Sacred India Tarot Archive – 7 and 8 of Arrows: Bheeshma’s Dharma

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Zain

Zain

Seven of Arrows – Rohit’s Notes

We need a picture of Bheeshma sitting on his seat of authority, while in the far corner three Kaurava plotters, out of his line of vision, are cooking up mischief against the Pandavas.  This was a generic behaviour pattern;  it does not even need to be specified which particular plot it was.  If we could show them attempting to guiltily shield themselves further from the old man’s gaze by holding up a screen of seven arrows, then we have captured the element of deceit and underhandedness that characterizes the card.”

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Sacred India Tarot - Seven of Arrows

Sacred India Tarot – Seven of Arrows

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Rohit’s Notes on Conspiracy – from the Book with the Deck: 
“Bheeshma enters a period where the rancour and envy of Duryodhana manifests in constant conspiracies against the Pandavas.  Out of deference, they intrigue furiously behind the Grandsire’s back, concealing their murderous intentions nevertheless poorly … … Nepotism as a cultural value triumphs over almost any other ethical imperative for a certain type of Indian, and is the Shadow of its famous familial strength.

“In one of his better moments of honest self appraisal, Duryodhana laments to Bheeshma, ‘Knowing the good I ignore it.  Recognising the bad, I nevertheless follow it.  My inherent nature is such.’

“The energy of this card is erratic, causing even sensible people to act strangely.  Matters complex and contradictory.  Restlessness, agitation, should be paid attention to.  The uncovering of plots and conspiracies, especially in office politics.   Act with stealth, cunning and strength to protect oneself, and keep cards close to the chest … Strategy forestalls the need for combat.”

Sacred India Tarot ace of arrows, detail

Sacred India Tarot ace of arrows, detail

Jane’s Notes
The failure of trust awakens war.  When I painted this card, I was struck by Rohit’s analogy that the conspirators should hold up a screen of seven arrows entangled.  It is like this lattice of red arrows which block the Ganga in the Ace.

The King however – meaning the Self – reflects uneasily, and in depth, the knotted shadows in his soul and lineage.  The burden of this King is his preparation for the future.  He carries the dharma of society.  The great civil war of the Mahabaratha broke out, and had to run its course.  The depth of human hell is like a root.  It seems to pull as by gravity, Krishna from the sky:  the Vishnu avatar represents the Dharma or cosmic law, enters the action and in due course prevails.   When we are in the dark, it is virtually impossible to see its opposite.

Reflect also on inevitable individual episodes of doubt, depression and fragmentation:  the locked-up paranoia, and what happens when it dispels: cautiously I behold the landscape around and illumining the small murk of my belief.
It is different from what I believed.

Rohit continues:  “The 7 of Arrows’ shadow is the thief – the theft of ideas, time, energy;  the conniving, manipulative politician.  A stealthy dangerous aura pervades the card, like a venomous serpent crossed with a fox … Inept and inefficient thieves, who cannot hold onto their plunder. … … Lock up your creative output well.  Where do you need to be a bit political?  What do you have that arouses envy?”

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Correspondence 13 September 2004 – Arrows 7 Feedback
“Dear Jane, Given below is Rohit’s feedback for Arrows 7.  We will put together the material on the Cups and let you have it as soon as possible.  We had sent an airmail with a Comic book and some references for the Arrows.  Please let me know if we need to resend. Warm regards, Gautam.”

“I like the look and feel of the card immensely. The creepy, deceitful aspect of the energy is conveyed well.  This card is one of the danger flags in the Tarot, and the sly deception practiced on those who are too noble to realise people can be very nasty indeed, is well brought out.  Psychologically, Jane has hit an extraordinary vein of authenticity in this suit.  A few minor points.  Bheeshma’s armour should always be silver. The blue wavy tinge is very appropriate for the Air element of the suit, but so is silver, and that is what he actually wore.  Next, his beard is fluctuating in dimensions.  In others, it seems fuller.  Otherwise the card is fine.”
“Rohit.”

Jane’s Notes:
While painting the Arrows suit, I got rather bogged down, and requested the material for the Cups/Lotuses, to lift things along a bit.  So I painted the Lotuses (tales of Siva and Parvati) alongside the remaining Arrows cards.  The next Arrows card, the 8, shows that increment of Shakti or feminine energy.

