Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Manifestation as God’s Thought

“We are interdependently co-arising collapsed possibility waves transiently manifesting as space-time events in God's mind. Agree? Or in Simpler non quantum version - We are on/off thoughts in God's mind manifesting as people, things and events. There is only God.”………….. Deepak Chopra

The higher aspect of meditation in achieving enlightenment is the principle of
Vaishvanara Vidya.
Isolated meditations on different conceptual entities were considered by the great teacher,
Ashvapati, the king, mentioned in the Chandogya Upanishad, as defective. If you meditate on any specific thing, you are excluding something thereby. You cannot think one thing without excluding something else. The thought that something is excluded from the thought ‘that something is being concentrated upon’ is also a thought. Exclusion of the thought of some object from the thought on which the concentration is carried on is not possible because the thought that something is excluded persists, while the intention is not to think of the excluded object. It is like a story: someone told ‘When you drink milk, do not think of a monkey’; then every time the milk was taken, monkey only came to the mind. A strong will to impose exclusion results in an equally strong attraction towards that which is excluded. This is the dynamics of the mental process. All thoughts result from certain frame of reference combined with accretion of memories or impressions.

There is no such thing in the history of the cosmos that one thing can be excluded entirely from the other. We can not study the solar system in isolation without the effect the Milky Way Galaxy has on its orbit around the Galaxy. The idea of exclusion is futile, because to exclude another thing from one thing, the mind that excludes should be present in that object also which is excluded. This is a trick that is played by the mind.

This is why the great teacher
Ashvapati mentions to the six great sages who went to him for learning the art of meditation on the Atman that they are all defective. He asked questions, ‘O Great Sages!’ On what do you all meditate?’ They gave different answers. Various, different, totally
isolated concepts were the objects of their meditation. The king said, ‘you are all making two mistakes: one thing is that the thing that you are meditating upon is outside you; this is one mistake; the other mistake is that the thing on which you are meditating is in one place only’.

If we try to contemplate on an entity in one place only then a natural corollary is that there is some other entity in some other place. Hence
Vaishvanara Vidya teaches the totally inclusive meditation.
Swami Krishnananda says in his commentary on ‘Brahma Sutra’; “If this meditation through the Vaishvanara Vidya process becomes intense, you will no more be there as a meditator of the Vaishvanara because of the Inclusiveness of the same. It is an All-Consuming Fire and you will not be there to behold It. You will be reduced to the Fire Itself.
Then what remains? A big blaze of Self-Identity, Universal in its nature. We cannot speak much thereafter about this, but if this Universal Conflagration of the Fire of Vaishvanara can engulf us, thrice blessed we would be and it will lead us to
Sadyo Mukti; you become liberated at once.”

This is what Deepak Chopra says in both scientific and metaphysical terms.

Love to you all

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Conquering our Animal Nature

Jesus said, “Lucky is the lion that the human will eat, so that the lion becomes human. And foul is the human that the lion will eat, and the lion still will become human.”……….. Logion 7

The Logion 7 of the Gospel of Thomas is a tough saying to understand as there is a very deep Gnostic and esoteric content that is being delivered by Jesus.
In every human soul there is a constant struggle between the, human consciousness induced, free will and the divine destiny for which we are born in this world. The struggle is heightened by the Ego dominated decisions that we take in our spiritual progress. The action of the self can very well be explained by the action of the three Gunas as propounded in Vedic philosophy. These three Gunas are
Rajas, Tamas and Sattva. While Sattva is the Guna of spiritual evolution, Tamas (inertia) and Rajas (passion) are the prime cause of spiritual degradation. Rajas and Tamas are needed in one’s life but they have to be balanced in right proportion to propel one towards attaining the Sattvic Guna. Animal nature is predominated by the Rajasic and Tamasic Gunas.

An animal is rooted in whole of its life in a gross body-bound existence; its life is confined to the satisfaction of hunger, thirst, sex and sleep. That is animal life. Sex is there, because the law of biological evolution requires that the species should not become extinct. Therefore, for the continuity of the species, reproduction is indispensable, and for the process of reproduction, sex activity becomes an inevitable part of the biological, physical animal. Thanks to the reproductive process in the biological, evolutionary scheme of things that life on earth, ordained by some mysterious superconscious being, continues. So, these characteristics of sex, hunger, thirst and sleep form the root nature of life on earth. The whole life is nothing but a constant effort to satisfy hunger, thirst, sex and sleep and this is present in the animal man. So far, it is all right. Its presence is no dire calamity or disaster. But, if it becomes the more dominant part of your life-style, then it becomes a dangerous predicament, because you have reached a level where the biological evolution has brought you to the peak point, where quite another aspect of evolution is supposed to commence. This is the evolution of consciousness towards a higher self.

Hence for a man to eat a lion means that he partakes of the animal nature in his existence but transforms it into his own higher nature. This is similar to the vegetable or fruit one eats and the vegetable or fruit has now become human flesh and bone. Jesus says that the Rajasic quality that has been now assimilated in the metabolic act is indeed lucky as it has now been elevated to a higher nature.

In contrast, if we allow our animal nature to dominate our life, then we are reduced to a lower nature of existence. Tau Malachi, writing his comment on this saying says that there is a constant struggle between
Nefesh Behamit (the bestial soul) and Nefesh Elokit (the Godly soul). This is a concept adopted from Gnostic Kabbalah.
In Gnosticism,
Yaldabaoth, the lion headed demiurge, is the symbol of fallen Gnosis or wisdom as opposed to Sophia which symbolizes divine wisdom.

Hence this saying clearly instructs us to aspire towards conquering our animal nature, of being rooted in an act of sense gratification, and elevate our consciousness towards a higher plane of existence.

Love to you all

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Peace of Christ

The day after tomorrow we celebrate the feast of Christmas. Christ messages had strong undertones about peace. It is interesting to study the background of the word peace from a linguistic, historical and wisdom tradition perspective.
The Aramaic word that was used by Jesus was ‘Salaam’ which then took the form of ‘Shalom’ in Hebrew. The word ‘Salaam’ continues even today in the Islamic and Sufi traditions. The city of Jerusalem was named thus because it was intended to be the ‘city of peace’. ‘Ur’ is the word in Aramaic for city and ‘salaam’ for peace.

Shalom, in the liturgy and in the transcendent message of the Christian scriptures, means more than a state of mind, of being or of affairs. Derived from the Hebrew root ‘shalam’ – it means to be safe or complete, and by implication, to be friendly or to reciprocate. Shalom, as term and message, seems to encapsulate a reality and hope of wholeness for the individual, within societal relations, and for the whole world. ‘Shalom Aleichem’ in Hebrew and the Arabic ‘Assalamu Alaikum’ means ‘may you be well’. Here the word ‘well’ is an all encompassing state of well being. It covers the four areas of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual potentialities of any individual being greeted.

