Mantra 4

tasmai sa hovaacha prajaakaamo vai prajaapatih sa tapo.atapyata sa tapastaptvaa sa mithunamutpaadayate | rayim cha pranam chetyetau me bahudhaa prajaah karishhyata iti || 4||

To him the teacher said: Prajapati, the Creator, was desirous of progeny. With this in view, he performed austerities and having performed austerities, created the pair, the Matter (Rayi) and the Energy (Prana) thinking that together they would produce creatures in many ways.


The word Prajapati means the Lord or Father of all that exists. He is not the Supreme Being. It is just like a designation in an organization, a post to which someone is promoted. Prajapati is also called Hiranyagarbha or Brahma (not to be confused with Brahman).

According to Vedanta, everything, including Prajapati comes from Brahman or projected from Brahman. Brahman does not create anything because he is nirguna and nirakara, without qualities and without form. So Prajapati is one step down the line.

Vedanta says that this universe is a manifestation, a projection. It is not a creation like a potter making a pot. This universe is projected from Prajapati and again it is withdrawn back unto him. Prajapati just contemplates and from that contemplation a pair, the moon, the Matter (Rayi) and the sun, the Energy (Prana) are projected from himself.

Prajapati or Hiranyagarbha, the cosmic mind, first created out of himself the moon (Rayi, Matter) and the sun (Prana, Energy) which produce in turn all the varieties of the universe.

What Pippalada means is that ‘The Lord of beings meditated and produced Prana, the primal energy, and Rayi, the giver of form, desiring that they, male and female, should in manifold ways produce creatures for him’.

The first thing that occurred was the manifestation of Prana and Rayi – energy and matter that manifest as form. There are many levels of manifestation, and Pippalada is only speaking of the lower worlds which are manifested by Brahman.

Prana and Rayi are the two poles of manifesting energy – positive and negative, male and female. This duality is at the heart of all that presently exists, and without it everything dissolves. Prana and Rayi are the “parents” of all things. Creation is their perpetual interaction. All “creatures” – all that exist in relativity – have sprung from Prana and Rayi.

The relationship between matter and energy is that of a musical instrument and music. Without the instrument the music is impossible but the instrument as such is nothing but a heap of wooden and steel materials. Similarly matter is the equipment and energy is the music that can be produced out of it. The Cosmic Mind felt that these two would multiply among themselves into many and thus the whole creation is thought-projection of the Cosmic Mind.

The teacher says that Prajapati created a duality which is also the source of maintenance of the continuity of created things. Man too creates his world with thought and maintains it with duality. Pippalada says that Prajapati created a duality of Matter and Life (Energy), of Rayi and Prana. The creation moves and maintains its continuity by an interaction of these dual principles.



Mantra 5

aadityo ha vai praano rayireva chandramaa rayirvaa etat.h sarvam yanmuurtam chaamuurtam cha tasmaanmuurtireva rayih || 5||

The sun is, indeed, Prana, life, Energy; the moon is Rayi, food, Matter. All that have form (gross) and all that is formless (subtle) is Matter and therefore anything having a form is indeed Matter.


Prana (sun) means the primal energy which makes the matter, Rayi (moon), exist and function. Science also says that sun is the source of all energy in this universe. If the sun is the source of all energy and life, the moon, which is the matter and which reflects the sun’s light is the fit medium for energy to manifest through. Thus matter is dependent on life for its existence even as the moon is dependent on the sun. (Note-This aspect is taken up for further scrutiny in the 2nd question).

We have to note here that matter does not mean only solid things which have form but includes even those which do not have forms like all our thoughts and ideas, sound waves, air, water etc. These are subtler planes of existence up to Intellectual and Atomic planes. The structure of even the subtlest planes of existence is matter according to the vast definition given to it in this Upanishad. Hence matter may exist from the grossest to the subtlest.

Just as links in a golden chain are also nothing but gold, the thoughts and ideas of our mind and intellect which are moulded by the objects and happenings of the outside world cannot but be anything other than the outside world. Just as the formless outside world is governed by the forms of the outside world the formless inner world of ours is nothing other than the form world outside. Hence the Rishi says that the form is indeed matter. From this standpoint, a thought form or sound form is nothing but matter, however beautiful they may be. A form, just because it is subtle, cannot become life.

