The Means of Liberation (Yogas)

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 13
Verse 24
Some realize the Self by the Self in the Self through meditation, others through Samkhya yoga, yet others through Karma yoga.
 
Verse 25
Others, however, not knowing thus, sit near Me [Krishna], having heard from others, they also do cross beyond death, devoted to what they have heard.

This lays out the Yogas or paths to liberation.

The first is Dhyana Yoga, the path of meditation covered in Chapter 6 of the Gita. These days, it is often taught as Raja … Continue Reading…

The Two Trees

There can be said to be two trees of life.

The first tree is the one most of us know better. It is rooted in the “world of men.” The roots originate in action, born of attachment to its fruits. We act to achieve a desired result. Seems natural, right?

Yet by grasping at what we want and avoiding pain, we impede the smooth flow of life. We build a web of unresolved energy that ties us to our past and others around us. It gets much harder to fulfill desires and action often leads to undesired consequences. … Continue Reading…

Gods of the Elements

I’ve spoken before about the five subtle elements or constituents of form. In the process of becoming or manifesting, consciousness creates a subtle “space” by recognition of itself as subject and object. This is much like you noticing objects around you now. They exist in space because perception inherits from the qualities of consciousness.

Flowing attention brings the quality of movement in space or ‘air’. The light of consciousness brings ‘fire’ and so forth, collapsing into increasing levels of density. Space, air, fire, water, earth.

Parallel to this in the structure of life is Continue Reading…

The Soma Plant

Some old texts speak of rituals that “milk” the soma or they describe “flow soma through the filter” to create the nectar of the gods.

Much of this is gestures that symbolize the real process that takes place right in our body.

Samadhi happens, at first usually in meditation, when we go beyond the mind into pure consciousness. We settle into our true nature. This is often brief and foggy for a while. But at some point, we’ll have clear experiences of the process. We may also notice a wave of happiness when we cross in or out of … Continue Reading…

Shiva’s Inertia

From a Brahman perspective, the world was never created in the first place. And yet here it is, appearing to the senses. As we shift into ParaBrahman and notice the Divine Shaktis, we can gain the sense of creation as a tapestry of consciousness. It’s created as a kind of after-image of the threads (shaktis) of Divinity. Consciousness tries to mimic Divinity. From that perspective alone, it seems a little pointless. Divinity is fully self-aware and profoundly networked. Why would consciousness try to make an appearance out of that?

Here we can explore the nature of Shiva. Shiva … Continue Reading…

The Source of Perception

One of the curious things I noticed many years ago was how much we agree on the appearance of the world. While there is a huge variation in emphasis and interpretation, we have no problem driving down the street. Other’s reality doesn’t cause the roads to change appearance continually as we go by.

This points to a shared reality. Modern science takes the approach that the physical world is real and we interpret it subjectively with our brains. But when we recognize that the world arises from and within consciousness, this points to a deeper shared reality.

Samkhya Continue Reading…

Predominance

For some, unfolding knowledge of the world follows the path of the mechanics of perception. For others like myself, it follows the path of the dynamics of consciousness. The 2 approaches unfold different understanding of the world. There are also variations within each.

On the first path, we discover a version of what Samkhya describes. From the mind arises the 5 senses out of the observer side of consciousness. From the observed arises the corresponding 5 tanmatra or essences. The first comes out of sattva guna, the second from tamas.

As the tamas (inertia) increases, those essences … Continue Reading…

Passing Illness

Last week, I came down with a cold and was reflecting on the experience. The body was sick, the mind foggy, but peace and happiness where undisturbed.

This reminded me of a verse in the Bhagavad Gita

2v23:
Weapons cannot cleave him,
nor fire burn him;
water cannot wet him,
nor wind dry him away.

Notice how this mentions examples from 4 of the elements. The true Self is not under the influence of the elements. In fact, the elements rise from it so it’s the other way around.

Not … Continue Reading…

Why is there a Dark Side?

It’s good to consider – why does a world expressed by the Divine have evil? The answer is all about balance.

In the Vedic perspective, there are 3 forces in creation: creation, maintenance, and destruction. Those 3 forces evolve into 3 qualities (gunas) which evolve into the 5 elements, 5 senses and so forth.

The 3 qualities or gunas are:
Sattva: creative, purity, clarity, smooth
Rajas: fire, action, energy, transformation
Tamas: inertia, rigidity, resistance

Without inertia, we would have no form. In fact, nothing would last. As Dharma is that which sustains, tamas is … Continue Reading…

The Absolute In Form

It’s very curious to consider how the absolute could be found right on the surface in form. Form is relative, changeable. As it is expressed progressively, the surface is seen to be quite a distance from silent being. In fact we typically experience deep silence within but not in the world.

I talked about avatars previously but it’s worth going into this further.

During the Kumbha Mela celebration of 1966, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi spoke to the subject of avatars. Here are some excerpts:

“Incarnations [Avatars] are the same water, material, of the Absolute, appearing as a … Continue Reading…

Karma Mimamsa

Traditional Indian philosophy has 6 branches or approaches, known as the upangas or darshanas. Often they’re seen as competing philosophical systems when if fact they largely each describe the reality of a different stage of development.

I’ve talked some about several of them, including:
Vaisheshika and Samkhya

Yoga

Vedanta or end of the Veda (Brahma Sutra, Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads)

Nyaya is the system of logic that informs the others.

One I’ve only touched on is Karma Mimamsa, also known as Purva Mimamsa. Karma Mimamsa means an investigation … Continue Reading…

Who Am I?

This comes out of an on-line discussion on the Falling Away of Self interview. Someone asks if Rick was referring to the individual soul. Rick responds “It seems to persist from life to life, some say forever. Is that the self?”

My response, edited slightly for this context:
That depends. What do we subjectively relate to as “who I am”?

I find the Vedic perspective useful. They describe layers to it. The ego-self (Ahamkara) or sense of being a separate self. It is identification with this that leads to the sense of a personal, separate me. It is … Continue Reading…