The Gospel of John is perhaps the only canonical text which tries to evoke the deeper elements of Christ ministry. In this Gospel there are five times the word peace is mentioned as spoken by Jesus, twice before his death and thrice after his resurrection. I will quote these passages for reference:
  • “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” …….. John 14:27
  • “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”……. John 16:33
  • ……. Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”………. John 20:19
  • Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you."…. John 20:21
  • ………. Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”……… John 20:26
The importance of peace as a gift to a spiritual seeker, that is for anyone aspiring to become the Son of the Father, is vividly brought out as peace is chosen over the gifts of this world and all the teachings of Christ is for the ultimate purpose of attaining the inner peace which is so essential for realizing our true identity as being one with the Father. The Spirit manifestation of Jesus after resurrection always invoked the ‘peace greetings’.

Given this context it is important that we understand the meaning of peace. Peace is the state of harmony and balance of both the body and spirit. This is the reason that today Chakra healing always addresses the balancing and free harmonious flow of energy through the Sushmana, Pingala and Ida nadis. In all his teaching Jesus insists on a balanced way of life irrespective of whether it be eating, drinking, fasting or physical purification in the physical arena or in the purification of the spirit through forgiving, sharing, praying and worshiping. We are answerable only to inner spirit that dwells in us. “What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.”…..
Luke 12:3

Jesus was the prime mover of individual consciousness from a moral domain to an ethical sphere.
Moral was imposed through laws of the old covenant and this was what Jesus witnessed in his lifetime and his teachings and through a new covenant, He targeted at invoking the ethical behaviour dictated from the pure consciousness of the indwelling Father to achieve inner harmony and completeness. Let us in this Christmas season make a beginning towards a purely inner cleansing so that we may attain a true vision of the Father through Christ consciousness.

May the Peace of Christ be with you!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Attaining Inner Tranquillity

We are in the festive season of Christmas and the overwhelming message this season brings is that of peace. Peace is not an isolated attribute that stands outside of one’s personal ambit. The Buddhist concept of peace has three dimensions. These are: inner peace; peace in the community of humankind; and ecological peace or peace with the Earth.

Once the Buddha standing on top of a hill with his disciples exclaimed; “Indeed, this world is burning with many and various fires. There are fires of greed, fires of hatred, fires of foolishness, fires of infatuation and egoism, fires of decrepitude, sickness and death, fires of sorrow, lamentation, suffering and agony.”

The three areas which give rise to suffering or lack of peace are; greed, hatred and ignorance.
Here, the myopic impulse of "greed" indicates uncontrolled desire for, and attachment to, material comforts, for wealth, power or fame. Desires of this kind aggregate and multiply without cease, and since their fulfilment, cannot bring true and permanent happiness; a person in their grip is condemned to continual torment and aggravation.

The deluded impulse of "hatred" describes such emotions as resentment, rage and envy which are triggered when our egocentric desires are not fulfilled. Unless controlled, this escalates into various forms of annihilation and aggression. Simply put, the misleading drive of hatred is the violence that grows from an egocentric view of life.

"Ignorance" refers to wilful ignorance of reality, or the true nature of life and the cosmos. Thus it is the deluded impulse that generates disharmony and revolt against the principles that govern the true nature of the cosmos. The wisdom which illuminates and reveals the true nature of the cosmos is referred to as "enlightenment," while this kind of wilful ignorance is referred to as "fundamental darkness" because it clouds and obscures the light by which we might see things in their true nature. Of all the deluded impulses, Buddhism considers ignorance the most fundamental.

Jesus came to remove this ignorance in the world. Judaic spirituality had lost its fundamental grounding due to influence of the ritualistic worship, pagan influence due to captivity and slavery under the Babylonians and Egyptians and the intellectual onslaught of Greek thought. The Buddha came to remove the ignorance introduced due the caste dominated Vedic knowledge dissemination. The fundamental richness of Vedic spirituality was lost in the rigmarole of rituals and caste domination. This is the reason the true spiritual Vedic tradition considers Buddha as an incarnation of the cosmic principle, Vishnu.

To have peace on earth every individual needs to have inner tranquillity. Tranquillity of mind comes from having successfully transcended greed, hatred and ignorance."

For those of us who follow Christ as our spiritual guide, his life and his words, deeply interpreted through the scriptures, are the tools for bringing inner peace.

Love to you all

On 23rd December there will be a more in depth post on “Peace of Christ”

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Prayer of Silence

So high above all things that be
Is God uplifted, man can dare
No utterance: he prayeth best

When Silence is his sum of prayer.

…Thinkest thou, foolish man,

that with thy clapping tongue

Praise of the silent Godhead fitly can be sung?
…… Angelus Silesius

The great Polish Christian mystic, physician and poet writes these beautiful words in his book
“The Cherubinic Wanderer”. Man has a very limited view of the divine especially when he feels the need for a communion to convey his innermost feelings. The ability to use language, while it has enhanced the development of knowledge of the manifest creation, both in understanding its nature as well as in the act of controlling it, woefully falls short in communicating one’s inner state of emotions and feelings to a perceived power that has the ability to respond in a positive way towards alleviating a current state of need to one of fulfilment. Language is an evolutionary tool in the development of the human brain and hence the human mind. But mind itself is the field of action of consciousness in evoking thoughts for which language gives expression. The etymology of the word ‘evoke’ clearly points to the direction of action. Evoke comes from the Latin word ‘evocare’ which means ‘to call out’. When we need the attention of an external sentient being, we call out but when we need the attention of something of inner nature we need to ‘invoke’ and invoke comes from the Latin word ‘invocare’ which means ‘to call in’. This is the reason that the great mystic says that only foolish men resort to clapping tongues to call the divine.

Carmelite spirituality is based on
Lectio Divina. It is the most traditional way to grow in an intimate relationship with God and it is by means of this relationship that we are transformed and rendered capable of living the Divine word in all its fullness. A monk in the 12th century described the fundamental elements of Lectio Divina: - read the Word of God (lectio); reflect on the Word (meditatio), respond to the Word from the heart (oratio); rest in the Word (contemplatio).

The process of contemplation changes the human ways of thinking, loving and acting into divine ways. Our human ways are very limited and so when we read the Word of God, we are limited by our experience of life and by many other factors. It is said that one can find in the Bible reasons to support any position. It is therefore not sufficient just to read the Bible; our way of looking at things must be purified. When we meditate on the Word of God, we try to understand its meaning and what message it may have for our lives but when we do this, we are still limited. Our little world must be enlarged and our minds reformed according to the mind of Christ. When we pray from the heart, we are still using human words. Our words and thoughts, no matter how beautiful, are still human words and thoughts and it is therefore necessary that they too be purified by the Word of God. This is a divine dialogue and not a one way communication.

St. John of the Cross wrote that God spoke one word and that word was His Son; this Word God repeats in an eternal silence and in silence must it ever be heard by the soul.
Lectio Divina moves towards silence. When our words and our beautiful thoughts are no longer sufficient, only silence can give an adequate response to the Word of God.

