- (Spiritual Masters)
The master disciple relationship is very well represented in Bhagavad Gita, in chapter 10, where Lord Krishna reveals the infinite manifestations of his unmanifest spirit to his disciple Arjuna, and in chapter 11, where He reveals His Cosmic form, in response to Arjuna’s prayer to see what are the many aspects and forms of the Lord Himself.
In the same way, a master reveals to his disciple, when this one is ready for it, the many manifestations of God in Creation and he guides him through all the universal forms of spirit, helping him to see beyond the veils of illusion and to understand that “massive universes and their tiniest particles, majestic gods of Nature and the most insignificant of creatures, the shadow plays of good and evil – all hold their special place in the conformation of the Cosmic Image.”
The Blessed Lord said:
(1) O Mighty-Armed (Arjuna), hear thou more of My supreme utterance. For thy highest good I will speak further to thee, who listeneth joyfully.
(2) Neither the multitude of angels nor the great sages know My Uncreated Nature, for even the devas and rishis (are created beings, and hence) have an origin in Me.
(3) But whoever realizes Me to be the Unborn and Beginning less as well as the Sovereign Lord of Creation-that man has conquered delusion and attained the sinless state even while wearing a mortal body.
(4-5) Discrimination, wisdom, lack of delusion, forgiveness, truth, control of the senses, peace of mind, joy, sorrow, birth, death, fear, courage, harmlessness, equanimity, serenity, self-discipline, charity, fame, and infamy-these diverse states of beings spring from Me alone as modifications of My nature.
(6)The seven Great Rishis, the Primeval Four, and the (fourteen) Manus are also modifications of My nature, born of My thought, and endowed with (creative) powers like Mine. From these progenitors come all living creatures on earth.
(7) He who realizes by yoga the truth of My prolific manifestations and the creative and dissolving power of My Divine Yoga is unshakably united to Me. This is beyond doubt.
(8) I am the Source of everything; from Me all creation emerges. With this realization the wise, awestricken, adore Me.
(9) Their thoughts fully on Me, their beings surrendered to Me, enlightening one another, proclaiming Me always, My devotees are contented and joyful.
(10) To those thus ever attached to Me, and who worship Me with love, I impart that discriminative wisdom (buddhi yoga) by which they attain Me utterly.
(11) From sheer compassion I, the Divine Indweller, set alight in them the radiant lamp of wisdom which banishes the darkness that is born of ignorance.
(12-13) Arjuna said:
The Supreme Spirit, the Supreme Shelter, the Supreme Purity art Thou! All the great sages, the divine seer Narada, as well as Asita, Devala, and Vyasa, have thus described Thee as the Self-Evolved Eternal Being, the Original Deity, uncaused and omnipresent. And now Thou Thyself tellest me!
(14) O Keshawa (Krishna)! I consider as eternal truth all Thou hast revealed to me. Indeed, O my Lord! neither the Devas (gods) nor the Danavas (Titans) know the infinite modes of Thine appearances.
(15) O Divine Purusha, O Origin of beings, O Lord of all creatures, O God of gods, O Sustainer of the world! verily Thou alone knowest Thyself by Thyself.
(16) Therefore, please tell me exhaustively of Thy divine powers and qualities by which Thine Omnipresence sustaineth the cosmos.
(17) O Great Yogi (Krishna)! how shall I always meditate in order to know Thee truly? In what aspects and forms, O Blessed Lord, art Thou to be conceived by me?
(18) O Janardana (Krishna)! tell me more, at great length, of Thy yoga powers and Self-manifestations; far never can I hear enough of Thy nectared speech!
The Blessed Lord said:
(19) Very well, O Best of the Princes (Arjuna), I will indeed tell thee of My phenomenal expressions - but only the most outstanding ones, for there is no end to My variety.
(20) O Conqueror of Sleep (Arjuna)! I am the Self in the heart of all creatures: I am their Origin, Existence, and Finality.
(21) Among the Adityas (twelve effulgent beings), I am Vishnu; among luminaries, I am the radiating sun; among the Maruts (forty-nine wind gods), I am Marichi; among heavenly bodies, I am the moon.
(22) Among the Vedas, I am the Sama Veda; among the gods, I am Vasava (Indra); among the senses, I am mind (manas); in creatures, I am the intelligence.
(23) Of the Rudras (eleven radiant beings) I am (their leader) Shankara ("the well-wisher"); of the Yakshas and Rakshasas (astral demi-goblins), I am Kubera (lord of riches); of the Vasus (eight vitalizing beings), I am Pavaka (the god of fire, the purifying power); and of mountain peaks I am Meru.
(24) And, O son of Pritha (Arjuna), understand Me to be the chief among priests, Brihaspati; among generals, I am Skanda; among expanses of water, I am the ocean.
(25) Of the Maharishis (mighty sages), I am Bhrigu; among words, I am the one syllable Aum; among yajnas (holy ceremonies), I am japa-ajna (silent, superconscious chanting); among stationary objects, I am the Himalaya.
(26) Among all trees, I am the Ashvattha (the holy fig tree); among the devarishis (divine sages), I am Narada; among the Gandharvas (demigods), I am Chitraratha; among the siddhas (successful liberated beings), I am the muni (saint) Kapila.
(27) Among stallions, know Me to be the nectar-born Uchchaihshravas; among elephants, Indra 's white elephant, Airavata; and among men, the emperor.
(28) Among weapons, I am the thunderbolt; of bovines, I am Kamadhuk (the celestial cow that fulfills all desires). I am Kandarpa (the personified creative consciousness), the cause of childbirths; and I am Vasuki among serpents.
(29) I am Ananta ("the eternal" one) among the Naga serpents; I am Varuna (god of the ocean) among water creatures; I am Aryama among Pitris (ancestral parents); I am Yama (god of death) among all controllers.
(30) Among the Daityas (demons and giants), I am Prahlada; among measurers, I am time; among the animals, I am the king of beasts (the lion); and among birds, I am Garuda ("lord of the skies, " vehicle of Vishnu).
(31) Among purifiers, I am the breeze; among wielders of weapons, I am Rama; among aquatic creatures, I am Makara (vehicle of the god of the ocean); among streams, I am Jahnavi (the Ganges).
(32) Of all manifestations, O Arjuna, I am the beginning, middle, and end. Among all branches of knowledge, I am the wisdom of the Self; for debaters, I am discriminative logic (vada).
(33) Among all letters, I am the letter A; of all compounds, I am the dvandva (connective element). I am Immutable Time; and I am the Omnipresent Creator (the all-pervading Dispenser of Destiny) whose face is turned on all sides.
(34) I am all-dissolving Death; and I am Birth, the origin of all that will be. Among feminine manifestations (qualities of Prakriti), I am fame, success, the illumining power of speech, memory, discriminative intelligence, the grasping faculty of intuition, and the steadfastness of divine forbearance.
(35) Among Samas (hymns), I am Brihat-Saman; among poetic meters, I am Gayatri; among the months, I am Margasirsha (an auspicious winter month); among seasons, I am Kusumakwra, the flower bearer (spring).
(36) I am the gambling of the practicers of fraud; I am the radiance of the radiant; I am victory and the striving power; I am the quality of sattva among the good.
(37) Among the Vrishnis, I am Vasudeva (Krishna); among the Pandavas, I am Dhananjaya (Arjuna); among the munis (saints), I am Vyasa; among the sages, I am the savant Ushanas.
(38) I am the rod of the discipliners; I am the art of those who seek victory; I am also the silence of all hidden things, and the wisdom of all knowers.
(39) I am, furthermore, whatsoever constitutes the reproductive seed of all beings. There is nothing, O Arjuna, moving or motionless, that can abide without Me.
(40) O Scorcher of Foes (Arjuna), limitless are the manifestations of My divine attributes; My concise declaration is a mere intimation of My proliferating glorious powers.
(41) Any being that is a worker of miracles, that is a possessor of true prosperity, that is endowed with great prowess, know all such to be manifested sparks of My radiance.
(42) But what need hast thou, O Arjuna, for the manifold details of this wisdom? (Understand simply:) I, the Unchanging and Everlasting, sustain and permeate the entire cosmos with but one fragment of My Being!
Aum, Tat, Sat.
In the Upanishad of the holy Bhagavad Gita – the discourse of Lord Krishna to Arjuna, which is the scripture of yoga and the science of God-realization – this is the tenth chapter, called "Vibhuti Yoga (Divine Manifestations). "
(1) Thou hast compassionately revealed to me the secret wisdom of the true Self, thus banishing my delusion.
(2) O Lotus-Eyed (Krishna)! Thou hast told me extensively of the beginning and end of all beings, and of Thine eternal sovereignty.
(3) O Great One! truly hast Thou thus declared Thyself. Yet, O Purushottama! I long to see Thee in Divine Embodiment (Thine Ishwara-Form).
(4) O Master, O Lord of Yogis! If Thou deemest me able to see It, show to me Thine Infinite Self!
The Blessed Lord said:
(5) Behold, O son of Pritha (Arjuna)! by hundreds and by thousands My divine forms -multicolored, omnifarious!
(6) Behold the Adityas, the Vasus, the Rudras, the twin Ashvins, the Maruts, and many wonders hitherto unknown!
(7) Here and now, O Conqueror of Sleep (Arjuna)! behold as unified in My Cosmic Body all worlds, all that moves or is motionless, and whatever else thou desirest to see.
(8) But thou canst not see Me with mortal eyes. Therefore I give thee sight divine. Behold My supreme power of yoga!
(9) Sanjaya said to King Dhritarashtra:
With these words Hari (Krishna), the exalted Lord of Yoga, revealed to Arjuna the Consummate Embodiment, the Cosmic-Bodied Ishvara-Form.
resence of the Deity - infinite in forms, shining in every direction of space, omnipotence all-pervading, adorned with countless celestial robes and garlands and ornaments, upraising heavenly weapons, fragrant with every lovely essence, His mouths and eyes everywhere!
(12) If a thousand suns appeared simultaneously in the sky, their light might dimly resemble the splendor of that Omnific Being!
(13) There, resting within the infinite Form of the God of gods, Arjuna beheld the entire universe with all its diversified manifestations.
(14) Then the Winner of Wealth (Arjuna), wonder-struck, his hair standing on end, his palms together in a prayerful gesture, bowing his head in awe before the Lord, addressed Him:
(15 – 34) Arjuna said:
Beloved Lord, Adored of gods! Behold,
Thy body holds
All fleshly tenants, seers fine,
And diverse angel-gods divine.
Dwelling deep in mystery cave,
The Serpent Nature 's forceful crave,
Though fierce and subtle, now is tame,
Forgetful of her deadly game;
And Sovran Brahma, God of gods,
On lotus seat is snug secured.
Great Cosmic-Bodied Lord of worlds,
Oh, I behold, again behold
Thee all and everywhere,
Thy countless arms, trunks, mouths, and eyes!
Yet drooping, dark, my knowledge lies
About Thy birth and reign and ending here.
O Blazing, Furious Flame, O Blinding Ray,
Thy focused power's aglow: Thy Name
To dark'st abysmal lair.
Gilded with a crown of stars
And wielding mace of sovereign power,
Thou whirlest forth, O Burning Phoebus,
Thine evolution's circling discus.
Immortal Brahma, all Supreme,
Thou Cosmic Shelter, Wisdom's Theme,
Eternal Dharma's Guardian true,
Thou diest not I ever knew!
O Birthless, Fleshless, Deathless One,
I see Thine endless, working arms,
Thine ever-watching eyes
Of suns and moons, the staring skies;
And from Thy mouth spumes throbbing flame,
As utterest Thou the Aum, Thy Cosmic Name.
Thy Self-born luster shields from harm,
And all creation, distance-flung, doth warm.
O Sovereign Soul! 'twixt earth and home of gods,
Directions all, and earthly sods,
All high abodes and all encircling spheres,
By Thee pervaded, far and near.
The worlds-triune awestruck by fear,
Thy dreadful wondrous form adore.
In Thee the gods their entry make;
With folded hands, afraid, some pray to shelter take
In Thee. The seers great, and heaven's-path successful ones,
With superb chants of "Peace!" do worship Thee and Thee alone.
Th' eleven lamps of heaven;
The twelve bright suns;
The grizzly eight,
The starry lusters great;
Aspiring hermits; patron gods,
The agents of the cosmic lords;
The twin-born princes strong,
Of valor known so long;
Two-score and nine noil breezes' force,
That binds the atom close;
The long-passed guardian spirits all;
The demigoblins, demigods, and demons tall;
And mighty ones in Spirit's path,
In wonder gaze upon Thy blazoned worth.
I Thee behold, Colossal-Armed!
With starry eyes and countless cheeks,
With endless hands, and legs adorned with lotus feet.
Thy chasmed mouth with doomsday's teeth
Doth yawn to swallow swooning worlds above, beneath,
And leaves a distilled joyous awe in me:
Thy grandeur I and all are wonder-struck to see!
To view the bowels of the void deep all filled with Thee
Thy gaping mouth and diverse hues of fiery lustrous body
O Vishnu of the flaming sight,
Thou quite o'erpowerest me, my peace dost fright.
Ferocious teeth and deadly fires do howl
In mouths of Thine that at me scowl. Directions four are lost and gone;
Com passion show! I find no peace alone; O Cosmic Guardian, Lord of gods,
Be pleased t'accept my humble pleading words.
The sons of senses swayed with kingly pride,
With ego, karmic habit, worldly lure, abide
And wait to leap upon our wisdom's chiefs;
And yet they all do ride
The race of death, to fall and hide
Fore'er in Thy devouring mouth,
Adorned with crushing cruel teeth uncouth.
The victor and the vanquished must
(Thine offspring both, the righteous and ungodly ones)
Thy love still claim; yet all some day shall kiss the dust,
And sleep on common floor of earth.
The shattered skulls of some are seen,
As caught Thy greedy teeth between.
As diverse, restless, watery waves
Of river branches all do crave
To force through crowded wavelets' way
And meet where Neptune's home long lay,
E'en so, heroic streams of life
Do Plunge to meet in maddest strife
Within Thy foaming mouth of flaming sea,
Where sparks of lives all dance in Thee.
As insects lost in beauty's game
All swiftly, thoughtless, rush to flame,
So fog-born passion's fires pretend
To glow like heavenly light of Thine,
And draw on mortals to attend
The trumpet call to deathly line.
Thy mouth ablaze
Doth bring to gaze
Its leaping tongues to lick
The angry blood of strong and weak;
Thou, Gourmand God, dost eat
With hunger infinite.
O Vishnu, Thou dost scorch
The worlds with all-pervading fiery torch.
Be Pleased, O First of gods;
I ache to know, Primeval Lord,
True who Thou art – O Fiery Mood,
Yet so benign and good.
Oh, tell to me Thy Royal Will;
For it I know not still.
The Blessed Lord then said:
In guise of Endless Doom
I come as avaricious Time to seize and room
In burning maw
Of Mine the weaklings' awe,
And all the mortal meat
Of weary worlds of deathly change, and treat
Them with My nectar-life
To new and fearless, better strife.
E'en if thou dost forbear to slay
Thy wicked foes, still they - and warriors all in brave array –
Will sure and certain timely have to fall,
Ah, in My righteous teeth-of-law, withal.
Arise, awake! Arise, awake!
Dash thou upon the foe, the flesh a captive make;
And win the victor's fame
With battle-hunted game;
Wealth of the King
Of Peace, and heaven's kingdom, bring!
I know right now the happenings all
That mystic future forth doth call;
And thus thy foes and warriors true,
Long, long ago I slew,
Ere shalt thine agent-hand
(That I would wield to land
Thy Joes on death's dim shore). Now understand!
My agent thou;
Oh, this is how
I work My plans - the universe –
Through instruments diverse;
'Tis I who slew and yet will slay the senses' train
Through thee, as through both past and future ones,
My soldiers sane!
Sanjaya said to King Dhritarashtra:
(35) After hearing the words of Keshava (the maya-transcendent Krishna), the diademed one (Arjuna, haloed with cosmic vision), trembling and awestricken, joining his palms in worshipful supplication, again made humble obeisance and addressed Krishna in a quavering voice.
(36) O Hrishikesha (Krishna)! Rightly are the worlds proud and gladdened to exude Thy glory! The demons, terrified, seek safety in distance; while the multitudes of siddhas (perfected beings) bow down to worship Thee.
(37) And why should they not pay Thee homage, O Vast Spirit? For greater art Thou than Brahma the Creator, who issued from Thee. O Infinite One, O God of gods, O Shelter of the Universe, Thou art the Imperishable-the Manifested, the Unmanifested, and That beyond (the Ultimate Mystery).
(38) The Primal God art Thou! the Pristine Spirit, the Final Refuge of the Worlds, the Knower and the Known, the Supreme Fulfillment! Thine Omnipresence shines in the universe, O Thou of Inexhaustible Form!
(39) O Flowing Life of Cosmic Currents (Vayu), O King of Death (Yama), O God of Flames (Agni), O Sovereign of Sea and Sky (Varuna), O Lord of Night (the Moon), O Divine Father of Countless Offspring (Prajapati ), O Ancestor of All! To Thee praise, praise without end! To Thee my salutations thousandfold!
(40) O Endless Might, O Invincible Omniscient Omnipresence, O All-in-All! I bow to Thee in front and behind, I bow to Thee on the left and the right, I bow to Thee above and beneath, I bow to Thee enclosing me everywhere!
(41) Unaware of this, Thy Cosmic Glory, and thinking of Thee as a familiar companion, often have I audaciously hailed Thee as "Friend" and "Krishna" and "Yadava." For all such words, whether spoken carelessly or with affection;
(42) And for any irreverence I have displayed toward Thee, O Unshakable Lord! in lighthearted mood at mealtimes or while walking or sitting or resting, alone with Thee or in others' company – for all such unintentional slights, O Thou Illimitable! I beg forgiveness.
(43) Father of All art Thou! of animate and inanimate alike. None but Thee is worthy of worship, O Guru Sublime! Unparalleled by any other in the three worlds, who may surpass Thee, O Lord of Power Incomparable?
(44) Therefore, O Adorable One, I cast myself in obeisance at Thy feet to implore Thy pardon. As a father to his son, as a friend to a close friend, as a lover to his beloved, do Thou, O Lord, forgive me!
(45) Overjoyed am I at having gazed upon a vision never seen before, yet my mind is not free from terror. Be merciful to me, O Lord of gods, O Shelter of the Worlds! Show to me only Thy Deva-form (as the benign Vishnu).
(46) I long to see Thee as before, as the Four-Armed Vishnu, diademed and holding Thy mace and discus. Reappear in that same form, O Thou who art Thousand-Armed and Universe-Bodied!
The Blessed Lord said:
(47) I have graciously exercised Mine own Yoga Power to re¬veal to thee, O Arjuna, and to none other! this Supreme Primeval Form of Mine, the Radiant and Infinite Cosmos!
(48) No mortal man, save only thyself, O Great Hero of the Kurus! is able to look upon My Universal Shape-not by sacrifices or charity or works or rigorous austerity or study of the Vedas is that vision attainable.
(49) Be not affrighted or stupefied at seeing My Terrible Aspect. With dreads removed and heart rejoicing, behold once more My familiar form!
Sanjaya said to King Dhritarashtra:
(50) After speaking thus, Vasudeva, "the Lord of the World," resumed his own shape as Krishna. He, the Great-Souled One, appearing to Arjuna in the form of grace, consoled His fear-stricken devotee.
(51) O Granter of All Wishes (Krishna)! As I gaze on Thee again in gentle human shape, my mind is quieted and I feel more like my natural self.
The Blessed Lord said:
(52) Very difficult it is to behold, as thou hast done, the Vision Universal! Even the gods ever yearn to see it.
(53-54) But it is not unveiled through one's penance or scriptural lore or gift-giving or formal worship. O Scorcher of the Sense-Foes (Arjuna)! only by undivided devotion (commingling by yoga all thoughts in One Divine Perception) may I be seen as thou hast beheld Me in My Cosmic Form and recognized in reality and finally embraced in Oneness!
(55) Re who works for Me alone, who makes Me his goal, who lovingly surrenders himself to Me, who is nonattached (to My delusive cosmic-dream worlds), who bears ill will toward none (beholding Me in all)- he enters My being, O Arjuna!
Aum, Tat, Sat.
In the Upanishad of the holy Bhagavad Gita – the discourse of Lord Krishna to Arjuna, which is the scripture of yoga and the science of God-realization – this is the eleventh chapter, called "The Vision of the Cosmic Form. "
Published by Natha.net
From "God talks with Arjuna - The Bhagavad Gita", by Sri Paramahansa Yogananda
by yoga teacher Gregorian Bivolaru
"I am absolutely convinced that... life is rooted in death and the souls of the dead continue to live."(Socrates)
"As the embodied soul passes from childhood to youth and to old age, so, analogically, the soul changes the body and crosses into another." (Bhagavad Gita II, 13)
"There has never been a more beautiful, truer, purer, more moral, more fertile, more consoling and so far more believable faith than the one of perpetual life." (Maurice Maeterlinck - Belgian poet and dramatist)
More people know today that atheistic materialism, which denies the existence of God and life after death, putting its unfortunate mark on official science, is rooted in Enlightenment and rationalism - still presented by the official history as milestones of progress of human society. In fact, serious researchers have shown that the two trends were supported and financed subversively by the clans of money sharks that founded in the eighteenth-century the so-called satanic order "the illuminati". Their purpose, and of their descendants today, is the subjugation of the world by destroying people's faith in God, thus making them easier to manipulate. Materialist science claims that in fact, there is nothing else in the whole world than what we perceive with the senses. Defying the doctrines of the millenary spiritual traditions, the leaders of the atheistic materialism (including, surprisingly to some, figures such as the mathematicians Laplace and Descartes) often said mockingly that to find God's Spirit, they crawled, apparently, all over this world and didn’t find him. Laplace’s case is notorious, who when asked by Napoleon why he did not mention God in his writings on astronomy, answered cynically that "he did not need this hypothesis”. In the same category falls the disparaging statement of the French surgeon Francois-Joseph-Victor Broussais (1772-1838): "I have never found the soul under a knife’s edge.", which is often cited as an emblematic utterance by the materialistic scientists.
Despite its promoters’ claims, materialistic science could not however consistently explain either the ultimate nature of matter and energy, or could it discover the ultimate origin of movement, or solve the riddle of appearance of consciousness in general and of the simple sensation in particular, or could it reveal the mystery of the first appearance of life or the mysterious way in which Nature takes its course and fulfills its purpose, to name just a few fundamental questions.
From the perspective of ancient spiritual traditions of this planet, life is a miracle and the soul and body are two different levels of reality, which although coexist temporarily in the physical world, however, reveal themselves through different vibration frequencies. Sages and yogis of old times claimed not only that the human soul existed, but also that it was immortal. The doctrine of transmigration of souls after death (for which some use more nuanced terms like "transmigration", "metempsychosis", "palingenesis” etc.) has been known since ancient times in the East, as being a fundamental aspect of the whole spectrum of Hindu tradition. Vedas and Bhagavad Gita, the sacred scriptures of India speak about the successive lives of the soul. The great yogi and sage Patanjali registered in his fundamental treatise Yoga Sutra (III, 18) that, through certain yogic techniques, an advanced practitioner gains access to his unconscious impregnation (SAMSKARA- s) and thus can recall his previous existences, which are kept as latent subtle impregnation in the subconscious mind (CHITTA).
Egyptians believed in the transmigration of souls, and the teachings of the ancient Greeks, including Pythagoras, Socrates and Plato, also often referred to it. Pythagoras claimed that he could remember his previous lives, and Plato mentioned several times the idea that being driven by the senses, the pure soul leaves the field of the absolute reality to dress with a physical body.
Also in the Kabbalah of the Jewish tradition there are numerous references to previous existences. In the book of Zohar at least one passage that refers to reincarnation can be found: "The souls have to return to the substance from which they proceeded. They must reveal the perfections whose germ is within them, thus being obliged to return again and again, until they fulfill the conditions for their reunion with God."
In Islam, the followers of the spiritual path of Sufism also consider that the soul is immortal and that spirit evolves step by step, through many realms. The great mystic Rumi described thus allegorically, the process of spiritual evolution and transmigration of souls in his famous poem Mathnavi: "When I was a stone, I died and I was reborn as a plant / Then I died as a plant and I was reborn as an animal / I died as an animal and I was reborn as a man / Why would I still fear that I could lose something by dying? / As a man, I will die again / Rising as an angel perfect from head to toe / I will become something bigger than any human imagination."
In spite of some contrary dogmatic assertions, there are some indications that in the first Christian centuries, the doctrine of transmigration of souls was accepted in the West. Thus, in the third century AD, the Christian scholar Origen, one of the fathers of the Early Church, wrote in his work De Principiis that it is natural for souls to receive bodies in accordance with their inclinations and tendencies. It took two centuries until the year 553 AD, when at the Fifth Ecumenical Council of Constantinople, in the context of certain political intrigue with implications in the monastic environment, ten works of scholar Origen’ theses were condemned as heretical, although previously they had not bothered anyone. Among the ten theses condemned by the human authorities of that time was that of the preexistence of the soul. In this way, the idea of reincarnation was hence anathemized. Since then, the Christian Church has claimed that man has one life to return to the paradisiacal state before committing the original sin.
Despite the effort to structure the Christian dogma in one direction, there are Biblical passages that evoke the idea of reincarnation; Christianity inherited from Judaism the concept of resurrection of the body and final judgment. Thus, in Gospel of Matthew (11, 14 and 17, 10-13) Jesus refers to John the Baptist as the one that once was the prophet Elijah. "And if ye will understand, he (John the Baptist) is Elijah who is to come." "But I say unto you that Elijah has come, but they knew him not, but did to him whatever they wanted, so the Son of Man shall suffer from them." Then the disciples understood that Jesus spoke about John the Baptist."
In the Great Gospel of John, written by the Prophet Jakob Lorber as a divinely inspired dictation (Vol.5, Chapters 236-238), there is a passage in which Jesus confirms that Elijah was reborn as John the Baptist and explains so that everyone can understand the concept of resurrection of the body, which is assumed in Christianity through the so-called Creed. There is also a reference to reincarnation from the perspective of the law of cause and effect in the Gospel of John (9, 2), in the passage in which Jesus is asked: "Who sinned, was it this man or his parents that he was born blind?" And in the Gospel of Matthew (26, 52) he refers to the spiritual law of action and reaction: "He who raises his sword, he will perish by the sword." Also, in the Book of Job (1, 21), both in the Hebrew and the Greek translation used in monasteries, we find a very significant for the idea of reincarnation: "Naked I came from my mother's womb and naked shall I return there." Unfortunately, the Romanian translation given in the text of the Bible distorts the original text, by adapting it in the form of "naked shall I return to the ground".
Over time, many great minds were preoccupied with the problem of birth, death, and rebirth and implicitly of reincarnation. The scientist Giordano Bruno argued with the price of his life, until the end, the idea that the soul transmigrates from one body to another, despite the pressure of the Inquisition. The philosopher Voltaire said that "the doctrine of reincarnation is neither absurd nor useless" and that "the idea of metempsychosis is perhaps the oldest known dogma of the Universe" and the great German poet Johann Wolfgang Goethe said: "I am sure that I came to the Earth before, just like here and now, a thousand times.” Napoleon used to tell his generals that in a previous life he was Carol the Great. Countless writers have addressed the subject of successive human lives. Honoré de Balzac, in his book The human comedy, wrote: "All human souls go through successive lives... I wonder how many incarnations the soul that was promised to Heaven goes through before it is able to understand the price of peace and solitude, whose starry steppes are the foundation of the spiritual worlds?" Lev Tolstoy also wrote: "As we live thousands of dreams in this life, this is only one among thousands of other lives that we have after we left another life, a more real one... where we return after death. Our life is nothing but a dream of a more real life, and always will be, until we reach the last one, the true one – the divine life."
Obviously, it is very difficult if not impossible for a man to achieve perfection in one lifetime. He must develop virtues like love, compassion, tolerance, forgiveness, balance, courage, etc., a process that often requires a time equivalent to countless lives, for trends and abilities develop most often over a long period of time. One life cannot explain the mystery of death before birth of innocent babies or the short life of a few months or a few years of some human beings, compared to the long life others have. Some people are rich, others poor, some healthy, others are sick, some are brilliant, others are stupid and in the context of a single life, this would be an injustice, blatant nonsense. In addition, the sentence to “eternal” hell of those who don’t acquire a Faith in God or don’t hear about the existence of Christ during one lifetime, as some dogmatic so-called Christians claim, is completely irrational, because it doesn’t give the opportunity to correct, to grow spiritually and to evolve gradually.
All these situations and facts must have a reason and the only natural and believable reason for all these is the divine law of generating cause and the compensating effect which governs the Universe (the Basic Law of Karma). Nobody is actually punished for their actions, but they only collect the compensating effects of their previous actions, which eventually makes them become responsible, correct their attitude and to assimilate their necessary spiritual lessons. The purpose of life is spiritual perfection and achievement of the communion with God, and not the punishment for the sins, even if the mistakes must be corrected and the lower tendencies of the human being have to be removed.
In the end, we can say that reincarnation prepares gradually, step by step, the human being to achieve perfection and the ultimate Realization, which sets the human being free from the cycle of births and deaths, leading her to full communion with God.
Article taken from the Book of Spiritual Holiday Camp yoga Costineşti 2011, Volume 3
- (Various Topics)
A synthesis made by Verona Bucu and Dan Bozaru
She governs the sixty-four arts and she is also the one that produces the Joy and endless Happiness of the Master of the whole Creation. KALI is Shakti (the Feminine Cosmic Force) in Her Purely Transcendental aspect. KALI is the Night of the Darkness from which the mysterious energy of Time springs."
"KALI is the great Cosmic Power of the Energy of Time and for the one who adores her, she is the one who grants Spiritual Liberation. KALI always protects and inspires those who know and love her. For the fearless, KALI is the Terrible, the Destroyer of Time. As the dark Shakti of Shiva, KALI is the space, air, fire, water and earth. KALI carries out all the physical desires of Shiva.
KALI is the cosmic Force of time The great Cosmic Power KALI, one of the most emotional personifications of the primary female energy in the cosmic drama, has gained great popularity and she is often the subject of a full of fervor devotion in Tantric worship. She is, not at all accidentally, the symbol of power representing the unity of the transcendent.
This Great Cosmic Power got to be worshipped in her many forms in many parts of the world. Thus, in Nepal, it is known as Guhyakali; the Greeks used the name Kalli, formerly there existed a city named Kallipolis (currently Gallipoli); in Finland, the name of Kalma (Kali Ma) is also attributed to goddess Kali; even the Gypsies who came from India adore her under the name Sara Kali; in prehistoric Ireland the priestesses were called Kelles, because they were the worshipers of goddess Kele. Many other examples can be found.
The worship of Kali is characterized by a steady abandonment of oneself in front of Mother. By expressing their love and faith, the worshipper obtains a more profound spiritual consciousness and a gets closer to their own inner truth.
We briefly present you the contents of this ample material on the Great Cosmic Power KALI:
1. The act of the universal creation. The whole universe is Kali's stage In Tantric cosmology, the whole universe (the macrocosm) is considered as being born and constantly supported by the dual forces of SHIVA-SHAKTI, the masculine and feminine principle; however, the Supreme Goddess says in Devibhagavata says: "At the time of the final dissolution (pralaya), I am no longer man or woman, or neutral." She becomes devoid of form and attributes in this last aspect of reality.
The whole universe is the scene of Kali
In Hindu iconography, Kali is considered the first and most important of the tantric Pantheon deities, but her various forms and aspects are also fervently revered in the other spiritual traditions of India. The famous Mahanirvana Tantra text describes Kali as the one who gives birth to all things and beings in the Manifestation, from the least to the most significant. Thus, the whole of the Macrocosm becomes the theatre of her terrible, beneficial and harmoniously integrated actions, which are characterized by a total causal knowledge and a profound discernment. The mysterious influence of the great Cosmic Power Kali within the Creation is so complex and occulted, that virtually no human being can perceive its real goals and meanings, with the exception of those souls that have already reached a high degree of spiritual accomplishment. According to Tantric spiritual tradition, the whole Manifestation springs from Infinite Consciousness of the endless beatific Union between Shiva and Shakti. The creation function is fulfilled by that divine energy (Shakti) which is called Brahman and the maintenance or continuance of this creation is carried out by Shakti Vaishnavi. Both the creation and maintenance aspects involve every time a "death" or a molecular "destruction" of any form of the Manifestation, and this function is fulfilled by Rudrani Shakti. In particular, Brahmani, Vaishnavi and Rudrani Shakti are nothing more than the female aspects of the great Hindu gods forming the Hindu trinity of the Creation: Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra (or Shiva).
