Saturday, June 25, 2016

Destructive Process of Enlightenment

“Enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier.
Enlightenment is the crumbling away of untruth. It’s seeing through the facade of pretense. It’s the
complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true.” …………Adyashanti

I find a lot of resonance between the way I think with that of Adyashanti. His spiritual wisdom comes from a deep experience. When I read the above quote by him, I was taken to the first saying of Buddha upon his state of awakening stated:

"Seeking but not finding the house builder, I traveled through the round of countless births. Oh, painful is birth ever and again! House builder, you have now been seen. You shall not build the house again. Your rafters have been broken down; your ridge-pole is demolished too. My mind has now attained the unformed nirvana and reached the end of every kind of craving." ……….Dhammapada verses: 153 -156

All our lives we inherently question our origin, our true nature and the purpose of our existence. But we conveniently assign a pre-given state for our origin and destiny through an external religious dogma or a dictum given by some external authority. The purpose of our life, for most of us, is rooted in physical or material reality.
Any hard truth is blocked from these perceptions. To delve deep into our true nature and fully realize the human person one has to move beyond these limiting perceptions. Our deeper levels of consciousness tries to nudge us to go beyond our sensory perceptions but we assign a metaphysical or miraculous dimension to these promptings and externalize these experience as something not subjective. These promptings through our deeper levels of consciousness do frighten us and that is the reason that mystics called these moments before some deep insights as “Dark night of the Soul”.
This darkness is overpowering and threatens to exterminate our very existence in the world of comfortable external objective perceptions.

Buddha’s words capture the full meaning of what it means to attain this awakening to our authentic self.

Only a creature looks for the creator and the convenient form allocated to the creator is the form of the creature as scriptures tell us that we are created in the image of the omnipotent creator. This is a disastrous reverse engineering that we creatures embark on. Hence in Buddha’s words the only way of realizing the true nature is for both the creator (house builder) and the creature (house) from a stance of nondual perception. The impediment to our perception of our true self comes from our inherent attachment to or craving for the false reality of our sensory realities. This is possible only when our true nature is perceived as which is formless, birthless and deathless. This is the unformed nirvana of which Buddha speaks.

How do we embark on this process of making a radical shift in our conscious thinking. Here again the spiritual wisdom of Adyashanti points the way in the following advice:

"Sitting in stillness is all about going to the root of being. This root is also the root of movement, energy, and emptiness. The mind may be busy, but you can open to the silence from which thought arises. Focus on the background rather than on the foreground of experience. The more you relax the easier it is. Utilize the stillness within the subtle body to unite with the stillness of awareness. From that stillness all movement arises without disturbing the inherent stillness at the center of things." ……………Adyashanti

Stillness of mind starts with the stillness of the body. A regressive path must be followed. The mind is always busy but through deep slow breathing the mind can be made to regress to deeper backgrounds. The background and fore grounds which we talk of here is from the current perception levels. The foreground is a collection of past experiences. The radical shift has to be made to ignore these impressions and move to unseen, unheard, untouched, un-smelt and untasted realms. This is why the root is defined as movement, energy, and emptiness. None of these are perceptible entities but can only be inferred by their effects which are universal and defy any assignment of particularity.

When Nicodemus asks Jesus about as to how one can be born of the spirit, Jesus replies:
“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” …….John 3:8

The one who is born of the spirit realizes his universal or cosmic nature.

Love to you all.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Heart Merger

"Entering the Heart is like coming into the center of the sun. There is no more you; there is nothing except the iridescent force of that light. When you are in the center of the sun, there is no way to block its light. It streams through you and around you. So by entering your own Heart, you make the whole world a better paradise." …………………….Gurumayi

The above quote is from Swami Shantananda introduction in his book “Splendour of recognition” which a commentary on Ksemaraja’s “Pratyabhijnahrdayam”. The word ‘hrdaya’ in Sanskrit has many meanings. In this text there are two very relevant meanings. One is the meaning of supreme Heart, the eternal Self that pervades the cosmos and is also the fundamental substratum of individual being. The second meaning is the core aspect of a person such as the individual consciousness.

The focus of Kashmir Saivism was addressed to the task of self-realization through an innate and intuitive understanding of non-dualism. The above quote clearly indicates this process of merger.
This process is indicated as a merger of the self with the Cosmic Self being similar to an individual  proceeding towards the centre of the Sun. All self-identity is lost and one becomes part and parcel of the iridescent light. For those of us who can understand science we know that light is nothing but energy vibrations (photons) given out when electrons jump to lower orbitals in the atoms, Nuclear fusion which drives the Sun produces light in this process and this whole process takes place at the very core of the Sun. Hence this analogy is very apt in describing the process of one’s own consciousness merging with the source of our being namely the cosmic consciousness.

