Ṛk Veda - Total Knowledge in Seed Form

Ṛk Veda is the blueprint of creation. It expresses all the laws of nature in seed form and represents total knowledge. The hymns of Ṛk Veda are found reverberating beyond space, time and change in the field of Absolute Pure Consciousness. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi called it the "Constitution of the Universe.

Some may wonder what Ṛk Veda has to do with health. The answer can be given on several levels. First, Ayurveda, the Science of Life, is but a small part of Veda and the Vedic literature, of which Ṛk Veda is the source. Second, Ṛk Veda expresses the knowledge of Ṛk - the infinite dynamism inherent to the process by which the infinite silence of fully-unified Transcendental Consciousness (Ṛ) knows itself in terms of all its point values (k). The magic of Sanskrit is that the very sound of the name Ṛk expresses what it is. We've seen (Overview) that Ayurveda is for Enlightenment - to reconnect individual life to its source in the perfect value of Veda. This transcendental field of pure consciousness is, therefore, both the source of Life and the goal of its evolution. Thus, even though we are not aware of it, at the very core of our being, we are Veda.

According to the Vedas, there are seven states of consciousness (see below). Our knowledge of the world is structured according to our state of consciousness. Ayurveda tells us that the root cause of all disease is Pragyāparādh, the "mistake of the intellect" in thinking that what meets the eye in the waking state of consciousness is all that exists in the universe. Maharishi maintained that "normal Life begins in Cosmic Consciousness" - the initial state of Enlightenment which is the birthright of all humans, the only species capable of experiencing Transcendental Consciousness.

Having our source in Veda, we would expect the Vedas and the Vedic literature to be expressed in our physiology. This is the case. In his book Human Physiology, Tony Nader, MD, PhD explores these relationships in great detail. Ṛk Veda represents the Samhita (Togetherness) value of silence flowing within itself, knowing itself yet remaining transcendental and unexpressed. In our physiology, this is seen in our DNA, the synaptic gaps between cells and in the overall structure of our central nervous system.

In 1975, Maharishi cognized the structuring dynamics of Ṛk Veda and its relation to the other Vedas and the Vedic literature. The details of his cognition and its implications for the structure of human physiology are explained in Dr. Nader's book. I'll provide a brief summary here to help satisfy your curiosity to know more about your Self and, perhaps, to inspire you to learn more. I think you'll be amazed at beauty, coherence and internal consistency of his vision.

I've indicated that Ṛk Veda expresses how Consciousness systematically knows itself and sequentially unfolds the Laws of Nature. In the process of knowing itself, Consciousness gives rise to three potential values: the Observer (Ṛishi), the Process of Observation (Devatā) and the Object of Knowledge (Chhandas). At each step in the process, the parts remain connected to the whole. Veda expresses itself in terms of Mantra (Syllable) and Brahmana (Silent Gap) that can be heard as sounds (Shruti) eternally reverberating in the field of Transcendental Consciousness. Those reverberations are the language of Nature (Sanskrit), not created by man, in which the sound represents the form.

The first sound of the Ṛk Veda is "A", the fullness of flow from an open throat. It represents the holistic, unified value of total knowledge in seed form, expressing the Self (Atma). In the first syllable "Ak", the fullness of "A" comes to a complete stop of flow in "k", representing the collapse of infinity to a point. Silence retains the memory of its point values, so this collapse expresses the latent dynamism within silence. Madhuchhandas, the first seer of Ṛk Veda, had appreciated that within "A" is the total flow of Veda from its beginning to its end in "I", that the dynamism of "I" was hidden within "A" by the covering quality of Chhandas, and that the collapse of "A" to "k" occurs in eight somersaults which elaborate Totality in terms of a sequence of values of increasing "density" known as 8-fold Prakriti: Ego, Intellect, Mind, Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. Maharishi's cognition extended this vision by revealing the detail of how Ṛk Veda unfolds as a self-elaborating commentary.

"Aknim", the first complete word of Ṛk Veda, is the seed of all four Vedas:

  • "Ak", the seed form of Ṛk Veda
  • "N", the first letter of Sama Veda, which expresses Totality principally in terms of its Ṛishi value and which is represented in our sensory systems
  • "I", the first letter of Yajur Veda, which expresses Totality principally in terms of its Devatā value and which is represented in our processing systems for both food and experience
  • "M", the first letter of Atharva Veda, which expresses Totality principally in terms of its Chhandas value and which is represented in our motor systems

It is highly significant that "Agni" the digestive fire and metabolic energy within our physiology is contained within Aknim. I would assume there is a direct connection to the description of creation in the Old Testament: "In the beginning ... and God said, Let there be light."

