This is a transcription of the audio lecture
Throughout Southeast Asia—Nepal, India, Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the surrounding countries—the main cosmic drama that tells the story of spirituality and the potential of the human being is encapsulated, encoded, in The Ramayana, an epic poem that has strong similarities to the Western Odyssey and Iliad written by Homer. The Ramayana is the story of Ramachandra, often just called Rama, a great hero worshipped as God on Earth, who accomplished many great tasks for the benefit of humanity.
It would not be possible in a single lecture to explain the Ramayana; it would be somewhat like trying to explain the Bible in one lecture. It would not be possible to tell the story of Rama in one lecture; it would be like trying to tell the story of Jesus. There are many details, many anecdotes and many subtleties in the story of Ramachandra. So, our purpose in this lecture is not to explain in detail the story of the Ramayana or the life of Rama, but instead to give you the clues so that you can understand the real importance of the story, so that when you do study it, you will understand that it is not a literal history, it is a cosmic drama – in the same way that the Gospels of Jesus explain a cosmic drama, or the Odyssey is a cosmic drama. All the great epic poems and scriptures are really cosmic dramas that reflect the same story: the story of a Solar hero, a hero related to the Sun, who overcomes obstacles for the benefit of others. This is the story of the Ramayana.
This first image is a typical representation of Ramachandra, also called Lord Rama. You will note that he has distinctive characteristics, so if you ever look at Indian artwork, there are two fundamental signs that you are looking at Rama. The first is his blue skin, and if you have been paying attention, you will remember that the lecture about Krishna was about a blue-skinned hero. Rama also has blue skin. The other distinctive characteristic of Rama is his bow, which is a critical part of the story of his development. On either side are his wife and his brother. This particular image is a detail out of a larger image where you see his other brothers gathered with him.
Although Rama is worshipped as God, as an exponent of God, we have to remember that although Hinduism presents a polytheistic face, is not really polytheism in the way that the Westerners define it. This is because the Hindus know that every image of God, every face of God, every Parsuf (in Hebrew terms) is the one God. In the previous lecture we talked about polytheistic monism, which is a description of the Gnostic tradition, and also of Hinduism. It is a tradition that studies the many facets or faces that God uses to aid us, to help us.
Rama is one of those faces of divinity. The true devotee of Hinduism or any multifaceted religion knows that in their worship of a deity, even if they pick a name and face to represent that deity, it is one God. Rama is Shiva, Brahma, Vishnu; Rama is Jehovah. Rama is God. Specifically, the Ramayana tells how God incarnates on Earth. This is a very important story for humanity because it explains what spirituality really means: spirituality is not just about worshipping a distant idea. Religion is not really present on Earth for us to just respect it. Religion has been brought to us from age to age so that we will embody it, so that we become God. That is what the story of Rama represents: how God comes to live in us, in the same way that the story of Jesus represents that; how God comes to live through us.
We can understand this very clearly when we study these scriptures in relation with Kabbalah. This image shows the Tree of Life, which of course is known mostly as a Western symbol, but it is hidden in every religion. It shows ten spheres, organized in three columns and three triangles. These ten spheres have many levels of meaning. They represent the cosmos, the universe, the multiple of levels of existence—not just physically—but many dimensions. So, this glyph or map represents the universe outside of us, but it also represents how we are a reflection of that universe, and everything that is reflected in us, spiritually.
We have a physical dimension, which is our body, but just as there is a fourth dimension in the universe, we have a fourth dimension in us, and that is represented by the sephirah Yesod. So, the bottommost sephirah (Malkuth) relates to our physical aspect, the physical world, and our physical body. The one just above that is Yesod, related to the fourth dimensional aspect of everything, whether in us or around us. As we move up these ten sephiroth, they represent seven fundamental dimensions in nature; so the Tree of Life is a symbol of ten spheres that are organized to represent seven dimensions. At the top of this tree is represented a fundamental trinity, present in every religion. We explained this in the first few lectures of this course. The trinity at the top represents the three forces that implement creation, preservation, and destruction. The movement of any energy in nature is a movement of three forces that work together. In Hinduism, those three forces are represented as Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. In Christianity, they are called the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In Kabbalah, they are Kether, Chokmah and Binah.
This trinity is the fundamental fountainhead from which creation emerges. It is a great, subtle, all-powerful law in nature.
All creation, all preservation, and all destruction are maintained and perpetuated by these three forces that work together. But, in any phase of creation, preservation, or destruction, one of these three takes dominance. In a creative phase, the first force is dominant. In preserving phase, the second force is dominant. In a destructive phase, the thirrd force is dominant. This is very subtle in the way nature functions, and it becomes difficult to understand, because for all these three forces to operate, they work through the third force, which is symbolized as Shiva in Hinduism. The third force is what propels that energy in activity in nature.
What is important to understand is that these images of Gods are symbolic of forces that work in the universe outside of us and the universe inside of us.
These three together are the light of life; they are what in Egyptian mythology is called Amun-Ra, the Solar Father, the Sun at the heart of any system of living things. In Greek, we call it Χριστός (Khristós), Christ, Life, Light. In other traditions it is called Ahura Mazda, Allah, Adi Buddha or Adi Shakti. There are many names for this force that emerges at the base of existence.
Through the course of our evolution as a humanity, we go through many ups and downs—phases of Golden Ages and phases of dark ages. Throughout those periods of development, our guides—those who have advanced beyond our level—always make the effort to aid us, to help preserve us in our times of darkness. In order for us to be preserved, to be saved from ourselves, we need a force of preservation, of protection, and that force emerges from the second sphere. In Hinduism, it is called Vishnu. Vishnu is represented as a great deity, a great God, but that is a symbol of a force in nature, an intelligence, a wisdom, a type of knowledge, a type of intelligence that is far beyond anything that we can comprehend with our puny brains. Vishnu is this aspect of Divinity that loves us purely, and wants to protect and help us. So, in dark times, that force descends into the world in order to aid us. Jesus is an exponent of Vishnu, a manifestation of that force. In this case, the second sphere (which is called “the Son” in Christianity) is Christ particularized, in order to descend into lower levels to help us.
This is why, in Hinduism, we see that Vishnu is depicted as having ten Avatars.
Avatar: (Sanskrit) avatāra अवतार literally, “descent”
An Avatar is merely a messenger. An Avatar is an expression of something Divine. An Avatar is like a mailman who delivers a message. The Avatar is just the vehicle through which the message is given. The mailman does not really matter that much, what matters is the message. Unfortunately, humanity gets confused, and worships the mailman, instead of reading the message, studying the message, and embodying the message.
"Avataras appear for special reasons in special circumstances. Whenever there is much unrighteousness, whenever confusion and disorder set in on account of unrighteousness and baffle the well-ordered progress of people, whenever the balance of human society is upset by selfish, ruthless and cruel beings, whenever irreligion and Adharma prevail, whenever the foundations of social organisations are undermined, Avataras appear to establish Dharma and to restore peace. Avatara is a descent of God for the ascent of man. A ray from the Hiranyagarbha descends on earth with mighty powers to keep up the harmony of the universe. The work done by the Avataras and their teachings produce a benign spiritual influence on human beings and help them in their upward divine unfoldment and Self-realisation. The Avatara comes to reveal the divine nature in man and makes him rise above the petty materialistic life of passion and egoism." - Swami Sivananda, Lord Krishna, His Lilas and Teachings
Vishnu, as the preserving force, as that Christic expression of love for humanity, descends into nature in order to preserve our potential to reach a state of divinity.
The preserving force of Chokmah has this impulse to preserve our future, to preserve our happiness, to preserve our Souls. Vishnu (Chokmah, Christ) expresses itself through Avatars, messengers, in order to do this. To understand how that works, we need to understand the qualities of Vishnu, and what is expected or required of a genuine Avatar, in order to embody and express the light of Chokmah.
As we explained in the first lecture in this course, Vishnu represents the one light at the base of life, the beautiful polytheistic monism of God—in order words, the many faces that the one God can utilize in order to help us. This painting represents that:
The one being that we call “God, the Divine, Allah, or Buddha,” utilizes many expressions in order to best communicate to our psychology, in order to best penetrate our heart, to guide us, and uses any means necessary in order to preserve our Soul, and save us from ourselves.
