In days gone by, a monk who wished to know God, to be entirely enlightened and to ascend to another dimension had to struggle a great deal. In those days, the mind had to be entirely pure to realize God. Why is this? Because God Himself (Herself, Itself) is pure and can only be known by the pure.
The same is not the case today. We are offered Ascension if we only purify the mind to what the rishis would have regarded as a superficial degree. Our efforts would never have passed muster long ago.
Before looking at what the sages have said about enlightenment in former times, let’s listen to what the Company of Light say about Ascension now.
To ascend in earlier times, when it was an individual matter, was very difficult and required lifetimes of preparation and testing for fitness. Of the possibility, SaLuSa said in 2009: “Whilst individual Ascension is possible at any time, it is an unusual event only achieved by greater Beings who have dedicated themselves to rising up into the Light.” (1)
But in this end-of-cycle period we’re not expected to ascend by our own efforts, as SaLuSa reminds us.
“The task of returning to the Light is not one that you are expected to achieve single-handed. Although it is possible for an individual soul to ascend at any given time. The difference now is that you are benefiting because of the Divine decree that this Universe shall lift up, and enter a new area in the Cosmos.” (2)
To ascend, we need to undergo a major cleansing, to be sure, as Archangel Michael told us in February of this year. But it’s nothing like what our forebears faced.
“In these extraordinary times, to one degree or another, there is a major internal, transformational process occurring within every Soul on Earth. Individually, you are experiencing a clearing and cleansing process as well as modification and expansion in various areas of your physical, mental, emotional and etheric bodies, changes which are necessary if you are to hold up under and integrate the ever-increasing vibrational frequencies which are bombarding your Earth at this time.” (3)
The sages and their disciples did not have the benefit that we do of the wonderful light and love energies being sent to and permeating the Earth. They had to raise themselves by their own efforts. The path was very difficult and might take lifetimes of strenuous effort and deprivation. But not so today.
Just to give you an idea of the emphasis laid on purity then, and not as a comment on what we face for our Ascension, let me cite some of the sages of past times instructing their disciples on the need for absolute purity, a need which does not face us now, by Divine Dispensation.
The sages told their disciples that it was only when our hearts and minds were entirely purified that we can see and know God.
Upanishads: When a man is free from desire, his mind and senses purified, he beholds the glory of the Self and is without sorrow. (4)
Upanishads: Their impurities washed away, the seers realize him. (5)
Sri Ramakrishna: God cannot be realized without purity of heart. (6)
Upanishads: By the pure in heart is he known. (7)
Upanishads: Who but the purest of the pure can realize this Effulgent Being, who is joy and who is beyond joy? (8)
Shankara: A man whose heart is pure realizes the supreme Atman. Thereby he destroys his bondage to the world, root and all. (9)
King David: Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?
He that hath clean hands and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. (10)
Jesus: Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. (11)
Plotinus: Only those reach [the Good] who rise to the intelligible realm, face it fully, stripped of the muddy vesture with which they were clothed in their descent … and enter in nakedness, having cast off in the ascent all that is alien to the divine. (12)
Koran: None shall be saved except him who comes before his Lord with a pure heart. (13)
Sri Ramakrishna: Only the pure in heart see God. (14)
The rishis or sages taught that God cannot be known through the senses, but only by the purified heart.
Sri Krishna: That infinite happiness … can be realized by the purified heart but is beyond the grasp of the senses. (15)
Sri Ramakrishna: The mind must be pure and without blemish, like the telegraph wire that has no defect.
Sri Ramakrishna: God cannot be known by the sense-organs or by this mind; but He can be known by the pure mind, the mind that is free from worldly desires. (16)
We can if we wish see these as Puritanical beliefs, but we may find that they are simply facts, rock-bottom truth, whether we like what we hear or not. How we feel about them may turn out to be irrelevant and our refusal to consider them may work to our detriment.
Just when their disciples thought they were pure, the sages showed them that they had other layers to remove.
Zibo: Bianrong said, “You must be pure and clean to preach the Dharma.” Zibo said, “Right now I am not stained by even an atom of dust.”
