Ac. Abhiramananda Avt. represented Ananda Marga in a conference addressing the problem of religious based violence and its resolution through inter-religious dialog. The conference was hosted in New York by H.W.P.L. and saw the participation of several religious leaders . Below some images of the event that took place on February 20 .
Ananda Marga Program in Ananda Daksina Master Unit February 10 to 14 was attended by more than 300 margi and acaryas from all over the world . The presence of Purodha Pramukha Ac. Vishvadevananda Avt. created a very conducive atmosphere for spiritual elevation and the five days Akhanda Kiirtan ended in bliss with Baba’s video . The participation of several margi and acaryas from New York Sector was appreciated and Ac. Vishvamitra got the opportunity to give a presentation during the retreat. Several margi got interest in the activities of Ananda Marga in New York Sector and are planning to visit in the near future. Ac. Abhiramananda Avt. – SS New York Sector – assisted Purodha Pramukha during the intense travel schedule in Brazil and Argentina which saw the recognition of Rev. Ac. Vishvadevananda Avt. as honorary citizen of Araruama near Rio de Janeiro. DMS was conducted in Buenos Aires at the presence of more than 100 devotees.
On 27 January about ten dedicated margiis gathered for seminar in Monterrey, northern Mexico. It was conducted by RS Dada Satyamitrananda. Especially the topic on “The Stance of Salvation..” was found very popular, engaging and inspiring. The seminar set a high note that was followed by a vibrant DC.
By Shrii Shrii Anandamurti
The subject of today’s discourse is “The Stance Of Salvation and How To Attain It.” Salvation as you know, is liberation of a permanent nature. The question of liberation arises only where there is bondage. Where there is no bondage, the question of fighting for liberation does not arise. New let us see what are the bondages of a spiritual aspirant.
Within the realm of this Macro-psychic conation, bondages are of three kinds: 1) physical bondage, 2) intellectual bondage, 3) spiritual bondage. In the case of physical bondage there are three binding factors, there are three rudimental relative factors i.e., time, space, person – temporal bondage, spatial bondage and personal bondage.
In physical stratum one must try to conquer these factors, and this fight has started from the very dawn of human civilization, and this fight helps the human civilization in its progress.
In the age of bullock cart the time taken for a journey from Madras to Salem was a long period, but after the invention or locomotive the period of time was shortened. Man partly conquered the time factor. But in the age of aeroplane it has been still more conquered and in the age of rocket still more but even in case of rockets, certainly, it will take some time in terms of microscopic fraction of a second. So this time factor can never be fully conquered. Similar is the case with other two factors i.e., the bondage of person and space. So in the sphere of physicality liberation is not at all possible. Also the question of liberation of permanent nature does not arise.
Now take the case of intellectual bondage. What is intellectual bondage? Suppose there is a question in your mind. Unless and until you get a satisfactory answer, a satisfactory reply, you are under intellectual bondage, and whenever you get the satisfactory reply, you are free from this intellectual bondage and get liberation. But the next moment another question comes. Again you are under the intellectual bondage. Again the problem will be solved and you will get liberation. So you see, in the intellectual stratum liberation is possible but liberation of permanent nature is not possible. Do you follow? Liberation of permanent nature is only possible in spiritual sphere. What is spiritual bondage? It is a fact that each and every entity of this observable universe is a part of the Cosmic Self, of the Supreme Cognitive Principle. It is a known fact. But even then a Sadhaka in his personal life does not feel that unicity with his Lord. When I am one with Him why don’t I feel this unicity with Him? – this trouble, this pain, this agony is his spiritual bondage; when we should be one, and I should feel that we are one and when I am not feeling it in practice – I know it in theory but I don’t feel it in practice – this is the bondage. This is what is called spiritual bondage.
By one’s sádhaná, by one’s intuitional practice one is identified with the Supreme Controller of the Universe. Then what happens? He attains liberation and that liberation is of permanent nature and so only in the spiritual sphere one can attain liberation and that liberation is of permanent nature. That is, liberation is possible only in spiritual stratum. Now, what is this feeling of separateness? Although a devotee and his Lord are two entities, fundamentally they are one; yet this feeling of separateness exists. And as I already told you this is nothing but the creation of Máyá. Since it is a creation of Máyá a sádhaka who wants unicity with his Lord must surmount Máyá; there is no alternative. Lord Krśńa says:
Daevii hyeśá guńamayii mama Máyá duratyayá;
Mámeva ye prapadyante Máyámetáḿ taranti te.
This Máyá is an attributional principle of Mine. She is my attributional principle. She is my attributional force and she is duratyayá. It is very difficult to surmount this Máyá but the one who has ensconced himself in Me only can surmount this Mayá, there is no alternative. One will have to surrender oneself before the altar of the Almighty, there is no other way to conquer Máyá. This universe is a Máyaic creation. What is Máyá? Máyá is the Operative Principle and practically there is no difference between Cognitive Principle and Máyá. Where there is Cognitive Principle there is Operative Principle also. They cannot be separated from one another. In Saḿskrta this is called “Avinábhávii”.
Yátha shivah táthá shaktih
Yátha shaktih tathá shivah
Chandra candrikayor tathá.
One cannot exist without the existence of the other. One cannot separate the moonlight from the moon; similarly, one cannot separate Máyá from the Cognitive Principle. Now, where the Operative Principle has created something abstract or something concrete there that particular Operative Principle working within the scope of something created is called Creative Principle or Máyá. So Máyá is a particular stance of Prakrti. In the Vedas it has been said:
Kśaraḿ Pradhánam Amrtakśaraḿ harah Kśarátmanáviishate deva ekah
Tasyábhidhyánát yojanád tattvabhávát Bhúyashcánte Vishvamáyá nivrttih
When this Máyá creates something we get this observable world. This world, rather this worldly transmutation of the Cognitive Principle, is called “Kśara”. It appears that the Cognitive Principle has been metamorphosed into so many entities. I said, “It appears that” because actually Puruśa is an intransmutable entity. It undergoes no metamorphosis, but due to difference, due to certain vibrational wave of the Operative Principle it appears that so many things have been created. Actually the diversity of this world is nothing but the results of different functional waves emanating from a particular stance of the Cognitive Principle. This particular stance of the Cognitive Principle is called attributed Consciousness. This attributed Consciousness is called Kśara and here in this attributed Consciousness we see so many entities due to the dexterity of that omniparous Mayá. So in this observable world, Prakrti i.e., the Operative Principle, Creative Principle, Máyá and not the Cognitive Principle is the preponderate factor and that is why in this observable world Prakrti is also called Máyá, is also called Pradháńa. Pradháńa means important. In this world Prakrti (Máyá) is more important than Puruśa. It appears to be more important than Puruśa, that is why in this observable world, she is called Mayá, she is also known as Pradháńa.
Lord Krśńa says:
Mámeva ye prapadyante Máyámetáḿ taranti te.
He who meditates on Me can surmount Máyá. Now, what should be the object of meditation? He who meditates on Me, means meditates on whom? Meditates on Kśara or Akśara? Kśará means transmuted universe, transmuted Lord. Certainly, Kśara should not be the object of ideation because if that Kśara is accepted as the object of ideation necessarily his entire identity, his mind, his soul, his body, will be transformed into that object of ideation. Kśara means this observable world of land, money and so many worldly items and articles. If that Kśara is accepted as the object of ideation, naturally mind will also become like that. So Kśara should not be the object of ideation, and one should not ensconce oneself in Kśara. Cognitive Principle, when distorted appears to be Kśara and when it remains undistorted i.e. it is not affected by Mayá, it is known as Akśara and is the witnessing counterpart of Kśara. Whatever you see is Kśara and the Cognitive Principle witnessing this Kśara is Akśara.
One portion of the Cognitive Principle has been transformed into this observable world and another portion remains attached to the Kśara and is called Akśara. Kśara means distorted, demoted, transmuted, metamorphosed and Akśara means non-transmuted, still holding its exalted position, exalted rank.
Kśaraḿ Pradháńam: Kśara should not be your object of ideation. Amrtakśarani Harah: Akśara is what? Akśara is Amrta. But should Akśara be accepted as your object of ideation? No, although Akśara has not been distorted. Akśara is not under the bondage of Prakrti, still it has got transactional relationship with this distorted Kśara. It has not been transformed into Kśara but it has got transactional relationship with Kśara. It is witnessing the functions of Kśara, that is why it has got close contact with Kśara. Its having transactional relationship with Kśara, it cannot be treated as the Supreme non-attributed Consciousness. So this Akśara also should not be accepted as the object of ideation.
Amrtakśaraḿ Harah. Akśara is Amrta. This Aksara is also Amrta, because It undergoes no changes. That which undergoes metamorphosis, undergoes changes is Mrta and that which undergoes no metamorphosis, does not pass through the orbit of time, space and person, is amrta, is immortal.