At the next level of orderly self-elaboration through which all the parts remain connected to the whole, the 1st Richā (verse) of Ṛk Veda appears as 3 Pādas (phrases) of eight syllables which express the 8-fold Prakriti in terms of Ṛishi, Devatā and Chhandas.

Similarly, the 24 Pādas of Richās 2-9 of the 1st Sūkta (Hymn) of Ṛk Veda proceed to comment on the 24 silent gaps between the 24 syllables of the 1st Richā. Again, each Richā is composed of 3 Padas giving Ṛishi, Devatā and Chhandas values. All together, within these 8 Richās are a total of 192 syllables. The 192 Sūktas of 1st Mandala of Ṛk Veda comment on the 192 silent gaps between these syllables. In turn, Mandals 2-9 of Ṛk Veda comment on the gaps between the 9 Richās of the 1st Sūkta. Finally, the 10th Mandala of Ṛk Veda comments on the gaps between 192 Sūktas of the 1st Mandala.

Illustrating Rk Veda as a sequential self-commentary

The Mandala structure itself it highly significant. It is circular, cyclical and eternal. The 1st Sūkta of the 1st Mandala of Ṛk Veda begins with the fullness of dynamism and a minimum of silence. Each successive Sūkta expresses greater silence and less dynamism until the mid-point is reached, the home of the Avyakta (unmanifest, completely silent and unexpressed) 97th Sūkta. From that point each successive Sūkta expresses greater dynamism and less silence, until the end in "I" is reached returning to the beginning. Prior to Maharishi's cognition of the Avyakta Sūkta, only 191 Sūktas were known. The other 9 Mandalas of Ṛk Veda follow this same circular pattern, with a varied number of Sūktas.

Illustrating Rk Veda as a sequential self-commentary

Maharishi also saw the structure of the entire Vedic literature in relation to the four primary Vedas in groups of 6 branches forming feedback loops that express Ṛishi, Devatā and Chhandas values and return from Chhandas through Devatā back to Ṛishi. All together, he found 40 distinct qualities of Consciousness. Dr. Nader's book explores all of them in terms of their manifestation in our physiology. This table outlines the five major branches.

The Vedic Literature in Human Physiology
Branch Physiological Expression Examples
Vedānga Autonomic nervous system Jyotish (Vedic Astrology)
Upānga Cognitive systems 6 Systems of Indian Philosophy including Yoga Sūtras
Upa Veda Organs & Tissues Ayurveda, Sthāpatya Veda (Vāstu)
Brahmana Memory & Reflexes Upanishads, Bhagavad Gitā
Prātishākya Cerebral cortex Ṛk Ved Prātishākya

Seven States of Consciousness
State Distinguishing Features
Deep Sleep No awareness, no knowledge
Dreaming Experience recognized as dreaming and therefore unreal
Waking The common experience of the relative world
Transcendental Consciousness The "fourth state" of unbounded, timeless self-referral wakefulness as is most readily achieved through auto-transcending forms of meditation such as TM
Cosmic Consciousness Co-existence of Transcendental Consciousness with the three relative states of consciousness. Even in Deep Sleep, blissful awareness of the Self is maintained. Perfection of health. All action spontaneously in accord with the Laws of Nature. Multiplicity is reduced to the duality of silent inner unboundedness and outer relative change.
God Consciousness While living in Cosmic Consciousness, the perfect functioning of the digestive system produces Soma from Ojas. Soma acts to refine the sense organs allowing one to perceive the subtlest plane of relative existence, termed the celestial level, which has something of a dream-like quality, but which is accepted to be real. Every sensation brings a wave of bliss.
Unity Consciousness Over the course of time lived in God Consciousness, the intellect begins to appreciate not only the celestial, but also the unbounded infinite silence in the objects of knowledge. This gradually extends from the primary focus of attention to the entire field of vision and enventually encompasses all of relative existence. Then, the entire galactic universe is known to be nothing other than my own inner nature. "I am That. You are That. All this is That." Unity dominates awareness, the differences and changes become secondary. Life is lived with something of a sleep-like quality to the extent that absolutely no effort is required to enjoy maximum fulfillment from every experience. The Creator - the infinite organizing power of Natural Law - becomes the charioteer of all activity.