Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Garments of Christ – Spiritual Significance

As we approach the end of the holy week and the events of Good Friday loom large in our minds, it is important to understand the spiritual significance of certain events. Let us first look at the dining scene of the last supper. The Gospel of John captures the scene in the following words:

“Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist”……..
John 13:3-4

Then comes the torture and shame Christ was subjected to.
“They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him. And they began to call out to him, “Hail, king of the Jews!” Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him. And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.”………
Mark 15: 17-20

Finally, the scene at the crucifixion.
“When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. “Let's not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let's decide by lot who will get it.”…………John 19:23-24

In these three incidents we see the casting away of the garment or change of garment in the final act in Christ’s life.
In the first case there is a voluntary casting away of his garments to indicate to the disciple that when one is engaged in the work of the spirit all external coverings are to be cast away. In humility, when we are engaged in life empowering work, all external trappings are a hindrance. The significance of the washing of the disciple’s feet by the spiritual master authenticates the egalitarian status of all creation in the eye of the creator.

In the second incident, Christ is robed with a purple garment, which was a regal colour. The garment is invested on Christ only for a very short duration. This signifies that all worldly power is short lived. Purple also signifies, as adjective, something ‘shocking and profane’. It is a colour that is to be avoided by anyone who desires effective communication. In a regal state there is always a one way communication but in a divine dialogue there is a fully participatory two way communication. In the final preparation Christ is given back his original simple robe, signifying the untainted nature of Christ in his own incarnate nature.

Finally, we come to Calvary where Christ is disrobed. The four shares that the Gospel writers mention carry a deeper meaning. Christ in his final hour readies to shed his four physical attributes which are
annamaya (gross), pranamaya (subtle), manomaya (mental) and vignanamaya (intellectual) koshas (garment or covering). His core of existence, the anandamaya kosha, a garment where there is no beginning or end, a seamless existence, can not be divided or destroyed and it passes on for a final merger with the Father.

Let us, especially in the next few days, meditate on the wonderful and deep messages left to us in this Christ legacy through the words of the Gospel writers and reap a good spiritual harvest.

Love to you all

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Cry of Hosanna

Today we celebrate the festival of the Palm Sunday and the beginning of the Holy Week.
The triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, on a donkey with people carrying palms and shouting 'Hosanna', is something that is deeply etched in our minds. The deeper question that has to be asked is why the word ‘Hosanna’ was used as a salutation. In ancient Hebrew ‘hoshana’ means ‘please save’ or ‘save now’. This can be seen in the Psalms of David.

We beseech Thee, O LORD,
save now! We beseech Thee, O LORD, make us now to prosper!
Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD; we bless you out of the house of the LORD.
…………
Psalm 118: 25-26

A careful reading of Psalm 118 will show that it was by no means the most natural psalm for the multitude to instinctively to quote from, especially as it was not then the time of the Feast of Tabernacles, to which this psalm was appropriated. Nor is it unimportant to remark that the psalmist’s reference in Psalm 118: 25 was not to the Son of David, but to the assembled congregation whose mouthpiece he was.

How is it then an acclamation of redemptive nature appropriate during the Feat of Passover? To understand the significance why the Gospel writers interjected this victorious and yet pleading acclamation, one has to understand the happenings during the Feast of the Tabernacle or
‘Sukkot’ and the ‘Korban Pesach’.

During Sukkot, two important ceremonies took place. The Hebrew people carried torches around the temple, illuminating bright 'candelabrum' along the walls of the temple to demonstrate that the Messiah would be a light to the Gentiles. Also, the priest would draw water from the pool of 'Siloam' and carry it to the temple where it was poured into a silver basin beside the altar. The priest would call upon the Lord to provide heavenly water in the form of rain for their supply. During this ceremony the people looked forward to the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. Some records reference the day spoken of by the prophet Joel.

In the New Testament, Jesus attended the Feast of Tabernacles and spoke these amazing words on the last and greatest day of the Feast: “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”……..
John 7:37-38. The next morning, while the torches were still burning Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”……………John 8:12

When the Temple in Jerusalem was standing, the focus of the Passover festival was the ‘Korban Pesach’ (“Pesach sacrifice” also known as the “Paschal Lamb”), which commemorated the liberation of Israel from Egypt and had a redemptive character to it.