Love to you all

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Karmic Consequences

His disciples asked him and said to him, “Do you want us to fast? How should we pray? Should we give to charity? What diet should we observe?” Jesus said, “Don't lie, and don't do what you hate, because all things are disclosed before heaven. After all, there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, and there is nothing covered up that will remain undisclosed.”………. Logion 6

Continuing in the series of commentaries on the sayings of Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas, in this short note let me bring out a fundamental facet of truth that needs to be appreciated. The disciples question is primarily in the mode of living but restricted to the sensory disciplines, which is no doubt important for any spiritual aspirant. This signifies the current preoccupation of mankind. We are always under the influence of our material world both exterior and interior. This is the reason that we assume that controlling the senses and disciplining the body would be sufficient to advance in spiritual living. The radical shift needed from the Mosaic Law-oriented-ritualistic spirituality (which was primarily installed to bring together the twelve tribes of Israel who had been under the slavery of Egypt, into a coherent society in a new land), into a spirituality that was focused on the individual to be liberated from their own ignorance of authentic Godhead, was the messianic mission of Christ. It is not that we have to belittle the mission of Moses and his law keepers, the Pharisees and Sadducees. They inherited the disciplining ways and the ritualistic rules as authentic spirituality from a social perspective. This we see in all organized religions even today. But Christ was on a different mission. This is the reason that he goes beyond the question of his disciples. His answer reveals an entirely new dimension of action, one that is oriented beyond the senses and in the realm of one’s consciousness.

The advice he gives his disciples reflects the advice of the Buddha in which the primary threefold classifications of right path are in the area of wisdom, ethical conduct and right concentration. In these three domains can be fitted every action (by way of body, speech, and mind) that will have karmic results (a.k.a. reaction). Wholesome and unwholesome actions will produce results and effects that correspond with the nature of that action. It is the right view about the moral process of the world and one’s existence as an integral element in it that is important. Apart from disciplining the body, about which the disciples ask him. The right speech and the right intension are of paramount importance.

The last part of Jesus saying here is very powerful and reveals a great ontology. The belief in an external God sitting in judgement over man was not the message of Christ. He already defined the location of the kingdom of heaven as something at the very core of one’s existence. “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”
…… Luke 17:21 The individual consciousness, being an integral part of the Cosmic consciousness, is a transparent domain wherein there is no place for concealment. All our conscious actions as living, acting and thinking individuals leave a karmic imprint and it is regarding this revelation that Jesus talks to his disciples. The reason that we have a limited view of the role of individual consciousness is because we isolate it through ego-centric perception as “I am the doer, I am the thinker etc.,” Gnostic Christianity did not believe in eternal damnation but in reincarnation, which to say the journey of the soul or individual consciousness through diverse levels in many existences towards an ultimate evolution to merge with the undifferentiated and unsullied Universal consciousness which is true definition of Godhead.

Love to you all

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Budding at Reference Potential

Here ‘Reference potential’ has to be defined or else it leads to a gross error. ‘Reference potential’ means neither positive nor negative with respect to a given value (the reference can be constantly elevated but it is still known as ‘Reference potential’). This given reference potential with respect to humans is the Karmic potential with which we take birth. Through a life in our current manifestation there is a natural capacity to transcend to a higher reference level by reaching into our higher level of consciousness. Through this the reference is constantly elevated. The act of free will has the capacity to alter this potential, through either polarity (positive or negative), in a non-harmonious mode, contrary to the Cosmo-karmic intended aggregation.

“The Tathagatha avoids the two extremes and talks about the Middle Path.
What this is, that is; this arises, that arises.
Through ignorance, volitional actions or karmic formations are conditioned.”….. (Samyuktagama, Chapter 12)
This ignorance of which The Buddha speaks is the false knowledge that all actions have to have an ego/mental origination.

Hence this warning s issued in verse 36 of Tao Te Ching. “……………..To destroy something, lead it to its extreme. To preserve something, keep to the middle……………”

“Although we speak of opposites, they are not truly antagonistic elements. All opposites are part of the same entity. Like a two-headed snake, which is the symbol of Gnosis in Kabbalah, opposites are two parts of the same whole. Like the symbol of Yin-Yang, they define one another, as black defines white. They alternate with one another, as war alternates with peace. Whenever any phenomenon reaches its extreme, it will change toward its opposite, just as the darkest night begins to change toward dawn, and the coldest winter is followed by glorious spring. ………….. This is the wisdom of the middle ground. Followers of Tao change a situation when it reaches its apex. By joining their efforts to a new situation that is just budding, they attain perpetuity”………….. Deng Ming-Dao, 365 Tao

Though this explanation has been adequate, it needs a little more elaboration of what we want to achieve through this process. Every act in our life has to be oriented towards a greater fulfilment of our true potential. Many times we are driven by a desire to increase our capacity, whether it is physical, mental or emotional, so that we think of ourselves endowed with a capacity for superior performance in our life journey. This notion could be highly contrary to the way we need to deploy our potentialities. Take for example the body building regimen of a Mr. Universe contest. This tends to be an exercise which results in a compromise in other human faculties. This is true in all our acts of cultivating our given potentialities. By appreciating the interdependency of all our potentialities (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual), we need to nurture our potentialities by raising the entire middle ground or reference plane. This involves our appreciation of our interdependence with all creation at a cosmic level.

Love to you all

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Dilemma Regarding Dwelling

King Milinda had a series of dialogues with the venerable sage Nâgasena and one of the dilemmas that he tries to resolve deals with a man’s dwelling place.

“Venerable Nâgasena, the Blessed One said:In friendship of the world anxiety is born, In household life distraction's dust springs up, The state set free from home and friendship's ties, That, and that only, is the recluse's aim.”

But on the other hand he said:

“Let therefore the wise man, Regarding his own weal, Have pleasant dwelling-places built, And lodge there learned men.”

The question of Milinda is “Now, venerable Nâgasena, if the former of these two passages was really spoken by the Tathâgata, then the second must be wrong. But if the
Tathâgata really said: "Have pleasant dwelling-places built," then the former statement must be wrong. This too is a double-edged problem, now put to you, which you have to solve.”
Sage Nagasena’s answer in the original text deals with the fact that both statements are those of The Buddha
(Tathâgata) but the first was in the context of a subjective necessity when one undertakes an ascetic life and the second statement was in the context of the Sanga or community living wherein a pleasant dwelling place populated by wise men becomes necessary.

A deeper understanding of these two statements of the Buddha from any individual’s spiritual journey in this life becomes mandatory in today’s world. It is the mind which is the primary dwelling place and the two sayings address the necessary action of an individual with respect to conditioning one’s mind.

If one chooses the path of Raja Yoga, relationships and material possessions are the impediments if they are predicated to the self. When one starts to posses or cling to any worldly entity viritis (modifications) happen.
Swami Satchidananda says “Every thought, feeling, perception, or memory you may have causes a modification, or ripple, in the mind. It distorts and colours the mental mirror. If you can restrain the mind from forming into modifications, there will be no distortion, and you will experience your true Self.” Hence this is addressed more to the mental domain.

If one chooses the
Jñana Marga, the ambiance of learning and the need to populate one’s mind with empowering knowledge devoid any constraints becomes necessary. Here again the important meaning for the dwelling place is the inner sanctum wherein true wisdom finds a dwelling. This is what the Buddha indicates in the second passage cited by King Milinda.

