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Writings and Readings Blog

Madhu Bazaz Wangu

The Devi Gita: Chapter Five

Instruction in Kundalini Yoga HIMALAYA INQUIRES ABOUT YOGA 5.1 O Great Queen, describe that yoga with all its limbs which bestows supreme understanding, So that by practicing it, I may become fit to see the truth. THE GODDESS GIVES BRIEF DEFINITION 5. 2-5 The goal of yoga is not found in the heavens, nor on earth, nor in the underworld, But in the union of the individual soul and the supreme Self; thus do skilled adepts define yoga. Impending the practice of yoga are the obstacles, said to be six, O Faultless One. They are designated as desire and anger, greed and delusion, arrogance and jealousy. Adept yogis use the limbs of yoga to break through these obstacles and to reach the goal of union. Restraint and observance, followed by posture, breathe control, withdrawing the senses, concentration, meditation and finally...

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Happy New Year!

Dear Readers, Happy New Year! The festivities of November and December are over. The earth has gone dormant under white, silver and black. The trees are bare, the birds have stopped their chorus, puddles of grey grass peek through the melted snow and the sunlight is faint. Life has faded to a dreamlike state from where creative ideas emerge. Muses awake. There is hardly a better time to write. These days when I am in the thick of writing, warmth glows within that is beyond any ordinary emotion. Writing lulls me and draws me within. One of the many treasures of my life as a writer (and meditator) is being steeped in silence and solitude during winter months -- away from noise and fast paced life. Through unhurried writing and sitting, I...

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The Devi Gita: Chapter Four

INSTRUCTIONS IN THE YOGA OF KNOWLEDGE 4. 1-2 THE GODDESS'S REASON BEHIND THE REVELATIN OF HER COSMIC FORM The Goddess said: How distant you are, so humble, from this form of mine, so magnificent! Yet out of affection for my devotees, I have displayed such a form. Not by study of the Vedas, nor by yoga, charity, austerity, or sacrifice can you see this form in any way, without my favor. 4. 3-8 THE GENESIS OF THE INDIVIDUAL SOUL DUE TO IGNORANCE AND ITS SUBSEQUENT KARMIC ENTANGLEMENTS Listen, O king, let us return to the original subject regarding the supreme Self and how it becomes the individual soul. By combining with apparent limitations, the self seemingly assumes the role of an active agent and so on. The soul performs diverse acts, the sole cause of virtue and vice. Thereby it...

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The Devi Gita: Chapter Three

The Goddess Reveals her Cosmic Body (Viraj) 3. 1-4 THE MYSTERIES OF MAYA AND THE GODDESS'S ENTRY INTO THE CREATION I imagine into being the whole world, moving and unmoving, through the power of my Maya, Yet that same Maya is separate from me; this is the highest truth. From the practical point of view, Maya is regarded as self-evident. In reality, however it does not exist-only the supreme exists, in an absolute sense. I, as Maya, create the whole world and then enter within it. Accompanied by ignorance, actions and the like, and preceded by the vital breath, O Mountain. How else could souls be reborn into future lives? They take on various births in accord with modifications of Maya. 3.5-12 THE GODDESS IS NOT TAINTED BY THE DIFFERENTIATED MANIFESTATIONS Modified by apparent limitations, I become differentiated into parts, like...

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The Devi Gita: Chapter Two

Chapter Two 2. 1-10 GODDESS AS PREEXISTING CAUSE OF THE UNIVERSE & MAYA The Goddess: May all the gods attend to what I have to say. By merely hearing these words of mine, one attains my essential nature. I alone existed in the beginning; there was nothing else at all, O Mountain King. My true Self is known as pure consciousness, the highest intelligence, the one supreme Brahman. It is beyond reason, indescribable, incomparable, incorruptible. From out itself evolves a certain power renowned as Maya. Neither real nor unreal is this Maya, nor is it both, for that would be incongruous. Lacking such characteristics, this indefinite entity has always subsisted. As heat inheres in fire, as brilliance in the sun, as cool light in the moon, just so this Maya inheres firmly in me. Into that Maya the actions of souls, the souls...

