The performer, catalyst and Creator

Hinduism/ Sanatan Dharma has very deep statements which cannot be understood but need to be experienced. My Guru would talk about things and we all used to listen. But it is only with practice that some of his statements are making more sense now.

There is only one origin called the ‘Nirvishesh Brahma’, the ‘intelligence where differentiation does not exist’ or Parabrahma, the ‘beyond intelligence’. This is the goal of each soul, your and my personal spiritual evolution leads here. This is the Ultimate Creator.

The first creation was duality, ie observer-performer energy was created. The Para creates infinite numbers of observer-performer pairs. The observer energy is called the Purush and the performer energy is called the Prakruti. Prakruti is said to be feminine as the energies are active, kinetic, capable of responding, changeable. Purush is said to be masculine as these energies are still and unchanging but are capable of eliciting a response. (The Purush and Prakruti are not a physical man and a woman, there is no sexism in the spiritual context.)

Only Advaita as discussed by Adi Shankaracharya is subtle and deep enough to pierce through all duality. It can take you upto the Real Creator, the Parabrahma. Advaita is referred to as ‘Non-duality’. It can be only expressed as a negation as what it really is cannot be described in the words of this creation, it needs to be experienced. This is the Reality which you and me actually desire to experience. Sankhya-shastra is a method analysing intelligence, energy, matter and the rest of it. This is a discriminative, rational, calculative and deliberate instrument directed to the understanding the Self. Sankhya is a prelude to the understanding of the Advaita.

The Prakruti is called Lalita, the one who plays the game. This game is of her devising, created out of her own energies, occurs within her and is not separate from her. The entire performance occurs within the energies of the performer. All creation theories or even modern science describe this Game that she plays, the secondary creation of the manifested Universes. These theories are limited to only Prakruti and the processes that go on with her body. These do not describe the Purush as they have not reached so deep within. And neither do they take you upto your reality, ie the Parabrahma.

Exalted and debilitated, Rahu, Ketu and Saturn

In my earlier posts, I have written about Prakruti and her active role in creating, maintaining, evolving and finally destroying the manifested. Whatever you see around you, your body, mind, environment, etc is all Prakruti. Now there is one twist here. Prakruti is described as being ‘Jada’ जड. She is without animation, insensate, still,  lifeless, paralysed, numb, dull, stunned, cold, apathetic as Jada means ‘matter without Intelligence’. She is capable of motion but incapable of initiating the motion herself. She does not have the intelligence or the consciousness. So why does the Prakruti start her performance?  What caused her to move, to start Playing?

The reason is the catalyst, the Purush.

The Purush has a very important role in all this Play. The Purush is called the ’Sakshi’ in Sanskrit. This word is usually translated to mean a witness or an observer. This is slightly incorrect as Devbhasha Samskrutam is a palimpsest, the deeper you go the more meanings you understand. Sakshi is a compound word ‘Akshasya sah’. Sakshi is the ‘intelligence which accompanies the Axis on which the individual soul exists’. Or the ‘self-awareness of the Pivot of the wheel of creation’.

Purush is Aware Intelligence.

The Purush is the catalyst. He, by his mere presence causes the Prakruti to start her performance. But the Purush does not interact with any other energy or get involved in any way. Purush is the ever-existing, steady, ever-pervading Intelligence. He doesn’t change and neither does he interfere. Manifested creation happens just because he exists. His existence is the reason why Prakruti goes about creating.

There are catalysts in every system, eg enzymes are catalysts in biology, they bring about all the cellular life processes but remain unchanged and unaffected. In chemistry, the neutrons are Sakshi, they do not participate but their presence makes things happen, eg electrons are captured by protons and chemical reactions take place. It is the same with the creation, Prakruti performs just because the Purush is there. Matter moves just because of the presence of the Purush.

In our usual life we all are actors, we perform. A very simplistic example, I interact with my son. I get cross and tell him to clean his room, he is irritated but cleans it. Both of us have changed. I was irritated, now I am satisfied. He was irritated, now he is tired. And a new reality has come to being, the room is clean. So two energies interacted and changed themselves and also changed the environment. This has happened within the realm of Prakruti. Emotions, physical realities which are capable of being changed are part of Prakruti and occur within her body.

