Anandamurti reintroduced the old tantric concept of “Taraka Brahma.” Taraka means “bridge,” and Brahma is “infinite consciousness” and so Taraka Brahma is the bridge to the infinite entity of Brahma. Taraka Brahma is the point just between the unmanifested infinite ocean of Brahma (Nirguna Brahma) and the manifested creation, or Macrocosm, of Brahma (Saguna Brahma). All is Brahma, the visible and the invisible, creation and its essence. Essence and creation are both Brahma just as waves are part of the ocean. The essence of Brahma is like an infinite ocean without waves, the pure Consciousness behind the Macrocosm. The universe in which we live is the creation of Brahma, the Macrocosmic manifestation of Brahma. This vast universe full of planets, stars, nebula and galaxies are but waves that vibrate the surface of the infinite ocean of Consciousness and which make them appear as separate from the essential ocean. Taraka Brahma is the tangent between these two aspects of Brahma, the link between the visible, manifested Macrocosm and the invisible, unmanifested consciousness behind the Macrocosm.
The pure, unmanifested Consciousness is infinite and transcendent of the creation. It is the ground of being, the eventual destination of our spiritual journey beyond all of the variegated vibrations in this created universe. The universe is the home of our physical being but our spirits home is in the infinite consciousness of Brahma. Human beings are microcosms, miniature expressions of the universal Macrocosm: “As above, so below.” Our spiritual evolution takes us through so many relative experiences in this universe, so many forms of life and meaning that make us one with the Macrocosm, but evolution eventually leads us toward union with pure Consciousness. The manifested Macrocosm is eternally active and occupied with Generating, Operating, and Dissolving its creation. The unmanifested Consciousness of Brahma is too unoccupied with the Macrocosmic universe to be able to liberate us, while the Macrocosm is too occupied with its own creation to liberate us. Hence, the idea of Taraka Brahma, the tangential entity between the unmanifested Consciousness and manifested Macrocosm of Brahma. Taraka Brahma sees and may touch all of the waves of this universe yet remains unperturbed by them while resting in the infinite Consciousness. Taraka Brahma is a special vehicle that functions through an incarnated being to express the Consciousness of the Macrocosm. It exists so as to liberate beings from the finite bondages of the Macrocosm and unify their minds with the infinite Consciousness.
Anandamurti clearly explained that this idea of Taraka Brahma is not the same as the divine incarnation theory. Divine incarnation is an illogical dogma because what is infinite can never manifest as finite, that the entire essence of Brahma could never manifest in a human form. Instead, the idea of Taraka Brahma is that the infinite being between the manifested and unmanifested consciousness expresses itself through a vehicle or a medium. As to what degree of expression Taraka Brahma may take is a mystery. Anandamurti said very little about that. He never said that he was Taraka Brahma either. He said that he was a mystery and will always be a mystery.
A saint is a highly evolved person whose mind is firmly established in the Vishuddha level of mind. “Vishuddha” means “especially pure.” Such noble minds are guided by the most selfless and loving tendencies that bless all of creation. These people are in the process of becoming one with the infinite macrocosm. It is an infinite process and no microcosm manifests all of the Macrocosm. Instead these minds eventually merge with the quiescent consciousness behind the Macrocosm. Like Ramakrishna said: to know the ocean one does not have to explore all of the ocean but just to enter at a certain place. Similarly, spiritual knowledge is infinite. Our knowledge about the creation from the vantage point of the Atman is endless. What is necessary for liberation is for the mind to merge into the subjective consciousness, or Atman, behind the Macrocosm and not to necessarily know all things possible in the creation. Certain minds with very special missions may develop more and more capacity of the Vishuddha mental powers and continue working for the liberation of all beings. They are commissioned from the Macrocosm itself and their knowledge and occult power come from that very same source. A true guru, or satguru, is one who has mastery over the causal mind of Vishuddha.
There are 8 occult powers in the Vishuddha. Saints may have a few of them while a satguru must have them all. Most of his disciples believe that he was deeply connected with Taraka Brahma yet after his death it seems to have become an established dogma that he WAS Taraka Brahma. Anandamurti was not some typical guru who impressed people through a few tricks and lower occult powers. His spiritual power was sublime. He cured thousands of people, mended their errors and continued to guide them along the spiritual path. He gave all of his energy to guiding human beings along the path of spiritual evolution. Although I never met him personally as he died a few years before I went to India, I met some of his disciples who had characteristics similar to him: people with a very deep understanding and love for humanity that actually healed and guided people so that they could progress spiritually. These were humble people who truly manifested some degree of their teacher´s power and wisdom but never thought they were anywhere close to parallel with the force of Anandamurti. These people never manipulated the idea of Taraka Brahma with the end of controlling other people.
