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Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 1.djvu/44

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xxxiv
PREFACE TO THE

of the real sun. By this apparent union of the Sat with the three elements, every form (rûpa) and every name (nâman) in the world was produced; and therefore he who knows the three elements is supposed to know everything in this world, nearly in the same manner in which the Greeks imagined that through a knowledge of the elements, everything else became known (VI, 4, 7). The same three elements are shown to be also the constituent elements of man (VI, 5). Food or the earthy element is supposed to produce not only flesh, but also mind; water, not only blood, but also breath; heat, not only bone, but also speech. This is more or less fanciful; the important point, however, is this, that, from the Brahmanic point of view, breath, speech, and mind are purely elemental, or external instruments, and require the support of the living self, the gîvâtman, before they can act.

Having explained how the Sat produces progressively heat, how heat leads to water, water to earth, and how, by a peculiar mixture of the three, speech, breath, and mind are produced, the teacher afterwards shows how in death, speech returns to mind, mind to breath, breath to heat, and heat to the Sat (VI, 8, 6). This Sat, the root of everything, is called parâ devatâ, the highest deity, not in the ordinary sense of the word deity, but as expressing the highest abstraction of the human mind. We must therefore translate it by the Highest Being, in the same manner as we translate devatâ, when applied to heat, water, and earth, not by deity, but by substance or element.

The same Sat, as the root or highest essence of all material existence, is called animan, from