In summary, the vital need for renouncing (does not mean casting away but means not clinging to) the outer dwelling which is the physical body and nurturing the inner sanctuary (which is the Spirit) through wisdom is the path to spiritual ascendancy.

Love to you all

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Clothed in Love

In continuation of the post I did on the importance of the physical senses as being the primary portals through which man must aspire for higher consciousness, I present the thoughts of some eminent spiritual leaders of the past in how the process of transcendence can be initiated in our earthly manifestation.
In his commentary on the
“Odes of Solomon” Swami Nirmalananda Giri quotes the Zoroastrian sage, Kaspar, who said: “Man was a thought of God, formed in the image of the Septonate (seven sages), clothed in the substances of soul. And his desires were strong; he sought to manifest on every plane of life, and for himself he made a body of the ethers of the earthly forms, and so descended to the plane of earth. In this descent he lost his birthright; lost his harmony with God, and made discordant all the notes of life. Non-harmony and evil are the same; so evil is the handiwork of man” through the body which the Essene teacher Elihu called “the body of desires.”

The esoteric and Theosophic writings in the "Aquarian Gospel of of Jesus Christ", an apocryphal text states in chapter VIII verse 7-9, “The lower self, the carnal self, the body of desires, is a reflection of the higher self, distorted by the murky ethers of the flesh. The lower self is an illusion, and will pass away; the higher self is God in man, and will not pass away. The lower self is the embodiment of truth reversed, and so is falsehood manifest.” Its is the body of desires that separates us from God by turning us outward away from the inner kingdom of God toward the transient world and creating in us a myriad desires, none of which cannot be fulfilled because nothing in the world can ever be possessed, but only grasped and eventually lost.

There is, however, another body, the “body of union” that is the immortal spirit. Regarding this the Essene teacher Salome said: “Now spirit loves the pure, the good, the true; the body of desires extols the selfish self; the soul becomes the battle ground between the two.” Those who ensure the victory of the spirit over the flesh are the ones who truly love God, for true love results in the union of the lover and the loved.

Hence this process of conflict is the field of Kurukshetra wherein the two aspects of the self are in constant struggle. Let us listen to Sun Tzu’s advice in the ‘Art of War’: “Warfare is the way of deception”. It is exactly through this principle of deception that the lower self, through its myriad illusions, wins the battle. The senses which are the beneficiary agents of perception need to be constantly informed of the deception to which they are being subject to. The best way of achieving this is to feed them gratification at a higher plane which they would be able to grasp in a progressive manner.

Man has been created as an altruistic being capable of infinite love. Do we not feel an elation of joy when we behold happiness in our own children? The bond of love is the bridge through which happiness of the self can be realized through happiness of others. This is the reason that selfless service for happiness and well being of others and the nourishment of the ecosystem brings joy to a subject of this love relationship.

Let us cloth ourselves with love for all that we behold and through this magical garment we will experience a move towards our higher self.

Love to you all

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Manifesting the Hidden

Jesus said, “Recognize what is in your sight, and that which is hidden from you will become plain to you. For there is nothing hidden which will not become manifest” …………Gospel of Thomas Logion 5

The picture on the left shows the scattering impact of a droplet of water which hits the rising water drop of a previously fallen water drop. It is a magical image of sculptural quality. Thousands of water drops fall during a light shower on a puddle of water and we never take the time to notice what we see in this picture. To see the magical effect one has to slow down. Without extremely slow motion photography this image would be missed out. Even much more gross images escape our attention because we are always in a hurry with our worldly preoccupations. As we are discussing the sayings of Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas, it is necessary to emphasise the importance of sensory inputs in our spiritual life. Last week, Pope Benedict XVI told the gathering of hundreds of painters, sculptors, architects, poets and Film directors, held beneath the vaulted ceiling of the Sistine chapel painted by Michelangelo that he wanted to “renew the Church's friendship with the world of art”.
“Beauty ... can become a path towards the transcendent, towards the ultimate Mystery, towards God,” Pope Benedict said. Nature and the Cosmos talks to us through the senses, this is the reason that we have an exhilaration when we behold something beautiful or smell an intoxicating perfume of a flower or hear a beautiful recitation of a chant. But for many of us, brought up on Christian value system, a distortion has set in because we are taught that the sensory inputs leads to sin. ("If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell."...Matthew 5:29)
Yesterday I did a half day session in a convent where I was addressing young girls preparing for their ascetic life on
"The Role of Second Chakra in Ascetic Life" and my message to them was to use the body and the God given senses to feel the beauty of creation. Today the consumerist world thrusts highly distorted images and as Pope Benedict XVI said last week “Too often... the beauty thrust upon us is illusory and deceitful... it imprisons man within himself and further enslaves him, depriving him of hope and joy”. But an unpolluted sensory input is a primary gateway towards higher consciousness.

Imagine the relationship of a man and a woman closeted together often discussing intensely, to the observer in Bethany it would be presumed two intimate people sharing their thoughts. This is the reason for the apostles bitterly complaining about the intimacy of Jesus with Mary Magdalene in the Gospel of Philip or in the logion 114 of Gospel of Thomas. To a discerning individual the meeting of Logos and Sophia and not just two physical entities would be revealed. Translating a sensory input through one’s own consciousness is the stage at which distortions start setting in. If the conditioning of one’s consciousness is unsullied, a highly cosmic view emerges from every input that we receive.

Jesus statement “For there is nothing hidden which will not become manifest” points to the fact that all perceptions are within the grasp of one’s own consciousness and as we move from the region of a consciousness driven by the gross body towards a consciousness derived from our subtle body and astral or spirit body, which are integral existence of all creation, the kingdom of God becomes manifest.

Love to you all

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Creation through Alignment

“As God creates, so man creates. If man gives a certain concentration of will, the Shapes and ideas created in the Mind become subjective. Given a more intense and intelligent concentration of his Will the form becomes concrete, visible and objective, the Man has learned the Secret of Secrets. He is a Magician.”
Madame Blavatsky, the founder of Theosophy, had a great insight when she wrote these words in her monumental work “Isis Unveiled”.

In his book “Theosophy: A Modern Revival of Ancient Wisdom” Dr. Alvin Boyd Kuhn, explains the above passage as follows:
“She makes it clear that this power is built on the conscious control of the substrate of the material universe. She states that the key to all magic is the formula: "Every insignificant atom is moved by spirit." Magic is thus conditioned upon the postulation of an omnipresent vital ether, electro-spiritual in composition, to which man has an affinity by virtue of his being identical in essence with it. Over it he can learn to exercise a voluntary control by the exploitation of his own psycho-dynamic faculties. If he can lay his hand on the elemental substance of the universe, if he can radiate from his ganglionic batteries currents of force equivalent to gamma rays, of course he can step into the cosmic scene with something of a magician's powers. That such an ether exists she states in a hundred places. She calls it the elementary substance, the Astral Light, the Alkahest, the Akasha. It is the universal principle of all life, the vehicle or battery of cosmic energy. She says Newton knew of it and called it "the soul of the world," the "divine sensorium." It is the Book of Life; the memory of God, ---since it never gives up an impression. Human memory is but a looking into pictures on this ether. Clairvoyants and psychometers but draw upon its resources through synchronous vibrations.

