Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Internal Navigator

“Your whole life has been a search for meaning, purpose, and completeness. You are aware of a sense within you that seemingly directs you as if it were a compass navigating your essence.This navigator gives you a sense of knowing; directing you away from the trappings of man’s religions and structured thinking. It is elusive to structural thinking. An in-between place that defies logic as humanity understands it. Your hidden senses tell you, that what your eyes see, and hands touch, is not all that there is. You look around in a distant way and then you listen deeply, breathe deeply, feel deeply and It is then that you know that there is a veil between you and some other place that holds an understanding to that which you are. Then, without seemingly knowing, you want, and need, to become one with IT. Do you remember?”

.......... “Handbook of the Navigator” by Eric J Pepin

A sense of purpose envelops all creation. If we look at nature, there is a simple code of adaptation, survival and perpetuation of the species. As the level of consciousness and as intelligence increases in creation, there is higher and more complex drive apart from the basic three modes we mentioned earlier. Man is the highest level of evolution.
Most of our actions, though seemingly are steered by the sensory inputs we receive, there is an innate
intelligence and storehouse of knowledge that we seem to tap into. Evolutionary structure of the brain has adapted to the higher needs. The neocortex is the newer portion of the cerebral cortex that serves as the center of higher mental functions for humans. The neocortex contains some 100 billion cells, each with 1,000 to 10,000 synapses (connections), and has roughly 100 million meters of wiring, all packed into a structure the size and thickness of a formal dinner napkin. The cells in the neocortex are arranged in six layers, within which different regions permit vision, hearing, touch, and the sense of balance, movement, emotional responses and every other feat of cognition. The brains evolution has an inbuilt capability for transcendence.

Man is continually evolving towards a higher state of consciousness.

As Sri Aurobindo says: “The mind spiritualized, purified, liberated, perfected within its own limits may come as near as possible to a faithful mental translation, but we shall find that this is after all a relative fidelity and an imperfect perfection. The mind by its very nature cannot render with an entirely right rightness or act in the unified completeness of the divine knowledge, will and Ananda because it is an instrument for dealing with the divisions of the finite on the basis of division, a secondary instrument therefore and a sort of delegate for the lower movement in which we live. The mind can reflect the Infinite, it can dissolve itself into it, it can live in it by a large passivity, it can take its suggestions and act them out in its own way, a way always fragmentary, derivative and subject to a greater or less deformation, but it cannot be itself the direct and perfect instrument of the infinite Spirit acting in its own knowledge. The divine Will and Wisdom organizing the action of the infinite consciousness and determining all things according to the truth of the spirit and the law of its manifestation is not mental but supramental and even in its formulation nearest to mind as much above the mental consciousness in its light and power as the mental consciousness of man above the vital mind of the lower creation. The question is how far the perfected human being can raise himself above mind, enter into some kind of fusing union with the supramental and build up in himself a level of supermind, a developed gnosis by the form and power of which the divine Shakti can directly act, not through a mental translation, but organically in her supramental nature.”
This is what Pepin says in common language “You look around in a distant way and then you listen deeply, breathe deeply, feel deeply and It is then that you know that there is a veil between you and some other place that holds an understanding to that which you are” The regions the veil divides are mental and the supramental.

Love to you all

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Jesus, Justice, Jazz

"Only a life lived in the service of others is worth living.
Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth."
--Albert Einstein

On 23rd July ‘The Christian Post’ reported an event in New Orleans where 37,000 youth had gathered to celebrate the theme of ‘Jesus, Justice, Jazz’ through various activities. The organizers said that choosing New Orleans was very intentional as a place where our young people can learn the Christian value of compassionate justice. Each of the 37,000 attendees (most of whom are young people) at the July 22-26 gathering have paid their own way to a city still recovering from Hurricane Katrina to work on about 150 community service projects – which include cleaning up neighborhoods, painting schools, rebuilding homes and running day camps. By the end of the event, they will have clocked more than 250,000 hours of community service. This is the need of the hour and how spirituality should be translated into action.

This theme could be applied any where to any cultural or religious milieu. It could be ‘Krishna, Karma, Kathak’ in cities or villages ravaged by natural disasters or fundamentalist violence or ‘Buddha, Bodhisattva, Ballet’ in societies where knowledge exclusion and dogmatic slavery are practiced.
Though, as I have been writing in my various articles, papers and post, that fundamental to change is a new level of individual consciousness rooted in true spirit empowering wisdom, It is only through collective social action that the new world order can be established.

The deep spiritual truth which emanates from divine masters, but which is resident in all humans is masked by our daily concerns and worldly attachments. The spiritual masters like Krishna, Buddha, Jesus and Mohammad were like polished mirror which reflects the indwelling beauty in a lucid and untainted manner. The thread that connects this manifest knowledge to our own spiritual advancement is action. This is the reason that Apostle James writing to all the Mediterranean Christians says “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead”James 2:17
In Bhagavad-Gita Krishna says: “On the other hand, if a sincere person tries to control the active senses by the mind and begins karma-yoga [in Krishna consciousness] without attachment, he is by far superior.” …. Ch 3:7

As a social being man becomes an integral part of the created whole. In the face of injustice or suffering, nature of insensitivity from any individual is unpardonable. Again in Bhagavad-Gita Krishna says: “The intricacies of action are very hard to understand. Therefore one should know properly what action is, what forbidden action is, and what inaction is.”… Ch 4:17
Jesus also demonstrates, in his parable of the Good Samaritan, the sin of inaction in the face of suffering.

This world and all its creation are crying out for right action in the face of injustice and man induced suffering. Let us become healers through our action in whatever capacity we can.

Love to you all

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sleeping Beauty

Today is the total Solar eclipse and we experience the sun going to sleep at an unusual time. This event evoked in my mind a stream of thought on the benefit of sleep of unusual nature.

We are all well aware of the fairy tale “Sleeping Beauty”. Just to recapitulate the essential elements of the story; we have the beautiful princess,Aurora, the wicked fairy God mother, the curse that puts the princess to sleep and then we have the happy ending of the prince who wakes up the princess with a kiss.

Everyday I receive a news letter from Science Daily with the latest discoveries and research findings in the area of Biology, medicine and cosmology. Yesterday an interesting discovery was announced by a team who is a part of a large European project known by the name “Sleeping Beauty Project”. They are studying survival of species in extreme conditions. The discovery is that ‘Arctic springtails’ dehydrate themselves in order to survive the worst of polar ice, snow and low temperatures, which can easily reach -14°C. They shrivel up into small husks until, when conditions become more favourable, they re-hydrate themselves and re-emerge. This is the first study to identify the genetic basis for this physiological process. To generate the cold-induced gene expression profile of springtails, researchers compared gene expression in groups of the animals exposed to different environmental conditions. In the African plains, in the riverbed, certain species of fish lay eggs which have extremely hard shell which can survive drought of up to two to three years and hatch when the conditions are favourable.
Without going into specifics, what this indicates is the innate intelligence built into cells and genes, where ordered structure and survival emerges in creation. This is one of the premises for a select band of individuals for promoting the ‘Creation by design’ concept as compared to the Darwinian evolution by natural selection. When seen in isolation some intelligent gene expressions seem unique but if we really look at all creation there is abundant intelligence coded into life process in the most intricate fashion.

The fairy tale and the scientific discovery have a common thread. All creations are intrinsically beautiful like Aurora and come with an unsullied consciousness symbolised by the baptism of Aurora and the accompaniment of good fairies. But the threat of the wicked influence starts at the birth of creation and is only mitigated by a deep slumber that becomes a mode of survival. This is the symbolism of withdrawal of all sensory influences. This is truly reflected in nature.

As Joseph Chilton Pearce, the famous neuro-cardiologist, says that fighting a cultural or established social norm would only feed the needed survival energy to the very evil we are fighting. A wiser method would be to establish a new level of consciousness in individuals. This group of individuals would start fuelling a new network of change agents.

Externally one would observe a harmless sleeping beauty but the internal spiritual drive is operative to evoke a new level of consciousness and wake up at the right moment and in a new environment.

Love to you all

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Right Mode of Asking

I bargained with life for a penny
And life would pay no more
However I begged at evening
When I counted my scanty store

For life is a just employer
He gives you what you ask
But once you have set the wages
Why, you must bear the task

I worked for a menial's hire
Only to learn dismayed
That any wage I had asked of life
Life would have willing paid.

-- “My Wage” by Jessie B. Rittenhouse

Life offers us abundance in terms of her own bounties. Due to our own self knowledge we pre-judge the capacity for us to receive. Most often the receiving is associated with creation of imbalance. We always receive at the expense of somebody or something. The self predominates in any mode of acquisition, whether it be in love or life.

Today one of the most sought after new age mantra is ‘Law of Attraction’. A concept pioneered by many avatars of new age gurus. The book “The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne and other literature speak volumes on the concept that we are only a short step from obtaining whatever we want from life, money, health, power and relationships. This step is intention, a thought process. Like in all prescriptions for any remedy, the fine prints have to be read in detail to know how this wonderful secret can make you the man or woman you want to be.

To evoke the law of attraction and to make it operative as a cosmic link, a number of small steps are needed and it requires a broad understanding and slow process of assimilation to reach a stage where the thoughts can acquire the needed drive to open the portal or flood gates of universal abundance.

The first step is to realize the nature of reality of all existence. Deepak Chopra writes: “We are not onlookers peering into the unified field of separate, objective reality - we are the unified field. We can reach beyond the physical body and extend the influence of intelligence. Every thought you are thinking creates a wave in the unified field. It ripples through all the layers of intellect, mind, senses, and matter, spreading out in wider and wider circles. You are like a light radiating not photons but consciousness. As they radiate, your thoughts have an effect on everything. Your relationship to life is the same as that of one cell to your whole body. One cell can talk to your whole body. One cell can influence your whole body. You can talk to the whole of life - influence the whole of life. The whole of life is as alive as we are. The distinction between 'in here' and 'out there' is a false one - as if the heart disregarded the skin because it was not on the inside.”

The second step is building a harmonious relationship with all creation and this action removes the
mental categories and their associated tension and resistance. We learn from science that when two dissimilar metals are brought together, there is a barrier potential which can increase the resistance to electrical current flow. Similarly removal of identity of the self creates a zero resistance field and an unhindered flow in the seamless cosmic environment.

In the third step, the very act of attracting the resources abundant in the universe becomes an all pervading process because we become an integral part of the cosmic plan and will not be alienated to perceive resultant actions as not being beneficial or adequate for oneself. This is called surrender to the divine will but termed in modern terminology as ‘Law of Attraction’

As Jessie Rittehouse says beautifully in her poem if we are receiving less in life it is because we have asked for it and not because it is given to us. The tremendous meaning behind the words of Jesus “Ask and it shall be given” can be better understood in the light of this knowledge that we have today.

Love to you all

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Language of the Soul

“Let your joy be the joy born of My Most Great Name, a Name that bringeth rapture to the heart, and filleth with ecstasy the minds of all who have drawn nigh unto God.
We, verily, have made music as a ladder for your souls, a means whereby they may be lifted up unto the realm on high.”
…….. Bahá'u'lláh

The quote at the beginning of this post is from the Kitab-I-Aqdas, which is more of a set of instructions for a life rooted in spiritual consciousness for followers of the Bahai faith.

One day during my recent visit to my daughter’s home in Norwich, England, I had a unique experience. I strolled into the rear end of her garden and there in a small flower a bee was hovering with a typical buzz. It was extremely quiet, a total silence and no ambient noise polluted this divine sound of nature. Without realizing what I was doing I stood there and closed my eyes. As the visual distraction was removed from my perception, the buzz took on a new character. I could distinguish the modulation as the bee was flying around the flower and soon the concept of the bee being there also disappeared and the pure sound filled all my senses. It was no different from enjoying a symphony or being transported to a new level of consciousness through some Vedic chanting.

My thoughts, in the Norwich garden, later transported me to the Spielberg 1977 movie “Close Encounters of a Third Kind” where the medium of communication when the aliens arrive, is through musical notation because the scientists believe that the cosmic language must be based on vibrations of the energy field. The predominant energy present on earth for us humans is the air and vibrations in air are perceived by the human senses as sound.

