This is a transcription of the audio lecture Teachings of the Hindu Gods 05 Hanuman, The Perfect Hero AUDIO originally given live on Gnostic Radio, which you can download for free. There is also an accompanying PDF: Teachings of the Hindu Gods 05 Hanuman, The Perfect Hero PDF
One of the most popular deities in the Hindu pantheon is named Hanuman. He is also one of the most recognizable deities, like Ganesha of whom we spoke in a recent lecture. Hanuman is depicted as a man with a monkey face, and is one of the chief characters in the epic story the Ramayana, which is one of the core mythologies of all of Asia, especially Southeast Asia. Throughout all the regions of Southeast Asia are many variations on the myth and legend of Hanuman. Naturally, in the Gnostic tradition when we examine myths and legends we are looking for the spiritual meaning, the practical application of the story in relation with ourselves.
In the story of Hanuman we see represented a great hero who is completely devoted to his lord, to his master, to his guru: Rama.
"He had Bhakti, Sakti, Vidya and Seva-Bhava, Brahmacharya and Nishkamya-Bhava. He never boasted of His bravery and intelligence. He said to Ravana, "I am a humble messenger of Sri Rama. I have come here to serve Rama, to do His work. By the command of Lord Rama, I have come here. I am fearless, by the grace of Lord Rama. I am not afraid of death. I welcome it, if it comes while I am serving Lord Rama." Mark here how humble Hanuman was! How devoted He was to Lord Rama! He never said, "I am brave Hanuman. I can do anything and everything." - Swami Sivananda
Hanuman in the Ramayana
In the lecture about Ramachandra we described the symbolism of Lord Rama, who is an incarnation or avatar of the god Vishnu. Ramachandra, represented with blue skin like Krishna, is depicted with his bow and arrow and is the chief hero or character of the Ramayana. In his story, his wife is abducted by a great demon named Ravana. Rama is only able to free his wife Sita from the demon because of the aid of Hanuman. It is Hanuman who makes it possible for Sita to be rescued, and for Rama and Sita to be reunited. So the role of Hanuman in the Ramayana is important. In the minds of many Southeast Asians, the service and devotion of Hanuman make him the most important character of the Ramayana. For many, he is the most revered deity, even though he is, we could say, at a lower level or a servant of Rama. Yet many see Hanuman as greater because he is a faithful servant, and thereby a great hero.
The origin story of Hanuman—like any mythological character—has a great deal of variety. There are many variations on his story. All of the variations have significance and meaning and emphasize for us that the story of the Ramayana and the story of Hanuman is not literal but instead symbolic. It conveys psychological and spiritual knowledge. We do not look for an authoritative version, because there is not one. The story is a living knowledge that conveys spiritual truths, thus it has a lot of variety.
In order to organize and understand the stories of these different deities, we utilize the Tree of Life or the Kabbalah, which although many associate it to the Hebrew or Jewish tradition, it is actually a universal tool. I hope that through studying these symbols you can begin to see that the Hindu tradition fits perfectly onto the Tree of Life. When you study the Tree of Life, it helps you to understand your own religion, whatever that religion may be.
The Union of Shiva-Shakti
In the earlier lecture of this series we talked about the upper trinity Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, which relate in the Christian tradition to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and in Hebrew are called Kether, Chokmah, and Binah.
The trinity is at the root of all creation. Any time we look at the creation of a hero or the origin or the myth through which and great hero or avatar comes into being, we always find the three forces, we always find this trinity at work.
In the case of Hanuman there are many stories of his birth and origin. Of particular interest is a version in which Shiva and his consort spouse Parvati are playing, having fun, enjoying each others company in the forest, enjoying nature. This symbol is significant because it represents how the three forces create. Those three are one (tri-unity = trinity), and in order for them to create they become two, because all creation is a sexual union of male and female. Shiva represents the three forces as male creative power, and Parvati represents those three forces as female creative power. When those two unite, we have Shiva-Shakti, Shiva-Parvati, or what in Hebrew is called Daath.
The Hebrew word Daath means knowledge; it is the Tree of Knowledge of Purity and Impurity, written about in the scripture Genesis. In Hindu terms, Daath is called Tantra, which means continuum or stream, and it is the flow of energy from the Tri-unity that creates and sustains life on all levels.
That sustaining power is the power of Shiva-Parvati, the power to create, maintain, and destroy existence. They create and maintain existence through their divine "play," which is Sanskrit is called lila. Lila means "play" but not play the way we think of it. It is more an engagement of energy that sustains existence.
Shiva and Parvati are playing in the forest, and they decide that they will take on the form of monkeys to enjoy that form and play as monkeys play, chasing each other. This play is very amorous, very romantic, because it is a man and a woman who are playing against each others forces and energies. This represents forces in nature, but more specifically it represents forces inside of us: psychological and spiritual energies that work inside of us to create.
In this play or game between Shiva and Parvati, their interaction with each other builds a lot of energy, so much that Shiva's sexual potency expresses itself and sperm or semen emerges into the environment, and because he does not want to pollute nature or create and kind of corruption or any imbalance in nature, he asks the god of the wind to take that energy and make proper use of it. The god of the wind takes those forces, the sexual potency that came out of this divine interaction, and he directs it to a woman who was praying to have a child. She was a very devoted woman with a lot of spiritual power, with a lot of spiritual elevation, but who was suffering under a great deal of karma.
The force that takes this sexual potency is the god of the wind who in Sanskrit is called Vayu. That name is also the name of the tattvas (subtle forces) of the air.
Vāyu (Sanskrit वायु) the Lord of the winds, also known as Vāta (वात), Pavana (पवन, the Purifier), and Prāṇa (प्राण, the breath).
Here, Vayu represents the power of the Holy Spirit, the third force, Shiva as the creative aspect who is directing energy, sexual creative power, and who takes that energy and utilizes it. It is Vayu, the god of the wind, which in Hebrew terms is called Ruach Elohim.
If you have studied the bible, you know that in the very beginning of Genesis it says:
"...the spirit of god moved upon the face of the waters."
This is the common English translation. Yet the actual Hebrew words say:
"...the Ruach Elohim moved upon the face of the waters."
Ruach means wind, spirit, breath.
Elohim is plural, not singular. That "im" on the end means a plurality, more than one. In Hebrew, El is God. Eloah is Goddess. Thus, Elohim is the union of El and Eloah: "God and Goddess." The Ruach is the outcome of the combination of God and Goddess. Ruach Elohim is the "breath" or "wind" or power of the Gods and Goddesses. The Hebrew word Ruach is the equivalent of the Sanskrit word Vayu. Vahu in Sanskrit is the lord of the winds who has other names: vata, pravana, and prana. These names are all significant in yoga, in Tantra.
Therefore, here in the book of Genesis we see what is all represented in this myth of Shiva and Parvati: god and goddess who through their sexual power put energy into motion to create.
Anjana, Hanuman's Mother
Vayu carries the semen (sexual creative power) of Shiva to the praying woman Anjana. Anjana is not a human being. Anjana is a vanara woman.
A vanara in Hindu mythology is a subclass of human being. A vanara is not a human being, but a type of monkey being. They are mythologically described as being tribal people, instinctive, who lived in the wild, who were very energetic, active, and mischievous,but animal in many ways, that is why they are represented with monkey faces.
The vanaras are symbolic of the level of being that all of us have. We are just animals with intellect. We are not really human beings. We are motivated by our instincts, we are very mischievous, we are wild, and we do not know the extent of the consequence of our actions. We behave in ways that are not beneficial for ourselves or for others. We are like animals in the forest, but we are worse, because animals in the forest respect and preserve their habitat, their food supply. We do not; we destroy everything, without realizing what we are doing.
Anjana was a Vanara woman who was suffering under a great deal of karma.Yet, she had a lot of spiritual qualities and a lot of spiritual powers, nevertheless she was suffering in the body of a Vanara woman in the wilderness. Anjana represents the inner Divine Mother of a person who has a level of being that is better than ours. She has a lot of spiritual values and is praying intently to serve God, to become better, and to pay her karma and come out of her karmic debts. Most of us do not do this. Most of us are so enslaved by our animal desires that our inner Divine Mother does not have the energy needed to liberate us from suffering. Thus, in this story, Anjana represents the inner Divine Mother of an initiate of the spiritual path who is liberating themselves from the ego, through which the inner Divine Mother begins to awaken and restore her beauty. For liberation to be complete, a sacred birth has to occur.
Anjana prays to give birth to a son to help others, to be of benefit to humanity. Vayu hears her prayer, and when the sexual power of Shiva and Parvati is available, he brings it to impregnate her, and she becomes pregnant in this sacred way, through an Immaculate Conception. This is the same story that is described in relation to Jesus. The Holy Spirit brings the sexual potency and impregnates Mary, and she becomes pregnant with Christ, as Jesus. So we see the same essential elements in this story of Anjana and Hanuman.
