Spiritual Insight

An essay written by Shri Bal Bhagwan Ji, eldest brother of Guru Maharaj Ji

Spiritual Insight is an indispensable aid to introspection. Unlike ordinary sight which enables one to cognize external objects, Spiritual Insight lies dormant in man. It has to be aroused by one's own individual efforts strictly in compliance with the instructions of the Spiritual Master, that is, Satguru.

Sight requires one or more eyes and presence of light to cognize its object. But as Lord Krishna said to Arjuna in the Gita, "You cannot see me with the ordinary eyes. I shall give you Divine Eyes for this purpose." So saying, the Lord gave Divine Eyes to Arjuna which enabled him to see the entire panorama of creation within.

Light is an essential requirement for the phenomenon of sight to materialize. Nothing can be seen in darkness even though the normal eyes are there. What is applicable to normal eyes equally holds for Spiritual Insight. The two essential ingredients of Spiritual Insight, then, are Divine Eye and Divine Light, which the ancient seers of India termed Divya-Chakhshu and Divya-Prakash.

The optical apparatus consists of the two eyes and the corresponding two optical nerves which ultimately converge at a point. Two different images are formed by the respective retina of the two eyeballs, but these images coalesce at the junction of the two optical nerves and form one single image. This junction of the two optical nerves is located, in the human body, between the two eyebrows, at the base of the nose (Nasagre). It is endowed with the faculty of vision--long, short, or near--and is further known as First Sight.

But the human mind is possessed of a Second Sight, which is possessed of the power of internal vision by which future or distant occurrences are presented. Sanjaya, who may be considered as the earliest forerunner of the modern war correspondent, and who narrated the events of the epic battle of Kurushetra to the blind king Dhritarashtra, was gifted with such a Second Sight. He obtained it from Veda Vyasa, the great sage who wrote the Mahabharata.

The two normal eyes are capable of functioning only on the physical plane. As against this, the Third Eye or the Divine Eye functions on the subtle mental planes or even on transcendental levels. The objects visualized by the Third Eye are far subtler than those seen in the gross external world. They present themselves as thought forms or images independently and directly perceived without the need of the senses and external objects.

Human beings are endowed with the five sense organs including the eyes. No external object can be seen unless the eyes present their images to the mind, and the eyes have to remain open to perform their task. But not so with the Third Eye which needs no help from the sense organs, nor does it have to form any image on the so- called screen of the mind, the Chitta. Therefore, in order to achieve the Third Eye with a view to attaining Spiritual Insight, one must in the first instance close any and every access to sense perception.

The withdrawal of the senses from their objects is known in yogic parlance as Pratyahara. This is a preparatory level from which the seeker after Truth gets ready for the next stage, namely, Meditation. Practice of Meditation (Sadhana), performed in the prescribed manner, animates the dormant Third Eye and reveals to the self within the vast and illimitable vistas of creation, beginning with the unknown and unmanifest, the Mul Prakriti or Nature in its static stance, Avyakta.

This formless and attributeless Mul Prakriti represents the universal primordial Energy (Shakti) in its potential form. The act of creation is achieved by the changeover of this potential energy into its kinetic form, which sets up matter in a flux of perpetual motion. Matter and Energy, it will be noted, are convertible entities, regulated by the formula E equals MC sq.. Here E stands for Energy, M for mass, and C is a constant equivalent to the speed of light rays in ether. The visible universe (Vyakt) is merely a display of the Energy (Adi Shakti) before the Conscious Self or the Jivatma.

The faculty of awareness which the real Self enjoys is inherent in the conscious stuff of which it is composed. This Consciousness is the Light of Light. The chief characteristic of the Conscious Stuff is that it does not require the aid of any other light to make it aware of its own existence or of any other object. It is akin to the luminosity possessed by Phosphorous.

The self-luminosity of the Jivatma (Being) shedding light and thereby imparting energy to every object of Creation is the Cause of all causes which in its turn sets up a chain reaction of cause and effect, ultimately culminating in the external world of Name and Form (Nam and Rup). The order in which this causal reaction takes place, beginning with Mul Prakriti, is as follows: Mule Prakriti; Maha Tattwa or Buddhi; the Mind; the Senses; the objects of Senses; and the five primordial forms of matter. All these different variations of Nature are like so many glass covers around one self-luminous Jivatma, each with a different pattern of behavior. The Buddhi or Intellect, for instance, when aroused into consciousness by its proximity with the conscious stuff of the Jivatma, begins to take cognizance of the impressions imprinted on the Mind by the senses. These impressions are of five different kinds, known as tanmatras: Hearing (Shabd); Touch (Sparsha); Seeing (Rup); Taste (Ras); and Smell (Gandha).

The Mind receives the impressions of the external world through the five senses. The senses, when they are in touch with their respective objects in Nature; produce the sensation of heat and cold, pleasure and pain. But ultimately it is the Buddhi or Intellect which acts both as Knower (Gyata) and Doer (Karta).

To achieve Spiritual Insight, therefore, one has to take the self beyond the Mind--Intellect equipment. One can do so with the practice of meditation whereby an extroverted mind is switched over into an introverted mind. The process of this changeover from an extrovert mind to an introvert mind is carried out in two successive stages known as Savi-Kalpa Samadhi and Nirvikalpa Samadhi. In the former, the duality of the knower and the known remains intact, while in the latter the self is conscious of self alone and all duality vanishes. This is the starting point for the unfoldment of Spiritual Insight where the aspirant takes a stand beyond the Mind-- Intel lect equipment.

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