As such, Vishnu is said to have six fundamental qualities – there are more, but there are six important qualities related to this aspect of God, of Divinity.
Six Qualities of Vishnu / Chokmah
The first is Jñāna, which roughly translated means “knowledge”—but it does not have anything to do with mere book knowledge. The Greek equivalent of this term is Gnosis, and you see, even in the way they are written, spelled, pronounced, there is a similarity: Jna is the beginning of both of these terms. Jna means “to know,” but it is not knowledge in the intellect, it is knowledge in the Consciousness, it is to know from experience; it is to know for oneself, because one has done it, one has experienced it. Vishnu is the very embodiment of Gnosis, knowledge from experience. Vishnu is Christ.
The Gnostic tradition is a Christic tradition—we teach the path to reach Christ completely, in other words, to incarnate Christ. This means that the Gnostic teaching is different from most other teachings that you will encounter in the world, for several reasons, but the one that I want to emphasis today is that the Gnostic tradition is an expression of the higher aspect of the three types of schools.
Amongst religions and spiritual traditions there are foundational level schools (exoteric, public), middle level teachings (mesoteric, private), and then there are advanced levels (esoteric, initiatic). In Buddhism, these are called Sutrayana (the foundational level), the middle level is called Mahayana, and the third level is called Tantrayana.
The difference between these three groups is how far they can take you. In order to enter into each level, one has to earn it, and be prepared to take advantage of it. Not everyone does so. Do not mistake physical attendance of a group for being at that level. The level of instruction we are receiving is determined by our level of Being, our quality of Consciousness. It has nothing to do with physical circumstances. In other words, the level of instruction we receive comes from our inner divinity, by various means. There are some people being instructed in the third level of teachings but do not belong to any group or school. The physical component (a school, a group) is helpful, but it is not required.
These three levels are explained in many other lectures that we have given, so you can look those up if you want to know more about them.
At the third level, the Tantrayana level (which has correspondences in every religion in the world), within that group there is a small group of people that have awakened enough Consciousness and purified themselves enough that they can enter into an even more distinct path.
Most of the small group of people who are serious about their spirituality—not just theories, not just beliefs, but actually working on themselves daily to purify themselves of impurities and to learn about real virtue and act on virtue—become candidates for the Spiral path. The Spiral path ascends slowly up to higher levels of spiritual purity. It is gradual, it moves slowly. The basic requirement to enter the Spiral path is to have completed five Initiations of Major Mysteries, related to the creation of the Soul. These initiations are not given in the physical world; they are given in the internal worlds. These five Initiations cannot be skipped, they cannot be avoided. Every soul who seeks to become a Buddha, an Angel, or a Master, passes through these Initiations, and the requirements are extremely strict. Most of those who pass those initiations go on to enter the slow Spiral path.
A few enter into the Straight Path. The Gnostic tradition teaches how to enter the Straight path. The vast majority of the students of Gnosis do not enter the Straight path, opting instead to take the easier Spiral path. That is how it is.
The Straight Path is related to that small group of people who surpass Tantrayana to go beyond. The Straight Path is the path of the bodhisattva. Those who enter the Straight path do not just study the theory of the bodhisattva, but become the embodiment of it. This is essentially a practical work, a revolution of the psyche.
In the Hindu and Buddhist teachings, everyone studies bodhisattvas. In the Mahayana (Mesoteric) level, they begin to learn how to practice as a bodhisattva, and what being a bodhisattva means, and how to start living that way. But, when I talk about the Straight Path, I am not talking about the idea of bodhisattvas, or trying to emulate bodhisattvas. Entrance into the Straight path is when one becomes a bodhisattva. That is, one is already awakened as a Buddha, and decides to renounce all powers and benefits in order to sacrifice oneself for humanity.
What is a bodhisattva? This term is very deep in its implications.
Do you remember the three Gunas that I explained in the first few lectures? The three Gunas are three modalities of nature. Gunas are vibrations or modifications of the base Prakriti. So, we talk about Tri-Guna-Maya-Shakti, and this is the base foundational level of nature as the Divine Mother, who particularizes into forms of energy, in order for nature to exist. There are three primary forms:
- Rajas: passion, activity, etc.
- Tamas: inertia, lethargy, etc.
- Sattva: purity, harmony, etc.
Sattva is one of the base Gunas. It is a very deep, profound level of energy in nature.
Sattva literally means “existence, reality” and can be translated as “embodiment of, essence of, condensation of, or expression of.”
Bodhi means “wisdom.”
So, bodhisattva literally translated means, “embodiment of wisdom.” But, let us look at this in relation with the Tree of Life. Each of these ten spheres has a name in Hebrew . The sphere related with Vishnu is in Hebrew called Chokmah, which literally means “wisdom.” So, a bodhisattva is an “incarnation of wisdom,” an embodiment of Vishnu / Chokmah.
This means that a real bodhisattva—no matter what tradition they come from in the world, what religion, what type of body, what type of skin, what type of language—is an incarnation of Vishnu, an Avatar at a certain level.
There are many types of Avatars, not just one kind. Any messenger who delivers the teaching of Vishnu is an Avatar at their level. There are also Mahavatars like Krishna or Rama. A bodhisattva is one who has direct knowledge of all of that. They have Jnana. They have the Jnana, the knowledge, the Gnosis, conscious experience of Christ, that expresses through their words, through their actions, through how they live. In order words, what they do is Gnosis, not just what they say, but what they do.
A true bodhisattva is an expression of Christ. In other words, in them there is no ‘I’, no self, no self-concern, no self-interest; there is only the interest in helping suffering people. A true bodhisattva is like Jesus, Rama, or Krishna. Every action they perform is for the benefit of others, not themselves. That is Jnana, that is the knowledge of Vishnu.
2. Aishvarya (Ishvara)
The second quality of Vishnu is Aishvara. This Sanskrit term Aishvara comes from Ishvara, which is a Sanskrit word that means “Master” or “Lord.” Ishvara is related with your own Innermost. It is related with the real Master, and that real Master is not a terrestrial person, it is God. As the Bible says,
“...for one is your Master: Christ.” - Matthew 23:8
In Sanskrit, Aishvara means “embodiment of that.” It is to be the embodiment of the full mastery of a Master, which is Christ itself. That is, our inner Master (our Self, Atman) wants to incarnate Christ. Stated in Sanskrit terms, our Ishvara wants to be Aishvara. Our Innermost Master can only do this by means of the bodhisattva path. Walkers of the Spiral path do not incarnate Christ.
The third quality of Vishnu is Shakti. We explained Shakti in the first two lectures, especially the second one about the Divine Mother.
Shakti is often translated as energy, but really it means power. Anything you want to do in life, whether materially or spiritually, you need power. Not electricity, but the power to act, the power to do. We do not have that. We lack power in life. Truly, we are powerless. The small amount of free will we have is so bound by Karma, by circumstances, by conditions, we are very limited in what we are able to do in our lives.
Vishnu is not bound by anything but the core laws of nature, which are karma (cause and effect), and the motion of the three Gunas.
Shakti is the energy of the Divine Mother Nature that Vishnu modifies and utilizes. Remember, Vishnu is not just a masculine God, Vishnu is Laksmi, the Goddess who provides and preserves. She represents the energy / power of Vishnu.
The fourth quality of Vishnu is Bala. Bala means “strength,” and this is not just to have big muscles, this is the strength of Consciousness. Bala refers directly to willpower. It is the strength to persist, the strength to preserve. Vishnu is the second force (Chokmah), the preserver, the one who protects. Bala, the strength of Vishnu, is the strength to protect the ones he loves, and that is us. Not a single person on this planet (with the single exception of those who have fully awakened) has comprehended how much God is protecting them from moment to moment. We are all so asleep, we have no idea of how much effort our own Inner Being makes to protect us from ourselves.
Our Inner Being uses all of his Bala (strength) to protect us from our karma. We have no idea how many times we have almost lost our lives or our minds because of our karma, because of our bad habits, because of our ignorance and desires. It is Vishnu in us, the force of Vishnu working through our Innermost, who protects us and preserves us, and is continuing to give us an opportunity to change. That is related with Bala.
