Everything maps onto everything else. To look out over the night sky is to look out to the entire universe. Yet it revolves around a single point—the pole star (north star). Taking a closer look, the handle of the seven-starred big dipper points to the pole star. As the seasons change, the dipper rotates 360 degrees around the pole star. The dipper’s new position in each of the four seasons creates the swastika shape (andthe cross of Christianity) with the center, the pole star, being the heart and soul of the universe. This maps onto (correlates with) the central core of each and every individual.
The Rishi value (the central core, the Knower, you) is the finest fabric of the soul, your essence. The Rishis can be sensed above the head. However, if the relationship with that is not healthy, it can be a terrible distraction. More importantly the Rishi quality can be experienced deep within your being, the soul, the Jiva. The Rishis then, are the laws of nature (Dharma) that are the most refined quality of nature that comprises the Jiva (individual soul). So it is through the Rishis within that the depth of the Self–and through that, God–are known.
Our lives revolve around that one point, the essence of our being, the depth of our soul, the Jiva. Like a two-sided coin, the Jiva is the deepest aspect of our being still in relative existence. The other side of that coin is called the Atman, the (Bindu) point gateway to the Absolute Transcendental Source of all that is, i.e. God. To access the Divine is to know God through the Jiva. That is the meaning of “the kingdom of heaven dwells within.” The totality of existence dwells within you. As said in the Bhagavad Gita, all the Gods dwell within you.
Yet it is the syndrome of humanity that people look outside of themselves to find God. The mapping is that God dwells outside of us, over our heads and above. Though that mapping has validity, it leads so many astray. Such echoes of Truth, perceived as Truth, hold Truth at bay. It becomes an enticing astral level of spirituality. Worship of God then, so easily goes out of balance and becomes a life-consuming, intoxicating distraction. Indeed, the longing for God often reaches outside ourselves. Yet as the Gita and the Bible both say, the kingdom of heaven dwells within.
To find God is to refine and strengthen our experience of the Jiva, the Rishi value, the Self. It is an inward process, not an outward one. It is, of course, fine and feels nurturing, healing, and fantastic to sing the praise of God as outside and above us, but the evolutionary process is in the opposite direction, namely within. Over-emphasis of the outward direction then pulls us away from the God we feel we are reaching toward. To outwardly sing the praises of God on a Sunday afternoon in your church or temple is wonderful and is one thing. To turn it into your daily practice is quite another. God is actually revealed by the Self, to the Self, and through the Self, i.e. the Jiva.
This is why it is taught that we repeat Mantras silently. This directs the awareness to and through the Jiva, the Rishi value. Within the depth of our being, we already are One with God. We already know the Rishis. We can all sense that to some degree, though may say it in different ways. So when a Mantra is repeated silently, even if the pronunciation, rhythm, etc. are not exact, the deep physiology with the Jiva corrects it.
It is said in the Shastras that ten rules of proper pronunciation must be followed to prevent any distortion to be driven into the physiology. In fact, the Vedangas are said to be dedicated to that topic. To sing the praises of God on occasion is beautiful and fine but the actual regular daily practice is to be done silently. Also, it is best to leave the outward recitation to trained Pandits and those raised with proper enunciation. In fact, to hear Westerners try to speak out Sanskrit words can have a coarse feel to it. That is why in the temple, it is best to listen to those whose physiologies and dictions have been cultured from childhood to pronounce Vedic recitations properly. Yet at the same time, reaching outward for God can fill the heart and feel so nurturing and alluring… echoes of Truth holding Truth at bay. The path to God is indeed elusive and subtle, like traversing the razor’s edge, or passing through the eye of the needle.
We see in most every religion the reaching outside of ourselves for the Divine. Some call it being born again. Some call it attaining enlightenment, Bhakti, or Nirvana. Some say through that, God walks with them and talks with them and heals their body, mind, and life. They say they are saved. Unchecked, it hooks, intoxicates, and becomes the source of fanaticism foundational to so many religious practices.
