Archives for the month of: May, 2019

REINCARNATION  kRISHNA .COM

The Gita allows  a soul precisely 8.4 million reincarnations on the difficult path of evolution. Early Christianity also had a concept of reincarnation which was later discarded. New Age thinkers and philosophers with the evidence produced by Near Death Experiences (NDE), hypnotic regression leading to past life recall by psychologists, and the activity of Mediums in allowing possession by spirits for those wishing to contact departed loved ones, are now universally inclined to accept reincarnation as a cardinal truth.

On the basis of my readings of the subject from philosophy, religion, New Age insights, NDEs, books by famous mediums and the occasional reported cases of people who recall their previous reincarnation and visit their former families, I have arrived at one conclusion with growing faith in it.

Not only we on the earthly plane know little about the intricate complexities and reality of the spiritual world which is as vast as our material one if not more so, but the spiritual world also knows little about our material world and is keen to know more. Therefore there appear to be two purposes of reincarnation.

One being to help the soul evolve. Its metal cannot be fully tested till it goes through the harrowing experiences of life on the material plane, time and again down from its home at the sublime heights of the spiritual life and world. It is basically a necessary but unwelcome option which is always challenging for souls who would rather enjoy the eternal beatitude of the spiritual life, where they are more aware through extra sensory perceptions, more loved and loving in divine grace and in a state of bliss. But they are not permitted to tarry there for eternity and must enter earth school to be tested and to evolve into greater souls, even if reluctantly. 

Gods creation is made in a way where spirit is attracted to matter even as matter is attracted to spirit and so they merge and mix as often as possible  in a union that matches the mind of the Universal spirit we call God the creator of both, though for mysterious reasons known to him alone he keeps them apart as two coexistent realities produced by his supreme imagination and pensive introspection about his own reality.

The other reason for reincarnation is the absence of knowledge of the material world by the spiritual one. This is my gut feeling and strong impression. Angels spirits souls and their mentors have little clue of the goings on here. The reincarnation of souls apart from testing their metal also reveals the truth of material life and the way matter acts in different situations which do not exist in the eternal spiritual world in a state of total harmony and beatitude. The impulses of the material world are totally different from the spiritual one. While God knows all the answers his spiritual world does not. And its intense curiosity impels reincarnations of its souls.

I think God is equidistant from both of his worlds, he leaves his creation alone till there is a crisis when through his infinite grace and concern he assumes the form of a soul, WHICH MUST BE A SUPREME TRIAL OF HIS ESSENCE and reincarnates himself as Avatar or prophet to restore equilibrium,and experience all the trials and tribulations of material earthly life as did Rama, Krishna, the Buddha and Christ. 

Whether he does the same for the spiritual half i naturally have no clue. In the spiritual world there are masters and great souls  that is his way of producing a presence there. Quite possibly the spiritual world also requires guidance as we do here. In Hinduism both are aspects of Maya or illusion, the supreme imagination of God in contemplation.

So, two God induced mysteries apart, the spiritual and the material, both surely dear to his heart and mind. his divinity is in both.

This divinity is present not merely at the spiritual plane but equally on the material and physical levels. Matter and Spirit are integrally conjoined and inseparable. The divine is thus universally present both as matter and spirit. Matter and Spirit, two facets of the Universal Essence or God, are not only inseparable and united but also exhibit attraction for one another by being in a state of perpetual interaction. While the material aspect is manifest, finite and perishable and recycled from creation to creation, the spiritual aspect is infinite, imperishable, constant and eternal.

Matter is passionately attracted to the presence of spirit and spirit never leaves matter alone either, probing, infiltrating and combining with it.

He allows the two aspects to come together, being part of his unity,  through the process of reincarnation of souls which provides some insight to each about the other without merging them totally as is his scheme and purpose. Unity in diversity. i would even venture to conjecture that Gods way of acquainting himself fully with his creation and being an indivisible part of it is through the reincarnation of souls which after all as said in the Gita are his own reincarnated essence that neither acts nor is responsible for any karma but acting in the human body run by the ego as a counsellor and guide the conscience in man.

This concept of the soul is quite different from the Judaic Christian or Islamic ones. There it is not the material ego but the spiritual entity they call the ‘soul’ which is active not inactive and certainly not a divine essence but one that is responsible for all good and bad deeds in material life and therefore subject to judgement at the end of a life and a place either in heaven hell or purgatory. In their concept the only difference between the human persona and the soul is that in the one case it is material and alive and in the other  matter transformed into spirit the same entity just with change in form but liable equally to judgement. The soul is no godly essence merely a spiritual aspect of the persona of a being assuming such a form after life.

