Friday, December 20, 2013

Supplication to the Cosmic Dancer





"உருவெளியே  உரு வெளிக்குள்  உற்ற வெளி  உருவே
உரு நடுவும்  வெளிநடுவும்  ஒன்றான  ஒன்றே
பெருவெளியே  பெருவெளியில் பரஞ்சோதி  மயமே
பெருஞ்சோதி  மய‌நடுவே  பிறங்குதனிப் பொருளே
மருஒழியா  மலர் அகத்தே வயங்கு ஒளி மணியே
மந்திரமே தந்திரமே மதிப்பரிய மருந்தே
திருஒழியா தோங்குமணி  மன்றில் நடத்தரசே
சிறுமொழிஎன் றிகழாதே சேர்த்து மகிழ்ந்தருளே."

"You are the embodiment of all forms and in that essence you are manifest form,
You are the unique singularity of that which is both within and without all forms
You are the immensity of the cosmos and you are its brilliant luminosity
Within that luminosity and immensity you are the element of all creation
In the flawless flowering blossom you are the quintessential fragrance
You are the supplication, you are the enchanter and you are the invaluable sustainer
You are the monarch and the perennial  pinnacle of your cosmic dance
Pray don’t ignore my insignificant words but enrich it through your finer delights!"
................................Thiru Arutpa - TirumuRai -VI part II verse 4109

This is a beautiful Tamil verse which captures the cosmic dimension of Divinity. The authorship of this composition called Thiru Arutpa is credited to Saint Arutprakasa Vallalar Chidambaram Ramalingam who lived in the in the 19th century in Vadalur in Tamilnadu, India. He is the great devotee of Lord Siva in the formless cosmic manifestation and all his outpouring in verse is addressed towards his deeper understanding of the Cosmic unity between the manifest and the unmanifest.
This verse gives you a taste of his deep understanding and the process of merging the grasping of the non-dual mind and the ultimate cosmic reality.

What we learn today, through advancement in science, is that the ultimate fundamental reality is a field of "quantum foam" below the Planck's scale (10−35 m - that is one divided by ten followed by thirty five zeros - 1/ 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000). This domain encodes through information, which again consists of energy and geometry, all forms which result in manifestation of fundamental particles and the derived higher complexities such as atoms, molecules, organisms and species.

The true nature of Lord Shiva, the second deity in the trinity of "Saguna Brahma", is one of a transformative agent. This is the very basic nature of the universe itself. The billions of Galaxies each of which consists of billions of stars and inter stellar and inter Galactic gas and dust is in constant transformation through gravitational aggregation and Dark matter and Dark energy repulsion. The immense energies in star systems and their associated forces lead to supernova explosions and Black hole generation. The universe is a seething cauldron of transformation. This immense process is deified through the personification of Lord Shiva and his Cosmic Dance.

The beauty of this verse is the capture of the undivided unity of the individual devotee who while standing in awe at the cosmic scale and brilliance of a process which lies beyond the senses and the mind is able to comprehend through an intuitive devotional ardour the grand unity and singularity of the Creator and the creation.
Those of us who can read the poetical Tamil verse can feel the intimacy of the author of the verse to the cosmic reality. The translation does dilute the emotional content of the original verse but can give you a feel for the depth of spirituality that Vallalar experienced.


Love to you all 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Worship and Self-realization

"Distinct they say is the result of knowledge and distinct they also say is the result of ignorance. This is what we heard from the wise who explained these matters to us.
He who knows both knowledge and ignorance together, crosses death through ignorance and attains immortality through knowledge.
 Into blinding darkness enter those who worship the unmanifest and into still greater darkness those who take delight in the manifest." .............Isa Upanishad Verse 10-12

This is a continuation of my understanding of the Isa Upanishad. We saw in the verse 9 the hopeless situation of those rooted in the worship in ignorance and those who worship through false knowledge rooted in the intellectual domain.

The result of true knowledge is distinct from that which is derived from other false premises.
Thought, description, and language can get no more fundamental than to make a distinction, for whenever we have anything at all we have at least one distinction: the distinction between that thing and no-thing. When I say light, I clearly distinguish it from darkness. No matter what it is, whether it be a fleeting thought in the mind, a tingling sensation in the finger tip, a strand of cloud in the sky, or heavy sadness of the heart, all things rest on that one implicit distinction. Indeed, if there were no distinction at all, then there would be no-thing at all. The manifest and the unmanifest are distinguished through the senses.

Knowing both knowledge and ignorance together means the deployment of distinction. True wisdom comes from this achievement of clearly understanding both true knowledge and false knowledge or ignorance.
When we live this human life purely at the gross level through sensory attachments and pleasures, we are rooted in the 'avidya' or ignorance induced through 'maya' or illusion. But if through detachment to the sensory perceptions we move to the plane of a higher reality through worship, prayer and spiritual practice and knowledge, then we are ready to attain immortality.

Adi Shankara makes a clear distinction in his commentary on this verse, especially when defining what is meant by 'immortality', when he says that there are three levels through which one transcends from the sphere of ignorance, which is the first level, where one is rooted in Vedic acts such as 'Agnihothra' to the second level of 'qualified immortality'. Death here does not mean physical death but means a state where the one has the innate knowledge and awareness of actions of one's karmic imprints (which can be obtained only beyond physical existence or in advanced stage of awakening). At this second level we are aligned in this new knowledge in qualified immortality but to ascend to the final and third level of 'Absolute immortality' one has to have the Self knowledge.

Holy acts cannot free man from mortality but only aid in alleviating his agony of helplessness. It is only the deep knowledge of the absolute Self which can obtain him absolute immortality. Until then one has to be subject to the 'Prãrabadha Karman' or per-ordained Karma.

