Sunday, August 13, 2017

Myth as Expression of Truth

“Myth is a symbol, approximate expression of truth which the human mind cannot perceive sharply and completely, but can only glimpse vaguely, and therefore cannot adequately or accurately express…. It implies not falsehood, but truth; not primitive. Naïve understanding, but an insight more profound than scientific description and logical analysis can ever achieve. The language of myth in this sense is consciously inadequate, being simply the nearest we can come to a formulation of what we see very darkly…..This procedure is quite legitimate if [we] understand what is being done.” …………..Biblical Scholar Millar Burrows
This good expression of the purpose of myth has been misunderstood ever since human consciousness moved towards its higher dependency on the neocortex. Human beings when they evolved from the archaic and magical consciousness into the mythological era tried to find more meaningful expression of what the intuitive mind was able to perceive. The sages of the ancient wisdom traditions and the writers of sacred scriptures used myth as a tool for evoking the human mind to grasp deep spiritual truth.
It is unfortunate that when the rational age of consciousness evolved and religion became the sole, unquestionable dispenser of spirituality, a historical interpretation of scriptures became the dominant mode. This is because then there could be a two way regression of anchoring the deep truth into the rational domain.
These two are; the evoking of pre-mythical magical consciousness which could become a universal unassailable explanation invoking a supernatural source for events in a literal sense and also assign a historical character to the scriptures so that the authors become witness to purely sensory perceptions as witnessed in the past and  rational mind becomes an unquestioning receptor of meanings.
 There are also certain fundamental relatedness in which a myth evolves. The socio-cultural and language are very important factors at the time of the conceptualizing of mythical theme. We are fortunate in this respect especially in the study of Biblical scriptures as voluminous studies have been carried out from Jewish, Christian and secular perspectives. Through these studies we have been able to find deeper meaning and commonality of structures of various symbolism which are used in these writings. If we consider the creation story in the book of Genesis, the symbols employed such as the sacred garden, the flow of water from the underworld, the serpent, opening of one’s eyes, Cherubim and the flaming sword are all common symbols appearing throughout ancient near east in Biblical times.
There is a psychological dimension which is very vital in the structuring of a myth. All myths evolve from the author’s ability to call upon the archetypes in the process of deeper perception of truth from the universal unconsciousness. This perception of truth from the universal unconsciousness and hence the common archetypes finds different types of expression depending on the local milieu, culture and language.
An common example in the creation myth is the ‘coiled serpent’ symbolism. The archaic consciousness of humanity, predating the magical and mythical consciousness evolution, the coiled serpent, “Uroboros”,  eating its own tail was used as the symbol of primal, unmodified consciousness of humans. It is a paradisiacal state which provides all their needs. The open ended uncoiled serpent on the tree of knowledge represents the internal prompting man when growing out of primal consciousness to perceiving the external world and his own ego through this newly invested knowledge derived from the tree of knowing and to equate himself to God but in this process becomes keenly aware of his physical nature or his lower self. This duality results in his worldly life of toil, pain and keen sense of emotions resulting from his rational thinking.
When we study the myth of Eden we can see how the psychological development of the human being progresses from the primal state of undifferentiated unity towards a subject-object duality of perceptions. The participating players in the Eden Myth are the male and the female and the deity which is presented as the Great Mother Goddess and the serpent. This theme can be seen in many sacred scriptural mythologies.
The Sumerian mythology talks of Marduk and Tiamat, Vedic lore talks of Indira and Vritra, the dragon or serpent, Greek myth of Zeus and Typhon. All these myths are told to evoke and make humanity keenly aware of our primal purely unmodified consciousness and our current status of fragmentation.
This is a vast topic and the reason for bringing up this specific topic is for all of us to delve deeply into the what so ever scriptures we use for our spiritual enrichment and move beyond literal, historical and dictated meanings and eke out the spiritual kernel which can enrich our lives.
Love to you all.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Triad of Perceptions of the Self

