Drag

 

The Gita teaches us that the same Spark resides in all things. But not all things look alike. Surely there must be a difference between me and you and the rock and the dead chicken on your sandwich?

Nope.

Any differences that can be detected – any differences which appear to us – are, at their best, the most superficial. Only fools look at the sea and think the waves at the surface are the seas’s entirety. Even sciences are now confirming that the differences you and I think we’re seeing that distinguish us from each other and from the rock and from the chicken breast on your sandwich really aren’t real.

So, if you and me and the rock and the chicken patty aren’t actually different, then what are we? We’re the Same. We’re the One. We are All There Is.

But, we’re the One as It wears different masks. In the very same way a woman might wear a certain lip color to work, but different lip color to church, and yet different lip color on a night out… The appearance and presentation changes slightly, but the Wearer is not changed. We are God’s various lip colors – we are the God in drag!

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti

Evolutionary Sequence

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Daaji: In the evolutionary scheme there are 4 main subtle bodies. There are many others that are difficult to define. The first subtle body that came into existence is chit. Then came ego. Then came manas and buddhi. So which came after which? Well it is not important. What is important is that consciousness envelops all the other three. That is important.

Q: We say God has no manas. But God also doesn’t have chit, buddhi or ahankar. It is pure causality. So when all my subtle bodies evolve, that is when consciousness becomes pure potentiality.

Daaji: Yes, the pure form of consciousness is then manifested.

Q: So is that how the film of consciousness expands?

Daaji: It is the ego that affects the width of the film. Ego is like a black hole. It can have the greatest pull upon our consciousness. It just will not allow the consciousness to expand. By becoming more and more humble, consciousness will have the opportunity to expand infinitely. And of course desires also affect thinking and intellect. So cleaning helps get rid of these layers.

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti

From Microbes to Mammals

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My life is strangely compartmentalized. There’s the family compartment, the professional compartment, the Joshua-Only compartment, the love compartment, the lust compartment, the Godness compartment, the morals-and-morality compartment, the Godlessness compartment, the materialist compartment, etc… I have so many compartments.

Naturally, some appear to overlap – like the love / lust compartments or the love / family compartments. In reality, as far as I can tell, they don’t overlap but only seem to. I know pretty well when I’m loving and I know pretty well when I’m lusting and, believe it or not, I know pretty well when I’m accessing love to facilitate lust or lust to facilitate love. This is, in my experience, one thing people too often mess up. For the average bear, it’s too easy to become confused. Blurring these lines is like setting your ego loose in a wide, open field to fun amok. It’s generally a bad idea but all of that is something I’ve written about before and will maybe write about again – but not now.

So… there are these instances in life when it seems like any two compartments might be one-and-the-same or at least blurring a bit, but they aren’t. One instance, however, wherein I think there might actually be a blurring is, of all compartments, one of the borders between the Godness compartment and the Godlessness compartment. Neither can actually, really, or truly answer the question of how we all got here. I mean, to a degree, they both can: I’m here because my parents were here. They were here because their own sets of parents were here before them, and those parents’ parents’ parents … on and on … but only so far back. In the Godness compartment, usually, we reach a brick wall when we trace back far enough to figures like Adam & Eve or some other set of figures who supposedly got the whole human thing going here on Earth. In the Godlessness compartment, we can mostly trace ourselves to an even earlier point in history – perhaps successfully back as far as the dawn of life on the planet but that’s pretty much where the evolution story stops. And, I suppose, rightly so.

Religion tells us, “We know we go back as far as such-n-such point and just before that point – POOF! – like magic, it all just happened because of The Divine’s Word.” Science tells us, “We know we go back as far as such-n-such point and just before that – POOF! – like magicless magic, it all just happened because of the Big Bang.” However they arrive at it, they both reach the same point – eventually, each story gets to a place where something has to come from nothing. From the Godness standpoint, that’s all the sense that’s needed. God is magic, right? No other explanation is required. But from the Godlessness standpoint, a lot more work is needed to come to a conclusion which is our sure commencement.

