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…

Endless

There never was a time when I was not,
nor you, nor these rulers of men.
Nor will there ever be a time when all of us shall cease to be.
— Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2, verse 12

You don’t end. Who you are beneath the noise of the world is eternal. This body and mind you are experiencing the world through come and go, over and over. But what some have called the soul does not end. It does not become fragmented or fractured.

We first know it as pure being, the sense … Continue Reading…

Vidyas

There is a difference between jnana and vidya. Jnana means “wisdom,” but vidya means “body of knowledge.” The vidyas are living bodies of knowledge. They are all goddesses. They are shaktis. A person who does medicine, astrology, music or something like that – a person who is really doing it – is not actually doing anything other than getting out of the way so that the vidya can act through him or her. So, as long as the vidya is acting through you, you can be a lot more confident that whatever is going on through you is something beneficial, … Continue Reading…

True Victory

Recently, a friend sent me a quote from Swami Brahmananda Sarawati, a famous Shankaracharya from the Shankara lineage. He was the teacher of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and some other well-known teachers.

I was not able to determine the source of this quote or who translated it but I have seen reliable sources who quoted him saying somewhat similar things. I thought it insightful enough to share in any case.

Real victory is that, after which there can never be a reverse. Nobody can call himself a victor forever merely by crushing an external foe, because such foes can … Continue Reading…

Rasasvada

rasavadaThe word roots of Rasasvada mean taste of appreciation or pleasure. In this context, the term means the taste of bliss, where bliss is experienced right in the sense of taste. This is related to soma (amrita) as both are produced in samadhi, hence some refer to rasasvada as ‘sipping of juice’.

While this quote suggests we experience bliss in the absence of thought aka samadhi, this is just how it first comes. Later bliss … Continue Reading…

The Mahavakya – Updated

When I previously wrote an article on the Mahavakya (great sayings), I used an old understanding, informed by a 70’s talk by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (before he was differentiating the Brahman stage) and common English translations. It’s time for an update.

The common translations are “I am That, Thou art That, All this is That, and That alone is.” These are lovely and sound both like realizations of Unity Consciousness and of the stages to it – if we take That to be equivalent to Atman. Or as Brahman where Atman = Brahman.

But … Continue Reading…

The Tapestry

Recently, I was reminded of an insightful detail. To explain, in Vedic philosophy the forms and phenomena we experience are said to be composed of the interplay of 3 gunas. There isn’t direct English words for them but roughly, their qualities are inertia, energy, and clarity.

These qualities can be experienced directly, such as in the colours interplaying in the ocean of being from which our universe arises. What physics would call virtual fluctuations in the vacuum.

However, this common translation of guna as quality isn’t the full picture. Guna itself means string or strand.

Over on Threads … Continue Reading…