Just not about God
It was the third day after my marriage.
“Beta tumahre maayke se koyi aaya hai,” said my mother-in-law. “He wants to meet you but refuses to come in.”
Who could it be? Puzzled, I rushed out.
Near the gate stood a bearded, elderly looking man, wearing a skull cap. He had a box of sweets in his hand. I strained my eyes to recognize him. Oh, God…It was Quasim, our old house help. When I was a kid, he used to drop me and my brother to school. I had not seen him in a decade. Why was he here?
“Beta aap khush to ho naa?” he asked hesitatingly.
Unable to attend my marriage due to ill health, he had come to Delhi to meet me. Only to ensure that I was happily married!
“Aap andar chaliye. Khaana kha ke jaayega,” I told him. He refused, saying that it was not proper to eat at a daughter’s house. He handed over a box of sweets. There was nothing much to say. He blessed me and left.
Entering my room, I went back to my childhood. Those days, my father a doctor with the Indian Railways, was posted at Moradabad. And Quasim, a middle-aged railway employee, used to work in our house. He would carry my school bag and drop me to school. Then he returned back to complete sundry jobs of buying vegetables and playing cricket with my younger brother. His punctuality, his honesty and his quiet dignified presence was a big support. In fact he was our Man Friday.
Then the unfortunate riots between Hindus and Muslims flared in 1980. We were in school. With minor skirmishes in the city, the situation was tense. That day the school decided to close early. And even before parents could come, Quasim was there to pick me up. Unfortunately, when it was time for him to return back, curfew was imposed. His house was in the heart of the city, where maximum rioting had taken place. Yet, he wanted to go. My father forced him to stay with us that day. Reluctantly he agreed.
Worse was in store that night. Rumors floated that a man from a different community was staying in our house. A fanatical mob had plans to get him that night. Oblivious of the tension prevailing, as kids we were devising plans to hide him. It was exciting, just like a mystery novel. The secluded pooja room in the courtyard was the safest option. My grandmother was not informed about it. It was our secret. For two nights we managed to keep my grandmother away from her pooja room, concocting stories about some repair work. When the curfew was relaxed on the third day, my dad dropped Quasim home in an official vehicle with police escorts. Then my father got transferred to Nagpur, and we lost touch with him.
This incident came to my mind recently when the ghost of Ayodhya had returned to haunt us. And as the government panicked in self-inflicted tension, faith in goodness prevailed. It was all about playing games with the incendiary mix of religion and politics. It was just not about God.
What’s about God, you ask?
Helping, caring, sharing……Maybe it’s as simple as smiling at someone.
Ancient Wisdom, Modern relevance – Purpose of Life
Purpose of Life
So, here we are. Another year has passed as per the Gregorian calendar. Even as I started for home on Dec 31st evening from office, around 6:30PM, the grounds within the campus had been converted in to an ‘open-air’ ‘fun’ ‘party floor’. Laser lights, fog effects and ear-drum blasting music, alcoholic drinks… pretty much the trend these days, isn’t it? For one, I never understood the concept of ‘drunken fun’.
Drinking and driving don’t mix… how about drinking and dancing, like having something wriggling up the legs?? Surely, puking on the girlfriend’s (or boyfriend’s) dress (whatever part of it is ‘cloth’) isn’t fun now really, is it?
Well, I have seen this happen for the last couple of years, and this is becoming a tradition these days. It is cool to go to a New Year party, hang out (whatever that means) with cool buddies, stress and flush the stomach out, get up with a headache in the morning, start the daily grind… in the second day of the year, waiting for the weekend, so one can celebrate the New Week!
I won’t be surprised if I hear a “Happy Week #23!”, or a “Wish you a very happy new week! Best wishes for your promotion dreams to come true! Hope you get a good hike (for the treat, of course)!” in another couple of years.
(Does anyone think how the pay hikes are made possible? Does anyone think how ‘inflation’ occurs? This is another exercise for the readers to put their thinking cap on!)
“What’s wrong in partying? People are just having some good time… just a night of fun, to unwind, to relax…”
“Come on dude, life’s meant to be enjoyed…”
Hmmm. Hold on. Enjoyed? Is that what ‘life’ as we live it meant to be really? To be enjoyed?
Let’s dwell on this a bit, alright?
There are four activities in this world that are common to ALL living entities: Eating, Sleeping, Mating and Defending. We humans, especially, are doing all of the above extraordinarily well, since the level of intelligence we are endowed with allows a greater range of control, but along with greater intelligence and facilities comes greater responsibility… a purpose to this life, and living.
So, what is the purpose of life?
We take birth. We die. In the time between these two events, we do so many things, believing that it improves our lives, increases our standard of living and gives us happiness. Good parents, nice food and robust health, a cozy home, high education, beautiful wife, chubby children, warm friends… these are all the aspirations of anyone who wants to lead a ‘happy’ life.
