Monday, July 10, 2017
Brahma is Atman, Atman is Brahma
When I was a child of about eleven, our class read a book containing a short description of Eastern thought and there I read the sentence: "Brahma is Atman, Atman is Brahma."
Of course, I knee nothing of Eastern thought or philosophy at that young age. We were told that "Atman" is the individual self and "Brahma" is God. When I read this description I immediately thought, "Well, of course, that is obvious."
Some people, hearing such assertions, take it as an act of pride to think that one is God. But of course, what that declaration means is that one is "God" only in the same way a droplet is an indistinguishable part of the ocean or how a cell or corpuscle in your body is, in some hidden way, part of who you are. Hallaj, a Sufi mystic who lived from 858-922 CE, was executed, perhaps for his heretical views, though some think he was sentenced for political reasons. He proclaimed publicly: "There is nothing wrapped in my turban but God, " and similarly he would point to his cloak and say, ما في جبتي إلا الله "Mā fī jubbatī illā l-Lāh 'There is nothing in my cloak but God.'" He also wrote:
“ I saw my Lord with the eye of the heart'
I asked, ‘Who are You?’
He replied, ‘You’."
Many words and interpretations have been offered as to the true meaning of the notion that God and self are the same. Some are highly sophisticated and complex. But I believe what is meant is that your own soul or spirit is one with Source, that your own identity derives from a divine reality, known by various names throughout the world. Mystics have known this from time immemorial. Tolstoy said, "The kingdom of God is within you" and this knowledge is what the mystics realize when they awaken to the truth of their inner being.
And Kundalini awakening, when it involves the opening of the heart or the crown chakra in a state of rapture, reinforces the truth of this conviction. Too often, this awareness is buried deep in the subconscious mind until such recognition is somehow brought to the surface. As far as I am concerned, this state of divine union is the closest we can come to God in this human condition. In these moments, we no longer have to struggle with whether we agree or disagree with some idea or notion. We literally feel God moving through out bodies as unconditional love. Indeed, we constantly strive to become the divine human so many have talked about. Kundalini is the means by which we progress.
(Quotation from Wikipedia)