Virya is a very important Sanskrit word, especially in Tantra. The word Virya is the root of the English word virility. It means “to have strength, energy, power.” So, you see, Virya is related with Shakti and Bala. Virya represents how the qualities of Vishnu act. Virya is the force in motion.
Virya is the root of the English word virtue. The vi- of virya is also the first syllable of the name Vishnu. Virya is the virility of the Divine: the power of creation. Virya is a sexual power, but one that God harnesses, not for lust or desire, but to create spiritually.
The sixth quality is Tejas. Here again, there is a modality of nature. Tejas, strictly translated, means “fire,” and often times we talk about this as one of the elements in nature related with the elements earth, air, water, and fire, what in Sanskrit are called Tattvas, vibrations of ether / Akash. But, as a quality of Vishnu, Tejas is far beyond any Tattva. Tejas here means “splendour, radiance.” It is the light which emerges from a fire. The Tejas of Vishnu is not merely a Tattva or a mere physical fire. The Tattvas are far below Vishnu. Tejas, in this case, represents the luminosity of God, that light that irradiates from Christ. Tejas is the luminance that awakens the Consciousness, that opens the mind, that stimulates the heart, that scatters the demons. All of that is the power of Vishnu.
By studying these six qualities, you can start to comprehend what a bodhisattva is. A bodhisattva is an expression or embodiment of these six qualities. The bodhisattva is someone who demonstrates the Jnana of Vishnu, who is a Master of themselves (an Ishvara), who worships and respects their Inner Master and is not blinded or confused by any external circumstances like personalities, politics, groups, all of that, they only follow their Innermost. They have Shakti or power. They have Bala or strength, willpower. They have Virya, great energy and vitality. And, they have Tejas, luminosity, radiance. But, the defining characteristic of all six of these qualities is selflessness. All of these qualities of Vishnu are focused on our benefit, not the bodhisattvas.
A bodhisattva is just a light bulb. When we turn on a light bulb, we are not doing it to look at the light bulb, or to be impressed by the light bulb, to worship the light bulb. We turn on that light bulb to have light, to see our environment so that we do not get hurt stumbling in the dark, so that we see and do what we need to do. That is what a genuine bodhisattva does: they provide light to others, not for themselves, but to protect and preserve others, as an expression of Vishnu.
Understanding that, we see in Hinduism that traditionally, Vishnu is said to have ten Avatars. Nine of those are related with past events, and the tenth is a future Avatar.
One of those Avatars we have already described in the first lecture of this course, Krishna, and on this graphic we see Krishna in the upper left hand corner playing his flute.
Today’s lecture is focused on Rama, directly above Vishnu’s head in this particular image. The other Avatars here are literal Masters that walked the Earth. But, moreover, more importantly, they are archetypes: they represent qualities of Consciousness that we have to develop. Jesus is an actual Master who is still alive, who is still teaching and guiding humanity, but he also represents an archetype—in other words, an aspect of our own Consciousness that we need to develop. Krishna is the same, an actual Master, but also represents an archetype. In these lectures, we do not focus on the physical person. We respect the Masters, we follow their guidance and teachings, but what we really need to do is become them like. So, we need to embody their example, and to develop those archetypes in ourselves. Rama is no different. Rama is an archetype.
The story of Rama as told in the Ramayana is very beautiful, very long, very epic, and it is a very popular story throughout Southeast Asia.
The story begins with a certain king, Dasaratha, who is in charge of a great kingdom, but he has a problem in that he has no heir, no son to carry on his accomplishments.
“The gods, the Gandharvas, Siddhas and holy Rishis approached Brahma and said, "O venerable Lord! The demon Ravana is harassing us in various ways through his power on account of Your boon to him. We are not able to check him. Please protect us."
“In the meanwhile, Lord Hari arrived. He said to the gods, "O gods! Be not afraid. I shall incarnate on earth to protect you all and destroy the wicked Ravana."
“Lord Vishnu divided Himself into four portions and chose King Dasaratha for His father.” - Quoted from Rama by Sri Swami Sivananda
This drama is not literal, it has a spiritual message related to how a bodhisattva is incarnated in a spiritual aspirant.
At the very beginning of the Ramayana, the holy beings—the Gandharvas (sacred celestial musicians), the Siddhas (great yogis) and the Rishis (knowledgeable spiritual aspirants)—approach Brahma. Brahma represents the sephirah Kether, the Father, the first sphere on the Tree of Life. Brahma is the Magician, the First Arcanum, and in order for him to work, he needs to unfold himself. So, Lord Hari steps in. Hari is another name for Vishnu. Vishnu is the second force, the one who steps in to preserve his people, and he says, “Do not worry, I will incarnate on Earth in order to deal with this demon.”
This opening scene implies that Brahma cannot conquer Ravana. Why is that? You would think that a God would have more power than a demon, and that if a demon was causing a problem, a God could just throw a thunderbolt and turn him to dust. But, the Gods have no power over this demon; they run to Brahma, and even he cannot do anything. This is an interesting point to contemplate. Let us see why it is so.
The scripture explains that in the past, Ravana was the king of Lanka, an island on the coast of India. Although there was an actual person named Ravana who was a king of Lanka many years ago, in this story, Ravana is not that person, Ravana is a symbol of something in us. So, Ravana was a king who was a great devotee of Brahma, the Father, and spent countless ages worshipping Brahma with such great power that he impressed Brahma. Ravana sacrificed himself again and again and again, and, through the course of all these sacrifices, he had gained so much knowledge it could not fit into one head, so he was given ten heads.
Brahma said, “You are my greatest devotee.”
Ravana said, “Give me immortality.”
Brahma said, “I cannot give you that, but I can give you the guarantee that no God, no spirit, and no demon can ever kill you.”
Unfortunately, after that, he became very arrogant because of his great knowledge and power, such that he approached the Gods and threatened them. He even lifted up their mountain (which is equivalent to the Greek Olympus), and shook them. The Gods said, “No, you cannot do that,” and pushed down on the mountain, crushing him. He gave out such a howl, a scream of pain, that he earned his name, Ravana, which means “one who screams.”
Ravana was afflicting the gods, who appealed to Brahma; then Vishnu said, “I will descend on the Earth in order to help you.” He chose King Dasaratha as his father.
“King Dasaratha who was endowed with good fortune, who was devoted to truth, who vas brave and famous, was without a son. He was very much troubled in his heart. He approached his family preceptor Vasishtha and said, "O my venerable master! I have no issue to carry on the line. I am troubled with the sorrow of being childless."
“Vasishtha said, "O righteous king! You will beget four mighty sons. Bring Rishya Sringa. Perform at once the sacrifice called the Putrakameshti."
“Dasaratha brought the Rishi to Ayodhya and performed the sacrifice. The God of Fire appeared from the fire of the sacrifice. He had a golden vessel full of divine Payasa. He said, "O best of kings! Take this Payasa made by the gods in heaven. Give it to your worthy wives. You shall beget by them mighty sons." - Quoted from Rama by Sri Swami Sivananda
So, what does all this mean? First, we need to understand who is King Dasaratha. If we read this story literally, we would take what billions of people have taken from this story, which is that the King Dasaratha was an actual king who lived thousands of years ago, somewhere in Asia—and this is true, there was an actual king. That is not why this story was written. The name Dasaratha, literally means, “he who has ten chariots.” Now, I do not know about you, but I think that a king who only has ten chariots would be a pretty poor king. It seems to me that this is symbolic. Those ten chariots represent the ten sephiroth of the Tree of Life. “King Dasaratha” is a symbol of an initiate who has become a spiritual king, what in Hebrew is called a Maleck.
The ten sephiroth of the Tree of Life are inside of us. We all have ten chariots, but in us they are undeveloped. We cannot ride in them consciously yet. We have the blueprints to make them (the archetypes), but have not done it yet. The ten sephiroth of the Tree of Life are related to our body, our Soul, our senses, our mind, our Consciousness. There are many levels of meaning to the ten chariots, but we are trying to go deep into the inner esoteric meaning, the higher level. Those ten sephiroth represent our inner kingdom, our Malkuth. You see, this word Malkuth (which on the Tree of Life is the lowest Sephirah, and relates to the physical body), literally means “kingdom.” Dasaratha was a king of his kingdom.
