Summer Retreat Notes, 2016

Summer Retreat Notes, 2016

Shifting consciousness

A seminal theme in Babaji’s presentation of Indian dharma concerns how consciousness shifts whereas Consciousness is unmoving.  Every teaching from any school or perspective can be said to be intent on explaining the existence of higher awareness and its stages, or freeing people from obstacles in their minds that prevent them from shifting to these higher states.  The first class of a retreat or seminar is always powerful, and in the Summer Retreat, before taking up the Sivanam Sankirtanam teachings, Babaji inspired us with the following notes found in a student’s notebook:

[The teaching of the Five Akashas is a system that aids in understanding that souls identify with different realms by shifting their awareness: the earth realm, the pranic/ancestor realm, the mental/celestial’s realm, the realm of Wisdom of the seers, and finally the realmless realm of Chidakasha, pure awareness that permeates the other four “dull and lifeless” akashas.  With regard to the akashas, Babaji summarized the main point:]  

What to speak of “empty,” and “unreal,” akashas are all ultimately dull and lifeless without Consciousness.

[Also speaking of shifting awareness, Babaji described three progressive levels of understanding:]

First: We think everything revolves around us.

Second: We find we are revolving around Ishvara, ultimate Reality in personal, dynamic form.

Third: Aham Nirvikalpakam – We finally gain realization of all-pervasive Awareness transcending time and its divisions, into which even Ishvara merges.

[From the perspective of Yoga, Patanjali describes five states that prevent or qualify the soul-mind for Moksha, Liberation.]:

First: kshipta – a scattered, disturbed mind

Second: mudha – a dull, lethargic mind

Third: vikshipta – a restless mind, easily distracted from concentration

Fourth: ekagra – a one-pointed mind.  This mind becomes fit for yoga.

Fifth: nirudha – no mind, or, unlimited mind, mind and Self have united

[From the perspective of Kundalini Yoga, the low states of consciousness as described above prevent beings from penetrating the first of 3 granthis, knots or barriers to the union of Siva and Shakti.  The first granthi is called the Brahma Granthi and is stationed at the muladhara chakra where the yogis say that Kundalini Shakti is coiled up like a snake.  Babaji summed up the discourse on the obstacles facing ordinary soul-minds from higher states of awareness by saying,] The Brahma granthi prevents people from “straightening their coil.”

The Vishnu granthi* and the curtain of nescience are very related to each other, and to the deep sleep state.  What keeps beings from attaining the state of awareness associated with the anahata chakra are desire for happy lives, and the desire to be reborn with one’s ancestors.  *The Vishnu granthi is the second barrier, located between the manipura and anahata chakras.

I disagree with those who say Maya deludes us.  I believe delusion is the doing of collective consciousness.  Maya is insentient according to the Tantras.  The power of delusion is self-actuated and self-perpetuated.

The tanmatras (subtle elements) are missing in Western philosophy.  When one has understood and mastered these, one can enter the subtler realms consciously.  Otherwise all one sees is dreams and imagination.

Where are the Kingdoms of heaven?  They are within, i.e., dream, and deep sleep – where else would they be?  There is nothing out in space except matter, and matter is only thought concretized.  You will have to render your dreams more real.  Right now, only the waking state is real to you.  Then, when consciousness shifts, and you are more aware, you will have to adjust.  In waking you use your waking/gross senses.  But in dream you use your dream/subtle senses.  Work on these latter by exercising them consciously.

If you wait to dissolve the unreal, Shakti will send you Yama in the end, or Siva will send Pralaya.