I truly believe that the spirit of Taraka Brahma worked through Anandamurti. However, that is not the same as saying that Anandamurti was Taraka Brahma. Taraka Brahma continues to work behind the ideology and spiritual practice of Ananda Marga. Those who get samadhi (spiritual realization) through Ananda Marga spiritual practice connect with Taraka Brahma and are endowed with great power and spiritual responsibility. The advanced sadhakas will collectively manifest the force of Taraka Brahma, however, I do not believe that anybody else has manifested more of this consciousness than Anandamurti. Perhaps no one person could ever manifest what Anandamurti did. I believe Anandamurti gave all of his vital force to this manifestation, until it killed his body. Also, I see that his more realized saints suffer the same burden, of having to guide others and take on their samskaras. Taraka Brahma is a serious idea and is not to be used for social manipulations. Those who blasphemy the idea of Taraka Brahma become perverts and criminals because they are trying to wield a force that could never be manipulated and this omniscient intelligence reveals the true motives of these people and exposes them as clowns or criminals.
There are many kinds of spiritual leaders and many types of spiritual downfalls. The most sensational leaders have sensational falls like Rajneesh, Bikram, and Bubba Free John. They led many worldly people and took on their samskaras (karmic reactions) and basically fell into sex, drugs and rock-and-roll with their followers. They were just a little too cool for their own good and lost control with so many adulators. They probably never had much force to transmute the samskaras of others to begin with. I knew people of deep spiritual realization who were healers and “sin-eaters” and they would have never have acted like such vain fools who deceive other vain and ambitious people. Other teachers really had capacities to transmute the samskaras of others. Ramakrishna once used the analogy of a small snake choking on a frog. He likened this to a weak guru who could not consume the samskaras of the disciple and both teacher and disciple are left suffering. A strong teacher is like a giant cobra who swallows the frog with one bite. Of course, such teachers are rare and not accessible to the spiritual market place. Yet, can these cobras keep swallowing giant frogs repeatedly? Is there some limit even for them?
In “The Libertation Of Desire”, I wrote about how I overheard a senior Ananda Marga monk, Karunananda, discussing how he set up a prostitution service for sexually repressed monks under his supervision. What I did not write about is how this event happened while Anandamurti was still alive. Now if Anandamurti was the all-knowing incarnation of Taraka Brahma, then he certainly would have stopped him, so as to not let these activities contaminate the monastic order. Why start a monastic order with rules of celibacy if later the same monks are going to set up brothels? What was going on? Everybody used to speak about how strict Anandamurti was and how he kept everybody in line. By the 1980´s Ananda Marga was thoroughly infiltrated by not just the Indian intelligence, but the KGB, CIA and the FBI. At the same time Ananda Marga mafia activities were wide spread throughout the world. What did Anandamurti do to stop this? I believe that Anandamurti was originally very firm but later he lost his strength and was no longer able to keep people in line. After many years of radical social activity and accumulating a mass of followers, his vitality began to wane. Although I do not believe that he himself had an ethical fall, I believe he had an energetic fall in that he was no longer able to maintain the vigour that enabled him to keep everybody in line. All sorts of immorality went on around him and he could not stop it. The disciples began to believe that their all knowing guru actually condoned their crooked activities because they were no longer checked by the teacher. Ananda Marga is a swamp of cognitive dissonance. Stacking lies on top of lies is a psychotic tendency. Instead of coming to terms with these limitations his disciples keep the myth of the omniscient and omnipotent Taraka Brahma rolling all the while criminality, sexual perversion and mental illness continue to disintegrate the monastic order.