According to the Kabbalistic doctrine the future exits in the astral light in embryo as the present existed in embryo in the past . . . and our memories are but the glimpses that we catch of the reflections of this past in the currents of the astral light, as the psychometer catches them from the astral emanations of the object held by him.”

This explanation was written in 1930 and we can see the struggles it has with concepts and technicalities though the fundamental process of how the human agency, through its mental faculties, participates as an extension and tool in the divine creative act. With today’s contribution from various disciplines in science, we have a better understanding of the great insight which Madame Blavatsky writes about.

The dark matter and dark energy of the cosmos, the Morphic fields of plant biology, the M-Theory of unification of all forces of nature all point to an underlying energy, which is not in the electromagnetic spectrum (and so it is not gamma rays or currents produced due to neurons in the brain), as the prime causation or implicate order of all creation. David Bohm, the great Physicist, coined the word ‘implicate order’. Due to the nature of interaction that is possible between man, as the being with the highest level of consciousness in the evolutionary ladder, and the implicate order itself from which he operates, a continuous evolution towards higher awareness is made possible. This awareness is the creative potential from which new forms or the future emerges. In making this statement one should accept with humility that he is not creating ex-nihilo but only aligns his individual consciousness with the cosmic consciousness, which is seen in a state of continuous evolution when viewed from a creature perspective. This we call magic. In reality all these ripples in the implicate order are magnified to magical proportion only when we are observing as creatures, but in the universal implicate order there is only unchanging equipotential.

Love to you all

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sway of Mystical Poetry

Some of the most ancient poetry was sacred poetry and song as a vehicle for sacred teachings. The Vedas of India, for example, are sacred verses that are traditionally chanted. It is said that they are not merely descriptions of doctrines, but revelations of Truth. The Quran and its mesmerizing chant in the original Arabic held sway many believers during the time of the Prophet and later in the development of Islamic Spirituality. The Sufi movement understood this dimension and tried its best to elevate the Islamic tenets to a higher level than what is delivered through rituals and diktats. These texts had the power to transform consciousness because of the fact that these verses are a homogeneous mix of spiritual and life empowering truth with an auditory tuning to touch the inner most realms of one’s consciousness. Truth was not revealed by mere words but by a process of aligning the whole physical dimension of one’s existence to the words and content of the poetry or verse so that there is a transformation at the most subtle level of the physical structure’s makeup. According to this tradition, poetry is not merely a fanciful and pleasant play of words and sounds that might evoke some surprising images or emotions, but a direct manifestation of a deeper reality that has the potential to radically transform us and shift us out of fixed modes of awareness.

Thomas McFarlane, author of “Einstein and Buddha: The Parallel sayings” writing on this subject says: “Moreover, it is said that all existence manifests in this way from a fundamental seed syllable or vibration, OM. As the
Mandukya Upanishad says, This eternal Word is all: what was, what is, and what shall be, and what is beyond eternity. All is OM. The Greek word poesis (related to our words poetry and poem) means simply making or creating. The divine poetry is thus the divine creation, which is the world made manifest through the act of divine speech, such as in Genesis where it brings heaven and earth into existence. The world is God’s speech, God’s poem. As Meister Eckhart puts it, the simple being of a stone is the speech of God. It, and everything else, is the divine OM. When we begin to sense this, then we become the poetry.”

It is consciousness giving expression and this is for this reason that when we read any sacred verse in its original language the feel is totally different from reading a translation where only the dry meaning is transmitted.
For example reading the great Tamil
bakthi (devotional) poem of Thiruvasagam in its original gives you a natural surrender to the divine. The same feel cannot be generated when we read the translation by G.U. Pope in English. Another classical example, from my own experience, is when we listen to Sankara’s composition to ‘Annapurani’ sung in the original Sanskrit. Invariably throughout the song one gets an elevated feeling of consciousness. There are many example including listening to the Our Father prayer being recited in the original Aramaic or listening to the Gregorian chant of the Latin vespers in a Gothic cathedral.

Poetry is the language of the soul and this is the reason that most wisdom traditions used poetry and music to touch the soul of the initiates.

Love to you all

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Limitation has Success

“Limitation has success…..Unlimited possibilities are not suited to man; if they existed, his life would only dissolve in the boundless. To become strong a man’s life needs the limitation ordained by duty and voluntarily accepted. ……….. Hexagram 60 of the I Ching (Wilhelm Baynes version)

Today we live in a world were the sky is the limit. Any sales promotion aims to excite this possibility that the owner of the product promoted can attain the impossible be it fairness of skin in a week or flat stomach from beer belly in two weeks. The examples are large and cover every segment that you can imagine.
The ancient wisdom of the I Ching captures the fallacy of unlimited options in the well being of man.

In the societies of the past due to the inherent limitations of population, travel and knowledge itself, the need to preserve skills in knowledge, trade and tasks enabled man to narrowly focus on the core competencies that one had. A hunter honed his skills to provide for the community, a trader and his caravan gathered the best of products and bartered wares to please the customers. The native Indians of North America used to kill only few buffalos in a year for food and hide for the entire community. In the industrial age, mass consumerism has led to the unlimited exploitation of all type of resources.

In her book “Wisdom for Better Life” author Debi Davies writes: “Learning to create and practice appropriate boundaries in all aspects of life is important for everyone. Creating proper boundaries in relationships, as well as work and recreational environments, enables people to be fulfilled rather than drained. Boundaries become our protection as well as our map for proper interpersonal behaviours. People must respect our boundaries and we, in turn, must respect theirs. Setting and understanding boundaries in day-to-day life will help you develop into a fair, productive and self-confident individual who is able to give and receive in relationships your entire life.”

There is a need for setting up a boundary at the physical, emotional and intellectual level in our lives. In the physical plane, let us take our diet today. For many individuals the diet has no relation to the work he or she does or their personal life style. People having sedentary life style eating a high calorie diet are sure to have degradation of health. Emotional boundaries are equally important. This determines the impact of our feeling on others and also the impact of others feelings and disposition towards us. In professional man management, emotional attributes of an individual play a significant part. Intellectual boundaries are determined by one’s gift of skills either endowed or acquired during one’s life. Setting up this boundary has to take into consideration the maximum leveraging one can attempt to gain through pursuit of information, knowledge and external wisdom. Today’s experience of many individuals in the ‘world wide web’ is a good example of the extent to which loss of focus can occur. In seeking spiritual empowerment today many start chasing all that appeals to instant gratification, as though these are ready made packages for instant Nirvana. A typical case is how Yoga is promoted in the west.

In conclusion we can appreciate the wisdom of the Hexagram, which was the oracle of the East, by the insight it provides towards betterment of our lives.