Sun is the energy aspect which meets the world of forms outside and formless world within. The moon is the presiding deity of the matter without and within. Thus our life, both within and without, is nothing but a play of the sun and the moon as defined in this mantra.

This entire universe, that which is gross and that which is subtle, is one with Rayi. Therefore is Rayi omnipresent. In like manner is the universe one with Prana. Nothing can exist without duality – Prana and Rayi – at the root of their manifestation, and they are still being maintained by them. The sages knew from the beginning that the sun and moon were essential even for plant life. All “things” are the embodiment of Prana and Rayi. The universe is Prana and Rayi. Spirit – Paramatman and Atman – alone is independent of these two, and untouched by them.

This can be better expressed in an equation as under.



Mantra 6 :

athaaditya udayanyatpraachiim disham pravishati tena praachyaan.h praanaan.h rashmishhu sannidhatte | yaddakshinaam yat.h pratiichiim yadudiichiim yadadho yaduurdhvam yadantaraa disho yat.h sarvam prakaashayati tena sarvaan.h praanaan.h rashmishhu sannidhatte || 6||

Now the sun, when it rises, enters the eastern quarter and thereby enfolds the living beings of the east in its rays. And when it illuminates the southern, the western, the northern, the lower, the upper and the intermediate quarters—when it illuminates everything – it thus enfolds all living beings in its rays.


In this mantra the sage tells us that the sun is the representative of the pranas and the moon, the deity of matter. At the touch of each, the living creatures behave differently. Human beings, animal kingdom and plant life behave differently at the touch of the rays of the sun and the moon. Just as the one sun can be reflected in numerous ways, so Prana enlivens all things and moves within them. The life even in an atom is Cosmic Life.

Mantra 7 – 8

sa eshha vaishvaanaro vishvarupah praano.agnirudayate|tadetadrichaa.abhyuktam.h||7||

vishvaruupam harinam jaatavedasam
paraayanam jyotirekam tapantam.h|
sahasrarashmih shatadhaa vartamaanah
praanah prajaanaamudayatyeshha suuryah||8||

That sun is vaisvanara or one who is identified with all living beings. He is visvarupa or one who assumes all forms. It rises everyday as Prana (life) and Agni (fire, energy). This has been described in the following mantra of RigVeda. “The thousand rayed sun exists in hundreds of forms as life of all living beings. It is resplendent, all-knowing, goal of all, sole light and giver of energy”.


These mantras give us a bird’s eye view of the sun as a prime-mover of the goings-on in the universe. The sun is glorified as the nourisher of all life, the illuminator of all forms of matter and the provider of energy for sustenance of life as well as matter. The sun is the sum-total of all waking state egos in the world. All the waking state activities, experiences and thoughts of the world take place because of the energy produced by the sun.

The waking state gross-body consciousness we have individually, if viewed from the point of totality of the universe, is called vaisvanara which is identified with the sun. The term visvarupa means assuming all forms. Here it means that the sun with its light-giving-energy principle is the cause for perception of all forms seen by the eye and hence the sun is stated to assume all forms. Prana (life) and Agni (fire) which represent the sun indicate the feeling of warmth and the body warmth is the icon of life living in it. Pippalada says that this picturisation of the sun is supported by the Rig Veda mantra which says, “The thousand rayed sun exists in hundreds of forms as life of all living beings. It is resplendent, all-knowing, goal of all, sole light and giver of energy”. The statement of the Sruti covers the sun in its macrocosmic and microcosmic aspects of existence and functioning.

The mantras 7 and 8 discussed above indicate that the sun is not merely a physical planet to be observed and researched but it is liveliness itself expressing through the activities of all matter. Hence it is considered as “life of all creations”.

