Monday, April 25, 2011

Shri Chakra

Also called S(h)ri Yantra, the Shri Chakra is a sacred Indian cosmological diagram consisting of 9 isosceles triangles, 5 downward pointing (representing 5 aspects of the Shakti - the primordial divine feminine power) and four pointing upwards (representing four aspects of Shiva - the primordial unmanifest masculine principle) forming a structure of 43 triangles, representing 43 deities, or aspects of the Self. 
The central diagram is enclosed within two lotuses, the inner of 8 petals, and the outer of 16 petals. Then three concentric circles. Around this is the bhupura (palace of the Earth) with four gates representing the four directions of space.
At the centre of the diagram is a dot known as the bindu, which represents the undivided Self, beyond the duality of male and female.
The Shri Chakra was described by Shri Shankaracharya, in his Soundarya Lahari (Wave of Beauty). Shri Mataji has commented that the diagram also represents the chakra system seen looking down from the sahasrara (Crown Chakra)
The central part of the diagram, is a lot harder to construct than it looks, as the lines must intersect accurately or small superfluous triangles will be created. Additionally, the apexes of the triangles must touch the horizontal lines. 
Here's a link to some interesting research on Shri Chakra:

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Nikola Tesla

"What we now want is closer contact and better understanding between individuals and communities all over the Earth and the elimination of egoism and pride. Peace can only come as a natural consequence of universal enlightenment."
- Nikola Tesla 1919
(thanks to Peter H for this quote)

Tesla studied Sanskrit, and used various terms from Vedic philosophy, in his scientific writings.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sage Kapila

Sage Kapila in his Hermitage, Illustration from the Ramayana, Kangra or Garhwal.

This miniature resembles some of the cosmographical paintings that are a feature of Indian art. The sage, like the innermost Self, sits at the centre of all things, in a state of Kaivalya (isolation, detachment).
Read more

C.S. Lewis' Vision of the Goddess

"The reason why I asked if there were another river was this. All down one long aisle of the forest the undersides of the leafy branches had begun to tremble with dancing light; and on earth I knew nothing so likely to produce this appearance as the reflected lights cast upward by moving water. A few moments later I realised my mistake. Some kind of procession was approaching us, and the light came from the persons who composed it.
First came bright Spirits, not the Spirits of men, who danced and scattered flowers - soundlessly falling, lightly drifting flowers, though by the standards of the ghost-world each petal would have weighed a hundredweight and their fall would have been the crashing of boulders. Then, on the left and right, at each side of the forest avenue, came youthful shapes, boys on one hand, and girls on the other. If I could remember their singing and write down the notes, no man who reads that score would ever grow sick or old. Between them went musicians: and after these a lady in whose honour all this was being done. …
‘And who are all these young men and women on each side?’
‘They are her sons and daughters.’
‘She must have had a very large family, Sir.’
‘Every young man or boy that met her became her son – even if it was only the boy that brought the meat to her back door. Every girl that met her was her daughter.’
‘Isn’t that a bit hard on their own parents?’
‘No. There are those that steal other people’s children. But her motherhood was of a different kind. Those on whom it fell went back to their natural parents loving them more. …
‘Every beast and bird that came near her had its place in her love. In her they became themselves. And now the abundance of life she has in Christ from the Father flows over into them.’
I looked at my teacher in amazement.
‘Yes’, he said, ‘It is like when you throw a stone into a pool, and the concentric waves spread out further and further. Who knows where it will end? Redeemed humanity is still young, it has hardly come to its full strength. But already there is joy enough in the little finger of a great saint such as yonder lady to waken all the dead things of the universe into life’."
(C.S.Lewis, The Great Divorce: a dream (London, 1946)

Monday, April 18, 2011


The Goddess Bhavani giving Her sword to Shivaji Maharaj.

According to legend, the Goddess Bhavani, presented Her sword to Shivaji Maharaj, to help him free the Maratha nation from oppression, and to establish self rule ("Hindavi Swarajya").

Without political freedom, or self-rule, it is difficult for a people to attain Self-realisation. For this reason Shri Mataji took part in the freedom struggle of India prior to giving Self-realisation.

The sword was given to the British Royal Family at the end of the 19th century, and - I like to think - acted as a kind of amulet helping to save Britain from invasion in two world wars. 
But perhaps now is the time for it to return to Maharashtra where it means most to people. 

Shri Bhavani is a form of the Goddess worshipped particularly in Maharashtra. Her name means 'Giver of life'.

Despite the persecution of his people by a so-called 'Muslim' Empire, Shivaji respected all religions, including Islam. The Muslim Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, was a fundamentalist, intolerant of other religions, and oppressed Hindus, undoing the interfaith reforms of his ancestor Akbar the Great. Shivaji wrote a letter to Aurangzeb, telling him that Islam and Hinduism are two complementary aspects of the Sacred. As in a painting, one is the outline and the other the colouring, he said.

