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What Level of Enlightenment Does Ascension Correspond to?

This article may only be of interest to only a few readers, but it nonetheless needs to be written and put on record. We have need to know what level of enlightenment Ascension corresponds to.

I asked the Divine Mother on An Hour with an Angel on Monday, Oct. 15, 2012 whether it corresponded to Sahaja Nirvikalpa Samadhi, which brings with it liberation from the wheel of birth and death, and she confirmed that it did. That’s exceptionally good news to me.

I reproduce the exchange with Mother here:

Steve Beckow: I’m trying to understand what level of enlightenment Ascension corresponds to and I think it’s beyond the normal seventh-chakra enlightenment. I think it is what is called, and I will make this clear to readers, Sahaja Samadhi. Am I correct?

Divine Mother: Yes, it is beyond what you think of with your seven chakras.  … What you are doing with the chakra system, even with the thirteen, we have emerged from the Third-Dimensional realm which is that reference point for the chakra system into the new so yes, you are correct in this question and this statement. ….

SB: [Is this experience] a permanent heart opening?

DM: Yes, it is. That is correct. (1)

She went on to coach me on how to present this material. She said:

DM: Now you understand that most people, and yes, you will do a good job of explaining, have no conception of what this really means.

Sri Ramana Maharshi

SB: Well, you know that I have a website that discusses Sahaja Samadhi at length and that’s from Sri Ramana Maharshi, more or less. If I take that material and present it to readers will that be…

DM: That will help.

SB: Can you refer us to other saints that explain this well?

DM: No, we do not want people wandering hither and yon. This will be more than adequate. (2)

Please allow me to fulfill my promise to Mother to explain Sahaja Samadhi and its significance. This treatment is not intended to be exhaustive and leaves out many of the properties of the Sahaja state. It’s intended merely to be suggestive and to introduce the notion of Sahaja as the equivalent enlightenment state to Ascension.

I’ve said on numerous occasions that there are stages of enlightenment which reach from the human realm up through the angelic realms all the way back to mergence with the One.

In the human realm, the lower experiences of enlightenment correspond with the chakra system.

  • When the spiritual energy or kundalini reaches the fourth or heart chakra, we experience the first member of the Trinity – God the Child or Atman – sometimes as a discrete light, the seeing of which convinces us of our immortality and bestows a modicum of wisdom on us. This experience is known to Hindus as spiritual awakening and to Buddhists as stream-entering. (3)
  • When the kundalini reaches the sixth or throat chakra, we experience the second member of the Trinity – God the Mother, Holy Spirit, or Shakti – sometimes (not always) as the light in all creation. This experience is known as Savikalpa Samadhi, samadhi with the retention of form. It bestows on us greater wisdom and bliss.
  • When the kundalini reaches the seventh or crown chakra, we experience the third member of the Trinity – God the Father or Brahman – often as a light transcending creation. This experience is known as Kevalya Nirvikalpa Samadhi or Brahmajnana [God Realization], samadhi without form. It brings with it a temporary heart opening after which the heart closes again.

This experience brings with it still greater wisdom and bliss. But it does not constitute liberation and it does not see the vasanas erased. We are still halfway up the mountain.

What does constitute liberation and sees the vasanas erased is Sahaja Nirvikalpa Samadhi, which occurs when the kundalini enters the spiritual heart or hridayam and causes a permanent heart opening. At this stage we are all the way up the mountain and are released from the wheel of birth and death.

First then can we adduce evidence that Mukti or liberation happens at Sahaja Nirvikalpa Samadhi rather than Kevalya Nirvikalpa Samadhi? Yes, Sri Ramana Maharshi declares it.

Sri Ramama calls “Sahaja Samadhi, the natural, effortless state” and says that it “is Self-realization, Mukti.” (4) On another occasion he tells his questioner:

“You are probably meaning Kevala Nirvikalpa [Samadhi], which is temporary, while the Samadhi lasts. The Sahaja Nirvikalpa [Samadhi] is permanent and in it lies liberation from rebirths.” (5)

In Kevalya, the heart (the hridayam or spiritual heart, rather than the heart chakra) opens temporarily but in Sahaja the heart opens permanently, according to Sri Ramana.

“[The] Heart is the seat of Jnanam [wisdom] as well as of the granthi (knot of ignorance). It is represented in the physical body by a hole smaller than the smallest pin-point, which is always shut. When the mind drops down in Kevalya Nirvikalpa [Samadhi], it opens but shuts again after it. When Sahaja [Nirvikalpa Samadhi] is attained it opens for good.” (6)

“[The hole called the Heart as a small as a pinpoint] is always shut, being the knot of ignorance which ties the body to consciousness. When the mind drops in the temporary Kevala Nirvikalpa it opens but shuts again. In Sahaja it remains always open.” (7)

Moreover, one does not free oneself from the vasanas or latent tendencies in Kevalya; only in Sahaja. “Only one who is free from all the latent tendencies (vasanas) is a Sage,” Sri Ramana tells us. (8) He continues:

“In kevala Nirvikalpa Samadhi one is not free from vasanas and does not, therefore, attain Mukti.

“Only after the samskaras have been destroyed can one attain salvation. … Even though one practices kevala Nirvikalpa Samadhi for years together, if one has not rooted out the vasanas, he will not attain salvation.” (9)

Some vasanas remain even after Sahaja and Mukti, but these are vasanas of enjoyment rather than of bondage. The sage having attained Sahaja enjoys these without attachment and so is not bound by them, Sri Ramana says.