So, when I say that Dasaratha represents us, I mean that only as a polite gesture, because really, none of us are kings or queens of our kingdom. None of us control ourselves; we are under the control of outside and inside forces. We have very little willpower. We have very little ability to determine our circumstances or our future, because we are so under the influence of our desires, of our ignorance, of our karma from our past actions. We are not Adam in the Bible, who was a king before he fell. We are not Moses, who is a king of himself, a Master. We have to become that. We are not David, Solomon, Jesus, Buddha, etc., who are all Kings of their inner kingdoms.
Dasaratha represents someone who has become a king, an Initiate, a spiritual aspirant who is achieving some degree of sovereignty over his mind, able to control his senses and his desires, as he approaches the path to God. Unfortunately, he has a problem: he does not have an heir. He does not have the spiritual elements that he needs in order to advance. The reason this is important is because, in the spiritual path (even if we do not realize this, or we do not like this) we have to die. Death is a requirement of the path: psychological death, mystical death. That is, our ego must die. For that death to occur properly, there must be a resurrection, there must be an inheritor, an heir, of our work. That inheritor is the Soul, our real identity, our true nature, our Tathagattagharba, our Buddhata, our essence. The Soul should inherit our spiritual values and all the gifts from God in us, while all of our terrestrial part, all of our mistakes, all of our desires, cravings, afflictions, and sufferings die. What goes on is purity, through which our true purpose can be fulfilled.
Dasaratha represents an Initiate who is at that stage, who has control of his psychological kingdom, but needs to go on, so he needs an inheritor, the one who will inherit his work, the fruits of his labours – psychologically and spiritually. So, he appeals to his family preceptor, to his Master, who is of course his Innermost (Vasishtha).
Vasishtha (His Innermost) said, “Take this Payasa, and offer it to your wives.” This is a very significant scene in the Ramayana.
Payasa is rice pudding. Nowadays, it is called Kheer, and is made with milk, sugar, spices, and rice. In this story, it is symbolic, esoteric: it represents the sexual energy. It represents the transmutation of our sexual forces. Payasa represents the semen of an initiate who knows how to keep his sexual energy clean, pure, sweet to the taste of God, not bitter with lust. This is ambrosia, amrita, the food of the Gods. The God of Fire gives this to Dasaratha. The God of Fire is Vishnu, the God of Tejas.
He says, “Take this Payasa made by the gods in heaven. Give it to your worthy wives. You shall beget by them mighty sons.”
That gift he has to give is his purified sexual Shakti, his Virya made pure, clean, immaculate. In other words, this is the story of an immaculate conception, like Jesus. Here, the sexual act is not corrupted by desire, ignorance, pride, but is pure, an offering to God. So, when he makes that offering, his wives become pregnant.
He has three wives in the story, and they all become pregnant. Of course, this is symbolic; this is not a stamp of approval for polygamy. These three wives who have four sons have very deep significance with many levels related with our psychology. At the most basic level, they relate to our three brains. They are feminine because they work through Malkuth, our physical body, which on the Tree of Life is feminine; it is the Nukvah in Kabbalah. They receive the Payasa and become pregnant. They give birth in the tenth month, and this is related with the Arcanum 10, which I will let you study, so you can go deeper into this lecture. The number ten is related to the wheel of life.
His wives are Karsalya, Kaiki and Sumitra. They have four sons: Karsalya has Rama, Kaiki has Bharata, and Sumitra has the twins Laksmana and Satrugna. These four sons represent the Soul that is created through initiation. They represent the chariot of Ezekiel, the Sahu of the Egyptians. They represent the chariot of Arjuna in the Mahabharata.
Here on this graphic on the Tree of Life we see the Tree of Life with the names to explain what these lower Sephiroth relate to in us. The upper three relate to the trinity of the divine. The lower seven relate to us more directly.
The bottommost sephirah is the physical body, called Malkuth, which means, “the kingdom.” In Vendanta, is it called annamaya kosha.
Integrated with that is the sephirah Yesod, which means “the foundation.” In Vendanta, is it called pranamaya kosha. This sphere relates with our vital or Ethereal body, and is completely integrated with the physical body; their union gives us life physically. So, we can consider them as one.
These lower five sephiraoth relate to us as a Soul, as a human being. The two above them—Geburah and Chesed—relate to our Monad, to our Innermost, to our Inner Buddha. In Hinduism, Geburah is known as Buddhi. Chesed is known as Atman. Atman is our Innermost, the exponent of divinity.
The trinity above, as we explained in the previous lectures, combines into two Shiva-Shakti, to create through Daath, and the result is Horus, the Innermost, Ganesh in Hinduism. That is Chesed, our Atman, the seventh sphere from the bottom. Our Atman is our Innermost, our Spirit, and our Spirit has a feminine aspect, the wife of Ganesh, called Buddhi. That is why Ganesh is called Buddhipriya, “He who loves Buddhi.” Buddhi is the sephirah Geburah on the Tree of Life, which relates to our divine Consciousness.
In this image, we see Vishnu and Laksmi seated on a serpent that has five heads. That image represents the Monad. It represents how Vishnu-Laksmi work through Atman-Buddhi in us, and they do that through five serpents. Those five serpents must be raised in these five lower bodies. Those are serpents of Kundalini, the Shakti of Vishnu.
The Shakti is engendered in each “wife” (our three nervous systems, our three brains, the three forces, etc), resulting in four sons:
In the Ramayana, the five bodies are represented as four, considering how the vital and physical bodies are really one. In fact, in ancient times, it was that way.
In other words, an Initiate who is entering into the genuine spiritual path in the internal worlds is protecting, preserving their sexual force, they are in Brahmacharya: they are not spilling their sexual energy; they are following the commands of Shiva given in the scripture called Shiva-Samhita, which states,
“I [Shiva] am the semen, Sakti [the Goddess] is the generative fluid; when they are [perfectly] combined in the body [through this practice], then the body of the Yogi becomes divine [immortal].
“When the precious jewel of semen is mastered, anything on earth can be mastered. Through the grace of its preservation, one becomes as great as me [Shiva].
“The use of semen determines the happiness or pain of all beings living in the world, who are deluded [by desire] and are subject to death and decay.
“This is the ultimate Yoga .”
The “semen” is sexual energy in men and in women. That teaching is to avoid the orgasm, to stop wasting the energy through animal pleasure, but instead to retain it and make it an offering to God: as Payasa.
That offering—in combination with the spiritual, psychological work to purify oneself of lust, pride, anger, and envy—results in initiations in the soul.
When one passes the trials and tests of those initiations, under the auspices of ones own Innermost, working as a couple, man and wife, that energy is activated, those three forces from above work below in the waters of the sexual energy.
That is the waters surrounding Vishnu and Laksmi in this image. The waters are turbulent, that is the sexual water. It is turbulent because of too much emotion, too much lust, too much desire, too much karma. But, when we are able to be stable in the midst of all that turbulence—sexually and emotionally stable in our lives—and retain that energy to give it to God, we can enter into this process of Initiation, we can raise the serpent of the Kundalini – not once, but five times.
The first time is the serpent of Kundalini that rises up the spinal column in the physical body. The person who does this receives many spiritual gifts, spiritual abilities, but that has to be earned through psychological work, through the merits of the heart: by embodying the force of Vishnu-Laksmi, Christ, by denying oneself and helping others.
After that first serpent has risen, one can enter into the second initiation, related to the Ethereal body, and one goes into deeper tests and ordeals and problems, in order to overcome ones desires, fears, anger, pride, envy, laziness, gluttony, etc – step by step, slowly. This process can take years.
Once that serpent has risen, we go to the third, related to the Astral body. With that third serpent, the Astral body is created. This means that person has created a Solar body from the atoms of Christ. That person awakens a certain degree of Consciousness in the Astral world. They are able to enter into the Astral world at will, according to their level of development. They have other powers too, such as remembrance of past lives, telepathy; many different types of abilities emerge.
These are the five primary serpents that have to be raised, and it is a long process.
