I’ve been asked to comment on the meaning behind on the story of Lila in the Yoga Vasistha. My favorite book on the Yoga Vasistha is called The Concise Yoga Vasistha by Swami Venkatesananda. You can access the ebook version of the Concise Yoga Vasistha here.
Now to the explanation: Imagine a deck of cards sitting upon a table, each card neatly stacked, one on top of another. Though there is a sequence to the order of the cards (top card, one below it, another below that, etc.), they are all superimposed on each other. This can be compared to the sequentiality of the Veda itself. Modern physicists tell us that within the unified field (the Transcendent, i.e., pure Consciousness), there is no time, nor is there space. Space and time are an attribute of relative existence. ‘Before’ the manifestation of existence, there was no space and no time. Within the Transcendent, sequentiality and simultaneity are one and the same. Also, the notion of separation inherent in space collapses down to the unification of all that is.
The universe manifesting can be compared to spreading a deck of cards out across the table, across the face of space and time. Now imagine that each card represents a lifetime with its own place in space (location in the universe) as well as its own place in the sequentiality of time.
In the story of Lila, Sarasvati freed Lila from the bondage of one lifetime, as well as the notion that lifetimes take place through the sequentiality of time. Within the Absolute (the Transcendent, the Veda), all lifetimes, and in fact all that is, exist simultaneously within Consciousness. Consciousness is the Transcendent. Everything exists within that one Consciousness. Consciousness equals ‘Is-ness.’
Divine Intellect (Sarasvati) can be compared to the structure and order of a piano keyboard. Lila (Divine Play) dances upon that keyboard. This is why Sarasvati holds a Veena (musical instrument) in her hands. It is appropriate then that Sarasvati (Divine Intellect) taught this nature and structure of existence to Lila (Divine Play), thusly revealing Lila’s own true nature to her.
Sarasvati, by giving Lila the experience of simultaneity of all events, frees Lila from bondage to the limitation of awareness. She thusly frees her and enlightens her.
Panditji, Lakshmi, and I have talked about how late at night when the air is so still here at Mount Soma, if you listen very carefully you can hear the mantras as if being chanted from deep within the forest. Similarly, it is said that when submerged deep within the ocean you can hear the sound Om resonating within.
Today is an absolutely beautiful fall day. The wind is still and the fall colors are stupendous. Standing outside overlooking the temple, I could hear what sounded like ten pandits chanting. I thought it must be a recording that Panditji was playing in the temple. Or perhaps it was being played in the meditation hall. But then I realized it was the sound of stillness in the forests here. It was so soft. I held my breath to hear it better. Beautiful…
I have for many years been fascinated by the idea that the Aranyaka of the Veda is associated with the forest. Was it because the Rishis who cognized the Aranyakas dwelled within the deep forests? But today it was clear. When the environment is pure the forest itself makes the sound of the Veda, the Aranyakas. After all, the Veda IS nature, that which is heard, the sounds of nature. The Aranyakas are quite literally the sounds of the forest.
We are so blessed. At Mount Soma, the deepest value of life, of nature, of Veda are becoming enlivened. When you visit here, if you are still and listen very carefully, you can hear it.
HuffingtonPost.com just published another one of my articles. It begins:
“An ancient Seer sits in his cave atop a mountain. From deep within his being where he is one with everything, the subtle impulses underlying all of life flow through him and out his vocal cords.
“The ancient Seers awoke to that one Transcendental thing that is the source of everything, the source of their souls, which then allowed the song that it sings to emerge pure and unfettered from within them. The ancients called this “cognition”—the highest, yet most elusive, form of knowing”…
I recently received a lovely email regarding the Vedas. The question came up regarding Truth and contradiction. The idea was that Truth is free of contradiction so any contradictions are non-Truths.
In a sense, this is certainly true. However, this is the world of paradox and contradictions. Paradox and contradiction finds resolution in the depth, not on the surface. In that sense then, Truth does not exist on the surface of life, but in the depth. All paradoxes and contradictions find resolution in the Transcendent, in the depth. Even within the Veda, this is of course addressed. The Shiva Puranas declare Shiva to be the highest of all the Gods. The Vishnu Puranas declare Vishnu to be the highest of all the Gods. On the surface that appears to be a contradiction. In fact, many see such ‘contradictions;’ permeating the Veda and reject it. Yet by looking more deeply within Vedic Knowledge, such apparent contradictions do exquisitely find their resolution.
The second idea in the email involved the idea that pictures of God vary from temple to temple and are therefore not correct since only one can be right. Of course, no picture of God or anything else is totally accurate, so that idea is correct. At the same time, all pictures of God point in a direction, toward the Formless, the Transcendental, the Divine and in that sense they can all be ‘correct’. Furthermore, the One God has many faces.
I humbly do very much appreciate such heartfelt and reflective emails and invite others.