Sunday, February 11, 2018

Shudra (Part 5.)

To come down to the human state and go back—ascend to the original state completes the circle; to ascend is the duty of a human being. To become second from the one and become one once again is to complete the work for which the second came into existence. Only coming down to the human state is not completing the task.” The Talks of Sadguru Upasani Maharaja, Volume 1, Part A, page 35

How is it possible to understand anything rightly if the whole picture is not seen first? Is this why sleeping man seems unable to understand himself and the creation and God? If life is viewed as an end in itself, rather than as a means to an end, then how is it possible to understand rightly the meaning and purpose of birth and death, happiness and misery, failure and success—all of the dualities and all of the apparent contradictions?  And so it is the work Avatar and the Perfect Masters to continue remind us of the meaning and purpose of the state we find ourselves in. Consider the title of Meher Baba’s book, God Speaks—The Theme of Creation and Its Purpose.

The Avatar and the Perfect Masters are very practical. They know our precarious position better than anyone. They know that until the Goal is reached we will continue to miss the mark—the word in the New Testament is hamartia—the word that has been translated into English as sin. As Meher Baba said, “Illusion appears to me most real and God appears to be most unreal!” And so the Avatar and the Perfect Masters keep reminding us even though, or perhaps because, as Kabir put it, “Until you experience it, it is not true.”

No doubt the Indian caste system of today is degenerated and has become obsolete. In His life and work, Meher Baba demonstrated again and again that all souls are equal in the eyes of God—giving no importance to caste, creed, or religious affiliation. So the purpose of this series of posts titled Shudra is not to promote or justify the caste system, but to recognize what it was designed to do in a different time and for a specific period of time. For although times and cycles of time continue to change, seemingly endlessly, the meaning and purpose of creation remains the same, and it is for this purpose alone that Upasani Maharaj’s talk is of the utmost value and importance. Can we call it a prodding to awaken?

We lower a pail in the well, but this is not completing the task; only when we raise it up full of water and bring it to the surface is the task of obtaining water is completed. To lower the bucket is effortless—it just slips down. Descent is natural and effortless, but to raise it up requires effort and time. Upon raising it up we get the water for which we used the pail.

“Descent and ascent are required to complete any task, and in that too, the two actions are always opposed to each other; this is the Siddhanta. Exactly like the descent of Bliss to the primary human state—the Shudra—is only half the task—the effortless part of it; the second part of the task is to make efforts and realize one’s Self—attain the Bliss—the original state of one’s Self—this is the effortful part of the task.” – Ibid. page 35

So lowering the pail takes no effort, but raising the pail does—makes sense—seems clear—but how does it apply? Perhaps each and every soul has its own way—its own path. There are as many paths to God as there are souls in creation.

A Buddhist teacher once said, “Truth is like the hub of the wheel. Spoke from the hub fan out to the rim. At the rim the spokes are very far apart, but as they move to the center—the hub—they come closer and closer till at the center they become one.”

The mind thinks effortlessly and who would deny that for the average person the vast majority of these thoughts are concerned with life and life’s problems. To think about God—to remember God—takes effort and the efforts that are most efficacious are according to unique impressions—sanskaras—gathered by each soul’s mind during the course of the evolution of its consciousness.

Meher Baba often explained, that once the consciousness of the soul reaches the human form, that consciousness is full and complete and is capable of realizing God but doesn’t, because of the burden of sanskaras gathered during the evolutionary process that cling to the mind like dust on a mirror.
Since the matrix of impressions are different due to the uniqueness of each souls journey, the efforts necessary to remove those sanskaras will necessarily be different, and even different for the same soul at different stages of it journey. This is why there are many religions and many teachings and many isms and non-isms.

Alas, don’t tell me the Christians are lost,
Don’t tell me the Jews are lost,
Don’t tell met the Infidels are lost.
Alas my brother, you are lost,
That is why everyone else seems lost!” – Rumi

(To be continued.)

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