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Home >> Spiritual Leaders  >> Know Thyself: The abstract quality of time

Know Thyself: The abstract quality of time


In the next part of the Prasna Upanishad, the year is identified. The year is identified with the Lord of Creation, in such poetic forms.

Samvatsaro Vai Prajapatis, the Upanishads and the Vedas deal with the Universes and link them with the particulars which are larger than life. Year is an abstract concept of 365 days. We say ‘year after year’, ‘hundreds of years’. So, year is an expression.

Samvatsara means a period of time. Now, they say that the period of time by which you live, grow and die is none other than the Lord of Creation. The year verily is the Lord of Creation, of which there are two parts, the southern and the northern, which means the downward and the upward.

Those who verily worship, thinking sacrifice and pious acts are our work, live in the human world. They certainly return again. The sages who desire offspring take the southern route; this is what is called the path of the ancestors, which is only the path of matter.

So, now having said that the year is the Lord of Creation, the Rishi says in a very poetic expression that there are two ways of the year–either up or down. Either move through the northern path or the southern path. The northern path is denoted by the sun, and the moon denotes the southern path.

Now those Rishis, and those of us (the seekers) who do pious acts, who do charity, who sacrifice themselves for others, thinking that is the work that we should do, really win in the human world! But, they are not free of desire and, therefore, they return again. They are reborn. They don’t move towards absolute freedom.

Now, there is another path, the northern path, which is the upward path. It is the path taken by those who meditate, seeking the Supreme Truth.

Those sages who are desirous of offspring, who want their glory to continue on Earth, even after they are gone, take the southern route. Their aim is to be happy in this world and for their offspring to be happy in this world after they are gone.

This is the path most ancestors have followed and this is the path of material wellbeing. This is the path of coming back, again and again to this world.

Now, there is another path, the northern path, which is the upward path. It is the path taken by those who meditate, seeking the Supreme Truth.

In yogic terms, it is the movement of the aspiration, thought, concentration and energy towards the higher side or the lower side. Moving up and down the spine is the Mukya Prana, the Supreme energy.

When it goes down, it leads to material wellbeing. When it goes up, it leads to spiritual wellbeing.

I am deliberately not using the word Kundalini, because it would be misunderstood. It is the ascent and descent of consciousness in two different spheres–material and spiritual.


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