Occasionally, though, as I’ve been trying to say, the two come together – or at least they appear to from where I stand. As a person of the Hindu persuasion, there’s no real conflict between the Godness and the Godlessness. Any Hindu who claims there is conflict there is terribly deluded and under the spell of Abrahamic oppression. Surely, superficially there are real conflicts. But nothing superficial is really real and nothing superficial should be taken very seriously. Time and time again Hindus have seen science catch up to what we call religion or spirituality. I say science is “catching up,” but that’s not really what I mean. What I mean to say is that the two are increasingly complementary. On an ever greater scale, the two help each other to explain each other.

I think an article I happened across back in January of this year helps to illustrate this. You can read it by clicking here. It’s a long-ish essay which was written (I think) in January of this year, too. A geologist started down a path of thought after his kid’s toy broke. The toy, as it is described, reminds me of those Magic Rocks or whatever we call them here. You have a container, some water and a solution, and then you drop colored “rocks” into it all and they start growing and whatnot. Do you know what I mean? His kid had one of these and one of the rocks broke and he took a look and now we have this essay to read.

The author, Tim Requarth, thinks he might be onto something where the origin of life is concerned. From the Godlessness perspective we know well how matter came / comes into existence. And we also know energy is never lost – never really ever created or destroyed. But the marriage of the two is where things always get messy. Nature itself provides tons of chances for the two to mingle. But that’s only the first, super small, step. If you can energize matter, that’s great. But you need to not only energize it, but also need to have just the right form of matter energized and then to keep it energized in just the right way so as to possibly cause just the right chemical reactions which would enable that energized matter to sustain itself long enough to keep sustaining itself – aka survive, thrive, and reproduce.

YOWZER! What a challenge! No wonder religion uses magic and science has these kind of gaps in its theories.

“But in Russell’s mind, the origin of life and the source of the energy it needed were a single issue, the two parts inextricably intertwined.” – This is where I started to smile while reading. Hindus have always known that the two parts are inextricably intertwined. Maybe if you read the essay, too, it will make you smile as I did.

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti

Let Us Not Grow Weary

This has really been a year for me… not the same kind of year as 2014 was. Thank gods, or else I’d not be here now writing to annoy you. But still certainly a year I’ll never forget. I “lost” a dear friend back to our Source (there’s a post about this in the works and will be published here when the time feels right and the post complete) and I more recently feel like I’ve lost my country.

The election for United States President was recent and our new President-elect is Donald J. Trump. That night my husband and I stayed home and ate cheap pizza while we shared a bottle of wine. In weeks leading up to the election things were quite a roller coaster. One day things were up and another day things were down. Regardless of that kind of ebb and flow, which is natural to an election race, moments of being utterly baffled were a consistent thing for me.

Everyone everywhere knows politicians are liars who usually over-promise and under-deliver. Half of them are also cheaters and thieves and can be bought. That much should be a given, I feel. There’s never been a saint-politician and we shouldn’t expect there to be one anytime soon. With that accepted, I do think it’s a useful practice to pay close attention to a politician’s personal character – specifically how they see others and how they treat others. And that’s been the most baffling part of this election race for me. When contrasting Clinton and Trump the differences in character are like differences between salt and pepper, apples and oranges, night and day. Trump unapologetically alienates anyone who isn’t upper class, white, and male – and does so through the use of “locker room talk” and other more blatant behaviors exhibited through the likes of racism and misogyny and chauvinism (just to name a few). He has proven himself to be impulsive, petulant, immature, and disconnected from the reality of America today – both the why and what of our national reality. Never mind that he also has no idea how to successfully navigate the dance that makes up a political career in the USA because he has absolutely no experience doing that.

Early in, supporters were saying that he’s at least a good businessman and that this is what our country needs. Our country DOES need that, but Trump isn’t actually even a good businessman. He fails and files bankruptcy left and right and has been brought to court for refusing to pay people for their work. He’ll also be going to court again soon enough for charges brought against him regarding sexual assault – which he’s actually said he can get away with simply because he’s a man and a celebrity. There are plenty of reasons why someone on the Left or who isn’t a Republican might not vote for him – just from a political perspective. But all of that generally can be lumped up as just a difference of opinion. After all, everyone is trying to solve the same issues, just differently. Again, that much is expected. But where Trump really puts icing on the cake is everything he touches outside of politics – that’s the stuff I mentioned earlier – and since he has ZERO political background these things matter a bit more than they would with a career politician. But, at this point, I suppose it might well be argued pointing these things out is useless because the election has come and gone.