May the Goddess free the oppressed peoples of the word from despotism and persecution.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The First Mother

“This primordial nature is the breath of the Merciful God in his aspect as Lord. It flows throughout the universe and manifests Truth in all its parts. It is the first mother through which Truth manifests itself to itself and generates the universe”.

-Ibn al 'Arabi 

Ibn 'ArabÄ« (1165 – 1240) was an Andalusian Moorish Sufi mystic and philosopher.

Friday, April 15, 2011


Some Neo-surrealist images by Shana and Robert Parke Harrison

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


"We are told monotheism began with the Jews, that it was the great "spiritual invention of the religious leader Moses." This is not so. The worship of one God, like everything else in religion, began with the worship of the Goddess."

Monica Sjoo & Barbara Mor
The Great Cosmic Mother

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Haruki Murakami

Many years ago a friend lent me a copy of Haruki Murakami's The Wind-up Bird Chronicle. It was unlike any other novel I'd read previously, not necessarily one I'ld recommend, but certainly unique. Below is his take on ego and the Self in relation to the Tokyo Sarin attacks by the pseudo-Buddhist sect Aum Supreme Truth.
A much debated point is whether the Tibetan Government-In-Exile leader the Dalai Lama XIV has met, endorsed or supported Asahara and Aum Shinrikyo. He did meet Asahara; he doesn't deny this, and there are photos to prove it. His inner circle members supported Aum Shinrikyo during the time when the group struggled to obtain the legal religious organization status. The Dalai Lama at least admitted that this error offered proof that he was not a “living Buddha” but it's a shame he neglected to tell us all that before making the error.
In Eastern spirituality, guru and Self are said to be one and the same. Surrendering the ego to the guru is surrendering it to one's own true Self. But the guru has to be a Satguru (true master) like the Buddha himself. To surrender to a false guru is disastrous. 

Of course, the individual is free to try to overcome desires and attachments and so on, but from an objective point of view it seems extremely dangerous to allow another, a guru, to take control of your own ego. Are there still many believers or ex-believers who don't recognize this?
   I don't think many have thought about it properly. Gautama Buddha said: "The Self is the true master of the Self" and "Keep the Self an island, approaching nothing." In other words, Buddhist disciples practice asceticism in order to find the true Self. They find impurities and attachments, and attempt to extinguish these. But what Mr. Matsumoto (Asahara) did was equate "Self" and "attachments." He said that in order to get rid of the ego, the Self must be disposed of as well. Humans love the "Self," so they suffer, and if the "Self" can be discarded then a shining true Self will emerge. But this is a complete reversal of Buddhist teachings. The Self is what should be discovered, not discarded. Terrorist crimes like the gas attack result from the process of easily giving up on the Self. If the Self is lost, then people will become completely insensitive to murder and terrorism.
   In the final analysis, Aum created people who had discarded their Selves and just followed orders. Therefore enlightened practitioners in Aum, those most steeped in Aum doctrine, are not truly enlightened people who have mastered the truth. It's a perversion for believers who supposedly have renounced the world to run around collecting donations in the name of "salvation."
Haruki Murakami
The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche  (interview with members of Aum Shinrikyo)


"Knowledge of the Self is the only true knowledge."

"The Kingdom of Heaven is within you and whoever knows himself shall find it. Know your Self."
-Jesus, Oxyrhynchus Manuscript.

"Every human being's essential nature is perfect and faultless, but after years of immersion in the world we easily forget our roots and take on a counterfeit nature."

"This above all, to thine own self be true,
And it must follow as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man."
-William Shakespeare

"Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie."
-William Shakespeare

"But if a man happens to find himself he has a mansion which he can inhabit with dignity all the the days of his life."
-James Michener

"He who knows himself, knows the All"
-Hermes Trismegistos

"Learn what you are and be such."

"The greatest thing in the world is to know how to be oneself."

"Resolve to be thyself: and Know, that he
Who finds himself, loses his misery."
-Matthew Arnold

"Gnosis involves an intuitive process of knowing oneself. And to know to know human nature and human destiny.....Yet to know oneself, at the deepest level, is simultaneously, to know God."
-Elaine Pagels

I am not I
I am this one
Who goes by my side without my seeing him
whom, at times, I go to see
and whom, at times, I forget.
He who is silent, serene, when I speak,
he who pardons, sweetly, when I resent,
he who passes through places I am not,
he who will remain standing when I die."
-Juan Ramon Jimenez (1881-1958)

"It's wrong to say I think. Better to say: I am thought....I is an other."
-Arthur Rimbaud, 1871

"Love opens the doors into everything, as far as I can see, including and perhaps most of all, the door into one's own secret, and often terrible and frightening, real self."
-May Sarton Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing

Saturday, April 09, 2011

The Self as Infinite Beauty

Estranged from Beauty - none can be -
For Beauty is Infinity -
And power to be finite ceased
Before Identity was leased.

-Emily Dickinson

The Gentlest Mother

Nature - the Gentlest Mother is,
Impatient of no child -
... Her Golden finger on Her lip -
Wills Silence - Everywhere -

-Emily Dickinson

Dennis Doheny, Renewal