A Cosmic Journey
This story was taken from Chapter 8 of The Promised God-Man Is Here, by Carolyn Lee.
First there was an explosion of inner sounds. Then I felt the layers of the body-mind release and fall away. “I” was separating out from the physical body and seemed to fly upwards, whirling through dark space at an incredible speed. I was moving toward an overwhelming, brilliant light. At one point, I recall slipping through a kind of “grid” as a speck of consciousness.
For an instant, I did seem to lose all self-awareness, but throughout the rest of the experience I was aware of the most remarkable clarity. I found that I felt more familiar and at ease traveling without the body than when I was dragging it along, anchored to it by my usual physical-body identification. I felt myself to be alive as Consciousness, at ease as the witness of mind and attention.
At different moments in this Cosmic journey, I felt the deep urges of the body-mind drawing me back towards embodiment, and I sensed the frustration of having no physical body through which to enact or fulfill desires. This made a stunning impression on me, and I remember feeling how foolish it would be to waste the opportunity of a human lifetime to do the [spiritual practice] that could help free me of the binding attachments I had now seen so clearly.
Then I became aware of a loud buzzing or humming sound as I slowly came back into [identification with] the body-mind, taking on each layer [or sheath], starting with the most subtle. The inner sounds quieted until once again I was aware of lying on the floor.
When I opened my eyes, the face of Beloved Adi Da was right next to mine, and He was grinning at me with a gigantic smile. He opened His mouth and started to laugh. It was more than a laugh — it was a victorious and triumphant Shout, glorious to hear. Instead of being awestruck by this remarkable journey I had just taken with Him, I felt sheer marvel at Who He Is. I felt, “Yes! There is this great scheme of conditional existence, of which human embodiment is a part. But first, and most importantly, HE IS THE MASTER OF IT ALL! And I have a relationship with That One!”
Without exchanging a word with me, Beloved Adi Da got up, walked to His Chair and began a discourse on death and the “grid” through which we pass at death. This was one of the first occasions at which Beloved Adi Da spoke of the total pattern of phenomena, or the Cosmic Mandala, as He would later describe it. As always, He had one primary message — no experience, high or low, is the answer to our suffering. No “one” survives in the Great Plastic of forms. Only Consciousness Itself persists, the Eternal “I”, the Self-Existing and Self-Radiant Condition of all, Beyond the grid of appearances.
25 Jun 2013 1 Comment
in DEATH, FREEDOM, HINDUISM, JOURNAL, KNOWLEDGE, LIFE AND BEING, MIND - THOUGHT & BELIEF, REINCARNATION, RELIGION, TRUTH, VEDANTA Tags: Adi Da, Bodymind, Consciousness - Conditioned And Pure, Death, Physical body, The "I", The Nature Of Death
18 Jun 2013 Leave a comment
in BEAUTY, BUDDHISM, CELEBRATION, CULTURE, DHARMA, HIMALAYAS, HINDUISM, HUMANISM, INDIA, JOURNAL, KNOWLEDGE, LIFE AND BEING, MIND - THOUGHT & BELIEF, MUSINGS, PHILOSOPHY, PLACES, REINCARNATION, RELIGION, STORY, TRADITION, TRAVEL, TRUTH Tags: Buddha, Dalai-Lama, India, Kanchenjunga, Lhasa, Nicholas Roerich, Sikkim, The Teachings, Tibet, Yearning Of The Soul
A Travel Diary
By Nicholas Roerich
[ Published by Claude Bragdon ]
Part IX : INDIA (1924)
In the twilight under the flowing stars, in the purple sheen of the mist, sounds the soft voice of the lama, telling his calm tale of the “King of the World,” of His power, of His action and wisdom, of His legions, in which each warrior shall be possessed of some extraordinary gift. And he tells of the dates of the new age of general well-being.
The tale is taken from an ancient Tibetan book, wherein, under symbolic names, are given the future movements of the Dalai-Lama and Tashi-Lama, which have already been fulfilled. There are described the special physical marks of rulers under whom the country shall fall during the reign of the monkeys. But afterwards the rule shall be regained and then will come Someone of greatness. His coming is calculated in twelve years —which will be in 1936.
When the time came for the Blessed Buddha to depart from this earth He was asked by four lords of Dharmapala to bequeath to mankind His image. The Blessed One consented and designated the most worthy artist, but the artist could not take the exact measurements because his hand trembled when he approached the Blessed One. Then said Buddha, “I shall stand near the water. Thou shalt take the measurements from my reflection.” And the artist was thus enabled to do so, and executed four images, modeled from a sacred alloy of seven metals. Two of these images are now in Lhasa and the remaining two are still hidden until the appointed time.
One Tibetan ruler married Chinese and Nepal princesses in order that through them he might attract to Tibet the two sacred images of Buddha.
Twelve hundred years after Buddha, the teacher Padma Sambhava brought closer to men the teachings of the Blessed One. At the birth of Padma Sambhava all the skies were aglow and the shepherds saw miraculous tokens. The eight-year-old Teacher was manifested to the world in the Lotus flower. Padma Sambhava did not die but departed to teach new countries. Had he not done so the world would be threatened with disaster.
In the cave Kandro Sampo, not far from Tashi-ding, near a certain hot spring, dwelt Padma Sambhava himself. A certain giant, thinking to penetrate across to Tibet, attempted to build a passage into the Sacred Land. The Blessed Teacher rose up and growing great in height struck the bold venturer. Thus was the giant destroyed. And now in the cave is the image of Padma Sambhava and behind it is a stone door. It is known that behind this door the Teacher hid sacred mysteries for the future. But the dates for their revelation have not yet come.
Wherefore do the giant trumpets in the Buddhist temples have so resonant a tone ? The ruler of Tibet decided to summon from India a learned lama, from the place where dwelt the Blessed One, in order to purify the fundamentals of the teaching. How to meet the guest ? The High Lama of Tibet, having had a vision, gave the design of a new trumpet so that the guest should be received with unprecedented sound; and the meeting was a wonderful one—not by the wealth of gold but by the grandeur of sound !
Why do the gongs in the temple ring out with such great volume ? And, as silver, resound the gongs and bells at dawn and evening, when the atmosphere is tense. Their sound reminds one of the legend of the great Lama and the Chinese emperor. In order to test the knowledge and clairvoyance of the Lama, the emperor made for him a seat from sacred books and covering them with fabrics, invited the guest to sit down. The Lama made certain prayers and then sat down. The emperor demanded of him, “If your knowledge is so universal, how could you sit down on the sacred books ?” “There are no sacred volumes,” answered the Lama. And the astonished emperor, instead of his sacred volumes, found only blank papers. The emperor thereupon gave to the Lama many gifts and bells of liquid chime. But the Lama ordered them to be thrown into the river, saying, “I will not be able to carry these. If they are necessary to me, the river will bring these gifts to my monastery.” And indeed the waters carried to him the bells, with their crystal chimes, clear as the waters of the river.
Talismans… A mother many times asked her son to bring to her a sacred relic of Buddha. But the youth forgot her request. She said to him, ‘I shall die here before your eyes if you will not bring it to me now.’ The son went to Lhasa and again forgot the mother’s request. A half day’s journey from his home, he recalled the promise. But where can one find sacred objects in the desert ? There is nought. But the traveler espies the skull of a dog. He decides to take out a tooth and folding it in yellow silk he brings it to the house. The old woman asks of him, ‘Have you forgotten again my last request, my son ?’ He then gives her the dog’s tooth wrapped in silk, saying, ‘This is the tooth of Buddha.’ And the mother puts the tooth into her shrine, and performs before it the most sacred rites, directing all her worship to her holy of holies. And the miracle is accomplished. The tooth begins to glow with pure rays and many miracles and sacred manifestations result from it.”
A man searched for twelve years for Maitreya-Buddha. Nowhere did he find him, and becoming angry, he rejected his faith. As he walked along his way he beheld one who with a horsehair was sawing an iron rod, repeating to himself, “If the whole of life is not enough yet will I saw this through.” Confusion fell upon him— “What mean my twelve years,” he said, “in the face of such persistence ? I will return to my search.” Thereupon Maitreya-Buddha himself appeared before the man and said, “Long already have I been with you but you did not see me, and you repulsed me and spat upon me. I will make a test. Go to the bazaar. I will be upon your shoulder.” The man went, aware that he carried Maitreya. But the men around him shrank from him, closing their noses and eyes. “Wherefore do you shrink from me, people ?” he asked. “What a fright you have on your shoulder—an ill-smelling dog full of boils!” they replied. Again the people did not see Maitreya-Buddha, for each beheld only what he was worthy of seeing.
The lama says, “There are three kinds of teaching—one for the stranger, one for our own, and the third for the initiated who can retain. Now through ignorance they slaughter animals, they drink wine, they have property and eat meat and live squalidly. Does religion permit all this ? Where is beauty, there is teaching; where is teaching, there is beauty.
The people here are sensitive. Your emotions and desires are transmitted so easily. Therefore know clearly what you desire. Otherwise instead of Buddha you shall behold the dog.
That which is hidden in the past is not of importance—that which in age-old books, copied and unfinished, lies covered with dust. For the new construction, that which now resolves itself into life is important. Not through library shelves but through the living word is measured the possibility of future structures.
Under Kinchenjunga are secreted the caves in which are resting the treasures. In stone coffins the cave dwellers are praying, torturing themselves in the name of the future. But the sun has already defined the future; not in secret caves, but in full sunlight one perceives the worship and expectation of Maitreya-Buddha. It is now three years since the Tashi Lama solemnly and openly dedicated the great New Image in his Tashi-lhunpo. The intense, invisible work progresses.
The Tashi Lama is now on his way to Mongolia by way of China. Unprecedented through the ages is this event. Mystery ! Incidentally, it may be that through Sikhim passed only the abducting detachment and the Lama himself moved on to Mongolia.
On a sacred morning upon the mountain started to glow rows of fire—another mystery !
Just now the wave of attention is turned toward Tibet—behind the mountain rampart events are stirring, but Tibetan secrecy is great. Information is contradictory. Whither disappeared the Tashi Lama ? What military manoeuvers proceed on the Chinese border ? What transpires on the Mongolian line ? A year of events !
Sikhim is called the land of lightning. Of course, here also occurs lightning but is it not simpler to call it “the land of future steps” ? For it would be difficult to imagine a better threshold to the mysteries of the future than this unexplored, rarely penetrated country of rocks and flowers.
As behind a tiny silver apple on a saucer, do the hills and steps of the Himalayas reveal themselves. Hundreds, perhaps more, are the monasteries in Sikhim, each crowning the top of a summit. A small temple in Chakong; a big suburgan and monastery in Rinchenpong. Upon the next mountain appears gleaming white Pemayangtse, still higher, Sanga Chöling. Tashi-ding is almost unseen. On the other side of the valley is Daling and opposite Robling and still nearer Namtse. For a distance of forty miles one may behold the monasteries, for we must not forget that here one sees extremely far.
And again before us is the wall to Tibet. And not the backbone of the lizard but the snow-white girdle is outlined upon the peaks of this wall—the girdle of the earth. Let us point the arrow northward—there must be the base of Mount Meru.
28 May 2013 Leave a comment
in BUDDHISM, CULTURE, DHARMA, FREEDOM, HISTORY, HUMANISM, INDIA, KNOWLEDGE, LIFE AND BEING, MIND - THOUGHT & BELIEF, REINCARNATION, RELIGION, SELF, SELF - IMPROVEMENT, TRADITION, TRUTH Tags: Arhat, Buddhism, Gautama Buddha, Jain, Jainism, Sarva Darshan Sangraha, Tirthankara, Vidyaranya
Sarva Darshana Sangraha
Chief Of Sringeri Math and Author Of Panchadasi
14th Century AD.
A compendium of all thought and 16 belief – systems
that men have lived with over extended period, that they chose over others
for obtaining a life and values perspective to guide themselves through …
Chapter III : The Arhat Or Jain Belief System
The Jain way of life was contemporaneous with the rise of Buddhism, after the catastrophic developments about 1900 BC, when the Vedic convictions were seriously in question. Yet, it was Buddhism that took to prominence with the advent of the third Buddha, Siddhartha Gautam. There are 24 Tirthankars, enlightened ones, in Jain tradition; but this particular belief system was widely embraced only with rise of Mahavir, about 1200 years after Gautam Budha.
Jain Arhats or Tirthankars rejects the Buddhist doctrine of momentariness of everything. They say : If there is no permanent soul, then even attaining worldly fruit in life will be impossible; for, without that individual agency to regulate, the action or effort of one person would have its consequences reaped by another. Because there is a permanent soul, we have this conviction, ” I, who previously did the deed, am the person who now reaps its consequences.”
The soul remains constant through the previous and the subsequent period; the discriminating Jain Arhats reject as untenable the doctrine of momentary existence, in which the soul is said to last only an instant and has no continuity from the previous to the subsequent moments. They define existence as “that which possesses an origin, an end, and an [intermediate] duration.” Therefore, the Arhats exhorted, they who seek the summum bonum of being (human) must not accept the doctrine of Buddha, and should rather honour only the Arhat doctrine.
The Arhat’s nature has been thus described by Arhachchandra-suri : “The divine Arhat is the supreme lord, the omniscient one, who has overcome all faults, desire, etc. He is adored by the three worlds, and is the declarer of things as they are.”
But may it not be objected that no such omniscient soul can enter the path of proof, since none of the five affirmative proofs can be found to apply, as has been declared by Tautatita [Bhatta Kumarila] ? The latter says :
1. No omniscient being is seen by the sense here in this world by ourselves or others ; nor is there any part of him seen which might help us as a sign to infer his existence.
2. There is no injunction (vidhi) of scripture which reveals an eternal omniscient one, nor can the meaning of the explanatory passages (arthavada) be applied here.
3. His existence is not declared by those passages which refer to quite other topics ; and it cannot be contained in any emphatic repetitions (anuvada), as it had never been mentioned elsewhere before.
4. An omniscient being who had a beginning can never be the subject of the eternal Veda ; and how can he be established by a man-made and spurious “Veda” ?
5. Do you say that this omniscient one is accepted on his own word ? How can you establish either when they thus both depend on reciprocal support ?
6. If you say, the saying is true because it was uttered by one omniscient, and this proves the Arhat’s existence, how can either point be established without some previously established foundation ?
7. But they who accept a supposed omniscient, on the baseless word of a parviscient, know nothing of the meaning of a real omniscient’s words.
8. And again, if we now could see anything like an omniscient being, we might have a chance of recognising him by the [well-known fourth] proof, comparison (upamana).
The Jains reply as follows : The supposed contradiction of an Arhat s existence, derived from the failure of the five affirmative proofs, is untenable because there are proofs, as inference, etc, which do establish his existence. In fact, any soul will become omniscient when, its natural capacity for grasping all objects remaining the same, the hindrances to such knowledge are removed.
Interestingly, the Jains hold the soul to be a substance and not a person ! They say, “Whatever thing has a natural capacity for knowing any object will, when its hindrances to such knowledge are done away, actually know it, just as the sense of vision cognises form directly when the hindrances of darkness, etc, are removed. Now there is such a soul, which has its hindrances done away, its natural capacity for grasping all things remaining unchanged; therefore there is an omniscient being. Nor is the assertion unestablished that the soul has a natural capacity for grasping all things ; for, otherwise, it could not be maintained that knowledge can be produced by the authoritative injunction of a text * ; nor could there be the knowledge of universal propositions, such as in our favourite argument, ” All things are indeterminate from the very fact of their existence”. Of course, a follower of Nyaya (logic) will grant that universal propositions can be known, though he will dispute the truth of this particular one, because we [Jains] are convinced that there are certain special means to destroy these obstructions, viz. the three ” gems ” of right intuition, etc. By this charm too, all inferior assaults of argument are also countered.
* The teachers of Purva Mimamsa accept that the soul has a natural capacity for grasping all things ; they allow that the knowledge embracing all things can be produced by the discussion of injunctions and prohibitions, as is said by Sankara in his commentary on the Sutras.
But the Naiyayiks (logicians) may interpose, “You talk of the pure intelligence which, after all hindrances are done away, sees all objects, having sense-perception at its height; but this is irrelevant, because there can be no hindrance to the omniscient, as from all eternity he has been always liberated.” We reply that there is no proof of your eternally liberated being. There cannot be an omniscient who is eternally “liberated.” The very fact of his being liberated suggests that, like other liberated persons, he was previously “bound” ; and if the latter is absent, the former must be too, as is seen in the case of the ether.
“But is not this being’s existence definitely proved by his being the maker of that eternal series of effects, the earth, etc ? For, according to the well-known argument, the earth etc must have had a maker because they have the nature of effects, as a jar.” This argument, however, will not hold, because you cannot prove that they have the nature of effects. You cannot establish this premise from the fact of earth being composed of parts, because this supposition falls upon the horns of a dilemma ! Does this “being composed of parts” mean (i) the being in contact with the parts ; (ii) the being in intimate relation to the parts ; (iii) the being produced from parts ; (iv) the being as the substance in intimate relation ; or (v) the being as the object of an idea involving the notion of parts ?
The Jains continue to decimate the logic behind the premise : Not the first, because it would apply too widely, as it would include ether which, though not itself composed of parts, is in contact with the parts of other things ; nor the second, because it would similarly include genus, etc. as this resides in a substance by intimate relation, and yet is itself not composed of parts ; nor the third, because this involves a term ( ” produced ” ) just as much disputed as the one directly in question ; nor the fourth, because its neck is caught in the pillory of the following alternative : Do you mean by your phrase used above that it is to be a substance, and to have something else in intimate relation to itself, or do you mean that it must have intimate relation to something else, in order to be valid for your argument ? If you say the former, it will equally apply to ether, since this is a substance, and has its qualities through intimate relation with other things ; if you say the latter, your new position involves as much dispute as the original point, since you would have to prove the existence of intimate relation in the parts, or the so-called ” intimate causes,” which you mean by ” something else.”
We use these terms in compliance with your terminology ; but, of course, from our point of view, we do not allow such a thing as ” intimate relation,” as there is no proof of its existence. Nor can the fifth alternative be allowed, because this would reach too far. as it would include soul, etc, since soul can be the object of an idea involving the notion of parts, and yet it is acknowledged to be not an effect. Nor can you maintain that the soul may still be indiscerptible in itself but, by reason of its connection with some thing possessing parts, may metaphorically become the object of an idea involving the notion of parts ; because there is a mutual contradiction in the idea of that which has no parts and of that which is all-pervading, just as the atom which is indiscerptible but is not all-pervading.
And, moreover, is there only one maker ? Or, again, is he independent ? In the former case your position will apply too far, as it will extend erroneously to palaces, etc, where we see for ourselves that it is the work of many different men such as carpenters, etc, and, in the second case, if all the world were produced by this one maker, all other agents would be superfluous. As it has been said in the ” Praise of Jina” :
1 ” It is said, there is one eternal maker for the world, all-pervading, independent, and true. But we have none of these inextricable delusions, whose teacher art thou.”
And again :
2 ” There is here no maker acting by his own free will, else his influence would extend to the making of a mat. What would be the use of yourself or all the artisans, if Iswara (God) fabricates the three worlds ? “
Therefore it is right to hold, as we do, that omniscience is produced when the hindrances are removed by the three means we have alluded to. And an objection cannot be be made that ” right intuition,” etc, are impossible, as there is no other teacher to go to, because this universal knowledge can be produced by the inspired works of former omniscient Jinas. We accept an eternal succession of revealed doctrines and omniscient teachers, like the endless series of seed springing from shoot and shoot from seed. So much for this preliminary discussion.
The well-known triad called the three gems as right intuition, etc, are thus described in the Param-agama-sara (which is devoted to the exposition of the doctrines of the Arhats) … ” Right intuition, right knowledge and right conduct are the path of liberation.” This has been thus explained by Yogadeva :
When the meaning of the predicaments, the soul, etc, has been declared by an Arhat in exact accordance with their reality, absolute faith in the teaching, i.e., the entire absence of any contrary idea, is “right intuition.” And to this effect runs the Tattvartha-Sutra, “Faith in the predicaments is right intuition.” Or, as another definition gives it, “Acquiescence in the predicaments declared by a Jina is called right faith ; it is produced either by natural character or by the guru’s instruction.” “Natural character” means the soul’s own nature, independent of another’s teaching; “instruction” is the knowledge produced by the teaching of another in the form of explanation, etc.
” Right knowledge ” is a knowledge of the predicaments, soul, etc, according to their real nature, undisturbed by any illusion or doubt ; as it has been said, “That knowledge, which embraces concisely or in detail the predicaments as they actually are, is called right knowledge by the wise.”
This knowledge is fivefold : mati, sruta, avadhi, manas-paryaya, and kevala; they mean as stated herebelow –
1. Mati … by which one cognises an object through the senses and the mind, all obstructions of knowledge being removed.
2. Sruta … the clear knowledge produced by mati, all the obstructions of knowledge being removed.
3. Avadhi … knowledge of special objects caused by the removal of hindrances, which is effected by ” right intuition,” etc.
4. Manas-paryaya … clear definite knowledge of another’s thoughts, manifest upon removal of all obstructions raised by the veil of envy.
5. Kevala … pure unalloyed knowledge, for the sake of which ascetics practise penance.
6. The first of these (mati) is not self-cognised, the other four are. Thus it has been said –
True knowledge is proof which nothing can contradict, which manifests itself as well as its object ; it is both supersensuous and is itself an object of cognition.
Right conduct is the abstaining from all actions tending to evil courses that have effects constituting the mundane. This has been explained at length by the Arhat : “Right conduct is relinquishing the entire blamable impulses ; this has been subjected to a five-fold division, as the five great vows – ahimsa, sunrita, asteya, brahmacharya, and aparigraka.”
Ahimsa is avoidance of injury to all life, movable or immovable, by any act of thoughtlessness. Kind, salutary and truthful speech is called sunrita. That speech is not truthful which is prejudicial and unkind to others. Not taking what is not given is declared to be asteya.
The vow of brahmacharya (chastity) is eighteen-fold, viz. abandonment of all desires, heavenly or earthly, in thought, word and deed, whether by one’s own action or consent, or by causing another to act. Aparigraha is renouncing of all delusive interest in everything that exists or not ; since bewilderment of thought may arise from a delusive interest even in the unreal.
7. When carried out by the five states of mind in a five-fold order, these great vows produce the eternal abode.
The full account of the five states of mind has been given in the following passage [of which we only quote one sloka] –
” Let him uphold the vow of sunrita uninterruptedly by abstinence from laughter, greed, fear and anger, and by deliberately avoiding speech;” and so forth.
Convergence of these three – right intuition, right knowledge, and right conduct – produce liberation.
Tattvas or predicaments are two : jiva and ajiva. The soul, jiva, is pure intelligence ; the non-soul, ajiva, is pure non-intelligence. Padmanandin has thus said :
” The two highest predicaments are soul and non-soul ; discrimination is the power to discriminate between the two, while pursuing what is to be pursued and rejecting what is to be rejected. The affection, etc, of the agent are to be rejected ; these are objects for the non-discriminating. The supreme light of knowledge alone is to be pursued, which is defined as upayoga.”
Upayoga or “true culmination of the soul’s activity” takes place when vision truly perceives and recognises the soul’s innate nature ; but as long as the soul, by the bond of pradesa and mutual interpenetration of form it produces between the soul and the body, considers itself as identified with its actions and with the body that they produce and form, knowledge may rather be defined as ” the cause of the soul’s cognition of itself being other than these.”
Intelligence (chaitanya) is common to all souls, and is the real nature of the soul viewed as parinata i.e. as it is in itself. But under the influence of upasamakshaya and kshayopasama, the soul appears in its “mixed” form, as possessing both, jiva and ajiva. Or again, by the influence of actions as they arise, it assumes the appearance of foulness, etc.
Hence has it been said by Vachakacharya : ” The aupasamika, the kshayika, and the mixed states are the nature of the soul. So too are the audayika and the parinamika.”
The aupasamika state of the soul arises when all the effects of past actions have ceased, and no new actions arise to affect the future. The Kshayika state arises when there is absolute cessation of actions and their effects, as in final liberation. The “mixed” (misra) state combines both these, as when water is partly pure. The audayika state is when actions arise exerting an inherent influence on the future. The Parinamika state is the soul’s innate condition, as pure intelligence, etc, and disregarding its apparent states. This nature, in one of the above-described varieties, is the character of every soul, whether happy or unhappy.
It is further explained : ” Not different from knowledge and yet not identical with it ; in some way both different and the same ; knowledge is its first and last form ; such is the soul described to be.”
If you say that, ” As difference and identity are mutually exclusive, we must have it as one or the other; that the soul is both is absurd” ; we reply, that there is no evidence to support you when you characterise it as absurd. Only a valid non-perception can thus preclude a suggestion as absurd ; but this is not found in the present case, since (in our opinion, the advocates of the Syad-vada) it is perfectly notorious that all things present a mingled nature of many contradictory attributes.
Others lay down a different set of tattvas from the two mentioned above, jiva and ajiva ; they hold that there are five astikayas or categories : jiva, akasa, dharma, adharma, and pudgala. To all these five we can apply the idea of “existence” (asti), as connected with the three divisions of time, and we can similarly apply the idea of ” body ” (kaya) from their occupying several parts of space.
The jivas (souls) are of two kinds, “mundane” and “released.” The mundane soul reincarnates from birth to birth ; these are again divided into two : those possessing an internal sense (samanaska), and those without it (amanaska). The former possesses the power of apprehension, talking, acting and receiving instruction ; the latter are without this power. These latter are also divided into two, as ” locomotive ” (trasa) or ” immovable ” (sthavara). The “locomotive” are those possessing at least two senses [touch and taste], as shell-fish, worms, etc, and are thus of four kinds : as possessing two, three, four, or five senses. The “immovable” are earth, water, fire, air, and trees. But here a distinction must be made. The dust of the road is properly “earth,” but bricks, etc, are aggregated ” bodies of earth,” and that soul by whom this body is appropriated becomes ” earthen-bodied,” and that soul which will hereafter appropriate it is the “earth-soul.” The same four divisions must also be applied to the others, water, etc. Now the souls which have appropriated or will appropriate the earth, etc, as their bodies, are reckoned as “immovable” ; but earth, etc, and the ” bodies of earth,” etc, are not so reckoned because they are inanimate. These other immovable things, and such as only possess the one sense of touch, are considered as ” released,” since they are incapable of passing into any other state of existence.
Dharma, adharma, and akasa are singular categories [and not generic], and they have not the attribute of ” action,” but they are the causes of a substance’s change of place. Dharma, “merit,” and adharma, “demerit,” are well known. They assist souls in progressing or remaining stationary in the universally extended sky [or ether] characterised by light, and also called Lokakasa; hence the presence of the category “merit” is to be inferred from progress, that of ” demerit ” from frozen station. The effect of akasa is seen when one thing enters into the space previously occupied by another. Pudgala body possesses touch, taste, and colour.
Bodies are of two kinds, atomic and compound. Atoms cannot be enjoyed; the compounds are binary and other combinations. Atoms are produced by separation of these binary and other compounds, while these arise from the conjunction of atoms. Compounds sometimes arise from separation and conjunction combined ; hence they are called pudgalas, because they “fill” (pur), and “dissolve” (gal). Although ” time ” is not properly an astikaya, because it does not occupy many separate parts of space [as mentioned in the definition], still it is a dravya [or tattva], as the definition will hold ; “substance” (dravya) possesses “qualities and action.” Qualities reside in substance but do not themselves possess qualities, as the general qualities, knowledge, etc, of the jiva, and form, etc, of the body, and the power of causing progress, stationariness, and motion into a place previously occupied, in the case respectively of ” merit,” ” demerit,” and akasa.
” Action ” (paryaya) has thus been defined ; the actions of a substance are, as has been said, its existence, its production, its being what it is, its development, its course to the end, as, e.g., in the knowledge of objects, as of a jar, etc, happiness, pain, etc ; in the pudgala, the lump of clay, the jar, etc ; in merit and demerit, the special functions of progress, etc. Thus there are six substances or tattvas [i.e. the five mentioned above and ” time “].
Others add more tattvas … Asrava is described as the movement of the soul called yoga, through its participation in the movement of its various bodies. As a door opening into the water is called asrava, because it causes the stream to descend through it, so this yoga is called asrava because by it, as by a pipe, actions and their consequences flow in upon the soul. Or, as a wet garment collects the dust brought to it from all sides by the wind, so the soul, wet with previous sins, collects, by its manifold points of contact with the body, the actions which are brought to it by yoga. Or as, when water is thrown on a heated lump of iron, the iron absorbs the water altogether, so the jiva, heated by previous sins, receives from all sides the actions which are brought by yoga (mixing of the soul with the body and actions).
Kashaya (” sin,” ” defilement “) is so called because it ” hurts ” the soul by leading it into evil states ; it comprises anger, pride, delusion, and lust. Asrava is two-fold, good or evil. Thus abstaining from doing injury is a good yoga of the body ; speaking what is true, measured and profitable, is a good yoga of the speech. These various subdivisions of asrava have been described at length in several Sutras. ” Asrava is the impulse to action with body, speech, or mind, and it is good or evil as it produces merit or demerit,” etc. Others, however, explain it thus : ” Asrava is the action of the senses which impels the soul towards external objects ; the light of the soul, coming in contact with external objects by means of the senses, forms the knowledge of respective objects or bodies.”
Bandha, ” bondage,” is when the soul, by the influence of “false intuition,” “non-indifference,” ” carelessness,” and “sin”, and also by the force of yoga, assumes various bodies occupying many parts of space, which enter into its own subtile body and which are appropriate to the bond of its previous actions. As has been said : “Through the influence of sin the individual soul assumes bodies suitable to its past actions; this is, bondage.”
The causes of bondage are false intuition, non-indifference, carelessness, and sin.
(a) “False intuition” is twofold, either innate from one’s natural character, as when one disbelieves Jain doctrines due to influence of former evil actions, or by influence of another’s teaching.
(&) ” Non-indifference ” is the non-restraint of the five senses, and the internal organ, from the set of six, earth, etc.
(c) “Carelessness” (pramada) is want of effort to practise the five kinds of samiti, gupti, etc.
(d) ” Sin ” consists of anger, etc. Here we must make the distinction that false intuition, etc, cause those kinds of bondage called sthiti and anubhava; yoga [or asrava] causes kinds called prakriti and pradesa.
” Bondage ” is fourfold, as has been said : ” Prakriti, sthiti, anubhava, and pradesa are its four kinds.”
I. Prakriti means “the natural qualities,” as bitterness or sweetness in the vimba plant or molasses.
2. Sthiti lasts beyond billions of units of time.
3. Anubhava is effect produced in different material bodies caused by our actions ; there exists a special capacity (anubhava) for producing their respective effects.
4. Pradesa is the entrance into the different parts of the soul by the masses, made up of an endless number of parts, of the various bodies which are developed by the consequences of actions.
Samvara is the stopping of asrava by which the influence of past actions (karma) is stopped from entering into the soul. It is divided into gupti, samiti, etc. Gupti is the withdrawal of the soul from that ” impulse ” (yoga) which causes mundane being. It is threefold, as relating to body, speech or mind. Samiti is acting so as to avoid injury to all living beings.
Moksha ( or Nirvana)
Moksha is the attainment with which there is an entire absence of all future actions, as all causes of bondage (false perception, etc) are ceased forever ; and, since all past actions are abolished in the presence of their causes, there arises the absolute release from all actions. As it has been said : “Moksha is the absolute release from all actions through decay (nirjard} of all actuated and potential causes of bondage and mundane being.”
Then the soul rises upward to the end of the world. As a potter’s wheel, whirled by a stick and by hands, moves on even after these have stopped until the impulse is exhausted, so the previous repeated contemplations of the embodied soul for the attainment of moksha exert their influence even after they have ceased and bear the soul onward to the end of the world.
Others hold moksha to be abiding in the highest regions, the soul being absorbed in bliss with its knowledge unhindered and itself untainted by any pain or impression thereof.
” The doctrine of the syad-vada arises from our everywhere, rejecting the idea of the absolute …” If a thing absolutely exists, it exists altogether, always, everywhere and with everybody, and no one at any time or place would ever make an effort to obtain or avoid it. The whole is thus summed up : Four classes of our opponents severally hold the doctrine of existence, non-existence, existence and non-existence successively, and the doctrine that everything is inexplicable (anirvachaniyata) ; three other classes hold one or other of the three first theories combined with the fourth.
Now, when they meet us with the scornful questions, ” Does the thing exist ? ” etc, we have a ready answer, ” It exists in a certain way,” etc. Syad-vada ascertains the entire meaning of all things. Thus said the teacher in the Syadvada-Manjari :
“A thing of an entirely indeterminate nature is the object only of the omniscient ; a thing partly determined is held to be the true object of scientific investigation. When our reasoning based on one point proceed in the revealed way, it is called the revealed Syad-vada, which ascertains the entire meaning of all things.”
” All other systems are full of jealousy from their mutual propositions and counter-propositions ; only the doctrine of the Arhat has no partiality and equally favours all sects.”
The Jaina doctrine has thus been summed up by Jinadatta-suri :
” The hindrances belonging to vigour, enjoyment, sensual pleasure, giving and receiving, sleep, fear, ignorance, aversion, laughter, liking, disliking, love, hatred, want of indifference, desire, sorrow, deceit … these are the eighteen faults (dosha) according to our system. The divine Jina is our Guru, who declares the true knowledge of the tattwas. The path of emancipation consists of knowledge, intuition and conduct. There are two means of proof (pramana) in Syad-vada doctrine – sense-perception and inference. All consists of the eternal and the non-eternal ; there are nine or seven tattwas. The jiva, the ajiva, merit and demerit, asrava, samvara, landha, nirjard, mukti … we will now explain each.
“ Jiva is defined as intelligence ; ajiva is all other than it ; merit means bodies which arise from good actions, demerit the opposite ; asrava is the bondage of actions, nirjard is the unloosing thereof ; moksha arises from destruction of the eight forms of karma or “action.” But by some teachers ” merit ” is included in samvara and ” demerit ” in asrava.
” Of the soul that has attained the four infinite things and is hidden from the world, and whose eight actions are abolished, absolute liberation is declared by Jina. The Swetambaras are the destroyers of all defilement, they live by alms, they pluck out their hair, they practise patience, they avoid all association, and are called Jain Sadhus. The Digambaras pluck out their hair, they carry peacocks tails in their hands, they drink from their hands, and they eat upright in the giver’s house; these are the second class of the Jain Rishis.
“A woman attains not the highest knowledge, she enters not Mukti, so say the Digambaras ; but there is great division on this point between them and the Swetambaras.”
- Matter to Consciousness (vamadevananda.wordpress.com)
18 Apr 2013 Leave a comment
in DHARMA, FREEDOM, HINDU, HINDUISM, HUMANISM, INDIA, KNOWLEDGE, LIFE AND BEING, LOVE, REINCARNATION, RELIGION, TRADITION, TRUTH, VEDANTA Tags: Bhagwad-Gita, Big Bang, Embracing The Diversity, Hinduism, Karma Yoga, Krishna, Monotheism, truth, Unity, World Religions, Yoga
MIND, KARMA AND GUNA – IV
Truth in one’s knowledge
Love in one’s heart
Beauty in one’s eye
Leads to … Perspective …
to raising consciousness right up to the start of Big Bang
and witnessing time and space evolve in form and faculty
What does our readiness to gain the mandate to change or transform mean, and involve ?
Since happiness is the very destination of our quest, we are duty-bound to orient ourselves individually to how it would best serve our own well-being and the common welfare.
Yet how do we proceed, what do we focus on ? Truth-realisation is fundamental to rise of long-scale wisdom, to avoiding that tread on which misery trails our good intentions.
The monotheistic religions have no concern with truth. What they seek is followership, the numbers in submission. Both Christianity and Islam abhor freedom of quest, without acceptance of their tenets that bar such curiosity in the first place, and definitely have no place for the challenging questions.
The Hindu has been fortunate : there is no regulator to pry into or question his individual quest. But the problem of diversity remains before the individual : what and which to pursue ?
In the Vishnu Purana, Lord Vishnu is highly eulogised and a secondary place is given to Lord Shiva. In the Shiva Purana, Lord Shiva is immensely praised whilst Lord Vishnu is assigned a secondary status. In the Devi Bhagavatam, the Divine Mother is given prominence over Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. All this is done in order to create in the aspirant an intense and unswerving faith in his own favourite Deity. It seems to be declaring : there is nothing that is not absolute; pursue precisely what suits you. All Deities are one; they are different aspects of the same truth. It is simply absurd to believe that the anthropomorphic Shiva is inferior to Vishnu, or vice versa.
In another place, He praises Raja Yoga : “The Yogi is thought to be superior to the ascetics and even superior to men of knowledge; he is also superior to men of action. Therefore, be thou a Yogi, O Arjuna!”—VI.46.
In yet another place, Lord Krishna praises the path of Bhakti Yoga : “The highest Purusha, O Arjuna, is attainable by unswerving devotion to Him alone within whom all beings dwell and by whom all this is pervaded!”—VIII.22.
Again, He praises Jnana Yoga : “Noble indeed are all these; but I deem the wise man as My very Self; for, steadfast in mind, he is established in Me alone as the supreme goal”—VII.18.
But this embracing of diversity, primacy to individual nature and proclivity, becomes a cause for conflict to the linear, logical rationality of the thinking person. A beginner is confused when he comes across these seemingly contradictory verses. It is with some contemplation that we realise … Krishna is praising each path to the same Yoga in order to create interest in the aspirant in his own particular path, as it suits. The Gita is a book for the people of the world at large. It was not meant for Arjuna alone. Each Yoga is as efficacious as the other.
Attachment is due to infatuation. It is the offspring of the quality of Rajas. Detachment is born of Sattva. The former is relatively a demoniacal attribute, the latter a divine one. Attachment is born of ignorance, selfishness and passion and brings with it death; detachment is wisdom and brings with it freedom. The practice of detachment is a rigorous discipline. You may stumble like a baby who is just learning to walk, but you will have to rise up again with a cheerful heart. Failures are not stumbling-blocks but stepping stones to success.
Just as coloured dye stands out more clearly only when the original material is pure white, so also the instructions of a sage penetrate and settle down only in the hearts of aspirants whose minds are calm, who have no desire for enjoyments and whose impurities have been destroyed. For this reason an aspirant is expected to possess the qualifications of keen discrimination, dispassion, control of the mind and senses, and aversion to worldly attractions, before he can practise the three-fold Sadhana of hearing the scriptures, reflecting upon them, and meditating upon their significance. Discipline and purification of the mind and the senses are prerequisites for aspirants on the path of Truth-realisation.
Even when the nature of Truth is explained, those who have not been purged of their faults and impurities would either disbelieve or misbelieve it, as was the case with Indra and Virochana. Therefore knowledge, as it is, arises only in him who has purified himself by austerity, either in this life or in a previous birth. The man waiting for his libido to crank up will do just that.
Devils can also quote scriptures, as most people in the West and inspired ones in the East are doing. Unwittingly, they are following the Virochana school. They are evil-doing, deluded and the vilest of men. They cannot understand that there is no truth without freedom and diversity.
May Truth grant them a more subtle and purer intellect !
The highest unity is realised only upon embracing the diversity about us.
17 Apr 2013 Leave a comment
in BEAUTY, BUDDHISM, CELEBRATION, CULTURE, DHARMA, FREEDOM, HIMALAYAS, HINDUISM, HUMANISM, INDIA, JOURNAL, LIFE AND BEING, LOVE, MUSINGS, PEOPLE, PLACES, REINCARNATION, RELIGION, TRADITION, TRUTH Tags: Altai-Himalaya A Travel Diary, Beauty, Conjuration, Divinity, Himalaya, Life, Nicholas Roerich, Sikkim, Simplicity, Tibet, truth
A Travel Diary
[ Published by Claude Bragdon ]
Part VIII : INDIA (1924)
Are the inhabitants of Sikhim poor ?
Where there are no riches there is no poverty. The people are living simply.
Upon the hills, amidst blossoming trees, stand the quiet little houses. Through the colored branches shine the bright stars and glimmer the snow-covered peaks. Here are people carrying their vegetables; here, they pasture their cattle and smile kindly. Here, with fairylike music they walk along the steep paths in wedding processions. Knowing of reincarnation they quietly cremate the bodies. And they are singing. Mark, they are often singing.
Verily, one can sing under a canopy of various flowers and plants. Orchids, like colorful eyes, cling to the trunks of the giant trees. Pink, purple and yellow bouquets are strewn along the way like bright sparks. And these are not simply plants; many have their ancient powers of healing.
Nature awaits here full of gifts. Come hither and be cured. Charura, Parura, Orrura are the three important curative fruits against cough, cold and fever. Charura is like a yellow cherry; Parura like a green chestnut and Orrura like a yellowish-green crab-apple. All three are sharp to the taste and full of tannin. Here is the red bark of Aku Ombo, to cure wounds. Salve against fever is Sergi Phurba, like a dry giant bean. Chuta, the dry bitter root, will cure swelling and heal the throat. Bassack is a brown powder for colds. The red-stemmed Tze produces magenta; bitter Purma is for incenses. A broth from the roots of Berekuro is effective for women’s ailments. The flowers of Dangero heal the stomach, much like the flower of the red rhododendron; while the leaf of Dysro is a disinfectant for wounds. Memshing Pati is a sacred plant in Nepal, where it is used for head ornaments at festivals. Endless are the useful plants…
The leaves of the herb Ava Duti are said “to soften” stones, just as do the “snow-frogs” * in the Himalayas. Therefore, if upon a stone you see the print of an elk’s foot or the paw of an animal, it seems they have eaten or touched this wondrous herb. Turning again to legends : near Phalut, on the road to Kanchenjunga, grows a precious plant, the black aconite. Its flower lights up at night, and by its glow one locates this rare plant. Here again is the trace of the legend of the Russian fire flower, that enchanted blossom which fulfills all wishes— and which leads us not to superstition but to that same source wherein so much still lies concealed.
* Snow-frogs”—a legend which attributes to snow-frogs the ability to soften stones.
Before our gates was found a strange gift. The branches of a fir tree, rhododendron and some other plants were there, with their leaves pointing to our house, and covered with a flat stone. This is a conjuration (Sunnium) and the man who raises this offering receives upon himself all which is sworn upon it, whether of good or evil, sickness or sorrow, or joy. For many days it lay there and even horses shied at it. The same conjuration we observed in the suburb of Jaipur; there in the middle of a street, in a flat basket, lay a lamb’s liver, flowers and three silver rupees. None touched them. These conjurations are of very ancient origin.
Everywhere are legends of the accidental discoveries of sacred spots, the revelation of which was followed by dumbness and even death. Thus it is told that one Shikari (a hunter) in Assam, accidentally wandered into a sacred place and beheld its mysteries, and when he attempted to reveal them he was stricken dumb.
On the shore of the sea is moving a stick. It moves on alone and near the top of it is tied a lighted tinder. Thus do the conjurers of the coast of Malabar invoke their conjurations to burn the house of an enemy. Doctor Jones of Calcutta tried to overtake such a stick but it “walked away” beyond his own pace.
A legend from around Mongolia : “A venerated mother died and her son was desirous that a high lama possessed of exalted powers should perform the services over her. But such a lama could not be found. The son at the moment of death deposited the spirit of the departing one into a sandalwood casket, strongly sealed this sanctuary and himself invited the best lamas from Tibet. The lamas concentrated upon the casket; one of them began to change in countenance, first becoming red, then blue from exertion. Then suddenly the casket burst into splinters before the eyes of all. This lama was able to free the spirit and thus could perform the service.”
The people here know everything; they have heard everything. One can remember and disclose all things in the twilight : of “Nam-Yg” (heavenly letters)—the letters and sacred books which are falling from heaven; of rings of silver or turquoise which change their color as a sign of foreboding and warning; of Si, the stone bead, sent from heaven to guard the health; of the finding of objects which disappear afterward. All this is known.
A woman was very pious and dreamt that she might receive the image of Buddha. Working in the morning amid her flowers she discovered an image and brought it into her shrine. But soon she forgot it and Buddha disappeared from the shrine. Next time the woman found in her garden a whirling sparkling stone and put it into a coffer and forgot it. Then the stone disappeared. Neglect always results in the disappearance of the bestowed happiness.
Do not record the things which can be read in books but those which are related to you in person; for those thoughts are the living ones. Not by the book but by the thought shall you judge life.
Understand the sparks of the primordial bliss.
20 Mar 2013 2 Comments
in DHARMA, HINDUISM, JOURNAL, KNOWLEDGE, LIFE AND BEING, MIND - THOUGHT & BELIEF, REINCARNATION, SELF, SELF - IMPROVEMENT, TRUTH, VEDANTA Tags: Experiential Truth, Mental Space, mind, Philosophy, Raja-Yoga, Sense, Swami Vivekananda
MIND, KARMA AND GUNA – I
What is the mind ? Where is it located ? What is it made of; its warp and woof, so to say ?
Of what does it take on its distinct, individual character ? What is it that determines it ?
I’ve asked a couple of these questions at a time on all social media forums I frequent. Predictably, but surprising nonetheless, there wasn’t a single response, not even a tentative one. The reason however is not difficul;t to fathom : none had spent time exploring it and, therefore, had no idea to contrbute. The most the “gurus” online dish out are generic advisories, dos and dont’s, promises and dreams.
A clear, self-verified knowledge, cutting through the mind’s inscrutability and myths alike, would be more enlightening and useful to every interested individual on the planet. For everybody has a mind in which all one’s experience is sensed, in which all reactive emotions arise with will and thoughts respective to each, and where the wilful ego takes on the colours of the moment. It’s the animal loop within us, largely characterised by auto-inputs from the subconscious.
Of course, we all have the human loop in the mind as well, starting with the triggered or imagined thought but brought over to intellect and conscious memory. It leads us to analyse, comprehend, corelate with facts in memory, conduct further research, form defining ideas, understand, contemplate, and arrive at the truth or fulness that abides. It takes effort, at times much, to direct oneself along this loop, keeping calm all the while and pushing oneself on to that peace where our understanding is complete.
This line of investigation of the mind, which can virtually contain the whole of the universe within it, brooks no presence of God, faith, religion or cleric. It is about the individual and his mind : what is it, how does it work, etc. But before one can take the inquiry any further, the reality of the mind must be acknowledged, as distinct from our material appendages such as limbs and organs. The mind seems virtual in comparison and hence comes to preoccupy few amongst us. Those who are taken up however would vouch that the mind is more real, more fundamental to being human, than the body or its parts !
The inscrutability of the mind is both a cause and a consequence of the complexity involved in our understanding of it, of perception perceiving itself : it is already defined by the very mind we seek to understand. We will need a place apart to stand on before, to paraphrase Archimedes’ famous quote, we can observe the happenings in the mind objectively. It takes a while, usually a long while, before our individual-self becomes free enough to witness the mind-field phenomena.
Once the individual-self graduates to the witness mode, he begins to observe the nature of the mind, its propensities and their root, which Vivekananda best summarises, “As pleasure and pain pass before the soul, they leave upon it different pictures, and the result of these combined impressions is what is called a person’s “character.” If you take the character of any person, it is really but the aggregate of tendencies, the sum total of the bent of the person’s mind. You will find that misery and happiness are equal factors in the formation of that character. Good and evil have an equal share in molding character, and in some instances misery is a greater teacher than happiness.”
Unlike the physical body that grows old and weak and lies forsaken, inanimate, upon its death, the mind has no such limitation of lifetime or ageing. It temporarily ceases to be during our deep sleep state; but it comes back to being with the same structure and architecture, specific tendencies and identities that it held before. It is subject to laws that are of entirely different nature than the ones that prevail in the Material Space. The space in which the individual mind exists is infinitely more subtle, such as to be invisible to the physical eye. The individual self however, being more subtle than the mind, can perceive the latter if it is lead to shed its engagement or preoccupation with gross objects, by cutting asunder the attraction they hold for our respective sense organs – smell taste, sight, hearing and touch.
The Mental Space is the transit buffer between the manifest and unmanifest universe, along both directions : projection and absorption. This domain is available to our awareness, to all beings that have a developed brain and nervous system. The unit mind is trifurcate : Chitta – Feeling and Emotion, powered into action by vitality, in which our animal will arises and most instantly overpowers the individual self; Manas – Thought and Ideas, where doubt and rationality works itself out to the contemplating self; and, Buddhi – Knowledge and Wisdom, where true witness conscious self resides and avails of long-term integration of learning impressed from past experiences in current lifetime.
Hereon, it becomes difficult to chart the inner processes and describe nature of change they each bring about in the very nature of our mind and its consequence upon ourself.
To be continued …
21 Aug 2012 Leave a comment
How exactly do you specify that ? Being Human, that is…
Put aside the biologist telling you of your classification or the scientist detailing the features… What exactly tells that you are a human being, apart from the rest of the animal kind ?
I know it is easy to go frivolous, or quote the millions of texts in the library. But what does it mean to you, that you can vouch for, pointedly ?
What sets me apart is my capacity to know, to engage single-minded in that process of discovery of what I seek to know, one after another, and to be able to tell myself what I do know, its how and why, and share it with others. The knowing leads me everywhere… into the universe, the earth, environment, other beings and things, language, arts, economics, values system, and myself.
The next important capacity is to love other people, not just my own offspring, not just for people’s utility value or until they are useful to me, but precisely because of the lifetime of knowing they represent, and
for the values they embody on account of what they know. In fact, love isn’t just directed towards individuals… it invariably includes the “good,” life and growth, light, greenery, panorama, beauty, truth, honesty, freedom, expression… and much of what the universe itself is.
What else or more, as it is with you ?
* * *
But animals can’t tell themselves what they know or and consciously decide to investigate what they do not know, nor can they share with others what they know or invite co-operation of others at investigating what they do not know… in such precision, complexity and detail as human beings can.
There’s no problem, A. Just an attempt at questioning myself at what I might be taking for granted… that, I am a human being, without really, really knowing what that specially and specifically means.
* * *
If mere being raised by human beings, and being a part of their family, is the criterion… I’m afraid, even dogs and cats can lay a claim to being human.
I’ve never held in hand or dived into the brain 2 connect neurones, or throttle endocrine glands, 2 deal with matters in the mind !
And, to those who continue to primacy to the animal in man … I’ve not known of any animal devising 84 different, well thought out positions to copulate, or prepare thousands of distinct food preparations and still distinguish their flavours enough to write volumes on each !
* * *
*Let me push through one “ridiculous” instance of what it is to be human, of his capacity to know …*
* Is there life after death ? “ What will happen to me after death ?”*
*These questions seem irrelevant while one is alive and doing well for oneself, in a position to power our way through life and the world before us. But then, who is to restrain us from being whimsical or cruel, unjust and uncaring ? It must be ourselves, for the law allows much transgression in ethics and rarely concerns itself with morals. And, scouring through history or looking about us for how resourceful people behave, it is easy to conclude that men are poor, almost disabled, at doing the job of keeping themselves under their own leash.*
*On the other hand, if it were established that there is life after death, that we shall be put to account for our actions in life, the knowledge would have a profound bearing on how we conduct ourselves here and now.*
I believe most humans do not want to believe that this could be a fact and, indeed, fervently hope they would NOT have to live with the “moral” consequences of their intent and deeds on their conscience even after they’ve breathed their last !
But we’ve heard of cries of truth being “outlandish” before !
* * *
Couldn’t disagree with a word of what you said. It’s sickening how they parrot calls for “lasting peace” and cannot have a larger expanse than their family or own body ,,, than their daily dime or a lifetime !
The promised morality and ethics of the rationalist, materialist, and that pitiable bundle of confusion called “relativist” is more a delusion or pious wish, in actual effect. Because morals cannot be derived from the phenomena; they are matters of fact evident to the universal and dilated witness… the truth.
* * *
Truth … *sigh* … is not in what we pick up in the book, what Momma says, what ‘great’ men seem or say, not even in what I feel or think or know … it is first and foremost in what I see and know of *my* self, sans thoughts and meanings… in the way I am, within the body-mind structure, and their sub-structures, the subconscious qualifications and attributes that pre-load me and form and shape my emotions and will, my thoughts and meanings, the knowledge I think I know, and the very idea I have of myself.
It’s only after we’ve covered that distance upto ourself … do we get the perspective of the universal structures, material and mental, and its very cause.
Truth … is NEVER contradicted. One may be superseded by a higher, more fundamental or universal one, but never contradicted.
There may not be a truth in our knowledge to accord with that rigorous definition ! Even gravity gets contradicted by a little sprout … it grows upward !
* * *
Truth is truth for all times… not yours or mine, local or universal ! No, no, there no scorn or smirk I have while I’m releasing the reply… The fact is that there isn’t anybody who can offer something anywhere close to
this rigorous criteria. And, nobody cares, about that poverty… of truth, in truth !
I just saw a response that seemed to equate the truth with crap… God bless.
And, too, I saw A. go on the defense, perhaps because the doubts did creep in. Or, because he did not know what he was espousing from the start !
Yet, that is the only way forward. If one has not inched there, one has been nowhere.
* * *
Cool comebacks …
1) If what you know is changing, then it is not the truth. You need to wait until the changing stops and you are able to say to yourself with certainty that this it … what I now know holds good forever. It does not depend even upon me ! Or, you need to look elsewhere.
2) Truth is not subjective. It is of the subject, but not dependent upon the subject. Whether one knows or not, knows correctly, completely or incorrectly, incompletely … the truth remains, as it ever was and will forever be.
Truth is not understanding, thought, idea or speculation. It is futile, as in it does not make us richer or powerful, nor can it applied technologically.
But it illuminate us and, through that, illuminates all phenomena mental and physical. And that is an infinitely powerful way to be… without fear, want or hurry, without the least sense of inadequacy or incompletion. without any subconscious.
Suppose, I am handed a bolt and asked what is it means. I wouldn’t know a shite except for the description, as it looks and can be metallurgically tested. It’s only when I discover that it is a critical member of an aeroplane, the functions it facilitates, on which hundreds of lives depend … do I get to know what it really means.
So too is the pin hole view : it is a view alright. But what is it of ? I wouldn’t know until I look upon the entire panorama. The whole system view or the universal view, the complete view is absolutely essential, even if I have to understand what a blade of grass means !
That is what truth offers.
* * *
“The Soul is One, not many, as is claimed in common parlance in such terms as : my soul, his very soul, the soul of the man, etc… The same Soul reflects in each ideate impression of the individual self in the Mental Space and vests it with its own separate – I – consciousness.”
“In truth, the Mental universe of the individual self is more real, infinitely more real, than its material one.”
* * *
Maulana Fazlur Rahman Waizi is the imam of Teele Wali Masjid. He is known for his proximity with PWD minister Shivpal
On Friday, after their communal prayer, the Maulana called upon the community to get ready for a bigger war. So, the #Muslim herd rioted, beat up media persons in sympathy with a rioter arrested for Mumbai riots, destroyed vehicles, and left the society in terror !
Is this the form and shape of the “bigger war” Muslim community leaders are preparing for in this country ?
What is it ? Clue : It is a seasonal thing, limited to monsoon months from June to Sept…
A blogpost on this preparation, which I personally dig, might take shape soon.
19 Aug 2012 5 Comments
in BEAUTY, DEATH, FREEDOM, INDIA, JOURNAL, KNOWLEDGE, LIFE AND BEING, LOVE, MIND - THOUGHT & BELIEF, REINCARNATION, RELIGION, SELF, VEDANTA Tags: Atharvaveda, Hinduism, Sanatan Dharma, Vedic Age, Vedic Chant, Vedic Knowledge, Vedic People, Vedic Period
A SMALL SELECTION OF FREELY PARAPHRASED HYMNS … concluded
Source : Hymns of the Atharva Veda [ 1895 ] by Ralph T.H. Griffith
Vedas, Vedic Age and Vedic People : A Brief … concluded
LIFE, DEATH & TRUTH – ( 3 )
Is there life after death ?
“ What will happen to me after death ? ”
Liberation : The First Primordial Delusion
Through Part ( 1 ) https://vamadevananda.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/journal-atharva-veda-part-iii/ and Part ( 2 ) https://vamadevananda.wordpress.com/2012/08/13/journal-atharva-veda-part-iv/ we laid out the “ Model Of Being “ extrapolated from what the Vedic seers discovered in their own self, which every human being at any time can. We posited three Great Spaces instead of just the gross one with material forms. The three Spaces – Material, Mental and Causal – are co-existent and co-incident but have entirely different nature and laws. The Mental was more fundamental than the Material, and Causal more than the Mental.
Every man can observe the living body is preserved by something other than itself – Vitality, which inert and “dead” bodies lack. It is the non-material Vitality that keeps the material body organs operating, diverse health and vigour imparting processes going, and cognitive functions of the nervous system and the brain powered. In human beings, the nervous sytem and developed brain opens across a node into the Mental Space, to which all cognition and feelings are carried by the Vitality. These inputs or stimuli are perceived by the “agent,” the individual self conscious being, the “person” to whom the presentation comes to mean and affect. In reaction, emotions arise, the intensity of which depends upon the how much the input feeling or information means to the individual. Concurrent with the emotion, coursing on vitality in the very body, arises the desire and consequent will that may either prompt animal action, human restraint or rise into the deliberating zone of the mind.
This is what life is – in the mind; how its signs are – of vitality. It is an absolutely different universe from the material one about us in nature, purpose and laws. It is non-material, in Mental Space. Here, the individual living being has its own assigned domain, called the mind. The mind has three parts : Vital, Deliberative and Intellectual. The first is the grossest and most proximate to the brain – nerves node through which the Vitality courses. It is the part that first manifests with the creation of nerves. The Deliberative part is subtler, more free of the gross, that surfaces in the domain with the formation of the brain and becomes available to the individual. The third, the Intellectual part, opens in the presence of the fully developed brain.
Though life is not of the body, senses being outgoing and organs of action being of such value to survival, procreation and sensual gratification, and form being the localised identity to the rest of the universe we find ourselves in, human beings identify themselves with the body, concern themselves with the phenomena in material space, and readily, compulsorily, allow themselves to claimed by it. But, even so, we reserve our deepest bonding, closest and most fulfilling relationships with beings that have access to the mind and its capacities … because we are similarly endowed and it is that which makes us of one species. That we are the body is the first primordial delusion upon human beings.
Liberation : True Knowledge ( I )
This knowledge we perceive and validate within ourselves, of the Three Great Spaces in and of which the entire universe is held, is our own. The beholder of this truth is as differently empowered from how the materialist is as one looking at the entire panorama is from another viewing through a pinhole ! There is impermanence in the material world; objects are endlessly preserved its the mental space.
In continuity with our discovery, we observe that mortality or death is of the nature of loss of material form alone. The cessation of life functions in the body, of directed vitality on which our power to sense and act rests, is “separation” of the tripartite Mind from the body, which its Vital part had preserved and kept alive until then. The “subtle” combination including the individual-ego-self departs with its deepest urges, alongwith the desire flared up at the time when the last breath is expelled. The unit includes its mental impressions, sans name-place-form identities proper to the material space. The lost, immobilised but conscious being separates from the body and is carried on vitality, along with its vital organs and functions, then potential.
Instead of coming to an end, as it happens with the material form, the entire subtle unit remains in mental space, tethered to its source in causal space – the Soul. The attenuated individual self hovers for the duration it takes for it to live through heavenly and hellish emotional consequences of its moral and immoral actions in life as it was, quite as mortals live through their own subconscious impressions in dream. After the “ Karma “ expose is over, the subtle self reincarnates with its morally laden conscience as another body in the material space.
This then is the nature of the Mental space : knowledge. All forms in it are non-material, whether of the individual being, which is but an ideated sense of separately existing self, or of impressed knowledge and empowerment. Its purpose is to preserve the individual self’s journey in truth, both in life and afterlife. It is the indelible realm where the laws of karma are operative and come to fruition, where the acquired learning, impressions and desires of the individual self are safeguarded, for it to take it forward from one opportune lifetime to another. The Mental Space is also the incorruptible school and authentic source of morals, the codes for mental and behavioural conduct essential to spiritual evolution and abiding happiness that humans are eternally advised to uphold in life.
In truth, the Mental universe of the individual self is more real, infinitely more real, than its material one. But the individual self forgets, on account of the mesmerising effects of its physical birth, its several identities in life, multiple opportunities to diverse experiences, and its attachments to objects and beings that please. Though no religion is the original source of codes to moral life, the few which originated in the East have institutionalised them in their belief and practice, and serve to remind men of their essence. Once in a while, a practitioner rises to that origin in the Mental Space and comes back shining in its truth to re-proclaim them in contemporary terms. I know of several in the land of my birth.
The individual self and the tripartite mind never dies of age. Its journey is without a beginning and continues endlessly through the transmigration from one body to another until, in one of its lifetime, it acquires enough memory and truth in its own regard to outgrow the subtle body. Its life then becomes his last; the mind form, its domain in the mental space, detaches from the self for all purposes except as necessary for the physical-spiritual momentum to come to its end upon death of the form. The individual self unifies with the Soul and transmigrates no more !