This Akśara is also called Hara. What is the meaning of Hara? In Saḿskrta Harańa means to steal, to take away. He who takes away all your sins, He who takes away all your umbers and cumbers is Hara. He is Hara, because He takes away all your sins, all your propensities. Now, This Hara. One cannot attain salvation without coming in contact with this Hara. He will have to pass through the realm of Hara because Hara is the sublimest rank of His Cognitive Self and that’s why in ancient times it was a system, rather a usage amongst the spiritual aspirants to chant a mantra, which was a very favourite mantra: Hara Hara Vyom Vyom.
Think of that Hara, think of that Hara, He will take away all your sins; think of that Hara, Meditate on that Hara. Hara Hara Vyom Vyom. Vyom is the subtlest form of matter. Ether is called Vyoma i.e., your mind should go from crude towards subtle. In the realm of physicality it will think of Vyoma and in the realm of spirituality it will think of Hara “Hara Hara Vyom Vyom, Hara Hara Vyom Vyom.” But this Hara shouldn’t be your object of ideation because it has got transactional relationship with Kśara.
Kśarátmanáviishate Deva ekah: Now both these Ksara and Hara – witnessed counterpart and witnessing counterpart – these two counterparts are within this cosmological system. Done portion and witnessing portion. Done I and Seer “I” and these two portions i.e., the metamorphosed portion and witnessing portion are being controlled by another entity, a third entity. Kśara was the first entity – witnessed portion, Akśara was the second entity-witnessing portion, and the third entity is called, in Tantra, Nirakśara. Here Nirakśara doesn’t mean illiterate. Nirakśara is the third entity controlling these two entities What is Nirakśara? Nirakśara Brahma is that controlling point of this universe, that is Puruśottama, that is Krśńa, that is Parama Puruśa, that is Parama Shiva. One will have to accept that Parama Shiva, that Parama Puruśa, that Puruśottama as one’s only object of ideation.
Kśarátmanávishate deva ekah: that is, the third entity controlling both kśara and Akśará: tasyávidhyánát jojanaal tattvabhávát. Now, regarding that Nirakśara, regarding that third entity, regarding that Puruśottama, what is one required to do? Tasyábhidhyánát: he will have to do abhidhyána. What is abhidhyána? There are two stages in abhidhyána. The first stage is called Prańidhána and the second stage is called Anudhyána. What is Prańidhána? In human mind there are so many propensities. As per yoga shastra there are one thousand propensities in human mind. Fifty propensities are controlled by fifty important glands and subglands and can be directed towards 10 directions. These directions are Púrva, Pashcima, Uttara, Dakśińa, Urdhva, Adhah. These directions are called Pradisha and the four sub-directions – Ishán, Váyu, Agni, Naert – are called Anudisha. Six Pradisha and four Anudisha are ten directions. Each and every propensity be directed towards ten directions, and each and every propensity can function internally as well as externally; you can steal in your mind, you can steal physically! You can do something wrong mentally, you can do something wrong physically. Each and every propensity can be done internally as well as externally. So 50 x 10 x 2 = 1000. So there are one thousand propensities. Now, the uppermost gland directly and indirectly control these 1000 propensities; hence this uppermost gland known as pineal gland is called Sahasrára Cakra in Saḿskrta, i.e., the cakra, the plexus controlling propensities. Do you follow?
Now what is Prańidhána? Prańidhána is to bring all those propensities to a particular point i.e., the entire ectoplasmic structure of the microcosm is to be apexed to a particular point and from that point the resultant is to move forward towards the Cosmic Self. This movement of that apexed resultant is called Prańidhána. Pra – Ni – Dhá – Lyut́a = Prańidhána. Pranidhána is a Saḿskrta noun. This is the psychological interpretation of Prańidhána. But the practical side of Prańidhána is: there should be mental rhythm along with acoustic rhythm in Prańidhána. Where there is only acoustic rhythm, it is called Japakriyá and when that acoustic rhythm maintains parallelism with mental rhythm it is called Prańidhána. Suppose you are saying Ráma, Ráma, Ráma, Ráma – it will be Japakriyá. As you know Japakriyá is of three kinds. Ráma, Ráma, Ráma – this sound is called Vácanika Japa i.e., doing Japa kriyá explicitly, Then there is another kind of Japa: Ráma, Ráma (whispering slowly); you are uttering the sound and you are hearing the sound with your physical ears but others won’t be able to hear that. It is called Upaḿsu Japa and the third one is doing japakriyá mentally and you will hear that japakriyá with your mental ears, not with your physical ears. It is called Mánasika japa. Mánasika japa is the best japa. But in Sádhaná Marga, japakriyá doesn’t help a Sádhaka much in attaining salvation and that is why in Tantra it has been said:
Uttamo Brahmasadbhávo Madhyamá Dhyána-dhárańá
Japastutih syadadhámá Múrtipujá dhamádhamá
The best process is Brahma Sadbháva. Second one is dháraná and dhyána. Third one is Japa-Stuti – this is adhama and múrtipujá i.e. idol worship is adhamádhama. What is the matter? In Japakriyá there is only acoustic rhythm as I have told you about acoustic rhythm Ráma, Ráma, Ráma, Ráma. But in Prańidhána this acoustic rhythm maintains parallelism with mental rhythm i.e., mentally you will be saying Ráma, Ráma, Ráma, there should be acoustic rhythm Ráma, Ráma. Ráma like this and mentally you will be thinking of Ráma also, i.e., the parallelism is to be maintained, otherwise in Japakriyá where there is no parallelism what does happen; while you are uttering the word Ráma, Ráma as you are chanting the word “Rá”, letter “Rá” you are thinking of the next letter “Ma.” Ráma! Again while uttering the letter “Ma” you are thinking of the letter “Rá”. Next “Rá”. in second stage of Japa “Rá”, In that case your Mantra will be “Mara” you are uttering the letter “Ma” and thinking of the letter “Rá”, so your Iśt́a Mantra becomes “Mara” and not “Ráma”. So it is useless to do that type Japakriyá. Unless and until there is a parallelism with mental wave it is useless and where there is parallelism between acoustic rhythm and mental rhythm it is called Prańidhána. In Ananda Marga your Iishvara Pránidhána is not japakriyá; it is called Prańidhána. Prańidhána comes within the scope of Dhyána and not within the scope of japa. Do you follow? Now the first one is Pranidhána and the second one is Anudhyána. What is Anudhyána Within the greater sphere of Dhyána there are two processes – Dhárańá and Dhyána; when you try to withhold something external within your mental world it is called Dhárańá. So in Dhárańá, there is a static force, Dhárańá is of static origin. But when something is moving and that movement has been accepted by you as it is, it is called Dhyána. So in Dhyána there is a dynamic force. Dhyánakriyá is just like a thread of molasses. When poured a thread is created; there is force, there is movement in that thread but it appears to be something static. Dhyánakriyá is like this. Do you follow? “Taela Dharavat.”
What is Anudhyána? Both Prańidhána and Anudhyána come within the scope of Dhyána, come within the scope of Abhidhyána. “Tasyábhidhyánát”. I said Abidhyána. Abhidhyána means that you have accepted that Supreme Self as your object of ideation, but suppose your Lord does not want you, suppose you are a sinner and your Lord does not want that you should get Him, He will try to dart away from you, but in that case you will have to chase Him mentally. This chasing of yours is called Anudhyána. You must say, “O my Lord, I may be a sinner but I won’t spare you, I must catch you”. When this mentality functions it is Anudhyána. So without anudhyána one cannot get Him.