Triad of Perceptions of the Self
“He dreamed that he was walking through a vast wasteland. He heard steps behind him. Anxiously he walked faster, but the steps too become more rapid. He began to run, the terror still behind him. Then he came to the edge of a deep abyss and had to stand still. He looked down; deep, deep down, thousands of miles below he saw hell fires burning. He looked around and saw, or rather sensed in the dark, a demonic face. Later on, the dream recurred exactly as before, except that instead of the demon the dreamer saw the face of God. And when he was almost 50 years old he had the same dream for the last time, but this time panicky fear drove him and he jumped off the edge of the abyss into the depths below. As he fell, thousands of little square white cards floated downward with him from above. On each card, in black-and-white, a different mandala had been drawn. The cards floated together into a kind of a floor so that he did not fall into hell but found a firm landing about halfway down. Then, he looked back, upward to the edge of the abyss, and there he saw his own face! The pursuer in the dream is the Self, which appears first as the uncanny, then as God, then as the dreamer himself. In the final dream, which evidently brought with it the solution since it did not recur, the similarity of ego and Self, one the mirror image of the other, is underscored.” …………..Dream of a patient of Marie-Louise von Franz
A powerful depiction of the state of one’s consciousness exhibited through dreams at different stages of one’s life. The three images that the dreamer sees are three different self-perceptions of one’s own self. In Jungian psychology the shadow was an important aspect of the psyche. The shadow is the ‘unconscious aspect’ of one’s personality  with which the ego does not identify itself and usually is largely negative. This is predominant in the first version of the dream as the dark demonic face that follows him to the abyss.
There are, however, positive aspects which may also remain hidden in one's shadow (especially in one’s inferiority complex, anxieties, and false beliefs). To know yourself completely, you must accept your dark side. To deal with others' dark sides, you must also know your dark side. The face of God which the dreamer sees is the positive nature of one’s true consciousness.
We always live in the turmoil and contradiction of trying to relate to these two aspects of our psyche. The jumping off the precipice indicates the plunge into the process of individuation. All mystics go through the dark night of the soul in their individuation process wherein one’s true spiritual nature is realized and united with the universal consciousness.
As Jung explains the more consciousness gains clarity, the more demanding its content becomes and this can be equated to the slippery steep slope of darkness or the abyss as seen in the dream. The individual who has embarked on the process of individuation courageously takes the plunge knowing well that at the end of the plunge he will discover his true identity.
The white cards with mandala are the symbols displayed in one’s intuitive opening up of higher conscious experience, the integration of which finally reveals his own face or his own Self. A mandala is the symbolic representation of the universe in a microcosm. The four portals employed in a mandala symbolizes the four dimensions in which our human consciousness resides. The first requirement for transcendence of consciousness is a perfect balance in spacetime in which we exist. The inner circular patterns based on their intricacy and symbols and colours employed aids our meditative reflection to transcend to higher meanings.
I would like to end this short article with a quote from the same author with whose quote I started:
“The mandala serves a conservative purpose—namely, to restore a previously existing order. But it also serves the creative purpose of giving expression and form to something that does not yet exist, something new and unique. ... The process is that of the ascending spiral, which grows upward while simultaneously returning again and again to the same point.” …………. Jungian analyst, Marie-Louise von Franz, C. G. Jung: Man and His Symbols, p. 225
In my 2006 article in my website I had referred to this oscillation between or spiralling between the human and Divine plenum in the following words:
“As matter encounters singularity at the event Horizon and as the soul encounters the timeless dimension of divine essence or the Zen concept of Sunyata wherein one reaches Satori or enlightenment, we are all talking the same language of manifest creation standing at the very threshold of a true realisation of its current created status and yet knowing that this is illusion or Maya and our destiny lies beyond this creature horizon.”[1] ……….Tiburtius. B
Human existence is on a plane of ‘returning origin’ of our humanity. But this cannot be a permanent presence in our base material and physical nature but a constant ascendency, a spiralling upward journey to our authentic higher nature, for spiritual replenishment. Due to this diligent exercise our returning origin shifts upward towards a new level of transcendence.
Love to you all


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Form is Emptiness and Emptiness is Form

There are many stories about the great Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. This one is unique
One day, when he was sitting by the old dried river bed wondering how to alleviate the thirst of the tribal people, his mind was in turmoil as he was the chieftain and it was his responsibility to find water for them. Many years before this river was a torrent providing abundant water but now only a trickle flowed. He was sitting and looking for alternatives of how to find water when he realized that a troubled and anxious mind cannot think constructively. He should let go of his thoughts and focus his awareness on the river bed where abundant water once flowed. He then realized that with no rain or spring to feed the river, there must be some other source. He then saw many huge boulders up the river, he suddenly realized how in the past the force of the once wild stream must have hollowed out that rock. He then remembered how water tended to puddle in those kind of hollowed out rocks and boulders.
He suddenly cupped the palms of his hands to mimic the hollow shape that he saw in that rock and he wondered why he had never considered that a hollow shape could hold stuff, contain something... water for instance.
Suddenly he became aware of the sound that a few drops of water made that still slowly trickled down the rock wall behind him.
He could hardly find the right words to express what he had just discovered, he somehow blurted out, "Form is Emptiness!" but realizing that people will not understand him he added "and Emptiness is Form!"
When Buddha expounded the “Diamond Sutra” He has the following dialogue with his principle Bhikkhu, Subhuti and the dialogue is as follows:
'Subhuti, what do you think? Are there many particles of dust in the universe?'
Subhuti replied: 'Many, World Honoured One!'
'Subhuti, the Tathagata says these particles of dust are not (real), (but) are (merely) called particles of dust. The Tathagata says the universe is not (real), but it is (merely) called the universe.'
Buddhist cosmology is very advanced and the above dialogue points out to the deep understanding taught by the Buddha. The story and the teachings of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, as well as the Diamond Sutra teaches that the fundamental aspect of reality is emptiness.
As we now understand through research in particle physics and in our exercise of reconciling Quantum theory and Special theory of relativity that the concept of matter as consisting of particle is an illusion. String Theory posits that particle are manifestations of strings of energy vibrating at different frequencies in different dimensions. So the observable universe is an illusionary, collective, objective reality created by perception in a conditioned mind.
If we delve deep my understanding is that consciousness forms the very substratum of both the world of observation as well as the observing mind. Hence in these undifferentiated entities how can one arrive at a duality. Hence all dualities result from a conditioned consciousness rooted in forms.
All ‘rupas’ or forms and ‘lakshanas’ or attributes or the result of corrupted mind.
In a frustrated rational mental mode the existential philosopher Jean Paul Sartre declared:
 “Anything, anything would be better than this agony of mind, this creeping pain that gnaws and fumbles and caresses one and never hurts quite enough.” But this is the truth that grasping reality with our rational mind leads us to a frustrating experience.
The criticality of our mental self-annihilation, a burning to ashes of our overloaded rational mind, is brought out by Friedrich Nietzsche, in his book ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’.
“But the worst enemy you can meet will always be yourself; you lie in wait for yourself in caverns and forests. Lonely one, you are going the way to yourself! And your way goes past yourself, and past your seven devils! You will be a heretic to yourself and witch and soothsayer and fool and doubter and unholy one and villain. You must be ready to burn yourself in your own flame: how could you become new, if you had not first become ashes?”
The realization of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara on the river bed and the deep exposition of the Buddha to Subhuti as well as our current enquiry into nature of reality in science should take us on an inward journey of realizing our true nature.

