Why does Isis have Horns?

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Arcanum 2 priestess

Part 7 in the ‘Mysteries of Isis’ –
Some early writings on Isis, from my “Arcanum Two”: 

25 September 1991 – The symbol for Taurus the Bull, ruled by Venus, is a circle crowned with a crescent – a pair of horns.  Why the horns? To explore this question is fruitful.

How does it feel?   The horns have sharp points.   They are a heavy head-dress. They give majesty to the Full Moon, and define the New Moon.   They are a garment of authority and they inspire fear. The horns of the Bull are antennae of the earth’s fecundity and riches.   To encounter suddenly in my life a blindfold soothsayer or white witch, crowned with archaic and savage horns and sitting so still, is startling.

taurus glyph

The horns are there to drive away or impale unwary or merely inquisitive trespassers into her subtle magnetic field. They make a repellant aura around her: a defense system.  The priestess is in myself.   What am I guarding?   What am I protecting?   Whom do I attack?

To look inward, into the well of God within atoms, is to create a surrounding “field” of space which reinterprets my material body.   As “I” collapse inward – like into a black hole – this field extends outward in all directions from the singularity.   It is the veil of the inner sanctuary.   In all the old legends the dragon or serpent is coiled around the golden fleece.   The hero must, in stepping over or neutralising the dragon, confront the storms around his own Cape Horn, and master the creative daemons that arise from his “unconscious” seeking consciousness.   His chaos must transmute to kosmos — the Greek word for harmony.   Only then, when the tumult dawns transformed in his being, might he behold the light of the golden fleece, by the gentle light of Isis – her moonbeam.

solis luna conjunctio

The hero in all these tales is the alchemist, and the adventure is trans-formation.   Tentatively I suggest that the lady Isis in her pure state, together with Thrice Great Hermes who flows and makes speech with metals, is the catalyst of this transformative process.   But I speak now personally …. I suppose I speak from many lifetimes.   They are all only this one.  For instance:  I sit down each day here to write, and I do not know what it will be, and the content may flow or not as the case may be, but I am almost invariably astonished.

pentacle 3,7,12 the mother letters

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In the classic The Golden Ass, Lucius Apuleius gives an allegorical account of his initiation.   Transformed into a donkey he had to suffer and witness the depth of human iniquity, and be beaten and abused by his inner discordancy, before the lady Isis rising from the midnight sea offered him the key to his release into human form   … he must eat the rose carried by the Great Hierophant during the procession the following day, of her Mysteries. In the vision of Apuleius, as she rose from the dark sea to instruct his still asinine form:

Her long thick hair fell in tapering ringlets on her lovely neck and was crowned with an intricate chaplet in which was woven every kind of flower.   Just above her brow shone a round disk, like a mirror or like the bright face of the moon, which told me who she was.   Vipers rising from the lefthand and righthand partings of her hair supported this disk, with ears of corn bristling beside them.   Her many coloured robe was of finest linen; part was glistening white, part crocus-yellow, part glowing red, and along the entire hem a woven bordure of flowers and fruit clung and swayed to the breeze.

“But what caught and held my eye more than anything else was the deep black lustre of her mantle.   She wore it slung across her body from the right hip to the left shoulden where it was caught in a knot resembling the boss of a shield;   but part of it hung in innumerable folds, the tasselled fringe quivered.   It was embroidered with glittering stars on the hem and everywhere else, and in the middle beamed a full and fiery Moon.”

Apuleius The Golden Ass

Her mantle of night is that of the visible universe, the stars and the spaces between.   The snakes that support her disk, besides echoing the pair of horns, suggest the caduceus of Hermes:

caduceus

Two serpents, the positive and negative polarity, entwine a staff of authority or directed power, and are held in equilibrium.   The equilibrium forms the circle of her disk.

The ears of corn in Apuleius’s description, remind me of Ceres.   Ceres is the ripe standing wheat of the earth, and the mother of Persephone who married the dark Underworld.   “Hades”, king of the Underworld, is derived from the Greek eidein, to see.

“The centre, the depths of this sphere (of the universe) is named Hades the invisible, because the centre of a sphere cannot be seen from without.   It appears visible only by means of those special forms whose images appear graven upon it, it shows itself only in effigy;   but in reality it is always invisible in itself.”

Trismegistus, The Virgin of the World

bull bird

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Ears of corn, or wheat, are the vessels of that sprouting grain of the inner world.   They are the visible allegory which is “graven upon its surface”.  I, dreaming twice in the last few nights about taking earplugs out, am perhaps being advised to hear; to be here, listen and hear.   For this is the way the priestess receives information … silently into the oracle or shell of her ears.   The oracle, coracle, is a celtic craft on the waters. The waters dance and play with reflections from the sky in crescents of light like fallen leaves or “boats of mine a-floating … Where will all come home?”[1]

She has her eyes closed because the instruction is to be still and hear, to be not taken in by the deception, the flickering screem of sensory sight.   To hear the unruffled depth of the settling water is to be the quietness of the water itself.

I drew the ears of earth (that is Ceres) with wheat growing in them, like little masts in a walnutshell boat.

Ceres & John 1987

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Burial and Hermetic Initiation – the Grain Sprouts
To be the awareness of the ears is to extend and receive the lateral sense of consciousness; the Capitols of the two pillars.   I am what rests between them, that which is, as it is.

From that alone comes forth what is relevant to the time.  Silence must receive its own information, before delivering it. Thus is truth.  Open the ears, the arms, of my Soul.  These horns are the ears or antennae of some creature of the deep.

The horns of Isis are the sense organ through which she receives the waves.   This is her focus of divination.   Between the horns is held, or hung, the equilibrated breath of her magnetic field.

tarot priestess 2003

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In the Masons’ craft, there is a ceremony of passing, from being an entered apprentice to receiving the degree of fellowcraft.   This represents work on the soul, or ability to listen, in the Middle Chamber.   The candidate must bear in time and maturity the fruit of his own work.   So upon acceptance he is given an ear of corn.

In this gesture there is a profound mystery, which lies in the ancient body of Egypt.   Isis is the dark earth or body receiving the golden grain of Osiris in the flood of the Nile river which spreads it to all parts of the black land.[2]. . When the waters ebb the grain sprouts.   This is the Child who is also the Father.   The land of upper, middle and lower Egypt was, in ancient times the head, thorax and abdomen of the subtle body.   These are parts of the embodied fragment of God which lay beneath heaven.

Like the lower arm of the letter BEIT, this fragment – like all the “fragments of hermetica” that survived the destroyed Alexandrian library – echoes but is not quite the same as the Firmament.   But from within the fragment (the rock, the tomb of forgotten awareness) can be resurrected the light of Osiris.  I am reminded of Thomas Browne again: We are somewhat more than ourselves in Sleep, and the Slumber of the Body seems to be but the Waking of the Soul.

Alchemist in Notre Dame - after Fulcanelli

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It seems that in most cases the slumber or apparent death of the body, (death of the world-orientation) was a pre-requisite to resurrecting the consciousness – the Spirit – outside and encircling the spacetime continuum.

The Egyptian Book of the Dead was written to guide those who, plunged by subtle arts into profound physical sleep, awoke to behold the Holy One.   The weighing of the Soul and all that followed, was not the sole prerogative of those who had reached the end of their earthly span.   Some who passed through the gates or pillars of “death”, returned re-born in the light of the Sun to bear witness (and keep the secret).   This idea was explored in some of Paul Brunton’s meditations in his Search in Secret Egypt.

The Sacred Books of Hermes are a collection of fragments and discourses written down in Alexandria just before or after the time of Christ.   In them seems to be reflected the essential wisdom of Thoth. Thoth is the ancient secretary to the gods. He has the head of an Ibis bird, and carries his pad and pencil.   The hieroglyph for AKH – Light, or the scribing of a light that pre-exists Creation – is in the form of an Ibis.   The crest and plumage of this bird is dark green and shot through with glittering metallic specks of light.   The root of AKH is Spirit, to shine, to irradiate.   The curve of the Ibis’s neck is like the uraeus or cobra, worn by Pharaoh as his “third eye” or pineal body*.  And it is not altogether unlike the neck of a swan.

swan beis

beis

The letter BEIT is a “neck” or channel of the current of speech.   Yes!   Speech is Hermes.   The neck through which the silvery river flows, is the lady Isis.   Isis and Hermes together are Thoth, the month of the harvest, the art of the priesthood. Isis’ womb-brother Osiris is then Self knowledge within the art, for he is the Sun.