Next one is Yojanát. Yojana means unicity with Him. The final goal of a Sádhaka is to become one with Him. For this unification there are two root verbs in Saḿskrta (“yuj” and “yunj”) Yuj + ghaiṋ = yoga “Ghaiṋ” is the noun suffix. Thus you get the word, “yoga” and yunj + ghaiṋ is also “yoga”. In first case yoga means addition, to unite and in the second case yunj + ghaiṋ = yoga means unification. To unite and to unify are two different verbs. Suppose, for instance, there is a handful of sand and a handful of sugar. You can unite them, but these two entities i.e. sand and sugar will maintain their separate identities. But suppose there is some water and sugar, then what will be the case? They will become one. This is the case of unification. So there is difference between unity and unification. In the second case, i.e. yunj + ghaiṋ = yoga, a sádhaka’s yoga is that yoga, not the yoga of sand and sugar. Sádhaka’s yoga with Lord is the yoga of water and sugar. So Yojanát. The spirit of Sádhaná is to get oneself unified with the hub of this universal wheel, not united but unified; and as I told you that for unification you will have to remove this umbrella of vanity from your head. Now this sádhaná which is Sádhaná for complete merger, for unification, starts with fearful love. Love must be there. Unless and until there is love, there can not be unification. So love must be there but it starts with fearful love and ends in fearless love: and the space between fearful love and fearless love is the space of Sádhaná. What is Sádhaná? Sadhaná is transformation of fearful love into fearless love. Do you follow? What is love? In this universe nothing can remain secluded from other entities. Each and every object is attracting others. This attraction is a natural phenomenon, in this universe repulsion is unnatural, attraction is natural. So we can say that repulsion is negative attraction but attraction is not negative repulsion. This attraction is called Ákarśańa in saḿskrta. When this attraction is for any non-integral entity, or for any small entity this is called káma. When that attraction is for that integral entity, and the integral entity is only one and that one is Parama Puruśa – it is called Prema. When the attraction is for the non-integral entity, for money, for family, for land, it is called Káma; when it is for integral entity it is called Prema and the mental tendency during Káma i.e., the mental tendency during attraction for a non-integral entity is called Ásakti in Saḿskrta and the mental tendency during attraction for that Integral Entity is called Bhakti. Do you follow? The transactional relationship during Káma i.e., during attraction for a non-integral entity is called Vyavasáya (business). Give me a sixpence I shall give you sixpence worth of salt. Vyavasáya (exchange and the transactional relationship) during Prema i.e., during the attraction for the Integral Entity is called “Seva”. The spirit of Sevá is to give everything and to take nothing at all. Do you follow? Yojanát. I said it starts with fearful love and ends in fearless love and the process of transformation of fearful love into fearless love is called Sádhaná (Intuitional Practice). Now it starts with fearful love. Everything in this universe is afraid of Him. During midday a boy, an ultra-modern young man may, says “Oh, I have got no faith in God”. And in the night in the burial ground when alone he will say, “O God, save me, you know I am your disciple, you know I love you, save me, I had to maintain my prestige in my friends’ society. That’s why I said this and that”. So everybody is afraid of Him. That is why in the scriptures it is said:
Bhiiśamád váyu pavate bhiiśodeti súryah
Bhiisasmádagnishcendraeshca mrtyuhdhávati Pancamah
Out of fear of Him the wind blows. Wind is blowing because wind is afraid of Him. Wind cannot say, “No, I won’t blow.” It will have to blow because wind is afraid of Him, out of fear of Him: Bhiiśodeti súryah. The sun rises just in the scheduled time out of His fears. So the sun cannot say, “No, no, I will rise in the south!” No, the sun cannot say this. The sun will have to obey orders. So he is afraid of Him and the sun does his duty, Why? Out of fearful love. Sádhaná starts with fearful love: Bhiiśasmádagnishcendrashca. Fire burns, why? Out of fear. It will have to burn. It cannot give up its burning attributes. It will have to burn, why? It is afraid of Him. “Indra” means energy working within the scope of matter. Energy always functions within the scope of matter and that energy functioning within the scope of matter is called Indra in Saḿskrta and energy working out of the scope of matter is called Bala. There is difference between Bala and Indra. When the force working outside matter gives external pressure, it is called Bala. The Indra, i.e., the energy – the mechanical energy, electrical energy, magnetic energy – will have to do according to a certain system, certain law. They have to do it because they are afraid of Him. Mrtyuŕdhávati Pancamaha, and the god of death, that horrible death is afraid of Him. And it will have to present itself before the dying person at proper time. Death cannot say, “No, I won’t attend his deathbed.” It cannot say, it will have to go because death is afraid of Him and that is why He is called mryturmrtyu. He is Mrtyu of Mrtyu, death of death. Bhiiśańamiti – because of this kind of fearfulness He is called Bhiiśańa. One name of God is Bhiiśańa because everybody is afraid of Him. Everybody starts his Sádhaná with fearful love but that Sádhaná ends in fearless love because unless and until one becomes fearless one cannot become one with Him. One will try to keep oneself away from Him out of fear. So finally one will have to become fearless.
Yojanát Tattvabhávát. Tattvabhávát means: In Saḿskrta Tat means that and by suffixing “Tva” it has been converted into an abstract noun. Tattva means Thatness, something regarding that. That means Brahma in Saḿskrta. Brahma is neuter gender. Parama Puruśa i.e., the Cognitive Principle is masculine gender, and Paramá Prakrti, i.e., the Operative Principle is feminine gender and Brahma is neuter gender. Thatness means something regarding Brahma-tattvábhávát. That is while attending any mundane duty you will have to ascribe Brahmahood to that material object or while thinking of anything you will have to ascribe Brahmahood to your mental object. This is what is called Tattvabhávát. Yojanát Tattvabhávát, i.e. you will have to do what? Anudhyána! What will be the result of Yojanát? You will become one with Him. Tasyábhidyánát Yojanát Tattvabhávát. Bhúyáshcánte Viśńumáyá Nivrttih and what will be the result? You will get yourself liberated from Viśńumáyá.
What is Viśńumáyá? When the Lord expands Himself with the help of Máyá, when He increases the scope of His pervasiveness with the help of the Creative Principle that Creative Principle is called Viśńumáyá. Viśńumáyá is all-pervading and the Lord is called Viśńu. Viśńu means Omnipresent. Now with the help of Viśńumáyá. He expands Himself. The second one is called Yogamáyá. In the last phase of this Cosmic Psychic order when the sádhaka with the help of Hládinii shakti touches the feet of the Supreme Lord, Krśńa, that conjunction is done by Máyá and in that stage, in that phase Máyá is called Yogamáyá. Yoga means connection; Yogamáyá, Viśńumáyá, then Máhámáyá. The Máyá, with the help of which the Lord has expressed Himself in the form of this world, the Lord has created this world of diversities, is called Máhámáyá. Externally Máhámáyá, and internally you also can create the reflections of this external world. Externally you have seen something relishing, internally in your mind you will create it. Externally you came in contact with Rasagolla and internally you will also create the Rasagolla and where is that Rasagolla internally? Externally you have seen a Rájá, internally you yourself become a Ŕajá and enjoy that position. Internally you do like this. Certainly, so this internal reflection of the Máhámáyámic externality is done by you. Do you follow? This internal creation of yours is a reflection of the external world, as an external projection of this external physicality is done by your Máyá and that individual Máyá of yours is called Ańumáyá. So you see that Máyá in a particular phase is Viśńumáyá. In another phase Yogamáyá, in another phase Máhámáyá and in your particular phase she is Anumáyá. And the collective name for all these phases is Vishvamáyá, it is the collective name. That is why Tattvabhávát, that is, ascribing Brahmahood to each and every physical and mental object, by Yojanát, by Prańidhána, by Ańudhyána, what does happen? Now, Yojanát is established and when that Yojanát is established you get yourself liberated from Vishvamáyá. So the Sádhaná of a Sádhaka is to do these things. Tattvabháva, Pranidhána, Ańudhyána, and finally, yojanát. That is how one is to attain salvation, and salvation is possible only in the spiritual stratum. In the realm of physicality and intellectuality one cannot attain salvation. In the realms of physicality and intellectuality one can attain liberation but one cannot attain liberation of permanent nature in those spheres. It is only possible in the realm of spirituality.
Subháśita Saḿgraha Part 18
By Shrii Prabhat Rainjan Sarkar
Primitive human beings had no society and the whole set-up was individualistic. Even the concept of family was absent. Life was brute and non-intellectual. Nature was the direct abode and physical strength ruled the day. The strong enjoyed at the cost of the weak, who had to surrender before the voracity of the physical giants. However, the sense of acquisition had not developed in them, and they worked manually, and there was no intellectual exploitation in that age. Though life was brute, it was not brutal.
If shúdras be defined as those who live by manual work or service, this primary stage of nature’s brute laws could be named the Shúdra Age, because all were manual workers. The reliance on physical power gradually led a chosen few to lead the rest by the strength of their muscles. They were the leaders of the shúdras.
Simultaneously, the family developed. And the above-mentioned leadership, once based upon the superiority of muscles, passed on from the father to the son or from the mother to the daughter, partly due to the momentum of fear and power commanded, and partly because of superiority of animalic breed.
Superior strength requires the assistance of other superior strengths in the neighbourhood for all to maintain their status. Generally such superior neighbours belonged to the same parenthood or were related through matrimonial ties. Gradually the leaders by physical might started a well-knit group, and ultimately formed a class known as the kśatriyas. The age when the power to rule, or supremacy in arms, was the only material factor that mattered, was the Kśatriya Age. The leaders of the Kśatriya Age were Herculean, huge giants who depended on the supremacy of personal valour and might, making little or no use of intellect.
With the development of intellect and skill as a result of physical and psychic clash, physical strength had to lose its dignified position according to the growing intensity of intellectual demand in the kśatriya-dominated society. One had also to develop skill in the use of arms, and even for this the physical giant had to sit at the feet of some physically-common men to learn the use of arms and strategy. A reference to the mythology of any ancient culture reveals numberless instances where the hero of the day had to acquire specific knowledge from teachers. Subsequently this learning was not confined to the use of arms only but extended to other spheres, such as battle-craft, medicine and forms of organization and administration, so essential for ruling any society. Thus the dependence on superior intellect increased day by day, and in the course of time real power passed into the hands of such intellectuals. These intellectuals, as the word implies, justified their existence on intellect only, performed no labour themselves, and were parasites in the sense that they exploited the energy put in by others in society. This age of domination by intellectual parasites can be called the Vipra Age.