Love to you all

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Voice in the Street and the Wilderness

"The alchemists say that this mystery lies in the most insignificant & cheapest things, rejected and thrown away by all men. This is an excellent description of the unconscious which always seems a minus to us because we cannot see it. It is actually the most insignificant thing, it is everywhere, & yet no one sees it. “Per vicos acclamans", It is calling through the streets [concerning the alchemical mystery & the unconscious], is a very peculiar remark. When the bride in the "Song of Solomon" is searching for the bridegroom, she says : 'I will rise now, & go about the city in the streets, & in the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth.'" …………………..C.G. Jung
“As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.” ………..Luke 3:4
While physical alchemy is purely a materialistic process by altering and transforming the properties within matter, spiritual alchemy is concerned with freeing your authentic Self which is trapped and conditioned within you by the polluted content of your consciousness (e.g. your fears, personal beliefs, self-loathing, etc.). Spiritual alchemy is vastly more multi-faceted.
Jung is commonly accorded the recognition as the main advocate and promoter of alchemical process in psychoanalysis. He argued that he had noticed many of the symbols found in alchemy texts mysteriously showing up in the dreams of his patients – most of whom had no prior knowledge of Alchemy.
He concluded that alchemy was a superb expression of the universal symbols of consciousness, and was therefore a highly effective tool for psychological insight. Materia Prima, The Philosophers Stone and Gold are the most commonly known symbols relating to Alchemy.
Materia Prima (or “first matter”), is an Alchemic symbol that reflects the notion that all the universe originated from a primitive, formless base which in Jung’s classification is the universal unconsciousness. This is the materialistic symbolism of Gold in alchemy. The idea of a “Materia Prima” can be traced back to Aristotle who understood that there is a force that holds all other forms in existence together but is itself invisible – these days, this is called “Spirit” in the western philosophical tradition. Science and especially particle physics points to the sub-quantum foam of pure potentiality from which all particle are but vibrations into grosser manifestation. This invisible substratum is a field of pure potential that can only come into existence when it is embodied into a “form.”
It is by refining the base material, such as lead, that the Materia Prima is arrived at. In psychoanalysis, it is the regressive method of using symbols in the dream state of consciousness or evocative symbols that manifest in waking consciousness that pure content of the spiritual status can be derived. This new knowledge can then be used to formulate a process for spiritual transformation. This transformation is a self-actualizing process where the psychotherapist or counsellor plays a catalytic role.
The universal presence of this state of pure potentiality is present everywhere and its expansiveness is symbolized by stating its presence in the ‘street’ as well as in the ‘wilderness’.
A voice calling out in the street as well as in the wilderness symbolized a universal presence which bears meaning only when there is someone to hear. The conscious, subjective tuning into this voice is the tool of transformation. As the Gospel says; it is a call to prepare and straighten the path for this higher state of consciousness to pervade our being.
Jung rightly points out the meaning of the search for the bridegroom by the bride in the streets and broad ways.

