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.

Ref: Indo Aryan Mythology by Narayan Aiyangar