Even though the vipras came into the forefront by the use of their marked intellect, it is more difficult than in the case of the kśatriyas to maintain a hereditary superiority of intellect. In an effort to maintain power amongst the limited few, they actively tried and prevented others from acquiring the use of the intellect by imposing superstitions and rituals, faiths and beliefs, and even introducing irrational ideas (the caste system of Hindu society is an example) through an appeal to the sentiments of the mass (who collectively cannot be called intellectual). This was the phase of human society in the Middle Ages in the greater part of the world.
The continued exploitation by one section of society resulted in the necessity for the collection and transfer of consumable goods. Even otherwise, need was felt very badly for the transport of food and other necessities of life from surplus parts to deficit parts. Also, in the case of clan conflicts, the result of the resources of one community or class versus another gained importance. This aspect was confined not only to the producers but also to those handling the goods at various stages up to the point of consumption. These people became known as vaeshyas, and ingenuity and summed-up production began to enjoy supremacy and importance, till an age was reached when this aspect of life became the most important factor. These vaeshyas, therefore, began to enjoy a position of supremacy, and the age dominated by this class is said to be the Age of Vaeshyas.
Individualistic or laissez-faire sense develops [into] capitalism when the means of production pass into the hands of a few who are more interested in personal exploitation. At this stage it can be said that the instinct of acquisition has developed tremendously. The thirst for acquisition instigated them to [develop] the psychology of complete exploitation of the human race also, and this resulted in a class by itself. In the race for greed and acquisition not all could survive, and only a few remained to dominate the society in general and the economic set-up in particular by their capital. The great majority were either duped into believing that they would be allowed to share such resources, or were neglected and left uncared-for for want of strength and did not survive the race. Such people in society ultimately occupy the place of exploited slaves of the capitalists. They are slaves because they have no option other than to serve the capitalists as labourers to earn the means of subsistence.
We may recall the definition of shúdras as persons who live by manual work or labour hard for their livelihood. This age of capitalism is the age when the large majority of society turn into such shúdras. This develops into dejection and dissatisfaction on a large scale because of an internal clash in the mind, because the psychology of society is essentially dynamic in nature and the mind itself exists as a result of constant clash. These conditions are necessary and sufficient for labourers, whether manual or mental, to organize and stand up against the unnatural impositions in life. This may be termed “shúdra revolution”. The leaders of this revolution, also, are people physically and mentally better-equipped and more capable essentially of overthrowing the capitalistic structure by force. In other words, they are also kśatriyas. So, after a period of chaos and catastrophe, once more the same cycle – Shúdra Age to Kśatriya to Vipra, and so on – recommences.(1)
In this cycle of civilization one age changes into another. This gradual change should be called “evolution” or kránti. The period of transition from one age to another can be said to be yuga saḿkránti – “transitional age”. One complete cycle from the Shúdra Age evolving through the other [three] ages is called parikránti.(2)
Sometimes the social cycle (samája cakra) is reversed by the application of physical or psychic force by a group of people inspired by a negative theory. Such a change is, therefore, counter-evolution – that is, against the cycle of civilization. This may be termed vikránti. But if this reversal of the social cycle takes place, due to political pressure or any other brute force, within a short span of time, the change thus brought about is prativiplava, or “counter-revolution”. It is just like the negative pratisaiṋcara of Brahma Cakra. Thus the progress and march of civilization can be represented as points of position and as the speed of approaching Puruśottama, respectively, by a collective body in Brahma Cakra.
The world is a transitory phase or changing phenomenon within the scope of the Cosmic Mind. It is going in eternal motion, and such a motion is the law of nature and the law of life. Stagnancy means death. Hence no power can check the social cycle of evolution. Any force, external or internal, can only retard or accelerate the speed of transition, but cannot prevent it from moving. Therefore progressive humanity should cast off all skeletons of the past. Human beings should go on accelerating the speed of progress for the good of humanity in general.
Those spiritual revolutionaries who work to achieve such progressive changes for human elevation on a well-thought, pre-planned basis, whether in the physical, metaphysical or spiritual sphere, by adhering to the principles of Yama and Niyama, are sadvipras.
The principles of Yama are ahiḿsá, satya, asteya, aparigraha and Brahmacarya. Ahiḿsá means not causing suffering to any harmless creature through thought, word or deed. Satya denotes action of mind or use of words with the object of helping others in the real sense. It has no relative application. Asteya means non-stealing, and this should not be confined to physical action but [extended] to the action of the mind as well. All actions have their origin in the mind, hence the correct sense of asteya is “to give up the desire of acquiring what is not rightly one’s own”. Aparigraha involves the non-acceptance of such amenities and comforts of life as are superfluous for the preservation of the physical existence. And the spirit of Brahmacarya is to experience His presence and authority in each and every physical and psychic objectivity. This occurs when the unit mind resonates with Cosmic will.
The five rules of Niyama are shaoca, santośa, tapah, svádhyáya and Iishvara prańidhána. Shaoca means purity of both physical and mental bodies. Mental purity is attained by benevolent deeds, charity, or other dutiful acts. Santośa means “contentment”. It implies accepting ungrudgingly and without a complaint the out-turn of the services rendered by one’s own physical or mental labour. Tapah means efforts to reach the goal despite such efforts being associated with physical discomforts. Svádhyáya means study of the scriptures or other books of learning and assimilating their spirit. The whole universe is guided by the Supreme Entity, and nothing that one does or can do is without His specific command. Iishvara prańidhána is an auto-suggestion of the idea that each and every unit is an instrument in the hands of the Almighty and is a mere spark of that supreme fire. Iishvara prańidhána also implies implicit faith in Him irrespective of whether one lives in momentary happiness or sorrow, prosperity or adversity.
Only those who by their nature adhere to the above ten commands in their normal and spiritual conduct are sadvipras. Such a morally- and spiritually-equipped sadvipra has to perform a fundamental and vital duty to society.
In the cycle of social evolution, during each age before it is succeeded by another age, one particular class enjoys the position of domination and superiority. Such a class, while in political power, has every chance of exploiting the society. History has shown that this is not mere chance, but has been repeating itself. Now the duty of the sadvipra is to see that the dominating class does not take recourse to exploitation. The four classes – shúdra, the toiling class; kśatriya, the warrior class; vipra, the intellectual class; and vaeshya, the capitalist class – have remained well defined in the cycle of human civilization, and the gradual domination and decline of each class shall continue to occur in this cycle.
Life is a dynamic principle, and the movement of the samája cakra continues without any break or pause. The cycle cannot be checked, as stagnation implies death. The function of a sadvipra shall, therefore, be to see that the dominating or the ruling classes do not have any scope for exploitation. The moment one class turn into exploiters, the life of the majority becomes miserable; a few enjoy at the cost of many whose lot is only to suffer. More than that, in such a state of society both the few and the many get degenerated. The few (exploiters) degenerate themselves due to [an] excess of physical enjoyments and the many (exploited) cannot elevate themselves, because all their energy is taken up in mundane problems and all their mental waves are always tending to attain psycho-physical parallelism, thus getting day by day cruder. Hence, for the physical, mental and spiritual welfare of the administrator and the administered of the society as a whole, it is essential that no one be given any scope to exploit the rest of the society.
Sadvipras are not inactive witnesses. They are active participants to see that no person or class exploits the rest. For this they may have to resort even to physical violence, because the sadvipras will have to strike at the source of the power [of the class] which is tending to become the exploiter. In case the kśatriya class are becoming exploiters, the sadvipras may have to resort to physical force, and in an age where the intellectual or vipra class are dominating, they will have to bring about a revolution in the intellectual field. In case the vaeshyas are dominating, the sadvipras may have to contest and win elections, because the vaeshya class rules by democracy, and the democratic set-up enables them to accumulate undue gains.
(1) A period of chaos and catastrophe ends when kśatriya leadership re-emerges, signifying the start of the next Kśatriya Age. For a more detailed discussion of this process, see “The Shúdra Revolution and the Sadvipra Society” in Human Society Part 2 by the author. –Eds.
(2) See also the definitions of parikránti in the author’s Problems of the Day, section 34, and Ánanda Sútram, Chapter 5, Sútra 7. Eds.
6 C. mixed lettuces – I used chopped Romain and leaf lettuce1 C. thinly sliced red cabbage1 C. julienned carrots1 C. shelled edamame (I could have used twice that amount!)1 red bell pepper, chopped5 oz. bag Emerald Sea Salt and Pepper Cashews(you could use any cashews, but we LOVE these)1 C. broccoli slaw1 C. broccoli heads, cut small1/4 C. cilantro leavesDressing1/3 C. smooth peanut butter2 T. honey2 T. rice vinegar3 tsp. fresh grated ginger2 tsp. toasted sesame oilAbout 2 T. water, to thin dressing to desired consistency.Place all of your salad ingredients in a large salad bowl. In a small bowl, mix the salad dressing ingredients with a whisk. Drizzle the dressing on top and the toss and serve.
