Friday, November 25, 2011

Modes of Knowledge

"That knowledge by which one undivided spiritual nature is seen in all living entities, though they are divided into innumerable forms, you should understand to be in the mode of goodness.
That knowledge by which one sees that in every different body there is a different type of living entity you should understand to be in the mode of passion.
And that knowledge by which one is attached to one kind of work as the all in all, without knowledge of the truth, and which is very meagre, is said to be in the mode of darkness”………..Bhagavad Gita Chapter 18:20-22

At the outset the three modes of knowledge are expressed in these verses but it is difficult to comprehend the meaning when one operates purely in the rational level.

Let us analyse the various terms that are used in these verses.

In the first verse, Lord Krishna talks of the type of knowledge by which the “Undivided spiritual nature” of all creation or manifestations, which to the senses appear to be “divided into innumerable forms”, can be comprehended. This he calls "knowledge of Goodness".
The division into different forms is at the thought level or mental level. Ever since our birth we are constantly bombarded by imagery to which names and meanings are assigned by the collective consciousness of every other human beings we come across. This includes parents, siblings, teachers, friends, partners and elders. Humans are indoctrinated by this knowledge which is so external and yet so intimate and universally confirming that we imbibe this distorted knowledge without a second thought.

The rational self awareness which is the unique identity of human kind is its own undoing. We fail to understand what we are made up of. We do not move beyond these external inputs and the sensory images and their assigned meanings. Our reality is gridlocked in the intricate mesh of evolutionary consciousness. We fail to understand that we are in an evolutionary journey wherein the ascendancy of consciousness is the sole driving force. The ambience which has been provided including the faculty of the body and mind is hijacked by the mind to assume that the body and the environ, which are only an integral vehicle of transportation for the more subtle but the very essence of our existence, the spirit or Divine consciousness, is the only reality that exists. This lack of this knowledge results in duality wherein self awareness gives rise to an all powerful ego which in turn externalizes all other mode of existence into an object classification.

The next verse talks of this type of knowledge resulting in duality as the mode of passion. Various forms such as minerals, plants and animals are also vehicles or embodiments of Divine consciousness but the mode of passion which assign a superior role to the human form through the human ego and the ego mind differentiates all other forms as inferior to the human. This is a pure operation of the mind rooted in duality resulting from conditioned imagery.

Finally when we are locked on to the mode of attachment as possessors and enjoyers of all created forms for the sole purpose of human pleasure and survival, we operate in a knowledge which can best be categorized as a “mode of darkness”.

The universal truth that everything is a manifestation of the Divine form is difficult to comprehend through the knowledge derived through a rational process conditioned by classical sciences. Whether it be physical reactions such as forces acting upon matter and their resultant reactions or chemical processes or biological processes at the cell or DNA level or the observable processes at the cosmic scale, when we utilize a linear Newtonian analysis we hit a road block. Fortunately today the understanding of nature at the most fundamental level or closer to the Plank scale (10-35 metre) reveals that there is a universal energy field that connects us all across space-time and leading physicists, biologists and cosmologists agree that we are having a peep at the universal consciousness field which is the fundamental constituent of all that is manifest as matter.

The Vedic seers gained this knowledge through an intuitive route but in this Yuga of ascending consciousness when we are fortunate to be living, science is also conforming this great Truth.

This is the “knowledge by which one undivided spiritual nature is seen in all living entities, though they are divided into innumerable forms”

Love to you all

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fasting from the World

“If you do not fast from the world, you will not find the kingdom. If you do not observe the Sabbath as a Sabbath you will not see the Father.”………..Saying 27 – Gospel of Thomas

There is radical difference between the physical perceptual world and the Kingdom of God or the Divine Kingdom. The Divine Kingdom is all pervasive and is the subtlest, non differentiated domain from which all emanations takes place.

When Yeshua says that you have to fast from the world to find the Divine Kingdom, He does not mean fasting from taking in physical nourishment. What He means is one has to let go of attachments to the gross level to understand and get the feel of the subtlest levels wherein Divine presence can be felt in an intuitive manner.

