Friday, July 25, 2008

Compassion and Nourishment

I have been meditating on a very deep principle that is practiced in Vedic culture. THis principle is: a man must see every woman, with the exception of his wife, as mother. This principle can produce essays and voluminous books, but because I have not the intelligence to go as deep as others, I will make a humble attempt to elaborate.
In Vedic culture, there are seven mothers: the birth mother, the guru's wife, the king's wife, the nurse, the Earth, the cow, and the brahmana's wife. Why are they specifically designated as the seven mothers? Because each of them in their own way nourish and bring about compassion in the society. This is something men have a hard time understanding. Nourishment and compassion are the two most important features for women.
The society must then respect and protect women as one's own mother if they want to make any advancement. Today our society often creates objects out of women. If you look at the television (please don't), movies, magazines, etc., women are objects that attract the male ego. When women are seen as objects then men want to exploit and abuse them. Looking at the world, ask yourself: if men properly respected all women as their mothers, would there be so much rape, abuse, sexual harassment, prostitution and many other vices that degrade the civilization?
A woman's heart is very soft. We can see that because of this softness, women have many abilities that men do not. Women often are psychic, spiritual and act as teachers. The setback is their judgement can often times be swayed. Another problem is their hearts are often dismantled due to a lack of having a proper father figure. Women then search for that love they never received leading them to degradation. Vedic culture therefore states, that a woman should always be protected in her life. At the beginning her father is the protector. He maintains the family and sees that she is properly married off. Then her husband is the protector. He gives her security and sees that she has everything she needs to live comfortably. Then, she is finally protected by the son. The son also has a natural inclination take care of the mother. Women give nourishment and compassion. Men offer protection and security.
Man and woman come together to balance their lives out. Masculine meets feminine. Yin meets Yang. Shiva and shakti. This is natural. A family unit is born. The family unit can strengthen the community as well as weaken the community. Children raised in proper family settings go on to spread love and joy to the rest of the community. In this Kali-yuga the population is mostly consisted of varna-sankara, or unwanted population. The male and female while engaging in sexual intercourse must do so in such a way to bring about good population. Vedic culture teaches this science known as Garbhadhana-samskara. Through different practices, the child is born with such a consciousness, that that child will bring about spiritual and material revolution around them.
Lastly, I wanted to touch upon the phenomena that is happening more and more. In our modern society, women are attempting to take on more and more male roles. In businesses and even the army, women are trying to be equal with men. What happens is that they artificially transform into male personas leaving behind the nourishing and and compassionate qualities that the world desperately needs. Men aren't equal with women physically and women aren't equal with men physically. Spiritually we are all the same. We are not these material designations, but we have these bodies. A man has different hormones than a woman and therefore will act differently.
Respect, protect and serve women so we can fill the world with compassion and love. Forget what Freud said..........

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Pow Wow

Bhakta Dave has asked that I speak about Native American spirituality. He himself has stated that the culture and rituals were passed down from generation to generation. There was nothing like a Bible, a Koran or any other manual to experience that which is beyond.
I feel the first thing we must understand about these peoples is that they had a very deep connection to Mother Earth. Such a connection actually brought about their culture. Some were nomads and others were pueblo builders. Definitely, their way of life was much simpler and more respectful.
In many aboriginal tribes, there is the shaman or medicine men. These people are gatekeepers to the unknown. They usually have visions and intense dreams that lead them on a spiritual path. They then take shelter of another shaman who then initiates them into the practices. Fasting, dancing, rituals and herbs are used as tools. Shamans and medicine men can be compared to the guru in India. These spiritual leaders were sought for guidance and cures. They would go on vision quests that would guide their people.
The spirituality of Native Americans and other tribal groups centers around the Great Spirit or Great Mystery. they believe in animism, or seeing that each animal is the representative of a spirit. For instance a beaver would be called Brother Beaver and would represent the entire beaver kingdom. And each animal represents a certain trait such as power, knowledge and so on. Shamans often take shelter of a Power Animal which they receive their gifts from.
We can see that they tried to explain the world around them in spiritual terms.
The formula is the same: there's a creator or Godhead, the material world is not our home, and there is the Happy Hunting Grounds or Heaven. Some might say they are demigod worshipers, others would simply call them heathens or pagans, but one who has knowledge can see that they had a deep connection with God in many ways that people today cannot understand due to our dependence on machines, televisions and so many other comfortable gadgets that we take for granted.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Two Poems By Rumi

A great sheikh has lost two sons, yet he is not weeping. His family and his wife wonder at this lack of grief. "do not think that I am cold and uncompassionate. I don't weep because for me they are not gone. The eye of my heart sees them distinctly. They're outside of time but very close by here playing and coming to hug me. As people sometimes see dead relatives in dream, I see my sons constantly in this waking state. I am even more deeply with them when I hide for a moment from the world, when I let the sense-perception leaves drop from the tree of my being.
I weep for those who have ungrateful souls. I weep when boys throw stones at dogs. I weep for dogs who bite for no reason. Forgive the harm that anyone does. We are here to be a forgiveness door through which freedom comes. I weep when I ask that the door not be shut."
Some attend to individual mercies and some to universal grace. Try to let them merge. Pond water eventually arrives at the ocean. One saint works and lingers in the lakes of personal life. Another plays without limits in the sea.

On Resurrection Day God will say, "What did you do with the strength and energy your food gave you on earth? How did you use your eyes? What did you make with your five senses while they were dimming and playing out? I gave you hands and feet as tools for preparing the ground for planting. Did you, in the health I gave, do the plowing?"
You will not be able to stand when you hear those questions. You will bend in double, and finally acknowledge the glory. God will say, "Lift your head and answer the questions."
Your head will rise a little, then slump again.
"Look at me! Tell what you've done."
You try, but you fall back flat as a snake. "I want every detail. Say!" Eventually you will be able to get to a sitting position. "Be plain and clear. I have given you such gifts. What did you do with them?"
You turn to the right looking to the prophets for help, as though to say, I am stuck in the mud of my life. Help me out of this! They will answer, those kings, "The time for helping is past. The plow stands there in the field. You should have used it."
Then you turn to the left where your family is, and they will say, "Don't look at us! This conversation is between you and your creator." Then you pray the prayer that is the essence of every ritual:
God, I have no hope. I am torn to shreds. You are my first and last and only refuge.
Don't do daily prayers like a bird pecking, moving its head up and down. Prayer is an egg.
Hatch out the total helplessness inside.