The simultaneous existence of these three processes in the Manifestation clearly explain the statement of the tantric texts that proclaim that the act of Creation did not take place only once in a moment in the past, and its dissolution or destruction (of the Creation) is not going to happen only one time sometimes in the future either, but in every moment of time these aspects manifest as some sparks that are so fast that they create the impression of continuity and reality. Although the mind and the body of the human being are constantly assaulted by countless sensory experiences, the state of divine ecstasy (samadhi) which occurs due to an intense and perseverant spiritual practice involves the "dissolution" of the mental functions and of the consciousness of the body in the Supreme consciousness of Paramashiva (God the father) that transcends any duality.
The Great Cosmic Power Kali is considered to be the very nature and consciousness of the Supreme Divine (Brahman), this representing her transcendent aspect. On the other hand, she is at the same time the glory of the effulgent manifestation of countless worlds and entities in Creation. Therefore, Kali is worshipped in her two fundamental aspects: as the Great Goddess granting the favor of all enjoyments and happiness of this world, as well as the holy supreme divine energy (Shakti), that gives the spiritual liberation (Kaivalya).
In the Pantheon of the Tantric gods, Kali is referred to as the first of the ten Great Cosmic Powers because, in a certain way, she is the one who makes “the wheel of time" move, this being the primary impulse in the phenomenal existence and becoming. On the other hand, at the end of a cycle of manifestation, Time (or Kala, in Sanskrit) "devoured" all the worlds of the three plans (universes or spheres of consciousness) of Creation, which are the physical universe, the astral universe (or subtle) and the causal universe. The Great Cosmic Power Kali "devours" in the end even the aspect of temporality (i.e. the subtle energy of time, Kala), this being the reason she is considered the primary cause of creation and destruction of manifestation.
From another perspective, Kali is also the creator of the worlds, these worlds being born from the ashes of the purifying fire of the Divine Consciousness of this Great Cosmic Power, which has burned all the impurities, residues and imperfections of the forms of manifestation. Therefore, the action of Kali has a deeply evolutionary character, giving a sometimes dramatic or terrible impulse to the human beings’ existence on their way to spiritual accomplishment. However Kali always does this with a perfect divine discernment, and those who manage to overcome successfully these stages and tests they go though are true spiritual heroes, enjoying the ineffable favor of the Great Goddess Kali.
However, until the Omnipotent Will of God does not manifest the creator impulse, Shakti (or the Infinite Divine Energy) is located in potentiality and inseparably united with Shiva in his purely transcendental aspect. The texts of tantric spirituality name this perfect union, beyond any manifestation of duality, by the term Sat-Cit-Ananda (Pure Existence, Pure Consciousness - endless Bliss).
2. Aspects of the Great Cosmic Power KALI In his vision, Ramakrishna describes Kali as follows: "The world in its totality is the toy of the Divine mother, which, under various aspects, plays with it. Sometimes she is Mahakali, unconditioned, formless. Another time It is as the immortal Nitya-Kali, separate from her work. In another aspect, she is Smasana-Kali, the being who reigns over death, over the destruction of everything. She is on the other hand Rakshya-Kali, standing in front of us, always ready to protect and bless her children that love her (the worshippers). She also appears as Shyama, the intensely blue charming Mother, accompanied by the God of Eternity and Infinity."
The supreme Shakti (in her aspect of Kali) assumes the responsibility of creating the names, as well as their evolution in manifestation. Her sovereignty is often mentioned in the Tantric texts by the name Adimahavidya, which means the first of the Great Cosmic Powers, but this must not induce the idea of a hierarchy, but rather that of an order of becoming of the macrocosm. Thus, one of the many representations of the Great Goddess Kali is the one in which she is represented on a throne of gold, supported by five bodies (such as that of Shiva), a throne which is in the middle of a tree grove made of gems. A beach with golden sand lies at her feet, always washed by the peaceful waves of the Nectar Ocean of Immortality.
Kali is also called Adyashakti, in her aspect of terrible energy and power that impulses human beings into action and the world (Creation) to manifestation. For this reason she is often also called Mahamaya (the great Power of the Universal Illusion). The fact that she is represented naked without any garment that covers her, signifies Kali transcended any type of limitation, she being always identified with the endless Power of the Divine consciousness. Kali's action in Manifestation involves the destroying and at the same time purifying action of time (Kala).
This aspect is suggested by a decapitated head of a human being, that the Great Goddess holds in one of her hands, the significance being that the entire creation, is finally dissolved or revoked in the bosom of the Primordial Consciousness of God, because of the inexorable action of the subtle energy of time manifested by Kali, she herself being beyond time. This is the reason that the goddess is assigned also the name of Mahakali. However, as a yogi aims more and more firmly towards the goal of spiritual liberation, that transcends any duality and illusion, Kali will offer him her overwhelming grace (bhukti – the experience full of happiness and fulfillment in this world and mukti – the divine bliss of the Transcendent Divine Reality).
One of the most important aspects in which the Great Cosmic Power Kali is worshipped is that of the goddess Durga, the defeater of the demon Mahishashura. This demon represents in the tradition of the Hindu spirituality the incarnation of all the forces of Darkness. In the Vedanta philosophy there is the concept of the Divine Reincarnations (avatara) that come to Earth in order to achieve a profound spiritual transformation of humanity; in this direction, Rama, Krishna etc. were considered avatars of the Master of the Universe (Ishvara, adored in his male aspect as Vishnu). But for those who love God in his aspect of a caring omnipotent Divine Mother, the great Goddess is the only incarnation to destroy the evil that proliferates in the world under its various demonic and satanic aspects.
Thus, in the tradition of Hindu Mythology it is said that the invincible goddess, omnipotent in the three worlds (physical, subtle and causal), came out victorious in the battle with demons and their king, the great demon Mahishashura, saving thus the gods from captivity and restoring the order in Manifestation. The deep spiritual significance of this myth is that in every human being there are beneficial and malefic forces and energies, which are acknowledged in this way. Symbolically, the malefic forces are the demons, and the benefic ones are the gods, so there is a fierce internal battle for supremacy. The goddess Durga, personification of the Great Cosmic Power Kali, grants her grace and divine help to those who invoke and adore her powerfully so that their spiritual forces develop and suppress all the other negative influences of their psyche and mental. Durga, the Divine Light which eternally sparkles as a Lighthouse of Eternity, destroys and burns in the terrible fire of her pure consciousness any malevolent force and any residue of ignorance.
In Hindu iconography, Kali appears as well in multiple other forms, which are often similar to the form of Dakshina Kali, the differences involving the number of arms, of the face of the goddess or of the symbolic objects which she holds in her hands. Thus, Shmasana Kali, Siddha Kali, Mahakali, Guhya Kali are all aspects of the Great Goddess who are revered in various parts of India..
Among these forms of the Great Cosmic Power Kali it is worthy to note that of Bhadra Kali, which in the famous treatise Tantrasara is described as a hungry deity, ready to devour every illusory form or aspect of Manifestation, having three eyes (symbol of complete spiritual knowledge) and four hands in which she holds a skull, a drum, a trident and an axe. A variant of Bhadra Kali is Chamunda Kali described as having a pleasant and benevolent appearance, although her teeth are terrible at sight. She wears a long human bone, with a skull in the end, and a sword in her both right hands, and in her two left hands she hold a noose and a human head. Unlike other representative forms, Chamunda Kali wears a tiger fur on her body and sits on a corpse.
At certain times and circumstances, Kali interferes in a terrible way to destroy everything that is weak, useless or perverted. She often assumes symbolically four or more hands to hold and use various objects and weapons in order to maintain the order in Creation and the control over the malefic forces embodied by certain demonic and satanic entities (yaksha, rakshasa, naga, bhuta, etc.). In her highly elevated aspects, Kali is the very endless Divine Bliss which lies beyond any ability of common human perception.
3. The traditional symbolic representation of the Great Cosmic Powers, KALI Kali is often depicted, as the Divine Universal Mother, being surrounded by a lot of other gods and goddesses. She is at the same time the low and the unscrupulous in the Creation, but also she is the highest refinement and subtlety in the various spheres of the Manifestation. Devoid of any sizes and spatial-temporal objectivities, she however takes countless forms and names in order to meet the most hidden desires of her fervent worshipers. Kali is represented in most aspects as having a black body, holding in her many hands symbolic objects or making mudras (symbolic gestures), with garlands or necklaces with dead heads around the neck, having her tongue pulled out and dancing on the inert body of Shiva, in the midst of a burning pyre. She appears as the aspect of Death, transcending Illusion.
The description of the Great Cosmic Power Kali, as it is revealed in the Kalitantra text, describes the goddess as having her skin the color of a dark and purple cloud before the storm. She dances over the inert white body of Shiva, this representation signifying the two fundamental aspects of reality: on the one hand, the static and transcendent aspect of Consciousness (which is identified with Shiva), and on the other hand the dynamic and immanent aspect of consciousness (which is identified with Kali's dance). In this iconographical representation, Shiva is white because he signifies the infinite divine light without support (prakasha), he is inert and motionless as a corpse (Shava), because in the absence of action and movement, Consciousness is pure, homogenous and compact. On the contrary, the dance of the Great Goddess Kali most importantly signifies the dynamic and active aspect of the Divine Consciousness in Manifestation, and the dark color of her skin shows that in the processes taking place in Creation, Kali "dissolves" everything, which is associated with darkness and existential vacuum.
The various depictions of the goddess have in common some fundamental elements, which are: Shiva's corpse, a glorious attitude, black color, etc., but they may however differ in other details, that constitute as many shades of the role that Kali plays in Manifestation. Thus, in one of these images, the great Goddess is represented in a stately, profoundly meditative attitude, overwhelmed by the nectar of the endless spiritual bliss; she is on top of Shiva’s chest, who is lying on the ground in the corpse posture (shavasana).
Kali is represented in the well-known position of the archer, with her right leg bent forward, with the sole on Shiva’s chest, and her left leg bent backwards. Both images (both that of Kali and the one of Shiva) are illustrated in the midst of a place corpses are burnt, meaning that all illusory objects of the world are finally reduced to "ashes" due to their terrible consumption in the fire of the passage of time (time being the main way of manifestation of Kali in Creation), or that such ephemeral things (matter, objects, human beings. phenomena, actions) return to their primary stage of essence origin causal synthesis.
As usual, also in this representation Kali is black, being thus the source of any other color that springs from the unknown abyss of the fundamental quality of sustainment (tamas guna). Although, this suggests that she is associated with the occulting depths of the Supreme Consciousness of God in Creation under the densest forms of matter and action, still Kali is also surrounded by a bright white halo of light that does not cause blindness or eye pain to the eyes that look at it, but on the contrary it calms them down and relaxes them due to the deeply “cooling” nature of this energy (amrita), which is like the effulgent manifestation of the nectar released by millions of subtle and spiritual worlds.
In this picture, Shiva's corpse signifies that the power of divine consciousness is inherent even to inanimate matter. Kali has her mouth wide open and her tongue much pulled out, representing thus symbolically the gesture (mudra) of "devouring" or "consumption" of the entire Creation. At the same time, however, this awesome and scary aspect (for those who do not know the profound esoteric meanings of this image) is doubled by a smiling attitude of the Great Goddess, who looks with kindness and affection to all the beings in Manifestation and supports their life and evolution feeding them to the huge breasts of an all-loving Divine Mother.
On the other hand, Kali's laughter signify her ironic attitude towards all those who, ignoring the laws of macrocosmic harmony and balance, imagine that they can escape from their spiritual evolution as individuals and also as parts of a unique and perfect Whole. The great Goddess has three eyes "overseeing" all worlds which operate in the three aspects of time (trikala): past, present and future. In one of the hands she holds a skull which symbolizes, firstly, a receptacle of the mysteries of Creation, of the occult teachings and of the origin of the three main spheres of consciousness (physical, subtle and causal), and secondly, it represents figuratively what remains in the end after the destruction or the dissolution of the whole Macrocosm.
In the other hand Kali holds a sword (khadga) which is intended to symbolize the cutting of the links and attachments to the manifested world in order to prepare the believer for the moment of the supreme spiritual liberation. It is also interesting to note that the hair of the Great Goddess is represented as being long and waving in the wind, which signifies the power of the full grace of this Great Cosmic Power to confer the human being the liberation from the heavy "chains" of the karma in Manifestation. Kali's goodwill and compassion are also highlighted by the specific position of two of her hands that perform the gestures to remove fear (abhaya mudra) and to render spiritual gifts and paranormal powers (varada mudra).
The goddess wears around her neck a bead made of the decapitated heads of demons and some evil entities proving the complete and always present victory of the good and the fair action in Creation. Her naked body is sprinkled with blood that drips from the decapitated heads, and as earrings she wears the bodies of two human corpses. The whole terrible aspect of Kali is amplified by the blood that flows through the two sides of her wide open mouth, which as explained above, signifies the continuous "devouring" of any manifested aspect.
The nakedness of the goddess symbolically indicates that her power is not limited by any aspect of Creation and also that the goddess herself is the creator of the entire universe (Macrocosm), but also represents the constituents (i.e. things, beings, etc.) it consists of. Sometimes it is represented on top of Shiva in a reversed romantic act of making love (viparita rati), indicating that the mahavidya upasana (or, in other words, the adoration full of fervor and devotion of this Great Cosmic Power (Kali)) essentially symbolizes the principle of resorption of the entire universe (prapancha) into the consciousness now infinitely expanded of the believer, through the grace of the Great Goddesses Kali.
This is the complex in significances representation of the terrible shape of Kali, form known as Dakshina Kali or Shyamakali.
4. The Tantric Sadhana. Ways of adoring the Great Cosmic Power of Time, KALI The great Yogi and liberated Ramakrishna said: "What does the strength of a disciple consist of? Of his tears of longing for God. Just as a mother cannot resist to the desire of her crying child, so God grants His child who cries with longing for Him, His Supreme grace."
Sadhana, or the spiritual practice with regard to the Great Cosmic Power Kali, involves the spiritual effort to purify and energize the subtle centers of force of the aspirant to the highest degree and also to achieve at the same time the glorious awakening and ascension of Consciousness and Divine Energy, located at the level of Muladhara Chakra as Kundalini Shakti. The ascent of Kundalini Shakti is also one of the most important aspects of the sphere of influence and manifestation of the gigantic sphere of cosmic consciousness of Kali in the worshiper’s being, being directly linked to the practice of making love with transfiguration and continence, in full conformity with the principles and ideas of the tantric system doctrine.
Sadhana (the specific spiritual practice) of adoring the Great Cosmic Power Kali is undoubtedly one of the most novel ways of spiritual adoration, which is in particular specific to the typology of the spiritual hero. Full of courage and fearless in front of the terrible shapes that Kali takes in front of him (testing thus his audacity, determination, patience, perseverance and spiritual maturity), the adept that becomes stronger in this way in the purifying fire of the sublime spiritual experience, has within the shortest time (and sometimes even instantly) access to the transcendent condition of the Absolute Divine Consciousness, which is God the Father himself.
Because for most of the worshippers the subtle aspects of the goddess Kali (and, generally speaking, of any other deity) cannot be perceived directly by an inward vivid transfiguring emotion (bhavana), it is necessary for the deity image to be placed in front of the adorer in the form of a statue or even a drawing (photo) that is well realized. Although this method may seem like an extreme form of adoration (upasana), it can create, in the depths of the adorer’s heart, the resonance of state which is specific to the adoration of that deity. The lowest form of adoring is a three dimensional image (murti) of the goddess (the statue of Kali or of any other Mahavidya), then the so-called emblems (salagrama shila) of virtues, which are represented by some black stones with intricate designs, and, then, at a higher level there is the way of adoring the goddess through her specific yantra.
The special Yantra or, in other words, the sacred geometrical shape to evoke (resonance) with Kali is composed of a series of five equilateral triangles placed one inside the others and placed on the circle of a lotus with eight petals. The five triangles pointing downwards of Kali’s yantra actually symbolize both the transcendence of the five senses, and of the five elements (tattva-s). The lotus in the form of a circle with eight petals indicates that the goddess Kali can be correctly understood and perceived by focusing our elevated emotions in the secondary centre Hrid Chakra or at best in Anahata Chakra. In the centre of this yantra we should visualize a little point, symbolizing the full stability of our consciousness. The Yantra of Mother Kali is a powerful symbol for mental concentration and meditation and it can also be used as a protective talisman.
Finally, the most elevated form of adoration is the use of that goddess (in our case it is the bija mantra of the Great Cosmic Power Kali) mantra (or bija mantra) that can be integrated in the technique of japa (out loud, whispered or mental repetition of the mantra that corresponds to that deity) or the more complex technique and more nuanced as effects, the laya yoga meditation technique. We also have to mention the fact that when adoring the image (murti) of the goddess, the adorer’s mind gradually tends to identify with the shape of that Great Cosmic Power (Kali), at which point the perception of the material image is no longer related to a simple exterior object, but it is replaced with the actual perception of the divine power of the goddess which is evoked with fervor and which is in this way made to "descend" at the level of the statue or image. Other ritual elements of an adoring consist of the prostration full of love in front of the deity’s image, in offering flowers, fresh fruits or other products of a pure quality, in burning of incense, etc.
Nyasa is also an important aspect of adoration. This action (nyasa) involves placing the adorer’s hands, palms and fingers on different parts of his body, simultaneously with the mental repetition of the mantra-s specific for those areas, and using the creative imagination he realizes thus the identification of the various parts of the deity body with the parts of his own body. The ritual ends with a specific movement of the hand that "diffuses" the subtle energy of the goddess within the adorer’s whole body.
Kali is always ready to answer to those who evoke her through the worship of her perfect qualities, through mental repetition of her mantra-s, and by the visualization of her yantra and of her many sacred traditional forms. Kali conveys much love when the passionate impulse of sincere desire to unite with her gives birth to an effervescent vitality, through which, the one who adores her falls and then rises through the Great Axis, which is the central channel of the subtle body, Sushumna Nadi. She is also instantly thrilled at the ecstatic amorous experiences of a man and a woman in their endless sexual tantric union (with continence). Kali offers us her immense happiness whenever we remember of her. Kali is felt as an oceanic ecstasy when she frantically evoked as being together with Shiva.
She can be worshiped by offering (consecrating) her anything with love, but without hypocrisy. It is very easy to evoke her by means of her sensual smells of sandalwood, musk, patchouli and camphor. She also likes garlands of red flowers, the rhythmic love music and a profoundly transfiguring sensual dance. Kali responds with joy at spontaneous laughter, emotional songs of love, passionate love and to the mental attitude of "all or nothing".
A beautiful, sensual and vital woman can quickly become one with Kali identifying deeply and widely with her terrible power that is obtained through the mysterious initiation in her sphere of force. So, she will get in ineffable resonance with this Great Cosmic Power Kali. When the hypocrisy, self-doubt, selfishness and jealousy are almost completely removed from the soul of a woman, the deep intuitive wisdom of Kali, giving bliss and harmony, powerfully comes to light. Full of an effervescent amorous vitality and sexual energy, giving divine wisdom and discriminatory power, Kali then acts permanently as a very strong initiator in the ineffable nature of reality. For a woman who truly feels her, Kali is fearless and passionate; once you have obtained the grace of this Great Cosmic Power, she will never withdraw it. In her role as Kali, the woman acts as the destroyer of illusion and as the one who spontaneously fulfills the most intimate desires of the one who adores her.
Hymns of praise dedicated to the Great Cosmic Power KALI
“Great Goddess, who are You?"
She responds: "In my essence I am in Brahman (the Absolute or God).
Out of me the world was formed at the beginning..."
KALI the Mother a hymn by Swami Vivekananda
The stars are blotted out,
The clouds are covering clouds
It is darkness vibrant, sonant.
In the roaring, whirling wind
Are the souls of a million lunatics
Just loosed from the prison-house,
Wrenching trees by the roots,
Sweeping all from the path.
The sea has joined the fray,
And swirls up mountain-waves,
To reach the pitchy sky.
The flash of lurid light
Reveals on every side
A thousand, thousand shades
Of Death begrimed and black —
Scattering plagues and sorrows,
Dancing mad with joy,
Come, Mother, come!
For Terror is Thy name,
Death is in Thy breath.
And every shaking step
Destroys a world for e'er.
Thou 'Time', the All-destroyer!
Come, O Mother, come!
Who dares misery love,
And hug the form of Death,
Dance in Destruction's dance,
To him the Mother comes.
fragment from SHAKTISANGAMA TANTRA
“Shakti, the feminine principle, is the Creator of the Universe.
She is indeed the very body of the Universe.
Shakti is the foundation of all three worlds.
She is the essence of our body.
There is no jewel rarer than woman,
no condition superior to that of a woman.
There is not, nor has been, nor will be
any destiny equal to that of a woman;
there is no kingdom, no wealth, no happiness, no beauty
to be compared with a woman.
There is no prayer equal to a woman.
There is not, nor has been, nor will be
any yoga to compare with a woman,
no mystical formula nor asceticism
to match a woman.
There is not, nor has been, nor will be
Neither yesterday, nor today nor tomorrow
Any treasure superior to a Shakti.
Fragment from BHAIRAVA YAMALA
She is the Divine Light and Transcendent itself.
From Her body burst thousands of rays –
Two thousand, one hundred thousand
Tens of millions, a hundred million –
their number may not be counted.
Thanks to Her and through Her,
all beings and things are moving,
and through Her stillness shines.
Due to the divine light
of this all-encompassing divine Power,
all things and beings are manifested."
- (Aphorisms and thoughts)
By Yoga profesor Gregorian Bivolaru
Offered by Gregorian Bivolaru to all women within the yoga schools of the Atman Federation of Yoga and Meditation on the 8th of March.
Women should become more aware of their role now more than ever, especially on this universal day when we celebrate the Eternal Feminine. Their role is manifested in an ineffable way within man’s creative dynamism. Those women especially, who have awakened the state of SHAKTI should make enthusiastic, sustained and adequate efforts in order to awaken in as many women as possible (and quickly) the divine nature, the Sacred Feminine which lies within them, just like the Sleeping Beauty.
More and more women should become fully aware that they have, in a potential state, in their inner universe (the microcosm of their being) all the energies, all the aspects they need to create a mysterious, profound and overwhelming connection with MAHASHAKTI. For this they need to realize and to be totally convinced that “ WHAT EXISTS IN THEIR INNER UNIVERSE, EXISTS ALSO EVERYWHERE IN THE ENTIRE MACROCOSM, AND WHAT IS NOT PRESENT IN THEIR INNER UNIVERSE, DOES NOT EXIST ANYWHERE IN THE ENTIRE MACROCOSM”.
Moreover, all women should be aware that in reality their being and body are constitutive parts of MAHASHAKTI’S immense being and body. Kundalini Shakti which is always present (in a latent or active state) inside every woman’s body, stays as the mysterious messenger of MAHASHAKTI. From the moment that many women will transcend the veil of the millenary hypnosis, which forces them to indulge in a state of lethargic obedience and convinces them of their pseudo mental inferiority, they will be able to create, in a state of creative collaboration with men, a richer and better world through the feminine values.
At the level of the entire macrocosm MAHASHAKTI manifests and states the greatness of the Creative Feminine Principle of the woman. Even when she is still not aware, the woman is and remains a privileged messenger of MAHASHAKTI. Every woman who is totally awakened is at the same time a mysterious personification of Mother Nature. A woman should never forget that through her, the Feminine Nature is the one that initiates the man and she should be aware of the fact that the man is not the one who teaches Nature. Consequently there is a stringent necessity that all women who are intuitively aware of these secret aspects, should wake up and then act in order to discover in a profound and ample way possible their noble origin. As many women as possible should make adequate efforts and be full of aspiration to manifest in an exemplary way the power of MAHASHAKTI. Acting in this way, those rare women who will awaken, totally and profoundly in their inner universe the state of Shakti, will be able to awaken at the same time, the fundamental divine knowledge offered to them through MAHASHAKTI.
An important announcement regarding a Divine Gift which will be offered to those Women who are ready to discover the Overwhelming and Mysterious Reality of Mahashakti
We announce those of you who wish to have access to a particular secret initiation which you deserve (only those of you who are ready for it), that you will be able to benefit very soon (with no costs), within an unite group, from specific millenary revelations which are contained in a very old oriental text called Maha Shakti Darshana Tantra. In this way only those of you who will deserve, will be able to know (in order to practice them) specific fundamental mysteries which belong to MAHASHAKTI. They will help you open entirely your being and soul so that you can discover HER in an ineffable and grand way everywhere around you, She is the one who in Christianity is the Holy Spirit and – at the same time for those initiated – the Great Mother (MAHASHAKTI) whose super gigantic Maha Yoni gave birth to the Macrocosm (which contains three worlds: physical, astral and causal). Both the woman’s and the man’s inner universe have Mahashakti present through the mysterious feminine energy - Kundalini Shakti. When a woman manages to awaken as much as possible this mysterious energy – kundalini, she can come in contact with Maha Shakti. When we experience intense, profound and overwhelming states of cosmic orgasm, we also feel the mysterious and secret presence of Maha Shakti. Each state of prolonged and profound orgasm which women are capable of experiencing spontaneously, reveals in an intuitive, ecstatic way the all-inclusive presence of Maha Shakti and it makes us experience the state of divine bliss (Ananda). In this way, through the state of divine bliss (Ananda), which is revealed to us during specific states of divine orgasm, it becomes possible for us to discover simultaneously the pure existence of God the Father (Sat) and His pure divine consciousness (Cit). It is obvious that all these are possible only for those human beings who make love based on mutual love and apply in the game of love-making, full sexual continence, transfiguration and consecration of the fruits to God the Father. In this way it becomes possible for us to live and discover every time, during our ecstatic amorous games, God’s fundamental reality which is known to the wise ones as SAT-CIT-ANANDA.
The admission to this initiation will be based on a selection which is going to be announced shortly.
We know that in the Christian tradition the presence of Maha Shakti is the enigmatic reality of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit or Maha Shakti is in fact, in eternity, the eternal feminine power, invisible and mysterious of the Perfect Eternal Feminine. It also represents in the Christian tradition an essential and secret symbol. The Holy Spirit or Maha Shakti is in Its essence, the manifestation of an intelligent, extraordinary and mysterious feminine force, which embraces always the whole of God’s creation. Maha Shakti or the Holy Spirit is both the invisible and the extraordinary powerful feminine force of the wind, the mystery of feminine vitality, the external feminine force which supports and transforms everything within God’s creation.
When we contemplate God’s creation and its manifestation, we can say that beyond appearances, they are all expressions of the divine feminine energy or, in other words all these are facets of the PERFECT ETERNAL FEMININE. The Holy Spirit or Maha Shakti makes possible in a secret way the relationships between human beings (men and women) and God. Maha Shakti is the embracing Spirit of God. Maha Shakti or the Holy Spirit suggests to us a secret distinction between natural and supernatural. The Holy Spirit of God or Maha Shakti has been conceived with a terrible and all-inclusive supernatural feminine power (which is under the authority of God the Father) and which exercises its force only towards beneficial and divine actions.
Many initiated people and wise ones based their claimed authority upon special overwhelming manifestations of the Holy Spirit or Maha Shakti which has been revealing itself within the universe of human beings (men and women) through some ecstatic and overwhelming states. In this distinction one can easily notice the sublime and uplifting role which divinely inspired music has in the stimulation of ecstasy and inspiration, especially in the women’s case. The most striking is the confession of the Biblical prophets who based their divine inspiration on Maha Shakti’s presence. The Holy Spirit or Mahashakti is often indentified in manifestation with divine ecstatic states (in Israel, but also in other religions of the East). The secret role of the Holy Spirit or Maha Shakti has been often reaffirmed as being a source of inspiration for prophecies.
The idea that God is present in the universe of our being through the Holy Spirit or Maha Shakti is expressed in Psalms. Considering this fundamental idea that the Holy spirit or Maha Shakti is the mysterious spirit of God, who is always without exception holy and good, one can say that the Holy Spirit or Mahashakti has an intermediate role. This is why the prophets named it Spirit or Maha Shakti – “The Holy Spirit of God”. Sometimes they called it “The Good Spirit of God” and in fact this Holy Spirit is nothing else but Mahashakti, the perfect eternal feminine and enigmatic, through whom God’s creation has been manifested
Times New RomanThe gifts of the Holy Spirit or Mahashakti mark the beginning of a divine life for both men and women. In the Acts of the Apostles, the overwhelming out pouring of the Holy Spirit or Maha Shakti during Rusalii was the privileged moment when Jesus’ disciples felt when their totally divine faith began. The promise of the Gospels for the first seekers of God is concentrated on the Holy Spirit or Maha Shakti and in other situations, receiving the Holy Spirit or Maha Shakti is considered to be a crucial fact which indicates the acceptance of all aspirants (who are full of excitement),both men and women, by God.
In disciple Paul’s writings, the Holy Spirit’s gift or Maha Shakti, is considered to be the beginning of divine experience. In other words, a human being (man or woman) can belong to God, only if Holy Spirit or Maha Shakti manifests totally within her/him. The human being can only be united with God through the Holy Spirit or Maha Shakti; they cannot benefit from the communion with God without being connected to the Holy Spirit or Maha Shakti.
In disciple John’s writings, the Holy Spirit or Maha Shakti is the enigmatic feminine power who gives birth again, because Holy spirit is the mysterious life giver, just like a river which flows from God and gives a new and rich spiritual life to men and women who come and believe in Him. According to disciple John, the Holy Spirit or Maha Shakti is the feminine breath of life of God’s creation. He considers that the presence of the Holy Spirit or Maha Shakti is life’s indescribable proof. The first Christians believed that the Holy Spirit or Maha Shakti was a divine feminine power which was manifested through its multiple and profound effects upon any woman and man’s life who received the Holy Spirit. The impact of Maha Shakti or Holy Spirit has never created doubts regarding the extraordinary, profound and significant transformation which happened shortly after that, within human beings (women or men) through divine action.
It is interesting that disciple Paul asks Christians to remember always the first time, the moment of the beginning when they felt the overwhelming and indescribable manifestation of Maha Shakti or the Holy Spirit. For some, the overwhelming manifestation of Maha Shakti or the Holy Spirit has been and remained an overwhelming experience of God’s love; for others it was an experience of the ineffable divine enlightenment or divine liberation. The Holy Spirit or Maha Shakti has always made possible many spiritual and moral transformations. The Holy Spirit or Maha Shakti pours in every woman, especially, but in men also, various spiritual gifts. This is why this overwhelming outpouring of the Holy Spirit or Maha Shakti can be emphasized as a fundamental feature of any Christian. It is often possible that the Holy Spirit or Maha Shakti which is manifested, to be unseen but its presence felt and easily detected. The human being within whom it is fully manifested the Holy Spirit or Maha Shakti, does not depend on this world anymore and its standards in order to find an aim or a profound, overwhelming and divine satisfaction.
A meditation on the mysterious presence of Maha Shakti in maifestation (the eternal feminine, embracing and omnipresent)
Only those who are initiated and also women who reached a certain level of wisdom through the awakening in their inner universe of the state of Shakti, have the intuition, feel and are always aware of the fact that Maha Shakti (the perfect eternal feminine) is present in its hypostasis of Great Mother and when so many of us talk about Mother Nature we actually refer to the mysterious presence of Maha Shakti (the perfect eternal feminine). Through the extraordinary power which God the Father offers to Her, Maha Shakti is, in a significant way, almighty and she exists in eternity, as the feminine counterpart of God the Father.
When we look at the manifestation on this planet - through Maha Shakti’s eyes we can ask ourselves: what is that we call wisdom of this world and also of science, which is considered to be madness in comparison to perfect, embracing and eternal wisdom of God? What are all the inventions of human beings, all the cities with skyscrapers which lie (not by chance) as close to the desert? What are all the terrible weapons which these pervert people use to either ‘protect’ their so-called conquests or to perpetuate their empires full of perversity and rottenness (a significant example is USA)?
We have to be aware of the fact that all these will only turn into ashes in the future when they will be dust and powder and brought to their initial state by the great, mysterious feminine forces of nature which, sooner or later, will make everything return to their initial shape and, in this way, it will make them re-enter their primitive composition. That is when many cities which are dominated by skyscrapers will be completely cleared of those human beings who live there, or when those cannons and guns which are placed in the so-called strategic zones, will be abandoned and, after a while, grass and rust will invade the concrete, pavement will become powder and rust will inevitably eat what before was considered to be very hard steel.
It is worth looking back at the vast loneliness which is now ruined, but used to be populated by some very powerful cities at that point. Lets pay attention to the fact that – and it is not at all a coincidence, but a mysterious necessity- there are only ruins left today and the more the mysterious and omnipresent energy of time embraces and crushes them, the more they will be worn by the energy of time and in the end they will turn into ashes, they will merge with the earth, which will become virgin, and thus, a cyclical eternal return will appear soon.
It is good when we find ourselves in a place covered by the desolate ruins of an old city, to ponder, looking through Maha Shakti’s eyes (perfect eternal feminine). What was the purpose and did it matter that so many people once lived and had various superficial, ephemeral, full of illusion experiences in these places? What happened with the great majority of women and men who lived here during those times? When each one of those human beings passed away in order to leave this planet forever, their life in this physical world suddenly stopped and, immediately after, their breath froze. After that they disappeared forever from this world and now they are not at all on this planet in the way they used to be. Stop and pay attention because all that existed once will be again and again and the law of the eternal return of times will ineluctably and inexorably work in the same way it did for the desolate ruins we contemplate today, in some places on this planet.