Let us take the ritual of 'Agnihothra'. It is a Vedic yajña (ritual or sacrifice) performed as an act of purification. The performance of Agnihotra, which has an impact both on intellect and emotion of the performer, can be termed as insight oriented psychotherapy. It brings a permanent intra-psychic change, whereby an ability to understand the inner nature of things is developed. It is the obliteration of the sensory impacts which is signified in the fire sacrifice. If this ritual is performed without this inner transformation then one is rooted in 'ignorance' which perpetuates the karmic journey of the 'atman'

In the today's concluding verse. a deeper meaning to the word worship has to be understood. Any act of worship is grounded in attachment. When one worships an idol or representation of a deity one is attached to the manifest objective reality but when one worships the an unmanifest reality, there is still a generative principle that objectifies the target of worship. Any objectifying leads to duality and hence cannot be the absolute reality; therefore it is only by transcending worship and becoming totally one with the very plenum of the Absolute Self that one can attain true Self-realization.

Love to you all.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Judgement of the Soul

In The "Egyptian Book of the Dead" it is recorded that the soul would be lead before the god Osiris and recite the forty-two negative confessions beginning with the prayer, "I have not learnt the things which are not" meaning that the soul strove in life to devote itself to matters of lasting importance rather than the trivial matters of everyday life. The forty-two negative declarations (Papyrus of Ani) which followed the opening prayer went to assure Osiris of the soul's purity and ended, in fact, with the statement, "I am pure" repeated a number of times. It was not the soul's claim to purity which would win over Osiris, however, but, instead, the weight of the soul's heart.


The `heart' of the soul was handed over to Osiris who placed it on a great golden scale balanced against the white feather of Ma'at, the Goddess of truth, of harmony, on the other side. If the soul's heart was lighter than the feather then the soul was freely admitted into the field of bliss. If the heart is found heavier, then it was cast away to the floor of the Hall of Truth where it was devoured by Ammit (a god with the face of a crocodile, front of a lion and the back of a rhinoceros) and the individual soul then ceased to exist. There was no `hell' for the ancient Egyptians; their `fate worse than death' was non-existence.

The forty-two negative confessions were also referred to as forty-two deities or judges who sat at the judgement of the soul.
The ancient Egyptians called the soul by two names - the Ka and Ba. The two owl symbols  in the hieroglyphs of the word 'Ammit' are a reminder of this.
The Ka was the life-force and spiritual essence of the soul.
The Ba was the roaming physical essence of the soul and was represented as a bird, a hawk, with a human head that symbolized the deceased.

The Akhu (Divine consciousness) was the divine spark of the soul that emerged when the Ka(Individual consciousness)  and Ba (Astral body or the physical essence which housed the individual consciousness - this is equivalent to the 'Anandamaya Kosha in Vedic spirituality) were united. The ancient Egyptians were desperate for the Ka to survive and unite with the Ba so the Akhu, the divine spark, could re-emerge and the soul could enter the world of immortality . Should they be deemed to have led sinful lives, the part of the soul called the 'Ba' would be given to Ammit, the 'Devourer of the Dead' and 'Eater of Souls'. It is only the physical essence which is devoured by Ammit. The spiritual essence is set to roam the underworld and the Egyptians feared this 'second death' more than the physical or first death.

The 'Devourer of the Dead', the deity Ammit, is represented by the three reptilian and mammalian combination in one body and is referred as a female goddess. This combination of animals represents the territorial nature grounded in the elements of water and earth, both being the essence of the physical body. The female goddess is the embodiment of wisdom but this is the degraded wisdom in the domain of good and evil which is rooted in duality.

The esoteric concept of body and soul in Egyptian spirituality can be seen in this iconic interpretations.
The clear demarcation of the physical body and the physical essence is clearly brought out. In the theory of reincarnation, the physical essence is the embodiment of the unique consciousness which takes residence in the physical body which is discarded at the time of physical death but the astral body or the unique physical essence continues its journey into immortality through multiple reincarnations only to be discarded when the ultimate merger with the Divine consciousness occurs.

The importance of the physical essence surviving the physical body is the core theme of Karma in the eternal journey in immortality. While the Soul can never have any attributes or modifications, it is the physical essence which carries these Karmic imprints. These karmic imprints can be modified in the physical essence while in the physical body only through the Divine spark that links the physical and spiritual essence.

Let this knowledge empower us to lead a life of purity.

Love to you all.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Looking to the East

"Then he brought me to the gate, the gate facing east. And there, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the east; the sound was like the sound of mighty waters; and the earth shone with his glory. " .......Ezekiel 43:1-2
"Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him............. After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was." ..........Matthew 2: 2 and 9

In this article, I will reproduce some of the thoughts which I shared with the Salesian nuns as part of the reflection on the first Sunday of the season of Advent. We are eagerly looking to Christmas as a celebration of birth of Christ. The birth of Jesus is a historical event, riddled with doubt about the actual date and the year. We can now trace the star charts, going back 2500 years using a NASA software and there was no comet that made any appearance during the first decade of the assumed date of Jesus birth. But what is important is that Jesus  birth was a historical fact confirmed by not only the Gospel writers but by Josephus, the contemporary Jewish historian, as Jesus being the prophet preaching in Israel during this period.

It is the deeper meaning of the Gospel narrative and how this signifies a spiritual event that is important to us.
In the first reference to Ezekiel, we see that in his vision Ezekiel sees the glory of God coming from the East. Again we have the reference to the East in Matthew's Gospel where he says:

" For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man." ..........Matt. 24:27

In an earlier vision Ezekiel experiences the Glory of the Divine in the East.

"The cherubim lifted up their wings and rose up from the earth in my sight as they went out with the wheels beside them. They stopped at the entrance of the east gate of the house of the Lord; and the glory of the God of Israel was above them." .......Ezekiel 10:19

At the birth of Christ, we are again reminded that something significant, like His star, is seen in the East. Remember that the three wise men were travelling from the East. How could they see his star in the East and find a physical location which lies in the west.