Vasanas which do not obstruct Self-Realization remain [after Self-Realization]. In Yoga Vasistha two classes of vasanas are distinguished: those of enjoyment and those of bondage. The former remain even after Mukti is attained, but the latter are destroyed by it. Attachment is the cause of binding vasanas, but enjoyment without attachment does not bind and continues even in Sahaja.” (10)

The general problem we spiritual seekers face is that “all the age long vasanas (impressions) carry the mind outwards and turn it to external objects,” Sri Ramana says. (11) But “he alone is ‘liberated while alive’ (jivan mukta) whose wisdom is firm.” (12) “The state in which awareness is firm and one-pointed, even when objects are sensed,” the Maharshi informs us, “is called Sahaja sthiti” or Sahaja Samadhi. (13)

Kevalya can be compared to a glimpse of the Self, whereas Sahaja is a permanent and natural state of Self-Realization, the Maharshi tells us.

“By repeated practice one can become accustomed to turning inwards and finding the Self. One must always and constantly make an effort, until one has permanently realized. Once the effort ceases, the state becomes natural and the Supreme takes possession of the person with an unbroken current. Until it has become permanently natural and your habitual state, know that you have not realized the Self, only glimpsed it.” (14)

When the Self is glimpsed in Kevalya, it “is a prelude to [Self-Realization]: when it becomes permanent (Sahaja), it is Self-Realization, Liberation.” (15)

It is the state of enlightenment – Sahaja Nirvikalpa Samadhi – that the Divine Mother says we attain upon Ascension. We shall therefore have reached the exalted state of sages like Sri Ramana Maharshi, which is a state that few people alive or dead on the Earth have attained over the centuries – and here it is offered to us at the end of the cycle more freely than it ever has been. I am definitely very much encouraged by this revelation from the Divine Mother.

Finally can we find any precedent upon which to ground the Mother’s statement that Ascension “is beyond what you think of with your seven chakras.  … What you are doing with the chakra system, even with the thirteen, we have emerged from the Third-Dimensional realm which is that reference point for the chakra system into the new”?

Yes, we can. Da Free John, later known as Adi Da, had an experience of the chakra system falling away, showing him that Reality transcended the chakra system. Let’s look at that experience and what it showed him:

“For several nights I was awakened again and again with sharp lateral pains in my head. They felt like deep incisions in my skull and brain, as if I were undergoing an operation. During the day following the last of these experiences I realized a marvellous relief. I saw that what appeared as the sahasrar, the terminal chakra and primary lotus in the head, had been severed. The sahasrar had fallen off like a blossom.

“The Shakti, [energy, kundalini] which previously had appeared as a polarized energy that moved up and down through the various chakras or centers producing various effects, now was released through the chakra form. There was no more polarized force. Indeed, there was no form whatsoever, no up or down, no chakras. The chakra system had been revealed as unnecessary, an arbitrary rule or setting for the play of energy. The form beneath all of the bodies, gross or subtle, had revealed itself to be as unnecessary and conditional as the bodies themselves.

“Previously, all the universes seemed built and dependent upon that prior structure of ascending and descending energy, so that values were determined by the level of chakra on which consciousness functioned, and planetary bodies as well as space itself were fixed in a spherical or curved form. But now I saw that reality or real consciousness was not in the least determined by any kind of form apart from itself.

“Consciousness had shown its radical freedom and priority in terms of the chakra form. It had shown itself to be senior to that whole structure, dissociated from every kind of separate energy or Shakti. There was simply consciousness itself, prior to all forms, all dilemmas, every kind of seeking and necessity.” (16)

Up till now I had never been able to fit Da Free John’s experience into a context, but the Divine Mother has now provided that context: Third Dimensionality. The chakra system is associated with the Third Dimension.

Thus the Divine Mother has shown us that the state of enlightenment we’ll achieve upon Ascension is Sahaja Nirvakalpa Samadhi and that it will bring with it freedom from the wheel of birth and death. Put another way, entry into the Fifth Dimension, also known as the Mental Plane, while physically embodied, carries with it freedom from the reincarnational cycle.

We’ve been told that it does, that when we wish to change our bodies in the Fifth Dimension we can do that at will without needing to pass through death and birth, but now we have a much fuller picture of the context for that assertion.

Footnotes

(1) An Hour with an Angel with the Divine Mother, Oct. 15, 2012, at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/inlight_radio/2012/10/16/an-hour-with-an-angel

(2) Loc. cit.

(3) Descriptions of the levels of enlightenment are taken from http://www.angelfire.com/space2/light11/fdl/e1.html

(4) Ramana Maharshi in S.S. Cohen, Guru Ramana. Memories and Notes. 6th edition. Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanasramam, 1993 82-3. [Hereafter GR.]

(5) Ibid., 88.

(6) Ibid., 96.

(7) Ibid., 81.

(8) Sri Ramana Maharshi, Spiritual Instruction of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi. Eighth Edition. Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanasramam, 1974, Chapter 2, Question 26.

(9) Sri Ramana Maharshi in Ramananda Swarnagiri, Crumbs from His Table. http://www.ramana-maharshi.org . Downloaded 10 September 2005, n.p.

(10) Ramana Maharshi, GR, 89.

(11) Sri Ramana Maharshi, Gems from Bhagavan. Comp. A. Devaraja Mudaliar. Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanasramam, 1985, chapter 8.

(12) Sri Ramana Maharshi, Jewel Garland of Enquiry (Vichara Mani Malai). Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanasramam, 1996; c1977, 20.

(13) Ramana Maharshi in Vasistha Ganapathi, ed., Sri Ramana Gita. Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanashramam, 1977, 27.

(14) Ramana Maharshi in Paul Brunton and Munagala Venkataramaiah. Conscious Immortality. Conversations with Sri Ramana Maharshi. Rev. ed. 1996, n.p.

(15) Ramana Maharshi, GR, 83.

(16) Da Free John, The Knee of Listening. Original Edition. Clearlake, CA; Dawn Horse Press, 1984; c1973, Original Edition, 116-9

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