In Hinduism the soul is God incarnate incapable of no  sin or karma a guiding light within, a beacon to god. The Gita calls it inconceivable, a marvel, a wonder, and none know it. The Gita says that it is easier to visualise God through meditation than access the soul within. The spirit of god is in every being and atom of creation whether spiritual or material.

The Buddhist concept does not speak of the soul as an essence of god within man as it does not talk about any super being like god at all. Neither do the Jains.

So we have the Hindu concept of the soul, the Judaic and the Buddhist/Jain concepts apart from the the New age mystical one which is close to the Hindu concept. My point is that they are inseparable because god is omnipresent in every aspect of both, being his divine dream. I wish to emphasise that the spirit world is not conversant with the material aspect of god and wishes to be through incarnation. the physical world equally is ignorant of the spiritual creation of God and seeks to access it through mysticism religion prayer and meditation.  The souls evolution is quite another matter and requires reincarnation, if you take the Hindu point of view of the soul.

In summary, God is ubiquitous, the soul is his essence, separated from him in the illusion of creation – he has diffused himself to understand his dream of creation. When the souls fully evolve they will join the ocean of godhead and become one with him again giving him full insight of his dream of creation.Till then they will reincarnate and evolve understanding matter and spirit and communicate that to godhead. Meanwhile his spiritual and material worlds will remain separate and seek to intensely communicate with one another the eternal dance of spirit with matter to get to know each other and finally conjoin as one to gods final satisfaction and understanding of his glorious dream.

kRISHNA EXPLAINING THE SOULS REALITY TO ARJUN IN THE GITA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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apple snail

Of all living creatures the snail is perhaps the most curious. Being a nature lover I have observed them for long. Slow self reliant with its home securely fixed on its back it forages for algae. Its mouth opening and closing constantly. Its eyes that can view light rest behind its two antenna  which probe the environment very effectively. There are two species, one is a hermaphrodite, the other is either male or female but can change gender at will! The hermaphrodite variety is natures boldest experiment. When two snails of this type come close and are attracted to one another for mating they instantly decide which one will be male and which one female for that particular episode. Or if both decide to be male they will exchange sperm and retain it to fertilise their eggs later. That must be considered a wonder of nature’s playful experiments.

In my fish tank i have some large Apple or Mystery snails. Frequently they come together while foraging. They keep the fish tank clean by consuming algae and food droppings for the fish. Recently i observed their mating. the male ( this is not the hermaphrodite species) climbed the shell of the female then produced a penis from its neck which probed within her shell to fertilise her. This went on for a couple of hours. The female did not turn into a male luckily. My snails keep changing gender and its difficult to know who is permanently one or the other.

The snails in my tank are a happy lot, slowly gliding up the glass cleaning it of microbes then remain pensive having fed till another of their kind approaches. Then in their slow slimy way they get excited to know what the others gender is,  to know if there was any need to change its own!! Then begins the strange courtship of one climbing the shell of another and probing the other with its sex apparatus. Then both become still and proceed with the orgy for hours examining one another. The one choosing to be female then days later moves to the top of the fish tank to lay her egg capsule on some plant or edge. there are some 500 eggs, most eaten up by fish when they emerge. But multiply they do ever so often yet there is little evidence of offspring in the tank. What a wonderful creature this is, basically sightless yet full of awareness with the two antenna, foraging merrily and being so innovative with sex. Never a dull moment for them. Finally at close of day crawling into their shell homes and closing the  trap door the Operculum

  What a  wonderful way to end the day – what they think of when coiled in their secure homes. surely there must be some thoughts even for a snail. If it can think to move in a direction, forage for algae with its large mouth and feel around with its antenna and have glorious sex for hours, it must have some thoughts when home, what it will do next.

Yes , i love my snails and the fulfilled lives they lead in their quiet slow lives. And then they also perform a service for me, by keeping my tank clean as scavengers do. And they have no demands for food air or filters. Im waiting for the time I can see some baby snails moving around. Well not yet!! Incidentally the snails i have are called Golden Mystery snails.

apple snails mating

intense love

 

