The om plate
When Babaji visited the temple in Fideris in August 2015, he handed over to the temple a stone plate onto which he had scratched the symbol “OM”. Read the satsang given by one of the Swamis from Skanda Vale in June 2016 and learn more about the story of the plate and the meaning of OM.
The plate with an inscribed OM
During Babaji’s first visit to Fideris last summer he spent some time sitting on a rock a few hundred meters away from here. He was very enthralled by the vibration and the energy associated with that place. He explained to us that this location was where a great siddha (hermit) had achieved Moksha, liberation in his lifetime. This vibration was still present as a powerful Grace.
The same manifestation of Grace is what drew Guru to this location many years ago. Before Guruji had ever come physically to this place he described the layout of the surroundings, the buildings, the trees. This rock also appeared in Guru’s description of the place. You can see that the foundations of this temple had been established long long ago. There is nothing new that we have invented, we are simply picking up on the threads of our very long association with Divinity. So when Babaji was sitting there on this rock, many of you were there, he’d been talking for some time, he stopped talking and picked up a stone which I have here. We couldn’t see what he was doing because he was holding it towards himself and was scratching away with a small stone he had found. He went on for quite some minutes and as he continued to scratch away he became more and more intent and more focused and his expression changed, he was very serious. After some time he showed this rock to everybody. On it he had inscribed the figure of the OM, the Pranava.
Later on, following the lines that Babaji had made on the rock we carved a little bit in relief so that the image is a bit more permanent. And now someone has a little project to do because she is going to inlay into this shape in gold. So the Pranava will be recessed in the rock in gold, which will be very beautiful.
When Babaji handed over this tablet to us he said: “With this comes the blessing of the Pranava. This means, that all the five elements will cooperate with the work we have to do here, because they are all subordinate to the vibration of OM”. He also said that in handing that rock to this temple that the blessing of that great siddha who achieved Moksha there was transferred to the temple here.
The fortune now has allowed us the opportunity to take this rock which is very symbolic and very special for us on the pilgrimage to Mount Kailash. And again, the different manifestations of Divinity and Grace of very special places in the world like Arunachala, Lourdes and Skanda Vale and other places of intense manifestations of Grace, Kailash will also be residing here as part of this temple.
The symbol OM
We are very familiar with the symbol of the OM, the Pranava. But we haven’t spent much time looking at the symbol and understanding its form and its meaning. It’s a very beautiful symbol. It describes your life. It describes the whole manifestation of life and it describes the diverse forms that the energy of consciousness can take. Each of these curves is representative of a different realm of consciousness. This top curve here (centre, top) is representative of a state of deep sleep. That’s dreamless sleep, when you go into a realm that’s beyond the dream state, it’s a very deep sleep. That is connected here to this long curve (bottom) which represents the waking state. That is how you live your waking hours. This small little curve at the back (right) is representative of the dream state. Where those different states intersect can be regarded as the manifestation of the mind.
The mind exists in all three of these different states, governed by the manifestation of the three gunas. In the deep sleep condition the mind and the consciousness are dominated by the force of tamas and satvas together. When you are in the waking state the dominant gunas are the satvic and rajassic. In the dream state the rajassic and the tamassic force are in dominance. All three gunas are continuously working, but one becomes dominant over the other at various times.
Here you see a curve (top right in the corner of the plate). This curve represents the manifestation of Mahamaya. In the Baghavad Gita the Lord describes His own manifestation in the universe. This is Mahamaya. He is dividing Himself into many different categories: five senses, five elements, three gunas, one mind and what we describe as Mahamaya is the interacting of those elemental parts of God.
Encircled by the manifestation of Mahamaya is this single point (top right corner), the Absolute, variously called the Self or Reality or Eternity or the Changeless Undivided Awareness. The manifestation of the mind in its different permutations and in its different states of consciousness relates to the reality of this Absolute which is your real nature.
