Ganapati Muni’s Science of Mantra – Part Two

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elephant story copy

My blog includes my “landmarks”, which I archive within the creative process.  As a  western sadhak searching to become more focused, and to plug in to the “dimension”, I am inspired again by Ganapati Muni’s Guru Mantra Bhashyam – it helps to ‘hold my feet on the Path.’

My elder Indian roots go very deep:  the light is in the well.

Adapting the Muni’s mantric analysis (translated from sanskrit by K Natesan) to my understanding, was a landmark about 14 years ago.  It is rather technical; here is (see previous post) the second of four parts – a few readers (including dancing yetis) may find this curious treasure a-musing to mull over.  But if you incline more to neti-neti … then enjoy the pictures!

I am no scholar; but I spent many a lifetime scribing the thoughts of scholars, which I love doing.  My heart caught fire and now dances around it. I found this second part difficult to understand, especially at the beginning, but worth persevering with, as it elucidates the living entities in Mantra, and the salutation to God.  The footnotes include a precise definition of Maya, and Sanskrit “keys” for meditation to nourish the soul.

For some of the Skanda background mythology, search “Puranas” on this blog.

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Ramana and the Muni.  A devotee enquired if it were a fact that they used to swim in Pandava tank.  Bhagavan replied, "Yes.  That also was only in those days" (i.e.the Virupaksha Cave period).  We used to try to excel each other in swimming.  That was great fun." (From Suri Nagamma's Letters from Ramanasramam no.59)

Ramana and the Muni. A devotee enquired if it were a fact that they used to swim in Pandava tank. Bhagavan replied, “Yes. That also was only in those days” (i.e.the Virupaksha Cave period). We used to try to excel each other in swimming. That was great fun.” (From Suri Nagamma’s Letters from Ramanasramam no.59)

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            HOW THE GODHEAD IS OF THE FORM OF BRAHMAN by Kavyakanta Ganapati Muni

The Mantra’s general meaning has been stated. (see Part One).  Now we enquire into its specific meanings.   If Skanda is a distinct Godhead, how can he be of the form of Brahman? for Brahman is That Supreme which transcends all Gods.

Ramana as Skanda Siva's son - Sacred India Tarot Knight of Staves

Ramana as Skanda Siva’s son – Sacred India Tarot Knight of Staves

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(Scroll down a little way for footnotes )

Well then, if we say Brahman is the all, his form as ascribed to Skanda is no contradiction, and the sense of it clarifies.   But this, in worship, is wrong. In worship we should reflect on the object as representing the superior – not confer inferior status onto a superior Subject. That is why Badarayana (7) saysBrahma drstir utkarsat”.  

If you worship Guha(*) in the form of Brahman, you will limit, in the all pervading Brahman, your vision of the pervaded Guha. The misrepresentation will be removed if the following meaning is given: vacadbhuve Om namah “Salutation to Brahman in the form of Guha.” However, it will then be the mantra of Brahman, not of Guha; and this goes against what we set out to establish.

FOOTNOTES -
7- Badarayana is the author of the Brahma Sutras. This Sutra 
1V.1.5 says that symbols are to be regarded as Brahman, and not 
vice versa. An inferior object has to be looked upon as 
symbolic of the superior.
*- "Guha means literally the cave of the divine, the secret place, 
Heart cavern. However the Guha mentioned here is in the sense of 
personal God, another name of Skanda"- K.Natesan

5 butterlamp - Version 2

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When doubt assails us on both sides, we should clarify the overall meaning as: “Salutation to Guha who in the form of Brahman is Brahmasvarupa”. (i.e. as an image of the immanent and formless Brahman).

Notions of inferior and superior belong to the realm of attributes. In Brahman without attributes or qualities, whence superior or inferior? The notion depends for its existence upon attributes, as also upon differences. If Brahman is the integral Wholeness, then relative to what is His superiority? If He is the all Self, to whom is he superior?   His superior state is experienced through His worldly manifestations, and His inferiority through the ignorant jiva’s limitation (8) .  

Just as Brahman becomes superior by upadhi (9) , so is he also inferior. In the present context, Guha is worshipped, and the worshipper is the jiva. If there is no upadhi, then both (worshipper and worshipped) are of the form of Brahman: therefore they are one. In this undifferentiated reflection, a doubt may arise in the worship as to whether we picture ourself in Guha or Guha in our Self?   It appears logical “to see Guha in our Self”.   The chapter on Worship in the Sutra Brahmadrstir utskarsat (**) relates to Saguna, the God with attributes. There is then no conflict.

FOOTNOTES -
8- Jiva - the soul or strand of ego that experiences incarnations
as "its own" memory base in vasanas (Karmic tendencies).

9- Upadhi, conditioning. "A superimposed thing or attribute that 
veils and gives a coloured view of the substance beneath it;
Or - a limiting adjunct, instrument, vehicle, body, a technical 
term used in Vedanta philosophy for any superimposition that gives 
a limited view of the Absolute and makes it appear as the 
relative.  Jiva's Upadhi is Avidya or ignorance.  Isvara's 
Upadhi is Maya or divine hypnosis."     
(Definition from Yoga Vedanta Dictionary/Swami Sivananda)

**- "Brahmadrstir - the view of Brahman. Utskarsat - on account 
of superiority, i.e. being exalted, all should be seen as the 
Supreme Self" - K.Natesan

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wei wu wei vi

It is established then, that with and through the Mantra, Guha (as a personal god) in the form of Brahman is worshipped. As Brahman is the universal Self, the Guha image in Brahman emerges.

Here another doubt arises.   It is said that a portion of Guha’s effulgent form which is of the Gods, and is gracious to devotees, may enter well deserving individual souls who have destroyed their erratic tendencies.

Is this an image of Brahman (the formless) with attributes? Or a perfected Person of divine origin?   What distinguishes the two?

The former is the Lord whose body is the entire universe, and who, to favour the devotee, took a divine body by his maya. (10) The latter is an exceptional being who individuated amongst the crores of jivas, and attained a divine body by the excellence of his virtues.

If we say ‘let the Lord himself be Skanda’, we will be faced with the postulate of several other Gods, with nothing to mark out Skanda from among their great and glorious galaxy.   And if we say ‘let him be an exceptional being amongst the jivas’, then the problem of inferiority will crop up. Let it then be said: the Lord alone is Skanda – not an exclusive being amongst the crores of jivas. Thus, we do not postulate several Gods. For the sake of the world’s work, Brahman takes forms by maya in the world, and thus conducts the universe. If mere perfected souls have the capacity to take many forms by maya, what can we say about the all powerful God?

FOOTNOTES -
10- MAYA, from ma, to measure, the skill of measuring the
immeasurable, therefore an impossible feat, the intrinsic 
power of the Lord, the marvel.  Later in Vedanta, this word 
came to mean"illusion".  From the same root comes the Mother 
or birthgiver - and also the French word la mer - the ocean.

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Click on image and again on ‘view full size’ in gallery

Amongst those forms of God taken by maya for the sake of the world’s work, Skanda’s form pertaining to the Gods is unique. We shall touch on such authoritative forms taken by God through maya.

The votaries of Vishnu claim that “Narayana alone is the form of the Lord pertaining to the Gods”: “the Supreme Shiva alone”, say the Saivites: “none but Ganapati”, proclaim the followers of Ganesh: “Savitr (the sun as creative godhead) is All”, say the worshippers of the sun. Men of Indra say “He alone”;  and “Jesus alone”, claim the Christians:  Allah is One, say the Mohammadans.  Then “he alone is Subrahmanya”, say followers of Skanda.

Furthermore, if one sees the usages in the Veda, like tam i mahe purustutam yahvam pratnabhir utibhih (11) it looks as if another name of Indra is yahva, the Judaeo-Christian Jehovah.  Perhaps ahla da (12) – Allah – is another name for the Person in the orb of the moon.

When such dispute arises among the votaries of various religions, what is the truth? On investigation, the Vedas give us no unanimous answer. Here, as we have hitherto said, we must reconcile distinctions in an overall harmony.

FOOTNOTES -
11- "We praise through new hymns, Him (JahveH) 
Who is hymned by all creatures."

12- Ahlada, delight. Moon is the source of delight.
young ramana

young ramana

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In this context, here is the Vedic Rik:

“Indram mitram varunam agnim ahur         “They call Him Indra, Mitra, Varuna, Agni atho divyah sa suparno garutman.  and he is the divinely beautiful plumed Garutman Ekam sadvipra bahudha vadant –    One Alone existent; sages speak of it differently. Yagnim yamam matarisvanam ahuh”          They call it Agni, Yama and Matarisvan.”  

                                                                                                          Rig Veda 1.164.46  

On enquiry into the meaning of this mantra, some say these are alternative Names for the One God. Others point out that as the forms taken through maya are diverse, different Names are conceived. The latter view is better. Then only will it harmonise with that of other sages. Here even, the view of the followers of Nirukta that there are just three Godheads, is preferable.(13)

FOOTNOTE - 
13- Nirukta, the work of Yaska on Vedic etymology.  The three 
Godheads are Agni, Vayu and Aditya

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Agni - the sacred fire

Agni – the sacred fire

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WHO IS AGNI, THE PRODUCER OF SKANDA?

It is established that Guha’s form, pertaining to the Gods, is specific, amongst the forms taken through maya by Brahman with attributes.

Now in the mantra, the father of Skanda, Agni, is mentioned as vacadbhuh. Who is this? We shall enquire. There are five energies in the world – solar, lunar, electricity, physical fire, and the sound. Sound is not a quality but an energized substance, with the action of movement and the attribute of resonance.

A quality by itself is without action or attribute. The sound caught in a recording instrument is understood as a substance.   When sound is transmitted through an instrument to a great distance, it appears first as energy and then manifests as sound. This illustrates that sound is a vibration, or energized substance. Many Vedic Riks support this view. We shall cite only two mantras as example:

wood grain & cosmic egg

wood grain & cosmic egg

“Ima abhiprano numo vipamagresu dhitayah
Agney socir na didyutah.”
 

“Here we put forth loudly the words,  
in front of illuminations 
luminous like the blaze of fire.”

(Rig Veda VIII.6.7.) (14)

Here dhitayah are said to be luminous like Agni’s flame. Dhitayah are the words.

FOOTNOTE - 
14- Alternative translation by Sri K.Natesan for this Mantra: 
"We bow to the syllables, effulgent as Agni, foremost among
those who protect themselves, and others."

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trinosofia 2 Lions

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“Tam tva marutvati paribhuvadvani sayavari
Naksumana saha dyubhih.”
          

Sound, the divine Omnipresence
is One in Name 
with the Divine splendours”

            (Rig Veda VII.31.8)

Here vani – the word – is said to have a Name (naksamana)through dyubhih, energies.

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Rudra Immerses

Rudra Immerses

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This vibration of pervasive sound is also named as Sabda Brahman; the form pertaining to the physicality of the supreme Siva. Its Vedic name is Rudra. Yaska gives the etymology as one who cries, Rudra.   This same sound vibration known as Rudra is mentioned as vacat in the Mantra. When the sense of speech is spiritualised it becomes the manifestation of Sabda Brahman. Thus there is no difference between this vocalisation and Sabda Brahman.

In this manner, Kumara the young one is born from Agni. Here Agni pertains to sound and not to physical matter. The Mantra does not say agnibhuve but precisely, vacadbhuve in order to clearly indicate the truth. Though the word Agni is used in connection with physical fire, it also denotes any form of subtle energy.

Therefore, in the Name, the ordinary meaning flashes. The word vacadbhuva … flashes forth specifically the meaning of energised sound or Agni.

 

ganapati gives mantra

ganapati gives mantra – into his devotee’s hairy ear, he whispered sabda brahman – the unforgettable sound which never ends

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THE MEANING OF SALUTATION Now we shall touch on the salutation itself, and what it signifies in the course of the japa.

There is a doubt here. Should we when repeating the Mantra imagine some divine form of Guha, to contemplate as our prayer?   or is the meaning of the salutation a simple notion that: “you are superior, I am inferior”?   Neither are proper. In both methods, we would with each repetition of the Mantra, resort to the idea that we are different, and imagine some form which is false and of little glory to the Godhead. The nature of our Self would be lost.

There is however, another, third meaning: the salutation is not to the gross body, but to the subtle body. The subtle body is the mind, its place the head. It bows.

trinosofia inner cave of light

trinosofia inner cave of light

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Bhagavan the Master has said:

“Kirtyate hrdayam pinde             The Heart is said to be in the microcosm
yathande bhanumandalam         as the orb of the Sun in the macrocosm.
Mavah sahasraragatam bimbam           Like Moon’s disk is mind
candramasam Yatha”                 in the thousand petalled Centre.

                                                                                           Ramana Gita Chapter V.verse 13

When the mind bows down to seek the form of Self placed in the Heart, or to plunge itself into the effulgence of its own form placed in the Heart, this is bowing down, salutation. In both cases, we should not forget to see Skanda as the Self.

The japa of the Mantra thus performed, will seek our own realised Truth. It will not be polluted by any diversity.

Brahmana

Brahmana

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Maharshi revealed the whole truth of these two forms of worship in a foot of this verse:  “Hrdi visa manasa svam
cinvata majjata va”           

“Enter into the Heart by the mind which seeks Self 
or which wants to take a plunge.”

                                                                                             Ramana Gita, Chapter II verse 2

trinosofia bird lamp

trinosofia bird lamp

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Thus is revealed the meaning of the Mantra:

Om Vacadbhuve Namah

 “I enter or plunge into Bhagavan the Master,
who is the descent of Skanda,
as the true form of my Self”.

 Thus ends the First Chapter.

Sacred India Tarot - Parvati begins spiritual practice

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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/  

Watching Myself and Krishnamurti – Part Three

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Sacred India Tarot - Babaji landscape

Sacred India Tarot – Babaji landscape

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As many readers are aware by now, we in the UK have difficulty in accessing and posting in WordPress, for the last fortnight.  I only managed my last 3 posts with flexible patience and workaround – it keeps getting stuck in the website/internet-provider (any) interface. The connection gets dropped.  Engineers are working on the line, so to speak.   So if you have difficulty opening a wp blog, that is why. I wonder if this post will get through.  It slipped unexpectedly into my new Krishnamurti series, this morning in my journal:  the nature of the oracle, while butterflying around in K’s energy field.

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My dear Companion of the light!  All I write to you about these days, is housework.

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News:  I de-congested the tool cupboard yesterday, and sewed a long Velcro strip into the Cube which joins the Upper and South faces.   That was very hard work.  All it needs now are small fasteners for W/N and N/E edges.   I took “Little Jeep” (two wheels) for his free service at the bike shop.   It was hot and sticky, and rained in the night.   WordPress was very stuck yesterday.  I altered K’s ear (brought it a little closer) in the Dissolving the Star drawing, but couldn’t upload it.

You who are my Companion of the Light.   Where are we today?  What is the awareness?

Perhaps to sit quiet, but pictures roll out the ball to awake with.  Where does the ball come to rest?  This morning, let’s do a SITA oracle, as there is an enthusiasm in facebook for it – a new Indian friend.  Out comes the shrine-box with Babaji and the Himalayas – the water bringer from the skies.

Sacred India Tarot

Sacred India Tarot

Beloved Companion, what is our moment now?

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Just as I began cutting the deck with my left hand, I recalled that Manasi (in India) posted on f-book the Wedding of Siva and Parvati card, with Brahma in the shrine officiating;  and she said all the cards are doors opening into her inner temple – or something like that.

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Three cards –  who appears at centre?  Brahma the Emperor, card 4 – the same as in Siva and Parvati’s wedding, the 9 of lotuses.

In the BOTA deck, the Emperor portal leads us – via the Cube of Space’s northeast corner edge – into the interior diagonals which pass through centre, and open the inner enquiry of Life.   My handiwork on the Cube last night, brings this up for me.   It is a way in.   He echoes Babaji’s stance, but one leg descends to touch the ground-water, near the swans … like Buddha’s hand during the Enlightenment.

Sacred India Tarot 4 - Brahma

Sacred India Tarot 4 – Brahma

Brahma is seated on Vishnu’s naval-chakra dream:  Vishnu is the lotus root.

Brahma’s face looks like Krishnamurti’s, who was ‘in the Vishnu lineage’.   Brahma is a fountain – the fountain splashes into the dark blue sky behind his shoulders.   That is the feeling when my morning snake gently rises;  and where K burned when his different dimensions rubbed sparks together.

I read a post about Quetzalcoatl yesterday, and commented.   It is fascinating and inspirational.

The medium in front of Babaji is earth-ground, because he is of the skies.   The medium in front of the Emperor is a cool lake, because he is fiery. The ground in front of Babaji is cross sectioned through the soil, and is a rising wave.

The green-yellow landscape around and behind him, is fluid like the sea and sands, with wave crests.  It is very beautiful to be in the Indus civilization – the mystery of Saraswathi.   She – the SITA Priestess – is Brahma’s wife.   Swans float creamily around them both when the mind is lucid and quiet – the waters.  The ground.   The elements.

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Saraswathi with swans

Saraswathi with swans

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A lotus grows before Babaji:  on that same lotus, Brahma sits:  the lotus grows on a stalk from Vishnu’s navel:  Vishnu’s bed is the cosmic Serpent.  And just in front of the dreaming Vishnu-serpent-sleep, the ground where it meets the water, ripples and turns green – as the Babaji landscape.

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Sacred India Tarot 2, Saraswathi the High Priestess

Sacred India Tarot 2, Saraswathi the High Priestess

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The Emperor – Brahma Creator – bestows educated abundance.   His consort Saraswathi is a Vedic woman, before caste and social systems oppressed her.  She is at ease, coming through her golden sand-water environment like a supple snake with the ground it undulates along. It was in the days before the river dried up.

The backs of the SITA deck have this old-gold sadhu colour, with the Sri Chakra on them. Now turn over the card to the left – it is The World Shakti.  Her womb is the Sri Chakra, and she dances/is penetrated by a Sivalinga with a rising red snake from triple coil.   She fountains like the Emperor, and in her four palms are yoni-seeds.  Around her is a circle of six lotuses, the sixth one – she is with child –  being the Sri Chakra Yantra bindu:  the core of the Universe.

Sacred India Tarot - Babaji, Shakti, Brahma

Sacred India Tarot – Babaji, Shakti, Brahma

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The Elder Indian Mysteries are very beautiful.  We praise them, alive and singing, within the materialistic effluent of nowadays.   That jingly crust will pass;  the youth will reclaim its heritage and wonder. And now turn over the card to the right. How strange!   It is Rati Queen of Lotuses.   Originally, World Shakti was painted as the Queen of Lotuses:  Rohit moved her to Major Arcana 21, and asked me to paint a new card for the Queen – here she is.

Sacred India Tarot Shakti, Emperor, Rati

Sacred India Tarot Shakti, Emperor, Rati

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This is breathtaking.   The ‘apparent random’ of a triple cut, done three times across a deck of 82, unveils their artistic relationship – a unity.

Brahma the Creator, with Kundalini-Shakti to each side – the continuity – how does it feel?  Transcending my usual housekeeping and worldly worries, particles join together by that miraculous agency which ‘knows their story’. This demonstrates Reality – the contact which silences the talk.

Even at Brahma’s feet/foot touching the pool, the mirrored swans glide to meet each other as a heart shape forms. World Shakti gestates the Kundalini.  Queen Rati holds the snake easily, like a gown she is slipping off;  she might at any moment transform the snake to a hard bright arrow for her casually held bow.  She is pure shape shifter.

It is wonderful to behold the Mystery.   For me it is just another picture of K’s childlike amazement at the way things are, and his longing to ‘educate’ and ease peoples’ minds.

Behind the Mystery broods Babaji in his Himalayan earth-river.   Babaji is the “deity” of the deck – conduit of the whole pantheon, for the Sacred India Tarot.   In the background, ancient rivers descend through Himalayan foothill strata:  he is their recollected Consciousness.

The recollected Consciousness is a shape shifting clarity … now.   It has no thing, and everything.  It is transparent.   All the books wrote of it, and it has no book, the pages dissolve to a fountain afresh.   Krishnamurti and Ramana talked of it, and taught Self enquiry.   We must do our own, for the doors to open.

The SITA deck tells stories in a magnificent way, as in Rohit’s book with the deck.  A peep into the pile under each of the three cards delivers further vivid symbolism and narrative.   While awakening itself is unfurnished – the Here and Now, the wave of the sea in my face –  my subconscious child loves pictures.  They are portals to the interior Temple.   With that awe and beauty, my nature falls silent.   The Cube falls open into the Great Rose – and who ever heard a Rose say anything?

O Rose Cross, thou art a Kiss – the kiss of Life. When I cradled and watched my newborn daughter’s face, there was silence and space and love.  This is the connection.  The eternal bond with and as the Self, makes parents of us all.

prince george alexander louis

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The heart of Krishnamurti’s teaching is a warm silence, companioning a friend.   Again and again he repeated – do you stop to look at the flower, or hear the bird, without naming it?

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Following J.Krishnamurti

Following J.Krishnamurti

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Here is the FACEBOOK link to the Sacred India Tarot page ….  https://www.facebook.com/SacredIndiaTarot?fref=ts

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. 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/

Watching Myself and Krishnamurti – Part Two

These 3 sketches are of K not long before he passed away

This sketch  – see also the end of this post – is of K not long before he passed away

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Continuing this month’s reflections with K – a fertile ground.

 1 Krishnamurti profile

From Journal – 9 July 2013

I try not to deny things, and often labour the point, as I write.   I have no cotton wool for my precious preserve and self image.   In life I struggle along, at basic psychology level, trying to turn to face the music, face the current – the soul’s welcoming.  

Now picture the current;  the onrush of water in a canal after the heavy lock gate loosens – that surge comes towards me, I look at it directly, stand still, unrestricted;  and my breath slows down and opens to the abstract core of the event – its nuance and feeling.

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Pithy tree of Life

Pithy tree of Life

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 My manner is not firm enough.  My manner is conciliatory and seeks to understand, until certain buttons are pushed – then fury.   Behind the incipient fury, I cannot be firm.  There is fear and vocal paralysis.  There is scar tissue – pre-judging – and the damage that does.  The human spooks in my nature – spanners in the spokes – are powerful, and only change with painful slowness.  They go back further than my conscious reach.   They are subconscious.

WHAT IS THE COLOUR OF THIS SITUATION? THIS FEELING?  The trigger?  Good question!   Practice what I preach.   Feels dark, somewhere between indigo and brown.

Keeping still with my trigger, is trans-formative: awareness without chat-camouflage.   The Light – pale primrose white – enters my dark cave with the Thirty Verses, Quintessence of Instruction.  (See earlier post, The Mythology behind the Thirty Verses.)  Read them carefully.

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The Ferret and the Himalayas

I finished reading Lives in the Shadow.  I guess any luminary or work with the Light carries a quota of Shadow in life.  Ramana had his devotees and the cauliflower on his arm.   Accept the shadow.  I know what mine is.

Krishnamurti’s shadow was his fear of telling the truth – a furtive boyhood thing, as he was punished at school.   It grew into paranoia, and the meticulous Rajagopal became a spook.   The paranoia grows like a tumour on failure to be truthful to a close friend.   Paranoia believes in lies, especially in one’s own.   Messengers of light carry big shadows in the bag.

Here is a story, as I see it at present:  In the Californian Ohai valley, Rosalind, Rajagopal and Krishna, with young Radha, were a brave and lovely ship a-sail. It took its chances.   The ship’s course was inevitable, given the souls they were, their sensitivities and their place and period.  The shadow in the combination escalated due to Krishna’s human frailty and messianic mission“I”, which won’t declare itself.  He consigned his personal i to the unconscious, he said it has no existence or memory.   So it grew in there, unregarded and developing its data base, until the decades of enmity happened – and the vast legal costs – the waste.  Different astral bodies inhabited Mr K, like the continents he roosted in.

In 1910 when K was a thin boy in Adhyar, the Theosophist Charles Leadbeater caught sight of him on the beach, perceived a pure ‘egolessness’ in his aura, and groomed the boy to be a Vehicle for the Messiah, Maitreya.   In 1928 – his Saturn return – K rejected this role and declared “Truth is a pathless land.  I want no followers.  Be the disciple of your understanding.”

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GALLERY – I have been a little hesitant in including this 1987 sequence.  It seems rather disrespectful, but it tells the truth.  I was hopping mad with K in those days, and with the way I felt his Speaker had hijacked my parent and made me mute.

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In 1986, when K died, his fear and fantasy around the Rajagopals was unresolved. During  the same period and after – due to paternal preachings against the “I” in my childhood – I felt K was my enemy.  K remained my “enemy” until I learned about him through reading Mary Lutyens’ books, which Bruce Macrae Smith gave me.   What an extraordinary tale!  With a joyous appreciation of him, and of my father’s path and its perils, I forgave.  I discovered myself.  

Lives in the Shadow published five years later, was a further exposure.   It was rich, to love K’s truth and be simultaneously heartbroken with his lies.   He lost his way with his loved ones, but he went on Talking.   The vehicle went on Talking round the world – nothing stops that – and being well tuned.   He died feeling isolated.  He said in a rather crackpot way that a great force or Master lived in him during his life time, and would not return to humanity for hundreds of years;  because no one had understood or was able to practice his teaching in life.   He suggested it had all been a wasted effort.  This was an arrogant pathos in the old man.  He forgot the many he loved and who loved him, behind the Shadow, and who practice his teaching.   He is human.

To this day I both love and am irritated by him.   It is a mixed and vivid emotion with the pampered Speaker whose influence bombarded my teenage years – (“I ?  What can you mean?”).   It is full of landscape, light and acceptance.  At the 1974 Brockwood gathering (a series of 3 posts), I observed that I and other souls fall passionately and painfully in love with each other around K – the disturbance in his energy-field.  I knew the laceration of the nerves.   When I – much later – read about his process in the spine and head, everything fitted into place. 

The vehicle for World Teacher does not dissolve when he cuts the ribbon of the Order of the Star.  It becomes “en-ghosted” and powerful – kundalini discharges through his stem like a marginalised fairy godmother.   There were two or more agendas in full flower, from the deep Karmic past.   K’s template was Conflict.   He spoke always of Conflict and of Fear:  and of the tide whose seamless movement in and out, has in it “the essence of conflict, which is peace“.  I think he felt that speaking of conflict and fear “together” with his listeners, might dissolve the tendency in himself.   I used to believe – similarly –  that the transmission through my journal/writing, keeps me out of trouble.

Well, spirituality is not a safe straitjacket!   The contact highlights life – sharper and sometimes more distressful than ever.  You take it as it comes, or you pile on yet more light, to hide it.   I know how easily I hide behind lies and evasions.

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Worshing a deity and making him cross

Worshiping a deity and making him cross

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K’s life and failures are an extraordinary and illumining lesson for me.   He is among my most precious Stones in philosophy – the love of wisdom.   Radha’s book – he was her other daddy – gives his full flavour, tooth and nail – like a Californian orange in the sunshine:  and how like him in many ways my daddy was, when I was growing up.   I chuckle at the familiar mannerisms.  Peter began to follow K’s teaching in about 1961, when K first spoke in London.

K loved children.  He was a child himself.

As K grew old, and more shielded by devoted friends and adherents, the fruit turns a little sour – there is a sour vacancy in his eyes, his presence and his vanity.   So I am making marmalade!

My parents have a shadow which is very difficult for them both to reach through, and talk of.   They are close friends, but the tension is there.   I have many things which are desperately hard to say.  They wriggle away under a rock when I try to find them.

So K’s life with the Shadow illustrates something we all have, especially when we are trying to grow up and become more human, more open, more truthful.   The personal-i is a wounded ferret.  She thrives on gaps in consciousness:  she slips out of sight – she thrives on my spiritual spells to deny her existence.   She is always here, popping up for a good wail, or – her favourite hobby – sewing Shadow coats for unsuspecting folk who try hard.

So this moment itself I wait by her hole – the ferret’s hole – to catch her by the nose and tail.   Not punitively:  but to see her coming into the light.   She is “I” – the toothy predator, like a furry snake.   How she shines, silvery on the ground at dawn.   At the ferret’s hole, I try to remain attentive – to catch her when she manufactures Shadow and does her Talk-stuff and practices fear.   I.   I.