Love to you all

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Second Symbol of Rebirth

“The sun is our second symbol of rebirth ... When you realize that eternity is right here now, that it is within your possibility to experience the eternity of your own truth and being, then you grasp the following: That which you are was never born and will never die; that is the insight rendered in term of the solar mystery, the solar light.” …………….Joseph Campbell in “Thou Art That: Transforming Religious Metaphor”
The very opening of the quote tells of the Sun as the second symbol of rebirth. Before we deliberate on the significance of the second symbol, let us understand the first symbol. Symbols were established in the mythological age to evoke the consciousness of men towards the higher purposes he or she was created. The earliest myths could be traced to the Sumerian myth of the “Epic of Gilgamesh”.
Water is a primordial source of both rejuvenation and destruction in the Epic. It is neither good nor evil, but simply a force and representation of the gods’ will and the cycle of birth and death inherent to all life. The deluge event both in the Sumerian text as well as in the Matsya Purana and in the Old Testament is a symbolism of global level cleansing as the whole of humanity was deviant from the purpose of creation.
Notably in the Hero monomyth there is a stage of Apotheosis or transformation to the state of the Divine, after every important event in the Epic, Gilgamesh (and Enkidu if he is with Gilgamesh) bathes himself. After slaying Humbaba, when Enkidu leaves the wilderness, and after every other crucial action in the epic, there is always a bath. In practical purposes, the bath cleans and rejuvenates the heroes after their adventures, but it also seems to have ritual purpose—a spiritual as well as a physical cleansing. Spiritual cleansing through bathing has similarities to the significance of baptism in Christian practice, in which water is a means of absolution and conversion. Each time Gilgamesh and Enkidu bathe, then, we can interpret them as being rejuvenated and as reaffirming their connection to the gods. This is the climax in which the Hero must have his final and most dangerous encounter with death. In the eleventh stage of the Hero’s journey, there is a death and resurrection.
Now we look at the second symbolism of rebirth which is the Sun. Today happens to be the longest day in the northern hemisphere as it is the summer solstice. Solstice is a word with Latin roots – ‘solstitium’, from ‘sol – sun’ – and ‘stitium – to stop.’ Stoppage of the Sun is metaphorically linked to experiencing eternity, a point at which time loses its meaning. When we are engaged in the deeper contemplation in our inward journey of spiritual awareness, we experience eternity.
In the Old Testament, Joshua defeats the five Amorite kings, with the assistance of Yahweh, he stops the Sun for whole day. This is the mythical symbolism of experiencing eternity in the conquest of our darker nature.
“On the day the LORD gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the LORD in the presence of Israel: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon, and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”” ………..Joshua 10: 12
As the Sun never sets or rises when a spaceship is on a very high orbit, when our consciousness is elevated to sublime level, we experience eternal light. The hope of rebirth is given to us through our witnessing the rising and setting of the Sun when we stay rooted to material existence on this earth.
“Let us meditate on that excellent glory of the divine vivifying Sun,                                                                May he enlighten our understandings.” …………….Gayathri mantra

Love to you all

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Autonomous Approach of the Self

"Christ is the western formulation of what the East calls the Self, Atman, the Purusha or Buddha. If one may interpret him as a symbol, he symbolizes the Self. The dogma claims that Christ was God who became man. In psychological language this means that the Self approached the consciousness of man, And indeed in a very peculiar form, the Self approached from outside autonomously, not as a human realization." …………….C.G. Jung
The deeper you explore the realm of consciousness the more wonderful meanings are thrown up for our awe and enrichment. Carl Jung had the wisdom of deep understanding and his exposition of the human mind and the various means it seeks to pronounce as well as to grasp the various layers of the human psyche, is a treat for any student of depth psychology. Jung clearly understood the universal connectivity of consciousness and this gave him a great appreciation of the wisdom of Eastern philosophy and mysticism.
A clear division is needed to grasp some of the dogma in the western Christian traditions between the historical Jesus, the man, and his indwelling Divine Christ consciousness. This amalgamation was predestined in the karmic journey of Jesus the man, through what the dogma defines as virgin birth. To define the distinction between the human and divine nature of Jesus, the gospel writers refer to His human as the ‘son of man’ (with the small letter ‘s’) and to His divine nature as ‘Son of man’ (with the capital letter ‘S’). This is similar to the Vedic nomenclature of ‘the self’ and ‘the Self’ when defining the ego consciousness and the universal Divine consciousness.
Another important feature that we need to understand is that the consciousness of man is extremely limited and hence cannot through an act of volition invoke the merger with the Divine consciousness or the Self. Through a state of preparedness the self awaits the Divine Grace which through its own autonomous choice merges with an individual.
Meister Eckhart in Sermon VII : “Outward and Inward Morality” says:
“Grace is from God, and works in the depth of the soul whose powers it employs. It is a light which issues forth to do service under the guidance of the Spirit. The Divine Light permeates the soul, and lifts it above the turmoil of temporal things to rest in God. The soul cannot progress except with the light which God has given it as a nuptial gift; love works the likeness of God into the soul. The peace, freedom and blessedness of all souls consist in their abiding in God's will. Towards this union with God for which it is created the soul strives perpetually.”
When Eckhart says; Grace of God works in the depth of one’s soul and whose power it employs, it is clearly meant that the power or the potentiality of the soul must be at its peak to receive the infinite potential of the Divine. The potential of the individual soul has the power to transcend all physical, mental and temporal boundaries and only through this capacity can it ever merge with the Divine. The basic realization of an individual is what Eckhart says;  “………..Towards this union with God for which it is created the soul strives perpetually.”
In Manduka Upanishad Verse 3.1.3 it says:
“When the vision of a learned person grasps the effulgent Purua who is the Ruler of all, the energy of all deeds and also the source of Brahma, then he, having shaken off both virtues and vices and having become passionless, attain unity with that Supreme Entity.”
This is the process of reaching the state of preparedness to merge with the Divine consciousness. It is a state where one shakes of all passions of achievement and in the deepest stillness of infinitude realize one’s own nature of omniscience. 
Love to you all

