The water is the symbol of a state of consciousness or plane. When the water
is symbolic of a plane of consciousness it is a big expanse of water, but a river or a pond are not large enough
to symbolise a plane. Sometimes
a part of the consciousness is seen in the image of a pond, lake or sea. The flowing of water from the peak indicates
some flow from the higher consciousness above.
The symbol of water is used constantly in the Rig Veda. It is said that in the beginning was the inconscient Ocean out of which the One was born by the vastness of His energy; but it is clear form the language of the hymn that no physical ocean is meant, but rather the unformed chaos of inconscient being in which the Divine, the Godhead lay concealed in a darkness enveloped by greater darkness. The seven active principles of existence are similarly spoken of as rivers and waters; we hear of the seven rivers, the great water, the four superior rivers, in a context which shows their symbolic significance. We see this image fixed in the Puranic myths of Vishnu sleeping on the serpent Infinite in the milky ocean.