In those times which are in the future now, the sons of the earth who will deserve to be here, will take hold of this planet and then the sublime, divine time of the past will come back, just like Apocalypse’s text shows. Beware that all these are inevitable and all prophecies inspired by God which exist in the Apocalypse, but also in other texts, predict that, eventually all these will reappear inevitably, just like we tried to explain in a certain way (addressing them to your intuition). When we face chaos and confusion in which this materialistic world drowns, Maha Shakti’s mysterious wisdom inspires us in the moment we are opened enough, makes us experience the perfect eternal feminine in a profound, grand and overwhelming way in our being, like an enigmatic source, always alive and regenerating.
Aphorisms and Thoughts
• The human being who lives in a larval state ignores his/her own defects and cannot discover, look and admire the exceptional qualities of anyone else. This kind of human being is not only ignoring his/her own defects, but also those wonderful features of someone else. She/he cannot get rid of her/his own defects because she is not capable of recognizing them. Also, she is not able to observe or reach the level of the others’ qualities because she/he is initially not capable to discover and analyze them.
• How is it possible that beauty and wonders, which are latent in other people and which we admire, can be transmitted through the eyes full of delight of the admirer in his/her being, in order to enrich him/her being in this way with new treasures of beauty which he himself discovered? The human being who reached a high level of wisdom knows already that only God the Father is always perfectly wise and in the same time knows that He is the only one who knows all forever. Understanding this aspect as it should be, even the greatest wise man continues to learn everyday so that he increases the treasure of his wisdom. This is why his type of wise man has always at his disposal two mirrors. In the first one he will see with a lot of lucidity and detachment even the smallest defect or possible flaws which are still persisting, in the smallest quantity, in his being. He strives to fix them as fast as possible. By acting in this way, the wise one preserves unaltered his modesty and humility. In the second mirror which he has he will contemplate with great delight and admiration not only the qualities, but also the virtues, together with all that is extraordinary in all human beings he comes in contact. Then the wise one does anything in his power, based on the example he is given, in order to integrate and awaken as soon as possible in his being everything that is good, beautiful and extraordinary. In this way he transforms fast through relentlessly assimilation and awakens through empathy and identification everything that is beautiful, good and extraordinary in the nature of all human beings he encounters. In this way the wise one makes secure and fast steps towards fulfillment. He continues to learn even when those obtuse and stuff in their sufficiency think that there is nothing else to learn and assimilate in their inner world.
A special comment:
In the case of those human beings who had the chance to benefit from the secret teachings of SHIVA which are contained in the secret tantric treatise GUPTA KAMA BHAIRAVA TANTRA, they can understand when it comes to this aphorism, how it is possible to assimilate and easily awaken the qualities, virtues and exceptional features of other human beings. By having an intimate connection with these human beings one can enjoy with happiness and frenzy, in a transfigured way the golden elixir (MEHASAMRITA) after the amorous fusion. In this way it becomes very easy to awaken and galvanize in our inner universe the qualities, virtues and all that is wonderful or extraordinary in the adored human being. This is how it becomes possible for those initiated to have always at their disposal a secret and privileged technique which helps them assimilate and awaken in their inner universe all the qualities and virtues of the beloved.
• Human beings who love intensely, profoundly and without limits look at the faces and bodies of those they love in a transfigured way and full of admiration. When they look at other human beings in this state, they are capable to discover in both, the features of the faces and the characteristics of the bodies, the qualities and extraordinary potential, or the latent virtues present in their entire being. They identify themselves with these qualities and extraordinary features when they empathize with the loved ones and in this way it becomes possible for them to transfer in their inner universe the valuable seeds of those qualities and exceptional features. Thus, looking with love, transfiguration and admiration at the faces and bodies of the loved ones (of the opposite sex), this creative and fruitful contemplation will awaken in the inner universe these qualities and exceptional talents, which sometimes can be in a latent state. If we understand these secret aspects presented here, we can realize that all these transformations become possible when we use the divine energy of love. As soon as we feel a real state of admiration and manage to feel this love for a human being with some exceptional qualities and talents, it becomes easy to transfer in our own inner universe, through duplication, or in other words through a sui generis graft, everything that the respective human being manifests and sets off in our being a profound state of sympathy, admiration, provoking thus love and making it increase in order to experience a state of adoration.
• A critical mean look of a human being who judges in a superficial/mean way all the time discovers immediately even the tiniest defect which exists in the human beings he sees. In the case when these human beings do not really have defects, this kind of critical, superficial and mean vision will soon project, through the game of uncontrolled imagination (on those human beings), all the defects and vices which already belong to that being. After that, this type of human being reaches a level where she/he strongly believes that the other person she/he has in front of her/his eyes, really has these defects which were projected in a mean and non-transfigured way onto her/him. We can easily notice that in these situations, this type of human being slides into a sui generis vicious circle from which she cannot easily escape. We should not be surprised by the fact that where the critical opinion discovers very fast the tiniest defect, the one full of admiration, full of love and transfiguration and delight sees none.
Meditating on these aspects which are present in some ignorant human beings and unconscious, we can realize what are the disadvantages of a critical, mean, superficial and accusatory judgment.
The terrible force of time, the infinite compassion, the blinding beauty, the all-inclusive vision, the absolute courage, the power of sacrifice, the fascinating brightness, the sublime void, the perfect game, the splendour of totality. These are the cosmic personalities of the Supreme Feminine Energy; the 10 mirrors which reflect the Creator. Look at yourself in any of them. Any of them can lead you to the ultimate Reality.
In the tantric system, as well as in many other genuine spiritual traditions, the feminine aspect of Divinity is represented by knowledge or wisdom (VIDYA). For example, the Vedas (the oldest sacred Hindu texts) are also called (feminine) Wisdoms.
Generally speaking, Wisdom or Knowledge is considered the Supreme Goddess or SHAKTI, the feminine counterpart of SHIVA (Pure Consciousness). The adoration of the Supreme Goddess must not imply only external rituals, but especially a profound devotion and inner transfiguration, which are accomplished during meditation. In this case, meditation does not necessarily mean the adoration of the forms and qualities of the Goddess (although it can start with the mental image of the form of the respective deity), but transcends a lot the limits that define her name, form or personality, contemplating the Absolute Reality, which is impersonal.
The esoteric aspect of the Supreme Goddess symbolizes what is occult, secret, subtle, meaning what must be sought and discovered. Under her aspect of Logos, SHAKTI represents both spiritual teaching, which is offered to those who want to absorb it, as well as its deep understanding. From this perspective, she is The Inner Power of the Spiritual Guide. She shows us the path for transcending the sphere of ordinary knowledge and the duality of space and time, to plunge us into the ancestral mystery of eternity and the infinite.
SHAKTI, as supreme force of Knowledge guides us, inspires us and also reveals to us (when our spiritual level has reached the necessary maturity) the deepest secrets of Creation. Nevertheless, she does not represent only Knowledge, but simultaneously she is the endless Divine Energy and the Infinite Bliss of the Divine Consciousness. That is why she is especially recognized in everything that is aesthetic and beautiful in Creation.
She carries the messages of life
It is often said that, “the receptacle of spiritual knowledge is like a source from which we are born into a world of truth and eternal happiness”. This is in fact the esoteric meaning of the syntagma that defines the initiated disciple: “to be born for the second time”. Genuine spiritual knowledge is the Divine Mother herself (MAHA SHAKTI) from who we are “reborn” as deeply transformed and divine beings. The degree to which we succeed to be in communion with the Divine Mother represents, in fact, the stage of our own inner transformation at that time.
Because the Supreme SHAKTI is eternally in an indestructible union with SHIVA (who is the Divine Consciousness), it means that the Goddess is at the same time pure consciousness, who offers us the grace of intuiting the divine essential unity (the Supreme Self Atman) in every being in Creation. The divine transcendent Knowledge offered by SHAKTI completely transcends the mind and its dual manifestations, revealing to us the magnificent source of the entire Creation.
In the tantric Hindu pantheon, the numerous deities represent the distinct aspects of the divine consciousness, which exist at all the levels of the Macrocosm (Creation). The characteristics and powers of each one of them cover a large range of significances, more or less esoteric, from the ones with form to the ones without form, from the concrete aspects to the abstract ones, from the human characteristics to the non-human ones, from the terrible significances to the benevolent ones etc. These deities exist and manifest on each level of the Macrocosm (and, therefore, the microcosm of human being) as various principles, energies and powers, which contribute to the economy of the entire Creation. The Divine Mother, who represents Creation at all its levels, also implies, an infinite diversity, essentially and especially expressed through the ten Great Cosmic Powers, each one of them having well specified attributes. Among other secondary significances, the ten Great Cosmic Powers mean, first of all, the ten Great Wisdoms of God the Father. Their main mission is to reveal the hidden truth of the veil of ignorance and appearances, the veil which manifests in the case of the human being especially through the specific action of the mind. Essentially speaking, the ten Great Cosmic Powers signify the deepest truths of God’s Creation, which go beyond our attachment for the exterior form of things. Their “messages” and “warnings” can sometimes be inspiring and other times frightening, because the ten Great Cosmic Powers represent life itself (which implies the duality (pleasant – unpleasant, etc.) of existence), but nevertheless they are always instructive and beneficial for those who aim to rise above their ignorant condition. Often the form in which they chose to reveal themselves for the perseverant worshiper can be terrible, and this could bewilder those who are not prepared yet. Still, this often represents an excellent way to shock the mind and make it exchange its place for a spontaneous, intuitive, infinitely superior understanding.
I am one with the Supreme SHAKTI
The forms in which the ten Great Cosmic Powers manifest are most of the times ambiguous, contradictory and even paradoxical. The meaning of such manifestations is to astonish the mind of the adept to the level at which the process of thought is entirely neutralized or, in other words, until the source of our limitations and ignorance is thus annihilated.
Life itself is an amazing and deeply mysterious notion. Most of the objectives we follow during our existence are ephemeral and offer no answer to the fundamental question of our destiny: is there anything in our being that transcends death? The ordinary knowledge we receive at school, university, work and in our private lives only embraces a small part from the surface of Creation, which makes most people not to even intuit the existence of the divine fundamental essence inside them. In order to have access to the superior knowledge of the greatest mysteries of Creation and the depths of our being it is necessary to move away from the inferior knowledge, which doesn’t mean to let go of it for good, but to lucidly recognise its limits. That is why it is said that the ten Forms of Divine Wisdom of MAHA SHAKTI (the Great SHAKTI, the eternal feminine Principle), in fact the ten Great Cosmic Powers, are an integral and fundamental part of the supreme science of spirituality.
This science of spirituality represents at the same time a veritable art of wisdom and divine transcendence. It cannot be mechanically approached, but requires a deeply creative participation. In the end we need to really become that divine transcendental reality and experience in ourselves all its manifestations. In other words, we become one with the Supreme Goddess, leaving her to thus fully manifest through us, in a divine and wise way, her gigantic force and energy.
Their beauty is dazzling
Each of the ten Forms of the Divine Mother, each of the ten Great Cosmic Powers represents a specific path towards the highest spiritual realization, meaning the supreme knowledge that transcends time and our false self (the ego). Still, each Great Cosmic Power covers a variety of secondary aspects, which are specific to them. Therefore, if we don’t stay deeply focused upon the divine purpose we’re aiming for in our spiritual quest, we can be easily “caught” in their net. Because the ten Great Cosmic Powers represent the gigantic cosmic forces that accomplish each and every minute, on different levels, the acts of creation, preservation and destruction of Macrocosm, they can be also invoked in order to achieve good health, prosperity, fame or other minor, ephemeral goals in life. If the invocation is made with an egoistic intention, their help will be much more decreased. What we need to understand at this point is the fact that we cannot manipulate these gigantic macrocosmic forces, but we can only benefit from the grace they bestow upon us when our adoration is sincere and profound. We can be receptive to the flows of force and energy, as well as the enigmatic, cosmic rhythms they manifest; yet we will never be able to influence the flux of these colossal energies, which are the ten Great Cosmic Powers.
They represent, as a whole, a complete spiritual teaching, yet some of them are adored in a special manner, in different parts of India, as representations of MAHA SHAKTI Herself. KALI is the first from the pantheon of the ten Great Cosmic Powers. Essentially speaking, all the ten Great Cosmic Powers can be described, from a certain perspective, as different aspects of KALI. Moreover, they are often represented around KALI.
The ten Great Cosmic Powers are divided in two major groups: the ones that usually manifest in benevolent forms and the ones that mostly manifest in terrible forms. The category of the terrifying Great Cosmic Powers is called KALI-KULA (or “KALI’s family), in which we find KALI, TRIPURA BHAIRAVI, CHINNAMASTA, BAGALAMUKHI and DHUMAVATI. The category of the benevolent Great Cosmic Powers is called SHRI-KULA (or “TRIPURA SUNDARI’s family (SHRI)) and it is formed of TRIPURA SUNDARI, BHUVANESHWARI, MATANGI and KAMALATMIKA. The Great Cosmic Power TARA is somewhat between the two great families of Cosmic Powers, since its dark blue coloured form (NILA) represents Her in a terrifying aspect (UGRA-TARA), and its bright-white coloured form represents her in her benevolent and gentle aspect. The iconographic or statuary representations of the Great Cosmic Powers in their benevolent or terrible forms have their source in the Vedic writings themselves (according to some famous Orientals), where goddesses were described both for their dazzling beauty and ornaments which they were wearing on their bodies (the benevolent aspect), and for the weapons they were holding in their hands and which they did not hesitate to use when the situation demanded it (the frightening aspect for those of bad persuasion).
The “right hand” followers of the tantric path usually adore the benevolent forms of the Ten Great Cosmic Powers, while the “left hand” followers especially adore the terrifying forms of the Great Goddesses. Yet, it is necessary to mention that this is a very general distinction. Both forms of manifestation of the ten Great Cosmic Powers (benevolent or terrible) are necessary and complementary on the path of spiritual realization. Thus, the terrible ones remove ignorance, while the benevolent ones grant knowledge. Nevertheless, we need to specify the fact that until the ignorance is removed, superior knowledge cannot be achieved. The terrible forms of the Great Cosmic Powers are correlated to the symbolism of fire, lightning and the sun, which are considered to be “hot” and destructive energies. On the opposite side are the benevolent forms of the Great Goddesses, which are correlated to the symbolism of water and moon, which signify coolness and creativity. Both elements are necessary, because fire is the one that “ripens the fruits of spiritual becoming”, while water is the very element which is being ripened or transformed.
Worshippers reach perfection
In some spiritual schools the first three Cosmic Powers are adored above all. Thus, KALI represents force and the destroying power (SHAKTI), TARA is the ancestral wisdom itself (PRAJNA), and TRIPURA SUNDARI is the dazzling divine beauty (SUNDARA). KALI is correlated with SHIVA (the Destroyer), TARA with BRAHMA (the Creator) and TRIPURA SUNDARI with VISHNU (the Preserver). On the other hand, KALI is assimilated to the Supreme Being or Existence (SAT), TARA is assimilated to the Pure Knowledge (CIT), and TRIPURA SUNDARI is assimilated to the infinite beatitude (ANANDA), these three (SAT-CIT-ANANDA) being, as we all know, the triple hypostasis of the nature of the Divine Absolute. Yet, the ten Great Cosmic Powers do not exhaust all forms of manifestation and action of the Divine Mother, because in the Hindu tradition there is an infinite series of other important goddesses, which are intensely adored by the followers of different spiritual schools. Some are enclosed in the ten Great Cosmic Powers, such as the case of the great goddess DURGA, who is an aspect of TRIPURA BHAIRAVI. On the other hand, PARVATI (the beloved wife of SHIVA, the great god of the Hindu trinity: BRAHMA-VISHNU-SHIVA), a very important goddess of the Hindu pantheon is not specifically mentioned among the Great Cosmic Powers.
In conclusion, the path of spiritual practice of adoration of the ten Great Cosmic Powers is one of the most efficient methods of spiritual realization for a human being, which relates in essence to the SUPREME SHAKTI, especially in an uninterrupted line of the highest level of spiritual teachings, based on the use of MANTRAS and some specific meditation techniques. MAHA SHAKTI, the very spring of Divine Logos in Creation makes possible (when certain space-time conditions are gathered) the renewal of these divine teachings, in the purpose of sharing the superior spiritual knowledge with the ignorant human beings, who are bowing to the terrible actions of time and death.
Article translated from YOGA MAGAZINE no. 53
- (Spiritual Masters)
by Melania Radu
“Should there be 1% out of the world population to practice meditation, there wouldn’t be any wars.”- Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of the international program named the Transcendental Meditation is mostly known for his results in his declared goal: spiritual regeneration of the world. Starting from a simple yoga technique that he began to teach 50 years ago, he reached six millions disciples, building up a real spiritual empire, with centres all over the world.
The main idea he promoted is that, due to failure to using the entire capacity, the integral brain ability of functioning is wasted. Hence, there emerge all sorts of frustration. Instead, if the entire potential of the brain is used, the cosmic potential of the being is thereby powered and the human fate is accomplished. Here we are at humankind crossroad. This is a moment for man to learn how to use his potential so that the human race may upgrade to a superior level of evolution.
A life full of achievements
was born on January 12, 1917 in a family of Shiva worshippers, belonging to the cast of scribes (KAYASTHA), in Central India. By birth he was named Mahesh Prasad Varma. In 1939 he became disciple of Swami Brahmananda Saraswati that he owes his learning to. When the later died he retreated in the Himalaya for two years, and since 1955 he started to teach a traditional technique of yogi meditation, which he would call later on the Transcendental Meditation.
The Movement for Spiritual Regeneration was born in 1957 in Madras, India, and it continued in 1958 with many world tours that Maharishi Mahesh Yogi performed in order to teach his technique of spiritual transformation. He became famous in the West chiefly to his interaction to The Beatles and other celebs (Beach Boys, Clint Eastwood, David Lynch), who learned the meditation technique from him.
Since1961 he started to organise training courses for meditation, which have been attended by 40.000 persons so far. Maharishi has written many books to promote his teachings. The first publication was in 1964: Science of Being and Art of Living – the Transcendental Meditation, which presents his vision about a “new humanity, developed in all aspects of life”. The book has been sold in more than 1 million issues and translated in 15 languages.
Since 1990 he set down in Vlodrop in Holland, where he left the physical world on February 5, 2008 in a state of perfect awareness, in meditation. He had retreated from all managerial activities, and started MAUNA (the vouch of silence) on January 11, 2008. His corpse was then taken to India, in Rishikesh and traditionally burnt on pyre. His last message was „Live long the world in peace, happiness, prosperity, and freedom from suffering.”
Transcendental Meditation and its effects
This is a simple meditation technique which works with a MANTRA. It can only be learned from an acknowledged teacher; it is bound to be exercised 20 minutes twice a day, it is natural (no connection to mind manipulation or suggestion), no efforts required for practice, it is appropriate for anyone (it is not a religion), it is not philosophy, but a scientific technique, it does not require changing lifestyle.
Sampled effects of the meditation under scientific validation:
- physiological effects: deep relaxation, which induces ALPHA waves prevalence and a state of transcendent consciousness, then a state of relaxation even out of meditation, which helps swift recovering from stress, better functioning of the brain, enhancement of creativity and intelligence, health improvement, decrease of heart disease risks, reduction of biological age (rejuvenation), rise of living hope.
- psychological and spiritual effects: achievement of the Divine Self, perception of a beneficial whole upon world; enhancement of the power of understanding, of memory, intelligence, of the concentration power, creativity, emotional ripeness, wisdom.
- social benefits: decrease of drugs and alcohol rates, reduction of post-trauma stress, improvement of work efficiency, reduction and prevention of violence and criminality.
- ecological modifications: development of a unitary collective consciousness (which results in decrease of individual problems), decrease of criminality rate and life improvement; as for the world peace, reports have been made to assess that meditation of a large group of people, in average 1% out of the world population results in improvement of international relationships and decrease of world conflicts.
Scientific evidence: the Maharishi effect
The first scientific research of the practical effects on the Transcendental Meditation was issued in 1970 in the Scientific American magazine. 600 similar searches have been carried out since in 200 universities and search institutions from 30 other countries. The evaluation has been published in more than 100 reference magazines, which turned the Transcendental Meditation in the most studied human development program in the history of modern science.
Conclusions point out that Maharishi program has practical effects and it is an efficient remedy for modern life disorders. By all levels enhancement meditation operates at the basic functional program of nature, which reflects the unifying field of the Nature Law into the individual and collective consciousness, so that life can be lived in consonance to the Natural Law. Reports rated at 1% the minimum share of population to practice meditation or the technique of SIDDHIs enhancement, which is enough to trigger positive changes for the entire society. Scientists have denominated this phenomenon as the Maharishi Effect.
SIDDHIs Enhancement and the Extended Maharishi Effect
Researchers reported that the Maharishi Effect is all the more powerful in the SIDDHIs enhancement program. Therefore, it is enough for a group as less than 1% out of the total population, (the square root of a share) to practice this program in order to enable the Maharishi Effect. This effect has been denominated the Extended Maharishi Effect.
The program for SIDDHIs enhancement urges the mind functioning at the peaceful level, which makes thinking and action much more powerful. The peaceful level of mind represents the maximum potential of energy, creativity and intelligence, which mind displays also out of the meditation time. Basically meditation mediates nurturing of all human sides: mind, body and spirit.
The peaceful mind level is reached by meditation and it is connected to the transcendental consciousness. It represents the fourth state of consciousness, where the other three are the dreaming sleep state, the deep sleep state and the state of awareness. It can be scientifically detected by brain waves, breath frequency and metabolism monitoring.
Meditation makes mind as calm as a lake without waves. Then by the SIDDHIs enhancement program it becomes active inside itself as if fine waves had been created to reach to the furthest shore. Maharishi would say: “The logic is simple: as much as mind can restlessly stir till it gets tired, it can also stay still and be calm. We can skilfully bring it to its peaceful level. This means to collect the mind. This means yoga”.
The most important part of the program is Yogic Flying, which comprises three stages. At the first stage, the body in the lotus pose starts taking small leaps ahead. At further stages the body is supposed to float in the air and even move at will. The inner state is a euphoric one, lacking body weight in bliss.
The scientific researches have reported that the SIDDHIs enhancement program determines an optimum functioning of the brain. The state of brain unity and integration is at the maximum at the moments the body lifts up in the air. “The SIDDHIs enhancement program is a key to the heavenly life on earth”, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi would say.
The Peace Palaces – sources of peace and harmony in the world
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi initiated the construction of Peace Palaces, where the teaching activities: learning, meditation, veda science and SIDDHIs development programs bring about good consonant effects in the town and by extension in the entire world. There have been 3,000 similar constructions in the world, out of which 100 occur in the USA.
Starting from the premise that the attempt to stop criminality and terrorism and the world evil tendencies by punishing the criminals failed Maharishi suggests precautions which prove more intelligent and creative for the scientific times we are living. These measures are bound to set up a permanent steady ground for world peace.
Therefore there are 200 experts working in each Peace Palace. Researches have been made to prove that the spiritual activities of such a group can neutralize the negative influences in the area collective consciousness and also engender a strong positive harmonising influence. This influence will echo in the entire world consciousness.
Vedas Science as promoted by Maharishi
Besides the Transcendental Meditation, which is currently studied as seven stages technique, Maharishi also refreshed a large array of practical methods from the Vedas science, which are nowadays applied in business, public institutions or private life.
The Vedas Science of Maharishi is inspired form India Vedas tradition with reference to the Natural Law in the Maharishi approach. It represents the science of consciousness and all the practical programs (in health, education, architecture, agriculture, astrology, music) have been set for complete use of mind body and consciousness and eventually enable the state of illumination. Maharishi would say that every single person has its birth right to live in harmony to the Natural Law, avoiding the errors that bring suffering to himself or to the world.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi opened thousands of research centres all over the world and founded hundreds of schools, colleges, universities. He created a television on spiritual lines, programs to fight poverty, he applied practical ways to create and maintain world peace.
- (Past events)
We suggest to all those who have been invited to participate at the 12th March spiritual program to bring with them at this occasion, if they want, a bottle (or another recipient made of glass) with a cork lid, filled with pure spring water.
It is well known that water has the remarkable property of getting subtly charged with the specific energy of the ambient in which it exists. This spring water (kept within a glass recipient) which you will have upon you with this occasion will be charged in the subtle energetic ambience which will exist when the exceptional exemplifications will be performed for the first time with God’s certain attributes.
This way you will be able to benefit later, those of you who want it, by the water charged in this exceptional spiritual ambient, both in order to easily evoke and amplify within your being the states and energies corresponding to God’s certain attributes, and to obtain certain therapeutic effects.
At the exemplifications with God’s attributes, the glass bottle will be kept during the meditations, between the two hands. The bottle will be positioned vertically, eventually held with the legs and with both palms we hold the middle of the bottle.
9th March 2011
Saturday 12th March from 18.00 until Sunday noon:
GRIEG’S BIRTHDAY ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
Yoga professor Gregorian Bivolaru is the founder of our Yoga school and our school’s spiritual guide.
‘Within the spiritual program on the date of 12th March there will be included meditations and certain spiritual exemplifications of communion with the archangels and meditations in which there will be for the first time exemplified certain godly attributes. Among these, we mention that there will be a spiritual exemplification with the GODLY ATTRIBUTE OF THE DIVINE ALLIANCE or, in other words, OF THE DIVINE VOW.
The yoga students from the higher years of course are especially invited to take part in the program which will be organized in the yoga halls, in order to directly become aware about some aspects which are connected to the divine attributes and especially to the GODLY ATTRIBUTE OF THE DIVINE ALLIANCE or, in other words OF THE DIVINE VOW.
The program will comprise also of other meditations, as well as the watching of some very interesting movies on spiritual topics. All those invited, who will participate at the 12th March program will receive as a gift 2 DVDs with movies with a spiritual theme.
We suggest you to read or re-read with this occasion: A universally valid spiritual message addressed with anticipation to all those who are invited to participate at the events and gift spiritual exemplifications which will be done with the occasion of the anniversary of Grieg's birthday
24th February 2011
by Yoga teacher Gregorian Bivolaru
In logion 64 of the apocryphal text “ the Gospel of Thomas”, Jesus speaks to us, full of wisdom, about a certain insidious form of dependency that causes many people to miss certain unique spiritual chances or makes them closed to receive certain divine gifts that are offered to them, and that are not repeated again. In the following, we offer you the respective quotation:
An important person decided to invite several guests for a party he thought they were ready to join. After a rich dinner was prepared, full of all kinds of special food, he sent his slave to look for the guests, one by one and to bring them for dinner. The slave went to the home of the first guest and told him:
“My master invites you tonight for dinner.”
But the guest replied:
“I have an urgent financial problem, which I am to receive today from some merchants who owe me. They will come tonight with all the money. I would be happy to join this dinner, but it is impossible, because today those merchants will bring me the money they owe me. Therefore, please tell your master to forgive me because I cannot participate in this dinner.”
The slave went home to the second guest and told him:
“My master invites you today for dinner.”
But the guest replied:
“Today I just bought a new home and I am extremely busy. I am sorry I cannot honor this invitation to dinner that your master made for me.”
Then, the slave went to another guest and told him:
“My master invites you tonight for dinner.”
He replied: “I am very sorry, but today my friend is getting married and I promised I would cook some very good food for him. I am sorry, but I cannot come. Forgive me.”
The slave went on to another guest and told him:
“My master invites you tonight for dinner.”
I just bought a piece of land today. I am very sorry, but now I really have to go and borrow some money from some friends, in order to pay for it. I cannot come for this dinner. Please, tell your master to forgive me for not participating.
After he visited each guest the master had invited for dinner, the slave returned and said:
“All those you decided to invite for dinner excused themselves. None of them can come.”
Then the master said:
“Please go out in the street and bring here anyone you find passing by, so they can have dinner happily together with me. Sellers, buyers and merchants do not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”
Like other wise words of Jesus, this parable can be studied on at least 3 distinct levels:
Level one: Seen literally, or better said, when this parable is seen only as a simple story, it seems like this: it is about some guests who are asked to go to an important party and who cannot respond properly to the invitation addressed to them, for reasons which seem to be plausible, taken individually: a meeting with the merchants who are bringing the money they owe, buying a house, the marriage of a good friend, some loans that need to be made immediately… Hearing the answers of the guests he invited to his party, the host becomes sad and suddenly decides to spontaneously invite some pure and simple people who pass by on the street and who are willing to follow his invitation to the party that he had already prepared.
Level two: Reading this text from the “Psychological” point of view, we then notice the little aspiration most human beings have towards a real transformation, the little curiosity, the little attraction towards something extraordinary, the little openness to experience that celebration, the little interest shown to the invitation received. At the same time, this also shows the complete absence of the desire to celebrate. It also reveals to us the banal aspects, due to which the human being always finds excuses and justifications whenever she needs to follow a spiritual impulse, or when she needs to follow an inner call.
When we have been selected for a certain initiation, when we are invited to take part in a spiritual celebration or spiritual exemplification, which is unique in its way, when we are invited to a new spiritual manifestation, which might not repeat itself for us in this existence, when we are invited to unite that which is created with that which is uncreated deep within our own inner universe, precisely in that day we find that we have more important things to do. Seen with great lucidity and detachment, all these actions which to us seem urgent and very important, in reality they are revealed to be common, illusory and insignificant. When some of us have the chance to have great spiritual impulses or when it is possible to receive certain important spiritual food that we need very much in order to make an extraordinary spiritual leap, when for some of us there appears a chance that might never repeat itself during one existence, it is exactly then that we are unavailable because we are “too busy”. How many of us instantly realize that we are continuously and insidiously trapped into “being busy”? How many of us realize that we are chained by a lot of things to do, which are in fact meaningless? Understanding this tragic situation properly, (those of us who really are in this pathetic state), we should immediately ask ourselves the following questions:
Who – if not ourselves – will set us free as soon as possible from this “cold war” we fight with ourselves and in which we are constantly beaten? How many of us who are in this situation can realize that the greatest enemy of our being is often our own being?
If we ask ourselves: What is there to be done about it?
The answer is very easy:
First of all, we must aim as much as possible to never miss a spiritual chance offered to us. That is why it is necessary to not endlessly postpone our participation in a spiritual camp or within a spiritual group that could greatly transform us in a short period of time. This means that we need to “hunt” for any spiritual chance that appears at a certain moment, even when we expect it the least. Regarding this aspect, it is worth remembering the famous biblical quotation: “God works in mysterious ways”. This also implies chasing away the occupant of our inner universe as soon as possible.
This also implies truly finding the interdependency that each one of us has with God. This implies regaining, as soon as possible, the freedom to instantly take a holiday at anytime. This means freeing ourselves from the tyranny of the ego as soon as possible, to reveal our Immortal Supreme Self, ATMAN. The first extremely important step towards reaching this state of freedom is to awaken and amplify the aspiration within ourselves towards what is divine, essential, infinite, supreme and eternal. This means discovering what must really have priority and value in our existence. This implies asking ourselves the following questions and answering them with maximum lucidity and clarity:
What do I really want? How do I want to live my life? What do I want to do with my life?
Beyond appearances, each one of us has the possibility of testing ourselves and easily realizing if we have truly reached a certain degree of maturity. We show that we have the necessary maturity in a situation where we have to choose between two priorities, one of them being obviously spiritual and extremely valuable, if we choose it without hesitation, without excuses or justifications. In other words we reach a certain degree of maturity when we become wise and fully responsible for our important choices and actions. We prove a certain degree of maturity when we appreciate the true value of both the enthusiasm that uplifts us and transforms us, as well as the refusals that caused us lose certain spiritual chances, which will not be repeated. When we truly have the necessary level of responsibility, we will no longer blame the man/woman that stops us, a friend that conditions us, or other people for the little aspiration, little curiosity, little courage and little availability that we have.
In this direction, it is worth it to remember that wise men have said:
“The superior man is one who admits, in a lucid and responsible way, all the mistakes he makes. The inferior, cowardly, lazy and ignorant man is one who always blames the others.”
Level three: Jesus’ inspired words regarding sellers, buyers and merchants show us the existence, within this parable, of a metaphysical initiatic dimension. Indicating very clearly those who are submit to and are dependent on certain preoccupations that chain them, Jesus says: “Sellers, buyers and merchants do not enter the kingdom of the heavenly Father”. As it can be noticed, in many cases, sellers, buyers and merchants often have their mind busy with all kind of businesses. Reading these inspired words carefully we can realize that in fact the spiritual revelations that transform our being profoundly, the fundamental divine truths that we experience directly, the state of freedom – none of them can ever be bought or negotiated.
And things are the same with true happiness or love. However much money we have, or riches we gather, whatever things we gain, whatever great power we might have in the social sphere, none of these ephemeral treasures is useful for reaching or for “buying” the state of freedom, the ultimate truth, the spiritual revelations, the possibility of experiencing what there is in a certain initiation we take part in, true happiness or love.
