One of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s gifts to the world was a simple technique to go beyond the mind and transcend. This is pure Yoga. Another great gift was of understanding. He brought a vision to the ancient texts that shed immense light on their deeper meanings.
One aspect of the second was his early ’80’s cognition of the uncreated commentary of the Rig Veda. He found that the layout of the text also described the text. The structure was a commentary on itself and on the dynamics of creation. He called this The Apaurusheya Bhashya.
Apaurusheya means “not of a man” or uncreated and Bhashya means commentary. The Vedas themselves are considered Apaurusheya as they are cognized* rather than being conceptualized or man-made. Similarly, Brahman is uncreated and known only by itself.
However, the cognitions are “assigned” to be discovered by specific beings. Their name is later associated with the cognition and their descendants are expected to maintain that vision.
The Rig Veda itself is thought to be some 8-9,000 years old due to descriptions of astronomical configurations. That would be in the waning part of the last golden age. It was an oral tradition long before they were compiled by Vyasa in writing about 2,700 years ago. He assembled them and wrote them down in a successful effort to sustain them during the dark age.
The Apaurusheya Bhashya is a vision of the sequentially evolving structure of Nature. As I’ve described here before, expression begins with vibration, sound. Understanding what drives that impulse of sound helps understand how the self-referral nature of consciousness is right there in every detail.
Between every word and every letter we speak, between every impulse of vibration in creation is a space of silence, a sandhi or gap. In that silence is a referring back to the inherent intelligence of being. In nature or if we are tapped into that, the next sound will have the weight of Divine intelligence behind it.
To understand this, let’s look at the dynamics of sound. Each sound we hear has an “envelope” or shape. There is the initial attack or start or the sound. This has a slope up. After an initial spike, there is a drop or decay to a new level that is maintained, the sustain. Then there is the release or fading of the sound. Attack, decay, sustain, release or ADSR is very familiar to anyone who has used a synthesizer to design sound and music.
For example, the word “Bud.” “B” is the attack or opening sound, there is a short drop or decay as we shift to “U” which is briefly sustained, then “D” fades in a short release.
The mechanics of the gap are the reverse. It goes from release to attack. Maharishi described this 4-stage process:
1 – Dissolving (Pradhwamsa-Abhava). This is the release stage when the sound fades to silence.
2 – Silence (Atyanta-Abhava). The sound is in silence or Purusha.
3 – Nature (Anyonya-Abhava). The forward movement of the previous sound stirs the awake intelligence of Nature. It motivates a new sound.
4 – Intelligence (Prag-Abhava). The new sound arises. This becomes the attack of the next impulse.
That sound then goes through the usual envelope above, then decays back into the silence for the next step. Every letter structures the letter that follows it.
The Bhashya itself illustrates how the first word, the first pada (line), and the first richa (verse) of the Rig Veda all come out of the first sound. Each is a progressive commentary on the previous and on the structure of Nature itself.
The 24 gaps of the first syllables express the 24 padas of the next richas of the whole sukta and are also a commentary on the first richa. And so on for the entire text. The Rig Veda is a self-referral commentary on itself and its source (more information and detail).
The 10 books of the text are called Mandalas. Mandala means circle. If you place the sutras of the first mandala in a circle (a la I Ching), each sutra supports its opposite and suggests one unmanifest sutra. They’re also elaborated by the sutras in the 10th mandala, said to be a commentary on the first.
The lively silence describes the next iteration and is a commentary on its source. Because it’s founded in self-referral consciousness, all of life and nature is self-referral, everything a commentary on everything else.
* I explore the types of cognition in more detail in my book, Our Natural Potential.