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