There is an alternate version of this story in which Shiva and Parvati are not mentioned. In this version, although Anjana is a Vanara woman she has many beautiful qualities as a soul, and is out walking and praying to pay her karma, when Vayu the god of the wind sees her, and is so moved by her spiritual beauty that he is impelled to impregnate her, resulting in the conception of Hanuman. So this version of the story carries the same meaning.
The Birth of Hanuman
Anjana has a child who is also a Vanara, meaning he has a monkey face; of course, this child is Hanuman. What is curious is that he is born wearing a loincloth. This is not a literal event, but is symbolic of his state of chastity. In other words, he was born with a covering over his sexual organs, a covering that represents his sexual purity. When we analyze the elements of this symbolic birth, we see that this is an immaculate conception, born without lust, without the defilement of the orgasm.
Hanuman represents a spiritual archetype who can be born within us. For this to occur, lust cannot be present in the sexual act. In other words, Hanuman represents something in relation with our soul, something in relation with our spirit, something spiritual and psychological in us that we can acquire if we know how. The secret is here in this symbolic story.
In this case, Anjana represents the power of our own inner Divine Mother who is trapped in our animality, the psycho-spiritual vanara monkey body that we have because of our karma. She is still beautiful because she is our Divine Mother, but she is trapped because of our karma. She is praying on our behalf to the gods for us to be liberated from our karma, and because of her great beauty and sincerity, the gods respond.
If we do our part, which is to liberate ourselves from the animality in our minds, we can also be blessed with an immaculate conception in ourselves spiritually, psychologically, where our inner Hanuman can be born, grow, and develop.
Hanuman Leaps for the Sun
As he grows up, Hanuman is a mixture of elements. He is a vanara child, meaning he has those animal aspects— mischievousness, instinctiveness—but he also has divine elements. He is a mixture. He is in confusion. In Gnostic terms, he is a Hasnamuss: a mixture of the divine and the impure. We are Hasnamuss as well, but not yet pure enough even to reach the level of having Hanuman born within us. There are levels of Hasnamussen.
One of the stories about his early youth, which has many variations, is that he sees the sun in the sky and thought it was a fruit, and, being a monkey, wants to get it. So because he has so much divinity in him, he has the ability to leap as high as the sun and take it, and so he leapt at the sun to take it. The gods were astonished by this, and were concerned, because if someone took the sun there would be no life; all life would die. At the moment he was going to take the sun, Indra the god of thunderbolts struck Hanuman on the chin with a thunderbolt and knocked him from the sky. Hanuman fell back to the earth unconscious. His father Vahu, the god of the air, saw his injured son and was so upset that he withdrew his air from all living things. So again, all existence was threatened with death. All the gods entreated Vahu, "Please provide your air to all beings once again, with compassion for all living things, and we will restore your son and give him our powers." Vayu agreed, so all the gods of the Hindu pantheon gave gifts to Hanuman in order to empower him even further.
There are many variations on this story. Some say that sun was being threatened by a dragon and Hanuman was going to protect the sun but the gods didn't see the dragon and they struck him instead. Regardless of the many variations, the end result is that because Hanuman was able to survive Indra's thunderbolt, he received his name. The name Hanuman comes from the Sanskrit hanu which means "chin," and mat which means "superior, excellent." Hanuman means "the one with the awesome chin" because he took a blow on the chin from Indra and survived it. He has another name, Maruti, which means "born of the wind." This name is related to Marut, an interesting term that we will talk about later in this lecture.
The Powers of Hanuman
The powers that Hanuman acquired through this process of his development gave him supernatural god-like powers. There are eight primary powers that are mentioned in the scriptures in relation to Hanuman. Those who have studied Kundalini Yoga, Gnosis, or Tantra will recognize these powers because these are the same powers that one acquires when the Kundalini awakens. They are:
- Anima: the ability to shrink ones size
- Mahima: the ability to increase ones size
- Lagima: the ability to be weightless
- Garima: the ability to increase ones weight
- Brapti: the ability to travel anywhere and acquire anything
- Parakamya: an irresistible willpower
- Vastiva: mastery over all creatures
- Istiva: the ability to become godlike with the power to create and destroy
Clearly, this is an impressive list of powers, and throughout the stories of Hanuman he uses all these powers in service of Rama, always in service to God, never for himself. This is precisely what is interesting about these powers and about the stories of Hanuman.
When we hear about spiritual powers, when spiritual people study spirituality, yoga, Tantra, we immediately begin to imagine, "That would be so cool if I had that ability. If I could shrink myself tiny or make myself huge or leap to the sun..." Yet notice that we want powers for ourselves, for our pleasure, and so others will admire us, fear us, and envy us. That is our first impulse. We want spiritual powers for ourselves. This is a very important thing to notice about ourselves. If you are practicing genuine spirituality in a sincere way, you will acquire powers like that—it is natural, it is part of spiritual development. The question is, what will you do with them? Will they be powers blessed by God, or powers derived from desire?
After this event in Hanuman's life, as he was growing up his mother recognized that he needed a good education, so she suggested to him that she ask Surya, the Sun, to be his guru. Her reasoning was, "The Sun sees everything and gives life to everything and is always charitable, never asking for anything in return. What better teacher could you have?"
Hanuman agrees and leaps into the sky once again towards the sun and begs Surya, the Sun, to be his teacher. Surya, the Sun, says, "I cannot be your teacher. I am too busy. Everyday I have to go around the entire planet and give life to everything that lives. I cannot stop. I do not have time to teach you."
Hanuman says, "Don't worry I'll follow, in fact I will go in front of you and watch everything that you do and learn from you as you do your other duties". So the sun agrees.
In Hinduism, the Sun is called Surya, which literally means "supreme light." Surya is a manifestation or another face or mukta of the other gods. Surya is Shiva, Surya is Vishnu, but appearing as the Sun. In traditional symbolism, Surya is represented as a great illuminated being riding in a chariot through the sky. If you have ever studied Greek mythology, then you will have studied the same symbol amongst the Greeks. It is called Apollo, who is the god of the sun.
Surya is one of the Adityas we mentioned in the second lecture of this course about the Divine Mother. One of the names of the Divine Mother is Aditi, and her children are the Adityas. The Sun is one of her children. Adityas means "the solar gods." Of course the Sun, Surya, would have to be one of the main solar gods.
Surya agrees to be Hanuman's guru and teaches him everything about scripture and Tantra. In fact, the myth states that Hanuman is the first being to learn pranayama. Remember that the story is not literal, it is symbolic. Hanuman represents an aspect of our psychology, our own spirituality, something that can be born within us. When Surya the Sun teaches pranayama to Hanuman, this is a symbol about the knowledge of the use of energy. To understand this, we need to know more about the Sun.
The sun is "the light of the world."
"I am the light of the world." - Christ speaking through Jesus
Surya is a Sanskrit word that means "the perfect light, the ultimate light." In Kabbalah we always talk about that light. In Hebrew it is the Ain Soph Aur, "the limitless light." In Greek it is called Krestos. In English we call it Christ. It is the light of the world, it is the king of kings, it is the emergence of all living things. It is a force-intelligence, energy that emerges in the consciousness of anyone who is seriously working to awaken. It is the true master, the one guru. This is why in James it says:
"We have one master, which is Christ."
Christ is a force in nature and is inside of everything. Yet, it has to be awakened in order for it to be activated. For this, we have to be "born again." This is how Christ is born in the human being. Hanuman represents the Christ-child within us who learns from the true master, which is Christ, the source of life, which is internal.
Hanuman goes through a period of training like any spiritual aspirant. When he completes his studies, he has to offer Guru Dakshina, which in Hinduism is a very important part of any spiritual aspirant's path. Dakshina means "payment." In Asian traditions it is always recognized that the student must pay for their education, and it is especially true spiritually. In the West, this has been forgotten, and everyone thinks they deserve everything for free. In Asian traditions it is remembered that everything that we receive should be replied to in kind, especially spiritual gifts. Thus, giving to one's spiritual teacher is a very critical part of any spiritual seekers path. They always bring something to offer to pay for their instruction. If you have studied the story of Milarepa, in order to pay for his spiritual instruction he brought the very last bit of wealth that his family owned; he could not even buy food, but he paid for his spiritual education. That is how important Guru Dakshina is.
Similarly, Hanuman received a spiritual education, and said to his teacher, "Surya, I need to offer Guru Dakshina, payment for the education you have given me, what can I give you?"
The Sun said, "Watching you learn has been enough."
Hanuman said, "No, I need to pay you something."