Asttrophytum Myriostigma – Star Plant

Since childhood Ive always had a fascination for the cactus. why I’m not clear but whenever i saw a cactus i would gaze at it for long observe its special architecture different from plants and wonder at how it survived. i always treated it as some kind of pet animal that had presence but didn’t move or make a fuss. As i grew older I examined this strange fascination. The cactus never asked for much, no daily water and strong in all weathers. It knew the art of survival. Nightly it would quietly absorb carbon di oxide, then as day dawned it would use it to photosynthesise with its fat succulent stems which stored water to produce its food. It hardly grew and had spines to ward off predators and catch the first morning dew drops in a desert with no water or rainfall, which would then trickle to its roots and quickly be absorbed in the fat succulent stems. What a wonder of a creature i would think. So self sufficient and self reliant sitting still like a yogi in meditation. It did grow imperceptibly thickening its water filled stems protected by a waxy coat to prevent water loss, always looking plump and happy never withering like other plants with neglect. Its architectural contours were perfect round with pretty shapely stems and the spines. In many cases these spines looked purely ornamental than to ward off people. I loved my little cactus and daily gazed at it trying to communicate to its desert soul. If you water a cactus daily it will die. Its that kind of strong hardy plant that does not like pampering. So I would give it sunlight not keeping it on my desk table and water  once a week. It thrived and grew. Like a fat pumpkin. Im sure it was aware of my loving presence. Then one surprising day i noticed a protuberance at the top, a kind of boil. As i watched daily it grew into a thick bud quite out of keeping with its general make up of stems and spines. It assumed a brighter green colour and finally the bud grown real big burst into flower, my happiest moment. no small flower but a lotus like big single flower red and yellow and bigger than the cactus. a miracle of nature. It said to me I’m happy and sexy. The flower remained for a month before it had done its purpose and fertilised its ovum, then it dried and fell away. The happy cactus then grew fast and became double its usual size. It was for me always like a dear pet.

Then I began my crazy pursuit of other cacti. I went to distant nurseries to collect all species and brought them home. My family thought i had gone crazy. Opuntias with yellow and white thorns, with a character of their own, succulents of all kinds and my favourites the globular spineless ornamental type. My favourite was the Astropfytum Miriostigma translated as starplant with several dots. It was a grey blue smooth stemmed plant with few spines and a myriad pretty dots on its sexy fleshy stems which were parted in four. Then one of the Opuntias taught me a lesson. my vision suddenly blurred. The eye doctor said you have a ‘thief’ in your eye. One of the hairlike spines had travelled and implanted itself in my cornea. He surgically removed it and said i had better get rid of the Opuntias. so i did.

Then decades later in my retirement i saw some globular cacti in a nursery and brought two as pets. They give me no end of pleasure. A mystic astrologer remarked, these are not just plants but souls so you better look out. Its not considered auspicious to keep them. I didn’t care, if they are souls they must be the friendly type.

Some of my favourites:

A poem inspired by my unusual fascination for these plants:

                                          THE  CACTUS

Halls of ochre butcher as they chase

One drop.

Not one insect spared but splits

In parching,

Sound of dry grass crackling,

Eyes thaw in ochre dust.

Like a dwarf sits the cactus.

Awkward limbs but affection in the interior,

Soft pulpy green-walled translucency

Where the moisture drips.

But without,

Its challenged thorn-lusty prurience grapples

With the desert’s grip.

Hate is an outer armour,

Love’s moisture is in the stem

And there is proof for when

The desert awakens in the rain,

Bulbs of chlorophyll

Explode in monsoon blooms

The milk pulp making fissures on the ragged skin;

Blood red hues, hibiscus violet

Flowers fed on milk. Then

How large the hidden heart

Bandaged in bristling brutality

For survival.

And now is the time of seed’s revival;

Another need brings the dwarf’s art.

 

Goddess Chandi

In Hinduism the goddess represents universal energy, Shakti, the power of creation from say the big bang, to its development into intricate creation, Galaxies, suns planets black holes and glorious creations of planetary systems, foremost the energies that make our planet so full of life. the goddesses all  symbolise the power and energy of the Gods. each has a consort representing his energy and ability. Shakti, the epitome of the Goddess is what makes the world active and meaningful. Energy in Hinduism has a female form. And worship of that form of energy is central to the inclinations in prayer. Energy then becomes Mother, the creator, Mother the sustainer and Mother that dissolves creation as well as protects it. for these reasons Shakti worship during the nine nights of her empowerment are sacred in worship. It is called Navratra or nine nights. and occurs twice an year in April and September. In April it concludes with the birth of Lord Rama the avatar, it is the power of the goddess as shakti that produces this miracle for mankind. In September it concludes with the empowerment of Lord Rama to slay the evil demon Ravana of Lanka who dared to abduct Sita his consort the embodiment of Shakti on the temporal plane, laxmi incarnated as Sita. Both events are the products of Shakti the goddesses energy which brings relief from evil or  the failure of equilibrium in the universe.

