1.03.2011

Mysteries of a Siddhapith - Twin worlds at Tarapith

Our lifestyles are often defined by the caste we come from and the sub caste further describes the nuances of how we differ from each other in the minor aspects of living and mindset. We have lived by certain rules that differ from one household to the next, and the way of worship also changes accordingly though the basic principle remains the same. Unfortunately, we are not broad minded enough to accept the differences. And life moves on, as long as we don't step on each other's toes.

These differences are never apparent, sometimes never spoken about and most often buried with time. These rules are understood to be described as the lifestyle of the given caste but its never described as the lifestyle defined by a school of thought.

One thing that is heavily apparent at the Siddhapith of Tarapith is the twin worlds comprising of the Brahmins who have captured the main temple and the silent world of the tantra Sadhaks who have made the Shamshan ghat their home. These two worlds though in reality are separated by a street of tiny little shops, in concept are separated by the biggest differences in belief and lifestyle, all strangely attributed to the same mother - Ma Tara!

The charm of Tarapith is this strange reality, though not apparent to any person who steps in there for the first time, the differences between these two worlds echoes in the head when we open our minds with awareness towards the life here. Tarapith, is probably one of the few locations that envelopes the Shamshan ghat as an equal part of itself apart from the main temple into its fold. Few other places like Manikarnika ghat and Kalighat have made the Shamshan an equal tourist attraction. Here at Tarapith the belief is that Ma Tara, not only inhabits the main temple but also lives at the Shamshan ghat making it her home. Hence, the Shamshan ghat here at the riverside is considered equally sacred as the temple that lies above it.

Tarapith's sacred land is defined by a low hill that has this temple at its peak. The hill is not so apparent as our approach to it is almost at the same level. The street with shops runs perpendicular to the temple is lower in level. At this cross road which leads to the main temple gateway upwards on the left, on the right we can walk down to the river that flows by this little town. The road slopes down towards the river which is a beaten track that appears very well inhabited by people and shops.

It all looked very simple and obvious as we found the way to the temple because all the Brahmin priests led us there, but where was the promised Shamshan ghat to which this road led? There was no sign of it at all.

It was the strangest moment in my life, we had decided to go back home right after the darshan of Ma Tara, but for some twist in circumstances we decided to hang around for another 2 hours at Tarapith. That decision was the first in the direction of discovering the real world of Tarapith. It felt like Ma Tara was granting me my wish of touching the escentric world of tantriks. Was it safe? Apparently yes. The 2nd twist in events was when my adventurous self discovered the unassuming path that took a strange turn to the right from the beaten track to the river. This path was hidden among a cloister of trees and shops and was hardly evident to the eye.

We had just walked out of the corrupt world of red clad brahmin priests, who were yelling and shouting, demanding money, realing out mantras to make a quick buck and not letting us have a moment's peace at the feet of the mother. This was the so called familiar world that we were so aware of and so much a part of disliking every moment we spent in its presence as we clung on to dear faith. This was the world that we call ours, that in the name of Ma Tara actually left every Bhakt in disillusionment over their own faith if they were not strong enough. This was our known reality in the name of civilized faith - a world of obscene levels of corruption and disregard to the sacredness of the very shrine in front of which these acts of blastphemy are performed.

And then I discovered this other world near the river side on the opposite side of the temple, far away from the noise up on the hill. This world was peaceful and scerene and at the same time eerie and mysterious. Every step into the shamshan ghat made me feel that I was breaking every forbidden brahminical rule placed by my ancestors, and I loved every moment of it, I was free!

We left our footware at the side and walked into this world, it looked weird and yet thrilling. In the shade of many trees that gave this little locality its charm, there was a lot for my eyes to feast on as I made my daring entrance. This was the other world, were we strangely felt a lot more peace and the power of the mother was way way higher. People here were probably poorer, and yet there was hardly any begging, not to the obscene levels at the temple. People here left us alone, as we dared to walk into this strange little land. A lot of eyes were on us and yet they didnt bother us which probably made us feel a little queezy. We were so used to the racket, being left alone was hardly a sign of comfort!

These people were dignified, and far more serious in their approach towards faith. They didnt come close to us, though I felt their powerful glance scanning my presence in question wondering what I was possible intending to do here. I was clearly a trespasser and I walked into this world feeling like one. Tiny huts dotted this peaceful haven and red clad men and women walked about with ingridients of worship. There was no sound here but for the havan taking place near the small temple, where people from our society mingled with men of this world in union to worship the great Goddess.

Honestly, the presence of the Mother here was far more superior. while the air smelt of her presence, the red hit us too close and we tried very hard not to touch anything for everything here seemed so powerful and intimidating that we felt uneducated in this land of secret faith. Women tantriks were easy to find and burning bodies were a common sight. A little girl showed us around this locality, taking us into the deeper ends of this world, making us ever more uncomfortable. She was educated and there was not a streak of fear in her mind. She roamed around freely telling us about the place and leading us from one shrine to the other as old tantrik men peeped out of their dark huts inquisitively looking at us.

