The air is cold and wet even for late November. I’m in a large room of an old school, built during the time when Uzbekistan was part of the Soviet Union. I’m sitting in half-lotus with a dozen of other men, on mattresses tightly put together on the floor, and trembling in silence. It has been three weeks since the main impact of awakening took place, during the course (TM-Sidhi Program, an advanced yogic meditation introduced by His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the mid 1970’s) and I’m on fire. The windows are wide open; I can sense the pungent odor that comes from my moist naked torso, mixed with the scent of wood burning in the distance. It feels as if I’m on the sacrificial pyre. Piercing sound bursts from within my scull. Suddenly an indescribable sense of bliss and an almost nauseating lack of gravity obliterate all sensations, and with that, everything I’ve considered to be real is absolved by a blazing light of awareness. I lose all sense of space and time…
Lying down in a corpse pose, my body quivers in waves of ecstatic felicity. As the intensity begins to subside, an immense sense of peace and stillness gently spill over. In that wide-open space, I behold something grand, a breathtaking view of the planets orbiting the Sun: Mercury. Mars. Venus. The Earth. Majestic Saturn moves through my inner skies, with all its discs in perfect 3D. I’m fully aware that these are just “spiritual phenomena” and meant to be ignored. Yet the sense of awe is paired with revelation on that level of intuition where reason cannot enter. I slowly open my eyes and stare at the stars spilled across the ceiling…
Whatever one can find in the outer Universe, one can find in this very body. This is one of the most explicit of Tantric perspectives, which can be traced in many esoteric traditions and religious revelations. That is, if viewed with an eye of expanded awareness. Let us have a closer look.
When Silence speaks it hums its own name as “Spontaneous Emission,” an outburst of Pure Awareness in the act of becoming aware of itself. Known in Yoga as Pranava (primordial vibration), this emission carries everything in its potentiality. This “Ocean of Sound” is beyond the shores of audible perception. Its frequencies are finer than that of manifested (elemental) order, emanating from spinning centers of a soul in the making. This reverberating sound, though in the un-manifested state, contains everything in its potentiality. It pours in an uninterrupted stream of awareness in waves of eternal-bliss-consciousness, and as Will, Knowledge, and Action, to manifest itself as the unity of the perceiver, perceived, and perceiving. This Silence and this Dynamism are the perfect expression of unity in diversity. The story of the human body is not only inseparable from that infusion, but is the most refined expression of unity in diversity, with the human nervous system as an amazing instrument for tuning vast diapason of infinite vibrations into one coherently orchestrated sound.
The Body of Light
Speaking from the perspective of the evolution of our Mother Earth, human consciousness is not just a stage but also a culminating process on this beautiful planet. Here consciousness is enlivened to its utmost so that it can reflect the light of its own awareness in this very body. So human life is not yet another accident or a phase, but a manifestation of a process inseparable from an overall evolution of the earth. Here consciousness went through a series of contracting and expanding frequencies, in dizzying degrees of speed, and through space-bending vortexes of time—crystallizing its vibrant mathematical proportions through sacred structural geometry as minerals; converting sunlight into oxygen in an act of a giant respiration as the mighty kingdom of plants; playing and procreating its instinctual desire through an infinite variety of forms and movements as animals; and embracing it all by reaching to the stars and reconciling all polarities as Being in its human form.
That’s just a local picture. The human body contains all that exists in the entire universe, all that has ever existed and all that is yet to come. It stands as a perfect measure to all mathematical equations with precise proportions applicable to anything in any realm. Matter itself is being sanctified by that evolutionary refinement. From its most condensed, inert stages of collapse, consciousness expands to its liveliness. Here at this very moment, in each and every heartbeat, it throbs with that desire as your very own.
And the expansion continues. Gradually outgrowing centuries of narcissistic adolescence, we’ve entered a threshold where we are put in a position to make choices in our own evolutionary process. Human consciousness is a crowning affair and something that has the capacity to govern this very subtle dynamic process by virtue of its identity with Pure Consciousness. That thesis is perfectly encapsulated in the Upanishadic sutra, Aham Brahmasmi, meaning, literally, “I am Totality,” as the recognition of one’s identity with the source of all that exists.