As we can easily realize, none of these spiritual treasures (which are in heavens) belong to the sphere of “TO HAVE”. One can never bargain or negotiate these spiritual treasures and it is impossible to buy them. If we look at the reality carefully and with lucidity, we discover that, in fact, no human being can have happiness, love or freedom whenever she wants. But, in certain conditions, a human being can be happy, be free and can be loved or can love. Some wise men have noticed that many ignorant and selfish human beings manifest an actual “bargaining spirit”, even with God.
Such limited, selfish and ignorant human beings treat and most often consider God as “a gigantic milking cow that can be milked ceaselessly”. They constantly wait for Him to fulfill their wild desires and all their needs as soon as possible. Only the wise ones know that in fact God the Father can never be bought. Beyond the stupidities that some ignorant and limited people imagine, God is and remains forever free of charge and completely mysterious. God is and remains forever the mysterious embodiment of the concept of “free of charge”. God always resists our wishes to “posses” Him. We can never posses God. No human being could, can or will ever be able to have God whenever she wants and to use Him like we use a certain thing or tool. Beyond this, God is forever mysterious, and - what might seem paradoxical to the unwise one – God offers himself, at the right moment, to all those whose minds are completely open and very still, to all those whose souls are pure like that of a child and full of self-giving, to all those who are full of love and who are available, to all those who are full of humbleness and who make no calculations, to all those who, being “poor in spirit”, are also poor in desires and do not expect anything from Him anymore. God offers Himself to all those who are full of abnegation and who adore him frantically. God offers Himself to all those who, when they give a hug, they do not suffocate the other one; to those few chosen ones, to those very humble and completely detached, those who, when they love God from all their heart and with all their power, they do not ask for any gifts, but they only beg Him to give them His profound peace. It is only these who are given these gifts a hundred times over and certainly they will enter the kingdom of the Heavenly Father.
This is possible because in their case, any trace of selfishness has already been completely transcended. These words of Jesus, full of divine wisdom, remind us that all those who are completely open, who are totally available, who are “poor in spirit”, who are not constantly busy only with themselves, who do not make any calculations, who are always attentive to the mysterious omnipresence of God the Father who manifests in every moment, all those who feel His greatness and love are, without a doubt, on the “narrow path” that leads to Him and, thus, they touch the sky.
Such rare human beings remain in the supreme and mysterious origin from which duality is born (in other words, they transcend duality). Through such human beings the Unique Heavenly Father manifests Himself, in close correspondence to their degree of surrendering to Him, the same way he does it through His beloved Son.
by Natha.netPsychic theories & spiritual training in Tibet
- a westerners meeting with the magical and mystical Tibetan art of meditation
Introduction to the textThe following text is an extract from Alexander David-Neels "With magicians and mystics in Tibet", about her fascinating journey and life in Tibet. She was herself initiated in the Tibetan spiritual system and considered the first western Lama. In this chapter is her unique explanations and descriptions of the Tibetan art of meditation, as she experienced it in Tibet only 100 years ago.Click to the right and read more about the author or her story about the spiritual seeker Karma Dorjce.Psychic theories & spiritual training in Tibet
- an extract from "With Magicians and Mystics in Tibet" by Alexandra David-Neel"Breath is the courser and mind is the rider," say the Tibetan mystics. So it is essential that the courser must be well trained. But breath, in its turn, influences bodily and mental activity. Consequently, two methods have been devised: the most easy one which quiets the mind by controlling the breath and the more difficult way which consists in regulating the breath by controlling the mind.To the breathing drill repeated several times each day, the recluse often adds the contemplative meditation practiced with kyilkhors.
(Written dkyilkhor.)The latter are, also, most important and conspicuous in the magic rites called dubthabs (method of success).
Kyilkhors are diagrams drawn on paper or material, or engraved on stone, metal or wood.Others are constructed with small flags, altar lamps, incense sticks and vases containing various things such as grain, water, etc. The personalities whoare supposed to dwell in the kyilkhor and their requisites are represented by pyramidal cakes named torma.Kyilkhors are also drawn with coloured powders on the temple floor or on boards. I have seen some which measured about seven feet in diameter.The word kyilkhor means a circle, nevertheless, amongst the numberless kinds of kyilkhors, there exist square and quadrangular forms, while those used in black magic or for the coercion or destruction of malignant entities are triangular.The monks who wish to become proficient in this kind of art spend years studying its rules.One of the four high colleges which exist in all large monasteries teaches the art of drawing the kyilkhors that are parts of the official lamaist magic rites. As for secret ones connected with mystic training or black magic, each student must learn them privately from his own teacher.The least mistake in the drawing of a kyilkhor or the place given to the tormas in its construction, may have most terrible consequences, for the kyilkhor is a magic instrument which hurts him who handles it unskilfully.Moreover, no one should construct or draw a kyilkhor if he has not been empowered to do so, by a proper initiation, and each variety of kyilkhor requires the corresponding initiation.That which is the work of a non-initiated cannot be animated and remains powerless. As for the true understanding of the symbolic meaning of the kyilkhors, and the theories which support their use in psychic training, very few are aware of them.Needless to say that elaborate and large-sized kyilkhors cannot find room in the tsams khangs. Their form, there, is very much simplified. At the beginning of his spiritual education the novice is likely to be taught by his teacher the way of constructing a diagram which is to be used as support (rten) to fix the attention during meditation.One of the exercises most generally practiced — either with or without a kyilkhor — at that stage of the training, is the following:A deity is imagined; it is first contemplated alone, then from its body spring out other forms sometimes like its own, sometimes different. There are often four of them, but in some meditations they become hundreds or even innumerable.When all these personages have appeared quite clearly around the central figure, they are one after another reabsorbed in it. Now the original deity remains again alone and gradually begins to disappear. The feet vanish first and then slowly the whole body and finally the head. Only a dot remains. This may be dark, coloured or purely luminous. Mystic masters interpret this as a sign which shows the degree of spiritual progress attained by their disciples.
Then, the dot moves towards the man who beholds it and sinks into him. One must note the part of the body in which it seems to disappear. A period of meditation follows that exercise, which may be done again and again as many times as desired.One may also imagine a lotus. It opens slowly and on each of its petals stands a Bodhisatva, one of them being enthroned in the heart of the flower. After a while, as the lotus begins to fold its petals again each one emits a ray of light that sinks into the centre of the flower, and when it closes entirely, light escapes from its heart and penetrates the man in meditation.There exist many kinds of similar practices. Many novices do not proceed farther. Thus dryly described, such visions cannot but appear absurd, yet they constitute a somewhat fascinating puzzle on account of the multifarious unexpected aspects they assume after a certain time of training.They provide the recluse with spectacles which rival the most beautiful fairy-plays that can be seen on the stage. Even those who are well aware of their illusive nature may enjoy them, and as for those who believe in the reality of the divine players, it is not surprising that they are bewitched.However, it is not to amuse the hermits that these exercises have been invented. Their true aim is to lead the disciple to understand that the worlds and all phenomena which we perceive are but mirages born from our imagination."They emanate from the mind
And into the mind they sink."In fact this is the fundamental teaching of Tibetan mystics. If we now consider the case of a monk (who instead of placing himself under the spiritual guidance of a lama who is a regular member of a monastery) ventures to solicit the teaching of a contemplative anchorite naljorpa the training takes another aspect. Methods become strange, sometimes even cruel; we have seen it in a previous chapter.The trilogy: Examination, Meditation, Understanding, takes a peculiar importance among the followers of the "Short Path" and the intellectual activity of the disciple is exclusively directed towards these results. Sometimes the means that are used seem extravagant, yet when closely investigated one sees that the object aimed at is quite reasonable. It is also clear that inventors of these curious methods perfectly understand the mind of their brethren in religion and have devised them accordingly.Padmasambhava is said to have described the stages of the mystic path in the following way.To read a large number of books on the various religions and philosophies. To listen to many learned doctors professing different doctrines. To experiment oneself with a number of methods. To choose a doctrine among the many one has studied and discard the other ones, as the eagle carries off only one sheep from the flock. To remain in a lowly condition, humble in one's demeanour, not seeking to be conspicuous or important in the eyes of the world, but behind apparent insignificance, to let one's mind soar high above all worldly power and glory.
To be indifferent to all. Behaving like the dog or the pig that eat what chance brings them.Not making any choice among the things which one meets. Abstaining from any effort to acquire or avoid anything. Accepting with an equal indifference whatever comes: riches or poverty, praise or contempt, giving up the distinction between virtue and vice, honourable and shameful, good and evil. Being neither afflicted, nor repenting whatever one may have done and, on the other hand, never being elated nor proud on account of what one has accomplished.
To consider with perfect equanimity and detachment the conflicting opinions and the various manifestations of the activity of beings. To understand that such is the nature of things, the inevitable mode of action of each entity and to remain always serene.To look at the world as a man standing on the highest mountain of the country looks at the valleys and the lesser summits spread out below him.
(Compare Dhammapada: "When the learned man drives away vanity by earnestness, he, the wise
one, climbing the terraced heights of wisdom, looks down upon the fools. Free from sorrow, he looks upon the sorrowing crowd, as one that stands on a mountain looks down upon them that stand upon the plain." The Dhammapada is a work belonging to the Buddhist canonic Scriptures in Pali language.)It is said that the sixth stage cannot be described in words. It corresponds to the realization of the "Void" (In a general way, one must understand here, the realization of the non-existence of a permanent ego, according to the Tibetan current fomula: "The person is devoid of self: all things are devoid of self", which, in Lamaist terminology, means the Inexpressible reality.In spite of these programmes, it is impossible to establish a regular gradation of the multifarious training exercises devised by Tibetan mystic anchorites. In practice, these various exercises are combined. Moreover each lama adopts a peculiar method, and it is even rare to see two disciples of the same master following exactly the same path.
We must make up our minds to accept an apparent chaos which is a natural result of the different individual tendencies and aptitudes which the gurus, adepts of the "Short Path," refuse to crush. "Liberty" is the motto on the heights of the "Land of Snows," but strangely enough, the disciple starts on that road of utter freedom, by the strictest obedience to his spiritual guide. However, the required submission is confined to the spiritual and psychic exercises and the way of living prescribed by the master. No dogmas are ever imposed. The disciple may believe, deny or doubt anything according to his own feelings.
I have heard a lama say that the part of a master, adept of the "Short Path," is to superintend a "clearing." He must incite the novice to rid himself of the beliefs, ideas, acquired habits and innate tendencies, which are part of his present mind, and have been developed in the course of successive lives whose origin is lost in the night of time.On the other hand, the master must warn his disciple to be on his guard against accepting new beliefs, ideas and habits as groundless and irrational as those which he shakes off.The discipline on the "Short Path" is to avoid imagining things. When imagination is prescribed, in contemplative meditation, it is to demonstrate by that conscious creation of perceptions or sensations, the illusory nature of those perceptions and sensations which we accept as real though they too rest on imagination; the only difference being that, in their case, the creation is unconsciously effected.The Tibetan reformer, Tsong Khapa, defines meditation as "the means
(The word used by the author is khungs, which means the "source," the "origin." The quotation is taken from the work called The Lamp of the Way. A similar definition is found in the Yoga sûtras of Patanjali.)
of enabling oneself to reject all imaginative thoughts together with their seed."It is this uprooting of the present "imaginative thoughts," and the burning of their "seed," so that no fanciful ideas may arise in the future, that constitutes the "clearing" which I have just mentioned.Two exercises are especially prescribed by the adepts of the mystic path. The first consists in observing with great attention the workings of the mind without attempting to stop it.Seated in a quiet place, the disciple refrains as much as he can from consciously pointing his thoughts in a definite direction. He marks the spontaneous arising of ideas, memories, desires, etc., and considers how, superseded by new ones, they sink into the dark recesses of the mind.He watches also the subjective image which, apparently unconnected with any thoughts or sensations, appears while his eyes are closed: men, animals, landscapes, moving crowds, etc.During that exercise, he avoids making reflections about the spectacle which he beholds, looking passively at the continual, swift, flowing stream of thoughts and mental images that whirl, jostle, fight and pass away.
It is said that the disciple is about to gather the fruit of this practice when he loosens the firm footing he had kept, till then, in his quality of spectator. He too — so he must understand — is an actor on the tumultuous stage. His present introspection, all his acts and thoughts, and the very sum of them all which he calls his self, are but ephemeral bubbles in a whirlpool made of an infinite quantity of bubbles which congregate for a moment, separate, burst, and form again, following a giddy rhythm.The second exercise is intended to stop the roaming of the mind in order that one may concentrate it on one single object.Training which tends to develop a perfect concentration of mind is generally deemed necessary for all students without distinction. As to observing the mind's activity it is only recommended to the most intellectual disciples.Training the mind to "one-pointedness" is practiced in all Buddhist sects.In Southern Buddhist countries — Ceylon, Siam, Burma — an apparatus called kasinas, which consists of clay discs variously coloured, or a round surface covered by water, or a fire at which one gazes through a screen in which a round hole is pierced — are used for this purpose.Any of these circles is stared at until it is seen as clearly when the eyes are shut, as when they are open and actually looking at it. The process does not aim at producing an hypnotic state, as some Western scholars have said, but it accustoms one to concentrating the mind. The fact that the subjective image has become as vivid as the objective, indicates — according to those who patronize that method — that "one-pointedness" has been reached.Tibetans consider the object chosen to train oneself to be of no importance. Whatever attracts and retains most easily the thoughts of the disciple should be preferred.There is a story well known in the Tibetan religious vorld which illustrates a successful result of this practice.A young man begs the spiritual guidance of a mystic anchorite. The latter wishes him to begin by exercising himself in the concentration of mind."What kind of work do you usually do?" he inquires of his new disciple.
"I keep the yaks
(Yak, spelt gyag. The Tibetan wild hairy ox that has been domesticated.)
on the hills," answered the man.
"All right," says the gomchen. "Meditate on a yak."
The novice repairs to a cave roughly fitted up to serve as a habitation — a few such shelters can always be found in the regions inhabited by herdsmen — and settles down there.After some time, the master goes to the place and calls to his pupil to come out of the cave.The latter hears the gomchen's voice, gets up and wants to walk out through the entrance of his primitive dwelling. But his meditation has achieved its purpose. He has identified himself with the object on which all his thoughts have been concentrated, he has forgotten his own personality, he feels himself a yak. Now, though the opening is large enough to allow the passage of a man, it is too narrow for a big bull, so, while struggling against an imaginary obstacle, the young man answered his guru: "I cannot get out, my horns prevent me."Though deeply respectful of everything connected with religion, Tibetans always retain a keen sense of humour. They do not fail to notice the comic effect that such practices produce when performed by simpleminded novices.The following story was told me in the course of a tramp with a naljorpa from Gartog.After having spent some time with his guru to receive his instruction, a zealous disciple was returning to his hermitage. While walking, he began to meditate and, according to a well-known reverential custom, he imagined his worshipful teacher was seated on his head.After a time, he entered a state of trance in which he felt perfectly sure that he was carrying his lama.
A stone or some other obstacle caused the man to fall, but so strong was his concentration of thought that the shock did not break it. He got up loudly apologizing:"I beg your pardon, 'Precious One.' I am so sorry to have let you fall, I hope you have nothurt yourself. . . . Where are you, now? . . "And the good disciple hurried away to examine a ravine near by in case his lama had rolled into it.Another story about "the lama on the head" was told me by a Dugpa
(A native of Bhutan.)
lama. The joke is coarser than the former one and reflects the mind of the sturdy massive Dugpa hillmen.A nun, it is said, was advised by her spiritual teacher to imagine him seated on her head when meditating. She did so accordingly and was so successful that the weight of the venerable lama who was a well-fed, tall and stout man, gave her great pain. Women of all countries, we must believe, are peculiarly clever at finding a way out of their troubles.When paying another visit to her guru he asked if she had carried out his instruction and imagined that he was seated on her head."I did, 'Precious One,' " answered the nun, "and indeed, your weight became so painful, that I changed places with you and sat on your head myself."One variety of exercises in concentration consists in choosing some kind of a landscape, a garden for instance, as a subject of meditation. First, the student examines the garden, observing every detail. The flowers, their different species, the way in which they are grouped, the trees, their respective height, the shape of their branches, their different leaves and so on, noting all particulars that he can detect.When he has formed a subjective image of the garden, that is to say when he sees it as distinctly when shutting his eyes as when looking at it, the disciple begins to eliminate one by one the various details which together constitute the garden.Gradually, the flowers lose their colours and their forms, they crumble into tiny pieces which fall to dust and finally vanish. The trees, also, lose their leaves, the branches shorten, and seem to be withdrawn into the trunk. The latter grows thin, becomes a mere line, more and more flimsy till it ceases to be visible.
Now, the bare ground alone remains and from it the novice must subtract the stones and the earth. The ground in its turn vanishes. . . .It is said that by the means of such exercises one succeeds in expelling from the mind all idea of form and matter and thus gradually reaches the various states of consciousness such as that of the "pure, boundless space," and that of the "boundless consciousness." Finally one attains to the "sphere of void," and then to the sphere where "neither consciousness nor unconsciousness" is present. (That is to say that it is an indescribable state to which the ordinary notions of consciousness and unconsciousness cannot be applied.)These four contemplative meditations are often mentioned in early Buddhist Scriptures and are recognized by all sects as part of the spiritual training. They are called "formless contemplations."Many methods have been devised which lead to these peculiar states of mind. Sometimes the later states are produced by a contemplation absolutely devoid of cogitations, while in other cases they follow a series of minute introspections or are the result of prolonged investigations and reflections regarding the external world. Lastly, it is said that there are people who suddenly reach one or another of these four states of mind without any preparation, in any place or during any kind of occupation.The following exercise has already been briefly described in the story of the man who felt himself to be a yak. However, it includes developments that were unknown to the hero of that story.For instance, the disciple has chosen a tree, as an object of meditation, and has identified himself with it. That is to say that he has lost the consciousness of his own personality and experiences the peculiar sensations that one may ascribe to a tree. He feels himself to be composed of a stiff trunk with branches, he perceives the sensation of the wind moving the leaves. He notes the activity of the roots feeding under the ground, the ascension of the sap which spreads all over the tree, and so on.Then, having mentally become a tree (which has now become the subject) he must look at the man (who has now become the object) seated in front of him and must examine this man in detail.This done, the disciple again places his consciousness in the man and contemplates the tree as before. Then, transferring his consciousness once more into the tree, he contemplates the man. This alternative transposition of subject and object is effected a number of times.This exercise is often practiced indoors with a statue of a stick called gom shing (meditation wood). (Properly speaking, the gom shing is merely a stick at which one gazes to obtain fixity of mind. The burning incense stick is a variety of gom shing.)A burning incense stick is also used in an obscure or completely darkened room to dispose the mind to meditation. But I must again lay stress upon the fact that it is not intended to produce an hypnotic state.Preparation for meditation is called niampar jagpa. It consists in bringing the mind into perfect stillness and the contemplation of the tiny dot of fire at the top of the stick helps in producing that state of calm.People who habitually practice methodical contemplation often experience, when sitting down for their appointed time of meditation, the sensation of putting down a load or taking off a heavy garment and entering a silent, delightfully calm, region. It is the impression of deliverance and serenity which Tibetan mystics call niampar jagpa, "to make equal," "to level" — meaning calming down all causes of agitation that roll their "waves" through the mind.Another exercise which, however, seems to be seldom practiced, consists in "displacing one's consciousness in one's own body." It is explained as follows.We feel our consciousness in our "heart." Our arms seem to us to be "annexes" to our body, and our feet seem to be a distant part of our person. In fact, arms feet and other parts of the body are looked at as if they were objects for a subject dwelling elsewhere.
Now the student will endeavour to make the "consciousness" leave its habitual abode and transfer it, for instance, to his hand, then he must feel himself to have the shape of five fingers and a palm, situated at the extremity of a long attachment (the arm) which joins on to a big moving structure, the body.That is to say, he must experience the sensation that we might have if, instead of having the eyes and the brain in the head, we had them in the hand and then the hand was able to examine the head and the body, reversing the normal process which is to look downwards in order to see the hands or the body.What can be the aim of such strange exercises? The most frequent answer given to my questions will probably seem unsatisfactory by many inquirers, yet it is probably quite correct.Some lamas have told me that the aim of these practices can hardly be explained, because those who have not felt their effects could not understand the explanations.One attains, by the means of these strange drills, psychic states entirely different from those habitual to us. They cause us to pass beyond the fictitious limits which we assign to the self. The result being that we grow to realize that the self is compound, impermanent; and that the self, as self, does not exist.One of these lamas seized upon a remark I had made as an argument in support of his theory. When he spoke of the heart as the seat of thought and mind, I had said that Westerners would rather place thoughts and mind in the brain."You see," immediately replied my interlocutor, "that one may feel and recognize the mind in different places. Since these Philings (Foreigners.)
experience the sensation of thinking in their head, and I experience it in my heart, one may believe that it is quite possible to feel it in the foot. But all these are only deceitful sensations, with no shadow of reality. The mind is neither in the heart nor in the head, nor somewhere outside of the body, apart, separated, alien to it. It is to help one realize this fact that these apparently strange practices have been devised."Here again we meet with the "clearing" process. All these exercises aim at destroying habitual notions accepted by routine and without personal investigation. The object is to make one understand that other ideas can be put in their place. It is hoped that the disciple will conclude that there cannot be any absolute truth in ideas derived from sensations which can be discarded while others, even contradictory to them, take their place.Kindred theories are professed by the followers of the Chinese Ts'an sect.
(Called Zen sect, in Japan.)
They express them in enigmatical sentences such as: "Lo, a cloud of dust is rising from the ocean and the roaring of the waves is heard over the land.""I walk on foot, and yet on the back of an ox I am riding.""When I pass over the bridge, Lo! the water floweth not, but the bridge floweth.""Empty handed I go, and behold! the spade's handle is in my hand."And so on.The doctrine of the Ts'an sect has been defined by one of its followers as "the art of perceiving the polar star in the Austral hemisphere." This paradoxical saying resembles that of the lama who said to me: "One must discover the white in the black and the black in the white."I shall cite a question, current in Tibet, which mystic hermits, as wed as philosophers living in monasteries, put to their pupils."A flag moves, What is that which moves? — Is it the flag or the wind?"The answer is that neither the flag nor the wind moves. It is the mind that moves.The followers of the Ts'an sect ascribe the origin of this question to the sixth Patriarch of their sect. Once, in the courtyard of the monastery, he saw two monks looking at a flag floating in the air. One of them declared: "It is the flag that moves." The other affirmed: "It is the wind that moves." Then the master explained to them that the perception of a motion which they experienced was not really due to the wind or to the flag, but to something existing in themselves.
We are in doubt as to whether such ways of thinking have been imported into Tibet from India or from China. I may, however, state the opinion expressed by a lama: "The Bönpos," he said, "taught such things long before Padmasambhava came to Tibet.''
(This means before Buddhism spread into Tibet.)Abandoning further investigations on the transcendental results of transferring one's mind to different parts of one's body, I may remark that during this exercise, a peculiar sensation of heat is felt at the spot where one has "transported his consciousness."It is rather difficult to ascertain whether the phenomena consists in a real increase in heat or a subjective sensation only. The very idea of undertaking such investigation would break the concentration of mind and so destroy the cause that produced heat. As to making observation upon other people, it is almost impossible. Tibetan hermits and their disciples have nothing in common with Western professional mediums who work for money and allow us to examine the phenomena which they produce. The most insignificant pupil of a gomchen would feel astonished if such a proposal was made to him. I can hear him answer: "I do not care whether you believe or not in these phenomena, and I have no desire to convince you. I am not a juggler giving theatrical performances."The fact is that Orientals, excepting vulgar charlatans, do not make a show of their mystic, philosophic or psychic knowledge. It is most difficult to win their confidence in these matters. A traveller in search of information may be the guest of a lama for several months, drink tea daily with him and go away thinking his host is an ignoramus, while on the contrary, the lama could have answered all his questions and told him more things than he has even thought of.
Whether the heat be actual or subjective the exercise has more than once warmed my feet, and given me a refreshing sleep while spending the night under a tent — or even without any tent — outdoors in the snow. But unless one has been trained for a long time in the practice, it requires strenuous efforts which make it extremely tiring.To conclude, I will call attention to the fact that the terms which I have translated by "consciousness" and "mind" have not exactly the same signification in Tibetan as in English.Tibetans distinguish as many as eleven kinds of "consciousness" and have three words in their language which we are compelled to translate by "mind," though each of them bears a special philosophic meaning.A frequent way of ascertaining the degree of the concentration of mind is to place a small burning lamp on the head of the novice who is to remain in solitary meditation.Tibetan lamps consist of a cup-like receptacle, made of metal or mud; the base of the lamp enlarges at the bottom, which is shaped like a second cup turned upside down. These lamps are filled with melted butter; a wick is thrust into a small cavity bored for that purpose at the bottom of the cup. When the butter cools it forms a cake and the lamp is ready to be lighted.This apparatus easily rests on the crown of the head as long as one preserves absolute immobility, but it falls off at the slightest movement. Now as perfect concentration produces complete immobility, any failure is proved by the fall of the lamp.It is said that a lama who had once placed a lamp on the head of a pupil found him the next day still seated in meditation, but with the lamp beside him on the ground without any butter in it. Answering his master's question, the novice who had not understood the aim of the exercise replied:"The lamp did not fall down, I myself took it away when the butter was exhausted and it went out" — "How could you know that the lamp went out, or even that you had a lamp on your head, if you had reached true concentration of mind?" retorted the teacher.Sometimes a small bowl filled with water is used instead of a lamp.Certain masters also command their disciples either before the time of their meditation or immediately after it, to carry from one spot to another a bowl with water up to the brim.This exercise aims at testing the degree of tranquillity of the mind. The slightest agitation of the mind, whatever may be its cause — joy or sadness, memory, desire, etc. — is likely to produce a movement of the body. Now, the least quivering of the fingers is sufficient to shake the bowl and the quantity of water poured out, as well as the number of times the accident happens, discloses the more or less violent movement of the mind. Such at least is the theory on which the exercise is based.This theory and the exercises which have been devised from it, are known all over the East. Indians tell pretty stories about them. Here is one.A rishi (A Sage often possessed with supernormal powers.) had a disciple whom he believed already far advanced in spiritual development. Wishing that he might receive supplementary teaching from Janaka, the kingly Sage of great repute, he sent the young man to him. At first Janaka left the new-comer for several days outside his palace gate without allowing him even to enter the courtyard. Nevertheless, the well-trained disciple, though he was of noble descent, did not show the least sign of being grieved, offended, or displeased by this humiliating treatment.When he was finally admitted to the presence of the king, he was given at the door of the throne hall a bowl filled with water up to the brim and ordered to walk with it in his hand all round the hall.Janaka, though his mind was utterly indifferent to all worldly things, was surrounded by true Oriental splendour. Gold and precious stones glittered on the walls of the great hall, the courtiers wearing costly jewels surrounded their sovereign, and the palace dancing girls, as beautiful as goddesses and scantily clad, smiled at the young stranger passed before them.
Nevertheless the disciple went through the prescribed ordeal without spilling a drop of water. Nothing offered to his eyes had been capable of producing the slightest movement in his mind. Janaka sent him back to his guru saying that he did not need any lessons.Tibetans are acquainted with the theory regarding the khorlos (wheels) which is classic among the followers of Hindu Tantrism. Most likely it has been imported into Tibet from India or Nepal, but the interpretation given by the lamas differs on a number of points from that which is current in Hindu circles.The khorlos are said to be centres of energy that are situated in various parts of the body. They are often called 'lotus.' The practices connected with the khorlos belong to the esoteric teaching. The general aim of the training in which the khorlos play a part is to direct a stream of energy to the higher lotus: the dabtong (lotus with a thousand petals) which is situated at the top of the head. The different kinds of exercises in this training aim at utilizing the energy naturally expressed in animal manifestations connected with sex, for the development of intelligent and supernormal powers.The lamas belonging to the Dzogschen sect are practically the only masters of this teaching.Again, certain disciples are advised to contemplate the sky and sometimes to confine themselves to this practice only. Some lie flat on their back in the open, in order to look at the sky with no other object in sight. This contemplation, and the ideas which it excites, is said to lead to a peculiar trance in which the notion of personality is forgotten, and an undescribable union with the universe is experienced.All lamas agree regarding the usefulness of most of these strangely artful training practices. Yet, when reading certain treatises about them or listening to oral explanations given by some mystic masters, one not unfrequently detects a restrained impatience.The teacher who instructs us seems to say:
Yes, all that is necessary, perhaps, even indispensable to the majority of novices, but as a preparatory drill only, the goal is elsewhere. Let us make haste and finish with the preliminary process.The following sober method keeps closer to this goal; at any rate its working is more easily understood.The master orders his disciple to shut himself in tsams and to meditate — taking his Yidam (tutelary deity) as object of his contemplation.The novice dwelling in strict seclusion, concentrates his thoughts on the Yidam, imagining him in the shape and form ascribed to him in books and images. Repeating certain mystic formulas and constructing a kyilkhor are parts of the exercise of which the aim is to cause the Yidam to appear to his worshipper. At least, such is the aim that the master points out to the beginner.The pupil breaks his contemplation during the time strictly necessary to eat (Generally the recluse has only one meal a day, but drinks buttered tea several times. However, during such periods of retreat some ascetics subsist on water and roast barley flour only.)
and the very short time allowed for sleep. Often the recluse does not lie down and only dozes in one of those gomti which have been described in a previous chapter.
(See the end of Chapter II.)Months and even years may elapse in that way. Occasionally the master inquires about the progress of his pupil. At last a day comes when the novice informs him that he has reaped the fruit of his exertion: the Yidam has appeared. As a rule, the vision has been nebulous and lasted only a little while. The master declares that it is an encouraging success, but not as yet a definitive result. It is desirable that the recluse should longer enjoy the hallowed company of his protector.The apprentice naljorpa cannot but agree, and continues his effort. A long time again elapses. Then, the Yidam is "fixed" — if I may use that term. He dwells in the tsams khang and the recluse sees him as always present in the middle of the kyilkhor."This is most excellent," answers the master when he is informed of the fact; "but you must seek a still greater favour. You must pursue your meditation until you are able to touch with your head the feet of the Yidam, until he blesses you and speaks to you."
Though the previous stages have taken long to be effected they may be considered the easiest part of the process. The following are much more arduous to attain, and only a small minority of novices meet with success.These successful disciples see the Yidam taking on life. They distinctly feel the touch of his feet when, prostrated, they lay their head on them. They feel the weight of his hands when he blesses them. They see his eyes moving, his lips parting, he speaks. . . . And lo! he steps out of the kyilkhor and walks in the tsams khang. It is a perilous moment. When wrathful demi-gods or demons have been called up in that way, they must never be allowed to escape from the kyilkhor, whose magic walls hold them prisoners. Set free out of due time, they would revenge themselves on the person who has compelled them to enter this prison-like consecrated circle. However, the Yidam, though his appearance may be dreadful and his power is to be feared, is not dangerous because the recluse has won his favour. Consequently, he may move about as he pleases in the hermitage.Even better, he may cross its threshold and stand in the open. Following his teacher's advice, the novice must find out if the deity is willing to accompany him when he walks out.This task is harder than all previous ones. Visible and tangible in the obscure hermitage fragrant with incense, where the psychic influences born from a prolonged concentration of thought are working; will the Yidam's form be able to subsist in quite different surroundings under the bright sunlight, exposed to influences which, instead of supporting it, will act as dissolving agents?A new elimination takes place amongst the disciples. Most Yidam refuse to follow their devotee into the open. They remain obstinately in some dark corner and sometimes grow angry and avenge themselves for the disrespectful experiments to which they have been submitted. Strange accidents occur to some anchorites, but others succeed in their undertaking and wherever they go enjoy the presence of their worshipful protector.
"You have reached the desired goal," says the guru to his exultant disciple. "I have nothing more to teach you. You have won the favours of a protector mightier than I."Certain disciples thank the lama and, proud of their achievement, return to their monastery or establish themselves in a hermitage and spend the remainder of their life playing with their phantom.On the contrary, others trembling in mental agony prostrate themselves at their guru's feet and confess some awful sin. . . . Doubts have arisen in their mind which, in spite of strenuous efforts, they have not been able to overcome. Before the Yidam himself, even when he spoke to them or when they touched him, the thought has arisen in them that they contemplated a mere phantasmagoria which they had themselves created.The master appears afflicted by this confession. The unbeliever must return to his tsams khang and begin training all over again in order to conquer his incredulity, so ungrateful to the Yidam who has favoured him.Once undermined, faith seldom regains a firm footing. If the great respect which Orientals feel for their religious teacher did not restrain them, these incredulous disciples would probably yield to the temptation of giving up the religious life, their long training having ended in materialism. But nearly all of them hold on to it, for if they doubt the reality of their Yidam, they never doubt their master's wisdom.After a time the disciple repeats the same confession. It is even more positive than the first time. There is no longer any question of doubt; he is thoroughly convinced that the Yidam is produced by his mind and has no other existence than that which he has lent him."That is exactly what it is necessary for you to realize," the master tells him. "Gods, demons, the whole universe, are but a mirage which exists in the mind, 'springs from it, and sinks into it.' "
(A declaration continually repeated by Tibetan mystics.)
