Wednesday, September 29, 2010

True Gnosis of Truth

“They who imagine truth in untruth, and see untruth in truth, never arrive at truth, but follow vain desires.
They who know truth in truth, and untruth in untruth, arrive at truth, and follow true desires.” ……..Dhammapada 1:11-12

The Buddha issues a warning to his followers in these words as to how we easily get trapped into defining a value system in our lives. An example is what we call a ‘white lie’. We deem it harmless to pay a complement to someone by making a false statement but the definition of what we say being harmless is a very personal judgement, driven by the ego, and can have severe repercussion if the recipient of the complement analyses the context of this particular situation and comes to know that there is no truth in the statement that has been just made. Seeing truth in untruth is an imagination and is the product of a conditioned mind.

This is the reason that unless, in our egoless consciousness, we are sure that we know and act in truthfulness, we cannot arrive at the truth. But this involves a complex process. The distinction and categorization of ‘truth’ and ‘untruth’ are grounded in the ego. As consciousness descends from a pure state into the carnal ambience, a duality takes place in the perception of nature of reality. Our absolute true nature, with all its attached divine attributes, is buried under a sheath of amnesia induced by our material nature. The ‘I’ separates itself from the undivided whole.
Human consciousness is modified form our pre-natal evolutionary imprints as well as by the nurturing that we undergo from childhood to maturity. This world is rooted in a materialistic dimension which is far removed from reality and the true purpose of human existence. There are two value systems that are given to us; one which is based on sensory comforts and pleasure and the other which is based on elevation of our consciousness to the greater purpose in life, a spiritual value system which has been defined by various spiritual masters and traditions.

Most religious traditions while promoting the deeper value system needed for spiritual empowerment have got trapped in vain desires which are driven by their structural nature and adhere to the faith and canonical route in dispensing the gnosis of ‘truth’. The limitation of human reasoning and perception has to be overcome by faith and belief in a deeper value. But mere belief in no way establishes ‘truth’.

Nietzsche, writing in his famous work ‘Genealogy of Morals’ says;

“We ‘men of knowledge’ have gradually come to mistrust believers of all kinds; our mistrust has gradually brought us to make inferences the reverse of those of former days: wherever the strength of a faith is very prominently displayed, we infer a certain weakness of demonstrability, even the improbability of what is believed. We, too, do not deny that faith “makes blessed”: that is precisely why we deny that faith proves anything — a strong faith that makes blessed raises suspicion against that which is believed; it does not establish ‘truth,’ it establishes a certain probability — of deception.”

By social, cultural and psychological agencies truth can not be dispensed. It is only within the experiential realm of one’s being, through an intuitive path; one can discern the ‘truth’ from the ‘untruth’

To ‘know’ the truth in truth, means exactly this and there is no other arena where one can come to the knowledge of truth except in truth itself. This is a process of integration at the highest level but involves many small steps including the teachings and recommended practices of the great master, Gautama Buddha.

This situation has been captured in all simplicity by these verses of Dhammapada.

Love to you all

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Divine Feminine

“The Eternal Feminine is our Guide” ................Goethe

On 24th September, I had a half day sessions for Physics graduate students on “Science of Consciousness” The opening slide on the need to adopt an integral approach to studying, understanding and applying science was the three propositions of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who was not a scientist but a great systemic thinker. His insightful comment on the Divine Feminine is the opening quote.

My friend on Facebook, Gilbert Schultz, wrote a beautiful comment regarding the meaning of human life which I quote below:
“The Divine Feminine can be found deep within, it is not a surface attribute connected to a certain body or image- it is the inner essence that animates the outer form, which is divine at every age and stage and in every shape and design. On a Macro level ~ Goddess is World Soul in Union with God- animating the outer form of all Created Life through the Breath of Spirit. She is the power of Wisdom, Nature, Shakti, the devotion of Universal Love, the Balance and harmony of all polarity and the personification of Gaia and Cosmos, holding the intricate ecology of the Web of Life in Earth and Multi-verse. Originating from the Galactic core and Generating as the Creative Freedom that we are made from, we are waking up to our true selves- which is Free when we embody our Divine inheritance.”

