I am a mystic madman, a wandering wildman, scholar of esoterica, dilettante sadhu, dready-headed hippie (only have a few jata on the back of my head right now, though more be forming of this third set of knotted hair), gentle yogi, fierce foe of falsity. I was a preacher, but I renounced that. I was married, but she renounced me. I was a grad student at one of the top universities in the world on my way to becoming a professor, but I realized they taught lies there too. I am protector of souls, lover of mountains, smoker of herb, fond of hot springs, oceans and lakes and rivers and rain and sunshine, devotee of Devi.
Whirling visions of self and other and Self (and Other ?) in juxtaposed and manifold madness of a nata (dance) that is both in vision and manifest in life lived: either consideration of revelation of reincarnations possible, probable or actual, proceeding before me as a collage of faces, places and bodies, voices and choices, memories mixed with wonderings and wanderings and seems sometimes elses . . . thought, and what not.
This is (or at least is best) seen as lila, perceived as play divine, perfected when one might see oneness, yoga seen as kleem, relationships and relationship and fractals like dancers viewed from above, swirling and weaving each of us, in concert and consort with earth and sky and fire and air, solar and planetary bodies and the earth's features, from mountains to oceans and each other. We both remember and forget, at any given moment, this unity, this beatific dance, romance, transformation through cycles of matter and mind, expand and contract: big bang boom, ya' know? Siva-Sakti, as is often bespoken, that through endless and beatiful cycles through dark and light, always to return, in a proper lila, to a point where we all remember in such a way to cycle us back to the purity we truly are at our core!!!!!
Then Yajnavalkya said: "Verily, not for the sake of the husband, my dear, is the husband loved, but he is loved for the sake of the self which, in its true nature, is one with the Supreme Self.
"Verily, not for the sake of the wife, my dear, is the wife loved, but she is loved for the sake of the self.
"Verily, not for the sake of the sons, my dear, are the sons loved, hut they are loved for the sake of the self.
"Verily, not for the sake of wealth, my dear, is wealth loved, but it is loved for the sake of the self.
"Verily, not for the sake of the brahmin, my dear, is the brahmin loved, but he is loved for the sake of the self.
"Verily, not for the sake of the kshatriya, my dear, is the kshatriya loved, but he is loved for the sake of the self.
"Verily, not for the sake of the worlds, my dear, are the worlds loved, but they are loved for the sake of the self.
"Verily, not for the sake of the gods, my dear, are the gods loved, but they are loved for the sake of the self.
"Verily, not for the sake of the beings, my dear, are the beings loved, but they are loved for the sake of the self.
"Verily, not for the sake of the All, my dear, is the All loved, but it is loved for the sake of the self.
"Verily, my dear Maitreyi, it is the Self that should be realized—should be heard of, reflected on, and meditated upon. By the realization of the Self, my dear—through hearing, reflection, and meditation—all this is known." (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, Part II, 4:4)
Not selfishness, exactly. Atman is not "ego." Love, but not love comes out of fear nor lack nor jealousy--rather, a love comes from a recognition of the nature of one's Self. I just explained it to a friend this way: love of Self is not selfishness, it is a recognition that that "other" you encounter is not not you (dble. negative intended, in case you were wondering). Understanding reincarnation, i.e., taking rebirth through a mama's sweet yoni, one can see how in some guise the possibility you may have been or perhaps shall be, that other.
So Buddha comes up to Brahma in a heaven realm, and notices that Brahma is surrounded by others sitting and listening as Brahma is teaching. So like, Buddha say, "Yo Brahma!! W's up? Why you still teaching if this be heaven?!"
At that moment, Buddha is taken in a reverie, and nigh faints. Brahma looks up from his thought, and ask the Buddha, "Why are you crying?" To which Buddha responds, "I saw all the lives I have lived, as every other, and I saw much suffering."
Point being, compassion and Self-interest are not disparate. To recognize others' suffering, by some degree of seperation or other, as one's own suffering (give or take however many cycles of lives lived) is one way to recognize Atman, the Eternal Self that is the manifestation of brahman (the Universal Divine Being, not to be mistaken with Lord Brahma, Creator aspect of the Trimurti) that is "in the world." Oh, and another point be: the journey of becoming don't end just 'cuz you get to heaven, 'cuz there's ages worth of dharma to be and do.
One day before the Ani Difranco show here at 7200 ft. high in the sky. And a date celebrated by many a hippie, head, stoner, and cancer patient across this land and overseas . . .
