Freedom, Death And Immortality : The Vedic Yoga Perspective — VII

The previous part described Nescience associated with Consciousness Pure, Brahman, as a natural concurrence of consciousness to witness and be curious. Being consciousness pure is also to be conscious of curiosity to mirror itself in order to know. That curiosity of consciousness, to objectify itself, is Nescience.

It was suggested that Nescience is not an ‘other’ thing, substance or entity, character or feature. It is, on one part, of the nature of forgetfulness of the Consciousness Pure being itself, a momentary lapse in conscious continuum of Being Pure and glancing at a passing dream that objectively reflects itself. On the other part, Nescience automatically lends to itself the mother reality, with power of being the creating substratum, under the truthful gaze of the Consciousness Pure. It itself becomes the First Cause adjunct to hold the reflection of Consciousness Pure, while the latter satiates its curiosity of itself.

This contrapositive part of Nescience triggers the entire creation in many, many adjuncts in quick succession. It becomes the forms, each seeded with memory of Consciousness Pure. The first mediatory causal forms — the gods — lend omniscience and creation wide presence to the Godhead and a passive omnipotent egoism about the self reflecting memory of being Consciousness Pure in truth.

Nescience contrapositively expands the moment reflecting the Consciousness Pure into endless, unidirectional Time and the First Cause adjunct into ever expanding Space. The Self at the heart of the Godhead is the memory of itself being the Consciousness Pure. It is filled with Bliss at knowing itself intimately, by its own very truth reflecting in the first adjunct. It is its Witness Pure, watching its own endless projection into Being or Existence.

Every created form, gross or subtle, individual and cosmic, has the Substratum at its base and the seed of the memory of Consciousness Pure at its conception. It corresponds almost exactly in Shakti and Shiva symboligism presented in Vedic texts and the same reflects off the Ling and Yoni form invariably installed and worshipped in almost every Vedic temple to this day.

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The Vedic Yoga perspective aims establish an exact equivalence between the self of the individual being and Brahman. in the self’s own direct perception, which is immediate import of its Great Declarations such as “That Thou Art” and “I Am Brahman.” Indeed, it goes on to circumscribe Brahman in our understanding with : “All This In The Universe Is Brahman” and “Brahman Is Existence-Knowledge Infinite.” Vedic tradition names Brahman as Sat-Chit-Anand or Existence-Consciousness-Bliss.

Vedic texts are of diverse kind and value : injunctional, advisory, eulogical or elucidatory. But these core connect in Vedic Yoga perspective, between the micro and the macro, individual and the cosmic, speck and the universe, can be found in every Vedic hymn and is reiterated in secondary and auxiliary texts, every parable and lore, art and architecture, music and dance, community governance and social structures, institutional bases and procedures, etiquette and interpersonal address, group and family values, and in every cultural punctuation in the traditional way of life followed by Hindu people over the year, seasons and days.

The whole aim of codification of Vedic way of life, on such thorough and wide scale, was to reverse this compulsive object orientation and drive in individuals and to direct preoccupation back to the Godhead. That was the first and foremost duty of every individual self, who must align his intent and action to its accord, for his own journey and facilitate that of others in community, whom the individual’s intent touched and his action involved. Its destined dissolution into being Consciousness Pure was its ultimate duty : moksha. Its facilitative intent and action in the interim was its first and immediate duty : dharma. Yet, it wasn’t a life under an enforced Spartan regime. There was a place in Vedic society for enterprise and wealth accumulation (artha), ostentation and grandeur, enjoyment and pleasure (kama), and even for human failings and weaknesses.

These were the codified fulfillments of human life : dharma, artha, kama and moksha, in that order. But the community, led by the chief or the king himself, accorded its highest regard to anchorites and sage teachers, who lived voluntarily as renunciates with a minimalist daily program around food and survival, sartorial simplicity, cleanliness of body and habitat, study and education, contemplation and meditation, innovation and research. They, for the most part, were exclusively devoted to dharma and moksha and eschewed entirely the artha and kama fulfillments. These sage souls served as sound boards for individual concerns and as consulting specialists to community leaders, teachers to their wards, and spiritual guides to whoever was earnest and deserving.

Atreyamuni

Sage seers were held with reverence, deference and awe, on account of what they knew, understood, and could do, which others in the community could not without their direction or guidance. They were schools or institutions in themselves who took in pre-teens and turned them into knowledgeable, skilled and character strong community leaders, administrators, warriors and professionals. They had practically limitless capacity for mindfulness, empathy, personality type diagnosis and problem solving.

One key insight the sages possessed was the of karma repository inevitably attached with individual selves, and its unfailing law of consequences. The Karma Law stipulates that all individual beings are free to choose and act, more or less as the species adjunct to the self allows. But none are free to avoid the consequences of their intent and action, good or bad. The law operates across lifetimes an individual undergoes in its respective reincarnations. The karma web is a concomitant associate of the adjunct to individual self.

The freedom to choose and act is important to the Karma Law. There are no consequences upon the self entangled in an adjunct that is characterised with a rudimentary mind, without an active intellect, as is found in animals. Looking at the evolution of animal species, the earthworm has a mind that is limited, reflexive, webbed with instinct, and overtaken by its vitality. Its basic body structure is steeped in soil, its food, excretes the same, and moves by its sense of smell. Its only and greatest suffering is threat to or violation of its survival. Its self has no scope or opportunity for application or self effort, in order to evolve and loosen its bondage to its adjunct.

The same self, the memory of being Consciousness Pure, reflects in the adjuncts proper to individual being and the Godhead. The individual however is bound to the dense web of karma associated with its adjunct while that of the Godhead is free of any karma repository whatsoever. The adjunct of an animal self has little freedom to reflect and choose, and hence the possibility of choosing to act such as to reorient its attachment away from the objects around it, and evolve into greater self settledness, is low and lower still. The plant self is without the mind, the faculty to reflect and choose, with barest flow of vitality in its sap and just a trace of power to direct it growth towards the sunlight. The self of an inert body is frozen blind in inaction.

The freedom to reflect and choose is maximum in a human being. It senses and feels, emotes and wills in reaction to how it feels, thinks about its emotion and reviews its will, and discriminates between the value of one thought from that of another. Humans are a privileged species without doubt, for its individual can choose what to reflect on, where to apply, when to exert and how, and learn from outcomes or consequences of its act or effort. The core aspect in its experience is how it feels after having exercised its choice : better or worse than before, more free and happy than earlier, less entangled or bound to the limitations of its adjunct, or not. All salient features of the experience, summed up with similar others from before are later remembered consciously or involuntarily. The intellect of a human notes any consistency in the experienced outcomes, especially ones that qualify as truths by their confirmed validity, repeated time and again.

The self adjuncts are characterised with qualities and capacities in accord with entity genres and species, and are differentiated by subtle variations of proportion of qualitative inclinations that drive the being : Sattva (light, gathered and free), Rajas (compulsions to act, engage and dissipate), and Tamas (dark, heavy, with inertia and inaction). It is easier for a sattva natured self, with rajas and tamas increasingly less dominating, to restrain its compulsive object orientation, gather its intent in the  midst of distractions, choose to act in accord with dharma, attract the favour of a sage teacher, apply and persist with self effort, and evolve towards the Godhead.

Rajas nature must first exhaust its object obsessions, its attachments for the few, its restless and inclination to dissipate its intent, and reflect for long before the tendency attenuates and allows sattva to to rise and predominate. Adjunct selves dominated by tamas nature need ages merely to come alive with self belief, heed and allow full flow to its inner drives, and take to a predominantly rajas nature for another long long while before the sattva nature is awakened.

An individual self is more the child of its karma than of its biological parents. Its a truth that few discover, realise and use to direct their effort more precisely, to intensify their spiritual evolution and advance more rapidly along the way to moksha or absolute liberation from karma and self adjuncts altogether.

That is the nature of ignorance associated with the adjunct of the individual self : to be unaware of the true nature of things, to not know the way of dharma, the right choices which make the self happier and more free, lighter and spiritually more certain and illumined, the wrong actions which makes the self alternate between dissipating rajas and deadening tamas natures. Of its ignorance, the individual self is lost in its inability to discriminate between the self and its adjuncts, the self and the forms he identifies with or regards as his own. The net consequence of its ignorant, unexamined life is increased intensity and strengthening of bondage of the individual self with its limiting adjunct, its nature, inhering object orientation, deep attachments and overwhelming transient desires, apparent wills and passing thoughts.

There is nothing in the individual’s worldly life, occupations and preoccupations, to redirect it towards its primary goal,  towards its own true and primordial nature as the Godhead, in which the memory of its being as the Consciousness Pure shines forth in its own glorious effulgence. Its state of ignorant, adjunct defined being continues endlessly until the intellect notices the karma repository repeat its satisfying and dissatisfying habitual drives, of familiar cyclic hunger driving to same tiring outcomes.

When the individual self finally hears the knell sounds rung by its intellect, through the meaningless languor settled in its being, it becomes aware of its spiritual crisis. Looking into its emptiness, it finds the abyss dark and closed. The self lapses into an irrecoverable depression and unmitigated fear. If it has age and good karma on its side, the self makes an effort to read true scriptures, listen to assuring words of enlightened seers, and study their import more deeply. With good fortune, in time, it might summon enough resolve and strength to retreat from the web of worldly objects, retract the externally oriented senses, withdraw the mind and apply it 180 degrees away towards the Godhead. Still better, it might chance upon good company of a co-traveller or two and, perhaps, the compassionate glance of an attained sage.

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A Vedic advisory :

O man, all these before you

Are proceeds of God.

Keep, use or consume them sparingly

But not without the thought

Of whom they belong to.

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