Saturday, May 25, 2019

1263. Five forms of Manifestation.

There are various ways to relate to the Brahman, the creator. Worship is one of them and ritualistic worship is not the same as a mental worship. In the ritualistic worship an idol of the Deity is must. Sri Vaishnava Sampradaya of Srimad Ramanuja conceives Brahman in a fivefold series of manifestations known as PARA, VYUHA, VIBHAVA, ARCHA & ANTARYAMI.  Para is the Omnipresent state, Vyuha is the Cosmic state, Vibhava is Incarnation state, Archa is Manifest state and finally Antaryami is the Immanent state.

A seeker can connect to Brahman in any of the forms depending on his mental ability to grasp the vastitude of Brahman, the creator. The scriptures say that the ultimate realisation is the form known as Para, the Omnipresent one in which everything abides, including one’s own Self. When the Para is realised in everything then the Upanishad Mahavakya of “Tat Tvam Asi” is appropriate. Here the Self is not becoming one with Brahman as Samya Bhava (Emotion of Equality) as explained in Advaita, but it is to be identical to Brahman as Ikeya Bhava (Emotion of Identity). It is just a matter of interpretation by different schools of thought, but what cannot be denied is that this Self is in the nature of Brahman and comprehending it will liberated the seeker from the cycle of rebirth.

The scholars of Vishistadvaita after Srimad Ramanuja have made it easy to understand the five forms by comparing it with water. The basic necessity for any form of life is water. Water is available in nature first in clouds, then in oceans, rivers, wells and in our house in vessels.

Though there is water in the cloud it is impossible for us to drink from it. Water in the cloud is comparable to Para, the Omnipresent state. We are aware that cloud has water so also we know Brahman as Absolute. We realise that Para contains everything in it, but beyond our reach. 

The vast water body on earth is the ocean. We can visualise it but we are unable to consume the water from it, Vyuha, the Cosmic form is also the same, we can see the universe but we cannot grasp its infinity. Without ocean the water cycle cannot sustain, likewise without Vyuha, universe cannot exist and life in it cannot thrive. Level of manifestation in Vyuha form is unimaginable, but realisation of this manifestation can occur once the seeker has the knowledge that this cosmos has emanated from Hiranyagarbha, the primordial atom.

Just as we have many rivers from which we use water for various purposes, we have Vibhava, the incarnation form. Vibhava pertains to various Avataras Brahman has donned; it is for the seekers of different generations to draw the essence from them and enrich themselves. The knowledge of Avataras and their purpose helps in improving the awareness level of a person on the existence of Brahman.

Archa, the Manifest state finds its place in Vigraha aradhana, adoring the personal Deity; it is like having a well at our premises. The water from the cloud descends as rain and flows as river. A part of the river water goes into ground and can be retrieved by digging a well. The water analogy also would show how easy it is to draw water from a well which is personal to one who owns it. Adoring the personal Deity concept is as easy a way as using the water from the well. 

The water in my tumbler from which I can sate my thirst is Antaryami, the immanent state. The Omnipresent Brahman which was like the cloud has descended into the tumbler which I can say is mine, like how Brahman resides in the cave of my heart….. He resides in me as “OM.” 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

1262. Doesn't Hurt any more.....!

“One day, it won’t hurt anymore” was the status I posted on WhatsApp yesterday. A few read it as a statement displaying Ego. Superficially the statement sounds as if it is from an Egoistic, but the depth in it is a thought provoking statement. The underestimation of the word “hurt” in the statement has made it look as Egoistic. 

It hurts when I experience either Physical Pain or Psychological Pain. Pain is an inbuilt warning mechanism that helps to withdraw from harmful stimuli, be it physical or psychological. When I touch anything very hot, it is the physical reflex action which prompts me to keep away from it, so that it does not hurt me more. 

In the psychological pain the truth is that my feelings get “hurt” when the circumstances do not comply with my convenience. This is not like the reflex action that happens in the physical realm, the psychological pain stays on taking a deep dive into the sub-conscious mind and resurfacing at the conscious mind causing hurt to the feeling every now and then. Just as there is a relief to the physical pain there is also a respite to psychological pain also. If the psychological pain resides in then it is the birth of negative emotions.  

Negative emotions are a part of the “human life experience”. When I am hurt psychologically, either I am depressed or I get angry. Again both are emotions which cause more pain. The problem is that the idea my brain uses to create emotions and understand them is out-dated. We humans have spent much more time fearing the unknown than living with what is known. 

I can’t repress feeling hurt. But getting angry (which is supposed to be the natural consequence of “feeling hurt”) isn’t the answer: it has consequences I would not want and is an attitude which I obviously want to change. To say it differently, even though it is not my fault feeling hurt, how I react and the consequences of that reaction are purely my responsibility, whether I want it or not. I choose the reaction. And this is where boundaries and self-control come into play.

Self-control is controlling the reactive anger after I feel hurt. It is a realization that anger is just externalizing my pain, and there are other ways to do that. But sometimes, it is just too late to not fall into angry attitude. And usually, I just know when I am about to explode.

Well, boundaries are limits of what I am going to accept in my life. There are boundaries for what I am going to accept from people in my life, but also for what I shall accept from myself. When I know I would not be able to control myself, I can choose to leave.

By just letting the feeling pass by leaving it alone and once I can control the emotion, it is then I do not feel hurt anymore or have dealt with the pain. I can choose to say it is others fault and I am a victim of others actions or maybe just fate. Or I can choose that whatever procured me this emotion of pain, somehow, is due to my actions. And this is where I grow and experience the pain without being hurt.