To arrive at the true spiritual significance, we must refer to the Hebrew word for 'East'. It is 'Kedem'.
Kedem has a number value of 144 and it is translated 'Everlasting' or 'that which has no beginning or end'.
In Bhagavad Gita, the directions carry a spiritual meaning. North is the top of the head which signifies the region of intellectual or mental activity, South is the base of the spine which the region located in the material domain, West is the back of the head which is the location of reptilian and mammalian consciousness or animal nature dominated by the quality of 'Rajas' or passion and East is the 'third eye' or the spiritual centre of man. It is the spiritual portal of human consciousness.  It is this part of the human which is energized in spiritual practice. All reference in the Bible point to this deeper meaning. The 'East Gate' is portal through which we perceive the cosmic plenum of the Divine consciousness.

It is the birth of this consciousness in every human soul which is the celebration Christ birth.

Love to you all.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Lost in Translation

The hierarchy of Divine wisdom transference starts at the most fundamental level through intuitive insight of a spiritual Master. This felt inner experience is then communicated to the initiates or disciples through spoken language which then is written down by the disciples and followers of the tradition. The great Vedic Rishis, Buddha, Christ and the Prophet never wrote down their teachings but only used the spoken word.

Hence language is the conveyor of wisdom which normally is spoken then written down. It helps in preserving ancient wisdom and passing it on to the next generation. In different times, different subsets of the original languages became carriers of wisdom of philosophical traditions that were prevalent in those times and in a specific  culture. In ancient India, Sanskrit was the preferred language of the Rishis — the Upanishads, Puranas and the epics were written in Sanskrit. The Buddha chose Pali as a medium of instruction.  Christ taught in Aramaic and the prophet taught in Arabic.
As we know through current scholarship, cultural memes evolve and is replaced or modified by other memes of individual cultures. Languages and contextual meanings conveyed are also influenced and modified by the cultural milieu in which they take root. Added to this translations also lead to errors.

A few examples would amplify what I am saying.
The renowned Vedic and Sanskrit scholar Pandit Motilal Shastri writes that in ancient Sanskrit the word "Gau", apart from its traditional meaning 'cow', has 27 different meaning including the meaning of "Cosmic energy". When viewed from this meaning the whole episode of Lord Krishna and the Gopis takes a new meaning as "Divine being the consort of the cosmic energy manifestation".

Similarly the original Aramaic word for "sin" in Christ teaching was "hataha" which means "miss the mark as applied to archery". The same meaning was conveyed in the Greek translation. The Greek word "μαρτία  - Hamartia" which is used more than 200 times in the Bible also means “missing the mark”. The deeper meaning conveyed is that when sin is committed one misses the mark of being Divine in nature. It had a reference to an internal moral code.

The word "Jihad" means "to struggle in the way of Allah". Jihad appears 41 times in the Quran and frequently in the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of God (al-jihad fi sabil Allah)". A person engaged in jihad is called a "mujahid"; the plural is "mujahideen". Jihad is an important religious duty for Muslims. Jihad is not a declaration of war against other religions. It is worth noting that the Koran specifically refers to Jews and Christians as "people of the book" who should be protected and respected. All three faiths worship the same God. Allah is just the Arabic word for God, and is used by Christian Arabs as well as Muslims.
 The meaning conveyed is subjective and does not endorse any external conflict or struggle.

Hence any Divine revelation that is written down in a specific age of antiquity and passed down over many centuries had to be scrutinized for these modifications and  an interpretation must be arrived at.

The Buddha said, “Don’t hurry to believe in anything, even if it has been written in the scriptures. Don’t hurry to believe in anything just because a very famous teacher has said it. You should test anything people say with your own experience before you accept or reject it.”

Love to you all

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Cosmic Dedication

"Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things." ............ Philippians 4:8

"Beauty, the eternal Spouse of the Wisdom of God and Angel of his Presence thru' all creation, fashioning her love-realm in the mind of man, attempeth every mortal child with influences of her divine supremacy." ..............Robert Bridges, The Testament of Beauty (1929), Book IV

Today is the second death anniversary of my friend and philosopher, a man of deep spirituality, Fr. R.V. Mathias. A man who was beyond caste and creed and who camouflaged all his talents very deceptively. A scholar who studied  under Jean Paul Sartre at Sorbonne, Paris, a man who was in the forefront of the Polish solidarity movement along with Polish president and the movement leader Lech Walesa, a musical genius and above all a beautiful person of deep spirituality.

I chose to write on cosmic dimension of spirituality today as this was close to his heart, precisely in the manner of what St. Paul writes to the Philippians. He saw beauty in truth irrespective of where it was manifest, he stood for justice at the expense of gaining power within the Church hierarchy and he was always forthcoming in praise where it was due.

There are many dimensions in his life of 73 years which we need to emulate. He was fascinated with science and especially cosmology. Though he had no grounding in science his enthusiasm for scientific knowledge and how it can be related to spirituality was contagious.

He presented me with a book in 2008, "Jesus Today - A Spirituality of Radical Freedom" by Albert Nolan (who is also well known for his book "Jesus Before Christianity") and wrote these lines in the inner cover page: "My dear Raja, Here is a book that reinforces our concepts and convictions on Spirituality, the need of the hour, With love, Mathias Annan (annan means brother)"

Albert Nolan is a Dominican priest from South Africa who writes, ‘My aim is to look … at what Jesus might mean to you and me and our contemporaries in the twenty-first century. This is a book about spirituality, Jesus’ own spirituality, which I have chosen to call a spirituality of radical freedom’.

