Chakrapani Ullal

A message from the Office of Chakrapani Ullal:

Dear Friends,

With a heavy heart I must share with you the sad news of Chakrapani’s passing on Saturday, October 28.

Several months ago, he had warned us that this week would be very challenging. Yet, without fear, he continued to battle his disease. Sadly, it became apparent that despite our best efforts his condition was declining. There was a moment when Chakrapani indicated that it was his time to begin a new journey.

His final hours were serene and holy. His hospital room was converted into a kind of temple so that he was surrounded by a peaceful space, filled with the sounds, the aroma, and the vision of what was sacred to him. There was chanting from his native Mookambika Temple in South India which had a powerful transformative effect.

He was not afraid to go and never sought to remain here for himself, but rather wanted to be here for those who depended on him. He lived for others up until the very end.

I will follow up soon with more information. The Memorial will not be until the new year to accommodate those who need to make travel plans in order to attend.

Thank you again for your support and caring which made Chakrapani’s final challenge more bearable and which will make it easier to face the days ahead.

With love and gratitude,

Dianne Brown

© Michael Mamas. All rights reserved.

Yantra, Mantra, Tantra

Sri YantraOn a superficial level, a Yantra is a geometric representation of an aspect of divinity, i.e., a god or gods. On the deepest level of existence, a Yantra is a structure inherent in the field of Consciousness, the underlying basis of all existence. On that deepest level, Yantras are alive and dynamic. It might be compared to our skeletal system which has a precise structure, but still moves and is alive. In that sense, a Yantra and the corresponding god are one and the same. All Yantras are superimposed, with different personifications, different faces, of the same one God or gods.

Mantras are sounds inherent to the very nature of the structure of existence. Different Mantras correlate to different Yantras.

When those Mantras are recited in a precise manner, they enliven the quality, the value, of the corresponding Yantra. The technology of the implementation of those Mantras is called Tantra.

You might say that if Yantras can be compared to physics, i.e., nature, then Mantras might be compared to formulas, and Tantra might be compared to technologies that implement those formulas to enliven the value inherent in the nature of the Yantras. Take, for example, a Lakshmi Yantra. It could be said that that Yantra is Lakshmi. A Lakshmi Mantra would then enliven the dynamics and functionality of the nature of Lakshmi. And the implementation of that Mantra would provide a technology that would have a Lakshmi influence upon the world.

© Michael Mamas. All rights reserved.

The Power of Choosing the Right Mantra

Choosing the Right Mantra - Michael MamasI just posted a new article on my blog. It begins:

I was once asked the following:

“People say that Mantras are different names of God. Not being particularly religious, I’m uncomfortable with that. Is it true that Mantras are all different names of God? When we meditate on a Mantra, are we being indoctrinated into some religious approach without even being told?”…

Read more:
“The Power of Choosing the Right Mantra”

Related: Vedic Mantras.

© Michael Mamas. All rights reserved.

Mahashivarathri at Mount Soma

Today is Mahashivarathri and the feeling at Mount Soma is wonderful. Everybody is outside preparing for the festivities. Right now, it almost feels like Fourth of July here at Mount Soma: friendship, community, spirituality, festivities, springtime… we have it all!

Mahashivarathri Preparations

© Michael Mamas. All rights reserved.

Scientific Proof, Vedic Knowledge, and Cognition

PradakshinaSomeone asked if there was any scientific validation of the Vedic practice of Pradakshina. This brings up a very important principle:

The mechanics of existence is highly complex with an infinite number of moving parts or, said another way, it is a multi-variable equation. One such variable is time. There can be a very short, or very long time lag between cause and effect. The scientific method, on the other hand, works best when the number of moving parts (variables) is limited so the relationship of a couple things can be analyzed while everything else is rigidly fixed (held constant). The problem is that nature does not work that way. All parts are usually moving all the time. That is particularly true in abstract and complex relationships. As a result, the subtleties of life often elude the scientific method. For example, we know we have thoughts and we know what they are. But the scientific approach is not capable of reading one’s thoughts. Yet we know a person has thoughts and can know what those thoughts are but only by communicating with the person.

The Vedic approach to gaining knowledge, at least at some point, eludes the scientific method. However, the scientific method can to a point validate the Vedic approach. Such a rational and scientific approach to Vedic knowledge opens doors to a world of knowledge. However, it takes dedication of time to study, patience, and over and above all else it requires a sincere and humble willingness to look beyond the limitations of ones identity with the way they have held their viewpoints throughout their life. Ultimately then, paradigm identity is a great obstacle to such learning.

Fortunately, we do not have to abandon our identity with the scientific rational approach to open ourselves to Vedic Knowledge. In fact, we can use it. By rationally beginning with and reflecting upon the basic principles, an understanding and appreciation of Vedic Knowledge develops.

Similarly, at first a child studying mathematics may feel it makes no sense, but with study they come to appreciate and understand it. They then come to learn that their math teacher knows more than they do about the subject. When the next area of the child’s math study comes along, they are more willing and dedicated to working with it. They know the knowledge is there, but it requires time to understand. With the proper approach to Vedic Knowledge, things like Pradakshina are appreciated.

The study ultimately leads to the crux of the matter, a principle called ‘cognition’. Vedic Knowledge was ‘cognized’. Cognition is something ancient seers (Rishis) did long ago. By refining their awareness, they were able to see more deeply within the mechanics of creation, in other words, to cognize it. By studying the basics of Vedic Knowledge we come to appreciate the validity of those cognitions.

At some point (just as a math student appreciates the knowledge of the teacher) we come to appreciate the fact that those cognitions provide us with knowledge that we may not be able to verify with the scientific method. At the same time, so much of what we learned from our Vedic studies compels us to being open to what the Rishis have given us. This can rub the western mind the wrong way. Do we have to accept something on faith that cannot be proven to us??!! However, it is not really on faith. Like the math student, we come to realize that the teacher knows something we do not. However in the case of Vedic knowledge, attaining that level of understanding is far beyond simply taking a few courses at a university.

This does not mean we should abandon our rationality. A great deal of superstition and wrong understanding has permeated the world of spirituality around Vedic Knowledge. With so many moving parts and profound subtleties, the knowledge easily slips through our fingers. So we must remain discerning. At the same time, we gain a great deal by remaining open, knowing that great knowledge is there if we approach the field of Vedic Knowledge wisely. At that point, the knowledge and practice of things such as Pradakshina are not based upon blind faith. Rather they are based upon a deep appreciation for the source and validity of that knowledge.

© Michael Mamas. All rights reserved.