Now if you look around you, there are also catalysts/ sakshi everywhere. These Sakshi do not engage with anyone else nor do they change, but events occur around them because of their mere presence. A very simplistic example again, I am at home just sitting and reading, my son comes home and because I am sitting there, carefully removes his shoes and puts them on the rack. I didn’t even look at him. But my mere presence, the catalyst, made him ‘perform’.

My Guru would say that I must bring in the ’Sakshi-bhaav’ into myself, ie bring into myself the reality of the Sakshi. He was telling me to be the unchanging center around which the whirl of creation unfolds. To change my perception from the ‘matter’ component to the ‘intelligence’ component. But how do I bring in this ‘consciousness’ within me? How can I stop being involved in ‘matter’. All my senses, my organs of action are oriented towards matter. I smell, taste, touch, move.. matter. I perceive only matter whirling around me.

The solution is to do Dhyan, when you sit still and focus only at your Ajnya chakra you are focussing on your personal consciousness. The Ajnya chakra is the seat of the individual consciousness. Once you identify with the fragment of the Ultimate consciousness within you rather than the matter swirling around you, your evolution gets easier.

Route from the Ajnya chakra to the Sahasrara and the Bindu within the Sahasrara gets easier. This is real evolution.

But when you are just starting your spiritual practice you cannot experience or imagine or visualise or even think of such subtle energies. So you start the ‘observe yourself’ thingie again by observing whatever is visible at your third eye during Dhyan. Dispassionately, you close your eyes and focus at your third eye. In the physical body, you, the individual consciousness, reside at the third eye Ajnya chakra. You start your practice of observing yourself from this chakra. Initially you see just darkness here. As your practice deepens you will observe yourself in all your increasing higher energy levels.

You have to traverse a distance of ’10 fingers’ from the third eye chakra to the top of the head. All this practice for this seemingly tiny thing!

The Sakshi is the pivot, the axis around which change occurs. The Sakshi is essential for evolution. Matter by itself cannot move. Intelligence makes it move, evolve. Consciousness is steady, it does not change, it remains constant, it is. This principle is applicable everywhere, from biology, chemistry to spiritual evolution. When you become your own catalyst, you further your own spiritual evolution.

 

More on Eclipses and their astrological results

Light a Lamp, use the power of Agni

All Indian households will perform one activity compulsorily, light a Deep दीप ie a lamp in front of the household deities, or their object of faith, at least once a day. This is so deeply programmed in us that even if we do not really know why, we do it daily. Some households light the lamp twice a day at twilights, ie dawn/dusk and in some, like mine, it burns continuously. Akhand Deep, अखण्डदीप the infinite unbroken illumination.

Light a Lamp, use the power of Agni

Physical light is considered to be similar to the knowledge of Illumination. It primarily removes the darkness and confusion caused by ignorance. You know the true nature of things around and about you once they are brought to light. The ogre under your bed disappears when you switch on your bed-side light. This is a permanent and lasting awareness. Knowledge is the greatest wealth which never diminishes even if you give it to everyone. You and everyone benefits when you give. When you give of your wisdom and knowledge, both your and your student’s clarity increases.

But then if it is about just the light then an electric light should be be used for doing pujas. Keeping with the times, so as to say! And you will find plastic lamps shaped like the traditional ones with an electric bulb fitted in it. These do bring in light, but they do not have the spiritual connection that a traditional lamp has. In the Deep, we burn either ghee/clarified butter or sesame oil with the help of a cotton wick. This Light brings Life.

Now oil in the lamp represents our karma. (Eg A good remedy to balance out the energies of Saturn is to light a sesame oil lamp on Saturdays with full intention.) If you burn ghee/clarified butter in the lamp, it represents the Vasanas, the desires which make up your mind and which reside in your individual ego. The wick represents the self-ego. When you light the lamp with intention it represents the slow but sure burning of the desires and the karma which were linked to the self-ego. The oil burns and exhausts, finally the self-ego also perishes, ie the wick is also burnt out. All your negative tendencies are burnt in the fire of the Deep. The flame of the light always moves upwards, a subtle reminder that you should always rise upwards, away from the karma, desires and the ego. Kundalini herself is fire, she also has to rise. When your soul is finally illuminated with self knowledge you realise the Parabrahma.

