Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Entity Beyond Comparison

"Jesus said to his disciples, "Compare me to something and tell me what I am like."
Simon Peter said to him, "You are like a just messenger."
Matthew said to him, "You are like a wise philosopher."
Thomas said to him, "Teacher, my mouth is utterly unable to say what you are like."
Jesus said, "I am not your teacher. Because you have drunk, you have become intoxicated from the bubbling spring that I have tended."
And 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?"
Thomas said to them, "If I tell you one of the sayings he spoke to me, you will pick up rocks and stone me, and fire will come from the rocks and devour you."
…………Saying 13 of Gospel of Thomas

Yeshua, in this dialogue, is trying to gauge the depth of mystical understanding the apostles have gone through by their association with Him. The question itself is aimed at a qualification of the personality of Yeshua. There are four levels at which an individual can be judged. These levels are physical, psychological, intellectual and spiritual. The physical level is unimportant and the apostles know that Yeshua is expecting an answer far beyond the mundane level of comparison. Peter’s reply, which is different from the canonical Gospels, is apt from his own capacity to comprehend esoteric teachings. He understands that Yeshua is a ‘just messenger’, a sort of intermediary communicating what He has received from the Father. Yeshua’s key role as the very way, truth and life giving element in spiritual transcendence is not understood by Peter. Matthew goes one step further and compares him to a philosopher, a man of intellect capable of interpreting the collated wisdom. In this understanding the action of Yeshua is limited to the intellectual domain.
Thomas is quick to point out that he has no words to describe Yeshua or there is no comparison possible. All his mental and intellectual faculties are not able to compare Yeshua to any class or category at the human level. Even the word ‘teacher’ evokes a response from Yeshua. He admonishes Thomas and corrects him. A teacher is always at a higher plane of intellect but during his communion with the apostles Yeshua was always in a participatory mode, sharing, clarifying. He openly poured out the wisdom of the Divine and constantly elevated the consciousness of the apostles through His own action and words. He was more of a wisdom companion rather than a teacher.

It is then that Yeshua takes Thomas aside and tells him three things. I strongly feel that this was the moment that Yeshua prepared Thomas for his mission to the East. Yeshua understood the deep wisdom of the East and also its strong interconnection to His own experience of the Father. This is the Trinitarian aspect of human existence which is reflected in the Trinitarian comprehension of Divinity. The human existence is individuated soul (atma) within the physicality of the body but eternally an inseparable part of the Supersoul (Paramatma) and this reflects every Son of God (individual) who is from the Father (God) and the eternal relation in which all exists is the Divine consciousness and this is the Holy Spirit.

This is something that the monotheistic Jewish tradition could not understand and would be blasphemy. Blasphemy would be punishable by ‘death by stoning’. Thomas is able to comprehend the esoteric wisdom that Yeshua passes on to him but the other apostles are not yet ready and if he had told them what Yeshua said they would have stoned him. But the absolute truth can not be destroyed and true knowledge is like fire which will destroy all ignorance. Here Thomas is not talking about a punishment and its consequence. He is talking of a sequence of events in which esoteric wisdom when passed on even to the initiates is first met with rock solid resistance but ultimately this ignorance is burned away by the higher level of consciousness to which they are elevated by the Master.

Love to you all

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Horus the Charioteer

“Behold, I am yesterday, to-day, and the brother of The Morrow! I am born again and again. Mine is the unseen force from which the Gods are sprung; that giveth life unto the dwellers in the watch-towers of the Universe. I am the charioteer of the East, Lord of the Past and the Future. I see by mine own inward light; Lord of Resurrection, who cometh forth from the dusk, and whose birth is from the House of Death.
O ye two divine hawks upon your pinnacles, who keep watch over the Universe! Ye who company the bier unto the House of Rest. Ye who pilot the Ship of Ra, ever advancing onwards unto the heights of Heaven! Lord of the Shrine which standeth in the centre of the Earth! Behold He is in me and I in Him!” …………
From the Egyptian Book of “The Coming Forth by Day.”

