benodeArticleMenu_layout

Caraka, Śārīrasthāna IV, 4 à 8
L'émergence de la conscience (cetanā)
et l'emploi du mot ātman

Séminaire du Mercredi 5 mars 2014

Caraka, Śārīrasthāna IV:
mahatīṃ garbha_avakrānti,
«Grand chapitre sur la descente de l'embryon»

Paragraphes sur l'émergence de la conscience. Traduction Ram Karan Sharma et Bhagwan Dash, pp. 388–390, revue et corrigée. Il s'agissait d'éliminer les connotations fallacieuses (Dieu, l'âme) et de mettre en évidence, dans un vocabulaire sanskrit extrêmement précis, le sens premier des mots employés.

Composants de l'embryon

mātṛtaḥ pitṛta ātmataḥ sātmyato rasataḥ sattvata ity etebhyo bhāvebhyaḥ samuditebhyo garbhaḥ saṃbhavati / tasya ye ye'vayavā yato yataḥ saṃbhavataḥ saṃbhavanti tān vibhajya mātṛjādīn avayavān pṛthak pṛthag uktam agre // 4

The embryo (garbha) is formed out of the combination of the following elements (bhāva): mother (mātṛ), father (pitṛ), ātman, the [six] rasa [humoral saps] in proportions appropriate to the ātman (sātmya), and mind (sattva = la pensée, le mental).

Each and every (ye ye) component (avayava) of which the embryo is made (tasya saṃbhavataḥ) and each and every (yato yataḥ) component [avayava] of which these are made (saṃbhavanti) have been described separately (tān vibhajya) and we described (uktam) components coming from its mother, etc. (mātṛjādīn avayavān) one by one (pṛthak pṛthag) previously (agre). [4]

Définition de l'embryon

śukra-śonita-jīva-yoge tu khalu kukṣigate garbhasaṃjñā bhavati // 5

In the technical terminology (saṃjñā), we use the term embryo (garbha-saṃjñā) when the union of sperm, ovum (blood) and the ātman (jîva = jîvâtman) is implanted in the womb (kukṣi-gate). [5]

["Technical terms," saṃjñā, are one of the yukti-s, that is, rules of interpretation of Ayurvedic texts and reasonings.]

The embryo is the product (vikâra) of ether (antariksa = âkâsa), wind (vâyu), fire (agni), water (toya) and earth (bhûmi), and the seat (adhisthâna) of consciousness (cetanâ).

evam anayā yuktyā pañcamahābhūta-vikāra-samudāyātmako garbhaś …

Applying this rule of interpretation (yukti), an embryo constitutes the product-and-combination (vikāra-samudāya) of the five mahâbhûtas, which constitutes the seat of consciousness. In fact (hi), consciousness (cetanâ) is said to be the sixth dhâtu (element) constitutive of the embryo. [6]

[Conception]

Now we shall explain the order in which the embryo develops in the womb. A woman not suffering from sterility attains the state of fertility after the period of menstruation is over and the formation of fresh blood (inside the uterus) begins, provided she has had purificatory bath and her genital track, ovum and uterus are in excellent condition.

yadā pumān avyāpannabījo …

tadā tasya harṣodīritaḥ paraḥ śarīradhātvātmā śukrabhūto' ṅgād aṅgāt saṃbhavati /

If a man with his sperm unimpaired, cohabits with such a woman, then his semen, which constitutes the essence of the tissue elements (dhātu) of his body (śarīradhātvātmā), impelled by the orgasm, comes out from each and every part of the body (aṅgād aṅgāt). The semen consisting of sperm impelled by the orgasm is ejaculated from the body of the man and enters the uterus through the genital track finally uniting with the ovum. [7]

Le paragraphe 8 ci-dessous est consacré à l'émergence de la conscience, cetanā. Mais en énumérant une longue série de synonymes se terminant par ātman, le maître enseigne que cetanā = ātman, et qu'il s'agit bien de la descente du soi (d'aucuns disent de l'âme) dans un corps.

tatra pūrvaṃ cetanādhātuḥ sattvakaraṇe guṇagrahaṇāya pravartate

There, first of all, the element of consciousness (cetanâ-dhâtu), in the operation of the mind (sattva-karaṇe), comes forward to take possession of the qualities (guṇa).