Love to you all

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Isolation During Transcendence

“Although the world rewards insensitivity with the spoils of war, it takes more courage to surrender than to numb. So often the most 'damaged' people are actually the most advanced and feeling souls. They feel everything and are more strongly impacted by the disparity between an authentic life and the falsified energy of the world” …..Jeff Brown from his book “Soul shaping: A Journey of Self-creation”

When you are rooted in your authentic self the one inevitable experience that one has is the sense of utter loneliness. This truth can come only out of real experience. This leads us to define what we mean by authentic self. Human life has two distinct dimensions. They are; the life that is lead as a response to the way we are perceived by the culture and community and all the relational responses that we have of ourselves through our senses. Broadly this could be defined as a life lead in our waking consciousness conforming to socio-cultural norms. The other is the inner life which is a product of our innate seeking for something more meaningful and something that seems to be missing when we are oriented in the worldly plane. This higher living is driven by moral values, empowering knowledge and ethical behaviour which are to be found and acted upon through an intuitive journey.

These two lives are not segregated but are enmeshed in the human psyche. It is only through our worldly experience that we transcend to a higher plane of authentic living and an authentic life has to be lead in this world which is the ground of being. This is reason that Jeff Brown brings out the sensitivity of people who lead authentic life to issues around them. They are severely impacted by the injustices meted out to their fellow beings and to the environment. They perceive the interconnectedness of all creation. As Lynne McTaggart says in her book ‘The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe’: “Our natural state of being is in relationship, a tango, a constant state of one influencing the other. Just as the subatomic particles that compose us cannot be separated from the space and particles surrounding them, so living beings cannot be isolated from each other... By the act of observation and intention, we have the ability to extend a kind of super-radiance to the world.”

In order to move towards living an authentic life a process of transcendence is required.
Joseph Chilton Pearce says in his dialogue with Duncan Campbell in 'Living Dialogues' “Transcendence is the ability to rise above and go beyond limitation and constraint. Our inability to rise beyond and go beyond our current limitation and constraint leads us to all of our violence. We have in this life a choice between two things: Either transcendence or violence. And there’s nothing much in between. Culture depends on violence. Culture breeds violence. And culture thrives on violence. Gil Bailie (He was a follower of Rene Girard, the great French philosopher, who did his life’s study on the effect of culture and the way culture preserves itself through violence), who was the author a book called ‘Violence Unveiled: Humanity at the Crossroads’ says: “And of course all of this is very anarchy… it’s anarchistic. It’s anti-cultural. To be anti-cultural is to be virtually anti to every single aspect of what we think of as civilization”…..”

The spoils of this violence are the fodder for the masses to perpetuate the culture of seeking pleasure and materialistic living and people who transcend will feel the isolation and alienation that I mentioned at the start of this article.

The choice is ours to make. Whether we want to be comforted and lulled by the ‘falsified energy of the world’ or we want to be ‘the 'damaged' people who are actually the most advanced and feeling souls’

Love to you all

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Spirituality of Uzir Beg

The Culture of Orissa, Jagannath Culture, is based on the non-sectarian ideology that welcomes every religious and non-religious believer to its fold to receive the blessings of Lord Jagannath. Salbeg, though Muslim by birth, is the brightest star of the Orissan sky who enlightened the Orissan society by his devotional bhajanas, jananas and chaupadis. In this 21st Century, he is still being reckoned as one of the brightest literary figures of Orissa.
There are certain other contemporary literary figures who were unfortunately forgotten in our society, but who deserve special and renewed attention. One such Bhakti poet is Uzir Beg. Uzir Beg had written a few devotional bhajanas in reverence of Lord Krishna. His writing is simple and melodious, and can touch the heart of every human, irrespective of their religious beliefs. His anthology on Lord Krishna is very famous, and in current stressful life it can give solace to mankind.

God belongs to all mankind, but to achieve their own narrow goals, men divided God. God never differentiates men or the basis of belief, but rather takes all mankind as his own creation. In this way Lord Ram was born in Tretaya Yuga, Lord Krishna in Dwapara Yuga, and in course of time in different yugas, Buddha, Jesus, and Prophet Mohammed were born in order to maintain peace and harmony on this earth.*

Poet Uzir Beg understood the finer meaning of these religious preachers.
It is because of an intuitive experience that God can only be seen as an inner manifestation of Universal or Cosmic consciousness. If we are rooted in the external iconic symbolism or narrow agenda of exploiting society through altered concepts of divinity that we run into human segregation on the lines of religion.

If divine consciousness or Paramatma is universal then all forms of its perception must be universal. This has been given different names such as Krishna consciousness or Christ consciousness or the enlightened state of Satori in Buddhism or the ‘state of ihsan’ in Islam, based on socio-cultural context. Much literary work is devoted to the concept of Cosmic consciousness in Vedic literature and this is referred as rasa. The concept of rasa is clearly explained by the following text:

“That substance we have previously called the supreme and purest truth is celebrated in all the Vedas by the name “rasa” or nectar. This one and undivided rasa is the principle known as the Supreme Brahman; It is the abode of limitless bliss and the ultimate understanding of God’s glory.
This single undivided truth manifests as the Shakti and the Shaktiman, which are not separate truths, but only appear to be so through the action of vizeSa (perverted reflection). The Shaktiman cannot be perceived except through His Shakti, which is divided into the three functions that manifest all the universes.”
…………….Harinama Cintamani: Chapter 15

Let us promote this universal understanding to truly comprehend that the only one true divine is in all and is Sat-Chit-Ananada.

* With due acknowledgement to “Uzir Beg: Forgotten Bhakti Poet of Orissa” by Mohammed Yamin

Love to you all

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Effectively Casting the Net

“And He said unto them, cast your net on the "right" side of the boat and you shall find what you are looking for. And the disciples did, and they were unable to draw in their Nets for they were filled with a multitude of Fishes.” ………. John 21:6

In the life of Ascended Masters such as Jesus, we always look for the miraculous to confirm their elevated state as people with the highest level of spiritual consciousness. They in turn perform miracles not as some cheap trick to confirm their status but to convey deeper meaning that could elevate the consciousness of all who witness such miracles, especially their closest disciples, but also for posterity through recorded sacred history. The words in the Bible are important when it comes to understanding the full implication of any event or message. If Jesus wanted to just perform a miracle, he would have simply said “Lower your nets again and you will find what you are looking for” but he says “cast your net on the right side”. This is the second time that Jesus performs a miracle involving catching fish and hence it had a very specific purpose.

In the first miracle, the capacity of Jesus and through his teachings, his own disciple’s capacity to move from the physical level of catching fish, which is a resource for physical sustenance, to the new ascended level of harnessing Christ consciousness to augment their own higher consciousness, is being highlighted.
This is the reason that Jesus says “………, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.”
……….. John 10:38
Being in the Father is being at the very source in which true likeness we are created. This is the purest form of Divine or Cosmic Consciousness.
He also confirms that anyone can achieve this higher level of spiritual consciousness and even exceed the level from which Jesus was operating. For he says “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” ……. John 14:12

The second miracle happened after his resurrection and when the Apostles and disciples were at their wits end to understand the mystery of Christ. They were waddling in the muddy and murky waters trying to find some meaning in the events that have taken place. They had an idea of a physically invincible Christ and this miracle is to tell them that they are fishing for meaning in the wrong side. They would be able to find answers if they start to fish for understanding in the “right” side of their own consciousness. “They were unable to draw in their Nets for they were filled with a multitude of Fishes.” The meaning conveyed here is that comprehending the full Christ consciousness is a Herculean task and this realization is portrayed by the act of Peter recognizing Christ on the shore.