But what is the purpose of life? No one taught us that really, did they? We learn everything at school and college, about math, history, zoology, music, spacecrafts, and microbes… each one is an expert in one thing or other. But where are we taught “the purpose of life”?
Truth is we are discouraged from asking such a question! You will see blank stares, snickering laughs, frowns and everything in between to such a question from ‘normal’ day-to-day people. But what else can they do? They, after all, are also as much in the dark, aren’t they? What really happens is that each one is left to one’s own imagination to cook up a purpose to their living (which might include just living without a purpose too, ironically).
Add to this confusion the modern philosophers and pseudo-spiritualists who have now begun singing a tune to “Each one decides what’s best for oneself”… and you can now see the mess it has done. I don’t even have to explain it to this audience, I hope. Nowadays, it doesn’t matter if a perspective is right or wrong… it is of no consequence, as long as everyone agrees with everybody else.
But there is an obvious difference between the individual perceptions on the purpose of life and the objective purpose underlying life itself.
“What a load of BS! Life has no purpose, other than what we imagine…”
I have heard this countless times. Yes, if the modern evolution theory is to be considered (just for a fleeting moment) as true, the above statement probably becomes valid, since the theory is based on the assumption that life evolved from matter by random, purposeless mechanical/ chemical processes. But that ‘theory’ is just that. If one accepts the teachings of the Vedas by proper guidance and application, one can easily understand that ‘life force’ cannot arise from matter and must have a spiritual origin. And consequently, everything has a purpose and reason for occurring/ existing. Just because that purpose or reason is not readily apparent to our limited senses does not mean it does not or cannot exist.
In the human form of life, a spirit soul is given great intelligence and so many facilities. But it comes with a condition, as put forth by the very first sutra of the Vedanta Sutras, which essentially states the purpose of ‘Life’:
athato brahma jijnasa
"Now is the time to inquire about the Absolute Truth."
Many say self-realization is the final goal, that once you understand who you really are (which varies from ‘you are nothing, zero’ to ‘you are God’ depending on who you ask) you become realized and nothing more to do. There are different kinds of such philosophers and spiritualists… mayavadis, sunyavadis and so on. But, unfortunately for them, we can understand from the Bhagavad Gita that self realization is just the first step towards something more important. It is only the ignorance and neglect the modern generation has been having regarding the Vedas and Vedic scriptures that have allowed all kinds of bogus philosophies to crop up in the name of spirituality.
The first step in understanding the purpose of life is to know our actual nature. Once that realization dawns upon us, the next step is to enquire in to our relationship with the Absolute being, God, revealed as Krishna through the Bhagavad Gita. Once the understanding of the relationship is got, the last step is acting on such knowledge. Considering this along with the concept of the Supreme Lord Krishna being the owner of everything as explained in the previous article, everything that we have must be used in the service of the Absolute being, Krishna (including the efforts of the scientists and leaders). That fulfills the purpose of life.
Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 1 Chapter 2 Verse 10:
lābho jīveta yāvatā
nārtho yaś ceha karmabhiḥ
“Life’s desires should never be directed toward sense gratification. One should desire only a healthy life, or self-preservation, since a human being is meant for inquiry about the Absolute Truth. Nothing else should be the goal of one’s works.”
The human form of life is especially meant for this purpose. We are given the faculties to do what many other species cannot: Think about ourselves. Yet, we would readily accept a grossly ‘unscientific’ declaration “Life has no purpose” when we can keep yapping about goodness, charity, eradication of poverty and what not.
Srimad Bhagavatam, the top most purana, explains in great detail that Bhakti Yoga is the only recommended way in this Kali Yuga to gain such a level of understanding on ourselves, the Supreme Lord and the real purpose of life easily. I am aware that all this is the ‘theory’ part… and I haven’t gotten in to the ‘how to’ part till now, because I do not consider myself as an accomplished spiritualist… consider me like a patient who has been cured by a doctor and is recommending the doctor to other ‘patients’.
With this, I end the “Ancient Wisdom, Modern Relevance” series.
Ambi’s personal Note: I do not know how effective or useful my articles were. There were so many discussions, so many arguments. I am sure there are several readers who did not participate in the exchange of comments but were silent spectators, several people who liked the articles/ comments, and several who disliked those. Almost everything I have put forth in my articles, I had learned from Srila Prabhupada’s books and his disciples (and No, I am not a member of ISKCON).
I hope at least a few of the readers would take up studying the “Bhagavad Gita As It Is” by Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada with sincerity and benefit from it for eternity. If anything, this whole exercise was probably meant to be for my own purification. Thank you.
Article written by Ambi.
Understanding the concept of God – Part 13 Panchathanmatras
Panchathanmatras (Physical transformation of energies)
The intelligence in the Consciousness & the force together functioned & designed this beautiful body with the help of the energy particles. How does the energy inside the body converts into pressure, light, taste, smell & sound to experience this world? The energy inside the body rotates fast & magnetism is formed due to the attraction & repulsion which you know already. Just as the electrical energy is converted into light energy & heat energy, magnetism formed is transformed into light, taste, smell & sound. I would like to explain what is soul before that.
