The march to freedom – part 3
KAMLESH PATEL continues his narration of the ultimate journey to freedom. In this issue he takes us still further into the realm beyond experience, beyond consciousness, into the realm of God.
THE SCIENCE OF SPIRITUALITY
Evolution of Consciousness Series
Let’s first see how far our wayfarer has come on his journey to freedom. In part 1 we explored the awakening of the chakras in the heart region, and then in part 2 what happens in the first few chakras of the mind region, when he experiences liberation from the ongoing cycle of birth and death. So let’s rejoin him at chakra 10, the beginning of the sub-region known as Prabhu, and continue onwards in this vast region of mind.
He is now in the realm of God. Stephen Hawking wrote in his book, A Brief History of Time, “If we do discover a theory of everything… it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason – for then we would truly know the mind of God.” The region of Prabhu is all about this, the Super-Mind of God. But reaching here cannot be done through the purely scientific approach of reason: reason is too cumbersome and primitive a mental approach. To know the Super-Mind of God, direct perception is required, through the awakening of the superconscious states. Reason is the indirect route to knowledge, limited by the mental functions of consciousness, thinking, intellect and ego in the best-case scenario, and contaminated with the additional filters of samskaras in a worse-case scenario.
Direct perception is unfettered by any of these limitations. Through the purification of the heart and subsequent awakening of the higher chakras, direct perception is the natural state of a true Yogi. It is not that a Yogi cannot use reason, as it is a useful tool, but he also has access to knowledge without filters, the wisdom of the universe. At this stage, Hawking’s ‘theory of everything’ is possible. And the ‘ultimate triumph’ about which he writes is actually the triumph of Yoga. That is what Yoga is, and it is not just the ‘theory of everything’, but also the practical experience of everything.
That is why our wayfarer’s intense efforts at spiritual practice earlier in the journey were so vital. They were necessary to reach this level. The practical awakening of the chakras of the heart-mind lays the foundation for experiencing the realm of God. Even at the beginning of the journey itself, at chakra 1 of the heart region, a lower level of superconsciousness is awakened through Heartfulness practice, and throughout the journey more refined states of superconsciousness are awakened with the Guru’s transmission. We can imagine these initial efforts as an investment that matures at this higher stage. Having built the foundation, now the beauty of the edifice is revealed.
This is only possible once the ego tussle between ‘I’ and ‘He’ has exhausted itself through the region of Prapanna-Prabhu at chakra 9. Otherwise our wayfarer’s perception remains clouded by his mental limitations, especially his ego, which can be like a black hole contracting his perception – he has to break free of these limitations if he wants to experience God directly and realize the infinite potential of the Ultimate. And the Guru’s role in this process is crucial. Do you think any of us could traverse this alone? It would be like climbing Mount Everest without a Sherpa’s guidance, or Frodo Baggins throwing the ring of power into the fires of Mordor without Gandalf’s and Gollum’s help. Can the ego dissolve its hold without some higher power to help? In this rarefied realm, our wayfarer needs the guidance and support of a Guru who knows the path.
That is why Osho has said, “A living master is bound to happen to the person who is in search of truth, who wants to know the meaning of life, who wants to go to the innermost core of his being, who wants to know the depth and the height of existence. He will have to hold hands with a master.
“The master is one who has already known. The master is one who has been to the other shore and has come to this shore to show you the path. But only a master can show the path – a living master, remember.”
The Lord’s presence is felt so profoundly at chakra 10 that there is intimacy beyond belief. And the very holy relationship between Guru and disciple finds its true expression and nourishment in this region of Prabhu, which encompasses chakras 10, 11 and 12.
Consciousness now dwells in the Lord. The wayfarer becomes less and less, and He becomes more and more. The Lord becomes the doer behind all actions, and the wayfarer becomes a mere witness. It has been expressed so very beautifully by the 15th century Indian mystic poet and saint, Kabir:
Narrow is the lane of love;
there is space only for one.
When I was, the Beloved was not.
Now He is, I am not.
Earlier, it was all about ‘me’. Later, there was a mixed spectrum of intermingling between ‘me’ and ‘Him’. Finally, only the Lord remains in view, naturally, with love. This is the region of Prabhu. The entire human system belongs to the Lord; it has become divinized and sanctified like a temple. Now that the body is the abode of the Lord, there is a strong urge to refrain from doing anything that could sully or lower this consciousness.
Because our wayfarer has become so identical with the Lord, and with the Guru, he now spreads divine vibrations like sandalwood fragrance. Whenever wind passes through the sandalwood forest, the fragrance of sandalwood spreads everywhere. Also, if you take sandalwood paste and smear it on your forehead, you carry that scent with you wherever you go. Something similar happens with a devotee who is so absorbed in the Lord that the Lord actually merges in him. He radiates the vibrations of the Lord wherever he goes and in whatever he does.
This experience of dissolving into the Beloved is expressed in some of the most beautiful, mystical love poetry ever written. Here is an example from the 13th century poet, Rumi:
When the rose is gone and the garden faded
you will no longer hear the nightingale’s song.
