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

In Vedic Yoga perspective, there is this world that includes the man and a world that man includes, behind which apparent existential phenomena, even behind the self which sways with external haps and internal waves, is the unseen subtlemost phenomenal origins of existence : its karma repository, the substratum, its ignorance and truth value, the Nescience and the Godhead. All of these we have considered in our discussion through this series, up until the last part, along with brief overview of paths of our retreat into the unseen and the processes involved thereon.

       In sum, we conclude :

I … Men are free to choose and act but are not free of its consequence, inexorable and real but unseen. The only real freedom one discovers is through releasing the self from its associate karma repository and unburdening it of its adjunct definitions by a name, form and nature which, shockingly, only serve to remove our self from its own truth value.

That ignorance limits our being and orients us to things finite and transient, for experiences that merely pass away and leave us the same hungry and dissatisfied, indulging with satisfaction like crunching on grains of sand, and ever expectant of something else, something more or less.

II … Death has subtexts in our gross and subtle domains that are inconsistent and contradictory. It signifies an end, absolute disappearence of the material body but is without meaning, and is inapplicable, to unseen being. Prana, like energy, is indestructible, as are all things non material : mind, karma, intellect and substratum. 

Ignorance, of the individual self, is an absence of true knowledge; hence, as darkness cannot co-exist with light, ignorance is automatically non existent in the presence of true knowledge of the self. Nescience, on the other hand, co-exists with true knowledge of being, which the Godhead is never without. Hence, Nescience remains as potential, the ultimate unmanifest, with Consciousness Pure. Nescience is true, ignorance is not.

Biological death is absence of the self, which lends consciousness to functioning domains within the body, which form then passes into non existence, being reduced to more fundamental material forms and non material energy.

III … In Vedic Yoga perspective, rebirth and reincarnation of the yet unawakened self is essential corollary to its indestructability, alongwith its moored extension in subtle domains : prana, mind, intellect, karma repository and the substratum.

Each of these moorings are a part of the conditioning package of the ignorant self. As explained, there are paths proper to transcend the subtle domains, not kill, that very broadly involve deep yearning for the Godhead, constant practice of specified values, following a way of life in accord with laid steps, and renunciation of all objects of attachment, gross or subtle, that cloud the memory of being consciousness pure.

Until the self uproots itself from its conditioning, packaged of its own ignorance, it must attach itself to an embryonic form and be reborn into another body, another life with freedom to choose and opportunities to act, and continue with being summed up in karmic impressions from before.

At its next interim end, when its body will lie dead, the self will either have furthered along the evolution scale towards the Godhead or regressed, or transcended entire to attain its identity with memory of being the Consciousness Pure. What it does, and how, is the exclusive business of the self but there is no doubt about what it should : merge, experience and identify with the Godhead. “There is no other way,” the Vedas declare.

IV … Apart from emphasising the contrary nature of respective “stuff” that constitute the self and the non-self adjunct, immortal consciousness and dead matter gross and subtle, the Vedic Yoga perspective offer three helpful insights into the being of man : five sheaths, three great spaces and the three states of being.

The first sheath, farthest from the self, is that of the body that is made or constituted of food. It covers the second sheath, vitality, which is the first subtle extension of the self that flows into and pervades the body. The third sheath is that of mind — outer, that conects with vitality, emotes and wills; middle, where the self doubts and thinks; and, the inner, the intellect, where he knows, which is also the fourth sheath of the self. And fifth is the bliss sheath, where egoism meets its subsuming singularity in its own substratum, the causal or memory ground of consciousness that holds the karma repository and individuation program with constant survival and perpetuation drives and fundamental yearnings to love and be loved. 

The three great spaces are material, mental and causal. The material space is the one in which gross objects exist : bodies big and small, live and inert. It is marked by finitude, limitations, inviolable natural laws, and death.

The mental space extends over a range, between unexamined will and perceived knowledge, with karmic flow into vitality and the outer mind and knowledge flow into the karma repository. Here, the primary law is one of karma, with the force of endlessly streaming, rapidly mutating forms of ignorance, on one part, and the stilling, illumining power of knowledge, on the other. The two meet in the middle mind, offering at once in their wake certain bondage of the self and sure opportunities for freedom of the self, respectively. Nothing ever dies or ends; they can only be transcended with self effort.

The causal space is forever veiled to the individual self. It is virtually an unsurmountable singularity barrier that can be accessed through only upon conscious shedding of individuality, which tantamounts to existential death of the personal self.

It is the rarest of rare aspirant who gathers enough strength and capacity through following the practices of its chosen path, with renunciation of fruits or accruing powers, to win against the survival program embedded in individual being and achieve the breakthrough, filling the self with the memory of it being the Consciousness Pure. It is then difficult to say if the self will remember its former being as an individual, for it is without the means that would enable such memory, and return to reoccupy the body since abandoned. If at all one does, it would be directly facilitated by Nescience, the Great Mother of the universe.

V … Seamless knowledge of the three states of individual being is of huge spiritual value and a crucial milestone in Vedic Yoga perspective. It is an important realisation to know that the self never stops witnessing being through its wakeful, dream and deep sleep states.

The wakeful state underscores the power of gross objects, people and things, over the five sense organs of the individual self : sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell. The interfacing organs transmit inputs that stimulate or excite vitality, drawing the mind and the self to felt or perceived object. The entire aligning of individual being, and the concerted play, constitutes the habitual object orientation of the self. 

The dream state is primarily a glimpse through impressed memory of past experience, with gross or subtle objects, in present or previous incarnations of the self. Though a projection in its subtle domain, a dream is also a creation by the self — there is no other being than the individual self — in subtle terms. And though constituted of subtle content, the objects created in the dream are experienced as real to the dreaming self, while the dream lasts. The whole experience is like reading a book about oneself including happenings from one’s forgotten past, matters not dealt with consciously enough when they happened, and experience with objects one is more attached to or revulsed by, more afraid of, one loves more and is more pleased by.

While deep asleep, the individual self turns away from every one of its domains, gross and subtle, and identifies with Nescience, the universal vitality adjunct, which keeps the body functioning. Without the light of consciousness of the self, all other domains right upto egoism are enveloped in dark and are rendered inactive. But the witness nature of the self remains uninterrupted. It experiences undifferentiated bliss, with which memory one wakes up to say, “I slept blissfully and was not aware of a thing.”

Commonly, it is relatively easiest to attain the witness mode in wakeful state, when the domain effects line up to reveal the habitual object orientation of the individual self. In dream state, objectivity is realised when awareness issues from the dreamer of the dream, projecting the dream out of its own lucidity and feeling the dream experience on behalf of people and animals in the dream, including the entityhood of inert objects in the dream.

Witness awareness is hardest to realise in deep sleep state. Usually, it first occurs as memory of awareness in the state while one is entering or just coming out of deep sleep. The knowledge then matures with repeat experience, as it happens, and conviction of passive witness awareness in deep sleep deepens. The dawn of seamless knowledge of being, through the three states, is major milestone whereupon the the individual self easily retains witness consciousness, with reversed orientation, across all the three states, enroute to total transcendence from its individuality and its domains.

*

This brings to the end of this part and, as of now, completes the series on Vedic Yoga perspective.

AUM !

May we be protected (both the teacher and the pupil).

May we be nourished (with that same spring of true knowledge).

May we together work with vigour (to purify our being adjuncts for true knowledge of the self to reflect).

May our study enlighten (us with true knowledge of being), and not give rise to mutual hostility.

AUM !

Peace (be upon our gross being).

Peace (be upon our subtle being).

Peace (be upon our causal being).

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

The journey back to Godhead discussed in the previous part does not automatically happen in the course of life mundane, ever. There is no cause in the world, no phenomenal experience that, of itself, will trigger reversal of the object orientation of the individual self. On the other hand, the causal roots of individual being and its orientation are diverse and many, fathomless and deep, and inscrutably embedded at its source.

Karma eases the hold of attachments (or revulsions) a person has for objects in his world : people and things, what they mean to him and yield to his joy and pleasure or fear and pain. That easing of its bondage is in effect a slowing of the speed and intensity with which the individual self is preoccupied, overwhelmed and taken over, and reoccupied with its transactional associations in the mundane. Delinking of thought and concern from the result, except through the period when one exerts the goal focused effort, spells freedom : the effect affords time to the individual self to remain unoccupied, engage non transactionally, or study and reflect. While it prepares the domain bound self for its reorientation, which is still just a theoretical possibility at this stage, the taste of enhanced freedom and unburdened being gives a filip to its contrarian desire to turn away from its preoccupying world and weaken the engaging force of this hunger-satisfaction-dissatisfaction routine. The need for turnaround deepens and becomes a serious work in progress. But the seed of what to turn to, in which direction, remains undefined.

The secular nature of karma intervention by the individual self, to invest wholly in the effort and free itself of any attachment to the result, fruit or consequence, is only apparent. There is no secular, worldly cause for the individual to intervene thus except through the appeal we encounter in Vedic texts, heard or read. There are sayings in the Upanishads, the Gita speaks of it, and people have traditionally followed the advisory but not without heeding the exhortation to remember the Creator or keep the Godhead in mind.

