Hindu Gods and Goddesses

Thursday, October 30, 2008

लिल Lila, the Divine Play of Life

लिल (lila) is a term I have found quite useful. With all the injustices and imbalances and inequities and violences I have seen and read of in the world around me, to imagine all this as but scenes in a divine play made the best case for what in “Western” philosophical terminology is called “theodicy,” which is basically the attempt(s) to answer the question, “If God is good and God is omnipotent, how can there exist evil?” To envision all the ills of this world as merely illusion, playing out of something like a scripted theatrical production solves many of the problems in justifying the ills of life. We are thus all merely emanations of aspects of the divine, refracted through a crystalline lens, acting out various scenarios of variegated possibilities of divergence from Self. When all is said and done, the curtains drawn, it all makes sense and there is no further need for justification. All sufferings are shown as merely imaginative experiments of possible pathways, and proper unity and purity are shown as having never having truly faltered.

Not that I ever believed there is no place for justice to be exacted by players in this play, mind you, nor that inexcusable violences or abuses ought be overlooked. Rather I believed that so long as one maintains purity of mind and spirit, nothing cannot be overcome or transformed and fitted within a wholistic view of existence that finds life good and worthy of living, beautiful and aesthetically intact.

Well, someone sought to challenge my very effective mode of dealing with the world's ills, for better or worse, a mode which indeed made ills quite ineffective and evil at most a nuisance. I was drawn into a rather desolate and perverse version of “lila,” and indeed one I am not sure well fits the unified version I had in mind. It seems as if some other contending paradigm sought to prove it’s verity above my own, and specifically the Western version of guilt and the inherent evil of humanity, i.e., Judeo-Christian understandings of sin and guilt and suffering. It seemed rather as if the beliefs and intensions of those I had known when I was a Baptist minister were coming back to haunt me. Indeed, the depression and undue attributions of guilt and fear were again somehow injected into my mind to assail the beautiful and truly liberating mode of existence I had come to know and share along the truly र्त (rta—“righteous," and "correct”) path I had found upon abandoning the errant world view of Christianity.

In the reality I had come to know, evil and ills always met due कर्म-धर्म (karma-dharma, “action-consequence/teaching”), and all of life and being was on an exciting and wonderful journey back to the source, अत्मन् (atman—the true and good and pure and benevolent “Self”). Everything that was not of or commensurate to this good Self would be transformed or burned away in the process of तपसि (tapasia—“purifying fire”) through the course of the pilgrimage that is life (or lives) lived. In actuality, these notions are not so far from some of the teachings of Jeshua ben Joseph (aka, “Jesus”), though from other of his teachings I think he should have spent a bit more time in India learning from the yogis.

In the interim, between beginnings and return to अत्मन् (atman), the here and now is time to practice भुतदय (bhutadaya--"compassion") and योग (yoga—“union,” or as Patanjali in his Yoga sutra put it, “Yoga is the alteration of sense vibration” towards a more pure expression of our true, good divine Self), and to celebrate the beauty of existence and each other, and the archetypal modes of divine play that lead us back to the pure union in and of देव-देवि (Deva-Devi--"God-Goddess").

The challenge I faced was a manipulation of चिदचित् (cidachit—“mind and matter”), a use and abuse of powers of illusion to attempt to dissuade me from my path, and to return me to living as a fearful sheep. Well, despite struggles and sufferings and assaults on and even in my mind, my resolve is still firm. Perhaps I now view the playing field or theater of life with a bit less trust, a bit less of what might be called “naivety,” for better or worse, as it seems clear some have or at least recently have maintained some degree of power to attack that good balance and philosophy I have found. Yet I remain convinced that indeed, “all the world’s a stage” is a better metaphor than many, and that when all is said and done, the plot will meet proper dénouement, and we shall all have cause to rejoice at a play well played.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

There is a story as yet unwritten: truth. This story would make the X-Files seem mundane musings. This tale would likely drive most supposedly sane folks beyond the capacity of reason, and would make the disclosure of those government conspiracies and cover ups that indeed exist, from the knowledge of extra-terrestrial visitations to the acknowledgment of the workings of the hidden governing bodies of this world, and even admission of the reality of सिधि (sidhis, "magical powers") seem but trifles to the truth that lies behind these deeper veils. Certain of the worlds mythologies give glimpses, if one has an eye to read between the lines. Stories of gods and goddesses, constructions of earth and heaven and underworld realms give hints of the manner in which reality is (realities are) made and maintained and destroyed, and to the origin and destination of each and all. Yet these all fall short of the subtle and hidden truth that is yet somewhere unreached by all save a few minds, and likely less than a handful understand this true nature of reality, or ब्रह्मन् (brahman,) to use a language more precise, if perhaps still somewhat lacking in the perfect precision that might describe that to which I am eluding.

This truth is not so "terrible," save as it is far from what we are taught and conditioned to believe. These knowledges are not of "heaven" nor "hell," nor any such mundane metaphors. Perhaps more like the still waters of a mountain lake, or the majesty of a mountain, yet not quite nor merely. It is not what most understand as "God," nor can this be reduced to dogma. It might be read as not entirely unlike a लिल (lila, Sanskrit for "divine play"), and yet without acting. Simplicity that would strike dumb our busy world, wisdom that would make the most revered of men and women seem fools.

Light and dark are not even applicable terms to describe that of which I am here endeavoring a feeble and humble attempt to put in words. Resonant with human concepts of good and true and right, yet not encompassed therein, though not breaking with purity. This of which I speak is always already present within each and all, and yet can scarce be grasped, and again, even less easily conveyed in words. Not silence, nor din, though may to some degree be apprehended in solitude, and on occasion in music, both of human artifice and of the song of birds and the wind, rain falling, crickets chirping, waves crashing upon the shore and a rivers rush towards the sea, and even the subtle hum or aum of earth and sky and beyond.

Blessings . . .

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Here goes my first endeavor at this medium, endeavored partially to vent my fury regarding the state of things in this insane world, partially to make myself more available to people I have known and loved over the years, and partially because the words I write might just make a difference, however slight, in the lives of any who happens to read this one of so many millions of like pages of rants published as "blogs."

Regarding the content I intend to print in this medium, well, everything from personal narratives to politics, religion to science, counterculture musings to mainstream criticism. I have lived an interesting life thus far, and though perhaps not so well travelled as many, have encountered some truly amazing places and peoples, ideas and inside information on the underbelly of this land and the subtle workings of life.

I've been a Baptist preacher and a sadhu, a wandering hippie and a working man, and I have only just begun to explore and experience the wonders of this world. Hopefully those insights and experiences I intend to share in these entries will offer inspiration, hope, and cause whoever happens to peruse these pages to question what ought to be questioned and to have strengthened faith in what is solid and true and good in this beautiful and crazy world.

Enough for now . . .