In early cultures, when humans were rooted to magical and mythical consciousness, there are many images that were felt to belong to or to describe her. Certain forms like the circle, the oval, the wavy line, the meander and the spiral are, as early as the Palaeolithic, recognizable as the "signature" of the Feminine. Most places of worship were stone circle which still be traced in the native Indian tradition of North America. Portrayal of these symbols can be seen on the walls of the caves, on stones and dolmens and later, in the Neolithic, on the rounded or egg-shaped pottery vessels which themselves symbolized the body of the Great Mother. The stone, as the densest, oldest and most enduring aspect of life on earth, was always an image of her, a symbol of eternal life. The circle and the egg-like oval described her womb and her reproductive channel; the serpent-like spiral, the meander and the labyrinth were the hidden patterns and pathways of the life-force or energy flowing through and connecting the different dimensions of her being. These basic forms, so familiar to ancient peoples everywhere and now becoming known to us through the work of pioneers of the language of symbols, trace their descent through subsequent civilizations, East and West, and are still held deep in our memory today. The Mandela, or circular form, is a universal feminine image which symbolizes wholeness, completion, containment - the oneness of life.

In later traditions in Sumer, Egypt, Indus Valley and Greece, the divine feminine was an integral part of mythology and worship.
Coming into spiritual traditions in the current epoch, Vedic cultures adopted the divine feminine as an integral part of it pantheon due to the intimate relation between the Shiva-Shakti as the organizing principle of the cosmos.

Quan Yin is a Bodhisattva (a Being of Enlightenment), the Goddess of Compassion and Mercy, and one of the Lords of Karma. Quan Yin is the Divine Feminine aspect within Buddhism, equivalent to Mother Mary, Isis and Shakti in other world belief systems. Her full name means “She who listens to the cries of the World” and she has vowed to remain in the earthly realms until all other living souls have completed their own enlightenment. In many images She is depicted carrying the Pearls of Illumination and longevity, which were created by Lao Tsu and are connected to her role as ‘Chohan of the Pearl Ray’ (one who opens the 8th portal connecting the seven human chakras to the Divine spirit). She is often shown pouring a stream of healing "Waters of Life," from a small vase (she refers to this as "The Flask of Immortality"). With this water all living things are blessed with physical and spiritual peace. She may also hold a sheaf of ripe rice or a bowl of rice seed as a metaphor for fertility and sustenance. Some also see her riding a dragon, both an ancient symbol for high spirituality, wisdom, strength, and divine powers of transformation.

As an integral part of our consciousness evolution, let us realize the importance of the Divine Feminine in each one. It is only through this realization that we can become whole and appreciate the beauty of the Divine.

Love to you all.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Five Trees of Paradise

Yeshua said, “Congratulations to the one who came into being before coming into being.
If you become my disciples and pay attention to my sayings, these stones will serve you.
For there are five trees in Paradise for you; they do not change, summer or winter, and their leaves do not fall. Whoever knows them will not taste death.” ………..
Saying 19 Gospel of Thomas

This is a continuation of saying 18 where Yeshua clarifies that one has to be in the beginning to understand the end. In this saying Yeshua starts with a conundrum, how can one come into being before coming into being. There are two dimensions to the human existence; spiritual and physical. The spiritual embodiment of the self always exists and it is never born but the physical takes birth or incarnation as a vehicle of the spirit. There is an intuitive wisdom in every human being to comprehend this reality but there is a spiritual blindness which blocks this vision. Yeshua’s teachings were intended to remove this myopia and restore the true sight.
Now if you read the Gospel of John, chapter 9, you will understand the true significance of that miracle. This miracle concerns a ‘man born blind’ and Yeshua heals him by applying mud and his own spittle then asking the blind man to go and wash in the ‘pool of Siloam’. The eye is the portal of perception by covering the eye with mud and spittle Yeshua acts out the physical creation of man which is made of the earthly elements and divine essence which is symbolized by the spittle which Yeshua takes out from his inner being and sends the blind man to the pool of Siloam to wash it off. The pool of Siloam was used for purification during the Jewish festival of Tabernacle. Siloam means ‘sent’ and we are all sent to this world in a process of purification so that we mat realize our true nature.

The next line of the saying bears a very deep meaning. All creations, like the stones which symbolize the collated and hardened consciousness, are here to serve this one purpose that we are here to wash away the ignorance of our false identity and be restored with the vision of our true nature.

