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 this identification … 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 of I Am. We may well lose … 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 spring up … Continue Reading…

Rasasvada

Rasasvada

The 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 becomes a much more ongoing experience, along with rasasvada. However, some do observe that pleasure can be a barrier to going deeper. But as this … 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 while Atman does eventually come to … 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 of Divinity, … Continue Reading…

The Sovereign Secret

Chapter 9 of the Bhagavad Gita is known as the Sovereign (Royal, Raja) Knowledge and Sovereign Mystery (Secret). What is this “secret”? Unless one recognizes divinity behind all things, we remain deluded about who we are and the nature of our existence. This recognition is from “sitting near” (9:14) – it is something directly experienced, not imagined, made a mood of, or believed. 9:22 “To men who meditate on Me as their Very Own, ever united to Me by incessant worship, I supply their deficiencies and make permanent their gains.” Note that “incessant worship” doesn’t mean spending your life on … Continue Reading…

Stages of Brahman

Of course, Brahman doesn’t have stages. But we do typically experience stages in the unfolding of Brahman. I’ve mentioned before how there are process similarities between the Brahman (BC) shift and Self Realization (Cosmic Consciousness (CC)). (the stages) For example, people experience CC as a shift out of an ego or me-sense into cosmic Self (atman) or no-self. BC is experienced as a dropping of the cosmic Self into Brahman. Adyashanti has recently spoken of his “no-Self” shift, less commonly using it to refer to the BC shift rather than the CC shift. What is shifting between CC and BC … Continue Reading…

Stages of Refinement

Readers of this blog know I talk about the refinement process in parallel to the awakening and unfolding of consciousness to itself. Our first order is the transformation of tamas guna (inertia) into sattva (clarity, purity) through rajas (fire). We experience this process in various ways described with words like purification, release of stress, kriya, physical sensations, releasing, refinement, relaxing, and so forth. The net result is increased clarity, refined perception, and the awakening heart. I’ve mentioned before how when tamas is dominant, we experience the physical world as real and the subtle as unreal. When rajas becomes dominant, we … Continue Reading…

On Samadhi

Samadhi is a Sanskrit term from the Vedic tradition that describes pure consciousness or pure being. Turiya (the fourth) or transcendental consciousness are other terms used. Samadhi comes from the roots: sama = evenness and dhi = the intellect. In other words – a calm, even intellect and thus mind. A settled mind is also the meaning and purpose of Yoga. It is not however a word to describe “spiritual experiences.” Rather it is about settling out of the content of experiences into consciousness itself. Typically, samadhi is used to describe the shift in state that takes place during deep … Continue Reading…

Applied Sanskrit

Shiksha, a Vedic text on Sanskrit grammar, tells us in verse 5 that Sanskrit has 64 letters while nature uses 63. This was said “by Brahman himself”. In other words, nature uses much the same sounds as Sanskrit to create and manage the world. But there are some key differences between how humans speak and how the devata of nature use sound. For example, human speech is rather linear. A sequence of sounds constructed into words. And rather ponderously slow. And usually driven from an individual agenda rather than an effort to harmonize. While a devata starts the process the … Continue Reading…