Emerald table

The precious stone assigned to Hermes is emerald.   The Bible of spiritual alchemy “As above so below” was traditionally inscribed by him on the legendary Emerald Tablet which – says Eliphas Levi – contains all of Magic in a single page.  It was found by Alexander the Great in the depths of the Great Pyramid where priests in ancient times had concealed the tomb of Hermes.   In the time of the Romans the emperor Severus buried the Mysteries in Alexander’s tomb, and Diocletian destroyed all the books on alchemy.   Christianity dawned upon a devastated battlefield of esoteric knowledge, a burnt-out wound of the world, a Way swept clear.

*In this light, consider the ideas of modern physicists: “Light – the range of electro magnetic frequencies – precedes the the manifestation of luminous bodies. Radiant energy is held to be the basis of all things within the range of human perception.” (P.Foster Case).   The symbols and colours which picture the ancient-world mysteries are tools equivalent to the equations used in our day.

These inscriptions, burials and tombs are direct reference to language, its events and its veils. The esoteric language had to be veiled from temporal powers who would exploit or destroy it: yet perennially accessible to ‘those who knew’.

I feel the Hermetic cosmology – which has been handed down as an oral tradition, like the Kabbalah – has a Vedic antiquity.   There were originally four Sacred Books of Hermes.   These were subdivided into forty-two volumes, the same number as those of the Vedas which were carried from India into Egypt by the Yadava emigration (cf. Mrs Child: The Progress of Religious Ideas, 19th century). There are innumerable stories and conjectural confluences of this kind, behind the shadows we see on the wall.

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priestess 88

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But, more importantly, the Egyptian doctrine of initiation, that the Eye of God opens in the most profound “sleep” of the organic and astral body, corresponds to advaita or “Not Two” of the elder East and of Gautama. Ramana Maharshi said the SELF of God awakens in the Fourth state of consciousness – that of deepest physical “sleep” … and is always awake. The other three states of consciousness are: the physical world, dreaming, and normal sleep.   All three conform to the conditioned self-world view, a horizontal play on surfaces.   Awareness in the Fourth state alone is unchanging and infinite.

Awareness in the Fourth state intersects the worldview everywhere at each point vertically.   The worldviews of the three other states are sections across it, and thus illusory.   Our worldview has the measure (or maya) of rings of time across a living tree.   The presence of the Tree itself, its root, its many branches, the birds in the foliage, and seasonal colours and sound of the wind, is invisible to the cut surface spectrum.   To appreciate that a whole Tree exists NOW, above and below the surface, requires a radical leap in the inner life which till then was occupied with one ring after another of historical time.

The way is : I AM THE TREE ITSELF. I AM ROOT AND SHOOT.

Om

In both Western and Eastern traditions, pentacles and yantras combine the flat, diagrammatic plane of sacred geometry, with the vital dimension of which it is a talisman.   The solar system itself, apparently a disk of planetary orbits of time around the Sun, is a section across a living organism like a whole egg, or the petals of a rose without an outline … So it is also with the structure of the atom. Electrons around the nucleus are not things, or even points, but waves ensphering it.  Sages know this intuitively, which is why they say “All is well”; for they are That.   The human worldview, like music in the grooves of a flat disk, perceives what begins and ends, and must take the sage’s view on trust until the limited perception “dies”.

Nature is full of allegory:   the section across the tree: concentric ripples of sound, or over water: the vessel which rises from the potters’ wheel: the spiral of seasons and orbits.   The clean section across a tree is itself artificial, conforming to human tools. The faculty is specialised, and yet it still obeys the ripple form.

Awareness in the Fourth State alone unchanges. The disciple of life has no access to it through the normal senses, and so in its presence, he sleeps, he “dies”, it is night to him.

fool fence

In the ancient world, the physical catalepsy, through which the divine bird flew free of the mortal frame, is a conditional form of enlightenment.   Advaita teachings call it “nirvikalpa samadhi”: the bird flies free but then returns to ignorance.   The Sun is hid again in the night, and becomes a memory.   In unconditioned illumination, no catalepsy of the body is necessary.   The sage moves easily as air with his environment.   He or she is the SUN. In all their atoms, they are and know the source, as simply as the stars.

The idea is not the temporal histories and how they might all be filed together on the disk, but what the currencies of mysticism all have in common, free from time; for it is obvious that many rivers within one River flow … from the pregnant void of Source, to the ocean which is itSelf.   Here again, the human view is specialised, seeking in attainment, peace.

The inner Light has no past or future.   Maybe it is a musical chord of kalpas, ever present.

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Bull near the Sea

July 2011

The foregoing was an exploration, turning up from the subconscious field, spontaneous references to ears, hearing and speech.   The title, Why Does Isis Have Horns? delivered to me, the Taurus symbol … in which the Moon (High Priestess) is exalted.   This means, that when the Moon is going through Taurus, the tidal fertile function is supreme, in nature and humanity.

The Moon’s actual ruling sign is Cancer – the sensitive shoreline, the rhythm of the tides, the breath and endochrine system.   When the Moon is in the Earth-sign Taurus, the tide deposits the fruits of earth on fertile ground.

Taurus’s planetary ruler is Venus – attraction, affinity, passion, the laws of gravity.   With reference to hearing and speech, Taurus is assigned to the faculty of hearing, and to the throat – which I was not aware of, at the time of writing.

So sea birds follow the plough – the upturned furrows of earth – to feast.

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Seagulls and plough - woodcut by Tunnicliffe

Seagulls and plough – woodcut by Tunnicliffe

 

FOOTNOTES
[1] A Child’s Garden of Verses, R.L.Stevenson
[2] Ancient name for Egypt: KEMET, meaning black land – Alchemy – the Raven’s Wing

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My adventure invites fellow travellers. I am a poet, an artist and a seer. I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

aquariel link

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2014. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address https://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/

Sacred India Tarot Archive – Creation of Staves 5 and 6: Ravana Falls

Continuing the Sacred India Tarot Archive by Jane Adams and Rohit Arya:

In thy valorous strength - rosicrucean emblem 2

In thy valorous strength – rosicrucean emblem 2

We all have our interior demons and resistances to fight:  and in the world out there, they are plain to see.  In the present era of Pluto (upheaval and transformation) moving through Capricorn (established institutions), nothing can be hidden any longer – all is visible, each shadow is upturned to the light.  Every hoary Karmic poison along the centuries erupts into a birth-bed for the new Dharma – a changed order of human values.  Pluto went into Capricorn in 2008 with a financial crash, and will enter Aquarius in 2023/24.

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It is interesting to note that in the Indian mythology, demons are rarely evil per se.  They are gifted forces of the mind and spirit.  They have a tendency to overrun their citadels and cause the chaos and self-doubt that every creative artist must navigate.  The Yoga Vasishta is filled with stories of powerful demons who attained enlightenment, humility and liberation through the intensity of their concentrated tapas – spiritual practice over the aeons.  Brahma the creator-god could refuse them nothing:  the demonic force has this potential for purity.  Therefore there was always a respectful interaction between the gods and the demons – see card 6 (above) in the Sacred India Tarot: the story of Kaccha and Devyani.   For the gods, the demonic energy is at source divine, and they cannot live without it.  The Greek word “daemon” is a creative spirit.

Rohit’s writing below, throws an interesting slant onto the demonic “bhakti” – the constant focus in the demon’s mind, on God as the foe, in due course liberates.

In the Ramayana, Ravana the demon King overreached himself by kidnapping Rama’s wife Sita;  in so doing, he put the cosmic balance out of order, and faced defeat.