The law of karma and samskara, or action and reaction, is totally impersonal. It functions as inflexible and universal law such as gravity or the effect of cold or heat on the atoms of physical material. It does not take anything personal into consideration. Fire burns any hand that is placed in it. Once an action is done, the reactions have to bounce back, whether in the physical or mental worlds. Even the greatest and most powerful gurus get sick from taking too much reaction or samskaras from their disciples. The idea of a “saviour” of humanity is relative. There are teachers who can heal and mitigate the effects of samskaric reactions to a certain number of people but it is impossible that an incarnated being could save everyone. Anandamurti healed many people for many years but he always got sick afterward because his body had to experience the reactions he had taken. Although the mind was enlightened, free and divine, the body is bound in the physical plane where the law of action and reaction dominate. Before he died of a heart attack, he had initiated a hundred monks. Some rose to spiritual life while others fell deeply into ambition and pride. Not God itself, the consciousness of the Macrocosm, could control, guide and care for that process of healing totally as action and reaction are inviolable laws. Perhaps an enlightened being, in union with the Macrocosm, can mitigate the effects of the action and reaction of human beings by taking them within his/herself, but he/she is not an omnipotent being. One expresses a certain power of the Macrocosm but in the end the human incarnation is a microcosm, albeit an elevated and evolved one. Although maybe a myth and not actual history, they say that Jesus consumed the sins of his followers, but had to be sacrificed to do so. He did not have the infinite power to simply make the sins of others disappear. If it were really possible to take the samskaras or “sins” of all, the kingdom of Christianity would not be the disaster that it is and has been for two thousand years. Similarly, if Anandamurti were all-powerful then his organization of Ananda Marga would not be the mass of perversion and priest-craft that it has become. Anandamurti died for the sins of his followers. Although the Indian state and the Hindu “Pharisee” had tried to kill him on numerous occasions, it was ironically the crookedness of his own disciples that “crucified” him.
He once said “I have merged myself in my mission. If you want to know me then work for my mission.” As a loving father he gave his spiritual energy to his followers and merged his vitality in theirs. However, it was not an infinite reserve of energy. It must be invested properly and multiplied by proper spiritual progress and activity. The disciples thought their guru was all powerful and that they could do as they pleased without pulling him down. Supposedly, the glory of the teacher would be revealed in his legacy: in the great deeds of his followers after his physical death.
It is the ignorance and despair of human beings isolated from the consciousness of the Macrocosm that creates the ideas of absolute gurus and all powerful messiahs that exist to save everyone. Priests are all to ready to provide tricky ideas of divine incarnations and messiahs to exploit these natural weaknesses in people. Being a minister of such a divine being is the greatest ego trip that exists for the spiritually ambitious, except for the psychotic delusion of pretending to be a divine incarnation oneself! Instead of developing the self reliance which leads to self knowledge and realization such people feed off of the glory of the personal image of their master to embolden their weak egos. Traditions, conventions and the ideas of others substitute for actual spiritual knowledge. This is indeed a weakness and a point for distortions in the path of form, or the fall of spirituality into religion. Attachment to relative forms uses personal and/or symbolic images as references for the essential Consciousness of the Macrocosm that exists quite simply as the subjective Witness to all microcosmic minds. Self realization is to discard all of these manipulated and contrived social interventions so as to simply and sincerely know the nature of one’s very own Witness deep withing their existential feeling of “I-exist.” There is nothing closer and natural to one’s inner being than this inner, infinite I-feeling, yet the fearful mind conjures up so many excuses and pretexts so as to not see oneself, to remain enslaved to non original concepts and the fixed ideas of conventions.
I recently saw “The Wild Wild Country,” a documentary about Rajneesh and his followers. It was very absurd but very fun to watch. It made me think of the pitfalls of social and spiritual leaders, as well as their followers. The Rajneesh show was much more superficial and vain than what I am writing about but I think it reflects the same dynamics of corruption and narcissism in alternative mass movements with charismatic leaders. Where there are leaders with strong egos and blind and devout followers their ambition and vanity too often ends up consuming their ideology and personal sincerity. Not many people are self-reliant and capable of following their own conscience and so they look toward another to guide them and project so much of their own power onto the leader. The fall of the leader is traumatic for their communities and this deception causes great karmic harm. In the end one cannot fool the universe and nature makes one the fool. It is as if the conscious macrocosm rejects and punishes such acts to compensate for those transgressions. When one deceives human society with hypocrisy the Macrocosm makes one a clown and/or a criminal.
One is left thinking if the Macrocosm is an impersonal entity, an intelligence field that controls the laws of the universe such as evolution, involution, expansion, contraction, and action and reaction. If this idea is true, the Macrocosm is in the generator, operator, and destroyer (god) of the universe but it has nothing of a personal relationship with my life, my feelings, desires and sufferings; the Macrocosm would only be an impartial governor who created the universe and its laws and continues to maintain the universe automatically like a machine.