An article by Gregorian Bivolaru
The yoga tradition has several legends upon great yogis’ wonderful lives and miraculous deeds. Even contemporary great yogis are capable of spontaneously realizing miracles or “paranormal phenomena”, in other words. The numerous unusual deeds in great yogis’ stories evoke the vast and complex problem of spirituality-parapsychology relation or, in this case, better said authentic yoga-parapsychology relation.
The miracle accompanies spiritual evolution.
This problem which is full of mystery is not new at all. It is a historically certifiable fact that the people who are very perseverant and determined in their faith have devotedly strived for reaching a certain divine accomplishment for thousands of years. They inspired themselves from their time’s authentic traditions. When they fully reached their accomplishment, they became spiritually accomplished persons or great saints or wise men, as they are called in West and accomplished Masters or Liberated souls in East. Almost all of them manifested multiple and amazing paranormal capacities (siddhis), during and after their spiritual practice, and sometimes strange miraculous powers, which the ignorant ones, in particular, found very difficult to understand and explain.
It is natural to study these paranormal manifestations that appear to some privileged subjects, as other physical, biological, psychological and mental phenomena are studied. If they are correctly understood, they can be progressively integrated and amplified, by a systematic and adequate training, by the “normal”, “unendowed” persons, too, under certain conditions (known by the initiated). We can never deny the fundamental and always alive attention of the parapsychological studies.
Moreover, their amazing results offer new surprisingly unlimited horizons to the limited human mind, leading, thus, to a more profound - and maybe more correlated - vision that immensely reaches us and often determines an unexpected review of the unanimously accepted values in us.
Researchers interested in paranormal phenomena focused their attention upon those who manifested such extraordinary capacities themselves or who triggered them around (great yogis or Christian saints, famous wise men or the east’s spiritually accomplished Masters).
The paranormal phenomena manifested by the great yogis, wise men or initiated ones are a common study subject for parapsychologists. But a whole series of such phenomena, chaotically developed and manifested, correctly called “inferior” by the great yogis or wise men, can appear to trainees on their way to the Absolute under certain circumstances. They are undesired aspects that can later trigger the influence of disarray and stagnation on spiritual path.
We can only accede to Swami Ritajananda’s full of common sense important remark, especially now when there are several weird medicine men and fake bio energyworkers that hurry to “awake” mediumity. They aberrantly proclaim that 3-7 day “course” offer “clairevoyance” or “curing powers” to the candidates who are on their way towards psychical disequilibrium, actually. No matter how legal one or the other is, pure spiritual practice in order to reveal the eternal absolute has nothing to do with phenomenological research, even if the latter often takes as object of study the paranormal manifestations that appear during the former.
Great yogis, as great mystics, do not seek to obtain miraculous powers.
The history of religious mysticism offers several examples of famous ascetics that grievously regretted being disturbed by these unusual phenomena of resonance with different subtle energies that manifested in them or through them (even against their will, due to amplified mediumity). They did not really look for them.
In Catholic Church, the case of Therese of Avila represents such a famous example, among the most representative. In his work “The problems of mystical life”, Roger Bastide says that this saint often asked God not to send her anymore the ecstasy states that spontaneously seized her in front of everybody, especially during Mass or even when leaving the church. More than once, they represented a scandalous reason rather than a divine edification for those around. In her humility, she did not even ask for them.
The great wise men and Christian saints or even Eastern yogis who have not reached the supreme goal on the spiritual path, “climbing Carmel’s divine mountain” as Saint John of the Cross said, look upon these unusual phenomena (often mediumic, especially when they are not will controlled) as parasites, even dangers (not all these powers are dangerous). They are neither looking for them on purpose nor triggering them in fully awareness.
These mysterious strange powers were not the wanted objective; they were not part of their search for the divine. Their unexpected appearance and effects, although often spectacular, took them unexpectedly and defocused them, creating doubts, and sometimes sufferance and inner fear.
The most serious, in other words, the most profound spiritual disciples, fully dedicated themselves, heart and soul, to the sublime, delicate, meditative and unusual silent search for the ultimate divine Presence. In a last revelation, that was their or anybody’s life’s basic principal itself.
Detached by everything that is evanescent and illusion (maya), they were never greedy for paranormal powers (siddhis) that could doubtless make them capable of realizing inner wonders only. Thus, they were not preoccupied with achieving the passing personal glory most of magicians, wizards and some famous healers did. They could no longer want that in their heart’s sincerity and modesty, in their total self abandoning towards supreme divine goal. For them, due to the real spiritual level they found themselves on, it would have been childish to brag with holding and exhilating such obvious indiscrete extraordinary powers, which they were fully detached of.
Siddhi-s (paranormal powers) can become obstacles
On the contrary, many of them were very affected in certain occasions, when those (sometimes undesirable) powers were suddenly, unexpectedly and inappositely awakened. They became objects of general curiosity and they were destroyed or determined to compromise their search for the truth, or self realization (Atman), the right and central path that could be seen on Saint John of the Cross’ drawing on the book “Climbing Carmel’s divine mountain”.
Not having any kind of attraction towards the temporary kingdom of this world, wonders are objects or involuntary causes on this path. They are ephemeral useless resources or seductive masks of power temptation for the ignorant and selfish in particular. They are susceptible of partly or totally compromising all previous efforts’ results. They could also see by these weird phenomena the shining dirt that results from the unified melting of their being. This is the dirt you need to detach from so you can achieve profound spiritual transfiguration.
Why do paranormal phenomena appear during spiritual practice?
How can we explain this sometimes sudden burst of enigmatical and unwanted paranormal phenomena during authentical spiritual practice, such as Yoga, too? Theologists, yogis, philosophers and psychologists looked, more than once, at this problem: the origin of these strange and ephemeral shining “sub-products” of the authentic and profound spiritual path.
About this, Abbacy Henri Bremond and other authors show that the instantaneous and “unprepared” penetration, if we could say that, of a sovereign, grandiose, spiritual presence inside the human psychic, whose mind is not strong enough, analogically speaking like the immediate absorption of a too strong liquor, in a way that will disturb both unready psychic’s functioning and physical body, all these easily trigger psychic side-effects (due to complex resonance phenomena with certain subtle energies from the universe – that can be naturally qualified as extraordinary or paranormal).
Still, in time, this disequilibrium phenomenon initially triggered because of mental maladjustment disappears and a harmonious cohabitation takes place instead. A state of euphorical lucidity and quiet contact with essence appears. They will be soon assimilated as a habit. In the centre of this spiritual discovery that overwhelms the being an ecstatic equilibrium appears that grows in ampleness and intensity. It is what Henri Delacroix calls “the teopatic state” (the state of feeling God).
In most cases, the paranormal phenomena promptly stop manifesting involuntarily and uncontrollably. The spiritual ecstasy states no longer trigger visible disturbance of the conscience or of the body, which are familiar with these manifestations due to adaptation and harmonious integration.
Of course, this does not necessarily mean that exceptional powers (siddhis) that manifested during ascetism or different spiritual practices no longer subsist when the goal was touched. Others can appear, too, all of them being fully controlled now by the master yogi or the victorious initiate that can manifest them at will, whenever he considers it necessary.
Great yogis use paranormal powers to help other people
What meanings can be given once we reach the phase of those powers (siddhis)? They are now but a simple and wise extension of human being’s acting divine possibilities.
This wisely integrated extension is no longer dangerous, neither for him/her, nor for the others. Here we can mention the fact that the great yogis, saints or wise men that reached the top of the spiritual realization always say: “I do not live, but God lives and permanently manifests Himself through and in me.” They present themselves as sublime and divine new aptitudes, naturally adding to those common people already have. Any ego or personal vanity being finally erased here, these new aptitudes, perfectly integrated in the human being due to divine grace, are no longer used for the holder’s personality’ use but for sublime actions that are altruist, inspired from wisdom, and subtly or visibly charitable and generous.
Once we reached this point of our analyses, we can add that authentic spirituality is also, in itself, a “parapsychology”, if we understand by “parapsychology” the science of human being’s usual aptitudes, the way they perceptionally and operationally overflow and outgrow them. It is obvious for the intelligent one the “parapsychology” represented by authentical spirituality is totally different from the commonly designated one.
Especially for those who do not take spirituality as a pure intellectual or theoretical phenomenon but an equivalent self realization, a type of perfect transmutation and sublimation that triggers a profound psychological mutation, this realization totally awakens (when it becomes effective) divine, ecstatic states of consciousness we could call paranormal or even supernormal, maybe. Without necessarily aiming for realizing unusual actions or external wonders, the consciousness of the being that reached the highest level of spirituality can go by states unknown to the common man, plunging in what we could call another dimension of the universe, dimension that corresponds to an extremely high vibration frequency the individuals under common norms, who do not have the necessary spiritual awakening, do not even suspect. This is why it corresponds to a certain inner perception domain or to an action that can pass as parapsychology to the ignorant one.
Profound spiritual experiences are a suis generis parapsychology
Moreover, for the spiritual unawake, the facts included in this enigmatical domain could neither come out from any organized material research nor could result from any organized material research, using a detecting or controlling device that would justify the use of statistical methods.
In addition, such a “parapsychology” could not be described in any common language as our usual language cannot be understood but by the readers or listeners who already had the indescribable inner experience of those states that this language’s words have the translating mission. If wise men and great spiritually awaken or yogis can perfectly understand each other using the usual language in an analogical and symbolic manner, this happens only because they all fully lived, no matter where they came from, the same inner experiences of spiritual, divine nature.
Some authors claim the spiritually awaken ones have “phenomena of understanding without explicit understanding”, where conscience resonates with a sublime reality, so rich and profound that the one experiencing it cannot exactly define it.
Is it always like this? Even for the greatest Western and Eastern mystics? Of course, their unanimous testimonies show the affirmative. Is not it also true that common intelligence, which is often evoqued by the word “understanding”, is the only form of intelligence that human being knows, besides any form of delirium or paranoia?
In order to be that “technical animal” that Henri Bergson and Eduard Le Roy speak about, man had to be endowed with intelligence without he could not create tools or build cars that made him the biological master of his native planet.
Intelligence or wisdom?
We can call this form of intelligence “technical intelligence” and it can be shown that this technical intelligence, specialized in producing objects, tragically influenced man’s consciousness about himself and about his neighbours, in a way. Wise men often say: “conscienceless science is souls’ ruin”.
This technical intelligence has limits and strange singularities. For instance, it is remarkable that we are absolutely incapable of clearly imagining things with more than three dimensions that exist and their geometrical properties can be established due to its grace; it is also difficult for us to have a concrete image of them, in other words, to exactly inner see them for just one hour. If it has got obviously perceptible limits, what could influence us that these limits or deficiencies can be exceeded? For the three year old child’s conscience, adult’s language is, generally, almost unintelligible.
Authentic spiritual experience could, of course, express by an amazingly complex vision upon the world which is almost totally different than the one most of us know. Even the Bible says that: “Spiritual experience represents a superior form of intelligence that most people, who have not lived it under the educational circumstances they went by, cannot understand.”
This is why it is almost untranslatable in our language, as the adult’s phrases are for the child’s conscience who has not achieved the feeling of separate personal existence. Finally, is not “to understand” for each of us a certain personal manner of resonating with the complex reality or, in other words, seeing a psychological “sense” exercise that functions specifically according to our characteristic level of inner vibration?
- (Spiritual techniques)
The Law of Analogy
The law of analogy is also known as the law of correspondence between the microcosm of man and the macrocosm of the universe;it is between the individual spirit Atman and the Universal Spirit Paramatman.
Everything that exists in God The Father exists in us as well. Through the Art of Blessing we have access to the Supreme Energy of God.
The Law of Vibration
Nothing is motionless. Everything that exists is merely vibration that is manifested on different scales. Thus the difference between manifestations of matter, feelings, thoughts, and other phenomena has this simple explanation. The evolutionary scale is made of grades of frequencies from the dense to the subtle, ranging up to the Immortal Spirit of God. The higher the vibration, the more elevated the manifestation. In reality matter is composed of energetic particles in continuous motion of a certain rhythm. Pythagoras discovered that motion is characteristic to every thing or being. Even what seems to be inert has a certain frequency of vibration. Everything that exists in the Universe was created by Divine Energy. An object subjected to vibration can seem perfectly immobile for example, the spokes of a wheel in motion appear as a compact fixed object. Therefore we should not allow ourselves to be fooled by appearances. Rather, we should seek further in order to be closer to reality and to see if a thing object is coarse or refined. We will discover that light, heat, magnetism and electricity are nothing but vibratory phenomena. This is also true for thoughts, emotions, moods, and willpower: they are all vibratory states, emitted towards the exterior, having a larger or smaller impact upon the environment.
The law of vibration represents the ability to intervene in lower levels of manifestation in order to produce the desired transformations.
According to the law of vibration, Supreme Energy is attracted to our being through the technique of the Art of Blessing. It comes from God The Father and is the Ultimate Supreme Energy that originates from the Ultimate Spirit of God. By attracting it, we make the first step on the path of Divine Love. This energy is the direct answer God The Father offers to everyone.
"Ask and thou shall receive. Knock and the door shall open" - this is the fundamental promise the Creator made to Creation, which He has always respected. God The Father immediately grants Supreme Divine Energies of His Spirit as an answer to our prayers.
The Art of Blessing allows us to receive the most valuable spiritual gifts. The energies the individual spirit Atman receives from God have a very high frequency of vibration; they make everything possible in the entire manifestation of spirit.
The Law of Cause and Effect
Every genuine cause that has not been erased has its own effect; and every effect that appears has its own cause that determined it. Everything takes place according to Universal laws established by God. "Luck" and "accident" are only names that the ignorant give to the law of necessity. Nobody can elude the divine laws God has established.
We have the tendency to approach the law of cause and effect in its most negative, pessimistic and ill-fated forms - this attitude seems almost normal. Our shallowness and mediocrity have us misunderstand this principle which is also called the law of karma, and to take appearances as reality. Nothing is fortuitous or by chance. There is a strong connection between events and what follows them. All thoughts appear from the mind, all actions are the consequences of our thoughts, all are links of the chain of cause and effect. This is the secret contained in divine spiritual law. Therefore it is necessary to train the mind in order to obtain happiness, as this is the emotional representation of spiritual evolution. Unfortunately most people limit their access to happiness and indulge in negative states. They abandon themselves passively to others' will, for example when using the mass media. In this way they lose the ability to exercise their own will and allow themselves to become manipulated. The wise and initiated man can use divine law in an intelligent manner against the laws made by people. The superior prevails above the inferior. The common emotion of fear is a torment which blocks knowledge and stops evolution. Thus if we feel troubled we should freely admit our mistakes and move forward and so remain in a calm state. Our errors impact only on us; others' mistakes illustrate what level we are. If someone hurts us, he accumulates karma and this does not affect us. Therefore, we should not take revenge, but should instead ponder why we attracted that action upon us. The law of "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth, "is thus nullified.
We must consider all our experiences as spiritual tests that allow us to confront our mistakes and learn from them. If we are unsuccessful in learning from this, we simply remain behind other advanced people that may surround us. For example, a man who murders will be murdered in the next existence. Through his action, he accumulates a duty towards himself. If we do not understand this, we will continue killing and being killed life after life. It is important therefore to become conscious, fair and honest with ourselves, to aspire to God, and to follow an upward trajectory towards heavenly divine fruit. All events take place because of causes we know little about; but once the mystery is solved they become natural.
The Law of Synchronicity
Everything is One and this is God The Father. This includes everything: me, you, her, creatures, the tattva-ic elements, and so on. To realize this can only be obtained by a supra-mental consciousness. This state of true harmony is impossible to be reached by mere mechanical understanding. The one who achieves this awareness is above the actions of people, beyond karma. The people who commit selfish actions merely illustrate how they misinterpret life, because appearances are different to reality. In order to see life as it really is, one should reach divine knowledge.
Through the Art of Blessing, Divine Consciousness is awakening in us. The person becomes moral; he will never harm anybody or anything. Divine Consciousness offers such mental peace that cannot be disturbed by anything; this is the most rapid way to obtain the Supreme goal. Regarding devotion, the love of an awakened person is greater than the love of a mother, because she feels separated from her child whereas the wise person is one with God.
It is necessary to tenaciously practice the Art of Blessing, because we can thus reach the Supreme Divine Reality. God is The One who transcends everything we perceive.
Cause, or Karma, can be revoked by knowledge, therefore knowledge is essential. The reason for being reborn is simply our ignorance. However if we can annihilate every desire, we will stop the cycle of rebirth and incarnating again.
Creation is an infinite spectrum of the underlying reality of people, things, and phenomena; with ourselves as conscious beings superior. But the One who created this is beyond all categories. He is transcendental because He is beyond our capability of rational knowledge. Through the Art of Blessing, or through any other efficient method where the Self is revealed by relating to the Supreme Consciousness, He lets Himself be known. When He is known, it eliminates any suffering according to our aspiration. A drop of Divine Grace corrects every mistake, heals every misfortune. The state in which we are freed from every desire grants us perfect peace, complete self contentment and inner reconciliation. Through the Art of Blessing, we reach the state of Communion with God, we get to know Him as "Sat - Chit - Ananda" (ever-existing, ever-conscious, ever-new bliss). It clearly gives us the direct path and the means to reach Supreme realization. However God's Grace cannot be obtained without any effort. He offers us the Art of Blessing as a direct path to reach Him, but He can only be known by sustained individual practice.
The Correlation between the Law of Synchronicity and the Art of Blessing
Sometimes we feel inspired (zones of synchronicity-harmony, significant coincidences), sometimes we do not (zones of turbulence). In moments of synchronicity, everything is fluid; people, gestures and objects appear exactly at the right time and place. This harmony that seems to come from beyond may appear as a miracle, even in the smallest things:
• meetings, telepathy – the so-called simple coincidences;
• cascade, succession of coincidences (at a superior level). For instance - a person is passing by a phone box, the phone rings, the person answers, the call is for her and the person who made the call dialed this number by mistake instead of the home number!
For many, these are only extraordinary chances of fate, merely "coincidences" or "miracles". Actually they illustrate profound resonance with the mysterious forces of God. It is only our ego that stops us from being in a state of synchronicity all the time.
Synchronicity represents significant coincidences that are not related each other by an evident cause. An event is synchronous with another one when an inner experience (for instance a dream) prepares us for an event that takes place later in the external world. Wishing something passionately, we create what we desire in another plane (sometimes even unconsciously) and we can obtain astonishing effects. For instance, the intellect has very little to do with brilliant discoveries: rather, it is intuition that appears and the solution comes without knowing how, as Albert Einstein confessed. The term “synchronicity” (syn=with and chronos=time) was chosen by Jung to stand for the simultaneous appearance of connections between elements, through meaning but without a unique cause. Science does not quite understand these phenomena and the rational mind denies them. What connects them can only be understood within a mysterious, timeless and causal Universe, which brings spontaneous enlightenment.
Prediction techniques are based on synchronicity – there is no apparent connection between signs and their meaning. Divination is a form of synchronicity. The law of synchronicity and the law of cause and effect are complementary. The law of karma is the law of connections and the law of synchronicity is the law of miracles. Understanding these fundamental laws leads to spiritual leaps in evolution. Synchronicity connects the material world to the psychic world through symbols that are not always understood and which appear from the collective subconscious.
When a person is spiritually elevated and wise, she benefits by having additional degrees of freedom, as she is no longer conditioned to live life by the usual patterns. The law of synchronicity offers her the power, and thanks to her creativity, anything is possible (but not everything is allowed). This "freedom" of a wise man manifests in various ways. For instance near a spiritual master, the evolved disciple is confronted with unexplainable synchronicities.
One can bless houses, places, objects, food, and situations. The Energy of the Spirit of God can be directed to anything; deification can appear in everything. The Blessing does not have to be preceded by Consecration, as it is about the Spirit of God who exists in manifestation as well as outside it. Through the Art of Blessing one activates invisible subtle forces and connects to the synchronicity field.
By Yoga professor Gregorian Bivolaru
Is it true or not that the great thinkers had been talkative? Is the spiritually evolved man recognized according to the multitude of words meant to drown anyone who comes close?
Do crossword puzzles truly help us to develop our intelligence, or do they represent one of the most dangerous “vampires” of mental energy? Do we know how our mental energy can be best used?
Once, long ago, a disciple named Bhaskali approached his Guru, Bhava, and asked him: “Where is The Eternal and what does The Supreme Absolute mean, who is Brahman (God, The Father) that the Upanishads talk about?" However, his master did not reply, but he remained silent. The disciple insisted and asked him again and again, but in spite of all these, the master did not answer at all, abiding in his quietness. Only much later he said: “I have already told you, over and over, but you are not able to understand me. What can I do to you? Brahman (God, The Father), The Absolute or The Eternal, cannot be explained in words! Only in a profound silence, full of aspiration and love, can one know Him. There is no other place where He can be found, except in the profound silence of the Supreme Self (ATMAN)! This Atman is, above all, the everlasting Silence (Aham Atma Santah).”
The peace beyond sound is God
God, The Father, or Brahman is primarily The Supreme Silence. The soul in its depth is Silence. The peace of the mind is Silence. Atman (The Supreme Self) is Silence. Silence belongs to God, the one perpetually mysterious, essential language. Silence is the deep language of the heart, and because of this, it is the true language of the wise, because, first of all, quietness represents an immense power, and living proof of God’s true eloquence.
Profoundly acknowledged silence is God. Therefore, it is the ultimate substratum or the essence of this body, of prana, and of the mind. Silence is the background where the entire universe of senses is projected. It is an esoteric reality. That profound, beatific peace, which transcends any rational understanding, is the real Silence. The essence of life, but also the target of our whole existence, is that Silence. Beyond all noises and all sounds, is where the Silence is found. It is characteristic of an awareness that perceives reality directly through ecstatic, intuitive experience. It is, in reality, your profound being. To be deeply submerged in silence, actually means to open yourself up completely for the UNITY with God. That is why, the ultimate purpose of life, may be correctly considered the perfectly aware re-integration into God’s mysterious and intensely beatific silence. And regarding to this, we find enough examples: the message of Sahara desert is Silence; the message of Himalaya Mountains is Silence; the message of the wise Avadhota who lives naked on the frozen peak Gangotri, or Kailas, is Silence. When your heart is full of God’s love and when you are in ecstasy, then you’re in Silence. Who can describe in words the overwhelming glory of Silence?
There is no better healing balm than Silence for those humans whose hearts are aggrieved because of failure, disappointment or loss. There is no better remedy than Silence for those whose nerves are over strung due to their tumultuous lives, stress and quarrels of all kinds. Each time we get into the state of profound sleep without dreams, we experience the mysterious and ineffable state of Silence, but the veil of ignorance (Avidya) hides this experience from our consciousness. The Silence that we reach during profound sleep without dreams, and also the Silence that lays inherently over the entire being when the night comes, are proofs of the existence of that Mysterious Endless Ocean of Silence or Brahman (GOD, The Father).
From physical quietness to the state of perfect repose of the mind
For the common man, the mind is almost permanently bewildered or roused by at least one of the 11“organs” (Indryias) subordinate to it (these are the five organs of cognition- for smell, for taste, for sight, for touch and for hearing – the five organs of action – for talking, for grip (with the hands), for motion, for excretion and for sexual activity – and, finally, the inferior mind, which acts like a SUI GENERIS filter-interface between senses and the consciousness of the ego). To achieving absolute control of the mind, the modification of the activity of these organs at will is therefore necessary. Only then, the Silence inside of us will be revealed.
On the level of common intellectual understanding, to remain silent for a certain period of time, without talking to anyone, means to withdraw yourself in silence, but, by extension, this experience is applicable to other domains too. For instance, if your best friend does not write to you a longer period of time, you will be tempted to think: “My friend manifests a long period of silence. I do not know why.” If, in a conference, the orator stops speaking for a few moments during a thrilling lecture, we will relate this situation in the following manner: “There has even been a drop of silence, yesterday evening, at the conference.” When in India, you may meet two people who have attained the state of holiness (Sadhu), it is possible that one of them will tell you: “This holy man (Sadhu) is steadfast in Silence (Mauna). He is my friend, and he has respected this pledge stringently for six years now.”
All these represent physical silence.
But if you stop letting your eyes see, and you put them away from objects constantly, through the practice of Pratyahara or Dama (the perfect forbearance of the sense organs), this brings on the silence of one of the Indryas, sight. If you stop letting your ears hear sounds, it means that you’ve achieved the silence of another Indrya, the hearing. Likewise, complete fasting in the holy days of feast involves the calmness of another organ of action (Indrya) - the tongue. If you do not move at all and you practice the lotus posture (Padmasana) continuously for three hours, you will make the calmness of activities of the hands and feet possible. All these are useful, but what is most desired is the calmness of the agitated mind. We can stringently respect the pledge to keep physical silence, and, with all these, our mind can generate new images further on. Then the process of thinking (chitta) will again be able to bring all kinds of memories in the field of our consciousness.
Imagination, motivation, reflection and other various functions of the mind will not necessarily stop their activity simply by strictly holding to a pledge of physical silence. Therefore, we must realize that this kind of silence alone does not guarantee achievement of real peace or a state of perfect inner silence!
In this case, the only solution left is for the intellect to stop functioning as long as we are not urgently in need of it. This function of the astral body must then be in a state of perfect relaxation, in order to be able to go beyond it more easily. It is necessary to create complete quietness of the mental waves. Our mind must rest then in The Mysterious Ocean of Silence or Brahman (GOD – The Father). Only then we will truly be able to perceive the real and unfading Mystic Silence.
The four pledges
The direct meaning of the word “Mauna” is the pledge of silence, but in reality there are more kinds of Mauna:
1. The complete control of the act of speaking is named Vak Mauna. Therefore, if you keep the organ for the act of speaking (Vak Indrya) perfectly quiet, this is Vak Mauna.
2. The complete suspension of all the voluntary physical actions is Koshta Mauna. In the perfect state of Koshta Mauna, which is EXTREMELY USEFUL especially for aspirants who pursue to reveal their Supreme Self (ATMAN), you are supposed to hold even your head unmoved. You are not to make any sign. You do not write anything on a paper and nor try to express your ideas in any way. However, in the state of Vak Mauna and Koshta Mauna, the fluctuations of the mind are not suspended.
3. An entirely equal point of view upon all things, human beings and phenomena, and also the firm keeping in mind of the idea that, eventually, all is nothing else but Brahman (GOD- The Father), it represents Susupti Mauna (Susupti actually refers to the way the human consciousness in the state of profound sleep without dreams works). The almost complete dismissal of all doubts from the mind, which follows the firm realization concerning the illusory character of this world, is also Susupti Mauna. The fair conclusion that the whole MACROCOSM is nothing else but Brahman’s BODY (GOD-The Father), is Susupti Mauna as well.
4. Brahman (GOD-The Father) is named Maha Mauna, as He is the supreme impersonation of the Silence. Maha Mauna is, we can say, the true Mauna. That is why, Vak Mauna represents not only a phase on the path to the attaining of Maha Mauna, and this is the reason that places Mauna of the mind on a far superior level to Vak Mauna or the Mauna of speech.
The act of speaking keeps the soul in a state of error
Vak Indrya, or the organ for the action of speaking is actually a powerful weapon of the phenomenal illusory world (Maya) for maintaining. The Alive Soul (Jiva) in a state of error, by perturbing the mind almost constantly. Thus, the act of speaking provokes a continuous exteriorization of the mind.
Quarrels, disputes, etc., mostly occur due to the game of this turbulent Vak Indrya. In such situations, language may be considered to be a sword and words as arrows. In this way, we often hurt the feelings of others and generate resentful attitudes. Women, especially, are very talkative. They almost always create a certain kind of noise, when they are gathered in groups, sometimes generating a stressful atmosphere.
A more thorough study of a particular scientific domain - literature, law, Sanskrit language, etc., - makes some people become very talkative, as they feel almost pushed to get into discussions (mostly useless!), propelled by their own elation, to show their scholarly erudition. Scholasticism or the unnecessarily exposure of their knowledge is a specific attribute of still immature and vain students.
In this direction, there is a very significant pattern of ancient wisdom, which compares the behavior of a new and enthusiastic aspirant on a spiritual path to the noise produced by the air when it is forced out by the water rushing into an empty bottle plunged under water.
Unlike this case, the behavior of an aspirant who has almost reached to the realization of the Supreme Self (Atman) is, analogically speaking, similar to the imperceptible noise produced by the air when the bottle is almost totally filled with water. Once it is completely filled (in other words- having achieved the realization of the Supreme Self – Atman), Silence follows…Vak Indrya is mostly impetuous and turbulent, and that is why it is considered as being very harmful. Through diligent practice, full of firmness, it must gradually be brought under control. When we begin to succeed in controlling it, it will try to act disobediently. But we must be very determined and courageous.
In such situations, we must not allow anything to come out from the mind through Vak-Indrya. That is why it is necessary to pursue to the realization of Mauna. Diligent, constant and detached effort is going to help us. When success appears we will know that we have removed an important source of agitation. When we are successful, we will be also able to control our ears (or the sense of hearing) much more easily, because if we get to control Vak Indrya, it may be stated that we already control half of the mind.
The force which heals incurable diseases
A lot of psycho-mental energy is lost by useless speaking and chatter. Common people never become aware of this aspect. Mauna conserves our energies and thus we are able to carry out any beneficial physical or mental activity, efficiently and concomitantly with increased focus. In this way those engaged on a spiritual path will be able to do more meditations successfully.
Maintaining ourselves in Mauna for a couple of days has a very good influence on the brain and nerves. By practicing Mauna systematically, the subtle energy of speaking is gradually sublimated into Ojas – Shakti, or spiritual energy.
Additionally, Mauna considerably develops willpower; it increases the control of the imagination (Samkalpa), thereby helping its transformation into a truly creative force and inhibiting the impulse for foolish, uncontrolled speech by keeping it under control, bringing about peace of mind. Mauna is of great help for consistently respecting the truth, and also for controlling anger. In this way emotions are easily controlled and irritability disappears all of a sudden. Through the help of Mauna we will stop lying, and we’ll also get the power of endurance. When somebody is ailing, Mauna will gradually confer that person the peace of mind, and this condition makes any suffering easier to bear. That human being will also be able to mobilize herself much better in this way to fight against a disease or to eliminate the cause of her suffering.
Thus, one who respects and applies Mauna constantly, reaches a state of peace, strength and happiness, which is completely unknown to common people. They will exult in inexhaustible energy, because Silence is the source of some unimaginable powers: wisdom, profound peace, joy, balance and beatitude. In silence, as well, we discover true freedom and affection. If we practice it, we will achieve profound peace and spiritual force
People who are very busy with activities which require much effort of communication must practice Mauna at least one hour daily. If they are able to do this for two hours a day, it is even better. On Saturday or Sunday we can practice Mauna for six hours or why not, all day long. In any case we are less disturbed in the weekends. As people can get used to the fact that some of them go regularly to places of entertainment, they will start to get used to us practicing Mauna at certain hours, as well. Step-by-step, our friends and the members of our family will spare us of troubles and will stop distracting us, if we have previously let them know about our intention. It is very useful to utilize this period of Mauna for praying, at the beginning, and then, as we will advance in our spiritual practice, for Laya Yoga or meditation. If we intend to practice Mauna in a profound way, we are supposed to be sufficiently preoccupied with meditations or with the spiritual practice, in general. In such a period of time, it will not be useful at all for us to associate with people with exclusively materialistic preoccupations.
We must also avoid staying away from the location of our spiritual practice for too long. Proceeding in this way, the subtle energy of speaking will be sublimated and used in an elevated manner. Only then, will we be able to truly enjoy serenity, profound peace, calm, and a great spiritual power.
During the Mauna practice we must not read newspapers at all. Reading newspapers (or watching TV ) will not only bring new information into the consciousness, but also the reactivation of some latent impressions linked with certain thoughts from the subconscious mind (samskaras), and thereby the peace of mind might be perturbed. Even if we live in the peace and the serenity of the Himalayas, but at the same time we continue to read the newspapers, our mind will actually still be in society. This way of proceeding will not bring us the high benefits of the Mauna practice, and the spiritual meditation will be seriously perturbed. To understand this context more adequately, it is worth reflecting deeply on the content of the Bhagavad-Gita verses (sutra-s) 62-64, chapter II:
Ponders on objects of the sense, there springs
Attraction; from attraction grows desire,
Desire flames to fierce passion, passion breeds
Recklessness; then the memory- all betrayed-
Lets noble purpose go, and saps the mind,
Till purpose, mind, and man are all undone.
