Editor's Choice

"For Lao Tze it is the Tao, in Jewish mysticism it is the Shekinah, and in the New Testament we find it in the image of the Holy Spirit."


Gwenaël Verez, The Search for the Divine Mother
"Many masters—and, alas, many false teachers—have taught about Yoga without explaining that it involves the awakening of this spiritual Energy. This has led to confusion, particularly in the West, as mystical union, the ultimate aim of seeking, lost any connection with a living and tangible experience. The prophets of the past, who gave rise to the great religious movements, spoke in allegorical terms of the eternal feminine power which leads to the revelation of our Divine identity. In India it is the Kundalini, described in remarkable terms by Shankaracharya and Jnaneshwar. For Lao Tze it is the Tao, in Jewish mysticism it is the Shekinah, and in the New Testament we find it in the image of the Holy Spirit."

"Through Her we know the Consciousness,
Of Brahman without duality,
Like a wave of Existence and of Joy.
She has entered all beings,
within and without
Of each of them, and on all
She shines Her light!"


Bahvricha Upanishad

yoga, meaning union, and the word 'religion', which comes from the Latin religare, meaning to bind or link.

The union of the individual with the All, with the cosmos, results from an inner process which allows human awareness to focus on the supreme and ultimate reality, the Self, God in us as Jung wrote. This process makes it possible for our attention to go beyond the Ego, the I, and beyond the conditionings nourished by our society, by our education, and by our past in general. It is an inner movement which, like every living thing in the universe, needs energy. This energy puts us in touch with the absolute of our being, our Spirit, hence we can properly call it a Spiritual Energy. Indian tradition, stretching back over thousands of years, has given it a name: Kundalini.

This tradition teaches us that the awakening of Kundalini is what ultimately confers on the purified ascetic, as it did on the Buddha, the total realisation of God, Nirvana.

And yet, Kundalini does not always wait until the seeker is entirely purified before stirring. Responding to the desire for inner growth and spiritual evolution, the Kundalini awakens to bestow Self-Realisation, which opens the way to awareness of the infinite. This experience has been described by many saints from all religious traditions, such as Meister Eckhart and Dante in the Christian tradition, Rumi and Attar for Islam, the early Zen patriarchs, Namdev and Tukaram from India, to name only a few. This experience of Self-Realisation has also been described by outstanding scientists such as Pascal, Einstein and Jung. In this experience the Kundalini spontaneously awakens, giving a spark of absolute reality to the seeker and initiating him into inner knowledge of his own Divine nature. It is then up to him to protect and nurture this light through introspection and meditation.

The awakening of Kundalini is not the end, but the beginning. It is the gate which opens onto the way towards spiritual awareness, union, that is, yoga.

Many masters—and, alas, many false teachers—have taught about Yoga without explaining that it involves the awakening of this spiritual Energy. This has led to confusion, particularly in the West, as mystical union, the ultimate aim of seeking, lost any connection with a living and tangible experience. The prophets of the past, who gave rise to the great religious movements, spoke in allegorical terms of the eternal feminine power which leads to the revelation of our Divine identity. In India it is the Kundalini, described in remarkable terms by Shankaracharya and Jnaneshwar. For Lao Tze it is the Tao, in Jewish mysticism it is the Shekinah, and in the New Testament we find it in the image of the Holy Spirit.

The link between these allegories and The Mother Goddess is sometimes clearly stated, as in the Tao Te Ching, and sometimes obscure, as in the New Testament. In the Devi Bhagavata Purana, the Great Goddess proclaims: 'There is no distinction between Me and the Kundalini'. The Kundalini is the Inner Mother, reflection of the Great Goddess within each being. In the Shri Lalita Sahasranama, a Sanskrit text which lists a thousand names or attributes of the Goddess, one of these is 'Kundalini'. And when the seeker aspires to attain the supreme reality, the spiritual union, it is only the Divine Mother, in Her guise of the supreme energy, the Kundalini, who can lead him.

Indian tradition warns us it is difficult to awaken Kundalini, and that only the most dedicated seekers have succeeded, and then only after long years, perhaps lifetimes, of withdrawal from society, penance, and meditation. But, as we shall see, times have changed..."

Gwenaël Verez, The Search for the Divine Mother
Amazon Digital Services, Inc., pp. 24-26


Theology: Stress on the Spirit
TIME, Friday, Aug. 05, 1966

"'I think we are on the threshold of a whole new era in theology,' says James McCord, Presbyterian president of Princeton Theological Seminary. He believes that the God-the-Father theology of the centuries after the Reformation, and the more recent God-the-Son theology of Karl Barth, Rudolph Bultmann and Paul Tillich are giving way in stress to the third person of the Trinity. The new emphasis, McCord suggests, will be on the Holy Spirit-'the God of the present.'

The growing involvement of the churches in the secular world is the basic cause of this shift of theological sights to what is alternatively called the Holy Ghost, the Paraclete and the Comforter. Thoughtful churchmen, from Dietrich Bonhoeffer to clergymen involved in the current struggle for racial justice, profess to be aware of an outpouring of God's redeeming spirit outside the confines of the institutionalized churches. In this view, many groups and individuals not associated with the churches, some of them even openly atheistic, are nevertheless struggling for the coming of the kingdom of God on earth. Dutch Protestant Theologian Arend van Leeuwen suggests that God speaks to contemporary churches through non-Christian channels.

All Things New. On the institutional level, this growing concern with what the Rev. Eugene Smith, executive secretary in the U.S. for the World Council of Churches, calls 'the Holy Spirit at work in the world,' has led to a spate of discussion. In 1964 the meeting of the World Alliance of Reformed and Presbyterian Churches in Frankfurt, Germany, chose as its theme 'Come Creator Spirit.' Last June the first national ecumenical meeting of Methodists and Roman Catholics in Chicago had the same focus. Smith believes that the 'issue will really blow open' at the next meeting of the World Council of Churches, to be held in 1968, which has picked as its subject God's promise of resurrection to all men through the Holy Spirit: 'Behold, I make all things new.'

The Holy Spirit has always been a recondite concept. The Old Testament prophets first spoke of ruach, the 'breath' or spirit of God, which manifested itself as a wind, or sometimes as fire. The New Testament mentions the Holy Spirit 88 times variously as the 'spirit of truth,' the bearer of 'witness,' and the 'promise of the Father,' but gives no further definition."

Theology: Stress on the Spirit
TIME, Friday, Aug. 05, 1966


Who Do You Say That I Am? Christians Encounter Other Religions
Twentieth-Century Pluralism

"Earlier in this century religious pluralism was advocated by Arnold Toynbee, William Ernest Hocking, and Ernst Troeltsch. Toynbee believed all the 'higher' religions come from God, and each presents some facet of God's truth. Toynbee assumed that God's revelation was given in different forms and different degrees according to individual and cultural differences. He wanted to preserve the spiritual dimensions of one world in order to eradicate favoritism, self-centeredness, or arrogance.

Hocking based his theological understanding on the premise that all religions contain an inalienable core of truth expressed in diverse ways. He believed that Christian faith anticipated the essence of religion but represents only one cultural response to the divine initiative. Christianity cannot claim a monopoly of religious truth. Troeltsch wanted to evaluate all religions by the historical method and judge them by objective facts. Initially he thought Christian faith was the highest example of personal spiritual faith, but he later disclaimed Christian faith as the supreme expression of religious life. For Troeltsch, Christian faith became one manifestation of God in one culture, one faith among others. All religions come from the same source and tend toward the same goal, with God as the final arbiter in matters of truth.

More recently Wilfred Cantwell Smith, John Hick, and Paul Knitter have become leading proponents of religious pluralism. Knitter argues for a 'unitive pluralism,' a new understanding of religious unity but not 'one world religion.' He rejects syncretism, indifference, or lazy tolerance, but accepts all religions as equally valid and believes other revealers and saviors may be as important as Jesus Christ.[6] He believes the religions of the world are more complementary than contradictory.

In a recent book, The Myth of Christian Uniqueness, edited by Hick and Knitter, the authors propose a pluralist theology and claim to be 'crossing the theological Rubicon' (like Caesar precipitating civil war by crossing the Rubicon River in 49 B.C.). Christians should abandon claims about the uniqueness of Christ and the possibility of definitive revelation, accepting a plurality of revelations and a parity of religions in which Christian faith is one among many options.[7]

Theocentrism

John Hick advocated a 'Copernican revolution' in theology, a shift from Christ or Christian faith as the center of the religious universe to the realization that God is at the center. All religions revolve around God instead of Christ.[8] He replaced Christ-centeredness (Christocentricism) with God-centeredness (theocentrism). As fuller knowledge recognized the sun rather than the earth at the center of the planetary universe, so God ought to replace Christ at the center of the religious universe. God is the sun whom all religions reflect in their different ways. Religions should not be rivals, just as planets are not rivals. Hick does not believe in one revelation received in one theological form. Differences in belief and practice reflect the cultural forms which embody individual experience. Hick believes that the major faiths make unique sounds that contribute to a symphonic whole. Religions are complementary, not mutually exclusive.

Theocentrists argue that Jesus was theocentric because he proclaimed the kingdom of God, never claiming to be God or the Son of God. Nor did he place himself or the church at the center but put God at the center. The 'I am' sayings of Jesus are not considered the words of the historical Jesus. It is said that Christ place himself below God by proclaiming, "The Father is greater than I" (John 14:28). Paul declares Christ to be ultimately subject to God by asserting, 'When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to the one who put all things in subjection under him, so that God may be all in all' (I Cor. 15:28).

Some say that Jesus preached the kingdom, but the church preached Jesus; it was the New Testament writers who made Christian faith Christocentric. They note statements like these: 'No one comes to the Father except through me' (John 14:6), or 'The Father and I are one' (John 10:30). They claim such sayings are additions of the early church community rather than the words of Jesus. The New Testament pictures of the exclusive and normative character of Jesus (Acts 4:12); John 1:4; 14:6; 1 Cor. 15:21-22; Heb. 9:12) are attributed to the medium of the New Testament rather than to its message.

In theocentrism, Christ and Christian faith are placed on a par with other religions in their orbit around God. Inclusivism moved from church-centeredness to Christ-centeredness, but pluralism has moved from Christ-centeredness to God-centeredness. Theocentrism provides a common denominator for all religions, so there is no privileged position for any one. Theocentrism accommodates complementary views of God.

Hick and Knitter believe that God-centeredness is less divisive than Christ-centeredness. According to them, God unites, Christ divides. God is to some extent defined by Jesus but not confined to Jesus. Since Jesus cannot be regarded as the one measure of what God is like, one needs a fuller vision and richer understanding of God. Christ is only one among many who have borne witness to Ultimate Reality. Other traditions correct our partial glimpses of God. In the theocentric pluralist perspective, the data of world religions become the norm; Christ is not the norm."

Who Do You Say That I Am? Christians Encounter Other Religions - by Calvin E. Shenk, Chapter 3, 'Response to Religious Plurality - Pluralism, 56-58, Wipf and Stock Publishers, 199 W 8th Ave, Suite 3, Eugene, OR 97401, ISBN: 1-597520623-1, Publication date 4/7/2006.

Notes:
[6] Paul F. Knitter, No Other Name? A Critical Survey of Christian Attitudes Toward the World's Religions (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1985), 7-20.
[7] John Hick and Paul F. Knitter, eds. The Myth of Christian Uniqueness: Toward a Pluralistic Theology of Religions (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Press, 1987), viii. See also Gerald Anderson's interpretation, "Theology of Religions and Missiology," in The Good News of the Kingdom, ed. Charles van Engen, Dean S. Gilliland, Paul Pierson (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Press, 1993), 201.
[8] Lesslie Newbigin, The Open Secret: Sketches of Missionary Theology (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1978), 184-185.