This leads us to the next part of the saying which seems to be quite out of context. This saying is attributed to the Gnostic teachings of Yeshua or teachings to the ‘Initiates’ which was confirmed in the second century writings of St. Clement of Alexandria.
Yeshua talks of the ‘Five Trees of Paradise’ and the importance of knowing their eternal unchanging nature.
According to Kabbalah, creation is composed of five major categories of consciousness, called worlds or universes. They are not separate universes, but are concentric, one within the other. They are the world of physicality, the world of emotions, the world of the intellect, the world of the spirit and Adam Kadmon, the primordial source. Although we give different names to the worlds, they are not really separate from each other.
Each of these worlds is a dimensional portal through which we gain a unique perspective of reality. Thus, the Kabbalah teaches that the soul has five levels, five dimensions of awareness. Each soul dimension has a unique relationship with its world and this is the vehicle through which we mysteriously connect with various realms. Some aspects of soul relate more to our physicality, while others dwell, so to speak, in different realms of awareness. One aspect of the soul is always joined with the centre of creation, and this is our eternal link with truth.

All these symbolism of five worlds of consciousness, five levels of awareness, five members of the mind and five tabernacles are unified in Yeshua’s teaching as Five Trees of Paradise in keeping with a more eastern symbolism which can be traced to the Vedic philosophy.
From the universal viewpoint, the Ashwattha, the sacred tree, is an emblem of the "Tree of Life," the symbol of the never-ending universe. Here we have an instance of progress from universals to particulars. This tree has (1) "its roots above," (2) "its branches below," (3) "the lesser shoots," (4) "the leaves," and (5) "those roots which ramify below." Commencing in the unknown, the universal, the beginningless and endless, the Rootless Root of all-being, the Tree is thus reversed. The "roots above," generated in Heaven, represent the "First Cause," the Logos that links manifestation to Purusha-Spirit-SELF.

This saying is aimed at understanding our true nature and to lead a life rooted in this consciousness.

Love to you all

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Trustworthy Children of Light

“….For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. ……………….If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth, who will trust you with true wealth? If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another, who will give you what is yours?” ………..Luke 16: 8,9,11,12

Today in the Catholic liturgy we read the parable of the dishonest steward in Luke’s Gospel. This has been a very thorny issue for many to interpret as there seems to be justification of a dishonest behaviour on the part of the steward towards his Master. This section of the Gospel requires careful reading and understanding. (for those who want to read the parable, please read http://www.biblestudytools.com/nrs/luke/16.html )

In the matters of the world, the standard for ethical evaluation depends mainly on the community and culture in which we are rooted. For example, taking a tribal wife and a wife through religious practice is acceptable among some tribes in Africa. There are two clear ethical standards namely; one which is legal and hence determined by those who write the laws and the other which is moral. A moral ethical standard is determined by values that empower a person to elevate one’s consciousness to a higher level through following a particular set of ethical codes. The act of taking many wives is ethically acceptable from a legal dimension but how you take care of their physical and spiritual wellbeing is the moral ethical dimension which is primary concern in our worldly life.

If we analyse the incidence in the parable though the dishonest servant had underwritten the debts of the master’s clients, he seem to be acting on two basic premises, both of which are appreciated by the master. In accordance with a legal ethical dimension, the master is ready to ignore this very minor transgression (and treat it as an exit package) due to his immense wealth and form a moral ethical dimension, by using that favour, buying into a friendship which would ensure the future security in the light of the steward loosing his employment with the master, is validated as a positive act.

It is in this context, what Jesus says to his disciples is very thought provoking. It is not the act, depicted in the parable, itself but the principle behind the episode is to be taken into consideration. Jesus qualifies this by saying “For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings”

All the material comforts, the knowledge and relationships which this world can offer and which Jesus calls ‘dishonest wealth’ have to be utilised for seeking our true and eternal nature. The comparison to the children of this world and the children of light is the intended target audience of the teaching. The people who were listening to Jesus were the Disciples and the Pharisees. In the Hebrew tradition the Pharisees were the chosen teacher of Divine wisdom, the children of light, but they miserably failed due to a hypercritic life they were leading. All their material wealth was used for self glory. The Disciples of Christ, who were the chosen children of the light under the new covenant, should not fall into the same trap of being sucked into the false realities which the material world offers.

Jesus also qualifies that unless we are trustworthy with worldly wealth, spiritual wealth cannot be entrusted to us. This establishes the seamless link between the wealth bestowed on each one of us through our body, mind, our fellow beings and the environment and the spirit that empowers all that is manifest and unmanifest. This is the concept of Deep Ecology put forth by Christ in all his wisdom. With this knowledge there is no dichotomy in ownership.