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The Devi Gita: Chapter One

The Appearance of the Great Goddess as the World-Mother 1.1-19 Vyasa said: O Hear the tale of Sati's death! Sati's (the Devi's manifested potency) father did not invite Sati and her husband, Shiva, to the great fire sacrifice. Sati felt insulted. In the presence of the invited dignitaries, she jumped into the sacrificial pit and killed herself. With Sati's death, Shiva lamented bitterly, joy shriveled up in the heart of every being. The world was drowned in a sea of misery. Consumed by disease, planets retrogressed, fortunes of gods declined and they suffered misfortune. At such a time of crisis rose a great demon named Taraka. For thousands of years he performed vigorous asceticism and became master of the three-tiered universe. Brahma, impressed by his dedication and asceticism, gave him this boon, "Only...

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The Devi Gita: Introduction

THE DEVI GITA Song of the Goddess The Devi Gita (Song of the Goddess) is an important fifteenth century text from the goddess tradition (Shakta) of India. The scripture has ten chapters that form a section of a much larger work, Devi-Bhagavata Purana. The Purana itself may have been composed as early as the twelfth century to which the Devi Gita was inserted at a later date. It depicts the Goddess as the benevolent World-Mother. In the Purana she is less of a warrior goddess, as she is in some previous textual examples, and more a nurturer and comforter of her devotees and a teacher of wisdom. This development in her character culminates in the Devi Gita. The author of the Devi Gita is indebted to the Bhagavad Gita for many of...

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Lessons Learnt III: The Bhagavad Gita

Lessons Learnt III: Bhagavad Gita With The Bhagavad Gita we have completed reading scriptures of the three major world religions namely Buddhism, Taoism and Hinduism. Many of the teachings of the Tao te-Ching (Lessons Learnt, August 14, 2009), the Dhammapada (Lessons Learnt II, January 8, 2010) and the Bhagavad Gita overlap. Teachings such as the presence of the divine within, finiteness and impermanence of life, the significance of stillness, silence and solitude in daily practice and the ability of each and everyone of us to have spiritual experience are common to these three religions. The Tao te-Ching and the Dhammapada recommend and the Gita warns that life is dreary, if not meaningless, for those of us who do not follow a spiritual path. The Bhagavad Gita teaches that human character is an...

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Jung’s “Self,” Hindu Atman and Buddhist Anatta

THE "SELF" IN CARL JUNG, ATMAN IN THE GITA AND ANATTA IN THE DHAMMAPADA The noted psychoanalyst Carl Jung has contemporized the concepts of soul and spirit with his theories of the "Self." His work on individuation and the "Self" have amazing parallels with atman of the Gita and anatta of the Dhammapada. Jung studied the working of the human mind with meticulous detail and declared that the majority of us do not have complete knowledge of our mind. Workings of the human psyche, (conscious and unconscious mind) is as complex as the workings of our body. When we say 'I know-myself' we mean we know our conscious (ego) self only; we do not know our unconscious. The ego is only a small part of the psyche. The unconscious mind...

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The Eighteenth Teaching

The Eighteenth Teaching Renunciation and Freedom 1 Arjuna: Krishna I want to know what it means to renounce and what it means to relinquish and the difference between the two. 2-12 Krishna: Giving up actions based on desire, the poets know as "renunciation;" relinquishing all fruit of action, learned men call "relinquishment." Some wise men say all action is flawed and must be relinquished; others say action in sacrifice, charity and penance must not be relinquished. Arjuna, hear my decision about relinquishment; it is rightly declared to be of three kinds. Action in worship, charity, and penance is to be performed, not relinquished-for wise men they are acts of sanctity. But even these actions should be done by relinquishing to me-attachment and the fruit of action-this is my decisive idea. Renunciation of prescribed action is inappropriate when it is relinquished in...

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