By Shrii Shrii Anandamurti
The great sage Aungirá said, –
Sa vedaetatparamaḿ Brahmadháma
Yatra vishvaḿ nihitam bháti shubhram
Upásate puruśaḿye hyakámáste
The one who has known the Supreme Brahma has really known Him as the refuge of this universe. The One Who is the ultimate refuge of each and everything, animate and inanimate, movable and immovable, from the Supreme creation… Brahma – to the lowliest blade of grass, is the supreme goal, the final beatitude. The universe has been created within Him and is indeed radiant with His radiance. That the universe is created within Him is not all that can be said. It is the transformation of His own Self. It is evolved by Him. He is the substance as well as the cause of this universe. It is the cooperative creation of the sixteenfold distortions (ten sensory and motor organs, the mind and the five Tanmátras or inferences) and the eight binding factors of Prakrti that are there as the cause and effect of His qualitative manifestations. The seeds and potentials of this universe are also inherent in them. It is for this vastness that He has been called Brahma, which means Great (Brahatvád Brahma). Then again the One who makes another great, the One with whose thought and bearing the small unit establishes itself in the vastness, is also called Brahma (Brḿhańatvád Brahma). When this world is within Him, then He must necessarily be greater than the world. Suppose there is a box in a room; then the room must be greater than the box. That is why there is space for the box, otherwise it could not have been accommodated. That in which this universe is implanted is naturally greater than the universe. The entire universe is pivoting around its knower, its Nucleus, in a cyclic order in the vast body of Puruśa. Revolving thus in this cycle the one who progresses towards the knowing Entity by virtue of one’s spiritual force attains unity with Him, becomes one with Him. They become Brahma themselves, and that is why He has the quality of making one great.
Brahma is effulgent in white radiance. The Shruti says that Puruśa and Prakrti are indivisible and inseparable. Where Prakrti (the operative principle) is active over Puruśa, Puruśa is of white radiance. In the Gáyattri mantra the word, “Bharga”, is used in the sense of white radiance, and that is why this “Bharga” and Saguńa Brahma (The subjectivated Transcendentality) are inseparable. The inseparability of Brahma and His Radiance is fully substantiated by the real meaning and analysis of the word “Bharga”. It is trilateral, the combination of three letters, viz., “Bha”, “Ra”, “Ga”.
“Bha” – Bhásayatiimállokániti, i.e., by which the world is illuminated.
“Ra” – Raiṋjayatiimátáni, i.e., That which provides happiness for the living beings.
“Ga” – Gacchatyasmin ágacchatyasmád imáh prajáh, i.e., That in which the entire creation merges after emanation therefrom.
The Shruti says, –
Bheti bhásayate lokán Reti Raiṋjayati prajáh
Ga ityágacchatyajasraḿ Bharagát Bharga ucyate.
Generally speaking, the word, “Bharga” is used verily in the sense of Brahmic effulgence. Now the question arises, whether Brahma and His radiance are two different entities. If we say Ráma has such and such qualities or Shyáma has such and such qualities – aren’t the individuals and their qualities two absolutely separate entities? Such distinctiveness is not applicable to limitless, integral, Brahma, who is without a second. Brahma and His radiance are not two separate entities, for He is autophanous – self-luminous. Citing the instance of Ráhu’s(1) (Dragon’s) head we have to say that He is characteristically radiant.
This creation is triple-attributional. The game of the three attributes goes on in everything and everywhere in the universe, and they have not spared the human body. The region below the navel is dominated by Tamoguńa (Static principle), the region from navel to throat, by Rajoguńa (Mutative influence) and the region from throat to Trikuti (the junction of the two eyebrows, where the seat of the mind is located,) by Sattvaguńa (Sentient influence). Normally, a particular region in the body becomes more active in accordance with the Vrtti or epithymetic influence or the inter- and intra-ectoplasmic occupation of an individual. When a Sádhaka is established in his/her mental seat by virtue of his/her hearing, thinking and profound meditation, he or she being then established in Sattvaguńa (Sentient quality), realizes the Supreme Being in His Super-white glory, as is the wont of Sentient quality. When one goes beyond the mental sphere, one merges in the objectlessness of the Nirguńa Brahma in the Brahmarondhra (An aperture in the crown of the head) and thus reaches beyond the scope of colors. Bharga or white color also disappears from him. A desireless person, who worships this Supreme Puruśa absolves himself from the momenta of rebirths due to mind being objectless or desire-free. Such an individual goes beyond the cycle of ordinary birth and death. In other words, one’s mental force goes beyond the stars (’Shukrá means Venus, a planet) due to one’s being established in the Supreme Entity.
Kámá yah kámayate manyamánah
Sa kámábhirjjáyate tatra tatra
ihaeva sarve praviliiyanti kámáh.
According to human longings and desires or according to human propensive pursuit, their minds take form i.e., they will gradually acquire the like Saḿskáras or reactive momenta. They first see within themselves what they aspire for and then let their minds flow towards it. Thereafter the external organs i.e., hands and feet, etc., set about achieving it. And so it is generally seen that the desires that they had been giving indulgence to throughout their lives, come hurtling over to them in a condensed form at the last hour, i.e., their mind-stuff takes the like mental form for the last time in order to shape itself into a fitting medium of the like Saḿskáras. Even during the life-time as well it is seen that the mind-stuff of a drunkard, which imbibes within it an indomitable desire or Saḿskára for wine, turns into a vantage ground for undergoing the next Saḿskáras or momenta of pleasure and pain. That is to say, such a person gets scent of the wine shop by the sheer propulsion of his acquired mental propensity, if he happens to go to a new and unfamiliar place. A man who has cultivated dog-like or swine-like desires all his life, dies with the same dog-like or swine-like frame of mind. Thereafter with the help of Prakrti’s Mutative force he acquires the form of a dog or swine in order to undergo the dog-like or swine-like Saḿskáras. The great ascetic, King Bharata, died thinking of a fawn, and that was why it is written in the Puráńas (Indian mythologies) that he had to take the body of a deer at his next birth.
But he who is fully satiated, i.e., he whose longings and desires have consumed themselves, obliviates even the possibility of any such thought-wave later because of the absence of any Saḿskára. Such all-satiated persons are indeed self-purified. How can final satiety possibly come unless and until that Whole – that Supreme Spirit – is achieved? Hence he who has attained full satiety has indeed reduced all his Saḿskáras to nothingness right here in this world and so he has gone beyond the cycle of life and death.
From the inanimate to the animate goes the process of evolution. Take a piece of stone for instance. It has neither the power of action nor the sensation of mind. What is the reason? It is because hitherto there has been no manifestation of mind in the stone at all. Thought-wave or sensation can take place or an action can take a form only if there is a mind. Take, for instance, trees and plants which are more animate than stones. There are activities in them. They grow, draw the vital juice from the earth, maintain their species by creating seeds in their own bodies and enjoy and suffer pleasure and pain, when taken care of or smitten. We see in them the manifestation of consciousness or animation, for the mind has awakened in them. Thus progressing on the path of psychogenesis or mental development we see in humans the greatest manifestation. Just as during the Cosmic thought-process the evolution takes place from the subtle to the crude, similarly the unit retroverts step by step from the crude to the subtle, towards the same Absolute Consciousness from where it had come. It is just like the waves of the sea rippling back from the shore to the ocean from where they had originally come. Now, just how much should a person strive on his return journey? He has got to be alert, so that he may easily end the journey in his characteristic Self. Then alone shall we call him self-purified. Then alone shall he become saturated with Brahma, within and without.
To become self-purified one has got to make some effort – this effort is what is known as Sádhaná. The greatest Sádhaná is that which comprises three aspects viz., devotion, action and cognition. Medium Sádhaná is that which comprises two aspects i.e., devotion and action, and the inferior Sádhaná is that which consists of only tall talk (cognition or knowledge cannot exist singly without action and devotion – whatever may exist will be merely the debris of knowledge). The ability of a Sádhaka cannot be based on his common or worldly knowledge alone. It can only stand on the firm base of his knowledge, devotion and action (Jiṋána, Bhakti and Karma). By firmness I mean unflinching intensity of zeal and earnestness. By just saying that Rasagollá is sweet, one cannot get the taste of a Rasagollá (a spongy and juicy sweetmeat). One has got to make some efforts to obtain it and eat it.
Náyamátmá pravacanena labhyo na medhayá na vahuná shrutena
Yamevaeśa vrńute tena labhya stasyaeśa átmávivrńute tanúḿ syám.
By tall talks alone one cannot achieve Brahma. An almanac forecasts that there will be so much rain this year. But mere knowledge of such a forecast will not save the crops of a farmer. No amount of squeezing the almanac will produce even a drop of water. One has got to do sádhaná to habituate one’s mind to Brhamaward projection in order to attain Him.
