Brahmasrii Dr K C Varadachari
these are experiences of unity passing on to Identity. There is however another deep kind of mystic experience which constantly reveals the alternating or simultaneous process of real transition or play between unity and identity without ever reducing it to the conflict of separation and unity, difference and identity. This is an organic experience between God and soul, the characteristic poise of the soul in a creative fusive oneness. So much so the characteristic of the soul is a finite unit, whereas the characteristic of the Divine is an eternal Oneness and an eternal supra-distinctive manyness which engages in a personal identity unity play with each of the soul in their inner depths.
Thus personal mysticism is different from mystic personalism. The latter emphasizes the experience of personality as an ultimate category in the subjective form. Real integral personality achieved through the transcendental awareness is a category which focuses all reality and reflects it or conditions it or mirrors it so to speak.
Leibniz’s conception of the monad reveals a clearer concept of mystic experience of the personality than any pluralism, or personalism.
Modern psychologists and novelists however try to make the individual almost a glorious mystic force having an ineffable excellence and superiority. We have the cult of the hero or the apotheosized human or the Dictator who achieves superiority over his fellows and seeks to maintain it through myths of all kinds. Far from being an attractive soul, breathing love and compassion, light and life, such personalities mystically claiming divine right to rule and self-power and self-legislation, breath fire, fury and force and strike terror and awe. Service of truth and light and goodness and worships to God are useful means to their glory. Mysticism of this sort is a kind of pseudo-mysticism unless reversed.
Personal mysticism reveals the real value of the personality in and through the Divine All.
Mysticism has yet another facet. This is of course integral to the materialistic and personalistic mysticisms. We are conscious of Nature and of ourselves in a mystic apprehension. We are also aware of the Godhead who alone confers on us the mystic transcendent perception, which is unmediated by sense or reason or buddhi (intellect). It is kind of soul-sight (atmadrsti). We become aware of the existence of other kindred souls in Nature, companions and competitors in the travail, heirs to sorrow and suffering and struggle. Naturally we aggregate, group ourselves according to passing interests, and form conflicting associations, developing peculiar kinds of fanaticism and coherence which oppose equally developed fanaticisms. Institutions with rival interests get formed. But brotherhood in institutions is sustained by the commonalty of purposes and interests rather than by any intimate reverence for persons. Our social patterns are purposive being either self-defensive and co-operative and security-grating or competitive. Mysticism in regard to our social associations and institutions
almost seems to reverse these purposive combinations. Institutions are for man and not man for the institutions. A State exists for the promotion of freedom in man and for man and not for the sake of the security and sovereignty of the State. This pluralism is at bottom realistic but it is also mystically hugged. An institution is a rigid pattern of association, confining man and restricting his freedom to a particular defined field, even when it is organized for the liberation of all. The realization that each individual is an end in himself and not merely a means, which Immanuel Kant emphasized, is a very vital institution. It is something that a mystic discovers even amidst his preoccupations with the world of Nature and reason. A mystic discovers in difference a need to explain its very existence and persistence, to show its reality. An individual enfolds a secret substance of real being which despite its indivisibility is within him. An institution is a mere collection of individuals, though it subordinates them by means of a feeling of their unity within it and develops in them a fear or despair that if the institution fails, their unity and themselves would be lost. It is fear that
breeds the unity rather than freedom. In fact it is fear that continues to exercise restraint on individuals. This is true of all institutions whether they are like States, unique, absolute and super arrogating, or like religions, wide, universal and demanding obedience to faith and doctrine or any lesser co-operative principle. There is an undeniable tendency for institutions to deny loyalty to any other than themselves and lay claim for exclusive allegiance. Institutions are such that only in their collectivity or unity there is strength.
Mystic individualism or personalism tends to emphasize the freedom of individuals or persons, as if they are part from others or the whole or the Divine Godhead. Whilst there is supreme truth in the individuals, since each will have to realize his freedom, each individual becomes aware of the divine or moral responsibility within-an imperative inalienable and unsurrenderable-to reveal and express absolute loyalty to the Indwelling Creator-principle. The institutions almost tend to usurp the function of this principle from the very beginning and translate the imperative into one of custom, ethos, general will and etc. Associations
which exist for a common economic and hedonistic purpose (artha kama) are not guilty of this usurpation. Mystic personalism claims a sanctity for the individual which it cannot sustain except abstractly. And when it takes the help of theism then it transfers the personalism to God rather than retain it to the individual.
