atmosphere covers the earth. Note that māta – ātmā are conjugal words.
◊ Brihadāraṇyaka Upanishad I.2.2 the 2nd shlöka of theymn of Hymn of Creation ‘Hymn of Creation’ says :-
āpo va arka, tad yad apām śara āsīt; tat samhanyat, sā prithivī abhavat ; tasyām aśramyat ; tasya śrāntasya taptasya tejo’raso nirvartatah agnih.
In this shlöka the external is being developed : The first spread, āpo is that of arka . This is translated as fire, lightening, the sun in short various forms of cosmic energies. This coagulates and a layer is formed on its surface – śara is the thin spread of hardened cream on the surface of a bowl of milk. This then is the ‘crust of life’ on prithivi, the round globe, the Earth.
This is the first level of sambodhah or understanding of the sūtra II.7 – mātrkā chakra sambodhah.
◊ The next shlöka I.2.3 says in the beginning : sa tredhātmānam vyakuruta, ādityam tritīyam, vayum tritīyam, sa esa prānah tredha vihitah….
Here the internal is being developed : the ātmā is now conceived and its prāna or life-breath has three constituents of the divine viz. agnī itself, that enters through the nābhi or the navel, the Manipur chakrā ; vāyu the air, that together with agnī is the prāna-vāyu that we have talked about earlier ; this enters through the throat or the viśuddhi chakrā ; thirdly the āditya or the shining divine light, in other words the seed of consciousness that enters the foetus through the crown or the sahasrāra chakrā.