Bianrong ordered him to take off his tunic and give it to a monk standing nearby. As Zibo took it off, Bianrong said to him, “After you have stripped off one layer, there’s still another layer.” (17)
St. John of the Cross: To undertake the journey to God the heart must be burned and purified of all creatures with the fire of divine love. (18)
In the time of the great rishis, God could not be realized as long as a single desire for something other than God existed. This is not the case for us today.
Sri Ramakrishna: The truth is that you cannot attain God if you have even a trace of desire. Subtle is the way of dharma. If you are trying to thread a needle, you will not succeed if the thread has even a slight fibre sticking out. (19)
Sri Ramakrishna: Can one not see God as formless Reality? Of course one can. But not if one has the slightest trace of worldliness. The rishis of olden times renounced everything and then contemplated Satchidananda, the Indivisible Brahman. (20)
Sri Ramakrishna: If a man finds a hair in the food he is chewing, he spits out the entire morsel. (21)
When we’re purified, albeit to a much lesser degree than the sages, a different faculty of mind comes into play that allows us to see God. The Company of Light (the celestials, galactics, and ascended masters) are purifying us now with light and love, beamed from higher beings, other regions of space, and other dimensions.
Sri Ramakrishna: Pure mind sees God and ordinary mind does not function. (22)
Sri Ramakrishna: God is realized as soon as the mind becomes free from attachment. Whatever appears in the Pure Mind is the voice of God. (23)
The recent messages of Matthew Ward and SaLuSa have introduced a new note into our preparations for Ascension. After years of winning our trust and discussing the advantages of Ascension, they may now be starting to introduce the notion to us that we may have to give up some of our activities and pleasures that lower our consciousness, pollute our bodies or minds, etc.
As it is we’re already upset from the impact of the rising light, which lays bare our old issues. Added to this, we must now confront the loss of some of our pleasures.
But remember that the great sages of old had to give up everything that competed with their attention to become enlightened and ascend to another dimension. We’re being asked to give up a little. That which Solomon considered “more precious than rubies” (24) is being offered to us at the cost of relinquishing a few pleasures and pasttimes. Will we spurn the offer?
(1) SaLuSa, Sept. 7, 2009.
(2) SaLuSa, Dec. 22, 2008.
(3) Archangel Michael through Ronna Herman, Feb. 27, 2011, at http://lightworkers.org/channeling/125821/age-conscious-awareness-and-self-mastery-archangel-michael-thru-ronna-herman.
(4) Prabhavananda, Swami and Frederick Manchester, trans., The Upanishads. Breath of the Eternal. New York and Scarborough: New American Library, 1957; c1948, 18.
(5) Upanishads, 47.
(6) Paramahansa Ramakrishna in Swami Nikhilananda, trans., The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1978; c1942, 161. (Hereafter GSR.)
(7) Upanishads, 46.
(8) ibid., 18.
(9) Shankara in Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher lsherwood, Shankara’s Crest-Jewel of Discrimination. Hollywood: Vedanta Press, 1975; c1947, 56.
(10) Psalm 24:3-5.
(11) Jesus in Matthew 5:8.
(12) Plotinus in O’Brien, Elmer, ed., The Essential Plotinus. Representative Treatises from the Enneads. Toronto: New American Library, 1964, 40.
(13) Koran, 199.
(14) Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 98.
(15) Sri Krishna in Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood, trans., Bhagavad-Gita. The Song of God. New York and Scarborough: New American Library, 1972; c1944., 66.
(16) Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 328-9.
(17) Ch’an master Zibo in J.C. Cleary, Zibo. The Last Great Zen Master in China. Berkeley: Asian Humanities Press, 1989, 11.
(18) St. John of the Cross in Kieran Kavanaugh and Otilio Rodriguez, trans. Complete Works of St. John of the Cross. Washington: Institute of Carmelite Studies, 1973, 75.
(19) Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 769.
(20) Ibid., 213.
(21) Ibid., 258.
(22) Ibid., 687.
(23) Ibid., 178.
(24) Proverbs, 3:15.