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Elizabeth Reninger

The Intuitive Eye

By February 3, 2013

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Brahma On Lotus In Vishnu's Navel

Cosmology

The goddess Lakshmi
loves to make love to Vishnu
from on top
looking down she sees in his navel
a lotus
and on it Brahma the god
but she can't bear to stop
so she puts her hand
over Vishnu's right eye
which is the sun
and night comes on
and the lotus closes
with Brahma inside

~ Anonymous - 8th century, Sanskrit
(translation by Merwin & Masson)

For those not already familiar with Hindu mythology -- Vishnu and Brahma are two of the central trinity of:

* Brahma the creator god;
* Vishnu the preserver/sustainer god; and
* Shiva the destroyer/transformer god.

Lakshmi is Vishnu's consort.

Vishnu is known also as the "sleeping god" -- whose dream is the Universe. Vishnu's divine energy is represented as a lotus, growing out of his navel. The creator-god Brahma sits on that lotus, and from within it creates the world. Here is Joseph Campbell's rendering of this creation myth, in the context of a delightful story from the Upanishads called Indra's Lesson:

"Vishnu sleeps in the cosmic ocean, and the lotus of the universe grows from his navel. On the lotus sits Brahma, the creator. Brahma opens his eyes, and a world comes into being, governed by an Indra. Brahma closes his eyes, and a world goes out of being. The life of a Brahma is 432,000 years. When he dies, the lotus goes back, and another lotus is formed, and another Brahma."

So the poem captures the moment (which Lakshmi playfully conspires to extend) between the death of one Brahma, and the birth of the next ....

(when masculine/feminine and all other dualistic polarities rest in blissful union, within the unmanifest)

*

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