The great wise and liberated Sri Balayogi ( the yogi-child)in the highest crisis of his terrestrial existence( getting into the state of continuous divine ecstasy, samadhi, for years, on 27th of March 1949), enunciated one of his famous aphorisms: “One can meditate to the Almighty God even when he carries out his daily duties, inclusively the ones regarding to an emperor, but then how can you still be able to reach the state of perfect mental stability? Agitation will never disappear completely. From time to time, a human being must bear some suffering, which will seem endless. She will not be fully flooded by the infinite grace of God anymore, unless she will get to completely transcend these worries.”
During the Mauna practice it is necessary to reduce actions such as writing notes, making gestures, or expressing our thoughts to the ones in the nearby. It is recommended even for laughing to be restrained. When the conscious orientation of the being starts to be prevalently directed to the Self(Atman), Mauna becomes naturally euphoric, from the Self, as well. When you get to live into the Truth, Mauna comes totally from the Self(Atman), so thereafter we will be part of God’s absolute peace, and we’ll fully live the state of divinity.
Talk little and listen much!
We should only try to be a human being who practices Mauna based on an innermost need and conviction, and not because it is a new Yoga technique, which is now in fashion. Through Mauna we pursue to become people who measure their words wisely. Mauna helps us learn to easily avoid long, useless, flaming, passionate discussions, and generally all discussions which are not absolutely necessary or which seem to be sterile and vain, right from the start. Mauna easily allows us to move ourselves away from the society of those who, in lack of discernment, lose themselves in such disputes almost all the time. In this way we can become aware of how practical Mauna is for us.
In the superior phases of Mauna practice, we are allowed to chase each word carefully. This may gradually become a high mental discipline. So we will have the revelation that, practically, words represent a great force that each of us must become aware of. Mauna teaches us to utilize WORDS very attentively, it helps us to control the act of speaking and it offers us the possibility of not letting the tongue speak incontinently. He who has sufficiently practiced Mauna correctly controls his words before they cross over his lips. That one talks little and listens much. He has learnt to be silent.
The preponderant use of erudite, complicated words provokes an exhaustive and often sterile preoccupation for the language. Such a way of speaking is very tiresome. Thus, by using as simple and sharp words as much as possible, we conserve our energy. It is wonderful to conserve our energy in order to love God as much as possible, and it is essential to consecrate more and more time for an interior life of meditation, of introspection and of contemplation of our Supreme Self (Atman). It is very important to purify our mind and meditate. Through Mauna, we discover THE INNERMOST VOICE OF SILENCE, and therefore to realize that, in his Supreme Self (Atman), each of us is one with God.
By practicing Mauna correctly, we calm our mind down, we silence our dispersed thoughts and we easily sublimate our transient emotions. Mauna helps us to submerge into the mystic depths of our heart, and to fully enjoy its oceanic Silence. This Silence is mysterious and euphoric, and it is the gate for us to enter into Stillness.
Each man who sincerely aspires to know God The Father, must previously know this Stillness. He is then the silence itself, and, in this way, he becomes a Maha Mauni, realizing God The Father, HERE AND NOW.
This article is taken from Yoga Magazine nr. 17 and 18.
- (Spiritual Masters)
Shiva - The Supreme Divine Master
by Gregorian Bivolaru
Shiva, the power of dissolution that brings multiplicity to primordial unity, presides the different paths that liberate the individual soul (jivatma) from the conditionings of the incarnated existence and re-unifies it with the original Source, Paramatman.He is considered the teacher of the four disciplines that lead to the union with the Ultimate Reality:
metaphysical knowledge (jnana), the science of language, music and Yoga, or the experimental method. Shiva, the Divine Guru, is known as Dakshinamurti, “The one facing South”, as the myth says that he was facing South when he revealed these teachings to the rishis, the ancient wise-men.
Consequently, Shiva is “the chosen divinity” (ishtadevata) of the yogis. Yoga – dakshinamurti presents him exposing the science of yoga, sitting in a yoga posture (often svastikasana), or with one leg supported by a meditation belt (yoga-patta). He is himself the archetype of the yogi (Mahayogi), represented by a nude ascetic, “dressed in space” (digambara), with the body covered with ashes, with braided hair (jatamandala), and practicing severe austerities, immobile and centred within Himself.
In the same time, this Ineffable is the source from where comes every existence, the power that sustains every existence and the end in which every existence is resorbed (janmadyasya vatah); this means that he posses the three functions of creation, preservation and dissolution of the phenomenal world.
In the following, we will present you a few meaningful Indian stories that reveal the master-disciple relationship between Shiva and His devoted worshippers and the way in which Shiva, as the Absolute, takes any form or shape in order to guide His true devotees towards the supreme communion with Him.
Shiva - Lingam of fire
SHIVA MANIFESTED AS A LINGAM OF FIRE – from SHIVA PURANA
In Hindus mythology there are many legends in which SHIVA plays a central role. From the many aspects and manifestations of Shiva, his manifestation as a lingam of fire is one of the most novel and mysterious ones. The immemorial legend, which makes accessible for us fundamental spiritual teachings, is written in the chapters 7-9 of the sacred text SHIVA PURANA. Here it is described the divine intervention of Shiva in the fight for supremacy – fight that seems endless and which destroyed the entire world – between Brahma, the creator of the Universe, and Vishnu, its keeper.
(In order to enter the intimacy of the myth, we give you a few details. Brahma is the masculine aspect (+), Vishnu is the feminine aspect (-) and Shiva is the transcendent aspect, neutral (0), which allows both the entering into manifestation as well as its transcendence. This neutral force which is invisible, because it never manifests directly, produces and reabsorbs both the plus and the minus, at the same time integrating them in a unitary whole; nothing can exist in its absence.)
Here is the fragment from SHIVA PURANA in which the manifestation of Shiva as a lingam of fire is described.
“On the battle field, Brahma and Vishnu continued to fight to death, waiting for the result of the confrontation of their supreme weapons, maheshvara and pashupata, which they had projected. The flames caused by the battle between the two armies were burning all the three worlds. Seeing this impending destruction of the universe, which would have been premature and would have come in an inappropriate moment, Shiva’s invisible presence took the terrifying form of a huge column of fire that appeared between the two divine aspects. Thus, the two armies caught in the flames of war, which were enough to burn the entire universe, were absorbed into the huge column of fire. Seeing this amazing phenomenon which neutralized their weapons, the two fighting Gods asked each other: “What is this amazing appearance? What is this column of fire that has risen between us? It is beyond our sensorial perception. We must find its end and its beginning; we must find where its basis and its top are!”
Agreeing about this decision, the two heroes proud of their courage immediately started to investigate.
“There will be no positive result if we stay together”, said Vishnu and, taking the form of a wild boar, went downwards, to find the foundation of the column of Light. At his turn; Brahma took the form of a migrating bird (hamsa) and flew towards the sky, to find the top of the column.
Crossing the inferior worlds and going very far downwards, Vishnu did not succeed to find the foundation of the huge column of fire. Completely exhausted in his form as a wild boar, he came back to the battle field.
Brahma also could not find the top of this column and he returned to the starting point.
Then Shiva, full of compassion, manifested as a divine being, revealing His presence in that infinite column. This is what He spoke (chapter 9):
“I have two aspects: one manifested and one not manifested. None else has these two aspects; therefore no one else can be the Supreme Master of the Universe. My nature is not manifested when I am seen as Supreme reality, and it is manifested when I am seen as Sovereign of the Universe.
This infinite column of fire suggests my supreme impersonal nature. This lingam will be my symbol and you all will worship it forever. My dear sons, from now on, this column of fire, without beginning and without end, can be represented in a smaller form, out of necessity for ordinary perception and its adoration. This symbol of the lingam will bring to the wise one the state of beatitude. Its adoration is the best way to obtain endless happiness in this world as well as ultimate spiritual perfection. He will be able to remove all the possible obligatory rebirths in the sphere of illusion and ignorance of any incarnated human being.
Respecting the spiritual ceremonies, bringing offerings and praying, any spiritual practice related to this symbol will be a million times more efficient then the practice not related to it.
If I will be adored in My supreme form as a lingam and if in this relation to the lingam all the other spiritual ceremonies and procedures will be performed, the five forms of liberation (known in the Indian tradition) will be certainly achieved: to live in the same divine world with Me – salokya, to be always close to Me – samipya, to be completely like Me – sarupya, to reach the same divine powers as Mine – sarishti and to be completely identified with Me – sayujia.
In this way all of you will be able to obtain the fulfilling of all your desires!
The symbol of the lingam and Myself, which is thus symbolized, are not two different entities. The Lingam is my Absolute Being. It allows My worshipers to come close to me. Thus, it is always and completely worthy of being worshipped."
The wise man Brinji was one of the fervent worshippers of Shiva. But he used to worship only Shiva, deliberately neglecting to worship Shakti. Through his spiritual practice, Brinji was focused exclusively on transcending the existential aspects and this is why he believed it was correct to worship only Shiva, in his mind separating Shiva from His manifesting feminine energy, Shakti. In reality, Shiva was not separated from Her and he is never separated from Her. Once upon a time, the Gods and the wise men went and stayed around Shiva and his lover Parvati, in order to remain there, full of veneration and adoration.
They resided in the mountain Kailasa. But the fanatic worshiper of Shiva, called Brinji, insisted, saying that if they truly worship only Shiva, they have to stay only around Shiva. Excluding completely Shakti, the feminine energy, from his prayers towards Shiva, Brinji renounced, without knowing, his supporting vital feminine energy, which in reality came from Shakti and which always supported him in his worshipping action. In order to offer him a spiritual lesson, meant to pull him out of the state of limitation and stupidity in which he was, Parvati made the fanatic worshipper Brinji to come and stay in a physical bodily state in which he was just flesh and bones. His entire feminine energy, Shakti, which he constantly rejected with crazily fervour, left his body completely and because of this, the wise Brinji soon became very weak, lacking all trace of energy.
In this way, he became unable to make even the smallest movements. But he stubbornly continued to pray only to Shiva. Full of endless compassion, Shiva offered to his fanatical worshipper a stick, to support him. Taking it full of veneration, Brinji became so attached to his stick that it soon became like a third leg for him. Having this new support from Shiva, Brinji continued to worship only Shiva, still not understanding the meaning of this spiritual lesson he was given. In order to help him understand the inseparability between Shakti and Shiva, Shiva’s lover asked her divine master Shiva to take a certain form for his worshipper in which she was one with Shiva and which to express in a very obvious way the inseparability between Shiva and Shakti. In this situation Shiva took the aspect of Ardhanarishvara.
It is said that in an era from the past, Shiva often took the kind form, most loved by his worshippers, and thus he appeared unexpectedly in front of those who loved him and who worshipped him constantly and frantically. At that time, the great God Daksha, the first son of Brahma, the Creator of the Universe, was very perseverant in performing the worshipping rituals consecrated to Shiva, as he had learned them from his Father Brahma, the Creator of the Universe.
Following her father’s example, his daughter Daksha Yani, also prayed to Shiva many times, full of love and fervour, having a very pure soul and a heart full of love for Shiva. She wanted very much to become Shiva’s divine lover and in this way to never be separated from the mysterious and gigantic being of Shiva. Being enchanted by the purity and the love of Daksha’s daughter, Shiva accepted her as His lover. He appeared suddenly in front of her, when she was together with her worldly father, Daksha, telling him that soon He will take his daughter with Him, in the holy place in the Kailasa mountain. Full of happiness, Daksha Yani was immediately ready to go together with Shiva. But her father, Daksha, did not realize that his daughter’s heart, which was full of love, was already immersed into Shiva’s divine heart. He believed that first it was necessary to perform a certain ritual, according to the tradition. Shiva did not say anything, but he disappeared suddenly. Understanding wrongly the instant disappearance of Shiva, as a confirmation of the necessity to start the preparations for the ritual, Daksha immediately started to prepare it.
But Daksha Yani, whose being was already full of Shiva’s divine spirit, due to the endless love she felt for him, understood immediately Shiva’s secret message. Thus, she realized that in fact Shiva does not want people offering Him formal sacrifices, but first of all He wants their genuine love for Him, which they have to awaken in their heart. Being already in unison with Shiva, due to the state of spiritual fusion established before, Daksha Yani was inspired by Shiva to give him an appropriate spiritual lesson. Then, she deliberately ignored Daksha’s preparations, whose state of spiritual vigilance had weakened considerably. This is why he ended up being extremely concerned with the external aspect of the spiritual practices, instead of the genuine sublime experience, which should have come first. Without realising at all the poor state he was in, due to his persistence in this mistake, Daksha revolted inside of him because Shiva decided to marry his daughter without taking part in all external ceremonies, which he considered to be indispensable.
He continued the preparations for performing the ritual, inviting all the celestial beings, without considering the fact that Shiva was not present. All the beings that were invited received all the gifts offered by Daksha. But as Shiva’s mysterious presence did not support this ceremony, the general feeling of it became more and more heavy and dull. A great wise man, Dadiki, who had a certain spiritual common sense, noticed Daksha’s mistake and advised him to stop acting in this way, because if he continues to act in this stupid way, he will hurt himself, first of all. Daksha ignored the old man’s wise advice and he continued to perform the sacrificial ritual, being convinced that only by respecting rigorously the ritualistic ceremony he will convince Shiva to manifest again. Thus, Daksha was convinced within himself about the superiority of the ritualistic actions and in the same time he was intrigued that Shiva did not respect it and He did not take part in it. He noticed that also his daughter, Daksha Yani, did not respect what had already been established. Having more common sense then her worldly father, his daughter Daksha Yani asked Shiva in her heart to help Daksha to correct himself, as it was clear that he was making mistakes, being stuck in the rigorousness of the ritualistic procedures.
Having a sudden inspiration from Shiva, she threw herself into the ritualistic fire lit by Daksha and, by the secret power of Shiva, her body turned into a mysterious all encompassing brilliant presence. She instantly became Shiva’s cosmic bride. Through this sacrificial action, she completely eliminated her connection with Daksha; this connection motivated him to stubbornly perform an action that was completely against Shiva’s Will. With his heart blinded by ignorance, Daksha saw only the disappearance of his daughter’s body and did not understood much. Moreover, a great revolt against Shiva was built inside of him. Full of love for Daksha, Shiva considered it necessary to offer him a more severe lesson, in order to pull him out of the state of deep darkness in which he was. Through the mysterious power residing in his third eye, Ajna chakra, Shiva manifested as a devouring flame, which soon took the shape of a frightful being – Shiva Virabdhra. Together with His secret terrible energy, manifested as Badra Kali, Shiva Virabhadra instantly stopped the ritualistic ceremony that Daksha had started. He stormed on the body of each participant, making them feel a devouring fire in their entire being, which was causing them intense suffering.
Nobody could stop Shiva from His terrible manifestation. The devouring fever that appeared instantly made most of them understand that they were wrong accepting the formal offerings, and forgetting about Shiva, the one who is eternal, alive and real. Out of all present there, Daksha alone was not touched in any way by the intense suffering that Shiva Virabhadra caused in their bodies by his devouring flames. He fooled himself to such an extent, that he did not even recognize Shiva in this terrible aspect. Noticing how great was the darkness in the mind of this beloved worshipper Daksha, Shiva Virabhadra instantly cut off his head, in order to allow him to renew his faith, which was just a formality.
Finally, all the beings present at the ceremony gave obeisance to Shiva and they all understood their mistake. They humbly asked Shiva for forgiveness. Shiva, full of compassion, forgave all of them. To Daksha he gave back his life, offering him, instead of the chopped head, the head of a ram – the mysterious symbol of the pure energy of the beginning and of the rebirth within his being of a new, more pure faith. With the new head he had received from Shiva, Daksha regretted his mistake and ever since he became the most fervent worshipper of Shiva
Shiva Kalayana Sundara
Parvati was the young beautiful daughter of Mount Himalaya and of his wife Mena. As a young maid, Parvati was not interested in playing with other children. Since she was little she had the tendency to make profound meditations upon the Supreme Shiva, periodically going into retreats in the mountains. She wanted very much to be Shiva’s spiritual bride and lover. For this, she started a retreat in order to meditate uninterruptedly in the snowy mountains of Himalaya. Her parents hesitated to give her permission to do that, but the determination of the young girl, who was also extremely beautiful, sensual and full of vitality, convinced her parents. Then, Parvati went to an ashram in the mountains, doing all the meditations and tapas consecrated to Shiva.
Shiva, delighted by the extraordinary firmness and aspiration of this young girl, came Himself to the place where she meditating profoundly, in order to test the fervour of her devotion. Taking the form of an old aspirant, He approached the young girl. The young Parvati treated Him with all the respect due to an old man devoted to worshipping her beloved Shiva. Immediately, the old man told her that it is useless to waste her young years and energy doing all those severe austerities, and that it would be better if she married, since she was so young, so sensual and so beautiful. Moreover, the old man suggested that it would be best if she married him, who was a great worshipper of Shiva. What was the point, he added, to desire Shiva, the one dancing in graveyards and carrying bones and skulls for jewellery?
Parvati, who did not realize in the beginning that in the form of that old man was her beloved Shiva, became very angry at his words. Revolted, she told the old man that so far she had treated him with respect only because he seemed to be an honest worshipper of Shiva, but now he wants to distract her from her spiritual practice, therefore from that moment on she does not wish to hear any more blasphemies from him regarding Shiva. With a very firm and authoritative voice, she told the old man to leave that place immediately.
Delighted by the unshakable faith that the young beautiful Parvati had in worshipping Him, Shiva revealed Himself to her in the aspect already familiar to her. Parvati was pleasantly surprised by the unexpected apparition and apologized immediately for not recognizing Shiva in the old man. Shiva told her that He accepted her rebuke as an honest and profound call that expressed the longing of the young beautiful girl to embrace Him full of love. Was not that rebuke actually coming from a profound love for Shiva? Then, Shiva decided to offer to the young and beautiful Parvati the priceless gift that she strongly desired - to become His lover.
The royal family of the girl from Himalaya was delighted to find out that their beautiful beloved daughter was going to get married. The entire region was beautifully decorated and started to prepare for the celestial ceremony, full of bright divine rapture. Close to her ecstatic fusion with Shiva, Parvati was adorned and she radiated an unequalled divine happiness. Shiva was expected.
At the wedding ceremony, Shiva came riding a bull, with skulls and bones hanging on His body, for jewellery, and having a tiger skin around his waist. His wedding suite was made of a few cohorts of phantom spirits – Bhuta Gana – of the dead. Seeing this, the mother of the young bride fainted instantly, being very resentful at the thought that the groom of her sweet daughter, who was full of sensuality and more beautiful then any flower on Earth, looked so terrifying.
Reaching the wedding place, the divine groom Shiva immediately transformed His ascetic look and appeared to those present with an extremely beautiful face and clothes, full of brightness and wearing priceless jewellery, and wonderful garments. When the mother of the daughter, Mena, recovered from fainting, she was delighted by the appearance of her daughter’s groom and now she was very happy to see that He was most appropriate for her beloved daughter.
In the end she realized that Shiva’s mysterious divine game is unlimited. In this case, initially the mother of young Parvati could only see the exterior, apparent aspect of Shiva, but in reality no other being could see in advance the greatness and splendour of the divine groom Shiva and the glory that emanates continuously from His divine being, except His lover Parvati. The charming Shiva in His wedding gown married the daughter of the mountains, Parvati, and ever since His beautiful form, that was seen by people on His wedding day was called Kalayana Sundara.
Initially, Chandesha’s name was Vichara Charmar. He was the son of a farmer called Ecadatan. One day, the man who was grazing the cows was found to often beat and torture them. Chandesha, who had a heart full of love and compassion for all beings, could no longer accept this situation and
replaced the violent shepherd, taking his place. As he was an ardent worshipper of Shiva, he would take the cows to the fields early in the morning, and during the day he took them to places where the grass was abundant. While the cows were eating, he meditated. When the evening came, Chandesha took the cows back; they were very well fed and very happy.
In this way, on the days when Chandesha grazed the cows they started to give a lot of milk. When Chandesha was meditating upon the Almighty Shiva, the cows used to come near him silently. After he ended his meditation and later on, when he milked the cows, they gave him more milk. Afterwards, Chandesha made a small altar, in the shape of a lingam, made of sand, and he started to make a secret ritual for worshipping Shiva – Shiva Puja, using the milk from the cows (which they offered to him in abundance and full of love) in order to oil the symbol of Shiva – Shiva Lingam.
One day an ignorant passed by Chandesha and without understanding anything of what Chandesha was doing, he foolishly thought that the young man was milking the cows and then just throwing away the milk onto the sand. He immediately went to Chandesha’s father and told him all that he thought he had seen, warning him that his son was wasting the milk of the cows of the village.
Revolted by what the stranger had told him, the next day his father snuck after Chandesha and without him knowing it, he watched him from behind of a bush. As usual, the cows came near Chandesha to offer him their milk. Shortly before he started the ritual for worshipping Shiva – Shiva Puja, Chandesha milked the cows, put the milk in a few pots and started to worship Shiva, putting the milk on Shiva’s symbol – Shiva Lingam, which he had built from sand, with his heart full of love, Bakhti, for Shiva.
Without realizing that his son was full of adoration for Shiva and that he was making a secret ritual for worshipping Shiva, his father started to beat Chandesha with a stick, thinking that in this way he would stop his son from wasting the milk from the cows. But Chandesha was so completely absorbed in worshipping Shiva full of love, that he did not even feel the beating from his father.
Ecadatan went towards the pots full of Milk, preventing Chandesha from using the milk, which was actually destined to oil the divine symbol of Shiva – Shiva Lingam. Seeing that the ritual for worshipping Shiva was about to be interrupted by the stupid action of an ignorant, Chandesha, in a state of beneficial trance, chased away Ecadatan, who he did not even recognize as being his father. Being completely submerged in his state of complete surrendering to Shiva, Bhakti, and with a complete state of balance in the mind, and even of inner neutrality, Chandesha sent away his father, as if he was any other unwelcome being.
Shiva was very content with his worshipper’s surrender and with his determination and appeared before him, wearing on his head a garland made of wonderful fresh flowers, a symbol of the priceless gifts of the love of his worshippers. Enchanted by the exemplary rapture, focus and intensity of the worshipping manifested by the young Vichara Charmar, Shiva called him Chandesha and honoured him by placing on his head the flower garland that He was wearing, as a sign of divine blessing, at the same time touching the top of his head with His hand.
It is said that Daksha, the son of Brahma, creator of the universe, had 27 daughters, and all of them looked like stars. All of them were in love with the young, brilliant and beautifulChandra. They all decided to marry Chandra. Nevertheless, of all his wives, Chandra was most attracted to Rohini, whom he loved more then the others. The other wives complained to their father Daksha that they were not loved equally and that they were not treated properly by their husband Chandra.
Daksha punished Chandra by condemning him to a gradual weakening, which was going to last for 15 days. In this time, his light would fade more and more everyday. Soon, the moonlight started to wane and in the 15th day disappeared almost completely. Afraid and ashamed, Chandra hid in the ocean.
But many plants needed the light, influence and subtle, vitalizing energy of the moon, in order to grow and develop harmoniously. Without the beneficial influence of the moon, many of them would have been destroyed, therefore their life was already in danger. In the darkness created by the mysterious absence of the Moon, the world started to suffer. In order to solve this problem wisely, the celestial beings advised the Moon to seek refuge immediately in Shiva’s Supreme Being.
Having little left of her last day, Kala, the Moon – Chandra, asked Shiva for refuge. With endless love and grace, the almighty Shiva placed the Moon on his divine forehead, making its brightness increase during the following 15 days.
Full of gratitude, Chandra asked Shiva that from now on the every 28th night would be consecrated entirely to Shiva and it would be called Shivaratri. The night when the Moon – Chandra found divine refuge in Shiva’s being became a holy night. It is the night when Shiva offers to the beings that deserve it the grace to find a divine refuge in his eternal being. Ever since, Chandra continued to increase and decrease his light, cyclically. Ever since, Shiva Chandrasekara is that aspect of Shiva – the protector of the beings which are ready and full of aspiration and pray deeply to him in the night of Shivaratri. Through this aspect, Shiva manifests as a divine supporter of Nature’s mysterious rhythms and as a protector of the cyclic life of any plant or living being in nature.
Published by Natha.net
- (Spiritual Masters)
Inspiring thoughts regarding the Spiritual Guide - Aspirant relationship
By yoga professor Nicolae Catrina
The essence of the relationship between the Spiritual Guide and the aspirant can never be known only from the outside, because in fact it can never be an object of knowledge for those who are not ready to identify with that ineffable, mysterious state experienced by an aspirant on the spiritual path. It is also necessary to realize that this relationship is not a concept that we can understand only with our mind.
Even if we can speak about this relationship between the Spiritual Guide and the aspirant, defining it in different ways (some of them very subtle), all these are only “marks” on the path each of us has to walk in this direction. Basically, all these are just impulses from the mind that appear within the spiritual practice (Sadhana).
Only one heart: the Supreme Godly Heart
Truly speaking, we can never encompass only with our mind this ineffable, mysterious and fundamental initiatic reality (the Spiritual Guide – Aspirant relationship) because when we truly experience it, in its mysterious and sublime dimensions, it is then that we mainly experience the divine state of non-duality in which, for the aspirant, only God exists.
In reality this is the ideal modality in which we should relate to our spiritual Guide; perfect non-duality (advaita) where, symbolically speaking, there no longer exist two hearts (that of the Spiritual Guide and that of the Aspirant), but only one heart – the Supreme Godly Heart: The Eternal Heart of God the Father (Paramatman).
Doing this, then and then only, a complete inner certitude will awaken within us regarding the righteousness of the Spiritual Path we follow, as well as of the teachings of our Spiritual Guide. This certitude, generating miracles, will open our soul towards perceiving an uplifting state of absolute perfection regarding all the words and actions of our Spiritual Guide, because in that state of non-duality only God exists and, as we all know, God is in eternity perfect.
Spiritual practice full of aspiration, done having as support this ideal relation to the Spiritual Guide, will gradually transform that initial certitude in a profound realization of the Immortal Self Essence (Atman). At the same time, this mysterious process that transforms our being will be harder to express, to conceptualize or to explain to those who do not experience our state. For the human beings who do not have the same state as us, this process will be perceived from the outside in paradoxical or irrational forms. The sacredness of the spiritual guide – aspirant relationship, which “fills up” more and more our entire inner universe, will most often not be noticed – although for us almost any attempt to express it in a coherent and logic way for the others can be perceived as an “impiety” (in other words, it appears as an attempt to renounce the sacred for the grey and flat dimensions of the profane).
Above any spiritual initiation
For the human beings that have transformed enough, as a consequence of their engagement on the spiritual path, the essence of the spiritual guide – aspirant relationship resides therefore in the most intimate realms of our Immortal Divine Self (Atman). This essence represents the non-dual experience of the Divine Spirit, which spontaneously recognizes itself. Such a mysterious experience is impossible to describe in words, even for the one experiencing it, because conceptualizing it, thinking it or expressing it places us automatically in the rigid and suffocating trap (from the spiritual point of view) of dual logics (and also dualistic) in which a subject observes a certain object.
On the other hand, it is necessary to underline that the profound and intimate experience of the Spiritual Guide – aspirant relationship is almost always unique and belonging only to ourselves, in the same way in which any state of divine ecstasy (Samadhi) is always unique and at the same time complete in itself. As we said, it is always accompanied by that complete and unmistakable certitude about the righteousness and spiritual plenitude (or, to be more precise, completeness) of this direct connection, from Heart to Heart, with our Spiritual Guide, a secret connection that we spontaneously realize as being beyond any other spiritual initiation, because in fact it is the essence of any spiritual initiation!
Saying all these, it is also important to add that this certitude can never be mistaken with fanaticism or different obscure beliefs, due to its light, transparency, tolerance and unconditional opening to all the forms in which the Divine Truth presents to us in everyday existence.
The supreme initiatic mystery
If sometimes, on the way, certain doubts still appear within us (either about the Path we follow or about our spiritual Guide, or even about our possibilities of spiritual perfection on the respective path), this shows that we are not yet fully established in this supreme initiatic mysterious reality (which, as I had showed above, represents the essence of the Spiritual Guide – aspirant relationship, which awakens within us the spontaneous state of non-duality).
On the contrary, constantly seeking to deepen this supreme initiatic mystery represented by the Spiritual Guide – Aspirant relationship, we will gradually discover that enlightenment and even spiritual liberation become for us a gradual process, more and more natural and spontaneous (of course, this does not mean that it will not be necessary to make certain efforts). At the same time, this represents an open and mysterious, uplifting and brilliant process, which gradually encompasses the entire outer objective reality and is always characterized by love, honesty, compassion, complete confidence, wisdom and, last but not least, by a great simplicity.
At that point we will be able to experience naturally and directly extremely high spiritual states (which will become perfectly accessible for us, according to the level we reach) and if we study carefully, we will notice that these aspects are presented also in some of the most elevated spiritual traditions of this planet. For example, in the ancient tradition of Kashmir Shivaism, this is the spontaneous and direct “Recognition” (pratyabhijna) of Godliness in all details of our existence; or, in Tibetan tantrism, this is “The Supreme spiritual attitude” (mahamudra) etc.
The condition of “Spiritual Son”
Of course, in this direction, only direct experience can offer us that certitude of the non-dual state in which, apparently paradoxically, although we are fully abandoned in the sublime but indescribable experience of the essence of the Spiritual Guide – Aspirant relationship, we also realize that we are truly ourselves (even more then ever before); in other words, we are completely free from any dependency or constraint!
[This mysterious spiritual experience could very well be compared to the state of complete surrender of the individual will to God’s Will, which is almighty; also in this case, even if we might consider the surrendering of our will as something rather restrictive (when we can no longer do “what we want”), the truth is that through this we reach complete and perfect freedom – the Absolute Freedom of God the Father!]
If we have not yet reached this essential condition (which, in the Kashmir Shivaism tradition is called the state of “Spiritual Son” or, respectively, “Spiritual Daughter”, we will need, over and over again, many mental and intellectual confirmations or, in other words, we will need many wisdom treaties to offer us, at least partially (but never definitely!) a certain inner certitude that we are “on the right path”. Then, instead of the simplicity and naturalness of the condition of “Spiritual Son”, we will need, before making the smallest step forward, many explanations and “guarantees” which will make us confident about what we do and especially about the fact that our efforts are not in vain.
The divine “Magic” of the Eternal Beginning
For some (who are more tested and can even fail at some of the tests that appear on the spiritual Path), this almost constant doubt and mistrust in the power (efficiency) of the Spiritual Path that we follow is the main obstacle. Such an obstacle gives us the belief in a “quantitative” complexity of reality, pulling us further and further away from the wonder of the spontaneous, simple and direct Path of the “Recognition” of God both in our Heart as well as in the entire surrounding reality. If we are in this situation and we indulge in it, we will search for more and more complex explanations or different mental confirmations, most often forgetting that spiritual realization is characterized, first of all, by love, simplicity, complete faith, honesty and spontaneity!
Regarding this situation, the great wise man Lao Tze, which is the “father” of the Taoist tradition, said: “IN ORDER TO OBTAIN ORDINARY KNOWLEDGE (DUALISTIC), WE MUST ADD SOMETHING EVERYDAY; BUT IN ORDER TO OBTAIN DIVINE WISDOM, EVERYDAY WE MUST PUT SOMETHING ASIDE.”
Therefore, what is truly essential for our spiritual practice is the amplification of this state of superior certitude or, in other words, of complete faith in the Path we follow and in our Spiritual Guide. For this, it is very good, especially when we notice that the faith in the Spiritual Guide has diminished, to relate as often as possible to the magic moments of the beginning of our spiritual practice, when our effervescence, purity, love, trust and aspiration were fully blessed by the mysterious freshness of the energy of the beginning, or all the moments in which we had “top” experiences in the respective direction (in other words, we must relate to and to evoke in our inner universe the moments in which we savored fully the unmistakable proofs of the Presence of the Divine in our relation with our Spiritual Guide).
D oing this often enough and living the mysterious states, full of freshness, which we have experienced at the beginning, we will surely discover, sooner or later, the divine “magic” of the Eternal Beginning regarding our relationship with our Spiritual Guide and we will enter again its sacred space, in which, on the background of love and giving, any Divine Wonder is easily possible.
The hidden treasure of the complete trust in God
Doing this, we will discover or rediscover again the hidden treasure of complete faith in God and in our Spiritual Guide. In the same time, we will awaken that spontaneously liberating ecstatic simplicity of the heart surrendered completely to God. Doing this, we can be sure that all our doubts regarding the Spiritual Guide, such as excessive criticism, lack of contentment, misunderstood perfectionism (applied destructively, instead of constructively) etc., will disappear as if by magic, being alchemized into Light, Love, Honesty, Goodwill and Truth. In this way, we will discover that this indescribable brilliant simplicity is complete in itself. All these transformations are, without doubt, available to each one of us and they are possible only through the complete faith in the Spiritual Guide. This faith is the solid basis of the complete realization of the Immortal Divine Self (Atman) and all these will bring the Plenitude of existing in God’s liberating Grace.
On the contrary, if due to the severe lack of faith in the Spiritual Guide we will wrongly consider, due to our wild imagination, that the path we follow here and now is full of imperfections and mistakes, shortly afterwards the direct and easy Path to God will be blocked, by ourselves, because our Heart will be covered by the impurities of the insecure, frightened, oscillating, suspicious and dualistic mind, with our inferior desires and choices, which will gradually destroy this mysterious, uplifting, subtle state of grace (therefore, so fragile), specific to the pure, spiritual state of “Spiritual Son” (in other words, specific to the ideal relation to our Spiritual Guide).
The trap of the exacerbated ego
If we fall and we get lost in this state, then our selfish, hidden desires will soon create and even strengthen our own limiting ideas regarding a so-called spirituality that we project in our own likeness. Soon afterwards, we will begin nourishing different weird ideas regarding the Spiritual Guide – Aspirant relationship, ideas that we will aim to justify and confirm by combining or interpreting in a more or less distorted way the different spiritual information we have gathered from many sources but which we “have digested” only partially, because we approached them mainly with the mind and not with the Heart. Indulging in this state, we can get lost and can even drop the Spiritual Path, because we will not be able to truly open our soul to God, because we will lack faith. Then, we will often make huge efforts just to keep ourselves in a weird, artificial condition, which is our (selfish) idea about a so-called spirituality projected in our own likeness or about the Spiritual Guide – Aspirant relationship, as we see it when we are astray.
Indulging in this state we will regress and we will get lost and, sooner or later, in order to stubbornly defend these personal ideas, we will start criticising (first in a very subtle, hidden way, then in a more obvious, even aggressive way, ending with denigration) the Path, the Spiritual Guide, the revelations he made, the methods he offered, etc. In the final phase, if we will not do anything to come out of this cunning, tragic and complex trap of the exacerbated ego, we will leave both our Spiritual Guide as well as the Spiritual Path, justifying our gestures in different ways.
The key of the spiritual realization: faith and responsibility
Besides this, the problem is that this state will generate within us very strong “partisan” reactions: we will fight hard to support or promote our ideas, our weird points of view, our absurd convictions, and this inner crisis will grow and we will never know the ecstatic peace of complete simplicity and complete acceptance of life. Moreover, we will often feel an intense inner tension – which, due to our exacerbated ego, we will never admit to the others – and tiredness; afterwards, our consciousness will not be able to rest or centre in itself, because it will be occupied and fascinated by the weird ideas we have adhered to and which we “must” protect at any price or to constantly have them confirmed.
An ancient saying of eastern wisdom says: “Any aspect of reality, any being, any object appears, from our point of view, exactly as we look upon it.” For those who are and indulge themselves in this state, this saying helps to understand what actually happens with them. The fundamental key of spiritual realization, as affirmed by all genuine spiritual traditions, is to reach that complete faith in the Spiritual Guide and in taking the responsibility for all the events we experience, because all of them come to us exclusively according to God’s Will, because in reality they appear in our existence only because we fully deserve them.
That is why the great wise men say: “Every human being always has what she deserves.” When we are “armed” with this superior attitude, with honesty, humbleness, goodwill and love, we will successfully overcome all the spiritual tests we will be given and each time we will discover (even if, at the beginning, not always immediately – due to certain uncontrolled momentarily reactions) the hidden and profoundly initatic meaning of each important event of our yogi life, even when all appearances show very clearly that we have been seriously misjudged, or when we have the impression that we are not appreciated enough, as we consider that we deserve, etc.
Our perfect mirror
[In this direction, it is essential to remember what most spiritual traditions say: In the complex and indescribable relationship with us, the Spiritual Guide is always, whether we want it or not, our perfect Mirror, which objectively shows us to ourselves, exactly as we are here and now, and not how we imagine ourselves to be or how we would like to be or to seem to be! Knowing this, it is essential to realize that the mirror is never to blame for what it reflects. As it is a perfect mirror (and, as we all know, the consciousness of a spiritually liberated being is often compared to a perfect mirror), it will never reflect us differently then how we are, in order to “please” us or to gain our sympathy: whatever the risk of this reflection, it will always offer us the Truth and only the Truth about ourselves! Besides, that which it shows us, whether good or bad, about ourselves, does not affect at all its state of purity, because the mirror never identifies with what she reflects in complete detachment].
Then, truly, as the great yogi and wise man Sri Aurobindo said: “Our entire life will become a form of yoga [a certain spiritual path]”. To this we can add that, in fact, it is about an extremely fast and complete form of yoga, because we practice it with our entire being and full of surrender and honesty – both to ourselves as well as to our Spiritual Guide, and also to God Himself.
Of course, we do not claim that we have exhausted this subject. These few ideas can only make a short, even imperfect, summary of the ineffable, mysterious and full of Grace reality of the ideal relation to the Spiritual Guide (in other words, the reality of the state of “Spiritual Son”, “Spiritual Daughter”, respectively). But these marks can indicate the direction towards which the search for this essential condition of the initiation in the Supreme Mystery of God’s Heart is very fruitful because, ultimately, through the Divine Grace that manifests through the Spiritual Guide (or, better said, “embodied” by the Spiritual Guide), the secret state of Spiritual Son reveals itself to be the state of Son of God.
Taken from yogaesoteric.net
- (Spiritual Masters)
The Life of Milarepa - part 3
Now Milarepa began his meditation training. Marpa shut him up in a cave with a supply of provisions. Milarepa used to start his meditations each day by putting a lighted lamp on his head. He would continue meditating until the lamp went out. After eleven months of this Marpa and Damema came to take him out of isolation and assess his progress. Milarepa was reluctant to take a break from his meditations becauseof the great progress he was making but he followed his Guru's dictates. Marpa now asked him what understandings he had obtained from his meditations. Milarepa first sang a song which he extemporaneously composed honoring his Guru and his wife and the teachings he had been given. In his song he requested that Marpa remain in the world until "The Whirling Pool of Being is emptied". After that he summarized his realizations.
After the recounting, Marpa was exceedingly pleased and told Milarepa that he had expected much but that his expectations had all been exceeded. Milarepa was then allowed to go back to the cave for more meditation.
By now Marpa was getting on in years. Since he began teaching Milarepa, he had made two more trips to India to visit his Guru Naropa and receive the final texts he had not brought back in his earlier trips. Marpa now called together all his chief Lamas and disciples, including Milarepa, and gave to each those mystics texts that would be most valuable according to each person's line of development. Each also received some relic that had belonged to Naropa. To Milarepa was given the teaching of Tum-mo in which the ascending and descending flows along the spinal column are united to produce the vital heat so necessary for meditation in the cold and solitary caves of the Himalayas. Then all returned to their own province except Milarepa who continued for several more years to meditation in a cave under the direction of Marpa.
Usually Milarepa never slept but meditated continuously, however one particular day he had slept for a long time and had a vivid dream wherein he saw the house he had lived in as a child all in ruins. He saw his sacred books within the fallen house being wasted by rain water, his old mother had died, and his sister was roving about the countryside with no attachments and no friends. In his dream he was weeping with great sadness and longing for his mother and sister and he woke up feeling very sad. He tried again to meditate but could not shed his sadness; instead the feeling grew stronger and stronger until he vowed to himself to go out into the world and try to find his family. So he pulled down the rock wall and went to see his guru Marpa.
As he entered Marpa's quarters he found him asleep with the rising sun just lighting his head like a halo. Just at that moment, Damema came in with his morning meal. Marpa awoke, alarmed to find Milarepa had left his cave retreat. Milarepa explained that he was overcome with sadness thinking of his beloved mother and sister he had left behind many years ago. He explained to Marpa his great longing to see them once more. Although Marpa felt there was little chance in finding the mother alive and little merit in making the search, he agreed to allow him to go. But, he warned, the fact that Milarepa had entered his quarters and found him asleep was an omen that they would not see each other alive again in this life.
Marpa was much grieved at heart thinking he would not again see his spiritual son alive but knowing this was the way of all the perishable things of the world, he requested Damema to deck the alter with offerings for their parting ceremony. He then gave Milarepa the final and highest initiation as well as the sacred ear-whispered tantric doctrines. These doctrines he gave only to Milarepa, among all his disciples. He charged Milarepa in his turn to hand them down to his most worthy disciple and so on for thirteen generations. Then in a final ceremony with the entire assembly of Lamas and disciples, Marpa occultly manifested himself in the forms of Gaypa Dorje and other of the tutelary divinities of the Kargyutpa sect and also other divine shapes and forms along with the various symbols associated with each deity such as bells, gems, lotuses, swords, etc. He then explained that these were various psycho-physical powers obtained after enlightenment and that they should never be manifested for an unworthy cause. This was his parting gift to Milarepa, and this, his spiritual son, greatly exalted in his heart to see that his Guru Marpa was veritably a Buddha himself. He vowed that he himself would gain such powers and show them in his turn to his own disciples. Marpa then told him that he could now depart since he had demonstrated the mirage like nature of all existing things. He instructed Milarepa to meditate in various caves made holy by previous saints in the locale of Mount Kailas, Lapchi Kang [Mt. Everest], and other sanctified places. He then gave to Milarepa a sealed scroll that was to be opened only on dire threat of imminent death. With great sadness, knowing they would not meet again in the present life, Milarepa took leave of his beloved Spiritual Father and Mother with the thought that would all meet again in the celestial realms.
He journeyed quickly to his homeland, crossing several high and dangerous mountain passes to get there. When he arrived he found things just as he had seen in his dream. His mother had died, his house was in ruins and all the neighbors were afraid to go near it thinking it inhabited by evil ghosts. His sister wandered homeless, none knew where. His field was choked with weeds.
He entered the ruin that was his house and found a mound with grass growing thickly over it. Moving the dirt he found the bones of what he knew to be his mother. He had the unbearable thought that he would never see his mother again and a deep sadness gripped his soul. He wept bitterly in his loneliness. Remembering his Guru's teachings on the transient nature of reality, he laid down using the mound as a pillow and entered into deep meditation. He soon passed over into the samadhi state in which he remained for seven days. On returning to normal consciousness, he reflected that the world now had nothing left to tempt him or bind him to it. He vowed again and again to himself that the life of solitary meditation was the only path for him. Exchanging his house and land for some food, he left forever his former homeland and proceeded to the Draktar-Taso Cave, the first of many caves he was to inhabit over the remainder of his life.
There he settled in the spacious comfortable cave, not even sleeping, but meditating continuously except for a single break once a day to prepare a meal of flour and water mixed with whatever root or edible he might find. At about this time Milarepa gained proficiency in the yogic power of Tum-mo, the generation of the Ecstatic Internal Warmth, in which the body generates a great deal of heat. This allowed him to stay relatively warm through the cold Tibetan winters with nothing but a thin cotton covering whereas most people had to wear thick wool and leather hides. For this reason he came to be called Mila - repa or Mila the cotton clad.
His daily routine of meditation continued for four years until his supply of flour ran out. This caused him great concern because he had vowed to himself not to return to the world for any reason - but with no food, he was afraid he might die without having attained liberation. He decided to walk about outside the cave in search of some kind of food. Not far from the cave he found a sunny spot with springs of fresh water, an expansive view of the area, with a large quantity of nettles growing all about. He made a soup of nettle broth and found it to be somewhat palatable. This was now to become his sole source of food for some time to come. He continued his meditations on his new diet, but without any nurturing food, his body soon became emaciated and the hair on his body began to take on a greenish tinge from the nettles. He became very weak and often thought of opening the scroll that Marpa had given him for a time of dire need. But he continued to make progress in his meditations.
About this time some hunters chanced to be in the area after failing to find game. When they first laid eyes on Milarepa's pale green form, they fled in terror thinking he was not a man but some kind of evil spirit. But on assuring them he was indeed a human like themselves they lost their fear of him. They demanded that Milarepa share some of his provisions with them as they were out of food but Milarepa told them he had none to share. They did not believe him, so they searched the area and not finding any began to ill treat him. Three of them picked him up several times and dropped him causing him great pain but in his misery he only pitied them and shed tears thinking of the evil karma they were creating for themselves. The fourth hunter entreated the others to stop ill-treating him and leave him alone as he did indeed seem to be a real lama for showing such forbearance over his ill treatment. Before leaving, the fourth man requested Milarepa to remember him in his prayers since the man had done nothing to offend him, and then the group of them left, laughing boisterously. Later Milarepa learned that Divine retribution had overtaken them as they were arrested by the Governor of the province. The leader was killed and all but the fourth man, who had restrained the others from harming Milarepa, had their eyes put out.
The meditation continued and Milarepa grew even thinner. The hair on his body took on a more greenish color. Again some hunters chanced upon his cave and also wanted provisions but seeing that he was living only on nettles, they left him the remainder of their own provisions and a large quantity of meat. Milarepa was very grateful to have some real food and he began to take some daily. The food gave him a sense of bodily comfort and spiritual zeal which he had not experienced in a long time and his meditations took on a new intensity. But eventually the food ran out and once again he fell back on his nettle broth for sustenance.
Several more years passed in this way and Milarepa's long lost sister Peta heard tales from hunters that had stumbled across his camp. They informed her that her brother was there and looked on the verge of death from starvation. She was amazed to hear even that he was alive and took the news to Zesay, who had been betrothed to Milarepa in childhood. Between the two they agreed that the sister should first go to see him and find out if the rumors were true
Approaching the cave, Peta was horrified to see the emaciated green body of her brother, with protruding bones and eyes sunk in his skull. At first she took it to be some strange being or ghost but recognizing her brother's voice, she ran to him crying and bewailing their fate. She expressed to him that they two were the most luckless people in the whole world. At this Milarepa explained that rather he was the most fortunate person in the world because he had attained to transcendent knowledge and Bodhi mind [the internal vision of a Buddha]. But his sister felt he was only deluding himself.
Peta had brought provisions and a supply of chang and after partaking of some food his mood was greatly elevated. However when he tried to meditate afterwards his mind was filled with a mix of pious and impious thoughts and he was unable to concentrate.
A few days later both the sister, Peta, and his betrothed, Zesay, came to visit him bringing cured meat, flour, butter, and chang. They chanced to come upon him when he was out getting water and he had absolutely no clothes on since his wearing cloth had fallen into tattered pieces over the years. His sister told him that no matter how she regarded him he seemed not to be in any way a sane person. They both urged him to at least go out begging for supplies on occasion. Then they went to get some cloth to cover his body with. But Milarepa felt that the hour of death was uncertain. his Guru had told him that his only avenue of success in this life was through continued meditation. He himself was afraid that if he didn't reach enlightenment in this very life, he would be reborn in a lower state due to the evil he had committed early in life, and so he ignored their advice and persevered in his meditation.
He finished the chang that Peta had brought and was eating well from the food left by Zesay but he found that his mind was now disturbed and his body was experiencing various pains. No matter how hard he tried to meditate he could no longer enter the samadhi state. Feeling there was no greater danger than not being able to continue with his meditations, he opened the scroll that Marpa had given him for just such a time of dire emergency. In the scroll he found the exact instructions needed for treating the present emergency and he immediately put the instructions into effect with the result that his meditations now increased as never before because of the healthy food he was now eating.
The knot of the central spinal column along which the psychic energy flows was now cleared at the plexus [i.e. chakra center] below the naval and the psychic energy current rose up his spine in its fullness. He now experienced a supersensuous calmness and clearness that far exceeded in its ecstatic intensity any of the states he had previously reached. He attained to new heights of realization in which he saw that the highest state of Nirvana and the ordinary state of Samsaric consciousness were but opposite and inseparable states resting on the base of the Voidness of Universal or Supra mundane Mind [ie Ultimate Awareness]. In his new realization he could clearly see that the samsaric or phenomenal existence results when the Universal Mind is directed along the path of self centered and self oriented awareness, and that the Nirvanic state of transcendence results when it is directed on the path of selfless or altruistic awareness.
Greatly encouraged by this new development, Milarepa redoubled his zeal and began to develop the siddhis or yogic powers that accompany full enlightenment. His production of the inner vital heat also developed fully so that he could easily sit amongst the frozen snows and melt the ice into water. A few of the people he had encountered now knew about his siddhis [psychic powers] and so Milarepa determined to go to even more isolated caves to prevent a steady flow of people coming to him with selfish aims.
As he was about to leave the area, his sister Peta came once again bringing him some cloth for him to fasten into a garment for his naked body. She remained a while and he tried to talk her into taking to a life of meditation with him. But the very thought was repugnant to her and she saw only his great deprivation. To her, he was the most miserable person on the earth and she felt that even though she had to beg for her own food and clothes, her life was far better than his. She tried to talk him into becoming a lama of the people so that they might bring him offerings in return for religious blessings. Milarepa saw that he would not be able to convert her to a religious outlook so he at least explained to her the doctrine of karma [i.e. the law of retribution] so that she would at least refrain from incurring any fresh debts from harmful actions.
While Peta was visiting, their evil Aunt arrived, the aunt who had started the entire chain of events so many years back by seizing the property of Milarepa's widowed mother. Peta saw her approaching and tried to prevent her from reaching the cave by withdrawing the bridge that spanned the chasm to the other side, but the Aunt pleaded to be heard. Her brother, the evil Uncle who had conspired with her, had died, and she now deeply repented all she had done and so she had brought a yak load of supplies and found Milarepa by asking about in the villages until she was told a wandering monk resembling a green caterpillar had indeed been through the area. Milarepa finally agreed, although reluctantly, to talk to her and he delivered several religious discourses to her reminding her of all the sufferings and misery she had inflicted on them. In her state of misery, Aunt took his teachings to heart and went on her way having been converted to a path that would confer eventual liberation. The sister Peta now also took her leave, having her mind somewhat turned to religion.
Milarepa now removed to Lapchi-Kang [Everest] and continued his meditation amidst the snows and isolation there. Altogether he meditated in and made holy twenty caves covering the region from Mount Kailas and Lapchi-Kang in Tibet to far off Nepal. It is said that besides his many human converts he also brought to enlightenment some superhuman [ie non-embodied] beings as well, including the Goddess Tseringma [one of the twelve guardian deities of Tibet who reside at Mt. Kailas]. The Goddess came to tempt him with her powers during his meditations and instead was herself liberated.
During his travels over the 84 years of his life he met many worthy disciples that were destined to come under his tutelage. Highest among the disciples was Dvagpo Rimpoche [Gambopa]. The most well known among them was Rechung who entreated him to tell in detail the story of his life [summarized in this narrative] which was recorded for the benefit of all sentient beings, even into the far future. These two disciples were respectively like the sun and the moon. The most exalted of beings met by Milarepa was a Maha-Purusha [Great Being] he had the excellent fortune of meeting - an Exalted Being mentioned by the Buddha himself as one of the guardians and protectors of the human race who live on through the centuries far from human habitation.
Besides his two chief disciples, Milarepa had 25 additional highly accomplished disciples, both men and women, who became saints. Another hundred made such progress that they did not take rebirth. Another hundred and eight Great Ones obtained excellent experience and knowledge from meditation. A thousand sadhus and yogis, both men and women, renounced worldly life and lived lives of exemplary piety. Innumerable lay disciples formed a religious relationship with Milarepa so that the gateway to lower states of existence was closed to them forever.
Thus did Milarepa radiate spiritual light like a beacon, drawing vast numbers of entient beings forward toward the light of deliverance and dispelling in all directions the darkness of selfishness and ignorance.
Published by Natha.net
- (Spiritual Masters)
The Life of Milarepa - part 2
Milarepa went to the Lama and requested to be taught. The Lama gave him some meditation instructions and told him to go practice but after a few days, the Lama had an insight that he was not the proper teacher for Milarepa, so he sent him on to a very learned Lama he knew of named "Marpa the Translator".Marpa was known widely among other religious centers for his trips to India to procure sacred teachings which he had brought back to Tibet in large bundles of scrolls. Marpa had been initiated by the famed Naropa, a powerful Saint who had fully transferred his exalted state of enlightenment to his disciple Marpa.
When Milarepa first heard the Lama utter the name "Marpa", he felt a thrill go through his body. Suddenly all his hairs stood on end and tears of joy started flowing from his eyes. He set out thinking of nothing else but the moment he would finally set eyes on his new guru.
Meanwhile, the day before Milarepa arrived, Marpa the Translator had a dream in which his own Guru, the Great Saint Naropa appeared to him and gave him a five pointed dorje [i.e. sceptre] made of the precious gem lapis lazuli. The dorje, however, was slightly tarnished and Naropa urged him to wash the dirt off with an elixir of holy water from a golden pot until it shone in splendour and then to raise it up upon a Banner of Victory. In his dream Marpa saw that the dorje, once polished and raised up emitted a brilliant radiance that shone on all the sentient beings in the six Lokas [the physical and spiritual realms or worlds]. In his dream, the spectacle of the radiant dorje was blessed with the benedictions of the Victorious Ones [previous humanity who had passed into the state of Buddhahood, or enlightenment].
Marpa was a member of the Kargyutpa sect and one of the specialties of the lineage was to divine future events through the reading of omens. From the dream he knew that a momentous meeting with his chief disciple was about to take place and that his task was to expiate some evil karma by which the disciple had been tarnished and then to bring him to the state of enlightenment.
Marpa left his house telling his wife Damema that he was going to plow his field that day, a thing he had never done before. Marpa walked down the road a ways and kept busy at the plowing until he spied Milarepa coming up the road towards him. As soon as Milarepa approached and laid eyes on the Lama Marpa, an inexpressible bliss gripped him and for a few moments he lost consciousness of his surroundings swept up in an ecstatic state. As soon as he had recovered he addressed Marpa as Reverend Sir and asked him where he might find the faithful disciple of the famous saint Naropa who was called Marpa the translator.
Milarepa added that he wanted to learn the True Doctrine by which he might obtain Deliverance in one single lifetime. At this Marpa was inwardly pleased but he showed no emotion and only said that he would procure an introduction to the Lama Marpa if only Milarepa would finish the task of plowing the field.
Marpa offered Milarepa some chang [barley beverage] as refreshment. Milarepa thanked him and drank the entire quantity of chang offered. Milarepa then plowed the field with enthusiasm and even when one of the disciples came to call him to the Lama's presence, Milarepa asked him to wait until he had finished plowing the field thoroughly and completely as requested by Marpa. Marpa took these two omens as signs of his new disciple's thoroughness and willingness to work towards the spiritual goal.
After that initial meeting began a period during which Marpa held out the goal of spiritual instruction and kept Milarepa busy at strenuous physical labours building various stone edifices. By nature Marpa was outwardly a rough and tyrannical teacher but inwardly he was all love and compassion. By the previous omens and Milarepa's recounting of his evil deeds, Marpa knew there was a great deal of evil karma to be worked out so he pretended to be always short tempered and demanding with the sincere and faithful lad. He had Milarepa build a stone structure on a high rocky ridge only to have him tear it down again, and take all the rocks and boulders back to where they were found, telling him he had changed his plans and now wanted a new structure built in another place. This was repeated on three different ridges until finally he had Milarepa build a grand many storied edifice on yet a forth ridge. Throughout the tasks, Milarepa never lost faith that he would receive the instructions he was looking for and put forth a Herculean effort, moving stones that ordinarily could only be moved by the combined strength of three men. He put forth such strenuous effort that he wore his body out until his back was one great sore from carrying rocks and mortar. His arms and legs were all cracked and bruised. Yet he continued working on, every day hoping at last to be favored with some religious instruction. Out of sympathy with his wounds, Marpa showed him how to pad his back and allowed him to rest while his body healed, but never did he allow Milarepa to avoid any of the building work that he had set out for him to complete.
During the years when all this building was going on, Marpa continued giving instruction to his other students. On several different occasions, various individuals among the disciples underwent initiations to receive the sacred instructions and Milarepa would try to join them but the Lama would drive him away with a angry shouts and fierce beatings, causing him great mental distress.
Each time Milarepa would be plunged into deep despair thinking that Marpa's actions were due only to the evil he had previously done. Sometimes Milarepa considered taking drastic action but each time he was on the verge of either taking his own life or running away, Marpa's wife, Damema, would give him sympathy and comfort, telling him the Lama would surely soon favor him with some instruction.
Soon another opportunity for instruction presented itself with the grand initiation of some disciples into the Mandala rite of Gaypa Dorje'. Marpa's wife Damema secretly gave a rare colored turquoise which had been in her family to Milarepa as a an offering of the initiation fee and then urged him to take his place once again with the other participants to the initiation. When the time came for the ceremony, Marpa approached Milarepa, carefully examined the turquoise and asked him how he came to possess it. Milarepa had to confess that the Reverend Mother [Damema] had given it to him. In reply Marpa merely told him that if he had anything of his own to offer he could stay. Thinking that maybe the Lama would soften and allow him to take initiation, Milarepa stayed on a while and waited. But this only made Marpa furious [at least outwardly] and he threw young Milarepa to the ground with great force and made as if to beat him with a stick. At this the young lad felt as if his heart was breaking, and weeping openly he left the house.
The next day the Lama summoned him and asked him if his refusal to confer initiation on him had shaken his faith. Milarepa replied that he only considered that it was the result of his own evil deeds which had prevented him from taking his place in the ceremony, whereupon he burst into tears anew. At this, the Lama ordered him out in an angry voice, asking him how he dared try to blame the Lama for this by his weeping so in his presence. Again Milarepa was sunk into the utmost despair feeling as if his heart were being torn out.
Milarepa went off by himself and thinking things over he concluded that the Lama never would confer on him the spiritual truths he was seeking and that he would have to seek them elsewhere. So he sought out Damema and told her of his plans to find another Guru. She reluctantly agreed that it appeared the Lama never would give him any instruction. Therefore she gave him some relics of Marpa's Guru Naropa as a gift and sent him off to another highly developed Lama, Ngogpa, who was of the same sect as Marpa. She wrote a note asking Lama Ngogpa to teach Milarepa some religious instructions and then sealed the note with Marpa's own seal.
After a short journey to the Lama's monastery, Milarepa arrived just as Lama Ngogpa had reached an auspicious point in a lecture to a large number of his pupils. He was reading: "I am the Expounder and I am the Truth. I am the Teacher of the World. I am the Being who has passed beyond all states of worldly existence. I am the Blissful one." Just as he said these words, he looked up to see Milarepa prostrating before him in salutation. The Lama took this simple sign as an omen that Milarepa would one day become a master of all religious lore.
As soon as Milarepa presented the Lama with Naropa's sacred relics and the note requesting instruction, the Lama was overjoyed to be so favored with such auspicious gifts and he then ordered a great celebration. Lama Ngogpa had heard about the Great Sorcerer [as Milarepa was called] staying with Marpa and had thought about sending for him. The Lama explained to Milarepa that many of his pupils had been waylaid and robbed of their meager possessions and supplies by the lawless inhabitants of one of the nearby provinces as they journeyed to and from the lamasery. He therefore dispatched Milarepa to launch a powerful hailstorm on the area. He promised Milarepa that as soon as this was accomplished, he would give him the instructions he sought. Now Milarepa bitterly repented his fate that instead of getting religious instruction, he was now being asked to commit still more evil acts. But he saw no way he could refuse so he set out for the province and set up his apparatus on a hillside and began the rites.
Soon a large and violent storm gathered and let loose huge quantities of rain and hail. After the storm had passed he saw that the fields of grain had all been wasted, the hills around were deeply cut by ravines, and many of the domestic animals of the residents as well as even birds, rats, and other animals had perished in the storm. Finding a shepherd who had lost his entire flock, Milarepa made known to him that the people of the province had better refrain from robbing the religious pilgrims passing through the area or risk having more disastrous hail storms visited upon them. On hearing of this the people were profoundly impressed with the power of Lama Ngogpa and not only refrained from robbing the pilgrims in the future, but many of them became devoted followers and faithfully served him.
Milarepa returned to the Lama in despair bewailing the fact that he came to the Lama searching for religious teaching but instead had been required to heap up even more sin. The Lama comforted him by telling him that all that had perished in the flood would in future times become themselves pupils on the path to Buddhahood.
Lama Ngogpa now fulfilled his promise to Milarepa and initiated him into the sacred rite of the Mandala of Gaypa Dorje. Milarepa was then conducted to a solitary cave where he was walled up inside of it with a stone wall held in place with mud as mortar. Now he was to commence his meditation practices. A small aperture was left for handing in food and water. Milarepa followed the Lama's meditation instructions with great zeal but despite a prodigious effort on his part, he failed utterly to experience any kind of spiritual development.
After a while the Lama came to him and asked him if he had experienced such and such to which Milarepa replied in the negative. The Lama was greatly puzzled as even the least advanced pupil should have had at least some measure of experiences by that point. Milarepa was inwardly alarmed by this and guessed that it was because he did not have Marpa's blessings. He was afraid to say anything though so he kept quiet and the Lama directed him to continue with his practices.
At about this time, Lama Ngogpa received a summons from Marpa to join him for a great religious event. The letter also stated that Lama Ngogpa should return the "wicked person" who had taken refuge with him. The Lama went to Milarepa's cave and read the letter to him. At this Milarepa confessed that indeed, it was not Marpa that had sent him there for instruction, but his wife, the Reverend Mother Damema. The Lama then stated that in that case, they had been engaged in totally profitless work.
Lama Ngogpa now collected all his pupils and taking a large number of objects and all his livestock as offerings in the ceremony, they proceeded to the residence of Marpa. When they were a short distance away, Lama Ngogpa sent Milarapa ahead to inform Marpa that they were near so that he could send some disciples back with refreshments [according to Tibetan custom].
Milarepa hurried to Marpa's residence and first encountered Damema. They greeted one another with great joy like reunited mother and son. She then told him to go inside and pay his respects to Marpa. Marpa was on the top floor of the house and when Milarepa approached from one direction, Marpa turned in another. Milarepa approached him again and Marpa turned back in yet another direction. Then Milarepa informed him that though he was unwilling to accept his own obeisance, Marpa should at least prepare a reception for Lama Ngogpa's party who was now only a short distance away. Marpa became enraged at this and replied that when he himself had returned from India with a load of precious teachings, not even as much as a lame bird hopped out to greet him.
At this Milarepa left to find Damema. The two, along with some of Marpa's disciples went back with a quantity of chang to greet Lama Ngogpa's party. Once the entire group had assembled, the religious consecration of the completed residence of Marpa's son was carried out. Then a few days later, Marpa conferred on Lama Ngogpa the final ear whispered teaching that he lacked - the Short Cut of the Immutable Path - through which it is possible to attain to Nirvana in a single lifetime.
After this Marpa put on a great feast, including his own disciples and all those who had assembled there from far distant locations. During the feast, Marpa sat looking fiercely at Lama Ngogpa and suddenly pointing an accusing finger at him and glancing at his long staff he had by his side, he demanded that the Lama account for his inexcusable behaviour in granting teachings to the wicked and evil Milarepa. The Lama was terrified and replied to him that he had only carried out the instructions that Marpa himself had written in his letter, signed with his own seal and accompanied by the relics of Saint Naropa to show their authenticity. Marpa then turned on Milarepa and demanded to know where he got the relics of Naropa to give to the Lama.
Milarepa shrunk in terror and felt his soul within sinking. He quickly passed from a state of extreme terror to one of extreme anguish, feeling once again as if his heart were being torn out. He began trembling and could scarcely talk for his terror. He felt compelled to inform Marpa that the Reverend Mother Damema had sent him to the Lama with the note and the relics of Naropa. At this Marpa turned fiercely to Damema to accuse her, but anticipating just such an event, she had already escaped the room and went into the chapel, barring the door behind her. Marpa then demanded that Lama Ngogpa return to his monastery and bring back the garlands and rosary of rubies that had once belonged to the great saint Naropa.
The Lama left immediately to do so and encountered Milarepa outside who had also made his escape when the Reverend Mother had run out of the room. Milarepa was in a corner weeping from the deepest depths of despair and he asked the Lama to please ensure that he would get a proper birth in his next life with a chance to attain enlightenment. He explained that because of all the evil deeds he had committed he had not only had made himself suffer but had also involved the Lama and the Reverend Mother in his suffering. He had now lost all hope of attaining teachings in this life and in his despair, planned to take his own life on the spot. The Lama himself burst into tears at this and pleaded with Milarepa not to take his own life. He informed him that the Mystic Doctrine held that all the various bodily principles and faculties are divine and that to prematurely end the present life before it's natural period of dissolution was the greatest sin of all incurring the severest of punishments.
Then Lama Ngogpa sought to comfort Milarepa as did many of the disciples who joined in to offer their own sympathies. But Milarepa remained in deep despair, bitterly repenting the black deeds he had previously committed that were now producing all his present suffering.
Meanwhile all the anger seemed to drain out of Marpa and he became calm and mild and asked one of his disciples to go and bring Lama Ngogpa, Damema, and Milarepa back into his presence, but this made Milarepa even more despondent. Me envied the others, called back to Marpa's presence but as for himself, he knew that his teacher would only show fresh displeasure at him if he returned with the others. So he remained there still weeping with despair and Lama Ngogpa remained with him to soothe him and make sure he didn't do anything rash.