It is only when we know our personal life as an expression of the Macrocosm that we understand that there is something personal in the Macrocosm. One can only understand this when the mind is free of narrow ideas and mundane and limited desires. If the Macrocosm is the whole, then my mind with its thoughts and desires and emotions is also an expression of the Macrocosm. Without me, who will call it “god” or Macrocosm? When “I” approach Om, the sound of generation, operation, and dissolution, there is always something offered to continue with the drama of incarnated, microcosmic life. “Do you really want to dissolve in my infinite Om now and end the cosmic drama, or should I tell you some deep secrets about your purpose and the purpose of the universe?” Thus when one finds the silence and stillness of meditation, one reaches the edge of existence and non-existence to discover the mystical secrets of life. They have to be experienced, one has to go to the seashore to know the sea and not just listen to stories of others’ visits. You have to jump in and immerse yourself completely.
It is when one is restless to free oneself from the sufferings of life and even ready to surrender everything to the infinite that the infinite reveals the meaning of relative, microcosmic existence. By our sincerity of effort we are compensated with knowledge and meaning of the life in the created universe. We know the reasons for our sufferings and why things happened to us in this world. It is also revealed the great potential and purpose of our lives that may live in harmony with the universe instead of avoiding existential responsibility and escape life with the desire to be saved by some guru or messiah. It is the explanation of our personal mind by the omniscient awareness of the Macrocosm that makes us understand that the Macrocosm is also a personal entity, an entity that takes care of me and guides me. The Tao, or the movement of the Macrocosm, extends far beyond me, but it is also within me, and so this transpersonal entity includes my person. Tao is the creator of the stars and galaxies and also the fundamental identity of all human beings (microcosms) as well as the heart behind each heart. Through contemplation and meditation we are taught the absolute law of karma and samksara, of action and reaction. We understand how to walk with virtue to avoid suffering from reactions based on spiritual ignorance and selfishness separated from the consciousness of the Macrocosm. One trusts oneself and has true dignity because the infinite lives within. It gives us meaning and joy to relative, microcosmic life but also frees us from microcosmic life when we die in union with the infinite consciousness of the Macrocosm.
The creator is eternal and creation is eternal and constant. We are being created in every moment of the eternal present. Everything in the universe evolves into the bliss of infinite consciousness behind the Macrocosm, the great interconnected universe. From inert, material chaos the conscious Macrocosm guides the biological, or “microcosmic” life towards its liberation and union back in the consciousness of the Macrocosm. This infinite consciousness is beyond all conceptual attributes but the human spiritual heart and mind can always experience the mystery of mysteries as infinite love.
The only reason we have to ask “why?” is because we have forgotten that essence and purpose and inspiration for everything. We act as separate actors with fear, ambition, or vanity and forget the essence. Action and reaction, or karma and samskara, exist because of our forgetfulness of the innocence and security of flowing in faith and love. As wayward drunkards we create illusions and fantasies of another life, illusory bubbles between the great life of the Macrocosm and our imagined life so poor. We continue to experience actions and reactions for as long as we believe and adhere to our microcosmic self-spun creation. It is better to return to the shelter of the Macrocosm as soon as possible, to see where one has been confused and mistaken and surrender with the confidence that the Macrocosm corrects us. Once again take refuge in love and ask that you never are let loose again. All beings continue to learn this fundamental lesson. It is the only way to stay connected with bliss and not suffer meaninglessly in life.
In the final stages of the evolution of the microcosm, after the fire of purification and the errors of ambition and selfishness in the physical and social world, the microcosm seeks its liberation from within the psychic and spiritual planes. Meditation is nothing else to remember who is inside. There are two types of memory; composite and essential. Composite memory is when the mind remembers an objective experience. The mind keeps that impression and can remember it by its imagination. The “I” remembers what he has done, seen, or experienced. All experiences are finite and have occurred in time and space. The relative experiences of the microcosm in evolution help the mind to develop and expand the concept of “I” from the gross and material to mental and, ultimately, spiritual desires. Although relative, they are necessary to build the soul. One can have family, career and a complete life in the material and social world without falling into ambition, fear of loss, and vanity if one remembers where one´s well-being comes from, if one has reverence for the conscious and living universe that sustains one’s happiness. An undeveloped mind falls into materialistic tendencies and always suffers the loss by the laws of action and reaction. The spiritual and reverent mind does not accumulate so many negative reactions because it can be seen that the relative world takes the necessary steps to develop the spiritual consciousness and is not the end itself. The memories created by the positive reactions continue to propel the microcosm forward towards continued psychic expansion and spirituality.