This is the same principle which was stated in the very first verse of Isa Upanishad. Please see my post http://blog.livingspark.net/2010/08/protection-through-renunciation.html

As followers of Christ, we are also the children of light and should heed to this teaching so that what the world has offer may be used for gaining the eternal friendship of the Divine.

Love to you all

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Does God Create?

On Facebook, the following question was posed in FAITHLINK, a page dedicated to Secular spiritual thought and having more than 2000 followers, as to what is the need for God to create. I reproduce the post here:

“My mother and I were talking about the Bhagavad-Gita, the Vedas and such. In the course of the conversation, we talked about the Hindu belief that creation exists as a cyclical phenomenon. The eons, or "yugas" progress from the least evolved and most troubled; the kali yuga, through more evolved and harmonious yugas; the treta, dwapara and the satya yugas, and then the cycle goes back down again, to kali yuga, and then ends with a dissolution of all creation as we know it, where all gets reabsorbed in the Supreme Intelligence; God. God then remains in a state of quiescence, and then the beginnings of creation occur again, with the primordial sound, or vibratory energy (Aum) and the cycles continue, through infinity. There is much that is written about this, but we had a question; why does God create? Why is this necessary for a Perfect Being, who is perfect in its quiescence? I realize that this is a very simplistic question. I also realize that I am anthropomorphizing God, because my instinctive answer to my question was “because He must be lonely” what do you think?”

I thought I will post my view for the benefit of all readers who read my blog.
It is a necessary state of man to seek and find answers. It is an inbuilt capacity in a process of consciousness evolution. From our tribal consciousness, man has evolved to a state of integral consciousness, over 20,000 years, and in this mode is seeking answers to deeper and deeper questions. The nature of scriptures has provided two distinct views. These are a magical dimension (derivative of ancestral tribal consciousness) which is rooted in literal interpretations bordering on the supernatural and a mystical dimension (derivative of integral consciousness) which provides a gateway to higher consciousness.

There are two major schools of thought with respect to Yugas. The first school was influenced by the writings in Śrīmad Bhāgavatam (longer period – 4.32 billion years) and the second school was influenced by the proposition of yogi Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri, which had a shorter time duration (12000 years). From a more scientific and mathematical construct, the great Indian mathematician and astronomer, Aryabhatta’s calculation seems to confirm cycles specified by Śrīmad Bhāgavatam. This view is also close to current Big Bang cosmology.
From a more human and Earth perspective, a shorter cycle from the consciousness point of view would be more palatable while the larger cycles points to the evolution of manifest consciousness. My reason for this conclusion is due to the fact that what is defined in the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam with respect to the size and age of individuals (21 cubits high and with a life of 100,000 years in Satya Yuga) is purely related to an ‘individual bounded consciousness field’ rather than to a physical entity. According to the Vedas, there are seven other planes of existence apart from the four dimensional space-time in which our consciousness is rooted during the Kali Yuga.

The Mayans had a division of five periods of 5125 years, giving a total of 25,625 years which is what has been calculated in Vedic science (25785.91 years for the return of ‘Revati Nakshatram’ - Pisces). and in modern astronomy as the ‘Precession cycle’ of the equinoxes (25,771.5 years) through the 12 Zodiac sign. Our immediate concern as human beings on Earth is the shorter cycle.

This is some inputs on the Yugas and the clear distinction that we need to make regarding consciousness and material manifestation. We are called through these scriptural interpretations and insights to move towards a higher level of consciousness through a spiritual discipline.

It is only in our limited consciousness that we perceive through duality a process known as creation. The duality of Creator and Creation are purely in a distorted consciousness. All time, space, actions are false reality and are limited to an extremely small space-time domain.
Let us raise a basic question. What is time, as we are talking of Yugas being measured in years? Without the relative motion of the Sun and the Earth there can not be a measure of time and given the current knowledge in cosmology, time is not absolute. If so how can we ever measure time beyond a limited period in a cosmic scale.

God or the Divine consciousness is singularity of Nothingness and Fullness, the Sunyata and the Pleroma, it is a state of being and it is not a plenum of action.