When seen together the two festivals proclaim the Divine wisdom making a manifestation in the messianic Christ (Feast of the Tabernacle) and the impending sacrifice and a permanent release (Feast of the Passover) from death through which humanity is liberated through the Divine wisdom.

Hence the apt salutation, whether it is an appeal for salvation or a shout of Joy for the gift of liberation, is ‘Hosanna’

Love to you all

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Concept of Our Final Destination

“So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body………….in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory.”…………. St. Paul 1 Corinthians 15:42-44, 52-54

“Yet there is another unmanifest nature, which is eternal and is transcendental to this manifested and unmanifested matter. It is supreme and is never annihilated. When all in this world is annihilated, that part remains as it is. That which the Vedantins describe as unmanifest and infallible, that which is known as the supreme destination that place from which having attained it, one never returns—that is My supreme abode.”………….
Bhagavad-Gita Chapter 8 verse 20-21

These two verses from the Bible and Bhagavad-Gita clearly define the transition that takes place upon the death of the physical body. Why I chose this subject is because there has been a number of people in the Christian faith who have been asking me, being a raised Catholic, whether I believe in one life and or reincarnation. I tell them I believe in both and there is this bewildered look on their face as though they are talking to a crazy person. Let me make my point very clear. Both scriptures talk the same thing, while St. Paul addresses the end of physical reality from a 'creature perspective' , the Bhagavad-Gita addresses the same from a 'Divine perspective'.

I believe in one life and a judgement, which is continuous from the moment we take a specific manifestation. (as far as I am an individual in a specific body, mind and their related consciousness.) There will be a total annihilation and a transformation, as St. Paul so authentically states, at the time of physical death. The individual consciousness is annihilated from its associated perishable nature. This can be very well understood as practically our entire individual consciousness is derived from a modification resulting from perishable senses and perishable objects. Death is a purging process through which consciousness is freed from all its trappings associated with material manifestation. But just as a nail mark can not be eliminated from beautiful wooden statue into which a nail was driven even by removing the nail, individual consciousness is not fully qualified for final integration with the unsullied Divine plenum. The judgement is the process wherein a divine evaluation, as to the qualification of acceptability, for assimilation into the Divine plenum. For some of you who are students of physics or electrical engineering, you would know that if the Divine plenum is equated to the highest, an exercise must be initiated as to whether the newly encountered potential is totally devoid of any imprinted
and inherent resistance. If there is still resistance then a further purging is essential.

This is the reason I believe in reincarnation or re-manifestation as a purification process. To understand in simpler terms all cleansing, purgation and corrections can only happen at a level below the ultimate pure plenum. All levels below this ‘supreme abode’ are at a created level. We may not understand all created levels and at which level we are operating due to our limited consciousness. But as Lord Krishna says the ultimate destiny is the level described as 'unmanifest and infallible'. All will reach this at the end of ‘Brahma’s day’ but when this singularity will happen we do not know. But our soul must be focused on that 'heaven' when we will sit at the right hand of the Father.

Love to you all

Monday, March 22, 2010

Two Very Valid Questions

My friend JP posed two very valid questions in response to my previous blog "Extricating the Diamond". I think all who visit my blog must benefit from these questions that have been raised and the answers I am providing.
----------------------------------
JP's questions:

The subject of 'attachment' brings about interesting thoughts. While most spiritual scriptures prescribe staying away from attachments/desires, we as humans are programmed (right from childhood) to seek, have goals, excel, achieve. The more 'success' you want, the harder you work (and desire) for it. Yet, this seems to be the exact opposite of what most religious/spiritual texts prescribe. So, my Q is - why is there such a disconnect??? It is not like parents and grandparents of our generation or otherwise are 'ignorant' of this notion that attachments and desires are 'maya' and non-permanent. So, why do you think we 'stray'?

Another aspect that I would like to bring out and would love to hear your opinion is the following.... Many spiritual texts prescribe that the one desire that is OK to have is, to have union with God or the Love of God. Others are not so desirable (pun intended!) as it leads to indulgence in and of the self and/or leads to boosting or feeding one's ego. So does it mean that Love of (or desire for) God (or the self, if you believe in non-duality) is not considered attachment?? How do we explain this.

