Religion is sectarian, ritualistic and regimented., spirituality is universal.
– M. Mohansundar
The core Indian Spiritualism has three dimensional approaches.
- Aadhibouthic :- Wellbeing of the physical body.
- Aadhidivic :- Mental approach i.e realising the divine (pure) nature of the Mind.
- Aadhyatmic :- Realising and establishing in the non-changing, indestructible nature of one’s own pure consciousness which is the connecter to the Universal Consciousness or the Supreme BEING.
The physical body approach: – The physical body is considered as the temple in which the Priest (Mind) and the Soul (Individual Consciousness) resides (deho devaalayaha). Therefore, the physical body should not only be taken proper care to have good health but also develop positive rhythms in it so as to be helpful in realising the latter two (shaarira maadhyam idam khulu dharma saadhanam :- meaning body is the means to realize one’s spirituality through righteous ways ).
In order to do this firstly the body has to be fed with pure food which means that the food should be derived from the righteous means i.e. not from the money earned by way of deceit, crocked means, cheating, violence causing pain, sorrow or death to the other beings, theft etc. The food derived out of unrighteous means carry along with it high negative vibrations however right dietary nutrition value may be there in it. It is simply the impure food which infuses negative traits and tendencies in man not only deviating him from the ladder of evolution but also making him to further his negative traits and tendencies. This gradually results in his Mind and Soul (consciousness) plunging in to the realms of darkness meaning falling into spiritual degeneration (dehumanizing oneself). Therefore, Indian spiritual approach suggests to adopt a reasonable RIGHTEOUS way of earning the money which is the giver of pure food (positive food).
The next aspect with regard to the physical body is to keep it fit and healthy so as to help to the adoption of pure and higher spiritual practices. In order to behold the unfolding of divine values in the Mind, the body should be somewhat positive or divine enough. Therefore, one has to adopt proper physical activities. In the normal course man is engaged in physical activities for earning his bread. Some people also do exercises and play sports too which keep them physically fit and healthy but these activities will not be helpful in developing divine (positive) rhythm in the body to further the spiritual development. Therefore, the ancient saints and sages of India have intuitively developed Yogasanas. Yogasanas are such rhythmtic physical body postures which not only help in enriching the blood circulation to all parts of the body but also relaxes each and every muscle of the body. This results in better health and flexibility to the body which in turn helps in the healing process of the ailments of the body, further helps in imbibing cosmic energy into the body. Thus body develops positive rhythms conducive for further spiritual practices.
In order to connect the positive rhythms of the body to the Mind to further the spiritual practices, the sages and saints developed simple, natural deep breathing method called Praanayama. Praanayama is nothing but drawing the cosmic energy into the gross and finer levels of the body so that the efficacy of the divine rhythms in the body is enhanced.
When the divine rhythms of the body is connected to the Mind through deep breathing i.e. Praanayama, then the body and Mind co-ordination is properly established paving the way for Aadhidhaivic practices (such practises which are helpful in the divination of the Mind connecting it to one’s own pure consciousness or the soul).
Aadhidhaivic dimension (Divination of the Mind)
In the Indian spiritual thought, Mind is considered as pure and divine (positive) in nature. However, the Mind is highly influenced by the inherent positive and negative traits and tendencies present in each individual (buddhi karmaanu saarini). Further it is considered that the subconscious layers of the Mind is the store house of karmic forces accumulated from innumerable births. This accumulated karmic forces are responsible for the present Mental and physical state of the person. The inborn qualities vary from person to person despite all are human beings because of each one’s karma.
Karma (sum of good and bad actions of the past lives) is the root cause for the happenings in one’s life despite one has freedom to choose the right and the wrong. This underlying CAUSE hidden in the subconscious layers of the Mind i.e. the karma has to be purified. The karma is the tainter of the pure Mind which is basically positive or divine in nature. Mind is the cause for all of one’s thinking and action (good or bad). Mind is considered as the great wall that stands as an obstacle to establish oneself in one’s own pure consciousness.
Therefore, the Mind has to be tamed, purified enough to become totally transparent so that one can experience his pure consciousness which in turn connects him to the Universal Consciousness, the spiritual goal.