The above passage, which is from the chapter “The Coming Forth by Day”, is from the greater scripture “The Book of the Dead”. The deep understanding and cosmogony of the Egyptians far exceeded our own current perceptions. The journey of the human soul or individual consciousness is explained in this passage.

The very opening explains the eternal nature of the human soul and how the recurrent manifestations take place of this individuated consciousness. This is the unperceivable energy that pervades the entire Cosmos from which even the Gods emanate. This statement reflects the Vedic theology in which the creation of devas from Brahma are propounded. “My womb is great Brahma (supreme deity); in that I place the germ; thence is the birth of all beings, O Bharata (Arjuna)”.
What is stated in the second sentence of the quote from the “Book of the Dead”, is being mentioned explicitly here. BrhadAranyaka Upanishad, Isa Upanishad and several other religious scriptures sacred to the Hindus have mentioned this process elaborately. God decided to have a manifested form and created the Brahma from whom the hiranyagarbha (the golden germ or embryo) evolved which grew in size and then split into two Siva (masculine principle of the Absolute) and Sakti (feminine principle of the Absolute) whose interaction led to creation of devas (gods). Out of the enormous devotion and worship that devas did, this phenomenal world was created. The symbolism of the watch tower portrays a higher dimensional cosmic view of individual consciousness through which life empowering attributes are bestowed upon creation.

The next statement defines the dimension of time. Like a chariot, time’s arrow passes from the East to the west with the course of the Sun and with the nature of elapsed time as past and the, yet to be travelled journey as future, the primacy of the ever present consciousness beyond space-time is emphasized. This is the reason the author of this scripture says that the Lord sees by his own light which is omnipresent and pervades every manifest and unmanifest entity. When individual consciousness comprehends its true reality, in this ever present light, then there is resurrection from the ‘House of Death’

In the Egyptian mythology, Horus is depicted as a man with the head of a falcon and wearing the costume of a king and the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt. He leads the individual soul into the presence of Osiris. In cosmological term it represents totality of creation. Horus symbolizes the divine force that steers the individual consciousness, at the time of death, to merge with the cosmic consciousness. Cosmic consciousness is symbolized by Ra, the Sun God. The progression of individual consciousness through many stages to finally merge with the undifferentiated cosmic consciousness is symbolically put forward as a journey ‘advancing towards the heights of heaven’ in the boat of Ra piloted by Horus.

Our individual self is the shrine in which Horus, the divine consciousness, is installed and ‘Behold He is in me and I in Him’

Love to you all.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Comprehending the Supersoul

“The Supersoul is the original source of all senses, yet He is without senses. He is unattached, although He is the maintainer of all living beings. He transcends the modes of nature, and at the same time He is the master of all the modes of material nature.”……..BG 13:15

In Bhagavad-Gita, the thirteenth chapter is devoted to understanding the nature of Primal consciousness or the Supersoul and its relation to the material manifestation. The above verse is the critical positioning of the operation of the Primal consciousness when it is perceived in the material or created form. In his commentary on this verse Srila Prabhupada says:

“The Supreme Lord, although the source of all the senses of the living entities, doesn’t have material senses like they have. Actually, the individual souls have spiritual senses, but in conditioned life they are covered with the material elements, and therefore the sense activities are exhibited through matter. The Supreme Lord’s senses are not so covered. His senses are transcendental and are therefore called Nirguna. Guna means the material modes, but His senses are without material covering. It should be understood that His senses are not exactly like ours.”

This is a very difficult explanation from a purely rational point of view. We are confronted with three levels of sense perception; they are at the material level, individual soul level and at the level of the Supersoul.

The first question that comes to one’s mind is; if every element of the manifest and the unmanifest comprise of the original source which is the Supersoul, how can there be any notion of modification? The next question is if material modes are the result of the Gunas, are the Gunas outside the primal nature because we have stated that the primal nature is Nirguna or without material mode. This poses the third question if Gunas are not outside the primal nature where does the false perception arise.