As always, I appreciate your comments.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Tib's answers

Thank you for the sharing. Two very valid questions you have raised and I will try to answer them to the best of my ability.

The first question is regarding the disconnect between what the spiritual masters have been saying and the real life situation in which we find ourselves.

Humans are a continuously evolving species. Our evolution is not only physical but it is also in the consciousness plane. This is now proven by very many scholars both in the scientific field as well as in the philosophical and spiritual field. One of the greatest proponents, of humans as evolving towards higher levels of consciousness, was Sri. Aurobindo. Consciousness studies in sociology and philosophy has identified five clear states through which humans have evolved. They are tribal, warrior, traditional, modern and post-modern. I do not want to go into details here but you can broadly understand that in ‘tribal’, humans were in close identity with nature, in ‘warrior’, the ego and power dominated. In the ‘traditional’, religious dogma, laws and subjugation was predominant. The industrial age brought out an attitude of breaking free with the domination of science and a rebellious generation of people came into existence. This is the ‘modern’ level of consciousness. You should also understand that humans do not go through total change from age to age in their consciousness but live with a combination of these different structures. I will stop here because for the question raised, you can realize that the ‘warrior’ and ‘modern’ are predominantly operating in humans today. This is the reason we seek power and control and we employ tools from the ‘modern’ structure to achieve our ambition.

But spiritual masters understood that the inner Self always seeks the ultimate all pervading consciousness. This is the reason that they talked off transcending beyond the current levels and structures of our consciousness towards the higher reality. Today, we are already seeing a lot of contemporary philosophers and thinkers like, Ken Wilber, Alan Combs, who are not spiritual Gurus but who have evolved concepts like holistic thinking and ‘Integral’ consciousness.

Finally to answer your question, we have 90% of humanity is still rooted in ‘warrior’ and ‘traditional’ consciousness and control 99% of the global resources. People who are at the ‘integral’ stage are less than 1% of humanity. This is the reason the disconnect happens.

The second question has been asked by true seekers throughout humanity.

The command, desire for God and none other, places God in an objective category. Scriptures were written not as literary document but mainly as esoteric texts. For example the concept of ‘Nirguna’ Brahma and ‘Saguna’ Brahma was introduced for the understanding of a very difficult concept, namely God. For the common man God could be grasped through the divine attributes which all could see in action (creation, preservation and destruction). Similarly, attachment or desire for God can not be equated to a human attachment to a reality that manifests itself in the sensory level. The attachment that is to be avoided of which the Gita or Spiritual texts speak is for a reality in the sensory and the resultant mental constructs. God can not be comprehended through a mental or sensory modality and hence this attachment or desire for God has to have a new meaning as reaching out to or longing for in our higher consciousness level.

Most rituals today do not address this higher meaning though originally, when these very same rituals were instituted, they were meant to elevate the consciousness of the devotee and not intended for some mental satisfaction.

I hope I have been able to provide some clarity.

Thanks for this opportunity JP

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Extricating the Diamond

“He who thinks constantly of a thing, Develops attachment to such a thing, And from such an attachment desire develops, And from desire is born the anger.
From anger is born the great illusion, The great illusion leads to bewilderment, Which leads to destruction of wisdom, Which in turn leads to the total destruction”…..
Bhagavad-Gita Ch 2: 62-63

Attachment is a derivative of the mental process of thinking. Since thinking is predominantly based on mental images or maps that are already stored in our memory field, the thought process is nourished by sensory inputs throughout our lives and subtle information that culture feeds into our individual system. Culture has a strong influence this is the reason that conquerors whether from a political or religious perspective always suppressed or destroyed local cultures of the vanquished. This is usually done in the name civilization or the one true God. Anyway, not detracting from an individual perspective, attachment becomes rooted to one’s ego through constant preoccupation of the mind and when such attachment reaches a critical level, the desire to possess takes over. This is a process of your ego identifying with what it desires. This is a saturation response. Just like, if you add salt to water the resulting salt solution increases in concentration but when fully saturated no further salt can dissolve and the water looses its identity and becomes totally identified with the salt. Any threat to this identification through the desire to possess is posed; the resulting response is frustration and anger at the failure.