Last week there was an article in Times of India in the ‘Speaking Tree’ column “In the Beginning was Sound”. Shri Shri Anandamurti, the author, says: “In the beginning, there was sound. The manifestation of sound is the subtlest; even more so than light. That is why the karnendriya, the ear, is considered as the subtlest organ. Acoustic expressions are of two kinds: one is the divine, or spiritual acoustic expression and the other is the physical. The sound you hear is the physical acoustic expression. The ordinary ear does not perceive the vaster spiritual acoustic expression in the divine realm, in the cosmic domain”. The ringing of chimes during meditation is to link and elevate perception from the physical to the spiritual level.

We are able to hear only a very narrow bandwidth of frequencies but the divine sound operates in the subtlest of planes with a vast array of frequencies in many dimensions (This is the basic tenet of Superstring theory in Physics). This is the reason that science is hitting a brick wall in trying to unravel the nature of reality as through our consciousness we cannot perceive these subtleties. It is only through an inner journey by going beyond waking and dream consciousness that one can attempt to savour the music of the atma. But the path can be initiated through melodic music as Bahá'u'lláh says:
“We, verily, have made music as a ladder for your souls, a means whereby they may be lifted up unto the realm on high”

Love to you all

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Essence of Divinity

Writing on his concept of God, Ashok Chopra, a columnist in Times of India says:

“I don’t look for Him and He doesn’t for me. I never found Him in any gurudwara, temple, church or mosque. But, I easily find him everyday in the music of a composer, in the voice of a singer, in the painting of a painter, in the writing of an author. He’s there in a monument, in a sculpture, in a piece of fashion garment, in a manuscript that lands on my desk for publication. I see Him in the innocent smile of that child standing half-naked with nose running in some far off village. I find Him in my friends who have taken me into their lives, their world, who are always there for me, who stand by me, who tolerate my various moods and eccentricities.
You can discover God by reconciling your different selves — the good, the bad and the ugly. Remember Graham Greene’s words: “...If there is a God who uses us and makes his saints out of such material as we are, the devil too may have his ambitions; he may dream of training even such a person as myself...” I guard and protect myself from being influenced by the teachings and preaching of any baba, any guru, any mata, any moral brigade on how to be pious. For me, God is there within; certainly not in the distance, but here and now. I don’t waste time in prayers or in meditation. The only prayer to me is my work. My meditation is not to hurt anyone. It helps me have a clear mind. It gives me a good night’s sleep. And I enjoy the fruits of work to the hilt.”

In a more profound way, the great Indian mystic Aurobindo, in his essays on “Divine and Human” says:

“Yoga is not a modern invention of the human mind, but our ancient and prehistoric possession. The Veda is our oldest extant human document and the Veda, from one point of view, is a great compilation of practical hints about Yoga. All religion is a flower of which Yoga is the root; all philosophy, poetry & the works of genius use it, consciously or unconsciously, as an instrument. We believe that God created the world by Yoga and by Yoga He will draw it into Himself again. Yoga is the birth and passing away of things (“Yogah prabhavapyayau”).
When Sri Krishna reveals to Arjuna the greatness of His creation and the manner in which He has built it out of His being by a reconciliation of logical opposites, he says “Behold my divine Yoga” (“Pasya me yogam aishwaram”). We usually attach a more limited sense to the word; when we use or hear it, we think of the details of Patanjali's system, of rhythmic breathing, of peculiar ways of sitting, of concentration of mind, of the trance of the adept. But these are merely details of particular systems. The systems are not the thing itself, any more than the water of an irrigation canal is the river Ganges. Yoga may be done without the least thought for the breathing, in any posture or no posture, without any insistence on concentration, in the full waking condition, while walking, working, eating, drinking, talking with others, in any occupation, in sleep, in dream, in states of unconsciousness, semiconsciousness, double-consciousness. It is no nostrum or system or fixed practice, but an eternal fact of process based on the very nature of the Universe.”

Yoga stands essentially on the fact that in this world we are everywhere one, yet divided; one yet divided in our being, one with yet divided from our fellow creatures of all kinds, one with yet divided from the infinite existence which we call God, Nature or Brahman.

