Those who may not be familiar with what’s being discussed here may wish to skip this article, if it pleases them.
I do this not to offend readers of other faiths, but to break down the barriers between religions by showing that they all worship the same Mother/Father One and the forms that the One creates.
I remember staging an experiment when I was in India once, asking everyone I could meet who the equivalent of the Christianity Trinity was in Hinduism. So, by Trinity I mean the equivalent of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
Almost everyone said that the equivalent was Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
No, that’s the Trimurthy. Let me come to the Trimurthy in a minute, but the equivalent of the Christian Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Ghost is Brahman, Atman and Shakti. (1)
The Trinity describes three levels of Reality – the Transcendental (Brahman, the Father), the Phenomenal (the Mother, the Holy Ghost) and the Transcendental in the Phenomenal (Atman, the Son or Christ). To say the “Phenomenal” is to say the realm of matter, mater, Mother.
Jesus is often called a dualist, but the Hindu Trinity of Brahman, Atman and Shakti is the province of Non-Dualists, is it not? That would make Jesus, a worshipper of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, very much a Non-Dualist, I would think. (2)
The Divine Mother has revealed to us that the Trimurthy is the same as the cosmic forces known as the gunas.
Steve Beckow: I have a question for you from our Hindu readers. They want to know if the gunas, the cosmic forces which are called rajas, sattwa, and tamas, are the same as the Trimurthy [Triad] of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
Divine Mother: Yes. We are the same as that triad.
SB: All right. And the Trimurthy of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva is a subset of the Universal Creative Vibration that you are at your essence. Is that correct?
DM: That is correct. [The Trimurthy] is much the same as we have been speaking of. It is a way in which my beloved children can come to know me and to have that experience. It is formless, and yet it is form. It is a way of connection, and it is a way of understanding and entering into a higher vibration of being. So it helps the emergence into my energy. (3)
Just in case anyone might not accept that I was speaking to the Divine Mother, I also asked Sri Shankara when I interviewed him on An Hour with an Angel in June 2013:
Steve Beckow: What is the connection between what Hindus call Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, and the gunas or the cosmic forces of rajas, sattwa and tamas?
Sri Shankara: I can answer this very quickly. There are no differences. (4)
To speak of the Trimurthy of gods and goddesses is to use a teaching device to bring people into faith through bhakti [devotion] and lead them in gradual steps to knowledge through jnana [wisdom].
That explains why some Indian gurus say that the devotee progresses from dualism to qualified non-dualism to non-dualism. Sri Ramakrishna gives an example of that progression from forms to formlessness:
“The more you advance toward God, the less you will see of His glories and grandeur. The aspirant at first has a vision of the Goddess with ten arms; there is a great display of power in that image. The next vision is that of the Deity with two arms; there are no longer ten arms holding various weapons and missiles. Then the aspirant has a vision of Gopala, in which there is no trace of power. It is the form of a tender child. Beyond that there are other visions also. The aspirant then sees only Light.” (6)
The many-armed form would be a dualistic conception of God; Light would be a non-dualistic conception. Beyond light, of course, would lie the Void, which is not even Light. Of That, Pseudo-Dionysius says:
“I pray we could come to this darkness, so far above light! If only we lacked sight and knowledge so as to see, so as to know, unseeing and unknowing, that which lies beyond all vision and knowledge. …
“Now as we climb from the last things up to the most primary we deny all things … so that we may see above being that darkness concealed from all the light among beings. … As we plunge into that darkness which is beyond intellect, we shall find ourselves not simply running short of words but actually speechless and unknowing.” (7)
The stages of enlightenment go on very much farther than even knowledge of the Void. They could be called virtually endless. (8)
Who says that the Mother is Aum? Let’s listen to Sri Ramakrishna:
“The Divine Mother [is] the Primal Energy.” (9)
“The Divine Mother [is] the Cosmic Power itself.” (10)
“O Mother! O Embodiment of Om!” (11)
It is the Mother alone who creates, preserves and destroys as Aum. Said Thakur [Sri Ramakrishna] : “The Primordial Power is ever at play. She is creating, preserving, and destroying in play, as it were.” (12)
And Paramahansa Yogananda: “The Aum vibration that reverberates throughout the universe (the ‘Word’ or ‘Voice of many waters’ of the Bible) has three manifestations or gunas, those of creation, preservation, and destruction.” (13)
The distinction between the Father and the Mother is the distinction between stillness and movement. Says Thakur:
“When inactive It is called Brahman. Again, when creating, preserving, and destroying, It is called Sakti. Still water is an illustration of Brahman. The same water, moving in waves, may be compared to Sakti, Kali.” (14)
Jesus, when asked for a password to identify the disciples, replied: “Tell them a movement and a rest.” (15) That would be the equivalent of saying “Tell them the Mother and the Father.”