Une traduction littérale de cette phrase est ici essentielle, pour éviter tout faux-sens et tout anachronisme. Le vocabulaire est très précis. Cetanā est, le maître l'a dit, un sixième dhātu (élément), les cinq premiers étant les cinq éléments naturels: éther, vent, feu, eau, terre. La conscience émerge, «dans l'action (karaṇe, locatif) du sattva (la pensée, le mental)». La conscience se met en mouvement et se projette (pravartate) vers la saisie (grahaṇāya, datif de destination) des qualités sensibles (guṇa).

He is called (iti, en fin d'énumération): Hetu (cause), Kârana (operation), Nimitta (concomitent cause), Aksara (the Indestructible one), Kartr (the Agent), Mantr (the Thinker), Vedita (the Knower), Boddha (the Intelligent), Drastr (the Seer), Dhâtr (the Supporter), Brahmâ (the Creator), Visvakarman (the Builder of the universe), Visvarûpa (the one of Million bodies), Purusa (the Person), Prabhava (the Origin), Avyaya (the Immutable), Nitya (the Eternal), Gunin (the Qualified), Grahana (the Possessor), Pradhâna (the Principal), Avyakta (the Unmanifested), Jîva (the Animated), Jña (the Conscious), Pudgala (the Ego), Cetanâvat (The one made up of Cetanā), Vibhu (the Ubiquitous), Bhûtâtman (the Empirical self), Indriyâtman (the Organic self) and Antarâtman (the Inner Self).

Les qualités sensibles (les gunas) sont les cinq éléments naturels (les mahâbhûtas) auxquels s'unit successivement la conscience — éther, vent, feu, eau, terre (dans cet ordre) — en tant qu'ils sont saisis par les organes des sens.

sa guṇopādānakāle' ntarikṣaṃ pūrvataram anyebhyo guṇebhya upādatte,

At the time of receiving the qualities (guna_upâdâna-kâle), he (the principle of consciousness), first of all, unites with ether (antariksa = âkâsa) before uniting with the other qualities [= the four mahâbhûtas] (anyebho gunebhyah).

yathā — pralayātyaye sisṛkṣur bhūtāny akṣarabhūta ātmā

Just like (yathâ), at the end of the final destruction of creation (pralaya_âtyaye) [after the deluge], having the desire to create beings (sisṛkṣur bhūtāny), the imperishable being, the Atman, having the mind as instrument (sattva_upâdânah), first of all creates ether (âkâsa), and thereafter (tatah) gradually [successively] the four other (mahâbhûtas), wind etc. (vâyv-âdikân), whose attributes are more and more manifested successively (kramena en facteur commun),

tathā dehagrahaṇe'pi pravartamānaḥ pūrvataram ākāśam evopādatte

so (tathâ) [does the Atman] also (api) at the time of taking possession of the body (deha-grahane), first of all he takes up ether (âkâsa) itself (eva), and thereafter (tatah) gradually [successively] the four other (mahâbhûtas), wind etc. (vâyv-âdikân), whose attributes are more and more manifested successively (kramena en facteur commun) [répétition ou parallélisme rhétorique]. Note that the whole process of receiving the qualities (guna_upâdâna) takes place in a very short time. [8]

La mention de Dieu ("As God, the indestructible one," p. 390) et l'emploi réitéré du mot Soul dans la traduction Ram Karan Sharma et Bhagwan Dash sont donc tout à fait fallacieux. Mais ce paragraphe est construit néanmoins sur une comparaison entre macrocosme (les recréations de la cosmogonie hindoue) et microcosme (le développement de l'embryon).