Thursday, June 30, 2011

Spiritual Replication

"Those who worship the demigods will take birth among the demigods; those who worship the ancestors go to the ancestors; those who worship ghosts and spirits will take birth among such beings; and those who worship Me will live with Me."……………..Bhagavad-Gita 9.25

The following story is told to bring out the power of the above verse in Bhagavad-Gita.
In the town of Kurukshetra, which is capable of giving liberation, there once lived a king of the name Chandrasharma, who was in the dynasty of the Sun-god. Once, at the time of the solar-eclipse, the king wished to give charity to one Brahmin, included in that charity was a Sudra, whose body was completely black. After going with his priest and taking bath in the sacred lake, putting on clean cloth and applying sandalwood, he returned to his place. With devotion, he gave charity to a qualified Brahmin. After he had presented the charity, all of a sudden from that black Sudras’s heart, one very sinful chandala (dog-eater) appeared and after a little while, a female chandala appeared from that black Sudras’s body, and together they went close to the Brahmin.

All of a sudden, they entered in to the body of the Brahmin. That Brahmin remained undisturbed and started to chant the Ninth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-Gita, while remembering Lord Govinda. The king witnessing all these activities was stunned, unable to say anything. As soon as the words of the Ninth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-Gita came on the lips of that Brahmin, the Vishnudutas appeared there and chased away those two Chandalas. At that time the king inquired from the Brahmin, “Oh learned one, who were those two persons and which mantra did you chant? Which deity did you remember?” The Brahmin replied, “Taking the form of a chandala, sin personified appeared, along with offence personified in the form of that female chandala.”

The creation of chandalas and their removal from our consciousness is our own karmic chore. The creation of chandalas come from our lower level of consciousness while their removal is through alignment with the supreme Divine plenum.

Though many masters have given a literal interpretation of this verse, the above story brings to focus the true intention of the verse. The spiritual progress of individual atman is determined by the level to which the individual consciousness has been cleansed and elevated from the state in which the individual manifestation had taken place. In Vedic cosmology, the various planets as abodes of Gods and demons does not mean that there is a physical or temporal presence. It signifies consciousness attributes which can act as empowering external agents in the practice of sadhana and our daily living in this creation. This is the reason why planetary alignments and positions are important in the science of Astrology.

Spiritual replication is the theme of this saying in Gita. The great wisdom of the ancients “As above, so below. As without, So within.” is reflected in this saying.

If we are rooted in the consciousness of a collection of deities in the Hindu pantheon of gods, which is not Saguna Brahman as popularly misconstrued (see Adi Sankara’s commentary on this subject), then we remain in a lower level of consciousness. This is due to the fact that we become enmeshed in their Puranic imagery and attributes and our spiritual progress is limited to only the level this specific attribute to which we devote ourselves.

Similarly if we are rooted in the good deeds and actions of our ancestors, then we can progress only thus far.

If we are inert to spiritual impulses and are devoted to the materialistic world and worldly wisdom, which are signified by ghosts and spirits due to their degrading, illusory nature , then we are trapped in that incarnation.

True liberation can only take place through full identity (worship) with the Saguna Brahman who is the supreme reality.

Love to you all

Note: (Saguna Brahman of the various schools of Vaishnavism means Brahman with infinite attributes, including form. Saguna Brahman is immortal, imperishable, eternal, and thus the basis of the impersonal Nirguna Brahman, as clearly stated in the Bhagavad Gita. The personal form indicated is generally Narayana, or Krishna, or Vishnu. Practically all schools of Vaishnavism adhere to this viewpoint.)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Place of Light Within

His disciples said, “Show us the place where you are, for we must seek it.” He said to them, “Anyone here with two ears had better listen! There is light within a person of light, and it shines on the whole world. If it does not shine, it is dark.”……………Gospel of Thomas - Saying 24

This saying though it appears simple carries immense meaning.
The reason why the disciples asked Yeshua to show the place where He was going is due the discussion He had with the Pharisees. He says to them “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going.”………….John 8: 14
The reply of Yeshua is replete with hidden concepts, which will be difficult to put into words.
Let us first draw some references in the Canonical Gospels relating to the above saying, especially the concept of light and darkness.
“In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”………..John 1: 4-5
Regarding the Baptizer, John writes, “He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.”……… John 1: 7-9.