This Archive follows a slightly different order than the one in the book (Disks, Lotuses, Staves, Arrows).  It is determined by strong symbols arising towards the end of a suit, which indicated the next one, spontaneously.  Thus we have:  Disks, Lotuses and Arrows, Staves.

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Eight of Arrows – Bheeshma Offers his Life to Krishna

Sacred India Tarot 8 of Arrows, visual reference

Sacred India Tarot 8 of Arrows, visual reference

Krishna’s descent into the fray, with his Galactic Discus wheel, is a tremendous archetype. We see Bheeshma – representing the ego – voluntarily disable himself.  There are situations we are powerless to change.  Only the Upper Worlds have that dimension.

Rohit’s Notes for the card: 
“Bheeshma is attacked by Krishna and refuses to fight him.  The visual reference provided is terrible art (see above), but it does indeed convey what we are trying to communicate.  It should be a scene of carnage with a furiously energetic Krishna and an ecstatic Bheeshma, delighted he will get moksha (liberation) by being killed by the Lord. 

“The gorgeousness of the Thai costumes could be well brought out in this card:  Krishna could be a blaze of saffron yellow, and Bheeshma in blinding white.  Krishna should be extremely muscular, and if there is space he should be shown with Saiva markings on his forehead, as he used to pray to Siva before every day’s battle on the field of Kurukshetra.”

And from the book with the deck: 
“War has come to Hastinapur.  Bheeshma’s long life of sacrifice and peacemaking lies in ruins … His dreams shattered, he nevertheless fights for duty, loyalty, and because he is still Devavratha, son of an immortal, still invincible at this advanced age, hoping against hope to shame the foes into peace.  It is futile.  The Kings of India have leagued themselves into a Pandava camp, and they rend and devastate in a ghastly Gotterdammering.  An age, a civilization, is annihilating itself, and Bheeshma by a supreme irony leads the carnage.  The god Krishna has planned for this horrific outcome.  He wishes to dissolve a rapidly corrupting aristocracy, signally failing its nation, and replace it with a more benevolent, humanitarian Pandava rule … Krishna takes matters in his own hands, threatening to kill Bheeshma with a chariot wheel.

“… Death at Krishna’s hands is instant liberation for the soul – Bheeshma is tired of life and cannot believe his luck at being offered such a spectacular exit … His death is his grandchild Arjuna’s portion of fate.”

(Memo to Rohit – but Rohit, I thought Bheeshma didn’t have any children?)

“In a reading of this card, all 8’s are end-of-Karma cards.  The inspiration of intelligence to overcome crisis, but blood will be drawn.   Not much space to manoeuvre, but adequate.  Hold onto one thing, one thought, and it will show the way out.  Financially, a down phase, even a bad luck cycle.  Self imposed limitations can be discarded, veils pierced, so spiritually a high card;  when the going gets tough, the tough manage to escape.  Ask for help and heed the advice given.  This too shall pass.

“Are you in a co-dependent relationship?  Are you feeling sorry for yourself?  How is psychological paralysis rewarding you?” 

Sacred India Tarot, 8 of Arrows - Bheeshma offers his Life to Krishna

Sacred India Tarot, 8 of Arrows – Bheeshma offers his Life to Krishna

A chariot wheel consumed by fire in the background, represents the battle and the demolition of the old.  Bheeshma was, all his long life, an end-of-Karma 8-of-Arrows character. He put himself beyond the breeding-line, but he bore the epic Consciousness.   His full destiny awakes, together with his physical fear, as he welcomes eye to eye, the god who slays him.  The sword – representing lineage – topples from his hand.  The Wheel of divine Dharma replaces the wheel of human carnage.

Correspondence from Rohit and Gautam
Dear Jane, in addition to our earlier mail regarding adding the palm tree on the shield, Rohit asked me to mention that he just remembered the palm tree is to be depicted along with 5 stars.  Regards, Gautam.”

I didn’t rectify this, so the shield remains with three stars.  Originally it was blank.

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Krishna and Arjuna

Krishna and Arjuna

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I now attach these thoughts by Jung, because Rohit in India was a student of his work long before I became so.  One of the things which most impressed me when we began the project, was Rohit’s deep comprehension of the Jungian Archetypes, and their equivalent in Indian mythology.  I recognised them in his east-west Tarot translation.

