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Parapsychology - Book of the Penitence of Adam

 



What Is The Book of the Penitence of Adam?


A manuscript dealing with kabalistic heritage that may be found at the Arsenal Library in Paris.

Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal


It tells how Adam's first two sons, Cain and Abel, typify physical power and intelligence, respectively, and how Adam's heritage was handed down to his third son, Seth.

Seth was allowed to proceed as far as the Earthly Paradise's gate without being threatened by the guardian angel's flaming sword, indicating that he was an occult science adept.



He saw the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge, which had grafted themselves together to create a single tree.



Some critics say this represents the Kabala's harmony of science and religion.





Seth was given three seeds from this tree by the guardian angel, who instructed him to deposit them in the mouth of his father, Adam, when he died.

The blazing bush emerged from this planting, from which God revealed his holy name to Moses and from which Moses produced his miraculous wand.

This was put in the Ark of the Covenant and was subsequently planted on Mount Zion by King David, where it grew into a triple tree that was ultimately chopped down by Solomon to build the pillars Jachin and Boaz that stood at the Temple's entrance.

A third piece was placed at the big gate's threshold as a talisman, preventing any impure item from entering the sanctuary.

However, some evil priests took it away, weighed it down with stones, and tossed it into the Temple reservoir, where it was guarded by an angel who kept it hidden from men's eyes.

The reservoir was emptied during Christ's time, and a beam of wood was uncovered and put across the stream Kedron, which the Savior crossed after being apprehended in the Garden of Olives.

His executioners took it and turned it into a crucifix.

This mythology is very similar to the ones that led to the creation of the Holy Grail.

The wood, by whose instrumentality Adam, the first man, fell, restores man.

The belief that the Cross was a branch of the Tree of Knowledge was popular in the Middle Ages, and it may be found in the twelfth-century Quete del St. Graal, which is attributed to Walter Map but was most likely just modified by him.

The allegory found in the Book of the Penitence of Adam, which enriches and sheds substantial light on the whole kabalistic literature, embodies all of the Kabala's traditions.


~Kiran Atma




Parapsychology - Who Was Frater Achad?

 





Charles Stansfeld Jones (1886–1950), a British magician and novelist who resided in Cana cay and formed the Fellowship of Ma-Ion, used this mystical name.

He was a disciple of the magician Aleister Crowley, who named him his magical child.

Jones is to be differentiated from theosophical writer George Graham Price, who channeled two popular writings under the alias Frater Achad, Melchizedek Truth Principles (1963) and Ancient Mystical WhiteBrotherhood (1971).

Apart from channeling the two works, nothing is known about Price's life.





Bonner, Margerie Lowry said that while working on Under the Volcano, he started to research the theosophists' canon, which included P.D. Ouspensky, Swedenborg, Blake, James, Böhme, and Yeats, as well as A.E. Waite, Eliphas Levi, Madame Blavatsky, and, by chance, Frater Achad. 


Charles Stansfeld-Jones – a white magician and author of Cabbalistic books and treatises under the name Frater Achad – appeared at Lowry's Dollarton shack and began a long friendship with him, during which time Lowry experimented with astral body projection, the I Ching, and Yoga, and studied the Tree of Life, a reproduction of which was hung on a wall in the shack. 




Lowry discontinued his research after months of immersion for fear of "opening doors that should stay locked." [Originally published in Perle Epstein's The Private Labyrinth of Malcolm Lowry. 

Holt, Reinhart, and Winston, New York, 1969.] While Lowry finished the first draft of Under the Volcano in 1940 before meeting Stansfeld-Jones, he subsequently claimed that he met a Cabbalist at a "critical and serendipitous time in the composition of the novel." Since the receiving of the Book of the Law, Achad has been regarded as the most notable Catholic Thelemite. 


This is because Frater Achad converted to Roman Catholicism in 1928, 19 years after entering the A.A. as a Probationer. 

Achad's claim to fame as a Thelemite—and the reason orthodox Thelemites must contend with him even if they believe his curious researches are mistaken or dangerous—is that he discovered the qabalistic "key" to the Book of the Law, prompting Aleister Crowley to rename the book Liber AL vel Legis instead of Liber Legis. 

This finding was recounted in Achad's magical notebook, Liber 31, which was eventually released. 

Crowley used this insight to consecrate Achad as his magical son, as prophesied in the Book of the Law, and to acknowledge his claim to the Thelemic grade of Magister Templi, or "Babe of the Abyss." However, by the 1920s, Crowley had become disillusioned with his son and successor due to some Achad writings. 

Achad's experiment with changing the courses of the qabalistic Tree of Life was documented in his 1922 Q.B.L.; or the Bride's Reception. 




The Egyptian Revival, published in 1923, and The Anatomy of the Body of God, published in 1925, continued Achad's work. 

To put it plainly, Crowley thought such attempts were foolish. 

Achad was also a member of the Worldwide Brotherhood, an esoteric group that claimed to share universal religious and philosophical knowledge, as well as a "true transcript" of the objective cosmos, by this time. 

Many occultists, including Crowley, thought the convoluted UB system was a "scam" or, worse, a cover for the Catholic Church's infiltration of occult organizations (for more on the UB, see the recent article in the O.T.O. anthology Success is Your Proof). 


Many high-ranking members of the UB converted to Catholicism when it was founded by Merwin-Marie Snell, a Catholic comparative religion professor. 

Crowley and Achad ultimately lost communication, and Achad was expelled from the Order of the Temple

Jones, on the other hand, never stopped thinking about his status as Crowley's magical offspring, and Thelema's revelations remained a major element of his spiritual worldview. 

Following Crowley's death, Achad corresponded with Crowley's executor Gerald Yorke in a lengthy series of letters. 

The letters "announced the arriving of the Aeon of Maat" in April 1948, and "from this point onwards the communication contains information recording the development of the new Aeon which Jones had discovered, and exploring its consequences and implications," according to Starfire. 





An Aeon is governed by a central spiritual idea or formula as well as the god-form that personifies that idea, according to Crowley's Thelemic system. 

It lasts about 2,000 years (coinciding with the precession of the equinoxes) and is ruled by a central spiritual idea or formula as well as the god-form that personifies that idea. 

The Aeon of Horus, which began in 1904 with Crowley's receiving of Liber AL vel Legis, is controlled by Horus, the god's crowned and victorious offspring, and will last for thousands of years. 

