Saturday, December 31, 2011

Wielding the Axe of Parashurama


“Once King Kartavirya Arjuna (Sahasrarjuna) and his army visited Jamadagni, a Brahmin sage, who fed his guest and the whole army with his divine cow Surabhi; the king demanded the magical cow and Jamadagni refused because he needed the cow for his religious ceremonies. King Kartavirya Arjuna (Sahasrarjuna) sent his soldiers to take the cow and Parashurama killed the entire army and the king with his axe. In return, the prince beheaded Jamadagni, the father of Parashurama.

When Parashurama returned home he found his mother crying hysterically. He asked why she was crying, she beat her chest twenty-one times. In a rage, Parashurama vowed to exterminate the world's Kshatriyas twenty-one times. He killed the entire clan of Kartavirya Arjuna (Sahasrarjuna), thus conquering the entire earth. He offered his dead father's soul tarpana with the blood of the kings and warriors he slew. He then conducted the Ashwamedha sacrifice, done only by sovereign kings, and gave the entire land he owned to the priests who performed at the yajña.”

What is the meaning of this tale. Every Purana has a deep spiritual meaning and might reveal to individuals consciousness certain esoteric messages. Many times we think there has to be a universal meaning to every story or myth but myths are not designed outside the ambit of certain cultural backdrop.

The four classification of material nature which is identified by the caste system is in effect talks only of individual consciousness in various modes of action as defined by the Bhagavad Gita.
“According to the three modes of material nature and the work associated with them, the four divisions of human society are created by Me. And although I am the creator of this system, you should know that I am yet the nondoer, being unchangeable.”…….BG 4:13

The second paragraph of the above sited story is the one that reveals the inner spiritual dimension of the myth. Parahurama is the sixth avatar of Vishnu and belongs to the Second Age, and is the son of a Brahmin father Jamadagni and mother Renuka in Hindu mythology. He is considered one of the seven immortal (Ciranjivi) human. He received an axe after undertaking a terrible penance to please Siva, from whom he learned the methods of warfare and other skills. Vishnu, the Saguna Brahma, in his role of the preserver, obtains the axe of annihilation from Shiva, who has the role of the transformer. Act of preservation needs weeding out certain impure elements from every creation.
The Kshatriya caste is the symbolic representation of the category of individual consciousness which is ruled by passion, the guna of Rajas. The Divine cow (Gau in ancient Sanskrit means Cosmic energy) is the Divine or Cosmic energy which feeds the Rajasic guna but the nature of this guna is that it wants to possess this entity and make it its own thus creating an imbalance in the nature of its distribution. The individual who is rooted in Rajasic mode has to be reordered and the destruction of the Kshatriya clan signifies this act.

The entire system of the seven energy centres in the human being must be cleansed through eradication of the imbalances in the three gunas in all the seven levels of the human being. This is the destruction, twenty one times that is spoken of in this myth.
This is an act of preservation of the unsullied consciousness which enters physical body in creation.

The mother crying is the indication of the primal creative force lamenting the loss of the pure consciousness symbolized by the death of the Brahmin father. The conquering of the entire earth is the reordering of the entire creation with the right distribution of the attributes which restores balance and stillness in the merging of the human and the divine.

This act of restoration is also pointed out through the act of performing the Ashwamedha sacrifice
The Ashwamedha sacrifice is performed only by the king (Raja) or the rajas nature. The Ashvamedha, the highest expression of royal authority or the rajasic nature has to be sacrificed. Sacrificed means made holy or restored to its natural balance. In this myth this sacrifice is conducted by Parahurama, the Ciranjivi or the perfect and immortal human symbolizing one who is pure primal consciousness or the Paramatma.
Through this yajña or sacrifice the entire earth or creation is owned by the Priests or Brahmins.  Brahmins are the category of humans who have the three gunas in right balance.

Year 2012 is the beginning of the new age of transformation of consciousness and let us all participate in this process through the wielding of the axe of Parashurama in restoring the right balance in our individual consciousness.