Now the Deepak is also a tool. It reminds you to use your desires and karmic actions to actively burn your self-ego and turn all this into light. Take control of your mind where these desires reside, train your mind to desire self-illumination. Use your self-ego where your personal Will resides and make it work for the Ultimate realization. The desires and karma if harnessed correctly with the self-ego can work wonders. Then the Vasana/desire is converted to the right intention. The self-ego fed by the desire to perform the right action, changes its character. What desires you feed your self-ego with, decides your evolution.

Light a Lamp, use the power of Agni

Now, it is ideal if you can recite a mantra while lighting the Deepak, lamp. Mantra is an intention expressed in Sanskrit (Devbhasha Samskrutam). Every sound of this eternal language is linked to your internal chakras, so it works on the deepest levels on you.

You can recite any of the following mantra,

The Gayatri mantra, Om Bhuh bhuvah swahah, Om tat savitur varenyam, bhargo devasya dhimahi, dhiyo yo nah prachodayat, Om 

  • (detailed post with meaning here)

Om Deepajyoti parabrahma, Deepajyoti janardana, Deepo haratu may papam, Sandhyadeepa namostute Om

  • Om – Ultimate Reality.
  • Deepjyoti – The brightness of the lamp, the eye of illumination, intelligence, lightning seen at the third eye, life, fire, meter of prosody, time, the light which precedes self-realization, etc
  • Parabrahma – the unknowable Reality which cannot be described in the language of the created worlds. The ‘beyond intelligence’.
  • Janardana – the energy which excites, causes movement and changes other energies. ie brings about creation, maintenance and destruction of the created.
  • Haratu – request to take away, remove, carry, wear, destroy
  • May – of me, for me
  • Papam – inauspiciousness. (There is only one form of genuine auspiciousness, ie Self-Realisation. There is only one form of non-auspiciousness, ie Self-Delusion.)
  • Sandhyadeep – the internal illumination that you see at your third eye in deep Dhyan. or alternatively the lamp which is lit at dawn and dusk. Sandhya is the junction where real and unreal meet.

The Agni Gayatri mantra. Om Sapta jivhaya vidmahe, havya bhadraya dhimahi tanno Agnih prachodayat Om

  • Sapta-jivha Vidmahe – First ‘seven tongued’. This refers to the seven chakras from the Muladhar to the Sahasrara, ie their conscious energies. These 7 chakras are the seven tongues of the conscious energy of life. The intelligence of the fire animates these. Then ‘to get, to know, to find, to understand’. You are asking the conscious energies of the fire to bring you the understanding of your internal energies.
  • Havya – means ‘an offering or to call’. Bhadra – ‘excellent, auspicious, great, gold, that portion of the Ganga which resides in the celestial realms,’ ie your Ida nadi. It means the one who carries the offered energies through your Ida nadi and distributes it to the conscious intelligence who creates your body/mind. Dhimahi – धीमहि is a verb in the present imperfect tense. धी/Dhi is Intelligence. This word indicates that Intelligence is never a stagnant closed end, it is in continuous motion even if it is in the present Moment. You are asking the Supreme to grant you that ever-evolving Intelligence of the present Moment. In short you are calling on the energy of the fire to take these energies inside you and build your body/mind.
  • Tanno (tan nah) Agnih prachodayat – Tan तन् means continuing, uninterrupted propagation. Nah नः represents the ultimate creative energy and also the power to accept and receive it. It allows the seeker to focus on the infinite, thus become infinite himself. अग्नि: Agni is the conscious intelligence of fire. The ability to comprehend, to work, to move, animate, knowledge, illumination, the light of the third eye, the Ajnya chakra.
  • Prachodayat means ‘to incite, inspire, urge, demand, excite, summon, proclaim, request, impel’. In short you are asking the conscious intelligence of the fire, ie the intelligence of the Ajnya chakra, by any means of action, to bring this experience to you.

Or finally. Om Shubham karoti kalyanam, arogyam dhana sampada, shatrubuddhi vinashaya Deepajyoti namostute Om

  • Shubham – eternal auspiciousness, Parabrahma
  • karoti – does, is
  • kalyanam – fortune, benevolence, virtue, generosity, beauty, happiness, gold, self-realisation
  • Arogyam – health, freedom from diseases, removal of afflictions. In the spiritual sense there is only one disease/affliction, ie self-delusion
  • Dhana – gift, wealth, valued object. There is only one such, ie self-realisation
  • sampada – to make complete
  • Shatru-buddhi – Shatru is hostile enemy. Buddhi is the tattva in which the desires/vasana reside. These vasana are normally hostile and inimical to self-realization. If you can destroy their hostility, you can get this Buddhi to work with you for self-realization.
  • vinashaya – to destroy to utterly annihilate. The inimical tendency of the Buddhi is annhilated, not Buddhi itself!
  • Deep-jyoti – conscious energy of Agni, Ajnya chakra
  • Namostute (namah astu te) – That infinite. That paradox of illusion and wisdom united together. That depth of stillness and ease of flowing movement together. That eternal unborn one in solitude. May that be!

And finally if it is too difficult to remember these mantras, just recite Om, three times, as you light your lamp.

Light a Lamp, use the power of Agni

When you recite any of the above mantras for Agni you are calling on all these terrible and terrifying forces which exist within your own self. You are giving them a safe and productive channel. This is the infinite power of Agni, it can be used to transform!

The lighting of the Deep, lamp at home is considered highly auspicious, it brings prosperity. And when you are doing this, for the 10 seconds, you are focussing very intensely on the wick, the match-stick and light. In spiritual terms, even one instant of intense focus is enough to bring self-illumination. The part is also the whole. So when you light lamp you are also lighting the lamp of true knowledge in yourself. The Agni/fire is called the Jata-veda, the ‘one who knows everything’. (A tip. If you have one pressing question on your mind. Light one Deep in front of your household deities before you go to bed. Think of your question and request the Agni to answer. You should get your answer in your dreams as you sleep.)

Agni is associated with the Raja gun of the Prakruti. Agni brings changes, it is linked to the potential energy of creation called Bhahmadev and the active principle of creation ie his wife Sarasvati. its conscious energy resides at the third eye, Ajnya chakra. This was the spiritual part of Agni.

When the energy of this Agni is differentiated, it also becomes at part of your internal constitution, ie in the panch-bhoot. It becomes differentiated and its tiny component resides at the Manipur chakra (Oudarya Agni), this takes care of your body’s heat, metabolism etc. Then there is the Aakaraja Agni which is present as the ‘heat’ in metals etc. Then the Divya Agni resides in the heavenly bodies, stars including our sun. And finally the physical Bhauma Agni which we see with your physical eyes as flames.

In Ayurved, Agni is associated with Pitta, it is heat. Its job is the transformation of food you eat and the pran you pull in from the Universe. And it controls all the psychic factors which drive spiritual evolution. If this Agni does not work properly you fall ill physically/mentally.

Now a few technical things. What to burn. It is ghee or sesame oil. For some typical rituals neem oil, mahua oil, castor oil, coconut oil is used. Do not use any ‘refined’ oil, it is a chemical product. The wick is made from white cotton fibres. (For doing some typical Devi pujas this wick is made bit yellowish by touching a bit of turmeric to it). You should make 2 wicks then make them one by twisting them. Never use a single wick. The lit wick of the Lamp should always be towards the east direction. Keep the lamp (should not be of steel/ iron) on a copper metal plate (don’t use a steel/ iron plate), keep a few grains of uncooked rice below the plate. 

Hinduism is not a religion, it is Sanatan Dharm, the ‘Eternal way of Life’. You follow your own conscience and know that the law of Karma prevails. (There is no superstition here. And one cannot explain a Ph.D level topic to a pre-school child. The child has to go to school first and study till he reaches that level. If someone wants to criticise this Sanatan Dharm, it is the same, do study first. ie Do your Dhyan regularly for 6 months, see what you experience, then if your conscience says it is ok, go ahead and criticise.)

So if you feel like it, do light a Deep, a lamp in your house. This will not just light up your house but also your life and your energy on all levels. Experience your energy for yourself.

Light a Lamp, use the power of Agni

 

Sagun and Nirgun Brahma, Moksh of two types

The Brahma sutra written by Shri Vyas-Badrayana is a very important book on philosophy combined with experience. It is the gist of all the Upanishad. Adi Shankar-acharya has written the first commentary on it. Later other Acharyas wrote their commentaries on the Brahma Sutra and started their own schools of thought. These several schools are essential because there are several types of people. If anyone wants to really study Ved/ Vedanta, study of the Brahma Sutra is compulsory. And Ved/ Vedanta is Sanatan Dharma/Hinduism.

