We are all here for the Experience… or it it something else?
In Jyotish, this ‘experience’ is the function of Venus/Shukra and the 2nd and 7th houses of the horoscope. When the experience is fulfilled, you leave the body, physical death. Thus Venus is the natural Marak and the house owners of the 2nd and 7th houses are the functional Marak for your chart, they decide the moment of your physical death. But most people are quite scared of physical death. (A secret, the length of your life is counted in breaths. If you continuously engage in activities which require fast breathing, you use up the number of breaths allotted to you faster. Your life span will be completed in lesser number of years. If you engage in activities where you slow or stop your breath, e.g. Dhyan, you will live for more years.)
‘Karma clothes the individual soul/Jiva with the body’. The Anna-mai-kosh layer of the five layered body is created from the karma you have decided to experience in this present life-time. This is described in the birth chart ie. the first divisional chart and the Science of Illumination/ Jyotish is used to analyse this.
This manifested Universe contains only karma, nothing else.
The room you are sitting in, is your Karma. Even the table, the bed, the husband, the food on the dining table is there because it is your karma to experience them. Your Universe is your Karma and your Karma is your Universe around you. (Each one’s Universe is thus different!)
So how would you describe yourself? Amit? Priya? A doctor, someone’s daughter, someone’s husband, a farmer, a resident of some place, so many years old, sweet, happy etc. But, you are describing yourself in terms of your Karma! You are describing your karma of being a doctor, your karma of being a wife, of being happy, hardworking, etc your are using your karma is defining you. But You are not your karma. Think deeply then, who are you? How do you go about finding you own self. And if the entire manifested, words, names, emotions, experiences etc is Karma, from where would you get the real words to describe Yourself?
Spiritual practice is how you break the definitions which your own actions have laid on you. This is how it works.
Initially when you start your spiritual practice, you will have a favourite deity, the Aradhya (the one who is worshipped), e.g. the Devi Mahamaya, the Gayatri Mantra, Shri Vishnu, the Shri Yantra, the Bhagwat Gita etc. You consider this Aradhya to be separate from yourself. There is duality, the Aradhya is different from the worshipper, you. You read, worship, do puja, sing the hymns/shloks, listen to its stotras, do rituals in its honor, adore and respect it. You request it to bless you, to give you boons. The desire for experience starts building up here. Even Jyotish is a form of worship (Aradhana). I adore the graha, I do homa in their honor, I wear their gemstones, I charge myself with their beej mantras, I desire their blessings in making my life easier. (Most of us are at this level)
The second stage starts when you start experiencing whatever your Aradhya stands for. e.g. You feel the universal maternal love of the Devi. The inner meanings of the Bhagwat Gita as a Yog Shastra start becoming clear to you. Now your practice changes subtly, it internalises. You feel yourself to be a part of your Aradhya. And you start feeling your Aradhya in your soul. When you look at the sky you feel Shri Vishnu looking at you. You feel His love and gentle encouragement. As you do your Tratak with the Shri Chakra you sense your own internal chakra geometry buzzing. These signs are important as they indicate that you are on the right path. The karmic bindings are loosening, allowing you the merest glimpse of what lies beyond. (Some of us will pick on these subtle signals and act further, some of us won’t.)
As these gentle experiences become more frequent and intense, you too desire them more and more. Ultimately you start working with your pran, the practice internalises completely. The depth of the experience increases. And remember you are experiencing the Creative Aspect of Your Immense Self. So this experience will be very extensive and can be theoretically infinite. You will also gain some visible Siddhi and abilities, ie. visions, clairvoyance, clairaudience, ability to move things with thoughts etc. (Some of us will get fascinated by these and get side-tracked, some will ignore them and progress further.)
Then comes the test.
Like eating chocolate. You go to a shop and from the array of sweets you choose one. You read the contents, are curious and desire the experience. You buy it, open the wrapper and take a bite. It is a pleasant taste and you take several more bites. The chocolate pervades your senses. You see it, smell it, taste it, feel its texture, you become one with the chocolate and the chocolate becomes one with you, you feel the bliss. You eat and eat some more, till….
There is a limit to the experience.
How much? You cannot go on experiencing for ever. You do get satisfied (trupt तृप्त) and then stop eating the chocolate. You transcend the chocolate and its experience!
Spiritual practice is also the same.
A clue from Jyotish. Everything follows the same pattern. The 2nd and the 7th houses decide how much is going to give you satisfaction (trupti तृप्ति). Depending on the placements here, you can be satisfied with one chocolate or you will need to eat a thousand chocolates to be satisfied. Once you are satisfied you leave the shop. Or in other words you leave this physical body/manifestation. (Venus is the real Moksh-karak, agent of Moksh.)
By now your spiritual practice will have stabilized on the internal levels. You rarely do the external pujas or ritualistic activities now. The world seems curiously flat and one-dimensional. You do Dhyan and actively manipulate the pran later kundalini within your energy body. You are continuously experiencing every aspect of your Aradhya. Then there will come a point when you realise and experience Yourself as the Devi. (Only the rare few of us will experience this.)
But your Aradhya and your spiritual practice are still a part of the manifested Universe. The Aradhya is the Ray which has to be followed back to the Source. Depending on your horoscope, the path you have charted out for you in this life, you will either stop here or move even onward. As you experience your Aradhya, you will desire to follow it back to the Source. This ‘Desire’ would still be a part of the manifested, as you know that there is more to be experienced. The Ray (Prakruti) and the Light (Purush) are inseparable, one is the cause of the other. But they are still duality on the deepest level. One emits the Other and the Other is emitted by the One. But yet together they are a Whole. At this deepest part of your Dhyan, you, the Prakruti, the Purush all merge into something which is Advaita अद्वैत Asang असङ्ग etc. (unique, singular, non-attached, non-connected, un-created etc.)
Ultimately you are neither the Aham, nor your favourite deity/ Aradhya, nor the Dhyan/ the practice, nor the Prakruti, nor the Purush, because you cannot be defined by these limited words.
Can you speak/ explain in Hindi to someone who understands only Chinese? No, you can’t! Thus the Ultimate Reality cannot be cannot be described in this language of this manifested world.
If you are satisfied with the experiences of the manifested, you will want to transcend them till you reach Yourself. Only then you would be completely free of the karma bindings and the manifested world will vanish as if it were never there. This would happen in the deepest Dhyan. This would be the Moksh in the spiritual sense.