Surya then decided that Hanuman can serve him in a very interesting way. Beginning a deity, naturally Surya is also married, because in Hinduism all the deities are male-female. Every deity has this duality or marriage. Surya has a wife but he is too bright for her, she could not even look at her husband because he is the Sun. She had been asking him for centuries to turn down his light so that she could deal with him better. So the gods agree that they will take some of the luminosity of the Sun from Surya. When they pull the luminosity away from the Sun, it forms a very beautiful woman, the daughter of the Sun. Thus, Surya said to Hanuman, "Take my daughter as your wife." In other words, "take my light to be your spouse."
Hanuman said, "How can I take a wife? I was born with a loincloth as a Brahmachari, and must maintain my chastity, a life of sexual purity."
Surya says, "You can marry her, because you will follow the teachings that I have given you. Such a marriage will not break your chastity."
The Secret Teachings
Naturally, the public never understood this part of the story, so it was removed. This is why most people in public-level Asian traditions never heard that Hanuman was married. This has recently become uncovered and is now starting to become known in Asia.
Hanuman married Suvarchala, the daughter of the Sun, and yet he retained his chastity, his Brahmachari status. The only way that you can understand that is if you understand the secret teachings that have been hidden from humanity for many centuries and has only now become revealed. That secret teaching in its simplest form is to not orgasm, to not fornicate, to deny the animal impulse and to restrain that energy and transform it, thereby maintaining chastity.
This is why Paul wrote in Corinthians;
"They that have wives be as thou they have none."
That is what the chastity of Hanuman represents: to have a wife but to retain chastity. The hidden meaning there is be like Shiva-Parvati: to be in an amorous union with one another, but to not pollute it with lust, with fornication. Instead of orgasm, the sexual energy is harnessed by Vayu, the Ruach Elohim, the god of the wind, who uses that force for Genesis, spiritual creation.
The name Suvarchala comes from varcha, varchala, "luminosity" and su from Surya, the sun. Thus Suvarchala means "the luminosity of the sun," Christ. This luminosity is the radiance of the pure sexual energy. In Hebrew, it is called Shekinah.
So this is a very beautiful story that, if you know how to study it, reveals the entire teaching of Tantra.
Prayer to Hanuman
There is a type of prayer that is chanted by Hindu priests or priestesses when they are studying scriptures; this quote is from one of them. It says:
"Mangalam to Sri Hanuman, who is the consort of Suvarchala, who had four arms and who is the hero who rides on a beam of light."
Mangalam means good fortune, benefits, or blessings.
This is a very beautiful passage and again it has to be studied symbolically. Who rides on a beam of light? We are not looking for a literal, physical answer. We are looking for the spiritual, psychological answer. To know that, we have to understand what the light is. It is Surya; it is Vishnu, Shiva inside of ourselves.
The Conquering of Ravana
Through his devoted service to Rama, Hanuman makes it possible for Sita to be rescued from the demon king Ravana.
I would like to point out something very curious about this whole story. Remember that Hanuman is a vanara, meaning a creature from a monkey race, and yet he goes to conquer Ravana. These words have the same syllables, just rearranged: Ravana, Vanara; they are the same. This is a clear sign that this story truly is symbolic. It means that when Hanuman is going to conquer Ravana, he is going to conquer himself (varana), his own instinctive nature, his own animal nature. To free Sita, he has to conquer his animal nature.
n the story, there are many episodes through which Hanuman utilizes his powers in order to outwit the demon and his army. The most interesting story amongst tells how Hanuman allowed himself to be captured by the demons and Ravana, in his anger, in his desire for vengeance against Hanuman, commands his demonic forces to set Hanuman's tail on fire, just to torture him. Hanuman, in order to tease the demons, extends his tail out so that it is really long and they do not have enough cloth and fuel to light the whole tail on fire. Then he shrinks it really small just to tease them. In the end, he lets it be its normal length and they light it on fire; as they are all laughing, he uses his powers to break free of his bonds, and he leaps all around the demon kingdom using his burning tail to light everything on fire. He turns their trickery against them. This illustrates how we need to "steal the fire from the devil" like the good thief who was crucified next to Jesus. We steal the fire from the devil when we transmute our defects into virtues. This is a process of psychological comprehension and sexual transformation.
The Meaning of Hanuman
To go deeper into the meaning of Hanuman and what he really represents, we can look more into the Sanskrit root of his name. I told you hanu means "chin," but Sanskrit is just like Hebrew: it is made up of syllables that have many different meanings and can be arranged in different ways, looked at in different ways, and all the meanings apply at the same time.
The first syllable Ha can mean Brahma, the Father, or Shiva the creator and destroyer. It can also mean bliss, sky, or water.
The second syllable nu relates to worship or praise, but also means "that which spiritizes." In other words, "that which brings light, that which illuminates."
Finally the syllable man is the root of manas, which means mind. It comes from the root syllable ma, which has an incredible range of meanings. It can mean "to think." It can also be a reference to the Divine Mother.
The root ma, man, or manas relates to the mind—not just the intellect, but everything about us as a psyche. Manas is our psychology. It is not man as "male." It is manas as mind.
In Asian psychology, mind does not mean "intellect." In Asian psychology, mind and heart are consider as the same thing. It is only in the West that people developed this idea that the heart and the intellect are separate. In Gnosis we study them separately because it is more precise, but in Asian psychology mind-heart are considered too closely related to separate. So manas relates to mind-heart.
What "ha" "nu" and "man" (Hanuman) literally represents is the force or light of the Divine Mother that brings the light of Shiva, Surya, Brahma. In other words, Hanuman is the one who makes the liberation of Sita possible. Hanuman is the one who makes it possible for Rama to become a great king. Without Hanuman, Rama could not be the perfect man. Rama needs a perfect hero, and that hero is Hanuman. He is the facilitator. Hanuman is the one who allows the light (Rama) to emerge.
When we look at this image of Vishnu, of Krishna showing all his forms we see Hanuman up at the top and he is representing one face of how divinity works. He is the one who brings the light through his heroic deeds and those heroic deeds are psychological in us.
Another name of Hanuman is Maruti, which means "born of the wind." This word Maruti comes from the Sanskrit word Marut, which means "wind." In the Vedas, ancient scriptures of Hinduism, there is a class of being called Marut. The Maruts are storm gods, demi gods. They are somewhat like the titans of the Greek myths. They are like angels in Christian and Jewish myths. They are angels or Devas that fight amongst themselves. They are called "jealous gods." They could also be called Pratyeka buddhas.
"...the Maruts have themselves glorified their greatness." - Vedas
Maruts are beings who have the powers of a god but still have pride, jealousy, attachment, envy, fear—but not like ours, like a god has. Maruts are gods who fight each other for supremacy. They are constantly engaged in territorial wars, spiritual wars, competing with each other spiritually, trying to out do each other, trying to have the most followers or the biggest temples or churches, or the most wealth or the most fame. These are Maruts. They have spiritual knowledge, but a lot of envy, a lot of competition, a lot of jealousy.
Hanuman represents someone who is spiritually developing but still has ego: a Marut. He is Maruti, "born of the wind (Ruach in Hebrew)." He is becoming a god, but is not yet finished, because Rama does not yet have Sita. In other words, until Sita is rescued from Ravana (the consciousness trapped in the ego), Hanuman will not be fully developed, with Rama on the throne.
Hanuman and the Tree of Life
We often see the picture of Hanuman opening up his chest and showing in his heart are Rama and Sita. These are his gurus, those who he serves with all his heart. His every thought, his every action is in service to Rama.
When we study this symbol and he study it in relation with ourselves to try to understand what Hanuman represents, then we have to analyze: if Hanuman represents a part of ourselves and Rama represents a part of ourselves, then what is this dynamic relationship in ourselves? We explained in the previous lecture that Ramachandra represents the Bodhisattva, our human soul, Tiphereth on the Tree of Life. Rama represents the man who is trying to become perfect. The story of the Ramayana is the story of him reaching perfection, or in other words, becoming a fully fledged bodhisattva. The way he does it is through the aid of Hanuman. So if Rama represents Tiphereth, the human soul, what does Hanuman, his servant, represent?
When we study the meanings of his name, we can start to understand what Hanuman represents, especially when we study Kabbalah. In Kabbalah, the soul is described in very specific terms; these descriptions are in the bible, but in English have been lost because when the bible was being translated into English the translators did not know any of this so they just translated things—sometimes, it seems—at random. It does not make sense in certain cases why they choose some words over others.
In the second chapter of Genesis there is a line that says:
"And Jehovah Elohim formed Adam from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the Neshamah Chai and Adam became a Nephesh Chaiah."
In English it does not say that. I have retained the Hebrew terms because they are very significant. In English it says:
"He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul".
The Hebrew words here are very significant. If Christians understood the Hebrew, their entire understanding of Christianity would be turned on its head, because it would not be what they think it is. The real meaning is not the same as modern Christian beliefs.
