The Eater, Eating, is Eaten: the Process of Development of the Manifested Universal Creation

Sri Aurobindo translates Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, Chapter One, Section Two, Verse 5:  “He saw, ‘If I devour this, I shall diminish food’; therefore by that speech and by that self he created all this that we see, the Riks and the Yajus and the Samas and the rhythms and sacrifices and animals and these nations.  Whatsoever he created, that he set about devouring, verily he devoureth all; this is the substantiality of being in substance (that it can be destroyed [Destroyed, i.e. enjoyed by absorption].  He becometh the Eater of all the world and everything becometh his food who thus knoweth the substantiality of being in substance.”

With the expression of the creative Word OM, the manifestation of the universe comes into being.  There is however not yet the infinite differentiation of forms that characterizes the worlds.  The process of fragmentation occurs with the development of additional vibratory patterns as embodied in the various Vedas.  This process occurs at the level of the Vijnana, the Supramental plane of existence.  Each form, each being has its own “sound-body” and characteristic vibration.

Transformations and development of forms take place through the process of assimilation, through “eating”.  We learn today that modern science has posited that even galaxies devour one another over Time.  Every created form or being assimilates the vibrational pattern and undergo internal changes as they attune their own original vibration with the ones being eaten.  Thus the universe becomes a place of constant change and development.  Eventually it is the turn of the eater to be eaten and the development continues.  “The eater, eating, is eaten.”

The famous physicist Albert Einstein famously expressed the truth of the conversion of matter and energy from one to the other.  Yet this truth is obvious to every person who considers the act of eating, where matter, in the form of food, is converted into energy.  Calorie content measures the energy potential of the food.  Similarly as we observe the burning of a piece of wood, we see the conversion of matter into energy before our eyes.  In the other direction, the sun radiates its energy onto the earth, and plants convert this energy, through the process we call photosynthesis, into their respective material forms.

Sri M. P. Pandit comments:  “Still there was not yet a multiplicity for the enjoyment of a varied manifestation and relation.  So from the depths of this revealed Word He brought out the whole world: the creative rhythms of the Veda, the mode of Sacrifice to sustain the world with its myriad creatures — men and animals.  And after this Creation of His self-projection was complete, He commenced to eat it i.e. to enjoy it.  For indeed, all this is created, manifested, for His Delight, for His Lila.  Infinite, He eats infinitely….”

Sri Aurobindo, The Upanishads, Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, pp.327-347 and M P Pandit, Upanishads: Gateways of Knowledge, pp. 185-193

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