Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Seven Stages to Know The One

Then Vidaghdha, son of Shakala, asked him, "How many gods are there, Yajnavalkya?" Yajnavalkya, ascertaining the number through a group of mantras known as the Nivid, replied, "As many as are mentioned in the Nivid of the gods: three hundred and three, and three thousand and three."
"Very good," said the son of Shakala, "and how many gods are there, Yajnavalkya?" "Thirty-three."
"Very good, and how many gods are there, Yajnavalkya?" "Six."
"Very good, and how many gods are there, Yajnavalkya?" "Three."
"Very good, and how many gods are there, Yajnavalkya?" "Two."
"Very good, and how many gods are there, Yajnavalkya?" "One and a half."
"Very good, and how many gods are there, Yajnavalkya?" "One."
                                                                                                ......... Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 3.9.1

When I read this portion of the passage in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, I was reminded of the same concept in esoteric thought in early mystical movements in Christianity. The Cathars used a secret book known as the Book of John, which was taught to the special initiates in Christianity. In this scripture the seven Archons who rule the world are classified and how they emanated from the first Archon.
"This Ruler, by being androgynous, made himself a vast realm, an extent without limit. And he contemplated creating offspring for himself, and created for himself seven offspring, androgynous just like their parent."  ............ Anonymous, The Reality of the Rulers, (written before 350 A.D.)

St. Titus of Crete in his book "The Book of Truth" says:

"These seven different levels of consciousness can be felt as self moves through the very day. Thee can feel them change under thy feet, through thy solar plexus, and in thy everyday mind. All thee need do is become more attuned with that inner well of stillness, and with the stillness and the peace of the Earth. When thee comes into harmony with this portion of nature and all other living consciousness and then the consciousness of self, then it is easy to exit into and come out of different levels of consciousness while still remaining upon the Earth. It is not an easy task to perform, but it is certainly not impossible."

Doctor Roberto Assagioli, in his book "Psychosynthesis", classifies seven levels of consciousness.
Some of the earlier traditions also had this number of levels such as the Incas. But what matters to us is that the seven days of creation to the culmination of creation that is in the image of God or the wisdom of the Vedas and ancient spiritual traditions, all point to the ultimate Advaitic concept of the unity of the Godhead which can be realized through the self ascending into the higher realms of consciousness

The Kabbalstic mysticism also takes one through the total of seven levels between the unqualified Godhead, from which all creations proceed, to the Malchut (the created domain). In between there are five levels; the five levels of the soul are called nefesh, ruach, neshama, chaya, and yechida. These five levels of soul may be compared to various states of Consciousness.

These seven levels are brought out in a simple conversation between Vidaghdha and Yajnavalkya.
When we look for deeper meaning in this passage we realize that in ancient Sanskrit the word "Nivid" means to tell. The first level of telling proceeds from thought which rooted in the mind. The mind is controlled by the diverse aspects of sensory observation and hence the plurality of perception of the Divine. But as the Guru guides Yajnavalkya through subsequent stages of deeper consciousness his perception of reality diminishes. This is true in the field of science too. The deeper we introspect in the nature matter and forces acting upon them we discover that from the multiplicity of divergent particles and forces we discover the fundamental underlying sub-quantum field. This field is consciousness which currently defies understanding through the mind whose sensitivity of measurement is far more grainier than the entity that is being measured or grasped.

Through spiritual practice such as meditation and deep introspection, we can strive to reach higher levels in this vast journey of the soul.

Love to you all.

6 comments :

  1. Yagnavakya's reply becomes smaller and smaller as he proceeded through. As The inner self gets fulfilled the external words loose their meaning. I think of Ramana Maharishi for whom 'silence was golden'

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  2. Thank you for your feedback which is very insightful.

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  3. Dear Sir,
    Excellent interpretation. Some more on similar topic is available in the link :

    http://www.ocoy.org/the-field-of-evolutionary-creation/

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  4. Dear Ram,

    Thanks for the input on the subject. I found it to be very useful. For the benefit of the readers, I am reproducing below the "Seven Levels" of evolutionary creation:
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    1. Bhur Loka, where the dominant consciousness is that of matter.
    2. Bhuva Loka, where the dominant consciousness is that of feeling–emotion, instinct, and lower intuition.
    3. Swar Loka, where the dominant consciousness is that of sensory experience.
    4. Maha Loka, where the dominant consciousness is that of thought and reflective perception.
    5. Jnana Loka, where the dominant consciousness is that of fundamental causation and spiritual intuition.
    6. Tapa Loka, where the dominant consciousness is that of mastery of all the lesser elements and levels.
    7. Satya Loka, where the dominant consciousness is that of spirit-consciousness itself.

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  5. That is where you stand out sir. My pranams to you.

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