The same chapter verse 24 invites you to fathom these questions and the one who finds an understanding is promised liberation. “One who understands this philosophy concerning material nature, the living entity and the interaction of the modes of nature is sure to attain liberation. He will not take birth here again, regardless of his present position.”
….. BG 13:24

A deeper knowledge of what science is proposing provides a peep into possible answers for these questions. Consciousness, in its primal nature, is a field which exists beyond the four dimensional space-time domain. In theory, it is a sub-Planck scale (10-35m) field of infinite dimensional potentiality. Our material mode, which is locked into the four dimensional construct, though continuously accesses this consciousness field and is a result of this field, fragments the totality of information, through a mental process thus resulting in a limited view or modification (like partial images in a shattered mirror). Hence Gunas are perceptions within the four dimensional field and sense projections are also fragmented projections of a universal whole. Hence Gunas and sense perceptions arise within the four dimensional limited access within individual souls. Therefore Gunas are not outside the consciousness field but a fragmented access.
(the answers given here are purely individual opinion of the author)

If we take a glass of water resting on a table, we perceive an absolutely still volume of liquid in perfect rest. But if we take a micro view at the level of individual water molecules, they are in constant movement and can occupy any position within the liquid volume. The nature of the body of water is similar to the Supersoul, while the individual molecule of water is similar to the individual souls and their action and capacity for free will to exist anywhere within the Volume is their false perception or material mode.

This is not an answer to what has been raised in this short post but a fodder for thought from a new direction.

Love to you all

Sunday, April 18, 2010

James the Central Pillar

The disciples said to Yeshua, “We know that you are going to leave us. Who will be our leader?”
Jesus said to them, “No matter where you are you are to go to James the Just, for whose sake heaven and earth came into being.”…………
Saying 12 Gospel of Thomas

It is often debatable that a leadership issue should get such an important mention in this Gospel which is primarily devoted to the spirit empowering messages of Yeshua. Many of us know James as one of the apostles and he also wrote one of the epistles accepted by the church canon. But certain other details are necessary to understand this saying. James was known by two names. He was called James the Just and also James Adelphos (Adelphos in Greek means brother). Why this special mention when there were others who were his brothers
(Yeshua's 'brothers'—James as well as Jude, Simon, and Joses—are mentioned in Matthew 13:55, Mark 6:3, Luke 6:14, and by Paul in Galatians 1:19.)

St. Jerome in,
De Viris Illustribus, quotes Hegesippus' account of James from the fifth book of his lost Commentaries:

“After the apostles, James the brother of the Lord surnamed the Just was made head of the Church at Jerusalem. Many indeed are called James. This one was holy from his mother's womb. He drank neither wine nor strong drink, ate no flesh, never shaved or anointed himself with ointment or bathed. He alone had the privilege of entering the Holy of Holies”.
This clearly indicates that James was a person of great spiritual stature and was the main pillar on which the next level of leadership had to be built up. This raises the question of Peter and his role. Yeshua, in his short period of propagating the spirit empowering message, had either openly or succinctly created the future leadership and cultivated three apostles.
St. Paul lists James with Cephas (better known as Peter) and John, as the three “pillars” of the Church, and who will minister to “the circumcised” (that is the Jews) in Jerusalem, while Paul and his fellows will minister to the Gentiles (2:9, 2:12).
In his letter to the Jewish Diaspora James’ opening clearly demonstrates his intention that his message is meant for them. “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings..”….
James 1:1

There are three elements that are crucial to spiritual advancement. They are clearly pronounced in Vedic philosophy. These elements are
karma (diligence), bakthi (devotion) and jnana (wisdom).
These three pillars symbolism are the essential elements in every individual’s spiritual life.
Christ chooses Peter as the element of diligence, John as the element of wisdom and the central pillar is James who represents devotion. Devotion means surrender or a state of being that transcends the physical and the mind which are embodiments of the attributes of diligence and wisdom respectively. The “Tree of Life” in Jewish mysticism is again supported on three pillars. The central pillar connects the
Keter (crown) with the Malkhut (domain of creation). The attributes of the sefirots in the right pillar is wisdom and the attributes of the sefirots in the left pillar is diligence. This is the reason Yeshua says “….you are to go to James the Just, for whose sake heaven and earth came into being.”, signifying the central pillar of a spiritual construct. This is the reason James was chosen to be the first Bishop of Jerusalem.

What we have to take from this saying at an individual level is to aspire to integrate the three elements
karma(diligence), bakthi (devotion) and jnana (wisdom) in our lives.

Love to you all

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

In the Beginning

Of the “The Three Fundamentals” of the “Secret Doctrine” proposed by Madam Blavatsky, the first fundamental axiom of the Secret Doctrine is this metaphysical "One Absolute"-or "Be-ness"--symbolized by the endless Circle or, infinite SPACE filled with infinitesimal units of life, each imbued in potential with the attributes of the ONE, called the MONADS, or 'atoms of Life.'

If so, my friend on Facebook, Fyodorovitch, asked “what was at the beginning?” as envisaged in the Hebrew and Christian scriptures.

To this query there was a comment from Yontan which clearly demarked the beginning of created consciousness. He wrote “I find it interesting that the words ‘in the beginning’ in Hebrew are
‘be-re-shiyt’, beginning with the second letter of the alphabet (aleph, beth, gimel, daleth....) which seems to be implying that there is even something prior to this point, which cannot be written.”

‘Augustinian Era’ is the name scientists give to the time before the Big Bang. It is named after Saint Augustine who said before the Earth, there was no time. According to Einstein in his Theory of Relativity, there were no times before the Big Bang.

My take on this, which I posted in the Facebook, is;
Ma'aseh Bereishit (The book of Creation) in the oral tradition of Torah was handed down to very few as the depth of wisdom and the level of consciousness to grasp the inner truth were beyond ordinary uninitiated individuals.

As explained by Yontan, there is subtlety in the very words that are used to denote the 'Beginning'. Concepts are the result of a mental process and for this an apriori consciousness of the elements and their linkages through a process of evolution is mandatory. In the absence of such consciousness before creation only an extrapolation is possible. But this extrapolation suffers from an induced defect of post-creation imprints.

Probably the best explanation for the 'word' which is '
vac' in Sanskrit can be found in Raimondo Pannikar's explanation in his book “The Vedic Experience”.

“According to Vedic Revelation, vac, which was at the beginning, cannot be reduced to a single one of its dimensions. To begin with, thought and language are here so intermingled that no separation is possible. Vac is grammatically feminine and this fact has conditioned a great deal of thinking about the Vedic Word. If an ontology of sex has any meaning at all, it would find here a decisive basis. However that may be, vac expresses that total surrender to the source from which it springs which is characteristically found in the archetype of feminine love, the feminine feature of love being that of finding not only fulfilment but being itself in the beloved.”

Hence it is a potentiality of complex dimension that defies our space-time conditioned consciousness. This is the reason that we have a concept of a beginning only through our human consciousness but in absolute reality there is no time or beginning.

Love to you a

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Lesson of the Waterwheel

“Stay together, friends. Don’t scatter and sleep.
Our friendship is made of being awake.
The waterwheel accepts water and turns and gives it away, weeping.
That way it stays in the garden, whereas another roundness rolls
through a dry riverbed looking for what it thinks it wants.
Stay here, quivering with each moment like a drop of mercury.”……
“The Waterwheel” by Rumi

When I read this poem of Rumi my thoughts went to the scene at the garden of Gethsemane where the three Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke describe the scene of Yeshua asking his chosen three apostles to be awake and vigilant lest they fall into temptation. What is Yeshua trying to communicate? True discipleship is a constant effort to be fully awake. The word Buddha means being awake. This is the reason that true teaching of the Gautama was for everyone to attain his or her Buddha nature. The act of sleeping here refers to the tamasic nature of ignorance and not realizing the true nature that one needs to realize through the association with the spiritual master.

The next part of Rumi’s poem exposes a profound truth through an easy to understand representation. The usefulness of the waterwheel is in its ability to receive and to give without holding back thus nurturing the entire garden and performing useful work through mechanical power. The place of the waterwheel in the garden is then justified by the role it plays. Every creation has a role to play. Especially the human creation, as the most evolved consciousness, has as its purpose to receive and give without holding back so that entire creation can be nurtured. We should not be like the dry grass, detached from its roots and rolling on the riverbed, with no specific aim in life and be subject to the whims and fancies of the wind. The two natures of propulsion are clearly brought out in these words. The first nature is the rooted purpose-oriented existence and the second is the purposeless and random movement which does not establish any good for itself or its environs of existence. This is the temptation which Yeshua talks of, a temptation to give into external influences which does not aid in any transcending action.

Finally Rumi admonishes; “Stay here, quivering with each moment like a drop of mercury”.
The meaning of these few words is immense. The quality of a drop of Mercury is fascinating. There are three attributes that a drop mercury exhibits. First it’s high capacity for division and unification (mental development through analysis and synthesis), second its non-attachment (ethical conduct) and third its high potency in alchemical transformation(wisdom). These are three broad characteristics which are essential for any spiritual seeker and which form the broad classification of the Noble Eightfold Path.
Rumi beautifully explains the nature of existence of a true disciple by saying that one should be “quivering with each moment”. This is the mode of being always in the present with high level of awareness. When Yeshua’s says “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me” he is not talking about a physical death because he clearly says that his soul is overwhelmed. The relationship between Yeshua and his chosen disciples is at the consciousness level. So he wants his chosen individuals to be a witness to his own transcending nature but they were not yet ready as they slept and scattered. Only the power of the Holy Spirit or Christ consciousness, bestowed on them later, could give them a new insight of wakefulness. This is the reason Rumi pleads;

"Stay together, friends. Don’t scatter and sleep.
Our friendship is made of being awake."

Love to you

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pleiades - the Seven Sisters

There has been an interesting discussion going on among my Facebook friends on the Star cluster Pleiades which in classical mythology is called the seven sisters. I had contributed a bit to the discussion and thought that it would be good to share this thought with my blog group.

In the voluminous work compiled by
Gerald Massey titled ‘Natural Genesis’ the author refers to the Pleiades as follows:
“The Pleiades never were the 'seven stars' out of Greece. The Pleiades are six only, as the mothers, or sucklers of Kârtikéya in India”.

The first elaborate account of Karthikeya's origin occurs in the Mahabharata. In a complicated story, he is said to have been born from Agni and Shiva, after the latter impersonated the six of the seven wives of the Saptarishi (Seven Sages). The actual wives then become the Pleiades.

An explanation is needed here regarding the numbers. Shiva taking the feminine aspect and limiting to only six wives of the Saptarishi symbolizes that Kârtikéya in human incarnation of the cosmic Agni/Shiva principle needs only six chakras to be nourished as the seventh is in the cosmic realm and is devoid of differentiation. This is the reason that the seventh wife always remains in the divine plane even for an incarnation. The myth also says that the original wives of the Saptarishi became the Pleiades or cosmic entities meaning that all chakra energies in human incarnation are reflected entities subject to modification through the physical, mental and intellectual attributes that accompany creation. This is the reason that Kârtikéya, as human incarnation, is nourished by an imitative or modified embodiment of primal energy.

Now if we look at every human incarnation there is a subtlety in proposing energy centre manifestation as those that are resident in the gross body are six but human manifestation is not complete without the Sahasrara (crown) charka, which is in the cosmic realm, hence totalling seven.