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Finding a furry snake

Finding a furry snake … between a waterfall and piano keys.

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Self enquiry awakes response-ability at Home.   The quest ultimately dissolves personal i into a wide-angle-lens cosmic I:  the un-altered being.   Ramana’s teaching of Self enquiry reveals my vasanas.   It is their nature to come up:  and Self enquiry observes them, like the Buddha does, dispassionately.   None of the great Teaching Rivers diverge from the Source.

In K’s Shadow, he grew to resent so much his early teachers and protectors, that he couldn’t see this.

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7 K2 photo by fosco maraini

K2, photo by fosco maraini

Now, as I get my Himalayan glimpse – the Source of the Rivers – my ferret gets the chance to scurry out of sight again.   The trick is to hold them both in the view – ferret and Himalayas.   The i and the I … “two dudes agree not to fight over the steering wheel” – thank you, Jeff!

Meditation watches the ferret – at any time of the day or night.   Watch the road.

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And watch the spiritual camouflage!  Be cosmic-carrot mindful:  the interior stars in the stem, as gravitational centre ground.   The carrot is not in the sky, but in the Earth: and orange like California oranges and the Sun.

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Consulting the ‘secret dakini orace’ uncovers my thought – a present moment – in picture form.  This one shows an armouring, a goal and a letting go.   The cosmic carrot has the chakras on it:  kundalini’s wheels.   Taking up Arms is the god Krishna, about to rescue the dharma.

dakini oracle "cosmic carrot"

dakini oracle “cosmic carrot”

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And “Cutting Through” is a way also of going through, with relative ease.  Or being passed through …

Canal Lock Gate

It is hard to see through
our wounds tending to meet each other.

Love waits
for waters each side to level,
the deep gate to open
for the passing through
deliciously.

from “Homer Rows” 2004

Have faith in and value the effort which living takes, along the canal – don’t worry about all the creative projects I am not doing.   Remember – I have a limited idea of cosmic time, depth and management.  I am the small dent in the rim of the jug, through which it pours.

I achieved two more drawings of Ramana yesterday (i.e. 8 July) – with great difficulty – and the post about the Thirty Verses delighted a few readers.  Alan of course was thrilled. The thirty verses themselves are SO BEAUTIFUL.   I feel more “certain” or sure of my home ground, when working with the Ramana elder window and its teaching.   This is not surprising, as the only position of authority I ever held, was Hon.Sec.Treasurer of Ramana Foundation in the 1990s, and editor of Self Enquiry.   With this role, I was ignorant and bossy.

The difficulty with spiritual teaching, is carburettor management.   Little i gets a rest when big I flows:  but afterwards, the engine is flooded.   This leads to depression or inflation.

Centre Sefiroth in tree of life.  Tifareth is the conscious Self or observer.  The path connecting Yesod (personal self) to Hod (mind) is coloured orange, and has on it the tarot key The Sun.

Centre Sefiroth in tree of life, with tarot keys on the paths. Tifareth(Beauty) is the conscious Self or observer. The path connecting Yesod (personal self, Foundation) to Hod (mind, splendour) is coloured orange, and has on it the tarot key The Sun.

Tifareth in the heart of the Tree – the Sun growing oranges – receives and feels EVERYTHING.

Facing Fear … a big fish is swimming up, which I have refused to deal with.   It is the attitude of we humans to our various Nemeses. Consider this, as if I wanted to attack Iraq, faced my fear, and then took wise counsel not to.   Consider this, like all the meddling in the middle east – what we brits and eus and uses raised against us, and among itself internecinely, because we could not see the picture, we just saw the oil and the wealth rising and started to engineer barricades and frontiers among the old desert tribes.

Doesn’t this happen in any relationship ?

Watch the attitude.   And make peace here to begin with, by being conscious.  Various wild cards drift among my inner cities.  Recognise them.   Then there is dignity.

BOTA key 20

There is an interior condition of co-existence which does not snag and snarl.  Remember in my body which is alchemy, the sunlight, the Hermit’s black dragon, the chyle, the red and white soldiers, the arterial roads and the cities.   It is all the play and tension of life, the truly broad band, the ferment perpetually, through my body’s standwave, as the same ferment in all places. (Perpetual Intelligence = Key 20, red cross).  Look at my box-side placards of Fear.  I fantasize my End, my closed-upness.   What a fake thought, a fantasy, that is!   Stand up tall, and leave the coffin.

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20 judgement - Version 2

Krishnamurti all his life, faced and discussed Fear.   He acted from fear when he and Rajagopal fell out – it was deeply rooted, and deeply painful for them both.  But his way of observing Fear, is my Lighthouse.  Fear blinkers me in friendships, but I try to remember K’s view, and to face the music.   The observer is the observed.

There was a wonderful beauty in K’s early life and mature manhood, and it isn’t altered by the more crooked landscape it became.  When I saw him in ’74, he was already bent a little to one side, as if by the denial of his shadow in California, and the strange way that he was cruel to it.  The shadow built up substance each side of the pond, as KWINC and Krishnamurti Foundation consolidated their separate boxes of enlightened non-organization, argument and admin.

We humans face our species-poison, every which way.   And yet the weather today is clear and beautiful.

The insight when it opens, is the river, the river, the river, the teeming magnificence of the Light and Shadow and all the baggage:  and ways to navigate, in the stern-spine:  the tiller of the contemplation, the rock and the sway, the flood and flotsam, the Darkness shot with stars.

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boat yoga spine crab

boat yoga spine crab

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Then my body relaxes, and there comes a natural Yogic slow breath, like the sea.

Ramana Maharshi never said to force things.   Of course we as human life carry almost more poison than we can bear.   Yet still we are life, and we remain consciously alive, if we just manage not to set up riot shields against things we fear, and create enemies.  Krishnamurti taught me that I am what I consider to be “the world”.   It begins here, not out there.  Facing the fear is Liberation – the cup turning over:  raising the glass.   This has a knock-on effect through my interior cities – the organs of life.

The fears are legion – including armies of harpies, judgements, lacerations and so on.   In the middle ages, penitents had no alternative but to lash their own backs.   Have I not seen time and time again, that what I fervently know is right, I most often fail in?  And don’t we see teachers with their private difficulties?  Isn’t it the fate of idealists, and of priests and politicians?

Evolution is slow.  It isn’t easy to trust it.  The one all encompassing lifetime on the job, is a particle in a string of raw pearls.

My vital energy is often in a depleted state, either that or “normal”.   It doesn’t go manic, these days.   Sometimes it stresses out, adrenally, or when trying to troubleshoot.   The energy bank is not a graph which determines my health.  I see now, that when I have no energy, it means my body and psyche need to rest, and have no choice.   A real soldier isn’t rushing around with shield and spear.   A real soldier stands at ease, and guards.   A soldier observes the field, like a lion after his nap.

To sum up:  refrain from making enemies.  The great beauty of K’s liberation when he was young, would be and is a life long intense struggle:  the upkeep with his body.  That is the way it interacts with earth-beings.   So he had to speak and speak and travel and create schools to educate young children – the urgency in his eyes and fluttering hands.   He needed to work it out, again and again and again, through the inertia.

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K with pupils at Rishi Valley school

K with pupils at Rishi Valley school

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Well this is all interesting and unexpected, and reassures me because it rose without my volition but of its own accord with my willingness to face a certain machine and not run away again.  When it rises of its own accord, it is the Magid, with a higher, deeper view of the country.

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13 dakini 44, 34, 54

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Dakini oracle 34 THE LINEAGE TREE, with Unicorn to the right and Heart Drop to the left,  doesn’t show any wild cards rushing around.    Heart Drop illustrates the ancient, flowing, white-sand hinterland to the stupa and the ruby.   The Lineage Tree is the buddha’s rainbow body – the Self.  The Unicorn in the tree is sanctuary.

Often when we consult the Magidim or the Oracle, we don’t see the Truth, but what we wish to see and hear.   … like the Theosophists with K.  On the other hand, the still, small voice in the well which is peace, tends to reveal a True condition below any surface melodrama.

Reading about Krishnamurti –  the Mary Lutyens books now – is illumining.  It was as much my spiritual path as my father’s.   It formed my thought.   It presented the Vedas and Ramana and Buddha in a language of here-and-now intense enquiry … outside the puja parlour.   K’s meditation was to walk in the country or by the sea;  to explore the deep sculpture of his sacrament – the thought – sacred beyond any definition.  He was set up by the Theosophists for thousands, millions, to flock to hear and read him:  and so he cast off the knitting and became the needles.

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14 K on the sands

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The dakinis of Buddha in tree, unicorn in tree and heart-ruby in front of a Tibetan stupa, are the Battery of the soul, lit up.

This post is inspired by K, and also by things which other bloggers write, along similar lines.  The lighting up of the battery (see comments on The Lighthouse Keeper part One), diminishes the small-i of its own accord.   Give attention to the current rather than to the so called problem and its literature.  All problems lead to the Current, which is why teachers and sages ask for questions, to get them going.  It is why K travelled around the world to give talks, rather than stay quietly in one place.  Great souls include the currants in their cake!

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K at a last talk in Saanen

K at a last talk in Saanen

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Attention, as K might say, is to the river of life, among whose waters the small troubled “i” floats. 

Many years ago, my father caught sight of K with a little old lady in a sari.   She was distressed.  He – himself a little old man – took her to a window seat, sat her down with him, with his arm around her, and ignored everyone else.  He encircled and heard her with his merry brown eyes, his gentle laughter and his total, eager attention.   This says it all.

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16 krishnamurti at gstaad

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For other posts on K, see under Categories in the sidebar – ‘Krishnamurti and Coastal Path’.

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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. 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/

The Sacred India Tarot Archive: Creation of Siva Ace of Lotuses (Cups)

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Blue Lotus Bud www.ebsquart.com

Blue Lotus Bud www.ebsquart.com

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The SITA Minor Arcana, by Rohit Arya and Jane Adams

In 2003, the Suit of Pentacles/Disks – the life of the Buddha – was followed by the Suit of Wands/Staves – the Ramayana – in the creation of the deck.  But the present re-creation  with the Archive, leads its own way.  Towards the end of the Buddha posts, came some unmistakable Sivaic signals – his Lotus should follow suit !

My artistic response to the Lotus of eastern sunrise … is where it becomes the Rose  – the glow of sunset in the west.

Sivalinga

Sivalinga

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(2004) Rohit Arya’s Notes on the Suit of Cups/Lotuses

“This is the water suit.  Cups and the valentine hearts may not do for this Suit, as they have no resonance in Indian culture.  The lotus flower is the best symbol of the spiritual water element in India, so perhaps we should use that as our symbol.

“The basic story is the love between Siva and Parvati, as outlined in the comic-book (see later visual references.) I only have a reservation, that Siva not be represented as a jungle dwelling proto-Tarzan, but as a great Himalayan king, which was the norm in the great temples of India.  We need to show he is Siva, which basically means the elements of identification; the half moon in the hair, the trident, the snakes wandering over the body, remain constant, but otherwise the Elephanta sculptures, which depict a gorgeous and spectacular King should be kept in mind.

“Most of all, this means the jewels and crown should always be constant, even when he is meditating. The crown is actually a visual symbol for the extended chakras above the head, which begin about the hairline, and then proceed quite a way upward.

siva trimurti

Sadasiva siva trimurti at Elephanta

“I recently had a vision of Siva.  He was over seven feet tall, muscled like a puma or mountain lion, and tawny haired.  The face blazed with glory.  Surprisingly there were no snakes.

“The comic-book visuals will provide the basic story, but they should be drawn like the sculpture visuals.  The background should always be predominantly Himalayan with a lot of animals wandering in and out of the cards, as Siva is the Lord of Animals.  Just go wild here, with no restrictions, as animals have been compensated for being dumb brutes, with always being able to see Siva;  a vision that comes only with great effort to speaking humans.

Siva meditates - comicbook visual reference

Siva meditates – comicbook visual reference

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Rohit’s Notes – Ace of Lotuses – Siva in Meditation

“He could be shown in the classic lotus pose of Yoga, atop a great white or blue lotus (no other colours.)  He has withdrawn into meditation because of the death of his first wife Sati, and he is seeking to heal from the trauma which is after all the core meaning of the card – healing.

Rose sivalinga

Rose sivalinga

“I thought that we could show him surrounded by great Yogis from many timelines, to emphasize his stature as the first Yogi and first Guru.  The Yogis I had in mind, were Aurobindo, Swami Vivekananda, Babaji, Paramahamsa Yogananda, Ramana Maharshi, and Sai Baba of Shirdi.  We will send pictures of all these Yogis to you – they could be grouped in the ground around him, in a Himalayan setting.  

“The face can be modelled over the Elephanta sculpture with great profit:  the massive withdrawn inner calm of the central Sadashiva.  The Lakulisha figure may provide some ideas too.

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quantocks

Jane’s Notes

I was for a long time inspired by the works of Professor Stella Kramrisch on the Siva prototype.  The original Vedic form of the god Siva and his fiery derivatives, was Rudra the Roarer or Wild Hunter.  Rudra is the wildness behind all forms or rupa of Siva.

In her commentary to the Hymns of Rig Veda 10.61 and 1.71, Stella Kramrisch extemporised:  “In the lucid frenzy of the images of the Hymn, He arises and abides.  It is when time is about to begin.  In the dawn of the world, when the black cow of cosmic night lies with the ruddy cows of morning, two figures appear, the Father and the virgin daughter, his own daughter.  They are the two actors in the primordial scene.  The Father makes love to the daughter.  Suddenly he pulls back, his seed falls down to Earth, the place of sacrifice.

“In their concern, the gods created a poem, a Word of power (brahman) and out of this they gave shape to Vastospati, the guardian of the dwelling, the guardian of sacred order. Like a raging bull did the Father foam, running this way and that way and away with scant understanding.

“Like one rejected, she sped south … into cosmic night.  In spite of his mishap, or on account of it, soon the patter was heard on earth, of the progeny of the Father.  