Love to you all

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Kriya and Karma

“Performing duty, verily one should desire to live a full hundred years. This alone is right, for there is no other right path. Actions do not cling to man of this temperament.” ………Isa Upanishad verse 2

There is need for defining what ‘performing duty’ here means. Every human being has to be engaged in some action throughout his or her life. Karma is the main stay of life. A more spiritual name for the fulfilment of karma through action is known as performance of rituals. Every act one performs is a ritual. This is because every act must have as its true goal, the fulfilment of Divine will. It should not be misconstrued that only what is done in the Puja or in worship is a ritual. All actions are rituals as they should be oriented towards elevation of one’s consciousness in our karmic journey. All rituals are composed of two elements; intention and performance.
Panini, the great grammarian, has said: “Whatever the doer wishes is Karma; whatever he does is Kriya (act). Thus Karma means the intention or desire behind the action. The true Karma is that which uplifts. Also, action which leads to downfall is not Karma but dushkarma or vikarma – unlawful or forbidden actions." Bhagavad-Gita says “Mysterious is the path of action and directs that one should work in the world following the ordinances of the scriptures, the Vedas” (Gita 4:17, 16:24). The underlying purpose of all scriptures is to be the source for proving guidelines for our intentions.

A question that may arise here, from this mantra in the Isa Upanishad, is why to live only for one hundred years. A simple answer is that man's life has been ordained as one hundred years in the Veda for a symbolic purpose. He is a centenarian and there is possibility of his surviving even longer. The Upanishads call the living being Shatakrtu – one who performs hundred yagyas – sacrifices. Hundred is a symbolism of fullness of earthly life.

The life process consists of two major paths namely; action and renunciation. But they are two sides of the same coin. While action is rooted in our material mode, renunciation evolves form deeper knowledge and operates at the intention level. The very first verse of the Isa Upanishad laid the foundation for this knowledge.
Definition of Karma is very well done in the Bhagavad-Gita: “The sense of renunciation in the living beings which evolves them to higher realms is called Karma” (Gita 8:3).

Let us take a simple example of a ritual bath that one undertakes before doing a puja (worship) or some other spiritual practice. The operation of Karma and Kriya can be seen in this simple act. If a person goes in for the bath with earthly worries of the day or how to close a deal that is to be negotiated, his karma fails its intended purpose and the kriya is rendered defunct.
But on the contrary if the bath is taken with gratitude for the health bestowed on the body and the millions of replenishments that have taken place at the level of one’s cells each day so that a new person has emerged at that very moment in preparation for the ritual to be performed, his karma is well oriented. With an intention that this bodily purification is a prelude to the ritual cleansing of his or her consciousness so that it can open up to the Divine touch and blessing, then the operation of the kriya and karma are in resonance.

This is the road to renunciation as the desire of action transcends the area of the self. It only seeks divine union and sees the action of the divine in all action. This is the meaning of “Actions do not cling to man of this temperament.”
The chapter 3 verse 9 of Bhagavad-Gita captures the essence of what we have been saying.
“Work done as a sacrifice for Vishnu has to be performed; otherwise work causes bondage in this material world. Therefore, O son of Kuntī, perform your prescribed duties for His satisfaction, and in that way you will always remain free from bondage.”

Love to you all

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Far Mosque

In this week, when we celebrate the Ramadan festival, we come to the end of the forty days of preparation. Rumi’s poem “The Far Mosque” is loaded with symbolism and any one who seeks a mystical journey into the spiritual world, so meaningfully visualized by the Prophet and brought to us through meaningful poetry, the thoughts conveyed in this poem are very essential for a deeper understanding.

“The place that Solomon made to worship in,
called the Far Mosque, is not built of earth
and water and stone, but of intention and wisdom
and mystical conversation and compassionate action.”
……………From “Essential Rumi” by Colman Barks “The Far Mosque” in Ch. 17 Solomon Poems, p. 191

Colman Barks in the introduction to this poem says “Solomon and Sheba are types for the courtship story going on in all of Rumi’s poetry. King Solomon (luminous divine wisdom) sends messengers to coax the Queen Sheba (the bodily soul) to leave her kingdom and come and live with him, she coyly sends envoys back with foolishly inappropriate gifts, and when she herself finally arrives, she does so with the one thing she can not afford to leave, her filigreed throne (the body).”

The very first stanza of the poem starts with Queen Sheba loading forty mules with gold bricks as gifts for Solomon. When her envoy and his party reach the wide plane leading to Solomon's palace, they see that the top layer of the entire plane is pure gold. They travel on gold for forty days!
What foolishness to take gold to Solomon, when the dirt of his land is gold. You, who think to offer your intelligence, reconsider. The mind is less than road dust.