This scripture explains stages of spiritual initiation: very subtle, detailed, and demanding levels of spiritual work. This scripture is not describing how all of us came into being. It is describing how Adam is made. Here, Adam is the perfect man, Rama. We are not the perfect man. We are animals, yet who can become perfect.
"When Jehovah Elohim (Shiva-Parvati), formed Adam (Rama / Hanuman) from the dust of the ground, he breathed into his nostrils the Neshamah Chai."
Three Types of Soul
In Kabbalah, Neshamah is a type of soul, a type of light that gives life spiritually. Literally, you can translate the Hebrew word Neshamah as "breath," just like the Sanskrit Vayu, the god of the wind, which can also be translated as "breath," but it does not mean physical breath. It is a source of spiritual life.
When he received Neshamah, Adam becomes a Nephesh Chaiah, "a living soul." In certain cases, the Hebrew word Nephesh can also be translated as "breath." In ancient times Nephesh was also translated as "throat or neck."
On the Tree of Life, the sephirah Daath is below the upper triangle that is in relation with our head. Just below that upper triangle is Daath, which is related with our throat. Daath, or the Tree of Knowledge of Purity and Impurity, is related with the throat. The gods create through the power of the word, through speech, through the breath that flows through the vocal cords. That is the power of Daath. That is how the Elohim create light.
"And Elohim said let there be light and there was light"
Daath is the power of the throat. Our spiritual development depends upon Daath, the power in the throat.
The Nephesh at its basic level is "animal soul." All living things have a Nephesh. Nephesh is an undeveloped, unawakened soul, not a Nephesh Chaiah, which means "living soul." To a have Nephesh means that you are alive, but mechanically. Nephesh is just that basic energy of living. When you receive Nephesh Chaiah, you have received an illuminated soul, a soul filled with Chai ("life")—in other words, you are no longer an animal. This is accomplished through the mysteries of the sephirah Daath, related to the throat, the breath, the creative power of the Divine.
These three types of soul are really one, in degrees, in levels. They are three parts of one thing. They are not acquired automatically when one is born. We have what we could call the atoms of these souls. We have the potential or embryo of these souls. We have Neshamah as an embryo. We have Ruach as an embryo, and we have Nephesh. Unfortunately, our Nephesh, our animal soul, is very confused.
The Four Worlds of Kabbalah
When we study the mystical scriptures of Kabbalah, we find in the Zohar an explanation of these three kinds of souls.
"Come and see when a man (manas) is born again he is given a Nephesh of the animal element from the side of purity from those that are called the holy wheels namely from the world of Assiah. If he gains further merit he is given Ruach from the aspect of the Holy living creatures namely from the world of Yetzirah. If he merits further he is given a Neshamah from the part of the throne, namely from the world of Briah."
Naturally, if you have not studied Kabbalah, this will be very cryptic to you, but if you have studied Kabbalah, you will understand it. This description is showing levels of spiritual elevation through the Four Worlds of Kabbalah.
- Atziluth: world of archetypes
- Briah: world of creation
- Yetzirah: world of formation
- Assiah: form, matter
Assiah relates to the physical world.
Yetzirah is the world of angels, the world of formation.
Briah is the world of creation. Briah is the world of Daath, where Shiva-Parvati create. The result of their creation is formed in Yetzirah. When that formation is complete, a living entity emerges in Assiah.
Energy rises, energy descends. There are great movements of energy throughout all levels of nature.
What is being described in this quote is an Adam, Rama, who receives levels of spiritual development through levels of purity, not through conquering others, getting attention, or being really impressive with spiritual powers, but through being pure, very pure.
It says at the beginning:
"Come and see when a man is born"
This is not a physical birth, and it is not just for males. That man (manas) is Adam, Rama, Tiphereth, and that birth is spiritual, an immaculate conception; it is how Jesus was born, it was how Hanuman was born. It is something inside that happens in us spiritually.
That spiritual birth can happens in us when we pass the requirements our Innermost gives us, so we receive "Nephesh from the animal element from the side of purity." That Nephesh is Hanuman, the hero. It is our Nephesh, empowered by the gods. It is our Nephesh with all the abilities of Hanuman. We do not have that. Right now, our Nephesh is just caught up in desire, in lust. Right now, we have no spiritual powers.
The Tree of Life
We study the Tree of Life in relation with ourselves. This is its most important meaning.
Here we see an image of a Tree of Life superimposed over a physical organism. At the top we see the upper trinity, which relates with Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, who in their unity represents Surya, the Sun, the Cosmic Christ. That spiritual Sun wants to give us its light—its daughter Suvarchala—for us to marry in chastity, in purity, so that we can then go on to help Rama recover Sita.
Rama relates to Tiphereth, the heart. Tiphereth is exactly in the middle of the Tree of Life, exactly where Hanuman breaks his chest open to reveal Rama and Sita. Rama is there in the heart; Rama is Tiphereth, the bodhisattva.
Hanuman in ourselves needs to receive that spiritual inheritance of light (Suvarchala), but right now in us cannot because our Hanuman is not in chastity. In us, our Hanuman, our Nephesh, is a fornicator. Hanuman has not been born in us yet.
When we look at the Tree of Life superimposed over our body, we see all these sephiroth in relation with the parts of the body. Most importantly, we see the sephirah Yesod, the foundation, which is directly related with the sexual organs. We see Tiphereth related with the heart. We see Daath related with the throat. We see the sephiroth of the two columns of either side related with our arms, legs, shoulders. We see Malkuth at the bottom, which represents the whole body.
On this particular graphic, we have shown another Tree of Life flowing downwards from Malkuth. That descending Tree is a tree of death.
In Hebrew, the word for life is chai. To become a Nephesh Chaiah is to be a Nephesh that has chai, life. What is the source of life on every level? It is sex. That is symbolized on the Tree of Life as the sephirah Yesod. In Hebrew, Yesod means "foundation." It is the foundation of life. Obviously, it is the foundation of life physically, but what humanity does not realize is that it is also the foundation of life spiritually.
The Kundabuffer Organ
Unfortunately, because our heart and our mind have become so corrupted with desire, pride, anger, lust, etc. we have converted Yesod from what should be creative and life-growing into a source of destruction. We use sex to satisfy animal cravings, to conquer others, to manipulate. We no longer use sex for divine purposes. We use it to fulfill our desires, to get what we want. That is why our Nephesh has become corrupted. That is why Adam and Eve left Eden. In Hebrew, Eden means "bliss." We left blissfulness and exchanged it for suffering because of desire, because we ate of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge—Daath, sexual knowledge.
The end result in us is that the life in us, chai, we throw away everyday through fornication, through the orgasm. We throw it away through our abuse of our emotions, through indulging in sentimentality, through indulging in anger, pride, envy, and fear. We throw it away through propagating negative emotions in ourselves and in others, through negative thinking, through harmful thought. The result is that this energy of chai—which should be the foundation of our temple, the cornerstone of our temple—is cast out of our body through Malkuth (physicality), out and down, and create what is called klipoth or sheol in Hebrew. In Sanskrit, it is called Avitchi. That means hell.
The result is that the energy of Yesod that should give us life spiritually, instead creates the ego. Every time we indulge in anger, we invest energy in anger, we strengthen it, we do not weaken it, it gets stronger. Every time we indulge in lust, we strengthen lust, we give it energy, we give it our life force and it gets stronger. When we indulge in our pride, when we nourish our pride, we when we carry it around with us all the time, thinking about it, feeling it, and giving it our energy, we make it stronger. The end result is that all of that energy that is flowing out of us physically and psychologically is creating something negative, inverted.
Because of our psychological condition, the light that comes from the Sun inverts as it flows through us. It becomes what in Christianity and Judaism has been represented symbolically as "the tail of Satan." You will notice that the demons are represented with a tail that flows from the coccyx down. That is a representation of the ego. It is not physical, it is psychological. We all have "a tail," psychologically. The result is that we are like this devil with the tail of fire, inverted light, corrupted by desire. In some traditions they call it Kundabuffer.
What really should happen is that we should harness those psychological and spiritual forces in ourselves, and raise them up. Instead of indulging in lust, anger, pride, envy, jealousy, we should renounce those defects and save the energy that would otherwise be wasted.
Instead of indulging in the orgasm, we should be like Hanuman: a Brahmachari, someone who is in chastity, someone who has a loincloth over the sexual organs, meaning purity. That energy, instead of being wasted through desire, can be harnessed through the technique that he learned from his master: pranayama.
Prana is a name of the god of wind, Vayu. In Sanskrit, Prana means "life force." It is energy, it is Nephesh.
Yama is Sanskrit and means "to harness."