On this Karma prepared ground, the three other comprehensive disciplines contribute with respective chart of their independent paths, to complete the turnaround and head toward the Godhead. Of the three, we were introduced to RajaYoga in the previous part.

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The respective goals of Yoga (Patanjal), Bhakti (Love and Devotion) and Gyana (Knowledge of the True nature of the Self) are : to experience, merge in, and identify with the Godhead. However, the eternal epiphany of the self identified with the Godhead is an integral one, in which all three explicit goals at once concur.

This all subsuming destiny is not only the common goal of all three paths but of every speck in creation and all life everywhere. The projection of the universe, consequent to the Nescient dream adjunct in which the true nature of Consciousness Pure reflects, must end in its absolute withdrawal when the dream ends. All material adjuncts gross and subtle, stellar and terrestrial, of living and inert beings, will revert to Nesceience and disappear without a trace. All individual selves will be one with the Godhead as it sheds the memory, of being Consciousness Pure, for the real thing it ever is.

There is an overarching sattva nature already upon individuals who resolve to turnaround and reorient themselves towards the Godhead in right earnest. But their predominant natures are not lost and continue to manifest in individual’s aptitude and inclined preference for the path best suited to it. Hence the three options corresponding to Sattva (Knowledge), Rajas (Devotion) and Tamas (Yoga) natures of the individual self. It must be remembered however that none of these natures would fructify into spiritual fullness without the overarching sattva that arises of love for freedom of one’s self and the individual’s firm resolve to choose such freedom over material fruits of its efforts, again and again. The three paths to raise the self to the Godhead are distinct.

Yoga is a rigorous science and demands a temper to constantly observe, review, repeat and determine facts pertaining to experience of the self, factors external to self that affect it, and wakefulness to pare being of all adjunct desires and drives, relatedness and relationship, bounds of form (or body), spatial limitations of insight, and this preoccupying transience amove in perception that binds awareness to time. The primary objective is not research, though inevitable, but the search for that stillness where all motion in body and mind comes to absolute stop, purified of all memory and identity supports, leaving the self aware of itself as it is.

Bhakti is the path through love and devotion of the self to name and form, and apparent presence and deeds of the Godhead, diversely described and profusely narrated in Vedic scriptures. Visits to temples, as terrestrial abodes of Godhead, and to locations considered hallowed and sacred are prescribed must-do for those who choose to pursue this way. Motion of the body and mind is not explicitly barred but subsumed in service to the deity, making single minded, unshakeable attachment for the Godhead sine qua non to being itself in one’s each breath, step, act, speech, thought, and leisure. Love for God, for his name, form and deed alone is necessary and sufficient to progress on the path, not reason or logical consistency or witness consciousness. It is enough to live in God, for God and by God. The duality of being, as self and God, is necessary, needed and permanent in the belief system associated with the way.

Gyana, the way through reason and knowledge, is not concerned with experienced stillness of mind or acts of devotion. There is a single question seeded in discrimination : is the nature of thing in perception self or non-self ? It methodically denies in perception to sweep it clean, at times brutally, of all substances within and without that are not essential to or a constituent of the self. Not this, not this, is the constant echo in mind for all objects, gross thing or subtle substance, taken one by one into one’s inquiry. No matter, not the body, not the vitality, not the mind, not the intellect, and not even the egoism, so the chain proceeds in witness consciousness. Its only positive affirmation is for Consciousness Pure, which alone proves true and hence real till the very end; and for the eternally reasoned realisation : “I am That;” “That Thou Art;” “All This is That;” and “That is Existence, Knowledge, Bliss Infinite.”

As stated however, the distinctive nature of the three paths blur and overlap, or relate as primary and secondary, once the aspirant, devotee or seeker progresses along its respective path. Peace and calm, and stillness, becomes a need to all three, as does wakefulness and love of being. And despite the warring, especially between votaries of Bhakti and Gyana, the destined end of each path also terminates their separation in essence.

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Philosophically, Vedic perspective has a third belief system between dualism and absolute monism : qualified monism. Between the individual self and God, as eternal entity kinds, qualified monism holds that all this in the universe is the body of God. Though the self of the individual and God are of same nature, being Consciousness Pure, but their adjuncts differ in extension, their attributes that yield powers, and their ignorance.

The last — ignorance — is especially defining of the individual self : it is immersed deep in ignorance characterised by transient identity with name and form and false associations with non-self objects and derivatives. The individual is entangled in inescapable karma web that prompts choices and actions which reinforce its identity and associations and strengthen the binding web of karma. As a result, its adjunct does not truly reflect the individual self and the latter is therefore without the knowledge of its true nature.

The adjunct of God, Nescience, is free of taint, of karma repository, identity and association, and reflects the true nature of the Self enrapt memory of being Consciousness Pure which, despite the endless extension manifest and its omnipowers, retains the memory of being nothing other than Consciousness Pure.

The one Godhead is the witness pure peering through the intellect domain of individual being, the bliss infinite spread within the substratum, on which the individual self rests during its deep sleep state. It is the consciousness that coagulates or knowledge that forms in the mind. It is the energy present in food and the impulse flowing in vitality. It sits functioning in sense organs and is the cosmic knowledge, of which the elements form life, the body and its organs are formed and programmed to serve.

*

The entire creation, it is recalled, is a consequence of the momentary dream holding the Self encapsulated consciousness of the memory of being the one and only Consciousness Pure.

We will take up next the nature of the three states of being, individual and cosmic.

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The excerpt below about Consciousness Pure is not eulogical but a patient attempt to point at it :

Know that alone as Brahman which cannot be expressed by speech but by which speech is expressed, and not that which people here worship.

Know that alone as Brahman  which cannot be apprehended by mind but by which, they say, the mind is apprehended, and not that which people here worship.

Know that alone as Brahman which cannot be perceived by the eye but by which the eye is perceived, and not that which people here worship. images

 

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

The seventh part of this series spoke of life and liberation of the individual self when it rises out of its inertia, exhausts itself of its vital drives and steers itself on the path of dharma, in its world, and reorients itself towards the Truth Value in its own origin : Bliss Infinite and Witness Consciousness Pure. The nature of liberation, in the context of individual self, is to transcend the ignorance and karma repository associated with its adjunct that inscrutably veil its truth.

Its a long haul, during which the self must discover those myriad pins that attach it to its own spiritual ignorance, loosening them at first one by one, and pulling them all out together for its liberation absolute.

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Yet, no matter how intense the urgency, one can only start from where one personally is on the evolution scale. There is an invisible circular cause-and-effect hard link between the individual karma repository and its compulsive object orientation, qualified by tamas (dark), rajas (desiring) and sattva (light) natures, evident in the senses, vital surges of attachment, mental preoccupations and irresistible inclinations of the self. The two, karma repository and individual compulsions, feed off each other, fattening one and intensifying the other with each exercise of choice of the slave and every cave-in act that reinforces the individual’s identity in its abject object relatedness. That is where the breakthrough must happen.

Very broadly, in the conclusive perception of yours truly, the four Vedas engage the individual self by its identity subtexts in the body, vitality, mind and intellect, the Substratum and the Godhead.

The RigVeda meditatively draws the self, mind and intellect to one or other cosmic form or presence self-evident to the senses and the mind, in truth, and engage the body and vitality to self effacing prayers or self gathering rites.

The SamaVeda hymns are sung, engaging the vitality, mind and the senses to self created notes and suggested metres, subsuming the spirit in the fullness of sounds harmonised within while the self frees itself through trial and perfection and soars expansively to universal domains, where the bliss of the Godhead is translucently sensed.

The YajurVeda engages the mind, vitality and body combine to manifest divinity in plants and trees, their relatedness to the body and mind, and the self within. It leads the practitioner to replicating the cosmic presence on the ground, in creating the fire altars for prescribed rites, and to concerted chanting to invoke the cosmic beings while the rites are initiated, carried to their fullness and brought to close with thanks, gratitude and reverence.

The AtharvaVeda includes mystical avenues for movement of the self between its world, community, mind and intellect, the Substratum and the Godhead. Its hymns serially anoints people’s kings, prays and blesses the house before the man departs for business and trade, mends broken hearts of both men and women, directs the self to itself sheathed within, to the Godhead and the Great Mother, and to diverse cosmic powers that connect with our individual being. The ease, transparence and immediacy evident in the hymns, by design, is both overwhelming and astounding.

*

Later Vedic works — Sutras, Upanishads, Epics and the BhagvadGita — are more specialised, focused, organised and explicit compilations that present detailed charts of several paths the individual could embark on to reach its singular destiny through Nescience and the Godhead. Much of the prayers, advisories and rites prescribed in the Vedas, and by their elucidatory Brahmana texts, are collectively organised events or immersing epiphanous individual  would generally start up with the Epics and Puranas, both of which class of texts are easy to read or hear and at once serve to fill the mind with love for the Godhead and the intellect with dharma.