When I was aspiring to my highest worldly power, the spirit of the depths sent me nameless thoughts and visions, that wiped out the heroic aspiration in me as our time understands it.

C.G.Jung, The Red Book

Jung photo2

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Ice when a Companion treads the pond,
seeking the sunken Sword,
cracks, splinters and sighs.

ice-swords

ice-swords

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“Incapacity prevents further ascent. Greater height requires greater virtue.  We do not possess it.  We must first create it by learning to live with our incapacity.  We must give it life.  For how else shall it develop into ability?  We cannot slay our incapacity and rise above it.  But … incapacity will overcome us and demand its share of life.  Our ability will desert us …  Yet it is no loss but a gain, not for outer trappings however, but for inner capability.  The one who learns to live with his incapacity has learned a great deal.”

Ibid

(Yes, indeed!   Thus the shatterings, and being human).

Jung/Philemon said of the spirit of the times, during the first War:  “If all heroism is erased, we fall back into the misery of humanity and into even worse.  Our foundations will be caught up in excitement since our highest tension, which concerns what lies outside us, will stir them up. (see media and cellphone technology).  We will fall into the cesspool of our underworld, among the rubble of all the centuries in us.”   (See the present crises.)  … “the black serpents and the reddish sun of the depths” (the rise of Nazism then to come).  In the Red Book, this is followed by a remarkable transcending dialogue:  the paradox of God – the significance of the Whole, above small concepts of the perfect.

No one has my God, but my God has everyone, including myself … So it is always only the one God, despite his multiplicity.  You arrive at him in yourself, and only through your Self seizing you.  It seizes you in the advancement of your life.”

There is something deeply detached in prophesying the seemingly everlasting human hells, as a natural human syntax.   For the hells are actually ephemeral.  They are engraved in our habitual speech and expectation.  At any moment can be chosen the eternal non-existence of the hells.  Create Reality.   It is paradoxical, for the healer sits with the wounded.   Companions of the soul.

The Heroic is the power to discriminate:  to use the Sword correctly and with precision.

“Consequently you sin against incapacity.  But incapacity exists.  No one should deny it, find fault with it, or shout it down.”

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Tai Ch'i movement

I am not a Tai Ch’i practitioner, but I intuit something of the Sword Form in this art:  and the fluid dantien in the belly around which it flows.

That point is gravity. It is surely no coincidence that Rohit initially requested a more far-Eastern flavour in the suit of Arrows/Swords.  I did not really fulfill this at the time.

The Swords, as I described earlier in this series, are the play of Light:  swords of sunlight through the dark woods, or in and out of clouds:  on the ground we play with sticks and stones.  The Sword form as a martial art, flows as the Air.

grail trees

grail trees

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Last weekend, came some understanding, and I wrote:
“Move with the movement, keeping still, move with the Tao in its flow of balancing, re-equilibrating.  What seems dark to you is the water moving, and nature’s exquisite tendency to flow in and out of stress-points.   Sitting on the nub of what seems to be depression and insecurity, is a place from which to view the ebb and flow of life;  without judgement, including the mood, without the mood:  Tao is uncertainty.  Don’t make it an enemy.”

Cup and sword

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The still, small voice
connects.

If you look HERE
you find.

If you play with your sword
you won’t ;  but I’m HERE
our bridge.

You may not hear
what touches you

but HERE, my songs
in your tree, are lovebirds.

from Poems of Eclipse, 1999

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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 2 of Arrows: Bheeshma’s Training

This post includes a tribute to the late Doris Lessing..

Krishna drives the chariot:  Arjuna aims the arrow - detail from Sacred India Tarot Arcanum 7

Krishna drives the chariot: Arjuna aims the arrow – detail from Sacred India Tarot Arcanum 7

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In Tarot, the suit of Swords represents the celestial Dharma which we experience in our earth-humanity as the Karmic battleground.   Dharma is the law of growth, ripeness and change.   In India the Sanatana Dharma very broadly down the millenia, is the Way of the Good, the way which works through nature and humanity.

Karma is the revealed action and reaction:  the visible play of swords.

I am in a period of personal turbulence, which is not surprising when touching the energies of this Suit.   I try my utmost to hold the pieces together;  in fact they all fit together perfectly!   No stone is left unturned.