Love to you all

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Deploying Polar Opposites

“Knowing what cannot be known--What a lofty aim! Not knowing what needs to be known--what a terrible result! Only when your sickness becomes sick, will your sickness disappear. The Sage's illness has become ill, his renunciation has been renounced. Now he is free and every place in this world is the perfect place to be”……….. This is the 71st verse of Tao Te Ching of Lao Tsu.

These few lines give us a mode of a living that is spiritually driven.
The lofty aim of life is to know what is unknown. The very act of seeking the unknowable is the beginning of wisdom. This needs a redefinition of ‘the unknowable’ because if an entity is unknowable, how can one ever attempt or succeed in knowing. The ‘unknowable’ is that which can not be known through a current level of perception. The path of knowing leading to the knowledge of the unknown has a dual dynamics, one is the forward push of the seeker and the second is the regress or descending of the ‘unknowable’ towards the seeker so that it comes into his ambit of comprehension. This is the reason that in the Proverbs of Solomon it says: “In the discerning heart, wisdom finds a resting place”…..Proverbs 14:33.

Being satisfied with what we know at the surface level and by “not knowing what needs to be known” leads one to a terrible result of poverty of the spirit.

Lao Tsu now explains how the polar opposites are to be employed for eradicating all negative aspects of one life. The sickness becoming sick or the illness becoming ill and the renunciation being renounced are all attributes that can only be altered by redeploying the same attribute. {The double negation which is employed tracks the mathematical postulate that multiplying two negative integers give us a positive integer (-1 X -1 = 1)}.

True freedom results from loss of identity. As I had explained in an earlier blog post, the word ‘identification’ comes from the Latin root ‘idem + facio’ which means ‘same + make’. The attachment of perceived reality to be your own through identification is the root cause of lack of true knowledge. The progress of knowing stops with this step of identification and appropriation. Once this block is removed then it is possible to progress towards higher ‘unknowables’.

As St. Augustine says in his “Confessions”:
“Too late have I loved you, O Beauty of ancient days, yet ever new! Too late have I loved you. And behold, you were within, and I abroad, and there I searched for you. I was deformed, plunging amid those fair forms, which you have made. You were with me, but I was not with you. Things held me far from you – things which, if they were not you, were not at all. You called and shouted, and burst my deafness. You flashed and shone, and scattered my blindness. You breathed odours, and I drew in breath – and I pant for you. I tasted, and I hunger and thirst. You touched me, and I burned for your peace.”

Once this malady of attachment, which is equated to sickness by Lao Tsu, is erased or even moving from renouncing external materiality to a real inner renunciation of all sense oriented perceptions as stated by St. Augustine, takes place, then only you find the highest knowledge within your own heart that truly liberates.

Love to you all

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Meeting to Depart

"Blue mountains lie beyond the north wall;
Round the city's eastern side flows the white water.
Here we part, friend, once forever.
You go ten thousand miles, drifting away
Like an uprooted water-grass.
Oh, the floating clouds and the thoughts of a wanderer!
Oh, the sunset and the longing of an old friend!
We ride away from each other, waving our hands,
While our horses neigh softly, softly . . . . " ………Li Po (701-762 CE)

Li Po, the great Chinese wandering poet, had the capacity to bring out, in simple poetry, great insights into the process of life. Every moment of our lives, we are constantly witnessing a meeting and a departing. This event of meeting and departing starts with our being born into this world and confront our own existence in a new level of evolving consciousness. This journey ultimately comes to an end in our death. The ‘Blue Mountains’ lying to the north mystically portrays our own unfathomable beginning at a higher consciousness level but now seen in the east, a polarized dimension, where we exist as a flow of white water signifying the turbulence of our earthly sojourn.
Every moment of our existence there is a meeting and parting of people, knowledge, emotions. Though some of these entities come back, if we carefully examine them we will find that they are modified due to their own travel and experience in their journey. Let us as an example take the emotion of love. In each stage in our life, the character of love, even towards the same object, its shade, intensity, meaning and purpose, gets continually altered. This is the reason that Li Po says of his friend that he would ‘go ten thousand mile, drifting away’. The floating clouds are the best example of the impermanency of existence which is very similar to the thoughts of the wanderer as the words and actions that issue forth from such thoughts have no permanency in its impact.

This raises the big question. What is the purpose this journey? The permanency of possession is an ego driven thought. It is the ego that seeks to possess and hold on to its experience under a false sense of comfort or fulfilment. If we let go, in this process of experiencing or encountering, there are two benefits that we derive. One there is no suffering in departing or letting go and the other is that in the knowledge of inevitability of this short encounter and our brief relation to all that we come across, we tend not to impose our will upon the object of encounter thus allow the natural order to take its course. In the Gospel of Thomas, in the shortest yet most powerful saying, Jesus says “Be a passer by”….. Logion 42

Especially in our relationship with the ecosystem and our role in human society, the inevitability of meeting to depart and our responsibility to empower rather control or exploit must be borne in our minds. People who lived in the pre-Cartesian dimension, that was before we were told that nature was there to be plundered, were basically no different from us. They had the same positive and negative human attributes, but the results of human profligacy were contained by the natural order of things, which transcended technological and political sophistication and even religious disposition. Excess in the natural order was contained because it was biodegradable. When old civilizations, however opulent, profligate, greedy, or brutal, died, the forest just grew over them. They left no pollutants, damaging poisons or nuclear waste. By contrast, and assuming we survive as a species and are permanent fixtures in this creation, we are heading at a hypersonic speed into a blind alley.
Slow down, let go and enjoy the ride!

Love to you all

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Into the Sea of Darkness

Edgar Allan Poe, whose 200th birth anniversary the literary world is celebrating this year, wrote in his short story “Eleonora”
“I am come of a race noted for vigour of fancy and ardour of passion. Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence -– whether much that is glorious –- whether all that is profound -– does not spring from disease of thought–from moods of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect. They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. In their grey visions they obtain glimpses of eternity, and thrill, in awakening, to find that they have been upon the verge of the great secret. In snatches, they learn something of the wisdom which is of good, and more of the mere knowledge which is of evil. They penetrate, however, rudderless or compassless into the vast ocean of the "light ineffable," and again, like the adventures of the Nubian geographer, "agressi sunt mare tenebrarum, quid in eo esset exploraturi." (This translates from Latin “ventured into the sea of darkness, in order to explore what it might contain")

I had earlier written a blog on the death of Pop icon Michael Jackson titled the “thin dividing line” highlighting the blurring of the border between genius and madness. This article highlights a different approach where one knows that in his pursuit of knowledge or insight one may be called mad, this should not deter him or her from the persistent action of unrelenting search. The opening paragraph in Poe’s work positions the hero in this category. The position in the story is the permanency of love for Eleonora, sealed with an eternal oath, as the indelible and perennial state of existence in the emotional domain. Despite the physical death and separation of the ever lovable Eleonora in the valley of multi-coloured grass and the soothing ‘River of Silence’ holds the hero of the story to an invariable space-time existence, an imposed change into the unknown far from the quiet of the valley into the King’s court, exposes him to Ermengarde, a maiden to whose beauty the hero’s whole recreant heart yielded at once. There is a darkness that envelops the soul as it is torn between the oath to his older love and an emotional need to hold on to the new found object of adoration and the ineffable light that answers the hero’s turbulent heart is through a dream. A familiar and sweet voice, saying:
“Sleep in peace!–for the Spirit of Love reigneth and ruleth, and, in taking to thy passionate heart her who is Ermengarde, thou art absolved, for reasons which shall be made known to thee in Heaven, of thy vows unto Eleonora.”