When our consciousness operates at the waking level, through an evolutionary process, we are tuned to receive images in the four dimensional space-time. The names and forms are pre-cast at a collective level and it is a Herculean task to dismantle this consciousness structure. There is a kind of gluing together of our physical existence and the constructs of our mind in a deterministic mode which is far from reality.

The fasting Yeshua refers to is a conscious withdrawing from the operation of the mind. This in Vedic philosophy of Raja Yoga is called Pratyahara. It is the conscious withdrawing of the mind by the mind itself. Pratyahara is the 5th stage of sage Patanjali’s 8-limbed Ashtanga Yoga, which we could refer to as “withdrawing the senses away from the external surroundings and distractions.”

It can also be thought of as the point of transition from the bahiranga, or ‘external’ aspects of yoga, to the antaranga, or ‘internal’ yoga. In a deeper sense, we could even say that it is with this ‘controlled withdrawing of the senses’ that ‘Real Yoga’ begins.

Finally, in the language which the common man can understand, Yeshua says; “If you do not observe the Sabbath as a Sabbath you will not see the Father.”
Sabbath is a stage, it is not a day as normally perceived in ritualistic observations. Sabbath is the culmination and celebration of the act of physical creation. It is a stage when the creative purpose is internalized. What is the purpose of the body and its organs? What is the purpose of nature and all its bounties? All this creation should be seen in the light of the essence of creation. The essence of creation is the greater appreciation of the lila or play of consciousness.
We read in Genesis 2 verse 3 “And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”

The true nature of God or the Divine is that of stillness or resting. It is the equipoise of the universal ocean of consciousness. The seventh day symbolizes fullness, the cosmic dimension, and resting symbolizes the non-dualistic, undifferentiated essence which pervades all manifestation.

It is only when we who are created in the true image of the Divine observe the Sabbath, which means we observe the true nature of creation in its fullness and non-dualistic and undifferentiated subtle nature, we are capable a union with the Father or the Divine.

This is the meditative state explained in Ashtanga Yoga wherein after withdrawal and single pointed focus or Dharna, one goes into meditation or Dyana and finally attains Samadhi which is the absorption into the Divine or in simple language of Yeshua 'seeing the FATHER'.

Love to you all

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Spiritual Impulse

I had written about the first two tenets of Andrew Cohen’s concept of Evolutionary consciousness.
In the following saying Andrew reveals a fundamental process which can be understood as the prime-mover of the entire evolutionary process.

“When you feel the vibration of the spiritual impulse, the impulse to evolve at the level of consciousness, it's not just a feeling that you or I might have. This impulse is something much bigger. In fact, I believe it is that very same impulse that caused something to come from nothing fourteen billion years ago, that compelled an entire material universe to miraculously emerge from complete emptiness. To me, at least, there is no doubt that a great and mysterious energy and intelligence with enormous power is driving this entire evolutionary process forward in every moment. And our own direct personal experience of spiritual inspiration is the most tangible expression of that very same drive.”………………………………..from “Evolutionary Enlightenment” by Andrew Cohen

The whole concept of Big Bang cosmology bases its validity on the fact that we have a measurable residual radiation left over from the beginning of the universe fourteen billion years ago. This is known as the Cosmic background microwave radiation. Just as the microwave frequency power is used to cook or warm up our meals, any source of high intensity heat leaves behind a microwave radiation. This has been accurately measured through out the universe looking in any direction. Why I am pointing out this fact is to evoke an appreciation that we are part and parcel of this radiation.

Every atom in our cells and hence every human being is the result of the Big Bang. We have all emerged from the primordial nothingness. When we say nothingness, we mean a no-thing state.
But we are very much aware today that matter and energy are two sides of the same coin, thanks to Albert Einstein. Therefore it would be correct to say that we as material manifestation emerged from the energy state at the Big Bang.

In the process of evolution of the entire universe, where there is such precise order, from the structure of the atom to the various physical parameters that govern the large scale structure of the universe, there has to be an inbuilt intelligence. This cosmic intelligence is not only a prime-mover at the launch of this manifestation but also, at increasingly subtle level, in our individual perception, the reason for the direction of evolution of this manifestation.

