Eternal Questions

Satguru-Sivaya-Subramuniyaswami-26Many people think of the realization of timeless, formless, spaceless Parasiva, nirvikalpa samâdhi, as the most blissful of all blissful states, the opening of the heavens, the descent of the Gods, as a moment of supreme, sublime joyousness; whereas I have found it to be more like cut glass, diamond-dust darshan, a psychic surgery, not a blissful experience at all, but really a kind of near-death experience resulting in total transformation. The bliss that is often taught as a final attainment is actually another attainment, Sat chid ânanda, an aftermath of nirvikalpa samâdhi, and a “before-math.” This means that Sat chid ânanda, savikalpa samâdhi, may be attained early on by souls pure in heart.

In my experience, the anâhata chakra is the resting place of dynamic complacency, of thoughtful perception and quietude. Those of a lower nature arriving in the bloom of this chakra are released from turbulent emotions, conflicting thoughts and disturbances. This to many is the end of the path, attaining peace, or Sânti. Once one attains sânti as just described, in my experience, this marks the beginning of the path, or part two, the second level. It is from here that the practices of râja yoga take hold, once sânti is attained. In the anâhata chakra and visuddha chakra, Sat chid ânanda, the all-pervasive being of oneness, of the underlying being of the universe, is attained, experienced. But unless brahmacharya, chastity, is absolutely adhered to, the experience is not maintained. It is here that relations between men and women play an important part, as in their union temporary oneness occurs, followed by a more permanent two-ness and ever-accumulating distractions, sometimes along with insolvable difficulties. Those who practice sexual tantras, seeking Self Realization through this path, will agree with this wisdom.

Self Realization is in several stages. Realizing oneself as a soul —rather than a mind, an intellectual and emotional type, or a worthless person—gives satisfaction, security, and this is a starting point. Realization of the Self as Sat chid ânanda gives contentment, a release from all emotions and thoughts of the external world, and the nerve system responds to the energies flowing through the visuddha and anâhata chakras. Realizing the Self that transcends time, form and space, Parasiva, is a razor-edged experience, cutting all bonds, reversing individual awareness, such as looking out from the Self rather than looking into the Self. There are many boons after this transforming experience, if repeated many times. One or two occurrences does make a renunciate out of the person and does make the world renounce the renunciate, but then, without persistent effort, former patterns of emotion, intellect, lack of discipline, which would inhibit the repeated experience of Parasiva, would produce a disoriented nomad, so to speak. Therefore, repeated experiences of the ego-destructive Parasiva, from all states of consciousness, intellectual, instinctive, even in dreams, permeates the transformation through atoms and molecules even in the physical body.

Bliss quiets the senses. It is the natural state of the mind when unperturbed by previous desires unfulfilled, desires yet to be fulfilled and the desires known to not be fulfillable. As long as the anâhata and visuddha chakras spin at top velocity, the senses will be quieted, few thoughts will pass through the mind unbidden, and the understanding of the Vedas and all aspects of esoteric knowledge will be able to be explained by the preceptor.

Realizing Parasiva is merging with Siva, but it is not the end of merging. At that pinpoint of time, there are still the trappings of body, mind and emotions that claim awareness into their consciousness. Ultimately, when all bodies—physical, astral, mental, even the soul body—wear out their time, as all forms wear out in time, bound by time, existing in time, as relative realities, then visvagrâsa, the final merger with Siva, occurs, as the physical body drops away, the astral body drops away, the mental body drops away, and the soul—a shining, scintillating being of light quantums—merges into its source. As when a drop of water merges into the ocean, it can never be retrieved, only Siva remains. Aum Nama˙ Sivâya.

Excerpts from “Merging with Siva” by Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

Words of Indian Saints Part #13

paramahansa-yogananda“The Adam and Eve story is incomprehensible to me!” I observed with considerable heat one day in my early struggles with the allegory. “Why did God punish not only the guilty pair, but also the innocent unborn generations?”

Master was more amused by my vehemence than my ignorance. “Genesis is deeply symbolic, and cannot be grasped by a literal interpretation,” he explained. “Its ‘tree of life’ is the human body. The spinal cord is like an upturned tree, with man’s hair as its roots, and afferent and efferent nerves as branches. The tree of the nervous system bears many enjoyable fruits, or sensations of sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. In these, man may rightfully indulge; but he was forbidden the experience of sex, the ‘apple’ at the center of the bodily garden.

“We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.”-Genesis 3:2-3.

“The ‘serpent’ represents the coiled-up spinal energy which stimulates the sex nerves. ’Adam’ is reason, and ‘Eve’ is feeling. When the emotion or Eve-consciousness in any human being is overpowered by the sex impulse, his reason or Adam also succumbs.

“The human body was therefore not solely a result of evolution from beasts, but was produced by an act of special creation by God. The animal forms were too crude to express full divinity; the human being was uniquely given a tremendous mental capacity – the ‘thousand-petaled lotus’ of the brain – as well as acutely awakened occult centers in the spine.

“God, or the Divine Consciousness present within the first created pair, counseled them to enjoy all human sensibilities, but not to put their concentration on touch sensations.

“Now the serpent (sex force) was more subtile than any beast of the field” (any other sense of the body). – Gen. 3:1.

These were banned in order to avoid the development of the sex organs, which would enmesh humanity in the inferior animal method of propagation. The warning not to revive subconsciously present bestial memories was not heeded. Resuming the way of brute procreation, Adam and Eve fell from the state of heavenly joy natural to the original perfect man.

“Knowledge of ‘good and evil’ refers to the cosmic dualistic compulsion. Falling under the sway of maya through misuse of his feeling and reason, or Eve-and Adam-consciousness, man relinquishes his right to enter the heavenly garden of divine self-sufficiency. The personal responsibility of every human being is to restore his ‘parents’ or dual nature to a unified harmony or Eden.”

“And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.” – Gen. 2:8. “Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.” – Gen. 3:23. The divine man first made by God had his consciousness centered in the omnipotent single eye in the forehead (eastward). The all-creative powers of his will, focused at that spot, were lost to man when he began to “till the ground” of his physical nature.

Excerpts from the book by Paramhansa Yogananda “Autobiography of a Yogi”