Monday, May 22, 2017

Born of the Night and Twilight

“Manu . . . comes from the root "man", to think, hence a thinker". It is from this Sanskrit word very likely that sprang the Latin "mens", mind, the Egyptian "Menes", the "Master-Mind"; the Pythagorean Monas, or conscious "thinking unit", mind also, and even our "Manas" or mind, the fifth principle in man. Hence these shadows are called 'amanasa', "mindless". With the Brahmins the Pitris are very sacred, because they are the Progenitors, or ancestors of men – the first Manushya on this Earth – and offerings are made to them by the Brahmin when a son is born unto him. They are more honoured and their ritual is more important than the worship of the gods.
May we not now search for a philosophical meaning in this dual group of progenitors?
The Pitris being divided into seven classes, we have here the mystic number again. Nearly all the Puranas agree that three of these are arupa, formless, while four are corporeal; the former being intellectual and spiritual, the latter material and devoid of intellect. Esoterically, it is the Asuras who form the first three classes of Pitris – "born in the body of night" – whereas the other four were produced from the body of twilight.” …………………….The Secret Doctrine, ii 91
Homo Sapiens is a genre which has a high capacity to think. In my previous article, I had traced the emanation of thought from our perceptions. This is the core of the Sankhya philosophy in the Eastern philosophical tradition.
With the culture of the world at large being influenced by Western thought and with Rene Descartes coming out with his position of “Cogito Ergo Sum”, I think therefore I am, the rational dimension of our perception got deeply embedded in the objective physical reality accessible through the five senses.
The evolution of the manifested world including humans is dealt, from an esoteric and consciousness perspective, both in the Vedantic and Kabbalistic spiritual traditions. I will try to trace this evolution of consciousness through the tree of life in Kabbalistic tradition and then move on to the Vedantic, more inclusive, concepts of evolution of consciousness as expounded in the verse quoted from The Secret Doctrine, which was a great work of the mystic of Theosophy, Madame Blavatsky.
In Kabbalah, the Tree of Life describes the lowering of the fullness of Divine or supreme consciousness from the Ain Soph Aur (Ain - Without, Soph - End, Aur – Light, and which existed before all creation)  to the lowest level of the manifested world known as Malkhut
The process of creation in Kabbalah uncannily traces the modern theory of the creation of the universe from a Big Bang’ singularity to the time of material manifestation and the evolution life.
“Kabbalists also do not envision time and space as pre-existing, and place them at the first three stages on the Tree of Life. First is Keter, which is thought of as the product of the contraction of Ain Soph Aur into a singularity of infinite energy or limitless light. In the Kabbalah, it is the primordial energy out of which all things are created. The next stage is Chokmah, or Wisdom, which is considered to be a stage at which the infinitely hot and contracted singularity expanded forth into space and time. It is often thought of as pure dynamic energy of an infinite intensity forever propelled forth at a speed faster than light. Next comes Binah, or Understanding, which is thought of as the primordial feminine energy, the Supernal creative consciousness of the Mother of the Universe which receives the energy of Chokmah, cooling and nourishing it into the multitudinous forms present throughout the whole cosmos. It is also seen as the beginning of Time itself.” [1]
If we then refer back to the philosophical meaning behind the dual group of progenitors quoted in the Secret Doctrine, we realize that the same imagery is used. It is from a probably common mystical route that both the Vedic and the Kabbalistic mystical concepts of tradition are derived. The antecedence and precedence of this mystical concept of creation of man is not important. It is the significance that both Near-Eastern and Eastern philosophical thought resonate on the concept of creation.
To delve deeper, the first three Pitris are said to be formless and are said to be born of the darkness namely manifested reality. In science we come to understand that photons or light particle are fundamental to manifestation to our human mind. The darkness signifies the unknowable referred in the tree of life in Kabbalah as the intellect of the supreme consciousness in the first three levels. While the other four Pitris are said to be born out of twilight or the dawning of light which can be related to the lesser intellect in physical manifestation.
The male and female element of creation is fully encoded in the concept of the tree of life in Kabbalah. In single symbolic representation the descend and the path for ascendance of consciousness to the highest level are made explicit in the mystical tradition of Kabbalah.
The Brahmins are the class of people who are supposed to be one who is a near perfect being in his consciousness as the universal or Divine consciousness, namely; Brahma. Their rituals and mythical positioning must reflect the highest truth.
As cited in the above quote, In the ritual of the birth of a son the father chants the ‘Om medhate devaha’  mantra in the right and left ear of the son. The mantra is as follows:
“‘O beloved son, may The Lord bestow you with sharp acumen and intellect to study the Vedas. May the Ashvini deities who support the pran and apan vital energies and the others like Som (Moon) bestow you with perfect intellect’.” [2]
The father then pronounces the name of the child. It is very vital that when this ceremony is carried out the father is in a Sattvik state. The mother then feeds his son from her right breast as it is situated on pingala or sun nadi. This is to provide, not only physical but intellectual nourishment from the Sun channel.
May this knowledge empower us towards a spiritual life rooted in our journey of ascendancy.
Love to you all

[1]  Regardie, Israel. The Tree of Life: An Illustrated Study in Magic. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications. (2000) pp. 49-54. ISBN 1-56718-132-5

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Essence of Sankhya Yoga

"The equipoise of mind that arises from profound absorption in the performance of action after renouncing attachment and being even-minded in respect of success and failure is, O Dhananjay (Arjun), given the name of yog.
Take Refuge in the way of equanimity, Dhananjay because action with desire for the fruits thereof is far inferior to the path of discrimination, and they are indeed paupers who are motivated by lust. “ ……….Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 verse 48, 49
“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honoured by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” …………..Matthew Chapter 6 verses 1-4
The central theme of the Divine as the witness to all human actions is the core of the teachings both in Bhagavad Gita and in the Gospel of Matthew. In each of the above sayings there are words that are used which must convey the deeper meaning of the state of mind.
Why is this considered integral to Sankhya philosophy. The root of Sankhya philosophy lies in a causal chain starting with perception, leading to inference and the emanation of words resulting in outward utterance of speech and action. In order to have action devoid of desire our perception and resultant inference have to be rooted in the absolute. This is the reason that the entire second chapter of Bhagavad Gita is denoted as the 'wisdom of Sankhya'.
The word ‘The equipoise of mind ………’ is a state of mind wherein all thoughts originate in a non-judgemental and non-dual state. This leads to ‘…….profound absorption’.
A good example can be seen in the story which is mentioned in the famous Marathi Novel ‘Mrityunjaya’, written by Shivaji Sawant. This story is an extension of the incident in which in the archery contest conducted by Dronachariya, Arjuna hits the single eye of the rotating parrot doll. At this contest Karna, another more adept disciple of Dronachariya was not present. So Karna’s younger brother Shon tested Karna, when he returned to Hastinapur in the evening. The same rotating parrot doll was set as the target and Shon asked Karna to hit the fish’s eye as target. Shon enquired as to what Karna saw expecting the same reply as Arjuna: The parrot’s eye. But Karna replied I see nothing. Assuming that the lighting was dim, Shon lit a lamp and asked Karna to hit the target. It is recorded that Karna took two arrows and hit both the eyes of the parrot. Full of wonder, Shon enquired why he hit both the eyes of the fish, Karna replied that Shon had not told him which eye to hit. When further pressed how he achieved this impossible task Karna said:
“Well, brother, though I couldn’t see the eyes of the bird, I could feel them, just the way we feel our body without actually seeing it. Then I became one with my target, that is the bird, and that is how I could complete the task of hitting both the eyes of the parrot.”
This is the sum total of equipoise of mind and profound absorption.
The moment we have desire of achieving a success in the action, the target separates in space-time from the archer. In the Japanese Zen art of Kyūdō, the target, the archer and the horse on which he is riding all merge in extreme concentration. Every action we perform, if treated in the spirit and essence of the action instead of any anticipatory resultant, becomes part of our own essence. In the battle of life as well as in the epic battle epitomized in Kurukshetra, when the action is of cleansing the negative elements is the sole purpose, the duality of subject and object, the victor and the vanquished and personal relations all disappear.
In a practical way Jesus points to the actions of righteousness and the purpose of the action is totally devoid of any expectation or worldly results. This is why in another section of the Gospel Jesus says about compassion to total strangers:
“‘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, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” ………….Matthew chapter 25 verses 35 – 40
The essence of Sankhya Yoga is ‘Nishkamakarma’, namely action without desire.
Let me close this article with a powerful quote:
“Even after all this time the sun never says to the earth, 'You owe me.' Look what happens with a love like that. It lights the whole sky.” …………….Sufi saint, Hāfiz

Love to you all

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Called Out of Bondage

“One must remember the central truth... about Easter and Passover. We are all called out of the house of bondage, even  as the Jews were called out of their bondage in Egypt. We are called out of bondage in the way in which the moon throws off its shadow to emerge anew, in the way that life throws off the shadow of death.” …………..Joseph Campbell, Thou Art That, page 104.
When we are called out of bondage, the transition is not spontaneous but there is a stage of purification or purgation, In this process all the attachments and trappings that we had in the worldly manifestation needs to be burned away.
I would like again to refer to the events narrated in Genesis and the instruction given to Moses by God regarding the ritual of Passover. The sacrificial lamb is slaughtered and the blood which carries the life force is to be used for marking the door post as a sign of purified habitation. The meat is to be consumed so as to provide the energy needed for the new body in liberation to reach the safe shores from the pursuing Egyptian army which is the symbol of the enslaving elements in our previous existence. But any remnant of the meat which signifies the unwanted nourishments that sustained our physical existence must be burned. This is the significance of eradicating all physical attachments. The Passover ritual has a beautiful spiritual symbolism.
Here I would also like to visit the episode of Nachiketa, the teen age son of  Auddilaki Aruni, who is given away to Yama, the Lord of death by his father as a concluding element of the Viswajet Yajña.
Nachiketa descends to the kingdom of death and has to wait for three days to meet Yama. The three days of descent into hell is a common metaphor and can be seen in the descent of Christ into hell after his physical death. A wonderful understanding of the significance of this descent from a spiritual perspective is brought out by Carl Jung, in his book “Psychology and Religion”:
“The present is a time of God's death and disappearance. The myth says 'he was not to be found where his body was laid'. 'Body' means the outward visible form, the erstwhile but ephemeral setting for the 'highest value'. The myth further says that the 'value' rose again, in a miraculous manner, transformed. It looks like a miracle, for when a value disappears, it always seems to be lost irretrievably. So it is quite unexpected that it should come back. The 'three days' descent into hell during death describes the sinking of the 'vanished value' into the unconscious, where by conquering the power of darkness, it establishes a new order, and then rises up to heaven again, attaining supreme clarity of consciousness. The fact that only a few see the 'Risen One' means no small difficulties stand in the way of finding let alone recognizing the transformed value."
Yama grants Nachiketa the three boons he has asked. These boons signify a state of restoration from a previous existence into a higher realm of consciousness
The first boon is a fulfilment of acknowledging with gratitude the relational bond in the previous existence. The first boon is that; ““As the first gift, O Lord, offer this to me: when I return, released by you to the world of my father, may he receive me with a calm mind, free from anger, recognising me as I have been before; not thinking that I am dead and returning.”  ……Kathopanishad Chapter I Verse 10
This is a conscious choice of a liberated soul. This is the continuation of the final conscious words of Christ on the cross “Father forgive them for they not what they do” …………….Luke 23:34
The second boon is the liberation of all souls. This magnanimous gesture can only come from a self-realization of the non-dual nature of all existence. This is a subconscious choice through transcending the ego and physical barriers of separation. This can only be achieved from a state of total annihilation of all attachments and this is why Yama grants this boon and names it Nachiketa Yajña.  
The Holy Mass in the Catholic tradition is a ritual meant to signify this subconscious transformation where the Divine takes residence in the human.
The third boon is the state of the soul after death. Reluctantly, Yama teaches him Atma Vidya or the true knowledge of the soul. This wisdom is the wisdom embedded in the universal unconsciousness. Using this wisdom the transcending self realizes ultimate liberation.
Let me conclude this article with a quote from Kathopanishad:
“Atman, smaller than the small, greater than the great, is hidden in the hearts of all living creatures. A man who is free from desires beholds the majesty of the Self through tranquillity of the senses and the mind and becomes free from grief.” ………………….Kathopanishad Chapter II Verse 20
This lived in wisdom is the true liberation from bondage.
Love to you all

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Frog as a Symbol of Metamorphosis

Recently I read an article by Leigh Melander, Phd., a Joseph Campbell scholar on the symbolism of the frog in various cultures and mythologies signifying fertility, fortune, resurrection, and magic. She opens the article with what she experienced in the Catskill Mountain in New York state of how the Spring Peppers, a little green frog native to these regions, sing the very first warm night of Spring.
I experience this every monsoon in Chennai, India of how the tiny frogs come out with the onset of the very first heavy monsoon shower and continue their chorus throughout the night.
The few examples she had brought out were the following:
“Egyptian mythology, the Frog Goddess Heqet is a creator of life as the force that brings life into the womb, mirroring the regenerative life of the Nile as it blew past its banks each spring, bringing with it not only water and rich soil, but thousands of spring frogs. She was the patron of midwives, who called themselves ‘Servants of Heqet’ and protector of women giving birth, who often wore amulets of her as they went into labour.  But not simply a fertility and birth goddess, Heqet became a symbol of resurrection as she breathed life into Horus at the moment of his birth and his father Osiris’ death at the hand of his brother in the central myth cycle of Egyptian culture.” [1]
We can all recall the fairy tales which we read as children of the Frog price and the princess. In this story we read how the kiss of the princess transform the frog into a handsome prince. This story is a mythological episode to convey how the Divine Sophia or wisdom develops an intimate relationship with a lower nature of created manifestation resulting in a metamorphosis  into higher consciousness level.
An important point that we need to note is the capacity to hibernate till the right ambiance is available. It is the withdrawal from worldly sustenance and attachments into a deeply tranquil state, a near death state of the physical, which ensures the survival of these species. This world in which we live is the crucible where the spiritual sustenance that we need is poured. If we do not wait for the right nourishment of the soul but fully engage in activities to cling on to physical sustenance and life, we miss the moment of the arrival of true sustenance.
The new element which I wanted to bring to the reader’s attention is the deeper significance of the frog in Vedic writings.
“THEY who lay quiet for a year, the Brahmans who fulfil their vows, The Frogs have lifted up their voice, the voice Parjanya hath inspired.” [2]
“SING forth and laud Parjanya, son of Heaven, who sends the gift of rain. May he provide our pasturage. Parjanya is the God who forms in kine, in mares, in plants of earth, And womankind, the germ of life. Offer and pour into his mouth oblation rich in savoury juice: May he for ever give us food.”[3]
Life giving water is the symbol of universal consciousness in many spiritual traditions. The letter ‘Mem’ in Hebrew spiritual tradition is water, the waters of wisdom, knowledge, the Torah. Representing both waters and manifestation, it is the ability to dive deep into the wisdom. It is said that in every person is the thirst for the words of the Creator, which are the waters of life. As the frog awaits the arrival of heavenly water so also every manifested creation longs for the touch of the waters of wisdom.
This water of wisdom is the Divine consciousness which is creative force in the elevation of our consciousness to the higher domain.
One of the greatest spiritual significance of the frog can be seen in the naming of the sixth most important of the 108 Upanishads as ‘Mandukya Upanishad’. Mandukya in Sanskrit means ‘Frog’ or ‘arousal’. This Upanishad is the shortest and comprises of only twelve verses. This Upanishad forms the basis of Advaita philosophy of Adi Sankara.
“We are told [in Mandukya Upanishad] how, "the syllable Om is verily all that exists. Under it is included all the past, the present and the future, as well as that which transcends time. Verily all this is Brahman. The Atman is Brahman. This Atman is four-footed. The first foot is the Vaisvanara, who enjoys gross things, in the state of wakefulness. The second foot is the Taijasa, who enjoys exquisite things in the state of dream. The third is the Prajna who enjoys bliss in the state of deep sleep. The fourth is Atman, who is alone without a second, calm, holy and tranquil". This passage has been verily the basis upon which all the later systems of Vedantic philosophy have come to be built.” [4]                
So when we hear the frogs croak in unison, let us feel our heart resonate longing for the Divine Wisdom to drench our being.
Love to you all

