by Babaji Bob Kindler
ALL OF CREATION is verily an excellent artform, is God’s handiwork. Therefore, to receive an inkling of what true art is all about, it would benefit everyone immensely to “look” long and longingly, via focused internal and external meditation, at the consummate Artist, called Brahman, Ishvara, Allah, Yah Weh, Ahura Mazda, the Almighty Father, the Beloved and other glowing appellations. But since this nondual Brahman cannot be perceived with the finite senses connected to the dual mind, cannot be seen with these eyes or heard with these ears, even understood by applying this limited thinking process, the indrawn “look” must be directed towards another form of art, called philosophy. Perhaps it is Paravidya, say the saints, sages, savants, seers and saviors — that highest expression of Truth and Wisdom which motivates the alacritous search that artist, artisan, scientist, scholar and all other explorers of this realm of relativity undergo lifetime after lifetime. Philosophy permeates all artforms, existing as their subtlest credo which demands “I must know” — the adamantine assertion that drives them inexorably to seek that long sought-after but wholly illusive perfection that nevertheless occupies all their thoughts and absorbs most of their time.
But it is not merely the aspect of philosophy concerned with credos, mottos and ways of life that I wish to introduce in this article, however, but rather the subtle and dynamic truths it contains that outline and explain the manifold mysteries in the voluminous book of creation. The declaration, “In the beginning was the Word,” is just the tip of the iceberg with respect to knowledge of the initial inception of the worlds, representing only a tiny modicum of the total subject present in the illumined mind of Jesus of Nazareth. Tantric and Vedic adepts had, even long before the appearance of Christ, struck the vein of gold running through the mountain of revelatory knowledge with regard to the manifestation of the many-tiered sets of earthly and heavenly realms. This vast insight gradually came to be known as Srishti Rahasya, the Secret of Creation, and was formulated upon the fundamental axiom of primordial vibration. These rishis were also beholden to point out with all celerity and integrity that Ultimate Reality is beyond vibration, “completely other” than all that appears in “the fields of the Lord,” a phrase referred to often in Christianity which has its correlation in the Bhagavad Gita, chapter 13. With regards to the field, called Prakriti in Samkhya Science, Sri Krishna elucidates:
As to the field’s Knower, Sri Krishna states:
To further emphasize the Lord’s point, the vibrating spheres are different than their Knower, who is not a material entity consisting of atomic particles, vibrating at various degrees of intensity. The Knower is not subject to birth and decay, does not undergo processes such as growth or evolution, exists eternally beyond time and is independent of space or location. Ever untouched by all that occurs in the fields of productivity by way of activity and its outcome, the Knower, due to Its penchant for creative power, yet causes the worlds of creation to effloresce.
It has been stated that vibration is the key to beginnings. It is given that both Bible and Rik Veda describe the movement of the first vibration as God, or Sarasvati, breathing upon the ethereal waters of potential existence. According to the Vedas, OM, or AUM, is that uttered Word, which bears a striking resemblance to Amen, Shalom, Brahma, Rahim, and other sacred syllables in various religious traditions.
The primordial sound of Om has profound internal and external implications. Though unmanifest in its original state, it possesses the potential for infinite manifestation. From its formless essence are born the forms which shape our universe. Yet, as the human being uses the body/mind mechanism to produce its various needs, but is not the body/mind complex, likewise does Brahman utilize Om for creating the many worlds, while being distinct from it. This is how Brahman remains inactive and untouched while still being able to create, preserve and destroy.
Om is effective as a tool for the seekers of mystic experience which is unsurpassed, for when intuited it quickly loosens all the knots of ignorance in the mind, dissolves impeding thought formations, and draws the aspirant towards moksha or spiritual emancipation. The Prasnopanishad illustrates this by stating:
Its inherent power to shape vibratory energy has been likened to a clear, calm pool of water which supports multifarious waves springing to life on its surface, allowing them to sport there while all the while absorbing them back into its liquid expanse after their play of energy is complete. This analogy is a microcosm view of the entire universe. As cloth, when analyzed, is seen to consist of thread, thread of strands, and strands of fibers, etc., so too does this universe consist of ever-changing fragmentary formations of increasingly subtler degrees — atoms, molecules quarks, neutrons and smaller particles constantly in motion. This motion manifests at different degrees of vibratory rate, from slow and dense to fast and subtle. The finer thought vibrations of the human mind, those vibrations which science cannot measure with instruments, are more subtle than matter but are dense compared to the primal vibration of Om. Om is the matrix for the Uncaused Cause, the sportive tool of the Unmoved Mover. When activated it provides numerous life heavens and stellar systems and all the objects contained within them, supports the animating power that creates them, and withdraws them into its boundless expanse for dissolution. All of this it accomplishes without ever changing its essential nature. Truly, that is why the Mandukyopanishad states:
Om, the creative instrument of Absolute Reality, is used by the Supreme Being to manifest the universe. About this unstruck sound and the Master Musician who wields it, the Rig Veda, the most ancient scripture in recorded history, declares:
When the Supreme Being utters the Word of divine origin across Ekarnava, the quiescent waters of potential existence, waves of vibration-energy rise there and universes, subtle and gross, with innumerable galaxies, spring into being, each sporting countless planetary configurations.