Yet, like Achad, some unconventional Thelemites have accepted the possibility of a premature dawning of the Aeon of Maat—for example, Kenneth Grant in his Typhonian Trilogies, the Thelemic magical order Ordo Adeptorum Invisiblum, and Nema, whose received text Liber Pennae Penumbra and system of Maat magick is perhaps the most influential result of Maatian speculations. 



The greatest description of these modern currents in theoretical occultism is Don Karr's book Approaching the Kabbalah of Maat


Despite the fact that Achad's announcement of the Aeon of Maat influenced a number of important occultist researchers in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, his Maatian revelation does not appear to follow from his books, his Catholic conversion, or his involvement with (and eventual leadership of) the UB. 

To truly comprehend the importance of an early Aeon of Truth and Justice—the spiritual concepts symbolized by the god-form of Maat—one must first understand the qabalistic implications of Achad's 1920s views. 

Among early twentieth-century occultists, Achad is possibly the most pro-materialist. 



Unlike many Gnostics, Neo-Buddhists, and Theosophists of the time, Achad believes in a material universe infused with spirit—sacramentally infused, if you will. 


This is in line with the Universal Brotherhood's philosophical realism principles. 

It also corresponds to Achad's extreme qabalistic theories. 

Unlike other qabalists, Achad's multifaceted image of the Tree of Life's primeval fall and eschatological restoration resembles a cosmic fulfillment process rather than a myth of transgression and forgiveness. 

This is something he shares with the modernist Catholic thinkers of his day. 

Idealism and Materialism must join and go hand in hand if a new Civilization is to be established, argues Achad in The Anatomy of the Body of God. 





The Soul of Humanity is the connection that binds everything together. 


Our physical bodies are nothing to be ashamed of, but they would be useless without the Spirit and Will that give them life and action. 

On the other hand, we should not be so timid and selfish as to want to be re-absorbed into Spirit, as if the whole Creative Plan had been a waste of time and should have never been undertaken in the first place. 

No! Let us offer gratitude in our hearts for both our bodies and our spirits, and let us use both properly and to the full extent of our abilities. 

Over the course of the 1920s, Achad's writings became more oriented on the immanent fulfillment of God's Kingdom, a perspective that would be dubbed "realized eschatology" in Christian theology. 

"We must take into the inheritance of Freedom that has been provided for us in the Father's Kingdom upon Earth," says Anatomy, "and begin to construct a 'Living Temple, not created with hands, everlasting in the Heavens'—on Earth." The rousing proclamation, There is a space reserved for every one of you, Here and Now, finishes the book's introduction. 



Everything has its place when everything is placed in its place. 


Take up your positions in the Kingdom of the Ever-Coming Son, fulfill yourself in the fulfillment of God's Will inside you, and demonstrate to those who are still in the dark outside that there is space for everyone who are willing to maintain their place and stop attempting to usurp others'. 

Frater Achad's knowledge of the approaching Kingdom of God is based on his interpretation of Qabalah's cosmic processes. 

In the orthodox Thelemic schema, the Egyptian deity forms Isis—Osiris—Horus correlate to Binah—Kether-Chokmah—and Tiphereth, respectively. 

Malkuth, the Material Kingdom, is represented by Maat, who completes the four-part sequence. 



The four letters of the Hebrew Tetragrammaton, IHVH—Osiris (I), Isis (H), Horus (V), with Maat (final H) completing the sequence—can also be ascribed to the Aeons. 


In most texts on Hermetic Qabalah, the letters of the Tetragrammaton fulfill a cosmic story. 

The fallen Daughter (Heh final) must combine with the Son (Vav) to ascend to the level of Heh prime, establishing the Daughter/Malkuth on the throne of Binah, the Mother, in order to restore the Tree of Life to its pre-Fall condition (Heh prime). 

The Mother then "arouses the active power of THE FATHER, and these twain being UNITED, everything is RE-ABSORBED into THE CROWN," as Achad describes in Q.B.L. 

As a result of Malkuth's union with Kether, the eschatological kingdom is realized on Earth, fulfilling God's goal for creation. 

The salvation economy of Mary, a Daughter of Israel and child of the earth, conceiving the Son, the Christos, by the Holy Spirit, then being joined with God the Father in her Coronation as the Mother of Heaven, may be expressed in the Catholic system. 

Through the inbreaking of the eschatological Kingdom in the event of Jesus Christ, the Son's Incarnation thus redeems Malkuth's material world—represented in miniature by Mary. 


Through the Eucharistic Mass, Catholics engage in this reality—the eschaton made manifest here and now in fulfillment of God's design. 


Many orthodox Thelemites have proposed bizarre explanations for why Frater Achad would ever switch to the Roman Church, including insanity, a desire to convert the Church to Thelema's Law, or being lost in the Abyss as a Black Brother. 

Achad, on the other hand, offers a different reason for his strange conversion: Achad needed to be escorted to the Temple's opposite Pillar in order to discover the secrets of the R[oman] Catholic Church. 

He joined the Church as an orthodox member and obtained his first communion during Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, 1928. 

This step, and only this step, resulted in the start of the Initiations and Ordeals that were to follow, as per Liber Legis. 

(Jones, letter to Gerald Yorke and Albert Handel, May 6, 1948; cited in Hymenaeus Beta, Prolegomenon to Aleister Crowley's Liber Aleph, Second Edition, Hymenaeus Beta, Prolegomenon to the Second Edition, Hymenaeus Beta, Prolegomenon to the Second Edition, Hymenaeus Beta, Prolegomenon to the Second Edition, Hymenaeus Beta, Pro Achad was poised to herald the beginning of the Aeon of Truth and Justice—the eschatological Kingdom realized on earth, glyphed in esoteric terms by the goddess Maat and glyphed in the New Testament by St. John the Divine's vision of the New Jerusalem: Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, since the previous heaven and earth had vanished, and the sea had vanished as well. 

And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, descending down from God like a bride adorned for her husband (Revelation 21:1-3) This is the banquet for the bride—the New Jerusalem has come down to earth, the divine has become one with the mundane world. 

"Jones relayed the news of his 1932 Silver Star Ordeal not only to Crowley, but also to the Catholic Church," states Hymenaeus Beta. 

