Have we ever pondered as to what is it that makes us happy? If we were to do so, we would see that our happiness is always dependent upon something. If I were to get the job I aspire for, I am happy; if I get a new toy, I may be happy; there are various instances such as if I were to marry the right girl, or if my son got good grades, or being able to lead a more comfortable life, or maybe meeting the right guru, or making adequate (or more) money, or people treating us well. Something has to happen to make us happy; some requirement has to be met. Is it possible for us to free our happiness from any outer conditions? We react to these outer circumstances, for instance if our friends do not treat us well or if we lose money, we easily go into a depressed state. This is what happens to us when life does not move in the direction we want it to. Sadhana is the practice we undertake to find happiness when everything is going against us. How does this happen? In what direction do we need to make an effort?
When we are born, we are given an emotional centre and a great deal of emotional energy. This emotional energy vibrates at a low rate of vibration and because of this is easily attracted, hypnotised and thus gets attached to people, situations, or things. It easily likes or dislikes and we cannot hold this energy in an impartial state where it is free from liking or disliking. This is called as purification or tapa. As we practice being free of liking and disliking, we create something within us which is not a victim of circumstances or events that govern our life. It is as if within our body, we have created a separate second body which cannot be swayed by the events in life. The outer body may be anywhere in any situation – in comfort or discomfort, with money or without, hungry or satiated, but this inner body of ours is never influenced. Something within us is free of the constantly ever-changing kaleidoscope of life. In our current situation, our emotional substance keeps getting attached to what we like and repulsed by what we dislike. This is the state of mamta or attachment.
We have seen last week that Mamta was the wife of the rishi Uttathaya. Brihaspati had gone to Mamta to satisfy his passion. The word Brihaspati comes from ‘brihat’ or expanding, meaning to expand ones consciousness. The expanding consciousness frees us from mamta or attachment. She is already with a child in her womb and expresses that there was no room for another. As she is mamta, all her emotional material is stuck in attachment and thus there is no way the second body or the astral body can be formed from the emotional body. For an astral body to be formed, all the emotional substance stuck in attachment must first be freed. The emotional body is made from planetary substances and hence the planets rule the emotional being. If we are able to detach from emotions, then an astral body can be formed, which is free from the ruling of the planets.
Brihaspati is the guru of the gods and we see here that however much the guru tries, if the disciple is sunk in attachment then there is nothing the guru can do, be it even the guru of the gods. Here, the space in the womb is occupied and when Brihaspati releases his sperm, the child blocks it with his leg and it falls to the ground. Despite all the efforts of the guru, the disciple loses the moment of transformation. Here, Brihaspati curses him to a long spell of darkness. My teacher said that there is a point in time which if the disciple misses, he has to go through a long cycle of waiting. Here, the sperm represents the seed which the guru wanted to sow in the mind of the disciple; this fell to the ground meaning that the idea could not be sowed into the disciple’s mind.
The boy is named Dirghatama, or long darkness. This does not mean that he is physically blind as the story literally suggests but he is sunk in the mire of attachment. We saw that he had learnt the art of sex with the light body – the sublimation of the sex energy into light and freeing the unconscious mind of suppressed desires and thus, becoming free from the darkness or bringing light into the unconscious mind. Even though the disciple misses the first opportunity, through his own effort, he is able to finally bring about the transformation the guru wanted. He becomes a rishi well-versed in the Vedas.
Dirghatama married Pradvesi; Pradvesi means towards envy. This implies that before he brought about the transformation within himself, he married envy. Envy is a jail which binds us, rules our thinking, and is very difficult to be free from. His wife and children binding him and throwing him into the waters of the Ganga is symbolic of this. The river represents the flow of time and he passes through many lands before he is saved by King Bali. This shows that even though he brought about the transformation, it takes a lot of time and work to be free from the bondage of envy. The king’s name, Bali, means to sacrifice implying that freedom comes through sacrifice.
Now that Dirghatama has formed the second body, he is capable of sharing his enlightenment with others. The king asks him to impregnate Sudeshna, his wife. Sudeshna means a favourable gift. We see that initially she is repulsed and sends her maid to him but Dirghatama is able to share his enlightenment with the maid and the king mistakes the maid’s children for his own. The King again sends his wife to Dirghatama and this time, she bears five children, who have the ancient historic names of the ‘khandas’ or parts of the great country called Bharata.
Here, we see that by the transformation of his emotional energy, the disciple is able to form a totally different body within the physical body. This body is free from the laws which govern the physical body and this body does not die with the death of the physical body. This gives the disciple continuity between death and after.