There is No Satan or Hell, Focus on the Here and Now
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2019-06-04
There is no hell. Only "hellish" states of mind. The state of mind in the here and now is the same state of mind you'll be in in the inner world after dropping off the physical body. Focus on being in the states of mind produced by the higher chakras. If we are constantly unnecessarily analyzing the present, thinking about the past, the future, it's hard to control our meditations. We are meant to have mystical inner experiences not just as a one time event but today, tomorrow and the next day. The world is the place where we can improve our concentration and willpower.
Master Course Trilogy, Dancing with Siva, Merging with Siva, Lesson 53
Good morning everyone, nice to see you all.
Reading from today's Master Course lesson which is lesson 53 starting with the Dancing With Siva.
"Does hell really exist? Is there a satan?"
"There is no eternal hell nor is there a Satan. However, there are hellish states of mind and woeful births for those who think and act wrongfully--temporary tormenting conditions that lift the fiery forces within.
"Hell, termed Naraka, is the lower astral realm of the seven chakas below the muladhara. It is a place of fire and heat, anguish and dismay, of confusion, despair and depression. Here anger, jealousy, argument, mental conflict and tormenting moods plague the mind. Access to hell is brought about by our own thoughts, words, deeds and emotions--suppressed, antagonistic feelings that court demons and their aggressive forces. Hell is not eternal. Nor is there a Satan who tempts man and opposes God's power, though there a devilish beings called asuras, immature souls caught in the abyss of deception and hurtfulness. We do not have to die to suffer the Naraka regions, for hellish states of mind are also experienced in the physical world. If we do die and a hellsh state of consciouness--burdened by unresolved hatred, remorse resentment, fear and distorted patterns of thought--we arrive in Naraka fully equipped to join others in this temporary astral purgatory. The Vedas say, 'Sunless and demonic, verily, are those worlds, and enveloped in blinding darkness, to which all those people who are enemies of their own souls go after death."
This is following the Dancing with Siva verse on "Sin" that's why written like it is. If it was in another context I think what Gurudeva would have done is parralel it to heaven but because of the context he didn't do that but the same principle applies there. The basic principle is that what happens after we die, as Gurudeva explains, well we carry on basically as the same person. The only thing that happens is we don't have a physical body anymore and we're able to experience the astral world more fully than we are now. Well basically we're the same person, we retain the same state of mind, we don't change our state of mind just cause we drop off the physical body. That's the important thing. That is where Hinduism differes in that there's no big change at the end of life, and going along one way and then at the end of life there's no need to drop off the physical body, to get some tremendous reward or some tremendous punishment and everything changes. No, there's no, we carry on. The state of mind in the present is the state of mind you'll be in in the inner world.
To develop the point I was making at the beginning, the hellish experience starts right here with the hellish state of mind and the parrallel to that is the heavenly experience starts right here with the heavenly state of mind. So that's what we want to focus on is being in the states of mind produced by the higher chakras rather than the lower ones.
"...just becoming acquainted with the path to enlightenment may wonder where he is, how much he has achieved so far. There are a few cardinal signposts he may identify with to know he has touched into the inner realms of his mind. Should he ever have experienced a 'here and now' consciousness, causing him to fight the 'where and when' of the future and the 'there and then' of the past afterwards, he can fully impart to himself an award of having achieved some attainment by striving even more diligently than before..."
Those are nice phrases, 'here and now' 'where and when' ' there and then.' And he points out an important part of being in an inner state of consciousness or a heavenly phase of consciousness which is not unnecessarily thinking about the past and the future, only the present. Maybe we should just say not unnecesarily thinking. Getting more, more confused. Thinking of trying to weave this idea into a Publisher's Desk somehow, of course, [maybe that's how...??] but become more of aware in talking to people, some people are constantly thinking. They never stop thinking. You know, even in their meditation they have trouble stopping thinking because they're always thinking when they're not meditating. They come to think that that's the way it's supposed to be: "I'm alive so I think." Constantly analyzing the present, thinking about the past, thinking about the future. And of course, if we're constantly thinking it means when we sit down and meditate there's a strong tendency to continue constantly thinking. It's harder to control our meditations if we're constantly thinking in our ordinary state of mind. That's not helpful.
It also takes us out of the present moment. If we think about the past unnecessarily or the future unnecessarily, taking us out of the present, taking us out of a deeper experience of the present moment. It's what Gurudeva calls the eternal now. Really, really deeply experiencing the inner depths of the present moment. Not thinking about it, experiencing it. Eternal now.
So for some people it's a new idea. There's no need to be constantly thinking, of course in Gurudeva's writings, it's quite clear in the way I generally explain it. There's no need to think about the past, to think about the future, there should be a reason to do so. Should be a benefit. We're going there for a reason. Not just going there on [...??] We're going there for a reason. We're utilizing the intellectual mind to go into the past for a reason, to go into the future for a reason. It's like utilizing the internet. First thing you realize when you use the internet is you've got to have a plan. I'm going there for this reason. Then I'm coming back, I'm shopping. Otherwise, you know you just keep going, one thing leads to another, leads to another, the advertisement makes you buy something, you know. Can be totally ramifying. So we, we're utilizing the internet, I'm going to Google search, and I'm going to find out this information and when I find out the information I'm done using the internet.
So likewise, with our thinking mind. I'm going out into the future to plan out this activity but when it's planned out I'll just stop thinking about the future; I'll just enjoy the present.
"...The ability to see the world as transparent, a game, a dream, encourages the aspirant to seek deeper. The moon-like light within the center of the head appears during his tries at meditation, sometimes giving him the perceptive ability to cognize the intricate workings of another's external and subconscious states of mind, as well as his own. The ability of the ardent soul to recognize his guru and identify himself in the actinic flow from whence the master infuses knowledge by causing inner doors to open is another signpost that the aspirant has become an experiencer and is touching in on the fringe or perimeter of transcendental states of mind.
"Many on the path to enlightenment will be able to identify, through their personal experience, some of these signposts, and recall many happenings that occurred during their awakenings. But remember, the recall and the experience are quite different. The experience is 'here and now;' the recall is 'there and then...' "
That's an important point is the actual experience and the inner experience is much more powerful, much more of a higher consciousness than the recall of it. So, recalling it is quite different than the actual experience. You know the way we're not supposed to have a mystical experience, be ten years ago, and the rest of our spiritual life is telling people about the experience we had ten years ago. That doesn't count. Had something ten years ago but we're supposed to have it again today and tomorrow and the next day. It's not supposed to be just a one time event.
"...After acquiring this ability to consciously live superconsciously comes the ability to work accurately and enthusiastically in the material world while holding the intensity of the inner light, giving perceptive awareness of its mechanical structure..."
That's probably a good last point. Make, emphasises work accurately and enthusiastically in the material world. As Gurudeva explains in the Master Course introduction it's common for those who are new to the spiritual path to withdraw from the world or think they should withdraw for the world, the world's a worldly place and I'm interested in spiritual progress therefore I shouldn't be, put less attention into the world. And Gurudeva's point is not, not to fall into that idea but rather as it says here, work accurately and enthusiastically at the world. In other words, the world is the place where we can improve our concentration and willpower. Improve our ability to start and finish things. And those abilities are usefull in our inner life as well. So we don't want to think as the world as something to withdraw from. Again we want to use it as an opportunity to improve our concentration and willpower to doing things accurately and enthusiastically.
Aum Namah Sivaya. Thank you very much.