This story is something that we all live through in our lives especially in our mental domain. A social and parental conditioning in our earlier life, a comforting infatuation of external, imparted knowledge which appears so thrillingly beautiful, that we dare not venture beyond. Most of us live in this ‘River of Silence’ forever till death takes us away. We do not want to leave our Eleonora, the beloved, though she is dead. We have to venture out and dare to dream. This is the voyage into ‘mare tenebrarum’ the sea of darkness. There we may find our new love, Ermengarde.
This is the beauty of life where we allow space for an expansion of our being and this can happen only when we venture beyond the multi-coloured grass valley and river of silence into a space where there is cacophony and mind numbing and challenging darkness. Out of this cacophony and darkness we can wean out a new existence, a singular match of sound and light, wherein we find higher truth.

Love to you all

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Dark Death Dealing Deity

In Bengal the festival of Deepavali coincides with Kali Puja.
Having spent ten years in Kolkota, I can not forget the devotion of Bengalis for Goddess Kali. She was the instrument of mystical experience for Swami Paramhamsa Ramakrishna.
Swami Vivekananda, the great disciple of Ramakrishna, writing the poem “Kali, the Mother” portrays very grotesque and bone chilling image of the Divine Mother, Kali.
Alan watts, the twentieth century Zen philosopher, in his discourse on ‘Images of God’ says that Eastern philosophy and religion had understood the deep essence of God beyond the anthropomorphic trappings so rampant in Western monotheism and point to the imagery of Goddess Kali as the primal understanding of the cosmic nature of the divine.
He quotes the famous episode of an astronaut who returned from a long space flight and he was asked if he had seen God and he said ‘Yes’. He was then asked ‘What is he like?’ He said ‘She is Black’. This is the cosmic understanding of deep space away from the solar system. Many astronauts have had mystical experience when in space and some have devoted their life to spiritual seeking after these experiences. Ed Mitchell, the astronaut of Apollo 14, had this experience on his return from the moon on 9th February 1971.

What is the significance of imagery of Goddess Kali?
Kali's fierce form depicts awesome symbolism. Her black complexion symbolizes her all-embracing and transcendental nature. Says the Mahanirvana Tantra: “Just as all colours disappear in black, so all names and forms disappear in her”, the primal void from which all came into existence. Her nudity is primeval, fundamental, and transparent like Nature — the earth, sea, and sky. Kali is free from the illusory covering, for she is beyond the all Maya or ‘false consciousnesses’. Kali's garland of fifty human heads that stands for the fifty letters in the Sanskrit alphabet, symbolizes infinite knowledge.

Her girdle of severed human hands signifies work and liberation from the cycle of karma. Her white teeth show her inner purity, and her red lolling tongue indicates her omnivorous nature — “her indiscriminate enjoyment of all the world's 'flavours'.” Her sword is the destroyer of false consciousness and the eight bonds that bind us.

Her three eyes represent past, present, and future, — the three modes of time — an attribute that lies in the very name Kali ('Kala' in Sanskrit means time). The eminent translator of Tantrik texts, Sir John Woodroffe in Garland of Letters, writes, “Kali is so called because She devours Kala (Time) and then resumes Her own dark formlessness.”

Kali's proximity to cremation grounds where the five elements or ‘Pancha Mahabhuta’ come together, and all worldly attachments are absolved, again point to the cycle of birth and death. The reclined Shiva lying prostrate under the feet of Kali suggests that without the power of Kali (Shakti), Shiva (the transformative principle in creation) is inert.

With this deeper cosmic understanding let us approach our worship.

Love to you all

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Inner Sabbath – A Singularity

Jesus said, “The person old in days won't hesitate to ask a little child seven days old about the place of life, and that person will live.
For many of the first will be last, and will become a single one.”
………. Gospel of Thomas Logion 4

This saying is potent with meaning which appears to evade us on the surface. Jesus is telling the disciples a continual comment of reaching the Kingdom through realization of the true nature of oneself. Jesus, in this saying, is not talking about a man of advanced age going to a baby who is seven days old and asking for a discourse on empowering knowledge. The true meaning of this saying is that in order to attain immortal life in the spiritual domain, human consciousness which has been contaminated through a long life in this materialistic world and which has become encrusted with trappings of pleasures through the senses, must go inward to the time of emergence of the pure consciousness in this physical body.
The seven days stated as the age of the immaculate child signifies the completion of the Genesis process of physical creation. This is the consciousness that resides in the fully created primal Adam (Adam Kadmon), the primal androgynous human and the ultimate created consciousness where in there is a divine perfection. This perfection is the eternal rest of the Sabbath on the seventh day. As Tau Malachi says “here the Master is speaking of entering into repose and seeking the wisdom of the Divine presence and power that enters the holy abode on the Sabbath”

This may sound a very tall order for common man. The moments of intuitive experience are often ignored by us as against a perception of their non occurrence. This asking the ‘child of seven days’ is experienced in our daily lives as experiences less intense than the "peak event" and are widespread, perhaps universal.

Paul Tillich, the twentieth century American Theologian and Philosopher, speaks of encounters with ‘true reality’ rather than unitive moments or mystical experiences: “Suddenly, true reality appears like the brightness of lightning in a formerly dark place.” Or, he continues, it may slowly appear “like a landscape when the fog becomes thinner and thinner and finally disappears. New darknesses, new fogs will fall upon you, but you have experienced, at least once, the truth and the freedom given by the truth.”

At the age of 33, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that he once had a moment of 'perfect exhilaration' while crossing a common (apparently Boston Common) at twilight: “Almost I fear to think how glad I am . . . Standing on bare ground,--my head in the blithe air and uplifted into infinite space,--all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eyeball; I am nothing, I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or parcel of God.”

Monoimus, the Arab, a great Gnostic (who lived somewhere between 150 - 210 CE) recommended an inward search for truth: “Abandon the search for God and the creation and other matters of a similar sort. Look for him by taking yourself as a starting point. Learn who it is within you makes everything his own and says, “My God, my mind, my soul, my body!” Learn the sources of sorrow, joy, love, hate. . . And if, you carefully seek this out, you will find Him in yourself [as both] one and many things after the likeness of that one singularity. . . .”

Jesus concludes this saying that due to this process, what we considered as primal becomes irrelevant and all experience moves towards a singularity of pure bliss.

Love to you all