While we are able to measure through our satellites and instruments the remnant Big Bang energy, the current energy level that is driving our existence in the more immediate time frame becomes unquantifiable due to its operating domain and our own nature of perception. In our mind, from a purely high intensity external event it has moved to a high intensity internal process driver. This is an involutedly progressing process where the total energy remains same but its perception at the rational level in the space-time domain has undergone extreme dilution. Yet this impulse keeps surfacing in our individual consciousness time and again reminding us of our own origin.

This is, in the language of spirituality, the impulse to evolve to a higher level of consciousness. We are constantly reminded in our spiritual pursuit of our higher universal nature and it is for each one of us to become aware. This awareness is enlightenment.

Love to you all.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Honouring Our Ancestors

All Souls' Day (November 2)—the time of year to honour our ancestors.
I am reminded and moved by Steve Job's message to his successor, Tim Cook, to move forward with his own ideas, not to think of making decisions based on what Steve would do. The rich future of possibilities lies before us and we honour the guidance and good works of our wise ancestors who gave of their special gifts and talents to bring us to where we are today.

I am also reminded of a great passage in Mahabaratha where Lord Krishna instructs Arjuna to go to Bhishma before he leaves the terrestrial world.

“I was thinking of him whom Ganga conceived and brought forth according to ordinary human laws and whom Vasişţha took as a pupil. I was thinking of that hero of mighty energy and great intelligence who possesses a knowledge of all the celestial weapons as also of the four Vedas with all their branches. I was thinking of him, O son of Pandu, who is the favourite disciple of Rama, the son of Jamadagni, and who is the receptacle of the sciences. I was thinking of that foremost of all persons conversant with morality and duty, of him, O bull of Bharata’s race, who knows the Past, the Future, and the Present…………….. When Bhishma, that foremost one of Kuru’s race, will disappear from the world, every kind of knowledge will disappear with him. It is for this that I urge thee (to go to him now).”………… Mahabharata, Santi Parva, Section XLVII

Each human creation is potent with cosmic wisdom and all our ancestors are instrumental in our evolution towards the great Self realization through which we become the true possessors of Divine wisdom. The above passage has deep meaning for hose who read not just the words but the intent behind the writing.
  • First is some sort of impulse. Call it intuition, guidance, inspiration, an idea. Anything on that level is very unformed, yet it has the seeds, carries the germ of further development. At this stage there is nothing formed so much as it is an inclination towards form. This is Ether.
  • In the next stage the idea or impulse begins to take form. It is considered a bit, yet still is very nebulous. It starts to gather some substance around it, and begins to be discernible. This is Air.
  • Here it gets infused with some life and energy. It carries and quickens the forming impulse. It gives impetus to go further. This is Fire.
  • In the next stage more solid formation continues. The idea takes form yet is still fluid, forming, becoming less transparent and more dense. Adjustments and modifications are made as it begins and continues to interact with the potentials and capacities, and intentions of depth. This is Water.
  • Finally it takes solid form. It comes into being in the deeper level - the physical world. This is Earth.
Hence Bhishma was conceived by Ganga the holy waters of the sacred river. Bhishma symbolizes the cumulative ancestral wisdom which has evolved since creation in every contemporary human being and given a human form through the untainted Ganga.

There is the innate capacity which we cannot leverage unless we go to integral wisdom of all ages. This is the meaning of “celestial weapons and four Vedas and its branches”. Celestial weapons are the instruments of destruction of Avidya or ignorance and the Vedas are the source of Esoteric knowledge which every human being must obtain if he or she wants to progress in the intended path of creation.

Rama, the son of Jamadagni, is the sixth avatar of Lord Vishnu known by the name Parashurama, who wields the axe (parashu means axe in Sanskrit) which cuts away the roots of ignorance. Bhishma as the worthy disciple of Parashurama inherits the Cosmic wisdom which is precious for future generations.

This is the reason that we must remember and venerate all our ancestors who are all elements of Bhishma, the embodiment of Cosmic wisdom.

Let us invoke the blessings of all our ancestors to progress to a higher plane of existence.