THE WAYS OF DHARMA ARE SUBTLE

BY RAVI LOGAN | AUG 2020

 

When I am in the role of a trainer or as an Acharya, I like that people have a clear understanding of philosophical concepts. Sometimes, I am very particular, and sometimes am quite particular in relation to fuzzy new-age thinking that I see. One of my initiates meets with me monthly, and he was saying that he read that “everything happens to us that we have chosen, that our reality is totally a product of the choices and the thinking of our own minds.” This is the kind of fuzzy thinking that I do not care for. I said “do you think George Floyd, that he chose to have his neck squashed? Do you think that the people who are having a nice wedding in Afghanistan chose to have their wedding blown up by a drone bomb?” I went on like this, and can lay it out a little thick.

In my own mind, I like to be clear in my understanding. There is one aphorism given long ago by the great yogi Shiva that I quote sometimes, but I realize that internally, I did not have a depth of clarity on my understanding of this aphorism. In English, it says “those that protect dharma are protected by dharma.” The concept here is that “if one, in one’s life, upholds truth, righteousness, dharma, that when one engages in upholding dharma in the world, things will work out for that individual.” But how does that happen? This is what I am unclear on.

Once, I had the opportunity to ask Baba (Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar). I said “Baba, how does this happen? Is it that, when one’s mind is in this place of standing for dharma, that one is then somehow able to bend the reality around them? Of the material world, such that they are protected? Does that mind intervene with the force of nature, and shift its reality of nature?” And Baba kind of smiled and said, simply, “you know, all is mind.” I was sitting by an acquaintance of mine, a well-known scientist known as Amogsiddhi, and he chuckled while saying “touché.” He thought Baba kind of nailed me a little bit with that answer.

“All is mind.” From the vantage point of our human minds, we see the world around us as being the physical reality. From the standpoint of the Cosmic Entity, all is the mental project of the Divine Entity. It is all mind. There is no separate conception of the world as being physical. It, too, is a mental expression. And there is a deep patterning to the Cosmic Mind. It brings forward the creation, it emanates from Source, it goes from subtle unbound consciousness into cruder and cruder forms of manifestation until there is the physical expression of that cosmic mind. And then when it reaches a point of the density of matter, there is a momentum to uncoil the bound consciousness so that it springs back. It moves back towards Source, and when one exists within the flow of living beings, one is part of that flow back towards Source.

There is an evolution that moves from crude to subtle existence, and within human beings, from ignorance to enlightenment. That is the deep patterning that we are immersed within. It is the patterning of the dharma of the Cosmic Mind, manifesting as this universe. And this universe, through its expression of life, evolves back toward Source. When we ourselves are manifesting and supporting that flow of dharma of the universe, we act in harmony with it. And that harmony is playing out in a way that supports our existence. Now, many have the understanding, in some form of another, that there is greater life on the planet that we are a part of, a kind of planetary life that the biosphere of this planet itself constitutes a living entity.

We call it Gaia. And that Gaia has a kind of intelligence that supports life and acts in ways to maintain and facilitate the evolution of life on the planet. Even that Gaia mind, that intelligence of the planet, of mother Earth, is itself a being within a far greater ecosystem of life that spreads throughout the galaxy and the cosmos. It is all moving in this play of being drawn back toward Source. And those that stand to uphold that movement come within a subtler realm of causality where their actions are supported.

“When dharma is threatened, I come, again and again, to restore dharma.”

 

-Lord Krishna

In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna gave a famous aphorism about dharma that is pertinent here. He said that “when dharma is threatened, I come again and again to restore dharma.” This can be understood as that entity that manifests through Krishna comes again and again. When there is a threat to the forward evolution of the awakening of consciousness on a planet, there is a manifestation of some great personality to move it forward. But one can look at it also in a bit of a broader way. There can be manifestation of divine forces or agents of divine forces, such as siddhas, angelic beings or spiritually advanced beings from other planets. They may be elemental spirits, subtle entities, divas of astral realms. They may be different high spiritual beings drawn into physical incarnations where there comes to be a manifestation of guru, playing out at different levels that is acting in concert with the planet, with the planetary being and intelligence to unstick the static forces that are preventing the forward movement.

And when this manifests, that becomes that deep reality playing out, where the outcome is assured. Krishna told Arjuna on the battle of Karukata, before the great battle between the Pandavas and the Kauravas, that you “know this outcome is already determined by me.  It is your dharma to get out there on the field of battle and play your role, as do all the other warriors assembled here.” The outcome lies with dharma. That is a situation our planet is [at] once again. The outcome has been determined by the cosmic force that is now present, the comic expression of guru, working in a myriad of ways to guide a drama forward that will assure the revival of dharma and the revival of the manifestation of dharma.

There is one other aphorism I remember that Siva gave about dharma, in addition to the one that “those who protect dharma are protected by dharma.” He also said that “the ways of dharma are subtle.” How this plays out of Lila, this drama that is occurring in the world that restores dharma, how this takes place is very subtle in nature. It is not something that easily comes within the comprehension of our human minds. We see so many events occurring, so many actions taking place. We see things where forces of good arise and bring forward inspiration and we see situations where forces of evil are taking down the good, and wreak havoc and destruction on humanity and the planet. What is difficult to see is that, amidst all the cacophony of drama in the human world that is now occurring, what is the deep patterning that is playing out? What is the subtlety with which dharma is being expressed?

Someday, God willing, we will reach a conclusion and see the forces of dharma prevail. We will be able to look back and have a different kind of understanding of what we have gone through. Right now, we are in the middle of it. But it is important to remember those who protect dharma are protected by dharma. And when dharma is threatened again and again, says Lord Krishna, “I come to restore dharma,” and the “ways of dharma are subtle.”

Ravi Logan

Ravi Logan is the Director of the PROUT Institute, and the Director of Transformation Education, the training and education department of Ananda Seva. He is the principal author of PROUT: A New Paradigm of Development.  His new books are A New Interpretation of Revolution and Transition to a New Era. He is also the co-founder and program director of Dharmalaya, which has as its mission, “to promote dharma holistically in personal, social and ecological spheres of life.” 

Ravi has dedicated his life for the past 50 years to the project of the liberation of human beings and society. Ravi has been teaching yoga and meditation since 1972, and brought yoga to Jamaica in 1974. In 1996 Ravi became a family acharya in Ananda Seva and has been involved with the organization since its inception, volunteering as publications secretary, retreat organizer, and developing training manuals for the mediation teacher training. His latest publication in that capacity is the Ananda Sutram Primer, an accessible format for understanding the philosophy of Shrii Shrii Anandamurti.

 

This article was first published through https://lettercause.com/  in April 2021 and transcribed from a talk given by Ravi Logan in August 2020. Transcription by Rene Tricou, editing by Michele Renee.

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