Essential memory is when one remembers nothing more than the essential “I”, the witness to everything one could do, see and experience in the mind. There are no acts in the “I-Witness,” only the essence of feeling one’s existence. That mental subjectivity, or “Mahat” is the internal and subjective part of the mind. It is so internal and calm that it seems the same as the essential consciousness of the Macrocosm. Although there are no experiences or references for the ego to feel “I am this or that” or “I have felt or seen this or that” at some point in time and space, one recognizes that the Mahat is one´s very own “I-feeling.” It is something that precedes any experiences of “I am this or that” because it is the “I” behind the qualities that modify the “I am” or ego. Mahat is where consciousness gives birth to the mind, the place of the human soul. Only being aware of this subjectivity and continuing to inquire about “who am I?” in the end leads one towards the core of the mind, the essential consciousness, or “Atman.” The evolution of the microcosm is complete when all desires focus on liberation, when the actions and reactions of the mind fuse into the Atman.
Anandamurti once stated that emancipation (moksha) is not attained through the desire to stop the mind from all activity (nirvrtti) nor through total mental activation (pravrtti) but through mental equilibrium (samvrtti chitta bodha). I understand this to mean that the mind matured by meditation allows the Macrocosm to do the work. There is no need to seek to quiet the mind nor is there a need to worry about what work one should do. One only observes what the Macrocosm does through one´s microcosmic being. One identifies with the Consciousness witnessing the mind instead of the mind itself. It is not to say that one should be lazy, but rather to say that at the very end one realizes that the Macrocosm is the only “doer,” the only actor in one´s being. Taraka Brahma ensures one´s transcendence (nirvrtti) but also takes care of all actions and duties (pravrtti) when one has absolute trust in stillness and mental equilibrium (samvrtti). This tangent between absolute activity and absolute stillness is where Taraka Brahma, the bridge to Brahma, is found. The microcosm in the end is but a drop in the infinite ocean and it has always been the Macrocosm that has evolved and becomes through us. The mature meditator simply allows this to happen without interference from the separate will of the microcosm. Those of us who feel separate from the Macrocosm should continue to meditate, cultivate discernment and live with the hope that whatever we need is already taken care of.
Meditation is the most effective self healing and self help psychological tool. I teach tantric psychology only to help people understand the structures of their own minds so that they can better do their own internal work of integration. By learning about the fundamental structures of the human mind people understand not just their own personal psychology but the psychology of humanity in general. This enables me to avoid psychotherapy or counselling in a direct manner. I prefer to let people figure things out for themselves via sincere practice and insight. Otherwise people may get clingy, attached and project all kinds of transferences. However, sometimes people get stuck and ask for advice. At first I tell them to keep meditating but sometimes they remain stuck and there is some dialogue and hopefully some insight and they return to their practice. Yet sometimes the problem persists and I find myself at a loss as to what to say. Then I just tell them to do what I do when I am at my best….nothing at all. It is time to just say “ I surrender” and let it go. If one has tried everything else and still the problem has not disappeared then it is time to simply let it go and stop trying to fix it. If one has been sincerely struggling then the understanding should have some insight but simply lacks a little insight to illuminate the issue. Perhaps one has been wrestling too directly with the problem. By simply seeing the issue and trusting that the great consciousness of the macrocosm will show the way then the ego or microcosm can get out of the way and listen for clues.
The offering of the colours of the mind (puja) is the simplest aspect of the meditation yet to arrive at a state of surrender takes so much sincere practice. So often the practice is controlled by the intellect and the ego, and the person forgets that the intuitive consciousness transcends yet guides the intellect and personality towards wholeness. One gets locked into believing that one is the “doer” and forgets that one is always guided from intuition, a faculty that the intellect and ego cannot control. I have found that when one truly surrenders the mind then problems always resolve themselves. One has to make the effort when one is densely locked into the ego. The ego must work to get itself out of the way, to stop being an obstacle. However, in the end things are resolved deep within the I-Witness and not through the efforts of intellect and ego. Deep within the I-Witness is where the universal will of the macrocosm reveals itself. It is the will of the macrocosm that all beings become one with itself. When our lives are sincere and we truly desire to live more wholly then the macrocosm takes care of all because it is the desire of the macrocosm that every little spark of consciousness in its innumerable progeny of microcosms return to the great light.