The outer layer of man is the physical body. The inner layer is the “astral body” which is the aggregate of the life force particles, that penetrative and circulate throughout the physical structure. The third layer is the “causal body”, which is the aggregate total of the bio magnetism existing & functioning in the physical body.
As a general law of Nature, anything that circulates or spins forms its own intensified centre. Under this principle the bio magnetism also get intensified & forms its own intensified centre. This centre automatically forms at the centre of the physical body & this is called the “genetic “ centre. Here, the genes with their chromosomes accommodate the intensity of bio magnetism, sexual vital fluid & the heavier life force particles. This is a divine magnetic domain of compressed characteristics of the 3 layers of man. This is called “soul” This soul experiences everything with the help of the sense organs.
Just as the bulb is made in such a way to transform the electrical energy into light, the magnetic wave which goes through the sense organs are structured to experience what is around. Certain amount or unit of energy goes out of the body in the form of magnetic waves as pressure, light, sound, smell & taste. Because of the conversion & consumption process of bio- magnetism into electricity & chemicals, elimination of a certain degree of pressure, sound, light, taste & smell from a body is continuously going on through the respective senses (skin, ears, eyes, tongue, & nose) & the outgoing electricity & chemicals are spreading & mixing with the atmospheric field all around the body.
This is the process of physical transformation of life energy, naturally common to all living beings. According to the magnetic, electrical & chemical intensity & the quality of the living beings, the degree of elimination of the above said five results may vary from one species to another from time to time.
Normally when we take a sweet say for example laddu. The first one will be very tasty & if we take another one, it might be still tastier for someone but if you are forced to eat another one you will not like the taste & you might even feel like vomiting. Why is it like that? What makes it so? Have we ever thought about it? We simply say that it becomes stale. How does the staleness come? What happens in the tongue?
If the laddu has the sweet taste then it should have the same sweetness even if we eat 10 or even more. Actually it is not so. The mixture of all the ingredients have some chemicals which when put in the mouth , induces the sweetness in the tongue due to the bio- magnetism. The limited amount or unit of energy is going out through the tongue as bio magnetism. When the laddu touches the tongue & the level of the bio magnetism gets accelerated & we feel it very sweet & tasty. The more we eat the laddu, the bio -magnetism rises & leaves from the tongue & we are not able to feel the taste. So it is the bio magnetism that makes us feel the sweetness & when lot of the energy depletes from us, we are not able to feel the taste. The best example is a dog bites the bone & blood comes out from it’s own mouth, but the dog thinks that the taste is from the bone & keeps on biting the bone injuring itself.
In the same way we think that the taste of any food comes from the food. In fact, it is the conversion of our own bio magnetism that makes us feel the tastes of food. This is what is Maya & the same happens with the other organs like the eyes, ears & nose. Another example is that when we enter the theater in the noon, at first we will not be able to see the seat & only after some time we see the seats & the people clearly. Why is it so?
We are in the bright sunlight & our bio magnetism will be in an accelerated level say about 20 units as light waves. Once we enter the theatre, the light coming out from the screen will be 10 units. So the magnetism from our body should reduce to 10 & below. Only then will we be able to see the people around. After some time when the magnetism reduces & comes to the same level we can see the people around clearly.
If the accelerated conversion is within the tolerable limits of the senses & conversion of magnetism releases surplus energy, the feeling will be pleasurable. When the conversion- level of magnetism exceeds the tolerable limit of the senses or depresses the stock of bio- magnetism below the critical level required to maintain the existence & survival of the living being, the feeling is pain. Only the plus- degree will accelerate our feeling to result in perception.
Man has to keep all his enjoyments within a certain limit because every pleasure is the significance of expenditure of his own bio- magnetism.
For the the previous posts under “Understanding the Concept of God” by Radha Chandran , click here
Ancient Wisdom, Modern relevance – śrī-bhagavān uvāca
Śrī-bhagavān uvāca means “The Supreme Personality of Godhead said”.
Bhagavān is how Lord Krishna is addressed by Srimad Bhagavad Gita. It means one who has the six opulences, namely Wealth, Strength, Fame, Beauty, Knowledge and Renunciation, unlimitedly. If you read the list carefully, you will see that almost all so-called celebrities of this world are known for having the opulences stated above, one or more at any time. But even they do not compare to Bhagavān, who is the Lord of everything that is and has all the opulence in unlimited quantity.
In my last article, we saw how Arjuna is overcome by grief and refuses to take up arms against his kinsmen. Being such a ‘nice person’, one would have thought that Lord Krishna, as God, would have been very happy and said “Arjuna, I am so proud of you! You are non-violent! That’s just great!”