Wishing you all a blessed NEW YEAR

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Birth of the Solar Man

“The pagans set aside the 25th of  December as the birthday of  the Solar Man. They rejoiced, feasted, gathered in processions, and made offerings in the temples. the dark- ness of winter was over and the glorious son of light was returning to the northern hemi- sphere. With his last effort the old Sun God had torn down the house of the Philistines (the spirits of Darkness) and had cleared the way for the new sun who was born that day from the depths of the earth amidst the symbolic beasts of the lower world.
Concerning this season of celebration, an anonymous master of arts of Balliol College, oxford, in his scholarly treatise, “Mankind Their Origin and Destiny”, says:

“the Romans also had their solar festival, and their games of the circus in honour of the birth of the god of day. it took place the eighth day before the kalends of January – that is, on December 25. Servius, in his commentary on verse 720 of the seventh book of the Æneid, in which Virgil speaks of the new sun, says that, properly speaking, the sun is new on the 8th of the Kalends of January-that is, December 25. In the time of Leo I. (Leo, Serm. xxi., De Nativ. Dom. p. 148), some of the Fathers of the Church said that ‘what rendered the festival (of Christmas) venerable was less the birth of Jesus Christ than the return, and, as they expressed it, the new birth of the sun.’ it was on the same day that the birth of the invincible Sun (Natalis solis invicti), was celebrated at Rome, as can be seen in the Roman  calendars, published in the reign of Constantine and of Julian (Hymn to the Sun, p. 155). This epithet ‘Invictus’ is the same as the Persians gave to this same god,  whom they worshipped by the name of Mithra, and whom they caused to be born in a grotto (Justin. Dial. cum Trips. p. 305), just as he is represented as being born in a stable, under the name of Christ, by the Christians.”

The above passage is taken from the book “The Secret Teachings of All Ages” by Many P Hall, a great scholar of mysticism. I chose to write on this subject because today is the winter Solstice and the Sun has reached its southern most point in its journey and starts its return to the northern hemisphere.
Christmas as a historic element is contentious and is not relevant to our spiritual unfolding.
It is a symbolism of the birth of Divine consciousness in Yeshua the son of man and elevating him to Christ the Son of the Divine Father. This consciousness incarnation is mapped to an ancient pagan tradition and a cosmic event for human understanding.
The conquest of light over darkness through the return of the Sun in the physical universe is the symbolism of Christ consciousness driving out the darkness of ignorance and this is the most important element in our understanding of the birth of Christ.
Talking of Christ, John says in his Gospel; “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
It is the birth of illumining wisdom that we need to celebrate. This light of which we speak is the invincible element of creation through which every creation is given a purpose and meaning. Christ himself tell his disciples as to who they are. In saying 50 of the Gospel of Thomas Christ says; “If they say to you, 'Where have you come from?' say to them, 'We have come from the light, from the place where the light came into being by itself, established [itself], and appeared in their image.'
If they say to you, 'Is it you?' say, 'We are its children, and we are the chosen of the living Father.'”

We celebrate Christmas to symbolize the dawning of the light of spiritual wisdom, through Christ’s teachings and life, in every human being. We are the children of this light. We are revealed to the world due to the light of Christ consciousness shining through our own being as children of the light. As John the Baptist responded to the presence Christ consciousness when in the womb of his mother but later failed to recognize him until revealed by the Holy Spirit, we also must invoke the power of the Divine consciousness , which pervades all creation, to reveal the renewed birthing of Christ consciousness in every moment of our lives as the very essence of our worldly existence.

A joyful Christmas to you all.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Attachment and Aversion

“There are principles to regulate attachment and aversion pertaining to the senses and their objects. One should not come under the control of such attachment and aversion, because they are stumbling blocks on the path of self-realization.” ………Bhagavad Gita 3:34

This verse from Bhagavad Gita captures in it’s simplicity the whole essence of our relationship to sense objects. All created entities are subject to certain principles of operation and interrelationship. It is the action of the mind and the resultant consciousness which deviates from these set principles. For example, the sense of hunger is inbuilt into life so that the proper nourishment can be taken for survival and growth, but gorging oneself on food of whatever nature results not only in damage to the physical self but also creates unwanted reactions in the endocrinal system releasing hormones which cause excess reaction and unwanted responses.

We can understand attachment blinds one’s response system and leads to biased action whether it be in the physical or mental domain. When one becomes attached, there is a sense of identification with what one desires and the true attributes of the object of attachment can become distorted in this process. This is the reason that we need to let go of desire and attachment so that the true purpose for which an object is presented to the self can be fully appreciated. These are the natural principles that define an objects existential purpose.