Love to you all

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Identity of the Twin

The very first verse of the Gospel of Thomas goes as follows:

“These are the secret sayings which the living Jesus spoke and which Didymos Judas Thomas wrote down” And He said “Whoever finds the interpretations of these sayings will not experience death”

Almost all spiritual masters transmitted their deep insight through an oral tradition. Spontaneous dissemination which transcended space and time was their unique character. Jesus himself taught on the steps of the temple, in the field wheat as he was walking with the disciples and in the synagogue. Many scholars interpret ‘secret sayings’ as special messages that was delivered in secret to Thomas and they base their findings on one saying in the Gospel which says “….he took him, and withdrew, and spoke three sayings to him. When Thomas came back to his friends they asked him, “What did Jesus say to you?”………”. But Jesus spoke always to all the disciples as evident from the narration of the Gospels. His transmission was mainly intended for the disciples for he knew that he can not reach out to all the people and it required a well prepared mind to take in what he was saying. Therefore the ‘secret sayings’ has relevance to the capability of the recipient. It can be equated to a radio transmission which is broadcast to all but can be received only when the receiver is tuned to the frequency in which the transmission is broadcast. It is inner preparedness and state of grace that is necessary to fully grasp the meanings of the saying. This can be equated to the Zen Koans which on the face of it appears to be meaningless but on deeper examination reveals subtle meaning.

The next emphasis is on ‘living Jesus’. Why does Thomas pronounce the aliveness of Jesus while the words are spoken? Tau Malachi, the modern Jewish mystic says: “the living Yeshua is speaking in secret within and behind your heart”. This is not a historic event when Jesus spoke certain words to his disciples but a present occurrence that takes place in all seeking souls which live in perennial Christ (divine) consciousness. In divine consciousness the physical name and form is transcended and physical existence or death becomes meaningless. It is the all pervading spirit that operates and as the spirit is immortal the consciousness in which it is operating imparts an immortal attribute to the source of this knowledge as well as to the recipient, hence the words 'living Jesus' and 'Whoever finds the interpretations of these sayings will not experience death'.

Underlying all the above analysis is the subtle message built into the very first verse. The final author of the sayings of Yeshua is Didymos Judas Thomas. Didymos in Greek and Thoma in Aramaic mean twin. If you have to write down the sayings of Yeshua in your heart and live by it, you also have to become the twin. The twin of Yeshua means you also become one with the Father. The double emphasis of the nature of the twin reveals a state “as above so below and as without so within”

Love to you all

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Ocean of Immortality

While instructing the young Narendra, who would later become the great Swami Vivekananda, Swami Ramakrishna Paramahansa advices him in these words.
“Narendra, God is an ocean of nectar. Tell me if you will dive into this sea or not? Well, imagine that there is a bowl full of sugar syrup and you are a fly. Where will you perch yourself and drink the syrup? Narendra said, ‘I will sit on the edge of the bowl, extend my mouth and sip from there; for if I go farther, I will get drowned.’ Then Swamiji said, ‘My son, this is the ocean of Sachchidananda. There is no fear of death in it. It is the ocean of immortality.’ Only the ajnanis (ignorant) say that one should not have excess of the nectar of God’s love and prema. Is there a limit to the love for God? So I say to you: Immerse yourself in the sea of Sachchidananda.”

Swamiji calls the omnipresent Godhead as the ocean of Sachchidananda. Why did he choose this name?
You must go back to the answer given by young Narendra to commence this analysis. Narendra says “I will sit on the edge of the bowl, extend my mouth and sip from there; for if I go farther, I will get drowned”. This is the view of God held by the ignorant as well as by most religious traditions, where we see God as something external, that which is to be tasted, seen and experienced outside of oneself. When we do this we are limited by our capacity which is the product of our senses.
This is the reason that in the Bhagavad-Gita, when asked by Arjuna to reveal his universal form Lord Krishna says:
“But you cannot see Me with your present eyes. Therefore I give you divine eyes. Behold My mystic opulence!” ….. Ch: 11-8.
The great German Christian mystic, Meister Eckhart says:
“The knower and the known are one. Simple people imagine that they should see God as if he stood there and they here. This is not so. God and I, we are one in knowledge”

Swami Ramakrishna admonishes the young student to immerse himself. This immersion into Godhead happens through a three step process. This process is Sat – Chit – Ananda. The first is to be bestowed with divine eyes through which we can perceive the universal truth (Sat means truth in Sanskrit). What does this mean? It means that we have to transcend to a higher level of perception by moving away and remaining unattached to what we normally see as reality. This is an intuitive process brought about by study, contemplation and single pointed meditation.