“Creation is an act of violence that infringes upon the Uncreate, the undifferentiated wholeness that is before the beginning of things.  And yet another act of violence is hinted at, and this act is kept secret in these wild and portentous Mantras.  He – Rudra – is implied, for it is He who is invoked in this hymn:  He the most powerful, who with the arrow in his hand, hit the target.  The Father was made to pull back from the creative act that was to be prevented or undone by Him, yet lead to the existence of life on Earth.  Without revealing their source, sparks of meaning flare up in tense brevity in the Raudra Brahman.

Rudra, wild Hunter

Rudra, wild Hunter

“A Hymn to Agni (RV 1.71 sheds light on His nature whose name the Raudra Brahman witholds.  This hymn celebrates Agni, who had prepared the seed for Father Heaven.  But when Agni noticed the lust of the Father for his daughter, this hunter crept along, then boldly shot his arrow at the Father just when he was quenching his desire in his daughter.  The Hunter had aimed at the creative act itself.  Father Heaven shed his seed.  It fell to earth.  Agni, the Fire, brought to life the Father’s progeny, the benevolent host of immaculate Fire-youths.

“Fire is a hunter.  The flame creeps along, lashes out, it hits the victim with its dart.  The arrow of Agni strikes the Father in his passionate embrace of the daughter.  But Agni’s heat had also ripened the seed of the Father.  Foaming in hot fury when he is struck by the fiery arrow, the Father spills his seed on the Earth, the site of sacrifice, where it will sprout in the splendour of the immaculate and benevolent Fire-youths, the host of the Angirases, Agni’s priests.

“The ambiguity of Agni is the ambiguity of fire itself, which both sustains and destroys life.  But inasmuch as the Father is the object of this ambiguity, Agni is the name of the hunter who is but a mask of Him whose name is withheld, and to whom the gods, the celestial intelligence, in compassionate insight, gave shape as Vastospati, the Guardian of the Dwelling (Vastu), of divine Law. They carved this shape out of the poem (brahman) while they created it.  

in wood

“By their wording of the sacred Mantra, His shape arose in its metre, and the vision took form in the rhythm of … this wild fierce hymn of the god whose name it hides, while he is seen as he arises in his unfathomable nature and paradoxical shape as guardian of sacred order, Lord of Vastu.  The mystery of Creation in this simultaneity of manifestations, begins with a fateful shot, the wound it inflicts on the Father, the loss of his seed, its fall to Earth, and the birth of the poem and of mankind to be.”

From The Presence of Siva by Stella Kramrisch, Princeton University 1981

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Stella Kramrisch - ja 2012

Stella Kramrisch – ja 2012

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Siva is a later generation of the Rudra aeon.  He holds within his Yoga, the primordial Fires of Earth.  In further cycles of the myth, Lord Siva plunges into the feminine Waters, and there remains for another aeon, inseminating all which would come forth as life – the vegetable, animal and human Kingdoms, the unbroken Consciousness.

In other versions of the mythos, Siva’s immersion was a thousand-year Ardhanariswara with his bride Parvati on Mount Kailas.  From their blissful union was destined the child Skanda or Sanatkumar, who alone could defeat the cosmic demon Taraka.  The gods at first  despaired, as the timeless couple, being Yogis, spilled no seed until tricked into doing so.

Rudra wild Hunter Immerses

Rudra wild Hunter Immerses

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Kramrisch again, on STHANU:

“Time will not prolong the lives of men;  it will not defer their death.  It will bring them back again into a new youth, and a life resonant with their past.  In time, their life will be ready for death – and rebirth.  STHANU is the motionless pillar of all being.  Sthanu out of the quiescence of his stance, prevailed on Brahma Creator.  Death and birth thenceforth came to be interwoven in the pattern of time, due to Sthanu’s compassion for creatures.  The paradox of the motionless ascetic withdrawn from the world, yet moved by pity for its creatures, is resolved by a form of time that carries quiescence in its structure.  This is STHANU … 

“…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.  … He 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 living beings everywhere’.  The Great God severed his linga in fury.  Rudra who is wrath and fire, prevailed over Rudra the Lord of Yoga.  The severed linga retained the ambivalence of his two natures.  It fell into the earth, then rose in space, went to the akasa, where it stood as the endless fire-pillar whose beginning and end neither Vishnu nor Brahma could reach. 

“To the command of Brahma to create mortals, Rudra the Lord of Yoga responded in two ways.  In total introversion he turned into a motionless pillar.  He became Sthanu.  And he plunged into the waters to practice asceticism, and he remained submerged for innumerable years.  The glow of his ascetic energy irradiated the waters, and the plants began their life in them.  Like the numinous being, the brahmacharin shining in a shaft of sunlight had entered their glistening plane.”

From Presence of Siva by Stella Kramrisch

The foregoing are fragments only from the depth of Kramrisch’s translation.  Siva/Rudra was a Yogi, and his Reality transcends time and manifestation.  He had no desire to generate Life:  yet by his in-tense, Life proliferated … no matter how He pruned his own vine.

The tale echoes the formation of our planet, by fire-seed and then the oceans.

Lord Siva on his Tao

Lord Siva on his Tao

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 Ardhanariswara – Lord whose half is Woman – 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.

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.

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Sacred India Tarot Siva Ace of Lotuses

Sacred India Tarot Siva Ace of Lotuses

Here is the finished card.  In the end, there was only room in the composition, for four of the assembled Sages whom Rohit had in mind:  Anandamayi, Sai Baba of Sirdi, Ramana and Ramakrishna.  But this is appropriate, because Lord Rudra in The Fool card is accompanied by four dogs, representing the 4 Vedas.

Sacred India Tarot - wild card THE FOOL - Rudra Brahman

Sacred India Tarot – wild card THE FOOL – Rudra Brahman

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I am the boundless ocean
This way and that, 
the wind blowing where it will,
drives the ship of the world. 
But I am not shaken.

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I am the unbounded deep 
in whom the waves 
of all the worlds 
naturally rise and fall. 
But I do not rise or fall.

I am the infinite deep 
in whom all the worlds 
appear to rise. 

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Beyond all form, 
for ever still, 
even so am I. 

I am not in the world. 
The world is not in me. 

Sacred India Tarot 21 Natarajan The World

Sacred India Tarot 21 Natarajan The World

I am pure.
I am unbounded,
free from attachment, 
free from desire, 
still, 
even so am I.

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Oh how wonderful ! 
I am awareness itself, 
no less. 
The world is a magic show! 

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But in me 
there is nothing to embrace, 
and nothing to turn away.

Ashtavakra Gita

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So here, for aide-memoire is Siva Natarajan:  the wildness and the serenity …

and the Sage who lives on Aruna hill:

Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi

Reflect on Ramana’s eyes.   He is of the Skanda Siva lineage. They are immeasurably profound, soft and penetrating, and invade nobody.   They are the eyes of the Self.  Their invitation is eternally devoid of agenda.   The Master’s Eye !

The beauty of the Sage on his rock.

Touch base: Siva Ace of Lotuses.  The power of Love, the power of Law.   Gravity.  They are one and the same.  Respectful is their expression.

vedic vessel

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

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.

All 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/

Drawing the Sri Chakra Yantra: some early Notes

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The most visited post in this blog is the one which “began” it – “How to Draw the Sri Chakra Yantra” in early June.   This exercise was foundational to my creative projects down the years.  The wedding of Siva and Sakti through the cosmic lattice – whether subtle or physical – is the groundwork.  It underwrites and ensures a healthy lotus.

I discovered the other day, the following sequence of drawings and diagrams, which may be of some interest.

In 1993, I kept (with my beloved of that time) a log-book.  We were laying foundations for a spiritual dwelling.  So to begin with, the two pages which follow are thoughts of the Sun, from Maitri Upanishad chapter 6:

“(1) – the Self bears himself in two ways, as he who is breath and he who is the Sun.  Therefore, two, as true, are these paths inward outward.  They both turn back in a day and night.  Yonder sun is the outer self;  the inner self is breath.  Hence, the course of the inner self is measured by the course of the outer self. 

“For thus it has been said: 

“Whoever is a Knower, who has freed from evil the overseer of his senses, is pure minded and firmly established in that which is locked away from outward objects, is even so, the Self.  Likewise, the course of the Outer Self is measured by the course of the Inner Self.  Now that golden person who is within the Sun, who looks on this earth from his golden place, is even he who has entered into the lotus of the heart and eats food. 

“(2) – Now, he who has entered the lotus of the heart and eats food …

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The action of the Sun in all directions, inward as outward

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Following this, the Upanishad says:  “There are two ways of contemplation of Brahman:  in sound and in silence.  By sound we go to silence.  The sound of Brahman is OM.  With OM we go to the End: the silence of Brahman.  The End is immortality, union and peace. 

“Even as a spider reaches the liberty of space by means of its own thread, the man of contemplation by means of OM reaches freedom.”

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A cutting for the logbook, with a quote from the Yoga Vasishta

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Here are the early Sri Chakra diagrams from 1993.  The method is from Saundarya-Lahari – The Ocean of Beauty by Sri Shankara-Bhagavatpada, a translation by the Theosophical Publishing House in Madras, 1937.    The method opens the hymn as a whole.  I tried it out, and simplified it just a little, to understand it.

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Note:  alchemical sulphur (fire) is represented also by a triangle atop a cross – see next drawing.   In the “trinity”, sulphur is rajas-guna, salt is tamas-guna, and mercury their balance is sattva-guna.  The alchemical qualities corresponding to eastern gunas are an interplay of elemental humours – dry, damp, ardent, and so forth.   Water mixed with earth is damp:  earth mixed with air is dry.  Each element inclines to fire or to water.  It all embodies prana, breath.   Upon these very basic qualities the universe is woven.

Flame is an upward triangle:  water a downward droplet.  Flame is phallus and water is womb.

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A reference to the same interpenetrative law, in the Tao philosophy:  I Ching Hexagram 11 with Earth over Heaven: Peace.  When Heaven-creative trigram (three Yang lines) stands above  Earth-receptive trigram (three Yin lines), they draw apart – the static “Standstill” hexagram.  But when they are infolded the other way round, the Heavenly power ascends through gravitational Earth – the male through the female – fertility – which is “peace”.

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This archive is by way of an embellishment.  For the method to draw it yourself, see How to Draw the Sri Chakra Yantra 12 June.

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This was used as the logo for the Ramana Foundation UK journal, SELF ENQUIRY.

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More recently, in 2008 I drew this version, as part of an Ananga-Ranga series …

The Sri Chakra Yantra, fountain of eastern wisdom, combines here with the Tree of Kabbalah.  The lovers are seated at Tifareth: Consciousness.   Crucial to spiritual development, world peace and all good intentions, is health and loving-kindness in our sexual nature (whether active or sublimated) and relationships.   We are on and in this earth for the Great Work.  The flasks, retorts and pelicans in alchemical engravings, contain the lovers at every stage of the “cooking”.  Their prana breathes the Divine One in and out.

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SOUL PARTNERSHIP SELF TOUCHING:

Inner and outer Tetrahedrons. A Tetrahedron is a triangle with four sides. The fourth point is a fulcrum – the dimension of volume or understanding, in any relationship.

The points of the interior, inverted Tetrahedron, touch the sides of the exterior Tetrahedron. Extending through the sides to equal size, they form with it, the Platonic Seal of Solomon.

Star of David/Seal of Solomon/Cube of space – 3dimensional tetrahedron structure

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Finally, another newspaper cutting …

… from the logbook in 1993.   “Kate Adie” (celebrated war correspondent) was my bossy persona …  anxious to keep myself updated on the militant-esoterickal scene.

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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 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) – along with many other creations in house.  

I write, illustrate, design and print my books.   Watch this space.

Buttercookies (1)

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This is the story (in instalments of course) of two very dear friends, their hen sessions and their celebrations.  Their names are Mrs Bhattacharya and Mrs Bhattapanjali.  Their golden sister Mrs Buttercookie lives in the States and outshines them both.

So this is for you, Mrs B!

On a late autumn day – they are both getting on a bit – the Mrs B’s go walking on Hampstead Heath to discuss the tao in the masculine landscape.

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Both of them are consoled and egged on by a certain old gentleman of Tiru with a raised eyebrow, kettle and a walking stick.   When they have a lot to say, the kettle steams.

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Here they are, after a lengthy and successful session on the Menfolk.

The mens’ names are Bull and Snake, for astrological reasons.  In the black bag is all their stuff for recycling.

Here is the difficult business concerning the mens’ other ladyfolk, whose names are Bottle and Jigsaw-puzzle.  The Mrs B’s morph into Bird and Goat-fish (alias mermaid).

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Here are the two friends, on an outing to the west of London.   The Lord of Canals is Siva.  This canal threads the  London area  from Lymehouse docks to Brentwood east of Richmond, and is its secret life.

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However …

Womans’ work is never done.

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The only and obvious solution, is to magick up … a suitable suitor for Jigsawpuzzle (alias Ms Hi-boots in deutschland)

and …

… an irresistible swain for Bottle, at present holidaying on a remote Scottish island, with fishing tackle and Snake in tow.  Bottle is always taking Snake away with her to tour abroad, while Mrs Bhattapanjali pines at home.

Both these Spells in the course of time, WORKED.  Jigsawpuzzle found her ideal therapist, so Bull was free to graze.  And Hamish was hooked, and moved in next door to Bottle, who never noticed the Snake who quietly slithered away…

But first there was the long, hard work …

… to get Bottle to fall in love with her heaven sent Solution.   Some persons cannot see the obvious when it stands right there in front of them.

As every connoisseur knows, true malt surpasses scotch …  it just takes more time.

At least, while Bottle is concentrating, the Snake can disappear discreetly up his holy mountain.

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On a lighter note …

to welcome Mrs Bhattacharya back from her adventures with bovine Bull in deutschland, the Snake and the Fish-goat (alias Mrs Bhattapanjali) planted …

… a fine Virginia creeper in her garden, to thank her for sheltering them in her house.

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Dear Buttercookie from the Deep South, this is not the best sketch of you, because done in rather a hurry …

 but you are “THE BEST” –  and you know where to find us!  Love from the Mrs B’s.

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(to be continued)

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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 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) – along with many other creations in house.  

I write, illustrate, design and print my books.   Watch this space.

