All emotions, all thoughts, all actions root in your mind.
Seek the mind behind the mind!
That mind is the mind of ALL; ONE
Swami Nityamuktananda Saraswati November 2014
A Perception of Death,
In the Western traditions we see death as a skeleton man, with a huge scythe, which essentially is a sickle, a crescent. The sickle is a symbol for the Moon, in one of her phases. The Moon is ever changing, has phases, one of them is the sickle. The moon is in all ancient traditions... and even today, a Symbol for feminine energy, or less controversially expressed, the Feminine Principle.
In the ancient matriarchal tradition, before they were overrun by all sorts of fighting hordes, which expressed the Masculine Principle and established finally the Patriarchal, hierarchical systems; death was part of a life cycle, the last phase of this life and was represented by the old crone, the wise old women. Her symbol was the sickle…but for a very different reason!
A sickle is /was used to harvest, especially harvest corn… when it is ripe. It is ripe when the seeds have reached Maturity. Without harvest, no seeds, no new life. The sickle was a symbol, not of death… as the end, but a symbol for harvesting seeds, which start new life.
Death was not an end, as it is seen today, under the emphasis on body, or as in patriarchal societies a doorway to being held accountable and then judged and rewarded accordingly. But Death was a joyous occasion, like harvest time… because it signalled new beginning, in an understanding of human- life as a cycle... akin to Nature.
Now contemplate on this background…what Monsanto’s (and other) companies do by producing seeds that have no/or reduced regenerative power; they break the natural cycle of life and death and thus bring only death. They violate the natural Santana dharma, the laws of the cosmos, the eternal laws of nature. But it is possible because we have as a culture embraced that one-way street... and hence are infused with fear of death…since “thousands of years”.
Isn’t it time to wake up and change the vision? In some cultures, (I have witnessed it myself... in Bali some decades ago) death still is a positive festival, where the whole village celebrates… I can’t remember where but somewhere in the rich Indian culture there is also an image of death as a young maiden, who kisses the person that is to die… to wake her up to a new life.
Look at the Shiva statues… he carries the crescent moon, pointing to the wisdom that waxing and waning belongs to the cycle of life! That creation is always dissolution and vice-versa.
There are many such stories… in Greek and Celtic mythology… of going into the underworld for renewal, the Goddess of the underworld carries in Greek Mythology a bunch of Grains... just harvested…just “sickled”, so they can be sown in spring for new growth. This idea of cyclic Nature, has been one of the wisdoms of the Feminine Principle, the female lineages, for a long, long time…from there death looks very different.
In Yoga we have huge amount of teachings about detachment of the body, yet fear of death, so we read in Patanjali‘s Yoga Sutras (II,9ff), is still one of the most prevalent to get rid of. However the ancient women knew different, why? Because they had a different relationship with Nature! We have lost that! We say it’s “human nature”. Is it? Or is it enculturation? If it’s human nature then how come the ancient wise women had different knowing of this?
Moreover in our day and age, it’s not just death we have totally lost contact with (so much so we put the dying in special hospitals!)... But we live almost everywhere - since patriarchal societies have emerged … under the dark sky of violent death and even extreme violent death! - shaping our mind, our understanding; invading not just lands but minds on a large scale.
How do we find the ways to change this??
Swami Nityamuktananda Saraswati, July 2014
“Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva are three processes happening at the same time. Creation, Maintenance, Dissolution. Creation and dissolution is a permanent process in multi dimensions, always changing. Maintenance/Stability “last” milli-moments. It is Maya, the illusion of stability, of permanence,
There is only, and that simultaneously: Permanent birthing and permanent dying. Both these are held in the feminine principle, life and death.
Maya is masculine principle, the belief, the illusion that there is permanence, hence something to build, defend and protect.”
Swami Nityamuktananda Sarawati 2014
What is wisdom? It is the insight into the wide vision of existence; permanent creation and permanent dissolution are One. It means wisdom is insight into ultimate Oneness. Different traditions have different “points of access" to this Truth.
For many indigenous cultures, access and cultivation of this, is connected to “the ancestors” and to “Mother Earth
For some (pre-Christians, Celts and others) especially the Taoist, access comes through Nature, observation and contemplation of Nature.
For Buddhists access comes through negation of Form, seeing beyond… into Void, into No-thing-ness.
In the Zen tradition, access is by cutting away, through to simplicity and “bare bones”
For Advaita/Vedantists, its similar, access comes through inquiry: not this, not this. “neti, neti”; letting go into pure awareness.
For Yoga it comes through experiencing stillness of mind/silence.
For the Bhakta/many Mystics and for Sufis it comes from surrender to “the Beloved”; where lover and loved melt into One.
…. There are many more paths…and All appear in ALL ! It must be so, as ALL are ONE, there is merely a choice of entrance/door/dharana!
All need though time; space-of mind- free time. In a hectic, stressed world there is no space and time for “just Being”, hence there is no time for the door to open!
No time for wisdom to evolve- we are too busy! The greatest need of our modern time, is; Space filled without “stuff”. No matter what “stuff”. Allowing space… to retreat…..”
Swami Nityamuktananda Saraswati 2014
Recently in Stockholm, at the Council of the 13 Indigenous Grandmother, I had the great honour to meet and share with Grandmother Agnes Baker-Pilgrim; oldest living member and renowned spiritual leader of Takelma Indians/Oregan and considered a living national treasure of the Siletz Federation.
Swami Nityamuktananada Saraswati
"The Yoga sutras talk about controlling our thoughts; control of thoughts becomes our our primary concern. Control of the mind is of one purpose only. To discard body-identification. That is done by wisdom and application of wisdom in life.
Wisdom is gained through inquiry and understanding, appreciation and evaluation of our own experience."
Let Meditation Happen (2010) Swami Anubhavananda Saraswati
"The human race is suffering from it's ego born narrow-mindeness.......We must understand we are born as humans and all other identifications are superimposed on us later.......out interpersonal relationships must be based on the philosophy of universal brother hood!"
A Call To Humanity (pg 116,117) Swami Rama.
"Knowledge is precise, exact
wisdom is holistic, open,
knowledge separates , excludes
wisdom includes, embraces,
knowledge is fixed and static
wisdom is flexible , expands
May your knowledge turn to wisdom."
Swami Nityamuktananda Saraswati
"Desirelessness is liberation. Absence of desire is mukti.........The Jnani has inner vision, he realises the same self everywhere, there is no division for him. All is one, whole. The inner breath is not separate, divided; it is whole, one."
Swami Nityananda of Vajreshwari and Kanhangadh
"Only the divine, Spirit, God knows the next lesson we have to learn. Instead of holding on, trying to bend life our way according to our wishes and wants, we must learn to accept that things change. This is seeing the bigger picture, This is wisdom."
Swami Nityamuktananda Saraswati.
"These days people seek knowledge not wisdom; knowledge is of the past, wisdom is of the future! Knowledge is of the manifest, wisdom comes from the subtle; knowledge is collected...wisdom is lived. Knowledge is gained, wisdom is shared."
Inspired by Vernon Cooper, Lumbee Indian (Croatoan)