This year as opposed to last when a slightly different version of this post was posted, I have sweet tasty nuggets to celebrate (for the moment), but still am given pause to think of the origins of this unique subcultural celebration, the only widely recognized day devoted to the consumption of a plant. There's no big day where people gather worldwide to celebrate tobacco, nor even roses, nor kumquats.
One rumor (promoted by High Times) is that some dudes in California decided to meet every day after school at 4:20 to puff. Various other proposals have been made as to the origins of this now internationally recognized code for smoking herb.
I believe, however, that the truth of this symbolic referent originated (as have so many things in this world) in India, on the Hippie Trail of days of somewhat yore (some sections not so safe these days). In India and Pakistan, the term "420" has long been synonomous with "corruption" or "graft," as section 420 of the Indian Penal Code, established in 1860, covers this area of offense.
The exceedingly popular 1950's Indian film "Shri 420" ("Mr. 420") is about a fella falsely thought to be a con-man. In my assessment, the American use of "420" as slang for smoking herb likely derived from hippies travelling the Hippie Trail through Asia, who likely picked up on the term from the Indian/Pakistany usage, and decided smoking herb to be symbolic of burnin' "the Man," else otherwise symbolically burning the corruptions they viewed at home in America and abroad, and perhaps within themselves.
Regardless of the precise mode by which "420" was transmitted from India to America, and specifically pot smokin' culture, I am rather well convinced that India's usage of the term is whence derives the American usage.
What is the meaning of the trishul, and the figure holding said made of mountains trishul ("trident" is the familiar English term for said ancient weapon of God), outlined on these maps?
You can double-click on an image for a closer view.
I had a sense that the three mountain ranges that extend from Colorado into southeast Wyoming formed something of a trishul, though I had no idea how accurate a presentation of this symbol of the presence of Mahadeva, Siva, Hara, Shankara, Great God was formed millions and millions of years ago by processes geologic and Divine. I did not imagine that this trishul even has a danda (staff), which is the Front Range of Colorado.
The satellite photos above shows rather clearly that I was not mistaken about the trishul, sign of the presence of Siva, formed by the Laramie, Snowy, and Sierra Madre Ranges, with the Front Range as the danda. I did not conceive of the figure holding this auspicious weapon until I looked at the trishul via satellite photos. If this is not proof enough of the truth of the Divine, writ large through the landscape and manifest long before humans were (at least supposed to) exist on this planet and supposed to be making up myths about Gods with Divine Weapons, then I s'pose death and a visit with Yama may be what's required for the skeptics amongst . . .
HYMN CXXV. Vāk.
1. I TRAVEL with the Rudras and the Vasus, with the Ādityas and All-Gods I wander.
I hold aloft both Varuṇa and Mitra, Indra and Agni, and the Pair of Aśvins.
2 I cherish and sustain high-swelling Soma, and Tvaṣṭar I support, Pūṣan, and Bhaga.
I load with wealth the zealous sacrificer who pours the juice and offers his oblation
3 I am the Queen, the gatherer-up of treasures, most thoughtful, first of those who merit worship.
Thus Gods have stablished me in many places with many homes to enter and abide in.
4 Through me alone all eat the food that feeds them,—each man who sees, brewhes, hears the word outspoken
They know it not, but yet they dwell beside me. Hear, one and all, the truth as I declare it.
5 1, verily, myself announce and utter the word that Gods and men alike shall welcome.
I make the man I love exceeding mighty, make him a sage, a Ṛiṣi, and a Brahman.
6 I bend the bow for Rudra that his arrow may strike and slay the hater of devotion.
I rouse and order battle for the people, and I have penetrated Earth and Heaven.
7 On the world's summit I bring forth the Father: my home is in the waters, in the ocean.
Thence I extend o’er all existing creatures, and touch even yonder heaven with my forehead.
8 I breathe a strong breath like the wind and tempest, the while I hold together all existence. Beyond this wide earth and beyond the heavens I have become so mighty in my grandeur.
Already posted some of these. Pasupati of Indus Valley fame, Shiva as Protector of Animals and Souls, and Cernunos of the ancient European tradition. Undeniable connections, primal Divine Human Animal Spiritual in concert, and as Consort to the Mother Goddess, Maiden and Crone too.
Pasupati, Protector of Souls and Animals
Cernunos, European "Horned God"
One mask from Indus Valley Civilization, one from ancient Europe . . .