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The Sutras broadly cater to four individual aptitudes : Yoga, Devotion, Knowledge and Karma. The first and last are common denominational paths that everyone can benefit from; even those who are intellectually disadvantaged or Tamas natured can take to them, as an aside to their mundane occupations. Of the two, Karma Yoga has little doctrinal dimension. It requires that 1) people honestly engage in permissible actions by resolves true to their will, with their whole heart, mindfulness, and best of their ability; and 2) restrict goal consciousness or result expectation to the moment or period during which the effort is made and not carried beyond, leaving the mind free and the self unburdened of anticipation about what happens after,  of anxiety or worry about the fruit of one’s action.

Yoga aims at mergence of the self in its own true nature : that is, in Bliss-Witness-Consciousness-Pure. The journey starts with cleansing and detoxing the body and purifying the karma repository with honesty of intent, goodwill, moderate conduct and compassionate behaviour. The entire process rests on an overarching vow to practise exercise of discrimination over the entire being stretched between the world of objects and the self, and the body, senses and vitality, and mind domains in between, along with practised disinterest in reaching for low hanging fruits of indulgence, in spirit of renunciation.

With that for base, yoga practice continues on a comfortable seat, body still and spine straight, head lowered a little with eyes meditatively half closed and directed at the ground before the junction of crossed legs. Stillness of body is a prelude to calming the vitality, starting with deep and easy flow of breath, facilitating soothe pumping of the heart, open but content sense organs and harmonious rise and ebb of vital flow in eased muscles, organs and cells.

Calm vitality is a precursor to gathered mind and mindful self, aware and watching its own inclination to habitual sensory pursuits and think of objects it is attached or memory of its experience in past, the mind released into vital surges on account of thought or memory, the vitality orient the drive through sense organs and spur the organs of action to motion, and the body pleased to hold the entire throb of ignorance, with pleasure potent in associating with objects in its familiar worldly zone. But the witnessing yogi disallows the dissipation, brings the senses back to their respective seats, quells the release of drive into action, restrains the object orientation of the mind, while the determined self waits for its disinterestedness to prevail over the entire series of domains to its being.

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It is during the seeming interminable wait that it practises controlled release of the gathered mind, first over gross objects (vitarka), taken strictly one by one, followed by concentrating on suble objects (vichara), again restricting focus on one before taking up the next. There are endless series of failure to retain its state of settled stillness and inaction in every domain of its being, when it knowledge of the object in focus varies, erroneously, on account of mutating meanings the object is held by its relatedness to the self marked by pleasure or pain. Through the long, apparently endless repeat of disturbed poise, the self learns of the habitual ignorance programmed in its identity and naturing adjuncts, drawing from the karma repository retaining impressions reinforced since its hoary past. The constant practise of restraining the release of drive and thought both purifies the karma bank, of this habitual relatedness and meanings the object(s) are held with, and loosens the pins that nail the self to its pre programmed adjuncts.

Freedom descends on the self at end of its long, tiring and frustrating haul, when the individual karma repository is wholly purified and the self discovers its own unpinned reality while the object-in-itself gloriously shines with its own majestic independence in denatured mind adjunct. It is the samadhi, fullness of the self, filled with its truth value dense of bliss and immortality, in the total absence of attachments anchoring the self to body, vitality and mind domains, purified or delinked from their karmic bondages. It is then no longer the self that is played about by its own ignorance, transmuting from one mutable being floating from one configuration of meaning and relatedness, and consequent object orientation, to another.

Similar processes through practice of yoga in respect of subtle objects, ranging from individual substratum to Nescience associated with the Godhead, result in progressively manifold fullness of the truth value which subsumes the self, accompanied with immersive reservoirs of bliss, freedom and immortality, memory in the wake of which inundates the karma repository, emptying it of its impressions from past, and wipes the substratum clean of its hunger, survival, procreational, recreational, and identity adjunct generating programs. The penultimate attainment along the fullness series identifies the self with the Godhead, free of karma and filled with the memory of its true being as Consciousness Pure, sans even a trace of identity as oneself. As that, Being Bliss Consciousness Infinite, the self witnesses the universe reflecting as dream in Nescience until even that presence disappears and eternity flows over.

“Then even nothingness was not, nor existence…

“Then there was neither death nor immortality nor was there then the torch of night and day.

“The One breathed windlessly and self-sustaining. There was that One then, and there was no other.

“At first there was only darkness wrapped in darkness…

“The sages who have searched their hearts with wisdom know that which is kin to that which is not.

“And they have stretched their cord across the void, and know what was above, and what below…

“But, after all, who knows, and who can say whence it all came, and how creation happened ?

“Whence all creation had its origin, he, whether he fashioned it or whether he did not, he, who surveys it all from highest heaven,
he knows – or maybe even he does not know.”

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Those Ideologues And NeoLiberals

Modern day liberals opt for the easy and cheap. The better, more steadfast among them are like a would-be painter who fell in love with the apparent idea expressed in a painting and could never get out of it.

Painters are common men who feel, emotionally react to how they feel, and let the emotion shape the form in their vision of what caused or inspired the feeling. What makes a painter out of a common person is his skills and ability to hold the vision in his poise, sketch it truly on a canvas, choose and form the needed colours, and lay it patiently on the canvas with an appropriate brush, one by one, over and over, until the painting is complete and the canvas reflects the envisioned form. Then its over. The drive and application is exhausted.

How people feel and what they see in the painting is really of no concern to the painter; they feel and find what they do for their own reasons. There would be an interregnum before he takes up another but the idea envisioned before and lovingly, intimately and long held in his poise is done with. It moved off the mental frame when the painter sat back with a drink after he had executed the last stroke of brush. What remains are his skills and abilities that, in the first place, made a painter out of him.

The ideologues and neo liberals we see in the media, and inevitably meet on occasions, claim wisdom for themselves. By the notion of political, social or economic value they perceive of their idea, members of the ideological herd are moved to rally on its behalf, without any regard for the absence of skills and abilities to do something productive and valuable.

Long live the liberals !

Realists must defer and give them the right to pass, and wait. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Atreyamuni

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*

A Vedic advisory :

O man, all these before you

Are proceeds of God.

Keep, use or consume them sparingly

But not without the thought

Of whom they belong to.

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The Case For A Good Slurp

A good slurp instantly divides people into two cultural lots : one who find it friendly and the other whom it offends.

To the individual in the middle, leading to cheers from friendly tea drinkers, it is just sucking in air along with the hot drink. That has implications, monumental to his joy : it cools the fluid before it hits the palette. That means he can drink his tea early, at a higher temperature, than the ones taking it in quiet sips. Which allows richer, flavourful fumes alongwith the taste of tea to his sense buds.

Isn’t that the very purpose of sitting over the favorite cuppa of tea or coffee ? What reason does the other lot have for being offended by a good slurp, except an irrational sensibility ?

Agree then, my great friends !

There is a strong case in favour of the good slurp.

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

The fifth part of this expose brought us to the verge of Vedic Yoga perspective to human freedom, death and immortality.

The Yoga experience culminates in merger of self identity with its own Truth Value — the universal Self-Pure. Chronologically, its discovery precedes the Vedic codified advisory for individuals and instructional outreach to communities everywhere.

It is true that the Veda pre-exists in creation and is only discovered in every age in the heart of the Yogi, who must first succeed at transcending the two apparent singularities at which individual I-identity and its featuring adjucts dissolve, erasing absolutely even the trace of identity as oneself. There is no object or subject, sense or feature; no I-notion, space nor time, just the blissful fullness of being : calm, consciousness pure, being effulgent in itself. It is upon his hugely lagged re-emergence that the entire truth is revealed in quantum doses, in slow motion as it were.

There is no potent cause or reason while he remains merged for the rise of the first dreamlike adjunct of universal-vital-being, the First Cause, even as the dormant capacity is ever present in consciousness, as it is. Consciousnes Pure is consciousness in itself, as in deep sleep. The dream is yet an uncarved image within a huge boulder of granite, so to speak. It does not exist, only the boulder does. Even when it apparently does exist, the universally potent dream is only in the imagination of a speck of consciousness pure, which for a moment, of its own conscious nature, chooses to watch the dream.

That momentary forgetfulness, derived of the nature of the consciousness pure, is also termed as Nescience or Primordial Ignorance, or symbolically represented as the Mother Goddess or the Supreme Creatrix. The Vedas term the pure consciousness as Brahman and symbolically represent it as Vishnu, the great Lord who sleeps through entire duration of creation. The first adjunct or the First Cause is represented by Brahma, The Creator who arises from Vishnu’s navel, signifying Brahma’s constituted nature as universal vitality or Cosmic Prana. Interestingly, Vedic lore famously points to the fact that Brahma is ignorant of his own origin, alluding to the veiling power inherent in the first adjunct.