A mystic seeks a loneliness in the heart, a rapture within rather than his abolition by renouncing the world and the ends of the ordinary man and indeed by accepting the opposite ends of dharma and moksa, freedom from body, wealth, law and love, from birth and death. The world of mystics comprises men who have accepted the gospel of freedom, the negation of all the world-values and associations. They live within themselves. This is one important aspect of the mystic realization in life, to live in the forest apart and away and afar from the madding crowd.
Yet the social aspect is not neglected. Men having been perceived by the mystic to be centres of universal consciousness, though they may be unaware
of it, are realized to be co-sharers in that Consciousness or God. In that consciousness of God the mystic finds all to be related uniquely. It is a dharma-sangha wherein one meets another in God and each praises the Divine who had conferred such unity to which there is no parallel or comparison in the sanghas of the world-desires and possessions and powers. The Society of such souls, mystically seized with the love of God and His Nature in all its expressions, holds all as belonging to God and shares communion with all. The traditions of such love of god are preserved in such a society and these keep the flame of love and faith bright and continuous. To share the life of such a community, for that truly is a community where there is communion between all its members, is to maintain and continue it for an endless future.
The members of such a mystic society recognize diversity of functions but emphasize the equality of sharing. All work is known as the worship of the One Divine, as establishing a continuous unity with Him and increasing the enjoyment of unity and knowledge
between them. All are members of the Divine, not as constituting Him but as enjoying measures of His Love. To each according to his needs, from each according to his ability is a modern slogan and ideal; but it is the essence of the Divine Love. The Utopia or Republic or Paradise as well as the Hierarchy of caste and Sangha, Western or Eastern, mystically emphasize the equality in God whilst maintaining the diversity and hierarchy in functions. Maintaining the commonness of all things of the world it emphasizes that each has to discover his or her function. Mystic life reveals to each his or her function in the body politic, which is the Divine Polity so far as the mystic is concerned. The mystic refuses to compromise on this inner meaning of function with the outer enforced or regulated direction as to function or status. What is necessary is the inner reconciliation with the ‘Divine works’ which alone can grant satisfaction.
Socialism in mystic life is a real sharing; it becomes a communism and a real exercise of common disinterestedness, Ethical conduct gets greatest free expression for the realization of the Highest Good. It is a good which even in the language of the utilitarian is
that of the greatest number. Mystic Socialism however worships society or social institutions with an ignorant faith as an end in itself for which the individuals have to live. It is Procrustean in its attempts to level down and level up all to an economic stature of equality, and this is its one goal. The equality conferred in this manner is not capable of being retained. Subsidizing for equality in every matter can only lead to degeneration or denial of equality. It has really no roots in personal being of worthiness of its members. Forced socialism or revolutionary communism like forced freedom, has its nemesis in the disruption of the society. It is unclear, bigoted and self defeating. It engenders fascism and fanaticism and fury-the most disruptive forces in society. Absolutism results as a consequence.10
Religion is (said to be) a social institution as important as the State. Religious institutions are
10 A mystic can never be an absolutist except when forgetting the meaning of the individual, and the never can afford to do. Hegelian Absolutism is a lopsided mysticism and wrong. Theistic Mysticism deifies God, but it is not the Absolute of the State or the Deification of the State or the concentration of Power in any individual or system or Group. Racial Mysticism is impossible but it is easy and natural to grant a fictitious sanctity or personality to the Race or Culture. Mystic Racialism is a vague hypostasis of Racial Value.
repositories of mystic tradition and literature, even as the State is the repository of the laws, customs and usages. Spiritual institutions answer to the soul’s needs; and social arrangements for the ‘saving’, and ‘healing’ of the mind and body are the special province of religion.
