Narayana’s slumber represents a state when the consciousness is totally unresponsive to the world around. So deep is the slumber that Narayana is not even aware of himself. This is ‘pralaya’ dissolution, the period before the split between Purusha and Prakritri. There is neither observer nor observation. Things have no form or name. Space collapses. Life entropies into the formless, nameless mass – the ocean of milk. Time is no longer sequential. The past, present and future telescope into each other. The serpent of time coils rather than slithers.

“He created her and she created him. They are born of each other.” (Rig Samhita)

Narayana is the name of Vishnu as he sleeps a dreamless slumber. When he wakes up, a lotus emerges from his navel in which resides Brahma. This makes him creator of the creator. However, the lotus is connected to Vishnu’s navel just like a mother’s placenta, suggesting that the interactions of Brahma with the world, that is Goddess, nourishes him. There is thus a symbiotic relations beatween creator and creation, God and Goddess. Hence the line from the Rig Samhita: “He created her and she created him. They are born of each other”

Narayana is the purest conceivable form of Purusha. He is consciousness that is uncrumpled, uncreased, unknotted, unpolluted. The waking up of Narayana, the blooming of the lotus, the birth of Brahma and his sons are various stages in the crumpling of the consciousness. Curiosity about the self is the impulse of this crumpling process. The crumpling gives rise to Brahma, the intellect, that is able to distinguish the self from all that the self is not – mind and matter. Brahma’s desire for children is the desire of consciousness to have a fruitful interaction with the world, the ultimate goal being knowledge of the self.

Inspired by Dr.Devdutt Pattanaik – A Decoding of Hindu Mythology; 7 Secret of Shiva & other sources.

Photo:  Zuzana Zwiebel – Wall painting – The Churning of the Milky Ocean – at Coconut Bay Resort, Trivandrum area, Kerala, India


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