Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Day 26: Spiritual Initiation

The theme of this entire retreat is, “Co-creating a New World,” a world of peace, love and harmony. Often we hear the statement, “Go light up your world, light up your world with the light from within,” and the symbol of light is used. It is a very powerful symbol on the spiritual path. We see light in many spiritual ceremonies. It has the power to drive away the darkness. The light of the sun drives away the darkness of the night. And light is a very nourishing quality.

Illuminating qualities of spiritual being

If we are going to light up the world with the light from within, then we need to understand what this “light within” means. What is this light within us and how can we light up our world with this light? The light within us is our spiritual being. We hear the statement that, “We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” Spiritual being is a light being, it is a being that radiates light. Light is energy: it has radiance, illuminating qualities, and it has warmth. Your spiritual being has those qualities.

When your spiritual being becomes awakened, love of a different nature comes into your space. What happens when love enters the space: eyes become brighter; touch becomes different; words become different; presence becomes different. When spiritual being is awakened, understanding comes, wisdom comes. When understanding comes in a situation, how does the “I” look? How does the being feel? When you understand something, when you feel wisdom coming into the space, how do you feel? Wisdom has this illuminating quality; love has this illuminating quality.

When love comes into a space, it brings a kind of warmth, a kind of comforting feeling in a space. Your spiritual being has these qualities. Have you noticed? These are certainly different qualities to when you have only physical consciousness, and there is no consciousness of spirit. Human warmth is there but it is certainly different from the warmth of spiritual being. Can you distinguish the difference between just physical warmth and spiritual warmth; physical love and spiritual love; spiritual wisdom and just the wisdom of an ordinary physical brain, or the knowledge? Spirit has these illuminating and comforting qualities.

Process and stages of spiritual awakening

My point today is how is this awakened in us? And when it is awakened, what happens? We call this “Initiation.” Something new happens inside, a change happens, a rebirth happens. With spiritual awakening, there is a rebirth, there is a change, there is rebirthing. If you have experienced that sort of spiritual rebirthing, you need to revisit that and see what happened there. There is a shift from darkness into light.

This rebirthing process can have different stages - and I am going to divide this in three stages - so you can have different kinds of initiation along the way. You would have heard me speak of the Granthis before. I am going to use the same analogy: the Brahma Granthi; the Vishnu Granthi, and; the Rudra Granthi. Granthi means knot. I am going to use this to show three stages on the journey and three different kinds of initiations. It is important, that ‘our light’ begins to emerge.

Brahma Granthi

In the first stage of initiation, we are in body consciousness and we begin to feel some sort of tremor of spirituality or spiritual consciousness. We become like a human being having a spiritual experience, not a spiritual being having a human experience. We become a human being having a spiritual experience. “Oh, I can feel something different. I do not know what it is but I can feel something different and it feels good, it feels comforting.” Brahma granthi. It is the creation of some new feeling in us, another possibility. Then we get into some kind of worship in this recognition. We are still held in human consciousness, but we are aware there is some kind of spirituality that exists, some Great Being that exists, some new dimension that exists.

Vishnu Granthi

After we continue to do that for a while from that sort of initiation, then comes another level of initiation, where we begin to feel that there is some kind of presence in us, that there is some kind of spiritual energy in us, and when we worship, or we give our attention to spirituality, it wakes up more. We can identify a spiritual self in us, but we associate that with whatever created the awakening, whether it is a Guru, whether it is a symbol of God or image of God, we attribute this awakening and experience to that. We hold onto it for support and we believe that only in holding on to this are we supported. We feel a spiritual being in us, a spiritual identity in us, but we give the attention to the support, and we hold on to the support. We feel without that support, this cannot be nourished.

We are in the stage of the Vishnu granthi. This is a new level where we are supported; Vishnu is the supporting energy, so we are supported. Our worship, our spiritual practice becomes giving attention to the outside support. This continues for quite a while, because we enjoy this experience, and we sometimes do not think of even going further. We do not want to take responsibility; we prefer to give the responsibility to someone else. We are very much in contact with this God in terms of our worship and communication and we want to stay there, we are happy with that.

Rudra Granthi

At some stage, we may find this not enough, that we do not want to be so dependent on something on the outside, because if that contact is loose for whatever the reason may be, we feel loss, we feel separate, and we do not feel that this is the fullness of light, of energy, of communication, of spirituality. That is where the last stage of initiation comes, where we begin to identify with that power, and begin to believe in the possibility that we can be the light, that the light is not just something on the outside of us that we need to look at and stay with, but we begin to believe that the light is me. “I am the light.” That is when the Rudra granthi is pierced. We begin to own the light and we begin to own our journey. We begin to feel that we can make this journey now because we feel supported by a Higher Power. We are in the Higher Power; our existence is in the Higher Power. This becomes the last initiation in the journey where we take responsibility, knowing the power is behind us, but we feel very responsible.

Enter the space of our own light

This is the way that we become lit up inside in different stages. How do we become the light? It is in stages. Now if you observe your own life, what stage are you in? What are the other stages possible for you? Do you want to take full responsibility for your light? Or do you want to continue to depend on that which is outside? Or do you think that you are just a physical being, having a spiritual experience? On the first stage, you begin to know that you are a spiritual being having a human experience. In the second stage, you believe there is a spiritual being within you, but you are still caught up in the humanity, and you are using that spiritual being to support the humanity. In the last stage, it is the spiritual being that is holding the humanity and driving the humanity.

This is the process of initiation, and this is what is possible from the Source through which this initiation comes, whether it is a Guru or whether it is the Supreme itself. Sometimes we need different Gurus for the different stages of this journey. But this is how we begin to enter that space of our own light and it is only this way that we can light up our world, by experiencing the light from within.

This is the process of spiritual initiation. It is important to observe your own process, see where you are, see where you want to go, and begin to look at the process of how to do that. This is why Gurus are important for that initiation. This is why spiritual groups are important for that initiation. But we need to understand the process of initiation and the stages of initiation. I leave you with that today. How do we light up inside? How does our spiritual being come alive?

Become the light fully

The only way that we can light up the world is when we begin to realise that we are the light and we can take charge to keep that light shining brightly in all our interactions with our world.

Let us become aware of our light and let us strive to become fully the light. Grace is always there in support of this process.

Have a blessed day. Namaskar.

2 Comments/Questions:

Anonymous said...

GOOD STUFF!!! Even though these ideas are not new but covered so nicely and in so much detail! wow! So much material this year!Amazing that we can really light up the world. Its not always easy to accept that we can in reality be the light you know. But learning that it takes feeling and using the power to make a different decision in our every day life situations that can make this happen is eye opening and moving in a way i cannot describe. I am eager to learn more about taking charge of the process and even more eager to own the power to do this!!!

Anonymous said...

I thought it was interesting that the Guru said spirit has a comforting quality. This, I think is why many of us are attracted to the Guru and we love to be around him. Indeed, when I feel battered by the world just being in his presence has been such a deep comfort over the years. Its wonderful to think that I can tap within myself to experience that comfort. Even this idea alone, is powerful. God Bless our Guruji.:-)