This land was real power, where men and women practiced freely, where there was no discrimination, where a young girl of 10 years of age was allowed to walk around freely among prayers and burning bodies at the cremation ground, where women were not forbidden, where no one asked for money and no one really cared about us for apparently we were the most illiterate among those who visited there.

This was the place of true unadulterated faith, where mystical chants were carefully guarded from inquisitive half baked keepers of faith like us, where entry was by initiation only and where our fear factor of tantriks was actually our inadequacy to face the potency of this faith as compare to the familiar world of brahmin priests ridiculing the same chants for a couple of bucks in the civilized world up at the temple. We fear tantriks because we touch real potency in their world, because we are not ready for it and we scorn their practices because we dont have the courage to face the powers of divinity.

Ma Tara! I bow to thee for enlightening me with this truth.



37 comments:

JC said...

Hi Kavitha, Best wishes for A Very Happy New Year to you! Thaqnks for the interesting description of your visit to the Tarapeeth!

One might call it philosophy, but the truth is that not only humans, but also innumerable life forms appear on our planet, a heavenly body suspended in space, spinning on its own axis and also revolving around the Sun, whose family member it also is besides many others...

It is called Earth, besides many other names, 'Vasudha' to the Hindus,,, and the yogis or highly elevated souls conveyed through "Vasudhaiv kutumbakam" the realisatioin of Earth as the most important life form of our solar system, the Mother, that had a large family, members of which appeared different from one another, each having different life expectancies etc, but all are by design common in death, mortals who return to earth the ashes or soil loaned to them at the time of a soul acquiring some particular form! "Soil to soil, and ashes to ashes"...

Thus taken on the whole, just Gouri & Kali to the one who seeks the essence, one mother represents the Tara (Star) and the other the transformed Black Hole, the energy that believably sustained it for billions of years...

Bart said...

Dear Kavitha,

I wish you and all your blog followers a happy, an auspicious, a healthy and a blessed 2011.

Yes indeed, those brahmin priests who are demanding money and being not well willing to let you a moment in rest to meditate in their temples are very recognizable to me as well. I have experienced it many times how just the priests in charge of the sanctuary would be able to spoil my visit with pious intentions by their rude and unholy behavior.

We should ask ourselves why God allows this corruption within his/her priesthood and the only possible answer is then: because it is sign to us. An indication of something bigger.

In the catholic church we have to deal worldwide with the revelation of sexual abuse of minors by priests nowadays. The muslim world is in crisis since
the abolition of the caliphate by Atatürk in 1924 with the present day consequences of terrorist violence. The brahmin priests who are misusing their position in the temple to enlarge their personal income fit very well in this overall picture. A lack of belief of the religious authorities seems me to be the root of this evil. But this lack of belief amongst priests of all religions could be also an indication that we have reached the final stage of the Kali Yuga.

Tara's name तर in Sanskrit can mean 'carrying over, carrying across'. Tara's name Samsaratarini (she who carries across the ocean of samsara) is an example of a name which contains this meaning of this word 'tara' and how she help us to transfer from the one shore to the other one in the process of enlightenment. She is also capable to protect us and guide us in the transition-period from this Kali Yuga to the coming new Satya Yuga.

And @JC: some have seen an etymological relationship between the Sanskrit name 'Mata Tara Devi' and the Latin 'Mater Terra Dea' or the Goddess Mother Earth, who is a Star of Planet! In that case Vasudha and Prthivi are indeed just other names of this Great Goddess, who is carrying us all. The most famous Buddhist versions of Tara - Sveta Tara and Syama Tara - the White and the Green Tara -, could be then representations of the Mother in her winter- and her summer-dress.

JC said...

Hi Bart, Thanks!

Yes, Tara also could have been derived from 'tar' (or to swim across the earth understood as an ocean, ie, bhavsagar),,, as you have indicated,,, the basic idea of ancients regarding the sole purpose of human life on earth being to realise the formless god (Kali) and gods with forms (Gouri the fair one, the source of light, Tara or stars that are found in the universe in abundance)...

YOSEE said...

It was surely serendipitous that your plans to leave were changed so that you got to explore something new. As the old belief( made popular by Paulo Coelho)says, if you wish for something whole-heartedly, the Cosmos conspires to make it a reality !

Breaking out of nurtured taboos and exchanging one set of handed down beliefs with another set, is always exhilarating and liberating. May more wonderful vistas open up for you. Happy new year. Best Wishes.

Bart said...

There is also an etymological relation between the Sanskrit word 'taru' तरु and the English word tree. And also with Terra because trees are rooted in earth with their tarumulas (tree roots). And devi Tara bears the beautiful epithet of Vrksamadhyani-vasini, she who dwells in trees. The power of Mother dwells of course in the trees. तरव tarava 'belonging to a tree' contains another reference to Tara.

