“Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much
as your own unguarded thoughts.

Develop the mind of equilibrium.
You will always be getting praise and blame,
but do not let either affect the poise of the mind:
follow the calmness, the absence of pride.”

–Sutta Nipata

The sharpest boundary, however, is the one that separates the intermediary from the third and highest domain of the tribhuvana, which is termed svar and corresponds to our conception of the heavenly or celestial realm. The first two domains are comparatively similar, as in fact suggested by the words bhur and bhuvar, their respective Sanskrit designations; it is the transition from bhur to bhuvar that presents itself as a radical discontinuity, and in fact entails an inversion. So too the major break on the side of knowing is situated between the second and third of the corresponding degrees, as the analogies given in the Mandukya Upanishad in fact make it clear: nothing could indeed be more radical than the transition from the dream-state to sushupti, the state of dreamless sleep, which for this very reason is generally viewed as a state in which there is no knowing at all. It hardly needs saying that no amount of psychedelic drugs can take us across that border, and that even the techniques of yoga cannot effect that transition in the absence of initiatic grace. One might add that it is the failure to distinguish between the psychic an authentically celestial world that invalidates much of what contemporary authorities have to say concerning the so-called “spiritual life.”

–Wolfgang Smith (cosmology in the face of Gnosis, Sophia Vol. 12, no.2)

God knows creatures, not according to the creature’s knowledge, but according to His own.

–Dionysius the Areopagite

AUM. This imperishable word is the universe.
It is explained as the past, the present, the future;
everything is the word AUM.
Also whatever transcends threefold time is AUM.
All here is God; this soul is God.
This same soul is fourfold.

The waking state outwardly conscious,
having seven limbs and nineteen doors,
enjoying gross objects common to all, is the first.

The dreaming state inwardly conscious,
having seven limbs and nineteen doors,
enjoying subtle objects that are bright, is the second.

When one sleeps without yearning for any desires,
seeing no dreams, that is deep sleep.
The deep-sleep state unified in wisdom gathered,
consisting of bliss, enjoying bliss,
whose door is conscious wisdom, is the third.

This is the Lord of all; this is the omniscient;
this is the inner controller; this is the universal womb,
for this is the origin and end of beings.
Not inwardly wise nor outwardly wise nor both ways wise
nor gathered wisdom, nor wise nor unwise,
unseen, incommunicable, intangible,
featureless, unthinkable, indefinable,
whose essence is the security of being one with the soul,
the end of evolution, peaceful, good, non-dual—
this they deem the fourth.

It is the soul; it should be discerned.
This is the soul in regard to the word AUM and its parts.
The parts are the letters,
and the letters are its parts: A U M.

The waking state common to all is the letter A,
the first part, from “attaining” or from being first.
Whoever knows this attains all desires and becomes first.

The sleeping state, the bright, is the letter U,
the second part, from “uprising” or from being in between.
Whoever knows this rises up in knowledge and is balanced;
no one ignorant of God is born in that family.

The deep-sleep state, the wise, is the letter M,
the third part, from “measure” or from being the end.
Whoever knows this measures everything and reaches the end.

The fourth is without a letter, the incommunicable,
the end of evolution, good, non-dual.

Thus AUM is the soul.
Whoever knows this enters by one’s soul into the soul;
this one knows this.

MANDUKYA UPANISHAD

None of the things which are comprehended by the senses or contemplated by the intellect really subsist; nothing except the transcendent and cause of all.

–St. Gregory of Nyssa

Notes:

Tribhuvana (Sanskrit) Three worlds; in Hindu literature the three bhuvanas are svarga (heaven), bhumi (earth), and patala (the lower regions). Esoterically the tribhuvanas are the spiritual, psychic or astral, and terrestrial spheres. http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Tribhuvana/id/195496

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Svar (Svarga, Svargaloka)

The heavenly domain (above Bhuvarloka) of Indra, king of the demigods

(See also: Svar , Bhakti, Bhakti Yoga, Bhakti Dictionary, Body Mind and Soul) http://www.krishna.com

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BHUR

Firstly, the word Bhur implies existence. God is self-existent and independent of all. He is eternal and unchanging. Without beginning and without end, God exists as a continuous, permanent, constant entity. Secondly, the word Bhur can also mean the Earth, on which we are born and sustained. God is the provider of all, and it is through His divine will that we our blessed with all that we require to maintain us through our lives. Finally, Bhur signifies Prana, or life (literally, breath). God is That which gives life to all. Whilst He is independent of all, all are dependent on Him. It is God who has given us life, God who maintains us throughout our lives, and God alone who has the ability to take away our life, when He so chooses. The only permanent entity, all others are subject to His own will

http://www.eaglespace.com/spirit/gayatribywords.php

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BHUVAH

Bhuvah describes the absolute Consciousness of God. God is self-Conscious as well as being Conscious of all else, and thus is able to control and govern the Universe. Also, the word Bhuvah relates to God’s relationship with the celestial world. It denotes God’s greatness – greater than the sky and space, He is boundless and unlimited. Finally, Bhuvah is also indicative of God’s role as the remover of all pain and sufferings (Apaana). We see pain and sorrow all around us. However, through supplication to God, we can be freed from that pain and hardship. God Himself is devoid of any pain. Though He is Conscious of all, and is thus aware of pain, it does not affect Him. It is our own ignorance that makes us susceptible to the effects of Maya, or illusion, which causes us to feel pain. Through true devotion to God, we can be freed from the clutches of Maya, and thus be rid of pain and sorrow.

http://www.eaglespace.com/spirit/gayatribywords.php

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Sushupti: Hindu – Hinduism Dictionary on Consciousness

consciousness: Chitta or chaitanya.

1)    A synonym for mind-stuff, chitta; or

2)    the condition or power of perception, awareness, apprehension.

There are myriad gradations of consciousness, from the simple sentience of inanimate matter to the consciousness of basic life forms, to the higher consciousness of human embodiment, to omniscient states of superconsciousness, leading to immersion in the One universal consciousness, Parashakti. Chaitanya and chitta can name both individual consciousness and universal consciousness.

Modifiers indicate the level of awareness, e.g.,

–       vyashti chaitanya, “individual consciousness;”

–       buddhi chitta, “intellectual consciousness;”

–       Sivachaitanya, “God consciousness.”

Five classical “states” of awareness are discussed in scripture:

1)    wakefulness (jagrat),

2)    “dream” (svapna) or astral consciousness,

3)    “deep sleep” (sushupti) or subsuperconsciousness,

4)    the superconscious state beyond (turiya “fourth”) and

5)    the utterly transcendent state called turiyatita (“beyond the fourth”).

See: awareness, chitta, chaitanya, mind (all entries).

(See also: Consciousness , Hinduism, Body Mind and Soul)

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