The dream adjunct, brought to life in that momentary watch, persists even as the speck of consciousness pure, to which it occured, rejects the dream and turns over back into its effulgent consciousness. The adjunct retains the impressed shadow of that long turned away speck, as its dreaming self. Even as impressed memory reflecting in the primordial adjunct,  it serves as the eternal Godhead, the pervasive self effulgent subject witnessing the universally manifest dream.

The seeming dream and effulgent memory of dreaming consciousness pure together take on an apparent reality of its own, projecting all this existence and totally veiling its supreme origin, on one hand, and yet remaining nothing more than a dream imagined, nonexistent in reality and long since forgotten, on the other.

In truth, nothing has happened ever in consciousness pure; only a passing imagination momentarily engaged a speck of it. But the nonevent in consciousness pure triggers the momentous beginning of universe formation projecting, in the individual self’s perspective, this entire existence, these endlessly forming multiple subtle domains and their respective beings and countless material forms and their respective entities, and causing the living among them, individuals and species, to evolve.

The moment in which the dreamlike first adjunct shimmered as real stretches into directed, unceasing Time, over which the dream expands as limitless Space projecting the universe within it, populating it with galaxies and stars, suns and planets, entities inert and living, in the effulgent gaze of witnessing shadow consciousness, filled with wonder and curiousity, yet with ever clear memory of its true being as conciousness pure, deep asleep in its own conscious effulgence.

The memory of consciousness pure pervades the universe as the Self of all things projected, living and inert. That reflection of the consciousness pure in the shadow self of the First Cause fills all cascadingly formed adjuncts subtle and gross, which progressively cover its own origin with increasing layers of forgetfulness in that imagined dream of consciousness pure, and completely veils even the shadow self ever behind and within each manifest thing.

The adjunct induced sense of the Godhead itself is a dream and the dreamer is the reflection of the self-infinite-pure-consciouness. cascades down into series of subtle and gross adjuncts, ending at conscious body identified individuals with their object orientation, worldly awareness, senses to feel with, reactive emotions and will, mind to reflect in and intellect to know.

It is to this species familiar setting the Yogi is restored upon his re-emergence from consciouness pure, transiting through the existence-knowledge-bliss infinte experience of the Godhead. The supreme Truth Value regained transforms his own Substratum and its internal domains forever. The world is nothing apart from the Godhead he remembers all too well, which alone is his true nature. The body, alongwith every domain within it, is nothing more than an adjunct external to the Self he truly is. He is that perpetual subject, who alone can neither destruct nor be transcended. Every gross adjunct dies when its vitality departs and is thus reduced to being nothing; every subtle adjunct can be transcended and be thus reduced to being inconsequential. Only the self pure is truly immortal.

The knowledge of his true nature displaces all other domain proper identities he had as the individual self. The memory of his identity with Godhead, to which he is now ever oriented, remains infinitely more real than the materially concrete objects to which the existential self, ignorant of his true nature, is compulsively attached and oriented.

The reality of the world is now minimally acknowledged, only as necessary to discharge of his role, which the Yogi continues to play up to. For the rest of his time, it displays a translucent fluidity before vanishing in thin air. The senses are withdrawn, the vitality settles to hamonious rise and ebb, unagitated by emotions and incapable of drawing his will, and the mind is empty without a thought.

The Yogi’s reincarnated sense naturally gravitates to the witness being identified with and peering through the intellect, aware of true knowledge in respect of his self and experiencing the remembered bliss. Existence, in his vision, is immanent and pervasive and not merely as mottled with coagulated matter.

Without limitations inherent to inner domains, finite attributes of adjuncts over adjuncts, or the compulsive object orientation and its consequences, the Yogi identifies with his self pure and is absolutely free, at peace, experiencing bliss in and of himself, and convinced of his immortal reality without a trace of doubt.

What the Yogi does or does not do is inconsequential to what is settled forever : he has done all that needed to be done; he has known all that needed to be known; he has experienced all that he needed to experience. His Dharma shines in his ever present discrimination; he takes no time in making electable choices and commits no error in his conduct or behaviour.

The Yogi is no longer one in this sea of many, a drop in the ocean. He is the sea converged into one, the ocean entire in a single drop.

*

It is to eulogise the Conscious Pure Being at the source of creation that the Vedic hymns are sung. They are of the form of prayers, sacrificial practices, enlightening advisories, elucidating and illumining stories, occasional community or personal events, and are diversely directed to the Great Mother, the cosmic powers manifest, Sun and Moon, Mitra and Varun, Agni and Brihaspati, Usha and Sandhya… all of which hymns reveal glimpses of one memory or other of the transcendental experience, the accompanying vision and, or, the ‘dharma’ values the seers anchored themselves to in order to progress towards Godhead realisation and merge in consciousness pure.

More detailed reading of the Vedas can be done here. Information on Vedic cosmogony are included in several works listed here. More specifically, Adi Shankar’s Panchikarnam and elucidatory gloss by Sureshvacharya can found at this link.

The real trouble with comprehending the coded import of the Vedas is to discern the intuited revelation in its context, in its own time period and as it was meant to convey to listeners then, and to ascertain the significance of symbolism frequently included in the hymns, as structured in the prevailing cosmogonal perspective or in accord with metaphorical usage then in vogue. Knowledge of unbroken tradition continuing to this day would be as important as familiarity with the language itself. Even with these skills, the unitary soul of the works prove elusive in the absence of intellectual sharpness and meditative focus which cut the clutter, categorically define the nature of the text portions, and relate them to their coded intent in overall context.

In his commentary on Bhagvad Gita, Adi Sankara harshly observes :

“Whatsoever his mastery of all other branches of knowledge, he who does not know the sampradaya (school of tradional practice) must be discarded in the same way as we discard all perverse and ignorant people.” 

Again, in his commentary on Prashna Upanishad, he says : 

“Give up all your egotistic fancies, and listen to the meaning of the Sruti. Independent effort, even if continued for a hundred years, cannot disclose the true import of the Sruti to those whose heads are filled with self-conceit and who foolishly assume that they can know it for themselves (without the teacher’s aid).”

*

A well known, simply understood Vedic prayer thus addresses the Self Supreme : 

O Brahman, lead us from (this world of) darkness to light (in truth), from (this world of) nonexistence to existence in truth, 

The Self Is Pure. Your Very. Forever.

Beset with that primal ignorance, the individual self flows down into the cascade of pre-existing adjuncts… mind, intellect, vitality, body, world objects… and identifies with their attributes, seeded by the mother ground of memory — the causal substratum of both the creation and the individual being.

The Self-Pure is the Purush and

the Mother Substratum the Prakriti

of Yoga and Sankhya tradition

in Vedic perspective.

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

The previous part brought us midway through the Yoga perspective to the self of man; the Vedic layout is cosmic and a lot vaster in comparison. The discussion is now poised around three entities : the transcendent self-pure, the individual self infused in the mind and the intellect, and the Mother Substratum on which the whole of the internal phenomena rests.

The Substratum preloads the self with its individuated identity anchored to a body and a name, alogwith its characterstic long term nature the man is destined to better or worsen through his choices and actions. Each of the subtle subjective domains — mind and vitality — supply their respective existential qualifying adjuncts to the individual self to deal with its daily saga of biological, community and situational specificities.

The individuation starts at the mother memory ground — the Substratum — that provides the “I” with its primordial sense of being separate, solitary and fearful, before it is covered with its remembered inseparable associations : a body to extend over, limbs to move and do with, senses to peer out at its location and surroundings, and a name to announce itself as someone particular. Cognition of objects in the environment follows, of people and things, establishing either familiarity to add further bonds and identity layers or this strangenesss that deepens awareness of dark emptiness in oneself. The knowledge and ignorance of objects directly manifests in how one feels, thinks and has an idea of oneself.

Passing through pre-existing inner but grosser domains, the individual self becomes curious in the intellect, doubtful in the mind, and practically saves itself by the strength it senses of its own vitality, unifying it with the body. The self is soon filled with recall of its abilities and skills and is ready to resume life from where it had left before. It is thence the particular body-mind-vital self in itself but one among many around it. It desires more prominence to itself than that unhappy anonymity.

Most 21st Century State constitutions guarantee the individual’s right to life and freedom to be and do, unless it infringes upon that of others. But such guarantees remain far and hazy compared to the intense drama playing out closer home. Hovering between known and unknown, pushed and thwarted, the existential self struggles and barely steadies itself by that illusion of familiar identities, relatedness and relationships, and anchors itself to those few certainties then in its belief. Desiring to build upon it, the self senses for itself a real opportunity to life, to exercise its freedom in order to strengthen and make itself both more viable and valuable. The mind streams the threats of failure to do so, to vigorous nods of vitality and the Body-I.

The world thus looms over each man’s ambition. It introduces stress into his happiness and wants in his joy. He wills for freedom and justice but what he must have is this esteem, a powerful identity that would be real to himself, reflecting off recognition by others. Through the strife, he has his loves and likes but is never far from his revulsions and hatred. His role, assigned and contracted, is bound and defined and he must deliver on its terms in order to deserve his happiness.

