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Home >> Seeker’s Solace  >> Know thyself: The journey upwards

Know thyself: The journey upwards


The Rishi says, those who seek the true self, through austerity, chastity, faith and knowledge, they, by the Northern route–a journey that is upwards–gain the domain of the Sun. The Sun who shines in the uppermost reaches, and is the support of all life breaths. Mukya Prana, the Supreme Prana supports all other Pranas or movement of breath in the body.

When one has reached the end of the Northern path, the Sun, eternal and fearless–one does not have to come back into this world of sorrow. This is the final goal.

Etat parayanam etasman na punar avartanyte

Such people are not reborn. That is the final goal, parayanam. Na punaravartanyte–from that they do not return. This verse is about the cessation of conditioning. It is about those who have reached the Supreme abode, the Supreme Being–the true Self that frees one from being re-born again. Having reached the true Self, one remains eternally free and unconditioned.

About the Supreme Being, it is said they speak of him as the Father. The Father is the creator of all. The Being that has five feet and twelve forms, seated in the higher half of the heavens, full of water. And then again, others speak of him as the omniscient sitting on a chariot of seven wheels and six spokes. Now, this needs quite a bit of explanation.

Seven wheels and six spokes are all expressions that indicate the psychic system of the nadis that exist in the human body.

The Supreme abode is reached by those who follow the upward evolutionary path, the Northern path as it is called; by those who seek the self through austerity, chastity, faith and knowledge. They gain the Ultimate, who is called the Father, who possesses five feet (five seasons of the year) and twelve forms (twelve months of the year) and is seated in the higher parts of the heavens full of water.

Seven wheels and six spokes are all expressions that indicate the psychic system of the nadis that exist in the human body. In the Northern upward movement of the energy, the prana passes through the central channel, where it finally goes through the seven wheels or the seven chakras or the seven psychic centres, along the Sushumna Nadi until it reaches the highest heaven, which is the Sahasrara Chakra that is full of water.

The water here means apastatva, the tatva of liquidity, of movement identified with the Moon or the Soma. Having reached there, the Rishi is never unborn and he lives identified with the omniscient.

Again, the Rishi uses the simile of the month to explain creation. He says there are two halves of a month–the dark half and the good half.

In the good half, the seers, the Rishis perform sacrifices. Those who seek spiritual splendour or spiritual fulfilment or eternal freedom use the brighter half of the month. Those who look for matter or material fulfilment utilise the dark half of the month.

The idea is that there are two opposites, light and darkness. Eternal freedom–attaining the Supreme abode or the Supreme Being–is possible when one moves towards the light and abjures the darkness. All other symbols are used mainly to bring this fact out clearly. Day and night are the lords of creation.


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