Thus, Pranayama means "to harness the wind." In other words, "to ride the light." Remember the scripture says that Hanuman is "the one who rides on the light." Hanuman is the Nephesh that has learned to transform energy, to "ride the light," to harness the prana and use it for the benefit of Rama instead of himself. Hanuman uses his powers to benefit Rama, and the result is that instead of indulging in those energies and forces selfishly for ones own gratification, Hanuman gives that energy to Rama and uses it to glorify Rama, and to help Rama, and to save Sita from the demon. The demon is the ego.
The name Ravana means "has ten heads." Here are those ten heads:
- Nine sephiroth below Malkuth; the hell realms; the submerged, subconscious mind
The demon king Ravana represents our ego, our subconsciousness. The ten-headed Ravana is none other than the sephiroth from Malkuth down: nine circles of hell (described by Dante) plus the physical world. Those are the ten heads of Ravana. Those ten heads are inside of us.
Hanuman can conquer Ravana by not giving him any more energy, and that is in us, psychologically. If we want to escape suffering, we need to stop feeding desire, anger, pride, envy, lust gluttony, greed, envy, fear. The list goes on. Those ten heads have a lot of power, not only inside of ourselves, but in the world.
Through the practice of pranayama—which in this context is symbolic and represents the ability to harness the energy and transforming it into something beneficial—Hanuman is able to harness those energies and transform them, making himself into a god. Literally, speaking, pranayama is a type of breathing exercise, and there are many variations in every tradition in the world. The word is Sanskrit, but you can find equivalent practices in every religion.
In Sufi Islam, God is investigated through the breath. It is the same in Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism. God is the god of fire to the Zoroastrians, but that fire is in the breath.
Hanuman who learns the pranayama to harness the winds is the Nephesh who learns to harness the fire in his blood. Where do you feel the most fire? Sex. Where else do we feel a lot of fire? Envy, pride, anger, fear. There is a lot fire in those elements that flows through our blood and that motivates us to behave in ways that harm ourselves and others.
To really create Hanuman, we have to train ourselves to not be enslaved by those monkey behaviors. We have to tame the monkey and make him a human being. When those forces are being harnessed through the symbolic pranayama—not the literal physical breathing but the psychological effort—those energies can be harnessed and directed. They become a beam of light. They become a fire that gives life. That fire is the wife of Hanuman. It is the luminance of the Sun. That fire, that light, has many levels of meaning. It is the energy that illuminates the mind and awakens the consciousness. Psychologically speaking, it is that aspect of soul in Kabbalah called Neshamah. Energetically speaking, it is Kundalini. It is fire-light that is harnessed and raised up the spinal column to illuminate the entire Tree of Life, to give light to all of the sephiroth—in other words, awakening, powers. All those powers that Hanuman receives are a process of the awakening of the Kundalini.
Ascending and Descending Forces
There is a great duality of forces:
- Kundalini, a fire-light that rises up because of spiritual, psychological purity
- Kundabuffer, a fire-light that descends because of spiritual psychological impurity.
Kundalini is represented in every religion of the world in different ways. Here is an image of gods in the Greek pantheon with fire coming out of there foreheads. That is Kundalini. We see the same symbol in the book of Acts when the apostles receive the Pentecostal fire of the Holy Spirit; the fire emerges from the tops of their heads. Kundalini is the halo that glows around the heads of saints and Buddhas.
That fire or light is the power of Surya, expressed through his daughter, through his luminosity, that emerges in us and that ultimately awakens and glorifies the bodhisattva: spiritually, not physically.
In relation to this we need to see something significant. Here we see a great duality of forces that are rising up spiritually and forces that are descending spiritually. All of us have these descending forces already, and the evidence is our behavior. We have the ego. We have a lot of psychological corruption, whose consequences are the physical corruption in our world. If we were great angels, spiritually, our world would not be in the condition it is in; this planet would be a paradise. But it is not. It is a hell that we made because of our choices and poor behavior.
In other words, all of us have Kundabuffer active and energized. That is the psycho-spiritual energy in us that feeds our ego everyday. We wrap it around ourselves for protection because we feel traumatized, we feel pain, suffering, longings and desires, we feel we were wronged, betrayed, and all of the other feelings and thoughts that we have that nourish our ego. All the excuses we give ourselves and all the justifications we give ourselves are all what make up the ego. It is what we call "me, I, myself."
That entire construction is a lie that we tell ourselves. The ego is a demon that we made. It is a Nephesh that has become demonic. It is a Nephesh that has a lot of energy and power that it uses to sustain itself. Its only interest is itself, and it will do anything to protect itself. It has no interest in anything else but itself. This is why we see the world the way it is. Everyone is only seeking to serve themselves. Even those who say they are doing charity are doing charity to deal with there guilt or to get attention or praise from others or to stand out, or to say, "do you see how humble I am. I am serving everyone." That is not humility, that is pride, and that is demonic.
Everywhere in our society we see the proliferation of ego. That is the power of the Kundabuffer. It is the power that energizes the ego and gives us the ability to act and control us, and we go right along with that; we love it. We are deepening it and deepening it everyday, and we are making it stronger and stronger. Unfortunately, the vast majority of humanity is at a precipice in which, just a little bit more energy invested into that ego, into that Kunabuffer, and it will awaken, meaning that the demonic force will become awake, aware of being a demon, with powers, demonic powers. They look like powers of a prophet or a saint—the power to increase ones size, the power to shrink ones size not physically necessarily but psychologically. Do you see how there are certain people who can make themselves seem larger than life? To get others to worship them because they are a great celebrity, a great prophet, a great saint, a great intellect, a great performer? That ability to seem larger than life is mahima, that ability of Hanuman, but inverted as the force of a demon. The ability to shrink, the ability to acquire anything at anytime, to go anywhere and get anything. All of those powers are acquired by demons, too, but inverted. That light or gift from the gods is converted and made demonic. We all have that potential to become that, and humanity as a whole is on the precipice of a great awakening as demons. This is why it says in the book of Daniel,
"Behold I set before you the path of life and the path of death, and many are they who will awaken to shame and everlasting contempt."
That awakening to shame in iniquity is to awaken as a demon. Already we find already on this planet millions of people who are already awakening in this form. They do not realize that they are demonic. They are just awakening and having powers able to get what they want: money, political power, spiritual power, psychological power. They are using their influences in every aspect of society, and they look like normal people and they act like normal people, but the have power that is beyond the average person, and they have a lot of ego: pride, envy, gluttony, greed, lust. There are more and more of them awakening.
That awakening is the Kundabuffer growing more and more. Some of them become very aware of that and become fully fledged demons. They are very dangerous because they will never show you that they are demons. They will do everything they can to look like angels, to look like gurus and saints. They can even use powers to manifest things out of thin air, show themselves in two places at one time, read your mind, tell you your past lives, predict the future, go out of the body, do all kinds of what we might call "miracles," but really, they are just demons tricking people.
These are Maruts, which in other traditions are called hasnamussen. About them, Samael Aun Weor said something very significant:
"The Twice-born who does not reduce his lunar ego to cosmic dust converts himself into an abortion of the Cosmic Mother. He becomes a Marut, and there exist thousands of types of Maruts. Certain oriental sects and some Muslim tribes commit the lamentable error of rendering cult to all of those families of Maruts. Every Marut, every hasnamuss [plural: hasnamussen] have in fact two personalities: one white and another black (one Solar and another Lunar). The Innermost, the Being dressed with the electronic Solar Bodies, is the white personality of the hasnamuss, and the pluralized "I" dressed with the Protoplasmic Lunar Bodies is the hasnamuss' black personality. Therefore, these Maruts have a double center of gravity."
To understand what this means we need to understand this image of the Tree of Life. There are different types of Maruts, "storm gods," or what Gurdjieff called Hasnamuss. We talk about four primary kinds, but there are thousands of varieties.
Here are the four types of Hasnamuss on the Tree of Life.
- mortal: the common person
- those with the Solar Astral body
- those with the Solar Bodies created
- fallen Angels
Spiritually, psychologically, we all have a tail. It is not cute. It is a forked tail of a devil, and it represents our lust, anger and pride, and every angel can see that tail, but we cannot see our own tail, because we do not see ourselves as we truly are. We only see the illusion of ourselves that we project, the lie that we tell ourselves about ourselves. We do not see ourselves as we are. Even if we have an awakened experience in the astral or mental planes, we still see our projections. We do not see the truth.
We are the first type of Hasnamuss. The other types are beings of Hasnamussen who have acquired some level of spiritual initiation. All of us have tried to work spiritually either in this life or past lives—that is not what I am talking about. I am talking about those who have actually created some aspect of the soul, who have actually established some degree of purity psychologically, whether in this life or in a previous life.