Did he? NO. Krishna, in fact, scolds Arjuna in the strongest of words. Here it is, Bhagavad Gita Chapter 02, verse 2-3:
kutas tvā kaśmalam idaḿ
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear Arjuna, how have these impurities come upon you? They are not at all befitting a man who knows the value of life. They lead not to higher planets but to infamy.
klaibyaḿ mā sma gamaḥ pārtha
naitat tvayy upapadyate
O son of Pṛthā, do not yield to this degrading impotence. It does not become you. Give up such petty weakness of heart and arise, O chastiser of the enemy.
I do not think that Krishna’s words need any explanation here.
Arjuna is shocked! He asks Krishna how can he encourage slaying men worthy of worship, being his teachers. He declares it’s better to live of begging than to live at the cost of these great souls. Then he accepts that he is confused with miserly weakness and that he is now Krishna’s disciple and then requests Krishna to dispel his grief. Then he says “Govinda, I shall not fight” and became silent.
What comes next is a very, very important section of Bhagavad Gita. The Supreme Lord begins his instruction to his surrendered devotee. Since his instructions carry the essence of the entire Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 02 is termed as a summary of the contents of the Bhagavad Gita. This will be quite a long article if I were to address all the instructions, so I will summarize on the main topics that are being addressed.
Lord Krishna begins with the explanation of the soul or atma by reprimanding Arjuna and calling him unwise for speaking like a learned man (because he made so many emotional arguments) but grieving for things that don’t deserve grief and also that the wise lament neither for the living nor for the dead. The very next statement he makes to Arjuna on this topic is this:
na tv evāhaḿ jātu nāsaḿ
na tvaḿ neme janādhipāḥ
na caiva na bhaviṣyāmaḥ
sarve vayam ataḥ param
“Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be.” – BG2.12
This statement is a damning rebuttal of the theory which states that all souls merge in to the brahma-jyoti, losing their identity, and also of the theory where individuality is said to be an effect of illusion or Maya. In a way, it also is a statement that refutes the theory of evolution, where life is proclaimed to come from matter and has no purpose or prior or future existence. The next statement explains the core principle of Transmigration of the Soul:
dehino ‘smin yathā dehe
kaumāraḿ yauvanaḿ jarā
dhīras tatra na muhyati
“As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. A sober person is not bewildered by such a change.” – BG2.13
So, what are the characteristics of this spirit soul? In Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2, verses 16-25, this is described clearly. A spirit soul is eternal, indestructible, cannot be cut in to pieces, cannot be burnt by fire, cannot be moistened by water or withered by wind, immutable, invisible and inconceivable.
And so, Lord Krishna says to Arjuna that he shouldn’t lament for the person who dies, since it’s only the body that is slain. After that, Krishna explains why Arjuna must fight, by telling how people would speak ill of Arjuna if he didn’t do his duty, and how the generals would think him to be weak. Krishna also begins talking about how Arjuna should do his duty for the sake of doing it, without considering the result. This, Lord Krishna says, would let Arjuna avoid sin.
He also conveys to Arjuna that what he has heard till now was only from the analytical point of view. So, Krishna begins explaining the same principles in terms of working without fruitive results. It is in this section he speaks the famous verse 47 in Chapter 02 (made popular, thanks to the Mahabharata serial on TV and countless pseudo-philosophers who claim this as the essence of Bhagavad Gita)
karmaṇy evādhikāras te
mā phaleṣu kadācana
mā karma-phala-hetur bhūr
mā te sańgo ‘stv akarmaṇi
“You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty.”
The Acharyas explain that the Lord is talking about prescribed duties here, but we normally, wrongly, take this to mean that Krishna is talking about day to day mundane activities. So, one must do his prescribed duty, without attachment to success or failure. Allow me to deal in this a bit more. Lord Krishna does not say here that results are to be ignored or that we should carry out our duties carelessly. Since the Supreme Lord is the proprietor of everything, he owns the results too. We must understand that our self is just one of the five factors that influence action. This is from Chapter 18, verse 14.
adhiṣṭhānaḿ tathā kartā
karaṇaḿ ca pṛthag-vidham
vividhāś ca pṛthak ceṣṭā
daivaḿ caivātra pañcamam
“The place of action [the body], the performer, the various senses, the many different kinds of endeavor, and ultimately the Supersoul — these are the five factors of action.”
So, unless the results are dedicated to the Supreme Lord, Krishna, then that work causes bondage and suffering. How we should understand this is simply that as a spirit soul, we have to be engaged in activity. We have capacity for work and are intermediate causes, but material nature creates result and it is controlled by Lord Krishna. This is mentioned in Chapter 09, verse 10.
“This material nature, which is one of My energies, is working under My direction, O son of Kuntī, producing all moving and nonmoving beings. Under its rule this manifestation is created and annihilated again and again.”
So, we don’t really have a claim over results which are actually created by something which is not under our control. If we align our freewill through actions based on the Lord’s instructions, it does not cause any bondage.
One other important point to be noted from Krishna’s response is how he explains the root cause of all problems. Let’s hear it from him directly, shall we?
