Thursday, February 04, 2016
More on the Heart Sutra and the concluding mantra:
This morning I again repeated the mantra from the heart sutra (printed in yesterday's blog) and once more found it elicited sweet flows of energy, even as I dressed or did gentle stretching movements. And indeed I did soft pelvic circles and moved my hands in front of my body, as I usually do while sounding these lovely syllables.
Then I looked again at the words of the heart sutra which I also posted yesterday. I think I now understand more of what these seeming paradoxes mean:
For this reason, amidst emptiness there are no appearances,
nor are there any impressions, thoughts, associations and knowing,
There is no eye, ear, nose, tongue, touch, ideas.
There are no colors, sounds, smells,
tastes and touch dharmas.
There is no eye-element up to no imagining nor knowledge element.
Neither is any non-understanding,
nor is there any end to non-understanding up to no old-age and death.
Neither is there any end to old-age and death.
There is no suffering, cause, extinction or path.
There is no knowledge nor anything to find.
Because there isn’t anything to find. . .
Here is my own interpretation, which may or may not be correct:
When we enter the state of "vastness" (which many feel they attain in meditation), we no longer are aware of our outer surroundings (which we usually perceive through out senses) nor of our inner impressions or concepts. We now are pure "cosmic consciousness" aware of nothing external nor internal. We are not seeking something "to find" because in this transcendent state "there isn't anything to find."
And--this interpretation also describes the pure bliss (ecstasy) states of Kundalini, when we lose awareness of all those elements listed above and know only the rapture that enters us and becomes who we are. There is nothing to find, because we already have entered the ultimate state--what could be beyond the rapture which unites us with the Beloved? (Some refer to the Beloved as God.)
This morning, I looked up Guru Mayi (Muktananda's successor) just to see if she had yet come out of hiding (she seems to have disappeared from the public eye). There, in a quotation from her recent Satsang for beginning the new year, I found these words:
"Move with steadfastness
Toward becoming anchored
In Supreme Joy”
(Gurumayi’s Message for the year from A Sweet Surprise Satsang)
Is this not simply a translation of the mantra which concludes the Heart Sutra (but no attribution is given.)
I also looked up Muktananda (the founder of the Siddha lineage) on Google, and read of his chronic sexual misbehavior in his ashrams (constant seduction of girls, some as young as 13.) He conveyed a powerful message in his public role and wrote many useful books, but obviously got swept away by his exalted position as a guru and abused his power.
Here is another example of a guru gone bad. His is yet another account that convinces me it is best not to follow any self-styled "gurus" but to heed the promptings of one's own heart, which will, if we but listen, carry us safely through the challenges of the spiritual journey. Andrew Harvey, my own beloved mentor, insists that he is a teacher, not a guru, and I strongly approve. The distinction is extremely important.