the sacrificial bed of straw. (tena) By this means (devA RSHayasca:) did the Gods and the seers (ye) who where, (ayajanta) sacrifice. Here is the puruSHa himself bound as the beast of sacrifice. This beast has to be sanctificed, on a sacred bed of straw, with holy water. The word 'barhis' indicates this straw. According to the Yogaratna, 'virAt' ( the all), 'barhis' and 'prakriti' are synonyms. In this sense, all of nature is the stage for this sacrifice, and puruSHa the sacrifice to be offered. He was firstborn and foremost of creation. The word 'sAdhya' according to Ranganathamuni includes all devas, RSHis, suras, and dwellers of Vaikuntha. However, in other places, it has been interpreted to mean something like an analogue to 'bodhisattva' - those who have the potential of freedom from time, but have not yet actually achieved it. In the sense that SAdhyam indicates possibiliy of achievement, I tend towards this view. Him, firstborn of all of this The sanctified, on a bed of straw By Him did the seers, Those great ones, By Him did the Gods too Sacrifice.