Going back to the manifestation of the mind and its three different states of conscious awareness there is a common factor associated with these different states. When you are dreaming or when you are in your waking state or even when you are in that state of deep sleep the common factor is “I am a person, I am a human being”. The sense of “I am a person” is really the manifestation of the Absolute but we identify with the world, and so the mind has this yearning to discover the nature of its own existence, the sense of “I am a person”. And that sense of longing to know your real nature is this yearning to return back to this state of indescribable peace. Sometimes it is not helpful even to talk about the nature of the Absolute. There are many scriptures and texts. There is one I like very much called “The Astrovaga Gita”. It’s a dialogue which took place between King Janaka, he was the father of Sita in the time of Rama, and a sage called Astrovaka who was given this name because he had eight bends in his body, he was crippled and deformed. The dialogue was all about the nature of the Absolute. When you read it some part of it resonates within you, you think you want to experience this, but it makes you very dissatisfied because you can’t really understand it. It sets in motion within you a desire which distracts you away from the process of living. Living is exactly the same process as spiritual evolution. God created this manifestation of Maya in order for all of life to discover its real nature. Even the desire for liberation or the desire for God is still a desire, which is an obstacle. Much more useful is to be exceedingly thankful just to be where you are is where you need to be. Sanctify and enjoy every moment of your life and allow God to take care of everything else. We all are living and until we draw our very last breath we won’t have that opportunity to really understand the nature of the Absolute. Actually it’s an exercise of deep intellectual arrogance to think we can talk about the nature of God. That simple child-like surrender to Divinity in this deep consciousness of love is well beyond the intellect. What we are learning to do in our mindful living is seeing that eternal light of Divine consciousness permeating everything, permeating all of these different states of consciousness, permeating all the different dramas and activities in our lives as the changeless presence of Divinity that’s manifest within us as our Self. Life is this voyage of discovery and don’t daydream about some imaginary idea of God when every minute the process of living is revealing little by little the nature of God within yourself, within your own life.
You can see (in the symbol OM) that of these three states of consciousness that the human being dwells in, this deep sleep is the closest to the nature of the Absolute. I enjoyed such a sleep last night. I woke up thinking this was such a deep sleep, deeper than deep. I don’t know how deep, there are no words to describe how deep this was. Because your mind has been suspended somewhere in that indescribable sense of peace and this is somehow reflected within you.
That sense of rejuvenation and peacefulness that you feel after really deep sleep gives you an idea about the absolute nature of God. Everything within this realm of Mahamaya is subject to change, transformation. You see the image of Lord Nataraj with His different manifestations and different modes: creation, sustenance, dissolution, recreation, and everything in this realm of Maya is undergoing that transformation. That light of Divinity is continuous, is changeless, is always fresh, is always new. There is no decay or degeneration, it’s always brand-new. It’s described in so many ways, it’s subtler than the subtlest thing. As we go on our journey spiritually the nature of the mind has to be refined. Only when you leave behind the gross involvement in the world of consumption, of desire, of satiating your senses; you must detach your mind from those impulses slowly over the experience of living in order for your mind to become subtle and refined. The more your mind becomes subtle the more this indescribably subtle light and energy of the Self can permeate through your life. Don’t say you can understand it, because you can’t, but it radiates through your whole being and you gain awareness that that’s your real identity.
Within the demands of the three gunas which compel us to be wakeful, to sleep and to dream we have also the opportunity to exert our own free will which was given to us by God. We are slowly directing that free will away from the involvement with the world. This again is a completely natural process that will happen automatically. Be happy for everybody in the world because their living means they have the opportunity to discover God, because they are suffering means that suffering will bring them back to Divine consciousness.
Question: Why is Mahamaya closest to the Absolute?
It obscures. Because of Mahamaya we can’t see the nature of God. The manifestation of the universe is Mahamaya. You can see the manifestation but you can’t see the Absolute.
Question: What’s the middle bar (between the top and bottom curve)?
That’s the intersection between the waking state and the deep sleep. The mind is where they come together.
There is much to understand. When you are in a state of dreaming your perception of reality is just as real. A dream can feel as real as the state of waking. And yet, when you re-enter what we call the waking state you think: “oh, that was just a dream, it wasn’t real at all”. The only thing that didn’t change was you. I am the player in the dream.
This post is also available in: German