Depending on the person, their karma, and their seriousness, it can take years, it can take lifetimes, but it requires three factors in daily activity:
- The death of the ego is the main factor: daily work to purify oneself of ones mistakes – mistaken ideas, mistaken beliefs and mistaken actions.
- The second factor is the birth of virtues: to reject those negative behaviors and adopt positive ones, for the benefit of others.
- The third is sacrifice for others, to convert ones actions away from selfishness, self-centeredness, towards gratitude towards others, generosity towards others, towards helping others: sacrificing ones own desires and putting the needs of others first.
Through the process of the five Initiations of Major Mysteries, the five serpents, a person becomes a human being, an actual human being.
The word human is a contraction, from Hu, the spirit, the breath, which relates to the Innermost, Chesed, Atman. Man is from ma, “to think,” and manas, the mind. The word Hu-Man implies a being in which Atman is controlling the mind, or first, before the mind. We are not that, we do not even know what the Innermost is. We have never experienced it; we may not even believe in it. Thus, we are not human. That is why, when you observe your actions, when you observe yourself, you will see that it is very easy to behave selfishly. It is very easy, “natural,” and spontaneous for us to behave in ways that benefit ourselves, but it takes enormous effort to do something good for somebody else, to give up our desire. To spontaneously and naturally do for others, for us, takes a lot of effort. This shows that we are not human, we are animals; animals with intellect.
A real human being is someone who is being in that state of Hu, Allah, the Buddha, whose every motion is with concern for others, not oneself, whose every thought, emotion, action is focused on and concerned with the benefit of others, not oneself. In other words, they are spontaneously virtuous. We are not there, and we need to analyze that, recognize that, and start to change that, so that we can become a bodhisattva.
This image of Vishnu-Laksmi sitting on the lotus with the five serpents over them represents the spiritual state of a bodhisattva, someone who is entering the bodhisattva path. Such a person is very rare. This does not happen a lot. There are millions upon millions of people on this planet who think they are spiritual, but none of them are on the real spiritual path, because none of them are working on their pride, lust, anger, or envy, etc. They think they are going to go to Heaven just the way they are, and they are mistaken. No scripture in the world says that. Every scripture in the world says,
prayatnad yatamanas tu yogi samsuddha-kilbisah
aneka-janma-samsiddhas tato yati param gatim
“The Yogi who strives with assiduous endeavor, and purified of all grossness, gets perfected gradually through many [spiritual] births, and reaches the Highest Goal.” - Hinduism, Bhagavad Gita 6:45
“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes. Cease to do evil, learn to do good. Seek justice, correct oppression. Defend the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, let us reason together," says the Lord. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. If you are willing and obedient you shall eat the good of the land; But if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” - Judaism and Christianity, Isaiah 1:16-20
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” - Christianity, Matthew 5:8
“To the highest regions, in due order, to those regions where there is no delusion, and to those regions which are full of light where the glorious gods dwell--who have long life, great power, great luster, can change their shape at will, are beautiful as on their first day, and have the brilliance of many suns--to such places go those who are trained in self-control and penance, both monks and householders who have obtained liberation by absence of passion.” - Jainism, Uttaradhyayana Sutra 5:26-28
“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” - Jesus, Matthew 5:48
“You have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to a judge who is God of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant.” - Christianity, Hebrews 12:22-24
“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. But Fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.” - Ephesians 5
All of this is very clear. We have those elements in our mind, in our hearts, in our bodies; they must be removed.
There are people on the planet who are making that effort—learning to meditate, to observe themselves, to analyze their behaviors everyday—in order to start understanding the root of suffering which is in our actions, and to start exchanging those actions for beneficial ones; actions that benefit ourselves and others. But, that process is long and is no guarantee that one will actually awaken quickly, because our karma is so strong, our ego is so strong, we need more help than our puny efforts can produce. We need Vishnu to help us; we need to appeal to a higher force. We need Vishnu to descend and to help us, to save us. We need the incarnation of the Lord: we need Ramachandra.
So, the king gave the sacrificial rice pudding to his wives, and they became pregnant and had four sons. Those four sons represent the Soul, the Solar bodies. Rama represents the sephirah Tiphereth, the Causal body, the body of willpower. He represents Christ, who incarnates in us – the Human soul, an actual human. Ramachandra represents a perfect human being—perfect, not a flaw, not a speck of ego—no pride, lust, envy, fear, gluttony, greed. He is a pure incarnation of Vishnu. That potential is in us; that is in the sephirah Tiphereth.
The name Ramachandra literally translated means, “pleasing moon.” Rama means “pleasing,” and Chandra is one of the names for the Moon in Sanskrit. That name means something, because we are all in the dark night of a dark age, and we need light to guide us.
The physical Moon shines at night because it reflects the light of the Sun to us. The sephirah Tiphereth, in us, can reflect the light of the Sun—Christ—to give us light in our spiritual darkness.
Tiphereth is our Human Soul, directly in the center of the Tree of Life. The Hebrew word Tiphereth translated literally means “beauty.” This is somewhat like “pleasing moon”—it is something poetic and beautiful.
When you look at the tree over the body, Tiphereth is related to the heart. Tiphereth relates with our Human Soul, and is next to the sephirah Chesed (Atman), our Innermost, who can reflect that light in us.
When we are in the darkness of our lives, we need light to guide us; that light that comes from inside, through our heart. That light—guidance from divinity—begins through intuition, through our conscience, through listening inside, through sensing what is right and what is wrong. That is a power of Tiphereth, who gives the Jnana, the knowledge, of Vishnu through the heart.
This is what Ramachandra represents. He is the perfect man. That man is not outside of us; Rama represents inner perfection. Our complete potential is to become Rama. So, the story of the Ramayana is about that. Many people read the Ramayana and think that Rama just represents a great guy that we should all respect, and maybe try to imitate sometimes. It does not mean that. The story is saying, “You can become Rama, spiritually.” The Ramayana is the story of how a person enters into the straight path after having created the Soul and passed the five Initiations of the Major Mysteries, and wants to completely incarnate the Lord and become a fully developed bodhisattva. They have to eliminate the ego 100%, and you cannot do it on your own; it is impossible, it is too strong, it is too powerful; not even the Gods can deal with Ravana.
Ravana cannot be killed by gods, spirits, or demons. He can only be killed by a man: Ramachandra, but he cannot do it alone.
A sage came to the king and said, “I need your help. This demon is interrupting my sacrificial rites. This demon Ravan is interrupting my rituals, and I need you to send someone to take care of it.”
The sage is the equivalent of Abraham or Ganesha, and relates to our Innermost, who is trying to work inside of the initiate, spiritually, to perform rituals on his behalf, but the ego is interfering. Our ego interrupts the work of our Innermost. So, the Innermost says to King Dasaratha (the initiate), “Send some part of yourself to deal with this ego, because he is messing up everything we are trying to do.” So, Dasaratha sends Rama.
The demon Ravana is depicted with his ten heads and his many arms; that is our ego. It represents how we at one time, a long ago, were great “kings”—Adam and Eve—with powers over nature: we were pure, awake, able to communicate directly with God as great devotees of God, and had great powers, but we rejected that because of pride, lust, envy. So, according to karma, we expelled ourselves from the Garden of Eden through our mistaken actions. In other words, we once had dominion over our inner kingdom, the ten sephiroth inside of us, but due to our ego we fell into disgrace: we became Ravana. The ten sephiroth inverted, becoming the sephiroth of hell, Avitchi, the underworld.
Another other name of Ravana is Dasavadana, which means, “he of ten heads.” Do you see the duplicity of this symbol? Do you see that Dasaratha, the king, has ten chariots and that Ravana has ten heads, and that they are reflections of one another? They are two aspects of the same person. Dasaratha is the terrestrial person, an initiate who is trying to return to God, but he cannot, because of his ego, because of his Karma, which is Ravana. This represents our problem. In other words, we are Hasnamussen.
A Hasnamuss is someone who has a split Consciousness, a split identity. Some portion of us remains pure and longs for God, that is why we are attracted to spirituality. That is why we have a conscience that feels when things are right or wrong; we still feel that. Many people in the world do not; that connection is severed. They are “empty houses.” But, those who study this type of teaching generally still have some connection in themselves to divinity, longing for the truth. That is Dasaratha: the king who wants a son.
