tended his fires

Tended His Fires to Awaken His Soul

“Once upon a time Upakosala Kamalayana lived with Satyakama Jabala the life of a Brahmacharin. He tended his fires for twelve years. Satyakama performed for other disciples the ceremony of completing studies and returning home, but did not perform the ceremony for Upakosala. The wife of the teacher said to him, ‘This Brahmacharin has undergone severe austerities and has tended the fires properly; you should teach him so that the fires may not blame you.’ But the teacher went away on a journey without instructing him. Through mental sufferings Upakosala began to fast. The wife of the teacher said to him, ‘O Brahmacharin, do eat; why are you not eating?’ He replied, ‘In this (very ordinary and disappointed) man (i.e. myself) there are many desires running in various directions; I am full of mental sufferings; so I shall not eat.’ Thereupon the fires said among themselves, ‘This Brahmacharin has undergone severe austerities and has tended us properly; come let us instruct him’. They then said to him, ‘Prāna (life) is Brahman, Ka (joy) is Brahman, Kha (ether) is Brahman’. He said, ‘I understand that Prāna is Brahman; but I do not understand Ka and Kha.’ They said, ‘What is Ka, even that is Kha; and what is Kha, even that is Ka’. Then the fires instructed him about Prāna (Brahman) and the Ākāsha within the heart related to it. Then the Garhapatya fire instructed him: ‘Earth, fire, food and the sun (are my forms). The person who is seen in the sun, I am he, I am he, indeed.’ ‘He who knows it thus and meditates on it, destroys sinful acts, wins the region (of fire), reaches the full length of life, lives gloriously, and his descendants never perish. We protect him in this world and in the next, who knows it thus and meditates on it.’” ~Chandogya Upanishad

Tended His Fires

Upakosala tended his fires faithfully for twelve years. But simply tending ordinary fires seems like an odd assignment for a spiritual student, a Brahmacharin. But if you read through the quote entirely, you will get the idea that these are not ordinary fires, and tending them is not the same as tending a campfire or a fireplace. These “fires” talk among themselves. This article might give us a clue. According to it, there are five fires of which knowledge is taught. Without going into detail, the fires are The sun, the air, the earth, man, and woman. But that is just as enigmatic as calling them fires.

I think what is being called fires in this ancient book are spiritual energy sources. It then makes perfect sense that the sun is first on the list as it is the primary source of energy on Earth, both physical and spiritual. The sun fills the air and the Earth with energy, and that energy is passed on to men and women. But there still seems to me to be something missing here. Specifically, how would a spiritual student tend such fires? While adepts should care for the sun and the Earth, I think that is limited. And the Upanishad does say “his fires” which makes them seem personal. Continue reading “Tended His Fires to Awaken His Soul”

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prayer

Prayer With the Right Attitude

“A patient of mine who is very ill was recently told by his oncologist that there was nothing more that could be done for him. The physician then said, ‘I think you’d better start praying.” For this doctor, prayer had become a kind of last resort, something to offer his patients when he runs out of ways to help them personally, when there are no more effective treatments. God has become his final referral.

“But prayer is not a way to get what we want to happen, like the remote control that comes with the television set. I think that prayer may be less about asking for the things we are attached to than it is about relinquishing our attachments in some way. It can take us beyond fear, which is an attachment, and beyond hope, which is another form of attachment. It can help us remember the nature of the world and the nature of life, not on an intellectual level but in a deep and experiential way. When we pray, we don’t change the world,we change ourselves.We change our consciousness. We move from an individual, isolated making-things-happen kind of consciousness to connection on the deepest level with the largest possible reality.” ~Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.

Prayer as Last resort

As Dr. Remen implies, this physician who recommends prayer only as a last resort when all else has failed has it wrong. In fact, he has it backward. Prayer should be your first resort. His attitude is understandable in our materialistic, and increasingly atheistic world, but it is still wrong. Just as good nutrition should be part of the treatment for all ailments, so should prayer, and from the beginning. Prayer doesn’t have to be used alone. It can be used in combination with any other types of treatments, from herbal teas to surgery. Get the sick person’s friends to pray for their health, and miracles can happen. If he has no friends, there are religious and spiritual organizations such as Cosolargy that will let anyone request a prayer for health, recovery, etc. Studies have found these group prayers to be effective. But as Remen notes, we have to have the right attitude when we pray, especially if we are asking for ourselves.

An Attitude for Prayer

If you want your prayer to be effective, you can’t be demanding and you can’t have the attitude that you know better than God. Many people pray as if they were ordering from a catalog or a restaurant menu. They tell God what they want. “God, I want a new car,” or “God, cure my cancer.” God is not your servant and you can’t reach Him by acting as if he is. More appropriate prayers for yourself would be, “God, please send me what I need the most,” or “God, send me healing energy if You think I should be healed.” God makes the decision, not you.

When part of a group praying for someone else, similar rules apply. The person may ask for a specific disease to be cured, but you should ask God to send that person healing energy and understanding. The energy will heal what should be healed, and leave what is needed to teach the person a lesson.

Relinquishing Attachments

Dr. Ramen also thinks We should pray to relinquish attachments, not to cling to them, and I agree. If the only thing we can think of to ask God for is some material thing such as a car or a house, we are clinging to attachments. Instead of praying for those things, we should pray for God to help us free ourselves for attachments to material possessions. Now you might argue that you desperately need a new car, but that doesn’t matter. God runs the realm of spirit so you should ask him for spiritual things. When you pray for things of matter, regardless of your intentions, you are praying to the god of matter, which is Satan. Satan will often happily give you what you want—but bill you later!

The Purpose of Prayer

The purpose of Prayer should be to become more spiritual and to reach higher levels of consciousness. It should also be to help others, and the entire world transform in the same way. This is what God wants to happen in the world, and we should be praying to offer him our services to help achieve His Plan.