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Visual reference from comic book, for SITA 2 of Arrows - Parushurama trains Bheeshma Parashuruma

Visual reference from comic book, for SITA 2 of Arrows – Parushurama trains Bheeshma Parashuruma

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Rohit’s Notes (2004) – Bheeshma’s Early Training – Parashurama versus Bheeshma

“They are at a deadlock, as his skill matches his teacher’s, and prefigures the later inconclusive fight they have.  His father is glumly watching this training combat, as he realises he will never be as great as his son.  That explains a lot about Shantanu’s cruelty to his son later.  Since Parashurama was a Rishi, he can be depicted in traditional style, but somewhere around, his huge battle axe should be visible, as his very name is derived from that …  Bheeshma is still a young man here.  We could have a classic two arrows crossed in mid air, to represent the blocked or static feel of the Two of Swords.”

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At this point, I would like to include a Tarot Celtic Cross reading done for me in 1974.  In 1988, I drew two maps of the same reading.  I was working out laws of reincarnation, which are no different from the way thoughts “arise, settle, change and vanish”, in the mind right now.   There isn’t space here to go into what it was all about in my life then.  What interests me, is the polar tension of the Two of Swords:  they resound as cymbals: the symbol.   Abstract images like this, struck my profound chords of feeling:

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A few months later in that year, I discovered my “working form” – the Tree of Life.  I was  curious about magnetic equilibrium, polarities, masculine/feminine and the waiting fertile ground and its problems in rebirth:  the work of the soul.  I saw an interaction of The Fool (ego) and The King of Swords (entity) in the self:  it featured the Ace, Two, Four and Seven of Swords, together with 6,7 and 2 of Pentacles and the World (represented by a wreath).

Here is another interesting sketch in the same red notebook:

Fool and Priestess 1988.  The Priestess was in an earlier reading.

Fool and Priestess 1988. The Priestess was in an earlier reading.

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An interlude.  Today’s general news is that Doris Lessing died, age 94;  this portrait to honour her: 

 

In the two initial sketches, I am fascinated by the woman’s age – 94 – and its weathered beauty.   What will be my essence when I am very old, like that?  What will yours be?  I embrace someone or something I don’t know.   “Thou art infinite:  no words can tell”.  A conversion is a conversation.  An alchemist’s daily business is to extract essence.   

She was a great lady, and I feel she passes over to become one of the Guardians.  For this reason I include this impression of her, in this SITA post.   Sketching her, I feel her a little inside, and I catch sight of an old Sufi Master.  

Doris Lessing, a Universe:  what vast universi people are!  Their immense and unique frames of discourse and of life matters and of countries, politics, sexuality and vision – rub elbows – the daily stuff of washing up and caring for her elderly son who died three weeks ago.  Death as always brings an intimate contact in the subtle body:  an appraisal:  a silent knowledge.  That soul now moves into the atoms everywhere.   Prana.   I am breathing her.  Prana is the conscious breath of Life.

In western Tarot the Sword guides destiny.  It is in Key 11 Justice, and in Key 6 The Lovers (as the Hebrew letter ZAIN: Sword).  It is also in Key 10 The Wheel – in the Sphinx’s paws.

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Additionally in the news today: the UK government at long last agreed to act, to block and close down child-abuse and child-pornography websites.  The inertia there was outrageous.

This is topical for me at present.  I suffered psychic and emotional abuse;  I know persons who were sexually abused.   The damage – particularly to a child – can retard social development, for it afflicts an area in the front of the brain.   Under attack, or under its triggers, I am mute and stupefied – the words don’t come.  Then there is an anguish that I didn’t defend myself:  that I allowed a lie.   My therapy is to write – it brings me through: it joins up broken threads.   It puts me in touch with an objective wisdom and humour; a field of insight is illumined.  True or false?

Persons who suffered or witnessed abuse, do an immense amount of inner work for the rest of their life.   The inner work, when undertaken, connects with every other individual on Gaia Earth who is doing likewise.  Paradoxically, the ordeal which initially isolates, becomes a bonding agent.   Subconsciously, we may have volunteered into this field of growth and extended humanity.  The agonizing life situations were part of the deal.   I repeat this, because it really is my bottom line.   The Black Raven – the negrido – is essential to alchemy.

raven

We never “get over the pain” – but we transform with it.  The pain of the abuse is not contained in one life, it goes back into the centuries, collectively.   To sum up what I do:  I try to bring my coals out into the light, where they slowly turn to pearls.  I shake out the old rug and let the sun get in.   It is a healing work, in solidarity with all healers.