Jesus' whole life was an expression of this unconditional love. We saw how he reached out to all the individuals he met, whether they were rulers or beggars, saints or sinners. Every individual person is lovable, no matter how hypocritical he or she might be. Genuine love is always unconditional. This is book which celebrates the mysticism of Nolan's spirituality and shows how it leads to unity with God, ourselves, others, and the universe.

In many of his sermons, the most common words that Fr. Mathias used was "unconditional love" which is exhibited in the universe today. All matter is governed by attraction and there are no conditional attributes attached, both to the body being attracted or that which attracts, but one fundamental universal law which operates both at the scales of the Macrocosm and the Microcosm.

May all of us who respect his memory and those who come to know him through me, move towards a spiritual life lived through a cosmic dimension.
  

Love to you all

Friday, November 8, 2013

Cosmic Nature of Being Twice Born

A Western lay disciple asked to an Eastern Raja Yogi:
“Does every mineral form, vegetable, plant, animal, always contain within it that entity which involves the potentiality of development into a planetary spirit?”
And the Master answered:
“Invariably; only rather call it the germ of a future entity, which it has been for ages. Take the human foetus. From the moment of its first planting until it completes its seventh month of gestation it repeats in miniature the mineral, vegetable, and animal cycles it passed through in its previous encasements, and only during the last two, develops its future human entity. It is completed but towards the child’s seventh year. Yet it existed without any increase or decrease aeons on aeons before it worked its way onward, through and in the womb of mother nature as it works now in its earthly mother’s bosom.”

In ancient times, the Eastern Initiates were called Dwijas in Sanskrit; the twice- born, those who were born first physically, and then came to life again in the spiritual world.   More recently, the New Testament Jesus repeats the same pagan and ancient teaching.
"Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." ........ Matthew 18:3
When Nicodemus, the learned Pharisee, approached Christ and how a person can be twice born; He replies,
 "Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above."  Nicodemus said to him, "How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother's womb and be born?" Jesus answered, "Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, "You must be born from above.'" ....John 3:3-7

This concept of 'Twice Born' has been ludicrously reduced a mere ritual in some Christian traditions. The meaning of what Christ calls being born of water and the spirit is the physical birth which happens through the breaking of the amniotic water and this is symbolized in baptism by the immersion of the initiates fully into water and then emerging out as in child birth and the birth from above where in there is a a full realization of the spiritual nature of human creation.

In the Gospel we read:
"As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." " ......Matthew 3:16-17
 As we read in the reply of the Yogi, the spirit is the unchanging element of all creation and in the human the self awareness which is spiritual without ego in the first few years of our life gets modified through a conditioning of consciousness in our later childhood, youth and adult stages. In true spiritual awareness we identify ourselves with all creation but through the development of the ego we start a process of isolation.

This is again evident in the Gospels.
While as a child in the womb of Elizabeth, John the Baptist recognizes the child in the womb of Mary. This is possible only through the level of Divine consciousness.
"When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit." ............Luke 1:41

But later in his adult life John the Baptist fails to recognize Christ and he declares;
"I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel." Then John gave this testimony: "I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.' I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God." ..........John 1:31-34

It is the mission of each human being to achieve this dual birth, namely; physical and spiritual through the gift of our parents which serves as the vehicle of our consciousness and gift of our true nature to ascend to our highest level of consciousness,


Love to you all

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Salvation through Devotional Service

"A mortal human being who has no respect for Me as the Supersoul always situated in every living being, but nevertheless worships the deity, is just imitating. Someone who in worship of the deity disregards Me as the Supreme Ruler and Supersoul present in all beings, is in his ignorance only offering oblations into the ashes. He who offers Me his respects but is envious with others being present, lives in his campaigning against others in enmity and will never find peace of mind. Oh sinless one, I am certainly not pleased when they who manage to worship Me in My deity form with all paraphernalia, are not of respect for other living beings." ............Srimad Bhagavatam, 3:29:21-24

"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'  "Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' ..............Matthew 25: 34-40

In today's world, the concept of spirituality comes with a very deep divide. There is spiritual practice at the ritual and worship level and then there is the daily life in action which is totally isolated from the spirit empowering dimension of worship. The two verses quoted in this article come from a deep philosophical and a very practical perspective. In Srimad Bhagavatam, Kapila explains the inseparability of recognizing the Supersoul or Paramatma in every creation as the primary requisite for worship of the deity or performance of any ritual.
In the Gospel of Matthew, Christ tells of the qualities of the individual soul for the inheritance of the kingdom of heaven as being directly linked to how in worldly life we have treated our fellow beings.

The concept of all creations being pervaded by the very element that constitutes the Divine Godhead is absent in our mind due to the duality induced by our conditioned consciousness. In the evolutionary timeline when man's consciousness was close to nature as hunter-gatherers, this separation from all creation was absent. Jean Gebser called it "Archaic Consciousness" and this was the consciousness of Homo Sapiens 200,000 years before It was a time where our hominid ancestors were entirely at home with the natural world.
Jungian psycho-historian Eric Neumann referred to this period in terms of the mythological serpent Oroboros, a symbol of enfolded consciousness. But as the rational mind started to develop through sensory inputs, perception moved from the subjective identity in all perceptions to an objective identity dominated by the Ego. This was further distorted through literal and devious interpretation of the scriptures. Clear examples are the Israelites being the chosen people of God and in Vedic interpretation of Manusmriti, the class system as being applicable to a person by his physical birth rather than being a classification of spiritual status as illuminated in the Upanishads and in Bhagavad-Gita.

As humanity now realizes the damage we have done to the ecosystem and to ourselves through this alienated approach, our "Integral Consciousness"  should be nurtured to recognize Divinity in all creations so that there is a responsibility and respect to all creations, starting from the least to that of our fellow beings.

This is the illumining light that this Diwali (festival of Light). we celebrate today. must bring to us.