Our Daily Bread

One thing some people will bring up when you tell them that they shouldn’t pray for material things, material objects, is the line from The Lord’s Prayer, as delivered by Jesus, that goes, “Give us this day or daily bread.” They think this proves that even Jesus prayed for material things. They are wrong. This line is allegorical. Jesus isn’t talking about baked goods made of flour. He is talking about the “bread” that comes from God that feeds the spirit and soul. In other words, he is talking about the Divine Light that comes from God, through the Spiritual Sun, to us, and all beings on earth. This “bread” we should ask for. It is not matter at all, but spiritual energy that feeds the soul. It is what God wants us to have.

For more on the value of prayer, read this older post.

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supreme light

Supreme Light that Dispels All Darkness

“Those knowers of Brahman (who have purified their mind through the withdrawal of the senses and other means like Brahmacharya) see everywhere the supreme light of the ancient One who is the seed of the universe and the light that shines in the Effulgent Brahman. May we too having perceived the highest light which dispels darkness, reach it. Having perceived the highest light in our own heart we have reached that highest Light which is the dispenser of water, rays of light and the Prānas shining in all gods—we have reached that highest light. It is the light of the Supreme Being that is in the eternal light and in all the luminaries of the galaxies, such as the sun, the moon, and the stars. It is His light that is in wood, lamps, candles, and is the energy in all living beings. His light is behind all lights and the source of all energy in the universe. …

“The Sun is Brahman—this is the teaching. The further explanation of this (is here given). Before creation, this universe was non-existent. Then it became existent. It grew; it turned into an egg; it lay for a period of one year; (and then) it burst open. Of the two halves of that egg-shell, one was of silver and the other of gold. Of these, that which was of silver is this earth. That which was of gold is heaven. That which was the outer membrane is the mountains. That which was the inner membrane is the mist together with the clouds. Those which were the veins are the rivers. That which was the water in the lower belly is the ocean. And that which was born is the yonder sun.” ~Chandogya Upanishad

Knowers of God

Those who truly know God (or Brahman) do see everywhere the Supreme Light. They see it in the land and the sea, in the greatest stars and the tiny mustard seed. They see it in the living and in that which is, according to material science, non-living. Most of all, they see it in the Sun. They see glimmers of it in the physical, mundane sun, but mostly, they see it in the Spiritual Sun. They can see what others cannot because they have awakened their spiritual faculties and they see with the “eyes” of the soul, which is the only way to truly see the spiritual reality behind the illusion that is matter.

The Supreme Light

The Supreme Light is Spiritual Light. In some ways, it is like physical light, but in other ways, it isn’t. It cannot be seen by the physical eyes, although some sensitive people seem to be able to get glimmers of it. There are some rare individuals who can see auras around people, animals, and even plants. They think they are seeing the Supreme Light, but they are not. They are seeing a type of light that is halfway between physical and spiritual light. While this light is seen everywhere by the awakened soul, it has a source. The immediate source of this light for those of us on Earth is Sol, the sum. More specifically, the spiritual Sun. Spiritual Light can only have a spiritual source. The Ultimate Source of the Supreme Light is God. He sends his Light into the spirits of the stars and that Light is slowly transforming the fallen universe of matter back into spirit. Some question why God doesn’t transform the universe instantly. There is a two-part answer to that. One, it doesn’t give us the opportunity to transform with it. Two, time has no meaning whatsoever to God, so what may take a million years to us is an instant to God. Continue reading “Supreme Light that Dispels All Darkness”

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Heavenly understanding

Heavenly Understanding of All Things

“Disciple: Ah! How shall I arrive at this Heavenly Understanding, at this Sight of All Things in God, at this pure and naked Knowledge …; at this Light above Nature … For, alas, I am touched every moment by the things which are about me; and overshadowed by the clouds and fumes which rise up out of the Earth?

“Master: Thou desirest that I should teach thee how to attain it; and I will direct thee to our Matter, from whom I have been taught it, that thou may learn it thyself from Him, who alone teaches the heart. Hear thou Him. Would thou arrive at this; would thou remain untouched by sensesibles; would thou behold Light in the very Light of God, and see all things thereby; then consider the words of Christ, who is that Light; and who is the Truth. … Thou shall find that without a total surrender to God, and to the Life of God, thou can never arrive at such a rest as this, the true quiet of the soul wherein no creature can molest thee, or so much as touch thee. Which when thou shall, by Grace, have attained to, then with thy body thou art in the world, as in the properties of outward Nature; and with thy reason, under the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, but with thy Will thou walkest in Heaven.” ~Jacob Boehme

Heavenly Understanding

A Heavenly understanding is certainly a worthy goal. It is the goal that has been sought by mystics and spiritual adepts for ages. This disciple is wise to seek this goal, unlike many modern “spiritual” students, who seek simply to be happy and have few goals or responsibilities.

A heavenly understanding is a universal understanding. Since heaven is the highest of all dimensions, it is the source of knowledge of all dimensions. Therefore, having a heavenly understanding is to have an understanding of all that exists. Of course, this understanding doesn’t come to us all at once, in a rush like water over Niagara Falls. If it did, it would likely kill us just as standing under the falls would. At the very least, it would drive us mad. So that almost never happens. It comes to us a little at a time. It usually starts by contact with lower dimensions, then higher and higher until we reach heaven. Or, if you prefer, it happens by connecting with higher and higher levels of consciousness. It means the same thing. Also, the connection to a higher dimension is generally very brief, just a few seconds at first, then getting longer as you get more accustomed to the unusual things you see and learn there. Continue reading “Heavenly Understanding of All Things”

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