In Clinton’s concession speech, she said a lot of really heart-warming thing to say – all of which really just reiterated her whole campaign which is that we are stronger together. She said we owe Trump an open mind and a chance to leave – and that’s something I agree with strongly. However, as time distances us from that election night it’s become very apparent that there are those who don’t feel that way and now we’re having protests and practically having riots. I want to be very clear that burning effigies and flags and being violent are NOT ways to get what you want and neither are they ways to productively or effectively express how you feel. The initial perception this terrible behavior is that those engaging in this way are sore losers and angry.

And certainly to a small degree, that’s the case with some of the people. However, a statement which is truer and more reflective of reality is that those people are scared. The truth is that Trump is our president-elect and his party currently rules all the rest of our system of check-and-balances – which means nothing is going to be very checked or balanced. Given that, and the fact that he has vowed to do things that are bad news for everyone who isn’t a wealthy, white, hetero male, it’s no wonder people are freaking out and unsure of what to do with themselves.

After the election and prior to the major protests, I had about half a day of scrolling through Facebook to observe responses of those I associate with in social media. I wanted to wait as long as I felt necessary to get a sampling of responses before posting my own. Below, to finish this post, I’ll be attaching a number of images – screen shots from my Facebook feed. To the best of my ability I’ve blacked out images and names so as to minimize identification of those individuals shown. I think there’s one post that is my own which I didn’t black out and there’s one or two from Facebook pages which I understand not to be human individuals which I also didn’t black out. All of these were captured prior to the violent protests and you’ll notice the majority of initial reactions amount to various expressions and levels of shock and fear. It wasn’t until these feelings had built up a bit and needed more of an outlet that the protests started and this certainly isn’t what sore loser-ship looks like. This is the first face of what it looks like when people are afraid that their social welfare benefits will be slashed, that half their family might be deported and then blocked from returning by America’s version of the Great Wall of China, that their marriages will no longer receive crucial government recognition. That’s not being a sore loser. That’s being scared for your life.

Hopefully some greater good will come from this election and resultant presidency. Right now it’s awfully challenging to foresee any greater good whatsoever but perhaps, if nothing else, a tough lesson will be learned.

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti

 

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Transmission

Transmission is something unique to the Sahaj Marg / Heartfulness path of raja yoga. In much earlier posts I wrote just a little about our sittings and prana, etc… But some people might well yet be unfamiliar with what “transmission” means in our context. By clicking here you can read a post about the unique method of transmission employed in Heartfulness / Sahaj Marg.

I’ve pulled some excerpts from the link shared above that might offer you a digest version of this part of our practice. See below and thanks for reading.

“… to understand the concept of transmission, which is described in Sanskrit as pranahuti and in Urdu as tavajjoh…To nourish our physical system, our body, we consume food…Then we go on to the second aspect of our existence: mental enrichment. How do we nourish that? You are all going through the process at the moment of enriching yourself mentally…And we also have a third body. The first body 
is the grosser body, the physical body, and we get nutrition from food. The second is mental, and that derives its nutrition through enrichment via our professors and what we do with their teaching. We assimilate it and later on make it more intense through our work, actualising it in our experience…We also have a third entity we call the soul or the atma. Did you ever think about how we can enrich that soul? Is there any food for that?”

“It is similar with this inner being, the soul, though we do not know how it feels hungry or not. Through some process, somehow it is satisfied. It remains at peace, it derives immense calmness that it has never experienced before, and so then you can say, “Yes, something is all right. I am being fed.” That is what I call pranahuti. Pranas-ahuti is the sacrifice of someone’s soul for the enrichment of my soul. A yogi at the pinnacle of his sadhana or his evolution merges in the Ultimate. He derives the essence from the Ultimate and, after drawing it, he is able to transmit it. The people who receive it feel it, and that is what we offer to you.”