When we study the Tree of Life we study this duality between the free, unconditioned consciousness and the trapped, conditioned consciousness. Below the sephirah Malkuth is the demonic aspect, the black personality, our egoic psyche. Everything about us as an ego is there. We also have a part of consciousness that is still pure. For the vast majority of humanity, there is only two or three percent left that is pure, that is untouched by ego. Two or three percent! If you visualize how small that is, it is astonishing. Imagine that 97% of you is filled with cancer, and only three percent does not have cancer. Do you think you will live? What chance do you have to survive if 97% of yourself is corrupted with cancer? Yet, even if you think your chances are pretty slim, the doctor will still give you medicine. That doctor is your Innermost. The medicine is psychological work, and you need a lot of willpower. You need Hanuman in order to do it.
The Four Types of Hasnamuss
We are common mortals. We are here in the physical world (Malkuth), and that is pretty much all we are semi-aware of—having a physical body here in the physical world. We are only vaguely aware of that. We are not really aware of Malkuth. We take our body for granted and we abuse it everyday. We do not really have cognizance of how fragile it is and how important it is. To feed our desires, we kill ourselves. Everyday we are putting poisons into our physical bodies, killing it not only physically but psychologically. Alcohol kills cells. Smoking kills cells. Pollution kills cells. Chemicals that we get in our food or water, our air that impregnate our skin through touch, just by being near certain chemicals we get that. Moreover, the ego steals all of our best elements, killing us spiritually and psychologically. In every way, we are killing ourselves and we do not care.
The second type is related to those who have created a Solar Astral body. This is related with the sephirah Hod. Someone who has created the Solar Astral body has passed the third Initiation of Major Mysteries which means that they have been working in Tantra with a spouse for years. They have passed a lot of psychological tests; they have suffered a lot of ordeals. They have managed to raise the Kundalini three times; in the physical body related with Malkuth, in the vital body related with Yesod, in the Astral body related with Hod. This type of person is not a normal, average person. They are a very serious spiritual practitioner, to do that type of work.
The third type is the one that has created the other solar bodies: the Solar Mental body related with Netzach, and the Causal body related with Tiphereth. That means they have raised the Kundalini five times. Each time the Kundalini is risen, it is risen by passing ordeals, vertebrae by vertebrae, one step at a time. It is not fast, it is not easy. It is not given just because we mean well or because we have given a lot of money to a guru. The raising of the kundalini is an action performed by the Divine Mother, not by any external force. It is done inside, by the Divine Mother, and she is a very exacting, demanding guide. She does not give her power lightly or easily.
The fourth type are fallen angels, which are beings that have gone to some other level beyond just having the solar bodies. They may have only reached Tiphereth. They may have reached other levels. They may be great Bodhisattvas who fell.
Each of these four fundamental types of Hasnamuss has a split center of gravity. They have a white aspect that is untouched by ego, and they have a dark, impure aspect that is corrupted by the ego. In other words, they have a split in their psyche. We are all that, but the vast majority are just simple mortals who do not have any soul created.
What is a solar body? It is a vehicle that is created through Tantra or Alchemy that exists in the fifth or sixth dimensions. That is a cognizant body like this one physically. It is a body that you know you have and that you know you use. In the fifth or sixth dimensions. There is nothing vague about it. It is not a theory. It is a living reality that is more real than this third dimension. Someone who has cognizance of creating a Solar Astral body is awake in the Astral plane, in the fifth dimension, using that Astral body, and they can go anywhere that they want and have many powers because of that body. It is mentioned in Corinthians and it is also mentioned by Solomon in a couple of places, but it is not called the Astral body. It has other names, but it is hidden throughout the bible. Those with the other solar bodies have similar cognizance in other dimensions; in the Mental plane and in the Causal plane.
Beyond that are the fallen angels. These are the worst.
I know that the description of ourselves sounds really bad, and you might be feeling a bit guilty. We should feel that; we should feel remorse. But unfortunately, there are a lot of people who like to call themselves "fallen Bodhisattvas," and think this is something to be proud of. They boast, "I was a fallen bodhisattva and I created all my bodies in the past." These people should really be ashamed of themselves, because a fallen bodhisattva, a fallen angel, is worse than any other kind of being. They betrayed the gods. We, as "normal people," have done bad things, all of us have qualities we need to change and we have done things we shouldn't have done, but a fallen angel has slain a Buddha, killed a Buddha. That is a very serious crime, because when an angel falls, they kill their Innermost. It is not a permanent death, but it bears a very heavy karma. Fallen angels are extremely dangerous.
We are all demons, each at our own level. We are bad, but we have the possibility to change and redeem ourselves. We have a lot of ego, but really on the scale of things we have the potential to change, and that is why we are being given the teachings, and have a chance to change and do it.
Those who have created a Solar Astral body have a little advantage, because they have an immortal body that they can use when they start awakening consciousness, and recover the use of that body. If someone now is asleep and does not know that they have that body, and they are committing a lot of mistakes, they have to earn its use again. It will not be given automatically. The Being might give access to it and let the person use it temporarily in order to inspire them and give them certain types of knowledge. But to recover the full use of that body requires a lot of proof that we are sincerely changing.
If you are a teenager and you wreck your parents car, it is going to be a while before your parents will give you the keys again. You are going to have to earn their trust first. You are going to have to prove yourself and show a lot of maturity first. Our Innermost is the same way. The same goes for the other solar bodies. We have to earn their recovery if we have created them already.
A fallen angel is someone who has reached high levels and then corrupted that achievement. These people are very dangerous. There are a lot of them active in the world right now. They do not go round with a T-shirt saying that they are fallen angels. They do not have a membership card or an I.D. They are very hypnotic. They have a lot of hypnotic power to convince people that they are saints, to convince people that they are good, and no one can doubt them. They have a lot of power to motivate masses and inspire them to action. They have a lot of power to acquire wealth and spiritual influence. Many times they do not work in the spiritual world but they work politically, economically, socially. They are very, very dangerous. Fortunately, if we are smart and we listen to our Innermost, we can be protected from them, and that is the chief instruction we give through this type of tradition:
Do not follow anyone but your Innermost.
We need to be like Hanuman and follow our inner guru. That inner guru is Rama, who is the Bodhisattva in us the human soul. Rama is Tiphereth; the perfect man or perfect manas, who is, in the ultimate sense, inseparable from Chesed, our Innermost, Atman, our Buddha, our inner Ganesha. The bodhisattva is the willpower of Atman, his way of expressing himself; he is the right arm of Atman, the strength of Atman. That is the Bodhisattva.
We are not bodhisattvas. We are Hasnamussen. This word Hasnamuss has an uncertain origin. It has meanings in most Asian languages: Arabic, Hebrew—even in Greek you can find meanings hidden in the word Hasnamuss. In Sanskrit we find some very interesting meanings.
I told you before that the suffix ha from Hanuman can relate with very spiritual elements like Brahma, Shiva, the sky, and the air, but as a suffix; as a prefix, ha also can designate "pain, regret, dejection." So there is a duality—positive aspects and negative aspects—in that Sanskrit letter ha.
The next phrase—asna—of hasnamuss in Sanskrit can mean "voracious, eating or consuming." What does a monkey do? It eats all the time. What do we do? We are always feeding our desires. All the time. When you really become sincere with observing your behaviours and the pattern of your life in a psychological way, you will see that everything that you have been doing is to feed your desires: your fear, anger, pride, envy, lust. How do we seek a mate? Through lust. How do we seek a job? Through greed, avarice, pride. Why do many people want children? Because of instinct, because they do not want to be alone, because they want someone to control, ego, desire. That is "asna"—voracious, eating, consuming. Asna it can also mean "stone"—the foundation stone, Yesod, the cubic stone of the Freemasons.
The third syllable in Hasnamuss is muss. That is where we get the English word mouse, it is from the Sanskrit word muss. Why does it have that name? Because a mouse is a thief. Muss can mean mouse or thief.
So who is the Hasnamuss? He is the thief (muss) who is voraciously eating (asna) and consuming the powers of the stone (asna), and the result is pain (ha). We are that; we are all hasnamuss. In this sense, we can see that we are all Maruts, storm gods, but at a low level. We have a split center of gravity, trapped in the consequences of our actions.
We need to become like Hanuman: a Hasnamuss who is transforming into a hero. This is done by be a good thief (muss) who steals the fire from the devil in order to create the foundation stone (asna) in order to conquer suffering (ha).
Characteristics of Hasnamussen
Gurdjieff described the characteristics of the Hasnamuss so we can recognize them:
- Every kind of depravity, conscious as well as unconscious
- The feeling of self-satisfaction from leading others astray
- The irresistible inclination to destroy the existence of other breathing creatures
- The urge to become free from the necessity of actualizing the being-efforts demanded by Nature
- The attempt by every kind of artificiality to conceal from others what in their opinion are one's physical defects
- The calm self-contentment in the use of what is not personally deserved
- The striving to be not what one is.