Liberation : True Knowledge ( 2 )
The Soul is the ever awake witness – consciousness that looks over the individual self in life and oversees its karmic consequences and its transmigration in afterlife. Under its gaze the vitality, alongwith potentials scripted into it, attaches itself with the cosmic knowledge coagulates programmed in another material form. Soon, the individual being is vitalised, identifies with its new body, new parents, family members, places and names, and is launched on its journey in material space through childhood, adult life, old age, to another death !
The Soul is One, not many, as is claimed in common parlance in such terms as : my soul, his very soul, the soul of the man, etc. It is the I-witness-consciousness, free and pure, without the least karmic impression, pervading the Causal Space from which the manifestation of the material and mental universe proceeds, and to which all detached knowledge impressions aggregate. The same Soul reflects in each ideate impression of the individual self in the Mental Space and vests it with its own separate – I – consciousness.
The Soul witnesses the sense of separation in the individual selves with an immense wonder at its untruth, for it is forever filled with its own undifferentiated awareness of being infinite. Some call it God, a nomenclature I might agree with provided it excludes the “ Person ” superimposed on it. Except for the degree of Truth respective to each, the Soul is as much a phenomena of the Causal Space as the individual self is of Mental Space. There is no sense of agency or doership in the Soul. Witnessed in absolute wakefulness, the universe is its dream that instantly comes true.Bliss infinite is its only attribute.
It is not impossible for anybody to validate the truth of these matters of fact, but well nigh. For, it is impossible to be awake during deep sleep ! There are prescribed paths to travel the inner way consciously, laid out in Raja-Yoga. There is not much that can be said in this regard, hence.
Liberation : True Knowledge ( 3 )
One is lodged in the true nature of the Self, sans I or universe, when identity with even the Soul-I-consciousness is cut asunder… The Self is absorbed in itself. It is consciousness pure – unthinkable, indescribable. Or, not even that. There is no word for That.
* * *
( 31 ) A Song Of Harvest
BOOK III : HYMN XXIV
The plants of the earth are rich in milk
And rich in milk is this, my word,
So from that which is rich in milk
I fetch hither a thousandfold more.
I know Him who is rich in milk.
He has made our corn abundant.
The God whose name is Gatherer
Him we invoke
Who dwelleth in his house
And, who sacrifices not.
Let all the five races of mankind
All the five regions of heavens
Bring abundance hither
As the stream brings drift after it rains.
Open the well with a hundred streams
With a thousand streams that exhaust not.
So too, cause this corn of ours to be abundant
With a thousand streams.
Gather up, O Thou with a hundred hands !
Pour forth, O Thou with a thousand hands !
Bring hither abundance
To the corn that is ripe
And to those yet not prepared.
The Gandharvas claim three sheaves.
The lady of the house has four.
We touch thee with the sheaf
That is the most abundant of them all.
O Prajāpati ! Adding and Gathering
Are thy two attendants.
May they bring abundance hither
Abundant wealth that does not exhaust.
( 32 ) On The Means To Obtain Immunity
From Taxation In The Next World
BOOK III : HYMN XXIX
I bring to you freedom from hate
Concord and unanimity.
Love one another
As the cow loves the calf
That she has borne.
One-minded with his mother
Let the son be loyal to his sire.
Let the wife, calm and gentle
Speak words sweet as honey
To her man.
No brother hate his brother
No sister be unkind to sister.
Unanimous, with one intent
Speak ye the words in friendliness.
That you sever not
Nor ever bear hatred for each other
That spell we lay upon your home
A bond of union
For unanimity among the men.
Intelligent, submissive, rest united
Be friendly and kind
Bearing the yoke together.
Come, speaking sweetly
Each one to the other.
I make you of one intent
And of one mind.
Let what you drink be common
Share your food together
With one common bond
I bid you.
Serve Agni. Gather around him
Like the spokes about the chariot nave.
With binding charm, I unite you all.
Obeying one sole leader
Be of one mind.
Even as the Gods, who watch
And guard the ambrosia
May ye be of kind heart
At morn and eve.
( 33 ) A charm to restore virile power
BOOK IV : HYMN IV
Thee, O Plant, which the Gandharva dug up for Varuna
When his virility had decayed …
Thee we dig up, that causest strength.
Ushas (Aurora), Sûrya, (Sun), and this charm of mine;
The bull, Prajâpati (the Lord of creatures)
Shall arouse him with his lusty fire !
This herb shall make thee
So very full of lusty strength
That thou shalt, when thou art excited
Exhale heat, as a thing on fire does !
The fire of the plant
And the essence of the bull
Shall arouse him !
Do thou, O Indra, controller of all bodies
Place the lusty force of men
Into this person !
Thou, O Herb, art the first-born sap of the waters
And of the plants.
Thou, moreover, art the brother of Soma
And the lusty force of the antelope buck !
Now, O Agni, now…
O Savitr, now…
O Goddess Sarasvatî, now…
O Brahmanaspatî, do thou stiffen the penis
And render it as a bow !
I stiffen thy penis, as a bowstring upon the bow.
Embrace thou the women
As the antelope buck mounts the gazelle
With ever unfailing strength !
Bestow upon him, O Indra
The strength of the horse
Of the mule, the goat and the ram…
And the strength of the bull on top.
( 34 ) A Lover’s Sleep-Charm
Book IV : HYMN V
The Bull who hath a thousand horns
Who rises from the sea,
By him, the strong and mighty one
We lull the folk to rest and sleep.
Over the surface of the earth
There breathes no wind
There looks no eye.
Lull all the women
Lull the dogs to sleep…
With Indra as thy friend !
The woman sleeping in the court
Lying without, or stretched on beds
The matrons with their odorous sweets—
These, one and all, we lull to sleep.
Each moving thing have I secured
Have held the eye and held the breath.
Each limb and member have I seized
In the deep darkness of the night.
The man who sits, the man who walks
Whoever stands and clearly sees…
Of these, we close the eyes shut
Even as we close the house shut.
Let the father sleep.
Sleep, o dog.
Let the master of the house sleep.
Let all her kinsmen sleep.
Let all people who are around and about sleep.
With soporific charm, O Sleep
Lull thou all folks to slumber.
Let the rest sleep till break of day
I will remain awake till dawn
Like Indra, free from scathe and harm.
( 35 ) A Parting Traveller’s Address To The Houses Of His Village
BOOK VII : HYMN LX
I, prudent, bring power and a win a treasure for you
With amicable eye that strikes no terror.
I come to these houses with praise and kind thoughts :
Be not afraid of me.
Be glad and joyful.
Let these delightful houses that are rich in power
And are stores of milk
Replete with wealth and standing firm
Become aware of our approach.
These houses we invoke
Whereon the distant exile sets his thought
Wherein dwell many a friendly heart :
Let them be aware of our approach.
Thus I greet ye, of ample wealth
My friends, who enjoy delightful sweets
Be ever free from hunger, free from thirst !
O ye Houses, fear us not !
Kind greetings to the cattle here
Kind greeting to the goats and sheep !
Then, of the food within our homes
Kind greetings to the pleasant drink !
Full of laughter and felicity
Be ever free from hunger, free from thirst !
O ye Houses, fear us not !
Stay here, and come not after me :
Prosper in every form and shape.
With happy fortune will I come
Grow more abundant still
Through me !
( 36 ) Sacrificial Incantation
BOOK VII : HYMN XCVII
As we have elected thee, skilled Hotr
As our sacrifice proceeds today
Come to the firm seat, o most mighty !
Yea, come in firmness
And, knowing the sacrifice
Approach the Soma.
O Indra, the Lord of Bay !
With steeds, princes and with favour
With the portion of Brāhmans
That is destined for God
And with the goodwill of gods
Who merit worship.
O Agni ! O God !
Thou hast brought hither the willing gods
Whom thou now must send
To their own dwelling-place.
O ye, Vasus !
When ye have eaten
And have drunk the sweet juices
Endow this man with precious wealth.
O Gods, who, pleased with me
Have come to my libation !
We have made your seats of easy access.
Bear thou and bring hither your treasures
And, partaking of the rich warm beverage
Mount thou to the heaven.
Go to the sacrifice, O Lord of Sacrifice !
Go to its master !
Go thou to thy birthplace !
Go now, with Svāhā !
O Lord of the Rite !
This is the sacrifice for thee…
Libations charged with vigour
In the hymnal pit. Svāhā!
Vashat ! To paid and yet unpaid oblations.
Ye Gods, who know the way
Find and pursue it !
O Lord of the Mind !
Lay this sacrifice of ours in heaven
Among the Gods.
Svāhā in heaven !
Svāhā on earth !
Svāhā in the space in between !
All Hail ! I have paid offerings to the wind.
( 37 ) An Initiation …
BOOK VII : HYMN CV
Leaving humanity behind
Making the heavenly word thy choice
Address thyself to furthering and guiding the men
With all thy friends.
( 38 ) Benediction On A Warrior
BOOK VII : HYMN CXVIII
Thy vital parts I cover with thine armour :
May Lord Soma clothe thee with immortality !
May Varuna give thee what is more than ample !
And may the gods rejoice
In thy triumph !
* * * Concluded * * *
14 Aug 2012 Leave a comment
Is there life after death ? “ What will happen to me after death ?”These questions seem irrelevant while one is alive and doing well for oneself, in a position to power our way through life and the world before us. But then, who is to restrain us from being whimsical or cruel, unjust and uncaring ? It must be ourselves, for the law allows much in ethics and rarely concerns itself with the moral. And, scouring through history or looking about us for how resourceful people behave, it is easy to conclude that men are poor, almost disabled, at doing the job of keeping themselves under their own leash.On the other hand, if it were established that there is life after death, that we shall be put to account for our actions in life, the knowledge would have a profound bearing on how we conduct ourselves here and now.
The discussion starts here … Journal : Atharva Veda – Part III.
13 Aug 2012 2 Comments
in DEATH, JOURNAL, KNOWLEDGE, LIFE AND BEING, MIND - THOUGHT & BELIEF, REINCARNATION, RELIGION, SELF, SELF - IMPROVEMENT, VEDANTA Tags: Atharvaveda, Ethics, Hinduism, Humanism, Karma, Morals, Philosophy, Rebirth, Sanatan Dharma, Transmigration Of The Soul, Veda, Vedic People, Vedic Period, Vedic Values
A SMALL SELECTION OF FREELY PARAPHRASED HYMNS … contd
Source : Hymns of the Atharva Veda [ 1895 ] by Ralph T.H. Griffith
Vedas, Vedic Age and Vedic People : A Brief … contd
LIFE, DEATH & TRUTH – ( 2 )
Is there life after death ?
“ What will happen to me after death ? ”
Through Part ( 1 ) @ https://vamadevananda.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/journal-atharva-veda-part-iii/ we are laying out a consistent basis for reincarnation and life after death, as a matter of fact and not of speculation or mere belief and faith that the Death – Burial – ‘ Day Of Judgement ‘ process proposed in monotheistic religions demand, which billions of their followers are taught of and abide by, even though the thesis beggars belief, calling on huge imagination and immense leap of faith.
The reasoned “ Model Of Being “ extrapolated from what the Vedic seers discovered in their own self, which every human being at any time can, involved positing three Great Spaces instead of just the gross one with material forms. The Spaces – Material, Mental and Causal – are co-existent and co-incident but have entirely different nature and laws. Every man can observe the living body is preserved by vitality that inert bodies lack. In human beings, with a developed nervous sytem and brain, the body is pervaded and acted upon by the mind, which is absolutely non-material and has a nature entirely other than that of the inert body.
It is so far established that the human being is not just the body with which one is identified during waking hours. That, the brain is not the mind, though certain phenomenal happenings in the mind and brain might be concurrent ; that, we derive all our experiences through and of the body but all experiential phenomena actually takes place and is perceived in the mind.
Humans are mental beings that have a vitality powered physical body to sense and act, experience and learn, think out and know. Even the Vitality behind all manner of cyclic effects is a programmed form of energy, essentially non-material, which enables life forms to digest, respire, recharge, purify and excrete. An effect of the divergent ways, nature and laws particular to matter and mind is evident in transaction analysis The three ego states – child, adult and parent – are nothing more than subconsciously qualified ego-individual-being pervading the mind-body complex while it is awake. The body follows the “thermodynamic direction” of time, from past to present, child to adult to parent… but the respective impressions in the mental space do not age or die, unless consciously dealt with, adequately and in certain completeness ending upon our self.