“Our body has its limitations at a genetic level – if you are going to grow to five feet five, you will only grow to five feet five, maybe five feet six if you keep on exercising. A five-footer cannot dream of becoming a six-footer. There are enormous limitations imposed at a physical level, restrained by the genes that we have inherited from our parents.

“If you go to the next level, growth at the mental level, it is not as restricted. It is not genetic. If my father is a farmer, I have the possibility of becoming a PhD. A son or daughter of a rickshaw puller can still become a PhD but not all can become like Einstein. There is limitation there too, but there is greater flexibility than at a physical level.

“Going to the spiritual realm, there are no limitations. The possibilities are infinite. You can go on expanding and growing infinitely in the spiritual field, because now you are merging with God. And if God is infinite and your merger is in the Infinite, your growth must be infinite. So there is a greater possibility through meditation.”

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti

 

From Staten Island

Dear ones,
We have laid the foundation for Heartfulness sufficiently so as to approach Sahaj Marg in a gradual and progressively deeper manner when it comes to the introduction of multitudes. We now need to execute well and build a good edifice. There is a need to make sure that there is less noise in the system and it is everyone’s responsibility to work quietly and together in true harmony.
The places we are serving, via U-Connect or C-Connect or any other Connect initiatives, now need to be consolidated. Let us revisit our efforts and see how to make them more effective. Let us take stock of our actions and inactions. Let us find out what has worked and what has not. Based on this, let us re-group, re-orient and double up the number of volunteers within the organizations we have been catering to, by identifying key seekers from within such organizations who can co-ordinate with us. Pay special attention to such individuals via interactions and special sittings.
As volunteers, we must become extra vigilant with our practice and style of communication. Let our mutual interactions amongst us become an example. Many organizations are so appreciative of our teamwork and the dedication of volunteers. I am sure the Great Master who says that all is counted in the ledger of Nature must be making a special note of sincere efforts in taking the Sahaj Marg Spirituality Movement to the next level. Let us further fine-tune our efforts and deliver with greater efficiency.
Let us resolve once again to deliver better than ever before.
With prayers to our beloved Master for His love and blessings.
Kamlesh

Kolob

I know of a lot of people who think Mormons aren’t “real” Christians. I always thought that was an interesting and hypocritical view because so many of the Christian denominations spun off because of a similar view of another denomination. To my knowledge, Mormonism is the only one that stood away on its own because of an additional revelation and not just a new understanding of the same scriptures used by everyone else. (Although, to a smaller degree this did happen when Protestantism became a thing and so there’s a difference between the Catholic and Non-Catholic bibles.)

I recall one gal I am fond of, and who is a very devout young lady, telling me that Mormonism is a cult. To that I simply reminded her that in its own formative years, original Christianity (which of course wasn’t called that then) was THE picture definition of a cult: Smallish group of people who saw a human as a man-god and made a new religion from it. (AND a Middle Eastern cult, no less, which really made her cringe)

For a lot of reasons I won’t go into here, I explore Mormonism when I have the time. It’s low on my priority list because I’m not at all looking to change paths, but I do like to understand the world as much as possible and I’m somewhat curious by nature. I’ll tell you now that I’m usually more intrigued by what I read than I am put off. If you remove Mormonism from arenas like politics where it’s too easy to force views onto other people, and just start digging to see how deep you can go just to see the religion as religion, then you may be surprised. As a gay person, I can say that there is certainly a hard line that prevents Mormonism from ever being anything I could seriously consider – too much on their various sites confirms a general consensus that I am, at best, second class and in need of fixing. Been there, done that (with the Baptists) and I have no interest in a repeat. But all that aside, which is really putting aside A LOT,  there are many things about the Mormon path that I find to be encouraging and helpful.

In some of my studies, I sometimes find things that most who are simply curious would maybe not come across. I’m usually looking for things that set it apart from being just one more bland denomination of Christianity. One of those is “Kolob” and I wanted to write just a little about it because the hymn has very much impressed me.