The students of Gurdjieff for many decades interpreted these descriptions as being about someone other than themselves. Amongst many schools and teachings left in Gurdjieff's wake, students believe the Hasnamussen are a certain type of individual of whom there are not many. Unfortunately, they did not understand the teaching. The fact, is we are all hasnamussen. This list describes us, but we do not want to see it.
The first quality listed here is that a hasnamuss has every kind of depravity, conscious as well as unconscious. All of us have every kind of depravity, and unfortunately, we are not cognizant of it.
Let us talk in simple terms about pornography. All of us are influenced by pornography, by lust. Most of us try to "ignore" its presence, to willfully be unaware of it, and we try to justify it. Many say that attraction to pornography "is just the instinct, the nature of the human being to be lustful, to be fruitful and multiply." These are all justifications.
Many claim they have never looked at pornography, yet they behave like prostitutes, imitating how pornography displays sexuality. So pornography is in their mind, pornography is in their behavior.
Many of us claim to be not selfish, to be generous to others and yet have very deep habits of greed, hoarding, and wastefulness.
We have every kind of depravity within ourselves, but we are unconscious of it.
What about "the feeling of self-satisfaction from leading others astray?" It would be easy to assume that this only refers to trying to take people into witchcraft or trying to lead people into murder, and those definitely lead people astray, but we get the same feeling of self satisfaction when we spread our negative emotions to others. When we feel resentment for another person, when we are angry at another person we always go around spreading that anger to everybody else. "Do you see what she did to me? Do you believe it? How could she do that to me?" We spread our anger around through gossip and criticism, and we feel very self satisfied spreading it, in leading others astray; we do that with politics, religion, lust, greed.
Many people hear a spiritual theory and get infected and hypnotized by a spiritual teacher, and then start trying to bring all their friends and family to that spiritual teacher. Meanwhile they have no cognizance of the level of that spiritual teacher, no ay conscious experience of who they really are, and thus they are leading people astray, affirming what they do not know.
All of us, in our own ways, are saying, teaching, and propagating theories and beliefs that we have not confirmed as facts, thus we are leading people astray from the truth, and we feel satisfied with what we are doing.
We may encourage the use of a certain plant, herb, food, or medicine, and say "This is really great, and it is written in all these books and everybody thinks it is really awesome. You have got to try this and that..." We do not realize that although the suggestion may have a little benefit, it may also have poison, creates harm, was gathered in a way that harms the environment, or it is a type of negative spiritual energy that may heal the physical ailment but cause a spiritual trauma. In other words, we are not conscious of the advice we give.
We are all leading people astray, and we are all engaged in trying to feel self-satisfaction by getting others to enjoy what we enjoy. We do not realize that what we enjoy—through music, culture, politics, religion, fashion, books, theories, etc.—is harming ourselves, and furthermore, we do not recognize that when we spread that to others we are harming others. We all seek this feeling of self-satisfaction that we get from leading others astray.
We all have irresistible inclination to destroy the existence of other breathing creatures. I do not mean that you are walking down the sidewalk and stepping on all the ants (although you might). Truly, every aspect of our modern life is built upon destroying other creatures, willfully, without any cognizance.
Everything that we buy, everything that we sell, that we eat and drink, has come at a cost, and one that we do not recognize. We do not grow our own food or make our own clothes; we get everything from elsewhere, and we have no idea how it is all made and brought to us. Worse, no industry in the world wants us to know the real story, especially in regard to food.
We do not care what harmful elements had to be acquired and how much nature was destroyed to get the metals that went in to make our iPod, iPhone, or cell phone. We do not care about the land and the animals that were destroyed to get that element to make that cell phone or to make the chips in the computer. We do not care. We want that computer, no matter what was done to acquire it.
We do not care about how the chemicals were created, how they were extracted from nature, how much land was destroyed, and how many animals were made extinct to put fuel in the car. We do not care. We want to go shopping and we want to drive there, we do not care what it costs us—financially, we might complain, but we ignore the huge expenditures of resources and energy required to bring that gallon of fuel to us.
We do not care about how our food is created. Many people love different types of food. I will give you one example which is a little extreme, but there is a certain type of pate or gourmet food that is made from geese; many people who love it, and they pay a lot of money for it, and they do not care that those birds live their entire life in a box being force fed by a machine to make them fat, and then they are killed, and their liver taken out and pulverized and put in a can.
Throughout the world, chickens are treated with extreme brutality by the food industry, yet no one who is ordering chicken to eat has any cognizance of that fact. Nobody cares that the chicken on the table grew up in a cage and never moved and could not walk. No one cares how the cows were treated. No one cares about all the chemicals on all the vegetables. People do not care. If we cared, we would change it. Instead, these industries are only becoming more and more powerful, and more and more secretive.
We do not care how the fabric on our clothes was acquired. We do not care about the people who work in sweat shops and make a couple of pennies a day to make our clothes. We just want to buy new clothes for the cheapest price no matter what. We do not care were they came from.
So, we do not care about the existence of other breathing creatures, and we prove it in our actions, everyday. There are many, many examples of this.
The fourth characteristic of Hasnamussen (Maruts) is "the urge to become free from the necessity of actualizing the being-efforts demanded by Nature." That nature is not outside of us, it is our Divine Mother. We are all suffering from the urge to be free from the necessity for awakening consciousness. Right now, we are listening to the lecture and studying the teaching, because we feel that urge, but we also have a contradiction us that when we leave the lecture, we forget, and we start behaving the way we were outside of the classroom, away from our spiritual friends. We behave differently, and our ego is always looking for reasons and excuses, saying, "That teaching just does not make sense," or "Those people are just no good. They are doing this and that, so we shouldn't study spirituality because those people have flaws." A lot of people do that. They mistake the message for the messenger. There are many people who hear the teachings and they will not study and practice them because the teacher has an ego or because the school is in a bad part of town or hard to get to, or because the book costs more money than they think it should—even though they are willing to spend more money on something bad for them, they will not buy a spiritual book. We all have excuses to avoid the Great Work.
The fifth characteristic of Hasnamussen (Maruts) is "the attempt by every kind of artificiality to conceal from others what in their opinion are one's physical defects." This has to do with our identity, our self-image, and all of us are trying to project a false image to hide the things that we are ashamed of about ourselves. Because of the way they look, their age or race, some women feel that they are inferior to others, so they try to project something that they think others think is admirable. They attempt to cover up their age, appearance, or skin color. Men do that, too. We all develop many types of artificial behaviors to hide ourselves. Why do people over-exercise? They say it is for health, but really, it is for vanity, lust, pride, etc.
The sixth characteristic of Hasnamussen (Maruts) is "the calm self-contentment in the use of what is not personally deserved." The "muss" in Hasnamuss means "thief." All of these characteristics are types of stealing, but the sixth specifically. We are all thieves. They main place we steal is from God, from our Divine Mother, from our Innermost, from our Rama. We steal energy, the energy given to us by our Divine Mother everyday, and we use it for things that we should not. We try to take what we do not deserve.
For example, many people want spiritual powers. They want the power to heal, to travel in the Astral body. They want the power to go into the Jinn state or to remember past lives or the manipulate nature so they do a lot of effort doing pranayamas, Tantra, meditation, in order to acquire powers. They are thieves, because they are trying to get something that they do not deserve. Powers are given by God when we earn them. Powers should not be sought. They are given as a gift to be used responsibly, not to be used selfishly.
We do this in less dramatic ways, too. Credit cards are an example of trying to get things that we cannot afford. Many people live on credit cards and they do themselves harm. They are trying to acquire things that they do not actually have money to buy, so they put themselves in debt, not only for themselves but for society, because by living in debt they strengthen the lies and manipulations of economic and political forces.
We all steal from our employers, taking things that we were not given. We steal from our customers. We steal from our families and friends.
We steal energy and attention. We want attention, and we feel justified or contented in doing everything we can to get the attention of others, when really, we do not deserve it.
Really, we should be ashamed of ourselves for being in the state we are in, but we do not want to deal with that; we want to be praised.
The seventh and most important characteristic of Hasnamussen (Maruts) is "the striving to be not what one is." Every human being on this planet suffers from this problem, exception for resurrected masters, because they are what they are. The rest of us are striving to be something that we are not, and striving to not be what we are.
That striving is egotistical. We all need to work on ourselves we need to make effort to change, but we should not exert the mind. We gave an entire course about that: Meditation without Exertion. The synthesis about that is what Samael Aun Weor explained in many of his books and it is: to be what one is, to be natural, not what one is as an ego, but as a soul; to be authentic, to not lie to oneself or others.