This whole process creates a world centred on a plenitude of desires seeking fulfilment in the ego through the mind. This world of desires becomes the living reality for the self. This is the grand illusion that Bhagavad-Gita speaks of.

This world of illusion in which one lives is hollow as innately the soul seeks self fulfilment through a state of permanency. But all the objects of causation of desire are created entities and have no permanency. There is a constant anxiety created in the mind when in the mode of attachment and desire due to the need for identifying the object of desire as one’s own and the constant fear of loosing it one’s desire is fulfilled. This is the bewildering situation that the great sage Vedvyasa, author of this great spiritual text, so logically illustrates.

When one is in a constant state of illusion and bewilderment, one can not reach out to wisdom. The mind, which is instrument of seeking, is totally preoccupied in an illusionary exercise and losses its capacity to transcend to the level that is needed to comprehend higher reality and thus true wisdom.
Imagine a situation in a forest where there is a beautiful tree capable of yielding a fruit of exquisite taste and capable of nourishment of the highest order. The fruit matures and drops to the ground. It has to be carried to a new location and embedded for a rebirth to grow and yield this nourishing fruit. If this fruit falls into a thicket of decaying leaves and is buried, no animal will eat it and carry its seed to a new location for its intended purpose of existence. A person caught up in illusionary covering undergoes the same fate. The transporting wisdom can not get hold of him or her from the ground of
maya and elevate him or her to the plane of bearing richer fruit in this cycle of existence. This is termed as ‘total destruction’, a destruction of the intended purpose of creation.

Love to you all

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Beauty from Within

The following verse is taken from the ‘Daily Meditations’ of Deng Ming Dao.

“From a bud, only a promise,
Then gentle opening,
Rich blossoming, bursting fragrance,
The fulfilment of the centre”

If we look around in nature there is a common thread of revelation. The final manifestation through progressive growth is a process of increasing marvel. As explained in the above saying, in the bud there is only a promise. Promise is that in which the final expectation is already predetermined, a final outcome that is already a foregone conclusion. Yet at every stage of unfolding we witness an elation of the spirit. The beholder, though in the knowledge of the inevitable, is continuously treated to an imagery which results in stroking the fire of desire, an expectation with bated breath.

There are two aspects namely the material manifestation which is associated with budding, opening, blooming. Pollinating, withering fructifying and falling and there is a metaphorical aspect and in this there are the stages that are marked by budding, opening, blossoming, pervading and finally fulfilment.
I want to spend sometime on the metaphorical aspect as it relates to our spiritual life.

Budding is a stage when there is a marked change in our being. This comes from our innate desire to manifest our true being. This comes from the core of one’s existence just as the flower bud is the all encompassing potentiality of the final product; namely the flower in all its glory. Every human being is born with birth gifts of four intelligences as Stephen Covey says in his book “The Eighth Habit”. The budding process should create an ambience where the unfolding process can take place. This exercise is not only for any individual but for all with whom we come in contact. The four intelligences are physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
Opening is facilitated by uninhibited enquiry and seeking. Through this process a validation of intuitive wisdom occurs through wisdom that pervades the universe.
Blossoming is the maturation period when one forms one’s own code of existence which though in conformance to universal dharma, reveals uniqueness due to the karmic determinants in this manifestation. A rose has to smell as a rose not as a jasmine. Certain creations are destined for their aesthetic beauty and not for any other attributes.
Having established the specific mode deploying the combined gifts of our nature, it is the essential requirement that we pervade the ambience of our existence with these unique capabilities that has been bestowed on us through the stages of our growth as an incarnation of the Divine energy. The beautiful prayer of Yeshua as witnessed in the Gospel of John “For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.”………. John17:8. Empowerment towards Divine consciousness is the common task of all creation.
Finally there is fulfilment of the purpose of creation. To each is given a task. Yeshua says “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do”………. John17:4

Let us all enjoy the unfolding process.