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Visual reference for Kumbhakarna

Visual reference for Kumbhakarana

Rohit Arya’s Notes – 2003

Card Five – Kumbhakarana Falls.  Kumbhakarana is to be depicted as an enormous armoured giant, holding a huge club towering over Ravana and the rest of the battlefield.  He has four fiery arrows stuck in him which will lop off his legs from the knees and the arms from the elbows, while the fifth arrow fired by Rama is about to cut off his head.  The five wands could be depicted as five fiery arrows that Rama uses to kill the giant brother of Ravana.

From Rohit’s Book with the Deck:

Kumbhakarana, middle brother to Ravana and Vibheeshana, takes the field against Rama.  It is an action born of desperation, for the Rakshasa (demon) forces have been decimated in the preceding days … Kumbhakarana is the most gigantic warrior in the universe, a great intellectual and highly spiritually developed.  He shares Vibheeshana’s opinion that Ravana’s incompetent blundering has brought them to disaster, but war is upon them and he selflessly agrees to do his duty. 

He knows that Rama is God, but in his estimation nothing could be more honourable than to die for his country.  Death at Rama’s hands is guaranteed liberation, and Kumbhakarana is disgruntled with his unlucky life.  He has been tricked by the Devas into sleeping for six months at a stretch, awakening for only a day.  Ravana has untimely roused him, and his strength is not at its peak.  Nevertheless he unleashes carnage of a ghastly and terrifying nature that forces Rama himself to fight. 

This is a unique and startling form of Bhakti – devotion to God – called ‘vipareetha karani’, the path of opposition.  You literally fight with God, as the foe is ever present in the enemy’s mind.  This is a tamasic (inertia-inducing) form of meditation and constant awareness of the Divine.  It guarantees liberation, but at the cost of your life!  It is the rocket route to the Divine.  Kumbhakarana chooses this conflict-path to achieve what would otherwise take many lifetimes. 

Rama understands this, and is also pleased with his heroic loyalty to his people. 

This card signifies inner and outer growth:  a struggle and challenge confidently taken up – perhaps a group effort or sharing of creative endeavour.  Lessons that life teaches in battle.  Place spiritual priorities above mundane ones.  Patience is well rewarded, but lots of it is required.  Martial arts.  Focus on one thing and see it through.

Shadow:  Trying to take on more than you can handle – an inflated sense of power.  Blindly supporting and following the leader.  Confusion in thinking leads to flailing about:  quarrels and disputes, vainglorious boasting.  Overwork and strain impacts health – the card of the moonlighter!  Irritation with incompetence.  Wishful thinking and writers block.  Young children act up.

Your expectations are getting in the way of what is actually possible.  Are you competing or getting into an impossible situation?

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Jane’s Notes

There are parallels here with the Eight and the Nine of Arrows, where the great warrior king surrenders his life to Krishna, understanding that he will at last be liberated from his duty.

This great demon – Kumbhakarana – also had a duty: his loyalty to the Lord Ravana and the realm of the rakshasas.  His willingness to disable his own magnificence, to be Ravana’s fore-runner in defeat, and to agree to fight when not at the peak of his powers, is an astonishing and moving sight.  His hands holding weapons, appear to be raised in surrender.  The deep intelligence is in his eyes;  the out-thrust tongue is demonic like a gargoyle, yet also giving his all.

I painted Rama lightly armed, as befits a young David to this Goliath.  Accuracy of aim takes priority over displays of martial magnificence.  He shoots the demon in five places. The outline of Kumbhakarana’s human pentagram begins to collapse.

Rama aims at the third eye – the coup de grace.   I found it difficult to arrange the scenes in these long narrow cards compositionally:  yet the great demon on his mountain range suggests a different dimension of space and time.

Psychologically it is an extraordinary event to meet and engage with these forces in the soul.

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Sacred India Tarot - Five of Staves/Wands

Sacred India Tarot – Five of Staves/Wands

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Rohit Arya’s Notes – 2003

Card Six: Victory – Ravana Falls. This should be easy to depict, though one arrow should be clearly penetrating the navel of Ravana which was where he stored the elixir that renewed him each time he was wounded or had a head cut off. We need only Rama and Ravana in the card, though celebrating monkeys in the background might bring out the ‘Victory’ aspect of the card meaning.

visual reference for the fall of ravana

visual reference for the fall of ravana

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(respect for demons – yoga vasishta – tifareth 6 – danda – dharma – guru mantra)

From Rohit’s Book with the Deck
Ravana has destroyed the resources of his kingdom and sent all his generals and relatives to their death, but he is still intransigent about releasing Sita.  He is in thrall to his rapidly fraying reputation, still manifesting aplomb and insouciance in a cataclysmic situation.  He has assumed his most fearful form, convinced that the fame of his exploits combined with his horrible shape will dazzle and intimidate Rama – the yokel from the forests.

He has rested on his laurels so much that he cannot, dare not, recognise his slide into delusional ineptitude.

Rama is called the image or embodiment of Dharma.  Rama is beyond form so everybody projects their own ideal upon him.  Hence his chameleon-like appearance in the suit.  For Ravana, he is a meek, forest dwelling hermit – hence he appears so.

For all Ravana’s strength of belief, danda has descended upon him in the form of Rama’s astras.  Rama uses the Brahmastra – the deadliest arrow (speculated to be a nuclear weapon) created by Brahma.  Ravana wasn’t totally wrong in feeling invulnerable.  Only the final never-to-be-used weapon could vanquish him;  it was a small validation.

Rama sends Laxmana to hear the dying words of what was the Age’s mightiest king: “Do not put off till tomorrow the good you could do today.  I could have turned the oceans into sweet water and been hailed as a benefactor of humanity.  Now I die with tarnished glory as a kidnapper of the wives of others.”

It is an astonishing summation of wasted potential and opportunity.

In a card reading:  victory and success.  Triumph and recognition of one’s work;  public acclaim.  Vindication of one’s course of action – freedom from fears and anxieties.  Very good for students and intellectuals.  Period of unusual resilience and recuperative powers. Reaching the next level of skill or qualifications.  Aggressively seeking the limelight.

Shadow:  resting on past laurels – a legend in one’s own mind.  A conclusive victory eludes you.  Too proud to acknowledge one is losing it – “remember, Caesar, thou art mortal.”

Don’t let all this acclaim inflate you to absurd levels of self aggrandisement.  What new challenges do you need to take up?

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Sacred India Tarot - six of Staves/wands

Sacred India Tarot – six of Staves/wands

Jane’s Notes
The missile enters the dantien – the source of all Ravana’s delusional heads.  The dantien (below the navel) is our body’s gravitational and subtle centre:  through yoga and t’ai ch’i, it  can earth and quieten the mind’s electricity.  This card is like the Tower – to collapse walls of falsehood or belief.

The danda (see Rohit’s description above) is a sacred staff.  It is traditionally used by hermits and aryas, and placed in temples.  Throughout the suit of Staves/Wands, the danda plays a significant role, as conduit of power and authority.  Rohit mentions also the astra – the weapon by which Ravana was slain.  Astras are intense aerial vibrations:  a focused mantra is an astra – it commands the elements by force of sound and concentration.

See the Guru Mantra Bhashya in this blog, and Part 2 of the same, for the rich symbolism of danda and astra.

The danda lends its name to a game played in India:

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Correspondence – Rohit’s feedback on cards 5 and 6 of Staves

Wand 5 – The energy and power in this card is great, and the Kumbhakarana is perfect.  Rama needs some golden body armour and the moustache needs to go.  As a composition it perfectly conveys the sense of the card.  The monkey’s vantage point of the events on the card is a nice touch.

Wand 6 – Rama needs to be depicted in accordance with the rest of the suit, he has suddenly taken to wearing a dhoti, he has a moustache and no helmet or armour.  But the composition is fine, and the Ravana is a superb example of unrepentant defiance.