With meditation and the Advanced Techniques, the experience of the Jiva (the Rishi value) is refined and strengthened. It does not promise instant enlightenment. Human evolution is a cultivation, not an detonation. Steady hand on the rudder. Staying on the path with distraction-free rationality is the key. The brain has two aspects… loving heart (Bhakti) and rational mind (Gyana). As illustrated in the Gita, true Bhakti comes once Gyana is solid. Know your Jiva through the Rishi value. Know God through your Jiva. JivoDevaha means the two sides of the one coin: Jiva (the Self, i.e. the Rishi value) and the Atman (Deva, God).
Perhaps you would enjoy watching the following video. Click here to watch it. The second in the series is also interesting. I imagine the rest are as well.
Sociology is obviously a huge field of study, but let’s take a look at it from the perspective of Vedic Science. Vedic Science explains:
1) There is an underlying essence (called the Unified Field of physics, Oneness, God, Is-ness, Pure Consciousness, etc.).
2) All things (from the individual, to a grain of sand, to groups, cultures, planets, and anything else you can think of) share this same One Essence: “I am that. Thou art that. All of this is nothing but that.”
3) That One thing is the source of existence as it interacts with itself in perfect harmony to manifest, support, and maintain all of existence.
4) That One thing is the source of all the laws of nature—Natural Law.
5) When living in harmony with Natural Law, individuals and groups (from family dynamics to societies and cultures) are healthy, receive the support of nature, and flourish.
6) What living in harmony with nature looks like is not simple or easy to describe. It varies through time and from individual to individual, society to society, and culture to culture.
7) Individuals, groups, and cultures embrace a worldview determined by their level of harmony with nature, their level of consciousness. Thereby, they define truth and what harmony with nature ‘should’ look like.
8) A healthy culture (society) cultures the social and personal health of its individuals. This is done by supporting people to live in harmony with the laws of nature.
9) Harmony with nature cannot be determined through conditioned responses of individuals and the groupthink of those not living in harmony with nature.
10) Social laws and religious precepts are attempts to determine what living in harmony with nature should look like. As societies evolve, so do those social laws and understandings. Individuals and societies judge one another from the perspective of their own level of consciousness.
11) Understanding this essential nature of existence inspires people to be more discerning in their beliefs. Through proper meditation and discernment people can evolve. To evolve is to rest into their true nature, which is one with (in harmony with) Mother Nature. As individuals evolve, societies evolve.
12) However, old conditioned modes of thought, emotional responses, and behavior self-justify. Through such self-justification, even well intended people unknowingly resist that evolutionary process. Knowledge is thusly substituted by mistaken thinking, fanaticism, superstition and emotionalism. Anything can be justified by the intellect and at one time or another pretty much everything is.
13) Notions of Truth, perceived as Truth, hold Truth at bay. Humility is the flip side of discernment.
14) The path of evolution is so incredibly elusive, like traversing the razor’s edge or passing through the eye of the needle. Even the teachings of an enlightened guru and the wisest scriptural records of this world are taken, forgotten, spun, or even rebelled against to suit the mental and emotional states of the individual as well as members within a group–even an entire society. Thusly Knowledge slips through the fingers of humanity.
15) Ignorance means ‘to ignore’ (ignore-ance). In this age of ignorance, wisdom and discernment are kicked around like footballs.
16) As individuals in a society rest into the transcendental depth of their being, the society will heal. It is a process which requires time and patience. Progress is measured not in the amount of information one has accumulated. Progress is measured not in the degree one has modified their behavior to suit a belief. Progress is measured not in the degree of emotional gratification. Progress is measured not in how many years invested. If one insists upon measuring progress, it would be measured by how many lifetimes of wise discernment one has lived.
Please note that our blog notification system has been down for a few weeks; thus the delay in this post.
During this autumn’s Nine Days of Mother Divine, we had the annual 6 hour Durga Havan. It is such a tremendous Havan. The power builds and builds. By the end, the Shakti is incredibly palpable. All the people are so wonderful. It is such a feeling of family, friendship, and community. I feel so honored to be a part of it. My humble gratitude to each and every one of you.
A few days before, I mentioned to Panditji that I would be buying a pumpkin because, as he has said, this is the time of year to put a pumpkin on the front porch as it will dispel any negative energies from the home and residents. He told me to bring it to the Havan so it would be blessed and become powerful. One thing led to the next and MB ended up donating 10 pumpkins to the Havan for others who would like to also have one. Panditji said that all the power of the Havan would be there in the pumpkins to protect the homes where they were placed. Based upon the wise response, one thing is for sure: next year, we are going to need more pumpkins!
In a recent poll, nearly half of college students said they would like “In God We Trust” taken off of our currency. This, to me, screams out one thing more than any other: The popular understanding of “God” from the past no longer works for the current mentality.
A couple hundred years ago, for most people, spirituality and religion were all about faith. In today’s world, “faith” implies “blind faith.” Today, things need to be based upon logic. If something does not make sense, if something cannot be justified rationally and scientifically, then it is rejected.
With the advent of modern physics, we can make sense of spirituality: There is a unified field—one thing out of which all things emerged—one thing that is the essence of everything. Vedic Knowledge goes deeply into not only the subjective, but also that objective, understanding of spirituality. That is why so many modern physicists (Oppenheimer, Einstein, Heisenberg, Schrodinger, etc.) all honored and studied Vedic science.
In my classes and writings, I include the rational basis of spirituality. It is not a refutation of devotion and heartfelt Bhakti, but rather (particularly in the world today) an essential component of Bhakti. If we want our youth to honor “In God We Trust”, then we need to offer the rational understanding first. Only then will they have a spiritual foundation they can accept.
Of course, the rational component also deepens our understanding and purges spirituality of much superstition and confusion. Spirituality must have two feet to stand upon—Bhakti and Gyan (heart and mind). Each supports, deepens, and moves the other forward.
If college youths compel us to bring out rational spiritual knowledge more clearly and fully, then in the end, they will have done spirituality and the motto “In God We Trust” a great service.
The Law of Karma seems straight forward enough. It is simple cause and effect. For every action, there is an equal but opposite reaction. It’s just elementary, Newtonian physics. We live in a cause and effect world—a world of Karma. However, when we enter the domain of justice, things become quite obscure.
It is interesting to look up the word “justice” in dictionaries. The definitions are rather circular, using words like “righteous,” “moral,” “just,” “divine law,” “moral law,” etc. Merriam Webster suggests moral be described as: “perceptual or psychological rather than tangible or practical in nature or effect.”
I recall a man on the news proclaiming moral justice when a hurricane struck a gay community in south Florida. I recall a woman being mocked on the news when she even suggested that nature delivers moral Karma through acts or events of nature in the physical world. We are all quite aware of ‘justice’ being delivered by the courts in outrageous ‘legal’ ways, from the Salem witch trials to the nightly news.
Is justice really nothing more than, as Miriam Webster suggests, a psychological or perceptual, subjective judgement call? Do facts and reason come in at a distant second place to emotional gut reactions that vary wildly from one generation, one era, one cultural group, one country, and one state to the next? Dare we call that justice?
Can we really say there is Divine justice when we see small children suffer, aircrafts crash with over a hundred on board, and cities demolished by the random assault of a tornado? Can what actually IS be so radically divergent from what we base our lives upon and what we adamantly cling to with our convictions and perspectives?
Is there a direct correlation, a connection, between the physical cause and effect world and the delivery of moral justice? If so, can we even begin to fathom such a principle, and decide for ourselves when justice was served and why?
I dare not presume that I can sway the course of human behavior with my opinion on this matter. Yet, I do believe we can all gain by taking a step back and reflecting on this subject with an ever-broadening vision. As we do so, the mechanics of creation seamlessly merge the complexities of life, both physical and moral, into a very simple, yet profound, principle. Everything is seen to be infinitely integrated, correlated, and coherent. All the pieces of the puzzle do, ultimately, come together.
There is, as theologians and modern physicist alike have claimed, one thing that is the source of everything. All things emerge from and return to that. I liken the principle to water from the ocean becoming rain on the mountain top, and returning via a long tumbling journey down a mountain stream to that ocean. All follow the path of karmic events as we do our best to navigate the waters of life. As our vision broadens, we become ever increasingly free from the clutches that Karma has upon the very nature of our thoughts and emotions.
As we come to understand the nature of life more and more fully, our relationship with life becomes wiser: our behavior becomes less arrogant and more innocent; our convictions become more humble; our perspectives become less adamantly adhered to; our gut instincts become more reflective and tempered; and our will, actions, and reactions become more and more aligned with the nature of life. The nature of life is the nature of Mother Nature, is the nature of Oneness, the nature of God. We simply do our best to navigate the waters of the unfathomable flow of life.
Emancipation means freedom from the clutches of narrowness of vision—living in the world of Karma, but not being lost to it— awakening to that which lies just beyond the horizon of the world of Karma. In that place, beyond the horizon, beyond the narrowness of human conviction, beyond the world of cause and effect, all things unify. People sing its praises in church on Sundays. All people long for it. It dwells within us all, yet is hidden behind the curtain of Karma. We need only to see past that curtain.
Through the toils and tribulations of life, we struggle with relativity until the clouds of Karma often can part, and we see beyond relativity—we gain emancipation. Yet, even the emancipated deal with relativity and injustice when they function in this world of Karma, this world of relative justice and injustice.
Even when a divine incarnation enters into this world of imperfection, they are dealing with imperfection. Even when a divine being, Lord Rama as an example, entered the world of relativity, his interactions were in this world of imperfection. In spite of our idealized notions, there is no True Justice in the field of relativity. That is what relativity means. It’s all relative.
I’ve been asked why the enlightened Gurus of history did not employ the incredible technologies described in Vedic Literature: flying machines, construction beyond modern capabilities, world peace generators, etc., etc. After all, they are enlightened and then should know everything. Right? But let’s ask the question another way: What can we learn about the state of enlightenment from the fact that enlightened Gurus of history never brought forth these Vedic technologies?
It has been said that in the Age of Ignorance (Kali Yuga), enlightened people are kicked around like footballs. There is clearly a limit to what they can do. In Kali Yuga, an enlightened individual is like sunshine on a frigidly cold snowy winter day. The snow does not melt, or melts very little. The grip of the ages is not easily brushed away with the flick of an enlightened individual’s wrist.
Now we can take this simple example and generalize it to gain insight into how our hearts and minds work. We learn not by projecting our notions upon the world. We learn by observing the world and learning from our observations. That is quite common sensical. However, it is actually quite rare. We want things to be the way we believe they are or we think they should be. People usually believe in their indoctrinations more than they believe in anything else. Often, people are unable to accept what is, and adjust accordingly. Rather, they cling to what they have been previously led to believe, and then twist and rationalize away anything that contradicts that. It is a huge step forward in a person’s development when they are able to see past their indoctrinations (conditionings, convictions, perspectives, programming, limitations, beliefs— call it what you will).
However, venturing into the terrain that lies beyond beliefs is a slippery slope. It can lead to militants, rebellion, blind alleys, and oblivion. Moving past one’s limitations responsibly requires reflection, reason, humility, introspection, time, and effort. To do so responsibly requires wisdom. After all, we have built worlds, taken sides, reinforced convictions via ‘education,’ created friendships and alliances, and invested ourselves in those identities, those limitations. We would prefer they not be messed with! Those indoctrinations become who and what we believe, not just about the world, but about ourselves.
Adi Shankara (the great Guru) said that the spiritual path is the path of discernment. In life, we do well to discern our convictions—to separate the wheat from the chaff. We must cultivate the ability to embrace what is valid and evolve past what is not. To discern is not so easy to do. The intellect can justify anything and does. Our beliefs and convictions are heartfelt and not easy to see beyond.
See what is. Then strive to understand what is seen. To truly see is to understand. To see is not just about what lies outside yourself. The ability to see is more about with lies within you. Most project onto what they see, build a case reinforcing that perspective, and call it truth. Few actually perceive what is.
Wisdom is innocence. Innocence is not oblivion. The lack of innocence is oblivion—over-standing, not understanding. Innocence simply means honestly and humbly seeing what is and acting accordingly. That is not so simple. Strive for wisdom.