Rites and rituals are intended to answer to individual needs, like hospitals for patients. Social rites are indeed equally necessary for welfare of the society or community even like the activities of health departments. They are necessary, but mystic religions, mystify, and make obscure the forces active in the spiritual life of the people as well as the individuals. Ancient mysteries are known to have been every different from the animistic rites with which they are confused. Modern research has tried to interpret all advanced ways of symbolism in terms of the primitive practices. Evolution is said to be this manner of ascent. What such explanations do not however explain is the fact that progress cannot be explained purely in terms of the Toynbee conception of adjustment to environment, by mutation, retardation & etc. Rightly
conceived, there is a breaking in of a higher consciousness an insight, a mystic transcendence of the perceived which might have modified these primitive rites into real symbolisms of a universal process or God-consciousness. Is the primitive not the inversed one, whose rites are the reverse of the liberating? None the less the retarded symbol has congealed into a meaningless pantomime or performance. The sophistication of the higher cultural patterns is the measure of its advance. This view is held by mystics who have observed the peculiar inversion of the rites. Black magic is the reverse of the white, which seeks power rather than love, control of Nature and other spirits rather than association and comradeship. That these two types of magic persist side by side is another fact which throws a flood of light on the mystic conception that this polarity is an eternal compresence of opposites as Zoroaster shewed. Society itself is rifted in this manner and the mystic aims at the transcendence of these opposites by reversing the process itself or arresting the entire structure of existence. There is a truth which the
communistic philosophy has shown, namely, that the inversion of the Hegelian pyramid restores the socialistic democratic ideal to a stability since the stable is not the apex but the base of the pyramid. But coupled with the concept of a procrustean equality, this socialism tends to become romantic and truly utopian.
A mystic view of social life undoubtedly recognizes the equidistant possibility for all to realize themselves and perfect them selves, within and without, for a cosmic or transcosmic, immortal sense of being.
Religious mysticism, like state mysticism then is a real mystic experience of the Divine within and above the institutions of men; and the realization of God in society or community is rendered possible through inward personal peace. Thus when an illumined soul says that non-violence is the essence of communion with all, it is because the Divine is experienced in each and every creature, as the core of all. A rich and creative society where peace and communion with God is had in and through the other members of God’s Being, or Personality, is a real and ever present
possibility, whatever may be the stage of every other member. But the hope of the mystic is a hope in the transformation of an ignorant communion, gashed by conflict and opposition into a cosmic union, interiorized fully.
Buddha’s Sangha, the Vaisnava Bhagavata gosti, and other churches have communism in life, seeking welfare for all along with an uncompromising undivided and indivisible allegiance to the inner light. Pan-socialism is a mystic version which equates God with Society. But it is only a variation of Pantheism. God is more than soul, more than Nature, more than society of men or the world. A true society is built in the life of the one supreme secret Divinity and manifesting in and through every individual who more and more becomes an embodiment of Universal spirituality, a universal man, a mahatma.
GOD is experienced as the only real being or existence or the ground and basis of all the categories
of experience. This experience is what one has in the depths of one’s own self and Nature. One becomes aware of His presence in moments of exquisite perception of beauty or truth or goodness. He needs His presence more and more. To know Nature is truly possible only through what it depends on for being what it is or is thought of. So too the human soul is known only through what it lives by. God thus is the central meaning of all existence. Without Him neither nature nor man can be known at all or be at all. He is known only by a direct or unmediated experience. This experience is called mystic because it is the experience of a ‘fused’ or integral or organic unity between the knowing person and the known object. So to speak there is a coalescence, fusion, interpenetration, a locking up in embrace, an osmosis, which gives the sense of losing and finding. God is all, this is the central fact of mystic experience of God.
Whether it is Nature Mysticism or Personal Mysticism the same psychological process happens. A return to the prior condition after this orgasm enchants and enhances the knowledge tempo, due to a strange
intimacy and holiness which nothing else can simulate. The distinction between a mystic rapture and any other excitement in swoon or forgetting of self lies in the extraordinary and almost transcendental clarity of the cognitive process. One who experiences a mystic rapture even once emerges out of it a ‘sage’ and not like a ‘lost one’. The perfume, the taste, the light, the touch, the voice of the Infinite come along with the mystic trailing as inseparable parts of the being to which he had access. Then alone one realizes that one has become part of the Infinite united with it in his depths and may hope for it on the surface too.
Different indeed are the experiences of God in the cognitive understanding. God is experienced as different in kind from the soul, however eminent or advanced or freed it may be. In this experience the mystic perceives God’s absolute transcendence and otherness and wholeness, pure and absolute transcendence and otherness and wholeness, pure and absolute, but and because of these, having complete Mastery over Nature and souls. Isvaratva or Lordship is the sign of this experience. God maintains the laws of
all things and actions in Nature and ordains the ways of men in Goodness. The mystic’s way of unity is to attain the closest service of God through utter dependence on Him, feeling love for Him and devotional ecstasy. But without God’s service man is but a worker bee who without the queen bee, being helpless hopeless and masterless perishes. This ecstasy of the servant (dasa), selfless and dedicated and existing for the Godhead, is a mystic experience relevant to Deism. This experience is substantial. This is also said to be dualistic mysticism or transcendental mysticism.
Another experience of Godhead is monistic. The mystic experiences God as All. Nothing is outside Him, everything is Himself. Nature, souls and all Time and Space are fused into an ecstasy of Oneness so much so the distinctions are all abolished in it. Void of all characteristics one discovers the All as God and All as God only. Absolute experience of Identity is a state of immanence-a perfect featureless distinction less Being. All relationships are annulled or sublated by this experience of the relationless one beyond all thought, and all senses. Pantheism is the theism of immanence
and identity. Thought annuls itself in this supra intellectual movement of itself towards grasping the Identity in All. God is the core of Identity and only supra intellectual cognitivity is capable of realizing this identity. This path was followed by great teaches like Sankara; and in the West also we have Plotinus’ experience to testify to its reality. It is the realization of the Impersonal Absolute. But as Patanjali found the theory of Maya or illusion of the many is not necessarily mystical. Yogavasishta pleads for an illusory theory, a relativistic revelation of experience. But the main difficulty is that imaginism itself requires to be explained. By referring all to sankalpa or imagination or desire, the problem of manyness is not solved. Whatever may be the logical aspect of the matter, mystic monism cannot explain the emergence and existence and persistence of manyness in being. Illusion is not mystical. Monism is not an explanation of unity. It is an assertion of identity on the basis of primacy of aesthesis. But as all mysticism is an experience of a union, a uniting, losing and a finding of one in another, monism or mystic monism is an
aberration. “There can be no greater error than to interpret mystical experience in terms of monistic experience “said Berdyeav.
The organic experience of the Divine as the Self of all, including Nature and Souls both individually and collectively, is a mystic experience of a real order as distinct from the abstract order of experience in mystic monism. The unity of the multiplicity by which the multiplicity in nature and souls is being sustained, and supported, is a real principle subordinating the multiplicity to the Unity and Oneness of Spirit or God. In Him they find their fulfillment and value; for Him they exist; and attain for themselves too that perfection that is possible because of perfect awareness of Him. In God everything is realized as a perfect existence and real and not as an illusion. As Leibniz would say each monad attains perfect knowledge of all from within, and God is the sum-total of all perspectives which the monads are. This mathematical mysticism of perspectives which are diverse and cannot be identified (dissimilarity of the diverse) gives the supreme appetition within, a nisus towards total apprehension
from a single perspective rendered possible by the Grace of the All or Godhead.
A variation of the organic existence is found in another mystic experience when the soul itself is beheld not as a body or part or ray but as the supreme Divinity in his eternal Multiplicity while remaining the One Eternal in all. But this experience of the Divine Multiplicity or personalities or Names, when experientially explained and not intellectually interpreted is a reiteration of the Upanishad “Purnamadah purnam idam purnat purnam udacyate Purnasya purnam adaya purnam evavasisyate”.
Various interpretations of the above santipatha of the Isopanisad have been made. The reference could be between the Divine in His immanence and descent and in His Transcendence. In whatever form He is, He is integral and full. As inner ruler immortal the Divine is wholly herein the soul of each and the devoted mystic finds Him within wholly and not a part of Him alone. In Nature too the Divine is fully present in all His plenitude of being. The Transcendent of whom the
immanent is a descent or ray is again perfect and full. Whatever is taken away from Him is full and whatever remains of Him above is full. This fullness experience of God is indeed the real experience of Godhead as establishing all things in their real nature (yathatathyato arthan vyadadhat sasvatibhyah samabhyah).