The Beloved is all; the lover just a veil.
The Beloved is living; the lover a dead thing.
If love withholds its strengthening care,
the lover is left like a bird without care,
the lover is left like a bird without wings.
How will I be awake and aware
if the light of the Beloved is absent?
Love wills that this Word be brought forth.
There are also the examples of Radha, who was so deeply immersed in the love of Lord Krishna that he merged into her, and Andal, the south Indian saint from the 7th or 8th century, who disappeared into thin air one day in the temple at the feet of her beloved Krishna. This instinct to merge totally in the Beloved is something that sits deep within the psyche of all human beings, whether we know it or not. It is the most basic, natural instinct of human life. Some might call it the spiritual instinct, or the instinctive urge to return to our Original Home. It is the underlying reason why love is so important to us. Love and mergence go hand in hand. It is our natural birthright as human beings to transcend our individuality and merge into the Source of all life. By journeying in the realm of Prabhu, there is the possibility to do so.
But this is not the end. Our wayfarer has reached chakra 10, and how will he continue on his journey when he is already drowned in the Lord? When the Lord is everything, he has no desire left even for spiritual progress. There must be something to reawaken his restlessness to continue, so once again it is the Guru of caliber who comes to the rescue.
Then between chakras 10 and 11 is the thousand petalled lotus, Sahasra Dal Kamal (SDK). The bliss experienced in this environment also has a part to play in him feeling that the destination has been reached. In many Yogic traditions, sat-chit-anand is extolled, so seekers of Truth feel justified in thinking, “This is it!” It is easy to want to stay in this blissful state, and no amount of tapasya can extricate our wayfarer. Only the capable hand of the Guru can move him on to the next phase in the yatra or journey.
Coming out of the bliss experienced at the thousand-petalled lotus can be a shock, as peace completely disappears at chakra 11 and is replaced by restlessness for the Lord. It is here that the spiritual fragrance of Saint Meera, the 16th century Hindu mystic poet and devotee of Lord Krishna, can be appreciated. She was only ever thinking of her Beloved, restless to merge in Him. The crossing of the thousand-petalled lotus also means becoming part of a much higher consciousness – that of the Lord. Our wayfarer does less and less on his part but goes on enjoying the intense longing. No wonder Saint Meera kept singing with joy, “Mere to Giridhar Gopal, dusaro na koi!” meaning “There is none other than Giridhar Gopal for me!”
I would like to share something Ram Chandra of Shahjahanpur wrote about chakra 11: “Off goes the veil and the vision of Reality now comes to light. We now feel helpless, beyond control. A constant craving for Him, accompanied by all its aches and pangs, prevails every moment. There is no rest or peace without Him. Truly speaking peace has now departed from us. What remains instead may better be expressed as a condition of peace from which peacefulness is sucked out. That is exactly the condition of the knot [chakra], which we experience and get it finally merged.
“What remains there now? Everything seems lost except the pang which persists still and which is the only thing that helps our onward approach. It ends when we have plunged into the Reality and moved on into the state of identicality. When that too is merged we come to a state of refined identicality which marks our approach to the twelfth knot.”
Having experienced the Creator, our wayfarer becomes restless to see what is behind the Creator. Peace of mind disappears. The restlessness that he felt in the heart region is nothing compared to this extraordinary restlessness, even though he is in osmosis with the Lord. Relief only comes when he arrives at chakra 12.
Ram Chandra has described chakra 12 as the merging chakra of all things acquired at the different stages of merging and identicality. What is there at this exalted place? He says that it is the state of refined identicality, where the panorama is so pure that even simplicity appears to be a hundred times heavier. There is a new form of existence. At this level help can only reach if the ego is truly subdued. To reach chakra 12 is very rare; to go beyond it is even rarer.
And there is another challenge here, created by a chakra called Brahmarandra that is almost superimposed on chakra 12. It is the point where the soul enters the physical body at the time of conception and where highly-evolved souls leave the physical body at the moment of death. So when the journey reaches chakra 12, the soul’s natural inclination is to leave through the Brahmarandra chakra.
But the Guru of caliber will not allow this to happen, and instead helps our wayfarer to bypass Brahmarandra and continue onwards to the next stage of the journey, known as the central region. And this transition is also an amazing process in itself, as there is a need to accumulate enough escape velocity to be propelled towards chakra 13, into the central region.
How does this happen? Within a period of two to three days, the Guru takes our wayfarer through 64 points or chakras, rekindling devotion, craving and restlessness at each one. The cumulative restlessness amassed by journeying through all these 64 points in such a short period creates a potent force that propels him into the central region. Without this rocket-like propulsion given by the Guru, he would stay in the region of Prabhu forever.
So ends the journey of the mind region, of which I have just scratched the surface and given a mere overview. The nuances of this vast region can only be known through experience. Next time, the journey will take us into the central region – a region that was undescribed and unchartered territory until the early 20th century, when Ram Chandra of Shahjahanpur added it to the map of human consciousness.
Article by KAMLESH PATEL
September 03, 2017
September 03, 2017
September 03, 2017