The march to freedom – part 2
KAMLESH PATEL continues with the ultimate journey to freedom. In this issue he takes us further into a whole new realm of experience, the road less traveled.
THE SCIENCE OF SPIRITUALITY
Evolution of Consciousness Series
In part 1 we explored the evolution of our consciousness through the chakras of the region of heart – those associated with our physical existence on this Earth. After mastering these five chakras we then move on, expanding our consciousness into the region of mind, also known as the region of the Super-Mind of God. To step into this region, there is one important pre-requisite: we first must embody that generosity of heart that emerges as we purify the heart and master the emotions of worldly life.
In this new realm we experience a different level of freedom; we are free from the cycle of birth and death. In other words, we transcend the need for reincarnation, and this is commonly known as liberation. Our consciousness is free to soar in a completely new way, and actually we go beyond consciousness to the potentiality that creates consciousness. The soul has passed through its first great rite of passage on its way back home to the Source.
So let us now continue on our journey and see where it takes us. This new realm of mind is beyond dualities, dwandwas, of everyday physical existence, and yet it is always there behind everything we do in daily life. We continue our journey by entering the Cosmic Region, also known as Brahmanda Mandal and Virat Desh, which starts at chakra 6 between the eyebrows. This is such a vast region that normally thousands of years would not be long enough to traverse it, what to say of its grandeur. Here we feel holiness and piety, and become conscious of every power that is present.
The Cosmic Region is the storehouse of the inexhaustible energy that supplies power to the earthly plane and keeps our material life going. When we journey through it, we feel immense power similar to that of electricity throughout our whole being. We feel electrified.
Here the movement we find is that of expansion and contraction, multi-directional and multidimensional movement. Our mind expands, and we develop the quality of limitlessness. Our consciousness expands in a 360-degree manner. Our expansion here continues until we realize that we are expanded all over the world. The universe seems too small for us as we develop a corresponding expansion within ourselves.
It is at this stage in the journey that the Guide’s role becomes so important, because how can a liberated soul, a purified soul, remain in a body unless that body is also purified? The Guide helps us to purify each cell. How does this happen? It is a matter of experience, and I hope you will all practice and see for yourself.
Within this Cosmic Region we find chakras 6 and 7, and the first half of chakra 8. Chakras 6 and 7 are almost intertwined, forming a figure 8, with the lower circle (chakra 6) smaller than the upper circle (chakra 7), and the lower circle slightly in front of the upper circle. Chakra 7 is the storehouse of the great powers, and chakra 6 is the place from which power is distributed.
Certain traditions advise meditation at chakra 6 between the eyebrows, and even in the Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna advises Arjuna to meditate at this point. The reason is very specific: Arjuna was a warrior during the Mahabharata war. He had been wavering on the battlefield, and in order to fight he needed strength and energy. The Cosmic Region is all about power and Arjuna needed power.
But we are not going to war. We are leading a family life and for that we need love, understanding, compassion and empathy – all qualities of the heart. Later in the Gita, Krishna says that the Divine resides in the heart of all beings. This is a big hint for those who seek Realization. The need of the hour is to meditate on the heart.
I have given the name Durvasa to chakra 7 because Durvasa was a character in the Mahabharata epic who was enormously powerful and prone to fits of rage during which he would curse people. Because of the enormous power prevailing in this region, we can become careless at times. When someone annoys us, we may lash out because we have power at our command. But we don’t have to become like Durvasa if love backs our spiritual journey, and as a caution I have given this name so that we are aware of the possibility. Powers will be there, but the Guide is also there to protect us. Even then, we need to be alert to the way we treat others.
If we are sensitive, we will discover the presence of those great powers that govern various parts of the universe, but such powers are not for us to enjoy for ourselves. They are made available for the universal good, for universal peace not individual peace, and for the welfare of all.
Reaching chakra 7 produces a very pleasant feeling of ecstasy. It feels as if we have reached the destination, and it is so charmingly attractive that often even the most sincere seekers will come to a halt. The Guide then has to take us forward. The condition of chakra 7 is seemingly marvelous, but for a true yogi it is child’s play.
The Cosmic Region is where we are really able to transform our character from reactive to responsive. Responsiveness arises from a pure heart and a balanced mind. Transmission tunes the mental tendencies and changes the intentions of the heart. Here, the lower self becomes the universal Self, moving from selfishness to selflessness.
With interest and the help of a capable Guide, we then proceed to chakra 8. The first half of this chakra is within the Cosmic Region, and the second half is the Supra-Cosmic Region, also known as the Para-Brahmanda Mandal. Para means ‘above’, so we transcend the Cosmic Region within this chakra and feel a sort of freshness like that which a sun-stricken person feels on taking a cool bath in summer.