On the Nature of the Divine Mother or Holy Spirit

The spiritual Phenomenon called the Divine Mother has always been deeply interesting to spiritual seekers. Known to sages and saints throughout history, it is the Divine Mother whom we in the West address as the Holy Spirit and Mother Nature. In India, Hindus address Her as Shakti, Maya, Kali, and Durga. She is also known as Wisdom, Aum, Amen, the Word of God. By whatever name we refer to Her, She is an actual Entity that exists and can be directly experienced. In this paper, I present a number of conjectures about Her identity based on the recorded experiences of these saints and sages. The Mother's nature is one of the unfathomable mysteries of life. Nothing can be said about Her directly or positively. Almost everything that can be said of Her must be couched in metaphors; She is described in terms of waves, clouds, lights, fire, voices, music, though She is none of these. I know of no other way to discuss Her than metaphorically.

Her existence preceded language. Therefore it stands to reason that She operates without recourse to or dependence on words. As I am led to believe, no amount of intellectual understanding can substitute for a direct and personal experience of Her.

The subject of The Mother's identity can be very dense. Even arriving at the generalities presented here required the matching of many pieces of a large and complex spiritual puzzle. In the end, all of it must remain guesswork on my part.

If we mean to follow the case as set out here, we will have to suspend disbelief, at least until the full argument has been stated. Every name used in this essay, unless otherwise stated, is a name by which The Mother has been known to an enlightened master. Towards the end of the essay, a list of these names is given. Because all refer to the same Entity, I could have chosen any one of them as definitive. In fact, I have chosen to follow Sri Ramakrishna's practice and refer to this high power as the "Divine Mother." If, after finishing this article, you wish to pursue the subject further, the best source to turn to is the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, the recorded conversations of The Mother's greatest devotee. While most sages knew a single facet of The Mother, the Avatar of Dakshineswar scaled the lofty peaks of enlightenment by several routes and displayed a sublime, multi-faceted knowledge of The Mother which offers a standard of comparison for other accounts.

The Mother is neither a female nor a person

To arrive at a notion of The Mother, we must first put aside our anthropocentric ways of thinking and realize that She is not a person, and not a female either, but an agency, a power in the universe which can only be understood as it is.

Avatars and enlightened saints and sages, who refer to the Holy Father and Divine Mother, find themselves in a position of needing to speak about entities which are one at the absolute level of existence and apparently too at the relative. To differentiate between them, they draw upon a metaphor of gender, as Kabir and Lao Tzu illustrate:

Kabir: "The formless Absolute is my Father, and God with form is my
Mother."
(1)
Lao Tzu: "Nameless indeed is the source of creation [i.e., the Father],
But things have a mother and she has a name."
(2)

Both Kabir and Lao Tzu are differentiating between an absolute realm where name and form are not to be found and a relative plane where they are. The former is designated the Father; the latter, the Mother.

However, down through the centuries, using the gender metaphor has given rise to a difficulty. We ordinary people, lacking the knowledge that accompanies enlightenment, project onto these two high powers stereotypes and conclusions, likes and dislikes proper to actual males and females and improper to these genderless sublime entities. The Divine Mother becomes anthropomorphized into a woman, leading us to distort Her true nature and enmeshing us in a web of imprisoning thoughts.

Not a female, The Mother is nonetheless the necessary cause of gender; not a male, the Father is its sufficient cause. Not a person Herself, The Mother is the source of personhood; not a person Himself, the Father is the source of existence itself.

If we truly wish to approach an understanding of Her Nature that may help us realize Her, we must be vigilant against taking the gender metaphor farther than its usefulness permits.

The term "Mother" refers to the relative plane of existence; the term "Father" refers to the absolute

Understanding some basic distinctions about Her will require us to think in vast terms. Sri Ramakrishna hinted at this to his devotees: "The macrocosm and microcosm rest in The Mother's womb. Now do you see how vast She is?" (3)

One of Sri Ramakrishna's translators and biographers, Swami Nikhilananda, explains: reality has two levels, one of which may be called the absolute, acosmic, or transcendental level and the other the relative, cosmic, or phenomenal. (4) It was these two levels of Reality that saints and sages wished to speak about by using the metaphor of a cosmic male and female.

According to Swami Nikhilananda, at the phenomenal level, one perceives the universe of diversity and is aware of one's own individual personality or ego, whereas at the transcendental level, differences merge into an inexplicable non-dual consciousness. Both these levels of experience are real from their respective standpoints, though what is perceived at one level may be negated at the other. (5)

Thus, The Mother, coterminous with this relative plane of existence, includes all things, all creation, all manifestation, all matter. The Father, the source of creation, remains ever no-thing, un-created, un- manifest, im-material.

On the relative plane, the Divine Mother creates all there is, preserves it for a time, and then dissolves it into the formless Father again.

According to the saints and sages we shall hear from, it is the Mother who operates the world; that is, who creates, preserves, and destroys everything there is.

As Swami Nikhilananda observes, She is "Procreatrix [cf. Prakriti], Nature, the Destroyer, the Creator." (6) His remarks echo ancient texts. Of Her the Upanishads declared: "Thou art the creator; thou art the destroyer by thy prowess; and thou art the protector." (7)

In the Bhagavad-Gita, Sri Krishna addresses Her as Maya.

Maya makes all things: what moves, what is unmoving.
O son of Kunti, that is why the world spins,
Turning its wheel through birth and through destruction.
(8)

This knowledge is not privy to Hindus alone. The avatar Zarathustra taught that The Mother was in sole charge of "The management of the bodily and spiritual worlds." (9) Solomon also knew that wisdom "operates everything." (10)

Swami Nikhilananda used various metaphors to suggest how She operates:

She projects the world and again withdraws it. She spins it as the spider spins its web. She is The Mother of the Universe, identical with the Brahman of Vedanta, and with the Atman of Yoga. As eternal Lawgiver, She makes and unmakes laws; it is by Her imperious will that karma yields its fruit. She ensnares men with illusion and again releases them from bondage with a look of Her benign eyes. She is the Supreme Mistress of the cosmic play, and all objects, animate and inanimate, dance by Her will. Even those who realize the Absolute in nirvikalpa samadhi are under Her jurisdiction as long as they live on the relative plane. (11)

She is metaphorically called the Voice in the Wilderness in the Bible because no law, no principle of organization, no structure can apply to the formless God. Only The Mother has form; as such She gives Voice to God and cries in the "Wilderness" that the Father is.

The Mother made the body

Having created the universe, the Divine Mother dwells within it, as King Solomon, an enlightened devotee of The Mother, suggests: "Wisdom [Solomon's name for the Divine Mother] ... penetrates and permeates everything that is, every material thing." (12) Sri Ramakrishna agrees: "After the creation the Primal Power [The Mother] dwells in the universe itself. She brings forth this phenomenal world and then pervades it." (13) The Avatar of Dakshineswar confided to his devotees that "The Divine Mother revealed to me that it is She Herself who has become man." (14)

She made the five material bodies (or pancha kosas) by which we act and know. Solomon cryptically comments that: "Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn her seven pillars." (15) It is my impression that the "seven pillars" are the seven chakras. St. Paul too was referring to Her role as the body's creator and in-dweller when he said: "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God [The Mother] dwelleth in you?" (16) In Sri Krishna's words: "Every human being is essentially a soul [the Child of God or Atman, one with the Father], covered with a veil of maya [the Mother]." (17)

Let us pause with this mention of the immortal soul. We now have three eternal actors in our divine play. We have the Father without form, The Mother with form, and the immortal soul, their offspring, which the prophet Amos called "A firebrand plucked out of the burning." (19) What is the divine drama in which all three are engaged?

If we look at events from the standpoint of the immortal soul, then it could be said, as I have done elsewhere, (18) that the purpose of life is enlightenment. The purpose of life is that the undying soul should travel out from God, into the world, where, after eons of spiritual evolution and enlightenment, it will learn that it and God are one. The purpose of life, viewed from the Creator's standpoint, is that God should meet God, and, through that meeting, enjoy His own bliss. (20) The Father created The Mother, who went on to create trillions of forms — prodigal children, embodied souls - which left the Father and traveled in the realm of matter, until every form comes to know itself as God.

These three actors could be called the Transcendental (the Holy Father), the Phenomenal (the Divine Mother), and the Transcendental in the Phenomenal (the immortal soul or Child of God). If we alter their order, we have what Christians call the "Trinity"— the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. We explore the Father and Mother in this article. The immortal soul is the unrealized "Son of God," (21) the treasure buried in a field, the Pearl of great price, the Prince of peace, and the mustard seed that, upon realization, grows into a great tree. (22) The point at which Christianity and Hinduism intersect is right here, at exactly this same Trinity, which Hindus know as Brahman, Atman, and Shakti.

The Divine Mother made the body and the Holy Father hid a fragment of Himself within its heart (the Child of God), which The Mother has raised and educated until the divine spark realizes its true identity.

The Mother arises from the Father and merges in Him again.

The Mother arises from the Father and falls back into Him again. She is like the clouds in the sky; the Father is the sky from which the clouds emerge and into which they melt again. Sri Ramakrishna tried to convey Their relationship by using the metaphor of impermanent waves forming on the ocean of Satchidananda:

These waves [arise] from the Great Ocean and merge again into the Great Ocean. From the Absolute to the Relative, and from the Relative to the Absolute. (23)
It has been revealed to me that there exists an Ocean of "Consciousness" without limit [i.e., the Father]. From it come all things of the relative plane [i.e., The Mother], and in it they merge again. (24)

Paramahansa Yogananda also used a wave metaphor to describe the Mother: "The storm-roar [The Mother] of the sea [the Father] creates the waves [materiality] — preserves them for some time as larger or smaller waves—and then dissolves them." (25)

While the great ocean of consciousness is formless, the waves, which are a part of it, have form. Nonetheless waves and ocean are one. "That which has form," Sri Ramakrishna asserted," again, is without form. That which has attributes, again, has no attributes." (26)"Water is water whether it is calm or full of waves. The Absolute alone is the Primordial Energy, which creates, preserves, and destroys." (27)

Sri Ramakrishna describes how the relative plane emerges from the absolute and falls back into it again.

Brahman [the Father] may be compared to an infinite ocean, without beginning or end. Just as, through intense cold, some portions of the ocean freeze into ice and formless water appears to have form, so through intense love of the devotee, Brahman appears to take on form and personality. But the form melts away again as the Sun of Knowledge rises. Then the universe [The Mother] also disappears, and there is seen to be nothing but Brahman. (28)

She is energy, movement, vibration; the Father is an inactive, unknowable void

According to Swami Nikhilananda, the essence of the Divine Mother is shakti or energy; in fact, adyashakti or the primordial energy. "Maya, the mighty weaver of [the mysterious garb of name and form]," he said," is none other than Kali, the Divine Mother, She is the primordial Divine Energy, Sakti." (29)

What is Shakti and what is Brahman? What is The Mother and what is the Father? Sri Ramakrishna says the distinction between the two is the same as distinction between the static and the dynamic:

When inactive He is called Brahman, the Purusha [i.e., the Supreme Person]. He is called Sakti, or Prakriti [the Primordial Energy], when engaged in creation, preservation, and destruction. These are the two aspects of Reality: Purusha and Prakriti. He who is the Purusha is also the Prakriti. (30)

He equates the static Father with the impersonal God, Nirguna Brahman (or the Father without attributes), and the dynamic Mother with the personal God, Saguna Brahman (the Father with attributes):

When the Godhead [the Father] is thought of as creating, preserving, and destroyinq, It is known as the Personal God, Saguna Brahman, or the Primal Energy, Adyasakti [The Mother]. Again, when It is thought of as beyond the three gunas [the three qualities of the phenomenal world — sattwa, rajas, and thamas, or balance, energy, and sloth], then It is called the Attributeless Reality, Nirguna Brahman, beyond speech and thought; this is the Supreme Brahman, Parabrahman. (31)

Sri Ramakrishna revealed the secret meaning behind the statues of Shakti and Shiva that show Shiva lying recumbent while Shakti dances on His body.