Love to you all.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Change - Essence of Creation

Yeshua said, “This heaven will pass away, and the one above it will pass away.
The dead are not alive, and the living will not die. During the days when you ate what is dead, you made it come alive. When you are in the light, what will you do? On the day when you were one, you became two. But when you become two, what will you do?” ……….. Gospel of Thomas - Logion 11

This saying is extremely complex, especially for the uninitiated. The depth of this saying requires a two level approach. One approach is rooted in deep enquiry into the nature of reality and the second is the intuitive awareness of the reality of the self.

The saying opens with an authentic statement “This heaven will pass away, and the one above it will pass away. The dead are not alive, and the living will not die…” It is amazing when we realize that this statement was made nearly 2000 years ago. The nature of reality continues to evolve everyday as our understanding of the cosmos and the forces that shape reality are found to be the by-product of our evolving consciousness. The essence of reality is change. This leads us to have an altered concept of God, who in Christian teaching is a never changing reality. But today to define a creator who is operative both in the material domain as well as in the domain of consciousness, we need to incorporate the attribute of change to the causation of creation.

‘This heaven’ in the saying of Yeshua signifies the reality that we observe with our senses and the ‘one above’ is that which is inferred through our understanding of the forces of creation. This includes such concepts as ‘dark matter’ and ‘dark energy’ and ‘hyper-dimension’. All this will pass away because consciousness when associated with manifested matter is not perennial and subject to aberration and will always loose its sensory modifications as soon as the manifestation is dissolved. Pure consciousness is not subject to modification and will always maintain its perennial nature beyond space-time and sensory limitations. This is the reason that Yeshua says “….The dead are not alive, and the living will not die…..” This clearly defines the duality of matter which is always subject to dissolution and the sustaining consciousness which is always an inseparable part of the greater reality.

Next Yeshua says "During the days when you ate what is dead, you made it come alive. " This is to emphasize that the process of continuous creation takes place. The food that we eat, which has no life in itself is given life as it is absorbed into a living system. This is the nature of all matter. This is the function of true reality, where both at the microscopic and the macroscopic level, there is continuous interchange of energy. Ultimately though everything evolves towards greater and greater complexity and the most complex of all, from the perspective of a perceived duality, is the universal Divine consciousness.

The next part of the saying is a poser to the disciples. Yeshua must have addressed this saying near the end of his ministry and being fairly sure that the disciples would, by now, understand the deeper dimension of his teaching and its underlying spirituality. When one is part of the light, which means part of the Divine essence, there is no individual ‘action’ but just a ‘being’. Consciousness perceives ‘action’ only when it is operative in a limited manifestation. This is the reason that true liberation in Vedic philosophy is understood as liberation from the ‘Law of Karma or action’.

Finally Yeshua tests his disciple as to whether they truly understand the nature of the Self. This has been the enquiry of all great spiritual teachers. Every manifest creation and its associated consciousness have come out of a singularity. This is metaphorically explained in the Genesis narration. Eve, the female element, and Adam, the male element, have been extracted from a single primal being of pure consciousness, Adam Kadmon (Lurianic Kabbalah). The symbol of Primordial Man, the first being to emerge with the creation of the cosmos is common to a number of religious and philosophical traditions. The Upanishads describe a primal man composed of the very elements which were to become the world. According to the Upanishads this "gigantic divine being" is both infinitely far and deposited near the innermost recesses of the human heart. Indeed, in the Vedic tradition, the Primordial Man is identified both with the entire Universe and the soul or essence of all things.

Yeshua answered this question openly when he taught them and he is wondering if the disciples were sharp enough to understand his message. Yeshua said “You heard me say, “I am going away and I am coming back to you.” If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I”……… John 14:28. Yeshua here speaks of his merging back into the Divine singularity. Every manifest creation has to ultimately merge back into the singularity from which the dual nature emerged.