Having transcended the Cosmic Region, we are no longer enamored of the powerhouse associated with chakra 7, because we realize the worthlessness of accumulating power. We start to dance to a different tune – that of refining and transcending anything to do with power, and of course that means the ego. Instead, we become enamored of humility and wish to surrender to what is higher than ourselves, as we understand that we will only continue on our journey to higher realms with a supplicant heart.
We often hear that the world is maya, illusion, and here at chakra 8 we feel that state, so we lose interest in unnecessary things. This renunciation is not forced or imposed, but totally natural. The world no longer remains a playground, and we feel that it is like a dream. Everything here feels very light. Thought loses its weight and we begin to enjoy peace and settledness. Here peace has a different frequency to the peace we experienced at chakra 2 in the heart. It is more sublime, but only the seeker who feels restlessness for realization of the Ultimate within this peace can master this point. We require a restless heart that is willing to forgo the peace of chakra 8, in order to continue onwards.
Then we move to chakra 9, and the new region into which we enter demands a higher level of submission, a higher level of surrender. In Sanskrit, surrender is known as Prapanna, the name of this region. The 9th chakra is all about surrender and humility, as symbolized by Lord Krishna surrounded by cows and Lord Jesus Christ with a little lamb in his arms. The lamb is very comfortable there, and that becomes our state too. In that prayerful humble state a vision of Divinity is always present in our heart, so all around we see Divinity.
We have come to terms with the world, and feel neither attraction nor aversion. We remain fully surrendered, just as Hanuman did with Lord Rama in the Ramayana, and like the cows of Krishna and the lamb of Christ. The name ‘Hanuman’ reflects his nature: maan means ‘honor and respect’, and hanu means ‘without’. He demanded no respect, no honor. So I have named this point after Lord Hanuman. The 9th chakra is about more and more of the Lord, and less and less of the individual self.
The heart gains enormous purity. Real attachment starts here, every moment remains pregnant with His being, and we regret any moment that is spent away from this communion. In fact, that is the original meaning of sin: separateness from that noble communion with the Lord. We remain naturally absorbed in the Lord, without effort, and rest in a state of surrender.
There is also no illusion when approaching Divinity at this stage. We face circumstances with courage, respect and reverence, and any feelings of dislike or hatred are too remote to worry about. The play of ego in these higher realms can be very torturous, but if we resolve it we are granted extraordinary bliss. And we can only resolve it once we have started merging with the Ultimate.
At this stage, if we even consider ourselves to be a notch higher than anyone else we are thrown into darkness, and realize that nothing can punish us more than our own conscience. And to even think about achievement or talk about our association with the Beloved feels arrogant and vain. The breeze of divine consciousness starts flowing. The feeling of the supremacy of the Lord is drowned in love. There is a perfect sense of naturalness. Reverence towards the Lord simply takes hold.
At this chakra, our thoughts and will are synchronous with those of our Guide, and we feel completely dependent upon him, in osmosis with him, and our love for him is intense. The world appears as neither real nor unreal. Our individual consciousness merges with our Guide’s consciousness.
In our day-to-day life we ask ourselves, “How would my Lord feel if I do this or don’t do this, if I think this or behave like that?” We become extra sensitive in this way at the 9th chakra, so imagine the level of etiquette and reverence that is required now to journey to the 10th chakra, which is where the Lord prevails. In reality the preparation for such an attitude of ‘let thy will be done’ begins in the very early stages of the spiritual journey. Such is the need for a strong foundation based on faith.
Chakra 9 is all about surrender to the Lord, whereas at chakra 10 that changes to extreme proximity to the Lord. We move into a new region, and a game is going on here in which the extent to which we surrender is the extent to which the Lord prevails in us. We oscillate between our own presence as a devotee and His total presence. This oscillating condition is a region in itself known as Prapanna- Prabhu.
As we move through this region, we start feeling that we are one with the Lord, and there is no difference between us. Everything that He possesses is ours. It is not that we own the world but it is like being a prince: all the things in the palace belong to the king, yet we feel them to be ours too. Similarly, there is no feeling of separation. Eventually the Lord emerges supreme in this oscillating game, and we continue on to the next region of Prabhu.
The Lord’s presence is so profoundly felt here and there is intimacy beyond belief. If we raise our hand we feel that it is the Lord’s hand; we see through the Lord’s eyes. It is a beautiful state. And yet another beautiful thing happens. Since we have become so identical with the Lord and with our Guide, we are able to spread the Lord’s vibrations, the Guide’s vibrations. We become vehicles like sandalwood. What does sandalwood do? Whenever wind passes through the sandalwood forest, the fragrance of sandalwood spreads everywhere. Something similar happens to us as we remain absorbed in God.
A stage comes when the Lord merges in us, and so the vibrations of the Lord emanate from us. That is the beauty of the 10th chakra. And yet we tend to become more and more restless. We will explore this restlessness and the rest of the spiritual journey in the final article about our march to freedom in the next issue.
Article by KAMLESH PATEL
November 01, 2017
November 01, 2017
November 01, 2017