In fact, the sun (Surya) is considered Brahman itself in the Suryopanishad occurring in the Atharva Veda as the following mantra tells us.

aadityaadvaayurjaayate aadityaadbhuumirjaayate
aadityaadaapojaayante aadityaajjyotirjaayate
aadityaadvyoma disho jaayante aadityaaddevaa jaayante
aadityaadvedaa jaayante
aadityo vaa eshha etanmandalan tapati asaavaadityo brahma

From Aditya is born air, earth, water, fire, sky, directions, Devas, Vedas; indeed the Sun gives warmth to this sphere (Planet) ; that Sun God is Brahman,



Mantra 9

sa.nvatsaro vai prajaapatistasyaayane dakshinam chottaram cha | tadye ha vai tadishhtaapuurte kritamityupaasate te chaandramasameva lokamabhijayante | ta eva punaraavartante tasmaadeta rishhayah prajaakaamaa dakshinam pratipadyante | eshha ha vai rayiryah pitriyaanah || 9||

The year is indeed Prajapati and there arc two paths thereof: the Southern and the Northern. Those who follow the path of Karma alone by the performance of sacrificial and pious acts obtain only the World of the Moon and certainly they do return. Therefore those sages who desire offspring travel by the Southern Path. The matter (Rayi) is verily the path of the Forefathers.

Mantra 10

athottarena tapasaa brahmacharyena shraddhayaa vidyayaa.a. atmaanamanvishhyaadityamabhijayante| etadvai praanaanaamaa yatanametad amritamabhayametat.h paraayanametasmaanna punaraavartanta ityeshha nirodhastadeshha shlokah || 10||

But those who seek the Self through austerity, chastity, faith and knowledge, travel by the Northern Path and gain the Sun. The Sun, verily, is the goal of all living creatures, the Immortal, the Fearless; this is the final goal. From there they do not return, for, this is the end. For this there is a mantra.


The concepts of space and time were always an enigma to the fiction writers, scientists, philosophers and sages since long. In the Bhagavad Gita Bhagavan Sri Krishna says that He is “kaalah kalayataamaham” (10.30); He is Time – Time is an Eternal Factor which is divided into past, present and future by the play of mind and intellect. The Lord is thus an Infinite Substratum supporting the finite multiplicity.

We have seen in the previous mantras the glorification of the sun. Now the importance of the Time which is measured with reference to the Sun is emphasized by calling it Prajapati itself. The teacher says that Creation is synonymous with time, for time is the field in which creation can operate. Time is essentially a movement in duality, a movement from one to the other. Where there is no duality, there time too is not. A movement between two points of duality is indeed the stream of time. And so when the creator created duality, He thereby brought into existence the movement of Time. Hence this mantra says the Lord of Creation (Prajapati) is indeed the time of the year, a unit of time taken by the earth to go round the sun once.

All these imply that duality is the very basis of creation which exists in everything in the universe even in the flow of Time. For example a year has the duality of sun moving in northern and southern hemispheres; a year also has the duality of solar and lunar months; a month has the duality of bright and dark fortnights; a day of the week has the duality of day and night.

Prajapati manifests Himslef as the pair, the sun and the moon and the pair constitutes the year. Therefore, the year or Time is none other than Prajapati, as according to Vedanta the cause is non-different from the effect.

The duality of a year is equated with two types of life-styles viz., one devoted to legitimate pursuit of material pleasures and the other to spiritual pursuits. The former is said to perform two types of work – ishta and purti. Ishta refers to the daily obligatory duties and purti refers to the special services done for public welfare such as digging of wells, construction of dharmashalas etc. The Upanishad says that these people go to the world of ancestors (Pitrayana, the Southern path), symbolized by moon and then to rebirth. The latter type of people goes to a state of liberation, symbolized by sun (Devayana, the Northern path). The former is equated with matter and the latter with life.

This is also discussed in the Bhagavad Gita 8.24 & 25.

Special emphasis is laid on the discipline, Brahmacharya, chastity of the body and the mind for the higher spiritual perceptions. The thrust of these two mantras is to point out that the year indeed is Prajapati and as such the sun aspect and the moon aspect in the year are shown as the two paths which in time everybody has to pass through after death. This is supported by a Vedic mantra as under.