Anubhútiḿ viná múd́ho vrthá Brahmańimodate
If a person, without Anubhúti or intuitional susceptibility, studies scriptures a million times or lectures on Brahma, his Brahma will ever remain a bookish Brahma, not the Brahma of one’s conception or realization. Just as one seeing in water the reflection of fruit dangling overhead from the branch of a tree cannot taste the fruit, similarly an erudite scholar, versed in the six philosophies, will remain far away from Brahma if one refrains from Brahma-Sádhaná. No matter how vastly learned you may become in worldly knowledge, without Sádhaná you can know nothing about Brahma, for along with your knowledge of these lores, a vanity of knowledge will also grow in you. With this result, you will go on enhancing the volume of your burden unnecessarily by habitually giving importance to your small ego. This burden becomes the cause of your sufferings and enjoyments, not of your salvation. Ácárya Shaḿkar said:
Vák vaekharii shobdajharii shástravyákhánakaoshalam
Vaeduśyaḿ vidúsaḿ tadvat bhuktaye na tu muktaye
You will come across many such people who do not practice spiritual meditation themselves but will run after great spiritual men in order to hear their sermons. These people are totally wrong. Only running after great men will be of no avail. A person has got to establish himself in the path of realization of Brahma by doing sádhaná himself. God does not bestow His mercy upon anybody after seeing how great a speaker he is or how many books he has read. Only one who has devotion can exact His mercy. The great devotee, Maharśi Nárada said.
That is, Brahma can be realized by achieving even a tiny bit of God’s grace or that of a great person. Take a very intelligent boy for instance. If his teacher does not teach him how to read and write, he will not be able to become a great scholar in spite of having the potential for becoming one. Similarly, all persons have the ability or potentiality of achieving spiritual development or of establishing themselves in the Brahmic stance, but for want of a worthy guide it cannot take practical shape. That is why a spiritual Preceptor or Sadguru is necessary – his grace is indispensable. His grace is but God’s grace, for God is the ocean of grace.
Náyamátmá balahiinena labhyo na ca pramádáttapaso vápyoliuṋgát
Etaerupáyaeryatate yastu vidváḿ stasyaeśa átmá vishate Brahmadháma.
Those who are weak, i.e., who have neither spiritual nor mental force, do not achieve intuitional knowledge. The timid and cowardly remain remote from Brahmabháva or cosmic ideation. You may have seen that bribe-takers or liars will talk ill of Ánanda Márga out of fear of following the principles of Yama and Niyama.
Another great trait of a Sádhaka is his self-confidence. “ I must have fulfillment” – “I must attain final beatitude” – this strong conviction is the stepping stone to success.
Phaliśyattiiti vishvása siddherprathamolakśańam
Dvitiiyaḿ shraddhayá yuktaḿ tritiiyaḿ gurupujanam
Caturtho samatábhávo paiṋcamendriya nigrahah
Śaśt́haiṋca pramitáháro saptamaḿ naevávidyate.
He who has taken the determination to attain final beatitude cannot be indifferent to Sádhaná. Indifference to mundane duties or flying above the world with a resolute detachment is but a mental disease. Those who want to give themselves up to divine contemplation in the cave of the Himalayas, leaving their homes, are misguided. The word, Sannyása, means to dedicate oneself for the attainment of God. When Brahma is everything, whatever you are, you must behave properly with everything around you. Hence to be callous about family and society is completely contrary to Brahma Sádhaná (Divine Contemplation). One cannot know Brahma through showy, superficial knowledge. You can only attain Brahma, when your knowledge has become strong and powerful through austere devotion to Truth. Only the soul of the one whose knowledge is identified with austerity, enters the abode of Brahma. Ultimately the united qualities of sedateness, mental and spiritual force, firmness, devotion to Truth, knowledge, the proper use of mundane things etc. will certainly enable a Sádhaka to attain unity with Brahma.
krtátmano viitargáh prashántáh
Te sarvagaḿ sarvatah prápya dhiirá
The word “Rśi”, means a Sádhaka who has cultivated Brahma within himself. So long as a Sádhaka does not attain Brahma, there exists in him a feeling of incompleteness. Suppose you want a thousand rupees. If you are given a thousand rupees, will you be contented? No, you will then ask for more. Such is the characteristic of human mind. Man has a limitless thirst. He keeps on harping ceaselessly, “I am hungry.” The hunger for a thousand will change into hunger for a lakh, and hunger for a lakh will make room for hunger for a crore. Thus the amount of hunger goes on increasing until a limitless amount of money is attained. This limitlessness is inherent in Brahma, and so your hunger can be satiated in Brahma alone. Hence when a “Rśi” attains complete self-control (krtátman), he goes beyond the sphere of attachment and detachment, and attains full realization of his characteristic Self. He becomes imperturbably tranquil, i.e. he reaches the stage which lies beyond the momentum of rebirth or regeneration. Attachment and repulsion exist so long as the proclivities of fascination and contempt exist. For instance, a puritanical sádhaka will consider wine as an object of disdain and will regard touching it as an act of impiety. A wine addict, however, regarding it as an object of greed, will run after it with total disregard for all social conventions and norms. But he who has become really desireless as the result of self-realization, will keep himself above these two. He will take wine as medicine under medical advice, otherwise he will carefully keep it away from the sight of people. He will have neither attachment nor aversion for the wine.
If you go to Kanyákuḿarii (Cape Comorin), you will see on one side the restless surging waves of the Bay of Bengal and on the other the tranquil Arabian Sea. The Bay of Bengal is not very deep and so there are as much waves as roars, and the Arabian Sea, which is very deep, remains calm and meditative. Similarly, he who is satiated of knowledge and desireless, remains calm and tranquil. Why on earth should he indulge in self-publicity? To whom will he publicize himself? Such acts are the antics of common, avaricious people with beggar-like mentality. Man who has attained Brahma will see His Glory in everything and feel that nothing is separate from Him. Where is the fear of any Saḿskára or reactive momentum for the one who has surrendered himself to Brahma?
Abhaypade práń sanpechi
Árki shaman bhay rekhechi.
The Sádhaka who has known Brahma loses himself – merges himself in Him. He does not have to undergo the cycle of births and deaths any more.
Gatáh kaláh paiṋcadasha pratiśt́há
Deváshca sarve pratidevatásu
Karmáńi vijiṋánamayashca átmá
Pare’vyaye sarva ekiibhavanti.
Human existence is concerned with sixteen factors, (Kalás), from which there is no means of escape, so long as human desires are efferent or extrovertive – so long as he is busy, seeking the objects of happiness from this material world. There are ten organs, (five sensory organs, e.g., eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin, and five motor organs, i.e., speech, hands, feet, anus and generative organ), five práńáh or internal vital airs, viz., Práńa, Apána, Samána, Udána and Vyána (Nága, Kúrma, Krkara, Devadatta and Dhanaiṋjaya – these five external Váyus or airs do not belong to the sixteen Kalás for these are the resultants of the internal airs themselves), and Ahaḿtattva (ego) – sixteen in all. The sum total of fifteen Kalás of a theopathic Sádhaka get merged in their original causes. All these gods(2) or organs finally lose themselves in their respective counter-gods, i.e., controlling powers.
Behind each manifestation of the indescribable games of sound, touch, form, taste and smell that are going on in this vast universe, there is a significant expression of some particular forces. These forces we call gods. Playing and frolicking on the boy of the Macrocosm, each of these forces is activating and controlling the human body as a whole and individually with each and every action and sentiment of the human limbs and parts. The forces that activate the ten organs, through which one acts, are called of the senses. After death each of the organs of an emancipated Sádhaka gets merged into its own god. His deeds, his soul become ensconced in the Viijnánamaya and Hirańyamaya kośas, the fifteen kalás and the counter-gods of the gods (what we call gods in reference to unit bodies are known as counter-gods in their pervasive sense in reference to the Macrocosmic Body) – all merge in the Supreme Being after the demise of the Sádhaka. In other words, the emancipated Sádhaka attains a place beyond the pale of life and death. He becomes one with the imperishable Brahma in His final beatitude.
The union of a Sádhaka with Brahma has been elucidated through an excellent example. Just as a river giving up its name and identity, completely merges in the sea and thereafter cannot maintain its own existence except that of the sea, similarly a Sádhaka, after merging himself in Brahma, can no more think of himself except Brahma.
Yathá nadyah syandamánáh samudrestaḿ gacchati námarúpe viháya
Tathá vidvánnámarupádvimuktah parátparaḿ puruśamupaeti divyam.
Seeing the Ganges we can identify the water of the Ganges. Similarly we can recognize the water of the Yamuná or the water of the Sarasvatii but once they merge in the sea, we cannot separate them nor can we distinguish the one from the other. Nevertheless, they are all there. They all have lost their respective names in the identity of the sea. Similarly when a knower of Truth merges in the Supreme Being, his petty sense of existence loses itself, and, attaining unity with the Supreme Entity, he becomes Supreme Himself. Spiritual practice is meant for the expansion of the soul, not for the annihilation of it and so Samádhi does not mean suicide but self-oblivion.
Sa yo ha vae tat paramaḿ Brahma veda Brahmaeva bhavati;
Násya brahmavit kule bhavati;
Tarati shokaḿ tarati pápnánáḿ
Guhágranthibhyo vimkto’mrto bhavati.