I follow the philosophy of Adi Shankaracharya. Advaita, non duality, the goal being attainment of  Nirvishesh Brahma.

Sagun and Nirgun Brahma, Moksh of two types

I wrote about the several deities that followers of Sanatan Dharm aka Hindus worship. But we all ultimately worship the Para, the ‘beyond’, and we know ourselves to be this Para. Every Hindu wants to experience himself as the Para, ie achieve Moksh. This happens when the soul experiences the ultimate knowledge of his own reality.

Now there are two types of Intelligent knowledge.

  1. Experience of Sagun Brahma, which has attributes linked to the three types of Gun. The three Gun ie Prakruti/Purush still exist, it is a state of duality.
  2. Experience of the Nirgun Brahma, where the three Gun ie Prakruti/Purush do not exist, it is a state of non-duality.

A bit of background. The Shri-yantra is the essential geometry, the energy of the manifested universe represented as a mandal. Mandal is a Sanskrit word which means, round, planetary orbit, snake, collection, whole body, royal company, a round plaything, halo etc. All these meanings can be understood in context of Prakruti, the topmost deity of the Shri Chakra, also called Devi Lalita Tripursundari. She is a serpentine Kundalini, she controls the universes, the Shri-chakra is a collection of her subordinate deities who cluster round her in perfect geometry, they form her halo and ultimately all this is a plaything devised by her for her own amusement. She has created it and she is the Empress of the Shri-chakra. She pervades the Shri-chakra with her energy, you might think of the chakra as her body. Each line and intersection in the Shri-chakra mandal is linked to an intelligence, a ‘god’ including the topmost Brahmadev, Vishnu, Shiv and their wives Sarasvati, Laxmi, Shakti. Each of these ‘gods’ is not the final goal but an energy from Prakruti herself.

These ‘gods’ are tremendous in their own right. Theymake up your body and also your mind. You are not your body/mind, you are not even the individual soul. The individual soul carries a baggage of karma. You are the Eternal. If you focus on these ‘gods’, pull in their energies, you balance the body/ mind and reduce the karmic baggage. The body gets perfect the mind gets stilled, the soul beings to realise its reality. You get a huge boost on your way to moksh. But just never forget that they are not the ultimate goal. You are.

(In astrological terms, your Moon is your mind, your Sun is your individual soul, your ascendant sign ruler is your body, so who are you then?)

Sagun and Nirgun Brahma, Moksh of two types

Sagun brahma is a product of Maya ie it is under Prakruti. If you intensely worship a ‘form’ ie Vishnu, Shiv, Devi etc, and reach one-ness with it, you achieve Krama-mukti. The soul achieves the highest knowledge, Brahma-Vidya, and achieves final release from the cycle of birth-rebirth. It now resides in one of the three possible highest dimensions/ Lok ie Brahmalok or Vaikunth or Kailas. It is not born again as its karmic account has been balanced. It remains dissolved in its Ishta-devata / adored ‘god’,  Brahmadev, Vishnu or Shiv. However it remains here in this Lok, till the end of the creation cycle called Kalpa-anta. At Kalpa-anta, everything that contains duality is dissolved. Ie the ‘gods’, their Lok, Prakruti, Purush and Maya vanish as if the never existed. At this point of dissolution of everything, this soul also attains Nirgun brahma and experiences Advaita, ’non-duality’.

Most people you see around you are doing this. They will worship a ‘form’. Adoring a ‘god’ eg visualising the blue Vishnu with 4 arms, wearing radiant yellow clothes etc. Immersed in this beautiful form, they do pujas and external forms of worship. Always mediate on the form of their ‘god’. If they remain attached to this ‘form’ they will ultimately gain Sagun-mukti. If you believe your source is Vishnu, you will become one with him and reside at Vaikunth. You have achieved your goal.

Now you will wait here till the Kalpa-anta to achieve the final Nirgun brahma.

