Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Goddess of Illumination

“This familiar most frequent light in the east, with clearness has stood forth from the darkness. Now may the Dawns, the daughters of the sky, shining afar, make a path for man”……. Rig Veda

The Goddess of dawn is addressed some twenty times in the Vedic hymns. The personification is subtle and the physical phenomenon is always present in the mind of the author. Decked in gay attire like a danseuse, clothed in radiance, she appears in the east and unveils her charms. Rising resplendent as from a bath she comes with light driving away the darkness and removing the black robe of night. She is young being born again and again; though ancient, shining with uniform hue she erodes the life of mortals. She illumines the vast expanse of the sky when she awakes she opens the gates of heaven. She shatters the evil dreams and hated darkness and her praise is sung by the birds whose joy is untold. The swirling mist breaks away all fuzziness and bestows clear perception. Ushas, as she is called, is the silent witness, in her daily visitation, to the evolving consciousness which is the prime cause of all present manifestations.

Goddesses in the Rig Veda that are prominent include Saraswati and also Ushas, the goddess of spiritual awakening and the dawn. She is often referred to as Bhadra (Auspicious) in the Rig Veda, a term commonly used for Shakti in later times, as also Bhagavati, meaning the same.
As the awakening force, Ushas is hence the Kundalini-Shakti of later times, that is the awakening force or Shakti of the Self or Atman. Her aspects here in the Rig Veda show her very almost tantric nature.

Ushas is attributed with all feminine relationships. Sūrya (Sun) follows her as a young man a maiden; she meets the god who desires her. She thus comes to be spoken of as the wife of Sūrya. But as preceding the Sun, she is occasionally regarded as his mother; thus she is said to arrive with a bright child. She is also called the sister, or the elder sister, of Night. But the most important symbolism of this divine feminine is Shakti which is in the form of wisdom or ‘primal knowledge’.

The operating domain of all perception is the human consciousness and in its primal nature remains unaltered. But day and night, light and darkness, good and evil are perceptions due to the senses that emerge from an altered state of consciousness. When one remains in the knowledge of this imposed duality and realizes the unchanging nature of true reality then he becomes internally illumined. For such a person there is no distinction. This is like an astronaut who is at a very high altitude and is following a planetary orbit and for him the Sun is ever present. To remain in this knowledge the Wisdom of Ushas or the divine Shakti becomes mandatory.

In Zen experience, the interplay between the knower and the known is so profound that egocentric language is totally inadequate. The connection is like that in archer, where archer, bow, arrow, the action of taking aim, and the target all merge to become a holistic process. Knowledge is more about the process of awakening mind than about "content" of thought or "object" of knowledge. This is the Zen way of knowing. This is the awakening process symbolized by the Goddess Ushas.
There are two ways of knowing and two kinds of knowledge. Egocentric knowing eclipses primal knowledge and is lodged in a chronic pattern of fragmentation and dualism. It cannot process the infinite structure of the unified field. In contrast, the quest for primal knowledge breaks down barriers and crosses into the play of Logos.
The awakening of primal knowledge involves nothing less than the awakening of our being and participation in true Knowledge.

Love to you all

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