We need to realize the Being within ourselves. The Being IS. The Being is without any justifications, explanations, shame, pride. The Being is what it is. We do not have that innocence. We want to be famous, we want to be forgotten, we want attention, we do not want attention. We are a conflicting mass of egotistical wills. We are always seeking to be famous, rich, wealthy, to have this and that, to avoid certain problems, to not have these problems. We are not accepting the facts of our lives, and working to change them. In other words, we always work on superficiality, trying to manipulate appearances and conditions, instead of changing the causes. The causes of everything in our lives are in our mind stream from our mind-heart; we do not work to change that. We try to change our appearance and our external circumstances instead of being what we are.
Someone who is being what they are is perfectly content even in suffering; even in horrible circumstances they are not in conflict. This is why we study the lives of great masters, we see Jesus being whipped and tortured, who did not resist but showed love for the torturers and blessed those who killed him. We see Buddha who was poisoned, who did not blame the poisoner, who did not fight the poison but who accepted it. We see Saint Steven, Saint Paul, Saint Andrew; we see many saints and great beings who received enormous suffering from others and never said, "Wait a minute, I am a saint! You should not treat me like that." Only we complain. We think we are saints when we are not.
The synthesis of this lecture is: we are a Nephesh who is corrupt with ego and if we work seriously in the secret teachings we can empower our Nephesh to become Hanuman, a Nephesh with power, a Nephesh that can serve Rama, the bodhisattva, and awaken. That is not easy, but every one of us has this archetype in ourselves. We have our own inner Hanuman, and if you meditate on the character of Hanuman, that archetype can teach you, and you can learn this lessons and teachings of Hanuman, how to be the perfect hero. That is not external, that is internal. It is psychological.
Questions and Answers
Audience: It might take a whole entire lecture, but the ring that Hanuman gives Sita?
Instructor: There are so many deep meanings hidden throughout the whole story but I do not have the time to delve into them, maybe I'll come back to them. The whole Ramayana is packed with amazing stories that have a lot of spiritual importance.
Instructor: What I was showing was that the symbol of Hanumans wife can be interpreted both ways, as Neshamah and Kundalini. There is a relationship between them. Neshamah specifically relates with the sephirah Geburah, with the Divine Soul. That feminine intelligence or aspect of us is involved with the awakening of Kundalini, and how Kundalini functions, but they are not the same thing.
Audience: There was in the beginning the being with the bow. What does the bow represent, is that a phallic symbol because it is also in Greek mythology.
Instructor: The bow has also a lot of different symbolic importance. Primarily it is a power that is given by the divine that only gods can wield, and that is why only the heroes can use it; the bow relates specifically to a type of willpower. So if you think about a bow, it is a curved shape that one uses to direct energy (an arrow). It has lessons in relation with meditation, and you see that in The Mahabharata. Study Yudishtara, who is the great archer from The Mahabharata.
Specifically the bow and arrow in that story relates to the power of meditation. In the story of Rama it is related with that as well, but it is more specifically related with willpower in relation with comprehension, because in the end, the way he conquers the demon is with the bow, with that arrow, and that is only possible through comprehension.
We need willpower, but not physical willpower. We need the willpower of the consciousness to penetrate into the truth, and that is a power of the gods. Only the bodhisattva can harness that, and that is why we always see that the great heroes are able to use the divine bow.
Audience: How do we deal with the damage from the computers and food that we buy and consume?
Instructor: We are this world, and we have to survive in it, so we have to do our best. The only advice I can give you is live with frugality and intelligence. Do not buy more than you need. Try to be careful about what you buy and learn about what you are buying and if you can, inspire people to make smarter choices.
For example, in relation with food, we have to eat everyday, but the majority of the food that is available to us is poison, it is not healthy, it has many chemicals, pesticides, hormones, and all kinds of problems, such as being modified genetically, etc. Sadly, now most of us cannot afford to buy pure, unadulterated food, because it has become too expensive, so what choice do we have? We have to eat. So all we can do is our best.
Audience: Does the black crow in alchemy have anything to do with the stages that you have mentioned in this lecture?
Instructor: The black crow in alchemy relates with stages of the work on the ego. The black crow is a symbol of death, of the decay of those elements in our psyche. In addition, we find the three kings in the gospels which relate to these stages of the empowerment of the three souls given in the Zohar. So there are many symbols of those stages of development.
Audience: Is the fall in a way necessary to happen as it allows the growth of the soul?
Instructor: The fall from Eden?
Audience: Yeah. If we were always perfect then we couldn't grow.
Instructor: We have given many lectures that explain the fall from Eden. There is the course called the Kabbalah of Genesis that talks about that.
In synthesis, there is always a process through which the sexes are separated, and the souls have to learn about the force of desire, that energy of desire especially through sexuality. But unfortunately, on this planet it was much more dramatic because of some old karmas from some past cosmic eras. That topic is quite involved. So there are many lectures and some books about that which you can study on the website.
Audience: What do we do if we find that we have a lot of strong qualities of the Hasnamuss?
Instructor: That is excellent if you find that you have a lot of qualities of the hasnamuss. Then you need to analyze those and work on changing them. That is the basic factor of this work; to recognize our mistakes and learn to change them.
We always provide as many different tools that we can to help study the ego. We have looked at Buddhist presentations of unethical behavior. We have looked at the Ten Commandments. We have looked at teachings in the Zohar and in other scriptures that explain harmful behavior. This example that Gurdjieff provided is another useful tool in learning different ways in viewing the behaviors of the ego.
The bottom line is that unless you start to watch your own behavior from moment to moment, you will never you will never change. You can study and memorize all these scriptures, but without sincere self-observation, it will be meaningless to you. On the other hand, if you sincerely observe yourself and meditate daily on your behaviors, you do not need those scriptures, because you are your own book, and your Innermost will guide you, and you will see yourself, "I have that and I have that and I have that." Good, now that you are aware of that, observe those things and see how they function.
I only gave you quick examples that just came to me in those moments, but my own study of that list showed me that it is very deep. We could give many lectures just on those seven behaviors, because it presents a lot in synthesis; however, it does not present everything. I think Gurdjieff just said, "Here are some examples," but did not give them to be perfectly thorough or all-encompassing. When we studied the presentation in Buddhism of non-virtuous actions, I taught a few lectures about the ten unwholesome actions, but those ten are not the only ones, they are just examples that we can to use to help us observe ourselves better.
Audience: Did you use a different spelling of the word Hasnamuss?
Instructor: Yes, the spelling of hasnamuss was mistaken perviously. It is correctly spelled as hasnamuss.
Audience: So it is not Hanasmuss, its Hasnamuss?
Instructor: It was a typo that was not caught.
As I was explaining before, the placement of syllables and letters in Hebrew and in Sanskrit can be switched, and the meanings can be maintained and other meanings can be revealed. In English it is not like that, but in Hebrew and Sanskrit it is like that. For example: Hanuman, Hasnamuss. What is the difference? Hasnamuss. Hanuman. Hanuman is this character we are studying, but he represents a hasnamuss. It is almost the same thing. There is only a little difference, which is the letter s. If you have studied Gnosis, you will know that the letter "s" is very significant. It represents the activity of the fire. So Hasnamuss has that fire in activity, negatively, very negative. Hanuman has made it into nu, which is "that which spiritises" and is positive.
Audience: In this story of the monkey race do you think that there is any historical validity to there being an actual monkey race?
Instructor: There are other races on this planet now that we are unaware of, and there have been other races in the past.
Audience: Do you think that that monkey race was the first step in the genetic seeding by the gods?
Instructor: I think that the vanara represents an offshoot or a separate branch of development of humanity that happened in the past, representing a separate process of evolution from our own.
Yet, that is not the importance of the element of the story. The reason I put it that way is because this planet is not just ours; there have been many cosmic scenarios on this planet. There are other races still existing on this planet that we still do not even know about because we are in such a state of ignorance. The vanara is one of those and they may still be in development, I do not know. I have not cared to investigate it, because I have bigger problems to deal with.
This is not the only appearance of the monkey in relation with our development. We all know about Darwin and his theory. Darwin was looking at some things that actually have some truth in them, and that is why he was able to see what he did, but he got it all backwards. If you study Tibetan mythology, which is next door to Indian mythology, one of their creation myths states that humanity came from the union of a monkey with an ogre, and that is why we are the way that we are. Scientists are using that as "evidence" to support Darwin. It is funny. They are looking for anything they can to support their theories. That myth reveals something important that is psychological about our development, in the same way that the story with Hanuman does.
If you look deeper into the mythology of the vanara, you will see that they are a superior race to us. We may think we are better because we do not have monkey faces, but psychologically we have worse faces. If you ever have the opportunity—and I pray that you do—to be awake in the astral or mental plane, especially in conversation with a great master, especially your own inner guru, you should ask to see yourself as you are. It will not be something you like, but you should see it. Ask to be shown what you really look like, your psychological state. You will discover something animal, that is disturbing. I am not going to spoil it for you, because we are all different. We have different appearances based on our karma, but it is not a pleasant image.