The fully mystic experience of God is apprehended when He is simultaneously beheld in this five forms (1) as the Eternal Transcendent, (2) as the Cosmic Creator sustainer and transformer or changer or destroyer, as the Time Spirit in Nature and souls, (3) as the antaryami, in each soul immanently inspiring each, instigating and leading each, (4) as historical descents in the forms of saviour, teacher, leader and ruler, here on this terrestrial planet of ours, and also as the (5) Sacred form for worship and surrender the arcavatar. Here the manyness of the Divine Presence and projection or descent is reconciled and experienced as the One in all the infinite five forms. Through whatever form one approaches Him he begins to know the others. Each form enfolds the rest. This is the mystic meaning of the Upanishad when it says that the
Lord pervades or can pervade all that is moving (souls) and unmoving (Nature). This mystic experience is a unitive experience of the Divine quintupleness as eternally available to one who has surrendered oneself wholly without any reserve to the Divine. He must abandon ahamkara, renounce all fruits of actions, and open himself to the manifestation of the Divine to him. Then he begins to experience the incoming Divine, and enjoys and revels in the expansion of his consciousness or rather awareness of the universe in its depths with beauty, and holiness and awe. One loses nothing in this close union with the Divine but death, defeat, poverty of being, imperfection, bondage, sin and the dualism of suffering and pleasure, gain and loss. One experiences fullness, the overflowing-ness of God within.
This transfiguration of experience by the Divine indwelling touch grants the real or eternal point of view sub specie eternitatis, called divine vision.
God reveals the extension of terrestrial life beyond the confines of the terrestrial. It is not only as a mere extension of the limits of finitude but as a liberation from them. God becomes nearer than anything or soul in this world and hereafter. God is all not only in the natural sense but also in a valuational sense. One realizes God as the supreme beloved power of good and for good, engaged in a splendid salvaging and evolutionary effort of all beings. In him one finds the wisdom and the truth and the love and power that is ultimate and the source. All else are seen to derive their truth (satya), existence (sat) and being (satta) from Him.
Great mystics there have been who had earned for themselves a place in the galaxy of self-enjoyers. In all cases self-enjoyment in its higher forms has been mystical, that is to say an experience of union with the All, the infinite, the Absolute, the Cause and substance
of being. Each poise of the infinite has led to the experience or approach of an appropriate complementary or relative poise on the part of the individuals seeking knowledge and enjoyment or service of the Absolute. If the individual be just a poise of the Infinite Absolute, even then though individualized in a particular direction it has the possibility of being infinite in that direction. The great philosopher-mathematician Leibniz had attempted most ambitiously a representation of this qualitative infinity possible to any monad or self in a particular direction and asserted that it can attain to a total clear comprehension of all in a particular station or perspective. Equally Sri Ramanuja tried earlier in the East to grant this infinity to the consciousness function of each soul in its liberated condition. Indeed liberation and equality with the Divine means this complete expansion of the functional consciousness (dharma-bhuta-jnana) unconditioned by any space-time or causal conditions or karma and which preserves the individual’s personal perspective and being. In this sense the whole experience of the All and the Universe would become intensive and inward
experience. This is called by some to be idealistic mysticism. But even then a qualitative difference would remain between the Godhead and the monad (soul), since God includes every perspective of every soul in its fullest infinite expansion both intensively and extensively. Leibniz was thus in a definite philosophic predicament. His mystic intuition did not triumph over his logical, whereas in the pluralistic mysticism of Sri Ramanuja each individual soul achieves a double poise but is integrated by the concept of Organic relationship between the Divine and the soul.
But aesthetic union is a peculiar experience. True mergence may well be the fulfillment of a nihilist mystic, but the aesthetic demand is not to become sugar but to enjoy sugar. The bridal mysticism is the experience sought by a lover of the beloved. According to the highest conception of this poise and approach, the finite soul surrenders and absolutely gives up itself to the Infinite Godhead who accepts this surrender and offering. The nearest approach to this total bodily giving up is that of the lover to the beloved. From the moment this surrender is made the beloved is the life of her life,
the source of honour, fame, fulfillment, support and all. The infinite thus chosen and surrendered to becomes everything and all. The representation of this mystic union is apparently a union of two persons, a union of body, mind and soul sought with the infinite, the beloved. In mystic rapture one experiences the transformation of one’s entire being so as to appear to be that of the beloved Himself.