Sacred India Tarot Archive – Creation of Chandra, the Moon – card 18

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This has a “sub-plot”.  Gautam Sachdeva (the publisher) on his return from a pilgrimage to the Cathars in southern France, requested some information on Archangel Michael, which Jane provided (see below).

As Rohit calls card 18 “the bad boy of Indian mythology” it seems highly appropriate to match Chandra with the Guardian Angel!

In the western Tarot, the Moon card rules embodiment, cycles of cell renewal and repair through sleep;  and cycles also of our past lives.  It has a wave pattern, because the path of evolution proceeds in waves.   But the Moon is also associated to the personal ego.   Archangel Michael guards this domain and “the path of honesty” to the transpersonal Self.  So it is timely to insert an article about Michael, in the process.  As the correspondence following it shows, Gautam was getting some awakenings from his soul’s history.

Energetically speaking, our cross cultural enterprise is particularly rich, under the aura of Soma Chandra (nectar of the Moon).  Guides and archetypes of our journey unveil themselves, as the story goes on.

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Chandra-soma, Jyotish – an early and more classic version of this deity.  He carries a lily and a mace, and the chariot wheels are Yantras or visual mantras.  The horses are the nectar from his lotus throne.

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Arcanum 18, from Jane’s Hermetic deck

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Verse by AJ/JA

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Rohit Arya’s Notes:

“The available myths are sparse and few in number.  They seem to have been written by people who did not like this particular godform very much.  It would seem the ancient observers of the skies did not like this waxing and waning, regarding it as something sneaky in a celestial, and well worth watching with a wary eye.

“The important intervention of the Moon was noticing Rahu and Ketu (North and South Nodes/ecliptic) attempting to steal Amrita, the gods’ nectar of immortality, and warning Vishnu about it.  In return, he and the Sun got the unrelenting hostility of those malevolent beings who periodically attempt to swallow them whole – but they always emerge from the eclipse, because the attackers have only immortal heads, the bodies beneath them having been cut off.

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Rahu Jyotish, the Moon’s North Node – his left hand holds Smar-hara Yantra, the remover of desire

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Ketu Jyotish, the Moon’s South Node:  letting go.  The moon’s Nodes are the antipodeal points where Moon’s orbit around the earth crosses Earth’s orbit around the Sun.  When these are aligned, earth, sun, moon, as happens twice a year, there is during that fortnight, a lunar (full moon) eclipse and a solar (new moon) eclipse.

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Rohit continues: 

“The most unpleasant myth about Chandra is when he forced himself upon Mamata(or Tara), the wife of his elder brother and guru Brihaspati (Jupiter), and made her pregnant.  The son so born from this rape was the planet Budha (Mercury).  It would seem that he used a mixture of charm and psychological dominance to keep the poor woman quiet, and only broke his silence when the child proved to be one of exceptional good fortune, which he was not going to miss out on, being the father.

“To make matters worse, he assembled an armada of allies to back his claim, mostly sages with jealous spite against Brihaspati, and all the denizens of the Dark side of hindu mythology  – Asuras, Danavas and so on.  An infuriated Siva attacked all of them, and even temporarily slew Chandra before restoring him to life, and having the crescent Moon a permanent ornament on his own forehead.  Chandra’s luck as always, saw him through, and he even got the child.

“This myth is a subconscious acknowledgement of the dark side of the moon in psychological terms – charm and beauty mixed up with deceit and willfulness, and a heedless disregard for consequences or the feelings of others.  Chandra was punished by being permanently excluded from heaven, and having to reside amongst the stars.

“However, the old texts say that ‘if a person is born under Soma or Chandra, he will have many friends, will possess elephants, horses and palanquins;  be honourable and powerful;  will live on excellent food, and rest on superb couches.’  Being in some versions born from the ocean, he is regarded as the brother of Lakshmi, goddess of fortune;  but she too is famously capricious and fickle in doling out good luck.  The Chandravanshi Rajputs claim to be a lunar race directly descended from the Moon.

“I would just suggest making the face not too pleasant, for the Moon is an ambivalent card as well as character, exceedingly charming but also capable of great misbehaviour and trouble making, as the myths are only too clear in informing us.  The misunderstandings, strife, confusions and doubts that assail us under the Moon card’s influence – it is not a totally positive card.

“..We have a paradox basically.  High honours and luck, as well as lechery and lunacy.  I had thought to avoid this by stressing the old Vedic god Soma aspect of the Moon, but even he had a problem in preferring his wife Rohini above the rest of his 33 wives, all sisters, and incurring the curse of his father-in-law – which explains the waxing and waning of the Moon.

“So it would seem that he is a deeply attractive and elegant form of god, riding the gazelle, but albeit dangerous and capable of springing a nasty surprise or two.  He is more like an old Sumerian god, capable of blessing and blighting – and both actions are driven by caprice alone.”

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Jane’s Notes:

This analysis suggests the Moon’s paradoxical character, as masque of appearances, healing light, romance, persona and – in the cultural context – the leading entity in Indian astrology.

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Correspondence:  Gautam – 11 October 2002

“Hi Jane, greetings from a really hot Bombay.  The weather is now 5 degrees over the usual.  Hopefully, things should start cooling down from November.

“Out of personal interest, I’m looking for any input on Archangel Michael.  Rohit was explaining to me how the Ace of Swords was a symbol of Michael.  Did you ever cover this subject, or do a related painting or the like?

“Yes, it’s amazing the Major Arcana are moving towards completion.  Do you suggest we do our corrections now, or wait till we proceed with the full deck?  I have printed out the cards to an actual size forma, and will mail you a set.  A long road ahead, but it’s been a great journey so far, thanks to yourself and Rohit.  It’s a miracle how the universe orchestrates things.   Have a good weekend – warm regards, Gautam.

“PS – do you have msn messenger?  This way we can chat real time, or get a webcam – even better!”

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Archangel Michael ’92  “– after a reproduction of St Michael by Memlink, on a record sleeve of organ music by Messiaen

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Correspondence:  Jane – October 2002

Dear Gautam and Rohit – Archangel Michael, in Kabbalah, is Captain of the Hosts between cosmic evil and cosmic good.  Behind and above him is the Lord’s Name, Adonai.  Under him is Sandalphon, Archangel of planet Earth.  Michael holds a central position in the Tree of Life – he is its consciousness or beauty – and is in touch with every other part of it.  In the western Tarot, he is depicted as the angel in Temperance, balancing the essences of alchemic fire and water.  He has one foot on the ground of his own world, and the other is dipped into a pool which is the ‘watery’ human psyche, or astral plane.

Michael rules the region to the south, the fire.  He carries a lance of flame.  His face like the sun, is too bright to behold.  He has a winged aura of gold and salmon pink.  He looks after musicians and all forms of music – this means the gandharvas too – and is especially benevolent to cats from tigers to tabbies, in the animal kingdom.

Here is my understanding:

Michael is also, in western iconography, the arch slayer of dragons.  This means the dragon or ley-line of earth – the subtle current through the meridians of body and psyche.  He is probably the patron of acupuncturists.  Everywhere at power spots or dolmens in southern England, are old shrines to Michael and Mary.  These are outcrops of the secret dragon fire, and they now have churches built on them, or old towers.

The mythological Michael slew dragons that pestered humanity;  but there is also a deeper meaning.  He represents the capacity to look directly into one’s own Shadow, or unresolved Serpent powers, to  tap their source and release them creatively – in other words, to master the inner daemons through awareness or Self-enquiry. The Knights of the Temple when building cathedrals of the Gothic Art, used this alchemic knowledge along ancient ‘dragon’ meridians in earth, to raise up mass (stone) into Light (the winged arch).  They harnessed Baphomet, the creative aspect of the Devil (Tarot card 15) to transform densities, and to temper the ascending and descending force:  evolution/involution.  Baphomet is a code word whose latin, read backwards, becomes Templi Omnium Hominum Pacis Abbas – Priest of the Temple of Peace for all Humanity.  They looked Baphomet in the eye.  They were Initiates and knew what they were doing, but their Order became wealthy and a threat to the Church, which accused them of worshipping Satan.  The Church witch-hunted and burned them all.

The Templars were an enigmatic order.  Many historians link them to the Crusades:  their vow to guard the routes of pilgrimage was variously interpreted.  After the Templars were destroyed, the Black Death ravaged Europe.  The Cathedrals – not all of which had been completed –  were regarded as sanctuaries.  The black death couldn’t enter – it flowed around them.  From the human compost of the black death was seeded and grew the flower which became the Renaissance.

The Cathedrals in France are each a star in the Virgo constellation as reflected in the ground.  Their positions on the map suggest this.  That is the link of Michael and Maria.   Michael is the guardian of the initiate – the celestial sky –  and Maria is the purity of the receiving ground.

The whole thing is much older than Christianity.  It was alive in ancient Egypt, with Osiris/Isis.  As the elder Egyptian and Vedic civilizations corresponded, it has Indian roots also.  In the new Cathedrals, in the Middle Ages, the Mysteries were celebrated;  the bishops led the sacred dances.  There were no statues or depictions of crucifixion inside them, because they stood for the Living or Resurrected Christ.   The magnificent carvings of the guardians are on the porches and exterior walls, like the crusted stone of a geode.   The interior space and sacred proportion raised the entering soul to a higher, deeper level.  The root is the shoot, both ways – deep foundations were needed to support the mass of stone in flight.  Thus we stand tall;  thus we turn within.   Such is Michael Archangel.   Light entered through a prism of specially prepared alchemic glass windows, illumining the interior with a rainbow colour spectrum.

(Research, The Mysteries of Chartres Cathedral by Louis Charpentier, published by Research Into Lost Knowledge Organization – RILKO – a fascinating book.)

Michael in the western Tarot Temperance, has a rainbow over him, to depict – like the Templars’ alchemic glass – the refracting of the One into seven tones of light.  In the Rider-Waite decks, this is a partially concealed secret; the rainbow is substituted by iris flowers; Iris was the goddess of the rainbow.   In my Hermetic deck illustration (see Mother Ganga in the Sacred India Tarot, and Anandaymayi Ma)  the rainbow materializes to irises by the Archangel’s feet, and a radiance around his crown.

In general, we see that Michael holds the balance of forces back and forth over long historical periods.  He is the guiding power behind humanity’s better nature, and is its greatest warrior.  But the faculty I associate with him is Patience.  Like a real warrior, he strikes us rightly at the right time.  He oversees excess and the aesthetic control of his fiery realm – as you can see, with his vessels of equilibrium.   This archetype in our lives, gives us long cycles to balance and hold in check.  Where this comes together with Mother Ganga in our present work, is the sense of always backing upstream to Source.   The holy river carries all destinies in her current from the sky.

(And in the present context, accompanying SITA 18, The Moon, this essay on Michael is another view on the embodiment process, which The Moon regulates.)

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And re the Ace of Swords/your question:  Michael is often depicted carrying Sword and Scales.  In my understanding, the Ace of Swords refers to Destiny.  In my cultural context, and in Alfred Douglas’s interpretation, the Ace of Swords means ‘faculty of thought’.   This is a destructive card if reversed.  Power abused or mis-used, results in “restriction imposed by force or fear;  injustice;  the usurping of Divine authority by human willfulness.”

The Sword is in the deep past, for resolution.  Perhaps it is transpersonal, and means “destiny” … “Victory, the operation of irresistible force – the symbol of Divine justice and authority, the forging of strength in adversity – the faculty of thought.  This card indicates that all enterprises will succeed, despite apparently overwhelming odds.  The start of progress which cannot be halted or diverted.  Necessary change:  a breaking down in order that something better might be built.  Freedom resulting from the removal of restraints.” (Alfred Douglas)

It suggests the Executive of Divine authority, which Great Michael is.  He looks like the sun.  No power of darkness can withstand his gaze.  So your Ace of Swords may symbolize his way of action:  a single Sword held in stillness.

I did some work inspired by this in the past, and wrote a sort of book about it, still waiting to be typed – (now competed:  The Masters’ Eye 2011).   Interestingly, your email about Michael and Ace arrived just when I was writing again about Michael in my journal, as he came up in our Kabbalah group discussion.

I shall be resuming Moon, Sun etc, tomorrow.  Yes I think it a good idea to do all the detail adjustments when the Major Arcana are completed, and before we start the Minor.   SELF ENQUIRY got printed a fortnight ago – I don’t think I sent you a copy yet.  It contains Rohit’s article on Yama and David Frawley’s article on Kali, but not the illustrations!

Warm regards, Jane

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Correspondence, Gautam Sachdeva -17 October 2002

“Hi Jane – well received.  Was almost like a thesis on the same – will absorb it all at the weekend.  Thanks a ton!   Gautam.”

Correspondence: Jane – 21 October 2002

“Dear Gautam, I’ve been a bit delayed last week, so I’m starting Moon this week instead.  I shall proceed as per my earlier drawing of Chandra, and Rohit’s instructions, but I’d also like a little of Rohit’s mythology.  How long is your website closed for?  Is it possible to send me a page on Chandra? Glad you got the Michael – did it come in the attachment?  I don’t know yet if the attachment is working on this address, as they’ve messed about with it recently.”

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Chandra, Jyotish drawing  (in “Astrology of the Seers” by Vamadeva Shastri/ Frawley

Correspondence: Gautam – 21 October 2002

“Hi Jane – will send u an article.  I spoke with Rohit on the same.  I don’t think there is anything on indiayogi.com on Chandra, though the site should be up by tomorrow.   Michael came through your private address.” 

“Rohit and I are brainstorming on a book about Krishna, in a very modern context – in the sense of how we can apply it to today’s man and living – he will prepare a concept note for the same – I will send it to you – I want it to be a small format book, something the size of ‘who moved my cheese’ – so it’s fast to read, easy to pick up, and good to gift.

“Want to be in on the same?  Could be a fun cross-cultural exercise, and may turn out to be really unique.  I guess you can decide once you see the concept note.  The closes I can think of is ‘Jesus CEO’, but of course we won’t follow that format.  Hope all else is well.  Warm regards, Gautam.”

 

Correspondence:  Gautam – 29 October 2002

Your article was fascinating.  I also shared it with my friend who recently traveled to Mont St Michel in France, dedicated to Michael.  The Ace of Swords is a card I regularly pull out in Tarot readings done by my mom or Rohit … and that is what prompted Rohit to mention to me that he felt there was some sort of connection.