He who has known Supreme Brahma, becomes Brahma Himself, for the unit takes on the very form of its object. He who has Brahma as his object, goes to the world of Brahma after death, i.e., becomes Brahma Himself. In the family of such a Brahma-knowing one, is never born a non-Brahma-knowing person. The word, Kula, is derived from the root Ku + lá + dá. “Ku” means world and “la” means to hold. That which the world holds is called Kula. (Its third meaning being the unit force or Jiiva-shakti.(3) The lowest part of the vertebral column or spine is also called Kulakuńd́alinii). The word holds the human family and that is why the family or lineage is called Kula. Here the word, Kula, is used in the sense of Brahma-sútra (Divine link), which is denotative of hereditary preceptor-disciple relationship and by which the creation is held – or which is held by the creation. It is claimed that the intuitional knowledge is thus preserved hereditarily. The knower of Brahma goes beyond the sphere of all pains and inequities. When through Sádhaná or spiritual practice the Kulakuńdalinii-force pierces through the heart, the Sádhaka gets emancipated and attains deathlessness and thereafter goes to the region beyond the reach of death for all eternity.
Elsewhere in the Shruti it is said:
Bhidyate hrdayagranthishchidyante sarvasaḿshayáh
Kśiiyante cásya karmáni tasmińdrśt́e parávare.
Násájiivo na ca brahmá na cányadapi kiiṋcana
Na tasya varńáh vidyante náshramáshca tathaeva ca.
In such a condition can we at all call the emancipated Puruśa a unit being? This great man, [[whose guhágranthi [anáhata cakra] has been pierced and who has merged himself in Brahma due to the absence of saḿskáras [mental reactive momenta], has attained a position even above Brahmá, Viśńu and Maheshvara]].(4)
Brahma is not classifiable under any Varńa or color, but His thoughts are of course coloured. Colour co-exists with the sound that necessarily exists in the thought. These colours and sounds are indicative of different guńas or qualities.
Varńa Quality Colour
Bráhmańa Sattva (Sentient) White Kśatriya Sattva plus Rajah Red (Sentient plus Mutative) Vaeshya Rajah plus Tamah Yellow (Mutative plus Static) Shúdra Tamah (Static) Black
Brahma Himself is beyond all colors. So He is above the four Varńas or Áshramas like Brahmin, Kśatriya etc. The end of Varńas (colors) and the beginning of Avarńa (Absence of color) takes place in the Trikuti (the seat of the mind) and so in the Sádhaná of the Avarńa (or colorless) we have got to recognize and accept the Trikuti directly or indirectly.
Na tasya dharmo’dharmashca na niśedho vidhirńa ca
Yadá brahmátmakaḿ sarvaḿ vibháti tata eva tu.
To the knower of Brahma Dharma and Adharma (piety and impiety) have no distinction. He is not even cognizant of discrimination between Scriptural sanctions and inhibitions. To him all have become one. There is nothing to accept or shun. The knower of Brahma will keep himself engaged in the meditation of Brahma all the time, awake or asleep, standing or sitting, eating or fasting. Constantly he will keep himself absorbed in thought of Brahma. All his acts, small or big, are dedicated to undergo the consequences of his deeds. The body to him is but a machine, through which his suffering and enjoyments of past deeds are done but no new action or its consequence can touch him.
Tadá dhukhádi bedo’yamábháso’pi na bhásate
Jagat jiivádi rupeńa pasyannapi parátmavid.
Pleasure and pain are but the distortion of mind. In Samádhi (suspension of mind) comes the full equilibrium. At that time not a semblance of pleasure or pain remains save an attitude of absolute happiness.
Incidentally a story flashes across my mind. Pańd́ita Rámanátha of Navadvipa was a self-oblivious man. The King of Nadia, with a view to giving him some financial help, had once asked him, “Are you in want of anything?” The Pańd́ita had then been absorbed in the world of ideas. He took the word “want” for his want of knowledge and replied, “Yes, I did feel the want of an explanation of a shloka but now it is clear to me.” The Mahárájá then said, “No I am talking about want of money.” Rámanátha replied, “Look, you had better ask my wife about domestic affairs.” Then the Mahárájá enquired of the wife. As is husband, so is his wife. She informed the King point blank, “Look, there is rice in the house and there are plenty of leaves on the tamarind tree. My husband relishes the stew of those leaves immensely. I don’t know of any other necessity.”
That is why I say, the greater the height reached by a person, inspired by a great ideal, the lesser shall be his sense of pleasure and pain. A wonderful show! People get dumb-founded at it but the magician himself remains unaffected as the secrets are all known to him. The spectators get stunned and overwhelmed by such a demonstration. The magician also sees the magic play but he does not get affected or overwhelmed. He only witnesses the play. Why? His only duty is to see if the play is being enacted properly. This world is also a magic play like this. Similarly the knower of Brahma only witnesses this game but he remains unaffected, by it. He remains unattached in spite of his being in the midst of the world, living beings etc., – in spite of his being in the midst of sufferings and enjoyments. Maháprabhu Caetanya had said to his dear disciple, –
Sthir haiṋá grhe yáha ná hao bátul;
Krame krame páy loke bhakti-sindhukúl.
Markat́ vaerágya ná kara lok dekháiṋá;
Yatháriiti viśaya-bhuiṋja nirásakta haiṋá.
Antare niśt́há kara báhya lokavyavahár;
Avashyai Krśńa tomá kariben uddhár.
Na tat pashyati cidrúpaḿ Brahma vasteva pashyati
Dharmadhar mitva va rta ca bhede sati hi bhidyate.
The knower of Brahma is like Consciousness itself. He has a thorough grasp of all objects. To a person of average intelligence water and ice are two different entities, but one who knows a little knows that ice is only a crudified form of water. Similarly where an average person sees a big difference between a pot and a potter or the religion and the religious, the knower of Brahma sees only the homogeneous oneness among them. Are the world and Brahma two different entities or are they indivisible? Is the one true and the other false? Is the difference that appears between the two, the truth or the lack of it? Such questions or such ways of thinking would never arise in the mind of a person with a Cosmic outlook.
Bhedábhedastathá bhedo’bhedah Sákśa Parátmana
Násti svátmátirekeńa svayamevásti sarvada.
Whether the world and Brahma are two separate entities or one singular entity – such thoughts are wrong in themselves. The knower of Brahma feels that the world is indeed His own manifestation. He knows that all is He. Rámbábu and Shyámbábu are two entities in common parlance but do you know how that difference looks from the Cosmic perspective? No more than the difference between man and human being, between sea and ocean, between wife and better half. From a sádhaka’s standpoint distinction does not exist. If I think of London in my mind, is there actually any difference between myself and that mental London. That is my own mental form, isn’t it?
The knower of Brahma then feels that as Brahma he abides in all objects – the nucleus of every thing. He feels that there exists no second entity in the universe. “No tasya pratima asti,” i.e., He has no comparison. Comparison calls for two objects and this means that there are two Brahmas. Hence Brahma is incomparable. Brahma is beyond the scope of words and mind and yet even that verbally and mentally incomprehensible Brahma is attainable by effort. You have got to touch Him with your innermost heart of hearts, got to hold him with your intuition, got to attain him by merging your soul in the Supreme Soul. His body is not a quinquelemental, finite entity that you can see with your eyes. He is indeed subtler than the subtle, vaster than the vast. To see Him you have got to use the lens of knowledge, moving aside the blinding obstructions or bondage of Avidyá or the forces of microcosmic distraction. If a salt doll goes to fathom the sea, it will certainly melt and become the sea itself. Similarly if the knower of Brahma goes to fathom Brahma he will merge in the Sea of Brahma and become Brahma Himself “Brahmavid Brahmaeva bhavati.” Constantly absorbed in the thought of Brahma, you too will become Brahma. Constantly thinking of a cockroach you will eventually become a cockroach. You cannot see Him with your crude eyes, for He is super-sensual, He has no pedigree or family line. This is so because He is unborn, beginningless and without causality. He is shapeless and formless. He has no form, for to ascribe a form to Him would be to impose a limit of demarcation around the infinite entity. As soon as the limitless Brahma is given form and turned into a limited entity, He ceases to be Brahma or the Great.
Acakśurshrotramatyarthaḿ tadapáńipadaḿ tathá
Nityaḿ vibhuḿ sarvagataḿ susukśmaḿca tadavyayam
He has no crude eyes but He sees everything with His cognitive vision. He has no ears, but He hears everything with His cognitive ears. Since nothing is outside Him He has no motor and sensory organs, but He does everything by dint of His imagination. For example, if you imagine a tree in your mind, its shadowy likeness will impress itself on your mental plate and a sense of visualizing the tree will be aroused in your mind. Does any independent tree actually exist outside you. Similarly Brahma is observing, hearing and doing everything by virtue of His thought-projection. He is an eternal, perpetual Entity beyond the purview of past, present and future. Being without beginning and end, He is called Vibhu or Eternal. He is subtler than the subtle and beyond all kinds of destruction.
Bráhmaevedamamrtaḿ tatpurastád brahmánandaḿ paramaḿ caeva pashcát
Brahmánandaḿ paramaḿ dakśińe ca brahmánandaḿ paramaḿ cottaraḿ ca.
The characteristically deathless Brahma is present in front of us, behind us, right and left of us in fact – everywhere. It is impossible to run away from Him. We are completely surrounded by Him.
Umásaháyam parameshvaraḿ prabhuḿ trilocanaḿ nilakánt́haḿ prashátam
Dhyátva munirgacchati bhútayonim samastasákśiim tamasah parastát.
Parama Puruśa is with Umá, Umá means Prakrti His operative principle. Brahma is the combined name of Puruśa and Prakrti. When the influence of Prakrti expresses itself upon the Puruśa, the cosmic thought process goes into action and by virtue of this activation by Prakrti, the sound of oṋḿkára can emanate. But when Prakrti is inactive, i.e., when Puruśa is predominant, in that case the Oṋḿkárá sound also stops. By a slight transposition of A. U. Ma the three constituent letters of the ideogram ([DEVANAGARI CHARACTER] or Oṋḿ), i.e., placing, “A” at the end, we get the word UMÁ. That is why Umapati (Pati means husband) means Puruśa. Brahma, in conjucation with Prakrti, is the cause of creation. In a particular content He may also be called Iisvara, means Controller Brahma is the controller of the organs and their gods directly and indirectly. His cognitive eyes are not two but three, i.e., He is the seer of all the three – past, present and future. He is Niilakańt́ha or blue-throated, i.e., the vast bluish sky is in the region of His throat. His initial extroversion or expansion from the subtle to the crude is the sky. The sky is of blue color and is capable of imbibing and carrying the sound. Hence Niilakańt́ha is a very suitable epithet for Brahma. His throat is not limited and demarcated like that of a unit. The entire creation is within Him. His depth is unfathomable and hence He is calm and tranquil. Reaching the original cause of all elements by virtue of their meditation and ideation the sages eventually attained the very Brahma Himself. His place is above all extroversive forces. He is all-knowing, all-witnessing and self-effulgent.
Sa Brahmá sa Shivah sendrah so’kśarah paramah svarát́
Sa eva Viśńu sa práńah sa kálágnih sa candramá.
He is the Brahmá i.e., when He is engaged in the act of creation, He is known as Brahmá. As Shiva or Consciousness He is the witnessing Entity of the mundane affairs. He is the Indra of the universe, i.e., the greatest of all. He is effulgent in His own effulgence – Svarúpena rájata iti svarát́. For His all-pervasiveness He is known as Viśńu. He is known as life itself because the existence of all entities is ingrained in His Entity. It is because of His possessing the inexhaustible power of destruction that He is known as Kálágni or the fire of destruction. He is called the moon, for He is shining in the Hrdayákásha or the firmament of the heart as the great and noble Intellect. Briefly speaking, all that you can think of concerning the worlds are within Him. He is the seed of all the Tanmátras, i.e., the generic essences of physical elements like sound, touch, form, taste and smell. The germ or sprout is verily His expression.
Sa eva sarvam yadbhútaḿ yacca bhavyaḿ sanátanam
Jiṋátvátaḿ mrtyumatyeti náhya panthá vimuktave
He is all that exists in this universe – all that exists in all objects. What ever has taken place, is taking place or will take place are all sustained in His existence, vibrated in His vibration, echoed and re-echoed in a thousand and one in his sound. His voice is the cosmic voice that establishes the beings of the mortal world immortality. His voice surges as the seed of the world, as the germ of the world, as the fruit bearing world-like tree. [It is] said in the Bible, “In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God.”
The vedas also sing the many glories of this vast mystic syllable or sound, oṋḿkára. The all merciful God has been teaching the fundamental of all learnings through the medium of this oṋḿkára. A person transcends death as well as all cares and woes for all eternity by the supreme being. There are two ways in which this can be achieved – through thought and through meditation of God at every step of his evolutional sport.
All are false, only Krśńa thrills
Pray, O mortals, Death at your heels.
(1) Ráhu being the head itself. –Trans.
(2) Of the countless number of veins or tubular organs of the human body, thirty-three are most important. The controlling entities of these thirty-three veins or tubes are called thirty-three gods, vid, eleven Rudras, eight Vasus, twelve Adityas, Indra and Prajápati. The Chief manifestation of the Cosmic Force is called Indra, which controls the human body entirely.
(a) The eleven rudras: Ten organs (sensory and motor) and the mind. “Rudra” means that which makes one cry. At the time of death when all the organs merge into their corresponding counter-gods, the mind becomes inactive and the human body becomes still and immobile. Due to this near and dear ones of the dead person cry piteously. These eleven gods make the human cry, and hence they are called Rudras.
(b) The eight vasus: Vasu means the habitat of the units; that is to say, those that are receptacles, shelters, or objects of the organs are called Vasu. The sun, the moon, the stars, the sky, the ether, the air, the fire and the earth are the eight Vasus.
(c) The twelve Ádityas: Áditya means Collector. Here it means that all those which takes or take away the consequences of deeds and life. Every moment the duration of life is being reduced, and the unit is being compelled to undergo the process of metamorphosis in order to enjoy or endure the consequences of his deeds. All these are taking place through the passage of time. Hence time is Áditya, for it takes away the life and the consequential moments of deeds. The twelve months are the twelve Ádityas.
(d) Indra: Indra means lightning, thunder or actional force.
(e) Prajápati: Prajápati means Yajiṋa (sacrifice) or action.
Some are of the opinion that the veins of the human body are uncountable. Others say that they are a few crores, as if they had counted them all. Many people say that the number of veins totals thirty three crores and so the gods are also of the same number. Truly speaking it is due to ignorance and blind faith that the controlling nerves and veins of the human body have been converted into thirty-three crores of gods, having so many different names and forms. Shaḿkara said in reference to gods –
Yájiṋavalkya said –
Dyotate kriidate yasmádudyate dyotate divi
Tasmáddeva iti proktah stúyate sarvadevataeh.
The gods are of two kinds – (1) Daehik Devatá (the physical gods). The manifestation of soul is accomplished through the organs, and so the organs are called Daehik Devatá and (2) Brahmik Devatá (Cosmic gods through whom the whole universe is manifested and controlled). Both are thirty-three in number. Each of the Cosmic gods is the counter-god of the respective physical gods. These physical gods get merged into the counter-gods, which again merge in Brahma, and that is why the liberated Sádhaka becomes Brahma Himself.
(3) Author’s footnote on the other two meanings of kula omitted here. –Trans.
(4) It is the Supreme Brahma Who is the creator of the universe and to create is also an act. Where there is action, there is sound. The prańava or Oṋḿkára is indeed the sound of the creative thought-process of the Supreme Spirit and he who has merged himself in Brahma due to the absence of Saḿskára or reactive momentum, has attained a position even above Brahmá, Viśńu and Maheshvara.
Of the three letters (A, U, Ma) of the Oṋḿkára “A” (অ) is the seed of creations, “U” (উ) is the seed of stability or preservation and “Ma” (ম) is the seed of destruction. “A” being the creative alphabet, Brahma is called Brahmá (Brahma + a) in reference to creation. Suppose a man’s name is Rámbabu. His son will call him “father” and his pupil will call him “sir”; these are but the titles of Rámbabu applied to his specific occupational conditions, Actually Rámbabu is one, Saguńá Brahma imbibes three chief acts, viz., creation, preservation and destruction. These acts of creation, preservation and destruction are taking place in the psychic sphere of Brahma. With the termination of its thought process all the manifestations of these three kinds of acts will also cease. For instance, when we think of Bhagalpur, a clear picture of Bhagalpur gets projected on our mental plate and when we give up the thought of Bhagalpur, the picture of Bhagalpur gets lost in that very mental plate. If afterwards we cease to think at all, the mind also loses its existence. So Brahmá, Viśńu and Mahesh are the nomenclatures of the different psychic acts of Brahma Himself. When a Sádhaka, having gone beyond the mental stratum, gets ensconced in the immutable, pure Brahmic region, he certainly enjoys greater importance or superiority over these three gods. That state is the characteristic state of the unit – the supreme state of Shiva or Cosmic Transcendentality. Asked to reveal his identity, Lord Saḿkarácaŕya said –
Manobuddhyahaḿkáro cittani náham
Na ca shrotrajihave na ca ghráńa netre
Návyoma bhúmirna tejo na váyuh
Cidánandarúpo’shivo’haḿ shivo ham.
Not mind nor I-feeling nor ego am I
Nor ear nor tongue nor nose nor eye
Nor air nor earth nor sun nor sky
The Soul Eternal am I, am I.
Ananda Marga Ideology and Way of Life in a Nutshell Part 3 [a compilation]
Bábá’s Grace [a compilation]
Subháśita Saḿgraha Part 2