This leads us to a very valid question as to how one can initiate this process of entering into one’s own heart.

“A human being has so many skins inside, covering the depths of the heart. We know so many things, but we don't know ourselves! Why, thirty or forty skins or hides, as thick and hard as an ox's or bear's, cover the soul. Go into your own ground and learn to know yourself there.” …………..Meister Eckhart

The entire exercise of Self-realization is a process of removing all the modifications and coverings of our soul which is truly Divine in nature. Meister Eckhart puts in unambiguous terms. This is put in another way in Vedic philosophy as the Koshas covering the Atma.
The heart energy centre in human beings is the point of transition from the terrestrial plane to the cosmic plane.
Recent studies have indicated that the heart’s electromagnetic field is nearly 5000 times stronger than that of the brain. Today cognitive science talks more and more of the heart intelligence. Coherence of the heart field with the field produced by all manifestations is vital as the first step in our ascendency towards true Self-realization.
This is what is meant by Gurumayi’s saying; “…………..So by entering your own Heart, you make the whole world a better paradise."
At this moment of time everything around you lose their own objective identity and through coherence all become one with your Self.

This was the experience of Siddhartha in the words of Hermann Hesse.

“At that moment, when the world around him melted away, when he stood alone like a star in the heavens, he was overwhelmed by a feeling of icy despair, but he was more firmly himself than ever. That was the last shudder of his awakening, the last pains of birth. Immediately he moved on again and began to walk quickly and impatiently, no longer homewards, no longer to his father, no longer looking backwards.” …………….Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

This is a long journey but a sure path of the merger of one’s own heart with the Heart of the Divine Sun.

Happy journey and Love to you all.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Anger and Its Impact

One day the Buddha was walking through a village. A very angry and rude young man came up and began insulting him. "You have no right teaching others," he shouted. "You are as stupid as everyone else. You are nothing but a fake!"
The Buddha was not upset by these insults. Instead he asked the young man, "Tell me, if you buy a gift for someone, and that person does not take it, to whom does the gift belong?"
The young man was surprised to be asked such a strange question and answered, "It would belong to me, because I bought the gift."
The Buddha smiled and said, "That is correct. And it is exactly the same with your anger. If you become angry with me and I do not get insulted, then the anger falls back on you. You are then the only one who becomes unhappy, not me. All you have done is hurt yourself." ………… Dharma Vijaya Buddhist Vihara
“you will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.” ……………A Sufi story
In Greek mythology, Lyssa was a figure of Athenian tragedy. In Aeschylus she is portrayed as the agent of Dionysos sent to drive the Minyades mad; and in Euripides she is sent by Hera to inflict Herakles. Greek vase-paintings of the period also confirm her appearance in plays about Actaeon, the hunter torn apart by his maddened hounds. In this scene she appears a women dressed in a short skirt, and crowned with a dog's-head cap to represent the madness of rabies.
Anger is equated to raging madness or the infliction of rabies.
The story of Actaeon clearly symbolizes a personal transformation susceptible to rabid attack when one desires the impractical.
Anger results from the following:
Emotional reasoning:
when we think through our emotions, we tend to start from a platform of bias due to some preconceived and fixed ideas. This results in unwanted desire and attachment and the ego is strengthened to fight at all cost to get it and when it is denied, one becomes all the more charged up in the emotional plane and reason completely looses out.
Low frustration tolerance limit:
We will be denied a lot of things in our social and interpersonal interactions. Having a low tolerance to denial plays up on the ego to fight at all cost to fulfil our unreasonable desires.
Unreasonable expectations:
This is a very highly ego driven initiative where we become blind to reality and
This anger-causing trigger leads one to categorize other people as those whose response in any transaction is preconceived to be low in worth to take cognition of. It becomes a one way street and any obstacle is demolish through anger demonstrated through verbal abuse or violence.
The story of Cain and Abel in the Book of Genesis was given to demonstrate the immense harm one can beget through anger. While Abel’s sacrifice was accepted by God Cain’s sacrifice was rejected.
When God rejects Cain’s offering he says: ““Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” ……………..Genesis 4: 6-7
Through this episode, we are admonished to rule over anger and frustrations from our expectations.
When we are faced with situations that leads to an emotional response of frustration and resulting anger, practice constantly to follow these steps:
 Never respond instantly
 Practice deep breathing
 If possible change your environment
 reason out the source of your anger
 Let go of what is beyond your control
 Express yourself after carefully considering all options
 Be cautious
 Be pleasantly assertive, not aggressive, in expressing yourself