Love to you all.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Deepening Our Faith

"The Lord replied, 'If you had faith like a mustard seed you could say to this mulberry tree, "Be uprooted and planted in the sea," and it would obey you." ............Gospel of Luke Chapter 17 verse 6

At the beginning of the "year of Faith", on 24th October 2012, Pope Benedict XVI issued a statement during his general audience in St. Peter's square, which I would like to reproduce as an introduction to this article. Though this is a catholic perspective from the highest authority of the church, it equally applies to all religious tradition as we face the same problem of being locked in and immobilized by indoctrination and our own false sense of spiritual security.

"What is faith? Does faith still make sense in a world in which science and technology have unfolded horizons unthinkable until a short time ago? What does believing mean today? In fact, in our time we need a renewed education in the faith that includes, of course, knowledge of its truths and of the history of salvation, but that is born above all from a true encounter with God in Jesus Christ, from loving him, from trusting him, so that the whole of our life becomes involved." ......Pope Benedict XVI

The Bible verse quoted at the beginning of this article is the response of Christ to the apostles when they ask him to deepen their faith.
As defined by the Pope, if we are to define faith through a new education; which includes knowledge of truth and salvation which is rooted in our encounter with Christ so that the whole of our life becomes involved, then we need to understand the instruction of Christ as to how faith can be lifted out of its shallowness and deepened.
Purely from a human physical, emotional or intellectual level accessing and deepening of one's true faith is an impossibility. This is the reason that we need Divine grace which is bestowed by the Spirit as witnessed in five events in the life of Christ; the incarnation, baptism, transfiguration, resurrection and ascension. These five events have to be understood from an esoteric perspective. This also echoes the proverbs which says: "In the discerning heart, wisdom finds a resting-place; even among fools it can impart learning." .......Proverb 14:33
The Second Vatican Council says: “Before this faith can be exercised, man must have the grace of God to move and assist him; he must have the interior help of the Holy Spirit, who moves the heart and converts it to God, who opens the eyes of the mind and ‘makes it easy for all to accept and believe the truth’” .................(Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, Dei Verbum, n. 5).

What is implied by all these insights from the words of the Bible and from the interpretations of the Church is that a radical transformation at the inner consciousness level is needed and this is the miracle of the transplanting. It is impractical to transplant a Mulberry tree through a physical or natural action from firm ground where it has grown to maturity into the sea where there is no physical medium for sustainability. Then what did Christ mean by this saying. In order to understand the deep meaning implied by this admonition we need to go into Hebrew mysticism. Christ is not referring to a physical tree that is growing in the firm ground. He is referring to the consciousness of the apostles which has grown rooted in a worldly and materialist substratum. Only through deep faith this mature consciousness can be transplanted or elevated to a superior powerful level for spiritual transcendence into the Cosmic ocean of Divine consciousness. The Hebrew alphabet 'Mem' symbolizes the 'waters' or 'fountain of wisdom'. As the waters of the fountain arise from a subterranean, hidden source, so also the individual consciousness must arise to the level of the fundamental and superior universal consciousness. This is the Keter in the Kabalistic tree of life (the secret abyss of creation) from which Divine emanation descend into the manifest creation.

May the deeper understanding of the hidden meanings within the sacred writings deepen of our faith.


Love to you all.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Gupta Vidya - The Attractive Sea

"IT is written in an old book upon the Occult Sciences: "Gupta Vidya (Secret Science) is an attractive sea, but stormy and full of rocks. The navigator who risks himself thereon, if he be not wise and full of experience, will be swallowed up, wrecked upon one of the thousand submerged reefs. Great billows, in colour like sapphires, rubies and emeralds, billows full of beauty and mystery will overtake him, ready to bear the voyager away towards other and numberless lights that burn in every direction. But these are will-o-the-wisps, lighted by the sons of Kâliya for the destruction of those who thirst for life. Happy are they who remain blind to these false deceivers; more happy still those who never turn their eyes from the only true Beacon-light whose eternal flame burns in solitude in the depths of the water of the Sacred Science. Numberless are the pilgrims that desire to enter those waters; very few are the strong swimmers who reach the Light." ...........H. P. Blavatsky- 'The Mediator'

Mythological archetypes have been employed in ancient and evolving modern writings with the intention of evoking the deep seated states in the universal unconsciousness so that an individual can relate to this state in his or her psyche to achieve a better balance in one's libido. The writing of Blavatsky brings out through this specific text the deep truth of one's consciousness journey in this vessel which is our incarnated body.

In the ancient myths of Greek civilization the epic journey of Ulysses written by Homer in 'Iliad', the same theme is brought out through the many stoppages of Ulysses in various island fraught with danger to himself, his ship and his crew. In the Journey to the island of the Cyclops. the lure of gluttony provided by the one-eyed giant, Polyphemus, hampers his achieving his ultimate goal. Similarly the Island of the Sirens, the beauty of the Sirens and their captivating songs and music lure the sailors and Ulysses but he overcomes this temptation by filling the ears of his men with bee wax and tying himself to the ships mast. These acts indicate the blocking of sensory perceptions that distracts us from our true goal. The various adventures of Ulysses are aimed at bringing in the deeper meaning of how our true purpose in our life journey is marred by unwanted lure of pleasures of the senses. Similarly in his choice to take a route that has less danger symbolized by Scylla and Charybdis, Odysseus chooses to sail for Scylla, a six-headed sea serpent, rather than Charybdis, a giant whirlpool. He did this because he knew that if he went to Charybdis, the whole ship would be destroyed. The whirlpool represents a path of no return and total destruction taking one to the very lowest level of our consciousness. 
However, if he went towards Scylla, six men would die. This represents the sacrifices we have to make at the physical level to elevate our consciousness to a higher level.

