When we come up with spiritual equivalencies, it allows us to link up different literatures.
And when we can do that, our learning accelerates and multiplies.
Also, having some other body of literature to compare ours to throws our own into relief. We see things about it that we might not have seen otherwise.
For me the most important equivalence in spirituality, taken broadly, is: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost = Brahman, Atman, and Shakti.
Hindus have created a vast literature on the three Purushas or Divine Persons – Brahman, Atman, and Shakti. Our tendency in the West might be not to use it because … well, you know. It’s not Christian (or Jewish or whatever).
Another approach might be to … just what I said … find the equivalencies and then scholarship, instead of going on in two solitudes, can draw from the one to explain the other. It becomes a dance and a symphony.
Hinduism’s literature is extensive. It’s both deep in parts and pleasurable in other parts. Its tolerance allows it to hold any number of seemingly incompatible points of view in one broad religion.
It’s multivariant, multi-path. It has something for everybody, while at the same time acting out themes in myth and storytelling which reflect deep spiritual truths.
We in the West would benefit by hooking their literature up with the teachings of Jesus on the Father (Brahman), Son (Atman), and Holy Ghost (Shakti) and of his followers such as Pseudo-Dionysius, St. John of the Cross, John Ruusbroec, etc.,
AND don’t forget Jesus’s interpreters in other faiths such as Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Prabhavananda and Paramahansa Yogananda
I personally have found the explanations for most of Jesus “hard sayings” in Hindu literature (save for St. John of the Cross). Jesus says the truth in the pithiest of ways and Hindus then unfold their meaning – for me.
OK, OK. Give us some explanation of what this “Trinity” actually is.
The following summation of the purpose of life, etc., is based on a vision I had on February 13, 1987. (2) It illustrates what the notion of the Trinity was created for and how it operates.
My understanding from that vision and from all the books on the subject I read thereafter is that God, who fills up everything, wanted to know itself. And so God created a dream world.
When He enters that dream world, He styles himself the Mother.
Neither Father nor Mother has gender. They themselves use the term (as you can see on An Hour with an Angel) for educational purposes. (3)
The Mother is the only Being we can know. The Father is unknowable. So really all our dealings are usually with her.
The Mother creates, preserves, and destroys. She’s the one who decides to pass us on to the Father at long last or keep us here, learning more about who we are, where we come from.
Who cares what we learn, where we come from, who we are? Let’s eat, drink, and be merry!
Well, God wanted to know itself, as we said. And if you think about it, God is silence, stillness, etc., and fills up everything. How is such a Being to know itself?
This is where the “Son” comes in, the Christ, the Atman, the Self, the Soul. That’s you and me, Children of God.
God the Father put a spark of itself inside the body created by God the Mother. Our sole task in life everlasting is to fully realize who that spark is.
When we do, God meets God in that moment of our enlightenment. This is how God solves the puzzle of knowing itself.
Let’s listen to one sage, Bayazid of Bistun, describe the very moment for which all of this was created:
“I went from God to God, until they cried from me in me, ‘O thou I!'” (4)
“O thou I!” In the end, all that’s left is the Universal Subject, “I.”
“Only God sees God,” Ibn Arabi reminds us. (5) If we totally understand that and if that meeting for which life was created has occurred, we attain an exalted state of enlightenment called “Sahaja Samadhi,” which is the culminating event of our Ascension.
We will all slowly evolve into that knowledge as the energies rise. Sages in days gone by had to struggle for it. But we don’t.
After Sahaja, we’re in what Hindus call a state of liberation, mukti, or moksha. (They did not discuss dimensions millennia ago.)
We’ve left the realm of birth and death and where have we ended up? In what we know as the Fifth Dimension or higher. There’s no birth and death in the higher realms.
Now can we relate that to the seven-chakra system connected to the Third Dimension?
Yes. Knowledge of the Son/Atman comes when the kundalini reaches the Fourth Chakra.
Knowledge of the Holy Ghost/Shakti/Mother comes when it reaches the Sixth.
Knowledge of the Father/Brahman comes when it reaches the Seventh.
Sahaja is beyond the Third-Dimensional chakra system. In more ways than one, it’s the door or portal to the higher dimensions.
It’s a full and permanent heart opening, which leaves us immersed forever in the Ocean of Love. In other words, when the door (hridayam) of the heart opens, we are left in a higher realm.
This business therefore of coming up with equivalencies speeds up our learning and extends it greatly.
It also promotes world by peace by taking away any grounds for dispute. If Allah=God=Brahman=Buddha Essence=Tao, etc., what’s there to fight about? We all work for the same Boss.
Oh, oh, one more equivalency? Some of you know what’s coming.
Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva = Rajas, Sattwa, and Thamas (the Gunas) = Creation, Preservation, and Transformation = Akar, Ukar, and Makar (AUM) = a subset of the Divine Mother, who is all movement and sound.
This statement of equivalency links up numerous literatures and could keep some scholars busy for a lifetime.
The discipline called cross-cultural spirituality is in the business of connecting the dots.
All of it is carried out in the name of creating a spirituality broad and tolerant enough that it can accommodate everyone, in Nova Gaia, a world at peace and a world that works for everyone.
(1) In the middle is the Son. The brown circle is the Mother. But the Son is not immersed in the Mother. The Son is immersed in the Father, the light grey circle, if you look closely.
Hildegaard has represented the relationships among the Members of the Trinity, the Purusha or Divine Beings.
Behind the Father is a dark purple background which represents what Hildegaard would probably have called the Godhead and what we call the One, as in Mother/Father One. The One, the Transendental embraces and contains everything.
(2) For an account of the vision, see “The Purpose of Life is Enlightenment – Ch. 13 – Epilogue,” at https://goldenageofgaia.com/2011/08/13/the-purpose-of-life-is-enlightenment-ch-13-epilogue/
(3) For explanations from the Mother, see “The Father and the Father … by the Mother,” at https://goldenageofgaia.com/spiritual-essays/the-nature-of-the-divine-mother/the-father-and-the-father-by-the-mother/ and “What Differentiates Father from Mother? The Mother Answers,” at https://goldenageofgaia.com/2017/05/11/what-differentiates-father-from-mother-the-mother-answers/.
(4) Bayazid of Bistun in Aldous Huxley, The Perennial Philosophy. New York, etc.: Harper and Row, 1970; c1944, 12.
(5) Muhyideen Ibn Arabi, Kernel of the Kernel. trans. Ismail Hakki Bursevi. Sherborne: Beshara, n.d., 48.