But, unfortunately, the sage, the prophet in us (Abraham, Ganesha) is trying to conduct rituals to help us, to help our kingdom, but the demon keeps interfering with the rituals, and that demon is our own Ravana. It is our own Inner Tree of Life inverted.
Directly in the center of this representation of the Tree of Life is the sephirah Malkuth, which means “the kingdom,” and represented our physicality. Above it there are nine spheres, and below it are nine spheres. That lower aspect, from Malkuth down, is hell—Gehenna, Avitchi, Averno, all those different names that represent the lower worlds. Hell is inside of us. Our hell is very densely populated with lust, anger, pride, resentment, jealousy, gluttony. That is Ravana inside of us: Malkuth and the nine sephiroth below it. This is our psychological state: we are caught in the middle of this conflict between the light (the upper sephiroth) and the darkness (the lower sephiroth). Unfortuantely, we are easily seduced by our desires (pride, envy, lust), which results in suffering and destruction, and interferes with the processes of our Innermost trying to help us. So, we need Ramachandra to come, because no one else can kill Ravana; no God, no demon, no spirit. In other words, the only one who can conquer our karma is Christ incarnated within us, which is represented by Rama.
How can Christ do that, unless Christ works through our hands? If you understand something about Karma, about cause and effect, you understand that any action we perform has a consequence, and that consequence is related directly to the action. That means, anything I have done, I bear the consequence for that. No one can take that away from me. It is my own action, thus it is my own consequence. Whatever afflicts me was made by me. No one can come to me and say, “Okay, let me erase all that for you, you can start over.” Nature does not work that way. There is such a thing as forgiveness, but it does not work like that. You earn forgiveness through action – through wiping away those inferior actions by performing superior actions. But, some of our ego, the bulk of it, the trajectory of it, is so strong, it is totally beyond our ability to catch up to it. And, if you want to see the truth of that, meditate and try to understand the entire situation of this planet, the whole scenario from top to bottom: all of the suffering on this planet, and that every single action in every moment is perpetuating this situation, and growing it. Lust, anger, envy, pride, greed, gluttony, and laziness produce more suffering. Every human entity on this planet is producing more and more of that every day. That is a huge trajectory of energy that none of us can overcome. That is Ravana in action. The only one who can over come that is a divine Savior: Christ, who has to do it by incarnating within us, to perform the right actions through our hands.
Our world is sinking into the abyss, into hell. Everyday, humanity is bringing more of hell to the surface, celebrating and encouraging the behavior of demons. Gradually, all life on this planet is being crushed by the Karma of this humanity. Humanity is suffering more and more, and ignorance is growing more and more. It appears that when we try to solve our problems, our solutions often end up creating more problems. In other words, we do not have the ability to save ourselves. We need help.
The Ramayana tells the story of how, through a long series of epic events, Rama manages to overcome Ravana and kill him. It is a long story that we do not have time to discuss in this lecture – but, I encourage you to read it and study it, and understand that it is a cosmic drama that reflects the same drama told in every religion.
The Ramayana is about a relationship between Rama and Sita, his wife. She represents the perfect Consciousness (the sephirah Geburah). Sita is abducted by Ravana and taken away, the same story that we find in the Greek myths about Eurydice, Helen of Troy, Persephone, and the maiden that is captured and taken by the dragon that George has to go and conquer, etc. In all mythological and religious stories we find this fundamental myth, which represent how our Consciousness (the divine female) becomes trapped by karma.
Sita represents the sephirah Geburah. Sita is an incarnation of Laksmi. Rama is an incarnation of Vishnu. So, the whole Ramayana is about the Second Mountain. If you have studied “The Three Mountains” by Samael Aun Weor, you will understand what this means. Rama is Herakles, who has to perform many epic deeds, in order to overcome all of the problems caused by the demon Ravana.
The end result of the Ramayana is that Rama is able to establish a perfect kingdom, “Heaven on Earth.” This is the theme in every religion. This is the Celestial Jerusalem talked about in the Book of Revelation. This is the perfect world in which there is no suffering, and all of the inhabitants live lives of complete and utter fulfillment. Many people think that is a physical event, but it is not, it is symbolic. It is related to the Celestial Kingdom (Malkuth) that we have to establish in our psyche, inside of us, in which all of our inner inhabitants have utter fulfillment, prosperity, and peace, with no suffering in our minds or hearts. Instead, we have enthroned in our heart and mind Rama (Manas) and Sita (Buddhi), our Human Soul and Divine Soul. Their only goal is to serve God (Atman).
The entire Ramayana is about a promise that Rama makes to his Father, and he has to undergo a lot of suffering in order to live up to his word, because what he said, he lives by. I recommend you study the Ramayana, not just as a comic book type of story, but as a scripture. It is filled with important information related to the development of the Soul, especially for those who aspire to the Straight Path.
Related to the role of Rama, he is explained to be the perfect man. So, we should explain that this middle triangle in the Tree of Life, which in Hebrew is Chesed, Geburah, and Tiphereth, have corresponding names in Sanskrit. So, if you study any Sanskrit scriptures, you will be able to relate these three spheres. Chesed, in Sanskrit, is called Atman. Geburah in Sanskrit is called Buddhi. Tiphereth in Sanskrit is called Manas, is our human aspect, our human Consciousness; it is our Soul. It is a portion of the Spirit, it is his exponent, it is his weapon. In the legends of Arthur, Tiphereth or Manas is Lancelot. Not the Lancelot of the later writings that made him into an adulterator and a fornicator, but the original Lancelot who is the great champion, who fights on behalf of his lady (Geburah / Buddhi) and his king (Chesed / Atman). Rama is that active component of the Consciousness that descends into life in order to fight the demon. Moreover, he represents how Christ descends into us.
There is a distinction here: the human soul is one thing, Christ is another thing.
Christ can incarnate only in a bodhisattva, after the Solar Bodies have been created.
When someone raises the serpent of the Kundalini related to the Causal body, that is in the sixth dimension, it is not physical. That Causal body is the Human Soul, it is Manas, an abstract mind. That mind, that level of our psyche, is our Human Soul that we have had for eternity.
The Human Soul is perfectly, spontaneously virtuous. We are not that. What descends into us from existence to existence is a spark of that, but undeveloped; it is the Buddhata or Essence. It is like a child, a baby, undeveloped. It is not the full human Soul, it is not the complete Human Soul, it is not Rama.
Many people read these stories, and read the esoteric meanings and think, “I am the Human Soul, I am the bodhisattva.” That is wrong. We have to observe our actual behavior to see who we actually are. Our actual behavior physically and psychologically is negative, harmful, to ourselves and others. Thus, we are not that. We can become that if we purify ourselves of our mistakes. We can become Rama: spontaneously perfect. Meaning, that one does not have to make effort to be perfect. We have to make effort. So, we reach that level by learning about ourselves.
Whether or not we are in the stages of initiation, learn where you actually are – not where you think you are, or where you want to be, but where you actually are, and analyze your behavior. In order to understand the Human Soul, to understand Rama and Vishnu, to understand the Innermost, you have to first start with understanding your own self, who you actually are now. This is a process of self-observation from moment to moment, constantly, never stopping, always questing and analyzing your behavior – not only what you do outwardly, but especially what you do silently, in your mind; this is what is really important. Because, we all modify our physical behavior so that we will look good to others, so that we will get the approval of others, so that we look like a saint. But, we are all liars.
The truth is, in our minds, we are murderers, adulterers, fornicators, thieves. We are envious, jealous, and very lazy. Spontaneously, that is just the way we have been – that has to change. Through self-observation, continually, all the time observing ourselves psychologically, and at the end of every day, we review what we learned, what we observed and we analyze that more closely, more deeply in Meditation.
Part of that observation and analysis has to include an investigation of what we should have done – what would have been the right behavior? If we found and discovered in ourselves a moment in which we became very angry, then we need to look at that situation and see how should we have felt, and how should we have behaved, and analyze not only how that anger is a source of suffering, but how a sense of love or acceptance in that moment would have been very beneficial, instead of harmful. In this way we start to comprehend.