“I also feel strongly connected with the Joan of Arc energy for some reason, and she too was guided by the Archangel.   So strange, all this … especially for one sitting in India!

“Thanks for the Self Enquiry received yesterday – Rohit is coming over today, and will show it to him.  Warm regards, Gautam.”

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SITA 18:  Chandra Soma

Jane’s Notes (2010)

Acknowledging the suggested sibling link of Chandra and Lakshmi, in both these cards – 18 and 3 – a landscaped Sri Chakra Yantra represents the fortunate and wish fulfilling jewel which they capriciously bestow.

The Sri Chakra Yantra interweaves 5 descending female triangles (Shakti) with 4 ascending male triangles (Siva).  Their nuptial union sustains a centrifugal ripple-mandala pattern of 42 triangles, like the rings across a tree’s stem.  This map of the cosmos – a spider’s web of time – is invisibly projected from the central point or bindhu, and is what we handle and perceive.   The immortality of the exhaustless treasure is in the Now, around which all mythologies spin their histories.

In SITA card 3, Lakshmi the Empress gives birth to the creation.

In SITA card 18, Chandra seems to both invite and guard access to the creation.

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SITA 3:  Lakshmi, the Empress

24 October 2002 – A Landscape, with Michael’s Signs, under Chandra

“…On the bridge over the little river, I washed the heavy clay from my sandals.  Small horses were in the field, loose, one of them shining silver white, like a unicorn.  The river is crystal clear and quiet over bright brown stones and silt.  Upstream was sky’s brightness reflected.  Nearer it becomes an azure blue – Beriah, the World of Creation.  Then there is the world of Forms to our eyes.  For a long time, we watched sunlight’s quivering fish scales on the ruffles of the wind, and their movement into and across each other – seeing the universal lace unchanging into vesica pisces, ever renewed and carrying little black holes or stars to be.  Where currents met, the dimension changed, the depth of lights in crossing leapt into the eye like a hologram, and blurred its sureness.   Then as Assiyah, the material World, we retrieved our feet and earth, grass and stone:  the bridge.  We flanked a bramble hedge and came upon the shy, ancient sunburst of St John the Baptist in Little Missenden:  a Saxon church.

“How sweet this air inside is, said Peter Brennan as we pushed open the door into the dark coffered silence of its ancient arches.  It is a cave.  On the walls they have found and cleaned medieval fresco fragments of St Christopher and the Child, the ordeals of St Catherine, and a celtic crucifixion.  We spent a long time in there.  I found a Challen baby-grand piano, unlocked and in perfect condition:  the first phrases of Beethoven’s Pathetique slow movement – the only thing I know by heart.  In the church it is so silent, in the embrace of its thick old walls you cannot hear the road.  It is very, very quiet and still.  We discovered in the altar alcove, wooden sculptures of the four Archangels, quite recently done.  One of them was hidden by a banner.  When I looked behind, there was Archangel Michael – but he carried in his right hand the Sword and in his left hand the Scales!  He holds the Sword upright, but in a curious way, by the blade.

“There were stain-glass windows painted in the 1930s by persons who know.  They had the Four Worlds, the unchanging procession of saints, the Word that all in heaven and earth must change, the carnage on earth that this entails – the window commemorated Dunkirk – Isaiah’s lions with lambs in the earthly paradise, and the Holy Jerusalem far above, depicted as cathedral towers and gothic spires.  In them a bell is drawn, the eternal bell whose note the Angel in Beriah sings in earth’s atoms.  The bell in the squat heavy tower struck throatily the hour of four, with a great thudding of the rope and pulley.   Peter read that one of these bells rang at Chaucer’s wedding – or his birth?   Think of it – a thousand years of that vibration it has stood, and stands.

“The pub was closed, but we admired the ducks on the river who mobbed us quackingly, hoping for scraps of steak and chips, and we found a little shop.  Peter bought two bacon pies, crisp and golden, to eat on our feet, and I bought two crunchies.  The great desire of these pies and crunchies is to become Kabbalists.  The great desire of Kabbalists is to let the Holy One eat us.  The Companions of the Light come on our walk and get cross like children if we go in the wrong direction.  So we climbed with great enjoyment for the pies and crunchies, a drove-road up over the fields, tunneled with alder, and through it the sinking sun flickered and splashed with pleasure in our pies, our eyes and crunchies.  Underfoot sparkled the olive, russet, indigo and earth confetti of fallen leaves aglow:  the cool smell of the ground and its small sharp stones.”

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Arcanum Eighteen – an early interior journey looking up the Sefiroth of the Tree of Life.  In the Moon’s crescent are the enigmatic faces of our guides.   The path takes us through the gate of the body (two towers, the ends of a fence) into the landscape of our dreams at night.  Beyond yet from within it, rises the sun, our Self.

The pool here, is as the same as the one which the woman in the Star, card 17, gazes into.  We see with her the evolution of Life in all its forms.

**

**

Rohit

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

Jane

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 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) – along with many other creations in house.  

I write, illustrate, design and print my books.   Watch this space.

 

With Ramana and Krishnamurti (3) on the Coastal Path

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Returning to an earlier time – August 1991, and my first Pwllderi holiday:  meditations on Ramana and Krishnamurti, their dialogue in my inner life, within the coastal landscape.  This post concludes with my meeting with AJ and what was to become the Ramana Foundation.

I was born with Sun in Capricorn and full-Moon in Cancer into a family of travelers along that spiritual coastal path.   The coastal path is Sadhana.  Capricorn is land and Cancer is the tide where ocean meets the land;  the songs of old age and infancy in humanity.

**

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Pebbles

20 August 1991

Last week I took my old canvas tent, two old sleeping bags and my bike to the Pembrokeshire coast, to explore a beckoning terrain.  The sun shone, the breeze blew, and one day a great gust of sea-mist rolled in and tumbled everywhere among the rocks.  I pitched base at Pwllderi Youth Hostel on the high cliff of a bay whose arms embrace the setting sun.

There is a way of life to explore, when tired and climbing a steep path, or pushing my heavy bike up the long hill above Fishguard.  What is it?

“Lean back into the present moment, into the Now.”

An exhausting dissipation of energy otherwise, strives ahead.  This instruction made me smile.  I carried quite a lot of luggage – my house – on the bike.  So I could lean back on that quite literally, while riding.  To lean back metaphysically, slows down, even halts time.  When I strive and struggle, I ache, I become blind, I want it to be over – I am immured in the toils of competitive pain.  But when I rest into the NOW, what is there?

The relationship of foot to earth, yielding.  The perfume of stones, peat and flowers.  An alertness to maintain – the value of life;  indulgent smile at my body’s efforts, aches and pains, giving due praise for small successes, encouraging her to the next enticing horizon … a dialogue develops.

You need not try so hard.  A way is found, over and into the steepness of that path, which flows and rests into itself.   Thus, my legs taking the brunt of sudden and continuous strenuous exercise ached, complained and wobbled, but I was hardly ever out of breath.

I met a guy right at the end of the great Dinosaur headland.  He had ventured down onto rocks I considered to be my own domain, and he complimented me on my “daring”.  This appreciative audience inspired me to bound up the cliff like a goat – all systems, all rhythms suddenly connect.  The greatest stimulant is display.

To lean back into the present moment.  Into Now?

**

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Vesica

Similarly, whenever necessary to bring the bodymind to heel (continually!) from various futile, complaint-filled and absent wanderings of her own – COME BACK, MIND!  Come into “Here”.   Lean into, sink into Here.   It is like being poured into a vessel.   Falling from her normal absent musings, feature articles and defiant or sad political lobbyings into silent perception of the landscape around – a flower begins to open.  Yes:  a silvery light of being from within, dewy and infinite.

A drop of water, a bud to open, a lens – the vesica in the overlap of two circles expands or contracts with the degree of focus.   It is hidden but real.  This path leads through heather and grey stones over a high volcanic tump that rises out of the sea.   Strumble Lighthouse will soon appear from behind another.  The air is bright with the sound of stone-chat birds that dart black and white, from fence post to furze.  The heather here is intense magenta violet;  never have I seen it so bright – shocking pink, sprinkled with the gold-dust perfume of gorse in flower in a dark-green prickly carpet.   What a garden!

Let it “collapse” inward …

Self-enquiry:  who is this dewy, infinite seeing space?  What travels over the rocky place of colour and the wide, blue sky?  A column of light?  Or an I? – what wordless query, collapsing inward to the silver space flowing outward, dwells in the marrow, you bony goat?

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Vesica pisces

My body is a shell, the thin and ruinous walls of the citadel around this elusive essence of …

only one conduit, among a myriad other forms, for Spirit like a source of spring of water in the hillside … loving as a goat does, this rocky path of life, which absorbs an immensity of sky, sea and sunlight.   In the immensity, there sleep – for the sea is mirror calm today – a titanic display of rounded cliffs in pillow-lava, like the paws of a lion.  The tide plays slackly around those furled, slumbering claws.   The air is breathlessly still, mirror-still.  The Spirit which my fragmentary citadel carries more or less gamely, through varying degrees of obscurity and up and down, is a little puzzled.  She hopes for some stormy weather to lift the crests to play with.  She wonders also at the mighty quiescence, the glory of heather with gorse in flower, and smiles in fraternal greeting with other sun-burned toilers on the coastal path.  We travel under our burdens the way a snail transports its shell … in as straight a line as possible.

And here, lying across the path upon a quick descent to investigate an enormous crag of violet sandstone that rose from the sea further south, suddenly – a snake, coiled in a petrified quiver of attention.   It heard the questing thunder of my feet.  What kind of snake?  I stepped to one side and stood.   A viper?  Is that a V on its head?   It is quite large – the colour of bracken, golden and brown.  We wait in silence.   Suddenly the coil of the snake is ended.  It flows into the heather in a most admirable and gleaming ripple of straightness.   Like an arrow.

It is very difficult for me to let it all collapse inward … to a reality which soars, which flows an unworded totality of attention like the eagle;  like the snake;  thought as one uncostumed movement, a ripple into that land.  For I am taken with the beauty of the Scorpionic symbol – the concentrated water of life, its hidden “sting”.   The water in the well is still.   Eagle and snake converged spontaneously!

When I come to where land meets sea, and climb along the penumbra, I meet myself, and it is turbulent.  When the inner weather is really heavy and I can’t find my moorings, I get out Ramana Maharshi’s Forty Verses from my bum-bag, like sips of water along the trail.

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Sacred geometry

**

Before I came here, to my holiday on the coastal path, I was very busy writing a long story about my encounter with Krishnamurti in 1974.   This led me to read, fascinated, Mary Lutyens’ biography of him.  There was so much about him, and thence about my father and my upbringing, that I didn’t know or understand.  I can now see and make peace with it all.

“Truth,” he said, “is a pathless land.”

This statement rings like a trumpet, through the cliffs and sea.

He was dissolving the ropes that tied him to the Theosophist Movement and expectation, which protected his body and the secret, sacred chamber of himself as a messenger, during his formative years.   The groomed Messiah turns into truth.  The ropes holding the boat from the open sea, were being dissolved by that very Sea in which they lay immersed.   They were old rope, old bondage.  The struggle of K’s “speaker” for freedom, was formative for that timbre.

What is K doing?  He is opening the egg from within, each instant.

It goes much deeper than cracking the shell of Mama Besant.  It applies to the evolving consciousness of the age.  Between the world wars, he was doing it.   It is flame and sword, but there is a lot of talking.   It is also protected by an angel or force of direction that has no name.  From the Theosophist Movement, heavy with description and dripping seaweed, it becomes the movement of itself.   The boat travels loose and free in the world.  The eagle sees through every film or mask laid over the unending question.

Movement is in and of the River.  It has no beginning nor end.  It is not for capture.  Truth is a pathless land.  It has no Master(s).

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There is a photo of the young K dissolving the Order of the Star.  He looks as if he is cutting a rope to launch a ship.  It is also umbilical – the pain, the cleansing, the opening.   His “process” afflicted him periodically, through life.   It was a fire in the spine to prepare the ways.  It looks like the clearing of fog from capillaries and nervous ganglia for the increment of a potent “blood” – the cosmic dimension.  K was classically, a “channel”.   He didn’t stop being one;  he had some conflict with it.  It was his nature, his training, and the way he spoke.  His “process” is the dying agony of every moment to be born.   And thus into beauty.

It is interesting that K, when due to have an operation, gave a pint of two of his own blood first, in case he should need a transfusion! I am intensely moved by K’s real story, and his being.   He springs to life from the ambiguous authoritarian iconoclast in my childhood.

I see too, that with K there is so much talking;  and with Ramana there is so much silence.   If I put them on the Tree of Life, K is the warrior and Ramana the merciful of Self-enquiry.

It was essential for K to let go every hand that guided him, and never name the Source that channeled him – knowing simply that it is “sacred … beyond line or shape.   But Ramana remained close to the well of Advaita (non-duality) as to the old and sacred hill Arunachala, within whose caves he is born and flows like a stream.   He had no quarrel with the traditions or with his culture.

**

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Krishnamurti at Saanen

K traveled over land and sea – a lover of mountains, rivers, flowers and wild creatures all over the world.  In the valleys, he founded schools.  He is a very young child, with the sword of sunrise.   He sits when old, on the floor with children at one of his schools, listening to the school play.  He is very little, empty and touchingly attentive.  His white hair spirals obediently around his crown.

Ramana’s features spread wide, a kindly, craggy land of innocence as the sun sets over a mountain into the cup of the sea. The unfathomable imp of the Self, the I, looks out limpid through the windows, the caves of brown earth in the hills of these two beings – the hard sharp one, and the gentle one.

I wonder what their conversation might have been.

**

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Ramana Maharshi

“Truth,” K said “is a pathless land.”   In the pathless, unconditioned terrain, the snake I saw above the violet rock, travels unerringly straight over all of it, like the curve of water.