In Hinduism for this reason the Goddess as Shakti or divine energy is worshipped  to energise positively ones life and ward off calamities obstacles and misfortune which occur when ones equilibrium is disturbed either by physical forces or the effects of Karma. We all face such circumstances in temporal life and seek protection from their adverse effects. they could arise from simply the weather like storms earthquakes, intense heat or cold threatening life, or then the effects of Karma during this or past lifes, our good and bad deeds. So, during this period of the Shakti;s empowerment we seek protection. the nine nights provide just that. Prayer for protection from calamity, obstacles and misfortune.Hinduism provides a recipe through prayer to the goddess

The Markandeya Purana in which the Saptsati  and Devi Kavach are to be found dates back to the second or third  BC and are the oldest of the Puranas.

In scriptures she is the product of the combined powers of the great Gods, each contributing its strength to produce an entity that has super powers to rid the world of evil and demonic forces that have gravely disturbed the equilibrium of creation. Thus arises the figure of Durga. and from Durga arise her various forms innumerable and varied, an army of goddesses with different attributes and qualities. Chandi, Vaishnavi, Brahmini, Saraswati, Laxmi, Parvati, and so on. each form with special qualities weapons and vehicles on which they ride, each dedicated to protecting some aspect of a persons body, soul and life.

Thus we come to what is called in Navratri prayer the Durga or Chandi Kavach, the armour and shield. the Chandi kavach is recited daily morning and evening during the nine nights to ward off evil and provide protection to the devotee.

The chant begins by describing the nine goddesses, the first Shailputri, daughter of the mountains who married Lord Shiva,, the second is Brahmacharini, the celebate goddess of penance,  the third the goddess of strength  Chandraghanta who glows like the moon, fourth is Khushmanda the goddess of  creativity who dispels negativity, the fifth is Skandamata, mother of shiv;s son Kartikeya who became the commander in chief of the gods,  the sixth is Katyayeni who defeats hostile intensions, the seventh is Kalratri who overcomes enemies,  the eighth is Maha Gauri, the epitome of tranquillity, the last is Siddhidhatri who creates perfection, these are the nine goddesses worshipped.

Nav durga – the nine goddesses of Navratri

 

The prayer calls on the devotee to meditate on these forms of the goddess when in the midst of difficulties and trials.

The goddesses assume numerous forms to ward off evil and obstacles. each is armed with weapons, and seated on vehicles and are particular to the area of protection you ask for. thus Chamunda sitting on corpses, and  Varahi on the demon Mahishasur, Aindri on an elephant, and Vaishnavi on the eagle with Vishnu,  Maheshwari on a bull and Kaumari on a peacock, Laxmi on a lotus, Brahmi on a swan, all these goddesses derived from the primal energy of Durga are resplendent on their mounts fully armed and furious to do battle with evil forces. It is an overwhelming vision of Goddesses fair as the snows and dark as rain clouds having varied natures from the sublime to the terrible, each with a special acumen and ability.  The chanter of the hymn appeals to the array of goddesses  to protect him from evil and misfortune hailing their glory, radiance and yogic powers.

It may seem tedious for the uninitiated to go through this compendium of goddesses at work to provide protection but I feel impelled to provide all their names, the diverse and glorious aspecrs of Shakti, energy or Durga to illustrate the ancient hymn of complete protection recited on the nine nights of her empowerment so that one has a glimpse of what detailed protection it is  created for in the ancient Vedas which become the substance of prayer to relieve the trails and tribu;llations of temporal life. There is great faith and devotion during these nights to seek solace from the source of universal energy symbolised by the goddess which may even have sub atomic relevance. I am aware that naming so many goddesses may be  unnecessary for a reader who is not a practising Hindu but there is no other way one can present the armour hymn so highly regarded here as a panacea for all afflictions and misfortunes. Names resound with vibrations and meaning helping to picture the particular form the Goddess has assumed to carry out a specific task. I trust the power of the Goddess her energy and symbolism so i will be mentioning all the names against specific needs.

 The armour and shield prayer proceeds first to provide protection from the various directions and  next to every part of ones body. Each part has a particular goddess incarnated from the supreme energy Durga in various forms and shapes dedicated to protect that part.