Love to you all

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Blessing and Prayer Redefined

I am a great admirer of Gregg Braden, a contemporary New York Times best selling author who had varied and rich background. His books include ‘The Isaiah Effect’, ‘The God Code’, ‘The Divine Matrix’, ‘Fractal Time’ and recently ‘Secrets of the Lost Mode of Prayer: The Hidden Power of Beauty, Blessing, Wisdom, and Hurt’. In the opening chapter of this book he recounts an experience he had when visiting and interviewing a Tibetan monk. He writes:

“I focused my attention directly into the eyes of the beautiful and timeless-looking man seated lotus-style in front of me: the abbot of the monastery. Through our translator, I’d just asked him the same question that I’d asked each monk and nun that we’d met throughout our pilgrimage: “When we see your prayers,” I began, “what are you doing? When we see you tone and chant for 14 and 16 hours a day, when we see the bells, the bowls, the gongs, the chimes, the mudras, and the mantras on the outside, what is happening to you on the inside?”
As the translator shared the abbot’s reply, a powerful sensation rippled through my body, and I knew that this was the reason we’d come to this place. “You have never seen our prayers,” he answered, “because a prayer cannot be seen.” Adjusting the heavy wool robes beneath his feet, the abbot continued.
“What you have seen is what we do to create the feeling in our bodies. Feeling is the prayer!” The clarity of the abbot’s answer sent me reeling”

In page 100 of this book he redefines blessing;
“Blessing may be defined as a quality of thought / feeling / emotion that allows us to redefine our feelings about something that's hurting us now or has hurt us in the past.”

I had earlier done a post on the silent mode of prayer. This concept takes it even further. Your whole being becomes a participant in the process of being blessed. In this context we can look at the insight provided by St. Catherine of Siena. She said
“The force that created the unimaginable splendours and the unimaginable horrors has taken refuge in us, and it will follow our commands.”
Our consciousness reflects the universal consciousness which has the polar opposites as its constituent parts. If there were only forces of attraction then there would be a completely collapsed singularity and if there were only forces of repulsion then there would be no sustainable structure and we would be left with a void. We require the two types of opposing qualities to be present to maintain balance. Our consciousness is powerful enough to deploy whatever force that we want. To tune into receiving divine blessing through our prayers we need to move away from mere mental, rational and ego dominated perception of our intention of prayer but use intuitive tools such as feelings, emotion and highest quality of thought, as these more purely reflect our individual consciousness.

All our acts of love, faith, hope, gratitude and forgiveness must be based on whole-body feelings. The whole-body feeling is generated through a process of a series of positive affirmations. For example if a close friend has cheated you by not returning a loan at a time when you needed it, you forgive him by feeling his utter desperation and his inability to muster the amount in time, though this may not be the case. You also feel that you can manage without the return of the loan and feel for your friend that he may need to hold on to the cash more than you do. A snowballing effect, of good things for you and your friend from this situation, and a final act of letting go as a donation well made.

It is a tough act but we can get there.

Blessings to you.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Feminine Element of Creation

We are celebrating the ‘International Women’s Day’ tomorrow and as usual there would be loud declarations and pronouncements and we will go back to our usual ways in a society where women are marginalized and treated in the most unacceptable manner. Education towards evolving a new paradigm of perceiving the station and stature of women should begin not as mass enculturation or a conversion process but as a process creating awareness in individuals as to why the misconception has occurred and how one should really see the different dimensions of the female aspect of creation, especially, the women.

I do not want to get into the historical background that led to this cultural aberration but briefly mention that infant mortality and the life style of the Homo sapiens as hunter gatherers, wherein the loss of male species was predominant, necessitated practice of polygamy and the domesticated role of women as child bearer and caretaker. This archaic and magical structure of consciousness got deeply embedded and was further strengthened during the mythical era, up to the time of first few centuries in the Christian era, through religious channels. This was not challenged during the Cartesian, rational and temporal construct of human consciousness, as dogma prevailed over all other forms of thinking or perceiving. The Abrahamic religions which adopted modified mythos from the Egyptian and Greek traditions portrayed women in a very negative role in spirituality.

Classical Rabbinical literature is highly derogatory to women. The Talmud states that the women of their time and culture spoke more than they should “Ten measures of speech descended to the world; women took nine”
(Kiddushin 49b) and that women are “light-minded” (Shabbat 33b). “The sages say that four traits apply to women: They are greedy, eavesdroppers, lazy and jealous...” Rabbi Yehoshua bar Nahmani adds: “they are querulous and garrulous”. Rabbi Levy adds: “they are thieves and gadabouts” (Bereshit Rabbah 45:5).
The fall of human race was attributed to Eve and thus women were relegated to a negative role in the human psyche, as vehicle of evil. Though the figure of Mother Mary as the mother of the second Adam, the Christ, was seen as a co-redemptress, she was assigned a divine attribute due to her immaculate conception and elevated to a stature as some one who is a Holy Virgin and beyond the ordinary created female.
In Islam, though the role of the tempter was solely attributed to
Iblis (Satan), a negative connotation sets in with respect to women due to the fact that in the ‘Jannah’ (garden or paradise) though she is spiritualized, she is assigned purely an objective role as an instrument of love. Through this positioning women became an ‘object of love’ and no room was given to a participatory subjective experience in relationship or society.

Wisdom was always assigned a feminine attribute in many traditions. Shakthi, Kali and most of the pantheon of Hindu female deities as well as puranic figures such as Sita, Radha have all been the indispensable wisdom and sustaining element in the portrayal of the action of Cosmic consciousness. The word
‘Shekhinah’, which is feminine, was used to denote ‘divine presence’ in the Hebraic scriptures and the same word is used to describe the ‘Holy Spirit’ in the Christian New Testament Bible. In Islam, this word in its Arabic form is used six times in the Quran. ‘Sukaina’ is the Spirit of Tranquillity, or Peace of Reassurance it's also the shorter version for the original word 'Sakina' which is mentioned in the Quran as having descended upon Muhammad and the believers as they made an unarmed pilgrimage to Mecca, and were faced with an opposing military force of the Quraysh, with whom Muhammad struck the Treaty of Hudaybiyah. “He it is Who sent down the sakina into the hearts of the believers that they might add faith unto their faith” …. Surah 48:4

Let us see humanity as a homogeneous whole with the male representing the actualization principle of the female divine wisdom principle, male representing the structure and the female its sustaining essence, both being the highest form of evolved consciousness.

Love to you all

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Blazing Fire of Truth

Today we will study the tenth saying of Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas.

“Jesus said, I have cast fire upon the world, and look, I'm guarding it until it blazes.”
….Logion 10

The fire that Jesus talks about is the cleansing fire of Divine consciousness. How does one cast this fire into the world? The role of a guru or teacher is specifically to remove the ignorance of the disciples and impart spirit empowering knowledge through which the disciple is able to elevate his or her consciousness to a higher level. Purely talking and preaching can not accomplish this task. The teacher has to demonstrate the effectiveness of teaching and encourage his disciples to follow his example by learning, thinking, acting and living in an ordained manner. The inseparable bond that existed between Jesus and the Father, which is the word which Jesus uses throughout his teachings for Divine consciousness, is the same bond that he desires for his disciples.
In his beautiful prayer before his passions Jesus says:

“Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
…….John 17:25,26

This fusing together of the individual human consciousness and the Divine consciousness is possible only through the knowledge that is revealed in Christ’s teaching. In His mind he had no doubt that all his disciples are capable of transcending to this level of existence and can even exceed Him. Jesus comforting His disciples before his parting and replying to Thomas 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,”
…. John 14:12

The messianic mission of Christ has to be properly understood. Every human being on this earth has the potentiality to become the Son of the Father, just as He was. This is possible only through the fire of Divine consciousness which has been set ablaze in this world through the teachings, thinking, actions and life of this great incarnation, namely Jesus the Christ.
What is the nature of this fire? Only if we know the nature of this fire can one keep it blazing through the art of stoking and tending. Here again Jesus gives the recipe to His disciples. He says
“the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you”
……John 14:17.

Divine consciousness is something that is inseparable from each and every creation but this truth is not grasped or understood when we are rooted in this world but persons who have been ignited with this amalgamating fiery knowledge through the Christ, know this truth. This knowledge is the one that fuses together all creation to the Divine Godhead.
The true meaning of redemption is this. This ‘all cleansing fire’ is the tool of redemption through which the false coverings acquired through our ego-consciousness are burned away so that the prodigal son returns to the arms of the Divine Father to whom he really belongs.

It is therefore important that we understand the mission of the Christ as one that was intended to remove the veil of ignorance and reveal the knowledge of our true being ,in this blazing act of purification.

Love to you all