Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Seat of Illumination

“He is the source of light in all luminous objects. He is beyond the darkness of matter and is unmanifested. He is knowledge, He is the object of knowledge, and He is the goal of knowledge. He is situated in everyone’s heart.” …….Bhagavad-Gita 13:18

Kesava Kashmiri, who is the 34th Guru in the great Vaishnava tradition of Nimbaditya (Founder of the Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya) in his commentary on this verse, says “It is solely His effulgence that illuminates all luminaries such as the sun, the stars, lightning, jewels, etc. with light. These luminaries only dispel the darkness hindering the vision between the eyes and their objects whereas the knowledge of a mere spark of the Supreme Lord being the atma or immortal soul illuminates all physical lights and without the atma knowledge of illumination is not possible.” The meaning of this comment is that the very source of all physical light, though self originating, is another sub-stratum which more fundamental to its existence.

The perception of an object through sight requires light. This physical light or streams of photons are waves of vibrating energy which when observed through the conscious mind appear as particles responsible for creating a set of impulses. This matrix of impulses creates an image or a representation of the object from which the photons have arrived. This matrix is interaction of neuronal activity and a pre-existent consciousness field wherein holographically information is stored. This is the reason that consciousness is fundamental to the observation and operation of perception. All matter in the universe would have no meaning or would be beyond perception in the absence of this consciousness that pervades our being. This is true of all five sense perceptions. Hence we can safely state that without the supernal light of consciousness, the entire manifestation and its knowledge lies beyond comprehension. While consciousness is needed for material manifestation, consciousness itself lies beyond the physical or manifested realm. There is a great principle involved in understanding this truth. In any process, the response of the process as a whole, for any input, is by far slower than the response of any constituent sub-processes in the system. There is a clear hierarchy of response as we move from the lowest constituent of the process to the system as a whole. Based on the principle stated, if the process is objective observation then consciousness, being the fundamental constituent process, can not be subject to observation from the manifested realm.

Are we then doomed to ignorance of this very fundamental constituent of reality? No. here the last part of the verse states
‘hrdi sarvasya dhisthitam’ (situated in everyone’s heart) emphasises that this awareness, of supreme consciousness, is specially situated in the etheric heart of all living entities.
The heart here refers to the very fundamental and integrated organ of existence. This is what 21st century science is pointing to. We have moved beyond particle physics in understanding matter into the area of sub-quantum field where the forces in action and their vibrational qualities point to the existence of an implicate order from which all sub-atomic particles and their sustaining forces evolve.

The insight into this realm is not possible through the senses or the mind but only through direct experiential perception that will create a state of being in our very existence. Lord Krishna advises his devotee from chapter 8 to 12, in the Gita, on how one should approach this task. The paths of
Bhakti (devotion), Nishkama Karma (selfless service) and Jñana (knowledge) are the sadhanas (spiritual practices) that can lead one to achieving this state of being where by the union of atma and paramatma alone can give us a comprehension of this illumining consciousness which is our true realty.

Love to you all

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