Lord Krishna says in Chapter 02, verses 62-64:
“While contemplating the objects of the senses, a person develops attachment for them, and from such attachment lust develops, and from lust anger arises. From anger, complete delusion arises, and from delusion bewilderment of memory. When memory is bewildered, intelligence is lost, and when intelligence is lost one falls down again into the material pool. But a person free from all attachment and aversion and able to control his senses through regulative principles of freedom can obtain the complete mercy of the Lord.”
So, Lord Krishna declares that attachment and the lust that arises from it to be the real problem. The senses must be engaged in some real activity, and if they are not used in the service of the Supreme Lord, then they will be engaged in service of materialism. But for a person who is devoid of attachment or aversion and follows the regulative principles properly, he can achieve the highest state of becoming conscious of the Supreme Lord. Artificial renunciation won’t help when the desire to enjoy is still present in the mind and even the slightest agitation of the mind will pull down a person who is even on the verge of the ‘liberation’ often spoken about as the goal of life.
I will end this article with one of the verses which has influenced me in my personal life very much. Srimad Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 02, verse 66:
nāsti buddhir ayuktasya
na cāyuktasya bhāvanā
na cābhāvayataḥ śāntir
aśāntasya kutaḥ sukham
“One who is not connected with the Supreme [in Kṛṣṇa consciousness] can have neither transcendental intelligence nor a steady mind, without which there is no possibility of peace. And how can there be any happiness without peace?”
This relates directly to how I started writing this sequence of articles, on request from our very own Lakshmi Rajan. I started off by saying everyone wants to be happy, forever. And above is the clear solution to that! Without the mind being peaceful, there can be no happiness. And for the mind to be peaceful, one must be on the devotional platform.
So, how does Arjuna respond to Lord Krishna and what question he put forth to the Lord? What does Lord Krishna say about Karma Yoga? These I will address in the next article, which should be ready by early next week.
This completes the brief summary of Chapter 02 of Srimad Bhagavad Gita. I have tried to compress the whole chapter of 72 verses in to less than 1800 words. So if I have missed out on any important aspects or given incomplete explanations, it is only due to my fault and oversight, for which I pray forgiveness and understanding from my teachers as well as the readers. Please do not hesitate to ask for any clarification as required and I will try to clarify to the best of my ability.
Understanding the Concept of God – Part 7
So far, it’s all about understanding Who or what is God? – God is the space or conscious, or Intelligence.
In all these chapters I haven’t mentioned anywhere about love. We say God is love & love is God. Where does this quality come in space?
I had said that this Consciousness has another quality – Totality or wholeness or oneness other than Force & Intelligence. It is this totality which is omnipresent & binds together everything in the Universe . This quality is love. If there isn’t this binding, love cannot be felt in the human beings. I have many a time put this question to myself why on earth did this Intelligent evolved? Why can’t it simply stay like that? The answer I got is there is the force which made it to evolve. If there isn’t intelligence & if there is only force, then this Universe would have functioned without any control & the Universe itself would be in a total collapse.
My Guru explains how we are bound in the space with a simple example. When a sponge is put in the water, the sponge absorbs the water & there is water in and around it. In the same way the whole Universe with all the living beings is soaked in space. A scientific truth is that 99.00001 % of all the living beings are space, i.e Intelligence is a whole lot in the physical appearance & the body is only a tiny part. We are ignorant of this & use the physical body to the maximum in a wrong manner & make it worn out soon. So it is in our hands to take care of the body & use the intelligence fully to solve problems, take the right decisions without unnecessarily getting tension, needn’t fear, needn’t be dependent on any one ,except to the intelligence which protects & guides us all the time.
Understanding this is the 1st step. To put it into practice in our life is the 2nd step.
How do we put into practice?
Its only meditation which helps to bring the mind under control. The mind is a chatter box, non stopping going into the past or to the future. Why can’t it be in the present for a while.
Meditation helps us to be in the present. How does this happen in meditation?
Thoughts are of 4 frequencies. They are Beta wave, Alpha wave , Dheeta wave & Delta wave.
Beta wave – the normal conscious mind, frequency will be between 13 to 40 cycles /sec. Normally any person will be in this frequency & when one is angry it will slowly rise to 20 & above. At this state the outward situation easily traps anyone to get angry, tensed, irritated & they will always be stressful.
Alpha wave – sub conscious mind, between 8 to 12 cycles/sec. It is the peaceful state in 8 & if one is in this state for a very long time there is chance of one to go below. If one is above 10, there is chance of him to go to beta wave. It’s again in our hands to maintain in the peaceful state where our intelligence will function in better way.
Dheeta wave – unconscious mind, it is in this level all the previous births & whatever is done unconsciously is recorded & it is between 5 to 11 cycles/sec.
It is very difficult to pass this state & go beyond to reach the delta wave as once we do meditation & go deep the imprints below come above as it is stimulated. Only then do we see so many sufferings in one’s life & we say God is testing & we have to face such situations with patience. Once we transcend this it will be easy to experience the no mind state.
