Prasna, Upanishads: First Question, Verses 3-5

When the time came, Kabandhi Katyayana aproached the sage and said: Master, whence came all created beings?

The sage replied: In the beginning, the Creator longed for the joy of creation.  He remained in meditation, and then came Rayi, matter, and Prana, life.  “These two,” thought he, “will produce beings for me.”

The sun is life and the moon is matter.  All that has form, solid or subtle, is matter: therefore form is matter.

Commentary on First Question, Verses 3-5

  1. Ambrose Mnemopolous Post author

    The story of creation, whereby the undivided one gives birth to two, who then produce all creation, conceals a mathematical progression at the core of the Pythagorean, Neoplatonist, and Renaissance Hermetic philosophies. This sequence is represented by the Pythagorean tetractys. The tetractys, or, Pythagorean quaternary, is incorporated into John Dee’s Monas Hieroglyphica.

    The sequence progresses as follows: the one gives birth to the two, the two and the one are three, all creation is divided into threes, and from these follow the myriad things. The myriad things of the elemental world are signified by the number 4: earth, air, water, fire.

Leave a Reply

The Prashna Upanishad is one of the earlier, "primary" Upanishads. It figures as number 4 in the Muktika canon of 108 Upanishads. In Sanskrit, "Prashna" means question. This text consists of six questions and their answers, hence the name. Except the first and the last questions, all other questions are actually a group of smaller sub-questions.