In the same breathe with which Lord Krishna talks of attachment, he also talks of aversion. Aversion has to be understood as polar opposite of attachment and hence also requires an objective reference. What I mean by this is that in order to exercise aversion one needs a predefined set of attributes assigned to an object towards which aversion is exercised. This is another type of attachment.

A simple example is when I have an aversion for a person with a crooked nose. When I see a man with a crooked nose, my mind defines a predetermined desire to observe a man with a straight nose. This is an attachment which has been generated by an act of aversion. I stop to think about the true function of the nose on the human face and hence go beyond the ‘principles that regulate’ the purpose as purely a portal for breathing and smelling. A predetermined shape is an unwanted attribute assigned by an individual’s mind.

Attachment and aversion, beyond the control of set of principles, are individual choice which find their place in existentialism.
A central proposition of existentialism is that existence precedes essence, which means that the actual life of the individual is what constitutes what could be called his or her "essence" instead of there being a predetermined essence that defines what it is to be a human. Thus, the human beings – through their own consciousness – create their own values and determine a meaning to their life. This is the biggest fallacy of Existential philosophy.

If one is truly rooted in his or her universal essence then we understand the real purpose of sense objects and their role in creation with respect to the self.

Love to you all

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Holistic Knowledge Acquisition

“ .....According to the Ancients, religion, philosophy, and science are the three parts of essential learning. Not one of these parts is capable if separated from the rest, of assuring the security of the human state. A government based upon one or even two of these parts must ultimately degenerate into a tyranny, either of men or of opinion ....” ………. Manly P. Hall

In his book “The Secret Destiny of America”, Manly Palmer Hall wrote these famous lines in the introduction to the twentieth chapter whose heading was “End of the Quest”.
The ideal and utopian approach to build lasting and sustainable governance is beautifully brought out in the opening words to this article.

Today, I would rather change the word ‘religion’ to ‘spirituality’. The three facets of essential learning are rooted in three levels of the human psyche. Spirituality is the deeper realm of the psyche, while philosophy and science are the two aspects of the mind which are used as tools in deploying the spiritual self in the process acquiring deeper wisdom which is so essential in harmonious living through an egalitarian approach and empowering knowledge sharing for the betterment of the species.

In the same chapter Hall states “The Platonic commonwealth had as its true foundation the unity of learning. In the midst of the philosophic empire stands the school of the three-fold truth. Religion is the quest of truth by means of the mystical powers latent in the consciousness of man. Philosophy is the quest for truth by the extension of the intellectual powers toward the substance of reality. Science is the quest for truth by the study of the anatomy and the physiology of the body of truth, as it is revealed in the material creation.”

In the Greek history the life of Alexander the Great is a clear example in how at a very young age he was ready to take on the governance of the mighty Greek empire. His name itself is an indication of the purpose of his kingly life. ‘Alex’ means ‘protector’ and ‘ander’ means ‘man’. He was born to be protector of man. Alexander was tutored by Aristotle whose masterly writings covered many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theatre, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology.

The king’s duty as protector of man is primary. In Arthashasthra of Kautalya, the great Indian treatise on state governance it is said “In the happiness of his subjects lies the king's happiness, in their welfare his welfare. He shall not consider as good only that which pleases him but treat as beneficial to him whatever pleases his subjects”

What ails the world of governance in politics or religion or any social initiative, is the lack of this holistic and integral knowledge which includes spirituality, philosophy and science. The other important factor that we need to consider is the merging of these three disciplines. In the twenty first century, metaphysics, science and spirituality are starting to talk the same language. It is the language centred around a single most important entity, namely, consciousness.

The ‘Entelechy’ of Aristotle, ‘Monads’ of Leibniz, ‘Quanta’ of Max Planck and ‘Memes’ of Richard Dawkins are all emerging from the grey clouds of the past timeline into a single entity which operates at the sub-Planck scale and can be universally named as a ‘consciousness filed’.

Operating from a deeper understanding of this field, which lies at the root of all knowledge disciplines, with a high state of awareness, provides each one of us, who are elements of Cosmic governance, a harmonious existence in unison with the process of evolution of the species.

Love to you all