*

The existential game becomes serious at the cost of our self-awareness of our source and true identity as the unindividuated self-pure. During the individuation process, the latter fills the causal adjunct already arisen out of the Substratum and is reduced to being the “formed” individual self. Through acquiring layered identities, all evidence of this spiritual root of man is covered and the primordial individuating process is curtained. The primordial causal content of the individual being is thenceforth veiled thick and buried deep with the pitch of forgetfulness.

The Substratum, memory mother ground of consciousness, is the black hole singularity to the existential self, at which the featuring of the self is complete as it were. It is thence stuck with its identity and nature, rooted deep in habit and thought. Its compulsive object orientation, through the senses, only deepens the identity and nature even further. They are reinforced every time the existential self heeds its vital surges, wields the will, directs its limbs, and concerns itself with its relatedness with things and its relationships with people.

Once the self has gone on enough with life’s web of cyclicities, it turns away to rest by itself. It dreams all by itself, in its mind, with projections from inputs impressed on the memory ground, more recent ones mostly and occasionally from ancient ones filed in deeper layers. It rests blissful during deep sleep, unconditioned, in a state of total inertia and ignorance. Away, in the meanwhile, its subtle and gross adjuncts heal up their wear and tear from having to bear the masked self, its thought and will, whims and caprices, emotions and drives. The self then arises into a buffer dream before waking up to its gross world.

The self alternates between the two great shores where the spirit meets the material world at its one edge and with the bliss-self-pure at the other. Sooner or later, as years and decades pass by, the self realises that there is no escape from the burden of individuation, the cyclic returns to same life encounters, the memory of events in past that push forward the identity-locked self, and from this anticipation of events crowdlined in the future. 

The feverish rapidity of internal happenings, involving the self trapped in this river of life, consumes every bit of its breath and attention. Life inundates it with day-to-day hurries across roles, situations, dualities and all things in between its extremes : small and big, rich and poor, high and low, light and dark, said and unsaid, strong and weak, health and illness, sober and drunk, hunger and satisfaction.

Hunger is what the self inevitably returns to, for food and sex, money and power, love, society and companionship, and rest. It is hunger that defines this phenomenal perpetuity called life, long or short. There is no exit from hunger for the existential self of animal or man.

Encounters with death of loved ones and excruciating experiences of separation fill the self with pervasive chasm, fearful and abysmal, and with that excessive sense of irredeemable loss. For a time, such experiences render identities meaningless and relationships miserable. One then lives with questions that have no answers.

* * *

The Vedas are a compilation of utterances of seer selves, from hoary times in prehistory to later eras over succeeding millennia, who systematically transcended the individuating and featuring adjuncts to their being. At the end, they merged in their own Truth Value in Unconditioned Universal Being (Existence), Undifferentiated Infinite Bliss and Absolutely Unattached Witness Self. The all-subsuming experience, the Vedas inform, is of one homogeneous fullness, complete and timeless, wholly without object and feature, memory or mind.

Whilst the experience is both immediately direct and absolutely overwhelming, it also completely transforms the life perspective, values and belief system, sense or meanings the individual self has of itself, of object beings and things, and of the universe. It quenches all curiosity, completely removes all fear, want and will, and this inevitable relatedness and conditioning automatic to the individual being. The only memory on the Substratum, which the realised self identifies with, is that of its experience of its own Supreme Truth : the Self Infinite.

Those earliest of Vedic seers, who came back thus transformed, made it their lifelong vocation (not profession) to revisit that transcendent Truth as frequently as they could in order to describe as accurately as possible that indescribable experience of the Supreme or True Being common to entire creation and to discover those cosmogonical principles that connect the observed material effects with that First Cause. Later, we find the sages laying down systematic courses for others to individually pursue to regain their own ontological ultimate Truth Value, on one hand, and infusing coded practices to inculture entire communities into the reality of unmanifest universal spiritual root of all life everywhere. Practices were designed to engage all community individuals in contemporaneous generations.

The Vedas present a body of knowledge and practices that brought the individual to electable Vidya, which led individuals to becoming better, more free, collectively happier and aligned, as opposed to their naturally sensual object orientation marked by hunger and lust, quest for status and power, security for oneself regardless of others’ fears, passing pleasures that yielded to abiding pain, and massive reign of apathy or indifference.

The individual’s journey through reversal of orientation against the naturally programmed grain of its existential being is long, exhaustive and demanding. It generates much friction and heat, and despair; but every inch of success also adds a quantum to one’s personal capacity for seeded focus, strength of will, and self-control. It enabled the seers to suprahuman application, perhaps over millennia of unbroken tradition of bequeathed knowledge and skills, the way to negotiate within, and to self-enlighten. The Vedas themselves speak of it severally about those early sages and teachers; they recall, with unreserved gratitude and reverence, the earliest spiritual pioneers who discovered the “light” in the deepest recess of their own hearts, how it illumined their within and the world without, on one hand, and connected their selves with that boundlessly helpful consciousness which was cosmic in extent and universal in nature, on the other.

The output of these early Vedic seers, both at charting individual courses and at detailing coded community practices, was stupendous and astonishing. What we have of it today is less than one-tenth of the entire body of work compiled by Ved Vyas in 4th Millennium BC. Each of the four Vedas had more than one recension or school…

The 20th Century Yogi Exemplar Sri Aurobindo says, “The Veda is the creation of an early intuitive and symbolical mentality…” That is how it seems ten millennia later. Indisputably, in its own setting in time, it would have been elitist for long as a band of yogis would have attempted to bring the heavens on to earth, constantly innovating to organise human life in its light, establish immortality of the soul in the face of daily death, and anchor existence to its abiding truth value amidst experience of its certain transience. It would have been impossible without an intuitive schema with universal appeal or symbols that shone bright enough in common awareness to keep people from going too far astray.

In the next few parts we shall further explore the warp and woof of Vedic perspectival web that oozed the sacred and raised humans in the image of gods.

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

The last discussion concluded with the Truth Value of existentistial self of man : the undifferentiated Bliss Self and the unattached Witness Self, both normally unavailable or unattainable to the Mind- or Intellect-I, which are covered in ignorance and lost to their own truth because of their object orientation. The individual self must empty itself of all domain cluster identifications on one hand and, on the other, wait on integration with progressively expanded awareness illumining hitherto unveiled inner substratum that is indescribably rich in formed consciousness of all kinds known and unknown, remembered and forgotten.

It’s a spiritual, self-involved journey marked with urgent earnestness, a saga of self effort that must end at…

— either flooding the mind with unreserved love, unformed by this or that object, people or thing,

— or lighting up the intellect with valid, uncontradicted truths to such extent, in sharpness and expanse, as to trigger the coming to fore of the one glorious and effulgent Truth of all truths.

It is an empirical fact that the individual self, after its animal experiences, is at best engaged in ideas and thoughts, or with facts that however do not leave it much the wiser about its own truth. The existential self is given to experiencing feelings that it regards as its own, most of which arise or form without its consent. It is constantly pushed or pulled into doing things and very occasionally to choose its own wants except when, time permitting, it reflects upon its experience with particular persons, beings and things with which it relates, its desire and will, attachment and revulsion, misery and joy, or upon recall from past experiences impressed in memory.

It is time we understood the mind itself more closely and completely, perhaps with its likeness to a model we are familiar with : the computer.

*

The computer has a RAM that is alive with current concerns, objective or subjective, in our face just then and relevant associations if recalled, such as we are constantly engaged during are our waking hours. It has an object or memory, our desire or revulsion as it involuntarily happens on account of a source in the veiled substratum of our individual beinghood.

The veiled mother-memory ground of substratum could be likened to ROM of the computer. Most of its content, preformed information about things and pre-programmed self defining knowledge, are archived from hoary past unknown, unremembered and unavailable to the present, awake conscious individual lost in its RAM engagements. They spontaneously arise from the Mother Ground, of which too the affected Consciousness individuates, as it happens after we wake up from deep sleep.

This internal, individuating and self-qualifying phenomena causes our identity to autorun and makes the Monitor come alive with prevailing sense–linked RAM inputs drawn from the surroundings and the ROM archives. The individuation of consciousness brings at once in its trail all the formed knowledge pertaining to this body anchored identity, the place and surroundings, ideas about the objects between the floor and the ceiling, earth and the sky. Of the remembered knowledge, that in respect of a few are more detailed, in depth and familiarity or belongingness, than others and the rest only generally…until the self comes to this sense it has of itself.

The Intellect, operating within the Mind domain, is the CPU available to both the individual, when he consciously punches in his wants with or without exercising due discrimination, and the powerful subconscious embedded in the substratum. In general, like animals, human beings do not operate out of the intellect — the CPU — and only the rare few, trained or cultured, exercise its input controls in the full awareness of possibilities that could be manifest or the in-built techniques to actuate the inner processes.