She is no different from the Father, according to Sri Ramakrishna:
“That which is Brahman is also Kali, the Mother, the primal Energy.” (17)
All avatars, such as Sri Rama and Sri Krishna, would be incarnations of the Divine Mother, according to Thakur.
“It is Sakti alone that becomes flesh as God Incarnate.” (19)
“The Incarnation of God is part of the lila of Sakti.” (20)
“The Full Brahman is the Witness, pervading all space and time, equally. It is his Energy (Shakti) that incarnates.” (21)
There is no reason for the religions, such as Hinduism and Christianity, to look down on each other and think one account is more accurate than another. All accounts simply tell of the One God. There is no God of the Christians, of the Hindus, of the Muslims, and of the Jews. There is only God, by any name. As Thakur said:
“A lake has several ghats. At one, the Hindus take water in pitchers and call it ‘jal’; at another the Mussalmans take water in leather bags and call it ‘pani.’ At a third the Christians call it ‘water.’
“Can we imagine that it is not ‘jal,’ but only ‘pani’ or ‘water’? How ridiculous! The substance is One under different names, and everyone is seeking the same substance; only climate, temperament, and name create differences.
“Let each man follow his own path. If he sincerely and ardently wishes to know God, peace be unto him! He will surely realize Him.” (22)
As lightworkers, it’s our mission to bring down the barriers among the religions. The way to do that is to establish first the correlation among the various conceptions of the Trinity.
There is no basis for fighting holy wars, jihads, or crusades to convert people from their faith to ours. All faiths worship the One God, who has no partiality, is present everywhere, and is the Source of everything.
(1) On the equivalence of the Trinities see “Christianity and Hinduism are One” at http://goldenageofgaia.com/spiritual-essays/cross-cultural-spirituality/christianity-and-hinduism-are-one/; “A Note to Hindu Readers on “the Christ” at http://goldenageofgaia.com/spiritual-essays/cross-cultural-spirituality/a-note-to-hindu-readers-on-the-christ/; and “The One Became Two and the Two Became Three”at http://goldenageofgaia.com/spiritual-essays/cross-cultural-spirituality/the-one-became-two-and-the-two-became-three/
(2) “Jesus was a Non-Dualist” at http://goldenageofgaia.com/spiritual-essays/cross-cultural-spirituality/jesus-nondualist/
(3) “The Divine Mother: Come to Me as I Come to You – Part 1/2,” Oct. 17, 2012, at http://goldenageofgaia.com/2012/10/17/the-divine-mother-come-to-me-as-i-come-to-you-part-12/.
(4) “Sri Shankara: Everywhere You Look Will be a Monsoon of Love,” June 6, 2013 at http://goldenageofgaia.com/2013/06/26/sri-shankara-everywhere-you-look-will-be-a-monsoon-of-love/.
(5) Paramahansa Ramakrishna in Swami Yogeshananda, The Visions of Sri Ramakrishna. Madras: Sri Ramakrishna Math, 1980, 22
(6) Paramahansa Ramakrishna in Swami Nikhilananda, trans., The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1978; c1942, 177. [Hereafter PR in GSR.]
(7) Pseudo-Dionysius in Cohn Luibheid, trans., Pseudo-Dionysus, His Complete Works. New York and Mahwah: Paulist Press, 1989, 138-9.
(8) “Ch. 11 Enlightenment is Virtually Endless” at http://goldenageofgaia.com/spiritual-essays/16244-2/the-purpose-of-life-is-enlightenment/ch-11-enlightenment-is-virtually-endless/.
(9) PR in GSR, 116.
(10) Ibid., 116
(11) Ibid., 299.
(12) Ibid., 134.
(13) Paramahansa Yogananda, Autobiography of a Yogi. Bombay: Jaico, 1975, 17.
(14) PR in GSR, 634.
(15) A. Guillaumont et al. The Gospel According to Thomas. New York and Evanston: Harper and Row, 1959, 29.
(16) PR in GSR, 116.
(17) Ibid., 177
(18) Ibid., 1012.
(19) Ibid., 272.
(20) Ibid., 272.
(21) PR in Anon., A Bridge to Eternity. Sri Ramakrishna and His Monastic Order. Calcutta: Advaita Ashrama, 1986, 54.
(22) PR in GSR, 35.