With direct cognition of that truth comes re-cognition of the responsibility inherent in that very statement. Human life is Divine, not only in terms of its potentiality, but because it is a perfect manifestation of all divine impulses of nature, reflected throughout human physiology as universe incarnate.
The Strife of Love
It is said that human physiology is envied by celestial beings, those energies from all spectrums of light in varying degree of luminosity. For it is here, in this very human body, that the sacred juices of immortality are being pressed as an offering to sustain the deities, who when satisfied look after our sanity and happiness. It is for this reason that some ancient traditions view the human body as the formidable place where beings of light and darkness are locked in a battle for ownership of the soul.
Though part of the same field of all potentialities, some of these less luminous beings are here to usurp life on the planet from the level of your own awareness; and to divert and pervert your life force at the very core of your being where your attention is being hijacked by the arrested mind and corrupted senses, ultimately at the expense of freedom.
The drama is brought to its apogee on a collective level when viewed from a recent perspective, poignantly named “Spiritual Ecology.” The question of ecological destruction is a dilemma rooted in the energetic quality of consciousness, with the field of all potentialities being the source where the sum total of our intentions provides the generating power capable of navigating our collective destiny. By replacing real divinities of the subtler realms with superficial effigies, we’ve managed to thin out the aura of the planet to such a degree that it has been invaded with negative forces that are now cohabiting with human race as the very energy of destruction.
Ours is the time when we need to choose consciously what to pick from a maddening degree of choices, and our only compass is our attention aligned with the deepest intent. We can no longer rely on outdated testaments or codes of conduct that are not based on enlivening the inherent values of our own. Unless platonic values are evaluated, all talk of “universal oneness” is but wishful thinking. We’ve tried to reason in the name of love, forgetting that true harmony is a fine balance, and that universal tension between love and strife is what binds the elements together and sets them free in endless cycles of living and dying. Is there a chance that strife (what is born to separate), is here now to unite us in our shared striving?
To be reborn as newly budding consciousness, you have to “die before you die.” This is the prerequisite of all spiritual unfolding, and dying is what is happening to our current culture. The answer is not in looking for a solution to a problem, but rather in transcending the psychological tendencies born of outlived paradigms so that newly emerging patterns can take shape. In that opened space, new possibilities can rise, presenting us with new incentives for right actions. Hence, each time we offer anything into this body as meditation, prayer, intention, nourishment, food for thought, feeling, or entertainment, it evokes and nourishes that aspect of our humanity that is deeply in need of support at this time when shift in perception is the tipping point.
When we view human consciousness as part of the greater evolution of the planet, the question arises: is consciousness itself evolving? This is the most pertinent question of all theological debates that has ever taken place in this corner of universe. This along with the question of free will is what makes being human an event of Biblical proportions.
Before continuing, I feel it is appropriate to reflect on understanding of concepts such as “infinity,” “evolution,” “permanence,” and other terms ascribed to the qualities of consciousness. Lets look, for instance, at the concept of permanence. It’s customary to think of the universe as a place where there is little permanence except for the underlying ground beneath all matter—energy. Now, within that impermanence, the water in your glass is the same as it was billions of years ago, when the first element came into existence out of sheer potentiality. The same is true of fire and all other Great Elements. The structural composition of the elements has not undergone any evolution, despite the time given for its “improvement.”
From the perspective of Vedic Cosmology, the Great Elements (Maha-Bhutas) are still considered gross expressions of much subtler qualities of consciousness that formed them. Those [subtler energies] still fall short in comparison with that which gives birth to energy itself. So, even on the plane of ever-changing phenomena, there is exists something quite permanent, in as much as the concept of existence stretches itself in time.
Note that I haven’t even mentioned Brahman (Ultimate Reality, the Absolute) from the root brh: “to expand.” All of the above was a suggestion for contemplation on what we understand of permanence and evolution.
Indian tradition is rich in epics—Puranas, Aranyakas, Upanishads, etc.—whose accounts speak over and over of the periodic dissolution of the world. Unlike the Western concept of linear time, the Vedic view is based on cyclical formations or Yugas(ages). The ages have a different span according to the flow of time, and when put together form an epoch. Each epoch, in turn, is in relation to the greater cycle of creation, culminating in the dissolution of Pralaya, a periodic cosmic dissolution, repose, and re-absorption. The sheer measurements of Vedic time defy imagination, but generally mean that all creation dissolves into a passive phase or period when all manifestations are in dormant state.