Marpa now sent Damema to request Milarepa to return saying that he was now to be the honored guest. Damema went to him smiling broadly and told him that it appeared that Lama Marpa was now really going to favor him with some teaching. Milarepa very much doubted that this could be so but nonetheless returned with the others and all took their seats around Marpa.
Now Marpa made a detailed recounting of all that had occurred from the time he first met his worthy disciple. He first said that he had set Milarepa at hard labor building various edifices to help absolve him of his sins. His own anger, he said was not common anger, but spiritual or religious anger and it had as its aim to incite repentance and contribute to the spiritual development of the recipient. If he had had the chance of plunging his spiritual son [Milarepa] into abject despair nine times he would have been able to cleanse him completely of all his sins. But owing to the misplaced pity and narrow understanding of his wife Damema, who had interfered with his plans, he was only able to do this eight times. However, the sufferings that Milarepa had undergone had cleansed him of his major sins and his other chastenings had cleansed him of most of his minor sins leaving him with only a residual amount of demerit to be worked off.
Now Marpa announced that he was going to finally confer on Milarepa those initiations and teachings of his sect that bring liberation in a single lifetime and then he planned to shut him up in a cave to begin his meditations.
Milarepa was not sure if he were dreaming or awake but if dreaming he wished the dream to continue and began to weep, not out of misery, but for the pure inexpressible joy that was now possessing his soul. He made obeisance to the guru Marpa and all those present admired Marpa for his stern and inflexible will while chastening Milarepa, and for his wisdom and mercy in working out his salvation. All were now beaming and smiling as they partook of the sacrificial cakes.
The next day, Marpa erected the Demchog Mandala and through mantras, invoked the presence of the deities who presided over the succession of gurus in the Kargyutpa Sect of which Marpa was now the current youngest lineage holder. Milarepa now had the vision of the presiding tutelary deities invoked by the Mandala, thus receiving their benediction on his initiation. Then Marpa gave him instruction in the methods of meditation and explained the meanings of all the omens and events that had occurred since the initial meeting of the two. He told Milarepa that he in his turn would have disciples full of faith, intelligence, and energy, owing to his own patience, faith and acceptance in all the trials he had undergone during his cleansing period.
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- (Spiritual Masters)
The Life of Milarepa - part 1
Milarepa is one of the most widely known Tibetan Saints. In a superhuman effort, he rose above the miseries of his younger life and with the help of his Guru, Marpa the Translator, took to a solitary life of meditation until he had achieved the pinnacle of the enlightened state, never to be born again into the Samsara [whirlpool of life and death] of worldly existence.
Out of compassion for humanity, he undertook the most rigid asceticism to reach the Buddhic state of enlightenment and to pass his accomplishments on to the rest of humanity. His spiritual lineage was passed along to his chief disciples, Gambopa and Rechung. It was Rechung who recorded in detail the incidents of Milarepa's life for posterity. The narrative of his life has thus been passed down through almost a millennium of time and has become an integral part of Tibetan culture.
In addition to Rechung's narrative of his life, summarized below, Milarepa extemporaneously composed innumerable songs throughout his life relevant to the dramatic turns of events of himself and his disciples in accordance with an art form that was in practice at the time. These songs have been widely sung and studied in Tibet ever since and have been recorded as the Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa. His faithful devotion, boundless religious zeal, monumental forbearance, superhuman perseverance, and ultimate final attainment are a great inspiration today for all. His auspicious life illumined the Buddhist faith and brought the light of wisdom to sentient beings everywhere.
The Life of Milarepa
Milarepa was born into the family of Mila-Dorje-Senge in the year 1052. His father was a trader in wool and had become wealthy by the standards of the time when his wife bore a son. The son was named Thopaga which means delightful to hear, and Thopaga, later known as Mila-repa [Mila, the cotton clad], lived up to his name as he had a beautiful voice and charmed his companions with his singing. The family lived in a large stone house that consisted of three stories held in place by a large central pillar and supporting columns - a mansion in comparison to the modest homes of his neighbors.
The brother and sister of Milarepa's father had also settled in the area along with their families, and the clan would often congregate at the great stone house of Mila-Dorje-Senge. The family was well to do and generous and became the darling of all the relatives and neighbors in the area. They would often gather at the house to enjoy feasts. The gathering of friends and neighbors would often fawn over the small children - the young son Milarepa [then called Thopaga], and his sister, Peta who was four years younger.
During this period the family enjoyed the admiration and attention of their neighbors, ate only the finest food and wore nothing but fancy clothes and jewelry.
About this time the father, Mila-Dorje-Senge, became gravely ill and accepting his impending death, called together the extended family and made known to all that he wanted his entire estate and all possessions put into the care of his brother and sister until such time as Milarepa had grown and married Zesay, one of the neighboring girls who had been betrothed to him in childhood according to the tradition of the times.After the fathers death, however, Milarepa's greedy Aunt and Uncle who had been given charge of the property, divided the estate between them, dispossessing Milarepa, his mother, and sister Peta of all their worldly possessions. They were forced to live with them in the lowest accommodations and were given only coarse food and even made to work in the fields.
Over the ensuing years their health suffered, their clothes were rough and tattered, the heads of the two children became invaded by lice. The mother and her two children who had formerly been the darlings of the village, now became objects of derision and abuse by all, who now spurned and ridiculed them.
When Milarepa reached his fifteenth year, his mother decided on a plan to recover the lost inheritance. She scraped together whatever resources she could borrow from neighbors and relatives and put on a feast, inviting all who had been present when her husband had died and made known his last wishes. As the assembled neighbors and relatives were feasting and drinking large cups of chang [fermented barley], she stood up and recounted all that her husband had said on his deathbed, reminding her husband's brother and sister that they were to be only caretakers of the estate. Now that Milarepa had attained his majority, she requested that all the property be restored to themBut the greedy Aunt and Uncle now claimed that they had been the original owners and had only loaned the property to the Mila-Dorje-Senge family and thus, Milarapa and his mother had no real claim on the property. The aunt and uncle now began indignantly slapping Milarepa's mother and the two children, calling them ungrateful wretches to act thus after accepting the charity of living with them and eating their food. Thus they drove them out of the large stone house to let the mother and children fend for themselves.
Some of the relatives and neighbors were sympathetic to Milarepa's family, but they were not sufficient in strength or numbers to oppose the clan of the Aunt and Uncle. And so it happened that the three were turned out of their own house. After that they lived meagerly, supported by the relatives of Milarepa's mother and charity from Zesay's family. The three were forced to work hard, exchanging their labor for a bit of food or a scrap of clothing. During this time they found no joy in their lives whatsoever.
One day Milarepa happened to be singing loudly, proud of his voice, when his mother overheard him and was stung to the quick by his unseemly outburst of happiness. She immediately berated him for his transgression in the face of the relentless misery of their existence. She thought over the situation and decided to take action. She wanted him to learn the black arts of sorcery in order to wreak vengeance on their enemies, the greedy Aunt and Uncle. Milarepa agreed that he would apply himself under a good teacher if his mother provided him with fees for the apprenticeship and living expenses. In order to do so, She sold half of the small plot of property that had belonged to her side of the family before her marriage and sent Milarapa off with money. Before he took his leave she very solemnly told him that she would kill herself in his very presence if he returned without having learned sufficient magic to be able to wreak some havoc on their enemies.
Milarepa traveled a distance away to a Lama who was known about the countryside as one who was proficient in the black arts. Along with some other young apprentices, Milarepa spent nearly a year learning mostly ineffectual magic rites with high sounding titles. At the end of the year, the pupils were sent off and told that if they applied themselves diligently they would succeed in their quest. Milarepa accompanied his companions for a time as they took their leave but then turned back to the Lama's house. Along the way, he collected a quantity of manure and dug a whole and buried it in the Lama's garden as a small gift to his teacher. The Lama observed this from his roof, and is said to have remarked that he had never had a pupil more affectionate and industrious as the young lad Milarepa was. The latter, went in to the Lama's presence and told him of his mother's vow to kill herself in his presence if he didn't learn some real magic. He then recounted his tale of woe in all its detail to the Lama who was greatly saddened by the story.
The Lama decided to confer some real power on Milarepa but he wanted to make sure that the magic would not be used unjustly so he sent a fleet disciple to Milarepa's homeland to find out if the tale was true. On the disciples return, he agreed to show him the true and potent rituals for evoking the Tutelary deities to take revenge.
Milarepa absorbed all the teachings thoroughly and carefully carried out the prescribed ritual for 14 days. At the end of the ritual the Tutelary deities appeared to him in a vision with the bloody heads and hearts of 35 of the relatives who had most ill-treated him. The Lama informed him that two of the guilty ones had been missed and asked Milarepa if he wanted their lives as well. He replied that he wanted them to be spared as witnesses to the power of his magic. Thus it came to pass that his two very worst enemies, the greedy Aunt and Uncle were spared from harm.
From a phenomenal aspect, the sorcery took the form of a disaster that occurred at the family wedding. All the relatives and friends who had been most offensive to him had gathered at the great stone house to celebrate the wedding. There was a big commotion outside and some of the horses kept in the yard started kicking and running about violently agitated, until one of them ran into the main supporting column of the three story house with such force that the entire house came crashing down on the wedding party with tremendous noise and force killing everyone inside except for the Aunt and Uncle.
All this was observed by some of those sympathetic to the Milarepa family who were just approaching the house.
Milarepa's mother quickly learned of the catastrophe and was ecstatic with cruel joy. She came gloating over the destruction that her son had caused telling everyone what joy her son had brought to her aging heart by causing so much death and destruction. The relatives of the dead were quite upset at the tragedy and more so to learn of her gloating. They talked it over but were divided on whether to get together and kill her in revenge, or to go after her son Milarepa, who had directly caused the destruction. After due consideration they decided to find and kill the son. Soon word their plans got back to the mother so she sent a message to her son, along with several gold pieces she got from selling the remaining half of her plot of land. In the note she described her joy at his success and requested him now to launch a powerful hail storm on the area, ruining the crops of their enemies and striking fear into their hearts so as to prevent further retaliation.
Milarepa received the note from the pilgrim courier and gave the gold pieces over to the Sorcerer-Lama, requesting him to teach him the art of launching hail storms.
Armed with his new magic, Milarepa traveled incognito back to his homeland and set up his ritualistic site on a hillside overlooking the valley of his homeland below. He began his incantations and soon dark clouds began to gather and then a succession of three powerful hail storms utterly ruined the entire barley crop of that year, a crop that had promised to be one of the heaviest in years.
After the destruction, Milarepa retreated to a cave in the hillside to escape the cold wind and lit a fire for warmth. After a few hours he heard some of his former neighbors walking by the cave he had taken refuge in. They had guessed who was responsible for this fresh mischief and were immensely angered by the all destruction he had caused, first to the 35 people killed in the wedding party, and now to the season's rich harvest of barley - utterly laid waste. The men were talking amongst themselves, saying as they walked past the cave that if Milarapa fell into their hands at that very moment, their vengeance could hardly be satisfied by chopping his body into tiny bits; such was their anger. At that instant one of them spotted the fire and guessed that it was Milarepa himself taking refuge in the cave. They hurried quickly and quietly away to go gather a party to go after him. Meanwhile as soon as they had left, Milarepa made good his escape and journeyed back to the Sorcerer-Lama.
The Lama congratulated Milarepa on his success but by now Milarapa was deeply repenting all the evil deeds his mother had urged him to commit. He longed for religion and wanted to be delivered from committing further evil acts. He worried greatly over the heavy debts of karma he had incurred through his evil actions and could think of nothing else. He wanted to ask the Lama Guru for religious instruction but didn't have the nerve to broach the subject so he stayed on, faithfully serving the Lama and waiting for an opportune moment to bring up the subject of his salvation.
The Lama now was called away to attend to one of his followers who had died after a short illness. The Lama returned lamenting that such an excellent man in the prime of his life had died so suddenly. He spoke on the transitoriness of life and the misery of this earthly existence and then started ruminating over his own life. He had spent his entire life up to that point practicing the art of dealing death and destruction and teaching those same black arts to many others. By doing so he had to take at least a portion of the karmic responsibility for all the evil acts that had come out of it.
In his mood of deep remorse, he urged Milarepa to go and seek out a teacher of the Holy Dharma and at least deliver himself and maybe even the Lama into a higher state of existence in a future life. This was precisely the opportunity Milarepa had been waiting for. He prayed to be allowed to take to the religious life and his teacher readily agreed, giving him gifts and a letter of introduction to a well known Lama versed in a doctrine called "The Great Perfection".
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- (Spiritual Masters)
By George I. Gurdijeff
George Ivanovich Gurdjieff, b.1872, d. Oct. 29, 1949, founded a movement based on doctrines of enlightenment through meditation and heightened self-awareness that attracted many prominent followers in Europe and the United States. Of Russian-Armenian origin, Gurdjieff established his 'Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man' at Fontainebleau, France, where he settled in 1922. He wrote books like “Belzebub's Tales to His Grandson”,“Meetings with remarkable men” and “Life is real only then, when I am”. His disciples included architect Frank Lloyd Wright, painter Georgia O'Keefre, writer Katherine Mansfield, and journalist P. D. Ouspensky
, whose books helped to popularize Gurdjieff's teachings.
(Note: In the following text, “man” refers not to the male only, but it is used in the sense of “human being regardless of sex, person”)
In order to understand what the difference between states of consciousness is, let us consider the state of sleep. This is an entirely subjective state of consciousness. A man is immersed in dreams, whether he remembers them or not, does not matter. Even if some real impression reaches him, such as sounds, voices, warmth, cold, etc., they arouse in him only subjective images.
Then a man wakes up. At first glance, this is a completely new and different state of consciousness. He can move, talk with other people, he can make calculations ahead, he can see danger and avoid it, and so on. It stands to reason that he is now in a better position than when he was asleep. But if we go a little more deeply into things, if we take a look into his inner world, into his thoughts, into the causes of his actions, we shall see that he is almost in the same state as when he is asleep. And it is even worse, because in sleep he is passive, but in the waking state he can do something and the results of his actions will be reflected upon him and upon those around him. And yet he does not remember himself. He is a machine, everything with him happens. He cannot stop the flow of his thoughts, he cannot focus the flow of his thoughts, he cannot control his imagination, his emotions, his attention. He lives in a subjective world of “I love”, “I do not love”, I like”, “I do not like”, “I want”, “I do not want”, that is, of what he thinks he likes, of what he thinks he does not like, of what he thinks he wants, of what he thinks he does not want. He does not see the real world. The real world is hidden from him by a thick wall of uncontrolled imagination. He lives in waking-sleep. He is asleep. What is called “clear consciousness” is actually sleep and a far more dangerous sleep than sleep at night in bed.
Let us take some event in the life of humanity. For instance, war. What does it signify? It signifies that several millions of sleeping people are destroying several millions of other sleeping people. They would not do this, of course, if they were to wake up. Everything that takes place is owing to this sleep.
Both states of consciousness, sleep and the (false) waking state, are thus equally subjective. Only by beginning to remember himself does a man really awaken. And then all surrounding life acquires for him a different aspect and a different meaning. He sees that it is a life of sleeping people, a life in sleep. All that men say and do, they say and do in sleep. All this can have no value whatsoever. Only awakening and what leads to awakening has a value in reality.
How many times have I been asked whether wars can be stopped? Certainly they can. For this it is only necessary that people should awake. This seems a small thing. It is, however, the most difficult thing there can be because this sleep is induced by our so-called education and maintained by the whole surrounding society.
How can one awaken? How can one escape this sleep?
These questions are the most important, the most vital that can ever confront a man. But before this it is necessary to be convinced of the very fact of sleep. It is possible to become convinced of this only by trying to awaken. When a man understands that he does not remember himself and that to remember himself means to awaken to some extent, and when at the same time he sees by experience how difficult is to remember himself, he will understand that he cannot awaken simply by having the desire to do so. It can be said still more precisely that a man cannot awaken by himself, except in exceptionally rare cases, and we are not talking about those cases. But if, let’s say, twenty people make an agreement that whoever of them awakens first shall wake the rest, they already have some chance. Even this, however, is insufficient, because all twenty can go to sleep at the same time and dream that they are waking up. Therefore, more still is necessary. They must be looked after by a man who is not asleep any more, or who does not fall asleep as easily as they do. The twenty people must find such a man and hire him to wake them up and not allow them to fall asleep again. Without this, it is impossible to awaken. This is what must be understood.
It is possible to think for a thousand years. It is possible to write whole libraries of books, to create theories by the million, but all this is in sleep, without any possibility of awakening. On the contrary, these books and these theories, written and created in sleep, will merely send other people to sleep, and so on.
There is nothing new in the idea of sleep. People have been told almost since creation of the world that they are asleep and that they must awaken. Christ disciples even slept when He was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane for the last time. It is all there. But do men understand it? Men take it simply as a form of speech, as an expression, as a metaphor. They completely fail to understand that it must be taken literally. And again it is easy to understand why. In order to understand this idea literally it is necessary to awaken a little, or at least to try to awaken. I have been asked why nothing is said about this kind of sleep in the Gospels. But it is there spoken of almost on every page. This simply shows that people read the Gospel in sleep.
Generally speaking, what is necessary to awaken a man? A good shock is necessary. But when a man is fast asleep, only one shock is not enough. A long period of continual shocks is needed. Consequently, there must be somebody to administer these shocks. I have said before that if a man wants to awaken he must hire somebody who will keep on shaking him for a long time. But whom can he hire if everyone is asleep? A man will hire somebody to wake him up but this one also falls asleep. What is the use of such a man? And a man who can really keep awake will probably refuse to waste his time in waking others up: he may have his own much more important work to do.
There is also the possibility of being awakened by mechanical means. A man may be awakened by an alarm clock. But the trouble is that a man gets accustomed to the alarm clock far too quickly, he ceases to hear it. Many alarm clocks are necessary and always new ones. Otherwise a man must surround himself with alarm clocks which will prevent him sleeping. But here again there are certain difficulties. Alarm clocks must be wound up. In order to wind them up one must remember about them. In order to remember about them one must wake up often. But what is still worse, man gets used to all these alarm clocks and after a certain time he only sleeps better for them. Therefore alarm clocks must be constantly changed, new ones must be continually invented. In the course of time this may help a man to awaken. But there is very little chance of a man doing all the work of winding up, inventing, and changing clocks all by himself, without outside help. It is much more likely that he will begin his work and that it will afterwards unnoticeably pass into sleep, and in sleep he will dream of inventing alarm clocks, of winding them up and changing them, and simply sleep all the sounder for it.
Therefore, in order to awaken, a combination of efforts is needed. It is necessary that somebody wakes the man up. It is necessary that somebody looks after the man who wakes him. It is necessary to have alarm clocks and it is also necessary continually to invent new alarm clocks.
But in order to achieve all this and to obtain results a certain number of people must work together.
One man alone can do nothing.
Before anything else, he needs help. But help cannot come to one man alone. Those who are able to help put a great value to their time. And, of course, they would prefer to help, say, twenty or thirty people who want to awake rather that only one man. Moreover, one man can easily deceive himself about his awakening and make awakening simply a new dream. If several people decide to struggle together against sleep, they will wake each other.
Therefore a man who wants to awake must look for other people who also want to awake and work together with them. This, however, is easier said that done because to start such a work and to organize it requires a knowledge which a sleeping man cannot possess. The work must be organized and have an awakened leader. Only then can it produce the results expected from it. Without these conditions no efforts can result in anything whatever. Men may torture themselves, but those tortures will not make them awake. This is most difficult of all for certain people to understand. By themselves and by their own initiative they may be capable of great efforts and great sacrifices. But because their first effort and their first sacrifice ought to be obedience, nothing on Earth will induce them to obey another. They do not want anybody to tell them what to do. And they do not want to reconcile themselves to the thought that all their efforts and all their sacrifices are thus useless.
Work must be organized. And it can be organized only by a man who knows its problems and its aims, who knows its methods; by a man who has in his time passed through such organized work himself.
- (Spiritual path)
Spiritual tests for advanced practioners
by Mihai Stoian
The tests that mark our spiritual evolution on the path of self becoming are inevitable. It is said that even Jesus experienced them, therefore all of us have spiritual tests. However, we usually hear about situations that test the beginner aspirants and we rarely hear about the tests of those who have been walking the spiritual path for some time.
The regression of the apprentice,the occultation of the teacher
Tests that appear in the first stages are much more obvious and they affect many practitioners, selecting those who are truly ready to continue. A discussion about such tests is generally better understood because it refers to the beginning stages, which are widely accessible. Nevertheless, the spiritual tests of aspirants with experience on the spiritual path are just as interesting. Due to the fact that they appear in more advanced stages of practice, they are subtler and more difficult to decode.
“When the disciple is ready, the master appears,” is a saying for those who’ve begun their inner evolution and sometimes express their worry about the way they will be guided further. Triumph over the first subtle tests represents the criteria upon which the aspirants’ selection is based. Therefore, the master only appears to those who have succeeded, as confirmation that they have passed the test and are ready for the next stages. For a while, everything flows within the new frame, the aspirant learns to see things from a new perspective and discovers the value of the truth of this expression, but its reverse can equally manifest: when the disciple fails some major spiritual tests, he regresses; therefore, he stops being ready and the master “disappears”, becoming occult. Of course, this is not only about concretely withdrawing from the life of the aspirant, due to an “apparently objective” situation (he either leaves the physical level, or he moves to another city or another country, or he is stopped from seeing his disciples). The most frequent situation is the one in which he is close to the aspirants, but some of them begin to regress and, by completely changing their point of view, they can no longer perceive him as a master.
The disciple sees differently, the master is the same
This bizarre phenomenon of “becoming occult”, which is specific to the spiritual teacher, is only due to the fact that the aspirant completely changes his inner point of view, and it is not because the master has changed. The one who is in such a dramatic situation begins to make strange and mean projections, he begins to find all kind of unreal justifications and he says that “the master is not as he was in the beginning”, even if – paradoxically – the master proves to be the same for the others, giving them the same divine help and being the same unpredictable enemy of the ego, when necessary.
How does such a distortion of the perception take place? A disciple who practices controlling the sexual energy, for example, will soon face serious tests in this direction. If he fails the spiritual test, he has the tendency to “lower his standards as an instinctive protective mechanism, hoping that in this way he will be protected from the risk of future disappointments. Without realizing it, the disciple narrows his inner horizon, and the master’s impulses and actions appear in another perspective – a darker and duller one. When the master gives him the impulse to mobilize all his forces in order to succeed to control the sexual energies, the aspirant will be less enthusiastic, he will even be ironic or joke about these impulses, sometimes manifesting impertinence or even a de-transfigurative familiarity. If the master advises him to let go of prejudices and enjoy lovemaking with his lover in order to develop control over the sexual energy, the aspirant may have the impression that he is pushed and forced towards something he no longer values, therefore he may consider that the action of the spiritual guide is an exaggeration, an intrusion into his personal life.
There is a risk for all of these aspects to appear as a result of the regression that follows the failed spiritual test. The aspirant no longer understands the importance of re-using sexual energy on the spiritual path and he now looks at things from a more “relaxed” point of view, imagining that the systematic use of the sexual energies on the path of transmutation and sublimation is a secondary, optional choice. Another example is that of a disciple who wants to explore the secrets of meditation. In the beginning he makes a daily effort, inspired also by the master’s words and by the example he gives. After a while he becomes looser and stops practicing so intensively, even if his spiritual results do not give him the right to slow down. Now he is tempted to give greater importance to some common aspects of life which he previously considered ephemeral. If in such a moment he has the possibility to choose between spiritual practice and a certain tempting social position that offers him financial satisfaction, but takes away all his time and energy, it is almost certain he will choose the social position.
Tricked by the vision which has once again become profane, the aspirant chooses the social position, convinced that after he makes a career and a bank account he will also find time for meditation. After failing this test, the aspirant considers that his action was correct and he imagines that his master’s advice regarding detachment from material aspects of life are strange and exaggerated. This is why he can even begin to intensely criticize some of his spiritual guide’s advice and also to convince others to act as he did. This attitude makes him go even deeper into the mistake marked by failing that spiritual test. In such a situation, the distance between aspirant and spiritual guide increases more and more, without any changes in the attitude of the master.
Playing the statue
For the advanced practitioners, one of the most difficult tests is that of their position and importance on the spiritual path. As one advances in his acquiring of knowledge, part of the spiritual training of a disciple is to share this knowledge with the practitioners from the same school of evolution. They are in the beginning, and he helps them to move on. Self-giving in order to give an impulse and to support the others offers a new depth to spiritual becoming; this is why it is embraced by most of those who reach a certain level of spiritual practice. However, in the significant and detached work through which he helps the others to evolve, a particular amplified “self-importance” can appear, in a very subtle way, without obvious signs. In this way, the spiritual ego awakens and becomes amplified. When the consciousness of self-importance is connected to strictly individual accomplishments or situations, especially very worldly ones, it can be noticed and removed more easily. However, when it is about what the aspirant does in order to serve the others spiritually, the state is insidious and it sneaks into his soul at a more subtle level and is often an important test on the path of inner perfection.
“The graveyards are full of irreplaceable people” – is a saying for those who need to understand that they are too full of themselves. When you truly do very good and important things for the others, you can easily forget that you are not the one who acts, but that God acts through you and He constantly does what is necessary. This is why advanced aspirants must be careful to apply the Karma Yoga principles with great mastership, and to practice humbleness intensely, attentively and consciously. It is not by chance that communities of monks insist on having a state of humbleness –the ally of monks and especially of those who have already had some spiritual realizations. Behind this self-importance, the germ of deviating from the spiritual path can appear very fast. How does this happen? The colleagues that the aspirant helps have the natural tendency to ‘erect a statue in his honour’. The advanced aspirant must be very lucid and avoid identifying himself with this image, in order to break that statue that they built of his image and with which he tends to identify his soul.
The disciple can consider these things as simple, harmless games, but when they crystallize as inner attitudes it is already too late because they lead to serious contradictions, big inner crises and painful errors. These mistakes are not made as a result of a lack of knowledge, but because he had already lost his inner freedom when he became the statue he was playing before.
Candle is the result of the burning flame
Another important test for advanced practitioners is that of “taking out insurance” against the reactions of the master. Any authentic spiritual guide has a crushing effect on the nature of the ego. Therefore, from the first steps on the path of inner becoming, the action of the master scares the disciples who still cling to the ego. As the transcendence of this illusory structure appears later on the path of evolution, it is possible that the aspirant will have a kind of deep subconscious terror that the master will “strike” again one day, hitting him in the core of his being, where the last piece of ego is hiding.
This is how, once he has gained a certain “importance” in the structure of the spiritual group, the aspirant will have subconscious hopes that the “gained” position will ensure him a kind of protection in front of the objective and uncompromised eye of his guide. The test he has to go through now is about the way in which he deals with the tendency to rely on his so-called illusory position to which he gives imaginary weightiness. This tendency appears because today’s society teaches us that one must prove to be useful in order to survive. The ego reacts in the same way in its desperate attempt to strengthen or even to regenerate its last pieces, after the aspirant had gradually reclaimed almost all his inner territories from of its claws.
“For the one who is still ignorant, the flame is the result of the burning candle; for the one who became wise, the candle is the result of the burning flame.” This is the test of successful individual practice. If we see things from a limited perspective, after the euphoria of the results of the beginning passes, a major inner conflict tends to appear between what we understood partially and what the master sees from a universal perspective and what he shows us with lucidity and detachment. If we do not aim to “raise” ourselves to the level at which we should be, according to the things we learned so far, it is possible to gradually lose the overview that is open to us in the first stages of the spiritual path, because we trust our master “no matter what”.
In this way, a feeling of being astray from the master appears. This feeling manifests as apparently “fair” criticism, phantasmagorical discontent, and a mean and exaggerated selectiveness towards what the master does. In this situation, his actions start to appear to increasingly lack the real divine meaning we used to perceive at the beginning of the spiritual path. Why is that? It is because now we no longer have the same vision. We live with the false impression that the flame appears now due to the candle and we consider it absurd to act upon it if we want to change the shape of the candle.
The image in the broken mirror is a distorted one
These aspects seem unimaginable for those who are in the first stages of the spiritual path (this is because in the beginning the inner vision is borrowed from the master to a great extent, and it represents part of the grace we receive in order to be able to move on). Yet, in the case of advanced aspirants who have a natural tendency to clearly understand this and to form their own spiritual vision, it is possible – if this crystallization does not take place at the highest spiritual coordinates that have been shown – that the aspirant can gradually lose contact with his master through an obvious alienation of ideas.
If the aspirant has the revelation in the beginning (transmitted by the spiritual guide) that everything in the Universe is love and he allows this new perspective to give him an impulse, it is nevertheless possible that over time he can no longer validate this understanding through personal experiences in meditation and in daily life. Scepticism, doubt, regression and various difficulties appear once again in the heart of the disciple, but now he has other “certain” perspectives and nobody sounds the alarm bells. In his subconscious, the regressing aspirant builds the conviction that not everything is quite like that, that there is not only love in the Universe and for him things become “different” and much more nuanced. He even has the tendency to be ironic, as if he is joking, about this revelation “for the beginners”; gradually, he will start to live further and further away from that principle, returning, without even noticing, to a profane vision, hidden behind the imaginary behavior of a “saint”, of a great “wise man” or even (why not) proudly claiming he is a master, (and, ridiculously enough, having the impertinence to give lessons to the spiritual guide from which he learned the little that he knows).
Even so, the master will continue to manifest in a detached manner and to apply this principle everywhere. If he interacts with the disciple and corrects him, the disciple will have the tendency to judge the actions of his spiritual guide according to his own perversity, according to abject and limited human interests, and not according to the universal principal of love, which he abandoned without noticing when he passed from the master’s direct support to the results obtained through individual practice. It is especially then that he imagines that the master acts out of certain personal interests and he interprets the master’s intention and action of correction in a distorted and mean way. This is only a part of the most famous tests that the advanced aspirants face on the spiritual path. Usually these situations are hard to understand as long as we do not have the inner point of view; they are especially hard for those who are not yet at that level of spiritual practice and realization to understand.
Originally published in Yoga Magazin number 66, 2007
taken from mihaistoian.net: http://www.mihaistoian.net/category/latest-news/spiritual-tests-ad-advanced-practioners
The wise men of the Orient, the Rishis, teach that Union with the Divine already potentially exists within us. However due to insufficient spiritual development, we are generally not conscious of this state of fusion with God, the Macrocosm. We see duality and multiplicity everywhere especially because of this ignorance regarding connection with the Macrocosm.
Thus ordinary people in this situation focus on both within themselves and outside themselves, and on the perception of differences rather than similarities.
The essential purpose in yoga is to return man to the perfect conscious state of non-duality; of perfection. Yoga gradually reveals the existence of many levels of consciousness within us. YAMA and NIYAMA from KRIYA YOGA are important steps in spiritual practice, and must be systematically and conscientiously respected. One aspect of Yoga is CONSCIOUS accelerated evolution. In general the evolution of life is coordinated by Cosmic Divine Intelligence, exterior to common awareness. Our spiritual evolution can be accelerated through awakening and utilising latent aspects of our inner universe, which can be gradually and consciously known. At the beginning we can be only partially conscious, sensing only vague feelings. This will manifest later in the form of global experiences, which will allow us to understand the mysteries of life and the Universe.
Being permanently aware and conscious has a powerful effect upon the speed of spiritual evolution and being able to live life to the full. It is also an excellent means to reveal a previously unknown and profound reality. MEENAKSHI DEVI (a yogi woman from India) dealt with this crucial issue in understanding and strengthening the process of being conscious. Even when beginning the Yoga path, she advises: “to be as conscious as possible in every way; this will indicate how unconscious we can be without even realizing it”.
This is an apparent paradoxical affirmation, but completely true for a yogi. Many superficial and impatient people desire to learn “the Yoga of being conscious”. However they continue be neglectful, ignore the fact that they do not know how to behave, are selfish and abusive. Despite this, they expect special and rapid results in Yoga, thinking that they decidedly deserve this. These types do not take into account that this beneficial and extraordinary jump can only be achieved gradually and in stages. To develop spiritually entails removing any evil; it is a fundamental transformation and purification of the person. This is exacerbated by the fashion today of selfishness, ignorance, lack of common sense and attitudes like “get all you can, when you can”.
More than anything, yoga disciples should learn to be patient, mentally open, and always ready to learn from any situation, both exterior and interior. If they do not have this attitude, they will be easily disappointed due to improper use of time and effort. Their actions will be very inefficient. Yoga can be defined as ABILITY AND INTELLIGENCE IN ACTION. Through ability, we understand how to use our own strengths and talents in an intelligent way with maximum efficiency. Through the subtle process of resonance we can comprehend the requirements for the amplification of power, and thus enable the optimal energisation of these endowments. NOW AWAKEN. Therefore the complete process of becoming conscious is the privileged modality that awakens and amplifies our natural ABILITY in a short time. Through constant, correct and systematic practice, ABILITY can be extraordinarily perfected. Only by being conscious can we really develop the skills and even paranormal powers that can result from proper YOGA practice.
Published by natha.net
Taken from www.yogaesoteric.net