In my first article, “God, Man and Aliens” I dwelt on the divine in response to an intriguing article by Jane Waters which spoke of Nigel Kerner’s unusual hypothesis in his book, “The Song of the Greys.” I tried to tie-in the fact that all of us are pure spirit souls regarding the temporary nature of the material body which will die today or tomorrow and thus, felt this would transcend the deplorable state of affairs in the world today which seems to be heading along a path of total chaos culminating in nuclear holocaust. The essential question to ask ourselves is not so much how we may avert hostile alien influences (as they are also subject to birth and death) but rather, can this be stopped entirely? My answer to that is yes it can, given the masses or those who use their ears and intelligence be given a chance to grasp the spiritual with rapt attention. Please read very carefully what I have realized based on my objective research of the ancient Sanskrit texts of India known as the “Vedas” which are more than 5,000 years old. For starters let me refer my reader to my first article “God, Man and Aliens” for an overview of the soul proper. Very simply, the soul is eternal and not subject to decay like the material body which is composed of material elements that will disappear one day.
The Vedic literatures pre-date all other religious doctrine known to man including the Bible, Talmud, Koran and all other tributaries and sub-tributaries of religious and spiritual thought that has surcharged the globe for the past millions of years. Although their source comes from the spiritual world, or God almighty Himself in the form of recorded knowledge, they were compiled by stalwart, highly advanced spiritual men who realized the nature of the self. The soul. This is the actual meaning of the term, “self-realization.” Therefore, the love in this world is directly related to skin disease as we attach all importance to the body and neglect the soul. This is natural. Such as a mother’s unconditional love for her children. But we can see that sometimes mothers kill their children.
When we talk of religion we are talking about a system that only God Himself can create, not man. Real religion is not subject to man’s whims. Today I am Catholic but tomorrow I may be a Methodist or something else. It is said that the Vedas originally emanated from the breathing of Maha-Visnu at the beginning of the creation of this material cosmos numbering in the millions upon millions of universes and millions upon millions of planets from a time that cannot be traced out or since time immemorial. The current universe that we are now living in is more than hundreds of trillions of years old according to seers of the truth and the ancient Vedic texts known as “sastra” or revealed knowledge. Why is this important? And how do we know this is true? Where is the evidence? Although this falls into the realm of faith, known in Sanskrit as “sraddha,” perhaps the following may enlighten the reader.
The Vedas are emanating from a pure and unadulterated source, the Godhead Himself who is always a Supreme Person, therefore the subject matter is not contaminated by impurity or concoction that we may find from human beings subjected to the threefold miseries of weal and woe. In other words, this knowledge is super-human.
In fact, the Vedas are the only evidence of the sublime and blissful nature of the Absolute Truth par excellence who is always a Person and who goes by the nomenclature of “Krishna” or “Krsna” as it is spelled in Sanskrit. On practically every single page of the more than 600,000 verses of Veda that are extant on planet earth, it is Lord Sri Krsna who is targeted as that Supreme Person, the Godhead, the original cause of all causes who is one without a second and not subject to the dualities of the material world that include birth, death, disease and old age. Rather, He is the creator of it. How this is done by His multifarious expansions and plenary and sub-plenary expansions is the main subject matter of this great literature. God, or Krsna has three main energies. His external energy is the creation of this material cosmos. His internal energy creates the spiritual world which is not visible to us and is far, far away from this material world. We, as living souls are His marginal energy as stated before known as the “Jiva” or “jivatma.” Marginal because we have free will to choose the spiritual or material tabernacle. We are given minute independence but we misuse it. Thus we emanate originally from that spiritual source which has nothing whatsoever to do with this material world. The soul knows no material designation. It is spiritual in constitution.
It is very difficult for humans to come to grips with the idea of God appearing as a human being in society but this was the case 5,000 years ago in India at the end of the previous age known as the “dvapara-yuga.” Yuga means age. There are four yugas. They are cyclical and they rotate perpetually for many “kalpas,” an inconceivable length of time by our puny mental capacity. That is, try explaining to a moth who lives two days the lifespan of a human being who may live to 100 years. It would be inconceivable. Each yuga becomes less spiritual and shorter than the previous one. They come and go like winter and summer seasons. This current yuga we are in is known as the “Kali-yuga” and lasts for another 427,000 years. 5,000 years have already passed.
The Kali-yuga is characterized by atheism, short duration of life, laziness, quarrel, anxiety, hypocrisy, and many natural disasters (and mental) as well as war, famine, poverty and a myriad of other social and domestic ills. We can see this around us everyday. However, the good news is we have entered the 10,000-year golden age that will be characterized by this God consciousness or “Krsna consciousness” and this will be the religion and knowledge our children’s children will adopt for the next 10,000 years. Unfortunately, after 10,000 years the Vedas becomes lost and thus the atmosphere becomes surcharged with irreligion and God consciousness becomes virtually nil. Life will be short and cannibalism will rule the day.
In my first article I alluded to the concept of reincarnation and the science of “karma,” a pet new-age slogan that has been kicked around by pseudo armchair philosophers since the 1960’s. What does karma really mean and how does it act? There are various kinds of karma according to the performer and this is why one sees so many varieties and so many designations of life. For example, celebrities and movie stars are burning up the karma from pious acts in previous births and are thus awarded with name, fame and wealth. However, this same benediction is also a curse of sorts. Once the result have been burned up, the living entity must answer for their activities in this birth which reaps the rewards (or punishments) to be accrued in the next birth in a higher or lower species of life according to one’s “works.” This is known as transmigration of soul. This is where one’s current activities in this life become very serious. We may not want to believe this but these are the subtle laws of material nature. They act despite our belief systems.