Correspondence – Jane: 
Re Rama – all the examples you sent me had him moustachio’d, and so do books here, so I thought that was the way he is traditionally represented;  with the possibility he might sometimes shave for Sita!  Or the fact that an epic such as this covers much spacetime – note that the buddha series also changes the physical features somewhat, according to his states of wisdom.  Anyway, we can adjust this detail if required.  I shall also add some body armour to the shooting of Ravana’s brother.

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The fall of Ravana and his brother remind me of another great bowman in our Sacred India Tarot Archive:

Sacred India Tarot card 16 - Siva Tripurantaka - the Tower.  With his arrow or astra, Siva pulverised three demon cities which were aligned for just a second, once every thousand years.

Sacred India Tarot card 16 – Siva Tripurantaka – the Tower. With his arrow or astra, Siva pulverised three demon cities which ravaged the universe but were aligned for just a second, once every thousand years.

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For other Sacred India Tarot posts, look under Recent Posts, Search, or Archive of All Posts in the title bar.

Rohit Arya

Rohit Arya is an Author, Yogi and Polymath. He has written the first book on Vaastu to be published in the West, {translated into five languages} the first book on tarot to be published in India, co-authored a book on fire sacrifice, and is the creator of The Sacred India Tarot {82 card deck and book}. He has also written A Gathering of Gods. He is  a corporate trainer, a mythologist and vibrant speaker as well as an arts critic and cultural commentator. Rohit is also a Lineage Master in the Eight Spiritual Breaths system of Yoga. 

Earlier posts about the deck, including the first 15 Major Arcana archives are in http://aryayogi.wordpress.com   The deck is copyrighted (c) 2011 to the publishers, Yogi Impressions Books pvt, and available also on Amazon and internationally.

 

Jane Adams

My adventure invites fellow travellers.  I am a poet, an artist and a seer.  I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is  a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

All original art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address https://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/

From the Album: Bishops Rock and Oak Creek

trinosofia interior cave of light_0001On earth there are places of enchantment and of power. They speak.

The red rocks in the Sedona landscape are a temple transcending their human worshippers.  Shamans hear their pulse; gated billionaires build their towns around them …

Here are a few more pictures from my albums – taken when I went there to meet Robert Adams in 1996, shortly before he passed away:  a picture post.

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Peace.

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View towards Thunder mountain

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robert-awakening

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My adventure invites fellow travellers. I am a poet, an artist and a seer. I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

aquariel link

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2014. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address https://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/

Robert and the Tanya

 

Arcanum 0 - the Fool:  A pilgrim in Sedona.  (In the distance you can see the peak called Thunder Mountain, at the foot of which Robert lived)

Arcanum 0 – the Fool: A pilgrim in Sedona. (In the distance you can see the peak called Thunder Mountain, at the foot of which Robert lived)

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When I met Robert Adams in 1996, the surrounding Arizona landscape spoke volumes to me of his teaching and his face and eyes.  I walked and explored each day into the sacred red rock wilderness:   Robert’s Ashram.  At the end of my booklet “Imponderables” – (see the last four posts) – I included the following Kabbalah passage from the Lubavitcher Tanya, which also spoke and sang to me of Robert:   about No thing.

Ampitheatre

Ampitheatre – Bishop’s Rock

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From the ‘Tanya’:

“… FOR WHEN the intellect in the rational soul deeply contemplates and immerses itself exceedingly in the greatness of G-d, how he fills all worlds and encompasses all worlds, and in the presence of Whom everything is considered as nothing – there will be born and aroused in his mind and thought, the emotion of awe for the Divine Majesty, to fear and be humble before his blessed greatness which is without end of limit, and to have the dread of G-d in his heart.

“Next, his heart will glow with an intense love, like burning coals, with a passion, desire and longing, and a yearning soul towards the greatness of the blessed En Sof.  This constitutes the culminating passion of the soul, of which scripture speaks as ‘my soul thirsts for G-d, my soul longs for thee.’  This thirst is derived from the element of Fire, which is found in the divine soul.  As students of natural science affirm, and so it is also in the Tree of Life, the element of Fire is in the heart, whilst the source of Water and moisture is in the brain (or third eye?) … referring to the faculty of Hokhmah called ‘the water of the divine soul’.

“The rest of the seven emotional attributes of man are all offshoots of fear and love and their derivations.

Da’at, whose etymology is found in the verse: ‘And Adam knew Eve’, implies union.  It is that faculty which binds one’s mind with a very firm and strong bond to, and firmly fixes one’s thought on, the greatness of the blessed En Sof, without diverting one’s mind.

“Even one who is wise and understanding of the greatness of the blessed En Sof will not – unless he binds his knowledge and fixes his thought with firmness – create in his soul true love and fear, but only vain fancies.”

From the ‘TANYA’ Ch.3
by Rabbi Schneur of Liadi, 1787

NOTES
En Sof – ‘without end’, the Infinite, ‘has no beginning
Hokhmah – revelation, wisdom, ‘the potentiality of what’ – the second of the Ten Sefiroth or emanations of En Sof
Da’at – unknown cognition, awe, abyss.  Union of worlds and of man with woman.  Knowledge in the sense of concentration.

tanya bishops rock

The meaning of these three letters within Bishop’s Rock – Aleph, Cheth, Daleth – is ‘EChD – from One to Oneness’.  It emerges from the infinite Silence, and returns into the Silence.

The fear and love of God are Gevurah and Hesed on the Tree of Life:  the soul triad’s equilibrium.

Tree of Life with Robert's teaching of Four Principles, Three Vehicles and Three Virtues.  Note Gevurah and Hesed - constraints/severity and grace:  the fear and the love.

Tree of Life with Robert’s teaching of Four Principles, Three Vehicles and Three Virtues. Note Gevurah and Hesed – constraints/severity and grace: the fear and the love.

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When Robert was a teenager in New York, he woke up saying “God … God … God” – who passed his school exams for him while he gazed upon the atoms in class.  He had a Jewish mum and a Catholic dad – or was it the other way round?

To me he said, “it never ends, there is no end”; and he said, “relax“.   He said other things, but I couldn’t understand them through his Parkinsons whisper –  I could only absorb and feel.

Robert profile

Robert’s transmission of the silence between the words, felt part and parcel of  my Kabbalah and alchemy studies.  It is all the One, wearing Joseph’s many coloured coat of dreams, dharma and pilgrimage.  As the Sufis say – from the Source, we return to the Source.  We emerge from God, moving into God.  

Khidr

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From my photo album –
Bishop’s Rock and Oak Creek, Arizona

 “Your Self doesn’t know the answer.
The true Self has no question.
Therefore there is no answer.”

Robert Adams

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**

My adventure invites fellow travellers. I am a poet, an artist and a seer. I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

aquariel link

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2014. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address https://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/

Robert’s Imponderables: Part Four

Completing this series of Robert’s sayings in Transcript §85:

Robert in hat

“There never was a time when you were not, and there will never be a time when you disappear.  There is no birth for you, there’s no prevailing of your body, there’s no disappearance.  There is only eternal life . . . Ponder this.”

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robert's hat

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“The mind cannot destroy the mind, pondering cannot destroy the mind, thinking cannot destroy the mind.  The only way to destroy the mind is to inquire, ‘To whom is there a mind?’ . . . Ponder this.”

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“You are already free and liberated, and there’s really nothing you have to do.  Just be your Self . . . Ponder this.”

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hearing Robert whispering

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“To be your Self means that you’re nothing else.  To be your Self means that you’re not the body, nor the mind, nor the world, nor its things.  To be the Self means that you are the imperishable Self, which is all pervading.

“Water cannot drown it, fire cannot burn it.  You are that Self that has always existed.  Some people call the Self ‘God’, some people call the Self ‘Brahman’, some people call the Self ‘choiceless effortless pure awareness’.  It makes no difference what you call the Self.  Just to know you are That, will free you immediately . . . Ponder this.”

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Sedona Landscapes – click on image to view

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“There is really no one who can do anything for you.  I cannot really do anything for you, because I am really in your Self.  There’s no difference between my Self and your Self.  There’s one Self.  Therefore, when you look at me, you see your Self.  What do you see?    . . .  Ponder this.”

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“Ponder the one who has been pondering all this time.”

Wolfie in sedona landscape

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“Ask yourself, ‘Who am I?  Why is it so hard to become the pure unblemished Self?  For whom is it hard?’

“Ask yourself, ‘Why do I think I’m human, and have to go through experiences?’

“Ask yourself . . . Ponder this.”

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“That’s enough pondering.”

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robert xmas eve 3

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**

My adventure invites fellow travellers. I am a poet, an artist and a seer. I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

aquariel link

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2014. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address https://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/

 

Robert’s Imponderables – Part Three

robert from plane

Part Three of extracts from Robert’s satsang transcript §85 – see previous posts …

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“You have absolutely nothing to do with pondering anything, for the truth is already present, shining in all its glory and splendour, and you are That . . . Ponder this.”

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“There is really nothing you have to do to get yourself Self-realised, only to get yourself out of the way . . . Ponder this.”

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arizona handclasp, rising waters

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“Since there is no one to ponder, why are you pondering this?  You are beyond pondering, beyond trying to change conditions, beyond trying to improve your humanhood, beyond trying to get along in the world.  Since you are already the world, there is nothing else to do but to awaken to the truth . . . Ponder this.”

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Wei wu wei iii

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“To be your Self means not to be the body, or the mind, or the conditions in your life . . . Ponder this.”

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“To be always happy, to be always contented, always at peace, and not to think at all, are the marks of a realised being . . . Ponder this.”

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arizona bishops fingers

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“What you see in this world is only your self. You can never see anything else.  Wherever you look, you will see yourself.  If you have troubles, you will see troubles everywhere.  If you are at peace with yourself, you will see peace everywhere.  You are the cause and creator of your particular world, and yet you have the power to change it, by turning within and not reacting to the things of this world whatsoever . . . Ponder this.”

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kevin & tracey - Version 2

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“You are born into a certain situation, with certain parents, a certain religion, a certain environment.  This is alright, and this is all good, and this is how it should be.  Use the opportunity to awaken.  Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, and comparing yourself with others, use the opportunity to awaken, to become totally free, by negating all these things and understanding the truth about yourself . . . Ponder this.”

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Robert and Mary

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‘It is a rare privilege to be born as a human being, even though it is an illusory birth.  But to be born as a human being is the only way you can find your Self.  An animal, a tree, a mineral, cannot do this.  You have been given the rare opportunity of birth, so that you may find Self realisation, and unfold into your true nature.  Do not use your time for anything else.  This is the purpose of being in this birth:  to become absolutely free and liberated . . . Ponder this.”

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Ramana siddha

Ramana siddha

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**

My adventure invites fellow travellers. I am a poet, an artist and a seer. I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

aquariel link

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2014. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address https://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/

Robert’s Imponderables – Part Two

The Fool by a Well

See previous post for more soliloquies from the late American sage and jnani, Robert Adams, who sat with Ramana Maharshi …

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“You are not what you appear to be.  The world is not what it appears to be.  The universe is not what it appears to be.  Your God is not what it appears to be . . . Ponder this.”

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“The substratum of all existence is absolute intelligence, choiceless pure awareness.  Therefore, how can there be evil so called, on this earth?

“How can there be sickness, man’s inhumanity to man, lack and limitation on this earth, if the substratum is pure consciousness? . . . Ponder this.”

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Arizona - river rock

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“Everything that you behold with your senses is an optical illusion.  . . . Ponder this.”

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robert 22.1.15_0001

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“There is only one intelligence, one consciousness, one awareness, one ultimate reality, one life, and you are that . . . Ponder this.”

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ramana puja

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“To free yourself from this optical illusion, this maya, the mind has to be controlled, by finding its source . . .  Ponder this.”

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“You find the source of the mind by following it to its original place of origin.  From where did it arise?  Who gave it birth?  How did you come by a mind?  By inquiring into the ultimate nature of the Self, you attain unconditional freedom . . . Ponder this.”

robert hat 2

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“When one intelligently investigates the source of ‘I’, one then ultimately becomes free from the bondage of ‘I’, and becomes all pervading, omnipresent Consciousness . . . Ponder this.”

Arizona - ascending bishops rock

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“Your past only exists because you think about it.  Your fears, your frustrations, only exist because you think about them.  Where would they come from if you didn’t think about them?  If you didn’t bring them into play in the present?  Where would they come from?  And how would they be there?  You are the cause of your problems . . . Ponder this.”

child playing with cosmic top

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“The so-called good things of your life are equal to the bad things of your life.  They are both karmic, and you have created these things at one time or another.  You are now experiencing them.  The only way to remove them from your life is through inquiry:  To whom do they come?  What is their source? . . . Ponder this.”

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“Who is the one that is pondering all these things?  That one must go !  . . . Ponder this.”

Robert Adams , 1928-1997:  Peace

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To be Continued

robert with mary

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**

My adventure invites fellow travellers. I am a poet, an artist and a seer. I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

aquariel link

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2014. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address https://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/

Happy Birthday, Robert

tonglen eyes

Here are some “Imponderables” from the American sage Robert Adams (21 January 1928 11.30pm – 5 March 1997).  

I woke up this morning, saw something on facebook, and was inspired to celebrate his birthday with these “imponderables” from transcript 85 of his satsangs.  It is called “Ponder This”  – some sips of rare wine to mull along the day while riding on buses and recovering from sore backs and concerned about the world situation, and so forth.

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A new sketch for Robert's birthday

A new sketch for Robert’s birthday

“All of your desires, all of your needs, all of your wants are already within you, waiting to be fulfilled and expressed . . .  Ponder this.”

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Arizona - water falls

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“All of the masters, the teachers, the saints, the sages you worshipped all your life, whether it is Buddha, Christ, Mohammed, Moses, whomever, have always been within you, waiting to be expressed . . . Ponder this.”

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Sacred India Tarot page of disks - detail

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“The only problem you have, that does not allow these sages, your desires, your wants to be expressed for you, is your noisy mind . . . Ponder this.”

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“Whatever you see in your life right now, good or bad, is a result of your thoughts and your belief.  It has no other reality.  It is not permanent . . . Ponder this.”

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Arizona - tree lovers dance

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“There is absolutely nothing in this universe that can hurt you, or cause you physical harm, or cause you pain, except when your mind is trained to believe these things . . . Ponder this.”

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“You have absolutely nothing to do with this world, this universe, or with others.  Yet, at the same time, you are this universe.  You are places and things and others . . . Ponder this.”

imponderables rose cross

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“No one is responsible for where you are right now, whether you like your position or you do not.  This is where you are Karmically.  This is where you are supposed to be, and all is well . . . Ponder this.”

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Robert and Dmitri

Robert and Dmitri

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…   To be continued, over the next few days.  I made these imponderables into a little book, and illustrated it, at around the time Robert passed away in Sedona, in 1997.  To read my posts about meeting Robert, type Robert Adams in the search button.

Happy birthday, beloved one.

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**

My adventure invites fellow travellers. I am a poet, an artist and a seer. I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

aquariel link

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2014. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address https://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/

Ganapati Muni’s Science of Mantra – Part Four

In this concluding post of the series, Ganapati Muni’s commentary elucidates the forms of Skanda and Indra which bear the mantra’s sound-wave, Sabda Brahman, seeing them realised in his spiritual brother and mentor, Ramana Maharshi of Arunachala.  See also the three preceding posts, and search “Puranas” on this blog for a racy account of the Skanda mythology.

Note: the god Skanda is also known as Kumara, Murugan (or Subrahmanya) and Krtikkai.

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the Muni on tiger skin photo xerox copy

Third Chapter:  The Vedic Mantra of Guha
by Ganapati Muni

We have commented upon the two Tantric Mantras of the master Ramana. Yet his Mantras are found even in the Veda. Amongst them, here is a clear cut Mantra of Bhagavan:

“Vrsa jajana vrsanam ranaya
tamu cinnari naryam sasuva.
Prayah senanir adha nrbhyo astinah
satva gavesanah sa dhrsruh.”

  • The seer is Vasishtha. The Deity is Indra and the metre is Trishtubh.
  • vrsa is “Rudra who is of the form of Sabda Brahman”. He is vrsa because “he pours down (varsati) the special knowledge”;
    vrsanam “the God who showers down flames ranavya for battle”.
    To wage war brings forth the meaning vrsa jajana – (Rudra)
  • Tamu –  the way God, u, is indeclinable (without inflexions) – suggests the loftiness of the Name with which it is closely associated
  • nari cit is the divine Force: cit is indeclinable, used to denote the indescribable.
    If nari is derived from nara, men, then the word nari (feminine) means the Kundalini sakti hidden in man. (*)
  • sasuva“is produced”. In what way ? Naryam“born amongst men” – are the leaders, or perfected beings.
FOOTNOTE -
* Nari is feminine (nari-kundalini)

SITA 2 of lotuses

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THIS IS THE TRANSLATION IN ESSENCE:

“Kundalini sakti in the body of perfected man produces for ‘battle’
Indra’s form within the fire of astra from Sabda Brahman.”

God, taking birth, “becomes the commander – senanih – of the armies of the Gods”.
The third and fourth lines of the verse conclude:

  • adha nrbhvo asti“and a helper to their leaders”
  • inah (means) svami“the Master”,  
  • satva “is the possessor of sat, of Truth”
  • gavesanah “seeking out”
  • sa “the acclaimed God”
  • dhrsruh, “assailer of all foes.”
Arunachala, inner path

Arunachala, inner path

To read here that Indra is being referred to and not Subrahmanya (Skanda), presents no problem. The ‘ordinary’ name for the fire of astra is Indra, and Kumara (Skanda) is the special name.

In what way ordinary? or special?   For instance, the common name for the sun is Light, but his special or personal name is Surya.

Indra denotes broadly, all ideas of multi-faceted strength.(18)

According to a thing’s true nature, each facet of it has separate specific or ‘special’ names.   In the Veda and the Brahmana it is well-known that Indra is the god of strength. The fire of astra is a powerful and mighty concept, for which, combined with supreme Lordship,  Indra’s name (as the ‘ordinary’) is appropriate. The commanding fire of astra is described specifically as Kumara.   There exists another reason beyond all this, which we shall submit later.

FOOTNOTE:
18 Indra denotes the strong lord, as in Mahendra, Kavindra, 
Munindra, etc.
Sacred India Tarot - Indra and Garuda

Sacred India Tarot – Indra and Garuda

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WHERE ‘ITIHASA’ IS APPROPRIATE

When the world was afflicted by powerful Asuras, the Gods begged and prayed to Brahma the Creative power for relief.   Brahma replied the young Kumara (Skanda) born of Rudra from Gauri would destroy the Asuras. Later Kama the god of lust was sent by the Gods to incline ascetic Rudra towards the idea of progeny. Kama was burnt up (by one look from Rudra’s third eye). Thereupon, the young Gauri did tapas. Attracted to the severity of her tapas (spiritual effort) Rudra married her. Uniting with her, he ejected his seed upwards. The seed took shelter successively in the fire, in the water and in the stalk of sara grass, and finally became the young one, Kumara.

Parvati(Gauri) and Siva with Ganapati and Skanda

Parvati(Gauri) and Siva with Bull Nandi and their children Ganapati and Skanda. Ganapati’s vehicle is the rat, and Skanda’s is the peacock.

In other words:   All human means were futile to conquer the Asura race (of demons) who devastated the world by the strength of their maya.   Here we should take the Asura race as a specific, or special human type; in the world of men the Kingdom of Asuras became perpetual.  (A problem cannot be solved with itself; the higher octave has to be called in.) The Gods gave astra, wisdom (*) to the seers, in order to destroy the Asuras. With the destruction of the Asuras, the Kingdom of the devotees of God became once more established on earth.

Sacred India Tarot Siva Ace of Lotuses

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Sacred India Tarot - Siva tests Parvati with a Mask - Version 3

This story is related by Itihasa in a covert manner. When the jiva does tapas, firstly kama, desire, is burnt by the glory of tapas.   We should not forget the fact, that the state of  tapas is  poised in the effulgence of Sabda Brahman.   Though desire is burnt up in its gross form, it prevails in the seed form, and impels the Kundalini sakti, called Gauri (or Parvati), to perform tapas.   About Kundalini being called Gauri, it is said in the Upanishad: “pita bhasatyanupama.” (19)     Gauri’s form of Kundalini is fairly wellknown in the Tantra. By her tapas, the Sabda Brahman manifests.

The whole purport is that the form of the Supreme Vak (pronunciation, divine speech) becomes capable of experiencing.   When Kundalini herself, reunited with Sabda Brahman, performs tapas, the sound vibration (energy) manifests.   It impels the energised sound in the sky, and becomes the astra.

The seed of Sabda Brahman is cultured in the fire of muladhara (root) and the nectar of the head (sahasrara) – these are said to be its consecutive sojourns in Agni and in Ganga. (20)

The manifestation in the stalk of sara grass has been described in the Second Chapter.

We have to take the Asuras as belonging to all times, not as born in a particular period.   Itihasa’s aim is to propound an all time truth.

FOOTNOTES: 
* - or Awareness

19 - Gauri, lit. "of golden yellow colour." The Narayana 
Upanishad says "Yellow, like an atom, she shines."

20 - In the subtle body, the centre at the base of the spine 
is muladhara and the centre at the top of the head is 
sahasrara. Muladhara is the seat of Fire, while sahasrara 
is the seat of the moon wherefrom the nectar flows.
 
As Ganga is the celestial river, she symbolises the nectar 
in sahasrara while Agni is the element in muladhara. The seed 
of the Sabda Brahman passes from muladhara to sahasrara, and 
has its sojourn in both centres before it manifests. 

This is the meaning of the Puranic story that Skanda is 
born from Agni as well as from the Ganga.
Gauri - Parvati - being pestered by sages

Gauri – Parvati – being pestered by sages

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WHO IS THE ASURA TARAKA?

Well, is it not to destroyTaraka that Skanda is born? Is Taraka a historical personage?

No. Yet, Tarakasura represents a truth. Taraka is death, one who (as the ferryman) takes across –   tarati – all men. (20A)   In both ways, Guha (in heart’s cave) conquers Death. By granting Self knowledge, he conquers death, the lack of awareness which causes samsara.   By the strength of the astra, he conquers death, the desire of his foes.   It is said in the Puranas that the Tripura Asuras are sons of this same Taraka.   The Tripura Asuras are none other than the three bonds. (21) Their father is lack of awareness.   That is, we fall from the Self into the body – into the idea (of being separate), of considering it as the self.

FOOTNOTE:
20A See also tara, goddess of time

21 The Three Bonds are the three pasas from which release is 
sought from Varuna by the Vedic Rishi. In the later Tantra, 
these take the form of the three granthi knots in the subtle 
body: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
Asura Lord (Demonic)

Asura Lord (Demonic)

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COMMANDER OF ARMIES

How do the words commander of armies in the Mantra signify ‘commander of armies of the gods?’   Indra, the King of Gods, becomes in this context their commander. This is made clear in another Mantra:

“Indra asem neta brha spatir      Let Indra be the leader. Let Brhaspati
dakshina yajnah pura etu somah           go in front, Dakshina, the sacrifice, and Soma
Devasenanam abhibhanjatinam     Let the Maruts march in the forefront
jayantinam maruto yatvagram.”    of the army of the Gods that demolish and conquer

Rig Veda X.103.8

This Mantra is mentioned in the chapter on astra. Also, the word ina in the Mantra became later on in the common parlance the word svami, (22) Master.

