Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Puranic Mythology - Truth or Fiction?

No credence can be given to Puraanas, because they contain matters beyond the realm of known natural phenomena, is the modern view. 

That the Devas freely roamed the earth and granted boons to men, is dismissed as fantasy because such things do not happen today. "A woman was cursed and she turned into stone, the stone was blessed and it turned back into a woman - the sun was stopped in its diurnal orbit" - such incidents which are totally outside our capabilities lend support to the view that these incidents must indeed be fictitious and products of imagination.

That certain things do not happen today or cannot happen does not prove that such things could not have happened in the past or cannot happen in the future. Every great epic of the past bears ample testimony to the powers of Veda mantras - high penance and exalted Yogic discipline which was not uncommon in the past. 

So long as these powers prevailed, it was possible for people of this world to easily draw on the supernatural resources. Just as where there is light, there is also darkness, the forces of evil represented by asuras and raakshasas also co-existed with the good influences. Even now, the conflict between good and bad - between devas and asuras - is in progress although not visible to the human eye. In those days, it was possible, due to powers derived from deep penance to actually see these good and evil forces.

Modern scientists say that all sound or light waves cannot be detected by the human eye or ear. Some scientists, who have reached higher levels, have done research in occult (super-worldly) science and have discovered the existence of heavenly bodies, both good and bad.
Even now there are quite a few yogis and siddhas (mystics). Their bodies are unaffected by exposure to extreme cold or heat. They cause rain to fall and even stop the falling rain. Thus, men with supernatural powers do exist. Only our belief is shaky. We suspect all things.

Since, in the olden days, many more persons than today possessed these powers, it appears that Puraanas contain a long list of miracles. If a miracle figures in the narrative the story cannot be rejected as not being proper history.

It does not speak well for English education if it rejects as fiction all that science cannot prove. In fact, what science could not perceive a few years ago, is being perceived by scientists now. Even today archaeologists discover human skeletons measuring ten to twelve feet and those of mammoth animals are extinct today but whose existence is mentioned in the Puraanas.

From these, it appears that raakshasas as tall as coconut or palm trees and having bodies like a lion and trunks like an elephant might have existed in the past. In Iceland discoveries have disclosed a human skeleton whose shin bone alone measures sixteen feet and the back bone of an animal whose size must have been ten times that of an elephant. These are hailed with great fanfare as archaeological finds. Combining geology with archaeology, these are claimed to have existed many hundred thousand of years ago. 
If mythology is super-imposed on this, then the Puraanic stories will all become credible and true.

Once as tall as a palm tree, now six feet tall, and in years to come hardly a thumbkin-these are the ravages which time imposes on creatures and species. These changes are also mentioned by the Puraanas.

The Puraanas are ridiculed for talking of vaanaras - man-monkeys, the body of an animal with the face of a man, people with two heads or ten heads -- all these are said to be going too far away from truth. Those who do not indulge in such open criticism give it their own explanation viz. that these are symbolic and the story is an allegorical representation.

It is true that moral lessons are taught through the medium of fables. But, on this score, the entire Puraanic stories cannot be dubbed as untrue or mere fables. Even now, we come across news items about the birth of a child with two heads and four hands. It is neither a man nor an animal. It is a freak. When nature which, by its definition is faultless, gets a little faulty, the freak results. Such freaks might have been deliberately engineered in the past on a large scale. Since the ancient men had supernatural powers (powers over nature) much more than we have, such conditioning of nature might have been a simple matter. That is why we should not affirm that "what is knowable is known to us and that there could have been nothing different from what we know."

To label what is not known to us or what is not knowable as a lie is illogical. What had been rejected as unbelievable in the Puraanas is coming to pass now and then during modern days, such wonders as recollection of events from an earlier birth are reported in the press. I feel that such news items are on the increase. 

This is the stage to which we have come: if an item appears in the press, however improbable it may seem, we are prone to accept it as true. But the very mention of Puraana makes us disdainful.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Descent

I was One, lone, Pure, Love. 

I wished to experience My own Being. 
And so...
“I separated Myself from Myself so that I may Love Myself.” ~ Creator

The following took place, when even the concept of time was in its nascent stage. It took place in a reality that is beyond human vocabulary or comprehension. 

The Pure, unqualified Beings belonging to the realm of the Absolute, known in devic language as Parabrahma Loka, had heard stories of beings in the material realm, and what they heard aroused their curiosity and sense of adventure to experience  material creation and through that the awareness and Love of the Self.  And so, they approached the Creator, their own pure essence, seeking His permission and blessings to venture into His subtler and grosser realms of creations. The Creator acknowledging their use of free will gave them His loving consent to venture into any of the 14 realms constituting creation.

Descending into the grosser forms of creation was however not simple. The Beings were required to cover themselves with an etheric causal sheath that formed their first protection (a sort of a space suit if you please). This sheath is known in the devic tongue as the Ananda-maya-kosha or the Bliss sheath. It serves to protect the soul in its innate bliss, much like a thermal worn in colder regions helps preserve ones body heat. But the use of this sheath drastically shortened their multidimensional awareness and limited their Drishti or divine ability of sight.

Thus prepared, the 7 Beings began their descent into creation.

Shakti Loka
From the regions of the Absolute they now travelled to the first realm of creation belonging to Adi Shakti, the Cosmic Divine Mother, known as Shakti Loka. They sought the blessings and permission of the Divine Mother whose energy and intelligence created the worlds and whose Maya sustains it. The Divine Mother lovingly consented to their plans and gave them each a portion of her Shakti energy and  further blessed them with another gift they would need to progress to grosser creations. This gift was another protective sheath known as the Vijnana-maya-kosha or the Knowledge sheath. Its purpose - to protect the innate knowledge of the Self that each soul intuitively has. Wearing this new layer of protective space suit gave the pure Beings the ability to further descend into creation, but also further handicapped their divine abilities and visions, reducing them drastically.

 Kailasa - Shiva Loka

From here the 7 pure Beings travelled to the supernal realms of Kailasa, Vaikuntha and Brahmaloka. Upon their stay there they learned that these realms are caused by pure divine thought and are made of thought substance. They met and sought blessings of the Absolute Divinity, now playing the separate roles of Lord Shiva, the destroyer; Lord Mahavishnu, the preserver; and  Lord Brahma, the creator.

Having stayed in these higher spheres to their hearts delight, the 7 eventually sought permission from the Chaturmukha (4 faced) Brahma to venture further into His creation.  Lord Brahma said “O pure Ones, you have so far travelled through the Divine cosmos. Now you will be entering the grosser mental and physical realms. For this you will require a very special etheric covering to enable your travel. Lord Brahma directed them to a region in creation known as Manovati Nagar in the devic dialect. Here wise inhabitants of the realm offered them these special koshas or sheaths known as Mano-maya-koshas or Mind sheaths. They gave them the sheaths with the following information regarding its unique nature:

  •    These koshas hold in them the blue prints of all material bodies that they will assume in the Bhuloka (Physical realms).
  •    The koshas will also designate the sex of the material body so assumed by the thus far sexless Beings.
  •    This sheath has the ability to filter off all excess quantities of experiences that the Beings may go through.
  •    The sheath enables the Beings to astral travel through the 14 lokas provided they are able to rise above gross sensations to travel astrally.
  •    This sheath has the ability to stretch to infinity and can travel at infinite speeds through thoughts.

   Then their guide drew their attention to the most important feature and qualification to assume this special sheath.

  •   Upon completing your sojourn to Bhu loka and your return to Brahma loka, you will be required to return the mind sheath now being collected by you, in the same pure, blemishless condition as it is now. The sheath will be bound to you and will bind you to Bhu loka as long as it is impure or unclean.

The 7 pure Beings thanked their guide and selected their new sheaths. Their eagerness to reach Bhu loka made them oblivious of the implications involved in the conditional return of these sheaths.

Equipped now with the manomaya kosha the Beings descended into the grosser dimensions of lower astral and physical vibrations. Their journey took them through various astral realms, which were governed by various deities, each of who blessed and permitted their journey by incorporating certain astral marks or signatures on their subtle sheaths which would permit further travel and also enable them to return through those higher spheres. In this way they passed through Satyaloka, lorded by Shani dev; Tapoloka, lorded by Shukra dev;  Janaloka by Guru (Jupiter) dev; Maharloka, presided by Budha dev; Suvarloka presided by Mangala deva; Bhuvarloka presided by Moon god Chandra deva; and so on.

Astral Regions

Crossing the Astral spheres of light essence, the pure Beings now began their descent to the grossest part of creation – the physical universe. They travelled through various galaxies and were intuitively guided to the milky galaxy. Here they became aware of various dualities that features in the physical cosmos – dark- light, cold - heat, and so on.

Physical Cosmos

Finally they found themselves looking upon a most beautiful celestial body with amazing features enhancing its beauty. In their eagerness as they rushed towards it they found that beyond a certain point they could not move or descend. Amazed at this they meditated inwardly seeking a solution to their impediment.

Upon their inner supplications a being of high order appeared before them. “O faultless Ones, I am Indra, the overlord of the three worlds. This planet you are looking at is Prithvi loka (Earth). To enter its space you will have to assume a form grosser then what your 3 sheaths permit, which will then allow you to negotiate with Earth's gravity and denser atmosphere. Your essence as of now, is too light to enter Earth's grosser airs. 

Heavenly Regions
Following the suggestions of Indra, the 7 Beings made their way to a celestial city spanning 9 billion light years diametrically. The city was abuzz with activity. They learned it is known as Yama Dharamapuri, presided by the Lord of Southernly direction, Dharamaraj Yama. Upon their arrival the 7 Beings were received with honor befitting the status of inhabitants of Parabrahma loka. Lord Yama entrusted them to a gandharva Chitrasen to do the needful.

Chitrasen took them around the city showing them the various phases a soul returning from Earth goes through. He showed them the Akashic records and the Akashic mirror, which enabled them to look at their blemishless state. Chitrasen then gave them an etheric silver cord that they would need to inhibit a grosser form and again reminded them of the condition of returning the Mind sheath in a pure state.

Equipped now with the silver cord which lent them certain weight, the Beings accompanied yet by Indra made a slow descent  towards Earth. Lord Indra knowing the limitiations of the silver cord then suggested to them that he would enable them to merge with one of the elements of Earth which would help their descent fully. The Beings agreed.

With that Indra created a thunderstorm with charged clouds and million volts of lightening and static electricity. The electricity charged the silver cord enabling them Beings to merge their essence in the misty vapors and hold on to it. The vapors filtered through the dense dark clouds formed into raindrops and poured on Earth in torrential rains. Thus the 7 Beings made their way into the Prithvi loka.

The Beautiful Prithvi Loka - Mother Earth

The raindrops fell and merged into the soft and slushy earth. Sinking thus into the wet soil the Beings lay confused upon being conscious of a matter so gross. Over time the waters was sucked through earth into plants and trees and transmuting themselves into life giving seeds, fruits and vegetables. The Beings found their consciousness travelling through to the essence of the fruits. The inhabitants of the Earth, the humans, cultivated these fruits for consumption, and in this way the 7 Beings found their essence travelling from the fruits through to the human body merging into the blood stream of the bodies and eventually distilling itself into the most potent essence in a human body known as the life giving Shukra (sperm).

In due course when those humans became intimate with the intent of procreating, the 7 Beings, now existing within different human forms, through mergence of the vital fluids, found themselves connecting to an embryo with the help of the etheric silver cord. As mentioned, the blueprint of their human form was already embedded in the manomaya kosha. The atmans busied themselves in assisting the embryos take the desired forms. However for the Beings to become one with the growing form they needed aid. Such aid was provided by Lord Suryanarayana, the Sun God who endowed them with a sheath that would enable mergence with the fleshly form. This sheath is known in the devic language as the Prana-maya-kosha, and it is solely due to this sheath that a being can dwell in a live fleshly form and is hence known as a Prani. The pranic sheath enabled the Beings to assume that last of the sheaths – the human body, also known as the Anna-maya-kosha in Sanskrit, because of its dependence on food for sustenance. From hereon the Beings grew in the womb and in course of 9 months emerged into the Bhu loka with a young human body.

Covered with the 5 sheaths, thus descended the 7 Pure Beings on Earth. They grew up to be highly enlightened Beings known amongst the human race as the Sapta Rishis, and dedicated their lives to helping humans find their way back to their source.

This journey is not specific only to the Rishis, but to each and every soul that comes to Earth. Though normal humans have to work their way through various forms of life - from minerals to plants to animals, before they inhabit a human form, the 7 Beings being inhabitants of Parabrahmaloka were given this special grace for a special purpose of helping and redeeming souls on Earth.

In this way the One Pure consciousness separated itself into many and entered its own complex and multi dimensional creation, for one reason and one reason alone – To experience Love. 

But coming into this creation necessitated that we lose consciousness of our origins and essence in order to play this game of separation and Love. To do so we gave over our power of attorney to our minds commanding it to entertain us in this world of duality. The powerful, restless and independent mind, using the aid of the ego-feeling, is now taking us through this journey called life.  Keeping mankind wrapped in their egos with emotions like anger, hatred, jealousy, envy, lust and so on the mind deludes us further and further away from our Selves. Engrossed in this feeling of separation, mankind has led itself through the darkest phases of life in form of crimes, murders, wars, holocausts each of them making him feel isolated, alone, unloved, thus keeping the illusory game alive and thriving.

And yet, despite all the darkness around us, Life is not a story of hatred and sorrow as most living it are led to believe, but is the ultimate story of Love; of Love seeking itself.

This is your truth, You who read this, and mine... for in essence we are not separate. You are an extension of me and I an aspect of you.

Look around you right now. You see this world and its various objects. You may see and know different beings like yourself who you label family or strangers, friends or foes, good or bad. Know that each of these inanimate objects and Beings – plants, animals, birds or humans, all aspects of your own Self; exist for one and one reason alone – to experience Your Love… for in sharing that love, You are loving Yourself.

One day Sri Sathya Sai Baba came into a room and sat on the floor next to two of His students and held their hands. Lowering His voice to a whisper He asked them, :
"Do you want to know a secret?"

"O yes Swami!" the students eagerly replied.

Swami then whispered, :

" When your life on Earth is done, and you look back at your life, it really does not matter if you were the wealthiest with the most 'toys', or king of the world, a genius, a priest, a hardworking person, or the loneliest beggar on the street; all that will matter is ~      How much LOVE You would have shared, EVERY moment of your life, with ALL of Creation!..

The rest, is byproduct!"

( Credits / References : Autobiography of a Yogi, The Holy science, Daniel B. Holeman, Sri Amara Rsi - Amaravani, Lightstorm - The 10th Step )