Kali stands on the bosom of Siva; Siva lies under Her feet like a corpse; Kali looks at Siva. All this denotes the union of Purusha and Prakriti. Purusha is inactive; therefore Siva lies on the ground like a corpse. Prakriti performs all Her activities in conjunction with Purusha. Thus She creates, preserves, and destroys. (32)

Thus the Father is "Immoveable and actionless" (33), a profound stillness in which we discover Sat-Chit-Ananda, or Being, Awareness, and Bliss Absolute. The Mother is the movement in this stillness, the voice in the silence, the primordial, active energy in the eternal tranquillity of the Father. It is this relationship between the dynamic and the static that Jesus hinted at when he called the totality of God"A movement and a rest." (34)

Bernadette Roberts stressed the Father's stillness when she called him "The 'still-point' at the center of being." (35) Lao Tzu emphasized it when he asserted that: "The Way [the Tao or the Father] is a Void." (36)

Empty of name and form, qualities and attributes, and quintessentially tranquil and still, the Father is in the end inconceivable. "What Brahman is cannot be described," declared the Godman of Dakshineswar. (37) Because ego is subdued for a time upon attaining the Father, leaving no observer to observe, no thinker to think, "no one has ever been able to say what Brahman is." (38)

The essence of The Mother is a universal creative vibration, symbolized by the sacred syllable 'Aum,' which calls matter into being, sustains it for a while, and then releases it back into the general dissolution of the Father

Hindus symbolize the primal power - The Mother as vibration or energy - by the sacred syllable — or rather vibration - 'Aum.' Sri Ramakrishna makes this connection when he equates Aum with the Divine Mother, exclaiming: "O Mother! O Embodiment of 'Om.'" (39)

Paramahansa Yogananda identifies "Aum," or "Amen," with the Holy Spirit: Christians are familiar with the Amen from Revelation: "These things saith the Amen [The Mother], the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God." (40)

The ancients, not versed in the polished language of modern times, used "Holy Ghost" and "Word" for Intelligent Cosmic Vibration, which is the first materialization of God the Father in matter [i.e., the Mother]. The Hindus speak of this Holy Ghost as the "Aum." (41) Holy Ghost, Aum of the Hindus, the Mohammedan Amin, the Christian Amen, Voice of Many Waters, Word, are the same thing. (42)

Yogananda links "Aum" and the "Holy Ghost" to the primordial energy:

"The Bible refers to Aum as the Holy Ghost or invisible life force that divinely upholds creation. 'What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which we have of God, and ye are not your own?' (I Corinthians 6:19.)" (43)

Now we know The Mother, Shakti, the Holy Ghost, as Aum. Aum creates, preserves and destroys.

The cosmic sound of Aum creates all things as Nebulae, preserves them in the forms of the present cosmos and worlds, and ultimately will dissolve all things in the bosom-sea of God. (44)
Nature is an objectification of Aum, the Primal Sound or Vibratory Word. (45)

Sage Vasistha made the same point in the Yoga Vasistha. The form of his teaching is similar to Sri Ramakrishna's, that waves or vibrations arise out of the Ocean of Sathchidananda.

When the infinite vibrates, the worlds appear to emerge. When it does not vibrate, the worlds appear to submerge, even as when a firebrand is whirled fast a circle appears. And when it is held steady, the circle vanishes. Vibrating or not vibrating, it is the same everywhere at all times. (46)

Theosophist Annie Besant propagated this view as well:

The source from which a universe proceeds is a manifested Divine Being, to whom in the modern form of the Ancient Wisdom the name of Logos, or Word, has been given. The name is drawn from Greek philosophy, but perfectly expresses the ancient idea, the Word which emerges from the Silence, the Voice, the sound, by which the worlds come into being. (47)

Have we any representations of the birth of The Mother? A recent article in What is Enlightenment? magazine relates a vision of the author, Maura O'Connor, a student of the Kabbalah. In it she was taught by a rabbi, Moses de Leon, the following:

Emptiness, what the kabbalists call ayin, exists far beyond concepts or language. It is like a pure ether that can never be grasped by the mind. ... Emptiness is the ultimate mystery, the secret of the Cause of Causes, and it brought everything into being. ...
I must tell you of the great rabbi, Isaac Luria. Luria was a visionary like none other: he lived during the fifteenth century in the holy town of Galilee.... He spent his life ceaselessly contemplating the source of the universe, the primordial emptiness we call ayin.... He recognized that in order for the latent divinity of ayin to manifest its glorious potential for life, a cataclysmic contraction had to take place. ...
Luria understood that the absolute nature of this emptiness meant that it was so pervasive, nothing else but it could exist. In order for life to become manifest, a seismic contraction of emptiness in on itself had to occur, creating a space in which divine emanation was possible. ...
Following this immense contraction, God's first cosmic act was the emission of a single perfect ray of light. This beam pierced through the void and then expanded in all directions. Think of it as God's first breath ["spirit"="breath"] exhaling into the abyss after eons of slumber and filling it with His divinity. This is how the universe was born.
(48)

This first perfect ray of Light is the Holy Spirit or Divine Mother. Its expansion in all directions is the birth of the universe. What we may be hearing is a vision of the creation of the universe—what scientists call "The Big Bang."

Ultimately, She is one with the Father

This Light, this vibration called "Aum," the Divine Mother, is one with the vibrationless Father. Patanjali states: "The Word which expresses [God] is "Om" (49) "Oh, Lord, dweller within," says Shankara," "Om is your very self." (50) Or the Upanishads: "Om is Brahman, both the conditioned [Mother] and the unconditioned [Father], the personal [Mother] and the impersonal [Father]." (51)

Krishna, speaking as God, declares:

I am ...
Om in all the Vedas,
The word that is God.
(52)

Three Hindu masters — Swami Yukestwar Giri, Swami Sivananda, and Paramahansa Ramakrishna explain the relationship between Brahman and Shakti, or Father and Mother, by using a fire metaphor.

Swami Yukteswar Giri, guru to Paramahansa Yogananda

[The] manifestation of the Word (becoming flesh, the external material) created this visible world. So the Word, Amen, Aum [the Mother], being the manifestation of the Eternal Nature of the Almighty Father or His own Self, is inseparable from and nothing but God Himself; as the burning power is inseparable from and nothing but the fire itself. (53)

Swami Sivananda

Just as one cannot separate heat from fire, so also one cannot separate Sakti [Mother] from Sakta [Father]. Sakti and Sakta are one. They are inseparable. (54)

Paramahansa Ramakrishna

Brahman and Sakti are identical. If you accept the one, you must accept the other. It is like fire and its power to burn. If you see the fire, you must recognize its power to burn also. ... One cannot think of the Absolute without the Relative, or the Relative without the Absolute. (55)

"Sakti is Brahman itself," concludes Swami Sivananda. (56) Sri Ramaskrishna agrees: "Brahman is Sakti; Sakti is Brahman. They are not two." (57)"[Brahman and Sakti] are only two aspects, male and female, of the same Reality, Existence-Knowledge-Bliss-Absolute." (58)
When we speak to the Divine Mother, we are speaking to the Holy Father. Sri Ramakrishna teaches: "It is Brahman whom I address as Sakti or Kali." (59)

She plays a central role in enlightenment

As we have seen, The Mother is portrayed as leading the Sons and Daughters of God to a final meeting with the Father, in what is the culminating event of many lives. As Jesus did, so have we all come from the Father into the world. We are all prodigal children wandering in the domain of matter (mater, Mother), until we realize our true nature. Many metaphors are used to suggest how this realization of true identity happens. The Mother is depicted as withdrawing Her veil of phenomenal reality and revealing the Father. She is portrayed as leading the Child of God to the Father.

Hindus, like Swami Sivananda, advise us to beseech The Mother's help in our attempts to reach the Father.

It behooves ... the aspirant [to] approach The Mother first, so that She may introduce Her spiritual child to the Father for its illumination or Self-realization."(60)

The knowledge of God as the Child, The Mother, and the Father constitutes three discrete levels of enlightenment. When we know this Trinity in full, we have completed the human leg of our journey back to God.

Let us examine The Mother as bringer of enlightenment and object of enlightenment.

There is a passage in Proverbs where The Mother (as "Wisdom") is represented as speaking directly. Her words are consistent with what we've learned about Her so far:

Doth not wisdom cry...
The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.
I was set up from everlasting [that is, before time], from the beginning, or ever the earth was.
When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.
Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.
(61)

Why are they blessed who keep Her ways? Because God The Mother will enlighten those who follow Her commands.

We see evidence of this throughout the Bible, as The Mother enlightens those who "keep Her ways." Hebrew kings and prophets were baptized with the Holy Spirit . Here She brings enlightenment to the disciples of Jesus upon the Day of Pentecost, after his death.

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all of one accord in one place.
And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
And they were filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
(62)

Sri Yukteswar explains the significance of this event. "Being baptized in the sacred stream of Pranava (the Holy Aum vibration)" the spiritual aspirant comprehends the "Kingdom of God." (63)

For many years I believed that Islam recognized only Allah, the Father. But recently I have found a passage in the Koran which demonstrates that its author acknowledges The Mother or Holy Spirit as well. The passage concerns the Holy Spirit enlightening the worthy in the penultimate experience of illumination, immediately prior to God-Realization, symbolically preparing the Child of God for meeting the Father. The Koran says:

Exalted and throned on high, [Allah] lets the Spirit descend at His behest on those of His servants whom He chooses, that He may warn them of the day when they shall meet Him. (64)

The Divine Mother or Holy Ghost enlightened the 12th-Century German saint Hildegard of Bingen, who testified:

When I was forty-two years and seven months old, a burning light of tremendous brightness coming from heaven poured into my entire mind. Like a flame that does not burn but enkindles, it inflamed my entire heart and my entire breast, just like the sun that warms an object with its rays. (65)

Following this experience, Hildegard could not stop from singing the praises of the Holy Spirit or Divine Mother:

Who is the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is a Burning Spirit. It kindles the hearts of humankind. Like tympanum and lyre it plays them, gathering volumes in the temple of the soul. The Holy Spirit resurrects and awakens everything that is. (66)

The Mother manifested to Sri Ramakrishna as clouds of consciousness and bliss:

Suddenly I had the wonderful vision of The Mother and fell down unconscious. (67)
It was as if houses, doors, temples, and everything else vanished from my sight, leaving no trace whatsoever. However far and in whatever direction I looked I saw a continuous succession of effulgent waves madly rushing at me from all sides, with great speed. I was caught in the rush, and panting for breath I collapsed, unconscious. (68)
I did not know what happened then in the external world—how that day and the next slipped away. But in my heart of hearts there was flowing a current of intense bliss, never experienced before, and I had the immediate knowledge of the liqht that was Mother.
(69)

And She appeared to Ramakrishna's doubting non-dualistic guru Totapuri, who until that moment refused to accept Her reality:

Suddenly, in one dazzling moment, [Totapuri, saw] on all sides the presence of the Divine Mother. She is in everything; She is everything. She is in the water; She is on land. She is the body. She is the mind. She is pain; She is comfort. She is is life; She is death. She is everything that one sees, hears, or imagines. She turns "yea" into "nay", and "nay" into "yea." Without Her grace no embodied being can go beyond Her realm. Man has no free will. He is not even free to die. Yet, again, beyond the body and mind She resides in Her Transcendental, Absolute aspect. She is the Brahman that Totapuri had been worshipping all his life. (70)

She is the kundalini energy in the body and, when that energy rises from the muladhara chakra to the sahasrara, Shakti is said to merge with Shiva. This is another way in which The Mother can lead the aspirant to the Father. Swami Sivananda says: Shakti"leads the individual from Cakra to Cakra, from plane to plane and unifies him with Lord Siva in the Sahasrara." (71)

Sri Ramakrishna and his disciples used to sing a song whose aim was to invoke the kundalini to rise, so that Shakti would meet Shiva at the sahasrara.

Awake, Mother! Awake! How long Thou hast been asleep
In the lotus of the Muladhara!
Fulfil Thy secret function, Mother:
Rise to the thousand-petalled lotus within the head,
Where mighty Siva has His dwelling;
Swiftly pierce the six lotuses
And take away my grief, O Essence of Consciousness!
(72)

As each chakra awakens under the influence of our growing spirituality, The Mother is heard to"knock at the door," in Paramahansa Yogananda's words.

"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock (sound through Om vibration): If any man hear my voice (listen to Om), and open the door, I will come in to him." (Revelation 3:20). (73)

Many aspirants, prominent among them Franklin Merrell-Wolff and Da Free John, were led to Brahmajnana (or God-realization attendant upon the spiritual energy reaching the seventh chakra) by the kundalini. Here is how Dr. Wolff described it:

The Current is clearly a subtle, fluid-like substance which brings the sense of well-being already described. Along with It, a more than earthly Joy suffuses the whole nature. To myself, I called It a Nectar. Now, I recognize It under several names. It is ... the 'Soma,' the 'Ambrosia of the Gods,' the 'Elixir of Life,' the 'Water of Life' of Jesus, and the 'Baptism of the Spirit' of St. Paul. It is more than related to Immortality; in fact it is Identical with Immortality. (74)

Da Free John called it this "current of immortal joy." (75) His energetic experiences with the Divine Energy or the Shakti are unusual. His process, which ended in God-realization, began one day when:

I could feel and hear little clicking pulses in the base of my head and neck, indicating the characteristic Presence of The Mother Shakti. (76) ...

Withdrawing Her veils, moving us onward by her evolutionary coaxings, teaching us in Her school of matter, liberating us through the rising of the kundalini — there are many ways that The Mother leads the prodigal child to the Father.

No other spiritual agency has received the attention She has, under such a variety of names, and yet has been so little understood

The Divine Mother has been known to sages throughout the centuries, around the world, in religions from Advaita to Zarathustreanism. But the myriad names She has been called and the lack of integrated studies of Her have sometimes proved confusing.

I'd like to summarize the names I've found linked to The Mother. I've given one or two references for each use, though many more could have been given. This list has been derived by starting with undoubted epithets like "Holy Spirit," "Divine Mother," and "Shakti," and then noting what other synonymous terms are used by the same enlightened source.

These are full or partial synonyms for the Divine Mother:

Adyasakti (or Ancient Power) (Sri Ramakrishna in GSR, 218 and 460.) Ahunavairya (Zarathustra in GZ, 8-9.)
Amen (Revelation 3:14; Shankara, CJD, I; Sri Yukteswar Giri, HS, 23 and 24; Paramahansa Yogananda in AY, 237n and 363n and SCC, 1, 17 and SCC, 2, 22.)
Amin (Paramahansa Yogananda in, 237n.)
Aum or Om (UPAN 50 and 53; Sri Ramakrishna in GSR, 299; Sri Yukteswar Giri, HS, 24; Paramahansa Yogananda, AY, 143-4, 237n, 363n, 484, and 487n and SCC, 1, 15-6 and 19 and SCC, 2, 22.)
Breath of God (Job 33:4; Solomon in APO, 191.)
Comforter or Comforter Spirit (Zarathustra in GZ, 217; Jesus in John 14:16 and 14:26 and 15:26; Hildegard of Bingen in IHB, 9; Paramahansa Yogananda, AY, 144n and 363n and SCC, 1, 19.)
Cosmic Power or Energy (Sri Ramakrishna in GSR, 116; Paramahansa Yogananda, SCC, 2, 22; Swami Sivananda in KYW, 25.)
Cosmic Sound (Paramahansa Yogananda, AY, 237, SCC, 1, 15 and 17 and SCC, 2, 22.)
Cosmic Vibration (Paramahansa Yogananda, SCC, 1, 15-6, 17, and 56 and SCC, 2, 22.)
Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer (UPAN, 37; Zarathustra, GZ, 187, 227 and 240; Sri Ramakrishna in GSR, 32, 107, 135, and 653; Paramahansa Yogananda, SCC, 1, 15-6.)
Divine Mother (Lao Tzu in WOL, 53, 72, and 105; Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 32, 107, 136, 200, and 299; Swami Sivananda Sarasvati in KYW, 25; Nikhilananda in VIV, 24; Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov, LAS, 1, 15, 21, 22, and 28; Da Free John in KOL, 132; etc.)
Divine Power (Sister Vandana, NJ, 190-1.)
Durga (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 216.)
Embodiment of Om (Sri Ramakrishna in GSR, 299.)
The Fashioner of all things (Solomon in APO, 191.)
Holy Ghost (Jesus in Matthew 12: 31-2; John 14:26 and 20:21-2; Paramhansa Yogananda, AY, 143-4, 363n, and 487n and SCC, 1, 15-6 and 19 and SCC, 2, 22.)
Holy Spirit (Solomon in APO, 195; Zarathustra, 217 and 227; Luke 11:13.)
Holy Vibration (Paramahansa Yogananda in SCC, 1, 56.)
Hum (Paramahansa Yogananda, AY, 237n.)
Kali (Sri Ramakrishna in GSR, 107 and 634; Nikhilananda," Introduction," to GSR, 9-10; Nikhilananda," Vivekananda"In VIV, 24; Paramahansa Yogananda, AY, 10, 40n, and 41.)
Kundalini (Swami Sivananda in KYW, 25 and 30; GSR, 182.)
Logos (Annie Besant, AW, 44; Vivekananda in Nikhilananda, VIV, 422.)
Matrix (Lao Tzu in WOL, 105; Sri Aurobindo, SOY, 3.)
Maya (Sri Krishna in BG, 80; Shankara in CJD, 49; Sri Aurobindo, UP, 27; Nikhilananda, HIN, 42-3 and 45; Swami Sivananda in KYW, 26.)
Mother - See Divine Mother.
Mother Nature, Mother of nature (Swami Sivananda in KYW, 26; Paramahansa Yogananda, AY, 10 and 41; Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov, CML, 19; Nikhilananda in GSR, 9-10.)
Mother of the universe (Nikhilananda," Vivekananda"In VIV, 24.)
Natural Law (Solomon in Proverbs 1:8-9, 3:1, and 6:20; Jesus in Matthew 12:31-2; St. Paul in Romans 8:2; Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov, CML, 18-9; Krishnamurti, AFM, 25.)
Nature (Paramahansa Yogananda, AY,40n and 41 and SCC, 1, 33; John Redtail Freesoul, BI, 11-2.)
Noise of many waters (David in Psalm 93:3-4; Ezekiel 43:1-2.)
Personal God or Saguna Brahman (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 32, 149, 218 and 277.)
Power of God, Power of the Lord (Solomon in APO, 191; Swami Sivananda in KYW, 25.)
Prakriti/Procreatrix (Sri Krishna in BG, 103, 104, and 106; Sri Aurobindo, UP, 27; Ramakrishnananda, GDI, 1 and 8: Swami Sivananda in KYW, 26; Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 32 and123; Nikhilananda," Introduction"to GSR, 9-10; Paramahansa Yogananda, SCC, 1, 33.)
Prana (UPAN , 35-8; Paramahansa Yogananda, AY, 484; Swami Sivananda in KYW, 26.)
Primal Energy, Primal Power (Sri Ramakrishna in GSR, 116 and 135; Swami Sivananda in KYW, 25.)
Primordial/Primal Energy (Sri Ramakrishna in GSR, 107 and 242.)
Relative Plane (Sri Ramakrishna, GSR, 653.)
Saguna Brahman See Personal God or Saguna Brahman.
Shakti Sri Ramakrishna in GSR, 116; Swami Sivananda in KYW, 25-6.)
Sound-Brahman, Shabda Brahman, or Pranava (PR in GSR, 263; Swami Vivekananda in Nikhilananda, VIV, 422; Sister Vandana, NJ, 190-1.)
Sound of many waters (Paramahansa Yogananda, AY, 267-8.)
Sphota (Swami Vivekananda in Nikhilananda, VIV, 422; Usha, RVW, 74.)
Spirit of the Bridegroom (St. John of the Cross, CWSJC, 580.)
Spirit of God, Spirit of the Lord (Genesis 1:2; Exodus 35:31; Isaiah 11:2; Ibn Arabi, KK, 15-6; Paramahansa Yogananda in AY, 142 and 143.)
Spirit of Truth (Jesus in John 14:17.)
Spirit of Wisdom (Zarathushtra, GZ, 13 and 187; Exodus 28:3 and 35:31; Deuteronomy 34:9; Isaiah 11:2; St. Paul in Ephesians 1:15-7.)
Spouse (St. John of the Cross in CWSJC, 75.)
Syama (Sri Ramakrishna in GSR, 271.)
Voice in the Silence (Annie Besant, AW, 44; Mabel Collins, LOP, 22.)
Voice of many waters (St. John in Revelation 14:2; Paramahansa Yogananda in AY, 17n and SCC, 1, 19.)
Voice of one that crieth in the wilderness (Isaiah 40:3.)
Wisdom or Sophia (Zarathustra, GZ, 187 and 227; Solomon in Proverbs 3:19 and 9:1 and APO, 191 and 195; Isaiah 11:2; .Jesus in Matthew 11:19; John of the Cross in CWSJC, 75.)
Witness (St. John in Revelation 3:14 and Paramahansa Yogananda in AY, 143-4 and 237 and SCC, 2, 22.)
Womb of God, Womb of Brahman, womb of wombs; Brahmayoni (Sri Krishna in BG, 106; Sri Ramakrishna, GSR, 870; Yogeshananda in VSR, 41; Sri Aurobindo, SOY, 3.)
Word (Hermes, DPH, 8 and 17; Zarathustra in GZ, 8-9; John 1:1 and 1:3; Annie Besant, AW, 44; Sri Yukteswar Giri, HS, 23 and 24; Paramahansa Yogananda, AY, 143-4, 237n, and 363n, SCC, 1, 19 and SCC, 2, 22.)

The Mother will always be incomprehensible and Her significance will remain immeasurable

One day we shall be able to say with Solomon: "Happy is the man that findeth wisdom... She is more precious than rubies; and all things thou canst desire are not to be compared with her." (79) But though we merge with Her and reap all the rewards of doings so, we can never know Her as long as we are human.

Only those who have achieved what Jesus called everlasting life, the immortality that the experience of vijnana, (80) or stable and permanent realization confers, reach a high enough vantage point even to begin to inquire into, let alone understand, Her mystery. Even then, they can only marvel and say, with Shankara:

[The Mother] is neither being nor non-being, nor a mixture of both. She is neither divided nor undivided, nor a mixture of both. She is neither an indivisible whole, nor composed of parts, nor a mixture of both. She is most strange. Her nature is inexplicable. (81)

On the Nature of the Divine Mother or Holy Spirit
http://www.angelfire.com/space2/light11/mother.html
Web (September 16, 2013)

References
For full details on these sources, see Bibliography
(1) GSR, 150.
(2) WOL, 53.
(3) GSR, 106.
(4) HIN, 29; VIV, 24.
(5) HIN, 29.
(6) GSR, 9-10.
(7) UPAN, 37.
(8) BG, 80.
(9) GZ, 187.
(10) APO, 192.
(11) GSR, 30.
(12) APO, 191.
(13) GSR, 135.
(14) Ibid., 231.
(15) Proverbs 9:1.
(16) Corinthians 3:16.
(17) BG, 103.
(18) See "The Purpose of Life is Enlightenment"At http://www.angelfire.com/space2/light11/purpose.html.
(19) Amos 4:1.
(20) See "The Divine Plan" at
http://www.angelfire.com/space2/light11/divine1.html and" is There a Plan to Life?"At http://www.angelfire.com/space2/light11/plan.html.
(21)"If you will know yourselves, then you will ... know that you are the sons of the Living Father." That is, if you were realized, you would know that you are Sons of God. (Jesus in GATT, 3.)
(22) See "Christianity and Hinduism are One" at http://www.angelfire.com/space2/light11/hinduism1.html.
(23) GSR, 353.
(24) Ibid., 359.
(25) SCC, 1, 16.
(26) GSR, 271.
(27) Loc. Cit.
(28) Sri Ramakrishna cited in Nikhilananda, "Shankara's Philosophy of Non-Dualism," CJD, 18-9; cf. GSR, 191.
(29) GSR, 30.
(30) Ibid., 321
(31) Ibid., 218.
(32) Ibid., 271.
(33) Ibid., 104.
(34) GATT, 29.
(35) ENS, I0.
(36) WOL, 56.
(37) GSR, 102.
(38) Loc. Cit.
(39) GSR, 299.
(40) Rev. 3:14.
(41) SCC, 1, 16.
(42) Ibid., 19; HS, 24.
(43) AY, 363.
(44) SCC, 1, 16.
(45) AY, 155-6.
(46) CYV, 45.
(47) AW, 44.
(48) Maura O'Connor, "A People's Revolution of Enlightenment: Kabbalah," WIE, Issue 27, Nov.-Feb. 2004, 86-7.
(49) HTKG, 39.
(50) CJD, i.
(51) UPAN, 40.
(52) BG, 71.
(53) HS, 24.
(54) KYW, 25.
(55) GSR, 134.
(56) KYW, 26.
(57) GSR, 271.
(58) Loc. cit.
(59) Ibid., 734.
(60) KYW, 25.
(61) Proverbs 8:1, 22-4, and 32.
(62) Acts 2:1-4.
(63) HS, 15.
(64) KOR, 160.
(65) IHB, 9.
(66) Loc. cit.
(67) VSR, 13.
(68) Loc. cit.
(69) Loc. cit.
(70) GSR, 31.
(71) KYW, 26.
(72) GSR, 242.
(73) Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons, Number 29, 3.
(74) PTS, 31.
(75) KOL, 157
(76) Ibid., 132.
(77) Ibid., 134.
(78) Ibid., 134-5.
(79) Proverbs 3:13 and 15.
(80) Sri Ramakrishna: "There is a stage beyond even Brahmajnana, After jnana comes vijnana." ( GSR, 288.) Ramana Maharshi calls it turiyatita and sahaja [permanent] nirvikalpa samadhi:
Sahaja [samadhi] is also Nirvikalpa. You are probably meaning [Kevalya] Nirvikalpa, which is temporary, while the Samadhi lasts. The Sahaja Nirvikalpa is permanent and in it lies liberation from rebirths. (GR, 88.)
[The] Heart is the seat of Jnanam as well as of the granthi (knot of ignorance). It is represented in the physical body by a hole smaller than the smallest pin-point, which is always shut. When the mind drops down in Kevalya nirvikalpa [samadhi], it opens but shuts again after it. When sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi is attained it opens for good. (GR, 96.)
This is the final goal. (SE, answer to question 40.)
This is the "final goal" in the sense that it frees an individual from the need to reincarnate in physical matter again, but it is not the final goal in terms of subsequent enlightenments.
See "Enlightenment is Virtually Endless," at http://www.angelfire.com/space2/light11/endless.html. (81) CJD, 49.

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COL, 3: Krishnamurti, J. Commentaries on Livinq. Third Series. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1970; c1960.
CON: Eliot, Alexander," The Connoisseur's Connoisseur," Newsweek, November 5, 1979, 107.
CS: Suzanne Noffke, O.P., Catherine of Sienna. The Dialogue. New York and Mahwah: Paulist Press, 1980.
CSA: Pusey, E.B., trans., The Confessions of St. Augustine. London: Dent, 1934; c1909
CSG: Isabel Cooper-Oakley, The Comte of St. Germain. The Secret of Kings. A Monograph. Milan: G. Sulli-Rao, 1912.
CT: Rajneesh, Bhagwan, A Cup of Tea. Rajneeshpuram, OR: Rajneesh Foundation International, 1983.
CU: Anon., The Cloud of Unknowing trans. Clifton Wolters. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1978; c1961.
CUE: Rama, Swami and Swami Ajaya, Creative Use of Emotion. Honesdale,
PN: Himalayan International Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy of the U.S.A., 1976
CWCT: Watson, Burton, trans. The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu. New York and London: Columbia University Press, 1968.
CWPD: Luibheid, Cohn, trans., Pseudo-Dionysus, His Complete Works. New York and Mahwah: Paulist Press, 1989.
CWRM: Osborne, Arthur, ed., The Collected Works of Ramana Maharshi. Tiruvannamali, 1979.
CWSJC: Kavanaugh, Kieran and Otilio Rodriguez, trans. Complete Works of St. John of the Cross. Washington: Institute of Carmelite Studies, 1973.
CYV: Venkatesananda, Swami, ed., The Concise Yoga Vasistha. Albany: State University of New York, 1984.
DBDWB: Devarajamudalliar, A. Day by Day with Bhagavan.
Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanasraman, n.d. http://www.ramana- maharshi.org. Downloaded 10 Sept. 2005.
DLSE: Durckheim, Karlfried, Graf von, Daily Life as Spiritual Exercise; The Way of Transformation. Trans. Ruth Lwinnek. NY, etc.: Harper & Row, 1971.
DCP: Leadbeater, C.W. The Devachanic Plane or the Heaven World. Its Characteristics and Inhabitants. Adyar: Theosophical Publishing House, 1963; c1896.
DP: Mascaro, Juan, trans. The Dhammapada. Harmondsworth, Penguin Books.
DPH: Hargrave Jennings, ed., The Divine Pymander of Hermes Mercurius Trismegistus. Trans. Dr. Everard. San Diego: Wizards Bookshelf, 1985.
DR: Arberry, A.J., trans., Discourses of Rumi. New York; Samuel Weiser, 1977; c1961.
DS: Goenka, S.N. The Discourse Summaries. Pondicherry: Vipashyana Vishodan Vinyas, 1987.
EB: Shearer, Alistair, trans. Effortless Being. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. London, etc.: Unwin, 1982.
EC: Prabhavananda, Swami. The Eternal Companion. Brahmananda. Hollywood: Vedanta Press, 1970; c1944
ECST: Laski, Marghanita. Ecstacy in Secular and Religious Experiences. Los Angeles: Tarcher, 1961.
ED: Adyashanti, Emptiness Dancing.Selected Dharma Talks of Adyashanti. Los Gatos: Open Gate Publishing, 2004.
EE: Courtois, Flora, An Experience of Enlightenment. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1986.
EG: Aurobindo, Sri, Essays on the Gita. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1972.
ENG: Enright, John. Enlightening Gestalt: Waking up from the nightmare. Mill Valley, CA: Pro Telos, 1980.
ENS: Roberts, Bernadette. The Experience of No-Self. A Contemplative Journey. Boston and London: Shamballa, 1985.
EP: O'Brien, Elmer, ed., The Essential Plotinus. Representative Treatises from the Enneads. Toronto: New American Library, 1964.
ESO: Besant, Annie. Esoteric Christianity. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1953; c1901.
ESS: Emerson, Ralph Waldo, Essays. First Series. London: Routledge and Sons, 1898; c1841.
FHGB: Bartholomew, Brother. From the Heart of a Gentle Brother. Taos,
NM: High Mesa Press, 1987.
FHSA: Anon.," Introduction"to Ramana Maharshi, Five Hymns to Sri Arunachala. Sixth edition.
FMSR: Prabhavananda, Swami. First Meetings with Sri Ramakrishna. Madras: Sri Ramakrishna Math, 1987
FOL: Rolle, Richard. The Fire of Love. Trans. Clifton Wolters. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1981; c1972.
FVR: Ramana, Sri, Maharshi. Forty Verses on Reality. Trans. Arthur Osborne. Mountain Path, October 1964. Donwloaded from http://www.realization.org/page/namedoc0/40_verses/40_verses_0.htm, 25 August 2005.
GATT: Guillaumont, A. et al. The Gospel According to Thomas. New York and Evanston: Harper and Row, 1959.
GENT: White Eagle, The Gentle Brother. Liss, UK: White Eagle Publishing Trust, 1974, 1968.
GB: Carus, Paul. The Gospel of Buddha According to Old Records. Tucson: Omen Press, 1972.
GDI: Ramakrishnananda, Swami, God and Divine Incarnations. Madras: Sri Ramakrishna Math, 1986.
GFB: Ramana, Sri, Maharshi, Gems from Bhagavan. Comp. A. Devaraja Mudaliar. Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanasramam, 1985.
GLWT: Chetanananda, Swami. God Lived with Them. St. Louis: Vedanta Society of St. Louis, 1997.
GOCA : Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers, downloaded from http://www.orthodox.net/gleanings/angels.html, 26 August 2006.
GR: Cohen, S.S., Guru Ramana. Memories and Notes. 6th edition. Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanasramam, 1993.
GSB: Dooley, Anne, ed., Guidance from Silver Birch. London: Spiritualist Press, 1975; c1966.
GSR: Nikhilananda, Swami, trans., The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1978; c1942.
GSRA: Nikhilananda, Swami, trans., The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. (Abridged) New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1980; c1942.
GVP: Redfield, L.N., trans. Golden Verses of Pythagoras. Wellingborough: 1986.
GZ: Greenlees, Duncan, trans. The Gospel of Zarathushtra. Adyar: Theosophical Publishing House, 1978.
HA Thomas Byrom, trans. Heart of Awareness. A Translation of the Ashtavakra Gita. Boston and Shaftesbury: Shambala, 1990.
HF: Gregory of Tours, The History of the Franks. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1974.
HHC: Tzu, Lao. Hua Hu Ching. The Unknown Teachings of Lao Tzu. trans. Brian Walker. San Francisco: Harper, 1992.
HIN: Nikhilananda, Swami, Hinduism. lts Meaning for the Liberation of the Spirit. Madras: Sri Ramakrishna Math, 1968.
HOA: Byrom, Thomas, trans., The Heart of Awareness. A Translation of the Ashtavakra Gita. Boston and Shaftesbury: Shambhala, 1990.
HRG: Da Free John, ed. The Heart of the Ribhu Gita. Los Angeles: Dawn Horse Press, 1973.
HS: Yukteswar Giri, Swami Sri, The Holy Science. Los Angeles: Self- Realization Fellowship, 1984.
HSC: White, John, ed., The Highest State of Consciousness. Garden City: Doubleday, 1972.
HSU: Tobin, Frank, trans. Henry Suso. The Exemplar, with Two German Sermons. New York and Mahwah: Paulist Press, 1989.
HTKG: Prabhavananda, Swami and Christopher Isherwood, trans., How to Know God. The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali. New York, etc.: New American Library, 1969; c1953
IA: Adyashanti, The Impact of Awkenening. Los Gatos: Open Gate Publishing, 2000.
IAT: Frydman, Maurice, trans., I am That. Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. ed. S.S. Dikshit. Durham, NC: Acorn Press, 1973.
IATG: Rajneesh, Bhagwan Shree. I am the Gate. The Meaning of Initiation and Discipleship. New York, etc.: Harper Colophon, 1977; c1975.
IC: Teresa, St., of Avila. Interior Castle. trans. E. Allison Peers. Garden City: Image Books, 1961.
IHB: Fox, Matthew, Illuminations of Hildegard of Bingen. Santa Fe: Bear, 1985.
ILWL: Fremantle, Anne and Christopher. In Love with Love. 100 of the Greatest Mystical Poems. New York, etc.: Paulist Press, 1978.
IWL: Collins, Mabel, The Idyll of the White Lotus. Wheaton, IL: Re Quest, 1974; c1952.
JI: Castaneda, Carlos, Journey to Ixtlan. The Lessons of Don Juan. New York: Pocket Books, 1972.
JGE: Ramana, Sri, Maharshi, Jewel Garland of Enquiry (Vichara Mani Malai). Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanasramam, 1996; c1977.
JR: Wiseman, James A., John Ruusbroec. The Spiritual Espousals and Other Works. New York, etc.: Paulist Press, 1985.
KK: Ibn Arabi, Muhyidden, Kernel of the Kernel. trans. Ismail Hakki Bursevi. Sherborne: Beshara, n.d..
KOL: Free John, Da, The Knee of Listening. Original Edition. Clearlake, CA; Dawn Horse Press, 1984; c1973.
KUN: Mookerjee, Ajit. Kundalini. The Arousal of the Inner Energy. Rochester, VT: Destiny Books, 1989.
KYA: Lutyens, Mary. Krishnamurti: The Years of Awakening. New York: Avon, 1975.
KYF: Lutyens, Mary, Krishnamurti: The Years of Fulfillment. New York: Avon, 1983.
KYW: Radha, Swami Sivananda. Kundalini Yoga for the West. Spokane: Timeless Books, 1978.
LA: Philostratus, Life of Apollonius. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1970.
LAD: Leadbeater, C.W. The Life After Death and How Theosophy Unveils It. Adyar: Theosophical Publishing House, 1973; c1912.
LAS: Aivanhov, Omraam Mikhael, Love and Sexuality, Part 1. Frejus Cedex: Editions Prosveta, 1987.
LBN: ...The Living Book of Nature. Frejus: Editions Prosveta, 1984.
LCL: Watson, Burton, trans., The Zen Teachings of Master Lin-Chi [Rinzai]. A Translation of the Lin-Chi Lu. Boston and London: Shambala, 1993.
LDJB: Hartman, Franz, The Life and Doctrines of Jacob Boehme. London: Kegan, Paul, Trench, Trubner, 1891.
LE: Abbot, Justin E., The Life of Eknath. Delhi, etc.: 1983; c1927.
LF: Aivanhov, Omraam Mikhael, Life Force. Freju: Editions Prosveta, 1987.
LM: Satyeswarananda Giri, Swami, Lahiri Mahasay. The Father of Kriya Yoga. San Diego: Sanskrit Classics, 1983.
LMGE: Golas, Thaddeus, The Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment. Palo Alto: 1975; c1971.
LOP: Collins, Mabel, channel. Light on the Path and an Essay on Karma. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1974. I am under the impression that the ascended master Collins channelled was the Master Hilarion. Cf: "Light on the Path was written in 1884. On 8th November 1884, Mabel met Blavatsky shortly before she returned to India. Blavatsky herself was late to say that they met on two or three occasions during the autumn of 1884, always in the presence of others. Theosophists were thick on the ground in London during that autumn, and great numbers of them enthusiastically met Blavatsky. It would have been strange if Mabel hadn't been amongst them."Mabel called on Blavatsky and showed her a couple of pages of the working manuscript of Light. As far as Blavatsky was concerned the Master Hilarion had again appeared to Mabel Collins in 1884 and had dictated to her the conclusion of The Idyll of the White Lotus and the whole of Light on the Path. Until now Blavatsky hadn't taken Mabel any more seriously than any of the other theosophists. But Mabel's work was gaining a lot of attention. Blavatsky was quick to ensure that credit was given to the Masters before Mabel could attribute it elsewhere. "It was to immediately become a theosophical classic. Before being published however, Light was read in draft form to Sinnett's group. So although Blavatsky's claims that she did not see Light until some time after it was published bear a ring of truth, the material contained within Light was available and talked about some months before its publication. Untangling the story of how Light was written is rather like trying to knit with spaghetti." (Kim Farnell, The Many Lives of Mabel Collins, http://www.katinkahesselink.net/his/farnell3.html, downloaded 29 June 2007.)
LOVE: "Mary," Love. Marina del Rey: De Vorss, n.d.
LOY: Aurobindo, Sri, Letters on Yoga. Three vols. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1971.
LSR: Anon., Life of Sri Ramakrishna. Calcutta: Advaita Ashrama, 1977; c1924.
LSTA: Teresa, St., of Avila. The Life of Saint Teresa of Avila. trans. J.M. Cohen. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1957.
LTSAM: Alexander Lipski, Life and Teaching of Sri Anandamayi Ma, http://www.cosmicharmony.com/Anandamayi Ma:The Bliss Permeated Mother.htm.
LWB: Godman, David. Living By the Words of Bhagavan. (Tiruvannamalai: Sri Annamali Swami Ashram Trust, 1995.
MA: Chaitanya, Brahmachari Amritatma, Mata Amritanandamayi. Life and Experiences of Devotees. Vallickavu: Mata Amritanandamayi, 1988.
MAS: Douno, Beinsa, The Master Speaks. The Words of the Great Universal Brotherhood. LA: Sunrise Press, 1976.
ME: Blakney, R.B., trans., Meister Eckhart. A Modern Translation. New York, etc.: Harper & Row, 1941.
MED: Aurelius, Marcus, Meditations. trans Maxwell Staniforth. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1972; c1964.
MEQ: Yogananda, Paramanhansa. Man's Eternal Quest and Other Talks. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1976.
MFAS: Bolt, Robert, A Man for all Seasons in Tom Maschler, ed. New English Dramatists 6. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1963.
MG: Ramana, Sri, Maharshi. Maharshi's Gospel. Books I and II. Being Answers of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi to Questions Put to Him by Devotees. Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanasramam,1979; c1939.
MJN: Doyle, Brendan, ed., Meditations with Julian of Norwich. Santa Fe: Bear, 1983.
MLSR: Nagamma, Suri. My Life at Sri Ramanasramam.
MM: Cerminara, Gina, Many Mansions. New York: New American Library, 1967; c1950.
MOS: Da Free John, The Method of the Siddhas. Middletown, CA: Dawn Horse Press, 1978.
MS: Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. The Mustard Seed. Discourses on the Sayings of Jesus taken from the Gospel According to Thomas. New York, etc.: Harper & Row, 1975.
MSS: Adyashanti, My Secret is Silence. Poetry and Sayings of Adyashanti. Los Gatos: Open Gate Publishing, 2003.
MT: Pseudo-Dionysius, Theologica Mystica, contained in Anon., The Cloud of Unknowing trans. Clifton Wolters. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1978; c1961.
MTHR: Mother Meera
NAG: Chakravarty, Sarat Chandra, Nagmahasaya. A Saintly Householder Disciplie of Sri Ramakrishna. Madras: Sri Ramakrishna Math, 1977.
NAM: Singh, Kirpal. Naam or Word. Delhi: Ruhani Satsang, 1972.
NJ: Vandana, Sister. Nama Japa (The Prayer of the Name). Bombay: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, 1984.
NP: Nirmala, Nothing Personal: Seeing Beyond the Illusion of a Separate Self.
NRAT: Tenko-San, Ittoen, A New Road to Ancient Truth. trans. Marie Beuseville Byles. London: Allen and Unwin, 1969.
OE: Thompson, Berthold Madhukar, The Odyssey of Enlightenment. San Rafael: Wisdom Editions, 2003.
PCWO: Merell-Wolff, Franklin, Philosophy of Consciousness without an Object. Reflections on the Nature of Transcendental Consciousness. New York: Julian Press, 1973.
PFD: Lembek, Ruth, A Passion for the Divine. A Record of Intimate Experiences. ed. Ida Lennard. Marina del Rey: DeVorss, 1979.
PE: Rajneesh, Bhagawan Shree. The Psychology of the Esoteric. ed. Ma Satya Bharti. New York, etc.: Harper & Row, 1973
PN: Tolle, Eckhart. The Power of Now. Vancouver: Namaste Publishing, 1997. 1-3.)
PNS1: Roberts, Bernadette. Path to No-Self. Boston and London: Shamballa, 1985.
PNS2: Roberts, Bernadette."The Path to No-Self"In Stephan Bodian, ed. Timeless Visions, Healing Voices. Freedom, CA: Crossing Press, 1991.
PP: Huxley, Aldous, The Perennial Philosophy. New York, etc.: Harper and Row, 1970; c1944.
PPG: Lawrence, Brother, The Practice of the Presence of God. Mount Vernon, NY: Peter Pauper Press, 1963.
PPR: Blake, William, Poems and Prophesies. ed. Max Plowman. New York: Dutton, n.d.; c1927 [1794].
PROPH: Gibran, Kahlil, The Prophet. New York: Knopf. 1970.
PSJC: Barnstone, Willis, trans., The Poems of Saint John of the Cross. New York: New Directions, 1972; c1968.
PSR: Om, Sri Sadhu. The Path of Sri Ramana. Vol. 1. Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramana Kshetra, 1997, 77.
PTS: Merrell-Wolff, Franklin. Pathways Through to Space. A Personal Record of Transformation in Consciousness. New York: Julian Press, 1973.
PWTT : Wade, Gladys I., ed., The Poetical Works of Thomas Trahearne. New York: Cooper Square, 1965.
PZ: Chang, G.C.C., The Practice of Zen. New York: Harper & Row, 1959. QM: White Eagle, The Quiet Mind. Liss, England: White Eagle Trust, 1972.
RA: Arthur Osbourne, Ramana Arunachala.
RAM: Budhananda, Swami, Ramprasad. The Melodious Mystic. New Delhi: Ramakrishna Mission, 1982.
REP: Plato, The Republic. trans. F.M. Cornford. New York and London: Oxford University Press, 1965; c1945
RHD: Isherwood, Christopher. Ramakrishna and His Disciples. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1965; c1959..
RVW: Usha, Brahmacharini. A Ramakrishna-Vedanta Wordbook. Hollywood: Vedanta Press, 1971; c1962.
SA: Philip, Brother, Secret of the Andes. London: Neville Spearman, 1961.
SAO: P.G. Bowen, The Sayings of the Ancient One. London: Rider, n.d.
SBA: Naylor, W., ed. Silver Birch Anthology. London: Spiritualist Press, 1974; c1955. SBSS: Sahukar, Mani. Sai Baba: The Saint of Shirdi. Bombay: Somiay Publications, 1971.
SC: Law, William, A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1955.
SCC: Yogananda, Paramanhansa. The Second Coming of Christ. Three vols. Dallas: Amrita Foundation, 1979-86.
SD: Blavatsky, Helena P. The Secret Doctrine. The Synthesis of Science, Religion and Philosophy. Volume 1. Cosmogenesis. Volume II. Anthropogenesis. London: 1888.
SD(A): Blavatsky, Helena P. An Abridgement of the Secret Doctrine. Ed. Elizabeth Preston and Christmas Humphreys. Wheaton, Ill: Theosophical Publishing House, 1968.
SDB: "K." Sat-Darshana Bhashya and Talks with Maharshi. Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanasramam, 1993; c1931.
SDF: Ward, Benedicta, trans., The Sayings of the Desert Fathers. London and Oxford: Mowbray Books, 1981.
SE: Ramana Maharshi, Self-Enquiry. Trans. T.M.P. Mahadevan. http://www.realization.org/page/namedoc0/self/self_0.htm Downloaded 1 August 2005.
SETH: Robert, Jane, Seth Speaks: The Eternal Validity of the Soul. New York, etc.: Bantam Books, 1974.
SGS: Vivishananda, Swami, The Saga of a Great Soul. Glimpses into the Life and Work of Mahapurush Maharaj Swami Shivananda, a Great Disciple of Sri Ramakrishna. Madras: Sri Ramakrishna Math, 1986.
SHI: Prabhavananda, Swami, The Spiritual Heritage of India. Madras: Sri Ramakrishna Math, 1981.
SHN: A.F. Price and Wong Mou-Lam, trans. The Diamond Sutra and the Sutra of Hui Neng. Berkeley: Shamballa, 1969.
SHOW: Julian of Norwich, Showings. trans. Edmund Colledge and James Walsh. New York, etc.: Paulist Press, 1978.
SHW: Michael J. Eastcott, The Spiritual Hierarchy of the World. Tunbridge Wells: Sundial House, 1973.
SI: Sri Ramana Maharshi, Spiritual Instruction of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi. Eighth Edition. Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanasramam, 1974.)
SJA: Bhagwat, Ramchandra Kesha, Sri Jnanadeva's Amritanubhava with Changadeva Pasashti. Madras; Samata Books, 1985.
SK: Nikhilananda, Swami, Shankara's Self-Knowledge. Madras, 1967.
SM: Adyashanti, interview in John J. Prendergast, Peter Fenner, and Sheila Krystal, eds., The Sacred Mirror: Nondual Wisdom and Psychotherapy. as excerpted at http://www.nonduality.com/hl1967.htm, downloaded 11 March 2006.)
SMSLS: Karnath, M. Subbaraya. Sri Maharshi: A Short Life-Sketch. Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanasaramam, 1986.
SOH: Paul Ferrini, Silence of the Heart. South Deerfield, MA: Heartways Press, 1996.
SOL: Anon., Solitude. Bombay: Central Chinmaya Mission Trust, 1987.
SOY: Aurobindo, Sri. The Synthesis of Yoga. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1983.
SPKR : Lutyens, Mary, ed. The Second Penguin Krishnamurti Reader. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1970.
SR: Paramahansa Yogananda. The Science of Religion. Los Angeles: Self- Realization Fellowship, 1982.
SRBP: Smaranananda, Swami, Sri Ramakrishna. A Biography in Pictures. Calcutta: Advaita Ashrama, 1981.
SRFL: Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons. Los Angeles: Self- Realization Fellowship. [Covered many years.]
SRG: Ganapathi, Vasistha, ed., Sri Ramana Gita. Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanashramam, 1977.
SRGM: Saradananda, Swami, Sri Ramakrishna, the Great Master. Madras, Sri Ramakrishna Math, 2 vols, 1979-83.
SRPG: Anon., Sri Ramakrishna. The Power and the Glory. Madras: Sri Ramakrishna Math, 1985.
SRR: Subbaramayya, G.V. Sri Ramana Reminiscences. Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanasramam, 1994; c1967.
SRRM: Arunachala, Sadhu (A.W. Chadwick), A Sadhu's Reminiscences of Ramana Maharshi. Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanasramam, 1961.
ST: Ritajananda, Swami, Swami Turiyananda. Madras: Sri Ramakrishna Math, 1973.
STJ: Meyer, Marvin W., The Secret Teachings of Jesus. New York; Random House, 1986.
STRM: Anon., The Spiritual Teaching of Sri Ramana Maharshi. Berkeley and London: Shambala, 1972.
SW: William H. Gilman, ed., Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson. New York and Scarborough: New American Library, 1965
SWAM: Ramachandran, U.S. Swami Satchidananda (A Thumbnail Sketch). Andandashram: Anandashram, 1991.
SY: Yogananda, Paramahansa, Sayings of Paramahansa Yogananda. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1980.
TA: Maria Pia Giudici, The Angels. Spiritual and Exegetical Notes. New York: Alba House, 1993.
TSRM: Osborne, Arthur. The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi. N.d., n.p.
TCB: Burtt, Edwin A., ed., The Teachings of the Compassionate Buddha. New York and Toronto: New American Library, 1955.
TE: Stephen Bodian, "Adyashanti Interview: The Taboo of Enlightenment." From http://nonduality.com/hl1892.htm, downloaded 11 March 2006.
TG: Walsh, Neale Donald. Tomorrow's God. Our Greatest Spiritual Challenge. New York, etc.: Atria Books, 2004.
TGML : Hoffman, Bengt, trans., The Theologia Germanicus of Martin Luther. New York, etc.: Paulist Press, 1980.
TGYM: Evans-Wentz, W.Y.Tibet's Great Yogi Milarepa. A Biography from the Tibetan. London, etc.: Oxford University Press, 1951.
TLWG: Chetananda, Swami. They Lived with God. Life Stories of Some Devotees of Sri Ramakrishna. St. Louis: Vedanta Society of St. Louis, 1989.
TMY: Aiyer, N.A. Narayana, The Technique of Maha Yoga (Self-Enguiry). Madras: Ramanakendra, n.d..
TRM: Osborne, Arthur, comp., The Teachings of Ramana Maharshi. York Beach, ME: Weiser, 1996.
TR: Maharshi, Ramana. Truth Revealed. Sad-Vidya. Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanasramam, 1982.
TSY: Osho, The Sacred Yes. Initiation Talkes Between Master and Disciple. Rajneeshpuram: Ma Anand Sheela, 1983.
TSV Anon., Teachings of Swami Vivekananda. Calcutta: Advaita Ashrama, 1985.
TT: Leadbeater, Charles W. A Textbook of Theosophy. 1912. A Guetnberg Project eBook. (Downloaded from http://www.gutenberg.org/files/12902/12902-8.txt, 27 October 2006.)
TTT: Adyashanti, The Truest Thing. Audiotape.
TVHV: Roberts, Bernadette, "The Path to No-Self" in Stephan Bodian, ed. Timeless Visions, Healing Voices. Freedom, CA: Crossing Press, 1991.
TWSRM: Venkatramiah, Munagala. Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi. Downloaded from http://www.ramana-maharshi.org/books.htm, 31 August 2005.
UP: Aurobindo, Sri, The Upanishads. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1985.
UPAN: Prabhavananda, Swami and Frederick Manchester, trans., The Upanishads. Breath of the Eternal. New York and Scarborough: New American Library, 1957; c1948
VMM: Isherwood, Christopher, ed., Vedanta for Modern Man. New York: Collier Books, 1962; c1945.
VOS: Blavatsky, Helena P., The Voice of the Silence. Wheaton, etc.: Theosophical Publishing House, 1970.
VRE: James, William, The Varieties of Religious Experience. A Study in Human Nature. London and Glascow: Collins, 1960.
VSR: Yogeshananda, Swami, The Visions of Sri Ramakrishna. Madras: Sri Ramakrishna Math, 1980.
VYW: Nikhilananda, Swami, trans., Vivekananda: The Yogas and Other Works. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1953.
WAI: Cohen, Andrew. Who am I & How Shall I Live? Lenox: Moksha Press, 1998.
WB: Franklin Merrell-Wolff," The Wedge of Buddhahood," Unpublished Lecture, 17 June 1980."
WBT: Rahula, Walpole, What the Buddha Taught. New York: Grove Press, 1974
WHO: Anon., Who Am I? The Teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi. Sarasota, FL: Ramana Publications, 1990.
WIE: Cohen, Andrew and students. What is Enlightenment? Magazine.
WIEWS: Cohen, Andrew and students. What is Enlightenment Website.
WIEN: White, John, ed., What is Enlightenment? Los Angeles: Tarcher, 1984.
WOG: Douno, Beinsa. The Wellspring of Good. Downloaded from http://www.beinsadouno.org/lib/sg.htm, accessed 21 Feb. 2005.
WOI: Khan, Hazrat Inayat, Way of Illumination. Delhi, etc.: Motilal Banarsidass, 1988.
WOL: Lao Tzu, The Way of Life. The Tao Te Ching. trans. R.B. Blakney. New York, etc.: Avon, 1975.
WOPG: Conway, Timothy. Women of Power and Grace. Nine Astonishing, Inspiring Luminaries of Our Time. Santa Barbara: The Wake Up Press. 1994.
WP: Grant, Joan, Winged Pharaoh. New York: Avon, 1956. WR: Geismar, Maxwell, ed., The Whitman Reader. New York: Pocket Book, 1955.
WS: Anon., The Way of the Servant. London: John M. Watkins, 1918.
WSEW: Anon., Women Saints East and West. Hollywood: Vedanta Press, 1955.
WTC: Boehme, Jacob, The Way to Christ. trans. Peter Erb. New York, etc.: Paulist Press, 1978.
WWE: White Eagle, Wisdom from White Eagle. Liss: White Eagle Publishing Trust, 1983.
ZFZB: Reps, Paul, comp., Zen Flesh, Zen Bones. A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings. Doubleday: Anchor, n.d..
ZIBO: Cleary, J.C., Zibo. The Last Great Zen Master in China. Berkeley: Asian Humanities Press, 1989.
ZMHK: Hakuin, Zen Master Hakuin's Letter in Answer to an Old Nun of the Hokke [Nichiren] Sect. The 25th day of the Eleventh Month of Enkyo 4 (C.E. 1747). Downloaded from http://nichirencoffeehouse.net/library/Hakuin.html, 2 May 2007.)
ZTB: Pine, Red, trans., The Zen Teachings of Bodhidharma. Port Townsend, WA,. Empty Bowl, 1987
ZTG: Jon Winokur. Zen to Go. New York: Penguin, 1988. www.angelfire.com/space2/light11/mother.html