Hindu ‘gods’ are neither ‘immortal’ nor ‘liberated’. These definitions do not apply to them. They are various aspects of Prakruti, they are aspects of conscious intelligence. Even the highest trinity of Brahmadev Vishnu and Shiv are basically the three gun, satva, raja, tama. They are derived from and constitute Prakruti. She is very subtle, the Empress of the manifested. (There is a Kundalini stavah from the Rudrayamala tantra, it very beautifully describes the Kundalini/ Prakruti.)

If you are drawn to this form of Moksh, read the commentary on Brahma Sutra by Ramanuj. (I have skimmed through it, but did not appeal to me. Perhaps you might like it.)

Now I have used a word, ‘krama’, this means a series, sequence, evolution, movement etc. You take on several lives again and again in higher and higher energies. This is called krama, spiritual evolution. When the soul leaves the body at death, it does so through any of the available naadi/ energy channels, this movement is called Pitrayana. The soul moves to the dimensions of the spirits/ Pitr-lok. Ayan means to travel, to go from one place to another. The soul moves to from the dimension of the mortals/ Martya-lok, to the dimension of the spirits called Pitra-lok.

When a soul attains Vidya, the deepest knowledge linked to Sagun Brahma it leaves through the Brahmanadi and exits via Brahmarandhra at the top of the head. This leads to Krama-mukti as Sagun brahma is experienced. This is also a movement, the Higher Lok is somewhere, the path of light, the Devayan, takes the soul there. There is going and coming. Krama-mukti is possible only in the Videha mukti format.

Sagun and Nirgun Brahma, Moksh of two types

Nirgun Brahma. The deepest understanding of yourself comes with Nirgun brahma. This has no attributes, Nirgun brahma is beyond Prakruti. It is beyond the dual-nature of Purush and Prakruti. It is more difficult to attain compared to Sagun mukti as it takes a few steps more. It is transcending this fundamental duality of Purush-Prakruti and achieving the non-dual, Advaita. This state is beyond definitions. It is always described in negations, ie Nirgun, Nirakar, Niranjan, etc. No attributes of this manifested can be linked to it. You have to leave all the attributes of the manifested, including the ‘form’ of your adored god, the concepts of worship etc. Everything that is of Maya is discarded. Adi Shankaracharya has always written about this as Nirvishesh Brahma. The intelligence from which all differentiations have dissolved away. This is achieved when the soul achieves Sadyo-mukti. This is the highest Kevala-advaitya. Adi Shankaracharya calls this state Advaita, Non-duality. Even this is a definition in terms of negation. It is not duality, but what it is, will have to be experienced. (If you understand Sanskrit do read/ listen to the Brahma-jnyanavali-mala).

Worshipping ‘forms’, with time and experience, some people are able to look beyond the simple form. They are able to realise that the form is external to one’s self, even if the form is that of their adored object of worship. ‘I’ am my goal, the ‘god’ and his ‘form’ is my support, who will help me reach myself.

Prakruti herself sits in front of you in all her power to administer this final test. She decides if you are worthy of the highest knowledge. If you get caught in illusion and desires she sends you back again. You will fulfil your desire and then try the test again. If you succeed she allows you to transcend her duality and reach the singular Para-Brahma/ non-duality.

If a soul achieves this Sadyo-mukti his pran/ vital energy are absorbed in the Parabrahma at the very instant of his experience. He can now continue as an Jivan-Mukt, it now makes no difference. He can also experience Videha-mukti but the route of Devayan is meaningless to him as there is no going/ coming. He has already experienced Everything.

Majority of people cannot visualise much less focus on a formless, attribute-less Parabrahma. So different schools of thought exist. It is just like school, concepts  at class 5 are different from the concepts taught in class 10. All are relevant and necessary.

This post is rather esoteric, so unless you have read my earlier posts it may not be intelligible.

 

Sagun and Nirgun Brahma, Moksh of two types

(There was this question. As my answer was too long posted it as a full-fledged post.

Hi, what about the gods who are part of the manifestation? Are they Liberated ? or they are just immortal? Is experiencing oneness with Ishta Devata the same as Moksha? My question is can there be Moksha in manifested universe as the deities are still part of manifestation. Shri Krishna says He alone is the Giver of Moksha. So where does deity worship takes us after a point as they are themselves not liberated? We know the 14 lokas that make up the manifest.. What is your idea on spiritual heavens like Vaikunta and Kailash? Are they same as Unmanifest? Thank you)