The seven symbolism as related to the energy centres or chakras in the human body is direct reference in Bhagavad Purana.
For instance, there are said to be Seven Worlds (saptha lokas), the Seven Sages, the Seven Seas, the Seven Sacred Mountains, the Seven Swaras (of music), the Seven Colours of the Sun's ray and so on. If these are worshipped as symbols of the Divine, awareness of the Divine arises.
The seven cows or Saptarishi are the reference to totality of energy centres in human creation. In Vedic Sanskrit cow is referred as 'Gau'. 'Gau' is the unit of cosmic energy in the seven lokas of the Cosmos as per Bhagavad Purana.
If we look at the star map and the position of Orion, Taurus and Pleiades you can see that when Orion conquers Taurus he attains Pleiades, the seven sisters. In Vedic parlance when human creation or divine man (Orion) subdues the Rajasic (passionate) nature symbolized by the (Taurus) Bull, he attained the sattvic guna (attribute) of Divine Wisdom. This wisdom is resident in his own being as the Kundalini rising through the seven chakras, symbolized through Pleiades.

Please read, reflect and share.

Love to you all

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Celebrating Our Ancestors

This month I am starting to restore the ancestral home (more than 100 years old) of my grandfather at a small village named Edanganni (10 Km from the formal Chola capital of Jayankondam, in the south Indian state of Tamilnadu about 280 Km from Chennai).

Though I knew due to my association with Chinese culture for brief period that April is the time of commemoration of the ancestors I did not know the full background. Hence I did some research on the internet and found that I was right about the month but there is more to this festival as you can read here.

“The Qingming Festival usually falls in April in the solar calendar. At the very beginning, it was a very important solar term. The weather gradually turns nice after the Qingming Festival. Having undergone constant evolvement, the day has become a festival for the Chinese people to commemorate their ancestors. The Chinese people now prefer to choose Qingming as the tomb sweeping day. With the concept of environmental protection deeply rooted among the general public, it is now a trend to have an environmental-friendly tomb sweeping day, such as carrying out public memorial ceremony, public commemoration through the Internet, etc.

The Qingming Festival is the most important day for people to offer sacrifice to ancestors. It started from the Zhou Dynasty, with a history of over 2500 years. Qingming is one of the 24 solar terms in China, indicating the coming of late spring, thus the best ploughing and growing time, while "Cold Food Day" is a day when folks sweep the ancestors' tombs and eat cold food. Qingming was adjacent to Cold Food Day, so later on they gradually became one festival, and thus "Cold Food" became another name for Qingming, and dusting the tomb and eating cold food turned into the customs of the day. Qingming has evolved into a festival carrying rich culture and profound meaning.”

“Qing Ming” literally means “Clear Brightness”. There are two meanings; one that the dreary winter has been replaced by bright spring and the other is that the souls of the ancestors have been liberated from internment in the human body and have passed on to the bright realm of the ‘Chi’.

This is the reason that kites are flown during this festival. The aspiration for ascendancy of the soul is commemorated through the physical symbol of the kites taking to the bright skies.

The eating of the cold food and the ban on lighting the fire of cooking also symbolize the return to nature of the human body and the absence of all transformative action, which is the nature of fire, as the body is now returned to its basic elements.

Young and old pray before the ancestors, sweep the tombs and offer food and libation to the ancestors. The rites are very important to most Chinese and especially farmers. Many believe that if the ancestors' spirits are not properly cared for, they will become hungry ghosts that can cause trouble for the living.

The meaning of this celebration (Qingming Festival on 2nd April 2010) and ritual of caring for the ancestors should be one of gratitude for whatever we have inherited in our deeper self from our ancestors. . Today the inheritance is merely consigned to the property or bank accounts, but the true inheritance is the values that we imbibe from our forefathers. I still remember the generosity with which my grandfather used to treat all the farm labourers and servants in the house. Our true tribute should be in inculcating these values. We may refurbish the ancestral home sweep and decorate their tombs but if all the richness of their lives do not make any impact on us we will have to encounter the ‘hungry ghosts’ of the spiritual vacuum within us and be troubled by the meaninglessness of our empty lives.

Love to you all