Delta wave – super conscious mind, between 1 to 4 cycles/sec. This is the place where the enlightened persons are almost with the Totality, showing love & fully in aware of what is happening around them very clearly. When one is in 0, they are in total awareness, pure conscious & this is the no mind state. Normally when one is in this state, either the person is dead or in coma, but a man under meditation can be in this state in full awareness. This is the real samaadhi state, where he is sama means equal to aadhi ( beginning).
Even though one experience the different levels one cannot sustain in it very long as the outward situations will stimulate & one will be pushed again to the alpha level. When one is not at all affected by any situations & is very calm, then he can stop all his sadhanas. He will know the secrets of this life & he is said to be a self realized person. In the next chapter we will deal with how thoughts arise & the different steps of mind & which will help in introspection.
Understanding the concept of God – Part 6
The 5 states of consciousness:
1. Static state – non-functioning, pure consciousness & Intelligence.
2. Functioning state – expression is energy particle (Sakthi), Universal magnetism & Panchaboothas.
3. First sense to the fifth sense – from plants to the animals & the conversion of magnetism into feeling, light, sound, smell & taste.
4. Sixth sense – mind, finding the root of it as God, Self realization.
5. Reunion with God – to be always one, with God.
Through the evolution process a perfect human being comes into existence, with all the panchaboothas, which are the same energy particles. The energy particles within the body keeps rotating with its centre in the mooladhar chakra – sexual gland(earth).The centre for the blood circulation is heart & for the air circulation it is the lungs & for the body heat, the centre is the brain.
Through the 5 senses the energy particles transforms as magnetic waves & passes through the body & we get (feeling) touch sense, light waves through the eyes – eye sight, sound waves through the ears, smell through the nose & taste in the tongue. The excess of magnetic waves passes through the brain & comes as thought or mind. So the extension of the energy particles as magnetic waves is mind.
I had already said that energy particle records everything. So whatever is our experience that we sense, see, hear, taste & smell is recorded in the particle & get stored in the centre, which is the genetic centre or nucleus, space, intelligence& conscious. Since the recorded particles keeps rotating &touches the genetic centre & comes above, it brings whatever is stored there as magnetic waves & goes through the brain as thoughts.
In the genetic centre, the whole evolution process is recorded. So our ancient Rishis found out the truth that reaching that place is only through the divine process, meditation. In the beginning they start the meditation in the agna chakra, – pituitary gland between the eye brows. It is the master gland which controls the other glands or chakras. The centre which is in the mooladhar has to be brought to the pituitary gland. It takes approximately 12 yrs.
In between there are the other chakras, swathishtana – adrenal glands(water), manipooraha – pancreas(fire), anaahatha – thymus(air), vishukthi – thyroid(akash).
Through strong penance, following chastity & pranayama they bring the energy centre to the higher chakras. It takes 2 yrs to bring the energy from one centre to the next centre. Some might fall sick & die. Only very rare Rishis cross all these & bring it to the agna & thuria – pineal gland. What one calls us Kundalini Sakthi is nothing but these energy particles. Though some quantity keeps rotating & circulates all over the body, the majority lies dormant.
When this Sakthi awakens & goes through the tiny hole that is in the centre of the back bone to come up to the agna chakra .It is like a cobra spreading its hood. That’s why snakes play an important place in Hinduism & is worshipped.
Understanding the concept of God – Part 5
So the Conscious travels evolving into the panchaboothas , goes through the process of transforming into the 1st sense plants to the 5th sense , animals. I had already stated that, in between there were so many species in the ocean & in the earth.
(Refer the previous parts of this series – Understanding the concept of God)
The question now arises if man evolved straight away from the monkeys or whether there was any missing link between the monkey & the man.
There are a lot of similarities between a man & a monkey. So far, the animals walked with 4 legs & they were horizontal. Only in the monkey do we see it walking with 4 legs, but it uses its front legs as hands. It uses it to climb the trees & holds fruits in it hands & eat the food. Slowly its backbone which was horizontal evolves to become vertical & it develops into chimpanzees & orangutan which are very similar to a man.
A sculpture of Yazhi in a temple
My guru’s in sight says that the monkeys had a cross breed with another animal which had the face of a lion & the body of a man. This breed was called as Yazhi & since this became sterile, there was no chance of it to exist in many numbers & it extincted. If you see in the temples there are sculptures of this yazhi. Moreover, monkey is herbivorous & man coming from it also should be a vegetarian. Since man eats birds & animals there is a chance of monkey & yazhi, which is carnivorous, joining together to become a perfect human, who is a vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian.
So now if we have a comparison between Dasavathar & the evolution, we will come to know that the 1st Machavathara is a living being in the water.
An artistic interpretation of Matsya (macha)avatar
The 2nd, Koormavathar, tortoise with all it’s 5 senses lives in the sea & the land.