Achad considered his initiations into this new New Aeon as vital to both the occult world and the Catholic Church. 

"He came to believe that the Aeon of Horus was coming to an end, and that a new Aeon of Truth and Justice, ruled by the Egyptian goddess Maat (or Ma), was about to begin." Achad's conversion allowed him to participate in the Church's sacramental life. 

This implies he took part in the Eucharist, with his first Mass being the Christmas 1928 Mass commemorating the Incarnation. 

For Catholics, the Eucharist is the eschatological reality bursting into our current moment, the Kingdom of God made visible on earth. 

The Eucharist is "a guarantee of future grandeur," according to the Catholic Church's Catechism, "a foretaste of the celestial feast to come" (CCC 1323). 

The Aeon of Maat is a "backwards current," granting us a vision of an age in which "we all may become something far greater, something which exists in the form of seeds within us in the eternal Now" (Horus/Maat Lodge FAQ page), much like the inbreaking Kingdom of God, which rushes in from the future to meet us in the present (see, for example, radical Catholic theologian Edward Schillebeeckx's God the Future of Man). 

Unlike other non-orthodox Thelemites who believe in a "double current" in which both the Aeons of Horus and Maat are active at the same time, or those who believe that the Aeon of Maat will arrive too soon to replace the Aeon of Horus, my reading of Frater Achad through the lens of the Catholic Mass suggests that the new Aeon of Truth and Justice is present in the present at the same time as the "force and fire" of the Aeon The Mother's Daughter ascends to the throne, the Father awakens, and the Son of God is born among the people of the world. 

"Kether is in Malkuth, and Malkuth is in Kether," Frater Achad declares.


Further Reading:


Achad, Frater [Charles Stansfeld Jones]. The Anatomy of the Body of God. New York: Samuel Weiser, 1969.

Achad, Frater [George Graham Price]. Ancient Mystical White Brotherhood. Lakemont, Ga.: CSA Press, 1971.

Melchizedek Truth Principles. Phoenix, Ariz.: Lockhart Research Foundation, 1963.



Kiran Atma

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Understanding Sacred Groves

Inadequate knowledge, understanding and awareness of sacred groves is thought to be the major cause for interpretation of many unnoticed, naturally preserved, deep-seated and concealed sacred sites and forests formed within the thickets of the Himalayan mountains and forests as sacred groves, resulting in an invalid classification and incorrigible documentation of the priceless virgin and natural ecosystems. 

This misinformed understanding generates a seemingly surplus number of sacred groves, and thus creates an unsustainable future for both the natural groves and the ancient sites embedded within thick forests. 

The major criteria for distinguishing sacred groves from sacred sites are considered here, along with a more rationalized description encapsulating typological parameters of sacred groves.

The recent mix of criteria given by various scholars in designating sacred groves seems to be based on an understanding that sacred groves consist of remnants of pristine forest or cultural artefact embedded in a densely forested site near some place of worship, bearing any historic anecdote of the grove, with a shrine created for the deity in a dedicated place regarded as geniu.

Such concerns reveal a lack of familiarity with the standard typological characteristics of sacred groves, leading to the misinterpretation of sacred or religious areas as sacred groves. To reinforce their typology and underpin the semantic demarcation between the two closely related concepts sacred groves and sacred sites, it is therefore essential to develop a rationalized definition of sacred groves with specific, coherent, and concrete parameters. 

The word sacred, according to the typological criteria of sacred groves, implies certain extraordinary qualities that elicit feelings of strength, wonder, awe, transcendence, harmony, and healing. 


~Trees are the first temple of gods and embody existence and the sacred continuity of metaphysical, cosmic, and physical universes.~ 


Based on people's religious attitudes toward trees, they may be considered holy, blessed, or sacred. Ficus religiosa Lev., also known as peepal, and Ficus benghalensis L., also known as bargad, are examples of holy trees.

A blessed tree is an abode of angels or a god who guards it, and it is worshipped because of the religious devotion of those who worship it with the intention of pleasing the deity inside, such as the Kalpvraksh. Sacred trees are those that are exposed to realistic manifestations of reverence, adoration, and deep veneration in order to honor a god or to appease a devil, demon, or other ghostly creature, offer protection for ghosts, warn current generations of ancestors, or defend a sanctified location from willful harm and exploitation.

When sacred trees are related to significant religious or historical events, they take on a symbolic status that allows them to manifest the events and serve as a conduit between man and deity. The related gods and spirits hold the word holy in high regard, as shown by their fear and awe. Sacred groves are ecosystems that only include sacred trees in specific areas, are owned solely by the local clan responsible for their creation, protection, and oversight, and have special values exclusive to their own community and faith, with limited human intervention. As a result, it arose from the urge of the locals to live in peace with the spirits identified with natural forests.

The typology of sacred groves is determined by a variety of factors related to tree cover that are described differently by different staff. These meanings, on the other hand, were ecological, originating from a botanical ideal or culmination, rather than dependent on local knowledge. Other scholars have offered a more detailed description, which is more broadly accepted, as segments of landscape containing trees and other aspects of life as well as geographical features that are delimited and preserved by human activities in the belief that maintaining such a patch of vegetation in a reasonably undisturbed state is important for expressing one's connection to the divine or to nature.

Scared groves and religious sites have different characteristics. Sacred woods in general  have the fundamental elements including  — 

  • The holy trees are natural elements. 
  • Deities, ghosts, holy spirits, or ghostly, strange people living in the forest are all supernatural elements. 
  • Human rituals involving trees to appease supernatural or demonic figures. Botanical criteria: high biodiversity and climax vegetation. 
  • The deities or demons are created in the absence of nature and are unique to each clan. Anthropomorphic shapes are a new artefact that is uncommon. 
  • The idol is inextricably linked to the grove's trees. 
  • Sacred trees take priority over gods and other objects in terms of religion.

Clan-specific religious practices are often unnatural and unholy. The endogamous clan oversees all ceremonies. Even for prayers and praise, it is impenetrable to ordinary citizens. Inside the sacred environment, strict caution is maintained against joining, cutting, splitting, plucking, or even touching plant specimens. Picking plant droppings is also forbidden. Normal, primary, evergreen forests are represented by the tree types. Both trees and the life forms that they support are revered. Because of the related values and taboos tied to holy trees, the authoritative clan protects plants to avoid harming the god, who will retaliate by taking revenge on the whole group.

Human features such as holy monuments, mosques, shrines, and their architectural significance, as well as divine entities such as spirits that dwell in a shrine and bless humans, make up sacred sites. Rituals performed by humans in honor of temple gods. Anthropogenic conditions include the development of a road through a natural forest that supports biodiversity. The gods aren't apart from nature. They are the anthropomorphic manifestations of universal gods, demons, or prophets. The worship of devils and angels is prohibited. It's possible that the idol has nothing to do with trees. Idol worship takes precedence; trees and forests may be worshipped or not.

Religious rituals are based on the pilgrim-deity relationship and are carried out using systematic procedures. Pilgrims and ordinary people who frequent shrines on sacred grounds, either personally or by priests, conduct rituals. Is a pilgrimage hotspot where people come from all over the world to pray and worship. Only the shrine, temple, and idol inside are protected from damage. There is no vigilance or taboo surrounding the shrine's plants. Natural components of surrounding forest tree types may not be primary in nature. Only a monument, a sanctuary, a synagogue, a tomb, a mosque, or a memorial park as well as the gods that are worshipped are called holy. Plants may be conserved unwittingly if the holy site is deep inside a forest beyond the reach of human settlements and often avoids intrusion due to its proximity to a religious monument. Here are the seven main elements that characterize the typological characteristics of sacred groves. A divine power's abode.

The deities or demons worshipped inside are abstracted from nature and believed to pervade whole groves as indistinct beings such as tree spirits — 

  • Vanadevatas or Vanadevis; 
  • Abstract strange creatures and evil spirits — atmas, bhutas, pretas, jinnas; 
  • Or animal deities and tribal totems — serpent or naga, panther and tiger, often represented by vacant spots, crude stones, and termite mounds.

In most instances, there is also some natural foliage. Sacred groves are multispecies, multi-tier virgin forest or a set of trees, climax primary vegetation with keystone species and rich floral diversity, a repository of unique genetic variants and remnants of species specific to the particular geographical region that may have succumbed to threats and perished from the denuded surroundings, and a repository of specific genetic variants and remnants of species specific to the particular geographical region that may have succumbed to threats and perished from the denuded surroundings. Both visually and geographically, they are well described.

As opposed to the peripheral buffer region, sacred groves stand out as separate, visually varied areas of initial forest, not blending with the enveloping tampered landscape and providing a rich representation of sacred trees inside. They also have a distinct water body. Sacred groves are often associated with historical, cultural, or religious concerns. Local people bind inherent divine perceptions, memories, and beliefs to the sacred trees and the whole grove for which they are enshrined in the natural world, as depicted by the embraced cultural traditions. e Taboos associated with it. For religious purposes, any tree in the grove is considered sacred.

Plucking a small part of a plant specimen, as well as cleaning up dead wood and fallen leaves, is often frowned upon, and the whole field is kept under the watchful eye of the local custodian. The holy groves are impenetrable to even the tiniest human intrusion within their confines, for fear of upsetting the gods and spirits and attracting vengeance. Defense from intrusion and communal sanctity. The whole area is guarded, and the god is propitiated on a regular basis to ensure benevolence or to ward off the spiritual forces' malevolence. 

The sanctity is dependent on the endogamous group's beliefs, and ritual rituals are peculiar to the clan, often strange and odd, and often involve animal sacrifices and blood offerings. The people who perform these ceremonies and pray to the gods and spirits on behalf of the whole group are often identified. They are usually elderly priests or priestesses. Universal principles often found here are those that are not limited to a particular faith or geographical region.

Deities, angels, and other divine figures, as well as dark spirits, are not bound by any deity and are unaffected by religious duties. Both values are self-created based solely on tribal clan principles. The authoritative community is responsible for safeguarding these values and ensuring that cultural practices are carried out over centuries. The present study and observation specify a geographically complex patch of natural, primary forested enclosure of sacred trees and related life-forms as a rationalized term containing all characteristics of sacred groves based on these parameters. The endogamous clan reveres these for their mystical associations with sacred or ominous attributes. These may also be a frightening mythological anecdote, ascribed to a god, devil, or ghost with a deep connection to the woods, and passed on over the centuries to maintain these convictions.

Sacred places or sites are specific, discrete, narrowly delineated locations on Federal land that have been designated as sacred by a tribe, or an individual determined to be an appropriately authoritative representative of the religion, because of their established religious significance to, or ceremonial use by, the religion; provided, however, that the tribe or appropriately authoritative representative of the religion has informed the federal government. They are active centers of daily worship and religious rites with symbolic and physical elements that link man and divinity, as well as seeing a centripetal migration of pilgrims for worship and prayer. 

Many holy sites in India's Himalayas attract devotees who come to practice religious rites and ceremonies daily. Vaishno Devi, Amarnath, Chandika Devi, Badrinath, and Kedarnath in the Himalayas, Rameshwaram, Mahabalipuram, Bodh Gaya, and Sarnath in other parts of India, and the Buddha Lumbini in Nepal are among the most well-known sites, all of which have historical significance linked to Hindu mythology.

The revered deity of holy sites is always a god or goddess, an angel, or a prophet, whose idol, some type, or symbolic item is enshrined in the temple monument with religious sentiments. Devils, devils, and other supernatural beings are never revered in this location. It's possible that the shrine gods had nothing to do with trees and forests. Because of their position in small pockets of hilly and mountainous areas often engulfed and overshadowed by unapproachable, remote forest thickets, many sacred temple forests in India are closely maintained and contribute greatly to sustaining the landscape with natural floral and faunal abundance.

These hidden sites are often left deserted, unexplored, and overlooked in their remote areas outside of human cities, and the trees in the proximity of such holy sites are also preserved in the same way as the sacred groves. Many holy sites have primary foliage and provide a haven for endangered tree species, such as the sweet osmanthus or Osmanthus fragrans tree in Pithoragarh's Chandak temple in the Kumaon Himalayas. 

Misinterpretation of holy sites such as sacred groves is facilitated by the degree of vegetational protection and proximity to religious shrines.

To prevent problems resulting from such classifications, a thorough examination of the typological requirements, as well as a close examination of the distinguishing characteristics of sacred groves and sacred sites, is recommended as a criterion for designating such enshrined forested patches as sacred groves. 

Sacred groves and sacred sites are closely related concepts that are distinguished by subtle yet discernible characteristics. Both sites, which are thought to be inextricably connected to trees and woodland, are dedicated to divine forces.

Many of these holy or religious sites are tucked away in thick, dark woodland, where human intrusion and intervention are minimal. The nearby forests provide a haven for significant, often virgin flora, including unusual plant species that may have gone unnoticed or overlooked in these inaccessible areas. The merits of sacred sites are so closely linked to sacred groves that unless these sites are meticulously investigated and scrutinized in-depth for detailed behavioral strategies adopted by local clans and their religious tie-ups that aid in the protection of trees in and around religious sites, they risk being misinterpreted as sacred groves, opening the door to debatable notions.

As a result, it is proposed that when designating sacred groves, the typological standards must be strictly adhered to to distinguish them from sacred sites. When a sacred grove or sacred site has been identified, it must be reported and duly registered with the appropriate government department for further development and sustainable use.


HINDU PHILOSOPHY AND YOGA





    Hinduism - A Philosophy, Religion, Way Of Life, And Identity



    The difference between philosophy and religion in Hinduism is not as obvious as it is in modern Western culture. 


    • The terms "philosophy" and "religion" have no clear counterparts in Sanskrit, Hinduism's holy language. 
    • Anvikshiki-vidya is the closest synonym for "philosophy" ("science of examination"). 
    • Only the Nyaya school of philosophy, which deals with logic and dialectics, uses the similar word tarka-shastra ("discipline of reasoning"). 
    • To describe what we understand by "philosophical inquiry," modern pundits use the phrase tattva-vidya-shastra ("discipline of knowing reality"). 


    Sanatana-dharma The Sanskrit word dharma, which meaning "jaw" or "standard," captures the idea of "religion" (with many other connotations). 


    • Sanatana-dharma ("eternal law") is a Hindu term that relates to the Western concept of philosophia perennis. 
    • For Hindus, philosophy is more than just abstract knowledge; it is a metaphysics with moral consequences. 
    • To put it another way, whatever one's theoretical conclusions about reality are, they must be put into practice in everyday life. 
    • As a result, philosophy is usually viewed as a way of life rather than a meaningless exercise in logical thought. 

    Furthermore, Hindu philosophy (and Indian philosophy in general) includes a spiritual component. 



    • All philosophical systems accept the presence of a transcendental Reality and believe that a person's spiritual well-being is based on how he or she interacts with that Reality, with the exception of the materialist school known as Lokayata or Carvaka. 
    • As a result, Hindu philosophy is closer to the spirit of ancient Greek philosophia ("love of knowledge") than to the modern academic field of conceptual analysis, which goes by the name of philosophy but isn't especially concerned with life-enhancing insight. 
    • Ontology (which deals with the categories of existence), epistemology (which is concerned with the knowledge processes by which we come to know what there is "in reality"), and logic (which defines the rules of rational thought) are all areas of rational inquiry that have preoccupied Western philosophers since the time of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle (which seeks to understand beauty). 


    Hindu philosophy, like Christian philosophy, is deeply concerned with humanity's ultimate spiritual destiny. 


    • As a result, it is often referred to as atma-vidya ("science of the Self") or adhyatmika-vidya ("spiritual science"). 
    • Though sophisticated self-critical systems seem to be the result of the period following the birth of Buddhism in the sixth century B.C.E., the ancient Rig Veda contains the first philosophical musings or intuitions of Hinduism. 



    Six systems are traditionally differentiated, which are referred to as "viewpoints" or "visions" (darshana, from the verbal root drish "to see"). 


    • This statement alludes to two important aspects of Hindu philosophy: Each system is the result of visionary-intuitive processes as well as logical thought, and each system is a unique viewpoint from which the same reality is seen, implying a stance of tolerance (at least in theory, if not in practice). 
    • And that same Truth is what has been passed down by word of mouth (and esoteric initiation) as the ultimate or transcendental Reality, whether it is referred to as God (ish, isha, Ishvara, all meaning "ruler"), the Self (atman, purusha), or the Absolute (brahman). 



    The Vedic revelation (shruti), especially the Rig-Veda, is a major element of Hindu philosophy, and tradition refers to it. 


    • The Hindu philosophers had to defer to, or at least pay lip service to, the ancient Vedic legacy in order to establish their separate schools inside the orthodox fold. 
    • Purva-Mimamsa (which proposes a philosophy of sacrificial ritualism), Uttara Mimamsa or Vedanta (which is the nondualist metaphysics espoused especially in the Upanishads), Samkhya (whose main contribution concerns the categories of sacrificial ritualism), Uttara Mimamsa or Vedanta (which is the nondualist metaphysics espoused especially in the Upani (which is primarily a theory of logic and argument). 
    • I'll provide a short overview of each school and its connection to the Yoga heritage. 



    Purva-Mimarnsa. 


    The Purva-Mimamsa ("Earlier Inquiry") school is so named because it analyzes the "earlier" two parts of the Vedic revelation: the early Vedic hymnodies and the Brahmana texts that explain and deepen their sacrifice rites. 


    • It is opposed to the Uttara Mimamsa ("Later Inquiry"), which is represented by the Upanishads' nondualist doctrines. 
    • The Mimamsa-Sutra of Jaimini gave the Purva-Mimamsa school its unique shape (c.200300 B .C.E.). 
    • In line with Vedic ritualism, it expounds the art and science of moral conduct. 
    • Its main point is the idea of dharma, or virtue, as it relates to an individual's religious or spiritual destiny. 


    The ethical authorities (dharma-shastra) are in charge of defining and explaining the secular applications of dharma. 


    • There have been many well-known Jaiminis, and the author of the Sutra must be differentiated from the sage who was a Vyasa student during the Bharata war. 
    • Mimamsa philosophers, or mimamsakas, see ethical conduct as an unseen, exceptional power that shapes the world's appearance: 
      • Action affects the quality of human life in both this incarnation and future incarnations since humans are inherently active. 



    Bad acts (activities that violate the Vedic moral code, which is believed to reflect the global order itself) result in negative life circumstances, while good actions (actions that follow the Vedic moral code) result in favorable life circumstances. 


    • The goal of leading a morally sound life is to enhance one's quality of life in the present, the afterlife, and future incarnations. 
    • Because the person has free will, he or she may utilize good acts to accrue positive consequences and even cancel out bad ones. 
    • The fact that the fundamental Self is transcendental and everlasting ensures free choice. 
    • Unlike Vedanta, the Mimamsa tradition believes in many fundamental selves (atman). 
    • These are considered inherently unconscious and only become aware in the presence of a body-mind. 

    For the Mimamsa philosophers, awareness is always I-consciousness (aham-dhi). 


    • Although some members of this school began to believe in a Creator God in the fourteenth century, there is no God above and beyond those numerous everlasting and omnipresent Selves. 
    • Because the Self is said to lack both awareness and joy, the early mimamsakas naturally considered the liberation goal sought by other schools to be unappealing. 
    • The eighth-century philosopher Kumarila Bhatta and his disciple Prabhakara were opposed to this viewpoint. 
    • They both taught that abstaining from forbidden and simply optional acts, as well as diligent execution of prescribed actions, inevitably result in the separation of the Self from the bodymind—that is, freedom. 
    • They saw the Self as awareness, but they didn't completely grasp the metaphysical consequences of their viewpoint. 


    Yoga methods have no place in Mimamsa, which extols the concept of obligation for the sake of duty. 


    • "As a philosophical perspective of the world, it is startlingly inadequate," said Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, a former president of India and a renowned scholar, of this school of thought. 
    • Nothing in such a religion can "touch the heart and make it shine." However, since Poorva-Mimamsa was one of the cultural influences faced by the Yoga tradition, it must be included here. 
    • Though Poorva-Mimarnsa was important in the development of logic and dialectics, this school of thinking would scarcely be considered philosophical by Western standards. 



    Apart from Jaimini, Kumarila, and Prabhakara, Mandana Mishra (ninth century c.E.) is the most notable thinker of this school, which has a fairly extensive literature. 


    • He subsequently converted to Shankara's Advaita Vedanta school and took the name Sureshvara. 
    • In the fourteenth-century Shankara-Dig-Vijaya, a fictitious biography of Shankara, the tale of the electrifying meeting between Shankara and Mandana Mishra is recounted. 

    According to tradition, the youthful Shankara, who had taken up renunciation, came to Mandana Mishra's magnificent home just as the renowned scholar of Vedic ritualism was about to begin one of his rituals. 


    • Shankara, who lacked the customary hair tuft and the holy thread across his breast, irritated him. 
    • Mandana Mishra, quite proud of his knowledge, challenged the guest to a discussion after a torrent of nasty comments, which Shankara accepted quietly and not without pleasure. 
    • They decided, as was usual at the time, that whomever lost the argument would adopt the winner's lifestyle.
    • Their intellect and wit duel attracted huge groups of academics and lasted many days. 


    Ubhaya Bharati, Mandana Mishra's wife (who was really Sarasvati, the Goddess of Learning in disguise), was named umpire. 


    • She quickly proclaimed her husband's loss, but quickly countered that Shankara had only beaten half of the battle; for his victory to be complete, he needed to vanquish her as well. 
    • She slyly pushed the young renouncer to a sexuality debate. 
    • Shankara requested an adjournment without losing his cool, so that he might familiarize himself with this field of expertise. 
    • Shankara took advantage of the fact that the monarch of a neighboring country had recently died and utilized his yogic abilities to enter the body and reanimate it. 
    • He returned to the palace to the joyful exclamations of the king's family. 


    Shankara enjoyed and explored for a while the pleasures of sexual love among the deceased king's wives and courtesans in the spirit of Tantra. 


    • According to tradition, he became so engrossed in his new life that his followers had to sneak into the palace to remind him of his previous existence as a renouncer. 
    • Shankara regained his real identity and skillfully dropped the king's corpse before returning to his argument with Mandana Mishra's wife. 
    • Of course, he triumphed. Mandana Mishra said that he was a Shankara student, prompting his wife, Ubhaya Bharat!, to disclose her real identity. 
    • Shankara's win is often seen as a triumph of his better nondualist metaphysics against Purva-less Mimamsa's complex philosophy. 
    • Although this is true, it was mainly a victory of yogic experientialism over intellectualism. 




    Uttara-Mimamsa 


    The many-branched school of Uttara-Mimamsa ("Later Inquiry"), also known as Vedanta ("Veda's End"), takes its name from the fact that it arose from the study of the "later" two portions of Vedic revelation: the Aranyakas (forest treatises composed by hermits) and the Upanishads (esoteric gnostic scriptures composed by sages). 


    • Both the Aranyakas and the Upanishads teach the absorption of archaic rites via meditation, which is a metaphoric reworking of the old Vedic legacy. 
    • The Upanishadic doctrines, in particular, gave birth to the Vedanta tradition's whole consciousness technology. 
    • The Upanishads (of which there are over two hundred books), the Bhagavad-Gita (which is accorded the holy rank of an Upanishad and may date from c. 500-600 B.C.E. ), and the Vedanta Brahma-Sutra of Badarayana (c. 200 C.E.) make up the Uttara-Mimamsa school's (Vedanta) literature. 


    Vedanta is the pinnacle of metaphysics. 


    Its many sub-schools all teach one form or another of nondualism, in which Reality is seen as a one, homogenous totality. 


    Sureshvara (the former Mandana Mishra) articulates the basic concept of Vedantic nondualism in the following stanzas from the Naishkarmya-Siddhi ("Perfection of Action-Transcendence"): 


    • The failure to see the single Selfhood [of all things] is [spiritual] ignorance (avidya). 
    • The experience of one's own self is the foundation of [such ignorance]. 
    • It is the beginning of the world's transformation. 



    The emancipation (mukti) of the ego is the elimination of that [spiritual ignorance].


    • The illusion of [there being a separate] self is shattered by the fire of correct knowledge (jnana) originating from magnificent Vedic words. 
    • Because action is not incompatible with ignorance, it does not [eliminate it]. 
    • Action does not eliminate illusion since it originates from ignorance. 
    • Because it is the polar opposite of ignorance, right understanding [alone] can eliminate it, just as the sun is the polar opposite of darkness. 



    One gets scared and flees after mistaking a tree stump for a thief. 


    • Similarly, a misguided individual superimposes the Self on the buddhi [i.e., the higher intellect] and other [aspects of human identity], and then acts [on the basis of that erroneous belief]. 
    • Advaita Vedanta turned the previous Vedic ritualism on its head. 
    • It is a gospel of gnosis, which is the liberating perception of the transcendental Reality, rather than cerebral or factual knowledge. 
    • Shankara (c. 788-820 C.E.) and Ramanuja (c. 788-820 C.E.) were the two greatest exponents of Vedanta. 
    • The former was successful in building a cohesive philosophical framework out of Upanishadic ideas, and is mainly responsible for Hinduism's survival and Buddhism's expulsion from India. 



    Ramanuja, on the other hand, came to the Advaita Vedanta tradition's rescue when it was on the verge of becoming dry scholasticism. 


    • His concept of the Divine as encompassing rather than transcending all characteristics aided the public push for a more devotional Hindu faith. 
    • Many other Vedanta gurus, like Shankara and Ramanuja, have significant ties to the Yoga tradition. 
    • Samkhya has moved toward intellectualism in later times as a result of its focus on discriminative knowledge rather than meditation, while Yoga has always been vulnerable to straying into simple magical psychotechnology. 
    • The Samkhya philosophy has been the most dominant school of thinking within Hinduism, second only to Vedanta, and Shankara saw it as his primary foe. 
    • The Sage Kapila, who is attributed with authorship of the Samkhya-Sutra, is believed to have established Samkhya. 
    • Despite the fact that a teacher with that name existed during the Vedic Era, the Samkhya-Sutra seems to have been written according to certain 



    Samkhya



    The Samkhya ("Enumeration") tradition, which includes a wide range of schools, is mainly concerned with enumerating and explaining the major kinds of existence. 


    In Western philosophy, this method is known as "ontology," or "science of being." 


    • Samkhya and Yog are closely related in their metaphysical concepts, and they originally constituted an unified pre-classical school. 
    • However, while Sankhya's disciples utilize discernment (viveka) and renunciation as their primary methods of salvation, yogins primarily use a combination of meditation and renunciation. 
    • Sankhya is often mistakenly described as the theoretical component of Yoga practice. 
    • As late as the fourteenth or fifteenth century C.E., each traditions had their own unique ideas and practical scholars. 



    The Samkhya alluded to in the six darshanas is the school of ishvara Krishna (c. 350 C.E. ), creator of the SamkhyaKarika. 


    • Ishvara Krishna taught that Reality is multiple, not single, in contrast to Vedanta and the older Samkhya schools described in the Mahabharata epic. 
    • On one hand, there are numerous changeable and unconscious forms of Nature (prakriti), and on the other, there are countless transcendental Selves (purusha), which are pure Consciousness, omnipresent, and everlasting. 
    • When examined more carefully, plurality seems to be irrational. 
    • If innumerable Selves are all omnipresent, they must also be endlessly intersecting one another, making them logically identical. 



    While Shankara's nondualism is the most academically beautiful, Ramanuja's qualified nondualism may satisfy both reason and intuition the best. 


    • Ishvara Krishna went on to say that Nature (prakriti) is a huge composite or multidimensional structure produced by the interaction of three main forces: the dynamic characteristics, the material qualities, and the spiritual qualities (guna). 
    • The term guna literally means "strand," yet it has a lot of other meanings. 
    • The word signifies the irreducible ultimate "reals" of the universe in Yoga and Samkhya metaphysics. 


    The three kinds of gunas are believed to mirror the energy quanta of modern physics. 


    • Sattva, rajas, and tamas are the three gunas. 
    • They are at the root of all physical and psychological processes. 
    • Their distinct characteristics are described as follows in the Samkhya-Karika: The [three kinds of] gunas are of the natures of joy, joylessness, and dejection, and have the functions of enlightening, activating, and limiting, respectively. 
    • They outnumber each other, and their actions are interconnected, productive, and cooperative. 
    • Sattva is said to be uplifting and enlightening. 
    • Rajas is energizing and dynamic. 
    • Tamas is passive and oblivious. 


    Like a lamp [made up of many components that together create the single phenomenon of light], the action [of the gunas] is purposeful. 


    • Just as atoms are matter-energy, the gunas are Nature. 
    • They are collectively responsible for the vast diversity of natural forms that exist on all levels of existence, with the exception of the transcendental Selves, who are pure Consciousness. 
    • We can best explain the gunas by the general idea of two opposites and the middle term between them, or as Hegel's thesis, antithesis and synthesis, which are manifested in nature by light, darkness, and mist; in morals by good, bad, and indifferent, with many applications and modifications, according to German Sanskritist Max Muller. 
    • The gunas are in a condition of equilibrium in the transcendental dimension of Nature, known as prakriti-pradhdna ("Nature's basis"), according to the Samkhya-Karika. 


    Mahat, which literally means "great one" or "great principle," is the first product or evolute to emerge in the process of development from this transcendental matrix to the diversity of space-time forms. 


    • Because of its brightness and intelligence, it is also called as buddhi ("intuition" or "cognition"), which means "greater knowledge."
    • But, in fact, mahat (like other elements of Nature) is completely unconscious, and it simply symbolizes a highly refined form of matter-energy. 


    Its "light" of intellect is derived from transcendental Self-Consciousness. 


    • The principle of individuation, ahamkara ("I-maker"), arises from the mahat, or buddhi, and ushers in the difference between subject and object. 
    • The lower mind (manas), the five cognitive senses (sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing), and the five conative senses all emerge as a result of this existential category (speech, prehension, movement, excretion, and reproduction). 
    • The ahamkara principle is also responsible for the five subtle essences (tanmatra) that underpin sensory capabilities. 
    • The five gross material elements (bhuta), namely earth, water, fire, air, and ether, are produced by them in tum. 
    • As a result, Classical Samkhya acknowledges twenty-four different types of material existence. 

    There are innumerable transcendental Self-monads outside the guna triad and its products, which are unaffected by Nature's ramifications. 


    • The closeness of the transcendental Selves (purusha) to the transcendental matrix of Nature triggers the whole evolutionary process. 
    • Furthermore, the procedure is for the release of those Selves who, for some inexplicable and erroneous reason, identify themselves with a specific body-mind rather than their inherent state of pure Consciousness. 
    • The Samkhya tradition's psychocosmological evolutionism is intended to help people transcend the world rather than understand it. 
    • It is a practical framework for individuals who seek Self-realization and come across many levels or types of existence while practicing meditation. 



    Vaisheshika


    The Vaisheshika ("Distinctionism") school of thought is concerned with the distinctions (vishesha) that exist between things. 


    Liberation is achieved via a comprehensive knowledge of the six fundamental types of existence, according to the teachings:


    l. The ninefold substance (dravya): earth, water, fire, air, ether, time, space, thought (manas), and Self (atman)

    2. quality (guna), which is divided into twenty-three categories, including color, sensory impressions, magnitude, and so forth. 

    3. take action (karma)

    4. universality (samanya or jati)

    5. the specific (vishesha) Yoga particularly refers to the school of Patanjali, the author of the Yoga-Sutra, among the six schools of Hindu philosophy. 

    • This school, also known as Classical Yoga, is regarded a relative of ishvara Krishna's Samkhya school.  

    • Both are dualist ideologies that teach that the transcendental Selves (purusha) are fundamentally different from Nature (prakriti) and that the former is eternally unchanging, while the latter is always changing and therefore unsuitable for long-term pleasure. 


    6. inherence (samavaya), which refers to the logical connection that must exist between wholes and pieces, or substances and their characteristics, and so on. 


    Kanada, the author of the Vaisheshika-Sutra, who flourished about 500 or 600 B.C.E., established the Vaisheshika school. 


    • Kanada seems to be a nickname, literally meaning "particle eater." 
    • Although some Sanskrit sources say that the term immortalizes the fact that this great ascetic lived on grain particles (kana), it is likely that it alludes to the kind of philosophy he developed. 
    • Both readings may be accurate. Kanada's school of thinking has an enigmatic beginning. 



    Some academics believe it is a descendant of the earlier Mimamsa school, while others view it as a continuation of the materialist tradition, and yet others believe it has its origins in a schismatic branch of Jainism. 


    • The Vaisheshika school is similar to the Nyaya system, with which it is usually associated, in terms of general direction and metaphysics. 
    • Both of these systems are the closest to what we think of as philosophy in the West. 
    • They contributed to Indian thinking for a long time, but neither school has remained dominant. 
    • The Vaisheshika school is almost extinct, while the Nyaya school has just a few adherents, most of whom live in Bengal. 



    Nyaya


    The Nyaya ("Rule") school of thought was founded by Akshapada Gautama (c.500 B.C.E. ), who lived during a period of intense debate between Vedic ritualism and such heterodox developments as Buddhism and Jainism—an era in which critical thinking and debating were at an all-time high, similar to that of Greece. 


    One of the first efforts to establish sound logic and rhetorical principles was his. 


    • Gautama's moniker, Akshapada, suggests that he had a tendency of gazing down at his feet (perhaps while being immersed in thought or in order to purify the ground while walking). 
    • He is credited with writing the Nyaya-Sutra, which has been the subject of many comments. 
    • Vatsyayana Pakshilasvamin's commentary (c. 400 C.E.) is the earliest surviving commentary, written at a period when Buddhism was still dominant in India. 


    Bharadvaja's or Uddyotakara's Nyaya-Varttika is another excellent commentary, with a good subcommentary by Vacaspati Mishra, who also wrote on Yoga. 


    • Around 1200 C.E., Nyaya began flowering, marking the start of the so-called Nava-Nyaya era (or "New Nyaya"). 
    • In order to live properly and pursue meaningful objectives, Akshapada Gautama began with the realization that we must first define what constitutes right knowledge. 
    • He developed sixteen categories considered essential for anybody wanting to discover the truth, in keeping with the Indic flare for categorization. 
    • These topics include the acquisition of genuine knowledge (pramana), the nature of doubt, and the distinction between discussion and simple bickering. 


    The Nyaya school's metaphysics is of particular importance. 


    • There are several transcendental Subjects, or Selves, according to Nyaya's disciples (atman). 
    • The ultimate actor underlying the human mind is each infinite Self, and each Self enjoys and suffers the consequences of its acts in the limited universe. 
    • God is seen as a unique atman in Classical Yoga, and he is the only one who is aware. 



    The Nyaya thinkers advocated the pursuit of freedom (apavarga) as the greatest aim in life, despite the fact that the human Selves are all regarded unconscious, like in the Mimamsa school. 


    • Of course, their opponents did not miss an opportunity to point out the impossibility of a freedom that would result in a rocklike, insentient life. 
    • The fact that Nyaya followers sought spiritual shelter in Shaivism's religious doctrines demonstrates how little they believed in their own metaphysics. 
    • Between Nyaya and Yoga, there are many places of interaction. 
    • The NyayaSutra describes yoga as a state in which the mind is in touch with the Self alone, resulting in mental balance and a lack of sensitivity to physical discomfort. 



    Vatsyayana Pakshilasvamin said that yogins may see distant and even future occurrences while addressing different kinds of perception, a talent that can be developed by consistent practice of meditative focus. 


    • The word apavarga refers to liberation, and it is also used in the Yoga-Sutra (2. 1 8) to contrast it with the concept of world experience (bhoga). 
    • Another interesting similarity is that both Nyaya and Classical Yoga follow the sphota theory. 
    • The everlasting connection between a word and its sound is referred to by this phrase. 



    The notion is that the letters y, o, g, and a, or even the whole term yoga, cannot adequately express our understanding of the phenomenon known as "Yoga." 


    • Over and above these letters or sounds, there is an everlasting idea, the essence of a thing, which "bursts out" (sphuta) or exposes itself spontaneously in our mind upon hearing a sequence of sounds, leading to understanding of the object so indicated. 
    • A last point of connection is that a Nyaya follower is also known as yauga, which means "one who does Yoga." It's unclear what this designation conceals. 


    Hindu philosophy is divided into six schools, which is rather arbitrary. 


    • Many other schools, particularly those connected with sectarian movements, have played an important role in the development of Indian philosophy at one point or another. 
    • It's important to remember that Yoga impacted most of these methods and traditions, but it did so more as a loose collection of ideas, beliefs, and practices than as Patanjali's philosophical framework (darshana).

     


    You may also want to read more about Kundalini Yoga here.

    You may also want to read more about Yoga here.


    You may also want to read more about Yoga Asanas and Exercises here.


    You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

    Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.