Aindri, daughter of fire protects  from the east, from the south Varahi, from the south west Khadgadharini, holder of the sword, from the west Varuni, , from the northwest Mrigvahini riding a deer, from the north Kaumari, from the northeast Shooldharini, one who wields a spear,  from above Brahmani from below by Vaishnavi, from all directions the great goddess Chamunda slayer of demons Chand and Munda, from the front Jaya (victory) and Vijaya( who cannot be defeated) from behind. To the left is Ajita (invincible) to the south Aparajita (undefeated). Having completed directional protection the hymn goes on to provide protection for all bodily parts.

Hair on the head is protected  by Dyotini (unchanging), the head by Uma (wife of shiva) , the tongue by Maladhari (who wears garlands),the eyebrows by Yashwini (successful), the space between the eye brows by Trinetri (three eyed), the nose by Yamaghanta, and Sugandha (the sweet smelling),  the space between  the eyes Shankini (holder of the conch shell), Dwarvasini (the one who dwells deep within) the ears, the cheeks by Kalika., the ear lobes by Shankri, the lips by Chandrakala (who wears the crescent moon), the teeth by Sarasvati (godess of wisdom and speech), the teeth by Kaumari, the throat by Chandika (who is immeasurable), the voicebox by Chitragandha, the palate by Mahamaya (the enchantress), the chin by Kamakshi, the neck by Bhadrakali, the backbone by Dhanurdhari, the nape of the neck by Nilagriva, the windpipe by Nalakuberi, shoulders by Khangini, arms by Vajradharini, hands by Dandhini (the punisher). fingers by Ambika (mother of the world), the nails by Sooleshwari (bearer of the spear), the belly by Kuleshwari, the breasts by Mahadevi,, mind by by Shoknashini (dispellar of sorrow), the heart by Lalita (easy to please_)), the stomach by Shuldharini (wielder of the trident),naval by Kamini (the lovable), Guheshwari (the secret one) protects the private parts, the reproductive organs by Kamika, the organs of excretion by Mahishavahini, the waist by Bhagwati, the knees by Vindhyvasini, the hips by Mahabala, the ankles by Narasinhi, soles of the feet by Vasini, nails by Damshatrakarili, hair by Urdhvakeshini, hair pores by Kauberi,, skin by Vagheshwari, blood marrow flesh and bones by Parvati, the intestines by Kalaratri, the bile and liver by Mukuteshwari, the Chakras by Padmavati, the phlegm by Chudamani, the lustre of nails by Jvalamukhi, the joints by Abhedia,, the semen by Brahmini, the shadow of the body by Chateshwari (one like an umbrella), the ego mind and intellect by Gharmdharini, the life breath by Vajrahasta, sense organs of taste sight smell hearing by Yogini, the three attributes of Satva, truth Rajas passsion and Tamas inertia by Narayani, life by Varahi, Dharma righteousness by Vaishnavi, success and fame by Laxmi, wealth and knowledge by Chakrini, ones lineage by Indrani, cattle by Chanika, spirituality by Supatha, protection for  being in any place not mentioned here by Jayanti and Apnashini.

The extent and minute detail of protection from all quarters and for bodily parts which the armour is to provide is mind boggling and amazing, each part protected by  a different aspect of the universal energy Durga or Chandi, when the devotee invokes her. The life force itself  spirituality wealth fame success knowledge the Chakras and the attributes of a soul’s nature on the temporal plane, truth passion and inertia are also not left out. One can imagine what a powerful hymn and mantra armour this is, recited daily during the nine nights of the goddesses empowerment. seeking protection in prayer. It doubtless also has an occult significance to harness that power as ones saviour providing protection for the physical, mental, spiritual directional and planetary afflictions if any.

The hymn , in chaste sanskrit with precise meters, millennia old concludes with sage advice-

Do not take a single step in the journey of your life without this armour which fulfils all desires and goals in life. The supreme mother is always by your side making you fearless victorious and long lived for a hundred years, in good health unaffected by poisons (from snakes scorpions and enemies) and accidents and possession by evil spirits and aliens from outer space!

The hymn will also empower the mind and light an inner radiance conferring fame and everlasting progeny and enlightenment in afterlife to be in the divine company of lord Shiva (freed from reincarnation Karma and the trials and tribulations of temporal life

Durga image made of clay in their thousands worshipped on Navratri and consigned to the ocean after nine nights with devotion celebrations hoping she will return again.

 

Mahagauri worshipped on the most auspicious eighth night of Navratra and my favourite goddess aspect

The prayer claims to be the only one of its kind superior to all others which even the gods would like to provide them protection and is sung and chanted daily by devotees throughout India.

For those who wish to hear the original in Sanskrit a video courtesy u tube

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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