The Tarot suit of Swords – the Sacred India Tarot’s suit of Arrows – has a difficult press, because its lessons can be painful.   The play of swords in the Creational world appears beautiful, like shards of sunlight in a forest clearing.   The process there is four-dimensioned;  it returns through an entire Mahabharath, the Gita and the song of arms, to Source:  a vast clearing-operation in history.    In this suit, Lord Krishna – avatar of Vishnu the Sustainer –  is the ultimate Dharma instrument.   The Archetype enters our world when we are in dire straits.

This is no mere fairytale.   We live out our destiny, mostly blind to its wider implications …  Behind the worst moments in my twenties, I knew an angel smiled!

An angel raises the Captive Knight from a well of lifetimes

An angel raises the Captive Knight from a well of lifetimes

In the western tradition, sword-play illustrates medieval chivalry and the quest for the Grail:  the orders of Knighthood:  the Round Table.

In the Psychological and Physical worlds, through lifetimes, I encounter those sharp points;  I make terrible errors;  I live to rue and to transmute them in space and time.  I live to grow, to understand and to become more humane.

I learn also … not to exaggerate!   but to rediscover, and keep perspective:  proportion:   compassion.

(See my Watershed Tale – The Knight )

Here is the finished card:  The Training of Bheeshma

Sacred India Tarot, 2 of Arrows - Bheeshma's training

Sacred India Tarot, 2 of Arrows – Bheeshma’s training

In the book which goes with the deck, Rohit writes:

“The young Bheeshma – known as Devavratha in his youth –  is being trained further in the martial art of Kalari-payyattu, still extant in India after millenia, by its legendary founder, the Brahmin warrior-sage Parashurama, avatar of Vishnu.

“… The irascible avatar hated the warrior caste of Kshatriyas, yet condescended to train the young prince, awed as all else were, by his supreme prowess.  Bheeshma has just fought his invincible enemy to an impasse.  This inspiring scene of the greatest master successfully transmitting his skill to his most brilliant pupil, has a calamity encoded within.”

As we saw in the Ace of Arrows, the young Bheeshma held back the Ganga waters with a raft of arrows.

“Years later, the wrathful Parashurama will come championing the cause of the Princess Amba.  His conflict with Bheeshma is a variant of the irresistible force meeting the immovable object, and the very world is in danger of being consumed by such titans.

“What seems to be a moment of reconciliation and social harmony, will deepen the fissures further in the future between the dominant social classes.  The spiritually evolved Shantanu (Bheeshma’s father) seems unaware of the horrendous cost lying in ambush.  

“There is also some ambivalence in Shantanu’s admiration.  He has just realised his son will effortlessly outshine him in all aspects of life, and the knowledge must be bitter for a supreme ruler.  Some form of pain is inevitable as the Karmic price for such knowledge and ability.”

This statement concords with my sense that the Swords or Arrows “improve the breeding stock” while inflicting the pain and labour of progress and change.

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Rohit continues:  “In a reading, the Two of Arrows is an attempt to resolve insoluble conflicts:  resolute application of positive thinking against the evidence … head and heart in contention with equally compelling reasons. … Any action is better than this stuck feeling.  A curious meaning of the card is good friendships and/or imperfect reconciliations… 

“Shadow:  a stalemate or false balance in an impossible situation – extricating oneself will cause pain – this card is not known as ‘The Scissors’ for nothing … Illusion of stagnation – it is actually a time of dangerous developments – Lies told for mistaken advantage … …  What is the one thing nagging you the most, that you refuse to bring into the light of day?  Focus on solving just one thing, not everything.”

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Rohit’s reflections affirm my past experience of the Two of Swords as an impasse situation.  I love his expression: ‘the calamity encoded within’.  When I was young, I set out blithely into an extremely challenging relationship-terrain.  I am aware, while writing this post, of the pressure, the push and pull of the Archetypes, the slowly melting tension of that Two of Swords:  a symbol crash of cymbals:  the concentric fallout from that time.

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redqueen-1

“The oak tree – with the red queen pulling Alice along – is too vast to be run past, however fast you run.   The oak tree is your entire life and understanding.”  (Lighthouse Keeper Part One)

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We take our time – we do time – with what Beriah (the Upper World) creates for an instant unfolding:  space.   So the Swords above are beautiful;  and here below, they are problems, whose resolution and beauty as a whole,  is intuited just beyond the horizon.

So Jacob wrestled the Angel.

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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.

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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.

Aquariel Link

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/

Creation of the Sacred India Tarot Archive – The Royal Lotuses (1)

Aniruddha & Usha - photo credit Wikipedia

Aniruddha & Usha – photo credit Wikipedia

Another love-story among Siva’s meditations …

Sacred India Tarot 3 of lotuses - Version 2

Rohit’s Notes:  Aniruddha the Son of Pradayumna

“This is yet another Krishna clone, except for his extreme youth.  He was only sixteen when he heard the thousand armed King Bana had a daughter who had fallen in love with him.  He set off to win her, getting into all sorts of trouble from which he had to be rescued by Krishna and Pradayumna.  The volatile impetuous nature of extreme youth and extreme emotional susceptibility is what is sought to be conveyed here.  A very young Krishna type, hurtling along a river bank in a chariot, with a beautiful girl alongside him, would capture the card.”

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cb-skaa_large_1

Rohit’s Notes in The Sacred India Tarot book: 

“The Dwara reveals:  Aniruddha, grandson of Krishna and son of Pradhymna, is the archetypal dashing romantic hero.  He was a favourite of the royal palace at Dwaraka, and consequently he developed extreme confidence and panache.  Being abundantly talented and able, his high opinion of himself was not entirely unwarranted.  By the age of seventeeen, he was already one of the most desirable matrimonial catches of ancient India.  Usha the daughter of the neighbouring King Bana, seemed especially susceptible to his glamour, without even having seen him.

That was superfluous, as she had dreamt of him and got her friend to draw his accurate likeness! 

“The helpful friend inflamed Aniruddha with accounts of Usha’s fathomless love and certain languishing decline, if she did not soon wed him. 

“The young man sets off without even bothering to inform his family.  Usha and Aniruddha get married by the Gandharva ceremony – a marriage without the consent of parents, and solemnised by an exchange of garlands – for they are in a hurry to enjoy connubial bliss. 

desire..

Sacred India Tarot 4 of lotuses version 1 - Version 3

“When Bana comes to know his only daughter is hiding a young man in her room, he quite justifiably flares up.  The happy couple flee precipitously, but Bana, blessed with supernatural powers by Siva – a thousand arms being the least of them – overtakes them.  Aniruddha puts up a decent fight but is outclassed and taken prisoner.  Krishna and his father have to rescue him and reconcile Bana to the situation. 

“Bana has no real objections, once he cools down, but this heedless haste and dazzling disregard of the social proprieties makes his wrath excusable, as Krishna kindly points out to the young couple.” 

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Lord Krishna

Lord Krishna

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SITA The Chariot - detail

Sacred India Tarot Archive, The Chariot – detail

Jane’s Notes

The god Krishna, in the Vishnu lineage, enters the Sivaic Lotus Suit here, much as Vishnu and Siva interact among the snowy peaks and passes of Himalayan Garhwal – sources of the upper Ganges.  Krishna’s divine task is “to restore the Dharma” –  he descended with the forces of order through the epic chaos of civil war in the Mahabharatha.  Vishnu sustains Cosmic law.  Other offshoots of the Vishnu Archetype include Gautama Buddha and Yeshua son of Miriam.

Krishna was Aniruddha’s grandfather.  The elder generation are brought in as mediators:  the parents were too close to the emotional situation and “the done thing”, for clear sight.

Rohit’s interpretation of this card goes on to discriminate genuine new stages of emotional growth from muddled or scatter-brained romance … in other words, truth from delusion.  “Love or romance comes unasked into life.” Neither of the ardent young couple in the chariot are looking where they are going – they have eyes only for each other!  (See below)

Yet they are instruments of destiny, as they intuited before they even met.   The headlong force of destiny is captured in the river which flows down the valley from the mountains.  They awaken within the Lotus bud of the gods.