Some of the common archetypes that are brought out in myths are the 'Hero' and his vehicle of transportation. These represent the consciousness of the individual and its embodiment, namely our physical body. The accompanying retinue of sailors or army or friends of the Hero are the agents of physicality in terms of attributes such as valour, intellectual capacity or our own perceptual images which modify or corrupt our consciousness. The 'Shadow' who entices the hero and his companions and leads them away from the true objective of their journey.

The episode in Madame Blavatsky's writings brings out this same intention of reminding us of our true purpose of travel in this sea of Gupta Vidya, namely, to reach the Beacon-Light that burns brightly in this sea of consciousness. The Vedic, Hebrew and Christian mysticism, the sea stands for cosmic consciousness and our voyage is always undertaken in this sea in which all creations are connected to the Divine oneness. Seeking this oneness, the true Beacon-Light, is the true purpose of our life.


Love to you all.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Cosmic Nature of Logos

"Our old writers said that Vach is of four kinds . . . para, pasyanti, madhyama, vaikhari (a statement found in the Rig-Veda and the Upanishads) . . . Vaikhari-Vach is what we utter." It is sound, speech, that again which becomes comprehensive and objective to one of our physical senses and may he brought under the laws of perception. Hence: "Every kind of Vaikhari-Vach exists in its Madhyama . . . Pasyanti and ultimately in its Para form . . .  The reason why this Pranava is called Vach is this, that these four principles of the great Kosmos correspond to these four forms of Vach . . .  The whole Kosmos in its objective form is Vaikhari Vach; the light of the Logos is the madhyama form; and the Logos itself the pasyanti form; while Parabrahmam is the para (beyond the noumenon of all Noumena) aspect of that Vach." .........The Secret Doctrine, i 432

Pythagoras esteemed the Deity (the Logos) to be the centre of unity and "Source of Harmony."

"In the Vedantic traditions sound is considered one of the most important principles of existence, as it is both the source of matter and the key to become free from it. One who can thoroughly understand the four stages of sound as explained in the Vedic texts can utilize this science to become free from the bondage of matter."+

This is also reflected in the Gospel of John, in chapter 1 at the very beginning where it says; " In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men."...............John 1:1-4

It is in Vedic tradition that we have a process of emanation of this primordial sound laid out for better understanding within the limits of language. The four broad stages of emanation of sound (shabda) from the Para to the Vaikhari is subject to clear elucidation in the Srimad Bhagavatam (3.26.33) where in it is stated that "Persons who are learned and who have true knowledge define sound as that which conveys the idea of an object, indicates the presence of a speaker and constitutes the subtle form of ether."
Just as a sankalpa - a pure thought - has to transcend through many stages before it actually manifests as concrete creative force, the implicit and explicit perception of sound also has to pass through several stages before it is fully experienced by the self in perfection. These stages are termed as para, pashyanti, madhyama and vaikhari. +

Each level of sound corresponds to a level of existence, and one's experience of sound depends upon the refinement of one's consciousness. This hierarchy of consciousness is defined in the verse quoted from the Sacred Doctrine.

Modern cosmology and particle physics points the theoretical and mathematical premises where in we find that what satisfies the most implicit level of reality is field of vibration. This vibration from its subtlest form to the grossest form constitutes forces of nature and the material manifestations of the universe we observe.

These four levels of sound correspond to four states of consciousness. Para represents the transcendental consciousness. Pashyanti represents the intellectual consciousness. Madhyama represents the mental consciousness. And Vaikhari represents the physical consciousness. These states of consciousness correspond with the four states known technically as jagrat, svapna, susupti, and turiya - or the wakeful state, the dreaming state, the dreamless state, and the transcendental state. +

Love to you all.


+ Acknowledgement for Vedic resource: Jahnava Nitai Das, "Tattva Prakasha" Volume 1, Issue 7

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Cosmic Orchestrator
















Oh! celestial composer whose enchanting melodies enslave,
My thursting soul in rapture to imbue the quenching nectar deep,
From the slumber of worldly woes and trials which I daily brave,
Bestow the wisdom to transcend and the inhibiting layers leap.

Consciousness narrowed to the eye of a needle, empty dictate,
Splintered thoughts acquired and rooted in fragmenting duality,
In the fathomless abyss of imprisoning desire my being abdicate,
The inner self capacity for reflection degraded to opaque quality.

The notes of your reed penetrate the limiting and deflecting wall,
Emanation of your flute knows no obstacle, the wisdom manifold,
It draws the realized soul in divine embrace, an ecstasy to enthrall,
Reveal thine infinite mystery and undo my hindering blindfold.

Gopis hear the divine sound and the tune foretells your presence,
Worldly attachments they forsake as their spirit soar and dilate,
Consummating a union, the purpose of creation in your essence,
To every element you are the playmate and the causal substrate.

You are the cosmic orchestrator, the apparent chaos that pervade,
As the whirling cosmic dancer in perpetual motion, order reinstate,
Multitude of harmonious forms pour out from you in endless cascade,
You are the unbroken thread that weaves the cosmic fabric intricate.

Your universal form to your ardent seeker of truth you did reveal,
Mortal eyes thine luster cannot behold hence beseech inner sight,
Ignite the consuming spark of a cosmic awareness, this my appeal,
Thus I may merge in your cosmic dance, ever formless in your light.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Today's post is in the form of a poem.
The esoteric meaning of Rasa Lila in Bhagavad Purana is brought out in a poetry form.

The gopis are considered to be Sati. The word Sati is used to represent a chaste married woman but Sayana in his commentary of the Taittiriya Aranyaka explains that the word “sati” refers to “realized souls”. Krishna plays the flute to call the gopis. The flute is given the status of a teacher, Acharya. The music is knowledge which is Brahma-Vidhya. The music flowing from the flute awakens the thirst for spiritual knowledge in the gopis. This also shows us that we can only learn Brahma-Vidhya through an Acharya. Krishna prefers to use an Acharya as an intermediary to teach us Brahma-Vidhya. Once Brahma-Vidhya is awakened, the gopis abandon their husbands to reach Krishna. The husbands represent our selfish materialistic desires.