Below you’ll see a short, modern music video of a hymn that is uniquely Mormon and to say I love it would be a great understatement. It’s called “If You Could Hie to Kolob” and I love it because it seems to parallel some deep teachings of Hinduism in some unexpected ways… At least, that’s the case from where I sit, and I love seeing where religions overlap. Before you read more and start to feel the need to correct me on anything let me be clear about something: I’m viewing this through Hindu lenses. My understanding or interpretation may or may not fall in line with what Mormonism teaches, but that’s not at all my concern. Anyway, there are a number of YouTube videos showing different renditions of this hymn and I encourage you to search them. You can click here for a display of the lyrics offered by the Latter Day Saints, although below I’ll share more about the lyrics.

 

 

 

 

From various LDS sources (misc. websites and blogs, etc…which I’m not going to cite here) I’ve learned much. I’ve learned that Kolob is a planet-star that is physically the nearest to the actual physical location of Heaven or God. My understanding of the Mormon layout of the universe has Kolob as among the very first of all creations in the physical universe, thus the physical proximity to God, Itself. Creation expanded out from God which is the Source and Center of all and everything and there also seems to be a natural hierarchy and status of everything which correlates directly to a thing’s proximity to God in the physical universe. So the farther you are from God the “lower” you are… kinda. Get the idea?

With that understanding, Kolob is extra special, extra exalted, and extra symbolic. From a physical standpoint, Kolob is the nearest to God and so presides over what is less near. Additionally, Kolob symbolically represents Jesus who is the Christ of the Christians. Jesus is the first “creation” and sits nearest the Father and has dominion over that life which is less near to the Father. And this extra layer of meaning, regardless of the mistakes I might have just made in explanation, is one way the hymn really impresses me.

The first verse of the hymn (284) goes like this…

“If you could hie to Kolob in the twinkling of an eye, And then continue onward with that same speed to fly, Do you think that you could ever through all eternity, Find out the generation where gods began to be?”

Speakers of modern English don’t know the word “hie.” It’s basically synonymous with the verb to hasten. “If you could hie to Kolob” is kind of explained by the second line which uses “twinkling of an eye”… AKA If you could get to Kolob REAL fast. But stopping at the closest place to our Source isn’t enough – we need to actually get there if we can (“… and then continue onward…”). The end of this first verse ties it directly into the second one.

If you could speed your way toward God, toward the Source, then you could pass the generation in which the first gods arose, the grand beginning where space came to be, and (in my interpretation, at least) into even the last cycle of the universe when gods and matter ceased. The last three lines of the second verse really speak to something Heartfulness and Sahaj Marg and Hinduism consider among the most supreme ideas: The idea of pure space where nothing has a place is the Zero, the Central Region. Most religious people, regardless of how they define words like “God” or “Gods,” won’t entertain idea of what might have been “before,” but here it seems to be a direct consideration.

Moving on to verse two….

“Or see the grand beginning where space did not extend? Or view the last creation where gods and matter end? Methinks the Spirit whispers, ‘No man has found pure space, nor seen the outside curtain where nothing has a place.'”

The rest of the hymn is descriptive and continues to add to the layers of meaning and insight – a very Hindu trait.

“The works of God continue and worlds and lives abound. Improvement and progression have one eternal round. There is no end to matter; there is no end to space. There is no end to spirit; there is no end to race. There is no end to virtue; there is no end to might. There is no end to wisdom; there is no end to light. There is no end to union; there is no end to youth. There is no end to priesthood; there is no end to truth.”

That’s most of the rest of the hymn and chunks stand out like shining stars to me…. Worlds and lives abounding, improvement and progression having an eternal round, no end to matter or space, no end to wisdom, no end to light, no end to truth. I’m sure I’m seeing these is some ways very different than the meaning meant in the Mormon context, but I don’t think that matters. I’m sure my view and theirs are more alike than not and even if that’s not the case I’m still very much enjoying to find such possible depth in a place so surprising to me.

I’ll close by spelling out a last verse of the song, which shares two very significant lines from the hymn – there is no end to love and there is no end to being.

“There is no end to glory; there is no end to love. There is no end to being; there is no death above.”

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti