Archive for January, 2012

29. The Key To Freedom

30. Normalcy Bias

31. Cognitive Dissonance

32. Doublethink



The Inspiration Behind Journey of the Universe

“We have a new story of the universe. Science has given us a new revelatory experience. It is now giving us a new intimacy with the earth.”

– Thomas Berry, Dream of the Earth

At its heart, this 60 minute documentary and book celebrates the collective inspiration of a lively and prolific 30-year-friendship between three visionaries in the fields of science, evolutionary philosophy and world religions – Thomas Berry, Mary Evelyn Tucker and Brian Thomas Swimme.

Deeply inspired by Berry’s article titled “The New Story,” which observed how humans are in between stories–creation stories of the world’s religions and the scientific story of the evolution of the universe–both Brian and Mary Evelyn joined forces to co-write this epic narrative that translates our wondrous connection to the cosmos to a broader audience.

We live in a universe of remarkable creativity that has evolved over some 14 billion years. The goal of Journey of the Universe is to tell the story of cosmic and Earth evolution drawing on the latest scientific knowledge, in a way that makes it profoundly relevant and deeply moving to the viewer. What emerges is an intensely poetic story, which evokes emotions of awe, excitement, fear, joy and belonging.

This story told in Journey of the Universe is a dramatic one. Throughout billions of years of evolution, triumph, and disaster have been only a hair’s breadth apart. Violence and creativity are pervasive. The ability of matter to organize and re-organize itself is remarkable – from the formation of the first atoms to the emergence of life.

The message of Journey of the Universe shows how we are not just a part of this astonishing process, we are at the very edge of evolution, a primate species that has found in its language and symbols the power to take over the very evolutionary process itself. But this control that we now exercise comes with a responsibility; and viewers of Journey of the Universe will not only be imbued with a sense of astonishment at all that has taken place, they will also come to feel the excitement in learning that now we live in a time when the human species is being asked to play a central role in activating the flourishing powers of Earth’s living systems.

One of the aims of this project is to use the art of storytelling to capture the grandeur and drama of this epic of the universe – from the Big Bang, to where we are today in a moment of great transition.

Carl Sagan was the first to remind us that “We are all stardust,” in Cosmos (a series co-created by the Director of this film). Twenty five years on, The Journey of the Universe will show us how the lineage of stardust can shape the way we feel about our own planet, so that we might better cherish and protect what gave us life and nourishes us still.

Christian apologist argues that mass media figures such as Oprah and Deepak Chopra active in supporting New Age movement.

A noted Christian religious expert is the latest to confirm something careful watchers of the media have known for years: The American media is peddling New Age spirituality to its viewers as a substitute for traditional religion.

On January 24, the Christian Post reported that Ravi Zacharias, the founder of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries and a noted Christian apologist, warned that the mass media is trying to push New Age ideas on the general population in his book “Why Jesus? Rediscovering His Truth In an Age of Mass Marketed Spirituality.”

In his book, Zacharias writes: “Mystics, spiritual masters all are in the lineup to give the viewer the feeling that she who has become all but deified in their eyes can now make each viewer just like them.” Zacharias specifically cited Oprah and Deepak Chopra as examples of influential media figures peddling New Age nonsense to a large audience.

It is difficult to disagree with Zacharias’ assessment. For the figures he cites and other media outlets have supported a form of New Age spirituality, while at the same time de-emphasizing traditional religious belief.

Oprah has been heavily involved in the New Age movement – so much so that Washington Post blogger Amarnath Amarsingam called her in May 2011 the “High Priestess of the New Age” In a January 2011 interview with Piers Morgan, Winfrey declared herself to be a spiritual leader: “I am the messenger to deliver the message of redemption, of hope, of forgiveness, of gratitude, of evolving people to the best of themselves.” In her Book Club in 2008, she promoted Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth” whose promotional blurb states: “Tolle describes in detail how our current ego-based state of consciousness operates. Then gently, and in very practical terms, he leads us into this new consciousness. We will come to experience who we truly are-which is something infinitely greater than anything we currently think we are-and learn to live and breathe freely.”

New Age spirituality guru Deepak Chopra has been even more avid in his promotion of New Age ideals. His book The Third Jesus is “about the consciousness of Jesus which was in touch with the source of all creation. If you can aspire to be at one with that consciousness, then you too can be in touch with the source of all creation. He has denied traditional Christian teachings, having been cited by major media outlets such as ABC denying the existence of Satan. YouTube promoted his channel, The Chopra Well, in late 2011.

Mainstream reporters have not been shy about de-emphasizing traditional religion, while promoting a nebulous concept of “spirituality.” In 2008, CBS’ Katie Couric celebrated what she saw as a combination of American spirituality and lack of religious belief: “This survey seems to have a lot of good news. People think prayer and faith is very important in their lives and they don’t think it’s their way or the highway when it comes to salvation.” In November 2009, CBS’ Martha Teichner touted a poll claiming that Americans were increasingly abandoning organized religion for spirituality.

The mass media has taken upon itself the task of transforming religious belief into a pile of feel-good mush – when they aren’t actively seeking to destroy religion altogether. And testimony from religious experts like Zacharias confirms that assessment.

Deepak Chopra, MD, is a world-renowned authority in the field of mind-body healing, a best-selling author, and the founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing. Heralded by Time magazine as the “poet-prophet of alternative medicine,” he is also the host of the popular weekly Wellness Radio program on Sirius/XM Stars.

View Here

*Are we in the midst of a major paradigm shift in science?

*Is there an ultimate reality?

*Does consciousness conceive, govern, construct, and become the physical universe?

*Is the universe becoming self-aware in the human nervous system?

*Is the next stage of human development conscious evolution?

*Do we have the ability to influence the future evolution of the cosmos?

*How does our understanding of consciousness as pure potentiality enhance our capacity for intuition, creativity, conscious choice-making, healing, and the awakening of dormant capacities such as nonlocal communication and nonlocal sensory experience?

*How does our understanding of consciousness enhance our capacity for total well being (physical, emotional, spiritual, social, communal, financial. and ecological)?

In this program Deepak will address all these questions as well as practical ways to experience higher consciousness, transformation, and healing.

Money Is Not The End Of Life

Our movement is one of the fulfillment of desire. Those who desire money are surrounded by it…. and those who think that money is not everything, then that is there. It’s all a matter of what one likes, you know.

Rushing around all the time is a psychological hang-up. The activity in the transcendent is more speedy than anything on the surface. So one doesn’t have to rush around on the surface.

The activity of the movement is to raise the effectiveness of the mind…. I think that money is not the end of life. For some it may be…. The whole of the Gita is what Krishna told Arjuna: ‘You transcend, Arjuna’–the way to get what one wants.

Enlightenment is insured with a regular morning and evening program. Other times, enjoy.

God Helps Those Who Help Themselves
Maharishi’s Press Conference, 7. May 2003

Question: How is enlightenment achieved? Is the state of enlightenment achieved by mechanical means through regular practice of Transcendental Meditation, or does enlightenment become established through the Grace of God?

Maharishi: Both things are the same thing. We remember a phrase: God helps those who help themselves.’ God helps those who help themselves. So one’s own effort, and we give credit to the Almighty God. God helps those who help themselves. When we know how to light a lamp, we should light a lamp. And then when we light a lamp and then suddenly the darkness is gone, we say: Oh yes, thank God. Always we have God in our awareness.
God is that fullness, fullness of all possibilities. And that is characterized in our own Ātmā, in our own Self. Self-referral consciousness is a total disclosure of–we can say God’s Grace, God’s Will. And then we say Merciful God.

All these things have been throughout the ages. Now we begin to see a better world in the same old Light of God, same old Light of Natural Law, same old Light of Consciousness, of intelligence, infinite creative power. All these are beautiful exhortations about our own creative potential. Everyone’s own creative potential.

God is within you, within me, within this, within that, within this. So much so God is Omnipresent. God is Omniscient. Omnipresent, Omniscient, Omnipotent. That’s why throughout the ages human awareness has been wanting, has been trying, has been associating with this field of intelligence, a lively field of all possibilities. In this generation we say Transcendental Consciousness. Because for Omnipresent, for Omnipresent, one has to transcend the field of change. So Transcendental Meditation brings transcendental field of consciousness, Unified Field of intelligence.

Self-referral is the value of the Omnipresent, Omniscient, Omnipotent field of God’s Grace. There is some joy in saying God’s Grace. I am doing this. I am doing this. There is some kind of not such pleasantness. Not such fabulous expanded awareness. But God, there is some warmth in it. Some warmth in it. There is some real upsurge of intelligence in it. It is something. It is beyond words. Something real. Something very, very real. And that reality is, when our own awareness transcends the boundaries. When it transcends boundaries then it’s unbounded, omnipresence of God.

Something profound. It is beyond speech to describe it all. It’s a great reality of life. It’s a great reality of life. It’s a great joy of life.

Question: Please tell us more about the spirits, and is it possible for a spirit to enter one and one not know it or one be by spirits and not realize that it is happening?

Maharishi: Everything is possible, yes. But sure enough, those who meditate, spirits don’t come to them anymore.

Question: Sometimes I feel spirits and I feel presences.

Maharishi: Any time you feel the presence it, it will be good to find out, whether it is rooted in the inner activity of the system anywhere–if there is any sensation in the body or something. Whenever you feel something, some presence or some such thing, close the eyes and feel the body and see if there is any sensation anywhere. Maybe due to that particular type of sensation, some unwinding of that particular type produces that hallucination, it may be that.

Hallucination, at the time of hallucination it is a very real perception, only it does not exist. [laughter] Just like a dream. At the time of dream it is very real. Only after that time we know that it was a dream.

Now we’ll verify whether it is a real spirit from outside trying to influence us or whether it is some sort of unwinding from within and due to that our vision is taking that form. Both could be a possibility.

How to verify? First we verify within ourself. When we see something–close the eyes and very naturally, normally, innocently feel the body. And if we are not feeling anything and if it is all quiet, feel that quietness, maybe after a few seconds some sensation develops here. And then be on it, be on it and feel it, feel it until the sensation goes away and then open the eyes.

If the figure is yet standing before us without any sensation within us, then continue to check for the second time. Close the eyes. [laughter] Because before finalizing, better we check twice. And when we have checked, maybe after a few seconds of silence again something starts. We feel it and feel it until it is gone. And when it is gone we wait for about a minute to see that it is not coming back again.

And when we don’t see it again then we infer that it was due to some inner unwinding of some sort of stress which was causing that type of vision. There was nothing of outer spirits. We may verify this two, three times.

And if we don’t find anything inside, then we will think that something is there of the outside value. Then we say ‘Come on, welcome to you, we meet in the transcendent’. [laughter] And then we start the mantra and the mantra goes ‘ding’, ‘ding’, ‘ding’ [laughter]. Because if it is a spirit, real something, then it comes to us to find a rescue in this body to refuge. This is a refuge for the spirit.

And then if we want to give it a refuge, then give it a refuge in bliss consciousness. By the time he’ll fly away thinking that we are too big for him to be occupied. Just like a poor man, he can’t take courage to enter into a castle. He has to be a king, maybe of another castle, but he has to be a king to feel bold to step in.

Any spirit that might try to enter us would just stand outside and wait and go away, feeling that it is too precious a castle to enter. Therefore we don’t feel afraid, we just either feel the body or take the mantra and go deep and let it follow if it can. That is how we meet the situation.

And there is absolutely no need to be afraid. Nothing, because these spirits can’t do anything to you unless you start accepting them–positively or negatively. Negative acceptance is ‘Oh, he is coming, he is coming, he is coming’ [laughter] Fear. We are accepting it in fear. This is negative acceptance.

We just don’t take notice of them. And meditator’s thought force, the whole structure, the whole thing, is so precious that it can’t be occupied by these spirits. They are too confused in their structure…

Question: Why spirits pick on some people and why not on others?

Maharishi: There is a proverb ‘Survival of the fittest’ is the law of nature. If there is some good, comfortable nervous system, good soothing and the mind is weak, and intellect is dull, then in that dull intellect, when the mind is not wide awake, a spirit may try to come in.

The reason will be a good quality of nervous system and weak indweller–beautiful body and weak indweller. The inner man who dwells in the body and sometimes goes out of the body when the body is useless.

A house can only be entered by someone, who sees from outside ‘It must be a good house, comfortable house’. And the man who is living there is so weak and he comes in and suppresses the man and turns him out. Or for some time suppresses him, eats whatever is there in the beautiful kitchen and rests in the beautiful bed. He uses the house, goes away, leaves the house to that weak man. Sometimes he comes back again and the weak man is suppressed.

For the body to be possessed …(break of tape) …this huge, enormous, expanded mind cannot be suppressed by any spirit. Because the spirit itself is a very confused entity. Highly confused people become spirits–a man, those who commit suicide or who have no direction in life, completely confused and in that confusion the body ceases to function and they die. Then they have not paved a way for their where to go. They remain hovering in the atmosphere in the form of spirits.

All these spirits want to have a comfortable place somewhere.

The world is like a snake in the string – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

1. (Dr. Dillbeck:) This question Maharishi from the Community Television, Montgomery Community Television in Rockville, Maryland. Many Sages have talked about the illusory nature of life, what is it about our experience that is illusory and what is the experience of one who has awakened from that illusion?

2. Maharishi: Direct case of illusion is in the state of the dream.

3. The world is like a snake in the string. The string is there, but when you are not able to see the string properly, then you make a snake out of it.

4. The snake world is just like illusion, and when you are awake, when you know the string, then there was no snake.

5. The snake is just the physiology. Every fiber of the physiology is an impulse of consciousness. Different bodies are the various expressions of the one reality of consciousness.

6. There are seven states of consciousness, waking, dreaming, sleeping, TC (Transcendental Consicousness), CC (Cosmic Consciousness), GC (God Consciousness) and UC (Unity Consciousness).

7. Vedic knowledge means knowledge of all these seven states of consciousness.

8. Now is the time of the world to have an administration of life in unity consciousness.

9. Proper administration is administration through education, where the individual is trained to use the total brain.

10. The full brain of the individual is used only when the Transcendental Consciousness comes to direct experience. Transcendental Meditation, enlivening the full creative potential of the brain physiology, enables
a man to function from the level of Total Knowledge. Total Knowledge is Veda.

11. Highly enlightened individuals will create permanent peace on earth.

24. Think Outside Of The Cell

25. See The World Anew

26. Question Everything

27. Your Indoctrination

28. Technical Difficulties

1. Dr. Bevan Morris: One member of the press asks about Maharishi’s frequent references to the junction point–the area between the field of unity and the point of infinity. What is the junction point, and what is its practical significance?

2. Junction point is the junction point of unity and diversity. The junction point is very basic to what we want to achieve: All possibilities lively in the awareness of the individual. Then that individual will be utilizing all the laws with reference to dynamism and all the laws with reference to silence. This will be a perfect level of life.

3. Vedic Education, including the six Darshanas, trains the individual to use his total brain.

4. The junction point in Yoga terminology is called Samadhi: The Intelligence is even on the dynamic level
of awareness, and on the silent level of awareness.

5. Silence is lacking in education. When silence is lacking in the field of action, the individual becomes tired.
Now we are planning to establish beautiful oases in the desert.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is considered one of the foremost scientists in the field of consciousness.

1.Dr. Hagelin: There are a few questions, Maharishi, on some very deep principles and interesting principles that arose from your press conference of last week. If Maharishi would like to address one of these questions, it has to do with the nature of the gap and a comment that Maharishi made about that: Maharishi frequently speaks about two basic values of life-silence and dynamism. But Maharishi also speaks of what seems to be a third value, which is neither silent nor dynamic, and that is the gap which balances the two. Then last week, Maharishi said that silence is upheld by the devata Shiva, and dynamism is upheld by the devata Vishnu, with the devata Ganapati “holding the reins of coordination between the two.” Would Maharishi please talk more about Ganapati? And is the gap, in fact, a distinctly third value? And finally, how does it balance silence and dynamism?

2. Maharishi: Gap is like a tunnel. The train comes; it enters into the tunnel, and then comes out of the tunnel. The word for this flow is purnat purnamudachyate: “fullness emerges from fullness.”

3. In the mantra of the Veda, the previous word transforms itself in the gap into the following word. The previous fullness flows through the gap and comes out to be another fullness. That is how the whole Constitution of the Universe is a flow of fullness.

4. The process of evolution is a flow from fullness to fullness. And it is this, ultimately, that is said to be Brahm.

5. Vedic Science is a perfect science of life. It’s a science of unity, and science of diversity, in one expression.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is widely regarded as one of the foremost scientists in the field of consciousness.

The Tao-te Ching, a classic of the literature of enlightenment, expresses the same reality of life as the Vedic literature of India. Speaker: Dr. Bevan Morris, President of Maharishi University of Management.

Terrorists are cowards. Whenever terror has struck in any part of the world, we have heard people say it is an act of cowardice. A coward runs away from action but harbours all negative feelings and does it surreptitiously.

This is exactly what happened to Arjuna. Arjuna was angry, upset, sad and wanted to run away. In the Bhagawad Gita, Lord Krishna said not to be a coward. So, it is an antidote to terrorism. Shri Krishna said bravery is the way – face the war when it is inevitable and do your duty.

A terrorist is stuck in his identity – he hides it, has no rationale and inflicts pain. Whereas Bhagawad Gita helps one to transcend one’s identity, encourages reason and infuses wisdom. In this sense, it could be called the antidote to terrorism.

The duty of a policeman, a soldier or a king is to be impartial for the sake of the nation, whether it is their mentors or relatives. Terrorists are never impartial. A soldier is brave and a terrorist is a coward. A soldier is protecting and preventing violence and a terrorist is inflicting pain and suffering. The Bhagawad Gita is the scripture of bravery in both realms of physical and metaphysical.

Terrorism is deeply steeped in hatred. An act without hatred is what Gita propounds. The Gita epitomizes the correct action – of righteousness, of upliftment of spirit and an action or duty that ought to be performed even in the most compelling situation.

In the last 5149 years of the existence of the Gita, there is no evidence of someone becoming a terrorist after reading it. In fact, Mahatma Gandhi wrote commentaries on the Bhagawad Gita and it was an inspiration for his non-violent movement. The Bhagawad Gita is a unique scripture which caters to the entire range of human evolution, comprising every level of this vast existence.

Gita stands for poise and equanimity and for performing one’s designated duty. Krishna does not encourage everyone to take the weapons and fight but a soldier cannot sell bananas in the market. He has to take his weapon to bring security to his people. If Bhagawad Gita is a terrorist scripture then all military academies in the world are nothing but terrorist organizations. Doesn’t this sound strange? Would the courts ban Lenin, Marx and Mao Tso-Tung, who to stay in power inflicted terror on millions?

A terrorist or a coward hides and inflicts pain on others whereas a soldier sacrifices his own life to bring security and peace to people. They both may take the gun but their intentions are poles apart.

Gita encourages reasoning and dialogue while terrorists are blind to any reasoning and are closed to any form of dialogue.

Interestingly, in any military training all over the world, the soldiers are asked to see the enemies as dangerous objects which need to be eliminated. The psychology behind indoctrination of such an idea is that when they think the enemy is a human being the soldiers are unable to raise their arms. There are many such survival tactics where the army men are desensitized.

A similar situation happened to Arjuna. Lord Krishna went step by step to deal with Arjuna’s emotions, ego, mindsets and concepts. He finally touched on the nature of his spiritual being; revealing him the highest knowledge and making him realize his eternal nature. This brought him enormous strength and then propelled him to perform his worldly duties. A doctor cannot be taken as a dacoit just because he opens up the stomach of the patient.

Krishna says, no sin begets him whose intellect is unattached and free from cravings and aversions, even if he kills the whole world. Now, the condition of an intellect free from cravings and aversions itself counters terrorism. Terrorism is done when the intellect is deeply attached and is hateful. The metaphors and the high standards of humanism exhibited in the Gita are unparalleled.

Jesus had said, “I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.” In the Quran, there are many verses which talk about striking terror in the hearts of the infidels and cutting off their fingers. By these standards if you still call Gita a terrorist scripture then you have to precede such statements by Bible and Quran.

The fact is that it is not the scriptures that inflict terrorism; it is the mis-interpretation of an ignorant and stressed mind which justifies their actions quoting scriptures.

By Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

This article is to cater to the common man. This piece was written in December 2011, in the midst of a Russian court case against the Bhagawad Gita. The case ended with the Russian court rejecting the ban.

Product Information
Remember Who You Are is destined to transform the way vast numbers of people see themselves and the world – and it could not have been published at a more pivotal moment in known human history.

We live in extraordinary times, and we face the most enormous challenge to our individual and collective freedom. David Icke has been a trailblazer for more than two decades, warning of the coming global fascist/communist state that is now unfolding on the television news and in our daily experience. He was subjected to mass ridicule and called a madman – but events have proved him right, and continue to do so.

David has exposed the global network of families behind Big Banking, Big Biotech, Big Food, Big Government, Big Media and Big Pharma in book after book as his awareness has expanded – and he takes this on to still new levels of exposure in Remember Who You Are. But David goes far deeper down the rabbit hole than merely our daily experience of the ‘five senses’. He reveals the true nature of our reality where there is no ‘solidity’ or ‘physical’ – only vibrational, electrical, digital and holographic information fields that we decode into what appears to be a ‘physical world’.

David calls this the ‘Cosmic Internet’, and in this amazing work he explains how a malevolent force has ‘hacked’ into the cosmic information source via the ‘Saturn–Moon Matrix’ to feed us a false reality very similar in theme to the illusory world portrayed in the Matrix movie series. Remember Who You Are breaks massive new ground as David connects the dots between apparently unconnected people, subjects and world events like never before. Suddenly, a world of apparent complexity, mystery and bewilderment makes sense.

The key is in the title. We are enslaved because we identity ‘self’ with our body and our name, when these are only vehicles and symbols for what we really are – Infinite Awareness, Infinite Consciousness. We are imprisoned in the realms of the five senses and ‘little me’ when we are All That Is, All That Has Been and All That Ever Can Be. To breach the perceptual walls of the Saturn–Moon Matrix and bring an end to mass human enslavement, we need to awaken to our true identity. Everything, but everything, comes from this. Remember Who You Are. Remember ‘where’ you are and where you ‘come’ from. Remember.

Remember who you are, your not Effel Jurnt , your not Charlie Smith, your not your Job, your not your income bracket, your not your colour or your race; that’s what your experiencing. You are consciousness, all powerful, infinite, eternal consciousness; all it is, can be and ever will be, and when we move to that perception of self, to that self identity and recognize who we are that’s is when we can bring this house of cards down! – The Great David Icke

David Icke: Remember Who You Are 1/4

David Icke: Remember Who You Are 2/4

David Icke: Remember Who You Are 3/4

David Icke: Remember Who You Are 4/4

The film ‘Invitation to World Literature: the Bhagavad Gita’ (WGBH, Annenberg Media) will screen at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City on Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 1 p.m. The following is filmmaker Joshua Seftel’s interview with Hindu monk and Columbia University Chaplain Gadadhara Pandit Dasa, who appears in the film.

Joshua Seftel: When I was in college, I was walking through Washington Square Park, and a Hindu monk came up to me and handed me the Bhagavad Gita, and I remember I was too shy to know what to say so I just took it and I brought it home. But I didn’t open it for 20 years. The reason was I felt intimidated by it, and I felt it wouldn’t be relevant to me. It wasn’t until I worked on the film about the Bhagavad Gita that I realized it’s everywhere. It has influenced so many things I already knew about.

Gadadhara Pandit Dasa: The Bhagavad Gita did influence the lives of very prominent western people — not just Indian people like Ghandi — but Martin Luther King Jr., and Emerson, Thoreau, Oppenheimer.
Seftel: If you had to tweet what Bhagavad Gita is about, what would you say?

Pandit: (laughs) OK, what Bhagavad Gita is about (pause), “The guide to overcoming life’s biggest obstacles, which are caused by the mind and understanding the difference between the body and soul.”

Seftel: Would you say the main character, Arjuna, is having a nervous breakdown?

Pandit: Well, here is what Arjuna says: “My hair is standing on end. My skin is burning. My mind is whirling; my bow is slipping from my hand. I can no longer stand here any longer.” I would say that if you can’t stand on your own feet and things that you are holding are slipping from your hand, then that would qualify as a nervous breakdown.

Seftel: Arjuna, and his chariot driver, Krishna, have a relationship that is timeless and relatable. There’s a little “Tony Soprano and Dr. Melfi” or “Tiger Woods and his caddy” here.

Pandit: I don’t know if you saw the movie “The Legend of Bagger Vance” with Will Smith and Matt Damon? That’s based on Bhagavad Gita actually, because Matt Damon’s golfer character is named Rannulph Junuh. So that’s Arjuna. And Will Smith, his caddy, is named Bagger Vance. If you take Bag and Vance, that’s Baggavan which means “god” (laughs). And there’s some Karate Kid here too. You know they’ve got Mr. Miyagi and Danielson (laughs). So Danielson, when he wants to learn he goes to Mr. Miyagi and asks him about karate and Mr. Miyagi then becomes a teacher. I think you can find this relationship everywhere in contemporary life.

Seftel: What about “The Matrix”?

Pandit: There’s definitely a good amount of the Gita in The Matrix. Neo is very much like Arjuna because in the movie you see that Neo is looking for something. He sits on his computer. He knows that the world he sees around him isn’t everything. He knows that there is something more out there. He just can’t figure out what it is. When he finally meets Morpheus, his guru or teacher, Morpheus says, “You know it’s out there, you just don’t know what it is. It’s kind of like a thorn. You have always felt it.”

Seftel: In our film, Amitav Kaul says that he had a breakthrough in understanding Hinduism and the Gita after seeing Star Wars.

Pandit: Yes, the scene where Obi Wan tells Luke about “the force.” That’s why in Hinduism many say “Happiness is found within,” because the divine is there. We are not able to access it because we are so busy doing so many things and progressing materially that we are not able to access that divine. So I think that is what he was referring to. The force is the divine.

Seftel: How does the story of the Bhagavad Gita end?

Pandit: It ends in a really beautiful way. One of my favorite passages in the Gita is where Krishna says to Arjuna that I’ve told you everything that I want to tell you, deliberate on it fully. And now, you do as you wish to do. I think that is so wonderful from a spiritual point of view that God is detached from our life to some degree. He’s interested in educating us, but ultimately he says: You make your own decisions.

Seftel: I went to a bar mitzvah a few months ago, and I met a boy named Arjuna. Do you think Arjuna is going to become a popular name in the States?

Pandit: Well, it all depends on how well this documentary does (laughs). I think that is largely in your hands (laughs).

Seftel and Pandit will speak after the January 25th screening of the film at the Rubin Museum of Art.
If you missed the show, you can watch Joshua Seftel’s 26 minute film on-line.
Click here watch and view the transcript of the video clip on the top right hand column.

Throughout history, the number 108 has held a multi-dimensional meaning. In geometric terms it is a natural division of circle (108=36+72=9 X 12). In the Eastern part of the world, different traditions talk about the108 navamsas. The Shiva malas[1], or rosaries, both Tantric and Tibetan[2] are composed by 108 beads. The number 108 is also one of great significance inside of the Rosicrucian order, since it exemplifies the time-frame of some of their cycles. Interestingly enough, a leap year displays 366 days and 3 x 6 x 6 gives 108.

The number 108 is considered sacred in many Eastern religions and traditions, such as Hinduism[3], Buddhism, Jainism[4], Sikhism and connected yoga and dharma based practices. Even the pre-historic monument Stonehenge is 108 feet in diameter. 108 is a number known to be referring to spiritual completion, and it is no surprise that the early Vedic sages were renowned mathematicians and in fact invented our number system. 108 is a Harshad Number, an integer divisible by the sum of its digits. Harshad in Sanskrit means “joy-giver”. 108 was the number of choice for this simple reason: 108 represent the whole of existence. There are said to be 108 types of meditation. Some say there are 108 paths to God. Indian traditions have 108 dance forms.

Another interesting example, Hindu deities have 108 names, whilst in Gaudiya Vaishnavism, there are 108 gopis of Vrindavan. Recital of these names, often accompanied by the counting of the 108-beaded Mala, is considered sacred and often done during religious ceremonies. The recital is called namajapa. Accordingly, a mala usually has beads for 108 repetitions of a mantra.

In some schools of Buddhism, it is believed that there are 108 defilements. In Japan, at the end of the year, a bell is chimed 108 times in Buddhist temples to finish the old year and welcome the new one. Each ring represents one of 108 earthly temptations a person must overcome to achieve nirvana. Likewise, Zen priests wear juzu, a ring of prayer beads, around their wrists, which consists of 108 beads. The Lankavatara Sutra[5] has a section where the Bodhisattva Mahamati asks Buddha 108 questions.

In modern Gnosticism, through the teachings of Samael Aun Weor, it is believed that an individual has 108 chances, or lifetimes, to eliminate his egos and transcend the material world before “devolving” and having the egos forcefully removed in the infra-dimensions. In other words, each one of us carries the reminiscent memory cells of at least 108 previous incarnations, which constitutes the body of our incarnational selves. Inside of this essentially holographic template is stored the repository of the emotional and spiritual involvements that your Soul may have experienced and have retained the impression of, but that needed to be cleansed and integrated in order to continue the spiritual evolution.

The Buddhism tradition talks about the 108 earthly desires in mortals, 108 lies humans tell and 108 human delusions[6].

The esoteric presence of the number 108 can be seen in various spiritual practices and theories: In Kriya Yoga, the maximum number of repetitions allowed to be practiced in one sitting is 108. Also, 108 Sun Salutations in yoga practice is often used to honor change, for example the change of seasons, or at a time of tragedy to bring peace, respect and understanding. It is said that if one can be so calm in meditation practicing pranayama to have only 108 breaths a day that enlightenment will come.

Energy Points[7]

There are said to be 108 energy lines, or nadis, converging to form the heart chakra. Marma points are like Chakras, or intersection of energy, with fewer converging energy lines. On Sri Yantra, the Marmas have 54 intersecting energy lines where three lines intersect. Each has feminine, or shakti, and masculine, or shiva, qualities. 54 X 2 = 108. Therefore there are 108 points that define the human body and the Sri Yantra or the Yantra of Creation. The same rule is observed in the Sanskrit language, with its 54 letters, both representing the two genders and they are also called Shiva and Shakti respectively; again, 54 X 2= 108.

Importance in Astronomy and Astrology

The earth cycle is supposed to be of 2160 years = 20 x 108. The distance between the Earth and Sun is 108 times the diameter of the Sun. The diameter of the Sun is 108 times the diameter of the Earth. The distance between the Earth and Moon is 108 times the diameter of the Moon. The universe is made up of 108 elements according to ancient texts. The current periodic table claims a few more than 108.

There are 12 constellation and 9 arc segments. 9 times 12 equal 108. The 9 planets travelling through the 12 signs constitute the whole of existence. 9 x 12 = 108. The 27 nakshatras or lunar constellations spread over the 4 elements – fire, earth, air, water or the 4 directions – north, south, east, and west. This also constitutes the whole of existence. 27 x 4 = 108.

[1] – The Buddhist rosary, where from is inspired the rosary of the Moslems, then straight-away as an inheritance of crusades by Catholic Christians, is constituted of 108 fragments of distinctive different human skulls .

[2] 108 sacred books constitute the holy writings for Tibetans

[3] The Vedanta, according to the Hinduism tradition, recognizes 108 authentic doctrines (Upanishad) aiming to approach the Truth and to destroy Ignorance.

[4] In Jain tradition is believed that they are 108 virtues.

[5] Lankavatara Sutra ancient teachings refer repeatedly to many temples with 108 steps.

[6] In Tibetan Buddhism it is believed that there are 108 sins or 108 delusions of the mind: abuse, aggression, ambition, anger, arrogance, baseness, blasphemy calculation, callousness, capriciousness (unaccountable changes of mood or behavior) censoriousness (being severely critical of others), conceitedness, contempt, cruelty, cursing, debasement, deceit, deception, delusion, derision, desire for fame, dipsomania (alcoholism characterized by intermittent bouts of craving), discord, disrespect, disrespectfulness, dissatisfaction, dogmatism, dominance, eagerness for power, effrontery (insolent or impertinent behavior), egoism, enviousness, envy, excessiveness, faithlessness, falseness, furtiveness, gambling, garrulity (tediously talking about trivial matters), gluttony, greed, greed for money grudge, hardheartedness, hatred, haughtiness, high-handedness, hostility, humiliation, hurt, hypocrisy, ignorance, imperiousness (assuming power or authority without justification), imposture (pretending to be someone else in order to deceive), impudence, inattentiveness, indifference, ingratitude, insatiability, insidiousness, intolerance, intransigence (unwilling or refusing to change one’s views or to agree about something), irresponsibility, jealousy, know-it-all, lack of comprehension, lecherousness, lying, malignancy, manipulation, masochism, mercilessness, negativity, obsession, obstinacy, obstinacy, oppression, ostentatious, pessimism, prejudice, presumption, pretense, pride, prodigality (spending money or using resources freely and recklessly), quarrelsomeness, rage, rapacity (being aggressively greedy or grasping), ridicule, sadism, sarcasm, seduction, self-denial, self-hatred, sexual lust, shamelessness, stinginess, stubbornness, torment, tyranny, unkindness, unruliness, unyielding, vanity, vindictiveness, violence, violent temper, voluptuousness, wrath.

[7] According to Chinese and Indian Martial Arts: Marma Adi and Ayurveda, there are 108 pressure points in a human body.

This article, The Mystic Meaning of the Number 108, is syndicated from and is reposted here with permission.

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