True knowledge kills these selfish desires. The gopis want only that which is true and approach Krishna. The Raasa dance takes place in a circle. The gopis represent the jeeva atma. There is one Krishna in the middle surrounded by the gopis. Not only is there a Krishna in the middle but He also appears as a partner for each and every gopi. There are as many Krishnas as there are gopis.

The Krishna in the middle represents Paramatma in His absolute form. The Krishna dancing with each and every gopi represents His Antaryami form. As antaryami He exists as our soul. He is always with us. He exists in each and every one of us. Thus the entire Raasa dance represents the Vishwaroopa Swaroopa of God; He exists as antaryami (soul of every soul) as well as the Absolute God head.

The Raasa dance is performed with the gopis who are women. This represents that all jeeva atmas are feminine. The only male in this entire Universe is Paramatma Sri Krishna. He is known as the Para Purusha or the great Purusha. The Raasa dance shows us one of the nine relationships we share with Paramatma which is that of a husband & a wife. He is our husband. This relationship is a spiritual relationship and differs from the type of spousal relationships we are familiar to.

The gopis encircling Krishna on either side represent students and Krishna is the object of knowledge sought by them. If we look at the two Krishnas encircling a gopi then we see the student in the middle. Knowledge gains importance only when there are students to learn. The two Krishnas encircling a gopi show us the importance of the student or the jeeva atma. The two gopis encircling a Krishna show us the supremacy of the knowledge or Paramatma.

The Raasa dance has deep esoteric meaning and has nothing to do with sensual indulgence. When the esoteric meaning of the dance is illuminated, it helps us to shed our desires for materialistic sensual pleasures. It awakens the thirst to learn Brahma-Vidhya in us; with the help of this knowledge we can reach the feet of Paramatma. The dance takes place at night to show us that the union with Paramatma is beyond time and space. At nighttime the normal boundaries of time and space are not illuminated. Night here represents the transcendental nature of the union of a jeeva atma with Paramatma.
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Ref: Indo Aryan Mythology by Narayan Aiyangar

Friday, September 20, 2013

Transcending the Limitation of Fragmentation


In Bhagavad Gita chapter 7:2 Lord Krishna declares “I shall now declare unto you in full this knowledge, both phenomenal and numinous. This being known, nothing further shall remain for you to know.”
As in the commentary of this verse, Swami Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, says;
“Complete knowledge includes knowledge of the phenomenal world, the spirit behind it, and the source of both of them. This is transcendental knowledge. One should be intelligent enough to know the source of all knowledge, who is the cause of all causes. When the cause of all causes becomes known, then everything knowable becomes known, and nothing remains unknown.”
The Vedas (Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.3) say, When the cause of all causes becomes known, then everything knowable becomes known, and nothing remains unknown.

Now having quoted from the scriptures and from eminent scholarly guru, I would like to provide a meaning of this verse from contemporary knowledge from a cosmic perspective. The three modes of nature that are defined in the scriptures, which tie us down to lower levels of consciousness , are Rajas (Passion), Sattva (goodness) and Tamas (ignorance). But these three modes are caused by something inherent in the human manifestation. Every human being is born into this world and inherits the soul or consciousness based on the past karma (Original sin). The body becomes a vehicle in a new incarnation with the sole purpose of consciousness purification (Purgation). As pointed out by Swami Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, complete knowledge comprises of the knowledge of the phenomenal world, the spirit behind it and the source of them both. Which means one must obtain the knowledge of the very source from which all entities are derived.

Quantum entanglement and the Super String Theories have pointed the way to the fundamental implicate order being a pure energy field and geometry. As of this month, Quantum mechanics just got easier to understand. A team of physicists have released a paper showing their discovery of a jewel-like geometric structure that takes equations, which can be thousands of terms long, and simplifies them to a single term. This discovery is poised to dramatically simplify the equations particle physicists use when calculating particle interactions. It also proposes the uncomfortable idea that space and time are not fundamental aspects of our reality, and it brings us much closer to unifying gravity and quantum theory under one comprehensive model. (for detail article see: http://www.fromquarkstoquasars.com/new-discovery-simplifies-quantum-physics/ )

This has a familiar ring to the Hua-Yen Buddhism: The Jewel Net of Indra: Francis Harold Cook describes the metaphor of Indra's net from the perspective of the Huayan school as follows:
“Far away in the heavenly abode of the great god Indra, there is a wonderful net which has been hung by some cunning artificer in such a manner that it stretches out infinitely in all directions. In accordance with the extravagant tastes of deities, the artificer has hung a single glittering jewel in each "eye" of the net, and since the net itself is infinite in dimension, the jewels are infinite in number. There hang the jewels, glittering "like" stars in the first magnitude, a wonderful sight to behold. If we now arbitrarily select one of these jewels for inspection and look closely at it, we will discover that in its polished surface there are reflected all the other jewels in the net, infinite in number. Not only that, but each of the jewels reflected in this one jewel is also reflecting all the other jewels, so that there is an infinite reflecting process occurring.”
Regressive process of trying to unravel the fundamental reality leads one to grasp the infinite singularity which is the cause of all manifestation in the phenomenal world as well as the spirit behind it.

I would like to conclude by quoting a renowned Zen Buddhist whose insight is a great revelation.