This Om Eternal possesses all possibilities for creation and growth and is the background substratum over which all names, forms, thoughts, words and actions get superimposed. It is therefore the cosmic garden where the primordial Mahashakti, the Goddess presiding over creation, gives birth to all creatures, along with the seed-sounds (bijas) which make possible all systems of knowledge and learning. It is She, who, in conjunction with Brahman, activates the powers of creation, preservation and dissolution of the universe, using this illimitable yet inconspicuous tool. The Great Shakti contemplates the universe into existence by activating this great key of creation, impregnating every word with meaning and associating the entire garland of alphabets — varna-mala — with corresponding names and forms. In this way She formulates and defines languages, arts, social sciences, religion and philosophy, abiding in them all as their inherent essence. Thus does the primal Word, its initial vibration, its meaning, sound, name, and the object produced all get connected and manifested.
This flow of perfect unity, arising from the immutable sound vibration and returning to its source without ever becoming affected, represents the very heart of Ultimate Reality. The divine origin of sacred sound springs from this magnificent and enthralling verity. The Mundakopanishad beautifully explains:
Along with the spiritual artforms of philosophy, and the knowledge of Om and its ramifications, another divine art exists which is intimately connected with the wonder of Srishti Rahasya. It is called mantra science, the recitation of a divine statement put into practice by the exercise of japa. Mantra has been called the conscious side of Reality. In actuality, the entire realm of vibrating spheres, with all objects in attendance, are present due to the power of mantra. The very fact that beings are not aware of this creates an “unconscious” side to Reality. Just as human beings were not cognizant of the intense power existing within an atom until very recently, in the same way most beings are unaware of the subtle power residing within any given word — especially divine words and names. This ignorance partially blinds them to the essential meaning of life, making them bereft of knowledge most crucial to their existence.
By awakening the mantra, however, all knowledge comes forth and is easily assimilated. Basically, the discovery of three principles constitute spiritual awakening in this subtle artform. First, by practicing japa, one perceives, acknowledges, and propitiates the creative force of the universe (shakti). Next, the point of origin is traced (Shiva, or bindu). Lastly, the sound emanating from the union of these two is perceived (nada, shabda, anahata, Om), the result being awareness of the expression of all aspects of creation (tattvas) as they occur in order, from subtle to gross. The subtlest of these is Purusha, the indwelling Self that is “uncreate,” while the grossest is the element earth, coming last in order after ether, air, fire, and water.
From what has been described, it is obvious that the “conscious side of Reality” does not proceed from the ordinary or mundane mind with its sense-bound orientation and its preoccupation with rationale. Indeed, mantra emanates from intelligent mind, called Bodhi-mind — Bodhamanah. After revealing the distinction between what is create and that which is uncreate — the field and its Knower — mantra grants the unique wisdom that reveals the intrinsic connection between the two, rendering them unified. It can accomplish this due to its inherent power to remove mental defects, such as samskara-skandhas — detrimental mental impressions that have collected in the mind over many lifetimes due to repeated ignorant actions.
Thus, mantra practice takes its place as one of the few authentic spiritual practices that actually transforms human nature and allows for the realization of God. Most other methods, austerity and meditation excluded, are either partly or wholly ineffectual for that salient purpose. Mantra grants protection from external forces, renders threatening and dangerous inner forces helpless, helps the aspirant resist illusory occult powers along the way, allows the aspirant to experience bliss and then give it up, and deepens the mastery of mental focus so essential for the attainment of unbroken meditation leading to samadhi. What further glorification can be attributed to this spiritual artform that might further expand its credentials? Mantra is the unique and definitive spiritual practice that is the universal means of authentic spiritual discipline for all qualified aspirants.
Every artform has its dynamics, its inner secrets, its effective progression, its fulfilling rewards. Mantra is no different. After the mantra, with its bija and Ishta, gets transmitted by an illumined preceptor, it quickly, with guided and dedicated practice, destroys limiting mental complexes and misconceptions. Later, it animates the flow of the mind’s awareness, the chitta, and charges it with aspiration. With pure thoughts spreading inexorably through the mental sheath, it is not long before the first glimpse of the Self is detected. The vision of this wondrous verity is either preceded or accompanied by the anahata sound, the Om Eternal vibrating in the inner being, associated with the subtle centers at the navel and the heart.
As the focus intensifies on that subtle “Sound Brahman” in meditation, the entire host of worlds, inner and outer, cosmic and transcendental, reveal themselves. If the mantra is a shakti mantra, the attraction for enjoyment of these blissful worlds is easily resisted and overcome, especially with guidance from the guru, and subtle sound turns swiftly into halcyon Light, coruscating forth as if from some precious inner jewel. This light is Shuddha Chaitanya, and the intrepid spiritual traveler identifies with It completely with alacrity and celerity. “I am the Way and the Light” becomes totally comprehensible at this stage, as does “I and my Father are one.” Rishihood is attained. Whatever is expressed in life thereafter is nothing less than pure mantra in its various forms.
Spiritual artforms are not exclusive of “The Fine Arts,” or any other form of work or endeavor, and ideally should be incorporated into them in the form of daily practice. This is the way leading to true fulfillment in life. When all beings will become artists, cut in the image of the Master Artist, sacrificing for the best good of all and offering everything to the highest Brahman, the world will radiate the peace, peace, peace that the ancients knew so well. As the Mundakopanishad declares: