I haven’t had a lot to say lately. I think it is because everything I feel like blogging about seems completely trite, and I do not wish to intentionally subject you to the trite. What I set out to do on this blog was a bit of a timeline of my spiritual progress as I go forward and to record a timeline of my past to how I got here. And I’ve done a bit of that. But at some point I may have gotten off track and just making random observations which said nothing about either. Just posts for the good ol’ fashioned helluvit.
And I suppose that is fine. But I was inspired recently by reading the many interpretations of the Buddhist mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum”, one of which is “Behold!The jewel in the heart of the lotus!” This itself is enough to make one want to refocus one’s meditations back to the source, the inner Self, to rediscover what is there.
Funnily, last week I went shopping around for some greenery to put in my cubicle at work to keep my workspace fresh, to remind myself of Lord Vishnu and Prithvi Devi. One of the first plants that really caught my eye was a very small one, only coverin about 4 inches by 4 inches in breadth. It was a green plant, no flowers, but its form is just like a lotus flower. They’d just watered the plants at this shop so there was a bead of water, which the inner leaves had captured. With the light hitting it the way it did, it looked exactly like a jewel at the center of the lotus.
I bought it.
I am gaining more inspiration from Buddhism than ever before, through friends, and through books, and through experience. None of which is in any way confusing me as to what my true path is. It only adds color and flavor if you will, to my experience.
Though I have recently tinkered with the idea that I am more of a Smarta Hindu who happens to choose Vishnu as his Ishtadevata, as we all are free to do according to Smartism. I make this distinction in opposion to the label of “Vaisnav” because I am finding that definition way too limiting. Limiting to the idea of the preeminence of Krishna (as opposed to Vishnu, and certainly as opposed to any other deity), to the preeminence of bhakti, and many other reasons. I have found value in bhakti, but could never see it as the only way to transcendance. Yoga is a verb to me, and that means action. As such, I cannot see my path toward moksha as a personal, individual exercise.
I keep coming back to the phrase “We’re in this together.” What that means is working out one’s karma can not be fully worked out by personal devotional practice in solitude. Not fully. Several of the epithets for Vishnu begin with the prefix “bhu-” which refers to the world, or the Earth. As opposed to, I am told, Ganesha being Aum personified, and Shiva being the consciousness personified. So though we work in the world and are not “of” the world whether we are Ganpataye, Shaivite, or Vaisnav, you’d think that Vaisnavs would have a particular interest in connecting to the world at large.
And so, what we have is a revisiting of the jewel in the heart of the Self, the ground of all Being, Brahman, but a reminder that it must be an outward (1) experience, (2) expression.
Jai Hari Om Mani Padme Hum!