"Even the absolute universality of the law of causality does not necessarily limit a person’s freedom, because the law of causality not only enables him to explain the past and predict the future, but also encourages him to use his intelligence to create new causes and attain new results." .........Hu Shih

Love to you all.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Kingdom of God – A Cosmic Perspective


“Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you." .......Luke 17: 20-21

Today this saying becomes very relevant as in a highly dogmatic and ritualistic belief system, we tend to externalize the Kingdom of God and lose all the spiritual significance. This inner experience is the experience of being the Son of Man through a deeper wisdom and every human being is endowed with this potential for inner transition. When we refer to Jesus as the Son of Man, this is exactly the meaning. This is also amply evident from the next saying of Jesus in continuity of the above verse.
"The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. Men will tell you, 'There he is!' or 'Here he is!' Do not go running off after them. For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other.” ........Luke 17: 22-24
As the human life, on a cosmic timescale, is very transitory, Jesus refers to this life to the duration of a lightning. He also admonishes as to the futility of a search for an external Son of Man.

Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg in a recent commentary on the meaning of the Hebrew and Aramaic word ‘Bethlehem’ says; “The word Bethlehem is actually made up of two Hebrew words: Beit (House) and Lechem (Bread). The meaning emerges clearly. Bethlehem is nothing short of - that’s right - the House of Bread! It is interesting that in Aramaic (a parallel to Hebrew Semitic tongue which Jesus spoke) the word “Lechem” does not mean bread, but rather meat. This tells us that the idea behind the House of Bread is an idea of food, nourishment and life sustenance!” This is also evident from the wisdom writings of the Old Testament.
Samuel, the prophet who anointed David to rule over Israel, was from Bethlehem (1 Sam.1). The water that three soldiers brought to David’s cave which sustained his life was also from Bethlehem (2 Sam.23:13-17). The prophet Micah declared that the ultimate King of Israel (the saviour who sustains the world) would also be born in this town (Micah 5:2).

This has great spiritual significance. When Jesus instituted the Sacrament of Communion, the conversion of bread into flesh, it really signifies that only the individual who receives the bread converts it into life sustaining flesh and hence becomes the Son of Man, The soul becomes the new Bethlehem at this very moment and this spiritual status has to be maintained in one’s life so that we experience the Kingdom of God within our individual self.

In the Gospel of Thomas, saying 3, Jesus says; "If your leaders say to you, 'Look, the (Father's) kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is within you and it is outside you.” The Kingdom of God is the immutable implicate order from which all manifestations originate.

“In the enfolded [or implicate] order, space and time are no longer the dominant factors determining the relationships of dependence or independence of different elements. Rather, an entirely different sort of basic connection of elements is possible, from which our ordinary notions of space and time, along with those of separately existent material particles, are abstracted as forms derived from the deeper order. These ordinary notions in fact appear in what is called the "explicate" or "unfolded" order, which is a special and distinguished form contained within the general totality of all the implicate orders” ......David Bohm

Hence whatever exists and whatever is the unseen energy is the Kingdom of God which originated in a cosmic singularity of the Big Bang. This leads to the universal understanding that what existed before the beginning of space-time and what exists now is all the Kingdom of God.
Man with his consciousness is the containment of both the implicate order in his pure being and the creator of the explicate order through his perceptions.

Love to you all

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Creative Art and Awakening


"Creative artists ... are mankind's wakeners to recollection: summoners of our outward mind to conscious contact with ourselves, not as participants in this or that morsel of history, but as spirit, in the consciousness of being. Their task, therefore, is to communicate directly from one inward world to another, in such a way that an actual shock of experience will have been rendered: not a mere statement for the information or persuasion of a brain, but an effective communication across the void of space and time from one centre of consciousness to another." ..........Joseph Campbell, The Masks of God, Volume IV: Creative Mythology

In the spectrum of human consciousness there are levels which remain mostly in accessible to our experience. This is due to two primary reasons. The first is the lack of knowledge as we brush aside any prompting that arises in our experiences being trivial or of no consequence. The other reason is our rootedness to our waking consciousness as the fundamental plenum of reality and use it as the concrete and indispensible tool to our relation to the world around us.
In the fifth century BC, the Chinese philosopher, Confucius rightly defined four of his six essential learning as ritual, calligraphy, arithmetic and music. These four areas of learning are to do with our relationships to more fundamental realities than what can be perceived by the physical sense. They transcend into the emotional and spiritual realm which are evoked through the higher levels of consciousness.

It was during the rule of Pericles (495 – 429 B.C.) that the Parthenon, dedicated to Athena, was erected at the highest point above the Acropolis. The uniqueness of the temple was the concept of imperceptible curvature of the columns. This art or science is called ‘entasis’. This word comes from the Greek verb ‘enteinein’ which means ‘two opposing forces holding an object in their power’. Socrates and his father were involved in this project. Why I mention this in the context of this article is that human understanding of reality and deeper nature was very prevalent in ancient civilizations.

Joseph Campbell brings out lucidly the role of creative artistry as the process in which there is a bridge established between the waking consciousness and the inner layers of the psyche through a rude awakening to shake off the complacency of our awareness. A look at the gory masks of tribal dancers or the human form in Picasso’s paintings or the meaningless wiggles and patterns in a mandala intoxicates the human mind to transcend to unseen dimensions.
As we are looking at contemporary meanings, I would like to quote some of the thought leaders as to why mandala is used as contemporary creative art towards evoking higher level of consciousness.
According to the psychologist David Fontana, manadal’s symbolic nature can help one "to access progressively deeper levels of the unconscious, ultimately assisting the meditator to experience a mystical sense of oneness with the ultimate unity from which the cosmos in all its manifold forms arises." The psychoanalyst Carl Jung saw the mandala as "a representation of the unconscious self," and believed his paintings of mandalas enabled him to identify emotional disorders and work towards wholeness in personality.
Mandalas are also created using sand and grain. The process itself, which could takes days to create, provides a keen sense of purpose thus a heightened awakening.

Hence the next time we see some contemporary art form which defies the intellect to provide any meaning within the realm of our perception, pause and reflect what deeper meaning there could be hidden within.

Love to you all.