Love to you all

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Right Angle for Esoteric Understanding

“It is relatively easy to study, memorize, and regurgitate the wording of the authentic teachings of esoteric philosophy. However, if one wants to go beyond mere repetition and wishes to understand the inner meaning of the teachings, it is necessary to look at the wording from the point of view of the right motive and intention. Only those whose central aim is to help mankind in liberating itself from unnecessary pain have the Right Angle from which the esoteric doctrines can be slowly understood. In this, of course, the appearance of selflessness is useless. Selflessness must occur in the silence of the student's heart and enlighten every action, showing him both the lessons learned and the lessons to be learned.” ………….Carlos Cardoso Aveline
Carlos Cardoso Aveline is a contemporary journalist by profession and has several books published on theosophy, philosophy, ecology and the present planetary transition. He is the editor of “The Aquarian Theosophist”. This insight which he provides is very valid in today’s world when we are seeing increasing awareness among the youth to seek deeper meaning in spiritual texts and teachings. In the last week of April 2016, I held a session for college students on the topic of “Cosmic Dimension of Dharma”. The audience interaction session and the questions that came up during the talk were very eye opening. Increasingly a blind acceptance of given belief system is crumbling provided the ideas that are given to evoke deeper meanings of spirituality are backed by tested observation right across a broad segment of authorities in the scientific, philosophical and psychological fields.
When I read the above statement from the writings of Carlos Cardoso, I was immediately taken to two other fields.
The first is sports and involves swimming. In extremely competitive swimming to get the maximum leverage, a swimmer must dive into the water at the right angle in order to minimize friction and maximize speed.
Another field is space travel. When an astronaut is launched in a space ship and reaches deep space and upon his completion of his or her mission and returns to earth, The angle of entry into the earth’s atmosphere is very critical. Depending on the speed of reentry, the angle of reentry varies. The higher the speed the more acute the angle becomes. If we miss this angle of reentry either the space ship bounces of the atmosphere or it burns up due to the extremely high surface temperature due to friction.
In esoteric teaching the extremely acute angle of penetration, where a bounce occurs is impenetrability of an ignorant and unwilling initiate when he or she is faced with empowering spiritual wisdom. The extremely obtuse entry is the condition of the individual consciousness when faced with esoteric concepts that are not put forth by an empowering teacher or Guru.
The warning to be extremely careful when deeper knowledge is is disseminated is given by Jesus.     When Jesus said to the disciples: “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” ………Matthew 7:6. Here Jesus was clearly advising his disciples not teach the deeper wisdom of his sayings to the unwilling initiates.
The entire book of “revelation” was written by John the Divine as a wisdom text but thoroughly misunderstood as some future prophesy. The word “Apocalypse” in Greek should correctly be translated as ”disrobing” or “Unveiling” as it was the practice to veil the uninitiated till he reaches a required spiritual maturity. When the disciples ask Jesus: "When will you appear to us, and when will we see you? "Jesus said, "When you strip without being ashamed, and you take your clothes and put them under your feet like little children and trample then, then [you] will see the son of the living one and you will not be afraid."
The entire Manusmriti, in the Vedic Lexicon, was written to protect the esoteric teachings of Vedas from the hands of the uninitiated class. But unfortunately this has got into a wrong interpretation within a different cultural and consciousness scenario as some system for defining once status or caste by birth.
Every religious tradition suffers from this malady of surface knowledge and the deeper layer lay hidden waiting to be revealed by the individual through a qualified master. As the opening quote states the selflessness of sharing the deeper wisdom is a two way street. While the teacher is prepared with his or her purity of intention and deeper understanding the recipient initiate into this deeper wisdom must resonate with a consciousness as pure as the teacher.
This is the reason that in Gurukulam or any Vedic teaching starts with a prayer: 
"Om, May God Protect us Both (the Teacher and the Student),
May God Nourish us Both,
May we Work Together with Energy and Vigour,
May our Study be Enlightening and not give rise to Hostility,
Om, Peace, Peace, Peace."
Look for deeper and esoteric wisdom instead of wallowing in surface truths conveniently handed out by a limited agenda.
Jesus said, "The Pharisees and the scholars have taken the keys of knowledge and have hidden them. They have not entered nor have they allowed those who want to enter to do so. As for you, be as sly as snakes and as simple as doves." ……….Gospel of Thomas saying 39 

Love to you all