This experience with the Infinite has made a demand on men and women alike. Men have indeed sought to experience the union deeming the Infinite as the female. The Punjabi Sufi mystics, indeed even Omar khayyam of Persia and the tantrika vamacaries, have more or less adopted this path. The female is Mother or Beloved. But the Infinite as female is difficult.11 Nietzsche’s famous statement ‘I have not
11 The view held in some schools that every soul is a biunity of male and female an original division into male and female had been the cause of this seeking of ‘beloveds’ on corresponding counter parts or the other halves. Some-mystics of the Southern C.V.V. School of Yoga, free masons of the Maria Corelli School hold that a male continues to be a male and female as female till they meet and forge a unity or oneness so to speak. But the quest for Infinity is not of this order. The male is God infinite and all souls are female according to Bhagavata Reversing this to
found the women through whom I can have children. I love thee, Eternity! I love thee’ may utter the supreme spirit of philosophic mysticism on the creative level. The finite seeks the infinite to ‘beget’ creation or creative fulfillment, creativity, real and eternal, comes from the Infinite. Finding oneself as ‘male’ in a biologic sense or structure one seeks the Woman. So for those who have yearned for a biological perpetuation or higher evolution this is a perverse approach since it seeks to make God a field or ksetra. While the finite can be a field or instrument, the Divine cannot be anything other than ksetrajna-the creating principle. This is the mystic significance of the Ramayana wherein Ravana sought the Infinite for ksetra and disastrously failed.
say that God is Infinite Female and souls are male is a fateful approach.
The correct mode of approach then is to be the field of the Infinite, the ksetra, the female, rather than the male. But it is difficult for a male (biological) to become a female. Through a series of lives, a man or women, seeks the infinite among and in the finite man
or women, misses it and glimpses it and loses it. But the search is unending. This is one more argument for the reality of the prior births and rebirth as a purposive process or function. We can otherwise never be able to explain the reason for the loves and hates, and searches for fulfillment in different types and in different relationships and in different ways. The beloved-approach is a fulfillment of all types of relationships. Nor is the experience easily satisfying in these human relationships of brother or sister, mother or father or wife. Whilst these relationships may grant felicity of association or happiness none of them can grant creative delight. To make marriage an intellectual a sublimated acquaintance for mutual benefit is to be incapable of becoming either spiritual or physical. For a creative fulfillment of each is needed. Poets know the intellectual marriage with the infinite spirit of poesy. So too we find spiritual brides of the Divine; though male in gross physique they are willing adoring hymning spouses of the Divine begetting creative fruits of poesy and mantra and art. The Gopis were such brides of God. St. Aquinas was also one of those who held that
not until one becomes a woman can one know God. To this group belong also St. Sathakopa, St. Tirumangai, St. Manikkavacagar and Sri Chaitanya12. Sri Rama Krishna Paramahamsa also trod this path.
By this approach they became creative fields of the Divine. Such is the glorious possibility of this union that it had even been possible to experience a complete triple union in body, and mind and self or and in cognition, feeling and willing, so much so the ancient Upanisadic experience of God had become a solid experience of Saccidananda. Such occupations of the physical body by the Divine had resulted in stigmata or signs of indelible character being imprinted on the physical body of the devotee. Spiritual marriage is a consecration for a spiritual creation, the fulfillment of the
12 There are several views indeed which are relevant to this approach. The souls are females and the divine All (Sarvesvara) alone is the male.
Another view is that all males (God, man or animal) are Visnu, and all females (goddess, women etc.) are Sri and the males must move to discover their appropriate, destined females, Vishnu Purana I 8, 35.
Deva tiryannmanusyesu Pumnama Bhagavan Harih |
Strinamne Srisca Vijneya nanayor vidyate param. ||
infinity in the finite, of God in the soul, of perfection bodying itself forth in and through the soul. And thus it is a real and total integral function of the Infinite. One may not speak with any intelligibility about the ‘infinitisation of the finite’ except that the finite is spiritually, mentally and physically made capable of being used creatively by the Divine. It may of course mean that the functional awareness or consciousness is removed of all limitations and conditions. The view held is that the final perfection of the soul lies in its becoming the sakti of the Divine as the Vishnu Purana says, and as the tantrika system metaphysically claims each soul to be.
Ancient Indian thought designated the Divine as having six excellences or qualities, namely, jnana and bala, virya and sakti, and aisvarya and tejas. These three pairs of attributes when closely examined refer firstly to the Sacerdotum-Regnum (Priest-Ruler) combination; secondly to the Male-Female dyad combined to yield a single personality or a diunity of personalities united in function but separate in essence. Thirdly, the three pairs of attributes refer to the three
planes of organic experience, namely the physical, the vital and mental, and the spiritual. Representations of such themes vary in different contexts. We can see them in the conceptions of Zarathushtra and Blake.13
But this primary biunity is a representation of the mystic experience. The abstract representation of this unity does not bring about the intimate marriage-possibility between the infinite and the finite. One would rather think that such a possibility is only between two infinites as indeed Sri Vaisnavism envisages. The Mystic Diunity of Brahman and Sri is such that it is a unity of two Infinites who essentially act as One Person. Even so in Tantrika conception is the relation between Siva and Sakti but it is more often reduced to one of substance and attribute or Word and Meaning (vak and artha).
13 In the Religion of Zarathushtra, the Excellences of Ahura Mazda are enumerated as six archangel personalities Vohu-mana, Amesha spenta, Vohisit a spenta, Aramaiti, Haurvatat, Ameretata. In Blake’s “Jerusalem” there is again a pairing of the four loas yos, arigen, Luvah and Tharmas, with their female counter parts. Four mighty ones are in everyman. Perfect unity cannot exist but from the universal brotherhood of Eden
The soul however can never secure this status in an infinite measure. It must remain in an impossibility despite the saints of the bridal path. No one became the ‘Mother’ or identified with the transcendent Mother Isvari. But some have claimed for them that close ‘essential part hood (amsatva). The mother is as much an indwelling presence as the Divine Isvara. She is the Sraddha, Medha, Sarasvati, Sri, Aditi and Daya. She has also the six qualities or three dyads of qualities, and she too has the fivefold manifestations or descents and forms14. All these the soul has not. The Soul in spiritual marriage is wrapt in silence and trance, ecstasy, and the influx of radiance which are indescribable and is en rapport with the divine and the mother. Everything assumes the ‘holiness’ which is the symbol of Perfection and its power. Until one becomes a woman, a field, a patra or vessel of the Divine, willing nought else and seeking Him alone does this spiritual
14 Ahirbudhnya Samhita VIII 65 and XXI 8-10
Eka Saktir harer visnoh sarvabhavanugamini |
Devi sadgunyapurnanya jnanandakriyamayi ||
Quoted by Nanjiyar (Ranganatha Muni)in his Srisukta Bhasya
possibility of a perfect infinite finite union occur. One could be a servant (dasa), a sakha and companion but none develops into this total or integral union. The Divine may not play on the biologic note of reproduction nor even on the mental perpetuative note. Mental reproduction and mechanical reproduction may well happen. The spiritual reproduction or rather creativity may conceivably displace or supplant the other two. At present at any rate there has been an effort to affirm that denial of reproduction in the biological sense is the condition of spiritual creation or realization or union itself. Mystics however there are who would like to keep the problem of creation or creativity open. Such then is the experience. No one who seeks the mystic experience, male or female, should seek any satisfaction in these directions with anybody in any sense. This ekanta-state or pativrata-state is the aim; not the abnegation of all union but abnegation of union with any other soul or partial power except with the Highest Divine.
Thus in Hindu thought and Mysticism, Andal or Goda wooed and won an integral union having become
feminine in a triple status, spiritually, mentally and physically-vitally. For the Divine she existed and for Him only. This consecration of the entire being by Goda is a peak of bridal mysticism. Variations of this approach have been also described in the story of the medieval saint Mirabai and in the puranic Radha.
The Bridal path is the culmination of a seeking for union in an integral or total way which includes the essence of all other realizations. It is the culmination indeed of the jnana, karma and bhakti paths. It is therefore called Sringara-path. And it is the most dynamic creativity that is the fruit of infinite love for God. Mysticism reaches the peak of existence-consciousness in this alone. God’s Infinite Beauty as Krsna is the eternal enchantment of the mystic’s urge for union. For verily the finite belongs to the Infinite and the Infinite longs for the finite.
Om Tat Sat