An artistic interpretation of Koorm Avatar
The 3rd, Varahagavathar is again an animal which borrows the earth to get its food.
A temple sculpture of Varaha Avatar
The 4th Narasimhavathara is the missing link before the man.
Ancient narasimha avatar sculpture in a temple
The 5th Vamana is a perfect human with manas (mind) who is described as a dwarf. So probably the humans were short statured.
A sculpture of Vamana avatar in a temple
The 6th is the Parasuramavathar who always goes around with an axe to show that man works with it to cut trees for his living.
An artistic impression of Parasurama Avatar
The 7th, Ramavathar, to show that a leader comes to take care of the people.
An artistic impression of Rama Avatar
The 8th, Balaramaavathar, with his plough tells that agriculture played an important role then.
An artistic impression of Balarama Avatar
The 9th, Krishnaavathar is an enlightened man who is considered as a God.
An artistic impression of Krishna Avatar
About Kalkiavathar my guru hasn’t said anything. What next? It is about you & me & how mind begins to function within us.
Understanding the concept of God- Part 1
I read "A conversation with my aunt" . It brought tears in my eyes out of Joy.The author have understood very clearly and had written it rightly.When such things are well understood it makes the person happy.
One thing I want to make it clear further about God is not the Universal energy alone. ( Read the article “A conversation with my aunt” , for additional aspects of God and life discussed” )
If the energy is God, then a question arises, how the energy came into existence.The answer simply is from Space.Will anybody accept it?It could be simply understood without any preconceptuous idea.
So far what we have understood is that space is something which has nothing.It is not so , it is something which has everything inherent.Space has 3 qualities and they are “Totality – Poornam”, “Vivekam – Consciousness” and “Force – speed”. It is the force that made Consciousness to emerge as an energy particle.I’ll give a clear definition for space given by Vethathiri Maharishi .It is otherwise called as Gravity by Vethathiri.
“Gravity is absolute space which is everlasting, singular, almighty,all penetrative, highly transparent,imperceptible, dark, fluid matter which has a self compressive surrounding pressure force which makes it to emerge as an energy particle”.
Thus the energy particle, the fundamental building block of the Universe emerges. So the force within, separates itself from the Space.Now where is the space in the energy particle?With space in the centre of the particle it keeps rotating.Energy means it should have some functioning & the functioning is its rotation.It is a whirling wave.when anything rotates in the centre a vacuum is created.This is a scientific fact.
So if the universe is filled with the energy then there is also the space within it.Which means there is Vekam – speed, & vivekam-Conscious through out the universe..This together forms the universe.The energy which is otherwise called Akash is the first one formed,then the same akash takes it’s transformation into air,fire,water & finally earth.
This is how the evolution starts.So there is the + ve (positive) force, Siva and energy is the – ve (negative) force Sakthi .Together is the Arthanareeswar.
( In Hinduism , Ardhanari or Ardhanarishvara is an androgynous deity composed of Shiva and his consort Shakti, representing the synthesis of masculine and feminine energies. The Ardhanari form also illustrates how the female principle of God, Shakti, is inseparable from the male principle of God, Shiva. Ardhanari in iconography is depicted as half-male and half-female, split down the middle.)
So space is through out the Universe & outside endlessly without any boundary.So the universe is floating in space, that’s why it is Almighty as it bears the vast Universe.
So far I’ve explained in my simple words, what is God? Again so many things has to be explained about the bio-magnetism & universal magnetism which also will helps us to know the secrets of this Universe. We will discuss those aspects in further articles.
This article is written by Radha Chandran. She is a disciple of Vethathri Maharishi and Jaggi Vasudev.
Idol worship in Hinduism – Playing with GOD
In spite of my bad memory , some events of my childhood are still very vivid to me and here am going to share one of those flash back .
One of my favourite pass time of my childhood is “ Playing with GOD” . I will spend hours absorbed playing with Him. Thinking back , God has been my biggest pal ! I had shared a most friendly relation with Him , had fought with Him , smiled with Him , talked to Him , got angry with Him but never feared Him .
In our puja room , we had a small idol of Lord Vishnu in Ananda sayanam posture. ( Lord Vishnu reclining on Snake Ananta ) . During holidays , I would be playing with God , I see in this small idol. I would spend hours doing abhishek .. bath the idol , do abhishek with water , milk , honey , panchamirtham , sandal , vibuthi etc .. Then decorate with flowers and do aarthi and finally distribute the prasad to people at home. I would be at peace with myself doing this. Did I thought that Idol is God ? No. Later during course of life , my playing with God stopped . Life took its owns turns and twists and after a long period , I again have this inner feeling to play with God. I no more have the idol I used to play with when I was child. So am looking forward to the Idol that I could play with . I can visualize the idol and one day , hope to find Him and keep Him part of my life again .
Talking about playing with God , the concept of Idol worship is largely misunderstood. Non Hindus Condemn Idol worship as superstitious belief and a pagan belief . I have come across many forums and articles where they decry Idol worship and rubbishes the practice as silly and unworthy and to be condemned.
I feel sorry for all those who condemn Idol worship. One has to be a Hindu to understand what a Hindu feels about Idol worship. I am quiet at ease with the concept of Idol worship and I would like to convey my thoughts on Idol worship.
To begin with , I would like to quote a line from a Tamil song
கல்லை மட்டும் கண்டால் கடவுள் தெரியாது
When translated it means :
“ When you see a stone alone , you will not find God ”
Let me put it also in another perspective
“ When you see God , you will not find stone ”
This two lines sums up the Idol worship for me.
As a Hindu , when I pray before an Idol , I very well know God is not the Idol . I don’t expect the Idol to arise , awake and do miracles for me. Bottom of my heart , I know it is a stone . Interestingly , I worship .. so does millions of other Hindus .. Why ?
The answer lies in a simple fact and practice that can be confusing for non-Hindus to comprehend.
My core belief can be summed as follows :
Hindus do not believe that there is only one God. Hindus believe that God is One, i.e. a unity inclusive of all things, manifest and unmanifest. This is quite different from saying there is only one God. To say that there is only one God is to reduce God to a single unit, to the lowest common denominator. This is what monotheists do. For them God is a unit, not a Unity.
Hindus are not monotheists, and Hindus are not polytheists. Hindus are panentheists, i.e. they believe that God is in all things and that all things are in God: God is everything, God is in everything, and everything is in God only. They believe the whole of creation is the body (actually, the manifestation) of God Who is the One Infinite-Eternal-Existence, and cannot be separated from God
The foundation of my spiritual belief is moulded on the above mentioned definition. My faith in Idol worship also evolves from the same. When I pray an Idol , I feel God in the stone. I don’t think the Idol is God rather I see God in the idol. There is a difference in both. God is everywhere , I am at ease to see God in everything around me and seeing the God in the Idol makes the spiritual life easy. Its like teaching a Kid “ A for Apple ”
Easy to feed faith :
Depending on how deep one dwelves into The Concept of God it can be both simple as well as difficult to comprehend. For ordinary men , Identifying God in an Idol helps in building a bridge between God and oneself easily. Vedas does not mention Idol worship. Vedic scriptures identified the power of Supreme God with nature. It advocates feeling , seeing , identifying the power of God with everything in nature. The invocations we find in the Vedic slokas are basically to find the power of Supreme God with and within nature and oneself. Later as the various yugas (ages of mankind) progressed , the human mind failed to grasp the concept of omnipresent God and the later rishis advocated the concept of Idols to help common man identify with God easily . The Idols are mere tools to identify with God. idols are symbolic representation of various manifestations of God. Though the concept got corrupted down the ages along with various superstitious beliefs.
Easy to concentrate :
For Hindus God, as is, is beyond any attributes of form, color, shapes … That is, God does not have any specific form or name. In this state God is referred to as nirguNa brahman (attributeless god). However God takes forms as perceived by humans and this perceived form is called saguNa brahman (god with (good) attributes). These forms could range from calm to fierce to yogic (1). Each form has its significance. For example when one is depressed and sees the form of God Strong and Powerful, the seeker feels the moral boost that God would definitely be the support for the right thing. Similarly when in an auspicious ceremony would like the God to be the calm provider of boons. In a spiritually elevated state, the choice would be the yogic form of God. The forms provide a basis for the Hindu worshipper to easily pursue the otherwise incomprehensible Supreme. So Hinduism supports both form as well as formless worship of the God. Whether one worships in saguNa or nirguNa way, it is ultimately the same God
The Idol worship or worshiping saguNa brahman way aids in concentration of mind. It helps a human mind to focus one’s mind with the Brahmam ( Supreme God) Human mind is easily prone to be distracted and diverted and so perceiving a God through Idols helps in the concentration of mind to God. It is the first and easy step in the spiritual walk.
Silent communication :
In the beginning of this post when I narrated my childhood pastime of “Playing with God” , In true essence it was actually a silent communication with God. I was on my own , undistracted for hours , silently in communication with God. The immense satisfaction , pleasure , solace , positivity it gave can only be felt and not explained in words. Though outwardly , it seems a one way communication with God , down my heat I could feel the two way communication , otherwise I would have not played with God like that for countless times and still have the urge now to restart the communication. In H
indu temples and puja rooms of faithful Hindu household , one could witness the silent communication of the Human and God before Idols. The communication is not between the mere idol and Human but the Soul and Super Soul perceived through the Idol.
As one elevates in his spiritual quest , One may see the God within Himself. The body becomes the Idol – Aham Brahmasmi – I am Brahman . Its the highest elevation of the spiritual plane where one sees God within himself and no longer requires an Idol to feel the God. The concentration goes within Oneness and realization of God goes deep into one’s own Soul .
Will talk about my understanding of Jeevatma ( soul) and Paramatma ( Super soul) in another post soon.
Aham Brahmasmi !