The marriage of Siva and Parvati in the Suit of Lotuses, eroticized the landscape on Earth among princes and fair maids.  A powerful mutual attraction generates much Karma and Drama, and rocks the boat – a task for the gods to sort out, indeed!

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The Sacred India Tarot - Page of Lotuses:  Aniruddha the son of Pradayumna

The Sacred India Tarot – Page of Lotuses: Aniruddha the son of Pradayumna – the completed card.

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What is the message here?  What Consciousness, or elixir, through the flow of events?

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Sketch of Stella Kramrisch - JA 2012

Sketch of Stella Kramrisch – JA 2012

Rudra Plunges into the Waters
by Prof. Stella Kramrisch, Princeton University Press 1981

A Commentary on texts from the Mahabharat,  Rig Veda  and Linga Purana. Here are some further extracts from Chapter Six of Stella Kramrisch’s scholarly and visionary work, The Presence of Siva.  (See in this series, Creation of Sacred India Tarot Archive – Ace of Lotuses and 6 of Lotuses).  Raudra Brahman,  or RUDRA the Wild Hunter,  was the original Vedic form of the god Siva and his fiery derivatives.  “He Emerges from the Poem of Ancient Power”.  A profound and paradoxical cosmic philosophy is reflected in Kramrisch’s cyclical style.

Rudra is primaeval.  The Presence standing behind the Myths of Siva, is woven through the stories of Siva and Parvati’s courtship in Sacred India Tarot’s Suit of Lotuses.

Tao and Time - Child Rudra-Siva

On Tao and Time – Child Rudra-Siva

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“TIME HAD been the antagonist of Rudra, who was at the very beginning the hunter and avenger.   But for this, the arrow of the hunter would have struck its target as soon as Rudra had noticed the Father’s behaviour.   The union of Father and daughter would have been prevented, and no seed would have been shed.

“In another sense, time cooperated with Agni-Rudra,  who had prepared the seed – its purpose being to be shed –  whereas time antagonized Rudra.   Time interposed itself between the intention of the hunter and his target, and made the arrow hit the target at the most vulnerable moment,  so that some of the seed was spilled and fell down to the earth.   Rudra, guardian of the Uncreate,  partakes of its timelessness,  but insofar as he played his part,  time itself meted out his actions.   Time carried his arrow at its own speed.   The guardians of the timeless Uncreate were overtaken by the delaying action of time.

“The transition from the Uncreate into creation, from timelessness into time,  is a danger zone.   The wound that Rudra inflicted causes havoc among the gods – from aeon to aeon.   But when Brahma was about to consume in a holocaust the cosmos he had created, the moment had come for Rudra to confront time and to infuse it with his being.

“Although time does not appear as a persona in the myth of the creation of death, its presence lurks in the urgency of the fire of total extinction born of Brahma’s wrath.

pebbles, somerset beach

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“STHANU the motionless pillar, moved – although quiescent – by pity for the creatures of Brahma threatened by total extinction,  begs him to grant them renewed life and the activity arising out of and alternating with death and quiescence.   For them, time will not end with death:  they will return after a period of quiescence in a new birth.   Time will carry them through repeated births and deaths to the end of the aeon.   Rudra’s time is a form of the Great God’s compassion for all creatures.

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[STHANU is the motionless pillar of all being.  Sthanu out of the quiescence of his stance, prevailed on Brahma the Creator of time and space.   Death and rebirth thenceforth came to be interwoven in the pattern of time, due to Sthanu’s compassion for creatures.]   

STHANU gives death its place in the renewal of life, a transpersonal life carrying the here and now in indefinite repetition to quiescence and a new beginning,  until the Great God absorbs in his dance of annihilation the uncounted rhythms he has released.  Charged by Brahma to create living beings, Rudra created immortals of deathless vitality before he turned into a motionless pillar,  self-contained in stillness.