Mortality, death, loss of form and ultimate disappearance is natural to all bodies in material space, as their normal course. The regular phenomenal effect is inevitable and does not require the slightest human intervention, if we are willing to wait. But what is “Death ?” It is the cessation of life functions in the body… the loss of directed vitality on which our power to sense and act rests, that carries our cognition faculty and our ability to think, know and recall. But is it “cessation” of “directed vitality” or its mere “separation” from the body that it had preserved and kept alive until then ?
We know material forms destruct in time. The forms in mental space however are not subject to the same norm, as can be observed in our direct experience : the knowledge we acquire consciously and clearly when we are younger keeps fresh forever if our brain, the doorway to mental space, is not damaged or atorphied; the subconscious impressions from past arise with the same effect in our present, whether auto-qualifying the unaware ego with urges and compulsions or raising those surreal dreams during which our subconsciously impressed memories are revealed.
We are now in a position to answer the questions :
Is there life after death ?
What will happen to me after death ?
The clear conclusion is that the material body will die and there would no “life” for it as it was before. It will degrade and breakdown into atoms and molecules that will find their use in forming other life or inert forms. But the “subtle” combination including the individual form departs with its deepest urges, alongwith the desire flared up at the time when the last breath is expelled. The subtle being includes its mental impressions, sans name-place-form identities proper to the material space. The immobilised and lost but conscious being separates from the body and is carried on vitality, inclusive of its potential organs and functions. Instead of coming to an end, as it happens with the material body, the entire subtle unit remains in mental space, tethered to its source in causal space – the Soul – and is reincarnated in another body in the material space in due course of time.
The Soul is the ever awake witness – consciousness that oversees the transmigration. Under its gaze the vitality, alongwith potentials scripted into it, attaches itself with the cosmic knowledge coagulates programmed in another material form. Soon, the individual being is vitalised, identifies with its new body, new parents, family members, places and names, and is launched on its journey in material space through childhood, adult life, old age and another death !
* * *
Next Part… a discussion on Moksha – liberation from the transmigration cycle.
To be continued …
* * *
( 23 ) A Benediction At The Election Of A King – BOOK III : HYMN IV
O King ! Shine as the lord
The sole ruler of the people.
For, to thee has come the splendour of kingship
Let all regions of the heavens invite thee.
Here, invite the waiting men
And acknowledge each, as they bow before thee.
O King ! The clansmen have elected thee.
These five celestial regions have elected thee.
Rest thou on high, on top of this power supreme.
Thence, as a mightiest amongst us
Award us all with the treasure of your great deeds.
O King ! The kinsmen shall now invite thee
And thou shall go to meet them.
But with thee shall go Agni, as an active herald.
Let women have your good in their heart
And their sons be friendly, disposed well towards you.
Thou, O Mighty One, shalt receive tributes in abundance.
First the Asvins, Varuna and Mitra…
Then, the Universal Gods and Maruts shall call thee.
Thence, O Mighty One, direct thy thought
To spreading the wealth …
To giving the gifts of your treasure to us all.
Speed to us hither from the farthest distance.
Propitious unto thee be the Earth and Heaven.
Even so hath Varuna, the Lord, asserted…
He himself has called thee : Come thou hither.
Welcome to the tribes of men, O Indra !
O Indra, Varuna deems thou accordant.
To his own place has he called thee
Saying, “Let him adore the Gods.
“Let him guide the clansmen.”
The bounteous paths, O King, all in concert
Have given thee room and comfort
In sundry places and forms.
Let all of these call thee hither
In unison and harmony.
Live thy tenth decade here, O King.
Be a strong and kind ruler.
( 24 ) A Prayer For The New Year – BOOK III : HYMN X
The First Day has dawned.
May Yama be with the cow
With blessings for her to pour forth her milk.
May she be rich in milk
And provide for us through many a coming year.
… she, whom the gods accept with joy
… she, who is the Consort of the Year
Bring abundant happiness to us.
And look upon as representating the Year,
Vouchsafe us children to a long life
And bless us as to enhance our wealth.
Whose light first dawned upon us.
She moves, established in the midst of others.
Great powers and glories are contained within her.
A first-born bride, she conquers all
And bears us children, being her own.
As it made the annual oblation ready.
First Ashtakā ! may we be lords of riches
With able and cultured children
And good men about us.
And is lined with fat :
Accept our oblations, O Jātavedas !
Tame animals of varied form and colour —
May all the seven abide with me contented.
To nourish me and make me prosper.
May the favour of the Gods attend us.
Filled full, O Ladle, fly thou forth.
Completely filled fly back again.
Serving at every sacrifice
Bring food and energy to us.
Thou art its lord and consort.
Vouchsafe long lives for us children.
Bless us to enhance our wealth.
And Lords of the seasons.
Over the year, its parts and groups
Years, Half Years and Months…
I offer to the Lord of all existence
Beings and things.
To their several groups
To Months and Years.
To Dhātar, Vidhātar, Fortune
And to the Lord of all things existing.
We sacrifice and adore the Gods.
Wealthy in kine, may we retire
To rest in our modest homes.
Brought forth her offspring…
The great and glorious Indra.
With him, the Gods subdued their adversaries :
The Lord of Might became the Dasyus’ slayer.
Thou art the daughter of Prajāpati.
Satisfy thou our hearts’ desires.
Accept our sacrifice gladly.
( 25 ) A Blessing On Barley Crops – BOOK IV : HYMN CXLI
Spring high, O Barley
And become much
Through thine own magnificence.
Overflow all storage vessels.
Let the bolt from heaven forbear
From striking thee down.
We call upon the God who heareth us.
Raise thyself up, like heaven on high
And become immeasurable
As the sea.
Let thine out-turns be beyond measure.
Beyong measure be thy gathered heaps.
Exhaustless be the givers of thee
And exhaustless be those
Who eat of thee.
( 26 ) A Blessing On Cattle – BOOK IV : HYMN CXLI
O’ My Good Man !
Vayu collected these cattle for us.
Go thou, find their sustenance
And keep them in Tvashtar’s care :
May Indra bless and comfort them
And Rudra look after them
So that they would surely increase.
And make a pair by marks upon their ears.
This sign the Asvins have impressed :
Let these increase and multiply.
Even as mortal men have done
Do ye, that these may multiply in thousands.
O Asvins ! Now, pray, make the mark.
( 27 ) A Benediction On A Newly Built House – BOOK III : HYMN XII
Here, I fix my firm-set dwelling.
May it overflow with clarified butter.
May it stand in safety.
May we approach thee, O House
With all our people
Good men, free of charms
And dwell within thee.
Stand thou on firm foundation
Wealthy in horses
Rich in kine and gladness
Wealthy in nourishment
Milk and fat that rise up (in sacrifice)
For great felicity and good fortune.
With lofty roofs and full of clean corn.
Let the young calf and the little boy approach thee
And milch-kine stream homeward in the evening.
May Brihaspati, who knows, show the way
And may Indra protect it.
May the moist Maruts sprinkle it with clarified butter
And may King Bhaga make our corn farms laden with grain.
Thou sheltering, kindly Goddess was established by the Gods.
Clad in thy robe of grass, be thou friendly, kindly disposed
And give us wealth, with good men about us.
Strong and shining forth afar, keep off our foes.
O House ! Let not those who dwell within thee suffer.
Let us dwell within thee through a hundred autumns
With all our men and folks in the family.
The calves have come with all the beasts
To drink from this crock hither
Foaming with jars of curdled milk upturned in it.
And pour out the molten butter blent with nectar
Bedewing these thirsty beings with a draught of ambrosia.
May abundance itself guard this dwelling
And fulfill all our hopes and expectations.
That kills all cause of illness and disease
With Agni, the immortal one
Here I enter and make the house my own.
( 28 ) A Merchant’s Prayer For Success In His Business – BOOK III : HYMN XV
I stir and animate, Indra the merchant .
May he approach us and be our guide and leader.
Chasing ill will, wild beast and highway robber
May He who has the power
Give to me the riches I seek.
The paths that go between heaven and earth
May they all rejoice with me
Through these oblations I offer
Of milk and clarified butter
That I may be rich
And make profit by my purchase.
I offer butter and my longing
For strength and conquest.
And, with prayer for strength
I adore this holy hymn
To gain a hundred treasures.
We have trod this distant road.
Favour us in our effort to sell and barter.
Make our merchandise exchange deals profitable.
Accept the twin offerings in our libations
And grant that they be propitious.
Seeking to add more to it…
This very wealth I offer to thee.
May this wealth grow for me, not less.
O Agni, upon this sacrifice
Chase away those that hinder our profit !
Herein, with this libation
May Indra, Savitr and Soma
Prajāpati and Agni give me splendour.
Over our bodies, kine and lives.
As to a stabled horse.
Joying in food, O Agni
And in the growth of our riches
May we, thy servants, never suffer.
( 29 ) A Farmer’s Song And Prayer To Speed The Plough – BOOK III : HYMN XVII
Wise and devoted to the Gods
Skilful men fast bind the ropes to the plough
And lay the yokes on either side.
Sow the seeds in the furrow formed.
Virāj, vouchsafe us while we sense plenty with restraint !
Let the ripe grain come home with drawing of the sickle.
Traces on the oxen
Stilts on the ground hold it right and steady.
Shear out for me a cow, a sheep
Get a rapid driver the cart
And a blooming woman, plump and strong !
May Pūshan guard and cherish her.
May she, well stored with love
Yield lovingly for us
Through each succeeding year.
The men happily follow the oxen.
Suna and Sira ! Pleased with our sacrifice
Make the plants bring abundant produce to this man.
May the plough furrow happily.
Happily be the traces bound.
Happily may the driving – goad ply.
Bedew ye both this earth of ours
Auspicious Sitā, come thou near :
We venerate and worship thee
That thou mayst bless us and bestow prosperity
And bring to us abundant fruits for our efforts.
Let Sitā be bedewed with oil and honey.
Turn thou to us, O Sitā, with the wealth of milk
In vigour and strength
And pouring streams of clarified butter.
( 30 ) A Jealous Wife’s Incantation Against A Rival – BOOK III : HYMN XVIII
From out the earth I dig this Plant and Herb
Of most effectual power
Wherewith one quells the rival wife
And gains the husband for oneself.
Auspicious thou, with expanded leaves !
Drive thou the rival wife away
And make my husband only mine.
But dalliest not thou with this husband of mine.
Far into the most remote distance
We drive the rival wife away.
Aye, mightier than the mighty, indeed.
Let my rival be beneath me
Lower than the lowest dame !
And it is thou who art truly victorious.
And, as victory attends us both
We will subdue the emulating bed-mate.
With the conquering Plant
And laid the Mightiest One beneath thee.
As a cow hastens to her calf
And water on its way
So too will thy spirit speed to me,
01 Aug 2012 9 Comments
A SMALL SELECTION OF FREELY PARAPHRASED HYMNS … contd
Source : Hymns of the Atharva Veda [ 1895 ] by Ralph T.H. Griffith
Vedas, Vedic Age and Vedic People : A Brief … contd
LIFE, DEATH & TRUTH – ( 1 )
Is there life after death ? “ What will happen to me after death ?”
These questions seem irrelevant while one is alive and doing well for oneself, in a position to power our way through life and the world before us. But then, who is to restrain us from being whimsical or cruel, unjust and uncaring ? It must be ourselves, for the law allows much in ethics and rarely concerns itself with the moral. And, scouring through history or looking about us for how resourceful people behave, it is easy to conclude that men are poor, almost disabled, at doing the job of keeping themselves under their own leash.
On the other hand, if it were established that there is life after death, that we shall be put to account for our actions in life, the knowledge would have a profound bearing on how we conduct ourselves here and now. The non-Vedic religions preach that this is the only life after which we shall have to wait in our grave for the day of judgement, when we shall be either sent to hell or heaven, where we shall be forever. There is no second chance for sinners. And, of course, it is the deemed “elders” of the respective religions who declare which of the two we are ! We might never know if the prophesied Day was a fact but the judgement of the clergy on terra firma s real and final.
However such a practice, and the belief behind it, raises serious questions :
What happens to those who perish in a fire, their bodies reduced to ashes ?
Would they escape the Day, the hell if they were sinners or heaven if they’ve been good ?
What happens to those who are cremated, in accord with rites in their belief system ?
There are other cries of the heart to consider, should we care to hear. For instance, if this is the only life we have, why should one be unjustly born in poverty, in extremely cold or hot climes, to parents who are cruel or careless, with one or more disability, and so on ? Some are born rich, some poor, some are healthy, others afflicted, some die at an early age than others; some suffer more than others; and some are naturally more moral and ethical in disposition. Why ? And, why should we love our neighbour or give a damn to compassion or kindness, ethics or morality, so long we do not trespass the law ?