Dormant, meaning that although the world has been dissolved, it is still in the form of a seed, or bija in Sanskrit. There is an intimate connection between the bija-mantras (seed syllables) and the five elements contained within the sounds that form the subtle body of the chakras. Superceding all is the bija, Om (Pranava), as the seed from which the universal Tree of Life grows, again and again.
Vedic civilization is sonic. It is based on sounds perceived deep within one’s own being on that level of consciousness where perception has reached a cognition of utmost refinement. These sounds are simply cognized as the innermost structure of one’s own reality. For instance, the one whose perception is refined enough to hear the reverberation of Om within, continuously, is said to be a living realization of Oneness. That primordial sound-seed is the plethora of all that ever came and ever will come into any plane of existence. It is “plethora” because of its absolute “plentitude.” It is Fullness Itself. The very meaning of the Vedic verse, Purnamadah Purnamidam is that, That (Absolute) is Full, and This (Relative) is Full.
Imagine, if the world in the form of a seed in its dormant state is already Fullness Itself, then what about the fullness ofBrahman (ultimate reality)? This is the meaning of the Bija, the meaning of Pure Potentiality, (another term for Shakti). That seed is what energy (Shakti) is to its source (Shiva).
Pure Awareness is referred to as “immutable” precisely because there is nothing that it does not contain, hence nothing can be added to, nor taken away from, its incomprehensible Fullness.
The Sacred Tremor
Dissolution does not necessarily take place as an event fixed in time. There is another dimension to that process, where spontaneous emission (an inherent quality of self-awareness) is the force behind all movements; however, not a movement in itself.
This ever-expanding and ever-contracting motion is the (Spanda) “divine throb”, of consciousness, which reverberates throughout the entire creation, bridging the universal and the individual in waves of ecstatic tremor nowhere but within theSpiritual Heart of your own. This inward and outward quiver is beyond space and time with contraction-expansion as the divine pulsation and the very definition of spiritual dynamism. Every movement in the universe, as well as every perception, feeling, sensation, and emotion in this microcosm, ebbs and flows as part of universal rhythm of indivisible Reality, the Self, the only conscious agent and perceiver.
Viewed from that perspective, creation never took place and the “creator-created” picture is an outlived paradigm of more integral, always newly emerging, reality. What we call “creation” is always in a state of pure potentiality, ever evolving, throbbing with new possibilities, an emission of Consciousness Itself.
The value of this knowledge is fully recognized in experiencing Spanda as the vibration or pulse of one’s own awareness. This sacred tremor is not just a philosophical concept, but also a directly perceived dimension of reality that unifies all polarities in oneness and leaves one in a perpetual state of wonder. To make a confession—whilst coming from a place of direct realization—the sheer thrill of that vibration, which shakes the body in waves of bliss even amidst of most mundane of experiences, is a delight incomparable to any other.
This world, along with every perception that goes into its making, including every feeling, thought, sensation, laughter, and tear shed in joy or sorrow, no matter how profane or sacred—all are creative expressions of Shiva. Your breath and your heartbeat as the rhythmical measure of time from a blink of an eye to infinity…
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 Wheels of Energy or Chakras, each said to a have particular frequency of rotation associated with a particular Tattva (specific quality of Consciousness), manifesting itself as anything from the subtlest realm of pure energies to, the gross formation of matter, down to the elemental order.
 The Vedic concept of Sat-Chit-Ananda as the ground of Consciousness Itself.
 According to Kashmir Shaivism Absolute manifest itself by the virtue of its own power of will as Iccha-shakti, by the power of knowledge as Jnana-shakti and through the power of action as Kriya-shakti.
 In reference to the Vedic ritual of pressing Soma (nectar of immortality), as a symbolic representation of the awakened pineal gland with its secretion of important hormones responsible for elated states of consciousness.
 Spanda (literally: tremor, vibration, movement) is, according to Kashmir Shaivism, the primordial vibration of the universe perceived in the Spiritual Heart.