You see three forces there?
- the negative action
- the positive action
- the comprehension, the understanding
That is what leads us to really develop spiritually. It is comprehension in the heart, to know it and feel it in the heart – that this mistake should not be repeated, and instead we need to appeal to a higher force and to try to behave better. Through that type of comprehension, our behavior will change naturally. Not through forcing ourselves, or repressing ourselves, or defeating ourselves, or beating up on ourselves, but changing because we genuinely and truly in our hearts want to change, and need to change, and will change. That is how we see those six virtues of Vishnu start to emerge in us, and that is how we appeal to becoming an actual bodhisattva – through our actions.
Questions and Answers
Audience: Would you comment on the symbolism of the bow? Is there any correlation between it and the bows of Hercules, Odysseus and the other mighty bows of the many mythologies?
Instructor: The bow that Rama uses in the story is the same bow that we find in all the other great myths, like Heracles and Odysseus, etc. That bow represents willpower, and that the only one who can bend the bow and direct that arrow, which is power and energy, is Christ. Christ is the only one who can do it. That bow is the very power of Christ to act in the world, through his Soul. No regular person can move that, or harness that force, only Christ can do that – so that is the meaning.
Audience: What is meant what it is said that we pay Karma as a couple, we pay Karma as a family, we pay Karma as a city, a state, a country, a world?
Instructor: Every action corresponds to the performer of the action. So, as a group, we are gathered here as a group, and this is an action and it has consequences – good or bad. So, as a group, this is an action, to be together, to work together, to study, to learn, to meditate, that is a activity that results in consequences; that is all that is. But, if we gathered as a group to do drugs, or to distribute alcohol, or to convince people to do something wrong, as a group we would acquire consequences for that action. We may or may not pay as a group; we may pay for that as individuals. It depends. But, Karma is always related to the performer of the action. So, if someone was not here, they would not acquire the consequences or the benefits of what we are doing. Only the ones who are participating will get that.
Audience: Say in a family situation, somebody is taken away by death, from age or something, do you think that is Karma taking effect in that family?
Instructor: Sure. Everything that happens is related to previous causes. Whether it is specifically for the family to suffer the loss, it may be. It could easily be that. It depends on the nature of that particular situation and the conditions there. It would have to be investigated. The problem is that the stream of energy that is moving through humanity right now is incredibly complicated. We can see that just in our own individual life - how complicated everything is, and seems to be getting more and more complicated. But, if you start stacking up the karma if each person, adding them all together, it is incredibly complicated. So, there are stronger Karmas over-riding weaker ones, a constant chaos of conflicting events that are unfolding. In the midst of all that, we have the Gods who are trying to help us. Vishnu is working through his Avatars is trying to keep the whole thing somewhat stable, so that we have a few more moments to try to get out of it. But, unfortunately, we just persist in making it worse, and at a certain point, the Gods won’t be able to hold it any more. It will get too strong and the whole thing will collapse. So, we have to always be mindful of that.
Audience: What is the Kabbalistic equivalent of Mahatma?
Instructor: The term Mahatma means, “Maha-Atman”, which means “Great Atman”, or “Great Soul.” That term is used in India in the same way we use the English “ladies and gentlemen.” It is just an honorific term. So, there are many people who are called “Mahatma” who receive that as a title of respect. It does not mean that esoterically, in the development of their Soul, they have incarnated Atman. The only one who knows if a person has incarnated Atman is Atman, not terrestrial people, because we are all asleep. So, we should not look to find Masters based on titles or honorifics, because those are given by terrestrial people. The only way to find your real Master, a real Maha-Atman, is to meditate and look within, because you have Atman within, but you have not incarnated him. Your own Innermost is Maha-Atman; it is your Master, your Great Soul. And, if you get to know that, you will know everything you need to know to incarnate that. You will not need anyone physically, externally, no school, no Master, no teacher, you only follow God.
Audience: Does the bodhisattva also renounce Kether, can the Absolute be renounced, is there a limit to renunciation?
Instructor: A bodhisattva, strictly speaking, is a vessel of the light. How could the vessel renounce its own light? It could not. What the vessel renounces is any dust or oil or grit or poison that on the light bulb. The bodhisattva seeks to make that light bulb absolutely transparent, invisible, meaning; no self, no “I”, no interference, no prism, no obstacle for the expression of the light. So, when we say that the path of the bodhisattva is the path of renunciation, it is the path in which one renounces selfishness, greed, gluttony, lust, anger. It is said that the one who walks the bodhisattva path renounces everything, but the truth is they acquire everything. This is what Jesus said in the gospels:
“And when he had called the people [unto him] with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.” - Mark 8
Jesus is a great bodhisattva, and his teachings are 100% pure [but not as written in the modern Bibles, since they have been corrupted]. His teachings are focused entirely on the bodhisattva path, even though sometimes it is hard to see it, because the writings have been so corrupted. Jesus taught the Straight Path, and still teaches the Straight Path. He is not a teacher of the Spiral path; that is why his teaching is so revolutionary.
On that note, let me explain something about “revolution.” We talk about Gnosis being a revolutionary teaching, and many of the books have the word revolution in the title, so many people are attracted to this type of knowledge, thinking, “I am going to be a rebel, a great revolutionary.” This is a great enthusiasm, but, unfortunately it is misunderstood. The real revolution is not against the world, it is not against others, it is not a revolution against ones family, brothers, parents, or city or country; it is a revolution against oneself. The real revolution, the Gnostic revolution, is against pride, lust, greed, and gluttony. It is against ambition. The real revolution is to become empty, so that God can fill us. The only way you can become empty is to kill Ravana. So, we need Rama, the Lord, to descend into us and to kill the demon. To do that, we have to earn it. We do not earn that by building big groups, or by giving millions and millions of dollars to charity – these are helpful, they are useful actions, but the best way that we can help humanity, is to kill our ego. Our ego is the cause of all suffering. The cause of suffering is not money, it is not politics, it is not governments, it is not religions or economics; the cause of suffering is the ego, which is in us. If you want to change the politics of your community, change yourself, not your politicians. You cannot change anyone else. You can try your whole life, and you will never do it. The only one you can change is yourself, so start there. This is the example given by Buddha, Jesus, Krishna, Rama, Muhammed. To really be a devotee of Christ is to become Christ, and that is not be changing other people; it is by changing ourselves.
Audience: Is this lecture trying to reach the worshippers of Rama, and to unite Christianity with Hinduism?
Instructor: Is the purpose of this lecture to reach the worshippers of Rama, and unite these religions? I do not know. I teach what I am given to teach, I do not know the reason why, I do not ask. I do what I am told.
Audience: What do you mean when you say Polytheistic religion?
Instructor: Poly means “many,” and Theos is divinity. So, polytheistic refers to religions that represent many God. Many people say Hinduism is polytheistic, and that is wrong, It is not. It is a religion that sees the many faces of God, it does not worship many Gods; Hinduism worships one God. Ultimately, in the root, every religion was like that. The Greek mythology, which displays many types of Gods, and also the Egyptian mythology is very beautiful, many types of Gods that we see in the Egyptian myths, or the Nordic or Aztec – those practitioners of those religions knew that those were all faces of one God. It is only now that in our ignorance, we see those religions or the remnants of those traditions and think, “They were worshipping many Gods.” That is wrong. There are many people who in their ignorance assume that, but it is not true. Maybe later on, as they degenerated, perhaps they worshipped many Gods – but, that is a degeneration. The actual true religion recognizes that God is one, God is light, spiritual light. That light emerges as billions of colors. We worship all the colors, but it is one light. So, that is what we study in Gnosis: the polytheism of the One, which is beautiful.
This is important because we all have our own psychology and our own idiosyncrasies. Some of us relate well to certain forms that God shows us. Some might be attracted to the Jewish form, or the Christian form, or the Egyptian form, or the Hindu. So, in these teachings we try to show that every form is the same. By comparing them, we can fill in the gaps of things in the various traditions that were lost. Christianity has lost a lot of its tradition, because it has been so edited. When we study the other traditions, especially the Jewish tradition that Christianity came from, we can see what Christianity really means. The same is true of Buddhism – to really understand Buddhism, you have to study Hinduism, because all Buddhism came out of Hinduism. That is why, if you look at that chart of the Avatars of Vishnu, one of them is Buddha. Vishnu was first, Buddha came later. So, to understand Buddha, you need to understand Vishnu.