Vastospati as Jyotish Guru;  Swan of Brahma

Vastospati as Jyotish Guru; Swan of Brahma

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“According to another tradition however, the Great Yogi carried out Brahma’s command to create living beings by plunging into the water and then by castrating himself when asked to produce creatures.   Saying at first that he was unable to produce creatures, Rudra plunged into the water.   He practiced tapas, austere in creative fervour,  over a long time.   Rudra, deeply immersed in the water,  was absorbed in the task to which he had responded according to his yogic nature,  believing that one without fervent austerities is not able to create creatures.   Full of expectation, Creator Brahma waited all that time.   Nothing happened, and Brahma turned to another being whose name was Daksa.   Brahma made Daksa the creator of all living beings.   Seeing Rudra immersed in the waters, Daksa his substitute created living creatures.   As soon as they were born, they ran toward him.   They were hungry and wanted to devour him.   Daksa turned to Brahma to protect him and to assign food for them.   Brahma gave the living creatures herbs and plants, and gave the weaker creatures as food for the stronger.   Brahma, the Puranic version of Prajapati the Father,  in creating Daksa, recreated himself.

“At last Rudra rose from the waters and saw the living creation.   At the sight he became angry, tore out his phallus and caused it to fall into the ground,  since no purpose would be served by it.   By his ardent exertion he had diffused his splendour into the waters, created the plants and healing herbs for all creatures.   The plants would multiply like those whose food they were to be.  Without them, the living beings would have died.   Cheerless and in rage, Rudra went to the foot of Mount Mujavat to practice asceticism.

“Rudra the Wild Hunter is Agni, Fire.   He plunged into the waters where life was generated by his heat, by the fervour of his asceticism.   The waters are Agni’s resting place, his secret refuge when he – like Rudra – is charged at the sacrifice with an onerous task to perform.   His flight from the sacrifice into the flowing waters is a withdrawal from action, a merging of himself in himself.

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Rudra Immerses

Rudra Immerses

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“Agni hides in the waters, but at other times he is seen,  a shaft of light from on high speeding to the shiny plane and resting there,  the pillar of heaven glowing like the sun.   It is the leg of the sun.   With its one foot it steps out of the beyond.  Thus its name is Aja Ekapad, the uncreate One-Foot.   The light from on high plunges into the waters – as Rudra did – and shines forth,  vibrating from the body of Rudra in solar and lunar rays.   Agni and the uncreate One-Foot merge the images of their light with that of Rudra.   Rudra, who is the very self of yoga,  is often described in terms of effulgent light.   Light is the progenitive power.   Bathed by the water, Rudra the young ascetic kindles the water with his creative fervour (tapas)  and life stirs.  Plants grow from the contact.   The plants will be the food of living creatures moving about on earth.

“When Rudra entered the waters, he was like that great wondrous presence that strode in creative fervour on the crest of the sea.   That mighty presence was a consecrated celibate, as Rudra is, young and ardent.   Absorbed in creative fervour, he stood in the sea,  in the ocean.   He shone on the earth.   He glowed with utmost inner exertion, the heat of creation.

Primrose Path - 1987

Primrose Path – 1987

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“These are likenesses of Rudra.   They are identical with him.   Agni and the uncreate One-Foot are cosmic figures.   The world of man however, lends the human figure to the consecrated celibate, a student who fervently exerts himself in mastering,  transmuting and transcending the psycho-physical body.  Rudra had sprung from the wrath of the Creator,  from the fury of his frustration.   … Though he was Brahma’s mind-born ascetic son, he accepted the paternal mandate and created life,  though not through procreation.   He plunged into the water, where the plants derived their nourishment from his presence.   They pass it on to man.   Rudra is “the food of the living beings everywhere.”

Stella Kramrisch,
“The Presence of Siva” – Princeton University Press 1981

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• The plant soul is pure, less individualised than those in the animal kingdom.

• Brahma is the Puranic form of Prajapati the Vedic Creator Father

• The immersion of Rudra’s fiery seed in the feminine waters harbingers the yogic intercourse/stillness of Siva and Parvati together as Ardhanarisvara,  lasting a thousand years.

• The daily Vedic chanting at Ramanasramam includes as it did in Ramana’s lifetime, the NANAKAM,  the Hymn to Bhagavan Rudra.   English translation is available in booklet form from Ramanasramam.

• Mythology has no rigid defining line.   Stories change a little with each generation of the telling, and through different angles of vision,  as water flows into itself.

J.A.


* See Ace of Lotuses:  for the mythology of the Father,  the Dawn,  and Rudra’s arrow  – He comes from the Poem of Ancient Power.

Sivalinga on Arunachala inner path

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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/