"Shri Mataji, You are called 'Mother.' And, it seems in the Hindu tradition there's a special context or meaning of the word 'Mother.' What is this meaning?"

The Great Adi Shakti Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi
The Paraclete Shri Mataji
"You see, in the Indian philosophy, even in the Christian philosophy it is so, but it has been little bit changed. If you read the books of Essene, you will find they have described the 'Mother.' You see, the Holy Ghost is The Mother. When they say about the Holy Ghost, She is The Mother. But how can you have... You must reason it out. How can you have a father and a son without a mother? [laughter] It's a, you see, simple thing like that. You see, so it's The Mother only. Holy Ghost is very important. So, Holy Ghost is The Mother, you see.

It's absurd thing, I mean, to have such a thing. Even homosexuals cannot have children. It's funny thing, isn't it. Absolutely absurd! But Christians accepted this. I don't know why. Why didn't they go into find out what is this Holy Ghost business is? They said, 'It's a mystery.' How can you say it's a mystery? When you cannot explain then better not say anything about it. So, Holy Ghost is something hanging in the air. No one knows; it's a mystery, and the rest of it is the father and the son. It's absurd!

Now, the principle of Mother is in every, every scripture — has to be there. Now, The Mother's character is that She is the One Who is the Womb, She is the One Who is The Mother Earth and She is the One Who nourishes you. She nourishes us, you know that.

And, this feminine thing in every human being resides as this Kundalini, as you have seen. And, when She rises, She gives you this new awareness which becomes compassion, which is flowing, which becomes soothing, nourishing energy of love. And, that's what today people are saying feminist this thing and all that. That's again a pendulum — a man becoming a woman, woman becoming man — all this problem there are because of this.

But when you move spirally upward, then where do you move? You become a personality full of compassion, of love, of universal understanding through collective consciousness. And, then you rise up to a position where you become universally conscious. So, that is what should happen to you, and if that happens then we should say that your motherly qualities within you have risen and that's what we have so far neglected. You do not become a woman but you become motherly. First the father, then the son, and now The Mother! All right?"

The Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
Radio Interview 1983 Oct 01, Santa Cruz, USA


The Great Adi Shakti Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi
The Paraclete Shri Mataji
�So now people may say, �Then how do we become the Spirit?�

Sahaja words means; �Saha� means �with� and �ja� means �born.� It�s born with you. The right to become the Spirit is born with you. That is you have a right to be the Spirit. You have the mechanism within yourself to be the Spirit, and that you are going to be the Spirit.

As you have been told about the centers within us, these seven centers are nothing but the milestones of our evolutionary state. And this evolutionary state is to be expressed now at its highest point where you become the Spirit.

But it is not any kind of an external behavior that is going to make that. Some people believe that if they change their dress or if they jump or then they shout or stand on their heads, they will become the Spirits - is absolutely not possible. Or some people believe that becoming abnormal personalities you will achieve something, is absolutely absurd.

You have to be a very normal person. So the truth is that will happen to you is in your awareness, in your central nervous system. We must accept the truth as it is and we should not force ourselves or force the truth to be like us.

Now when you become the Spirit then what happens that we should see. Like Christ, He said that, �You have to be born again.� So Nicodemus said, �Do you mean to say that I have to enter into my mother�s womb again?�

So He said, �No, you are to be born of the Holy Ghost. The Spirit is born of the Spirit. And whatever is born of the Spirit is the Spirit.�

But many people are self-certified. They call themselves �born-again,� all kinds of thing, and they believe that they are perfectly all right. And that is the reason why today the modern people don�t want to believe in anything that is Divine because they see the people who are professing religion and God are horrible people. There is no connection with the Divine. When there is no connection, how can you have the power to be that which is Divine? Like this instrument, if it is not connected to the mains, is useless.

In this way we all should be connected to the Divine, which is the all pervading power of God. Now this power exists whether you believe it or not. It pulsates into the atoms and molecules. It pulsates in your heart. It is everywhere working out so many things which are living.

We in our ego think we can do so many things. But what do we do? We do dead work - from dead to dead. We cannot produce one living flower, and we cannot transform it into a fruit, not even one.

So who does this living work? There must be some sort of a power that does this work.

Now the people may say that, �This is nature.� Whatever you may call, but this nature thinks, understands. Because at different times of seasons, different types of flowers come. What a tremendous task it is.

Now to become Spirit is your right. And to become Spirit is the way you have to be that has to be. Otherwise the problems of this world cannot be solved.

So when the Kundalini, which is the true desire within you, manifests itself and you start feeling the cool breeze of the Holy Ghost coming out of your head, then first thing that happens to you that in your awareness you become collectively conscious.

I�m saying, �You become.� It is not a certificate. It is not that you just feel like that or you mentally think like that. It happens to you. You can feel it, the cool breeze on top of your head coming out. Cool breeze on top of your head is the real baptism and not an artificial one.

Now also you start feeling cool breeze in your hand. You start feeling this power all around, this subtle, the subtlest of the power. As it is ether all spread, you start feeling it on your finger tips. It is not an artificial belief that you start feeling. You just feel it nicely on your finger tips.

Mohammed Sahib has said in Koran - at length He has described the time of Resurrection - that, �At the time of resurrection your hands will speak.� But in the Islam people don�t talk of the Resurrection Day. Even in the Christian religion people don�t talk of the Comforter to come. They talk of the doomsday to come.�

�So first of all we must understand that your seeking must be relevant to what has been sought before in every seeking. Let�s take Christ. They don�t like to take His name these days. It�s become so funny. Thanks to all the religions that were created out of these great incarnations on this earth. Whether take it Hinduism, Christianity everything�s just the same.

So what did He say? He said: �You are to be born again�, all right? So they put a certificate �born again��, self certified �born again� is walking around. And when I said that four, five of them got up with a Bible in their hand to hit Me. And I just felt like laughing and really laughing at them. By hitting Me are they going to become Self Realized? Are they going to be reborn? You must face the truth as it is. If you want to avoid it, it�s very easy.

But this is the last chance. Human being has learnt many things but has forgotten one thing: that every time we have missed the truth. Let us not miss it again. So Christ said you are to be born again. Nicodemus says: �That means should I enter into the womb of my mother?�

Because after all Nicodemus was a Roman. Indians won�t ask such a question, they know what it is to be born again but after all Roman gentleman, you see. So Christ explains: �Whatever is born of flesh, is flesh. You have to be born again by the Holy Ghost.� Who is the Holy Ghost? What did He mean?

Christ was allowed to exist somehow or other for three and a half years only. What is three and a half years amongst ignorant people? What can you explain to them? What can you talk to them? I came here seventy-two. Four years I was struggling with seven hippies in London. What could Christ do? How could He tell you what was the Holy Ghost?

Kundalini is the Holy Ghost, reflected within you. That�s the Holy Ghost, which is to be awakened spontaneously as a living process and as a living process you have to become something just like a flower becoming a fruit. Transformation has to take place.

In Sanskrit language they call a bird as dvijaha and also a Brahmin, the one who has known the Brahma the one who has felt the All-Pervading Power is also called as dvijaha, meaning born twice. But an egg becomes a bird, is not some self-certification like we are Christians, like we are Muslims, like we are Hindus or we are the twice born or whatever you may say. And we are quite satisfied with this self-certification and we accept: �All right, so I�m this, I�m that.�

You are nothing but you are the Spirit; that�s what you have to become, becoming is the point. Is not a mental projection, an illusion but the becoming is important.

And how do you become that? What do you do about it? Simple question. What did you do to become a human being? Did you cut your tails? No you did not. You become spontaneously with a living process. What is that power which has worked out this process of our evolution? And the same power is going to trigger that last happening where you become the Spirit.�

The Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
Public Program, Milan, Italy�September 17, 1984


Introduction to Kundalini: The Yoga of Awareness
James McCrae, THE BLOG 03/26/2015 06:04 pm ET | Updated May 26, 2015

"What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word �yoga�?

Stretching? Juice bars? Pseudo-Eastern spirituality? Tight pants on skinny girls pre-brunch? Yoga today is an urban trend, growing quickly in popularity since the turn of the 21st Century. The irony of yoga�s �now� status as a popular workout is that the practice is among the oldest rituals known to man. Today�s polished yoga centers and Bikram studios are only the latest incarnation of a tradition that has adapted to fit changing cultures for thousands of years. Nations have risen and fallen. Religions have come and gone. The apple of ideas has passed from Eve to Newton to Jobs. But yoga, in some form or another, has remained.

Nobody knows for certain how long yoga has been around. But as far back as our records indicate, archeologists have discovered evidence of yoga as both a physical and spiritual practice. Among the oldest records are engravings of yogi-like figures dating over 5,000 years ago from the most thriving cities of the era, Mohenjo Daro and Harappa, in the Indus Valley Civilization (present day India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran). The development of yoga runs parallel with the rise of Eastern spirituality, and - prior to the centralized political power of religion we see today - was considered a method of direct connection with the divine. The spirit-body connection is the foundation of yoga (the word �yoga� itself is the Sanskrit word for �union�), and it remains the longest lasting spiritual practice in operation today. But, I mean, juice bars are cool too.

�Here is the greatest of altars, the living, conscious human body, and to worship at this altar is far higher than the worship of any dead symbols.� - Swami Vivekananda

What exactly is Kundalini Yoga?

Yoga has dozens of variations in philosophy and style. Some yogas (like Bikram) are structured as a physical workout. Others (like Jivamukti) put an emphasis on meditation. Kundalini Yoga is little of both, but with an added emphasis on consciousness that activates energy centers throughout the body. Kundalini class can be a good workout, but its teachers and students (often wearing white turbans) participate in each kriya with a quiet reverence more akin to a temple than a gym. If you like your physical exercise to come with a side of spiritual enlightenment, Kundalini Yoga might be for you.

�The primary objective [of Kundalini] is to awaken the full potential of human awareness in each individual; that is, recognize our awareness, refine that awareness, and expand that awareness to our unlimited Self. Clear any inner duality, create the power to deeply listen, cultivate inner stillness, and prosper and deliver excellence in all that we do.� -Kundalini Research Institute

A brief history of Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini is known as a niche form of yoga that is growing in popularity in pockets of New York City and Los Angeles. But Kundalini, perhaps more than any other yoga, has a long and fascinating history. There is no philosophy (physical or otherwise) that has been more durable than Kundalini Yoga. Unlike most ancient religious philosophies, Kundalini does not hold onto any strict rules or dogmas. The pure nature of Kundalini has allowed each generation for thousands of years to find personal meaning in the practice. The objective is decentralized and selfless - help people actualize their Higher Self. Kundalini does not claim to be the way; it is simply a way, one tool on each individual�s journey to personal discovery. Going to a class today feels so fresh, relevant and forward thinking, you would think it was a hybrid Eastern-Western concept developed specifically for the 21st Century.

�Kundalini� is an ancient Sanskrit word that literally means �coiled snake.� In early Eastern religion (long before Buddhism and Hinduism) it was believed that each individual possessed a divine energy at the base of the spine. This energy was thought to be the sacred energy of creation. This energy is something we are born with, but we must make an effort to �uncoil the snake,� thereby putting us in direct contact with the divine. Kundalini Yoga is the practice of awakening our Higher Self and turning potential energy into kinetic energy.

Today�s Western definition of yoga is limiting, describing a specific type of exercise. But to the ancients, yoga was a sacred spirit-body connection. Their goal was not fitness. It was direct connection with Brahman, the God-like spirit within us. No religious buffer between man and God was considered necessary. Just practice. Of the many yogas that developed over the past 5,000 years, Kundalini was considered the most sacred.

The exact origin of Kundalini Yoga is unknown, but the earliest known mention dates to the sacred Vedic collection of writings known as the Upanishads (c. 1,000 B.C. - 500 B.C.). Historical records indicate that Kundalini was a science of energy and spiritual philosophy before the physical practice was developed. The word �upanishads� literally translates to �sitting down to hear the teachings of the master.� The first Kundalini classes were just that. Masters sat down with students and gave oral recitation of spiritual visions. This was a popular practice in ancient Vedic society (and would be replicated centuries later by a couple guys named Buddha and Jesus). Over time, the body science of Kundalini Yoga was developed as a physical expression of the Upanishad visions. From its origin, Kundalini Yoga was not taught publicly. It was treated as an advanced education. Students were required to go through several years of initiation before they were prepared to learn the spirit-body lessons of the Kundalini masters."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-mccrae/introduction-to-kundalini-the-yoga-of-awareness_b_6862914.html

Web (Retrieved April 16, 2017)




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