In order to purify the Mind, innumerable sages and saints of India have evolved several means. The best and the highest among these methods is MEDITATION on the Universal Consciousness in a most natural manner. The sages and saints having experienced the Universal or Supreme Consciousness or Supreme BEING, have developed this natural method of Meditation on the Supreme Being. It is also true that the Meditation is the only way to ALIGN one’s Individual Consciousness with the Universal Consciousness. So Aadhidhivic dimension is the purification process of the Mind.
Aadhyamic Dimension (Experience of one’s own pure consciousness)
The Individual Consciousness is a part and parcel of the Omnipresent, Omniscient, and Omnipotent all-pervading Universal Consciousness. Aadhi = means the first one or the original one. Aathma = means Consciousness. So Aadhyathmic dimension is to experience one’s own consciousness as the individualized part of THE Universal Consciousness.
Aadhiboutic and Aadhidhaivic dimensions finally lead to this Aadhyathmic or pure spiritual dimension which is the non-changing and eternal ONE.
The Aadhyathmic or the pure spiritual dimension which is the original consciousness Universally underlying the whole creation and also full in the creation is described as follows.
- Behind the ever changing transient reality (creation) there is a never changing eternal reality.
- The ever-changing reality is confined by time and space; and THAT never-changing eternal Reality is beyond time and space and it is unaffected by the changing realities.
- The goal of the ‘ever changing reality’ is THAT never changing reality, for the ‘never-changing reality’ alone is the ABSOLUTE truth.
- The ever-changing reality (transient truth) is called CREATION which includes the entire animate and inanimate creation (all manifestations in varied forms within time and space ).
- The never-changing Reality is called the ABSOLUTE BEING which is nothing but Universal Consciousness. It is the all-pervading, omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent Supreme BEING which is the cause of everything.
- From this never-changing Reality ( Absolute Being ) the ever-changing creation manifests in terms of time and space like waves on the surface of the sea.
- The waves have no independent existence; they are dependent on the sea which is the only source of all the manifested waves.The waves are made up of the same sea water and therefore there is no difference in essence except that the waves are transient, dynamic, changing segments with time and space limitation, while the sea is static, fullandnever changing. So long as the wave is there as a wave, it cannot become the sea. But the same wave, when it recedes and merges into the sea, it ceases to exist as a wave any more. Now that the wave is there in the sea as the sea itself, and the sea is ever there without any changes.Similarly, when the individual ego (soul or consciousness), like a wave on the sea, is individualistic in its nature, it is subject to change owing to time & space.When the same individual Being dissolves into the Universal Being, it ceases to exist anymore as an individual Being, but IS there as Universal Being (supreme consciousness) which is ever there.
- The ever-changing reality (creation), which is the manifest form of THAT unmanifest Absolute is called Dynamic Divinity (energy & consciousness acting jointly or separately) and that never changing eternal Reality ( Unmanifest Absolute) as the Static Divinity ( Supreme and Absolute consciousness which is inclusive of energy within itself ).
- Hence, Hey Man, “ your true nature ” is not the dynamic body, mind, intellect or ego, but that never-changing, static, eternal Reality (Universal BEING which is all pervading, ever full and has no birth, death or rebirth ). Therefore, the goal of the individual ego (Individual consciousness) is to reach that UNIVERSAL BEING.
- All that exists in reality is only the UNIVERSAL BEING which pervades both manifest and unmanifest fields alike. All that has manifested ( animate and inanimate ) is nothing but the UNIVERSAL BEING itself. This alone is the ‘Absolute truth ’ .
- The Universal Being is eternally aware of itself and is the silent witness to all its manifestations and their inter-reactions. It is totally non-interfering with the creation just as the bottom of the sea does not interfere with its waves. The Universal Being is the finest of the fine existence which is full of Bliss, Knowledge and Peace.
- The Universal Being can Transcend ITSELF to a state of ZERO (EVEN state) which is beyond peace, bliss, knowledge and awareness. Zero is beyond the only ONE and it is the OTHER SIDE of the Universal Being (SHUDDHA – ABSOLUTE i.e. everything is there within ITSELF in unmanifest state). This state is beyond Brahma Jnana. It is called Shuddha Jnana ( ZERO State or EVEN state ).