K’s seems like a young soul like a lofty summit, born into an empty cup without Earth’s long memory.   Ramana’s is an ancient, rounded hill.   He was born under the sign of the Goat:  Krishnamurti under that of the Bull.   This brings a lot of “sky” into Earth, during a dark age.  The Goat climbs and grazes.  The Bull endures the flies and grazes.   The Goat is passing through the ultimate door.  The Bull tastes beauty and is deeply sensuous, deeply keyed to sacrifice.   They represent all the generations of the Twentieth century and beyond.

**

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Flying over rocks

The morning after I got home from my holiday, a dream came to me, quite early, after sleeping.

“Consider,” it said “a landscape of good rock, mother-naked glorious, to scramble and clamber among.”

Yes, I can see it, I am there.  It is like the cascade of “organ pipes” that falls diagonally over the southern flank of the Dinosaur, but a lot more of it.

“Those innumerable rocky citadels are formed, as your own body is, from the coagulate of a ripple or tendency of thought along the etheric plane.  Every one of those citadels and rock fortresses is a thought, a device that hardened of itself, to conceal and forget the infinite distillate of the dew it arises from.   Remember the snake?   the way its coil, dense and watchful, slips suddenly away into an arrow, like water?

“Love laughs at locksmiths.  It is free.

“Now.  Listen carefully.  The major weapon of the Devil – in the Tarot his intellectual prick, pride, genital mercury … mind, you see! – is Doubt.”

“….?”  I say.

“Thus, the Devil besieges his customer with Certainty!”

Yes, I’ve got that.  (Blearily writing it down in the dark, before the words slip away for ever.  I hate having to prop my body into wakefulness during the night.)  The apparent Certainty of the people, the houses, the ideas around me.

So what then, is Truth?   What is truth, if not a kind of certainty?

This huge landscape of sensitive rock is making me nervous.

The True is … somehow “the Sword of truth is a gleaming, choiceless point of its Self along not just one place but everywhere(like light, like sun sparkling the sea) in every rock.  You have no choice.”

That is the pathless land.  The Reality is everywhere, like the light on the sea.  The shimmering web dances up into the vivid radiance of its own Tree.   I know in that instant, that there is no need to follow any one path of this light, for it is an all-pervading sparkle from crystal to crystal.  It plays from depth unto depth.  It is the lattice of Solomon.

Whence is my crusading belief?  This line of rock is good, in front, but so are those ones here, and to each side and beyond – as good, as diverse and as firm.   The tenor of Reality is good.   No choice or prejudice can form.  “Truth is a pathless, choiceless land.” To see this, safeguards me for ever, from limiting it to the “Certainty” (and fatigue) of any theological system.

**

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Coil

When my dream spoke of the Devil, I was scared.

Fear. Entrapment, illusion … seductions, horrors, histories and tales of woe.   Then I saw what to do.  The abundance of the vein of vision is its own protection against the seeds of fear … and against all prejudice.   Infinity within as without all manifestation, is the heart of the matter.  To know this inner fact, plainly and impartially, like the face of the rocks, means I can never again be brainwashed.   I shall not be persuaded into the shape of false coverings.  All that is finished.   See things as they are:  it does not matter where I am.   “I” is you, and everybody else, and we but die for short spells within the I… I.  The clarity is received.

The truth is simple and wide.  It needs no psychic adornment; there is no measure to its height, depth and breadth, when an outer garment formed of beliefs and patterns of words begins to cave in.

It collapses inward.  Into its Self,

**

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Serpent egg 87

There are coves just south of the Dinosaur headland, where the ground falls suddenly away in a cataclysm of folded, broken cliff into a pool of violet pebbles and whispering sea, very far below.  At the rim of one of the coves, a small deserted quarry into the rock becomes furred with lichens and new grass.  Here above the sea, someone laid out in a spiral like a snail’s shell, a graded sequence of small rocks, flint and sandstone.  They begin as a drystone wall, and fade smaller and smaller towards the centre – a few feet across.   Its creator turned into the Quarry … Self enquiry.  I recognized it, knowing already, that to descend into the depth, the violet pebbles and whispering sea is to dive into the Heart.

There is a pathway down.  It is invisible till your feet are on it.  It steeply yet safely descends a sheer precipice of couch-grass along the slanting strata of a grey Vulcan slab.   Near the bottom, a landslide extinguishes it;  but by then you are close enough to the pebble beach, to jump.   And then you look up!

Behold, a vast cirque of the geologic record entangles dark igneous extrusions with glittering sandstone bookshelves alive and golden, in cataclysmic dialogue.  Shattered cascades, dark grey and russet, of parents, children, angels and towns, are sculpted in midfall.  The sacred quarry for titan architects reaches hundreds of feet to the blue sky.   Near the top of the cliffs is another bulging efflorescence of that strange, soft purple rock.  When I biked to St David’s Cathedral a day or two later, I discovered it is built of this purple sandstone, whose changing tints move me deeply.  Nothing in sacred architecture antecedes the carving of the sea, and of the fire within the earth.

**

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King Canute 87

While writing this, something wishes to clarify within me, the pathless land.  What is its meaning, in the everyday clambering of life?

Face, and enter all that arises, without psychological comment.  Receive the affronts of grief, mental error, external sounds like that buzz-saw trimming and wounding the trees, openly.   Be here: let it be;  do not flinch.

The attempt to run away, categorize or “fix” pain, causes pain to arise.  It is a cyst of nervous alienation.   I am ashamed of my painfulness, my pain-body, but an adventure opens, if I allow it to exist without fear … or description.

K’s teaching is an IMPARTIAL LAND.  “Get out of the field!”  Let every moment step out of the polarized “field” of chosen labels.  Every step the field encloses, is blind.  Every step out of it is Seeing.

“Get out of the field!”  An individual carries like flame – impartially – the world Consciousness.  He or she, stepping out of the field, influences and is the Whole.   He or she, beginning that departure, is no longer an enclosed, imaginary province, but an opening flow into mankind:  a droplet to the sea.  It is not renunciation, death or hermitage.   It is – paradoxically – the unconditional entry:  the core, the living Self of the field.

Then the field is like a boundary or membrane which isolates each member of it until he or she sees and IS the field!

The practice of opening the gate into tendencies of pain, is to enquire of them steadily – “who is – who am I?”  “The realized one,” says Ramana Maharshi “sends out waves of spiritual influence, which draw many people towards him.  Yet he may sit in a cave and maintain complete silence.”   Water diviners let their sensitive rods lead them to the Source.

Who made that spiral of broken stones in the little quarry over the sea?   Thank you!  It  transmits to me like a beacon.  It seems now to glow in a blue dusk on the cliff top.

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Harbour 87

**

I actually found this cove a couple of days earlier.  From the base of a promontory near the Dinosaur, I’d clambered gingerly into it along a rotten rock traverse above the tide.  The view overhead unfolded a dramatic collision of geologies, first one appearing and then the other.  They were talking, like the late Quartets of Beethoven.  One of the voices is rock solid – Must it be?  The other is crumbling – “It must be!”  They question and fuse sometimes in counterpoint.  I passed through the remnant of a perfect “Norman” arch.  A giant curve of uplifted flints supported Nature’s masonry.  It seemed, broken off, to continue into the sky, like the open egg shells of Glastonbury Abbey.

Creeping along strange up-ended strata like the bunched leaves of wet books set perpendicular to the sea, I knew I am “home”.  The Hartland coast of North Devon has those same spectacular cliffs of buckled sandstone, and great round boulders along which to run and jump;  the sweat of sun-heat burning, the smell salt and tart of the sea’s music, the flora in tidal pools – I eat it all;  a chamber, a FIELD of the sacred art.

In the ruined labyrinth of the Bishop’s House by St Davids Cathedral next day, I found little spiral stairways up through stone towers.  They are built in an ascending spiral of flints, like the setting of feathers;  like the teachings – the Hard Sharp one and the Soft one – in the natural ampitheatre.

The spiral is a mandala, produced into three dimensions through space and therefore time.

The spiral stairways are wings of a bird set in stone.

I met in the Bishop’s Palace, a sculptor working on the circular movement of the wings of a bird in flight.  He had carved one in soft stone, and was now having a go in harder stone. He would like to leave the form of the bird just semi-released from the block of stone into which he carved.  “That is so suggestive, like resurrection of spirit from material,” I said … or the feeling of climbing a steep hill.

Several artists worked in the Bishop’s Palace.  A woman carved a tree into a seated dryad.  I was invited to sit in her with my arms upon hers gently, for she was a chair, a goddess, and through her flowed dramatically, the grain and great splits in the wood.  She was a spirit of arresting awareness.   She sat, golden and brown with sap in a chamber of stone, open to the sky.  I thought she was glorious.  The sculptress began to carve into and around her back some dryadic leaves, flowers and fruit.  The grounds of the Bishop’s Palace were dun-coloured gravel and green grass.  In medieval times it was very busy with artists and learning, kitchens, spits and dungeons.  After wandering through it, and up and down its towers, I came again to the violet face of the Cathedral, the proportion around its great West door.   I was moved inexplicably to tears, by such beauty.

This Celtic Cathedral – the smallest in Britain – is moored carefully like a great grey boat to a hollow in the land.  The land around here is a green and golden undulant, like the sea.  It is harvest time.  The square tower is shy to show itself above the fields.  I saw somewhere a postcard of it, peeping above a meadow of scarlet poppies.

**

Seeking a way out of the cove where Vulcan lava and sandstone combine and dance – for I didn’t want to risk again the ruined traverse – I was blocked by a gigantic purple pillar that stood upright in the sea.  I hoped to embark a daring and attractive route up another contour alongside it, but it was too dangerous;  there is joy no longer, and my cautious creature loses tone and balance.  At last I tackled the grassy precipice direct, flowing three-point feet to hands over its tough tufts.  Nearly halfway I came upon the miraculous hidden diagonal route, and walked up the rest.   Perhaps it was once a wreckers path?

**

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**

Life on the cliff path, dipping into shadowed pools of sunlight in the coves, clambering out and over and down into the next, is a life of enquiry and often forgetting, on the wave.  The prana floats, and casts my writers’ moorings.  The deep water is rather overpowering, and frightens me.  I am vaguely seasick.  What should I really be facing?

Alas!  Easy it is to declare – “This is MY cove, my secret place, it belongs to my homeland, my childhood” and capture it into the web of sentiment and woe.  I’m a visitor only to its body and teachings.  There is no place for a patriotic conqueror, planting a flag and planning a speech about the splendid baptismal swim I had there.  You see, I didn’t swim there.   I wish that I did, so as to “have” it more fully!   Fool!

If I possess it, I begin to forget what it is, and to become heavy, lonely and sad.  It is easy to lose the key.  The magic happens when it is new, when it surprises and fills my eye, my hands and feet.

But I brought home some stones from that chamber.  In them I see the Cathedral.  They are dark violet, grey and veiny white.  One little flecked paler purplish one is smooth and looks translucent, like a bird’s egg.  When I picked it up, it was alive and warm with the heat of the sun.

**

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Ramana light and shade

**

23 August 1991             MEET RAMANA FOUNDATION UK

The smile in Ramana’s eyes is the land and the sea.  I have a picture of him now, which I framed and put in my living room.  When I got back from my holiday, I went to make contact with Ramana’s “people”.   I’ve been getting to know his ways intermittently, by myself, for just a year.  The Self in his eyes guides me, often lost, often found.   In Hampstead village, a slim man with big hands was working on the roof of his house.   He came down the ladder, went to put on a shirt, and asked if I would like a glass of orangeade. He made it rather strong, and we sat in a long cottage room, cool and dark like a cave.

He told me it is like coming home.  One climbs a step and here at last one is.  He is gentle, rather droll and very British.  There are meetings for meditation, discussion and friendship once a month, in London.  The Ashram at Arunachala in southern India, is lively and discreet with Self enquiry, and doesn’t try to convert people.  He gave me a spare picture of Ramana, and a copy of their journal The Mountain Path – this summer’s issue.  I am delighted, amused and touched, to find this issue is devoted to discussing the teachings of Krishnamurti and Ramana.  So many seekers, it seems, come to the one through the other.   It is full of pictures that make me laugh, of these two white-heads, the one so very naked, the other so neatly dressed.  Each asks the same question in his own inimitable gesture.

If one goes to Arunachala in winter – he said – it is like summer here, mosquitoes are not a problem.  One can stay as long as one likes.  The food is very good indeed, as Ramana was the chef.  One of Ramana’s very few instructions is that Vegetarian is better, for quieting the mind.  The other is the seat of the “Heart” for meditation, surrender and Self enquiry, on the right side of the chest, two fingers from the centre sternum.

I have been trying this.  It is helpful.  It centres and opens.  The focusing of the Self here (as good as anywhere) pulls the ego or thought into it, to be eventually consumed – like the stick that stirs the fire.

I felt once, for a few minutes, a spillage into a sense of tallness and straight living … an intimation of peace, that way of resting.  “It is worth following Ramana’s very few rules to the letter, because he is not Tom, Dick or Harry.  This is a safe way.  It allows for personal rates of progress, because the Inner Ruler directs it.“

This was very interesting, coming so soon after my dream about all that rock, so sound and good, upon whose threshold I stood.

What a careful little goat I am, really.

**

The conversation included some ways of Kabbalah, Hermes Trismegistos, Buddha, an ancient link of Brahman with Ain Sof, and other familiar landscapes.  They all arise from and lead to the cosmic Rome.  My hero Mouni Sadhu is indeed by now dead, having been one of the original great devotees – “did you read ‘In Days of Great Peace’?”  The older generation has passed on, the new one rises – Ramana’s children.  How interesting it is, to meet ourselves.

The shyness.  Slender hesitancy, and no judgement.  He says he struggles with The Wandering Perverted Mind.  And then, over about an hour of meeting, the common language and commitment found, and taking hold:  the delight of this.  I meet the Egregor –  the children of the Master – evolving a life of its own. A big quiet cave of a living room, like an untidy rose, cool in the summer, full of books;  a Star of Solomon in aura colours upon a desk signals Yes to me;  and Ramana’s portrait unobtrusively, here or there.

Chewing gum is offered.  “Oh yes, I gave up smoking too, last year.  Wasn’t it dreadful!”  “I used Nicorette.”  “I did it cold turkey, Allen Carr’s book The Easy Way to Stop Smoking.  It was terrible.  But I got through.”  More fruit juice to drink.