Although the word 'tree' - O.E. treo, treow "tree" (also "wood"), from P.Gmc. *trewan (cf. O.Fris. tre, O.S. trio, O.N. tre, Goth. triu), from PIE *deru- "oak" (cf. Skt. dru "tree, wood," daru "wood, log; taru "tree" Gk. drys "oak," doru "spear;" O.C.S. drievo "tree, wood;" Serb. drvo "tree," drva "wood;" Rus. drevo "tree, wood;" Czech drva; Pol. drwa "wood;" Lith. derva "pine wood;" O.Ir. daur, Welsh derwen "oak," Albanian drusk "oak"). Importance of the oak in mythology is reflected in the recurring use of words for "oak" to mean "tree." must have indeed its ancients roots in the Proto-Indo-European language is is no longer in use in Modern Dutch or German, we both use the close word 'boom' (Du) 'baum' (Ger) to indicate a tree. But now we can show clearly how it work in languages, for these both word are again related to earth and to the Sanskrit tern भूमि bhūmi, is earth again.

Now we have just to find the Sanskrit word which connects Tara's name directly to the earth and I want suggest here धरा dharā f. earth.

And then I found in Monier-Williams the verb धर dhara mf(ā)n. (√dhṛ) bearing, supporting (scil. the world, said of Kṛishṇa and Śiva) MBh. • ifc. holding, bearing, carrying, wearing, possessing, having, keeping (also in memory), sustaining, preserving, observing (cf. aṃśu-, akṣa-, kulaṃ- &c.) MBh. R. &c

And also the reason why Earth is called धरा dharā f. 'bearer, supporter', the earth Mn. MBh. Kāv. &c

This is exactly what Goddess Tara does and is amongst more. Yes, JC there is indeed a strong relationship between Tara and Water as well. Jaleshvari is one of her titels, Goddess of the Waters. When she dwells in the trees she is present in the sap-stream. Two/third of earth's surface is covered with water. Two/third of our bodyweight is the weight of water. And Mother Earth Mata Tara Dhara Devi is of course the Goddess of the waters. Earth is a water-planet.

JC said...

Thanks Bart!

And it's known today that moon evolved from earth itself, and the ancient Hindus believed water to have descended on earth from moon, the impact borne by Shiva's head and initially got entangled, virtually lost in His locks of hair (Himalayan forest? of Oak trees?)!

Also the story of 'Brahma seated on a lotus that evolved from Vishnu's navel' could be visualised with the help of earth-moon (Green&Yellow)!

JC said...

The truth is that at any given point in time only one-half of our planet earth ever remains lighted up by sunlight while the other half ever remains dark, thus one could visualise it as both mothers, Gouri & Kali...

And, when we look at the visible part of the spectrum formed due to refraction of white sunlight, as commonly observed in a rainbow formed on account of water in the clouds, we find in VIBGYOR, 'G' or compound colour green, the neutral one in the middle of B&Y,,, blue happens to be the cold colour of the sky in the daytime when the white sun rules over it,,, and Y the hot colour reflected by moon, the ruler at night time when the sky is black or the coldest of all!

Bart said...

Lord Shiva, mythological close related to Tara - the Tarapith temple gives evidence to this - bears indeed the name dhara as well, namely in his title 'Gangadhara'. In Hindu mythology the Himalayas are the abode of Shiva. In the Tibetan mythology the Himalayas are connected to Chenrizig or Avalokiteshvara in Sanskrit. Amongst the Tibetans the devotion for Tara/Dolma is very great, she has the role of the great mother-goddess in their religious system. The Tibetan are believing that that the two Taras - green and white - have been emerged from the tears of Avalokiteshwara (the Lord who is gazing downwards). Those two flows of tears - streams of mercy - could be represented by two rivers Ganga, the Indian one and the Indochinese one. The Mekong is called Mae Khong (Ma Ganga/Mother Ganges) by the Thai and Lao, and they worship her both as the Mother-Goddess of the Waters (Mae Nam Khong).

The Moon has been emerged from Earth indeed, creating a very great ocean which is called Panthalassa and a dry land, a supercontinent, called Pangaea. In order to create new balance in equal divided masses Pangaea broke in parts and continental drift commenced. This happened 600-million years ago.

There is an mythological relationship between the Moon (Chandra/Soma) and Tara (Earth), namely both would be the parents of Buddha (Mercury). So maybe planet Mercury has emerged in the same process when Earth and Moon scattered.

JC said...

In essence, human form is indicated to have been formed of essences of nine 'grahas' (crudely translated as planets, but also includes our sun) that are housed in eight-chakras (essences of centres of eight-wheels or galaxies, where Black Hole, or 'Krishna', is believed located), from tail-bone end to the brain and connected through the nervous system, for carrying information and energy stored in the eight points along the spinal chord, upwards or downwards...However, the overall information is read by each individaul depending on the net energy that reaches the brain at any time...The efficiency of each individual person is however also indicated dependent on the Yuga or Era concerned (0 to 25% in the 'present', that is, Kaliyuga of 100% possible in Satya Yuga) which is confirmed to some extent also by the modern scientists who found that even the 'most intelligent being today' is capable of tapping only a negligible fraction of billions of cells that are available in the brain...

JC said...

Yogmaya, or Maya that is illusion (on account of being by design watching mostly outwards, instead of inwards through meditation or practising to attain zero or near zero thoughts), is believed to be the cause of man's forgetful nature, and thus being called Apsmara Purush, who is symbolically dieplayed in Shiv Natraj's idol lying under His right foot, since time immemorial...And, only highly elevated souls believably realising the Truth that man is a model of Shiva hte immortal himself,,,while one knows that a model can only help visualise a protype, and not act like it)...

Bart said...

Maya माया is to consider as the Shakti of the impersonal supreme eternal, unchanging, infinite, immanent, and transcendent reality Brahman ब्रह्मन्, which name has been derived from the root bṛh 'to swell, to grow, to enlarge'. Brahman means: 'That what causes growth'. We might think to the expanding universe, as well as to That in us what has caused, causes and will cause our own growth, physically, mentally and spiritually. From a non-dualist point of view the reality of the Brahman is the only existing reality. 'Sarvam khalv idam brahma' - 'the whole world is Brahman' reads the Chhāndogya Upanishad 3.14.1. If there is inside us nor outside anything else than the Brahman, why then do we behold in a common state of mind not God inside us and around us, but an intern and an world full of physical and psychological phenomenons? That is exactly the power of Maya, the Brahman's Shakti. One might call it an illusion, but still one has to realize to observe a manifestation of the Creative Principle in the universe. In one of the myths about Brahma, who is the personification of the impersonal Brahman, his Shakti (Brahmi Sarasvati) is called Shatarupa - hundred forms; and that is a beautiful illustration to help us understand the many many infinite many forms the Maya takes up, within us and around us. The Sanskrit word Maya is etymologically related to two English words: might and magic. The last word has been derived from the ancient Persian astrologer-priest the 'magi'. But both words can be interpret in their contemporary means as: creative power, which is Maya - God creative power. The ancient Greeks and Roman worshipped her as a great important Goddess, called Maia. Maia Maiestas Bona Dea - Majestic Maia the Good Goddess. The blooming month of May is for instance named after her. Her name is related to words 'mega' 'magnus' in Greeks/Latin - 'maha' in Sanskrit, and means 'She who makes great'. And that meaning of name is very similar to the meaning of the word 'Brahman' and not without a very good reason. For Maya and Brahma are One. Two sides of same medal. We are looking at the side of the 'hundred forms' and we can realize that the One and Only Brahman is behind this all and also on the backside of this medal.

JC said...

Thanks Bart! for the nice explanation!

In Bhagawadgita also 'Krishna' (the cause of 'Maya') is indicated to say that anybody can reach Him! He can be reached through knowledge and science also, but He likes them most who surrender in Him,,, while on the other hand stress is also given to achieve overall knowledge (siddhi) and the only purpose of man on earth is indicated to know the god without form and also gods with forms...

And, generally it is indicated in the Hindu beliefs that man is a model of the universe. That is to say that He is model of the ever expanding dark and infinite void (filled with infinite numbers of galaxies), that had originally started as a dot, or zero,,, and the first physical form that came into being is a star or Tara (Aditya, or Aditi, as it refers to our sun, "who with her seven sons in this life went together with her son in the last life to god to start the cycle of life once again", thus referring to our galaxy that has a Black Hole at its centre as a result of death of a massive star) that consists of hydrogen filled in its core and which is undergoing chain reaction that results in tremendous energy as that of trillions of Hydrogen bomb, and Hydrogen in the core gets converted into an inert gas, Helium, that provides the outer covering or shell)...

Bart said...

Very true JC, man is considered in Hinduism indeed to be a model of the universe but also visa versa: in Hinduism the universe has the form of a man, namely the Cosmic Purusha. Lord Vishnu is called Vishwa universe; it is God's very first name In Bhisma's recitation of the Vishnu Sarasranama in the Mahabharata. In the Shiva Purana where Lord Vishnu is the one who chants the Shiva Sahasranama Lord Shiva's 14th name is again Vishva. Not surprising. Likewise the Skanda Purana it states: Sivasya hridayam vishnur, vishnoscha hridayam sivah -Vishnu is the heart of Shiva and likewise Shiva is the heart of Vishnu'. When Vishnu should be the universe, then we must be Shiva, and visa versa: when Shiva is the universe then we must be Vishnu. Adityanam aham vishnur, rudranam shankaras ca asmi. - Amongst the Adityas I am Vishnu, and of all Rudras I am Shiva. Those words are said by Sri Krishna (B.G. 10.21 & 23), but we can repeat them while we are speaking the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Why? Because the essence of ourselves, the essence of Vishnu, the essence of Shiva and the essence universe is the very same, the one without a second, the Brahman who is the Atman. Uta tat tvam asi! It is only a question of realization of this truth. There exists a marvelous library of 3,500 years Advaita Vedanta philosophy to explain this all and Goddess Tara is always, when we would pray for her aid, prepared to be our inner tutor towards a real understanding of the concept of non-dualism. Tara is the embodiment of the human enlightenment, and that's why can consider her as a star, even as the most nearby small blue star, the sun, indeed de mother of our entire solar system and the one who illuminates our skies, physically, mentally as well as spiritually. Oṁ tāre tuttāre ture mama ayuḥ punya jnānā puṣtiṃ kuru svāhā! Oṁ hrīṁ strīṁ hūṁ phaṭ!