The Monitor, in the mind, engages two selves, the experiencing existential Mind-I and the witnessing truth-centered Intellect-I. For ease of expression, let us call them Existential Self and Spiritual Self respectively. The respective means for the individual being to fulfill itself, with subsuming into its own Truth Value, are through flooding the Mind with Love for the Undifferentiated Bliss Self and filling the Intellect with the Knowledge of the Unattached Witness Self.

There is a pre-established worldwide web (www) extending over the world of objects, people and things sensed, and over inner domains felt in the mind and understood by the intellect. Every objected sensed or recalled from memory either arrests the self or not. The self engages with the object if it continues to linger in its attention; the process does not start or is soon aborted if the Mind-I, supported by Vital-I, is not emotionally stimulated; or, if the Intellect-I concludes an absence of interest due to  lack of opportunity of obtaining gains for the self from a close, continued encounter. Whether out of compulsion or choice, the encounter itself may continue our relationship from past, establish anew in the present or be an investment for the future.

Life demands and requires a more motivated involvement of the individual, in its relatedness with objects, than a passive or reactive response to things. The individual must frequently start with passion or want, or drive resonating in vitality and echoing in the will. It would assess in mind the need for action or initiatives to be taken in accord with the desire. The person would have to decide in the intellect on its course of action from among alternates in perception, while priming up, and direct its vital powers to move the body and limbs appropriately. It is the power of the self to set all its domains to work for defined goals and specific objectives.

It is also how a human being exhausts itself of its built up emotions and its keyed up will. This noticeable exhaustion, combined with the transient nature of consequences of even the most pleasurable of choices, makes the seeker turn away from the everyday charade and look about for the electable option to pursue. It also moves the teacher or guide to admit such seeker pupils to his refuge.

— ° —

In sum, the mind is too many things at once, and capable of adding an endless range of subtexts to metamorphosed, object oriented self-forms. It makes us wonder at the chasm between how the word is commonly used and what it entails and actually means. We will carryover this rise of  guru–shishya tradition in preVedic times and pare how knowledge devoted to the Truth Value of man came to be codified in the Vedas and began to be methodically practised along several Yoga streams.

Summer Interludes

Around this day last month, Ihad watched the movie Bahubali-2 and was pleased by its cinematic values that took its story home, into the hearts of people.

I do not watch TV nor go to theatres to watch a movie. Except once in a blue moon, when I mostly snooze through it. It therefore surprised me that I went out for this one, saw it with eyes wide awake, and I now wish to talk about it.

Bahubali 2 is a creation that springs up on a sea of big belief and is powered by mountains of values, both human and cinematic. Its storyline is historical fiction about a namesake who was a mighty prince, celebrated king and later a revered sage.

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The movie earned big success and much heartburns from industry moghuls, who’d raked in a tenth at the counters. I believe, it was out and out the movie makers belief in his own vision of things, regardless of its accuracy or relevance to existential concerns of humankind. It was a fantasy presented exceedingly well that entertained and gave much joy to its audience starved of real life heroism and emulatory personal values. It celebrated skills, good nature and success even before the creation succeeded with the audience.

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This report prepared by Harsh Mander, one of the well known Maoist sympathisers among India’s ideologically left cabal, shapes the perennially emotional class-divide meme, as always from behind narrow statistical data. He picks on numbers that compare wealth of the rich with that of the poor since 2000. What it delivers in effect is that emotive, politically evergreen and socially divisive statement on the “worsening class divide.” It is a belaboured, high pitch conclusion that purposely touts concern for those segments of population that have traditionally drawn the attention of political minds and their intellectual crusaders.

“The high decibel growth led to 12-fold increase in wealth for the richest 10% people since 2000, while for the poorest 10% the income jumped by just three times…” Just three times, the lament underscores, compared to twelve of the most well-heeled rich, who have all the advantages of education, information and resources in comparison.

It’s a miracle worthy of celebration than cause for cries for social justice, I believe, that even the extremely marginal and economically paralysed people have actually improved their lot by three times instead of sliding further into the abyss. It reminds me of at least 50 odd supportive policies and targeted schemes promoted by PM Modi’s government to transfer benefits in cash and kind, facilitate economic security for poorest and weakest segments of society, provide for their basic and survival needs, and bring new and old world opportunities to their doorsteps.

How much more should it be ? 12% or more, the author seems to suggest, and at least higher than what it was. A sense of aspirational dissatisfaction could be understood and would indeed be welcome. But that isn’t how the commentary on available data is framed. It picks quarrel, rabble rousing the dying committed converts to socialist ideology in order to infuse them with life.

Sad. Doubly sad for wasted talent of the author and the chorus singers he is addressing. It will only serve to spread darkness and spur destruction of the good momentum the economy has gained since May 2014. It is a call for the impossible when things are bound to further improve if we just kept at our effort along besting ourselves in the possible realm.

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I am travelling, having a window view of fields getting prepared for the kharif season. There are areas that seem parched. But the trees cheer me up, young ones especially. They’d grow up tall and spread wide, as environmental and economic assets. Proliferating seababuls are protein rich cattle feed. The fruit trees, mango and jamuns, are virtually culture savers. There are peepuls and odd banyans, and lovely neems with shining light green new leaves. They all are a feast to my city tired eyes.

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The next part of the Vedic Yoga series is still incubating… It is gathering values and strengths and will be presented shortly.

Thank you, for appreciating the previous parts.

Human Evolution And Civilisational Spread

This absorbing read has a wide-time canvas covering hundreds of thousands of years, bringing to view an understanding of how mankind may have evolved, moved long distances, civilisationally rose through many a period in many a land in yet hoary times, and was cyclically destroyed.

The article linked here presents an overarching proposal of realistic overview inclusive of scientifically discovered exceptional facts, sidelined and buried by the academia in the West, which continues to herald and propagate add-on information along these straight line ancient world and prehistoric theories NatGeo brings to life, but which are thought up in 19th Century religious bias and nicely cobbled up by politically prejudiced visionaries of an Europe on the cusp of colonial dominance.

The proposal presented by the author spectacularly departs from those erroneous oft-beaten views of prehistory, spread over continental far lands and phenomenal happenings timed more complicatedly than theories in vogue have the capacity to admit. The alternate view is based on reasons picked up from the same common pool of discovered facts available world wide. The historical layout it offers may still not be accurate, nor exhaustive, but it does sound more plausable with inclusion of facts that historians in the West have ignored because they did not fit into their pet simplifying themes, of which Out Of Africa, Aryan Invasion Theory, and Aryan North and Dravidian South Divide in Indian subcontinent, are most persistent and loud.

The alternate view introduced better integrates facts than other prevailing speculations of human history.

Click here for accessing the main article

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The Life Question, Without An Answer

“What is the point in leading such a miserable life ?” says the woman who attempted to end her life. It’s a vital question, not a rhetorical query that one flings in a group of friends or an intellectual matter that we may want to settle over a coffee table.

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Her life was already on line. The question needed no answer; in fact, it was an explanation after she had already given up on her life, on the world, on people who held theirs habitually, routinely. The question is asked by most of us some time or other, with perhaps the same hemmed in intensity. But we perhaps allowed ourselves to divert our mind or slept thereafter. Life resumes in the same humdrum but we instinctively recoil from asking it again. We choose to find value in small happenings, even where none existed, than be on that edge where life ends.

I find myself singularly exhausted of opinions, advice or thought. There is will, wishing God would come to rescue the woman who must have felt compelled to ask that question several times.

I wish she could see herself as a vast capacity of karma, not limited to little bundle she was facing just then, and multiple opportunities to reincarnate herself.

I wish she would take herself forward along the sanatan way and have the smiling Krishna in her heart for company.

I wish she has a worship corner to visit, sit or stand in, and leave the world outside at its boundary. May she light a lamp or incense at the alter and converse with her Maker.

May she be nourished and regain her capacity to bear.

Bhaskaracharya : Astronomer Mathematician

Bhaskaracharya was a sage genius, born in Shak Era 1036 (1114 AD), who wrote the seminal work Siddhanta Shiromani when he was just 36 years old. It’s a work of great scholarship, presenting detailed astronomical facts and astounding mathematical solutions sans theory. The work stayed as an acknowledged reference for about 700 years and the facts therein started being rediscovered in the West almost 500 years later. Its proposals may have since been improved upon but they remain uncontradicted to this day.

The entire work can be read here. I really am not qualified to introduce its serious content and the details it covers. It starts with an invocation saluting the “Supreme Being” and sets the stage with a conversation between the Knowledge-Soul projected by the Sun and the latter’s devotee, Maya, who had prayed for knowledge of astronomy. The science is thence presented pronto, without ado, with amazing clarity, exhaustively and patiently communicated step by step, topic by topic, with pauses for do-it-yourself familiarity, coverage review and recap, until the phonomenon, involved methodology or instrumentation being considered is completely elucidated.

It is complex science, deep and principled, that the text lyrically explains. Its 13 chapters and hundreds of topical items indexed at the end truly boggle the mind, coming from an era when the Christian world was entering into its medieval, darkly vicious phase and the Islamic scourge was spreading fast and wide with barbarity and trails of massacre, plunder and destruction, and long lines of uprooted slaves.

After waxing poetically on “six seasons” in Chapter 12, the author introduces himself at end of the work, before serving the “appendix.” He writes of his village in the Sahyadri ranges, his father who taught him, and his own education. He mentions, “I have studied eight books of grammar, six texts of medicine, six books on logic, five books of mathematics, four Vedas, five books on Bharat Shastras, and two Mimansas.”

Astounding, to look at the knowledge “Bhaskar” acquired in about 30 years of studentship ! Mastering each of the Vedas, medicine texts, Shastras or Mimansas is in itself a lifelong vocation. He however calls himself a poet and in all probability subscribed to Vedanta school of thought, living in accord with its evolved beliefs and values system.

Salutations, many humble salutations to you, Acharya !

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

In the previous part, we extended our discussion of the gross to subtle domains of individual being to include the Intellect and Bliss, which is the subtle-most in the series. The effects of the Bliss domain are transcendental, and are not to be mistaken for transient pranic effects like happiness or joy. Its impact on the individual being is transformative or traumatic, depending on how prepared the person was for total erasure of body-identified idea and drives and was consciously expectant of being completely unbound and being absolutely boundless.

The Bliss-I is the supreme Truth Value common to all individual beings. There is no separate, object oriented self out there, in that Bliss Infinite domain. But, for that fact, and the fact that access to it is beyond, way beyond the underpinned reach of the existential self, the domain itself is not an imagined ideal or a mere epiphanous idea. It leaves an eternally indelible memory with the Intellect-I upon return, of our universal nature at source, which recall overwhelms the mind with peace and calm, floods the prana with love without an object, and the body with gratitude and compassion for all things and beings in creation.

 

However, before that would  happen, it takes a long if-ever while for a person to identify with the curious, search-and-know nature of the Intellect domain and to bring the Knowledge-I self centre stage through every doing and over every preoccupation of the existential self : doubts and thoughts of the mind, emotions and will that arise in prana, and actions or behaviour of the body.

With that deepened knowledge orientation a yogi is born, devoted entirely to perceiving the object truths and realising the subjective Truth of all truths.

In time, the lifelong practitioner of yoga progresses in the esoteric art of witnessing and reflecting even while engaging  and indulging. One then notes the power of objects, people and things we live with or encounter, to affect the existential self profoundly, urgently and arrestingly. One finds oneself addictively attached to a few particular things and habitually given over to a periodical routine however refreshed or disrupted one might occasionally feel or believe. That, the drive by vital desires pre-infesting us is inexorable and is tamely followed by the insatiated mind. Even when unattained, the alluring objects continue to hold their appeal for us, drawing the mind towards them, leaving us less than happy and frequently twisted or deformed to an extent that spirals into unintended complications. It takes a long time to heal from their affliction and a lifetime to free ourself of their roots embedded deep within us.

We keep ourself safe from danger through exercising caution, raising protective barriers, and use a range of means to neutralise threats. But there’s nothing to save us from our own wants, the need for particular experience and the desire to have experience it once more. That’s how powerful emotional, pranic flares are; they move the Mind-I and do not stop pushing it towards or away from the object until it gives in.

The Witness Self, peering over the Knowledge-I of the intellect domain, is an equal Truth Value of our being along with the Bliss Self. The mind, prana and body domains, with their passing objects and transient effects, essentially cover the individual self with ignorance, in the unawareness of its own Truth Value. This domain cluster restricts the Mind-I to desiring, doing and experiencing, giving the existential self a false but rivetted sense of reigning supreme and keeping the witness, truth-identified self unconsulted and way off beyond the margins of its awareness.

The aspiring seeker advances in his quest for truth when he identifies with the witness self, the one rooted in truth. With great, constant self-effort and usually after countless failures, he relinquishes his comforting but severely limiting definition of himself formed by these shifting, domain appropriate qualifications, as this desiring and experiencing existential wet-with-ignorance self. That transitioning of one’s identity from being the experiencing self to being the witness self is a definitively transformative stage in the spiritual, evolutionary journey of man.

Yoga practice charts the details of the path that leads a committed aspirant to attain the Bliss-Witness-Self identity. And Vedas are designed for entire mankind to reach its tripartite Truth Value goals. We shall mention the third, Existence, as we proceed with our discussion.

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… to be continued …

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

The multi-tier existential self of man — the I — was analysed in the previous part of this series. It is not the self-in-itself, which is unqualified and absolutely unfeatured; it hence ever surpasses our objective detection and discovery.

What continues to be in our consideration is the existential self of man.

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of  World–Body–Prana–Mind–I

The existential being-for-itself already introduced is forever qualified and featured, gaining subtexts and tertiary qualifiers contributed by its adjunct domain. It is emergent and conscious in its world of gross objects, in the body, in prana or vitality, and in the mind. It is awake to phenomenal effects respective to these domains, some it feels an affinity and few it identifies with : objects, things or people; the whole range of emotion and will; and doubts, thoughts or ideas.

Phenomenally, it must be understood, none of these domains are independent of others. They are in an hierarchy of varying degree of grossness or,  inversely,  of subtleness relative to the previous gross domain. The material world, the body, is the most gross and mind the subtle most among domains we have discussed so far.

The self is auto-sensed but only as cloaked in its various qualified and featured existential forms proper to the Mind, Prana, Body or worldly domain. The subtler domain in the hierarchy is more subjective or owned by the self than one more gross. It also pervades the gross, allowing the existential self to extend upto the objects or effects in the gross.

For instance, the world includes the body, which pervades the world, whereupon the Body-I extends upto things and people we encounter. Likewise, the body includes the prana or vitality, which pervades it, whereupon the Prana-I extends upto the organs and effects in the body. And prana includes the mind, which pervades it, whereupon the Mind-I extends upto the pranic effects of emotion, will, desire and want.

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What pervades the mind ? It is the intellect with its Knowledge-I, the witnessing existential self cloaked only with what it knows, what it has settled as truths with inviolable validity. Urged by curiosity alone, the Intellect pervades the Mind and, through it, the prana that pervades the body which, with its limbs and sense organs, extends into the world of gross objects.

It is important to note this role differentiation as (A) the Doing, Desiring, Experiencing and Thinking Existential Self emergent in mind, prana or body domains and (B) the Knowledge Self, curious and knowledge-centered, which observes without intervening the Experiencing Self, its desires and actions and their happy or miserable consequences, compares the present with previous outcomes for similarities and differences, sums or updates the database of experiences, and sifts up consistently valid truths for itself.

No spiritual quest of man commences except of his tiredness as the Experiencing Self, and without identity with this scrupulously and obsessively truth-searching Knowledge Self. The experiencing existential self is rich in activity and experience, with unceasing series of transitioning facts of the moment, but is ignorant of the inviolable truths pertaining to both the fact and the personal processes involved in experiencing it.

What pervades the intellect ? Bliss, in which the individuated self of man subsumes to unify with the universal. The term is not of the kind that includes happiness or joy. It is a pervasive sensation of ecstasy, complete unburdening and total freedom that floods upon loss of this differentiated identity we have in our sense of ourself. Gone then is the individual person we were; gone too are even traces of this finitude and limitation compulsorily loaded to object oriented awareness; and, gone is the transience pre-booted into beings born to perceive, experience, know, and die.

The greatest of satisfaction, contentment, joy or happiness that humans may feel offers a tiny fractional glimpse of bliss we speak of here. Just as the Knowledge-I of man is marginalised while the experiencing existential self prevails, riding on prana or vitality flares or engaged with an sense-object or occupied in passing thought, the Bliss domain pervading the intellect is not even revealed until the Knowledge-I accesses or chances upon a truth with capacity for infinite expanse.

As a domain, Bliss is the adjunct qualifier, the cloak, of undifferentiated self. The Bliss-I, self proper to the domain, is of another quantumly superior order compared to these many existential individual selves anchored to as many bodies on earth. We might have noticed the gulf between the word “Bliss” as it means in common usage and the hard to describe meaning it signifies in the spiritual context herein explained. To avoid introducing inaccuracies, we will not add an explanatory word to flesh out the Bliss-I-Self common to all living beings. Which is not to say that our discussion on the subject is exhausted.

Though the Bliss-I is the supreme self a man can evolve to be, sans this sense of being a tiny speck separated from others… limited, finite and transient, few have experienced this transcendental truth of ourself.

For now, we conclude that the Bliss-I is ultimate, seemingly suprahuman Truth Value of the existential self of man. We will bring this subject back into our discussion a little later, after revisiting the nature and functions of mind.

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… to be continued …

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

There is a world that inludes us, in which our being is apparently born, and there is this world we each have, as we grow up, in particular to ourself. The two are not the same, not just in their expanse but also as entities.

Truth Value

of  World–Body–Prana–Mind–I

The first — the world which includes us all — is like a word, a sound without a listener; the second is what it means to us. We are optional, dispensable to the first, the One. The second — the world we hold within, as meanings — is diverse and impossible without us. We do not know the One in truth and always have this urgent need to know. The second already forms to ourself, among many such worlds we are not even aware of, particular to other individual beings who we do even know. We have an equally constant, lifelong need to question this world, particular to ourself, for its truth value. This questioning remains a passive one in all of us except with a few in whom it shapes up as an urgent quest.

One of the first reduction we observe of ourself starts with physical, mentally proximate objects, places, things or people that are included in the world particular to ourself, their respective meanings for ourself, and happenings or events in our experience involving them that we must live or deal with, hate or desire. They are our world in particular to which our senses are drawn and our mind preoccupies with.

That spatial extension of ourself, anchored in things we possess and people who possess ourself, starts from our body, with which our self identifies. Its surface demarcates the spatial domains we regard as within, internal to ourself, and without, external to us.

As an existential individual being, we are the World-Body-I or simply the Body-I. It manifests the desires and hates, wants and apathy we each carry for things and people in our world.

A look further within reveals the prana, the vitality coursing through the body, functioning in and taking inputs from the senses, powering our drives, and moving our organs and limbs to their respective functional freedoms. It packs energy into emotions and becomes available to our will or resolve.

The emotional flares are largely involuntary and the power available to our will mostly dissipates or is overtaken by the next one that seizes our willfulness.

As this sensing and empowered existential being, the aware individual with capacity to choose and act, we are the World-Body-Prana-I or simply the Prana-I. It holds the power of One but, in the absence of a higher calling or focus on a larger purpose, is spent largely on basic survival needs, food and sex, unexamined wants and fears, selfish desires and personal hates.

That is, it is restated, until we acquire the ability to subject our emotion to scrutiny by our mind, which is the still more immediate or proximate inner domain to our self than the body. The mind is both a tool to doubt, analyse and investigate, and a repository of known consequences we have suffered or enjoyed in past, on account of actions flowing from our will-backed emotions or mind-mediated choices, most of which “knowledge” changes and modifies in time. Our memory includes mutating ideas and knowledge of few settled truths learnt by consistent results in experience over time.

Finally, the mind also weaves this cloak of ideated qualifications we have of ourself, of the person we believe we are to our self from moment to moment, depending on the prevailing emotion, thought, concern or purpose preoccupying us.

In the light of presentation so far, we are the World-Body-Prana-Mind-I or simply the Mind-I, as which we present ourself and interact with others, if we have not deliberately modified the true-to-ourself persona for role-playing purposes.

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… to be continued …

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Beleaguered Trump. Hobbled US.

It is reported that the US Dept of Justice, deciding suo moto without consulting the White House, has appointed former FBI chief to repry communications transacted between Trump team’s and the Russian establishment and investigate their relationship, pointedly for the effect it has had on the 2016 Presidential election and risks it might now pose to US interests in the larger geopolitical game.

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To a dispassionate onlooker abroad as I, with concerns about what is happening right now on global chessboard, the decision, warranted or not, seems both institutionally welcome and politically extreme. The first restores primacy to institutional framework, its constituted checks and balances over the powerful office of the POTUS, in general, and protection against harm the whimsical and closed door decision eddies of an almighty First Executive could pose, in particular. It signals a return to more transparent functioning of the Federal Govt, with vetted professionals in the lead answerable to the Congress and the people of the United States.

On the other hand, to investigate an incumbent POTUS is fraught with possibly paralysing outcomes all the way. To start with, leadership of a president-in-the-dock is bound to project negatively in federal administrative offices, among citizens everywhere, and both friends and adversaries globally. That in itself would be an unacceptable cost to any nation, and more so to the world’s mightiest with historical obligations. And then, at its logical conclusion upon findings that holds the President complicit and guilty, what is to happen ?

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I believe Trump has the immunities guaranteed to the office unless he is impeached and removed. That would be a very long drawn affair, a period when the POTUS will still all his Executive power to decide on matters domestic and international. What if he, in his beleguered state of mind, makes debilitating decisions for the US or the global community ? With Republican control over both House and Senate, what if the impeachment campaign fails to pass muster ? It raises images that are terrible any which way we look.

I hope what follows, in the days and months to come, remains sane and partial to continuity than an abrupt hobbling of beaconous power of the office of the President of the United States. The ordered investigation must restrict itself to the goal of asserting the constituted powers of federal institutions and, I believe, must especially eschew toeing the politically extreme line signalled by Hillary Clinton’s recently announced “going forward” program. That kind of brinkmanship caused by a total inability to accept democratic electoral decision, either egotistically or on pressure brought upon by donors and funding entities with their own agenda, will only result in setbacks for american people and horrible global consequences.

Let the air clear up, please. Beleaguer Trump to make a welcome point. For nothing is worth hobbling or paralysing the nation.

Thank you.

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My Propah Hindu Brother…

Love you, don’t I ?

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I yet note with concern your censorious line on a citizen’s simple observation on a marraige that was conducted under a few non-traditional rules and values. Here’s my appeal that I hope you will consider dispassionately, with that generosity of heart your belief system greatly values.

“I admire your insistence on doing things “propah.” I sense that you are a votary of propah Hindu ways, long cultured in this exalted land of Bharat.

“But in view of widespread disregard by the laity of all things propah, and their compulsory preference for unregimented ways, you would be greatly dissapointed most of the time and sharply critical of most people you meet or come across — people who currently inhabit this country of ours. What to do, these multitudes drown out your purifying call to abide by scriptural standards and adopt the propah Hindu way of being and living.

“The good thing is that this nation will actually be led by precisely these commoners who do not wear their propah antecedents on their sleeve. They live the historical continuity of Sanatan regard, values and beliefs, and personal worshipful ways, but without overstating the “rules” and being obsessed about them with missionary zeal. They are the embracing people of this land who will to refuse to judge others for their personal belief subscriptions and their chosen way of life. They will not insist on measuring their every small or big departures from the propah line laid by pundits like you before putting them in the dock.

“Don’t get me wrong, I do not in the least oppose your choice of belief and mission for yourself. Far from it, I look upon it as a welcome diversity. But I do take umbrage to this imposition of the same on other simpler minded compatriots, who are merely trying to aspire and exert at making their lives a little better than before, both for themselves and for others.”

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God And I

The heading sounds grander than what I intend to write. This is on behalf of those on a quest sans belief : the yoga practitioners, who will accept the truth only as it is, as risen in his own heart and directly perceived in experience, and validated over the long term.

As an aside, for the benefit of readers, I may mention that the yoga I speak of is not the yoga appropriated by, and now in vogue in, the West.

There are exactly three sutras in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra that refer to God :

One, God is the Adi Guru, the one Teacher of all, those who practice yoga and those who guide or teach.

This specifies the relationship between God and I, the seeking self, even though is not to be construed as one among these many seeking selves. He is not seen or known, at least not yet, but we are informed that He is the eternal, foremost Teacher of all teachers and aspirants ever.

Two, He (God) is free of karma, of impressions carried of past experience, action or desire, retained in memory or deepest subconscious.

That is the very goal of the yoga practitioner : to be thus free, absolutely liberated, without the faintest trace of this impressed sense of doership or awareness of own choices and doings that humans have, of desiring and revolting drives and every other motivation kind in between, which result in retained impressions of the experience then gained and felt and summed up over time. These impressed memory become the source of subsequent flares of desire, attachment or revulsion, and the entire cycle repeats till perpetuity unless consciously and appropriately intervened by the individual with such a purpose.

This Sutra not only describes how the individual self compares with God but posits Him as the aspiring yogi’s ideal, as One who is worthy of remembering so as to constantly clarify and point the supreme yogic attainment towards which the individual in quest should progress.

And, three, our success at yoga, through its practice, is accelerated by our absolute trust in Him.

Never mind the fact that God is yet unseen and unknown, the self is capable of reposing total trust in God, the eternal Teacher, such as to presume His blessing and personal assurance of the aspirant’s success at yoga. That trust, implicit faith in God, adds to the yoga aspirant’s capacity to endure failures, to persevere at furrowing through the practice until the next milestone is attained.

This in fact is the also the long but certain way along which I, the yogi, come to deepen my sense of His presence, for real, by succeeding to attain those herculean milestones of yoga that previously had seemed virtually impossible to realise.

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PS : Yoga is unifying with our own true self, the one which remains constant, unchanging and unaffected, unattached, unqualified and featureless. There is no gain in yoga but a series of giving up; no new acquisition, just resurfacing to fore of our own core truth value, the blissful witnessing self, long covered thick and buried deep.

Yoga practice covers well-defined eight fold steps that need to be graduated through over a period of time. What is equally crucial and seldom underscored is vairagya, renunciation, giving up, that must accompany the practice.

The criteria for spotting what is true rests in its universal and immutable validity. The I we perceive of our self is changing from moment to moment. The true self is eternally unblinking witness, unmoving, unattached and unqualified.

Success is stillness of mind in which an object in view or awareness reflects as it is. The object could be gross or material or it may be subtle such as a word, thought or knowledge. However, there are several interim milestones the practioner attains along the way.