Since, there are no causal explanations from facts we know or from the belief system we subscribe to, we declare that there are no reasons behind such iniquity. What it actually suggests is that there is no rational “field” we can grasp, which we can define and reduce it to mathematical propositions and deductions, that can then present to our view the iniquitous phenomena with all its cause and effect links.
A word about FACTS …
Things might be in books, papers, media, or other people’s minds.
Yet, it is YOU who is central to everything, including facts you are aware of.
Facts are truths of the moment, as it is in your insight and conviction.
Even whether a ‘story’ is complete, or not, is a matter of your perception.
Of course, it depends upon how much details you’ve gone on to acquire and place in your awareness, analysed it and obtained a consistent insight with a critical eye.
The elephant in the room can be known for what it is.
But it takes focus, the opposite of dissipation, and hell of a lot of going through.
We’ve generally lost the motivation for going after facts and the art of going through !
The belief system of the Vedic people does not have the limitations of the material reason of the thinking man. Instead of turning away from the wall it faces, the Vedic mind soars high above it, allowing the concrete obstruction to recede and disappear. It asks : What is that, knowing which all this is known ?
What the Vedic seers observed, proposed and concluded, are as follows :
01 There is a material world out there and this material body we each consider our own. More, the material minded and the materials scientists amongst us believe that the body is all we are; that, the material composition and constituents of the body not only explain everything we are but also define and determine everything we are.
02 But, nothing explains what constitutes the human mind as it is and the mental phenomena it occurs. What is “matter” that forms it ? What is its warp and woof ? We have never had the mind on a platter and experimented with it. Even in captivity, under extreme torture, the mind is able to retain its own non–material world of ideas, images and beliefs. The mind can be free of the body, can assess the body prompts – of hunger, sex, tiredness, etc. – and can overrule them. And, the exclusively material model does not explain our own being, the “person” we are. What is the “ I “ formed of and what constitutes the variety, extent and strength of “ideas, knowledge, values and convictions” we each are vested and vest ourselves with, when the body and its constituents are largely similar ?
03 Hence, the Vedic model conceives of different spaces, one subtler than the previous, somewhat similar to the arrangement we have in the material universe as well : solid, liquid, gas. They regard the material space as gross and derived from the subtle mental space, which pervades the material one, in the manner water pervades sand. The mental space in turn is more gross and derived from the more subtle causal space, which pervades both the mental and material spaces.
The three “Great Spaces” – material, mental and causal – are concomitant, co-existent and co-incident. one into the other, having entirely different natures and laws, and characterised with transformation of consciousness from its completely awake, witness nature in the causal space to fully asleep or dead forms in the material expanse.
During manifestation from “vanilla” space, which is commonly referred to as pure consciousness, the first projection is of causal space, followed by the mental, and that by the material. During dissolution, the order is reversed : first material, then mental and, lastly, causal.
04 Question : Since the three spaces co-exist, why are the causal and mental spaces not visible to us or not available for scientific observation and study ?
Answer : That is what their relative subtlety of nature and law dictates. An animal being identified with a material body, is an entity of the grossest space, having a nature in common with the material phenomena. It is hence claimed and bound by its laws, which forecloses access to the mental or causal universe. Its witnessing faculty are directed outwards, to observe and study matters respective to the material space alone. All its knowledge is in its instincts that naturally issue as its two principal drives – survival and perpetuation of its species.
Human beings have the same animal nature. But, over and above that, they can sense their experience and think about it. They can even sense and think about their own “ self.”
So, how do we validate the Vedic model ? Answer : by sheer observation, experience, understanding and insight.
Rocks do not sense, have no experience.
They also do not have a nourishing system.
Trees have a nourishing system. They can sense…
the need for chlorophyl, the presence and direction of sunrays, even music.
Snails have a nourishing system and the simplest of nerves.
They can sense and direct themselves along the motor drive.
Vertebrates have both : a developed nourishing system and a developed nervous system. But what marks them out is the brain. Higher vertebrates have developed brains and, among them, humans have the most developed brain than any species on the planet.
Validation of Vedic truths in our experience and direct perception starts with an appreciation of the fallacy behind the materialist assertion that ‘ the Brain is the Mind.’ The reason given is that if the brain is not working, damaged or dead, there is no mind. Besides, it is suggested that the presence of hormones in the body-mind complex determines the nature of the mind, because a strong correlation between the two has been observed. Let’s take up the second assertion first :
Suppose, the hormones in the body are found to co-exist with say, anger, a state of mind. How do we conclude that, therefore, mind is part of the body phenomena ? The individual mind is a form in the mental space in which anger is experienced. That experience is accompanied with presence of certain hormones in the brain. It is still possible for the mind to launch an anger management process and successfully quell it.
The ground for concluding that the brain is the mind, because the mind is damaged when the brain is or the mind is absent when the brain is cut-off or dead, is ludicrous. By that logic, the world is the eye because the damaged eye damages the world in our view and an absent eye makes the world disappear !
The fact is that every sense and all experiences take place in the mind, in the mental space. Inert matter, without life sustaining structure and processes, are not an individual being privy to happenings in the mental space, and are hence without the sense and experience we associate with individual consciousness.
Which is not to say that matter are anything apart from consciousness or are not pervaded by the causal and mental spaces. All the physical facts and laws which science has discovered, of energy and forces, potential and processes, of which matter from Higgs-Boson to heavenly bodies and terrestrial forms have come to be… all of these facts, laws and processes are nothing but knowledge, formed of consciousness.
There is no need to admit a Creator, posit a God outside of the Creation, in order to accept the nature of things as it is. All material bodies are formed of physical facts, and life forms of biological facts, which are nothing but knowledge coagulates formed in cosmic mind, in mental space, that are in turn derived from more fundamental knowledge forms arising as the universal cause, in the causal space.
But it took a human being to notice the truth he discovered of himself, and extrapolate the understanding that an individual life form is a node at which the mental space form – the mind – connects with the material body, of the gross space. As noted in our bulleted brief above, the higher vertebrates actually have “experience” proper and a sense of themselves and their environment, which are forms exclusively of the mental space. It is as if a developed nervous system opens an entrance for the “conscious” mind to flow into the body and pervade it. And, when headed by a fully evolved brain, the “conscious” individual self can actually climb up the nerves-brain ladder to enter its mind, the domain allotted to it in the mental space, to observe its experience, its body and the environment, and reflect upon them.
We think in the mind when we are awake and have the sense of the body and the environment. We dream in the mental space when we are no longer fettered by the limitations of the body or by fixations in the environment. The body is kept alive by vitality that conjoins the mind to the body. Our vitality is affected by the actions of the body, by what it eats and drinks, and by the actions in the mind as well, in how it thinks and what it knows. But its survival processes are automated and it is programmed to power the sexual drive for perpetuation of the species, in accord with cosmic knowledge coagulates in the living cells and largely independent of interventions by either the body or the mind.
One instance of Vedic truth, in apparent contrast to the scientific view, is in its detailing of the process of perception and cognition, essentially a mental phenomenon. It suggests that an object is not perceived merely because light rays reflected off it strike our retina and the image conjured travels to the brain, where it is interpreted. This is the material part of the process that is essential but not sufficient, as it proves in our experience. The mental part involves an “issuing out” of the mind through the eye organ to envelope the object in view and comparing the gathered features and attributes with the knowledge impressed in the mind from before, to finally determine the certain understanding of the object. It explains why, when absorbed in the mind, we do not perceive the object even though it is in full view; and, why a baby that has never known a cow will not perceive it as such.
It has been emphasised that every experience from without is fetched through the sense organs by vitality, which conjoins the material and the mental space, and is felt in the part of the mind most proximate to the overlap zone where vitality reigns. The feeling causes a sub-conscious reaction at first, in the form of an emotion happy or unhappy, depending upon whether the feeling is welcome or not. Concurrently, the vitalised mind throws up a will to act, to possess and indulge or to avoid and eliminate, as it serves our desire. Since action brings its consequence, an intelligent being subjects the “will to act” to some thinking and analysis in the light of awareness of the present environment and knowledge impressed from hearsay or its own experience in the past.
Most human beings are materialists, no matter how wholly subscribed we are to our religion or how high a degree we acquire in secular sciences or arts. We are the same thinking, reactive entities, propelled on impressions from our past even when we seem to be leading matters about our present. Every one these forming and self-qualifying impressions, inadequately dealt with in the gray haze of semi-consciousness when they occured, are very neatly stored in the mind-stuff, deep within the overlap zone between the mind and the body, well covered with the unceasing flow of vitality and far away from the view of mind-body being we are during our wakeful hours. What preoccupies us are a whole range of quest driven by our desires for survival, security, sensual and sexual experience, our sense of incompletion and inadequacy, our relationship with other objects, beings, persons and our self.
To Be Continued … alongwith the next installment of selections from Atharva Veda.
Journal : June 09, 2012 : Musings … Knut Hamsun, India, Fairness, Past Life, Nietzsche, Being, EU, Culinary …
09 Jun 2012 1 Comment
#WhoAreWe : We are humans. We are Hindus.
We connect as one, if not as other. Let’s live the truth.
Twitter does what it is meant to do. Fishes don’t climb trees.
Your observation is important. But action is exclusively upto You and I. If you wud lead, I would follow. Shall we meet ?
#What Is Fair : The immoral and motivated amoral – journalists, economists, near sighted smarts and businessmen – counter with : What is Fair ? It’s relative…
Well, dimwits and intellectual dullards, if we keep out those national policy making asses in the govt or parliament, it isn’t very difficult.
“Most of the corrupt and debauch, violent and mean… who’ve robbed the people’s exchequer and subverted their aspirational institutions… they all are very religious people, who duly prostrate before the Divine Will, and even share their spoils with Him/Her/It !
Dullards wrongly associate Nietzsche’s attempt to raise Moral Supermen with the Nazis. We each must endeavour…”
My point isn’t whether it advocates or not. It is that religion or Divine Will just doesn’t work with most people, empirically speaking. And, I’m afraid, it never will for most people. That’s how we are as a population mix.
As far as outcomes go, we’d be better off with having the Factory rule : The Gate closes at 9.30 AM. Late hours will be recorded and suitably penalised against. We know your personal situation and disabilities make it hard… But tough luck… It’s 9.30 or penalty. Please comply.
Why do YOU have to start at all ?
( If someone finds it all meaningless…)
Those who look without dream, and are hopeful or paralysed as each might be in a dream.
And through all this, we all will wake up one day… into our within.
|“Little birds have been calling… It’s impossible that they have any other being behind their existence than the one behind mine ! #Truth”|
“No, #Plants do not think, I believe. But they feel, which impels them to affect themselves, for better or worse.
They r an individual being.”
I can ask the questions because I am an Ordinary Man ! I am no partyman of any hue. #voxpopuli
#EU … “more integration” sounds innocuous. It’s when u translate as “more austerity, more policy diktats” that it bcums Herculean !
Freedom to choose is most characteristic of the #Sanatan way.
There is no Pope, priest, swami, guru… to impose upon you. U learn…evolve.
Suggestive Data on Guardian says Self – Published books on romance sell 170% more… and that one must obtain feedback from a whole array of people in order to improve the saleability of the work !
So what do we do : write what we want or write what would sell ?
Disenchanted with corruption that modernity brings in its wake, especially democracy, Knut Hamsen, the condemned Norwegian author, voted for change that will arrest the seeming downslide and erosion of values. He supported the Nazis, without being aware of what they were doing elsewhere. The country banded him a “traitor !”
But Knut was not alone among Norwegians to welcome the efficient and organised Germans. I would have disagreed with Knot… would have worked to oppose his beliefs… but traitor ? No… Hell, I loved the books he had authored. Still do.
My own work … is going at monkey pace. A few leaps, more distractions, and long suspension.
My past life diagnosis :
I don’t know how I feel about it, but I was a female in my last earthly incarnation.
I was born somewhere in modern Central India around the year 875 AD.
My profession was that of a philosopher and thinker.
My brief psychological profile in past life :
Timid, constrained, quiet person.
I had creative talents, which waited until this life to be liberated.
Sometimes my environment considered me as “strange.”
The lesson that my last past life brought to my present incarnation :
My main task is to make the world more beautiful.
Physical and spiritual deserts are just waiting for my touch.
So, I keep smiling !
Now, do I remember ?
See you, next !