Audience: The Divine Mother, in the Hindu pantheon, what does she correspond to, the Kundalini?
Instructor: In the Hindu pantheon, the Divine Mother also has many forms; the whole Tree of Life is her body. She is the Prakriti, she is nature. So, everything that exists is the Divine Mother. But, when she needs to create spiritually, in us, then she needs her exponent to be present in us, and that exponent is Kundalini. That energy works through energy centers in us – firstly and foremost with the spinal column. She works through the nervous system, because that is where we get our energy; all of potential to be alive in the nervous system, is in the spine. So, she is that energy. In us, she is static, latent, not awake, not active. But, in a spiritual aspect who is actually harnessing these forces, and working with them, she awakens degree by degree, and we call that Kundalini, and it has many levels, many degrees.
Some people mistakenly think that if you do a million repetitions of a particular Mantra that that energy will awaken and you will be a complete Master right then. That is a complete falsehood. Nothing in nature works like that. Everything in nature grows slowly, according to a process, and the Soul is especially like that. It is a long process. She, as a force, as Shakti, awakwens in us, through that energy that we call Kundalini. In the Bible, it is called the fire of the Pentacost. When the Apostles in the Book of Acts received that fire and the flames appear above their heads, that is a symbol of that fire of the Divine Mother that is awakening them, and giving them the power to act – that is the Shakti, the power.
Audience: She is true love.
Instructor: Yes, and she is that; she is the force of the Mother, the creative power in all things, who loves all things. She wants to benefit her children. She does not come into our bodies just to let us show off and act like Masters, and try to get a lot of followers. She does not want that. She wants to save us from suffering. So, if she is going to incarnate in the body of a person, it will only be in a person who will use her energy according to her wishes – which is, to serve others, to help others come out of suffering. What else does a mother want? She wants to save her children.
Audience: Why is it that the Moon’s image is crescent, instead of full Moon, does that mean anything?
Instructor: In Hindu images, we often see a crescent Moon in relation with Shiva or other Gods. The crescent Moon represents the Moon that is emerging out of darkness, and that Moon is what reflects the light of the Sun. So, it relates to spiritual development. In other traditions, in Buddhism for example, they often show a full Moon… this one has a crescent, but generally, it is just a symbolic meaning. Depending than that, there are esoteric teachings about the Moon, but we do not have time to go into that today.
Audience: Can we successfully annihilate a piece of our ego, and be unconscious of it?
Instructor: Can we unconsciously annihilate a piece of our ego? Never. The only way to overcome ego, is to be cognizant of it. The ego itself is unconsciousness, subconsciousnes, infraconsciousness. It cannot be eliminated automatically by paying somebody money, or without your knowledge in any way.
Any action you perform corresponds directly to you. This is why if you have an ego, it is something that you created and only you can eliminate it. But, unfortunately, so much of our ego is so powerful and so ancient, we do not have the power or the skill or the Consciousness to do it, we need the help of God. So, God will incarnate in us, if we reach the level of being a bodhisattva, and work through our Human Soul together inside, to guide our actions to overcome that ego. But, that is a fully conscious process, completely cognizant.
You cannot conquer an ego unless you know about it. How are you going to stop acting lustfully unless you consciously understand that lust is harmful? You will not stop behaving that way automatically, it cannot happen. You have to be aware of it.
For example, if you buy a new pair of shoes, and you start doing your work and going here and there, and then you start feeling a lot of pain, but you do not become conscious of it, you are just going to keep going. It is only when you realize, “Oh, these shoes are hurting me, they are hurting my foot.” You can be helped out of that suffering when you become aware of it. The same is true of the ego. It is constricting us, it is binding us, it is hurting us in many levels, but we have no cognizance of it. So, we just continue going as we are, not aware. Conditions may change, so the pains might change, but the ego will not be eliminated, unless we consciously, cognizantly see it and change it. This whole work is like that.
There are many people who assume that they have reached the third degree of the Major Mysteries and that they have their Astral body – but they do not know it. Those people are lying to themselves, because of ambition, fear, or pride. Or, they assume, because they stopped looking at pornographic magazines that they no longer have lust. That is also a lie, because if you change the conditions physically, that ego may not be coming up in the same way, but it is still there. An ego is only eliminated and destroyed when you have done it consciously yourself; when you have cognizantly comprehended it in your heart and mind.
Now, the students here are looking very pale. But, this is the truth of this work. It does not happen on auto-pilot. It does not happen because we are a sincere student, or we really mean well. It does not happen. You might really want to go up to the top of the Empire State Building, you might really long for it, but you will only get up there is you walk, if you do it yourself. Your friends might go up and come back and say, “It was like this, and it was like that…” and you might ask them a million questions, and you might really memorize and picture everything and think, “Yeah, I really know what that is like. And now, I can go and tell everybody else, and tell them how great it is up on top of the Empire State Building” – and everybody else might be convinced that you went, but you never did. There are a lot of Gnostics like that, who talk beautifully about the Astral plane, about going out of the body, about awakening Kundalini, about talking to Jesus or another Angel or Master – yet they have never done it. Or they talk about how you have to do this or that to eliminate an ego, and they have never done it. Let us not be those people. We have to be sincere with ourselves, be honest. Know what you know. And, if you do not know something, come to know it. Make effort.
Audience: What can one do if one cannot understand what would have been the right thing to do in a situation, in the retrospective Meditation?
Instructor: That is a great question. What does one do if you cannot understand what would have been the right thing to do, when doing a retrospective type of Meditation? You keep meditating. The answer is to use your imagination. The ego that we have, and the habits that we have, are very old and very difficult to comprehend because they feel like our true identity. We have been carrying them around so long, and fattening them up for countless existences. It is very difficult to see ourselves as we really are. And, when we want to see what would have been the proper behavior, use your imagination. Let your imagination teach you and guide you.
If you are a great devotee of Jesus, and you are meditating on an ego that you saw during the day, of pride, and you really felt arrogant and you saw how you acting in a way that you should not have acted, you said things you should not have said, maybe you hurt someone’s feelings, maybe you put someone down, and you feel bad are that and you want to know, “What should I have done?” Then pray to the deity that helps you. If it is Jesus, then pray to Jesus, “Please teach me and show me what I should have done.” Use your imagination; imagine Jesus coming and teaching you and telling you and showing you and let it come as pictures and let is come as words, and analyze what appears to you, because it may not be Jesus giving you the message, it might be your ego. You have to have that discrimination inside, to analyze the things that you work with. But, by practicing in that way, cognizantly aware of yourself, little by little, that type of technique can open the doors to an actual experience with Jesus, or an actual experience with Moses or Krishna… whoever it is that you are asking for help from – or your Divine Mother. Those experiences can come as a flash, they can also come as a long drama or a dream like series of images or sounds.
There are many types of manifestations that can emerge through this type of practice, and they will teach you; that is how you gain comprehension. You will not get it through reading books. You will not get it through talking to your friends, or asking others. I know that nowadays, many people who are really wanting to know about themselves and longing to learn about their psychology and get frustrated with Meditation, start turning to psychological books – pop psychology books, new age psychology books, like the stuff about the Enneagram. And, they start thinking that that is real knowledge, but it is not. What we have to realize is that the pain in the heart of not getting fruit from Meditation, and that frustration that comes when we have been meditating and meditating and no getting an answer – that pain, that suffering is important. Do not avoid it. If you are feeling pain and frustration from your Meditation, stick to it, because that pain and frustration is an ego who is suffering. It is an ego of pride, it is an ego of ambition that wants to compete with others, but that wants to outdo others, or that wants to ‘be somebody’. When you feel that pain and frustration in Meditation, or you feel like, “I’m not getting it, I need to comprehend!” What you need to comprehend is that feeling. Turn your attention to that feeling, to that impatience, and meditate on that, because that is the real obstacle. Meditate on that. Always turn your attention back to yourself.