**

What might hold us all together?  Love for and with that friendly Ramana, within those eyes,  a mountain.  Love yes, a private, common ground.   The pulse of love ever rises from within the well of the world.  The Self is boundless.  How often do I remember to look for and see the hidden well, whether I move or am still?  A sage whose life is that transcendent well, is quintessential after he is dead.  Love generated from all directions to him there, to that “I” creates his smile like the blink of sky over sea.  I can see pilgrims gathering.  The sage was a shape around the Self.  The Self is ever alive, I to I, as clear, quiet water.

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Krishnamurti: “Be the disciple of your own understanding…   Good is that of which you are not afraid, evil is that which you fear.  So if you destroy fear, you are spiritually fulfilled.”

Many feel that K closes the door as you come to it, making it very difficult …

Wiped clean of “knowledge”, does he address the “ignorant”?

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Krishnamurti at Rishi Valley School

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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 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) – along with many other creations in house.  

I write, illustrate, design and print my books.   Watch this space.

More Portraits of Ramana Maharshi and Devotees (1)

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Archive:  these sketches and portraits were published in the Ramana Maharshi Foundation Journal, Self Enquiry in the years 1993-2003

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Ramana with Squirrel

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Ganapati meets Ramana

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Ramana and a Verse by Muruganar

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The poet Muruganar

The Tamil poet Muruganar listened  and transcribed each day, Ramana’s words to verse.  These beautiful poems and meditations are published in Garland of Guru’s Sayings and  Guru Vachana Malai.  Like Talks and Day by Day with Bhagavan, they are an accurate companion to Ramana’s daily conversations, silence and presence in the Ashram.    

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T.K.Sundaresa Iyer

Another great devotee and scholar:  author of reminiscences “At the Feet of Bhagavan

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Western devotees with Ganesan

Some of the long term residents of Ramanasramam during the 1950s/60s.

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V.Ganesan

Co-editor, with Arthur Osborne, of the Ashram Journal The Mountain Path.   Ganesan has traveled, taught, shared stories and made friendships all over the world, and now lives quietly near Arunachala.

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Arthur Osborne

Arthur Osborne, a poet, and initially a follower of Rene Guenon, came to Ramana in about 1942, following his internment in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp.  He made the Ashram his home, and brought up his children there.  During those early and more rural decades at Ramanasramam, many vivid personalities thrived – a pioneering atmosphere, an empire being built, but in a different way.   Osborne founded and published the Ashram Journal The Mountain Path:  a vivid chronicle of Ramana’s teaching and devotees, amid the life and mythology around Arunachala.  It contains beautiful restored photographs from the archives, and enjoys a global circulation.

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Ramana visits Major Chadwick

As chronicled in A Sadhu’s Reminiscences of Ramana Maharshi …

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Douglas Harding: First Person cosmic egg

Douglas’s experiments sprang to life again, during his visits to Tiru.

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Papa Ramdas

Another great devotee and much loved Master in southern India, whose liberation bore fruit in Ramana’s presence.

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Frank Humphreys arrives to lunch

“Everyone comes to him as a book … from him, God radiated terrifically … “  Perhaps Ramana’s first Western visitor:  Frank Humphreys was a policeman serving in India, and a Theosophist.  His reminiscences of his discovery are another early gem.  Ramana suggested that people should do Self-enquiry while practicing their own faith and culture with sincerity:  on his return to the UK,  Humphreys became a Catholic monk.   Behind Ramana, Ganapati Muni enjoyes the perennial Anglo-Indian comedy.

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Ramana Arunachala

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To be Continued …

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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 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) – along with many other creations in house.  

I write, illustrate, design and print my books.   Watch this space.

More of the Star and the Seals

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10 August 2012

Rohit asked me this week to put up the Star on the blog, to progress the Tower energies swirling around;  so yesterday I did, and added to it some of the Seal chapter which follows it in my journal.

The Star is perhaps the most benevolent energy in the Tarot.  She is there when the walls of the Tower have blown away with the dust.   She is there, rebuilding and going deep.   She is there, nude and pouring the water of Life from her everlasting Source of nature onto earth and into the pool.   Onto earth a delta of the senses flows:  a tree’s rings of time ripple across the pool.   Lightly her foot rests on the waters.  The waters are the collective subconscious.  She is a yogic asana, and we can be this way, do it for ourselves, and feel what softens, spreads and opens.

The woman of the Star is truth and contemplation.   She heals the Foundation, and ever renews the root and shoot.   When we stand and are quiet, we find ourselves.

Here she is again, with AJJA’s verses below:

The Star

The Hebrew letter PEH belongs with the Tower.  It means “mouth” and “speech”.  The tower speaks:  the voice of God speaks from a burning bush:  I AM.   However, the power of this hieroglyph elides with the fluency of the Star.  Each Tarot Key makes a seamless Tao with its neighbours.

When we stand and are quiet, we find what we are.   We find what THAT is, which troubles us.  It is I.  Is it I?   Simply, I have no form, and yet I am.

The Tower of the Tarot, with its 22 courses of bricks, is a chimney.   The Tower or chimney, let down into the earth like a root, is a well.   How it transforms.

As above, so below.  The Seal of Solomon’s triads, masculine and feminine, likewise ascend and descend through each other in the temple of peace.

She looks down into the well uprising.  The walls are gone, and the earth delivers.   At the heart and source of every troublous thought, is this deliverance.   As Krishnamurti would say:  the sacred.

As Douglas Harding would say:  just look carefully, and go on looking.

We have to make a deal with our conditioned mental tension, to just lay off for a moment, and let

the attention be.

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Many years ago, a bi-polar friend commissioned from me a painting of Gerald Manly Hopkins’ poem: Mind thou hast mountains, cliffs of fall.   It was meant to depict the darkness and the terror of the bi-polar abyss.  I was in the middle of my Hermetic discovery.  I drew:  and at once the strata of the mountainous rock fell through into an inner land, sun bathed, of the All Seeing.  Hermes Trismegistos the guide, receives the falling soul, like a midwife.

Here’s the sequence:

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Awaken 87

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 sketch: Cliffs of Fall 87

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Dance 87

The oil painting which followed it, gave me another surprise.  A chance configuration of the paint, as I brushed in the sky, revealed a seal’s head soaring into the Upper Worlds.   I loved this seal.  Its song is the heart and thread of the Tree of Life through all the worlds;  this was before I studied Kabbalah.  It is a soul connection of the deep.  Unfortunately the painting got stolen from my friend when he was ill, and this blurred photograph is my only record of it.

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The Seal, Cliffs of Fall

So later on, I reconstructed it for myself, for it has a profound message of hope.  The soul falling through the strata of the subconscious in terror and delight, is the seeker.  The cave of the heart opens.  The little goat on the alp (below) is Capricorn, going about our business.  Hermes to the left presides over the journey, and over the landscape of the Underbeing:  the treasure house of souls.   The composition is a Tree of Life, with Hermes at Hod, and the energy of the quest in Fall at Netzach.   Here is a drawing:

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and the small painting to replace the lost one:

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Cliffs of Fall Version 2

The horizontal and vertical planes cross each other, as in every instrumentation of life:  the horizon with the sky.  In astrology, the Capricorn Cancer solstice polarity is a coastal path where land and sea meet:  the Song of Humanity;  the elders and the children:  death and birth.   Pluto, the orbit of transformation, is now (until 2024)  in Capricorn, where he was 240 years ago – the time of Beethoven and Napoleonic wars.   Whatever else goes on, profound human values are rediscovered.   So deeply does Pluto touch our inmost chords of song, that the astronomers have decided he is not a planet.

Pluto is about the size of our Moon.  Pluto is more – Pluto transcends his binary rotation with his moon Charon.   Pluto is the hundreds of fragments and asteroids of the Kuiper  Belt – whose gravitational drift forms a vast clock, or dial, around the sun …   240 years:  around five billion square miles of space;  one NOW.  The Kuiper Belt IS Pluto, collectively.  In astrology, the planets are expressed as qualities through their orbital pulses:  a few months for Mercury, 2 terrestrial years for Mars, 12 for Jupiter, and so on.   The solar system is a Rose of petals of time, cyclic yet never repeating history … a little like Tom’s torch of time.

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Great Rose

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Here are more impressions now, of the seals and the south westerly coast of Wales.   “The Star” is meditation.  The Seals play in the deep.

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rock family

From Journal, 4 October 2002:  Rope, Coast and Ship

Hearth-fire: To have one little fire in the wilderness by myself, is only the triad of awakening;  to join my smoke with the Elder ones is to warm with a greater fire, into which the Triad of the Spirit dips.  And in this greater fiery circle in the wilderness, with wise ones seated around it, prayer and small intentions for humanity are taken and they work, they join, they go beyond me.  It’s funny how there is this passion and yet the great difficulty to be present at the greater fire:  the tedium and the wrestling.  Most of the time during the day, my thoughts are not prayerful at all, but nasty, fearful depressions about so and so’s weapons, and the blaring bulldogs here.  Such imaginations only contribute to the newsprint of fear.

But … the Companions give me rope.  They give me space to explore my coastal path, the creative process and the I-mystery through Ramana.  They let me do it thoroughly, and then come back to them with my way of unification.  Does not this body of work belong to them?  Will they not look after it, and see that it goes with the right tide?

The rope is something earned in another lifetime.  There seems to have been so much labour in that other lifetime, to obtain this leisure and protection for the Spirit, that an anxiety – (am I making the most of the opportunity?) – continues to stress me. 

I begin to hear the gentle advisors, who say “rest”.  Do just what is given. Where my home is, is a tempering place, for all its crack crime and bulldogs, and survives history like the water the wave travels through.  The mite belongs to the Greater.  My work and creation is a fibre woven into Their Rope.

It is a seamanlike rope, like the one near Pwllderi, which hangs from a stanchion down the rock and into the bay a mile south of the Dinosaur headland.   I went down it again, not to swim this time, but to enter a deep dark cave under the cliff, and take photographs.  The rope is in my mind’s eye, thick rope with curly strands and fibres – holding it in my hand as I go down to the wet wild stones, and again when I come up. 

In the same part of that coast, and nearer the Dinosaur, is the ‘secret cove’.  It had seals and their babies in it, this time, so I didn’t go right down.  I only climbed down into it, because my mother dropped her bag with the car keys in it, down the cliff.  The slope is sheer, with tough couch grass, and the bag had come lightly to rest in thornbushes a hundred feet down or so.   I took it, and then traversed across to the secret diagonal path I discovered last time, to sit a little nearer the seals and watch them.  

Eleven years ago, I first entered it, climbing along the shaly sea’s edge.  It is where the igneous rock of Strumble meets beds of sandstone strata: a petrified eruption.

The cove has titanic devic cliffs around it, and waters within of indigo, green and russet.  It is an immaculate vortice, or oasis.  I am profoundly nourished by this mystic place.  It has rock formations of giant couples, children and owls.

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rock titans

Last week I ascended the diagonal path to the clifftop and looked for the spiral stones where I saw the snake last time, but they had gone, and it is overgrown with gorse. 

In my inner sight, it dips suddenly and beautifully down into the pure sea – the well.  The coastal contour flows around it.  It has every level In it:  a turning point in Truth – a landmark.

This time, the Companions gave me the seals to get close to.  Last time I climbed upon some “organ pipes” which gave me a vision of rocklike infinity:  a certainty of the Good.

How should I name this cove, so vivid in my interior, more so than the Tower, and as alchemical?  It glows with the long shadows of sunset.  In its depth are the violet stones from which they built St David’s Cathedral.  I cannot name it.  Keys from the vehicle were dropped into it and rescued.  On the rocky beach below, seals lay vulnerably and suckled their young, and in the soft dark waves their bulls stood guard.  I see above it the graded spiral of rocky stones, and the fluid snake.

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I dip into my interior treasure, along the coastal path trod by sages and Kabbalah.  It is part and parcel of that Great Path.  It is my self-refreshment and discovery of the great Trust fund of Truth.  It is a jewel threaded on the rope.  It never forgets the rope which is the path.  We were given feet and hands to tread sensually such paths.  Krishnamurti said “Truth is a Pathless Land” – which means every path in it is truth.  That was my revelation, glittering that day and in the night, on the organ pipes of igneous rock over the Dinosaur’s flank;  and I have it again.  The sea is in my face. 

The coast is a place of power.   What do they give me now, to see? 

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Return to ships’ crew –  my central Mast between the fore and aft of the pillars, and my Scamp in the crows nest – Daat:  the way he bothers me and my crew when we are all tired, with his horizons which we cannot see, and with his sooth saying ideas which we translate into uneasy psychological shadows, and his general chatter, and his inaccessibleness when it comes to trying to share his wisdoms through personal vulnerability. 

Come down!  Let’s see you!  Leave your nest and shimmy down the mast with its sheets, ropes and stanchions, swing down the ladders, drop onto the roof amidships, and onto the deck of gleaming timbers.  They seem golden, but are actually weathered grey and scrubbed by sea and salt.  Lend a hand!  Take a brush and some pitch, let’s see how you work with us.

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rock flow

The glory of the image …. crows nest, night-dark ravens and the black choughs with red beaks and legs, the glory of their command of the airs, ravens’ wing.  The raven phase of alchemy, and also the silvery and druidic grey of my Kingdom of Daat:  the music sings wherever I look.  But that is Daat download chattering – Pluto in the Tree;  and seals sing like owls.  Come down, scallywag sailor with your see-it-all, and lend your hand to the wood. 

Emotion is the deep living current of the green-violet sea.  Feelings are the surface break of waves which are then subsumed.  There is something very quiet and still and restful in the open breast of emotion, Kabbalistically.  It is unendingly here in this moment, intensely Daat, focused and free of drama. 

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My meetings with seals were analogous to the meetings and overlappings of the Four Worlds, and of inner and outer planes.  We poke our heads through membranes of the waters and look upon each other.  We receive each other, unheaded.

The sense is of a circle turned.  This last eleven years is a place of meeting.  Last time I couldn’t see the seals, this time I could.  It needs time and some hindsight, and the flow of the river away, to see what I am now seeing.

October 2002

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Old Men of the Sea

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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 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) – along with many other creations in house.  

I write, illustrate, design and print my books.   Watch this space.