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.

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