If one lives like a hog, they are sure to get a hog’s body in their next life. If one lives a Godly or religious and spiritual life in the mode of goodness, than they are sure to get a demigod body or human body in an aristocratic family or even live in the heavenly planets for a long duration of time although birth and death occur there as well. Heaven and hell (which are planets) are all temporary. Therefore, the living entity moves up and down the various planetary systems as if on an elevator when their karmic work is completed in one body to continue it in a newer or younger body. According to the Vedas, these are facts. It is up to us to accept such an understanding. Many cannot due to their mental state and are given a chance to come back many, many births until they do understand. It should also be noted by the above that it is not God or Krsna who is creating these bodies but the living entity himself. Thus the mind is the best friend or worst enemy of the living entity as Lord Krsna states in the Bhagavad-Gita. This knowledge is just as applicable today as it was 5,000 years ago. It is eternal.
Many people everyday see the results of one’s karma in everyday activities in the form of lawsuits, sudden death, divorce, war, and natural calamities etc. This is all due to the inescapable law of karma. Fate, destiny and karma all collide at the same intersection. There is karma that are seedlings and have not matured, karma that has matured and bearing the fruit, good or bad, either from this life or previous births.
When we speak of reincarnation and transmigration of soul, who is it that decides a living entities next body? One does not leave their body (death) unless another body (higher or lower) has been decided by a higher authority. Follow this carefully now.
That authority in known as the “paramatma” or supersoul which is also located in the human heart area next to the individual Jiva soul and witnesses all our activities be it pious or sinful, just as a computer stores information to be accessed at a later date. You cannot have reincarnation without that witness. Thus Krsna’s plenary expansion known as “Maha-Visnu” expands as paramatma into the hearts of all living entities as an eternal friend accompanies another friend. “Para” means transcendental and “atma” means soul. While our individual soul is minute and limited, the paramatma being transcendental is all-pervading and unlimited. It dwells within all hearts of all living entities eternally, birth after birth.
Here’s an example. Place 100, different shaped, uncovered teapots on the ground and then place the tops on them. The air which is coming from the ether, (or great sky) is the same in each pot. It only appears to be different owing to the various shapes but the air inside is the same. That great air is Krsna (the supreme consciousness) and the teapot is the human body, or aquatic, insects, dog, cat or bird body etc. See? We are a bit of God’s consciousness. This is what gives us the symptoms of life. No two personalities are alike. Even in the animal species. Thus we are all fighting due to cultural and bodily differences. Nobody owns anything. We come into this world naked and we will leave it just as quickly. So who owns anything? It is illusion only. However, the objects of this material world can also be used in God’s service and thus it becomes spiritual. A car, house, or one’s wealth. Even a flower and the military arts as well. This is a very great science.
Spooky, huh? Like entering the Twilight-Zone? Again, one cannot see the individual soul what to speak of the paramatma. The soul is never inactive. How do we know this? By the phenomena of sleep. Sleep is a deathlike condition. Yet we wake up in the morning to continue our activities. The difference between life and death rests on this important point only. Death just means the jiva-soul enters into another womb of another mother to continue its karma. This is known as the science of God. God, or Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and He is all-cognizant, all the time. He knows every living entity’s past, present and future and every nook and cranny of his vast creation as an architect knows every inch of his creation in the form of a house or building as a crude analogy.
As far as consciousness is concerned, there are five different types. They are:
- Concealed such as plants, trees and inert forms.
- Constricted such as cats, dogs, aquatics, birds, insects etc.
- Flowering, that which the living entity is capable of achieving upon acceptance of these Vedic truths.
- Budding. When one rises above attachment to the material body.
- Blossoming. This is when the soul realizes his/her true nature as an eternal servant of God. This is known as the supreme goal of human life or “love of God,” or “Bhakti-yoga” the yoga of divine love and devotional service.
Yoga means to link up with God. In the previous yugas there were various forms of meditation etc. to realize the Absolute Truth. However according to the Vedas, in this Kali-yuga, meditation or sitting postures (astanga-yoga) are not authorized and are temporary at best because people today are too anxiety-ridden and are short-lived to come to the point. Meditation was for the previous yuga known as “Treta-yuga.” Hatha-yoga, while beneficial for body and mind and also longevity keeps the body fit but also not recommended because the body may die today or tomorrow the goal being bhakti-yoga and entry into the eternal Vaikunthaloka spiritual world. Real “samadhi” or trance, means to fix the mind on Krsna. At the moment of death if we think of Krsna we will be promoted to His Supreme planet known as Goloka, Vrndavana. Actually, bhakti-yoga is the last rung in the yogic ladder. The prototype Goloka is known as Gokula and is located in Vrndavana, India 90 miles southeast of New Delhi. It is regarded as the spiritual hub of the universe. Many pilgrims from all over the world today such as myself have been blessed by physically visiting this holy land. India is quite extraordinary.
Where does all this leave us? I can hear many readers out there saying, “Oh, come on! You must be crazy!” But who is crazy? President Bush? Your mother in-law? Who is going to save you at the moment of death? What if it comes tonight? What will be your last thought? This is serious knowledge for serious, spiritually-minded individuals.
Now, how to get to the spiritual world and become liberated from the shackles of birth and death will be my last article on mantra-meditation and particularly, what is known as the “Hare Krishna” maha-mantra which is declared to be the only religion and the only sacrifice for this Kali-yuga for achieving full success. It is very simple and does not require any severe austerity. While seemingly foreign to most of us, chanting meditation (or Japa meditation) another great science or sum and substance of all spiritual activity is non-different from Lord Krsna’s transcendental body. There is no difference between Krsna’s body and His soul as there is with us. So roll up those hatha-yoga and sitting meditation mats and get ready for another “Vedic adventure.”