[1] MythBlast: Life, Resurrection, and the Mythic Teachings of Frogs ………… Leigh Melander, Ph.D.
[2] Rigveda 7.103 verse 1
[3] Rig Veda Hymn to Parjanya
[4] RD Ranade, “A Constructive Survey of Upanishadic Philosophy”, Chapter 1, pages 35-36

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Resurrected Christ as an Image

“Let us beware of creating a darkness at noonday for ourselves by gazing, so to say, direct at the sun …………………… as though we could hope to attain adequate vision and perception of Wisdom with mortal eyes. It will be the safer course to turn our gaze on an image of the object of our quest.”  ……….Plato in ‘The Athenian Stranger’
The image of the resurrected Christ which we see in all Christian churches immediately draws us to a great spiritual mystery. Why did the canonical Gospel writers surround this great mystery with physical events? What was the purpose of this episode? Unfortunately, the doctrine of the church has assigned a miraculous and unique evet of Jesus conquering physical death through a physical resurrection. This is counter intuitive to the very great and deep spiritual mystery and dilutes a universal truth to a very individual event in an individual’s life. St. Paul in his letter to the Romans is very clear in a language a common man can understand:
“Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin.” ………Romans 6: 4-6
The universal nature of death and resurrection is very clearly explained by St. Paul. This happened in his own life as if Saul had not died Paul would not have resurrected. To circumvent this ontological conundrum, we have conveniently instituted a universal time delay for humanity to a physical resurrection at the end of time. With today’s truth revealed in modern cosmology, the Earth has a potential life span of billions of years and as scientific advancement takes place, humanity will spread far beyond the solar system. This raises a big question on the ‘end of days’.
The words of St. Paul has to be seen from a deeper level. When Paul talks of sin, it means the corrupted nature of the physical embodiment and when he talks of the ‘Father’, it is a reference to the Divine consciousness from which all manifestations happen.
Raghavan Iyer, a great theosophist writes in an article “The Gospel According to St. John”
“There is another meaning of the 'Father' which is relevant to the opportunity open to every human being to take a decision to devote his or her entire life to the service of the entire human family. The ancient Jews held that from the illimitable Ain-Soph there came a reflection, which could never be more than a partial participation in that illimitable light which transcends manifestation. This reflection exists in the world as archetypal humanity – Adam Kadmon. Every human being belongs to one single humanity, and that collectively stands in relation to the Ain-Soph as any one human being to his or her own father.”
A number of things have to be revealed through deeper introspection. In my previous blog article, I had dealt with the mystery of Christ and the significance of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God. It is a process of redeeming the Divine consciousness which is housed in the poverty of the human body. Jesus, by subjecting himself to physical suffering and death, demonstrated how a human life has to be lived. This is the course that every human life should follow before ultimate liberation of the Divine consciousness through dispensation of the lower habitations to ultimately unite with the Father.
Jesus demonstrates the fact that it is the Divine consciousness that inhabits every manifestation through a transfiguration on Mount Tabor as well as appearing to Mary Magdalene after his resurrection and appearing thrice to the disciples.
As Plato says, human eyes cannot behold the grandeur of the Divine light which has a powerful potential of annihilation all material manifestations. Our eyes can be blinded by a direct look at the Sun.
In Bhagavad Gita in Chapter 11, Lord Krishna bestows a special sight to Arjuna to behold his universal form.
“But you cannot see Me with your present eyes. Therefore I give to you divine eyes by which you can behold My mystic opulence. …………………… If hundreds of thousands of suns rose up at once into the sky, they might resemble the effulgence of the Supreme Person in that universal form.” ……….BG Ch 11:8,10  
The bridge between human consciousness and the Divine consciousness is fraught with hurdles and difficulties to traverse. When seeking a passage through our mental capabilities only a limited perception is possible.
In the very first chapter of the Gospel of St. John, the apostle writes:
“In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it..” ……….John 1:4-5
Human beings have increasingly evolved in the darkness of illusion, of self-forgetfulness, and forgetfulness of their divine lineage. The whole of humanity may be tarnished by forgetfulness of their true eternal and universal mission. Every man or woman is born for a purpose. Every person has a Divine destiny. Every individual has a unique contribution to make, to enrich the lives of others, but no one can say what this is for anyone else. Each one has to find it, first by arousing and kindling and then by sustaining and nourishing the little lamp within the heart.        
The human Jesus and the Divine Christ in a single embodiment is the greatest gift we could receive,  As Jesus says in the Gospel of Thomas:
"I will give you what no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, what no hand has touched, what has not arisen in the human heart." …………..Gospel of Thomas, Saying 17
It is very unfortunate in the past 2000 years we are trying to see with our physical eyes and hear with our physical ears and touch with our physical hands. Only a handful of mystics have gone to the heart level to perceive the Divine light. Let us transcend the physical and historical dimension and grasp the inner revelation that is given to us in Easter mystery.

Love to you all.