Tau Malachi writing on this verse says, “Yeshua here speaks of an interior life. Living from within one’s Godly soul (Nefesh Elokit) and the Christ self, which naturally brings forth the Light of God in to one’s life, so that oneself, one’s environment and one’s life are the extension of Divine illumination.”

To comprehend the structure of the soul, we need to begin by describing how reality itself is structured. We live in a created universe. This means that God created the universe out of nothing. When God initiated the creation process, there was no space or time, no matter or energy [other than God's own,]. He could not fashion the universe out of pre-existing materials.
It follows that the universe is actually made of pure Divine energy, the only 'substance' that was available for God to use. This is an important point to establish and one whose implications are far from obvious at first glance.
Perception of this reality has been dimmed due to a separation. This is beautifully explained in kabbalistic spirituality, whose essence Yeshua was well aware of.

Nine of the ten Sefirot (Vessels containing Divine energy) of the lowest part of the soul called Nefesh are detachable from their attachment to the higher part of the soul called Ruach by a process referred to in the Torah as Karet, excision.
This excision happens due to our conditioned consciousness as creatures trapped in our sense driven concepts, which lowers the higher faculties of the soul. This is a self-feeding mechanism by which the level, to which we are detached, becomes deeper and deeper if we do not consciously elevate our consciousness to the higher planes of the Sefirot, (which is the purpose of created life) we become mired in darkness.

The highest state of being is a state of full awakening to our true nature and Yeshua was a living example. Light and life are inseparable at the level of the soul, a soul one with the Father or the Divine Self.

May this saying lead us from darkness to light.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Die Before You Die

“The Mystery of “Die before you Die” is this:
That the gifts come after your dying and not before.
Except for dying, you artful schemer,
No other skill impresses God. One Divine gift
Is better than a hundred kinds of exertion.
Your efforts are assailed from a hundred sides,
And the favour depends on your dying.
The trustworthy have already put this to the test.” ………….Jalaluddin Rumi

This exhortation seems very morbid and not practical. Nevertheless, what Rumi and earlier Jesus said “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” ……….Luke 9:24, is not physical death, but about the need for eradicating the small self. This is the act of dying to our outer form of our selfhood, like setting alight the candle so that the inner potential of luminosity can be brought out. Our inner core of Divine essence is shrouded with layers of opaque covering due to our conditioned existence. This is the original sin, with which we are born. Human consciousness, which has gone through a complex evolutionary process, is rooted in a false reality. We are at the same time gifted with the potential to transcend to a pure state of consciousness through a process of awakening by opening the ‘Eye of the Heart’.
When Jesus says in his Sermon on the Mount “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God”…........Matthew 5:8, He is talking about this ‘Eye of the Heart’ and not the physical eyes.
When Lord Krishna says “But you cannot see Me with your present eyes. Therefore, I give you divine eyes. Behold My mystic opulence!”………………..BG 11:8. He is also talking of a radically different perception.

All spiritual traditions realized the need to replace the sense perception with a vision that is possible through the opening of the ‘Eye of the Heart’. This transformation of perception is essential in any spiritual exercise for deeper insight. This can come only through dying to our habitual mode of mental grasping for reason and meaning.
Contemporary Sufi mystic Kabir Helminski in his writing beautifully captures this awakening, through the inner heart;
“We have subtle subconscious faculties we are not using. Beyond the limited analytic intellect is a vast realm of mind that includes psychic and extrasensory abilities; intuition; wisdom; a sense of unity; aesthetic, qualitative and creative faculties; image-forming and symbolic capacities. Though these faculties are many, we give them a single name with some justification because they are operating best when they are in concert. They comprise a mind, moreover, in spontaneous connection with the cosmic mind. This total mind we call, ‘heart’."

As Rumi says, all other spiritual exertions are subject to attack and defilement from different directions as they are ingrained in spatial-temporal-mental domain, which has very limited capability. Therefore, the rational intellect has to harmonize with the Cosmic or Divine mind and through this process; it looses its self-identity. This is the dying, which will give us immense power in our spiritual seeking.

Love to you all