INDIAN CONCEPT ON THE EVOLUTION OF MATTER (CREATION)
- Maha shoonya– Absolute vacuum, void, silence or nothingness which is home of every thing. The Supreme and Universal consciousness.
- Nadha brahma- Raising of sound OM from the absolute silence
- Tejas- The accumulation of sound waves of OM results in light and heat
- Kana- Light becoming waves to finest particles.
- Anu- Particles coagulating into atoms.
- Parama Anu- Bigger atoms or molecules
- Padaartha- Parama Anu or Molecules clogging into matter (creation).
The Reality of Creation
If the UNIVERSAL BEING is the only Truth, then what about creation with all its diversities ?
A dream is very real so long as it is being dreamt, but on waking it simply disappears as if it never happened at all. Similarly, creation exists only in terms of time and space and once the individual consciousness wakes up in that UNIVERSAL BEING shedding its individuality, the whole creation with all its diversities disappears ( just as the dream disappears ) and then the creation is perceived in the UNIVERSAL BEING as only a transient reality and NOT as an Absolute reality. Hence, the dualities of the world will not have effect on the entity which is established in that UNIVERSAL BEING.
Once the entity has ALIGNED its individuality (Being) with the UNIVERSAL BEING which is unattached and unaffected by the changing creation, the entity is freed from all desires, sorrows, attachments, pains and pleasures that exist in the world. When one is established in that everlasting, non-changing eternal BEING, one ceases to exist through ego, intellect, mind and senses but continues to be in the BEING as Universal BEING. This is salvation. Then, Here or There it does not matter for IT (Universal Being) is everywhere and there is nowhere to go (heaven or hell) in FULLNESS. JUST STATIC ( Sthithaha – Anchored in the Absolute Being forever even if one is within time and space).
Play of Karma
What prevents Man from establishing himself in that state of ABSOLUTE BEING?
Karma (sum/total of good and bad actions) is the barrier which prevents an entity from establishing itself in that Absolute BEING.
Karma is not only the barrier hiding the true nature of an entity but it is also THE cause for its rebirth making it to manifest again and again within creation (time and space) through ego. When this Karma is erased or cleansed, the entity ceases to exist through its ego (individuality) and dissolves into the Absolute BEING, just as a wave recedes merging into the sea.
How does Karma begin?
The WILL of the Supreme BEING to create (manifest itself in many fold) is the ACTION and manifestation of creation (animate and inanimate) from ITSELF is the REACTION. Thus the divine law of action and reaction (Karma) was set in motion.
It is this cosmic law of Karma that governs, controls and beholds the creation through its ACT OF BALANCING at all layers of the creation without fail. No action of any Being anywhere in the creation can escape from receiving the reaction at an appropriate time in a relevant birth.
The accumulated actions and pending reactions will cause the entity to take birth again and again till it escapes from the clutches of Karma by erasing it. The collective Karma too has its own way of operation. No Being in the creation is free from the clutches of Karma. The act of balancing in the creation is always ON through the law of Karma so long as the creation is there.
The Supreme BEING does not sit in judgment and punish or reward for the good and bad actions of the entities in the creation. This concept that GOD is the punisher for bad action or awarder for good actions is the primitive thinking and it is born out of ignorance. The GOD or the Supreme BEING is the silent witness to all that goes on in the creation and IT remains by ITSELF in silence, bliss and peace i.e., in a state unaffected by creation. However, God has set this greatest divine law of Karma into motion which operates at all levels of creation in varied ways carrying out the act of balancing ( judgment, punishment or reward etc.) in creation. No definite ways of operation of the law of Karma can be fixed because infinite are its ways of functioning.
How to cleanse this accumulated Karma and realize the UNIVERSAL BEING or SUPREME BEING?
VEDANTHA, the highest Indian spiritual thought advocates MEDITATION on the form or formless state of the UNIVERSAL BEING as the Supreme way to realize the Eternal BEING. The goal of Meditation is to liquidate the Karma and dissolve the individual ego into the UNIVERSAL BEING. All the other modes of spiritual practices like worship, devotion, prayer etc., ultimately lead to Meditation on the UNIVERSAL BEING, because Meditation alone can lead to one’s own dissolution into that ABSOLUTE BEING by way of turning the conscious mind inward, towards SELF and COSMIC SELF.