“Vavrajasim anadatir adabdha     He moved all round the seven mighty ones
divo yahvir avasana anagnah     of Heaven; undevouring, inviolate.
Sana yatra yuvatayah, sa yonir        neither were they clothed, nor were they naked;
Ekam garbham dadhire sapta vanih.”   here, young and eternal in one native land
the seven Voices held in their womb the one Child

Rig Veda III.1.6. (Sri Aurobindo’s translation)

Sapta vanih are the Seven metres* in Sanskrit poetry.   The birth of Agni as this Mantra is nothing other than the fire of astra.   This is revealed in the hymn of Agni in the sense of burning: but not with the idea of physical fire.

FOOTNOTES:
22 - Svami is one of the principle names of Skanda.

* - The seven metres represent also seven stars in the 
Pleiades constellation, the 'natural mothers' of the child 
Skanda.

Gauri Siva's bride was the daughter of the Himalaya. She is
also known as Parvati in the Puranic cycle. The river
Ganga, lit by the seven stars and the moon,"poured down"/
descended through Siva's matted dreadlocks in their love-play.
As stated earlier, neither the fire (Agni) nor the water 
(Ganga) could receive his seed. It finally came to rest
in the stalk of the mantric sara grass. From the mythology
we gain some idea of the elemental power of mantra. 
See previous post - Part Three.

Skanda as Muruganar and Krttikai (pleiades)

Skanda as Muruganar and Krttikai (pleiades

Another version of this tale is Siva's seduction of the 
wives of seven Rishis (seers) in the forest. Entering 
the heart of the fire (Agni) to which the women came to 
warm themselves,Siva impregnated them through their hair 
follicles, causing chaos in the ashram. The seed could
not be held by them, or by fire or by water, until it 
came to rest in the grass; then Gauri's breasts filled,
and the world rejoiced, unknowing as yet where the 
divine child with six heads lay.

skanda_upanishad

Ganapati Muni saw in his spiritual brother Ramana 
Maharshi, the effulgence of Skanda the warrior of light who
delivered us from Taraka. Ramana taught Self-enquiry which 
dismantles the mind and quests consciousness:  the "I ... I".
(J.A.)
 

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Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi

Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi

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COMMENTARY CONTINUED: ENQUIRY INTO THE PERSONALITY

Now we must say a word about the individualised Personality of the maya (23) form of Brahman with attributes, which is known as Subrahmanya.

We say that Indra alone is Guha’s form pertaining to the Gods. This is because Agni, the energy of sound-vibration is in the middle region; and Indra is the Lord of the middle region. This is proven in the Aranyaka when, referring to Indra, it closes with the words, Subrahmanyam, Subramanyam.

Indra’s Vedic fame as the War God, lends additional support.

What is Siva’s form among the Gods? It is Indra only. If it is said, that as father and son they are one and the same, this is correct. The only difference to note, is regarding the hidden Sabda Brahman and the manifest sound vibration. The relationship of father and son is mentioned to specify Siva and Subrahmanya (Skanda).

What is Ganapati’s form among the Gods? It is Indra only. If it is said, that as brothers Ganapati and Subrahmanya are one and the same, this is correct. The only difference to note, is that regarding the perfected mantra within, and the astra Agni impelled by it. The fraternal relationship demonstrates that first the mantra is born from Sabda Brahman; then the astra Agni.     Through the concept of Ganapati, we explain Brihaspati and Brahmanaspati. (24)

What is lightning’s form pertaining to the Gods?   It is Indra only.   Here he has a unique quality. Indra is named as the deity of Lightning.

storm in devon:daily mail

There are other great conceptual facets in the middle region, with Indra as their deity. They are not mentioned here, as we would have to go into a lot of detail.

FOOTNOTES:
23 Maya - form - the form that we measure out of the 
immeasurable

24 Ganapati, Brihaspati and Brahmanaspati - all three names 
denote the same Godhead in the Veda of the famous Rik 
"Gananam tva ganapatim lawamake ..." 

Brishaspati - Lord of the letters; Brahmanaspati - Lord of 
the Mantras. Brahma means both letter and mantra in the veda. 
Ganapati Lord of tantra, and these two names, denote the 
same Godhead.

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doorstep pattern tiru j&d7

Doorstep chalk pattern at dawn in Tiruvannamalai

 

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THE APPROPRIATENESS OF THE DIFFERENT DESCENTS

By means of whichever portion of energy the Lord Indra descends into awareness, the descent bears that specific or personal Name.  

Indra’s descent as a portion of the lightning bears his own name. His descent as a portion of Sabda Brahman is named Rudra. His descent as the force of Tantra is known by the name Ganapati, and his descent as a portion of sound vibration is called Skanda. Ganapati and Subrahmanya (Skanda) are brothers, and they are interdependent.

We have briefly interpreted the three great Mantras of the Master. We shall develop the conceptual truth of Skanda in our Devata mimamsa. (25)

FOOTNOTES
25 - Another of Vasishtha Ganapati Muni's works, where he 
unravels the significances of the Deities

Thus Ends the Third Chapter.

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Thus ends the Commentary on the Mantras of the Master,
a work of Ganapati Vasishtha, son of Narasimha
and disciple of Sri Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi

shankara gives the vedas copy

The Closing Verse

“Munina srimukhe simhe dive suryendusangame
Suryoparagasamaye bhasyam etadudiritam.”

“In the month Sravana of the year Srimukha
on a new Moon day, at the time of Solar eclipse,
this Commentary was given out by the Muni.”

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Muni & family copy 2

APPENDIX TO THE COMMENTARY

1).   Subrahmanya is the one who is born of the auspicious Brahman, that is, Sabda Brahman.

2).   By this we have explained the name Brahma garbha (from the womb of Brahma)

Vide Amara: “Subrahmanya brahma-garbha svami saravanodbhavah”.

3).   Kumara, eternal child. He is born, finishes the work and again vanishes. Again manifests at the time of work. Therefore, he is called the eternal child. In the Veda, in the Hymn to Indra, is mentioned arbhako na kumarakah26 . Also,sadyo jajnano nirinati saturn’.27

4).   By this we have explained the name sanat kumara – sanat always; kumara, young one.

5).   Sanatsujatah also in the same way. sanat, always; sujatah, well born.

6).   Sanandana samanah equal nandanah, son (giver of happiness) to Rudra along with Ganapati.

7).   Sanakeh, eternal.

Thus these four names denote one and the same person. Perhaps because of their different manifestations, it appears they were mentioned as four (28) .

26 The youth like a little child

27 Born at once, he demolishes the foes.

28 The four disciples of Shiva as Dakshinamurti: Sanaka, 
Sanandana, Sanatkumara and Sanatsujata. Etymologically they 
have the same meaning and denote one and the same principle.
(See also Sanatanadharma)

Muni on wall copy

Here the Commentary and Appendix by the Muni ends.

We express our grateful thanks to Sri K.Natesan of Ramanasramam for making this rare manuscript available to us, and for his help with the text.   Ganapati Muni’s Commentary on the Mantra of the Master, was recently published by Ramanasramam, along with the first translation into English of Kapali Sastri’s sanskrit Commentary on the Ramana Gita.   Material from this has been utilised for the present work.

For the benefit of English readers, the language and presentation of the Guru Mantra Bhashya text have been slightly adjusted, and translations of Vedic Mantras, that were provided as footnotes, are now incorporated in the text, for easier reference..

J.A. Ramana Maharshi Foundation UK 2002

Arunachala village children

Arunachala village children

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My adventure invites fellow travellers. I am a poet, an artist and a seer. I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

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All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2014. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address https://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/

 

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Ganapati Muni’s Science of Mantra: Part Three

by the fire '94 j&d11

CONTINUED FROM PART TWO – the “Guru Mantra Commentary” by Ganapati Muni (see previous post.)

Mantric language is cyclic, rhythmic, primordial. Whether we know any Sanskrit or not, the vibration grows through a commitment of the syllables to archetypal visual images. This passage develops the ASTRAGNI or weapon within the mantra.  In my understanding, only a pure intention may access the metaphysical power of the Word:  otherwise it rebounds.

In Part Two, we bowed to Guru in the heart’s cave. Here in Part Three, the repeated sounding of vacadhbu,  agni, sara, sastra encircle and warm up my path of awe.  I do not know.  Unconfined to the mind, the resonance is received afresh;  I begin again to ascend the mountain at dawn.

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Second Chapter: The Enunciation of the Second Mantra

The Muni continues:
In this second chapter, we shall comment on another Tantric mantra of Bhagavan. Here is its verse of enunciation: (No English translation available)

“Sukham krsanuh kilalam
murdhanyascanunasikah
Nidra vari ca vikhyato
Namo mantro vadadbhuvah.”

The letter sa, Sukham happiness;   the letter ra krsanuh, fire; the letter na kilalam, water; the letter va murdhanyah anunasikah;   the letter na nidra, cerebral nasal;   the letter bha vari, sleep;   the letter va, water.(**)

1. Happiness sa
2. Fire ra
3. Water va
4. Cerebral nasal  na
5. Sleep bha
6. Water va

6 point star cube

When these six letters are read together they become sa ra va na bha wa. – “One who is born from the forest of sara”. As there are six letters in this Mantra also, like before, we understand by this the six faces of Skanda. (*)

FOOTNOTES - 
**- Sri Sankaranarayanan’s translation of this paragraph 
was ambiguous, and K.Natesan apparently overlooked my query 
about it. I have arranged it as best I can, and would welcome the 
advice of an educated Sanskrit reader. J.A.
*- The child Skanda (Kumara)- seed of Agni in the wives of Seven 
Rishis who warmed themselves by the fire - could not be carried 
by wives (goddesses of Krttika the Pleiades constellation) or 
Himalaya mountain or Ganga river, so it fell in a bed of reeds 
(grass). Six parts of the seed joined in this birthplace as one
six headed child; Siva's wife Parvati filled with milk and the 
universe rejoiced - for this child of Siva (through the inter-
mediary of Agni) was destined to defeat the demon of the 
reactive mind, Taraka. 
Skanda's older brother was Ganapati.

Note from Wendy O’Flaherty: ‘Siva the Erotic Ascetic’

ramana embryo

ramana embryo

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THE MEANING OF THE SECOND MANTRA:    Saravanabhawa

“One who is born from the forest of sara, a kind of grass”. ASTRAGNI : (astra, missile or weapon invoked with a mantra, agni, sacred fire) – this means “fire of guided missile”. Here, a physical fire born from igniting grass, is not what is meant. If it were, it would not be vacadbhu – born out of the sound vibration (energy). 

The story that the effulgent seed of Rudra placed in the stalk of grass became Kumara, has some deep truth behind it:   Rudra is full of sound. His effulgent seed is the fire born by focussing the perfected astra mantra of a great yogi accomplished in the lore of the astras. It acquires the form of sara, grows, and slays its enemies.

“Vidma sarasya pitaram parjanyam – “We know the father of the SARA,
bhuridhayasam   – Parjanya, liberal nourisher,
Vidmo svasya mataram – we know his mother Prithvi,
prthivim bhurivarpasam. – earth with her manifold designs.

Jyake pari nona masmanam tonvan krdhi – O, Bowstring, bend thyself around us,
Virur variyo ratirapa dvesarasya krdhi.” – make my body stone.
Firm in thy strength, drive far away malignities and hateful things.”    

Aghawa Samkita II. 1. 2.

poppy and wild oat

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visual reference, bow-arrow

Sara described in the above two Mantras is a special kind of grass, not an arrow made of bamboo or metal.   This is indicated by saying that its mother and father are the earth and the rain God.   If we say that bamboo also, being a tree, can deserve to be the son of the earth and the rain God, the fourth Mantra in that same chapter, removes any doubt :

Yatha dyam ca prthivim cantas tiethati tejanam
evarogam casravam cantas tisthatu munja it. 

Just as the sharp point stands
between earth and heaven, 

let the munja grass stand between wellbeing and illness.

For the Rose and the Fire are One

Breaking through – For the Rose and the Fire are One

Here by the word munja he deduces the aforesaid sara.   Munja is a type of grass and not bamboo. How could fragile grass be capable of killing enemies without relating to astra, the fire warming the word which an accomplished Mantra fills ? (15)

“Isikam jaratim stva
tilpinjam dandanam nadam
Tamindra idhmam
krtva yamasyagvim niradadhan

He sought the grass, Isika
tilpinja, nada and dandana.
He enriched Indra’s fuel
and the fire of Yama.

Athawa Samhita XII.2.54.

sphere of arrows ja

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Isika, Tilpivja, nada are types of grass. Dandanum might be of bamboo. Amongst them isika is a synonym for the sara grass.   Here by the word Indra, the Jiva is meant. As the Veda says: “Rupam Rupam pratirupo babhuva.”16.  He, the perfected Person knows the astra. He bound the isika grass into faggots, and nourished the sages around the fire of Yama, Kala, Time.   This means he expanded and increased that which stood in the sky as the fire of Time.

Time is not different from sound. The sound resonates subtly in the sky and cultures everything.

FOOTNOTES 
15- ASTRA from the root AS - to throw; a missile, usually of grass
or any fragile material backed up by a powerful Mantra, 
though astra is loosely translated as an arrow.
Sastra(scriptures) is an arrow, while astra is a weapon backed up 
by the Mantra. 
Here the Mantra is significant, and not the material used as a 
weapon.

16- "He put his image in every form."
Frank Humphries, Ramana and the Muni

Frank Humphries, Ramana and the Muni

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That is why we have said in our Indra Gita:

“Sadvyapakasaktim pranam kathayanti
Vyaktetarasabdam kalam ganayanti.” (17) 

“The pervading force of Existence they call Prana ;
and they reckon as Time the unmanifest Sound.”

FOOTNOTE -
17- Indra Gita is one of the compositions of Ganapati Muni
and is included in Gitamala.

 photo of the muni copy

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There itself it has been said that Kala, Time, is known by the name of Yama and Rudra.

“Rudram vidureka netarbahulilam
Prahur yamam anye kayam tava kalam.”

“O, Leader, some know you as Rudra of many sports ;
Others call thy body Time, Yama.”

Rudra who is the Sabda Brahman and Time factor pervades the sky. His effulgence impelled by the fire of Mantra becomes the Agni, named astra in the form of sara. This Agni is the Lord, the Commander-in-Chief of the armies, the destroyer of Asuras, the accomplisher of the Divine Purpose. The word isu is formed only from the word isika. The ancients employ the word isvastra to denote astra.

“Isvastram esam devatvam paritranam satamiva
Bhayam vai manuso bhavah parivado satamiva.”       

“Their astra denoted divinity.
It bore divine protection to good people.
Fear is their human aspect to the wicked.”

SITA ace arrows Bhishma blocks the Ganga - Version 4

By esam (*) the Kshatriyas (warriors) are covered. Also the primary name for astra is only isikastra. (See Ramayana and Mahabharata). Though the word sara meant astra, later on by derivative significance, it came to denote the arrow. The word sara is a pointer to the other “faggot bundles” (weapons) of astra.   Principally, the usage is the form “from out of the forest of sara”, saravanabhava.

FOOTNOTE - 
* esam, a Sanskrit word for prowess (footnote supplied by 
K.Natesan)

Bhagavan coaxes a devotee

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THE APPROPRIATENESS OF SKANDA AS THE GURU?

If “Skanda” had these attributes alone, he would be a War God, not the Guru Causal. Yet being the God of war does not deter him from being the Guru Causal. In fact, it helps. The one who manifests the fire of astra, destroying foes, is our inner illumination. He burns away the ties that bind, and reveals the shore beyond darkness.

An effulgence  of sound is inner knowing. By this alone, the Brahmin attains a vision of the Divine.

By the effulgence alone, the Kshatriya (warrior) masters the divine astra. The effulgence is the Brahmanhood of Brahman;  the kingship of the Warrior caste.

And thus ends the Second Chapter.

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**

My adventure invites fellow travellers. I am a poet, an artist and a seer. I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

aquariel link

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2014. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address https://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/