The forty days of fasting, forty mules of gold and forty days walking on gold dust all point to the appointed time of our life on earth where the focus of life can be easily lost in the glitter of materialism. Number forty is mystic in Theosophy. According to the Islamic culture if someone practices a good deed constantly during forty days, it would be his inseparable attribute and lead to descending of Allah's blessing. In some religions forty days and forty nights praying has been special position. The number ‘Forty’ is attached to a time for preparation.

It is the divine which is the fullness of all that is manifest. We are in no position to offer that which has been gifted to us but instead the divine invites you to be his bride, to be in constant union in his very domain. This is the purpose of life, the ultimate divine union. In every act in this life let not the mind or intellect fool you to think that God expects some materialistic gift offering or your intellectual pursuit. Whatever we can offer from the physical, mental or intellectual dimension are gifts we have received in our current manifestation from God. All that God wants is the purification of your consciousness, through intention, devotion, compassion and service so that one can merge with the unsullied divine consciousness.

God can not be found in the mosque, temple or church built of stone but only in the ‘Far Mosque’ or a dimension where our intentions and spiritual wisdom resides. This is not a spatially separated domain but one that is built within the very heart of men and women.

This is reason that Rumi in another poem writes “If in thirst you drink water from a cup, you see God in it. Those who are not in love with God will see only their own faces in it.”

"Eid-Mubarak" to all my friends. May you be blessed with recurring happiness.

Love to you all

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Humility in Devotion

Today we celebrate Janmashtami or Krishna Jayanthi. It is a celebration of the incarnation of Cosmic consciousness.

When Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu began His instructions to Rūpa Gosvāmī, He first told him, “My dear Rūpa, the science of devotional service is just like the great ocean, and it is not possible to show you all its length and breadth. However, I shall try to explain the nature of that ocean by taking just one drop out of it. In this way you can taste it and understand what that ocean of devotional service actually is.”

In the Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, one of the four Kumāras, known as Sanandana, gave the following speech upon performing a great sacrifice:

“O Supreme Truth! If the living entities were not infinitesimal sparks of the supreme spirit, each minute spark would be all-pervading and would not be controlled by a superior power. But if the living entity is accepted as a minute part and parcel of the Supreme Lord he automatically becomes controlled by a supreme energy or power. The latter is his actual constitutional position, and if he remains in this position he can attain full freedom. ……... (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 10.87.30)
If one mistakenly considers his position to be equal to that of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he becomes contaminated by the doctrine of nonduality, and his efforts in transcendental life are rendered ineffective.”

The above episode and puranic texts are quoted for a specific purpose. First one has to realize the extreme insignificance of one’s individual consciousness when confronting the task of comprehending cosmic consciousness. Like I have pointed out, in many of my writings and talks, our mental faculty is extremely limited. Hence in his instruction to the great Jñani, Rūpa Gosvāmī, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu warns him of the expansiveness of the knowledge he is seeking. We must carefully note the words that are used. Caitanya Mahaprabhu says ‘science of devotional service is just like the great ocean’. It is not an action or ritual but it is a science. But this science is more complex than the material sciences we learn. But there is hope as a minute sample taken by a self realized Guru is adequate to dispense this vast knowledge of science of devotional service.

A very careful note is to be made that when the divine selects a limited entity which is an embodiment of all the essence of this infinite ocean there can be no aberration or lack in the content of what is dispensed. But if the individual ego tries to sample from this vast sea of knowledge, the sampling would be inadequate due to the ego contamination.

So what does it mean that one should allow the divine to sample the ocean? This means a total surrender of the self to the supreme Godhead. This is what Sanandana means when he says “But if the living entity is accepted as a minute part and parcel of the Supreme Lord he automatically becomes controlled by a supreme energy or power.” Integration at the consciousness level is achieved and the individual consciousness obtains full freedom and its limited perception can open up to a cosmic level of understanding.

In this process, if we allow our ego domination and equate individual consciousness to be equal to divine consciousness alienation sets in. There is great difference between ‘being equal’ and ‘being integral’. In being equal there is duality and being integral or inseparable is nondual.

The Lucifer is the archetypal icon of the ego rebellion. In Isaiah 14th Chapter it is said “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”

The ‘doctrine of nonduality’ is nectar in the hands of a spiritually mature person but this same nectar can turn in to a poison when the ego dominates in our bhakti marga.

Love to you all