JC said...

Thanks Bart! Yes, 'Shiva is Vishnu, and Vishnu is Shiva' was indicated by the highly elevated or realised souls, which for the layman is perhaps a bit difficult, just as "Aham Brahmasmi" or "Shivoham etc",,, to visualise how oneself one could be the creator!

And thus, one is supposed to reach the 'Truth' on one's own, through whatever path one can! Perhaps the best or the easiest path could be seen reflected in the practices of Astrology, Palmistry etc. that are based on the belief related to human form being made from different permutations and combinations of essences of the selected nine numbers members of the solar system,,,each thus representing an instrument that reflects a particular time during the process of evolution of physical world in 'nature' (zero to infinity in physical forms) whose important part each one of us is, that played an important role during the process in the past or bhoot...

JC said...

With the background knowledge that ancient Hindus were relatively much advanced in Astronomy, or/ ather were 'siddhas' (all rounders), 'I' believe a student of 'science' is in a better position to appreciate the Hindu mythological stories...Such as, the significanceof Ma Yashoda seeing the whole universe in infant Krishna's mouth'! (hat one learns when one reads Gita...

JC said...

In the Gita, Yogis reveal through the character of Krishna how the unseen energy form resides within all physical forms, which can be understood in 'heavenly bodies' as their gravity, the force concentrated at their centres that's responsible for retaining their particular form, maybe for billions of years, like those of the family members of the solar system that believaly is in existence for over 4 billion years today, and apparently going strong for many more (?) with the looming Ice Age (due to misuse of the resources by humans, particularly in the recent past beause of lack of knowledge,,, just as Krishna says all wrong acts arise from lack of knowledge!?)...Krshna tellsArjuna that He has been ttached to him right from the very beginning, while Arjuna is aware only of this life whereas He knows about the life of Arjuna right from the very beginning,,,and similarly man is symbolically indicated as Apsmara Purush under Shiva Natrja's right foot, ie, one's incapability to recall one's past (past lives)...

Kaushik said...

Maya is derived from the root 'ma': to measure, hence 'maap': measurement. Therefore, maya: to measure, judge, etc; which is the world of dualism, of opposites, of high and low, big and small, light and dark...
Maya is the magic by which Brahman manifests Itself, the illusion which we perceive through our senses, but the Magician remains hidden. People like Bamakhepa and Ramkrishna Paramhansa caught a glimpse of that Magician.

Bart said...

Interesting remark, Kaushik. Yes, 'that which can be measured' as an explanation of the word 'Maya' I have read recently as well. According to a tale in Shiva Purana, once, a dispute erupted between Brahma and Vishnu regarding greatness. Both of them claimed their own greatness. The dispute grew so high that, it is said in the tale, Brahma and Vishnu got ready to destroy each other. Just then, a gigantic Shiva Linga appeared between them. It was radiating intense flames. A celestial voice advised Brahma and Vishnu to fathom the beginning and end of the Linga in order to prove their greatness. But none of them could fathom the Linga completely and returned in submission. Because even Brahma and Vishnu together weren't able to measure the length of the Shiva Linga the Shiva Linga belongs obviously to the supreme reality of the Brahman. Otherwise the Rig Veda states in several hymn (at least five I thought) that Vishnu has measured out the complete universe in three steps - according to me are meant herewith the three dimensions of space; so we may assume that this measurable space-time-continuum is a part of the pseudo-reality of the Maya.

I know still another explanation of the word Maya. As we all will know the rishis in the upanishad called the Brahman also just Tat - that. Maya would be derived from Mayat, as composition of the two roots of Ma - not; and Yat - again that or maybe what. That and Not-That - something and nothing - Brahman and Mayat.

My first association with the word Mayat is the name of Mayet or Ma'at of Maat of the ancient Egypt Goddess of the Cosmic Order. Her name is mentioned already often in the pyramide-texts during the Old Kingdom (ca. 2780-2250 BCE). Mayet was considered to be the one regulating the stars, seasons, and the actions of both mortals and the deities, the one who set the order of the universe from chaos at the moment of creation. Interesting again, because it describes her als the active side (Shakti) of the creative principle Brahman. On the other hand, her cult could have been the inspiration of the later cult of Maia in Greco-Roman culture, although the Greeks has known her before already as metis.

But the name Mayat comes also very close to the present day Dutch word 'Maat', meaning 'size' as well as 'measure' in English. The verb 'to measure' was in Middle English 'meten', in Old-English 'metan' ; in modern Dutch still 'meten', in German 'messen' in Swedish 'mäta'. The noun 'measure' was in Latin 'modus' in Ancient Greek μεδίμνος (medímnos) in Old Armenian միտ (mit), in Gothic 'mitan'. The word 'Meter' the unit of length since 1797 had his ancient roots already in many European languages. In Dutch is means 'the one who measures.' An English 'land surveyor' is in a Dutch 'landmeter'. Let's have a quick look now for the etymological and semantic related terms within the oldest daughter in Indo-European family: the Sanskrit. मिति miti = measure; मात् mātrā = measure; मात्र mātra = size; माति māti verb मातुम् mātum inf. = to measure.

Could all these words have a relationship with Maya(t), and may be 'matter' and 'mother' as well? I could be easily true indeed. Let's realize that the biggest part of what ordinary people, not initiated in non-dualism, meant to be as a being is part of Maya; bodies, names, egos, minds, thoughts, feelings, personalities, etcetera. Only the immortal soul, the self, the life-spark within the cave of our heart - hridaya guha, has the very same nature as Shiva immeasurable lingam, and is, was and will be always one with the Brahman, the one without a second.

JC said...

Thanks S/ Shri Kaushik and Bart! Why is the magician unseen? Because He is formless! And how could he be seen by an ordinary mortal? By reaching at the essence, like sifting through sand and find gold particles in flowing waters (Satyam Shivam Sunderam), or through direct vision by reaching zero thought or activating the kundalini (as Paramhansa apparently did)!

In Hindi there is a saying in common use, "Til ka Taad banaana", ie, to the effect, 'Create Palm tree from Sesame seed', which to a 'scientist' might sound like the general 'Hindu' concept that the infinite universal void, or Big Zero filled with temporary pysical forms, came in to existence from sound energy, expressed as 'Big Bang' (Brahmnad expressed by the word 'Om', where letter 'O' is shaped similar to numeral '0')...
Yogis realised man as model of the universe, and astrologers and Palmists indicated our solar system (Mahashiva?) also as its essence...with this background, Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh could be visualised represented by our physical earth as Shiva, Vishnu the nadbindu as its centre and our Sun as Brahma, the provider of direct or indirect energy for creation and sustenance of life of the kind 'we' are used to perceive on earth...With the background of the story, our Sun, in the 'sky' (akash), or Brahma does not touuch the extreme end of the universal void, and similarly Vishnu (in patal or underground) the other diametric end...

Bart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bart said...

aIn Sanatana Dharma the sesame seed stands for immortality and the coconut palm tree is called 'kalpa vriksha', the wish-fulfilling tree, and is considered to be the tree which provides all the necessities of life.

The holy syllable 'Om' is the primordial form of 'aham', and implies God's Self-realization.

Very nice to experience how Tara inspires us to conduct mahavidya.

JC said...

Yes, on that note we can wish everyone a Happy Makar Sankranti!

Bart said...

Makar Sakranti ki haardik shubhkaamnaya!

We all --at least all those who are living in the northern hemisphere of the planet earth, are on our way back now from the darkness to the light.

JC said...

Bart, To add further, Makar Sankranti is also popularly called 'Til Sankranti', when til (sesame seeds) and gud (jaggery, which is normally prepared from sugar cane juice, but is also made from dates, (and called 'khajoor gud', which might have been in use originally) are eaten...And, as you mentioned, 'til' being considered symbolic of immorality, the story of Bhishm (son of Ganga) been granted the boon of 'ichchha mrityu', or deciding the time of his own death, and his eventually lying on a bed made by expert archer Arjuna (typical model of our Sun from which emanate sunrays, like arrows issue out rom the bow) during the battle of Mahabharat is celeberated at Ganga Sagar on Makar Sankranti Day ritually...

JC said...

The mention of Mela at Ganga Sagar, the island at the location where the Holy River Ganga (carrying waters of Yamuna and Brahmaputra also)drains into the Bay of Bengal, to scatter into different channels, brings into the mind the ancient belief of purifying of souls of 60,000 sons of King Sagar turned into ashes by Kapil Muni due to Indra tying the horse at Kapil Muni's Ashram located there (read with the hint regarding sun being related with Indra the rain-god, and also with Brahma),,,thus attractng pilgrims to that location on the Makar Sankranti for seeking liberation from birth-death-rebirth cycle (after bath in Ganga or Ganga Sagar where Ganga meets the sea!

Bart said...

Thanks JC. Yes, in the year-half the daylight-time is lengthening day by day the devas must be obviously victorious in their eternal war against the forces of darkness, the asuras. Bhishma's wish to stay alive until the days are elongating is an expression of this and his Vedic view on the all day reality.

Today the 16th it is Putrada Ekadasi, Childgift eleventh day. And parents can procure the children longevity or themselves when being childless off-spring, when they would have observed fast today.The next ekadasi is Shattila Ekadasi or six sesame-seeds eleventh day. The first moon-month is obviously devoted to longevity and immortality.

JC said...

The emergence of Ganga is indicated related with Moon (after its separation from earth, and functioning as an independent heavenly bodiy),,,and before the occurrence of this phenomenon perhaps, 'India' is indicated to have been called Jambudweep (from the bowels of which the Himalayas emerged), an island that would earlier also have its own established river system. The Gandak, for example, has a stretch that is called Budhi (ie, old) Gandak, thus indicating that particular stretch to have been in existence on Jambudweep as it is...Also, rivers Ganga (Bhagirathi?) and Yamuna (and Saraswati?) are believed to have drained into the Arabian Sea earlier,,,and the story regarding Bhagirath (grandson of King Sagar, literally sea! and existence of Bhagirathi in the present) and his efforts to take Ganga waters eastwards, to rejuvinate 60,000 sons of King Sagar turned into ashes by Sage Kapila, could also perhaps be visualised as an indication of the status after evolution of Moon (Parvati/ 'Mohini-form-of-Vishnu' as the source of Amrit or immortality of devtas, symbolically represented by sesame seeds (that are either black or white, as compared to mustard seeds that are black or red, related with Kali) from original Earth-Moon (Ardhnarishwar Shiva, to start with) itself...

'Six sesame seeds' also could perhaps help visualise the concept related to essence of six number members of our solar system present in the lower body, (that must be overcome to reach essence of moon in head), from tail-bone end that believably houses the essence of Mars,,, to Visuddhi chakra in the neck that believably houses essence of Shukra or Venus as the commander of the Asuras (that also is related with Kartikeya, the 'six-faced' one while Brahma has four faces only and is related with Sun whose essence is indicated in the solar plexus, in the centre of the belly)...The basic concept of 'enlightenment' or 'Kundalini Jagaran'...Perhaps indicating it as the proper time during this period...

Bart said...

Some myths have stated that sesame seed would have been emerged from the sweat-drops on Lord Vishnu's forehead. There exists also a connection between til or tila and tilak of tilaka. Maybe once one would have the habit to press some sesame seeds on one's mark between the eyebrows, just as one would use rice nowadays sometimes, or even even one has used sesame butter - in Sanskrit tilakaṭa! - once to mark one's forehead with a tilaka, as a symbol of the immortality of the soul.

"As oil in sesame seeds, as butter in cream, as water in springs, and as fire in the friction-sticks, so is the soul found in one's own self, if one looks for it with truthfulness and austerity. The soul which pervades all things, as butter is contained in cream, which is the root of self-knowledge and discipline--- this is God, the highest mystic doctrine! This is God, the highest mystic doctrine!" Tad Brahmopanishad param! (Svet. U. 1,15-16)

JC said...

Yes, sesame seed, or 'til', could perhaps have been seen as a reflection of Vishnu the Nadbindu, the dot whose closest reflection was visualised in the form of a 'bindi' in female foreheads (at Ajana chakra), representing zero or Vishnu housed at the centre of our earth,,,while a single line (number '1' representing Tara or sun, ie, Aditya) seen reflected in the tilak in red colour with white rice grains pasted over it representing white sunrays (?) particularly in hill states, such as Nepal even in the present ritually)...

Also, moles, found naturally on the human skin, are called 'til',,, and the wise ancients appear to have considered interpreting their meanings in human life depending on which part of the body they appear...the 'science' virtually forgotten in the present though, except from the point of view of enhancement of beauty in females, perhaps...

JC said...

One could perhaps visualise original earth in the past, as a (red) ball of fire within the dark space, represented by mustard seeds that are found either in black or red colour (that are believably used by tantriks to control souls at relatively inferior levels),,,and eventually, thanks to evolution of our Sun, coming from darkness to light, it appearing at any time one-half white and one-half black, represented by the 'til' or sesame seeds that are found either white or black in colour...

Kaushik said...

Speaking of the moon (from JCs “...that must be overcome to reach essence of moon in head”), the Shatapatha Brahmana equates the Moon with the the Celestial Dog, that which guards the Tree of Life. In folklore the world over, the dog is forever chasing the hare which tries to sneak into the barn/farm etc to steal. The Hare is universally regarded as the symbol of the outer man, the ego or the ever-changing personality which must be sacrificed to the inner man or the Self, symbolised by the Dog or Moon. Thus in Sanskrit, moon is Shashanka (Shasha=Hare), ‘Hare-marked’. This symbolism is also the behind the sport of Hare and Hounds, though the meaning is lost and only the amusement remains.
Ps: @JC: just Kaushik is fine, ‘Shri’ gives me an air of authority which I am not :)

JC said...

Hi kaushik! As one knows how the fables of Panchtantra, although make interesting reading, they in fact help educate even the layman the serious art of administrtion or 'Niti Shastra'...It thus could perhaps be seen as a practice at some time in the past to use simple stories for the benefit of the layman to get an insight into serios subjects also... Maybe thus the wise ancients conveyed the truth about yoga of a component of the one and only immortal (amrit) with with different mortal physical forms (the hound and the hare as you have indicated)...
The prefix 'Shri' is related with essence of Mars (Ganesha the vighnharta in Satyug, or Hanuman the sankatmochan in treta to indicate the continuity through the entire evolution process) that believably is housed at the Mooladhar, and also with Lakshami the goddess of wealth,,,that is, it conveys need to develop an all round personality...

JC said...

Krishna in the Gita says that anybody could reach Him! The 'present day scientists' apparently reached Him as 'Black Hole' (a hole, within the dark space of our ever expandng universe, that's believably located at the centre of our galaxy), a super gravity heavenly body that makes billions of stars, including our solar system, go around it for billions of years,,,as they estimate our solar system to be already over 4 billion-years-old and still going strong, giving us terrestrials, mortals with comparatively a negligible life span ('a flash in the pan'), also a feeling of immortality as long as one lasts! They however need lots of time yet to reach the truth...

However, advanced yogis in this part of the world in the past eventually realised man as a model of the infinite universe (a Big Zero) through the medium of nine numbers selected members of our solar system,,, from Sun to ring-planet Saturn, ie, Shani, called son of Sun, or 'surya-putra', that is, while Sun provides the energy that is absorbed by planets for various uses, the cold planet saturn's function it is to carry it upwards, to 'sahasrara chakra', or downwards, to 'mooladhar chakra' as its essence reflected by the Nervous System ('nadis')...Yogis realised that only in thoughtless stage it is possible to transfer all energy to the head ('sahasrara chakra', where essence of moon is believably housed) that results in 'enlightenment'...It's reflection can perhaps also be seen in animals also experiencing dreams at the third eye level ('ajana chakra') when in a state of rest (in Yogis) or sleep (even in inferior animals)...

The above-said sounds simple, but apparently perhaps needs years of 'tapasya', or control of mind, together with acquisition of knowledge in different fields, or/ rather the essence ('Satyam Shivam Sunderam'),,, as the natural functioning of human brain also indicates as its characteristic property when, for example, a spectator of a film after a long interval only might recall it as a good, bad, or so-so film (and thus man was called 'apsmara purush' the forgetful one, although an image of the Bhootnath Shiva Himself!)...
In the story, perhaps the 'hare' that escapes the 'hounds' (represented by the essences of six planets housed in the lower body chakras) and manages to reach the goal ie, the head where essence of moon is housed only can enjoy eternal bliss!

JC said...

The 'present day scientists' also have realised human brain as a much advanced or super analogical computer, whose inferior reflection is the man-made digital computer that helps us communicate with each other, utilising the binary system or just '0' and '1' based alphanumerical system...The process thus reqiures provisin of many external tools to be provided all over the world to make it possible to communicate with each other, located far and wide, within virtually no or zero time...and the wise ancients realised the presence of the one and only zero based supreme being as the root cause of the apparent physical universe, ie, it is formless, or one who is related with zero time and space...and thus the possibility of the physical universe as appearance of images in the third eye of Shiva, of creation and destructioon happened in zero time, but watched as 'action replay' during apparent time!

JC said...

Extract from a comment that 'I' recorded in a Hindi blog is also given below for information:

""ऐसा प्रतीत होता है कि प्राचीन भारत में किसी काल में, संभवतः अथक प्रयास द्वारा विचार-शून्य स्तिथि पर पहुँच, योगियों ने जो ध्यान लगा जाना, उसीके आधार पर उन्होंने सत युग से कलियुग तक चलने वाले (अथवा प्रतीत होते?) अनंत काल-चक्र को आम आदमी की जानकारी हेतु मानव जीवन के 'सत्य', (अथवा माया'?), को 'क्षीर सागर मंथन' की कथा, किन्तु 'विष (शून्य) से आरम्भ कर अमृत (अनंत) प्राप्ति' (कलियुग से सत्य युग तक), के माध्यम से सरल शब्दों में प्रस्तुत किया…जो कालान्तर में 'हिन्दू मान्यता' कहलाई गयी क्यूंकि उनकी गणना का आधार सूर्य के चक्र के भीतर ही 'इंदु' अथवा चन्द्रमा के चक्र को उच्चतम स्थान देना था...उन्होंने किसी भी साकार पिंड को दस दिशाओं द्वारा निर्धारित जान मानव को भी शून्य के प्रतिबिम्ब समान, अनंत में से एक, हमारी गैलेक्सी (चक्र समान) के केंद्र में उपस्थित शक्ति द्वारा चालित हमारे सौर-मंडल के ९ सदस्यों के सार से बना विष्णु (नादबिन्दू) का प्रतिरूप जाना ('नवग्रह' और 'अष्ट चक्र' के माध्यम से)...""

James Bond said...

I am new comer to your blog.So do not know most of the things.I want to know how can one reach Tarapith you mentioned I live some where in remote part of country.

Kavitha said...

Try this:

Tarapith By Train
Rampurhat is the nearest railway station to Tarapith. Railway station is located at a distance of about 6 km from Tarpith. Taxi services are available from railway station to Tatapith at a fare of about Rs 150. Rampurhat is connected to Howrah and Sealdah.