Thursday, February 2, 2017

Buddhiyoga –Anchoring in the Divine

“I am the source of all. From Me everything emanates. Thinking thus, the wise worship Me, absorbed in ecstatic contemplation.   With their consciousness centred upon Me, with their vital energies drawn into Me, enlightening each other, constantly conversing about Me, they feel contented and revel in delight.   To those who are constantly yoked; and worship Me with love, I confer that intuitive understanding (buddhiyoga) by which they approach Me. Out of pure compassion for them, dwelling in their inmost self, I destroy the darkness born of ignorance by the brilliant lamp of wisdom.”  ……..Bhagavad Gītā 10: 8-11
There are clearly two dimensions addressed in this saying. They are the attributes of the object of devotion and the categories of devotee.
First dimension is that all the content of what is manifest and what is hidden from our senses, as the sum total of the object of devotion and the content of all these emanates from the Divine plenum which is symbolized as an embodiment in the person of Lord Krishna. The recipient of this message must have the knowledge to comprehend both the manifest and the unmanifest. While the manifest could be comprehended through our senses and our conditioned consciousness, the unmanifest can only be grasped through a new tool of perception which can only be dispensed through Divine grace. To illustrate this mystery at the objective level, Arjuna asks the Lord to exhibit his universal form in chapter 11 Bhagavad Gita which immediately follows the chapter in which the above verse appears and the Lord obliges by bestowing his a special sight.
“But you cannot see my cosmic form with these physical eyes of yours. Therefore, I grant you divine vision. Behold my majestic opulence!” …………..……..Bhagavad Gītā 11: 8
Second dimension is the category of devotee. Here again there are two clear categories of devotees and these categories result from the individual’s karmic status of the individual atma. The first is the wise and the second are those who are yoked to earthly toil. These are very clearly spiritual categories.
The wise are those who have attained a status of elevated consciousness through realization of one’s true self through repeated karmic cleansing. They are able to integrate their consciousness with the Divine through deep ecstatic contemplation or meditative practice. When their vital energies are fully focused on the Self, which is the pramatma, the individual atma loses its ego coverings and transcends to the deeper plenum. It is the well of infinite energy from which the individual wisdom gains strength in its journey, or human destiny, which is the ultimate merger with the Divine.
The second category of devotees are those who are still in the infancy of their karmic journey. This category is defined in chapter 9 of Bhagavad Gita and in no less pronouncement, the Lord declares:
“Even if one commits the most abominable action, if he is engaged in devotional service he is to be considered saintly because he is properly situated in his determination. He quickly becomes righteous and attains lasting peace. O son of Kuntī, declare it boldly that My devotee never perishes. O son of Pthā, those who take shelter in Me, though they be of lower birth—women, vaiśyas (merchants) as well as śūdras (workers)—can attain the supreme destination. How much more this is so of the righteous brāhmaas, the devotees and the saintly kings. Therefore, having come to this temporary, miserable world, engage in loving service unto Me. Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, become My devotee, offer obeisance to Me and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me.” ………………Bhagavad Gītā 9: 30-34
A clear example is provided in the Puranas.
The biography of Valmiki, the author of the great epic Ramayana, is a vivid case of spiritual transformation. Valmiki was not always a saint. He was born Ratnakara, and became an infamous bandit who killed many people by the time he reached his adulthood. One day, he was touched by an act of love between two cranes in a clear river where he was about to bathe. One of the cranes was killed by a hunter’s arrow and the mate cried out in anguish. This event transformed his personality drastically. One day, he met the great sage Narada who questioned him of his duty. Moved by Narada's words, he began to perform penance and chanted the word "Mara" which meant "kill". As he performed his penance for several years, the word became "Rama", the name of Lord Vishnu.  Narada declared Ratnakara to be a great Sage and Brahmin, a member of the high caste. This whole episode signifies the transformation of a sinner into a sage in one life time through constant attachment to the Divine.
It is worth noting how the chant used in meditation “Mara” meaning kill is transformed into “Rama”. This is a symbolic significance of how even the worst of criminals can become spiritually elevated.
Before the eye of the Divine there are no categories. It is only our willingness to elevate our priorities above the mundane and a constant seeking of the higher potential which resides within us. This is what is mandated by the verse quoted at the beginning of this article.

Love to you all

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