Chit in Sanskrit means 'to think' but thinking is the result of consciousness and therefore chit really means 'to be conscious of'. In the second step what are we conscious of? A new reality therefore a new consciousness.
Finally, the new consciousness is experienced as bliss (Ananda) that grounds one's being into this new reality. Why is this state called ‘Ocean of immortality’ because this new reality is an all encompassing singularity beyond space and time and never changing.

Meister Eckhart says:
“There exists only the present instant... a Now which always and without end is itself new. There is no yesterday nor any tomorrow, but only Now, as it was a thousand years ago and as it will be a thousand years hence”.

We are all embarked on this journey of imbibing this nectar. This the everlasting thirst of every soul which will never rest until it merges with its source.

Love to you all

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Erasing the Thin Divide

Oscar Levant, a famous pianist and media star of the 1930s and ’40s, battled for decades against mental illness, surviving several painful hospitalizations. He once declared: “There is a fine line between insanity and genius. I have erased that line.”

The late Michael Jackson (MJ) erased the same line—and blurred many other distinctions in the course of his extraordinary career. In his death the pop icon leaves behind a very telling story of human life.
This story unfolds thus:

A talented child is what we are all born. This talent is a birth gift of God or divine creation that every child receives. Those of you who have read Stephen Covey’s book ‘The 8th Habit’ will know in much more clarity the totality of gifts that we receive at birth through the four intelligences (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual).
As we grow into young men and women, we sometime leave these gifts in their original packaging without ever bothering to open it or we open these gifts and fail to use them to their full potential. Many people have their own tainted view of what the gifts are intended for and remould them to suit their own perception of life’s purpose.

The physical intelligence bestows excellent health in everyone. You only need to look at a baby to realize the vitality and vigour. But as we grow we heap abuse on the body. The post mortem on MJ revealed the extent of abuse his body has been subject to. The culture of addiction to junk food through commercial exploitation and the unhealthy life style we go through in our lives constantly deteriorates the physical intelligence with which we are born.

The mental intelligence goes through a spurt of upgrade in the early stages of our lives. You can see it in children’s capacity for learning and this is the stage at which our individual talents become manifest and MJ was a pioneer in introducing a new genre of music and dance to the world. I was always fascinated with his moon-walk. The gliding motion while still rooted to the ground which to me today signifies the frictionless movement of life in a cosmic stream while still rooted to this grounded existence. The emotion that was created in millions of youth was an emotion of ecstasy. But as we progress we get distracted to the superficial values of appearances. There used to be a comedy show in the British television (1990-1994) called “Keeping up Appearances” which portrayed how people take extreme and rediculous measures to be seen as someone different from what they are. This was true in MJ's case. The quality of life degrades.

The emotional intelligence which is focused and nurtured through love goes through gross modification. MJ missed his childhood totally and all that went on in his marriage and the Neverland Ranch scandal was a shoddy attempt to seek authentic and unconditional love.

The ultimate result is that your spiritual intelligence which cannot be altered goes through a period of suppression. Always the spirit calls out to you and I was moved to read the interview which Deepak Chopra, who was good friend and mentor of MJ, gave after MJ's death. Deepak said that MJ was reading Tagore’s poems and was composing songs on climate change. This is the spirit calling out.

It is within our capacity to remain rooted to our true spiritual nature. We are all born geniuses with our different gifts. But it is easy to erase this divide between what is perceived as genius and what we term as insanity. All artificial modes of effecting any so called enhancements to our inherent talents are the tools with which we erase this barrier that prevents a genius from becoming insane.

There have been geniuses like Leanardo Da Vinci, Beethoven, Einstein and many more who understood this great truth and their contribution is none the less valuable.

Love to you all